“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."

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Afghanistan's Opium Harvest has more than Doubled

'Britain is losing the Afghan drug war'
By Eleanor Mayne in Kabul, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 12:17am BST 02/09/2007

Britain's multimillion-pound attempt to battle the drug trade in southern Afghanistan has been a failure, the country's first vice-president has claimed.

Ahmad Zia Massoud has taken the unprecedented step of speaking publicly about his country's drugs problem in an exclusive article for The Sunday Telegraph, warning that despite Britain's efforts, the poppies have spread "like a cancer".

Afghanistan's opium harvest has more than doubled in the past two years and in a report last week, the United Nations said it expected production to hit a "frighteningly high" 8,200 tonnes this year, an increase of 34 per cent on last year.

Particularly embarrassing for Britain was the figure from Helmand province, where output jumped by 48 per cent.

"It is now clear that your counter-narcotics policy in the south of our country has completely failed," Mr Massoud says.

Writing in the paper today, Mr Massoud describes the drugs eradication policy as "too soft", adding: "We are giving too much carrot and not enough stick."

Britain has spent £208 million over the past three years on counter-narcotic operations but Mr Massoud argues that the failure to shut down the opium trade amounts to a victory for the Taliban.

"The opium directly supports those killing Afghan and international troops," he writes. "I believe that failing to achieve a substantial reduction this year in the opium crop will be equivalent to supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan."

In contrast to the British authorities and the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, he said that spraying of the poppy crop was needed to break the deadlock in the south.

British military commanders are reluctant to get involved with anti-drug operations, fearing that it would drive farmers into the arms of the Taliban.


  1. kinda funny actually...

    does anyone remember the "opium war"

    the brits? selling opium into china?

    great one..

  2. Cosmic Karma, coming home to roost.

    Though most of the folk that could remember the Opium Wars, are dead.

    Long time ago.

    So now Patrick J. Buchanan thinks Mr Bush and the Generals will be rolling on Iran.

    Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'
    keep them muzzis rollin'

    What an error that'd be.
    Even if the Generals tell US that Iraq is now secured.

    Better to bust 'em at the Bank.

    But even the doves of the Bar oppose that idea. Better to spill blood, than to cut off the mullahs extra spending money. Better the US subsidize those EFPs in Iraq, once removed, than to stem the World Bank from funding a terrorist State.
    That'd be cruel and unusual,
    un-American even

    Disrupt the US/UN's march to world domination. Cut into their fantasy the the UN is not the US, once removed.

    Shock and Awe II, here we come...

    All because of France,
    Mr Sarkozy rattled his sabre
    well, the US sabre.

    The Eyetalians see the same thing, but on a much longer timeline

    Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema said he shared the reasoning behind French President Nicolas Sarkozy's Monday comment that diplomacy was the only alternative to "an Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran".

    "I am convinced that a strong international effort is needed because we don't want to find ourselves in a few years in a situation in which we either accept Iran with atomic bombs or accept a prospect no less catastrophic than war," D'Alema said.

    A "few years" ...
    Will Mr Bush wait, until he is gone from he White House, or leave a Legacy of unfinished business behind?

    All because we refused to bankrupt the mullahs. That'd have been a course to disruptive of the elites and their investments, cash flow projections and military industrial complex.

    And the USAF, they are not yet stretched to the breaking point.

    Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'
    get them muzzis burnin'

  3. As per the Non-proliferation Treaty, though, the "Decider" on the Iranian nuclear issue, the IAEA, has come to terms with the Iranians.

    The buerocrats of the UN think they hold the keys to the kingdom, at the World Bank and the IAEA.

    Recalling Iran's positive initiatives, Soltaniyeh expressed hope the IAEA board of governors will support the achievements of Iran and IAEA.

    He said Iran believes the IAEA is resistant to political pressure from countries like US, Britain and France over cooperation with Iran and will focus on technical and professional issues according to the constitution of the IAEA.

    The objections raised to the Iran-IAEA accord are without legal foundation and those claims can not effect or delay Iran and IAEA cooperation, he added.

    The Iranian, Soltaniyeh, is correct, under the terms of the Treaty, it plainly gives the IAEA the sole power of determination of compliance.

    IAEA Chief Mohammad ElBaradei will be at odds with US, England and France. Russia and China do they hold the wild cards, or will the "Big Three" send in the Omnipower's air assets?

    Citing a past UN Resolution as pretext?

  4. You just don't get it, do you, 'Rat?
    There are many institutions, and many branches of Govt.
    Nearly ALL of them are necessary for our daily existence at anything above a subsistance level.

    Not only that, but the BALANCE between the Branches and between our balanced govt and the various non-governmental institutions is ALSO CRUCIAL for our survival.

    That's just the way it is, see?

  5. Audio Slide Show: Turning the Tribes in Iraq
    A Sunni stronghold just south of Baghdad, where the U.S. military has been persuading militants to switch sides.

    But it’s not at all clear that the enemy’s new enemy is really a friend.
    Related Article: The Former-Insurgent Counterinsurgency
    Bush Is Said to Approve More Aid to Iraqi Sunnis Battling Extremist Groups

  6. 51 Ways to Save the Environment

    Can one person slow global warming?
    Actually, YES.

    Here's our guide to how you can help build a greener planet
    Think if *ALL* us EB'rs confess our sins and purify our lives, our very selves:
    The only concern will be the coming Ice Age.

  7. You didn't tell us he has a good reason for that wide stance, AlBob:
    It's to keep his pants from slipping down.
    Do the rest of you farmers just walk around with your dongs hanging out half of the time?
    Not to mention them small potatoes.

    Sometimes you just gotta feel for cops:
    (and not in a L Craig Widestance way.)

    DK: Okay. Then it was your left hand, I saw it with my own eyes.

    LC: All right, you saw something that didn't happen.

    DK: Embarrassing, embarrassing. No wonder why we're going down the tubes. Anything to add?

    NN: Uh, no

    DK: Embarrassing. Date is 6/11/07 at 1236 interview is done.

  8. " No wonder why we're going down the tubes"

    That should be an inadmissable political statement, shouldn't it?

  9. A lot of that stuff 'Rat doesn't understand is work most Americans aren't willing to do.
    'Cept Govt Professionals.

  10. Looks like he's downright happy, gay, even, about the opportunity to serve the public for 8 more years.
    In public bathrooms wherever he goes.

  11. dRat,

    All that will happen is that Iran will lose its money making booty shaker. Gulf oil will be rerouted west of the Hormuz thru new oil pipes. The "occupation" of Iran will be done by "Iranians". This, at a fraction of the money spent in Iraq by the CIA and State Department morons, not to mention the cost in lives of American soldiers.

  12. Larry Craig was lynched twice

    The Cop sounds like a normal person to me in that transcript.
    Ben Stein sounds like a prostitute that gets paid for bleats of outrageous partisan moral outrage.

    The idea of defending Craig and trashing the cop disgusts me.

    As if perverts in stalls should have free reign.
    ...for the children.

    If Craig was innocent, why didn't he tell the truth?

    I know, the lying, BULLYING, COP.

    (in the transcript he explicitly explains how he will NOT bully Craig, and he doesn't.)

  13. We rather work with the "Moderates"

    Why should we trust the people, just because they act more like us (the masses of secular ones) than all the ululating muslims?

    Trust the experts, in both Governments!

  14. (re:
    Mat's idea about employing the Iranian people)

  15. It's a banner year for poppies! Something to celebrate, no? The worry is that because of the bumper crop, the bottom will fall out of the market.

    Helmand poppy farmers get 10x as much for that crop as anything else they can produce. It's all about money, money, money. Always was, always will be. One possible way to combat it, is to bet to the buyers and dealers, bust them, and use any confiscated cash to purchase the opium from the Helmand farmers while easing them away from that particular crop.

    Addiction is always a big problem in the immediate areas surrounding the source and Pakistan is no different. Until recently, Afhani production was held in check by a group called the Taliban who were also responsible for reestablishing law and order after the Soviets left and the War lords turned on each other. Too bad they got carried away with the Sharia thing and also allowed bin Laden into the country. Funny thing, now the Taliban are encouraging opium production. What godly men!

  16. "Even if it turns Senator Craig is gay, so what? Barney Frank is gay and he's one of the best members of the Congress. There are lots of fine gay public servants. "
    Evidently Steins intellect is so warped that he can't see it's not a gay issue, it's a pervert issue.
    ...but then, look what he says about Barney Wiener!

  17. Shock & Awe II, mat

    Greeted as liberators...

    Turning the country over to its' people.

    Been there, done that.

    The odds that the US could do it, in Iran ...
    Bring in Shah Jr, for legitimacy purposes.

    Heard it all before, tell US some more

    It'll fly like a lead balloon, here in the heartland.

    Gasoline prices spiking, at Christmas or in April?

    Revitalize the anti-foreign intervention wing of American politics. Just when we could declare victory and start to draw down, assueing balance in the US governemt.

    Strike Iran before the '08 election, will hand the US Government to the Dems, mark my words.

    A high price to pay, when there are easier, less divisive routes to the same end.

  18. Whit,
    Yeah, but...
    When they get back in power, they'll control that Opium.
    Don't be so Cynical!

  19. Ledeen's only been calling for those easier ways for a Decade, 'Rat.
    Earning him the title of Idiot, or worse, with c4 and Trish.

  20. " He tapped his foot. He may or may not have reached his hand down under the lavatory partition to pick up a piece of paper or to make a signal.

    That's it. That's the whole thing. There was no sex act of any kind.

    So the policeman who happened to be in the next stall walks Senator Craig off, starts bullying him, accusing him of lying and, implicitly, threatens to ruin Senator Craig's career.
    (He "threatened" NOT to!)
    Stein evidently thinks we all pick up toilet paper off the floors of public bathrooms!
    Like he and his Buddy Craig do!

  21. I esp like the wet stuff.
    Brown, even better.

  22. Shock & Awe II, mat

    Not at all, dRat.

    War and occupation is an expensive task. Time to give Iran a chance at it.

  23. In the Taliban days, whit, they had cut productiion to pretty low levels.
    Now the poppies are a weapon to use against the infidals.

    Why depend upon monies from criminals to fund poppy purchase programs.
    The US is spending %50 million per week on these wars. Why not boost it to $51 or $52 and get on with the program.

    I read that many think we do not spend enough, on these conflicts, from a percentage of GDP perspective.

    We have plenty of money, it is the the most bountiful asset we have. Incredible wealth that we do not employ, and even those that want to win, like yourseof, want to economize, first.

    Saving pennies while losing dollars.

    Just to get a young man into the Army, we bonus them $20,000, now-a-days.

  24. You've been telling US that Iran is an Empire, occupying those oilfields, all this time.

    The costs have not busted 'em yet.

    Stop that Iranian oil from flowing for more than a week, our allies across Asia will start to melt down.

    While some may find pleasure in the idea of Chinese turmoil, the Main Street of America crowd will not.

    Returning back to US politics and the price to pay, in 2008. Just a year away

    When the largest employeer in the USA talks, people listen. When they start laying off workers, alarms will go off across DC.
    Even if the Dems have demonized 'em in the past. It will play poorly for the GOP, worse than poorly.
    Kiss any version of "balanced" governence in the US good bye.

  25. dRat,

    It will be especially interesting for Iran when their local oil refineries go up in smoke. I'd like to see what the mullahs come up with as an economic alternative.

  26. "Stop that Iranian oil from flowing for more than a week, our allies across Asia will start to melt down."

    I don't buy it. 3% is marginal.

  27. I told you once, and I'll tell you again (Don't you people EVER listen?)

    You Get Three Times more Biodiesel per acre from Poppies than from soybeans. Buy the Damned Poppies.

    Those poor old farmers don't get all that much money; it's just that poppies are just about the only thing that'll grow in that sorry rock garden. We could out-bid the drug lords, turn the poppies into diesel, and, probably, show a small profit in the weaning.

  28. mats,

    Are you suggesting our approach to Iran should be to bomb the refineries?

  29. Rufus,

    The processing facilities would have to be outside Afghanistan.

  30. It is not 3% of the Indian, Japanese or Chinese supplies.
    13% of Japanese imports
    13% of Chinese imports
    15% of Indian imports

    Since March of '06:

    US officials have been seeking “creative” ways of addressing the concerns of China, Japan and India about possible disruption to their supplies of Iranian oil in an effort to gain their support at the UN. Tehran has linked the nuclear dispute to its oil supplies., and there are growing worries in the oil industry that the dispute could eventually lead to an interruption in supplies or, at least, a review of contracts.

    Several European and Asian oil companies, including Royal Dutch Shell, France’s Total and Japan’s Inpex, have contracts in Iran. “Because of this nuclear issue, Iran is starting to be seen as an unreliable supplier,” said Adam Sieminski, analyst at Deutsche Bank, who added that Nippon’s decision amounted to an “ad hoc sanction”.

    So far it is unclear whether other customers – such as South Korea, Spain, France and Italy, which each import at least 100,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil – intend to follow Nippon.

    Nippon’s decision, which would reduce Japan’s dependence on Iran by 4 per cent, was a company decision and did not represent an official position of the Japanese government, officials said. Japan buys one in every four barrels of Iran’s oil, importing about 580,000 barrels a day.

    Iran is Japan’s third biggest supplier after Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, providing 14 per cent of Japan’s oil.

    A concerted US effort has reduced Japanese imports, from Iran by 1% in 18 months.
    Truth be told.

    If the Iranian supplies were not crucial to the World economy, we could just embargo the country.

    Will the US reduce it's consumption of oil by 2.4 million barrels per day?
    That is the amount of oil supplied by Iran on the world market.
    About 11% of US daily consumption.

    That will not sell on Mainstreet USA. Even if prices remained constant.
    If there is price increase and supply depletion, Mr Bush and the GOP will bear the brunt of the blame.
    Deservedly so.

  31. Rufus,

    Uzbekistan would seem a good solution.

  32. dRat,

    It would make much better economic sense for Japan China to get their oil from the Russia.

  33. I believe the Russians already made such plans.

  34. 240 million acres of THIS and you can bomb Iran to your heart's content. And, throw in Saudi Arabia, too.

  35. The acreage, rufus, plus refineries.

    At $50 million per week, how long would it take to be ready?

    If the Russians could, mat, they would, already. They don't because they can't. Not today, not in 16 months.

    When they can, perhaps the US could act against Iran, not until then.
    Reality is sometime a bitch for jingoists.

    Until then, we shouuld dry up the excess cash, expecially that which we funnel through International financial institutions.

    We should force divesture in Iranian projects and any company involved in them.

    As Mr Michael Barone writes:
    The divestment movement has been gaining speed during the past year. In 2006, Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman ordered the Missouri Investment Trust to divest stock in companies that do business in Iran. The California Assembly has passed a divestment bill, and it is now before the state Senate; Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has promised a major signing ceremony if it passes. A bill limited to Iran's energy sector has been passed into law in Florida. A divestment bill has been passed in committee in the Pennsylvania House, and a divestment resolution was passed by the Georgia Senate. In Louisiana, a bill to set up a "terror-free international index" has been passed into law. Divestment bills have been filed in Ohio, New Jersey, Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland and Texas.

    Many of these bills have met with opposition. Pension fund administrators, such as those at California's giant CalPERS, have opposed them. They argue that divesting would cost them money. But the fact is that U.S.-based companies already are prohibited from doing business in Iran. Firms that do the most business in Iran are French (Alcatel, BNP Paribas, Total), Italian (ENI), Korean (Hyundai), Chinese (PetroChina) and Russian (Statoil). The potential losses to pension funds are almost certainly minimal; a fund can find plenty of international stocks for its portfolio without touching those who do business in Iran.

    At the same time, divestment can hurt the targeted companies enough to persuade them to change their ways. We learned this 20 years ago from the divestment movement directed against apartheid South Africa, which targeted many U.S.-based firms. Some of them withdrew from South Africa -- a fact that helped persuade South Africa's white rulers to end apartheid.

    The Iranians as deserving, if not more so, of Divesture than the South Africans ever were.

    As no South African ever targeted US troops, nor kidnapped British sailors on the high seas.

    Reason enough for divesture, reason enough to go to war as well. Just as the US did, against England in 1812 and the cause for the USMC to enter Tripoli, under President Jefferson, and the USAF bombing runs in the days of Ronnie Reagan
    Targeting Americans with bombs or kidnapping sailors for ransom, either political or financial, more than reason enough.

  36. As of June 30, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee had $20.4 million on hand, while the National Republican Senatorial Committee had $5.8 million in its bank account.

    "If Republicans are investing significant money in Idaho, that means they are losing at least five seats in 2008," said Nathan L. Gonzales, political editor of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report. "If Idaho ends up the fire wall, they are in deep trouble."

    Fisher conceded that fundraising has been difficult in the current political climate, but she said the race for cash is picking up. And she predicted that if Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) secures the Democratic presidential nomination, Republicans will come to the polls in droves.

    Schumer called that "grasping at straws," noting that when similar predictions about Clinton were made in her Senate races in New York, they proved to be untrue.

    Republican campaign operatives are privately fretting about a political environment that could remain deadly for their party.

    "About the only safe Republican Senate seats in '08 are the ones that aren't on the ballot," a GOP operative with extensive experience in Senate races said. "I don't see even the rosiest scenario where we don't end up losing more seats."

  37. dRat,

    The Russians were shipping oil to China via rail. It's only in 2006 that Russia and China signed an agreement on a pipeline from Siberia to China.

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. Anyway, the proposal is to affect Iran's oil refining capacity, rather than its oil exports.

  40. So, mat, you propose another war of limited objectives?
    Not victory but something short of that, dragging on for how long?

    With the Iranian counter being what and where?

    Mexico, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Israel?

    Expand the war, but not to win, but to only disrupt.

    Even more foolish.
    To begin another pre-planned no win military effort of limited objective, before the soft power aspects of US assets have even begun to be utilized in the cause.

  41. dRat,

    No. The fingerprints will be local. The purpose of the exercise an extension of your basic thinking, with which I agree btw. The point being economic, not military.

  42. Rufus, that prairie grass link is outstanding. If the flood prone areas next to the great rivers would be returned to grass, forest and wetlands, you could get additional long term benefits.

  43. Thanks, Deuce; Speaking of "Great Rivers" - Why in the hell would any city sitting on the Mississippi, Missouri, or Ohio Rivers ever have to burn an ounce of "ANYTHING" to get electricity.

    You could power half (or all) of the country with the current of the Mississippi/Missouri/Ohio River System.

  44. AND, while I'm at it, What about that big, monstrous son of a bitch that runs down our East Coast? You could power the World ten times over with that booger.

  45. Maybe ex-Senator Craig just didn't know he was gay, and should have taken This Quiz

    Craig should have no trouble finding work as a janitor in San Francisco, at least, what with his impeccable sense of cleanliness in picking up toilet paper from the floors of stalls.


    Did poppy production really drop that much in Afghanistan under the Taliban? I saw a graph somewhere showing it was down significantly in only one year, and there was some kind of explanation for that, like they were busting those that didn't pay their taxes or something.

    Rufus had a link up some days ago about a nuclear generating plant planned for Idaho here that incorporated biofuels production too, right at the site.

  46. What we need to decide is whether Pakhtuns are Afghani Paki Irani Israeli or neither.

  47. "Funny thing, now the Taliban are encouraging opium production. What godly men!"

    The Taliban wasn't catagorically anti-opium even when it was in power. It was an important source of revenue even then. They drafted a doctrine wherein handling the stuff, to the benefit of Islam, was acceptable, but that actually using the stuff was impious.

    Cynicism will find a way.

  48. I'm still waiting for Shah Jr's coup.
    The wonderful thing about the internet, shit's out there, well after the fact.

    Reading some of the stuff, for '03 is enlightening. General Myers telling US that the disruption in Iraq, before the word "insurgency" was used, was a sign of US success.

    But, back to Shah Jr May of '06 still, just a year late. I've done as bad, with timeline projections where other people have been depended upon.

    But the reality of Iran's position has not changed that much this story from November of '05. Domestic Threats to Iranian Stability: Khuzistan and Baluchistan, if anything the situation for the mullahs has deteriorated. That it is not worse, another Team 43 shortfall.

  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

  50. Cynicism based upon experience will hardly ever let you down, cutler.
    When and if it does, reason to party, like it's 1999.

    JALALABAD, Afghanistan (February 15, 2001 8:19 p.m. EST
    U.N. drug control officers said the Taliban religious militia has nearly wiped out opium production in Afghanistan -- once the world's largest producer -- since banning poppy cultivation last summer.

    A 12-member team from the U.N. Drug Control Program spent two weeks searching most of the nation's largest opium-producing areas and found so few poppies that they do not expect any opium to come out of Afghanistan this year.

    "We are not just guessing. We have seen the proof in the fields," said Bernard Frahi, regional director for the U.N. program in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He laid out photographs of vast tracts of land cultivated with wheat alongside pictures of the same fields taken a year earlier -- a sea of blood-red poppies.

    A State Department official said Thursday all the information the United States has received so far indicates the poppy crop had decreased, but he did not believe it was eliminated.

    Last year, Afghanistan produced nearly 4,000 tons of opium, about 75 percent of the world's supply, U.N. officials said. Opium -- the milky substance drained from the poppy plant -- is converted into heroin and sold in Europe and North America. The 1999 output was a world record for opium production, the United Nations said -- more than all other countries combined, including the "Golden Triangle," where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet.

    Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban's supreme leader, banned poppy growing before the November planting season and augmented it with a religious edict making it contrary to the tenets of Islam.

    The Taliban, which has imposed a strict brand of Islam in the 95 percent of Afghanistan it controls, has set fire to heroin laboratories and jailed farmers until they agreed to destroy their poppy crops.

    The U.N. surveyors, who completed their search this week, crisscrossed Helmand, Kandahar, Urzgan and Nangarhar provinces and parts of two others -- areas responsible for 86 percent of the opium produced in Afghanistan last year, Frahi said in an interview Wednesday. They covered 80 percent of the land in those provinces that last year had been awash in poppies.

    This year they found poppies growing on barely an acre here and there, Frahi said. The rest -- about 175,000 acres -- was clean.

    "We have to look at the situation with careful optimism," said Sandro Tucci of the U.N. Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention in Vienna, Austria.

    He said indications are that no poppies were planted this season and that, as a result, there hasn't been any production of opium -- but that officials would keep checking.

    The State Department counternarcotics official said the department would make its own estimate of the poppy crop. Information received so far suggests there will be a decrease, but how much is not yet clear, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    "We do not think by any stretch of the imagination that poppy cultivation in Afghanistan has been eliminated. But we, like the rest of the world, welcome positive news."

  51. Karim Rahimi, the U.N. drug control liaison in Jalalabad, capital of Nangarhar province, said farmers were growing wheat or onions in fields where they once grew poppies.

    "It is amazing, really, when you see the fields that last year were filled with poppies and this year there is wheat," he said.

    The Taliban enforced the ban by threatening to arrest village elders and mullahs who allowed poppies to be grown. Taliban soldiers patrolled in trucks armed with rocket-propelled grenade launchers. About 1,000 people in Nangarhar who tried to defy the ban were arrested and jailed until they agreed to destroy their crops.

    Signs throughout Nangarhar warn against drug production and use, some calling it an "illicit phenomenon." Another reads: "Be drug free, be happy."

    Last year, poppies grew on 12,600 acres of land in Nangarhar province. According to the U.N. survey, poppies were planted on only 17 acres there this season and all were destroyed by the Taliban.

    "The Taliban have done their work very seriously," Frahi said.

    But the ban has badly hurt farmers in one of the world's poorest countries, shattered by two decades of war and devastated by drought.

    Ahmed Rehman, who shares less than three acres in Nangarhar with his three brothers, said the opium he produced last year on part of the land brought him $1,100.

    This year, he says, he will be lucky to get $300 for the onions and cattle feed he planted on the entire parcel.

    "Life is very bad for me this year," he said. "Last year I was able to buy meat and wheat and now this year there is nothing."

    But Rehman said he never considered defying the ban.

    "The Taliban were patrolling all the time. Of course I was afraid. I did not want to go to jail and lose my freedom and my dignity," he said, gesturing with dirt-caked hands.

  52. Poppies, poppies everywhere but not in the land of the UN supervised Taliban.

    Maybe they operated like the IAEA?

  53. Rubin:


    While the forces which drive Iranian separatism might be partly internal, in almost every serious case, regional and ethnic separatists in Iran have benefited from foreign support, be it British, Russian, or Ottoman. As a result, many Iranians conflate demands for federalism or ethnic rights with foreign conspiracy.


    The Iranian regime is unpopular among the majority of its population. Persian-language telephone polls - surveying random households in every telephone exchange - consistently show that only 20 percent of the population supports the philosophical underpinnings of the Islamic Republic. Eighty percent do not think the system can be reformed.21

    Anecdotally and quantitatively, all data suggest that the majority of Iran's youth long for the freedom enjoyed in the West. This does not suggest that they are not patriotic. Iranian nationalism is a strong force. While the Islamic Republic's oligarchy may use inflated oil prices to hold onto power for a little longer, the demographic trends are against the ayatollahs. When the Islamic Republic collapses, a strong unified Iran will be a force for stability and a regional bulwark against the Islamism under which the Iranian people now chafe.

    Neither Washington nor any other Western democracy should attempt to play the separatist card in Iran. To do so would not only backfire, but would trade ephemeral short-term gain for long-term strategic harm. The realists are wrong.

  54. "The Taliban were patrolling all the time. Of course I was afraid."

    The Taliban have no problems with an onerous judicial system. Not that I am advocating their style of justice but one must admit that it's more "effective" than the system we have evolved.

    I recently saw on the news, a report showing a group of prisoners being held by Iraqi police somewhere in Anbar. The Chief pointed to one of the prisoners whom he identified as one his former officers who was an al-Qaeda agent. The Chief said he wanted to put a bullet in the man's head. I think this would be a quick, simple, effective deterrent.

    We've said it before here at the EB, Iraq would benefit from a little more "frontier" justice: A quick trial followed by a hanging instead of a revolving jail door.

  55. Meanwhile, right now, HSN is selling a "Multigem Zen Garden." for $49.95 plus S&H.

  56. "I recently saw on the news, a report showing a group of prisoners being held by Iraqi police somewhere in Anbar. The Chief pointed to one of the prisoners whom he identified as one his former officers who was an al-Qaeda agent. The Chief said he wanted to put a bullet in the man's head. I think this would be a quick, simple, effective deterrent."

    Sure. Except in the not unlikely event that the prisoner had fuck-all to do with al Qaeda. We've been down that road before.

  57. Lumpenproletariate Riot in Denmark

    This doesn't seem to mention anything about any religious tensions--I assume just youth pissed they no longer have that free place to shoot up.

    The one time I was in Denmark, about 1970--I noticed--you couldn't miss it--the listless youth squatting around the parks in Copenhagen, up to no good. Hasn't changed it would seem.

    At yet the low countries I read produce more goods and services that all araby, excluding the oil revenues. So I quess it could be a lot worse in Denmark.

  58. That's why having the Shah Jr lead the revolution, without a lot of visible foreign backing, would have been the prefered course.
    No reason to have it look like the US was playing the separatist card. Wouldn't even have to look like the US was at the table, or standing that close to the game.

    But that would require a bit more skullduggery or finesse than Team 43 has been capable of. They can't even fire employees that work "at the pleasure" of the President, smoothly.
    A more inept bunch of Texicans would be hard to find. Team 43 setting a new level of ineptitiude, even for Texicans.

  59. No reason to have it look like the US was playing the separatist card. Wouldn't even have to look like the US was at the table, or standing that close to the game.

    - Rat

    What, after he came out to Human Events? C'mon, Rat. Why'd he do that? If he had something in the running, why'd he blow the lid on it three, four months before payoff?

    Stinks to high heaven.

  60. He knows Everybody knows Human Events is a bunch of lies!

  61. That's nothin, Whit, you can buy the revolutionary
    for only about 130 bucks.
    Gauranteed to fix your aching back, or your money back.
    Looks like about $3 worth of foam and plastic.

  62. "The Taliban have no problems with an onerous judicial system. Not that I am advocating their style of justice but one must admit that it's more "effective" than the system we have evolved.
    We've said it before here at the EB, Iraq would benefit from a little more "frontier" justice:

    A quick trial followed by a hanging instead of a revolving jail door.
    Some days (of the month?) Trish just likes to disagree, Whit.
    ...or else she's a careless reader, or thinker.

  63. from "Justinian's Flea"--

    The Three Thousand-Body Problem

    The law of gravitation in the seventeenth century by Isaac Newton states that two bodies attract each other with a force that is directly proportional to the bodies' mass, and inversely proportional to the length of a straight line separating one from the other. What this means, in practice, is that the measure of the path followed by any two bodies--the earth and the moon, for example--has a single solution, depending on the size of the respective bodies, and their distance from one another. Solutions to such two-body problems, as they are known, are simple, elegant , and most of all, unique.

    Add even one more body to the system, however, and the solution is no longer unique. The best solutions to three-or-more body problems, in fact, are 'only' approximations..though, with the help of powerful computers, those approximations can be extremely precise. Calculating the path of an Apollo spacecraft from the east coast of Florida to the Sea of Tranquility, for example, which must take into account the mass of the earth, the moon, the sun, as well as the space-craft itself(not to mention relatively minor effects exerted by other planets, comets, stars, and so on), is considerably harder than figuring the path of a dozen billiard balls on a felt tabletop, but the approximate solution has clearly been a satisfactory one.

    The forces that transformed the Mediterranean world of late anitquity into medieval Europe were considerably greater in number than the significant gravitational forces acting on Apollo 11, and any history that proposes a precise account of their interactions is bound to be, in some respects, unsatisfactory. These forces include, in no particular order, the geography and climate of the Mediterranean and surrounding territories; the eastward shift of the Roman Empire from its Italian home to Asia Minor; the resulting westbound migrations of numerous peoples--preeminently the Goths--from the Black Sea region into the Italian and Iberian peninsulas:and the encounter with successive waves of nomadic horse archers emerging out of the Eurasian steppe(whose presence initiated a series of military innovations that led to the armed, armored, and stirruped cavalry of the European Middle Ages). Other forces, no less powerful, acted directly on the minds of the peoples of the Mediterranean: the centuries-in-refinement philosophy of Plato, particularly as seen in the late antiquity deveopment retrospectively known as Neoplatonism; messianic Christianity, with all its attendant and perhaps inevitable, doctrinal disputes; and the growth of powerful educational institutions drawing on both traditions, whose pupils rose to the highest positions in government.

    Some of the forces were initiated by individuals: the military revolution of Diocletian, the adoption of Christianity as a state religion by Constantine, and the reenergizing of the Persian Empire--and its state religion, Zoroastrianism--by it's great ruler, Khusro Anushirvan. All changed the path of history to greater or lesser degree. Some of the forces exerted influence in the most unlikely ways: one of the consequences of the theft of the secret of silk making from China was the withdrawal of Rome and Persia from the Arabian peninsula, only a decade before the birth in Mecca of the founder of the world's last great monotheistic whose armies would destroy the Persian Empire and conquer most of Rome's.

    Though a precise retracing of the journey is impossible.....

    And it is the moment, with the emperor(Justinian)at the absolute zenith of his achievement, that the world encountered the first pandemic in history.


    The plague killed around 25 million.

    It's a hard thing to try to figure out what might happen, to say the least. But something must be done, as inaction is a type of action too. Therefore Luther might have been on to something when he said 'sin bravely', a misunderstand quotation, meaning inevitably situations are going to arise where one doesn't really have a clue what is best to do, and invevitably, shit will happen, so accept it, make the best choice one thinks on can, and hi-ho away we go.

  64. "Pension fund administrators, such as those at California's giant CalPERS, have opposed them. They argue that divesting would cost them money."
    Figures that California's Mullahs of Education would service the Iranian Mullahs as a professional courtesy.

  65. Thanks for that Bob, it reminded me of the unabashed history of western civilization courses which were once the norm for a university liberal arts education.

  66. His operational security was a tad weak, in that regard, was it not?

    But, the Ayatollah Khomeini
    made no pretense of hiding his determination to go back to Iran.

    Herr Hitler did not hide his intentions when he wrote Mein Kampf.
    History is full of plotters and revolutionaries publishing their plans, prior to execution.

    Look to Mr Lenin as another example.

    Often this occurs with those in exile. Mr Chalabi in Iraq did not hide his intentions and desires, spoke of them in public, often.

    Mr Maliki did so while in Syria, I'd wager.

    They all were a bit stinky, operationally, not reaching the exalted level of a CIA "slam dunk".

    Even Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin did not operate in intellectual blackout conditions or vacuums.
    But, with Sam Adams in the vanguard had made their plans public, how else does one garner popular support, or the support of foreign allies, like the French?

  67. And if you think history is improbable, try this--
    from the Jewish biologist Stephen Jay Gould's essay "The Evolution of Life on Earth'

    Homo sapiens did not appear on the earth, just a geologic second ago, because evolutionary theory predicts such an outcome based on themes of progress and increasing neural complexity. Humans arose, rather , as a fortuitous and contingent outcome of thousands of linked events, any one of which could have occurred differently and sent history on an alternative pathway that would not have led to consciousness. To cite just four among a multitude; (1) If our inconspicuous and fragile lineage had not been among the few survivors of the inital radiation of multicellular animal life in the Cambrian explosion 530 million years ago, then no vertebrates would have inhabited the earth at all. (2) If a small and unpromising group of lobe-finned fishes had not evolved fin bones with a strong central axis capable of bearing weight on land, then vertebrates might never have existed (3) If a large extraterrestial body had not struck the earth 65 million years ago, then dinosaurs would still be dominant and mammals insignificant. (4)If a small lineage of primates had not evolved upright posture on the drying African savannas just two to four million years ago, then our ancestry might have ended in a line of apes that, like the chimpanzee and gorilla today, would have become ecologically marginal and probably doomed to extinction despite their remarkable behavioral complexity.


    Yet Gould is not down on religion at all, saying that science and religion are mutually exclusive realms of knowledge, both best kept in their respective areas. He thinks of himself as an agnostic.

    Makes my head spin, it does.

  68. I don't have any problems with Trish's observations, comments, quips and retorts. She's "alright by me."

    Funny thing is, I miss ol' Teresita's rapier wit too.

    I wouldn't say that about everyone that had darkened the EB doors.

  69. Polack Jet:)--Doug, that's just insensitive, that's what that is! You should be fined.

  70. Well, really I just generally like to see people come, less to see them go. Want the Elphant Bar to prosper, really.

  71. De-nuking Korea

    Before popping the champaign we ought to wait and see, but maybe the Chinese have put sufficient pinch on li'l Kim. Sounds like good news, if true, to me.

    Teresita--me too, come back.

  72. This was an interesting interview on Hugh Hewitt's show Wednesday.
    HH: Thomas Barnett, if we “speed up the battle,” and that battle involves hundreds of thousands of casualties slaughtered in a genocidal kind of conflict, as John Burns has suggested to me on this program could happen, the New York Times correspondent, don’t you think that will bankrupt our credibility in the third world with whom you are such the urgent agent of connecting?

    TB: Well, it’s…you know, we’re going to get the same outcome whether it’s slow-motion or whether it’s fast. If we do it slow-motion with attendant U.S. casualties, my biggest concern is you’re going to bankrupt American morale, and you’re going to get a withdrawal from the region out of spite and out of dissatisfaction with how this thing’s gone. And in the same way that FDR had to make certain compromises in the Second World War to make sure we were going to be around to deal with Europe post-war, you know, I think we have to play not just with our eyes on this game clock, but on the longer war game clock, and that’s why…I mean, I’m more willing to run that risk than accept the consequences of that than I think other people are, simply because I think it’s going to happen anyway, just in a slower fashion. The same number of deaths.

    I think of him more as P.T. Barnum than P.T. Barnett. He's a slick self promoter (which is good business). He thinks we need to be talking to the Iranians, the Syrians, et al.

  73. "His operational security was a tad weak, in that regard, was it not?"

    To such an extent that "iffy" factions of the Revolutionary Guards would pay. (Was it the Israelis? Was it the US? No, it was the Iranian regime that went about "sending a message" to the Guards.)

    And who was Shah Jr sending a message to or hoping to influence in his interview?

  74. If I were son of Shah, I'd be more than tempted to say the hell with it, and get a nice spreed in Montana, or Canada, or somewhere, thinking it ain't worth it. But that's just me, bob son of bob.

  75. Heck if I know, trish.
    He's the Son of Shah, chosen by god, like Prince Philip or Harry the Warrior Prince.
    Divine right of Kings and all that.

    Just think he'd be better sittin' on the Peacock throne than the mullahs, waitin' at the well for the Mahdi. At least better for US.

    Back to Afghanistan, though, the NYTimes e-mailed me this little tidbit, one that is right on topic, glory be!

    Afghan Police Are Set Back

    KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, Aug. 26 — Over the past six weeks, the Taliban have driven government forces out of roughly half of a strategic area in southern Afghanistan that American and NATO officials declared a success story last fall in their campaign to clear out insurgents and make way for development programs, Afghan officials say.

    A year after Canadian and American forces drove hundreds of Taliban fighters from the area, the Panjwai and Zhare districts southwest of Kandahar, the rebels are back and have adopted new tactics. Carrying out guerrilla attacks after NATO troops partly withdrew in July, they overran isolated police posts and are now operating in areas where they can mount attacks on Kandahar, the south’s largest city.

    The setback is part of a bloody stalemate that has occurred between NATO troops and Taliban fighters across southern Afghanistan this summer. NATO and Afghan Army soldiers can push the Taliban out of rural areas, but the Afghan police are too weak to hold the territory after they withdraw. At the same time, the Taliban are unable to take large towns and have generally mounted fewer suicide bomb attacks in southern cities than they did last summer.

    The Panjwai and Zhare districts, in particular, highlight the changing nature of the fight in the south. The military operation there in September 2006 was the largest conventional battle in the country since 2002. But this year, the Taliban are avoiding set battles with NATO and instead are attacking the police and stepping up their use of roadside bombs, known as improvised explosive devices or I.E.D.’s.

    “It’s very seldom that we have direct engagement with the Taliban,” said Brig. Gen. Guy Laroche, the commander of Canadian forces leading the NATO effort in Kandahar. “What they’re going to use is I.E.D.’s.”

    The Taliban also wage intimidation campaigns against the population. Local officials report that one of the things that the insurgents do when they enter an area is to hang several local farmers, declaring them spies.

    “The first thing they do is show people how brutal they are,” said Hajji Agha Lalai, the leader of the Panjwai district council. “They were hanged from the trees. For several days, they hung there.”

    NATO and American military officials have declined to release exact Taliban attack statistics, and collecting accurate information is difficult, particularly in rural Afghanistan. According to an internal United Nations tally, insurgents set off 516 improvised explosive devices in 2007. Another 402 improvised explosive devices were discovered before detonation.

    Reported security incidents, a broad category that includes bombings, firefights and intimidation, are up from roughly 500 a month last year to 600 a month this year, a 20 percent increase, according to the United Nations. ...

    There is more, in the same vein.

    It is a shame that some folk seem to fade away. Fade to black, as it were.
    Not nearly so many folk around the blogs to call me nasty names, discouraged by events that were forecast, they must be.
    Lacking the courage of their own convictions, or maybe they just got jobs.

    Old pierre seems to have abandoned the BC, just to downbeat over there for him, once he realized Mr Bush had been telling the truth all these years.

    Now it's all about Chinese spies and the the nasty Democrats, nary a word about Mr Craig. Not a well defined sense of humor, over there.

    The US as Czarist Russia was the latest meme of note. They do not want to see things through a glass, darkly.
    Old Wretch, he wants it blacked out. Those are seeminly the depths of his depression.

  76. dRat,

    Save some of that optimism for tomorrow. Might not have enough to fight another day.

  77. Not a chance, nat.
    All I have to do, like Will Rogers, read the papers.

    Syed Aqa Saqib, Kandahar’s provincial police chief, said Canadian and Afghan Army forces began withdrawing from four checkpoints and two small bases in Panjwai in early July. The withdrawals coincided with the rotation of Canadian military units serving in Kandahar in August, he said.

    The pullback left two Afghan police posts in Panjwai largely unprotected, he said. On Aug. 7, the Taliban attacked the posts simultaneously. For several hours, the police held them off and called for help from Canadian forces, he said, but none arrived. Sixteen policemen were killed.

    “The Canadians didn’t support them,” Mr. Saqib said. “Then, we went to collect our dead.”

    General Laroche, the Canadian commander, said an Afghan Army unit was immediately sent to aid the police but it returned and asked for Canadian assistance, citing fears of roadside bombs. Canadian troops then arrived as quickly as they could.

    Ash's Army of preference, unlike the US Cavalry, didn't get there in time.

    Played polo with Will Rogers grandson, here in Scottsdale. Pretty nice guy, Chuck is, he traveled the world playin' polo on the strength of his last name. He played and rode pretty well, but that alone didn't draw the invites.

    Never even met his grand dad.
    But Chuck, he can read a newspaper.

  78. That General in Rowanda, the one that abandoned the genocide victims, he was Canadian, too.

    No wonder a fellow like ash fits in so well, up there.

  79. “The Canadians didn’t support them,” Mr. Saqib said. “Then, we went to collect our dead.”

    Mr Lewis, he only speaks badly of the US as friends because he never bet his life on a Canuck.

  80. The ship is leaking. At least, so says some Daily Kos Kid.

  81. William Jennings Bryan has taken a quantum leap upward in my opinion.

    from the essay "The Most Unkindest Cut of All" by Stephen Jay Gould

    "Hitler didn't invent the mistaken translation to human affairs.(*Gould is speaking of the survival of the fittest so called*) Claptrap Darwinism had served as an official rationale for German military conquest in World War I(while our side often used the same argument, though less zealously and systematically). In fact, Williams Jennings Bryon(see essay 28 in my book 'Bully for Brontosaurus') first decided to oppose evolution when he mistook Darwin's actual formulations for the egregious German misuse that so deeply disturbed him."

  82. Well, if you were a real bad-ass, and your tribe lost the dust-up you could go live in Afghanistan, and rob the caravans.

    Except, now, there ain't no caravans. Shit. The climate would be okay for growing, but they need water. Charles needs to draw'em up a plan to run some pipes up from the Sea of Arabie.

  83. I was reading something the other day about the Rawandan genocide. Somebody--seems the French--shipped in one hell of a lot of machetes before it began. I'll try to find where I read it.

  84. I read the machetes were Chinese.

    The French were involved with the Hutu government in other ways, however.

    No moral superiors, there.

  85. The problem with Afghanistan is the Taliban is the only outfit in the whole world that "Truly" wants the damned sorry, misbegotten place. There's at least twice the GDP, and many times more free cash flow in a typical rural Georgia trailor park than there is in the whole of the barren boondocks, leeward of the Whassup Mountains.

    Maybe we could "Buy" Wasupistan (the Pakis aren't using it anyway) and Nuke the damned place. Then we wouldn't have to occupy AfdamnwhyamIhereistan to keep the whassup wackies from coming over and taking it. Maybe I need a drink.

  86. Or maybe not, Rufus. Your description of the state of affairs in Afgodawfulastan seems spot on to me, from what I've been reading lately.

  87. I'll take a nap, and THEN decide on the Drink.

  88. One of my best friends is a typical product of modern American Middle East studies programs. Hates the Israelis, hates Christians, but loves Islamists (ironically, for all the reasons he hates Christians - makes it fun to poke at the resulting cognitivie dissonance). 30-40 years ago he would have been in love with the Pan-Arabists, the then hope of third-worldists.

    He's terrified of the Chinese, though.

  89. Maybe he had some bad takeout or something.

  90. Tell him not to shop at Wal-Mart(Toxic-Mart), Cutler.

  91. Mr Howard - a late convert to the problem of climate change - has come in for criticism about how serious he is about the problem.

    "I'm satisfied that the scientific evidence demonstrates that mankind has made a big contribution to greenhouse gas emission growth,'' he said today.

    ''(But) we have to avoid overreaction, we have to avoid damaging industries valuable to Australia, such as the coal industry ... and we have to look at all of the alternatives like nuclear power because that's the cleanest energy source of all.

    Climate Change Progress

  92. Fight global warming. Turn your fridge off. Self-Cooling Beer Can

    John Howard used the dreaded, fearful N word---nuclear power. Good for him.

  93. Tom Warrick, Doug.

    That was the DOS guy.

    Google is our friend.


  95. Wiccan Elwood 'Bunky' Bartlett claims MegaMillions Winning Ticket

    Now for the quicky divorce, and head to Vegas.

  96. Let's begin with when you get the call.

    On Jan. 9, I was in Manhattan to give an end-of-year report to our corporation. I got a call on my cell phone from Doug Feith, [who] said that Secretary Rumsfeld asked him to call me and ask me if I would come and put together a team from the other agency to do the planning for postwar Iraq, if there was a war.

    He used those words, "If there was a war?"

    If there was a war, yes. "Should there be a war," I think he said, and that many of the plans had already been done, but what had not been done [was] there hadn't been a horizontal integration of the plans. ...



    A small matter of interest: That means the warning order didn't go out until January 03. That means Bush didn't buy into the invasion until January 03. Making some people's speculation on a late decision right on the money.

  97. The new U.S. counter narcotics strategy puts forth three primary changes from the current plan. The first change is a dramatic increase in development assistance to decrease the illicit development of drugs while simultaneously increasing both the scope and intensity of drug interdiction and eradication operations.

    Second, counter narcotics and counter insurgency planning and operations need to be coordinated much better than has been the case in the past, and special emphasis must be put on integrating drug interdiction into the counter insurgency mission. Finally, the U.S. must encourage solid political will within the Afghan government for fighting the illicit drug trade.

    This political determination to stop the drugs must also extend to American allies and international civilian and military organizations conducting operations inside Afghanistan's borders.

    Drugs in Afghanistan

  98. That's great news, sam.

    Now only if the Canadians, or their Coalition partners, in Afghanistan, would support the Afghan police when their posts are under attack by the Taliban.

    Perhaps get them some air support, or some such other ready reaction assistance.

    Perhaps that quote from Professor Lewis, the one habu thought so much of, should be modified a bit:

    "The Coalition is harmless as an enemy and treacherous as a friend."

    Wonder how Sp4 Tillman would feel about that quote, if he were still around, after being triple tapped in the forehead.
    At over 200 meters, up hill,
    by a M4 with open sights,
    in Afghanistan.

    Quite the accidental series of misplaced rounds, must say.

  99. It would have to be an accident, Rat. You couldn't "triple-tap" the Oakland Coliseum with an m-4 at that distance.

  100. Who in Tillman's unit would want to kill Tillman, and why? I don't get the reasoning.

  101. Somebody with the mind of a Rat, and a weapon out of "Late Nite" ! :-)

  102. Send this Cop to Irack!

    Better yet, send her to Waziristan:

    She'd hund down Osama in a Week!

  103. Who knows, but it couldn't have been an "accidental" grouping, if the public reports are accurate, either.

    Unless all three rounds hit him, in that small grouping simultaniously. The head moves at the first impact, it would not be there, in the target area, for the third. Impacting the skull bone and hydrostatic pressure from the high velocity 5.56mm in the brain tissue guarentees movement at impact.

    As he was reported to be standing when shot, trying to identify himself, his head would have been in motion and not static after the first round impacted.

    The weapon, on full auto, would not have produced that type grouping, but would have a wider impact area at distance.
    Nature of the weapon.

    As to what actually occurred or how it happened, heaven only knows. His personal journal may have held the answer, but it went missing from his personal belongings.

    Then there was the "Cover Up" with a General reprimanded for improper behaviour.

    I would not put it past the Army to cover up the cover up with a note in the file of a retired General and publicly apologizing for a small part of the miscreant behaviour. Continuing to hide the reality in plain sight.

    The only other casualty that day, the Afghani interpreter. The only person on that patrol that was not in the Ranger "brotherhood".

  104. Double up your bets on America folks. We aren't done yet.

    Tillman's death sure is puzzling. I hope a real answer comes to the surface somehow.


  105. "That means Bush didn't buy into the invasion until January 03."
    I think he bought into it before that.
    How about maybe it was the usual tug-of-war between Powell and Rumsfeld, and Rumsfeld got to call that shot, until the rug was then unceremoniously pulled out from Garner?
    Point Powell,
    for the Insurgency

    "Making some people's speculation on a late decision right on the money."
    I'm afraid to ask, but are you saying here we wuz right?

  106. "Then he said, “We’ll have a nice place in Dallas,” where he will be running what he called “a fantastic Freedom Institute” promoting democracy around the world."
    Why can't ex-presidents fade away w/class and dignity like they used to sometimes?
    ...but then, this is the guy who just could not give enough praise to Bubba and his Power Mad Wife, nor Ted the Babe Killer.
    Whata Jerk.

  107. "I think he bought into it before that."

    Why do you think that?

  108. I never have understood articles like that Bobal. They just don't make any sense. I guess the guy just had a deadline he had to make and needed to get some words on paper; but, it's just weird.

  109. "And in apparent reference to the invasion of Iraq, he continued, “This group-think of ‘we all sat around and decided’ — there’s only one person that can decide, and that’s the president.”

    Mr. Draper said Mr. Bush took issue with him for unearthing details of a meeting in April 2006 at which he took a show-of-hands vote on the future of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who was among his closest advisers. Mr. Bush told Mr. Draper he had no recollection of it, but he said he disagreed with the implication that he regularly governed by staff vote. (According to Mr. Draper’s book, the vote was 7 to 4 for Mr. Rumsfeld’s ouster, with Mr. Bush being one of the no votes. Mr. Rumsfeld stayed on months longer.)

    In response to Mr. Draper’s observance that Mr. Bush had nobody’s “shoulder to cry on,” the president said: “Of course I do, I’ve got God’s shoulder to cry on, and I cry a lot.”

    Well whoop de friggin.
    I'd cry a lot too if I set myself up to be constantly in over my head.

    The Decider that can't decide which side to side with next, at home and abroad.

  110. The war.
    One of us could look up that book the famous guy wrote:
    It relates how Bush was talking to Wolfie and became a born again true believer in democracy.

    Still plans to be when he hits Dallas again, sounds like.

  111. I posted it in Wretches archives, but it may be the old dark ones that he's never fixed.

  112. If Powell (and State) won against Rumsfeld, Doug, they never got Warrick into Baghadad.

    Funny way to win.

  113. Warrick just had the plans, not the influence.

  114. Powell's hatchet man probly promised him good head if he'd pick Bremmer.

  115. If Bush, the Decider, bought into the invasion before 01/03, why didn't the warning order go out before then?

    He didn't decide to go through with it until January.

  116. "Tell him not to shop at Wal-Mart(Toxic-Mart), Cutler."

    A very good point, maybe it was bad pet food that got him.

  117. Now you're movin the goalposts!

    I often fantasize stuff way before I decide to go through with it.
    Problem is, the fairer sex rarely agrees.

  118. I must have missed along the way the reason for your vehement, personal dislike of Powell.

  119. Then again, it could also have been pets in the takeout.

  120. I'm working on my Korea post for you, Cutler:
    Finding out about my unit is so hard that I'm finding all sorts of interesting related stuff.

    Didn't know we had the only Sergeant Missiles in Korea.

    Didn't know the base was only 2 years old, either, although it was posh for Korea.

  121. Self-serving traitors don't do it for me.

  122. Sharansky? Yeah, I never understood THAT, either. I guess there's a bunch I'm not understanding tonight. But, damn, if you need a Russian to explain to you that Democracy is Good . . . . . . . Well, hell, I just don't know.

  123. He and Armitage should have been hung for letting Scooter, the Admin, and the Country Hang out to dry like that in a time of war.

  124. "Warrick just had the plans, not the influence."

    So the point of the influence (vs. the plans) was what?

  125. It occurred to me many years ago that Eastern Europeans were natural born fascists, and didn't have the slightest feeling for America, Freedom, or Democracy. They all talked a good game for about 30 minutes, and then, invariably, the mask would fall.

  126. ...but it'll buy him good press for the rest of his miserable lifetime.

  127. Maybe Edwards is Eastern European?



  128. "He and Armitage should have been hung for letting Scooter, the Admin, and the Country Hang out to dry like that in a time of war."

    For outing Wilson and Plame? I thought that was a good thing.

  129. "So the point of the influence (vs. the plans) was what? "
    I already told you, provided by Armitage.
    Just a few blanks to fill in.

  130. You read too much left wing trash, Trish!


  132. If somebody sent me to jail on false pretenses, I'd damned sure shoot him if I could get away w/it!

  133. " I'm working on my Korea post for you, Cutler:
    Finding out about my unit is so hard that I'm finding all sorts of interesting related stuff."

    Good to know that I set into motion something worthwhile. Was wondering if you were sore at me or something. Anyway, I'll be waiting.

    Last night I was talking with the aforementioned friend about some of the crazy shit - axe murderers, tunnels, midget subs, Rangoon bombings - that the North Koreans have pulled. You might remember this?

  134. "You read too much left wing trash, Trish!"

    Don't you think it was a good idea to uncover Wilson and Plame?

    Don't you think Armitage was acting in the interest of the nation?

  135. Hrmmm, the link fucked up.

  136. Naw, not any sorer than usual, Cutler:
    All I have to do is look in the mirror to see I'm old.
    Nuff to piss a guy off!

  137. I think it's still not all there
    put it on separate lines and I'll put it back together.

  138. Are you aware of what happened, Trish?

    Armitage knew,
    Fitzpatrick knew,
    Powell knew,
    Before the trial STARTED, IT WAS ARMITAGE not Libby!

    No problem with that?

  139. Wiley Coyote, take 3.

  140. Americans respect age, mostly.

    Bask in it.

    Besides, you're probably younger than my father, surprisingly or not.

  141. Armitage knew,
    Fitzpatrick knew,
    Powell knew,
    Before the trial STARTED, IT WAS ARMITAGE not Libby!

    - Doug

    But Armitage did the right thing to begin with, correct, in disclosing the subversive Wilson-Plame scheme?

  142. No, hadn't seen that, looks interesting.
    There was one amazing conflict on the DMZ over a tree, and I almost freaked when it looked like Pueblo was gonna get me extended!---
    Download this pdf!

    A history of U.S. Nuclear Weapons in South Korea

    I think we ordered 600 of the little man carryied little Johns, Nuke Capable!
    Lots o' Nukes rattlin around in those days!

  143. I'll have to think about that, Trish.
    He STILL could have told the truth and saved Libby and the country from twisting in the wind.

    ...Armitage would not even have had to pay for his non-Crime.

  144. Think I meant Davy Crockett.
    I'll look it up.

  145. Yeah, "Bask" in it, Asshole!

    Har, de har, har

    shakes head


  146. Here's a cool launch of a Lance.
    Fast accellerator!
    Gotta ask RWE why the spin rockets had such a black blast.

  147. Davy Crockett was the atomic artillery shell, right?

  148. It's shown in that second link:
    75 lbs!

  149. I thought it was kind of interesting that right after Kim's Dong went wrong, and we made that big-time oblique intercept of the ICBM his "Nuke" program kind of withered away.

  150. We've taken a Wide Stance in Korea.

  151. That's the joke, we could fight 10 wars at once...8 or 9 of them would just have to be nuclear. Romney had some interesting things to say on the topic this week.

    Operation Paul Bunyan was the tree.

    Cool name. Pity that South Korea's such a political disapointment today. Another country we -owe- nothing, but are now tied to.

  152. Maximum range: 8.10 km (5.00 mi).
    Gotta get a good close look at your handiwork!

  153. South Koreans are the strangest breed of all. As individuals, there have never been Braver people on the face of the Earth. As a Group, they are . . . . well, hell, what can I say? . . . . South Koreans

  154. "In addition, a 64-man ROK special forces company accompanied them, armed with clubs and trained in Tae Kwon Do, supposedly without firearms. However, once they parked their trucks near the Bridge of No Return, they started throwing out the sandbags that lined the truck bottoms, and handing out M-16 rifles and M-79 grenade launchers that had been concealed below. Several of the special forces men also had Claymore mines strapped to their chests with the firing mechanism in their hands, and were shouting at the North Koreans to cross the bridge."

  155. Yeah, that was the one!
    Paul Bunyan, indeed!

  156. Dayyum, it's late; G'nite.

  157. I worked this summer with a former KATUSA. He was shocked I knew what it was. About 120 lbs, but one of the nicest guys I've ever met.

  158. Doug, your katusa link doesn't work.