“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, October 27, 2007

From the Swat Valley of Pakistan

Maulana Fazlullah. We have a name and a location.

Pakistan militants behead guards
Militants in north-west Pakistan have beheaded six security officials and killed seven civilians in apparent reprisals for an army attack.

The army attack on the stronghold of pro-Taleban militant Maulana Fazlullah on Thursday left at least 17 soldiers and a number of civilians dead.

The bodies of the guards reportedly had notes saying they were American agents.

Swat is one of a number of areas near the Afghan border where militants have been gaining control in recent months.

Leaflets dropped

Reports say the civilians who were killed were dragged out of a minibus.

A local resident told Associated Press news agency the bodies of the security officials had notes on them reading: "It is the fate of an American agent. Whoever works for America will face the same fate."

Sirajuddin, a spokesman for Maulana Fazlullah, said the killings were carried out by "common people, who support us because we only want enforcement of Islamic laws".

Security forces dropped leaflets on Saturday urging residents to "eliminate extremism and terrorism from the Swat valley".

Eyewitnesses said Thursday's violence started when troops were airlifted to positions on the hilltops surrounding Maulana Fazlullah's stronghold.

The cleric said earlier this week that he was leaving the area.

On Wednesday the army deployed 2,500 more troops to the region to combat the rising militancy.

Maulana Fazlullah has reportedly used radio broadcasts to call for jihad, or holy war, against the Pakistani authorities.

In July at least 10 Pakistani soldiers were killed in a militant attack in Swat.

It was part of a wave of attacks on the army in response to the security forces' storming of the radical Red Mosque in the capital, Islamabad, that left more than 100 people dead.


  1. Naming the enemy
    October 27, 2007
    Islamist terrorists are learning from Iraq. So must we.
    Well worth clicking the link

    As on topic as can be.

  2. A perfect link to which I say: "Here, Here."

    Maulana Fazlullah must die. Soon. Otherwise, let's quit the charade and get the hell out.

  3. Fazlullah, Jamal al-Badawi, Doc Z, even Osama, himself.

    It is either a war, or it's not.
    We are certainly behaving as if it were not. Have been for quite a while.

  4. We got al-Badawi cohort with a Predator drone while he was driving in the desert. al-Badawi should also be a "dead man walking." Maybe he is.

  5. Pakistan ain't nuthin.
    bin and Z hidin in Caves.
    Our allies firmly in control.
    Back to the LONG STRUGGLE!
    Back to IRAQ!

  6. Iraq Hampers U.S. Bid to Widen Sunni Police Role

    Efforts to recruit Sunni policemen have been met with halfhearted support and outright resistance from the Shiite-dominated national government.
    GOTTA say it:
    The original Army was
    Hail to the Chief Decider!

  7. 2;25 to go. Nevada Wolfpack 31, Vandals 14. Idaho on the Nevada 2 yard line. Why do I put myself through this, year after year. Not enough sand left in the hour glass, even with all possible breaks.

  8. Giuliani on Torture
    (1 of the dozen new posts by Wretch in two days. I'll pass on that model.)

  9. First glance I thot you meant your hourglass of life, re: wasting it on the Vandals.
    No such luck.
    Go Warriors!
    (or whatever new PC name UH has now)

  10. Idaho scored, then let the Wolfpack march right down the field. Game over. Nevada 37, Idaho 21--maybe there will be good gambling in Reno tonight. Best we can hope for.

  11. That is a great link, thanks Doug:
    This is why I like Rudy:
    “And I see, when the Democrats are talking about torture, they’re not just talking about even this definition of waterboarding, which again, if you look at the liberal media and you look at the way they describe it, you could say it was torture and you shouldn’t do it. But they talk about sleep deprivation. I mean, on that theory, I’m getting tortured running for president of the United States. That’s plain silly. That’s silly.’’

    Not because of the dig at Democrats although it is the political season but because of his common sense.

  12. Whoa: Those comments after the Giuliani story were scary!!!

  13. The is a divergence of opinions in the USA and across the anglosphere, is there not?

    AlGore did get the majority of the popular vote in 2000, no dispute there.

  14. Satellite Vulnerability and Adaptation

    Broader lessons
    At a more general level, the solutions to satellite system vulnerability, dispersion among a greater number of platforms and the addition of a prompt regeneration capability, are principles that the U.S. Defense Department (along with American society) could use to good effect. For example, is it wise to have so much of the U.S. Navy’s striking power concentrated in just eleven aircraft carriers, as enormously capable as they are? What about the U.S. Air Force’s 21 B-2 bombers? Or the vulnerability of field command posts arrayed in a hierarchical structure?

    A war often causes an adversary to imitate the most effective characteristics of his opponent. Al Qaeda and various other insurgent groups have extended their longevity through dispersion, a cellular structure, and creating ways to regenerate their capabilities. So too should the West observe, learn, and adapt.

  15. We have got to check our jock straps tonight, and go back to the black board, and set our minds on EXECUTING the plays, or there is nothing left for us, orther than to gamble, in Reno, Nevada, and hope to hook up with a good lookin', and cheap, hooker.

  16. Close, but no Cigar,
    We gotta spend our time EXECUTING
    the F...... Jihadis!

  17. Wrt 'Rat's link, from what Steve @ threatswatch says, all that increased trouble in Afghanistan care of the Wazir Mountain Boys is a mere sideline of theirs to keep us busy and demoralized as possible, while their main line of work is the Paki Insurgency leading to control in Islamabad, including you-know-what.
    Another way of saying what the Aussie link says.

  18. Hmmm...
    If you can get over staring at the bound young lady, consider please, if you don't think that method of carrying hoses might be terribly dangerous in some emergency situations.

    Seems like there should be a better way like a lightweight fiberglass rack, or som such.
    ...or is she doing something else?

  19. It's a foam spraying rig, fwiw.
    Maybe it should be tested periodically by covering someone's nude body with it, and then seeing if it could withstand the withering heat of all the leering laser beams from the nasty old men of the EB!

  20. Followed by the foam endurance test, as we all take careful notes on how long the protective coating lasts.

  21. Wrt Rat's link:

    "The counter-insurgency tactics that have al-Qa'ida on the run in Iraq must be adopted in the tribal provinces of Pakistan."

    Anyone wanna jump on that one?



  22. Don't see how, but I live a long way away, from there.

    Is it a tribal civil war, as I read it is in Afghanistan, or is it more sectarian, in Pakistan.

    Ferment a tribal war?

    A little late in the game to start that, now with Ms Bhutto brings hope of democratization, freedom, liberty and graft in full public view back to Pakistan and thr Tribal Areas.

    Graspin' at straws of rhetorical hope & smoke, I kinda thought, that line.

  23. dang it that is todays picture the one I wanted was yesterdays, but can't bring it up, sorry...was a beautiful picture of the vastness of it all.....

  24. Are you awake, Rufus? grr,night, bob.

  25. "Graspin' at straws of rhetorical hope & smoke, I kinda thought, that line."

    It's tribal; the severe geographical, logistical, and political limitations make it impossible. There are critical areas where we can't even insert/extract a handful due to altitude, never mind maintain them for more than 72 hrs. That also means no mop-up and little or no confirmation after a strike. Bombing blind. 20K guys in full battle rattle running around? Supported by what? From where? Doing what? For how long? Two in full mufti stick out like sore thumbs given 2 minutes and a second glance standing standing still. Your standard capabilities are vastly diminished to non-existent. And the civil/political end of it? Fuggedaboudit. Might as well suggest re-enacting Desert Storm in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, for all the sense it makes.

    I don't know what the author was thinking.