“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, December 10, 2007

China Speaks Africa's Language

DNA proves that all human corruption evolved in Africa, and Africans are superb at it. You can buy your way into most anything, cheap. Just open your email and and you can probably share in great wealth with the opportunity sent to you from the Shuck and Jive Cyber Cafe, somewhere in Nigeria.

Africa is corrupt to the core and the Africans seem to like it that way and get annoyed with European and US moralizing.

The Chinese don't do moralizing. They specialize in human cynicism and are exporting it with gazillions of dollars of targeted trade, financed by the surpluses they made with manufacturing pirated technology, fudged trade, and manipulated currencies.

The Africans and Chinese understand each other and the Europeans and Americans do not. Guess who wins that deal.

China the victor as Europe fails to secure trade deal with Africa
By Andrew Grice
Published: 10 December 2007

European and African leaders have signed a pact promoting free trade and democracy but failed to make a breakthrough on formal trade agreements between the two continents.

At a two-day summit in Lisbon, overshadowed by the presence of the Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, the 53 African and 27 EU nations papered over their differences over Zimbabwe and Darfur.

The new "strategic partnership" is seen by the EU as a way of combating China's growing influence in Africa.

However, there was little sign that the first EU-Africa summit for seven years had made the hoped-for breakthrough on trade. The EU wanted to meet a 31 December deadline set by the World Trade Organisation for securing a new trading system with former colonies, including those in Africa. But only 15 of the 76 poor countries involved in talks have so far signed economic partnership agreements (EPAs) with Europe.

Abdoulaye Wade, the President of Senegal, said a majority of African leaders at the summit had opposed such agreements. "We are not talking any more about EPAs, we have rejected them," he told reporters. "We are going to meet to see what we can put in place of the EPAs." Claiming that China's approach was winning more friends, he said: "Europe is close to losing the battle of competition in Africa."

Jose Manuel Barroso, the European Commission President, commenting on the trade talks, said: "It is a challenge for both Africans and Europeans and will require time."

Asked what his message to Europe was, President Mugabe said nothing but raised his arm and made a fist. His involvement persuaded Gordon Brown to boycott the summit.

Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, who backed Mr Brown's stance, dramatically removed his dog collar during a live television interview yesterday and vowed not to wear it until President Mugabe was no longer in power. He cut his dog collar into pieces which fell to the studio floor of the BBC's Andrew Marr Show to illustrate what the Zimbabwean leader was doing to his own people.

"Do you know what Mugabe has done? He has taken people's identity and literally, if you don't mind, cut it to pieces," he told a surprised Mr Marr.

The archbishop, who urged people to demonstrate against the Mugabe regime, said: "As far as I am concerned, from now on I am not going to wear a dog collar until Mugabe has gone." He said: "South Africa has got to wake up to the fact that people there are starving."


  1. Mr Mugumbe was installed by England and the "West", a successful Regime Change, one to be appaulded throughout civilization.

    Of course the Brits knew better than the Africans, in 1980, so of course they still are smarter today.

    Moralizing from afar, their early mis-steps have caused massive poverty and death, in the name of racial equality.

    Now they continue on that same course

    Hoorah! Hooray!!!

    Instead of moralizing, the Chinese are ready to do business, treating the Africans as equals, not children needing lessons in manners and good grace.

  2. Quite right DR, Ian Smith was the scourge of Africa, and all those awful white farmers even had the audacity and temerity to make Rhodesia an agricultural exporter. Something had to be done.

    Rock stars and the righteous left swooned over Robert Mugabe. The Africans had to be taught a lesson on doing the right thing. Now they will try pragmatism. The Chinese are helping and the old silk road will be open for business stretching across a third of the Planet.

    Meanwhile Europe and the US will continue to do the right thing, say for instance, in Kosovo, for which the Islamic World will be very grateful.

    I am sure there are teams of Chinese engineers and architects laying out plans for Kosovar industrial parks, which will assemble products from Chinese parts to fill European demand for cheap products made in Kosovo.

  3. DR: Instead of moralizing, the Chinese are ready to do business, treating the Africans as equals, not children needing lessons in manners and good grace.

    Ironic that the "capitalist" West is doing the utopian stuff, and "communist" China is just out to make a buck.

  4. Having restored land to the people... We have learnt a host of lessons, all pointing to the challenge of ensuring food security for the people.
    Robert Mugabe

    I wish to assure you that there can never be any return to the state of armed conflict which existed before our commitment to peace and the democratic process of election under the Lancaster House agreement.
    Robert Mugabe

    In most recent times, as the West started being hostile to us, we deliberately declared a Look East policy.
    Robert Mugabe

    It may be necessary to use methods other than constitutional ones.
    Robert Mugabe

    Our party must continue to strike fear in the heart of the white man, our real enemy!
    Robert Mugabe

    Our votes must go together with our guns. After all, any vote we shall have, shall have been the product of the gun. The gun which produces the vote should remain its security officer - its guarantor. The people's votes and the people's guns are always inseparable twins.
    Robert Mugabe

    People are free to campaign and they will be free to vote. There won't be any soldiers, you know, at the queues. Anyone who has the right to vote is free to go and cast his vote anywhere in his own area, in his own constituency.
    Robert Mugabe

    So, Blair keep your England, and let me keep my Zimbabwe.
    Robert Mugabe

    Some people are contriving ways and means of making us collapse.
    Robert Mugabe

    Stay with us, please remain in this country and constitute a nation based on national unity.
    Robert Mugabe

    The only white man you can trust is a dead white man.
    Robert Mugabe

    The white man is not indigenous to Africa. Africa is for Africans. Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans.
    Robert Mugabe

    True, some land was bought by a few Cabinet Ministers. They bought the land. No minister, to my knowledge acquired land which was meant for resettlement.
    Robert Mugabe

    We are not hungry... Why foist this food upon us? We don't want to be choked. We have enough.
    Robert Mugabe

    We don't mind having sanctions banning us from Europe. We are not Europeans.
    Robert Mugabe

    We have said the first step was to designate the land, inform the owners. And the second would be to get the responses from the owners. And this will be openly done.
    Robert Mugabe

    We have said we will never collapse, never ever. We may have our droughts, our poverty, but as a people we shall never collapse, never ever.
    Robert Mugabe

    We pride ourselves as being top, really, on the African ladder... We feel that we have actually been advancing rather than going backwards.
    Robert Mugabe

    And there is a quote I am sure of but couldn't find

    "We don't need all these people around here anyway."

  5. Ironic that the "capitalist" West is doing the utopian stuff, and "communist" China is just out to make a buck.

    It does seem everything is ass backwards these days.

  6. assbackward...

    hmmm, it's too bad someone couldn't write a similar editorial about any of the Republican candidates!

    Obama’s American Idea

    Published: December 10, 2007

    I asked Senator Barack Obama if he’s tough enough for a dangerous world. Sometimes the Democratic candidate treads so carefully, and looks so vulnerable to a gust of wind, that the question of whether his legal mind can get lethal arises.

    “Yes, I’m tough enough,” he responded during a half-hour conversation. “What I’ve always found is people who talk about how tough they are aren’t the tough ones. I’m less interested in beating my chest and rattling my saber and more in making decisions that build a safer and more secure world.”

    Obama, speaking less than a month before the Iowa caucus on Jan. 3, continued: “We can and should lead the world, but we have to apply wisdom and judgment. Part of our capacity to lead is linked to our capacity to show restraint.”

    That was striking: an enduring belief in U.S. leadership coupled with a commitment to, as he also put it, acting “with a sense of humility.” Skepticism about the American idea and American global stewardship has grown fast during the Bush years.

    There are many reasons: the failures in Iraq; the abyss between U.S. principle and practice (Abu Ghraib); the rise of other nations (China); startling displays of American incoherence (Iran); economic vulnerability (the dollar as declining store of value); and general resentments stirred by any near hegemonic power.

    All this has led some to conclude that the world would be better off if America slunk home. As Joyce Carol Oates wrote in The Atlantic: “How heartily sick the world has grown, in the first seven years of the 21st century, of the American idea!” It has become a “cruel joke.”

    If a global survey were taken, that might prove to be a minority opinion, but I doubt it.

    Still, Obama stands by the universality of the American proposition: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness under a constitutional government of limited powers. “I believe in American exceptionalism,” he told me, but not one based on “our military prowess or our economic dominance.”

    Rather, he insisted, “our exceptionalism must be based on our Constitution, our principles, our values and our ideals. We are at our best when we are speaking in a voice that captures the aspirations of people across the globe.”

    It is dangerous, of course, to speak of being exceptional; people tend to resent it. If the United States said its ambition was to be normal, few would object. But Obama is right to retain a belief in America’s capacity to inspire; it remains unique. And I still see no credible stabilizing alternative to the far-flung American garrisons that act as the offsetting power to old rivalries in Asia and Europe.

    Pax Americana, being neither perfect nor peaceful, is not popular. Only its absence would convince its detractors of its worth.

    Obama’s main Democratic rivals, Senator Hillary Clinton and former Senator John Edwards, have joined him in calling for a shift from fear, militarism and unilateralism toward interaction, including with enemies. But Obama’s global engagement seems visceral in unusual ways.

    “If, as president, I travel to a poor country to talk to leaders there, they will know I have a grandmother in a small village in Africa without running water, devastated by malaria and AIDS,” he said. “What that allows me to do is talk honestly not only about our need to help them, but about poor countries’ obligation to help themselves. There are cousins of mine in Kenya who can’t get a job without paying an exorbitant bribe to some midlevel functionary. I can talk about that.”

    Referring to the time he spent in Indonesia, Obama said: “I have lived in the most populous Muslim country in the world, had relatives who practiced Islam. I am a Christian, but I can say I understand your worldview, although I may not agree with how Islam has evolved. I can speak forcefully about the need for Muslim countries to reconcile themselves to modernity in ways they have failed to do.”

    Al Qaeda attacked the West in Kenya, Bali and New York. Obama’s father was Kenyan. The senator was schooled partly in Indonesia. He attended college in New York. The parallels are strange. They can also be a source of the toughness married to intuition for which he still seeks complete expression.

    Nowhere in American history has the gulf between ideals and sordid practice been greater than on questions of race. It is precisely the gulf between high principle — not least habeas corpus — and unprincipled actions that has done the most damage to America’s image in recent years. Once again, Obama appears to bridge and reconcile.

    “We can’t entirely remake the world,” he told me. “What we can do is lead by example.”

  7. Archbishops and ministers and such are truly great about bitching about stuff. They were the ones bitching about white rule in the first place. I'd almost suggest we ought to let them run things for awhile, but then....nah, the learning experience isn't worth the pain.

    According to Loren Eisely(sp?) in 'The Immense Journey"(I think that was the title) their was a race of very advanced folk around Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, way the hell back a long, long time ago, back in the time of homo habilus maybe, who would have fit right in at the Ritz banquet room today, judging by their teeth and craniums, but they didn't make it for some reason, overwhelmed by the competition of some kind.

  8. startling displays of American incoherence (Iran);

    I agree with you there, Ash, that surely is on front stage display these days.

  9. The only white man you can trust is a dead white man.
    Robert Mugabe

    That's, that's, jeeze, that's you Ash!

  10. We are not hungry... Why foist this food upon us? We don't want to be choked. We have enough.
    Robert Mugabe

    Speaking of the his party's ruling elite, of course.

  11. The nations youth are in desparate need of a role model like Obama. When speaking to a group of high school students about his mis spent youth, he talked of chasing girls, drinking, smoking marijuana, snorting a line of coke 'when I could afford it', but not a word of remorse, not a word about consequences, not a word of do as I say now, and not as I did then.

    For most kids, the above behavior leads to dropping out, being fired from the job, jail, or violence.

    But not a word of warning from Obama about possible consequences.

    Leads them astray.

    Hey, dude, you too can fuck, drink, toke and snort, and be President someday!

    From candidates who didn't do drugs, to those who didn't inhale, to this.

  12. Huckabee stands by his 1992 statement that AIDS patients should be isolated from the general population. I wish he isolated that rapist from the general population instead. Please nominate this man for President.

  13. The truth wins out, bob.

    Better an ex drunk, or a current drunk than an ex-pot head?

    Booze and pot, the two are about equal, at worse.

    Mr Cheney, a drinker that shot his hunting partner, after a few beers at lunch. Any hunting safety course will tell you, don't mix beer, perscription drugs and guns.

    John Tower, a drunk, found swimming in a DC fountain.

    Mr Bush, taking pride in his own reform, but not forcing it upon his staff, nor making sobriety a criteria for VP.

    The list is long of those that seek power and have personal failings.

  14. JFK, hyped on speed and painkillers, everyday while in office.

    Dr Feelgood made everything alright.

    Seeing celebrities such as Anthony Quinn, Tennessee Williams, or Eddie Fisher waiting for a booster shot in Jacobson's office was not unusual. He did business at all hours: When Alan Jay Lerner was working around the clock on a musical, he might see Miracle Max five times daily, sometimes as late as 11 p.m. Truman Capote found Jacobson's shots caused "instant euphoria. You feel like Superman. You're flying. Ideas come at the speed of light. You go 72 hours straight without so much as a coffee break."

    Of course Jacobson's mixtures merely concealed his patients' symptoms without meeting their emotional needs. Moreover, long-term use of amphetamines in Jacobson-size doses can cause paranoia and symptoms of schizophrenia, and discontinuing it suddenly often causes sudden extreme depression and reappearance of the symptoms that led to amphetamine use in the first place.

    Still, short-term relief is better than none to him who suffers, and particularly to him who carries a heavy burden of responsibility. And so it was that Jacobson came to treat the First Patient.

    It's now well-known that John F. Kennedy's vigorous public image was a facade. In fact, it concealed infirmities that often left him unable to climb a flight of stairs or put on his own socks. His pharmacopoeia was terrifying, as historian Robert Dallek writes: "Steroids for his Addison's disease, pain-killers for his back, antispasmodics for his colitis, antibiotics for urinary-tract infections, antihistamines for allergies and, on at least one occasion, an antipsychotic ... for a severe mood change that Jackie Kennedy believed had been brought on by the antihistamines."

    Mutual friends introduced JFK to Jacobson during the 1960 campaign. The first shot elevated his mood. From then on, it was clear sailing. Miracle Max shot up the president before the Kennedy-Nixon debates, the major state addresses, and even the 1961 Vienna summit meeting with Nikita Khrushchev. Secret Service files and the White House gate log confirm that Jacobson saw JFK no fewer than 34 times through May 1962.

    Did Kennedy experience any of the impatience, irritability, and grandiosity, an exaggerated sense of personal power, that amphetamines so often produce? Clearly not: Kennedy's court historians maintain that his illnesses and drug use didn't affect his presidency. In any case, in June 1962, when Attorney General Robert Kennedy advised his brother to stop using Jacobson's concoctions, the president replied, "I don't care if it's horse piss. It works."

    So how's a little recreational use, as a student, compare to that.

  15. "I don't care if it's horse piss. It works."

    A President speaks, people listen

  16. The list is long, for sure, but why not say, look, avoid this, it's not good, you're not going to be President, avoid my errors, the odds are long that it will cause you much more pain and problem than the temporary euphoria.

    The prosecutors around here have said, 70 or 80 percent of all the bad stuff they deal with(not possession and use) but the bad stuff, looked at closely, have drugs or booze lurking in the background, or right up front.

    But Obama makes it seem, hey, no big deal.

  17. Rat, was it John Tower, or Wilber Mills? Or both? :)

  18. ah, Wilbur took a swim with one Fanne Foxe, hooker.

  19. You're right, Mr Tower did not go swimming the fountain, mea culpa.

    Tower, John Goodwin (1925�1991)
    US Republican politician, a senator for Texas 1961�83. Despite having been a paid arms-industry consultant, he was selected in 1989 by President Bush to serve as defence secretary, but the Senate refused to approve the appointment because of Tower's previous heavy drinking.

    Tower, in 1961 the first Republican to be elected senator for Texas, emerged as a military expert in the Senate, becoming chair of the Armed Services Committee in 1981. After his retirement from the Senate in 1983, he acted as a consultant to arms manufacturers and chaired the 1986�87 Tower Commission, which investigated aspects of the Irangate arms-for-hostages scandal.

  20. Cynthia McKinney, wanting to remake America in the image of Haiti, Venezuela, may be on the ballot as the Green Party candidate.

    We ought to think about putting one of us up as the Elephant Party candidate, get those federal matching funds, and split it up amongst us, buy condos from deuce in Costa Rica.

  21. bobal,

    now you're talking like a real bona fide politician (in private of cours - you can't let your constituents understand that you really are in the game to line you and your cronies pockets).

  22. Think of it this way, Ash, it's our money anyway, as taxpayers. Just returning it to the proper pocket.

  23. Bobal: We ought to think about putting one of us up as the Elephant Party candidate, get those federal matching funds, and split it up amongst us, buy condos from deuce in Costa Rica.

    The fatal flaw in your plan, Bobal, is the word "matching".

  24. Dang, is that right? You got to match? Well, couldn't we raise some short term cash, and if the rules say we got to spend it, we'll hire one another as political consultants. We've got enough creative minds here to scam this simple system.

  25. no problemo teresita - we'll just do a 'quid pro quo' with some business folk. They provide funds, we slide a contract their way, maybe squelch a regulation or two to keep them happy and we double up on our take. Ain't life grand!

  26. "The intelligence community — and particularly the CIA, which was conceived as an exclusive tool for the president's use in making and executing his most difficult decisions — has today made itself a separate agency of government, answerable essentially to itself. This NIE makes clear that for better or worse, spy agencies today make the finished product of policy rather than providing the raw materials."

    - Jim Hoagland

    Okay, dear host, you posted the Hoagland column from the Sunday Post. Now I only ask that from within that same author's column, you find something that supports either of the above two statements.

  27. China in Africa", two China hawks.

    Personally I don't think it's that bad. The big question mark is how the world will deal with African energy reserves.

  28. Trish, any country that makes its intelligence community answerable to a political authority rather than facts on the ground is asking for trouble. And I don't why the NIE is being criticized as a "finished product of policy" rather than "raw materials"...because that's what CIA analysts do...they look at raw intel and create reports which are their opinions of what that data means...surely the President's eyes would glaze over at the unprocessed stuff.

  29. "Trish, any country that makes its intelligence community answerable to a political authority rather than facts on the ground is asking for trouble."

    The intelligence services are the tools of the policy-makers, for better or for worse. Just like the military is.

    And I think Hoagland's intended distinction is between finished analysis and policy making. Analysts usually aren't supposed to touch the latter. They aren't paid to make decisions, but help those who are.

  30. As to whether that's true or not in this case I don't claim to know.

  31. The whole episode is an enigma to me. It is incomprehensible that the intelligence agencies can be releasing any reports without permission and clearance from the White House. I mean nothing. If the agencies are that permeable, someone should be arrested and prosecuted.

    If the White House cleared this, they are clueless.

    Did someone do this to give cover to Israel to act unilaterally, claiming that they were left with no option?

    Did someone do this to stop a pending attack?

    Was it done to take away political cover and strategic justification?

    How do internal conflicts, if any, in Iran, play into this?

    It is a canard that a nuclear exchange destroys Israel. Israel has second strike nuclear capabilities that would utterly destroy Iran. Iran knows that. Israel knows that. Hysteria does not make good foreign policy.

    A preemptive strike by Israel against Iran has almost no chance at being successful. An unsuccessful strike has long term consequences that are open-ended with a vortex leading to a black hole. Win or lose Israel loses, more so than Iran, with or without American support.

    It may be viscerally satisfactory to contemplate it, but when you get into the details... forget about it.

  32. AP Newsbreak: Top Democrat Threatens to Abandon Budget Talks, Citing White House Intransigence
    12-10-2007 12:50 PM
    By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer

    WASHINGTON (Associated Press) -- A top House Democrat threatened Monday to scuttle a massive compromise federal spending bill, accusing the White House and congressional Republicans of failing to bargain in good faith.

    House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., said he might abandon an effort with moderate Republicans to split the differences between increases sought by Democrats and the strict budget submitted by President Bush in February.

    Instead, Obey said, he would rip up the compromise bill and devise a new one using the strict spending ceiling set by Bush _ but would reach it by whacking GOP priorities and stripping the measure of billions of dollars in pet projects for lawmakers in both parties.

    Obey's remarks to The Associated Press came two days after White House budget director Jim Nussle promised Bush would veto Democrats' omnibus spending bill for exceeding Bush's budget by $18 billion.

    Nussle had accused Democrats of "trying to leverage troop-funding for more pork-barrel spending," but Obey said the opposite is true _ that the White House was willing to relent just slightly on domestic spending in order to obtain up to $70 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    That's too high a price, Obey said, threatening to cut off negotiations.

    "Short of having somebody in authority sit down and say, 'OK, we will work out a reasonable compromise,' I don't see any point in prolonging the agony," Obey said. "I don't see how we have any choice but to go to the president's numbers on appropriations to make clear that we aren't going to link the war with token funding on the domestic side."

    Obey's remarks came the day he was expected to unveil a more than $522 billion omnibus bill with a House vote scheduled on Tuesday.

    The measure would have represented the best hope for avoiding a budget train wreck like the stalemate last year under GOP rule. The measure under development would roll together 11 unfinished spending bills funding every domestic Cabinet agency, as well as a foreign aid budget that's trimmed back from Bush's request.

    The bill contains about $30 billion for U.S. efforts in Afghanistan, but Democratic leaders anticipate that Senate Republicans would have added to the measure up to $40 billion more for military operations in Iraq.

    "They keep raising the ante," Obey said. "Now they're up to $70 billion (for Iraq and Afghanistan). I don't want to be part of any deal like that."

  33. The absurdity of the argument rests on the presumption that a pre-emptive strike on Iran would be 100% successful. Assume it would be. Then assume that all the hate of the Islamic world against Israel would vanish. Assume that no thought or attempt would be made to retaliate. Assume that the Islamists would not be strengthened in the Islamic world. Assume a reinvigorated Islamist world would not seize control of Pakistan. Assume that no nuclear weapons would be used to retaliate against Israel.

    That is an awful lot of assumptions. I ask my Israeli friends to point me to the time in history where they have been so lucky.

  34. The Israeli Air Force was unable to be 100% effective in Lebanon, a two minute flight from Israel.

    For 30 some days the rockets fell in and around Haifa, the IAF unable to stop them. That the IAF could transit 1,200 miles and effectively strike the covert Iranian installations, if they even exist, truely doubtful.

    That's if the US allowed them to overfly Iraq, which could only happen once, before the international outrage shut that route down.

  35. from London Daily Telegraph--

    British spy chiefs have grave doubts that Iran has mothballed its nuclear weapons programme, as a US intelligence report claimed last week, and believe the CIA has been hoodwinked by Teheran.

    The timing of the CIA report has also provoked fury in the British Government, where officials believe it has undermined efforts to impose tough new sanctions on Iran and made an Israeli attack on its nuclear facilities more likely.

    The security services in London want concrete evidence to allay concerns that the Islamic state has fed disinformation to the CIA.

    The report used new evidence - including human sources, wireless intercepts and evidence from an Iranian defector - to conclude that Teheran suspended the bomb-making side of its nuclear programme in 2003. But British intelligence is concerned that US spy chiefs were so determined to avoid giving President Bush a reason to go to war - as their reports on Saddam Hussein's weapons programmes did in Iraq - that they got it wrong this time.

    A senior British official delivered a withering assessment of US intelligence-gathering abilities in the Middle East and revealed that British spies shared the concerns of Israeli defence chiefs that Iran was still pursuing nuclear weapons.

    The source said British analysts believed that Iranian nuclear staff, knowing their phones were tapped, deliberately gave misinformation. "We are sceptical. We want to know what the basis of it is, where did it come from? Was it on the basis of the defector? Was it on the basis of the intercept material? They say things on the phone because they know we are up on the phones. They say black is white. They will say anything to throw us off.

    "It's not as if the American intelligence agencies are regarded as brilliant performers in that region. They got badly burned over Iraq."

  36. Iran's getting the bomb, our hands are seemingly tied, the Israelis probably do have a bridge to what the heck happens?

  37. Send in the Saudis ...

    Promote the Sunni/Shia divide.

    Raise the fear levels in the Gulf States, forcing them to act, with US assistance.

    A much more practical scenario then sending in the Zionists.

    As Max Boot describes in the WSJ

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. Two different incidents, cause the same conclusion, for differing reasons

    Abolish the CIA
    Destroying the interrogation tapes amounts to mutiny and treason.

    It seems flabbergastingly improbable that President George W. Bush learned of the National Intelligence Estimate concerning Iranian nuclear ambitions only a few days before the rest of us did, but the haplessness of his demeanor suggested that he might, in fact, have been telling the truth. After all, had the administration known for any appreciable length of time that the mullahs had hit the pause button on their program in late 2003, it would have been in a position to make a claim that is quite probably true, namely, that our overthrow of Saddam Hussein had impressed the Iranians in much the same way as it impressed the Libyans and made them at least reconsider their willingness to continue flouting the Non-Proliferation Treaty. (Given that the examination of the immense Libyan stockpile also disclosed the fingerprints that led back to the exposure of the A.Q. Khan nuke-mart in Pakistan, the removal of Saddam from the chessboard has had more effect in curbing the outlaw WMD business than it is normally given credit for.)
    ... we have further confirmation of the astonishing culture of lawlessness and insubordination that continues to prevail at the highest levels in Langley. At a time when Congress and the courts are conducting important hearings on the critical question of extreme interrogation, and at a time when accusations of outright torture are helping to besmirch and discredit the United States all around the world, a senior official of the CIA takes the unilateral decision to destroy the crucial evidence. This deserves to be described as what it is: mutiny and treason. Despite a string of exposures going back all the way to the Church Commission, the CIA cannot rid itself of the impression that it has the right to subvert the democratic process both abroad and at home. Its criminality and arrogance could perhaps have been partially excused if it had ever got anything right, but, from predicting the indefinite survival of the Soviet Union to denying that Saddam Hussein was going to invade Kuwait, our spymasters have a Clouseau-like record, one that they have earned yet again with their exculpation of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It was after the grotesque estimate of continued Soviet health and prosperity that the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan argued that the CIA should be abolished. It is high time for his proposal to be revived. The system is worse than useless—it's a positive menace. We need to shut the whole thing down and start again.

    Chistopher Hitchens

  40. And I don't why the NIE is being criticized as a "finished product of policy" rather than "raw materials"...because...

    Mon Dec 10, 02:36:00 PM EST

    I don't know why either, as an NIE is just what it says it is: a set of estimates and forecasts. It is not a policy statement. It is (as cutler said also of the agencies and of the military) a tool of policy. Whether and how the President uses it, is up to the President.

    Never, ever should have gone down the road of NIE declassification and I'll be damned if the WH doesn't mightily regret having taken that step back in 02.

    Negroponte saw what was coming, but they were damned if they did and damned if they didn't. No NIE partically declasified can escape political controversy. Here or abroad. And for those contributing to and writing them, the strongest urge is simply not to stick one's dick out. An NIE then becomes, "A little something to satisfy every taste, cover every base."

    And what's the fucking point of that?

  41. To state the obvious, Mr. Boot talks of this like this as if it is a giant game of Risk, where we control most of the pieces.

  42. "Never, ever should have gone down the road of NIE declassification and I'll be damned if the WH doesn't mightily regret having taken that step back in 02."

    Ain't that the truth.

  43. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia reportedly came away from his March summit in Riyadh with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad convinced that the Iranian president is dangerous and unstable.

    The King is right about that. He's certainly not a kind sensitive gentleman like the King.

  44. A GCC air campaign against Iran.

    Let the me count the ways this could turn out badly.

  45. Its criminality and arrogance could perhaps have been partially excused if it had ever got anything right, but, from predicting the indefinite survival of the Soviet Union to denying that Saddam Hussein was going to invade Kuwait, our spymasters have a Clouseau-like record, one that they have earned yet again with their exculpation of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    They had the Paki bomb wrong too, didn't they?

    The President might be as well served to simply assume and do the opposite of what they recommend.

    To get the Shia and the Sunni fighting big time, is just what Hugh Fitzgerald at JihadWatch has been advocating all these months.I'll keep my eye on him, and if he writes that way again, I'll pilch over to here. He's a good writer, whether he is always correct or not.

  46. Bob,

    Setting aside whether -we- could actually do this. Having shook things up prior, don't you think we have enough problems on our hands? Without starting up the next 30 years war (with effects unknown)?

  47. United States: State Sponsor of Judeophobia
    by Pamela Geller

    A terrible line was crossed at Annapolis.

    Last week, a line was crossed. A terrible line was crossed at Annapolis. With the world looking on, the President of the United States sponsored Judeophobia. Jew-hatred was okay, understandable even.

    Under the auspices of a global "peace" conference, the White House sanctioned Jew-hatred. The Jew is contemptible, inferior, ignorant, politically and socially disenfranchised: separate entrance ways, service entrances for the Jews, refusal to touch or shake hands with a Jew, refusal of audience members to wear the translation earphones when Ehud Olmert spoke.

    "Saud Al-Faisel's ears, underneath his red keffiyah, were left bare. And no, it wasn't because he understood Hebrew. It was the Saudi method of demonstrating their relationship to the State of Israel. Even as the Israeli Prime Minister was greeting him and speaking of peace, they were refusing to listen. For a minute I thought I was wrong that maybe there was a technical problem. But then I saw his aide next to him - also leaving his ears demonstrably naked."

    Then, as Olmert's speech ended, and the audience applauded: "The Saudi representative also brought his palms together in order to appear polite. Only someone who sat very close to him could see that the never touched. The little game that the Saudis were playing was just one contradiction - the least noticeable one - in a day full of contradictions." ...(Read more more here.)

    Submitting to Saudi demands, the Americans prohibited Israeli representatives from
    It is unfathomable to consider this with any other race, creed or color.
    entering the hall through the same door as the Arabs. Vile - all of it; sanctioned and institutionalized by the President of the United States. I thought George Bush was a Christian, a man of faith. Shocking. He has squandered his second term and has not acted in good faith. We did not elect him to carry Condi's water.

    It is unfathomable to consider this with any other race, creed or color. Imagine separate entrances for the leader of an African nation because a "white" leader refused to walk through the same door as the black man, because it would be unclean?

    And Israel took it like the ghetto Jew. They should have walked out like any self-respecting human would have done. But no, they lowered the bar yet again. Offering all and getting nothing. Sheba Farms, Golan, Jerusalem - all of it in play. The post-Oslo Jew has returned to the pre-Holocaust mentality of the "ghetto Jew." The Jew who doesn't want to be noticed, the Jew who will do anything to appease those who hate us, just to live in peace. Instead of asserting our rights, our will, that we have a right, that we are the rightful heirs of Israel and Jerusalem, we are acting as if we have no rights. Instead, we are begging - begging - our enemies to recognize us and accept us!" Behaving like beggars! And the silence of American Jews - well, it's the ghetto mentality mixed with those who have assimilated into American culture: the "let's not rock the boat" crowd.

    Continuing this tragedy, Condoleezza Rice later proclaimed, "I know what it's like as a Palestinian." Such willful stupidity is unacceptable in a US Secretary of State. Rice knows little about the history of the Middle East, the politics, the Koran, the Jews - none of it. This ignorant remark says it all. The Palestinians are not the blacks of the Civil Rights movement or era; Abbas is not the great non-violent civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King (what an insult to even think this!); and Dr. King was a Zionist, a lover of Israel and the Jewish people's right to it. The Jews are not the KKK or the police with the dogs, either; this is not the old South, this the very violent, blood-lusting Middle East.

    She doesn't know what it means to be a Jew, to watch innocent people, babies, children, the old, the young, the tourist be blown to bits; shards of flesh flying in every direction, blood, guts strewn everywhere, missing body parts, and the survivors, with nails, nuts and bolts throughout their bodies, marred for life. My dear friend Wolf nailed it when she she said Rice doesn't know what it's like to have monsters throwing rocks at your car as you drive, to have bombs thrown at you, to live under constant mortar fire and have to spend the night in a bomb shelter. She doesn't know the feeling of the parents who lost their
    The Jew as dhimmi was made official.
    sons when the boys went on a hike near where they lived, only to be brutally murdered by barbarians who had bashed in their heads beyond all recognition. They were left to be discovered in a cave. She knows rien, nothing.

    A line in the sand was crossed last week. And anyone who claims that Annapolis was a big yawn and that nothing would come of it is living in the land of unicorns and moonbeams. The Jew as dhimmi was made official and the world was there to bear witness. Moreover, Israel laid down. Sheba Farms, Golan, Jerusalem - all were thrown on the table like so many marbles.

    Bat Yeor was dead right in her reply when I asked her what had become of the people of Israel: "Israel is unworthy of her ancestors."

    Heck if I know, Cutler. It isn't going away though. The nazis, the commies, not these insane folk. They'll just keep on pushing, and sooner or later something will pop, sure as I'm sitting here. Not doing anything stirs the pot too.

    I talked to a Kuwaiti one time, a student at the U.--very well dressed--he said the fathers back there, sure put them on a rigorous program. I'm not sure what he meant. He spoke great English. Maybe he was in the Kuwaiti national guard, or air, or something.

  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

  49. I don't think Israel can buy peace by trading land for paper, and having a Palestinian state capitaled in part of Jerusalem. There doesn't seem to be any solution.

  50. Trish: Never, ever should have gone down the road of NIE declassification and I'll be damned if the WH doesn't mightily regret having taken that step back in 02.

    It was okay to declassify the 10/02 NIE because it said there was WMDs and it gave the green light for war. It's not okay to declassify the 12/07 NIE because it says Iran suspended the nuke weapons program and it gives a red light to war. It's okay to out Valerie Plame because her husband said Saddam wasn't trying to get uranium for a nuke program. It's not okay to have a waterboarding tape because if the terrorists see the waterboarders they might recognize them and retaliate.