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

Monday, September 03, 2007

“They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military.”

Pentagon ‘three-day blitz’ plan for Iran

From The Sunday Times
September 2, 2007

Sarah Baxter, Washington
THE Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive airstrikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians’ military capability in three days, according to a national security expert.

Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for “pinprick strikes” against Iran’s nuclear facilities. “They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military,” he said.

Debat was speaking at a meeting organised by The National Interest, a conservative foreign policy journal. He told The Sunday Times that the US military had concluded: “Whether you go for pinprick strikes or all-out military action, the reaction from the Iranians will be the same.” It was, he added, a “very legitimate strategic calculus”.

President George Bush intensified the rhetoric against Iran last week, accusing Tehran of putting the Middle East “under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust”. He warned that the US and its allies would confront Iran “before it is too late”.

One Washington source said the “temperature was rising” inside the administration. Bush was “sending a message to a number of audiences”, he said to the Iranians and to members of the United Nations security council who are trying to weaken a tough third resolution on sanctions against Iran for flouting a UN ban on uranium enrichment.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last week reported “significant” cooperation with Iran over its nuclear programme and said that uranium enrichment had slowed. Tehran has promised to answer most questions from the agency by November, but Washington fears it is stalling to prevent further sanctions. Iran continues to maintain it is merely developing civilian nuclear power.

Bush is committed for now to the diplomatic route but thinks Iran is moving towards acquiring a nuclear weapon. According to one well placed source, Washington believes it would be prudent to use rapid, overwhelming force, should military action become necessary.

Israel, which has warned it will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, has made its own preparations for airstrikes and is said to be ready to attack if the Americans back down.

Alireza Jafarzadeh, a spokesman for the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which uncovered the existence of Iran’s uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, said the IAEA was being strung along. “A number of nuclear sites have not even been visited by the IAEA,” he said. “They’re giving a clean bill of health to a regime that is known to have practised deception.”

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, irritated the Bush administration last week by vowing to fill a “power vacuum” in Iraq. But Washington believes Iran is already fighting a proxy war with the Americans in Iraq.

The Institute for the Study of War last week released a report by Kimberly Kagan that explicitly uses the term “proxy war” and claims that with the Sunni insurgency and Al-Qaeda in Iraq “increasingly under control”, Iranian intervention is the “next major problem the coalition must tackle”.

Bush noted that the number of attacks on US bases and troops by Iranian-supplied munitions had increased in recent months “despite pledges by Iran to help stabilise the security situation in Iraq”.

It explains, in part, his lack of faith in diplomacy with the Iranians. But Debat believes the Pentagon’s plans for military action involve the use of so much force that they are unlikely to be used and would seriously stretch resources in Afghanistan and Iraq.


  1. duh...

    the sooner the better...

    wake up folks...


    dont invade, just re equalize the iraq-iran equation

  2. Going into Iran by air, land or sea will be an error, but if they're gonna go, best go whole hog.

    No half-steppin' this time.

    Still, it'll be a disaster, long term, for US even if we do.

    Certainly will not be over by November, of 08.

    Major, major mistake.

  3. Not only the Sunday Times, a Murdoch paper, but the Sunday Telegraph as well is carrying the Iran War above the fold.

    The United States, no longer prepared to tolerate the risk that Iranian nuclear weapons will be used against Israel, or passed to terrorists, has already launched a bombing campaign to destroy known Iranian nuclear sites, air bases and air defence sites. Iran has retaliated by cutting off oil to America and its allies, blockading the Straits of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf bottleneck, and sanctioned an uprising by Shia militias in southern Iraq that has shut down 60 per cent of Iraq's oil exports.
    He went on to condemn Iranian meddling in Iraq, where America increasingly blames the deaths of its soldiers on Iranian bombs and missiles. Mr Bush made clear that he had authorised military commanders to confront "Iran's murderous activities".

    This was widely taken to mean that he is set on a confrontation with Iran that will culminate in a bombing campaign to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities, just as Israel bombed Saddam Hussein's Osirak reactor in 1981.

    The president's intervention came just weeks after leaks from a White House meeting suggested that Vice-President Dick Cheney, who is understood to favour the use of force, has regained the upper hand over the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defence Secretary Robert Gates, who both advocate diplomacy and sanctions to isolate Iran. Mr Cheney reacted with fury when the State Department suggested that negotiations might continue past January 2009, when Mr Bush leaves the White House.
    Washington officials, with close links to the Pentagon, the State Department and the National Security Council, say that the speech was designed as a threat not just to Iran, but to America's Western allies, along with Russia and China, who have been slow to support - or who have opposed - UN sanctions against Iran. James Phillips, a Middle East expert at the Heritage Foundation, who helped devise the war-game scenario, said: "It is simultaneously a shot across Iran's bows and an appeal for the international community to do more to stop or slow Iran's nuclear programme."

    A former White House aide added: "If this creates in the Iranians' mind a state of fear such that they back off, that helps your diplomacy. Bush is a political poker player. To play poker, you have to know when to bluff."
    Mr Bush's escalation of the rhetoric was deliberate. A former White House aide said that the reference to a "nuclear holocaust" was a precise attempt to bracket Mr Ahmadinejad's quest for nuclear weapons and stated desire to wipe Israel off the map with Hitler's destruction of the Jews.

    "By using that word 'holocaust', Mr Bush has provided a moral reason to allow the Jewish state to do what it needs to do," said the former aide. "He is reinvoking the notion of 'never again'. If you believe that there could be another Holocaust, it becomes morally indefensible to stand back. It is a powerful and loaded term. Those people in Europe who believed that the neo-cons have gone away and shrunk under a rock had better wise up fast."
    Information on US targets has leaked from the Pentagon. B2 bombers and cruise missiles would strike up to 400 sites, only a few dozen of which are linked to the nuclear programme. B61-11 bunker-busting tactical nuclear weapons would be the ultimate weapon against the heavily fortified installations; first in the crosshairs would be the main centrifuge plant at Natanz, 200 miles south of Teheran.

    A Pentagon source said: "We have a targeting list and there are plans, but then there are also plans for repelling an invasion from Canada. We don't know where everything is but we do know where enough is to cause them enough damage to set back the programme."
    In the meantime, administration officials are studying the lessons of the recent war game, which was set up to devise a way of weathering an economic storm created by war with Iran. Computer modelling found that if Iran closed the Straits of Hormuz, it would nearly double the world price of oil, knock $161 billion off American GDP in a single quarter, cost one million jobs and slash disposable income by $260 billion a quarter.

    The war gamers advocated deploying American oil reserves - good for 60 days - using military force to break the blockade (two US aircraft carrier groups and half of America's 277 warships are already stationed close to Iran), opening up oil development in Alaska, and ending import tariffs on ethanol fuel. If the government also subsidised fuel for poorer Americans, the war-gamers concluded, it would mitigate the financial consequences of a conflict.

    The Heritage report concludes: "The results were impressive. The policy recommendations eliminated virtually all of the negative outcomes from the blockade."

    Only idiots would beleive that the economic blow back would be mitigated by such a US-centric economic solution, or that the Iranian response will be linited to the Straits of Hormuz and Iraq.

    Foolish, foolish people.

    And to think that Mr Cheney is now bummed out, that it is going to be a "Long War" stretching on beyond his and George's tenure.

    Said that years ago, when they coined the phrase. Fuckin' idiots.

  4. Mr Bush and Mr Gates are visiting Iraq, today, they just landed.

    See what comes of that.
    How tightly will Mr Bush embrace Mr Maliki?

  5. Why is this published knowledge? Why is it that the Kos Kids knew about this 2 days prior?

  6. This put the British withdrawal from Basra Palace in a "new light".
    What do we make of five thousand British troops sitting in Iraq's second largest city, its major port, across the shat al-arab waterway from Iran?

    BTW - The Euros tend to overreact. I've noticed this week that they have been hyper-sensitive to the "deteriorating circumstances." Bush-Ahmadenijad. This isn't the first time they have been screaming "WAR". The Euro media, (British) are either panty waists or will do anything to sell papers.

    But, I could be surprised.

  7. The Brits only had 500 men stationed in the nice digs of the Basrah Palace. Now they're all back at the "airbase". Presumably ready to go at a moments notice.

    Do I hear war drums?

  8. The Brits Official Statement:
    Defence Policy and Business
    Basra Palace handover statement
    2 Sep 07

    Due to press reports tonight, Sunday 2 September 2007, about the handover of Basra Palace, we would like to make the following statement.

    Handing over Basra Palace to the Iraqi authorities has long been our intention, as we have stated publicly on numerous occasions. We expect the handover to occur within the next few days. We will announce when the Palace has been handed over once the operation is complete. We will not give a running commentary of the operation.

    The Iraqi security forces want to take full responsibility for their own security and the handover is a step towards that goal. The decision is an Iraqi-led initiative and is part of a Coalition-endorsed process and follows the successful handover of several other bases within and around the city.

    UK forces will now operate from their base at Basra Air Station, and will retain security responsibility for Basra until we hand over to Provincial Iraqi Control, which we anticipate in the Autumn – but the final timing will depend on whether the conditions for handover have been met. There remain a series of military tasks for our forces to provide in Basra in order to help the Iraqis meet those conditions, including further training of the Iraqi Security Forces, which we will conduct while retaining the capability to intervene in support of the ISF should the security situation demand it.

    The Secretary of State for Defence Des Browne made our intentions clear in a statement to Parliament on 19th July this year concerning the routine roulement of forces in Iraq. He said:

    “In February, the then Prime Minister set out our plans for Iraq in 2007, centring on changes to the posture of UK forces in Basra in Multi-National Division—South East (MND-SE) and consequent force level reductions. UK forces have transferred control of a number of bases in and around Basra to the 10th Division of the Iraqi army. We expect to complete the final part of these plans, involving the transfer of control of Basra palace to the Iraqi authorities, before this roulement [in November 07] takes place. As a result UK force levels in Iraq will fall to around 5,000 troops.”

  9. From the Telegraph:
    President George Bush arrives in Iraq

    Gordon Brown this morning denied that British troops had withdrawn as part of a "defeat", insisting the move to Basra Air Station was an "organised" one and that troops would still be able to intervene in Basra in "certain circumstances".

    Asked on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme if the move was a "pull-out in defeat... a retreat", Mr Brown said: "Let me make this very clear. This is a pre-planned, and this is an organised move from Basra Palace to Basra Air Station."

    Using scores of tanks and armoured vehicles 4 Rifles, who have endured daily mortar and rocket attacks that have claimed several lives, left the city under cover of darkness during an estimated 12-hour operation.

    Commanders have long argued that most of the violence in Basra is directed towards British troops, suggesting that once they withdraw there will be fewer casualties.

    British troops withdraw from Basra

    But this year the air base, which is just five miles from the outskirts of the city of 1.8 million, has come under increasingly deadly barrages.

    Accommodation at Basra air station, where the British and US consulates are now based, has been improved in recent months to protect against incoming fire. Commanders at the base are now braced to see if the attacks will continue now that Basra city has been put under the Iraqi army's control.

    Mr Brown praised British troops, saying: ''Their bravery and their courage is something that I pay tribute to now as I pay tribute to them every week. I have visited Basra and talked to the troops and they know that they are doing an important job."

    Commanders hope that with no British presence in the city the insurgents will instead concentrate on trying to secure power and oil in southern Iraq.

    Puhleeeeeessssssssse. They hope the attacks won't follow them out of the Basrah palace? They're being driven out of the country and they can't admit it.

  10. General Simmons Deputy Commander of the MNF in Iraq does not agree, whit.

    Not at all.

    In his interview with Hugh Hewitt, General Simmons made his and the US position quite clear. This inteview, from just this past 29 August leaves no room for doubt as far as the situation in Basra is concerned:

    HH: Now there were reports out of Basra a couple of weeks ago that after the Brits have withdrawn that the radicals had taken control of the city. Are those reports accurate?

    JS: They are not accurate, and that is a fabrication at best. This was a planned turnover of the Palace and the PJCC to Iraqi control, to the Iraqi legitimate government forces. It was done to standard with, and to well-trained, well-equipped Iraqi Security Forces. There were some peaceful demonstrations that were celebratory in nature, but at no time was any Coalition forces threatened, and the local Iraqi officials under General Mohan, kept a good handle on the situation in Basra.

    HH: So what is the situation then in Basra, because that Washington Post story made it sound like the Wild West without the saloons.

    JS: It was a demonstration of OMS, or Shia people there that were celebrating, to the best of my knowledge, the return of an Iraqi landmark to the Iraqi government.

    Letting that defeatist MSM get the better of your cynicism, whit.
    General Simmons is right there, watching. He says it is going right on time, roght on target.

    His boss, says aQI is no longer tha Coalition's major concern. In an interview with Ralph Peters.
    Basra is his main concern, Basra that locale which is a success story for Iraq and the British.

    As was told to US last Feb '07 by Mr Cheney and Ms Rice, as well as Nr Blair.

    Bang the drums of victory, whit, not dispair, because we've won!

    Or you'd have to claim and substantiate that both General Simmons and General Raymond Odierno are lying sacks of animal turds.

    A claim I wouldn't make, off hand.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. If they are all lying, how could anyone possibly make the case that the US stay a moment longer, in Iraq?

    If the field commanders have breached their Trust, their Honor and their Duty to the Republic and it's people?

    How can we trust General P's upcoming report if his subordinates are liars?

  13. dRat,

    I'd say they're liars lying with liars:

    Front-line lessons from the Iraq surge

    Wednesday, August 29th 2007


    The hitch is that Moqtada al-Sadr's radical Shia Mahdi Army has infiltrated the Iraqi Army unit that shares the outpost. American soldiers are training them while their comrades kill American soldiers elsewhere in the country.

    Meanwhile, Shia militias are expanding and consolidating their rule in other parts of the capital. American soldiers patrol the Hurriyah neighborhood, for example, but many locals credit the Mahdi Army with being the real peacekeepers in the area.


  14. Mon Sep 03, 01:24:00 PM EDT

    My father's been working with Middle Easterners and Pakistanis for a long time (which comes with some unbelievable stories). I could see him looking at that list and nodding his head at some parts.

  15. Then, mat, it's time to hit the highway, leaving Iraq to the Iraqis.

    Before the US Army is not just stretched to the breaking point, but the trust between the people of the United States and its' miltary is destroyed, shattered by lies, deceit and deceptions.

    There is not much more time to waste before that begins.
    I do recall the time, after Vietnam. That's when I served, when the public's view of the miltary was much different from today, better in most all respects.
    But that respect can be shattered, like a bar mirror.
    By lies and deception.

    Perhaps the Tillman case is just the tip of an iceberg.

  16. dRat.

    These are not Iraqis. They’re Iranians. I’ve been telling you as much for the better part of 4 years.

  17. Mr al-Sadr and his siupporters are the largest minority block in the majority of the Iraqi Parliment.

    He is representitive of the Iraqi society, not some strange foreign aberration. He is who and what we liberated in Iraq.

    He and his people are its' future.
    For better or worse.

    There is no part of the Authorization for Use of Force Iraq that targets him or his people. Not at all.

    Twenty years, 500,000 men loyal and true. Let US fire up the draft, if Iraq is such a vital US interest and not just a proxy battlefield for US political factions in the next election.

    Which Whereas compels US to stay?

    The only one that could be cited
    Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq; General Raymond Odierno, commander MNF Iraq, tells US is no longer a concern.

    That the operational decisions, not the emergence of, the democratic Iraqi Government is.

    Which is not a whereas, so not a viable reason to stay, legally.

  18. That is your opinion, but not that of the US Government, nor the US Army.

    What you think, as an Israeli living in Canada, does not in all reality matter much.

    Even if it's true.
    As I could argue that there is no "Iraq", thusly no Iraqis.
    It is as constructed a national identity as Palistine, constructed by the same political entities.

    We deal with that reality across the region, like it or not.

  19. dRat,

    True, my opinion might not match that of US Government at this particular moment, but that’s neither here nor there.

  20. Reality is always subject to change.

  21. If Israelis can reclaim reality so can the Iraqis.

  22. Well, I dare not believe; be still, my heart (pitter, patter, - pitter, patter) But I sincerely would wish for such a thing to be true. It's the only solution (even short-term) that I can see to the whole mess.

    We've got an excuse. They've been killing our soldiers. All I can say is, "Let'em Fly Boys, Let'em Fly!"

  23. I don't, literally give a good God-Damn if it lights up the whole damned Middle East. I Want Peace, and the only way I can see to Peace is Through "War."

    Let'em Rip!

  24. The Israeli have not "reclaimed" reality.
    Unless of course you believe Abu Mazen is a man of peace that should be subsidized by Israel, financially, militarily and morally.

    The reality is that the Israeli are doing just that, as is the US.

    If that is reclaimation ...

    Guess I'll take denial.

    Fly against Iran, it'll take more than 20 years and 500,000 troops, before there is the same level of "peace" we have come to see, today, in Iraq, rufus.
    Let alone the rest of the middle east.
    It was not the Iranians or their surrogates that attacked the United States in the U.S. Embassy bombings of 1998. It was not the Iranians or their surragates that attacked the USS Cole in Yeman, it was not Iran and it's surragates that attsked the World Trade Center in 1993 or 2001.

    It was the Saudi Sunni Wahhabists that now support, like US, the 1920 Brigades and the Sunni tribes of Iraq, as they did aQ before.
    Just as the Pakistani Intelligence Service (ISI) did.

    Caught in the Saudi spin machine, as the Sunni Insurgents, backed by the Sauds, have killed many more US troops than those backed by the Iranians have.

    As General Simmons said, the foreign fighters, killed or captured, have been Arabs, not Iranians.

    So by the goose and gander standard, let US advocate bombing Riyadh, not supply them with $20 Billion USD in modern weaponry.

  25. In Afghanistan, the terrorists stage and train in Pakistan. Attacking US and Coalition troops and facilities from those base camps in established in Pakistan.

    Again, by the goose and gander standard, let US bomb Islamabad and all the nuclear facilities in Pakistan, as well as their missile capability and their nuclear stockpiles.

  26. I do recall the time, after Vietnam. That's when I served, when the public's view of the miltary was much different from today, better [emphasis added] in most all respects.

    Better? After Vietnam?? Did you really mean to write that???

    Since the Clintons love polls, remember the recent one -- Congress at the bottom, with less than 1 US citizen in 5 approving -- barely better than the media. Then Pres. Bush. At at the top, with the support of about 2/3 of the US people, the US military. Was public sentiment towards the military as strong as that after Vietnam?

    It is OK for an individual to have very strong "feelings" about US involvement in Iraq & the Middle East. Historians a hundred years from now (if there are any) will still be arguing about whether the removal of Saddam Hussein prevented a global conflict or accelerated it. Just like there are still bar-room discussions about whether removing Hitler in 1938 would have avoided WWII or simply given the Germans a better commander in chief. But please don't let strong "feelings" distort your judgement.

  27. dRat,

    Abu Mazen has little to do with that reality.

    As for the Iranians, I've yet to hear OBL demand that they release his oldest son from his forced custody in Iran.

  28. I mean to say, Kinuachdrach , it is better today then it was then.

    Because then, the public had come to the conclusion the Generals had lied to them.
    If the public comes to the same conclusion today, the results will be similar.

    If General Simmions and General Odierno are thought to be lying about the situation on the ground in Iraq, today. The public will turn on the miltary, again.
    Been there, done that.

    If funding Abu Mazen is not an Israeli reality, what is?

  29. That stray son, mat, is under house arrest in Iran, they claim.

    I have not heard Mr Bush or Ms Rice demand his extradiction, either.

  30. The a-rabs have caught some lucky breaks over the centuries, and the Perisans too, and it don't seem fair.

    Yersina pseudotuberculosis by a genetic slight of hand transformed itself into Yersine pestis, the demon bug of the bubonic plague.

    This demon lives in the gut of the flea, having created a protein that turns off the flea's defenses against it.

    from "Justinian's Flea"--

    'Though fleas evolved at least sixty-five million years ago, the first man to study them carefully was, in one of history's lesser ironies, the same Anton van Leeuwenhoek who discovered bacterial life. When Leeuwenhoek wrote, "This minute and despised creature...was endowed with as great perfection as any large animal", he was understating.'

    'The tiny insects are capable of behaviors that put any fleas circus to shame.'

    'With legs powerful enough to propel the wingless insect up to two feet, and hooks at the end of those legs that the flea uses to latch onto host animals, the flea was clearly mobile enough to serve as transportation from one host to another.'

    Enter the blact rat as primary host to the flea, as the flea is to Y. pestis, enter harbors, ships, the grain trade and crowded cities, and the stage is set for the demon bug's work.

    It is hard reading, the descriptions of the writers then of the work of the demon bug.

    The plague would always start on the coasts and work inland, being so virulent that it would burn itself out rapidly as these things go, so the book says, leaving whole cities totally dead, 2/3 dead, 1/2 dead.

    The arabs were spared this experience, as they had no large cities, and the flea needs a cooler temperature than the desert, as do the black rats. The upshot was that about the time muhammad's boys were moving north, there was less resistance than there might have been, to them.

    The plague was a large contributor to the break up of the empire, and the birth of the european nation states.

    Then, alas, the arabs found themselves sitting on all that oil.

    I'm with Rufus, Hugh Fitzgerald, my lawyer and Mat. Those people with nukes is just too scary, we ought to try to prevent it and sanctions and such isn't going to do it. The risks are great but the risks are probably greater from not acting, so--sin bravely, and hope for the best.

  31. Again, hermonos, which whereas are we still in Iraq to fulfill?

    Has little to do with feelings, a lot to do with the Law.

    Just because the Democrats are dumber than rocks does not mean they will not stumble upon "success" as the reason to leave.

    Especially if General P gives a report, like that of General Odierno, that aQ is no longer the primary concern of the MNF.

    Read what the Generals are saying, if the Dems were not in the grips of Bush derangement, they'd see the light.
    Let Mr Bush argue that the troops had failed, despite the Generals claims of success.
    It'd bust him up.

  32. A little dose of reality:


  33. I wonder if this Masood is the son of the Masood, the engineer and head of the old Northern Alliance.

  34. War is a Really, simple business. Just Win, Don't Lose

    Anybody who has ever coaced little league baseball can tell you that.

  35. That even with success, the President will not abandon Iraq, as it is an Imperial outpost in the Middle East.

    Which is what it is, but without a debate.

    If the Democrats proclaim success, with the 15 September report, it'd force Mr Bush to agree and leave as promised, or deny the success and argue we should remain.

    In either case, Mr Bush would have the GOP out on a limb, saw in hand.

  36. I find he is the brother of the famous Masood.

  37. el al bob,

    Hassan-i-Sabbah, that crazy and charming jinn, I wonder when he'll track us here.

  38. I think he must be occupied elsewhere at this time, Mat. Had never heard of the guy before. Wiki

  39. He came visiting at Belmont more than once. I'm surprised you didn't recognize him.

  40. Left his trademark signature too.

  41. Bob,

    Marzouq the Redneck Muslim:

    I AM WHAT I AM. I think about that every time I eat my spinach.

  42. Hey, Mat, I'm busy right now, can't follow arguments and links:
    Could you please give an Idiots Readers Digest explanation of what you are saying about old Pal "Jinn?"

  43. Rat,
    You detract from you're argument when you ignore the Iranian influence in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, and etc.
    The Saud/Sunni/Al Q have indeed killed more in Iraq, but they ain't mutually exclusive, Air War or not.

  44. Hassan-i-Sabbah

    That's the alias I first knew him by.

  45. Paper w/Katusa article:
    This pdf has an article on Katusa Program
    Works for me rufus:
    Did you left clik and clik "save target as"?

    ....It's a 25 meg file, so it takes a while to download.
    Does it work for anybody else?

  46. George Will.

    The Gonzales bit was particularly on target.

  47. Mat,
    Is "Jinn"
    "the Redneck Muslim" ?

  48. For some gawd forsaken reason he took a liking to me. The writing style and sense humor is unmistakable. :)

  49. did the Katusa link work for you, Cutler?

  50. but are all 3 the same person?

  51. Doug,

  52. Correct, Doug. Iran and Al Qaeda aren't the same enemies, but they're both enemies. Self-selected.

  53. It worked for me last night, didn't work this morning, but is now working again.

  54. This is nice, whoever you are talking to!
    Mətušélaḥ said...

    Enough with the Salaamies. Save em for future religion of peace asshole rejects.

    "Enough with the Salaamies"

  55. They're just being mean to Rufus.
    It's workin for me too.

  56. Doug,

    No. It is I that call him "jinn" or "majnoun".

    "Majnoun" means "crazy" in arabic. The word "Majnoun" also doubles in meaning for "a desert spirit" or "jinn".

  57. Yuck:
    What's Kevin up to now?
    I missed that one, will have to Catch up!

    "Kevin, Nicely put. I was both until I met Wretchard. Now I am so "confused"! I agree the problem is not Islam, this is why I am a Muslim. The problem seems to be Wahhabism and Khomeinism."

  58. Oh!
    Remember the girl "Jinn" that claimed to work in some secret govt endeavor?

  59. doug,

    dcat = Crazy Marzouq the Redneck Muslim

  60. dFelix = One MF Storm!
    Deuce escapes by a hair!

  61. Jen, not Jinn, is my wife.

    George Will is always a good read. He might have commented on this though--Craig in his resignation speech said something like--'I am humbled by the outpouring of support from colleagues, staff ,and Idahoans.' Hell, no one gave him the time of day. He shoulda said, 'I am humbled by the lack of any support...'

  62. The US ignores that, doug, so why shouldn't we?

    If you notice, neither the Quds, the Revolutionary Guard or the Iranian Government has made the "offical" list or terror organizations. There was talk of it, but no US government action.

    By not making the soft power economic moves, sanctions of foreign firms doing business in Iran, divesture by US regulated investment groups in those companies doing business in Iran, the US Government weakens its' case for military action.

    The majority of the Iranian influence in Iraq has been invited by the democraticly chosen government there. Trade agreements and mentors welcomed with open arms.

    Recall that two of the Iranians detaineed eariler in the year where with Mr al-Hakim's people. The same al-Hakim that has visited with Mr Bush at the White House.
    The last set of Iranians detained, at the Sheraton Hotel I believe, were released the next day.

    There has been no Congressional Resolution nor Authorization concerning Iran, nothing from Treasury. Some DoD grumbling but, per General Simmons few if any Iranians are detained or killed in Iraq.

    The US was tracking 50 Iranians, but not killing or detaining them, as they are not doing anything that'd be proved illegal in an Iraqi court.

    Lebanon, mostly Syrian influences there. According to most all reporting, though Hezzbollah claims spiritual guidance from the Iranian Mullahs. The Russians providing Syria with more arms than the Iranians, as well as an upgrade of that naval facility.

    Again, Hezzbollah is a part of the democratic government of Lebanon, chosen in free and somewhat fair elections. If the elections had been directly representitive, 1 man = 1 vote, and not by ethnic or sectarian lists, the Hezzbollah candidates would have greater representation in that government than they do.

    The US has done more to expand Iranian influence in the Region than the Iranians coud have ever done for themselves. More than they accomplished in eight years of military combat, at the cost to them of a million lives.

    Those same experts that were misled in their estimation of the scale & scope of the Iraqi Challenge, why trust their supposed expertise, now?

    Who provided for Hamas to given electoral legitimacy in Palastine?

    Who promotes Abu Mazen as a peacemaker?

    Performance counts, for better or worse. But why keep going to the same bench of failed experts?

  63. He was talking about testicular support by the public, in public.
    A Warm embrace.

  64. This may have already been posted, I lose track sometimes, but Michael Gordon's latest.

  65. Yeah, I'm not an advocate of one MORE war where we support both sides.
    ...seems to be a patter here for a long, long time.
    Remember the Marshall cite.

  66. It came right up, this time. Whatever.

  67. Yeah, your's truly linked that, Cutler, but I haven't read it yet, so thanks!

  68. The Encyclopaedia of the Orient defines "jinn" as follows:

    Invisible beings, that constitute a world almost parallel to the human, according to Islam. The jinn are living with humans, and are a central part of the Muslim world view. The belief in jinns is orthodox, as they are mentioned several times in the Quran.

    Jinns are created out of smokeless flame, while man and angels are made from clay and light. Jinn are a part of the realm of God and Muhammad passed on the message of Islam even to them. Which nature the jinn are of, and whether Satan comes from them, are theoretical problems with Muslim theologians.

    We also find the concept of jinns in pre-Islamic Arabia, where they constituted the nymphs and satyrs of the desert. In the time of Muhammad they were revered as a sort of gods.

    The existence of jinns are fully accepted in Islam, and relations between man and jinns have been dealt with in Shari`a [Islamic law]

  69. This is a tiny one, Rufus, but tells amazing tale of where we once stood.
    I would not care to f... w/us in them days!
    Download this pdf!

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

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

  70. "Who promotes Abu Mazen as a peacemaker?"

    Who cares. Everyone seems to be enjoying the show.

  71. Similar to angels, or do the mussumen have these jinn in addition to angels?

  72. Then of course there's Sunny Jim

    I wonder what a 'Sunny Jinn' would be?

  73. Come again?

    "Why we're not at war with them is a little bit of a mystery."

    -Max Boot on Iran and Syria

  74. dRat,

    Jinns are no angels. They're spirits you want to carry favor with if you wish to cross the desert. Angels are those you want to carry favor with AFTER you've crossed the desert.

  75. There are good jinn, and there are bad jinn are there not? I'm uncertain about the jinn. Are there neutral jinn?

    When those arab boys first found the Dead Sea Scrolls they were afraid to break the jars open, lest an evil jinn might be lurking inside. Yet the lure of easy money overcame the fear of jinn, and they busted em' open. Then burned some of the contents to cook with. Later, hooked up with the antiquities dealers, so I've read.

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

    - NYTimes

  77. A jinn can lurk in a ring, or a Lamp

    Maybe even under your bed. Or in the trunk of your car. In your toothpaste tube.

  78. It was so moving, I couldn't bring myself to finish it last nite Trish.
    Biggest Bowel movement in years.

  79. Max and Mr Bobbin, trish.

    They have a differenct perspective of things than you do.
    Or than almost any elected representitive of the people in our Republic.

    Those jingoists, they've got some drums, don't they. Like they were Souix or somethin'

    Comes from passin' that pipe around, maybe.
    Maybe they've just become a little paranoid schizophrenic.

  80. This comment has been removed by the author.

  81. Toothpaste tube or a Battlestar Galactica episode.

  82. As reported by Ralph Peters, a poster on Marine HQ door in Fallujah:

    "Every time you break OPSEC, God kills a kitten."

    At the bottom, flanked by twin photos of beseeching kittens, the poster begged: "Please, think of the kittens."

  83. dRat,

    you were concerned that poor Vick was being unfairly treated for his treatment of dogs. I'm surprised you haven't stood up in defence of Craig in the same way. This lady did:

    "When Fighting Crime Means Enticing Crime

    Published: September 2, 2007

    TOE-TAPPING can be murky territory.

    According to the police report on Senator Larry E. Craig of Idaho, it was the senator who tapped his toes, fidgeted with his fingers and edged his foot toward the man in the next stall while at a Minneapolis airport bathroom in June.

    He was using a well-known signal to invite gay sex and unaware of a sting operation that was targeting lewd behavior in the restroom, the report said — a sting that has led to the arrests of dozens of others.

    Prosecutions built on sting operations can raise philosophical and legal questions, particularly cases built in areas like bathrooms and bushes and involving potential illegal behavior, or what the law calls a defendant’s “predisposition” to commit a crime.

    Suppose, for example, the undercover officer had been the one tapping his toes? What if he had been whistling, cajoling, peeping, peering, leering and barking out an offer to rendezvous with the senator? This could qualify as entrapment, but the defense would have to prove that the government was not catching a criminal but creating a crime.

    The term entrapment has been used loosely outside the legal world to describe, often with outrage, many sting operations, including the one that snared Mr. Craig. Such stings are typically intended to crack down on prostitution, drug dealing and sex in public.

    The police say the goal of any vice squad is to protect the public — perhaps a young boy using that Minneapolis bathroom — and also the suspects, who are easy prey for extortion, assault, even murder, and unlikely to report crimes against themselves.

    And the standard for the legal defense of entrapment is high. Even if the undercover officer had solicited and enticed Mr. Craig, who pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct but last week insisted he was innocent, an entrapment defense would have been a very cloudy matter, legal experts said. (In an audio tape made after the arrest, Mr. Craig had raised that possibility to the officer: “You’re out to enforce the law,” he said. “But you shouldn’t be out to entrap people, either.”)

    In entrapment cases, the evidence may need to be collected from a state of mind: When did the suspect decide to commit the crime? When the police offered him the opportunity? Was it because an opportunity was presented, or was he planning on illegal activity anyway?

    In New York, the City Council is considering an anti-voyeurism bill, expanding a state law that bans peeping with cameras also to ban peeping in person; say, someone looking up a woman’s skirt while standing in a subway stairwell.

    Talk about murky: when is a leer too long and an ogle illegal? What is the legal standard on staring?

    The United States is one of the few countries where entrapment is a legal defense. In a significant case on entrapment, Jacobson v. United States, in 1992, the Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a Nebraska farmer arrested for buying child pornography sent to him in the mail by undercover agents.

    When he was arrested, the farmer, whom inspectors had targeted for two years before the arrest with dozens of mailings inviting him to buy pornography, had none in his house, other than the two magazines he had bought from the undercover inspectors, the ruling said.

    The court said the case was clear: the government made him do it."

  84. "Those jingoists, they've got some drums, don't they."

    Absolutely. And we go through the Iran drum-beating at least once a year, usually in response to tantalizing WH rhetoric and such atmospherics as the detention of some Iranians in Iraq. The appointment of Fallon, too, raised more than a few hopes. People start keeping track of carrier groups again.

    But whereas not being at war with Iran and Syria is a bit of a mystery to Boot, Babbin has no doubt: It was the neoconservatives - damn them - who saw to it that we stayed put in Iraq and carried the war no farther (further?) afield. Conservatives like himself always knew what was necessary.

    As the day gets later, it sinks in a little more with those who were once convinced otherwise: G W Bush is not going to, never intended to, take us to war against Iran. Or Syria. Chances are exceedingly slim that the next guy will be more encouraged to do so.

    I myself expect the Next Big Thing to be something completely out of left field. That's usually the safest bet anyway.

  85. Man, I hate lawyers.
    Reading that transcript, I'd bet my life the cop was being truthful. I'll have to listen to it also.

    Craig's a Slime.

  86. And we go through the Iran drum-beating at least once a year, usually in response to tantalizing WH rhetoric and...

    the approach of a SC deadline.

  87. The outset of the war would have been the best time to put Iran and Syria on notice with tit for tat responses to their aggression:
    Taking out the Dentist's tanks would have been nearly cost free.
    Likewise Castles, one by one.
    Too easy, at the time, when they were back on their heels.

  88. ...and pootie poot was still helping us out.
    ...til we shit on him.

  89. Mr Craig pled guilty, ash.
    To disorderly conduct, of his own highly educated and knowledgable free will. He could have easily mounted a vigorous defense, not being an indigent.

    Mr Craig was a public servant, one that held Mr Clinton in moral judgement of being a "naughty boy"

    While Mr Vick pled guilty to interstate gambling and racketeering, I think. Not 100% sure what he pled to.

    I was not defending Mr Vick as much as commenting on the varied public standards applied to different types of animal abusers. How the Press "piled on" Mr Vick.

    I have yet to see photoshopped photos of Mr Craig being raped, or standing wide, while Mr Vick has been portryed as a victim of forced anal beastiality, on a football field.
    rufus linked to such a public display, it was kind of funny, if unfairly critical of Mr Vick's sexual preferences.

    The standards of public accountability applying to a US Senator not the same as to an average citizen, which is all Mr Vick is.

    I do think that foot tapping is, in and of itself, harmless. I am not even that concerned by the sexual preferences of others, when children and rape are not involved.

    Mr Craig's episode more entertaining than watching Abu Mazen perform.
    Mr Craig's show being a harmless diversion, Abu's will lead to the death of innocent civilians, before his show is over.

  90. Public bathrooms are for the public, not perverts.
    ...for the children.
    For once, I mean it!

  91. At least Bubba was two consenting adults, but I would have prefered a different Venue!

  92. I missed that Rufus link, must have been good.

  93. Having listened to Mr Bush read Mr Frum's well concieved and written speach, in Jan '02, I was sure that the US would roll on against the Syrians, the next low hanging fruit on the terrorist tree.

    So to, it seems, was Muammar al-Gaddafi sure we'd be rolling on.

    But that was then, this is now.
    Performance counts and the US performs poorly, in nation building excercises.

    Times change, attitudes change and the folks on Main Street that I know don't want to build anymore Nations.
    They do not want to see gasoline at nine dollars a gallon, either.
    Which is what that GOP Congressman promised if there was instability in that region of the world.
    Attacking Iran would create a lot of global instability, for a long time.

  94. Those damned jinn--from 'Justinian's Flea'---"Though Arabs residing in Syria experienced tha same plague as everyone else in the Mediterranean--the sixth-century Arab poet Hassan ibn Thabit, describes the plague as 'the stinging of the djinn'--there is hardly any record of the demon in Arabia."

    Blaming the djinn, like the muzzies, or the gods, like the pagans, or the end-times, like the Christians, kind of all the same. One is impressed by the efforts of the 'doctors' of the day, however, who didn't have a clue what was going on, but neverthelss went right on in there, dropping over dead in a few days.

  95. Mr Clinton's case, Workplace sexual harassment.
    Definately involving different "Power levels" and subconscious intimidation.

    Classic harassment symptoms as described by NOW. The powerless victim oft times not even aware of the victimhood that is imposed upon them by the powerful authoriy figure.

    That's how the law is, I've been told by HR experts. There can be no "Consensual Sex" in such a situation.

    Saw Mr Hitchens on CSpan, he related how he interview three seperate women, all indepently describing being raped by Mr Clinton. Mr Hitchens was sure that they were telling the truth, beyond a reasonable doubt.

    So it goes, a pattern of abuse.

    But that is water under the bridge, unless he becomes the First Gentleman.

  96. Ash--Craig would have gotten off. He may still get off, if he can withdraw his plea. That situation is so murky, any lawyer worth a fee could get him off. It's ridiculous. The cop to get him would have had to take it further. But Craig thought it will ruin me if I have to fight this, so he took the chance that it wouldn't be found out, and it was.

  97. Cop said most pervs just tell the truth and take the misdemeanor:
    Seems workable IF they do something real to repeat offenders.
    No Pervs in Public!

  98. Jinn = Genie.

    God (or is that allah?) please make them all like Barbara Eden.

    I could become a believer right quick.

  99. Yeah, Bubba the abuser.
    I was talking merely of the young slut, Monica.
    Hope she's wised up.

  100. Like most women, looked better before the surgery.
    to me.

  101. Monica was the victim, even if she did not know it.
    Power differental made it so.

    That's just how it is, like it or not.
    Except where those popular with the NOW crowd perform.
    That group having fallen off the radar, in large part to the hypocrisy of their stance in the Clinton scandals.

    They were seen as being on their knees, with out the proper pads.
    An OSHA violation that seemingly was overlooked, as well.

  102. Have to say am I con mi hermano El Rato de Desierto; attack Iran is not the best idea.

    The global economic implications of a closed Strait of Hormuz will make any attack very unpopular with countries we give a damn about.

    Oil is a global commodity, and disruptions to supply anywhere by anyone affect everyone.

    Would I like the mullahs to get bitched-slapped and turned into hamburger? Yep.

    Can US guarantee the free flow of oil to all affected parties for an attack on Iran? Nope.

    In light of that fact, can we expect our "interests" to act in our favor after we attack?

    Somehow, when their people are rioting over the cost of a liter of petrol and calling for their leaders' heads, the corruption for the Oil for Food Program would look like shoplifting a pack of Juicy Fruit.

    This move would not be a good one at all.

  103. When Daily Kos Kids know "the plan" before the mullahs know "the plan", then perhaps "the plan" is not "the plan".

  104. The price of gas is going there, anyway, cubbies; take your medicine now, or take it later.

    It might be better to get it over with.

  105. Foot tapping is free speech. It is(or can be) a political statement. It is protected in the Bill of Rights. :)

    Maybe there was a cockroach(other than Craig) in the stall and he was trying to kill that.

    Maybe he was humming to himself, and tapping along to the tune.

    There are many possible avenues of defense here.

  106. It would finally force us to get serious about a national energy program, an added benefit.

  107. In re the 02 speech: Why don't people wonder why we didn't take on North Korea? Where have all the North Korean drum-beaters been? Why isn't Max Boot puzzled about that?

  108. Too late AlBob:
    You're man is Toast!
    Rightfully So!

  109. I thot Korea was all patched up.
    Bolton 100% wrong.

  110. I don't really think Bush will do it. I think the odds are way against it. But you never know.

    Hey, I'm glad he's toast, ever since the immigration bill. Poetic justice, as far as I'm concerned. Just pointing out the ludicrousness of the charge.

  111. "THE Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive airstrikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians’ military capability in three days..."

    $64,000 question: Then what?

  112. Kim Jong Il, after all, makes Ahmadinejad look like a fucking Rotary Club president any day of the week.

  113. trish,

    times have changed.

    That should be the 64 BILLION dollar question!

  114. The irony of it all is, trish, that is about as much power he has in the Iranian politcal system. He sits upon a bully pulpit...not much else. But, hey, rhetoric we can use to our advantage - as we see fit.

  115. errrr, oooops, I meant to say:

    64 Billion PER YEAR question....

  116. Well, inflation being what it is, ash...

    Better be prepared to drop some MREs and call it a day. That's then what.

    I'll take the 64 mil in a lump sum, thanks.

  117. You and 'Rat!
    What's ludicrous about busting pervs in public?

  118. If the airport wants to stop the queers from messing around in the restroom, just station a uniformed officer sitting in a chair in there, and stop all this non-sense about foot tapping in stalls and hand signals and whatnot. The whole situation seems idiotic to me, from all points of view.

  119. "I'm on traffic duty today, what about you?"

    "I'm on crapper duty."

    That's the way to handle it.

  120. Seems like the Detective busting folks would be more cost-effective than a full time cop.

  121. If you were more tuned in, all that tapping would be music to your ears.
    ...and assorted other parts.

  122. "He sits upon a bully pulpit...not much else."

    And he is thought of by Americans as head potentate. In need of a shave.

    And Iran is considered a dictatorship, like Saddam's Iraq. Rather than more like Turkey, which it is.

  123. Trish,

    I never knew you’re such a romantic.

  124. doug,

    what's kinda funny about it all is that in his (and Foley's and Haggerts, and...) he was preaching family values and the evils of gayness all the meanwhile partaking in the 'practise'. Its not the dems, or lefties, chewing upon them, but thier fellow comrades in arms, folks like you. Makes for interesting viewing, watching 'pubs feed on themselves. Makes one wonder about y'all preaching the good and virtuous. What are you doing in your spare time doug ;) Seems appropriate to ask given all the water that has passed under the bridge. What WAS Craigs real crime? Doing the gay thing or trying to find a partner in a public place?

  125. It's the State Department influence, mat.

  126. This comment has been removed by the author.

  127. Yes. I can see that would make one wee bit sentimental.

  128. Gay was his smokescreen.
    Perverted is perverted, esp where kids frequent.

    Me, I don't preach saintliness, but slimes like Craig that spend their times knocking gays to cover their own perversions deserve what he got.

  129. Iran is a Democracy like Turkey?

  130. L'il Kimmie was finished when that interceptor splashed that ICBM.

    A Hundred Miles up, 13,000 + MPH, Oblique Angle. SPLAT! Game Over!

    Why work your ass off, piss off China, Spend all that Hennessey Cognac Money to build a Nuke when you'll never be able to "Scare" anyone with it? Time to collect the "Jizz."

  131. Plus, his nuke didn't work.
    Back to the Nookie.

  132. To a degree, yes, it is, doug.

    More than a dictaorship like Iraq was.

    Even Bill Clinton described Iran as a democracy in an interview with Charlie Rose. He describes the situation in Iran:

    But Iran is the most perplexing problem ... we face, for the following reasons: It is the only country in the world with two governments, and the only country in the world that has now had six elections since the first election of President Khatami. [It is] the only one with elections, including the United States, including Israel, including you name it, where the liberals, or the progressives, have won two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote in six elections: two for President; two for the parliament, the Majlis; two for the mayoralities.

    In every single election, the guys I identify with got two-thirds to 70% of the vote. There is no other country in the world I can say that about, certainly not my own.

    Rose: But, but those are the guys who are in power, and is the power held by another party?

    Clinton: Okay, so here's the problem. Under their constitution, the religious council, headed by the Ayatollah Khamenei has the authority over intelligence funding, terrorism funding, and has the power to invalidate laws and scratch candidates from the candidate lists, so the people that represent the ... 30% to one third, can negate much of this two-thirds to 70%. And the President is in the middle, getting whipsawed and the people underneath him, supporting him, get more and more disillusioned.

    Now, they still kind of like the West in general, and America in particular, because we don't represent what they don't like about the governing of Iran since Ayatollah Khomeini.

  133. Ledeen says that's complete nonsense.
    Trish says Ledeen's full of crap.
    I think Ledeens right:
    The Mullahs are in charge.

  134. Let's defer that question to Ash.

  135. Misread Clinton,
    That's pretty close to Ledeen.

  136. Ash is always my final advisor, at least in matters of gravity.

  137. The burka police ok by you, Ash?

  138. Least the republicans are chewing on somebody. That Studds character was screwing male congressional pages, Barney lets out his basement as a male bordello, and nobody gives a damn. Re-elected,even.

    In addtion to that Chinese fundraising fellow, now there is a Hindu American fellow with questionable fundraising for Hillary in the headlines. Like Dick Morris says, you got to have a carbon dating machine to keep track of all the Clinton scandals, they go back so far.

    I got the idea it's the Chinese that are putting the kibosh on li'l Kim. They can yank his lease, if they want, and I think, have.

  139. This comment has been removed by the author.

  140. Dems get a free pass, AlBob.
    Fair's fair.

  141. Iran is one of those democracies where only certain selected folks are allowed on the ballot.

  142. 2 Irans.
    They need John Edwards!

  143. Sue the shit outta them Mullahs!
    ...and make em go to the Doctor.

  144. "The Ayatollah has the authority to....scratch candidates from the candidates list"-- Bill Clinton, from the quote above

  145. Sorry, Mat,
    I suspected I was misrepresenting Bashar as a Dentist.
    Opthamology was his thing.

  146. trish said...

    In re the 02 speech: Why don't people wonder why we didn't take on North Korea? Where have all the North Korean drum-beaters been? Why isn't Max Boot puzzled about that?

    I guess Max had all the intel on the N. Korean oil reserves. Ain't a whole much worth fighting for except for a bunch of starving demi-god worshipers.

  147. This comment has been removed by the author.

  148. mats,

    what question is it you were looking to get answered?


    the dems get a free pass in that the gay thing in itself isn't as much of an issue. If you get a blow job, well, you got a blow job. In the republican world, or so it seems, what matters is who gave you the blow job. Mind you, in Clintons case, all blow jobs are bad in 'publican world.... Horrible existence to chose it would seem.

  149. Oh, sure! When it comes to Dentists, you have NO problems. But to mention a Proctologist, we need an anal probe to get that out of you!

  150. Sorry, Doug. I missed an exclamation mark on that last deleted post.

  151. You brought up proctologists, you can handle Ash.
    I gotta go.

  152. Wahl gee whiz you coulda knocked me down with a straw--Bill Clinton Shocked, Shocked that fundraiser was a felon.

  153. Doug, can I plug her to the wall?

  154. you've got wireless dontcha doug? You can take that laptop in the loo with ya!

  155. Did anyone watch that Battlestar Galactica episode?

  156. That is true, bob, about the mullahs scratching candidates that do not approve of.

    In Turkey, the Generals do much the same. When not listened to, they depose the elected government.
    Four times, so far
    1952, 1971, 1980, 1997

    But for most of Turkey's modern history, since 1923, the Army held a veto on who ran the Country.
    They have threaten to topple Mr Gul, if he goes to far towards the Islamic standard.

  157. I kinda interpreted bobal's query as being more 'is Iran really as democratic as Turkey'?

  158. As Bush's national security advisor during his first term, Rice was at the center of decisions that she has struggled to mend since becoming secretary of state in January 2005, journalist Glenn Kessler writes in "The Confidante."

    "She was one of the weakest national security advisors in US history. Her inexperience and her mistakes in that job have shaped the world and colored the choices she must handle as secretary of state," writes Kessler, who covers US diplomacy for The Washington Post.

    "The invasion of Iraq, the missed opportunity with Iran, the breach in relations with Europe, the Arab anger at a perceived bias against the Palestinians -- all of these problems were the direct result of decisions she helped make in the White House," he writes.

    New Book

  159. And the Turkish army--though I don't know the details--was probably right to do so, if one thinks that human rights, some sanity, and a measure of democracy are incompatible with sharia.I'd rather see the Turkish army run the place, than a bunch of once elected sharia-ites.

  160. matter of perspectine, asj.
    both gave a ruling nonelected ruling clique that approves the overall direction of the government as a whole or individual candidates.

    Not allowing to much variation from the approved norm
    The manner of management differs

  161. Here are some key facts about the president:

    QUALIFICATIONS: The president must be over 40 years of age and hold a university degree.

    IMPARTIALITY: The president, if a member of a political party, must to sever relations with his or her party and resign his or her parliamentary seat.

    LEGISLATIVE POWERS: The president can:
    -- return to Parliament for reconsideration laws he deems flawed.

    Turkey's President

  162. Ledeen's sometimes full of crap, but on this he's right.

  163. OT--Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci of the Vespucci clan, Florence, Italy, from whence sprang Amerigo, who was able to get his name tacked onto the New World.

  164. "And the Turkish army--though I don't know the details--was probably right to do so, if one thinks that human rights, some sanity, and a measure of democracy are incompatible with sharia.I'd rather see the Turkish army run the place, than a bunch of once elected sharia-ites."

    Haven't you gotten the memo bobal, all ways of life are equal, except those that do not recognize they are equal...or are not Western in origin, like Sharia...err.

    The important thing is who are we to make value judgments.

  165. ...except about those who make value judgments...and are not Western.

    Ad finem.

  166. "Ain't a whole much worth fighting for except for a bunch of starving demi-god worshipers."

    Well then it's about damned time to bring the 8th Army home, isn't it? Better yet, roll 'em into Iraq.

    OTOH, the first postulate in foreign affairs is that cannot trust a guy who has ominous hair with nuclear weapons.

  167. "Ledeen's sometimes full of crap..."

    And often enough, not of his own invention. Ledeen's a rube who peddles other people crap.

  168. The discussion was concerning the realitive aspects of Iran's and Turkey's democracies.

    Turkey is one of the worse oppressors of human rights in the "west". Definately the worst NATO member.

    Exemplified by the situation in Cyrpus, not to mention their history with the Kurds or the Armenians

  169. The first postulate of foreign policy is that you cannot take seriously the opinions of anyone who carries on imaginary conversations with James Jesus Angleton.

  170. James Jesus was born in Boise, Idaho. I'd never heard of him before. Flyfisherman, can't be all bad. Paranoiac, can't be all good. Bad trait when fishig.

  171. Went full batshit crazy, bob.

  172. That's what happens to infected Zylons.

  173. Yup, nice neck too. Trying to figure out the meaning of that snake around it.

  174. "The discussion was concerning the realitive aspects of Iran's and Turkey's democracies."

    I WOULD like to see a hearty debate between Ledeen and a Turkish officer of my acquaintance on the subject of the Kurds. Yes I would.

    And you're not allowed to say Iran and democracy in the same sentence unless regime removal is in there somewhere.

    It's in the by-laws or something.

  175. Wikipedia's got the answer about the snake, Bob.

  176. "Our regime has phobia," Nobel Peace Prize winner and campaign advocate Shirin Ebadi told me at her Tehran office. "When people talk about human rights they get immediately accused of being with America.

    But we are Iranian and want to work for our rights . . . And we know we are doing something right because we are being persecuted."

    About aid from the West, Ebadi was just as firm. "No money. Never."

    Rights in Iran

  177. That's the thing about money, sam, it cannot talk and has no memory.

    Sent from a Panama bank, to one in Lebanon, then on to Iran, no one could tell you where it came from on the streets of Tehran.

    Or diamonds from Liberia, transported to Italy, then funneled through Kurdistan.

    Money is fungible and and does not grow roots.

  178. Envoy’s Letters Counter Bush on Dismantling of Iraq Army

    A previously undisclosed exchange of letters shows that President Bush was told in advance of a plan to dismantle the Iraqi Army.
    L. Paul Bremer's Letter
    George W. Bush's Letter

  179. I just saw the biographical James Jesus movie, last night.
    DVD'd at home.
    Long and a bit drawn out.
    The usual cast of suspects.

  180. Leaving old Mr Bremer twisting in the wind, guess he does not appreciate the lack of loyalty.

  181. This comment has been removed by the author.

  182. It's actually a good counterintelligence movie (if that's your thing).

    It's not about James Jesus.

  183. James Jesus - looks like his dad might've worked alongside Patton.

  184. I think Bremer's full of shit.
    More disagree with him on that issue than agree.

  185. Can't seem to find a mention in wiki right to the point, Sam. The snake seems biting its tail however, so might have something to do with the idea of the everlastingness or eternity of love, a big theme in starting up in those days. She died young, 22, and her lover when he died had made arrangements to be buried at her feet. Must have been crazy about her.

  186. Did you read the Garner interviews, Doug?

  187. Besides the tits, she has a beautiful face, beautiful profile.

  188. Did you read that article, Trish?

  189. I've read several Garner interviews, if you still have the links, I'd like to read more.

  190. Only thing we can be sure of BobAl, is that he must have had a foot fetish.

  191. I guess that was in response to this in the NYTimes:

    Mr. Bush acknowledged one major failing of the early occupation of Iraq when he said of disbanding the Saddam Hussein-era military, "The policy was to keep the army intact; didn't happen."

    But when Mr. Draper pointed out that Mr. Bush's former Iraq administrator, L. Paul Bremer III, had gone ahead and forced the army's dissolution and then asked Mr. Bush how he reacted to that, Mr. Bush said, "Yeah, I can't remember, I'm sure I said, 'This is the policy, what happened?' " But, he added, "Again, Hadley's got notes on all of this stuff," referring to Stephen J. Hadley, his national security adviser.