“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."

Monday, November 27, 2006

Showdown In Latvia. Will Nato Hold Together Over Afghanistan?

Afghanistan is a dysfunctional narco-state. It has nothing the world needs and much of what is not needed, drugs and terrorists in training. It supplies most of the world's heroin, mostly to Europe. The earnings of the drug trade are in part taxed by various terror organizations. The underground supply routes and the financing methods are perfect pipeline for contraband more deadly than the drugs themselves. The Afghan situation should be of more concern to Europe than the United States. It was recognized as such by the decision to use Nato as the instrument needed to bring order and law to an area that enjoys neither.

There is trouble ahead.

Tomorrow, Nato is scheduled to meet in Riga, Latvia. An article in this morning's Independent explains the problem, but simply stated, Europe is getting cold feet. You can be tempted to throw up your hands in despair, but here is where steady American leadership is required. Europe cannot give up on Afghanistan. Nato is the only vehicle that gives those more timid states the extra encouragement that they need to, dare I say it, "stay the course". The question is, how to do so?

Nato urged to plan Afghanistan exit strategy as violence soars
By Stephen Castle in Brussels and Kim Sengupta in Kabul, The Independent
Published: 27 November 2006
Nato's fragile unity over Afghanistan has begun to crack ahead of an important summit - with one public call to discuss an exit strategy from the Allied forces' bloody confrontation with the Taliban.

While heads of government are to make a show of unity over Afghanistan at tomorrow's alliance summit in Riga, Belgium's Defence Minister has questioned the future of Nato's most important mission.

And heads of the alliance's 26 nations are unlikely to agree to send reinforcements to Afghanistan - dealing a blow to Tony Blair's hopes that others will take up more of the increasingly heavy burden.

In the bloodiest day of violence to grip the country in many weeks, a series of fierce clashes between Nato forces and Taliban fighters and a suicide bombing left 76 people dead and more than 45 injured yesterday, many of them children.

Though Belgium only makes a small military contribution to the Nato mission, the Minister's comments will alarm senior figures at the alliance's headquarters where there is already concern that France is getting cold feet about its role in Afghanistan. Paris has remained publicly committed to the mission but Nato sources are concerned about the possibility of an eventual French withdrawal. They are pressing for an enhanced UN profile in Afghanistan to reassure the French who are suspicious about an expanded role for Nato because of Washington's hold over the alliance.

André Flahaut, the Belgian Defence Minister, brought anxieties about the Afghan mission into the open when he suggested that, at the Riga summit, "we finally reflect on an exit strategy". Five years after the start of Western involvement in Afghanistan, Mr Flahaut calls into question its prospects of success. In an interview with Le Vif-L'Express magazine, Mr Flahaut argued: "The situation is deteriorating and, over time, Nato forces risk appearing like an army of occupation." Discussions of an exit strategy are the last thing the Nato top brass wants to hear because it is hoping to use this week to reinforce a message of unity on Afghanistan.

The summit in Riga - the first to be held on ex-Soviet territory - will be attended by, among others, George Bush, Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair.

The rising violence in Afghanistan could be seen yesterday, with Nato reporting the loss of one soldier and 57 insurgents killed during four separate attacks in the south. Local people said at least 12 civilians died during an air strike.

Just hours after the fighting in Oruzgan province, a suicide bomber destroyed a restaurant in the Orgun district of Paktika. The blast is believed to have been aimed at an Afghan military commander but among the 25 dead and 20 injured were a number of children.

With 37 countries, including a host of non-Nato nations, contributing to the operation in Afghanistan a total of about 32,000 troops have been assembled .

In Riga, Nato is hoping for progress on one of the main problems facing commanders in the field: restrictions placed by national capitals on the use of their troops.


  1. The Enemy fellback, found sanctuary, regrouped and returned.
    It took them five years.
    What is there not to understand?

    The Europeans do not want to fight anywhere, let alone in Afghanistan.

    The Taliban are portrayed as native Afghans, not Islamo-fascists, by the Pakistani, whose ISI is training the fighters, but that is another storyline, enirely.

    Since Pakistan, with it's 48 warheads, is beyond reproach for now.

  2. I read The Independent article as saying that more troops from NATO were "unlikely," but it also hints at the end that some progress might be made on the issue of national caveats (which is arguably more important...)
    ISAF commanders in Afghanistan are severely restricted by the conditions that different nations place on engagement. I'm interested to see how this issue will be taken up. . .

    You mention the need for increased US leadership--what specifically can the US do to bolster European resolve?

    Carl Robichaud

  3. France failed in Vietnam so we then went in. The USSR failed in Afghanistan so we went in and passed on the beast to NATO. Do you really think that it is a matter of 'stay the course' and apply force....wherever/whenever? or, do you think that we may be operating under a completely misguided logic - that somehow, invading and occupying is a bad template for encouraging peace and democracy? On a related note, have you ever tried to modify the behavior of a teenager with top down punishment oriented authority? Have you found it to be very successful?

  4. Took hundreds of teenagers and with a combination of top down authority and internal peer pressure turned out a consistently reasonable product.

    Time after time.

  5. Oh, yes, there are other options than military activity. But none of the players tend to use them in Afghanistan.

  6. desert rat wrote:

    Took hundreds of teenagers and with a combination of top down authority and internal peer pressure turned out a consistently reasonable product.

    First thing we gotta do is cut off their "allowance"

  7. We started with cutting their hair,
    but gave 'em an allowance.

  8. The question that comes to mind for me is what interests and aversions are shared among NATO members?

    I think it was hoped that terrorism would become the common aversion, but I suppose this post is about how that may not obviously be the case.

  9. Betrayal: France, the Arabs, and the Jews by David Pryce-Jones

    David is on Prager Now!

  10. Robichaud you ask a good question. What can the US do to bolster European resolve? I have five suggestions.

    1. Stop talking in platitudes. Pithy phrases that lack depth sound meaningless because they usually are. It would be far better to reinforce alliances with the individual members of Nato in much the same manner that US political candidates visit different states and meet and discuss issues. Make this an ongoing campaign.

    2. Articulate and sell and resell the reasons that we are in Afghanistan. This needs to be done to diminish the shock value or at least balance it when the inevitable horrors of war surface.

    3. Visit and establish liaisons with groups that may or may not realize there are common concerns. These could inclue woman's rights groups and human right's groups. Recall the outrage when the Taleban blew up the ancient Hindu statues. All these groups have political pull.

    4. Get US sponsors to host trips to the US from foreign troops and families stationed in Afghansitan. Recognition and appreciation is very important.

    5. Have the US military encourage cross training with various Nato militaries in as many ways as possible. Have the training relevant to the threat. The Alps, Alaska, Rockies, Iceland etc. US deserts in the summer.

    The important thing is to establish and maintain people to people contacts at all levels rather than the occasionla meeting of States. The lower echelon contact is far more important for the long haul. Carping at and belittling accomplishes nothing.

  11. All those teenagers you've dealt with DR sound like individuals who signed up for the military. I would suggest that they would not be a good group to base ones assessment of the efficacy of authoritarian discipline of teenagers given their choice to enlist.

  12. Deuce,

    All good thoughts! But given what we have seen of NATO in the past fifteen years, it was stronger in the breach than the reality. Cats can't be herded, and I fear our EU partners are real cool cats. Essentially, then, unless a so-called ally can bring something terribly important to the effort, the US would better off riding its own chute.

  13. Possibly these three apparently unrelated pieces will shed light on the West’s weakness and the growing boldness of America’s enemies (including so-called allies and friends).

    A Little Muscovite Salt In Old Wounds

    Will The UK Try Partition For Itself?


    C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\My Documents\IMRA - Saturday, November 25, 2006 Saudis threaten to cancel contract for UK new fighter aircraft.htm

    H/T Captain Ed

  14. The folks I dealt with were not volunteers, ash. Most all were draftees, a heavy dose of fear and peer pressure, works on all but the most antisocial. Those were crushed. For the betterment of the remainder.

    It works on a larger scales, it really does. Not always as cheerful as a summer in the Hamptons though. Does not leave a lot of room for individualism, but that was not what the South Koreans wanted.

    It all depends on the values of the culture involved, ash, and on perspective.

  15. 2164th suggested:

    ...It would be far better to reinforce alliances with the individual members of Nato in much the same manner that US political candidates visit different states and meet and discuss issues...

    Can we not do as much now with any nation regardless of NATO membership? Where once Russia felt itself being slowly hemmed in by a ring of allied enemies, now they relax, knowing individual NATO members can dance at the twitch of the natural gas string.

    ...Articulate and sell and resell the reasons that we are in Afghanistan...

    Europeans are in Afghanistan to the extent that it serves their own national interest, and this is the problem. The purpose of NATO is to co-oordinate actions which serve the collective interest of the West even if they do not serve individual nation's immediate interests (witness Greece and Turkey and the Cyprus situation).

    ...Recall the outrage when the Taleban blew up the ancient Hindu statues...

    Until January 2009 (and assuming a Democrat wins on November 2008), women's rights groups and human rights groups will always focus on Abu Grahib and Guantanamo to the exclusion of any outrage over Buddhist relics.

    4. Get US sponsors to host trips to the US from foreign troops and families stationed in Afghansitan. Recognition and appreciation is very important.

    In 1947, the United States concluded an agreement with the Republic of the Philippines which specified that the United States would be permitted to recruit citizens of the Philippines for voluntary enlistment into the United States Armed Forces. Offer this same carrot to a limited number of Afghan soldiers.

  16. The analogy was to Arabs in Anbar that would not toe the line, they being like undisiplined teenagers.

    The SETA have had their opportunity to toe the line, now it is time for them to pay the price, for aiding aQ.
    Or it is time for the US to admit the task of fighting aQ and its' sponsors to difficult, "Over There" and come home ASAP.

  17. At anytime during the past ten years, any administration could have legally helped arm these folk, with the result of destabilizing Iran. Indeed, had that been done early on, the Iranians might have been less meddlesome in Iraq. So, what happened?

    Students Clash With Regime Thugs in Tehran

  18. That was not on the Course we Stayed, allen.

    I cannot fathom why it was so
    except that Iran must NEVER had been considered to be the "real" Enemy.

    Not a serious one, anyway.
    Never more than a
    "band of thugs with rugs"

  19. Here is one reason for Nato to stay in Afghanistan (DW):

    "Afghans producing heroin like hell"

    A main source of illicit drugs is Afghanistan, according to Wolfgang Götz, head of the EU drug monitoring center, who said that the Afghans were "producing heroin like hell," with its opium crop supplying 89 percent of Europe's heroin.

    "The global supply for heroin is now exceeding global demand," added Götz.

    Whether the fall in drug prices reflects changes in supply or demand or both, is unclear, although the agency expressed concern about a rise in illegal drug consumption among juveniles, with the highest rates of abuse among youth in Spain, France and Britain.

    Amphetamine and cocaine abuse is highest in Britain according to the report, with consumption rising in the entire EU. Some 1.5 million Europeans consume these hard drugs regularly.

    The mind-altering drug ecstasy has become a favorite on the party circuit
    Heroin abuse, on the other hand, has become less widespread, though it remains the most addictive of all illicit drugs and accounts for 60 percent of those who seek help. To curb the spread of AIDS and other infectious diseases among drug addicts, most EU countries now offer public programs that distribute sterile needles or replacement drugs to help wean addicts off the most potent substances.

    According to Götz, 1.7 million Europeans have drug problems, meaning that they regularly consume hard drugs, much of which is self injected. On an annual basis, between 7,000 and 8,000 Europeans die of drug-related overdoses, mostly from heroin, but also from cocaine, in particular its potent derivative, crack.

  20. Desert Rat wrote:

    "The analogy was to Arabs in Anbar that would not toe the line, they being like undisiplined teenagers.

    The SETA have had their opportunity to toe the line, now it is time for them to pay the price, for aiding aQ.
    Or it is time for the US to admit the task of fighting aQ and its' sponsors to difficult, "Over There" and come home ASAP."

    My intended point regarding teenagers was that basic human nature is to rebel against authority. In particular Authority imposed from a person whom you have little knowledge, or respect, will incite greater rebellion. In the Afghanistan situation, and Iraq as well, the deck is stacked against US in trying to impose our will. The people of those areas have a long history of resisting foreigners 'telling them what to do'.

    It is not so much that "it is to difficult" to fight AQ and its sponsors but I don't have a lot of confidence that is precisely what we are fighting. I'm guessing 'the enemy' is more the indigenous folks who resent our 'force'. You know, little things - like trying to turf the Opium crop and leave them with nothing, our armored cars careening down the road taking out their cars, our forces killing cousin Ahmed. These things don't help the folks in the neighborhood kick back and say 'ahhhh democracy, peace kewl!'

  21. Deuce,

    I did read and enjoyed the Saudi/UK piece here. The IRMA was also good. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to get a link on it.

  22. Deuce,

    re: “They would also enjoy amazingly prompt results in field interrogations. Very persuasive.”
    ___2164th at Westhawk
    Truly, Westhawk’s analysis is not to be missed

    Westhawk might also appreciate a word of encouragement.

  23. That may well be true, ash, but is left to those on the ground to deal with.

    If the US or NATO is going to "win" it has to "break" the Enemies WILL to fight before the Allied WILL to fight evaporates.

    That is the real life time constraint, that two and three years ago was dismissed by so many of the posters to these blog threads. The constraint that is now biting US on the ass.

    "Long War", what marketing foolishness. That along with the "War on Terror" & "Stay the Course", some of the most dismal marketing of ideas I've ever seen.

  24. I gotta agree with you DR and I've long maintained that war fighting is not conducive to introducing democracy. Wrong tool for the job.

  25. DR,

    Kids! What's the matter with kids today?

    Kids! What's the matter with the Muslim way?


  26. Hell, I just thought they was redneck kids, not Mohammedans.

    Maybe little ghetto gangsters?

    The ones with the explosive belts, like this one make a real unambiguous fashion statement.

  27. DR,

    This is soooo cute: Mommy's little helper. No tough love here.


  28. Deuce,


    Granny got exploded by the C4,

    Walking home from our house, Sabbath eve.

  29. Buddy Larsen said...
    "This is deeper than Rope-a-Dope.
    This is Hope-a-Rope-a-Dope."
    Be sure not to miss next Sunday at the Mega Hope a Dope Chapel:

    The Exalted Rick Warren will speak on the
    (Hopefully) Mega Transformational Power of Hope,
    when used judiciously in all it's subtlety, glory, and power in the:


    Demons Out!

    (The Baby Doc is In.)

  30. "desert rat said...
    The Enemy fellback, found sanctuary, regrouped and returned.

    Er, 'Rat:
    We PROVIDED them sanctuary in Iraq, from what obviously would have been a bloodbath years ago had we not provided cover for Sadr to attain power over the country, as Aristides and Company provided diversion for the useful idiots at home, keeping them always in waiting for the play of the
    Master Planner Poker Player In Chief to make it all go away.

    Said bloodbaths being but Mini Me versions of those which are now here for the duration.

    Turns out GWB's stubborn refusal to deal with reality has made reality out of a whole bunch of left wing predictions from three years ago that

  31. All ready in progress, whit.
    But as rufus would say, "well it IS Africa", you know.

    Seven countries - among them Iran and Syria - have supplied military personnel and weapons to the Union of Islamic Courts militia.

    While three countries are helping arm Somalia's weak interim government.

    The report is due to be discussed by a UN Security Council committee on Friday.

    The countries arming the Islamists are Syria, Iran, Eritrea, Djibouti, Egypt, Libya and Saudi Arabia, according to the report.

    Ethiopia, Uganda and Yemen are named as the countries supplying Somalia's interim government.
    "There is the distinct possibility that the momentum towards a military solution inside Somalia may spill over into a direct state-to-state conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea, as well as acts of terrorism in other vulnerable states of the region," Reuters news agency quoted the report as saying.

    Many of the countries named in the report reject the accusations.

    In Nairobi, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has appealed to the transitional government and the UIC to resume peace talks "very quickly".

    "We have a very serious situation in Somalia," he told the conference on climate change.
    For example, the authors say 720 Somali fighters went to Lebanon to help Hezbollah fight Israel in July.

    Syria is said to have sent an aircraft full of guns to the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

    Iran is reported to have sent three shipments of arms to Somalia between July and September. ... "

    Then they even talk of Uranium being traded for weapons, at the BBC for goodness sake!

    Another round of slam dunks or does it begin to get bloody.

  32. 2164th said...
    Orville C-fourenbacher PopCorn. Catchy.

    Now, I don't care who ya are, that there is funny.

  33. DR,

    The TBs could be right and you could be wrong on staying the current course, given infinite time. And, that is the rub, because the time for more super, duper newer, better plans is running out. Some adult supervision, with less adolescent gamesmanship, is an absolute necessity - in short order.

  34. Allen:
    Obama leads dems in polling for '08:
    Will he do???

  35. There never was time for a "Long War", allen, let alone one of infinite duration.

    The US public is fickle indeed
    and cannot abide a loser.

  36. doug,

    For half the country, Obama be da man. At one point, I thought the Democrats might be smart enough to run a ticket of Bayh and Ford. With Ford's loss, that is a non-starter. They might, however, run Bayh and Obama.


    Are you seriously trying to tell me the country would balk at the "Hundred Years' War". You jest!

    What I am saying about the TBs is this: infinity is the prerequisite to probability theory. Given infinite tries (which implies infinite time as well), why, almost anything has a probability of greater than zero. The American public hasn't the patience, though, to stay the infinite course - the no account critters.

  37. The Kremlin Murders
    James Jesus Angelton on Alexander Litvinenko.
    By Michael Ledeen
    ML: Yes, I know Bukovsky well. He was one of the bravest anti-Soviet dissidents, spent over a decade in the Gulag, underwent torture with chemical agents, and somehow emerged stronger than ever. Gordievsky I think I met once; he was the KGB’s man in London until he defected. They both know a lot, and they have friends in Russia who know even more.

    JJA: There you go. Good sources, good men. Anyway, they pointed out that a new law had just been rushed through the duma that permitted the use of the secret services as “death squads” to eliminate “extremists” anywhere in the world. And then a law on “extremism” was amended so that anyone who says or writes something “libelous” about Putin’s government
    ML: Good grief. So according to Russian law...

    JJA: According to Russian law, anyone who criticizes Putin can be killed. And that letter was quite prophetic, because they wrote that “a stage is set for any critic of Putin’s here (that is, in England), especially those campaigning against Russian genocide in Chechnya, to have an appointment with a poison-tipped umbrella...”

    ML: Yeah, except that it wasn’t an umbrella this time. It was a very rare radioactive substance, discovered by Marie Curie and named after her native country.

    JJA: Yeah, Polonium.

    ML: How did they know what dose to use? I shudder to think they had tested it on humans.

    JJA: Perhaps they did. They’re very methodical, after all, my old adversaries. They would have wanted to be quite sure they would succeed, and I think they had a pretty high confidence level.

    ML: So you think they tested it.

    JJA: Here’s an article from Le Monde on November 25, bylined Moscow, written by Marie Jego, entitled “The Poisons of the Kremlin.” She says that a Russian parliamentarian who had been snooping into the peculiar bombings in Russia in 1999, the ones that justified Putin’s massive attack on Chechnya, came down with terrible headaches in June 2003. A week later he was in the hospital, and his symptoms sound just like Litvinenko’s: “Hair loss...drop in the number of white blood cells, cardiac problems...

    JJA: Putin’s birthday.

    ML: Next thing you’ll tell me that Litvinenko was poisoned on an auspicious date.

    JJA: It seems to have been the anniversary of his flight from Russia.

    ML: You must be kidding.

    JJA: Me? Joke about the files? Not bloody likely...

    I knew I’d made a mistake as soon as “kidding” came out of my mouth. I almost got burned by an eruption of sparks from the ouija, but after a torrent of static and fragments of words unsuitable for a family blog, I got him to calm down for another minute.

    JJA: Some of these damn policymakers should listen more carefully to Natan Sharansky, you know.

    ML: I thought they did. Bush had him as a guest of honor in the Oval Office.

    JJA: Yeah, he let him in the room, but he didn’t pay attention.

    ML: You mean Sharansky’s insistence that you cannot possibly have a meaningful peace with leaders who oppress, kill, and torture their own people.

    JJA: Exactly. Those leaders will always hate America and always try to destroy us.

    ML: So you agree with Bukovsky and Gordievsky that the other G8 leaders should have either cancelled the summit or demanded that Putin revoke his license to kill his critics.

    JJA: Damn right. And somebody ought to tell Jim Baker and Lee Hamilton that it is utterly unrealistic to talk about peace with the likes of Assad and Khamenei, who are the Middle East versions of Putin.

  38. While my guitar gently weeps,

    That rosebud of delight has left us, forever and always. And just when I thought she was really starting to warm-up to me. Was it something I said?

    ___Catholic woman walkin down the street
    ___Catholic woman, the kind I'd like my neighbor's daughter to meet
    ___Catholic woman, I don't believe you
    ___You're not the truth
    ___No one can exit as good as you

    ___Catholic woman, won't you pardon me
    ___Catholic woman, I couldn't help but see
    ___Catholic woman, you look as spiteful as can be
    ___Come and post right next to me

    ___Catholic woman, stop a while
    ___Catholic woman, talk a while
    ___Catholic woman, give your bile to me
    ___Catholic woman, yeah, yeah, yeah
    ___Catholic woman, shot my way
    ___Catholic woman, flay the hide from me

    ___Cause I need you
    ___You'll beat me right
    ___Come with me baby
    ___Please be my plight

    ___Catholic woman, don't walk on by
    ___Catholic woman, don't make me cry
    ___Catholic woman, don't walk away

    ___If that's the way it must be, OK
    ___I guess the blog is done, it's late
    ___There'll be tomorrow night

    ___Oh hate, why must this be?
    ___Is she kicking back at me?
    ___Yeah, she's spitting back at me
    ___O-Oh Catholic woman.

    XOXOXO... ;-)

  39. Say it ain't so!

    (how do you know?)

  40. Can I cache in anything at Google?
    Just some snippet to remember her by?
    Tell me,
    tell me,
    tell me,
    do you love me?
    I mean tell me what to search for in that cache.

  41. Doug said...
    Buddy Larsen said...
    "This is deeper than Rope-a-Dope.
    This is Hope-a-Rope-a-Dope."
    Be sure not to miss next Sunday at the Mega Hope a Dope Chapel:

    The Exalted Rick Warren will speak on the
    (Hopefully) Mega Transformational Power of Hope,
    when used judiciously in all it's subtlety, glory, and power in the:


    Demons Out!

    (The Baby Doc is In.)

    11/27/2006 03:17:17 PM


    Buddy Larsen said...
    It's not just the Protestant Evangelists in play here, doug--the next big flash point is the Papal visit to meet Bartholomew, Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox, in Turkey, to treat for better treatment of Christians in Turkey. This of course will extend the war-slogan to Hope-a-Rope-a-Dope-a-Pope.

    The Turk Islamists, of course, are revolting, saying that the visit is a Hope-a-Rope-a-Dope-a-Pope-a-Slippery Slope.

    11/27/2006 03:35:25 PM

  42. Doug, you bring up the Turks...

    It seems the PKK has killed about 600 in terrorist attacks launced from Iraqi soil. Just like the Taliban in Pakistan whom go into Afghanistan, do their thing, then retreat back to Pakistan so to do the PKK from Iraq. The US is too busy in Baghdad and other places to stop this behavior, the Turks want to chase the PKK back into Iraq - no problem, go for it Turkey?

  43. doug,

    re: "How do you know?"

    Because (sniffle) she told me so! Again, and again, and again. Come back Little Sheba!!!

  44. trish,

    re: "They're going to concentrate on Iraq."

    I'd wager they will try simultaneously for both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    I. Iran and Syria will put the squeeze on Iraq.

    II. Iran and Pakistan will put the squeeze on Afghanistan.

    No one should ever again make the mistake of accusing the Iranians of irrationality or insanity.

  45. trish,

    For the sake of argument only, I doubt it will be possible to have one without some of the other.

    Personally, a nuclear Iran would be unacceptable. An alliance of nuclear armed Iran and Pakistan would be catastrophic. Admittedly, that is one man's opinion, but I hope someone in authority is thinking about the LONG-term implications of withdrawal.

  46. Actually a Paki-Iran alliance would bring India entirely onside. Hindustan has infinite human resources and shown infinite patience in suppressing a bloody Islamic insurgency in Kashmir for 50 years.

  47. buddy larsen,

    You know, it is hard being just another pretty face.

  48. even if it IS rendered immobile by BoTox--

  49. trish and fellow peacekeeper,

    At the BC I wrote the following. It seems to work just as well here.


    Do you ever have the feeling that the world's so-called leaders still believe it is 1 August 1914? It is, instead, 1 November 1914. The Devil is unbound and nothing will do now but to subdue him. King Abdullah, among the other autocrats of the ME, will not survive to see 11 November 1918."

  50. The Minister of Defense of a country that doesn't even contribute takes it upon himself to advocate giving up. Those are the Western Europeans I know and love.

    Some alliance. Some "friends."

  51. buddy larsen,

    re: botox

    He and Mrs. Pelosi cost share. Both have eaten so much bad French cheese that résistance has developed, leading to liter dosages. It is strangely disconcerting, how he turns orange while she takes on that Haitian pallor.

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

  53. well, I won't mention Pelosi, as she is a grammer and has the bye to try. But a *guy* who gets that deep into his face--uh, no, no, i don't think so.

  54. Ah, sorry Trish, I decided no reason to turn the thread potentially ugly, especially when I'm leaving tomorrow for a few days.

    "Thinks it's 1920 and we're somehow fighting the facsist machine. Good gravy."
    tomorrow, so I deleted it.

    I'll admit your comment went over my head. Mind expounding a bit?

  55. trish,

    re: Abazaid's fascist prequel

    Where did the General get such an idea? This is just a guess, mind you, but I going to say (under "Fab Friends" for $500) "who are Capt. Jamil Hussein and Lt. Maithem Abdul Razzaq"?

  56. trish,

    Come on, Trish, you know that was damned funny.

    If one cannot find humor in such ignorance at such a high level, one is left with sheer terror.

  57. trish,

    re: Begin Doctrine

    Here's something to ponder. It is widely believed that Israel possesses at least 400 nuclear warheads and, other than some number being seaborne, the configurations are unknown.

    If the Begin Doctrine is still operable, Israel may have no choice but to attack Iran with these weapons. Say, 20 in the first strike.

    Who will retaliate against an Israel with at least 380 unused and programmable warheads? Fwance, Germ-many, Rust-ia. No, Israel would get away with it and scare the hell out of those big tough Euro-peons. Why, Israel could do a little blackmailing of its own.

    Don't interrupt my dream!

  58. trish,

    re: choice

    Yes, but so many in the past have been so wrong, that no other option may be at hand.

    Admittedly, I derive a sadistic and ironical delight in thinking of the Fwench cringing in fear at the sound, "Jew". I can just see Jack the Rat cuddling up to those 380 spare nukes.