“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."

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Could the Obama legacy be A US-Iranian grand bargain? “We are going to do a terrible thing to you: we are going to deprive you of your enemy”

Israeli and Saudi leaders could lose out if Iran deprives the US of its enemy

Opinion: Previous offer from Tehran was dismissed by Bush’s neocons
Sun, Oct 20, 2013, 00:01
‘The Saudis’ worst nightmare would be the administration striking a grand bargain with Iran. ” Robert Gordon, US ambassador to Riyadh in 2001-2003, so highlights the potential significance of this week’s constructive talks in Geneva between Iran and six world powers, chaired by the European Union.
They are to reconvene in three weeks, encouraging speculation that a larger geopolitical shift might be possible if agreement is reached on Iran’s nuclear programme and economic sanctions are lifted. Relations between the US and Iran, frozen since the 1979 revolution, could be transformed – putting in question fundamental US policies and alignments in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and Israel would be the main losers in any such realignment, or rather their existing leaderships would be.
Since they take US hostility to Iran so much for granted, it is not surprising that they and their allies in the US Congress are so hostile. These, up to now, highly influential actors have run into a qualitatively new element at play – the strong force of public opinion in Iran and the US in favour of diplomatic rather than military solutions to the conflict.
The Geneva talks recall Iran’s previous offer of just such a grand bargain made to the Bush administration in 2003-2004. They dismissed it in the euphoria of the Iraq invasion and neoconservative enthusiasm for regime change in the “axis of evil” including Iran.
After that the hardline Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president in 2005 and the nuclear programme was accelerated. Iran is entitled to nuclear energy, is a member of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and there is no proof it intends to build a nuclear weapon; but threatened with regime change does that option not make sense in a realist calculus of power politics?

Rouhani offer
The 2003-2004 offer came from Hassan Rouhani, then its chief nuclear negotiator and now president of Iran – having defeated hardline candidates decisively in the first round of June’s election on a 73 per cent turnout.
It included a nuclear deal, enhanced security, mutual respect and access to technology in return for Iranian recognition of Israel and a two-state settlement, help in stabilising Iraq, halting aid to Hamas in Gaza and a changed Iranian relationship with Hizbullah in Lebanon.
There is no indication as yet that any similar offer is now in prospect. Events since then cannot simply be rolled back, there is a different balance of power in both states and great scepticism in Washington about Iranian intentions from a commentariat still steeped in neoconservative nostrums about Iran’s dangerous regional role.
Nonetheless the intensity, candour and speed of this week’s talks deeply impressed US officials. All are mindful of how perilous the Middle East now is, and how open the region might be for change. The moment seems right for a realignment and it is not fanciful to sketch out scenarios.

Growing cleavage
The elements of what was on offer 10 years ago are still in fact highly relevant in Syria, for Israel, for Iran’s proxy force in Hizbullah and for the wider Arab region undergoing uprisings, deflected revolutions, frustrated reforms and a growing cleavage between Sunni and Shia Islam.
That should not be obscured by disbelief in Israel and Saudi Arabia, the two states whose leaders have a deep interest in spoiling change. Their disconbobulation recalls the remark Gorbachev’s advisor Georgi Arbatov made in 1989 to the West: “We are going to do a terrible thing to you: we are going to deprive you of your enemy”.
A US-Iranian grand bargain along these lines would force Israel to deal seriously with the Palestinian question and abandon creeping annexation of their land. It would leave the Saudis stranded with the Sunni opposition they have stoked up in Syria, having to rethink their support for the army in Egypt for fear of the Muslim Brotherhood.
They would have to confront a likely future when fracking in the US makes them a less indispensable source of oil, no longer the main arms purchasers and base hosts for the Americans and having, like other Gulf monarchies, to prepare their own societies for political change.
Above all such a bargain could de-escalate the sectarian cleavage in the Muslim world which Iranian-Saudi rivalry has brutally instrumentalised, reinforcing anti-Islamic stereotypes in Europe and elsewhere.
Obama needs a legacy and responded shrewdly by delaying military intervention in Syria, recognising the strong tide of US public opinion against it. Having failed to deliver on his pivot to Asia he will, one hopes, be tempted to pursue this bargain.



  1. Saudi Arabia in Unprecedented Withdrawal from UN Security Council over Syria, Palestine

    Posted on 10/19/2013 by Juan Cole

    Saudi Arabia mysteriously withdrew, after having campaigned for and won a seat on the UN Security Council. They said it was over Western inaction on Syria and the the Palestinians.

    The UN Security Council consists of 5 permanent members (China, Russia, US, Britain and France), essentially the victors in WW II. These 5 get a veto. It also has 10 rotating members who are much less powerful and cannot veto resolutions.

    Saudi Arabia had campaigned for a seat on the UNSC as a rotating member, and just won one (along with Chile, Nigeria, Chad and Lithuania). It is a two-year term, and the rotating members do have some influence on world affairs (they declined e.g. to authorize Bush’s Iraq War). I received a press release from the Saudi government celebrating this achievement.

    Then all of a sudden on Friday, Saudi Arabia resigned its seat. It said that it did so over UNSC inaction on Syria and on the lack of progress in resolving the problem of Palestinians’ statelessness. Some observers also suggested that it was an implicit protest against the possibility that the US and Iran will make up.

    It is hard to know what to make of the Saudi action, which has never occurred before in the history of the UN. Perhaps King Abdullah believes that his country would get more concessions from Russia regarding Syria this way than it would without the histrionics.

    There are three possibilities going forward. The Saudis could rethink their reluctance, and could finally join before January 1, when their term begins. The UNSC could on the other had have a special election to replace them. Third, the UNSC could limp along with 14 members for a couple of years.

    Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest oil exporter and it has hundreds of billions of dollars in currency reserves. It could be that the kingdom is throwing its weight around more now, and this resignation is meant to draw attention to the Syria gridlock.

    Stay tuned. Saudi Arabia is not playing politics as usual.

    1. In other words, Saudi Arabia has traded away all that oil under their ground for little green pieces of paper that the Federal Reserve can make with a printing press, and now have one of the world's biggest stack of green paper, almost as big as China's.

  2. Kingdom will not be part of ‘ineffective Security Council with double standard’

    “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia believes that the manner, the mechanisms of action and a double standard existing in the Security Council prevent it from performing its duties and assuming its responsibilities toward preserving international peace and security as and when required,” the statement said.
    This has led to the “continued disruption of peace and security, the expansion of injustices against people, violation of rights and the spread of conflicts and wars around the world.”
    The ministry said: “The real guarantee for world security and peace requires all member states to abide by the UN Charter honestly, truthfully and accurately.
    “It is unfortunate that all international efforts that have been exerted in recent years, and in which Saudi Arabia participated very effectively, did not result in the reforms required for the Security Council to regain its desired role of ensuring peace and security in the world. The current continuation of the Palestinian cause without a just and lasting solution for 65 years, which resulted in several wars threatening international peace and security, is irrefutable evidence and proof of the Security Council's inability to carry out its duties and assume its responsibilities.”
    The ministry added: “Allowing the ruling regime in Syria to kill and burn its people with chemical weapons, while the world stands by idly, without applying deterrent sanctions against the regime, is also irrefutable evidence and proof of the inability of the Security Council to carry out its duties and responsibilities.”
    The ministry said the Security Council also failed to counter “without exception” the nuclear ambitions of all Middle East countries. The ministry said the Kingdom rejects the seat “until the council is reformed and enabled, effectively and practically” to carry out its mandate.


    1. "The current continuation of the Palestinian cause without a just and lasting solution for 65 years, which resulted in several wars threatening international peace and security, is irrefutable evidence and proof of the Security Council's inability to carry out its duties and assume its responsibilities.”

    2. So the failure to solve the Palestinian issue resulted in all those Arab-Israeli wars, or was it Arabs driving tanks into Israel? I'm confused.

    3. :-) Point well taken. There is nothing more likely than attempting to drive a tank into Israel to get you a hard rap on the knuckles. What is crazy about this business going on for 65 years is that no other country in the history of the world has been expected to abandon strategic real estate taken during war. The US still has strong military presences in Germany and Japan.

      Israel is not going to lie down and die because a world full of Jew haters get their knickers in a knot.

      The UN was very kind to Israel in 1948, never expecting it to survive an attack by the combined onslaught of Arab armies. When Israel did survive, the UN was totally taken aback.

      The US has killed more civilians in the past two years in Afghanistan than Israel has kill in decades of fighting Arab intifadas.
      Russia has massacred hundreds of thousands of belligerent Muslims in places like Chechnya. And people waste ink on Israel's measured attempts to survive.

      Again, Israel is going nowhere. If you don't like it, come and take it. NEVER AGAIN!

    4. The Invention of the Jewish People"...
      is a book written by Shlomo Sand, an Israeli professor of history at the University of Tel Aviv.

      The author wasn’t probing a belief system but Zionist fabrications of a spurious common lineage for people of the Jewish faith.

      Sand argues that the idea of Jews having a common ethnic identity is implausible because, ... with Christianity and Islam, Judaism was originally a “proselytising religion”.

      The notion of Judaism as a “race”, rather than a religion of various races, is without foundation.

      The recent study by John Hopkins geneticist Dr Elhaik confirms that the common genome structure of the European Jew ...
      ... gravitated towards an origin in old Khazaria.

      “The majority of Jews do not have Middle Eastern genetic component,” he told Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

      Founded on a mélange of myths and manufactured historical tales,
      Israel has failed the archaeological test of time and is now exposed by DNA science.

      Today’s genetics prove unequivocally that in 1948 “the children of the original Jews” were replaced by converts ...
      ... with no roots in the Middle East.

    5. Not only bunk, but quite beside the point: We have it and we intend to keep it, fascist racial purity tests notwithstanding.

    6. Most Ashkenazi Jews are genetically Europeans

    7. It is not "bunk" it is genetic science.

      Do you deny science?

      Whether or not the fasciss in Tel Aviv continue to hold Palestine, or not ...
      Time will tell.

      But that the Ashkenazi have no hereditary claim to the land of that there is no doubt, no question.

      All that the Ashkenazi colonialists from Europe have to bolster their blusterous claims, is force of arms.
      They have no moral argument.
      They have no hereditary birthright.

    8. The Ashkenazi are just another wave of European Crusaders.

      They may hold Palestine for a few years, as the invaders historically do, but then they will be overwhelmed.
      As the Crusaders from Europe always have been.

    9. I will try again: I do not care if the Ashkenazi are from Polynesia, they are Jews. As such, they are entitled to every benefit and ensnared by every obligation entailed thereby.

      There are Jews of every race and color. If creeds were a part of Judaism, we have those as well.

      We hold the land at the cost of our blood and treasure. Given the barbarism of our adversaries, we have been exceedingly patient. Israel is the only country in the world expected to silently tolerate thousands of missiles being fired at its citizens. Had Putin experienced even on such attack, there would have been a river of blood in retaliation.

      Whether Ashkenazi, Shephardi, reform, conservative, traditional, or orthodox, black, white, brown, or yellow, we will defend our home.

  3. The Energy Department’s plan to modernize its aging nuclear weapons complex and update the seven hydrogen bomb designs in the nation’s arsenal would require massive investments at a time of severe budget pressure.

    As a result, the plan is getting a tough assessment by members of outside groups, who say congressional Republicans and Democrats are not fully on board with what the Obama administration has proposed in the last year: a $60 billion effort that would transform industrial arms sites across the nation and fundamentally reconfigure weapon designs.

    A report this week by the Union of Concerned Scientists raises new objections that the plan would require construction of unnecessary facilities and introduce untested combinations of parts inside the bombs, which could erode confidence in their reliability and safety.

  4. The question is: Will Obama sell the USA and Israel out?

    Good chance of it.

    1. There is no chance of that at all.
      Anonymouse is a dumabss


    2. A report this week by the Union of Concerned Scientists raises new objections that the plan would require construction of unnecessary facilities and introduce untested combinations of parts inside the bombs, which could erode confidence in their reliability and safety.

      <eyeroll>Sure, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the same guys who say global warming science is "settled" (making Karl Popper roll in his grave) are worried that some of our nukes won't work. </eyeroll>

  5. An Enemy is a Terrible Thing to Waste.

    We stopped wasting enemies after WWII, with the notable, and remarkable exception of NORKOR.

    ...resulting in the most extreme example of centralized control vs anything else.

    1. Anything else would be better than Obamacare:



      or best of all, improving what we've got.

  6. I wonder where the rest of the TWENTY FIVE BILLION went?

    Video by Roonhee Ko

    The hotline is being funded as part of a $25 billion grant.

    Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the creation of a foreclosure hotline for struggling homeowners Thursday morning.

    Members of legal service groups and housing counseling agencies showed up for the announcement of a toll-free foreclosure hotline that will be offered by the California Consumer Justice Coalition.

    The hotline is being funded as part of a $25 billion grant.

    Garcetti urged homeowners at risk to call and said the foreclosure crisis is not over.

    By Roonhee Ko
    Thursday, October 17, 2013 | 10:50 a.m. PDT

    1. 25 Billion here, 25 Billion there,

      before you know it, we're talkin Big Bucks.


  7. Hill and Bill, 2016

    FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Hillary Clinton made her first campaign appearance in nearly five years on Saturday to support Terry , her old friend who’s running as the Democratic nominee for governor in Virginia.

    But for the media and the majority of attendees packed into The State Theatre here for the event, it was all about her.

    She laid out a case for McAuliffe that rested strongly on women’s equality, gay marriage and rejecting the “scorched earth” politics that have defined Washington over the past several months.

    Though she didn’t directly call out Republicans, it was clear who she was talking about when she said some politicians have been operating in an “evidence-free zone”, “do not believe in America’s progress” and are trying to “hijack” the future.

    Bill Clinton: Politics 'not theology'

    Chelsea Clinton won't rule out bid for office

    She gets 60 percent of the Women.

    She gets 60 percent of Hispanics.

    40 plus percent of men.

    90 percent of the Blacks.

    Most of the Gays.

    All of the Transgendered.

    What's not to like?

    Hillary 2016!

    Four More Years!


    1. How could Pubs override her Veto of Eliminating Obamacare?

    2. We Agree!

      You win.

      The Nation Loses.

    3. She wouldn't be in my top 5 picks for the nomination, maybe not even in my top 10.

      However, 60% of wimmin, and 40% of men gets you the white house.

    4. Julian Castro, from San Antonio

      Mallory from Maryland

      Elizabeth Warren

      Amy Klobuchar

      Beshear from Kentucky

      Heidi Heitkamp from North Dakota - the real winner from the "shutdown"

      Jerry Brown

      Devall Patrick from Massachusetts

      Bernie Sanders from Vermont

      Charlie Crist from Florida, to name a few

      All show up higher on my radar than the hildebeast

      That said, the affordable care act is set in stone.

    5. The Republicans are defending a ridiculous number of seats in 2016. Over 25, I think. The chance of them walking off with 60 Senate seats, And the Presidency has to be the longshot of the ages.

    6. The Future is here.

      It Sucks.

    7. Maybe, but at least it's bringing healthcare.

    8. "Bernie Sanders from Vermont"

      The One Socialist in Congress!

      Do you label yourself as a Conservative?

    9. instead of another war.


    10. No, I don't label myself "Conservative."

      American, I guess.

    11. "...bringing healthcare...."

      At prices never paid before.

      For Diminished Access to quality Healthcare.

    12. ...and outrageous deductibles.

      For Others.

      Illegals, Single Mothers, Baby Momas, etc.

      Hail to the Chief!

      We've been transformed.

      Loserville Nation.

    13. Everyone who has actually gone onto the website is reporting Lower prices,

      and how can going from No healthcare to very good healthcare be construed as "diminished" access to quality healthcare.

    14. The deductibles can't go over a certain percentage of your income, a fact overlooked, or ignored, by the detractors.

    15. And, "illegals" are Not covered.

    16. "The deductibles can't go over a certain percentage of your income"

      So if you have a good income, your Deductibles Skyrocket. pay for others.

      For Young to Pay for Old.

      Fair's Fair

  8. "American, I guess."

    You Qualify for more than that lowly descriptor:

    Citizen of the World!

    Free Healthcare for South Americans, the Continents Asia and Africa, and etc.

    When they live here, and when they don't

    Healthcare For Everybody!

    It's A Right!

    ...and WE are responsible.

    In Rufus/Obamavile

    1. "Vile?"

      I would say that that is the hatred that would lead one to lie, and misrepresent, in order to deny healthcare to Americans less fortunate than oneself.

    2. QE Healthcare Forever.

      For Everyone.


      ...until QE Crashes.

    3. Please List the Lies you cite.

      And evidence of hatred.

      ...I experience sorrow at the fallen condition of human nature wherever Freedom does not reign.


    4. We'll see whether Illegals are given healthcare, or not, won't we?

      ...more than a few do now.

      When they're legalized, does anyone believe they will be denied?

    5. "Cite the lies?" Okay,

      "higher premiums" That's clearly not the case

      "higher deductibles" Not true - as you know, the deductible depends upon the level of coverage, selected

      "illegals qualifying" definitely a lie, which you implicitly admitted.

      "Hate?" when you start throwing around phrases such as "vile," and "baby momas" whatever the hell that is

      You might as well move onto something else, bubba; you lost this fight.

    6. Why wouldn't illegals qualify? Aren't they voters too?

  9. The Socialist hangs out at

    "The Libertarian"


    1. The "Socialist" that is tired of

      stupid wars,

      of poor children not having a chance for decent healthcare, or much of anything else

      building thousands of tanks, and parking them in the desert,

      that is fed up with an idiotic China policy that makes the corporations rich, and destroys the poor, and middle class,

      that is in favor of raising the minimum wage, so that a full-time employee doesn't require my taxes to pay for food stamps

      that recognizes the necessity of transitioning away from foreign oil, and other finite fossil fuels.

      That's fed up with 25% of the largest corporations paying Zero federal income taxes.

      Yeah, That kind of "socialist."

    2. If my neighbor asks for me to pay for his family's healthcare and I say I can't afford it,

      does that mean I HATE them?

    3. Libertarians oppose stupid wars too. The last decent war was probably World War Two, and before that the one General Washington won. Libertarians also see the benefit of preventing fraud by requiring membership in a risk-pool (business liabilities as well as traffic issues and health care) but we oppose the use of tax money to subsidize premiums. If this sounds cruel, telling poor folks they can't have a heart transplant before they die, it probably is, but it's more honest than the Canadian system that tells poor folks they can have a heart transplant but don't tell them it'll be well after they die.

    4. Hey, we all could be transformed into Surgeons that put hearts in cadavers.

      The Failure Rate would approach Zero!

      ...and we could be paid 50 times the minimum wage.

      And hide the fact that we send our kids out to buy stuff w/foodstamps!

    5. Dogging a fine, intelligent commentor with disgusting, misogynistic slurs would, I believe, qualify as "hate," wouldn't you?

    6. The first "Surgeon" that brings a Cadaver Back to life gets A Zombie Award Trophy.

    7. Those that continue the expansion of Zombie Nation

      get a Certificate in Honor.

    8. The problem "libertarians" have bringing up Canada, is that Canadians have more personal wealth, live longer, and pay about half of what Americans pay for healthcare.

    9. Again, please cite the "disgusting, misogynistic slurs"

      I agree she's a fine, intelligent commentor.

    10. Could those poor people "afford it" when they helped subsidize your mortgages, and solar panels, and corporate healthcare?

    11. "Fat, white, self-loathing c**t"

      Will that do it?

    12. Dogging a fine, intelligent commentor with disgusting, misogynistic slurs would, I believe, qualify as "hate," wouldn't you?

      It's worth it, so long as everyone is perfectly clear that WiO/Porky represents Yahweh's priestly Chosen People when he presents himself in that manner, or when he calls for nuking Mecca. Isaiah 3:8 For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of his glory.

    13. OK, I remember:

      The C word is verbotten to the majority.

      I'm used to Carolla World where folks are not uptight about such things.

      I have appologized and desisted in such behavior here, where it is considered in bad taste.

      WTF does that have to do w/ "Affordable Care?"

    14. I have never directly called someone a ""Fat, white, self-loathing c**t"" here.

      ...or anywhere.

      You have a healthy imagination.

    15. That wasn't "bad taste." You wanted to hurt the woman.

      And, you did. Congratulations.

    16. You most certainly did, you little lying bastard. I read it. And, Doris walked before Deuce saw it, and could take it down.

    17. People say "cunt" like it's a bad thing.

    18. ...your memory may be better than mine, about Doug, Rufus:

      As I said, I have desisted and appologized.

      again, WTF does that have to do w/"Affordable Care"

      ...for ALL?

    19. Pity and Subsidies for those of us no longer able to taste cunt.

      ...a Federal Subsidy is in order.

      Anything else?


    20. You asked for evidence of "hatred." I gave it to you.

      DougSun Oct 20, 09:22:00 AM EDT

      Please List the Lies you cite.

      And evidence of hatred.

      ...I experience sorrow at the fallen condition of human nature wherever Freedom does not reign.


      Then, you put "ALL" in Caps.

      Which implies that you don't believe "ALL" should have healthcare. That leads me to ask, "who would be the exception?"

    21. You live in La La Land, Rufus.

      Socialism has never worked and never will.

      Serfdom Follows.

      Does that mean I'm a "hater" in your World.

      I'm sorry reality is not kinder to everyone and everything, does that make me a "Hater?"

    22. Do you think we can have open borders as we do in fact, and Free Healthcare for all?

    23. ...or to get really "hateful" ALL.

    24. Every advanced nation in the world has some form of socialized healthcare. Are they All doomed?

      Unlikely, since every damned one of them have lower healthcare costs (and better results) than we do.

      ALL successful nations have some sort of mix of capitalism, and socialism. ALL of them.

    25. And, only a fool would be swayed by your propensity to conflate "open borders, and illegals" with Healthcare fore Americans.

    26. ALL successful nations have some sort of mix of capitalism, and socialism. ALL of them.

      This is true. We have socialized education, an old-age safety net, and our defense and space industries rely almost exclusively on taxpayer handouts, whether directly or through military aid to third parties that comes back in the form of contracts.

  10. It is said that the KSA financed the Paki nuke program, and have the option to take delivery of a few rounds; this being denied, of course, by all parties involved. If they hit Iran they won't face retaliation from Israel or America, but if they do so in a first strike, hitting a friend of their friend, as it were, they might trigger Russia to respond with something they could choose to call the Putin Doctrine: "Any nation signatory to the non-proliferation treaty that subsequently nukes up is fair game to third-party intervention." He might feel the NPT needs teeth somewhat after the manner of Obama and his "red line" statement viz a viz chem.

    1. You're a happy Lesbo that may be encountering "weight issues."

      Do you think that means I hate you, T?

    2. Thanks for reminding us of the absurdity of thinking CUNT must be masked in quotation marks and dot dot dot, t.

      Demeaning Cunt by insisting it hide in the closet is HATRED!

    3. Way to go, Teresita. You've given him license - at least, until Deuce shows up.

      We lost at least one fine commentor because of that nonsense. It would be a shame to lose the next one that shows up.

    4. Charlie Chi-com, Ms T.
      Charlie has already indicated that they will defend Iran.

      Charlie has the weapons, and the ability to deliver them, anywhere on the planet.
      But they have had that ability for decades, never having utilized it.

      China’s Role in Iran’s Anti-Access / Area Denial Weapons Capability Development

      By James Brandon Gentry | Senior Analyst - Helios Global Inc. | Apr 16, 2013

      It is the military aspect of the Sino-Iranian relationship that troubles many observers in the West. China, and to a lesser extent, North Korea, have played a critical role in the development of Iran’s anti-access / area denial (A2/AD) capabilities, supplying the Islamic Republic with a variety of weapons systems useful from an A2/AD standpoint. Iran’s focus on its A2/AD resources signals that it is increasingly prepared to wage an asymmetric fight against a more conventionally capable foe such as the U.S., leveraging agility, speed, and decentralized command and control (C2) tactics, combined with advanced anti-ship and anti-aircraft weaponry, to defend its assets on the mainland. China’s ongoing support of Iran’s A2/AD military program suggests that Beijing views Iran as a proxy military power in the Middle East, and may hope to use Iran to apply pressure on U.S. forces and to restrict Western oil supplies in the event of a Sino-American conflict in the Pacific.

      And the threat from Iran’s A2/AD capabilities is real. During the August 2002 Millennium Challenge wargame, retired U.S. Marine Corps General Paul Van Riper commanded a Red Team modeled on an unnamed Persian Gulf adversary similar to the Islamic Republic of Iran. General Van Riper applied asymmetric tactics against U.S. naval forces, using numerous small, rapid attack boats to swarm the America vessels, sinking sixteen warships in the span of approximately ten minutes.[2] The exercise dramatically highlighted U.S. military vulnerabilities to coordinated asymmetric, anti-access, and area denial tactics in the Persian Gulf, with fast, maneuverable boats effectively overwhelming the defensive capabilities of advanced American warships. Since 2002, Iran has continued to upgrade its A2/AD systems, introducing new anti-ship missiles and anti-aircraft capabilities even as concerns over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program have grown in Washington.

      Charlie has supplied Iran with a wide array of defensive weapons systems.
      Their intent is not hard to discern.

    5. I gained 30 pounds during the chemo, but lost 20, bringing me back to a svelt 110. Happily married to Mr. Redinger for more than twenty-four years, but just because I like cake now doesn't mean I haven't tried ice cream too. No big deal. Youth explores its potential in numerous ways.

    6. Way to go, Teresita. You've given him license - at least, until Deuce shows up.

      Do good now, and you are good. The blog is what we make it, from moment to moment.

    7. Another source, same basic story ....

      BY: Bill Gertz
      December 20, 2012 6:58 pm

      China’s government provided goods and expertise for Iran’s nuclear program in the past and also gave Tehran’s Islamist regime missiles and other arms as part of the nations’ anti-United States policies, according to a congressional commission report made public Thursday.

      “The authoritarian governments centered in Beijing and Tehran share an animus towards ‘hegemonism’ and a fear of internal instability,” the report prepared for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission states.

      “In recent decades the United States, supported by regional allies and security partners, has represented the principal hegemonic threat to Iran and China in two different regional contexts: the Persian Gulf and the Western Pacific.”

      The 95-page report, “China-Iran: A Limited Partnership,” was produced for the commission by the intelligence contractor CENTRA Technology and dated October 2012.

      China provided nuclear assistance to Iran in the 1990s and promised to halt its support in 1997. However, the report said there are indications Beijing has continued to provide covert assistance to Iranian nuclear programs.

      On missile experts, the report said “China has continued measured support to Iran’s defense programs.”


      You live in your own fantasy, please do not inflict it on others.

    9. I too regret that I have chased off commenters.

      I said I'm sorry, and I stopped.

      You remain in your reality removed from reality.

    10. .

      The more preferable word four-letter word begins with a T---, Doug. Although, it was also pulled by Deuce when used by one of the regulars here while describing Ms. Redinger as I recall.

      So there is no misunderstanding, I didn't use it.


    11. "Youth explores its potential in numerous ways."

      Age and loss sometimes descends into imagining life w/all potential spent.

    12. I don't get the "T" reference, Quirk.

      Please explain.


    13. "It takes a strong person to apologize, to admit mistakes openly and to ask for forgiveness. It takes an even stronger person to take that failure, recognize the importance of that mistake and learn from it."

    14. When I was twenty I climbed Half-Dome in Yosemite Park, elevation 8,848 feet, and threw frisbees off the top. Nowadays that'd like to kill me and cliffy things make me dizzy.

    15. Yep, she called me a "numbnuts," and I responded with "tw*t." I was trying to "be cute" with a little tit for tat, and Deuce, quite correctly I guess, took it down. None of us are perfect, probably some of us should try a little harder than others. :)

    16. Doug. the administrator of this blog disapproves of the acronym for the Tough Women Attack Team.

    17. What would make that "T" word more acceptable, Q.
      Especially, as you stated, the host has already deleted posts that utilized it?

      It seems to have been found just as offensive.

    18. When I was 30 I swam in Crater Lake, God knows how cold that is, above 6000 feet.

      ...and of course we went down to the lake and climbed back up.

      Ah to be young again.

      ...and ignore the Rufus's of the The World.

    19. ...nagging and pretending they are better than us.

    20. The Twat guy claiming superiority over the C... Guy!

    21. Generous to a fault.

      ...with other people's money.

      Which always runs out.

    22. By "Money", do you mean Federal Reserve Notes, doug?

      Or do you mean Bitcoin?

      Or gold ...

  11. Poor doug, he is trying to out perform the misogynist Farmer Fudd, and that is impossible.

    No one disrespects women, like Farmer Fudd, he is at the top of the list, never to be dislodged or replaced.

    1. He is for the right to vote.

      I'm not.

      So there.

    2. T's husband qualifies.

      ...she would too, in my world.

    3. Just because he has the same first name as Obama doesn't make him a bad guy. More of a Goldwater sort.

    4. Aah, the plot just thickened.

    5. .

      Poor doug, he is trying to out perform the misogynist Farmer Fudd, and that is impossible

      But since 'Farmer Fudd' is admitted to be a merely a figment of the rat's warped imagination the above comment is meaningless and in line with much of what he posts here.



    6. somebody's head now be a'spinnin.

    7. Everyone is anonymous, Q, even you are a figment of an author's imagination.
      There is no "depth" it s all just gloss, projection and gamesmanship.

      Now you can go take that big dill pickle out of you ass.

    8. Now you can go take that big dill pickle out of YOUR ass.

      mea culpa


    9. And, I'll guarantee you, Rufus II, as bad as he is, is probly a whole hell of a lot better man than his author. :)

    10. .

      Do you deny my comment, rat?


    11. I mean, really Q, you think Quirk is a real person?
      Got a driver license in that name?
      "Quirk" is registered to vote?

      Was Huck Finn really Mark Twain who was really Samuel Langhorne Clemens?

      Or was Huck a projection of Mark, who was a construct of Sam's.imagination?

    12. I ignore your comment, Q.

      Neither confirm nor deny its presence ...
      ... let alone its fictional extrapolations..

    13. .

      So basically, you are admitting the truth of my comment.


    14. Moving forward with my own story, instead.
      Not to be deterred by distractions from the peanut vendor or his gallery.

    15. .

      Fine with me, rat.

      Ignore them all you want. They will still be there.


    16. No, I do not
      You have presented no truths.
      Well, none posted here, anyway.

      You are grasping at straws, I sell straw.

      Its entertaining to watch you reach

    17. .

      You have on more than one occasion threatened to follow some anonymous poster to hell and back dogging him persistently, never letting up.

      It is tit for tat in cyber-world.


    18. In your case, I am using the straw from the trash, the sweepings.

      There will be no invoice for you to ignore.

    19. It sure is, but I am in his head.
      You will never get inside mine.

      Rock solid, rock steady.
      About that dense.

    20. .


      That's the best you can do rat. This will be enjoyable.


    21. Farmer Fudd, now that is continuing to be a VERY entertaining chapter of the story.

      One of the best, ever..
      Even has you fully engaged.
      A side bar benefit, another feather in the cap.

    22. .

      Nonsense, the anonymous one is already in your head.

      If he can do it. I'm willing to give it a try.



    23. Makes me happy o have killed off boobie.
      Farmer Fudd is much more engaging ....
      ... for the readers.

      I should have applied Rule #7 to the boobie character, before sooner
      * RULE 7: “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.

      Saul was correct.

    24. .

      Must everyone do your thinking for you rat? Even Saul Alinsky?

      You sit here daily post quotes from greater minds.

      Don't you ever have an original thought?


    25. "Don't you ever have an original thought?"

      Ans: NO

      What a question. The answer is in the quotes.

      By the way, how is it that you can get away with the d work, while the t word and the c word are off limits and Rufus can invite the unmentionable and I can't post interesting articles from JihadWatch?

      The mores of this place still escape me and I've been here all this time.


      The answer to yesterday's pop quiz is:'desert rat'.

      It was he who said: "I am a professional asshole".

      Perhaps, come to think of it, that qualifies as an 'original thougth'

      What do you think?

      At least everyone agrees with the statement.

    26. Wolfgang von GoetheSun Oct 20, 11:43:00 AM EDT

      "Everything has been thought of before but the difficulty is to think of it again."

    27. Good quote.

      Doug has it exactly right on ObamaCare. He says the best thing we could do is work to improve the system we already have -exactly right.

      Instead we will have worse service, denial of service, fewer and less competent doctors, and panels making our health care decisions us, and all at higher prices.

      Wonderful wonderful wonderful isn't it.

    28. .

      Or you can just cut and paste using google.


    29. Effectively using available technology and integrating it ...

      A Luddite would find that objectionable

    30. Quirk, finding his bliss in ignorance.


    31. "The recipe for perpetual ignorance is:
      Be satisfied with your opinions and content with your knowledge.""

    32. "The recipe for perpetual ignorance is:
      Be satisfied with your opinions and content with your knowledge.

      "Zero" plus "Zero" = "Zero"
      "Zero" times "Zero" = "Zero"
      "X" divided by "Zero" is a null set

  12. Even Bibi is "cracking" ...

    Amid signs of détente with Iran, Netanyahu warns against sanctions letup
    Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:58 AM EDT

    By Tom Curry, National Affairs Writer, NBC News

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday that the result of the current negotiations between Western nations and the Iranian regime must be nothing less than “the full dismantling of Iran's military nuclear program.”

    Notice the use of he word "military", by Bibi.
    That is a new addition to his rhetoric.

    A "new" qualifier, as it were.

    Iran has never had a "military" nuclear program.
    So Bibi,, the Europeon, can go to bed safe and secure, no Persians under his bed.

    He already has that Saudi Prince under the covers with him, to keep he and his fellow Europeon colonialists safe and secure from the Persians.

  13. Beware of Killer Clowns!

    A notorious member of a once-feared Mexican drug cartel was shot to death at a rented beach house in Los Cabos, Mexico, by a gunman dressed as a clown, authorities said Saturday.

    The body of Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix, of the Arellano Felix drug clan, was found dead at the beachfront home in the resort town, the attorney general's office in Baja California Sur state said in a statement. Relatives confirmed his identity at the scene, according to the Associated Press.

    "He was hit by two bullets, one in the chest and one in the head," Isai Arias, a Baja California state government official,told the BBC.

    The gunman wore a clown costume, donning a wig and a red nose, the Associated Press reported. The killer's motive and choice of costume are under investigation.

  14. The Indian River BioEnergy Center, a project of Ineos New Planet BioEnergy LLC, lies a few miles inland on the flat landscape along Florida’s Atlantic coast. The only hill in sight is the grass and soil-covered mound of accumulated waste at the Indian River county landfill.

    Today, when local citizens drive up to the landfill to dispose of tree trimmings and other vegetative waste, they are sent a mile down the road to the biorefinery. Pickups, contractor trucks and municipal garbage trucks weigh in and back up to dump their loads. Residents of the two participating counties don’t have to pay, since their yard waste is covered by taxes, while others pay a tipping fee.

    Ineos Bio gets paid for accepting its feedstock, diverting about 100,000 tons of waste streams that were formerly landfilled and turning them into bioenergy, 8 MMgy cellulosic ethanol and 5 megawatts of electrical power.

    The management team at Ineos Bio is bemused by other differences between the petrochemical projects they’ve worked on in the past and this first-of-its-kind waste-to-bioenergy plant. “I’m used to building in places like Houston where you have mile upon mile of industrial plants,” says Chief Operating Officer Mark Niederschulte. The cellulosic ethanol plant is located a couple of miles south of Vero Beach and even though it’s just a mile away from the landfill, the company was asked to landscape the grounds following guidelines established for shopping centers, since there weren’t guidelines for biorefineries. Workers have planted about 10,000 individual trees, shrubs and perennials on the 70-acre site.

    The biggest, most obvious difference from a petrochemical plant is that instead of receiving crude oil feedstocks from a pipeline—a fungible, commodity feedstock—the Indian River biorefinery feedstock yard handles a steady stream of trucks of all sizes. “We’re getting feedstock 24 hours a day, seven days a week and closed just four days a year,” Niederschulte says.

    The product marketing side is similarly a contrast. Instead of . . . . . . . . . .

    Makin' Shine

  15. Is Google Knowledge?
    Is a Library?

    Today the conversation extended to the staff breakroom, with the conversation ranging across the value of libraries, human intellect’s contribution to knowledge, and Google as a prosthetic device to extend the mind. Time to bring it here, in case anyone else has missed it.

    When I was in grad school, this conversation tended to focus on the differences between information and knowledge, and how these impacted on intellectual property issues as well as collection policy decisions and organization of library holdings ...

    What is the difference between a person like a librarian who has a rich and complex knowledge of a field in which you want to know more, who can, through the intricate complexities of that awareness and knowledge and their experience and knowledge of you, reach for just the right thing you need, and tools like Google and Amazon and Netflix that suggest what you might want based on your past behavior?

    Books and libraries used to be referred to as “warehouses of knowledge.“

    1. What is the difference between a library of printed books, of film and music, of comics and videogames and the hardware to support them; what is the difference between these, and the quick Google at your fingertips?

      Is Google a warehouse of knowledge?

      Why would anyone but a Luddite object ot injecting knowledge into a discussion.
      Or object to a technological nowledge equalizer, if they were not a fascist who wanted to control thought, ideas and the flow of information.

      Information is power, Quirk attempts to scorn the utilization of technology, to garner information.
      He objects to the flattening of the world.

      Quirk would like to turn back the clock, to when an elite controlled the data flow to the Sheeple.


    3. Google has no standards of peer review. In the realms of science and math it is quite good; otherwise, it is simply opinion, and that often biased and historically incorrect. If I pleased, I could enter a completely bogus entry into any topic I chose. There would be no one to prevent me.

      Just because some Israeli guy comes up with a THEORY of the origin of Ashkenazi Jews does not make it a fact. Particular attention, in such a case, should be paid to his peers - who, in the instance, remain universally unconvinced.

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Ray Bradbury did not foresee the World Wide Web, but he did discern the nature of people, like Quirk, when he wrote ...

      Fahrenheit 451
      A description of society where books are outlawed and "firemen" burn any that are found.

      Control the knowledge, control the debate, control the people.
      Tools of the fascist, to belittle, scorn and demean the exchange of information, attempting to slow the growth of the people's data base of usable information.

      The Luddite objects to progress, the democratization of information.

      That is the Quirk way, keep 'em ignorant, bare foot and pregnant without pause...

    2. .

      Please provide some examples, rat.

      Or is this just more of your rat droppings we must wade through?

      Does the info you are talking about come from the pages of the Tetrahedron Publishing Group?



    3. Read the thread, it's all there.
      Study it, closely, it's all there.


    4. If you cannot find it, in the thread, there is nothing more to discuss.

    5. .

      Ah, in scrolling up the post I see that you are referring to my comment at .

      QuirkSun Oct 20, 11:48:00 AM EDT

      Or you can just cut and paste using google.


      And your little screed illustrates the point I have been making about the disjointed nature of you mind.

      My comment followed and was aimed at the post

      Wolfgang von GoetheSun Oct 20, 11:43:00 AM EDT

      "Everything has been thought of before but the difficulty is to think of it again."

      Mine was a simple declarative. Do you disagree with it? I don't know how you could.

      But instead, either in error or by intent (I by the way lean towards the latter), you judge my comment to be an attack on both google and the internet.

      Only someone who lacks reading comprehension skills, someone who has no idea of the concept of context, someone who lacks the basic skills to even put the simplest of word associations together would have come to the conclusions you have posted.

      The only conclusions I can think of is that you are an utter dimwit or that you are simply a nasty piece of work.

      Here, I might normally joke about you licking toads or eating shrooms but I think it simpler than that. You are simply the kind of guy who as a child enjoyed pulling the wings off of flies.



      Your posts above are so stupid I wouldn't normally waste time on them. But just today I promised to do just that. Don't worry I will be around.



    6. You have joined the Luddites, Quirk.
      Demeaning the use of technological advances in information technologies, all in defense of Farmer Fudd, the fascist misogynist.

      You and Obama, invoking Responsibility to Protect, not only taking it seriously, ...
      ... but doing so at cost to your own intellectual integrity.


    7. .


      How old did you say that truck of yours was?


      ...all in defense of Farmer Fudd...

      Have you forgotten already? There is no 'Farmer Fudd, the fascist misogynist.' It was all a figment of your imagination as is most of what you post here. Don't you remember? It wasn't that long ago you told us so. As a fellow human being, I have to ask, have you been checked out for early onset Alzheimer's?


      Good lord, rat, now I have to ask if you have been licking those frogs again? Please provide an example of where I have ever supported R2P.

      You have so many crazy thoughts floating around in that silly head of yours even you can't keep them straight. One minute. you say one thing and then shortly after say the exact opposite. You seriously should seek some professional help. And I don't just mean psychiatric help. You need to get a piece of ass now and then. Maybe, it will help you to get that stick out of your ass.

      Funny if it weren't so sad.


    8. A novel thought is Wolfgang Puck's Pressurized Oven.

      ...I'm afraid to check on the cost tho.

      And whether it might just sit there on the counter, lacking a proper lady of the house.

      Man, I hate the bad old days when I had to cohabit with a FEMALE.
      Rufus is right.

      No hope w/o a dope to keep things straight around here.