Thursday, April 27, 2006

Is Russia trying to stabilize the Israeli-Iranian security dilemma?

At the beginning of a week that will end with Mohamed ElBaradei's report on Iran to the United Nations Security Council, Russia, which has done more than any foreign power to build Iran's nuclear power capability, hired out its launch capability to Iran's now and forever enemy, Israel:

Russia on Tuesday launched a satellite for Israel that the Israelis say will be used to spy on Iran's nuclear program.

The Eros B satellite was launched from a mobile pad at the Svobodny cosmodrome in the Far East, said Alexei Kuznetsov, a spokesman for the Russian military space forces.

About 20 minutes later, the satellite successfully reached orbit, Russian news agencies reported, citing the space forces' news service.

"The Israeli satellite reached its target orbit and has been transferred to the client's control," Kuznetsov was quoted as saying by the ITAR-Tass news agency.

Israel's Channel 10 TV reported that the launch was successful, but the satellite would not deploy its power panels for another day and a half.

The satellite is designed to spot images on the ground as small as 27 1/2 inches, an Israeli defense official said. That level of resolution would allow Israel to gather information on Iran's nuclear program and its long-range missiles, which are capable of striking Israel, he said.

The wire service story does not miss the point that Russia is playing both sides, or at least making money from them:

Russia, which has developed ties with Israel since the collapse of the Soviet Union, is also a major commercial partner of Tehran and is building an $800 million nuclear power station in Bushehr, southern Iran.

But it insists that the transfer of nuclear technology to Iran will not endanger the non-proliferation regime and has rejected U.S. calls to abandon the project as well as halt military sales to Tehran. The Russian defense minister confirmed Monday that Moscow will go ahead and supply Iran with sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles.

Today, the day before ElBaradei's report, we have a spate of stories that focus on Russia and Iran. The A.P.'s Steve Gutterman calls Russia's relations with Iran a "delicate balancing act."

As President Vladimir Putin positions Russia as a global power broker, he must maneuver between the nation's interests in Iran and the need to maintain a measure of cooperation with the West.

Exactly a year ago, Putin strongly urged Iran to abandon the pursuit of uranium enrichment — but Tehran has done the opposite, scrapping a moratorium, stepping up enrichment efforts and playing an on-again-off-again game with a Russian proposal to ease the crisis.

The mounting international pressure on Iran, set to tighten with a crucial U.N. nuclear agency report Friday, also deepens the dilemma faced by Moscow.

Russia has increasingly shared U.S. worries that Iran could produce nuclear weapons and has taken some steps to counter the threat — notably by insisting that spent fuel from the atomic power plant it is building for Iran in the Persian Gulf city of Bushehr be returned to Russia.

But with Iran's rejection of a U.N. Security Council demand that it suspend enrichment by Friday a foregone conclusion, the report from the International Atomic Energy Agency risks setting Russia apart from three other veto-wielding council members — the United States, Britain and France — on the need for sanctions against Tehran.

Moscow's opposition to sanctions stems from several sources rooted in a complex web of business, political and security concerns.

The Gutterman article is a good newspaperish overview of Russia's diplomatic dilemma, but if you don't read the whole thing at least consider this:

Falling afoul of Iran could also expose Russia to further trouble in its North Caucasus region, jeopardizing Tehran's position that the Chechnya conflict is an internal matter for Russia and prompting it to support Islamic militant infiltration into the area, said Vladimir Dvorkin, a Russian analyst and arms control expert.

Few TigerHawk (or Belmont Club) readers will need the friendly reminder that the "Islamic militant infiltration" into Chechnya is al Qaeda. American hawks apparently aren't quite the only people in the world who believe that Iran's mullahs would cooperate with Sunni jihadists.

Finally, there are two other stories today that emphasize Russia's commercial ties with Iran. The first, from the Financial Times, reports that Russia and China "warn the UN not to antagonise Iran." This article is interesting not only for its central point but also because it contains a clear statement from Philip Zelikow, Counselor of the Department of State (a senior policy position reporting to Condoleezza Rice), that “Forcible change of the Iranian regime is not the objective of American policy.” Bold emphasis supplied. (But, see the claim to the contrary of Clinton administration advisors Richard Clarke and Steven Simon.)

The other story that focuses on Russia's commercial interests describes an American proposal to, in effect, outbid Iran for Russia's support. The United States has offered Russia a nuclear cooperation deal, apparently in an attempt to tilt it back to the Western side should ElBaradei present evidence that Iran has not complied with the Security Council's demands.

It has been a busy week, and things will heat up tomorrow when ElBaradei reports his findings.

Commentary, and more than a little speculation

Let's center ourselves. The week that will end with ElBaradei's potentially disturbing report began with Russia launching an Israeli spy satellite into geosynchronous orbit [UPDATE: Thanks to various smart commentors for this correction.] over Iran and simultaneously declaring that it would sell sophisticated air defense equipment to Iran. In one version of this story, Russia is the ultimate Lord of War, selling Israel the ability to define its target set, and Iran the means to defend itself from an Israeli air raid. The American proposal to enter into a nuclear cooperation program with Russia has any number of objectives, but one of them is clearly to make American business at least as attractive to Russia as Iranian business.

In another version, though, Russia's transactions are arguably stabilizing, and entirely consistent with its geopolitical interests above and beyond their mercantile value.

Russia's non-commercial interests in Iran include, at a minimum, (1) the aforementioned desire to keep Iran from teaming up with the Islamists in its southern provinces, (2) preventing Iran from reverting to a pro-U.S. policy (which, everybody believes, would require "regime change" of the sort that the United States says it will not seek by "force"), and (3) the maintenance of a sufficiently strong government in Tehran that Russia can influence Iran by negotiation, rather than via direct intervention.

In effect, Russia wants an independent Iran with a reasonably strong central government that is not specifically hostile to Russian interests or supportive of separatists within Russia's borders. If that government is specifically hostile to American interests, all the better. Russia does not want to be walled in by American clients from the Balkans to the border with China. If you look at the map, though, Iran is the only meaningful country in that arc that isn't friendly with the United States to the point of hosting our armed forces. From Moscow, it certainly appears as though Russia has a lot more at stake than a few hundred million dollars worth of Iranian business.

From one perspective, the destabilizing "ticking-clock" security dilemma posed by Iran's gestating nuclear weapons program and Israel's status as a "one bomb" target creates the most pressing threat to Russia's interests. Israel and the West really do not know how long it will be before Iran has an operational nuclear capability, but they do know that when it does the risk to Israel and the United States goes up enormously. Iran understands this, so it is combining hostile bluffing to buy time with a mad scramble to shorten the project schedule, both of which only feed Israeli and Western anxiety and intensify the debate over the propriety and utility of punitive measures. The apparently closing window of opportunity to destroy Iran's nuclear capability is setting up a confrontation among Israel, a subset of the West, and Iran that cannot end well for Russia given its interests in the region.

Against this backdrop, it is possible to argue with a straight face that Russia's actions are not purely mercantilist, but also stabilizing. Israel gets its eye in the sky, able to see objects less than three feet across, delivered by Russians who (speculation alert) might even tell Israel where to point it to maximize Tel Aviv's knowledge. In theory, this diminishes Israel's uncertainty about (and perhaps its anxiety over) Iran's nuclear program, and gives it almost real time targeting information in the event that it decides a strike is necessary. In theory, this should extend the period of the "open window" during which Israel has to act (a period that has already once been extended, if last December's report of an attack by March 28 had any credence at all). Meanwhile, Russia's public agreement to supply Iran with advanced anti-aircraft capabilities should lower that country's concern that Israel can penetrate its air defenses. That, in turn, should salve the itchiness of the button fingers in Tehran, even if it doesn't slow down the Iranian weapons development program.

One can imagine Russia balancing through more than one layer of duplicity. The Bear knows that its promised delivery of advanced Tor-M1 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran creates a mini-window that is itself destabilizing: Israel might calculate that it will soon lose its last opportunity to attack Iran's nuclear facilities unmolested. Russia could defuse that risk by withholding from Iran its most advanced features, selling the mullahs, essentially, a degraded system. (Russia has apparently made something of a practice of this. See Cordesman and Al-Rodhan, p. 35) If Russia were going to do that anyway, it might inform Israel in advance and thereby close the mini-window.

Alternatively, Israel may view the deployment of Tor-M1s as immaterial, or even to its advantage. Cordesman and Al-Rodhan are not too worried about the Tor, or imply that their deployment might confer valuable targeting information:

Delivery dates ranging from 2006-2009 have been reported, but the Tor is too range-limited to have a major impact on US stealth attack capability, although its real-world performance against cruise missiles still has to be determined. It might have more point defense lethality against regular Israeli and US strike fighters like the F-15 and F-16 using precision guided-bombs, but would only be lethal against such aircraft with stand-off air-to-surface missiles if it could be deployed in the flight path in ways that were not detected before the attack profile was determined. (emphasis added)

In which case, the Tor's highest use might be as a decoy.

Unleash the hounds in the comments.

[Cross-posted at TigerHawk, my usual digs.]


Blogger Dan said...

The Hun is either at your feet or throat.

Just thought I'd throw that out there to kick things off right.

4/27/2006 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Forget about the Tor. What about the ones North Korea delivered the other day?

4/27/2006 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

The Iran thing is obviously a win-win situation for Russia.

A militant theocracy in Iran means the Russians continue to sell big ticket military and nuclear hardware. However Russia's main foreign currency earner is Siberian petroleum. Russia is up there with the Saudis and Iranians as a major world petroleum supplier. If Iran gets cratered by Israel or the US then the demand for Russia's oil goes way up.

On Iran's enemies list, Israel and the US are competing for the honor of first place. Russia probably ranks after Luxembourg as an Iranian target. Needless to say, Iran would be radioactive glass long before any Russian city got nuked. This is classic real politic.

4/27/2006 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

From the Tsar's use of the Okrana in Paris during the 1890's through his demise to Lenin,Stalin,Khruschev ad nauseum Russia has NEVER tried to stabilize any world situation.
Putin is quickly turning Russia back to the Soviet Union although for PR it will remain Russia.

Adlai Stevenson while Ambassodor to the UN likened the Soviets to hotel thieves who walk the halls, turning every doorknob until they find an opportunity.

Perhaps the most famous and succinct characterization came from Sir Winston Churchill (please read that name with due reverence) is that "Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma"

Is Russia trying to stabilize the Israeli-Iranian security dilemma?
They are only waiting to finish off the Jews.

4/27/2006 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/27/2006 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Nut Job's threat to Nuke Israel is a win-win for the Palis:
Israel would be annihilated,
and the Palis would too.
Far be it for them to figure that out or complain about it if they do.

4/27/2006 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Iran hangs tough as it fails to meet nuclear deadline:

The US is due to hold direct talks with Iran for the first time since 1979 but only on Iraq. Washington insists these will not be expanded to discuss Iran's nuclear programme, as Tehran would like.

But Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German foreign minister, said yesterday: "If there are talks with Iran anyway on the situation in Iraq, then nobody would understand if the current central issue in world politics would not come up."

Iran Hangs Tough

4/27/2006 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger Promethea said...

So.........the Russians are the New French.

Sometimes such sly people can be too clever for their own good. World War I comes to mind.

4/27/2006 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger orlandoslug said...

Could it all be a cover?...

I may be borderline paranoid (and all is mere speculation); but, it is a byzantine neck of the woods...

...what if...

...the mullahs non too secret underground centrifuges are just a ploy to make the al jazeera public believe they went thru a full development program, and are brainiacs, when they just went out and bought a few nukes from the mercantile-oriented spooks to the north...

...meanwhile, the spooks to the north play both sides of the fence, selling satellite launching services to customer #2, so no one would ever suspect them of being diabolical enough to sell radioactive glass-makers to customer #1, sworn enemies of customer #2; meanwhile, getting credit for actually contributing to peace by encouraging a kind of middle east detente...

...when they are actually already cutting their deal with the mullahs; namely a peaceful shiite ally to the south to form the next axis of petroleum exporting countries...while tacitly agreeing to let customer #1 anihilate customer #2 (or at least keep them in check), hoping the current path of the middle east is all shook up and the house of Saud falls, suni terrorist's support dries up, oil prices go up, etc. etc...

...I know, sounds very crazy; but the spooks to the north have been doing business w/customer #1 for a long time now, and have their own internal concerns with certain undesirable organized crime ethnics in their own country...

but, enough ranting...I'm sure I've lost you by now;
but, it has become apparent that certain regimes greed for oil profits has exceeded their qualms about following the norms of acceptable worldly behavior. Likewise, the intertwined world-economy players have decided to look the other way in order to not upset the status quo...
...I just hope these high prices will spur alternate energy sources or a change in behavior before these regimes get the upper hand

4/27/2006 08:28:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Your observations are as valid as anyones on this matter.

What I see forming, is the law of unintended consequences and a large mushroom cloud over Tehran.

I would be very cool to have some special forces people bring out of Syrian some of the WMD we know the Sov's moved there before the war.

That would put Putin on the defensive. But everything printed hear over the next day or so is just jawboning around the pickle barrel at Jones' Drygoods.

I clearly remember my first few years in the CIA thinking that the average citizen had NO clue what was going on in the world. It's still that way I'm sure.

4/27/2006 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger Pangloss said...

Orlando, why would you need to add another country mendaciously sending nukes to Iran when Pakistan and North Korea have already had ample opportunity... and... who knows? ...

4/27/2006 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Russia has its own agenda, Iran has its aims and goals, and overall The Glory of God approves and holds sole veto power!

4/27/2006 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Unintended consequences--boy, I sure do agree with that. I don't think that hominids that get in positions of power are very often capable of more than that. Wish I had your outlook, Karradine.

4/27/2006 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Falling afoul of Iran could also expose Russia to further trouble in its North Caucasus region, jeopardizing Tehran's position that the Chechnya conflict is an internal matter for Russia and prompting it to support Islamic militant infiltration into the area

The Russians know that further trouble in Chechnya is inevitable. They just won't be as nuanced in dealing with the RoP when the time comes.


4/27/2006 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

...Jones Drygoods pickle barrel

The "Energy Strategy of Russia Up to 2020" highlights.
* The Russian Energy Ministry considers it's energy resources as THE foundation for domestic and Foreign policy ..Aug 2003
* During the Ukranian-Russian "gas war" in 2004-2005 Putin reinforced the above. V. Putin 22 December 2005 statement.
* Putin considers the #1 threat to the Russian Federation as foreign military bases (read US)in direct proximity to Russias' borders.

He's working overtime to f*uk us out of the forward bases we established at the start of the WoT.
Putin's a bad man and should have an international time out w/ no recess.

4/27/2006 10:19:00 PM  
Blogger Fat Man said...

"Iran's now and forever enemy, Israel"

Actually, Israel and Iran are natural allies and were during the rule of the late shah. Israel is a whipping boy for the current regime, but that is largely to appeal to audiences in the Arab world, such as Syria.

Israel will not bomb the Iranian nuclear program. The task is beyond their air force's capabilities. Only the US has the type of weapons to deal with this problem.

4/27/2006 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Putin's a bad man and should have an international time out w/ no recess."
But those eyes! Those Soulful Eyes!
"The task is beyond their air force's capabilities"
Yes, but,
If the Israelis believed Iran was ready to launch, they would unleash their sub-launched Nukes rather than passively be vaporized.

4/27/2006 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

I agree and to sweeten the pot (poker term for those in Mendocino County) I'll bet Mr. Schwartz that he is incorrect on capabilities. I do believe he is correct in that they will not launch first. IF they do it'll be in several directions...

4/27/2006 10:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

HANSON Transcript, and mp3 at Radioblogger

VDH: I think they've come to the conclusion that we're going to exhaust the multilateral option with the Europeans. We're going to try to cajole the Chinese and Russians. We're going to try to use the U.N. as much as we can. We're going to try to hope that dissidents in Iran are empowered by the experiment across the border in Iraq...

VDH: There's not going to be a second Holocaust. If you're an Israeli prime minister, and you know that the Iranians have threatened to wipe you off the map, and you know that they may have, months away from a nuclear bomb, you're not going to go down in history as a person who ensured a second Holocaust. We've got to remember that.

HH: So Iran is driving, one way or the other, towards a confrontation?

VDH: One way or the other. And it's hard to know to what degree it's bluff, and to what degree, once they get the weapon...I mean, it's a win-win thing for them if they get the weapon. They can bully the Arab world for oil concessions, cut back some production, they can threaten Israel, they can threaten our bases, they can pass themselves off as an ancient Persian, nationalistic force...
It's just win-win if they get it.

4/27/2006 10:55:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Not good to dis and overlook the Humbolt Poker Masters like that.

4/27/2006 10:58:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Habuu -1 I would be very cool to have some special forces people bring out of Syrian some of the WMD we know the Sov's moved there before the war.

Oh, yeah. Sure. Didn't you get the note from Michael Ledeen and the secretary of the Likud Party that the "vast WMD stockpiles" in the Syrian desert were no longer an operative neocon allegation - that saying it only provokes laughter after the summer of 2003?

I clearly remember my first few years in the CIA thinking that the average citizen had NO clue what was going on in the world.

Oh yeah, sure.

Aren't you some lawyer who immigrated to Canada?


I would prefer the US got over it's vulnerability to special interest groups demanding the US have no trade or relations or dialogue with certain countries they are most pissed about.

We finally broke the Vietnam and Cambodia blockades the POW/MIA jokers had on us for 25 years.

The stupid "Castro will be brought to his knees" embargo has gone on 45 years.

The Iranian one - 26 years.

There is no nation on the planet that Russians or Chinese are not free to trade with or talk to.

4/27/2006 11:07:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/27/2006 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Russia struggles with Iran’s nuclear standoff:

While the United States and other nations might impose individual, concerted sanctions, analysts said, the most Russia is likely to agree to in the Security Council is a strong statement criticizing Iran and demanding compliance.

After that, said Rose Gottemoeller, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, Russia will press for a diplomatic breakthrough, possibly involving a renewed push to persuade Iran to accept its offer for a joint venture to enrich uranium for Iran on Russian territory.

Russia may hope to get a foot in the door for further negotiations with Iran by opposing the push for sanctions - convincing Iran they are "the good guys," Gottemoeller said.

Russia Struggles

4/27/2006 11:17:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

HH: At this point, when you talk to senior military officials, as you frequently do, Professor Hanson, do they expect military action against Iran, if not by us, then by Israel?

VDH: I think they've come to the conclusion that we're going to exhaust the multilateral option with the Europeans. We're going to try to cajole the Chinese and Russians. We're going to try to use the U.N. as much as we can. We're going to try to hope that dissidents in Iran are empowered by the experiment across the border in Iraq. And then at the 11th hour, when those things are being armed in a year, two years, we're going to act. And they hope we don't get to that, because they see it as a public relations nightmare, but something that we could pull off. It would be, really, an act of war, and we'd be in a war with Iran.

In a year, two years...

...we're going to act.

And they hope we don't get to that, because they see it as...

...a public relations nightmare.

It would be, really... act of war, and we'd be in a war.

Oh, brother.

I am quite certain that VDH, rather than relaying the thoughts and expectations of any senior military officials, just offered us the thoughts and expectations of Victor Davis Hanson - with a pinch of what the latter comically imagines senior military officials' thoughts on the matter to be.

4/28/2006 12:06:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

But this is for you, Doug:

Quad Cities Online article, via

4/28/2006 12:27:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...


While the Chinese and the Russians entertain themselves with tweaking the US over Iran, The US has an option that will make the Russian launch of a geo-synchronous satellite for Israel absolutely quaint. It is hidden in an older Air Force Report:

“A Space Roadmap for the 21st Century Aerospace Force” Vol 1: Summary SAB-TR-98-01, November 1998.

Go to PAGE 16 Preserve The Option To Develop An Aerospace Operations Vehicle (AOV)
The entire report is
Most of it is classified but the reference is clear. (All you ex and current military wonks, KGB and CIA and MI5 types will get nostalgic for all the “This page is intentionally left blank” pages.)Ever since the beginning of “Star Wars” the US has claimed the program was designed against rouge states. The Chinese and Russia hardly believe that and with good cause. Here is the fun part.

The US should forget about attacking Iran. It should show the Chinese and the Russians who owns Chicago. Build a space based launch platform with lookdown capability and give the little Israeli spy satellite some company. It is the ultimate carrier group. It is justified, and will give the Russians a new appreciation of Uncle and be visible in the night sky. We need to do this anyway. Now is the time although it is hard being president.

4/28/2006 01:28:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

.....speaking of it being hard being president, it is time to think about a third party candidate that will appeal to the center right and cut off enough Democrats and fed up Republicans to show Uncle who is Uncle.

4/28/2006 01:41:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said... see the nice thing about carrier groups is you can see them. They have dampened many potentate panties. Missiles in silos in far way corn fields are too ethereal for the mullahtocratic mind to fully grasp. But a space carrier looking down locked and loaded, God willing.

4/28/2006 01:48:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

It is not that time, 2164th.

4/28/2006 02:19:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

VDH: I think THEY'VE come to the conclusion that WE'RE going to exhaust the multilateral option with the Europeans. WE'RE going to try to cajole the Chinese and Russians. WE'RE going to try to use the U.N. as much as we can. WE'RE going to try to hope that dissidents in Iran are empowered by the experiment across the border in Iraq. And then at the 11th hour, when those things are being armed in a year, two years, WE'RE going to act. And THEY hope WE don't get to that, because THEY see it as a public relations nightmare, but something that WE could pull off. It would be, really, an act of war, and WE'D be in a war with Iran.

4/28/2006 02:36:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

And VDH wants you to know that war with Iran will mean continuous, unkind coverage by CNN as well as higher gas prices.

As long as you know and accept these, you're good to go.

4/28/2006 02:49:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

And so is the objective.

4/28/2006 02:56:00 AM  
Blogger orlandoslug said...

speaking of unintended consequences, I believe the largest to arise from going into Iraq has been the ability of high oil prices to prop up many a nasty regime...

...I believe they could prop up Elvis, the King, himself...

...add Hugo to the members of the axis of petroleum exporting xenophobes, and you have the Russian petro plan working to a T...

Now going into Syria to get those WMD's sounds good on paper!! (as long as we're all standing around the pickle barrel)...the fallout of success would be enormous; maybe we could even pull an FDR, and run GWB for a third term, due to the nastiness of world, now that the rose colored glasses of the jane fonda liberals with their media complex are shattered...(I'm sure the evidence would be so irrefutable it could never be spun) about pissing off the mullahs!! the cartoons would be nothing compared to another couple of terms of the bull-headed one!

4/28/2006 03:51:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

The Israeli satellite did not go into Geosynch orbit; the Rockot booster used has esentially no capability to put a payload into that orbit, which would be pointless anyway. GEO would be useful only for an early warning satellite - and you can bet the Israelis are on speed dial for US Space Command spotting Iranian missile launches anyway.

The Rockot booster that launched the Israeli satellite can put almost 4K Lb into a Low Earth Orbit, versus the Israeli Shavit booster's 500 lb. Also, the Shavit is not that reliable with at least two failures out of 6 launches - and even more importantly, the launch corridors from Israel severely limit the orbit that can be attained. They can't hit a nice optimum spy satellite orbit from home.

Note that for years the US has played the same kind of game - sell A-4's and F-4's to Israel, F-104's to Jordan, and Hawk missiles to Saudi Arabia.

But the real question is whether the Russians are truly in the local balance of power game, acting as spoilers to it, or serving their own interests of limited focus (cash and prestigue). I vote for all three.

4/28/2006 05:30:00 AM  
Blogger TigerHawk said...

rwe -

Thank you for the correction on the satellite launch. If it isn't obvious, the hardware side is not my strong suit.

I think you're other observation -- "I vote for all three" -- is spot on. Like the United States or any other real place, Russia must be very complicated. There are going to be geostrategists who want to preserve Iran as a stable anti-American power to the south. There are also going to be arms merchants who want turn a buck. When interests align, a deal becomes more possible. I did not mean to exclude commercial interests, so much as point out the geopolitical ones.

4/28/2006 06:02:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

I personally think Russia is providing its services to Israel in order to maintain its bad faith membership in the Quartet. That's pretty much it. If Iran were to nuke anything, it wouldn't use an ICBM, and it would probably make sure its whatever signature was sufficiently confusing among Pakistan and China. They'd come through Mexico, or an RV in Tel Aviv. Of course I know nothing, but Russia can't afford a strategic breakout at the moment (no one's invaded it during winter; no dying aimless nomad populations maundering over the eastern steppes; no charming whore on the throne). Some of the Russians I knew here, two of whom had been lowish officers in the Red Army but who were ethnic Azeris, were absolutely smilingly certain Russian gear would give Iraq the advantage in OIF, and the involvement of those generals just pre-invasion was loudly reported throughout the Russian presses. Then, of course, they were moping little Mongols when we wiped the earth with Saddam. Probably made them beat their girlfriends or something. Russia has a rough neighborhood to deal with, and I think everyone's first priority is to get the US out of our ancillary forward bases in the Stans. Russia provides Israel services in order to be able to exert more control over their activities, like a weak cousin of an offer they can't refuse. Russia has had a military advisory relationship with Persia since at least the mid 18th century. They know they can't stop the jihad in Chenya without killing everyone there, but they can at least make some serious bucks and force the US to expend even more resources on figuring out what the hell to do with the Mullaniacs. They know the force of the force-them-to-spend strategy all too well, after all.

Eh. My two cents.

4/28/2006 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger Jon Kl said...

You mention that the satellite was put into geosynchronous orbit. I haven't picked that up in anything I've read, but that would make the advertised 27 1/2 feet *truly* impressive, since geosynchronous orbit is really flippin' high.

Of course, if it's not in geosynch, there's another layer the Russians could add to their game - tell Iran either the right or wrong times the satellite does its flyovers based on the launch their rocket performed.

This is going to be an interesting few months.

4/28/2006 06:46:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Red ranger, rwe, anyone - having launched the satellite, will Russia retain the capacity to track and monitor its program?

4/28/2006 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Tigerhawk: Trying to detect the fissures, fault lines, and established borders between those elements in Russia is something that no one I know has figured out how to do - probably least of all, the Russians themselves.

Add to that their long established tradition of never telling the truth if a lie will work as well.

4/28/2006 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Unless the Israelis are complete idiots they did not give the Russians the encryption codes needed to control the satellite and access its data, so the Russians will have not any control over the bird.

We established a procedure long ago of physically verifying the encryption codes of our satellites before launch. The things have the darndest way of getting changed without key people knowing it.

Now, the Russians know where the payload is and probably have a good idea of its capabilities. And the only way the Iranians will know when it is coming over is and when they need to hide what they are doing is if Some One Tells Them. And who do suppose might do that?

4/28/2006 07:17:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Ha. Interesting. Well how do these agreements work exactly? Does one country provide the satellite and launch for a fee, when strategic considerations are involved? Is there an agreement or safeguards established not to use the hardware against the launching country?

4/28/2006 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

The Russian launch of an Israeli satellite may prove quite helpful to both Israel and the US, the genuine capability of the satellite notwithstanding. The existence of the satellite affords the US plausible deniability, i.e. the US can deny any coordination with Israel in either a possible Israeli first strike against Iranian targets or any subsequent Israeli strikes in retaliation for Iranian strikes against Israel following US engagement with Iran.

For the Israelis the satellite is insurance against the possibility of US reluctance to share strategic intelligence, as happened during the run-up to the 1973 Yom Kippur War. In short, the Israelis will have their own eye in the sky, limited though it may be. Why should the Israelis have need for this, as well as intelligence networks within the US? Consider one, Mary O. McCarthy.

What were the Russians promised for such assistance?

4/28/2006 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

"...Persia since at least the mid 18th century."

Whoops - should be 19th.

4/28/2006 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger TigerHawk said...

Allen, you raise an excellent point when you wonder why Israel launched with Russia, rather than the United States. Russia gets paid, but its other motives are as I outlined -- the satellite is at least arguably stabilizing. Israel and the United States get plausible deniability. (Also, Israel has had troubles with its own rockets -- it has put up at least one satellite on its own from a base in the Negev, but I believe that it also had a big failure. Perhaps it turned to Russia because it did not want to lose another satellite.)

Or, it may simply be that Russia's space bureaucrats will deal with anybody. They have also launched Iran's satellites.

4/28/2006 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

Lest we forget why we're having today's conversation:

"Iran 'Won't Give a Damn' About Resolution"

4/28/2006 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

I think the drivers in the Israeli selection were both cost and capability. At 4,000 lb to LEO the converted SS-19 the Russians offered was no doubt much cheaper than the nearest U.S. equivalent (Taurus) and has about twice the weight capability.

Between around 2000 lb and about 10000 lb to LEO we have nothing that can do the job. Using a Delta like the one we launched from Vandenberg this morning would be way way more expensive and paying for a lot of capability you would not need. The other alternatives in that weight range are China and India. India has a less than sterling record of success, and China probably would not want to risk Iran.

I have no idea if we would approve an Israeli spy satellite launch on a U.S. booster at this point. Probably not, I think we almost certainly would prefer to spoon feed Israel with over head intel.

4/28/2006 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Iran vs. UN: Tehran Ups the Ante
By Peter Brookes

Tossing a little fat on the fire before today's U.N. Security Council deadline calling on Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, Tehran upped the ante this week by offering to share its nuclear know-how with others.

According to the Iranian news agency, IRNA, Iran's Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Tuesday in a meeting with the Sudanese president in Tehran that Iran "is prepared to transfer the [nuclear] experience, knowledge and technology of its scientists."

This bone-chilling comment, which echoed the words of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last fall, highlights the less-discussed dilemma of Iran's nuclear aspirations: Once the ayatollahs become atomic, with whom might Tehran share its nuclear knowledge? ... "

I said this months ago, that Mr Chavez was in line to buy capacity.

Not acceptable, that's what I said on Tax Day, about the payment to the Federals. That statement has had the same effect as US complaints over Iran's growing nuclear capacity.
Lot's of words, no effect at all.

Mr Bush said he'd "improve" Border Security and stop Iran from becoming nuclear capable.
These two failures of Policy, not to mention empowering our foes in Iraq, have caused the erosion of the President's base of support.

No wonder his latest RCP approval rating is at 34.8% and still cascading.

4/28/2006 08:25:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...


Why good man you've been misled.
You obviously missed the intel confirming the transference of material ot Syria.
Secondly, in your statement that there's no country China and Russia are not free to trade or talk with. Are you suggesting that they are morally superior to the USA? Sure sounds like it.
Prior to that you take a drive by shot at "the jokers" who honor the POW/MIA's..that one makes you a panty waste moth*rf*cker who should have your fanny whipped ..don't come to FL or Montana there danderous places.
Their are certain citizens not above violence with plausible deniability built in for good measure.
Finally, my service in the CIA. That followed being a US Marine. I'd have you peeing on youself in about ten seconds..
Now it's your turn fag boy.

4/28/2006 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

When Mr Reagan's Sec. of the Navy, James H. Webb Jr., is running as a Democrat, it makes one wonder.

When he says
"My objection to the war is not aimed at my country but at the administration that has chosen to wage this war, an administration that has muddied the truth, made mistake after mistake and refused to accept responsibility,"

It rings a chord.
"Webb whose son is a Marine scheduled to be deployed to Iraq this summer." seems to echo my sentiments towards Mr Bush and his continued "War" that has no enemies.

The quotes are from this WaPo story

4/28/2006 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

..gotta start proofreading these things...and learn to type..but then being an expert with an M-14 andan M40A-1 makes somethings unecessary.

Now cedarfart..hit the syntax and change your thong.

4/28/2006 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Doug, 10:58
Yes, apologies to the fine citizens of Humbolt County who have labored so hard over the years.

It should be decriminalized and taxed .. talk about an everlasting war that has made criminals out of otherwise millions....golly gee whiz

4/28/2006 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

It does get personal on this site at times. It is better suited to an AOL chat room and in my opinion diminishes the writer. That aside, it is notable that Webb is running as a Democrat, but not surprising. It is hard to imagine the Democrats not taking the House in November. I doubt the GOP will ever recover from the damage done by Bush. The likely loss in November will place some irresistible forces in motion in regards to Iran. Iran will more than likely overplay its hand. The Democrats will want to tie Bush in knots or more than likely "nots" and try and prevent him from doing anything vis-a-vis Iran. Ironically the best chance the Republicans have at keeping the presidency is losing the House and reminding the American public why they threw them out the first time.

4/28/2006 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No can do, habu.

The President, through Attn General Ashcroft prosecuted a grandma for growin' her own.

Had some type of cancer, was taken chemo and needed the "munchies" to maintain her wieght and life.

It was such a threat to Interstate Commerce that the Federals had to take action, discarding the California voters determination on the matter.

Now 13 million nonCitizens or illegal guests have no impact on Interstate Commerce and should not be arrested, prosecuted or deported, according to Mr Bush.

Treason is the word that best describes Presidental actions that allow the US to be invaded, without even putting up a defense.

4/28/2006 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

It does make you see the advantages in a parliamentary system.

4/28/2006 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

The discussion about the Russians launching an Israeli satellite piqued my curiosity. I found this website describing the Israel EROS-B. Based upon that website's information, the Israeli EROS-B satellite has a launch mass of 250 kg and a ground resolution of 70 cm.

My initial reaction was: Why bother with such a crappy little satellite? The resolution isn't much better than what one could get from a commerical satellite imaging service.

I then looked up the American KH-11 satellite and found that it had a launch mass of 13500 kg and a 2.3 m diameter mirror, The KH-11 had the theoretical ground resolution of 15 cm. Launch cost scales with payload mass ($10,000/kg). I believe(?) it cost in the ballpark of a billion dollars to build a KH-11 (the KH-11 was similar to the Hubble Space Telescope and used the same shipping container). There is no simple scaling law for the actual cost of building a satellite. My wild ass guess is the EROS-B cost about $200 million. What's interesting is the Israeli EROS-B would be significantly cheaper than the KH-11 while having 21% of the KH-11's resolution. I suspect the EROS-B is at the "sweet spot" in terms of performance/cost.

Now I ask myself: Can the Israelis do anything useful with 70 cm resolution? Sure they could spot tanks and anti-aircraft missiles with that resolution (useful for tracking the Syrians and terrorists in Lebanon). However if the Israelis are tracking a nuclear weapon research and development program in Iran, I would think that 70 cm isn't good enough (truth to tell, 15 cm isn't good enough either). I suspect the Russians realized that the EROS-B wasn't really connected with monitoring Iran's activity. I do hope the Israelis have some well placed HUMINT in Iran and are not relying only on the EROS-B. In many ways the Israelis are acting as a canary in coal mine with regard to Iran's nuclear ambitions. We'll know the Iranians are on the verge of nuclear capability when the Israelis become extremely agitated.

4/28/2006 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The time for "action" on Iran is long past.
When the Army was rollin' and the Public was with them.
Now the Army is in the barracks, granted those barracks are in Iraq, but that country is "unsecure" or at least Baghdad and nine other major cities are. According to General Casey.

Iran's allies have control of the Iraqi Federal Government while the US stays the course.

A course that could well have been charted by JFKerry and the alumni of the Skull and Bones.

Oh, wait, it was.

4/28/2006 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Yeah, it all makes perfect sense doesn't it?
Such a waste of the taxpayers dollars when we could be harvesting millions in tax revenue, cutting off a major source of border trouble etc, etc.
If Nixon had just worn sandals on the beach in that Life magazine story instead of his lace up ..

4/28/2006 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

desert rat said...
Treason is the word that best describes Presidental actions that allow the US to be invaded, without even putting up a defense.

so you advocate the same punishment as you did for Pollard?

4/28/2006 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

Tracking satellites isn't rocket science. See for instance I Spy.

While I wouldn't want to overestimate the ability of the Iranians, they should be able to track the Israeli satellite.

4/28/2006 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Nice work Eggplant.

I agree Rat, there is no credible ground action left for the US in the Middle East. The poilitics have come and gone. There is no domestic support and less international support for US foreign policy than ever in US history. Bush is an astonishingly incompetent politician. The only left to astonish me is the fact I voted for George Carter Bush twice.

4/28/2006 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Jon Kl said...

Yeah, the resolution struck me as being a little low for such a heralded launch. Methinks there's more at work here than just tossing up an eye in the sky. (Though I wouldn't be surprised if the advertised resolution isn't the actual resolution)

I imagine the Russians got a look at the payload, and I'd imagine they probably snagged a few surreptitious pics. But they didn't break into the thing, so I'm not sure what good the info they did get will do them.

Also, they've got a really good idea what orbit the satellite's in - that's all physics, and their rocket guys had to know what velocity and inclination they wanted the satellite at to put them there. Satellites can't carry much in the way of conventional fuel, so you can't move it a whole heck of a lot very quickly.

Also, I just remembered something - It can't be in geosynchronous orbit over Iran. It's un-possible. A geosynch satellite has to be over the equator to stay over the same point. This would give the satellite a really oblique view of Iran, which wouldn't do anyone much good. If you try to put it north, the earth would "wobble" beneath it, and the ground track would be more of a figure-8, with the middle at the equator, and the extremes being over the north and south latitudes intended (Teheran's at N36, which would be a pretty big figure-8).

I wonder what orbit it IS in.

Okay, geek-out complete.

4/28/2006 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Impeachment for dereliction of duty, would, most likely, be all that could be hoped for.
Mr Pollard did considerably less damage to the US than Mr Bush's non defense of the Southern Frontier has.

If Mr Bush had acted alone, I'd agree with similar punishments to those proposed for Pollard, but in Mr Bush's case, the entire Federal Government has been in on the "conspiracy".

The dawning of the new millenium will be seen as a dark time in US history.

4/28/2006 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If one is charged with enforcing the Law, is it a high crime or misdemeanor when the Law is ignored and not enforced?

I believe so.

Is allowing 13 million criminals illegal amnesty a crime?
An Amnesty by inaction already exists, contrary to the Law.

Who is to blame, who has been in charge for over 5 years?

Where is the Army, if not defending US from Invasion?

Waiting in barracks before not being tasked to chase Iraqi smugglers on the Syrian border or Iranian IED smugglers that are arming our "Allies".

4/28/2006 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Hiding under your bed or behind your new dress? Please take it persoanlly. You're a coward.
Have a nice day.
But take heart, May 1st will arrive soon and you can celebrate with your comrades.

4/28/2006 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Funny you should mention "May Day".

The guests will be holding their General Strike, here in the US, this coming "May Day".

That is often used as a call of distress,

Mayday, mayday the ship of state has been boarded, the hijackers are amongst US.

4/28/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Almost make you think the US was just like Islam, hijacked.

4/28/2006 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Dateline - Iran
" ... Visiting Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir here Wednesday praised the scientific progress achieved by Iran, and stressed it belongs to all Muslims.

Al-Bashir, who arrived in the central city of Isfahan Wednesday noon heading a high-ranking political and economic delegation, made the remark during a meeting with Isfahan Governor-General Morteza Bakhtiari in the pavilion of Shahid Beheshti airport.

The Sudanese people were very happy with the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and praise Iran's recent scientific progress, the president said.

Bakhtiari, for his part, said the Iranian nation praises the international political stances of Sudan. ... "

Sudan and Iran, allied against the West. Mohammedans on the March

How goes Darfur?
Never again, ha ha ha

We will not even face down Mohammedans committing Genocide.
Is not an Islamic Government supporting Genocide a form of Radical Islamic terror?

Mr Powell, speaking for US, declared Darfur a Genocide.
Mr Powell is out of Government, now.
The Genocide continues.

4/28/2006 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Of course you are correct, May Day. And then we can all celebrate Cinco de Mayo.
It just wants to make you get all tanned up and wear your red Che t- shirt.
Actually I'd rather be down on the border shooting invaders and protecting MY country. That would be shoot to kill not just deter with a bean bag or CN. There's still a lot to be said for body count.
I'll tell ya a great portion of the "Boomer" generation went bad and never came back. They just co-opted into the system to eventually undermined it. But they still play Joan Baez and Crosby,Stills,Nash,and Young ,and believe the greatest thing they missed was going to Cuba to harvest sugar cane for Fidel and Che.

4/28/2006 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Those minute men fellas, they proved the deal. Just presence is all that is needed. If we just stood guard, with a three bullet allotment, we'd stem the tide.

But that is to much to ask, of the Federals.

To actually read and fulfill the Responsiblities of their Job descriptions in the Constitution..

4/28/2006 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

One thing I learned a long time ago is that ammo is oxygen. If the courts (Selo again),Congress, and the President are going to abrogate their responsibilities then I want plenty of oxygen.
That was the big mistake the Bonus Marchers made back after the War to end all Wars.
So down on the border take along plenty of ammo. No apologies for killing invaders no matter what their motivation.

4/28/2006 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

The Red State Ranger said:

"Also, I just remembered something - It can't be in geosynchronous orbit over Iran. It's un-possible. A geosynch satellite has to be over the equator..."

Military photo-reconnaissance satellites never fly in geosynchronous orbits. Geosynchronous orbits are typically circular orbits at very high altitude. Photo-reconnaissance satellites typically fly in a sun synchronous orbit. A sun synchronous orbit's orbital period is set so the satellite's periapsis (minimum altitude) is over the same place on the Earth's surface during the same time of day (the shadow lengths and orientations on the ground are the same for every picture). Doing this is tricky because the satellite's orbit needs to have a very low periapsis and consquently experience significant atmospheric drag. Atmospheric drag reduces the average orbital radius (semimajor axis) and thus changes the orbital period. Also in order to have a very low periapsis the orbit needs to be very elliptical (the satellite only experiences atmospheric drag when it is over the target). However because the orbit is very elliptical, it will be more susceptible to third body gravitational perturbations from the Sun and Moon. This also changes the satellite's orbital period and knocks the orbit out of phase with the target on the ground. The people managing the satellite need to constantly adjust the satellite's orbit to account for all of these perturbations. Eventually the expensive satellite runs out of propellant and has to be dumped into the ocean.

4/28/2006 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

DR, you and Habu_1 are quite funny - all scared like at the INVASION of the brown people whom cometh to clean your toilets and tend your fields for less then minimum wage. Oh my, the horror, the horror, of all those whom sneak in baring their arms in order to toil in the hot hot sun. Yaaa, you guys are right lets Impeach Bush!!

4/28/2006 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger eatyourbeans said...

The 3 big oil-Hoovers, us, China & India, might have some business to discuss. Doing a hitjob on Iran and sharing the spoils. Perhaps the more sophisticated gangs in this country could advise our poor State Dept as to how these deals are made.

4/28/2006 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Naw Ash,
Lets get you on the Mexican side of the border leading a toilet cleaning brigade. Then you could fulfill that missed sugar cane harvesting mission to Cuba you planned back in '63. And then Pop,pop goes the Weasal.
You're no doubt a Boomer/leftist or grew up under their influence.
Also change your panties and remember..yellow in the front, brown in the back.

(Ash ..mommy,mommy, Habu is saying bad things)

4/28/2006 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger Jack Okie said...


What am I missing here? Doesn't 70cm = .7 meters? I would think that would be useful, and 15cm resolution would be really great, at 15cm x 2.54 in/cm, or about 6 inches.

4/28/2006 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

One more thing before I go work out...who says I have a toilet, unless you count the two holer out back behind the cannibus plants.

4/28/2006 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It has nothing to do with the folk being brown, ash.
My first wife was a "brown" Panamanian. She was a legal immigrant to US, what of it.

It is not the "language", my Spanish speaking is far from bad, though my writing abilities, in Spanish, suck.

My son, though born here in the US, was raised in Panama. So no, ash, racism and nationalism is not the keystone to my anti illegal immigrant arch.

I'm not even anti-immigrant, just anti illegal immigrant.
That is the keystone, the Law.

If the Law should or needs to be changed, let the Congress do it. That is their job, not the President's to write the Laws of the Land. It is the President's job to enforce the Laws.

Instead the Bush Team extends Federal Power where it was never meant to go, by activist Judical decree, while refusing to enforce the Law as it is written, now.

4/28/2006 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Jack Okie said:

"What am I missing here? Doesn't 70cm = .7 meters?"

Yes it does. This means that one pixel is about 70 cm across.

"I would think that would be useful, and 15cm resolution would be really great, at 15cm x 2.54 in/cm, or about 6 inches."

It's very useful if you're tracking something big like a tank. That's probably what the Israelis are using it for. However if you're looking at an ICBM reentry vehicle, you'd need resolution of about 5 cm or less to determine if it's got a real nuke in it or if it's a prototype carrying a sand bag.

4/28/2006 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Mr.Eggplant,RWE, Red State Ranger
You sirs are interesting people. I, as I have said before worked for the Directorate of Science and Technology, Office of Special projects. We did the KH-11,Hexagon,Corona,etc.
What I read as TS/Project Codename back in the 70's is prettty much in the public domain now but you have done great work.
I can say that the resolutions of the KH-11 are still being missed, even by 1970 standards. I can only guess how good they are now.
Anyway, fabulous work men, and thanks

4/28/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"Ironically the best chance the Republicans have at keeping the presidency is losing the House and reminding the American public why they threw them out the first time."

- 2164th

Ross Douthat made this argument recently at The American Scene and I'm not inclined to disagree.

4/28/2006 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The National Journal writer, James Barnes, makes this point about the upcoming Election:

"... As voters of both parties well remember from the 2000 presidential election, the location of a party's votes can sometimes be more important than their number: Democrats lost the White House despite receiving over 500,000 votes more than the Republicans. Similarly, the total number of votes cast for the Senate's 55-member Republican majority is some 3.6 million lower than the number cast for its Democratic minority. Clearly, for Democrats to change the balance of power in Washington, they must figure out how to be popular in the right places, not just how to lead in national opinion polls, as they do now. ... "

It's The Geography, Stupid

When the Republicans lose AZ, NM, and CO in '08, over the Border Issue, the "swing state" won't be Ohio anymore.

4/28/2006 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger bioqubit said...

Russia is an inadvertant appeaser by playing both sides, and they run the risk of fitting Churchill's definition of an appeaser: The one who hopes the alligator will eat you last.

There is nothing stopping Iran from more subversive activities for Russia.

4/28/2006 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

2164th said:

"Ironically the best chance the Republicans have at keeping the presidency is losing the House and reminding the American public why they threw them out the first time."

Trish then said:

"Ross Douthat made this argument recently at The American Scene and I'm not inclined to disagree."

IMHO, the economy will probably tank between now and 2008. This will be due to a variety factors (e.g. normal business cycle, etc.) most of which are outside of political control. I think the Republicans have done a satisfactory job of managing the economy but they will be blamed anyway when the economy tanks. The American people always vote for what they think is best for their wallet. Consquently even if the Republicans resurrected Abe Lincoln for President, they'd probably still lose in 2008. Therefore it follows that if the Democrats nominate Hillary or anyone more reasonable than her for President then he/she will probably win. Where this conclusion could go wrong is if the Democrats "snatch defeat from the jaws of victory" like they did in the last Presidental election and nominate a full moonbat.

The important conclusion from this is our current President is our last and best chance at dealing with islamic fascism with minimal casulties. If the Republicans lose the House of Representatives then Bush becomes powerless (the Democrats will withhold further funding for military activity in the Middle East and begin impeachment proceedings against Bush). In essence we will revert back to a 10 Septemeber mindset. This will happen anyway when Hillary wins in 2008. However American policy over the next 1000 days might be the difference between whether or not the Iranians develop nuclear capability and successfully concluding our actions in Iraq.

4/28/2006 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

Ash, aren't you the same guy who told us to stop worrying about a Nukular Iran because we'd just get used to it?

You confuse legitimate concern with bigotry. As DR (with whom I rarely agree) pointed out, it's not about color.

I don't agree with DR, but I read his comments and I recognize his intelligence and insight. I've never seen a bigoted comment posted here.

But for some reason you need to slight us when we express our issues and I wonder why.

I seriously doubt that the thoughtful people who post here give a good God Damn about the color of anybody's skin, but yet you attempt to project this as a racial issue.

this is bigotry Ash, and it's offensive.

DR skewered you yet again. When will you learn? You jammed you foot in your mouth up to the knee. You should apologize.

I've lived on or near the Mexican border for close to twenty years, it's a bleeding wound Ash. I don't care why those people feel compelled to get to America. All the bleeding heart stories in the world aren't enough to change my mind. We need to gain control of our borders and you need to gain control of your emotions.

it's not about who cleans my toilets for what salary Ash, and I'm offended by your post. Spare me the socialist worker's talking points Ash, this is not the place for them.

the level of discourse here is simply to high to be conducive to the kind of low blow your post represents. The guys here are simply too polite to tell you off.

that post was not worthy of this audience. that's the long and the short of it.

4/28/2006 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

hmmm, touched a raw nerve on ya did I skipsailing? DR makes good points (over and over) about the law, changing laws, and enforcing laws and all but to extend the argument to Impeaching Bush because we are being INVADED is complete Bull Shit...or sorry, we are in a high faultin' intellectual place, its hyperbole! Come to think of it, is habu_1 simply applying a little hyperbole with his "All firnirs should be shot" rant? Well, I joined in the fun as well - The US is being invaded by tanned folks willing to bare arms.

4/28/2006 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"However American policy over the next 1000 days might be the difference between whether or not the Iranians develop nuclear capability and successfully concluding our actions in Iraq."

Got plans, eggplant?

4/28/2006 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Trish said...

"Got plans, eggplant?"

You're asking me? I'm a shiny purple vegetable that tastes good in moussaka (-: Let's wait until after the Republicans maintain their majority in the Congress and then talk about plans.

4/28/2006 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I have read and agreed with many of your posts, skipsailing, and I thank you for mentioning my insights, as part of your comment.

I have said before, sometimes in error, never in doubt.

ash is a drug store liberal, me thinks.
The ICC is one of his favorites.

ash is always for abandoning US soveriegnty and empowering some "other" organization. Invariably "International" in scope and membership, while never accountable to the People.
He is no democrat, that's for sure.

When the facts do not support your case, proceed immediately to "name calling", that way the debate is "changed" without need of Reason.
I often find agreement with some of ash's comments, but on this border issue he is all wrong.
It is not the immigrants that are the Issue, it is how we handle them.
It seems ash believes it is better to let immigrant women die of dehydration in the desert than to adopt sensible admission rules and procedures for them.

Wanna bet who is cleaning ash's toilet?

4/28/2006 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger Handsome Hu said...


you're not only unfair but you seem comfortable in the foaming muck of a fool's pathos, all riddled rotten with boasts and retorts stultifying amidst their boisterious assertion. If 11 million people snuck across our borders wearing uniforms, would that change you tune? If they subvert our culture, political and economic systems, do we comfortably call that "immigration" or invasion.

4/28/2006 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

We are engaged in an asymetric war.
Most of the "enemy" does not carry weapons.
Steve at threatswatch has a little commentary that I was going to let slide, as most here understand his point, it seems to be over your head, though.

"... There’s a war on.

The weapons are words, terrorism, oil, and religion. All are accurately and effectively targeting the inherent weaknesses of Western tolerance and conflict avoidance.

As evidenced by American reaction to the price of gasoline and Washington’s inexplicable joining in the dance, the West is more apt to rip itself apart rather than confront the aggressors. ... ".

The Immigration issue, the economic damage being caused by it and the lack of respect for the Law are all part and parcel of this asyemetric war.
Mexico is the greatest "Crony Capitialist" country I have ever visited and I've been to many countries. Their failures are legend and their successes few and far between.
Heck my father was friends with the fellow that owned Cancun, before it was Cancun. He did not make out well, finacially. Eminent domain is even easier there for the Government to claim than here.

13 million people, in an underground economy, living outside the Laws of the United States while residing here is not good for the Republic.

If failure to perform to the job description is not cause for dismissal, what is?

4/28/2006 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

though I do not have your obvious techno knowledge I do know one thing, as to your reply to trish.

Manana es no basta
A espera para manana, siepre
ganars solo muerta

To any that are fluent in Spansih my apologies, but to those that are just learning.

Tomorrow is not enough
To always wait for tomorrow earns only death.

As will waiting for November to make a decision about Iran.

4/28/2006 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...


I agree with you that a nation of laws is a good thing (in fact I'm trying to argue that we should extend this notion to the world a la ICC) but you exhibit xenophobic tendancies when you fall back to ""... There’s a war on. " as some sort of answer to the illegal immigration problem, as if this wouldn't be a problem if we weren't at war (an endless Orwellian war at that). The war is a separate issue to the border problem and the 11 million or so illegal aliens living amongst US. The mexicans are not a fifth column for Islamic jihadists. So, the simple enforce the law round them up and ship them out is 1. impractical 2. ignores the benefits these people provide to the nation and 3. is not very humanitarian in its blunt application. Like solving the problems in the middle east the simplistic, ideological, solution doesn't help.

4/28/2006 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Handsome Hu said...


To Ash's point, impeaching wreaks of the impractical.

To your point re: the substance of this fight, i.e. "words" or culture, how do you fight it? "Harsh lanugage?" (ht: Aliens)

You've referenced a background in a newspaper/magazine. Is that the mainstay of our force in this conflict? Is the going hypothesis that we will stimulate some mobilization-phoenix by artful manipulation of their worst ideas and our best ideas? Aren't we banking on humans being blank slates crafted for the manipulation of idea-overseers? And if we are, our strategy seems remarkably similar to those popularity-mavens that are blitzing media with Al Gore from Esquire to Wired.

One solution for one issue seems to be the Minute Men who are opting to just up and build a border fence privately.

But more broadly, how does one respond to a war of words? CT blog mentions the important point that propaganda resonates only so well as the salient facts implicit in events harmonize with its assertions. Is it better to just ignore the words and build the wall?

4/28/2006 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You're mind is a simplistic mess filled with liberal soundbytes, ash.
Prepare for May Day!
Work and Shop til you Drop!
Practice Selective Shopping,
Patronize those businesses up and fully staffed.
Take note of those closed and crippled.

Avoid them evermore to the extent possible.
Fly the Flag!
Denounce their arrogant, narcissistic, "In your Face Gringo" attitude.
Praise patriotic Cuban "hispanics" and those Mexicans that support OUR country.
Point out the associations with Anti-American, Commie, and Hate Groups.
Loudly Reject the shameful "Anthem."

4/28/2006 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

You make points unsupported by fact
and confuse the issues involved

As to closing the Border to illegal immigration tomorrow, none of your three points apply.

To the removal of those people already here.

1. impractical, not at all. The numbers of illegals are smaller, by percentage, than the Japanese Americans in California who were interned during WWII. It is physically doable.
2. The economic benefits of the migrants are overstated in the debate. The high costs involved in maintaining this "subvalued" labor force is nonproportional to the benefits.
In any case if there were benefits that over came the costs, we'd change the Law.
3. Humanitarian concerns. You show little concern for those that die on the walk. If the Law is inhumane, campaign for change.

The "War" does concern Mexico and your not seeing it only exposes more of Mr Bush's failings and your own ignorance of asyemtric war.

The War is about the Mohamedan attempt to geld the US.
Oil is their weapon of choice.

The majority of US oil imports come from Mexico and Venezuela. The majority of Alaskan crude passes through Panama.

To assume that Mr Castro, Chavez and the mercenaries of MS-13 will sit by as the Iranian balloon goes "up" is to live in a rose colored world, the glasses not making enough of a difference.

Amongst those 13 million guests are many people whom believe Che' was right and will answer the call of the "Internaionale".

How many will they need, here?

You may believe Mr Casro to be castrated, I have fought his people, they are competent and capable and fully potent.
Latin America's oil infrastructure will burn.

4/28/2006 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Wanna bet who is cleaning ash's toilet? "
No one?

4/28/2006 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I do believe Canada is our No 1 supplier of Black Gold.

4/28/2006 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger blert said...

11:22 AM Eggplant

“Military photo-reconnaissance satellites never fly in geosynchronous orbits. Geosynchronous orbits are typically circular orbits at very high altitude. Photo-reconnaissance satellites typically fly in a sun synchronous orbit.”

An old fashioned polar orbit might be very attractive for Israel.

Trick synthetic appature techniques permit amazing resolutions.

Figure the imagining to focus on production facilities, not weapons hardware. What’s the point: Iran uses second hand goods.

A fundamental survey of Iranian fixed assets is in order. Rolling hardware means practically nothing to Israel. She can’t await the day that mobile missiles are nuclear tipped.

The Israeli silence about Iranian nukes is entirely normal and can be expected to last right through her prophylactic strikes.

Iran already has at least some nukes: just not enough to demonstrate one. She knows that popping one off would trigger Bush release and prompt ejection from the NPT club. A great deal of German, Russian et al nuclear trade would come to an abrupt halt. So Iran is following in the footsteps of both Israel and North Korea. Build without testing.

The uranium enrichment gambit is the perfect diplomatic distraction away from heavy water converter reactors.

Producing heavy water is very straight forward – if you have the wallet. With that in hand, all of the other steps are all too easy.

The highly publicized estimate of ten-years-until-the-bomb was delivered as instructed. It takes the time pressure of the national command authorities.

Any learned discussion of these matters is hampered by exposing too much information to our enemies. So I am not in a position to detail the science that underpins my assertions. I’d rather be dismissed than win any debate at such a cost.

4/28/2006 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...


Porker wanted me to advocate executing Mr Bush, if my positions were to remain consistant in regards Mr Pollard.

That is beyond the pale, since Mr Bush is acting in concert with the Congress in ignoring the Law.

Impeachment could be justified but impractical.

Changing Mexican Laws and Culture is beyond US abilities. Much as it is in Iraq.

The Mexicans have been invaded by US, twice. The 1800's during the Mexican American War, "the Hall of Montezuma" in the Corps song and by Black Jack Pershing, prior to WWI. We are the Mexicans only historical advesary.
Since Bonaparte.

As I said the Minutemen have shown the way, presence on the border is all that is needed to stem the tide, not A-10's straffing the wire.

A fence, wall or walking patrols would do the trick.
Open a guest worker program that allows for more than the 20,000 legal immigrants from Mexico allowed in, currently, each year.

Disallow any talk of US citizenship for any of those that are here illegal today. That discussion has caused the infiltration rates to double in the last few months.

4/28/2006 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger Handsome Hu said...

ok well that all sounds effective

my take on the guest worker program or the incentive of amnesty is that its a way to document with biometrics who the heck is here so we can widdle down the undocumented population and gain some security back. i feel the tougher approach forgets that itd be easier to let the undocumented ones come to us than for us to go looking for all 11 million of them right? can we expect law enforcement to find them? Are they truly that conspicuous if you live in the southwest?

4/28/2006 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I do not think so, doug, about Canada.
Though they do supply the oil sands etc.
Some google time will set one of us straight.

"February 2006 Import Highlights: Released on April 28, 2006
Monthly data on the origins of crude oil imports in February 2006 has been released and it shows that two countries have exported more than 1.7 million barrels per day to the United States. Including those countries, a total of five countries exported over 1.1 million barrels per day of crude oil to the United States (see table below). The top sources of US crude oil imports for February were Mexico (1.774 million barrels per day), Canada (1.710 million barrels per day), Saudi Arabia (1.418 million barrels per day), Nigeria (1.342 million barrels per day), and Venezuela (1.178 million barrels per day). The rest of the top ten sources, in order, were Angola (0.464 million barrels per day), Iraq (0.450 million barrels per day), Ecuador (0.222 million barrels per day), Brazil (0.164 million barrels per day), and Algeria (0.163 million barrels per day). Total crude oil imports averaged 9.897 million barrels per day in February, which is an increase of 0.184 million barrels per day from January 2006. The top five exporting countries accounted for 75 percent of United States crude oil imports in February and the top ten sources accounted for approximately 90 percent of all U.S. crude oil imports. ..."

BUT, doug do not be dismayed

"Canada was the largest exporter of total petroleum products again this month averaging 2.262 million barrels per day to the United States which is a decrease from last month (2.311 million barrels per day). The second largest exporter of total petroleum products again this month was Mexico (1.878 million barrels per day) which was an increase from last month (1.796 million barrels per day). Nigeria had a substantial increase in crude oil and total petroleum exports to the U.S. when compared to volumes last month. ..."

Crude Oil and Total Petroleum Imports Top 15 Countries

We were "both" right

4/28/2006 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"When the Republicans lose AZ, NM, and CO in '08, over the Border Issue, the "swing state" won't be Ohio anymore. "
They CAN'T lose California:
It's already lost.

4/28/2006 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

fast food.
Yes and no about them being "easy" to spot.
We'd have to resort to "profiiling".
There are aprox. 100+/- people standing on the corner of Cave Creek Rd & Bell each and every morning.

That we could provide "guest" status to those already here could be doable, most likely should be.

Though when those Social Security checks start heading to Mexico, paying Mexican nationals instead of US expatriots, the screams and moans from the beancounters in Washington will be deafening.

Those folks will deserve their "own" SS number, account and benefits.
That is but one reason for the status que.
Not only do the employeers abuse these folk, the US government does as well. 'Cause now 5% of the workforce pays into the System, with no chance of a payout.
Income tax withholdings, as well. These guys never get a refund.

4/28/2006 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

For those who refuse to see that the problems at the southern border and the GWOT are inextricable, see

"Muslim Groups Will March with Illegals"

None of this is to suggest a conspiracy. Our adveraries are opportunists.

For those who need reminding, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been at war with the United States since 1979 - like it or not.

4/28/2006 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger Luther said...

Did you see this recent thing on Iran...

U.S. Calls for Action After Iran Defies Security Council

4/28/2006 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger blert said...

The Chinese are trying to build a strategic oil reserve on top of their own booming demand.

As it stands, China is freaking out about oil interruption: she’d have to go hat in hand to America and Japan – unthinkable.

Together India and China will prevent any relaxation of the oil squeeze.

Keep in mind that many of the non-OPEC producers are in decline: America, Britain, Norway for starters.

The incompetence of third world regimes to exploit their deposits must not be overlooked. Mexico couldn’t itself drill the deep offshore prospect that is now figured to be 10,000,000,000 bbls. China, likewise, has terrific prospects offshore: cutting a deal with big oil – unthinkable.

Russia, itself, is a case study in incompetence. The amount of crude that still leaks from her distribution system is astounding. She can’t drill deep either.

Awesome prospects in the Caspian Sea required big oil to prove up and manage.

Bottom line: high prices will prove to be very sticky indeed.

Best short term counter action: retorting coal liquids via steam directly adjacent to existing coal fired power plants. This time tested process is economic when crude is over $45 per bbl. It extracts about 1bbl of liquids per ton of coal. Since coal is trading below $20 per ton and imports are at $70 per bbl there is money to be made right now.

Mass production of retorts to a standard design would permit them to retro-fit existing coal plants – while killing nasty stack emissions. (Retorts are sealed)

The coal liquids would be worth more than imported crude as they distill without much further ado into deliverable grades. Any un-marketable residual oils can be burned in the coal plant straight away.

The process generates about 1500# per ton of char. This burns even better than coal and is well suited to the combined-cycle gas turbine/ steam turbine system well detailed by American Electric Power. The higher efficiencies permit the coal liquids to be extracted virtually as a free ride.

Quantitatively, this process might kick out 2,000,000 bbl per day based on current coal consumption rates in the US alone. It would be even more profitable in China and India. Even as it cleaned her air, retorting coal could kick in 3,000,000 bbl per day for China.

The actual retorts are very simple by refinery standards. They steam and distill, not too tricky.

4/28/2006 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Ah DR,

You just pointed out at the elephant in the corner. That is, for those that aren't paid cash. Interesting to find out what is paid in cash.

4/28/2006 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

I don't recall ever saying we should shoot all furiners'. I don't even have a single problem with anyone coming to this country,legally. Let me repeat legally.
I do not support what can only be called an invasion.
If a patrolled fence will do the job fine. Personally, I think without the threat of violence backing up the fence, it will never work.
The largest burr under my saddle on this issue is that as opposed to other eras todays illegals refuse to assimilate. The Russian enclaves in NY or on the southern border.
This is a great country, full of opportunity but you need to assimilate to make it work. Read Federalist #10 by James Madison. It dilates the destructive nature of "factions" and is very well reasoned.
In fact let's all turn to page .....

4/28/2006 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


Didn't we "send" our oil-company experts to Russia after the fall? Something about getting their poorly run oil/gas industry on track in a drive to capitalism?

4/28/2006 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...


Why stop at immigration violations? Poor people trying to make a living: that also includes small businesses where the employers had only enough money to give an employee their net pay but could not send in a 941. False social security numbers; well how about everyone else that filed a false tax return because they did not have the money? How about anyone who has a credit score less than 650? Is that fair?

4/28/2006 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Desert rat said:

"Tomorrow is not enough. To always wait for tomorrow earns only death. As will waiting for November to make a decision about Iran."

I actually agree with you (I was being facetious with Trish). However as I've said more than once: Timing is everything.

Our intelligence needs to be bullet proof, e.g. no getting suckered by decoy enrichment facilities. We can not allow a repeat of the Iraqi WMD fiasco. When we strike, we need to knock back the Iranian nuclear program far enough that regime change will probably occur before they can rebuild it (In essence, the Israelis did this with the Iraqis when they destroyed the Osiraq reactor). Again, because the Israelis are not yet panicing, I think we have time to fully gather our intelligence and do this preemption correctly.

4/28/2006 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

Dateline - Iran
" ... Visiting Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir here Wednesday praised the scientific progress achieved by Iran, and stressed it belongs to all Muslims.

Funny, stolen and un-original research they are proud of!

next we will be told they have just invented windows 95!

4/28/2006 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

nice piece, thanks for the info.
may i burn a 40 watt bulb in my two holer out back now?
seriously ,nice info.

4/28/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger blert said...


Israel would be a very poor poker player to reveal her sentiments.

Kind of reminds me of The Godfather.

No overt signal will be sent. Period.

The jaw-jaw is over.

4/28/2006 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

i'd love to get bulletproof intel too but....
before we invaded Iraq all the intel was bulletproof. Yeah we got flack from Germany,France,Russia but they were all knee deep in deals with Saddam. Even then their intel said he had WMD's. The Democrats,Kerry,Clinton et al at one time or another all said he had 'em..So the morning briefing goes...
"Mr. President everyone thinks they have WMD" Who would ignore that? Then we played with the UN for too long allowing the stuff to get moved by the Spetsnaz.
I agree we don't have the time to f*ck around.

4/28/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

United States of Israel?

I'm Not a Racist...but

4/28/2006 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Most of the guests, that have been here a while, have false documents.

The majority are working in "legal" companies. The pallet firm that was busted for the photo op is a prime example.
The Federals do not investigate the use of false SS numbers, also idenity theft and the false use of SS numbers obtained that way is becoming a major challenge, now.

The numbers that are seen on the street corners are just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.
If 5% of the US workforce was "illegal" and not contributing, the Feds would shut the infiltration system down.

Many of the domestics are under the radar. There was that lady, New Yorker, I believe, nominated for Asst Attn General under Mr Clinton, that particular nomination derailed over nonpayment of SS taxes on her home helper.

4/28/2006 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Habu_1 said...

"i'd love to get bulletproof intel too but.... before we invaded Iraq all the intel was bulletproof."

Yeah, we got the same Iraqi intelligence from many different European sources, but the many different European sources got their intelligence from the German BND. Unfortunately, the BND got their information from a single informer who was selling nonsense.

However with the Iranian thing we're working more with the Israelis and less with the Europeans. The Israelis know if this thing gets balled up, they're dead. I would be very surprised if the Israelis do not have people inside the Iranian nuclear facilities (they've had plenty of time to do this and are highly motivated).

4/28/2006 03:55:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

On second thought, the lady was up for Attn General and got the boot over her hired help.
The name before Ms Reno.

A little google and voila

"The controversy over attorney general nominees Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood, both of whom had to withdraw after acknowledging that they had hired undocumented immigrants to care for their children, elicited a wide response in the media, particularly in the pages of the New York Times. ..."

New York Times on Immigrants:
Give Us Your Healthy, Wealthy and 24-Hour Nannies

Liberals cheating the System, then wanting to be the Federal top cop.

It'd be funny if not so sad.
Dark days for the Republic, indeed.

4/28/2006 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"A New York Times news article (1/15/93) began, "While President-Elect Clinton promised a Cabinet that looks like America, Zoe Baird, his nominee for attorney general, apparently behaved a bit too much like America." Not only do most Americans not have a live-in nanny and driver, but, as the New York Post's Amy Pagnozzi declared, "On a $600,000-a-year family income, Zoe Baird could have hired one of those Mary Poppins status-symbol nannies who not only have a green card but can tutor a kid in French."

Instead, Baird, like many others, opted to hire undocumented immigrants--who are often underpaid and work without health insurance, workers compensation, sick leave or Social Security benefits, and are too afraid of deportation to complain.

By viewing the issue of immigrant labor overwhelmingly from the employer's perspective, the Times missed an opportunity to cover a sector of the population that is nearly invisible to mainstream media, one that faces widespread civil rights and labor violations, as well as racial discrimination. ..."

From the previous link

4/28/2006 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I mean, ash, do you not support the Human Rights Watch

"... Each year, thousands of domestic workers enter the United States. Most of these domestic workers—who are overwhelmingly female—come from underdeveloped countries in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Although all workers, both documented and undocumented, are protected by U.S. labor laws, it is not uncommon to hear reports of domestic workers being paid 50 cents or a dollar an hour or, in some cases, not at all. (Maid to Order)
In 2001, Human Rights Watch published a report on the abuse that domestic workers face in the U.S. In the cases Human Rights Watch reviewed, the average hourly wage was $2.14, and the average workday was fourteen hours. Most of the workers were not allowed to leave their employers' homes without permission, and most were only allowed to leave on their one day off per week. "Often these employers come from a powerful, elite class, and they are abusing the rights of some of the most powerless," said Carol Pier, researcher for the U.S. Program of Human Rights Watch and author of the report. "This is a serious human rights abuse in the United States, but it has remained largely hidden from public view. This has to stop." (Human Rights Watch) ... "

Race, Gender, and Immigration

And ash spoke of Humanitarian needs of the immigrants. I think his concern is misplaced. The workers need to be given legal rights or they should go home.

The status que is remains a case of human rights abuse.

ash stands shoulder to shoulder with both Ms Wood and Ms Baird, abusing the powerless, or so it seems.

4/28/2006 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

great point..
but whether or not it's bullet proof it looks like it's gonna happen.
The question must also be asked.

What advantage would accure to the West and Isreal to stop it from happening if nukes become like prayer rugs in the Moslem world?

4/28/2006 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger Will said...


4/28/2006 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

damned right, will.

Read all the comments, check out the links, decide as you will on the positions available.

Do not take crap from Social Science teachers.

Good luck.

4/28/2006 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

from USA Today

"WASHINGTON — Five members of Congress were jailed Friday after protesting outside the Sudanese Embassy over atrocities in the embattled Darfur region.
"The slaughter of the people of Darfur must end," Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., a Holocaust survivor who founded the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, said from the embassy steps before his arrest.

Four other Democratic House members — Reps. James McGovern and John Olver of Massachusetts, Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas and Jim Moran of Virginia — were among 11 protesters arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly, a misdemeanor subject to a fine.

The five lawmakers were released after being booked at a D.C. police station and paying $50 fines. During the protest, the five were willingly arrested and led away from the embassy front steps in plastic handcuffs.

"We must hold the Sudanese government accountable for the attacks they have supported on their own citizens in Darfur," Olver said.

At the White House, President Bush met with Darfur advocates on Friday and lent his support to rallies planned in more than a dozen cities around the country this weekend to protest the violence in the embattled western region of Sudan.

"The genocide in Sudan is unacceptable," Bush said. "There will be rallies across our country to send a message to the Sudanese government that the genocide must stop. ... I want the Sudanese government to understand the United States of America is serious about solving this problem."

Another Mohammedan action that is "unacceptable", bet they're pissin' their pants, right about now, in Khartum. Those fellas are actin' really scared of US, just like they were of Gordon Pasha.

We are "serious" about that Genocide over there, really serious.

4/28/2006 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Without comment,
except for "Spring Break"

"MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's Congress approved a bill Friday that would legalize drug possession for personal use — decriminalizing the carrying of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine and even heroin.
The only step remaining is the signature of the president, whose office indicates he will sign the measure, despite the implications for the war on drugs.

The bill, approved by the Senate on a 53-26 vote with one abstention, had been approved earlier by the lower house of Congress.

U.S. officials had no immediate reaction on what this means for the fight against drug trafficking, or the vast numbers of American students who visit Mexico on vacation.

"The presidency congratulates the Congress for approving the reforms," said presidential spokesman Ruben Aguilar. "This law gives police and prosecutors better legal tools to combat drug crimes that do so much damage to our youth and children."

The bill legalizes possession of small amounts of heroin, cocaine, ectasy and marijuana. ... "

4/28/2006 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Another interesting headline from USA Today

"... Army charges former Abu Ghraib officer
Updated 4/28/2006 5:46 PM ET

By Robert Burns, AP Military Writer

WASHINGTON — The Army on Friday charged the former head of the interrogation center at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq with cruelty and maltreatment, dereliction of duty and other criminal offenses for his alleged involvement in the abuse of detainees at the notorious prison in 2003.
Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan, was charged with 12 counts under the Uniform Code of Military Justice covering seven separate offenses.

He is the highest-ranking officer at Abu Ghraib to face criminal charges. ... "

4/28/2006 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Rat @5:34


4/28/2006 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

So now thousands of US kids can go to school in Mexico, do drugs there that would otherwise be smuggle to Madison WI for distribution.
Viva bong, the new teenage chant. And to earn extra money they can clean toilets.
Those crafty Mexicans.

4/28/2006 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Habu-1 You obviously missed the intel confirming the transference of (WMD) material ot Syria.

Oh, you mean the "confirming intel" from DEBKA or your Likudnik masters?

I thought even the Head of Mossad was called up by the Knesset about that and other BS fed to the Knesset, the UK, and America about "known Iraqi WMD stockpiles".

So the "Evildoers" hid "vast quantities", then the "Evildoers" went back into Iraq from Syria to burn, blow up and otherwise kill or maim some 18,000 American soldier casualties and some 65,000 "noble, freedom loving, purple-fingered Iraqis" ---yet the "Evildoers" forgot to bring any of the "vast quantities" under their control back in...causing ZERO casualties from WMD in 3 years.

As for the reeling in of the "no relations ever until the live POW/MIAs kept in the secret hollow mountain are freed" jokers - good on Sens Kerry, Hagle, Dole, Inoyue and McCain for finally knocking off their tinfoil hats.

As for big-talking. Only twerps do it, habu-1. Puff your chest all you want. There won't be a widening of the ME war to Iran and Syria by America acting alone no matter how much Israel wants it. As for a "surgical bombing" the only one diplomatically that might succeed would be a NATO strike with Russian endorsement due to
"Iranian intransigence with the IAEA and UN" with China's official silence....and once again, success also means figuring how to keep the Pariah Nation out of the mix.

4/28/2006 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger doolz said...

They had good reason to be scared of Gordon Pasha he did amazingly well with what he had (basically nothing). Less reason to be afraid of the pusillianimous Gladstone. Much more reason to be afraid of Kitchener.

I'm afraid that Bush is more in the Gladstone mold.It'd be interesting to see how much the Dem caucus will back these 5 (quite possibly the only 5 with guts or integrity).

4/28/2006 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

when i started to add to this blog i kept seeing references to C4. I didn't ask anyone what the deal was but now the light burns bright.
it's an abbrv for you.
all the comments were about how looney and misinformed you are. now i have such a grin on my face.
good old c4, the whack-o.
well good luck bubba getting me to take you seriously either.
the chest puffing..former Marines have no need to do any chest puffing. and if you add in the CIA experiences, well (God the smile on my face is so big) then i figure you'd be dog do in, oh 10 seconds ..teafel hunden chew toy. however keep blogging, the grins are great
Semper Fidelis

4/28/2006 08:44:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Yeah, who ever thought that leaving Osama on the loose was "good spy craft"

"... The epicentre of these wars is Baghdad, the seat of the khalifate rule. They keep reiterating that success in Baghdad will be success for the US, failure in Iraq the failure of the US.
Their defeat in Iraq will mean defeat in all their wars and a beginning to the receding of their Zionist-Crusader tide against us. Your mujahidin sons and brothers in Iraq have taught the US a hard lesson while in the fourth year of the Crusaders' invasion, they are steadfast and patient and keep killing and wounding enemy soldiers every day.

Osama, Dr Z and even mini Z are marching on. Determined, resolute and dedicated.

Every day he lives is a day we lose,
as every day we occupy Iraq, we lose.

When the Iraqis control Iraq and the Iranian & Syrian influences are out of the Iraqi Government and the ISF controls and secures all the cities of Iraq, and US troops can intermingle with the people and live off post,
then we'll have won, in Iraq.
That I guess is the "new" Standard.
When it is just like Germany, was.

When Osama, Dr Z are dead, so is aQ.
Their theology may live on, but the aQ Roladex, will be ash.

The quote is from Bill Roggio's Counter terrorism blog

Mr Roggio is looking to embed with both the Marines and the Canuks in Afghanistan.
He has affiliated with the "Counterterrorism Foundation", which is acting as the funding conduit for Mr Roggio's adventures and reporting.
For more information about supporting Mr Roggio, financially check out
this site for details as to how.

4/28/2006 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/28/2006 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Bobalharb, my attitude doesn't spring from ignorance.

When YOU investigate Baha'u'llah, the Glory of God, you too may come to see that His coming can be seen in several lights, several spins, but NOBODY in their right mind can now claim that He didn't actually come, live, walk this earth...

So what others on-site IMPLY by ignoring Baha'u'llahs role in current and future international relations, is that somehow people CAN and therefore WILL BE kept ignorant of Him and His healing message, even today, with the Internet and cable and satellites...

I find that assertion at odds with reality.

We, the People, WILL learn of Baha'u'llah soon, and this learning will catalyze several MASSIVE SHIFTS in international relations, not dependent on America or Iran!

4/28/2006 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Karradine--The best woman I have known here in Idaho was a Ba'hai-got to know her well as her son and my son hung out together--she adopted three other kids and got them all up and going herself-we used to share assets here,you know cars,etc to school--I wanted to put her in as Mother of the Year here in Idaho, but she wouldn't let me. I have nothing but respect for Ba'hais. She is also a member of the National Rifle Association!

4/28/2006 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

habu-1, former ace Marine and super secret CIA agent who doesn't seem to have any reticence telling us all he was CIA - as he issues manly challenges from his Mommy's house to those that disagree with his acne'd teen angst - assures us that the "vast hidden WMD stockpiles" do in fact exist.

DEBKA - the 3 Israeli computer nerds who pretend to be, like habu-1 "ex secret intelligence" - never lie about such things as saying THEY know special Russian commandos moved it!.

(Not even the US neocons are shameless enough to keep THAT up after their one year of "well, Iraq is as big as California and they found a few buried jets......" only got them howls of laughter.)

That the "Evildoers" have not seen fit to retrieve and use a single item of this "vast hidden stockpile" against US troops is obviously a clever plot within a plot to make us think the terrorists DON'T have "vast hidden stockpiles" by simply refusing to use them on the Iraqis or the US troops who are efficiently butchering them...Oh, clever!


Probable liar with no CIA employment.

Probable liar about his Marine experience as well.

Certainly a posturing little cartoon clown who threatens others with his mighty wrath...or at least amuses others with his squawks of manly vigor issuing from his Mommy's house Stateside.

4/29/2006 12:07:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Jeez--C4--have a bad week, didja?

4/29/2006 01:57:00 AM  
Blogger VonRichtofen said...

The idea that Iran would use the TOR surface to air missiles (SAMs) as DECOYS simply does not pass muster.
Air Power is used against high value targets, not against enemy air defenses! The name of the game is to hit your enemy where it hurts, not go on some wild ass SAM hunt. Yes deployment of SAMs might suggest to Israel that there is a high value target in the area - but without more to go on, Israel will not bomb buildiings just because there are SAMs present. The Israeli's will go after KNOWN targets - reactors, research facilities, etc. Unless Iran has been building a fake reactor for years AND can be absolutely certain that Israel does not know that it is fake, Iran would not benefit from a decoy-type strategy. i.e. - you might set up a decoy, and Israel might just ignore it and go after the real facilities because they have good intelligence/targeting information.
Given that this is the case the best use of the TORs for Iran is to deploy them around KNOWN targets as part of an integrated air-defense system which also includes anti-aircraft guns, radar, etc.
The range of the TORs vs. F-15/F-16 standoff air-to-ground missiles is irrelevant. The USAF developed tactics to defeat the SAM threat during the Vietnam war - by the end of the war US "Wild Weasel" aircraft had virtually eliminated the SAM threat. Since then the SEAD ( Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) capability of the West has improved 100-fold. It is doubtful that the Iranian air defense network would be able to stop the Israelis or USAF from destroying whatever target they saw fit to destroy. Stealth technology, precision guided weapons, radar jamming, electronic warfare and anti-radiation missiles have all combined to make the West a very potent force that would be hard to stop. ( By the way - the TOR operators have their own little decoy problem-- how do they know that the Israeli F-15s that appear on their radar screens are not really UAVs? They don't!- and Israel has successfully used that tactic before over the Bekaa valley ...) . The Iranians might be able to inflict some losses, but it is doubtful that they could actually stop an attack from being successful. The Russians may have provided Iran with a security blanket, but it is frankly a little threadbare. And it hardly makes up for Israel's new satellite capability.... If I'm the Mullahs I'm not sleeping very well tonight....

4/29/2006 04:19:00 PM  

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