“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."

Friday, January 12, 2007

Let's spend the week-end with Ahmadinejad in Caracas.

Ahmadinejad is going to visit his "brother", Hugo Chavez. It is a little week-end jaunt that will include visits to Venezuela, Nicaragua and planned meetings with the presidents of Venezuela and Ecuador. They are the leftist rat pack of Latin America. Their collective policies will bring misery and increased poverty to their unfortunate countries. That misery will translate to more difficulties and future problems for the United States. That should be of interest to The United States. It should be a big deal.

Iran is scant on friends in the Middle East. Iran pursues a constant policy of resisting American policy. The US and Iran have an obsessive compulsive animosity with each other. That and that alone can be the only reason for the four-day trip by Mr Ahmadinejad. It is an incredibly inexpensive way for Iran to slap the face of the US to what will be adoring audiences. Iran prefers to do things on the cheap while the US likes to go big time.

Take the removal of Saddam. If you boil the Iraqi venture down to basics, it was all about removing Saddam. Prior to the invasion, we tried to bribe him out of Iraq. Remember the offer to let him roll up a few billion and go to some nice island for retirement? It is true. We did make the offer. Saddam did not bite and, well things did not work out well for him.

The next step was regime decapitation. We tried targeting Saddam with every arrow in our high-tech quiver. That did not work out well for us either. But as Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III, Presidential Envoy to Iraq said,"we got him." We got rid of Saddam for $400 billion and a whole lot of misery and future costs.

I usually support the removal of obvious enemies, after I turn against them. We did that nice little snatch and grab of Noriega and have done it with a few narco-lords. I think it would be a good week-end to snatch and grab Ahmadinejad and try him for his part in the hostage taking of the US embassy in Iran. It would not be very multi-lateral, but hell why not? No one likes us anyway. So let's grab the little skunk, try him in an American court and see what happens.


  1. Uh huh

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday at a news conference in Washington that Maliki had pledged the military would go after "all law-breakers". Gates declined to say if Sadr would be targeted. "All parts of Baghdad are going to be involved in this campaign, including Sadr City," he said.

    But in a sign of likely resistance, the parliamentary leader of his political movement, Nasser al-Rubaie, said it was important to differentiate between what he called the "legal... military wing" of a political party and "terrorist" groups.

    Didn't we hear this nonsense from Hamas sympathisers before?

  2. Pardon the diversion from the topic.

    Shouldn't we be doing something to them too?

    Preparations are underway for an international trade fair to open in Erbil on January 21 with up to 150 companies from dozens of Arab and foreign countries offering their products.

    [...] Syria will have an official booth and many Syrian companies will enter Iraqi and Kurdish markets for the first time, Emad Eddin Jalil of the Syrian association said.

    Large companies from the Gulf region will also take part, he added.

    “It will be an opportunity for Arab countries to get acquainted with stability and security in Kurdistan and break out of the fear from entering Iraqi markets,” he said.

    Syria and Iran, as we all know, are inextricably linked. It seems that Syria has successfully escaped attention while Iran is basking in the limelight, but to what degree can we remain nonchalant about Syrian complicity and infiltration in the region?

    a jacksonian has done excellent work illuminating Syria's very potent threat capabilities (scroll to the comments and follow the links).

  3. First someone would have to indict Abracadbra for the Embassy incident. That has yet to happen.
    Scooter Libby, he the US can indict, Abracadbra... well that's an entirely different kettle of fish.

    Then there are the mechanics of the snatch, take him in Nicoville, most easily, maybe.

    Still though, the US is not at War with Iran, nor with the Religion of Peace. So many lose sight of that detail in these discussions.

    Saw Senator Sessions this morning. With 1/9th the per capita prison space as Alabama, Iraq cannot hold those Insurgents the US troops arrest. This, the Senator related as a epiphany.
    Saying that when the US troops capture enemy combatant, the Iraqi have to release other Insurgents, because there are no beds.
    A similar reasoning for not arresting infiltrators into the US. No capacity to hold them.

    The US has spent BILLIONS of USD in Iraq. Maricopa County's Sheriff Joe solved the prison bed issue, with GP Medium tents. That solution is beyond the US Military capacity for problem solving.

    So now the RoE and Catch & Release are identified "problems", three years behind the curve.

    Catch & Release
    No Justice, No Peace

    That is what the "elder" in Mosul told the young Lt in Mr Yon's presence. The Lt. blamed the Iraqi, the elder said that was a lie. That the US was responsible, the elder was right.

  4. Duece

    I'm in....except, instead of having indictments and stuff, let's just make him disappear and have total amnesia about the whole episode...

  5. I have yet to read the article, I got so excited by the authors "Teaming Up" I just had to tell someone.
    The G Team together at last.

  6. Ahmadinejad's scrambling to seek allies. Patrons for his oil. Advice on how to stave off an impending economic collapse. Or just trying to get the heck out of the way if Bush decides to hit Iranian facilities in the next four days.

    Either way, he's scared. Do you smell the fear?

  7. dr, thanks for the link. I just read it, and basically it talks about creating jobs for Iraqis.

    Ensuring a steady source of income for Iraqis - Shiite, Sunni or Kurd - such that holding a job is more profitable than joining the insurgency. Tie Iraqis down with the commitments that a job brings: the role of financial provider, of attachment to co-workers, of being part of the concerted effort to rebuild Iraqi infrastructure and institutions from the ground up.

    Thus, also imperative in this strategy is the need to convince Iraqis that they should take efforts to ensure that the insurgency becomes even more unpalatable and costly to undertake.

    Bush's speech, coupled with the revised AEI plan to encircle Sadr City and crack down on militias Shiite and Sunni alike, points to the increasing tightening of Iran's purse-strings. Though it is worrying to hear that Bush hasn't mentioned anything about raising the pay of the Iraqi Army and Police, which Bill Roggio identified as one of the more fundamental fixes we can administer within our scope of action.

    Blackfive's article (if you haven't read it already, please do!) recommends arming the population, somewhat akin to applying the Second Amendment to the Iraqi people. I initially disagreed for fear of proliferation of arms if citizens decided to sell off arms to militias for cash, but now I can see the logic of his suggestion. If each individual, each family, each building, each neighbourhood becomes armed, with local citizen patrols, it will surely up the cost of militia operations, and that would very likely result in more meticulously planned attacks - therefore requiring more time, and thus also giving the Iraqi Police more time to intercept them - at a lower frequency.

  8. A Strategy for the Long War

    Also wanted to add that my doubts about proliferation would only be dispelled if Iraq's borders were secured.

  9. No one likes us anyway. So let's grab the little skunk, try him in an American court and see what happens.

    He is defended by the ACLU, Bernadette Dorn and Lynne Stewart in a trial where he is portrayed as a victim of Yankee Imperialism and of those intolerant of Diversity. Ahmedinejad wins a large cash settlement from the US government. After his trial he spends 2 weeks building Habitat for Humanity houses with Jimmy Carter before returning to Iran. During the trial Ramsey Clark commits suicide in Iraq, despondent because he can't defend both Saddam's kin and Ahmedinejad at the same time.

    I just had to tell someone.
    The G Team together at last.

    The G Team is polling well in the GOP Bloggers Primary Straw Poll. The results as of yesterday are
    here. You can vote here after you scroll down a short distance.

  10. No, harrison, I do not.
    I smell rage & faith but not much fear.

    Economic dislocation for folks living in mud huts means what, exactly?

    Those that will be most effected by an economic downturn in Iran are Abracadbra & the Mullah's enemies, not their supporters. The supporters are busted, economicly, already.

    If the Mullahs truly believe the 12th Imam story, it seems they do, then War is their Goal, allah will provide victory over the nonbelievers, or not.

    But even so, there is no US War with Iran. Nor with the Religion of Peace.

    As a matter of fact, a quick reading of Mr Bush's "Way Forward" speach indicates that the word, WAR is not in Mr Bush's vocabulary.
    The word that did not cross his lips, WAR. So if the CiC cannot bring himself to say it, how can it possibly be won.

    Post modern America, enjoy it while you can. Soon it will morph into something unreconizable to US that knew her, back in the day.

  11. No, rufus, it has not "calmed" in Iraq, the day to day violence is just under reported in the MSM.

    BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- A suicide bomber killed four civilians in a crowd outside a police station Wednesday in the northern Iraqi city Tal Afar, police said.
    At least 12 people were also injured by the blast when the bomber walked into a crowd of people gathering outside the building about 90 miles east of the Syrian border, an officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

    Around the same time, another suicide bomber targeted the convoy of Tal Afar's mayor. A child was killed and four other people were wounded in that attack, including the mayor's driver, said Mosul police Brig. Abdel-Karim Khalaf. The mayor survived, he said.

    Also Wednesday, two bombs exploded almost simultaneously near a gas station in Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad, killing two civilians and setting several cars on fire, police said.

    Police also said a bomb went off in Baghdad's central Karradah neighborhood, wounding a traffic policeman. A parked car bomb also exploded at the center of Kirkuk, 180 miles north of Baghdad, but there was no immediate word on casualties.

    The Enemy's Op Tempo surges and recedes, but continues more or less apace.

    Mean while our "allies" in Iraq see things a bit differently, their perspective being quite different than US..

    A spokesman for radical Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has warned that US President George W. Bush's new Iraq strategy risks sending thousands of American troops to their deaths.
    "The American people have to prevent their sons from coming to Iraq or they may return in coffins," said Sheikh Abdel Razzaq al-Nadawi, a senior official in Sadr's movement in the Shiite holy city of Najaf.

    On Wednesday, Bush announced a plan to reinforce the 130,000-strong US force in Iraq with 21,500 extra troops to help Iraqi forces take on illegal militias such as Sadr's feared Mahdi Army.

    "The problem of Iraq is the US presence and the increasing this presence will double the problem," Nadawi told AFP on Friday.

    "This is not the first plan announced by Bush. All plans have failed and this plan will not be any better. We do not welcome this strategy and moreover we do not welcome the US soldiers," he said.

    Nadawi accused Bush of taking decisions about Iraq's security without consulting Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government, who owes his job to the votes of 32 Sadrist deputies.

    Another Sadr movement mouthpiece, Hamdalla al-Rikabi of the group's office in western Baghdad, accused the United States of wanting to spread chaos in Iraq rather than to contain it.

    "Now we know that the occupation forces the supporters of terrorism. They don't want stability of this country, they want to divide it," he said.

    "Increasing the number of foreign troops is a stab in the heart for the sovereignty of the elected government," he told AFP. "We support all efforts to stop violence but these efforts should be Iraqi. We reject the interference of any state in Iraq's affairs."

    Catch & Release
    No Justice, No Peace

  12. Yon must be pulling his hair out by now.
    Unbelievable Incompetence
    Taliban forces are poised for a major offensive, American senior officers believe.

    KABUL, Afghanistan -- Radical Islamist Taliban forces, shattered and ejected from Afghanistan by the U.S. military five years ago, are poised for a major offensive against U.S. troops and undermanned NATO forces, prompting American commanders here to issue an urgent appeal for a new U.S. Marine Corps battalion to reinforce the American positions.

    NATO's 30,000 troops in Afghanistan are supposed to have taken responsibility for security operations across the country. But Taliban attacks have risen sharply, and senior U.S. officers here describe the NATO operation as weak, hobbled by a shortage of manpower and equipment and by restrictions put on the troops by their home capitals.

    The accelerating war here and the critical need for troops complicate the crumbling security picture across the region -- from Afghanistan, where the United States chose to strike back after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to Iraq, where American troops have been unable in almost four years of fighting to establish basic security and quell a bloody sectarian war.

    As a last-ditch effort, President Bush is expected to announce this week the dispatch of thousands
    of additional troops to Iraq as a stopgap measure, an order that Pentagon officials say would strain the Army and Marine Corps as they struggle to man both wars.

    Already, a U.S. Army infantry battalion fighting in a critical area of eastern Afghanistan is due to be withdrawn within weeks in order to deploy to Iraq.

    According to Army Brig. Gen. Anthony J. Tata and other senior U.S. commanders here, that will happen just as the Taliban is expected to unleash a major campaign to cut the vital road between Kabul and Kandahar. The official said the Taliban intend to seize Kandahar, Afghanistan's second-largest city and the place where the group was organized in the 1990s.
    - Wu's link.

  13. Well it appears that we are soon approaching a clash of wills...

    The A team of terrorism...

    Briefing the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday, outgoing US national intelligence director John Negroponte highlighted the increasing danger posed by Iranian-Syrian-backed Hizballah since its 34-day war with Israel last year. He said that Hizballah’s self-confidence and hostility towards the US as a supporter of Israel could cause the group to increase its contingency planning against American interests.

    In Irbil...
    US officials now identify the target of Thursday’s raid in the N. Iraqi town of Irbil as the Iranian Liaison Office, local HQ of Iranian Revolutionary Guards

    Subsequently in Athens...

    US says attack in Greece an 'isolated incident'

    US officials played down the rocket attack on the American embassy in Athens on Friday, calling it an "isolated incident."

    "All we know is that there was something described as a rocket -- I don't know exactly what that means -- fired the through a window," White House spokesman Tony Snow told reporters. He added that the rocket had hit a toilet.

    When the enemy speaks,listen...

    Iran can also use asymmetric warfare assets to attack US interests in the region. Iranian
    officials do not hide the fact that they would use asymmetric attacks against US interests. For
    example, a Brigadier General in the IRGC and the commander of the “Lovers of Martyrdom
    Garrison,” Mohammad-Reza Jaafari, threatened US interest with suicide operations if the US
    were to attack Iran:95
    Now that America is after gaining allies against the righteous Islamic Republic and wants to attack our sanctities, members of the martyrdom-seeking garrisons across the world have been put on alert so that if the Islamic Republic of Iran receives the smallest threat, the American and Israeli strategic interests will be burnt down everywhere. The only tool against the enemy that we have with which we can become victorious are martyrdom-seeking operations and, God willing, our possession of faithful, brave, trained and zealous persons will give us the upper hand in the battlefield...Upon receiving their orders, our martyrdom-seeking forces will be uncontrollable and a guerrilla war may go on in various places for years to come…America and any other power cannot win in the unbalanced war against us.