“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."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

All the Sunni Kidnapped Victims Returned. Anything Suspicious There?

Amazing isn't it that in Baghdad, one hundred and fifty people can be kidnapped from a government building by at least what appeared to be eighty police, get through three police check points and the next day they all can be returned unarmed? Nothing suspicious there at all.

It is obvious that the raid and the kidnapping were conducted by Shiite militias with cooperation from the police and other government officials. The idea that they were returned tells you that some people have more control of events than is apparent from the daily violence.

This was controlled by people inside the Iraqi government or at a minimum with compliance from within. What conclusions should we draw from this event?

Desperate search after mass-kidnapping of Sunnis ends with hostages found alive Independent
By Kim Sengupta
Published: 15 November 2006
"A desperate day in Iraq ended with dramatic police raids throughout Baghdad last night, when all the hostages seized earlier in a mass kidnapping were reported to have been freed.

In the largest kidnapping since the American-led invasion, armed men in the uniforms of police commandos had raided the Higher Education Ministry in Baghdad yesterday morning and abducted scores of staff and visitors at gunpoint.

Most of those taken were said to be Sunni Muslims, raising fears that this was yet another violent example of the vicious sectarian conflict racking the country. The Interior Ministry said that nine police officers, six of them senior, were later arrested for possible complicity, among them were those in charge of Karadah district, where the Education Ministry is based.

But, last night, the state television channel Iraqiya reported that most of the hostages had been freed in a number of police operations. It quoted an Interior Ministry spokesman as saying that operations were continuing into the early hours to free the remaining hostages."


  1. Well the title of the last thread says it all:
    Iraq PM Maliki, Man of Action.

  2. rufus said:

    OR, Abizaid told Maliki something that, literally, made him shit his pants.

    He mentioned a whip. He mentioned a majority whip. He mentioned Jack Murtha as majority whip.

  3. These are the people who brought is the term byzantine, right?

  4. skipsailing, they're great at byzantine politics, but the real Byzantines were the state-holding Eastern Orthodox Church. The guys who set up a Roman rump after the city fell, and who fought a desperate thousand year war against Islam that is still largely unnoted in the west.

    Constantinople, founded by Rome's first Christian emperor, was the latter day capitol, until the Islams took it in 1453 killing the last Christian state-church-king, on the walls of the city.

    Earlier, the 4th Crusade Knights Templar had razed the city on their way to fight Saldin. Razed their own bretheren on some Sarajevo-like pretext, for the Byzantine treasure that later likely founded the Swiss Banking state (after a Pope and a boyhood-chum French king had branded the Templars heretic--and made a grab at the treasure) upon being driven into the Alps by that Pope and French King combine.

    Gaa...and they scorn us for Wounded Knee.

    Anyway, Istanbul is Constantinople, and I think we westerners ought to renegotiate for it back someday.

    End of essay. Quiz on Friday.

  5. That is one part of the challenge, buddy, that quiz on Friday.

    Most folk here in the US are less than literate on history of the Region or the World.

    Most do know who Ms Pelosi even is.
    Let alone whether it makes a difference in our policy towards Kurdistan and the PKK and how that relate to Mr Maliki balancing the Kurds with Mr al-Hakim & Mr al-Sadr with the Sunni Insurgents

  6. Bobal, nobody ever saw the Ark of the Covenant, again, either, after Richard-the-Lion-Hearted and Saladin made their secret time-share deals on Jerusalem. Heck, the Ark may be in that old nailed-up outbuilding in the back of the Scottish Rites Dorm on the University of Texas campus. May be why the Longhorns are in the top 5 every year. Could be.

  7. Ark didn't help against Kansas State last weekend, tho. Maybe Kansas State has the Grail.

  8. Well, buddy I saw on the Discovery Channel that the Ark is in a little church in Ethiopia.

    Guarenteed, but the Priests will not let anyone see it. So there you go. Maybe that is the real reason Italy invaded. The Templars search for the Ark, using the Italian Government as a proxy.

    Now that is part of the greater untold storyline. What a movie.
    Film the whole thing right here.

  9. Well, Ralph Peters and O'Reilly watch the testamony and came away with a "timetable" to success or withdraw.

    “I would not say we’ve turned the corner,” said Abizaid, who heads U.S. Central Command.

    Asked by Democratic Senator Jack Reed to estimate how much time the U.S. has to curb the violence in Iraq before it becomes uncontrollable, Abizaid said: “Four to six months.”

  10. but ya know, greed was an interesting driver. No doubt about it. Those crusaders had a real aquaintance with greed.

    I read one book about the era you plan to quiz us on. About Constantine as I recall. Got his nose cut off, fled to the shores of the black sea, came back to whack the perpetrators of the nosectomy and found the church.

    Also, Istanbul/Constantinople was a true cross roads as both muslims and christians and your garden variety pagans made money and got along.

    Maybe its all about money?

    Ya think?

  11. I thought he was pretty strong, the General, today.

  12. I missed the General, but saw O'Reilly and Ralph Peters comment on a sound bite and his testimony.

    Mr O'Reilly is an opinion maker. A new age Cronkite, a Legend in His Own Mind?

    He & Mr Peters says that the timeline is in place to judge the success or failure of the tactics.

  13. skipsailing, nah, couldn't be. Otherwise, we could take it with us--

  14. It may be a mistake to give the Iraqis a time limit, but we should tell them that we are not putting one nickle into their economy before they establish security and reduce corruption.

    We should tell them to fight their own civil war, and do their own police work. We could tell them that if they are dead set on having a civil war, we will watch the borders to keep foreign troops out while they kill each other.

  15. whit said:

    McCain was concerned that Abazaid wasn't moving Iraq forward and Leiberman also made of point of understanding that no more soldiers were needed.

    Well somebody didn't get the word to the Commander in Chief, he may increase US forces by up to 20,000 soldiers, according to sources familiar with the administration's internal deliberations.

  16. 2164th said:

    We should tell them to fight their own civil war, and do their own police work. We could tell them that if they are dead set on having a civil war, we will watch the borders to keep foreign troops out while they kill each other.

    They should jump at this bargain while it's still on the table. Most other countries that have a civil war have to worry about other powers coming in to tear off a piece while they are busy weakening themselves.

  17. whit said:

    Four to six months before all hell breaks loose and we high tail it!

    He says events will become uncontrollable in four to six months. But if things are under control now, why not just control things so they don't get out of control in four months, or six months, or ever?

  18. My 16 year old daughter just went through the entire death ritual when her mom married a guy who was terminal.

    My daughter called me from the funeral parlor to tell me that she'd found the perfect urn for me. It had sailboats on it.

    I told her exactly what my dad told me "What do I give a shit, I'll be dead!"

    Isn't that really the issue here? What do we really amount do if we can't take it with us?

    How about, what we leave behind?

  19. Yup, I agree--we really live inside little 3 generation sets. Not as individuals, but as merged somethings.

  20. Better hurry--he's probably due for a heart attack in a few months.

  21. "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas"