“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, June 06, 2014

2500 were killed on D-Day and 7,500 wounded. It was worth it. Our intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan – 7,000 dead, 40,000 wounded warriors - $2 trillion lost – was it worth it?


Pat Buchanan reviews what terror war has wrought -- 9/11 to Bergdahl swap

Published: 13 hours ago

Pat Buchanan was twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the Reform Party's candidate in 2000. He is also a founder and editor of The American Conservative. Buchanan served three presidents in the White House, was a founding panelist of three national TV shows, and is the author of nine books. His latest book is "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?"

Bowe Bergdahl was “an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield” who “served the United States with distinction and honor,” asserted Susan Rice, the president’s national security adviser.
Rice was speaking to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos the morning after Barack Obama’s Rose Garden celebration of Bergdahl’s release.

When she spoke last Sunday, could Rice have been ignorant of the widespread reports that Bergdahl had deserted?
Before last Sunday, her credibility was already in tatters.
Five days after Ambassador Chris Stevens and three Americans were killed in Benghazi, Rice went on five Sunday shows to describe the terrorist attack as a spontaneous riot ignited by an anti-Muslim video.
Not only has her credibility now suffered a second near-lethal blow, her competence as a presidential adviser is open to question.
How could she let the president strut into the Rose Garden to celebrate the release of a soldier whose reported desertion triggered a province-wide search that may have cost the lives of half a dozen American soldiers?
As The Hill reported, a Pentagon investigation in 2010 concluded Bergdahl had walked out on his unit and left a note in his tent saying he was disillusioned with the Army and no longer supported the war.
Was Rice ignorant of this? Did she think it not relevant, when she approved the president’s hosting of Bergdahl’s parents in the Rose Garden?
Is Rice not responsible for the humiliation President Obama has endured all week and the fiasco that diverted national and international attention from his trip to Warsaw, Brussels and Normandy?
Forty-eight hours after Obama celebrated Bergdahl’s release, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs was promising an investigation of the soldier on the charge of desertion and related allegations he may have defected and collaborated.
If Gen. Martin Dempsey was aware an investigation into charges so serious that they carry the death penalty was ahead for Bergdahl, did he not flag the White House before the president went before the nation to celebrate Bergdahl’s return?
Rear Adm. John F. Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, defends the decision by saying the U.S. military does not leave its soldiers behind:
“When you’re in the Navy, and you go overboard, it doesn’t matter if you were pushed, fell or jumped. … We’re going to turn the ship around and pick you up.”
That is America’s tradition, and a proud and honorable one. And no one opposed the effort to bring Bergdahl home.
But if a man jumps overboard, to desert, and half a dozen sailors perish in stormy seas trying to rescue him, the Navy does not welcome the AWOL seaman back aboard with bands playing, all hands on deck and the captain hosting a celebration.
The man is put in the brig to face charges on return to port.
That is the military ethos Gen. Dempsey rightly praises.
But if Barack Obama, Susan Rice and the White House thought that swapping five senior Taliban commanders for Bergdahl would be cheered, it only testifies to how far removed they are from the band-of-brothers culture of the American military.
Consider the damage this debacle has been done.
Our Afghan allies believe that, to retrieve one of our own, we dealt behind their backs with the enemy, at their expense.
Are they not right?
In return for one U.S. soldier, we traded five hardened Taliban commanders and killers. Their release has proven both a moral and military victory for our enemies, and a moral defeat for our friends.
When we are gone from Afghanistan, the Kabul government we leave behind will have to deal with the consequences of what we did.
Second, the trade of the Taliban Five for Bergdahl has ignited a firestorm in the United States, polarized the American people further, proven a political fiasco for the president and caused a diplomatic nightmare during his trip to Europe to shore up our NATO allies.
Today, circulating around Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East, is a Taliban video of the prisoner exchange, where the Islamist fighters are handing over a pale and nervous American to our troops, and warning him never to return again or face death.
Then the video shows the American helicopter flying away.
To those of us of a certain age, that helicopter calls to mind another helicopter, 40 years ago, lifting off the roof of the American embassy in Saigon, leaving behind the first war America lost and the Vietnamese people whose freedom we had gone to war to preserve and protect.
More than a decade ago, George W. Bush, full of hubris and egged on by his neocon counselors, decided to go beyond eradicating al-Qaida in Afghanistan to remaking that country, and then Iraq, in our image.
So, to make the Middle East safe for democracy, we plunged in.
And as we see the future unfolding in Afghanistan and Iraq, and reflect on the costs of our intervention – 7,000 dead, 40,000 wounded warriors, $2 trillion lost – was it all worth it?
Somewhere in hell, Osama bin Laden is smiling.


  1. That $2 trillion USD number is to low
    The costs of GW Bush's debacle will grow well beyond that.
    He certainly proves the adage ...

    You can't fix stupid

  2. In new memoir, Hillary Clinton makes stark admission on Iraq War vote: "I still got it wrong. Plain and simple."
    Clinton also says that President Obama overruled her proposal to arm the moderate rebels fighting against Syria's regime

    BY Joel Siegel

  3. Replies
    1. Yeah, "moderate rebel" - the guy over in the corner, reloading.

  4. Which assault weapon is de rigueur for a moderate rebel?

  5. Israel and Saudi Arabia Support al-Qaeda Operatives in Syria

    Last September, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren told the Jerusalem Post that Israel so wanted Assad out and his Iranian backers weakened,

    “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran
    to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.”

    Even if the other “bad guys” were affiliated with al-Qaeda.
    “We understand that they are pretty bad guys,” Oren said in the interview.

  6. ...looks like Deuce has once more surrendered the Bar to the Rat...JEWS...JEWS...JEWS...JEWS...JEWS...JEWS...JEWS...JEWS...ISRAEL...ISRAEL...ISRAEL...ISRAEL...ISRAEL...ISRAEL...LESTER...LESTER...LESTER...LESTER...


    1. Not one mention is made of Judaism until allen makes it.

      You can't fix stupid

    2. Only allen conflates Lester with Judaism

      Stories happen in the mind of a reader, not among symbols printed on a page.”
      ― Brandon Mull

    3. Moron,

      I did not accuse you of using "Judaism". You are the Lester Crown clown, who most certainly did use both that gentleman and Israel is at least on lengthy rant.

      You are a liar.

    4. State the lie, link to it, quote it.

      If you don't because you can't, it proves who the liar is.


    5. Everything allen says is meant to further a cause that is false.

      hat tip: Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    6. ...won't waste my time...

      An ad hominem requires a man. A mongrel cannot be subjected to ad hominem.

    7. Re: Dietrich Bonhoeffer

      You would not be worth a Bonhoeffer dingle berry. That you would even write the name of the man is an abomination to decency.

    8. I do notice that there is still no quote link or reference to the "lie" that makes Anonymous a "liar" ...

      The proof is in the tasting, when it comes to allen's veracity, he has none.
      He continues to engage, the 'dingle berry', but he cannot bring truth to the conversation ...

      He has none in his repertoire.

    9. I'll be his Huckleberry ...
      Playin' for blood is just my thing.

  7. Ah god, Lester Crown and the Jews again...........

    #Bring Back
    ratfree Blogging

    1. Ad hominem arguments are the preferred tool of people who have run out of real arguments
      (or were unable to understand someone else's opinion in the first place).

      It's so much easier to just attack a fictional strawman instead of the arguments present
      (especially if those arguments are right.)

      Nothing sadder than a withered heart

  8. So, we're compelled to go back and say the obvious:

    rat is a moron

    a driven idiot moron

    1. Ad hominem arguments are Bob's preferred tool. Especially when he has run out of real arguments
      (or were unable to understand someone else's opinion in the first place).

      It's so much easier to just attack a fictional strawman instead of the arguments presented
      (especially if those arguments are right.)

      You can't fix stupid

    VA chief: 100,000 vets were on fake wait lists

    Is it remotely possible that the VA needs the needle?

    1. Call or write your Congressman, that is where the process of reform, reorganization or any type change will take place.
      If it does no happen now, a the peak of public interest, it will not happen, at all.

  10. While I can't say it with apodictic certainty I am 99% convinced now that my old friend Dale was on the wait till death list.

    I took him to the VA in Walla Walla and Spokane four or five times.......then all of a sudden he was on the inoperable list with a bulge in his chest larger than my fist.

    They said he was misdiagnosed and missed the cancer hiding in the back there.

    O bullshit.

    This was months and months he was walking around with that.........a dead man walking.

    And towards the end aha they found he had cancer after it was way too late.

    There is nothing I can do about it, not being a relative, just a friend.......I don't see how I can even write a letter complaining.......but that is what I now think happened........he just got eased out with no real help at all.

    1. He should have use Medicare, with a Blue Cross Blue Shield supplemental..
      That he allowed himself to become TOTALLY dependent upon the Federals, his fault.

      You can't fix stupid

  11. Writing my Congressman will do no extra good.

    He is already, good man, for privatizing the VA now.

    Besides I don't have his case files. I think his brother does, but I don't know how to contact him.

    It's over, for Dale.


    1. We cannot banish dangers, but we can banish fears.
      We must not demean life by standing in awe of death.
      - David Sarnoff

  12. John Gray on humanity's quest for immortality

    How do we deal with a purposeless universe and the finality of death?

    From Victorian séances to the embalming of Lenin's corpse to schemes for uploading our minds into cyberspace, there have have been numerous attempts to deny man's mortality.

    Why can't we accept the limits of science?

  13. Replies

    1. Live in Dresden - Summertime

      The depth of thought and conversation, from Name/URL Bob is illustrative that ...

      You can't fix stupid

  14. This is interesting:

    Actually, the story of people leaving the labor force is not primarily one of older workers who are near retirement age, it is primarily a story of prime age workers. According to data from the OECD, the employment to population ratio for workers between the ages of 25-54 is down by 3.5 percentage points from its pre-recession level. For workers between the ages of 55-64 it is only down by 0.9 percentage points.


  15. Automobile sales seem awfully strong (strongest since Feb. 2007) for an economy so, supposedly, weak.

    1. I know at least one woman who quit her job (she was only keeping it for the healthcare coverage,) signed up for Obamacare, and is now helping her husband in his largely "cash" business.

      Officially, she counts as a minus one in the "jobs" statistics.

      There are probably quite a few more like her.

  16. Great, Rufus.

    She quit her job. Went on welfare. And is now probably growing MaryJane.

    Wonderful social policy, you idiot.


    1. The Fascist Name?URL Bob prefers to keep people as wage slaves, in sub-poverty jobs.
      Complaining about others garnering Federal subsidies while he recieves Federal welfare, Medicare and Social Security.
      While at the same time advising Farmers to sue the Federals over any settlement offer on crop insurance.

      That is his idea of "Good social policy".

      You can't fix stupid

  17. You total numbnuts.

    Mississippi moron.

    1. Ad hominem arguments are the preferred tool for people who have run out of real arguments
      (or are unable to understand someone else's opinion in the first place).
      It's so much easier to just attack another person instead of attacking his arguments
      (especially if the other person is right.)

      You can't fix stupid

  18. My Niece on the other hand has gotten her Master's Degree, has been published in The Journal of NeuroScience, works for Max Planck Institute and is heading for her Doctorate.

    She weren't born in Mississhitti.

    She was born poor in a large city in India. In an apartment with concrete floors.

    She has fire in her belly.

    Best young woman I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.

    1. Dresden (Offical Video)

      What's the weather in Dresden like, today, Name/URL Bob?

  19. She freed-up a job in the corporate sector, and made her husband's private business more efficient.

    Assuming that she was replaced in her old job, it was actually a +1 for jobs.

    Only a republican could find anything wrong with that.


  20. The Republicans are Flip Flopping like Flounder

    Rep. Richard B. Nugent (R-Fla.), a lawmaker whose three sons have served in the military, made the case of captive soldier Bowe Bergdahl a personal cause. Nugent delivered speeches about Bergdahl on the House floor.

    He introduced two resolutions affirming that the United States would not abandon him in Afghanistan.

    What Nugent wanted, he told a crowd at a rally for Bergdahl in February, was for ...
    “the United States to do everything possible not to leave any members of the armed forces behind.”

    But now, Nugent says that — when he said “do everything possible” — he did not actually mean everything.

    Did McCain flip-flop on Bergdahl?
    Better believe it!

    1. I guess McNuts forgets that he was a participant in a prisoner swap.

    2. "McNuts" was part of a settlement by peace treaty.

    3. Peace Treaty?

      There was no Treaty.
      There was no ratification by the US Senate. Without that, there is NO Treaty.

      allen is caught in ANOTHER LIE!


    4. allen continues to lie, shift, evade and obsure the truth, to complete his propaganda mission.

    5. The Paris Peace Accords was never a Treaty and all that followed from the signing of that document was never ratified by the Congress.

      McNutts returned 'home', and the conflict in Vietnam ended on the power and authority of the President of the United States, without the consent of the Congress.


    6. “If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

      ― Stephen King

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. Nameless Cretin,

    "AnonymousFri Jun 06, 05:45:00 PM EDT
    I do notice that there is still no quote link or reference to the "lie" that makes Anonymous a "liar" ...

    The proof is in the tasting, when it comes to allen's veracity, he has none.
    He continues to engage, the 'dingle berry', but he cannot bring truth to the conversation ..."

    You are operating from the misapprehension that you could engage me in a conversation. You are a monomaniac, boring nitwit.

    As to truth, having never read a book of substance, "knowing" only what can be quickly gleaned from wiki or sites kindred to your spirit, it is to you unfathomable. All this yields the picture of an old male chimp picking vermin from his fellows. In the instance, technology has given you the ability to make your browsing menu public.

    You were a bothersome clown at BC and have not changed except to the extent of becoming more ignorant - a seemingly impossible task, but you prove the exception.

    1. Continue to engage, a you wish.
      For a bothersome cretin, with whom you are not engaged, you certainly spend a fair amount of time responding.

      Proving, once again that you have no discipline, which stands in evidence that you were never a member of the USMC.

      You can't fix stupid

    2. allen makes charges that he cannot substantiate, makes statements of facts that are outright lies and then ....

      Takes the time and effort in response, saying responding is beneath him.
      He acts like an Israeli.

      Comical that he even thinks I read more than half of his rant.

  23. :-)
    Australia refuses to call East Jerusalem 'occupied'

    1. Moscow is concerned over Israel's plans to continue building settlements in the Palestinian territories, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday.

      "Moscow is deeply concerned by this move of the Israeli authorities. Implementation of new settlement plans in the context of the stalled peace process after the termination of yet another round of negotiations between the parties in April is a direct threat to the prospects of a two-state solution to the Palestinian problem," the Russian Foreign Ministry stated.

      The report emphasizes that the settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories is considered illegal in accordance with existing international laws and decisions and must be stopped.

  24. ...just how it was handled in the Nam...yep, just like McNuts... :-)
    Taliban Says Bergdahl Deal Means More Kidnappings

    1. After the US withdrawal from Indochina ... large numbers of people were killed and buried by the communist Khmer Rouge regime, during its rule of the country from 1975 to 1979,

      Analysis of 20,000 mass grave sites by the DC-Cam Mapping Program and Yale University indicate at least 1,386,734 victims of execution

    2. Traded McNutts for 1,386,734 Cambodians, what a 'good' deal that turned out to be!

    3. Wonder how many of the 1,386,734 were women?

    Israel congratulates Egypt's Sisi on election

    1. Israel is happy the Lester Crown's General Dnamic's Corp continues to build M1 Abrams tanks for the President Sisi's Army.

  26. Amongst the players, I got no big bitch with Gen. Sisi.

    I think they are starting to hang some of the muzzie bros, which is fine with me.

    It's no big thing in my life as I'm going fishing next week.

    I like the culbate general of it all, though.

    Kinda Shakespearean.

    Or old tragedy.

    It's fun reading.

  27. After all, the muzzies want to cut the clits off women and this has never seemed to me a good way to behave.

    1. Nonsense! ... That is stupid. ... Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion.

      It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism?
      Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.

  28. Well, D-Day has come, and gone, in Normandy, but 70 years ago there was one hell of a thing going on. Here's to'em.

  29. Forbes - The Capitalists Tool

    Solar Fuels Can Prevent An Imminent Petroluem Fuels Crisis

    We are faced with an overall serious energy problem, and most pressingly the challenge of how to fill the enlarging hole created by a declining production of conventional crude oil. It appears almost certain that there will be profound efforts made in obtaining “unconventional oil” from shale and in liberating gas from various geological formations by “fracking”; the production of “synthetic crude” from tar-sands will doubtless increase too. Noting that world light crude oil production peaked in 2005, it is increasingly the heavy oils, e.g. from the Orinoco Belt in Venezuela, that will need to be recovered and processed, requiring the building of a new swathe of oil refineries that can handle this kind of material. Thus, not only are supplies of conventional crude oil going to fall, but what is recovered will be increasingly difficult to process. How difficult it is to produce an energy resource is usually expressed by the Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROEI). Thus in the halcyon days of the Texan “giant gushers”, 100 barrels of crude oil could be recovered using the energy equivalent to that contained in one barrel of crude oil, which gives an EROEI = 100. The figure has fallen since then, and presently EROEIs in the range 11 -18 are obtained for North Sea (Brent Crude) oil, and as low as 3 – 5 for heavy oil and tar sands “oil”.

    Although shale-oil production and use is hardly environmentally “clean”, taking account of its carbon emissions (both in the retorting of shale and in burning the final fuel) and large water demand (3 – 10 barrels of water to produce each barrel of oil), it is trumpeted in some quarters that the US will become self-sufficient in “oil” by 2020. Current US production of shale-oil is around 0.5 mbd, and is predicted to rise to 3 mbd by 2020, but this must be gauged against a loss of conventional oil by 29 mbd across the world.
    It is likely that energy production will become increasingly decentralized, and done at the smaller scale, to power such communities. Fuel too, e.g. for local agriculture, might be produced from algae at least on a regional scale, as integrated with water treatment schemes to conserve the resource of phosphate, and to avert algal blooms. Methods of regenerative agriculture, including permaculture, provide means to food production that demand far less in their input of fuels, fertilizers and pesticides, and actually rebuild the carbon content of soil. It is thought that 40% of anthropogenic CO2 emissions might be sequestered in soil using no-till practices. Solar energy may also be harvested usefully and directly in the form of heat (rather than converting it to a fuel), at greater efficiency than through PV, using concentrating solar thermal power plants, roof-based water heating systems, solar cookers, solar stills and water sterilization units, and homes especially designed to absorb and retain thermal energy. Though the foreseeable transition to a lower energy and more localised way of life is unequivocally daunting, there is hope.

    EU and Israel agree on controversial research

    The device which allows Stephen Hawking to speak is Israeli.