“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."

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Let's Kill Waziristan

The free pass given to al Qaeda in Western Pakistan is proving to be an expensive ticket. I realize that Waziristan has a special relationship with everyone in the region and their sensibilities are such that they require treatment in a culturally sensitive manner, however all things being equal, I think it is past time for us to start killing them anyway, just to show we care. Besides, I find those turbans particularly irritating.

41 killed in Pakistan attacks
AP Independent
Published: 19 July 2007

Militants bombed a Pakistan army convoy then hit it with gunfire, killing 17 soldiers and continuing a wave of violence that has seen 41 deaths in the past few days.

At least five suspected militants also died in clashes with security forces in North Waziristan, a Taliban and al-Qa'ida stronghold on the Afghan border where a disputed peace deal has collapsed and Pakistani troops have moved in.

Today, a suicide car bomber attacked a police academy in another frontier area in the north-west, killing up to six people, officials said.

Academy chief Attaullah Wazir said the blast in the town of Hangu, 45 miles south-west of Peshawar, killed two policemen. However, an official at Hangu's hospital, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said five policemen and one passer-by had died.

In southern Pakistan, assailants detonated a bomb and fired on a convoy carrying Chinese workers near the port city of Karachi, police said. At least 13 Pakistanis were killed and 30 others were injured, but none of the Chinese was hurt.

The dead included police guards and civilians in the area. The motive was unclear.

Pakistan stepped up security for the estimated 2,000 to 3,000 Chinese nationals in the country after Beijing protested against the killing of three Chinese men in the north-western city of Peshawar.

The three are among more than 240 people killed this month in suicide attacks, bombings and shootings blamed on Islamic extremists and in a bloody army siege of radicals in Islamabad's Red Mosque.

President General Pervez Musharraf urged moderate Pakistanis, many of whom are pressing him to stand down and restore civilian rule, to help him take on the extremists. Still his military-led government today also challenged US claims that al-Qa'ida was regrouping near the Afghan frontier.

Adding to the tension, a suicide bomber killed 16 people on Tuesday at a rally for Pakistan's suspended chief justice, whose legal battle with Musharraf has galvanised opposition to military rule. A verdict in the case is expected as early as tomorrow.

Critics accuse Musharraf of leading the country toward civil war and using the crisis to shore up US support for his eight-year-old military regime. There is growing concern that this year's elections will be postponed.

However, Musharraf insisted yesterday that the vote would go ahead and dismissed speculation he would declare a state of emergency. He also claimed that al-Qa'ida was on the run.


  1. It's these entangling alliances that are killing us. In Pakistan, our friendship with Musharraf restrains us from bombing the "h-word" out of Waziristan. In Iraq, the white mans burden as occupier, prevents us from bombing that "h-word" hole to a cratered rubble. We need to have fewer friends, maybe then we could do what we need to work with the risk of interference.

    I am not cursing because an 80 year old man is being hounded because he let slip with the "n-word."

  2. AUSTIN, Texas (Associated Press) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry wants state pension funds to divest from companies doing business in Iran, similar to a move the funds are taking with companies tied to Sudan.

    The Republican governor said Wednesday he is trying to determine whether he could start divesting without legislative approval. If he can't, he said, he might call a special session.

    Begun with one, only 49 more to go, if the US is serious about applying "soft power", rather than "no power" as is the current situation, vis a vie Iran.

    Warizistan ... been like that since the Taliban tile in Afghanistan fell.

    Only US allies fall like dominos, it's enemies never seem to have that problem. Where as the foes have Goals and continue to pursue them, the US has only interests, which twist in the wind. Ever changing, ever evolving, but the distruction of aQ, not a Goal, just a short term interest, in 2003.

    Never fully accomplished, but now of low priority to the Federals. Not as important as establishing schools in Anbar, for the US sanctioned terrorists there to use as headquarters for their operations.

  3. The folks on the board of Roger Williams U must be a bunch of idiots, or at least some of them must be idiots, to cook up such a stew over an idle comment at a private board meeting. Haven't they ever heard of taking a man aside for a little private chat, show a little discretion? While it's a good thing to clean up the language the reaction's way out of proportion to the offense. Must be a bunch of damned knuckled-headed ollies on that board.

  4. It's just not the same as an indiscretion at an open public bar, which is unforgiveable. Remember, you folks were justly banned at the public library in Gallipolis, Ohio for some such offense, though I was never able to figure out just exactly what the offense was--but it was something, which is enough. Tut, tut.

  5. Damned right, bob.
    Offensive is as offensive does.

    That's the trouble, no one is willing to be truely offensive.

    Hell of a way to run a war.

  6. By the way, and solidly on this topic, when we went through Glacier National Park--don't ever do that during the tourist season--the info there was that the glaciers, which are receding, had begun to do so--and I can't remember the exact date that was mentioned--before humanity's heavy industrialization. We didn't see a lot of glaciers-one-but you can't see them from the road. We did see a mountain goat eating out of a trach can along the road though. Goats will be goats.:)

  7. "The free pass given to al Qaeda in Western Pakistan is proving to be an expensive ticket."

    For whom chiefly?

    We could, of course, bring the Big Show to Waziristan and thereby push M out of office.

    The PakMil would no longer take our target packages, so the job would have to have to be a thorough one on our part. Aside from the near impossibility of getting UN approval for any sustained effort (and don't bother telling me that we'll go without it, because we won't) there's the problem of Waziristan being a mere filter for al Qaeda, with individuals continuously on the move, in and out of any given town and village, as well as in and out of the Territories themselves. Precious few static targets.

    Our best bet for Waziristan is probably a Letter of Marque-type set up with some up-front funding, negotiable support and carefully delimited objectives. The rest would be cash on delivery. The US public doesn't like those arrangements - and it's debatable whether and how long it could be kept under wraps - but it'd be to everyone's benefit save the other guy's.

  8. "In heavily Hispanic southern Texas, where cultural and economic ties to Mexico run deep, local officials, business groups and environmentalists have spoken out against the wall as unnecessary and unwanted."
    Build the Wall NORTH of these communities, and let these patriotic residents of the Americas become part of the country to which they give their allegiance, and our tax dollars.

  9. They can elect Buddy Larsen Mayor
    Let them eat Humor.

  10. Turkey’s Election May Prove a Watershed
    In elections this Sunday, liberal Turks may turn their backs on the secular elite that they have long supported.

  11. I hate it when Trish comes along, rational and thoughtful, and steals all my visceral thunder.

  12. sure to clik on the link BELOW the picture to get the ENGLISH version of the ad.
    Then please tell us what the Hell you think is really going on:
    My guess is Sharia sneaking in under the cover of Multiculturalism, but what do I know?

  13. Somehow Bubba bombed as he pleased without UN Approval.
    W has simply screwed up so many options he's built us a suicide cell.

  14. If so, doug, the "Clash of Civilizations" is going very poorly, for our side.

    More pain, little gain.

    So much for the "soft power" of democracy winning the ""Clash" for US.

    By not recongnizing the Enemy, it is impossible to defeat it.

    Wouldn't want to encourage HATE, during a fight to the death. So we promote love and deny there is even such a fight, to the death.

    Seems reasonable, aye?

    Especially when seen from the White House

    "We're taking action against evil people. Because this great nation of many religions understands, our war is not against Islam, or against faith practiced by the Muslim people. Our war is a war against evil. This is clearly a case of good versus evil, and make no mistake about it -- good will prevail."

    Those 1920 Brigaders, now a force of "good", the Iraqi Army, evil.
    Just ask Col Pinkerton, he stands with and defends the 1920 Brigades against the "evil doers" of a Federal Iraq.

    Converted, while walking that thin line, 'tween "good and evil".
    Whats good is bad
    what's bad is good.

  15. Body In Jet's Nose Gear
    SFO mechanics inspecting plane after UAL's 12-hour flight from Shanghai find possible stowaway.

    Snakes sometimes survive the trip from Guam to Maui:
    So far they have managed to track them down so they have yet to establish themselves here.

  16. If this guy's an attorney, he's become the
    Unfrozen Cave Man Lawyer.

    "Other stowaways have narrowly survived the flight, including a man who survived a flight from Tahiti to Los Angeles in 2000, arriving with a body temperature of *79 degrees.*
    He was later repatriated to Tahiti, though a Cuban man who rode the wheel of a DC-10 to Montreal in 2002 was granted asylum.

  17. "Somehow Bubba bombed as he pleased without UN Approval."

    This administration has nowhere near the international comfort/confidence level of the last one. Weeks into OEF - that is, weeks after 9/11 - they were bowing to pressure to halt air strikes. And they aren't prepared to wrangle anew for Waziristan. Additionally, for whatever short term payoff, they'd be saying goodbye to the devil that they know in Islamabad.

    So bring on the mercenaries. If the shit hits the fan, we didn't know nuthin' 'bout it.

  18. Aha! It seems it may be a parasite getting to the missing Bees Colony Collapse Disorder mystery may be solved. Sounds like a cheap solution in sight too.

  19. You know damned well it's either Global Warming or mobile phone aerials, AlBob!
    ...if it is as that article says, why didn't they tell us WHAT the treatment is???

  20. Trish:
    What do you think that article about Turkey is saying?
    Opaque to me.

  21. Also,
    "The PakMil would no longer take our target packages"
    What's that mean in Civilian-Speak?

  22. Traitorous, lying SOB:
    The only proof that big time drug dealer was NOT armed is HIS WORD!
    ...AND there was NO coverup, because two Supervisors were on site at the time of the "shooting!"

    Gladly would have taken 8 more years of Bubba with the loyal GOP opposition vs this total loss of a POTUS.
    Bush Defends His Immigration Proposals

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- President Bush sharply challenged critics of his stalled immigration-overhaul efforts on Thursday, suggesting that failure to pass a guest-worker program could trigger a labor shortage in the United States.

    At a town-hall style meeting, Bush also rebuffed a question about whether he would consider pardoning two Border Patrol agents in prison for the cover-up of the shooting of a drug trafficker in Texas.

    ''No, I won't make you that promise,'' Bush told a woman who asked about a possible pardon. Many Republicans in Congress have said the men should not have been convicted and have criticized the federal U.S. attorney for even prosecuting the agents.

    ''I know it's an emotional issue but people need to look at the facts. These men were convicted by a jury of their peers after listening to the facts'' as presented by U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, said Bush. Bush called Sutton a friend.

  23. Bush "Justice:"
    ". Former agents Ignacio Ramos and Alonso Compean are serving 11- and 12-year federal prison sentences, respectively, for the 2005 shooting.

    Rule of law, my ass!
    No surprise Sutton is "a dear friend"
    Special kind of Texans, those.

    "''I'm not going to make that kind of promise in a forum like this, obviously,'' he said. ''I'm interested in facts. I know the prosecutor very well, Johnny Sutton. He's a dear friend of mine from Texas. He's a fair guy. He is an evenhanded guy and I can't imagine, well, you know. ...''"

    ...yeah, we know all too well!


    Border Justice: Journalism is supposed to be a quest for the truth and not a juggling of half-truths and assertions. It's one thing to be pro-immigrant, quite another to be anti-border security.


    Letting Our Guards Down
    To sweeten the deal, the feds paid for treatment of Aldrete-Davila's injured backside at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso. He showed his gratitude in breaking his immunity agreement by attempting to smuggle an additional 1,000 pounds of weed into the U.S. the following October.

    So what did the feds do? U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton extended his immunity to this second felony and then sealed the indictment for this crime from jurors. And what did Aldrete-Davila do? He promptly filed a $5 million lawsuit against the feds who twice granted him immunity.

    Compean says agents are well-trained when to use their weapons, and that firing their weapons was warranted in this case. "That's what we're trained to do — we see somebody armed — they're obviously not going to surrender, as what was stated in court, that he was trying to surrender and was simply trying to get home. That wasn't the case."

    For their efforts to defend their country and enforce its laws, Ramos and Compean will now find themselves incarcerated with the same illegal-alien drug smugglers and gang members they once pursued.

    Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila will not be among them. Five million dollars can get you a lot of marijuana to smuggle.

    Over Christmas, President ***Bush pardoned 16 criminals, including five drug dealers.***
    We know two dedicated agents who are at least as worthy. Such men, and women, risk their lives every day on our behalf. After all, compassion does not stop at the border.

  25. It's all about W's Cronies, no matter how corrupt or incompetent.

  26. Birds of a feather, of course:
    Bush is both corrupt and incompetent.

  27. Inherent in Turkey’s progress was a strange contradiction. The state excluded religion from public life, and looked down upon religious, traditional Turks as backward — yet when those people became more integrated in public life, it condemned them as enemies of the state.

    “Secular urban forces headed by the army look at these people as if they were aliens from outer space,” said Dogu Ergil, a sociology professor at Ankara University. “But they are the products of the very regime that left them out.”


    So Turkey gets to come to terms with its own long-derided religious underclass-no-more. I suppose you could read a dire scenario in it, but I don't. Somebody's gotta remove the stink from Turkish secularism, and whom else but Turkish Muslims could swing it?

  28. Both drunk and sober, Doug, clear as day and night. Makes the prescriptions for behavior eary to understand too; you can do anything you damn well please. Which fits the Seattle way of life. And death.

    You're right the bee writer didn't mention the cure, but it sounds like maybe a chemical fix, and good news.

    Still no snakes in Hawaii--I find that sort of hard to believe, considering the cargo coming in and out, but sure hope it lasts.

  29. Yeah, the Socialist State of Hawaii can keep out snakes after 40 years of Dem Control, but W keeps out neither terrorists nor child-molesters, nor drug dealers.
    Go Figure.
    Guam is overrun by "Tree Snakes," which are usually the ones that hitch a ride on a 757.
    They'd wipe out our remaining birds in no time if they took over here.

  30. Nelson Mandela, of ultimate moral authority (TM), proposes unelected global authority to be known as "The Elders," suggests Jimmy Carter and Kofi Annan as members.

    If only we could convince the Islamists that they're really all Jewish.

    What's the stink in Turkish secularism? It enabled the one semi-functional well-sized Islamic nation in the region? Turkish nationalism (Kurds and Armenians), aside.

  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. Re: Elders of Senility,

    Collect them all together and send them over the "Bridge to Nowhere", driven by Ted Kennedy in a clown car.

  33. Gen Musharraf is also scrambling to revive a peace pact with militants in north Waziristan which collapsed last weekend after local Taliban accused him of reneging on his promises. Yesterday a group of 30 tribal elders travelled to Waziristan to revive the deal.

    The Karachi stock exchange continued to slide, dropping 3.4%.

    Opposition forces led by Benazir Bhutto insist that the only solution to the crisis is Gen Musharraf's resignation followed by fair elections. But Ms Bhutto has also said she is ready to cut a power-sharing deal.

    Crisis Beset Musharraf

  34. I had the chance to shake hands at a reception with Mrs. Tutu, after a short talk she gave at our church here years ago, the Lutheran churches having some connection with southwest South Africa. She came across as an intelligent well spoken woman, very strong in all sorts of ways. Very colorful in African garb. Here's hoping S. Africa doesn't go the way of Zimbabwe and descend into true chaos and thuggery. If there's going to be a council of elders I might nominate her if she is still around. I believe I would pass on Minnie Mandela however.

  35. In fact I'm getting to the age I might sit on a council of elders myself, coming to the view that a gerontocracy might not be such a bad thing. The elders being the keepers of that hard earned wisdom of the ages of the tribe, you know.

  36. Ah heck, that's Winnie Mandela, I knew that. Don't put me on any council of elders.

  37. Krauthammer sees some progress in Iraq. Short Article

  38. Those folks seem to drive nice cars, Sam.


  39. Minnie's the Mouse.
    Winnie's the Pooh.
    Stinky Pooh, actually.