“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."

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Chinese Erosion of US Security

One of the many little things stolen by the Chinese. Read the names of the Chinese spies identified and captured. Not too many O'Briens and Williams. Perhaps if they look like there may be some bok choy in their fridge they should not be in atomic weapons research labs.

There is substantial concern,” Mr. Mueller said. “China is stealing our secrets in an effort to leap ahead in terms of its military technology, but also the economic capability of China. It is a substantial threat that we are addressing in the sense of building our program to address this threat.

FBI calls Chinese espionage 'substantial'
By Bill Gertz, Washington Times
July 27, 2007

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said yesterday that Chinese intelligence operations against the United States are a major problem and that the FBI is stepping up counterespionage efforts against them.

Mr. Mueller was asked during a House Judiciary Committee hearing about growing Chinese espionage activities.

“There is substantial concern,” Mr. Mueller said. “China is stealing our secrets in an effort to leap ahead in terms of its military technology, but also the economic capability of China. It is a substantial threat that we are addressing in the sense of building our program to address this threat.”

He declined to elaborate but said he would be willing to disclose more in a closed-door meeting.

The FBI and other counterintelligence agencies are hiring more agents and analysts who specialize in Chinese affairs to deal with the threat, U.S. officials said.

The FBI in San Francisco last month ran advertisements in three Chinese-language newspapers, asking for help from Chinese Americans to provide information about “illicit activities,” presumably by Chinese intelligence operatives.

Several recent Chinese spy cases highlight the problem of Beijing's spying, including the case of Los Angeles businesswoman Katrina Leung, a longtime informant for the FBI who was later accused of secretly working for China's intelligence service, the Ministry of State Security.

Another Chinese spy ring was recently highlighted by the case of Chinese-born defense contractor Chi Mak, who was convicted of passing embargoed U.S. defense technology to China. Several of his relatives also were linked to the compromise of U.S. Navy technology to China.

Noshir Gowadia, a Hawaii-based defense consultant, also was indicted last year on charges of selling classified B-2 bomber and other weapons technology to China. He also was charged with helping Chinese missile designers build a stealth cruise missile. He pleaded not guilty.

Joel Brenner, the director of national counterintelligence, said in an interview in March that China's theft of technology from the United States is a serious problem and that Beijing is “eating our lunch” in terms of compromised know-how.

Chinese spies are “very aggressive” in obtaining technology, often before it is fully developed by U.S. researchers, Mr. Brenner said.

Michelle Van Cleave, a former national counterintelligence executive, said in a recent defense report that Chinese spies are among “the world's most effective” and include civilian and military spies who have “a global reach.”

Recent Chinese espionage successes include design information on all of the most advanced U.S. nuclear weapons, U.S. missile design and guidance technology, electromagnetic weapons and space-launch capabilities, Miss Van Cleave stated.

China also succeeded in frustrating U.S. intelligence-gathering and counterintelligence against China through Leung, Mr. Brenner said.

China's government denies that it engaged in intelligence-gathering against the United States.


  1. raymondshaw made an interesting point that the US consumes 20 million barrels of petroleum product, daily.

    The AIE reports imports of 28 million barrels per day, while the US itself produces a tad over 5 million barrels per day.

    So there seems to be supply of 32 million barrels, with consumption of 20.

    Where oh where do the 12 million barrels, 168 million gallons a day, excess supply go?

    It is more than a clerical error.

  2. From someone, I heard that when the US is looking for something on a beach they will send one or two men with electronic detectors. The Chinese send one or two thousand men with rakes.

    I have a theory that the Chinese have positioned literally thousands of spies, potential spies and political operatives among us. I am talking about everyone from restauranteurs like Johnny Chung to the Engineer in the cubicle next door. They may not all be actively spying but are available.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    Actually, it seems to have been a clerical error.
    Indeed, when added again, the imports came to 11,242,000 barrels per day of petroleum product imported, YTD.
    Far from 28 million I came to yesterday.

    In addition to the 5.2 million barrels of US production, for aprox 16.5 million barrels per day.

    With consumption reported at 20 million barrels.

    A 3.5 million barrel per day shortfall.

    Making Hugo's 1,353,000 barrels per day all the more important. It will be gone from US refineries in two years, maybe three.

    Regardless of whether or not the US nationalizes Citgo, in retaliation for Hugo nationalizing Oil Company properties in Venezuela.

  5. A better indicator than Bok Choi, at least in Hawaii, where there is quite a bit of it distributed in refrigerators around the state, are telltale signs like the roof of a house in the shape of the B-2!
    Someday I'll have to google around and find enough info to see what it looks like from space.

    Jed Babbin thinks Iraq is hopeless as long as Syria and Iran supply lines are held inviolate.
    Good thing our New-Age We are the World President knows better, just as some here know better than to take the Islamist threat seriously.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. The Chinese are desperate to realize parity with the US. They want to get to the moon, duplicate the US-Taiwan irritant in the Americas, put up an alternate currency, and match our navy. They value parity as much as we value superiority. One of us has to lose our goal.

  8. Damn DR, we are alll used to the spelling, don't do it to us withe rithmetic.

  9. So there seems to be supply of 32 million barrels, with consumption of 20.

    Where oh where do the 12 million barrels, 168 million gallons a day, excess supply go?

    It is more than a clerical error.

    1 barrel = 42 gallons.
    12 million barrels = 504 million gallons, not 168.

  10. ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (Associated Press) -- Hundreds of religious students clashed with police and occupied Islamabad's Red Mosque during its reopening Friday, demanding the return of a pro-Taliban cleric two weeks after an army raid to oust Islamic militants from the complex left more than 100 people dead.

    Protesters threw stones at an armored personnel carrier and dozens of police in riot gear on a road outside the mosque. After the demonstrators disregarded calls to disperse peacefully, police fired tear gas, scattering the crowd.

    Earlier, security forces stood by as protesters clambered onto the roof of the mosque and daubed red paint on the walls after forcing a government-appointed cleric assigned to lead prayers to retreat.

    The protesters demanded the return of the mosque's pro-Taliban former chief cleric, Abdul Aziz _ who is being detained by the government _ and shouted slogans against President Gen. Pervez Musharraf. Later, a cleric from a seminary associated with the mosque led the prayers.

  11. The existental threat to Israel is its' occupation of the West Bank, according to this "in the know" Israeli, Vice-premier Haim Ramon.

    JERUSALEM (Associated Press) -- One of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's closest confidants said Friday that Israel should withdraw from "most" of the West Bank in a negotiated deal with the Palestinians and that a previous plan for a major unilateral pullback was no longer viable.

    Vice-premier Haim Ramon, one of the politicians closest to Olmert, told Israel Radio that he favored reducing the Israeli presence in the West Bank to the "large settlement blocs" and that NATO forces could replace Israeli troops in the areas evacuated.

    "In my eyes, the occupation of the territories threatens our very existence, our legitimacy and our international standing," Ramon said in the radio interview.

    The major blocs are in the northern and southern parts of the West Bank and to the east of Jerusalem. According to settlement watchdog Peace Now, more than 100,000 of the approximately 260,000 West Bank settlers live in these three clusters.

  12. BRISBANE, Australia (Associated Press) -- An Indian doctor was freed from custody after Australia's chief prosecutor said Friday that a charge linking him to failed terrorist bombings in Britain was a mistake.

    Prosecutors withdrew the charge against Mohamed Haneef in the Brisbane Magistrates Court after a review of the evidence by the federal Director of Public Prosecutions Damian Bugg found that his office should never have recommended it.

    "Mistakes are embarrassing. You're embarrassed if you do something wrong," Bugg told reporters in Canberra. "I'm disappointed that it's happened and I will first thing next week try and obtain a better understanding of how it came about."

    The government responded by saying Haneef, 27, would be freed from custody while Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews considers whether he will change his decision to revoke the doctor's visa.

  13. Birdwatching in Baqubah
    Kinder, Gentler,
    Thousand Points of Light,
    End of History,
    Pray for Nuclear War!

  14. I left out
    No victory,
    no problem,
    just spend some more bucks, blood, sweat, and tears.
    ...U.S. blood only, if possible, of course.
    (treasure, sweat, tears, and self-respect is understood to be a given)
    The long non-war "marches" on.

  15. While the TOC dithers, the Insurgents scamper through their escape tunnels, and fade into the population.

    The inaccurate indirect fire, here, there, anywhere.
    Not a good sign.

    Another decade or so, then we may see some real progress, politically, in Iraq.

    The NYTimes had a piece concerning the Sauds and their antiCoalition activities in Iraq.
    But we all know that.

  16. That woman lawyer in the article I put up yesterday, who defends illegal aliens through a U of Idaho Law School Program, had one client, a Chinese, who was in trouble with the People's Republic, for having fathered one too many peoples:) He had fathered more than the allowed one child per couple, thereby demonstrating his lack of social responsibility, and getting himself in hot tea back home. It was a long article, and I cut that part out. Anyway, he's here now, of course. It's an odd law from our point of view, perhaps, but you know the old saying, 'one billion chinee cannot allbewong'...He can easily find employment here as a spy, hoping to get back in the good tea with his govmint back home, and father kids to his heart's content here, too. And we get to feel self righteous. Everybody's a winner, particularily the new Chinese- American kids.

  17. "Good thing our New-Age We are the World President knows better, just as some here know better than to take the Islamist threat seriously."

    Thus proving my point, Doug. Rhetorical threat inflation has lead us to the point where one simply cannot be "serious" about the Islamist threat unless one describes it in the most dramatic and hyperbolic terms. It's a veritable industry, Doug, in which that which is shunned is any straightforward presentation of any particular menace.

    Why do you think nahncee believes that we are now presented with a choice between dhimmitude and genocide? Why do you think whiskey_199 largely agrees? Why do you think Wu Wei ACTUALLY believed that we are in imminent danger from the Islamic horde?

    A little common sense and a little skepticism can go a long way, Doug.

    Did Jed Babbin suggest sending troops into Syria and Iran to physically hold the ground through which supply lines run?

  18. Eric Martin, at, has a very well-written piece, Exactly Where We Are, at the Centre For Holy Wars:

    While the Bush administration's foreign policy in the Middle East has frequently suffered from bouts of gross incompetence and conceptual incoherence (or is it brief periods of remission from such chronic conditions?), the attempt to gloss over the fundamental paradox of empowering an Iran-friendly, Shiite dominated government in Iraq, while simultaneously attempting to contain Iranian power, deserves a seat at the head of the table. It was as if none of the "vulcans" or other foreign policy luminaries populating the upper echelons of the Bush administration stopped to consider the role that Saddam played as a check on Iranian hegemony (that being one of the reasons that we supported Saddam with money, arms and equipment back in the days of that black and white, moral stalwart, Ronald Reagan).

    And so the Bush team was left scrambling to resurrect SADDAM (Sunni Arab-Dominated Dictatorships Against the Mullahs) in the aftermath of the war - by seeking to weave together the various Sunni based dictatorships as a dubiously termed "moderate" counterbalance to Iran. Funny thing happened on the way to re-animate Frankenssein though: the Sunni leaders and their American counterparts couldn't resolve the fact that the Americans wanted to defend, empower and further entrench the Iranian-leaning Iraqi government, while the Sunnis wanted to tear it down. The Sunni regimes have a point: How do you counterbalance Iran while simultaneously serving as their proxy military force in Iraq?

    With this tension as yet unresolved, it was interesting to see that the US may be leaning the other way now on the sectarian see-saw, as news broke earlier this week of a tentative security agreement between Iran and the US centered around combating Sunni al-Qaeda elements in Iraq. I can't imagine that this revelation has made the artists formerly courted for SADDAM particularly enamored of the Bush administration. The New York Times weighs in on some of the machinations (and provides further indications of a rift forming between the Saudis and the Bush administration centered around these issues):

    During a high-level meeting in Riyadh in January, Saudi officials confronted a top American envoy with documents that seemed to suggest that Iraq’s prime minister could not be trusted.

    One purported to be an early alert from the prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, to the radical Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr warning him to lie low during the coming American troop increase, which was aimed in part at Mr. Sadr’s militia. Another document purported to offer proof that Mr. Maliki was an agent of Iran.

    The American envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, immediately protested to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, contending that the documents were forged. But, said administration officials who provided an account of the exchange, the Saudis remained skeptical, adding to the deep rift between America’s most powerful Sunni Arab ally, Saudi Arabia, and its Shiite-run neighbor, Iraq.

    Now, Bush administration officials are voicing increasing anger at what they say has been Saudi Arabia’s counterproductive role in the Iraq war. They say that beyond regarding Mr. Maliki as an Iranian agent, the Saudis have offered financial support to Sunni groups in Iraq. Of an estimated 60 to 80 foreign fighters who enter Iraq each month, American military and intelligence officials say that nearly half are coming from Saudi Arabia and that the Saudis have not done enough to stem the flow.

    One senior administration official says he has seen evidence that Saudi Arabia is providing financial support to opponents of Mr. Maliki. He declined to say whether that support was going to Sunni insurgents because, he said, “That would get into disagreements over who is an insurgent and who is not.”

    That quote is so emblematic of the semantical games played with respect to the war in Iraq, and the "War on Terror," where depending on your usefulness/friendliness to US interests you can either be terrorist or freedom fighter, despot or moderate. But that is a subject unto itself. Back to the regularly scheduled program:

    The accounts of American concerns came from interviews with several senior administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they believed that openly criticizing Saudi Arabia would further alienate the Saudi royal family at a time when the United States is still trying to enlist Saudi support for Mr. Maliki and the Iraqi government, and for other American foreign policy goals in the Middle East, including an Arab-Israeli peace plan.

    The Bush administration’s frustration with the Saudi government has increased in recent months because it appears that Saudi Arabia has stepped up efforts to undermine the Maliki government and to pursue a different course in Iraq from what the administration has charted. Saudi Arabia has also stymied a number of other American foreign policy initiatives, including a hoped-for Saudi embrace of Israel. [emphasis added throughout]

    So, to summarize, the formidable foreign policy braintrust housed in the Bush administration not only got flat-footed by the discovery: (a) that Iraqi Shiite groups exiled in Iran during much of the 1990s actually had ties to...Iran; (b) that with an ascendant, majority Shiite population (and with powerful clerical leader in Sistani), such Iran friendly parties would come to power democratically post-Saddam; (c) that an Iranian friendly government in Iraq (supported by the US military) would be one of the central points of contention for a potential Sunni coalition formed for the purpose of countering Iran; but, alas, also (d) that the Sunni coalition might find it difficult to cooperate and ally with Israel while conditions for the Palestinian people remain so dire.

    They truly are the trigger happy gang that couldn't shoot straight.

  19. To paraphrase Michael Scheuer: The point at which you find yourself taking fire from both sides, neither of which are serving your interests, is the point at which it's time to go home and let them kill one another.

  20. aw c'mon Trish, enough of this hard nosed analysis and rational stuff! Let's get back to something easier to wrap one's head around like "Islam is the problem" and "Nuke Iran". It feels soooo much better to have a simple solutions to problems...

  21. Hawaii Moves Toward Second ‘Ethnic' Government

    The Akaka bill that never dies. trouble is if it gets through congress and is signed into law--it spells the death knell of the union.

  22. Trish,

    Congrats on the new puppy, pepe la peu. Hope you get it house trained.

  23. Contra-Trish Always another side to an argument.
    I read there are eight(8) Jews in Iraq. Not knowing if it is true or not, but assuming it is, it would be great to see the Israelis slip in and get them out from where they are hiding.

  24. Why, bob, that fellow sounds the clarion call, same as I've been blowing for years. How do we win the propaganda war, which is the one we are losing, biggest time.

    The problem in Iraq is a political one, but when the only instrument the Federals has that plays a recognizable tune is the military, every problem tends to look like a war.

    But then the soldiers discover that war is not the answer to the problem. Political reconcilitation is, but that decades, perhaps a century, will be required, not to "win" those minds, but to change them.

    Give Peace a Chance!

  25. From my understanding many are moving north to safety in Kurdistan.

  26. Perhaps a better strategy is to make Mosul part of Kurdistan.

  27. Mat--when you say 'many are moving north to safety in Kurdistan'--to whom are you referring?

    Many seems more than 8, so my article must have been haywire.

    I should shut up if I don't know what I am talking about.

  28. I want to hire Desert Rat to be the public relations officer on all the great things to come, if we just introduce wolves back into Idaho:)

  29. I was reading Robert Tracinski long before the war, bob. He's an Ayn Rand acolyte and Objectivist, a philosopher/writer by trade.

    What Tracinski doesn't say, because he fails to recognize it, is that Iraq was an anomaly - a one-off, as its been put. It will not be done again. It is recognized as a blunder, a bad idea, by the administration. Not only are we physically incapable (literally. physically. incapable.) of doing it in Iran, we don't want to do it in Iran. The next administration, whoever that may be, will not be endeavoring to carry out OIF II. As a simple matter of practical limits.

    What the administration is thinking of is a Solidarnosk-type Iranian transformation - one which the Iranian people pursue and claim as their own creature. And they recognize it will not be accomplished within the time frame of their own administration.

    It might come as a surprise to those Iranians (and many others as well) to hear from Tracinski that Iran is a dictatorship. But like I said, he's a philosopher who's taken up foreign policy.

  30. Bob,

    Vatican Radio says the number in the thousands. You might want to confirm this with other sources.

  31. "It feels soooo much better to have a simple solutions to problems..."

    I'm all for simple solutions. As long as they're not also, you know, senile. Simple and senile I have problems with.

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. Christian in Iraqi Kurdistan

    Ainkawa, a Christian town in Iraqi Kurdistan on the outskirts of Erbil, is filling quickly with Christians fleeing the violence of Arab-controlled Iraq. There are roughly 10,000 displaced Iraqi Christians in Ainkawa, a town of about 25,000 people. Real estate prices are soaring, houses are packed with extra familiy members and friends, and the town is probably the only place in Iraq where new churches are actually being built rather than bombed

  34. bob, are we for or agin' it?

    Easier to be against, after they're in place and an infant or child is taken down by a rouge or, even better, a pack.

    The pro-reclaimation is easier going in, 'cause everyone love nayure, and getting back to it.

    As long as they do not have to leave their car.

    We have it goin' on with the wild horse herd, the city slickers want to use them as part of a fund raising scheme. but don't really care much about the horses. Not enough to take a couple of days to see them..

  35. Over at the BC Mr Gates is quoted, telling a tale from Iraq.

    "... Then there is an Army staff sergeant, a field artillery radar specialist, who was elected a sheik by Iraqi village elders for his work in their communities. He was given white robes, five sheep, and some land; he was advised to take a second wife – ..."

    US troops goin' native, not being honest brokers, but taking sides in internal Iraqi politics, a true sign of an Occupier, not a Liberator.

    Just what Mr Maliki's advisors had reported as their greatest fear, US troops being set in place as local Sheiks. Mr Gates may see some humor in the story, but it is another inspiring tale of US strategic defeat. Told by the Sec of Def, US troops running local populations, rather than Iraqis stepping up.
    That E6 should be transfered, or extended in Theater until his retirement, what ten years or so from now.
    Which career path assigned, depending on the real Goals the US has in mind for Iraq ...

  36. While at westhawk Mr Gates is quoted from the WaPo:

    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said he is personally engaged in developing contingency plans for a drawdown of U.S. troops from Iraq and emphasized that those efforts constitute a "priority" for the Pentagon.

    "Such planning is indeed taking place with my active involvement as well as that of senior military and civilian officials and our commanders in the field," Gates said in a letter to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). Such preparation for a troop reduction, he said, "is not only appropriate, but essential."
    He went further in his new letter, saying that he would be "pleased to work with you and the Senate Armed Services Committee to establish a process to keep you apprised of the conceptual thinking, factors, considerations, questions and objectives associated with drawdown planning."

    The secretary added: "I truly regret that this important discussion went astray and I also regret any misunderstanding of intention."

    westhawk's take on the short term effect, is one I have to agree with

    The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold an open hearing on the matter next Thursday. Senator Clinton and other presidential candidates hope to draw media attention as they interrogate their new bogeymen, Undersecretary Edelman and General Pace.

  37. Mat--in the thousands?--confirm that--this old boy out here in Idaho has got to know what he is talking about--bob

  38. trish wrote:

    "I'm all for simple solutions. As long as they're not also, you know, senile. Simple and senile I have problems with"

    Trish, your are a GEM!! aye, ELEGANCE is the central idea of Science, but ya, simple and senile just doesn't cut it.

    DR, that link of Bobal's, real clear poly, your tongue is lodged frimly in your cheek you write "Why, bob, that fellow sounds the clarion call, same as I've been blowing for years. How do we win the propaganda war, which is the one we are losing, biggest time."

    Lordy, I hope so, 'cause there is a reality on the ground and winning the propa war means shit when confronted with that reality.

    Mats, ole boy, if you didn't live in Thornhill Canada I'd swear you were a local Middle Easter. You seem to instinctively latch onto anything that supports your side; the Israelis. You don't give a sh*t for what's good for 'merica )or Canada for that matter) only what's good for Israel.

  39. *hic* just gotta luv a argoooment in a bar ;)

  40. That is really embarrassing, Ash. I aked Mat a simple question. You don't have the answer, you are an embarrassment.

    You are a Candian/American--an embarrassment.

    I am gald I am not related to you.

  41. bobal, I'm not sure what got your hackles up but I'm in no way trying trying to answer for Mats.

    Mats does have a pretty easily defined POV though.

  42. Ash, I am just a farmer, but a shit like you, wants me to suck my mommas tits. Really.

  43. You make me want to suck your mamma's tits, Ash.

    With your eveything is wrong with America, the land of your birth, you snotty piece of crap.

  44. You just flee, Ash, that is best for you. Don't ever plant another crop, and vote.

  45. bobal,

    sucking at your momma's teats when you are young is a good thing - bolster the immune system yada yada.

    That article you linked to counter Trish's Shauer article (i'm at the bar so, no, I'm not going to make sure I spell or refernce right) from Real Clear Politics, is just a load of hooooey. The author basically said that "lordy, we can't admit defeat" because.....duh, "that'll embolden the enemy - better we deny it and hope the enemy doesn't notice" It's a load of crap and an argument not worth waging lives upon.

  46. You've fled, Ash. You are not a part of us anymore. You are a Canadian.

  47. bobal, you don't understand me very well...No, not everything is wrong with America, but sheeesh, the last 6 years or so have really, really sucked. I've been spouting about it for...gee about 6 years now (aye, longer, I was lacing into US politics, specifically, over the blather spewed in the "debates" in the run up to the Gore vs. Bush election.

    Anyway...there are serious...***SERIOUS*** problems both with the US electoral system and the popular view of what is right. Ron Paul, and, god forbid, Ralph Nadar, have both expressed views that are more coherent and more realistic then any of their rivals - do you now get a drift of the serious nature of the problem? Those two are considered wackos!!!

  48. Bob,

    Google: "thousands christians kurdistan"

  49. residing just north of the border has allowed me a certain perspective Bobal, a little bit of distance. It is what it is. Mats lives up here as well, so? I'm an American, he isn't... again, so? In the world of ideas geographic location means squat. Citizenship, however, counts in the vote.

  50. Bob,

    Ash was never an American. The sooner that's understood the better.

  51. "His attention focused on just this one matter, will Mr. Gates be able to exercise any control over U.S. policy in Iraq?"

    After the tardy political sacrifice made of Rumsfeld, Gates was brought in to smooth ruffled feathers - as was Powell years ago at State. That appears to me still to be his chief function as fourth-quarter substitute. Policy-wise, it's yessir, yessir, six bags full. In the end, Gates will have been a non-factor at DOD.

  52. Really, ash, you misunderstand the US, even if you are a citizen.

    The plight of the average Iraqi makes no matter, at all, to US.

    Nor the Cambodian, Darfurian or Rawandan. A few crocidille tears and some words of sympathy for the dear departed. The US went to Iraq to make sure no WMDs were transfered to terrorists by Saddam. Deed done.

    To help the emergance of a democratic government. Deed done.

    There is a level of civil violence in Iraq that some US citixens would find oppressive to the General Welfare, but few if any US citizens visit. let alone live in Iraq.
    Basra is a success, do too is Ramadi, now. Kurdistan was awarded its' de facto independence, just the other day.
    The US casualty rates are so low, as to easily costutute a claim of Victory, as we leave Iraq to the Iraqi.

  53. heheheeee, DR if only what you wrote was perceived as true...

    damn your tongue in cheek must be sore...

    OIL, aye, that seems to be the elephant in the room...

  54. It's not even the oil, ash.
    They don't produce enough of it to be worth all the trouble.
    Now, it's just about pride and arrogance, with a tad bit of hubris thrown in for good measure.

    Future oil values?
    Negligable at best.

    as with or without an US occupation the "new" fields are decades away, at best.

    Where the fields already exist, outside the Shia homeland, Kikurk, the Civil War is about to go off, fully cocked. Why do think the Turks are massed on the border?

    The Turkomen of Kirkurk are a good excuse to act in a humanitarian manner, as they raze those Kurdish towns and hamlets.

    Defeat or Victory, it is all in the spin, as everyone knows that reality is teally quite relative.

    Go with the post modern flow, it's smoooooth.

  55. Ash,

    How is it that the Harper government hasn't caused you to migrate back to one of the 50 plus Islamic countries that make up the OIC?

  56. This comment has been removed by the author.

  57. Btw Ash,

    I never hid my Israeli nationality, or my place of residence, or my occupation, nor my anti religious world view, nor my pro Israeli advocacy, nor my pro Americanism, nor my anti Jihadi and anti Arab views, nor my anti Kanukistani views, nor my hatred of Leftist self-absorbed scum.

    I'm in Canada because my parents cannot absorb the hot climate of Israel. We're originally from Lithuania, which has a very similar climate. Fortunately, I work in a profession that allows me great financial freedom and therefore the luxury to spend my time close to my parents. I just bought a condo for my younger brother, so he too can be near the parents whenever he's not traveling.

  58. Mat--are you kidding me? You are in Canada? Tell me where the good spots are....let us talk about this more...bob

  59. I don't think all is bad with America. I think it is disgusting to say that, or imply it, with ones comments. I think it is a great country, taken all in all. We have our disagrements, for sure. but it is a big country, and offers a lot of freedom to a hell of a lot of folks, is what I think, and what I have seen.

  60. Bob,

    If I could I'd move my parents to the States. I already tried to give it a go. Even after full accreditation, the visa requirement stipulated that I work in an economically depressed area, for a fraction of what I'd normally be earning. It wasn't a financially feasible option.

  61. I was never afraid of the police. I never saw a concentration camp. I saw court house after courthouse, and free people everywhere, from Idaho to Ohio to the Dakotas and Montana and back. A really great country..

  62. Bob,

    Up north near Kingston there's a place called 'a thousand islands'. These islands are made of granite rock and are covered with beautiful pine trees. Well worth checking out.

  63. There was this commander, ash, that would come in every morning, take a deep breath and look around, and exclaim, "Ah, it's a good day to be in the United States Army!"

    It's always a good day to be an American, ash.


  64. Sounds like a salad dressing, Mat. In a couple of weeks, we are going to Vancouve, B.C. Have never been there, we are going around the big island.

  65. Vancouver, I know how to spell that.

  66. One of a thousand islands:

  67. Bob,

    I never been to Vancouver, but my brother says it's very nice.

  68. Here's another pic:

  69. Mat--all I've got is these damned little carmeras from Wal-Mart--if I can get a digital, I'll try to download a couple.

  70. Mat-contact the U of I Law School, if you want to come here:) Honestly, if you want to come here, I'd try to help you out. I know nothing about the procedure however. known quantity, and no criminal record!

  71. Thanks, Bob. Much appreciated. But my soul belongs in Israel, and after this Canadian episode, that's where I'm headed.

  72. Bob, said it before , say it again I really enjoy your perspective, observations, impressions and the vignettes of your life. I am certain all the other EBeers do as well.

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  75. Deuce,

    I'd like to second that. Bob reminds me of a good friend who used to frequent one of our old establishments. He too is a farmer. He too has a wise, kind, and humble manner, that has impressed me deeply, and I hope will one day reform my naturally combative soul and retract them ram horns I was born with.