“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."

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Iraq-t-Dumpti Sat on A Wall...Can We Stop the Impending Fall?

It is too early to second guess Iraq but we all have and we all do. That is how the human mind works. If you are objective and honest and fair, you may find some sympathy for the objective in the Iraq Incursion. It all made sense in theory. The premise was that "The Religion of Peace" was hijacked by evil-doers who took advantage of the poverty and chaos of failed and despotic regimes. The Muslim world was in need of liberation and reform. It was logical that those who inherited the ideals of The Enlightenment would believe in those ideals and had a vision of applying them to Islam. Like the word or not, it was a crusade, but a noble one.

It was also very much the belief in diversity and multi-culturalism, mix and match, yearning to be free, we can all get along, all in the parlance of the times. Saddam's Iraq was the perfect place to start. It had the right address in the right neighborhood between Syria and Iran. It also had the enticement of unfinished business. Most people criticized the first Bush Administration for "not finishing the job". Here I plead guilty.

The mission was also based on the very naive belief that Islam was just another religion and morally equivalent to all other religions. We did not know otherwise. We believed it to be true and practiced what we believed. Islam had been given complete access to the Western Hospitality Suite. 911 opened some doubts when the guests trashed the place. The rogue theory and metaphor of hi-jacked planes was attached to a hi-jacked religion. Afghanistan needed to be both punished and liberated and Iraq was next.

It offered a long term fix and for awhile it appeared to have the possibility of working. Purple fingers viewed through rose colored glasses, a real rainbow coalition. Well, we learned a thing or two from the experience. Check that, we are beginning to learn. We are learning that Islam is not the same. We are learning that the clap-trap multi-cultural diversity worshiping establishment of the Left may have tossed us a real ticking time bomb with a virgin seeker attached to it.

The West is changing. When I, for one, started using the phrase, "Islam is the Problem", I got some nervous laughs and "some you shouldn't say that"s. Now, it is hardly noticed except as a truism. We may not be winning the WOT but we are beginning to win the war on euphemisms.
"Religion of Peace" is on the way out but we have a very long way to go. The process has begun.

As Viet Nam was but one part of the Cold War, Iraq shall be just one part of the realignment of Islam to the rest of the world. We need to look at in in that context. We will have no choice, because Islam will keep reminding us. The Telegraph has an interesting opinion piece on a likely option for Iraq. It is a recognition of the reality that Iraq as a single country makes as much sense as Yugoslavia did. Read it and keep your powder dry.

The only solution left for Iraq: a five-way split

"Change is in the air. The recent pronouncements of General Sir Richard Dannatt and Margaret Beckett suggest that a more pessimistic outlook regarding Iraq's future is enveloping Whitehall.

Even the previously bullish US administration is beginning to show cracks in its resolve. Once unvoiced fears — about civil war, insurgent victory, Iranian takeover through Shi'a militias, even the Balkanisation of Iraq — are now being spoken aloud and even listened to, and may result in new strategies emerging.

But the choices available to policy-planners are few and far between, and are now governed largely by the realities in Iraq, rather than by any plan emanating from the embattled Coalition."...


  1. Now is the time on Sprockets when we dance.

  2. There's three replies in here, but the front page says 0 comments.

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

  4. I thought it was me, but it is the system.

  5. All hands to battle stations, all hands to battle stations, this is not a thrill. test test

  6. I think we are back in business.

  7. It looks like we're roll'n so I want to throw in some things that are historically referred to and recently written about by Victor David Hansen. For those who enjoy his writing and what to understand hsitory these are important writing. They come from "History of the Peloponnesian War" by the ancient Greek historian Thucydides.
    I have provided two articles on the same important subject. It bears on the US poilicy in todays world.
    Melian dialogue
    Melian dialogue
    Melian dialogue-a better view

  8. There is a good deal to chew on in the links. As one cannot eat a meal in one bite I would humbly suggest feasting on this over a course of time.
    I did not develop over an afternoon with tea but rather centuries of profound thought. The end result will be a more cogent dialogue and less time having to rake leaves.

  9. Deuce,

    I'm with Rufus on this one: Excellent!

  10. Thanks Habu, I need to read that again fortified with some Carpe Diem, a rather nice pinot noir

  11. Thanks Allen,
    As i mentioned it has depth and meaning for us today, especially today. one of my favorite lines is.

    "The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must."

    We must be strong, then we can be magnanimous in victory, but victory first.

  12. Sigh

    A five way or a three way split would still mean the Christian Assyrians unfortunatly and unforgivably get f***ed, again. In the long run they're the only folks in Iraq worth helping (I assume the tribal and islamic Kurds will only be pro-western as long as it directly benefits them).

  13. Fellow, You know your Kurds and their way. Forgive me for saying:

    " Kurds and Way".

    Nice to hear from you again.

  14. BTW...why did I choose the Melian dialogue?

    Because it is one of the most referred to pieces in man's early history of democracy and war and the challenges that are always present.

  15. I did not develop over an afternoon with tea but rather centuries of profound thought.
    Dude, this is the age of sound bite. If you can't explain ideas in the span of a music video (5 minutes including repetetive chorus lyrics), the idea is too freaking profound. This is why Bono will some day be UN secretary general. But only because Lennon died, otherwise that Kofi fella would never have had a look in.

    The end result will be a more cogent dialogue and less time having to rake leaves. Any cogent dialogue is more likely to be a monologue, and must be less than five minutes as explained above, although repetitive chorus lyrics may make the monologue dialectic more cogent. Besides, mediating on deep thoughts while raking leaves is so Zen. Raking leaves is the modern suburban version of navel gazing.

  16. Yes. I want to add my complements to those of Rufus. Excellent work!

  17. Now now Rufus.

    What you do in the privacy of your own home is up to you, as long as all participants are consenting, and are over the age of consent* in the applicable jurisdiction**. Furthermore, in the interests of public health you should remember your protection***.

    *If any of the participants are congressional pages they should be at least 5 years over the age of consent, unless the other parties are members of the clergy.

    **Unless Islamic, in which case the lot of you is liable to be stoned to death.

    *** Appropriate protection for naval gazing would consist of welding glasses. These also have the happy side effect of deflecting rake prongs.

  18. Fellow Peacekeeper

    Man you said it. I've been sitt'n on this Melian deal for some time now but it explains so much.

    BUT, it ain't no soundbite and it's Sunday with football etc. So I'm with ya.

    Suggestion. Print it out and place it in the "library" for those more contemplative times.
    But wait there's more ...
    Are you (the plural) a liberal or realist? Now keep in mind that the liberal explained here is the (zzzzzz) HEY WAKE UP!!! liberalism of Jeremy Bentham, not Nancy Pelosi.


  19. What is war:

    "Athens immediately began a siege of Melos .. Every man of military age was killed and the women and children were sold into slavery."

  20. Things are heating up in Gaza. The multi-culti policies of the Israeli government are, at least in part, responsible. “It felt so good, but he didn’t respect me in the morning” foreign policy by Israel is probably the cause.

    A proxy war for Gaza

    “Israel says it has been unable to control weapons smuggling into Gaza since it withdrew its forces from the coastal strip last year.”

    Who could have guessed?!

  21. yeah that's waht I'm talk'in...dominate 'em, kill'em, stuff'em, trash talk'em......then when they are fully subjugated be magnanimous...provide plasma screen TV's, bling and tattoos, and a Taco Bell.
    It's all good after you beat the crap out of 'em.

  22. habu1,

    "The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must."

    This correlates well with the observation that the world is made up of predators, prey, and parasites.

    Your links were first rate. Whether America is too far gone as to totally ignore a rich history of precedents, we will learn soon enough.

  23. Deuce,

    I don’t want to appear picky, but the photograph you used for the Albright portrayal in the thread “Secratary Madame Madelieine Albright, Politcal Tart, Déclassé”, was that done posthumously? If not taken in life, the late Madame Albright was placed at an unfair disadvantage. Yes, I know, if she was dead when the photo was taken, she won’t complain, but good form cannot be overemphasized.

  24. Allen, I selected it because I wanted to show her good side.

  25. I may not have selected the best rouge for her cheeks.

  26. War will exist as long as there's a food chain.

    Civilization is an enormous improvement on the lack thereof.

    One nice thing about the Third World, you don't have to fasten your seat belt. (Or stop smoking. Or cut down on saturated fats.) It takes a lot off your mind when average life expectancy is forty-five minutes.
    The interesting thing about staring down a gun barrel is how small the hole is where the bullet comes out, yet what a big difference it would make in your social schedule.

  27. I think the artwork has been first rate.
    The tones and strokes in harmony with the overall ambience of a site entitled the Elephant Bar..we pride ourselves on the eclectic entering and giving voice to their interests. If we find those interest boring ...we rake the yard.

  28. TigerHawk, ever the connoisseur, files a report on the Miss Europe contest. Miss France, Alexandra Rosenfeld, was the winner.

    Is she or isn’t she? Only her hair dresser knows. In the spirit of comity, Ms. Rosenfeld could put the matter to rest, easily. I eagerly await her unveiling, as it were.

    In looking at the group photograph, I couldn’t help thinking, not one of these beauties has had her clit clipped or her snatch snapped. Will we ever get away from the polluting influence of Islam? Bombs away!

    A blow for the West


  29. Allen,
    Good luck on that resarch. I personally thought most were bald these days or at minimum had that little George B Mcclellan tuft o'fuzz neatly and Zen like trimmed.

  30. Deuce,

    re: her best side

    That might have been her kissing the turd Kim with the exuberance of Olivia De Havilland getting the lip lock from Errol Flynn. But tastes very.

    It was the rouge that clued me in. It gave the appearance of a putrid corpse. Of course, with due respect, in life Madame Albright wasn't much of an improvement. I do miss her. Oh well, Helen Thomas lives.

  31. habu1,

    re: I personally thought most were bald

    I, for one, am willing to take the risk of disappoint in the interest of truth.

    Sherman put a crimp in the electoral plans of the New Napoleon, and only days before the election of 1864. The President could use such a break.

  32. Ms Rosenfeld's nickname is "Pancake", it is said.

    I suspect it is some derivative of "latke". Her birthday might have fallen during the Chanukah season.

    The Ms. Rosenfeld and French promoters might wish to avoid anything remotely Yiddish. The “French” Yout might get uppity and burn an occupied bus. With profound regret, the French authorities might then be forced to remove Ms. Rosenfeld’s crown. With that provocation, Ms. Rosenfeld might emigrate to Israel, joining the IDF, who would make her a rifle range master. In that occupation, she would train Israeli youth to shoot Muslim Yout. Chaos Theory is real and payback is a …

  33. Atlas Shrugs has excerpts from the recent interview of Dr. Rice by Cal Thomas. It is not to be missed.

    “SECRETARY RICE: Well, you can look at any opinion poll in the Palestinian territories and 70 percent of the people will say they're perfectly ready to live side by side with Israel because they just want to live in peace.”

    Clearly, the good Dr. has read no polls over the past few years. She is parroting the feel-good wishes of her staff. One hopes that is the case; otherwise, Dr. Rice is…

    Dr. Rice should have a look at this poll from late Septmeber, 2006. It might prevent repetitions of the pathetic and un-American speeches she recently gave before Muslim audiences.

    53.4% of Palestinians reject a two state solution
    43.1% of Palestinians support military action against Israel
    48% of Palestinians support suicide bombings against Israeli civilians


    How is TWAT going? Oh, the proprietor of Captain’s Quarters thinks that Dr. Rice should have replaced Mr. Cheney on the ticket and 2004, giving her the ideal springboard for a presidential run. Hmmm?

  34. I'm with Michelle Malkin, Atlas Shrugs, Power Line, Weekly Standard, Charles Krauthammer, etc, etc, etc.: all proudly strutting their CDS.

  35. The "Link" on Rice is to the Poll.

  36. Drudge reports that Michael J. Fox has not read the Missouri amendment he supports.

    “Fox: Well, I don't think that's true. You know, I campaigned for Claire McCaskill. And so I have to qualify it by saying I'm not qualified to speak on the page-to-page content of the initiative. Although, I am quite sure that I'll agree with it in spirit, I don't know, I— On full disclosure, I haven't read it, and that's why I didn't put myself up for it distinctly.”

    Mustn’t let facts stand in the way of a political screed. Would Stephanopoulos have gone so easy on an equally uninformed Republican supporting actor? The last was rhetorical.

  37. “Anytime an American fires a weapon there has to be an investigation into why there was an escalation of force…We have to have positively identified targets…That is why I am now a big fan of having the Iraqis with us.

    “The dirty little secrets of war, no one would want to know the horrible things that the "greatest generation" did to German and Japanese soldiers and civilians. [...] If you really want to win a war you have to be brutal. You have to be Sherman and raze Georgia as you march to the sea.

    “The biggest lesson I have learned over 6 months here is that the Iraqi culture is incapable of maintaining a western style military.

    “Many of our [Iraqi] soldiers went AWOL; new food supplies came in yesterday from Ramadi but were grossly insufficient; new soldiers arrived but their initial military training is substandard and you can tell they are really just here for a paycheck [...]

    “The war in Iraq itself, yeah, it was the right thing to do, but the way it was carried out, man, Bush, Rumsfeld, and Cheney have nothing to be proud of.

    “But I'm still glad to be here. At least I can say I was here, and 20 years from now that will be all that matters. I did my part (though my attitude was less than desirable). [...]

    Captain Secher died two days later, shot by a sniper while on patrol in Hit.”
    A Centruion’s E-mails

  38. rufus,

    re: Captain Secher

    The Captain entered the Corps at 17. He had spent nearly half his life as a Marine, meaning he was no virgin. He had been around the horn more than once.

    Despite my misgivings about all things Newsweek, Captain Secher's sentiments seemed sincere, cherry picked or not by Newsweek. Unless, the Captain had an epiphany, his sentiments bode ill, and may explain in part the apparent ease with which the Democrats are recruiting Iraq veterans.

  39. Been away at the redoubt, but, the Marines don't teach use of grenades to clear rooms, anymore.
    Picked shots, after entering is the technique now taught.

    The fellow that had his tossed back, he was making up as he went along. Jr's after action report on the new USMC was enlightening. His stories of how they are training were, to me, scary and sad. Glad the boy is out. No wonder the Dems have most the Iraqi vets, running for office, on their side.

    This is no "new" revelation, nor is the incompetency of the current Military leadership. Not one high level resignation in protest of policy have I read of.

    Yes, mat, we are that f**ked up.

  40. They are taught how to throw them, not how to use them in clearing a room. Not even flash banng concussion grenades.

    Boy just left the program, up close and personal.

  41. trish,

    re: Mightn't we need to purge our company grade ranks of such heretics?

    No, but as I repeatedly written, we do need to purge the people who dictate such rules of engagement. The military will need every person of Captain Secher's caliber.

    It does not matter a wit whether the late Captain's family is in the mold of Mrs. Sheehan. It does not matter an iota if Newsweek is exploiting his death to harm the administration. Unless we are to assume this dead Marine was a liar, the criminally negligent rules of engagement are what matter.

    Off with their heads, and the higher up the chain-of-command the better.

  42. trish,

    re: WHO is supposed to purge them?

    The voters

    The Congress