“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

Iraq PM Maliki, Man of Action.

Yesterday, about eighty "who know whats" dressed in brand new, "can't be copied", uniforms seized almost one hundred and fifty people from an Iraqi Government building. It was estimated that eighty uniformed police, or militia dressed as police, participated in the snatch. In an urban environment that is no small feat. It requires training and support. It also demands a dramatic response.

During such times we are inspired by men of action, who seize the moment and take the bold steps necessary to do the things that have to be done. This morning we get more inspiring bold leadership and decisive dramatic action from the new Iraqi Leader.

Iraq PM calls for raiders' arrest

"Maliki demanded the release of the remaining captives
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has called for the immediate arrest of those behind a mass kidnapping from a government building in Baghdad."

Mr Maliki said the militants behind the daylight raid were "worse than extremists", and added: "What happened was not terrorism, rather it was due to dispute and conflict between militias from one side or another."

He went on to demand the release the remaining captives.

He was speaking at Baghdad university during a visit to calm professors and students."


  1. Oh come on, Mr Malikis' position was known BEFORE the US allowed the Iraqi to settle upon him as PM.

    The "new" uniform solution was stupid from the first day I heard of it. Only a Parade Soldier would think the "uniform" was sancrosect and the "proper" one would actually supply security.

    Fools & Knaves.

    The time for an Insurgency to be supported in Iran was three years ago. The saying "better late than never" comes to mind, but the situation has changed so remarkably of late that it may not be nearly enough.

  2. 2164th said:

    This morning we get more inspiring bold leadership and decisive dramatic action from the new Iraqi Leader. Iraq PM calls for raiders' arrest

    JERUSALEM (AP) - April 3, 2007 As American combat support ships bring much-needed medical supplies and help transport the worst burn victims to ad hoc field hospitals set up in Italy, Prime Minister Olmert condemns the fission air burst that devastated much of Tel Aviv Saturday and asked for a Security Council resolution calling on the Iranians to immediately halt all further weaponization of their enriched uranium. The President, enjoying Arbor Day at his ranch in Crawford could not be reached for comment. US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice cautioned Olmert's government to avoid actions which could escalate the situation and perpetrate the cycle of violence.

  3. No idea as to what you saw, rufus.

    Just another eighty folks either killed or returned. The fact that they were released, if that is a fact, is unimportant, unless the kidnappers were arrested and really detained.

    Doubt that they were, though.

  4. The latest headline, from the Scotsman via google does not confirm the rufus report

    MOST of the hostages kidnapped from a government building in Iraq have been released, according to the country's prime minister.

    An official did not give exact numbers or say how they were freed, although it is thought to be around 40.

    Reports are now emerging of how yesterday's daylight raid, which was one of the country's biggest mass abductions, happened.

    The kidnappers, who were dressed in police uniforms, had cleared the area under the guise of providing security for what they claimed would be a visit to the building by the US ambassador.

    Witnesses said they then raced through buildings, forced men and women into separate rooms, handcuffed the men and loaded them into about 20 pickup trucks.

    Two hours old this story says half those taken were released. Most likely those that were from the Sect of the kidnappers.

    FOX News says that 40 number should really be 70, but also report that between 40 and 140 people were taken.

    No reports of any arrests

  5. A fortythree minute old story

    BAGHDAD, Iraq: Gunmen kidnapped three employees of a government agency that cares for Sunni mosques and shrines in Iraq, an official with the group said on Wednesday.

    The employees of the Sunni Endowment were seized in Baghdad's northern neighborhood of Sabaa Abakar, said the official on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

    He said the men were snatched by "armed militias" as they left work, an apparent reference to armed Shiite groups that Sunnis blame of kidnapping and killing their followers.

    Sunni Endowment leader Ahmed Abdul Ghafour al-Samaraie, head of the endowment, was quoted by Sunni-operated Baghdad Television as urging Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to work for the men's release.

    In July, 20 employees of the endowment were kidnapped in a nearby area. They have not been found.

    Woder, because they were never found, they've made it to the KIA list, or not?

  6. Not something that requires the Army, rufus, or something that does?

    Are these kidnappings just the next phase of a "military insignifgant" Insurgency or Civil War.

    Just saw a segment on FOX where the US Army is all the "Iraqi Government" they've seen in three years.

    So are not the "Cops" responsible for the "Gang Violence" in their Precients and on their watch?

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

  8. The FOX segment was meant to show the "Good Work" the Soldiers were doing, providing "Security and Organization" to Iraqi life.

    All I saw was a failure of the Strategic Mission, because there were not 50 or 100 Iraqi Security Force members there training with the US troops.
    Totally wasted effort by the US troops, as heroic and dutiful their being there is. The "Long War" aims are not being fulfilled by our efforts. Plain as day.

  9. GOP Minority Whip is to be...
    drum roll, please ....

    Tent Lott

  10. AP says the kidnapped are mostly free now.

    O/T, but when you get a chance, read Senator-elect Webb in today's WSJ, would ya? I find the implications somewhat...well hell I don't know.

  11. Dick Morris recommends Lott. Says his room skills are what what's needed, and that Frist was a disaster on that count.

  12. Buddy, I'm with you on the Webb thing. My gut reaction is "uh-oh".

  13. Easy to see all the effects that Mr Webb describes in Phoenix AZ, 6th largest Metro area in the USA.

    The job migration and the stagnate wages in many internal "industries" of importance to the area.

    He is going to try to lead the Reagan Democrats, where they go is vital to political power, the most important subgroup, much more so than librarians.

    It seems Mr Webb can legitimately straddle the divide, like "The Colossus of Rhodes".

    A man to watch, and being born in '46, he just turned 60. He got at least a 12 year run, if he does not pass on to greener pastures.

  14. On an unrelated note, it seems Ollie North has more influence with Mr Murdocks' thinking than one may have assumed.

    JERUSALEM – Palestinian terror groups and security organizations in the Gaza Strip received $2 million from a U.S. source in exchange for the release of Fox News employees Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig, who were kidnapped here last summer, a senior leader of one of the groups suspected of the abductions told WND.

    The terror leader, from the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees, said his organization's share of the money was used to purchase weapons, which he said would be utilized "to hit the Zionists."

    He said he expects the payments for Centanni and Wiig's freedom will encourage Palestinian groups to carry out further kidnappings.

    Guns for Hostages!
    First Mr Bush has Ms Rice find a way to fund the Palistinians and then Mr Murdock pays the ransom.

    Just ain't no War.

  15. Dobbs and Webb are running the same playbook.

    I guess we already knew that, but to see both articles on the same day . . .

    Bad times ahead.

  16. I don't see Reagan Democrat in Mr. Webb. The rhetoric is 'class warfare'.

  17. This, and I'll drop the subject. Webb decries the income gap, but suggests no fix. He must know that the income gap is the Story of Mankind, and that only a top-down big-gov solution can touch it.

    Already, according to Ben Stein, 1% pays 36%, and 50% pays 3.4%. So, who gonna get upped, but "the consumer"?

    And will the raise do anything but cut production?

    Oh well, I'll shut up. I agree with Stein that the top few percent ought to cough up a surcharge directed at military pay.

    But Webb is after BIG game, I'm afraid.

  18. And the tone! Us ignernt joe lunchboxes being "distracted" by good economic numbers and appeals to virtue.

    "Distracted" from what? Class warfare?

  19. The first battle of the new congress in the 'class war' is going to be on the minimum wage front. Can we win it? Do we have the guns to defeat any such hikes?

    It infuriates me to hear some bleeding-heart liberal decry the inability of some unskilled shmuck who can't afford to raise a family on minimum wage. And I know I'm preaching to the choir - but the minimum wage is not meant to sustain a family. It is for kids and entry-level, unskilled labor. If you don't like it, get an education, learn a trade, become skilled at something besides sitting on your butt.

    I read a column yesterday - don't remember where or by who - that said they wanted to raise the federal minimum wage to something north of $10/hr. Freaking $10/hr to sweep the floor or flip a burger!

    Bad times ahead.

  20. rem870 said:

    I read a column yesterday - don't remember where or by who - that said they wanted to raise the federal minimum wage to something north of $10/hr. Freaking $10/hr to sweep the floor or flip a burger!

    If the Donks could get away with it, comrade, they would make a $10/hr maximum wage for all trades, be they doctors, engineers, or baseball players. Except for trial lawyers, they would still get to bill three figures an hour.

  21. Buddy,

    The Webb article is pretty disturbing. That aphorism about where mere "good intentions" are sufficient to lead one to seems lost, perhaps inherently, in government.

    I fear the very idea of a "bifucated" machine that has levers you can pull and tug to affect some sort of ambiguous betterment.

    I hope gridlock works out for me - I'm far from an elite, and I suffer none of the problems specified by Webb or felt by the spirit of the times he fancies he embodies.

    That's not to say my finances are optimal, but why would I expect my elected representatives to help me with my finances? Aren't they my finances?

    Witness the rise of populism in the Anglo-sphere.

    Here's the front-end of some populist subversion in Australia:


  22. Populism is already stalking Europe and Latin America -

    PDF paper here

    Is that how the Nation state ends, with its nationalism diverging, separated by divisive "dialectics" and accelerated by populist rhetoric?

    If you have a group that has an identity based on some common historical experience, what happens when you begin to persuade members of divergently different ideas about their historical experiences?

    Is unity foregone once this process has reached some sustainable level of veracity (i.e. by popular presumption) in the minds of the formerly single group?

  23. Truly a revolutionary change of direction for the Republicans - Trent Lott, the Pascagoula Mississippi flash. Even with the smarmy baggage, he will be better than Frist, but that's not saying much. Sorry, Rufus I just don't see Senator Lott as the answer to the Democrats.

    Oh, and Boehner looks like he's safe as well. Rem870 may be right - hard times ahead.

  24. Lott is said to be a top mechanic. The very thing Frist was manifestly not.

  25. I think I'm gonna be checkin' out books for awhile.

  26. thanks for the kee-rection. McConnell is anti-earmarks, isn't he?

  27. Way aheasd on nule-power. I think they're up in the 75% range or near to it, in grid-powering.

  28. rufus said:

    Lott will just keep the anti-Pork Republicans all riled up, and contribute to our losing the next election, too.

    It might take one or two more election cycles to purge the Party of pork purloining 'Pubs. Never confuse Republican with Conservative, the Venn Diagrams don't perfectly overlap.

  29. Jim Webb is a Democrat.

    The most important--and unfortunately the least debated--issue in politics today is our society's steady drift toward a class-based system

    Webb is way behind the curve. Protected classes of citizens was introduced by Lyndon Johnson in 1965. I agree with Webb though. The steady drift for more classes of citizens - minorities, women, gays, Islamic jihadis, illegal aliens, etc. is having a negative impact on our society.

    Few among them send their children to public schools; fewer still send their loved ones to fight our wars.

    Oh wait, he's not talking about the protected classes, he's talking about the largely white, Christian, traditionalists, who work hard, and chose to pay for private school for their kids because the public schools had become the indoctrination centers the multi-cultural, moral relativist, religion-bashing, post-modern, Gramscian, hate-america-first crowd. Also, we saw data in the past year that showed those serving in the military are above average economically and in other measures.

    They own most of our stocks, making the stock market an unreliable indicator of the economic health of working people.

    This is an old Democratic ploy. Only the rich people own stocks. So let's tax the hell out of them. Conversely, all people who have stocks in their retirement portfolios are rich. Let's tax the hell out of them. A third translation is: The economy is in terrible shape. Pay no attention to the stock market.

    Too bad no-one thought early in the election campaign to see if he had any Jewish ancestors.

    BTW is the site meter still working? If yes, will someone please post the link to it.

  30. Via Drudge

    Internal FOXNEWS memo to employees from Roger Ailes: 'I just saw an article on the internet from by Aaron Klein which claims we paid $2 million in hostage money during the Centanni & Wiig kidnapping crisis. The story is absolutely 100% false. Not a cent of hostage money was paid, and it was never considered'...

  31. Re Webb, I wrote something along Stoutfellow's lines to the WSJ, which I see they have posted, here. Tried to be sardonic.

  32. buddy,

    re: WSJ

    Great post!

    One man's sardonic is another's talking points. Webb and you aren't far apart then.


  33. thanks, Allen--that's high praise to be damned by, fer sher!

    rufus, I'm still flabbergasted by the total ignoring of the "household survey" when calculating the employment numbers. But, you're right, it has been 'rents' in the CPI driving much of the inflation, since mortgage rates went that up that 2% and disqualified a few million potential buyers.

  34. I was distracted there, for but a moment, then I remembered it was buddy and his famous transblogian wit.

  35. thank ew. I tried to mind the windage and elevation--

  36. rat, you being pretty comprehensive on the geopolitics, don't miss this bone-chiller. EU support in Turkey down into the 30s. Jeez--the Caspian Axis grows apace.

  37. If Turkey does not hold as the Secular leader of the Muslim Governments, if in the society there Regligion beats Civics, the greater "Clash" is guarenteed.

  38. Our PKK friends, that international terror group that recieves Santuary from US in Kurdistan.

    Pissed them Turks off, no doubt.
    But maybe those PKK gunners are also running Ops into Iran, deserving of US provided Sanctuary in Kurdistan.

    We've had this discussion before. What, maybe, if, could, would, maybe should.

  39. The PKK, a militia at least as disruptive as Mr al-Sadr.
    By comparison Mr al-Sadr only operates in Iraq, with just a few busloads of Jihadist sent to Lebanon, of course.

    The PKK is off running cross border Ops into Turkey, killin Turkish commuters at train stations and such.

  40. Turkey a NATO partner and ally.

    Regardless of the 4th ID debacle, that was as much on US as them.
    Cannot delegate the responsibility of getting the Deal Closed to Dan Rather or the Turks for not being convinced of their own best interests, from the US perspective.

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

  42. Too bad PKK can't restrict its ambitions to match the immediate and urgent needs of her vital, if secret, ally, USA.

    I've read in several learned places that the 4th ID flip/flop was French-engineered, using EU membership as the bait, and was done as a sop to old colony Syria, which did not want that organiztion in her nose, in full attack mode.

    Les Francaise, reliably unreliable.

  43. oh, and thanks, Rem870--'preciate dat--

  44. rufus, saw the email--Claire Berlinski has written extensively on Turkey--I've seen her in the WSJ, ands I think she has a book or three out. Knows of whence she speaks, IOW.

  45. Must read, France & Turkey quit some important mid-level NATO cooperations. Over the subject of Armenia. Nothing ever goes away, everything that ever happened is back on the table. Millennial accounts-settling.