“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Iranian drones appear in Iraq. Israel decides it is a good time to supply them to Russia.

16/03/2009 - 17:43:54 IE News

The US shot down an unmanned Iranian spy plane as it flew over Iraqi territory about 60 miles from Baghdad, the military said today.

A statement said the drone was tracked for more than an hour before fighter jets shot it down “well-inside Iraqi airspace”.

It added that the aircraft’s presence over Iraqi airspace last month “was not an accident”.

The US has frequently accused the Iranians of supplying weapons, training and money to Shiite extremist groups opposed to the US military presence and to the US-backed Iraqi government.


Russia Buys A Bunch Of Israeli UAVs

Strategy Page

April 9, 2009: Late last year Russia began to investigate buying Israeli UAVs. Now it has placed an order for over fifty aircraft, including the Bird-Eye 400, I-View MK150 and Searcher 2. The Bird-Eye 400 is a nine pound micro-UAV with a maximum endurance of 80 minutes, max ceiling of 1,000 feet and can operate 15 kilometers from the operator. It is mainly for the use of small infantry units. The I-View MK150 is a 550 pound aircraft with an 7 hour endurance, max altitude of 17,000 feet and can operate up to 150 kilometers from the operator. It can carry a 44 pound payload, which enables day and night vidcams. It can take off using an airfield or from a truck mounted launcher. It can land on an airfield or via parachute. It is usually employed to support brigades. The Searcher 2 is a half ton aircraft with an endurance of 20 hours, max altitude of 23,000 feet and can operate up to 300 kilometers from the operator. It can carry a 264 pound payload. This is closer to the U.S. Predator, and usually supports a division or brigade.

Russia has been building UAVs for several decades, but has not achieved the kind of performance found in Israeli and American UAVs. With this $50 million purchase of Israeli UAVs, the Russians get some hands on experience with the best stuff out there, and there engineers get a close look at how competitive UAVs are put together.

The U.S. lost interest in UAVs after Vietnam, while in Israel, work proceeded. And UAVs figured prominently in the spectacular Israeli aerial victory over the Bekaa Valley in 1982. Using UAVs in cooperation with their warplanes, Israel was able to shut down the Syrian Air Force (and destroy 86 aircraft) in a few days. Israel pioneered the use of UAVs for real-time surveillance, electronic warfare and decoys. But in the U.S., there was either no interest, or some inexplicably botched UAV development projects. Americans wondered how the Israelis did it while the Department of Defense continued to screw up attempts to create useful UAVs. Russia is now in a situation similar to that of the United States in the 1970s. The Russian UAVs consistently had short duration (a few hours) and reliability problems.

But the U.S. eventually solved its problems. With some urging (and ridicule) from Congress, the Department of Defense began to buy UAVs from Israel. The Navy bought the Israeli Pioneer UAV, which is still in use. Many of these Israeli UAVs (plus some newly developed U.S. ones) were used in the 1991 Gulf War. There weren't that many of them, but the army and Marines noted that the Air Force and Navy were stingy with answering requests for recon missions. This made the ground troops aware of how they could create their own Air Force of UAVs. All of a sudden, the Army and Marines were back in the UAV development business. This time they were serious and a number of successful UAVs were developed. The Predator entered service in 1995. Russia is apparently seeking to shape up using the same route the U.S. choose.


  1. Israel sold and attempted to sell sophisticated unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or Harpy Killer drones to China in the mid-1990s and was also involved in upgrading unmanned airborne vehicles for the Chinese. This was done by Israel.

    Undersecretary of State for Policy Douglas Feith, learned that Israel had sold advanced-technology Harpy assault drones to China in the mid-1990s and was upgrading the unmanned airborne vehicles for the Chinese.

    Feith, an absolute supporter of Israel, was furious and as was his superior, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. Feith reportedly demanded the resignation of Amos Yaron, the Defense Ministry director general, on the grounds that Yaron had not provided a full accounting of the Israeli deal with China.

    Are Doublas Feith and Paul Wolfowitz Israeli haters? Are they anti-semites? Is their integrity to be questioned because they dare to question Israeli political and military decisions? Just who is allowed to question any decision made by Israel?

    Does anyone seriously believe that the Chinese and Russians will not advance this technology and then transfer it ti other countries such as Iran?

    Here is more on the Iranian drone that probably has roots in China and Israeli DNA:

    An American fighter jet shot down an Iranian drone as it was flying over Iraq, U.S. military sources in Baghdad tell Danger Room.

    Details of the previously-unreported shoot-down, which occurred last month, are still sketchy. But we do know that American commanders have long accused Tehran of supplying weapons and training to all sorts of Iraqi militant groups. Shi'ite militias fired Iranian rockets at U.S. troops in Iraq, according to the American military; Sunni militias allegedly used Iranian armor-piercing bombs to reduce U.S. vehicles to ribbons.

    In early 2008, however, the torrent of Iranian weapons into Iraq slowed to a trickle, the U.S. said. And now, the new Obama administration is looking for ways to reach out to the Tehran regime – dangling invitations to international conferences, and offering promises of renewed relations.

    Which means the drone incident comes at a particularly sensitive time.

    Iran has built an array of unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs. The pneumatically launched Ababil ("Swallow") has a wingspan of more than 10 feet, and cruises at 160 knots, according to The Mohajer or Misrad ("Migrant") drone is a bit smaller, and slower-flying.

    Iran has supplied Hezbollah, the Lebanese terror group, with both models. Misrad drones flew reconnaissance missions in both November 2004 and April 2005. Then, in 2006, during Hezbollah's war with Israel, the group operated both Misrads and Ababils over Israel's skies. At least one was shot down by Israeli fighter jets.

    Since then, Tehran claims to have radically upgraded its unmanned fleet. In 2007, Iran said it built a drone with a range of 420 miles. In February, Iran's deputy defense minister claimed its latest UAV could now fly as far as 600 miles – a huge improvement over crude drones like the Misrad, if true. Iran often exaggerates what its weapons can do. But, if this drone really can stay in the air for for that long, the Washington Times notes, "it could soar over every U.S. military installation, diplomatic mission or country of interest in the Middle East." Including those in Iraq.

    truth seeker -UK

  2. If Israel attacks Iran, will American troops stationed in Iraq become targeted by Iranian missiles spotted by Iranian drones that are supplied by the Chinese or Chinese technology based on designs developed by the Israelis and transferred to China.

    This is an outrage. A $50,000,000 sale will cost the American taxpayer billions and it will get American soldiers killed.

    I am not buying any of this. No excuses. No apologies. No averted eyes.

    The US should flat out tell the Israelis no go.

  3. Well, we should ask President Obama what he thinks?

  4. I want to know what pajamas media, the belmont club, hugh hewitt, rush limbaugh, drudge, glenn beck, powerline and the rest of the "troop supporters" think.

  5. We heard plenty when Iranian IEDs were killing Americans.

  6. Want to support the troops? Quit selling technology to supporters of our enemies that will get our troops killed. How controversial is that?

  7. Bob says it's "latent antisemitism" coming out. Bullshit. I'm just sick of Israel. I'm ready to pack up our PAC 3's, and come home.

    They know damned well Hezbollah, and the Iranians will end up with these drones (at least their technology.) Their own citizens, and ours, will die as a result of this money-grubbing treason.

    I'm sick of them. We're giving them Billions of Dollars (some of it MY Tax Money) every year, and I want it stopped. They haven't EVER done a damned thing for me. Eventually, they'll get someone in my clan killed, and for what?

    So some religious fanatic can build a house on the west bank, and babble about "God" giving it to him.

    Horseshit! I'm Through!

  8. Ah,errgg, I don't understand it either, seems idiotic to me too. Unless there's a meaningful quid pro quo that benefits them, and us too, in the longer run.

    I just object to bashing the whole bunch of those folks for a decision of their government. People do that to us all the time. If my folks had been through centuries of pogroms in enlightened old Europe up a final solution, I'd think a few square miles of the old country looked pretty good too.

  9. Money, bob, it is all about the money. all you have to do is follow it.

    mat is a jihadist propagandist because fear of jihad, in the US, is in the best interest of Israeli politicians.

    The interests of the Sauds and the Israeli are so intertwined they could be married. Both have supported the same jihadists around the globe, when it suited their interests.
    Just ask Charlie Wilson.

  10. PATTAYA, Thailand — A summit meeting of Asian nations was abruptly canceled here on Saturday after hundreds of protesters forced their way past security forces into a convention center where leaders were preparing to discuss the global economic crisis.

    About half of the leaders at the meeting were evacuated by helicopter, including those of Vietnam, Myanmar and the Philippines, Thai officials said. Some officials fled by boat.

  11. Money's the root of all evil, so they say.

    People warn about our military/industrial complex, in it for the bucks. Most countries, all the big ones anyway, have a military/industrial complex, making the problems darn near insoluble.

  12. I'm tired of hearing about the pogroms, Bob. My people (some of them) were Cherokees for Chrissake.

    They're going go get some Amerians killed; and a few of those Americans might belong to "Clan Rufus."

    Let'em have their shitty little patch of desert if they want it; but let Them "pay for it." I'm tired of footing the bill for worthless scum that will sell the bullets to their own enemy.

    Piss on'em.

  13. Rufus, we're going to a protest on Wednesday, maybe in Coeur d'Alene rather than Missoula, it being closer. I need help thinking of a good slogan for my sign. Any suggestions?

  14. “To those to whom much has been given, much is expected.”

    No country has provided more support for Israel than the United States. That support has not come without a cost. This blog has been very supportive of Israel, but no one gets an unlimited free pass.

    Some Israeli politicians are making noise that the US owes unquestioning support for Israeli actions against Iran. It certainly should not be expecting too much of Israel to not transfer arms and technology to certain powers that may cause the US harm.

    Some Israeli supporters make what seems to be a sensible argument that other countries sell arms and technology to the Russians and Chinese. That is true, but it is also true that those same countries do not expect and demand unquestioning and unconditional US support. If Israel wishes to elevate itself to a truly independent state, self confident and willing and able to go its own way whenever it deems that to be necessary, that is both their right and frankly their obligation, but the idea that this is no big deal and ignored by the MS media and all the silent cannons on their right flank is startling.

    Let me recall a little history.Dr. Gerald Bull , a Canadian scientist, was the world's greatest scientist on long barrel ballistics. Israel wanted to buy the technology from him, but Bull did not like Israel. Bull went to work for Saddam Hussein and was working on a gun that could fire a missile into Israel. The technology could be misused and harm Israel.

    Bull had also helped the Chinese develop technology for the silkworm missile a missile sold to Iraq. Bull would sell to anyone for money and his technology directly or indirectly was seen as a threat to Israel. On May 2, 1990 two Israeli assassins killed Gerald Bull.

    The United States should let the Israelis know that it considers military technology sold to China and Russia detrimental to be US interests. The US should let the Israelis know that there will be consequences for such technological transfers.

    Russia and China have some of the best engineers on the planet. They would not be purchasing Israeli military technology if they already had it themselves. Russia and China will take the technology, adapt it and advance it. Indirectly this technological transfer will kill Americans. No maybe. It will kill Americans just as surely as Gerald Bull's guns would have killed Israelis.

    American politicians should say no. They should not be in a position where they have to, but Israel put them there and all of the so-called republican bloggers that are afraid to touch this story discredit themselves for doing so.

  15. At least serve a real purpose, bob.
    How about ...

    Plant trees
    Not seedlings

    Don't feed moles!

    All done quad center, green leters on a yellow background, for maximum visual impact.

    Then put together a little Powerpoint presentation, and brief all the Idaho news folk that'll be there to cover the Revolution.

    Start at your homestead and then change the whirled.

  16. Sean Hannity was talking about the media's new found silence over war casualties since Obama came into office. Let's see if Hannity is concerned about the future dangers of US casualties from transferred Israeli technology.

  17. That is not part of the Hannity Agenda, duece.

    Nor Limbaugh's for that matter.

  18. Or the Belmont Club's

    Just business, everyone does it.

    Just like cocaine in Cartagena, Miami or NYCity.

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. I do believe that the Obama has opened the return of the bodies of US KIA, to Dover AFB, in Delaware to coverage by the press.

    Now that the attempt at a press blackout is over, the press does not have the same concerns, as they did previously. The issue, with the press, was not the KIA, as much as the Federals attempt to suppress the news. Once the suppression was lifted, so to was interest in the story.

    The success of the effort in Iraq was never to be judged on the basis of US casualties, but upon the transformation of Iraqi society. The mission failed, miserably.

    Now, after the benefits of a claim to success and subsequent schedule of withdrawal from Iraq have no electoral benefit, Hannity wants to claim victory, retroactively, and credit Mr Bush.

    While, when it could have effected the outcome of the election, any talk of withdrawal was an admission of defeat. The storyline agendas, on the left and the right, are set in lockstep.
    Not easily influenced by realities.

  21. Team 43 could not afford the 2 years that General Casey wasted in Iraq. The misguided goal of Iraqi societal revolution, at the barrel of US guns, was ill concieved, at best.

    The re-evaluation of policy and subsequent "Change in Course" by Mr Bush came to late to effect the 2008 political landscape in the Homeland. Being a year behind the curve is defined as losing, in US politics.

  22. In their latest tome, the T2 pair begin with a crisp summary of why and how housing collapsed, in the process wreaking havoc on both the credit market and the economy. Among the usual culprits, most of which by now have had the cruel harsh spotlight of publicity turned mercilessly on them, Wall Street comes in for special mention and, in particular, its critical role in disseminating collateralized debt obligations and asset-backed securities, or -- as they're respectively, if no longer respectfully, known -- CDOs and ABSs.

    Those structured monsters, note Tilson and Tongue, were a "big driver" of the surge in financial outfits' increasingly bloated profits. To produce ABSs and CDOs, Wall Street needed "a lot of loan product," of which mortgages proved a bountiful source. It's unfortunately quite simple to generate ever-higher volumes of mortgages. All you need do is lend at "higher loan-to-value ratios, with ultra-low teaser rates, to uncreditworthy borrowers, and don't bother to verify their income and assets."

    The only catch is that the chances of such a mortgage being paid off are just about nil, a trifling caveat that bothered neither lenders nor pushers one whit. The result of that cavalier approach, as we all have reason to lament, in the end has been anything but happy: Today, mortgages securitized by Wall Street represent 16% of all mortgages, but a staggering 62% of seriously delinquent mortgages.

    Barron's another old time print title that deserved reading, when I was active in that kind of thing.

  23. If these products had not been fraudulantly rated, the bubble could not have been funded.

    ... its critical role in disseminating collateralized debt obligations and asset-backed securities, or -- as they're respectively, if no longer respectfully, known -- CDOs and ABSs.

    Those structured monsters, note Tilson and Tongue, were a "big driver" of the surge in financial outfits' increasingly bloated profits. To produce ABSs and CDOs, Wall Street needed "a lot of loan product," of which mortgages proved a bountiful source.

    Which brings me to a lady writing in Forbes, Susan Lee.

    She describes the Four Reasons to Rant. Number 3 pertains to the fraud of misrating those mortgage securities.

    Factor Three: Justice, the judicial kind, has been a no-show. The whole point of being a nation of law is that the law, in its abstract but relentless way, will punish.
    But few are getting punished.

    In fact, some of same miscreants who dumped us into this crisis will make tons of money from the cleanup.

    Ms Lee is a realist, though, and she admits it.

    I have a friend who is admirable in every way. But when her husband received a retention bonus from a bailed-out bank, I went red with rage. Nobody wants to be played for a sucker. Least of all by somebody richer.

  24. I'm not leaving life without going to at least one demo.

    While your suggestion has merit, Rat, I'm looking for something with a little more national ooomph, and something that bashes Obumble, along with all the patrician political class, as well.

    With only 2% of the nation in the farming game, I think tree planting procedures would be lost on most folks.

    How about: Our Government Are Pirates Themselves, And Obumble Is The Captain, The Chief Scamp, No Danegeld For Envirowackos

  25. Today, mortgages securitized by Wall Street represent 16% of all mortgages, but a staggering 62% of seriously delinquent mortgages.

  26. To much verbage, or to big a sign.

    We need you to be a tad more cutting edge, with our collective Elephant Bar participation in the revolution.

    Let's talk duece into photoshopping Obama's face into Captain Jack Sparows frame.

    Then, arcing above the newly created EB graphic the words

    Captain Barack Obama

    Arcing below the EBg

    Pirate of the Potomac

    Then go on and be able to cast each DC Dem as a pirate crew member, building an entire cast of charactertures for the Pirates of the Potomac slide show presentation.

  27. The Core Problem throughout the white collar world:

    "But few are getting punished.
    In fact, some of same miscreants who dumped us into this crisis will make tons of money from the cleanup.

  28. jeez, I tell ya, you never know when the jig is up. In the paper today, two young people (28 or abouts, man and woman) were driving upriver towards Missoula, and a tree falls on the car, killing them both. Guy in the car behind said they wouldn't even have seen it coming. Idaho Transportation Department generally removes trees they judge to be dangerous, this one was uphill a bit, loosened up by spring rains, etc.

    Always one breath away from eternity.

  29. You hit a home run with the wife on that idea, Rat.

    She's got an image up of Obumble with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, looking like a delinquent, that might be good.

    All is needed is to put him in Captain Jacks head gear.

  30. Almost all of the issues with israel today COULD have been solved if LBJ & America had LIVED up to it's treaty obligations in 1967...

    Back then, BEFORE israel had one inch of the west bank, gaza or jerusalem America had a nice treaty that they quietly and pussy-like ignored

    The UN? was worthless...

    Nasser? closed international waterways to Israel shipping....

    Seeing how America was a bunch of cowards in sailing a couple of boats through the Strait of Titran, Nasser guessed correctly that they (and the collective Arab world (supplied by Russia) could destroy Israel...

    If only America had been good on her promises....

    Israel sells weapons, America sells weapons...

    Israel spied on America, America SPYS on Israel.

    America GIVES MILITARY aid to Israel and America gets MUCH intelligence for it's investment...

    After all NOT one US soldier has ever died protecting Israel, whereas thousands of Americans have died freeing Arabs, Germans, Japanese and others....

    Only Israel seeks help in balancing the dollar issue..

    Let's not forget, America gives TRILLIONS to the Arabs for oil, which then America sells them weapons for...

    MANY of those weapons DO KILL Israelis....

    America has spent BILLIONS in training palestinians, giving them arms, forcing Israel to accept the concept of letting them be armed only to have them attack THOUSANDS of times with those very arms and trained men...

    The Israel bashing here is amazing, it's in a vacuum, tired of Israel?


    the dont hold it back when it needs to fix the problem LET AMERICA HAS DONE FOR 40 YEARS...

    Don't support Israel

    But dont insist on Israel LISTENING to DIRECTION by Condi or Hillery...

    HOW many Israeli victories have been turned INTO loses because of AMERICA?

    Almost EVERY war that Israel has been in AMERICA has stopped her BEFORE completing the objective...

    If Israel hits Iran that is HER business, dont want to be in the way? get the fuck out of Iraq...

    But I will tell you one thing...

    Iran is an ISSUE because admin after admin have been to PUSSY like to take on the issue...

    Today you bitch that Israel sells shit to Russia...

    Look in the mirror in that glass house before you throw rock...

  31. still wondering if there was some kind of April Glaspie tacit wink wink on this. this is the best way for the current admin to sway those on the fence like some of the patrons here.

  32. Yeah, I, particularly, liked that Israeli intelligence on Iraq. The nukes are "here," and "here," and "here.....

    At least from the Arabs we get oil; from the Israelis? Lies, and treachery is about all I see.

    I'll agree with one thing, though. No more money, no more weapons, no more direction.

    No More

  33. was it bad intellegence?

    i have learned that sometimes good intellegence can be ignored for politics. why was there no retalliation for the marine barracks bombing in bierut? not for lack of good intel. why would we allow wmds to be smuggled out of iraq? i think there is more than meets the eye sometimes. at least i hope.

  34. Good article for Ash to read.

  35. rufus said...
    Yeah, I, particularly, liked that Israeli intelligence on Iraq. The nukes are "here," and "here," and "here.....

    At least from the Arabs we get oil; from the Israelis? Lies, and treachery is about all I see.

    I'll agree with one thing, though. No more money, no more weapons, no more direction.

    No More

    Hey rufus...

    no offense...

    your head is so far up your ass all you see is shit...

    learn some real history...

    Israeli intelligence warned America to not go into Iraq, they wanted America to go into Iran for wmd...

    but as far as Israel is concerned, Israel has given much to the world..

    try using your cell phone, computer or even getting decent medical care without Israeli inventions..

    I'll keep Israel, you can suck the arab oil dick...