“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."

Friday, April 10, 2009

Israel to Sell Spy Drones to the Russians

This should clarify any nonsense that two countries always have similar interests. They do not and should not. This is too foolish to ever actually happen, but a lesson just the same. Good old Pollard should stay in jail for another ten years over this beauty.


Reports: Russia to buy Israeli spy drones
© 2009 The Associated Press Houston Chronicle
April 10, 2009, 9:39AM

Hat tip: Rufus

MOSCOW — Russia is buying pilotless spy aircraft from Israel in hopes of improving its own unmanned drones after a poor performance in the war against Georgia last August, Russian news agencies quoted a top military official as saying Friday.
Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin said the military has signed a contract to buy an unspecified number of pilotless drones from an Israeli company he did not identify, state-run RIA-Novosti and ITAR-Tass reported. "I was in Israel and even operated one," RIA-Novosti quoted him as saying.

Russia has never before announced a purchase of military hardware from Israel. Their relations have vastly improved since the Cold War, when Moscow supplied weapons worth billions of dollars to Israel's Arab foes, but Russia continues to anger the Jewish state by selling arms to other Mideast nations.

According to the reports, Popovkin said Russia has no plans to use the Israeli drones in combat. It wants to study the technology in an effort to improve its own seriously flawed fledgling drones, he said.

Popovkin said Russia had used a drone called the Tipchak toward the end of the conflict over Georgia's separatist South Ossetia region, but it had "very many problems," RIA-Novosti reported.

"You could hear it flying from 100 kilometers away," RIA-Novosti quoted Popovkin as saying. And because of flaws in the system that is supposed to identify it to Russian forces as friendly, it was hit by both Georgian and Russian fire, he said.
"It returned all shot up," Popovkin was quoted as saying.

Popovkin, who is in charge of procurement, said Russia will use its own weapons in combat. According to ITAR-Tass, he joked that "as for the Israeli pilotless aircraft, we will work on them like the Chinese do" — a suggestion that China uses military technology it acquires from other nations to improve its own capabilities.

Georgia used Israeli-made drones before and during the five-day war, in which Russian and South Ossetian forces routed Georgian troops who had launched an offensive in the breakaway region.

Defense Ministry officials could not immediately be reached for comment Friday, but the chief of staff of Russia's armed forces said in December that Russia was negotiating with Israel to buy a batch of spy drones.

Despite warmer ties, there is tension between Russia and Israel over Russia's cooperation with Iran and Syria. Israel is concerned that Russia could sell its them advanced anti-aircraft missile systems that would make any potential strike at Iran's first nuclear power plant — which Russia building — more difficult.


  1. I would love to hear the telephone calls on this baby. Maybe we will get an announcement that Raytheon is sending a trade mission to Iran.

  2. Anyone want to bet this is denied by sundown tomorrow?

  3. part of project "reset". it must have US tacitness.

  4. Doesn't make any sense to me. Irritating too, if true. Irritating as hell.

  5. It is true and the details are worse:

    Spy drones purchased by Russians as result of lack of realiable intelligence for military during war with Georgia

    A contract signed with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) envisions the purchase by Russia of the Bird-Eye 400 mini Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), I-view MK 150 tactical UAV, and Searcher MK II medium-range UAV, Moscow-based daily Kommersant reports.

    Russia has inked a $50 million deal with the Israeli company, although under the US pressure it was denied sale of some sensitive models, Heron and similar class of UAVs made by IAI, according to media reports.

    Quoting sources, the paper said the Russian Defence Ministry has already paid half of the contractual amount to cover the creation technical facilities and the training of personnel for the operation of UAVs.
    "This indicates that the Russian purchases of drones from Israel will not be limited to this particular deal. The Russian Army needs about 50-100 UAVs and 10 control complexes," Kommersant noted.

    After five-day war with Georgia last August, which had widely used Israeli drones made by Elbit Systems, the Russian military had felt the lack of reliable intelligence for effective use of smart weapons although a range of indigenously developed UAVs were used by it.

    US pressure my ass. I would give them pressure.


    Apr 2, 2009

    At a large conference held on Sunday, March 29th 2009, Itzhak Nissan, President and CEO of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), was named one of Israel's 10 Best Business Leaders for 2009.
    The award is given by the leading business information company, Dun and Bradstreet-Israel. This is the fifth consecutive year the award has been given to the leaders who make up the economic and business core of Israel.

    The award was presented to the 10 leaders by Reuven Kuvent, General Manager of Dun and Bradstreet- Israel and one of the judges of the competition.

    Kuvent congratulated the winners and noted the particular significance of these leaders in a time of global crisis: "These business leaders are working to pull us out of the slowdown in Israel, and they are the ones who will help the Israeli economy get through this difficult time."

    The criteria to be selected as a business leader include leadership and personal charisma, a diligent commitment to excellence and long-lasting growth, a strong focus on the economic situation in Israel, and exceptional innovation and entrepreneurship.

    Itzhak Nissan said: "I am proud to be President of Israel Aerospace Industries since year after year, IAI continues to play a prominent role in Israel and the world with its technological prowess, human resources, high-quality products, and proven experience."

  7. Disregard my Fri Apr 10, 05:56:00 PM EDT. This is a done deal.

  8. I've had it with the worthless sonsabitches. How we ever let ourselves get tied up with the backstabbing bastards ....

    Marshall told him. He told Truman we'd regret it for 100 years. He told him.

    Why in the hell do we still have Patriot Missile Batteries protecting the motherfuckers? So they can sneak in and tear them apart when we're not looking, and then sell THEM to the Chinese?

    Fucking Pricks.

  9. What kind of moneygrubbing cocksucker do you have to be to sell the very arms to your enemy that he's going to turn around and use to kill your own troops?

    What kind of a parasite on humanity are those fucking people?

  10. rufus...

    why not pull that hair out of your as a little?

    The USA sells BOTH sides of the arab israeli issue..

    In fact it's arming the Lebanese as we speak!

    How much of the entire mess in the middle east COULD have been prevented if LBJ just lived up to signed agreements in 1967?

    Smell the smell rufus... BHO is selling out Israel just as Bush had....

    Bush changed USA policy and called for an INDEPENDENT Palestinian state and called for it to be contiguous thus telling israel to cut it'sself into for peace...

    Israel SEES that the USA aint going to stop Iran

    Wanna bet that that drone deal DOESNT give Israel sa300 inside info?

    so rufus, take a deep breath and relax, Israel will be fighting a bloody battle for themselves that will also help the USA, like they have done in the past without any support from our great nation...

  11. What kind of a parasite on humanity are those fucking people?


  12. Same league of parasite as the NorKs, rufus, folks that would fire on a US Naval vessel in international waters.

    Same league of parasite as would employ spies to steal military secrets, from US, like Charlie Chicom.

  13. WiO makes a couple of good points. We have been arming both sides, forever. With an edge to Israel until now.

    And we are selling them out big time now.

    And they may well do what we should have done.

    Any, maybe there is a quid pro quo.

    We're giving $900 million to the Gazans, a real parasite on humanity, a real bunch of cocksuckers. The kind of people that strap bombs on their own kids.

    Anyway, I knew the Liberty and Pollard would come out of the woodwork.

  14. Why is the Belmont Club, Powerline, Drudge, Hugh Hewitt nor any of the major media stars not covering this story?

    Substitute this headline:

    "France to sell spy drones to the Russians"

    No country has done so much for so few as the US has for Israel. That is a fact. This is a slap in the face to American tax payers and the serving US military who will pay big time for this. It needs to be stopped.

  15. This is damning towards Pollard. The only credible defense that anyone ever came up with for Pollard was that it was justified in that he was after all only spying for Israel, a country that would never do us any harm. How can anyone believe that this will do us no harm?

    If any member of Nato did this, or Japan or Australia or Pakistan would you be so forgiving and uncritical. I doubt that. I don't want Israel pilloried. I want Israel to stop this outrage.

  16. Woman Jumps to Death Lands on Teen
    "He was sitting there minding his own business," Derrick's father, Ruben Munoz, told WPIX. "It was pretty shocking."

    77-year-old Woman dies trying to stop sword fight
    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A 77-year-old woman suffered a fatal stab wound while trying to break up a sword fight Thursday between her grandson and brother-in-law, police said.

  17. Not sayin' I like it.

    Aren't there French Exocet missiles all around the world? Don't like that either.

  18. GOP R.I.P.
    by John Batchelor
    April 10, 2009 | 5:49am

    GOP tombstone Conservative radio host John Batchelor says it’s obvious: His Republican Party is a corpse. And its response to the financial crisis reveals how and when it died.

    The Republican Party is dead like Lehman Brothers and Robert E. Lee, not to be revived by TARP, Rupert Murdoch, or a surge of feverish nationalism. The present financial collapse makes it plain to see that the Republican Party did not die recently at the hands of the clever Democrats, but rather in 1933 at the hands of cowards, sycophants, and snobs who regarded the awesome Democratic victories in 1930 and 1932 as a “smear” of Herbert Hoover and a “panic.” Since the Great Depression I, the Democrats have been the electorate’s default choice, the politicians who rule as if America was simultaneously a school district, a union hall, a junior-year-abroad seminar, and a PAC. The Republicans who pop up now and again thrive in the empty-quarter counties of the West or in the so-called Old South, which is better understood as Confederacy Lite.

    “GOP is a mummy-wrapped skeleton sitting in its own chilly mausoleum of bilious resentments and creepy sentimentality.”

    I am the son, grandson, and great-grandson of Hoosier Republicans who marched through Georgia with Sherman, endured jobs on the Pennsy, and then survived the Hitlerites from Omaha Beach to Berlin. My father is at Arlington now and would not at first be comfortable with my saying what he himself could see in his last years as he watched the Keystone State become solid blue. The Democrats win just because the Republicans have disqualified themselves as leaders with their greed, cruelty, and surprising clumsiness. From Herbert Hoover to Robert Taft, from the Bush clan to the ridiculous Tom DeLay, not one note of grace, not a convincing moment of understanding that the Republican Party is about honest liberty for honest, laboring people—not about Wall Street, the tax code, chasing Reds, or bullying the lonely.

    Vigilant Democrats worry today that the Republican Party is only playing possum, or that it can be revived by extraordinary means such as a Martian invasion. In fact, the GOP is a mummy-wrapped skeleton sitting in its own chilly mausoleum of bilious resentments and creepy sentimentality. What remains to call themselves Republicans are baldly badly educated or just prankish Confederate re-enactors—chubby men in gray and butternut suits with gold buttons and feather-tipped hats, clanking down stairs with shiny sabers. A handful of them are just boors from the South who look poorly on horseback and wave unread Bibles while calling for Billy Sunday to rise like the gold market.

    What about Ike and Richard Nixon and the worshipped California cowboy manqué Ronald Reagan? Not one of them cared a toothpick for the Republican Party of their time and each struggled mightily to remake it. Ike was indifferent to partisanship: His beating of the splenetic Robert Taft in 1952 for the nomination was the success of a conqueror over a sharpie. Nixon was a troubled, spiteful Quaker who despised the Republican Party as the “Eastern Establishment,” and who governed as a liberal Democrat with the apostasy of wage and price controls, the EPA, and embassies to the mass-murdering Mao and the hollow Brezhnev. Reagan was a right-wing Democrat from homespun Illinois who, after years of failing in Hollywood and then charming California, swamped Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale with the passionate votes of the Democratic Party. I have long suspected that the Kennedys voted for Reagan twice.

    What about 1994? Georgia’s Newt Gingrich (born Newton McPherson in Pennsylvania to teenaged parents whose father immediately scrammed) was a gifted opportunist and compulsive gabber who asserted before the 1994 election that “Clinton Democrats” were “the enemy of normal Americans.” Gingrich made other heated claims that left no Yankee Republican in doubt that this was a man who dreamed to be either Jeff Davis or his butler. The Gingrich-led takeover of the House, matched by the cranky Bob Dole’s suzerainty in the lifeless Senate, can now be regarded not as a Republican comeback but as a transitional blip in which the baby boomers and Gen Xers established a new leadership of the Democratic Party.

    As Speaker of the House, Gingrich wasted four years talking aimlessly about “normal Americans.” Then, after he failed against Bill Clinton with the silly ploy of using Monica Lewinsky and her Inspector Javert, Ken Starr, Gingrich fled to Fox TV to ramble harmlessly about “moral tone” and his enemies, “the very small counterculture elite.” Gingrich’s talking points have attracted imitators over the last decade, chiefly the Gingrich mini-me Karl Rove and Rove’s carny creation of George W. Bush.


  19. [...]

    There is much to explicate about Rove and Bush in the White House—their fearful temperament, their petty theories of governance, their inability to shoot straight so that, at firing at the lunatic bin Laden, they hit the cretin Saddam Hussein. But in terms of the death of the Republican Party, there is nothing original. The Rovian Bush midway was followed by the cartoon candidacy of John McCain, who spent months imitating both Popeye the Sailor and Sarah Palin’s Uncle Sam. That McCain didn’t claim to be more than an aviator, and that Palin didn’t claim to be more than a moose hunter, demonstrated that neither had need of, nor interest, in the Republican Party’s history or meaning.

    What about the Republican Party right now? Isn’t it on radio and TV claiming to be the party of fiscal responsibility and American power? Bypassing the stupidity of these claims, I am on radio, on what is called right-wing radio, and it is easy for me to see that my loudest colleagues, who compulsively repeat the cant of Conservatism for Dummies, are not sincere students of the Republican Party but rather barkers, hookers, establishmentarian jesters, cultists, and, in the worst instance, just thatch-headed whiners. Fox News is a parade of wet-eared Republican office holders, yet there is usually just one each allowed of the categories the Democrats own in multitudes: a Jewish-American, an Asian-American, an African-American, a Hispanic-American. Then there is the beauty pageant of fast-talking, rude Fox blondes—if they are not all the same woman in mood swings—who stridently mock the Democrats, yet have almost nothing to say about the Republicans, as if the party was a disappointing ex or mother’s latest beau.

    The party’s death 76 years ago was never more obvious than over the last six months of the financial crisis. The Democrats sensibly blamed the feckless, bootless Bush administration for the collapse of the markets. Tongue-tied Bush and dyspeptic Cheney defended themselves with grunts and sarcasm before they surrendered to Congress by sending out the plutocrat Hank Paulson with a plan called TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program). A breathing Republican Party would have brought out the flintlocks, boarded the windows, and settled down for a defense of the republic. Instead, the Republican leadership in the House and Senate rushed to grab the pork bribery and vote with the Democrats. John Boehner, Roy Blunt, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell, and Judd Gregg distinguished themselves as dhimmis and were later rewarded by the victorious Democrats by being granted parakeet cages for offices in the new Congress. The House Republicans now boasts that they voted a goose egg against the stimulus package, but this was just the twitching of the corpse. The truth about the House Republicans—cowards, sycophants, and snobs just like 1930’s lot—is illustrated by the fact that 85 of them voted for the ludicrous AIG bonus-confiscation bill written on the back of a parking ticket.

    The Republican Party’s death doesn’t really threaten anyone, and I puzzle why Democrats and independents who vote Democratic spend words and worry debating the look of the corpse. We few Republicans with long memories wander around the cemetery admiring the tombstones and enjoying the rain. I can hear you doubting that this could truly be the end. The final stage of grief is acceptance.

    John Batchelor is radio host of the John Batchelor Show in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

  20. I listened to John Batchelor now and again in NoVa, when finding myself driving around Friday nights - usually dropping off or picking up kids. Something about his voice in the darkened cocoon of the car...

    Anyway, who knew the man could write a little?

  21. » Scumbags Kill Marcus Luttrel’s Dog in TX

    HUNTSVILLE, Texas – A soldier honored for surviving the worst single-day loss of life in Navy SEAL history chased three men through three counties after suspecting they killed his dog.

    A Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman says Marcus Luttrell was involved in the high speed chase in the early morning of April 1 after finding his yellow Labrador shot outside his Huntsville home. Onalaska Police Department stopped the suspects.

    Luttrell was awarded the Navy Cross for combat heroism in 2006. He is the lone SEAL team member to survive a June 2005 firefight with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    The Walker County Sheriff's Department investigated the death of Luttrell's dog, Dasy. They charged Michael John Edmonds II, 21, and Alfonzo Hernandez, 24, with cruelty to a non-livestock animal. The driver of the vehicle was cited for not having a license.

  22. And I will say, lest Israel be put into a "bad ally" category all its own, that the French regularly steal our shit and are, in fact, better at it.

    What allies do to one another...the great untold story.

  23. It's almost hilarious. Even the pirates are giving Obumble the dirty finger.

    A few mother ships and dingies are holding off the Navy.

    And people are still grumbling about Bush.

  24. My favorite was when their help got our Stealth Fighter shot down.

  25. There is that corpse problem Batchelor writes about, tho, al-Bob.
    Can only kick a corpse so far down the road.

  26. "He is the lone SEAL team member to survive a June 2005 firefight with the Taliban in Afghanistan."

    I've always wondered what that Afghan tribe got in return. I'm sure the gift was generous and suitable.

  27. What allies do to one another...the great untold story.

    The story let's the repressed anitsemitism rise to the surface.

  28. Lone Survivor Marcus Luttrel's Theraputic Dog Killed By Thrill Seeking Perverts

    Marcus Luttrell’s dog was named Dasy; each letter in DASY represents his fallen seal team member’s names. He was given the dog during his recovery period after sustaining horrific wounds that none of us could ever imagine.

    Marcus Luttrell was awarded the “Navy Cross” and the “Purple Heart” for his heroic actions in Operation Red Wing.

  29. Obama may think this is a "distraction". The rest of the world sees it as a test. And so far Obama is flunking.

    Obumble and The Somali Pirates

    I'd think this is a perfect situation to see Billary's "smart diplomcy" do its work. The fate of the world doesn't hang in the balance, so she can put her wits to work without overwhelming pressure. We need some dramatic overture to the pirates, some thinking outside the box, as she says.

    Go Billary! Show your stuff!

    (maybe we could exchange Billary for the Captain, for starters)

  30. I don't think that all of it is antisemitism. It's an extremely high profile political relationship - I can't think of another that approaches its profile - that begs a lot of flak as a driver of policy.

    But they're not our pet - they are an ally because they are an effective counter to Iran. They have interests and aims of their own like any other country, and they're moving into national maturity.

    I wish them well.

  31. Whaddya wanna bet, Doug, that they get the maximum allowable under TX law?

  32. I wish them well too. The Israelis, not the pirates, though their stock is rising, they seem better organized than the Somali government, their morals don't seem all that much worse than the U.N.

  33. I must have missed something. I didn't see where it said that the Israelis were selling stolen, secret US technology to the Russians. WTH?! I seem to recall the news that the oil funded Russians were moving back into the middle east. I also remember reading that the Israelis were going to be making some diplomatic efforts that the US might not like. I can see how deals like this could be part of a larger plan for survival.

    It's growing harder and harder to tell exactly what's happening these days. I can tell you one thing that I suspect is and will be happening more so in the coming days; The smearing of Israel. I'm not saying that country is lilly white, of course not, but there is an effort emanating from the left to discredit Israel and undermine international support.

  34. Seems to me that some of our regular nightowls are up very early on a Saturday morning. What's up with that?

  35. The shipping companies are starting to put private contractors aboard. (And there was an indication of this wrt the Alabama.)

    Given the sheer area involved and the impossibility of policing it, it's probably the most efficient and cost effective means right now of protecting shipping cargo.

    We had some number of successful USN interventions there last winter (so you can quit yer bitchin about the French beating us to it) but it's a drop in the bucket given the sheer volume.

  36. What I don't get is why the Russians would want to buy some drones, or drone plans, or whatever it is.

    If you can launch an intercontinental missile, put up a space station, build intercontinental bombers, build good fighters, surely you can figure out how to build a small drone.

  37. I must have missed something. I didn't see where it said that the Israelis were selling stolen, secret US technology to the Russians.

    - whit

    I was thinking of Pollard and stealing plain and simple.

  38. I thought the John Batchelor article was extremely harsh...

    It was just a few years ago that the Dems were on their death beds, but look, they recovered. I agree though that the Republicans are in disarray and things look very bleak for them right now. Personally, I'm not that invested in the party although I suspect the country will be the worse for it if the Republicans fail.

  39. Whaddya wanna bet, Doug, that they get the maximum allowable under TX law?
    Yeah, nice that justice gets done halfway right SOMEWHERE in these "united" states.

  40. I'm off to breakfast with a young Captain visiting from Germany. He's a fixed wing Army pilot and will have tales of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

  41. "I can tell you one thing that I suspect..."

    Everyone's waiting for the Obama and Netanyahu show. I don't think there'll be anywhere near the drama anticipated. But I'm a contrarian at heart.

  42. In re Batchelor: He's saying that the death of the Republican Party occurred out of living memory, and that therefor the vast majority of Republicans mistake a mummified corpse for a living, breathing body.

  43. Limbaugh's dad suspected as much as he watched and commented on FDR's actions.
    ...sealing the Zombie's fate.

  44. Mummy's have that warm, fuzzy name.
    Hard not to like a Mummy.

  45. Yeah, nice that justice gets done halfway right SOMEWHERE in these "united" states.

    Sat Apr 11, 06:43:00 AM EDT

    The death penalty is probably not applicable.

    Some years ago - maybe 12-15 - an elderly man in a state I can't remember, lost his dog to a couple of teenage psychopaths who placed it in a plastic bag and set it on fire. And videotaped it.

    It was my misfortune to catch the first fifteen seconds of that videotape (just the pup scrambling around inside the bag, not a notion what was coming) on some news channel or another. I've never been able to forget it.

    The judge threw the book at the kids. Small consolation.

  46. 'Rat will come along soon to explain that dog abuse ain't no big thing.

  47. "It was my misfortune to catch the first fifteen seconds of that videotape "
    It was my misfortune to read Wretchard many years ago describing some punks that dragged a cat to death.

  48. It's kind of amazing, the way people look at things. Bear baiting is bad, so is putting cats in bags and lighting them afire. We wouldn't want the local pit bull to terrorized the local cats. But the greens want to reintroduce wolves that slaughter the elk. It's not a pleasant thing to watch. But it's ok, it nature's way, red in tooth and claw. A hunter's bullet in more humane, really.