“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."

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Bush leads the "Way forward"

George Bush took a bold step when he tripped into Iraq. Like a hapless tourist with Frodo’s Guide, the Bush Administration had a plan to rid Iraq of Saddam, hand the keys of democracy to a grateful nation and watch the dominoes of Syria, Iran and others fall. A quick plan, to be self-funded with Iraqi oil soon morphed into a desert mirage. American “know how” and “can do” melted down to a policy of staying the course. Mission creep crept to a crawl. Now someone else will have to clean up the mess. Bush does not have the time or an idea on how to do it. He does not even know what it is. Therein lies the problem.

911 was an attack on United States territory by a vicious psychopathic cult of Islamic fiends. It was sponsored by financiers from Saudi Arabia, tolerated by Pakistan and hatched in the shithole, Afghanistan, and the Islamic intellectual ghettos of Western Europe, by mainstream educated Muslims. Part of the incubation process was conducted by our own CIA in the arming and supporting of Islamic fanatics against the Soviet Union in Soviet occupied Afghanistan. Mistakes were made up to 911 and bigger mistakes were made thereafter.

Ramadan in the White House and the unholy horseshit of “The Religion of Peace” were top on the list. An honest appraisal, instead of wishful thinking would have clearly defined the enemy. That enemy was broad and bold. It would have been foolhardy to take it on in every place and unnecessary. It would have sufficed to go after the head and to have mercilessly destroyed Al-Qaeda wherever it was found. The Islamic world needed clarity about US resolve in the face of Islamic terror against the US. We missed the perfect opportunity to give it at Tora Bora.

No place, no time and no event called out for the use of a tactical nuclear weapon than at Tora Bora and then again in the non-cooperating tribal regions of Pakistan if needed. Cookies did not need baking in The White House. I am not calling for the use of nuclear weapons as a solution. I am saying that at that time and place, they would have been appropriate.

That opportunity has passed. The threat today is worse. The enemy is bolder and the US is weaker in political and military terms. The shocked and awed are renewed and emboldened. The Islamic Waffen-SS has suicide bombers in brigade numbers and we have a president with bad knees, political shin splints and a wheeze in his lungs.

The Islamic world is never going to change. With luck, it will cease to be Islamic. That will be there problem until they make it ours. The US has to do two things and fast. It needs to regroup and end the fool’s errand in Iraq. I honestly do not know how it is to be done, but it must be and very very soon. And it must be accompanied by a vicious demonstration of American resolve to destroy Islamic enemies when and where they appear. No boundaries, no asylum, no safe houses in cemeteries, holy places, mosques, nothing. Afghanistan or Iraq or Iran is fine with me. Other than that we leave them alone. They will soon get the message. The President however, and as always has his own changing ideas:

April 28, 2007
The White House Scales Back Talk of Iraq Progress

WASHINGTON, April 27 —
The Bush administration will not try to assess whether the troop increase in Iraq is producing signs of political progress or greater security until September, and many of Mr. Bush’s top advisers now anticipate that any gains by then will be limited, according to senior administration officials.

In interviews over the past week, the officials made clear that the White House is gradually scaling back its expectations for the government of President Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. The timelines they are now discussing suggest that the White House may maintain the increased numbers of American troops in Iraq well into next year.

That prospect would entail a dramatically longer commitment of frontline troops, patrolling the most dangerous neighborhoods of Baghdad, than the one envisioned in legislation that passed the House and Senate this week. That vote, largely symbolic because Democrats do not have the votes to override the promised presidential veto, set deadlines that would lead to the withdrawal of combat troops by the end of March 2008.

On Friday, during an appearance with Japan’s prime minister at Camp David, President Bush said that he would invite congressional leaders to the White House on Wednesday, immediately after his expected veto message, to talk about a “way forward.”

Several American officials who have spoken recently with Mr. Maliki say they believe that he would like to achieve the kind of political reconciliation that Mr. Bush outlined in January as the ultimate goal of the troop increase. But they say the Iraqi prime minister appears to have little ability to manage the required legislation, including bills requiring fair distribution of oil revenues among Iraq’s Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, and reversing the American-led de-Baathification that barred many Sunnis from participation in the new government...


  1. We would do well to learn how Muslims, who understand other Muslims deal with Muslims when they get off the reservation.

    On February 2, 1982, the Syrian army bombed the town of Hama in order to quell a revolt by the Muslim Brotherhood, It has been estimated that 10,000-25,000 were killed at Hama, though many figures exist and the number could be considerably smaller or larger. The Syrian government made no official claim about the number killed at Hama and Assad did not land on an aircraft carrier.

  2. Why is the crude oil price above $65 USD/bbl? Why hasn't Iraqi oil production come on line yet? How long is the US going to be dicking around with these fscks?

  3. It started with the schools.
    After action reports on floor buffing and wall painting.

    The it degenerated to pencils and paper, delivering text books on the subjects of science and engineering, but not socialogy or government.

    How mmany schools were opened became a benchmark, how many buildings were "spruced up", not the syllabus used in the buildings after they were restored.

    That was the first of many signs.

    No one wanted to listen, not on the "right" nor on the "left". It did not fit the program, actual success. To hard to quantify and measure.

    Better we have those soldiers buff some more floors, that is something the Army IS expert at.
    A mission they knew how to do.

    Haiti is still a failure, no practical government, still fubared after all these years. The Bush Team actions in Iraq proves the lie of their earlier, 1990s rhetoric, but knew no other way forward, either.

    So Bush, Cheney and Rice did lie and people did die. It's just the lies are not those often publicized. Worse the Bush Team continues to sell the "Big Lie" to the detriment of the US.

  4. It is "online" to preWar levels, almost.

    It is a Iraqi challenge, mat, the oil is theirs, to manage well, or not.

    Part of their "liberation".

    That you were fooled by your own truths and their projections, the belief that the Bushies could not possibly beleve what they had been saying. It's been so far beyond reality, that it had to be part of an act.

    Surprise! Surprise!

  5. BS. Iraqi oil production is operation at 25% of potential capacity, max.

  6. -> operating

    US troops wouldn't be there otherwise.

  7. Which is where is was, pre-invasion.

    There has been no capacity added in the four years we have been there.

    Much promised, nothing gained.

    The oil is the property of Iraq, we do not manage it. The Iraqi do.

    They have for a while, now. Couple of years, anyway. Basra, where the majority of the capacity is, has been declared a "Success" and turned over to the locals.
    The MNF, there, the Brits, have begun to withdraw, no US troops are tasked with the task of their replacement.

    The President said the war was not about oil, no one wanted to belive him. He does tell the truth, as he percieves it.

  8. But, on Tuesday the New York Times reported that U.S. Central Command has retired the phrase "the long war" as a way of describing the war on terrorism. As a spokesman for Central Command explained, "the idea that we are going to be involved in 'Long War' at the current level of operations is not likely and unhelpful."

    The change, he continued, is "a product of our ongoing effort to use language that describes the conflict for our Western audience while understanding the cultural implications of how the language is construed in the Middle East."

    According to Central Command—which is in charge of the war in Iraq and other aspects of the-military-operations-formerly-known-as-GWOT—additional no-nos include describing the enemies as Islamic (or Islamo) Fascists, jihadists, or part of Salafist Extremist Networks and employing the term "Global War on Terror."

    President Bush forges blithely past these semantic subtleties. Standing before teachers, students, members of the Tipp City, Ohio Chamber of Commerce on April 19, he described ongoing military operations in Iraq and elsewhere as "a unique war" and later an "interesting war."

    He also seemed to pooh-pooh CENTCOM’s sensitivities about language with his own adaptation of Louis Armstrong’s “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off, saying: "I call it a global war against terror. You can call it a global war against extremists, a global war against radicals, a global war against people who want to hurt America; you can call it whatever you want, but it is a global effort."

  9. If it wasn't about oil, d'Rat, the Iranian arabs would not be running the Iraqi government today, and US troops would not be there to back them up at a cost of 100 billion USD a year.

  10. It may be about the oil in the ground, but it's not about oil production capacity today.

    In fact the less capacity there is, the better. Less for the foe to steal.

    We let the Iraqi manage their resources, they cannot match Saddams' levels, while he was under UN Sanctions.

    Oil production providing an apt description of the current Iraqi Government, if ever there was one.

  11. While we focus on Iran and how the tensions improve their cash flow position, the truth is that the Sauds are banking the lions' share of the increased earnings.
    Not the Iranians.

    Wahhabists rule,
    Texans drool,
    Sheryl Crow has dry stool!

  12. What description would that be, d'Rat? Thieving jackals? They're certainly not incompetent, if you consider the way they've been playing this administration.

  13. Desert Rat: There has been no capacity added in the four years we have been there. Much promised, nothing gained.

    When Wolfowitz was helping to sell Operation Iraqi Liberation (or O.I.L., which is what Ari Fleischer actually called it until someone figured out that O.I.F. was a sexier acronym) he said we would get the Iraq War for free! That is, the oil would pay for the whole shooting match, even though officially this was not a war for oil. Flush with this success, Wolfy went on to head the World Bank where he negotiated a raise for his squack until she was pulling down more than Condi.

  14. Seems appropriate, jackels, anyway.

    Even amongst the Iraqis' internal lines of Division, they cannot reconcile.
    al-Sadr and al-Hakim are far from a truce or reconciliation, within the UIA. Mr Maliki described by General P as being almost powerless amongst the varied factions.

    There are pragmatic reasons for not investing in infrastruture in Iraq. They just are at varience with the oft stated US Goal:

    MR. SNOW: ... an Iraq that can sustain, govern, and defend itself, to be an ally in the war on terror and also an example to the region that democracy can succeed. ...

  15. Why have we painted ourselves into an intellectual corner, by basing our demonstrable success on something that we cannot contol? Would a wise leader base his future on the expected results of a weak leader?

    Thats is the situation Bush has created for himself with Maliki in Iraq. Pure genius if you ask me.

  16. I see the Belmont Club has gone graphic.

  17. Over 50% of concrete capacity, in Iraq, goes for blast barriers, I recall reading.

    Prior to US it went into Palaces, now it goes to blast barriers.
    So many have been built that the Security Forces were secured, when behind them, until indierect fire from the enemy ruined that image.
    that tell that tale, captured at Peacekeeprs blog.

  18. Little images.

    Not the "big look"

    Size matters.

  19. 2164 nice piece sir. Needless to say i enjoyed this part immensely...
    No place, no time and no event called out for the use of a tactical nuclear weapon than at Tora Bora and then again in the non-cooperating tribal regions of Pakistan if needed.

    But I hope you're not interrupting the Costa Rican heaven to write heavy and weigh yourself down with all these goings on..we have to have faith that someone out there is enjoying la dolce vita.

  20. Nobody does graphics like 2164, Belmont not even close.

    Why do I have to open another account each day when I want to post? Anybody else have that problem? Started about 2 weeks ago.

  21. The Pleiades have always been a favorite. They are always shining in August, during harvest time. Even with my bad eyesight, I can see em.

  22. squack? another new word I am unfamiliar with--don't ask, don't tell:)

  23. Can a peckerwood have a squack? Would that describe me n my wife?

  24. bobalharb said...
    Nobody does graphics like 2164, Belmont not even close.

    Why do I have to open another account each day when I want to post? Anybody else have that problem? Started about 2 weeks ago.

    Ya, my account got screwed up about two weeks ago. Google seemed to change the account structure and the gmail account info seems to be the dominant account. Now I log in using my gmail username and password and all is stable.

  25. Love the original post Deuce. We had righteous momentum after 9/11. We lost it. We're at the mall. The Marines and Army are not.

    Guess the Bushies never figured the Iraqis were a bunch of welfare queens waiting for someone to wipe their asses for them once they were "free".

    At least with the new Congress we can focus on the important things now, like getting our asses wiped too.

    Can't wait to watch the next five years unfold.