“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."

Friday, February 01, 2013

"The confirmation hearing in the Senate for Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, was painful to watch because it displayed the tomfoolery, pretense, self-righteous know-nothingism, and embarrassing lack of contact with reality that dominate the landscape of America’s broken democracy. It was like watching a Nebraska ordinary Joe set upon by circus freaks– a phalanx of moral midgets, stalking cat-men, vicious lobster boys and ethical werewolves.”

Posted on 02/01/2013 by Juan Cole

Those who regretted that Hagel seldom stood his ground, often just deflected persnickety questions, and sometimes was made to recite the catechisms of Neoconservative orthodoxy, should remember that what is important in Washington is willingness to conform orally, regardless of what one actually believes or how one acts. Hagel might agree to look like he is being pushed around by his former colleagues, for the sake of their face and his. He won’t agree actually to be pushed around once he is in office.
Ted Cruz, a Texas tea partier who probably won’t be there after Texas turns blue in a few years, tried to carry out a Fox News-style ambush of Hagel. He played a 2009 Aljazeera interview of Hagel on the issue of nuclear disarmament.
At one point a caller called in from London with a rambling statement, who made an argument that there is a double standard, with the US and its allies free from international law on things like possessing and using nuclear weapons, whereas other countries are held to stricter standard. He said that this unequal application of the law was clear in that Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan, had been convicted of war crimes in Darfur by the International Criminal Court, but Israeli leaders, who had committed war crimes against the Palestinians, had been held harmless. He went on rambling, complaining about alleged war crimes the Sri Lankan government committed against the Tamil Tigers, then the host asked him for a question and to finish up. When Hagel responded, he began by saying he agreed with the caller’s point. It is obvious to me that he was agreeing that there had been a double standard, and he later said it should be overcome with regard to nuclear disarmament by the US and Russia taking the lead to reduce stockpiles. The caller had a thick accent and it wasn’t even clear that Hagel understood everything he said in his rant, much less meant to agree with it. Is Cruz saying that Hagel was agreeing about Sri Lanka, too?

Cruz insisted that Hagel should have disagreed with the caller about Israel having committed war crimes, given that Jews were victims of war crimes. Cruz is a truly bright and energetic man, with a Princeton education, who clerked for Rehnquist. He knows very well that he is lying about Hagel. And he knows that Israel is guilty of plenty of war crimes. He managed to make Hagel deny this obvious fact, however. Cruz’s performance underlines the importance of Christian Zionism in reinforcing the crackpot conviction in the US senate that it is impossible ever to say anything slightly negative about Israeli policy (the only country in the world so exempted).
Ironically, Cruz’s implausible grandstanding occurred on the same day when, as the New York Times headline put it, “U.N. Panel Says Israeli Settlement Policy Violates Law ”
In fact, a British court issued an arrest warrant for Tzipi Livni for her role in launching the attack on Gaza in 2008-9, and it is not clear that she can travel to the UK without fear of arrest. The charge, Senator Cruz? War crimes.
Ah, and then there is Lindsey Graham, the Red Queen of the Senate (who is the essence of the pedantic governess and asks through-the-looking-glass questions like: “Divide a loaf by a knife: what’s the answer to that?”).
Graham wanted to know why Hagel voted against the 2007 senate resolution declaring the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps a terrorist organization.
The reason that was a dumb resolution is that terrorism is defined in the US civil code as the deployment of violence by a non-state actor against civilians for political purposes. Since the Revolutionary Guards are a kind of Iranian national guard, they are not a non-state actor. They are therefore not a terrorist organization. They may deploy terror, but it is state terror. (The senate also said they were terrorists because they were guilty of killing US troops in Iraq. First of all, there is no evidence that is true. Second of all, killing troops is not terrorism, it is an act of war). Graham’s position is illogical and makes a hash of any reasonable definition of terrorism.
Graham wants to pile on illogical charges against Iran and its institutions in order to force the US into a war on that country, which is 3 times more populous and much more geographically vast than Iraq. Because, like, Iraq went so well, I guess.
Then the Red Queen went after Hagel for having said that the “Jewish lobby” intimidates people. He demanded, “Name one person here who’s been intimidated by the Jewish lobby . . . Name one dumb thing we’ve been goaded into doing due to pressure by the Israeli or Jewish lobby.”
Hagel said he didn’t have anyone in mind.
The irony, of course, is that Graham is himself part of the Israel lobby, and there he was intimidating Hagel for complaining about having been intimidated!
All the congressmen and senators know that the Israel lobby intimidates them or tries to, on a daily basis. Ernst Hollings complained, “you can’t have an Israeli policy other than what AIPAC gives you around here.” AIPAC is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the de facto foreign agent of the Israeli government in the United States, which gets away with not having to register as such because it has bought off or intimidated Congress. 22-year Illinois veteran of congress Paul Findley has also complained about this. And, just read former AIPAC lobbyis M.J. Rosenberg regularly to get the inside scoop on how AIPAC pressures Congress, including against the president. As Graham knows, there is a whole book by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt about the Israel lobbies, which will soon be supplemented by further publications documenting all the … intimidation. The Israel lobbies work by threatening to give money to a rival in the next primary or election. Since races in many districts are close, and since there is no wealthy, organized lobby for the Palestinians or Arabs, it is crazy for a US politician to risk AIPAC’s ire. AIPAC doesn’t always win, and recognizing its effectiveness as a lobby is not to buy into the bigotted notion of Jews secretly controlling Gentiles. In fact, denying that the Israel lobby exists is not only willful blindness, it is itself a form of anti-Semitism, since such a denial depicts Jews as inherently unlike Cubans, Armenians, Indians, Latinos and all the other ethnic groups that lobby Congress.
The long arm of these lobbies is something about which I have a little personal experience.
Senator John McCain then attacked Hagel for having predicted that the surge or troop escalation ordered by George W. Bush would be a huge mistake. The Iraq War was fought under false pretenses (that the Saddam Hussein regime was two years from having a nuclear weapon and had big stores of biological and chemical weapons, and that it was behind the 9/11 attacks and trained al-Qaeda in the use of chemical weapons– all of these pretexts for war being wretched, bald-faced lies). The Neocons promised McCain’s committee a short inexpensive war of $60 billion, over within 6 months. Instead it turned into a quagmire that cost thousands of American lives and some 33,000 badly injured veterans who lead diminished lives. McCain was a cheerleader for the war, then a skeptic, then a cheerleader, and now he has decided that the troop escalation was a success.
If the ‘surge’ was a success, it was a minor one in a vast and pockmarked terrain of abject failure. But there are plenty of reasons to question the David Petraeus narrative of a successful surge. In Baghdad, the horrible civil war that killed tens of thousands in 2006 gradually subsided through 2007 mainly because the Shiites ethnically cleansed Sunnis from mixed neighborhoods. The US troop escalation was complicit here because it disarmed the Sunni neighborhood militias first, exposing them to night-time attacks by the still-armed Mahdi Army and Badr Corps. I have talked to Iraq vets who were on the ground and saw this process unfold with their own eyes; they say everyone knew that was what was happening. The turning of Baghdad into a largely Shiite city, while it tamped down violence, could hardly be called a big success (it had been about 50/50 Sunni and Shiite in 2002 before the Americans came).
The other element of the surge was the creation in al-Anbar Province and elsewhere of “Awakening Councils” or “Sons of Iraq,” essentially clan-based Sunni Arab militias willing to fight the Sunni-Muslim radicals who had asserted themselves in the Sunni Arab center-west of the country. Shiite prime minister Nouri al-Maliki opposed this program, which resulted in 80,000 armed Sunni militiamen, as a threat to the future public order in Iraq. After the violence began subsiding somewhat, he declined to bring more than about 9,000 of the Sons of Iraq into government security forces. The others were either cut off altogether or given small stipends. Some were hunted down and killed by the Muslim radicals, once they no longer had the protection of being in an organized unit. Some of the Sons of Iraq had been terrorists in 2005-2006, and al-Maliki refused to amnesty them, having them arrested and tried.
The big news from Iraq these days is precisely the continued discontent of Sunni Arab Iraqis, some of them (like the Abu Rishas) from families that had joined the Awakening Councils. They are demanding increased stipends for their service under Petraeus, demanding that hundreds of Sunni Arab youth arrested arbitrarily be released, demanding that the stigmatization of Sunni Arabs and the barring of them from public service be ended, and demanding that the pro-Iran, pro-Syrian, Shiite Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, step down.

So the “surge” didn’t account for the decline of violence in Baghdad, and its Awakening Councils created as many problems as they solved, and created expectations that continue to roil Iraqi politics and perhaps threaten a break-up of the country.
I’d say Chuck Hagel got it about right.



  1. After Texas turns blue in a few years? We shall see.

  2. I trace the recent and disastrous US ME interventions to a document authored by Richard Perle and others in 1996 titled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm".

    I don’t have the time to detail the importance of this document on Bush’s foreign policy post 9/11, nor the role that Likud supporters had in authoring it ---and ramming it through - but basically an 8-year old using google for 3 minutes could find a ream or two of sources to highlight its importance for Israel.

    Try it yourself.

  3. We have about 35 customer service reps in an office in Dallas. They started bitching a few weeks ago, when their weekly paychecks were 2% less. All were completely uninformed of the 2%.

    Someone did a straw pol and half voted for Obama, the other half didnt vote. I had to laugh.

    1. They were uniformed when the Obama Stimulous Package got 'em that 2% initially.

      They are the working poor.
      Some may even be paying income tax, in addition to the FICA.

      Tell 'em that the FICA is not an income tax, they'll not believe you.

    2. They are the Dim's useful idiots.

  4. Too bad the party of stupid does not put US foreign aid to the same level of scrutiny as they do for Hagel.
    Most foreign aid is a counterproductive and unconstitutional waste, and our aid to Israel is no exception.

    Israel has repeatedly conducted espionage against the US Israel’s government has sold and shared US classified military technology with our competitors and enemies. Where was the US Senate then?

    Israel has even attacked us militarily a time or two. The most flamboyant of the Israeli attacks on her loyal benefactor was the 1967 attempt to sink the U.S.S. Liberty, including all souls on board. We all remember the vigorous scrutiny by the US Senate. We are told to forget that “incident” but we must remember all the important events that happened two thousand years ago.

    1. Jenny,

      Please pull your nose out of the white aryan nation's guide to Israel and Zionism.

      If Israel wished to SINK the Liberty why did they not?

      They could have easily. Instead why did they use napalm to destroy the advanced comm gear?


      Was America most advances spy ship hijacked by the NSA and spying on Israel in a rogue operation???

      Did America actually order Israel to make the spying stop?

      Why did this rogue group of US NSA personal take over a ship and sail it into an zone that was off limits?

      inquiring minds want to know....

    2. .

      Lordy, lordy, da boy done gone batshit crazy.


    3. no.

      There is ample proof that the Liberty was spying on Israel under a rogue NSA group. This group took over command of the ship and sailed it into a restricted area, That is why why calls for help came, the US did not respond as they had no ships in the area.

    4. .

      We have been through this before.

      The Liberty was spying on the entire theater. You seem to forget what was going on at the time, that the Russian fleet was in the area, and that the US relations with the Russkies was at a low point. More importantly, since the Liberty was in international waters there was nothing illegal about it.

      Rogue NSA group? Ample proof? You have proved on numerous occasions in the past that you grasp of history is somewhat faulty. Now, it appears your grasp of reality also suffers.

      If Israel wished to SINK the Liberty why did they not?

      Gee, I don't know. Perhaps, incompetence.

      Or maybe in WiO-World, a torpedo through the hull, straffing of the deck and hull, the killing and wounding of the bulk of the crew, the naphalm, the sinking of the life rafts, is merely considered warning shots.

      Get your head out of your ass.


    5. Liberty was in an active war zone.

      The Russians were no where NEAR the liberty

      As for your point...

      "Gee, I don't know. Perhaps, incompetence."

      then maybe the Israelis DIDNT KNOW it was an American ship, since none were supposed to be there...


      great concept....

      America, Russia, Europe and China never ever showed any of that..

      never ever had a friendly fire incident did they...

      one standard of Israel no standards for anyone else...


    6. .

      One standard for Israel, none for anyone else. Bullshit.

      They could have easily. Instead why did they use napalm to destroy the advanced comm gear?

      We have had this argument before.

      You don't even try to make the pissant case that Israel and her apologists try to make about the Liberty incident, that it was all a big accident. Instead you rationalize, no justify, the attack and subsequent killings on a basically unarmed American ship sailing in international waters by her supposed ally, no as Bob would argue, her bestest friend in the world.

      You should reconsider where your loyalties really are.


    7. .

      You arguments about the Russians and the Americans not being NEAR the Liberty again shows your ignorance.

      The Liberty incident, the waves of attacks, the torpedo boats, the planes, the copters, extended over hours not minutes. The planes from the American and/or Russian fleets could have been there in minutes not hours.


    8. .

      Thirty-four Americans killed. A hundred and seventy-one injured. And what are you concerned about? The attacking Israelis being called incompetent.



    9. .

      Friendly-fire incident.

      Now it's a friendly fire incident. For the last couple of years you have been claiming this piracy by the NSA conspiracy theory bullshit, that the Israelis attacked the Liberty because it was feeding info to the Egyptians. Now in the space of two minutes, you shift a hundred and eighty degrees and say, no it was just a friendly fire incident Nothing to see here. Move along.

      By the way where is ol Bob, Hamdoon, Buck, Anon, Dopey, et al. Doesn't he want to get in on this?


    10. Still think it was piracy by the NSA,

      You said Israel was incompetent to sink a ship..

      SO it's not to hard to fathom by your thinking if they cannot SINK an unarmed ship? Well how do you KNOW they KNEW it was not hostile?

      You cant have it both ways,,,

    11. QuirkFri Feb 01, 05:26:00 PM EST
      .Thirty-four Americans killed. A hundred and seventy-one injured. And what are you concerned about? The attacking Israelis being called incompetent.

      It's telling cause it's the same old nonsense you trot out questioning my loyalities.

      Like America has never done anything wrong.

      I find it easy to believe that America on purpose and not on purpose gets Americans killed..

      Fast and Furious, benghazi, Waco and on and on.

      heck even Deuce claims that Ole Abe got hundreds of thousands killed in the Civil war.

      Is Obama causing the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of Americans in AFPAK by changing the rules of engagement?

      My concern for the innocent Americans killed stand strong, My Family has lost it's own defending this nation, I owe you no explanation.

      But to question my loyality to the USA because I QUESTION the honesty of the Liberty ship instance? Kiss my ass.

      The Americans in the Liberty got killed because a rogue NSA agent took the ship into a war zone, with no OFFICIAL permission to spy on Israel, transfer the data via cyprus to Egypt.

      You cannot disprove my theory so you question my loyalty.

      now that's telling..

    12. You know that your loyalties are to Israel first and your interests in America is all contingent on what it can do for Israel. Furthermore, you would subordinate US interests to Israeli interests. Embrace it and at least be honest about it.

    13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    14. .

      Like America has never done anything wrong.

      Right, change the subject.

      I would say everyone here, at one time or another, has pointed out things, that in their opinion, they think America has done wrong. However, we are talking about the Liberty incident so let's concentrate on that. It was Israel that attacked an American ship not the other way around.

      The Americans in the Liberty got killed because a rogue NSA agent took the ship into a war zone, with no OFFICIAL permission to spy on Israel, transfer the data via cyprus to Egypt.

      You cannot disprove my theory so you question my loyalty.

      I also can't 'prove' that Bigfoot doesn't exist. Modus tollens, the evidence of absence, its hard to prove a negative, some would say impossible.

      You first offer up the theory that a rogue NSA agent or agents took over a ship with hundreds of crew, a remarkable act of piracy in itself, and then state that they, without 'official' permission, intended to transfer info on Israeli war plans to Egypt. You offer no proof of this wild accusation, you just throw it out there. You don't explain what the captain or the rest of the crew were doing throughout all this. You fail to explain the pictures of the crew in shorts prior to the attack taking in the sun. You ignore that there was no mention of any mutiny in 'official' records. You ignore the fact no one in the NSA was ever tried for treason or for that matter charged with any of these treasonous actions. You offer up no explanation of why the NSA would want to do this. You fail to explain why the Jews that were part of the crew never said anything about it. And then you accuse me of not proving that your theory isn't worth shit.

      There are only a couple things I call you on and it is usually when you go off the deep end. The two that stand out are you stance on the Liberty and you idea of blowing up the Black Rock.

      You say I doubt your loyalty to the US. In the last few posts, your story has changed from it was piracy and treason on the part of the NSA that caused the Liberty incident and Israel had every right to attack the ship to it was a friendly fire incident and then back to it "was a rogue NSA agent". Which is it?

      Why was the Liberty attacked by Israel?

      Do you think Israel was justified in attacking the Liberty?

      Two simple questions.


    15. I think Israel attacked the spy ship Liberty. Regardless of it's nationality.

      I think it was being directed by an illegal group in the NSA.

      I think America was duped by these same NSA folks and had to cover their asses after they were exposed.

      I think Israel was justified during an active war to protect it's own interests.

      I think America is justified in doing all sorts of illegal acts to protect it's own interests.

      If American are caught spying on allies they should be treated the same way as if America is spied on by allies.

      Now if America or Israel are spied on by enemies and what was stolen HURTS either one of them? Different story.

      SO yes I see justification for Israel in attacking a un ID"s ship in the middle of an active war zone, and in LIGHT that the USA at the time, told Israel they did not have any ships in the area.

      I also still believe that the Liberty was sending an electronic war map to the Egyptians to help them defeat the Israelis.

      It's all about interests.

      Just as the USA today funds, supplies with f16s, tanks and billions of dollars to jihadist nations and groups, America feels it's in their interests to do so. Regardless of whom it murders.

      One standard for all, not just ONE standard for Israel.

    16. .

      There is major contention over the Liberty incident.

      I could disagree with Allen and did; but at least we argued over the availible evidence and the interpretation of that evidence. You offer up your beliefs but offer zip in the way of evidence to support it. You offer up wild theories that even Israel denies. This a consistent approach by you in trying to justify all Israeli actions even when they are against the interests of the US. Your revisionist history of the Suez incident is another perfect example.

      I agree that as you said Israel is justified during an active war to protect it's own interests. However, in attacking an unarmed ship in international waters (that of a nominal friend and ally) they also committed an act of war and can hardly be considered a friend or ally of the US. Your assertion that the Liberty was un-ID'd is absurd especially given the hours the attack took and the fact that it was conducted by Israeli forces both in the air and on the sea.

      I don't criticize the Israelis for protecting their interests as much as I blame US politics for not sending in the jets to blow the bastards to kingdom come.

      I still believe you consistenly twist whatever facts are availible to favor Israeli interests even when they are at odds with those of the US. The inconsistency of your arguments is a good example. Your story has changed here a number of times. You will say whatever it takes. For instance, in your latest version, you say that Israel attacked the Liberty for a specific reason, to keep the NSA from transmitting info to Egypt that would be detrimental to Israel. Then you turn around and say in the same post Israel attacked an unidentified ship because they didn't know who it was.

      Whatever it takes.

      Time for a reality check, bucko.



    17. you offer NO proof either..

      you just spin spin spin.

      You have your opinion and I have mine.

      NEITHER of us has access to anything other than what is printed in the media.

      You bring up the "liberty" as some litmus test...

      over and over again..

      Just another modern day blood libel...

    18. i find it interesting that the "people" that keep wanting to punish that shitty little country israel never seem to mention the USS Stark. These faux patriots are completely revealed by this. The USS Stark was bombed in the 1980's and more US service men were killed than on the Liberty back in the 60's. This was a guided-missile frigate which could be identified by even the most novice civilian, not some super secret spy ship like the Liberty. It was bombed by Iraq and was almost instantly labeled an accident. pure evidence of the oil lobby at work. Where are you "American patriots" for this injustice?? sound of silence.

    19. .

      Nonsense, WiO.

      The Bar has been through this discussion numerous times before. Both me, Allen, others have posted pages of documentation, videos, documentaries, testimony, eye witness accounts, the opinions of various US and Israeli officials, the testimony of the crew, the testimony of officers in the American fleet, second hand testimony, and testimony of people in the NSA discussing the Liberty's mission, the testimony of embassies in the area that picked up the ongoing radio transmisstions, discriptions of the events in various books, weather information in the area at the time of the incident, pictures of the Liberty before and after the incident, pictures of the Egyptian vessel the Israelis say they thought the Liberty was as well as diminsional and other comparisons, the testimony of the officers involved in the investigation, etc.

      You have offered zip, although there must be some nut out there that gave you this idea about NSA piracy. I can't see you as inventive enough to come up with it on your own.

      And I didn't bring up the Liberty. If you check back, you will see that my first comment was merely the observation that the theory you offered is batshit crazy.

      Blood libel. Nazi. Anti-semite. Typical. When confronted with the truth, obfuscate and insult.


    20. This comment has been removed by the author.

    21. .

      Ah, I see we have another one of the anonymous anonymi slinking in from somewhere, another pussy from cyber space, lacking the balls to post his comments under an identifiable tag. Or is this one of our own chicken-shit dicks. Bob likely or perhaps you WiO?

      If it's not a new asshole our own will do. Both WiO and Bob have no problem trying to rearrange the debate on their own terms.

      Whoever it is you are full of shit.

      Your argument is what? That it is all right for the Israelis to stick it to us since everyone else is doing it. That we shouldn't blame the Israeli's for the Liberty?

      There are similarities between the two incidents, almost the same amount killed, in the one instance the deed done by a supposed ally and in the other by a US surrogate, in both instances the perp claiming that it was all an accident, the US government letting them slide without punishment for political reasons to the disgrace of the victims.

      There are also differences. The stark was a one-off missile. The Israelis kept up methodical waves of attacks that extended over several hours resulting not only in the 34 deaths but in the wounding of over 170 others.

      But, then why nitpick. If you want to equate the Israelis with the Iraquis, that's fine with me.

      However, the real argument here is based on the fact that no one at this blog is defending the Iraquis and their attack on the Stark while at least one person here is defending the Israeli's surprise attack on an unarmed US ship in international waters that resulted in the deaths of 34 Americans and the injuring of an additional 171.


      pure evidence of the oil lobby at work.

      Now that I see this I tend to think Anon must be WiO. It would take someone with an imagination that could come up with NSA piracy and nuking the 'black stone' to come up with this idiocy.

      Where are you "American patriots" for this injustice?? sound of silence.

      Oh, yea. Must be WiO.


    22. I can see why you named yourself quirk. Newsflash for quirk: it is not brave in any way shape or form to make posts under a fake name.... duh!
      Post your real name and ssn to show how brave you are. What a joke accusing someone of cowardice for using the anon feature instead of a fake name. I will be amazed if our country survives your generation!
      The fact that there hasn't been a peep out of you or anyone here about the deaths of all those people on the Stark (which was more recent) makes it seem like you could care less about their deaths. You are like a Turkey, the one that gobbles and the country. Like the middle east, not a peep about the 60K plus dead in Syria but as soon as that evil Israel makes a move to prevent horrible weapons from falling into terrorist hands they all fly off the handle and point fingers at them. Bat shit crazy you are.

    23. Quirk.

      It is not I...

      However in the end you are the one that still holds the issue of the Liberty up.

      It's 40 years ago

      The USA accepts it was a mistake.

      You dont.

      WHo ya going to believe?

    24. .

      I don't believe it and neither do millions of others including you, unless you have changed your story again, WiO.

      As I said, you will do whatever it takes, accept any version of events as long as it plays to the advantage of Israel.


    25. .

      Right, Anon, and you can lose yourself among the many other anons out there offering plausible deniability when you prove yourself an ass.

      "No, no, no, it wasn't me, it was the other Anon, no not that Anon, the other Anon."

      At least when I put up a post people can call me on it in the future. Who really gives a shit about what one of the many anonymous anonymi that happen by might happen to say?

      As for Syria, get real, you don't give a flying fuck about the 60,000 people killed in Syria and neither does WiO. You would rather both sides just killed each other off. I know that's true of WiO. Why don't you tell me what you want to see happen there.

      I, like most of the people at the Bar, stated my views on Syria when the trouble started. Mine hasn't changed. How many times do I have to say them before it sinks into that dull mind of yours? 10? 20? Is there some standard you would like to propose?

      As for your other accusations, you are either a moron or you don't visit here all that much. Ask your friend WiO, how much I have attacked Israel. Also ask him how much I have defended her against some of the other bloggers here. If he's honest he will admit there are three or four issues I call him on and most of them are based on his take on history (except for his idea of blowing up a friggin rock).

      I will admit I'm unlike you, willing to defend Israel regardless of what she does and rationalizing it (or justifying it, take your pick) on the basis that the other dicks that inhabit the ME are just as bad or worse. Great rationale.

      As for the Stark, as I said it matters little to me if you want to equate Israel with Iraq. Go for it. I'll bring it up the next time WiO tells the Bar how one Israeli is worth 1000 Arabs.


    26. its a free country, support who you want but please show some respect for the fallen of the Stark and show some equal outrage.

    27. .

      Look at the beginning of this post stream, how it started, who started it, where I entered it, and where it devolved to.

      The Stark? You hypocritical prick. Why haven't you brought it up? You have every chance to bring it up on any one of the streams Deuce posts. If it's so important to you, why haven't you done so before? Why haven't you brought up the subject every year on the anniversary of the attack?

      The only possible reasons I can see are

      1. It's merely a canard, something to inject into the conversation to help WiO out with his assertion that everyone is out to get the poor Jews.


      2. You don't really care about the Stark. You merely shed crocodile tears for effect.

      However, on the off chance that I am wrong and as I've said before, you have made your point. In the future, in any reference to the Liberty I will also make the point that the Iraquis are just as bad as the Israelis, that they are equivalant. That should satisfy your need for 'equal outrage'.


  5. I think that one could easily match up the loyalty of Hagel, especially in Viet Nam to any American.

    I, for one, am sick and tired of “chicken-hawks” like Cruz, Cheney, Bush II and others denigrating Americans who have served this country nobly.

    Loyalty to Israel? I thought the hearing were about an American being Secretary of Defense and being loyal to the United States of America.

    1. I, for one, am sick and tired of individuals being put on a pedestal because they were drafted 35 years ago. The idea that someone who served cannot be scrutinized by someone who didn't is just plain stupid.

    2. I, for one, am sick and tired of of individuals claiming they served without any actual proof of service. I would love to have it a crime for those who lie about service, awards or duties to be prosecuted.

  6. Juan Cole? Really? A bit hysterical and scattershot isn't he?

    Okay then, let's drop the AIPAC, Jewish Lobby thing and address the competency of the Nominee. If the man is qualified, no problem though if not, he should not be confirmed simply because he is Obama's nominee or because he 'stood up' to the Jewish lobby.

    1. It's a reoccurring thing...

      Blood libel in it's newest form....

      Posted on the blog here on a regular basis...

    2. Tell me what Israel has done for the US I know they have done the bidding of the Brits and French over Suez. I know that they killed a large group of American sailors on the USS Liberty, a recon ship in INTERNATIONAL waters watching the war between Israel and Egypt. I know that they were the “middle man" to sell missiles to Iran on behalf of the Reagan Administration and such money was used illegally to supply weapons to the contras in Nicaragua (something the Boland Amendment prohibited) but tell me specifically, what Israel has ever done for the United States. Please. Whenever I can, I ask this question and I never get a answer. Perhaps you can enlighten me.

  7. It appeared to me that the hysteria was in the Senate, but your points are well taken.

  8. I do recall that Mr Cole was not well respected by the BC bunch.

  9. I remember when the BC hated the Guardian, Independent and did not know who the Telegraph was. The BC has been wrong on prognostication and short on most everything but group think.

  10. What an excellent propaganda twist this is by Deuce.

    Talk about trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear!


    I can't help it, and hope this post doesn't offend anyone, but even the White House seems to be saying Hagel is a dolt -

    Unspinnable: White House “disappointed” in Hagel’s performance at hearing
    posted at 9:31 am on February 1, 2013 by Allahpundit

    Deuce doesn't generally deal in comedy, but today is different.
    Hamdoon is reporting a small nuke may have been used at Fordow.

  11. All this crazy shit going on in politics, Media, courts,...
    What possible context could it be put in to understand it all?

    Things that make you say, Hmmmmm?

  12. Well if you are hinting that Barky may be the anti-Christ I might almost be tempted to agree with you.

    The Roosians thought Napoleon the anti-Christ, and many thought the same of Dolph.

    So many candidates, so little time.

    1. Sauron the Necromancer comes to mind, but that is just because I have been reading about Tolkien.

    2. Some may even think of Lincoln.

      I don't 'believe' in that kind of prophecy though.

      I see it as a description of the same kind of shit that happens again and again, never quite the same.

      My context of understanding is that we are a really really new species, and haven't gotten a solid grip yet.

      It is a real trick, not fully mastered, to integrate the fore brain with the reptilian.

      Plus too many people, you got trouble in River City. Add in nukes, look out.

    3. Obomba is just an instrument of George Soros.

  13. the de facto foreign agent of the Israeli government in the United States, which gets away with not having to register as such because it has bought off or intimidated Congress.

    wow, really nice thing to say about American citizens pursuing their rights, under the Constitution to petition our government.

    You should be ashamed of yourself for post such libelous trash.

    Somehow I dont think you will...

    1. As a Texan, I am embarrassed by Sen. Cruz, who apparently thinks the Lone Star is in fact the Star of David.

    2. Well "christian" you certainly do not love Christ. Nor Israel.

      I'd suggest you might change your name to "satan"...

      It fits better...

    3. I’d suggect you not come to Texas.

    4. I was raised there nitwit....

      You sound more like a satan than you do a "christian"

    5. Now, christian,

      Go on to church, open up that thing you call a bible and read it...

      Dont skip the thick part in front, read it....

      Now tell us all, where does it say "hate the jews" hate israel"

    6. Go to your synagogue and open that thing you call a torah and then tell me what Israel has done for the US I know they have done the bidding of the Brits and French over Suez. I know that they killed a large group of American sailors on the USS Liberty, a recon ship in INTERNATIONAL waters watching the war between Israel and Egypt. I know that they were the “middle man" to sell missiles to Iran on behalf of the Reagan Administration and such money was used illegally to supply weapons to the contras in Nicaragua (something the Boland Amendment prohibited) but tell me specifically, what Israel has ever done for the United States. Please. Whenever I can, I ask this question and I never get a answer. Perhaps you can enlighten me.

    7. Not a dam thing...

      Israel should just be thrown to the wolves and die...

      After all that's what America did to the Jews in WW2...

      And that's what you want right?

      A dead jew is a good jew...

    8. ”Israel should just be thrown to the wolves and die…

      After all that’s what America did to the Jews in WW2…”

      I get it, Israel was innocent about attacking the Liberty, but America did the Jews in during WWII. Really?

    9. you get nothing.

      your hatred blinds you.

      there is no sense in talking to a bigot like you.

  14. Breaking News11:27 AM ET

    White House Proposes Compromise on Contraception Coverage

    Seeing that headline reminded me of a bit I heard on the radio the other day. It was interview with one of the lawyers involved in Roe v Wade. She mentioned that in Texas, when they were beginning the legal fight, it was illegal for an unmarried woman to purchase contraception.

    illegal to obtain birth control illegal to get an abortion - how messed up is that?

  15. The whole Hagel fiasco is to be blamed on Senate staff. They gave the Senators the Level II question cards, when they should have been using the Level I cards, out of the five Level question card deck. This was too much for ChuckyCheese, who wasn't even expecting a question about what Iranian policy might be. Containment, denial of nukes, what's that all about? Cheese is competent to stand up, to eat without a bib, to walk, but Level II? Not a chance. Once he was given a piece of paper by a Senator with the answer written on it and he even flubbed that. According to Wolf Blitzer at CNN (!!!) the Senators were amazed, even walking about during recess shaking their heads in disbelief. This whole thing goes back to the Senators always hiring female staff for their sexual attributes, and not their secretarial skills. Even the White House was embarrassed by the episode.

    1. Why should he know where I ran?

    2. .

      This whole thing goes back to the Senators always hiring female staff for their sexual attributes, and not their secretarial skills.



  16. Replies
    1. I think that is Bob Munden from Butte, Montana.

      Famous in these parts, he died of a heart attack recently.

  17. "ITS A BOY" I shouted "A BOY, I DON'T BELIEVE IT, ITS A BOY" and with tears streaming down my face
    I swore I'd never visit another Thai brothel!!!

  18. Carl Levin gazes upon the future of “smart power” and sees … Chuck Hagel.

    “I don’t think he’s going to lose any Democratic votes, that we know of,” Sen. Carl Levin told reporters after the hearing. “I think there’s at least a few Republicans who’ve already said, publicly, that they support his nomination.” When pushed, he could barely name two. “What I’ve heard—I’ve heard that Sen. Cochran, and I’ve heard Sen. Murkowski. That’s third hand. If nobody in this crew has heard that Sen. Murkowski is inclined, then I will withdraw that comment.”

    Levin said that yesterday. As of 4:30 p.m. ET today, there are still zero Democratic defections. Is that because the caucus really is comfortable with a guy who can’t correctly state Obama’s position on Iran after weeks of rehearsal (presumably)? Or is it because the Dems are now counting on Republicans to go nuclear with a filibuster, which would solve their Hagel problem for them and let them engage in their favorite pastime, blaming the GOP for being obstructionist? Here’s a ringing endorsement of the candidate from inside the White House:

    “It’s somewhere between baffling and incomprehensible,” a member of Mr. Obama’s own team of advisers on Iran said on Thursday night when asked about Mr. Hagel’s stumbling performance on the question during the all-day hearing.

    Hapless, unqualified candidate likely to receive unanimous Democratic support for key cabinet post

    Hapless, other words, a real dumb shit.

  19. Cat pee glows under black light.

    1. You sure you weren't really drunk and took a leak in the living room?

    2. .

      Word to the wise, so do other things, Sam.

      Just saying.


    3. Quirk is speaking from experience.

      Man, was his wife mad.

  20. Just for Jenny, but also those interested in the UN Human Rights Council --

    The real crime, of course, would be a massive exercise in ethnic cleansing -- the elimination of all Jews beyond the 1949 armistice line, which left East Jerusalem and the West Bank under Jordanian control until 1967, when they were captured by Israel in the Six-Day War. Jordan's "occupation" was never recognized internationally. And there never existed a prior sovereign Palestinian rule.

    February 1, 2013
    U.N. advocates ethnic cleansing, Jews and Jerusalem are the target
    Leo Rennert


  21. Contentions
    Ed Koch, 1924-2013
    John Podhoretz | @jpodhoretz 02.01.2013 - 8:35 AM

    Cities decline. St. Louis was the third largest city in the United States in 1900 and now it’s the 58th. Cities die. Detroit had the most well-to-do middle class in the United States in 1960 and is now a lunar landscape. New York could have been one of those cities. In the mid-1970s, it gave every indication of becoming one. It went broke. It was drenched in crime, its transportation system covered in graffiti, its police force stained by corruption, its education system a calamity, its parks more muddy than grassy. And in the summer of 1977, all the horror came together in a blackout in which looters caused what would today be more than $1 billion in damage in a matter of six or seven hours.

    Along came Ed Koch.....

    A democrat I liked, and what a good sense of humor.

  22. Really it only takes a moments reflection to shut down this mind numbingly dumb idea that because a man has some medals, served his country bravely as a grunt, and is in politics he might make a better defense secretary than someone without those qualifications, and be less likely to send people into combat needlessly, or waste human lives.

    Examples abound, all over the place, and around the world. The man I am currently thinking of was very brave, a grunt, badly wounded, and had the highest medals, and was a politician, and was quite intelligent. He was in charge for a while of the defense of his country. The name of this man we are not supposed to mention according to some blog etiquette these days, but no matter, there are many many other examples around the world.

    In fact thinking of these things one can just as well conclude that a military person might be not the better, but the worse type for secretary of defense.

    It all depends on the person. Whether that person was ever in a military or not, or was wounded or not, or has medals or not is totally beside the point.

    1. Further, this idea that military action should be only a last resort, that everything else should be tried first, which seems to be a corollary here of the main proposition that only those that 'know' war and have been in it should make the decisions about going to war, is also so obviously false just from recent historical experience, let alone a little reflection, that it might be thought laughable if it were not such a serious subject. This is also the idea behind the Catholic idea of the 'just war'. Millions have died uselessly for this idea, when perhaps only thousands would have died if action had been taken earlier.

    2. Also towards the end of a conflict the use of more rather than less force might save lives by bringing the conflict to the point where everyone on the other side realizes further resistance is futile.

  23. Never you peons mind the fact that if evolution ran any further backwards, Chuck Hagel would climb up a tree and start peeling a banana. As outgoing Sec. State Hillary Clinton famously asked: “What difference does it make?” If we’ve really reached the part of Thus Spoke Zarathustra where we’re down to The Last Man; not too much. Just relax and have another one. The inevitable ascendancy of the execrable Chuck Hagel is probably just a sign that it’s bedtime for Democracy.


    Maybe this is just me, but if I were Colonel Jessup, Chuck Hagel is not the man I’d want up there on the wall*. Instead, Chuck Hagel reminds me of philosophical predictions of the failed final men that would inhabit a flaccid, deadbeat West. Nietzsche’s portrayal of “The Last Man” springs to the forefront. Wikipedia gives a concise description of what a mediocrity the Last Man would truly be.

    The last man is tired of life, takes no risks, and seeks only comfort and security. Nietzsche said that the society of the last man would be too barren to support the growth of great individuals. The last man is possible only by mankind’s having bred an apathetic creature who has no great passion or commitment, who is unable to dream, who merely earns his living and keeps warm.


    :(((( Hagel also raised questions about his fitness for the job by announcing that he wasn’t in a policy-making position. If The Pentagon doesn’t help shape US defense policy, smart minds could envision far more lucrative uses for the real estate.)))) He suggested Israel’s anti-terror policies were morally equivalent with the behavior of Hezballah’s terrorism***. He further announced that if confirmed, he intended to know a lot more than he currently does. That apparently isn’t a very high bar for personal improvement. As one anonymous Democrat remarked.

    “It is very clear from the testimony that Sen. Hagel will not be bringing the potato salad to the next Mensa picnic.”

    Chuck Hagel – The Nietzschian Last Man
    If Evolution Ran Any Further Backwards Chuck Hagel Would Climb a Tree and Start Peeling a Banana

  24. DeuceFri Feb 01, 07:09:00 PM EST
    You know that your loyalties are to Israel first and your interests in America is all contingent on what it can do for Israel. Furthermore, you would subordinate US interests to Israeli interests. Embrace it and at least be honest about it.


    But speaking of being honest?

    Why not come clean and admit you are an Israel / jew hating person?

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