“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 27, 2007

Iraq headed in right direction? The departing Zalmay Khalilzad says yes.

Departing U.S. Envoy Says Iraq Moving in Right Direction
Voice of America

The departing U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, said in farewell remarks that Iraq is headed in the right direction, but there is still much work to be done. From northern Iraq, VOA's Margaret Besheer has more.
Ambassador Khalilzad leaves Iraq after a challenging 21-month tenure.

What started with the promising achievement of a new Iraqi constitution, has ended with a stalled political reconciliation process and rampant sectarian violence in the capital and surrounding areas.

Instead of seeing the withdrawal this year of some American forces, President Bush has authorized the deployment of 30,000 more troops in a bid to stop the violence.

Ambassador Khalilzad told reporters in Baghdad that the recent surge in American troops conducting security operations in these volatile areas provides an opportunity for Iraqis.

"I believe it is very important for the Iraqis to take the opportunity that the presence of these forces provide, to make the decisions and the compromises that are necessary," he said. "And I believe that as long as that is the case, the United States will stay and support Iraq, although the size and composition will vary because our goal is as soon as Iraqis can take matters into their own hands and can stand on their own feet, look after their own security, the better."

The ambassador confirmed a U.S. news report that he and members of his staff have had contacts with representatives from Sunni insurgent groups. He said the talks are aimed at isolating al-Qaida in Iraq.

A few days ago, Ambassador Khalilzad said his good-byes to the people of northern Iraq's Kurdistan region.

At the inauguration of a $200 million water treatment plant financed by the United States, Ambassador Khalilzad pointed to political and reconstruction successes in this part of Iraq as an example of what is possible for the rest of the country.

"The road ahead for the Kurdistan region is one filled with great opportunities and I am excited and invigorated by what is happening here," he said. "I want to assure all my Kurdish colleagues here that the United States will stand with you as you move forward."

On Sunday, Iraqi officials wished the ambassador well in his next post. President Bush has nominated him to be the U.S. envoy to the United Nations.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki thanked Ambassador Khalilzad for his dedication to the Iraqi people and his efforts for Iraq and said he hoped that work would continue.

Ambassador Khalilzad's successor, Ryan Crocker, has had a long career as a diplomat in the Middle East, having served as the top U.S. diplomat in Kuwait, Lebanon and Syria. He leaves his post as ambassador to Pakistan to come to Baghdad.

Note: The picture above of Khalilzad and al-Maliki is of when they were announcing the killing of the the loathsome Zarqawi. I inserted the full size picture (Click on with caution) of the human sewer for the viewing pleasure of some of the EB patrons that needed a smile. I wonder how the virgin thing is working for him?


  1. In Baghdad, a roadside bomb targeting a police patrol in a southern section of the city killed one officer and injured three, police said.

    North of the capital, an insurgent was killed and another injured in the process of planting a bomb in front of the home of a police officer in Hawija, police said.

    A police officer was injured when a roadside bomb targeted his patrol in downtown Kirkuk and an unspecified number of bodies were recovered from an area just west of the city, police said. The victims had been shot execution-style and showed signs of torture, they said.

    Losing Patience

  2. There is no way to war game unprecedented depravity:

    "We Iraqis are the most barbaric people in the world."
    ___Anon. Iraqi

    “But while Islamists and Baathists in Iraq have not devised new forms of torture -- there probably are no new ways left -- they have devised a new form of evil: murdering, maiming and torturing as many innocents among their own people as possible.”

    “The more innocent the Iraqi, the more likely he or she is to be targeted for murder.”

    New Form of Evil Is Why America Has Not Won Iraq War

    H/T Wizbang

  3. Deuce,

    re: Zarqawi

    He looks so un-lifelike.

  4. Allen: The more innocent the Iraqi, the more likely he or she is to be targeted for murder."

    New Form of Evil Is Why America Has Not Won Iraq War

    No, the reason we have not won the Iraq "war" is because Bush has defined victory to be when no more Iraqi innocents are targetted for murder (ie. no more terrorism). In other words, the war on terrorism, originally set up to avenge the attack on 911, has become a war against criminal activity in Iraq. Our troops are no longer dying for American interests, they are dying to make the roads safe for the Iraqi people. At least this time we have an all-volunteer force, and the recruits are fully informed that they will be getting their legs blown off for the ungrateful sonzabitches over there.

  5. I always thought that bloody smear on his left cheek resembled the butt of an M-5 or M-16