COLLECTIVE MADNESS


“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, December 06, 2006

US Withdrawal from Iraq is unfair say Iraqi politicians.











AFP is reporting this, and the question is do they have a point?
'This is unfair' say Iraqis on US panel threat
Dec 06 1:35 PM US/Eastern

A call for President George W. Bush to reduce US support to Iraq if Baghdad fails to improve security drew a sour response from Iraqi politicians, who said Washington had an obligation to back their government.
"The US calls itself an occupying force in Iraq and, according to the Geneva Conventions, if you are an occupier then you are responsible for the country," said parliamentarian Mahmud Othman, a Kurd.

"They have no right to to do this. This is unfair."

Bassim Ridha, a top advisor to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, said the White House has to support Baghdad "all the way".

"If they do not support the government then it will look as if they do not do what they preach," Ridha said. "We need their support to go forward."


105 comments:

  1. "They have no right to to do this. This is unfair."

    Well we've tried to get your tribes from killing each other. We've spent billions of dollars rebuilding schools,factories,electric generating stations. We've contained our ROE's to our detriment for humanitarian reason...how about you row your own damn boat.

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  2. Joe B..
    Is that top fly a Red Wolf?

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  3. Darth Vader: Perhaps you think you're being treated unfairly?

    Lando Calrissian: No.

    Darth Vader: Good, it would be unfortunate if I have to leave a garrison here.

    Lando Calrissian: [to himself] This deal is getting worse all the time.

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  4. Of course they're democrats running their version of democrazy.
    We did volunteer for and just signed on for an extension of the Responsibility. It is the legal justification for the Aurthority we wield there, such as it is.
    As we designed it.

    As the Model brothers dear old dad said
    "The Iraqi voted for Religion"

    Mr Maliki, Mr al-Hakim and even Mr al-Sadr have played US to a impasse.

    All agree it is the Baathist Sunni that are the core challenge to Iraq moving forwad. Their solution and ours will never reconcile.
    The Sunni exodus is just more orderly with US aorund.

    But make no mistake, the next round is that the US is "Cleansing Anbar", 100,000 Sunni refugees each month, or at least covering for it. Soon, and the "guilt" for inaction in Darfur.

    But for the refugees to be fleeing, while under US authority is a card yet to be played.

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  5. Chewbacca would never put up with it, fer sure.

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  6. Mr Washington, sir, how good of you to think of visiting.
    An ale on me, for you and your men.

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  7. DR..
    I think we need a Swan Island Study Group to get this mess in order.
    Baker couldn't do it. Kissinger is 83, wears a hearing aid in both ears and is blind in one eye (yep I read it and everything in print is ,well, like gospel)
    I know, let's dredge up April Glasby and drag her around. I mean if she hadn't given Saddam a wink and a green light tyo invade Kuwait we could be fighting somewhere else...like back in South America

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  8. No Rufus...It makes an Imam hard.

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  9. Habu:

    No Rufus...It makes an Imam hard.

    : )

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  10. Rufus,

    The way they had the teams bracketed it was a cinch Finalist certain teams would go on to greater success.

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  11. Ya just can't make stuff up like this..Flatulent passenger grounds flight
    Wed Dec 6, 2006 2:20pm ET
    NASHVILLE, Tenn., Dec 6 (Reuters Life!) - It may be one problem airline security officials never envisioned -- a passenger lighting matches in flight to mask odors from her flatulence.
    Butt wait there's more!!!
    Inflight..Gotta Light?

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  12. Joe B.

    I think it comes from my great aunt once removed ( for bad behavior).
    You're right about the reloading..sometimes I feel like those grainy WWII movies where the underground in Warsaw is churning away making ammo and guns out of whatever's handy.
    What I need to be do'in is more firing. We got bad guys com'in at us six ways from Sunday...or is it just the old paranoia settling in again ...see there's another one.
    Since Chavez bought those 100,000 AK-47's I figure each illegal will get one to "help" him reach norteamericano territory.

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  13. DR,
    His Excellency President Washington was called away on business..anything I can help you with?
    I just love the beach at Swan Island and I can cook too.

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  14. "Even before the report came out, the prime minister of the Kurdish autonomous region, Nechirvan Barzani, dismissed its significance -- at least for Kurds.

    "None of the people in the Iraqi Study Group have ever visited the Kurdish region," he said in a press conference just hours before the reports release.
    "
    ---
    MORON!
    After 5 YEARS these guys still don't get the Bush Doctrine:

    Kiss the enemies ass.
    Screw Allies.
    ---
    "The Fifth Way"
    ...only makes sense after you've had a fifth.

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  15. At least she didn't light the Flatulence.

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  16. Managing Risk:

    ""I've had calls from people all over the country about this," she said. "And I don't have the answer to this problem.""
    ---
    "Cork Futures"

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  17. Doug said, "At least she didn't light the Flatulence."

    But she tried to light it, which might very well have brought down the plane. She should be subject to a military tribunal as an enemy combatant and be held indefinitely at Guantanamo.

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  18. Go west, young jihadi. There's a galatic ummah to conquer, and your flight leaves at nine. Oh, you won't mind the one-way fare, right?
    Water flows on Mars, before our very eyes

    H/T TigerHawk

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  19. Sad
    ---
    His dad hired Helicopters a couple of days ago, and that's how the family was found.
    ...he was within a couple of miles.
    If they had had an Air Search a week ago, would have made it.

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  20. ‘We Can’t Afford to Leave’

    NEWSWEEK REPORTING
    Dec. 5. 2006 - In a surprise twist in the debate over Iraq, Rep. Silvestre Reyes, the soon-to-be chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he wants to see an increase of 20,000 to 30,000 U.S. troops as part of a stepped up effort to “dismantle the militias.”

    Newsweek

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  21. doug,

    re: Kurds

    As I said, more or less, the other day, Baker couldn't visit Kurdistan with less than a reinforced Marine brigade.

    You must also consider Baker's feelings: the Kurds are closely related to the Jooooos. It would be embarrassing to have kiss some quasi-Jew ass.

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  22. "...held indefinitely at Guantanamo."

    No, they would have held her next door, at "Guano, Ton or More".

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  23. Something I never noticed about this Escher's Eye is that if you enlarge it (click on eye, then enlarge) there is a human skull in the pupil

    Escher was a bit interesting.

    And how about that incoming Intelligence Committee Chairman....don't mess with Texas..Bush is really from New England somewhere

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  24. That's the surge force, habu.
    Mr Reyes with his anti-Iraq war background signs on with the Program, gives Mr Bush and the Generals the 90 tp 120 days that they said they need, not long ago.

    Then if it does not achieve success, the Dems say "We gave you what you wanted, and still..." the chance of success with a surge strategy alone is low, in the long term.

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  25. DR..I must admit I missed that but I think you're probably right..If the Sunni's know it they would do well to fight just defensively and wait out the clock....or take a vacation.

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  26. OTOH,
    This way he gets to fake it for a few more months.

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  27. W is from MetroCowboy Casting.

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  28. Condi will come up with something.
    Perhaps a Sonota.

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  29. You may find, habu that the Dems want the War to drag on, now.
    Some will call for retreat. But most will ack "The President's War".

    The movie man, Mikey Moore, got some face time the other day, protesting the Dems, for not forcing a pullout, now that they have the "majority".

    In Iraq in'08 will play poorly for the GOP.

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  30. I already had my first Movement, thank you.

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  31. How can you predict '08 when you have no handle on the present, 'Rat?

    We'er Winning!

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  32. Those guys at PoliPundit have 16” balls. As I recall, one of them is an officer serving downrange. My best guess is that none of them will get a Christmas card from the White House. Oh, their assessment is much the same as mine, given a week ago, i.e. prior to the publication of the Baker Boyz.

    “The White House has been examining a proposal by James Baker to launch a Middle East peace effort without Israel.” (Wow, Baker does read history, after all. That’s how the Allies handled Czechoslovakia)

    “The peace effort would begin with a U.S.-organized conference, dubbed Madrid-2, and contain such U.S. adversaries as Iran and Syria.” (Das Lied der Deutschen)

    “They said Israel would not be invited to the conference… ‘As Baker sees this, the conference would provide a unique opportunity for the United States to strike a deal without Jewish pressure…’”

    “Officials said the Baker proposal to exclude Israel from a Middle East peace conference garnered support in the wake of Vice President Dick Cheney’s visit to Saudi Arabia on Nov. 25. They said Mr. Cheney spent most of his meetings listening to Saudi warnings that Israel, rather than Iran, is the leading cause of instability in the Middle East.”

    Jimmy vs. the Jews - No, not Carter, BAKER

    Don’t miss the comments to the thread.

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  33. Westhawk today talks of the last two days of embarrasment in DC.
    The Gates confirmation wherein he gave no answers but shrugged his shoulders alot and the ISG report today. It's restatement of policies already in place is just travelogue junk
    Finally he asked the question about what out troops must think when the SECDEF says we can't win, and just what any allies we have must think
    Well the other day when i was devil's advocate in the form of "choke it down" commie pinko I listed our performances in the last fifty years.
    Korea
    Vietnam
    Somolia
    Desert Storm
    Beirut
    Desert Hostage rescue attempt

    To the good Germany got unified and we "won" a victory in the Cold War, perhaps ephemeral.

    We need to kick some butt somewhere. I'm still for finding a Curtis LeMay type and make some noise.

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  34. Don't have a handle on it?
    That's not what Austin Bay says:

    Rumsfeld's memo is a hodgepodge of ideas at least two years old. I found three exceptions. He suggests embedding Iraqi troops in U.S. units to train them (a Korean-like Katusa program). He suggests the United States might provide security only in provinces that request U.S. help and adds an "accelerated 2007 drawdown" option -- which looks like a drawdown and re-basing proposal considered for the 2009 time-frame.

    but then it proves Col. Bay doesn't read the blogs I frequent.

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  35. If you want to fix a problem, you must identify the problem. Saddam knew his people. He probably used just enough repression to maintain stability. It was ugly and wrong by our standards. But it is pretty ugly now and there is no sign of stability.

    It seems to me that an acceptable goal would be one that would restore Iraq to a level of stability that it enjoyed under Saddam. A better goal would be to bring stability and fairnesss, but neither will be accomplished without repression in one form or another.

    Bush is not capable in taking such a large step backward, but someone will have to find a new strongman who can take charge in Iraq. The government is a failure. The same happened in Russia when they rushed into democracy and then grew nostalgic for stability.

    Stability at a price may sound wrong but in the long run it may be a bargain.

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  36. The "strongman", duece, is the Iraqi Army.
    Whomever the majority of that Shia manned force decides to back. As of now those forces are in the barracks, in the south, or under US command.

    As the command transfers to the Government the "strongman" will be unleashed.

    Mr Maliki discounts Mr al-Sadr as a problem for the Iraqi Government and Mr al-Hakim tells US the problem is with those that fight the Government, the Six Enemy Tribes of Anbar & aQ Axis.

    They got the votes, when do they get their Army, whether General Casey deems it "prepared" or not?

    The Strongman exists, we have to hand over the keys, to people that do not share our Goals.

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  37. 2164..

    I like the idea of stability too. It was the chipper-shredders I had a wee bit of difficulty with. However now that I am all schooled up on Islam and what they want I could give a shit if they shredded each other all day long.
    In fact when you look back at the ten year Iran Iraq war...koolio...Persians vs Arabs, Arabs vs. Persians..at least we weren't using up our troops.

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  38. I'm most interested in what Sandy Berger and Tom Friedman suggested, along with Sandy day O'conner, of course.

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  39. Glad they didn't ask VDH, McCarthy or Ledeen.

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  40. Sandy Burger should be in JAIL or in front of a firing squad..but NOOOOO...
    He's working for Chi-coms as a registered lobbyist. DC is such a suck hole.

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  41. You make a good point DR, Ther has to be some ambitious colonel, a Muhammed al Tito. He is our man.

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  42. Hitchins puts Gates in the same stable as Baker!
    No wonder he drinks.

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  43. i think I'll let "Sonny" do some whup-ass from the grave on Sandy Berger.

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  44. HABU!
    Mr. Berger, esq is part of the esteemed Baker Team!

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  45. You see, doug, what we consider to be common sense solutions do not even warrent discussion, but are dismissed out of hand.
    "The Military Option has failed"
    is now the mantra.

    Non-military options have to be tried, which are limited, to say the least.
    Each day old Osama's Master Plan looks better thought out than the Bush Master Plan.

    That flypaper sure is sticky, kind of like a tar baby.

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  46. Ya got your strong horse,
    Weak horse,
    and Shetland Ponies.

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  47. And of course,
    the Horse's Ass in Cheif.

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  48. We are playing a losing hand in Iraq. I don't believe a suitable plan will be forthcoming from the Baker Muddy Group or the Pentagon.

    If we stay on what will be the end result in a country which is 60% Shia? Even if we manage to suffer long enough to accomplish our stated goal of an independent government, Iraq will never be a Turkey (which in recent years ain't the ally it use to be.) It is Shia and will inevitably align itself with Iran.

    You got to know when to hold 'em, Know when to fold em.
    Know when to walk away and
    know when to run.

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  49. Stalin certainly thought so.

    Listen to what you're saying, Deuce.

    We got rid of Saddam.

    The oil is safe (not just Iraq's, but kuwait's, Saudi Arabia's, and the UAE's.)

    We've allowed the Iraqis to ELECT THEIR OWN GOVERNMENT, and,

    we've just about got Iraq's Army trained to a reasonable level.

    We're about through, here, folks.

    Next!

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  50. I think Hillary let Bush know she has his FBI file and the story about the camping trip/sheep herding he was involved in during his "service" years.

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  51. I do not think so, duece. We've nominated, seconded and voted our man into office,
    Mr Maliki, he's our man.

    No two ways about it. He gets the Army, Mr Bush said so. There is no one else, but the UIA. Mr al-Hakim is more moderate in appearence but no different than Maliki or al-Sadr.
    Mr Maliki gets the Army and takes on the Sunni Insurgents, cleansing the land with blood and refugees.
    Lebanon erupts, along with Gaza.

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  52. To put it as nicely as possible, the writers of Westhawk are NOT pleased. Is the administration hell bent on alienating itself from every conservative in the country?

    Of nominee Gates, Westhawk wrote, "It seems as if appearing before a Senate committee as a bland, uninformed, and unimaginative sycophant is a surefire way of gaining approval."

    Of the ISG, Westhawk said, "Its authors would be well advised to slink out of town, lest someone remember that they were associated with this project."

    Of both Gates and the ISG, the position of Westhawk was scathing, "U.S. interests have been positively harmed by the Gates hearing and the ISG presentation."

    "After Mr. Gates’s performance and the ISG presentation, does anyone know what the U.S. government is going to do next?"
    Two very bad days in Washington

    Link

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  53. Listen to what the Demo politicians are saying, folks.

    "Send 20,000 More troops," they say. "We can't afford to lose," they say.

    It's winding down, folks. The Dems know it; the Imams know it, the Sheiks know it, and Iran and Syria know it.

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  54. Tune, Turn On, Drop Mushrooms!

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  55. Just "Tune" I guess.
    In to what depends on the Octane of your Ethanol.

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  56. Rotary has Service Above Self.
    Bush Gave Service Behind Self.

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  57. Ruf is just building up to the offer on whatever it is that gets him that high.

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  58. I read somewhere that way back more than a decade ago, Maliki, was part of a group that perpetrated some act of terror against the good old USA!

    Good Credentials for the Bush Doctrine. tm

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  59. Can Syria Be "Flipped?"

    Here we goes again.

    If Assad sees another 20,000 troops flooding into Baghdad, even after the Dem Victory;

    If Assad sees the Government of Lebanon hold on,

    If, if, if.

    What would it take to "flip" the Baby Doc?

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  60. In other words, HOW MUCH MOOLAH?

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  61. Youngest Person on Baker Comittee:

    67 Years.

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  62. Doc's right on the verge of flipping.
    ...just a hunch.

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  63. Things have never looked more grim for Baby.

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  64. Another Victory for Montezuma
    Better Dead than well-fed.
    Bottom line - 6ft under.

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  65. Flip him to what?
    Being proIsrael?

    The moollah is Lebanon
    to be won or lost.

    Baby Doc is riding a tiger, if he flips he'll get eaten alive. There is not a flip in his future.

    It is more likely that BeBe flips, moving into an appeasement mode, which ain't gonna happen either.

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  66. Yeah, and his buddy might soon be getting a little short on the Crazy Oil Cash.

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  67. Ace is salivating in this thread:

    Scarlett Johannsen Vows: I'll Do Nude Scenes Soon

    File it Under is also on the case.

    THE PUBLIC DEMANDS VOW T BE UPHELD!

    “Upheld”…hmmm

    Cheesecake

    Here’s a real issue for Al Gore.

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  68. If his coup in Lebanon fails, he's in a tough position, it seems to me.

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  69. DR,

    re: BeBe

    I like Netanyahu just fine, but it should not be forgotten, he surrendered Hebron (the oldest Jewish city in the world) to his Palestinian peace partners, as a sign of good faith. Hebron holds the Cave of Machpelah; it doesn't get more Jewish than that.

    Netanyahu, verbally at least, will be more obstreporous than Olmert, but the State Department controls the car keys. Don't expect too much.

    Just an opinion, but Israel, as the US, could do with a transfusion of new blood.

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  70. Climb Mt. Tapochau...and thus the order was given..

    Tomorrow is December 7th...thank a member of the greatest generation for doing their duty.
    Semper Fi

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  71. I think little Doc is 'tween a rock and a hard place, but to flip is to die.
    Even Mr Begin paid that price.

    No Doc going to push hard in Lebanon, for new elections, proportional elections. Always the democrat. With the refugees the Syrian / Lebanonese border must be wide open. I have not heard of camps for the Lebanonese homeless, as many as 500,000 to 1,000,000 depending upon the source. These folk are being integrated into Syria, along with the estimated 2,000,000 Iraqi entering the country as well.
    3,000,000 new inhabitats in a country with a base population of 18.5 million.

    There is trouble in deed, for the Alawite ruling minority. They have to win in Lebanon.

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  72. doug,

    C4 is onto something, although not in the manner he thinks.

    Jews DO have tremendous power. Comprising less than 0.25% of the earth's population, Jews have garnered the hatred of about 85% of the world' inhabitants, if recent UN votes are demonstrative.

    Now, that is power. Hell, even the US cannot claim such an animosity index.

    The cause is simple, we live. If we were to all die, the French would erect a modestly appropriate monument. To be sure, the President of France would lay a wreath each year and wipe away the single tear.

    Frankly, any country with 400+ advanced nukes that puts up with this crap has little justification for complaint. Things would change markedly were 20 of those to be launched against Iran. Holding 380 pretargeted nukes in reserve, Israel would be free to do what everyone else does: Israel could just say, "Bite me." Think anybody would DARE do anything about it, with every capitol bracketed?

    That C4, is fucking power! You can thank you lucky stars that I don’t run the show, otherwise your smoldering ass would have something to worry about.

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  73. Allen said, "Holding 380 pretargeted nukes in reserve, Israel would be free to do what everyone else does: Israel could just say, 'Bite me.' Think anybody would DARE do anything about it, with every capitol bracketed?"

    The UK and France would be cowed, but using a total of about a dozen warheads, Russia, Pakistan, and China would zap Israel as a global public service against a rogue nation, which by the way only has about 100 nukes and one underground reactor (Dimona) to arm them.

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  74. I'm with you, Allen--screw 'em, next time, do it first.

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  75. tess, remember "launch on warning"?

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  76. Look, Israel would be CRAZY to surrender the Golan. Israel took it to begin with because wars of extermination were being launched from there. Israel has fought a half dozen wars of extermination already in a short 60 years. What on Earth is Baker *thinking*?

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  77. Is there some confusion about the meaning of "war of extermination"? Has Israel ever fought such a war? No, only defended against such wars--repeatedly, every decade or so. The moral equivalence is absolutely maddening.

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  78. WC,

    I'll take that bet WC.

    When have Russia and China shown a death wish? 100 Nukes each would put utterly destroy the civilzations of both. As to Pakistan, you assume a delivery system capable of reaching Israel, assuming the Paks also have a death wish and Pakistan is unconcerned about India.

    Oh, that would leave Israel with at least 160 additional nukes. Since these will be seaborne, the danger is not eliminated.

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  79. buddy,

    Israel's fault is in not making crystal clear its unalterable intention to survive in place. You may trust Mr. Baker to regain his sense of realpolitick if Israel were to assert terminal power, say the elimination, once for all, of Syria. Why, he would be the first to arrive in Tel Aviv with offers of comfort and joy.

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  80. buddy,

    I am a vocal critic of US foreign policy as that is applied to Israel by those like Rice and Baker. But the maddening element is Israel's taking the crap, like a whipped dog. Does anyone think a North Korea, armed with 400+ nukes, would knuckle under to anyone. Hell, they are giving us fits with conventional weaponry and the mere threat of going seriously nuclear. Look at Iran.

    Israel has just got to snap out of it and have that Rocky moment. One day, when Jews come to understand that much of the world has wished them dead, wishes them dead, and will ever wish them dead, that moment may come.

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  81. everything you say is true, allen. it's a flat, bitter pill, but the future is beginning to deny everything but bottom lines.

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  82. what i cannot understand, for the life of me, is the lack of outrage over the extermination wars being launched over and over again, with the result that Israel merely puts a stop to the intention, and no more, no further. yet to listen to the airwaves, none of that has ever happened, the new baseline is always the latest Quana. Never the huge overhanging reality of the context within which these things happen.

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  83. buddy,

    I cannot be planner: most of the world wants Israel dead! Everything else is gamesmanship. The sooner Israel gets that, the better, because then it can act ruthlessly. Its a gunfight, and only one guy is going to walk away and have a drink at the bar.

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  84. Israel has always had some Generals who lived by that credo. Hope she still does. The storm is approaching.

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  85. be sure and look in on Gateway--Iran news, and Hamas is meeting with the USA Democrats--?

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  86. buddy,

    re: Gateway

    Yeah, I saw that earlier. Man, so many targets - decisions, decisions. Admittedly, and possibly regrettably, I am not surprised; Democrats, like Muslims, will be themselves.

    Have you seen his take on the desecration of the flag of Hezbollah and the controversy it has caused? Only in America.

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  87. i'll check it out--

    meanwhile, this is up @ the corner:

    Here's to Bipartisan Consensus! [Andy McCarthy]

    Memo to the Iraq Solipsism Group:

    Let's say 10 sages get together and are asked, "What is 2 + 2?" If half of them say 4 and the other half say 2, it is not admirable that, in order to achieve consensus, they unanimously agree to tell everyone that the answer is 3. It is, to the contrary, moronic — and, if the said consensus error is to be the foundation of national security policy, it is perilous.

    I just don't get how the media and the solons themselves are willing to celebrate error as triumph, in a life-and-death matter, simply because everyone is willing to be wrong together. I'm trying to figure out whether that is more craven or dumb — I'll be back to you once I've reached consensus.

    Posted at 7:51 PM

    (note* all is not lost--ISG is fizzling fast among the bloggos, it seems)

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  88. buddy,

    re: corner

    None of this is going to help the adminstration help America. This whole enterprise is becoming as frightening as Flight 93 must have been, and I am most certainly not being trite.

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  89. >buddy

    By the end of today, the ISG will have ceased to exist. I can't keep track of the number of bloggers who've exposed the utter ridiculity of the report - and mostly without having to go through 160 long, trite and fantasy-esque pages describing an Iraq in an alternate universe where Arabs and Americans live in peace with each other.

    And you put forth a rhetorical question: What on Earth is Baker *thinking*?

    I can offer two rhetorical answers:

    a) either he is really not on Earth and thus living in his own alternate reality; or

    b) he just can't think.

    Death to the ISG report!

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  90. harrison,

    re: Baker's thoughts

    1) Whose bread I eat, his song I sing

    2) Those f**king Jooos

    Let's hope this report is well and truly dead.

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  91. you know, you can advise someone to do something that gets them killed (such as surrendering Golan). Then what--who is dead? Not you, you're just "regretful" that it "didn't work out".

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  92. Hey, guys, Baker's legal group is on the Saudi Payroll!
    What's the big mystery about how he thinks?
    Think maybe Vernon Jordan and a few other honorable luminaries pick up a few coins outta this?

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

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  94. bobalbarb,

    Indeed, many of that august group are indebted to Saudi Arabia, in one way or another. For Mr. Baker, however, sticking it to the Jews is also a lucrative labor of love.

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  95. Well, once again, as on Nov 07, so much for C4's Zionist Lobby pulling American strings.

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  96. buddy,

    People like C4 and Baker, in their never ending quest to demonize Jews, are creating a situation where Israel will have to choose either the time of its extinction or war. I am betting on war.

    What Baker and the Saudis know is that a demographic earthquake is soon to rock the political structure of Israel. When this occurs, the world will become a far more dangerous place.

    By way of explanation, I point to the recent Lebanese unpleasantness. While commentators were busily discussing planes, sorties, munitions, armor etc, the most salient factor heralding a radically different future was staring them in the face, unnoticed. Israel is daily becoming more fundamentally religious, as evidenced by so many of the pictures coming out of Israel, showing an IDF bedecked in religious accoutrement. Religious Jews are reproducing themselves 3,4, and 5 times over, while secular Israelis are dying off for want of children.

    It is altogether possible that within a decade, the orthodox community will come to dominate Israeli and, hence, ME politics. When this occurs, there will be no more negotiating away the West Bank. Why? Because, contrary what has been stated here previously, the West Bank is not just any piece of real estate, no, Judea and Samaria make up the ancient kingdom of Israel. Much of the present state was only marginally, at best, part of the old kingdom. Furthermore, religious Jews will insist on making Jerusalem the undisputed capitol of Israel, with the Temple Mount as the center of the universe. As a final thought, religious Jews are not pacifists nor are they likely to rely upon outside alliances for protection. Why should they? When G-d is on your side, what is an alliance in comparison?

    Baker and the Saudis know all these things and are desperate to weaken Israel mortally in the remaining time.

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  97. I just wish they were ten times their number. I keep thinking of Custer's men at the Little Bighorn.

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  98. Of course, Custer's men were interlopers--I hastily add before bobal fire-breathes that comment. They were not defending their Temple Mount, obviously.

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  99. And, in the 7th Cavalry's defense, the Sioux & Cheyenne were trying to hold more land than they had any ability to defend, so failed on the realpolitik.

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  100. Analogies are dangerous--gotta protect both flanks--
    :-)

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