“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."

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Can Anyone Rescue US Foreign Policy?

Two stories highlight the near collapse of US foreign policy. The first is the report from AFP, via BreitBart on the incredulous timing of the Russians delivering air defense rocket systems to Iran. This happens within days of Bush meeting Putin and signing the Russians into the World Trade Organization. This affront to the US demonstrates the dangerous lack of respect Putin has for George W. Bush and his Administration. Can anyone care to explain to me what US foreign policy objectives are in play via Russia? The Russians are rushing to deliver arms to Venezuela in the Americas and to the mullahs in Tehran. Who are those weapons to be used against? What is the US response to this provocation? There is none.

US Russian diplomacy has not been so inept since Kennedy botched the "Bay of Pigs" adventure. That misstep by Kennedy resulted in a huge miscalculation by Kruschev that almost ended in a nuclear war over Cuba.

There is no talent, no wisdom and no practical and useful results from US diplomacy with Russia. It gets worse in Iraq. Militias launched apparent revenge attacks on Sunni mosques in Baghdad in the wake of the deadliest string of bombings against Shiites since the war began in 2003.

Iraq's warring Shiite and Sunni communities forced President Jalal Talabani to postpone his visit to Tehran where he was to meet his hardline counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday. Why are they meeting? Iraq is collapsing into all out civil war. Syria, the various factions in Iraq, and Iran, have all come to the same conclusion. The US has no solution other than the sporadic restrained use of the US military. Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr threatened to quit the national unity government if Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki meets US President George W. Bush in Jordan on November 29. Now there is fear and respect.

Perhaps Sadr developed his loathing and lack of respect for US power when earlier in the war, The Administration worried about the paint being chipped off some unfriendly mosques. That was happening at the time US Military Police were handling korans with white gloves. We should have taken the gloves off then and with Sadr as well, but the Administration said no. How are the mosques doing these days? Not too well.

Four Sunni mosques were attacked by militias in western Baghdad, a security official said, in an apparent Shiite revenge attack for Thursday's deadly bombings targeting the capital's district of Sadr City. Those bombings resulted in at least 202 people killed. Remember the gyrations the Administration put the military through earlier in the war when it came to mosques being used as refuge points? The Arabs and Sunnis will take a mosque down without a blink. The Arab Street turned out to be a myth as has the prowess of US Diplomacy under The Bush Administration.
Russia has begun deliveries of the Tor-M1 air defence rocket system to Iran, Russian news agencies quoted military industry sources as saying, in the latest sign of a Russian-US rift over Iran.

"Deliveries of the Tor-M1 have begun. The first systems have already been delivered to Tehran," ITAR-TASS quoted an unnamed, high-ranking source as saying Friday.

The United States has pressed Russia to halt military sales to Iran, which Washington accuses of harbouring secret plans to build a nuclear weapon.

Moscow has consistently defended its weapons trade with Iran. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said the contract for 29 rocket systems, signed in December last year, was legitimate because the Tor-M1 has a purely defensive role.

ITAR-TASS reported that the rockets were to be deployed around Iran's nuclear sites, including the still incomplete, Russian-built atomic power station at Bushehr.

In August, Washington announced sanctions against several companies, including Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport, for supplying technology to Iran that could allegedly be used to develop missile technology and weapons of mass destruction.

Under the sanctions no US company can deal with foreign companies on the sanctions list for two years.

A spokesman for Rosoboronexport contacted by AFP would not confirm or deny the reports about the Tor-M1 delivery, which were also issued by the Interfax news agency.

The Tor-M1 is a low to medium-altitude missile fired from a tracked vehicle against airplanes, helicopters and other airborne targets.

The news came as the UN Security Council continued to consider possible sanctions against Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile activity in response to the Islamic republic's suspect nuclear programme.

The major powers have been debating a draft resolution drawn up by Britain, France and Germany that would impose limited sanctions on Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile sectors for Tehran's failure to comply with an earlier UN resolution on halting enrichment.

China and Russia, both close economic partners with Iran, argue the measures are too extensive, while Washington has pressed for tougher action.



  1. The wussiest president of my lifetime is making us the world's laughingstock.
    (Carter is in a different category)
    It's now taken for granted that Bush grants favors and concessions to our foes in the same way he did with Ted Kennedy, et al:
    Sealing the deal by bending down and grabbing his ankles, and offering for us and our offspring to do the same.
    Points for leading by example, I guess.
    It really is hard to see how things could have turned out worse with Gore: And if they did, at least we could expect a muscular Republican to be a shoe-in 4 years later.
    Instead we get 8 years of a death spiral likely followed by a Democrat!
    That Bush Kool Aide cannot be beat, however:

    3Case said...
    "Iraq ain't bungled. It just hasn't gone the way the Dems, MSM or other ATMophiles would like. Programming Note: Those of you who have been paying attention, please refer to my post regarding when an op order becomes obsolete."

    Could someone please explain what he's refering to about the op order?
    I admit I missed quite a few BC posts recently when a sizeable percentage of the posters were still pretending to believe.
    ...and what's an "ATMophile?"

  2. The Dept. of State, like the Dept. of Education, is one of those institutions that should be done away with.

    The only difference is that "State" should be rebuilt; this time with no libs, commies, or queers.

    ... I won't hold my breath!

  3. Bush's "foreign policy" can't be rebuilt until Bush is rebuilt, or removed from influence.

  4. All the Clintonistas and Bushites couldn't wait to convert all of the old Russian satellites into "NATO Partners." Lo, and, Behold, they're all "SHOCKED!" "SHOCKED!" Russia found some new partners.

    Those old Tors will never shoot down an American plane, whether we bomb the Nukes, or not. I doubt they could even shoot down an Israeli plane.

    I don't see a "Civil" War. I see a Sunni resistance, aided by AQ, being pushed back on by a group of Shi'ites. Tough Titty.

    A Nuclear-armed Saddam is NOT in control of 1/3 of the world's oil.

    Don't you people ever get tired of whining?

  5. Sorry, Rufus!

    You're correct! We know Bush is the way he is - my continued whining won't accomplish anything.

  6. Tiger, this isn't personal; this is a generalized statement. But, if the Conservatives don't slow down on the bitching and moaning, and start trying to accomplish something positive pretty soon they'll accomplish One Thing; they'll put a Dem in the White House in 08'.

  7. "The Tor-M1 is a low to medium-altitude missile fired from a tracked vehicle against airplanes, helicopters and other airborne targets."

    Ladies/Gents: What does medium-altitude equate to in terms of operational ceiling?

    Perhaps these would be useful if we went a-helicoptering into Iran a la Russia into Afghanistan, but at this stage in the game, it's hard to imagine anything of this sort happening...

    I continue to hold out hope for some kind of high-altitude (B-2) kinetic energy weapon attack on as many of those Iranian nuke-related sites that we can identify as possible...

    (Brilliant spears, baby, brilliant spears!!!)

    But with the Bush Beat-down now six years on... I doubt much of anything will be done.

  8. I do not call it whining. The last time I checked the POTUS should be ahead of the class, not at the rear. You take on a position of CEO, you better know your business. Putin seems to know what he is doing and is getting what he wants. I must be missing the hidden genius of Push. He has probably done a psyops on me.

  9. You make a good point triton and Rufus does as well. I try and be objective but I do not get this guy. I voted for him twice. I was cautiously hopeful. The results are not there. Good intentions are not sufficient.

  10. The far right, isolationist, anti-trade, wing of the Republican party put Clinton in the White house in 92'. The Far Left wing of the Dems put Bush over the top in 2000.

    The HEART of the Country is in the Middle. I know Republicans are considered the "Stupid" Party, but they should be smart enough to realize that.

    You can support a candidate that will take the country in a CENTER-RIGHT Direction, or you can be destructive enough to your Center-Right Candidates that the country ends up with a Left Wing Government.

    You would think that after Perot, we would have figured that out; but some people want to worship at the alter of Pat Buchanan who tried to give the government over to Gore.

  11. I understand, Rufus - no problem!

  12. Mhmm SA-15 Gauntlet, the latest shite available. Altitude max is only 6000m but kill probability is claimed as 0.70-0.90 against precision munitions (LGBs, glide bombs, etc.)

    Not very friendly, those Russians, except to evil 3rd world tyranies.

  13. Oh I don't know Deuce; what about this:

    He inherited a recession and the worst stock market crash since 1929, and he not only kept us on our feet he gave us an economy that's the envy of the World.

    He took down the Taliban, and Saddam Hussein and put to large countries on the path to Democracy with fewer casualties than we suffered at Tarawa.

    He lowered your taxes, and gave Biofuels and important kick in the ass.

    Under his watch more and more Easter European Countries have broken free of Russia, and are starting to contribute.

    He's pushed a myriad of very beneficial trade agreements including, but not limited to, Chile, Australia, Singapore, Peru, CAFTA, Colombia, Jordan, Morocco, etc.

    He pushed for and achieved a workable Missile Defense System.

    I can think of a lot more but I hate to make long posts just to have my internet connection eat them.

  14. Peacekeeper, remember "Wild Weasel?" The Israelis perfected it in Lebanon. The minute one of those systems turns on it will be taken out.

    All those Tors would do would be to force the Israelis to make three strikes instead of two.

    They would be totally worthless against us.

  15. It's kind of like that brouhaha over the Squall (super-cavitating torpedo.) It turns out it's got an "Effective" range of about a half mile, if that much.

    The Russkies will sell the Iranians all the worthless shit they can rake up the Shekels to buy. It ain't no biggie.

  16. BTW, probably the "Dumbest" Sadr City'ites have probably noticed by now that it wasn't too long after Mookie insisted that we take down the barricades that they lost Two Hundred citizens to the "insurgents."

  17. Just like "Immigration." I think it's time to slow down the flow of Mexicans; but, I don't want that family that opened that Mexican restaurant down the street from me Deported. They serve Great Food, at a Reasonable Price, and the Margueritas are Outstanding. They hustle like hell, and the service is Quick.

    If they're not quite all on the "up and up," I want something worked out for them. They make my life better.

  18. "I try and be objective but I do not get this guy. I voted for him twice. I was cautiously hopeful. The results are not there. Good intentions are not sufficient. "

    Deuce, I could have written those words myself, but I'd have probably replaced "The results are not there" with something like "The results are unsatisfying."

    On the one hand, we have a new pair of originalist supreme court judges... on the other hand, we won't be getting another anytime before the next election.

    On the one hand, we have tax cuts for those that actually pay taxes... on the other hand, they were never made permanent.

    Despite the refusal to tackle illegal immigration, we still have an unemployment rate so low that (at least in my industry), there's just about no one of any suitability left to hire... and I mean good jobs for big-@ss money.

    Saddam is no longer in power, sitting atop sufficient oil wealth to be a true terrorist nightmare... on the other hand, having expended enough force to get him and his demon spawn, we have refused to be sufficiently ruthless to eliminate Sadr, etc... needless to say, I'm not particularly pleased with what the RoE's appear to be in Iraq.

    There's a lot to like about the last six years, but... there's some serious sh!t left undone out there (border security, iranian nukes, etc), and the failure to push ahead and deal with those things may ultimately come back to bite us in the @ss in a huge way... and the hell of it is that it doesn't have to.

  19. Rufus. I have a challenge for you. Put together a post. i will provide sympathetic art work. Go above the fold and we will all have a good coherent picture of your position . just email it to the bar. You have many good points. I encourage others to do so as well.

  20. I don't know; was it Abizaid, or Bremmer, or Rice who gave the order not to kill Al Sadr? It was a fuck-up, but all human endeavors have fuck-ups.

    The maximum number of troops that we could sustain in Iraq has always been about 150,000. Fighting an insurgency in a foreign country the size of California with that size force is not a real easy assignment.

    I'm not a big fan of the ROE;s, but all wars have'm, and those in Iraq probably aren't set entirely by the General.

    Maybe we should just replace him, and not hang him, at least until a little more evidence comes in.

  21. Funny, I never so those "Orders" that "saved" the economy issued by the White House

    The President has some, but little, influence on the subjects of rufus's list.
    Little influence under Bush 43, Clinton 42 or Bush 41.

    The President does not set Tax Policy, the Congress does, the President did not defang the Soviets or Russians. The President did not win nor lose the Battle of Iraq.

    He has fallen way short of his pledge, of January '02 to take the battle to the Islamo-fascists where ever they were.
    Perhaps with "good" reason, but never one I've heard articulated, by him or his supporters.

    He has not kept his word, the Axis of Evil is now armed with nuclear weapons, this was unacceptable and the President promised it would not occur, in January of '02.
    He has failed in the Mission he described for himself and the US.
    When he said:
    "... The United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons. ..."

    A "F" is the grade on that pledge.
    Then he said
    "... So long as training camps operate, so long as nations harbor terrorists, freedom is at risk. And America and our allies must not, and will not, allow it. ..."
    A D- on that, Afghanistan has been cleared of training camps but Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somolia & Pakistan at a minimum still harbour terrorist training camps.

    It is not as if Mr Bush was unaware of the scale and scope of the Challenge he set US upon:
    "... Our military has put the terror training camps of Afghanistan out of business, yet camps still exist in at least a dozen countries. A terrorist underworld -- including groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Jaish-i-Mohammed -- operates in remote jungles and deserts, and hides in the centers of large cities. ..."

    Now the US sends funding to the Hamas led Government in Palistine.
    Hezbollah is part of the UIA faction of the Iraqi Government.

    We are empowering the Enemies named by Mr Bush, well before they have been defeated.
    An F on that Pledge.

    "... My hope is that all nations will heed our call, and eliminate the terrorist parasites who threaten their countries and our own. ...
    ... But some governments will be timid in the face of terror. And make no mistake about it: If they do not act, America will. ..."

    A D- on that Pledge, as well.

    The most timid Government, in the face of terror, well that would be US.

  22. "They would be totally worthless against us."

    Rufus, yes and no. It does have optical systems for high ECM environments. Being Russian made it may well be unusable crap sold to rubes. I agree it probably will be ineffective in shooting down aircraft, but the threat does take options away (it makes cheap unsupported cruise missile strikes iffy, for instance). Remember the Kosovo debacle? The air defence threat caused the air force to abandon their preferred mid altitude bombing and go high. I grant that the Iranian air defence is presumably much less competent than the Serbs were.

    Of course as a foot soldier, I firmly believe the zoomies should stop being pussies, damn the flak and accept the occasional loss or two.

    Speaking of weasels, aren't the weasels the most overworked aircraft are in the entire air force?

  23. You have to look at "Wild Weasel" as a "Tactic." It can be performed by any plane with the proper set-up.

    Remember those GPS jammers the Russians sold Saddam?

    We took them out with GPS-Guided Bombs!

  24. Yeah, the wild weasel role is a F-16 variant now, F-16 CJ Block 50D/52D Wild Weasel, the F-4 last flew 1996 or something. I was thinking about the EA-6 Prowler ECM birds.

  25. The US toys of destruction are always both more high tech and expensive than the Enemy

    Remember those Twin Towers?
    The Mohammedans took them out with box cutters!

  26. I'm going to give you a nuanced argument in favor of a robus immigration policy. You could never make it in a Political argument: It has too many moving parts, and it takes too long to work, but it goes like this:

    Now, don't get mad; remember, I said that I thought it was a good idea to pretty much shut down the Southern Border for awhile.

    However, we have a lot of marginally talented young people that will be forced into a little more education/training by competition for the lower echelon jobs. They will end up filling those higher paying jobs that Tri mentioned.

    The other alternative is to leave the natives in the lower paying jobs, and increase the HB-1 Visas for higher skilled workers, or "Outsource" the work, BECAUSE "THOSE JOBS WILL BE FILLED." ONE WAY OR THE OTHER!

  27. Speaking of the Twin Towers.

    Bush has fought like hell against the Democratic Leadership, and some of his own party for the Patriot Act, The SWIFT Program, Eavesdropping on Terrorists, etc.

    He's had a pretty tough job, guys. And, remember, it only takes 40 votes in the Senate to Veto; I don't think some of you take that into consideration as much as you should.

  28. rufus

    Remember those GPS jammers the Russians sold Saddam? We took them out with GPS-Guided Bombs!

    Presumably the check cleared before the Russians made delivery. Oh, those sneaky capitalists!

  29. Well, rufus, I am all in favor of controlled Immigration.

    Allow the needs of the US economy to be determined, by Congressmen, let them debate the issue and set the inport quotas. If they decide and vote to open the Country, well then, that's the Program.

    To date they have not done so.
    Why do the Federals not enforce the Law of the Land, in our own Land?
    Either on the Frontier or in the Interior?
    Because we live in a lawless Society?
    Or is it because the President ignores the Law, when it suits him or his constituents?

    Why no work place enforcement? The level of enforcement under Bush 43 makes Bill Clinton the "Law and Order" , "Fiscally Consverative" & "Tough on Welfare" President.

  30. Peacekeeper, my best guess is that the F-117 lost it's invisibility in the rain. Remember, it was raining the night they shot that one down. This is an "uneducated" guess, but I think I read something somewhere that led me to this conclusion.

  31. Mr Reagan never had a Republican House nor a 60 seat Majority in the Senate.
    Did not stop Ronald Reagan from enacting his Policies or propomting his Programs.
    He got things done.

    No, Mr Bush's excuse is not that his majorities in the House and Senate were not large enough.
    That argument flys in the face of Historical precedent.

  32. rufus said:

    BTW, probably the "Dumbest" Sadr City'ites have probably noticed by now that it wasn't too long after Mookie insisted that we take down the barricades that they lost Two Hundred citizens to the "insurgents."

    No, Bush and Cheney blew up the barricades using the same ordinance they used to take out the levee in Nawlins. Yeah. That's the ticket.

  33. Rat, I've gotta give you points on enforcement. The thing is, partly, that Congress doesn't want to talk about it, because 80% of them like it exactly the way it is.

    Now, you're going to say, I suppose, that that doesn't "Make it Right," and YOU ARE RIGHT; but, That is the way it is, it seems.

    Gotta go now; those idiots are going to spend the next two hours screaming at each other on Fox, and I'm like a moth to a flame; I just can't resist.

  34. That one F117 the Serbs nailed near Belgrade?

    I heard it thus, its so dumb I believe it : the lower frequency soviet type radars used by the JNA picked up the stealth birds at some angles and then lost them again, so they saw them as occasional blips. Some smartass new AD lieutenant who didn't know better drew a plot from the blips and worked out something like a submarine style firing solution with pencil on paper. They gave it a go, the F117 turned up approximately in the predicted place and time, and they managed to nail it.

  35. Rat, you're not THAT YOUNG!

    Go back and take another look at the Reagan years. They kept the Conservatives in a constant dither. He was compromising something every other day. Of course Tip O'Neil was a little bit easier to do business with than the current crop, maybe.

  36. Well, rufus, that was the "war" I was at the Front for. However the "Deal" went down, so too did Mr Ortega and his Cuban amigos.

    Today the Mohammedan Enemy is on the March, Mr Ortega is back in power.

    Neither can be spun as a success for Mr Bush or his Administration.

  37. Rat, don't, please don't, misunderstand me. I "Loved" the Gipper. I flat "Loved" the Man; but, you've got to ask yourself, how many of our "Mohammedan" problems stem from his feckless response to the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut?

    He did get some good things done in South America, but he DID do business with Iran to get it done.

    Let's just not over-simplify this whole deal. Sometimes we're like little children who "Want it All." It's never been possible, and it ain't possible, now.

  38. No doubt, rufus, that Mr Reagan's reaction in Lebanon, on top of Mr Carter's in Iran set today's stage.

    The "real" story though is on the Primary Mission. In Mr Reagan's case the Soviets and their expansion. With Mr Bush, the Mohammedans and their expansion.
    Two very different problems with very different solutions, to be sure. But the Reaganites accomplished their Mission, one that had been abandoned by Mr Carter.
    Mr Bush started well, but did not see it through. I believe his Generals let him down, behaving like thirty year bureaucrats, not veteran warriors.

    But the buck stops with Mr Bush.

    Perhaps some new inititve is in the works. What with the high level diplomacy going on, as we speak. To be successful, in Iraq and the Region, there will have to be a pretty drastic course change implemented, one way or another.

  39. Keep one thing in mind, though, Rat; none of this was obvious when Dutch left office. The CIA was telling us that the GDP of the USSR was, on a ppp basis, equivalent to, if not higher, than our own, the Russian soldier was still 12 feet tall, and we had spent 8 years going in and out of recession.

    Now, before someone starts screaming at me, yes, it was necessary to have those recessions in order to get rid of the 12% inflation, and 19% mortgage rates, but a lot of people didn't understand that.

  40. AND, everybody was Screaming about the deficits and the spending. What they didn't understand was that the growth that was taking place as a result of the Big Top End Tax Cut was going to help bring those deficits down, Eventually.

  41. BTW, test scores are going up, substantiall, for all of those kids that have come under "no child left behind."

  42. This fellow, a Mexican national, I believe, wrote an interesting piece in regard the Dueling Presidents, in Mexico.

    Enrique Krauze is the author of "Mexico: Biography of Power" and editor of the magazine Letras Libres. This article was translated by Natasha Wimmer.

    Seems he sees it as being a bit more serious than do many of the commentors here. He has a keen sense of Mexican history and agrees, in general with me.

    Read it here at the WaPo

  43. I guess I'm going back to that old Kenny Rogers song: You never count your chip when you're sitting at the tabel; there'll be time enough for counting When the Dealings Done.

    Or, as someone so wisely suggested, here, the other day; If you'd asked a soldiers freezing his ass off, counting his last rounds, and getting shelled mercilessly by 88's at Bastogne if he thought we were getting ready to drive a stake in the Nazis' dirty, cold hearts he would have probably said some things that even I wouldn't write.

  44. I'll read the WaPo article after "The Cost of Freedom," Rat; but, in the meantime, I can't resist. Hell, it ISMexico, Rat! ;)

  45. Well, rufus, Mexico is a lot closer than Washington DC.

    Has a lot more "real" impact, here, as well.

  46. Column One: The Gemayel warning

    Tuesday saw another nail driven into the coffin of US President George W. Bush's vision of a free and democratic Middle East. The Syrians aren't even trying to hide their involvement in the assassination of Lebanon's Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel.

    Hours after Gemayel was murdered, his killers issued a communiqu calling themselves the "Fighters for the Unity and Liberty of Greater Syria." They said that they killed Gemayel because he was "one of those who unceasingly spouted their venom against Syria and against [Hizbullah], shamelessly and without any trepidation."

  47. Rat:
    You mentioned the problem of "bureaucratic Generals" working against Bush.

    Add to that, the State Department and the Intel community.

    Deuce asks the question "Can Anyone Rescue US Foreign Policy?" It seems to be that the entrenched Washington bureaucracy has gotten control of those reins. Look at the idiocy of UN 1701, or the recent appeal to the axis of evil for help in stabilizing Iraq.

    Right now, we're stuck in the mud of the ebb tide. Fortunately for us, the death cult is hell-bent on suicide (and a little murder in the process.)


    One Question: Is George Bush the only person on the planet who "Dreams" of a Free and Democratic Middle East?

  49. "They will end up filling those higher paying jobs that Tri mentioned. "


    I can only hope!

    Things have changed at the industrial jobsites where I find myself every few weeks. Ten years ago, finding a good wrench-turner who could consistently pass a drug test was pretty easy. Place a call to various contractors and BANG! Getting three times the guys you needed was no problem.

    Fast forward to earlier this year - the jobsite was in the SE USA - I was only onsite for a single week (filling in for a sick coworker) - during that time, the following occurred:

    1) drug bust ON THE JOBSITE

    2) at least four "gents" were tossed for fighting

    3) another was tossed for carrying a loaded weapon onto the site

    4) a number of non-english speakers were tossed for smoking pot in a remote enclosed stairwell while on their breaks

    5) six of ten gents who responded to an urgent call for a particular trade failed their drug tests ON A SINGLE DAY!

    6) a young lady... ok, not much of a lady, but definitely, ah, young... was busted for servicing a steady stream of guys ONSITE

    The combination of a roaring economy and a ravenous petrochem industry (sucking up all the good skilled folks to repair their Gulf Area facilities after Katrina and Rita) is making it tough to keep good folks on the payroll - from my perspective, this 4.2% (?)unemployment rate is for all practical purposes equivalent to full employment, because the vast majority of what's left over can't even be trusted with a push broom.

    There's a pile of money to be made out there for people willing to work.

  50. This post starts off like a post I put up a couple of days, ago; it isn't. I think it's Good News.

  51. First off Tri, I don't know what industry you're in; but, I don't want no part of it - At any Wage. It sounds like a dangerous place to be.

    On a more serious note, Wages at the lower end have started "skyrocketing" in the last year (partly as a result of slowing down the traffic at the border, I imagine.)

    This might cause a few of the heretofore "unemployables" to get serious, dry out, and go back to work.

    It's hard to say for sure, though. We're definitely in, more or less, uncharted waters. We've only been this low once before, and that was quickly followed by a bust - although, the two aren't necessarily related.

    Remember when 6% was "Full Employment?"

  52. "Right now, we're stuck in the mud of the ebb tide. Fortunately for us, the death cult is hell-bent on suicide (and a little murder in the process.)"


    The crying shame in all this is that eventually, the death cult will cross a line with the majority of our fellow citizens that apparently wasn't crossed on 9/11 as much as I thought it was.

    Losing 3000 in a single mass casualty event is terrible, but apparently, once the emotions stirred up by seeing poor souls jumping to their deaths have faded, so too has the will to stay the course (I am NOT referring to anyone here).

    I think the President has an additional problem, though - there are many of us, me included, who believe that a more muscular response was called for. We don't require a constant state of elevated emotions to feel strongly about fighting this war, but we can get disheartened when it seems that the war is not being vigorously prosecuted.

    (Contrary to conventional wisdom, I rather think that the 2006 elections would have been much different had we already carried out a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.)

    This is where I am at the moment, and I suspect it describes many of us for whom patriotic ferver is internally fueled. But frankly, I don't worry about it too much, for precisely the point you raised: The death cult will eventually visit us with a 2nd mass casualty event, and if it is something truly apocalyptic, i.e. a nuke on the Hudson, the prosecution of the war will destroy Islam and terrify the world in the process....

    And come the following November, we will celebrate Thanksgiving like it hasn't been celebrated in decades.

  53. I think there's a lot I agree with in your last post, Tri.

  54. I think a lot of us older folk are pretty sure where this is going to end up, and just want to cut to the chase.

    Let's keep in mind, though, that Gen Curtis LeMay thought he knew where the USSR deal was going to end up, also; and, as a result, wanted Kennedy to Nuke the Russians, preemptively, over Cuba.

    He was wrong, and we might be, also.

  55. The Court is still out on the LeMay position, rufus.
    The Russians still have their nuclear capacity, they are proliferating nuclear technologies into Iran, with UN approval.

    I do not think the thermo nuclear threat story, vis a vie the Russians, is a finished transcript.

    Just the first couple of chapters have been inked.

  56. Now this one, guys is on Drudge's page, front and center, no link

    Secret U.S. government report: Insurgency in Iraq now self-sustaining financially, raising tens of millions of dollars a year from oil smuggling, kidnapping, counterfeiting, fake charities and other crimes... NYTIMES reporting Sunday... Developing ...

  57. Oh well, if it wasn't the Russians it'd be the French, right?

    Nap time; argue among yourselves for awhile.

  58. John Gotti was financially self-sustaining - before he wasn't.

  59. Well Rat, you just scooped the next post I was working on.

  60. Deuce, I have a spotty internet connection and an affinity for anonymity. Being a lowly Commenter suits me to a Tee.

    I appreciate the offer, but in all honesty, everything I have to say I've pretty much already said. I would recommend that you put the strong arm on a couple of our more erudite middle-roaders like Tripolartiger, and RoadtoSerfdom to name a couple.

    I MIGHT make an exception one of these days on "Corn" Ethanol which is getting an unfair representation from some "Experts" who should know better. It has become "Common Knowledge" among the talking head/Expert class that corn ethanol is much inferior technology to Sugar Cane - a claim that just isn't backed up by reality.

    Anyway, that post might require more researching than I really am capable of. I'm assuming that you would want any post on your site to be verifiable with facts and figures. In the meantime, I've let this comment become too long; it's sure to get eaten by blogger.

  61. A short while ago Mr. Blair stated that Mr. Putin could not have been responsible for the death of Mr. Litvinenko, otherwise Mr. Litvinenko just would have disappeared. Mr. Blair missed the PysOps lesson of Mr. Trotsky. Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush have missed a lot of lessons as have the TBs.

  62. "Blair linking the palestinian problem to sunny vs shia in Iraq just about relegates him to the ranks of cretin.
    What the hell is he smoking?"
    4:51 AM

    Negative Vibe alert!

  63. Your welcome rufus. You provide a great service to the EB. I assumed for some time you were really Jeb Bush.

  64. "...If the $200 million a year estimate is close to the mark, it amounts to less than what it costs the Pentagon, with an $8 billion monthly budget for Iraq, to sustain the American war effort here for a single day. ..."

    Tomorrows News Today
    The NYTimes via Drudge

  65. Deuce, I'm MUCH BETTER LOOKING than Jeb Bush. ;-)

  66. Somewhat Older, Though.

  67. For any who have not yet joined the celebration, Olmert has agreed to accept the 5,280th Palestinian ceasefire.

  68. doug,

    I noticed Steve Browne gave you short shrift at Rants and Raves. Being the hateful bastard I am, I posed a question that appears so tough it has rendered the gentleman impotent. Salute!

    How is it, Doug, that reasonably intelligent people will accept the physical differentiations caused by natural selection, but go gah-gah if behavioral and intellectual adaptations are brought into the mix. By way of example, the other day I saw dog show. Throughout the program, the audience was cautioned to do due diligence before selecting a pet, because, believe it or not, dogs have markedly different behaviors, despite all having the capacity to interbreed.

    As you know, the problem is political correctness.