“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, October 13, 2009

Shocker from Moscow: 'Tough sanctions on Iran may be counter-productive.'

MOSCOW —threatening Tehran now with harsh new sanctions to further negotiations over its nuclear program would be “counterproductive,” Russia’s foreign minister said Tuesday, throwing cold water on the Obama administration’s hopes for a powerful ally in the global campaign to pressure Iran.


  1. No fair! No fair! Why did G-d let this happen?!

  2. Well, before we get started on those fine specimens of the species known as the Fucking Russians, I'll take the comment intended for the last thread and paste it here.

    "What a load of shit..."

    - WIO

    That's what a lot of Afghans are saying after seven years of it.

    I was fortunate this past weekend to have one of the best conversations concerning that war that I've ever had, with someone who will probably, no matter what he says, be returning. And it's just revolting - disturbing, actually - to read some of the commentary here regarding same. The phrase "towering smallness" comes to mind.

    The conga line is a metaphor for blithe, even joyous, indifference to the shit people shovel every day. To bald ignorance and fathomless stupidity. It isn't a luxury as much as it is a necessity.

    I wanted to make that little bit clear - there being much else that, to my eternal frustration, cannot be shared here.

  3. Trish, I never had a conversation with anyone of the rank of Captain, or higher that didn't think Vietnam was a Noble Cause that "WE WERE WINNING."

    Not ONE of them had ever, actually, sat down and shared a six-pack with a Vietnamese "Civilian."

    If he's in a "Leadership" position in the Military, or Diplomatic Corps he "Has" to believe in his Government's Program.

    That makes him "Noble." It DOESN'T make him "Right."

  4. "I wanted to make that little bit clear..."

    Sorry girl. It's obvious your upset; but I have only a vague intimation as to what you are upset about.

    "...there being much else that, to my eternal frustration, cannot be shared here..."

    What? Would you have to kill us if you told us?

    "The conga line is a metaphor..."

    And by the way, the conga line references got old after about the first week.

  5. As for the Russians - Hillary immediately Agreed.

  6. Someone on TV said today, "she overpaid for that *reset* button."

  7. If he's in a "Leadership" position in the Military, or Diplomatic Corps he "Has" to believe in his Government's Program.

    - rufus

    Rufus, I honestly don't know what universe you inhabit.

    You aren't dealing with automatons.

  8. No, Trish, but I've been through one of the best "Indoctrination" Programs in the history of mankind.

  9. Which one would that be, rufus?

  10. USMC Boot Camp, Trish.

  11. Indeed, rufus. It is one of the best.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. A little bit larger than Colorado, and New Mexico, combined. No water, and LANDLOCKED.

    Dirt poor populace, and a "government" with NO money.

    Indian Country on all sides.

  14. Okay, there are probably about 7 Million Adult Males in the country. Maybe, 1,000 influential "Warlords."

    Put the "Warlords" on a $10,000.00/yr "Retainer" for information. The understanding being that if a "Training Camp" is set up in his area of influence, and he's not the first to Report it he loses his Income.

    Leave one big base out in the Desert with a Brigade, and a few hundred Predators, F-16's, and helicopters.

    Cost: $10 Million for "information," and One Base.


  15. Is that your actual recommendation?

  16. It's going to cost us about $2,000.00 apiece, per year, to do the new healthcare bill. I can't afford any more "highways in Afghanistan."

  17. Rufus, we're so far past that point. You could have done something like that in, say, 02.

    Can't do it now.

  18. Sure we can. We'll call it "vietnami .. ........ uh, "Afghanization."

    We'll call the payoffs to the local "community organizers" . . uh, "Community Action/Outreach" Programs.

  19. We'll call the withdrawal, "Getting the Hell out of Dodge."

    Or, maybe, just "A Return to Sanity."

  20. "... wanted to make that little bit clear - there being much else that, to my eternal frustration, cannot be shared here."


  21. We will have one big marble on the ground in Afghanistan...brilliant! We will have it supplied via magic carpets?

    This would NEVER have been a good idea.

  22. Yeah, that's the ticket: Dien Bien Phu Two.

    There is a reason they are called "Boots".

  23. Dien Bien Phu was, once again, low ground, surrounded by Heights. It wasn't a Desert.

    I guess we'd supply them the same way we supply them, NOW.

    Except, it would be 15,000, NOT 150,000.

  24. For your consideration:
    NEW YORK – CSX Corp., the nation's third largest railroad, said Tuesday it believes the worst of the recession is over, but its third-quarter earnings fell 23 percent from a year ago because shipping demand is still weak.

    CSX, which operates its signature blue and yellow locomotives from Canada to Florida and west to the Mississippi River, said overall shipping fell 15 percent from a year ago in the June-to-September period. The biggest drops were in shipments of coal, cars, construction and consumer goods. The company warned that demand for coal, one of its biggest segments, will remain weak well into next year.

    But CSX said that the third-quarter decline in total volume wasn't as steep as in the second quarter — possibly indicating the start of an economic recovery in the U.S. Rail traffic is seen as an indicator of the economy's direction because so many everyday goods are shipped on the tracks.

    Third-quarter decline not as steep, huh? Sounds like a little spin to me, but as I recall, the railroads were running at capacity before the fall. I am curious to see their volumes relative to historic levels.

    So far this year, the Association of American Railroads said traffic is down 18.8 percent compared with the same period a year ago.

  25. WASHINGTON (AFP) – Helped by tough economic times, the US military had a banner year for recruitment, meeting all its goals for the first time since creating an all-volunteer force in 1973, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

  26. All training camps get a visit from a Predator, every time they set one up, no boots on the the ground. How's that? Obama does that, he might even deserve his Peace Prize in my book.

  27. One thing about it, T. Everything that's being discussed, so far, has looks like Deuce's one-way ticket to Hell.

    One thing about our "plan" is if the local warlord didn't drop the dime on the New, Taliban training camp, you can be absolutely, positively for sure that his rival warlord in the next village would.

  28. Who needs warlord informers when we got SEALs and Rangers? They would be except from the "no boots on the ground" rule, as they always are.

  29. Again, T, 250,000 Square Miles

    Much easier, and cheaper to pay the Warlords.

    In fact, we could even, on an individual basis, give them the option of "Going for the Gold." Say, an extra $20 Thou, plus some AK's, etc, if they "handle it," themselves.

  30. Which is prolly "kinda," truth be told, what we did in Anbar.

  31. How's that $25 million dollar reward money to shake loose OBL doing?

  32. Maybe he's dead. Maybe we've already paid it.

    Maybe, I'll dance, Nutcracker Suite, at the Bolshoi this year.

    Maybe a few Seals, and Rangers snooping around wouldn't be all That bad an idea, after all.

  33. We had our Khe Sahn, which was the US version of the Frenchies attempt to draw General Giap into set piece combat.

    The Frenchies lost the battle and the war. We won the battle, but still lost the war.

    There is a lesson there.

    Which foreign military adventure should we consider a victory, for the United States, since 1948?

    When the training camps in Somalia are publicized, will we be sending in the Marines?

    Proof that the Conga Line is a metaphor the "Permanent Party" and not noble sacrafice on the part of the Federal Socialists

    Report Details Misbehavior by Kabul Embassy Guards
    Contractors Called 'Lewd and Deviant'

    Not to mention the "Sex Games" at Abu Ghraib.

    That's the "Party On Dude!" reality of Federal Service.

  34. Looks like Oil is going to try to crack $75.00, tomorrow.

    $100.00 in the Spring, I think.

  35. Miss T, the wife and I bought a three bedroom, two bath condo in Moscow. First floor.

    We intend to retire there.

    The washer/dryer is right over there.

    But we won't get moved in till sometime next summer, so it is sitting empty.

    If you want to scoot over from Seattle to the Lionel Hampton Jazz Fest in February, you are welcome to stay, no rent!

    Give me a little heads up if you want to take advantage of this offer.

    You can slso bring your friends, too.

    I'd like to meet you sometime.

    There is always great music here in the colds of Idaho, in February, when the wheat is dormant, the winds howl,
    Swedes put on three layers of clothes, etc,

  36. Knowing the GOP's track record lately (Dubya, McCain), they'll probably give us a Lindsey Graham / Olympia Snowe RINO Presidential Ticket in 2012 and another four years wandering in the wilderness of Zan.

  37. The lesson to me was that the Cong were damned good fighters, and Giap was one hell of a General.

    He made a mistake at An Nan, learned from it, and never repeated it. He, and Uncle Ho studied Us, studied our politics, studied our media. They came to the conclusion, fairly early on, that they could lose Every Battle, and still Win the War.

    They did, and they Did.

    I would call Iraq a "success," Rat. (so far, anyway) I guess, although it wasn't a "Victory," Korea could also be considered a "Success". We did preserve S. Korea, which, I think, was the "goal" of some.

    At least, after McCarthur got our asses handed to us at the Yalu.

  38. Dang, the moon rises so slowly, coming up so soft and hard. o so pregnant, filled with light, o my, my eyes are filled with wonderment, the body of the wonderful lady, waiting, receiving.

    O my garsh!

  39. I got a condo in Moscow, MLD, get my e-mail through duece.

    Waiting, wanting....

  40. GOOD LORD, BOB. Think about the kids at the Library.

    Oh, ... wait, they kicked us out of the "Library." Never mind.

  41. What if your wife calls?

    Is Deuce supposed to tell her you're not here?

  42. The truth is MLD is really getting to me, and I want to shove it home.

  43. I'm sorry, just some harmless fun.

  44. ...unless, I took that the wrong way.

  45. The things a bartender overhears.

  46. Oh, I'm suppose to contact you what's your number?

  47. Bobal, Miss F is in the Philippines until November 6, might be the last time she sees her momma. I'm a bachelorette until then, I used up two weeks of vacation time the last couple months, so I'm just gonna lay low, go to work, come home, Tweet, Blog, and sleep. But thanks for the offer. One of these days I wanna drive to the top of Steptoe Butte, saw it way way off on the horizon from about Sprague once in 1984 (this time I passed through, it was cloudy). I was going to take the classic route over Whitebird hill home, via Washtucna, Ritzville, but opted for the freeway instead.

  48. When returning to the US from overseas for leave during the sixties, some lucky GI's were very pleased to meet a lithe long legged, long haired fine hippy gal wearing a "make love not war" button.

  49. There was something about those long sleeved minis with peace signs all over them. First grade teacher wore that stuff in 1971, and I could barely concentrate on making my numerals correctly. First inkling I was rigged funny.

  50. I don't have long hair but I'm definitely a lover not a fighter.

  51. Hey, what's up with that, 2164th?

  52. Sorrry Sam, that will show up in the search engines and be misinterpretted in searches by pedophiles. Rephrase it if you like.

  53. I did a post once on Young brides, 12 year old I believe, and we got a lot of hits from some rather unsavory sites. I know what you were trying to convey, but the search engines are dumb and do not recognize context.

    Phraseopolgy my man, phraseology.

  54. Right on, dude.


    Better to give it a miss, anyways. 1st reactions aren't always the best.

    I know for next time 'though. Sorry.

  55. Since I deleted the comment and others will be curious, let me state, the comment was blunt, but not lascivious, and in context with previous comments. It was merely poorly worded and if read out of context would not convey the meaning intended by Sam.

    i thought it best to delete it, a rare occurence but not unprecidented.

  56. "unprecedented"...I need to proof more often.

  57. Sister Anastasia would not be pleased.

  58. You can make it up to us, Deuce, with some classic Elephant Bar eye candy in a near future post.

  59. Now that I think about it, that was pretty poor to put the 'word' and the 'number' together in the same sentence.

    Nice call on deleting.

  60. A top US senator behind a major aid package to Pakistan has said there are no conditions attached to it that "impinge" on Pakistan's sovereignty.


    The Pakistani army has expressed "serious concerns" about the package and said it was uneasy about "clauses impacting on national security".


    In May this year, the US announced it was sending $110m (£71m) in aid to Pakistan to help it cope with the refugee crisis caused by violence between troops and the Taliban in the north-west.

    Aid Bill

  61. this is a GREAT site for keeping up with what Russian defectors and anti-Putinists are saying. Short essays, one per week more or less, going back to 2001.

    JR Nyquist --whoever the heck he is --has made it his niche to keep tabs on this fraught subset.

    Anybody in the business of warning about emergent phenonm --uh, stuff --takes a mighty risk putting so many years of two-minute reads right there together on one page where one's prescience or lack thereof is so readily available for judgement.

    Nyquist comes up smelling like a nostradamus i'm afraid.

  62. On Wednesday, Putin will attend a heads of government meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a group dominated by China and Russia that has been touted as a counterweight to Western-led institutions.

    Moscow has said an "important document" could be adopted at the meeting on joint efforts to combat the effects of the global financial crisis.

    The SCO also includes four ex-Soviet Central Asian countries - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - while India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan have observer status.

    $3.5b Deal

  63. Re SCO meeting, and the warmth and smiles in the pic of two men who, being in the place and time they are in, can hardly not set their eyes on the North Amertican continent, if for no other reason than to be able to agree to take them off each other.

    From Feb 20, 2009, "And then there is the point of last resort: the truth. We are destined to arrive there some day"

    ...and from September 12, 2008, The strategic danger is not fully appreciated, even now.

  64. Holy smokers, these girls really do want to have fun!

  65. Hi Buddy,

    I liked the 20 Feb 2009 piece. Thanks! Time has not yet permitted me to read further.

    You know that the mere mention of "Jews" can and often does stir a hornet's nest hereabouts. Your link does so unapologetically, as if a good simile is a good simile.

    Throw into the mix personal responsibility (Americanism), as does your author, and you can really cause a ruckus at the bar. We are all into feeling the pain of others on Uncle's dime.

  66. hi fellers --thanks --thought the folks here would --well 'enjoy' isn't the word --'find edifying' perhaps --this guy.

    Yep, Allen, he pulls no punches. the series from summer/fall last year --now that we have the trail of tears hindsight --are kinda fascinating in that can't-look-away-from-a-train-wreck way, augmented as if you're watching the train head for the cliff, but since you're watching it in your memory the adrenaline don't broil your innards quite so well-done.

    I don't think there's anything new there for this crew over here --but an effective turn of phrase is always good as a 'fwd' for anyone trying to awaken friends & family.

    Perhaps to get them outdoors, in the not too far distant future, after we have had a bit more of the Hope and Change, for a bracing weekend of bombshelter digging.

    Anyhoo, here, i picked out a few more of the especially strong essays (most are built aroiund a link or two, often to fairly obscure statements from old Warsaw Pact chieftans):


    quiz on Friday! LOL --

  67. Buddy,

    Since you are you, and went to the effort to provide the information, I will do my best to give it a look. If I fail to accomplish this by Friday, know in advance that the dog ate my homework.

  68. Master Allen, you have, I PRESUME, completed the assignment? No? Well, that list can wait, the newest column gets to the point hard and quick:

    Disarming America


    President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton treat with the Russians as though America was guilty of imperialist ambition and trickery. They give Russian military experts unprecedented access to U.S. missile sites. Could it be, having sat in the Trinity United Church of Christ, listening to Rev. Jeremiah Wright calling God's wrath down on America, that Barack Obama is unconsciously setting up our nuclear destruction?