“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, April 17, 2007

Goodbye Green Zone

If this is true, "Goodbye little green zone."

Al-Qaida-linked group making own rockets

By MAAMOUN YOUSSEF, Associated Press Writer 10 minutes ago

CAIRO, Egypt - A voice purported to be of the leader of an al-Qaida-linked group in
Iraq claimed in an audiotape posted on the Internet Tuesday that the group had begun manufacturing its own rockets.

The voice, said to be that of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, was in an audiotape posted on an Islamic Web site routinely used by militant Islamic groups. The authenticity of the tape could not immediately be verified.

The rockets, called al-Quds-1, or Jerusalem-1, "have moved into the phase of military production with an advanced degree of range and accuracy," he said.

The claim that the group was making rockets would be virtually impossible to verify and al-Baghdadi did not elaborate further on the nature of the new weapon.

The arms manufacturing capabilities of insurgent groups fighting U.S. and Iraqi forces since 2003 are believed to be very limited, with them relying almost entirely on weapons looted from Saddam Hussein's massive depots in the lawless days and weeks that followed the collapse of his regime.

Weapons are also believed to be smuggled from across the Syrian and Iranian borders.

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis had been employed in Saddam's huge arms industry, making artillery shells, rifles, land mines, mortars and missiles. The military factories have been abandoned or looted but some of the workers are thought to have joined the insurgency or offered their expertise in the fight against U.S. forces and their Iraqi allies.

Insurgent groups in Iraq have been using a range of Soviet-era rockets like Katyusha and shoulder-fired ground-to-air Sam-7 missiles. The ground-to-ground Katyushas have not been used with great accuracy and anything that the insurgents could make locally was not likely to be an improvement.

Iraqi soldier leads a suspected al-Qaida member in Baqouba, Sunday, April 15, 2007. Seven militant were killed and 26 were arrested after clashes broke out with Iraqi forces backed by the US troops in Baqouba Sunday.


  1. The evidence is out, and the truth is simple: the killer was just a nut case who has been slipping into insanity for a long time.

    Article quotes below:

    Sources: College gunman left note

    The suspected gunman in the Virginia Tech shooting rampage, Cho Seung-Hui, was a troubled 23-year-old senior from South Korea who investigators believe left an invective-filled note in his dorm room, sources say.

    The note included a rambling list of grievances, according to sources. They said Cho also died with the words "Ismail Ax" in red ink on the inside of one of his arms.

    Cho had shown recent signs of violent, aberrant behavior, according to an investigative source, including setting a fire in a dorm room and allegedly stalking some women.

    A note believed to have been written by Cho was found in his dorm room that railed against "rich kids," "debauchery" and "deceitful charlatans" on campus.

    Cho was an English major whose creative writing was so disturbing that he was referred to the school's counseling service, the Associated Press reported.

    Professor Carolyn Rude, chairwoman of the university's English department, said she did not personally know the gunman. But she said she spoke with Lucinda Roy, the department's director of creative writing, who had Cho in one of her classes and described him as "troubled."

    "There was some concern about him," Rude said. "Sometimes, in creative writing, people reveal things and you never know if it's creative or if they're describing things, if they're imagining things or just how real it might be. But we're all alert to not ignore things like this."

    She said Cho was referred to the counseling service, but she said she did not know when, or what the outcome was...

    Investigators believe Cho at some point had been taking medication for depression. They are examining Cho's computer for more evidence...

    He was very quiet, always by himself," neighbor Abdul Shash said of the gunman. Shash said the gunman spent a lot of his free time playing basketball, and wouldn't respond if someone greeted him. He described the family as quiet...

    According to court records, Virginia Tech Police issued a speeding ticket to Cho on April 7 for going 44 mph in a 25 mph zone, and he had a court date set for May 23.

  2. Whit, here's another article from Military Times about increased attacks on the GZ.

    As you know, I stated long ago that if I was the bad guy over there my primary target would be the Green Zone. The value of being able to say America can't even protect one relatively small area is immense.

    I think, "goodbye green zone", is most likely correct and it's only a matter of time.

  3. Well, OK - a link from Military Times to Army Times!

    Still... even with all the bad news, I have hope something good will come out of this Surge.