“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, August 03, 2007

Three American Generals on Iraq

3 Aug 2007

Owen Bennett Jones of the BBC recently interviewed General Richard Myers, General Jack Keane and General William Scott Wallace. Jones conducted a tough interview and proposed the following topics for discussion.

Too Few Troops and No Post war Planning

Myers: "That's often said but simplistic." The Military advice was that General Franks plan of liberation (not occupation) was the right plan. General Abizaid, the Arab scholar who replaced Franks was adamant that too many troops could "tip the balance" and would be counterproductive. We underestimated the post insurgency. The insurgency was very slow to start. April 2004 was when the military began to understand what was going on.

General Schinseki, in hindsight, was absolutely right about the need for hundreds of thousands troops. In terms of the invasion we had the right force but failed to anticipate counter-insurgency which resulted in wrong force compositions and levels to confront insurgency. "We did not adjust our strategy."

General Wallace: As he was marching to Baghdad did not think he had enough troops but says that as events played out, we had the right force to do the task of defeating the Iraqi military and toppling the regime. We underestimated the post regime insurgency.

On one hand, Generals Myers and Wallace thought we did a good job of reacting to the insurgency but General Keane says we did not adjust. Once the enemy voted on that strategy and we did not adjust our strategy to accommodate what the enemy was doing. We chose not to protect the population and the Iraqis couldn't protect them. The correct thing to do would be to have defeated the insurgency instead of pushing the Iraqis to do it.

Myers: It was not clear that a new strategy was needed until the Samarra mosque bombing.
Wallace: There was point in the campaign when the center of gravity shifted from the regime to the Iraqi people and we were slow to pick up on that shift.

On Paul Bremer

Keane: Keane twice disdained Bremer as the so-called "Proconsul envoy" who summarily rejected initial plans to retain the Iraqi army. We destroyed the central government. It was offensive for Bremer to be on Iraqi television every two weeks telling the people what his desires for the country were.

There was no or little dialog with the three Generals concerning the decision to disband the Iraqi army. Keane remembers no discussion. Myers said, "We did not get enough debate in Washington." Keane remembers nothing. Myers said, "We did not have a good fulsome debate."

Their relationship with the politicians

Myers: I reject the conventional wisdom that Secretary Rumsfeld dictated to the military. Rumsfeld may have been rough and tough but he insisted on everyone giving him military advice. Their was never a problem giving advice to Rumsfeld or Bush.

Keane: Rumsfeld worked everyday in a collaborative way with the Military. The relationship with Rumsfeld was collaborative and collegial. Blaming Rumsfeld and the President is dead wrong and the senior military leaders bear as much responsibility as the civilian leadership.

The civilian leadership didn't get it straight from the Generals

Myers: History will show that the military provided the best advice that they could at the time, unfettered by political considerations. It is preposterous to think that all members of the joint staff acquiesced to civilian leadership.

America has lost and Iraq is a Disaster

Wallace: We have not lost but we have not won. It is going to take additional time to sort out the situation. Part of it is our problem, part of is the wherewithal and the commitment of the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people.

Myers: Iraq is not a disaster but a precipitous withdrawal would be a "real disaster" that would affect the entire region and is a world problem that the international diplomatic community (the countries of the region and the perm five of the UN must formulate a strategy to help Iraq.

Post surge strategy

Myers: To provide security to the Iraqi people and allow space for the political process to work.

Keane: There's a huge change in momentum in '07 as opposed to '06. Now, we have the offensive and momentum. We have finally recognized that security is a necessary precondition for political development and economic progress. We tried to do it complementary and it didn't work. There has been an enormous and underreported improvement in security. There is a grass roots change that has taken place in the country that is very significant and when we look back at '07, we will see that's when the defeat of al-Qaeda began. Despite all the rhetoric in the country, it will continue into '08. More than a 50-50 chance of political reconciliation, "more having to do with the Sunnis determination to get it rather than the central governments willingness to give it."

Lessons Learned

Wallace: In this type of operation, the decisive element is that which occurs after the military operation is over.

Myers: 21st century warfare requires all instruments of national power, not just the military instrument. We keep referring to Iraq as a military problem but two huge pieces are economic and political diplomacy.

Keane: Two big lessons. The National Security apparatus served us reasonably well during the cold war but is completely and wholly inadequate to serve us post 9/11. The inter agency effort does not have the speed and effectiveness. We are now over relying on the military and compensating for the lack of effort of the other agencies. After Vietnam, we purged ourselves of the lesson of counter insurgency but irregular warfare is going to be used against us again because it disarms our technology and we have got to be prepared for it.


  1. It DISARMS OUR TECHNOLOGY?!? WELL, We'll just have to Get some NEW TECHNOLOGY, Won't We?

  2. Oh, you GOTTA click on the link.

  3. Trish: Boy, was THAT ever a bad fucking idea.

    Vincini: YOU FOOL! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia...

    Trish: Whoa, what did Keane say about Rumsfeld? The man's been PNG'ed, for crying out loud. And THAT'S saying something.

    Jones: Um, you're not being interviewed.

    Trish: We'll get it right next time, though. Don't. You. Worry.

  4. A lot of people are saying he looks good, here. Romney, Unawares What do you think?

  5. Rufus, if you listen to the first few seconds, you'll hear--"I made the trek"--:)these Mormon folk, they have that 'trek' mentality:)

    That was a really interesting interview. Like a fencing match. Thanks for posting it.

  6. I forgot, I too think he sounded, and looked good. I was almost expecting him to sock the dude, at the last.

  7. Electricity, heights, and Women.

    And, he's "Married," too.


  8. And of the three, the one to fear most is the women.

  9. More Romney On health care, exchange with cafe worker.

  10. Should the U.S. reward or punish Saudi Arabia?

    Needless to say, there are those who object to rewarding Saudi Arabia in this fashion. Mr. Meir Javedanfar makes the argument against this arms deal at Pajamas Media:

    Not only is the Saudi government refusing taking concrete action to stop the inflammatory provocation to Sunni terrorist groups - al-Qaida among them - to commit the attacks which are damaging prospects for peace and stability in Iraq.

    In fact, the Saudis have been the unpunished sponsors of terror in Iraq.This fact became more clear-cut than ever with the eye-opening L.A. Times report earlier this month, revealing that about 45% of all foreign militants targeting both U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians and security forces hailed from Saudi Arabia.

    It may be true that both countries harbor legitimate concerns about Iran’s growing military might. But by not forcing the Saudis to play ball in Iraq, the US is throwing away the results of four years of hard work and sacrifice in Iraq, thousands of U.S. and Iraqi lives and billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars.

    In addition to infuriating the Shiites and encouraging the Sunni militants, the proposed Saudi arms deal has also legitimized Iran’s efforts in southern Iraq. By arming the Saudis, the Iraqi Shiites, whom the US counted on as potential allies, will now see Iran as their only true ally, and increase their military and political cooperation with Tehran.

    Should the US failure to stop Saudi Arabia’s sponsorship of terror, it will lead to more attacks against Iraqi Shiites, especially against shrines of Imam Ali and Hussein (sanctioned by the Saudi fatwas.)

  11. Dope dealer in Ramos-Compean case cops guilty plea
    Sutton's bargain with smuggler's accomplice keeps key evidence sealed

    WND has obtained copies of a signed guilty plea entered Tuesday with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in El Paso by Ortiz-Hernandez admitting he conspired to possess with the intent to distribute 2,200 pounds or more of marijuana in violation of federal drug statutes.

    The plea bargain allows prosecuting U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton to continue withholding government investigative reports implicating Aldrete-Davila with a "second load" drug incident involving Ortiz-Hernandez.
    Secure the Border Now
    CAIR director attended Hamas meeting
    After denial, evidence on Nihad Awad surfaces in terror-funding trial
    McCain panics, stands on his head, flip-flops on amnesty

    John McCain panics, stands on his head, flip-flops on amnesty
    John McCain has suddenly changed his position on immigration! He also changed his name to "Tom Duncan Tancredo Hunter," danced the cha cha, dyed his hair purple, joined Cirque de Soleil, threatened to invade a sovereign nation (oh wait, that's Obama), endorsed setting up Murder Squads to assassinate, er...

    - Tammy Bruce

  12. I am stunned, not electrified, stunned, over the Charles link.

  13. Thanks, Charles:
    Saves me trying to explain my absence to these Rubes. called back to help out in my old "line" of work.
    I still miss it down here on Terra Firma.
    Grounded, as it were.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. The More Loving One

    Looking up at the stars I know quite well
    That for all they care, I can go to hell
    But on earth indifference is the least
    We have to fear from man or beast.

    How should we like it were stars to burn
    With a passion for us we could not return?
    If equal affection cannot be
    Let the more loving one be me.

    Admirer as I think I am
    Of stars that do not give a damn
    I cannot, now I see them, say
    I missed one terribly all day.

    Were all stars to disappear or die
    I should learn to look at an empty sky
    And feel its total dark sublime
    Though this might take me a little time.

    W.H. Auden

  16. WASHINGTON (Associated Press) -- The Justice Department trampled on congressional independence when raiding U.S. Rep. William Jefferson's office last year, a federal appeals court ruled Friday, siding with Congress in a constitutional showdown.

    In a rare textbook case involving all three branches of government, the court held that investigators violated the Constitution by reviewing legislative documents as part of a corruption investigation.

    The court ordered the Justice Department to return any legislative documents it seized from the Louisiana Democrat's office on Capitol Hill. Still undecided is whether prosecutors can use other records it confiscated as part of their bribery case against Jefferson.

    The raid was part of a 16-month international bribery investigation of Jefferson, who is accused of accepting $100,000 from a telecommunications businessman, $90,000 of which was later recovered in a freezer in the congressman's Washington home.

    Jefferson pleaded not guilty in June to charges of soliciting more than $500,000 in bribes while using his office to broker business deals in Africa.

    The Justice Department has predicted a ruling such as the one Friday will turn Congress into a haven where lawmakers can keep evidence of corruption off-limits to prosecutors.

    That's not the case, said the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The raid itself was constitutional, the court held. But the FBI crossed the line when it viewed every record in the office without allowing Jefferson to argue that some involved legislative business.

    The Constitution prohibits the executive branch from using its law enforcement powers to interfere with the lawmaking process.

    "The review of the congressman's paper files when the search was executed exposed legislative material to the executive" and violated the Constitution, the court wrote. "The congressman is entitled to the return of documents that the court determines to be privileged."

  17. Younger and Wiser


    Cheney changed his view on Iraq

    He said in '92 Saddam not worth U.S. casualties

    Wednesday, September 29, 2004


    WASHINGTON -- In an assessment that differs sharply with his view today, Dick Cheney more than a decade ago defended the decision to leave Saddam Hussein in power after the first Gulf War, telling a Seattle audience that capturing Saddam wouldn't be worth additional U.S. casualties or the risk of getting "bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq."

    Cheney, who was secretary of defense at the time, made the observations answering audience questions after a speech to the Discovery Institute in August 1992, nearly 18 months after U.S. forces routed the Iraqi army and liberated Kuwait.

    Then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney observes a live-fire training exercise with Capt. William Lewis at Fort Lewis. The same day in August 1992, before a Seattle audience, Cheney supported the decision not to occupy Iraq but to leave Saddam Hussein in power after the first Gulf War.

    President George H.W. Bush was criticized for pulling out before U.S. forces could storm Baghdad, allowing Saddam to remain in power and eventually setting the stage for the invasion of Iraq ordered by his son, President George W. Bush, in March 2003.

    The comments Cheney made more than a decade ago in a little-publicized appearance have acquired new relevance as he and Bush run for a second term. A central theme of their campaign has been their unflinching, unchanging approach toward Iraq and the shifting positions offered by Democratic nominee John Kerry.

    A transcript of the 1992 appearance was tracked down by P-I columnist Joel Connelly, as reported in today's In the Northwest column.

    "And the question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam worth?" Cheney said then in response to a question.

    "And the answer is not very damned many. So I think we got it right, both when we decided to expel him from Kuwait, but also when the president made the decision that we'd achieved our objectives and we were not going to go get bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq."

    About 146 Americans were killed in the Gulf War. More than 1,000 U.S. soldiers have died in the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath.

    Going to Baghdad, Cheney said in 1992, would require a much different approach militarily than fighting in the open desert outside the capital, a type of warfare that U.S. troops were not familiar, or comfortable fighting.

    "All of a sudden you've got a battle you're fighting in a major built-up city, a lot of civilians are around, significant limitations on our ability to use our most effective technologies and techniques," Cheney said.

    "Once we had rounded him up and gotten rid of his government, then the question is what do you put in its place? You know, you then have accepted the responsibility for governing Iraq."


  18. Of course, trish, there was that speach and This Interview by Adam Meyerson where Mr Cheney lays out the requirements for sending US troops into battle

    Before you commit U.S. forces, there are certain questions you need to be able to answer. You need an objective that you can define in military terms. Our military knows how to liberate a country, destroy a navy, take down an air force; those are militarily achievable objectives. But if you say, "Go in and stop the bloodshed in Bosnia," that's not sufficiently clear to build a mission around. Does that mean you're going to put a U.S. soldier between every Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Muslim?

    A second requirement is to specify rules of engagement. The soldier or marine in the trenches needs ground rules -- what we call "rules of engagement" -- about how he is to achieve his mission. Whom does he shoot? How much force can he use, and under what circumstances? That's very difficult to define in this nebulous kind of civil war that's been raging in Bosnia. Who's the enemy? And how do you tell the good guys from the bad guys? Is this a three-sided conflict among Serb, Muslim, and Croat, or a two-sided conflict between Muslim and Serb? That's never been very well defined.

    You also need to know what constitutes victory. How would you define it? How would you know when you had achieved it? And finally, how do you get out? What's the end game? How do you wrap it all up? And what's the cost in terms of American lives in that involvement? Nobody answered these questions with respect to Bosnia.

    Is there any reason to expect that an age-old conflict based on animosities that go back for hundreds of years is going to be ameliorated or ended by the temporary presence of U.S. military force? I don't think so. And for all of those reasons, I was, and still am, very reluctant to see us rely on U.S. forces to solve Bosnia's problems. I am afraid we would have an ill-defined mission, we would take significant casualties, and would get involved without knowing how we were going to get out.

    Ms Rice, in 1999, said UD troops should never be used as policemen, they were not trained for the task and that the crosstraining would harm their battlefield combat capacities.

    The Bush Team lied but not the way, or about the things, Mr Penn would lead US to believe.

    But remember, when all else fails, blame Dan Rather. He is no longer confused about the frequency to use, to penetrate the tin-foil hats...

  19. This is the Mission Objective, for the military, how does it meet Mr Cheneu's criteria?

    MR. SNOW: The way out of Iraq is to have an Iraq that can sustain, govern, and defend itself, to be an ally in the war on terror and also an example to the region that democracy can succeed.

    Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition!

  20. I know, Rat. I caught your quote over at Belmont before I posted the above, which I find the more encompassing. (Schwartzkopf said essentially the same, but again it is sometimes difficult to discern whether this reflects the true thinking of the speaker or rather simply that of the speaker's boss at the time, whose decisions he is inclined to defend.)

    "The Bush Team lied but not the way, or about the things, Mr Penn would lead US to believe."

    Worse than lying, they were misled.

  21. I hear Newt Gingrich had a good piece in the Atlanta Journal Constitution yesterday.

    Might wanna dig that one up for consideration.

  22. Well, it's not a piece written by Newt, it's a piece on Newt at the National Conservative Student Conference, over at RCP.

  23. Comparing Cheney's 1992 assessment to his 2004 opinion serves no real purpose other than political. A lot happened in those intervening years to change anyone's mind. The irony is that Cheney and Bush have been characterized as stubborn and unyielding. You can't win for losing.

    As to the "mislead or lied us into war" calumny, more political bravo sierra without a shred of evidence and total disregard for historical facts.

    As the General Keane pointed out, the Military made mistakes but the non-military components of the inter-agency effort were screwed up before September 11, 2001. And as Newt pointed out in Atlanta, they're still screwed up.

  24. "Comparing Cheney's 1992 assessment to his 2004 opinion serves no real purpose other than political."

    Not really, whit. Cheney gave evidence in other remarks at the time of understanding the sectarian minefield of Iraq, and the reasons for not wanting to step into it by taking on regime removal. And he was right.

    On the issue of being misled, the administration itself was misled (they weren't alone). That was my meaning.

    Not every war's a smart war, whit, even when undertaken by the administration of a Party with which one affiliates oneself.

  25. Or at least GHWB was right. That's a hard one to figure.

  26. On a side note, I hold no brief against Keane. On the matter of Rumsfeld and the military, however, the bravo sierra is his alone.

  27. If Mr Cheney was serious about the Standards required prior to deploying US troops into combat, in 1992, those Standards did not change in the intervening years.

    Mr Cheney's adherance to those self-proclaimed, expert Standards, read the interview for further enlightenment as to the importance of EXPERIZNCE in such strategic matters, how the Bush 41 Team had it and Clinton 42 did not.

    For the very reasons he stated as examples of inexperience and lack of meeting the Standard, Bush 43 Team stands in the dock of historical judgement.
    Whether in Bosnia, Iraq, Kurdistan, Iran or Turkey, before the US commits troops those proclaimed Cheney Standards should be met.

    The Cheney Standards were abandoned by the Bush 43 Team, including both Mr Cheney and Ms Rice, no doubt about that, at all.

    Should I go look for Mr Bush's 1999 campaign statements about "Nation Building" and observe the 180 degree course correction?

    From rhetoric to reality.

    Mr Bush speaks of War, but has waged the grandest Nation Building boondoggle of all time.

  28. And now the Good News:( When it's as bad as it can get, can it get any worse?

  29. The tides of war are shifting in favor of the USA. Meanwhile back at home More Extreme Juggling

  30. Golly bob, just another couple of months, then all will be well, Mr Bush is up beat.

    Let's all dance a jig.

    I know Jr's fade away jumper improved while he was in Iraq.

    We're spending over a $ Billion a week, there in Iraq, but cannot supply water, electricity or security, after four years.

    Say the Curse!

  31. Sorry for disrupting the conversation. I was just having a simon moment

  32. "water, electricity"

    That's the only hope for some semblance of a win. Water and electricity. Water and electricity.

    Keep repeating that. Because that's all there is.

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. "None of you should believe we are winning this war. There is no evidence that we are winning this war," the ex-Georgian told a group of about 300 students attending a conference for collegiate conservatives.

    Gingrich, who led the so-called Republican Revolution that won the GOP control of both houses of Congress in 1994 midterm elections, said more must be done to marshal national resources to combat Islamic militants at home and abroad and to prepare the country for future attack. He was unstinting in his criticism of his fellow Republicans, in the White House and on Capitol Hill.

    "We were in charge for six years," he said, referring to the period between 2001 and early 2007, when the GOP controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. "I don't think you can look and say that was a great success."
    Republicans ... failed bureaucracies ... about how dangerous the world is," he said when asked what kind of Republican he would back for president.

    Gingrich has been promoting a weekly political newsletter he calls "Winning the Future." It's available free to those who leave their e-mail addresses at


    .net, one of several Web sites he is connected with or operating. Gingrich began writing the newsletter in April 2006, and it now goes out to 311,000 readers each week, said Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler
    He reserved his most pointed criticism for the administration's handling of the global campaign against terrorist groups.

    "We've been engaged in a phony war," said Gingrich. "The only people who have been taking this seriously are the combat military."

    His remarks seemed to reflect, in part, the findings of a National Intelligence Estimate made public last month.

    In the estimate, the U.S. intelligence community concluded that six years of U.S. efforts to degrade the al-Qaida terrorist group had left the organization constrained but still potent, having "protected or regenerated" the capability to attack the United States in ways that have left the country "in a heightened threat environment."

    "We have to take this seriously," said Gingrich.

    "We used to be a serious country. When we got attacked at Pearl Harbor, we took on Imperial Japan, Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany," he said, referring to World War II.

    "We beat all three in less than four years. We're about to enter the seventh year of this phony war against ... [terrorist groups], and we're losing."

    Newt always seemed to have a grasp of realities.
    He does not seem up beat, but he's no "Boner"

  35. The harvest is coming in around here in the higher country, early this year because of early heat, and no rain. It's great wheat country, but there is also a saying--

    'hundred bushel straw, ten bushel wheat'--

    for a year like this. Can't tell until you look close, because it looks great from the road. But you find yourself harvesting what looks more like rice than wheat. Nothing in the wheat heads.

    Doubly disappointing as wheat prices are at record highs.

    I don't know if this is a metaphor or what, or for what, but you still got to harvest the crop, having planted it.

  36. I've just found a source for good utube videos. Here's previous post Remember Me

  37. Grand Jihad

    "on one of the tapes, a Muslim Brotherhood leader implored muslims in North America to do their part in 'a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within'."

    Meanwhile on anther front my Evangelical Lutheran Church in America--which has dropped from around 6 million members to less than 5 million in the last couple decades-- is getting set to debate at national synod whether our gay clergy must continue to conform to the current celibacy rule for gays, and the passage of a statement on peace in the world, thus assuring a continued drop in membership and relevance to our times.

  38. I'd think our gay clergy might find it in their hearts not to push the issue, as a form of Christian charity, since the issue, whatever the ehics, morals, Biblical passages, is threatening to split a group that has been welcoming to them.

    Why not just give the issue a rest for a couple decades, its all I ever hear about.

  39. Got a problem with peace in the world, bob? I think it sounds s'marvelous.

  40. No problem from me, it does sound marvelous, but the problem is coming from another direction.

    Maybe our synod ought to be debating whether a group whose objective is the destruction of western civilization, and your freedoms, has any place in America.

  41. On the other hand, I do not think that the best way for conservatives to cure their eternal sense of cultural decay is by taking on shitty little third world countries.

  42. But that wasn't really on the other hand.

  43. Exhibit A

    If I was a gay clergyman in ELCA, celibate or not, I'd be worring my ass about these people, if they ever get a grip, and how to prevent it, other 'n mumbling about love and acceptance. At least for the interim.

  44. But anyway, my comment wasn't aimed at anyone here, whose opinions are well known, but maybe some conflicted Lute, wandering the astral plane, who might come upon it.

  45. "I do not think that the best way for conservatives to cure their eternal sense of cultural decay is by taking on shitty little third world countries."
    On the other hand, a majority find it much easier than taking responsibility for their own kid's upbringing/education, confronting offensive faggots trying to infuse their repulsive presence everywhere, not hiring illegals and shunning those who do.
    Or openly Condemning hypocritical low life scum like GWB and Johnny Sutton as they reward criminal purveyors of death, while punishing those charged with enforcing the law.
    (and criminal GWB ignores his oath and the law of the land, ...daily.
    Not to mention the will of the people, or their health and safety)
    You lose my respect when you defend that man.
    (not you)

  46. What's It Like To Slaughter Two Human Beings, Chisel-Chest?

    OJ on a phone-in talk show; gets Jerky Boyz treatment

    Great Callers!

    (which was a greater accomplishment? 2000 yds in a season, or slashing two people's necks in one night?
    Even got to Bill Walsh, still warm in his grave.)

  47. Maybe if we just spend 15 Hundred Billion, instead of just 500, they'll set things right?
    ...that's how things get solved here under GWB's compassionate conservative reign.

  48. Clinton 44, no not her bust size.
    Not her magnum or special, either.

    Buddy of mine made a real fortune with those taxi tops, doug. Sold out to Clear Channel, then built some condo buildings on the Strip in Vegas. Had Pam Anderson as a spokeswoman, trying to sell 'em off. Knew him when he was stone cold broke, may be that way again, someday.

    Depends on if those condos sell.

    Vegas, the lifes blood of the Americas, on the Strip every day and night to be seen.
    On every Friday night, NBC plays the damnest commercial you'll ever see for decandent fun. With a dose of violence, all in a good cause.

    No wonder the God fearing are aghast at the decandence of Western culture. While we send our "soft power" ambassadors, Britney, Lindsey, and Paris via the broad band to corrupt the lifes and wives of those not "with it".

  49. We don't do campaign stickers, Doug. It's for the dotter's car.

    Live vicariously.

  50. I mean, who wouldn't want their daughter lookin' like this or perhaps this is the look that camel herders will approve of. But I doubt it.

    They're goin' for this look for their daughters to emulate. Maybe

  51. Or I should say, we don't EVEN do campaign stickers.

  52. My daughter took a side trip to Vegas this summer for Cirque du Soleil. Her first time up there.

    Greatest Vegas impression: Everyone dresses like a hooker, most especially those who can least justify it.

  53. Remeber that the Muslom Brotherhood founder, doug'll know his name, was in Greely Colorado, and found that town to risque for a man of true faith.

    There is no accounting for taste, but...
    There can't be accomadation with those that disapprove of Greely, Colorado and a Saturday night Church social and dance.

    I mean, if somebody does not want go, fine by me, not my style either, but to see that type of social interaction as so depraved as to demand the hall be burnt down.

    Gets the sheepdog in me growlin'

  54. Qutb,
    But you gotta remember, that was back in the 50's, and them farm girls DID get Frisky!
    ...just ask AlBobAl

  55. ...and, you have no idea what it's like to be a 50 year old virgin.
    So, judge not, lest ye be.

  56. This comment has been removed by the author.

  57. You are right about not knowing about being a 50 year old virgin, but that may not as frustrating as being 50 and not gettin' any.

    The memory could be more frustrating than the ignorance.

    Couldn't tell from personal experience, but I have a couple of associates ...

    Any way, from my understanding of Ozzie and Harriet and the birth of little Ricky Ricardo, immaculate conception was all the rage, in the '50's

  58. Vice President Lyndon Johnson received the following message from a

    Native American Indian Chief on a reservation: "Be careful with your

    immigration laws. We were careless with ours."

    Native American Observation:

    Recently an old Indian chief sat in his hut on the reservation, smoking

    a Ceremonial pipe and eyeing two U. S. Government officials sent by

    the President to interview him. "Chief Two Eagles" asked one official,

    "You have observed the white man for 90 years. You've seen his wars

    and his technological advances. You've seen his progress, and the

    damage he's done." The Chief nodded in agreement. The official con-

    tinued, "Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the

    white man go wrong?"

    The Chief stared at the government officials for over a minute and then

    calmly replied, "When white man found the land, Indians were running it.

    No taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, women did all work,

    medicine man free, Indian man spent all day hunting and fishing, all

    night having sex." Then the chief leaned back and smiled. "Only white

    man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that."

  59. Maybe what REALLY ticked Qutb off was the leftover Injuns?
    Far cry from his Indian/Paki Muslim brothers.

  60. "Couldn't tell from personal experience, but I have a couple of associates ..."
    Sounds like your talkin about men that once took the vows.
    In sickness and in health, but I thot there was an exception for sadistic deprivation.
    Gun Shyness does take it's toll, tho.
    Shoot me once, shame on you,

  61. Happiness pissed him off, doug.

    Val Kilmer, as Doc Holliday, describes Ringo as having an empty hole in his soul, and that no amount of hate and killing could ever fill it, nothing but Ringo's death would bring an end to it.

    Even a cad like Doc had a streak of sheepdog in him.

  62. Qutb over-revs in his Grave:

    The paradise described by the shuttle driver certainly seemed to have blossomed anew during race weekend. It would be tough to find a more diverse couple of square miles on the planet than the Bahrain circuit on race day — a sort of pre-Babel world where all speak the lingua franca of glamour and sports, and share an appreciation for humanity’s technological achievements. A common vocabulary — “Ferrari,” “McLaren,” “Renault,” “BMW” — was on everyone’s lips as well as plastered in bold letters and symbols on banners snapping in the wind.

    Then, as night fell, paradise took cover beneath the cool glow of backlit vodka bottles in hotel clubs — becoming more earthy and Dionysian — a reminder of why this town is such a popular destination for revelers every weekend.

    At Trader Vic’s, a Caribbean-themed bar on the grounds of the Ritz-Carlton, things felt abundantly familiar to the Western visitor. No burqas, hijabs or abayas on the women here. On the contrary, the waitresses were all dressed in form-fitting floral-pattern dresses, with slits cut up the side. It was just shy of indecent, but just enough that the groups of men huddled around their beers kept their eyes peeled.

    Fliers for other parties pointed the way to musical acts imported from overseas — like the D.J.’s Andy Norman and Joey Negro and the popular Lebanese-Canadian R&B singer Massari —

  63. Joey Negro?


    Still crazy after all these years

  64. Is that a Condor? Golden Eagle? What?

  65. Never underestimate a federal bureaucracy. The FCC has struck again.

    One responsibility of this agency is to assign call letters to new TV and radio stations.

    The Honolulu Star-Bulletin has reported that deep in a 15-pages list of new call letters issued by the FCC last month, the call letters KUNT were granted to a yet-unbuilt low-power digital television station in Wailuku, Maui.

  66. Damned burocats can't even spell.

  67. bobalharb said...

    The More Loving One

    Looking up at the stars I know quite well
    That for all they care, I can go to hell
    But on earth indifference is the least
    We have to fear from man or beast.

    How should we like it were stars to burn
    With a passion for us we could not return?
    If equal affection cannot be
    Let the more loving one be me.

    Admirer as I think I am
    Of stars that do not give a damn
    I cannot, now I see them, say
    I missed one terribly all day.

    Were all stars to disappear or die
    I should learn to look at an empty sky
    And feel its total dark sublime
    Though this might take me a little time.

    W.H. Auden
    Auden's thought's on the matter were prudent. Recent research suggests that not just the dinasours were killed off by comets .... but also more recent extinctions like the one that killed all the megafauna 12,000 years ago--was caused by a comet

    There is evidence that I've seen too ...though I'm too lazy just now to digg it up...that 5000 years ago a number of civilizations like the old kindgdom in Egypt collapsed because of some large natural event.

  68. I read that we sort of wiggle in and out of the galactic arm periodically, as we circle about, that this wiggle matches more or less the old extinctions(not the comet one). I wonder whether this might be true.

    Some extinctions ain't so bad. The last one led to us. It's the next one to worry about. :(

  69. This wiggling in and out passes us through an area where we are like a clay pigeon at the gun club, is what I think they mean.

  70. Drought has taken down a lot of folks.

  71. That amazing man and physicist from England, Stephen Hawking, says, if we're going to make it, somebody has got to get the hell out of here or words to that affect. ;)

  72. This comment has been removed by the author.

  73. "... the Sacred Tree is found to be none other than the crossing point of the ecliptic with the band of the Milky Way. Indeed, the Milky Way seems to have played an important role in Mayan imagery.
    Schele demonstrates that it wasn't a Pole Star that the Maya mythologized in this regard, it was the unmarked polar "dark region" symbolizing death and the underworld around which everything was observed to revolve. Life revolves around death - a characteristically Mayan belief
    1) the well known end date of the 13-baktun cycle of the Mayan Long Count, which is December 21st, 2012 A.D. and

    2) the astronomical situation on that day. Based upon these two facts alone, the creators of the Long Count knew about and calculated the rate of precession over 2300 years ago. I can conceive of no other conclusion. To explain this away as "coincidence" would only obscure the issue.

    This 21 Dec '12 is also the solstice. Coinciding, many fear with a magnetic polar shift, leading to who knows what. The magnetic poles have shifted, in eons past, based on magnetic ore crystallization. studies in CO, I do believe.

    The "End of Time" 21 Dec 2012.

    Also coinciding, many fear with a magnetic polar shift, leading to who knows what. The magnetic poles have shifted, in eons past, based on magnetic ore crystallization. studies in CO, I do believe