“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, February 23, 2007

A World without America

In a previous post 2164th mentioned an article at the Telegraph UK about this video.

The video was produced by From
This is the fourth of's weekly adverts. At a time of rampant anti-Americanism this ad - produced with - aims to remind the world of the great economic, technological and political benefits that the US has brought to the world.
And from is a proud believer in the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom. This new blog will focus on political developments in the USA and offer an alternative account of those developments to that provided by, for example, the BBC (the Corporation itself recently acknowledging its tendency to anti-Americanism at its own 'bias seminar').

Whoever they are, I say thank you. We'll take all the help we can get. It's about time someone attempted to restore sanity to a world gone mad with rabid anti-Americanism.


  1. So sad that someone would feel compelled to make such a video.

  2. Mattie:
    That's exactly what I thought: How sad that we've come to such a state of affairs.

    But the world is turned upside down and inside out so it's not surprising.

    What is even sadder is that it has taken so long and it may be too late.

  3. BTW: Please don't ignore the previous post which came compliments of ppab.

  4. A world without America would immediately plunge into the greatest economic depression in history as the "market of last resort" no longer exists to soak up the products of a developing world which relied on blocking imports from America and flooding America with exports. One third of the world's total asset wealth would disappear. $14 trillion dollars in foreign claims on US assets would become meaningless overnight. All the dollars held by China in return for those cheap sneakers Americans bought at Wal-Mart would be so much monopoly money.

    Russia would be unconstrained by the threat of nuclear retaliation and quickly move to re-establish the Soviet Empire and a ring of buffer client states even larger than the original Warsaw Pact, including an unarmed and united Germany. Only at France at Britain, who possess modest nuclear stockpiles of their own, would Putin call a halt to his advancing tanks.

    With no U.S. nuclear umbrella protecting South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, an alliance of China and North Korea would move to sew up all of East Asia in a new Co-prosperity Sphere, which would threaten Australia from the north. Australia would begin developing nuclear weapons in defense, but a Chinese naval blockade would isolate them from mother England and begin to strangle their trade.

    All the nations in Africa and Latin America who depended on US largesse for medical and humanitarian relief would begin to suffer like never before. Any tsunami in Indonesia would be greeted by a global shrug. Oil would crash to $6 a barrel as the biggest consumer of it disappears, and with it the funding for world Jihad. In places like Saudi Arabia the oil sheiks would flee to Europe to be closer to their Swiss bank accounts as the masses of people find that they can't eat sand. With no more funding from their Arab brothers, the Palestinians would be at the tender mercies of the Israeli population they had tormented for decades.

  5. Here's another good presentation from the .

  6. Cheney also had harsh words for Democratic leaders, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Jack Murtha, D-Pa., who says he wants to stop the surge of more U.S. troops into Iraq.

    Cheney said Pelosi and other Democrats were pushing a policy in Iraq that would "validate the al Qaeda strategy."

    "I think if we were to do what Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Murtha are suggesting, all we'll do is validate the al Qaeda strategy," Cheney told ABC News.

    "The al Qaeda strategy is to break the will of the American people, knowing they can't win in a stand-up fight, try to convince us to throw in the towel and come home and then they win because we quit," he said.

    al Qaeda is not alone in this view......

    “I hold this view by looking at the geography and nature of American society into account. Yours is a society which cannot accept 10,000 dead in one battle.”
    - Saddam Hussein, July 1990

    “If the U.S. still thinks and brags that it still has this kind of power even after all these successive defeats in Vietnam, Beirut, Aden, and Somalia, then let them go back to those who are awaiting its return.”
    – Osama Bin Laden, March 1997

    “We have seen in the last decade the decline of the American government and the weakness of the American soldier who is ready to wage Cold Wars and unprepared to fight long wars. This was proven in Beirut when the Marines fled after two explosions. It also proves they can run in less than 24 hours, and this was also repeated in Somalia.”
    - Osama Bin Laden, May 1998

    “The occupation soldiers did not withdraw from South Lebanon because they got sick of the occupation. …Unless the coffins were multiplying, they would have stayed along with their agents... who flee now like terrified mice.”
    - Editor of the PA affiliated Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Hafez Al-Barghuthi, May 2000

    “If one day, the world of Islam comes to possess the weapons currently in Israel's possession -on that day this method of global arrogance would come to an end. This is because the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam.”
    - Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Former Iranian President, December 14, 2001

    “The aftermath of the collapse of American power in Vietnam—and how they ran and left their agents—is noteworthy.”
    - Ayman al-Zawahri, July 2005

    “The message of the (Islamic) Revolution is global, and is not restricted to a specific place or time. It is a human message, and it will move forward. Have no doubt ... Allah willing, Islam will conquer what? It will conquer all the mountain tops of the world.”
    - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, July 25, 2005.

  7. Funny, is it not, how biased an opinion may seem, not by the validity of the opinion, but the assumed character of the person holding it.

    All of elijah's quotes seem accurate to me, being proven, again, in regards Iraq and Iran, as we congregate at the Bar.

    Four years, and the US has been unable to secure Baghdad. For any variety of reasons, I'm sure.

    But Force Protection ranks high on the list.
    Disproportainate tail to tooth ratios, another item.
    Basic political & military doctrine that was so so wrong for oh so long.

  8. That Mr Cheney, as well as Mr Bush are so unprepared for the Democratic onslaught, Mr Cheney saying in late November that the change in Congress would not matter, proves their warped perspective of reality.

    The Bush Team has and continues to be bitch slapped.
    Mr Cheney needs to go hunting, sober.
    Weak sisters, all around.

  9. ...In testimony to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Jan. 11, Woolsey said "The regime's threats to destroy Israel and, on a longer time-scale, the United States are part and parcel of (the regime's) essence."

    The Iranian regime is assisting terrorists to infiltrate into Iraq and is providing material support to attacks on the U.S., Woolsey said, and "over the years, directly and through its controlled assets such as Hezbollah, Iran has killed and murdered hundreds of Americans...and large numbers of Israelis, French and Argentinians as well."

    Iran's nuclear weapons program has alarmed the Sunni states of the Middle East and six of them, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are moving forward with their own nuclear programs. "Iran," said Woolsey "has now triggered a Shiite-Sunni nuclear arms race in this volatile region."

    But he rejects the widely held notion that Shiite and Sunni Islam cannot collaborate against the West. "Seventy years ago it was the conventional wisdom that communists and Nazis would never cooperate, and that was largely true -- until the Stalin-Hitler Pact." (Al-qaeda and Iranian collaboration; hence the need to seed division?)

    For Woolsey, a potential checkmate scenario would be the drastic step of cutting off Iran's imports of refined petroleum products as its lack of refining capacity means this oil giant has to import 40 percent of its gasoline and diesel fuel. But if all these measures do not produce the desired effect. What next?

    What we are faced with today, he says, is comparable to the secular totalitarian dreams of the 20th century -- e.g., the Nazis' Thousand Year Reich and World Communism, and Japanese Imperialism, the one powerful 20th century totalitarian movement that had a religious component. The three began their global conquests from national bases.

    This century's Shiite theocratic totalitarians in the Middle East have enjoyed such a base in the Middle East for almost 27 years in Iran while the Sunni totalitarians had one for the better part of a decade in Afghanistan. There was also Wahhabism, adds Woolsey, "a variety of Sunni theocratic totalitarianism, which has been the state religion of Saudi Arabia for eight decades. None of these groups have attained 20th century death tolls yet, but this is principally due to lack of power, not to less murderous or less totalitarian objectives."

    "One of (Iran's) stated objectives is, quite explicitly, to destroy us," he says. So what do we do? Woolsey calls it the "Long War, one I believe will last for decades, with the Middle East's theocratic totalitarians." A containment strategy, comparable to what achieved victory in the Cold War, "has very little to do with movements driven by religious fervor," he says. Deterrence wouldn't work either. "What could be held at risk, as the U.S. once did Soviet military forces and cities?" Our enemies have no fear of death. They live to die as jihadis.

    Hot wars may occur abroad during this "Long War," but it's at least as likely "that important combat in the form of major terrorist attacks will occur here at home. Hence, the need for more effective surveillance of "contacts between these theocratic totalitarian movements in the Middle East and U.S. persons or visitors" because this new war is "driven by our enemies' decisions about how to make war on us, not by ourselves."

    So if Iran doesn't cough up its nuclear weapons paraphernalia, would Woolsey favor U.S. air strikes on suspected nuclear sites? His cryptic reply: "It depends on the circumstances at the time, principally but not exclusively their degree of progress toward having nuclear weapons."

    Woolsey was more loquacious on Fox News last July 17 during the 34-day war between Israel and Hezbollah: "We ought to execute some air strikes against Syria, against the instruments of power of that state, against the airport, which is the place where weapons shuttle through from Iran to Hezbollah and Hamas. Both Syria and Iran think we're cowards. They saw us leave Lebanon after the 1983 Marine Corps bombing (when 241 U.S. servicemen, mostly Marines, were killed). They saw us leave Mogadishu in 1993. The last thing we ought to do now is to start talking about cease-fires and a rest."

    Iran, Woolsey said last summer, "has drawn a line in the sand. They've sent Hezbollah and Hamas against Israel. They're pushing their nuclear weapons program. They're helping North Korea, working with them on a ballistic missile program. They're doing their best to take over southern Iraq. This is a very serious challenge and we need to weaken them badly, and undermining the Syrian government with air strikes would help weaken them badly."

    As for air strikes against Iran, Woolsey said then, "One has to take things to some degree by steps."

  10. Hence the need to seed division?...
    Huge Gulf spending at arms fair...

    Delegates from Arab states are meeting at an arms fair in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), embarking on huge military spending in a bid to contain a perceived threat from Iran.

    Gulf leaders will use billions of dollars in oil revenue to buy the arms, with many of the deals to be finalised at the Idex arms fair which began in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

    Saudi Arabia is thought to have ordered almost $50bn in military hardware, including fighter aircraft, cruise missiles, attack helicopters and more than 300 new tanks.

    It follows concern from Gulf states that Iranian military influence has grown across the wider Middle East region.

    Massive spending -
    Tim Ripley, Middle East analyst with Jane's Defence Weekly, said: "The Gulf states have a shopping list of arms worth more than $60bn if all the deals under discussion go through."

    Saudi Arabia's purchase of 72 Eurofighter Typhoon jets from BAe Systems is the largest deal to be made.

    The deal is yet to be finalised but appears to be back on after Britain's serious fraud office dropped an investigation into the company's accounting.

    Meanwhile, the UAE has set aside $2bn for a rapid reaction brigade and has earmarked a further $6bn for missile defence batteries, airborne early-warning systems and aircraft.

    Both countries are members of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) established in 1984.

    Other members of the GCC, including Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar, are also expected to invest heavily in arms.

    Iranian influence -
    Gulf leaders have watched with growing alarm as Iranian influence has spread throughout the Middle East.

    Marc Lee, the organiser of a conference on defence in the region, said: "People are concerned that if there is a complete breakdown in Iraq, it may wash over to them.

    "They are acutely conscious of the instability threats on the other side of the Gulf and the threat from Iran."

    Last week, the Pentagon alleged that tank-piercing roadside bombs were being provided to Iraqi Shia fighters by the Iranian government.

    Iran is also suspected of using its influence in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon, most notably towards the Hezbollah (Party of God) political party and resistance movement.

    Warnings -
    Iran has warned that any attempt to halt its nuclear programme would result in attacks on US interests around the world.

    American plans for a possible attack on Iran's nuclear sites are reported to be well advanced, despite public denials.

    Against this backdrop, many Sunni Arab states are boosting their own defences.

    "There are some people who are wary about Iran, but the Americans are running a very successful public-relations campaign against Tehran," said a senior Saudi diplomatic source.

    "A lot of Saudis fear that the US will come and make mischief then go away, but we have to live here afterwards."

    At the last Idex exhibition, in 2005, $2bn of deals were done in five days but this year is expected to break all records.

  11. "Trish would like to ask the VP where and how our own strategy has been validated. Yes, indeed, she would."

    Although not a fan of politicians..

    Transcript of President Bush's address to a joint session of Congress on Thursday night, September 20, 2001 -
    "We will starve terrorists of funding....turn them one against another"

    See -
    Fri Feb 23, 10:18:00 PM EST

  12. The way to break out is to keep moving. Why the big military brains can't figure this out is beyond my understanding.

  13.'s always great to talk to friends at the bar.

    Barkeep...may I please have another St. Bernardus Abt 12.
    The night is young.

  14. Trish,

    You better check the records. You have me confused with someone else.

  15. "Down like dominoes, baby. Down like dominoes."

    ...If it's that important to you, I expect YOU to take care of it. I expect you to stop bellyaching and bitching and get 'er done. Because we're not gonna do it for you.

    You're not waiting for us.

  16. Last week, the Pentagon alleged that tank-piercing roadside bombs were being provided to Iraqi Shia fighters by the Iranian government.

    Why don't we just forget the roads and drive our tanks right through people's houses and yards like we did in World War II? I know it would set back our "hearts and minds" campaign a little bit, but Anbar province and the Sunni areas of Baghdad are a hard sell anyway.

  17. Iran gets weapons and technology from China via North Korea, while the US feeds a Chinese slave economy with US dollars and Iranian oil. And while the Russians have their hands full fighting Jihadi insurgents at home, the US decides to pick a fight with the non existent Soviets using a missile defense system in Eastern Europe.

  18. "What did I say after that, elijah"?

    You said Elijah is my friend.

  19. "There's a statute of limitations, elijah."

    Really...maybe you better get on the phone and let em know; get er done...

    On October 26, 2005, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke at the “World Without Zionism” conference in Tehran. In widely reported remarks, Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be “wiped off the map” and expressed the goal of witnessing a “world without America.” His statements were universally condemned by world leaders.
    Ahmadinejad's statements are not new. Since the founding of the regime in 1979, Iranian leaders have repeatedly made clear that their official policy calls for the destruction of Israel, the United States and the Western World.

    but...but...there's a statute of limitations

  20. “We have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization…. we must make use of everything we have at hand to strike at this front by means of our suicide operations or by means of our missiles. There are 29 sensitive sites in the U.S. and in the West. We have already spied on these sites, and we know how we are going to attack them.”
    - Hassan Abbassi, Revolutionary Guards intelligence advisor to the President, May 28, 2004

    “The world of Islam has been mobilized against America for the past 25 years. The peoples call, "death to America." Who used to say "death to America?" Who, besides the Islamic Republic and the Iranian people, used to say this? Today, everyone says this.” - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, June 24, 2004

    “The Americans are convinced that they will easily win the war in Iraq. But they will not see that day. As the Imam [Khomeini] said, 'One day the U.S. too will be history.” - Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei May 20, 2004

    “Such people are using words like ‘it's not possible'. They say how could we have a world without America and Zionism? But you know well that this slogan and goal can be achieved and can definitely be realized.” - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, October 26, 2005

  21. The negativity, pessimism and cynicism consistently droned by a few tends to dominate the discussion in this bar, despite best efforts by 2164 and Whit to keep things on a more even keel.

    It might be wise to pay attention to the convictions of the American people, which are beginning to surface. Not surprisingly for a center-right 90% Judeo-Christian country at war with Islamofascists and their Islamic nation-state supporters, a substantial American majority (57-41) believe that the battle in Iraq is a key component of the war against terrorism and support finishing the job (ie, staying until Iraqi government can provide its own security). See today's Washington Times for details - Public Doubts Selling Out Iraq

    While some of us geopolitical junkies enjoy following every twist and turn in the events of the war, the middle 50-60% of the American populace do not. And they are not really asleep, as many suggest. They simply take things in stride and go about the business of life. But that doesn't mean they have checked out of life, or that they have taken leave of their senses.

    The Democrats are overplaying their legislative hand, and their presidential candidates will prove themselves sufficiently incompetent to lead this country in a time of crisis. Vietnam was a proxy war, one in which there were no direct American interests at stake. The fight in Iraq originated as a battle against a country whose government supported terrorism, developed and used (and probably possessed) WMD and had invaded its neighbor and threatened another neighbor, and thereby the world and America's fuel supply, clearly a vital strategic interest. The average guy on the street understands those basic things, and also understands that the Iranian clergy/political establishment are as much our enemies as Al-Queda. They can see that having our troops stationed in Iraq as a blocking force to Iranians is not much different than having our troops sitting in West Germany. Yes there have been too many casualties, but American's don't give up easily when things matter, and seem willing to give Bush another shot at it now that he has shitcanned Rumsfeld and adopted a more aggressive war-fighting (instead of babysitting) strategy.

    The vocal minority here choose to believe in the futility of our efforts in Iraq; that is their prerogative. The facts can be argued both ways, with merit. Although my faith in our effort has wavered at times, I continue to choose to believe that our undertakings in Iraq and Afghanistan are vital to our security and will prove successful in the long run.

    I am fundamentally supported in my belief by the knowledge that Americans are winners and being a winner means knowing when it is important to give it your best, if not your all. I believe "we" recognize that now is the time to "do it" in the Middle East. I believe that Americans understand that the stakes are sufficiently high, and only likely to get higher. The Democrats rush to quit the war without offering any viable strategic alternative has highlighted for a majority that failure is not acceptable. For that, I thank the disingenuous, power-crazed foolhardy bastards.

    Note: in the above context, Democrat is not intended to include Joe Lieberman, a man who has played his hand far better than they have theirs.

  22. We are talking a mean fight, trish.

    We are running check points on the streets of Baghdad, now.

    We are exchanging Dollars for Rials in Basra, gettin' a good rate, too.

    We have not stopped the Iranian cascades, by rattling sabres.

    Anbar is still outside the wire, but we're working on it, another decade or two, things are looking up.

    The basis of the pessimisim, elijah, is that the Iraqi Government we are waiting for, a secular progressive democracy that will stand with US in TWAT does and will not exist. Not yesterday, not today and there is no trend, anywhere, that there will be such a government, tomorrow.

    As to Iran, the US has no conflict with Iran, just some diplomatic disagreements. Those that beleive otherwise do not take Mr Bush or Ms Rice at their word.

    Providing the Iranians with US targets for their shaped charges, in Iraq, that is moving the US National interests forward, how?

    There is no US military solution as the US military operates today, in Iraq. As the Generals and the President say, "We ae not losing"
    After four years of War, against border bandits, we've done so badly, it is embarassing.

    Piss poor performance.
    Prior planning prevents piss poor performance.

    It's to late for prior planning.
    To early for a post mortem.

    It is time to fall back and regroup, leaving Iraq to the Iraqi, as Mr Bush promised.

  23. Remember folks, the Coalition has now adapted a Victory Standard.

    It is Basra, Iraq that now sets the Standard, elijah.

    How many more US troops should be sacrificed to provide Iran that level of success in Baghdad?

  24. Arresting the son of the premier Iraqi Shia Militia Commander to be a visitor to the White House, foolishness and ignorance.

    Who was the cultural & language expert at that checkpoint?
    Did they even have one?

    Al-Hakim is the son of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the leader of the United Iraqi Alliance and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

    The military did not apologize in the statement, but U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad Friday said, "I'm sorry about the arrest," CNN reported.

    The military said "unfortunate incidents" may occur as Iraq "endeavors to secure its borders," adding that al-Hakim was "treated with dignity and respect throughout the entire incident," CNN said.

    Al-Hakim was released to Iraqi authorities, the military said.

    Why arrest him if immediately releasing him was in the cards, because they were rude?

    Win friends, influence people.
    Detain Mr al-Hakim for a few hours, that'll teach 'em a lesson!

  25. The New York Times quoted advisers to al-Hakim as saying American forces had beaten several of the guards after stopping the convoy. The Times also quoted an unidentified U.S. military official as saying al-Hakim was detained because he had an expired passport and was traveling with people who had a large number of guns.

    But in an interview after his release at the provincial governor's office in Kut, al-Hakim displayed a passport with an expiration date of Sept. 17, 2007, the Times reported on its Web site Friday.

    "They arrested me and my guards in an unsuitable way, and they bound my hands and blindfolded me," the Times quoted Amar al-Hakim as saying. "They took our phones, bags, money, documents and the guards weapons, and sent us to an American base."

    The U.S. Embassy said al-Hakim "was not singled out" and "soldiers were following standard procedure" at the border crossing.

    "There were some serious allegations made here about the way that the arrest was conducted and the investigation is going to examine how the event unfolded," embassy spokesman Lou Fintor said Saturday.

    Amar al-Hakim heads a charity dedicated to the memory of his uncle, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, who was killed along with scores of others in a car bombing in Najaf in August 2003. His father took over SCIRI after the killings, and Amar is apparently being groomed to take his place someday.

    So the US arrested and released tha heir apparent to Iraq's ruling faction.
    Junior personifies Iraq,
    smoooth move.

    Winning those hearts and minds

  26. j willie said, It might be wise to pay attention to the convictions of the American people, which are beginning to surface.

    Yeah, let's look at a poll, not of the Eastern establishment, or left coast, but of the Solid South, which is supposed to be Bush Country through and through and one would think they were kindly disposed towards Dubya's vanity project in Iraq.

    "The Iraq war is the most important issue facing the United States, according to 45 percent of the 719 residents of Florida, Georgia, Virginia and the Carolinas who were surveyed this week...Sixty-four percent of respondents disapproved or strongly disapproved of Bush's handling of the Iraq war - up from 57 percent last year - while 31 percent approved or strongly approved of it, a decrease from 38.5 percent last year."

  27. "But in an interview after his release at the provincial governor's office in Kut, al-Hakim displayed a passport with an expiration date of Sept. 17, 2007, the Times reported on its Web site Friday."
    What a Moron!
    No wonder team Bush knows not to bother with those idiots:
    Any illiterate Campesino knows that the US Govt and the Bank of America will provide all the documentation anyone needs to survive, leech, and prosper if they simply have the brains to cross borders into the Continental USofA.

  28. ...but there is hope:
    Bush intends to import thousands of Iraqis into the USA.
    Some in their midst will be smart enough to check out the border for opportunities and vulnerabilites, resulting in less wasted effort in Iraq dealing with Pesk GI's.
    Cultural cross-training by the most thoroughly Multicultural president in history.
    A Nobel Prise for Peach for Karen Hughes, please.
    W could never have done it on his own.

  29. Trish,
    If you had been born with a silver spoon in your mouth, and a silver pusher on your plate, you might be better able to understand the honor of steadfast stupidassness:

    Stay the course!
    (because you can, always have, and "always" will)
    Better luck next time.

  30. Karen is such a peach of a Dhimmi, she deserves the Peach Prize for sure.

  31. What we need now is for Aristides to explain the end game of the master plan that is unfolding on schedule.

    ...being shallow, we are unable to fathom such depths of thought and brilliant strategery w/o his help.

  32. re:
    "It is time to fall back and regroup, leaving Iraq to the Iraqi, as Mr Bush promised."

    To where for what purpose?

  33. Reading your posts DR, I am reminded of the instant gratification mindset of Westerners. Anyone can criticize, but you or Trish never write about solutions, just criticism.

    Of course you educate us all about Basra; interesting that you leave out the success of the Kurdish north (pssst, its currently part of Iraq too) - does not fit your worldview I imagine.

    Piss poor performance... What is your metric for this view. The U.S. has suffered over 3,000 casualties thus far. There were 405,000 in WWII. Damn, the greatest generation sure displayed piss poor performance. Is that your view DR?

    ..and when the U.S. or Israel does take direct action, I am sure that you, Trish, and C4 will be complaining about that as well.

    Lastly, if we are blundering to such a great extent, why are the Iranians so worried DR?

  34. elijah,
    The solutions were laid out, over the last four years, as you were not involved in many of the discussions, then, well that's okay.

    MTT, I advocated enhancing that program, three years ago. When it could have made a difference.

    An enhanced Iraqi Triumverate of Mr Allawi, Talabani and Chilabri, with an Iraqi Army built on a secular standard, like Turkey.
    That was acvocated, instead of Democracy on demand. Talk about "instant gratification" what do we call the rush to Democract, then?
    Relocating evemy population centers to secured areas, while rebuilding the infrastructure to standard.

    But none of those reccomendations were followed, we are faced with Success, in Basra, regardless.

    Success is Basra, success in 14 of the Iraqi Provinces.

    The Standard has been set, and met.

    Instant gratification, instant is not 65 months, which is what has passed, since 9-11-01.

    Sixtyfive months of not winning.

    I thought we fulfilled the standards of the Authorization, well over a year ago, with the Iraqi Elections.
    Mr Bush and the Military disagree, so I must hold them to their word.

    I hear Mr Bush and his Generals say the US is not winning this "War".

    I was taught, long ago, if you are not winning, you're losing.
    I won't not discard a life long standards to excuse the self admitted piss poor performance by others.

  35. Rufus said, This has turned into the most piss-poor forum on the internet. The constant whining, carping, and Bush-hating of a couple has just rendered this blog unreadable. Bye.

    An unreadable blog, Rufus, is one where no one is posting any comments. People rapidly get bored preaching to the choir. In fine, the two-party system works.

  36. Basra, today is the Success.

    Mr Cheney says so, Ms Rice says so.

    The money used on the streets of Basra, according to reports from people there, is the Iranian Rial.

    The airport is being built by Iranians.

    The new AgBank, Iranian, as well.

    So stands success. Per Mr Cheney and Ms Rice. Sounds like a piss poor result after sixtyfive months of War against Terror, to me.

  37. elijah
    Success or failure is not based upon US casualties. That is not the basis of judging performance.

    Force Protection, that is the alter you think we should pray at?

    How about defeating the Enemy?
    How about telling US who that enemy is?

    Is Mr al-Hakim and the SCIRI a friend or foe? I vote for foe.
    The Iraqi people voted them friend

    The vote is what counts, more than the result. So Mr Bush & Company handed them Iraq, they have voted the SCIRI a friend of US.
    Mr Bush gets his way, the SCIRI is our friend.

    I vote it's time to leave, then.

  38. As for the Iranians "mellowing" their position, well there are three schools of thought on that cause and effect.

    One is it's the results of US sabre rattling, the Fleet is in the pond.

    Second is it is the results of economic sanctions beginning and a solid International bloc forming against Iran.

    Then many stand in the middle, of one a two, a smigen of one along with a pinch of two.

    Third is that the "mellowing" or as you say "fear" is just an act, to gain more time, for ever more negotiations, while the cascades spin.

    I favor three, when balanced againt a combined one & two.

    But the time to tackle Iran militarily is also passed. The politics in the US make a successful campaign against Iran now extremely difficult.

    When the blowback to an attack against Iran occurs, sustaining the enlarged War will prove impossible, politicly, domesticly and internationally.

  39. rufus,

    I hope you will reconsider.

  40. Thank you for the comments.

    Rufus, I thrive on the disagreement...come on back, I'll be your friend and buy you a drink. Like whiskey?

    1) "Sixty five months of not winning".

    Bin Laden to Zarqawi: We're Not Doing So Well...The path is long and difficult, and the enemy isn’t easy, for he is great and numerous and he can take quite a bit of punishment as well. Know that we, like all the mujahidin, are still weak. We are in the stage of weakness and a state of paucity. We have not yet reached a level of stability. We have no alternative but to not squander any element of the foundations of strength, or any helper or supporter.

    2) "Success or failure is not based upon...US casualties. That is not the basis of judging performance."

    Then why write this...
    "Providing the Iranians with US targets for their shaped charges, in Iraq"...

    3) "The money used on the streets of Basra, according to reports from people there, is the Iranian Rial."

    How will Basra be when what you say will happen, happens....
    "Iran has gained hugh influence in southern Iraq, along the KSA border. The Saudi Atmy is not capable of closing the border, the Pakis are. Would there be any tension with these Sunnis in the glorious Shia regions?

    4) Force Protection, that is the alter you think we should pray at?

    If you would actually read what I write, you would know....
    “The troops are certainly more vulnerable than they are on super bases,” says John Arquilla, who teaches irregular warfare at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. “The mission now is ....less force protection of American troops and more protection of the Iraqi people.”
    Fri Feb 23, 04:35:00 PM EST

    5) How about telling US who that enemy is?
    I have, how many more times must I... From BC - If the goal is Iranian Shia nukes acutely and Saudi-sponsored Sunni Wahhabism chronically, the strategic tactic is to turn the enemy one against the other, such that they deplete their resources fighting one another, lessening each side's ability to attack the West. 2/16/2007 11:46:00 AM Oh, it was only a few weeks ago that you were telling us all what nonsesnse this was; Masterplanners indeed

    6) I won't not discard a life long standards to excuse the self admitted piss poor performance by others.

    Do others include yourself? Half the time you propose that there is no muslim threat in the U.S.; while at other times you are warning us about Mara Salvatrucha and muslim killings in the U.S. that disappear off the radar. Which is it?

    7)"We have not stopped the Iranian cascades, by rattling sabres."
    "Neither the U.S. nor Israel will, elijah."

    Ayande Nou, Iran
    Without Wisdom, We Iranians Will 'Lose the Game'
    ...The London daily, The Times, recently published an article by Anatole Kaletsky entitled An Unholy Alliance Threatening Catastrophe , in which he analyzes the strategy of America, Britain, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Kaletsky believes that these four countries have formed an unholy alliance and he predicts a dramatic and alarming future.

    The prediction of the Times' columnist is noteworthy. He writes that Israel will again attack Hezbullah to settle the case in Lebanon; that the Saudi Arabian army, in coordination with America and Israel, will enter Iraq in favor of the Sunnis (but Basra will be rosy DR, right?); and finally, that America and Israel will bombard Iran's nuclear facilities.

    There is no doubt that we are in a critical situation, and our words and actions must be chosen extremely wisely. Going ahead as before, based on a deterministic vision that promises the final victory of good over evil, shows that we have neither a correct understanding of domestic developments and changes in the views of the people nor an understanding of regional and international developments.

    In this already tense situation, attempts are being made to add fuel to the Sunni-Shiite sectarian flames. The path to turning this problem into a catastrophe is now being paved. While public opinion in the Muslim world has been our only strong card, we are losing even this advantage due to our misinterpretation and ignorance.

  41. Alexis said...

    Why have the British abandoned Basra to the Mahdi Army?

    They already did. From the get go, the British let the Shi'ite militias have the run of the place. The article actually got it wrong on one issue. Basra is caught in a delicate balance of power between the Sadr and Hakim factions, and the main reason for Basra's relative calm has been al-Sistani's ability to broker truces between those two clerical Houses.

    Politically speaking, Mr. Blair had no choice but to bring some troops home. And he hasn't brought all of them home, just enough to give his party some political cover at home. The Bush administration had to claim it was a good thing because it didn't want to embarrass Mr. Blair and because it wanted to defuse criticism within the United States. Besides, if certain people who oppose the war effort in Iraq get their way, the United States will follow suit and leave the rest of Iraq to the mercies of the militias.

    The real strategic question isn't about the present Baghdad troop surge. Irrespective of whether or not it is successful, the United States will need to focus on western Iraq (especially Anbar) in the next few years. If you can think of some realistic alternative to either letting al-Anbar become an al-Qaeda stronghold or turning it into a pro-American stronghold, please let me know.
    - BC
    2/23/2007 10:05:00 PM

  42. "Basra is caught in a delicate balance of power between the Sadr and Hakim factions, and the main reason for Basra's relative calm has been al-Sistani's ability to broker truces between those two clerical Houses."

    I am confused, I thought...

    "Basra, today is the Success."

    ...Sec Def Gates when speaking of 4 concurrent wars in Iraq - One is Shi'a on Shi'a, principally in the south; Where is Basra?

    February 24, 2007
    A suicide bomber fails to assassinate Shiite SCIRI leader Abddul-Aziz al-Hakim day after is son’s detention. One Iraqi policeman was killed and some security guards were wounded. The attack occurred outside al-Hakim’s Baghdad residence. Friday, US forces detained his son, Ammar Hakimon his way back from Iran and released him later. The US ambassador apologized for the incident. Shiites rallied in several towns to protest the detention. Also Saturday, at least five people were killed by bombings in Baghdad.

    Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki reported that US and Iraqi security forces have killed ....around 400 suspected militants since the start of the Major US-Iraqi crackdown to stem violence in Baghdad ten days ago. A similar number had been detained.

    Who keeps track of these detainees?
    Dead bodies keep on showing up. Or is it capture and release?

  43. "... Piss poor performance... What is your metric for this view. The U.S. has suffered over 3,000 casualties thus far. There were 405,000 in WWII. Damn, the greatest generation sure displayed piss poor performance. ..."
    Sounds like you, elijah, were referenceing Force Protection there, as a measure of performance

    As for providing targets for IEDs, if it is in the National Interest of the US, no problem.
    But the US National Interests, as expressed by Law, the Authorization for Use of Force in Iraq, have been fulfilled. So why continue to supply the targets to the Iranians?

    As we begin to provide security for the Iraqi people, no where listed as a Goal in the Authorization, the US casualties will increase. Why is that acceptable, under which section of the Authorization is that Mission creeped? Where is the National Interest?

    When I say there is no Mohammedan threat, to the US, I echo the President, his Sec of State and all his staff.
    I tend not to believe it. But I am loyal to the US cause. Mr Bush says there is no threat, I believe him to be right, until proven wrong.

    I see lots of possibilities for him to be wrong, I see where, in transition he has been wrong. Now even Mr Bush admits some of his errors.

    But until Mr Bush, or the next President declares Islam the enemy, it is not.

    Iran is not, not without a Law. No matter how loud the war drums are beaten.

    Let US have that debate, War or Retreat on Iran and Iraq, Syria as well. The entire Regional War.

    That's worth having a debate and then a binding Resolution about.

    Predictions of Israel about to stage an air attack against Iran are getting old. It is beyond their capacity. Rockets raining on Israel, out of Lebanon were beyond the Israeli Air Force capacity, just months ago. The 300 targets in Iran, to deep to contemplate.

    Paris and London, Brussels burning in return, now that'll be somethin' to see.

    When I said the Pakis were coming, just yesterday, to form on the northern KSA border, I was ahead of the London Times.

    But they will not enter Iraq.

  44. elijah,
    It is easy to get confused.
    Listen to Mr Cheney & Ms Rice, they present the US position.

    Basra is a SUCCESS, so the Brits could leave. They have both said it, in different ways.
    Google News has all the background needed.

    I personally think Basra a prime study in failure, an example of piss poor performance.
    But Coalition Policy has declared Basra a success. As a loyal American, I climb on board the band wagon.

    Basra's a win.
    Stay the Course!

  45. Stephen Vincent died for our sins.

  46. Steven Vincent’s Final Days
    Dealing with threats in Iraq
    Thursday, August 11, 2005 - 12:00 am
    BASRA, IRAQ — Garbage lies in burning curbside piles outside the governor’s office, and streets are flooded with sewage. The more than 1 million residents of the country’s second-largest city fan out in a textbook example of urban sprawl, into the barren desert and the Rumaila oil fields, where refineries light the sky 24 hours a day.

    The city seems much as it did when Iraq was invaded more than two years ago. Local residents look to the government to provide better services, but a mixture of alleged corruption and complaints of a lack of support from the central government have left efforts largely stymied. Near the Marbed Hotel, the most expensive in the city and the one where most of the parachute-in–parachute-out foreign press corps stays, the garbage also lies piled up. Walk a block from the hotel through an unpaved alley, and you’re at the exchange shop where Steven Vincent, a 49-year-old freelance investigative journalist from New York, was abducted before being killed. His 31-year-old colleague Nouriya Itais Wadi, also known as Nour Al-Khal and often referred to as “Leyla” in Vincent’s writings, was left for dead next to him, shot four times. She has been moved to a hospital in Kuwait and is expected to survive.

    Vincent had been living in the Marbed for three months, researching for a book on the city and rarely leaving the hotel except to work. At a time when freelancers, especially, are few and far between in Iraq, he had spent an almost insane amount of time in the same place. For the Christian Science Monitor he had been writing critically of the local government and its ties to Islamic militias that offered more corruption; for Harper’s magazine he did a piece on the iconography of Shiite religious posters. His final piece was an op-ed published July 31 in The New York Times on the sorry state of the Basran police. Whether or not this piece and the others were his undoing, they provide the background against which he died, a city seemingly calm in comparison to other parts of the country, liberated by foreign troops from a repressive dictatorship only to be run by criminals, many operating under the guise of political Islam.

    A supporter of the invasion, Vincent had come to Basra, and Iraq, because he wanted to see firsthand what the invasion of Iraq had wrought.

  47. Seeing the Kurds build their country among the Arab barbarism, Jihadi repression, and Iranian taqiyya and chaos, is good enough for me.

  48. Think the Sunnis in Iraq are so different than the Sunnis in Saudia, or Gaza. They are not. They should be cut down by the hundreds, thousands, millions. But that would be so fantastically stupid, Trish would not know what to say.

  49. Shia fighting Shia in the South is a loss?

    So using your rationale...
    Is Sunni Fatah fighting Sunni Hamas a win or a loss for Israel.

    You are underestimating Israeli capability.

    Paris and London, Brussels burning in return, now that'll be somethin' to see.

    Excellent point.
    Eurabia would show its head. What occurs next is the question.

    Similarly, how would Americans react to similar occurences in the U.S.

    Would it be stay the course or surrender DR.

    We will see in time.

  50. There are more than two option elijah.

    To limit the conversation to two options is to argue strawmen.

    But to empower the Iraqi Government is to lose a battle in the War on Terror. But to not empower the Iraqi government is to lose the War in Iraq.

    Decide which is worse.
    The two wars were not intertwined to start, they are now.
    They have to be unintwined, for the War on Terror to continue, after the GOP bolts on Bush this Fall, or Iraq destroys the GOP in '08.

  51. If we can just get COMPREHENSIVE immigration reform through by then, all our newfound Amigos will give the GOP a landslide to remember.
    Rove and Bush promised.