“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hail to the Chief. "What to make of this?"

Was he thinking about the future?

Probably not much, but I did find it amusing. Wanting it or not, Petraeus would not be the first general to want the big one. There are not many people that have not thought and speculated about what they would do if they held the position of their boss. Care to speculate on how many generals either succeeded or lusted after the presidential office?

President Petraeus? Iraqi official recalls the day US general revealed ambition
By Patrick Cockburn
Published: 13 September 2007 Independent

The US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, expressed long-term interest in running for the US presidency when he was stationed in Baghdad, according to a senior Iraqi official who knew him at that time.

Sabah Khadim, then a senior adviser at Iraq's Interior Ministry, says General Petraeus discussed with him his ambition when the general was head of training and recruitment of the Iraqi army in 2004-05.

"I asked him if he was planning to run in 2008 and he said, 'No, that would be too soon'," Mr Khadim, who now lives in London, said.

General Petraeus has a reputation in the US Army for being a man of great ambition. If he succeeds in reversing America's apparent failure in Iraq, he would be a natural candidate for the White House in the presidential election in 2012.

His able defence of the "surge" in US troop numbers in Iraq as a success before Congress this week has made him the best-known soldier in America. An articulate, intelligent and energetic man, he has always shown skill in managing the media.

But General Petraeus's open interest in the presidency may lead critics to suggest that his own political ambitions have influenced him in putting an optimistic gloss on the US military position in Iraq .

Mr Khadim was a senior adviser in the Iraqi Interior Ministry in 2004-05 when Iyad Allawi was prime minister.

"My office was in the Adnan Palace in the Green Zone, which was close to General Petraeus's office," Mr Khadim recalls. He had meetings with the general because the Interior Ministry was involved in vetting the loyalty of Iraqis recruited as army officers. Mr Khadim was critical of the general's choice of Iraqis to work with him.

For a soldier whose military abilities and experience are so lauded by the White House, General Petraeus has had a surprisingly controversial career in Iraq. His critics hold him at least partly responsible for three debacles: the capture of Mosul by the insurgents in 2004; the failure to train an effective Iraqi army and the theft of the entire Iraqi arms procurement budget in 2004-05.

General Petraeus went to Iraq during the invasion of 2003 as commander of the 101st Airborne Division and had not previously seen combat. He first became prominent when the 101st was based in Mosul, in northern Iraq, where he pursued a more conciliatory line toward former Baathists and Iraqi army officers than the stated US policy.

His efforts were deemed successful. When the 101st left in February 2004, it had lost only 60 troops in combat and accidents. General Petraeus had built up the local police by recruiting officers who had previously worked for Saddam Hussein's security apparatus.

Although Mosul remained quiet for some months after, the US suffered one of its worse setbacks of the war in November 2004 when insurgents captured most of the city. The 7,000 police recruited by General Petraeus either changed sides or went home. Thirty police stations were captured, 11,000 assault rifles were lost and $41m (£20m) worth of military equipment disappeared. Iraqi army units abandoned their bases.

The general's next job was to oversee the training of a new Iraqi army. As head of the Multinational Security Transition Command, General Petraeus claimed that his efforts were proving successful. In an article in The Washington Post in September 2004, he wrote: "Training is on track and increasing in capacity. Infrastructure is being repaired. Command and control structures and institutions are being re-established." This optimism turned out be misleading; three years later the Iraqi army is notoriously ineffective and corrupt.

General Petraeus was in charge of the Security Transition Command at the time that the Iraqi procurement budget of $1.2bn was stolen. "It is possibly one of the largest thefts in history," Iraq's Finance Minister, Ali Allawi, said. "Huge amounts of money disappeared. In return we got nothing but scraps of metal."

Mr Khadim is sceptical that the "surge" is working. Commenting on the US military alliance with the Sunni tribes in Anbar province, he said: "They will take your money, but when the money runs out they will change sides again."


  1. What do I make of that?
    Defamatory shit that makes my Cock Burn.
    Disinformation almost on the scale of Trish's BS.
    "His efforts were deemed successful. When the 101st left in February 2004, it had lost only 60 troops in combat and accidents. General Petraeus had built up the local police by recruiting officers who had previously worked for Saddam Hussein's security apparatus.

    Although Mosul remained quiet for some months after, the US suffered one of its worse setbacks of the war in November 2004 when insurgents captured most of the city. The 7,000 police recruited by General Petraeus either changed sides or went home. Thirty police stations were captured, 11,000 assault rifles were lost and $41m (£20m) worth of military equipment disappeared. Iraqi army units abandoned their bases.
    So, General P. employing a more moderate form of the strategy now hailed as Genius in Anbar, left the place in a relatively tranquil state in February 2004.
    NINE MONTHS later, the place devolves into chaos, with no description of, or assignment of responsibility to, the person in command AT THAT TIME, and for the previous 9 months:
    Were the police getting paid, did the new commander maintain the same HIGH level of COMMUNICATION with the locals and Tribal Leaders?
    Mr. MakesMyCockburn is silent.
    If I recall properly much of the disintegration occured when the brilliant leadership, following in the footsteps of 2 Bit War Bush, decided to whack moles in Fallujah by sending the Strykers from Mosul.
    When the insurgies started roaming the streets in gangs with RPG's, did we take them out with Specters or Apaches?
    We did not:
    Except let the insurgency build unhindered, ala Bremmer doctrine.
    It would be interesting indeed to look up what transpired in Mosul in those 9 months.
    Mr. Cockburns has no such interest, being that he has his agenda to promote.
    The rest of the piece is more of the same.
    A Pox on the Burning Cock!

  2. FWIW:
    I exchange letters with Wretchard at the time with links to articles about the Generals methods in Mosul:
    Traveling about, meeting with the Tribal leaders, and setting up agreements to control violence and rebuild infrastructure.

    In Anbar, this is called brilliant.
    If it had been our policy in Iraq, Nationwide, the insurgency never would have been allowed to grow, unhindered, for a year or more.
    People like Bremmer, Jackassonian, and Trish, act as tho there was NO POSSIBLE OTHER WAY TO PROCEED, and certainly not in the way that General Garner planed to do.

    Petraeus did.
    We are, in Anbar.

    Reality betrays the critics.

  3. The Bush/State Mindset is like:
    1. Tribes bad.

    2. Tribes have held power in Iraq for eons.

    3.Democracy will transform a society, wholesale, overnite.
    Mr Rogers says so, and the Tooth Fairy will pay the bills.

  4. DOUG: Mr Rogers says so, and the Tooth Fairy will pay the bills.

    No, our descendents will pay the bills, Bush has run up almost 4 trillion in debt because he wanted to have a World War without the sacrifices (new taxes, reduced discretionary spending) that go along with that. Back in the Big One companies were FORBIDDEN by statute to profitteer.

  5. He didn't want us to pay the Bills because he's COMPASSIONATE!
    ...and, he gets credit from the right when massive, FEDERAL, Govt Deficit Spending Miraculously Stimulates the Economy!

    The Brilliance of a Free Trade, open Borders, unlimited profiteering, "Free Market" Economy!

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  7. Hunting al Qaeda, Part I of III

    Deserted streets emptied by civil war that was allowed to fester because people would not admit there was civil war.
    Unlike al Qaeda, the 1920s have self-imposed boundaries on their behavior.

    “Does not attack civilians or vital infrastructure, and does not permit attacks on schools.”

    Nowhere have I seen in their stated goals an intention to attack the West.

    Nowhere in their stated goals is an intention to set up terror networks around the world.

    They want to kick us out of Iraq and shape their own futures with their own hands, but al Qaeda and others were stealing that chance. And so the 1920s reached out to Americans. Their end goal still includes getting us ushered out the door: something they are clear about. This means we have further common interests; we want to walk out that door just as fervently, but we don’t want to watch the house full of kids burn down behind us when we leave. Neither do they.

    Fragmentation grenades, or “frags,” are dangerous to carry and use. Tape is kept around the pin top, and more tape on the lever. Young soldiers are only allowed to carry them in the most dangerous environments. It’s very easy to accidentally kill yourself or a buddy with a frag. Each soldier carried two.

  8. At least W has an excuse:
    His dad was a fiscal moron too!
    Desert Storm Cost

    The cost of the war to the United States was calculated by the United States Congress to be $61.1 billion.[8].

    About $52 billion of that amount was paid by different countries around the world: $36 billion by Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf States; $16 billion by Germany and Japan (which sent no combat forces due to terms contained in the treaty that ended World War II).

    [9] About 25% of Saudi Arabia's contribution was paid in the form of in-kind services to the troops, such as food and transportation.[10] U.S. troops represented about 74% of the combined force, and the global cost was therefore higher.

  9. The limited scope of insurgent activity in Mosul during 2003 can be traced directly to the active counterinsurgency and community policing program undertaken by the 20,000-strong U.S. 101st Airborne Division and its capable local partners. The size of the U.S. force in Nineveh province enabled not only denser civil affairs, patrolling, and rapid reaction coverage, but also greater capacity to mentor Iraqi security forces and dispense Commander's Emergency Reconstruction Program (CERP) funding. This latter and much overlooked aspect of the MNF presence had made the 101st Airborne the largest single employer in northern Iraq and a recognized force for good in the community. Beginning in January 2004, however, the force was drawn down to the 8,700-strong Task Force Olympia (built around a Stryker Brigade Combat Team), with a commensurate loss of security, mentoring, and CERP capacity.

    Astute insurgent factions such as the Ansar al-Sunnah Army were quick to exploit the situation in Mosul as soon as MNF and Iraqi government focus shifted to crises in Falluja and Najaf. The factors that had made Mosul a success in 2003 were systematically dismantled throughout 2004. Multi-ethnic institutions such as universities were subjected to attack, causing Kurdish and other non-Sunni groups to withdraw in large numbers. On July 14, Usama Yusif Kashmula, the provincial governor, was assassinated near Mosul, eliminating one of the most effective forces driving disbursement of government revenues and job creation in the city. Reduced MNF presence was exploited through an active program of harassment and exploitation of growing ethnic tension to weaken the predominantly Sunni Arab Iraqi security forces in the area, including the eventual corruption of Mosul police chief Brig. Gen. Mohammed Khayri al-Birhawi and the desertion of 3,200 of 4,000 police officers in November 2004. When the newly arrived 1st U.S. Stryker Brigade Combat Team replaced the experienced 3rd Brigade Team and immediately moved south to take part in operations at Falluja, the insurgents took full advantage of the momentary lack of U.S. forces in Mosul to shatter local Iraqi security forces and seize the city center, demonstrating considerable political tact in the process. In addition to posting a communiqu� in mosques that warned against future collaboration, the insurgents announced that shopkeepers should keep their businesses open and that state institutions and banks would be protected by the resistance.

    It was the 25th Inf. that engaged in that November 04 battle in Mosul.

    By April '05 the city had been returned to Iraqi control.

    In a sign of AO Iraq's importance to the U.S. strategy, the 6th Brigade received a parade of dignitaries and senior officers last week. They included Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus, who is responsible for the development of Iraqi security forces and sat for a 30-minute presentation on the brigade's progress.

    "For one of your battalions to be given your own area of responsibility is a tremendous vote of confidence," Petraeus told a group of officers seated around a long table at a base that recently housed American troops.

    The President, in December '06 cited Mosul as a success.

    One Peacekeeper, oyal and true, per fifty civilians, or the wheels fall off.

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  11. I was intrigued by Doug and Trish's spat on that other thread so I did a little reading this morning.

    doug, at one point you seemed to use IRGC in the place of Quds and vice versa. Is this intended? Are you saying they are one and the same? It seems much murkier then that.

    I did come across this interesting article:

    Conclusion from Aritcle:

    "Yet even if elements of the Quds Force are involved in weapons trafficking, it is unclear if they are being directed by Tehran or if they are freelancing. After the war in Bosnia in the '90s, some former Quds Force members were known to engage in smuggling, apparently without the knowledge of their central command.

    Until this week, U.S officials were bluntly accusing the Iranian government of involvement in attacks by Iraqi Shiite militias against U.S. troops. Philip Zelikow, who was Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s senior counselor until he resigned in January, says the accusations “had been simmering for more than a year … The situation had just gotten worse and worse.” Zelikow, who was briefed regularly on the Iraq intel, told NEWSWEEK that while it’s true that Iran is not mainly responsible for the chaos inside Iraq, or attacks on U.S. troops, “it’s not good for other governments to kill our soldiers with impunity, especially when we’re not going around trying to kill their soldiers. We needed to find a way of letting people know there’s a cost to this behavior.”

    But Zelikow and U.S. officials may have undercut their case by overstating what they actually knew. A week ago, anonymous U.S. briefers in Baghdad gave reporters a PowerPoint show that included photos of what were alleged to be high-tech Iranian munitions supplied by the Quds Force, including the so-called explosively formed penetrators (EFPs) that are blasting through U.S. armor and killing American troops. One briefer, an analyst identified only by his first name, argued that the Quds Force “really report directly to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.” As a result, the analyst concluded, “the activities that the IRGC Quds Force are conducting in Iraq, we assess, are coming from the highest levels of the Iranian government.” That line was echoed by White House spokesman Tony Snow, who said: “The Quds Force is, in fact, an official arm of the Iranian government and, as such, the government bears responsibility and accountability for its actions.”

    U.S. officials now say the anonymous Baghdad analyst may have made one inference too many. It is true that the Quds Force is supposed to be under the supervision of Khamenei, who approves their overall strategy together with Rahim Safavi, the commander of the IRGC. But because Khamenei is not a military official, he’s not thought to be apprised of every operation.

    Today, the broader U.S. intelligence community, including the CIA and the Directorate of National Intelligence—which nominally oversees the agency—seems to have reached a consensus that the ordnance on display in the Baghdad slide show was made in Iran and transported over the border somehow by the Quds Force. U.S. intelligence officials also say Quds Force members are suspected of manufacturing EFPs inside Iran.

    But the documentation remains scant. And considerable doubts continue to surface about the intelligence presented at the Baghdad slide show, including the fact that the writing on the conventional weapons displayed was in English, not Farsi. U.N. Ambassador Zarif also says that the date markings are American-style—that is, the month comes first. “There is every reason to believe that this evidence is fabricated,” he said. U.S. officials say the weapons were apparently built for the international market. Asked why the writing on the weapons allegedly made in Iran was in English, one U.S. intelligence official responded: “That’s a very good question.” It is one of many questions about the Quds Force that has yet to be answered."

  12. So, it would seem, that General P was there, in Iraq, for the entire time period, or was only there for the highlights.

    In Command of the 101st, Mosul '03
    Back in June of 04 working with the Iraqi as Commander of the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq, which he had commanded for 15 months, until September '05.
    He then went to Kansas wher he "helped oversee the drafting of the military’s comprehensive new" Counterinsurgency Field Manual published December 2006.
    Taking Command of the Iraqi area of operations in Jan/Feb 07

    One Peacekeeper, loyal and true, for every fifty civilians

    6,000 Troops home for Christmass!!

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  14. The basic tenents of your Quds piece, ash, is that the Quds operate at the direction of The Iraqi Supreme Leader

    It is true that the Quds Force is supposed to be under the supervision of Khamenei, who approves their overall strategy together with Rahim Safavi, the commander of the IRGC. But because Khamenei is not a military official, he’s not thought to be apprised of every operation.

    Let's take that on face value.
    Mr Khamenei, the Supreme Leader delegates operational responsibility, through and with Rahim Safavi. But Mr Khamenei remains the Supreme Leader.

    While he has delagates Authority, he retains Responsibility.

    That is the first lesson in leadership, only Authority can be delegated, not Responsibility.

    There is no need for a paperwork trail, to a document or bill of lading with Mr Khamenei's signature in black ink upon it...

    Mr Khamenei may not utilze e-mail in his management regieme. May not even take notes.
    It is unimportant.
    The only question of import is do the Quds or the Revolutionary Guard fall under the Responsibility of any portion of the Iranian Government Authority, to include Mr Khamenei?

    Your reference piece claims, beynd dispute, that they do.

    If it does, than the Iranian Government is Responsible.
    Not one faction or another within it, but the single entity.

  15. 'There are not many people that have not thought and speculated about what they would do if they held the position of their boss. Care to speculate on how many generals either succeeded or lusted after the presidential office?'

    I can honestly say I have never lusted after the position of my boss.

    I can honestly say I have never lusted after my boss.

    I can honestly say I don't think anything happens in the Quds or the Revolutionary Guards that Mr. Khamenei isn't aware of.

    Edgar Mitchell, the astronaut, said last night on Coast-to-Coast he was certain that we have been visited by E.T. He sounded sane. Folks, we have other things to worry about than we normally dream of:)

  16. Well, sure, if you accept the line "It is true that the Quds Force is supposed to be under the supervision of Khamenei" then all else follows. The truth of that line is what is at issue is it not?.

  17. Put this in your pipe & judge by
    The Goose and Gander Standard

    If an errant USAF B52 were to release a nuclear device over an Iranian target.

    Would it make any difference if it was announced that "Darth Cheney" had engineered a coup de atomic, launching an unauthorized mission


    Would the USA still be responsible?

    Goose and Gander puts Iran in the crosshairs, legitimately if we wanted to.
    The Foreign Minister, in Tehran, says the US is guilty of formenting conflagration in Iran. They have the proof.
    Figure he's right, we should be formenting civil strife in Iran.

    More than enough proof, question is
    who tits, who tats?

  18. Put This in your pipe and smoke it.

  19. babal wrote:

    "I can honestly say I have never lusted after my boss."

    ehhhh???? Your wife would be chagrined to hear that -- ar ar ar ar

    and you wrote:

    "I can honestly say I don't think anything happens in the Quds or the Revolutionary Guards that Mr. Khamenei isn't aware of"

    well you can honestly say that but I think you are wrong. There are many things he would not be aware of what and when they do things - they don't log their bathroom time for example. On the operational side of things....well, that is the question I guess. What evidence do we have that the Quds report to and represent the Iranian government? Proxies of many nations operate independently to varying degrees. At what point does a government need take responsibility for its proxies actions? Are we responsible for the actions of the Iraqi government? The Kurds? or any other proxy?

  20. You know, many times I think a lot of our astronauts are just crazy as hell. Like Jack Nicholson in 'Terms of Endearment'.

  21. How do you know they don't log their bathroom time, Ash? You don't know that, for sure.

  22. DR: He then went to Kansas wher he "helped oversee the drafting of the military’s comprehensive new" Counterinsurgency Field Manual published December 2006.

    But General P could not tell Senator Warner whether his counter-insurgency aids the defense of America. Maybe we need to break off a part of the Department of Defense and call it the Department of Occupation.

  23. How do you know the Supression of Vice and Advancement of Virtue troopers aren't in the Guards bathrooms, keeping count, listening for toe tapping? Watching for hand signals? How do you know.

    You don't know for sure, Ash, you're just spoofing us, again.

  24. Have you been in those bathrooms, Ash, to make such an apodictic statement?

  25. bobal,

    I don't know if you are a child molester. Can you prove to me you are not?

  26. Bobal, what's your stance, so to speak, on the Larry Craig thing? Was he a victim of entrapment? Or does he deserve what he gets for allowing himself to be maneuvered into a guilty plea?

  27. Caught in In Hemlock Park

    I can affirm I am not, and bring forth many character witnesses, and can prove that I have no criminal record, best I can do on that, Ash. How about you:)

  28. CiC is the top job, in the Chain.

    Why wouldn't a fellow think of that?

    Ms Clinton and Mr Obama each have advocated for an 18 to 24 month drawdwon, I do beleive.
    With some elements left behind to "train Iraqis and hunt aQ"

    That is the glide path that General P's propsal puts US on.

    Immediate withdrawal of 6,000 in sixty days, then another 24,000 over six months Jan to Jun of '08

    Same pace 100 a day, more or less, on average.
    Continue on that rate, 36,000 troops per year. A Brigade a month.

    Starting the count on 1Nov 07, as predicted years ago.

    The size pf the "Stay Behind" force is never oft discussed, but based upon Korea and the more complex mission...

    50,000 troops is a reasonable, if not low, estimate.
    Leaving 85,000 troops to depart post July 08. With a 12 to 18 month window in Ms Clintons proposed timeline.
    We'd have to withdraw 4,800 troops per month, average, to make that work.

    Which could be quite reasonble,
    an acclerated withrawal at the end, handing off equipment to the Iraqi, as they complete the 18 to 24 months of additional training that General Jones estimates they need to be self sufficent.

    A masterful plan, on Ms Clinton's timeline. Mr Bush should announce that Plan and schedule. But leaving it, by design, for the next President to fully implement, based upon realities on the ground.

    It is the schedule of victory or defeat. Deadlines, not benchmarks.

    Take the wind out of the Dems, completely.

    The military "Plan" has succeeded, the politics have totally failed, both in Baghdad and Washington.

  29. Ms. T--Having heard the rumors for many years, I used to take a wide stance on the issue, giving him the benefit of the doubt. His headqquarters here used to say, in denying the rumors, 'he's an Idaho rancher for God's sake, and a married man with kids. Now I believe he has lived a double life all these years. I turned against him, having voted for him all the way through, after the recent immigration debate. Earlier on, if he had said 'I'm gay' I would still have voted for him, based on most of his positions through the years. I think the legal case is extremely weak against him, and he plead guilty hoping it would slip under the radar. I am hoping for a 'wide open' republican primary next year.

    I don't think he was manuevered into a guilty plea. I think he actually did talk things over with a lawyer, though he is saying the opposite. I don't see that tapping one's foot means a thing, but that peeking through a bathroom stall for a long time is a no-no.

    I think it's a hell of a mess, and sort of humorous, and he hasn't handled it well. Leaving a long message on the wrong phone, for instance:)

  30. Desert Rat: CiC is the top job, in the Chain. Why wouldn't a fellow think of that?

    And just think, if Petraeus is President, he can give his own Surge Reports and actually be the Decider rather than doing what his generals in the field tell him to do.

  31. Yes, if large quantities of US arms get into the hands of the PKK, the US bears responsibilty for that.

    No doubt about it.

    Based upon the Goose and Gander Standard.

    But what about that nuclear scenario, ash?
    Would the USA be at fault, or "Darth Cheney" standing alone?

    Your opinion on that, based upon your Quds precedence, is that the USA is absolved of responsibilty.

    Rouges take the fall
    It's Osama, not the Sauds
    It's Doc Khan, not Pakistan
    It's Quds, not Iran
    It's "Darth Cheney", not USA

    Do not think that'll Gosse & Gander with you, will it, ash?

  32. Hey, Doug, your Superferry is back up and running.

  33. Darth Cheney being the Vice President and all that certainly places him as a legitimate representative of the US.

    Obviously there are shades of gray here or are you one of those that believe the US government is responsible for 911 because we helped out Osama in Afghanistan?

  34. Not at all, do not blame the US for having the ISI manage the funding Afghan fighters during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

    That an independently wealthy Saud, benefited from the ISI after the Soviet withdrawal, not the US's responsibility.

    As to the Quds, and "Darth Cheney"'s B52. Both are extentions of the State, that the Iranian system does not fit your organizational chart proformas, does not invalidate their organization.
    Far from it.

    Mr Khamenei, by not having the Iranian Government halt those Quds or Revolutionary Guard actions, endorses them, de facto by default.

    Just as if the US knew that the coup de atomic B52 was airborne, and did not shoot it down before that covertly miscreant launch.
    Or did not destruct the missiles in flight.

    Ratification by omissions

  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

  36. Dr. Zorkot These bastards are always so damned scary, and crazy.

  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. The idea that Rahim Safavi, the commander of the IRGC, operates with complete independence from the authority of the Supreme Leader and/or the President of Iran is beyond credulance.

  39. Carnival Lawsuit Settled Ah, jeez, the sleeze just never ends. Do we have a faithful and true politician in the entire country? Of any party? I'm going for a walk.

    But not in Hemlock Park.

  40. This is about 1/100 th of what we have Under Construction.

  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. Desert Rat - come now. Next you'll be telling me that power base of the Soviet government was in institutions and relationships not outlined in its official "constitution." But it says so, in the charts, damnit.

  43. IRGC and Quds appear to be two different organizations and interchanging the names not a valid approach.

  44. 1/100th

    forgot to post the link.

  45. For instance, one overlooked fact is This: Rice YIELDS are Up 100% The problem is, we just don't need that much Rice.

    We're not stealing land from food, for Energy. It's really boiling down to: Let it lie FALLOW, or use it for cheaper gasoline.

  46. Rudy's Best Move Yet: got a
    $160,000 ad for $60,000 to trash Petraeus.
    Giuliani demands 'heavily discounted' MoveOn ad rate...

    Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) said Thursday that he is asking The New York Times for the “same heavily discounted rate they gave” for his campaign to run an ad in Friday’s paper.

    Giuliani, calling’s controversial “General Betray Us” ad “abominable,” said his campaign is asking the paper for a comparable rate for an ad to run following President Bush’s speech on Iraq.

    The former mayor said his ad “will obviously take the opposite view” from, which argued in its ad that Gen. David Petraeus is “cooking the books” on Iraq and cherry-picking facts that support his recommendation to keep a large number of troops in Iraq for some time.

    Giuliani continued to include Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in his criticisms for her comments that it would take “a willing suspension of disbelief” to accept at face value Petraeus’s report on the situation in Iraq. Giuliani interpreted Clinton’s remarks at a hearing earlier this week as questioning the general’s integrity.

  47. The Terms Quds and Revolutionary Guard, as interchangable as say
    US Marines with Army National Guard.

    Not the same, not even very similar
    Both sharing top leadership, though

    So while not technically correct, say in a Court of Law, more than appropriatly adequate for talk at a Bar.

  48. AlBob,
    Isn't spoofing some secret computer trick used by secret elements in our government?
    One Black Op I know about is hiring teenage boys to hack around, spoof, and f... things up.
    They too do their dirty deeds at the beck and call of the Ayatolahs.

  49. 'Rat,
    Your Thu Sep 13, 11:01:00 AM EDT is GREAT!
    Where'd it come from?

  50. So if I have this right, rufus, 6 billion & 650 million gallons of ethanol production are coming on line.
    In the 75 already permitted distilleries.

    Which amounts to 6,650,000,000 divided by 44, correct?
    151,136,364 barrels
    Five months of Hugo's supplies to the US.
    Never mind the rest, that's 2.5% of annual US requirements coming on line in the next, say, 24 months?

    Energy Independence?
    A pitiful performance for a nation at War, a nation requiring huge quantities of BTUs to operate.

  51. Mosul, 2003 and beyond

    ash, trying to escape on a techincality, while ignoring the damning evidence of the case.

    That won't fly in the Elephant's Court, not at this Bar.

  52. Rat, agreed, BUT, It's a start.

  53. Not for ME, AlBob!
    "Service to Maui, meanwhile, has been suspended by court order as a state judge determines if the ferry will be allowed to operate while an environmental assessment is being conducted for the island's Kahului Harbor. "

  54. BTW, those are permitted, financed, and "Under Construction."

    You know, 150 Million Barrels, plus the same amount already producing is fifteen days TOTAL OIL USE for us.

    I bet if we didn't have it gasoline would be higher; what do you think?

  55. Commander-in-Chief to be Hillary Clinton appeals to Osama to knock it off for a while. Scrappleface. :)

  56. Thanks, 'Rat.
    One more thing:
    How'd you find it?

  57. How well can you swim, Doug?

  58. Here's your medical student albob:
    Follow the link and check out his web page!
    Jihadi after Jihadi gets caught here, and the MSM cover up each and every one, with an exception here and there to cover
    A Jihadist Has Been Arrested In Dearborn, MI

    "The Start of My Personal Jihad (in the US)"

    Man with AK-47 assault rifle arrested after leaving Dearborn’s Hemlock Park
    DEARBORN - Houssein Zorkot, a 26-year-old Dearborn resident, was arraigned Tuesday in 19th District Court on multiple felony charges, including carrying a dangerous weapon with unlawful intent — a five-year felony.

    Zorkot, a third-year medical student at Wayne State University, was allegedly armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and dressed in black clothing with camouflage paint covering his face when he was arrested Saturday in Hemlock Park.

    According to police, Zorkot was observed attempting to leave the park in a black SUV after officers had received reports of a man carrying a rifle in the area. He was placed under arrest and is scheduled to undergo a preliminary examination at 9 a.m. Sept. 21 in 19th District Court.

    Zorkot has also been charged with one count of possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle and one count of felony firearm. He remains in custody on a $1 million bond (cash, no 10 percent).

  59. AlBob
    "how well do you swim?"
    Last time I tried, pretty well, AlBob, but for years now, I haven't:

    Decided I might as well just surrender myself, and let Sonia molest me in Situ, so to speak.

  60. Hey Ash!
    Congratulations on your
    Thu Sep 13, 12:57:00 PM EDT
    That short post puts your madness on display perfectly.

    Are mental services covered under Canuck Healthcare?

  61. Rat, what's Mosul got to do with the Quds and to what technicality do you refer?

    You wrote:
    "The Terms Quds and Revolutionary Guard, as interchangable as say
    US Marines with Army National Guard."

    Other then your say so where is the evidence? According to Trish there is precious little evidence supporting such a claim. I'm on the fence awaiting the evidence.

  62. doug,

    You seem to be having trouble following the conversation. Rat referred to Darth Cheney attacking with B52's loaded with nukes and the US and Iranian governments being responsible for all of their proxies actions.

  63. google
    "mosul 2003"
    "mosul 2004"
    It was first at one or the other

  64. Thu Sep 13, 04:25:00 PM EDT

    First, no that's not what Trish argued.

    Second, even had she argued it, an anonymous internet commentator probably isn't the best source to hang your hat on, especially when the exact opposite can be found with the smallest of effort.

    Oh, why bother. Reality-based community and all that.

  65. That said, Army and special forces would have probably been a better characterization.

  66. Cutler,

    I got the wrong end of the stick did I? Wouldn't be the first time but here post that said:

    trish said...

    "So you don't believe it when our Military says they were Quds forces, and they confiscated Quds Forces plans for their operations in Iraq?"

    No. What the military doesn't have is a line between Qods and the government. The admin doesn't have it either.

    As for confiscated plans...

    No fucking way.

    Wed Sep 12, 09:49:00 PM EDT

    Seems to suggest my interpretation isn't too far off.

  67. She can correct me or confirm if she likes, but I am almost entirely positive that Trish was arguing that we have no line between (Quds and the IRG) and the government of Iran itself, not whether Quds is a part of the IRG.

  68. You asserted, ash, that "Darth Cheney" was not a proxy, but part of the Government.
    Easily seen and acknowledged.
    Each of the others, Dr Khan for instance was representing Pakistan, had use of military aircraft and personnel, not much of a proxy.
    Quds or the Revolutinary Guard are reporting to either the Supreme Leader or the President. They are armed functionaries of the State, or there is not State.
    Osama and the Sauds, a person would have to prove Osama was not an agent of the Royal family, rather than he was. The evidence and innuendo is so overwhelming, of a connection.

    You then ignore the thrust of the debate, quibbling on whether Quds and the Revolutionary Guard are one and the same, or distinct organizations. Which matters not at all. Any more than the distinction between the Army and the Marines.

  69. Should have given him that pistol ...

    BAGHDAD (Associated Press) -- The assassination Thursday of the leader of the Sunni Arab revolt against al-Qaida militants dealt a setback to one of the few success stories in U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq, but tribesmen in Anbar province vowed not to be deterred in fighting the terror movement.

    American and Iraqi officials hoped the death of Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha would not stall the campaign to drive al-Qaida in Iraq from the vast province spreading west of Baghdad and reconcile Sunnis with the Shiite-led national government.

    It was the biggest blow to the Anbar tribal alliance since a suicide bomber killed four anti-al-Qaida sheiks as they met in a Baghdad hotel in June. Abu Risha himself had escaped a suicide attack in February. But those attacks and others did not stop the campaign against al-Qaida.

    Abu Risha, head of the Anbar Awakening Council who met with President Bush just 10 days earlier, died when a roadside bomb exploded near his home just west of Ramadi as he returned from his farm, police Col. Tareq Youssef said. Two bodyguards and the driver also were killed.

  70. It doesn't seem like a minor point. Quds seem to have a pretty solid history performing terrorist acts. The US government was considering labeling all of the IRGC as a terrorist organization based on the Quds - IRGC link. It seems the Admin. has backed off on that designation for the IRGC. There appears to be a debate as to how strong the link between Quds and the IRGC is. As Trish noted she can't prove there isn't a link (problems with proving a negative in general) and she was challenging Doug to provide evidence.

  71. The IRG is best understood as Iran's SS - except Hitler's now dead and they believe they have control over his legacy.

    Supreme Ruler Khamanei wouldn't have even acquired power originally without their tacit approval.

    Which is why arguing about whether they are 'official part of the government' or not, is ludicrous to the actual realities of power politics in Iran. They're probably the most important pillar of the informal government that runs foreign and security policy.

    And Quds is a part of them.

    But as Doug said, recognizing that does not mean you are in favor of lighting Iran up at this point in time.

  72. You can't sit on the fence, Ash, that's what I do around here, and I've got dubs on it. You go sit somewhere else. Sitting on the fence is what I do, when I don't know what I'm talking about.

  73. There's not room enough for the both of us, Ash, on this fence.

  74. And I'm on the fence to stay, and cliche.

  75. well, i guess with no evidence one should hop off the fence and not assume it is true just 'cause some say it is true...sort of like Saddam's WMD. The inspectors weren't finding any but, no, we KNEW he had 'em (the receipts from our sale to him I guess) so we invaded anyway. Look where that got us.

  76. Claimed he had them, his Generals thought he had them, he had had them.

    One of many reasons in the litney for invading Iraq, not the only one, by far.

    To admit that the Quds and the Revolutionary Guard as arms of the Iranian State, just seeing the obvious.
    That their being direct Iranian agents, not proxies, does not argue for war with Iran, just the realization of who it is we are negotiating with, in Baghdad.

    Or why negotiate with the Iranians at all, if they do not control the activities of Quds and other Iranian nationals in Iraq?

  77. Someone around here ought to go into the 'bundling' business. Astutely done, the risks are small, the rewards potentially great, the life exciting, and the opportunities for sexual adventures nearly unlimited. Scumbundling Tip of the iceberg.

    The guy I was going to go into the RV business with--we're not going to do it--but his son was campaign finance minister for the republican candidate--can't think of his name--who ran against the current gov of Washington. Man, he said the money 'really flows'.

  78. Scuttled the plan for those RV spots that were sellin' for the price of a pickup?

    Now that pickup truck sales have tanked?

    Just another part of the overall anedotal slow down tale. Rollin' into the Election.

    Mr Bush won't do his "We've Won and Leavin' as Promised" speach.

    He'll do something pensive, half hearted, full of opportunities to equivicate. When he should be forthright. We've come, we saw, we're goin' home.

    Stick to the same schedule, but have a positive vision, a plan for it. Turn the tables, but he and his Dad, problem with their vision.

  79. News you can use. The truth will out. Cheney and the Nuclear Grassy Knoll Incident

    We got a lot of returns of the questionaire at the RV Show, Rat, but only three or four willing to commit to buy, and we figured we needed 8 to 10 to make it a go. Maybe later sometime.

  80. Nation that brought you Nazis REFUSES any further Sanctions on Islamic Nazis!
    ...eliminating all options but Military, or accepting Nazi Nukes!

  81. Ut is an interesting tale, those nukes on a B52.

    Ran my Compay size unit's ammo bunkers, in Panama and Korea, bunkers in Panama, trailers in Korea.

    I could have removed C4 or 5.56mmm ball, some grenades, claymores. Easily enough. But 5 nukes on cruise missiles?
    A clerical error? Make me laugh

    "Darth Cheney" that's part of the joke, but something a bit unkosher was takin' place, for those nukes to get on the hard points of a B52.

    A bit like Sp4 Tillman gettin' triple tapped at 200 meters ...

    Shit don't happen like that ...

  82. Merkle govt afraid of what further sanctions would do to German Economy!

    Just like W knows we would collapse financially w/o Illegal Slaves to exploit.

  83. "A bit like Sp4 Tillman gettin' triple tapped at 200 meters ..."
    It IS mathematically POSSIBLE 'Rat:
    You can't PROVE otherwise, just as you cannot PROVE I can't Bench Press 400 lbs.
    (unless you're willing to buy a plane ticket)
    Can't prove a negative!
    blah blah,
    Can't, blah,
    Can't, Can't, CAN'T!

  84. My cousin told me he and his mates could have stolen some nuke artillery shells from a base in Germany, when he was a guard there, back in the 1960's. It's odd though, for sure.

  85. Sometimes there's a Psychic Payoff for being OLD, Cutler!
    (Just wish our son didn't have to live in the same World you do.)

  86. This comment has been removed by the author.

  87. "...eliminating all options but Military, or accepting Nazi Nukes!"

    Yeah, the best part: They won't support sanctions, but they will support a bombing campaign...privately, but not publicly.

    In other words, they once again want us to take care of it and take all of the financial, military, and political costs. Meanwhile they'll condemn us. So among other things, "our allies" can continue to get their Middle Eastern oil shipments.

    This is a "pro-American" government. Slowly and slowly I converge with Mr. Waltz. Fuck all this.

  88. Political Costs above ALL else:
    ...even descendants of Nazis ARE Politicians!

  89. Honorable Farmer AlBobAl:
    You mind if I grow some Pretty Flowers on that Plot?

  90. All the time I've been around you, I don't think I've ever heard you mention a son, Doug. How old's he?

    All things said and done, I still consider myself a member of the luckiest generation there's ever been. I'd take today over thousands of nukes, Nazis, World War I, or the vast majority of prior human history. It's only because we have it so good that what I think's coming decades down the road seems like such a collosal waste.

    Something that makes it more tolerable is the thought that in the long, long run, it's just one blip in a hopeless vast amount of future history to come. Doesn't do too much for your son or my future kids (Allah willing), unfortunately.

  91. Maybe he'll swear himself into that speech on a Koran, held by a friendly CAIR terrorsymp, in hopes of melting their Hearts all over his Compassionate one.
    Whirled Peas,
    GOP Landslide.

  92. Gawd I used to Brag about him til I got kicked off of 3 sites, Cutler!

    Now that he's gone gangbanger on me, nobody complains but you!

  93. He was born in Nov 73, whatever that makes him:
    You're the Genius Academic!

  94. Do not have to prove anything, doug

    I've fired a lot of weapons, at the range, in the field. With cold calculation and heart pounding adrenaline. If he was autopsied with results as reported, then he was not shot at the time and distances in the public telling of the tale. I believe, based on what I know, what done and seen.

    Who shot him, why, where, wouldn't begin to venture a guess. Quite a difference between stealing away in a truck, ammo from the site you secure. And loading five nuclear weapons on an Air Force bombers hard points, to then fly across the country.
    If the ground crew in LA, that leaked the story, recongnized them as nuclear, so too would have the pilots

    As to those Germans, why should they sacrifice their economic future, when the World Bank does not, France does not. Italy does not, Russia does not.

    It is a competitive world, across that pond. Our German allies need to take every advantage in maintaining their socialist nirvana. We need to help.

    Open your minds.

  95. Has yet to see a classroom, other than 1 in Honolulu, 2 in DC, and 1 in the Big Apple.
    Hotels, actually, I guess for Security Conference stuff, I guess.
    He got his secure segmented, top secret, atomic powered clearance when he was 21.
    Don't know why they let him keep it now that he's taken up with the Undocumented Alien Gangs here, but that's the story.

  96. 'Rat,
    What if you had a million monkeys with M-16's with full clips.
    (all the other holes don't count against the monkeys)

  97. Gangbanger/illegal gangs, that a joke or serious?

  98. Sorry, sometimes the people here talk way too fast me. Feel like I'm reading code sometimes.

  99. At least he is not trying to recruit them into the Military, doug.

    Lot of discouragement when the "best" prospects are without papers.

    Hard to walk to Hawaii, doug. at least they are financially capable wops

  100. Cutler,
    Thu Sep 13, 08:24:00 PM EDT
    Decode 'Rat at
    Thu Sep 13, 08:27:00 PM EDT
    ...and I'll write in English.
    Or try.
    esp the WOP part:
    How the Hell did THEY get into this?

  101. Did your son try recruiting monkeys?

  102. BTW, AlBob, where are you from?

    No offense, but for a while I thought you were someone else's secondary nickname.

  103. Cutler,
    Thu Sep 13, 08:24:00 PM EDT

    I'm not sure that Desert Rat gets that you're joking about "it" being uncoincidental. Then again, hard to see why the monkeys part wouldn't give it away...

    Problem with the internet - nearly impossible to catch deadpan humor.

  104. I catch the drift, cutler, got a chuckle.

    Still, gotta kick the dog, while it's down, stomp it good, or it'll bite your ass.

    There always a lot of "off the books" stuff done in the Army, the one I was in anyway. But not like that, not nukes off for a joy ride.

    Tillman gettin' capped.

    Who, where, why, none of the storyline necessities. When the report is issued, it's only marginally believable. Like an anonymous Israeli spy testifying, there will be an agenda protected.

  105. I worked in several Victor Alert areas on two TAC bases with nuclear weapons. There was no possibility that any of those weapons could be loaded or moved anywhere by accident. None. I doubt security is less today. Once on the aircraft and in the air, many things could go wrong. Getting them on a B52 by accident... no way.

  106. Anyways, here's the story:
    Homeschooled til he was 16 and got three computer related jobs.
    Met everyone on Maui, esp those he needed to know to get his present job.
    Found out he likes drinking with the AF guys 5 years after taking an oath and not drinking a drop til he was 20.
    So, that works out well for his present job:

    He works for the Univ of Hawaii, who has contracts with Boeing and the Air Force re:
    he fast tracking and various other Telescopes atop Haleakala and their related Supercomputer down here.

    His job, best I can tell, is to make sure the computer code remains cleanly segmented, that is to say, 1 level of security is not mixed in with another.
    He's excelled at the job because he likes to do what I hate most, which is to read, UNDERSTAND, and properly implement all of the zillion books worth of REGULATIONS.
    ...Plus, he has to be the Security bad-ass guy, since the AF guy he works with tells him what to do:
    When somebody breaks the rules, one way or the other, he, not his boss has to do all the dirty work of collecting info on his friends and possibly busting them.
    ...probly why he likes to drink!

    Hope some of it is close enuf to English that I don't have to start from scratch!

  107. illegal aliens are those with out papers. wops

    Not limited to Eye-talions, that designation.

    Gotta teach you about xenophobia, now, aye?

    Monkeys, on a Donkey...
    people will pay a nickel to see that.

  108. Russians have been getting a little screwy lately, maybe somebody decided to put SAC airborne again on some limited scale? And then it leaked?

    Almost surely not even close, but hey, might make a good novel.

  109. Don't think our Nukes ever got put on their missiles 'cept in the shop for practice, MAYBE.
    ...and them DOGS!!!

  110. Hrmm, SAC's been gone since you get the idea.

  111. Sorry, I thot you wuz talkin 'bout EyeTalians.
    Shoulda known YOU, of all people wouldn't use THAT "word!"

  112. Alright, I got most of it now Doug.

    I've got to deal with potential clearance processes now, scares the shit out of me honestly.

  113. Were you offended by my Italian Air Force Joke?

  114. What ever happened, it was not a clerical error or some simple mix-up.
    Which is not to say that "Darth Cheney" is guilty of anything but shooting his lawyer in the face.

    But it is a untold tale.

  115. North Idaho, Cutler, Moscow and Lewiston--grandpa came from Sweden, after a short stop over in Illinois, and homesteaded here when there was no one here except the natives. I've held on to some of the land he had. He was one of the very first white farmers here.

    Don't they have a sign that says, "THIS IS A NUCLEAR BOMB" and a little duct tape to stick it on with?

  116. He did pretty well, considering:
    The guy that tailed him was like Columbo on Steroids:
    He went to Honolulu for the weekend to a car show with some friends.
    The guy flew over there and tailed him, catching his friends in the Lobby and asking about their sleeping arrangements, being that there were more guys than there were BEDS!

    Son had to swear on a stack of Korans that he slept on the floor, BY HIMSELF.

    Best part was, he interogated son and wife, and left dad free and clear!
    ...could that be because the FBI checked me out for the BATF when I had a Brewery?

  117. President Bush up soon, Rat. He's going to ask you to 'take a fresh look'.

  118. Good poppie growin weather up there, AlBob?

  119. We'd ALL like to give Larry a "second look"

  120. Oddly enough, I'm sitting here in the computer lab and there's this really cute girl who I always see in the gym sitting behind me - wearing a Ron Paul for President t-shirt.

  121. LOL
    Talk about a security Risk.
    Just take...
    Well, you know who!

  122. Trish has taken up sending Love e-mails to Larry Johnson again.
    Tryin to recruit him for Paul, I think.

  123. I wonder how you seduce Larry Johnson?

  124. Temporarily, at least, Cutler, become a Ron Paul supporter.

  125. Larry would love to support Ron, at least for a few minutes.

  126. Guess that wide stance really do come in handy sometimes.

  127. Ron Paul's never looked so good, I must say.

  128. C'mon, let's all chip in and help Hsu Make Bail Again

  129. Bobal beat me to it.

    All things being said, if Ron Paul was less loopy and a little more in touch with reality (i.e., that the FBI and CIA might still be necessary), I might actually go for it.

    Him, I mean, not the girl.

    I'm really sick of the Republican Party.

  130. That's the spirit, Cutler, take a wide political stance, support whomever will give you a little advantage.

  131. If Trish was less loopy and a little more in touch with reality, it might be possible to have a rational argument.
    Birdbrain's of a Feather.

  132. Maybe W's speech will be a compilation of all the things he has declared UNACCEPTABLE so far.

    Just to see if he can set the record for a speech's effect on a Pol's Ratings.

  133. Petraeus was a lot better looking when he was 20.
    Unlike me.

  134. NFL fines PATRIOTS, Coach $750,000 for spying...
    Cheaper to be a dog beater!

  135. Somebody's on Miller talkin about Columbia and Panama.


  136. Now he's giving Dreir shit for not being at Petraeus Speech!

    He thinks the Sun will rise and set or not depending on Bush being sucessful in Iraq.
    Good thing he's a comedian!

  137. Bush tells Iran, Syria to lay off Iraq...
    At last:
    Sounds more cool and laid-back than UNACCEPTABLE.

  138. Israelis hitting Syria.

    Talk about something that came out of the blue and attracted minimal notice. Even the Syrian protests were surrealistic.

  139. Did you read any of MY posts with EVIDENCE ASHLEY?

    You and trish just spout on:
    I provided half a thread worth of Solid evidence and intelligence!

  140. To Iraq’s neighbors who seek peace: The violent extremists who target Iraq are also targeting you. The best way to secure your interests and protect your own people is to stand with the people of Iraq. That means using your economic and diplomatic leverage to strengthen the government in Baghdad. And it means the efforts by Iran and Syria to undermine that government must end.

    Tough talk

  141. Stratasphere was on the Korean/Syrian angle First, I think.
    Haven't checked back, but looks like he may have guessed right this time.

  142. That's yesterday's news. Israel over flying Syria and dropping some bombs.

  143. Turkey provided Israel with intelligence on Syria prior to last week's alleged IAF flyover into the country, Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida claimed on Thursday.

    According to the report, the country had a central role in delivering precise information regarding targets in Syria that were to be hit by Israeli planes. Further, the report claimed that the Israeli pilots were given authorization by the Turkish army to use its airspace in order to carry out the operation.

    Sources told Al-Jarida that Turkish intelligence did not coordinate the move with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "Coordination of the [release of information] occurred far away from the political echelon," it said.

  144. It has just seemed like such a long time since either us or the Israelis acted in such an open manner with little talk. Just did it.

  145. Did what?

    Put a hole in the desert, or ...

  146. I don't know, maybe acted brazenly without pleading excuses and apologies in the face of an enemy's intrasigence.

    Nevermind, I'm probably just imagining it.

  147. Actually, I did doug, though, to tell the truth, much is read at a rapid pace do to the numerous posts at this place. Memory brings back the most relevant being the ... general stating that it was brought up to evidentary level - implying it really wasn't.

    Anyway, on that B52 mistakenly flying with nukes on its wings, to repeat myself, not only am I puzzled by the occurance but the fact that the story made it to the MSM.

  148. The leaks in LA, that is even more troubling as loading the firecrackers, if it was an authorized covert op.
    Or unauthorized, depending on who did not authorize it and who did.

  149. Pipeline attacks in Mexico, really more important. Well maybe

  150. " brought up to evidentary level - implying it really wasn't.
    ONLY you and Trish could read his statement like, that, leaving out the plain English meaning up front.
    I provided tons more evidence and intelligence.
    I give up.

  151. Petraeus says Iran involvement in attacks 'clear'

    "The evidence is very, very clear," Petraeus told a news conference here. "We captured it when we captured Qais Khazali, the Lebanese Hezbollah deputy commander and others. And it's in black and white."

    The US military in July announced the capture in Basra of a senior Hezbollah militant, Ali Musa Daqduq, who it accused of training "special groups" of Shiite militants at camps near Tehran under the auspices of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds Force.

    Iran has denied the charges.

    Petraeus said video-taped interrogations of the captured operatives have been shown to senior Iraqis, some of whom then confronted the Iranians with the evidence.

    "Qais Khazali, himself, when asked, 'Could you have done what you have done without Iranian support?' he literally throws up his hands and laughs and says, 'Of course not.'"

    "So they told us about the amounts of money that they have received. They told us about the training that they received. They told us about the ammunition and sophisticated weaponry and all of that that they received," he said.
    "And so, this is evidentiary. It is not just intelligence. It rises to the level of evidence, particularly what we captured when we got the hard drives of the computers from the individuals that we picked up in Basra," he said.

  152. You two don't want to accept something that basic, when the ME is filled with similar examples of their work:


  153. "The ***evidence*** is very, very clear,"
    NOT just idle BS like you two LOVE to throw around.
    At least you don't spend equal time badmouthing others like she does.

  154. doug,

    without spending too much time on it a basic criticism is the 'single source'. One guy sayin, oh ya, how else could we have done it without Iranian help. Anyway we can parse those hairs, split 'em up and evaluate them til the cows come home. On the one hand, common sense tells us the Iranians have an interest in Iraq - the border is very porous and the culture very similar. Look to the fuzzy line between Mexico and the US for reference. On the other hand it is quite a big leap, quite a 'big idea' with lots or ramifications, to label the IRGC as a terrorist oraganization. The basis for that? The Quds. As you know the current adminstration has a tendancy to....present 'facts' that support its agenda so sceptism is in order when confronted with its claims, those refering to Iran an all. Specifically to the "evidence" you presented - Peteaus said they said - check up on US law, I think that is called hearsay and not admissable as evidence, even if a general said it is.

  155. Whatever.
    Sunni Sheik Who Backed U.S. in Iraq Is Killed
    A high-profile Sunni Arab sheik who collaborated with the American military in the fight against jihadist militants in western Iraq was killed in a bomb attack on Thursday.
    Profile of Abdul Sattar Buzaigh al-Rishawi (March 3, 2007)

  156. "to label the IRGC as a terrorist "
    It's the PRIMARY Military Industrial Arm and Army of the Islamic Nazi State of Iran.

    How's that?
    ...I provided several links to that effect.
    IRG is GROWING in power and influence, btw.

  157. "On the other hand it is quite a big leap, quite a 'big idea' with lots or ramifications, to label the IRGC as a terrorist oraganization. The basis for that? The Quds."

    So many things to say, so little time.

    We'll just go with a short primer:

    You ever hear of Khobar Towers? Or maybe the Marine Lebanon barracks bombing? The French Lebanon barracks bombing? Or the Iranian attempted coup in Bahrain during the 1990s? Assassinations of various exiles?

    The truth is you're right - in a way.

    These aren't terrorist attacks, according to common definition, because the IGRC is an arm of the Iranian government. They're actually acts of war against various countries.

    It is just that noone else has been reciprocating that war (although the Clinton Administration thought about it after Khobar).

  158. Man, this place is bad for my work ethic.

  159. I think the biggest mistake would be to see this through rational eyes and treat Iran as if it is merely a defensive, scared country. Its leadership had only been scared in three cases in its history, all for short times - immediately after Saddam invaded, after the Vincennes shoot-down (when they thought we were taking the gloves off), and after Khobar Towers. For the rest of its history it has been an incredibly aggressive and revisionist country with big ambition. And they've had no problems using dirty tricks, they're the all-stars in the field.

  160. I can relate to that Cutler! I try to justify it with the idea that my 'thought' is refined through the exercise and challenge. Unfortunately it doesn't help with earnig a buck to feed my kids.

  161. They also have irrefutable justification for their actions derived from 'the book'.

  162. Yeah, in their mind.

    Though, I suppose, whether you think they actually have that justification depends on your interpretation of that book.

    The irony is that their regime has little precedence in Shi'a religious history, where the clergy was historically apolitical, seeing politics as corrupting. So in fundamentalist religious terms, the entire thing's actually a well-motivated fraud.

  163. At least, so I've read...I admit my knowledge of Islamic religious is spotty in areas.

  164. for D. Rat--Inflatable Rat Case Goes To Court

    A Rat get its day in court. However it may be appealing.

  165. Here's a good campaign slogan--do we want a Queen, or a Republican?
    Queen Hillary

  166. Christ, Cutler, I thot you knew the Koran forward and backwards.
    Better start hittin it hard!
    Might want to hit your knees more often too.
    Say six times a day, or so.

  167. 5,700 Troops Home for Christmass!!

    Celebrate! Celebrate!
    Dance to the Music!!!

    Most mismanaged 18 month period of time I've ever seen, this is the worst.
    From the popular election in Iraq, with Mr Maliki selected as PM through today. Projected forward to July 08, worse 30 months that could be imaginable.

    Such poor information management.

  168. So the 'Rat thing's union related.
    Too bad we don't have some non-corrupt unions:
    Could really use some about now.
    I get outraged about thinking about all the hotel rooms around LAX getting cleaned for $7-$9/hour.
    That entire Basin is turning into Mexico Norte, with the very affluent more than happy to exploit the hopelessly poor.
    Tune into the Kevin James show for just 2 hours, and you'll become convinced that the place is irretrievably F.....!
    The Schools are screwed, the Sheriff is corrupt as hell, Bratton evidently goes along to get along, Villagarosa, ex latino gangster, is possibly the only politician in America as Phoney as Edwards, and 10 times more ambitious, not yet having made billions, or become governor, etc.
    Entire City council a bunch of worthless Commies. does go on.
    Teachers reportedly have lost their homes due to the fact that the school district can't keep it's accounting of millions of dollars straight, resulting in some teachers not getting paid for months!
    The schoolboard here is equally unaccountable, but luckily, it is the most corrupt organization in the state, and even tho teachers are the largest voting block, the rest of the state is very solvent compared to LA.
    LA: Gang Capital of the USA,
    Harbinger of the downfall of this country unless the illegal invasion elsewhere is reversed.
    LA is GONE.
    The rest is just a matter of time, at this rate.

  169. Yeah, the only group MORE dysfunctional that W Admin, are all the Politicians in LA.

  170. Britney and Madonna, they take their stance for Freedoms' sake

    Los Angeles - Madonna and Britney Spears will have their "heads cut off" if they continue to spread "Satanic culture", Muslim terrorist leaders have warned.

    Muhammad Abdel-Al, spokesperson and senior leader of Palestinian terror group the Popular Resistance Committees, warns the two pop superstars face death unless they change their evil ways, which includes acting like "prostitutes" to sell records.

    In new book, Schmoozing with Terrorists: From Hollywood to the Holy Land Jihadists Reveal their Global Plans - to a Jew!, Abdel-Al rages: "If I meet these whores I will have the honour - I repeat, I will have the honour - to be the first one to cut the heads off Madonna and Britney Spears if they will keep spreading their satanic culture against Islam."

  171. Dittos for the Walking Cadavers, Harry and Nancy.
    Have you ever seen a 60 something guy that looks as much like Death Walking as Harry Reed?

  172. Plus, they make W look competent by comparison!

  173. Whatever happened to Scoop Jackson?

  174. BOBAL: Here's a good campaign slogan--do we want a Queen, or a Republican?

    Assuming that Emperor George doesn't dismiss the other two branches of government and suspend the Nov. 2008 elections because "everything changed on 9-11"

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