“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, June 11, 2007

This Could Be Good

Al-Qaida Declares Holy War on India
By AIJAZ HUSSAIN, Associated Press Writer

Sat Jun 9, 4:25 AM

SRINAGAR, India - A group claiming to represent the al-Qaida terror network declared a holy war on India over its partial control of the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir, Indian officials said Saturday.

A statement and video was sent Friday to the Current News Service, in Srinagar, the main city of India's Jammu-Kashmir state, in which a masked man standing next to an automatic weapon read the declaration.

"We declare righteous holy war against India on behalf of God the great in which Jammu and Kashmir will be the launch pad for holy war in India," said the statement signed by Abu Abdul Rehman al-Ansari, purportedly the chief of al-Qaida Fil Hind or al-Qaida in India.

While this is the first time the group has been heard from since it announced its establishment in July, police said they were taking the threat seriously.

Police are trying to establish the veracity of the statement, said the state's director general of police Gopal Sharma. "But there is no need to panic," he said.


  1. SRINAGAR, India - A group claiming to represent the al-Qaida terror network declared a holy war on India over its partial control of the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir, Indian officials said Saturday.

    The obvious solution, of course, is for India to take full control of the region. All she needs is a precipitating event, ala 9-11.

  2. Good?

    More bombings in India, how could that be good?

    RCP Average 05/28 - 06/10
    Rudy= 26.7
    McCain= 16.4
    F. Thompson= 15.4
    Romney= 10.4
    Gingrich= 7.9

    Giuliani +10.3

    G Team= 34.6
    McCain/Thompson= 31.8

    G Team +2.8

  3. I suppose this is getting to be old news.

    Spencer Ackerman:

    Some in U.S. Intelligence See Musharraf on His Way Out
    By Spencer Ackerman - June 11, 2007, 7:15 PM

    Since September 11, 2001, the U.S.'s Pakistan policy can be summed up in two words: Pervez Musharraf. But within the U.S. intelligence community, and in Pakistan, there's a growing belief that the U.S.-friendly military dictator's days are drawing to a close -- and possibly within the next few months. It may be time for the U.S. to face what it's long feared in the nuclear state: the prospect of chaos, rising Islamism or anti-Americanism that follows Musharraf.

    But the hope -- among Pakistani military officers and politicians, to say nothing of U.S. diplomats -- is that the increasingly inept and unpopular Musharraf can be eased out of power while the U.S. slowly distances itself from him, allowing for as smooth a transition as is possible in the turbulent South Asian country. Some see the Pakistani Army remaining powerful enough to prevent a chaotic transition or an Islamist takeover. "This is going to be a Pinochet-like transition, instead of a Marcos-like one," one former Pakistani official tells TPMmuckraker. In other words, according to the ex-official, the U.S. may not stand foursquare behind its ally Musharraf until he's ultimately forced from power, as President Ronald Reagan chose with doomed Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

    Over the past few weeks, U.S. intelligence have started to conclude that Musharraf is on his way out. "It is the sense people have, and it's been out there," says Rob Richer, a former deputy head of CIA operations who has met with Musharraf personally and long worked with the Pakistanis on intelligence issues. "This is the view of both senior (U.S. intelligence) officials and people who follow the issue closely." What's more, Richer tells TPMmuckraker, Musharraf himself knows his time is up, and is "looking for an exit strategy":

    "He believes his successor has got to be someone who supports the military but it won't necessarily be someone in uniform. There's no obvious candidate … At this point, he's looking for the right person, a right-winger, someone who understands the Army."

    Musharraf's vision is to make Pakistan like Turkey, where Islamic currents ebb and flow with popular sentiment, "but who enforces what they call democracy? The military." Adds Frederic Grare, a former French diplomat in Pakistan, the military could "withdraw behind the scenes but keep the levers of power," while a civilian takes charge after elections that Musharraf has called for in the fall.


  4. I was wondering if Rat or Doug or anyone else might answer this question--I am going on a 3 week car trip back to Ohio with my wife and have decided to take some armament, in case the world blows up. Since I don't have any other than long guns, I went to a pawnshop and found a Llama .38 automatic for $200, offered $180 he said yes and I said I'd get back to him tomorrow. Looks ok. I notice on the website Llama went out of business. Think I'd be making a mistake? Parts? Unknowns? I had a Llama .22 long ago, seemed fine.

    We're starting to arm the Sunnis. The Shia aren't biting on the oil sharing. Maybe Bush has decided a fundamentalists Shia govt isn't such a great idea, as that is how it seems to be turning out, at least in the south. Maybe he and Dick have dealt with the Saudis, made promises, maybe they are going to attack Iran.

  5. Posted at the BC earlier in the morning

    For those who sometimes wonder why the United States is having such difficulty prosecuting the Global War on Terrorism (or whatever it is called this week), consider the following.

    Several days ago, I visited the Military Clothing Store at my local military base (one of the largest in the country), looking to purchase some physical training (PT) gear and suit bags (in which to store service dress and other uniforms). Although I needed five suit bags, the store had only one remaining on the rack. When I inquired as to when the store might restock suit bags, the very friendly young lady at the register informed me that I had probably gotten the last one for the foreseeable future, there being a three year unfilled back-order for same. She then directed me to newly posted signage, indicating that the Military Clothing Store could no longer guarantee the availability of battle dress uniforms (BDUs) and Air Force PT gear.

    Please, wrap your head around this: despite spending about $600 billion last fiscal year on national defense, the government of the United States cannot promise the delivery of essential clothing to its troops.

    Oh, and the young lady from Military Clothing was kind enough to direct me to Walmart for the additional needed suit bags. Now, if only Walmart could carry a line of USAF PT gear and BDUs.

  6. Pan Ed:
    No, more bombing in India is not in itself, a good thing. A more vigourous response to militant Islam from India would be though. So far, the Indians seem to have been favoring the Ghandi (pacifist) approach. The United States has been hung out to dry by the rest of the world who seem to think that if only the big bad superpower would shut up and go home, everything would be all right.

    What seems to be the problem with the BDU's? BTW, long time no see...

  7. Trish:
    Thanks for the article, it reminded me of this EB analysis from October 2006.

    This and a five dollar bill will get you a cup of latte.

  8. whit,


    Why the US government cannot guarantee a supply of BDUs and PT gear (among other things) remains something of a mystery to the poor clerks at the Military Clothing Store on Robins Air Force Base. Perhaps members of Congress should give some attention to this.

    As to the signage, the clerks were taking so much heat from frustrated service members that management felt compelled to point an accusatory finger at Uncle Sam.

    By the way, do not minimize the importance of PT gear. Under the Air Force Instruction and USA regs, all unit PT must be conducted in standard issue attire. Wearing one's Nike tee to PT is a punishable breach of the regs under the UCMJ, comparable to wearing the same Nike tee to work in lieu of service dress.

    As you might have heard, about four years ago Air Force Chief General John Jumper mandated that the service dress blue uniform would be worn four out of five duty days. What he did not know, and his staff had not researched, was that the sole supplier of blue uniform stock had gone bankrupt and the only blues available were those already in the system. Well, in short order Jumper backtracked, and the BDU became the uniform of the day. As things now stand at this post, service dress uniform is worn only on the last duty day of the month - with or without decorations, there being also a critical shortage of ribbons.

    One is tempted to say that the Bush administration could not organize an orgy in a whorehouse, but I will resist the temptation.

  9. whit,

    Why I am bringing this up now, I cannot say. Perhaps, there is truth in the observation made by the Boss last evening, “You are really getting cranky in your old age.” Hell, she obviously missed something over the last twenty-five years: other than getting my fur fluffed, I have always been a cantankerous son-of-a-bitch. Of course, I could point out that I am alive to tell the tale, but…

  10. While not recognized as such, Michelle Malkin has laid out the articles of a bill of impeachment. Will immigration be the undoing of Mr. Bush? Would the Republic be best served by tying up Mr. Bush for the remainder of his term in a fight for his political survival?



  11. Engagement makes sense - notwithstanding short-sighted criticism that accommodation is tantamount to aiding and abetting illegal immigration. We note, as we have before, that even federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers acknowledge the importance of cooperation.

    We wrote in this space in January 2006: "During a recent visit to Brewster, they distributed copies of the government-assisted and funded booklet 'Day Laborer Hiring Sites,' which is subtitled 'Constructive Approaches to Community Conflict.'" A relevant chapter of that writing: "How a community came together to resolve their day laborer controversy without (federal) government intervention."

    Now, if that doesn't say that communities must collaborate.

    550k Blunder