“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 04, 2006

Mr. President, Will it be “veni, vidi, vici.”? Or, "It Was Hard Work, But I Stayed the Course, With Remorse."

Last night, three stories, apparently unrelated, caught my attention and interest. One was the article regarding the poor execution of the Iraq war by the Bush Administration, which appears in Vanity Fair. Simply, it is about the Neocons turning on Bush. (hattip DesertRat) The second, appears in the Times about six Arab nations contemplating going nuclear, and the third about the video of Hamas directed Palestinian woman going into a mosque to act as human shields to help trapped insurgents escape from the Israeli Army.

If you watch the video of the hundreds of Palestinian woman rushing to the mosque, you see two things, the dress of the woman, and the results of the Israeli troops shooting what has been described as unarmed woman. The woman were gathered up by Hamas to perform a military maneuver. The tactic was to have a large crowd of woman, covered with the hijabs and long full body dress, and mass into a mosque where Hamas fighters were hiding. They would give similar dress to the trapped fighters, and allow them to mingle with the woman and escape. Hamas took the risk that the Israelis would not fire. Some Israelis saw through the ruse and opened fire, killing several and wounding several others. The firing initially dispersed the woman, but some Israeli officer halted the shooting and the tactic worked as the trapped fighters escaped, dressed as woman.

All of those woman, some knowingly, others naively, were participating in a military operation. None were innocents. Hamas knew that. Hamas knew cameras would be there and Hamas knew the Israelis would be in an impossible predicament, where they would lose regardless of what they did. The lesson here is that to Hamas and similar ME groups, any tactic is acceptable in their war against Israel and against the West. All are combatants, because all is war. They will use anything and do anything to achieve their goal which is victory. Now add the nuclear weapons.

Because of the painfully slow process of getting the EU and the US to come up with a credible strategy with Iran, and the outrageous and unforgivable interference by Russia and in a lesser role China, Iran will have a nuclear weapon. The Arab states in the region are not going to tolerate a nuclear Iran without having their own nuclear protection. They do not trust Iran. Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, UAE and Saudi Arabia will all seek atomic technology and ultimately nuclear weapons. As discussed in Vanity Fair, the US failure to stabilize Iraq, has broken respect and trust in US leadership and capabilities.

No one trusts the United States to either successfully rule in the ME , or force order and stability; no one. That is the damage done by the Iraq war. It is not important how or why that happened. It is what it is and cannot be easily undone, yet it must be undone. As we have painfully learned, Hamas and every other radical Islamic group will use anything to achieve their goals. That anything cannot and must not be nuclear weapons. If Iran gets nuclear weapons, all bets are off. A nuclear Middle East will be a dismal fact of life or death.

Instability, militant Islam, nuclear proliferation and the apparent lack of effective US leadership is a very bad combination. George Bush with or without Congress is going to be President for two more years. We do not have two more years to waste and not make serious progress in dealing with the Middle East. After the election , a wise President will have to make some very difficult and necessary changes to reassert American Leadership and begin to fix a very broken foreign policy. Europe must be brought on board. Israeli security must be addressed. Equally, the security of the Arab states must be guaranteed in some credible fashion. This is the most difficult position the US has been in for some time. The team of Rumsfeld and Rice is not going to do it. Everyone, including the Europeans will be tempted to wait out the balance of the Bush Administration and hope for something new and better from the next US President.

Can Bush do it. Yes, if he is wise enough to make the decision to get rid of the people who have failed his administration and the country. No, if he is too stubborn and weak to make the difficult decision of firing people he likes. Bush must quickly install a new team of recognizably respected and talented people who will demonstrate a firm American resolve to fix one hell of a mess. I open to debate recommendations as to who the people should be and what is a realistic strategy to bring stability to the Middle East.


  1. By coincidence Wretchard posted the three articles separately over at BC. Thry are not separate, but benignly related.

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  3. Great post 2164 and the H/T to DR for the great Vanity Fair article.

    I'm confident the beltway think tanks,the White House, and all interested military-industrial complex thinkers are developing position papers on what the President faces. But then we know those challenges.
    What they've been a might shy on are remedies. They HAD remedies going into it all. Now, the tergiversation tremors that started at the knees have spread throught the body.
    I'd venture a guess that right now we don't have the upper hand on too many of the worlds challenges with NONE in sight.
    Too bad.

  4. One personal insight I have gained over the months is the incredulity with which the proposition of total victory and domination of an enemy is repudiated.
    A smart bomb here, a smart bomb there isn't going to subjugate the masses or make them fear us. They just eat their dinner and go out and kill us.
    But then Islam is a religion of peace, and this isn't a clash of civilizations. I guess if I could just remember those two essentials I could join the herd.

  5. 2164 ... a brilliant satire..thanks

  6. Niall Ferguson article in VANITY FAIR is a must read. Trust me.


  7. Whit,
    I read the atricle and thank you.
    Once again what I read was another writer outlining the problem.

    The article I referenced, "Empire Falls" is stunning.

  8. Just a taste from page three of EMPIRE FALLS.."they had gone soft"

    What had gone wrong? The answer sheds revealing light on some of the problems the United States currently faces in the same troubled region. A recurrent theme of Gibbon's work is that the Romans gradually lost "the animating health and vigour" which had made them militarily invincible in the glory days of Julian's predecessor Trajan. They had lost their discipline. They started complaining about the weight of their armor. In a word, they had gone soft. At the same time, like most armies, their fighting effectiveness diminished the farther they were from home

  9. Can Bush do it. Yes, if he is wise enough to make the decision to get rid of the people who have failed his administration and the country

    Independent newspapers serving the military say it's time for Rummy to bug out

  10. A recurrent theme of Gibbon's work is that the Romans gradually lost "the animating health and vigour" which had made them militarily invincible in the glory days of Julian's predecessor Trajan.

    "The results of self-abuse in them is seen in various diseases, such as catarrh, dropsy, headache, loss of memory and sight, great weakness in the back and loins, affections of the spine, the head often decays inwardly. Cancerous humor, which would lay dormant in the system their life-time, is inflamed, and commences its eating, destructive work. The mind is often utterly ruined, and insanity takes place."
    -- Ellen White, Appeal to Mothers, 1864, p. 25, 27

  11. teresita,

    re: Rumsfeld

    These papers also have been "begging" the administration for a larger force for several years. But, really, Teresita, what could they know? ;-)

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  13. I came, I saw, I soon went back home.
    Blaming the US Army's failure to achieve Victory, on the enemy's lack of cooperation in US efforts.

    Those Mohammedans were just to tough. They did not realize the US could not lose a War.
    Evidently they did not listen to Mr Rumsfeld echo Mr Bush.

    The fun thing at BC is reading the comments, those that describe how "now" we will just have to "get tough". How now there will be no more "nation building".
    The Power of Projection.

    Our stalwart host, duece, tells us:" It is not important how or why that happened. "

    I must respectfully disagree.
    That is the most important thing to know, so as to rectify the flawed strategy. Did the US just make a few tactical errors or is the strategic vision flawed?

    Is it just that our sniper teams are missing their shots, or are they not authorized to take the shot.

    Is Islam a "Religion of Peace" or a Fascist ideology?

    Are the peoples of Mohammed rotten to the core, or can we just eliminate Mr al-Sadr and all will be well?

    How important is it, to US, to win?
    So far the answer is: Not Very.

    So now General Sanchez, the other field commanders in the "revolt of the Generals" and the neo-con intellectuals that planned the early stages of the War have dumped on the President's implementation of Policy.

    Wonder why?
    rufus says it's so they get back on the Cocktailing A circut.
    I doubt that is all there is to it.

  14. DR said,

    "Our stalwart host, duece, tells us: It is not important how or why that happened.

    I must respectfully disagree.
    That is the most important thing to know, so as to rectify the flawed strategy. Did the US just make a few tactical errors or is the strategic vision flawed?"

    It is hard to get up too early to get one by DR, and I did not. He is correct. I should have said that, but my point was, do not get tied up with recriminations and investigations. that can come later. Only with a cohesive united US, will it be able possible to lead the world out of impending hell.

  15. whit,
    Shall we go down your list of to do's.
    1. a 180 degress Course change
    2. Shall we start in St Louis or Detroit? Where we speak the language, but still cannot conrol crime. Duke Cunningham without a hand, interesting thought.
    3. Import US judges to Iraq? Mr Kennedy and Souter?
    4. The US cannot even "pay for placement" in Iraqi newspapers. Another 180 degree course change.
    5. Let's start in Mecca, and work to the fringes of their Empire. Another 180 degree course change
    6. An admission of failure and another 180 degree course chamge.

    So many "new" directions for a "Stay the Course" team.
    Not likely soon. We'll need a new team, or at least Head Coach.
    Exchanging Mr Rumsfeld for some other politician, that's like changing the Water Boy and expecting to win the next game.

    Look at the AZ Cardinals, they beat the World Champs in the first game of the Season, then after a few fumbles by their veteran QB, they brought in a Rookie.
    Have not won a game since.

  16. ...Yet the difference between the West and the Rest is much narrower than it once was. As recently as 1968, American G.D.P. per capita was 127 times higher than that of East Asia. By this measure alone, the gap between West and East has narrowed dramatically in our time. And it will continue to narrow. The International Monetary Fund estimates that the Chinese economy is growing at a rate roughly three times that of the United States. According to Goldman Sachs, China's G.D.P. will overtake Britain's this year. By 2041 it is likely to be the biggest economy in the world.
    Today it is only 30x from 1968 at 127x higher than Asia to today's 30x higher.

  17. Only with a cohesive united US, will it be able possible to lead the world out of impending hell.

    That is Bush's current complaint, that "the Democrats don't have a plan for Iraq." Well, imagine if the Soviet Union was in attendance that day in June 1950 when the Security Council authorized the Korean War, and they voted no, so Harry Truman had to do it alone, and he bungled it. Then in the following November just before the mid-term election, he said the Republicans didn't have a plan for Korea. Guess what, when you fuck up, other people don't have to have any plan at all, other than to watch you go down.

  18. The International Monetary Fund estimates that the Chinese economy is growing at a rate roughly three times that of the United States.

    Habu, you remind me of those people who won't let the cheaters in the right lane that's about to end slide over in front of you after racing past all the people who merged left early. As long as everyone is moving forward, be happy.

  19. The minds of men were gradually reduced to the same level, the fire of genius was extinguished.… The name of Poet was almost forgotten; that of Orator was usurped by the sophists. A cloud of critics, of compilers, of commentators, darkened the face of learning, and the decline of genius was soon followed by the corruption of taste.… This diminutive stature of mankind ? was daily sinking below the old standard. —Gibbon, Chapter II.

    Gibbon wrote, "the most lively and splendid amusement of the idle multitude depended on the frequent exhibition of public games and spectacles." Orgies and circuses are not precisely the favorite pastimes of Western society today. But if you substitute pornography and NASCAR, the parallel is not so far-fetched.

  20. Most people at the EB could readily rattle off the names of a score of WWII military and political luminaries.

    Here is a challenge: try the same with WWI.

    WWI leadership was unimaginative and even less intelligent. The conventional wisdom held that victory would go to the side best able to tolerate turning men into cannon fodder.

    The Bush administration is much like Allied WWI leadership, absent the cannon fodder.

    If the US is lucky, 2008 may yield leadership of the caliber of WWII. While I doubt that, I will not surrender hope.

  21. It's downright amusing that President Bush is on the campaign trail - as we speak - telling people; "a vote for a republican is a vote for security!"

    ... what! huh!?!

    Repubs? Dems?

    simply, ... "no-good lite" and "no-good heavy" ...

  22. Ms. T.
    As long as everyone is moving forward, be happy.
    I whip 'em, whip em good happy that the cheaters win? Not on your life kiddo....I make the cheaters pay. And I'm big enough and mean enough and tough enough to enforce my will. I spank 'em.
    I wasn't raised to "let" cheaters win" and to be "happy" just because we're "moving forward"
    To allow "cheaters" to win in return for "moving forward" is an oxymoron.
    It certainly is a prostitution of the value system that developed this country.
    Yeah I'd say you're still pretty screwed up.
    Remarkably however I never get enraged, I just block their path and blow kisses to them..that really evokes some interesting jesticulations. Don't lose your head. Keep cool just do what ya do.

  23. Ms T,
    For a tad more insight I usually confront those who park in the handicap zones who aren't valid to do so.
    Their reponse is usually, "but I'm only going to be in there a minute"

    To which I repond,"and in that minute if an elderly person who truly deserves this spot arrives, it's not available is it?
    Naturally they get, but I've nevr had anybody NOT move. If they hesitate I call the cops.


    Keep kickin 'em in the ASS, then, Spin 'em around and Kick 'em in the BALLS!

    If they don't wake up after that, it's time to get rid of 'em!

  25. Few things are quite as much fun as boxing in a speeder behind a "slow mover".
    Watching their frustration level rise, as you drive on, seemingly unaware of their growing anger.

    But then again, I drive pickup trucks an SUVs at the speed limit and carry a gun.

  26. ... besides, the old reliable truck is paid off and has no collision insurance!

    ... and it's always wise to carry extra magazines!

  27. Tiger and DR,

    Nice to hear others are willing to do right.

    Now down here in FL we have gun carrying permits and a "Stand your ground law"
    If someone comes at you with bad intent, in a rage get to stand you ground with deadly's law a'biden citizens paradise.
    I carry a 12 ga Stoger double and a 1911A .45 ACP.

  28. No matter how delusional Madame Rice, the Muslims are not. Before the ink was dry on the Franco-American UNSC Resolution 1701, the Muslims were violating it. Whether President Bush likes it or not, the Muslims will provoke war in an effort to consolidate power in the ME.

    “What is certain is that – probably before the year is out – Israel will have struck at Hizbollah in south Lebanon.”

    “The big question hanging over an Israeli return to south Lebanon is whether that would provoke a war with Syria, Lebanon's Arab protector. The answer is quite possibly yes, but that such an extension of hostilities might prove welcome both to Israel and to the United States, which regards Syria as Iran's advanced post on the Mediterranean shore.”

    Why Israel will go to war again – soon

    A word to the administration: “Never put off until tomorrow what you should do today.”

  29. Oh yea DR, in Costa Rica they pull that shit all the time. I usually straddle My Landcruiser and let them have to skulk back in. One time at night, two years ago, I had a two car loads of nicas try and squeeze me to a stop, one on each side. The plan down there is to take your car , everything you have, and kill you if they feel like it.

    In my cruiser I keep an SW99 45 with three backup clips, for such occasions, I emptied one clip into the engine and hood of the car on my right, reloaded and before I got my car side window down the car on my left cut back so hard and sharp to the right behind me, he hit the door of the other car load of nicas. Damn good gun that SW99. My ears were ringing for two days.

  30. Yeah that box'n in speeders is a gass.
    ..and then watching them unravel's better than P.T. Barnum ..I keep waiting for one to stroke out (without hurting any know ..slip off into a tree at 75-85 mph. Let Newtonian physics take over. One less moron.

  31. Whit< I am heading to Central America for a week. I will be checking in.

  32. desert rat,

    re: But then again, I drive pickup trucks an SUVs at the speed limit and carry a gun.


    There is something so invigorating about the mental meltdown of a traffic scofflaw; especially with the exercise of one's rights under the First and Second Amendments. It is a lesson in Americanism as envisioned by the Founders.

  33. I agree, whit, but I am not the one that needs to be convinced.

    Lessons learned in Iraq?
    That depends upon who one talks to about it.

    For, as I have heard oh so mmany times,
    "The Military Option failed"

    For most of US, that will be the Lesson. Not that the Military Option was a half hearted effort.

    Catch & Release exemplifies the seriousness that was lacking in the enterprise, from the start.

  34. Talk about a cultural difference between the police in US and Central America. The cops that arrived to investigate the incident asked me if I had a permit for the gun, which I did. They asked to see the gun. There was a detective and two patrolman with him. They were admiring the gun so much, I asked them if they wanted to try it. We went out back and the investigation ended with all three going through a clip plinking beer bottles. I tipped them $20 each and they told me to call them if I ever needed any help.

  35. ... Springfield 1911-A1, Glock Model 36 (what a sweet little gem - fits nicely, right in my pocket, by my massive "manhood"! - a 45 naturally) The AK's nice, folding stock, a few 30 rounders.

    ... the Tigress carries the reliable S&W 357 Magnum and loves her Berretta Storm (the 45) more than me, probably.

    ... can't get her upset, that's for sure!

  36. Is it just my computer, or is the BC down again?

  37. I will be flying today, but I should be Ok . Volunteers are always welcome.

  38. I had never fired mine without mickey mouse ears and never from inside a car. The sound was painful. But it does shock and awe.

  39. Most people at the EB could readily rattle off the names of a score of WWII military and political luminaries....Here is a challenge: try the same with WWI.

    Winston Churchill, at the Admiralty, picked up the idea of "land ships" which was rejected by the British War Office and put 47 of them into the battle at Somme in September 1916. So he was the Father of the Tank.

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  41. Tiger has up some illustrative quotes at Observanda. If you lack the time, right now, to read the entire Vanity Fair piece, do read Tiger’s well chosen quotes.

    Link to Tiger

  42. Whit,
    I have a list of honey-do's that are overdue.
    I will post where time permits..I'll think we'll get by just fine.
    Thanks for the consideration.

  43. Add the Military Times publications to the list of Bush bashers, according to PoliPundit. As usual for the true believers, any criticism of the President’s exemplary performance must be motivated by malice and a subterranean Democrat agenda – what pathetic partisanship, which ill serves the military.

    The Skinny On Those Political “Military Magazines”

    Just wait until Oak Leaf gets a gander at the Vanity Fair piece. “Traitors, one and all!”

  44. BC is still down, for whomever asked, earlier, it's not just you.

  45. Westhawk has up an interesting take on the partition of Iraq.

    Iraq’s ‘Exile Express’ speeds up

    A word to the Bush admininstration: “If your adversary has dug himself into a hole, don’t hand him a ladder.”

  46. Better the 1800's then the 700's.

    You'll discount the analogies & examples, as well as the conclusions.

    While the rest of us live in the post modern world of today.

    It's the tattoos that exempify the new age, and the demise of Conservative values.
    That and the fat of America's middle class children.

  47. “First get into a business you don't understand, selling to customers who barely understand it either. Then roll out your product without adequate testing. Don't hire enough skilled people. When people notice problems, deny, obfuscate and ignore. Finally, blame your critics when it all blows up in your face.”

    This quote reminded me of something. Wonder what it was?

    Winds of Change


  48. whit and deuce are correct about this ...

    we all know things are going wrong, but it's still fixable.

    pointing out the negative is good in that it may stimulate solutions. it also identifies the culprit(s) and incompetent(s).

    what seems to be missing still is the willingness to throw the buggers out and start again with renewed vigor. you don't see it with the Repubs (forget the tragic Dems). It's got to come from us!

  49. No, no, no, rufus.

    The Iraqi we have empowered are not on our side. They ARE Islamo-fascists. They do not share the US's Goal of a multi Sectarian and multi ethnic Iraq. Plain as day.

    Read the Westhawk link allen provided. And the subsequent links there in. The Sunni are departing Iraq at a rate of 3,000 per day, as the ISF takes over the Security role. This exudus will destabilize Jordan, the premier destination of the exiles. The Mohammedans are training in Iraq and then migrating across the Mohammedan Arc, spreading Jihad as the go.

    There is, was, a basic flaw in the US strategy in Iraq. We are empowering our Enemy. Unless Mr al-Sadr and his cohort is now considered our Ally.

    Perhaps the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution Iraq is really our friend and ally in the Mohammedan Wars, too. They and Mr al-Sadr call the shots, through their spokesperson, Mr Maliki in Iraq.

  50. Name the firms rufus that are linig up to spend billions in Iraq, outside of Kurdistan.

    I'll be selling off those companies shares, ASAP.

  51. Russia will milk the Iranians for contract dollars, and when the construction is almost complete, the hammer will be allowed to come down.

  52. In defending Mr. Rumsfeld, the Republican leader has shot his party in the other foot.

    “ Boehner said, ‘Let's not blame what's happening in Iraq on Rumsfeld.’"

    “ Blitzer replied, ‘But he's in charge of the military.’"

    [Boehner], "The fact is, the generals on the ground are in charge, and he works closely with them and the president…”


    The President is right!!!!! EVERYONE else is wrong!!!!!

  53. It has been my opinion that America's generals in Iraq and Afghanistan have been willing to feather their nests at the expense of their troops and to the detriment of the United States. Given the recent comments of Mr. Boehner, these generals are about to learn the price of prostitution.

  54. What is the Cancer, in Iraq, rufus?

  55. Those brave Generals, like General Sanchez, have done a great job.
    Wonder what a botched Occupation would have looked like?

  56. Yeah, rufus, my grandfather looked terrible after the Doctors removed his jaw, destroying his self esteem until he died, five months later.

  57. Sometimes the patient is terminal, despite the doctors best efforts

  58. but it's not longer aQ or terrorists that our the object of our attention, it's the Shia militias.

    They oppose the Baathists, so why are we after them?

  59. 20% of the Iraqi population lives in Baghdad. Half of Baghdad's population lives in Sadr City area of Baghdad, a no go zone for US, now.
    The areas that have been turned over to the Iraqi contain less than 5% of the population.
    All those "peaceful" districts in the south are, for the most part, empty.
    Kurdistan of course, with it's 20% of the total population is secure, but they do not fly the Iraqi flag.
    What does that tell US?

  60. Afain, it's Dan Rather's fault. He and Walter, the source of all US challenges in the World.

    Not the Generals, not the troops, not the SecDef, not the President. It's all Neil Cavuto's and Bill O'Reilly's fault.

  61. Biving the "Lead" to Islamo-fascists. That's the measure of success?
    Security in Baghdad, Route Irish in particular is the measure of success, we have failed at that for three and a half years.

    If giving Control or the "Lead" to the Islamo-fascists is considered success, we could leave now.

    But that would be a disaster, because the majority will kill off the minority, a failure for US Policy.

  62. Without a doubt.
    He, Mr al-Sadr, Mr. Abdul Aziz al-Hakim and the Parties they represent, SCIRI & Dawa.
    All in al the entire UIA is beset by Islamo-fascists, take a gander at their names
    The 16 other parties to the list are: the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI); the Islamic Al-Da'wah Party (both branches); the Islamic Virtue Party; the Badr Organization; the Justice (Al-Adalah) Party; the Islamic Hope Organization; the Hizballah Movement in Iraq; the Masters of the Martyrs Movement; the Central Grouping Party; the Iraqi Turkoman Loyalty Movement; the Islamic Union of Iraqi Turkomans; the Justice and Equality Grouping; the Reform and Construction Gathering; the Iraqi Democrats Movement; and the Free Iraqis Party.

    Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI); the Islamic Al-Da'wah Party (both branches); the Islamic Virtue Party; the Badr Organization; the Justice (Al-Adalah) Party; the Hizballah Movement in Iraq; the Masters of the Martyrs Movement

    Those fellows are all democrats, sure.

  63. Afetr reading the Vanity Fair article featuring the neocons the old HST maxim,"The Buck Stops Here" kept looping in my mind....wait this just in...

    Man with 10-year erection may not get his cash.
    PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A former handyman from North Providence who won more than $400,000 in a lawsuit over a malfunctioning penile implant may not get the money after a judge dismissed his claim.
    Superior Court Judge Edward C. Clifton on Monday granted a request by the implant manufacturer's insurer to dismiss Charles "Chick" Lennon's claim, which his lawyers say will amount to $1 million with interest included.
    The implant has caused Lennon to have an erection for 10 years.......ok where was I, oh yeah looping in my head..I think the Buck does Stop At Bushes Desk..however I think he moves it from one pile of papers to the other, or someone is playing "hide the buck" whichever it is the buck on the street only has a lifespan of about eighteen months 10 years ..wonder if the guy wore a trenchcoat all the time?

  64. Rufus,
    Need your brain and knowledge.

    Why in your opinion have we since 1973 not been able to develop a large viable alternative fuel industry?
    Is it big oil blocking the path?
    Be interested in gaining some of your insight.

  65. Islam is, by definition a fascist ideology.
    Everyone must submit to the "order" as described by and in the Koran, or they're not Islamic.
    Christianity went through a reformation after the Crusades, and became, politically secular, the Mohammedans have not.

    There are many Mosques in Germany, not one church in the KSA.

  66. You all can be sure that the publication of an editorial by the most conservative publication in the world, demanding Mr. Rumsfeld's resignaton, would lead to its being branded as tainted by the true believers. The true believers aren't about to let their lying eyes fool them. It is, after all, the best of all possible worlds.

    No wonder the US is in such a sorry state. There are fanatics all around.

    Iraq and Afghanistan are SCREWED UP. The buck stops with the President. Live with it. Sheesh

  67. How well I remember the tenor of the conservative blogs at the beginning of the year. Yes, the conventional wisdom saw an attack on Iran in short order. Even the sagacious Spengler, despite reservations of the President's intellectual firepower, saw an attack coming in August, with a fallback plan calling for a strike prior to the mid-term election. Well, it didn't happen and it isn't going to happen. We must learn to live with that.

    For the second time in my life, the United States will be defeated by academics, political carpetbaggers, and effete dilettantes who lust for office, absent the skills or intellect to use power.

    Real leadership competent enough to handle war is rare. Men like Washington, Lincoln, and Roosevelt are sui generis. While I look to 2008 for some indication of such a personality rising to public attention, I am not hopeful. Therefore, unless and until such a leader comes forward, we will just have to muddle through, perhaps slouching toward Gomorrah.

  68. To be so screwed up, Rufus, the three gentlemen saw the country to victory. Of course, the three gentlemen knew the meaning of victory and meant what they said. I do understand that to true believers all were lackeys compared to Mr. Bush.

    Yes, war is one uncertainty and foul-up after another. When coupled with an utter lack of courage and conviction, defeat is almost guaranteed.

    Assuming Republican victory in this election, what will the government do differently?

  69. They'll take Mr Baker's advise and arrange talks with Doc Assad and Abracadbra, begging forgiveness and seeking their aid, to stabilize Iraq.

    Or perhaps they'll have US stage a Coup, Diem redux. After all that Course turned out so well for US, in 'Nam.

    Meanwhile the Projectionists say the US will get tough, later, in March or April of '07, if Ms Pelosi gives her permission.

    habu's time table of a preElection strike seems to be slipping away from US.
    Tick tock tick

  70. After the Election, the next "deadline" is 31 Dec'06, the reauthorization of Occupatioon.

    That'll be interesting if the Dems have the House, on the 1st of Jan '07. Means Mr Bush & Ms Rice will have to get a move on

  71. Yeah, it's working great, for Mr al-Sadr and the gang.

  72. rufus said...
    I'm telling you, This could be HUGE!

    Chavez Could Lose. This march has to have a MILLION PEOPLE.

    2:54 PM

    Puta, We stop and get this good news!!!