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hanson - no need to add to it as he talks sense

“We can demonize President Bush and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld all we want, or wish they presented their views in a kindlier and more artful fashion. We can wish that the United States were better at training Iraqis and killing terrorists to secure Iraq. But the same general mess in the Middle East will still confront Bush's and Rumsfeld's successors.

“And long after the present furor over Iraq dies down, the idea of trying to help democratic reformers fight terrorists, and to distance America from failed regimes that are antithetical to our values, simply will not go away.

“That tough idealism will stay - because in the end it is the only right and smart thing to do.”

related items
Carnage and culture: Landmark battles in the rise of Western power by V. D. Hanson five GoldenYak (tm) award

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0611.php#hanson_301106





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leering brother is watching - bliar and brown's 'new' socialism

“Word on the street ... they’re listening

“POLICE and councils are considering monitoring conversations in the street using high-powered microphones attached to CCTV cameras, write Steven Swinford and Nicola Smith.

“The microphones can detect conversations 100 yards away and record aggressive exchanges before they become violent.

“The devices are used at 300 sites in Holland and police, councils and transport officials in London have shown an interest in installing them before the 2012 Olympics.”

From 1984, chapter 6

There was no telescreen, but there must be hidden microphones: besides, they could be seen. It did not matter, nothing mattered. They could have lain down on the ground and done that if they had wanted to. His flesh froze with horror at the thought of it. She made no response whatever to the clasp of his arm; she did not even try to disengage herself. He knew now what had changed in her. Her face was sallower, and there was a long scar, partly hidden by the hair, across her forehead and temple; but that was not the change. It was that her waist had grown thicker, and, in a surprising way, had stiffened. He remembered how once, after the explosion of a rocket bomb, he had helped to drag a corpse out of some ruins, and had been astonished not only by the incredible weight of the thing, but by its rigidity and awkwardness to handle, which made it seem more like stone than flesh. Her body felt like that. It occurred to him that the texture of her skin would be quite different from what it had once been.

He did not attempt to kiss her, nor did they speak. As they walked back across the grass, she looked directly at him for the first time. It was only a momentary glance, full of contempt and dislike. He wondered whether it was a dislike that came purely out of the past or whether it was inspired also by his bloated face and the water that the wind kept squeezing from his eyes. They sat down on two iron chairs, side by side but not too close together. He saw that she was about to speak. She moved her clumsy shoe a few centimetres and deliberately crushed a twig. Her feet seemed to have grown broader, he noticed.

'I betrayed you,' she said baldly.

'I betrayed you,' he said.

She gave him another quick look of dislike.

'Sometimes,' she said, 'they threaten you with something -- something you can't stand up to, can't even think about. And then you say, "Don't do it to me, do it to somebody else, do it to So-and-so." And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn't really mean it. But that isn't true. At the time when it happens you do mean it. You think there's no other way of saving yourself, and you're quite ready to save yourself that way. You want it to happen to the other person. You don't give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is yourself.'

1984 by George Orwell

George Orwell, 1984,
first published 1949

1990, Signet Book, 0451524934
$7.95 [amazon.com]

2004, Penguin Books Ltd, 014118776X
£5.59 [amazon.co.uk]

1984 by George Orwell - UK edition

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0611.php#leering_brother_291106

huge anti-chavez marches in venezuela - the auroran sunset

Next Sunday, December 3rd, Venezuela will have presidential elections. If you believe the polls, Chavez will win in another landslide. Last time the same Zogby polls using the same methods were ‘only’ out by 30% in Chavez’s favour.

Last Saturday, Chavez’s opposition - Rosales - held his final pre-election rallies in cities across Venezuela. In order to stop people coming, Chavez closed the roads into the capital, Caracas. Here is some of that rally:

Anti-Chavez rally in Caracas, Venezuela
[image credit: vcrisis.
the red circle is around a helicopter]

There were apparently well over one million people. This in a city of about 3.3 million people. There are claims that this is the biggest march ever anywhere. Note that such estimates are always somewhat unreliable. However, this was clearly a very big crowd.

Meanwhile there is high suspicion (54 page PDF file) that Chavez at least partially rigged the previous elections, despite the usual Carter claims that all was well. [Former President Carter’s Carter Center is well known for ‘endorsing’ elections in repressive countries, while taking issue with elections in Western liberal democracies].

Is this the beginning of a new Ukraine/Lebanon style uprising for democracy and freedom?

You can find further photographs, commentary and links at the gateway pundit blog.

related material
people power and the power of civil disobedience

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0611.php#venezuela_protest_271106

political and statistical analysis of the us midterm election results - the auroran sunset

In November’s midterm elections, the US electorate gave the Republican Party an impressive drubbing. Now it’s the Democrat’s turn at the trough...

  • So far Nancy Pelosi has tried unsuccessfully to foist her partner-in-pork and all-round moonbat, John Murtha, on the party leadership.
  • She is currently trying to get an ex-judge who she voted to impeach for “conspiracy to take bribes”, Alcee Hastings, as the chairman of the House Intelligence Oversight Commitee. There appears to be a fair chance of that failing also.
  • Meanwhile over at the Senate, Associated Press and others are uncovering a steady stream of dodgy, probably corrupt, property dealings by Leader Harry Reid in his home state of Nevada.

So much for ending the “culture of corruption”.

As we commented before the election, it’s a shame that both parties couldn’t lose.

However, I am not unhappy with results, despite some worries about allowing the Democratic Party's moonbat wing near power. In fact, on balance I am fairly pleased.

  • The Republican leadership have been informed that they can’t indefinitely earmark large sums of money for dubious projects on behalf of special interests, under the assumption that the electorate will be forgiving because “the other lot are even worse”.
  • Large numbers of the new recruits ran on anti-pork platforms. Step by step the leaderships of both parties are being forced to curtail their corruption by their ‘subordinates’.
  • A few highly obnoxious Republican incumbants, like the fundie bigot Rick Santorum, were shown the door.
  • Joe Lieberman, saw off the moonbat candidate in a landslide. Shame that Lieberman, despite his positive behaviour with regard to fighting terrorists abroad and pork at home, is also a fundie bigot.
  • Many of the new Democrats are not moonbats. See the overwhelming defeat of Murtha by Hoyer, 149-86, despite heavy-handed support from Pelosi.
  • Bush still has the final decision-making power, not the Democrats. There is not much real damage that the Democrats can do to our war effort. Meanwhile they can push for greater openness and discussion, which is likely to make our efforts against worldwide fundamentalism more effective.
  • Exit polls suggest the most important issues according to the electorate were in order: corruption, the economy, terrorism and the situation in Iraq. In other words, this drubbing had more to do with pork and earmark spending, than to do with a moonbat resurgence.
  • A divided government generally works better: it inhibits the extremists on both sides.

All this means that the power of the good guys is generally increasing relative to that of the bad guys. Obviously I would be happier with moonbats like Pelosi, Reid, Murtha and Rangel out of office.

Meanwhile the corrupt Congressional Republican leadership are doing their damndest to spin the election as “not soooo bad”, so that they can continue as usual with earmarking pork. That spin is not credible:

“By my estimate, between 1946 and 1994, a 54% two-party vote for the Democrats would have produced a 258 D to 177 R Congress. This would have been a 55 seat pick-up for the Democrats. So - the structural protections that the GOP had in place mitigated what would otherwise have been a truly disastrous result. It saved the Republicans about 26 seats.

“What do I mean by "structural protections?" The following. Between 1946 and 1994, the House exhibited what might be called a modest "Democratic bias" in the translation of votes into seats. That is, the Democrats always had a higher percentage of seats than they did votes. Since 1996, there has been a slight Republican bias to the House. Accordingly, before 1994, a 54% share of the 2-party vote would give the Democrats, on average, 60% of all seats. This would be a 6% over-performance. This year, a 54% share of the 2-party vote has yielded them 53% of all seats. A 1% "under-performance," and therefore a 7% differential. The Democrats have under-performed in votes-to-seats since 1996 by anywhere between 0.1% and 2.5%.”

“The Democrats do not really share this advantage - at least to this extent. Going into 2006 [ie just before the mid-term elections], there were 41 Democrat-held districts that Bush carried [in the 2004 presidential election] (compared with just 17 Republican-held districts that Kerry carried [in the 2004 presidential election]). Democrats are thus more susceptible to anti-Democratic moods because many Democratic representatives have relatively few strong Democratic voters upon whom they can rely. Thus, a 5.4% pro-Republican swing in the two-party vote would probably have pushed out many more Democrats than this year's 5.4% anti-Republican swing pushed out Republicans.

“Of course, a given safe Democratic district tends to be much safer for Democrats than a given safe Republican district is for Republicans. Why did Bush win 58.6% of all congressional districts in 2004 but only 50.7% of all votes? It is because the districts he lost went more strongly for Kerry than the districts he won went for him. In Kerry's worst congressional district, he still pulled in about 25% of the vote. In Bush's worst congressional district, he pulled in about 10% of the vote. Accordingly, the GOP would probably do worse with a massive anti-GOP shift (say, on the order of 8%) than the Democrats would with a massive anti-Democratic shift.”

“A proper historical comparison indicates that we just witnessed a very dramatic election - an exasperation/repudiation election. In 1946, the public swept the Republicans into office in reaction to the maintenance of wartime rationing and the increasing prevalence of union-induced work stoppages. In that election, the public rejected the current state of national affairs and the governance of the Truman Administration. So they have in this election rejected the state of affairs and the governance of the Bush Administration.

“This does not mean that the public has necessarily endorsed Democratic solutions to our problems. The Republicans, of course, were promptly tossed out of power in 1948 for having moved too far to the right on domestic issues; the public was angry at union work stoppages, but this did not mean that they wanted Taft-Hartley. The nature of our democratic system does not allow for much sophistication in the message of the public. They voted for change, but what type of change? The results do not - cannot - tell us. Votes are really nothing more than sets of "1's" and "0's" registered by every voter. We must be careful not to draw too many inferences from them. Democrats, similarly, must be careful not to read their own policy preferences into the public mandate.”

And much more. The article is worth reading in full.

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0611.php#midterm_analysis_261106

lefties struggle to spin the growing success of the bush iraq policy as a ‘disaster’ - the auroran sunset

Iraq is not a ‘disaster’. Far from it.
US/UK policy in Iraq has not failed, or anything approaching.
Once more freedom is winning, thanks to the good ol’ US of A.

The only chance left for the moonbat egos is a quick withdrawal before the reality become too much for even them to deny.

 

Here is some of that inconvenient reality:-

 

Ramadan is over and now the ‘celebrations’ start to die down:

“As expected, violence in Iraq has dropped following the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, a coalition spokesman said in Baghdad today.

“Army Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said civilian and Iraqi security force casualties were at the lowest levels since the government was formed in May.

“So far this month, the civilian casualty count is well below the casualty count in October and below the six-month average. The security force casualties reduced 21 percent over the past four weeks, and are at the lowest level in 25 weeks, he said.”

Here is a graph showing similar effects around previous Ramadans (and elections).

marker at abelard.org

The Kurdish north continues to rebuild itself in peace.
Three of the southern provinces are already self-policed and largely peaceful.
The vast majority of violence is now restricted to Ramadi (Anbar Province) and Baghdad.

marker at abelard.org

The tide is turning in Sunni Al Qaeda’s Anbar rat-hole:

“The Anbar tribes have also taken an active role in fighting al-Qaeda. In March, several tribes and Sunni insurgent groups formed the Anbar Revenge Brigades to hunt al-Qaeda operatives in western Iraq. At the end of the summer, 25 of the 31 Anbar tribes banded together and created the Anbar Salvation Council to openly fight al-Qaeda, and pledged "30,000 young men armed with assault rifles who were willing to confront and kill the insurgents and criminal gangs." The Council has killed and captured numerous 'foreign fighters' and has provided hundreds of recruits for the police and Army, despite horrific attacks designed to terrorize new volunteers.”

marker at abelard.org

There is growing confidence in the Shia south:

“Britain could complete the handover of southern Iraq to the country's security forces by next spring, Margaret Beckett, the Foreign Secretary, said yesterday.

“She expressed "confidence" that officials might be able to transfer security operations in Basra to Iraqi forces within months.”

marker at abelard.org

The Iranian backed Shia Sadr’s Madhi Army is being harried while Sadr’s ministers have been forced to resign from the government. And while the Bagdhad police force is being gradually reformed without (so many of) the Madhi traitors within.

Sadr is being presented with a choice:

  1. Watch his forces be gradually destroyed, but remain with some degree of political power by distancing himself from his base’s violence.
  2. Or join the battle openly and thus destroy himself politically.

Either way, Sadr and the Iranian Mullahs lose.

Either way, Bagdhad and Iraq win.

marker at abelard.org

Meanwhile A fascinating new report analyses Islamofascist theological texts in order to better understand how to dismantle their excuses and make their messages less appealing to the Islamist sea in which they swim:

“Counter the recurring themes found in Jihadi literature (detailed above) with the following messages:

“ — Jihadis want a totalitarian system of government in which no one is allowed to think for themselves. Not even the Saudi government is strict enough. Anyone who does not share their understanding of Islam will be declared an apostate and executed. If you want to know what a Jihadi state will look like, contemplate the Taliban - the only state in recent memory that Jihadis consider to have been legitimately Islamic.

“ — The Jihadi message is so weak and unappealing that they have to use violence to persuade people. They claim to be saving Islam, but they are giving it a bad reputation. They are hurting their own people and national resources.”

The report shows Saudi Salafist scholars undermining the doctrine of Jihad and of “violence towards civilians is ok”.

There is a growing fight for control within fundamentalist Islam. Not all fundies are equally fundie.

The report says it is time to turn these ‘thinkers’ in on each other. And explains how to start/accelerate that process.

The report (from West Point) is important and worth examining.

marker at abelard.org

Better run....... Quick!

The Democrats and fossil media are trying to present current US/UK policy in Iraq as changing because of ‘the disaster’.

In reality, the US/UK strategy has been so successful that we are now becoming able to move onto the obvious next stage:

  1. Much greater Iraqi independence in dealing with their own security.
  2. The Coalition of the Willing moving from direct protection towards training and advice.

What a disaster!

What a retreat!!

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0611.php#iraq_disaster_231106

sane policy towards tinpots seeking nuclear weapons: “assured destruction” - the auroran sunset

Eminent sense from Jules Crittenden’s blog:

“An erroneous assumption has been made by the Iranians and by many in the west that because our ground forces are hyper-extended in Iraq, and Iranian nuke facilities are buried deep, there is nothing the United States can do about an Iranian nuclear program. This is not true. There is no need to invade or occupy Iran. We do not want to do that. We would prefer to see the Iranian people's desire for free elections honored, but that doesn't appear likely any time soon.

“What we have to do to influence Iran is explain that if Iran does not begin to cooperate with the international community, we will substantially isolate Iran and destroy its means of supporting terrorism and pursuing nuclear weapons. This can be done incrementally, to give the Iranians an opportunity to reconsider their policy. Our Navy, not hyper-extended in Iraq, can blockade their ports. Our Air Force, also not hyper-extended in Iraq, can begin reducing their terrorist-support infrastructure. Things like oil fields, refineries and roads leading toward Syria and suspected nuclear sites. This can continue ... pretty much as long as the Iranians want it too.

“If in fact we find an actual nuclear weapon, or one explodes anywhere in the world, the Iranians -- and the North Koreans as well -- need to know that we will assume it was theirs, and act accordingly. This may encourage them to turn their intelligence agencies and terrorist networks to better use.

“If we are going to sit down and talk to the Iranians as the Iraq Study Group is expected to recommend, then this is the message that needs to be signalled loud and clear.

“It's a policy I call Assured Destruction, because unlike the Cold War, there doesn't have to be anything mutual about it.

“At any point along this path, if it turns out that they were just kidding, and it was all a big mistake, that will be too bad. For them.”

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0611.php#assured_destruction_211106

shadow chancellor osbourne on the modern world - the auroran sunset
Four GoldenYak award

Here are a few ‘brief’ excerpts from a very long and very interesting speech:-

“The printing press, the radio station and the television studio are all essentially what you might call 'one to many' technologies: I the newspaper editor or the programme editor decide what you are going to consume.

“Of course, you are entitled to switch channel or buy another newspaper - but then you are simply putting another editor in charge.

“The difference with the internet revolution is that it is a 'many to many' technology: everyone is becoming an editor.

“In politics and in the media we've both assumed that we do the talking and the people listen. Now the people are talking back.

“It's exciting, liberating, challenging and frightening too.”

“They no longer think doctor knows best. And they may be right. Last week there was a story that the diagnosis provided by Google is often more accurate than the diagnosis of an average GP.

“Why are we so surprised? Doctors have been estimated to carry 2 million facts in their heads to help them to diagnose disease. But Google gives patients access to over 3 billion medical articles, completely reversing the balance of information.”

“What the Government haven't understood, and what their huge IT blunders have shown, is that it's as much a change of culture as a change of technology.

“A culture that welcomes criticism and comment - then reacts to it.

“A culture that seeks customers' views and ideas at every stage of developing a service.

“A culture where every service can be improved, and no service is ever fully developed.

“We are a long way from that vision now.

“Secrecy remains the watchword. Whitehall knows best remains the assumption.

“Take something simple: today you cannot find out how much of your tax money is being spent in your local GP practice. It's not published by the government.

“Neither is the amount it spends hiring new civil servants.

“Or how much the NHS pays its chief executives.

“When the rest of society is being opened up by the power of search, this secrecy is doomed.”

“The Federal Funding Transparency and Accountability Act was signed into law this year on the back of bipartisan support. It will lead to the creation of a website that will allow any American citizen to search for exactly how federal money is being spent.

“As the President put it: people will be able to "Google their tax dollars".

“Nothing like that exists in Britain. But I hope it might. Tomorrow is the start of the new Parliamentary year.

“In this session we will be introducing a Bill which would create a similar website over here. It would open up spending by the Treasury to scrutiny. Taxpayers in their own home could find out where their pounds are being spent.

“In the best tradition of journalism, the public would be able to follow the money.

“I hope the Government engages with the idea and accepts the legislation. If not then we might have to call upon what one of the co-sponsors of the American Bill, Senator Barack Obama called 'the army of bloggers' who overcame opposition over there.”

“These on-line political networks are springing up in the UK too now - and interestingly they are almost all Conservative ones.

“Take Conservativehome.com.

“It's an on-line community of Conservative activists that engages in a constant commentary on what the Conservative Party leadership is up to. Thanks to them our attempts to keep our new A-list of candidates secret lasted about 24 hours - not because it leaked but because individual candidates were identified one by one by friends and friends of friends on the network.

“My first reaction was to be annoyed. And then I paused and thought about it, and realised something exciting was happening. There was a vibrant, noisy, irreverent Conservative community out there. Our party was alive not dying.

“Although I am sometimes the target of members on Conservativehome.com, it is unambiguously a good thing that it exists.

“For it - and other websites like Iain Dale's blog and the new conservative internet TV station 18 Doughty Street - are sure signs of the health of the Conservative movement.

“That's why my fellow Shadow Cabinet colleagues and I regularly take part in interviews and discussions on websites like these.

“Nothing like it exists on the Government side. Why? Because you simply couldn't imagine the current Labour leaders working with a website where Labour supporters took pop-shots at them.

“They haven't yet realised that in a bottom-up age, a top-down government is unsustainable. The days when party leaderships and governments handed down decisions from on high is long over.”

And much much more...
Reading the whole thing is highly recommended.

The Conservative Party have also opened up an area mocking Newoldnewlabour’s continuing secrecy, despite their false promises of a freedom of information act.

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0611.php#osbourne_191106

steadily growing irresponsibility at the heart of old europe

“Russia's gas weapon is proving a far more potent means of subverting Europe than either communism or the Red Army. Murky intermediary companies spew out money for politicians, parties and officials that favour the Kremlin's line. Gerhard Schröder, who as German chancellor revelled in being Vladimir Putin's best friend in Europe, now heads - doubtless from the most honourable motives - the company building a pipeline on the Baltic seabed to link Germany and Russia.

“Germany could try to get gas elsewhere - by building terminals for liquefied natural gas. Instead, it is deepening dependence on the authoritarian, kleptocratic regime in Russia. "We are the have-nots, and they are the haves," a defeatist top foreign-ministry official told bemused British visitors last week.

“It is also making neighbouring countries like Poland even more vulnerable to Kremlin blackmail. When the Baltic pipeline is built, Russia will be able to supply its friends, while starving its foes. Poland, along with the Baltic states, is trying frantically to diversify sources of supply. But progress is painfully slow.”

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0611.php#russian_gasline_181106

yet again, the us military wish to finish the job - but lefties and the sheep bleat on

Abizaid reports to the Senate armed services committee.
Is this a new US presidential contender in the making?

“Sen. John McCain (R- Ariz.), who advocates increasing the number of troops in Iraq, asked Abizaid why he was not in favor of bringing more American forces into Anbar province in order to take control.

“ "I am disappointed you are advocating the status quo," McCain said. "The American people, in the last election, said that was not acceptable."

“Abizaid said he was making changes but he and other commanders believed that bringing more Americans into the country would be counterproductive.

“ "I believe more American forces prevent the Iraq forces from doing more," Abizaid said.” [Quoted from latimes.com]

marker at abelard.org

“Abizaid also countered the pessimistic views of the senators by saying that despair is not a strategy.

“ "And when I come to Washington, I feel despair. When I'm in Iraq with my commanders, when I talk to our soldiers, when I talk to the Iraqi leadership, they are not despairing. They believe that they can move the country toward stability with our help. And I believe that." ” [Quoted from sfgate.com]

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0611.php#abizaid_171106

the west’s real weakness

“No, the jihadists and their supporters don't apologize because they believe they are right, and that such violence is justified in the pursuit of their divinely sanctioned aims. Our acceptance of this double standard is another sign that we are spiritually weak and so can be defeated.”

Victor Hanson keeps improving and getting his case more organised.

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0611.php#victor_hanson_151106

useful conference - and foolish comments from annan

“We should start by reaffirming and demonstrating that the problem is not the Quran or the Torah or the Bible,[...] ” Kofi Annan

marker at abelard.org

“Annan, who will relinquish his post to Ban Ki-moon on Jan. 1, said violence was fuelled by fear and misunderstandings, economic disparities, wars by Western powers in Muslim countries and the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

This shallow ‘thinking’ and dishonest hypocrisy, typical of Annan, will not help to solve real problems, anymore than soundbite ‘clash of civilisations’ pop-commercial book titles.

It is all fine and dandy that it is pointed out that this is not ‘just about Islam’, but the problems obviously do involve ‘religion’. They also involve uneducated, backward masses held back by ignorance and dictatorships.

But, of course, referring to the Middle East as ‘backward’ is not politically correct. That the area is also in thrall to Islam and its often medieval attitudes does not help. Thus ‘religion’ is, at least, a heavy part of the burden of the M.E.

As examination will show, Annan’s shallow on/off ‘logic’ is part of the problem: “...the problem is not the Quran or the Torah or the Bible,[...] ” - of course, that is a problem - that is, part of ‘the problem’. Further parts of ‘the problem’ are the other issues mentioned.

Nor does Annan give adequate space to how long people in an area can hold resentments over ‘lost land’. After all, the Irish fought for 800 years to repel the English invader, only recently succeeding. The Jews have dreamed for thousands of years of getting back Israel, and the locals appear none too pleased about reversal.

Obviously with modern approaches to conflict resolution, the M.E. is unlikely to set more records for long-standing primitive resentments. But the problems won’t go away tomorrow.

And neither will they go away by attempting to reason with backward, angry (atavistic) societies.

It is vital that shallow, either/or responses to complex and difficult problems of real-world conflicts of interest be put aside, but first the M.E. must move into the modern world.

marker at abelard.org

Meanwhile, Ahminastraightjacketorshouldbe seeks primitive expansionist ambitions which the advanced west cannot allow.

“Iran wants to create a new global power base by producing nuclear weapons, says a former top Israeli intelligence official. And, he says, a military confrontation can't be ruled out if other efforts to halt the plans fail.

“ "The Iranians want to change the world order," said retired Brig.-Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser, who recently departed as head of Israel's military intelligence research division. "They want the most important element, that makes them a superpower, in their hands." ”

“And, he added, "from our understanding of the Iranian leadership, they believe that possession of a nuclear weapon would increase significantly their ability to export the Iranian revolution. That is what they care about most.”

marker at abelard.org

Meanwhile,

“Iran says it may consider a proposal to enrich uranium in Russia to head off possible sanctions from the United Nations Security Council.”

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0611.php#foolish_annan_131106

why no socialist like bliar can ever be trusted with power - the paranoid neurosis of little men to control

“Juvenile misbehaviour is problematical, but it isn't new. What is new is political correctness, a form of social engineering now stretching its tentacles into every facet of our lives, and especially into the workings of our police forces, health service, and schools. It is this desire on the part of central government to control everything, to record everything and to measure everything that has led us to where we are. Police stations are crammed with more personnel than ever while our streets are bereft of coppers on the beat.

“Administrators crowd plush "admin" offices above the filthy wards of NHS hospitals, which have insufficient doctors, nurses and cleaners to cope. Teachers have no time to teach, they are too busy compiling records [...]”

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0611.php#socialist_neurosis_081106

on the environment -“It is a market failure, and it has been now accepted fully by the British Conservative Party”

“ "ZAC GOLDSMITH: I think that's exactly right. The market is without doubt the most powerful force we have for social change. There's nothing in history that's remotely comparable. But it does have a blind spot and that's the environment. It's a pretty significant blind spot. It doesn't take into account the health of the environment and the viability of the biosphere itself. That's a market failure. In my view that's where the Government needs to step in and correct that failure and the best way of doing that is finding a mechanism of pricing the environment into the market and that probably means setting very tight limits on pollution and putting high prices on emissions and if you do that and you do it sufficiently it won't make sense to pollute and you'll find businesses finding all kinds of alternatives. I think you'll trigger a process of massive innovation. We're already seeing it with the emergence of a half a trillion-dollar sector in environmental goods and services. We're really at the beginning of the process now. It is a market failure. I fundamentally agree with that and it has been now accepted fully by the Conservative Party in this country which, given the party is historically that party most associated with belief in the free market and the market itself, I think it is a significant thing that's happening.”

Unfortunately, like so many would-be ‘greens’, he doesn’t understand nuclear power.

As things stand this week, you cannot be both green and anti-nuclear. The positions are contradictory.

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0611.php#tory_eco-economics_071106

the us military, not so stupid as the moonbats would have you believe - the auroran sunset

Over in moonbat land, Kerry had this to say about the US military:

“You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq.”

Kerry’s is hardly an unusual sentiment amongst the moonbat left and much of the fossil media: “the military are just poor dumb crackers who join the army because they can’t do anything worthwhile”. “After all we wouldn't do anything so stupid as to risk our lives for our country, especially for such a misguided country as this, which is no better than all those dictatorships the un-nuanced right-wing nutjobs complain about.”

Meanwhile, back in the real world:

“Indeed, in many criteria, each year shows advancement, not decline, in measurable qualities of new enlistees. For example, it is commonly claimed that the military relies on recruits from poorer neighborhoods because the wealthy will not risk death in war. This claim has been advanced without any rigorous evidence. Our review of Pentagon enlistee data shows that the only group that is lowering its participation in the military is the poor. The percentage of recruits from the poorest American neighborhoods (with one-fifth of the U.S. population) declined from 18 percent in 1999 to 14.6 percent in 2003, 14.1 percent in 2004, and 13.7 percent in 2005.”

“In summary, the additional years of recruit data (2004-2005) support the previous finding that U.S. military recruits are more similar than dissimilar to the American youth population. The slight differences are that wartime U.S. military enlistees are better educated, wealthier, and more rural on average than their civilian peers.

Recruits have a higher percentage of high school graduates and representation from Southern and rural areas. No evidence indicates exploitation of racial minorities (either by race or by race-weighted ZIP code areas). Finally, the distribution of household income of recruits is noticeably higher than that of the entire youth population.”

The linked page goes into a lot of interestingly gory detail and has many charts.

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0611.php#military_recruits_021106

decision time on iran?

I would hope by now that the intelligence on Iranian progress is a lot better than 5 years ago.

  1. It is probably best to wait and leave Iran to put as much effort into its nuclear bomb programme as possible before taking it out with, thereby, the greatest possible cost to the mad mullahs.

  2. The Iranian people in general do not appear over-joyed by their dippy ‘leaders’.

  3. I see no harm in continuing to make the mullahs see sense in the meanwhile.

  4. The indications are that Russia no more wants loons with bombs than the USA (or China) does. However, annoying the US and jockeying for position does seem to appeal to the pols in Russia and China, just as it does to the free loaders of old Europe.

  5. I see no reason to be over-impatient in taking apart Iran’s faux ‘leaders’, its few nuclear scientists and the nuclear infrastructure. If it becomes necessary, it is the work of a few days. If that is done, there is no reason not to leave their military structure in chaos at the same time.
    I would hope and expect these facts of life are being put to the Iranians day by day through back channels, meanwhile offering them access to, and help into, the modern world.

I have yet to conclude the dictators of Iran are entirely mad, even though they are clearly intent on giving that impression. I would be much more inclined to believe they are just milking the situation as hard as they can go, meanwhile delighting in the problems for the Coalition of the Willing from their own moonbat left.

A useful, relevant report. Perhaps Clint should ask the mullahs if they feel lucky.

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0611.php#iran_011106


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