“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, November 10, 2007

Europe Needs to Take Lead in Resolving Iranian Nuclear Issue

For most of American history, wise leaders rejected the concept of preemptive wars. In fact, during the Cold War, hundreds of billions of dollars were spent on a deterrence that insured the certain knowledge that no enemy could survive a nuclear attack on the United States of America or any of its allies. It was a strategy built on confidence and strength. It created a system of universal respect for American authority. It demonstrated strength and wisdom.

Recent events have not been kind to the world view of American strength and wisdom. Few look at the Iraq war and come to the conclusion that it strengthened America and was a good idea, well conceived, and well executed. The world is a more dangerous place with a less confident view of America.

Iran offers an opportunity to correct some of that damage. That correction will not be made by a rash preemptive military attack on Iran. It must come from a joint American and European effort. The irresponsible Russians and agnostic Chinese will not be helpful unless the EU takes bold and effective diplomatic and economic action against Iran. That action will send a signal to the Russians and Chinese that will not be missed by them.

American military strength and resolve can guarantee the certain end of history for Iran, if she develops and uses a nuclear weapon. That ultimate threat of action by America, with meaningful European economic sanctions is sufficient to deter Iran. It requires the balanced coordination of effort by wise and confident leaders.

09 November 2007

Iran's Nuclear Program Focus of European Leaders' U.S. Visits

French, German leaders join Bush in effort to end impasse with Iran

By David McKeeby
USINFO Staff Writer

Washington -– Growing international concern over Iran's controversial nuclear program is likely to dominate the agenda as German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at the Bush family ranch in Crawford, Texas, November 9, as it did for French President Nicolas Sarkozy's first official visit to Washington earlier in the week.

"It is unacceptable that Iran should have at any point a nuclear weapon," Sarkozy told reporters in a November 7 joint appearance with President Bush in Mount Vernon , Virginia. "But Iran is entitled to the energy of the future, which is civilian nuclear energy," he added, a point on which Bush agreed.

The Iranian government claims that its nuclear enrichment activities are geared toward developing civil nuclear power plants. But the regime's continued refusal to allow United Nations' nuclear inspectors full access to all facilities lead many, including the United States, to suspect that Tehran secretly is seeking nuclear weapons.

"I firmly believe we can solve this problem diplomatically and will continue to work to do so," Bush told Germany's RTL and N-TV November 6. "That's going to be an important topic with the chancellor."

France and Germany are active diplomatic participants in the "P5 +1," which also includes China, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The group is working together to convince Tehran to suspend its nuclear program and return to the negotiating table.

The United Nations Security Council already has approved two rounds of economic sanctions against the Iranian government, and currently is considering a third, to add pressure for a diplomatic solution to the ongoing nuclear standoff. (See related article.)

"Iran deserves a better fate than isolation," Sarkozy said.

The United States announced new sanctions of its own October 25, blocking U.S. businesses and financial institutions from doing business with Iranian-owned banks and enterprises linked to Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps. (See related article.)

Bush has discussed Washington's latest move with Sarkozy and Merkel and urged them to consider imposing additional sanctions as well.

All the Iranians need to do, Bush said November 6 in the interview with the German broadcast outlets, "is suspend their enrichment program and then there will be a dialogue and a way forward." The choice is for the Iranian government to make, he added.


Merkel's Crawford visit, her sixth official trip to the United States, follows Bush's visit to the chancellor's home district in northern Germany in June while attending the G8 Summit of industrialized nations, hosted by the Merkel in Heiligendamm.

"It's not very formal," Bush said in the November 6 interview about talks at the ranch, "but it will be conducive to a conversation amongst friends."

Observers note that Merkel's visit, like Sarkozy's will be a marked change from Bush's meetings with their predecessors, Germany's Gerhard Schroeder and France's Jacques Chirac, who were critics of military operations in Iraq.

"I never really felt that a disagreement over Iraq should yield a rupture in relations, I mean, I fully understand why people disagree with my decision," Bush told a reporter from France's TF 1 November 7.

"I value the relationship a lot," Bush later added, "And the United States and France have had a long history."

In democracies, Bush said November 6 at a White House state dinner to welcome Sarkozy, differences among individual leaders in policies and in personalities never should mask the enduring bond of shared values.

"French and American troops are helping to defend a young democracy in Afghanistan. Our two nations support the democratic government of Lebanon," Bush said. "We agree that reconciliation and democracy in Iraq are vital to the future of the Middle East. And our two nations condemn violations of human rights in Darfur [Sudan], in Burma and around the world."

"I wish to reconquer the heart of America," Sarkozy replied in his toast to Bush. "France and the United States are allies, have been allies, and will continue to be allies, and have been so forever."

Other topics on the agenda in talks with French and German leaders, say Bush administration officials, include NATO operations in Afghanistan, the Middle East peace process, human rights abuses in Burma and Darfur, climate change, and the future status of Kosovo.

Transcripts and video links of Bush and Sarkozy's toasts and press conference, as well as Bush's interviews with TF 1 and RTL and N-TV, are available on the White House Web site.

(USINFO is produced by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:


  1. So the new German and French leadeers come to the US and have some "happy" face time with Mr Bush. Mr Bush looking at, perhaps inspecting their souls, during those "cnversations amongst friends".

    But follow the money. Hign priced oil, means shortages in supply in the face of rising demand.

    So said Mr Bush, he's know.
    So says rufus, he knows, too.

    Read the other day that 70% of Irans oil exports, 2.5 million barrels per day, goes to Europe.

    The numbers that I can find puts US share of world oil consumption at 25%. Europe use is at 21.8% of world consumption.

    Iran supplies the equivalent of amounts of petroleum products for Europeans as Mexico and the Canadians supply US.

    We will not secure the US border, to maintain that petroleum flow from Mexico.

    Iran's "once and future" nuclear weapon is no threat to Europe, today. Nor would it be even if the Iranians had one. The Europeans will not take the risk of real confrontation, beyond the rhetorical flourishes of Mr Sarkozy. Any more than the US will fence it's border with Mexico.

    EU sees financial market stress, oil prices weighing on growth
    22 hours ago

    BRUSSELS (AFP) — European economic growth will be weaker than previously expected next year, the European Commission warned Friday, blaming distressed financial markets, a relentless rise in oil prices and a weakening US economy.
    "Clouds have clearly gathered on the horizon with this summer's turbulence in the financial market, the US slowdown and the ever-rising oil prices," said EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia.

    "As a result, economic growth is becoming more moderate and the downside risks have recently increased," he added.

    A steep and rapid housing downturn in the United States rattled nerves on financial markets in recent months, raising doubts about the health of the world's largest economy.

    However, the slowdown in Europe's biggest trade partner would be in part offset by still solid growth in major emerging economies such as China, the Commissionn said.

    No one in Europe is going to shoot themselves in the foot, let alone the head.

    Not for US or Israel

  2. No, do not look for either the Europeans, nor the Chinese to upset the oil markets, with rash moves against their primaary supplier.

    Addicts do not do that.
    Not when they are worried about their next "fix". Look at how the US kow tows to Mexico for affirmation of that.

    According to the IMF, about half of the world's economic growth this year will be accounted for by Brazil, Russia, India and China - the BRICs. India, staggeringly, is contributing more growth to the world economy than the United States, but China is by far the most powerful engine of growth - more so than the US, the eurozone and Japan combined. So, "China saves the world" - or at least helps to maintain global economic growth around the 5 per cent mark. Were it not for China and these other emerging economies, the world might well be staring a recession in the face.

    Yet this phenomenon is not an unalloyed economic good. As yesterday's news about Rio Tinto and BHP demonstrates, the commodities price boom has led to huge valuations for companies in this field; great for their shareholders, but another signal that the insatiable Chinese demand for oil, copper, zinc, nickel and all the other raw materials of industrialisation is pushing the prices of those commodities to ever-higher peaks. The International Energy Agency warned yesterday that Chinese and Indian crude oil imports will almost quadruple by 2030, creating a supply "crunch" as soon as 2015. Research from ING suggests that marginal Chinese demand for oil, as a percentage of the growth in total consumption, rose to around 72 per cent in 2006, from 10 per cent in the 1980s. This marginal demand could grow to close to 100 per cent of total consumption growth in 2007.

    Such an appetite brings with it its own dangers, both to China and the rest of the world. As China pushes the price of oil higher, for example, we in the UK are threatened with "slowflation" - where a slowing economy coexists with higher prices of fuel - and food. Were the British economy to slow to a stop - just possible in say a year - we would see the return of stagnant output plus inflation - the "stagflation" last experienced in the UK in the early 1980s. This is all developing because commodity inflation is spreading into a second phase covering the so-called "soft commodities", as China's burgeoning middle classes develop a taste for a more Western style of eating, enjoying foods such as milk, pork and beef that were once scarce.

  3. "For most of American history, wise leaders rejected the concept of preemptive wars."

    No one's talking about preemptive action, which is kosher under intl law. It's preventive action which is being discussed.

    We've woken up every damn day for the past how many years in an (yes, contrived) atmosphere of crisis vis a vis Iran. That's just madness. What the hell else does this administration know how to do? Fuck-all, apparently.


    Think we chipped those eleven Iranian returnees?

    My guess is, you betcha.

  4. "preemptive" does have the connotation of an underlying conclusion of inevitability. I will not quibble there. I do not doubt that Iran wants nuclear weapons. I think the Middle East would be better off without nuclear weapons.

    Iran does not have the capability of being a nuclear threat to the United States. If they do, then we have wasted a phenomenal amount of money on defensive missile systems. That is speculation.

    There is less speculation as to the outcome of a US or Israeli attempt to bomb away the Iranian nuclear facilities. That would result in a price that most Americans would find unacceptable. The risk-reward ratio is askew against us. Looking at the present US global position and comparing it to where it was ten years ago, one can only conclude that it is worse. More of the same is no answer.

  5. war with Iran started when they invaded our embassy in 1978

    they would claim it started in the 1950's when we screwed with their government

    everything else are battles

    to hit iran now, is not preemptive but rather another battle

    iran has recently been hitting us on a yearly basis to no response...

    right or wrong, the simple act of advocating the destruction of the usa or israel is violation of the UN charter and is an act of war....

    so, you can wait til your insane enemy can build big bombs, but If i was in charge? the moment the words "death to america" was uttered by any national organ of iran, i'd blow it back to the 2nd century

  6. "The risk-reward ratio is askew against us."


    But the admin's bug-bear isn't Iranian nuclear capability. It's the regime. And they're banging their heads against a wall. Loudly.

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  8. I think everyone can agree that the most desirable outcome with Iran would be if the Iranian people would change their repressive regime. Prior to the overthrow of the Shah, the US invested in the promotion of Iran to be the hegemonic power in the Middle East. That is still a possible outcome. Iran without the mullatocracy is a very real possibility. It will take patience and a deft hand that is not attached to the present president.

    The non-ability of the present administration to achieve desired political and diplomatic accomplishments is not proof that such accomplishments are unattainable.

  9. Here's the problem. If Iran has 5 nuclear warheads, and 1,000 missiles capable of reaching Israel, poor old Israel would have to have 1,000 "Interceptors" in order to assure it's defense.

    Interceptors are Expensive. One Thousand of them would "break the bank."

    There's just no way that Israel can allow Iran to go "Nuclear."

  10. Then *Israel* can enforce the Begin Doctrine.

    It's a grown-up country. It can act like one.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. There is no way the Israeli can stop Iran, without resortng to nuclear weapons themselves, rufus.

    First use of nuclear weapons, because of fear, not a real threat.
    Excepting the everyday threat that the Israeli accepted, when they established a minority sectarian State in a Islamic region.

    If the Israeli do use nuclear weapons first, in a preventive scenario, the US will cut them loose. Guarentted, without a dime.

    Israel, a State of mass murders, no longer a victim of genocide, but a manufacturer of it. That action won't play in the US, not for a minute. Their "special relationship" with US would be over, forever.

  13. Iran is not Syria.
    The evidence to support their claims of a Korean reactor, in Syria, never produced.

    Perhaps because it does not exist.
    Just another false claim, to bolster a house of cards. To forment further fear.

    Not a single pixel of evidence, that the Syrians were building or had built, a reactor. Just an unprevoked cross border raid, by border bandits in the sky.

    Only this time the border bandits in the sky did not hit a skyscraper filled with civilians, no, they hit a warehouse in the desert.

    It does show the lack of Israeli capacity, that strike into Syria.

    Six planes to destroy one target. There are 300 such targets points in Iran, at a much greater distance from Israel.
    Ppoof they'd have to go nuclear, against Iran, to be successful.

  14. O/T but, I put these two posts up at Kudlows,awhile ago, and since they're on topic of the previous post I thought I'd share them.

    As oil prices go up, and the North Sea Oil Fields go down Europes Trade "Surplus" will "Go Away."

    Add to that the fact that we're well ahead of them in ethanol, and the steady rise of the Euro will stall, and, eventually, reverse.

    At today's prices Brazil can supply us all the ethanol we need (even enough to power EVERY CAR IN AMERICA.)

    Our biggest need, right now, is an E85 "Optimized" Engine. Such an engine will deliver the "Same Performance" as an engine running on Unleaded, at a much lower cost. The problem is that it will be too "High-Compression" to burn any fuel blend under 105 Octane (re: Unleaded.)

  15. The Indy 500 ran on straight ethanol this year, as did all of the other Indy-Car Races. They got Great Mileage, and excellent Performance out of their straight ethanol blend. The Engines were "Tuned" for it with higher compression, and specific valve tuning.

    Drag Racers are running small 4-bangers on ethanol, and Blowing the Doors Off bigger engines running "Racing Fuel."

    Our enemy here is GM, Ford, Chrysler, and the EPA. It costs a fortune to get a new engine EPA Certified. No one wants to go through the process for a "Niche" market. However, there are now 325 Filling Stations selling E85 in Minnesota alone. It's just a matter of time until we get a "high performance" E85 engine in a Pickup Truck.

    The world will change in front of your eyes.

  16. Don't get me wrong. I'm not calling for an Israeli strike on the centrifuges. I'm just saying it will happen. Unless WE do it first.

    Right? Wrong? I don't Care. I've got my own fish to fry. And, I Could be wrong. Personally, as long as the Dems let our missile shields go up, I don't give a Rat's (no pun intended:) Ass.

  17. Desert Rat: Israel, a State of mass murders, no longer a victim of genocide, but a manufacturer of it. That action won't play in the US, not for a minute. Their "special relationship" with US would be over, forever.

    Iran wages a proxy rocket war with Israel via Hezbollah, why can't Israel call their ass and wage proxy war with Iran via some hard-line ultra-orthodox "rogue" element that "happened" to come into possession of some rockets too?

  18. I did this once with charles, and I do not remember the exact numbers, but 17 million vehicles are newly manufactured each year.

    There are something like 300 million vehicles in the US. now, with a junked out rate of under 4%.

    Gasoline would still be required, for the existing fleet, well into the 2020's. The median age of the US vehicle fleet, 9 years and growing
    In 2005, 34.8% of the light vehicle population was 11 years of age and older, compared to 29.1 percent in 1996. Over this same ten-year period, the number of vehicles 11 years of age and older grew an average of 4.5 percent per year.

    Significance of the Data:
    U.S. fleet median age reached all-time high of 9 years in '05
    Only 4.3% of passenger vehicles were scrapped last year
    This is a low not seen since 1949
    Light truck scrappage rates had 3rd straight year of decline
    Data implies that vehicles are lasting longer
    Light trucks making up larger % and typically held longer by owners

    So a sizable portion of the Fleet, even if every new car sold was E85, will need gasoline at today's demand levels. Demand decreasing only 4.3% per annum, as the old cars die off.

  19. Why certainly, Ms T, that'd be acceptable.
    I have advocated for using Balochistan natives in this cause, for years. It would not stop the Iranians, unless the Balochistians were successful beyond our wildest dreams.

  20. A little girl is in line to see Santa. When it's her turn, she climbs up on Santa's lap. Santa asks, "What would you like Santa to bring you for Christmas?"

    The little girl replies, "I want a Barbie and Xena."

    Santa looks at the little girl for a moment and says, "I thought Barbie comes with Ken."

    "No," said the little girl. "She comes with Xena, she fakes it with Ken."

  21. DR: I have advocated for using Balochistan natives in this cause, for years. It would not stop the Iranians, unless the Balochistians were successful beyond our wildest dreams.

    "Ja! How'd jou like that, eh? Jou fockin' maricon! Ja! I'm Balochistani! You fock wit me, you fockin' wit da best! Say 'ello to my little friend!"

  22. That's exactly right, Rat. The changeover will go on for several years. But, That's Good. As oil is declining we're "changing over." Perfect.

    BTW, we'll, almost certainly, be using a standard blend of E20 in a few years. That's 92 Octane, the same blend you run in your higher performance engines, today (btw, most of those blends have 10% ethanol, now.)

    Also, I'm betting that "Fleet Operators" will realize fairly soon that they can change their Diesels out for e85 "Optimized" engines, and save a bundle of money. I'm thinking of short-haul truckers, police/state patrol departments, taxicab companies, utility companies, etc.

  23. Rufus: That's exactly right, Rat. The changeover will go on for several years. But, That's Good. As oil is declining we're "changing over." Perfect.

    My commute is 68 miles one way. The last 45 miles is in a county-owned van with eight other people. I've been doing this for a decade. There's a level of pain that will buy everyone, even people who like to drive those big SUVs all by their lonesome.

  24. "Right? Wrong? I don't Care. I've got my own fish to fry."

    That's a keeper, oak leaf.

  25. trish said...
    Then *Israel* can enforce the Begin Doctrine.

    It's a grown-up country. It can act like one.


    In a perfect world...

    However the WORLD doesnt allow Israel to FIGHT back.

    However I will predict that unless the WORLD gets it's collective ass in gear, Israel will take care of it...

    When that happens, hezbollah, syria, hamas, iran, jordan & possibly egypt will get involved.

    then Israel will have to solve that issue...

    in the end, little of israel will exist, even less of the collective arab & persian world, which will be sheets of glass.

    then the world, can call us mass murderers, oh they already do and gas will go to 8 bucks a gallon!

    the upside?

    there will be no need to spend 100 billion a year on protecting the oil supplies of the middle east!

    So in the end, allowing israel to NUKE most of the middle east, killing of most of the arabs and iranians is a decent solution. Israel will I am sure will rebuild and prosper in an empty middle east...

    the Dome of the Rock of course will be flattened, arafat's new museum flattened, mecca & medina flat and glass like, persia? gone, arabia? glass...

    then we will have peace in the middle east...

    wow, this is exactly the inverse of what the arabs have been advocating for decades....

    I can live with this as a starting point for discussions with persia and the arab world

    I can hear the news reports:

    Israel has offered the arab/islamic world the choice, live with israel or die.

    this is their new starting point.

    If the arab/islamic world doesnt want israel to exist on 1/650th of the middle east that is their starting point.

    Let's have a round of fighting, no holds or weapon barred, oh that's what the arabs have been doing....

    but really, ready set go....

    let's unleash israel on the islamic world with all weapons ablaze for 30 days, IF THEY DO NOT AGREE AT ONCE TO PEACE FOR ISRAEL, if at the end of 30 days we can find an arab/moslem alive who wishes to talk, we shall talk, if not wash, rinse and repeat until all the suds are gone..

    think i am extreme? this has been the position of the islamic world TOWARDS America & Israel since 1783..........................

    I have run out of cheeks to turn, but I do have a pork coated boot ready to be inserted into the ass of the moslem body

  26. "However the WORLD doesnt allow Israel to FIGHT back."

    But she has been all these years. And she's still there.

  27. I perceive Ms. T. must have a laptop computor.

    I don't think there's any way the Iranians are going to be dissuaded from their project by sanctions or isolation or whatever. Therefore somebody's got to blow it up, or live with it.

    If Iraq quiets down and becomes more reasonable I'd think it could be argued our position in the middle east is somewhat better than before. After all, we'd have some influence on the Iraqi government.

    If the Israelis were to nuke Iran, they'd still be my 'special friend', at least.

  28. Former Senator Sam Nunn has said we're likely to lose some cities, missile shield or no.

  29. the novelty of the syrian raid was not that a warehouse was attacked as desert rat poormouths, but that the syrians were unable to down a single plane during the course of the incursion deep in their territory

  30. Elijah: the novelty of the syrian raid was not that a warehouse was attacked as desert rat poormouths, but that the syrians were unable to down a single plane during the course of the incursion deep in their territory

    It's called electronic warfare, it's been going on since the days when Britain caused German bombers to go off course by jamming the signals beamed from the continent which told their pilots they were on course, and over the last 67 years we (USA and our clients) have gotten really, really good at it.

  31. electronic warfare, seems like an interesting topic...a masint operation it seems

  32. That thee border bandits can strike across borders, close to home, with impunity. No argument with that.

    Still that does not argue they could strike Iran, repeatedly.

    They'd have their one shot at it.
    Success or failure in one strike, at 300 targets.

    They'd have to go nuclear, to be successful. If they do, they will become pariahs, here in the States, count on it.

    Unless they go nuclear in retaliation. Preventive war to maintain the peace, an oxy-moronic idea.
    When the results of the strike, if the Israeli do strike at Iran, world economic chaos, blamed upon the Jooos. Rightfully so, if they start a second nuclear war.

    But, despite claims and counter claims of Israeli capacity and capability, no one argues that the Europeans will take a hard line against Iran.
    Any more than the US takes one with Mexico, for the same reasons.


    Upon striking Iran, the Europeans will not side with the Israeli, as economic chaos descends uppon Europe.
    Mr Putin and his minions, as the number 2 petroleum exporter in the world and unaffected by Israeli aggression and Iranian counter measures, becoming even more influental, in Europe.

    Just what we want, all over some backwater pieces of desert.

  33. Interesting piece on AZ, whit.

    All the reccomendations for improvement, right out of the Democrats playbook.

    Close the border to illicit crossing, remove vast numbers of illegal residents who amount to almost 15% of the population, here.

    That would solve many of the "problems".

  34. Rat, I don't know "diddley" about anything "Nuclear," but do they really have to hit 300 targets, or just Natanz? That's the "choke-point," right.

    BTW, if they did use "Six" planes, that sounds about right, to me. Da Joos are a little smarter than Jimma Catah (OK, a LOT Smarter:) I figure: 1 plane carrying a BAB (Big-Assed Bomb,) another plane carrying a BAB as a back-up, and 4 planes flying "cover," in case some Syrian Bandits get lucky and run upon them.

  35. The US and the French have both used that 300 number in the past, rufus. The Iranians learning from the Iraqi experience, have dispersed their program around the country, into and underneath heavily populated areas.
    The project in Natanz their "public" exposure, but not the extent of their program. If it was just about Natanz we'd be fine. Their progress there, not all that impressive according to the IAEA folks.

    If we remember back to the Lebanon Israel War of '06, the Israeli struck the HB headquarters in Beirut multiple times, to reach the lower levels. They fly F15s, which cannot carry "big bunker busters" or the US would not be modifying it's air fleet of B2's to carry that type payload.

  36. well using your own logic desert rat, the europeans better keep the israelis happy are they (the isralis) may close their gas and oil station in that backwater piece of desert

    With Iranian oil exports accounting for half the government's budget and around 80 to 90 percent of total export earnings, the surest strategy to bring down Tehran's Islamic regime is to break its economic backbone.

    you seem to assume dr that nuclear sites are the initial targets

    seems a strength can also be a weakness

  37. Rat, I Think the F-15 can carry a 5,000 pound bunker-buster; but, I'm doubtful that they would use that type of bomb on an above ground reactor such as this one appeared to be.

    I'm thinking more like a MOAB. Maybe, a MOAB Jr. :) Anyway, it's all way above MY Paygrade. I just hope Somebody puts paid to that deal.

    I don't really think it would have much of an effect, other than extremely short-term, on oil supplies. The Iranians will still have to eat, and to do that, they'll still have to sell oil.

    BTW, China just requested that Saudi Arabia sell them 30% more oil next year. They, also, asked Iran for more.

    This could get interesting.

  38. you have also not addressed how Iran would deal with hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah, Syria, or Hamas desert rat

    hezbollah is iran, it is controlled by the Persians.

    iran can be held responsible for Hezbollah's actions

    and if Israel were to attack a target in Iran and the iranians attack the U.S. hegemon...well that is a different scenario isn't it?

    you're writing and analysis is slipping of late desert rat

    perhaps less writing and more reading

  39. If the nuclear targets are not, then it is just a good old fashion war, elijah.

    That's not in Israels interest, I don't think.

    There is barely argeement that the Revolutionary Guards are part of the Iranian Government, let alone HB. While I'd agree that HB is a Iranian proxy, so to is the General President of Pakistan a US proxy. Not everything he does can be laid at our doorstep, now, can it? Or did the US declare martial law in Pakistan?

    It is interesting, the coming turmoil in the oil market. All these socialist and fascist govenments doing Government to Government deals, like Hugo offered the US.

    I'd bet that as soon as the refineries are ready in China, Hugo will announce that the majority of Venezuela's output will be heading there. Cutting US off from about 1 million barrels per day.

    But the idea that the Europeans will lead the way against Iran, well that means that we're not goin' anywhere.

    If the Israeli raid Iran, that'll just be the beginning, not the end.

    As to the weaponry required to hit and destroy those deep nuclear bunkers ...
    5,000 pounders aren't gonna get er done.

    ...there are funds requested to modify the B-2 stealth bomber to carry a 30,000 pound bomb also know as a bunker buster
    $88 million to modify B-2 stealth bombers so they can carry a newly developed 30,000-pound bomb called the massive ordnance penetrator, or, in military-speak, the MOP.

    The MOP is the the military’s largest conventional bomb, a super “bunker-buster” capable of destroying hardened targets deep underground. The one-line explanation for the request said it is in response to “an urgent operational need from theater commanders.”

    You want to go after Iran's nuclear facilities, you'll need those MOPs, to wipe 'em clean.

  40. Nine Soldiers Die in Afghan Ambush

    The velvet glove War pursued at Tora Bora and thereafter is proving to be an extremely costly mistake, taking into account Pakistan as well as Afghanistan.
    How many times could MANY lives have been saved in the past 5 years with a rational application traditional standards of warfare?

  41. "There is barely argeement that the Revolutionary Guards are part of the Iranian Government, let alone HB. "
    Paulite Wackos don't count!
    No serious folks believe that, if you consider the Mullahs to be part of the govt.
    If you don't, you should be ignored, along with UFO freaks and Idaho farmers!

  42. Agree on the WOP.

  43. "The velvet glove War pursued at Tora Bora and thereafter is proving to be an extremely costly mistake, taking into account Pakistan as well as Afghanistan."

    We can make it costlier.

  44. I was just kidding about you, AlBobAl!

    You aren't really even close to being included in the serious pain in the ass league!

  45. I can always jack up my efforts, Doug, and make your life absolute hell.

    Aloha Akbar!

    gotta go check out the Idaho game, see to whom we are losing today, and by how much...

  46. "Paulite Wackos don't count!
    No serious folks believe that..."

    "Serious" folks brought you the present strategic boondoggle; "serious" folks want more, more of it. Kinda makes one wonder about "serious" folks.

    The GOP's goin' straight down the tube with "serious."

  47. trish said...

    to my comment: "However the WORLD doesnt allow Israel to FIGHT back."

    But she has been all these years. And she's still there.

    Trish learn history...

    Israel has been contained by the treat of being nuked by the USSR..

    Israel has had to return the sinai 2 times....

    Israel has had to NOT kill arafat in many places, many times...

    Israel is told by the USA NOT to hurt the bad guys too much from last summer (remember the bullshit cease fire that israel did not want?) to other times that the arabs were losing too much and the world and the usa pressured israel to stop...

    from beirut war, to going to damascus, to going on to cairo israel has be halted so many times by the USA it's sickening...

    I still remember Bush I cutting of loan guarantees because jews dared to house homeless jews in the west bank, formerly called Judea and Samaria for 3000 years since we named them at the time of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

    I remember the USA promising to locate her embassy in Jerusalem, the City of King David, and never lifting a finger to do so...

    the arabs understand actions, or in these cases inaction.

    By NOT punishing the arabs with a clear message of:

    if you do not seek peace but war, you will loose forever LAND.

    the usa and the world has held back israel.

    Israel cannot win as long as the arabs are guaranteed never to lose...

    want to make peace?

    simple make it clear to the moslems that if they reject peace and embrace war, they will loose their, holy sites (to destruction), their national rights and last but not least a majority of their population.

  48. Interesting piece, from Ohio.

    Where the terrain is to "rough" Mr Chertoff said there'll be no fence.

    Damned, wish he'd been in charge in Panam, we installed fence, triple concertina, on damned near cliffs, it was so steep.

    Old General KC Leuer, he wouldn't believe there was country so tough that it couldn't be walked across.

    We strung fence, then took it down.
    Many times.

    It's not believed by Homeland Security, that folk can walk across the desert. It's just to rough and tough.

    Excuses abound.

  49. "the usa and the world has held back israel."

    Sounds like Israel needs an independent foreign policy.

  50. If they didn't take our money, they'd not be beholdin' to US.

    The money's not for nothin' the chicks, they ain't free.

    The Israeli keep their hand out, though, always wanting more.

    Loans that are forgiven, direct payments and subsidies. For which the US is rewarded by the Israeli sellin' US technology to the Chinese.

    But since the US does that, itself, should all be forgiven?

    No, Israel can chart it's own course, alone, if it so desired. That's what country's do, if they're soveriegn and not a colony.

    But, chances are, there was a cost benefit analysis that the Israeli did, on each of the occasions wi"o" relates, the costs of going to Cairo, et al, did not match the benefits, at the time.

  51. Pakistan, they've done that cost benefit analysis, as well.
    Looks they figure being a US proxy in the War on Terror, gives the General President and his cronies a pass. All benefits, no cost.

    TEHRAN, Iran (Associated Press) -- Iran and Pakistan have reached a deal to build a multi-billion-dollar pipeline to transport natural gas between the two countries, Iranian state television reported Saturday.

    The United States opposes the project because it fears it will weaken efforts to isolate Iran, which it accuses of running a clandestine nuclear weapons program.

    The pipeline is expected to run 1,625 miles from Iran to Pakistan and should carry 150 million 5.2 billion cubic feet of gas a day.

    "The text of the Peace Pipeline contract has been finalized," state TV quoted Iran's deputy minister in charge of the project, Hojatollah Ganimifard, as saying.

    The contract will be formally signed next month, the TV station said.

  52. desert rat said...
    If they didn't take our money, they'd not be beholdin' to US.

    good point, but when your surrounded by 300 million arabs and they have 1/2 the world's oils supply and the USSR supporting them, the piddly amounts in aid have allowed them to survive.

    compare the total aid to israel from 1948 -2008 and that was spent in ONE year supporting NATO in Europe, or a better comparison, What we spent in Iraq in 3 months....

    Rat continues: The money's not for nothin' the chicks, they ain't free.
    The Israeli keep their hand out, though, always wanting more.

    rat, I guess you dont READ the actual story. Israel is the ONLY nation ever in the history of the USA to actually ask for it's economic aid to be scaled back to ZERO, and as of 2008 it will be zero.... Now it is true that MILITARY aid has been increased as of 2008, but really your comment about israel and their hands out wanting more is bullshit.. Neuter the arab' thirst for jew blood and the amount the USA helps israel will go to ZERO.

    Rat Speaks: Loans that are forgiven, direct payments and subsidies.

    Well I guess we should start collecting the debt from france?

    Should we collect the 11 billion for egypt we gave them in debt forgiveness?

    How much do we give to the IMF in debt forgiveness from everyone from CHINA to Poland?

    so why single israel out?

    rat: For which the US is rewarded by the Israeli sellin' US technology to the Chinese.

    your pulling at straws, china steals, buys and copies from everyone, including america, the way you state facts I guess Israel is the ONLY nation on earth that has ever done any thing wrong

    rat, your sounding more and more like C4....

    I suggest your too wrapped up in dollars and sense than the concept of supporting people with shared ideals...

  53. "Looks they figure being a US proxy in the War on Terror, gives the General President and his cronies a pass."

    (Who's not signing deals with Teheran?)

    Well, lemme ask you this: If they weren't a "proxy", what would they be?

    Syria was such a "proxy" (people forget) back in 90-91.

  54. what is:

    Israel has fought back with cunning and stealth. It will continue to do so. It is a fact on the ground which everyone else has had to acknowledge. Not bad, at all.

    (She's got about ten more years flogging the Holocaust thing.)

  55. The Pakistani, they'd be the Enemy, trish.
    Always were. One of the core root balls of radical Islam.
    They founded the Taliban.

    Well, wi"o" that the British decided to put the Israeli in the middle of Arabie, and the Zionists were happy to go, there. Just a historical fact. One of the last remnents of British colonialism, Israel & Jordon. One Country but for a line on a map, drawn by the Brits.
    They did that a lot, screwed up the Middle East and Africa, Pakistan and India in the proccess.

    Israel sold the Chinese US technology and got kicked off the F35 project because of it. The mig that collided with that Navy spy plane, had sidewinder missiles under it's wings, supplied by Israel. It's okay by you, though, as everyone cheats, everyone back-stabs, we just have to adapt to it when the Israeli do it.

    I owe nothing to Israel, nor does the US. For that matter.

    Your complaint seems that we misspent our money in Europe and Iraq, instead of more funding for Israel. Then you get rightous, claiming they'll take no more, from US.

    The majority of US problems in the Region comes from US support of Israel, if we left them on their own, without that shopping list of weapons that elijah mentioned the other day ...

    But look at that weapons shopping list, bought with loans that are to be forgiven, by US. The Israeli gonna turn those 107 rounds back, not unload the cargo?
    Doubt it.
    Same goes for the Maverick missiles.

    Ahhh well. You complain that the US controls Israel, then complain we do not help them enough, compared to others in the World.

    If Israel did not recieve that support, some of which will be delivered in '08, they'd not be running cross border raids into soveriegn countries, in US built planes.
    Aggression is what that's called, unprovoked attacks upon installations of unknown purposes in foreign lands.

    Even if the Syrians were building a reactor, the Israeli have one, why not Syria?

    Israel gets no kudos for that raid.
    Letting the Russians and their clients know, proof positive, that they need to upgrade their surface to air capabilities.

    Great news, that.

    I judge Israel by the same standard I judge others, what have they done for US, lately.
    Israel takes, much more than they give.

    They are not my cousins, living there in the Levant.
    No more than the Arabs are. When I watch the news, they all look alike, to me. Except for the refugees from Europe, the refugees, the colonists.

    Or crusaders for a sectarian State, which all Israeli, but the orthodox that do not serve in the military, are.

    From old Europe and Russia.
    Not natives to that land, no indeed.

  56. "The Pakistani, they'd be the Enemy, trish."

    No, they wouldn't. That's my point.

    We're going to co-opt, or we're not going.

    (The Taliban. They had some help. No use crying over spilt milk.)

  57. Their Government definately was the Enemy. Portions of it still are.

    Many would like to dissect these foreign lands, spare the good, punish the bad. Does not really work like that.

    How to defeat them, that is open to discussion. The military option is best left for last. Which is what we've been trying in Pakistan, to co-opt the enemy.

    Those that are our natural allies, in Pakistan, now being surpressed by our actual ally. While the Pakistani release our actual jihadist enemies in POW exchanges.

  58. "Their Government definately was the Enemy."

    Pogo says otherwise.

  59. This comment has been removed by the author.

  60. Pogo may know, then again, he may be with you, or me.

  61. It seems, that on balance, the attacks of 9-11-01 was not worthy of a real war.

    We abandoned that cause as soon as practical, with the US Government using f;ourishing rhetoric to confuse, in the minds of most Americans what 9-11-01 was about, co-mingling it with a family feud, between the Bush family and the Husseins of Iraq.

  62. AS mr Bolton said, diplomacy and statecraft are a function of the PEOPLE involved.

  63. Mr Bolton could fall down a manhole and trish would not despair.

  64. This comment has been removed by the author.

  65. He did fall in a man hole.
    Left behind and unmourned by Team43

  66. No. Rumsfeld fell down a manhole.

    Bolton has more chutzpah.

  67. I had a dog that fell down a manhole when I was a kid. Twenty eight days in the sewer, then a city water department guy found him still alive. Thin, smelly, but tail wagging!

  68. At least the spittin' worm didn't eat him

  69. Daniel Bernard, Dr. ElBaradei, Mearshheimer and DR. Can you feel the love?