“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 22, 2006

Nato in Afghanistan. Waiting For a Timid Germany or a Timid President

While we focus on the three options for Iraq and wait to see if George W. Bush was gelded by the last election, here's some news on Afghanistan and NATO.

Tony Blair this week reassured Afghanistan that the British were "in for the long haul" and their support would include the economic considerations to develop an Afghan economy. That's a lot to promise, especially in the wake of Iraq. If Iraq goes down, Afghanistan will soon follow. But in the meantime...

They don't like to talk about it so we will, Canadian troops are doing a fine job in Afghanistan, and we here in the US appreciate their service.

From this November 3 Globe and Mail article:
Last month, NATO's supreme allied commander, General James Jones, more than doubled the previous estimate of Taliban losses in the major Canadian-led offensive known as Operation Medusa.

"I would say it's probably somewhere in the neighbourhood of around 1,000. . . . If you said 1,500, it wouldn't surprise me," he said. He even suggested that as many as a third of the Taliban's core of full-time fighters might have been killed.

At a recent NATO meeting in VANCOUVER, British Columbia The U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry said that NATO could be in for an extended stay in the central Asian nation and called on member nations to be patient. He also:
"...urged the global community to devote more resources to the rebuilding of the country as it struggles to contain a resurgent Taliban militia."

"We need perseverance," Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry told the Asia Pacific Summit in Vancouver.

"We cannot win this in a year. We cannot win this in two years," he said via satellite from the U.S. Embassy in Vienna.
Unfortunately, a majority of Canadians want to leave Afghanistan. If US Democrats precipitate a "redeployment" from Iraq, the Canadian public will undoubtedly demand the same for their troops in Afghanistan.
After the recent missle attack on a Pakistani madrassa, Asia Times reported some encouraging news that NATO has instituted a hot pursuit policy.
KARACHI - The air attack on Monday in which up to 80 suspected militants were killed at a religious school in the Pakistani tribal area of Bajour marks the first successful operation after a tripartite meeting in Kabul on August 24 of representatives of Afghanistan, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Pakistan. And it won't be the last.

It was agreed at that meeting that NATO forces operating in Afghanistan would be allowed to conduct hot-pursuit operations across the border into Pakistan.
According to the Asia Times NATO is fighting the wrong battle in Afghanistan because;
  • Because the Taliban are honest and not corrupt, their popularity is growing.
  • The Taliban are the unofficial army of the Western tribes of Pakistan.
  • The Taliban treat the Aghanis with respect.
  • Western intelligence consistently underestimates their strength and size.
  • The Taliban do not have a close liaison with Bin Laden and Zawahiri.
  • Military success is irrelevant to political success:

    It is easy to see what makes victory over the Taliban almost impossible. Colonel Oleg Kulakov, a Soviet war veteran who served for five years in Afghanistan and teaches at the Russian military academy, recalled a few days ago that "there was no task the Soviet armed forces were assigned and failed to carry out. However, the achievements at the battalion and brigade level could not be turned into political success." Almost all war correspondents currently reporting from Afghanistan agree with the assessment that battlefield victory is becoming almost irrelevant.
  • The Asia Times seems to be leftist (definitely anti-Bush) and the "Taliban are kind" is totally disingenuous, but the corruption problem is real and probably too deeply and intractably rooted into the culture for us to fix. From a November 2, Reuters story:
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defeating the resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan will require President Hamid Karzai to lead a new anti-corruption campaign that can stop disillusioned Afghans from turning to extremism, a report released on Thursday said.

    The report by the Brussels-based International Crisis Group said ordinary Afghans have seen five years of often corrupt leadership in the provinces since the Taliban government fell to U.S.-led forces in retaliation for the September 11 attacks.
    The silent partner of NATO in Afghanistan has got to be Germany. Everyone in Afghanistan have been asking each other, "Have you seen the Germans lately?" From Der Spiegel On-line.
    November 20, 2006
    "The Germans Have to Learn How to Kill"

    By Konstantin von Hammerstein, Hans Hoyng, Hans-Jürgen Schlamp and Alexander Szandar

    The situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate -- and NATO is squabbling about who is to blame. Some countries are tired of taking casualties while others, like the Germans in the north, refuse to get involved in the fighting.
    This is a fairly long article on Germany's involvement with NATO and its role in Afghanistan. Speigel sees the situation as one that the Germans will have to face up to or come under increasing and more public criticism from its allies. The problem with the Germans is that they will not fight.
    While Canadian, Dutch, British and American troops are waging war in southern Afghanistan, the Germans have established themselves in the country's relatively peaceful north. Their objective there is to address the task of reconstruction in the shattered country -- acting, in essence, as armed social workers with the authority of village cops.

    It is a division of labor that will be politically difficult to sustain much longer. Berlin's allies are beginning to demand that the Germans join them at the front. Berlin, for its part, has been just as adamant in opposing any change to the status quo. Last week three members of the cabinet -- the chancellor, the foreign minister and the defense minister -- reiterated the Merkel Administration's opposition to deploying German troops in Afghanistan's more volatile south.
    German politicians see their Bundeswehr as armed social workers. According to Der Speigel, the Germans are about to get a dose of Euro realism.
    But now, after decades of displaying willingness to accept that Germany needed time to return to normalcy, Germany's NATO partners are becoming impatient. Their fear of a rebirth of German militarism has given way to a need for more German involvement -- and the days of German postwar pacifism could well be numbered.

    The upshot is that Berlin may be entering the final phase of its return to the international stage, one in which German soldiers could soon embark on combat missions where they will shoot and be shot at. The question now is whether Germany is ready -- emotionally, politically and militarily -- for war.
    Judging by the German metrosexual response to the skull scandal, Germany's "girlie-men" politicians are in for a rude awakening. Part Two goes on to detail the nature of the criticism which draw the Germans into a more actively aggressive role:
    The Canadians have been especially clear. Of a total of 33,000 soldiers in the Canadian military, more than 2,000 are stationed in Afghanistan -- "with their backs to the wall," say the Canadians. It is high time, they added, for the Germans to abandon their bunks and learn "to kill Taliban."

    The Germans were also criticized at a meeting of NATO parliamentarians in Quebec, Canada last Thursday. In a debate over national caveats -- limits imposed by some countries on what their soldiers in Afghanistan can be asked to do -- Bruce George, the chairman of the defense committee in Britain's House of Commons, and Labour MP Frank Cook vented their anger against the German allies. Some drink tea and beer, while others risk their lives, George fumed.

    Cook told the group about of an incident in which, during "Operation Medusa," the ISAF commander-in-chief requested assistance for the beleaguered Canadians. "Five nations refused," he said indignantly, while at first declining to name the five. But then he described the specifics of the incident. According to Cook, a German commander said that although there were soldiers available under his command, Berlin had refused to authorize their deployment. Twelve Canadian soldiers, Cook said, were then killed in the operation in Afghanistan's Panjwai District.

    The German government was quick to rebuff the accusations on Friday, with the defense ministry insisting that "such a request was never issued."

    But the damage had been done, and the German parliamentarians were promptly taken to task in Quebec. "Our soldiers are dying while yours are drinking beer," Rainer Stinner, a member of the German parliament and of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) said in summarizing the essence of the accusations.

    Speigel quotes Brent Scowcroft as saying that defeat in Afghanistan will be the deathknell of NATO. I would tend to agree with that, particularly if the Germans do not join its allies who are dying in Afghanistan, it should expect no help from those allies in the future.

    Buried in the Speigel article is an interesting and disturbing revelation. I'm sure that it nothing new. Eisenhower had his own list of political do's and don'ts but it still rankles...
    The chaos is already evident at the "Strategic Direction Center," the heart of NATO's military machine in Mons. This is where all foreign missions are prepared and managed, and where the various responsibilities of units from a wide range of countries are coordinated. But when Colonel David Short and his strategists bend over a map of Afghanistan to plan troop movements, the factors they must take into account are not just geographic or military. A notebook, always within reach, contains the political factors -- and they take precedence.

    The book is marked "Confidential," and it cannot be removed from the room or even photocopied. It contains 102 clauses that regulate the latitude for deployments and movements of the various national troop contingents. British soldiers, for example, are not to be sent to the north, Turkish troops can only be deployed in the Kabul region, and Germans can be sent to the dangerous south and east only under certain conditions -- conditions stipulated by the Bundestag when it approved Germany's participation in the Afghanistan mission.

    The Speigel goes on to set out a laundry list of reasons why the whole enterprise could go down. We are at a low point in the ebb and flow; a dangerous point where the air of defeat could turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. The situation in the middle east, is particularly unsettling this week with way too much uncertainty. As George Bush appears to have lost his will, the Iranians and Syria perhaps sensing his weakness have cut down another "cedar" in Lebanon and seem to be daring the world to do something about it. Another tree has been cut down and when you need them the most, the eco-wimps are nowhere to be found. The Persian and Syrian bullies are cruising the beach and the speedo wearing Euros have headed over the dunes. Now the bullies are kicking sand in George Bush's face and unless, he's thrown in the towel, he's got to get up off the beach and knock the hell out of the bullies or just roll over and be marked forever as a wimp.

    It's time to act decisively now Mr. President, with no more platitudes, no more diplomatic bravo sierra, no more empty threats. They sent you a message. You've got to send them an even bigger one.

    That's where we're at. What's it going to be, Tex?


    1. The graphic is nice, kinda understated but dynamic.

      The ebb tide before the Tsunami crashes ashore, or just that of a giant flushing in DC?

      I've never seen a Tsunami come ashore, but DC has flushed more than once, in my time.

    2. Whit, in a recent interview at DW radio one answer to one question is very telling about Germany:

      In an interview with DW-RADIO, Klaus Reinhardt, the former commander of the KFOR peacekeeping force in the Balkans, criticizes the German government for lacking a strategy in its deployments of the Bundeswehr.

      DW-RADIO: What would you say is the main problem with the Bundeswehr's missions abroad?

      Reinhardt: Post-conflict operations have degenerated too much into military operations, rather than into combined civil-military operations. In the first phase, the military should provide for internal and external security. If you see how we do this today in our deployments, be it in Bosnia, be it in Iraq or Afghanistan, these things are not coordinated enough.

      I had to read that a couple of times,"Post-conflict operations have degenerated too much into military operations". Last time I checked this is hardly post-conflict. How is the military degenerating into the military? Germany has a long way to go to reestablish herself as a military power.

    3. No, duece, major combat operations were over. Then the Germans signed on. Now the situation on the ground is deteriorating, the Germans did not and will not sign on to fight the Taliban. That is what was said, plain as day.

      The first Combat Op that NATO undertakes in the fifty plus years of its existence cracks it like an egg.

      What about that NATO force to Darfur that Mr Bush and his foreign service team floated over a year ago? When do they go wheels up?

      The US spending on military dwarfs all the other NATO members, combined. There is no one, but US.
      Not that can be counted upon, every time.

    4. Bombing of the King David Hotel by Jewish terrorist organization.

      Bombing of King David Hotel

    5. Should we start on about the US Liberty, as well, habu?

    6. The Irgun Jewish terrorists.

      Irgun terrorists

      1940 Top Ten Most Wanted
      Most Wanted

    7. rat, go right ahead and tell the folks how the israli attacked what they knew was a US Navy vessel andkilled our men.
      Then move on to Jon Pollard..all yours rat

    8. rat,

      quick word association..

      i say up you say______
      i say stop you say
      say left say
      say big say

      what a buzz kill

    9. desert rat wrote:

      What about that NATO force to Darfur that Mr Bush and his foreign service team floated over a year ago? When do they go wheels up?

      The same day a refugee pounds a tent peg into the ground and a black stream of Texas Tea comes spurting out.

    10. Well, i don't want to pursue a sore subject, but, this is a great article on USA/Israel alliance, pro/con, to bookmark and read sometime when the time is right.

    11. Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed
      A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed,
      Then one day he was shootin at some food,
      And up through the ground came a bubblin crude.

      Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea.

      Well the first thing you know ol Jed's a millionaire,
      Kinfolk said "Jed move away from there"
      Said "Californy is the place you ought to be"
      So they loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly.

      Hills, that is. Swimmin pools, movie stars.

      Well now its time to say good by to Jed and all his kin.
      And they would like to thank you folks fer kindly droppin in.
      You're all invited back a gain to this locality
      To have a heapin helpin of their hospitality

      Hillybilly that is. Set a spell, Take your shoes off.

      Y'all come back now, y'hear?.

    12. The 2002 State of Union
      ... These enemies view the entire world as a battlefield, and we must pursue them wherever they are. (Applause.) 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. (Applause.)
      Our nation will continue to be steadfast and patient and persistent in the pursuit of two great objectives. First, we will shut down terrorist camps, disrupt terrorist plans, and bring terrorists to justice. And, second, we must prevent the terrorists and regimes who seek chemical, biological or nuclear weapons from threatening the United States and the world.

      (Applause) ..."

      Now this post 9-11 speach can be deconstructed line by line, and checked against the realities that confront US now.
      And it is funny, that no where in the speach does Mr Bush make OIL part of the qualifications required to be worthy of US action.

    13. rufus is right, transistor--this is a blog--not a policy-making meeting.

    14. This must be more Israeli terrorism I support. My reporting this story is, of course, misrepresentation. Bush rules! Or as was once written of Clapton, “Bush is God.”

      “Syrian UN envoy Bashar Al-Jaafari on Tuesday denied his country's involvement in the assassination earlier today of Lebanese Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel and accused Israel of committing such a ‘horrible crime.’"

      A hat tip to the Zionist slut Pamela at Atlas Shrugs


      re: President's ass

      That says it all.

    15. allen said...

      re: you sure wrote alot for Jewish terrorism not to mean anything

      What does this mean?! Perhaps you will be kind enough to provide an example by way of refreshment.

      5:26 PM, November 22, 2006

      allen said...
      Did or did not Mr. Bush provide 3,000 M-16s and one million rounds of ammunition to the Palestinians?

      5:28 PM, November 22, 2006

      allen said...

      Not to worry, the answer to every problem is nuclear. That will probably include us before the evening is out. Of course, comments can always be disabled if things get too rough.

      What I want to know is the identity of the cabal responsible for the McKinley assassination, which heralded the beginning of the Progressive Age.

      Oh, and as soon as things become so evident that even Rufus catches on, you can bet he will be the first to say he say it coming all along.

      5:34 PM, November 22, 2006

      allen said...
      Just to be clear, the President was against nation building, before he was for it, before the Baker Boys were against it.

      5:36 PM, November 22, 2006

      allen said...
      "Davis' air assets - which included AC-130 gunships and F-16s - were not allowed to fire near the two historic mosques from which the militia had staged its attack. His options limited, Davis used the aircraft for reconnaissance."

      Note, the air assets WERE NOT allowed to fire in 2004. Note, the air assets are STILL not allowed to fire in 2006. Is that a MISREPRESENTATION or a fact?

      The quote comes from a story covering the award of M/Sgt. Davis’ second Bronze Star with V device. He is now on his SIXTH tour.

      5:42 PM, November 22, 2006

      allen said...

      re: We nation built in Germany and Japan for years, and years after WWII, and the Conservatives bitched, and bitched, and I'm Damned Glad we did.

      That is no more an answer to my question than your saying you like turkey and pumpkin pie. You can do better, right?

      Feel free to answer at your leisure or just scuttle off to another blog or thread.

    16. whit said:

      She can be quite witty when she wishes.

      Thank you whit. Generally, when I'm in one of my snits and I hain't talking to most of the
      E-Barflies, it's hard to shine. But snits come and go.

    17. Is there any resource more important to us in our daily lives than oil?

      C'mon - I know its a shameful chemical among the superstitious, the victorians of our day. But our own clerics are just as retarded as the retarded clerics of other ages, of other epistemes. This time, they've no divinity to point to. No, their rapture comes from reason.

      America has made oil into all sorts of stuff. Don't let it be appropriated and made into a scourge by people who revulse at the site of SUVs (who are curiously ambivalent to sports cars).

      As Rufus' may posts point out, oil and gasoline are not easy things to replace. Theres all sorts of specifications for a replacement and that bar is set pretty high. If we all want to live like Luddite Mongolian farmers, well fuck the hydrocarbons - well, all those except the ones we use in sugar, and then ethanol - well, lets just say all hydrocarbons are equal except those damned RINGS, those M********** ALKANES ARE EVIL MAN

      Must we only fight for abstractions?

      Probably yet another mistake made in the propaganda wars.

      Deuce and Whit, can we have a Turkey Day Eve thread - for the army of davids to exchange recipes and well wishing? Ever since that Rufus Burger, ive become interested in the culinary pursuits of members

    18. rufus,

      This will be the third time during the past week I have asked YOU this question.


      Did the Bush administration provide the Palestinians with 3,000 M-16s and one million rounds of ammunition?

    19. rufus,


      What has 9/11 to do with nation building? Did December 7, 1941 and the subsequent German declaration of war have something to do with nation building?

      The paragraph contains TWO questions, I know. Take your time.

    20. It may be a good point to protest how easily we give in to idea that a valuable natural resource is evil.

      Shitty poets and artists make fancy addiction metaphors and guilted, shamed idiots are ready to lap it up.

      I think laughter is important, Rufus, but lets laugh at the right things, like the proto-Muslims in our midst.

      All them liberal agnostic boomers may find themselves at Islams door; why it guarantees even more money for them if they get up high on the heirarchy. It has the semblance of religious meaning. It has a simple and formal praxis. Free trip to the Kingdom of Saud.

      I'm just waiting for the NPR story - Islamic hospices, an Imam to issue a Fatwa against further chemo (for a price), so that your choices may conform to Islam, your mind having abandoned reason.

      Won't be able to do Habu's revolution, cuz theyll all be the village elders and the favored urban youths.

    21. Rufus, if you were Muslim, you wouldnt have to put up with the rhetorical trickery of Allen's words. Theyre like textual trichinosis.

      Big money to be made in halal ethanol farms.

    22. rufus,

      Please, read the following and tell, if you can, whether or not you agree with the 2004 and 2006 "Rules of Engagement"?

      Question number two, in this series would be:

      Question #2:

      At what level of command do you think the 2004 and 2006 "Rules of Engagement" were endorsed?

      Question #3:

      Had Mr. Clinton's administration endorsed such "Rules of Engagement", would he have been wrong?

    23. rufus,

      Do you consider the pointing out by me of "Rules of Engagement" that place American troops at risk "bitching"?

    24. Weapons are fungible and know no owner, anyone can fire one of those M-16s.
      The overall supply of weapons increased in Palistine by 3,000 units, with 3,333 rounds per weapon.

      This frees up weapons that Mr Abbas would have gotten from the Palistinian stockpile, these previously existing weapons, now to be used by Hamas. It also presumes that Mr Abbas will remain more "moderate" than Mr Arafat ever was. What guarentee is there of that, other than none?

    25. rufus,

      If you knew I went to the Belmont Club the other night, you also know why: my comments were blocked on this site. That is one way to handle rhetorical trickery, I suppose. It is also a convenient way for low-brows to avoid debate.

    26. ppab,

      Is a Palestinian youth who blows himself in an Israeli pizza parlor a terrorist or a freedom fighter? Ash has already weighed in, but the question cannot be asked often enough, when in doubt.

    27. For the diehards, has the US State Department released to the Palestinians $240 - $300 million in aid since the election of Hamas?

    28. To the diehards, was Israel responsible for the murder of Mr. Gemayel as stated by the quasi-US ally Syria?

    29. To the diehards, should the US take on Syria and Iran as Iraq peace partners?

    30. To all, please pardon my obivous rhetorical trickery.

    31. Victor David Hanson is speaking to Mr Hewitt.

      I think a lot of us, Hugh, stood by this administration through thick and thin when the paleocons turned on them, when the liberal hawks turned on them, when the neocons are starting to bail. But my God, if you're going to go into the Middle East, and put 130,000 Americans in harm's way, fighting for democracy, and then you turn around and you appease those two governments who are killing people, I don't think a lot of us are going to stand for that.

      HH: Is this an Archduke Ferdinand moment with the assassination of Gemayel?

      VDH: I think it may be. I really do. I think that Syria realizes that as soon as they saw that the United States was going to cease pressure on them, it was time to go in and start killing non-Shia politicians, reporters especially. They've killed journalists, they've killed's not just this Gemayel. It's not just a Christian politician. They've been doing this for two years, killing, systematically, any critics. And they sense that they get a green light from us when we pull back. And I think it should be a wake up call for the United States, that when you go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, you don't go to war in a half measure. You either go to war or you don't go to war. And we're in a war in Iraq, and we're in war with, as the President said, Islamic-facism, and autocracy and dictatorship, and there's no better examples than Iran and Syria.

      But a nonnuclear strategy is required. I presented mine years ago, being told it would lead to War and Instability. But a conventional War we could possibly win.

      The habu strategy is to call, loudly, for what will never be, then belittle any constructive proposal. When the proposals are finally adopted by the Army, dismiss the possibility of their success.
      Then claim those that do not support preemptive nuclear strikes are defeatists.

    32. rufus,

      re: Take a deep breath

      Physician heal thyself.

    33. More VDH
      He'll be off the approved reaading list before you know it.

      VDH: I think he does, but let's be candid, Hugh. The problem right now isn' may be the left wing Congress, but he's (Mr Bush) got another problem, and that is he's bringing in Robert Gates, and he's bringing in the Baker realism, and that doesn't have a good record. That's the people who said don't talk to Yeltsin. Let's stick with Gorbacev. Let's not go to Baghdad. Let the Shia and Kurds die. Let's arm the Islamisists to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan and then leave. It's not a good record. It's short-term expediency at the expense of long-term morality. And it's not in the interest of the United States to do that, to cut a deal with these countries.

    34. Well then, rufus, just a few uniforms, maybe 500 or 3,000, the right weapon in hand, makes visual identification of the enemy much more difficult.
      The sight and sound of the AK different than a M-16.

      The nightmare of the Buldge:
      We had been warned that Germans posing as Americans had been spotted in our area. Jerry was constantly trying to infiltrate our lines. The Krauts knew ten soldiers marauding behind the lines were worth at least fifty confronting the enemy head on. There were numerous reports of infiltrators destroying supply dumps, bridges and communication centers. Enemy infiltrators had, during the Battle of The Bulge, become a fact of life.

      Naturally, the rumor mill bristled with stories of Germans in American uniforms, walking or riding in captured vehicles through our lines and wreaking havoc. Our sentries were being fooled because the Germans spoke flawless English. During the Bulge, the Krauts became so brazen that daytime penetrations of our lines were not uncommon.

      The most widely circulated story was that over a hundred Germans dressed as Yanks were allowed to pass through our sentries into an American held town. Somehow the officer at the front of the column convinced the guards that their outfit had just been relieved, after spending over a week on the front lines. He told the sentries that they had lost their way in the dark and asked directions to the regimental HQs.

      As the impersonators marched through the town, the Krauts who could speak English called to and joked with the infantry outfit that were stopped on both sides of the road to allow the incoming soldiers to pass through. As the story went, the German infiltrators were halted at an intersection to allow a convoy to pass. As luck would have it, during the stop, a Kraut bent down to tie his shoe. When the column moved forward, the soldier behind stumbled over him, they went ass over tea kettle, and cursed in German. The Americans blasted away, and the Krauts that weren't killed surrendered. Rumor had it that the American soldiers who lined the streets became suspicious because the masquerading Krauts were too frivolous, spoke perfect English, and never uttered a cuss word or slang expression. In the movies soldiers acted like this, but not battle weary GI's returning from the front.

      Urban legend? I'm not sure, but does it meet the 1% Threat Standard, no doubt of that.

    35. Do the Israeli use M-16s? Less and less.

    36. On a less belicose note:

      Woman Catholic said...
      cosmo said:

      Question: Since all military assets of our enemy may soon feature so-called 'human shields' to forestall Western action or retalliation, should such volunteers be considered battlefield belligerents?

      Air-to-ground attack assets should be sortied in direct proportion to the number of 'human shields' present, since this automatically gives a reading of what value the enemy assigns that target.
      11/22/2006 11:45:56 AM

      ”Don’t nuke Muslims” Church Lady

    37. Looks like Star Wars trooper gear, mat.

      Bet the Palis do not have any of those.

    38. Church Lady might want to rethink that firing on human shields thing.

      "Father Peter Dougherty, 65, left, and Sister Mary Ellen Gundeck, 55, right, both Michigan-based peace activists, sit on the roof top of the house of Mohammed weil Baroud, leader of the Popular Resistance Committees that Israel targeted for destruction..."

      Baby, It's So Easy


    39. The Tavor is gas operated, using rotating bolt action. All types use standard NATO 5.56mm ammunition. This might complicate Palliwood forensics now that they have M16s.

    40. DR,

      The guys at Power Line are likely to be added to the hate list, if they keep this up.



      You gotta stop with those negative vibes, man.

    41. Rufus,

      M16 effective range 550m
      Tavor effective range 500m
      Tavor maximum range 3600m

      via Wiki

    42. Want to know the "Real Deal"
      follow the money.

    43. Rufus,

      Have a look here:

    44. 300m head-shot standing up. Not good?

    45. The Tavor solves the reliability and ergonomics problems of the M16. Re: AK-47. Hope you're in good terms with Putin 'cause you'll need to use Russian ammunition for those. :)

    46. Only able to deliver a few votes but never held office...

      ever notice the number of times our imperious rat starts his reponses with..
      NO, duece
      NO, rufus
      It's reflexive I suppose. Either that or he is NostRatdumass who knows all sees all.
      If we wait long enough we'll all see how smart he is. The entire JCS,the President,SecState,SecDef will be presenting him with the Order of the Grand Seer.
      BTW you offered to tell the tale of the Jews attacking the USS failed so here goes

      Jews attack USS LIBERTY

      This of course after keeping their ass safe since the end of WWII. GUns, trillions in aid...thanks

    47. Allen,
      Will the Jews attack Iran? Will they allow the USA to once again pull their chestnuts out of the fire?
      Is there any controversy in Israel over the course other future? What happen to them in Lebanon this last time?
      this of course is all George Bush's fault because he hasn't solved the most intractible problem in the world for the last 60 years within four years.
      You of course have better intell, better advice,more international balls in the air than he does, not to mention the same great harmony in our Congress that exists in the Knesset.
      Yeah hard to believe he just didn't get every step right the very first time.
      Say ever used a pencil?
      Ever used the eraser on the other end? Didn't think so cause you're right, like NostRatmyass, all the time.
      Why isn't your inflamed ass back in Israel do'in some work for the homeland?

    48. M-14 & a .45 ACP The Delta's Seals, etc are all going back to weapons that kill instead of just annoy.
      Rufus hit that in the sweet spot for a walk off HR.

    49. Habu1,

      I can't speak for Allen, but the US has 4 carrier groups parked off Iranian shores. How many does Iran have parked off US shores? So what's the problem?

    50. allen said,rufus,

      "If you knew I went to the Belmont Club the other night, you also know why: my comments were blocked on this site. That is one way to handle rhetorical trickery, I suppose. It is also a convenient way for low-brows to avoid debate.'

      Whit and I use the software supplied by blogger. I can tell you that I know of no way to block an individual's comments. If I did know, I would not do it based on opinion. I can speak for whit and tell you that if he knew how to do it, he would not.

      After the fact, we can delete comments. To date we have deleted spammed advertisements for one thing or another which are bots. They are not interesting. I accidently erasede an entire post by accident. I think I screwed up one of whit'e posts because I was working on it the same time he was. there is no way we can tell it is happening.

      there was an incident where an anonymous commenter was using all sorts of racial epithets. They were offensive and of no value. I deleted them. I also was suspicious of some comments by Redaktor and erased them because I thought someone had posted them other than him. I believe whit and I discussed that on the phone. redaktor was as hot as a firecracker and tore me a new asshole for doing it. I was wrong and told him as much,

      I have stated the policy many times and it is simple: If you are comfortable typing something that would not get your ass kicked if you said it in a bar and in person it is acceptable. There is no way that I am aware of that we can block one individual. If it can be done, neither whit nor I would do it.

      We both appreciate all of you and do not agree with any of you all the time. Whit and I do not agree with each other on many issues. My advice is simple: argue well, argue smart, argue in a way that you can defend your arguemnt. Do not say things you will regret. If you do, apologize when you see you did wrong.

      Lock and load, and just for the record I can kick everyone of your asses.

    51. rufus said:

      Tranz, energy is a BIG part of world calculus. It's what allows us (and the Chinese, and the Indians, and the Europeans) to feed our children.

      A gentle poke in the ribs evokes the humor of self-recognition in those who are sufficiently confident of where they stand that they do not feel threatened by a contrary voice, even a meek one.

    52. Why would anyone call off an attack on a legit target because there are human shields there. That's insane.

      There's only one answer. You "soften" up the target with a hydrogen bomb and then move on to the next item on the list.

      Why haven't we killed al Sadr..any good sniper could take the guy down on the cheap...or...we could soften up the target with a hydrogen bomb and move on to the next item on the list.

      Why haven't the Jews bombed Syria?

      Finally why did we have to wear those gree/red glasses in 3-D movies?

    53. great seizure's ghost, what a barroom brawl. hope all the black eyes and split lips heal up ok.

      Look at this gun--that two-in-the-same-spot capability looks bad for the kevlar--

    54. Allen,

      I shouldn't have thought I could poke fun at whatever was going on between you and allen - I obviously failed to amuse or w/e

      I implied "rhetorical trickery" in the Borat sense of the term, and I wish that was more obvious.

      I'm not sure what your point on Palestinians is getting at - I'd call them terrorists, pursuant towards the point you were making to Rufus

      Also, Blogger does not allow you to block comments, unless you get really effing fancy.

    55. How many hospitals are up and running in BaggyTown?
      Do they have full electric?
      Did they ever cut those American mercenaries down from the bridge overpass?
      Shouldn't it be the pastel pink zone?
      If we lose our civilization will I still get to roam aimlessly around Montana?
      What do the Muslims with back trouble do to get there daily ass-ups in?(H/T Buddy, one of the all time lines)
      And finally, the question once again, which end of the turd is clean?

    56. i agree--there is almost nothing under the sun that can't be better with at least a try at a little humor. Even if it's gallows humor. i wish I could remember where i read about some guy in front of a firing squad--the officer asked him if he had a final request, he said "Well, a bulletproof vest would be nice".

    57. habu_1,

      While I am not obligated to do anything "over there" in order to find fault with an American president and idiots like you who would rather support a pig than their country, I suspect I have done a good deal more for both Israel and the US than you will ever do, even in your most delusional moments, Mr. Agent Man.

      Have a nice day.

    58. okay, that's all done with now--post, riposte, ririposte, ririripost, and finaly, a fully-balanced riririripost.

    59. Mətušélaḥ

      So what's the problem?
      1. that there "parked", they should be in drive
      2. there no killing anyone..I'm not particular who we've got enemies to spare in that neck of the woods..GO THERMO OR GO HOME.

    60. Whit, on friday when we put the order in for more beer and jack d, lets double up on the hard boiled eggs and we may need some extra rolls of gauze for the first aid kits.

    61. Allen,
      You only wish. I pity you fool.

      You wore a uniform and took orders..

      I got to look like a hippie at time, others not but it was all good..and I got to bust some. What was KP like in Kansas?

    62. I'm not sure you can kick my ass, 2164. I boxed golden gloves in jr.high.

    63. and that was back before gloves. it was actually 'golden mastodon skins'.

    64. Allen,
      that's why you and rat are so pathetic in your "knowing". Your certitude is built on a pile of quicksand with no reall intel ,just novels you've read about daring lives lived.

      You really don't know shit about what's going on and I'm in no way implying I do cause I know I don't...why, how..cause I did know at one time and use to listen to tongue waggers like you and rat talk shit about stuff they knew NOTHING about.

    65. i "floated like a brontosaurus, stung like a triceratops".

    66. Habu1,

      Well, they're expecting a big one in Israel. Something very high on the Richter scale. So we might go geoTHERMO after all. :)

    67. stirring up the beehive, watch 'em buzz all around an answer for that

      Hydrogen Bomb ... hell just pick any old damn Arab city, just drop the bigg'un...yeah I know Iranians ain't A-rabs..but I include them in mix right at the top

    68. yeh, he be giving me a case of shock and awe--

    69. Mətušélaḥ

      fabulous idea..hell I don't care as long as "THERMO" is somewhere on the device,tactic,taxi cab,pizza delivery truck...any chance of getting Dr. Phil to make the delivery?

    70. "float like a hymanoptera sting like amellifer scutellata"

    71. Donno 'bout Dr. Phil making delivery, but I think Dr. Jim Booya does deliver. Buddy would know more 'bout dat.

    72. habu_1

      re: USS Liberty via Wiki

      This is the best a company man can do? You didn't get very far up the food chain, did you?

      Oh, on this you and Clark Clifford are singing from the same page.

      From the same Wiki link:

      “The attack was not made in malice toward the US and was by mistake, but the failure of the IDF Headquarters and the attacking aircraft to identify the Liberty and the subsequent attacks by the torpedo boats were both incongruous and indicative of gross negligence.”

      This is why Israel paid reparations.

      By the way, nothing written here should be construed as representative of my personal opinion; I just thought the CIA’s take might prove instructive.

      A CIA report

    73. "They've retreated Habu, the field is ours"

      "Yes TantoTater, I see, our work here is done"

      (queue fortissimo part of William Tell Overture)
      Hi-Oh Away

    74. Dr. Jim Booya Cramer, all time genius of markets, if ya don't believe it just ask him!

    75. Didn't care for KP, but being a road guard for "A" shift wasn't too bad. You were done in an hour, got into the early chow hall and then rack time till fall out at 1030.

    76. ppab,

      re: I'm not sure what your point on Palestinians is getting at - I'd call them terrorists, pursuant towards the point you were making to Rufus

      I was asking you for your opinion. You have answered in lawyerly manner, but that puts me no closer to an answer.

    77. Buddy , you know anything about Hu dat?

    78. Go Thermo or go home?

      So what's the deadline this time, habu, when you're left to runnin', Mr Bush won't cut bait or fish.

      Now if mat's "right" like I've been sayin' and there is some thermo landin' in Israel, then Mr Bush has provocation and can act, I assume he would. But he has had other provocations that US have let pass, at a lesser level.

    79. Hu dat was the developer of the Henweigh, if i recall.

    80. habu_1,

      re: fool

      True, but not a fraud and a liar.

    81. Well, there's the internet for ya!

    82. everybody could be a fraud and a liar--and a tall, slim, rich, good-looking, 25 yr old one, to boot.

    83. Buddy, LOL!


      d'Rat, they're expecting an earthquake..

    84. Everyone is a dog. count on it.

      Some are thermo nuclear dogs and some are not.
      Some dogs get to play in the real world while others only dream of the total defeat of the US Policy in the Middle East, so that mass death can occur.
      Fair enough, for a dog that eats shit, wonderin' what end to start on.

    85. rufus, that, and the fact that corn price has been zooming, and is flushing the corn farmers, who are buying up current Deere inventory--

    86. An earthquake?
      What the heck, I still think the Mohammedans will nuke Haifa, or at least try.

      How do I work an earthquake into "Mohammedan Wars, the Movie" a nasty little nuke would make the storyline so much easier. Then there'd be an excuse to strike back.

    87. Why should the percent of GDP given to national defense be larger?

      Commie type, pinko fags

      That would be the Navy League, of course.

    88. don't miss the gateway story on the crystal-ball reporter.

      Two things heard here, need more info on--the earthquake, and the alien beefeaters in Montana.

    89. Is there an earthquake in the Revelations Armegedden story?
      In a more than a general way.
      Is an earthquake in Israel part of the story?

    90. Where can I get one of those 6'X9' silkoid wall hangings of Saint George the Worm Slayer?

    91. The Dow was up again today. What happened to the end of the world? Why, even that 1,000 shares of Ford is looking pretty good.

    92. that's what I was wonderin, rat--? Jeez--Revelations.

    93. d'Rat,

      Israel will lose its oil and water reserves in that quake. Doubtless that the Jihadis will not see that as an opportunity to strike.

    94. Well hell tator, guess I'll put my "good" hat on.
      Heard your kissin' cusin is missin'
      Notin' personal

    95. shares of Ford look good if you bought sometime around the middle of the year--udderwise, you has a long way to go just to git eben.

    96. Nothing cuts and runs like a Deere

    97. buddy larsen,

      re: You could have done well with Ford had you bought three weeks ago and sold three days ago.

    98. Deere better hang tough, or along comes the International Harvester.

    99. Lawyerly!?


      I've no idea what your question was now. I didnt read the entire thread, so if I missed something you thought was implied in either your question or my answer...

    100. P'tator,

      re: way down

      You speak from years of experience, I presume. Or, are you a fudge packer? Did that go with the super-spy mystique? James Bound.

    101. yeh--i don't watch it too closely, but I knew it bottomed recently. Interim bottom, anyhoo. The Tundra is hurting them, among other things.

    102. ppab,

      I am going to make this as easy as I would for the Ashmeister.

      If a Muslim walks into the Mall of the Americas and detonates a suicide vest, is he a terrorist?

      If a Muslim walks into a Jerusalem pizza parlor and detonates a suicide vest, is he a terrorist?

    103. ppab, it's your writing--it's like a Mercedes power train--that's why i imagine you got cussed fer a lawyer.

    104. ppab,

      Let me make this really simple: is the murder of Jews a bad thing or a good thing? Do you need a definition for murder and Jew?

    105. Mr. Tater,

      Thought the flag would remain obscure. You more worldly than most terrestrial bog critters that havent the luxury of migratin nowherez

      Just somethin to be thankful about I reckon

    106. Christ, Allen, what on earth makes you think you need to clarify that with me?

      What did I say?

    107. Woah woah woah

      Grouped in with ASH?

      Allen, back up. I'm utterly confused.

      I'd say both bombings you describe impell the bombed to do what's only natural, not what's advantageous along narrow political considerations.

    108. Terrorist - whatever, its a group of people seeking to harm jews or americans. Jews and Americans should eliminate the harm, taxomonies me damned. Why are you being so utterly trivial?

    109. no litmus tests needed, i don't think--

    110. Britain could complete the handover of southern Iraq to the country's security forces by next spring, Margaret Beckett, the Foreign Secretary, said yesterday.

      She expressed "confidence" that officials might be able to transfer security operations in Basra to Iraqi forces within months.

      Mrs Beckett outlined the first tentative timetable for the scaling down of British operations in Iraq. It could see British forces completing the handover in their area of operations by the time Tony Blair steps down from No 10 and help to clear the decks for Gordon Brown.

      She declared she hoped British forces would be able to hand over the Maysan province to Iraqi security forces in January, with the final handover in Basra coming by the spring. But officials insisted British troops would remain in Iraq even after control was transferred to local personnel.

    111. Whats a mercedes power train like? :/

      I'm a computer guy - guess I could ask my gearhead brother

    112. Allen,

      If a Muslim walks into a Jerusalem pizza parlor and detonates a suicide vest, is he dead. And if s/he is found in the possession of suicide vest s/he should be shot dead, right there and then. That s/he is usually not shot dead, tells you that Israel and the US are both suffering from same problem --that of seeing and believing ghost outcomes where none exist.

    113. smooth and powerful, ppab--it was a compliment!

    114. re: utterly trivial

      Could be the company I keep. In the world of post-Modern America we debate the meaning of "is". When one considers that Dr. Johnson elaborated 336 definitions of "take" with over 200 examples, that may seem rational.

      Why is it necessary to be so.
      particular? Think about it.

      By the way, the good Doctor had a dictionary to write. In years gone by, it was assumed that most educated people were aware of that - not so today.

      If I have offended you, it was for the sake of specificity. When we must debate the USS Liberty and, implicitly, the Elders of Zion, one cannot be too careful.

    115. Have not seen that, about Mr Howard.

      I'd expect to see some Brits move to Afghanistan, to support NATO. That was what Obama reccommended for US troops in Iraq, I think.

    116. Well, shucks, thank you, Buddy.

      May your thanksgiving brim with leftovers for a week or more!

      I guess I'll have to be patient for the turkey day thread - I got a heck of a story about a golf club and a wild albeit cornfed turkey (think that meets USDA organic standards...)

    117. Mat,

      The much loved Geneva Accords permit the summary execution of "terrorists" and unlawful combatants. If this is not being done, you need to speak to the folk in charge, e.g. the uninformed, manipulated Mr. Bush. I merely report; you decide. If I ran the world, it would be much like that envisioned by habu, when he is on his meds.

    118. Whack a Mohammed for a couple of months, shut the cities down until there is some sembalence of security, transfer the security mission by Nov '07.

      The overview of the December Agreement needs to be agreed upon, it is more important to the Iraqi than many here seem to want to believe.

    119. the whole nation is, tomorrow, early PM.

    120. P'tator

      re: screwin havin a baby

      That explains why much of the West is not having babies.

      You win wars. If you are so inclined you rebuild what you have destroyed. A difficult concept, to be sure, but one, nevertheless, proven by history. Of course, there are people who are far smarter than the historic lessons of thousands of years. Obviously, Mr. Bush is taking his lead from a marsupial - comforting thought.

    121. Buddy Larsen said...
      Hu dat was the developer of the Henweigh, if i recall.

      Buddy didn't he also invent the Peterfore?

    122. ah, he's a lame duck. troubles are over, it's just a countdown to the clintons now.

    123. habu_1,

      Hey, I am still waiting for some informed comment by an insider on that CIA report from Wiki. What, Wiki has no clever answer? Gosh, those GS ratings are wicked.

    124. Hm, dunno, habu, what's a peterfore?

    125. Allen if you were wood you'd be Mahogany ot Teak.

    126. Buddy,
      A peterfore babies.

      a Henweigh 'round 2-3 lbs.

      are we be rite?

    127. habu_1,

      You've covered Jews and gender, cat got your tongue? Come on, man, you are the hero of rufus and buddy, Secret Agent, Man, don't let them down. Surely, there is some depth you have not yet plumbed. There is my spouse, my children, my USMC service, don't stop now.

      Oh, care to compare DD-214s, for example.

    128. Allen,
      I've got Kissinger and Baker work'in up a sweat gett'in out a report to me. I should get it around 2010.

    129. habu_1,

      re: Mahogany ot Teak.

      But not a toothpick or toilet paper

    130. Jeez--there WILL be a lot going on wit all them heavies cooped up.

    131. Assad sure picked a funny time to go a-cabinet killin.

    132. Mr. Allen,

      When a Christian sneezes, do you bless him? Does the Holy Spirit respond to you?

      In Shangui, there is a saying:


    133. Albion's Seed re: Plymouth Plantation

      Not a GED among them

    134. hu dat?,

      What do you make of "Power comes from the barrel of a gun"?

      Do Christians sneeze? Gosh, who would have thunk? You are way to clever for me.

    135. 艾伦的耻辱服装,佩带



    136. When a Christian sneezes,
      do you bless him?

      The blessing is a prayer for God to take the booger out of his nose so it doesn't tickle him anymore.

    137. "The Clinton administration launched an attack on people in Texas because those people were religious nuts with guns. Hell, this country was founded by religious nuts with guns. Who does Bill Clinton think stepped ashore on Plymouth Rock? Peace Corps volunteers? Or maybe the people in Texas were attacked because of child abuse. But, if child abuse was the issue, why didn't Janet Reno tear-gas Woody Allen?"
      (PJ O'Rourke)
      and see the beer babe

    138. Ms. Catholic,

      There is a saying in US of A about keeping simple

      If you try to make as many tears as made in Nanking by onions alone you will face a very complicated task. not worth the effort. You see?

    139. That'll make ya fall off the wagon.

    140. oh, the quote is from "QQQ, Waco, Pilgrims. Etc" --scroll down from the beer babe, if you're able.

    141. Ms. Catholic,

      Rachel Ray has a house in Seattle. Do you ever see her? What is she like in person?

    142. WC,
      I know you don't talk to me and that's ok..but I had this one time in 12th grade where my English teacher had a booger the size of Mt. Rushmore just hang'in.
      I got elected to tell her. It was quite possibly the bravest thing I've ever done.
      Except my entire career as an Encyclopedia salesman.

    143. i tried selling Brittanica once, when a student. My mkting breakthrough was to sell 'em in the stands at Astros games. But the concessioneer wanted too much of the profits, so i never got it off the ground.

    144. it is for a fact, a great site. the essays by "Dr Joy Bliss" are simply wonderful.

    145. habu said:

      I know you don't talk to me and that's ok.

      Well gosh, Habu, you said you were ignoring me, so what was I supposed to do? I could have written whole Rand Corporation style think tank reports and it would be just farting in a hurricane as far as you went.

    146. farting in a hurricane ain't bad at all--it's those dead-still days without a breath of breeze, that'll get ya.

    147. This is gonna cost me some purgatory time, but here's Habu's perfect woman.

    148. That's a female Pushpull native, from the Howyalaya Mountains

    149. Allen,
      Don't take any of these sleasy insults personally.
      All of my writing is computer generated while I work on my fly tying.
      I have an "insult generator program". Works ok sometimes, other not.
      Loosen up have fun. I'm really a 23 yr old college coed working my way through parking lot attendent school.
      Sometimes I'm a 67 year old former KKK member.
      Once I was a driver at Le Mans and if you remember the start of that James Bond movie where he skis off the mountain and unfurls the parafoil, that wasn't me, i was the ski that feel off.
      But the best time was when I was the suntan lotion applier on the set of BAYWATCH. I had a mahogeny all the time.
      Have a great Thanksgiving..we live in a great country.

    150. rufus, link those articles by clicking on the title of the piece--it'll open with a new page and its own URL.

    151. boobs, and ears. Gotta have somebody to talk at.


      HABU & BROS.


    153. what was that russian two-fer rifle earlier ..wanna look at her

    154. WC,
      You're too smart for me. It makes this work to thrust and parry with you.
      I don't like work since I no longer have to do any.

      Have a great Thanksgiving.

    155. Thanks Rufus..I'll Wiki-up that bad injun.

      Have a Great Thanksgiving and bless you and yours. P-Tater sends his best also.

    156. yeh--just search that designation. there's a wiki on it--

    157. Habu's kiss'in cousin sends her best.


    158. hu dat?

      re: Christian

      This should be an easy question for a big brained guy like yourself: What is a Christian?

      I will expect you to have no problem reconciling the major denominations, the 500 current sects, and the hundreds of "heretical" sects. Go for it; make my day. Answer the question that has stumped the best minds of Christendom for nearly two millennia. You are the man!

      Oh, take your time. Let's say I guy as sharp as you should have the answer by 1200 tomorrow.

      Have a nice day, slick!

    159. i remember when you could buy army-surplus M-1 Garands for about $10.

    160. Buddy I coulda sworn I saw a link on this thread about an AK update but I can't find it...maybe it's the AK- not AN 94??

    161. nite, all--me too, pooped--it's the AK-74, habu, the update. AN-94 is a totally different animal. I think only the SF has 'em.

      HAPPY THANKSGIVING--may we live thru the parlous times & come out stronger--

    162. allen wrote:

      This should be an easy question for a big brained guy like yourself: What is a Christian?

      A Christian is a baptized person who has, by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, been freed from a fundamental orientation towards sin and welcomed into a state of reconciliation with our heavenly Father, maker of all.

    163. Mr. Allen,

      It is big holiday time in America. Why are you sour?

      Look yonder, tiz Michelle Malkin bearing a glazed turkey, resting upon a cloud of mashed potatoes. And there is Charles Johnson with green bean casserole and Robert Spencer with a dish of cranberries and Daniel Pipes with Julia Child's vegetable mornay.

      What will you bring, Allen?

    164. May General Zho give you patience, Allen.


    165. Because 艾伦 can dig your Chinese resounding mouth to you?

    166. ...But nowhere is the blight of oppression more evident than in the Muslim Middle East. With all its oil wealth, it remains mired in illiteracy and stunning underachievement, devoid of Nobel Prize scientists or groundbreaking scholarship, great statesmen or giants of diplomacy.

      Instead, many of its schoolboys overdose on a diet of hatred in religious-run schools while its girls, denied much schooling, are left ignorant. The result is an unfulfilled people ripe for recruitment by terrorists.

      Indispensible Nation

    167. Whit, try and figure who's bar bill gets charged for the broken chairs.

    168. On Thanksgiving Day all over America, families sit down to dinner at the same moment -- halftime

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