“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, October 20, 2006

Coups and Rumors of Coups

In the last posts, we were discussing "Time Running out" for the Bush administration's public support in Iraq and a recent coup attempt in Pakistan. Now comes word of both time running out and a possible coup in the works for Iraq. Writing in the Asia Times, Richard Dreyfuss reports of rumors "from Washington, London and Baghdad and other capitals that "Maliki's government will soon be overthrown by a nationalist general or colonel or that he will resign in favor of an emergency "government of national salvation"." He writes that although Allawi has denied any coup in the works, its definitely being discussed in Washington.

Dreyfuss says that a desperate Washington blessed coup designed to install a secular Iraqi government, "stabilize the country, put down the resistance, and create a secure environment for Bush's "victory" strategy in Iraq - even though that victory would have nothing to do with democracy" would give the Bush adminstration a fig leaf for a graceful withdrawal and leave behind a Saddam like strongman.

Dreyfuss ends his piece with:
But like all too-clever-by-half strategies, this one would probably make things not better but a lot worse in a country that has already been torn to shreds by the US invasion and occupation.

The Asia Times hammers the "Time Running Out" theme with two companion pieces discussing the politics of the imminent US withdrawal and the the dismal failure of Nuri al-Maliki.

Read them all with a grain of salt.


  1. Phone call for Mr Diem
    Mr Diem to the white courtesy telephone, please
    Call for Mr Diem.

    Mr President, the Shah of Iran is on line two. Excuse me, Mr Carter, the Shah's on line two, says it's urgent.

    Ahh, Mr Shah, the President is out, says don't call US, we'll call you.

    The Hmong know.

  2. re: al-Maliki

    A well advertised, focused group coup d'etat is just what I would expect from this administration. These guys could not organize a f**k in a whorehouse.

    Would it unconstitutional to demand of all candidates for the presidency the filing of a psych profile? This may be the only way to get a president with a personal value system. G.H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George Bush - I rest my case.

    Oh, are we to assume that al-Maliki does not watch CNN?

  3. "Mr. Sadat, sir, we're going to have a parade for you in honor of you and the Jews getting together under the guidance of President Carter..those Camp David Accords are really neat... now here's the seating chart, oh, and don't be alrmed when the truck stops and a special "honor guard" gets out."
    .ok ,you'll be here next to the dog, I mean the....

  4. Iranian Leader Threatens Israel's Allies

    Iran Gett'n Bolder

  5. Rufus,
    i wish we could fly but we can't. I think the handwriting is on the wall...coup talk in both Iraq and Pakistan. Our elections in a few weeks with changes in the power structure likely. Bush's frined Baker negotiating, probably with the government and the coup plotters for the "best deal to get out soon....and we will...and in a year or two it'll be in our back yard...malls, airports,DC Monuments etc...what shit we're in but the Islamists are driven to take over ... over my dead body.

  6. Taking a walk shortly after the Iraq incursion, I told my lady that the US should find a sharp ambitious Iraqi military leader who could take control and we give him this admonishment:

    Take control, promise a ten year plan to convert to a democrtaic secular state, and the US will take a few discreet big bases and when the occasion requires, we will return in spades, just to remind you we still care. That is still the only hope, but I fear that the US domestic politics will not allow that.

    Maybe we need the Don Imus solution, apologize to Saddam about the kids and give him the keys.

  7. What a concept, you have to be a US citizen to vote in a US election. The only thing that keeps me a Republican voter is my utter contempt for the Democrats.

  8. 2164,

    I think our say in Iraq's future has evaporated. We reached our zenith and now Sir Isaac Newton is in the drivers seat.
    It's obvious we're not going to use our power. We couldn't now anyway without the Iraqi governments approval and they're on the coup circuit right now.
    We say we have 140,000 in Iraq now but the number is much closer to 200,000 with the Blackwater's,Vennell Corp's and all the other mercenaries we've got there.
    Nope, Australia and England will be to the AQ what Spain was to Hitler..practice in large urban westernized cities. Simultaneous with that they'll step up recruiting here and then, in two years they'll be in our face, right here. Lock and load.

  9. It is an interesting spin, in Iraq.

    The US cammands the ISF.
    Mr Maliki cannot bring "security" to Iraq
    Cannot disarm the militias.

    Who does he cammand?
    What Federal Iraqi Force is not under the Command of the US, in Baghdad or Ramadi?

    How can the failure of strategy and command be Maliki's when the Forces are not his to command.

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  11. It was a "request" rufus, just a request.
    So said the US Military spokesman.

  12. We hit 'em at distance,
    we hit 'em again near
    Then the boys and I took a stance and boxed the bastards' ears

  13. rufus said...
    Well, Rat, when he demanded we release that murdering she'it sonofabitch we did it, pronto. So, I guess he commands someone.

    9:49 PM, October 20, 2006

    My wife was watching her Cardinals win last evening. I wasn't paying much attention until her head hit the ceiling, followed instantly by a string of profanities not usually associated with an officer and gentlewoman. She had seen the same piece as you. Having received a bitter-sweet e-mail from a friend downrange, earlier in the evening, probably didn't help.



  14. Taint the powder dry,was the wick was wet..Friday night that that's "Mission Accomplished" we can get back to all the machinations of the USA spending billions and billions of dollars to knock over a statue... I think it was DR who said let's just give the keys back to Saddam,say sorry about the boys and leave.

  15. "Guest" was orginally written "Quest", as in conquest I suppose. Freudian, wishful thinking, or both, who knows?

  16. It's hell gett'n that last hair ou of ...ooooh wrong blog again..
    ah yeah heavy coup talk

    Rummey's delight
    W's overjoyacated
    the neo-cons are looking at Ft Marcy Park as a last redoubt before the backlash.
    i hear none of them can get a table at the Sans Souci even if it is passe.
    People in DC keep putting"kick me" signs on Bill Krystals's gett'n dirty.

  17. Allen,
    Tell your wife I have Dizzy Deans autograph on a baseball along with "Ducky" Medwick the last National Leaguer to win the triple in 1936 or fact it's actually the entire 1936 National League All Star Team on the ball. It was also the first year they won the All Star game.

  18. habu1,

    re: Cardinals

    My wife will go to her grave cursing the late Don Denkinger for the World Series loss to Boston. Something she feels is only slightly less infamous than another day in history.

  19. re: Edward Kennedy

    How many levels of Hell can a soul cohabitate? My Dante is a little rusty.

  20. Apologies to Jim Croce
    "Time in a Bottle"

    If I could drink this here bottle
    The next thing that Id like to do
    Is to shit every day
    Till internal gasses go way

    If I could make wars last forever
    If wars could make wishes come true
    Id save every day like a Congressional paige
    butt licking you

    But there never seems to be enough time
    To do the things you want to do
    Once you find them
    Ive looked around enough to know
    That youre the one I want to over-throw
    Right quick, right now

    But there never seems to be enough time
    To do the things you want to do
    Once you kill them
    Ive looked around enough to know
    That youre the one I'd shoot and go
    No more time now.

    So here's the end, and what a mess
    You've lost your hope, so take the rope
    and end it.

    But there never seems to be eeohgawumph wa gurgle.

  21. Allen,
    My grandad use to tell me some great stories about playing against the Cardinals and what a character Dizzy was.
    back when it was a game.

  22. Rufus...that is treason ..what the fuck..I'd better not say what I want so very badly to say.

    If hate wasn't a self destructive element I'd hate Ted Kennedy. Lets just say if he were on fire I wouldn't piss on him to put it out.

  23. The real question is how many Terrace of Pergatory can he inhabit simultaneously ?

    What the real q & A is/are TED KENNEDY IS A TRAITOR..ho w has this stayed undercover so long..did anyone here know of this letter before this?

  24. habu1,

    My grandfather (b. 1896) loved baseball, i.e. St. Louis Browns and Cardinals baseball.

    When his entrepreneurial instincts took him into the distillation and distribution of ethanol, when ethanol wasn't cool, he came to know many players, including Dean and his brother.

  25. Please do read the George Will--it's short--it's some neatly-framed comparisons, along with a needed whack at ever-rising expectations. Very good. Send it to a Democrat. Better yet, send it to an undecided.

  26. halfway off a shit list sounds like a messy place to be