“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, November 09, 2010

George W. Bush on George W. Bush

George W Bush ordered Pentagon to plan Iran attack

George W Bush laid plans for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities as president of the United States, his memoirs have disclosed.

George W Bush planned an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, his memoirs have disclosed
George W Bush planned an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, his memoirs have disclosed Photo: AP

The former president also revealed that he considered a covert attack on Syria at Israel’s request in Decision Points, his 497-page account of his time in office.

Such strikes on the Middle East could have unleashed waves of revenge attacks against British and American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and might have seen Iran retaliate by blocking oil supplies to the west.

Mr Bush wrote on Iran: "I directed the Pentagon to study what would be necessary for a strike." He added: "This would be to stop the bomb clock, at least temporarily."

He disclosed that his national security advisors were split over the proposed attack, with some arguing that destroying "the regime's prized project" – its nuclear facility – would help the Iranian opposition, while others feared it would stir up Iranian nationalism against the US.

The former president said he discussed the plan of attack with Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, and says he ruled out the possibility of entering negotiations with Tehran.

He wrote: "One thing is certain. The United States should never allow Iran to threaten the world with a nuclear bomb."

Mr Bush also disclosed in the book, published today, that he discussed an air strike or a covert special forces raid on an alleged nuclear facility in Syria at the request of Israel.

"We studied the idea seriously, but the CIA and the military concluded it would be too risky to slip a team into and out of Syria," he wrote.

The Israelis carried out the attack themselves in September 2007.

In the book, Mr Bush also:

• Vigorously defended the use of waterboarding, a kind of simulated drowning that was known as an “enhanced interrogation technique” by the Bush administration but regarded as “torture” by many opponents, some allies and a few internal dissenters.

• Recounts his reaction after a third hijacked plane hit its target, the Pentagon, on September 11th 2001. He writes: “My blood was boiling. We were going to find out who did this, and kick their ass."

• Discloses that he ordered the Pentagon to draw up plans an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

• Describes how he considered a covert attack on Syrian nuclear facilities but decided against it when the CIA judged it too risky. Israel carried out a similar attack instead.

• Acknowledges he took "too long" to act over the Hurricane Katrina disaster that engulfed New Orleans in 2005, killing more than 1,800 people, but describes being accused of racism (many victims were black) as the lowest point of his presidency,


  1. Decision Points

    He said he still felt sickened that no weapons of mass destruction were ever found in Iraq. Yet former President George W. Bush said that his worst moment in the Oval Office came when the rap star Kanye West claimed that the president didn’t care about black people.

    NBC News’s Matt Lauer spoke with President George W. Bush in his first one-on-one TV interview since leaving the Oval Office.

    “The suggestion that I was racist because of the response to Katrina represented an all-time low,” Mr. Bush told a surprised Matt Lauer on NBC on Monday night.

    “I didn’t appreciate it then; I don’t appreciate it now,” he added fiercely. “I resent it, it’s not true, and it was one of the most disgusting moments in my presidency.”

    There was something jarring about suddenly seeing George W. Bush on screen again and it wasn’t just déjà vu. It was more like running into a former spouse after many years: no matter how bitter or amicable the separation, that first reunion is disconcerting — the ex seems both eerily the same and weirdly diminished. Two years ago he left office with two wars raging and an economy in free fall, an embattled commander in chief with the lowest approval ratings of any modern president. Now Mr. Bush is offering himself up as a chatty president emeritus, sometimes defiant and other times cheerful, on a media blitz to promote his memoir, “Decision Points.”

  2. There was something jarring about suddenly seeing George W. Bush on screen again and it wasn’t just déjà vu. It was more like running into a former spouse after many years: no matter how bitter or amicable the separation, that first reunion is disconcerting — the ex seems both eerily the same and weirdly diminished. Two years ago he left office with two wars raging and an economy in free fall, an embattled commander in chief with the lowest approval ratings of any modern president. Now Mr. Bush is offering himself up as a chatty president emeritus, sometimes defiant and other times cheerful, on a media blitz to promote his memoir, “Decision Points.”

    It was a fascinating, at times disarming, performance, but also a confusing one: a plea for understanding from a president who says he doesn’t give a fig about popularity. At one point, Mr. Bush boasted that when an acquaintance told him his approval ratings were up, he retorted, “Who cares?”

    In the hourlong NBC News special, Mr. Bush talked about himself with the blend of candor and self-serving boilerplate that almost all book-promoting celebrities master on a publicity tour.

    He told the very personal story of how as a teenager he drove his mother to the hospital after she suffered a miscarriage, and discovered how “straightforward” she was when she showed him the remains of the fetus in a jar.

    He also gave an example of how out of control he could be before he gave up drinking. “So, I’m drunk at the dinner table at Mother and Dad’s house in Maine. And my brothers and sister are there, Laura’s there. And I’m sitting next to a beautiful woman, friend of Mother and Dad’s. And I said to her out loud, ‘What is sex like after 50?’ ”

  3. Keep in mind that the Decider originally thought that the release of his book was a good idea ten days before the election.

    That is his idea and intuition about strategic decision making.

    That was his intent, clueless about what it would have done to Republican candidates.

    I mean at a dinner party hosted by your parents, wouldn't you publicly ask one of your mother'e friends, ‘What is sex like after 50?’ ”

  4. George Bush, always the perfect narcissist

    There were other moments when Mr. Bush was defensive, but for the most part he looked more relaxed and unguarded than that at any time in his presidency, even chuckling about history’s final verdict. (“I hope I’m judged a success, but I’m going to be dead, Matt, when they finally figure it out.”)

    Wouldn't that be comforting for the parents of a maimed or dead soldier to hear that. He doesn't give a shit what people will find out because he will be dead.

  5. It makes me sick that I voted for such a man, twice.

  6. It is stunning to me that people that knew George Bush, as none of us did, thought that he should be president.

    The idea of him contemplating the release of such a book, ten days before a national election, oblivious or not caring about the consequences to Republican candidates, working to get the opportunity to undo some of the damage done by Bush, tells me all that I need to know about the type of man George Bush is.

  7. Clearly this fool will be doing all that could be done to remind people why they voted for Barack Obama.

    You can be sure that the Democrats will use the gold mine full of Bush quotes in the coming 2012 campaign.

    He is the most stupid son of a bitch that ever sat in the White House.

  8. With regards the discussion, yesterday, with whit.

    The country that is still "at war" with Israel, is Syria.

    Syria is the most anti-radical fundamentalist Islamic country in the Islamic Arc. The Syrian government wipedout the Muslim Brotherhood, there, in Syria. To do so, the Syrian Army, mostly if not exclusively made up of Muslims, killed upwards of 50,000 people in Hama, Syria. All in the successful effort to root out fundamentalist Islam from secular Syria.

    The Assads, the leaders of the Syrian government are considered apostates by the radical Muslims under the influence of Doc Z's ideology.

    If Syria were successful in building a nuclear weapon, it would not be a "Muslim" weapon, but a Baathist one.

    A major ideological and religious distinction.

    If Syria were to defeat the Israeli Defense Forces on the battlefield and destroy the society there, not a likely outcome, it would not be a victory for Islam, but for fascism.

    The Syrian Army would not then move on, towards Spain.

  9. You and I agree on most things but on this one we'll have to agree to disagree.

    I really like George Bush. I watched him last night being interviewed by Matt Lauer and had no problem with the man at all. I think he was a fine president and a fine man.

    I understand if you get a visceral reaction. I don't know why but I understand it. Afterall, Jimmy Carter does the same thing to me. Al Gore does too. But GW Bush, I like.

  10. That the Syrian reactor was, according to published reports, supplied by NorK, another factoid that abuses the Islamic conspiracy theory.

    Unless, of course, one can trace the funding of the nuclear operations, in Pakistan, NorK and Syria, back to the Saudis.

    Even at that, though, it would be a stretch to describe Islam, rather than pure power politics and economics, as the motivator, for the Saudis or the NorKs

  11. Obama the Moslem, is visiting a mosque in his hometown...

    Islam is at war with the war and it's self...

  12. That the US is engaged in a $10 billion USD arms sale, to the Saudis, disables the theory that the Saudi are behind the nuclear proliferation.

    Unless the idea that the US government would act against the professed "best interests" of the United States, and support those that supported State sponsors of terror.

  13. The Syrian NUKE was supplied by Nkor and iran...

    Iran is already at war with the USA.

    They cause the deaths thru proxies and their direct supply of ied's to those proxies of Americans.

    Obama is making it a teachable moment to apologize

  14. Make that a $60 billion dollar arms sale to the Saudis.

    Mea culpa.

  15. The USA, under Dear Father Obama, is pushing for a 60 billion dollar arms sale.

    The Arabians are part and parcel of the war against the west.

    always have been

  16. Dear Father Obama, will instruct the world on how great Islam is today..

    Make sure to bow to any moslems you might see, as you would not want to insult them by appearing to not care...

    this could set off waves of moslem violence...

  17. Again the Story of "o" contradicts published reports, by FOX News:

    WASHINGTON — A Syrian nuclear reactor built with help from North Korea was weeks away from functioning, a top U.S. official said Thursday after lawmakers were briefed on the site destroyed last year by Israeli jets.

    Syrian Nuclear Reactor Was Weeks From Functioning

    The reality of the situation does not his propaganda lines, so he attempts to blur them, with disinformation.

  18. The reality of the situation does not his propaganda lines, so he attempts to blur them, with disinformation.

    The reality of the situation does not FIT INSIDE his propaganda lines, so he attempts to blur them, with disinformation.

    mea culpa, again

    Gotta get another cup of joe!

  19. I expect most people that read this bog will disagree with me on this one. I look at what has happened to this country and I am angry.

    I see the wreckage and the damage done by both our enemies and our friends. The politicians on both sides all leave Washington enriched and with a secure future, their children immune from military service and having to attend public schools. D or R, they always win.

    (“I hope I’m judged a success, but I’m going to be dead, Matt, when they finally figure it out.”) says it all. I'm OK, it's not my problem.

  20. To imply that IRAN did not have anything to do with Syria and her hidden nuke sites is naive.

    to quote Fox news as proof?


    Next Rat will site wikipedia as proof Area 51 has little green men...

  21. Hey Rodent asshole..

    Rather than attack me..

    Talk about your friends the Moslems..

    The fact that Iran USES Syria is well known, there are also 3 more sites INSIDE syria as we speak that Iran has it's finger all over..

    your continued story that iran is so innocent stinks.

    Iran, syria, hezbollah, north korea, hamas all connected all the time...

    to deny ?

    just shows delusion and stupidity..


    Rat is just a agent of Iran.

  22. No, I'm an agent of the American people, not the Israelis or Iranians.

    Major distinction, that.

    I'm trying not to take the conversation into the the gutter with vulgarity. Trying to keep the conversation real, with linkable realities, not fatalistic fantasy.

    The Iranians need Russia, to defend their airspace or build nuclear reactors. The Iranians cannot "do it" themselves.

    They cannot export what they cannot produce. They could act as a conduit, but there is no published evidence for that, not from reliable sources.


  24. The "chain of custody" is clear, as regards nuclear proliferation to Syria.

    It starts in Pakistan, goes to NorK and arrives in Syria.

    It is supposition that the Saudis funded any stage of it. I believe that the Saudis funded the Pakistani development, that the Saudis could be the "man behind the screen", funding the entire chain. But that idea is belied by the fact that the Saudis are the beneficiaries of so much US military equipment. Tens of billions of dollars worth.

  25. Rat your full of crap...

    Forget vulgarity.

    You are the self confessed contract killer of people in Central America.

    You have no moral standing.

    You are a criminal.


    You are an apologist for Islam and Iran.


    You are a self confessed hater of Zionism & Israel.

    Nothing changes.

    I do believe what you are is an agent of Islam and Iran.

  26. Besides, GW Bush danced with the Crown Prince and kissed the King, of Saudi Arabia.

    He wouldn't have done that, if they were sponsors of terror and nuclear proliferation, would he?

  27. I think he was a fine president and a fine man.

    Mr Bush told US all, Islam is a religion of peace. He represented the US when he said so. He was our agent.

    He was a fine President.

    He dance with the Saudi Crown Prince, in Saudi Arabia. He kissed the King on the cheek, at his ranch, in Texas.

    The facts are clear, if Mr Bush really was a fine president and a fine man

    That Islam is a religion of peace was and still is the position of the United States of America.

    To state that at the Echo Bar, merely a reiteration of US policy.

  28. Instaed of "Change" Mr Obama is "Staying the Course".

    At least as far as the Religion of Peace is concerned.

  29. “I hope I’m judged a success, but I’m going to be dead, Matt, when they finally figure it out.”

    This strikes me as a man who understands that time and history may be more reasonable and understanding than the judgment in the heat of the moment.

    He read a lot of Presidential history while in the White House and realizes that it takes time to for people to see things less passionately. Think Truman and Reagan.

    Even Democrats have softened towards Reagan with the passing years.

    Bush took an enormous, enormous amount of criticism from Day One. Most of for purely political purposes. Katrina for instance, a disaster that was fault of the Mayor and NO and the Governor of Louisiana. But it fell on Geo Bush. Unjustly, for purely partisan reasons. One sad thing about Katrina is that so many people were perfectly prepared to set aside the truth for partisan gain. A simple remark about "Brownie" became a scab that Bush haters picked at mercilessly. All because Bush was bucking up his troops.

    Katrina Timeline:
    Sunday Noon: New Orleans and LA Official hold Press Conference to announce NOLA evacuation plans.
    Katrina hits NOLA Monday early. First recon flights occur about 5:00 PM.
    Tues and Wednesday it becomes apparent that neither NO or LA were prepared. Feds activate to save people from the "cannibalizing hordes" (Those were the hysterical press reports) By Friday, the Feds have evacuated the city and restored order.

    How much quicker can it get done than that?

    Yet, Bush is vilified. Perhaps history will be a little kinder to the man than his contemporaries are.

  30. Instaed of "Change" Mr Obama is "Staying the Course".

    At least as far as the Religion of Peace is concerned.

    That should make you very happy.

  31. I would like to know what Bush has to say about Fallujah I.

  32. I advocated for landing the 4th ID in Haifa and driving to on to Baghdad. A look at the map would indicate the route they'd have taken.

    I favored and advocated for US "Driving on to Damascus", after the fall of Baghdad, whit.

    Once it became evident that we were not going to do so, I came to the realization that the US was not at war with "State Sponsors of Terror".

    Once we established Islamic Republics in Afghanistan and Iraq, it became clear that Islam was not the enemy of the United States.

    That the Iranians are "bad actors", I fully agree. That attacking the Iranians would serve US interests, I know is not true.

    The economic fallout of such a move would be devastating, for US. The unforeseen consequences, substantial and, I believe, mostly negative, for US.

    That some how the US will keep the rest of the whirled, to include our enemies in Iran, mired in pre-1944 technologies, during the next century and beyond, not possible.

    That MAD works, a proven reality.

    In the case of the US and Iran, the destruction would not be mutual. We can keep the Iranians in their box, we would have done so to an even greater extent than we have, if Mr Bush had managed post invasion Iraq better than he did.

    That though is water under the bridge. We are where we are.

    The solution to the Iranian "problem", it is not a military one, not if US vital interests are primary.

  33. Pacific Ocean (CBS8)- A mysterious missile launch off the southern California coast was caught on video Monday evening by a KCBS news helicopter.

    The spectacular contrail could easily be seen up in Los Angeles, but who launched this missile and why, remain a mystery for now.

    The magnificent images were captured from the KCBS chopper around 5pm. The location of the missile was described as west of Los Angeles, north of Catalina Island, and approximately 35 miles out to sea.

    A Navy spokesperson tells News 8, this wasn't its missile. He said there was no Navy activity reported in that part of the region.

    On Friday, November 5, Vandenberg Air Force Base launched a Delta II rocket, carrying the Thales Alenia Space-Italia COSMO SkyMed satellite, but a sergeant at the base tells News 8, there have been no launches since then.

    He said it didn't appear to be a Tomahawk missile and said it would be safest to wait for definitive answers to come from the military.

    Based on pure speculation, however, Ambassador Ellsworth said, with President Obama in Asia, perhaps this could have been a show of our military muscle.

    "It could be a test firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile from a submarine underwater submarine, to demonstrate mainly to Asia, that we can do that," he said, stressing that it was just a theory.

  34. :) Maybe 'twas the Iranians.

    I got to go along with Whit on much of this Bush stuff. He could have vetoed a bill or two, or five, though.

    And, of course, WiO knows the mideast, rat doesn't.

  35. I have to admit it seems to me O is doing some things right over there in India. They ought to be on the U.N. Security Council. Seems a little surprising to me he might be doing something right.

    Having made such a hash of things domestic, foreign affairs may be all he has left.

  36. Deuce: I expect most people that read this bog will disagree with me on this one.

    Yes, the Elephant Bar has been a bog, swamp, miasma, and muddy bottom for quite a while.

    WiO: Obama the Moslem, is visiting a mosque in his hometown...

    He started mentioning Allah again (you know, the Creator) when pollsters said changing the Declaration of Independence was costing the Dems votes.

  37. allah is really a lesser god, it's al haqq, the real, that is the really big cheese, for those in the know, according to Huxley.

  38. My wife bought this huge book on the Bush family, 500 pages or more. I haven't cracked it yet, and she's just started, but she tells me the real money came from the Walkers. Prescott married up, if you look at life that way.

  39. Is a damn poor way to look at life, I think.

  40. I forgot where you met your wife, Bob.

  41. ...I'll get around to answering your comments of concern a few threads back a little later, gang.

  42. Gotta hit the hay.
    If I didn't, I'd find ANOTHER picture of Obama bowing to some other fucknut in India.

    The guy is unreal.

  43. On an airplane to Hawaii, Doug. Started talking, never stopped. Was going over to see dad.

  44. I've never chased women, just bump into 'em sometimes :)

  45. .
    This strikes me as a man who understands that time and history may be more reasonable and understanding than the judgment in the heat of the moment...

    Time and history will merely blur the image. For most people, the memory of the big events and their final result will be remembered.

    Personal details will blur, his strengths on the one hand and the flaws that made him unfit to be president on the other.


  46. She looks like the perfect horror carved Halloween pumpkin there.

  47. JAKARTA, Indonesia – President Barack Obama has criticized Israel construction plans in East Jerusalem, saying they're unhelpful to the pursuit of peace.

    The president said he was concerned Israel and Palestinian were not making enough of an effort to advance peace negotiations.

    Obama's caution came as the Israeli government moved ahead with plans to build nearly 1,300 apartments in that disputed part of the city.

    Israel has said the plans to seek public comment on the building plans were merely procedural. But the move comes on the heels of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's meeting with Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday.

    Obama said he did not receive a briefing on the new construction.

  48. I'm outta here the rest of the day. Life calls.

  49. I really like George Bush.

    So did I. I responded to him on a personal level.

    Foolish rookie mistake.

    Good Man? Maybe.

    Good President? No.


    Global Critics Actually Should Thank the Fed

    With pressure intensifying on Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke after the central bank last week announced it was buying another $600 billion in Treasurys in an effort to further drive down interest rates, Faber said it is that very policy that has allowed emerging markets to grow.

  50. CL, I have a theory that it was a mistake to allow China to hold US sovereign debt. That allowed them to sell to the US and never buy anything.

    Should the US control who is allowed to purchase and hold US Government bonds ?

  51. China will force banks to hold more foreign exchange and strengthen auditing of overseas fund raising, stepping up efforts to curb hot-money inflows that may inflate asset bubbles and add pressure for a stronger yuan.

    The State Administration of Foreign Exchange will introduce new rules on currency provisioning and tighten management of banks’ foreign-debt quotas, the regulator said in a statement on its website today. The government will also regulate Chinese special-purpose vehicles overseas and tighten controls on equity investments by foreign companies in China, it said.

    The measures underscore concern around the world that the U.S. Federal Reserve’s expanded monetary stimulus will cause capital to flood into emerging markets. The yuan rose today by the most since the end of a dollar peg in 2005 as global leaders prepare to discuss currency tensions and the impact of the Fed’s easing at the Group of 20 summit this week in Seoul.

  52. I learned three things last night a) I can't go a week without seeing my grand-dauughter, b) I'm not the only one who can make great popcorn "the right way" and c) while mercury, planet of all communications, trines with Uranus I couldn't shut the hell up even to watch a movie.

    Maybe I should have watched the movie.

    : )

  53. .
    A viewer on CNBC wrote in that Bernanke is telling the Chinese that if you won't allow your currency to rise to our level we will lower ours to yours.


  54. The Chinese are just trying to deflect attention away from themselves, and their currency manipulation.

    Germany, of course, was loving that "cheap" euro.

    Bernanke is doing the right thing.

  55. Should the US control who is allowed to purchase and hold US Government bonds ?

    Interesting question. Policy issue that should be evaluated, not taken as a given. USA has acquired the habit of giving away leverage for free.

    As a general rule I have far fewer problems with people from foreign cultures that choose to live in this country. But those that are not so fortunate (in my view :) who must remain within their monocultures tend to behaviors that are problematic. China being one large example. The emergence of a middle class is inevitable in standard theories of economic development, is it not, which implies that China is about to enter either a very turbulent or a very exciting period of personal historical development. I have to cite BC commenter again, one of whom said that it depends on who wins the coming struggle - the military or the modernizers, Nixonian theory being that exposure to the broader community would provide some significant ballast to the moderns. Outcome still unkown.

    I'd have to think some more before taking a stand. I hate the business stories coming out of China. Their entrepreneurial class has a lot to learn about maintaining integrity in business relationships, not that this country is fully credentialed to lecture on business ethics. It's not going to be an easy relationship no matter what USA decides to do now.

  56. Bernanke could care less about currency valuations, or trade.

    The Fed has a Dual Mandate of Inflation (they prefer about 2%,) and employment (95%.)

    Bernanke has let it be known on numerous occasions, in no uncertain terms, that he fears "Deflation" worse than a goat fears the butcher knife.

    He will do absolutelly Anything to keep deflation at bay.

  57. The "President" of China gave a couple of speeches on "freedom" a few weeks back. Someone Censored them. No one knows who. They just got "Censored."

    Can "You" conceive of a country the size (economically, as well as demographically) of China in which the words of the "President" are Censored? By "unknown" parties?

  58. The simplest way to handle China (also, Hong Kong, Singapore, and a handful of other Currency manipulators) is to pass a 25% Import Tariff on their asses, with the proviso that "when the currency floats, the tariff comes off."

  59. now this was from 24 months ago...

    JAKARTA, Indonesia — Hundreds of Christian theology students have been living in tents since a mob of angry Muslim neighbors stormed their campus last month wielding bamboo spears and hurling Molotov cocktails.

    The incident comes amid growing concern that Indonesia's tradition of religious tolerance is under threat from Islamic hard-liners.

    In talks since the attack, the Arastamar Evangelical School of Theology has reluctantly agreed to shut its 20-year-old campus in east Jakarta, accepting an offer this week to move to a small office building on the other side of the Indonesian capital.

    "Why should we be forced from our house while our attackers can walk freely?" asked the Rev. Matheus Mangentang, chairman of the 1,400-student school.

    The government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, which relies on the support of Islamic parties in Parliament, is struggling to balance deep Islamic traditions and a secular constitution. With elections coming next April, the government seems unwilling to defend religious minorities, lest it be portrayed as anti-Islamic in what is the world's most populous Muslim-majority country.

    The July 25 attack, which injured 18 students, was the culmination of years of simmering tensions between the school and residents of the Kampung Pulo neighborhood.

  60. this is from this year

    Indonesia: Thousands of enraged Muslims attack Christian center, destroy cars, burn buildings
    Why? There were rumors that the Christians were going to build a church. Sharia forbids Christians to build new churches or repair old ones. "West Java, thousands of Islamic extremists attack a Christian center," by Mathias Hariyadi for AsiaNews, April 28 (thanks to Block Ness):

    Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Thousands of Muslim extremists attacked a Christian educational center in Bogor regency, West Java province, Indonesia. The toll from yesterday's attack is three destroyed cars and several buildings damaged or burnt. The wrath of fundamentalists was unleashed, and encouraged by the local Council of Ulema (MUI), by unsubstantiated rumours that the Christian community BKP Penabur were planning "to build a place of worship" within the complex.
    Targeted attacks against the Christian community continue in the regency of Bogor, coupled with the impotence of the Indonesian authorities unable to stop the violence with a religious background. Yesterday morning, thousands of Islamic extremists attacked and set fire to the center of the Foundation Penabur BPK, despite the garrison erected earlier by hundreds of police.

    The fundamentalists destroyed and burned three cars a part of the 10 buildings that make up the whole Christian complex. The Muslims anger was spurred on by rumours that the leaders of the foundation wanted to construct a chapel. The rumours were groundless, but were enough to ignite minds and incite the crowd. Local sources, on condition of anonymity, tell AsiaNews that the attackers were "people from the neighbouring sub-districts Cisaura and Ciawi. One detail that, in reality, shows the attacks were well orchestrated....

  61. 14 Christians Killed in Indonesia

    Sun Apr 28, 5:11 AM ET

    By MICHAEL CASEY, Associated Press Writer

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - Assailants in black masks hacked, shot and burned to death 14 Christians, including a six-month-old baby, in the religiously divided capital of Indonesia's Maluku province Sunday, threatening a fragile peace pact.

    Carrying automatic rifles, grenades and daggers, about a dozen men yelling "kill them all" stormed the mainly Christian village of Soya on Ambon's outskirts, 1,600 miles east of Jakarta, witnesses said.

    They set 30 homes and a Protestant church on fire, and went from house to house, shooting into those that were occupied, witnesses said. Six Christians, including the baby, were stabbed to death and six others were killed in fires. Two more were believed to be shot to death.

    The killings came two days after a militant Islamic group, Laskar Jihad, rejected the February peace deal, which was meant to end three years of fighting between Muslims and Christians here that has left 9,000 dead.

    "It may be the end of the peace deal," said Christian pastor Cornelius Bohm in Ambon. "There is no doubt that it was Laskar Jihad" behind Sunday's attack in Ambon.

    Laskar Jihad share Osama bin Laden (news - web sites)'s anti-Western stance but its commander, Jafar Umar Thalib, has denied any links to international terror. The group could not be reached for comment Sunday.

    A senior police officer in Ambon, speaking on condition of anonymity, said 14 people were killed Sunday. He refused to speculate on the religion of the killers.

    Survivors said they initially thought the intruders, dressed in military camouflage, were soldiers carrying out a security sweep but fled when the assailants started tossing grenades and shooting at anyone who moved. Those interviewed only described the attackers as "terrorists" and said they were unsure if they were Muslim.

    "The scene is horrible," said one witness on condition of anonymity. "I saw six bodies burned so badly you couldn't recognize them."

    He said police were searching the burned homes for more bodies.

    Later Sunday, security officers in Ambon fired warning shots to disperse a crowd of about a dozen Muslims, a witness said. They had gathered after seeing several banned flags of the mostly Christian, separatist Maluku Sovereignty Front being flown. No one was injured.

    Tension has run high in Ambon since the Front celebrated the 52nd anniversary of a failed independence bid Thursday. The group flew its independence flags angering Muslims who responded by burning down a partially rebuilt church and threatening to resume attacks on Christians.

    Bohm said Indonesia's government was trying to end the violence, but did not have the power to clamp down on Laskar Jihad and other Muslim extremist groups in the province.

  62. .

    The United States exports only about $6 billion worth of goods to Indonesia each year, making it America's 37th largest market, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

    Obama will also use his short stay to reach out to the Muslim world. He will visit the Istiqlal Mosque, one of the world's largest, and make a major outdoor speech that aides said is expected to draw large crowds...

    Obama still enjoys strong support in Indonesia, even as confidence in him has dropped in other Muslim states since he made a major speech in Cairo in June 2009. The long U.S. wars in Muslim nations Afghanistan and Iraq have soured have lost him support among Muslims, and there has been little movement on peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, which has also sapped his support.


    Indonesia is an important nation yet the current administration pretty much ignores it. The largest Muslim nation (by muslim population) it still is a secular democracy. It has the fastest growing economy in the east over the last two years.

    As noted in the article, we do little trade with them and like most developing nations they are focused on protecting their own domestic industries. Selling more US goods there will be difficult. However, continually dissing them is not helpful. Obama cancelled two scheduled trips there before finally make it as part of a broader east asian swing.

    The Muslims of the far east are a potential offset to the radicalism being pushed out of Saudi Arabia. It should be nurtured for as far as it can take us.

    Likewise, building relationships with countries like Indonesia (India, Vietnam, et al) provide a strategic counterweight to the growing influence of China.


  63. Obama says Israel BUILD a block of Flats unhelpful for the peace process...

    SInce we are late in the thread, I figured I list things that really dont help the peace process..


    January 1
    FIVE mortar shells were fired at Israel
    January 5
    ONE mortar shells were fired at Israel
    January 6
    Attempted mortar firing
    January 7
    TEN mortar shells were fired at Israel
    ONE Katyusha rocket launched
    January 8
    2 Qassam rockets
    January 9
    ONE mortar shells were fired at Israel
    January 10
    4 mortar shells were fired at Israel
    January 20
    ONE Qassam rocket was fired
    February 2
    ONE Qassam rocket launched
    February 3
    ONE Qassam rocket launched
    February 7
    ONE Qassam rocket launched
    February 12
    ONE Qassam rocket launched

    This list does not include stabbings, arrests of suicide bombers, incitement, lawfare, lawsuits, UN actions, Flotilla attempts, arson, rioting..

    The truth?

    It aint borders, It aint apartments...

    The Arab and Islamic world does not accept Israel's right to exist.

    No land concessions will make any difference.

    Israel has 20% moslem population, they can visit their shrines, they can administer their shrines, they can vote, they can own land, businesses and participate from school to the supreme court.

    The surrounding arabs/islamists?

    have deemed it a capital offense to sell land to a JEW (not israeli specifically)

    they have laid waste to the HISTORIC Jews anywhere the johnny come lately arabs have conquered and now occupy.

    there is only one way to have peace.

    Destroy the Enemy and Destroy the Black Rock of MEcca...

  64. RE: Indonesia (and a previous post on Burma)

    No quarrel from me on the general tenor of the analysis. Just two points.

    2008 was an across-the-board failure of all public and private institutional sectors - failure of responsibility more often than not coupled with overt criminal behavior, more often than not resulting in a token wrist slap and some bond money. The best face I can put on it would be to say that some groups did less bad than others. I see no reason to exclude foreign policy elites from the Ivy League black eye.

    Second, this is sheer ignorance on my part about the operational intricacies of the federal government. How much can be done without going through Congressional approval or without engaging high level intel agencies? The former is a hornet's nest and the latter is a snake pit.

  65. It was all that "stovepiping" that got Dick Cheney in trouble.

  66. WASHINGTON — The Pentagon said Tuesday it was trying to determine if a missile was launched Monday off the coast of Southern California and, if so, who might have fired it.

    I think it was our old friends the JEWS test firing a new missile in such a way that they don't ruffle feathers in the Middle-east.

  67. will be interesting what will happen if drug cartels start firing rockets, mortars and setting up ied's in aZ

  68. I agree with Whit. I watched Bush last night and didnt find anything disturbing about any of his comments. Did he say some stupid stuff as President? yes. I used to cringe everytime he opened his mouth.

    Detractors like to take sound bites and condemn him, ala, "religion of peace," or "good job, Brownie."

    Everyone does that to anyone they don't like.

    "like running into an ex wife after so many years?" A silly analogy.

  69. An agent of the American People? You must be joking.

  70. “The suggestion that I was racist because of the response to Katrina represented an all-time low,” Mr. Bush told a surprised Matt Lauer on NBC on Monday night.

    The Katrina caterwauling was nauseating and stupid.

  71. .
    There was so much blame to go around with Katrina it is hard to know where to begin. From the people living there who chose to live near the ocean on land that is below sea level, who then refused to leave when ordered to, to the various bureaucracies at every level of government, local, state, and federal that proved themselves ill-equipped to handle a major emergancy.

    One more episode (among many) in the past ten years that moved the US' reputation in the world from the world's only "Hyper-Power" to a declining first among equals.