“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."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Afghan Battle Kills 30

Wall Street Journal

KABUL—Insurgents armed with rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars tried to storm a combat outpost in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, setting off a battle that killed 30 attackers and wounded five coalition soldiers, NATO said.

Assailants struck from all sides in the nighttime attack on the outpost in Paktika province's Bermal district, where nearly all forces with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are from the U.S. military.

The military called in close air-support and aircraft dropped three bombs to help repel the insurgents. According to NATO, the five coalition service members who were wounded in the attack continued fighting.

"Insurgents attacked from all directions," NATO said in a statement. It provided no further details.

The attack took place in an area about 125 miles (200 kilometers) south of Kabul that borders the Pakistani region of North Waziristan. The area is controlled largely by the Haqqani network, a Pakistan-based Taliban faction closely tied to al-Qaida.

The border region has long been a refuge for Islamist extremists from around the world and has been the target of numerous drone strikes against the Taliban, al-Qaida and the forces of the Haqqani network. Jalaluddin and Sirajuddin Haqqani, a former anti-Soviet commander and his son, are now battling American forces in eastern Afghanistan.


  1. This tid bit from the post

    Jalaluddin and Sirajuddin Haqqani, a former anti-Soviet commander and his son, are now battling American forces in eastern Afghanistan.

    Exemplifies the truth behind this bit of research, previously mentioned

    They have compiled the terrorism statistics in a publicly available database comprising some 10,000 records on some 2,200 suicide terrorism attacks, dating back to the first suicide terrorism attack of modern times — the 1983 truck bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, which killed 241 U.S. Marines.

    "We have lots of evidence now that when you put the foreign military presence in, it triggers suicide terrorism campaigns, ... and that when the foreign forces leave, it takes away almost 100 percent of the terrorist campaign," Pape said in an interview last week on his findings.

  2. Maybe General Franks was right about that US footprint becoming "to big" in Afghanistan and the detrimental effect it would have.

    If 800 Rangers were "to many" to deploy to kill or capture Osama, 120,000 NATO troops to support President Karsai certainly is, "to many".

  3. I recall that the Obama Administration warned of this possibility, and was chastised for it.

    Seems their fears may have come to pass. Those that are most likely to shoot at Federals, may well be ex-Federals. Veterans may pose a greater threat than those that never served.

    Mohamed was an Army vet, that Major at Fort Hood, an Army officer, and now it may be a Marine that is shooting up offices of the Marine Corps.

    Washington Post -

    The shooter who has targeted three US military sites in Northern Virginia in recent weeks might be a Marine or someone with a grievance against the US Marine Corps, federal officials said Friday.

    But then again, maybe not.

  4. UNITED NATIONS, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Iran can keep its stake in a uranium mine in Namibia owned by Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto (RIO.AX)(RIO.L), despite new U.N. sanctions restricting such investments, the firm said on Friday.

    Anglo-Australians, core members of what would be the Anglophile Alliance.

    Our kind of guys?

  5. As the cost of living increases, it follows that so too will the abortion rate, economic deprivation driving the Iranians into "Western Civilization"!

    AP TEHRAN, Iran -- Iranian officials are acknowledging that international sanctions imposed on the country over its nuclear program have dramatically increased the cost of living, but they say the penalties will ultimately prove futile.

  6. We stay there long enough and we will accomplish this:

    1.The insurgency will always be able to get bigger than our ability to overwhelm them.

    2. They will get more recruits, more of those who lost relatives or property and want revenge.

    3. Occupying forces always become less popular over time. The insurgents will become more experienced, obtain better weapons and develop more lethal tactics.

    4. All our allies will quit.

    5. The American money being thrown around will create more corruption and fraud.

    6. The American public will be sick of it. We will quit and the American military will be weaker for the experience.

    7. It will be harder for future politicians to generate enthusiasm for other military ventures because of domestic skepticism.

    It is no coincidence that we bombed Belgrade and Serbia because the Clinton boomers did not want US troops on the ground. Boomer Bush did not send enough troops to Tora Bora for the same reason.

    Why he decided to fight two protracted land wars in Asia is a mystery to me.

  7. Oil and Opium.

    Wartime profiteering.

    Everyone he talked to, civilian and military, thought that the "Long War" was a "good thing".
    He was an inexperienced leader in an echo chamber.

  8. Our idiot Generals, and Politicians Never, Ever understood the Vietnamese people. I know, because I have spent countless hours/days/weeks/months listening to both.

    Our idiot leaders, also, do not understand the Moslems of Afpakistan. They think they're saving the Afghanis from the Taliban, not realizing that the Afghanis ARE the Taliban. In short, they're the same morons that got us screwed up in Vietnam. They just have different name-tags.

  9. The special forces that were there when the first RA troops arrived warned of what was to come.

    They saw their work undone, just as we have now seen from a distance the entire enterprise come undone.

  10. Arms and the Man

    On the long history of the crude but effective AK-47, the world’s most ubiquitous automatic rifle.

    "Thus the AK-47 emerged as the Model T of assault rifles. With as many as 100 million copies in circulation (no one knows the exact figure), it is the best-selling gun of all time. The distant runner-up is the M-16 and its descendants, which have been reproduced fewer than 10 million times. Chivers explains how this unusual success for Soviet industry came about. The 47 in the gun’s name refers to the year it was invented — 1947. The AK stands for Avtomat Kalashnikova — “the automatic by Kalashnikov.” That would be Senior Sgt. Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov, who in 1947 was just 28 years old and had no formal training in metallurgy, engineering or any other technical discipline. As might be expected, the Soviet state built a formidable myth around this proletarian hero.

    Among the inconvenient facts that were airbrushed out was that during the Stalinist Terror the Kalashnikov family had been stigmatized as “kulaks” (rich peasants), forcibly removed from their home (which was razed) and relocated to western Siberia. One of Mikhail’s brothers served years of forced labor; his father quickly succumbed to the harsh Siberian winter. Mikhail was one of eight children (out of 18) who survived childhood.
    He was drafted into the Red Army and, during World War II, was wounded while commanding a T-34 tank. "

  11. Why people cannot imagine what it must be like to have aggressive foreign troops, armed to the teeth, smashing your door down and ransacking your home, is beyond me.

    Of course it generates hate.

    Like it or not we are foreign invaders. That is necessary if the war is necessary. It is a consequence to war and an argument for not doing it unless our national security is being threatened by them.

    Check this out from a Telegraph article on Wikileaks:

    An American military legal adviser told helicopter crew that Iraqi men were valid targets as they could not surrender to aircraft, the documents show.

    The Apache helicopter killed the two insurgents after being told that they were still legitimate targets even although they were offering to lay down their arms.

    It is thought that the aircraft, Crazyhorse 18, was the same helicopter involved in the killing of two Reuters journalists later in the war.

    According to the leaked account the insurgents jumped out of their truck after it came under fire from the Apache. “They came out wanting to surrender,” Crazyhorse 18 signalled.

    An unnamed lawyer at the nearby Taji airbase gave them clearance to kill. “Lawyer states they cannot surrender to aircraft and are still valid targets,” the log entry says.

    Here is some advice:

    If we are involved in a war where troops have to consult lawyers, then we are fighting in the wrong war

  12. How many lawyers were at Khe Sahn?

  13. Why are there lawyers in combat zones?

  14. Can lawyers advise who to shoot and who not?

  15. If a lawyer can sentence someone to death by determining who can be shot and how can a doctor do the same and withhold treatment?

  16. Is there a legal presumption that the act may be unlawful and a lawyer is to determine whether it is or not?

  17. Can someone explain to me why a combat soldier on the ground is working under rules of engagement that are so complicated he needs advice of a lawyer?

  18. I don't get it. The implication to me is that we are needlessly endangering the lives of troop foolishly placing them in combat situations and those that put them there need legal protection to cover their own sorry asses.

  19. If we are involved in a war where troops have to consult lawyers, then we are fighting in the wrong war

    Purest Essence.

  20. Take the war to where it hurts the enemy...

    KILL the ROCK...

  21. Time to make it a law that Mosques cannot be taller than any peoples faith.

    That all moslems shall bow their heads when addressing Christians and Hindus and Jews.

    A tax shall be paid by moslems to the superior faith for protection

    No new mosque shall be built.

    The Dome of the Rock shall be leveled.

    The Burka shall be illegal

    The Black Rock of the Keeba shall be destroyed and turned into a pig farm.

    Sharia shall be banned in all nations

    Drawing Mohammed fucking a goat contests shall be required of all former Moslem nations

  22. .

    The States Take on Foreclosures

    Have you noticed that the lead dogs investigating the mortgage foreclosure mess are not any federal prosecutors or national bank regulators, but rather the state attorneys general? I sure have. I can’t think of a more encouraging development.

    Yeah, yeah, a handful of federal investigations have also been announced, but we all know that they’re not going to amount to a hill of beans. Ever since the financial crisis began two years ago, the federal overseers of the banking industry have been consistently unwilling to take the rod to the institutions they regulate. The robo-signing scandal — and it is, unquestionably, a scandal — hasn’t changed that attitude one iota.

    The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve have made it clear that they are more concerned about keeping the foreclosure mill going full speed than they are about determining whether the banks broke the law. Somehow throwing people out of their homes quickly is supposed to help the economy. Or so they keep telling us.

    States Take On The Banks and Their Enablers at the Federal Level


  23. Federalism - the new "hotness" :)