“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."

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Does the US regret not eliminating al-Sadr when they had the chance?

The 1975 film, Barry Lyndon, contains a scene where Ryan O'Neal, as Barry Lyndon, fights a pistol duel with his stepson and arch-enemy, Young Bullington. The stepson who takes the first shot misfires his flint lock pistol. This gives Barry Lyndon the next turn to fire in the ritualized duel. Barry Lyndon shows mercy on his stepson assuming that would end the duel with no harm done to either.

Barry Lyndon is stunned when Bullington demands the enforcement of the rules and insists on taking another shot at Barry Lyndon, which according to the rule, is his right. Lyndon survives catastrophic wounds, but for the rest of his life regretted not killing Bullington when he had the chance.

I am certain the US Military regrets their not taking out their young Bullington, anti-U.S. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, when they had the chance. Sadr is turning into quite the powerbroker in Iraq. MPs from the party of the radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr are establishing an alliance with other parties in the Iraqi parliament to demand the departure of US troops from the country. Six ministers from the party have already left the cabinet in protest at a meeting between Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and US President George W Bush. The prime minister has asked Mr al-Sadr to rejoin the government.

President Bush has reaffirmed his confidence in Prime Minister Maliki during a visit to the Jordan capital Amman. He denied reports in the US media, which suggested that the White House had doubts whether Prime Minister Maliki was the right man to end the violence in Iraq. But it seems that Sadr has bigger plans . CNN is reporting this:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- One day after suspending participation in Iraq's government, the bloc loyal to anti-U.S. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announced a possible new political alliance with Sunnis and Christians.

Calling the group a "national front," the head of al-Sadr's bloc in Parliament -- Falah Hassan Shanshel -- said the groups would target the U.N. Security Council's decision to extend the mandate of the 160,000 multinational force in Iraq for another year.

The formation of such an alliance has been in the works for at least two months, said Saleh al-Mutlag, a prominent Sunni politician and vocal critic of al-Maliki.

He called the alliance a nonsectarian, national patriotic front, drawing from different areas of the country and also including secularists, Kurds, Yazidis, Turkmens and clerics.

The group does not include the Mehdi Army, a militia loyal to al-Sadr, al-Mutlag said, adding that he believes the militia should dissolve. He said that al-Sadr himself is "not negative" about the alliance and that it could be achieved peacefully.

U.S. commanders believe al-Sadr's Mehdi Army militia has played a key role in stoking sectarian violence this year, but al-Maliki, who draws his support from al-Sadr's supporters, hasn't targeted them.

CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq, Erin McLaughlin and Arwa Damon contributed to this report

Saddam must be quite incredulous over this amazing turn of events. He is not alone.


  1. thanks buddy. some reason doug is having problems.

  2. What if doug is manipulating us all into constraint testing, as if we were mere intelligence reports.

  3. Doug,

    Do you ever see Dog the Bounty hunter, or his prolific family when out and about?

    Do you ever run into icehead banlieus on the beaches?

  4. Guess Doug had enough of technology.

    Guy probably just dropped trou and trudged out of his house into the street.

    He is modern man becometh, barren of hindrance and bold in stride but sheepish in empathy and livid while clothed.

  5. Nite Teresita. May Lucy lend a steed in dreamland.

  6. the little triangle went away! did you change anything?

    Wretch Wrote:
    "In a remarkable display of nonstatesmanship, the Shi'ite parties headed by Iraqi PM

    Maliki and goaded by al-Sadr proved less interested in building an Iraq than upon obtaining

    revenge upon their former masters.
    They failed to rein in their now powerful militias, increasingly able to harry the Sunnis

    at will.
    I replied:

    M Ledeen sees this, and his current unwillingness to crack down on the Militias being a result of Maliki's desire to stay alive.
    He does work, travel, and sleep in Sadr dominated neighborhoods, after all.

  7. Sunnis Purging Iraq Of Al Qaeda
    The most interesting news out of Iraq is that the Sunnis are now taking out the Al Qaeda terrorists and their Iraqi supporters. The ’sectarian’ violence being reported in the country probably has a lot to do with cleansing the place of Al Qaeda and Islamo-Fascists forces .

    The truth is Iraq is fighting for its independence and Al Qaeda is reeling from the fact that all three factions in Iraq are now taking up arms against them:
    Local people say that this new and increasingly bloody conflict, pitting former Iraqi Baathists against well-armed Islamic groups, may signal the start of a new phase in the country’s three-year-old war.

    By attacking the Sunnis Al Qaeda brought the last of the three major factions in Iraq onto the side of the Democratic government. While this is a good sign, it also means Al Qaeda is going to get desparate for one final push to get the US Democrats to surrender - and ASAP before Al Qaeda is impacted so badly they cannot recover. More on the Sunni-Al Qaeda battle here , and also here .
    And the US is not doing to badly itself - they captured 10 terrorists planting IEDs the other day.
    Posted by AJStrata

  8. Hu dat said, "What if doug is manipulating us all into constraint testing, as if we were mere intelligence reports."

    Habu's SVGA monitor testing with adult .jpgs is much more important.

  9. Ten Insurgents captured today
    Twenty Insurgents released tomorrow.

  10. ?by dat blogger hu drive, Barry Lyndon is a great Kubrick film, wherein many long interiors are shot in real-time--thus giving a taste of 18th century pace of life. Very subtle amd Kubrickian.

  11. Buddy Larsen said, "Barry Lyndon is a great Kubrick film, wherein many long interiors are shot in real-time--thus giving a taste of 18th century pace of life."

    Every shot looks exactly like an 18th Century painting come to life, yet the movie tanked at the box office.

  12. In tone, the movie departs widely from the book by Thackeray, but if you look at both as different forms of art, it is an amazing work. Most people do not read Thackeray anymore so it makes no difference.

  13. The movie tanked because people did not get the pace. I can only imagine the reviews with the double click generation.

  14. I loved it--still watch it every year or two--as I do Full Metal Jacket, Dr. Strangelove, and The Shining. he is said to've been planning a Napoleon epic, when he passed away. Man, THAT would've been something, the two personalities were so alike, Napoleon and Kubrick.

  15. The Nation's Pulse
    Bad Girls Go Out
    By Carol Platt Liebau

    Perhaps youthful celebrities like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan are more to be pitied than blamed. Certainly, one branch of their education has been sadly neglected:
    No one has ever taught them how young ladies climb out of vehicles -- knees together, both legs lifted simultaneously, torso swiveled, feet placed firmly on the pavement.

    In recent days, this oversight has evolved into something of a public spectacle. Websites devoted to celebrity gossip have featured plenty of pictures of Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan climbing out of cars.

    That, in itself, isn't remarkable. But these are hardly the run-of-the-mill paparazzi shots of Lohan and Spears arriving at events -- in fact, the pictures are more suitable for a gynecological journal than glossy celebrity web sites.

    To put it bluntly, the young women are shown out on the town, partying in short dresses -- without benefit of underwear. The photos themselves leave nothing to the imagination.

    In fact, some of the websites conveniently enlarge the "naughty bits" so that every random viewer can ogle every intimate inch of Lohan's and Spears' private parts.
    The problem is this: Young women like Lohan and Spears are, in fact, serving as role models to girls all over the United States...
    American Spectator
    I wonder about the dresses and limo seats after a particularly sloppy nite out drunk including a few movements in the girls room.

  16. Damned, doug, where is the link, to these photos of the girls night out?

  17. Doug said, "I wonder about the dresses and limo seats after a particularly sloppy nite out drunk including a few movements in the girls room."


  18. Dear Smell Oui, please return to "catherine" as your numb de plume, as "Smell Oui" destroys the way the language is supposed to operate.
    Thank you,
    Mr. Hear Peut-Etre

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