“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 06, 2007

Orwellian News

This morning the news is nine more US Soldiers have been killed in two separate car bomb incidents in Iraq and NATO has launched an offensive to "retake" Musa Qala, a village in the Helmand province.
NATO said that Achilles initially would focus on improving security conditions, but that its "overarching purpose is to assist the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (to) improve its ability to begin reconstruction and economic development."

The government has little control over many parts of northern Helmand, and the British troops stationed there fight almost-daily battles with militants. U.S. intelligence officials say Taliban fighters have flooded into Helmand the last several months, and that there are now more fighters there than any other part of the country.

The militants overran Musa Qala, in central Helmand province, on Feb. 1 after defying a peace deal between the government and elders reached last fall that capped weeks of fighting. The Taliban still control the town more than a month after the initial attack.

British troops also have been battling militants in the nearby district of Kajaki, in northern Helmand, to enable repair work on a hydro-electric dam there, which supplies close to 2 million Afghans with electricity.

"Strategically, our goal is to enable the Afghan government to begin the Kajaki project," van Loon, said.

Musa Qala may be the town where the locals were recently begging the Afghan authorities to do something about the Taliban. The locals were willing to even have their own town bombed to get rid of the the Taliban. Obviously, there aren't enough "good guys" in the area. It would be a shame to lose both Iraq and Afghanistan to the fundamentalists but, it wouldn't surprise me if that is what happens. I hate to be a pessimist. I really do. No one wants to hear negativity and I don't blame them but the news and developments have been such lately that I have little cause to believe that the US and our allies will be able to prevail against these determined terrorist thugs. We don't have enough men and our hands are tied. They know no rules of engagement and kill whomever and whenever they like. Often they are aided and abetted by the authorities. In Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and just about any Islamic republic, the duplicity between terrorists and authority very often goes to the highest levels of government. How does one fight this kind of endemic corruption? The situation is positively Orwellian as we spend our blood and treasure on an endeaver the results of which we may not even recognize or like. For instance, look at Helmand province where the opium production has increased since 2001. That's not encouraging yet we have to tolerate it. For what? What are we doing? We have little help from the world other than a few troops from NATO and Australia. If we keep on keeping on, where it is going to take us? It's beginning to look like the road we're on goes to Defeat City. We better start looking for a detour. The Sunnis and Shias are determined to have it out in Iraq and we need to get out the way as soon as possible. And oh yeah, they could use a hand over in Afghanistan.


  1. I sympathasize with your not wishing to be negative, but in reality the goal was dependent upon changing a culture. It is easier to destroy a culture than change it. We live in an age of inclusion where we no longer believe in cultural superioity. We believe in parity. We no longer destroy cultures that we deem to be inferior, because we do not view different cultures as being superior or inferior.

    Islam is just another religion.

    Parity rules out destruction of another culture because we are no better or worse than they are. We thought we could massage the playing field and change the culture through western style democaracy. The premise is wrong. It not will happen exogenously.

    We are left with an excercise in saving the political facade of the architectural design team.

    The forensic damage assessment team will be busy for some time.

  2. Excellent Deuce! Your comment was a super example of Orwellian PC run amuck! I realize you're saying these things to illustrate and educate so don't misunderstand please.

    You and Whit have once again pinpointed the problem. "We" need to change this into:

    - sometimes a culture needs destroying for our own self-preservation

    - inclusiveness can be very dangerous and destructive; like allowing Coulter's Faggots and child molesters to be school teachers

    - the thinking that Parity should always exist is idiocy

    - some cultures are, in fact, more superior than others

    - Islam is a violent political pseudo-religious movement akin to Fascism.

    ... you get the idea. It goes on and on. This is not being negative for its own sake. If we don't throw off the robe of political correctness, we die, and so do our children and grand-children!

  3. A glorious, pollution enhanced sun has risen in the Old South, heralding the beginning of another warm, Republican, hate crime filled day. I love the smell of carbon credits burning in the morning.

    Hate speech, free speech, bring it on! Print it, say it, televise it and send the message throughout the land: Liberty saves; Liberty saves. And so long as we can keep Rudy, Mitt, and John out of the White House, we can rip and lambaste at will. Michelle and the girls of CPAC will be in a snit, but that's the price you pay for "Freedom". For those who prefer a tea party, there is China.

  4. Ah yes! You've gotta LOVE FREEDOM, Allen! It's a wonderful thing!

    And girly political correctness has no place in it!

  5. Indeed,
    Obama (sic) and Pygmy Z's locations may be known:
    In any moment prior to 1949 in this country, that would have meant would would have used whatever we had to use to eliminate them.
    Now it means to drone about the long war and promote the fantasy of the ROP.

    The Ethiopians showed us the way back, but we have people from Bush to Trish, who insist there is no there there to destroy, and besides, bombing someone to oblivion is not done anymore.

  6. Letter from Sgt. James: Camp Liberty, Baghdad
    Mr. Bennett,

    I will dispense with the usual niceties. Suffice to say, I hold a deep respect for you and your ideals.

    I am writing from Baghdad where I currently serve with the Army (I am a former Marine). My job entails going out with the infantry units and working on the hearts and minds of Iraqis. We arrived last April and from almost day one, we all concluded that more troops were desperately needed. The last year has been a frustrating standoff. It's the old one step forward/one step back no-win scenario. With more troops, it would be easier to actually secure an area once it has been cleared. Now I see the John Murtha-Jane Fonda contingent in Congress has decided Iraq isn't worth the time.

    What a disgrace. What a disgrace not only to our troops who have died here, including friends of mine, but also to the thousands of Iraqi people who chose to bravely attempt to resume normal lives in the midst of so much evil around them. And what about our allies? They must be disturbed by the lack of a collective backbone on the part of our elected officials.

    All of us here, including those of us who volunteered to come, understand impatience. We have experienced first-hand the frustration of poorly designed operations and miserable feel-good overtures made to the Iraqi government. The impatience on the part of the American people is not without merit. But the situation in Iraq requires time, as do all things that are worth fighting for. As I recall, the American Revolution didn't end in six months, nor did the Civil War or the Second World War. These things take time. It's fair for those back home to ask, "How much time?" But it's just as fair to answer, "As much time as necessary."

    Please ask your listeners, even your well-connected political friends, to be patient. There are incremental signs of progress throughout the country. True, Baghdad is still a mess but even here there are positives that can be pried from the chaos. We need the additional troops. Heck, we need more than 20,000, more like 50,000. There are infantry units who go out for days on end, return to base for maybe 48 hours, then go out and do it again. It disgusts me to think that for purely partisan reasons, and petty ones at that, more of our troops will die simply because of fatigue. I saw Joe Biden on one of the talk shows recently where he said there must be a political solution to Iraq. Obviously, Mr. Biden doesn't know much about the situation here. To some it looks like a bottomless pit. But those are the quitters, the weak, the naysayers and the ones who don't know the meaning of sacrifice. Given the right resources (for once) and enough time, we can make this right.

    Thank you for indulging me, and thank you for all you have done for our country.


    Sergeant James

    Camp Liberty, Iraq

  7. "Note: I closed the comments on the previous thread because I had started to react in kind. I'm going to do better at avoiding that in the future, and I apologize for lashing out at certain commenters."
    ____Ed Morrissey

    That's about right. Ed deletes and closes comments, while Michelle takes none. When your audience won't agree with your attack on Coulter, cut them off.

    Coulter could take these two in open debate without breaking a sweat. Of course, neither Cap'n Ed nor Michelle would dare appear. You can't censor a debate or run away from your opponent.


  8. Thanks for keeping me up to date on Coulter, Allen.
    I got sick of spending time reading the girly men in the "conservative" movement that are intimidated by Anne's Balls.
    You will recall that right after 9-11, in which Ted Olsen's wife and Coulter's good friend got to take a 400 mph ride into the Pentagon, describing such on her cell-phone to Ted, Coulter was so devoid of Multicult Couth as to be offended.
    This earned her a firing from National Review Online.
    ...part of the "New" Media.

  9. Allen, that is because the big blogs have a market share they need to hold on to. That is the power aof the stars.

  10. (Coulter called for a very Aggressive response)

    - how very UN pc was that?

  11. There is more political correctness on some of these blogs than their are in some big media papers, and at least they make no pretenses to be otherwise.

  12. Malkin is driven by her own ego and star radiance.

  13. The good Sgt James makes a point or two, about not listening to the "man on the ground".

    It comes down to his last couple of lines:
    "... To some it looks like a bottomless pit. But those are the quitters, the weak, the naysayers and the ones who don't know the meaning of sacrifice. Given the right resources (for once) and enough time, we can make this right.

    Now, as for resources, the US Military has been given and spent half of a trillion dollars on the Iraq adventure. Perhaps it has been misspent or stolen, but the people have given the military adequate resources.

    There were only 25 million people in Iraq. The US has spent $20,000 USD per Iraqi, so far, with the end not in sight.
    Resources enough to buy each of them off, if that had been the Course chosen.

    As to time, the good Sgt just needs more, four years has not been enough to secure Iraq.
    Why or how would another four years and another $20,000 per Iraqi make any difference?

    The Sgt has a case of near sightedness, his "far vision" is blurred.

    Unlike moving from the Marines to the Army, there are no "do overs" in the Great Game. No Mulligans allowed.

  14. Whit wrote:

    "In Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and just about any Islamic republic, the duplicity between terrorists and authority very often goes to the highest levels of government."

    I think this notion of a duplicity between the "terrorists" and **insert group/individual here** exemplifies a root problem with this whole blasted war on terror. As has been noted umpteen times terror is a tactic and to thus confuse the various wars we are now involved in as being a war against a tactic obfuscates the bloody enterprise. Afghanistan is a place that has a whole set of problems, issues, and politics specific to Afghanistan, its various ethnic groups, and its neighbors that has little to do with the problems in, Iraq, for example. It does a great disservice toward understanding the conflicts if one argues we are fighting a coherent enemy named "terrorists" or to maintain that the enemy is Islam.

    2164th, your first post was good but I think it is a mistake to infer that if we have a better culture we should destroy inferior ones. Just because we believe ours to be better it doesn't follow that the 'lesser' culture shouldn't exist. Waging war in Afghanistan and Iraq because our culture is better is absurd. Waging war to defend oneself is acceptable but the use of force should be commensurate with the threat and we in the US are nowhere near being absorbed into a grand Mohammedan caliphate. Heck, Hispanic culture is more of a 'threat' to America then Muslim culture.

    Tiger, you moan on about political correctness. The ultimate in politically correct behavior is to stand at the alter of 911. Any whisper of something contrary to the politically correct line on those attacks yields much fury and wrath. That is a prime example of political correctness in the US and how it governs discourse and behavior.

  15. 'Rat,
    Agreed that we cannot afford to spend four more years as GWB very well might.
    Certainly would have made more sense to pay each Iraqi 20k.
    The "Global" Champion of Stay the Course/Perfectly Flat Learning Curve.

  16. If he had gone with Rumsfeld, or even Powell, things probably would have turned out better.
    Instead, he had to be the great Triangulator, resulting in a "policy" of Tweedledumb/Tweedledee,
    no way to fight a war.

    ...or conduct domestic politics, unless you are really a Democrat Mole, sworn to destroy the GOP.

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. Mr Hitchens has a new piece that touchs on two subjects, the first Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the use of language to defame.
    He cites Newsweak as a prime offender.

    " ... In her book, Ayaan Hirsi Ali says the following: "I left the world of faith, of genital cutting and forced marriage for the world of reason and sexual emancipation. After making this voyage I know that one of these two worlds is simply better than the other. Not for its gaudy gadgetry, but for its fundamental values."
    Accompanying the article is a typically superficial Newsweek Q&A sidebar, which is almost unbelievably headed: "A Bombthrower's Life." The subject of this absurd headline is a woman who has been threatened with horrific violence, by Muslims varying from moderate to extreme, ever since she was a little girl. She has more recently had to see a Dutch friend butchered in the street, been told that she is next, and now has to live with bodyguards in Washington, D.C. She has never used or advocated violence. Yet to whom does Newsweek refer as the "Bombthrower"? It's always the same with these bogus equivalences: They start by pretending loftily to find no difference between aggressor and victim, and they end up by saying that it's the victim of violence who is "really" inciting it.
    ... "

    "She's No Fundamentalist"

  19. Alternate States of "reality:"

    "Tiger, you moan on about political correctness.

    The ultimate in politically correct behavior is to stand at the alter of 911.

    Any whisper of something contrary to the politically correct line on those attacks yields much fury and wrath. That is a prime example of political correctness in the US and how it governs discourse and behavior.
    Believe it or not, 9-11 did really happen, although the MSM, NEA, Trish, and the Democrats Act as if it did not.

  20. Ayaan Hirsi Ali,
    "It is easier for the Feminists to hate Bush than the Muslims:
    Bush is not going to behead you.

  21. Or, doug, if you're a Skull & Boner, sworn from childhood to a secret society, that even to this day is not discussed by the President.

    Some call it a Frat House, others a Secret Society. Mr Bush, he said it was a secret.

    Loyalties to Tribe, Clan, Fraternity & Family often supersede those to Nation.

    Mr Bush, of all people, should have understood that.

  22. I will think about that, 'Rat.
    The fact that Bush can be so stubborn, in spite of the fact that in most of his life he is a pathetic Wuss, has always puzzeled me.
    ...but most of all, it convinced me on the morning of 9-11, that it was too bad for us that he, not Rudy, was POTUS.

  23. Well now, guys and gals, the Debate, is about to begin.
    Let's see just who lines up where, on this one.
    That Mr Webb, an old line Reagan Republican, that believes the Constitutional Authority to Declare War resides in the Congress. How conservative.

    WASHINGTON -- Virginia Sen. Jim Webb introduced legislation Monday aimed at restricting President Bush's power to launch a military strike against Iran.

    The move by the freshman Democrat comes as the White House has stepped up both its rhetoric and military muscle against Tehran in recent weeks.

    Administration officials have warned that Iranian agents are supplying explosive weapons to insurgents in Iraq. And in another show of strength, the Pentagon ordered a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf region last month.

    Webb, who campaigned on a pledge to rein in presidential authority, said he decided to push for binding restrictions because administration officials have refused to say clearly whether they would seek the consent of Congress before striking Iranian soil. "To state the obvious, Iran is not Iraq," Webb said. "And the president has no authority to begin unilateral military operations against Iran."

    The legislation would prohibit any funding for military action inside Iran without specific authorization from Congress. But it carves out exceptions that would allow Bush to use military force to repel an attack launched from Iranian soil or to thwart an "imminent attack."

    It also would allow U.S. forces to enter Iran if they are in "hot pursuit" of an enemy being chased across Iran's border from a neighboring country, such as Iraq. And it permits any military operations in Iran that are deemed necessary for "intelligence-related activities."

    By requiring congressional consent for any unprovoked military strike on Iran, Webb said, "The Congress will be reassuring the American people that there will be no more shooting from the hip when it comes to the gravely serious question of when we send our military people into harm's way."

    Webb said he has won backing for his measure from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and would likely seek to attach his legislation as an amendment to a spending bill now moving through Congress to fund the Iraq war. ...

  24. Would the publicized defeat of Mr Webb's proposal be seen as a defacto authorization by the Mullahs in Iran, or by Mr Bush for that matter?

    Would it's passage embolden the Iranians, which if we are truely on a Path to War, they need to become.

    Attached to the War Funding Bill, if vetoed, who will be blamed for not funding the troops, but the President.

    A filibuster by the GOP, over War Powers, perhaps they could spin it, but that'd be tough to sell the US Public, in its' present mood.

    The Dems take on Mr Bush over the War that isn't. Instead of over the troops and the War in Iraq.
    This Round, but come September, Nellie bar the door.

  25. DR,
    Accompanying the article is a typically superficial Newsweek Q&A sidebar, which is almost unbelievably headed: "A Bombthrower's Life."

    This is par for the course for Newsweak. Check out this happy interview with the nominee for Finance Minister in the new Hamas-led 'Palestinian' government.

    Have you been lobbying Hamas leaders to modify their platform—to renounce violence and recognize Israel in order to meet the conditions of the Quartet [the United Nations, European Union, Russia and the United States]?

    To me, this is a done deal. This was done back in 1993. It's an important part of history. It was entered into by the P.L.O., which is the sole representative of the Palestinian people. No government has the power to revoke that. The government simply doesn't have that authority. That agreement stands.

    Sweet huh? There's no problem with recognition of Israel's right to exist, because Yasser Arafat agreed to it in 1993. Right, we all know Arafat was a man of his word. But what about the Hamas Charter with its 'Palestine is an Islamic wafq until judgement day? What about the school books supplied by Fatah that show maps of occupied Palestine and no Israel? These little incidentals don't make it into the Newsweak reality. Rather the reader is left with the implication that the 'Palestinians' have already met the requirement of recognizing the legimacy of the Jewish state and that it is the evil Israelis and Americans that are victimizing the noble Palestinians. This piece is an example of propaganda masquerading as news.

  26. doug,

    Good for M. Simon's treatment of the RINO wing of the Democrat Party.

  27. For a detailed analysis of the change in Iraq, with the ouster of General Casey, the Weekly Standard has an excellent piece.

    The author:
    Kimberly Kagan is a military historian who has taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Yale University, Georgetown University, and American University. She is a Senior Fellow and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University, where she teaches the History of Military Operations; an affiliate of the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University; and a visiting fellow at Yale International Security Studies. She is the author of The Eye of Command (University of Michigan Press, 2006), and the founder and executive director of the new Institute for the Study of War, "

    It is quite lengthy and thought provoking, well written, also.

    General Casey's statements and actions suggest that he believed U.S. units were present in country not to end the insurgency or al Qaeda's involvement in it, but rather to train the Iraqis to fight the insurgents themselves. Unit commanders at the brigade level and below repeatedly state that their goal was training the Iraqis to conduct a counterinsurgency. Few stated that their mission was defeating the insurgency, securing the population, or ending sectarian violence. Nevertheless, most operational summaries relate the number of insurgents killed and captured, and the number of weapons seized. These patterns suggest that subordinate officers believed that higher commands assessed them based upon these raiding metrics, despite the apparent focus on training Iraqi Security Forces. There appears, therefore, to have been some tension in the purpose of American military operations in Iraq between the desire to kill insurgents and seize weapons caches and the stated aim of training Iraqis and transitioning to Iraqi control. It is unclear whether General Casey believed that attriting the insurgents' personnel and equipment would facilitate the transition or that such operations provided opportunities to train Iraqi forces or both. In any case, the numbers of "trained and ready" Iraqi Security Forces and of the number of killed and captured enemy fighters or the amount of seized enemy hardware are indirect and unreliable measures of success. They measure inputs--the amount of energy we and the Iraqis are putting into the project--rather than outputs--the increasing or decreasing security and stability of Iraq.
    The American officers involved in the Haifa Street mission reported that their mission was to clear and control the area. But these "clear-and-control" operations proceeded very quickly and ended with a planned withdrawal. Army doctrine defines "clear" as "a tactical mission task that requires the commander to remove all enemy forces and eliminate organized resistance in an assigned area." And it defines "control" as "a tactical mission task that requires the commander to maintain physical influence over a specified area to prevent its use by an enemy." These tasks require time and physical presence. As the Haifa street battles did not accomplish these tasks (eliminate organized resistance and prevent the enemy from returning), they were not "clear-and-control" missions so much as raids, which are operations, "usually small scale, involving a swift penetration of hostile territory to secure information, confuse the enemy, or to destroy installations. [Raids end] with a planned withdrawal upon completion of the assigned mission." Those following the war in Iraq should not accept at face value the terms ascribed to particular military operations. Raids and patrols are different from clear-and-control operations, and the differences are apparent from the nature and duration of the operation, whatever label military spokesmen attach to the undertaking. "

  28. rufus,

    re: She inferred the pretentious, little preening, prissy prick is a faggot

    Now, that there is some fancy aliteration.

  29. DR,

    re: Webb

    DR, did I miss it somewhere: Where are the words "Declaration of War"? If Webb is serious, why not go whole hog?

    They won't, because the next Bill Clinton would be saddled with whatever, "unprovoked" means. Politicians seem to have enough difficulty defining the monosyllabic "is".

  30. "Please, would you tell me," said Alice, a little timidly, ... "why your cat grins like that?"
    "It's a Cheshire cat," said the Duchess, "and that's why."

    "But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
    "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
    "How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
    "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."
    Alice didn't think that proved it at all: however she went on. "And how do you know that you're mad?"
    "To begin with," said the Cat, "a dog's not mad. You grant that?"
    "I suppose so," said Alice
    "Well, then, " the Cat went on, "you see a dog growls when it's angry, and wags its tail when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore I'm mad."

    "... thought Alice, and she went on. "Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
    "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
    "I don't much care where –" said Alice.
    "Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
    "– so long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation.
    "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

  31. In my house, roaches are killed with chemical spray. In my house, roaches have parity with mice, and we have a Cheshire Cat to make sure of that.

  32. Ash:
    I am quite sure that 99% of EB readers are well aware that terror is a tactic employed by a myriad of individuals and movements having various and sundry reasons and justifications for committing their crimes against humanity.

    One interesting thing I have noticed and I may be completely off the wall here, is that most of these terrorists claim to be Islamic. Just saying...There might be a connection. You think?

  33. Good old Scooter, guilty on four of the five counts.

  34. re: scattering chickens

    Down on the farm, that's what raptors do before the kill. A lot of Arab chicken and dumplings was on the menu in Somalia. Pass another helping of chicken, please.

    Who knows what will happen in two years?

  35. whit, many gay people claim to be American as well. Are all Americans gay? or should I say faggots.

    We are not fighting Islam. We are not fighting a 'nation' of terrorists. To suggest we are is to misunderstand the situation we find ourselves in. Afghanistan has a complex set of problems, Iraq has a complex set of problems, the Middle East has a complex set of problems. Dashing in, guns a blazing and bombs bursting does not address the problems - it exacerbates them.

  36. Ash,

    We're fighting Jihadism. And without Jihadism there is no Islam.

  37. re: "nation of terrorists"

    We are fighting a terroist/fascistic ideology, held true by countless millions of minions. See Gateway Pundit's posts:

    Secular Islam Summit: Nonie Darwish Blasts CAIR

    Secular Islam Summit: Nonie Darwish Blasts 9-11 Conspiracy Nuts

    Secular Islam Summit Releases St. Petersburg Declaration

    Secular Islam Summit: Secularism & Islamic Thought

    Don't waste too much time, Ash; these people are probably bigots.

  38. To completely exonerate Islam does not serve to address the "fundamental" problem with Islam. That is; the Koran can be and is used to justify all manner of heinous activity from female genital mutilation to stoning, and murder of infidels and apostates. Islam desperately needs a reformation but unfortunately we are in a period of fundamentalist ascendancy which began long before 9-11 or the invasion of Iraq. Those Muslims who would argue against the fundies find themselves living in fear of death.

  39. Big news? I doubt it.

  40. Mat and Whit,

    re: Jesus tomb

    I can't wait to see the results of the test of paternal DNA.

  41. Everyone beats up on Trish, but I have not seen comments by her for awhile. . .

  42. In 430 B.C, during the Peloponnesian War, plague swept into Europe from Africa. The only extant account of the devastation is from Athens, where tens of thousands are said to have perished.

    In 542 A.D, during the reign of Justinian, plague swept the Roman Empire, killing an estimated 1/3 of the populous. Some authorities place the loss at 100,000,000.

    In 1348, plague swept through Eurasia. The European losses are variously placed between 1/3 – ½ the population. Worldwide, as many as 75,000,000 human beings may have died as the result.

    Another plague is overdue. I predict that one will strike of 21 December 2012.

    Prove me wrong, you weak minded doubters!

    Hey, if we’re predicting, why not?

  43. Another difficult fact for the global warming swindlers - Rain and Snow: Scientists Don't Know How Much Falls

    Seems like rainfall would be a fundamental variable in a climate model, on a par with revenue or expense in a financial model. You know, it IS sort of fundamental, even from a "sense enough to get out of the rain" pov.

  44. This is news, Ace of Spades, part of Pajamas Media, as is Ed Morrissey and Michelle Malkin, has threatened to ban people from his site for being off-topic. (Not I, by the way)

    As with Morrissey and Malkin, Ace's readership questions his handling of the (non)-coverage of Walter Reed and the phoney coverage of Coulter.

    You are right, Deuce, these guys are just like the MSM. They do have much smaller mikes and dicks, though.

  45. Ace of Spades has a very simple metric for describing those who disagee with his take on Coulter and non-take on Reed, they are liberal trolls.

    "Simpleton" comes to mind.

  46. Any ideas on how you stop this?

    Iraq insurgents kill 120 Shiite pilgrims

    BAGHDAD, March 6 (UPI) -- A wave of bombings Tuesday in central Iraq targeting Shiite pilgrims headed to a religious event killed at least 120 people and wounded more than 200 others.
    Two of the attacks involved suicide bombers wearing explosive belts who joined throngs of pilgrims walking through the city of Hilla, about 80 miles south of Baghdad, CNN reported.

    The deadliest attack killed 93 people and wounded 147 others and medical personnel said at least 40 of the wounded were in critical condition.

    Earlier in the day, snipers killed nine pilgrims in the city of Latifiya. In Baghdad, a car bomb killed four Shiites and injured 14 others setting out for Karbala, the BBC said.

    All of the pilgrims were headed for the city of Karbala, where on Saturday Shiites mark the Arbayeen religious festival.

    In Baghdad, police said five of their officers were killed by a roadside bomb Tuesday while they were patrolling an eastern part of the city.

    In northern Baghdad, a fuel tanker truck was targeted by a remote-controlled roadside bomb set on a bridge. At least two people were killed and four others were wounded in the blast.

  47. 2164th said...

    "Any ideas on how you stop this?"

    I wish I knew but that is the American hubris; that we should figure it out and apply a solution. You know, "we Americans are a 'can do' people and by gosh it's up ta US to solve dem problems."

  48. p.s. whether they like it on not.

  49. Deuce,

    Stop arresting the bad guys. (Ash, for your exclusive benefit, that would be wanton killers and maimers, i.e. people who purposefully kill and wound the innocent, i.e. those who are non-combatants, i.e, for example, minor school children).

    Incompetent & Crooked Iraqi Police Allow Terrorists to Escape Imprisonment [140+]
    ___Counterterrorism Blog

  50. Since 27 February 2007, Hewitt’s blog has run 61 threads. On 3, 4, and 5 March 2007, Hewitt led off each day with Coulter puff-n-stuff. On 1 March 2007, Coulter was covered at length by the blog.

    The first mention on Hewitt’s blog of Walter Reed occurred with Barnett’s thread at 11:59 this morning, wherein he “mentioned” his Townhall piece on the matter. Hewitt did not carry the piece or quote from it.

    So, if you were counting on Hewitt for coverage, Walter Reed was “mentioned” at the ratio of 1:61 threads, covering the period of eight days.

    But don’t be deceived, it’s not politics. Pseudo-conservative bloggers like Hewitt really do care about the troops…as long as they are in Iraq and not at Walter Reed.

    (Didn’t Congress prepare and actually hold hearings on the Walter Reed scandal during the past week? Hugh Hewitt would know, wouldn’t he?)

  51. Ash,
    I supose you are correct. Emotionaly you want to stand aside and let them kill each other. Yesterday they blew up people buying antique books. That struck a chord in me. It made it more personal. I could relate to someone browsing around an antique book store.

    A couple of weeks ago it was young school girls. It is hard to see how Iraq is better off today than it was before the US invasion. It can get better, but that will require cooperation from other arab countries. Most of them fear helping.

    The only winner so far seems to be Iran. I feel sorry for the decent middle classes that re trapped in the madness.

  52. 2164th,

    I too feel really bad about what is occurring in Iraq and I think we are witnessing just a portion of the horror. We hear of all those bodies turning up with signs of torture, electric drill holes in them... it makes me shudder. I really wish we could 'do something' to make it right. Even doing nothing would entail doing something (i.e. withdrawing our forces) so we are stuck with doing.

    Ultimately I do not believe it is within our power to force a solution but rather our only hope is to provide an example of what could be (i.e. the rule of law and social compact we have developed domestically) and try to provide funds and education toward reaching such a goal. You know that saying about the blood of patriots giving rise to the tree of democracy (please pardon my butchering of it) well, the blood must be of the indigenous patriots not foreign ones and, man, is the blood being spilled...

    I really wonder what Iran would do with the Iraqi tar baby (I've always appreciated Trish's thoughts myself and Iraqi tar baby was one of them).

  53. re: tar baby

    Yeah, I bet old Bob Dole wishes he’d had Trish and Ash around to advise FDR not to take on the tar baby Italy. I mean, really, what possible good was served in tying down crack SS divisions in that quagmire? And, jeez, it wasn’t like Italy ever attacked the United States or even conspired with Japan to launch a surprise attack. We should have stuck with Japan and then come home.

  54. Didn't Germany dec;are war on US first and Italy join them?

  55. Deuce,

    re: declaration of war


    However, tying down such divisions as the Herman Goering in Italy kept them out of France and away from the Eastern Front. At the time, many "strategists" saw Italy as a costly diversion.

    Every Jihadi sucked into a meat grinder like Somalia is, if nothing else, one less Jihadi.

  56. and every US soldier sucked into the meat grinder is...

    Is it worth the cost? Especially considering what gives rise to more jihadi.

  57. I have seen no evidence or of any report suggesting that the Jihad is not throwing its best at us in Iraq and Afghanistan. Where might they be if we weren’t engaging them there?

  58. ash,

    Every soldier and Marine killed and wounded is to be grieved. That, sadly, is the nature of war. When John Lennon returns, all that will end.

  59. ash,

    re: creating more Jihadists

    The United States is fighting Jihadists around the globe. Wherever we go, we find Jihadists. We are doing that on purpose.

    For example, there were Jihadists in Somalia prior to our having engaged them recently. There are fewer Jihadists in Somalia now. The Jihadists there are no longer operating in the open as the government in waiting. Perhaps, you would have preferred a different outcome?

    You assume that the sucking Jihadists into battle means we have been instrumental in creating “more Jihadists”. I take the position that we simply expose the pus in the sore.

  60. This might have something to do with Islam:

    From Fox News

    Saudi Kidnap, Rape Victim Faces Lashing for 'Crime' of Being Alone With Man Not Related to Her

    Tuesday , March 06, 2007

    A 19-year-old Saudi woman who was kidnapped, beaten and gang raped by seven men who then took photos of their victim and threatened to kill her, was sentenced under the country's Islamic-based law to 90 lashes for the "crime" of being alone with a man not related to her.

    The woman is appealing to Saudi King Abdullah to intervene in the controversial case.

    "I ask the king to consider me as one of his own daughters and have mercy on me and set me free from the 90 lashes," the woman said in an emotional interview published Monday in the Saudi Gazette.

    "I was shocked at the verdict. I couldn't believe my ears. Ninety lashes! Ninety lashes!" the woman, identified only as "G," told the English-language newspaper.

    Five months after the harsh judgment, her sentence has yet to be carried out, "G" said she waits in fear every day for the phone call telling her to submit to authorities to carry out her punishment.

    Lashes are usually spread over several days. About 50 lashes are given at a time.

    The woman's ordeal began a year ago when she was blackmailed into meeting a man who threatened to tell her family they were having a relationship outside wedlock, which is illegal in the desert kingdom, according to a report in The Scotsman newspaper.

    She met the man at a shopping mall and, after driving off together, the blackmailer's car was stopped by two other cars bearing men wielding knives and meat cleavers.

    During the next three hours, the woman was raped 14 times by her seven captors.

    One of the men took pictures of her naked with his mobile phone and threatened to blackmail her with them.

    Back at home in a town near the eastern city of Qatif, the young woman did not tell her family of her ordeal. Nor did she inform the authorities, fearing the rapist would circulate the pictures of her naked. She also attempted suicide.

    Five of the rapists were arrested and given jail terms ranging from 10 months to five years. The prosecutor had asked for the death penalty for the men.

    The Saudi justice ministry, however, said rape could not be proved because there were no witnesses and the men had recanted confessions they made during interrogation.

    The judges, basing their decision on Islamic law, also decided to sentence the woman and her original blackmailer to lashes for being alone together in his car.

    The Saudi Gazette and The Scotsman contributed to this report.

    ht: Tiger at Observanda.

  61. "That's about right. Ed deletes and closes comments, while Michelle takes none. When your audience won't agree with your attack on Coulter, cut them off."

    For the record, Michelle Malkin (who I really don't pay attention to) doesn't take comments because when she did, she was lambasted with all kind of filth from leftists.

  62. "This is news, Ace of Spades, part of Pajamas Media, as is Ed Morrissey and Michelle Malkin, has threatened to ban people from his site for being off-topic. (Not I, by the way)

    As with Morrissey and Malkin, Ace's readership questions his handling of the (non)-coverage of Walter Reed and the phoney coverage of Coulter."

    You're off the mark Allen. Ace's site has been having a problem with a number of leftist commentators who drag every post into the sewer with non-sequitors about evil Republicans and BDS.

    Has nothing to do with Ann Coulter or Walter Reed.

  63. cutler,

    re: Ace of Spades

    Sorry, but I disagree.

    “I'm tired of seeing off-topic baiting about the Libby trial we're avoiding (newsflash: it's been covered, but there's no verdict yet) and now, of course, the new issue we're all avoiding, the subpar treatment of wounded fighters at Walter Reed.”
    If you can link to any threads by Ace of Spades that specifically address the Reed scandal, I would appreciate them. What I have in mind are topic headers that would instantly lead a browser to see that the thread addressed Walter Reed. I am especially interested in any such threads prior to 2 March 2007.
    Oh, Ace of Spades also joined other members of Pajamas Media in endorsing a letter seeking the “ban” of Coulter from future CPACs. Morrissey has up a copy of this letter at his site.

  64. I began my critique of the so-called conservative/military blogosphere some days ago at the Belmont Club, making the plain observation that these alleged friends of the troops had not covered the Walter Reed scandal to any, meaningful, discernable, significant degree. Since then, I have seen nothing and have been directed to nothing that would cause me to change my assessment. Earlier, I gave the example of Hewitt’s site which, after 61 threads over eight days, has still not directly named the Reed scandal in a lede. Indeed, Reed appears only as a passing comment directing the reader to another blog-site entirely.

    Malkin, Ace of Spades, and Morrissey may all believe themselves ill treated; and in the case of Malkin that is certainly the case; however, that does not absolve them of dereliction in the their ill service of the troops they so publicly champion. The strident stories these folks would have written had a Democrat been in office are sadly absent in the instance. Instead, Ann Coulter has provided a smoke screen, covering the lack of genuine, non-partisan support for the troops.

    When Malkin uses her site to attack Ann Coulter as a “hate criminal”, by insinuation, I have little sympathy for her plight. When Malkin uses her site and her credentials to institutionalize a fascist monstrosity like “hate speech” into the conservative lexicon, she has destroyed her credibility with me. If she is going to dish out sh*t, then, she should have the courage to take her fair ration in the process. To do otherwise, and this goes for Ace of Spades and Morrissey as well, makes her appear to be a cowardly bushwhacker, not unlike the MSM she so thoroughly derides and allegedly detests.

  65. Isn’t this odd? Malkin is so incensed with Coulter’s “faggot” comment that she has threatened not to appear in future in any venue with her. Indeed, Ms. Malkin is so put out with Ms. Coulter that she supports the contents of a blog petition/letter demanding that Ms. Coulter never be invited to CPAC again. However, the virtuous Ms. Malkin has no apparent difficulty writing for, where Coulter is the most “forwarded” writer.

    Cash makes such strange bedfellows.

  66. I'm a regular reader of Ace of Spades. For some reason, he, like Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom, gets some of the nastiest and most arrogant trolls I've seen anywhere. I'm guessing part of it has to do with the ease at which it is to post there (it takes no effort). It is about time he's getting rid of them, they ruined the comment threads.

    Go to any of his Ann Coulter threads and you'll see a couple hundred comments. If there's one place in the 'Conversative' blogosphere that does not lack internal combat, that's the place.

    As for Walter Reed, it isn't hard to see what is going to happen. We'll have a nice bi-partisan decision to throw more money at it in order to prove instantaneously that we care. Always nice to give away other people's money. Yet, VA funding has trippled per capita since the end of the Cold War. It is the fastest growing part of the defense budget.

    The problem isn't money, but a state run health system that has little competition or incentive. Isn't going to change, we're just going to try and go big by making it national and spreading the misery equally.

  67. Conversative = conservative, apparently I'm deslixic.

  68. cutler,

    re: VA

    I am 100% with you on VA. Money has always (and I do mean always) been the excuse for VA "shortcomings".

    Congress has created a host of bureaucracies and a maze of laws governing each which make management impossible. Try firing a VA employee, if you dare.

    The Romans found themselves in similar straits. Their answer was reorganization by purge, i.e. kill the present burearcracy and replace it with one's own. Just say'n.

  69. cutler,

    re: Protein Wisdom

    I was there today. He takes a rational approach, I think.