“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."

Monday, April 23, 2007

A swerve in the surge. Al-Maliki says wall will stoke Sunni-Shiite tensions.

Iraqi PM orders halt to Baghdad barrier

Qassim Abdul-Zahra, The Associated press; with files from The Los Angeles Times
Published: Monday, April 23, 2007

CAIRO, Egypt - Iraq's prime minister yesterday ordered a halt to the U.S. military's construction of a barrier separating a Sunni enclave from surrounding Shia areas in Baghdad after criticism over the project at home.
The challenge to the U.S. initiative came as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki began a regional tour to shore up support from mostly Sunni Arab nations for his Shia-dominated government as sectarian violence persists despite a nearly 10-week-old security crackdown.

The U.S. military announced last week that it was building a five-kilometre-long, 3.5-metre-tall concrete wall in Azamiyah, a Sunni stronghold in northern Baghdad whose residents have often been the victims of retaliatory mortar attacks by Shia militants following bombings usually blamed on Sunni insurgents.

U.S. and Iraqi officials defended plans for the barrier as an effort to protect the neighbourhood, but residents and Sunni leaders complained it was a form of discrimination that would isolate the community. A large protest was scheduled for today in the area.

In his first public comments on the issue, Mr. al-Maliki said yesterday that he had ordered the construction to stop.

"I oppose the building of the wall and its construction will stop," he said during a joint news conference with the secretary-general of the Arab League in Cairo. "There are other methods to protect neighbourhoods, but I should point out that the goal was not to separate, but to protect."
He did not elaborate, but added "this wall reminds us of other walls that we reject, so I've ordered it to stop and to find other means of protection for the neighbourhoods." He wasn't more specific, but apparently was referring to the Berlin Wall during the Cold War and Israel's construction of a barrier in the West Bank to keep out suicide bombers.

U.S. military spokesman Lt.-Col. Christopher Garver declined to comment on whether construction of the wall would stop, saying only that all security measures were constantly under discussion.

Sectarian bloodshed continued in Iraq yesterday, with at least 72 people killed or found dead.

In the most unsettling incident, a forbidden love affair that ended with a young woman's death by stoning led to more religiously motivated killings when gunmen dragged members of a tiny religious minority off a bus and killed 23 of them, police and witnesses said.

The incident in the northern city of Mosul was shocking in its brutality and frightening for the spectre it raised -- violence between Muslims and non-Muslims aggravating the already volatile conflict involving Sunni Arabs and Sunni Kurds.
The victims were Yazidis, a sect that is neither Christian nor Muslim and whose followers have faced persecution from a succession of rulers.


  1. Another Swell Mexican Illegal Doing Something Most Citizens Won't Do.

    EPHRATA, Wash. -- A woman was sentenced Monday
    to nearly 27 years in prison for the death of her 2-year-old son, who suffered broken legs, skull fractures, bruises and burns while in her care.

    Maribel Gomez was convicted last month of homicide by abuse and first-degree manslaughter in the September 2003 death of young Rafael Gomez.
    The boy had spent 14 months in foster care but suffered "a constellation of injuries" during his short time in his mother's care, Grant County Superior Court Judge John Antosz said.

    Gomez testified that the boy died after hitting his head while throwing a tantrum over food.

    The state Department of Social and Health Services conducted a fatality review that concluded social workers were biased toward the birth parents, ignored obvious signs that Rafael was in danger and failed to follow the agency's own rules.

    Because Gomez, who is from Mexico, is in this country illegally, she faces deportation after her prison term ends.

    ...the Social Workers were biased toward the Illegals!
    And now we pay for this human Debris.

  2. In the previous thread, it was agreed that GWB is not corrupt.
    Perhaps, but certainly guilty of Derelection of Duty for refusing to enforce the law and honor his Oath of Office, which included securing our Borders, esp post 9-11.
    6 years later old Globalist George is still being drug, kicking and screaming his right to do as he pleases, not as the law stipulates.
    Morally Corrupt.
    ...and the border agents lives and those of their families are ruined, hard working, patriotic Mexican Citizens, now in prison, their families homeless.

  3. Somebody did not get the Message:
    'Gated Communities' for the War-Ravaged
    U.S. forces plan to erect walls around at least 10 of Baghdad's most violent neighborhoods.

    Monday, April 23, 2007; Page A01

    BAGHDAD -- The U.S. military is walling off at least 10 of Baghdad's most violent neighborhoods and using biometric technology to track some of their residents, creating what officers call "gated communities" in an attempt to carve out oases of safety in this war-ravaged city.

    The plan drew widespread condemnation in Iraq this past week. On Sunday night, Prime Minister Nouri-al Maliki told news services that he would work to halt construction of a wall around the Sunni district of Adhamiyah, which residents said would aggravate sectarian tensions by segregating them from Shiite neighbors. The U.S. military says the walls are meant to protect people, not further divide them in a city that is increasingly a patchwork of sectarian enclaves.

    The military sees a simple virtue in the barriers.
    "If we keep the bad guys out, then we win,"

  4. In George's World, it makes sense to build walls where they demand we stop, and refuse to build a fence despite the Citizen/Victims pleas for Safety, Security, and Prosperity.

  5. For the Children:

    Mayor Gavin Newsom vowed Sunday to maintain San Francisco as a sanctuary for immigrants and do everything he can to discourage federal authorities from conducting immigration raids.

    The mayor cannot stop federal authorities from making arrests, Newsom told about 300 mostly Latino members of St. Peter's Church and other religious groups supporting immigrants. But no San Francisco employee will help with immigration enforcement.

    "I will not allow any of my department heads or anyone associated with this city to cooperate in any way shape or form with these raids," Newsom declared. "We are a sanctuary city, make no mistake about it."

    San Rafael Mayor Al Boro in March called on California's U.S. senators, Democrats Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, to push the immigration agency to change how it is enforcing immigration law because he believed children were the ones being hurt.

  6. Maybe we should Wall Off Sanctuary Cities, to protect the children inside from the Feds, and the Children Outside from the Drug Dealers, Child Molesters, Murderers, Unlicensed and Undocumented Drunk Drivers, and Rapists.

  7. "St Dickhead's Church, and other Criminal supporting Groups."

  8. Mayor Newsom stopped briefly at the Church of St Dickhead as part of a busy Schedule that included stopoffs at 5 Gay Bath houses to lend his support to HIV Positive Buttfucking Rights Groups, and then on to several romantic liasons w/young employees in various city Departments.

  9. Mayor Newsom's wife was not available for comment when contacted by SF Gate.

  10. Doug: The military sees a simple virtue in the barriers.
    "If we keep the bad guys out, then we win,"

    If one bad guy gets through, we lose. The Jihadis are running out the D.C. clock.

  11. George wouldn't have raids in liberal Meccas like the Bay Area to stoke up Support for
    "Comprehensive Immigration Reform"
    Would He?
    Naah, everybody knows honest, pious, non-corrupt GWB wouldn't do something like that.
    ...Feinstein and Boxer woulda been on that side anyway...
    They just would not have had passionate, energetic, activated and organized support from their COMMUNITIES.
    But they do now.
    Lucky Coincidence for Comprehensive Reformers.

  12. Ms T.
    They know Tokyo Harry is calling the shots.
    Long Wars do have unintended consequences.

  13. I recall be rebuked at the BC for such sentiments, doug.

    For being realistic enough to know that history repeats itself, at least in US politics.

    Many of the stalwart fellows refused to believe that Mr Bush would allow such a thing to occur, that he'd allow the Democrats control of Congress. Then again I doubt the envisioned Mr Reid as the Majority Leader. No indeed.

    Mr Bushs' corruption is not personal, it is systematic. He refuses to enforce those laws that offend him, or his Chief Law Enforcement Officer, Mr Gonzo.

    The man that does not recall events from last November 26th.
    The very same Gonzo who's staffers take the Fifth, when asked about their work product, at the Justice Department.

    What would make senior staffers fear self-incrimination? Perhaps their memories are not as faulty, nor so ready to perjure themselves, for the "Boss".

    Skull & Boners, Bush and Kerry, like two peas in a pod. Indistingushable work product.

    The War on Terror has become a police matter, just like prostitution. Just as JFKerry said it should.

  14. Saw the History Channel program on General Sherman and his March to the Sea, last night.

    Interesting that he destroyed the enemy infrastructure, without causing mass casualties. Bringing an end to the War, by destroying General Lee's logistic train, at the source.

    A tactic that has been disallowed US commanders. The bombs & bullets continue to flow from Syria and Iran, unimperiled. Enemy combatants continue to cross the frontier, for enhanced training.

    General Sherman thought War so terrible it should, must, be ended as quickly as possible, with victory. A view not shared by those in DC, today.

  15. It was an outrage for Lyndon Johnson to allow sanctuaries for those that were killing our troops, but for St George, such sanctuaries elicit no such outrage.
    Good to be a Saint.

  16. Yeah, Sherman knew that the quicker you got it over with, the fewer people, esp innocents, died.
    OIF makes a great example to prove the point:

    More aggressive and continued violence at the outset would have resulted in fewer deaths than the long struggle, the cost of which has yet to be tallied.

  17. Instead we have Al Queda in Iraq killing thousands, and making noises about WMD attacks on the West.

    Although there WAS a Al Queda in Iraq in Saddam's day, it was but a Shadow of what it has become.

  18. Doug said: They know Tokyo Harry is calling the shots.
    Long Wars do have unintended consequences.

    The Gulf One model is best. Go in with 650,000 troops and most of the civilized world watching your six. Shock and Awe for five weeks including non-stop Arclight (B-52) carpet bombardament with 500 lb dumb bombs on infantry positions. Four days of blitzkrieg-style encirclement, finishing with a "highway of death" as a cherry on top. Ticker tape parades and an extra special Fourth of July for desert.

  19. I was looking at some Air Force video of just that, Ms T.
    The Big Stick was impossible to ignore, and garnered appropriate respect.
    Much more respect that is, than kid gloves, PC ROE's, diligent police work, and concrete barriors.

  20. What a Bitch, to survive 5 weeks of B-52 bombardment, only to be buried alive in a tank under the sand of the motherland.

  21. Boris Yeltsin dies, next thread.

  22. I think I'll just down a fifth and pass out here:
    He wasn't exactly a youngster.
    Then again, I'm not Russian.

  23. He did not elaborate, but added "this wall reminds us of other walls that we reject

    Mr. Maliki must be living in a dream world if he thinks he has the luxury to be politically correct with regard to building walls. Apparently he can't distinguish between the value of building walls to keep the bad guys out (the Israeli model) and building walls to keep people from leaving (the Berlin wall). Clearly the former might be of value in keeping the Shia death squads out of the Sunni neighborhoods. Also unclear, is why he thinks that not protecting the Sunni enclaves is going win favor with his Sunni neighbors.

    Mr. Maliki would benefit from a better quality of advisor. Perhaps, Sheryl Crowe could spare him a few minutes after she gets through advising us on how much toilet paper to use when we wipe our ass.

    The singer, who is crossing the country on a biodiesel bus with producer Laurie David, proposes limiting toilet paper use as one solution to global warming, according to a Washington Post report.

    Hopefully the President Gore can get legislation through the Democratic congress to make this a reality in the not-to-distant future [sarcasm off]

  24. You know, stout, I think Mr Maliki was speaking of the US / Mexico wall.

    The one that remains unbuilt. Wonder if the Baghdad wall was going to cost over $1 million per mile, or if there are cost savings in Iraq that are not applicable in the US.

  25. You know, stout, I think Mr Maliki was speaking of the US / Mexico wall.

    More likely he'saying that some of his Shia buddies complained that a wall would cramp their style. You'd think that when combatting an enemy with a 7th century mentality, you might recognize the value of a 7th century defense - namely a wall. Limit the splodey dopes to one way into a neighborhood and successful car bombings could be reduced dramatically. General Petraeus recognizes this. Unfortunately, Condi Rice and Maliki don't.

    As for the much-needed wall on our southern border, Mr. Tancredo appears to be the only politician who views it favorably. Who knows what the G team might do regarding the border, considering Guliani's history. What about Tommy Thompson ? He claims he can deliver the crucial states along the Mississippi if nominated and that a Pub can win in 08. He likes the segregation of the warring factions in Iraq, which suggests to me he might support Petraeus' efforts where others don't seem to keen to do so.

    Regarding Iraq, he would challenge that country's government to relegitimize the U.S. presence by voting to ask U.S. forces to remain. If the government does not, the United States would leave. If it does, it should then encourage voluntary ethnic rearrangements by establishing federalism -- strong governments in all 18 provinces -- where Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds can cluster under governments of their kind. Then it should divide oil revenue, one-third to the national government, one-third to the provincial governments and one-third to Iraqi individuals, much as Alaska does with its oil trust fund.

    Maybe he'd also be less a Globalist and more sympathetic to a secure border than some of the others.