“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."

Monday, November 08, 2010

Should the US be Dragged Into a Third Asian War by Israel?

Netanyahu equates disapproval of Israel with hatred of Jews. He states that Israel is unique in the World in the threat that it faces from a possible nuclear Iran. He argues that Israel can only afford its military prowess by a strong entrepreneurial society that can fund the burden of defense.

Netanyahu argues the birthright of all Jews (in the US) is bound and tied to Israel. He then goes on to define the threat of Iran to the United States, demanding that the US must lead the World community and make clear by word and deed that it will not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. Netanyahu by implication is making the extraordinary claim that the US is bound to Israel and Israel cannot allow Iran to have nuclear weapons.

That sounds like an Israeli claim against the military assets of the US to join Israel in an inevitable showdown with Iran.

The United States, through huge expenditure and extraordinary defense commitments, has adjusted to the acquisition of nuclear weapons by first Russia, China, Pakistan and North Korea. It has done so without military action against any of these powers. Netanyahu argues that things are different this time because of the unique threat of Islamic terrorism.

The conclusion to be derived from Netanyahu's argument is that to not be anti-Semitic, to be opposed to militant Islam and against Iranian development of nuclear weapons joint action must be taken and led by the United States. The implied threat is that without such action, Israel will go alone.

This is patent nonsense. Israel is a massive nuclear power in its own right. It has forward deployed nuclear assets capable of destroying any single or combined nuclear threat from any islamic state. Israel also has advanced anti-missile defense systems developed with support of the United States. Israel has an intelligence capability that has riddled every layer of Iranian society. The possibility of Iran being capable of planning and executing a nuclear attack against Israel and Israel being preemptively destroyed by Iran without an Israeli response is an outright fabrication.

Netanyahu boasted at his prowess in chess. He should know that to exchange a queen, two knights and both bishops for a pawn just ain't going to happen. The United States should make it very clear to Israel that if she takes on Iran preemptively there will be no automatic call on US support.

A third Asian war involving the United states will not protect Israel or make it stronger. it would be a calamity and a disaster for the US. It would result in the final assault on overextended and exposed US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq and every other place on the planet by inflamed Islamic crazies.

It would be the final straw in the destruction of the US financial system. No US president should ever agree to such a reckless venture. Netanyahu needs to hear that and understand if he goes it alone, he goes it alone.


U.S., Israel at Odds Over Iran Policy
Published November 08, 2010 |

Though military action against Iran remains an option, the threat of force is not the only way to stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu turned up pressure on the U.S. to take a tougher line.

Meeting with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday in New Orleans, Netanyahu said that only a ‘credible’ threat of military action will ensure Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons, a senior Israeli official said.

Although sanctions have hurt Iran, Netanyahu told Biden that Tehran will be determined to produce nuclear weapons unless it thinks a military strike is a real option, Israeli media reported Monday.

"Sanctions are important. They are increasing pressure on Iran. But so far there has not been any change in the behavior of Iran and upgrading of international pressure is necessary," Mark Regev, Netanyahu's spokesman, quoted Netanyahu as telling Biden.

If Israel concludes that Tehran is close to a bomb it could launch its own military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities within months.

Speaking in Australia, Gates rejected the notion that Iran will only listen if it thinks it's about to be attacked.

The latest international sanctions are hitting Iran harder than that country's ruling regime had expected, and should be allowed more time, Gates insisted.

President Obama's administration, while not ruling out a military option against Iran, has so far stressed sanctions and diplomacy as its preferred course for dealing with Iran's nuclear program.

Iran insists its nuclear program is designed to produce energy, not bombs.

Israel, like the West, disputes Iran's claims that its nuclear program is energy driven. In the past, it has said it prefers to block the Iranian threat through diplomacy, though it has not ruled out a military strike.

Israel sees Iran as its fiercest threat because of its nuclear program, its ballistic missiles capable of hitting the Jewish state and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's repeated references to Israel's destruction.

The Associated Press and Newscore contributed to this report.


  1. Anyone following the news realizes that the war in Afghanistan is not going well. Greater and more sophisticated attacks are being made against isolated and undermanned US outposts.

    Supply lines going through Pakistan can and are being shut down by small groups of insurgents.

    What would happen if the US and israel assaulted Iran? It would seal the fate of exposed US forces in Afghanistan. It would be an American Dunkirk.

    It would set in motion an extraordinary picture of US forces in retreat. it would expose to the World the Achilles heal of a declining military power and would only encourage adversaries.

    An attack on Iran, at this time, would not show strength and resolve. It would show stupidity and be a colossal misstep with catastrophic consequences to the US.

    No country, ally or friend should have such a call on the American people.

  2. I realize that there will be disagreement with this post. I ask that it not degrade into what has predictably happened on this blog by the usual suspects.

    It is a deeply serious issue and should be argued sensibly and without personal rancor. Some will take serious opposition and I will respect that.

    I ask that you all do as well. Discuss and argue the merits.

  3. Tomorrow on that a.m.
    To the specialists I shall go
    They will display my fate
    On some x-ray plat
    And suck some blood from arm
    Here's hoping it's healthy red
    And not some greenish jello--
    And too, may my urine be
    A strong and solar yellow
    Bend over he shall say
    My arse to him display
    To his invasive probing finger
    And hoping he not to linger
    Testing my prostate astray
    I'll try to remember
    When sitting in the waiting room
    Some magazine in hand
    How I watched the children
    At their play
    And my mind will wander
    And I'll begin to wonder
    At the deep and unfathomable
    Mystery of things

  4. To break the mood up a little bit, before the hot things get going.

    There's more to life than politics.

    I think I'll stay out of the argument, my only prescription all along having been, we should bombed Iran long ago.

    That's all I've got to say.

  5. beware when you cheer for Netanyahu

    ...What happened to us already is now happening to America. It is mired in separatist, selfish considerations. At least Israel can rest assured it will get its share and more, but that is blind support. We are blindly marching toward the next calamity, as the Military Intelligence chief warned last week.

    Tonight you will stand at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America in New Orleans and cheer the prime minister of Israel. But this is the man who weakened your president and a weak American president is bad for the Jews.

    The whole world is watching and can hardly believe it: an American president as friendly as can be, lavishing abundance on his ally - yet how can he influence others when that ally won't even heed his words? He begs for another two months of frozen construction in the settlements, they haggle with him and then send him away empty-handed.

    If in an unimportant matter they ignore and embarrass him, what can we and Obama expect when really important issues come up?

    Netanyahu's partnership with Obama is a contradiction to Netanyahu's own principle of negotiation - if they give, they'll get. When it comes to America the rule changes suddenly: It will continue to give generously, and will get an obscene hand gesture in return.

    If you really care about Israel, delegates, you should remember when you stand and cheer that Netanyahu freely chose an extreme, nationalist, xenophobic, clerical coalition. He could have an alternative coalition at any time, but he rejects it for reasons of convenience and political survival.

    His coalition also ignores you. Most of you belong to the Conservative or Reform movements, and his natural partners despise you. As long as you are there, sending money and applauding, fine. But if you want to become more involved, or send your children or grandchildren, be warned, they will be thoroughly investigated.

    Israel today, as expressed by the Netanyahu-Yishai-Lieberman coalition, recognizes only support for settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, only people who fund their provocations have the right to speak.

    Honor Netanyahu tonight. He is an elected prime minister. Honor him and beware of him. And very importantly, tell him your true concerns to his face.

  6. I can only hope that Obama has the balls to stand up to Netanyahu and put US interests first and do what he is doing in India, a country and power of increasing importance to US security:

    NEW DELHI — President Barack Obama pledged Monday to work more closely with India to combat terrorism around the world and offered to help India and Pakistan resolve their long-standing dispute over Kashmir, without intervening directly.

    Speaking at a news conference alongside India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Obama said that while both India and Pakistan have an interest in reducing tensions in the region, the U.S. "cannot impose a solution to these problems."...
    The conflict over Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region where rebels have sought independence from India or incorporation with Pakistan, has been the main source of friction between the nuclear-armed neighbors since they won independence from Britain in 1947.
    Pakistan has frequently sought outside intervention to resolve it but India vehemently opposes such involvement, and the United States has traditionally stayed above the fray. Obama declined to veer from that stance Monday.

    Singh said that while he believes a strong, moderate Pakistan is in the interest of India and the wider region, India can't engage in talks as long as Pakistan's "terror machine is as active as ever before."

  7. Let's just not have anymore special relationships.

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  9. Iran is less a threat to the US than is Pakistan.
    It is Pakistan that is home to Wahhabi militants.
    It is Pakistan that is nuclear capable, today.
    It is Pakistan that proliferated nuclear technology to the NorKs.
    It is Pakistan that provided the infrastructure for the attacks in Bombay.

    It was Pakistan that provided the infrastructure for the raid on NYCity and DC on 11SEP01. It was Pakistan that provided sanctuary for the aQ since Tora Bora.

    Iran had nothing to do with any of it.

    The US has meddled in the internal affairs of Iran to a greater extent than the Iranians have meddled in the US, or with the US.
    While the hostage affair, during the Jimmy Carter era was an embarrassment for the US, it was, on balance, of little consequence when compared to US actions in Iran that led to that episode.

    From the US perspective MAD works, it has and will. That the Israeli are exposed and vulnerable located in the middle of the Islamic Arc, a given.

    That is not a US problem.
    The US is not at war with Iran, nor Islam.

    I it were to be, at war with Islam, it would be the Wahhabi sect that we'd be attacking, not the Shia.

    As evidenced by our actions in Iraq, where we have empowered Iranian allies, at the detriment both the secular society and of the Sunni Wahhabi, there.

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  12. The "boys" at the BC were so far behind the "survivalist" curve, when I left, they were beyond revival.

    Apocalyptic survival is a lifestyle choice, that must be lived everyday. In a locale and community that is sustainable.

    Canned corn and exotic rifles, in an urban or suburban environment, will not get it done. Fortifying the walls of their gated communities, comical, at best.

  13. Politics is everything.

    If one didn't have an interest before, best to develop one now, soon.

    The reason 2008 was importance was that it demonstrated the clear failure of the 'elites'.

    Prior to 2008, I was aware of the larger world, but it was not my world. I proceeded with my life on the assumption that the trained and educated and sophisticated (?) were taking care of the business of the larger world. They were not.

    What changed in 2008 was the clear indication that people like me would have to engage, at a minimum to fight the wars and pay the debt.

    Wretchard's crew is well into the guns, ammo, and canned food mode and it may come to that. The bunker mentality is no more hard to imagine than a less violent path forward, which suffers from an inauspiciously pink world view.

    Answering the title question depends on the integrity of the current intelligence. Does it even exist? Is it any good? Across the board intelligence failures allegedly precipitated 9-11. Has anything changed?

    I assume so.

    None of which may matter if the consensus view among the current crop of elite policy and decision makers is to engage in war to escape the looming financial debacle. Habu popped into Wretchard's site with that opinion recently which caught my attention because I've been thinking in terms of the historic inevitability of wars as a driver more than anything else, although I had hoped our elites would be able to walk around that option.

    So what this country 'should' do is probably already irrelevant compared to what we 'will' do.

  14. I can think of nothing else that would ensure BHO's second term, but, as usual, the question would be who's side he can come down on.'s a given that it'll never be the USA.

    Maybe he can nuke Utah.

  15. Solution to the "Middle East" problem:

    Drive the Jews out of Israel, repatriate them as new citizens in a revitalized California, taking the place of all voters who voted Democrat.

    Those voters will be shipped to what was Israel, with Gov Moonbeam becoming the new Prime Minister.

    Bon Voyage!

  16. I'm betting Habu used the word immiscible.

  17. What is true with regards of a small urban enclave here, in the midst of anarchy and mayhem, true in the Middle East, on a larger scale.

    It cannot be sustained, no matter the quality of the exotic weapons wielded, if those allied against you have numerical superiority and depth.

    The key to survival, distance and topographic isolation from the antagonistic population centers.

    The history of the Middle East indicates that is not geography capable of allowing any non-indigenous society the ability of maintaining long term sustainability on the land.

  18. Strike one--power is all there is

    Strike two--politics is everything

    One more strike she goes down swinging, fanned out.

  19. If you do three posts on Joyce, Bob, I'll forgive you for being an English major.

  20. ...but you have to promise to never quote The Bard again.

  21. Can't do that, Doug. I could never give up my Shakespearean Insulter.

  22. "The key to survival, distance and topographic isolation from the antagonistic population centers."

    'Rat endorses my California Solution.

  23. Sounds like Idaho to me.

    On that topic rat has good ideas.

  24. The ex-Californios could grant the Palis all the benefits given to California unions to win over their hearts.

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  26. Oh! incontinent philanderer!
    I hate it when I end up with brown balls on the bottom.

  27. We just had an example of an unnecessary war and the consequences in Iraq. What has that cost us so far?

    A stupid politician makes a dumb decision to get rid of Iran's enemy, Saddam Hussein, and in the process strengthened Iran and weakened the US militarily, financially and in the process mauls another generation of young servicemen. It was supposed to be paid for by Iraq's oil.

    Now that we have 15% unemployment and $13trillion in debt, twenty thousand or so wounded or dead what are the architects and political and military geniuses doing?

    Fat pension, tenured teaching and fellowship jobs, prestige lobbying and consulting work and tough noogies for the rest.

    And here we have another scum bag politician beating the war drums for someone else to fight and pay for another war, this time against Saddam's enemy.

  28. Not at all accurate, but good verbiage.

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  30. I'd certainly give any Israeli that wanted a "green card" the ability to obtain one.

    I am an advocate of expanding legal immigration to the US. I think the US benefits when those with ambition and drive move here, regardless of their ethnic or religious background.

    I would not, though, advocate for forcing any US citizen to emigrate.

  31. The Garner Plan in Iraq, and the 'Rat/Doug Solution to Syria woulda preserved that Violet Revolution, or whatever it was called, and woulda left a vibrant, integrated Iraq for all to use as a center of strength against Iran.

    ...ultimately ensuring a revolution by the non-reactionary youth.

  32. California Dems gave up the US birthright in the last election.

    The rest of the country will be unwilling to adopt them as dependents, leaving them unable to support themselves.

  33. The "birthright" is inalienable, doug.

    Read the Declaration and then overlay the 14th Amendment upon it.

    We're stuck with 'em.

  34. Just wait until the "big one" strikes the LA basin.

    We ain't seen nothin' yet.

  35. You were talking about the purple finger of fatalism, doug.

    We knew what you meant.

  36. ...'Rat waits for God to solve the problem.

    Carolla points out that you can observe craftsman built houses in Pasadena that have survived it all:

    No rebar, no scheduled nailing shear walls, no steel ties, etc.

  37. If we could insinuate the SEIU and AFLCIO in the Middle East, we could bankrupt the Sauds.

  38. Buddy of mine from Panama, hooked up with an Apache woman and moved up onto the San Carlos.

    He's been up there about 20 years, now. Fishin', huntin' and having fun every day.

    He'll do just fine, come hell or high water. As long as he does not venture out alone, at night.
    Because he is, still, a stranger in a strange land.

  39. Surprise!

    Obama Gives Support to Fed Policies

    NEW DELHI — President Obama in India endorsed the Fed’s quantitative easing moves Monday, even as criticism is heard over the effect of the policy on the dollar. Above, Mr. Obama at a ceremony on Monday.

  40. A shipping container house in an earthquake may be just the thing.

  41. Fill us in about the San Carlos.

    A faithful squaw needs no explanation.

  42. Good fishing, fine hunting, a warm teepee, a positive cash flow and a tight squaw is about as good as it gets. All other benefits and pleasures at any cost are of a declining utility.

  43. That's why I was a hippy farmer.
    ...until I wasn't.

  44. I was thinking about my realtor, now retired, who, when he came here his first year in college, lived in a tepee for free on old man Deeston's land. Take showers at the gym and such.

  45. Deuce has it right at Mon Nov 08, 07:34:00 AM EST.

    In fact, I recall arguing along this line long ago, right here.

    Except I used the word "hut".

  46. I think

    " a tight squaw"

    might qualify as a multiple Hate Crime these days.

  47. "Take showers at the gym and such."

    Sell Out.

    Shoulda had a set-up on Deeston's land.

    Whadaya expect from a lawyer, tho?

  48. You can't however expect some of these city girls to readily adapt to such a situation. There needs to be a period of acclimation.

    Even my wife started to moan after living at the lake for a couple winters. And that had running water, a shitter, and electricity, and a fireplace. I thought it paradise. She thought it was too damned small.
    An argument ensued. I lost.

  49. squaw is actually a term of respect, you ninny

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  51. uh...
    PC does not respect, "respect"

  52. 100% of the time, in my case.

  53. The Doug abides,
    but The Doug needs some sleep.

  54. The San Carlos, doug, is a huge chunk of Federal land that is operated by the Apache.

    It is situated in Northeastern AZ. It was the reservation that Geronimo called home, while he was there.

    Good hunting and fishing on man made lakes. Rural as can be.
    There is a casino, outside of Globe, AZ. In a small resort complex with a hotel and rodeo/roping arena.

    Recall that half of the US Army could not chase down Geronimo and a few dozen others. It is that kind of terrain, a lot like Afpakistan in that regard.

    A tribal society and culture.
    If my amigo is with his woman or any of her family members, he is right as rain. But alone, he is a red headed Irishman in a sea of brown, a fish out of water.

    In the daylight, he has no problems in Apacheria, but at night ...

    The memories of the past come alive. It was, and still is, considered an invasion and occupation, by some of the Apaches.

    The elitist Skull & Boners, at Yale, are said to have Geronimo's skull on display.

    The story of Geronimo a condensed version.

    But if the technological society in Phoenix collapses, they won't give a hoot, up on the San Carlos.

  55. Look to the left center of the map, to the area of the Tonto Basin Campaign.

    There and to the east, Pleasant Valley, is where to go, if survival is the objective. Folks of like mindset in a rural environment. Clannish, but friendly. Adjacent to the White Mountain Apache Reservation. Tough country, ornery people.

    The city slickers don't go there much, even today. They tend to hang out at the Forest Service office, in Young, AZ.

    The history, there, makes the Hatfield - McCoy feud seem tame.

    Pleasant Valley War.

  56. "If my amigo is with his woman or any of her family members, he is right as rain. But alone, he is a red headed Irishman in a sea of brown, a fish out of water."

    ...he married up.

  57. ..."crazy" from a series of songs from my high school reunion.

    Sent to me by my sister in a HS Reunion presentation.

    Now struck down by a series of strokes leaving her blind and bedridden.

    She smoked.

    Mom lived to 92.

    Knew I shoulda taken sis to that last reunion.

  58. I was going to say Doug I was sorry to hear about your sister and your wife, I think you mentioned.

    That was a short sleep.

  59. That is tough. How old is your sister?

  60. .

    Obama Backs India for Security Council Seat

    NEW DELHI — President Obama announced here on Monday that the United States will back India’s bid for a permanent seat on an expanded United Nations Security Council, a major policy shift that could aggravate China, which opposes such a move.

    Doug Mills/The New York Times
    President Obama and the first lady, Michelle Obama, threw rose peddles during a wreath laying ceremony at Rajghat in New Delhi on Monday.
    Mr. Obama made the announcement — a priority for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh — during a late afternoon speech to Parliament.

    “The just and sustainable international order that America seeks includes a United Nations that is efficient, effective, credible and legitimate,” the president said. “That is why I can say today — in the years ahead, I look forward to a reformed U.N. Security Council that includes India as a permanent member.”

    US Backs India's Bid at UN

    Noble gesture or trinkets for the natives?


  61. .

    Sorry to hear about your sister Dougo.

    Where does she live? Does she have relatives near to help out?


  62. Quirk did you see my note about the Boscos? I want to opt out. thanks

  63. I have been on the San Carlos. I guess as a welfare hunter as rat calls me. It is a wonderful place. I was with an Apache from Prescott valley who knew every inch of the place.

    Doug, what is her location?

  64. The entire thread is quite amusing....

    Iran is an international supporter of terror.

    From it's proxies in Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza, Egypt, Afghanistan, it has killed scores of Americans.

    It proclaims it's intentions on a daily basis.

    Death to the Great Satan, America.

    America, was once the leader of the free world. Under it's 1st moslem President it has become the cuckhold nation.

    America, under Obama, is on a course for full fledged Dhimmihood.

    Look to Londonstan to see our future.

    Israel can and will take care of it's own interests as America will take care of hers.

    If Israel strikes Iran due to her own concern for her self interest, so be it. IF Iran attacks AMERICAN interests in retaliation? Then America will have to either apologize to Iran or defend herself.

    The same bullshit about israel was talked about when Israel took out the Iraqi nuke reactor back in the 80's... In public the world scolded Israel, in private? it was all high 5's...

    Same happened 3 years ago when Iran/North Korea and syria were building a nuke plant in syria...

    WOrld scolded Israel and high 5'd it in private...

    What a bunch of cowards this world is...

    Iran aint Israel's responsibility to reign it, it's the world. If the pussy filled world of cowards refuse to stop a genocidal maniac like Iran? then the world will suffer the consequences of it's own Impotence.

    Israel will not commit suicide for the sake of world peace.

    Islam is at war with the world, it is also at war with it'sself.

    Shits verses the Suns.

    To think Iran is some innocent player minding it's own business and some how evil Israel is hell bent on iran's destruction is nonsense.

    If Israel was hell bent on eliminating Iran as a threat, THEY COULD HAVE NUKED THEM 20 YEARS AGO. CASE CLOSED.

    When Iran attacks Israel again, via it's proxies, the proxies will be buttfucked into the 7th century. there is no reason for Israel not to respond with disproportionate response. The deck is stacked against it already. There is no sense in wasting any effort to prove it's case. Just the complete and total destruction of lebanon, syria and gaza will suffice.

    The international community will do nothing.

    Obama the Cuckholding President of the USA will demand UN sanctions against Israel for it's destruction of Iran, Syria and Lebanon, and So WHAT?

    Israel gets it...

    The world wants it dead...

    Sorry if Israel refuses to comply..

    It will cost you dearly to try....