“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."

Sunday, January 28, 2007

"Did I say something wrong Ollie?" Kerry at Davos.

Kerry says US ‘a sort of international pariah’

DAVOS: Massachusetts Senator John Kerry slammed the foreign policy of the Bush administration on Saturday, saying it has caused the United States to become “a sort of international pariah.”

The statement came as the Democrat lawmaker responded to a question about whether the US government had failed to adequately engage Iran’s government before the election of hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005. Kerry said the Bush administration has failed to adequately address a number of foreign policy issues, speaking during a World Economic Forum panel discussion that also included Iraqi Vice President Adil Abd al-Mahdi and Mohammad Khatami, Ahmadinejad’s more moderate predecessor as Iranian president. “When we walk away from global warming, Kyoto, when we are irresponsibly slow in moving toward AIDS in Africa, when we don’t advance and live up to our own rhetoric and standards, we set a terrible message of duplicity and hypocrisy,” Kerry said. “So we have a crisis of confidence in the Middle East _ in the world, really. I’ve never seen our country as isolated, as much as a sort of international pariah for a number of reasons as it is today.”


  1. Deuce,

    You have outdone yourself with this graphic. A picture is, indeed, worth a thousand words.

  2. "We could replace all those ambassadors and special envoys and undersecretaries-in-charge-of-who-the-fuck-cares with delicious apple fritters and they wouldn't take us any less seriously.

    And at least that way we could eat them when they failed."

    John Kerry's New Buddies Keep Acting Like A Bunch Of Dicks

    How can you not love this guy?

  3. Hot damn! Got the bar to myself. Smoke 'em if you got 'em. I've always wanted to try one of those twelve shot combos, with the umbrella, of course. Hey, the till is open and there's the juke box. Life is good. Of course, the dart board is a little bit obscure, but who's looking. Oh yeah, it's my birthday.

  4. bob,

    Did she really say, "dick 'em"? Wow. I mean, I've heard rumors (who hasn't?) but this?

  5. Scot McCormick is an ignorant cocksucker. Rice will be pleased. For the record she isn’t, i.e. a cocksucker.

    “It is important to remember the kind of war Hezbollah waged,” the Times quoted McCormick as saying. “They used innocent civilians as a way to shield their fighters.

    Michael Totten presents a somewhat different point of view. This may have something to do with his head being on his shoulders and his feet being squarely on the ME ground, not genuflected with his head in the Saudi lap.

    “They Had Machine Guns Welded in Windows”
    Scot the spot

  6. The Noble Muslim, men of men, fierce and brave. Defenders of the faith and protectors of woman and children, noble warriors of Allah, one and all:

    Mortars Hit Iraqi Girls' School; 5 Dead

    Jan 28 8:42 AM US/Eastern

    Associated Press Writer

    BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Mortar shells rained down Sunday on a girls' secondary school in a mostly Sunni area of western Baghdad, killing five pupils and wounding 21, witnesses and police said. At least seven other people died in bombings and shootings across the capital, in primarily Shiite areas.
    Also Sunday, U.S. troops captured 21 suspected terrorists including an al-Qaida courier in a series of raids in Baghdad and Sunni areas north and west of the capital, the U.S. command said. Three of the suspects were believed to have close ties to the leadership of al-Qaida in Iraq, the military said.

  7. There's an international pariah here somewhere, and it ain't the United States.

  8. Kerry is an idiot, the money spigot at "big Ketchup" has been turned off, so he will just be another Al Gore, showing up only where he is wanted (SanFran, Mass., ETC), and making asinine comments. The anti Hillarys (who ain't) has a whole card that will be shown later, and it is called the "Vince Foster" card.....

    Great pic, Deuce, I wish you would shop it around, maybe get in on the front page somewhere!

    Happy Bday, Allen....

  9. Thanks gag, if you go to realclear politics , you can vote for it Kerry at Davos

  10. Well, I voted for your thread, duece. Those three votes, do they represent 3,000 readers, or just three votes?

  11. 2164th:

    Mortars Hit Iraqi Girls' School; 5 Dead

    The word on the street is that there's a virgin shortage in Paradise, hence the emphasis on clipping girls in schools and colleges. I expect Bush to rush to the Rose Garden and reaffirm that we are not at war against Islam, which is, after all, a religion of deep peace...about six feet deep as a matter of fact.

  12. bobalharb: Unfortunately, this has the smell of historical inevitability to me.

    Macy's has done some marketing tests, and "Inevitablility" as a name for their new purfumed, endorsed by Hillary, beats "Eau d' Arkansas Sweat" by two to one.

  13. The attacks on little girls just confirms the case made by Dinesh D'Souza.
    "... The thrust of the radical Muslim critique of America is that Islam is under attack from the global forces of atheism and immorality -- and that the United States is leading that attack.

    Contrary to President Bush's view, they don't hate us for our freedom, either. Rather, they hate us for how we use our freedom. When Planned Parenthood International opens clinics in non-Western countries and dispenses contraceptives to unmarried girls, many see it as an assault on prevailing religious and traditional values. When human rights groups use their interpretation of international law to pressure non-Western countries to overturn laws against abortion or to liberalize laws regarding homosexuality, the traditional sensibilities of many of the world's people are violated. ..."

    The Mohammedans object to Hollywood, to contraception, to progressive politics, equal rights for women, etc. They are fighting for their view of the world.
    No Britney Spears 24/7 for their Society, they believe it is cancerous to their Culture,
    They are right.
    But then again, it is cancerous to our Culture, as well.

    Breaking story, another Chopper may have been "taken down".
    If so, that's three in a week.

  14. Senator Brownback, Republican from Kansas, joins with Mr Warner on the anti-Surge Resolution.

    Another one bites the dust.

    Vote Republican Values
    Vote Foley

  15. Even with US weapons, looks like Fatah is gettin' it's ass kicked.

    Chalk up another good day for the Iranians

  16. Hey, rufus,
    After reading lots of reports, this morning, looks like there were around 80,000 or so bodies on the Mall, yesterday.

    For what that's worth.

  17. Thanks for your support DR. I am grateful to you and my mother.

  18. guys,

    Sorry for the confusion, it is not my birthday. I was using the line from the dwarf in the Geico commercial, as in - good things are coming my way.

    Thanks for the best regards, though.

    Deuce, my vote was just cast. You really deserve the plug. This is a unique site in every way. As rufus pointed out yesterday, we are always way ahead of the regular news reporters.

  19. There are a lot of words that might be used to describe John Kerry. On reflection, I think I like "douchebag" the best.

  20. Thanks Allen, one more vote and we get five and go to the next category. A couple more and we will need a helicopter with a fish eye lens to capture the whole crowd.

  21. Tigerhawk, how about "la douche froide"?

  22. Hey,

    For those who have not yet voted, get on over there, jump through the hoops, and give Deuce and Whit a vote of confidence. Who knows, the EB might even get some "respectable" traffic. Why, it may have to be renamed the Pachyderm Lounge.

    RealClearPolitics: ReaderArticles


  23. That was fast - respectable traffic, that is. TigerHawk has stopped by for a double "shot".

  24. Who is blackheath?
    That is the question of the hour.

  25. An interesting story in the NYTimes by a lady that has been there, in Iraq, numerous times in the past four years, totally 22 months incountry.

    She says that:
    "... Now, as I am leaving Iraq, a new American plan is unfolding in the capital. It feels as if we have come back to the beginning. Boots are on the ground again. Boxy Humvees move in the streets. Baghdad fell in 2003 and we are still trying to pick it back up. But Iraq is a different country now.

    The moderates are mostly gone. My phone includes at least a dozen entries for middle-class families who have given up and moved away. They were supposed to build democracy here. Instead they work odd jobs in Syria and Jordan. Even the moderate political leaders have left. I have three numbers for Adnan Pachachi, the distinguished Iraqi statesman; none have Iraqi country codes. ...
    violence changes people, and how trust is chipped away, leaving society a thin layer of moth-eaten fabric that tears easily. It has unraveled so quickly. A year ago, my interviews were peppered with phrases like “Iraqis are all brothers.” The subjects would get angry when you asked their sect. Now some of them introduce themselves that way.

    I met Raad Jassim, a 38-year-old Shiite refugee, in a largely empty house, recently owned by Sunnis, where he now lives in western Baghdad. He moved there in the fall, after Sunni militants killed his brother and his nephew and confiscated his large chicken farm north of Baghdad. He had lived with Sunnis his whole life, but after what happened, a hatred spread through him like a disease.

    “The word Sunni, it hurts me,” he said ...
    ...the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki — seems to be on an entirely different page. When American officials were debating whether to send more troops in December, I went to see an Iraqi government official. The prospect of more troops infuriated him. More Americans would simply prolong the war, he said. "If you don’t allow the minority to lose, you will carry on forever,” he said. ..."

    Now I realize that many folk do not like to read the NYTimes but the story just verifies that the 1.8 Million refugees that have left Iraq have taken the moderate middle with them.

    It also indicated that no matter the spin Mr Maliki puts on the "Plan", for US consumption, the majority of the people remaining in Iraq are unhappy with the Occupation.

  26. Earlier in the morning I called Mr. Scot McCormick a “cocksucker”. In the sobering light of day, I feel now the bounds of propriety were overstepped. To our gay and lesbian community of readers and contributors, I offer my heartfelt apology for what might be considered a vicious homophobic manifestation. (Sniffle) As anyone who knows me will attest, I feel cocksuckers are the very salt of the earth, the lead in the pencil, the mocha in the latte. While it goes without saying that I am glad my mother didn’t marry one…

    Returning to Mr. Scot McCormick, I think it safe to say he is an aficionado of Saudi culture and, therefore, an eager nibbler of the sweet Saudi gerkin and a willing ewe to Abdullah’s ram.

  27. DR,

    The majority of Americans are unhappy with the occupation; just as in 2003 the majority of Americans were unhappy with Saddam Hussein and Sons.

  28. Time for a US counter-attack. First we need a counter-attacker:

    Multi-culturalism damages UK, says Cameron

    By Melissa Kite, Deputy Political Editor, Sunday Telegraph (one hell of a paper)
    Last Updated: 3:04am GMT 28/01/2007

    "David Cameron last night launched his most outspoken attack on the doctrine of multi-culturalism, which he said had undermined Britain.

    He criticised "clunking" government initiatives designed to redress the balance. He said it was "time for a more British approach" and he promised that a Tory administration would wage a "crusade for fairness".

    The Tory leader said: "Yes, we need to ensure that every one of our citizens can speak to each other in our national language. Yes, we need to ensure that our children are taught British history properly. And I do think it is important to create more opportunities for celebrating our sense of nationhood.

    "We will set out a clear and consistent path to ensure these things actually happen, starting with our policy review, which will make specific recommendations this week."

  29. Deuce,

    re: multiculturalism

    What is so difficult to understand about good manners? If someone comes to my home, he will be welcomed with hospitality. If he shits on the floor, however, should he be surprised to find himself on the sidewalk with a boot up his ass?

  30. FOX is reporting 250 gunmen killed by coalition forces around Najaf. US air and armor were used.

    Now, that is serious hunting! And someone had the sense to advertise the results of the engagement.

  31. Desert Rat: Even with US weapons, looks like Fatah is gettin' it's ass kicked. Chalk up another good day for the Iranians.

    In retrospect, it seems those 3,000 M-16s and one million rounds were just like putting chicken giblets in the Pirhana river, now it's a Muslim-on-Muslim free for all. Chalk up another good day for Israelis and Americans.

  32. "If you don’t allow the minority to lose, you will carry on forever,”

    Interesting concept. So unlike the battle for Iraq's future. The administration has adopted a New-Age warfighting concept. You know, like our children learned in kindergarten, where there are no winners or losers. Just conciliation to mushy concensus that means nothing and settles nothing. Don't want no hurt feelings. Just kick the can down the road and hope for the best.

    Maybe that primitive Iraqi quoted above is on to something. Let's pick somebody (anybody), kill them until they are a minority and let them lose. So it doesn't " go on forever".

  33. lugh lampfhota: Maybe that primitive Iraqi quoted above is on to something. Let's pick somebody (anybody), kill them until they are a minority and let them lose. So it doesn't " go on forever".

    And if you have a hard time deciding, pick the one that's already a minority and is the one targetting women and children and US soldiers, and contains a lot of Saddamite dead-enders.

  34. Yes. Yes. Yes. Two hundred fifty is a drop in the proverbial bucket, but in the words of an ancient Hebrew proverb, "Do not despise small beginnings". Or, as Mao would have said, "The journey of a thousand [miles] begins with the first step".

  35. Three choppers in one week.
    Aerial IEDs are the new threat?

    The first chopper, in the current group that went down, was full of Birds and CSMs. They must have thought it safer to flock together in the air, than on the ground.

    Those Colonels did not maintain their interval, roosting together instead.

    Two colonels, a lieutenant colonel and two command sergeants major were among the 12 U.S. soldiers killed last weekend in the crash of a Black Hawk helicopter northeast of Baghdad, the Pentagon said.
    The helicopter went down Saturday in Diyala province, one of the volatile regions in the Iraq conflict.

    The Army has said the cause of the crash is under investigation. But a Pentagon official has said debris indicates the helicopter was hit by a surface-to-air missile.

  36. Three Colonels, a Major, a Capt, two CSMs a 1st Sgt and some staff, totally 12 dead vs 300 hadji dirtbags, all KIA in Diyala province.

    A kill ratio of only 25 to 1.

    A greater loss for US, then for them.

  37. Bush will so divide the Republican Party, there will likely be a Conservative third part run and that will prety much finish them off. Of Course the Democrats may intervene. Thye have to have a few more Kerry's in there. There is no chance that we have another Bush.

  38. Has anyone else noticed we are seeing more enemy body counts now that the Dems are in power? Fricking "big media"........

  39. 911-DENIAL Was 9/11 that bad?
    The attacks were a horrible act of mass murder, but history says we're overreacting.
    So why has there been such an overreaction? Unfortunately, the commentators who detect one have generally explained it in a tired, predictably ideological way: calling the United States a uniquely paranoid aggressor that always overreacts to provocation.

    In a recent book, for instance, political scientist John Mueller evaluated the threat that terrorists pose to the United States and convincingly concluded that it has been, to quote his title, "Overblown." But he undercut his own argument by adding that the United States has overreacted to every threat in its recent history, including even Pearl Harbor (rather than trying to defeat Japan, he argued, we should have tried containment!).

    Seeing international conflict in apocalyptic terms — viewing every threat as existential — is hardly a uniquely American habit. To a certain degree, it is a universal human one. But it is also, more specifically, a Western one, which paradoxically has its origins in one of the most optimistic periods of human history: the 18th century Enlightenment.
    Yet as the comparison with the Soviet experience should remind us, the war against terrorism has not yet been much of a war at all, let alone a war to end all wars. It is a messy, difficult, long-term struggle against exceptionally dangerous criminals who actually like nothing better than being put on the same level of historical importance as Hitler — can you imagine a better recruiting tool? To fight them effectively, we need coolness, resolve and stamina. But we also need to overcome long habit and remind ourselves that not every enemy is in fact a threat to our existence.

    a.Imagine a minimum attack that would most effectively bring our economy to a halt.

    b.Imagine a minimum attack that would most effectively spread mass terror and "paranoia."

    c.Enjoy the bounty of an abundance of taquiya.

  40. > looks like Fatah is gettin' it's ass kicked.

    That's great news, civil war in Palestine. Two terrorist groups killing each other. And no one else getting hurt. The Bush plan for Democracy in the Middle East is working.

    It's a big information war win now. The MSM can't blame the West when two Palestinian groups are killing each other. Now we see them fighting out of ambulances, mosques, kidnapping each other, and accidentally (?) killing civilians. Will the Leftist group ask for war crimes trials, like every time the US or Israel hits a civilian?

    I wonder if the Arab TV channels will show snuff movies of Palestinians killing each other, like they do with Westerners. Maybe Fox News will show the ones with Palestinians.

  41. > To bring to a crashing end a long run of land interventions.

    Trish, did you know the Democrats want to add more troops in Afghanistan? Hillary spoke out in favor of it, and right now Nancy Pelosi, Democratic House Speaker, is in Afghanistant promising support Karzai she will help send the troops. Bush already has submitted a plan.

    Democratic escalation in Afghanistan

    Quotes in bold:

    Pelosi, D-Calif., and Karzai discussed plans announced last week by the Bush administration to ask Congress for $10.6 billion for Afghanistan...

    The trip comes two weeks after Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., visited the region. Clinton, who entered the 2008 presidential race a week ago, said this month that U.S. leaders should be talking about increasing troop numbers in Afghanistan instead of Iraq...

    Pelosi told Karzai that Afghanistan has bipartisan support in Congress, the Afghan official said.

    The reality is that we're going to be in Iraq for a long, long time. All the talk about pulling out is phony, to try to keep the Far Left supporting Dems for as long as possible. ALmost no Democrats will have the guts to allow Al Qaeda to build bases camps and launch a 9/11 from Iraq, which would happen if we pulled out.

  42. Speaking of not leaving Iraq any time soon, the liberal Washington Post had a columnt today called Grand Delusion

    which said (in bold):

    Politicians in Both Parties Act as if They Can Make the War Go Away Soon. It Won't...

    supposedly braver critics demand a cutoff of funds for the war and the start of a withdrawal within months. But they're not honest either, since they refuse to answer the most obvious and necessary questions: What do they propose the United States do when, as a result of withdrawal, Iraq explodes and ethnic cleansing on a truly horrific scale begins? What do they propose our response should be when the entire region becomes a war zone, when al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations establish bases in Iraq from which to attack neighboring states as well as the United States? Even the Iraq Study Group acknowledged that these are likely consequences of precipitate withdrawal.

    Those who call for an "end to the war" don't want to talk about the fact that the war in Iraq and in the region will not end but will only grow more dangerous. Do they recommend that we then do nothing, regardless of the consequences? Or are they willing to say publicly, right now, that they would favor sending U.S. troops back into Iraq to confront those new dangers? Answering those questions really would be honest and brave...

    Biden must assume that if the president took his advice and canceled the troop increase, then somehow Iraq would no longer be a serious crisis when President Biden entered the White House in 2009.

    This is a delusion, but it is by no means only a Democratic delusion. Many conservatives and Republicans, including erstwhile supporters of the war, have thrown up their hands in anger at the Iraqi people or the Iraqi government. They, too, seem to believe that if American troops leave, because Iraqis don't "deserve" our help, then somehow the whole mess will solve itself or simply fade away. Talk about a fantasy...

    I would think that anyone wanting to be president in January 2009 would be hoping and praying that the troop increase works. The United States will be dealing with Iraq one way or another in 2009, no matter what anyone says or does today. The only question is whether it is an Iraq that is salvageable or an Iraq sinking further into chaos and destruction and dragging America along with it.

  43. Dhimmi Watch
    NEW YORK (AP) —
    Three groups are urging ABC News not to keep CNN Headline News personality Glenn Beck on as a "Good Morning America" commentator because they believe he's biased against Arabs.
    The Arab American Institute, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Muslim Public Affairs Council all said Thursday they had written to ABC News President David Westin about Beck.

    "Good Morning America" executive producer Jim Murphy has spoken to a representative of the groups and has invited them on the air to talk about their grievances, said ABC News spokeswoman Jeffrey Schneider....

  44. We have Duncan Hunter,
    but of course we have the Party that will see to it that he will be appropriately buried:
    The GOP

  45. ric ottaiano: I'm not sure if this has been mentioned, but Kerry voted against signing on to the Kyoto Treaty, as did a unanimous U.S. Senate. What a jerk.

    From Wikipedia:

    On July 25, 1997, before the Kyoto Protocol was finalized (although it had been fully negotiated, and a penultimate draft was finished), the U.S. Senate unanimously passed by a 95–0 vote the Byrd-Hagel Resolution (S. Res. 98), which stated the sense of the Senate was that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol that did not include binding targets and timetables for developing as well as industrialized nations or "would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States".

    The current President, George W. Bush, has indicated that he does not intend to submit the treaty for ratification, not because he does not support the Kyoto principles, but because of the exemption granted to China (the world's second largest emitter of carbon dioxide[42]). Bush also opposes the treaty because of the strain he believes the treaty would put on the economy

    So my question to the junior Senator from Massachusettes is, What the fuck is his problem with the Bush Administration?

  46. > It's all about politics for them.

    Politics is always part of it, because we have elections every two years. Republicans in Congress, and maybe someday the President, are finding out the hard way that it is impossible to ignore politics. (Which is something that Al Qaeda never forgets.)

    "Watch what we say, not what we do" is an old political saying. All Congress is doing right now is voting for meaningless symbolic resolutions. All the Democratic party leaders have sworn up and down that they'll not cut funding. They know if "if they break it, they own it".

    Even freezing the troop count, if they actually did it, would make Congress responsible for every death in Iraq, every problem there, and for any terrorist attacks which took place in the US, including another 9/11. Congress is too gutless to do that.

    Even the anti-war protesters don't dare say we should pull out of Iraq, they just oppose adding more troops. (Has American lost its will to protest wars? Today's Left seems pretty soft compared to Vietnam anti-war people.) As someone joked, three months ago the pro-war wanted to keep the troop count the same, but now that's what the anti-war group wants to do.

  47. Ms Pelosi may have found a "new friend" according to westhawk analysis
    "... Now Ms. Pelosi may become Mr. al-Maliki’s new best friend. If we are to judge by their public statements, both would like to see American ground troops exiting Iraq. Mr. al-Maliki knows that American society and its government are now divided over Iraq policy. Having now established a relationship with the Speaker of the House, Mr. al-Maliki could now feed her “talking points” about how, in his view, the U.S. could better manage its effort in Iraq. Those talking points would include more guns for Mr. al-Maliki’s friends, more Iraqi authority over military operations, and fewer American troops. All points Ms. Pelosi could agree with.

    But does she really? Ms. Pelosi called her trip a “fact-finding” mission. Those facts include deadly serious men in Baghdad, the kind she has never met in San Francisco or Georgetown’s salons, and the risk of butchery on a breathtaking scale if she were to actually get her way. Mr. al-Maliki knows about her ideas for American “redeployment” and he is now her smiling friend. Now that she has the responsibility for Congressional action on U.S. war policy, one wonders whether Ms. Pelosi understands the gravity of her position. ...

  48. That is the new Democratic approach. It used to be that when a Senator voted for something, he was punished by the voters if they disagreed.

    But the new Democratic idea, first with the Iraq War and now maybe with Kotyo, is that they can vote for something, then change their minds, renounce the vote, and be against it.

    It's like Kerry said during the campaign:

    > "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."

    And that $87 billion included:

    the bill Kerry opposed did contain $300 million requested by the Pentagon to buy best-grade body armor for all troops in Iraq, and also contained additional combat pay and health benefits for reservists called to active duty.

    Fact check: Bush ad

  49. Slow failure, trish, slow failure.
    With out a decisive change of course, which the "Surge" is not, Slow Failure will be the outcome.

    Mr Bush has said as much, his "new" Plan not really much different than the "old" Plan.

    General P, been there, done that.
    It is funny, but the one COIN op in Iraq that has been touted as a success, Tal Afar, used the technique that wu tells US cannot work, to labor intense, he says.

    "... When Colonel H. R. McMaster was deployed to Tall Afar in northwest Iraq in 2005, the city was an insurgent hotbed. Today, it is the model for President Bush's new blueprint to rescue America's mission in Iraq. ...
    In October, Colonel McMaster, who has a doctorate in history, was recalled to the Pentagon from a temporary post at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. He was one of the small group of military high-fliers charged with fleshing out the new plan presented by Mr. Bush.

    Crucially, his thinking was shared by General David Petraeus, the new commander of multinational forces in Iraq. General Petraeus is also an admirer of the strategies pursued by British forces in Malaya.

    The general now has the chance to emulate General Gerald Templer, who was empowered by Churchill to implement a "clear and hold" counter-insurgency against an insidious enemy. Like today's Sunni Muslim Iraqis, Malaya's Chinese communists moved at will among an embittered minority. Ruthless terrorists capable of perpetrating massacres, the Maoists appeared to be unstoppable.

    General Templer acted ruthlessly to separate terrorists from the civilian population, knowing this would starve the organization of support and resources. Whole Chinese settlements were forcibly moved to new locations where the authorities then sought to prevent insurgent infiltration. Strict policing twinned with better living standards offered civilians incentives for switching loyalties.

    Colonel McMaster's first step was to ring Tall Afar with a 12-mile, 9-foot-high wall. Once he had control of everyone entering and leaving the city, he contacted tribal leaders. Residents were advised to move temporarily to a new camp and the military took back Tall Afar after a short fight. There has been relative calm ever since. ..."

    The fish cannot swim, if the lake is drained.

  50. Wretchard made the point a while back, but it's worth repeating over and over and over again. The key to Iran is in Iraq, and the key to Iraq is in Iran.

  51. beer and frauleins can help as well as some others:

    FRANCIS CRICK, the Nobel Prize-winning father of modern genetics, was under the influence of LSD when he first deduced thedouble-helix structure of DNA nearly 50 years ago.

    The abrasive and unorthodox Crick and his brilliant American co-researcher James Watson famously celebrated their eureka moment in March 1953 by running from the now legendary Cavendish Laboratory in
    Cambridge to the nearby Eagle pub, where they announced over pints of bitter that they had discovered the secret of life.

    Crick, who died ten days ago, aged 88, later told a fellow scientist that he often used small doses of LSD then an experimental drug used in psychotherapy to boost his powers of thought. He said it was LSD, not
    the Eagle's warm beer, that helped him to unravel the structure of DNA, the discovery that won him the Nobel Prize.

  52. While that is all to true, mat, the US government refuses to acknowledge it.
    Religion of Peace rhetoric being one of the symptoms of that psychosis.

  53. wu wei,

    "It used to be that when a Senator voted for something, he was punished by the voters if they disagreed."

    It used be that Senators did not stand for election. Those were the days the Founders had in mind. It kept the Senate, one hesitates to say, "more" honest with foreign policy.

  54. Trippin' the light fantastic, duece.

  55. Greatest damage ever done to the Republic, allen.
    The direct election of Senators.

  56. Deuce,

    That was no accident. DNA is a type of fractal. You might enjoy reading this:

    The Colours of Infinity. With an Introduction by Arthur C. Clarke.

  57. Religion of Peace rhetoric being one of the symptoms of that psychosis.


    That is why we are here.

  58. Well trish, if we cannot hire the laborers, enough to do the job, best we pass on the contract.

    There are plenty of Iraqi available to secure Iraq. No shortage of unemployed men there. If the US has done a poor job in hiring and training those available Iraqi, that's on US.

    Just another symptom of the slow failure of US policy and doctrine.

  59. Trish

    The Iranian are good Olympic Judo wrestlers. We still beat their ass, but that's another story. Anyway, if the Iranian push, all you need to do is pull. It's that simple. Really, is it.

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

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

  62. Have a listen:

  63. If this article is true, it would be the most important step in the War on Terror since going into Iraq.

    The article is a week old and from a supposedly "nonpartisan" magazine. It focuses on Bush's new Iran policy, but part of that is something even more important. The article claims that all the players, including Israel, the Saudis and the US(?), have taken sides in the Sunni / Shiite conflict. So if this is true, and the alliance is as solid as the article claims, we may have moved into a World War III like situation where various nations are lining up against each other.

    Quotes from the article are in bold below, with my words in regular type.

    There is good and bad news.

    The bad news is that some in the Administration are saying that our raids have not yet find the evidence against Iran which we expected.

    Contrary to some initial reports that American troops had found damning maps and documents on the detained Iranians, some U.S. government sources indicate that the Hakim raid did not produce definitive proof of Iranian involvement in supplying Iraqi militants. "They are trying to walk this back," one U.S. official said. "There are no smoking guns about Iran in Iraq," said another knowledgeable U.S. source. "That's the problem. Sort of like the WMD."

    The good news is they confirm that Bush IS getting tougher on Iran.

    U.S. officials, who asked not to be identified, say that the Iran policy has expanded from focusing chiefly on Iran's nuclear ambitions to challenging Tehran's suspected misbehavior across the Middle East. Indeed, one source said succinctly that the new policy is geared to "confront Iran in every way but direct armed conflict, using all means short of war." ...

    Under the new policy, the United States will aggressively seek to expose and confront Iranian networks thought to be supplying radical proxies in Iraq, U.S. sources involved with the policy said. In addition, the U.S. is doubling its naval power in the Persian Gulf, considering covert ways to counter Hezbollah in Lebanon, and sending Patriot missiles to jittery allies in the Gulf. Bush administration officials are "projecting a lot of confrontation with Iran," says one American source privy to the administration's Iran policy debate who asked not to be further identified. "But they don't mean to signal war. They don't mean war. It's war by other means.

    Controversial, but good news IMO, is them saying "confront Iran in every way but direct armed conflict, using all means short of war... It's war by other means" Maybe Bush has finally realized there are other ways to fight besides invasion & occupation, the same ways our enemies like Iran use.

    The other good news, and one of the "other means", is that the Saudis supposedly are so scared of the Iranians that they have switched sides. In fact the article even talks about the emerging Washington-Saudi-Sunni-Israeli alliance with Jordan and Egypt also included. Some evidence:

    Clawson cited Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's very positive public reference about the Saudi role in helping to promote peace. "It was extraordinarily unusual for an Israeli prime minister to refer to three helpful countries" -- Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan. "That was no accident. It was carefully worked out language." The Israeli media recently reported speculation about a rare meeting between Israeli and Saudi officials.

    Dick Cheney's Christmas flight to Saudi Arabia sounds like part of this. The Saudis are already taking action, according to the article, in fact the Saudis are said to be the one secretly supporting Fatah in the civil war in Palestine!

    Among the steps the Saudis now appear ready to take, according to Clawson, is to significantly fund Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has faced an upsurge in intra-Palestinian violence incited by Hamas, which is supported by Syria and Iran.

    Here is more about the alliance

    The first is the emergence of a Saudi-led coalition of Sunni Arab governments, plus Israel, all of which are alarmed at Iran's flexing of power in the region and, in particular, at Tehran-backed Hezbollah's efforts to bring down the government in Lebanon. In addition, this loose coalition fears Iran's possible role in supporting militant proxy groups that threaten to destabilize other countries, specifically Hamas in the Palestinian territories and Shiite groups in the Gulf States, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.

  64. One positive aspect of the coming Senate resolution will be to put a burr under the saddle of General Petraeus. If he is going to be a hero, he will have to move with alacrity.

    General Petraeus has a command asset unavailable to his predecessors: if the administration jerks his bridle, his complaint of abuse could bring down the Bush administration. Let us hope he uses the opportunity to wreck havoc. On the enemies of the United States, I mean to say…Hmmm…Yes, that’s it, the foreign enemies of the United States.

  65. an even better and improved post wu.

  66. C'mon Trish, that's no way to wrestle.

  67. The National Journal that wu directs us to:
    Middle East analyst Daniel Byman, who is the director of Georgetown University's Security Studies Program, said, "The most popular people in the Islamic world right now, and the two most popular people in Egypt, are Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. And their popularity is increasing. They are like Che Guevara."

    Which is bad enough, but to combat this Hearts & Minds thumping the National Journal describes US Federal activity in the closing paragraph:
    U.S. officials say that multiple inter-agency meetings on Iran are going on every day under the auspices of the Iran-Syria Policy and Operations Group, and that the pace of activity has quickened. "There are so many meetings; we're doing stuff, writing papers; actions are being taken," said one person involved with the group.
    "It's very intense."

    Very Intense, meetings and paper reports, written and read in DC, those'll win the War, no doubt of that.

  68. Trish,

    But I wasn't quoting Wretched Wisdom. I wasn't even quoting Wretchard. I telling you what you don't want to hear. You don't want hear, because you don't want to listen. And you don't want to listen, because you don't believe it your war. You believe it's the Jew's war.

  69. The Iranian Revolution, begun in 1979, has the express purpose of violently overthrowing the existing institutions of the ME. Driving the United States out of the ME is integral to this end. Consequently, since 1979, Iran has been at "war" with the United States. Its use of proxies to kill Americans and attack infrastructure makes it no less a war.

    Iranian's revolutionary goals will not be stymied by more "short of war" techniques, as its successful attacks on American troops in Karbala and the loss of American aircraft shows. Unless Iran suffers the sting of the American cat-o-nine, it will keep on keeping on.

  70. You could argue, thewaronterrible, that had Kerry not had been selected,another more worthy candidate could have beaten Bush. Kerry disqualified himself to many for legitimate reasons. He disgraced himself and trashed a generation of good men. Perhaps both parties ought to reflect on the binary choice presented to the country.

  71. That's a crock, mat.
    I've read what trish has written for years, her position on the War seems no more based on Joos than mine is.

    The fact is the way the War has been prosecuted has been dismal. We are less likely to involve Iran, directly, then we were three years ago, when the US Public would have rolled on with it.

    It will not happen, now.
    Unless Haifa, Tel Aviv or Baghdad burn in a nuclear fire.

  72. There is other evidence of the Sunni - Israel - US alliance too. The Saudis and other Sunnis criticized Hezbollah & Iran rather than Israel in the Arab League heldwhile the fighting was going on in Lebanon, and it has been Saudi vs. Iran in other such events too.

    More recently, the Saudis recently almost single-handedly crushed the price of oil. Now I can see why.

    Some months ago, apparently before the alliance, commodity traders drove oil down some, but couldn't go further when the Saudis agreed with the rest of OPEC to cut oil production.

    However, this last oil crash was very different. This time the Saudis basically said "no way in hell will we cut back on oil, in fact we're going to pump every barrel we can!" Naturally, the market collapsed and gave us the lower oil prices we have today.

    That is very rare. The last time the Saudis did that was in 1992 to thank the older Bush and try to get him reelected.

    This seems to have been timed to match the Iranian election (we can play that game too), and the UN / US sanctions hit Iran at the same time. It has caused political unrest and open criticism within Iran of their lunatic president and his nukes. His party lost in the election. The biggest hit was because their economy is flimsy, totally depending on oil, so this really rocked them.

    So this was an Arab to Persian kick in the crotch, a message sent loud and clear from Saudi Arabia that they are willing to play the oil card, and that Iran needs the money more than they do.

  73. Has anyone known to anyone physically seen or touched Osama bin Laden? We do have virtual Osama, but he left off touring in 2001. Unlike the Stones, he cannot be convinced to perform annual farewell tours.

  74. Poor Osama, eclipsed by Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    Woe is he.

    Next time we see him, if we do, will be after a strike worthy of his attention.

    Not that it matters much, now.
    Two, three years ago it could have made a difference, but the US has both ignored & escalated the "War" well beyond the actions of Osama and his border bandit minions.

  75. Trish,

    Thank you for making my point. Iran is YOUR nemesis. Jihad is YOUR nemesis. You're not some fscking Olympian God. So get off your fscking high mountain, because down on this mother fscking Earth, WE ARE ALL little people.

  76. We may be little people, mat, but we are not at War with the little people of Iran, either.

    No, not at all.
    No more than we are at War with Mexico and the little people there.

    The US being a nation of Laws has pretty strict guidelines as to entering into a War.

    Watching Ms Hillary and Mr Biden, Mr Warner, Mr Brownback and Mr Coleman it seems to me we are not about to enter into a War with Iran, regardless of the provocations, or lack of, as per the National Journal, to date.

  77. d'Rat,

    You don't need to repeat Saudi propaganda to me. I'm well aware of it.

  78. Those Sauds spend enough to promote it.

    Hire the best and the brightest, here in the US.

    Mr Kissinger, Mr Baker, Mr Clinton and others.

  79. DR: "General P, been there, done that.
    It is funny, but the one COIN op in Iraq that has been touted as a success, Tal Afar, used the technique that wu tells US cannot work, to labor intense, he says."

    DR, what we did in Tel Afar is the Army / Petraeus counterinsurgency plan. The Plan spends many pages discussing past counterinsurgency ops, (the evidence you wanted and I mentioned several times), and it spends two pages talking about why Tel Afar was a successful, text book example of what we want to do.

    DR, quoting "Residents were advised to move temporarily to a new camp and the military took back Tall Afar after a short fight."

    They "temporarily" moved the Tal Afar residents out, just as was done before Fallujah II, then they came back.

    That is different from the other general in the DR quote, who said "Whole Chinese settlements were forcibly moved to new locations where the authorities then sought to prevent insurgent infiltration."

    All three techniques, permanent relocation (#1), temporary relocation (#2), or just driving the terrorists out(#3), are all ways to implement the clear - hold - build strategy, as the DR quoted article says. In fact the DR quoted aticle says Petraeus buys into the strategy.

    The goal is to separate insurgents from civilians, and the question is which of the three methods should we use in Baghdad. Do we want to move six million civilians out of Baghdad and into refugee camps (#1)? I don't see why we should punish the innocent while protecting the guilty. Especially when the insurgents are already flooding out of Baghdad, not wanting to fight.

    They are choosing method #3, where everyone has to disarm, stop fighting, or be arrested. Insurgents who resist are being capture & killed every day, like the 250 today.

  80. Something to think about whether or not one is entirely in agreement:

    Myths of the Iraq War (Top Ten)


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

  82. > it seems to me we are not about to enter into a War with Iran

    Nope. No war with Iran.

    The Bush policy is confront Iran in every way but direct armed conflict, using all means short of war

    This is in the long article I posted earlier.

    ... one source said succinctly that the new policy is geared to "confront Iran in every way but direct armed conflict, using all
    means short of war." ...

    Bush administration officials are "projecting a lot of confrontation with Iran," says one American source privy to the administration's Iran policy debate who asked not to be further identified. "But they don't mean to signal war. They don't mean war. It's war by other means."

  83. Note that thewaronterrible referred to the American people as "the masses". Sorta says it all eh? The elitist Marxist view of all the smelly, stupid, peasants wandering around looking for some self-important leader.

    Take John Forbes Kerry the John Kennedy wannabe, who recklessly disobeyed SOP to put his boat ashore so he could gain fame. Then he comes home to villify American soldiers to gain fame.

    Kerry could only be loved by a Marxist, both of whom share a sense of being better than everyone else.

    Kiss between me cheeks Marxist!

  84. Thewaronterrible: Kerry lost in 2004 because the Swift Boat Frauds, who were mysteriously given credibility by the main stream media, had raised enough doubts about Kerry in the minds of the unthinking voting masses.

    Agreed. The unthinking voting masses were groomed by the MSM and supposed to vote for Kerry, but due to the doubts raised by the Swift Boaters about Kerry (such as confusing the movie Apocalypse Now with his real life) the voters evaluated his campaign anew and concluded that it would be irrational to vote for him.

  85. Looks like the Sunni Insurgents pulled out all the stops, going for all out civil war. This article reports the insurgents planned to actually take over Najaf at the height of the most important Shiite festival, then kill the Shiite leaders including Ayatollah Sistani!

    There were at least 600 insurgents. Various other articles reported they were very well trained, part of Saddam's old government & army, and were well armed, including the anti-aircraft missiles they used to shoot down the US helicopter.

    The Sunnis insurgents would likely have destroyed the Golden Dome and other mosques, and in any case, if they assassinated Sistani, then civil war would be inevitable.

    I have to wonder whether Shiite militia leader al-Sadr was in on the plot. He made a big show of pulling all his forces out of combat, and moving many out of the area. Maybe this was so blood wouldn't be on his hands if the operation succeeded, and so he could survive and take over the Shiite community when all the other leaders were dead.

    Quote from article in bold:

  86. Right, Trish. Forgive me for questioning your oh so noble heart. Btw, who are the guys you think YOU should be chasing?

  87. Golly, wu.
    Mr al-Sadr does what we want and you think he's playing US.

    We wanted him to stop Security Patrols, he did. The Insurgents took full advantage of it.
    As many in Iraq predicted.

    That the US and the Iraq Army was able to provide a security force, one that stopped the attack, that's the job of an Occupying Army.
    To bad we lost that chopper full of birds in the recon phase, last week.

    But to trying to blame Mr al-Sadr, that seems like a charge without evidence. Less evidence in fact then we have on the Iranians, if the National Journal is accurate.

  88. Deborah Orin is dead. RIP. z'tl

  89. Mat,

    No one is perfect. z"l

  90. Allen,

    You had it right. I wasn't trying to correct you.

    ZT"L = Zecher Tzaddik(a) Lebracha
    (Let the) memory (of the) righteous (be a) blessing.

  91. “But who knows what the hell else is going on deep in the soul of a carrot?”

    Even if you have zero interest in nutritionism, this article is an extraordinary indictment of the hubris of scientific, political, and plain vanilla human nature. Why, it may explain in a wholly unexpected sort of weird way American foreign policy faux pas.

    Unhappy Meals


  92. Iran And US Between The Logic Of Sanctions And The Logic Of War
    by Pyotr Goncharov
    RIA Novosti political commentator
    Moscow (RIA Novosti) Jan 26, 2007

    Tehran is not going to abandon its nuclear program. Moreover, it has said several times that a uranium enrichment system comprising 3,000 centrifuges will be put into operation by the Iranian New Year, which is marked on March 21. From that, there is only one step towards building a nuclear bomb, given the political will, as Washington likes to point out.

    If Iran reaches the industrial level of uranium enrichment, Washington will either have to swallow the humiliation, or will start a military operation against Iran. Russian expert Alexei Arbatov said the U.S. usually has to choose between two evils, one greater than the other. In this case, the greater evil will be the creation of a nuclear bomb in Iran. Therefore, if Washington refuses to speak directly with Tehran, it will most likely choose war.

    In fact, the United States has already started preparations.

    The Dubai-based Gulf Research Center, where Nick Burns made the above statement, has published a special report saying that Iran's nuclear ambitions will inevitably provoke a regional confrontation. Tehran must be aware that if the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is forced to choose between allowing Iran to build a nuclear bomb and letting the U.S. deliver a strike against Iran, it will choose the latter.

    The Gulf Research Center is a think-tank of the defense departments of the GCC oil-producing member states (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar). Jordan and Egypt have likewise approved Bush's new strategy in the Middle East.

    In short, Washington has rallied sufficient support in the region.

  93. Mat,

    I didn't take it as a correction. It did jog my memory to seek a distinction, however. Whether she was a tzaddic will have to be determined by others. She will be missed.

  94. elijah,

    If the United States has the cooperation and/or support of the regional players to strike Iran, what role will the UN play, other than acting as an escape hatch, for example?

  95. Mat,

    By the way, had you meant to correct me, I would not have been offended, considering the subtlety of your method.

  96. Thanks for your help rufus and to the others that did as well. It helps make it fun.

  97. It helps keep the site fresh with new blood and to us news junkies, that is a good thing.

  98. Barry-I think the very fact that more than 40% of the elctorate voted for Kerry when it was clearly irrational to do so does not bode well for the future either.

    Something must change. Damn if I know what it is.

  99. Allen,

    So you liked my Tony Soprano impersonation. Good.