“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, June 16, 2014

“In 2003, in the largest global protest in human history, millions ...marched in the world’s streets, loudly proclaiming that invading Iraq would be an unmitigated disaster. Meanwhile, Israel’s neocon loyalists achieved exactly what they wanted: a perpetual nightmare of internecine conflict. "

The world was right about Iraq – though Israel got its ‘Clean Break’

Matthew Taylor on June 14, 2014 59

In most circumstances, “We told you so” is a classless statement. But in this case, it’s justified. In 2003, in the largest global protest in human history, millions of us marched in the world’s streets, loudly proclaiming that invading Iraq would be an unmitigated disaster. Meanwhile, Israel’s neocon loyalists achieved exactly what they wanted: a perpetual nightmare of internecine conflict. While Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser dreamt up the ‘Clean Break’ war in 1996, long before the Second Intifada, surely part of the motivation to pull the trigger was revenge for Saddam Hussein’s financial support for Palestinian suicide bombers.
Owen Jones writes in The Guardian:
The catastrophic results of the Iraq invasion are often portrayed as having been impossible to predict, and only inevitable with the benefit of hindsight. If only to prevent future calamities from happening, this is a myth that needs to be dispelled. The very fact that the demonstration on that chilly February day in 2003 was the biggest Britain had ever seen, is testament to the fact that disaster seemed inevitable to so many people…
The commentators who cheered on the conflict, far from being driven from public life are still feted: still writing columns, still dispensing advice in TV studios, still hosting thinktank breakfasts…
In a way, opponents of the war were wrong. We were wrong because however disastrous we thought the consequences of the Iraq war, the reality has been worse. The US massacres in Fallujah in the immediate aftermath of the war, which helped radicalise the Sunni population, culminating in an assault on the city with white phosphorus. The beheadings, the kidnappings and hostage videos, the car bombs, the IEDs, the Sunni and Shia insurgencies, the torture declared by the UN in 2006 to be worse than that under Saddam Hussein, the bodies with their hands and feet bound and dumped in rivers, the escalating sectarian slaughter, the millions of displaced civilians, and the hundreds of thousands who died: it has been one never-ending blur of horror since 2003.
Meanwhile, Israel’s American neocon supporters got exactly what they wanted: a reshaping of the Middle East through pre-emptive warfare, imposed destabilization, and chaos. Brian Whitaker in the Guardian:
For the hawks, disorder and chaos sweeping through the region would not be an unfortunate side-effect of war with Iraq, but a sign that everything is going according to plan.
In their eyes, Iraq is just the starting point – or, as a recent presentation at the Pentagon put it, “the tactical pivot” – for re-moulding the Middle East on Israeli-American lines. 
This reverses the usual approach in international relations where stability is seen as the key to peace, and whether or not you like your neighbours, you have to find ways of living with them. No, say the hawks. If you don’t like the neighbours, get rid of them. 
The “skittles theory” of the Middle East – that one ball aimed at Iraq can knock down several regimes – has been around for some time on the wilder fringes of politics but has come to the fore in the United States on the back of the “war against terrorism”.
Its roots can be traced, at least in part, to a paper published in 1996 by an Israeli thinktank, the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies. Entitled “A clean break: a new strategy for securing the realm”, it was intended as a political blueprint for the incoming government of Binyamin Netanyahu. As the title indicates, it advised the right-wing Mr Netanyahu to make a complete break with the past by adopting a strategy “based on an entirely new intellectual foundation, one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism …” 
The paper set out a plan by which Israel would “shape its strategic environment”, beginning with the removal of Saddam Hussein and the installation of a Hashemite monarchy in Baghdad. 
In 2003, a small number of voices on the liberal left and anti-neocon conservative right questioned what was, at least in large part, a war for Israel. Patrick Buchanan wrote:
Though we have given Israel $20,000 for every Jewish citizen, Israel refuses to stop building the settlements that are the cause of the Palestinian intifada… Israel suborned Jonathan Pollard to loot our secrets and refuses to return the documents, which would establish whether or not they were sold to Moscow… When Clinton tried to broker an agreement at Wye Plantation between Israel and Arafat, Bibi Netanyahu attempted to extort, as his price for signing, release of Pollard, so he could take this treasonous snake back to Israel as a national hero…

Though we have said repeatedly that we admire much of what this president has done, he [Bush II] will not deserve re-election if he does not jettison the neoconservatives’ agenda of endless wars on the Islamic world that serve only the interests of a country other than the one he was elected to preserve and protect.

UPDATE - (This guy seems to know what he is talking about):


  1. In 2007 George W Bush predicted exactly what would happen if we did not leave a residual force.

    Good or bad, this is Obama's Holocaust.

    1. .

      In 2008, George W. Bush signed a Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq which called for 'all' US forces to be withdrawn from Iraq by 2011.

      History used to be easy to rewrite. Today, with the internet, not so much.


    2. Barry, as we all know, is bound by the law.

      Esp GWB's Laws.

    3. .

      If you want to blame Obama, blame him for the fact we still have people dying in Afghanistan six years after he won election.


    4. "2011, then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates — who also served under President George W. Bush — conceded that Iraq will face security “problems” in the face of U.S. withdrawal — but stressed that “it’s their country. It’s a sovereign country. And we will abide by the agreement, unless the Iraqis ask us to have additional people there.

      They asked for aid, Barry did not oblige.

    5. "Middle East analysts have also attributed the current violence to the failures of the Bush-backed al-Maliki government, which has systematically excluded the Sunnis from power and repressed its political opponents. Maliki’s rise to power “was the product of a series of momentous decisions made by the Bush administration,” CNN’s Fareed Zakaria argued.

      “It quickly decided to destroy Iraq’s Sunni ruling establishment and empower the hard-line Shiite religious parties that had opposed Saddam Hussein…These moves — to disband the army, dismantle the bureaucracy and purge Sunnis in general — might have been more consequential than the invasion itself.”"

      The brilliant Bremmer Plan.

      Then Petraeus armed and trained the Sunnis!

      What could go wrong?

      Esp after electing Barry, twice.

    6. No, Doug, the Iraqi would not modify the Status of Forces Agreement to make US troops exempt from Iraqi courts.
      The US will not leave soldiers in a country under those conditions.

    7. .

      They asked for aid, Barry did not oblige.

      Please let me know the time frame you are talking about Doug. Was this before or after Maliki's tit was in the wringer?


    8. That's a crude way of putting it, but, yes, just recently, when Maliki asked for airstrikes.

  2. Are the patrons of this bar a bunch of homos?

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) did not back down Monday from his recent comparison of homosexuality to alcoholism, as he explained in a television interview...

    1. Why can't Ted Cruz have Rick Perry's face?

    2. Cruz's face could star in Son of Bozo.

    3. .

      Are the patrons of this bar a bunch of homos?

      Trolling for strays, Dougo?


    4. They're all a bunch of Libertarian rats.

    5. Lame response to Gov Perry Comic Commentary, Quirk.

    6. .

      Well pardon me all to hell, Miss.



  3. ISRAEL PREFERS al-QAEDATue Jun 17, 12:03:00 AM EDT

    For those that do not read, here is the video presentation:

    The Yinon Plan Four minutes and six seconds.
    The master plan for the Middle East in a nutshell. Oded Yinon an Israeli strategist proposed breaking up Arab countries, to create greater Israel. All the events in the middle east so far indicate that this plan is being carried out.

  4. Quirk's Reusable Coffins, LLCTue Jun 17, 12:14:00 AM EDT

    It’s come to this: Venezuelans trying to manage a shortage of… coffins


    Cross a mass shortage of basic goods and materials (induced by heavy central planning) with the world’s second-highest murder rate (induced by poverty and the weaksauce rule of law), and what do you get?

    Folks, don't think the free market entrepreneurs of America don't have a solution to this problem.

    We here at Quirk's Reusable Coffins innovating out of Detroit, Michigan have decades of experience with this real death problem.

    Our product, patented during the riots of the 1960's, has had steady growth ever since.

    Don't think this problem may not come permanently to the USA, even to your very own neighbor.

    What with the unchecked, nay encouraged, policy of the present Administration to bring millions of the unwashed illiterate hordes to our shores, and the Middle East on the verge of a killing spree which may all too soon come to our USA, the problem is real.

    Our patented protected product's secret formula to success involves a hydro phonic acidic solution articulating the G force of dark matter along with a time accelerating agent and duct vents.

    Your coffin can be corpse free in as little as three months !

    (Always intern your corpse clothing free)

    Think of the savings, along with the togetherness enjoyed by the members of your family or clan when you have the comfort of knowing you will all have shared the same coffin !

    For more information about this intimate meaningful experience contact:

    Quirk's Reusable Coffins
    Drop Box 0000000001
    Detroit, Michigan
    (Return self addressed and stamped envelope required)

    Only $1,999.99 shipping not included

    Thank you for reading this ad.

    'The Quirkster'

    1. .

      Or get our pocket cremations kits for only $199.99 plus s&h ($399.99).

      Kit Includes:

      Disposable lighter
      Can of Zippo lighter fluid
      Bag of charcoal brickettes
      Ash pail
      Genuine Metal Dust Pan
      Container (S-M-L)

      Respond within the next 12 weeks and get a second kit free. Merely pay the additional shipping and handling.


    2. Sounds like a truly 'hot' innovative company to me.

      I'm interested, what with my age.

      And the price seems right. Only a partial social security check for the pocket crematorium, perhaps three for the reusable casket.

      I'm ready to endorse, for a reasonable fee.

    3. Reasonable fee meaning five of pocket cremas for emergencies, and two of the reusables. for normal times.

      I got an extended family.

    4. .

      Don't need your endorsement, Sir; however, if your wife could drop us a line letting us know how it worked out, it would be appreciated.



    Hillary's book, ghost written of course, can be compared to a 5,000 pound 'bunker busting' bomb that duds.

    I really doubt she is going to be the next Pres of the US of A.

    1. Bob dissembles and liesTue Jun 17, 12:44:00 AM EDT

      Hillary receives $8 million dollar advance from Leslie Moonves for her writing.
      Book sales do not matter to her.

      Hillary's daughter, Chelsea, received $2 million from NBC, owned by Comcast, a "Family Owned" business.
      Chelsea has no appreciable journalistic skills and no prior experience but Comcas CEO, Brian L. Roberts, was not buying her journalistic skills.

  6. For tornado aficionados aka aficiontornados, Fox News has just been showing some really astounding pictures of a double tornado, a double twister.

    No one seems to have ever seen one before.

    1. Bob dissembles and liesTue Jun 17, 12:45:00 AM EDT

      FOX News is a Saudi Arabian front that relishes bashing the United States, showing death and destruction as part of its entertainment packaging

  7. ratie would follow Bob to hell to make a fool of himself if he had to.

    What a sick idiot ratie is.

    1. Anonymous is driven by a fiction, to distraction.

      "... hungry souls go hungry away.
      The vulgar herd stroll through the rooms and pronounce the pictures "nice" or "splendid."
      Those who could speak have said nothing, those who could hear have heard nothing.”
      - Wassily Kandinsky

  8. Twin Twisters video -

    Might be kinda fun, driving through a twin twister tower.

    Like sailing between Scylla and Charybdis.

    1. BobSat Jun 14, 09:10:00 PM EDT

      Why just yesterday rat was denouncing Raul in the fiercest terms not knowing his very own Hero of the Libertarians thought the opposite....that Raul Labrador would make "a great leader'.

      If not for my doc's appointment and other necessities I surely would have gone to this event. The Huckster was here as well.

      #"Prostates Before Politics"

      The lies are as follow and will not be ignored …
      ... rat ...
      ... fiercest terms ...
      ... his very own Hero …

      Bob is a liar

      Pasted from


  9. .

    Obama is adamant in his refusal to send troops

    Ramsay Bolton, Warden of the North, with his company drawn out of Dragonstone is proceeding north towards Winterfell. In their wake, they have decimated and flayed the troops of House Greyjoy of the Iron Islands. Since the flaying tends to take time, this has allowed Stannis Baratheon and the Red Queen time to move against them after their victory over Mance Rayder at the Wall.

    These bit players are being supported by major regional powers. Baratheon is a client of the monied interests that make up the Iron Bank. Mance Rayder is receiving money and troops from the Iron Throne, the Baratheons and the Lannisters. Other regional players are also involved, either in support or opposition to one or other of the sides.

    Through it all, the bloodshed, the killing, the flaying, Obama has remained aloof and refuses to send in ground forces although he has stated that Mance Rayder must stop the killing of innocents in the North and withdraw his troops or there will be serious consequences. Some question whether that is actually a ‘red line’.

    Republicans and Democrats alike are urging Obama to act. The fear is that this conflict will end up in a regional war that will so weaken the seven kingdoms that they will be easy prey for Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons should she choose to cross the Shallow Sea and enter Westeros. Worse, there is fear among many that the rumors coming from beyond the Wall are true.

    Winter is coming.

    The Westeros Observer



    1. Sumer Is Icumen In
      (traditional English round, c. 1250)
      clr gif


      Svmer is icumen in
      Lhude sing cuccu!
      Groweþ sed and bloweþ med
      and springþ þe wde nu.
      Sing cuccu!

      Awe bleteþ after lomb,
      lhouþ after calue cu,
      Bulluc sterteþ, bucke uerteþ.
      Murie sing cuccu!
      Cuccu, cuccu,
      Wel singes þu cuccu.
      ne swik þu nauer nu!
      Sing cuccu nu, Sing cuccu!


      Summer has come in
      Loudly sing, cuckoo!
      Seeds grow and meadows bloom
      and the woods spring anew
      Sing cuckoo!

      Ewe bleats after lamb,
      Calf lows after cow,
      Bullock leaps, billygoat farts,
      Merrily sing, cuckoo!
      Cuckoo, cuckoo!
      Well you sing cuckoo,
      Nor cease you ever now!
      Sing cuckoo now, Sing, cuckoo!

      Ancient Music
      by Ezra Pound (1912)
      clr gif

      Winter is icumen in,
      Lhude sing Goddamm,
      Raineth drop and staineth slop,
      And how the wind doth ramm!
      Sing: Goddamm.
      Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
      An ague hath my ham
      Damm you; Sing: Goddamm.
      Goddamm, Goddamm, ’tis why I am, Goddamm,
      So ’gainst the winter’s balm.
      Sing goddamm, damm, sing goddamm,
      Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.

      (This is Pound’s parody of the medieval lyric “Sumer Is Icumen In”)

    2. My juxtaposition is intended to a difference in tone between those times and ours.

      If given the choice of where and when to, I might choose a medieval village rather than, say, a Detroit or LA.

      If that were the only choice.

      At least everyone had a face and place in a medieval village.

      Thankfully, I'm fairly happy with where and when I've been and am.

    3. to show a difference in tone between......

    4. Bob dissembles and liesTue Jun 17, 08:58:00 AM EDT

      If for a tranquil mind you seek,
      These things observe with care:
      Of whom you speak, to whom you speak,
      And how, and when and where.

  10. .

    Saw an article in The Atlantic asking the question 'Why and how did ISIS catch the NSA by surprise'. It's a legitimate question. But to those cynical people like me a bigger question is 'Given the resources and dollars spent each year by the NSA, and given the technical capabilities of the NSA, and given that the NSA is abusing the constitutional rights of every American in pursuit of intel, why haven't they accomplished anything? Forget about ISIS, what terrorist plot have they stopped? Boston, Detroit, New York, all have had terrorist incidents but the NSA knew zip about any of them.

    It's bad enough giving up civil rights, but hell, we are not even get our money's worth out of these clowns.


  11. Listened to the whole video of 'this guy seems to know what he's talking about'.

    He didn't seem to know more than anyone I've listened to or read right here in the US of A.

    He did speculate about some Saudi Princes throwing some money about, but he wasn't certain.

    He didn't seem certain about much of anything.

    He did seem to think a USA bombing campaign would not help.

    I think it probably would as it would help to strengthen the spine of those defending Baghdad and the south.

    "Root for those who are losing'

    Mayor Ed Koch

    That is, support those currently losing.

    My heart goes out to the Christians of Ninevah.

    If there are any left I hope we could provide them a break somehow.

    Chriatrians of Ninevah pics...;_ylt=A0LEVjVH5p9TF2MApw4PxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTBsa3ZzMnBvBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkAw--?_adv_prop=image&fr=yhs-aztec-default&va=Christians+of+nineveh&hspart=aztec&hsimp=yhs-default

  12. Doug: Are the patrons of this bar a bunch of homos?

    There's twenty-five varieties of fun, Doug, pick one.

  13. Obama is adamant in his refusal to send troops

    Knew that boy was good for something.

  14. Hillary's book, ghost written of course, can be compared to a 5,000 pound 'bunker busting' bomb that duds.

    The word on the street is her book makes a good door stop for the outdoor shitter, and if you crinkle the pages up really good, it makes an acceptable substitute for Charmin.

  15. Damn - We fell for the Neocon lies, distortions and political machinations. We killed the only man who could control Iraq and then we funded extremists to fight for us in another country and WTF they bite us in the ass?

    1. If I were to say things like that I'd be accused of supporting absolute dictatorship, absolute brutality, and Sunni Imperialism.


      By Peskyrat of course.

    2. Bob dissembles and liesTue Jun 17, 09:00:00 AM EDT

      “Everything under heaven is in utter chaos; the situation is excellent.”
      ― Mao Tse-tung

  16. Obammie doesn't take the bait.

    After surging a whopping couple of dollars, oil prices give back $0.60 this morning.

  17. Bush made an error with the Status of Forces Agreement of 2008. The negotiations for an extension/modification in 2011 bogged down and failed due to the liability issue. The fault here is with both Obama and Maliki. Everyone fucked up.

    At least that is how I recall it.

    Damn Hillary for her Neo-Conism.

    What are you doing up so early, Miss T? Do you blog all night? Jeez, what are you, a perpetual blogging machine? Real life calls, Dear.

    I was taking a piss, and reading an e-mail from my niece, real life calling, and decided to check if Quirk had anything new and exciting to say, as I always do after a piss in the night.

    Now I am going back to bed.

  18. Now I am really going back to bed.

  19. .

    Bush made an error with the Status of Forces Agreement of 2008. The negotiations for an extension/modification in 2011 bogged down and failed due to the liability issue. The fault here is with both Obama and Maliki. Everyone fucked up.

    Once more, you're conclusions are wrong. Assuming everything happened as you remember, it is the one instance associated with Iraq where both Bush and Obama did something positive.

    As an aside, I can only suggest that you tend to let your warmongering instincts override your common sense.

    We have seen the results of US interventions and none of them have been positive. We were in a war that lasted twice as long as WWII and what did we get for it? We are currently in a war which will have lasted three times as long as WWII and have no tangible results to brag about. And yet, your first instinct in the face of any foreign policy crisis is to 'Send in the troops'. You ignore history and you show no regard for the American lives that will be lost or for the families that will have to bury them.

    A little self-assessment should lead you quickly to Einstein's definition of insanity.


    1. But you see, Quirk, I am not for sending the troops back to Iraq again. In fact, I was really neither for it or against it, in the first place. I was wishy-washy.

      What I think is we took the troops out too soon, and did not give them enough time to a new way of life. Maybe it was doomed from the beginning, but I'm not certain.

      I think all we can do now is relax, watch them kill one another, and support the losing sides.

      Afghanistan is an entirely different situation. We could stay there indefinitely. And why not, if we wish. It's the Pashtuns if that is spelled right that are the main problem, about 50% of the pricks. We got the Taliban on the run in a few days. Surely it isn't too much to for us to keep them on the run.

      You are a lady's man, Quirk. Think of the women and children.

    2. The professional standing military establishment is a social experiment that has been an economic, political, moral and amazingly a military disaster.

    3. For a military disaster they certainly went through both Afghanistan and Iraq like a knife through butter in a military sense.

      It's the institution building that comes after where we have been lacking.

      That takes time and we are impatient these days.

    4. .

      Impatient? We have been there for 12 years and the only progress that has been made has been in the rise in the poppy production.

      Lord, Bob, get a clue.

      Everyone here will be dust and Afghanistan will still remain the same.


    5. like a knife through butter...

      ...The February 13, 1991 bombing of the Al-Amriyah bunker in western Baghdad during the first Gulf War killed 403 men, women and children. It hit world headlines and was trumpeted by Saddam Hussein as a symbol of US “barbarity”.

      Until the dictator was toppled in the 2003 US-led invasion, each year on the anniversary of the tragedy Iraqi officials would make public appearances at the shelter, which had been transformed into a memorial and a propaganda tool.

      But looters descended on the site after the invasion and the military closed public access to the memorial.

      Yousef Abbas, who lost his mother, wife and four children when a pair of US smart bombs busted through the shelter's reinforced concrete roof, said he hasn't been back inside “since the beginning of the American occupation.” “When I pass in front I turn away because this place embodies the tragedy of Iraq,” said the 60-year-old, bursting into tears as he remembered the night that shattered his life two decades ago.

    6. .

      You are a lady's man, Quirk. Think of the women and children.

      And you are a nitwit. Look and learn.

      Democracy is a word.

      We (or rather they and guys like you) assumed forcing democracy on these countries would result in them also accepting Western cultural norms. However, our benighted efforts went unrewarded. We are talking two separate worlds from a historical, cultural, sociological, and philosophical view. You can't change thousands of years of conditioning at the point of a gun or by giving them the vote.

      Wise up, wishful thinking won't cut it.


  20. Can't wait to see how Rufus explains how his hero giving our country away is a good thing:

    Recent days have been filled with anecdotal reports, from local news outlets in Central America to major American newspapers, citing immigrants who say they came because they believe U.S. law has been changed to allow them to stay. And now comes word that Border Patrol agents in the most heavily-trafficked area of the surge, the Rio Grande Valley sector of Texas, recently questioned 230 illegal immigrants about why they came. The results showed overwhelmingly that the immigrants, including those classified as UACs, or unaccompanied children, were motivated by the belief that they would be allowed to stay in the United States -- and not by conditions in their homelands. From a report written by the agents, quoting from the interviews:

    The main reason the subjects chose this particular time to migrate to the United States was to take advantage of the "new" U.S. "law" that grants a "free pass" or permit (referred to as "permisos") being issued by the U.S. government to female adult OTMs traveling with minors and to UACs. (Comments: The "permisos" are the Notice to Appear documents issued to undocumented aliens, when they are released on their own recognizance pending a hearing before an immigration judge.) The information is apparently common knowledge in Central America and is spread by word of mouth, and international and local media. A high percentage of the subjects interviewed stated their family members in the U.S. urged them to travel immediately, because the United States government was only issuing immigration "permisos" until the end of June 2014…The issue of "permisos" was the main reason provided by 95% of the interviewed subjects.

  21. I figure a country of 320,000,000 can probably handle another couple of hundred thousand kids.

    1. Take them to Mississippi, then.

    2. Put them on the Cherokee Reservation.

    3. Seriously. You want them, offer them open arms on the Cherokee Reservations.

    4. .

      Why would it stop at a couple hundred thousand?

      This one is on Obama.


    5. Yes, why?

      Rufus too can be an Obaman "Champion of Change" and dilute the sacred Cherokee land and gene pool by accepting all and sundry, and share out the gambling money.

      Think they will?


  22. What are you doing up so early, Miss T? Do you blog all night? Jeez, what are you, a perpetual blogging machine? Real life calls, Dear.

    Got up at three so I could pick up the vanpool van from an apartment complex I've never seen, Sugarbear.

  23. I figure a country of 320,000,000 can probably handle another couple of hundred thousand kids.

    At least they're not coming up with dynamite strapped to them.

    June 17 at 7:48 AM

    Can someone explain to me why the media still solicit advice about the crisis in Iraq from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)? Or Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)? How many times does the Beltway hawk caucus get to be wrong before we recognize that maybe, just maybe, its members don’t know what they’re talking about?

    Certainly Politico could have found someone with more credibility than Douglas Feith, former undersecretary of defense for policy in the George W. Bush administration and one of the architects of the Iraq war, to comment on how the White House might react to the rapidly deteriorating political situation in Iraq today. Certainly New York Times columnist David Brooks knows what folly it is to equate President Obama’s 2011 troop removal with Bush’s 2003 invasion, as he did during a discussion with me last Friday on NPR?

    Just a reminder of what that 2003 invasion led to: Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes authoritatively priced Bush’s war at more than $3 trillion. About 320,000 U.S. veterans suffer from brain injury as a result of their service. Between 500,000 and 655,000 Iraqis died, as well as more than 4,000 U.S. military members.

    Yet as Brooks’s words reveal, the prevailing mindset in today’s media is to treat the 2003 invasion as if its prosecution were an act of God — like Hurricane Katrina, an inevitability that could not have been avoided. Seen this way, policymakers can ignore the idiocy of the decision to invade in the first place and can instead direct all of their critical attention to how to deal with the aftermath. It’s almost as though the mainstream media have demoted themselves from a corps of physicians, eager and able to diagnose, prognosticate and prescribe, to one of EMTs, charged instead with triaging, cleaning and cauterizing a catastrophe without investigating its underlying cause.

    Since so many liberal hawks reached the same conclusion as did Bush et al., this notion of the 2003 invasion’s inevitability can falsely seem to have some credence (which is, perhaps why, as Frank Rich points out in New York magazine, so many erstwhile hawks, especially so-called liberal ones, feel no need to acknowledge their erroneous judgments of a decade ago)



    1. {...}.

      But if so many were wrong about Iraq in 2003, why are they still being invited (and trotting themselves out) on Sunday morning talk shows and op-ed pages as authorities on U.S.-Iraq policy? Where is the accountability for the politicians’ and pundits’ warmongering of 11 years ago? James Fallows — who was “right” on Iraq in a 2002 Atlantic cover story — tweeted Friday, “Working hypothesis: no one who stumped for original Iraq invasion gets to give ‘advice’ about disaster now. Or should get listened to.” Amen.

      In the current cacophony of Washington, we must remember that there is no equivalence to be drawn between Bush’s 2003 decision to invade Iraq and Obama’s 2011 decision to withdraw U.S. troops. Bush’s invasion, after all, was not just a mistake. At best a fool’s errand, at worst a criminal act, this great blunder helped set the stage for Iraq’s chaos today. The increased sectarian violence stems not from the 2011 withdrawal; rather, it is the fruit of the 2003 invasion, subsequent occupation and much-vaunted “surge” of 2007–08.

      McCain and Graham insist that airstrikes are the only way forward in today’s Iraq. But what we need now are not armchair warriors calling for military strikes or sending weapons. (As an aside, I will say that, should members of the neoconservative movement feel so motivated, we would wholeheartedly respect their decision to enlist in the Iraqi army.) Obama, himself “right” on Iraq during the war’s run-up, is also right today to resist calls for direct U.S. military action — including airstrikes — in Iraq. The U.S. misadventure in Iraq ended in 2011; we do not need another. Experience and history have (clearly) taught us that there is no military solution in Iraq. Only a political reconciliation can quell the unrest, and this requires more than bellicose calls for violence from 5,000 miles away. To find a solution, we must commit to regional and international diplomacy.

      We learned in 2003 that when we move in with guns blazing, we tend to spark a lot more fires than we extinguish. In 2014, we cannot afford to learn this same lesson. Regardless of how many are too blind (or proud or foolish) to realize it, we need to write a new scenario for 2014, so that 11 years from now, we can look back and ponder how, this time, we did things right.

  25. a knife through butter...mission accomplished

  26. 4.03pm BST Summary
    Here’s a summary of things as they stand, from The Guardian:

    • Iraqi forces rejected an Isis attack on a jail and police station outside Baquba, about 60 kilometers northeast of Baghdad. Almost four dozen Sunni inmates were killed in the incident under murky circumstances.

    • Four bodies of young Sunni men were recovered in a Baghdad district controlled by Shia militias. Shia Muslims were reportedly leaving the capital, as the militias intensified their street presence.

    • Iraq's biggest oil refinery, at Baiji, has been shut down and foreign staff evacuated after the plant was surrounded by militants. The military is still in control of the facilities, according to officials.

    • Iraq's Shia-led cabinet has blamed Saudi Arabia for promoting "genocide" in Iraq by backing Sunni militants.

    • Iraq's most senior Shia cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has sought to clarify an apparent call to arms issued under his name last week. Sistani's office said his followers should take up arms under the auspicies of security agencies.

    • UK foreign secretary William Hague has announced that Britain's embassy in Iran will be reopened as the West looks to Tehran to help ease the crisis in neighbouring Iraq.

    • President Obama sent up to 275 troops to Baghdad to guard the US embassy there. The troops were said not to fill a combat role but were "combat-ready."

    • A Turkish court put a block on media reports of Turkish citizens kidnapped and held by Isis in Mosul. Turkey evacuated consulate staff in Basra in the south, Reuters reports.

    • The UN's cultural organisation, Unesco, has urged Iraqis to protect the country's heritage in the wake of gains by Isis.

  27. .

    Democracy. What a word.

    For any of the benighted individuals who still suffer under the delusion that things will change in Iraq, it's been reported that Amhad Chalabi, conman, huckster, liar, thief, turncoat, exile, and previously failed politician, has recently returned to Iraq and is heading up the committee in charge of getting things moving again. We know that his portfolio includes getting lighting, water, and electricity fixed. However, given his track record, I believe we can be confident in assuming he will be fixing other things as well.


  28. Neither Plato nor Aristotle much liked the word democracy.

    What we really need is, like my grandfather thought, a system or Nordic Princes of the better sort.

    1. There was a Swedish Prince long ago, whose name is hard to spell and pronounce, but was something like Qiuircishonl. He invaded what is now Poland with intent to put the place 'to good and right'.

      Prince Qiuircishonl and his lieutenants also had the project of 'breeding these people up a bit', as the old saying is translated, in the matters of mind, and manners, and beauty, and nobility.

      Thus they spent more time in bed than at breakfast.

      It worked in a way, too.

      You may have noticed that the names of many who claim Polish ancestry have names that start with Q.

    2. “Bigotry is an odd thing.
      To be bigoted you have to be absolutely sure you are right and nothing makes that surety and righteousness like continence.
      Continence is the foe of heresy.”

  29. Hey Republicans: ”Ten-hut”

    The IRS computers keep crashing. Send some technicians ASAP and help them find the problem and restore the data. Surely, there are enough swinging dicks and dicklettes over at the NSA that can help.

    1. The House should impeach the President so we can get to the bottom of this.

      It's possible they may do it too, after the elections in November.

    2. They need to elect a stout good man like Raul Labrador as Majority Leader, and get rid of Boehner as Speaker.

    3. Yeah, we need to elect an idiot motherfucker that can't even organize a state GOP Convention.

  30. Fucking racist sonofabitch wants to go bomb some people 9,000 miles away, supposedly for the women and children, but a few S. American "women and children" show up on our border, and he has a conniption fit.

    Fucking "Christians" are a confused, deranged bunch if there ever was one.

    And, Doug, well, what the fuck can one say. He lives in fucking Hawaii, and has palpitations at the thought that some Nicaraguan kid might show up in Tucson.

    Weird motherfucking shit. The ODS is running strong, this day.

    1. What I said, Rufus, was I think we should hang around Afghanistan awhile. And try to keep the lid on. Maybe it should be partitioned, split in half.

      We all know what is going to happen to the women when we are gone.

      Already in those 'liberated' areas of middle Sunni Iraq, the women have been ordered to not go out of their homes.

      Iraq seems gone. I'd hope for some other fate for most of the Afghans in the north, at least.

    2. I doubt it will happen though. Your pal will have the troops all out before the election of 2016, regardless of the statements of his that it is the important war, the war we "must" win.

      Then the whole place will collapse soon after the new Republican President is in office.

      And we will have come full circle, with Afghanistan being again a wonderland for terrorist plotting against us.

    3. Why don't you worry about the "wimmin" back here?

      You don't "Hang Around" a War Zone, you dumb fuck.

      A War Zone is a War Zone. You go there to kill people, and/or To Die.

      Moron cocksucker; you can't help it if you're stupid, but you could keep quiet.

    4. You yourself, you dumb fuck moron cocksucker, were in favor of the very idea, and not too long ago.

      Your term for this proposal was, basically hang around and "use the place for bombing practice".

      Do you recall?

    5. No, it was hang around Diego Garcia, and use the Taliban (or Karzei, whichever) for bombing practice.

    6. I don't recall Diego Garcia, but have it your way. I don't care to argue about it.

      Even on your terms now, you wanted to use the Taliban for bombing practice.

  31. At one time we just "Had" to go kill the Godless Vietnamese. That blew off 50,000 of our young men's lives.

    Now, we just "Have" to have a Free Trade Agreement with the good ol' Vietnamese, so we can send them what remaining jobs that we haven't sent to the Godless Chinese.

    Don't you Ever get tired of being played for a sap?

    1. When did I ever say I was for that?

      Once I started to read about it I became extremely skeptical.

      To me somehow Afghanistan doesn't seem quite as tough a situation.

      And the Vietnamese didn't have it in mind to mistreat the women in the Moslem way upon victory.

      So, people disagree.

    2. Bob is insane, as well as a liar

  32. IRS 'Loses' Emails From 6 More Involved in Targeting...
    Attkisson: This doesn't happen.......drudge

    Obama was right. "There is not a smidgeon of corruption."

    Their is a Mack Truck full of corruption.

    It's time to impeach the man.

    And I understand the Senate won't convict, unless perhaps something else comes out, as it very well might.

    Well, if the political winds should change against Obama that much, he has said he will "stand with the muslims".

    You got a great President there, Rufus.

    1. .

      Perhaps the e-mails were a bit too randy for GOOGLE to allow and they deleted them.


    2. Well, he hasn't killed 5,000 American Troops, wasted $2 Trillion Dollars, and put us into the worst recession since the Great Depression, yet.

    3. Again, the housing market collapsed because the democrats keep loaning money to people who could not possibly pay back.

      And George W. Bush warned about Fannie and Freddie EIGHT TIMES in his State of the Union addresses.

      Blame Barney Frank. Bush was never even in Congress.

    4. And while I'm on it on Deuce's Neo-Con bullshit, let us not forget that great Democratic Neo-Con LBJ who got us into Vietnam.

      Eisenhower would not have done that. I wish he could have had a third term.

      It was the Neo-Con, the guns and butter guy, the great society fellow who got us into Vietnam.


    5. LBJ - the greatest do good liberal of his day.

      He was the guy that phonied up the Gulf of Tonkin craparoo and got not 5,000, but 50,000 of us dead.

      Then years later the democratic Congress pulled the funding plug out from under the South Vietnamese, and, that was that.

  33. But lose your receipt for your $50 Goodwill donation three years ago and it's Leavenworth time as far as the IRS is concerned.

    1. And that's nearly the damn truth too.

      I am always extremely careful with out taxes, and a good accountant does the work.

    2. with our taxes

      It always twists me up so I can't type when I'm called a stupid mother fucking cocksucker by Rufus.

    3. babbling bob is bonified bonkersTue Jun 17, 01:25:00 PM EDT

      Bob feels he has sacrificed when he pays his taxes.
      He does not see it as a duty to his country, which he has failed to serve in any other mannner.

      He is, as he typed above ...
      a stupid mother fucking cocksucker

  34. ISRAEL PREFERS al-QAEDATue Jun 17, 01:30:00 PM EDT

    Hate to say I told you so, but it is becoming obvious, to the people there.

    Israeli forces have detained more than 200 Palestinians

    There are also rampant conspiracy rumors in the Palestinian territories, questioning whether the kidnapping actually occurred, the Times reports:

    Leaders referred to the “alleged kidnapping” in some of their official statements, and social networks were filled with conspiracy theories of how Jewish settlers staged the event or the Israeli government was using it as a pretext to oust Hamas from the West Bank and thwart the Palestine Liberation Organization’s recent reconciliation with Hamas.

    Ahmad Abu Eisheh, 27, noted that no credible claim of responsibility had yet emerged.

    “Hamas announces when they kidnap,” said Mr. Abu Eisheh, who works at a cleaning company.
    “For sure it’s a film. They want to destroy the reconciliation.”

    They (Israel) want to destroy the reconciliation.”

  35. Ah, Pesky is back.

    I should say, before being jumped for it, my tongue was in my cheek with my Nordic Princes should rule stuff.

    Though.....sometimes I wonder.....

    Have a great day Pesky.

    What took you so long?

    Cheers !!

    1. Bob dissembles and liesTue Jun 17, 03:04:00 PM EDT

      “The family that supports worthless relatives or covers up their crimes in order to "protect the family name"
      (as if the moral stature of one man could be damaged by the actions of another)

      -the bum who boasts that his great-grandfather was an empire-builder,
      (as if the achievement of one man could rub off on the mediocrity of another)

      -the parents who search geneological trees in order to evaluate their prospective son-in-law.

      -the celebrity who starts his autobiography with a detailed account of his family history

      -All these are samples of racism.” - Ayn Rand

  36. This MUST be another MOSSAD PLOT.

    Everybody knows the Jews can''t play basketball.

    I'll bet the Israeli paid off the refs, eh, Pesky?

    Israel Grasps the Basketball Crown
    By Michael Curtis

    Ads by BlockAndSurfAd Options

    Who would have thought Israel would dream the impossible dream, fight and beat the undefeatable foe not only in the fields of science, startup companies, art, or culture, but in those of sport? Its barely imaginable world victory was registered on May 18, 2014 when the Israeli basketball team, Maccabi Electra TV, won the Euroleague Basketball Championship.

    Maccabi beat Real Madrid 98-86 in Milan in overtime in the finals after defeating CSKA of Moscow and Emporio Armani Milan in earlier rounds. With its victory, Maccabi may have reached the moon, but its joy was not unalloyed. Maccabi supporters sang the Israeli song "Kol Haulam Kulo" (the world is a narrow bridge) with the words, “The most important thing is not to be afraid of anything.” In contrast, the immediate response to the Israeli victory by the biased, bigoted, and afraid boycotters of Jews and of Israel was the outpouring of 18,000 anti-Semitic messages posted on Twitter.

    Did you Twitter about this miscarriage of justice, Pesky?

    1. Bob dissembles and liesTue Jun 17, 02:59:00 PM EDT

      Everybody knows the Jews can''t play basketball.- Bob

      You are a vile racist.

      “Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself - that is my doctrine.”
      ― Thomas Paine

  37. The IRS says it can’t produce emails from six more employees because of computer crashes. And if the emails of any more employees are subpoenaed in the future, the IRS is pretty sure those emails will be gone too.

    1. “Sometimes stuff just happens”

      Lois G. Lerner, the employee at the center of the IRS tea party targeting scandal, wanted to recover files from her computer hard drive after it crashed in 2011, but when told it was impossible, she took a philosophical view.
      “Sometimes stuff just happens,” she said in a 2011 email to the IRS tech staff that tried to recover documents from the hard drive.

    2. "the IRS is pretty sure those emails will be gone too"

      Rufus is pretty sure our medical care issues will be dealt with in a similarly professional way by similar government agents.

  38. WASHINGTON (AP) — A Libyan militant suspected in the deadly Sept. 11, 2012, attack on Americans in Benghazi has been captured and is in U.S. custody, marking the first U.S. apprehension of an alleged perpetrator in the assault that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

    Obama administration officials said Ahmed Abu Khattala, a senior leader of the Benghazi branch of the terror group Ansar al-Sharia in Libya, will be tried in U.S. court. He was captured by U.S. forces on Sunday and is being held in an undisclosed location outside of Libya, according to the Pentagon press secretary, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby.

    White House press secretary Jay Carney said the capture makes clear that the U.S. is fulfilling its pledge to bring to justice those responsible.

    "The capture of Abu Khattala is not the end of that effort but it marks an important milestone," Carney said.

    1. I'd love to blow Carney for you, but can't afford the airfare.

      Can you help out a patriot in need?

  39. Pesky is a vile racist, misogynist, anti-semite, dead beat dad, drug user and all round prick.

    Ha ha take that !!

    1. Pesky is an illiterate dumb fuck too. Poorly read, he has little man syndrome of the mind. He is borderline schizo. He is insane. Everybody knows it, even Pesky. His mom knew it, also.

      Ho Ho

    2. Bob dissembles and liesTue Jun 17, 04:35:00 PM EDT

      Who s pesky?
      Are you looking in the mirror, again, Bob?

      -the bum who boasts that his great-grandfather was an empire-builder,

      (as if the achievement of one man could rub off on the mediocrity of another)

      This includes the man that built the farm, the man that was the town attorney ... Those are the Empire Bulders
      Bob is just a pale reflection of his forebears, and needs racism to keep him 'in the game'.

      BobTue Jun 17, 02:34:00 PM EDT

      This MUST be another MOSSAD PLOT.

      Everybody knows the Jews can''t play basketball.

      You are a vile racist projectionist, Bob

    3. You are Pesky, Pesky.

      I am Pasky.

      Do you, you vile lying sack of cow shit, want to meet my friends, Pisky, Posky, and Pusky?

  40. Teresita RedingerMon Jun 16, 09:57:00 PM EDT
    Doug, I have three tablets running Android, three laptops (2 running Win7, 1 running XP), a Chromebox, a Chromecast, and ten desktops (a mix of towers and small-form-factor boxes) running anything from Windows 3.1 to 98 to XP to 7, and Linuxes out the Kazoo. I took a Chromebook to the Philippines last year and stepped on it. You should get a Samsung Chromebook 3 for about $239 or so, because you sound like the sort of fellow who just wants to use his gear than fiddle with it.
    I used to fiddle, esp when the kid was around to co-fiddle w/me.

    Do you fiddle w/your partner?



    What's a "Chromcast?"

    Certainly not that little 25 dollar Google POS, right?

    1. Thirty-five dollar POS that we use to watch concerts on Youtube and movies on Netflix.

    2. You can get it for $25, now, but check this out:

      If I ever used anything besides my computer, the remote feature alone would cause me to buy the Roku.

      Streaming swordfight! Google Chromecast vs. Roku Streaming Stick!0lxyo

  41. Well, well

    Caitlin MacNeal – June 17, 2014, 6:36 PM EDT

    Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the suspect captured by U.S. special forces on Tuesday for his role in the 2012 Benghazi attack, reportedly said he was motivated in part by the anti-Islam online video made in America, according to the New York Times.

    "What he did in the period just before the attack has remained unclear. But Mr. Abu Khattala told other Libyans in private conversations during the night of the attack that he was moved to attack the diplomatic mission to take revenge for an insult to Islam in an American-made online video," Times reporter David Kirkpatrick wrote in a story on Khattala on Tuesday.

    1. .

      Well, well indeed.

      This was the Times' story a year ago. Nobody else picked up on it but evidently 'its their story and they are sticking to it'.

      We'll understand the guys motivation when he gets to court I suppose.


    2. Maybe Hillary can be his defense lawyer after she loses the election. After all, why go with a second-hand story when you can get it right from the horse's mouth.

    3. Rufus:

      The Dufus that will believe anything that will advance the leftist agenda, and denounce everything that exposes it for what it is.

    4. He figures "education" entertainment, MSM "News" Voter Fraud, Voter Intimidadtion, IRS, NSA, FBI, and computer "accidents" and etc are not enough.

      Pathetic in the extreme.

    5. Maybe Dufus or Rat can explain to me why that is.

      (the advantages enjoyed by the left as listed above)

  42. Hillary's book, she says she won't agree to any more investigations of Benghazi, but then in an interview with Christianne Amanpour she says she still has questions. So there's a disconnect between HRC and her ghost writer. Wanna drop $25 for her book be my guest.

    1. Maybe our next capture, aka made Muslim, can explain the discrepancies uncovered so far.

      Or maybe there are enough dumb fucks to believe leftist propagandists like our very own Dufus.

      Swamp Rat From Hell.

      or even

      Desert Rat from Hell.

    2. I'm surprised they're calling this perp a terrorist. I thought he was an anti-YouTube agitator.

  43. Poor Doug ...

    He got sucked into the "Right-Wing" disinformation vortex. Once in that vortex nothing makes sense until deposited on the Yellow Brick Road, with the admonition ...
    You're Not in Kansas, any more!

    Upset that the miscreant terrorist was not killed or captured, the night of the attack in Benghazi, by US ground force airlifted in from Europe, there has sprung up an entire cottage industry, to defame the United States, patriotically of course ...

    Irritated that the President's man in charge of Benghazi, David Howell Petraeus did not call in troops from Italy to support his covert operation in Libya. The Yellow Brick Road contingent developed a theory that the attack in Benghazi was unrelated to events in the world, that no outside event could bet used to explain what was the trigger those events.There was abject denial that the Islamic Conspiracy could coordinate between Egypt and Libya.

    Why? Because to do so would not defame the government of the United States of America sufficiently to suit their domestic political agenda.. Now that the leader of the attack has been captured, not killed in acquisition, he is to be considered just another cog in the Administration's disinformation and propaganda machine.

    Doubtful though any of the US corporate entities with a connection to Israel will have paid Ahmed Abu Khatallah or his daughter for the publishing rights to his story.

    Funny, how those that claim the bias of the MSM, the lack of veracity of Ms Clinton, Mr Obama and David Petreaus, never delve deeply into the backgrounds and motivations of the people making the editorial decisions. As that would violate the very principles enshrined in the little yellow bricks that make the road, in fantasy-land...

    The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.

    Benjamin Disraeli

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. If the author wanted it to be taken seriously, he'd sign in as ...


    3. The very idea that it'd be taken seriously ... is comical.

  44. Mr. Abu Khattala and the video?

    Quirk you're smarter than to not see through this immediately.

    1. .

      You give me a headache, Bob.

      With you, like the rat, I only understand what you are trying to say about half the time. Likely, it's my fault.

      If you are talking about the comment I removed before, my first inclination was to challenge rat on his post but we have gone around on the same bullshit numerous times and I was too tired to start it up again tonight.

      If you are commenting on my response to Rufus' post, my comments should have been clear enough. About a year ago, the NYT reported that 'their sources' said that the demonstration and subsequent rioting in Benghazi was the result of the video. There were many articles questioning the Times story and I don't think any other outlets backed it up with reporting of their own.
      Now, that one of the murderers has been caught they seem to be reprising the story.

      It's being reported that the guy will be tried in a civilian court. He will likely tell us his motivation during the trial if he is allowed to take the witness stand. I haven't a clue as to what this particular guy's motivation was. He was one of many. If he says he was motivated by the video, how can I call him a liar?

      The reasons these attacks has never been that important to me. As far as I am concerned, I could give a shit whether he killed our ambassador because of some video or because he didn't like the way he wore his tie. In the end, it still amounts to murder. The same goes for the rat's constant drivel about the CIA. I would like to see an investigation into what exactly the CIA was doing their just in case what they were doing did happen to be illegal. But that is a secondary story also, if a crime was committed, perhaps an even more important story than the assassination; however, as far as I know we have no proof that the CIA was doing anything but the job they were assigned to do and that the assignment was within the law. If it does turn out the CIA was running an illegal operation, that will have little to do with the key issues being investigated in Congress.

      I watched all the initial Benghazi hearings and I listened to the diplomats and security personnel both in Libya and from the State Department. From what I learned from that testimony and from the subsequent documents and e-mails introduced as evidence, I believe the questions that remain to be answered officially are:

      Why were the numerous requests for more security that came out of Libya refused? Was it for political reasons?

      Was there negligence on the part of the White House or any Department of the government that contributed to the end result in Benghazi?

      Was there an attempt at cover-up by the administration?

      Of these three questions the first one is obviously the most important.


  45. Canada approves pipeline that will ship oil to Asia........drudge

    1. .

      It is a hot button issue in Canada just as Keystone is here. It will likely be many years before Canada sees the pipeline.