“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."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Iranians getting a little short on cash?

Payment row delays Iran nuclear plant launch
MOSCOW: The launch of Iran's Russian-built nuclear power plant will be postponed because of Iranian payment delays, Russian officials said yesterday in statements reflecting Moscow's growing irritation with its close partner and a possible warming to Western-proposed sanctions.

However, Western nations seeking tighter UN sanctions on Iran have offered some compromises to try to overcome Chinese and Russian objections but will still face resistance when talks were due to resume later yesterday at the UN headquarters, diplomats said.

Russia also said the delay of the launch, which had been planned for September, means that the uranium fuel needed to power the Bushehr reactor would not be sent this month as earlier planned, an announcement certain to anger Tehran.

Sergei Novikov, spokesman for Russia's federal nuclear agency Rosatom, said the launch date would be postponed by at least two months because the Iranians had made no payments since January 17.

"The funding is two months behind, and that means a corresponding delay in schedule," Novikov said. "The fact remains: there is no money, and it's impossible to keep construction works going without money."

Russia has accused Iran of paying only a fraction of the required monthly payments of $25 million (BD9.45m) for construction work at Bushehr in recent months. Iranian officials rejected Russia's claims.
Gulf Daily News


  1. This is called by most sensible people; "AN OPPORTUNITY!"

    In times of War, hit 'em when they're down!

    Oh... I forgot, we're not really fighting for our lives are we?

  2. So the Iranians have some cash flow challenges. Their nuclear electrical generating capacity not coming on line, on time.

    What have they been spending their money on, then? Sniper rifles aren't that costly, nor ar 40lb shaped charges.

    Read yesterday that the Dems have abandoned Mr Webb's attempt to prerestrain Mr Bush and preemptive military action in Iran. They couldn't find the support amongst the breadth of their faction in the Congress.

    You're correct tiger, there is no "fight for our lives", not against the Iranians, anyway.
    No fight with them at all, for that matter.

    Looking for reconciliation we are, not a fight. In Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran. More discussion will make the difference.

    The real challenge is CO2 and water vapor in the atmosphere, not a Mohammedan criminal, here or there. As Mr Cheney said, numerous times, the terrorists are on their "last legs".

    Mr Maliki and al-Hakim, al-Sadr and the like in the Islamic Republic of Iraq, not Mohammedan terrorist backers, not at all.

    You can take that to the bank, Mr Bush has already.

  3. "... In early April 1775, the British governor of Boston sent John Howe out to gather intelligence in that hotbed of insurgency now called the western suburbs, but then the Anbar province of its time. Howe met an old man cleaning his rifle who looked too old to hunt game.

    The old man said he expected foreign soldiers -- "a flock of redcoats" -- would be arriving soon, and he thought they would make good targets. Arrive they did, and with them the American revolution that in many states degenerated into civil war. The British soldiers were mostly of the same race and religion as the people they fought, but they were by then foreigners, and eight years later they were gone.

  4. LGF carries a lovely photograph c/o Michael Yon. What his wrong with it?

    ”Pretty” soldier

  5. It is a distraction. That is what is wrong with it. It is ashame that their are not those with the courage to admit the obvious.

  6. It's all about the children, duece.
    You know that as well as anyone.

    See, it shows we are winning, children with smiles, makes it all worth while.

    That each of those five Iraqi, in the picture, have had $20,000 spent in "their" cause, a $100,000 photo.

  7. The big lizard and Roggio report that this desert rat's reccomendations of two, three years ago are only now beginning to be implemented, as the US Public bails on the project. This type of embedded training is a years long project, not one that be completed in months or even a year. Been there, done that.

    It takes, they say, four years to form a new Stryker Brigade with US troops. A whole Army of foreigners from scratch, well we've wasted four years how much more time will we need?

    The problem is, though, the Iraqi Government is not our friend. Nor will it become one, even after some level of security is created in Iraq.

    The people of Iraq have empowered US enemies and we let themdo it. We celebrated when they did.

    So even when the Surge is a tactical success, which I have no doubt it will be, it will not change the strategic balance in the area.
    The Mohammedans have another Islamic State, and that's a fact.

    The PKK terrorists still operating against Turkey, out of US occupied Iraq. The Badr Brigade is still intact, the Mahdi Army, gone to ground but not defeated, taken or destroyed. aQ Iraq still has the Six Enemy Tribes of Anbar and their million Sunni on their side.

    The Sunni tribes that go anti aQ, still not pro Federals. It's not an either or choice for them.

  8. DR,

    You are correct in your assessment of the US failure to develop a meaningful language program over the years. It is a disability. But, as compensation, everybody wants to speak English. So, while our troops may not be learning the dialects and languages of the ME in the numbers we would like to see, the citizens of the ME are learning English - the undisputed and indispensible language of commerce.

  9. It takes, they say, four years to form a new Stryker Brigade with US troops.

    Thats with the whole higher admin and log organization already online, and senior personnel like CSMs, coy and bn commanders, and brigade staff already trained and experienced elsewhere (most of these need 10+ years minimum to develop a clue, let alone competence).

    But, as compensation, everybody wants to speak English. Compensation for who??? We have our language problems, they have theirs. Maybe better keep ot that way.

    Incidentally, has General Peter Pace cut his own throat with these remarks?

  10. On the off chance an American life can be saved or a kill can be made, I'll take communication in any language, including sign.

  11. The United States has been at war since 9/11. My guess is that battlefield training has given lots of folk a clue. Hence, the organization of additional units might be expedited by experience gained.

  12. Has Gates just taken a shot at General Pace for stating the policy of the military?

  13. "The Mohammedans have another Islamic State...and that's a fact."

    Is that a fact similar to the fact that the Iranian general was of no value. Seems that there are numerous reports that disagree with that fact.

    The Mohammedans (Sunni in this case) also have another quasi-state in Gaza.

    That's working out really well for the Mohammedans ...Al Qaeda-Gaza declares war on both Palestinian rivals: Hamas and Fatah.

    The Shia in Iraq are just going to turn over their oil wealth to the Shia in Iran. Najaf will bow to that a fact.

    - Where facts are few, experts are many

  14. Yon: Ernie is Dead

    Among his many other accomplishments, General Downing had commanded the 2nd Ranger Battalion, one of the most difficult and prestigious jobs in the entire military. Today, LTC Erik Kurilla, formerly commander of the Deuce Four and totally recovered from his last gunshot wounds, is now commander of 2nd Ranger Battalion. Small world.

  15. No, elijah, the lack of value to the Iranian General, an opinion, shared by many others as well. The reality, the Shadow knows.

    The Iranian influence in Iraq, in Basra for example is a reality. That the Rial is the currency of bribes and payoffs there, often reported.
    The airport is being built and funded there, by Iranians.
    That most of the current Iraqi Federals lived in Iran while exiled from Iraq, a fact. That the al-Hakim faction and the al-Sadr faction both recieve overt and covert Iranian support, obvious.

    Does that mean that the Iraqi will be a puppet of Iran, no, no more than Canada or England are for US.
    While many believe Mr Blair was a lap dog proxy, for US, at least as many do not. Perception being the key, there.

    The Islamic Republic of Iraq is an Islamic Republic, not a secular one. That is made plain in their Constitution. It may become neutral but it will never be an ally in the greater War, if indeed there really is a greater War.

    The US Government denies that there is such a War. If as you've said before, those denials are merely part of the deceptions of War, the Administration has succeeded in selling that deception to the US Public.

    It is not the oil wealth of Iraq that will be important in the next decade, but the Iraqi Army.
    Proof of this is that in four years of US control oil production is still at prewar levels. To increase production, to make Iraq an important producer, will take a decade of infrastructure investments. Investments not yet seen on the ground.

    A quarter of a million men in an armed and US trained combat force, ultimately outside of US command and control. That is the prize, if it is a Islamic Regional War.

    That is why the training & indoctridation of that Army was ALWAYS the most important US mission.
    Another reason why segregating US and Iraqi troops for four years was such a bad strategic decision on our part.

    Does the US have another four or five years to invest in Iraq, the Shadow knows, or not.

  16. Remember, also that Basra is what a "Successful Mission" in Iraq looks like. That is the Standard of Success. Ms Rice, Mr Cheney and Mr Bush all said as much.

    If they're lyin',
    the Mission's dyin'.

  17. Speaking, as we often do, of Clapton, ABB & the like I saw an interesting show.
    Tom Dowd, the man who put the tunes on tape at Atlantic. Every artist, to a man, credited Mr Dowd for their recording successes.

    From nuclear engineer to record producer, an interesting fellow.

    I saw the show on the IFC cable channel, well worth the time.

  18. NORFOLK, Va. (Associated Press) -- A father's emotional testimony over the loss of his son aboard the USS Cole opened a civil trial Tuesday in which relatives of the 17 victims of the terrorist attack are trying to prove it couldn't have happened without Sudan's support.
    "Sudan's material support ... including continuous flow of funding, money, weapons, logistical support, diplomatic passports and religious blessing, was crucial in enabling the attack on the USS Cole," lawyers for the families said in court papers outlining their case.

    Sudan sought unsuccessfully to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that too much time had passed between the bombing and the filing of the lawsuit in 2004 ...
    The families' lawyers intend to prove that Sudan has given safe haven to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network since 1991 _ long before Yemeni operatives blasted a 40-foot-hole in the side of the Cole in Yemen's port of Aden on Oct. 12, 2000.

    They also hope to show that: the operatives were trained at camps Sudan permitted al-Qaida to operate within its borders; Sudan's military provided al-Qaida with at least four crates of weapons and explosives for terrorist activities in Yemen; bin Laden and Sudan's government owned businesses that provided cover for the procurement of explosives, weapons and chemicals; and Sudan gave al-Qaida diplomatic pouches to ship explosives and weapons internationally without being searched.

    The plaintiffs contend Sudan's embassy in New York gave logistical assistance to the bombers of the World Trade Center in 1993, but court documents included no details of the allegation.

    The United States has listed Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1993.

    Which brings US back to Mr Bush and his committment to the "War", because what he said in '02, is far from where we are, today.

    " ... Our nation will continue to be steadfast and patient and persistent in the pursuit of two great objectives. First, we will shut down terrorist camps, disrupt terrorist plans, and bring terrorists to justice. ...
    My hope is that all nations will heed our call, and eliminate the terrorist parasites who threaten their countries and our own. Many nations are acting forcefully. Pakistan is now cracking down on terror, and I admire the strong leadership of President Musharraf. (Applause.)

    But some governments will be timid in the face of terror. And make no mistake about it: If they do not act, America will.

    What US actions have been taken in regards Sudan, in Darfur or Khartoum to mitigate their terror sponsoring activities?

    More deceptions?

  19. Rabbi Rumble:
    ZAKA head hits Neturei-Karta rabbi

    Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, chairman of ZAKA and former operations officer for the Ultra-Orthodox community, hit the Jewish man who kissed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, it was reported on Monday.

    The violent incident occurred last Friday in Poland during a mass visit of Orthodox Jews to the country in order to honor Hassidic Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk.

    When the visitors arrived at Lizhensk on Friday morning, they heard that Moshe Arye Freedman, a member of the fanatic anti-Israel group Neturei Karta, was present as well. Freedman recently made headlines when he was photographed kissing Ahmadinejad during the Holocaust denial conference in Teheran three months ago.

    Meshi-Zahav, along with another ZAKA member, quickly located Freedman and set upon him, punching the man, kicking him and breaking his glasses.

    The fight was dispersed when local police arrived at the scene.

    As an act of appreciation, Meshi-Zahav was called up to read the Torah in synagogue.

  20. He has GROWN, 'Rat:
    From a hot-headed Texas Cowboy to a World Class Statesman on the order of Kissinger or Carter.

  21. Shall not even get into the Pakistan issue and the General President's lack of follow through, since '02.

    Except to quote Mr Bush, again:

    ",,, some governments will be timid in the face of terror. And make no mistake about it: If they do not act, America will. "

  22. From the writing of various individuals on this and other sites it seems that today's war is really about "taming the frontier," with the frontier now literally without limits. The vast swath of Islam, stretching from Africa across the Middle East to Southeast Asia, now qualifies as "Injun Country." The entire planet is now a "battle space for the American military."

    A few questions...

    1) If this administration is not being agressive enough or acting too passively, why is it so utterly despised by liberals, Marxists, and Islamists?

    2) Which administration's model should be emulated in dealing with today's global war with jidhists and why?
    ...Clinton's. the elder Bush, or Reagan perhaps

    3) Is one to believe that Bush is personally devising the tactics and straegies currently being utilized in the numerous battles?

    4) A general interviewed on Koppel's Our children's children's war stated that the U.S. military was designed to face a symmetric threat and was adapting to current enemies. What blame falls on the military itself for the failures often cited here and elsewhere?

  23. "The majority of members are content that it is a compromise, and they'll probably go along with it to get a bill done," said Rep. James Moran, D-Va., adding that he's still on the fence.

    "It's a far cry from the bill that I originally supported," Moran said, referring to one drafted by Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., that would have tied funding to troop training and readiness standards. The new proposal would allow Bush to waive such standards.

    The Senate is to hold a test-vote Wednesday on a Democratic-written measure that also contains a 2008 deadline for the withdrawal of combat troops, except those needed to train Iraqi forces, protect U.S. personnel and infrastructure, and carry out counterterrorism operations.

    Smoothing Iraq Tension

  24. "except those needed to train Iraqi forces, protect U.S. personnel and infrastructure, and carry out counterterrorism operations."

    In other words, no withdrawal!

  25. Eyewash, sam.

    The Dems will flush Iraq with eyewash and let the GOP swing in the wind, come '08.

    They just are going through the motiions to placate that "withdraw now" segment of their base, while not doing anything.

    The Dems win, politically, either way it plays. No one, not General P or Aberzaid thinks it'll be done by '08. General P says his troops CANNOT win the fight, without Iraqi political reconciliation.

    Either it's the truth or just who is he trying to decieve when he says that? Me and you?

    Regardless, the Dems will have tried to force the Presidents' hand, and will have failed. They will then say, to the base, they need a greater majority, send money. That Congressman on Youtube said it, crudely, just the other day.
    They'll learn to polish that message.

  26. 1. Because Mr Bush is seen as an icon of all they despise, regardless of what he does.

    2. FDR, it's a world war.

    3. Mr Bush utilizes those Establishment figures that make up the permanent government. He operates within the guidelines laid down by them.

    4. Almost all of the blame or credit, for the War fighting or lack of it, falls on the military.
    In Iraq they had a poor program.
    Anyone with Insurgency experience could see it, years ago.

    The Goals of the Occupation do not seem to have been thought out, with a Plan designed to achieve them. The President and his Team have the fault for that.
    Mr Bush said he thought the process was on track until the Golden Mosque bombing. I think it was off the tracks well before then, or at least the wreck was easily foreseeable, well before then.

    The Iraqi Army always was the solution, the cavalry as it were. There NEVER was an International Force coming to bail US out. An Iraqi Army, built on the Turkish model should have been our PRIMARY goal. Then we could have handed off, militarily, while their politicos caught up. In the Democratization Project, we put the cart before the horse.

    The buck stops at the Oval Office.

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. A friend of mine, Colonel Happersett, USArmy(ret) was the Honor Grad in the first Special Forces class, in 1958.

    He trained a Bn of RoK troops, in Korea, then deployeed to "Nam with them in '65.

    He trained and advised/commanded numerous South Vietnamese and Laotian units.

    Back in the day, Special Forces were proxy trainers, not Special Operations operatives. After "Nam the SF mission changed, training foreigners deemphisized, it not being a path to promotion nor was it very Hollywood.

    Everyone becoming a Hollywood Ranger.

    We lost our foreign troop training expertise to "Smash & Grab" raids, in Iraq, within weeks of Baghdad being occupied.

    Instead of sending Rangers on those SWAT raids they tasked the SF trainers for the jobs. Training Iraqis was way down on the list of priorities.

  29. It sounds as though General Pace regrets upholding his oath. That’s typical these days. Among others see:


    Article 125:

    “(a) Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient
    to complete the offense.

    Note: “unnatural”

    Article 134:

    (1) That the accused committed a certain wrongful act with a certain person;
    (2) That the act was indecent; and
    (3) That, under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.
    Explanation.“Indecent” signifies that form of immorality relating to sexual impurity which is not only grossly vulgar, obscene, and repugnant to common propriety, but tends to excite lust and deprave the morals with respect to sexual relations.
    Note: “immorality”

  30. Elijah,

    Is that a fact similar to the fact that the Iranian general was of no value. Seems that there are numerous reports that disagree with that fact.

    With DR, it's only his facts that matter. And remember, he told you so two, three years ago (how could you forget when he reminds you every other day).

  31. DR,

    re: Tom Dowd - finally something that we can 100% agree upon; every musician that he worked with loved him and thought him a genius, as well as a genuinely fine fellow. Thanks for the tip on the show; I will be on the lookout for it.

  32. Everybody in this m#@#*f*C@#n Bush administration apologizes after saying what they really think. If they are gonna do that (apologize), then why open their mouths to start.

    DR has me comin' round on the gross incompetence of the entire Bush team; how can he pick so many fuckups? Plus, they will not stand up for what they believe in, or at least what they start to profess to believe in. Ridiculous.

    How much fear/respect can Gonzalez command in DC - just watch the lightfooted bastard talk - and he's the chief of law enforcement.

    I'm still with Allen in that as long as they are shootin' at Islamic fascists, I'm for 'em, but somedays it can really be frustrating.

  33. j willie,

    re: frustrating

    Tell me about it!

  34. Mr. Bush would like Mr. Gonzales on the SCOTUS. We may take a lesson from that, I think.

  35. Maybe Hillary and Edwards can get him fired before than happens!

  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. j. willie, just when I think that the bottom has been plumbed, I realize that the previous thump was just another piece of the hull giving way on the continuous slow miserable dizzying death dive to the inevitable crush somewhere far further below.

  38. Well, j, I'm happy that we can agree on Mr Dowd. He passed away back in '02, according to the closing credits.

    Seemed like quite a guy. Not being anything but a listener, I was amazed at his impact on the music I have always enjoyed.

    As to facts that are in dispute, I'm open minded. There are facts upon which I base opinions. Countering facts are weighed, sometimes changing the opinion. That certainly happened with regards the Bush Administration.

    The signs have been up for quite awhile. Like on the freeways out here, Los Angeles 486 miles. You can see what's coming, if you read the signs.

    The main reason we've sent Indian Scouts to Afghanistan, to read sign.

    The signs in Iraq have been quite evident, for those that could read them. Illiteracy has costs, and a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

    Perceptions and predisposition have a lot to do, with reading sign.

    I do not know, j, how much military experience you have, or what it may have been. I was a combat engineer in the midst of an insurgency we won. Trained a lot of foreign troops, well helped out with it, anyway.
    They taught me to read the sign.

    "Still a man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest"

    Have to know what is wheat and what is chaff when reading sign.

    The reason I mention it, being right years ago, is the amount of posters that disagreed back then. Those Master Planners have faded into the background, lately.
    Lest we forget

    The Administration and the US Military could do no wrong, but can not win.
    As for General Pace, have to say:
    "Here's your sign"

  39. Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.

    annuit coeptis indeed

  40. DR,

    Thanks for the explanation about sign reading. No, I don't have military experience and I have utmost respect for those that do and try to learn all I can from them (like a former business partner who was SF in Vietnam and Nicaraugua). I also accept your premise about "hearing/seeing what you want to hear/see". In that regard, I must admit that my biggest mistake has been to assume competence where it is increasingly apparent that little exists. Hard to fathom/understand. As I think about it, I wonder if perhaps GWB, unlike his father or Reagan, did not have a large enough cadre of professional political allies. GWB had only been in politics 8-10 years before running for president, and then only at the state level. Bush I and Reagan had twice that time in the national political realm.

    In line with this discussion, there is a cas for/against discussion in yesterday/today's WSJ Opinion Journal, w/ Novak taking the for and someone I don't know taking the against. The latter's case is more compelling at this point, with its principal focus on political incompetence derailing the president's just moral principles/decisions. Extremely frustrating. If this becomes the accepted wisdom, Guliani will probably become the man to beat in '08 and may explain why he's already leading. I could live with that, while hoping for Newt as VP to bring some real strategic thinking skills to policymaking.

    On Tom Dowd, I'll have to find an article from awhile back on him for you. Hopefully I put it in