“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, February 18, 2007

Does the US Need Russian Permission?

This article from Deutsche Welle is hard to believe. You have to read it. When you do, ask yourself if Russia consulted with the US on sending missiles to Iran or weapons to Venuezela.

What is wrong with the Germans?

International Relations | 18.02.2007
Germany Irked by US Approach to Missile Shield

Steinmeier said the US should consult with all nations affected by its plans

American plans to station part of an anti-missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic without consulting Russia met with criticism from German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, according to a media report.

The proximity of the US missile batteries to the Russian border should have convinced officials in Washington of the need to brief their counterparts in Moscow about plans to build portions of an anti-missile shield in the two eastern European countries.

"One should have spoken with Russia earlier as the sites where they (the missiles) are to be stationed are edging closer to Russia," Steinmeier told the German business daily Handelsblatt in an interview to be published Monday. "Given the strategic nature of such projects, I call for a prudent approach and intensive dialogue with all partners who are directly or indirectly affected."

Russian President Vladimir Putin last week accused the United States of making the world a more place with its plans for an anti-missile system.

"One-sided illegitimate action hasn't solved a single problem and has become a generator of many human tragedies, a source of tension," Putin said.

Iran not a threat to Europe

Steinmeier said Iran's missiles could not reach Europe

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates insisted that the missile system, which calls for placing 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic, was not directed against Russia but to protect Europe from missiles launched in the Middle East.

Steinmeier, however, dismissed any potential threat posed by Iranian rockets, saying Tehran did not possess the technology to make such an attack. He also spoke out against any immediate new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear policies.

"The most recent resolution of the UN Security Council does not contain any automatic mechanism for the situation where Iran does not fulfill its obligations," he said.

US waiting for Poland's official answer

The US has stationed some missiles in Japan already

The leader of the oppositions Greens party, Fritz Kuhn, said the German government needed to make it clear to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during her visit to Berlin this week that it would not support placing missiles in the two EU and NATO member countries.

"What the USA is doing can only be understood by Russia as a provocation," he told Monday's Saarbrücker Zeitung.

Exactly how much criticism Germany needs to give the US remains unclear as Poland has yet to decide if it will allow the Americans to station missiles within the country.

"We are preparing an answer that I think we will give to the American administration by diplomatic means within two weeks," new Polish Defense Minister Aleksander Szczyglo told Poland's PAP news agency on Sunday.

DW staff (sms)


  1. The Polish obsession - nothing new here, move along.

    Why does Germany place the event in the Cold War paradigm? Didn't European nations recently condemn Putin's characterisation of the world as bi-polar as anachronistic?

    This myopia conveniently plays down the Iranian threat in favour of the so-called "hegemonic" threat. I believe Germany simply wants to diffuse tensions unnecessarily stirred up by Putin, but at the expense of regional security?

  2. It should be remarked that the German FM Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier was a Gerhard Schröder crony, and judging from this sort of pronouncement probably still is.

  3. FP:
    re: Steinmeier and Schroder. My reaction exactly. I wouldn't be surprised if Steinmeir has a financil incentive to support Putin.

    With the Russian governments return to affluence, you can bet that the European intrique is back. (You buy your friends where you find them.)

    With allies like Germany, I am fighting an isolationist impulse these days.

  4. Thanks for the tidying up Whit. Bob had a good debut, Go up anytime.

  5. Of course, if Germany is considering a partnership with Russia that isn't based on coercion and energy as a leveraging tool, then it must be disillusioned. The more convincing European nations show that they are willing to acquiesce in Russia's growing power, the more emboldened Putin will be in aggressively pursuing a more interventionist role.

    Perhaps that condemnation of Putin's speech of recent was for PR purposes, and Europeans are still unwilling to divorce themselves entirely from Russia. Economic realities still dictate diplomatic responses, I guess.

  6. Putin has no where else to go. If he overdoes it to his Islamic south, he has troubles. If he focuses entirely on china he becomes a vassal. Europe is the only hope the Russiand have for their economy and hope for a sustainable future bulwarked against Islamistan and China.

  7. Keep fighting the isolationist impulse Whit!

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. That photo's disturbing, Deuce.

    What would be the command in Russian?

    EYES! - puker your little lips like a porn star - RIGHT! ?

    Good thing you had the video there to counteract the pic.

  10. That is a good point Rufus. Business usually trumps ideology and that is probably a good thing. Germany's trade with Iran is in excess of $4 billion a year. The United States is Germany's second-largest trading partner. Two-way trade in goods totaled $89.1 billion in 2002. U.S. exports to Germany were $26.6 billion while U.S. imports from Germany were more than $62.5 billion. At $35.8 billion, the U.S.'s fifth-largest trade deficit is with Germany.

    So Germany enjoys a $36 billion trade surplus with the US and a $4 billion surplus with Iran.

    It should be clear to Germany and Herr Steinmeiewhere where German interests are.

  11. By the way, if you feel your tutonic ardor diminishing, check out the new Lexus LS 600hl

  12. To echo Rufus, we have not had friends in Europe for a long time.

    Neo-Naziism is growing in Germany and elsewhere. Europe is falling to fascism once again. And, no, Russia does not need our permission for anything - and they know it!

  13. Well, tiger, the Social Democrats cannot beat the Mohammedans, they will not even challenge them.

    Who else but Nationalists will?
    Certainly not the Internationalists, not the Global Traders nor the World Government in Brussels.
    No one in the New World Order has the cajones to maintain order.

    We will not get our cake and eat it, too.

  14. Being "nationalist" is one thing, Rat, but being NAZI is another.

    I'm nationalist when it comes to immigration but not an isolationist.

    Any FASCIST uprising in Europe is a bad thing, not a good thing.

    But I understand your point - who else will fight?

    We have a similar problem here. Too many of us are "fascist" in a PC sense. So... who will fight?

  15. Both of these speech's frightened me when they were spoken:

    New World Order

    A New Order of the Ages

    and, these are the "good guys"?

  16. Harrison said, Why does Germany place the event in the Cold War paradigm? Didn't European nations recently condemn Putin's characterisation of the world as bi-polar as anachronistic?

    Anachronistic and wishful thinking on their part. If the world is bi-polar, the other pole is China. But this is a brilliant play to soak up Russia's oil profit windfall with a new arms race, where the US side keeps the high moral ground, insisting these ABMs are for defense against Iran, while any Russian deployment of offensive weapons will be aimed directly at Europe. Now all we need are some sustained oil prices at less than $30 a barrel, with the cooperation of Saudi Arabia, and Putin goes down. Who said the Russians were masters at chess?

  17. The German is correct, though, the Iranians are not the threat. Their missiles incapable of reaching northern Europe, their nuclear warheads nonexistent.

    Even rufus agrees, at 8:42, with the German about whom the proposed aggressor is.
    The Russians.
    Or we'd place those interceptors in Turkey, near Iran. Not in Poland, near Russia.

    Plain as day.

  18. Not so fast DR on the reliability of Turkey.

    Think 4th ID.

  19. Kurdistan, then.
    Even closer to the "threat".

    The missiles are deploying to Europe to challenge the Russians, not the Iranians. In that the German is correct, any US statements to the contrary are misdirection and rhetoric.

    I do not have a problem challenging the Bear, but we should admit it, at least to ourselves and to el Oso.

    Amazing news release from the Bush Administration.
    aQ and Taliban have built training bases in Warizistan.
    Who'd have ever known, or even guessed.

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. Desert Rat said, Even rufus agrees, at 8:42, with the German about whom the proposed aggressor is. The Russians. Or we'd place those interceptors in Turkey, near Iran. Not in Poland, near Russia.

    Suppose I sat astride my neighbor's gas line and turned it on and off all the time on a whim, and suppose I liked to shoot bottle rockets around on my property to see if they could go higher than his fence. Now suppose another neighbor across the street comes in and installs a sprinkler system to protect the house from catching fire from one of these bottle rockets should one of them "accidentally" stray over the fence. I could be like Putin and angrily say that he's "making the neighborhood a more dangerous place with his anti-bottle-rocket system" and get yet another neighbor to say, "What neighbor Bill and neighbor John are doing can only be understood by Teresita as a provocation." America sorely needs to get back on top of the propaganda war, if sophmoric rhetoric like this knocks us for a loop.

  22. DR,

    re: Kurdistan then

    Suggesting a lengthy stay on the most strategic piece of real estate in the world today.

  23. Well, Ms T, suppose you were the owner of the gas. In the past your neighbors paid for the gas with political support at the Town Meetings, now a days they reject your leadership and support the out of town investors.
    Now the neighbor is upset because you have decided he should pay "market value" for your gas. He refuses to pay market value, but demands you continue to deliver on the old terms, terms that he has already rejected.
    His neighbors all agree, you're being unfair.
    You evil capitalist you.

  24. ___Bad Bear Scenario

    Without taking anything away from the Russian threat, we might consider trajectory optimization as the reason for deployment in Poland.

    I am confused about the choice of Poland if Russia is the main threat. Why place a passive system so close to the conventional offensive capabilities of the Russians?

  25. Thank you for the topic...

    Only until recently, the concept that missile defense as a viable possibility was hotly debated. However, the U.S., Japan, Israel, Russia, and China believe.

    Though the debate over a planned U.S. national missile defense system is currently centered around the concept of "hitting a missile with a missile," in the end, Pentagon planners envision a much more futuristic concept involving the extensive use of ground-and space-based laser weaponry.

    National missile defense is but one part of a triad of technologies-along with improved space surveillance and antisatellite offensive weaponry- that, the Air Force hopes, will lead to total "space control." George Friedman, an intelligence consultant and the author of "The Future of War," calls the national missile defense plan a "Trojan horse" for the real issue: the coming weaponization of space.

    But the Chinese just utilized a missile to take out a satellite?
    A complete shock?

    WorldNetDaily reported in 2001 China was developing an anti-satellite capability that could, at least theoretically, debilitate or destroy U.S. satellite-based space lasers.

    U.S. response:
    Lightweight microsatellites will be much cheaper to launch than their obese precursors. The idea is to send microsatellites into space in flocks. In this cluster, they would be reprogrammable, able to switch to new tasks when the Pentagon required it. They might be set in linear formation to conduct ground reconnaissance or grouped in a circle to serve as a communications satellite. "It's like going from a mainframe computer to a network of PC's," Das says brightly. "Together, they'd form a larger virtual satellite." Yet a flock could also be launched with separate missions. One microsatellite might refuel a larger satellite or upgrade its software. Others might scoot about with small on-board cameras to provide live video feeds from space -- a capability no nation currently has. As I am escorted into a clean room to the see the first microsatellite under construction, one officer offhandedly confides, "It could also go right up to an enemy satellite and look at it real close-maybe even bump it."

    Think the technology is Buck Rogers nonsense, check out this company's website -

    Moreover, check out Defense Tech's contribution -

    Interesting the manner in which North Korea's missile failed on July 4, 2006.

  26. Because, allen, the deployment is a political move, not military.

    The Russians are not rolling West, not in T72s, anyway.

    We're tweaking the Bears nose, then say it's all about Iran.

    Who is building the Iranian reactor, anyway?

  27. Allen said, I am confused about the choice of Poland if Russia is the main threat. Why place a passive system so close to the conventional offensive capabilities of the Russians?

    "Pentagon officials had been scouting the mountainous territory of southern Poland, pinpointing suitable sites for two or three radar stations connected to the son of Star Wars programme."

    Now does that sound like it is aimed at Russia, or more like protection from the Middle East?

  28. ___That’s What “Friends” Are For

    Taking the Australian as his lead, Wretchard writes:

    “A UN report reveals how hundreds of Islamist fighters were flown from Somalia to Syria and Libya for military training while military aid was provided by Egypt and Saudi Arabia. (The Australian) Our enemies were armed, in short, by our friends.”

    Passage From India, comment #2

    Oh, the Saudis cited by Wretchard are the same Saudis who brokered the Palestinian unity “Death to Israel” government deal. Why are we listening to these people, again?


  29. teresita,

    Because I am uninvolved in the Polish project, I cannot say what is being aimed at whom.

    If you have answered my question you reference, I guess I missed your point, which was?

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

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

  32. dr, good point. As I mentioned earlier, the Polish obsession as usual. That would be the Bush administration deliberately stirring the pot and irk Russia - Poland has always been a major issue for the Russians, irredentist or anti-imperialism, depending on the time period.

    And they are most likely on board. What most European nations may acknowledge is that the possibility of armed confrontation with Russia is close to zero at this point, and that any move to highlight this particular scenario (and to interpret each manoeuvre as part of a zero-sum game) is simply to pander to Russia for the sake of energy, and to the US for the sake of the security umbrella over Europe via NATO.

  33. Allen said, If you have answered my question you reference, I guess I missed your point, which was?

    My point is that I reject the premise that the interceptors are aimed at the Russians. They are being hosted in Poland because Poland has a center-right government that is willing to accept the missile batteries. In Poland the sites are being selected as close to the Middle East as possible, not on the classic route for invasion from the East. Romania would be a better choice geographically. Either one permits the US to tweak the nose of the Russian Bear, as Desert Rat puts it. It sends a not-so-subtle reply to Putin for the message he sent with his rockets to Hugo Chavez, etc. And the Europeans can't block it, or even make too much of a stink about it, because then they'll be defenseless against Iran, even if Iran is not prepared to hit them quite yet.

  34. allen,

    re: "friends"

    I trusted Qaddafi! How could he do this? And the Saudis - again? I gave them so many chances before, but here they are testing my patience again.

    From the link at BC, wretchard also wrote:

    Friends depending on the time of day and whether or not you are looking. Those who object to the futility of fighting for or against such inconstant allies should logically accept the equal futility of talking to the same. What a pass we have come to.

    We must be prepared to deal with double agents and back-stabbing bandits of the Middle East - the term "ally" is no more than a label nowadays as coalitions lose their significance and trust becomes a marketable product sold to the highest bidder. Israel is our partner, the KSA is our "ally", and Iran is our enemy. The last two are interchangeable terms. Get used to it.

  35. harrison,

    re: “friends”

    I can almost hear Dr. Rice’s plaintive whine,

    “But Abdullah, after I let you take my virginity six times, how could you cheat on me?”

  36. Blackfive has up a thread on the coverage of Kurdistan by 60 Minutes. Without the benefit of having watched the linked video, I cannot offer my appraisal, but Blackfive seems reasonably content.

    60 Minutes with the Kurds


  37. This cartoon hits home.
    It's not of Mohammed.

    The cut lines:
    "... Title: "Hillary" and "Obama" - A Woman and a Negro are Participating in the Campaign for the American Presidency. ...

    Cartoon Here

    ...The Religious Man: "This is another sign of the collapse of the Western civilization"

    Who we gonna call?

  38. “Sometimes, dreams come true.”

    If you do nothing else the entire year, watch this segment on Kurdistan.

    Kurdistan Strives For Autonomy


  39. DR,

    re: cartoon


    They are contemptible swine, aren't they? Bigoted, racist, xenophobic bastards.

  40. So, rufus, you think we're to send a Heavy Division to Poland?

    Interesting thought.
    The Hegemon's growth continues

    Pretty much makes certain that Putin was on target in his Munich remarks on 11 Feb.
    His perspective 180 degrees from ours, but essentially correct, to over half the World. Some of the Germans seem to agree.

    Westhawk puts a different political spin on it.

  41. slimslowslider,

    re: you forgot to mention Hypocrites too.


  42. "... expected this week to hold Israel accountable for denying residency rights to Palestinians married to Israelis, and for failing to indict those responsible for the deaths of 13 Israeli Arabs in October 2000 riots. These are just two of the many issues regarding Israel's treatment of its Arab citizens and Palestinians in the territories which Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Yitzhak Levanon, anticipates defending when he appears Thursday and Friday before the UN's Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the Jerusalem Post reported.

    So the Israeli do not discriminate against Palisinians? They do allow residency for Palistinians married to Israelis? If so, no problems, the Israeli will be in compliance with the Treaty they signed.

    "It will be the first time in nine years that Israel will formally appear before the committee to defend its compliance with the convention against racial discrimination which Israel signed in 1979, said Levanon.

    The Israeli either do or do not treat the Arabs and Palisinians as second class citizens & residents. Seems from what I've read that they do discriminate against nonJews, but that may not be an accurate perception.

  43. 9 current chairmen in Congress today were in Congress when they voted to cut off funds for South Vietnam!
    - Roger Hedgecock

  44. It is my understanding of basing troops in Poland, admittedly a couple years old, that small satellite bases will be installed, housing special operations units. While the Poles would love having the massive units foreseen by Rufus, I don’t think that is going to be the case. Certainly, should the Russians continue to press Poland the US might consider such a move in the interests of the Polish economy and morale, but I doubt it.

  45. DR,

    Palestinians are often treated as second class citizens because they often behave as second class citizens. Whatever Israel's faults, neither Palestinians nor Jews are murdered by the Israeli government for intermarriage. Can the same be said across the line?

  46. "What is wrong with the Germans?"

    My Wife is German. She keeps telling me they HATE us and that Americans do not understand how much they HATE us.

  47. No idea, allen.
    If other countries are in violation, those cases should be brought to the UN.
    The US funds the UN, all countries will get an even shake before the UN's Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), Mr Bush and Ms Rice guarentee it.

    But if the Israeli are guilty of discrimination, well then, the World will know. If others are guilty of discrimination, as well, so it goes.
    Two wrongs not making a right.

  48. The real news is the General President pledging Pakistan's military and it's nukes to the Sunni Bloc

    "Karachi, 16 Feb. (AKI) - (Syed Saleem Shahzad) - Pakistan will play a pivotal role in a Saudi-devised strategy to build a strong Sunni block to counter the perceived growing influence in the Middle East of Shiites led by Iran, diplomatic sources in Islamabad have told Adnkronos International (AKI). The strategy includes the creation of a multinational Muslim peacekeeping force comprising troops from core Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) member states, said the sources, speaking on condition of anonimity. Also central to the initiative is a policy of rapprochement with Israel aiming to resolve the Palestinian issue, through United States mediation.

    Foreign ministers from the core OIC nations - Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Indonesia and Malaysia - will meet in Islamabad next month to agree on a plan aimed at the peaceful and speedy resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the sources told AKI.

    Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, who has made overtures to Israel would lead efforts to devise a strategy bringing Arab nations and the Jewish state to the negotiating table, the sources said.

    That meeting will be followed by a summit hosted by King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz in Saudi Arabia focusing on the broader issues involve in the creation of the "Sunni Block", ...
    Key to the Saudi strategy has been the co-option of Pakistan, the Muslim world's only nuclear power and with the largest professional army. Observers believe that Musharraf's recent tour of five Arab capitals and 4 other Muslim nations, indicated Islamabad's willlingness to contribute to Riyadh's plan. ..."

    The Sunni Nukes. The home of the Taliban, the founders of aQ.
    Taking the lead of the new Mohammedan Bloc.

  49. ___Day 2

    The major conservative bloggers continue to ignore the Walter Reed expose. Why do I think that if Clinton were president, we would hear of little else? Talk about hypocrisy.

  50. DR,

    re: justice for Israel at the UN

    DR, please don't hold your breath.

  51. 3case wrote, My Wife is German. She keeps telling me they HATE us and that Americans do not understand how much they HATE us.

    And Germans do not understand how little Americans care that Germans hate us. Why do you think so many of them left for a new life in Pennsylvania?

  52. Last Updated: Monday, 19 February 2007, 15:02 GMT

    Czech-Polish OK for US missiles

    Russia feels threatened by the US missile defence plan
    The leaders of the Czech Republic and Poland say they are in favour of letting the US build parts of its missile defence system on their soil.
    Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek said he agreed with his Polish counterpart that they would probably respond positively to a US request.

    The US wants to build a missile interceptor site in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic.

    Russia has condemned the plan, saying it will be able to target the sites.

    "If the governments of Poland and the Czech Republic take a decision to this effect, the strategic missile troops will be capable of having these facilities as targets," said Gen Nikolai Solovtsov, commander of Russia's missile forces.

    The US says the missile defence in Central Europe is designed to guard against possible missile attacks from the Middle East or North Korea.

  53. That goes to show you what kind of country Russia is, when a general in charge of the ICBMs is allowed to make a statement with international political repercussions. Yet it is the Americans who are called "provocative".

  54. dr,

    i see no reason for them not to discriminate against the palis. I guess you would be a bigger man about being conspired against for complete temination? (and lets not get into the jews/israelis started it BS) and what are the reasons the germans hate us so much?? we stopped them from finishing the job and taking over the world??

  55. The US is speaking with a forked tongue, for ploitcally correct reasons.
    Look at the range capacity of the NorK and Iranian missiles.
    They cannot reach Poland, from any of their launch sites.
    "... In the public there is still quite some confusion regarding the range and payload of the Shahab-3A. Credible sources put the range at 1.300km, with a warhead weighting around 1.200kg, or 1.500km with a 1.000kg warhead, and 1.700km with a warhead of 800kg.

    1700 KM, max range, with just 800kg payload. 1700 KM does not get one from northwestern Iran to Warsaw. Tehran to Krakcow is 3000KM, the Iranian missiles fall way short of threatening central Europe, or even southern Poland.

  56. slim,
    Then Israel is in violation of it's Treaty obligations, for what ever that is worth, if they are discriminating against the Palis.

    As for the Germans, they have their own problems. Hating the US is a common solution to local inequities, around the World.

    The Iranian offensive threat does not carry the load that is being allotted to it. Never has.
    Their defensive deterrent threat is asymetrical, not conventional.

  57. DR,

    You have some point to make with reference to alleged Israeli treaty violations? Please clarify.

  58. rufus,

    re: missiles they will have

    Thanks for making that point.

  59. Pakistan is even further way from Europe, at it's live test fire, the missile traveled 800km.

    The Pakistani coould barely reach Iran, let alone Europe, by missile.
    On 6 April 1998 Pakistan conducted its first test of the Ghauri. Pakistani media reports credited the missile with a 1100 km test flight and an apogee of 350 km, but information on the impact point shows that the flight distance was no more than 800 km. The system had a claimed range of 1500 km. While Pakistan has stated publicly that the missile was designed and produced indigenously it was, in fact, a North Korea produced No-dong

    Defenses against a threat that does not exist, or a provocation for the Russians to chew on.
    The Russians see a provocation, they are correct.

  60. The article was presented to us as typical UN hyprocricy. But the Israeli seem to be guilty, from what I know, and as you and slim readily admit.

    Now perhaps the Israeli are not as guilty of discrimination as others in the World, but that does not relieve them of honoring the Treaty they signed.

    The Israeli are not without political fault in their conflict with the neighbors. Their poop stinks, just as the Iranians' does. To pretend otherwise is a poor perspective to make decisions from.

    'Wiped off the Map' or 'Regime Change', sounds about the same, if you're the one to be "wiped" or "changed".

    Let's go back to a "One State" solution, allowing the Palistinian refugees the right to vote in that State. The Israeli will not allow it, for obviously discriminatory reasons. They'd lose control of their religiously sectarian State.
    No one man, one vote, the Jews being more worthy of the franchise than the Arabs, in the Levant.

    It is why Mr Sharon abandoned the Gaza, the demographics of democracy.

  61. Desert Rat wrote: Let's go back to a "One State" solution, allowing the Palistinian refugees the right to vote in that State.

    Sure, as long as Hamas and Fatah go along with the corollary of a One State solution, which is the monopoly on the use of force in the hands of that one state. But don't hold your breath, they are committed to the "Zionist Dogs Must Die" party line.

  62. Hitchens at his best:

    He concludes with an aside:
    “[I]t would have been as accurate to credit those, from Sens. Kerrey and Lott to Sens. Lieberman and McCain, who argued for the law as a means of making the Clinton administration live up to its public rhetoric. In signing the bill into law (after its unanimous passage by the Senate), President Bill Clinton spoke as if he was serious on the point. Those who wish to repudiate their past votes, therefore, should probably start by revisiting the view they took in 1998.”

  63. DR,

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but there is a world of difference between a gerbil turd and an elephant shit.

    Israel was not created to accomodate an ex post facto, suicidal "one state" surrender to its Arab adversaries. You have got to be kidding!

  64. There is no reason for Germans to like Americans and no particular reason why Americans should like Germany. Given a choice to vist France or Italy or Germany, I cannot think of any particular reason to select Germany.

    Germany was pivotal in the Cold War because it was divided and occupied by the Russians, the US and the UK. Germany and the US had some common interests as they do today in Afghanistan.

    Germany without the US alliance would never have been able to free itself from Soviet domination. They know that and they also know that the US was supporting German independence for America's own selfish reasons. If America had been interested in outright liberation, it would have done so in Eastern Europe.

    The Soviets presented the US with a fait acompli with the Occupation of Eastern Europe and East Germany. The US never intervened in revolts in E. Germany, Poland, Hungary or Czechoslovakia. The US calculation was that to do so would be too costly for American interests.

    Likewise Germany has not been helpful to any other country other than itself and then only with the reunification with east Germany.

    It was the original German occupation of Eastern Europe that ended badly for Germany with the East being set-up as a buffer zone to protect Russia from Western attack.

    Germany knows all this. It also knows that Russia has no particular interest in a re-conquest. Such is Realpolitik.

  65. teresita,

    The Palestinians are such kidders. You can't take that stuff seriously. Why, it's a small world after all.

  66. Created by whom, allen?
    Not the residents of the area, by free vote.
    But by an Inmperial Edict.
    After a terrorist campaign intimidated the Imperialists.

    The Israeli Government discriminates against Arabs, that's a fact, not hypocricy.

  67. DR,

    You have now entered the realm of the surreal. I am not about to try changing your mind.

  68. Bobalharb, here is GDP and military expeditures, as you can see, Russia is already an also-ran, by a wide margin.

    People's Republic of China

    GDP $2,234.1 billion
    Milbudget: $29.9 billion


    GDP $763.3 billion
    Milbudget: $14.5 billion

  69. "as you and slim readily admit."

    I didn't admit anything except that i, without a doubt, would discriminate against anyone who wishes me dead or my family dead. your survival techniques must vary.