“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."

Thursday, March 22, 2007

"Idiocy in DC"

At the Weekly Standard, Bill Roggio's Daily Reports (ht: Rufus) has good news that Sadr is losing his army as security improves in Baghdad. This was interesting:
In an effort to continue the break in Sadr's political block, the U.S. released Sheik Ahmed Abady al Shaibani, a prominent figure in Sadr's Mahdi Army who has been in detention for over two years. Shaibani was released "into the custody of the [Iraqi] Prime Minster" and "could play a potentially important role in helping to moderate extremism and foster reconciliation in Iraq."

Also at the Weekly Standard Bill Kristol writes that the surge is succeeding in Iraq but the "idiocy in D.C." is spiraling out of control.

... on a mostly party-line vote, the House Appropriations Committee reported out the Democratic version of a supplemental appropriations bill for the war. It was an odd piece of legislation--an appropriation to fight a war replete with provisions intended to ensure we lose it.

Here's what the Democratic legislation does, according to the Washington Post: "Under the House bill, the Iraqi government would have to meet strict benchmarks. . . . If by July 1 the president could not certify any progress, U.S. troops would begin leaving Iraq, to be out before the end of this year. If Bush did certify progress, the Iraqi government would have until Oct. 1 to meet the benchmarks, or troops would begin withdrawing then. In any case, withdrawals would have to begin by March 1, 2008, and conclude by the end of that summer."

Got that? Oh yes, in addition to the arbitrary timelines for the removal of troops, there's pork. As the Post explains, "Included in the legislation is a lot of money to help win support. The price tag exceeds the president's war request by $24 billion." Some of the extra money goes to bail out spinach farmers hurt by E. coli, to pay for peanut storage, and to provide additional office space for the lawmakers themselves. So much for an emergency war appropriations bill.

The legislation may collapse on the floor of the House this week. It certainly deserves to. Republicans can insist on a clean supplemental--no timelines to reassure the enemy that if they just hang on, we'll be gone before long, and no pork. They can win this fight--and if they do, combined with progress in Iraq, the lasting news from March 2007 will not be Bush administration haplessness; it will be that we are on the way to success in Iraq.--William Kristol

Could it be that the Democrats are simply playing politics with the timelines that the Bush Administration may very well have in mind anyway? By buying votes and trying to pass irrelevant legislation, they are pandering to their base and attempting to set themselves up for the 2008 elections and falsely take credit for rescuing US troops from the "Bush quaqmire."


  1. The House and Senate have acted patriotically, haven’t they?

    A $124 billion defense bill contains $21 billion in pork.

    The Senate Appropriations Committee was so patriotic that it passed the bill out of committee by “voice” vote, leaving no potentially embarrassing fingerprints.

    If things get any more patriotic, I’ll think it’s the 4th.


    More Pork

    Gateway Pundit (comment by Larsen)

  2. Some of that $21 billion appropriated for pork spending, today, might have use elsewhere – say the needs of the troops, the Army, and the mission. It is possible, I guess, that the patriotic Congress might consider spoiled American troops and the bloated services already overcompensated.

    Tikrit Commanders Make Appeal For Assistance

    Come to think about it, why don’t these kids quit bitching and take some petty cash out of those fat numbered Swiss accounts.

  3. Former UN Ambassador John Bolton gives some long sought answers concerning America’s role in the Israel-Lebanon War of 2006.

    [The war] was “legitimate and one that had the support of several Arab countries as well as the United States.”

    "We did not try and shape Israel's strategic objective, but we would not have opposed Israel's decision to eliminate Hezbollah…"

    "We thought Israel was exercising its legitimate right of self-determination…” "We did not have a full idea what Israel's objectives might be and how it might play out."

    “‘Israel destroyed a significant part of Hezbollah’s capacity in the war, but in the aftermath, a U.N. arms embargo has not been enforced and Hezbollah has been able to rearm.’ Bolton said.
    ‘I don’t think we achieved what we wanted to achieve, moving the situation in the region to a significantly different place,’ he said.”

    “‘It would have been in Israel’s legitimate interest to carry the military action against Hezbollah to victory,’ Bolton said.”

    G-D Bless Bolton


  4. "Idiocy In DC"

    The Imperial Senate is no longer needed. That age old institution has been dissolved.

    Control will be maintained by comforted complacency and hunger for mo money; and our secret police, of course. Meanwhile, we'll keep their interest misdirected with the Terror threat, which we pretend to fight.