“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, February 16, 2009

Pakistan Slips from Bad to Very Bad

Liberals never fail to underestimate evil. Pakistan has capitulated to radical Islam. It will be no different in Pakistan than it was in Iran. Jimmy Carter discouraged the Iranians from a military coup as a means to fight the mullahs. It was a critical error in judgment and a belief that one could negotiate with the irrational. You cannot.

I fear that this will ensure that the Islamists will end up with a one hundred nuclear weapon arsenal. Bad to bad and on our way to far worse.


Pakistan imposes Islamic law in Taliban stronghold

Government brings in sharia courts in Malakand in attempt to placate extremists

Saeed Shah in Islamabad, Sunday 15 February 2009 18.39 GMT

Pakistan is to impose Islamic law in a vast region of the north-west called Malakand in an attempt to placate extremists, even as President Asif Zardari warns that they are "trying to take over the state".

Pakistani Taliban militants who are in control of the Swat valley in the region announced a ceasefire tonight, reacting to the government's agreement to bring in sharia courts.

Malakand is part of North West Frontier province, a regular part of Pakistan, not the wild tribal area, which runs along the Afghan border.

Critics warned that the new sharia regulations represented a capitulation to the extremists' demands, and that it would be difficult to stop hardliners elsewhere in the country from demanding that their areas also come under Islamic law.

"This is definitely a surrender," said Khadim Hussain of the Aryana Institute for Regional Research and Advocacy, a thinktank in Islamabad. "If you keep treating a community as something different from the rest of the country, it will isolate them."

Javed Iqbal, a retired judge, speaking on Pakistani television, said: "It means that there is not one law in the country. It will disintegrate this way. If you concede to this, you will go on conceding."

The deal, set to be announced tomorrow, follows talks between the government and a local Islamic leader, Sufi Muhammad, who once led hundreds of men to fight alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan against the US-led coalition. He was freed by the Pakistani authorities after the restoration of democracy last year, in a move heavily criticised by Washington.

In an interview broadcast todayby the US television channel CBS, Zardari admitted that the future of Pakistan was in grave danger from the Taliban, who are present in "huge parts" of the country. Islamabad is under severe pressure from the US, Britain and other western allies to rein in the extremists, who fight both in Pakistan and Afghanistan and play host to al-Qaida.

Zardari said: "We are aware of the fact [the Taliban are] trying to take over the state of Pakistan. We're fighting for the survival of Pakistan. "

Zardari's wife, the former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, was killed by Islamic extremists in 2007. "I lost my wife, my children's mother," the president said. "It's important to stop them and make sure that it doesn't happen again and they don't take over our way of life."

Hajji Adeel, a senior member of the Awami National party which runs the government of North West Frontier province that undertook the negotiations with Muhammad, said the main aim of the new law was to speed up the justice system. Under the new regulations, criminal cases would be disposed of within four months and civil cases in six months, he said.

The creaky colonial-era legal system in Pakistan means that cases drag on for years, sometimes decades, a major source of anger for ordinary people. "If six months ago, this [sharia] had started working in Swat, the intensity of the terror there would have been much less," said Adeel.

The ANP a proudly secular party, has come under sustained attack from the Taliban, and last week one of its members in the provincial parliament was killed by a roadside bomb.

The new law is a relatively mild form of sharia, with the aim of undermining support for the extremists and their populist demand for speedy Islamic justice. Religious experts, known as a qazi, will sit in the court, alongside a regular judge, to ensure that the rulings are in compliance with Islam.

However, many believe that the Taliban will not ultimately accept this form of Islamic law. Muhammad is not part of the Taliban and it is unclear how far his influence goes.

The Swat Taliban's ceasefire, described as a "goodwill gesture", will only last for 10 days, while it decides what to do. Muhammad has undertaken to tour the area to convince the militants to put down their arms. In Swat, the Taliban have for months been enforcing their brutal version of Islamic justice, which includes public floggings and summary executions. The Taliban are also entrenched across the tribal area.


  1. Things Are Indeed Getting Very Bad

    And as to the Russians he wants to reduce our nuclear weapons capacity by 80%.

    The world is turning into a madhouse.

  2. One's tempted to pray Israel nukes Iran now, while there may be a few nano-seconds left.

    Why wouldn't Japan develope nukes if our guarantee is no longer any good? They can probably put them together on really short order. Whose to protect them from China except themselves? Taiwan will become part of China someday. Kind of sad but I thought it was inevitable anyway.

    Death's the engineer on the runaway train. toot toot

  3. And of course we don't need those anti-missile defenses.

  4. We're gonna look like my lightning struck tree. Decapitated. Nature's islamic punishment.

  5. Been sayin' that those Paki nukes are the "Real" threat for years, but even now, bobal confuses Pakistani reality with Iranian dreams.

    So it goes.


    Did the MSM do a good job of covering up Congress's Irresponsible Rush of $700 B Spendulus Outrage for NOTHING?
    ...I haven't even seen a headline yet about Feinstein blowing the Paki Predator Story!

  7. Meanwhile, Gov. Paterson called yesterday for fiscal restraint with the massive influx of federal aid.
    His budget office estimated that New York will receive $24.6 billion over the next two years, $4 billion more than first believed.

  8. Let's see, Rat, I recall saying I thought we ought to destroy Pakistan nuclear arsenal at the time Mushy went out. Even though it might be impossible to do it.
    But, you're the guy that's always right. I am, however, often wrong. Maybe I'm just having nightmares tonight. Cause I can't sleep again.

    It's a hell of a mess. I'm with Habu, in that I'm glad I'm getting old.


    Maybe it'll all be ok. We got the Messiah on our side. I just get apocalyptic sometimes.

    What's the Messiah do in Chicago on the weekends anyway. Organize the community with the highest murder rate around?

  9. How can a French and a British nuclear sub possibly crash in the depths of the middle of the ocean? That seems like me winning the powerball. Don't they kinda like, give each other a hint of the general area where they are?

  10. Israel does not need to bomb Iran. Israel has a nuclear deterrent. Israel needs to show it is credible. That could be done in several ways.

    Madoff is reported to have stiffed, mostly Jews, for $50 billion. It hardly made a ripple to the incredible wealth held by the Jewish diaspora. For less than half that money, Israel could develop a British style Trident submarine fleet that would guarantee destruction of any combination of israeli enemies.

    The British and the French both know that they cannot depend on the US to provide true nuclear deterrence and have developed and maintain their own.

    Israel had better understand the same thing.

    Israel does not need one cent from the US to develop the deterrent and should announce that it is no longer taking any more US aid and should develop a deterrent to protect its interests on its own.

  11. Mon 02.16 >>
    Alternative media activist Alex Jones and author Jerome Corsi will discuss steps some states are taking to preserve sovereignty and personal freedoms which include gun ownership, gold & silver ownership, & home schooling.

    This is what I advocate, a new states right movement at home, until the days of the Messiah come to an end.

    Tennessee I think it is has the excellent idea that a Presidential candidate has to prove his status before getting that state's electoral votes. If just a few states did that we might get some truth out of that sob.

  12. If I was an Israeli I'd be damned worried.

    Doesn't Israel already have subs with nuclear cruise missiles?

    Isn't that a true deterrence?

    If they've got 200 or more nuclear bombs they can get them to Iran, just all the folks back home will be dead.

    The Iranian statements are, a lot of us will be dead, all of the Israelis will be.

    If deterrence is a reality with the islamics, why is Rat worried about the Paki nukes?

    I thought the British nuclear missiles were basically under our lock and key. Seems like I recall reading that somewhere.

  13. Israel does not need one cent from the US to develop the deterrent and should announce that it is no longer taking any more US aid and should develop a deterrent to protect its interests on its own.

    review history...

    there is only ONE world leader EVER to ask for a REDUCTION of economic AID FROM the USA...

    that person?

    Is the Former and NEXT Prime Minister of Israel...


    Under Bibi's leadership the USA reduced to ZERo Economic Aid..

    Now certainly it's true that Israel does get MILITARY aid from the USA and it's true, under Bush, that aid was greatly increased.

    Most of that aid, it could be argued, was to counter the oil funded military of Israel's enemies such as Iran (Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas & Others)

    If you notice the munitions that Israel used in Operation Cast Lead, MOST of the tonnage was precision munitions not the cheaper general direction stuff...

    America is asking Israel NOT to actually kill 10's of thousands but spend more and kill fewer...

    Warfare by America and Israel in the future is aimed at specifics not general targets, thus it costs much more...

    If Israel destroys with massive bombings Syria, Lebanon (hezbollah), Iran & Gazan military industrial targets they will not need anywhere near as much military aid from the USA...

    Do not think that Israel has used 1% of it's might in either southern lebanon or gaza, it has not...

    Israel in BOTH battles held back...

    If Syria lost it's entire 500 tank and anti-aircraft defenses as well as it's power production & distribution in 10 minutes it would take a decade for it to recover... the same could be said for Iran, lebanon and gaza...

    All could be taken out, without regard to human deaths, in about 6 hours...

    Then Israel would not need those extra billions provided by GWB for israel's military

  14. by the way...

    Look for the concept of Redrawing Israel's map soon...

    Israel is going to start discussing the concept of removing 20% of it's arab citizens form the state...

    the funny thing? the arab world is pissed!!!!!!!!

    they call it transfer, ethnic cleansing.....

    the FUNNY thing?

    Israel want to CUT out of the CURRENT state of Israel those MAJOR arab population centers and GIVE those towns to the Palestinians to rule...

    Again, NOT transfer of population, RE-Drawing the map and GIVING the arabs citizens of Israel FREEDOM FROm being Israeli....

    and they are pissed.....


    Think of the beauty of it...

    If your an Arab living in israel? and your not willing to proclaim your loyalty to THE Jewish State of Israel? then you can live in anyone of a dozen ARAB towns of the Former State of Israel, Now called Palestine... lol

    It's brilliant....

  15. One Man's Predictions

    Mexico becomes world power, China stalls, new cold war with Russia.

    No word on the new North American Union.

    But USA is new Saudia Arabia of world power by beaming energy from space.

  16. Israel does not need to bomb Iran. Israel has a nuclear deterrent. Israel needs to show it is credible.

    AS long as Israel obeys the US, it has zero credibility.

  17. AS long as Israel obeys the US, it has zero credibility.

    but that's the BEAUTY of the ONE...
    BHO is withdrawing from influence...

    This way NOTHING that happens is HIS fault...

    He will cut loose Poland (and the others), India and as he does? The regions will flex their muscles...

    The Black Jimmy Carter is here....

    America will be weak for the next 4 years... (thus costing us trllions and possibly MILLIONs in lives...

    All praise the ONE....


    All hell is about to happen around the globe....


    and you know what?

    I could care less...

    England? Eurabia? Africa?

    SCREW EM...

    For 60 years America PAID the bill for the world to keep it safe...

    Nato costs us 116 billion a year for DECADES, not a franc, shilling or Deutsche Mark in real support....

    Ok, the genius of the ONE?

    Everyone's on their own...


  18. but that's the BEAUTY of the ONE...

    After the US has supplied the most modern weapons to Saudia Egypt Turkey Jordan, etc. Has encouraged the radicalization of the region. Has propagandized Jihad as the Religion Of Peace™. Has supplied trillions of dollars to Jihad. Has DONE NOTHING as nuclear technology was acquired by Jihad. And is now itself offering nuclear technology to a resurgent Jihad.

    Turkey alone has a greater army than all of Europe combined. Explain to me what's the beauty in that.

  19. mat...

    its called sarcasm

    Arabs with petro dollars armed to the teeth..

    Turkey a stone throw from either invading Kurdistan or becoming radical

    Iran about to go nuke...

    Russia armed and on the brink of internal collapse

    Food riots in Egypt & could become the next islamic nutbed...

    No there is nothing "beautiful" about the way the USA has armed and propped up many a terrorist country and there is NOTHING beautiful about BHO either....

  20. its called sarcasm

    I understand. I just wanted to point out what fscking morons the people in the CIA and State Department are. Total and complete imbeciles.

  21. Could you two guys continue this dialogue in the same vein for the rest of the day. I'm enjoying it immensely.

  22. Hillary has warned the norks to be good, or she'll be bad.

  23. Could you two guys continue this dialogue in the same vein for the rest of the day. I'm enjoying it immensely.

    In my best Rutger Hauer voice:
    We're not performers, bob. We're human.



  25. The Paki State is deterred, bob.
    By both the Indians and US.

    But the Paki State is failing and along with that failure comes increased risk from the existing weapon stockpiles.

    Ronald Reagan, he was the US President that wanted to eliminate nuclear weapons. To bad he failed in his efforts. Maybe Obama will get US further down that trail.

    Since the US does not appear to be expanding the hunt for the 9-11 perps into Pakistan, does not appear to be attacking those that support those terrorists, it does not matter, much.

    The Pakistani will do what they will.
    The Iranians will as well.

    Given the birth and abortion rates in Israel, along with the net emigration they are experiencing, the clock is ticking for change.
    Money from the US will not be enough, they're gonna need real immigrants, more than money.

    Wonder who's packing their bags?

  26. Those folk at the CIA and State, they do what they're told. The idea that they are free agents, making up policy is just funny stuff.

    Looking at symptoms and thinking they are the cause, not the effect.
    Myopia is a Canadian affliction, it seems.

  27. Money from the US will not be enough, they're gonna need real immigrants, more than money.

    Plenty of Indians Chinese North Americans Russians ready to make migration. What's needed is more land. Syria Lebanon Jordan Saudia Iraq Sinai, they all be Israel. Turkey will be Russia.

  28. Those folk at the CIA and State, they do what they're told.

    To say that is to be completely ignorant. The CIA and State are criminal organizations involved in drug trafficking weapons smuggling and money laundering. They are a criminal mafia, and government unto themselves.

  29. rat...

    Given the birth and abortion rates in Israel, along with the net emigration they are experiencing, the clock is ticking for change.
    Money from the US will not be enough, they're gonna need real immigrants, more than money.

    Wonder who's packing their bags?

    Gee rat...

    you look at a glass have full and see empty...

    Israel will be re-drawing the maps soon enough to exclude 90% of it's 5th column OUTSIDE the state's borders... All without ONE arab losing his precious home...

    As for total population of Israel? dont sweat it, Jews are not about hugh numbers....

    We are about drip irrigation, not tsuamis...

    small stat for ya rat...

    israel is about 8 million when wet... and sits on .8/650th of the middle east, with no oil...

    and out produces 300 million arabs with oil that sit on 649.1/650th of the lands...

    no, dont sweat israeli population rates...

  30. Taliban Commander’s Death Ends an Afghan Embarrassment

    Three months ago, he pulled off one of his most audacious raids, destroying an Afghan Army convoy and killing at least 13 men in a battle that ended only when helicopter gunships arrived to reinforce the 200 besieged Afghan soldiers and police.

    But it was not the ambush in and of itself that made Mr. Dastagir famous across Afghanistan.

    Two months earlier, Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, had personally intervened to release Mr. Dastagir from jail, where he was being held on charges of conspiring with the Taliban.

    To many Afghans, the ambush seemed to vividly confirm one of the most biting complaints here: that the corrupt and the criminal often find a way to get out of jail. And it did it in a way that seemed to implicate the highest authority in the land.

    The presidents’ aides protested that Mr. Dastagir had been pardoned only because tribal elders had begged for his release and vouched for his future conduct.

  31. JPOST:
    Netanyahu: Israel needs to strengthen PA security forces

    That schmuck is already sounding like a State Department parrot.

  32. I guess 40,000 riffles and a million rounds of ammunition at the hands of Hamas just isn't enough.

  33. Funny stuff, coming out of the Levant.

    I do not sweat it, wi"o", it's just entertainment, to me.
    An interesting show.

  34. The South Africans tried "redrawing the map", did not work out for the Afrikaners, in the end.

    Just going further down the trail that Mr Olmert believed would lead to the destruction of Israel, as a Jewish State.

    Figure he'd know.

  35. Figure he'd know.

    If he only knew the views that you subscribe to him.

  36. Email from a friend:

    From the L. A. Times
    1. 40% of all workers in L. A. County ( L. A. County has 10.2 million people)are working for cash and not paying taxes. This is because they are predominantly illegal immigrants working without a green card.
    2. 95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.
    3. 75% of people on the most wanted list in Los Angeles are illegal aliens.
    4. Over 2/3 of all births in Los Angeles County are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal , whose births were paid for by taxpayers.
    5. Nearly 35% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally.
    6. Over 300,000 illegal aliens in Los Angeles County are living in garages.
    7. The FBI reports half of all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegal aliens from south of the border.
    8. Nearly 60% of all occupants of HUD properties are illegal.
    9. 21 radio stations in L. A. are Spanish speaking.
    10. In L. A. County 5.1 million people speak English, 3.9 million speak Spanish. (There are 10.2 million people in L. A. County.)

  37. desert rat said...
    The South Africans tried "redrawing the map", did not work out for the Afrikaners, in the end.

    Not even a close comparison...
    But nice try at calling Israel an apartheid state...

    Rat: Just going further down the trail that Mr Olmert believed would lead to the destruction of Israel, as a Jewish State.
    Figure he'd know.

    Olmert is defeated, disgraced and on his way out... so figuring he "knows" anything is like saying Jimmy Carter should know what's best for America..

    Going down the trail to get rid of 20% of the citizens of Israel that hate the idea of a Jewish state is NOT going down a wrong trail, it's an excellent recipe for Arabs to learn to grow up and have their own state..

    These areas that will be GIVEN to the palestinians are by far the most successful arab towns within a 500 mile radius...

    If the palestinians turn them into gaza like squalor?

    too bad...

    But the 5th column of arabs INSIDE of Israel can make a choice... A jewish state called Israel or they can live with their brothers in Palestine...

  38. President's Day

    A creepy feeling ushers in President's Day this year as the suspicion grows that nobody in charge of anything knows what what to do next. The usual yin-yang consensus has solidified in congress along party lines, both equally idiotic. In the White House, Mr. Obama is under excruciating pressure to "do something" as systems unravel and economies augur into darkness. Amid all the anxiety and raging cluelessness, one thing is clear: we're doing everything possible to evade reality.
    The reality we can't face is that one way of life is over and a new one is waiting to be born. It's been waiting, really, since the early 1970s, when God whacked the USA upside its head to announce that we'd outgrown our once-stupendous domestic supply of oil. I remember those fervid months following the OPEC oil embargo of 1973 (I covered the story as a young newspaper reporter.) The basic message was this: from now on we'll be running this show on other people's oil so we better start doing things differently. Back then, the not-yet-lost-in-a-fog-of-greed Baby Boom generation rolled up its tie-dyed sleeves and got to work doing a lot of forward-looking things: micro hydro-electric, passive solar houses, rural homesteading, the next generation of public transit (BART, the D.C. Metro), the first wave of urban gentrification....
    Then, in 1979, the Ayatollah tossed out the Shah of Iran, we got another dose of oil problems, and a year later, President Jimmy Carter's clear-eyed view of the oil situation as "the moral equivalent of war" got overturned in favor of Ronald Reagan's dreadful Hollywood nostalgia projector. As usual in times of severe social stress, the public got delusional. Mr. Reagan was very lucky. During his tenure, two of the last great non-OPEC oil discoveries came into full production -- Prudhoe Bay, Alaska and the North Sea -- and took the leverage away from the Islamic oil nations who had been making us miserable with their threats, embargos, price-jackings, and hostage-takings.
    Americans drew the false conclusion that Ronald Reagan was an economic genius (a similar thing happened in Great Britain with Margaret Thatcherism). The price of oil went down steeply while they were in office. Britain could kick back and enjoy it's last remaining industry, banking, on a majestic cushion of energy resources. The USA resumed its major post-war industry: suburban sprawl building. Reaganism got elevated to the status of a religion, though it was little more than a twisted version of Eisenhower-on-steroids. Under Reagan, WalMart embarked on its campaign to destroy every main street economy in the nation. The Baby Boomers came back from the land, clipped their pony tails, discovered venture capital, real estate investment trusts, securitization of "consumer" debt, and the Hamptons. Greed was good. (No, really....)
    The first President Bush's Gulf War jolted the oil markets briefly, but Saudi Arabia was demonstrably on our side in that conflict, while the non-OPEC oil supply was goosed up by production from Mexico's giant Cantarell field. The slight economic shudder caused by the Gulf War was enough, though, to unseat Bush Number One in favor of the Boomer Bill Clinton. A puzzling figure in many ways, articulate and magnetic, Bill Clinton was hardly a reformer, surely not in terms of the national lifestyle. He was in so many ways an exemplar of it. He'd been governor of WalMart's home state (and his wife sat on its board of directors). He was a pure product of the New South, the sunbelt, with its economy literally driven by everything connected to cars -- new suburbs, malls, fast food huts, Nascar. He wasn't about to pull a Jimmy Carter and try to prepare the people for some harsh realities.
    Really nobody saw what was going on during the Clinton years. The public was sleepwalking in a Martha Stewart nesting fantasy. Clinton was as lucky as Reagan. The only geopolitical conflict he faced was the Balkan gang-war that attended the collapse of Yugoslavia. Baby Boomer greed went into overdrive during the Clinton years as the former hippies hit their mid-life career strides, epitomized in billionaire-worship and the eventual money-grubbing book deals both Clintons made on departure. Does anyone remember Mr. Clinton saying, even once, that an economy based on suburban sprawl building and car dependency might not be such a good thing? Of course not. Under Clinton, the SUV became our new national bird. The price of oil flat-out crashed while Clinton was in office, sinking to the $10-a-barrel range by the time he handed over the White House keys to Bush Number Two.
    Poor dim "W" rode his generation's last wave of cultural inertia into two terms as little more than custodian of things set into motion by others years before. Reality was shifting starkly "out there" but "W," raised in the protective globe of great wealth, coddled in made-to-order business deals, surrounded by political triumphalists and Jesus Jokers, couldn't see through the brush-piles in his mind. (Maybe it was all that cocaine from the years before.) He paid lip service to a murky notion called "energy independence," but to him that just meant finding a home-grown way to maintain extreme car dependency and all its perilous usufructs. The 9/11 tragedy allowed him to pretend to be a man-of-action, but as the various wars and occupations ground on, "W" more or less disappeared into the deep groove of his own limited programming.
    During those years, more than a few things happened to inform the American people -- not all of whom were dim, of course -- what was up. For one, a cohort of senior geologists retired out of service to the oil industry and started publishing their own dark thoughts about the world's energy future. The discussion of these matters spread to the internet, where it grew in clarity and insight. We began to understand, for instance, the connection between our energy predicament (peak oil, so-called), and the growing parallel fiasco in hypertrophic debt creation that was driving the banking system and threatening to wreck it.
    Now we've arrived at the moment of wreckage. Meanwhile, Barack Obama sailed into the White House on a tide of "hope" for "change." The change was unspecified, by both Mr. Obama and the general public (and the news media that audits its thinking). What is dogging many of us who supported Mr. Obama is the delayed entrance of much-vaunted change. At this moment of "stimulus" and TARP-II, it seems to have been about a desperate attempt to preserve the hypertrophic debt economy of "miracle" mortgages, blue-light-special shopping on credit cards, and endless happy motoring at all costs. And by "all costs" I mean literally bankrupting our society at every level to keep on living as if it were still 1999. This naturally alarms those of us who perceive a need for more drastic reprogramming in American life.
    Mr. Obama is not dim. The euphoria that attended his election was largely about acquiring a leader of first-rate intelligence and sensibility, compared to his lamentable predecessor. I like to think that Mr. Obama really does know what's up -- that "change" means we have to live a lot differently, not mount a campaign to sustain the unsustainable. I suspect that President Obama has learned over the last several weeks that the nation's banking system and economy -- indeed, the whole world's -- are in way worse shape than anyone imagined before January 20. He is faced with the immediate crushing problem of appearing to do something while a tsunami of catastrophic debt deleveraging sweeps away the first outlier nations and their economies and bears down on the G-7. I suspect that in a few weeks, or possibly even a few days, Mr. Obama will have to start announcing all kinds of new and more drastic measures that will shock the stunned American public -- things like bank holidays, nationalizations, possibly even dollar devaluation.
    As I've said more than once, I believe this basically honest and intelligent president will have to take on the role of the nation's hand-holding camp counselor or school teacher. When the time comes that he assumes this role, I think he'll do it pretty well, even though great pain and misery will be abroad in this land.

    Because it's Monday!

  39. Two Surgeons from the UK, Dr Ghassan Abu Sittah and Dr Swee Ang, managed to get into Gaza during the Israeli invasion. Here they describe their experiences, share their views, and conclude that the people of Gaza are extremely vulnerable and defenseless in the event of another attack.


    The weapons used apart from conventional bombs and high explosives also include unconventional weapons of which at least 4 categories could be identified.

    * Phosphorus Shells and bombs

    The bombs dropped were described by eye witnesses as exploding at high altitude scattering a large canopy of phosphorus bomblets which cover a large area.

    Wounds of Gaza

  40. Americans have lost trillions of dollars in wealth over the past year from the housing and stock-market declines. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is off more than 5 percent since the Obama team outlined a partial bank-rescue plan just last week.

    Absent greater clarity on the bank-rescue plan, stocks could be poised for further losses, which could sink consumer confidence and personal wealth further.

    For now, the administration isn't talking about bank nationalization. That topic attracted more attention Sunday when South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham mentioned the possibility on TV.

    Economic Plan

  41. Her agenda in Tokyo also includes talks with Aso, Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada and opposition leader Ichiro Ozawa of the Democratic Party of Japan, whose opposition camp may win a general election this year and oust the ruling coalition from power.

    It is rare for a U.S. secretary of state to meet a Japanese opposition leader on an official visit, a move observers say may stoke anxiety in the already fragile Aso administration amid plummeting approval rates.

    Clinton, the first U.S. secretary of state to make Japan the destination of her overseas debut, will also meet students at the University of Tokyo for dialogue later Tuesday.

    NK Issues

  42. Just because the Israeli voters have a aversion to the truth, does not make those truths a lie.

    Mr Olmert's Party won the election, well, won the most seats of any party in the election, so he and his ideas were not all rejected nor disgraced.

    His party did better than the Republicans, here, or Jummie's Democrats did, back in the day.

  43. Failure to save East Europe will lead to worldwide meltdown

    This is quite impressive. After the Berlin Wall fall these countries and their integration were seen the main thruster of european growth.

    Now, read this:
    "Austria's finance minister Josef Pröll made frantic efforts last week to put together a €150bn rescue for the ex-Soviet bloc. Well he might. His banks have lent €230bn to the region, equal to 70pc of Austria's GDP.
    "A failure rate of 10pc would lead to the collapse of the Austrian financial sector," reported Der Standard in Vienna. Unfortunately, that is about to happen".

    And again:
    "Eastern Europe has borrowed $1.7 trillion abroad, much on short-term maturities. It must repay – or roll over – $400bn this year, equal to a third of the region's GDP. Good luck. The credit window has slammed shut".

    "In Poland, 60pc of mortgages are in Swiss francs. The zloty has just halved against the franc. Hungary, the Balkans, the Baltics, and Ukraine are all suffering variants of this story".

    The article claims that European banks are in worse conditions than US banks because of their exposure in East Europe.
    "Whether it takes months, or just weeks, the world is going to discover that Europe's financial system is sunk".

    Very pessimistic indeed.

    "If Deutsche Bank is correct, the economy will have shrunk by nearly 9pc before the end of this year. This is the sort of level that stokes popular revolt".

    Is this pessimism justified? Are things really so bad? Does anybody have the information but it's keeping away from the public not to make things worse?

    "We will have global systemic crisis within days."

    Italy, Spain, Greece, POrtugal, Ireland, East Europe. This is a big mess.
    Social unrest is likely in these countries if things do not turn for the better quickly.

    For the moment the Euro trades above the lows of October and November vs the dollar.
    A financial debacle in Europe would be accompanied by a crash of the Euro. But in currencies everything is relative and the US is not in much better shape.

  44. Just because the Israeli voters have a aversion to the truth, does not make those truths a lie.

    What truth? The twisted upside down views you wish to subscribe to Olmert? Give me a break.

  45. Which may be why Ms Clinton did not bother traveling to Europe, but to Asia, on her first trip abroad, representing the United States, as Sec of State.

  46. I will watch closely. I need to talk to my broker about shorting the Euro. Them fsckers are cooked.

  47. In an interview with the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, Ehud Olmert said Israel was "finished" if it forced the Palestinians into a struggle for equal rights.
    If the two-state solution collapsed, he said, Israel would "face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights, and as soon as that happens, the state of Israel is finished". Israel's supporters abroad would quickly turn against such a state, he said.

    "The Jewish organisations, which were our power base in America, will be the first to come out against us because they will say they cannot support a state that does not support democracy and equal voting rights for all its residents," he said.

    The Israeli government is usually bitterly resentful of any comparison to the apartheid regime but Olmert's remarks looked like an effort to galvanise support from a sceptical Israeli public for a return to peace negotiations with the Palestinians in the days after the Annapolis conference.
    Israeli historian Tom Segev wrote in yesterday's Ha'aretz: "It is not easy to understand why so many Israelis still believe that a large Israel without peace is better than a small Israel with peace." Israel had most to lose, he said. "With every settler who moves to the territories and with every Palestinian child who is killed by Israel Defence Forces fire, Israel loses some of the moral justification that led to the decision on the November 29 60 years ago. The Palestinians have already lost almost everything they had."

    Gerald Steinberg, chairman of the political science department at Israel's Bar-Ilan University, said Olmert's comments reflected a long-held belief. "The logic is precisely the same as the logic pursued by all Israeli governments since 1967: the realisation that you can't have a Jewish, democratic state and still control the lives of millions of Palestinians," he said.

    That truth, amigo.

    “If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (also for the Palestinians in the territories), then, as soon as that happens, the State of Israel is finished,” Olmert told the Israeli daily Haaretz. As justification for his comment, he pointed to the likelihood that a rift with the Pro-Israelis in the US that would result if “equal voting rights for all its [Israel's] residents” are not realized. In the process, he implied that crumbling support in the US would be the nation’s undoing.

    There is much to recommend his point. Without the United States as an ally, Israel’s position would become more tenuous, its hostile neighbors more provocative. Without a strong political base among US citziens, politicians would have less incentive to be the staunch supporters of Israel they have historically been. A hostile, or even indifferent, stance towards Israel is currently political suicide for many Washingtonians. A significant drop in US citizens’ support for Israel changes that scenario.
    The most compelling part of this statement, however, is not its truth or falsity. It lies in the analogy made.

    Olmert’s mention of South Africa is significant. While many pro-Palestinians have compared the apartheid of South Africa to the Israeli-Palestinian situation, I have never heard a pro-Israeli individual, let alone the Prime Minister, bring the two together so directly in the same sentence (though Olmert delicately gave a similar view in an interview four years ago, linked in the Haaretz article).
    To me, it seems an acknowledgment that there is something inherently unjust in the way Palestinians are being treated at present. A situation does not become comparable to apartheid simply by failing to achieve what has never been. It must have already, always displayed elements of the system. I am sure there are many others do not interpret the quote as I do, and many who will immediately dismiss Olmert’s comments, but if one admits that Olmert’s comment is germane, I see no other conclusion.

    Ehud Olmert: “If the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights, then the State of Israel is finished.”

    If you think that is not the truth, then that's what you think, in myopic Canada.

  48. What do we do if the "two-state" solution collapses?

    There are only three alternative options at that point. First, Israel could drive most or all of the 2.5 million Palestinians out of the West Bank by force, thereby preserving "greater Israel" as a Jewish state through an overt act of ethnic cleansing. The Palestinians would surely resist, and it would be a crime against humanity, conducted in full view of a horrified world. No American government could support such a step, and no true friend of Israel could endorse that solution.

    Second, Israel could retain control of the West Bank but allow the Palestinians limited autonomy in a set of disconnected enclaves, while it controlled access in and out, their water supplies, and the airspace above them. This appears to have been Ariel Sharon's strategy before he was incapacitated, and Bibi Netanyahu's proposal for "economic peace" without a Palestinian state seems to envision a similar outcome. In short, the Palestinians would not get a viable state of their own and would not enjoy full political rights. This is the solution that many people -- including Prime Minister Olmert -- compare to the apartheid regime in South Africa. It is hard to imagine the United States supporting this outcome over the long term, and Olmert has said as much. Denying the Palestinians their own national aspirations is also not going to end the conflict.

    Which brings me to the third option. The Israeli government could maintain its physical control over "greater Israel" and grant the Palestinians full democratic rights within this territory. This option has been proposed by a handful of Israeli Jews and a growing number of Palestinians. But there are formidable objections to this outcome: It would mean abandoning the Zionist dream of an independent Jewish state, and binational states of this sort do not have an encouraging track record, especially when the two parties have waged a bitter conflict across several generations. This is why I prefer the two-state alternative.

    But if a two-state option is no longer feasible, it seems likely that the United States would come to favor this third choice. After all, supporting option 2 -- an apartheid state -- is contrary to the core American values of freedom and democracy and would make the United States look especially hypocritical whenever it tried to present itself as a model for the rest of the world. Openly endorsing apartheid would also demolish any hope we might have of improving our image in the Arab and Islamic world. Lord knows I have plenty of respect for the Israel lobby's ability to shape U.S. foreign policy, but even AIPAC and the other heavyweight institutions in the lobby would have great difficulty maintaining the "special relationship" if Israel was an apartheid state. By contrast, option 3 -- a binational state that provided full democratic rights for citizens of all ethnic and religious backgrounds -- is easy to reconcile with America's own “melting pot” traditions and liberal political values. American politicians would find it a hard option to argue against.

    Bottom line: If the two-state solution dies, as seems increasingly likely, the United States is going to face a very awkward set of choices. That’s one reason why Obama and his team -- as well as Israel's friends in the United States -- should move beyond paying lip-service to the idea of creating a Palestinian state and actually do something about it. But it's hard to be optimistic that they will.

  49. Ehud Olmert: "If the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights, then the State of Israel is finished."

    That's the dumbest thing I heard. Maybe we should all join for a one state solution. Seriously, that is so fscking retarded it defies belief. I actually went to check the link to Haaretz, because I could not believe it. I still don't believe it.

  50. The man is a certifiable moron. There's just no going around it.

  51. My apologies, dRat. Sincerely.

  52. Mrs Clinton arrived in Japan late on Monday on the first leg of an Asian tour that will later take her to Indonesia, South Korea and China.

    Soon after flying into Japan, she said she had chosen Asia for her first trip 'to convey that America's relationships across the Pacific are indispensable' to addressing the challenges in the 21st century.

    Mrs Clinton was set to meet Japanese leaders later Tuesday before travelling to Indonesia on Wednesday.

    Tokyo Shrine

  53. Anyway, having said that, Israel has the right to insist on its independence from Arabia and Jihadistan. This whole Apartheid crap is just loaded jargon to force Israelis into following US/Saudi diktats. And as far as I'm concerned, and as far as the average Israeli is concerned, those pushing them Saudi diktats can go fsck themselves.

  54. Mətušélaḥ said...
    Netanyahu: Israel needs to strengthen PA security forces


  55. Shas' leaders explained their change of position on the "head of the largest faction" law by saying that their voters, who hold right-wing positions, would vote for Likud because of concerns that the head of a less-hawkish party might become prime minister. The way Shas conducted itself in the last election (the "distant-relatives" tango between Shas and Likud) indicates that their concerns were sincere.

    If the heads of the large parties manage to define a single goal, "changing the system of government" - wherein lies the future of our faith in democracy - they must be prepared to establish a coalition without parties that oppose the changes. They must do it without parties that have already, and in the last Knesset particularly brazenly, dictated our difficult reality characterized by anger and chaos.

    The effort would lay a cornerstone on which we can build public life beyond a single term.

    Failed to Change

  56. Fareed Zakaria

    Israel’s Biggest Danger

    Today they're 20 percent of the country's population. Demographers predict they'll be 25 percent by 2025.

  57. The single-biggest tragedy of the closing decades of the twentieth century is the tragic association of Islam to terrorism. How has this most complete of religions come to be hijacked so brazenly that in some quarters of the world it is now seen as a force of evil?


    The current Mumbai Terror attack has been a milestone in the ongoing frictional relationship of India and Pakistan. According to India, the so-called Islamic terrorist assault is in truth, a well planned attack, schooled by Pakistani officials.


    The latest Israeli occupation of Gaza has been one of the most symbolic conflicts between the two sides since the Six-Day war of 1967 that saw Israel’s emphatic triumph. Israel, this time has declared that it has lost all faith in Hamas and has no interest in any further truce that would not lead to any beneficial solution.

    Hidden Guilt

  58. Demographers predict they'll be 25 percent by 2025.

    They're not all Jihadis. The Christians Druz Bahai Samaritans Circassians Kurds etc, are ok. The Jihadis you kick out. Plain and simple. And with no apologies.

  59. When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews, said Martin Luther King

    Feb. 15, 2009

    Is criticism of Israel anti-Semitic? The Six Day War sparked a wave of anti-Zionistic reactions, triggering the Left's denial of solidarity with Israel, a stance that holds until today. In August 1967, Martin Luther King wrote in Letters to an Anti-Zionistic Friend:

    "You declare, my friend, that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely 'anti-Zionist'... When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews - this is God's own truth. Anti-Semitism, the hatred of the Jewish people, has been and remains a blot on the soul of mankind."

    Jean Améry criticized the elitist anti-Zionism of the Left as being nothing more than run-of-the-mill anti-Semitism. In a speech in 1969, Améry stated, "Anti-Semitism was once the socialism of the stupid guys. Today it is about to become an integrating ingredient of socialism as such, and thereby every socialist turns himself, by his free will, into a stupid guy. Anti-Semitism has become respectable again, but there is no such thing as respectable anti-Semitism!"

    In 1975, well-known literary scholar and dedicated leftist Hans Mayer wrote, "Whoever attacks Zionism, but by no means wishes to say anything against the Jews, is fooling himself and others. The State of Israel is a Jewish state. Whoever wants to destroy it, openly or through policies that can effect nothing else but such destruction, is practicing the Jew hatred of yesterday and time immemorial."

    Unfortunately, these 30-year-old texts still hold true today.

    THE ENTIRE Middle East would have become a Jew-free German protectorate called "Greater Arabia" had Rommel's Afrikakorps not been defeated at el-Alamein 66 years ago on November 4, 1942. The "Einsatzkommando Ägypten" (SS Task Force Egypt), a subgroup of the Afrikakorps, was under the command of SS Obersturmbannführer Walter Rauff, infamous for his large trucks converted into mobile gas chambers which murdered hundreds of thousands in an excruciatingly painful manner in Russia and Serbia the previous year. Rauff was given the authority to carry out "executive measures on the civilian population," which was the Nazi euphemism for the mass murder of the Palestinian Jews. The move was agreed upon with Grand Mufti Haj Amin el-Husseini, a friend of Hitler and Himmler, and the Arab population was supposed to actively participate.

    Rauff's extermination unit followed Rommel's army to Tunisia, but the allied Italian army prevented the mass murder of the country's 80,000 Jews.

    To this day, the war criminal Husseini remains the ardently cherished idol of the Arab people. During the war, he was the supreme field chaplain of all the Muslim SS divisions and a relentless enemy of the Jews, not just in Palestine. He is also the ideologue behind the genocidal hatred of the Jews of all Islamists today, including Hamas and Hizbullah.

    IN LIGHT of this Arab collaboration with the mass murderers of the Shoah, the comparison of the lives of Palestinians in the occupied areas with the starvation and murder of Jews in the ghettos of Europe living under a death sentence is impudent and the product of possible deliberate ignorance. These claims pain and insult us, the survivors of the Shoah, in particular. The war in the Middle East will end when the Palestinians lay down their weapons. If the Israelis were to do the same thing, Israel would no longer exist. This is something that Norbert Blüm, the bishops Gregor Maria Hanke and Walter Mixa, and the others who compare the lives of the Palestinians with the Jewish ghettos should ponder. They should worry about the insidious de-Christianization of the Holy Land from their fellow Christians fleeing the Middle East instead.

    They might also examine more closely the accusation of Islamophobia.

    Arab propaganda invented this term, designed to create an association with the persecution of the Jews. The millions of Muslims living in Europe are in no way subjected to persecution. Quite the opposite, they enjoy the Western freedoms denied the Christians, Baha'i and Jews living in their countries of origin.

    Media outlets contribute to disinformation with their exaggerated criticism of Israel. Unfathomable genocidal hatred of the West and the Jews streams from the antennas of the Arabic TV stations Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya and Al-Manar, even into homes in Germany. Its effect can be seen in the attacks on those in Germany who are recognizable as Jews.

    Islamic anti-Semitism should not be a worry solely for the Jews, because there are forces at work in Europe that want to bomb our civilization back into the Middle Ages. Islamic scientist Bassam Tibi explained, "Not until the German people have fought against this threat in an appropriate manner will we be able to say that they have really understood the lessons of the German past."

    Anti-Semitism in Germany gives us reason to worry even today. There appears to be an increased acceptance of right-wing populist propaganda that argues anti-Semitic beliefs.

    The hate, the violence against Jews and their institutions, fill me with pain and anger. In this year alone there have already been more than 800 violent and other criminal acts, but not a single arrest. I myself am a witness to the permissiveness of our judicial and constitutional bodies. On November 1, 2007, Vanity Fair reprinted a 10-page interview with Nazi ideologue Horst Mahler and also published the entire text of over 20 pages on its Web site. Much of what Mahler said there, such as his denial of the existence of Auschwitz, was a punishable crime. I filed a request for his prosecution, but the public prosecutor's office refused.

    ALLOW ME to make a personal reflection here. When I co-founded the Jewish community in Frankfurt over 50 years ago, I never would have dreamed that today, many years later, our kindergartens, schools, synagogues and meeting halls would have to be guarded by the police. Thank God, Jesus and Muhammad that mosques and churches do not need this protection. Isn't it time that the German Constitutional Court judges started playing hardball when dealing with enemies of our constitution and democracy? I don't just mean the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD), but also the Islamofascist centers, such as the one in the city of Neu-Ulm, which disseminates anti-Semitic and anti-constitutional propaganda under the cloak of multiculturalism.

    What will happen next? The UN's third World Conference against Racism was held in Durban, South Africa, in September 2001. It turned into a festival of anti-Western extremism and hatred of the Jews. Zionism was condemned there as a contemporary form of Nazism and apartheid. The next conference will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, on April 20-24 of this year. The scandal in Durban will be aggravated there even more, as anti-racism degenerates into the ideology of the totalitarian movements.

    The dictators and despots of countries such as Libya, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Cuba and Venezuela, with their automatic majority, have taken over UN institutions. They have started a new inquisition, called "the denigration of religion," which of course only applies to Islam. They are misusing anti-racism for obscurantism and Islamism that will only result in the further suppression of religious minorities and women. Several countries, such as Canada and Israel, will not be attending the planned betrayal of human values in Geneva. How will the German government respond? We can hardly wait.

    The writer, born in 1924 and a survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald, is a leading historian (The Red Book: Stalin and the Jews) who lives in Frankfurt.

  60. And much of this hate fest is paid and sponsored by the US-Saudi alliance.

  61. desert rat said...
    Fareed Zakaria

    why not quote david duke on civil rights?


    I know child rapists I'd call to babysit before that guy...

  62. Still, others felt better about the attention the administration is paying to the matter after hearing the officials' views.

    "The overall feeling coming out [of the call] was very good," said Hadar Susskind of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, an umbrella organization which has not taken a position on US representation at the conference because its members are divided on the subject. "They are very aware of what the concerns of the community are and they're not going into this blind."

    "We are hopeful the administration will be successful in changing the direction of the conference away from a rank anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist operation," said United Jewish Communities Washington Director William Daroff, who also wouldn't speak about the specifics of the conference call. "We also hope that, if the administration is unsuccessful in changing the direction of the conference, they will withdraw at the right time."

    Durban II

  63. Happy Washington's Birthday.

  64. No controversy or disgrace ever attached itself to George Washington even though Thomas Jefferson did his best to discredit him through intermediaries. He was never accused of any unseemly or dishonorable behavior.

    His character was unquestionably above reproach. He was simply “The Father of His Country” then, and is today.

    He deserves his own day on our Holiday calendar or no one individual in this country should be so honored.

    Day of his Own

  65. Those are quite the statistics, Sam, depressing ones.

    Interesting stuff today, thanks.

    When's the big O going to get in there and clean out NW Pakistan? Wasn't he threatening to invade there for a while during the campaign?

    I expect him to lead the troops, like Washington crossing the Delaware.

    Wampum Night at the Casino!

  66. Good luck at the casino, Bob.

  67. That should any such act of Congress become law or Executive Order or Judicial Order be put into force, all powers previously delegated to the United States of America by the Constitution for the United States shall revert to the several States individually. Any future government of the United States of America shall require ratification of three quarters of the States seeking to form a government of the United States of America and shall not be binding upon any State not seeking to form such a government.

    New Hampshire

    The Jury Box, The Ballot Box, and the Ammunition Box

    Source on what's up in the states right movement, map, bills introduced, etc.