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

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Idiots Who Rule Us

Lantos offering a helpful hand

With all the problems that we have in the Middle East, the last thing we need is Congress to stir up something that happened in 1915. It happened between Armenia and Turkey. It happened almost one hundred years ago and is no better or worse than thousands of other things that have happened on the sorry side of human history. It is the usual story of tribal hatred and the consequences. It was never American business. What is American business is the hornets nest that was just showing signs of settling down in Iraq and the area. Twenty seven of the cranial rectally challenged members of the US Congress decided the timing was perfect to interject their wisdom into the long dispute between Armenia and Turkey. I doubt more than six of them could find Armenia and Turkey on the map but never mind they followed Tom Lantos, the pious, into this stupid charade.

Congress rejects Bush's plea on Armenian killings

Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
Thursday October 11, 2007
The Guardian

Congress rejected a plea by the Bush administration yesterday over a resolution officially recognising as genocide the deportation and massacre of Armenians in the last days of the Ottoman empire.
George Bush warned of the negative repercussions should Congress use the word genocide to describe the killing of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians and their exile.

"This resolution is not the right response to these historic mass killings, and its passage would do great harm to our relations with a key ally in Nato and in the global war on terror," Mr Bush said.

But hours later the House foreign affairs committee voted by 27 to 21 in favour of the resolution. The measure now goes to the full House for a vote.
Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, had warned the resolution could set back Middle East peace prospects. Its passage could also put US soldiers at risk in Iraq, Robert Gates, the secretary of defence, said, warning that America risked losing important supply routes. About 70% of air cargo for Iraq goes through Turkey.

But the measure has strong support in the Democratic-controlled House, where more than half of members have signed on as co-sponsors, including the speaker, Nancy Pelosi. About half of the Senate has co-sponsored the measure.

The resolution calls on Mr Bush to use the word genocide during the commemoration of the killings each April. Turkey has spent millions on dissuading western governments from labelling the events of 1915-7 a genocide. The Turkish military cancelled defence contracts with France last year when its national assembly voted to make denial of the genocide a crime. Turkey does not deny that many Armenians were killed, but claims the deaths were the result of widespread fighting.


  1. President Bush strongly opposed a House measure that would call the deaths of one million Armenians at the hands of Turkey during the first World War "genocide". The President said it will damage relations with Turkey and set back U.S. efforts in Iraq and elsewhere in the region. The Turkish government characterized the resolution a "biased interpretation of tragedies involving Armenians in the early 20th Century." I pray that a similar "tragedy" does not befall the Kurds in the early 21st Century.

  2. And, some crazy people are fighting to get Bush's job. Go figure.

  3. 2164th cited: Robert Gates, the secretary of defence, said, warning that America risked losing important supply routes. About 70% of air cargo for Iraq goes through Turkey.

    Israel takes rocket fire from Gaza, yet Gaza expects to have their customary electric power and gasoline imports continue apace. Turkey blocks the 4th Infantry Division from opening a northern front, yet they expect us to continue being holocaust-deniers on their behalf.

    When Bush was running for president in 2000, he wrote a letter to the Armenian National Committee affirming that the Armenians were “subjected to a genocidal campaign.” He promised that if “elected president,” he would make sure that the United States “properly recognizes” the tragedy. From his letter:

    "The twentieth century was marred by wars of unimaginable brutality, mass murder and genocide. History records that the Armenians were the first people of the last century to have endured these cruelties. The Armenians were subjected to a genocidal campaign that defies comprehension and commands all decent people to remember and acknowledge the facts and lessons of an awful crime in a century of bloody crimes against humanity. If elected President, I would ensure that our nation properly recognizes the tragic suffering of the Armenian people."

    But what does he say now?

    "I urge members to oppose the Armenian genocide resolution now being considered by the House Foreign Affairs Committee."

  4. Genocide denial, whether the genocide is is in Germany, Sudan or Turkey is a mistake.

    Unless, of course, that is the new way forward. But if it is, well then President Abracadbra of Iran cannot be further chastized for his Holocaust denials.

    All past genocides must first be denied, then reidentified as something other than what they were.

    Uncle Jimma wants the US to redefine Darfur as something "other than genocide".

    We can do the same with Turkey and then should do the same with Germany, as well. It'll make the Germans feel better, I'm sure.
    Eliminate that cultural guilty feeling that we worked so hard to instill, in Germans, for the sins of their fathers.

    Suits me either way.

    If calling a spade a spade, upsets the spades, call genocide something else.
    Words have no meaning in a post modern world.
    It's all about feelings.

    We should let the Turks bask in their own denials or identify that past episode for what it was

    GENOCIDE, writ large

    Or is it just that the Armenians do not have the equivalent of Jewish media moguls, like Mr Spielberg, to keep their story of mass murder alive, in our face and not forgotten.

    If the Kurds cannot control the PKK, they will be invaded, but perhaps not occupied. It'll serve US right, for not making them, the PKK, a vital interest of concern for US, in Iraq.

  5. GWBush is a Boner pussy, his words are meaningless, his promises empty.

    Whether he writes them down, speaks them while addressing Congress or standing on a pile of rubble in NYCity.

  6. DR, after being strung along by Turkey right up to D-Day in the Iraq War, then having to shift to a single-front campaign at the last minute, I would have thrown the Turkish ambassador out of the country on his ass. I sure as hell wouldn't lobby Congress to let them maintain their Big Lie.

  7. Bill Roggio, doug, yes siree bob.

    30,000 troops home fom Iraq by July and all the Marines, in Iraq, off to Afghanistan.

    Who's to say, if that happens, that the "War" in Iraq is not over?
    Has not been won?

  8. But to retrain all the Marines, to the US National Guard standards, that'd be tough.
    Jr tells me there is a world of difference, in operational mentalities, 'tween the two.

    Exemplified by the Marine's reaction to an IED ambush in Afghanistan. Had to send that whole Company of Marines back t their boat. They did not react like National Guardsmen, they fired up the natives, instead.

    A no-no in the post modeern Army National Guard

  9. "The Turkish military cancelled defence contracts with France last year when its national assembly voted to make denial of the genocide a crime."

    This is odd. If I were a betting man I would have bet those defense contracts would have meant more to the French than some action they might think appropriate but that would piss off the Turks. As per usual, I don't see the nuances of the situation, or of that in the House and Senate. Thank goodness we haven't come to the point yet where Congress is trying to criminalize disputes among historians. And there are disputes, as I am listening to the eternal KGO where they are discussing the situation right now. It may not be quite so clear as Mr. Lantos might think, and as deuce says, is it the business of our Congress? On the other hand, idle hands are the devils workshop, and being preoccupied with this might keep them from something worse.

    I wonder what my Senator Craig's stance is on this.

  10. Hey!
    Last time you told me to believe what GWB said!
    Never took the advice too seriously, tho, since he's been lyin about the Border since day 1.

  11. The Dems, The Turks, and The Kurds: I gotta admit; I'm having a hard time "picking a side" on this one.

  12. They're doing rather better than last time with their one setup in Afghanistan.
    Nuke Dreams more motivational than Opium Poppies, I guess.
    Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and allied terror groups operate 29 training camps in North and South Waziristan. Senior al Qaeda operatives are believed to be operating in North Waziristan, including Hamza bin Laden -- Osama bin Laden's son and possible successor in al Qaeda -- and Abu Kasha.

  13. Too bad there ain't no Pali's involved. Then, I'd have no trouble whatsoever.

  14. Kurds are the only ones that have always been on our side.
    And those "extremists" are just like an NGO, so...

  15. "They did not react like National Guardsmen, they fired up the natives, instead."
    How'd they do that?

  16. the islamic mass murderers of turkey should be called what they are...

    mass murderers...

    time to call them to their stinking pimply faces what they are...

    mass murderers...

    read the accounts of depravity, pillage, rape and starvation...

    all at the hands of the turks.

    were they the only mass murdering retards?

    nope, but they set the STAGE for all genocide for the 20th century....

    and let's face facts...

    it was the moslem ottomans that caused so much grief in the world for so long to so many...

    time to give the kurds their well deserved nation..

    screw turkey, iran, syria, iraq for stealing their lands...

  17. They "shot the shit" out of'em, Doug.

  18. We might be wanting to fly across their airspace on of these dark, and cloudy nights.

    Kinda like Israel did last month.

  19. To do anything less if the Nuke Nookie was at stake, would be to shirk our survival duties.

  20. "Look," she said, the chicken breast on her plate untouched. "I had, for five months, people sitting outside my home, going into my garden in San Francisco, angering neighbors, hanging their clothes from trees, building all kinds of things -- Buddhas? I don't know what they were -- couches, sofas, chairs, permanent living facilities on my front sidewalk."

    Unsmilingly, she continued: "If they were poor and they were sleeping on my sidewalk, they would be arrested for loitering, but because they have 'Impeach Bush' across their chest, it's the First Amendment."

    so saith grandmum Pelosi

    If you want to make your feelings know to grandmum, send her a nice e-mail.

  21. The Turks, rufus, like the French with Reagan and Lybia and Bush43 and Iraq, will just say no, while they cash our checks.

    The idea that they'd allow the US to overfly Turkey, on the way to Iran, that's wishful thinking, not backed by history.

    The Turks becoming even more Islamified since 2003.

  22. As Rush noted, a previously unreported story at the national level.
    Also, a classic quote from a study on SF attitudes toward the homeless:

    'Maybe there has been an epiphany,' says David Latterman, president of Fall Line Analytics, a local market research firm.

    'People have realized they can hate George Bush, but still not want people crapping in their doorway.'"

  23. "But what does he say now?"

    The lesson: It's nice not to have responsibility.

    Our out-sized foreign policy doesn't help, either.

  24. I thot he was talking about overflying Waziristan.
    A real target in sight.

  25. Wasn't thinkin about the Joos flight that nite.

  26. "time to give the kurds their well deserved nation.."

    Who deserves what aside:

    Who's going to defend this new nation (and looking at a map, how)?

  27. Well, I ain't takin sides. I'm mad at all of'em.

    I'm going to go take "My Side" of the Bed. G'nite.

  28. Well Doug, it looks like if we want to hangout in a really upscale neighborhood, all we need is some political bumper stickers and one of those old woody station wagons.

    Damn the 9th Ciruit. They might as well sit in Mexico City. It's insane. They have made some rulings that have an effect up here too, field burning for instance. Most don't do it anymore anyway, except the blue grass growers. But no, no. 9th Circuit rules. I think I told you about it before anyway. How can they ever be gotten rid of, the 9th. We up here have wanted to break the district up. We have nothing in common with them.

  29. Many years ago, my wife's Uncle was part of that August Body.
    The court came over here a few years ago, and she got to talk to them:
    Said there was an old black judge that knew her Uncle, but that he was just a shell of his former self that they would push around so that "he" could write decisions that were in fact written by his aides, no doubt much more radical than him.
    Sort of unaccountable stealth "judges."
    Most overturned court in the country.

  30. U.S. House panel raises furor on Armenian genocide

    Turkish officials warned that if the resolution to condemn the WWI killings was approved by the full House, they would reconsider supporting the American war effort in Iraq.

    Turkish president protests U.S. approval of genocide bill

  31. Test Icicles

    " Adele, has her roots in the rough and ragged sound of American pre-war folk and blues. Accompanied by a different - disposable? - male guitarist at most gigs (although at the moment Devonte "Dev" Hynes, formerly of Test Icicles and now Lightspeed Champion mainman,"

  32. On Patrol in Ramadi
    Join me and Army Captain Phil Messer on a walking tour of Ramadi, Iraq, in a 20 minute video shot during a dismounted foot patrol in early August, 2007.

    If you enjoy this movie, please consider a donation through Blog Patron or Pay Pal. I will return to Iraq shortly, and if I can raise money from shooting and editing video, I’ll make a lot more of them.
    - Totten

  33. Rufus: We might be wanting to fly across their airspace on of these dark, and cloudy nights. Kinda like Israel did last month.

    Stealth technology means never having to get overflight permission.

  34. DR wrote:

    "Uncle Jimma wants the US to redefine Darfur as something "other than genocide"."

    I don't his motivation is political but rather an attempt to call a spade a spade. I've read it in a number of places that what is occurring in Darfur is terrible but it does not conform to the standard definition of genocide.

  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

  36. If, ash, Colin Powell calls it genocide, it's genocide.

    That is the US position. If Darfur is not genocidal, neither than was the Holocaust or the Turkish actions in Armenia.

    It's all good.

    Words can mean what ever we want them to mean. Depends, really. upon what the definiton of "is" is.

    But, ash, if Darfur is a genocide, which the US claims, Armenia definately was.

  37. First, only and last Christian Bookstore in Gaza goes down, Ash.

  38. The House Judiciary and intelligence committees approved bills that would require the government to get approval from a special intelligence court for blanket surveillance of targets overseas. But in remarks before the committee votes, Bush warned that he would not sign the Democratic legislation unless it gives U.S. telecommunications firms retroactive immunity from lawsuits for lending assistance in counterterrorism investigations after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. If the veto is sustained, the current agreement sunsets, and we go back to the original FISA law...which requires the government to get approval from a special intelligence court for blanket surveillance of targets overseas!

  39. Turks to this day are still practicing their genocidal campaigns, you just don’t hear about it.

    The Turks need the US much more than the US needs the Turks. If the Turks follow up on any of their empty threats, the US can place a total embargo on all military parts and equipment required by Turkey. Lucrative US military bases in Turkey can easily be relocated to Kurdistan. And arming the Kurds with real weapons would collapse the Turkish economy.

  40. Alan Keyes in an interview today was saying he would have hoped that during the recent republican debate--in which the topic was economics and America strength--that some bright bulb might have said that while the economy is important, it isn't, or at least shouldn't be, and didn't use to be, the heart and soul of America. Continuing, he said it wasn't the economy that got us through the Civil War, the Great Depression, WWII, etc. but the spirit of the country. Said if he'd been on stage he would have challenged the whole premise of the question. He's right too I think. I locate the heart and soul of America somewhere around Hannibal, Missouri, on a raft. Keyes is a good guy.

  41. Mr Keyes can sling some rightous rhetoric, though I'm not sure he'd have made a viable President, or Senator.

    But then again, Mr Byrd is not a viable Senator.

  42. I do not think that the idea is to collapse Turkey's economy, mat. Nor to instigate a regional war of Kurdish Independence.

    Not in the plans, a Kurdistan.

  43. Smoking is bad for the health:

    Jesus Raza: La RevoluciÛn is like a great love affair. In the beginning, she is a goddess. A holy cause. But... every love affair has a terrible enemy: time. We see her as she is. La RevoluciÛn is not a goddess but a whore. She was never pure, never saintly, never perfect. And we run away, find another lover, another cause. Quick, sordid affairs. Lust, but no love. Passion, but no compassion. Without love, without a cause, we are... *nothing*! We stay because we believe. We leave because we are disillusioned. We come back because we are lost. We die because we are committed.

  44. All depends on what your definition of viable is, Rat:)

    Byrd Droppings

    I'd never seen some much stuff in my life named after one guy as I did on my recent trip. Here we have the Frank Church Wilderness Area. Dworshak Dam. That's about it.

  45. 'ol bobby byrd's even got a statue of himself in the state capital!!

    My wife just said, laugh all you want, but he plays a great fiddle!

  46. Desert Rat: Not in the plans, a Kurdistan.

    Neither was a United States of America in the plans. That's the point to fighting for independence.

  47. BOBAL: I locate the heart and soul of America somewhere around Hannibal, Missouri, on a raft.

    Jim is the African-American community, who escaped from slavery in the South. Huck is the Democratic Party. The raft is his platform. He gets Jim to board his raft, and they float downstream towards the very slavery Jim escaped.

  48. Metuselah: And arming the Kurds with real weapons would collapse the Turkish economy.

    Collapsing someone's economy doesn't do anybody any good. The Palestinians don't have an economy to speak of, so their primary export is suicide bombers and rockets.

  49. T, Huck's not the democratic party. Not Huck. Huck ain't no party. Huck wanted no part of no party. Huck lit out for the terretories. But I get your 'drift'.

    Sawyer, maybe.

  50. Collapsing someone's economy doesn't do anybody any good. The Palestinians don't have an economy to speak of, so their primary export is suicide bombers and rockets.

    the palios NEVER had an economy to collapse....

    it was and is a pretext for using retarded thugs as pawns by the impodent arab rulers...

    the KURDS are a REAL people, unlike the false construct of "palestinians"

    the KURDS can and will defend themselves if we give them 1/1000th of the support we give the inbred, child killing palios...

    last year the USA NGo's gave the retarded palios 440 MILLION dollars, and hamas actually received 10% more than before the "boycott"

    the palios are handsomely rewarded in the BILLIONS to murder jews...

    the KURDs? want to be left alone, surrounded by greedy pricks... iran, iraq, syria ^& turkey

    SO if we demand that the child murdering, raping, demon people of "palestine" are entitled to a "viable state...

    WHY SHOULD the KURDS be screwed?

  51. Viva Jesus Raza!

    Raza, our Raza, a kidnapper?
    I don't beleive it.

    Jesus Raza was no kidnapper, nor a self made man.

    These two found that out, oh, that's a Winchester 1897 shotgun

  52. Ed was in trouble.

    He forgot his wedding anniversary. His wife was really angry. She told him, "Tomorrow morning, I expect to find a gift in the driveway that goes from 0 to 200 in less than 6 seconds, AND IT BETTER BE THERE!"

    The next morning Ed got up early and left for work. When his wife awoke, she looked out the window and, sure enough, there was a gift-wrapped box in the middle of the driveway. Confused, the wife put on her robe, ran out to the
    driveway and brought the box into the house. She opened it and found a brand new bathroom scale.

    Ed's been missing since Friday. Please pray for him.