“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best


I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Friday, May 25, 2007

Golly Gee, the Chinese are Spending the Trade Surplus on Military!

What did you expect the Chinese to do do with their accumulated trade surplus? Another foreign policy success from the brain trust in Washington. It could have occurred to our rulers and masters that maybe, just maybe, it would have been a good idea to invest in factories all over Latin America and then we could have created wealthy trading partners and then we may not have had so many millions coming to the US to work. That way we still could go to Wal-Mart and our children would not be overly concerned with Bolivian aircraft carriers.

""The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them."

Pentagon details China's new military strategies
By Bill Gertz

May 25, 2007

The Pentagon's forthcoming annual report on Chinese military power will reveal a growing threat from Beijing's new forms of power projection, including anti-satellite weapons and computer network attack forces.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said yesterday that the report, scheduled for release today, shows how China "has steadily devoted increasing resources to their military."

According to defense officials familiar with the report, it also highlights new strategic missile developments, including China's five new Jin-class submarines, and states that Beijing continues to hide the true level of its military spending.

The officials also said that the report will detail how China is developing two new types of strategic forces that go beyond what nations have done traditionally using air, sea and land forces by aiming to knock out modern communications methods on which the U.S. military relies for advanced warfighting techniques.

First, U.S. intelligence officials estimate that by 2010 China's ASAT missiles will be capable of delivering a knockout blow to many U.S. military satellites. Second, China also is training large numbers of military computer hackers to deliver crippling electronic attacks on U.S. military and civilian computer networks.

Mr. Gates described this year's report as an honest assessment devoid of "arm-waving" and said, "I don't think it does any exaggeration of the threat."
"But it paints a picture of a country that is devoting substantial resources to the military and developing ... some very sophisticated capabilities."

More and more.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Elijah, I have been crying in the wind that our absurd China trade policy is a security issue. The business worshipping free trade crowd does not want to face any issue except no or low taxes and a laissez faire trade attitude, regardless of any outside evidence.

    Everyone seems to have forgotten comrade Lenin
    ""The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them."

  3. Who woulda thunk?

    The other modern (and censorious) Leviathan also goes and grows on:
    Google Unveils "Universal Search"
    As the web continues to grow and more data is digitized, owning the fastest, most accurate and comprehensive navigational tool is essential to keeping users happy.

    It also makes sense for a company worth $146 billion and driven almost entirely by Internet search advertising revenue to continually seek out additional targeted ad opportunities around different types of search-related content. Universal search coupled with YouTube's vast video assets, purchased by Google last year for $1.65 billion, could mean video ads aren't far off.

    "It potentially means advertisers will have the ability to do graphical ads and video ads on Google's search results pages," says Danny Sullivan, a longtime search industry watcher and editor of the blog Search Engine Land.

    "The ability to get advertising on there has really been limited to textual ads, and now because they're putting graphics out there, it really opens up the possibilities."

  4. As Ike said, beware the Military - Industrial complex.

    If there are no "enemies", well funded "enemies" there'd be no need for the complex's continued domination of the US system.

    We're so strong, we have to "help" our foes, maintaining and creating threats instead of allies.

  5. My new Inet graphial ads, they roll out any day now.

    Ahead of them sons a bucks, for once.

    Their logrithmic search patterns not that hard to figure out, how to manipulate.

    any day now ....

  6. "It could have occurred to our rulers and masters that maybe, just maybe, it would have been a good idea to invest in factories all over Latin America..."

    What, and listen to the outrage concerning a corresponding lack of investment here at home? This may be one of those damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-
    don't dilemmas that keep demagogues in demand. US manufactures have been seeking cheaper plant and labor abroad, and it hasn't exactly thrilled the public.

    Fruit of the Loom moved to Guatemala. Stanley Tools threatened to go South. Less than a decade ago, recall, THIS was the burning issue, not illegal immigration.

  7. What DID Stanley do?
    The last Stanley tools I bought said:
    "Made in China"

  8. Well, there you go, Doug. They went East. There was a huge to-do over the threatened move at the time. They made good on the threat.

  9. Course Govt Policies and the Environmentalists have nothing to do with companies flying the coop.
    We now import 13, or 17 percent of our GASOLINE, at inflated prices, and no new refineries are even in the planning stage.

  10. "As Ike said, beware the Military - Industrial complex."

    If conservatives, God save 'em, exhibited half the skepticism of the MIC that they do any other lavish, self-perpetuating, self-interested public works program, there might one day be hope for us all.

  11. re: Immigration,
    The Gummit has a lock on demagogues in that fight like no other.
    Ted, doin business since '63, the 'Boner Bushes:
    Before any of us were born!

  12. Guess that would apply to Big John too, countin the Admiral.

  13. "Course Govt Policies and the Environmentalists have nothing to do with companies flying the coop."

    Look, you don't have to tell me. Companies don't fly the coop without ample reason and local, state, and federal policies often supply those reasons.

  14. C4 At BC:
    "After that waste of lives, the US began doing what military on the ground recommended in the 1st place but were overruled by Neocon idiots:

    From Klein's article As I reported in September 2005, there is also the scandalous reality that an alliance with the tribes was proposed by U.S. Army intelligence officers as early as October 2003 and rejected by L. Paul Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority on the grounds that "tribes are part of the past. They have no place in the new democratic Iraq."

    The damage caused by that myopic stupidity may never be repaired: "
    I added:

    Not only did U.S. Army intelligence officers as early as October 2003 propose an alliance with the tribes, but Gen Petraeus was DOING just that up in Mosul.

    The learning curve in this effort was not just pathetic, but often negative, and Viceroy Bremmer led the way.

  15. Just preachin to the converted, Trish.
    (actually, addressing the great unwashed millions in the greater audience)
    "A multinational and influential Blog", or however officer Al would describe it!

  16. C-4 is dead on. The guy is brilliant minus his ✡ne my✡pic ✡bsessi✡n.

  17. Think he was proposin lining up Neocons Stalin style in that comment too!
    "Harnessing the Desert Wind" Thread

  18. "there is also the scandalous reality that an alliance with the tribes was proposed by U.S. Army intelligence officers as early as October 2003 and rejected by L. Paul Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority on the grounds that 'tribes are part of the past. They have no place in the new democratic Iraq.'"

    The Traveling Transformation Roadshow, remember?

    Now that we've bought off some of those tribes - an almost year long effort - who's gonna police 'em? We've been through this before.

  19. Trish & Doug,

    A great colloquy on why we went East not South with our needs..great points!!

  20. This is getting some interesting replies!

    I of course deplore the days of Stalin.
    (oh yeah, for sure!)
    But I have to admit it sure would be satisfying to stand up Bremer, Doug Feith, Wolfowitz in front of a firing squad like Stalin did with Commissars and officers that totally botched a job

  21. It was still nutso govt policy imo.
    Ping Ponged a fine enemy.

    Shoulda nuked em early on, or if not, let em rot.

  22. An issue we can all agree on. I've tried to buy something NOT made in China, and fail. Last hi-lift jack I bought, made in China. Looks just like the old ones, no difference, though I don't know about the metal, made in China. I get sick of it. Gets on the nerves.

  23. Somebody brought up Lysenko.
    I didn't know Mao did that one too, until I looked it up:
    They'd still weigh about 50lbs each if we had minded our own business!

  24. I am receiveing some information that was just on Costa Rican television news:

    The Costa Rican police have arrested four Middle Eastern men over the last eleven days with al-Qaeda connections. They had false passports and came into Costa Rica through Nicaragua and Cuba.

    More as I get it.

  25. O/T ..I include this because Arnaud de Borchgrave is one, if not the, best connected journalist in the world.

    Islamic deja vu
    By Arnaud de Borchgrave
    May 23, 2007

    Muslim peoples excel at expelling imperial powers by terror and guerrilla war. So wrote Patrick J. Buchanan six months before Operation Iraqi Freedom. "They drove the Brits out of Palestine and Aden, the French out of Algeria, the Russians out of Afghanistan, the Americans out of Somalia and Beirut, the Israelis out of Lebanon," he reminded us.
    Lacking institutional memory, Congress is blissfully unaware the history now being written on Capitol Hill will add yet another chapter -- "they also drove the Americans out of Iraq." And the scenario is eerily reminiscent of how Congress ensured a U.S. defeat in Vietnam when lawmakers, in their infinite wisdom, decided to sever any further military assistance to our Vietnamese allies.
    Betrayed by Congress, the South Vietnamese quickly understood there was no point in further resistance. In Hanoi, Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap had to improvise a general offensive in 1975 to take Saigon, which he reckoned (in his memoirs) was an opportunity at least two years away.
    Similarly, Gen. Giap, who once said the U.S. could not be defeated militarily, conceded the 1968 Tet Offensive was an unmitigated disaster for Hanoi. And he was astonished to see Walter Cronkite, America's most trusted newsman, had declared Tet a decisive defeat for the U.S. Most of the Saigon-based press corps followed "Uncle Walter's" lead.
    Gen. Giap defeated the French empire -- in 1954 at Dienbienphu. But America's defeat was on the home front and in the halls of Congress. Hanoi achieved final victory with a 2,500-year-old blueprint for victory -- Sun Tzu's "The Art of War." The template was undermining home front morale. In Hanoi in September 1972, this reporter met two French communists who bragged about organizing antiwar demonstrations in the United States.
    Israel's Martin van Creveld, one of the world's foremost military historians, has drawn many parallels between Iraq and Vietnam. With 17 books on military history and strategy, he is required reading for U.S. officers. He says almost all countries that have tried to fight similar wars since World War II have ended up losing.
    The multiparty electoral system, says Mr. van Creveld, has institutionalized and consolidated Iraq's ethnic, sectarian and tribal divisions -- precisely the sort of thing that should be avoided when attempting to democratize. Free elections and democracy are not synonymous.
    "Vietnamization," the process whereby U.S. troops handed control to local forces in South Vietnam (ARVN), is now under way in Iraq. But Mr. van Creveld says the chances of that succeeding look even bleaker than in Vietnam. The new Iraqi army is weaker, less skilled, less cohesive and less loyal to its government than ARVN was. Worse still, in Mr. van Creveld's judgment, there is no equivalent of the North Vietnamese regime poised to take over.
    Those who argued against the invasion are apprehensive about what might happen once U.S. troops leave. Terrorists from around the world were attracted to Iraq but they didn't go for the "flypaper." A few were caught. But Iraq spawned a new generation of terrorists who acquired the kind of expertise that can be used in other parts of the world for a long time to come.
    Iran is the real victor in Iraq, and the world must now learn to live with a nuclear Iran, says Mr. van Creveld, the way we learned to live with a nuclear Soviet Union and a nuclear China. But what about Israel -- and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's threat to wipe it out? "We Israelis have what it takes to deter an Iranian attack," he answers in the June 2007 issue of Playboy magazine. "We are in no danger at all of having an Iranian nuclear weapon dropped on us. We cannot say so too openly, however, because we have a history of using any threat in order to get weapons ... thanks to the Iranian threat, we are getting weapons from the U.S. and Germany."
    "Our armed forces are not the 30th-strongest in the world, but rather the second or third," according to the Dutch-born Mr. van Creveld, a professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem since 1971. "We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets that can launch them at targets in all directions. Most European capitals are targets of our air force. ... We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that this will happen before Israel goes under."
    As for a future Palestinian state emerging from the present chaos in Gaza, Mr. van Creveld doesn't see it. In any event, Israel should not attempt to facilitate the birth of a stillborn, failed or failing state. Some 40,000 Israeli settlers now on the east side of the physical barrier should be brought back to live in the protected settlements on the west side. This would leave some 30,000 Israelis in Palestinian territory. Next, everything between the barrier and the pre-1967 war border should be officially annexed to Israel.
    Thus, the Palestinians would be left to their own devices to fight among themselves -- or to make peace and build a country with the economic assistance of the Arab oil producers of the Gulf. This could also be a recipe for another half-century of on-again-off-again Arab-Israeli warfare.

    de Borchgrave..been there

  26. Farmer alBobal,
    You might find reading the Wiki article on Lysenkoism interesting, or at least the part about Stalin and agriculture.

    ...and it turns out, the Chairman, too.

  27. Deuce:
    Hewitt on San Antonio Reporter Series

    "According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection apprehension numbers, agentsalong both borders have caught more than 5,700 special-interest immigrantssince 2001.
    But as many as 20,000 to 60,000 others are presumed to have slippedthrough, based on rule-of-thumb estimates typically used by homeland securityagencies."

  28. Habu,
    What could a guy with a name like Arnaud know?
    Do you know if he ran around with Halberstam at all?

  29. Through Nico land and Cuba, aye?

    What would those radical religous fanatics have to do with athiest commies?

    That must be bad reporting, aye?

    Those two types of folk would never get along, ferget about it!

  30. Not even the Birds like this President, it seems.

  31. Not much of a problem, tho Rat:
    Those Cuban travel papers cost 60 bucks in Syria.
    How many Ragheads can afford that?

  32. "But America's defeat was on the home front and in the halls of Congress."

    No. America's defeat was in Vietnam. To point out that the military was handed a no-win war does not change this, as it will not change it in Iraq. Americans are being asked, by people who ought to know better, to overlook, ignore, and dismiss the actual failure and believe instead that the only failure is illusory - a nifty conjure by the MSM and, now, a Democratic Congress. This has worn pretty effing thin.

  33. That is why, if true, trish, that we can convince the world that we've won.

    It's all an illusion, you see.

    Sun Tsu laid it out, long wars are lost wars.

    If you cannot decisively defeat the enemy, do not engage him.
    If you cannot identifiy the enemy, it is hard to engage it.

    The tools we've been using, unsuited to the task at hand.

    Been that way since '03, in Iraq.

    Condi told US so, back in '99.
    Mr Cheney told US as well, in 1993

    Seems they've forgotten the truths of their arguements, then.

  34. If your leaders are incompetent dumbshits, pray they do nothing.

  35. Any war that cannot be won because of Political interference and crazy ROE's is a

    ...Trish's Rule.

  36. "If you cannot identifiy the enemy, it is hard to engage it."

    Or as we ask in my house, "Who are fighting today?"

    Our own McNamara's going to tell us, a decade from now, that we stayed too long.

    Waaaay too long.

    He'll be right.

  37. And we went in way too light.
    On Ruthlessness and Rubleing.

  38. By the time we got around to OIF, the window of ruthlessness had long since passed. The whole premise of OIF, soup to nuts, was humanitarian. And it was the Right that bit on that hardest.

  39. Vietnam, too, was bought and sold in the beginning as a humanitarian endeavor.

  40. "And it was the Right that bit on that hardest"
    Doubt if ANYONE surpassed the BC Triumphalists:
    "We're not only going to win, we're going to do it compassionately, and because of our GOODNESS (and brilliance) the result will be...

  41. I thot we'd win, but I thot we'd use the Big Mo that goes with almost unbridled agressive use of force.
    Couldn't have been more wrong,
    ...but right on my prediction that W's legacy would be

  42. bobalharb,
    I've tried to buy something NOT made in China, and fail. Last hi-lift jack I bought, made in China. Looks just like the old ones, no difference, though I don't know about the metal, made in China.

    Funny you should mention this. I had dinner the other night with a fellow from Davenport IA who is in the business of manufacturing farming equipment. He told me that in 2004 there was a great sucking sound in the US that was caused by the Chinese buying all the scrap metal in the US and shipping it to China.

    The lift you bought might well have been manufactured with scrapped American steel. Come to think of it, the new boomer subs that the Chinese are building may be made with the same.

  43. Soo, that would be friendly steel in them subs?

  44. I thot "we" knew what we were doing.

    But there is a level of naivete we've displayed boggles my mind.

    Like habu said once, why didn't we plant the WMD evidence?
    What is wrong with our operatives that this wasn't done?

    To allow US to be made to look the fool, even if true, that was defeatist. To not control the flow of events, instead allowing them control of you.

    Basic error, to lose the inititive, the big mo', managerial government fell short.

    We failed to nation build in Haiti or Yugoslavia, so scale it up and try in Iraq. Brought to US by those that bemoaned the attempts in Haiti and Yugoslavia.

  45. Leave in the Clintonistas.
    Leave in Sadr.
    Leave the Sanctuaries alone.
    Leave Rummy his Playpen.
    Leave in the Lawyers.
    Don't prosecute Bergler.
    This could go on

  46. Stout--I read somewhere that some of this steel we are getting back has some low level radiation in it. Might want to buy a geiger counter. My right arm broke out terribly from resting next to my new bedstead. Went to the doc and he counldn't figure it out. All invected. Finally I sparked and put a barrier between the bedstead and my arm and head and it cleared up in a few days. There is a condition of being allergic to metals. women often have it with jewelry, but this was new to me. I have read that twice, that some of our metals have a little radiation in them. One truck I read about, set off a radiation detector somewhere. Steel from overseas. Nice.

  47. The radiation from Deeres is what makes crop circles.
    How many times have I invected against self-stimulation here?