“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."

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

US officials now say they are willing to settle for a government that functions and can bring security.

Was good at security and making government function.

U.S. officials rethink hopes for Iraq democracy

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Nightmarish political realities in Baghdad are prompting American officials to curb their vision for democracy in Iraq. Instead, the officials now say they are willing to settle for a government that functions and can bring security.

Continuing violence -- like this Baghdad blast from May -- is causing a rethink of U.S. goals, generals say.

A workable democratic and sovereign government in Iraq was one of the Bush administration's stated goals of the war.

But for the first time, exasperated front-line U.S. generals talk openly of non-democratic governmental alternatives, and while the two top U.S. officials in Iraq still talk about preserving the country's nascent democratic institutions, they say their ambitions aren't as "lofty" as they once had been.

"Democratic institutions are not necessarily the way ahead in the long-term future," said Brig. Gen. John "Mick" Bednarek, part of Task Force Lightning in Diyala province, one of the war's major battlegrounds.
More & more


  1. Any bets that the Iraqi government, recognized by the UN, asks US to leave, come Jan 08 when the current Security Agreement expires?

    Especially if the US keeps formenting the insurgency

  2. Maybe they have a death wish?
    Ya never know.
    They just aren't smart enough to see the wisdom of the Master Poker Player's "Plan."

  3. The US president has reiterated his support for Nuri al-Maliki, Iraq's prime minister, a day after he said US critics were "frustrated" by the slow progress in Iraq.

    In Wednesday's address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars organisation, Bush also made comparisons between the campaign in Iraq and the Vietnam war.

    Voicing his support for the Iraqi prime minister, Bush said: "Prime Minister Maliki is a good guy, a good man, with a difficult job. And I support him."

    Bush also said that it was not the decision of US politicians to decide on al-Maliki's future.

    "It's not up to the politicians in Washington, DC, to say whether he will remain in his position," Bush said.

    "It is up to the Iraqi people who now live in a democracy and not a dictatorship."

    Since those Generals work for Mr Bush, seems they are speaking out of turn and should be relieved of duty.

    They could be brought back by Ms Clinton, when she gains the White House, as they support her position, as does rufus, now.

    She said he should be replaced by a "less divisive and more unifying figure" who could reconcile political and religious factions.

    "Iraqi leaders have not met their own political benchmarks to share power, modify the de-Baathification laws, pass an oil law, schedule provincial elections and amend their constitution," she said in Washington.

    Mr Maliki was the "least divisive and more unifying figure when the the candidates for the PM position were vetted during the five months it took to select a Prime Minister after the Iraqi election.

    The purple fingers have spoken, as we desired, get over it.
    Iraq for Iraqis.
    That's the ticket.

  4. I'd settle for a return to the ancient verities of Warfare.
    (that's why us Right Wingers are so frightening.
    Terrorists of the Blogrolls)

  5. That's not gonna happen, doug.
    Not anytime soon, anyway.

    It a new, post-modern age.

  6. Straight talk for the Iraqis:

    "Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commander of Task Force Lightning, also reflected a less lofty American goal for Iraq's future:"

    "I am not the Crook"
    He proclaimed.

  7. I'm studying the ins and outs of Celestial Marriage, and aim to make a long post about it tonight, just to piss you all off.

  8. Any bets that the Iraqi government, recognized by the UN, asks US to leave, come Jan 08 when the current Security Agreement expires?

    - Rat

    Like they'd do us the favor. The Shiites have the numbers. They have the government. They don't (as someone else put it) have the juice.

    Were that it were otherwise.

    And who in the hell's not been lowering their sights since, oh, autumn of 04?

  9. "The ins and outs of Celestial Marriage,"
    Har de Har!

  10. westhawk comments on the seven paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne and their piece in the NYTimes.

    He thinks they'll be testifying before Congress, come September, too.

  11. DR,

    You are fond of saying "Iraq for the Iraqis". I presume you are therefore amenable to Iraq for the Iranians 'cause they will probably try to dominate the place if we should withdraw? I also presume you are willing to accept the massive carnage that will follow our withdrawal, ya know, the Cambodians massacring them all a la Vietnam - or so our fearless leader asserts? Not that I'm advocating we stay, but rather, you withdrawalniks should grab the downside bull by the horns.

  12. No, I do not think that the Iranians will dominate Iraq. They will have some considerable influence, but they already do.

    In any case the US is not at war with Iran.
    The Iranians have come to terms with the authorized UN representitives on the nuclear issued. They are bona fide members of the international community, doing business with Turkey, Russia and China, Not to mention Japan and India.
    They are not international pariahs, though perhaps they should be. But they are not.
    Ask our allies and finacial partners the Japanese, Chinese or Indians.

    As to the suspected bloodshed, what of it. It is not a motivating factor for US in Darfur, nor was it in Rowanda.
    There are already 2 million Iraqi external refugees, let another 2 or 3 million flee, then there'd be no genocide, just a Sunni migration.

    As there was in Europe, after WWII, with German speakers forced to relocate.

  13. Doug,

    It has been interesting watching DR drag out the moral equivalency argument on the dog killing thing. I wonder whether he is advocating the banning of dog racing or, instead, the wholesale deregulation of our dealing with animals - kill at will and how you like all things...horses are fair game too I'm sure. If you want to dig even deeper into the moral issues try looking at how the NFL exploits its animals and the carnage inflicted upon those soles later in their life (concusions ect). Is it really that far removed from the treatment of sporting dogs or horses?

  14. Well, DR, as you may have noticed, our fearless leader GW feels that any bloodshed upon or departure lies upon our conscious. We left Vietnam and the Cambodians were massacred. We leave Iraq and it is possible many many more will die. We are not in Darfur, we occupied Iraq and what follows will be placed upon our doorstep.

  15. It was not an issue with the Germans, after WWII

    In the parts of Germany taken for Poland, the entire ethnic German population was either murdered, expelled, or faced reprisals at war's end. Throughout Pomerania, from Danzig to Stettin and Elbing to all of the old Baltic German cities, most levelled by bombing, terror took place. The few surviving Germans in these areas were placed before Communist led "verification" committees who decided their fate. Their language and civil rights
    were immediately suspended and many endured horrible retribution. Thousands died fleeing.
    Silesian Germans, some of whom had roots in Silesia going back centuries, and who before World War II amounted to about 4 million, were collectively labelled German partisans and either fled or were murdered, put in camps, sent to the Gulags or expelled. Germans were forced to make public apologies for their "collective guilt" at social and governmental gatherings. Others were sent to camps with unbearable conditions. Of 8,064 Germans in Camp Lamsdorf in Upper Silesia, 6,488, including hundreds of children, died from starvation, disease, hard labor, and physical maltreatment including torture. This repeated itself by the
    thousands. 90,000 civilians are believed to have died in their flight from Breslau as the Red Army was invading the city. Those that were caught were murdered, sent to the Gulag or put in concentration camps.
    In places like Trans-Carpathia and northern Bukovina in Western Ukraine, there was a German presence dating back to the Middle Ages. After World War Two, as a result of agreements between Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin at Yalta, Eastern Europe would be cleansed of ethnic Germans who had inhabited some areas for centuries, building towns, cities, farms and creating businesses, schools and churches. It would be the biggest mass expulsion in history. Churchill's final solutions to the German problem were purely genocide.

  16. "He thinks they'll be testifying before Congress, come September, too."

    Well, that'd be interesting, wouldn't it?

    I have a pretty good idea - most do, I guess - of what Petraeus is going to say. It's been telegraphed. He's the known quantity.

    Crocker, on the other hand, is unknown and holds the greater interest for me. The man in the background.

    Any way you cut it, the next six months have already been bought - and if the 82nd 8 were to testify, it'd unfortunately be show, albeit of a different kind than the admin's. (Not saying they shouldn't; but they'll be used for purposes not their own. You need a good, long shower after you do that.)

    It'll get interesting around Christmas.

  17. Baathists or NAZIs
    German or Iraqi,
    you lose, you move.

    Group responsibility
    Group guilt

  18. He has addressed your concerns in a response to Whit in the last thread.

  19. Surplus horses, ash, used to be slaughtered for food, the meat exported to France and Japan.

    That has been outlawed by the Feds, administratively.

    I am not against dog racing, nor dog fighting for that matter.
    I really enjoy watching cock fighting, those roosters are something to see battling it out.

    Animals should be disposed of humanely, when no longer wanted by their owners. Horses, here in AZ are now being dumped in the desert, to die. Better they were slaughtered, I think.

    Mr Vick's situation has been blown out of all proportion to the crime.

  20. Bush says the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is making progress, even if it is slower than some people want. He says it's not up to politicians in Washington to decide if the al-Maliki government stays in place.

    He says that decision is up to Iraqi citizens voting in democratic elections.

    The President told the convention that American soldiers have made sacrifices to create democracies in Europe, Japan, and South Korea. He says failure of the United States to help develop democracy in Iraq would throw the entire Middle East into a greater upheaval that would have great human and strategic costs.

    Staying the Course in Iraq

  21. "What these American paratroopers are saying is that the Iraqis need and want to have their own “sorting out,” a messy and violent search for security, established by fighting for tribal and sectarian boundaries. More violence, not less, is necessary in Iraq."

    - westhawk

    This was, albeit halfheartedly, the idea in the last 20 or so months before the surge. We desperately NEEDED the Iraqis to go about the bloody business themselves. But you can't sell that and we never fully embraced it, not least because it doesn't square with the short term stability and security message.

    If you want them to have at it, you pull in entirely, confine yourself to strategic strikes, and put yourself on a definite time line home. (This is not Kosovo, after all.) And you resign yourself to the fact that those you'd like to see prevail, very well may not.

    That's a decision this administration, fully invested, is not willing to take.

  22. DR, animals are property to do with as we wish, is that it? Torture, mutilation and all else that go with property rights is fine by you?

  23. But, no matter what the numbers are, there's no denying that the KC-30 would be a French airplane--assembled in the United States by red-blooded American Joes, but largely built by guys with names like Francois and Pierre. Is it a better airplane?

    Perhaps. But as to whether it is better suited to the mission, or a better fit for the Air Force's requirements, these are unanswered questions.

    And outside of the delegation from Alabama, there's likely to be little appetite in Congress, among Republicans or Democrats, for a decision that sees American tax dollars spent by the billion in French factories.

    Replacing the KC-135

  24. Luke 20--27-39

    Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him,

    Saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man's brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.

    There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children.

    And the second took her to wife, and he died childless.

    And the third took her: and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and died.

    Last of all the woman died also.

    Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife.

    And Jesus answering said unto them. The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:

    But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:

    Neither can they die any more:for they are equal unto the angels: and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

    Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he called the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.

    For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.

    Then certain of the scribes answering said, Master, thou hast well said.

    And after that they durst not ask him any questions at all.

    Many a married man or woman has taken heart at these words. But we have reached a very definite fork in the road here vis-a-vis our LDS friends.

    from "Life Everlasting"

    Eternal Companionship of a Beloved Spouse

    The Lord has revealed that--
    if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of this world, and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads.

    The marriage union, when consummated in God's holy temples by His authoized servants, remains in force in the celestial resurrection.

    As Paul stated--Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 11:11


    The principle is glorious, for it provides the basis for the exalted state of womanhood. Without the principle of eternal marriage, woman would be barred from the privilege of exaltation, but as the married partner of an exalted man she can share all the privileges and blessings of godhood.


    And Parley P. Pratt wrote that--
    "I learned that the highest dignity of womanhood was to stand as a queen and a priestess to her husband, and to reign for ever and ever as the queen mother of her numerous and ever increasing offspring.

    But wait, there's more...

    Eternal Powers of Procreation

    Exalted beings will enjoy the power of procreation and will continue the process of bearing children which they began on earth during mortality. The Lord has revealed that exalted beings--
    Shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.

    Then they shall be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue.

    The power to bear children in the resurrected state is fundamental to the eternal plan of salvation, for it is through these children that exalted beings will progress and be glorified.

    Are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfill the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified.

    In reality, godhood is eternal parenthood, for the god-man relationship is actually a parent-child relationship.

    Just as men were first born as spirit children to their Eternal Father and His Companion the children born to resurrected beings are spirit beings, and must be sent in their turn to another earth to pass through the trials of mortality and obtain a physical body.

    And lo!!

    According to some Latter-day Saint leaders, the process for procreating spirit beings is identical to the process for conceiving and bringing forth children on earth.

    Meditate upon that in your consciousness.!

    The man that wrote this book, Mr. Crowther, I feel for him. He was writing it because his little daughter, whose picture is in the front, and beautiful, died of leukemia outside of McCall, Idaho on the way to a hospital, in the back of his station wagon. He wrote the book for his own consolation. He loved his little girl. I think much of Mormon thinking is noble.

  25. As for me, I entertain a slight hope that I may be reborn/exalted as an androgynous being. :)

  26. Cowboy Confessional

    Writer, songwriter, political provocateur
    Rectal Reincarnation

  27. You'll Probably be reborn as a Celestial Seasoning after all that obsessive "Late Night" listening.
    Or one of their Teas, quickly reborn as Pee.

  28. Bob,

    You know, sometimes I really wish you'd just go fuck yourself.


  29. Parliamentary elections must be held within 90 days after the current legislative session ends in early November.

    Gen. Musharraf has resisted past efforts to resign his military post, a key base of his power. But the embattled president, a key U.S. ally in the fight against Islamist terrorism, faces severe challenges holding on to power in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary votes.

    Yesterday, suspected militants fired rockets and assault rifles at a security post and a military base in separate attacks in northwestern Pakistan, killing four soldiers, officials said.

    Dropping Military Role

  30. No, ash.
    What part of dispose of "humanely" do you not understand? The animals should not be tortured, left untended, or abandoned to starve in the desert.
    But if the animals become an economic burden, old and infirm, or a danger to others, or just a pain in the ass, the owners should have th option to kill 'em.

    Horses, cows, dogs, chickens, even cats, they're all livestock. Born to die as foodstuffs. Perhaps that bothers you, as a veggan, but it does not bother me.

    Dogs and roosters, some of them, enjoy the conflict. They're bred for it. If damaged during the encounter, kill 'em humanely. Put 'em down quickly.
    Mr Vick violated that duty to his pets and will pay the price for it. The point being that many others do much worse on an institutional level, and are ignored, for the most part.

    But, yes, animals are property, not free spirits. My three dogs not capable of life in the wild. If abandoned in the desert, they'd die, slowly. If not eaten by their genetic cousins, coyotes.

    Let's do the numbers on a lame horse. Prior to the Feds removing veterinarians from the slaughterhouses, the bottom of the horse market was between 4 and 8 cents per pound, live wieght. $300 to $600 USD.

    The horse would be shipped to Texas, processed and the meat sent overseas.

    Today, with the bottom of the market gone, the lame horse must be killed by a vet, or the owner, and sent to a rendering plant. This is an expense of around $500. So, now that the Feds have mandated the end of the slaughter of equines, those horses with no other economic value then as food, are being abandoned to their own devices, in the desert. They do not form into herds, roaming free across countryside. Not at all, they die of dehydration and starvation.

    Now, it is true that many horses were, due to growth patterns and early age wieght gains, taken off the range, sold by the BLM to ranchers who held them on pasture for a year. This satisfied the letter of Federal law, the horses, then two to three years of age, were sold to the butchers. In violation of the spirit, but not the letter, of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act.

    But then even the BLM and the Forest Service violate the letter of that law, or at least try to, if left unsupervised by the public.

  31. Check it out, on page 6, the story of animal abuse, in Maricopa County, AZ. Sheriff Joe handles 400 cases of animal cruelty, each month.
    Flip on over to page 18 and read how the Forest Service has decided to obey the 1971 Wild Horse Act.

    It just cost us $50,000 in legal fees to get them to comply.

    Go to page 71 and read how the Federals, of the Forset Service, killed 18 horses in 1992, in violation of the 1971 Law. No indictments, no convictions but as dead as Mr Vick's dogs.

    That is the point, animal cruelty abounds in the US. The Government itself is a perp. Mr Vick is persecuted in the media, above and beyond the norm for those type incidents.

  32. “Invoking the tragedy of Vietnam to defend the failed policy in Iraq is as irresponsible as it is ignorant of the realities of both of those wars,” Senator Kerry said. “Half of the soldiers whose names are on the Vietnam Memorial Wall died after the politicians knew our strategy would not work.

    The lesson is to change the strategy not just to change the rhetoric. We want democracy in Iraq, but Iraqis must want it as much as we do.

    Our brave soldiers can’t bring democracy to Iraq if Iraq’s leaders are unable or unwilling themselves to make the compromises that democracy requires. No American soldier should be sacrificed because Iraqi politicians refuse to resolve their sectarian and political differences.