“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."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Lee Bollinger is a Jackass

Painful to watch, grating to listen to, an ivy leafed embarrassment made a fool of himself.


  1. "I look like a Moronic Jackass, why not act like one?"

  2. The Silver Grail of Friendship
    President Ahmadinejad meets Mat's Favorite Jewish rabbis in New York
    "You understand us and make a distinction between the violent behavior of Zionists and the religious beliefs of Jews," said the senior rabbi who called President Ahmadinejad "a pious man who is seeking to restore peace in the world and has humanitarian plans."

    President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Monday afternoon met with a group of Jewish rabbis who gave him a silver grail as a sign of friendship.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. The entire episode at Colunbia just underscores the point.

    The US is not at War with Iran.
    Is not, has not been.

    Should we argue that the US should be, at war with Iran? Is that worthy of debate.

    I could argue the US COULD BE JUSTIFIED to be engaged in a war with Iran, I do not think it'd be wise, from a cost benefit perspective, but that is something else, all together.

    Hail Columbia!
    Proof positive that the jingoists are operating beyond the reality of US foreign policy.

    To support the policies of George W Bush and the US, we must bang the drums of peace.
    Then, hermanos, peace will be at hand. The Religion of Peace, that is.

    3,700 troops home for Christmass

  5. Doug,

    As I told Ash, if that's what it means to be Jewish, then I don't care to be Jewish.

  6. Even the San Francisco Chronicle doesn't think much of Ahmadinejad:

    "Columbia University President Lee Bollinger courageously, imho, resisted pressure to call off Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speech at Columbia today. But he went one better. In a stunning statement, right in front of Ahmadinejad, he wiped the floor with the putative head of Iran's despotic regime, taking him to angry, articulate task on issues such as Holocaust denial, Israel's right to exist, subversion of Lebanon's government and support for terrorism."

    h/t: Wretchard

  7. Iraqi Prime Minister Says That Civil War Has Been Prevented
    Maliki Also Plays Down Iran's Influence

    By Karen DeYoung
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, September 25, 2007; A15

    Civil war has been averted in Iraq and Iranian intervention there has "ceased to exist," Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said yesterday.

    "I can't say there is a picture of roses and flowers in Iraq," Maliki told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. "However, I can say that the greatest victory, of which I am proud . . . is stopping the explosion of a sectarian war." That possibility, he said, "is now far away."

    While political reconciliation is not yet complete, he said, progress is being made. "Reconciliation is not a decision that can be made, but a process that takes continuous efforts and also needs strategic patience," Maliki said.

    He said cabinet ministers who have left his government in protest will be replaced, and he expressed confidence that the Iraqi parliament will pass legislation that he, the Bush administration and Congress have demanded.

    Maliki, who will speak to the U.N. General Assembly tomorrow, deftly dodged questions about last week's incident in which employees of Blackwater, a private U.S. security firm, allegedly killed 11 Iraqi civilians. While "initial signs" are that "there was some wrongdoing from Blackwater," he said, he will await the results of a U.S.-Iraqi investigation. He dismissed a statement by the interior minister in Baghdad that Blackwater will be banned from Iraq, saying the positions of the ministry and his office are "the same."

    Iraqi security forces, Maliki said, are increasingly capable of operating without U.S. support. But he agreed with the Bush administration that an early U.S. withdrawal would be unwise.

    Iraq's political leadership, he said through an interpreter, "wants the process of withdrawing troops to happen [simultaneously with] the process of rebuilding Iraqi Security Forces so that they can take responsibility." No one, he said, "wants to risk losing all the achievements" they have made.

    But although Bush administration officials have spoken of a smaller, long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq, similar to the tens of thousands of troops stationed in South Korea over the past half-century, Maliki said he does not foresee it.

    The two governments, he said, are in the initial phases of discussion about "a long-term multilateral treaty and not necessarily a long-term presence for troops." Any agreement, he said, would have to be approved by the Iraqi parliament.

    Maliki's view of Iran's role in fomenting violence in Iraq also diverges from that of the administration. He said his government has begun a dialogue with Iran and Syria and has explained to them that their activities are unhelpful. As a result, he said, "our relationships with these countries has improved to the point that they are not interfering in our internal affairs."

    Asked about Iran's Revolutionary Guard Forces, which the U.S. military charges is arming, training and directing Shiite militias in Iraq, Maliki said: "There used to be support through borders for these militias. But it has ceased to exist."

    He said he has no fear of Sunni tribal forces recruited by the United States in their Anbar province stronghold because all Sunnis are "sons of Iraq."

    Maliki said his goal as leader of Iraq's Shiite-majority government is for Shiites and Sunnis to perceive him as evenhanded. "When people talk about Prime Minister Maliki," he said, ". . . some Shiites say he is with us, some Sunnis say he is against" and vice versa. "This is the equation I want to maintain. I am multi-nationalistic."



    How 'bout the hearty handshake, smile of sincerity, and certificate of completion, suitable for framing?

    I'm game, baby.

  8. DR

    America is at war with Iran, we so far, have choosen to ignore her as a elephant would ignore a mouse.

    IF we as America were to measure war and security matters from a "cost benefit basis" then Jefferson, Washington & Madison would not have formed the Navy, stood up for America and went to war against the Islamic nations of North Africa that declared war on us, BEFORE we were a nation. In the end the Barbary Wars were more expensive than if we had just appeased them and paid the tributes they had demanded. Today Islam is doing the same to the west. Provide them with open access to trade their wares and provide them with technologies and cash, this is no different than any accommodation we have attempted to make with islamic "cartels" governments or tribes...

    From attempts to appease with the turks, palios, iranians, north african moslems all in the end seem to be fruitless..

    Just ask an Armenian...

    So if you examine history, you will find i think, that when america has done what is right and coslty, we get back 100 fold, rewards showered on America unmeasured.

    Today many in the world finds the Iraq war a irresponsible & illegal war. These are not even monday morning quarterbacks, they are shortsighted and did not learn from history.

    Do you and the world remember Saddam and his horrors?

    Iraq invaded everyone of his neighbors, caused the murder and deaths of over 2 million iranians, kurds & arabs.

    STATE SANCTIONED mass murder, wood chippers, rape, torture (real stuff) and YES weapons of many sort of mass destruction.

    Saddam DID attack israel and threatened to burn her.. Dont care about israel? fine, the you must ask yourself what would have happened if israel had been hit with a chemical tipped rocket? MILLIONS if not 100's of millions could have been killed, think i am exaggerating? Do you really want to see that?

    If we leave iraq by christmas as you so wish, get ready for a major change of life all over the globe. From iran becoming a regional superpower at war with her arab (non persian so called pals) but also other sunni nations.

    in short, we are not leaving iraq, and yes the war with iran started long ago, get used to it...

  9. The Transition of Power is going smoothly, even as we sleep.

  10. Finally, it was almost cold here last night. The bees will be in their little nests, the flies and mosquitoes dropping like, well 'flies'. Love that crisp fall weather.

    When we are pulling one another around in rickshaws for lack of gas, we'll have lost so much weight, and be in such good shape, we won't need no stinking health insurance.

    Do I have to write my Senator about the law of the sea treaty? Seems all I do is write my Senator these days. By the way Senator Craig's "BIG DAY" in court is tomorrow. Will he personally appear, or just rely on a talking head?

  11. "If we leave iraq by christmas as you so wish..."

    Redeployment of 3700 is hardly "leaving." Redeployment of 3700 by Christmas is a pipe dream.

    We will have, at least until summer 09, a minimum of 140K troops in Iraq and a like number of contractors.

    Right you are. We ain't goin' nowhere.

    And I think everyone feels are darn sight safer for it, don't you?

  12. trish & dr,

    I misread.

    I missed the 3700..

    I thought he was saying all troops out by christmas

  13. Lee sure has nice fluffy grey hair. Blow dried. Looks real good. Kinda Ivy-League.

  14. trish as for being safer, yes I do...

    LOOK at a map..

    Our war plans are in place..

    Iran is surrounded.

    The USSR is in NO way involved in the Middle East LIKE used to be.

    There are 200,000 troops, 3 carrier groups and airbases further out that now have surrounded Iran.

    The chess pieces are in place...

    Now, some fun thoughts.

    Syria/Nkor/Hezbollah/Iran/Hamas are clearly in the gunsites of the USA

    Additional countries are now seeing these groups/gangs as the problem, dont listen to the public rantings they are meaningless..

    Do you see protests in America like we had about Vietnam?

    Did you see how israel flew threw that 3 billion dollar white elephant sold to iran and syria by russia? once again exposing russian sales of useless piles of crap...

    Oil is at 83 a barrel, I have read that the number that iran/usa war would be $100 bucks, that 17% more.. big deal... america can live with 3.79 a gallon...

  15. wi"o"
    You make the case for war,
    I understand it.
    Reject it for the US, at this time.

    The US is not ready for a Global War, as evidenced by the last four years. We are not capable of even fighting a regional war.

    The local war, in Iraq, that is over, hermano mio, fini.

    Read Mr Maliki.

    He be the man we liberated and enthroned.
    Praise be!

    The US is not at war with Iran.
    Iran may be at war with the US, but not in any major way.

    I've read many a jingoist tell US how "light" US casualties are, in Iraq. Using statistics, that arguement can be made.

    Is Israel's existence a "vital" US interest?
    It is thought to be, by some. It is to the current US government. Israel exists just fine. Threaten, but that is the status que, always has been.

    I recall Saddam, he is dead.
    Who has Iran's Army invaded?
    Which country violates borders, with airstrikes and over flights?

    Not Iran
    Who is reported to attack foreign lands with impunity, if not Israel
    Based upon what evidence do they raid?
    If Syria and Nork are exchanging nuclear material, that should be made common knowledge, if true.

    Without evidence, there is only smoke, supposition & pre-emptive actions that play into the mussulmen's anti US cause.

  16. "Now, some fun thoughts."


    You wanna know what a FUN thought is compared to that?

    Regime removal in DPRK.

    That's a FUN thought, what. Five pounds of fun stuffed into a one pound bag that would be, comparatively. A day at the fucking circus, really.

  17. Buchanan (again) makes a whole lot of sense on the Mad Jad in NY affair.

    Someone should explain to me slowly why Buchanan is widely considered a loon. On the other hand, one could also explain slowly to me how Jad is madder than Bush, Cheney and the neocon crew, (excepting the glow-of-allah-in-the-UN moment, but is that worse than the Bush administrations UN "Smoking Gun" which turned out to be the "Smoke and Mirrors Smoking Gun"?).

  18. Yes Fellow Peacekeeper he can make sense and I've been amazed over the years at how republicans (and so many other Americans) have marched down the ideological path of GW Bush. It really makes no sense other then it is a lot easier to rail "IRAN is EVIL" then to confront the complexities of the real world.

  19. There is no ideological battle between GW Bush and Iran.

    Battle of Ideas?

    Through the World Bank?

    The Governator has done more, by directing State Pension Funds to sivest in companies doing business in Iran.

    Schwarzenegger announced that he would sign legislation requiring California's two huge pension funds to divest from companies that have energy or defense-related business in Iran.

    He said the legislation makes California a leader in ethical investing and allows the state to take a “powerful stand against terrorism.”

    The Republican governor was in New York to talk about California's fight against global warming at a United Nations conference. The Iranian president is scheduled to address the United Nations today.

    The governor's decision puts California on the forefront of a national movement that sprang from a most unlikely source: freshmen Assemblyman Joel Anderson, R-La Mesa.

    Anderson, who serves on the legislative committee that reviews pension bills, said he thought the state should act after he looked at the portfolios of the California Public Employees' Retirement System, known as CalPERS, and the California State Teachers' Retirement System, CalSTRS.

    Lawmaker Joel Anderson played a key role in the Iran legislation.
    Anderson said he was shocked to find that the funds have more than $24 billion invested in companies that do business inside Iran. Those companies are foreign-owned; the United States prohibits American companies from doing buiness with Iran.

    “There's no logical reason to be there,” he said in an interview.

    Anderson's Assembly Bill 221 would not affect all those investments, however. Initially, his legislation applied to all firms that do business in Iran but was narrowed to avoid harming companies that promote health, welfare and education in Iran or had permission from the U.S. government to do business there.

    If we are promoting "health, welfare and education, in Iran, we are not at war with Iran.

    Opposite of war, actually.

  20. Lee Bollinger can now go down in the annals of history along with other ambush artists such as Rosie O'Donnell (ambushed Tom Selleck on gun control) and any of the various muckrakers who have been on the Sixty Minutes on-air staff over the years.

    To make matters worse, Ahmadinejad is conducting a PR/propaganda war for the hearts and mind of the Muslim Umma. Bollinger has behaved very badly as host and given Ahmadinejad exactly what he wanted. That is; to portray himself as reasoned and rational while at the same time pointing out that it is George Bush, it is America that are the blood thirsty tyrants who must be confronted. If you look at what Ahmadinejad has said in press releases and interviews over the past year or so, his MO is to make everyone else look unreasonable in Muslim eyes while he says just enough to convey solidarity the Umma.

    Also,it was interesting this morning to read a newsreport quoting some indignant "light in the loafers" spokesman regarding the address at Columbia. I'm sure that article will go over well with the Muslims. Ahmadenijad is positioning himself as the "Fighting Leader" of the Islamic World and he's doing with words such as "Iran wants peace, Iran is tolerant and democratic." But he knows and his target audience knows what he means with his words.

    Here's a must hear address by Nonie Darwish at the Counter Intelligence Center. Listen to the whole thing because she describes what is happening with regard to Muslim words v. deeds.

  21. Which Muslim Umma would that be, whit?

  22. So Whit, when they say "Death to America" they really don't mean it because they are lying?

    Why not take 'them' at their word. For example, Ahmadinejad claims Iran needs to enrich uranium to ensure a supply - they have problems getting parts for airplanes what would lead them to believe that they wouldn't have trouble getting uranium to generate power?

    Another article that argues a similar line to your main point can be found at the Asian Times.

  23. That's not nice, peacekeeper.

    The story is that the neocons were right in their targeting and poor in the follow-on. Meaning they'll continue to be right in the targeting though someone else may have to take up the follow-on.

    Whatever. It's all good.

  24. I know, as a confidence building jesture, let's give Iran a working bomb, then if they don't blow it off, we'll know all is well, and they mean what they say.

  25. Another idea that has been floated is for Iran to buy the fuel from the Russkies or us, promise to play nice, and account for and ship back the used up stuff. But they don't seem to be 'buying'.


  26. Shit, bob, they're sitting on a pile of uranium.

  27. Shimon Perez Agrees that Bollinger is a jackass.

    Right, they are, and they are processing it to a high level.

  28. Or a low level, or they bought the NorKs supply.
    If they REALLY wanted a bomb, they'd have bought one.

    They are running out of oil, eveyone says...
    bob wants nukes in the US for energy independence and self defense, but wants Iran to be energy dependent and not be able to defend itself.

    The Russian equipment, as the Syrian IAF excursion proves, is inadequate, There is only one proven method of self defense in the post modern world, for a State. Have a MAD capacity,

  29. Or an asymetrical reactive global threat, economic and political, that makes military action against you, very costly.

  30. Desert Rat: The US is not ready for a Global War, as evidenced by the last four years. We are not capable of even fighting a regional war.

    With those rules of engagement, we can't even break up a schoolyard tussle.

  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. Yeah, Ms T, you know the deal

    The Rules are the Rules

    Not one of the offical litney of causes of the quagmire, the RoE.

    Though that was the opinion of the
    82nd Airborne Seven
    Not enough applied force or applied violence.

    Peacekeeping, not war making.

  33. "Or an asymetrical reactive global threat, economic and political, that makes military action against you, very costly."

    Iraq certainly didn't have that.

    Iran needn't either.

    The question is always Then What?

    If regime removal in Iran would be far more more difficult due to the nature of the government and other factors, the same question in addition remains: What are you going to do with it once you've got it? Not like it's going to disappear when you have it.

    Ask the Israelis.

  34. bobal,

    Turn the argument on its head. Say folks were saying to the US - no you can't process uranium, you can't make a bomb. What say you in return? "No f'n way".

    Now look to the Iranian position. Saying "No f'n way" has quite the cost but they seem to be willing to accept IAEA inspections in return for no bomb. Don't you think their may be some room for negotiation or is war the only way?

  35. Could've mined the border with Syria and Iran if the influx were that important.

    Never need contemplate heading over.

    But it was never that important.

  36. I don't believe the mahdi is coming out of the well. The Iranians ought to have energy independence, they shouldn't have the bomb. There should be no more nuclear proliferation, period, enough is enough.

    'but they seem willing to accept inspections in return for no bomb'-ah, ash.

  37. Here's a fellow that has some experience with the koranites, who might be worth listening to.

  38. There are no gays in Iran, Mahmoud tells us so.

  39. From bobalhard's link

    Sarkozy : "Weakness and renunciation do not lead to peace. They lead to war."

    This sort of rhetoric from the French leads one to suspect that the fix is in and war is already decided on. Hard to believe they would talk like this of their own accord.

    Though from my perspective attacking Iran to stop them obtining the bomb is kinda pointless while the historically far less stable Pakistan already has it.

  40. Iran is not the US. And no, Iran should have ZERO access to nuclear technology. Same applies to all the Jihadi entities in the ME, and outside the ME.

  41. Trish,

    The solution is there. Just because you don't like, doesn't mean it's not there.

  42. OT, but if the flies come into your home when the weather gets cooler, This Puppy will really get them. No sneaking up with a newspaper required, get 'em from all the way across the room, a real stand off weapon. Has attached string, you just reel the warhead back in.

  43. Trish asked:
    "Which Muslim Umma would that be, whit?"

    Yo mama's Umma.

  44. dr.

    with all due respect.

    The choice is clear..

    Do nothing, allow the israelis to fend for themselves and risk a true mass war, and I can assure you, the israelis will not go out without a bang.

    The World set up and actually do something with a spine and true morals? (not hardly)

    The USA step up and be and do, just as in 1783, we will DO again.

    Islam picked the fight with the nascent USA, and 300 years later, it now morphing into a potentially genocidal construct.

    The USA will not allow the world to end because Iran wishes to exterminate Israel.

    Case Closed

  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

  46. In defense of Trish, umma in russian means brains or intelligence.

  47. Thank you for the clarification, whit!

  48. (Note to self: Google Yo Mamma's Umma.)

  49. "...the fix is in..."

    Of course it is.

  50. You're a good editrix, Trish with a good point but I was trying to distinguish between the Borg umma and the Muslim one....

  51. And no, trish does not believe the fix is in. She is just loathe to use sarcasm tags.

    She would promptly relinquish all remaining faith in this fine administration were she to conclude that that is the case.

  52. "She would promptly relinquish all remaining faith in this fine administration were she to conclude that that is the case."


  53. Because they'd be even dumber than they seem, mat.

  54. How so?

    (I assume we're both talking about throwing Iran off balance).

  55. Well, I much better like the idea of bleeding the Iranians through economic sanctions and a full scale Kurdish rebellion. But why shy away from calling it war?

  56. Because it's not, mat.

    Full scale Kurdish rebellion.

    Again, we'll see if the Israelis get their money's worth on that.

    Hard row to hoe, all things considered.

  57. Turkey and Iran have an understanding regards the Kurds, as they both work in concert killing and ethnically cleansing the Kurds. It would be helpful if the Americans had a word with the Turks on that subject. As for Israelis, I have no idea what their plans are.

  58. As for Israelis, I have no idea what their plans are.

    my guess?

    attacks on gaza, hezbollah & syrian long range rockets, at the same time taking out syrian's russian surface to air anti-aircraft batteries & syrian tank forces near the golan, all the while the usa is hitting qud's revolutionary guard bases...

    then when iran responses, full hit from 3 carrier battle groups, british and american troops surge towards the iran/iraq border (sealing it off), complete destruction of iran's nukes, command and control & nation comm systems.

    2400 locations, in 36 hours....

    end of round one.

  59. "It would be helpful..."

    To whom?

  60. "attacks on gaza, hezbollah & syrian long range rockets, at the same time taking out syrian's russian surface to air anti-aircraft batteries & syrian tank forces near the golan, all the while the usa is hitting qud's revolutionary guard bases..."

    That's quite a plan there, mat, just for starters.


  61. If Bush wants a piece of Ahmedinejad's ass he will have to bomb him from 30,000 feet. That's much safer than speaking at Columbia where Bush might be booed or his policies might be questioned, unless the staff and students can be kept in a caged "free speech zone" at least 800 yards from the podium.

  62. Sorry, what, that is YOUR guess. Not mat's.

    BTW, are you the commenter who has the old Mercedes diesel that you fuel with recycled cooking oil?

    If so, I've got a diesel and a couple of questions.

  63. The most painful questions are always going to come from his own supporters.

  64. trish

    I buy fresh cheap veg oil from the local food serve, costs 18 bucks for 5 gallons

    have a 1985 300sd turbo benz

    runs wonderful, quiet and clean and uses very little diesel

  65. Tes,

    Anyone clapping for ahmadinjihad should be placed in a cage, period. This has little to do with Bush and everything to do islamo-monkeys and their commie allies masquerading as US citizens.

  66. "I buy fresh cheap veg oil from the local food serve, costs 18 bucks for 5 gallons"

    Who's your local veg serve?

    And did you have to undertake any modifications to the vehicle?

  67. I think you mentioned COSTCO but I could be wrong.

  68. restaurant depot or sysco food service

    no modification, just pour it in the tank and go...

    only issue? once every 6 tanks or so i dump 4 -8 gallons of diesel to cleanoff everything

    other than that, come winter i'll add 10% diesel just for thinning, and if it goes to 8 degrees or less i'll make it 50/50 or less veg, just to not play the martyr