“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, July 09, 2007

Dealing with Double Dealers

The new 2008 peace models are out and everyone is urging Israel to make a deal. Olmert is looking around and seems ready but does he know what he's doing? The bunch he's dealing with are worse than car salesmen.

Palestinian PM holds Israel talks

The meeting in Jerusalem is seen as a gesture of support for moderate Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Israeli and Arab officials meanwhile said an Arab League delegation would go to Israel for the first time.

The visit will focus on an Arab peace initiative and ways to help the beleaguered Palestinian Authority.

Israel rejected the Saudi-led peace plan when it was launched in 2002 but gave some aspects a cautious welcome when it was endorsed by Arab states earlier this year.

Prisoner release

An Israeli statement issued after Ms Livni's meeting with Mr Fayyad said: "The discussion dealt primarily with the situation in the Palestinian Authority [PA] and the ways of improving the lives of the residents in the territories while preserving Israeli security interests."

Israeli spokeswoman Miri Eisen said her country saw the new Palestinian government as an opportunity. "This is a government which clearly has accepted the international principles - not only the recognition of Israel, but especially the renouncing of terrorism...

"So, for us, it's important to show not only our support for this government, but our capability to give to a moderate government, to show them that it's worthwhile to be moderates," she said.

An official in Mr Fayyad's office said the meeting dealt with "broader political issues, not just removing a checkpoint here and there".

On Sunday, the Israeli cabinet approved plans for releasing 250 Palestinian prisoners.

The BBC's Bethany Bell in Jerusalem says the increased diplomacy is a sign of improving relations between Israel and the new Palestinian cabinet.

It comes three weeks after the Palestinian militant group Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip, which split the Palestinian territories into two separately controlled entities.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas dissolved the elected Hamas-led government after the takeover and appointed Mr Fayyad as prime minister in an emergency cabinet.

West Bank death

The US and Israel have offered strong support for Mr Abbas - as has the Arab League.

The organisation is expected to send Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit and his Jordanian counterpart Abd-al-Ilah al-Khatib to Israel.

"This is the first time the Arab League is coming to Israel," Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said.

"From its inception the Arab League has been hostile to Israel. It will be the first time we'll be flying the Arab League flag."

Meanwhile Israeli forces reportedly killed a member of the Palestinian militant group, Islamic Jihad, in the West Bank.

The man, Mahmud Nazal, was shot dead as he was driving his car near the town of Jenin, Palestinian hospital officials said.

Story from BBC NEWS:

This is what happens when you move into the "wrong side of town." You're a mark for every hustler, con-artist and pick-pocket in the neighborhood. And you know what happens when you walk through the doors of the local Peace Deal Showroom. They have got you where they want you - on their turf, where, unless you can get up and walk out, you will drive away in a new 2008 model.

I don't trust the Palestinians or their neighboring accomplices. I also don't have any confidence in the Olmert government. I think they will find a way to do the wrong thing. Everyone is rushing to beef up Fatah which we used to call the Palestinian Authority and before that knew as the Palestinian Liberation Organization, (Arafat's terrorist organization).

Israel has offered to release 250 of the 10,000 Palestinian prisoners that they hold. Already a Fatah spokesman has said "That's not enough."

Eventually, you have to break bread with someone you rather not and if you're a weakling or an idiot like Olmert, you'll get in the wrong bed. The Israelis are making a mistake here although I'm sure they're being pressured into it. The Saudis, Egypt and Jordan see the Muslim Brotherhood as a threat and since Hamas is a MB organization threatening the Palestinian government, everyone's ready to work for peace. Personally, if Hamas would only "let go" of their idea about annihilating Israel, I would prefer them to the proven corrupt and contemptible Fatah/PLO. But even that would be a mistake because the Islamists can't accept half a loaf. Eventually they're going to go too far with the Islamic law thing and cross the line into a form of religious fascism. Israel shouldn't have to choose between a bunch of pirates on one hand and religious nuts on the other. They've built their wall/fence, Israel should stay out of the Palestinian/Arab/Islam mess.

As far as the 2008 peace models go, Olmert should just make sure that Israel can afford the monthlies because they'll still be making those long after the new deal thrill is gone.


  1. The Israeli have got themselves between a rock and the Med, no doubt about that.

    Mr Olmert telling Israeli citizens that the IDF is to thin to protect them. Not enough resources.

    He also said the Golan is up for bids.

    Hope it all works out for them, being that Israel is the Standard of "Peace and Prosperity" for the Iraqi and the Region to aspire to.
    Same as Basra is regarded.

    Bet merry ole' King Saud choked on his tea, when he heard that, aye.

    All the aspects of Baker-Hamilton, with none of the positive spin.
    Dimmer than dumb.

  2. Two interesting pieces out this morning concerning the Iraqi situation.
    One in the NYTimes tells of the White House coming to terms with a troop drawdown in Iraq.
    Coming under pressure, the NYTimes is already portraying any change in course as coming due to political pressure. It will be painted as a retreat under pressure, a fiasco.

    Robert Novak tells US that the White House was stunned, stunned, by Mr Lugar and Mr Dominici leaving the reservation. Just stunned.

    That Mr Hadley's recent trip to meet with GOP Senators a clear indication that the White House does not understand the depth of discontent, on the Hill or in the Heartland.

    The phraseology of Mr Bush "getting ahead of the train", being seen more frequently. Getting ahead of the train would have been employing the "Surge" with an assumation of success, and declaring the "End Game" in a Treaty with the Iraqi Government.
    The Senate then voting that Treaty up or down.

    A debate and vote that the President and the US could have won. Instead we will be handed another post-WWII defeat.

    With the Mr Novack reporting that the blame for the failure falling upon the US military, in April of '08, and rightfully so.

    It'll have been five years without a conclusive political victory, the military professionals will bear the responsibility for misusinng their authority and funding, while not providing a "Win". They've had the ball.

    Both stories can be linke to via the home page of RealClearPolitics.

  3. westhawk, writing under the nom de plum Robert Haddick asks the very real question "Will America Stand By While Chaos Swirls?", at TCS Daily

  4. Over at the NRO Michael Baron writes Unfriendly and Potentially Dangerous
    Russia and China, two troublesome powers.

    Which draws an interesting comparison between the Instititional Revolution of the United Mexican States and Russia, post-Putin.

    The Russian political system has come to resemble the political system of Mexico from 1929 to 2000, which was something of an absolute monarchy, with term limits. The candidate of the ruling PRI was always elected president, the legislature was a rubber stamp, and the incumbent president chose his successor. How this worked in practice is the subject of Perpetuating Power: How Mexican Presidents Were Chosen, a fascinating book by former Mexican foreign minister Jorge Castaneda. He interviewed four Mexican presidents, who discussed frankly how they had been selected by their predecessors and how they, in turn, chose their successors. Only someone as well connected as Castaneda, who grew up as part of the PRI elite (his father was also foreign minister) could have elicited the almost Shakespearean accounts.

    A very enlightening perspective, into the Mexican States recent history. Broad correlations to other aspects of the comparison can easily come to mind. Oil fuelsd socialism, cultural modification through consumerism, etc.

    With regards opening the US military to foreign recruits on a greater scale, this is the title to the piece of entry level work being done on the process.

    Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP).

    an Empire of Democracies requires legionnaires

  5. When the high cost of US labor begins to hamper the Legions ability to maintain order abroad, well we better find some low cost labor, post-modern legionnaires.

    When the Iraqi security at the "Green Zone" in Baghdad was breached it was Peruvian legionnaires that were called in to secure the perimeter, not US troops.

    Soon we'll hear of a combined USA/UMS Joint Security Command.

    It'll be part of the next Comprehensive Plan, as there were already Joint Operating Committees within the SPP.

  6. Ms Mona Charen, at the NRO, also makes the case for expanding the US military with foreign labor, though she may not even realize it.

    What then of Jefferson? The greatest benefit of immigration by far is not what it does for the immigrant (though that is huge) but what it does for America — assuring a steady stream of newcomers who do not take the blessings of liberty for granted but cherish them. Many opponents of immigration are worried about diluting our culture. I’m far more worried about the hollowing out from within. We scarcely teach our own children to love America, far less inculcate patriotism in immigrants.

    If I were writing the law all by myself, I’d increase the legal-immigration levels, beef up border enforcement, establish a national ID card so that we could really know who is here, and reform welfare so that only those who truly want to work would be tempted to immigrate. I’d also reform education to convey the greatness of this nation (warts and all). So here I am, in the awkward middle.

    What better instiller of National Pride than a stint in the Armed Forces?

    Look how it Americanized the Irish, coming off the boats and on to the front, securing the Federals manpower superiority during Mr Lincoln's War of Northern Aggression.

  7. Soldiers of North Ameica United.

    Kinda sounds like a soccer team, be a big hit amongst the southern youth.

    100,000 recruits annually, easy.
    Half pay, no benefits for 1 year of Basic training and english language school.
    Then four or six year standard enlistment.

  8. Bet we could average down military payroll costs, as well.
    That is the trend in free market America, so it stands to reason US Military payrolls could stagnate, or even show modest real delines, as the new market labor forces are opened to it.
    More boots for the buck.

    Greater service through lower costs, the trademark of a global labor market.

    Look at that map the Pentagon is using, doug could reference the name, or whit, perhaps. North America is a contigous unit, not subdivided by internal borders.