“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, November 05, 2007

Split on Iran

The dilemma on Iran is that no matter what we do, it could end badly, and to do nothing may be worse. In either case let's not fool ourselves with wishful thinking.

Americans split on Iran action: poll
Mon Nov 5, 2007 11:09pm EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans are concerned about Iran's nuclear program but split on whether the United States should take military action to shut it down if diplomatic efforts fail, according to a USA Today/Gallup Poll released on Monday.

Seventy-three percent of those surveyed said the United States should use economic sanctions and diplomacy to stop Iran's nuclear program and 18 percent favored military action, the poll found.

However, 46 percent said military action should be taken either now or if diplomacy fails while 45 percent ruled out a military strike altogether, USA Today said.

Republicans were twice as likely as Democrats to endorse taking military steps, the poll said.

President George W. Bush has suggested a nuclear-armed Iran could lead to World War Three. Bush last week imposed sanctions on Iran's military and its financial sector, hoping to increase pressure on Tehran to stop uranium enrichment and curb what the U.S. government says are terrorist activities.

Iran has so far refused to heed United Nations demands to halt nuclear work that has both civilian and military uses.

Three of four Americans polled said they were concerned the United States "will not do enough to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons," USA Today said.

An equal number also said they were concerned that the United States will be too quick to use military force against Iran.

The telephone survey of 1,024 adults was taken Friday through Sunday. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.


  1. I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind
    There was something so pleasant about that place.
    Even your emotions have an echo
    In so much space

    And when you're out there
    Without care,
    Yeah, I was out of touch
    But it wasn't because I didn't know enough
    I just knew too much

    Does that make me crazy?
    Does that make me crazy?
    Does that make me crazy?
    Probably [Possibly (radio version)]

    And I hope that you are having the time of your life
    But think twice, that's my only advice

    Come on now, who do you, who do you, who do you, who do you think you are,
    [Crazy lyrics on]

    Ha ha ha bless your soul
    You really think you're in control

    Well, I think you're crazy
    I think you're crazy
    I think you're crazy
    Just like me

    My heroes had the heart to lose their lives out on a limb
    And all I remember is thinking, I wanna be like them
    Ever since I was little, ever since I was little it looked like fun
    And it's no coincidence I've come
    And I can die when I'm done

    But Maybe I'm crazy
    Maybe you're crazy
    Maybe we're crazy

  2. Comments on Citibank, Rubin, et al.

    It is interesting to see that the fired executives this month of the largest U.S. bank and the biggest U.S. brokerage had no experience in the business of their employers. How could they be successful?

    Prince, a lawyer, has never gone out and made a loan. He
    has never been through the boring (and necessary) process of documentation of a loan. If he had ever been through a loan documentation process, I doubt he would have made so many mistakes.

    In the same vein, Stan O’Neal, the just booted CEO of Merrill Lynch, has never sold a stock or bond. How could he become the head of the biggest brokerage in the US?

    Both Prince and O’Neal are talented. Neither one, though, should have been named CEO as they lacked experience in the main business of their employers. Both should have been kept as competent bureaucrats within their companies

  3. Oh yeah, we're caught between two bad choices. These things happen but it could always be worse. Imagine being in Musharraf's shoes right now. He's caught between the fundamentalists on one hand and Lawyers on the other. Can you imagine the torture he's going through?

    Which is worse, terrorists or lawyers?

  4. I'll take the fifth.

  5. $72 million, shot to shit, doug.

    That'd have been, at $3 per gallon infrastructure costs, 24 million gallons per annum worth of ethanol production capacity, here in the US.

    But to secure the oil in the ME, we spent that money on a building in Baghdad. Even if the building had been perfect, it would not have advanced US interests by increasing homeland security or energy independence.

  6. One of Reagan's favorite stories was about the shortest sermon he ever heard, in Dixon, Illinois, on a hot August Sunday. When the preacher stepped up to the pulpit, he simply pointed down and said, "It's hotter down there." And that was it.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is came to DC to give Mr Bush a message, not negotiate a settlement.
    In the War on Terror, he's going to tell Mr Bush,
    "You are either with us, or against us."

    A relationship so tenuous that the House of Representitives cannot affirm a historical fact, for fear of offense. Let alone demand that the Turks allow terrorist attacks to go unanswered in real time.

    We folded on a historical statement, and set the tone for the next stage of the negotiations, on issues that really matter.

    Matter more to the Turks, than to US.

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he is "satisfied" with the meetings he held yesterday at the White House with US President George W. Bush, noting "We found ourselves at the point of being able to use our rights that come to us from international law with regards to action against the divisive terror group. We have this right, and we intend to use it."

    Erdogan yesterday in Washington spoke to members of the National Press Club.

    "Turkey's patience has run out with regards to a series of mechanisms and suggestions which have taken place over time, but which have achieved no results...Our parliament has also given us the authority to use our rights with regards to the PKK. We have the 'yes' votes of 507 of our MPs."

    When asked at the end of his press conference whether the White House "given the green light" for an over the border operation into northern Iraq by Ankara, Erdogan replied "Let's not talk about lights. Maybe the best is to say that we have agreed to share information and intelligence....." Erdogan also asserted to reporters yesterday "I want to underline that we are not going after war of any kind, what we have decided on is an operation."

    Not a War, but an Operation ...

    Gotta love it.

  9. BRUSSELS - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to make an unscheduled visit to Brussels, flying out of Washington Tuesday.
    Haberin devamı

    Erdogan was scheduled to make an official visit to Italy after his trip to the US, where he met with US President George W Bush to discuss measures to combat the terrorist group the PKK.