“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."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Connecting the dots post Musharraf

Pakistan bans Taliban after suicide bombings

Mon Aug 25, 5:27 AM EDT

Pakistan banned the Taliban on Monday after they claimed responsibility for one of the country's worst-ever terrorist attacks, toughening its stance a week after U.S. ally Pervez Musharraf was ousted from power.

The Interior Ministry announced the decision 24 hours after rejecting a Taliban cease-fire offer in Bajur, a rumored hiding place for Osama bin Laden, where an army offensive has reportedly killed hundreds in recent weeks. Another 200,000 people have fled their homes.

"This organization is a terrorist organization and created mayhem against public life," ministry chief Rehman Malik said in announcing the ban on Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, an umbrella group for militants along the Afghan border created in December to strengthen their fight against the government.

Anyone aiding a proscribed organization — through financial assistance, promoting them in literature or in other ways — can be jailed for up to 10 years under Pakistan's anti-terrorism laws.

Spokesman Lou Fintor said the U.S. Embassy had seen media reports about the ban. "Pakistan's leadership has clearly stated their commitment to pursuing and eliminating terrorism and securing Pakistan's borders for the benefit of its own citizens," he said.

However, a spokesman for Tehrik-e-Taliban claimed the ban was "meaningless." "Our organization is neither registered nor do we have any bank accounts," Muslim Khan said.

The announcement came amid fears among the U.S. and other Western nations that the resignation of Musharraf, a key ally in the war on terror, would affect the nuclear-armed nation's ability to battle extremist groups, especially with the ruling coalition government teetering on the verge of collapse.

The largest political party, headed by the widow of slain prime minister Benazir Bhutto, was building alliances with smaller parties in Parliament in case it was forced to form a new government, as appeared increasingly likely.

It also was toughening its stance against militants, rejecting a Taliban cease-fire offer on Sunday and then banning the group Monday.

Malik said such steps had not been taken earlier because the provincial government had been trying to negotiate with the Taliban.

He said that despite a peace deal struck with some insurgents in Swat, a former tourist destination now beset by fighting, al-Qaida and Taliban-linked militants kept attacking security forces, burning schools and damaging public buildings.

Days after Musharraf was forced to resign after nine divisive years in power, the Taliban claimed responsibility for a spectacular attack on one of Pakistan's largest and most sensitive weapons installations.

At least 67 people were killed and more than 100 others wounded in the twin suicide bombings outside a weapons factory near the capital, Islamabad, most of them civilians, in what the Taliban said was revenge for military offensives in Swat and Bajur.

They have claimed responsibility for several strikes since then, including a rocket-and-bomb attack before dawn on Monday on the home of provincial lawmaker Waqar Ahmed Khan in Swat, which killed his brother, two nephews and five guards, police and the politician said.

Connecting the dots
Musharraf has resigned and is now persona non grata. More and higher sources have lately acknowledged that Musharraf was ineffective if not worse than that in his handling of the Taliban.

In an interview this week, the Head of Afghanistan Intelligence, (National Directorate of Security) Amrullah Saleh told the BBC that:
  • Every major Taliban commander who has entered Afghanistan from Pakistan has been killed or arrested.
  • Every foreigner arrested in Afghanistan has tranisted through or been trained in Pakistan.
  • The largest Taliban groups in Pakistan are under al-Qaeda control.
  • No torture occurs in any Afghan detention center but "interrogation is not conversation over a cup of tea...It is a very intense atmosphere".
  • Pakistan ISI supports the Taliban as its proxy in a campaign of against Afghanistan.
  • It looks as though people are beginning to understand that the problem is in Pakistan and are beginning to do something about it.
Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of former slain Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto seems to be serious about eliminating the terrorist threat in Pakistan and the recent spate of attacks and suicide bombings in Pakistan indicate that the terrorists feel the need to go on the offensive. Whether this will translate into permitting NATO conduct to operations in the Western Autonomous Zones remains to seen but it certainly appears that the stage is being set for more robust NATO operations.

The question here at the EB is, "How robust would a CiC Obama be?"


  1. I'm afraid I don't know enough about the man.

    Where did you say he was born?

    Didn't I hear him, on TV, say something about "MY Muslim Faith?"

  2. Where goes Lehman? Please Barclay, pretty please.

  3. Or the real estate genius of Trump?

  4. How Lehman goes, so goes this election.

  5. The Democrats count on the fact that public attention will be focused on Domestic financial distress rather than success in Iraq or Obama's tough talk on Afghanistan.

  6. It will be the make or break on the election.

  7. Deuce, I don't think ANYONE gives a hoot what happens with Lehman. They're much too busy worrying what's happening down at the local filling station.

    $4.00 Gasoline has sucked ALL of the air out of the room.

    The Dems are screwed on "drilling." Period.

  8. Tom Brokaw had Bob Woodward on Meet the Press this morning talking about Woodward's latest "inside DC" best seller.

    They still seem to think that Bush is running for reelection. It's as if Rumsfeld is still SecDef.

    The take away is that Iraq is "fragile and reversible" and that the next President will have to mend the dysfunctional relationship between the civilian Pentagon and the Military.

    Trish, your thoughts?

  9. I know they do not care about Lehman. They will care plenty when the disease spreads. I am convinced Bernanke was right when he suggested to the banks that they re-negotiate existing mortgages, so that the banks can determine what their portfolio is worth. Lehman's problems are that no one knows what their assets are worth. How do you mark to market when no one knows what the market is?

  10. As long as there is no major shooting, the American public does not give a hoot about Pakistan.

  11. Ruf, my local dead tree, here in the deep south, cautions that we could be seeing $6.00/gallon gas and shortages for the next month or so.

    As of late yesterday all the local stations I passed by were out of gas.

  12. As long as there is no major shooting, the American public does not give a hoot about Pakistan.

    It looks as if we will have to curtail close air support bombing in Afghanistan. If that's the case, we're going to have go after the source.

    I think it the hunting season opens on November 5.

  13. Speaking of major shooting. Everyone should go back to the "Unforgiven" post.

    That scene gets my vote as the "All Time Greatest" in the history of Western Movies.

  14. 2164th: How Lehman goes, so goes this election.

    It won't matter. If Paulson (ie. taxpayers) bail out Lehman Bros. (and next, WaMu, and Detroit, and the entire city of Houston), there won't be any tax revenues left to do Obama's socialized medicine or buy nice new brown shirts for his Civilian Security Corps, even if he wins.

  15. bobal's link from two threads back deserves to revisit.

    If You Like Michigan, You'll Like Obama's Policies

  16. Don't overlook Iowa. It's "Rockin." One of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, and growing like a weed.

    Could THIS have something to do with it?

  17. From Press TV, Iran

    "Nouri al-Maliki says the mistakes made by U.S. diplomat Paul Bremer have caused no less danger for Iraq than terrorism.

    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says the mistakes made by U.S. diplomat Paul Bremer have caused no less danger for Iraq than terrorism.

    At a gathering of local officials of the Iraqi province of Karbala, al-Maliki added that the Iraqi government continues to suffer from the mistakes made by Bremer, who was appointed by U.S. President George W. Bush as the director of reconstruction and humanitarian assistance for post-invasion Iraq in 2003."

  18. Bremer was US, at the direct direction of Mr Bush.

    So the decisions the US made, post Saddam, were as bad for Iraq as the terrorists.

    Seems reasonable.

    As we've handed Anbar back to its' residents, responsibility and authority which we denied them in June of '03. The challenges of insurrection sprung from that, cancelling the grass roots elections

  19. The question here at the EB is, "How robust would a CiC Obama be?"

    It'll all depend on what Michelle feels like in the morning. She might go over there and negotiate around herself, she might say the hell with the whole thing, or, might say nuke 'em all.

    Just depends on how she feels.

  20. I was reading parts of the Pakistani army, and air force, were getting ready to defend their territory--against us.

    How can we have any idea what's to happen, when all the players are nuts? Mr. 10% may refer to his mental capacity. If we could just get the big toys away from the children somehow, we could let them enjoy life together, and not care.

  21. "Cousin Sarah" Palin: You didn't even know you had a cousin Sarah until Uncle John introduces her. Okay, yeah, he did mention something one time about a second cousin, three times removed who lived in an igloo with a bunch of kids, sewed moccasins out of moose hide from a moose she tracked ten miles through a blizzard while simultaneously running the entire state of Alaska, but you never thought you were actually going to meet her.

    Wow! She is smokin' hot. Except she's got that husband who won the Iron Dog something or other four times. You're not sure exactly what that entails, but anything with the word "iron" in it makes you try to keep acting like you're not looking at her while you chug your Miller Gold.

    Good one, Rufus

    I don't think the election is going to turn on Lehman who?, but gas prices, Palin, and the Bradley Effect, all which favor McCain. But I'm not betting on it.

  22. I've suggested a number of commercial ventures for us here at the Bar, including mining Helium 3 on the moon, and buying Lehman Brothers, which looks to be filing bankruptcy, but all you want to do is drink beer, eat peanuts, and talk about Palin.

  23. Sunday, September 14, 2008

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows John McCain reaching the 50% level of support for the first time since Barack Obama wrapped up the Democratic Presidential Nomination. McCain retains a three-point advantage for the third straight day, 50% to 47% (see recent daily results).

    Tracking Poll results are released at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time each day and a FREE daily e-mail update is available. Earlier, Rasmussen Reports reported tracking poll results both with and without leaners. Now that Election Day is drawing near, we will report only the results with leaners.

    Voters are evenly divided as to who they think will win, but McCain voters are now more excited about the election than Obama’s. Rasmussen Markets data gives McCain a 52.3 % chance of victory while expectations for Obama are at 47.1 %. These figures are updated on a 24/7 basis by market participants.

    McCain is viewed favorably by 57% of the nation’s voters while Obama earns positive reviews from 53% (see trends). McCain is supported by 90% of Republicans and has a six-point edge among unaffiliated voters. Eighty-two percent (82%) of Democrats say they’ll vote for Obama. Premium Members can get the inside scoop, see data first, and review demographic crosstabs. Learn More.

    Other key stats of Election 2008 can still be seen at Obama-McCain: By the Numbers.

    Each Saturday morning, Rasmussen Reports reviews key polls from the week to see What They Told Us.

    The Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator shows McCain leading in states with 200 Electoral College votes while Obama has the edge in states with 193 votes. When “leaners” are included, shows Obama leading 259-247 (see Quick Campaign Overview). A total of 270 Electoral Votes are needed to win the White House (see 50-State Summary).

    This week, Rasmussen Reports released polling data for Nevada, Missouri. Washington, Michigan, Idaho, Wyoming, New Mexico, North Dakota, Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Premium Members see demographic crosstabs for all state polling data. Learn More.

  24. You are so right Bob.We need to start a new infraction:

    BUI, "blogging under the influence."

  25. Oh, Shit! THAT could get "Expensive."

  26. That scared me so much I gotta take a nap.

  27. Look at this--even Minnesota is coming up a dead heat.

    Who knows, McCain may nearly wipe Obama off the map.

  28. For those of you hinterland folk, like myself, who might have been wondering what Reverend Manning was refering to in calling Obama a 'mac daddy' or 'mack daddy', here's the only definiton I could find--(slang definition #3 seems not to apply, given the context of Reverend Manning's use)

    mack daddy
    One entry found.

    Main Entry: mack daddy
    Pronunciation: \ˈmak-\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: argot mac, mack pimp, probably short for obsolete argot mackerel, from Middle English makerel, from Anglo-French makerelle procuress, ultimately from Middle Dutch mākelaer broker
    Date: 1989

    1slang : a conspicuously successful pimp

    2slang : a slick womanizer

    3slang : one that is the best

  29. mack daddy it is

    $5 trillion added to national debt
    Sept. 10, 2008 12:00 AM
    The Arizona Republic

    This year, while busy investigating such earth-shaking matters as the use of steroids in baseball, Congress paused long enough to hand Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson a blank check that could, if necessary, be used to prop up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two criminally mismanaged corporations that back half the mortgage debt in this country.

    On Sunday, he used that check to place Fannie and Freddie in conservatorship (a term that has a much nicer ring to it than "bailout") thereby adding $5 trillion to the national debt, effectively doubling it overnight.

    I was expecting some level of outrage among the people and in the media, but apparently everyone is too busy fulminating over Sarah Palin's pregnant daughter.

    We get the government we deserve.

    - Bruce Sternfield, Tempe

  30. I always buy my gas at the Casino, they have the lowest prices, always, by a cent or two. They don't have to pay the same taxes to the government, so have a huge edge, which they pass on only as a cent or two, the cheapskates. Anyway, lately I've noticed "Contains Ethanol", on all the pumps, but they don't say how much, so I don't know what I'm really getting.

    Doesn't seem like Ike damaged any refineries, or off shore rigs. Everything seems to have ridden it out.

    I think your gas prices will drop down to normal soon, Whit. Whatever normal is.

  31. Metuselah: On Sunday, he used that check to place Fannie and Freddie in conservatorship (a term that has a much nicer ring to it than "bailout") thereby adding $5 trillion to the national debt, effectively doubling it overnight.

    The neat thing about going in debt to invest in houses and land is the return you get on the investment. We've been sitting in this house for six years and already we have $80,000 in equity. It's not like the government is investing in pet rocks or Lettuce Online Dot Com.

  32. Bobal: Who knows, McCain may nearly wipe Obama off the map.

    I'm not used to these elections where they guy pulls it out by one state. Let's get back to forty states to ten like Bush/Mondale so we don't have to listen to the losing side piss and moan about Diebold machines and hanging chads and the President being "selected" by the Supreme Court.

  33. It's not like the government is investing in pet rocks or Lettuce Online Dot Com.

    The only thing the government is investing in is a confidence game. Only I wouldn't be so confident in the confidence game.

  34. T., remember the Capital Gains Tax, that Obama wants to raise. Though, it doesn't apply to your primary residence.

    My brother-in-law used to have a bar, grill and card room in Lacey, (Lacy) near Olympia, before they moved back to Cal.

  35. Bobal: Palin eats moose, salmon, ducks, geese.

    Palin's from another planet, for all those latte-drinking metrosexual touchie-feelie UTNE Reader readers back east know.

  36. muzzies Contnue Cleansing Christians From Bethlehem, Other Areas--Fleeing To Where Ever Will Issue Visa

    Maybe with Palin as VP we'd at least hear about these things, the silence now is deafening. But I admit, if I were living there I'd get out too.


    Five Clear One Page Explainations Of The Higgs Boson

    I can't tell whether it is a field, a particle, or something between or both or what.

    h/t Flares Into Darkness

  37. The Higgs boson is a hypothesised particle

    particles at particular points arise from "fields" spread over space and time.

    It is surprising that the field is not zero in empty space, but the result, not an obvious one, is: all particles that can interact with H gain mass from the interaction.

    the empty space Higgs field

    Peter Higgs. He proposed that the whole of space is permeated by a field, similar in some ways to the electromagnetic field.

    We know from quantum theory that fields have particles associated with them, the particle for the electromagnetic field being the photon. So there must be a particle associated with the Higg's field, and this is the Higgs boson.

    Imagine a cocktail party of political party workers who are uniformly distributed across the floor, all talking to their nearest neighbours. The ex-Prime Minister enters and crosses the room. All of the workers in her neighbourhood are strongly attracted to her and cluster round her.

    , this is the Higgs mechanism. In order to give particles mass, a background field is invented which becomes locally distorted whenever a particle moves through it

    The distortion - the clustering of the field around the particle - generates the particle's mass.

    2. The Higgs Boson
    Now consider a rumour passing through our room full of uniformly spread political workers.

    The Higgs boson is predicted to be just such a clustering in the Higgs field.

    There could be a Higgs mechanism, and a Higgs field throughout our Universe, without there being a Higgs boson. The next generation of colliders will sort this out.

    . It is thought there are "pencils" throughout space, even in vacuum. (of course, these are not real physical pencils - they represent the "Higgs field" - nor is their direction a direction in real physical space, but the analogy is fairly close.) The pencils are all coupled together, so that they all tend to fall in the same direction.

    The Higgs boson is an undiscovered elementary particle

    The Higgs field is a particularly simple one - it has the same properties viewed from every direction, and in important respects in indistinguishable from empty space. Thus physicists conceive of the Higgs field being "switched on", pervading all of space and endowing it with "grain" like that of a plank of wood

    The Higgs field enables us to view these apparently unrelated phenomenon as two sides of the same coin

    The Higgs' ability to fill space with its mysterious presence makes it a vital component in more ambitious theories of how the Universe burst into existence out of some initial quantum fluctuation, and why the Universe prefers to be filled with matter rather than anti-matter; that is, why there is something rather than nothing.

    how heavy is it? Our current knowledge can only put its mass roughly between that of an iron atom and three times that of a uranium atom. This is a completely new form of matter about whose nature we still have only vague hints and speculations and its discovery is the most exciting prospect in contemporary particle physics.

    Well, that's clear as mud.

  38. I haven't heard one reasonable,logical plain English explanation of what $8 billion is buying in Cern. I know, I know, I am a simple man but please, I want to know what the point is and what we expect to find.

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. Hell, trish, NATO be leaving Afghanistan, in 2010, along with the Canadians. It'll have been the better part of a decade, that we'd been at it, there. The Candian PM, he seemed to think that long enough.
    Results, like performance, count, eventually.

    We best have that factored in to the "Plan"

    As for Obama as CiC, he may feel a need to make his bones.
    Betcha he would.

  41. The point was government spending.

    That the US did not expend.

    So we won't be expecting much.

  42. DR:
    That the US did not expend. So we won't be expecting much.

    The neat thing about science is that it's just as fungible as oil, nothing like those Dead Sea Scrolls they've been trying to market. Any particles they discover at CERN will get a write up on Wikipedia. Marie Curie may have discovered radiation, but it was the Americans put it to work on Fat Man and Little Boy.

  43. muzzies Contnue Cleansing Christians From Bethlehem, Other Areas--Fleeing To Where Ever Will Issue Visa

    Not to worry, Bob. Sooner or later, our Christians will settle these matters with the Jihadis.

  44. This fellow, Frank Rich at the NYTimes , he's of his rocker, but what a storyline he weaves.

    It’s an urgent matter, because if we’ve learned anything from the G.O.P. convention and its aftermath, it’s that the 2008 edition of John McCain is too weak to serve as America’s chief executive. This unmentionable truth, more than race, is now the real elephant in the room of this election.

    No longer able to remember his principles any better than he can distinguish between Sunnis and Shia, McCain stands revealed as a guy who can be easily rolled by anyone who sells him a plan for “victory,” whether in Iraq or in Michigan.

    A McCain victory on Election Day will usher in a Palin presidency, with McCain serving as a transitional front man, an even weaker Bush to her Cheney.

    Which I think is as far from reality as we could get. No, Mrs Palin will get to be a VP in the Truman mode. Unbriefed and in the dark about most everything, especially any "Game Changer"

  45. The Team Maverick that William E. Timmons Sr. will be putting together will be full of "Good Ol' Boys" from the Beltway establishment.

    Not a bunch of agents of change working with the "Maverick Reformers".

  46. But Rich also discounts that Mrs Palin is really a reformer.

    An idea fabricated full clothe, but wrapped around the aged McCain storyline.
    Which is a reality storyline, he is 72, well past the mandatory retirement age for commercial pilots. Wonder which job description, pilot or President, calls for clearer decision making ability?

  47. William E. Timmons Sr.

    Part of a transition team. Has been around DC forever. Has experience and contacts.


    Let's see whose on Obama's transition team before we get carried away trashing Maverick.

    Wish I could profile 'em for ya, but I'll put up 10 of your Ameros that we'd prefer Timmons, Sr. to any one of BarryO's.

  48. bobal said...

    DoD To Sell Bombs To Israel

    They've gotten them since at least 2005, probably before, and an emergency supply in July, 2006. Also said to have their own design/fabrication capability, which I wouldn't discount.

    Coupling their bunker busters with Israeli UAV's could be interesting.

    These latest seem to be more suitable for local actions vs Hezbollah, Hamas, maybe in Lebanon and Syria. Did you see the standoff range? 150 km or thereabouts? With GPS navigation, so no laser target designator needed. Cool.

  49. Regarding the pissing and moaning here about Russians breaking Georgian airfields over the last week or so... with the right equipment and supplies, those cratered runways can be put back in service in hours. So, I'd say the strategically significant sites are operational by now.

    If there's a strategy.

  50. Obama's Team will also be more of the same, lineman. No arguement there.

    Just what the portfolio that Mrs Palin will recieve may contain. It could range from that provided in the Constitution, to a Darth Cheney XXXL role.
    Another unknown, that's all. Ready for discussions of the hyperthetical. Mr Rich, he thinks she'll be a shadow President, I think that's absurd, knowing the McCain record.

    It is true that airstrips can be repaired, if the Russians have not occupied them, up until now.
    They were positioned well south of the two now independent ethnic areas of contention. Doing just what, not open source available.

    But with all the turmoil, how high a priority would Georgia place on those repairs, if the Russians continue to threaten them behind the scenes?

  51. But with all the turmoil, how high a priority would Georgia place on those repairs, if the Russians continue to threaten them behind the scenes?

    Good question. I seem to recall reports of Israelis active in Georgia, before and after the Russian activities. Maybe the Jews offered to handle some rehab at selected sites? Maybe not.

    What the Russians will continue to threaten is a great question, with our fleet anchored off the S. Georgian coast and steaming around the Black Sea. And, if they did threaten, how would we react. I'd venture time is on our side at present. I'd like to know more about current "humanitarian" aid shipments.

  52. The finished bomb, known as the GBU-28 or the BLU-113, is 19 feet (5.8 meters) long, 14.5 inches (36.8 cm) in diameter and weighs 4,400 pounds (1,996 kg).

    Now the Israeli Searcher II UAV is the largest of their open sourceed UAV, it's max launch wieght is 1100 lbs...

    The Russians claim to be building a UAV that could carry a GBU-28, barely

    Russia unveils pilotless 'stealth' bomber

    file image of the SKAT...

    by Staff Writers
    Moscow (AFP) Aug 23, 2007

    It will weigh 10 tonnes, be able to carry up to two tonnes of ordnance and have a range of 4,000 kilometres (2,485 miles), RIA Novosti reported.

    So the Israelis may concievedly have one under wraps.

  53. Quick Googling yields:

    Likely names on Obama Transition Team

    James George Abourezk
    Tom Daschle
    W. Anthony Lake
    Susan Rice
    Sarah Sewall
    Brzezinski, Zbigniew and Mark
    John Podesta
    Michael Signer
    Cassandra Butts

    These would seem to be the more respectable ones. Ayres & Company will be lurking behind the scenes.

  54. The GBU-28 was cobbled together in a hurry for Desert Storm, I think.

    State of the art has to be advanced considerably I'd expect.

    Israelis have been working with UAVs since the 67-72 era. Both competing and sharing with US developers.

    Open source data and reporting for both the bunker busters and UAVs is probably influenced by disinformation tactics, I'd hope.

  55. Also to be factored in, mat's contention that the US engineered the whole deal, to stop those airports from being used by Israel.

    If that were an accurate description, then the repairs would be long in coming, I'd venture.

    The speed of those repairs, an indication of validity of or the rejection of the hypothesis

  56. The bunker buster still needs mass, to penetrate. Whether artillery tubes are still used, far be it from me to say.

    But the tube is used to shape and direct the explosion, like an enhanced IED.
    A super shaped charge.

    An improved model, if not nuclear, would have to be even bigger.
    Which creates another hurdle.

  57. Also to be factored in, mat's contention that the US engineered the whole deal, to stop those airports from being used by Israel.

    This triggered my description of "pissing and moaning".

    The speed of those repairs, an indication of validity of or the rejection of the hypothesis.


  58. That Dem list, lineman, not many "Agents of Change" there, either.

  59. An improved model, if not nuclear, would have to be even bigger.
    Which creates another hurdle.

    Maybe. Maybe not.

    Factor in 15 years r&d in shaped charge technique. Also, given the accuracy reported in Bob's original link today, consider three improved bunker busters targeted on the same coordinates with a few seconds delay in arrival times. Punch-punch-punch. Or a dozen or more on a high value target. Fired from 50 km out. From white UAVs with blue markings.

  60. If they have them, and they're capable, be a sight to see.

    Giant Harpies, perhaps

    Or, according to Janes, the Israeli have it already, open sourced

    Eitan is unmanned and the size of a small fighter

    Developed by IAI and apparently based somewhat on the exhibited Heron UAV, Eitan is by UAV standards a colossus. 4 tons of unmanned aerial beauty!

    Israel reportedly will unveil its biggest-ever unmanned aerial vehicle.
    Jane’s Defence Weekly reported this week that Eitan, a UAV with a wing-span of 80 feet, will soon be formally introduced into Israel’s air force and navy. With an altitude ceiling of 50,000 feet, Eitan is intended for long-range reconnaissance and can carry weapons payloads of up to 3,960 pounds.

    Israel is considered a world leader in the unmanned aerial vehicle industry.

    Automated takeoff and landing.. Capable of high altitude long term recon in the air, and or attack, sounds like a winner!

    4000 pounds is a lot of explosive punch..

    That’s almost enough weight to carry the infamous American GBU-28 laser guided “Bunker Busters” so effectively used on hardened targets. Hmmm..

    (I’ll try to stay on top of this beast, IAI is kicking serious ass lately)

  61. not many "Agents of Change" there, either.

    Yup. And every name showed up in an "Obama Transition Team" search.

  62. The Eltan story, datelined May 2006