“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."

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Why are the Coalitions Failing?

Kidnapped German aid worker, Christina Meier.

The British are leaving Iraq. They will be following many others who have left before them. The Nato effort in Afghanistan meanwhile has maintained its own coalition, but that may be fraying as well. The Taliban, as well as all Islamic terrorists know that the tolerance of the West for casualties and terror is very low. The Islamists have targeted this weakness. What follows is an editorial from Deutsche Welle. It probably reflects a majority of German opinion. A German capitulation will only confirm the Islamist strategy. Will it be America and America alone that will finish the war that is not a war with Islam?

Afghanistan | 16.08.2007
Opinion: It's Time to Review Germany's Afghan Mission

Following the murder of three police officers in Afghanistan, Germany's government should heed criticism of its reconstruction efforts in the country and pause to figure out how to proceed, says DW's Nina Werkhäuser.

Whenever Germans are murdered in Afghanistan, politicians unload a bag of reassurances: They say that it's tragic and sad, but certainly no reason to reduce Germany's mission in Afghanistan.

Despite the fact that -- in addition to the three police officers -- a German aid worker, a German businessman and three German soldiers have already been murdered in Afghanistan this year, the federal government has not wasted a single thought on coming up with an exit strategy. Quite to the contrary: The costly deployment of Tornado reconnaissance jets was added this year and an expansion of training Afghan security personnel is under consideration.

By doing so, the government is avoiding an important question: What price are we ready to pay fort he reconstruction of Afghanistan? This question gets even more explosive as it becomes clearer that influential forces in Afghanistan are not interested in a stabilization of the country and fight this with all their might.

That's a fundamental difference to what's happening in other countries, where Germany sends soldiers or aid workers. It's expensive and it costs a lot of lives to try and bring peace to Afghanistan when the Taliban are fighting it.

The murder of three police officers who guarded the German embassy in Kabul shows that the perpetrators are now directly targeting the government. It's safe to assume that the Taliban are trying to influence the political debate in Germany as all three Afghanistan mandates for the German military are up for renewal the fall.

Of course it would be wrong to bend one's knees because of the Taliban's terror. But this argument must not be used to brush off justified doubts regarding the international reconstruction effort.

The Afghan government bears some of the responsibility for the fact that not enough was accomplished during the past five years. But the many tens of thousands of foreign soldiers and aid workers have also, in part, acted incorrectly and without coordination. Precious time and resources have been wasted as a result. The German government has so far failed to honestly weigh the mission's chances and risks.

While surveys show that a majority of Germans is now against the deployment of more than 3,000 soldiers in Afghanistan, most politicians continue to preach that it's necessary to endure.

But following the murder of three German police officers, the government should no longer stall a factual discussion. As long as every German in Afghanistan has to fear for his life, reconstruction efforts can't be effective, anyway.


  1. They fail because the other coalition members are not imperialist powers, spreading an ideology or value system to the hinterlands of the world.

    They are not willing to spend blood and treasure, even small amounts, in far away places where they do not speak the language.

    Why would the Germans battle Islam, abroad, when they do not at home?
    Why would we, either?

    What is the cause for which the Euros should fight and die?
    Mr Karzai and his associates, the Afghani judges that would execute Christian converts, or the Afghan Constitution that would permit it?

    Why would the Germans sacrifice a single life in an Afghan tribal war?
    To ensure the heroin supplies flow to Europe?

    What is the storyline that would convince Euros to continue to sacrifice, thousands of kilometers from home?

  2. Bush made everybody hate us.
    When Hillary is President, everybody will love us.

  3. See them Helicopters towin the Boot in AlBob's link Cutler?
    Those are CH-46's, Marine Issue.
    Lighten Up!
    I was not concious in the heyday of the C-46!

    ...I was actually thinking of all the Army CH-47's, but I had a serial run of senior moments.

  4. Good point, dRat.

    The incentive for winning is land. Everything on that land. Such incentive does not exist for the western coalition forces. Not in Afghanistan. Not at the moment.

  5. I was shocked, shocked! when I saw my first C-46 at the Truckee Airshow:
    How much bigger it was than the DC-3.
    Tires were about as tall as me.

  6. That and killing Muzzies, AlBob.

  7. I do not think so, doug.

    The Germans will still leave.
    The Brits have a history in Afghanistan, so they may stay a while more.

    Short decisive wars, expanded raids, those we could sell.
    Extended occupations against an insurgent population, that's a tougher sell. Especially if your country has not been attacked and is not threatened.

    Even in Iraq, the Insurgents were not militarily signifigant, the Sec of Def of the US said so, must have been true.
    The Insurgents are not militarily signifgant, Rumsfeld was right about that.
    Trouble being, it is not much of a military fight, but more a political one, an ideological one. Those natives on our side do not really believe in US, they are not motivated deep in their souls.

    Not like the enemy is. The enemy walks with God, we pay cash.

    Get what you pay for.

  8. If it was up to me, I would extend aid only to those groups that prove themselves effective. Karzai and Maliki would not be on that list.

  9. I don't see that the coalition in Afghanistan is really failig at this point. Allah hisself couldn't make any sense out of a lot of it. Great expectations often turn disheartening. Lower the expectations.

  10. via debka:

    Avigdor Lieberman to listeners of the Israeli Broadcasting Service’s Farsi program, Monday night, Aug. 27: "Israel is extending aid to those opposition organizations which are proving effective."

    Iran: Israeli Mossad delivered long-range shoulder-borne, anti-air and anti-tank missiles to PJAK, the Iranian Kurdistan Free Life Party.

  11. "Why would the Germans battle Islam, abroad, when they do not at home?
    Why would we, either?

    What is the cause for which the Euros should fight and die?"

    Because with their domestic populations, mostly unassimilated and in many cases antagonistic to European society, they're in some respects more vulnerable than we are.

    This is, of course, why they should. But they won't.

    I stand semi-corrected Dough. :P In my defense, the C-46 was flown pretty long after its hayday, even in our services.

    What years were you in Korea again?

  12. As it is, the airforce isn't really piling up many more hours than it otherwise would have. The CBO numbers last year for the average airframe were 1.3 or something like that. Helicopters, AFVs, and trucks, however, were a completely different story, 2x, 5x, and 10x, respectively. We'd been crusing on a surplus of equipment due to the 1990s downsizing. No more, that's for sure.

  13. Take a look at this Engine Pron Video

  14. it doesnt matter

    the islamic hoards are already in germany, france, sweden, england and on and on...

    the scared rabbits of the appeasing world are actually going to CAUSE a more bloody reaction in time...

    go home germany, go home france, run away england!

    the nightS of the long knives are a coming!

    I predict:

    Islamic violence is JUST starting....

    and unlike the Jews that europe had no problem herding into trains the islamic hoards are a violent, unfriendly group...

    so run away from the troubles germany, england and such, your real threat is already in your homelands, raping your kin, stealing your property and destroying your cultures...

    I wonder, what will we say 50 yrs from now when we look back at the dead moslems and burnt out mosques of europe, will be be celebrating the victory over islamic nazis? Or will we be repeating the islamic bullcrap that they are infact peace loving peoples like the Jews....

    For me, as a Jew, I see how the islamic hoards are playing the holocaust card against the euro's, I think it will backfire, very soon....

  15. What will they say? Depends on whether the jihadi nukes make their destination or not.

  16. When you're driving down the road and you see a Nuclear, or Coal-fired Electric Power Plant spewing that hot steam up into the air, shake your head and wonder how many barrels of oil we're going to buy from terrorists to power the cars that could have been powered by Utilizing that Steam

  17. Rufus,

    Love them green links. Keep em coming!

  18. How did you like that Engine video?

  19. There's a blog called that is frequented by a bunch of performance nuts, and "Actual" honest to God "Engine Tuners."

    The story they tell is nothing like what you read from all the talking heads, and journalists.

    For instance, that whole meme about ethanol burning valves, and stuff, is utter nonsense. It's burn rate is virtually the same as gasoline, and it actually burns about two hundrred degrees COOLER. It's going to take a while to make our way through all of the crap that's been left in our way.

  20. rufus,

    as everyone here knows, i run straight veggie oil from the food supplier

    my 1985 diesel benz runs BETTER today than ever before

    there are so many options if we would simply try to do something

  21. Rufus,

    The carbon in the engine, is that reduced for the E85 tuned cars?

  22. Mat, I don't know. That mechanic didn't seem to think the amount was particularly remarkable, either way, did he?

  23. He said it was normal for that vehicle.

  24. I'm not a mechanic, but isn't that what kills engines, carbon buildup.

  25. I can barely figure out where to put the gas in, Mat; but, if I was going to guess I think I would go with it would have more to do with friction, heat, and stuff comin loose.

  26. Mat, Powerful influences are going to try to hold the line for as long as they can at 10% ethanol. They figure they've got to give that up. But, they are going to Fight like Madmen to keep e85, or any other mixtures greater than ten percent from getting a toehold.

  27. Well, g'nite all; I got a little confused about the whole thing last night, and decided to "Drink" all the damned alcohol instead of putting it where it's supposed to go.

  28. Pat says Bush Looking to Attack Iran

    Why the University of idaho schedules a football game with USC is beyond me. Gave up listening to it.

  29. Most of what you hear out of afghanistan is that someone gets murdered and then they take out a company or battalion of taliban.

    none of it has the air of urgency about it--that say the war in iraq does.

    on the other hand al queda is in no danger of being defeated in Afghanistan whereas as they are in danger of being decisively defeated in iraq.