“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."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Why are Americans leaving? Iraqis having buyers remorse.

June 26, 2009
Iraqis have second thoughts over June 30 date for US troops to leave

Alice Fordham in Baquba Times on line

For six years Iraqis in this restless provincial capital have been waiting for US forces to withdraw, in the hope that the area will return to being Iraq’s sleepy rural backwater.

However, with only days to go before the last American soldiers are due to pull out of Baquba and other Iraqi cities, the residentshaving doubts.

There are fears that a premature departure will lead to a return of sectarian violence or allow al-Qaeda to re-establish itself. Many would like the Americans to remain until security is restored permanently.

“After you guys pull out from the city I don’t know what our enemies are going to do,Thaban Hassan said. The head of an Iraqi Army battalion in Baquba, he told the American soldiers gathered in his office that “safety is not 100 per cent . . . why are the Americans leaving?”

Colonel Burt Thompson, the commander of US forces in the area, whose troops still patrol Baquba, admitted that Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister, had taken a gamble by insisting that his forces take control according to an agreed timetable.

In the past few days a bomb hit a mayor’s convoy, another hit an Iraqi army patrol and there was a revenge killing of an al-Qaeda militant.

In line with the status of forces agreement between the US and Iraqi governments, which came into effect at the beginning of this year, all US troops will cease patrolling Iraqi cities from June 30.

Despite the spike in violence Mr al-Maliki has insisted that the withdrawal will go ahead as planned.

Colonel Thompson called this insistence political and said that he would prefer to keep US soldiers in Diyala province, which remains a hub for insurgents coming into the country, until after elections next January.

That view is shared by residents. Dhea Taha, 32, who lives with her children near Baquba, said: “The security situation is not stable in the first place ... there is an increase in terrorist activity.”

Mohammad al-Obeidi, the chairman of the Security Council of Qais and Khalis, areas of Baquba which still have sectarian tensions, said that Mr al-Maliki’s reassurances did not ease concerns.

“Iraq is like a baby right now," he said. "It needs people to look after it.”

The religiously and ethnically diverse province was split by sectarian conflict during the turmoil after the invasion and never fully recovered. Remnants of Sunni groups, including al-Qaeda in Iraq and Shia militia, are still active.

A Sunni in Khalis said that she fled after her house was hit by gunfire last year but when she tried to return two months ago her family’s homes and businesses were still occupied by a Shia militia.

First Lieutenant Hatem, head of an Iraqi Emergency Response Team in Baquba, said that his troops have been hit by roadside bombs and targeted by kidnappers. One soldier was seized last week and a ransom demanded.

“After you guys pull out,” he said to his American allies, “the situation is going to be bad.”

The border with Iran is patrolled by the Iraqi Army, but he had little faith in them, saying, “all insurgents escape from the country through the border ... and of course weapons are smuggled across the borders.”

“I certainly see that insurgent forces will perceive June 30 as a gap in our security plan,” said Colonel Shaun Reed, a battalion commander. “I think we will see a spike in violence based on the idea that the Iraqi security forces aren’t ready.”


  1. “I think we will see a spike in violence based on the idea that the Iraqi security forces aren’t ready.”

    Ya think?

  2. Thankfully, Governor Sanford will not be pulling it were.

  3. Well as one who supported the war and our being there?

    They have had enough time to grow up... As have the Palestinians... Lebanese & Iranians..

    I guess 10 dollar a gallon gas will be fine to live with when there wont be any persians or arabs people on earth...

    light a match and duck...

  4. Hasta La Vista, Muchachos.

    Que Tengan Un Buen Dia.

  5. What a loss -

    Governor Sanford is a Republican who knows where his head it were.

    ...a week to say, "Goodbye"...hmm...

    The Long Goodbye Iraq - Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish...

  6. Governor Sanford resisted TARP,
    but he could not resist the TART.

  7. Governor Sanford is fine as President..

    Our current President was crack addict....

  8. Honor Their Service - Move America Forward
    Live from Ronald Reagan Library.
    Melanie Morgan is a saint.
    Says her brother was seriously injured in Panama.
    Did you know a Morgan?

  9. That's the least of our worries, WIO.
    Glad at least part of the time this dedicated Marxist was dedicated toward diminishing his capacity.

  10. Colonel Burt Thompson, the commander of US forces in the area, whose troops still patrol Baquba, admitted that he was not sure that the US had succeeded in its' mission of "Standing Up" the Iraqi Secirtiy Forces.

    That after six years, the US military had not been able to train and equip an indig force to successfully hand off to.

    Fuck them, if they cannot hold and secure their own country.
    It is not worth one more US life.

  11. Wait till the pipelines start to blow.

    Gasoline blows through $3.00 to $3.50, or $4.00.

  12. They don't have an Air Force, yet, do they?

    Or, a Tank Division (a "Real" one, with "Real" tanks?) Helicopters?

  13. Only if we did not let them, rufus.

    They bought the tanks, a couple of hundred, years ago, from Hungary.

    Plus the let the contracts to refurbish the tanks Saddam had,

    Six years is a long time, if they are not ready, the US military has failed in their primary Iraqi mission, no doubts there.

    That performance counts, and that there will be no accountability for results, almost assured.

  14. Indiana 16th in population.
    First in deployments.
    Hawaii's high in terms of per capita.

  15. "...ACORN Basiji thugs..."

    Oh, I never tire of this stuff.

  16. I hereby declare Friday, June 26, 2009, Dumb Analogy Day, the objective being to surpass "ACORN Basiji thugs." Or at least match eight years' worth of senile rants on Bushitler. I don't think that's setting the bar too high.

    Winner gets to try and figure out whether Chuckie's "fuck them (Iraqis)" supersedes his inexhaustible contempt for their American military counterparts. Or if Chuckie understands incongruity.

  17. Rep. Michele Bachmann, citing concerns about government intrusiveness, says she won't fully fill out the U.S. Census form next year, even though that's a violation of federal law.


    Bachmann also has said she also fears that ACORN, the community organizing group that came under fire over its voter registration efforts last year, will be part of the Census Bureau's door-to-door information collection efforts.


    Bachmann spokesman Dave Dziok said calls to her office about the issue have been generally supportive. "In all honesty, all the comments have been from people who share her concerns."


  18. Trish used to give better prizes. Times gettin' hard all over.

  19. ACORN, as Trish knows, are as innocent as choirboys.

    And the Marxist in Chief is all about Empathy.
    In Judges,
    Not Healthcare.
    Next question. Member of the audience.
    Jane Sturm:
    "My mother is now over 105.
    But at 100, the doctors said to her, 'I can't do anything more unless you have a pacemaker.'
    I said, 'Go for it.' She said, 'Go for it.'

    But the specialist said,
    'No, she's too old.'
    But when the other specialist saw her and saw her joy of life, he said, 'I'm going for it.'
    That was over five years ago.

    My question to you is:
    Outside the medical criteria for prolonging life for somebody who is elderly, is there any consideration that can be given for a certain spirit, a certain joy of living, a quality of life, or is it just a medical cutoff at a certain age?"

    "I don't think that we can make judgments based on people's 'spirit.'
    Uh, that would be, uh, a pretty subjective decision to be making.

    I think we have to have rules that, uh, say that, uh, we are going to provide good quality care for all people.
    End-of-life care is one of the most difficult sets of decisions that we're going to have to make. But understand that those decisions are already being made in one way or another. If they're not being made under Medicare and Medicaid, they're being made by private insurers.

    "At least we can let doctors know -- and your mom know -- that you know what, maybe this isn't going to help.
    Maybe you're better off, uhh, not having the surgery, but, uhh, taking the painkiller."

    Do you realize how cold and heartless that answer is? This woman is asking about her mother.

    So they found a specialist:
    "Maybe this woman really loves living. I'll put it in."

    She's lived five years with the pacemaker, and still Obama:
    "Maybe you're better off to tell your mother to take a pill, take a painkiller."

    We have to have rules!

    "We have to have rules. Your mother should have died five years ago, lady. She would have been better off taking that painkiller."

    Who says we have to have his rules?

    The President of the United States is not a king.

  20. Where's bob?

    Did he say something about a trip to Core-da-lane?

  21. I think he just left this nuggat in the Nutjob thread @ Belmont Club.
    11. bob:

    Creation is itself the fall, breaking the one into the many, crosspurposed, so some say.

  22. I thought he lives in Moscow. This isn't my week for accuracy in commenting.
    That does sound like him, Doug.

  23. Calling Bob...come in, Bob...

    Trish has a new contest that's just right for your talents, and the best part when ya win is Winner gets to try and figure out whether Chuckie's "fuck them (Iraqis)" supersedes his inexhaustible contempt for their American military counterparts. Or if Chuckie understands incongruity.

    Don't miss out!

  24. Question for Doug:

    I'm seriously looking at a new Dell laptop. Would you go with the Windows Vista, or take the offered option to have it loaded with XP?

    I'm happy with XP right now, and can't see anything in Vista that I'd use.

  25. Add some tranquility to your life and get a mac.

  26. I must say that aside for the period after I dropped this on our tile floor and fragged the hard drive, prior to that it was the most stable computer I've owned.
    Since replacing the hard drive, it's back to that condition again.
    I would be unable to tolerate Vista without two modifications, both said to reduce security back toward XP Level, but I have never been disabled by a virus or malware.
    (never have been in 20 years, believe it or not, nor, until I dropped this one, I had never lost data on a hard drive!)

    Anyhow... the two modifications to factory settings consist of turning off the UAC,
    (I think that stands for "User Account Control")
    and running as an administrative account.
    UAC presents itself as a near constant and endless number of dialog boxes popping up asking you if you are sure you want to do this or that every time you attempt to do anything.
    Running a non-administrative account is not as bothersome, but still makes you jump through hoops to do mundane things like file maintenance, software installs, and the like.

    So, all I can say is that I have very few complaints about my little Hp.
    So few that you might want to consider checking out the Hp's at Costco.

    From time to time they have better deals on Hp laptops than almost anyone, plus you just pay and play with no shipping charges, not to mention Costco's unparalleled return policy.
    (try spelling unparalleled w/o assistance from the spell checker!)
    The biggest advantage over Xp is the longer period of time it will be supported by Micro$oft.

  27. Thanks. I just bought it.

    I'm toying with the idea of partitioning the HD and installing UNIX on about half the volume. Know anything about that?

    Terresita, or WonderWoman, or whoever the hell she is today, thought Unix was the cat's meow. Maybe I'll look her up.

  28. Yeah, she's the UNIX enthusiast.

    Surprise, Surprise:
    Conyers abandons plan to probe ACORN

    House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. has backed off his plan to investigate wrongdoing by the liberal activist group ACORN, saying "powers that be" put the kibosh on the idea.

    Mr. Conyers, Michigan Democrat, earlier bucked his party leaders by calling for hearings on accusations the Association of Community Organization for Reform Now (ACORN) has committed crimes ranging from voter fraud to a mob-style "protection" racket.

    "The powers that be decided against it," Mr. Conyers told The Washington Times.

    The chairman declined to elaborate, shrugging off questions about who told him how to run his committee and give the Democrat-allied group a pass.

    Pittsburgh lawyer Heather Heidelbaugh, whose testimony about ACORN at a March 19 hearing on voting issues prompted Mr. Conyers to call for a probe, said she was perplexed by Mr. Conyers' explanation for his change of heart.

    "If the chair of the Judiciary Committee cannot hold a hearing if he want to [then] who are the powers that he is beholden to?" she said.
    "Is it the leadership, is it the White House, is it contributors?

    Who is 'the power?'"
    I wonder...