“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."

Monday, September 17, 2007

Did Israel Send a Message to Iran via Syria?

"The new 'axis of evil' may have lost one of its spokes."

Israelis ‘blew apart Syrian nuclear cache’

Secret raid on Korean shipment
(hat tip: Doug}

Uzi Mahnaimi in Tel Aviv, Sarah Baxter in Washington and Michael Sheridan Timeosline

IT was just after midnight when the 69th Squadron of Israeli F15Is crossed the Syrian coast-line. On the ground, Syria’s formidable air defences went dead. An audacious raid on a Syrian target 50 miles from the Iraqi border was under way.

At a rendezvous point on the ground, a Shaldag air force commando team was waiting to direct their laser beams at the target for the approaching jets. The team had arrived a day earlier, taking up position near a large underground depot. Soon the bunkers were in flames.

Ten days after the jets reached home, their mission was the focus of intense speculation this weekend amid claims that Israel believed it had destroyed a cache of nuclear materials from North Korea.

The Israeli government was not saying. “The security sources and IDF [Israeli Defence Forces] soldiers are demonstrating unusual courage,” said Ehud Olmert, the prime minister. “We naturally cannot always show the public our cards.”

The Syrians were also keeping mum. “I cannot reveal the details,” said Farouk al-Sharaa, the vice-president. “All I can say is the military and political echelon is looking into a series of responses as we speak. Results are forthcoming.” The official story that the target comprised weapons destined for Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi’ite group, appeared to be crumbling in the face of widespread scepticism.

Andrew Semmel, a senior US State Department official, said Syria might have obtained nuclear equipment from “secret suppliers”, and added that there were a “number of foreign technicians” in the country.

Asked if they could be North Korean, he replied: “There are North Korean people there. There’s no question about that.” He said a network run by AQ Khan, the disgraced creator of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, could be involved.

But why would nuclear material be in Syria? Known to have chemical weapons, was it seeking to bolster its arsenal with something even more deadly?

Alternatively, could it be hiding equipment for North Korea, enabling Kim Jong-il to pretend to be giving up his nuclear programme in exchange for economic aid? Or was the material bound for Iran, as some authorities in America suggest?

According to Israeli sources, preparations for the attack had been going on since late spring, when Meir Dagan, the head of Mossad, presented Olmert with evidence that Syria was seeking to buy a nuclear device from North Korea.

The Israeli spy chief apparently feared such a device could eventually be installed on North-Korean-made Scud-C missiles.

“This was supposed to be a devastating Syrian surprise for Israel,” said an Israeli source. “We’ve known for a long time that Syria has deadly chemical warheads on its Scuds, but Israel can’t live with a nuclear warhead.”

An expert on the Middle East, who has spoken to Israeli participants in the raid, told yesterday’s Washington Post that the timing of the raid on September 6 appeared to be linked to the arrival three days earlier of a ship carrying North Korean material labelled as cement but suspected of concealing nuclear equipment.

The target was identified as a northern Syrian facility that purported to be an agricultural research centre on the Euphrates river. Israel had been monitoring it for some time, concerned that it was being used to extract uranium from phosphates.

According to an Israeli air force source, the Israeli satellite Ofek 7, launched in June, was diverted from Iran to Syria. It sent out high-quality images of a northeastern area every 90 minutes, making it easy for air force specialists to spot the facility.

Early in the summer Ehud Barak, the defence minister, had given the order to double Israeli forces on its Golan Heights border with Syria in anticipation of possible retaliation by Damascus in the event of air strikes.

Sergei Kirpichenko, the Russian ambassador to Syria, warned President Bashar al-Assad last month that Israel was planning an attack, but suggested the target was the Golan Heights.

Israeli military intelligence sources claim Syrian special forces moved towards the Israeli outpost of Mount Hermon on the Golan Heights. Tension rose, but nobody knew why.

At this point, Barak feared events could spiral out of control. The decision was taken to reduce the number of Israeli troops on the Golan Heights and tell Damascus the tension was over. Syria relaxed its guard shortly before the Israeli Defence Forces struck.

Only three Israeli cabinet ministers are said to have been in the know' Olmert, Barak and Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister. America was also consulted. According to Israeli sources, American air force codes were given to the Israeli air force attaché in Washington to ensure Israel’s F15Is would not mistakenly attack their US counterparts.

Once the mission was under way, Israel imposed draconian military censorship and no news of the operation emerged until Syria complained that Israeli aircraft had violated its airspace. Syria claimed its air defences had engaged the planes, forcing them to drop fuel tanks to lighten their loads as they fled.

But intelligence sources suggested it was a highly successful Israeli raid on nuclear material supplied by North Korea.

Washington was rife with speculation last week about the precise nature of the operation. One source said the air strikes were a diversion for a daring Israeli commando raid, in which nuclear materials were intercepted en route to Iran and hauled to Israel. Others claimed they were destroyed in the attack.

There is no doubt, however, that North Korea is accused of nuclear cooperation with Syria, helped by AQ Khan’s network. John Bolton, who was undersecretary for arms control at the State Department, told the United Nations in 2004 the Pakistani nuclear scientist had “several other” customers besides Iran, Libya and North Korea.

Some of his evidence came from the CIA, which had reported to Congress that it viewed “Syrian nuclear intentions with growing concern”.

“I’ve been worried for some time about North Korea and Iran outsourcing their nuclear programmes,” Bolton said last week. Syria, he added, was a member of a “junior axis of evil”, with a well-established ambition to develop weapons of mass destruction.

The links between Syria and North Korea date back to the rule of Kim Il-sung and President Hafez al-Assad in the last century. In recent months, their sons have quietly ordered an increase in military and technical cooperation.

Foreign diplomats who follow North Korean affairs are taking note. There were reports of Syrian passengers on flights from Beijing to Pyongyang and sightings of Middle Eastern businessmen from sources who watch the trains from North Korea to China.

On August 14, Rim Kyong Man, the North Korean foreign trade minister, was in Syria to sign a protocol on “cooperation in trade and science and technology”. No details were released, but it caught Israel’s attention.

Syria possesses between 60 and 120 Scud-C missiles, which it has bought from North Korea over the past 15 years. Diplomats believe North Korean engineers have been working on extending their 300-mile range. It means they can be used in the deserts of northeastern Syria , the area of the Israeli strike.

The triangular relationship between North Korea, Syria and Iran continues to perplex intelligence analysts. Syria served as a conduit for the transport to Iran of an estimated £50m of missile components and technology sent by sea from North Korea. The same route may be in use for nuclear equipment.

But North Korea is at a sensitive stage of negotiations to end its nuclear programme in exchange for security guarantees and aid, leading some diplomats to cast doubt on the likelihood that Kim would cross America’s “red line” forbidding the proliferation of nuclear materials.

Christopher Hill, the State Department official representing America in the talks, said on Friday he could not confirm “intelligence-type things”, but the reports underscored the need “to make sure the North Koreans get out of the nuclear business”.

By its actions, Israel showed it is not interested in waiting for diplomacy to work where nuclear weapons are at stake.

As a bonus, the Israelis proved they could penetrate the Syrian air defence system, which is stronger than the one protecting Iranian nuclear sites.

This weekend President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran sent Ali Akbar Mehrabian, his nephew, to Syria to assess the damage. The new “axis of evil” may have lost one of its spokes.


  1. we are watching

    and yes...

    we are not helpless or will go quietly into the night...


  2. Someone better make Dennis Kucinich aware of all these happenings. He seems to be strangely out of the loop, even though he just finished a big love fest in Damacus. Way to go, Israel. It always gives me a kind of a tingle, when they do something like this. Even though its not my country and I don't know anyone living there.

  3. Someone on another page said 'it had to be some bad shit for Olmert to do this'--which makes some sense when you think about it.

  4. Some would rather not think:

    Imagine a Scene at "a" Bar:
    3 Folks are sitting there,
    1 Police
    1 FBI
    1 CIA

    An Elephant walks into the Bar, and a discussion ensues:

    Policeman: "African"

    FBI: "Indian"

    CIA: "What Elephant?"

  5. Has a deleted scene too, which I'll watch Mañana

  6. But the NorKs were coming off the terror sponsor list. The Bush Administration allaying Japanese fears of the NorKs cheating on shutting down their program.

    Obviously, if this article is true, the US knew in the Spring '07 that the NorKs were outside the lines, but went forward with regularizing the diplomatic situation with the NorKs.

    Lying to the Japanese and the US publics. Lying through their teeth.
    George Bush would not do that, would he?

    The interesting point, shutting down the Syrian airdefense system.
    How'd they do that and is it a one time deal, or can it be be done on command, by remote control.

    If assets were on the ground, covert or clandestine were required, then ...

    It may not be repeatable, nor applicable to Iran.

  7. S.F.W. .

    A few days later, during a public appearance at a local high school, Cliff and Wendy arrive in the school auditorium to a cheering crowd of students.
    All of them are chanting Cliff's line, "So fucking what!", except for one distraught looking student.
    Her name is Barbara Wyler, nicknamed "Babs" (Amber Benson). Babs just sits silently, looking angry.
    She pushes her way through the crowd and points a gun at Cliff and Wendy on the stage and yells,
    "Everything matters!"
    Babs opens fire, seriously wounding both Cliff and Wendy. Media attention now switches to Babs Wyler, who is arrested, booked, and indicted for this crime. Her line of "Everything matters" becomes the new public catchphrase, replacing Cliff's "S.F.W." line. As reporters and media people talk about Babs' actions, the wounded Cliff and Wendy, now in the hospital, are relieved that their ordeal with the media is over, and they now can slip away to re-start their romance with their new found privacy.

  8. "The interesting point, shutting down the Syrian airdefense system."
    Coolest Move, also.

  9. France's Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said yesterday that the world needed to "prepare for the worst, which is war" in confronting Iran's nuclear programme.

    Kouchner was speaking as the UN Security Council five plus Germany are preparing to draft a new resolution on sanctions against Iran, which continues to defy UN calls to halt its uranium enrichment programme. China and Russia have resisted tougher measures against Tehran; Kouchner and President Nicolas Sarkozy's recent remarks demonstrate that the new regime in Paris is determined to take a hard line on the nuclear programme Tehran insists is purely for civilian purposes.

    France's chief of diplomacy appeared to echo the US line that diplomacy and negotiations are the preferred means of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. He said that negotiations must go on "right to the end" but added that an Iranian nuke would be a "threat to the entire world." Earlier in September, Sarkozy spoke of two catastrophic outcomes - Iran having a bomb, or Iran being bombarded.

  10. The Guardian goes further calling the Syrian raid a dry run for an attack against Iran's nuclear facilities:

    Two detachable tanks from an Israeli fighter were found just over the Turkish border. According to Turkish military sources, they belonged to a Raam F15I - the newest generation of Israeli long-range bomber, which has a combat range of over 2,000km when equipped with the drop tanks. This would enable them to reach targets in Iran, leading to speculation that it was an 'operation rehearsal' for a raid on Tehran's nuclear facilities.
    [. . .]
    So Operation Orchard can be seen as a dry run, a raid using the same heavily modified long-range aircraft, procured specifically from the US with Iran's nuclear sites in mind. It reminds both Iran and Syria of the supremacy of its aircraft and appears to be designed to deter Syria from getting involved in the event of a raid on Iran - a reminder, if it were required, that if Israel's ground forces were humiliated in the second Lebanese war its airforce remains potent, powerful and unchallenged.

    At Captain's Quarters, Ed Morrissey writes that Syrian nukes would result in an immediate war with Israel which could involve the U.S.

    More at Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiller Atlas Shrugged, Blue Crab Boulevard

    What Elephant?

  11. Trish's sister in Kuwait:
    Odd - I thought Israel used Hezbollah's cross-border attacks as a justification for launching its blitz on Lebanon last year, but silly me, I'm holding it to the same standards as it holds other nations to. Seems like many people can't wait for a war with Syria and Iran, which will involve all the rest of the Middle East and countries further afield, and I notice most of these people are in the US and seem to regard war as something like a video game, which I assume is the closest they've ever come to experiencing it. And oh dear, the religious nuts cheering on Armageddon on every side are out in force.
    Beam me up Scotty, I really don't want to see what's coming (clue, it's not a video game).

    Ruth, Salwa, Kuwait

  12. Bend over and take it, Joos, AGAIN!

  13. "An audacious raid on a Syrian target 50 miles from the Iraqi border was under way."

    That would be in Kurdish territory. My guess is, it was they that alerted the Israelis.

  14. Sure woulda been foolish to go on to Damascus, air.
    Just ask the experts.

  15. I think it was a message to Iran. It is time to clip Ajax and Hugo.

  16. Last week, Syria reported that its aircraft fired on Israeli “enemy aircraft” that flew into northern Syria early Thursday. The strike may have targeted Hizbullah weapons coming into Syria or transiting through the country from Iran, according to sources in the region and in the U.S. Sources said the military operation may have also involved Israeli ground forces who directed the airstrike, which “left a big hole in the desert” in Syria. The Israeli government is very happy with the success of the operation, the sources said. Sources in the U.S. government and military confirmed that the airstrike did happen, and that they are happy to have Israel carry the message to both Syria and Iran that they can get in and out and strike when necessary. (CNN)

    Israel Eyes Possible Nuclear Installations in Syria - Mark Mazzetti and Helene Cooper

    One Bush administration official said Israel had recently carried out reconnaissance flights over Syria, taking pictures of possible nuclear installations that Israeli officials believed might have been supplied with material from North Korea. The official said Israeli officials believed that North Korea might be unloading some of its nuclear material on Syria. (New York Times)

    Israel Hit Syria Base Financed by Iran

    Israeli planes last week bombed and destroyed a northern Syrian missile base that was financed by Iran, an Arab-Israeli newspaper reported Wednesday. Citing Israeli sources, Assennara said that Israeli jets “bombed, in northern Syria, a Syrian-Iranian missile base financed by Iran….It appears that the base was completely destroyed.” (AFP/Middle East Times-Egypt)
    See also The Airstrike in Syria Is a Secret that Cannot Be Kept - Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff
    It is now a matter of time before the main elements of the story are released to the media. Both the Syrian and the Israeli leadership have been extraordinarily silent about this. According to European diplomats, the Syrians have made it clear that Israeli silence over the incident is “worthy.” The Syrians are not talking about the “strategic” target that was bombed in their territory - according to the Lebanese press. (Ha’aretz)

  17. "The attack also demonstrates that the vaunted air defense systems Russia sold to Syria and Iran aren't as effective as advertised."

    Just as the Israeli air force demonstrated, in 1982, with a score of 85-0, that the vaunted MiGs Russia sold to Syria weren't as effective as advertised. But they are welcome to keep throwing their money down the toilet.

  18. "Israel Hit Syria Base Financed by Iran"

    Course the IRG is an NGO, so, how could that be?

    Hezbos are an Arm of

  19. Quds, a humanitarian organization.
    Peace is but a Slam Dunk away, in Fairyland.

  20. “That’s an awfully nice bunker complex you’ve got there, Pencilneck. It’d be a real shame if anything were to happen to it, wouldn’t it?”

    House Stretchface Lugosi must be livid with rage by now, fuming and sputtering in the general direction of those Evil Jooos who dared hurt her new best friend forever, Chinless Assad.

    Rumor has it that the bunkers contained unspecified materials of NorK origin. The kind of materials that glow in the dark, if you know what we mean. If true, and we certainly hope that it is, the neighborhood should be quite — interesting — by now and for quite a while to come.

    Am Yisroel Chai!
    Posted by Emperor Misha I
    Yeah, what about the radio readings?
    Active, I wonder?

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. Proof enough that the Iranians are still in the clear.

    Five Israeli planes, to hit one target, in Syria, when there are over 380 nuclear strike points in Iran.

    Do the math.

    The window is to big to be effective, it'd take to long to hit 'em all.

    When was that errant Buff airborne, did it happen at the same time?

    The Mexican infrastructure attacks did, jist after.

  23. A North Korean ship had discharged cargo labeled as "cement" in Syria only a few days before the attack.

  24. They need imported cement, in Syria, not enough of their own.

    Bet the stuff was not on its' way to Hezzbollah, though, whatever it was.

    Went the wrong way, for that.

  25. I thot those attacks were industrial accidents, like the DynOmite Truck.
    ...wonder why there aren't a multitude of pictorials of that mini-wmd?

  26. The dynomite truck, who know what that could have been, just another form of inducstrial disease.

    But those pipeline explosions, no accident at all. All these various events coincidental, clustered on the calendar, like they are.

  27. GD'ed WARMONGER:
    "The greater threat of Syrian nukes was not an all-out attack, which would have generated a devastating American response, but of a terrorist attack using smuggled Syrian nukes, for which Syria could claim no responsibility. That's why Israel had to act before Syria could put those weapons in the hands of its proxy terrorists.

    That's also why the US had better start harking back to the Bush Doctrine on terror-supporting states. Israel has the right idea, and if we don't stop nuclear arms from getting to terrorists, it won't just be Tel Aviv that goes up in a mushroom cloud.
    -Captain Ed

  28. The "Bush Doctrine"
    How Quaint!

    I remember when that NRO writer declared it dead several years ago.

  29. Recall the aerial sniffers the US had in the air, over NorK, after their test explosion?

    Those same overflights would be made of Syria, to confirm or deny.
    But no reports reach the MSM.
    Either way.

    Beat the drums, slowly.

  30. Mr Bolton is off Team 43.

    Not in the loop.
    Had to be let go, you know.

    Took the wrong stance.

    He knew that he had input,
    only to discover,
    it had already be Decided.

    Not a Team 43 player, Mr Bolton, is he?.

    Bang the jingo drum, while the troops disembark Iraq. Misdirected again, but whom is the deciever, who is being decieved, this time?

    5,700 troops Home for Christmass

  31. Boy, Trish is right about that Moonbat "Steve," @ Threatswatch!
    Doesn't know his ass!
    "The IRGC’s Quds Force is expressly responsible for supporting international terrorist groups such as Hizballah in Iran. David Sands and Kenneth Timmerman detail the enormity of IRGC business dealings. Timmerman says the IRGC military-industry has evolved so much over the past three years that it is closer “to being a military-economic cartel, similar to the People’s Liberation Army in Communist China,” rather than a purely military branch."

  32. Christmas is the Season of Peace,
    In Our Time.

  33. The Decider Decided to Undecide the
    "Bush Doctrine,"
    along with the Stetson.
    Laura's got the Wide Stance in Cowboy Country Now!

  34. Just make it more of an independent entity, doug.
    Like the PLA, in China.

    Granted lots of independent authority, by the Supreme Leader.

    Mr Bush knows, has publicly stated that he has decided.
    The Revolutionary Guards and the Quds are extensions of the Iranian Government, like the USAF.

    Not like the World Bank.

    Mr Bush has made the determination, the Law is on his side.

  35. Then there was that guy the Decider put in @ CIA, had the Decider's full confidence, until he didn't.
    Told Goss to get a job as a Porter.

  36. Doug,

    "Evidence counts for nothing when evidence is not accepted. And even "evidence" must be interpreted." - Some Wretched Cat

  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. Which Cat Box did that come from, Mat?

  39. That only is true, as it regards the Judge, mat.

    The US Law in this regard is clear
    the President is Judge, Jury & Executioner

    He makes the determination and is authorized to do what he deems best to protect the US.
    That is the Law,
    there is no sunset provision.

  40. Doug,

    A: 2007/09/intent-and-capability

  41. A Democrat Hawk would run ads of W's Frum Speeches contrasted with the subsequent reality.

    No Dem Hawks Scar the Skies.

  42. Laura prefers "Mar"
    to "Scar."
    My Bad
    (takes off John Deere Baseball Cap)

  43. LarryD said...
    Ok, hydrogen is not a primary fuel, there is no source of molecular hydrogen we can tap, it has to be extracted from hydrogen compounds. That's pretty much limited to hydrocarbons and water. Breaking it out of water takes energy.

    Hydrogen's potential utility is because it could be an excellent distribution fuel, but it doesn't replace oil as a primary fuel.

    There are no silver bullets here.

    But the clock is running out for the Jihadists, and they know it.

    But the clock is running out for the Jihadists, and they know it.
    Spengler cites declining Muslim birth rates.
    ...but NOT in the West.
    Too late to figure out HIS point.

  44. DR wrote:

    "He makes the determination and is authorized to do what he deems best to protect the US.
    That is the Law,
    there is no sunset provision."

    ummm, do you really believe the constitution can be altered so simply? Congress has passed more then one bad law in its day and that seems to be an example of another one.

  45. well, "bad law", if we accept your extremely broad reading of that one subsection of the whole.

  46. Ash(ley)
    Mat always refers to you as "she."
    Are you she or he?
    ...not that I'm interested, right now, you understand.

  47. Blackwater License Being Pulled in Iraq

    The Iraqi government made the move after the security firm was accused of involvement in a shooting of civilians.

  48. Well, ash, Mr Biden one of the Authorization's authors said it was a Declaration of War, equivalent to.

    He'd know about that, better than me.
    It can only be rescinded with another Law, specificly ending the Authorization, which could be veto'd. So to end the Authorization, passed into Law on 14 Sep 01, could require as many as 67 Senators, to over-ride a Presendential veto.

    Which may happen, someday, but not before the next President has the Authority to make the determination as to who is the enemy.

    Read the rest of the Authorization, come back and tell US where the plain and proper English is conflicting with my perception of what it says, for all to read.

  49. Fallujah I was a failure:
    Sorry guys, you lose in the eyes of history.
    The Shrub remains Clean and Pure.

    "The 2004 battle of Fallujah -- an unsuccessful military assault in which an estimated 27 U.S. Marines were killed, along with an unknown number of civilians -- was retaliation for the killing, maiming and burning of four Blackwater guards in that city by a mob of insurgents."

  50. I'm not sure how my gender matters but:

    As usual Mats doesn't have a friggin' clue as to what he is talking about. I'm male.

    One example of Mats twisted thinking is that post he made about he being an Israeli not a Jew. He then posted a link to a site that was about Jews against Zionism as his reason for not being a Jew. I mean what kind of twisted logic is that? There are some Jews who are against the state of Israel so he not Jewish anymore because of them. Is that even possible? To become Not Jewish if you are born Jewish? I dunno...

  51. dr:

    " SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This joint resolution may be cited as the "Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq". "

    There is just one of many references to Iraq. Iran is not Iraq.

  52. Doug,

    Taking it by the backdoor would automatically make her a she, would it not?

  53. One. I don’t consider Naturei Karta sect to be Jewish.

    Two. I’m anti religious, so as far as the Jewish religion goes, I’m not one that would count myself in.

    Three. I am an Israeli nationalist, holding an Israeli Passport, and am a direct blood descendent of the people of Judah.

    Why is that so hard to understand, Ash?

  54. The Jewish 'blood' relationship does play a role in being Jewish, so does religion. I find that pretty confusing when discussing "Jewishness" and criteria for immigrating to Israel.

    anit-religious - does that mean all religion is bad?

  55. Only the parts that relate to God.

  56. How do you feel about the notion that Israel need remain a Jewish State? It would seem given your distaste for the Jewish religion that the issue of "right of return" or Eretz Israel (without ethnic cleansing) and the ensuing risk of Israel being demographically overwhelmed by non-jews would not be problematic for you.

  57. ash, that is not the 14Sept01 Authorization, sorry.

    Go find the correct Law.
    It is Universal in scope, not geographicly limted.

    It's a grand law, authored by Mr Biden.


    (a) That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

    When you know where to look, you'll pass the course, it is all laid out for you, or others.

  58. Customs and folklore are the domain of culture. The Hebrew Bible was used as a vessel to transmit these, because there was nothing else available. To the question of Jihadi migrants to Israel, I would use economic means to have them migrate elsewhere.

  59. Just exactly one week to go before 'WideStance' Larry Craig has his day in court. Just don't want it to slip off your radar screens.

  60. From your link DR

    " (2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS - Nothing in this resolution supercedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution."

    The act tries to be specific by explicitly stating it applies to those involved in the particular act of 911 and I agree that the wording makes it very broad by allowing the President "to determine" but if he should attack Iran, for example, and try to use this act as authorization he would be faced with the clause I cited above and the general argument that the constitution cannot be amended through the 'back door'. That act does not give him carte blanche to determine and thus make reality whatever the hell he likes.

  61. Osama's son and a small cohort of aQ personnel escaped and evaded US and Afghan forces after Tora Bora and made their way to Iran. The Iranian Government is providing food and shelter for them, which could only be incarceration by the Pablo Escobar Standard

    ... On July 22, 1992, drug lord Pablo Escobar walked out of the luxurious prison he built for himself and disappeared into the Colombian jungle. His audacious escape destroyed the nation¹s tenuous cease-fire with its infamous narcos, and pushed it into open war with the Medellin drug cartel.

    Osama and the aQ bands, Iranian assisstance to them, read the 9-11 Commission Report. The only country that was transited and gave assisstance, was Iran.

    Now as to whether or not that assistance amounted to Iranian Government involvement, through the Quds or Revolutionary Guard, that determination was made public, by Mr Bush, last Fer07, at a press conference.

    A far reaching decision, much like disbanding the Iraqi Army.

  62. Until Dennis Kucinich makes a statement we won't know for sure what is going on. He was just in Syria you know, getting to the bottom of things. I would imagine there is more here than meets the eye, and we are at fault.

  63. At the very least some reparations would seem to be in order. I am going to the Kucinich Campaign web page to check it out. If there is any news there I will post it here.

  64. This comment has been removed by the author.

  65. Kucinich must still be analyzing the situation as there is no mention of it that I can see. This is in keeping with his usual thoughtful never shoot from the hip approach. Mums the word until facts are in.

    It takes more thaa Lost Luggage to slow Dennis down.

    Strength Through Peace, brothers.

  66. That 'lost luggage' fiasco has 'dirty tricks' written all over it. Some rival campaign looking to derail Dennis. But Dennis 'took it in stride'.

  67. The answer to Deuce's question would appear to be a resounding yes. The Iranians received the message and have replied

    Six hundred Iranian Shihab-3 missiles are pointed at targets throughout Israel, and will be launched if either Iran or Syria are attacked, an Iranian website affiliated with the regime reported on Monday.

    "Iran will shoot at Israel 600 missiles if it is attacked," the Iranian news website, Assar Iran, reported. "600 missiles will only be the first reaction."

    According to the report, dozens of locations throughout Iraq, which are being used by the US Army, have also been targeted.

    The Shihab missile has a range of 1,300 km, and can reach anywhere in Israel.

    On Sunday, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said that the nuclear Iranian crisis forces the world "to prepare for the worst," and said that in this case it "is war."

    Kouchner emphasized, however, that negotiations should still be the preferred course of action.

    Kouchner, quoted by French daily Le Figaro, added that "Iran does whatever it pleases in Iraq ... one cannot find in the entire world a crisis greater than this one."

    In response to Kouchner's comments, Iran's state-owned news agency accused France of pandering to the interests of the United States.

  68. ahhh, here's something to get rat's blood pressure up a bit today:

    "Even as the Bush administration is pushing for new sanctions against Iran, officials acknowledge that the United States has not carried out existing Security Council penalties on several companies linked to Iran’s nuclear and missile programs. Officials say they lack identifying information that would ensure that the right companies are punished.

    “No one believes in these sanctions more than we do,” a senior administration official said, speaking anonymously because of the delicacy of the issue. “We want to see them applied, not just announced. But there is the technical problem of getting the right identifier information that can pass muster in a court of law.”"


    AP--"Where's the bathroom?"

    That's the question camera-toting tourists in Minneapolis are asking as they visit the men's room where U.S. Senator Larry Craig, R-Stall, was arrested in a sex sting.

    "It's become a tourist attraction," said Karen Evans, information specialist at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport."People are taking pictures."

    ...Just 15 minutes into her shift at the airport on
    Friday, Evans said she had been asked directions to the new tourist attraction four times. Other airport workers field the same question.

    "It's by the Lottery Shop, right next to the shoeshine shop, newstand worker Abdalla Said said, adding he gets the question daily.

    At the Royal Zino ShoeShine Shop the owner's grandson, Royal Zino, said he might have been working the day Craig was arrested.

    "I might've actually been here. Me and my buddy were watching them doing a sting," he told the Idaho Stateman.

    The newspaper published a detailed map of the airport in its Sunday Edition locating the restroom, about midway between Craig's arrival gate and his departure gate.

    Zino said he gets to watch tourists now.

    "People have been going inside, taking pictures of the stall, taking pictures outside the bathroom door---man, it's been crazy," he said.

    o for an autographed stall picture!

  70. I assume that level of performance as a given, ash. So it does not bother me, just another example of a Federal Government that is inept.

    Another example of the War that does not exist with regards Iran.

    How little we really care.

    There is a MAD scenario already in place, with regards Iran.
    Counter strikes in Iraq and possibly Israel.
    They could be bloody occurances.

    A real war, not one that's counted in days, but the dead.

  71. Add to that the Mexican oil infrastructure coming under attack, the Venezuelan sales plummetting in quantity, but raising in dollar amounts.

    Nigeria, they'd be cut off from the supply chain, Ecuador, too.

    A whole lot more involved in Iran, than Syria. Why I advocated rolling on to Damascus, before we didn't.

    5,700 troops home for Christmass

  72. If rufus and Mr greenspan are correct, war with Iran and the resulting oil supply shocks that would result ...

    Defacto Defeat for the US.
    Destruction of the status que

    War with Iran is strategic defeat in Iraq, according to the Oil Security Mission theory.
    Because the security of the system, world wide, will become compromised.

  73. Never thought of Ash as being female. not that there is anything wrong with it, of course.

  74. dRat,

    My estimation is that the Iranian oil threat is overstated. Other alternatives are there, with more being made available everyday.

  75. It is just not the Iranian supply that is threaten to be removed from the marketplace, in case of war.

    The battlespace will not be limited to the sandbox, believe me. The other anti-American forces in the world will act in concert. Aimed at the oil, everywhere.

    Much more than an Iranian reserves issue, but an asymetrical threat to the infrastructure.
    here is a page on Panama and it's chockable capacities. On the right, links to the 7 global choke points. They'll burn or be maximized, or both.

    Does not even mention Mexico, where civil tensions are mounting, along with actual coordinated multiple strikes at gas pipelines.

  76. I would agree with you mats that the Iranian oil threat is overstated in Israel's eyes. The threat of a few (much less a hundred or so) of those Shihab-3 missiles falling on Israel would make oil a distant thought to most Israelis.

  77. “The other anti-American forces in the world will act in concert. Aimed at the oil, everywhere.”


    Gulf Oil will be moved through alternative routes, that’s not a problem. As to the other choke points, if they come under attack as a result of an attack on Iran, that will be the end for Iran. I have no doubt that Iran will face nuclear retaliation in such a scenario.

  78. If the Israelis can "turn off" the Syrian Air Defenses can they "Turn off" the Iranian Missile Launchers?

  79. We could use an android for the board of directors.

  80. Oil will be disrupted for awhile. That's why almost everyone has built up strategic reserves.

    That would be a thousand million times less worrisome than a Nuclear-armed Iran.

  81. Iranian offensive missile capacity can be rendered mute by NNEMP devises.

  82. If the Iranian missile threat was as dramatic as it appears, they would not have to remind Israel about it.

    Should they target US bases just to keep it interesting... that would have some mind numbing consequences.

  83. Gennelmens, and hos, I direct you to the fact that the "Driving Season" is over, there's not a hurricane in sight, winter heating season doesn't start for a couple of months, no one's been "Kidnapped" in Nigeria for several fortnights, at least, Saudi Arabia just said it was "increasing" production, more and more alt. fuels are coming online, and

    OIL IS "UP" $1.45/barrel to an all-time high of $80.70.

  84. Deuce,

    If that happens, I'll be leaving the spaceship.

  85. The market either knows, or "Strongly Suspects" one of two things.

    1. We Really Are at "Peak Oil," or

    2. We're going to "Hit" Iran in the not too distant future.

  86. Maybe Israel should share that magic technology with US - is sure could help out in Korea and many other places subject to missile threat. I guess Qassam rockets are too small to defend against with the magic of magnetism.

  87. To steal a line from Sam, if Ash is androgynous, he can go fuck himself.

  88. The very idea that the US or Israel could preemptively strike Iran, and "REALLY STEP IT UP" when they strike back is funny.

    Because they will strike back, here, there, everywhere.

    Those different pipelines, mat, they'll burn the same as the Mexican ones.

    From Russia to Europe, those pipelines, some of which have been hit by explosives to ill effect, there are sleeper cells available for them.

    If the world ignites, then we'll

    Most of their folks live in mud houses, how about your neighbors?

    Who has further to fall?

  89. Did I offend you Bobal? It seems to me the missile threats faced can not be rendered mute with the magic of "NNEMP devises". I could be mistaken, and I welcome someone more versed in weapons systems could explain how we need not fear missiles anymore because we have this wonderful defense system at our disposal. I trust only us good guys have them as well so our missiles are still a viable deterrent.

  90. BOBAL: To steal a line from Sam, if Ash is androgynous, he can go fuck himself.

    That's what a lot of Repukes told Billary back in the 90s.

  91. Break for local news--Richard "Smilin' Rick" Fabel won't be going to Sturgis, S.D. for awhile.

    Not at all Ash, I like you, just recalling a joke Sam made at my expense one time, when we were discussing what we might expect in the Mormon heaven. I said I hoped to be raised an androgynous being, and Sam said I could fuck myself if I did. Just a bad joke is all.

  92. If all five of the Israel planes were bomb loaded, and the hit the same target in sequence, they'd be going deep, like they did in Beirut, at the Hezzbollah headquarters building.

    Wonder if they hit the right target.
    Wonder if they got deep enough, if they did..

  93. Wish we could get a look at the target through Google Earth.

  94. It's a hole in the ground.
    Got some rubble around it

    Destroyed buildings on the surface, multiple levels of reinforced concrete beneath.

    How many levels and how deep they went, wouldn't venture a guess.

    If it was a warehouse or processing faciltity, that was built to spec for that operation.

  95. ...or maybe it really was just the ejected fuel tanks...

  96. This comment has been removed by the author.

  97. Could also be that.
    ash, nothing at all.

    No photos, no official reports, each rumor left to simmer.

    bang that drum, slowly.

    5,700 Troops Home for Christmass

  98. 34.741366, 40.680395

    or 34.911583, 40.827179

    or 35.031401, 40.701636

    My google earth just gives me fuzz

  99. Hermanos, it's the Fuzz.

    Noun 1. fuzz - filamentous hairlike growth on a plant; "peach fuzz"
    a natural projection or outgrowth from a plant body or organ
    stinging hair -
    - a tuft or growth of hairs or bristles on certain plants such as iris or grasses

    2. fuzz - uncomplimentary terms for a policeman
    cop, copper, pig, bull
    police officer

    3. fuzz - a hazy or indistinct representation;

  100. My google earth just gives me a hazy or indistinct representation.

  101. More of that Jeb Babbin, trish, just for you...

    To win in 2008, Republicans have to do two things very quickly. First, they need to redefine the war we are fighting. It’s not disloyal to President Bush for candidates to redefine the war as the facts dictate, and to correctly define victory, which the President has never done. Any of the candidates can set the pace for the rest by stating, firmly and clearly, that the war cannot be won unless and until the nations that sponsor terrorism -- Iran, Syria and others -- are compelled to cease that practice by whatever means necessary. Iraqi democracy, even stability, is a collateral concern and nothing more.

    Second, they need to make the purchase of the Democratic Party a Faustian bargain the Dems live to regret. For Hillary and Obama to refuse to denounce the "Betray Us" ad should be a fatal error for their campaigns.

    Most Americans aren’t on the same page as MoveOn, but both of the top Democratic presidential contenders are. Rudy Giuliani was the first Republican to attack Clinton for her accusation of Petraeus and failure to condemn the MoveOn ad. Clinton’s response was amazingly weak, accusing Giuliani of negative campaigning.

    Redefine and expand the war, drop the nationbuilding aspects and go after Syrian tanks and Iranian everything. And others, that'd be Pakistan where the 9-11 plotters have found sanctuary. As well as a new power base, same tribe, different locale.

    Could still withdraw from Iraq, on Mr Babbin's plan, they just wouldn't be coming home.

    So have to say no. to Mr Babbin
    Stay the Course, now!
    Even a busted clock is right, twice.

    5,700 Troops Home for Christmass

  102. Caused by the Fuzz, uncomplimentary terms for a policeman

  103. Jed Babbin, not Jeb.

    He's not an old staunch States Righter, with a name like Jed.

    A Jeb, on the other hand, born to be a rebel, made of stern stuff.

  104. This comment has been removed by the author.

  105. "Sam said I could fuck myself if I did. Just a bad joke is all."
    Don't lie AlBob!
    You complimented him.
    I, being busy, serious, and made of sterner stuff,
    missed it entirely, thanks for the recall!
    Good Show, Sam!

  106. It Was Right To Dissolve the Iraqi Army
    We broke America's terrible habit of ruling by proxy through military regimes.

    Mr Hitchens first paragraph hits the target. Unless there is a long term US commimmtment in Iraq, at some mutually agreed upon level ...

    Link to it at RCP
    As one who always thought the word surge was ridiculous, I find it pointless to complain that even President George W. Bush uses the term as a cover for retreat. This is an old story in the rhetoric of warfare: The British general staff used to say "strategic withdrawal to prepared positions" to explain a rout, and the French phrase reculer pour mieux sauter has been employed more than once to imply that a scuttle is merely the preparation for a renewed assault, like a cornered animal gathering itself for a sudden spring. It makes no sense to announce that the more we surge, the faster we can be out of there; everybody knows that unless the United States affirms its iron determination to stick around and to hold the ring, every faction in Iraq will start making its accommodations to a future that will be arbitrated instead by local militias and cross-border neighbors.

    5,700 Troops Home by Christmass

  107. Then there's Ben Fuzz at the Fuzz Factor

    and then there is 'fuzzy math', a term used in attacking another's proposal before, say, a city council. I had the term 'fuzzy math' used against me by a retired U of I mathematics professor when he was attacking the zoning change I was urging. He lived in the neighborhood and wanted no more development in the area, so he atttacked the math used in the traffic study as 'fuzzy math'. It didn't work however as I won 5-1.

  108. Wretchard has some satellite shots of Syria.

    Explains how it could be any one of three facilities along the target area.

    If it was at all

  109. Which reminds me that

    Fuzzy wuzzy was a bear
    Fuzzy wuzzy had no hair
    So Fuzzy wuzzy wasn't so fuzzy
    Was he.

    Heading to Wretchard's

  110. Yup, it was Wretchard's co-ordinates I posted above.

  111. 30 Aug B52 flies armed, made public
    3 Sep NorK ship begins to unload
    6 Sep IAF raids Syria
    10 Sep Mexican pipeline attacks

    The explosions on the 10th, though, were not accidental.

    In the state of Veracruz, bombs were detonated on 12 natural gas pipelines (and one gasoline pipeline). The EPR (Popular Revolutionary Army) is claiming responsibility, and threatening to carry out more attacks unless two of their comrades, who disappeared in May in Oaxaca, are released. Meanwhile, the government denies it has the two men in custody.

    The EPR is a Marxist guerrilla group formed in the mid-1990s in the state of Guerrero, which killed dozens of Mexican police and soldiers in the latter part of that decade, carried out Mexico City bank bombings in 2001, and took part in the 2006 Oaxaca unrest.

    These latest attacks prove the sophisticated operational ability of the EPR, demonstrating the group’s tactical and technical proficiency. The strategic placement and installation of the bombs also raises suspicion that they had inside help, from within PEMEX or the petroleum workers’ union.

    On the other hand, there is a lot of pipeline in Mexico — about 30,000 miles of it.

    Another question is, who is really in charge of guarding oil installations? The Mexican military guards state energy facilities, but with the military deployed throughout the country fighting drug cartels it may not have as many men available to guard pipelines.

  112. Mexico was shocked by the scale of this week's attacks. They cut natural gas supplies to industry and halted output at most of Mexico's steel plants and companies like Volkswagen.

    President Felipe Calderon launched a major offensive against powerful drug cartels when he took office last year. With intelligence agents limited, the bombings will tax already stretched resources and the EPR is an unwelcome distraction.

    "It distracts the government and state governments from the efforts they have been making in the fight against organized crime," said Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora.

    The group, which calls for land reform and ultimately a socialist state, had kept a low profile for years after in-fighting and an army clampdown left the group in disarray.

    Take a group well known to the Cubanos, fund with Hugo's black bag, and have a veteran terrorist force, ready to rock.

    Bet Raul has the number of every other "Revolutionary" worthy of the name, in Mexico.

    Lots of dissaffected middle-class Mexicans, radicalized young adults. Used to be a class of Latino limited to Argentina and Cuba, but no more.

  113. Close the relief valve
    Turn up the heat.

  114. Make Columbia with Pablo seem like paradise, compared to an insurgency of economic terrorism in Mexico.

    With deep enough pockets, as easily begun as said. 'Tween Hugo and the cartels, they could fund a revolution.

    Bent on destructing the status que.

    That is the primary objective, of the radical ...

  115. Venezuela begins mandating what the schools should "Teach"

  116. "he was attacking the zoning change I was urging. He lived in the neighborhood and wanted no more development in the area, so he atttacked the math used in the traffic study as 'fuzzy math'. It didn't work however as I won 5-1."
    Yet in previous threads, one can read AlBob's Whining Lamentations about the
    Good Old Way Things Usta Be!
    Green, or Gold, that is the Question.

  117. Gee, what happened to the laid-back, rural, easy going life-style that we Gringos used to enjoy when we went to Mexico for that reason?
    All the money we waste here and there over the years, we coulda set them up as a permanent Vacation Destination plus agricultural sector.
    Not the Nafta Way:
    More Cities, More Factories, More Crime!
    Viva la Revolucion!

    "Is it a rebellion?" asked Louis XVI of the count who informed him of the fall of the Bastille.

    "No, sire," came the reply. "It is a revolution."

  118. Bobal Probly got a zoning change down there on his lower 40, the better to exploit the Campesinos.

  119. Bobal's favorite Dinner Guest:
    It was the home video that nobody wanted to watch:

    Meiwes, 45, was jailed for life last year for killing Bernd Jürgen Brandes, 43, in 2001 after Brandes agreed in an internet chatroom to be eaten by him.
    Why Not?

    One of Professor Risse’s first tasks was to confirm that the body parts found in Meiwes’s freezer belonged to the same victim. “There was the foot, for example,” he said in an interview with Focus magazine. “Meiwes had placed it on a plate, stuck it with a knife and a fork, poured sauce over it and photographed it with the intention of putting the picture on the internet. Then there was the skull, bones, chunks of skeleton and soft organs as well as about 30 sealed packets of meat waiting to be eaten. Written on one was Cator Fillet of Neck 10/03/01.” Cator was Brandes’s chatroom name. “Other inscriptions were like those you find in a supermarket, you know – mincemeat with sauce.”

    It was the home movie that disturbed Professor Risse the most. “A shiver went down my spine, my palms were moist,” he said. “I have been doing this job 20 years, have carried out 5,000 autopsies, seen maybe 30,000 corpses but the cannibal’s film was the most repulsive experience.”

    Related Links
    Cannibal goes on charm offensive

  120. You'd be surprised how easily gold can make a man a hypocrite. On the other hand, it was the city that incorporated the land into the city limits, over my objections, raised the taxes, and imposed so many restrictions(certain chemical restrictions, there go the peas,etc) it can hardly be farmed effectively anymore anyway. It's in alfalfa now. Under an archaic zoning rule, still extant, I could turn it into a hog farm, which would piss them all off.

  121. Here's a guy who suddenly has a short life expectancy, and deservedly so, if the charge is true.

  122. Does the Alfalfa Rollback the taxes?
    They used to have something like that in CA
    "Williamson Act" I think, but it's been a long time.

  123. Drudge link about popularity as a tourist destination, picture taking, and etc:
    Just a bit confused
    In case I have a layover at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, I need some clarification. It is against the law to tap my toe, but it is ok to take pictures in the bathroom? Hmmmm?

  124. FBI on radio described a child molester who had spent ten years in Texas prison, but now Wanted:

    Said he had Two Master's Degree's, Played the Piano, and was good with computers.
    Well rounded sort, esp when you include talents with the kiddies.

  125. No, doesn't roll it back, but keeps it so it is recognized as farmland under the Idaho Code, so after raising the taxes--fire protection, police protection--by about 1/3, they are stopped from making any other increases, until its developed out of farming.

    Just tap your toes, and click the camera, and cross your fingers, Doug, and see what happens!:)

  126. All that excitement didn't last very long, did it?

  127. The Israelis do this about once a week. When they've got a free lunch hour. And a couple of empty tanks.