“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."

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Another Assassination in Lebanon.

Lebanese Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel has been killed after his convoy came under fire in the capital Beirut. The anti-Syrian politician died shortly after the attack by unidentified gunmen. It is feared the assassination will lead to increased tension between Lebanon's anti-Syrian government and pro-Syrian opposition. Parallels are being drawn between this latest political murder and the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik al-Hariri in February last year.

The attack has been fiercely condemned both in Lebanon and abroad, with the United States saying it was meant to intimidate the anti-Syrian government. The European Union and Russia have also roundly denounced the assassination without speculating as to who may have been behind it. Lebanese Prime Minister Foead Siniora called on the country's sharply divided population to remain calm.

This is nothing new:

On February 14, 2005, Lebanon was shaken by the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in a car bomb explosion.

On June 2, 2005, the journalist and historian Samir Kassir, a founding member of the Democratic Left Movement was assassinated by a car bomb.

Less than one month later, on June 21, 2005, George Hawi, the former Secretary General of the Lebanese Communist Party was also assassinated by a car bomb in Beirut.

On September 25, 2005, there was a failed assassination attempt on a Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation news anchor, in which May Chidiac lost her left leg below the knee and received severe injuries to her left arm, later resulting in the amputation of her left hand. Since then, May Chidiac won the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2006.

Editor-in-chief and CEO of the An-Nahar newspaper, journalist Gebran Tueni, was assassinated by a car bomb in the suburbs of Beirut on December 12, 2005.

Another Middle Eastern nightmare.


  1. How is Madame Rice's Franco-American UNSC Resolution 1701 working out these days?

  2. Err,.. Another war criminal bites the dust.

  3. Tough neighborhood, aye?

    Not for the likes of US.

  4. 2164th said:

    The attack has been fiercely condemned both in Lebanon and abroad, with the United States saying it was meant to intimidate the anti-Syrian government.

    So is the United States going to intimidate the Syrian government? No. Will Olmert buzz Assad Jr. with some F-16s? No. Will France even say, "Sacre bleu! Is L'unnacceptable!" Non. So move along, folks. There's nothing to see here.

  5. There's goes the neighborhood.

  6. Who cares. The Gucci Lebanese are no different than the French. In fact, they're one and the same. Better they be on the other's side.

  7. In Clinton, Montana (home to one of the most famous Testicle Festivals) they feed over 2 1/2 tons of bull balls to over 15,000 visitors!

  8. Hey, habu, go read about the new Army Strong foreign advisor program at Westhawk.
    I realize you consider it passe' but it'll be the next generation of Military Insertions.

    So where I support the Military in its newest efforts, you choose to belittle their implementing new Doctrine based on lessons learned. Discounting them before the attempt is even made.
    Talk about defeatist.

  9. You don't like them Lebananese Christians, to much, aye mat?

    They're not the "good guys"?

  10. The "second bill of rights"

    When ye olde brain is hungy for a completely new thought or piece of info, ye olde fingertips often click on One Cosmos or, in this case, on View From 1776 in which, in a discussion of social contracts, he quotes from FDR in 1944 asserting something that I did not know had ever been so clearly spoken:

    We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all – regardless of station, race, or creed. Among these are: The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries, or shops or farms or mines of the Nation; The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation; The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living; The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad; The right of every family to a decent home; The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health; The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment; The right to a good education.

    This guy ran for President four times and tried to control the Supreme Court in ways no-one had before or has since, but I will not launch into an anti-FDR rant right now. It is just interesting to see how he invented a "second bill of rights" out of whole cloth and, in the process, undermined the entire independent, family-centered American way of life.

    "We have accepted, so to speak..." Huh? What? This is noblesse oblige in its most insidious, malignant form, with the royal "we."

    How many people still believe that this sort of stuff is actually in the Constitution?

  11. d'Rat,

    Help a prostitute and you will only get syphilis in return.

  12. Allen,
    All is well at State,
    They are doing their homework according to this Buchannan piece posted by 'Rat in the previous thread:
    "".... State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told the Post the secretary has been "doing a lot of thinking" about Iraq over the last two months.

    Thinking about what?

    Replied McCormack:

    "The primary focus is on the State Department role in Iraq and are we pursuing the proper policies, are we asking the right questions, are we seeking the right objectives, are we using the right means to achieve these objectives, following the right strategy and tactics?"

    Excuse me, but this sounds like some lost soul crying in a wilderness. Yet it is the voice of the foreign ministry of the world's last superpower in the fourth year of a war to decide the fate and future of the entire Middle East.

  13. Anyone that wants some insight into the al-Sadr situation shoud visit Bill Roggio's site.
    There is a fasinating thread concerning the situation in Baghdad and al-Sadr.

    Read the comments, Mr Roggio can be short and to the point.

  14. DR...
    I've decided to focus on the absurd and leave the heavy lifing to you folks who do a good job.
    But it hit me yesterday when 2164 said of my long post that it was some of my best "work"...and shit I said "Darn golly gosh, he's right. That stuff I had to research etc know the drill.
    and I didn't get into this to make it work ... plus there are a good many excellent posters and whether it's my idea's or their ideas, in the end it doesn't (pardon the expression) a rat's ass.
    So I'll be sticking to the simple stuff, recipes, scantily clad pin ups, absurd shit I can just throw up. Then it won't be a research paper every day...been ther done that..made good grades.
    I'm not sure if it's the weasel way out or not but again I've done all this before the 'net at town forum debates etc. Time to just kick back.
    You are very good and it does require good research to counter your thought and facts. Plus as I said I end up saying personal stuff which isn't right, it's just a character flaw...but look for those delicious recipes.
    I believe I understand your angst, which is not born of anti anythinng US but rather more like why the fuck don't we do something that's meaningful over there instaed of jerking off....

    now to make Smores take graham crackers and .....

  15. The Military is also doing proper Post 70's Soul Searching and Navel gazing.
    The Ship of State has no rudder, and the Captain is out to lunch.

  16. US Communists Declare Election Victory

    Well, well, well. If Political Affairs (“Marxist thought online”) is to be believed, the Communist Party, USA is declaring victory in the Democrats’ sweep of both houses of Congress.

    “The right-wing stranglehold on Congress has been broken,” declared Joelle Fishman, chair of the Communist Party USA’s (CPUSA) political action commission, to a meeting of its 81-person National Committee this past weekend. Fishman noted, “This is a victory being celebrated around the world.” Fishman delivered her report to the committee as it discussed the results of the election and prepared to move the struggle for democracy, peace, and economic justice forward in the new Congress, and to build the size and influence of the Communist Party. Overwhelmingly, the committee claimed victory for the US working class, the world, and for democracy as a result of the landslide that swept the Republican Party from power in Congress. “Our Party gave its heart and soul to the struggle,” declared CPUSA’s Executive Vice-chair Jarvis Tyner.

    This is not some right-winger accusing the Democrats of being fronts for the commies. This is commies claiming that the Democrats’ victory is their own victory.

    Draw your own conclusions.

    Recipe for chocolate milk:
    8oz milk
    chocolate mix

  17. The Habu chef has chosen from dozens of illegal aliens THE one who is going to be helping me through the Thanksgiving and Christmas Season.
    Oh, Joy to the World !!

    Chefs Helper

  18. before believing anything, remember to consider the Power of Suggestion:

  19. Buddy,

    My kitchen help wanted to send special greetings.


  20. Italian Sausage Recipe

    Pork ........................................1 lb
    Red Wine .............................2 oz
    Salt......(pickling)...................1 1/2 tsp
    Fennel.....................................1 1/2 tsp
    Black pepper........................1/8 tsp
    Ground coriander................1/4 tsp
    Oregano................................1/2 tsp
    Garlic powder.......................1/8 tsp
    Caraway seed......................1/8 tsp

    Measure out spices, mix with wine and set aside.

    Cut meat into 1" strips and grind them through a 3/16" plate. Meat should be as cold as possible when grinding. Partially frozen is best if the grinder can handle it.

    Add spice mix to meat and mix thoroughly. Chill in freezer for 30 minutes.

    Run the mixture through 1/4" plate. If you are going to stuff into casings, return to freezer while setting up stuffer. If bulk sausage is all that is required, just divide it up into lumps as required, wrap in plastic or freezer bags and freeze till needed.

    For sandwiches, stuff into 32mm to 35mm hog casings. Hang the stuffed sausage in a cool place until the casings are dry to the touch. Refrigerate or freeze immediately after drying.

  21. yeh, i was laughing so hard at that, and playing the fart sound over and over--not realizing my 16 yr old daughter was in the next room. When she finally hollered DAAAAD! i realized all she could hear was me cackling and farting, farting and cackling.

    had to explain, hurriedly.

  22. Boy, am I glad I didn't click on that little black box of Buddy's.

    As it is, I fell for Habu's Reason link earlier. She must've been a full throated Libertarian.

  23. i guess the explanation needs continue--the farting was from the computer speakers, anonymous--(what *must* you have thought--)

  24. Iway avehay eenbay away urkerlay orfay omesay imetay. Iway
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  25. This one isn't funny--it's a dot-org, a nice Thanksgiving wish, from a mil-support website.

  26. Meet the Challenge! Join the CPUSA.

    Pig Marine
    US marine admits assaulting Iraqi

    The Hamdania killing put the conduct of American troops in Iraq under close scrutiny

    A US marine has been jailed for 21 months after he pleaded guilty to the aggravated assault of an Iraqi man who was killed in the town of Hamdania in April.

    Lance Corporal Jerry Shumate also admitted conspiracy to obstruct justice.
    Eight men were originally charged with kidnapping Hashim Ibrahim Awad and trying to cover up his killing.
    In return for his guilty pleas, the government dismissed other charges against Shumate, including murder, kidnapping, assault and conspiracy.
    Three other servicemen have already pleaded guilty in the case. Four more defendants still face courts martial.
    During his testimony at Camp Pendleton in California, Shumate said that the squad had been looking for Iraqis planting bombs when all eight men agreed a plan to kill a known fighter.
    Four of the squad left to abduct him, Shumate said. When they returned with a prisoner, Shumate said he was "told to fire" by the squad leader.
    He learned later that it was Awad, whom prosecutors have described as a disabled father of 11.
    The eight men are also accused of planting a gun and a shovel next to the body to make him look like he was planting bombs. The shooting was one in a series of incidents in which the conduct of American troops in Iraq came under scrutiny.
    Other US marines based at Camp Pendleton are under investigation over a separate incident in November 2005 in which 24 civilians were killed in the Iraqi town of Haditha.

    Your president is a fool. We have you now.

  27. The Republican campaign to suppress the Black vote
    by Jarvis Tyner, Executive Vice Chair,
    The Republican Party and the right wing are waging a well-financed campaign to weaken and destroy the impact of the African American vote. This campaign is in direct violation of the Voting Rights Act (1965) and the principle of one person, one vote. It is one of the clearest examples of the racist nature of the Bush administration

  28. oh, fooey. and i so wanted to rule the world.

  29. choke on it wrote:

    This campaign is in direct violation of the Voting Rights Act (1965) and the principle of one person, one vote.

    Yeah, one non-felon registered-to-vote person, one vote is so racist.

  30. what, does Jarvis Tynan keep an eye on ACORN or something?

  31. Imperialism is Rebuilding Iraq as a Graveyard

    Once the lies about ‘weapons of mass destruction' were exposed for all to see Blair and co resorted to arguing the need for ‘regime change' as their justification for invading Iraq. "At least we got rid of Saddam," Blair intoned. Saddam Hussein's dictatorship was certainly monstrous, but in what way is the so-called democracy being imposed at the end of British and American bayonets an improvement for the Iraqi people? Whilst governments and the media quibble over estimates one thing is now clear - more people are dying as a result of the occupation than even in the dark days of Saddam's reign. The staggering estimate of The Human Cost of the War in Iraq reported in The Lancet that 655,000 Iraqis (about one in forty of Iraq's civilian population) have died as a result of the occupation reveals the true result of Bush and Blair's regime change - the wholesale slaughter of men, women and children; the destruction of the country's infrastructure; and descent into sectarian civil war.

    601,000 deaths are attributed by the report to violence. Meanwhile, an additional 54,000 deaths are inextricably linked to the devastation of the country's infrastructure and the collapse of healthcare. Electricity supply in oil-rich Iraq is down to just four hours a day.

    From the standpoint of Bush and co, with US congressional elections imminent, the mounting unpopularity of the war back home is a disaster. Similarly the war in Iraq, and the lies and intrigues surrounding it, has been the undoing of Blair.

    The war is a disaster, too, from the standpoint of the troops. So far 2780 American soldiers and 119 British troops have died. The war has had a devastating effect on their morale. Brown (who has supported the war all along, remember) is now offering tax breaks to British soldiers serving in Iraq. As if a few extra pennies can make up for the deaths, casualties and psychological impact the war has had on them.

    Above all, of course, the war has been an unmitigated disaster for the people of Iraq. 655,000 deaths, over a million left homeless, and the largest number seeking asylum from any single country - what a catastrophe Bush's imperialist adventure has been for Iraq's people!

    According to the UN 2000 people a day are crossing the border fleeing into Syria. Bush and Blair's imperialist adventure in Iraq has destabilized the entire region, and indeed the entire world. The "war on terror" is a useful cover behind which to conduct a war on the working class and basic democratic rights, but the imperialists' actions do nothing to combat terrorism, on the contrary, they breed it.

    In truth, Bush and co are not concerned by the death toll. They dispute the numbers, claiming only 50,000 civilian dead. To the imperialists the Iraqis do not count as human beings when they are alive (as amply demonstrated by the torture at Abu Ghraib and the massacre of Fallujah), they certainly do not bother to count them when they are dead.

    Nor are they concerned with the deaths of US troops, whom they previously pledged would stay at their posts, come what may, until victory. They are concerned, however, with looming electoral defeat as a result.

    The American ruling class, meanwhile, is not so concerned with the electoral fortunes of the Republican Party, but they are concerned at the spiraling cost of the occupation and above all the destabilization of the Middle East, and the rest of the world. From their point of view wars are fought for raw materials, markets, and spheres of influence. None of these have been secured, although the arms manufacturers, the construction companies, and the finance houses busily privatizing Iraq have certainly made a killing.

    The disaster in Iraq has forced Bush and co to desperately seek an ‘exit strategy'. James Baker (a family friend of Bush who served in the Reagan administration) has come up with a plan to withdraw, possibly handing over the policing of the region to Syria and Iran! The diplomats talk about "devolving power" to Sunni, Shi'ite, and Kurdish regions. Masked by the word federalism what this really means is partition and ethnic cleansing. This is their so-called ‘three state solution'.

    Other neo-conservatives would like to see a new Saddam (so long as he was ‘friendly' to the needs of US imperialism, of course). Elliot Cohen writing in the Wall Street Journal argues that because all the ‘Plan Bs' are flawed he would "quietly" endorse a coup by a junta of military modernizers!

    Most of these plans involve some sort of partition or break up of Iraq under the domination of various warlords. What a triumph for ‘democracy'! All their claims of ‘liberating Iraq' are exposed as rank hypocrisy.

    With an astonishing lack of irony British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett comments on the possibility of the break-up of Iraq: "That is very much a matter for the Iraqis. They have had enough of people from outside handing down arbitrary boundaries and arbitrary decisions"

    Astonishingly even the head of the British army, Sir Richard Dannatt, insists that it is time for British troops to leave (although admittedly this is not some Road-to-Damascus conversion for Dannatt, who believes those forces should be deployed in Afghanistan where there is a better chance of ‘winning').

    At the same time the exit strategy proposed by some on the left to replace British and US troops with a UN peacekeeping force is no solution either. To simply change the colour of the helmets of the occupying forces will do nothing to halt the descent into a sectarian quagmire and the break-up of the country into warring fiefdoms.

    Iraq was once a cradle of civilization. Over generations it has been transformed into a cemetery by the interference, intrigues, and invasions of imperialism.

    There is only one ‘exit strategy' required. All imperialist troops should get out of Iraq now! No solution can be imposed on Iraq by US, British, UN, or other coalition forces. The future of Iraq must be decided by the Iraqi people.

    The troops must be withdrawn, but that is far from the end of the matter. The only way to bring an abrupt end to this tragedy and prevent its repetition is to build the international struggle for the socialist transformation of society.

    End the brutal occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan! Withdraw all imperialist troops now!

  32. The suppression of African Americans will be a serious subject as soon as the Dem party will allow it to be.

    Meanwhile, supporting the Dems is supporting keeping the black school systems the way the Dems like them, which is tantamount to Dem supporters voluntarily voting to stay living on the liberal plantation.

    Ask Sowell, or Cosby, or thousands of other black leaders who dare to speak the truth.

  33. Sorry, i stopped reading at "the lies about WMD".

    Your credibility was destroyed, at that point. Best of luck, sucker.

  34. buddy larsen wrote:

    Meanwhile, supporting the Dems is supporting keeping the black school systems the way the Dems like them, which is tantamount to Dem supporters voluntarily voting to stay living on the liberal plantation.

    If a black politician goes off the liberal plantation, he gets showered with Oreos at every rally...meaning he's black on the outside but white on the inside. And I find that little piece of political theater to be supremely racist.

  35. Comrade Ortega will hit you in the soft underbelly

  36. I'd collect 'em all, brush 'em off, and eat 'em while finishing the speech. If Michael Steele had done that, maybe he'd've won.

  37. Sure he will, choke, why wouldn't he? this is where the action is, you can't be a rat thief thug unless you line the ignernt up against the shiny country.

  38. I wouldn't fall for the ole "bear trap" routine of the "choke on it" comrade..neither would Possumtater

  39. Buddy, he reads like that Scottish fellah with the gray whiskers and the red cat pajamas, demanding respect for his Muslim Association of Britain party.

  40. the only way to get COMPLETELY rid of 'em, would be to let 'em take-over. Then they'll starve and murder each other out of existence. They can't survive except as parasites on real people. Like hookworms, or intestinal bacteria.

  41. Marx, that ridiculous library rat.

  42. I saw that, too. the family is looking around for safe havens, wot with the El Maximo Man of the People being grave. Now, what to do with the loot, hmm, lessee....

  43. rufus said:

    Is he really a "Communist?" Lawdy, Lawdy, I'll be damned; I didn't know there was any of them left.

    Sort of like runtchard, but with pictures of chairman Mao.

  44. I automatically quit reading ANYTING that starts off with "lies about WMD".

    They'll still be screeching that crap when Assad and Putin are making a wish with their collarbones.

  45. well, the Swiss never cut the Axis off--but Castro is intolerable, as in, what if he wants to borrow?