“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."

Saturday, February 10, 2007

" I was sent first to a neighborhood Catholic school and then to a predominately Muslim school. Is that a problem?"


  1. It seems we are all on the same track tonight; I wrote this after reading the news on Yahoo, and a post on Gateway pundit.

  2. No bells and whistles, nothing special, just back to basics - The strange case of a Third World power kicking jihadi ass

    Yes, the US did contribute, but the show was run elsewhere.

  3. What might this have to do with North Korea’s relationship with its sponsor China?

    Australia–Japan Security Agreement to Be Signed

    Australia’s vast natural resource base and Japan’s vast technical base spell trouble for China in the Pacific.

  4. 'Gathering of Eagles'
    to protect Vietnam Veterans Wall

    Jane Fonda + usual commie suspects to trash wall...vets vow to protect ,March 17th DC. be there.

    At least pass the word, please.

  5. The leftist Web site describes the anti-war demonstrators this way: "The March on the Pentagon has already attracted more than 1,500 endorsers, including prominent individuals and national and grassroots organizations. Students on college campuses and in high schools will be attending in large numbers. There will be a large turnout from the Muslim and Arab American community, which is organizing throughout the country."

    The movement is well-financed. Its sponsor list is lengthy and contains highly recognizable names, as well as those of Fonda and Sheehan:
    · Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark (who offered his services to defend Saddam Hussein)
    · Ultra-liberal Congresswoman Maxine Waters
    · Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney
    · Ron Kovic, Vietnam veteran and author of "Born on the 4th of July"
    · Mahdi Bray, executive director, Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation
    · Waleed Bader, vice chair of the National Council of Arab Americans and former president of Arab Muslim American Federation
    · Medea Benjamin, co-founder, CODEPINK and Global Exchange
    · Free Palestine Alliance
    · Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation
    · Islamic Political Party of America
    · FMLN (Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front)
    · Islamic-National Congress
    · Gay Liberation Network
    · Muslim Student Association
    · Jibril Hough, chairman, Islamic Political Party of America

  6. "Will there be more airpower going to Iraq in the next days, weeks, months? Hell, yes," says a senior Air Force official. "There will be precision weapons applied wherever there's an enclave, a storage area or logistics activity--boom, boom, boom.
    - Thu Jan 18, 03:09:00 PM EST

    Julian E. Barnes of the Los Angeles Times reported that the U.S. Air Force has the Iraqi itch and is getting ready to scratch it. Air Force commanders are preparing for a "heightened role in the volatile region." They are, he reported, already "gearing up for just such a role in Iraq as part of Bush's planned troop increase" -- an expansion of air power that "could include aggressive new tactics designed to deter Iranian assistance to Iraqi militants… [and] more forceful patrols by Air Force and Navy fighter planes along the Iran-Iraq border to counter the smuggling of bomb supplies from Iran."
    - January 31, 2007

    Add Afghanistan as well.

  7. Jan. 16, Strategy Page...

    The U.S. Air Force is installing Sniper XR targeting pods on some of its B-1B bombers. The latest generation of these pods contain FLIR (video quality night vision infrared radar) and TV cameras that enable pilots flying at 20,000 feet to clearly make out what is going on down there. The pods also contain laser designators for laser guided bombs, and laser range finders that enable pilots to get coordinates for JDAM (GPS guided) bombs. Safely outside the range of most anti-aircraft fire (five kilometers up, and up to fifty kilometers away), pilots can literally see the progress of ground fighting, and have even been acting as aerial observers for ground forces. These new capabilities also enable pilots to more easily find targets themselves, and hit them with highly accurate laser guided or JDAM bombs. While bombers still get target information from ground controllers for close (to friendly troops) air support, they can now go searching on their own, in areas where there are no friendly ground troops.

    January 31, Los Angeles Times...

    "You will see the full spectrum of capabilities all the way from intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability to kinetic effects," said Lt. Gen. Howie Chandler, the deputy Air Force chief of staff for operations, plans and requirements.

    Chandler said the Air Force would do as it was asked. But he and other Air Force officials argue that smaller bombs and precision guidance systems can minimize civilian casualties and play a vital role in fighting the insurgency.

    "I wouldn't automatically write off air power in an urban environment for fear of collateral damage," Chandler said. "We have the capability with precision targeting and the new weapons to operate in an urban environment."

    Air Force officials say they also are preparing to increase flights of unmanned Predator and Global Hawk aircraft to provide constant surveillance of Baghdad neighborhoods when U.S. forces move in.

    The Air Force has outfitted its fighter planes with intelligence pods capable of beaming an aerial picture of a neighborhood to a ground commander maneuvering his forces, Chandler said (see Strategy Page above).

  8. ... Sat Feb 10, 2007 - Reuters
    Putin says U.S. wants to dominate world...
    "The message I got from his speech was that Putin wants Russia to have the same position in the world as the former Soviet Union," a senior European official told Reuters.

    ...Jan 12, 2007 - MEMRI
    Iranian and Syrian Government Papers on Renewed Superpower Role for Russia to Counter U.S. in Middle East

    In a December 20, 2006 op-ed in the Syrian government daily Teshreen, columnist Issam Dariwrote that the uni-polar world order that the U.S. has sought to impose upon the world is a thing of the past, and that today Russia is playing a role no less important than that of the U.S. in promoting world peace and security.

    In a December 21, 2006 article, the Iranian government daily Tehran Times discussed Russia's attempts to restore its international status throughincreasing involvement in the Middle East. The paper speculated that Russia's close friendship with Syria could help the latter emerge from the isolation imposed upon it, both by the West and by some hostile Arab countries which are trying to implicate it in Al-Hariri's assassination.

  9. re: North Korea

    Maintaining the status quo with North Korea means the continued justification for the US provision of the nuclear umbrella for Japan and South Korea, which in turn lessens the possibility of a nuclear arms race in the region that would certainly change the power dynamics to China's disadvantage.

    But it seems from that link rufus provided that we are quite close to clinching a 'Libya-style' deal with Kim. It is probably more untenable a situation whereby China would have to acquiesce with an irrational nuclear-armed state in exchange for lessened international attention paid towards its military build-up, thus the Chinese have decided to pursue the other alternative - that is, to neutralise North Korea's regional threat, hoping that the rationale behind any nuclear acquisition would now vanish.

    Either way, it benefits the Chinese.