“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."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Obama will not cede a strong defense to the Republicans

General George B. McClellan, fired by a previous President from Illinois.

Brits beware: Obama means business in Afghanista
Posted By: Con Coughlin at May 12, 2009 telegraph

Con Coughlin opines about the firing of General David McKiernan as a warning to the Western Alliance. It is also a warning to the Republican party that Obama will not be seen as weak on defense. We live in interesting times.


The summary dismissal of General David McKiernan, the American commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan, by American President Barack Obama will send shock waves throughout the entire Western alliance.

Gen McKiernan was removed from his post after Robert Gates, the U.S. Defence Secretary, concluded that American forces based in the country "can and must do better".

Mr Obama's decision to dismiss Gen McKiernan is a bold move, and suggests that the new American president is determined to make a success of the military campaign in Afghanistan.

If Iraq was President George W. Bush's war, Afghanistan is Obama's war, and the U.S. president is clearly determined that this military campaign does not suffer the same setbacks as American forces experienced in Iraq.

By the time next year's mid-term elections are held Mr Obama wants to be in a position to demonstrate that tangible progress is being made.

The timing of Gen McKiernan's removal is also significant, for a number of reasons. Mr Obama has already given his approval to a mini-surge strategy aimed at finally destroying the threat posed by the Taliban to Afghanistan's slow and painful transition to democratic government.

It will also send a warning to Downing Street, which has just refused to approve a request by British commanders to send extra combat troops to bolster the British force in Helmand province. Gordon Brown's failure to provide British commanders with the forces they need to do the job properly in Helmand means that they will now have to rely on the Americans to help them out, which will not exactly help to improve the transatlantic alliance.

There's no point Downing Street making a song and dance about being Washington's closest ally in the global campaign against Islamist terrorism if it does not deliver on its commitments, which now appears to be the case in Afghanistan.


  1. ...but his abandonment of the Bush policies that DID save lives, remains.

    Dick Cheney clearly made the case.

    People will not be impressed when innocents die as a direct result of BHO's concern for Jihadist Rights, and rejection of proven methods of interrogation.

  2. I'll be impressed when he replaces Holder with Ashcroft!

  3. Doug is likely to remain unimpressed.

  4. Don't MAKE me put on the pasties.

  5. Ha, you think I don't lust for the opportunity to spectate and speculate!

  6. Poison Photo-Drop-
    President Obama’s decision to release photographs of prisoner abuse will imperil our nation and its defenders.

    They are making that choice fully aware that it will cost lives. It is a sedulous Democrat talking-point, repeated most recently by Carl Levin, the Senate Armed Services chairman and a key Obama ally, that the revelations of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib inspired new terrorist recruits, caused American combat casualties, and made the United States more vulnerable to terrorist attack. This has long been Obama’s own position. It is a charge he made throughout the 2008 campaign, and it is one he repeated just a month ago in his Strasbourg speech: “When we saw what happened in Abu Ghraib, that wasn’t good for our security — that was a recruitment tool for terrorism. Humiliating people is never a good strategy to battle terrorism.”

    It was not by reading news reports about prisoner abuse that “we saw what happened at Abu Ghraib.” It was by viewing the graphic photos: the images broadcast incessantly throughout the world, used simultaneously by al-Qaeda and by the anti-war Left to condemn the United States military, the United States government, and the American people themselves for the aberrational depravity of an unrepresentative handful of rogue prison guards. Obama has always been very much a part of the anti-war Left. That’s why he can make the risible assertion that “humiliating people” was anyone’s “strategy to battle terrorism.” That is why he said at a CNN campaign forum last June that “Abu Ghraib is something that all of us should be ashamed for, even if you were supportive of a war.”

    Obama doesn’t have the political nerve to end the war. But he is slowly (or, as he’d no doubt put it, pragmatically) strangling the war effort. A critical part of the antiwar project is to make Americans feel ashamed of defending ourselves, inducing us to accept the European view that actions taken in our defense — even those that have protected us from additional jihadist strikes — tarnish our image, stir our enemies, and put us in grave danger. Better to go back to seeing terrorism as a law-enforcement concern, this theory holds, and accept the occasional terrorist strike as a cost of managing, rather than fighting, this scourge.

    What we lose in dead Americans, the argument goes, will be more than compensated for in increased international prestige — if not for the United States, at least for Barack Obama.
    Discrediting the war effort itself is what the release of these photos is about.

  7. The downside risk of recent events (not the switching of generals) is that many in the region will see the Pakistani fight as further evidence of that regime being simply a tool of a foreign imperial power trying to dominate the region. Didn't most here agree that there is no military solution? With Obama making Afghanistan his war and the military solution not really being a probable option the long term outcome could be uglier than the present. Is our prime hope really pinned on a Military win by the Paki's coupled with spec ops driving the locals into our warm embrace?

  8. Meanwhile, back in Iraq, the simmering ethnic tensions don't seem to have been resolved. As we draw down will the Shiites managed to dominate the Sunni (simplistic I know)? I don't see much reconciliation happening at the political level...

  9. "Is our prime hope really pinned on a Military win by the Paki's coupled with spec ops driving the locals into our warm embrace?"
    Good question, Mr. Ember.
    We await Madam Trish's reply, delivered straight, or outfitted in/political pasties.

  10. Or would you prefer coconut shells, maybe?

  11. "Is our prime hope really pinned on two Hooters Bogota t-shirts out there somewhere?"


  12. "You're shitting me, right?"


  13. No, don't think you are shitting us as that seems to be where we are heading and the policy underlying the recent changes. The problem though resides in the the *accepted*?? wisdom that there isn't a military solution to what is ultimately a political problem. We seem to be ensnared in a second Chinese finger trap. It will be interesting to see our reaction to Iraq if violence does indeed flare as we pull out. Will we ramp up there to quench the flames or let 'em burn?

  14. Ash, pleasepleaseplease take it somewhere else.

  15. Why? They seem like valid questions, no? Is the long term strategy fatally flawed? It seems you pin a lot of faith on the military solution to solve what appears to be long entrenched social problems. What is the best way to help them to enlightenment? Would our defense be better served by a different strategy than being in country?

  16. "They seem like valid questions, no?"

    No, not coming from you.

  17. Take Vietnam as an example. Did Vietnam advance more when our military was in country or since then? Were the advancements in Vietnam post conflict a function of the the conflict? If so was their advancement worth the blood and treasure lost?

  18. Why is my posing such questions a problem for you?

  19. Because it's Tuesday.

    Perhaps Rat can entertain you.

  20. I'm not looking for entertainment but rather a reason to support the direction Obama and the US are going. It appears fatally flawed but appearances, of course, can be deceiving. You seem to be operating on faith but that is not going to convince many others.

  21. As luck would have it, my job is not to convince many others.

    There are those whose job that is.

  22. Ash, your points are valid. All "Westy" ever needed to "Win" in Vietnam was 100,000 More Troops (from whatever level we were at at the present.)

    More troops Will NOT win Afghanistan. Only Pakistan can "Win" Afghanistan.

    There was NEVER A DAY that we could "Win" in Vietnam short of taking NORTH VIETNAM. 500,000 Troops in Afghanistan can't beat the Taliban if Pakistan doesn't Control the Northwest Territories. And, I do mean, CONTROL.

  23. First they came for the chickens, and I did nothing, for I had not chickens...then they came for the pigs...

    Urban chicken movement taking roost in KC area
    But precedent isn’t on Crupper’s side. Four years ago, another Overland Park family tried to get such a permit. By a vote of 7-5, the City Council wouldn’t allow it.


    “Wanting eggs is not unique,” he said. “It’s not a good idea to have chickens in a suburban area under normal circumstances

    When chickens are outlawed, only outlaws will have chickens!

    Update: Joe Bob Feeny, house counsel for Tyson Foods, offered the opinion that the suburban chicken movement is in clear violation of the Commerce Clause. He was politely told his amicus brief was premature, triggering counter charges of meddling in process by Supreme Court clerks.

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. heh, urban/suburban chickens.

    What goes around comes around I quess.

    I chuckle, cause when I grew up here all the farmers had chickens clucking around the farm house.

    Not so, now.

    Easier to buy the eggs at Albertsons.

    And, there's Kentucky Fried Chicken right over there.

    If a man wants to raise a couple chickens in his back yard, what business is it of mine?

    It will certainly provoke a fight before the local city council, and the local reporter will write the story up for the newspaper.

    And the chickens will come home to roost.

  26. A bunch of pigs in the backyard might start a neighborhood brawl however.

    Armed urban settlers facing one another down.

    heh, got to love it.

  27. Chickens belong in cans, not suburbs.

    trish has faith that the 'boys' will not make fools of themselves, not that they will gain victory over the forces of darkeness.

    Where Bush would not fire General Casey, dispite his blatant incompetence to manage his mission or control the battlespace, Obama did not listen to the excuses, but went to the most action oriented Commander on the Team. Though he is also sending along a monitor/direct line to Mr Gates, in the new Deputy Commander, General Rodriguez.

    General Casey could not even keep pace with the lexicon of the war, denying the insurgency was an insurgency. Making utter fools of all those that argued for the Team's position.

    To argue that the Sunni Tribes of Anbar were not insurgents, within Iraq, an oximoronic arguement to make.

    Some here made it, "for the Team".

    Not any longer.

  28. Fire Fight Erupts

    AP--Spokane, Washington

    Two citizens died today when gunfire shattered the peace of a local neighborhood.....

  29. wi"o" gated village squaring off against the hordes of Habuistas.

  30. Ash, kindly drop the use of the words 'imperial power' when referencing our behavior in Afghanistan.

    You will recall we didn't give a shit about the god forsaken place after the Russians left, until 9/11.

  31. "There was NEVER A DAY that we could "Win" in Vietnam short of taking NORTH VIETNAM. 500,000 Troops in Afghanistan can't beat the Taliban if Pakistan doesn't Control the Northwest Territories. And, I do mean, CONTROL."
    - Rufus
    We got the whole brain trust, INCLUDING Ash, arrayed against...
    The pasties may be the only way to get our attention, Trish,
    ...then you gotta say something to defend your position!

  32. bobal, I wrote:

    "The downside risk of recent events (not the switching of generals) is that many in the region will see the Pakistani fight as further evidence of that regime being simply a tool of a foreign imperial power trying to dominate the region."

    Note the "many in the region will see". I am not trying to argue, at this moment anyway, that the US is an imperial power, but rather the locals may very well view it that way and the Pakistani government as the tool of the foreigners thus driving them into the warm *cough* *cough* embrace of the Taliban.

  33. A woman with coconut shells on her breasts doesn't have to say anything to attract attention, al-Doug.

  34. Jeeze, somehow I missed the Imperial.
    ...rather have a 55 300-C Hemi, anyhoo.

  35. I was talking Obama-Biden Button Pasties, Ash.
    ...I never cared for shells, either.
    Amazing, the congruence/confluence @ the Bar, these days!

  36. Damn:
    Haste makes waste~!
    You're a Half-Shell man, aye-Bobal?\

  37. Breasts in a half-shell.
    Less than stellar attraction for me.

  38. Plus,
    There's that jarring contrast between the solid, unyielding shell versus...
    ...not that I have a fetish, or anything like that, you understand...

  39. 5. UN Security Council: New Arab State Urgently Needed-

    by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

    The United Nations Security Council issued a statement Monday calling for the creation of a new Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza and the cessation of Jewish development in those same areas. Israel rejected the involvement of the Security Council in what it sees as a bilateral issue.

    The declaration, affirmed by 15 member states, was presented by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Russia currently chairs the Council


    Rat bait.

  40. ...that's what I loved about the Hippy Chick days:
    No Bras, Bro!

  41. Damn,
    I thot Nissan was gonna start making MedevedMobiles, for a minute, there.

  42. ...back to them hippy chicks......

  43. Like The Dude,
    Hippy Chicks abide...

  44. Hell, I'd even take some pit-hair if she looked like Sonia.

  45. ...all this to try to lure Trish back in her buttons.
    Plus, I'm interested in her optimism wrt Pak/Iraq.

  46. Now you know why I never waste my time fly-fishin, al-Bob!

  47. I'm not looking for entertainment but rather a reason to support the direction Obama and the US are going.You voted for the dude, Ash, he's your guy.

    Now just get in line, and mumble the current phrases of praises.

  48. Don't think too lightly of fishing, al-Doug!

  49. ...In her comments to the Council, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice added: "This is a moment that should not be lost and that is why the United States and others are redoubling our efforts to achieve a lasting two-state solution."


  50. I predicted he would win and I thought he was the best candidate. That being said I still have problems with the foreign policy amongst other policies.


    re Israel - The reason many of us have reservations about the Israelis is they do have a tendency to expand their territory. WiO and others yelp about how bad the Palis are and how small Israel's space is but that doesn't negate their expansionist policies or the discrimination as well. A recent example is described in this NY Times article:

    Parks Fortify Israel’s Claim to Jerusalem

    "JERUSALEM — Israel is quietly carrying out a $100 million, multiyear development plan in some of the most significant religious and national heritage sites just outside the walled Old City here as part of an effort to strengthen the status of Jerusalem as its capital."

  51. and the next paragraph in the article:

    "The plan, parts of which have been outsourced to a private group that is simultaneously buying up Palestinian property for Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem, has drawn almost no public or international scrutiny. However, certain elements related to it — the threatened destruction of unauthorized Palestinian housing in the redevelopment areas, for example — have brought widespread condemnation."

  52. This is a moment that should not be lostYep, not a moment to lose, not a moment to waste, in selling out Israel.

  53. 18 May. Bibi meets Barry, each taking the measure of the other.

    Probably a waste of time?

    The dance continues.

  54. Why not see it as an expansion of women's rights, Ash.

    You are big on women's rights.

    Your friends the Paleos don't think much of women's rights.

    They basically beat 'em up and shit.

    How is it that you, who love and respect women, wouldn't find a little satisfaction in the extension of women's rights?

    Why back the establishment of a state where 50% of the citizens are thought of, and treated, as less than fully human?

  55. Ash is for the establishment of a 'state' where women are treated like dogs.

  56. Ash: Parks Fortify Israel’s Claim to Jerusalem

    ...As part of the plan, garbage dumps and wastelands are being cleared and turned into lush gardens and parks, now already accessible to visitors who can walk along new footpaths and take in the majestic views, along with new signs and displays that point out significant points of Jewish history.

    The parts of the city that are being developed were captured in the 1967 Middle East war, but their annexation by Israel was never recognized abroad


    Sounds like the kind of urban renewal that's needed in and around Pali neighborhoods.

    I also note the property is being bought and paid for.

    I thought Progressives favored parks, Ash.

  57. ...“The government will continue to develop Jerusalem, development that will benefit all of Jerusalem’s diverse population and respect the different faiths and communities that together make Jerusalem such a special city.”

    From Ash's link.

    A far cry from the desecration of religious shrines practiced by the goat fuckers.

  58. More from Ash's link:

    ...Israeli officials point out that when East Jerusalem was in Jordanian hands from 1949 to 1967, dozens of synagogues in the Jewish Quarter were destroyed, Jewish graves were desecrated and Jewish authorities were largely denied access to the Western Wall or other shrines. By contrast, in Jerusalem today Muslim and Christian authorities administer their holy sites in a complex power arrangement under Israeli control.

  59. It's an intractible problem for sure. If there was an easy solution it would have already happened. They'll probably get their 'state'. Not that they deserve it. The Jordanians, Egyptians, they don't want them. They are the relative nobody wants around. Yet, there they are, breeding, bombing, begging.

    The thought of it makes me darn glad I was lucky enough to be born in America.

  60. Another reason, Bob. At least fot awhile.

    When chickens are outlawed...


    Because, unbelievably, Cartwright had previously been served with an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO)—a civil order that is used to control the minutiae of British people’s behaviour—that forbade her from making “excessive noise during sex” anywhere in England.

    Local magistrates’ courts issue the orders, sometimes on the basis of hearsay evidence (which is permissible in “ASBO cases”). In short, the applicant for an ASBO does not have to go through the normal rigors of the criminal justice system in order to get a civil ruling preventing someone he doesn’t like from doing something that he finds “alarming” or “dangerous.” Once you have been branded with an ASBO, if you break its conditions—by having noisy sex in your own home, for example—you are potentially guilty of a crime and can be imprisoned

    Might put the kybosh on EB bar fights in Merrye Olde England, it would appear. Or would it?

    Via Reason: h/t Coyote

  61. You've been warned, Doug, should you ever take Sonia to Merrye Olde Englande.

    The listeners...they're out there...

  62. Ash, in these modern enlightened times, you who favor giving terrorists their Miranda rights, how can you back establishing a 'state' where women will be at the back of, if not under, the bus?

    Sharia Law In Gaza--

    Crucifixtion of Christians, Ash.

  63. Coyote continues:

    And for those smug enough to think this will never happen in the US, just look on college campuses today, where a number of universities are coming awfully close to creating a right not to be offended, and allowing students to define crime as anything that offends them. And it almost goes without saying that such standards tend to be enforced unevenly, depending on the ideology of those who happen to be in charge.

  64. So we come a full circle, where Ash, who lays claim to be the most enlightened among us, is in favor of Sharia Law and the crucifixion of Christians in Gaza.

  65. When Palestinian voters elected Hamas in 2006, organization spokesman Hamed Bitawi declared: “The Quran is our constitution, Muhammad is our prophet, jihad is our path, and dying as martyrs for the sake of Allah is our biggest wish.”

  66. I remember George Bush saying at the time, "Well, they had a good turnout."


  67. Bobby L:

    From Wikipedia: Linda Sanchez introduced the “Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act,” H.R. 1966, a bill which would criminalize the use of electronic communications if “the intent is to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person.”

    Buh-bye First Amendment!
    May 12, 2009, 8:39 am

    H.R.1966Sec. 881. Cyberbullying

    `(a) Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated, and hostile behavior, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.


    Linda Sanchez, SoCal Democrat if memory serves me.

    Sister of Loretta Sanchez. Two whirled peas from the same pod.

  68. We're all guilty under that act, so it would seem.

    The good news is I might be able to sue Ash for causing me emotional distress.

  69. We might be safe for the moment, Bob. If Ash and Mat stay in Canada.

    I wonder if this is an extraditable offense?

  70. Jeeze, somehow I missed the Imperial.
    ...rather have a 55 300-C Hemi, anyhoo

    First time I ever rode in a car over 100 mph. On Route 2 along the scenic Rock River. Maybe it was a DeSoto Adventurer. Friend's brother got it up to 130 as I recall. Gripping experience. More ways than one, for those who might know Route 2.

  71. It just marches along, with both sides of the intractable problem not giving an inch.

    Which is why it is no longer, if it ever was, a bi-lateral challenge.

    The cure is to remove both groups from the control position, neither getting a "leg up" in a biased legal atmosphere, based upon a preponderance of force.

    The SOP for Conflict Resolution, is clear as to the course forward. The UN vote simply another consolidation of whirled opinion.

    The Coalition is growing.I know that wi"o" touts the Israeli military abilities and logisical strength, but as I recall, the Israeli were using just in time inventory management, with regards the arty rounds they were firing, at targets in lebanon. When Ms Rice cut the flow of munitions, the artillery went silent.

    During the Gaza engagement, the US shipped the equivilent in munitions tonnage to Israel, as the Israeli expended.
    Another indication of just in time inventory management.

    May be that the Israeli have s stash of ammo that they are not willing to expend in the Palistinian and Lebanese theaters, just for the show.

    But it is clear that without US munition shipments, the Israeli military would not be able to fight the way it has trained.

  72. Linear, I've been doing some heavy thinking.

    We might be able to file a class action suit against Ash, for the intentional infliction of emotional distress on us all.

    While the lawyers would get a third, it would end his golfing days, and force him to sell his sailing boat to defend himself.

  73. The First Amendment went bye-bye with McCain/Feingold.

    You can see it, in the rearview mirror, crusin' what's left of Rte 66.

    Sounds like Linda Sanchez is trying to outlaw yelling "Fire" in a theater.
    Or habu using the Bar's forum to threaten to shoot trish's daughter.

    Which may already be illegal, if one was going to press the point, but may not be, depending upon the prosecutor. They are a varied breed of cat, prosectors.

  74. See what your nice Jewish lawyer friend will charge, Bob.

  75. Thinking a little less humorously about this, I doubt any move to control the internet will get much traction.

    Too many people on both sides of all issues like to be able to spout off.

    And call names and such.

    I think it's a very good thing, all these blogs.

    I just don't see the support to rein it in.

    Rat is right of course.

    We should be polite when we argue.

  76. See what your nice Jewish lawyer friend will charge, Bob.I already know.



  77. From one Major General to two Lieutenant Generals.
    From two stars to six.

  78. Rat:

    The Coalition is growing.I know that wi"o" touts the Israeli military abilities and logisical strength, but as I recall, the Israeli were using just in time inventory management, with regards the arty rounds they were firing, at targets in lebanon. When Ms Rice cut the flow of munitions, the artillery went silent.

    During the Gaza engagement, the US shipped the equivilent in munitions tonnage to Israel, as the Israeli expended.
    Another indication of just in time inventory management.

    May be that the Israeli have s stash of ammo that they are not willing to expend in the Palistinian and Lebanese theaters, just for the show.

    But it is clear that without US munition shipments, the Israeli military would not be able to fight the way it has trained.

    Rat you are correct that certain types of ammo are supplied by the USA

    If boxed into a corner for survival Israel could use far fewer rounds to preserve supply and just drop a few very large single rounds...

    these single rounds, of course, turn southern lebanon into glass...

    3 is all it would take for lebanon, one for damascus and about 10 for Iran...

    yep, single round ammo...

    can do the job if it's the right caliber or megaton..

  79. ash
    and the next paragraph in the article:

    "The plan, parts of which have been outsourced to a private group that is simultaneously buying up Palestinian property for Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem, has drawn almost no public or international scrutiny.

    How dare Jews BUY land...

    How dare they NOT seek approval to buy land in Jerusalem...

    what f*cking THIEVES...

    BUYING land without seeking approval...

    next thing you will demand that women can vote and n*ggers should be allow to be a full citizen...

    oh well...

    women can vote and blacks can be prez, but JEWS should not be able to BUY lands STOLEN from them by squatting arabs.....

    yep sounds about right...

  80. First--and only--time I did over a hundred was in Nevada, heading to Vegas, in daddy's old Cadillac, which I bought from him, and repainted.

    I opened her up on that straight stretch, a little worried about the tires, but, she did fine.

    I don't think I even broke any laws at the time. I don't think there was any speed limit then.

  81. Well. wi"o", the problem is that the Palistinians do not, in most cases, hold title to the land, due to the ever changing soverignty of the locale.

    Now if there are Palistinians that are sellin' quit claim deeds, they're basicly worthless, except as propaganda points.

    You are arguing "right and wrong" wi"o", for balance and objectivity, from your perspective.
    Which is fine, but not to the point.
    You claim Israel is acting legally but reject the International Courts, the Geneva Accords and US Government findings, that Israel is acting illegally.

    Stating those findings are without jurisdiction, that only Israeli, not Palistinian, Egyptian, Lebanese, Jordanian or International body can claim jurisdiction in the disputes.

    This will end, one way or another.

    Right and wrong is not in the scale, political power and the free flow of oil is.

  82. an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO)—a civil order that is used to control the minutiae of British people’s behaviour—that forbade her from making “excessive noise during sex” anywhere in England.--

    Well that should put the old kaboosh on al-Doug and Sonia for sure, if adopted here in the Land of the Free Sex Movemnet.

  83. rat: You are arguing "right and wrong" wi"o", for balance and objectivity, from your perspective.
    Which is fine, but not to the point.
    You claim Israel is acting legally but reject the International Courts, the Geneva Accords and US Government findings, that Israel is acting illegally.

    One thing has NOTHING to do with another...

    Legal title to lands that Jews are BUYING from those that hold title (under jordanian or ottoman times) IS LEGAL and binding...

    Other issues that you dangle should be taken ONE at a time and trashed respectively....

    BUT the POINT that ASH was making that Jews are sneaking that they ACTUALLY PURCHASE lands from the BUYER without anyone approving whether Jews should be allowed to own lands ANYWHERE..

    I love the double standard...

    Arabs are allowed to steal lands and that's ok..

    Jews buy land using 3rd parties and PAY for it and it's a crime because JEWS bought it...

    that's the issue..

    Har Homa comes to mind... Jews BOUGHT the lands, legally and then the arabs got their panties in a knot because it was JEWS that bought it...

    in the last 10 years at least 12 arabs have been executed for selling lands to Jews by their peace loving brothers, the palestinians...

    stick to ONE issue and try not to bait and switch

  84. For my part, I notice the Christians have been run out of Bethlehem by the muzzies.

    Long Live Israel.

  85. Ms Powers and the Conflict Resolution expert were all on Team Obama, well before he was elected.

    Her writings were often quoted, here and elsewhere. The CR fellow came to the fore right before 20Jan06, but was no newbie to the Team.

    Team Obama will give Bibi terms, maybe this trip, but more likely next, then we'll see what happens.

    Move toward internationalizing the area, which is smaller than Maricopa County, AZ.

  86. Trish was right, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

    Chortling about the selling out of Israel, as you do.


  87. Because the Palistinians do not recongnize the title that the sellers are transfering, but the Israeli courts do.

    The sellers are under duress of a 40 year occupation, from the Palistinian persepective the transfers are illegal.

    Their penalty draconian, which is why they cannot be left in charge, either.

    The Conflict Resolution Standard IMPOSES a settlement. That is the Operating Procedure.

    It imposes the Geneva Accords Standard.

    On all sides.
    After WWII millions of ethnic Germans were forced to migrate out of Eastern Europe, where their forebears had lived for hundreds of years.

    To ensure a lasting peace.

    Forced relocations would not be out of the question, using the Conflict Resolution SOP.

    Based upon the findings of an International Court of what was in the whirled's best interests.

  88. BHO said Sonia and I gotta turn Gay, al-Bob:
    New Federal Quota after The One saved 2 Trillion on Health Care.

  89. Meet Sir Schadenfreude, al-Bob!

  90. Gay, straight, just keep the noise level down.

    That's all the new legal code is asking.

  91. The Israeli psition deserves a combination of "chuckle and snort".

    As much as General Casey's assertion that the Sunni militia men were not insurgents did.

    I've read some of the US documentation, bob, that Mr Mitchell and Team America put together. It is damning, from a liberal societies perspective.

    And that is the perspective that now holds sway. Here, there, everywhere that matters.

    The title issue is a reality. The Palis claim both duress, which is evident, and the lack of the sellers having what you'd describe as a "clear title".

    The Israeli accept the title as "Clear", with their Courts holding jurisdiction, not the Palistinian Courts, if there even are such things.

  92. It's all bs, Rat.

    When the Jews started to come back in a big way over 100 years ago, the whole place was a mess. They created jobs, and, alas, the desert bunnies flowed in for the jobs.

    You want to argue minutiae, when any fool would have no problem choosing between the two sides.

    Would you rather live in Gaza, or Tel Aviv.


  93. Team Obama will give Bibi terms, maybe this trip, but more likely next, then we'll see what happens.

    Another perspective seen the other day went something like "...the MIT graduate and former commando meets the glib Harvard Law grad to take his measure."

    We'll see on 18 May.

  94. In Gaza, with its Sharia Law, and the oppression of women.

    My ass.

  95. Tel Aviv, bob, no doubt.

    But that is not a factor in the decision making. Not for US, anyway.

    Ms Powers set the stage, Mr Obama made his position clear, before the election. The Israeli would "take the deal, or they'd be nuts".

    Nuts can be viewed in a number of ways, but none would be advantagous to the Israeli, vis a vie their position with the Federals.

    If you really want to see Haifa and the rest of Israel, bob, I'd not put the trip off for to long.

    Especially if, as wi"o" predicts, the Israeli attack Iran. Then the internationalization of the Levant would be assured.

    There'd be major turmoil, guarenteed

  96. I'd love to go to Israel, and would be proud to have Mat squire me about, but I have a family, and some immediate plans, which come first. So it may not work out, though I wish it would.

    If I should win the lottery, the first thing I will do is buy you a one way ticket to Gaza.

  97. Same kind of climate as Phoenix, you might like it.

  98. The Palistiniani are suffering from societal insanity. No argument there, either.

    Which is why they should not, really cannot, become a soveriegn entity. They are not capable.
    But the Israeli are not capable of managing the Pali insanity, either.

    The Turks, a NATO ally, have historical precedent in the region, while removing Islamic victimhood from the Pali propaganda inventory.

    The unforeseen consequences of an Israeli strike on Iran, one sufficent to stop it's muclear program, are not unforeseeable, at all.

  99. That statement makes a lot of sense. I can't see how to disagree with any of that.

  100. Wouldn't use it, bob.

    No desire to visit the desert.
    Urban or rural.

    Rather go see Machu Picchu, than Bethelham. Or go to Xian, to see the terra cotta army. As well as modern China, first hand.

  101. The Palistiniani are suffering from societal insanityNo shit.

    This makes them hard to deal with.

  102. A real estate lady I had some dealings with went to Machu Picchu--

    Said the whole trip was a great time.

    It may have been kind of a resort for some royalty of the day.

    But the history or it is a little mysterious.

  103. In the contest in Eastern Europe among Russia, Hungary and Azerbaijan for two seats, for example, Hungary trounced Azerbaijan with 131 votes to 89. Azerbaijan has a lengthy record of repression, human rights groups said.

    Superpowers like Russia generally attract large majorities, and it got 146 votes.

    Others elected to the council on Tuesday were Bangladesh, Djibouti, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritius, Mexico, Nigeria, Senegal and Uruguay.
    Vote at the UN

  104. I want to go to Alaska, and see northern Canada too.

    And have Sam show me Australia.

    So many dreams, so little money, and the time runs out of the hour glass :(

  105. “We have not been perfect ourselves,” said Susan E. Rice, the American ambassador, after the United States got 167 votes out of 192. “But we intend to lead based on the strong principled vision that the American people have about respecting human rights, supporting democracy.

    The US leading in the vote getting, Mr Obama being a uniter, not a divider, on the whirled stage.

    The ultimate theater of operations!

    Team America!!
    Fuck Yeah!!!

  106. Palmer sounds like it might be a nice place to visit.

    The railroad tracks that split Palmer were laid nearly a century ago to reach coal fields near Sutton where miners dug out fuel used to power U.S. warships. At the time Palmer was little more than a cluster of scattered homesteads.


    The idea behind ripping out the rails is to create a more attractive greenbelt through town with more of a park-like feeling.


    With renewed interest in coal mines in Sutton, some people have speculated that the rails will be needed commercially once again. The tracks are virtually nonexistent north of Arctic Avenue, however, and the railroad has granted the city and the borough permission to build a trail along the now inactive rail bed that runs from Arctic Avenue to Sutton.
    City Greenbelt

  107. I'm gonna give this another shot, Bob.

    I've got some more relatives in Coeur d'Alene you might know.

    Last names:


  108. My mom's done the cruise a couple times up the inside passage.

    I worked on a fish processor for awhile after high school cruising up and down the inside passage.

    Very nice.

  109. My youngest brother was a crabber for 3 years in the Bering Sea.

    You know the Discovery program?

    That's him.

  110. Nope, I come up blank on that, Sam.

    My wife knew a few folks around Post Falls when she taught there, but I don't know any in Coeur d'Alene.

    Give me a Moscow name, I might well know them.

    I know almost all the old farmers, for instance.

  111. Unca Jerry took that inside passage to Alaska, before God took him with Alzheimers. Said it was great.

    He was a camera fan, like I'm getting to be.

    He'd take pictures of all sorts of stuff, and show them off.

  112. Nobody in Moscow.

    Had an old relative in Clarkston. She died in the early 80's, I believe.

    Last name Hughes.

  113. Nope. That rings no bell either.

    Well, we're all related, come what may, in some way, so they say. :)

  114. In the last few weeks, I've gotten to know better than I did before a very strict Republican, Mrs. ___ my next door neighbor.

    She is very nice, and when we had a dog some years ago she was always bringing bones over for the pooch.

    Her husband finally died, and, just between you and me, I think she gave a big sigh of relief.

    Anyways she's very nice, good Catholic lady, from a big family, had a sis that was a nun up at the Cottonwood Convent, and she's the only one left now, all the others have died.

    She works with her flowers, and her garden, and watches over my place.

    I think there is some real truth in just a normal 'Christian' life.

    She's fun to be around, and I look out for her place, and she looks out for mine.

    Mutual support. Nothing wrong in that.

  115. I know almost all the old farmers, for instance.

    Ever come across a family named Tweedt, Bob? Or, maybe it's spelled Tweet.

  116. Nope.




    Clydes (the best of all)







    And, many another.

    There was a black farmer a little south and east of Tensed, Idaho that did really well, but can't recall the name just now.

    Never met him, but he was kind of famous around here.

  117. Thinking about my bro' now.

    He tells of a story out in the middle of the Bering. Radio antenna breaks way up on top of the tallest mast. Way, way up thataway. Nobody else in the crew wanted to fix it. One of the crew says, send the kid up. My bro', all of 18 years. Didn't bat an eye. Was all for it. Grabs a couple tools. Scrambles up, up, and up like a monkey. Hanging on with one hand. Working the tools with the other. Boat bobbing and pitching on the rough Bering.

    He fixes it and scrambles back down.

  118. Must be in the Blue or Snowy Mountains, Linear. Both those ranges border New South Wales and Victoria. Lots of snow up there. Every year.

  119. Wow, Sam.

    Tale of your brother.

  120. Yeah, no kidding.

    Brought home a video from one trip. Another trawler sinking. All the other trawlers in the area, including his, got the sos and responded. They got there just as she was going down. Crew of the sinking launching life rafts. Jumping from the trawler into the rafts. Other trawlers picking them up. Everyone made it out.

    He's got the whole thing on video. They were right up next to it as she was going down.

  121. Really weird to watch. Watch that trawler going down. Slowly, slowly. Then the last of her just slipping quietly below the surface.


  122. Few elections in India have been fought over a pan-national issue. Fewer still on international ones.


    Compared with previous elections the colour and drama normally associated with Tamil Nadu is definitely missing this time round.


    But Tamil Nadu is the only state where people have ethnic links with Sri Lankan Tamils.
    Tamil Nadu Poll

  123. But the deficit in the services account, including payments in transport and tourism, was reduced to 2,172.9 billion yen from 2,596.0 billion yen in fiscal 2007, falling for the first time in three years, partly because a sharp rise in fuel surcharges discouraged Japanese from traveling overseas.

    The income surplus narrowed for the first time in six years to 14,559.3 billion yen, compared with 16,754.4 billion yen in the previous fiscal year, with returns received by Japanese firms and individuals from overseas investment declining.

    The current account balance is the difference between a country's income from foreign sources and foreign obligations payable, excluding net capital investment.
    Jap CAS Falls

  124. One way to maintain the facade of security when security is taking it in the shorts:

    Gates had all the highest level Generals sign a non-disclosure pledge, which completely ignores Congresses oversight function, which requires that when officers testify before them, they be completely candid and cannot be constrained by political influence.

    Unprecedented, but what isn't, these days?

  125. As Pakistan steps up its military offensive against the Taliban, the Obama Administration says a secure and stable Pakistan is vital to US security interests.


    Pakistan's military action is earning praise from the United States.


    Mr Holbrooke has also defended the increase of US troops in Afghanistan.
    Stable Pakistan

  126. We can win in Afghanistan - if by winning you mean achieve some outcome that's worth continuing the effort a few more years. If you mean turn Afghanistan into a self-supporting state, from which we can withdraw the majority of our troops in peace - attain the sort of clear closure that most people are looking for, then almost certainly not. We can also yet face a fairly catastrophic situation.

    The worst thing about Afghanistan (and Iraq) is how little control we actually have over events in either country, contrary to the conceits of the control freaks and self-perceived Masters of the Universe in Washington. The Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis, the regional gang, a veritable who's who's of national success stories, mind you, are pretty much taking us for a drive.

  127. Somewhat similar to wagering the future of your country on the continued stability and prosperity of Mexico, I guess. Could possibly turn out well on the end, but probably not a good place to be in considering the stakes, particularly if you had a choice in the matter.

  128. U.S. forces confirmed the attack, saying four Afghan security guards were killed in the blast and 12 wounded.

    "We don't know how many local nationals were wounded or killed," said Lt. Cmdr. Christine Sidenstricker, a U.S. military spokeswoman. There were no casualties among international troops, she said.

    The attack comes a day after 11 Taliban suicide bombers struck government buildings in Khost city, sparking running gunbattles with U.S. and Afghan forces that killed 20 people and wounded three Americans.
    Bomb Kills 6

  129. I'm a little more optimistic than, say, Rufus. But don't have much to base it on other than we have a good military.

    Also, the Republicans won't be undercutting Obama every single day like Democrats always seem to do when they are out of power. Always undercutting Bush endlessly.

    If I was boss I'd keep the major effort on making Iraq a workable state.

    Save Afghanistan for testing weapons systems, like Rufus says.

    Pakistan? jeeze, I have no idea.

    Listen to the sanest generals I quess.

  130. The Republicans have undercut Obama at ever opportunity, bob.

    There has not been a Yea vote from a single one of them, on anything that mattered.

    Which is their right, but not to be confused with support for the President or his policies.

    The spokesman for the GOP, Rush Limbausgh, actively promotes the failure of US policies, while Mr Cheney, the other GOP spokesman actively undercuts the US position, with every public statement he makes.

  131. They haven't undercut him on foreign affairs.

    They have bitched, pissed and moaned on the domestic agenda, as they should do.

    They haven't voted against funding the military.

    If I'm wrong, show me.

  132. And I hope to Christ they should oppose him on the domestic stuff.

  133. I'm going to bed. But thanks, to all you Libertarians.

    O you so pure pure pure.

    A few of your votes would have kept Frankenstein out of the Senate.

  134. Cheney saying tha Obama policies have made the US less secure, has made US less secure, giving the terrorist hope that they can now turn the tide.

    That is a foreign affair to be sure.

    Gitmo and the decision to close it, foreign affairs, again, and derided by the GOP spokespeople.

    Even you, bob, Republican from Idaho, dismissing US priorities as misplaced, vis a vie Iraq and AfPak.

    From Georgia to Turkey, Republicans and those in the Party of One, looking for the anti-US spin in every scenario.
    Because they are now anti-Obama, who represents US, to the world.
    So, by undercutting Obama, they are undercutting the US,

    It is burka fitting time, for the GOP.

  135. No, bob, Mr Coleman gave US Al Franken, not the Libertarians.
    He had that seat, and lost it, by not representing the wishes of the majority of the voters of Minn.

    Or a majority would have voted for him. Colman did not come anywhere near representing the Libertarians and did not earn their support.

    They'd have been fools to have voted against their beliefs and interests.

  136. You are just absolutely full of shit, Rat, most of the time.

    Once in a while a spark plug fires, but the electrical source seems to be getting weaker, as time goes by.

    Goodnight, Sir.

  137. The further you move, from the center of US politics, bob, the further you are from understanding where we are going.

    Obama represents the Center.
    He represents the United States.

    Like it or not.

    Mr Coleman did not adequately represent the electorate of MN, or he'd have won reelection. That he did not, fully exposes how out of step he was, with MN voters.

    The vast majority of which, voted against him.

  138. 58% of MN voters voted against Mr Coleman.

    They had their reasons, I'm sure.