“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, October 29, 2009

Listen to the troops who actually do the work : "These people just want to be left alone."

Think tank analyst nailing it.


  1. You don't heed some draft dodger from the sixties to tell you what the real deal is in Afghanistan. Talk to some comic book reading GI and you'll get the story, and I am not being ironic.

    By 1966, it was obvious to some who actually were still wearing black leather boots in Viet Nam, that things were not quite the way the experts said they were.

    Sure looks like deja vu to me.

  2. Re: black leather boots

    An irony was that "jungle boots", always in short supply in the field, were abundant in the rear.

    Coincidentally(?), the little plastic M16 always seemed to operate flawlessly in the rear, proving that the guys in the field just didn't know how to use the little darlin'.

    Not coincidentally, any AK version worked perfectly anywhere, under any conciliation. Diabolically, most AKs also could use the standard NATO round readily.

    Our "Oriental" adversaries apparently use their noggins for more than a chapeau rack.

  3. TaliQaeda (thanks for the shorthand, whit) must be having a fucking field day.

  4. New aircraft design has rows of passengers sitting face-to-face

    Primadonnas. Ever fly eight hours in a C141? That's how you got from Clark to D-Gar back in my day.

  5. And the pile on: We get no resolution on the McChrystal proposal until the run-off results have been digested. Regardless of those results, Stan's not gonna get what's he's asking for. Given that T's right - the proposed surge is objectively speaking an all-or-nothing deal - the admin is leaning more toward a fall-back to population centers and covering our asses there. That's a game over.

    And those segments of the population that have not already turned against us, will do so.

    Far from acquitting ourselves in the Other War as the President once upon a time, before the eyes of the world, urged - indeed, promised - we will have just quit.

    I had to think this over again last night. And I think it's most sincerely a very bad thing. It's not going to matter what rationales (corrupt and unworkable government) are offered. We will have lost after having given it, what, eight years and fuck-all else. That doesn't even begin to rise to the level of a Vietnam. That's sinking so far below it that *this* administration should be deeply ashamed.

  6. To make matters EVEN worse, I am going to have to listen to that ratfuck Cheney until the day he departs this world.

  7. What do you see as the possible end state for Afghanistan Trish? Say we escalate to the Vietnam level but with our increased technical prowess - what will it achieve? What are the upside outcomes? The possible downsides after such an escalation?

  8. Do you really think that the Iraq of today is a validation of the decision to invade?

  9. ...sorry to observe: TaQ has won...We will have to live with the LONG term consequences, all unpleasantly ominous. C'est la vie!

    On a happy note, the President will now have the time to immerse himself completely in the Israeli "war crimes" issues. He will be a hero to the Muslims and their Western fascist friends.

    Yep, something wicked this way comes – c’est la guerre.

  10. I don't know about all that. But I know one thing. I've seen this show once before. 40,000 troops, 140,000 troops, 340,000 troops won't make a difference.

    We don't belong there.

    We can put 1,000,000 troops in Afghanistan, or put another 100 inspectors in the airports. One course of action will be effective. I'll leave it to you to decide which.

  11. I go over to Carpe Diem every couple of days to get the positive slant. He has five or six pretty good articles (they're short,) and graphs up, and I recommend taking a look.

    Carpe Diem

  12. 1. AK's didn't work perfectly. Worked OK.
    2. 16's worked OK too, till you shot 400 rounds through them
    3. Nobody ever did that with an AK. If they hung around long enough to fire a couple magazines, we killed their ass.
    4. The AK's couldn't use long 7.62 rounds -RPK's could.
    5. The Afghan peasant was put in this world to be dicked -whether by GI's, Pashtun or Tajik assholes, or whoever.
    6. Yeah they want to be left alone. By everybody. And that isn't going to happen.
    7. Had half a million troops in VN when the draw-down began. VN was smaller the A'stan. If McChrystal gets his wish list fulfilled, he'll have 100K US troops plus whatever.
    8. It does not equate.
    V/R JWest

  13. 25. SteveWH:

    Canada’s General Hellier has just written a book about his term as head of Canada’s army and his role as head of NATO in Afghanistan. Thus he is doing the book interview thing (it is a controversial book – he is known for speaking his mind). In several interviews I have heard him say that 2/3 of Afghanistan is fine, governable and able to be protected by the Afghan army and police. It is the south and southeastern provinces where the problems lie and the mission to create a viable Afghanistan is possible. Ever heard this in the US or Canadian media?

    So if this is true, and this is the critical war according to your esteemed president he should get of his ass and make the commitment.

    Oct 29, 2009 - 12:04 pm

    Reading around, the opinions are surely all over the waterfront on this. Habu is for getting out too, or nuke 'em, of course. But not nation building.

    Obama is trapped by his own campaign rhetoric.


  14. "To make matters EVEN worse, I am going to have to listen to that ratfuck Cheney until the day he departs this world."
    As he sings, "I told you so."

  15. "Obama is trapped by his own campaign rhetoric."
    You think the man who has halted the "rising of the seas" can be trapped by words? They can say anything and it won't matter to the true believers.

  16. Well he did stop the rising of the seas, Whit. You have to admit that. They aren't rising, least not much. And he's the fellow that did it.

    On Afghanistan, one minute I think one thing, the next another.

    It's a bugger.

  17. I think I saw, somewhere, that Beaumont, Tx is closer to Chicago than to El Paso.

    Iraq is about, what, half the size of Texas? Half the size of Texas and full of . . . . Afghans?

  18. Out of curiousity, I Googled TaliQaeda... Sure enough, someone had beat me to it, although not by much.

    Oh well, another lesson in humility.

  19. Some of these legal goings on are interesting, and a little mystifying.

    Judge dismisses California eligibility challenge
    Plaintiffs promise appeal of ruling protecting Obama

    Posted: October 29, 2009
    2:02 pm Eastern

    By Bob Unruh
    © 2009 WorldNetDaily

    A California judge has dismissed a complaint challenging President Obama's eligibility to be president citing the "birth certificate from the state of Hawaii" that apparently refers to an Internet image of a "Certification of Live Birth" released during Obama's campaign.

    The ruling came this morning from Judge David Carter who as WND reported last night apparently recently hired a law clerk out of the law firm that has been paid nearly $1.7 million to defend Obama from such eligibility challenges.

    A Wikipedia page has been cited by dozens of bloggers after it listed Siddarth Velamoor as one of the newest law clerks for Carter – who today released his ruling dismissing the complaint in the Barnett v. Obama case in the Central District, Southern Division Court in Santa Ana, Calif.

    Velamoor is also listed in the Martindale lawyer database as an associate of international law firm Perkins Coie, the same law firm of Robert Bauer – top lawyer for Obama, Obama's presidential campaign, the Democratic National Committee and Obama's Organizing for America – and the same Washington, D.C., lawyer who defended President Obama in lawsuits challenging his eligibility to be president.

    As WND has reported, Federal Election Commission records for "Obama for America" show that the lobby organization has paid Perkins Coie exactly $1,666,397.01 since the 2008 election.

    Orly Taitz of course is pissed, thinking she had a good judge on her side. Maybe he was a good judge.

    Anyway Donofrio is happy, thinking the judge got it right, and opening an avenue for something in D.C. where a hearing on the merits of what a natural born citizen is might occur.

    Pretty much have given up hope thinking anything will come of all this. Who knows.

    Donofrio is trying to work with some clients to get legally enforced info out of the state of Hawaii, but he still didn't mention it today.

  20. That ratfuck Cheney is the one who got US into Afpakistan, without a plan for, or a definition, of victory.

    All of which was in direct violation of his own Standard for committing US troops.

    The only "I told you so" he is worthy to speak of is to Scooter.

  21. Seven of those eight years in Afpakistan were on Cheney's watch. The ratfuck cluster fuck is his and GW Bush's responsibility. It was ordered on their authority.

    General Stan is setting Obama up, the best thing for the Big O and US is to raid that aQ infrastructure in Pakistan, from Afghanistan while we prep to leave or come home immediately.

    Admitting the GW Bush and Dick "five deferment" Cheney fucked US over, but good.

  22. Maybe, just maybe, bob, that Judge IS STILL a "good" one.

    The authorities in Hawaii testify to the validity of Obama's birth records. One would have to prove they were giving false testimony.

    That has not happened.
    That's not going to happen.

  23. The Carter years shine, when compared to GW Bush's tenure.

    The total tab for Bush's ineptitude has yet to be tallied, but only because the damage to the US economy and its' security that occurred upon GW's watch, it is incalculable.

  24. As to Dover, Mr Bush was afraid to be seen, or photographed, near a casket draped by a US flag.

    I think it must have embarrassed him, to SEE FOR HIMSELF, the costs of his folly.

    Better the families meet with him, privately, best at the White House. Where there would be no visible reminders of the fallen. The Rove-miester knew the real deal about manipulating the press and the images America saw.

    At least Obama mans up, and goes and sees the damage done, for himself.

  25. And, deuce, for the record Mr Bush did not attend hundreds of military funerals.

    In fact he never attended one.

    By Jeff Schogol, Stars and Stripes
    Mideast edition, Wednesday, July 5, 2006

    ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE — President Bush has met hundreds of families of fallen soldiers, but he has yet to attend a servicemember’s funeral, he said Tuesday.

    “Because which funeral do you go to? In my judgment, I think if I go to one I should go to all. How do you honor one person but not another?” he said.

    The appropriate way to express his appreciation to the family members of fallen troops is to meet with them in private, he said.

    He did not change his personal policy during the last years he was in office.

  26. Mr Obama went there AND allowed a picture to be seen of a flag draped coffin. Bush didn't want Americans to think we were sacrificing ANYTHING.

  27. Rat, you sound a little worked up. Tipping a few down at the saloon with you cowboy buddies?

    I've said before that Bush is among the one or two worst presidents I've seen in my lifetime. However, he's also one of the luckiest.

    By the time history gets around to judging him, Obama will have surpassed him as the worst of all time.

  28. I’m not entirely convinced that the public option is as essential as liberals seem to think it is. But if they are right, I don’t see how they can justify abandoning it for an uncertain number of people who have the bad luck to live in states with conservative governors and legislatures.

    If a compromise is needed to get the bill to the Senate floor, far better to try Sen. Olympia Snowe’s suggestion of a trigger mechanism that would activate a public option if private insurance policies at affordable rates were not broadly available.

    No one should be denied coverage options by virtue of their residence or place of birth.

    Public-option Plan

  29. Thu Oct 29, 10:36:00 PM EDT

    All I can say is follow the argument of the other side a little more closely.

    It was Osama bin Laden that got us into Afghanistan. What were we supposed to do, just sit here and take it?

    Bush got us into Iraq.

  30. I'm not going to have to listen to him because he was right, Rat. Much less righteous. I'm going to have to listen to him - we all are - because when the window did finally close, it was on the next guy's watch.

  31. Bobal, we already answered OBL by taking the Taliban out of power in Afghanistan and forcing him to live in a cave. The rest is just nationbuilding.

  32. Obama Sr. ultimately had four children with Aoko, and there is no evidence to suggest he was ever divorced from Aoko, either in Kenya before he left for Hawaii or in Hawaii prior to the alleged marriage with Dunham.

    On page 126 of "Dreams from My Father," Barack Obama Jr. described his father's marriage with Kezia in a quotation in which Ann Dunham says, "An then there was a problem with your father's first wife … he had told me they were separated, but it was a village wedding, so there was no legal documentation that could show a divorce …" (Ellipsis in original text.)

    Dunham apparently was suggesting bigamy was not involved in her alleged marriage since Barack Obama Sr.'s marriage to Aoko was a "village wedding" that possibly would not have been recognized as legitimate by Hawaii civil law. Barack Obama Sr. was reportedly a polygamist who had at least four wives, including Ruth Nidesand, who he met at Harvard and became his wife after she followed him back to Kenya.

    Obama Nativity

  33. We took the Taliban out of power, alright, temporarily. They'll be back if we leave. Most probably.

    I think it's doubtful Osama is living in a cave right now. I'd bet he's got better digs than that.

    Don't look to me for an answer. Only thing I ever recommended was bombing Iran, years ago.

  34. What a cluster-fuck.

    This Barack Obama Sr. fellow must have had a big d*ck, or something.

  35. Can I leave that one, 2164th?

  36. Obama Nativity

    That kinda sounds Christmasy, Sam :)

    O Holy Night....
    The stars were twinkling bright
    Blessed night of O's nativity....

    There was a little dusting of snow up in Coeur d'Alene the other day, put me in the mood.

  37. Leave it in it's the truth. He left kids all over Africa.

  38. "They'll be back if we leave."



  39. They never really left, just moved up in the hills a bit.

  40. Don't make me tear my hair out. Please.

  41. I think O is a good test of the theory of nemesis. If the gods are just, and dislike overbearing pride, they will bring him down.

    We should try to do our part however. The gods may be working through us. Often times they do.

  42. snow in Coeur d'Alene. Man, seems early for that.

  43. No. The Dick Heads, not just AQ, lit out for Pakistan. It was close enough and the tribal code guaranteed them safe harbor.

    Round about 03/04, we had 'em back. It was a gamble. It exploded.

  44. 91' and sunny here tomorrow, Bob.

    Going for a paddle at Rapid Bay. South of town. Supposed to be some caves with sea lion colonies you can go into and expolore. Also some real nice secluded small sandy beaches that you can only get to by boat.

    Think I'll pack beer and lunch in the kayak and have a picnic after monkeying around with the sea lions.

  45. Posted by: Raf from Florida
    Oct 29, 08:28 AM

    To say that I am a military hawk would be an understatement. I spent 27 years in the military, the last five of those in strategic planning; (in the middle east). I know one thing for certain, WE CANNOT WIN IN THE MIDDLE EAST. Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran CANNOT be tamed by the western world. They can be eliminated, but NEVER controlled. We have tried hard in Iraq and Afghanistan and poured hundreds of billions into Pakistan( and the greater middle east), eventually it will be all for naught.

    I know ALL the arguments for controlling al Qaeda and the Taliban. I know, intimately, the danger of Iran and Pakistan if the radicals prevail. I also know that the world is screwed and there is nothing we can do about it. If we had a stalwart, moral and experienced CINC we could strategically withdraw from the middle east and leave behind an indelible marker: if any of you screw with us or our allies (particularly Israel), we will annihilate you. If we have evidence of your misbehavior, you will cease to exist as a population. A credible threat by a credible American president would do the trick. I have no doubt a message like that is the ONLY thing they really understand. They would squabble among themselves and live or die of their own volition.

    The reason we are screwed is because we cannot win, militarily, in the middle east and we cannot impart a credible threat if we leave. Can ANYONE believe, in the furthest stretch of credulity, that anyone in the world would take Obama seriously about anything; least of all a threat of force against a Muslim country? Anyway you look at it, the world is screwed.

    All right, this American guy says one thing, the Canadian general another.


  46. But although we had near a decade of the most miserable, piss-poor, inexcusably weak effort alongside the loftiest American promises in re Afghanistan, AN ENTIRE FUCKING YEAR has been wasted by the guy who swore to correct it.

    I'm not without sympathy for those who are given to clean up the last guy's shit pile. I'm not. But a year frittered away, to leave most of it in the litter box?

    That's just wrong. Really, really wrong.

  47. Didn't really snow, Sam just a little dusting.

    You lucky dog, that sounds like a lot of fun.

    Over there across from your grandpa's where the mills were, there's a fancy modern development with a commercial area. My daughter and I went to a movie, in this movie house fit for Vegas. Amazing. But it was weird, we both noticed it. All up the street where the commercial businesses were (this was at night) with condos atop the businesses, it was nobody around. One or two lights on in the condos. It was spookey. Like there was never anybody there. We both felt we'd stepped into the Twilight Zone.

  48. I'm not even sure whose side Obama is on.

  49. That's what I said when we elected this piece of crap.

    I'm going to the Casino for coffee, the hell with Obama.

  50. That is weird. I can't even begin to picture it.

    They were there, must have been '78 and '79. Own private dock down from the house on the river. DIRECTLY across from the old mill. Mill was fully operational then. Big sawdust piles and piles of logs right on the bank of the river.

    I can still see it.

  51. Well, Trish, most of us have accumulated more than a few regrets along the way; I guess one more won't kill us. (at least not all of us. Maybe, an unlucky couple of hundred thousand that just happen to be in the wrong city(ies) at the wrong time.)

  52. I know what you mean, rufus. I do.

    I think this is something different.

  53. just for the record:

    DR said-

    And, deuce, for the record Mr Bush did not attend hundreds of military funerals.

    In fact he never attended one.

    Here is what I said-

    Obama's predecessor, President George W. Bush, visited the families of hundreds of fallen soldiers but did not attend any military funerals or go to Dover to receive the coffins. In a 2006 interview with the military newspaper "Stars and Stripes," Bush said he felt the appropriate way to show his respect was to meet with family members in private.

  54. What you implied I said was wrong. I accept your retraction.