“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

Surging pessimism about Iraq.

President Bush is going multi-lateral. He discussed the proposed Iraq military buildup with Jordan‘s King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. What he can promise them is beyond me. What can he possibly expect them to do? They know Bush is finished.

While he is talking to them, Congress led by the Democrats and being joined by Republican defectors, is working up a no-confidence momentum that will not persuade anyone to take a risk dependent on a long-term American commitment. They know Bush is finished.

A new AP-Ipsos poll found approval for Bush‘s handling of Iraq at a 29 percent approval and a 68 percent disapproval. That is trending downward.

Under such conditions what can be expected of the Iraqis? They will make the calculation that the Americans will leave and then determine which side they will fall towards. They know there is no chance or interest in a reconciliation between the Iraqis themselves. One and a half million of them have voted with their feet and left.

Today Gates and Pace appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee in an effort to persuade lawmakers to accept the new plan. Gates was not exactly encouraging. "There are no guarantees and I cannot guarantee what the Iraqi government‘s going to do," Pace said. "I can simply tell you what they have said they‘re going to do. And if they do what they say they‘re going to do, then this will succeed." Rice said we are running out of patience. "Our patience with the Iraqis is not unlimited."

The threat that the U.S. would pull out if the Iraqis don‘t perform as promised, will guarantee the defeat of the plan. It is called, "every man for himself."

The Democrats want out. There is nothing that will change that, and all the enemies that are in Iraq know the end is near. Bush built victory around Iraq becoming a democracy. Had he established a victory and a reasonable amount of security, he had a chance of establishing a democracy. The situation is similar as one faced by a banker who has a big problem loan, and kept throwing in more and more money hoping for a turn-around. At some stage the loan is taken away from the lending officer and placed into the work-out department.

The problem is the United States does not have a work-out department. Our system requires the one who made the mess, straighten it out. Bush is in control and will remain so till the end of his term. That is unfortunate because there are too many in Congress and the White House that will let their personal ambitions step on their duty to their country. That includes the President.


  1. "There are no guarantees and I cannot guarantee what the Iraqi government‘s going to do," Pace said. "I can simply tell you what they have said they‘re going to do. And if they do what they say they‘re going to do, then this will succeed."
    Maliki's officials were at pains to say that the prime minister would decide the issue of most concern to the Iraqi leader: whether, and when, Iraqi and American forces would be allowed to move in force into Sadr City.

    That Shiite working-class district in northeast Baghdad is the stronghold of the Mahdi Army, the most powerful of the Shiite militias, and the main power base of Moktada al-Sadr, the Mahdi Army leader, whose parliamentary bloc sustains Mr. Maliki in office.
    Samo Samo in Baghdad

    A Shiite political leader who has worked closely with the Americans in the past said the Bush benchmarks appeared to have been drawn up in the expectation that Mr. Maliki would not meet them. “He cannot deliver the disarming of the militias,” the politician said, asking that he not be named because he did not want to be seen as publicly criticizing the prime minister. “He cannot deliver a good program for the economy and reconstruction. He cannot deliver on services. This is a matter of fact. There is a common understanding on the American side and the Iraqi side.”

    Views such as these — increasingly common among the political class in Baghdad — are often accompanied by predictions that Mr. Maliki will be forced out as the crisis over the militias builds. The Shiite politician who described him as incapable of disarming militias suggested he might resign; others have pointed to an American effort in recent weeks to line up a “moderate front” of Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish political leaders outside the government, and said that the front might be a vehicle for mounting a parliamentary coup against Mr. Maliki, with behind-the-scenes American support.

  2. Seems a bit late in the game to engineer a coups.
    ...but then everything else is done a bit late in the game, so nothing new there.

  3. Yeah, duece, that tactic certainly worked out well.

    Three years and 2700 KIA and 600 Billion USD all spent so we can destabilize the democraticly elected government of Iraq, because we do not like the results of that governments democratic efforts.

    The US wants an Iraq that the majority of Iraqis reject out of hand. Democratization promised as much, Mr Bremmer knew three years ago and told Mr Bush.
    Time is not on our side, Mr Bush knew that well, back in '02, he should have taken his own words more seriously.

    He & we have until June or July to stabilize Baghdad. Mr Bush has tied the War in Iraq so tightly to the TWAT that both will go down, together.

  4. From the pen of Pat Buchanan:

    (Quoting Bush) "I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region," said Bush. "We will deploy ... Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies."

    But there is no need for more carrier-based fighter-bombers in Iraq. And the insurgents have no missiles against which anyone would need Patriot missiles to defend. You only need Patriots if your target country has missiles with which to retaliate against you.

    What Bush signaled in the clear Wednesday is that air strikes on Iranian "networks" are being planned. That would produce an Iranian response. That response would trigger U.S. strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities, for which Israel and the neocons are howling.

  5. Hey!
    What's more distracting than a striptease?
    Master Planner

  6. The World's Record for Shallowest Learning Curve goes to the Master Planner.
    Them Skull and Bones needs Skeletal Reality Therapy.

  7. 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.

  8. Yeah, Trish, that's the only thing that didn't work in the MASTER PLAN.


    Poor George.
    The Most Repetitive MeMe at BC.

  9. One more left-wingmoonbat charge made reality by the Master Planner:

    "Conway said U.S. commanders understand that the Afghan war is an "economy of force" operation, a military term for a mission that is given minimal resources because it is a secondary priority, in this case behind Iraq.

    Nevertheless, Conway said, he favored dispatching a Marine battalion here, a decision that would have to be approved by new Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, and by President Bush.

  10. Bush:
    Kandahar, where's that?

  11. Pay-backs are such a bitch. The Iranians are all upset because the US stormed one of their phony consulates. Now when did we here about the US and Iran upset over an embassy sovereignty issue? Oh yea, I remember...

    "Tehran strongly condemns U.S. raid on Iranian consulate"

    TEHRAN, Jan. 12 (MNA) -- The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Thursday summoned the Iraqi and Swiss ambassadors to protest a raid by U.S. troops on an Iranian consulate in Iraq.

    U.S. troops stormed the Iranian Consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil on January 11 and arrested six people. According to the U.S. military, one of the Iranians was freed on Friday.

    “The U.S. troops’ action is a violation of international law since the arrested people were working there at the request and with the permission of the Iraqi government,” Foreign Ministry Director for Persian Gulf Affairs Jalal Firuznian told Iraqi Ambassador Mohammed Majid al-Sheikh.

    “We expect the Iraqi government to act quickly to obtain the release of these people and to condemn the U.S. forces,” he stated, adding that the Iraqi government should not let the United States disrupt Iran-Iraq relations through its illegal actions."


  12. 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.

  13. Rufus,
    A REAL CIC would have secured BOTH!

  14. j willie,


    The check is in the mail.

  15. "Surging Pessimism about Iraq"
    Sorry, there will be no pullout...
    (and sorry-this is a damn long post)

    Laurent Murawiec. Deterring those who are already Dead? BESA Center for Strategic Studies Bar-Ilan University.

    Deterrence works because one is able credibly to threaten the center of gravity of the
    enemy: the threat of inflicting unacceptable losses upon him, whether in a bar brawl or in
    nuclear escalation. The calculus deterrence relies upon is: is it worth it? Is the Price/Earning Ratio of the contemplated action so hugely negative that it would wipe out the capital? Deterrence works if the price to be paid by the party to be deterred hugely
    exceeds his expected earnings. But deterrence only works if the enemy is able and willing to enter the same calculus. If the enemy plays by other rules and calculates by other means, he will not be deterred. There was nothing the Philistines could have done to deter Samson. If the calculus is: I exchange my worthless earthly life against the triumph of
    Allah on earth, and an eternity of bliss for me, if the enemy wishes to be dead, if to him the Apocalypse is desirable, he will not be deterred. When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the Mayor of Tehran, he insistently proposed that the main thoroughfares of Tehran should be widened so that, he explained, on the day of his
    reappearance, the Hidden Imam, Mohamed ibn Hassan, who went into the great occultation in 941 AD could tread spacious avenues. More recently, he told the Indian
    Foreign Minister that “in two years, everything will be settled,” which the visiting
    dignitary at first mistook to mean that Iran expected to possess nuclear weapons in two years; he was later bemused to learn what Ahmadinejad had meant, to wit, that the Mahdi would appear in two years, at which points all worldly problems would disappear.

    This attitude, truly, is not new, nor should it surprise us: religious notions and their
    estranged cousins, ideological representations, determine not only their believers’ beliefsbut also their believers’ actions. Reality, as it were, is invaded by belief, and belief in turn
    shapes the believer’s reality. The difference between the religious and the ideologically
    religious is this: the religious believer accepts that reality is a given, whereas the fanatic
    gambles everything on a pseudo-reality of what ought to be. The religious believer accepts reality and works at improving it, the fanatic rejects reality, refuses to pass any
    compromise with it and tries to destroy it and replace it with his fantasy.

    As Pat Moynihan memorably told an opponent, “you are entitled to your opinions, but you are not entitled to your facts.” Ahmadjinedi inhabits his beliefs rather than the common earth. With him we do not share the same facts, even though we share a planet. The sharing takes the form of bombs and bullets.

    Ahmadjinedi wants to hasten the reappearance of the Hidden Imam, whose coming, in traditional Muslim, and especially Shiite, apocalyptics, will be the Sign of the Hour, that the End of Days is nigh. Ahmadinejad’s politics cannot be labelled ‘radical,’ as opposed to ‘moderate.’ His politics are apocalyptic and eschatological. Its vanishing point is not earthly but otherworldly. Famously Ayatollah Khomeini said: “We have not made a revolution to lower the price of melon.” The task of the Mahdi, when he reappears, will be to lead the great and final war which will bring about the extermination of the Unbelievers, the end of Unbelief and the complete dominion of God’s writ upon the whole of mankind. The Umma will inflate to absorb the rest of the world.

    The politics carried out by the complex in power in Tehran – Ahmadinejad, the Pasdaran,
    the Basiji, the ministry of Intelligence, Supreme Guide Khamenei – is apocalyptic and
    millenarian – but it also is autistic: in the world, nothing that contravenes their perverted
    sense of what is and what ought to be, may be allowed to exist; conversely, anything in
    the world that contradicts their representations must be eradicated: the only things
    allowed to exist are their representations. In their revolt against the Order of the world,
    they are determined to impose upon that world an Order that incompatible with most
    institutions and people. They are disposed to destroy a world that refuses their dawa, as it
    stubbornly clings to its own ways, in order to make way for their fanciful views.

  16. Rufus,
    Where are the totals, or how did you figure the percent?

  17. (all I see are monthly lists)

  18. "The Air Force says go do something amazing, and I think I pretty much did it," she said.
    Sergeant in Trouble for Playboy Photos


  19. Gibson just interviewed the Air Force "Playmate". The newsprint photos aren't even close; she is gorgeous.

  20. Sonia Class, and she's not even a Lesbo.

  21. Michael Yon up next on Hewitt.
    From Iraq!
    ...guess he finally got a pass.

  22. doug,

    She's NOT a lesbo? Well, crap. Has Deuce found a replacement for WC?

  23. “In less than 24 hours Senior US officials aired two contradictory statements on Pakistan, and al Qaeda:”

    Siamese Foreign Policy

  24. How many troops did Alexander Macedon need to take over the ME, 20,000? These pathetic NATO commanders should be stripped of their rank, dismismised from their command, and sent home disgraced and without pay.

  25. Allen,
    Maybe we can get her a Lesbian Phallus Dildo, to get by.
    I got an A in Phallus 101 -
    You might wonder how a lesbian can have a phallus, or whether it's possible to say "phallologocentrism" three times without tripping on your tongue, but if so, it's likely that you won't be getting an "A" from Occidental professor Jeffrey Tobin, who is teaching the course this spring semester.

    Also this semester, Occidental will offer the course that the Young America's Foundation rated No. 5 in bizarreness: "Blackness." This class will explore "new blackness," "critical blackness," "post-blackness," "unforgivable blackness" and "queer blackness."

  26. How many Specter's would it take to finish this thing quick-like if we had the will?

  27. Doug,

    That depends how busy Specter is petting his pet pussy.

  28. Mat,

    I recall seeing twice that number of Jewish mercenaries fighting with Alexander. Some he hired pre-invasion, with the remainder coming over after the defeat of Darius.

    Whatever the size of his various armies and their makeup, one thing is indisputable; Alexander loved to fight, rushing into battle lustfully.

    There is a lesson there.

  29. Take Sonia and the Sarge along?

  30. Allen,

    I checked wiki, and 35,000 seems to be the top range figure for Alexander's fighting force. Of course, that doesn't include the Tanks, APCs, Predator UAVs, and B2 Bombers.

  31. I meant the Arlen Spectre Gunship, Dummy!

  32. The name is blonde. James Blonde!

  33. Mat,

    Yeah, the ole trusty Alexander A-1 Main Battle Tank, the Alexander TC-1(troop carrier), and the Alexander AA1 stealth fighter. The guy had it all, and blonde hair to boot.

  34. I had to laugh when Allen asked him to compare dd-214's and received no response.

  35. In Alexander's day there weren't 30 million Iraqis, 60 million Persians, 15 million Afghans, or 120 million Pakis.

    Thats more than the population of the USSR during WWII.

  36. 2164th said, "I had to laugh when Allen asked him to compare dd-214's and received no response."

    He had to go google "dd-214" to see what it was.

  37. Habu did not like dd-214's.

    He specifically attacked the miltary service of:

    Allen -USMC
    Deuce - USAF
    Desert Rat - US Army
    DR's son -USMC
    Terestita -USN

  38. it is hell watching a man talking the talk about walking the walk slipping on a banana peel.

  39. Thanks for the compliment 2164th, that's today here in the Seattle area, after more "global warming".

  40. This from a paper in Eretria, Eretria daily. There is no confirmation but several other papers are making similar claims.

    No top al-Qaeda killed in US Somalia air strike

    By Kim Sengupta
    11 January 2007

    "The US air strike in Somalia missed its main target, three senior al Qaeda members, American officials admitted yesterday, as concern continued to grow over the rising numbers of casualties from the conflict. A day after widespread publicity over claims that a surgical attack had killed Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, allegedly involved with the bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi, it emerged that neither he, nor two other suspects, Abu Taiha al-Sudani and Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan were among the dead.US officials insisted that the ten people who were killed in the raid in southern Somalia were Islamist allies of al Qaeda .However, a local MP, Abdelgadir Haji, claimed that there had been far larger scale civilian casualties inflicted by the Americans and their Ethiopian allies. Mr Haji told More4 News the number of the dead we have confirmed until now is 150 dead.But everyday new reports are coming in and that number is expected to rise.America strikes from the air. Ethiopian tanks are coming in overland and the Kenyan border is closed. The people have no escape. Hundreds of cattle were killed and no aid is being allowed over the border. It is a hellish situation. In Nairobi an American official said: The three high value targets are of intense interest to us. What we are doing is still ongoing. We are still in pursuit, us and the Ethiopians. US officials also contradicted a number of statements by members of Somalia's transitional federal government about American involvement in the conflict. They maintained that US aircraft had carried out just one raid and reports of subsequent air strikes were false."