“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, December 23, 2006

A small step in UN sanctions against Iran

After months of debate and giving into a lot of Russian demands, the UN Security Council has voted unanimously to impose sanctions on Iran. Russia eventually agreed to the draft resolution. The Security Council put Iran on notice to stop enriching uranium, which can serve a dual purpose and can be used to produce fuel for nuclear weapons.The demands and sanctions are modest. Iran will ignore them.

The sanctions call on all UN member states to ban the sale of nuclear equipment, materials and technology to Iran. Travel is not affected, but some banking sanctions can be enforced. It is the first time the Security Council has imposed sanctions on Iran. It is a very modest step, but it is a defeat for Iran.


  1. Al jazeera reports:
    UN votes for Iran nuclear sanctions
    Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, says his country's nuclear plans are peaceful [EPA]"The bullying powers today, in confronting Iran's peaceful nuclear technology, are faced with a sea of courageous people,"

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
    Iranian President

    The UN Security Council has unanimously approved an amended European draft resolution which calls for a ban on trade with Iran in goods related to its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

    Shortly before the vote on Saturday, diplomats quoted Russia as telling its colleagues on the council that it would support the sanctions.

    The final draft ordered all countries to ban the supply of specified materials and technology that could contribute to Iran's nuclear and missile programmes.

    An annex to the draft lists persons and organisations involved in nuclear and missile programmes that will have their assets frozen.

    The text warns Iran to comply with the demands, or the council will "adopt appropiate measures under Article 41 of Chapter Seven" of the charter, a reference to non-military sanctions.

    "Today we are placing Iran in the small category of states under Security Council sanctions," Alejandro Wolff, the acting US ambassador, told the council before the 15-0 vote on Saturday.

    Vitaly Churkin, Russia's UN ambassador, who was successful in watering down parts of the resolution, emphasised that the resolution did not permit any use of force.

    A Western diplomat privy to the talks said that Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, had insisted on seeing the final text before the vote.

    Putin called George Bush, his US counterpart, to discuss the resolution and they agreed on the need to act, Blain Rethmeier, a spokesman for Bush, said.

  2. I'd say that Bush assured Putin that he wouldn't use the resolution as an excuse for military action.

  3. Agree - a modest step - can't imagine Russia and China voting for anything else.

    Serious question: Is there any benefit to the US in this action?

  4. That ban on Danish canned ham is really going to hurt.

  5. 35,000 tins of Danish canned ham dropped from 35,000 feet - WOW!

    All biodegradable or recyclable.

  6. WaPo takes a stab at explaining what's going on at the U.N.

    No use of force provision (see 2164th's post above), so I suppose this is more like the bow to your corner at the beginning of a square dancing routine.

    Heavy sigh..............

  7. The World is not at War with Iran, neither is the US.

    Now there are some that argue for war with Iran, not in Congress, but here amongst los amigos blog.

    From Congress I hear no calls for an Iranian Campaign, nor a move into Syria.

    The President could order such a move, it is true. But he is having a hard enough time liining up his Generals in support of a Baghdad surge, let alone a Regional War.

  8. Fucking Sistani puts the ixnay on any hopes for an ecumenical coalition in Iraq.

    These Islam-Crazed Cocksuckers are bound and determined to have a Blood-bath. It's time for us to get out of the way and let them.

    Fuck the Bastards, it's time to bring the boys, home.

  9. The pleasures of a democratic ally.
    Host of US troops.

    The Sistani fellow went out of his way to disrespect Mr Bush, well over a year ago. Sistani has never een a friend to US. He has always, since the invasion, been allied with al-Sadr. Nothing new there.

    Be careful what you wish for, Mr Bush did not heed that warning. Because he has gotten part of what he wanted. Now he has to make do with the Iraq he's got.

  10. Rufusmeister said, "These Islam-Crazed Cocksuckers are bound and determined to have a Blood-bath. It's time for us to get out of the way and let them. Fuck the Bastards, it's time to bring the boys, home."

    My sentiments exactly. Maybe we can even get the Bush koolaid drinkers around here of various genders, creeds, and nom de plumes to see the light.

  11. Well, he wasn't alone. I was rooting him on all the way.

    He won the War, Hussein's waiting to hang. His psycopathic sons are dead, and the Iraqis have enough of an Army to muddle through.

    It's time to slough.

    We can leave a Brigade, or two, in Kuwait in case Syria or Iran gets antsy.

    In the meantime, it's drink some beer, eat some popcorn, and watch the crazy goat fuckers kill each other.

  12. Good for The Washington Post

    'Nyet' on Iran
    Russia has turned a U.N. sanctions resolution on Tehran's nuclear program into a demonstration of Western weakness.

    Saturday, December 23, 2006; Page A20

    THE U.N. Security Council took up the Iranian nuclear program this year to pressure Tehran to suspend its work on enriching uranium. But in the past few months, something entirely different has happened. While Iranian enrichment has continued with impunity, the Security Council's deliberations have been hijacked by the Russian government of Vladimir Putin, which is using them to protect its economic interests and portray itself as a global power capable of countering the United States.

    The Security Council ordered Iran last summer to stop enrichment work by Aug. 30 and threatened sanctions if it did not. Tehran defied the binding resolution, and its hard-line president boasted that the West would be unable to impose significant penalties. Russia has proved him right: As of yesterday, it was still holding up a vote on a Security Council resolution, even though it had already succeeded in stripping the measure of its teeth.

    The Bush administration, which has been relying almost entirely on multilateral diplomacy to prevent a nuclear Iran, originally proposed a set of modest sanctions, including a travel ban on senior officials, a block on exports to Iran of nuclear and missile components, and a freeze on the foreign assets of companies involved in nuclear and missile production. The idea was to escalate to tougher measures if Iran did not respond.

    Instead, the administration has spent nearly four months seeking Russian consent for the initial measure, yielding again and again to Moscow's intransigence. First, a large nuclear reactor being built for Iran by Russia was exempted from a proposed ban on nuclear imports, even though Tehran could someday use the facility to acquire plutonium for weapons. Next, European governments sponsoring the resolution were forced to drop the proposed travel ban -- the only measure left that might have caused the mullahs some pain. Meanwhile, the administration agreed to support membership in the World Trade Organization for Russia, a concession Moscow made clear was necessary to obtain its vote.

    Having surrendered on almost every point, European ambassadors announced that the Security Council would vote yesterday. But Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin said he still wasn't ready. Some reports said he was seeking to water down the proposed freeze on foreign assets of companies directly connected to the nuclear program. Or maybe he was just demonstrating -- again -- that Russia can and will hold the Security Council hostage.

    The result of this cynical policy is that any U.N. resolution against Iran will be a pyrrhic victory for the United States. The message to Tehran is not that it faces isolation or economic ruin if it fails to respect the Security Council's order; it is that it need not fear sanctions. Hard-liners in Tehran who have been saying this all along, such as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will be vindicated.

    Russia will look like a world power; Mr. Putin will have more reason to strut. And the Bush administration, which has not dared even to complain in public about Russia's obstructionism, will look foolish. In fact, Mr. Bush has allowed a vital U.S. interest to be undermined by a government and a leader he should have ceased to coddle long ago.

  13. Putin looked into Bush's soul and saw him for what he is.

  14. 2164thster said, "Putin looked into Bush's soul and saw him for what he is."

    He didn't look into his soul, he looked at his non-action. I think it's safe to say that the quagmire in Iraq is tying us down and making our deterrent look pretty ragged. Bush is Olmert with a ten gallon hat. Even the Hildebeast looks tougher right now.

  15. the slant over at DW is this:

    ..."Despite the presentation of a unified front following the Berlin meeting, the US still faces opposition to its bid to persuade the other powers to impose sanctions on Iran.

    Although China and Russia backed the idea of sanctions by voting for resolution 1696, they both remain reluctant to penalize the Islamic Republic and question Western accusations that Iran poses a nuclear threat.

    Before Thursday's meeting China's Foreign Ministry stressed the diplomatic options, calling for the standoff with Iran to "be resolved through negotiation in a peaceful way."

    France also indicated it was not yet time for sanctions by suggesting world powers may be flexible over a previous demand that Iran suspend its enrichment work before starting talks.

    Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said the timing of any suspension was crucial and that it could be discussed. "It's a major question ... which will perhaps emerge as important in the weeks ahead," he told reporters.

    In the EU there is a good bit of resistence to sanctions. "EU states don't really want sanctions but now they realize they're trapped by the Security Council resolution. There isn't likely to be a consensus within Germany's government or in France's," said another European diplomat who also attended the meeting."

    DW staff

    Iran with a nuclear weapon cannot survive a nuclear exchange with either Israel or the US. They know that. A nuclear weapon is a political weapon. Russia is playing the same game with Iran as China is with Korea. Two can play political games. Why not up the ante and have the US and Israel, with a straight face, re-double the effort at SDI. Announce it as strictly about
    N.Korea and Iran. Include a space based platform or two. Park them over Iran and N. Korea. Both countries have interesting neighbors. Let the Russiams and Europeans know that we do not care if Iran gets the weapons since there seems to be any serious efforts to stop them. Tell them we accept their hesitations and we will jointly make other plans.

  16. Announce that we take the Iranians at their word. That their nuclear program is peaceful, like they say it is.

    Let the Israeli do what ever they will do. Which will be to wait.

    Announce the the US will surge and secure Baghdad, then hand Iraq over to the Iraqi, on Mr Maliki's schedule, ready or not.

  17. I agree with you both. My only modification would be "Fuck Baghdad, Fuck Ramadi, Fuck Fallujah. See ya later, Motherfuckers. Have a fuckin ball.

    For a 170 Billion dollar investment for a couple of years we could tell the world to take their oil and stick it dead up their collective asses. And yes, Build SDI, day and night.

  18. Can you just imagine what the Country would do if Bush went on National TV, and said, "My fellow citizens, you know that One Hundred and Seventy Billion Dollars we were going to spend in Iraq this year? I DECIDED TO SPEND IT, HERE, AND GET THE HELL OFF OF MIDDLE EASTERN OIL."

    The Country would Go Nuts. It would kick off the biggest economic boom since the end of WWII.

  19. We "Spent" two billion dollars last year on ethanol tax breaks, And SAVED EIGHT BILLION DOLLARS off our Corn Subsidies.

    No ONe on this Blog has a big enough imagination to conceive of what we could do if we put $170 Billion into Alt. Energy.

  20. Abso fuckin lutely!

  21. You know which politician might be able to grasp it, and sell it?

    Fucking Hillary R. Clinton

    probably the only one

  22. You don't get it, Bob. You still have to go other places for your uranium, the price WILL go up, and the shit will be sitting there threatening to poison the world for another 10 million years.

    Duke Energy, and wall street would love it, but it's the wrong answer. Solar, and Bio.

  23. You give me a hundred and seventy Billion Dollars, and in ten years people will giggle when you mention oil or nuclear.

  24. We have to take measures to make sure Russia doesn’t get too comfy with its rising diplomatic power status.

    Russia has made it clear to the Americans that it does not take too lightly upon the subject of domestic interference, and that it will use its influence over critical areas of America’s interest to prevent any sort of bullying or coercion to pressure its government into reform, or instigating secessionists within Russia to protest against Putin.

    Ironically, American intervention in its affairs has set an opportunistic precedent for Putin to re-establish Russia as a modern superpower: with the potential to control oil supplies in the Caspian Sea alongside Iran, as well as the deterrent of a nuclear-armed Middle-East and the fate of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in its hands, Russia is watching and matching every single American move on the proverbial board, chesspiece by chesspiece.

  25. Hell, I think I could do it at no cost. Just the power of the pen.

    Example: All cities will be required to gassify their waste. All vehicles will be required to be flexfuel, and hybrid.

    All New houses S. of Memphis will be rrequired to to produce 75% of their own electricity. S of Hattiesburg, 100%.

  26. rufus,

    With $170 billion, American business could create a whole new world.

    With $170 billion, American government could create a herniating study. Oh, and they might throw in Hope, the world's largest trailer park.


    Whatever else one might say about HRC, she has the balls. That is more than I see from anyone else, so far. She also has a deeper voice.

  27. All pastureland that we are now paying the owners not to plant in energy crops will be required to be planted in energy crops.

    All Cities S of Memphis will be required to get half of their electricity from Commercial Solar Power Plants.

  28. Fuck Putin. Fuck his oil. Fuck the horse he fucks.

    Start Building SDI, and just keep building. Tell the sonofabitch that every time he builds a missile we'll build two interceptors.

    And, Park a satellite in geosynchronous orbit directly opposite Moscow, and let HIM wonder what it is.

  29. Allen had it right. We committed to putting a man on the moon in ten years when we had no idea how to do it. We committed to "Inventing" the Science to pull it off.

    And, we "Did It."

    We KNOW HOW to do this.

  30. Here's the Fact boys and girls. It's coming, anyway. Oil at $60.00 a Barrel makes it an inevitability.

    You can turn "Kudzu" into oil for less than $60.00/barrel. You can irrigate "Texas," and grow any damned thing you want for less than $60.00/barre.

    The only thing stopping it right now is the lobbying power of Exxon and FPL.

  31. rufus,

    Apollo created enormous wealth and a base of knowledge still being mined today. This is why I have a problem with borrowing just to run the government or fight war. Borrowing should create capital, which will evolve to create more capital, etc.

  32. You're worried about Iran. Require that EVERY CONTAINER that enters a U.S. Port go through a geiger counter.

    Remember, We're talking $170 Billion Dollars, here. We can do a lot of shit.

  33. Absolutely right, Allen. Genetic Engineering of seeds and plants, Nanotechnology, Water Desalinization - No telling where you end up.

  34. Basically, at present, we're living like "Savages." We're digging holes in the ground, and fighting over what spews to the surface. While, other men are mapping the genome, rearranging materials at the molecular level, and landing spacecraft on asteroids. It's Crazy.

  35. What is to keep a future President from exercizing authority from say, Peoria? Absolutely nothing, that's what. And following such a hypothetical chief executive would be those functionaries of government and the private sector with whom that chief executive wished to work. Why, soon a whole new, energized captiol city would come into being, while that cesspool on the Potomac, like Rome before it, would turn into a backwater. Just mind diddling.

  36. Turn DC into a museum.
    Rotate the "Captial" through a series of "Convention Cities", where the Congress would convene for a year, then rotate to another city.

  37. That's just it;

    I don't want to do ANYTHING like the French. ;)

  38. Bob, this is serious, They give me gas. :0

  39. At this point, American forces have two options available to staunch the logistical re-supply to the Muslim fighters, upon which the strategic situation teeters. The first option involves attempting to close Iraq’s long and remote borders with Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia by a combination of airborne radar, aerostatic balloon and drone surveillance, ground-level cameras and acoustic sensors, airmobile reaction forces, and USAF Special Operations Specter gun ships. This option of defending the borders contains the battle for Iraq within Iraqi borders, avoiding the unfavorable public relations that would arise from the second option of attacking the supply bases in Iran and Syria. The problem with the effort to “seal” the borders is that this area is vast and this would be in and of itself a Herculean task requiring huge investments in equipment and far, far more manpower than 30,000 to 60,000 additional US soldiers. No one deludes himself to believe the Iraqi forces, military, police or otherwise could handle this task.

    On the other hand, carrying the air war into the neighboring Muslim sanctuaries which fuel the insurrection is the optimum military solution because it has the tangible benefit of actually reducing the physical capability of the Muslim warriors to prolong the battle for Iraq. It would also have the long-term benefit establishing the military-political point that if you aid our enemy, you are a target. And, we need not expose ground troops to bring enormous damage to your military and civilian sectors.

    Returning to the War Equation, unless either the motivations or the capabilities are removed, there is the potential for the war to continue unabated.

    American political leadership failed to destroy the strategic re-supply capability of North Vietnam for 14 years and, in spite of deploying 550,000 troops to South Vietnam, the American will was worn down to the eventual state of collapse. Why would the outcome in Iraq be any different than it was in South Vietnam, if the same restraint is followed, since the public opinion momentum is already headed in the same direction as it was in 1972?
    About the author: Colonel Thomas Snodgrass, retired U.S. Air Force, spent 30 years in active military duty. He spent much of his time in the military as a senior intelligence officer and has been an instructor at several war colleges. He is a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran and holds a Master of Arts degree in History and Political Science.

  40. Allen, your last post on the preceding thread was "Incredible, Outstanding."

  41. Rat, Fuck'em. Let'em fight their own damned war, and seal their own damned borders; we've done enough. Let'em fight till hell freezes over.

  42. They want to preserve their "Shit" solidarity, let'em put their shit coalition on the borders, and fight the Sunni in Ramadi. Fuck'em.

  43. I've still got six bud light in the refrigerator; I hate to say this, but my language might get kinda salty before the night's over. Hope I don't offend anyone.

    But, if I do, I hope it's not Deuce, or Whit.


  44. rufus,

    I don't like leaving the impression that I'm just another pretty face. Doug has that one locked down.


    If you're trying to produce something that someone else can produce more cheaply, you are going to loose. Find another niche. I'm not being snide, that is just an economic reality; always has been and always will be. Does the government have a responsibility to soften the blow? That is something worth discussing.

  45. That's not goin' to happen, rufus.
    Mr Bush will see to that.
    Stay and fight on until we win.
    That is the core to his Iraq Policy. Victory.

    Victory will not be achieved by leaving Baghdad unsecure, not Mr Bush's version of Victory, anyway.

    Mr Bush will decide to soldier on, the tactics that are chosen will make all the difference. We are going to surge 20,000 plus troops to "lock down" Baghdad and "Train" more Iraqi. A deft combination of applied force within Iraq and changing the "Games" rules outside Iraq, with Iran may succeed.

    Either get "real" tough, or fade from the field. Doubt that we "fade" while on the Bush team's watch, so we should get tough enough to win, quickly.
    Or else the "Surge" will be for naught.

    In for a penny, in for a pound.

  46. I don't know Rat; I'm pretty much a stalwart. When I'm ready to go, there probably aren't too many that feel like staying.

  47. Another conversation to have is whether the government has a responsibility to prevent the unregulated influx of foreign labor, particularly in the trades. It seems to me that this must create wage stagnation.

  48. Allen, I don't think I can comment on that post until you elaborate a little bit.

  49. Been that way for a while, rufus, now you will obtain a different perspective of Mr Bush.

    The best case is that the US troops can "flood the zone", stem the violence and hand off to the Iraqi in July or so.
    Best case.
    The US Army is not coming home because rufus has become disillusioned with the project.
    Listen to Mr Bush and believe what you hear him say, about Victory, about the calling of his generation. Mr Bush is going to Stay the Course, rufus, whether he says the words or not. You used to admire that about him. There was a time when doug did, as well.

  50. No Dave, you haven't been paying attention. Southern Cal. Edison, and Stirling are kicking off operations in the spring (you can find it by googling stirling co.) that will supply in the end One Million California home with Electricity. It can be duplicated all over the Southern half of the United States. Solar Collectors are at 20% efficiency, and just requires scale in the manufacturing process.

    Biofuels require no changes of any significance to infrastructure. Biomass can be plugged right into the natural gas grid, just like biomass to electricity can be plugged right into the electricity grid.

  51. Allen said, "Another conversation to have is whether the government has a responsibility to prevent the unregulated influx of foreign labor, particularly in the trades. It seems to me that this must create wage stagnation."

    But nothing will be done about it because both parties want the all important Illegal Immigrant Vote. You know, where the election worker asks if they are a citizen and they go, "Si!"

  52. Cows produce almost as much economic value in methane as they do milk. This is being harnessed by dairies and feed lots as we speak. There is enough wind energy is S Dakota to electrify the entire U.S. It can be plugged right into the grid. On and on. It's really easy.

  53. You don't realize how much what you read is affected by the American Petroleum Institute, and the Coal and Natural Gas Industry's lobbying efforts. You assume if you hear it on your radio from your favorite talk show host, or read it in the WSJ it's the way it is.

    Trust me, as someone who has read up a bit on alternative energy, there has never been an accurate article written on the subject in the Wall Street Journal.

  54. Rufuster said, "And, Park a satellite in geosynchronous orbit directly opposite Moscow, and let HIM wonder what it is."

    That's the one for show, but the actual spy satellites are on a polar orbit, launched from Vandenberg, and stealthy to evade their tracking radars.

  55. Rufus said, "Cows produce almost as much economic value in methane as they do milk. This is being harnessed by dairies and feed lots as we speak."

    Who run Bartertown? Master Blaster run Bartertown!

  56. Whether, we send a "surge" to "flood the zone" or not, Rat, we're outta there. You know, and I know, that it is basically a PR stunt if they do it. If they want to do it, they'll do it.

    But, as we both know, we're gone. Maliki will have just about what he wants. And, so will the Dems. The reason is, it just makes sense.

  57. Sure, it's the one for show. It should be about as big as a half a dozen trailer trucks. Who cares if it's full of Cow Methane. That motherfucker won't know.

    Old Poker Saying: I'm Tired of Thinking, I'M ALL INN, YOU THINK AWHILE.

  58. Since Baghdad is the capitol of the democratically elected government of Iraq, it should fall to the Iraqi government to quell unrest there using all forces now duly constituted. Interference by the United States in bringing Baghdad under the control of the Iraqi government would be humiliating to the government of Mr. Maliki.

    During the next six months, the United States will position its military assets (air, land, and sea) to secure Iraq’s borders from intrusion. To facilitate this role, the United States will feel free to operate beyond the borders of Iraq, preemptively or retaliatorily.

    The Iraqi government is soley responsible for all military activity within the Baghdad zone of operations. Therefore, any questions as to RoE etc. should be directed to spokesmen for the government of Iraq.

  59. From your Keyboard to God's Ears, Allen.

  60. Rufus + Beer = All the Bullshit you could possibly want.

    Frog legs, unnecessary

  61. Begin with firms A and B.

    Firm A takes the decision to fill future vacancies with labor at ¾ the standard rate.

    Firm B continues to fill its ranks paying the full standard rate.

    Firm B will find itself at a competitive disadvantage.

    Therefore, Firm B will also opt for replacement labor at the lesser rate.

    No current employee of either firm will be terminated.

    Entry wage rates will be lower.

    Raises, accordingly, will be less than the previous rate as all rates move toward the equilibrium created by the new, lower standard wage rate.

    Eventually, all labor will be paid at the newer, lower rate.

  62. 1/5 of 1% That's the number.

  63. rufus,

    I keep hoping for adult supervision or, at least, some adolescent psychology.

    There isn't much hope, but what's the cost of a dream?

  64. If you can capture 1/5 of 1% (that's .002) of the energy the sun lays on the U.S. every day you will never have to dig an ounce of coal, or pump a barrel of oil, or a single cu ft of natural gas out of the ground.

  65. Now, you don't have to capture that energy through "Solar" as we think of it. It can be captured by converting the cellulose, or starch in plants.

  66. I keep hoping for adult supervision or, at least, some adolescent psychology.

    Allen, I'm sorry, but, I talked to Deuce and Whit, and they said they aren't doing it. We're on our own.

  67. Or, it can be captured by harnessing the wind, or the tides, or the Gulf stream. those are solar (and, lunar, I guess) phenomenoms, as well.

  68. trish,

    re: He's in no frame of mind to end it.

    Something else to consider, how does he dismount the tiger?

  69. The man is, above all, and if nothing else, a politician; and, he knows it's over.

    I just wonder about the poor son of a bitches left in the Green Zone. We could see that fucking helicopter on the embassy roof, again.

  70. There would be a lot of birds get their tail feathers fried with that one, eh Bob.

  71. Politicians do that all the time Trish; but, you know that.

  72. In fairness, he probably had some hope of turning it into Indiana-lite until, today.

  73. Today had to be a Horrible Blow.

  74. Good God; I'm watching something called "Uncle Earl." It's "HEE HAW 2006."

  75. A bunch of ugly-assed gals pickin and singin.

  76. They're pickin and singin pretty good, though. Pure Bluegrass

  77. Now it's some old folk rock abilly train hobo dirge. Lots of fiddles. And a mandolin

  78. Banjos, fiddles mandolin, guitar. singin, Good God.

  79. Gospel song called "Warfare?"

    Now, it's "sugarbaby."

    I laid her in the shade

    I gave her ever y dime I made

    What else could a poor boy do?

  80. Who'll rock the cradle when you're gone?

    Who'll rock the cradle when you're gone?

  81. I got no sugar baby now

    I got no sugar baby now

  82. This shit sounds like my life story.

  83. You ain't got no father and

    You ain't got no mother

    Put one foot infront of the other

  84. trish,

    The President has neither the benefits of popularity nor trust to do what you suggest. Obviously, if his understanding of the situation is as Rufus describes, he would be obliged to withdraw on moral grounds; but, that is something else altogether.

  85. Now we agot fiddles and hillbilly dancin

    Looks kind a like river dancin for you northerners

  86. rufus,

    Not that I would be counting, but how many of those Lites are you down?

  87. Ah whatever, you know what I mean.

    Yeah, I think he had hopes that they would have enough sense to rreach an accord. I know, I did.

  88. Hell, Allen, if you ain't countin, I sure as hell ain't.

  89. Hint: I had a twelve-pack and I got one left.

  90. Gads, I love this shit.

    You could never guess how much

  91. Homely women pickin on banjos, and mandolins and singin through their nose.

    Wearing country style sundrresses

  92. Every poll I have seen indicates, once past the headline, that the public opposes HOW the war is being conducted. That is not the same thing as opposing the war, per se.

    Consequently, if the public has lost confidence in the President's management of the war, what might the public's reaction be to the President's humiliation of America by unseemly withdrawal? I'm thinking impeachment.

  93. Now we're into old Scoth Irish ballads
    dolly dilly dum dilly dum ddum day

  94. Nah, he'll just declare victory, proclaim the I raqi army is good to go, and everyone will be relieved.

    Nobody like the fuckin a rabs, anyway.

  95. re: Gads, I love this shit.

    You could never guess how much

    Actually, I got that impression a while back.

    I can just see the "Lady in the Chair" in a bright yellow sundress with big ole red roses sing'n, "Why don't ya love me like you used to do?" Did I say barefoot?

    Granted, I did have some Wild Turkey 101 earlier. Butt...

  96. Of course, Buddy Larsen knows much more than I about stout women and country music; but, he’s on sabbatical. Oh, did I mention barefoot?

  97. Ah God, That was Great. If you ever get a chance to see "Uncle Earl," do it. They are great musicians.

  98. trish,

    re: Sherman

    What is the probability of never turning up a Sherman? Are things that far gone?

  99. Now, it's Gospel through the nose.

    I got the keys to the kingdom

    The World can't do me no harm

    When I get in trouble

    I know I didn't do no crime

    I got the keys in my bosom

    the world can't do me no harm

    The gal singin it speaks fluent Mandarin. The fiddle player was playing classical music when she was nine. sheesh

  100. What would a "Sherman" do, guys.

    It's a different day, a different kind of situation.

  101. I think that was probably X-Ray Beams (no, I'm not kidding) Bob. I guess they would be invisible until your tail feathers started burning.

  102. General Abizaid gave a speech the other day in which he told his audience that, after 50 months on the job, it was time for a change.

    Fifty months! And the President intends to keep him on the job until spring. Is there some method in the President’s madness? William Westmoreland hmmm…

  103. He was Deputy until Tommy Franks quit.

    Boy, that guy had some good timing. Talk about knowing when to hit the door.

  104. Did you kknow that some Kamikazee pilots attended their "Own" funeral, before taking off?

  105. They thought if they died for the Emporer they would live, forever.

    Where have I heard that, before?

  106. That believin in "Supreme Beings" makes folks do some silly shit.

  107. He's gotta give Gates some time to pick the guy he wants, Allen.

  108. Not 5 people in a hundred could tell you who Abizaid is.

  109. Watching "Victory at Sea"

    The Kamikazees

    The fight to the death between those who "fight to live" and those who "Fight to die."

    Sound familiar?

  110. I think we had about 19 thousand dead in the battle of Okinawa. Mostly Navy.

  111. I believe the Navy lost more men in the battle for Okinawa than any branch of the service lost in any battle since the Civil War.

  112. trish,

    I am not trying to be argumentative, Trish, and I do understand your point; however, ALL generals through history, with only rare exceptions, have had constraints. The truly exceptional find ways to cope, which is why they are exceptional. Note, I did not say off the reservation.

    To reiterate,

    ___Sometimes generals influence policy formulation.

    ___Always generals influence policy implementation.

    I like to think myself a fair fellow. Thus, I do not blame General Lee for the misfortune of having Jefferson Davis as a President.

  113. No it wasn't, Trish. The sanctions WERE breaking down. Saddam had to go. We didn't have SDI, then. Besides, he had a history of aggression. He was going to do it, again.

    It was a GOOD War; we just couldn't turn it into Switzerland.

  114. Look, when all the posturing is done the bad guys won't be able to forget that we went to Baghdad in 3 weeks.

  115. Well, soldier no. 12 just hit the trashcan, I suppose it's time to call it a day. Happy Christmas Eve, y'all. And, Good Night.

  116. Trish,
    Rufus has Ethanol Powered Rose Colored Glasses.
    Give them a try.
    When in a hole, Double Down

    State of Denial
    What would Abizaid know when he says we'll never get there without addressing the larger war?
    W knows best: Just check the record for the last 3 years.
    Rosé powered I guess.

  117. Abizaid on New York Times Video could have hardly been much plainer, but I will be in hopes of piercing the Rosé a least a smidge:
    When Aid for the enemy is pouring in from all sides, and nuking the place into glass is not on the table, the Quagmire deepens.

  118. "Having surrendered on almost every point"
    W's/Condi's legacies:
    But don't forget the tough talk first:

    "We will not allow...
    That is unacceptable...
    This will not stand..

  119. "There was a time when doug did, as well."
    Hell even 'Rat did at one time!
    ...but some seemingly never learn.

  120. "American political leadership failed to destroy the strategic re-supply capability of North Vietnam for 14 years and, in spite of deploying 550,000 troops to South Vietnam, the American will was worn down to the eventual state of collapse. Why would the outcome in Iraq be any different than it was in South Vietnam"
    ...been sayin that for years, hain't we?

  121. Did Rufus mention the 120mpg Carburetor that Cheveron's hidin?

  122. (as if they wouldn't have DONE something with Kudzu if they could!!!)
    THAT's a lock.

  123. Here's what we do:
    Hook a Gigawatt Class Generator up to Rufus's keyboard, and let him rip.

  124. "Can you just imagine what the Country would do if Bush went on National TV, and said, "My fellow citizens, you know that One Hundred and Seventy Billion Dollars we were going to spend in Iraq this year? I DECIDED TO SPEND IT, HERE, AND GET THE HELL OFF OF MIDDLE EASTERN OIL.""
    Yeah, we're already well practiced at the Transcontinental Eye Roll routine.

  125. Deuce's Photo doesn't exactly look like a
    "Deeply Buried Facility under a City"
    A CIC with balls would simply continue to set their clock back two years for every continued intrusion into our Warspace.
    But 30 years on, we're barely gettin started.
    The long, long, LONG War.

  126. trish said:
    But it is my belief that in the, um, grief process we are going through with regard to Iraq, hanging the bitter disappointment on the generals is just one way of delaying the realization that it was, after all, a shockingly stupid and unnecessary war.
    Sun Dec 24, 03:06:44 AM EST

    rufus said...
    No it wasn't, Trish. The sanctions WERE breaking down. Saddam had to go. We didn't have SDI, then. Besides, he had a history of aggression. He was going to do it, again.

    It was a GOOD War; we just couldn't turn it into Switzerland.\

    trish said...
    It wasn't a good war, rufus. It was a really, really bad war. It remains a really, really bad war.

    The kind of war that gives war a bad name, which is just what bad wars do.
    Sun Dec 24, 03:28:03 AM EST

    They're both right....

  127. Doug said, "A CIC with balls would simply continue to set their clock back two years for every continued intrusion into our Warspace."

    A CiC on the rag would set their clock back n years, and increment n by one year every time.