Wednesday, May 10, 2006

On installment

Spiegel has a detailed account of how Germany paid millions of dollars to ransom two engineers held hostage by a criminal or terrorist gang in Iraq only a short period after it had finished ransoming German national Susanne Osthoff. The crisis began when two Germans were sent by their employer to provide technical assistance to a new factory. Unfortunately the factory was a short distance from the volatile Sunni triangle and the Iraqi charged with guarding the two Germans may have been complicit in the kidnapping of his charges.

When the two men arrived on January 21, each was carrying two salamis in his luggage. Before they'd even had breakfast, they realized that they wanted out. "We were not aware that this was one of the most dangerous parts of Iraq," Nitzschke told the Leipziger Volkszeitung after returning to Germany. Within three days, on January 24, heavily armed, masked men plucked the two Germans from the street on their way to work. At first, Nitzschke thought the kidnappers had made a mistake, and that he and Bräunlich couldn't possibly be important enough to be targeted in a kidnapping. Besides, the man who had been assigned to keep the two engineers safe had repeatedly told them that Beiji was completely quiet. The man, an Iraqi exile who speaks German, had turned up at Cryotec's headquarters in the eastern German city of Bennewitz weeks before and had accompanied Bräunlich und Nitzschke wherever they went in Beiji. Authorities now have their suspicions about the man's motives in the case.

A military rescue option presented itself in the hours immediately after the kidnapping, but it was rapidly foreclosed by indecision. No one was willing to take responsibility for authorizing an armed rescue mission which might go wrong.

On the first day of what would become a 99-day ordeal, when every minute was crucial, the authorities faced a dramatic decision of which the public was still completely unaware. United States military personnel had managed to pinpoint the location of a mobile phone that had been used by one of the two hostages. The Americans wanted a go-ahead from Berlin to send ground troops to the location while there was still hope of finding the two men. The signal from the phone was fading and time was running out. The German government, acutely aware that their window of opportunity would close once the phone's battery was empty, was faced with a difficult choice: Was it willing to risk everything? Even the possibility of both hostages being killed in an attempted rescue? In a surprisingly open discussion, German authorities in Berlin refused to rule out a military strike. But the phone's signal died before they could reach a decision.

Without a military rescue option left the German crisis team was reduced to finding ways to negotiate their ransom.

Although Merkel insists that it is the German government's policy not to yield to blackmail when it comes to political demands, demands for ransom are another story. From this standpoint, a government that simply pays a ransom -- without giving in to political demands -- isn't truly making itself a victim of blackmail. ... an Iraqi informant ... contacted the BND and gave them directions he claimed would lead them directly to the hostage-takers. The first thing the BND agents wanted ... was reliable evidence that the two hostages were still alive. [Code name] "Helper" was dispatched with questions only the hostages could answer: Which schools did they attend, and what were their girlfriends' birthdays? The informant did in fact return with the correct answer to one of the questions, and it was then that the haggling began.

The main problem with running intermediaries was the chance that they might be picked up or engaged by Coalition forces. In order to de-conflict the negotiations from Coalition surveillance the German team arranged for the US to provide aerial transportation for their operation.

Everyone was ready and everything had been prepared: a suitcase of cash, a small delegation from the BKA and BND, a team from Germany's GSG 9 special forces and a helicopter provided by US forces to fly the hostages to Baghdad upon their release. Without backup from the Americans, the crisis task force feared, even the German agents could fall into the hands of the kidnappers during the planned handover near Beiji.

Just then the Golden Mosque in Samarra was bombed and fighting between Sunnis and Shi'ites aborted negotiations as the kidnappers went deeper underground. Berlin was left to sweat as their slender line of communication to the kidnappers was cut. At this point another pair of intermediaries turned up promising to put Berlin back in contact with the kidnappers. The Germans debated whether to trust the new middlemen, who rapidly ratcheted up the ransom price into the $20-30 million range.

The Germans were faced with a difficult choice. On the one hand, they reasoned, more intermediaries could increase the chances of success. On the other hand, could it be that the kidnappers were simply opening a bazaar and sitting back to see which intermediaries could deliver the biggest ransom from Germany?

The Germans decided to reject the new contacts and stick with their original go-between, code-named "Helper". Further intelligence brought disturbing news: some of the kidnappers were mentally unbalanced or pathological and could break away from the main group to start a game of their own. There was the real prospect that the German engineers would be kidnapped from the kidnappers by an internal faction seeking a higher ransom or the sadistic fun of killing them. "In a frantic attempt to prevent the Iraqis from losing their nerve, the Germans even considered paying an advance".

But despite every inducement no deal could be closed. Finally the German Ambassador, acting on his own, made contact with "an influential sheikh from the Shammar tribe" who produced a handwritten note from the engineers to show he was in touch. There were now two channels to the kidnappers and a auction which would not have been out of place at Sotheby's commenced, one through "Helper" and the other through the Shammar sheikh. The price spiraled higher as auction proceeded. Finally, just when the gavel was set to bang another actor entered the picture to muddy the waters: Al Jazeera.

Officials at the crisis task force had heard that Arab news network Al-Jazeera had gotten wind of the upcoming hostage transfer and might air a story ... the deal could fall apart ... and in the early morning the sheikh had Bräunlich and Nitzschke ... driven from Beiji to Baghdad ... instead of driving them directly to the German embassy, the intermediary first took Bräunlich and Nitzschke to another hiding place where they spent the last few hours ... waiting for the German negotiators to deliver the ransom money.

The money was paid and the engineers were released. A sigh of relief was breathed in Berlin as even as the hostages celebrated their freedom with their girlfriends who had been flown to meet them. But although 76% of Germans surveyed supported the ransom payments, officials were worried about where it would all lead. Where 5 million dollars was enough to ransom 14 hostages in the Sahara in 2003, the same amount was barely enough to secure the release of one hostage -- Susanne Osthoff -- in Iraq; and the ransom for the two engineers was "reportedly much higher" than Osthoff's. "Security officials are especially concerned that the affair could now mean that every German carries a price tag, and that the price placed on German hostages' heads is likely to balloon because their government is seen as being all too willing to give in to ransom demands."


Nothing except scale distinguishes the kidnapping of the two German engineers from the Mohammed cartoon shakedown. Both identically involve the demand for concessions in exchange for the removal of a threat. Both exploit the asymmetry between short and long term interests to force the result. The short term interest of a kidnapping victim's relatives is to pay just as the immediate interest of a newspaper is to apologize to get the circulation numbers going. And so they pay and they apologize. Politicians with an eye on the opinion polls operate on similarly short time scales. Whatever damage appeasement or ransoms may cause to the country, it can safely be dumped on future generations of politicians, who will most likely belong to the opposition party anyway, and isn't that a good two for one value deal? What matters is the next election cycle; the next day's headlines; the next talk show's soundbites. Political externalities, like environmental ones, are borrowings against the future. They represent a kind of inter-generational debt.

What ultimately keeps this scheme from progressing indefinitely is the rapidly decreasing interval between the time a new political debt is incurred and the time it falls due. At first the consequences of appeasement will be slow in appearing but gradually they present themselves with increasing rapidity. Eventually the consequences of appeasement come so quickly that they occur within the same election cycle and politicians find the need to reinvent themselves as "statesmen". Upheavals are history's way of retiring the mountain of political debts earlier generations of hacks have accumulated. The Germans who supported the ransoms should be told that despite the millions disbursed they haven't paid yet.

The best extortionists understand the necessity of limiting shakedowns to keep from spoiling the market. If a thug asks a saloon keeper for a small amount of money each month to ensure "protection" the saloon keeper will likely pay because it is too much bother to fight over a trivial sum. But if the extortionist progressively increased the amount and the frequency of his demands, the saloon keeper would eventually resist. Either personally or in concert with other saloon keepers; either directly or by hiring muscle to resist the extortionist. Therefore the minimally organized criminal will keep other thugs off his turf and sustainably harvest his resource. Extortion like fishery means that unless limits are imposed on the catch the resource will collapse or in this case, rebel.

Terrorism, especially of the Islamic extremist variety, is characterized by the absence of central authority. There is no religious Supremo, or if you prefer, no Godfather. In the case of the two engineers the German authorities were confronted by a plethora of "intermediaries" each offering to sell the victims back to Berlin. At one stage the German negotiating team feared factions would kidnap the engineers from the kidnappers, as sharks snatch bloody mouthfuls from each other in a feeding frenzy. The Germans were also dismayed by the fact that, shortly after having shelled out $5 million for Osthoff that they should be hit again so soon. They had paid for "protection" and were disappointed that it bought them no respite.

The inability of terrorist groups to stay bought, or if you prefer, to keep a deal, was a principal problem in dealing with the Palestinian "leadership". Despite the billions given to Arafat there was always some faction, some new terrorist group that refused to go along with the latest ceasefire or keep the latest deal. If one paid Fatah, Hamas would come calling. If one paid Hamas, yet another group would present itself. Each Peace Deal collapsed because there was always someone on hand to break the deal; to make a new a demand. The reason why nuclear weapons in terrorist hands are so dangerous is that unlike Russia during the Cold War, there is no one to deter; no Godfather to show Respect; no single Boss to pay off; no one with which to make a deal. That makes the short term impulse to accommodate radical Islam so dangerous. Rather than strike a deal it creates the incentive for every storefront Imam or neighborhood leader to get in on the act. Perhaps the sheik of Shammar had nothing to do with the original kidnapping, but once it clear what the game was the temptation to join became irresistible. He too became an "intermediary".

In the end the upward spiral in ransoms will "spoil" the market. Things eventually reach the point where even the most supine politicians will refuse to pay and transform themselves into statesmen, where statesmanship is defined as the act of rediscovering vision long after darkness has fallen.


Blogger HK Vol said...

All I can say is, "I'm certainly glad I'm not German, with that high a price tag on my head. I'd certainly be targeted at that going rate."

5/10/2006 05:46:00 AM  
Blogger fred said...

When one reads biographies (honest ones)about the life of Muhammed one sees a template that hasn't changed much down through fourteen hundred years. Ambushing caravans and then stealing their booty, killing some, and taking some as hostages for ransom. Theft, extortion, murder, and mayhem are not new things in the landscape in that part of the world. If you read Andrew G. Bostom's scholarly tome on the history of jihad, there you will find descriptions of exactly how the early conquests during the first couple of hundred years following the Prophet's death were accomplished. Many Christian and Persian towns and cities tried appeasement, following the razzias against the countryside and villages, as a means of forestalling the inevitable. It did not work then and does not work now.

Somebody please explain to me how things are supposed to be different this time around.

5/10/2006 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Americans "...should be told that despite the millions disbursed they haven't paid yet. ..."

And niether have the Jihadi.

While the Baathist in Iraq are no longer in control, the Jihadi are,
Mr al-Sadr and the "moderate" SCIRI.

In Iran, the Jihadi are as entrenched as ever.

In Afghanistan the War, outside Kabual, is escalating, while the "Good Guys" in Pakistan are pinned down by Jihadi in both north and south Warizistan.

While Saddam is in the dock, Osama and Dr Z still fly, free as birds.

Pay any price, bear any burden
& Never Again

soon to be joined by that 9-11 mantra

Never Forget

in the trash bin of history.

5/10/2006 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger 49erDweet said...

Great analysis, W. Appeasement is always attractive to cowards, even when they don't recognize themselves as being deficient in the area of personal courage and integrity. It is truly not a good time to be German.

d.r., on the otherhand, casts too wide a net. Actually, it is still a great time to be an American - in spite of everything. Or do the hoards still swarming our borders, both legally and otherwise, not know this?

5/10/2006 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It is still a good time to be an american 49er, as your note suggests.
The quality of life, for the poor in the US, when compared to Mexico is much enhanced.
The quality of life, in Phoenix, for the middle class Americans, compared to just five years ago, has diminished.
Of couse buddy's Fed Reserve economist is "puzzled" by twenty years of wage stagflation.

I am not.
It is due to the Invasion.

When California has already become Mexifornia, according to VDH
Amerexico is not far behind.

Will Amerexico be better than most of the rest of the World, you bet.

Will it still be America?
Not the one I knew.

It'll be mejor, mucho mejor.
Eso es muy claro, 49er, verdad?

5/10/2006 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

so the lesson is simple..

if the moslems kidnap someone, dont pay, start bombing and publishing cartoons. If they dont comply start throwing our imams from europe, then move on to koran burnings...

that will get their attention...

5/10/2006 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger Jake said...

I wondered how long it would take D rat to turn this thread into another immigration rant...... Not long...I'm outta here.......

5/10/2006 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Appeasement, 49er, it is all about appeasement.

And costs that are always considered "to high" to prepay.

When the bill comes due, the costs are invariably higher, then the prepayment would have been.

Interest, late fees and collection costs, they all come due as well.

Time value of the carnage, as will be seen, once again.

Where oh where has Osama gone
where oh where can he be...

5/10/2006 07:11:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

And do not forget, 49er,
Immigrants are still flooding Gemany, as we speak.
Mostly from Turkey.
So, for them, it is still is a good time to live in Geramny, just not a good time to be a German, anywhere.

5/10/2006 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Where's the Bader-Meinhoff gang? Kidnap a top Imam or two inside Germany, and do an old Medieval-style hostage exchange? Maybe for future reference, as Mad Maxism becomes the new Euro "ism".

5/10/2006 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger Tom Paine said...

" the rapidly decreasing interval between the time a new political debt is incurred and the time it falls due."

Brilliant insight, Wretchard.

But I suspect that the final backstop on the appeasement process will be the existance of independent voices like you that will point out the "should-be-but-isn't-obvious" fact that you always get more of whatever you can be "induced" to to pay for.

Free-market-type thinkers understand this intuitively, instantly, and unconsciously.

Socialistically-conditioned thinkers never get it, unconsciously try to avoid getting it, and have to have it continually pointed out to them.

The mind is enabled - or crippled - by the tools it uses.

5/10/2006 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger Doug Santo said...

Germany, Old Europe, these are the partners we have. Partners willing to pay multi-million dollar ransomes to common criminals. The same mindset affects Old Europe's thinking on almost every important issue. The thinking is:

"Let's just pay thier price and get our people out. Maybe they will leave us alone."

This is similar to mainstrean European thought in the 1930's and was, in part, the reason Nazi Germany was allowed to re-arm. In the case of the Europeans it has to do with not wanting to disrupt thier comfortable life. They would rather bury thier heads in the sand and hope problems go away.

This thinking also infects western liberal thought. Though in the case of western liberal thinking, at least that in America today, it seems to have more to do with Bush Derangement Syndrome than anything else. If Bush is fighting Islamofascists, liberal thought trends for appeasement. If Bush is appeasing Islamofascists liberal commentators are for fighting.

Doug Santo
Pasadena, CA

5/10/2006 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As Europe sinks slowly into the morass of Eurabia, fueled by the continued immigation of unassimulating foreigners, expect more confrontations.

The ability of the terrorists to use the immigrants as a force multiplier is not lost on the Host countries.
Another series of Francofadas or even May Day work stoppages, could on an extended basis, cripple the Host.
So the Governments are becoming all the willing to accomadate the "Evildoers".
Especially those that are "sponsored" by a Government.

Germany's payment of a few million USD pales in comparison to what the Quartet will be paying Hamas.

Appeasement is appeasement, no matter the spin or rhetoric.
Stay the Course
pay the Jihadi

5/10/2006 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Tom Paine,

You mention "Free market thinkers" knowing this appeasement is intuitevly bad. I am stuck by a case in Toronto where a young girl was kidnapped, the mother immediately called the cops and the kidnapper panicked and killed the girl. The kidnapper was a young student and he was demanding 25 thousand dollars. As the father of a 9 year old girl the "free market" in me says 25k is a cheap price for me to pay to get my daughter back alive. The "socialist" in me thinks more to the greater good in refusing such extortion.

5/10/2006 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger Doug Santo said...

Interesting post at:

with respect to the status of the terrorist insurgency in Iraq.

Doug Santo
Pasadena, CA

5/10/2006 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"... The United States announced a $10 million package of medical assistance for the Palestinians on Tuesday. ...

Money is fungible

always has been, always will be.

5/10/2006 08:03:00 AM  
Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

"The difference between the long run and the short run is that in the end, we're all dead"

5/10/2006 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Doug Santo said...

With respect to an analogy between Germany paying ransom to criminals and the Quartet authorizing humanitarian aid to Palestinians...

The analogy does not hold up. An argument can be made that all western aid should be cut off. There is an equally good argument that such a step is a mistake.

Extreme measures and strident positions on issues of international diplomacy rarely produce positive results.

Having said that, I would limit U.S. aid to the Palestinians to food and medicine administered by UN or other entities.

Doug Santo
Pasadena, CA

5/10/2006 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

This reminds me of other articles on 3rd World countries concerning ransom paying:

and other Turd World capitulations

Too many articles to list. Just google 'Wretchard Belmont ransom kidnap' to get the flavor.

Seems like a great national foreign policy to me!!!

5/10/2006 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

An argument could be made to pay the ransom.
It was paid, the hostages released, all is good.
For the current set of hostages, tomorrow though, there "could" be escalation, both in kidnappings and ransom demands.

An arguement can be made for paying Hamas, they will be paid, the current set of sick people will benefit.
Tomorrow, though, there "could" be escalation, both in terrorist attacks and Aid demands.

Totally analogous, doug, totally.

The Terrorists have not sworn off kidnapping
Hamas has not sworn of Terror.

They are one and the same.

Ellos mismo.

Who is the Enemy in our War on Terror?

5/10/2006 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

There is a wonderful Churchill quote which says the same thing. Sadly I can't find it this morning.

This one makes a different point, but may in the end be as relevant:

"Virtuous motives, trammeled by inertia and timidity, are no match for armed and resolute wickedness. A sincere love of peace is no excuse for muddling hundreds of millions of humble folk into total war. The cheers of the weak, well-meaning assemblies soon cease to count. Doom marches on.

- Winston Churchill, March 1936

5/10/2006 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger Smacko said...

Man DR,

You have more goal post than Carter had liver pills.

You seemed to have moved over the line from not agreeing with the strategy of 'nation building' but supporting it anyway to a position of actively cheering on (and spending countless hours looking for any bad news you can post) the tactical mistakes.

I post this as I am not sure you are really aware that you come off this way. I am pretty sure you do not actually hope for the outcome.

5/10/2006 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

How much finacial aid did we send to Gemany, after 7Dec41 and before VE Day?

"Never Forget"

"Everything's changed"

Stay the Course and pay the Jihadi.
It's only prudent

5/10/2006 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

"...politicians find the need to reinvent themselves as "statesmen"."

Indeed! And the best definition of "statesman" I have ever heard is "A politician who has died."

I think that Jimmy Carter got the ransom idea rolling when he paid Israel and Egypt millions of American taxpayer dollars to make peace.

5/10/2006 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I read the News each morning.
There is no need to search for it.
Will Rogers had the same genius

The reality of the situation speaks for itself. I supported deposing Saddam. I support the War on those that have attacked and continue to plot attacks upon the US.
There is little action or progress in that War to support, though.

The results obtained in Iraq are dismal. The democrats we empowered there, our enemies. Our allies in Iraq have been sidelined by Mr al-Sadr and the SCIRI.
Withdrawing US troops will be "cleaner" than 'Nam, as we are handing the country over directly to the Enemy, not to an "Interim" friendly Government under duress.

There were other options available to US, but the one that was chosen is the one that's reality.

The US success in Iran continues to cascade.

Hamas will now recieve US funding, funding which is fungible.

Pakistani troops are garrisoned in two Warizistan towns. Immobile and on defense, learning from the US model in Iraq, no doubt.

Mr Goss and Mr Foggo leave the CIA in turmoil. The "Duke" Cunningham story far from over.

I asked for articulated Goals, years ago.
I was told here, then, that "everyone" knows the Enemy and it would be impolite and ill politic to name him or what his defeat should look like.

Would upset our "allies and friends" to name names and set Goals.
So now FIVE years in, we pay HAMAS. Hoping they'll befin to "play nice"

What was it the Captain of the Titanic said, just before it sank?

Stay the Course, yeah, that's the ticket, women and children first!

5/10/2006 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

might as well settle in, rat, 5 years ain't gonna do it. Maybe if there were some Messerschmidt factories to bomb.

5/10/2006 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

And thus the ancient Barbary game reignites, and all players take their usual roles.

Also as usual, Ash's analysis is one dimensional when a layered approach is called for. The issue, which she's missed, is whether it is worth risking the life of a particular hostage to accomplish the long-term goal of making kidnapping unattractive to the kidnappers.

As for D'Rat, I assume he has these reponses pre-programmed in Macros, and he's just hitting the alt-y key or something.

Look, the world is no place for the squeamish. Luckily for effeminates like Ash, we live in a time where their sensitivities can be nurtured and protected, a time when fortitude and sacrifice are, for most of our population, quaint anachronisms. These concepts are merely slogans to be for or against -- political stances freely chosen -- not things of inherent value and applicable wisdom. In this world the man who sacrifices for his country is a victim. Deliver us from evil is the rallying cry.

Machiavelli once noted that one has two options in dealing with his enemies: stroke them, or destroy them. Stroking them is weakness, the consequence of power yet gained. Ash and his compatriots have turned it into a virtue.

5/10/2006 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

There are the equivelent, buddy.
Next time a few thousand parade in protest, bomb 'em.

But we will not.
'Cause it ain't no War.

It's really
"Peace in our time"
pay Hamas
pay the ransom
send the tribute

Stay the Course!

5/10/2006 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

ahh, aristide
now you revert to the time honored sport of dissing the debater, not the debate or dissing of the ideas.

It is the easiest course available for you, the ad hominem, but since we are both anonymous and gentlemen you just try to devise an "easy out".
So be it.

The song remains the same, it's true.
Now, though, there are so many notes, it's become a Symphony.

5/10/2006 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

no Aristides you have mis-read what I posted. I was writing about the very narrow case of my daughter being kidnapped and faced with a 25k ransom demand in the context of "free market" vs socialism. I think it is pretty clear that taking into account the 'greater good of society' (i.e. not allowing a payoff for kidnapping) vs the simple free market cost benefit calculation of paying for your daughters life suggests that the socialist choice is the right one.

5/10/2006 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Super 6 said...

"I wondered how long it would take D rat to turn this thread into another immigration rant...... Not long...I'm outta here..."


The boring immigration rants usually come after most of the interesting comments have gone by. The appearance of the boring stuff normally indicates the comment thread has gone stale (I suspect Wretchard uses this as an indicator that a new feature article needs to appear).

At an earlier time Desert Rat's comments were very interesting but that was before he got fixated on immigration. I now just skip over his comments without reading them (he's in the same bucket with Ash and Cedarford). Again this is unfortunate because his comments were previously of interest.

5/10/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

They do say that

Ignorance is Bliss

enjoy yourself

5/10/2006 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Rat, re the confusion:

This has been aired out so many times, and I've yet to see a rebuttal: the Long War is the theoretical war-winning strategy of keeping a billion Ahmed Six-Packs from actively joining the million enemy combatants hiding inside the general populations. Over time, goes the strategic vision, the flaws in the enemy philosophy take it back to tolerable levels--where it has been most of the last few hundred years.

This is the Long War.

Conversely, the Short War, is best contemplated by asking where we will be, what we will have to do next, after we--as you recommend--JDAM the next cartoon demo.

A half-dozen somewhat-friendly governments fall to swarms of brand new suicidal jihadis?

might we not remember the Long War fondly, as a low-intensity conflict which we had every chance of winning (provided the American electorate doesn't get confused), rather than the global upheaval?

Are you trying to say, the global upheaval is the right way? If so, then how does that square with your stance on Iran, that we should not bomb out the nuke program?

I don't get the distinction. Judging by this thread, others must be equally confused. You should clarify.

Meanwhile, this is a great essay, advice to CIA from Mossad.

5/10/2006 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger Smacko said...

No offence DR, but you should save it all up for one or two post a day, using links instead of copy/paste.

I cannot say it is the 'cause', but the degradeation of Belmonts comment section happened when it started being used for convesation and thread hijacking.

I know Belmont stalworths of yesteryear are still out there. Verc I see at Goldsteins, PeterUK there as well and at JOM, Terrye at Rogers.

Instead of geo-political strategy and discussion, we get the 'wetback of the day' discussion.

5/10/2006 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Smacko said...

As to my last post, the comments section going to hell also was about the time Wretchard changed his format to more actively commenting on news. Maybe his old format of one to two post a week, weaving disparate info togather (geopolitics, jihad, poetry, and classical literature, Oh My!) might have stimulated more conversation. I know the '3 conjectures' still buzzes about my mind.

5/10/2006 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

The barbary mention above is perfectly apt--The new USA went to war with the use-of-the-Mediterranean tax/tribute/payoff to the Berbers along the North African coast, under the oft-demonstrated ship-takings and crew-hostaging/enslaving.

President Thomas Jefferson's war-slogan was "Millions For Defense, But Not One Cent For Tribute!"

What makes the reference apt to this post was that the European powers had been paying this extortion to the berbers for many years--ever (IIRC my history) since the Crusades.

Here's the question: Why? Why did the far-more-powerful westerners of Europe pay off the pashas all those centuries? It's not as tho Europe was passivist back then, for crying out loud. Were the Berbers expertly triangulating, even then?

5/10/2006 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Mohammedan Wars are a clash of civilizations.
But the Clash of Civilizations is more than the Mohammedan Wars.

Within the Islamic World there are many diverse views. Those that share our views, we should empower.

In Iraq that would have been Mr Allawi, Chilabi and Talibani or their facsimiles.
So after taking down Saddam and reducing the threat, instead of standing by our allies, 'til the War was won, in Iraq we are handing the country over to those more allied with Iran than US.

Mr Rumsfeld's statement to the effect that if we left now "It'd be worse than Saddam", I take at face value. I believe Mr Rumsfeld is and has been telling the truth.

Not a good "Long War" strategy

The Enemy, the Mohammedan or Jihadi is both Sunni and Shia.

Iran, having been at War with US for almost 27 years, is better prepared for an Asymetric battle then any other of the combatants, including US.
In fact there is no Law or public Executive Order naming Iran an Enemy of US.

That is why I oppose a conventional war with Iran. The Asymetric counter is not at all expected by the US public, it will shake US to our foundations, at best.

So the US is not even at war today with Iran.
If their instability was vital to US interests, one would suppose we would instigate some instability. There is little evidence of any Insurrection in Iran.
A fatal US error, imo.

In Warizistan our declared Enemy, aQ, has found Sanctuary and our Allies in Pakistan are unable to dislodge them.

In Darfur the Mohammedans are committing Genocide, and the US takes it "Seriously" and is "concerned".

These areas are all "Strategic" to the Mohammedan Wars and thereby vital US interests.

Since Warizistan and Darfur are not considered vital, by this Administration, it is indicitive of their other Policies.

The lack of preparedness, by US, is examplified by the lack of Border Security. When that is added to the mix of other Security short falls, as well as Belmont Club posts responsing to the Francofada and Arab/ European migrations, well...

The dots are not that hard to connect.
Add in Mr Castro and Chavez, with the open frontier, you've got a blue print for disaster.

Discount it, as you will, or not.

5/10/2006 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

DR, with all respect due, that was not an ad hominem. Your comments, your statements, the substance of your posts have become tedious. That is not attacking you, it is a commentary on what you say.

But let's debate. You say:

While Saddam is in the dock, Osama and Dr Z still fly, free as birds...Pay any price, bear any burden...& Never Again...soon to be joined by that 9-11 mantra...Never the trash bin of history.

How do I respond to this? After all, it's not an argument, it's an emotion. It expresses frustration, and that's fine, but to ask someone to debate it is a little much. The substance here, that the world would be better with Osama and Zarqawi dead or in prison, is undebatable.

The latter part, that Never Forget lies in the dust bin of history, is a rhetorical device that can neither be proved nor rebutted. If I say, "It is not yet in the trash-can!", what have I accomplished? Nothing.

These types of statements might have worth, but they also have diminishing marginal returns. Were I to revisit the past few months of the Belmont Club comment section, I would find similar statements, in doubles and triples, in every single thread. Again, that's fine and that's your prerogative, and not all of your comments are like this (some are incredibly insightful). But I think saturating the comment section with frustration and impatience is tedious. Of course, my opinion has no inherent weight, but there it is.

I also am biased on this. I come here to learn and to be challenged, not to emote or celebrate others doing so. Others may come here for different reasons. In fact, I'm sure they do. But I also remember a time when knowledge and expertise, seriousness and curiosity, were common in the comment threads, instead of rare exceptions.

5/10/2006 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

the idea that the wholesale migration of peoples is neither a Security or Geo political issue is naive, at best.

How did Mexico lose Texas?
Migration of an unassimulating minority into the area, followed by revolution.

It will be true in France, Germany, and yes even US, in the coming years.

5/10/2006 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Buddy, that's a good question. My first inclination was that the Europeans, then and now, suffer from a lack of imagination, an inability to visualize a substantial change in the way things are. This is America's great strength, apparent since our founding: the ability to imagine a better world, and the guts to fight for it.

Europeans, with the notable exception of Britain, have always sought to master the present. The possibility space of the future is rarely if ever given any thought.

5/10/2006 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Idly Awed said...

"Upheavals are history's way of retiring the mountain of political debts earlier generations of hacks have accumulated."

Love that.

5/10/2006 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

desert rat,

Your 8:29 AM - Hamas has not sworn of Terror.

Thanks for the lead-in.

It seems that Dr. Rice's victims of "deprivation" have decided to expand their activities outside Israel, into Jordan. There is no shortage of opportunities for "deprivation" where Hamas is concerned.

My goodness, Dr. Rice's protégé Hamas, the duly elected government of the sorely "deprived" Palestinian people and the newest member of her "world community", does stay busy, generously exporting the one thing for which it can claim some talent, "deprivation." It seems that the government of King Abdullah II of Jordan is in line to get its ration of “deprivation.”

Come fall, I hope to see a little "deprivation" on this side of the pond. My political party needs a lesson in humility. I'm hoping the voters deliver it loud and clear by "depriving" the Republicans of the holiday from reality they have been blissfully enjoying since 2004.

Deprivation indeed! Some people are shameless lip licking genuflectors.

"Jordan Says It Nabs 20 Hamas Activists" -

5/10/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Do not worry, allen.
As soon as we up the payments back up to Arafat levels of $500 Million USD, those HAMAS fellows, they'll mellow right out.

payin' the price and bearin' the burden

The Thrill of Victory.
Mr al-Sadr is tasting it.
The agony of defeat.
Is Paul Bremmer really hurting, or is it Mr Bush who is feeling all the pain?

There really is no moral or practical difference between paying terrorists in Iraq or terrorists in Palistine.

In both cases it sponsors Terror.

5/10/2006 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

desert rat,

Your 11:10 AM - "There really is no moral or practical difference between paying terrorists in Iraq or terrorists in Palistine."

Today's Gates of Vienna apparently agrees with your take, as I.

Prostitution is the same, whether called extortion or humanitarian assistance, whore or multi-tasking personal trainer; although, doubtless, Dr. Rice would prefer the latter renditions in her case.

Were I a Republican politician with an interest in a future for myself and my party, I would run as far from these clowns as possible.

“Deprivation” indeed! Let the perky Dr. Rice explain that to the future victims of the “deprived” Palestinian people.

5/10/2006 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...


Another political observer sees the same varient.

Dick Morris, as knowledgable as the come, says as much in an article in The Hill.

"... For the first time since the Gingrich revolution, the Republican Party is facing massive defeat. Will its congressmen and senators go down in the upcoming 2006 elections like the Democratic lemmings did in 1994, faithfully parroting their president’s dogma while they sank below the horizon? Or will they have the dexterity and flexibility to move to the center and the left to meet the coming onslaught? ... "

Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, remember when President Clinton said he and the Presidency were still "relevent"?
He was able to rebound, but Mr Bush has not even hit bottom, yet.

If the Repubs do not hold their own, in November, kiss the War on Terror goodbye.

We'll just have to serve Osama an ICC summons.

5/10/2006 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

desert rat,

You have some more good company, John Derbyshire, who says of the Republicans:

___"I can't think of a single thing to say in favor of the national Republican party..."

___"I can't think of a single reason why, right now, I should vote for any of them."

___"We are on the last page of Animal Farm here; I can no longer tell the men from the pigs."

You could do much worse than having Mr. Derbyshire in your corner. It will probably be said that Mr. Derbyshire is another sunshine patriot jumping ship, but I think not.


5/10/2006 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

desert rat,

Be sure to go to Michelle Malkin. She's running on a full head of steam and no brakes. She's also on the warpath and taking no prisoners. At long last, the national Republicans may be facing their Rather moment in the blogsphere; here's hoping.

After reading Tapscott's opinion on the so-called budget compromise being brokered by "Wild Bill" or is that "Aces and Eights" Frist, I feel the need for additional trepanning. He says, "The reality is the compromise would preserve the bulk of the earmarks treasured by the Senate's Old Bulls while reducing funding needed by the military in the War against Terrorism."

Again, all the folk linked by Ms. Malkin are also renegade traitors to the Republican cause (Can anyone remember what that was, again?).

5/10/2006 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Austin Bay, he stays on target.

" ... Iran's turbaned tyrants also sit on an angry and alienated populace. The mullahs fear their own people. In the long run, the Iranian people would topple the turbans. The mullahs' regime is a kleptocracy, a cultural desert and an economic bog. However, the short nuclear fuse may short-circuit the long run.

I am not convinced that war between the United States and Iran is inevitable. For years, I've advocated Western support of Iranian democratic opposition groups, to include overt and covert aid. The Iranian regime is rife with internal corruption. The regime itself is no monolith. ..."

Col Bay @ RealClearPolitics

Same target I've been promoting, but sans Son of Shah, it had slim chance of total success. With the Shah prospects improve.

Read the Col.'s scenario of
"...the most hellacious 10 minutes in Iran's long and illustrious history. ..."

5/10/2006 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Glenn Reynolds observes: "I think we're seeing a general meltdown in support for the entire governing class as the result of a perception (which is largely true) that it lacks the seriousness and self-restraint necessary to run a major nation."

5/10/2006 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger Yusef said...

With respect to Wrechard's original post, I'd like to mention two aspects of the issue that haven't recieved much consideration.

First, the payments to kidnappers will not only encourage more hostage-taking, but provide financing for that and other terrorist activity.

How many IEDs, kidnappings, shootings, car bombings and suicide belts can be paid for with a multi-million dollar ransom payment?

By providing the insurgents with this cash, Germany may well have saved the lives of a few hostages, while condeming hundreds of others to death, or lives destroyed by horrifing wounds, through the terrorist attacks their money will finance.

Are the lives of Iraqis murdered in terror operations financed by Western ransom money worth less than the lives of Suzanne Osthoff or Jill Caroll?

How is it possible that the government of Germany can be so willfully blind to the consequences of its actions?

Which brings me to the second aspect of this issue that is little discussed: how is it that the media can allow the governments of Germany, and other Western countries, to get away with this ongoing outrage?

How is it possible that news media organizations can simply report that "another hostage has been freed" without demanding answers from public officials as to how that was achieved...and what the consequences will be?

Isn't it their job to "connect the dots?" And if ever there were dots begging to be connected, it's in this issue.

5/10/2006 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Unlike in Germany, American political parties can suffer irreparable, immediate damage when the base believes itself double-crossed. The Constitution continues to amaze. On that note, has anyone else picked up on the birthing of a conservative blog movement to impeach George Walker Bush, President of the United States, with reference to illegal immigration?

Yeah, I know the drill. Such bloggers are "nutjobs", "moonbats", "Kool-Aid drinkers", "whacko", etc. Yesterday, however, they were perfectly acceptable and highly regarded. This may prove interesting.

5/10/2006 01:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be sure to go to Michelle Malkin. She's running on a full head of steam and no brakes. She's also on the warpath and taking no prisoners. At long last, the national Republicans may be facing their Rather moment in the blogsphere; here's hoping.

Wow, here's hoping. But why go to Malkin, when one can get the same paleo party-crippling rage here via a few commenters who tell Belmont readers over and over and over and over and over and over again how bad Bush and the Repubs are, and how they should be punished for not listening to some of you really smart people?

Guess you repeat yourselves so much because the other commenters are a little slow. And why stay to Wretchard's topic when impeaching Bush is the more important order of the day?

5/10/2006 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Hold your fire gentleman. Ransoms are nothing new and are an ancient part of German culture. Sometimes you collect, and other times you pay. Henry VI was king, of what is now Germany, from 1190 to 1197. He also held the title of Holy Roman Emperor and desired to be King of Sicily. Henry had to conquer Naples and work his way south to conquer Sicily. By a stroke of good luck and a benevolent cousin Leopold, Duke of Austria had Richard I, King of England as a prisoner. Leopold gave King Richard to Henry and the German King Henry squeezed a ransom out of the English of one hundred fifty thousand marks. (by my calculation 700 million in today’s dollars) That was tenth century statesmanship and diplomacy. The ransomed German engineers at $5,000,000 each does seem a bit pricey, but that is democracy.

5/10/2006 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

back to the US providing a $10 Million USD sponsorship to Hamas.

Ransom, prepaid?
Or just Tribute?

5/10/2006 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...


Via your link to Austin Bay...

Did you actually read that article?

He is backing the 'Strategery' you deride in Bush!

That the enemy of the mullahs is 'liberal democratic systems'.

Like the one we are spending our blood and tears to establish in Iraq.

5/10/2006 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

SLightly off topic, but WHY after THREE YEARS of being there, do we still only hear about almost nothing except these idiot attacks? Is nothing else happening in that country? Is no one interested in interviewing the politicians, the party heads, the heads of the yet-legal militias, the owners of some thriving enterprise, anything? Obviously everyone isn't dead there, and there're probably 1,000 western journalists there on any given day - and yet there's literally no news from anywhere except the rightwing blogospere about Anything going on in the country. Like don't all the major politicians, or nearly all, live in the Green Zone, for example?

Pathetic. "Free speech" my ass. Do your goddamn job you pathetic sans culotte. People like Roggio and Totten and that other guy put MSM to Shame.

5/10/2006 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


Your 1:09 PM - "How is it possible that the government of Germany can be so willfully blind to the consequences of its actions?"

For the same reason that the United States through its spokesperson, Secretary Rice, can service the savages of Hamas through the back door (no pun intended): The diplomatists of today share a common twentieth century relativist educational experience. All are informed by the likes of Scowcroft, Baker, and Brzezinski. Has there been an original foreign policy formulation since the Truman administration?

5/10/2006 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


Your 1:18 PM - And why stay to Wretchard's topic when impeaching Bush is the more important order of the day?

Because the political woes of Mr. Bush will most certainly affect any lede offered by Wretchard. Consequently, for the nimble of wit, the floor is thrown open for discussion with that in mind, using Wretchard's as a reference.

Moreover, I don't recall the topic of nascent impeachment having been broached until moments ago. Therefore, the habitual doom saying you claim must be otherwise directed.

5/10/2006 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

sure did read it, smacko.

I agree we spent blood and tears.
Disagree about the result. When the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq is the "moderate" voice in the Ruling Bloc, we have not created a Democracy, we are well on our way to the Iranian Electoral model, in Iraq.

If that is Victory, the whole deal, from D-Day +90 has been a waste.
Mr al-Sadr's bloc still controls the Shia Bloc, Mr Maliki is no Secularist.

But then who has this War in Iraq been against, in your mind?
Who has it been for?
Iran has gained the most, geopolitically, after US.

The Iraqis will invite the last of US to leave, in '08. If we refuse to leave, what an Election stick the Dems could wield. Regardless, the US is going to draw down, as per General Casey, and the Iraqi will take more control.

The Shia militias will soon be integrated with the ISF, and the Militia Commanders elevated to ISF Commands.
Thereby spreading the contagion that plauges the Iraqi National Police.

5/10/2006 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

This is way off topic.

Wretchard, are you willing to pony up to keep us arm-chair quarterbacks :-) from selling all our worldly goods and moving to....Costa Rica?

5/10/2006 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

Appeasement is not a modern phenomenon, but from reading the responses to this topic one would think that many are trying to put the template of the 1930's over the time frame covering our contemporary struggle with Islamic jihad. And they think they can understand this beast in so doing. It is way more than you think. From the very beginning, when Islam was militarily weak, compared with the Byzantine and Persian empires, Islam followed the example of the Prophet. He gained strength by turning lose his followers on the caravans and the habitations of his Arabian enemies. Hostage taking was an old Bedhouin practice. It aimed for two things: booty and to dishonor one's enemies. It has a way of enervating the enemy from another culture other than the Arabian because those other civilizations make a fatal string of errors. The first error is in thinking that all the Muslims wanted was money. The second error was in thinking that they will leave you alone if you keep paying. The third error is in underestimating the resolve and power of this enemy. And finally, and most fatally, is in underestimating your own weakness.

If we do not get around to knowing and understanding both ourselves and our enemy, we are done for.

5/10/2006 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Gingrich who was speaker of the House from 1995-98, said.

"... "The problem you have right now is the conservative movement -- which is still very healthy in the country at large -- feels very abandoned in Washington," he told the Trib yesterday.

"Conservatives actually believe in a balanced budget as a moral issue. Conservatives actually believe you ought to control the border as a matter of national security. Conservatives are the people who pay the taxes. They're not the people who get the pork."

5/10/2006 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...


What, as far as you know, is the differance between Sistani and his Shia vs the mad mullahs and thier Shia.

Where is the split, what are the differences. Why has Sistani not been proudly feted in Tehran?

It is easy to throw off emotional quotes of Iranian infuence on the Shia.

Define the influence. Why did the mad mullahs of Iran NOT want Sistani back in action in Iraq?

5/10/2006 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mr Sistani does not believe the Imams should take an active hand in the Affairs of State.
The actual Governance is best left to the ministers, not Clerics.

Mr Sistani's influence is great in Iraq, but not used "politicly".

This runs contra to the Mullahs in Iraqn, who actually are governing the Country.
Thus a ideological split 'tween the two camps.
But the 12th Imam, Sharia Law, a women's place in the home. On those and any number of other issues...

To doubt that Mr Makili is more sympathetic to Syria, where he spent his exile, or to Iran, where his bloc's leader, Mr al-Sadr pledged his militia's armed support, then to US is but another example of why Baghdad has yet to be secured.

Limited understanding of the natives social or cultural means & methods.

5/10/2006 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mr Sistani was, I recall, born in Iran.
The head Mullah, in Iran, was born in Iraq, or so the story goes.

People & Borders in that part of the World are so fluid, no telling which side of the line your standing on.

5/10/2006 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

A million or so soldiers on either side killed each other over that border not too long ago.

And yep, everthing will be peachy as soon as we get the libs back in control.

5/10/2006 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, buddy, I do not know who paid for Mr Perot's attempt to be President, but I know who profited.

If Mr Bush losses the "Right" to court the "Center", his last two years will not be pretty.

The task of replacing him and what new course to set, the subject of two years worth of propaganda, none of which will be condusive to War.
Just the foam in the mouths of the steadfast Conservatives, that feel betrayed could sink the entire War effort, well before Osama's drawn & quartered.

Or Mr Powell on a large white horse

Either would be a shame.

5/10/2006 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Derb had a disagreeer, and even the left-tilt Brookings has noted some things. In my own personal pantheon of night-sweats, is this bunch.

5/10/2006 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Perot paid for his run with the Giant Whooshing Sound.

5/10/2006 03:24:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

yep, there is good news in Iraq.
It is just not about US.

In point the US has spent around $12Billion ISD in the last rwo years on "reconstruction" projects in Iraq.
Given that 25 millon people live in Iraq, that amounts to $240 per capita per annum spent in Iraq on reconstruction.

Your link states
Per Capita GDP (USD) for 2005 is forecast to increase from the previous year to $1,051.
In 2002 it was $802.

Funny that the increase over a three year period, $200 USD per capita, is right about our annnual per capita reconstruction subsidy.

So yeah, if a country is flooded with "Occupation" money, some trickles down.

I'm not sure that will stand as success, though.

5/10/2006 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

So, there's no long-term economic value to education, utility, and transportation infrastructure? Surely you know that the value is at least equal to the interest generated by our municipal-bond system--bonds which built our country, but start off as long-term liabilities on the issuer's books.

If i didn't know you better, I'd've caught a whiff of demagoguery in that last post.

5/10/2006 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

You nuevo Kosskids [\;-D] are always confusing price with cost, and taxpayers with GDP.

The cost of the war to GDP may be "zero" or even negative, or at least a whole, lot less than the cost to taxpayers--which at any rate will be seen as--according to congress and the white house, and the UN and all our allies including the ones who won't say it--is the "price" of freedom from whatever the unfettered oil-jillionaire tyrant regimes of an unchallenged mideast had in store for us, sans our counterattack.

911 was but a taste of things to come; now it's looking more like a remembrance of things past.

5/10/2006 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Are the Iraqi's issuing Bonds, now, buddy?
You in the market for their "Long Bond"

When did Iraq's long term infrastructure needs become mine?

Repair what was damaged by bombing, I could go for that, open a few schools as well.
Schools though are but buildings, what of the teachers, study guides and course structure, who designed that and is paying for that?

Not the Americans, the State and Justice billots remanin empty in the Green Zone, Iraq not taken seriously enough in Washington to warrant the people.

So some nice teacher from Saudi Arabia or Iran is going to come, and teach what, buddy?

If the Iraq were concerned with their own welfare, they'd manage it better. They do not, if these guys are, as per Mr Rumsfeld, "Like Saddam" we should kill 'em all, replacing them with friends. But then, Saddam still lives, his returned rumured in the streets of Tikrit and Mosul.

If they are not as described by Mr Rumsfeld, we should leave by '08, as that is their democratic wish and desire, our needs be damned.

So says Mr al-Sadr and his minions

5/10/2006 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That did not factor the overall costs, or their impact on Iraqi incomes, or losses.

Just that the entire increase in per capita GDP, in Iraq was only half of the $12 Billion the US has already spent there.

You deny the trickle down effect that must have had?
Especially considering the total monies that must be being spent "In Country" by US.

I'd have expected an even greater impact. More than $85 bucks a year, per capita per annum increase since D-Day.

If Oil production is and has been for some time really at pre War levels

5/10/2006 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Not a very good rejoinder, rat. You know it is the principle of start-up to which I was analogizing.

Why do all opponents of the administration sneer at financial tools? It's not as though they're not the only alternative, when trying to create a self-sustaining enterprise, to gold hoards buried in the desert.

5/10/2006 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

But, yes, you're absolutely right about poor returns to-date. the body politic is ill--that's the *reason* we are *there*.

The area is crucial to the ongoing health of the human race, and entities that both can and will influence toward the higher aspirations of humanity--rather than the other--are rare, and amount to pretty much who you see there now, USA, UK, and a handful of others.

It's a dicey situation--no time to concentrate on the next-to-the-big picture. Time to concentrate, instead, on the *actual* big picture.

5/10/2006 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

Did anyone see the article which showed that Germans have the highest IQ in the free world? Not Joking.

/no sarcasm to turn off/

5/10/2006 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Making fun of the new schools on the basis of what you assert the new teacher "might" be teaching there, is beneath your level of debate, rat. I think you must know that.

5/10/2006 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If so little is spent, in Iraq, the economic boost, of each of those $80 Billion USD Emergency Approriation Bills, must be being spent, somewhere else.

To bad Mr Bush does not discuss it, openly.

5/10/2006 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The money makes little sense, buddy

If the per capita impact within Iraq is so low, where does the money fo.

Higher troop costs, payroll, that's for sure, they're all there at time and a hlf, so to speak.

Base construction, that would remain with US 'til departure, but $12 Billion, half the original Reconstruction money, was spent of "Security", instead.

New equipment, fuel, just what are we spending $500 Billion on, with so few Enemy casualties it can't all be on bullets.

Maybe Duke knows, anyone have his number, do they still party at the Watergate?

5/10/2006 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

There are several items in that bill--further katrina relief, and one other. The numbers are public domain, there's no need to speculate darkly. Of course the GAO could be colluding on some diversion scam.

but the Big Picture on the cost of the war--the only rationale for having spent the first penny, or taken the first casualty--is that no avoidance has been left open--by the enemy--as an option; that postponement can be made to look like avoidance, but that avoidance *may* be only an illusion, and lead to higher costs, with less return--possibly a return negative enough to cost us what we cannot pay.

Which brings us back to wretchard's topic, hey!

5/10/2006 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Anyone else bemused and amused that the Germans dithered about giving American soldiers permission to move in at the start of the ordeal?

One wonders if the Krauts were more afraid of the result of the Americans did or did not rescue their engineers. For if the engineers *were* rescued, might Germany have to actually say something nice about America's war effort?

5/10/2006 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...


One of the very best essays by Wretchard was his 3 Conjectures.

Link is here:

His premise was that the Bush strategery of building a liberal (relatively :)) democracy in the middle of the ME may be the last chance. For the islamic world.

Now, I am not all that worried about the islamic world. I'm a selfish bastard that cares about me and mine.

My opinion is that me and mine are safer in the long run if the strategery works.

Because we cannot even begin to imagine what the world would look like if it does come down to a 'Clash of Civilization'.

I agree that what we are trying to do in Iraq is a gamble. The odds were against us from the beginning. I think it is STILL worth a shot.

When I read the same bad news that you do DR, my stomach drops, because I fear the outcome.

Sometimes I think thats not the reaction you get.

5/10/2006 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

And "security' is a HUGE cost, with no value-added return. All those guys standing around watching the streets could be engaged in gainful activity. Huge money suck. All part of the enemy plan.

5/10/2006 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Only 3% of our War expeditures have made it to the per capita GDP of Iraq.
That is a trickle.

Well just two years to go, to '08, that Mr Maliki, maybe he doeshave the answers.

5/10/2006 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Do your best to spin this to the Admin Line (LIE) about how hard they are working to secure our country/enforce our laws.
Truly disgusting behavior, but no doubt you'll disagree.
***update from Daily Bulletin :
" Scott James, a former Tucson agent, resigned after eight years of service in February, citing a lack of support for agents by the Department of Homeland Security. He said that U.S. Border Patrol officials provided office space inside their headquarters to Mexican consulate officials, allowed the consulate to dictate the agents' activities, and gave the consulate information on ongoing investigations. Such courtesies were not extended to consulate offices of other countries, James said."***
My (Malkins)latest column takes on color-coded cronyism at DHS .
Vent asks where all the privocrats are to protest the Border Patrol/Mexican government monitoring of the Minutemen .

Yoo-hoo: Malkin

John Derbyshire the last straw.

Andrew McCarthy takes a closer look and adds his usual, invaluable insight:

5/10/2006 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Shoot NONE of my utility payments show up anywhere--just burnt up, talking long distance, staying warm/cool, getting here to there.

5/10/2006 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"I can't think of a single thing to say in favor of the national Republican party, its senators, representatives, governors, and administration. I can't think of a single reason why, right now, I should vote for any of them.

I could never vote for the liberal mob; but if a conservative third party comes up between now and 2008, they'll have my full attention — likely my money and my vote, too.
We are on the last page of Animal Farm here; I can no longer tell the men from the pigs.

5/10/2006 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No smacko, I get sick to my stomach.

I read the 3 conjectures, I understand the theory.

What happens when the Democracy Project fails.
The "War" is already over, especially in Iraq. While the Goals of the Authorization are fulfilled, the goals of the Belmont Club members, for the most part, have been left on the beach.

Israel behind a wall, Iraq a fuedal Federal Republic, the Iranians, they are in the midst of their own Cascade.

The War on aQ is on the backburner, Warizistan a "bridge to far". The Wahabbi get a pass.

5/10/2006 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Nah. Not gonna defend the indefensible. The only reason I ever argue with anyone is to try to advance some debate or other. To dig into all that stuff, I'd need more galoomph than I got at the moment. Why don't I just concede, okay? I've got to go eat, er, that's "dine", and am besides way over allotment.

5/10/2006 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Not gonna defend the indefensible."
(I take that seriously, whether you do or not.
Certainly POTUS DOESN'T.)

5/10/2006 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

PS--If we've given up on Bush, I suggest we at least try to push Hillary to the right a little--sell our votes dear, as it were.

5/10/2006 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

" I get sick to my stomach."
Some stuff is too much for even a 'Rat's tummy, not to mention my old cast iron model.

5/10/2006 04:55:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

heh--you think it's bad now--jus' wait.

5/10/2006 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Maybe we should try to hold the outlaw ACCOUNTABLE?

5/10/2006 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Maybe not, maybe President Gore will have a hissy, grab the football, press all the buttons, and send us all to GLORY--

5/10/2006 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

It is hard defending OR stepping around the indefensible.
Stinks, too.

5/10/2006 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Well, you're right--the only thing I can say is that as soon as he gets thru planning out how to personally piggyback every individual out of the path of all future problems, he ought to--if he was any sort of president--sprint over to that local Border Patrol office and get with the watch commander and get to the bottom of who's been punching in late on the timeclock, and then before humping it back to DC to run the country and fight Terrorism, sit down and write a detailed report to the King of Hawaii to bring the King of Hawaii up to date on the details of keeping the King of Hawaii fully-informed on all details at all times.

!Ay, Caramba!

5/10/2006 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

On the Animal Farm,
The Fish Rots from the Tail.
(But it is of course, more equal than Fresh Fish.)

5/10/2006 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The way you hold this man infallible is astounding to me.

5/10/2006 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger trainer said...

I seem to remember a story about some Russian techies kidnapped in Lebanon. One was killed I believe.

The Russians grabbed the relatives of the kidnappers and sent surgically removed but nicely wrapped pieces to the bad boys each day.

The remaining techies were released...quickly. True - I don't know. It should be the default.

5/10/2006 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...


Not meaning to help with the thread hijack, but how the hell can you defend this

"I can't think of a single thing to say in favor of the national Republican party, its senators, representatives, governors, and administration. I can't think of a single reason why, right now, I should vote for any of them.

How about an economy that grew 30% in 5 years. How about over 200 federal judges appointed that don't think that the constitution is a tinker toy set. How about two Supremes that know how to both read and spell the Constituion.

Not a single solitary thing. huh.

And your ready throw em under the bus over one pet issue.


5/10/2006 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Update: Here’s Michelle’s post , in which she re-prints two e-mails she received from Carter. For all of DHS’s supposed indignance, they’re not asking the Daily Bulletin to retract the story.
MM has advice for righty bloggers:
This White House has another burgeoning debacle on its hands.
And it’s not the Daily Bulletin or conservative bloggers’ fault. I would highly recommend that blind Bush supporters not attack the reporter as some sort of NYTimes liberal ideologue.
Those who have followed their excellent journalism over the years know that the Daily Bulletin and its reporters in the trenches have been at the forefront of border and immigration enforcement reporting.

Message to apologists: Stop blaming the messengers.
It’s only going to make those poll numbers you worry so much about worse.

Message to the White House: Stop blaming the messengers. Do us all a favor by ending this travesty and apologizing.
And please don’t fire Mario Martinez for telling the reporter the truth.

5/10/2006 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I won't defend it Bud.
I disagree with it.
I don't censor it.
And you don't have many FACTS in defense of POTUS.
And the fact is, Illegal Immigration has increased immensely during Bush, and he responds with a wink and nod.

5/10/2006 07:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sorry, Bud, it was smacko.
Answer remains the same.

5/10/2006 07:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"And your ready throw em under the bus over one pet issue."
I am trying to get our elected politicians to do the job they are sworn to do.

5/10/2006 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


Shame on you, my man. How dare you place your "pet issue" ahead of thread continuity?

Is it just me, or is there a more important issue than the identity of the United States? If the United States loses its identity to the onslaught of barbarians, aided and abetted by this administration and its PC genuflectionist quislings, what is there to defend?

As uncomfortable as it may be, this President and his administration are under continuous attack by one-time allies and well-wishers. The list of the President's critics is the veritable directory modern conservatism. Are they all irrational?

5/10/2006 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


Your 7:16 PM - "I am trying to get our elected politicians to do the job they are sworn to do."

The Republican party has no Barry Goldwater.

While some Democrats are accused of being stuck on Watergate, the same is obviously true of some Republicans as well, and this time they will defend the indefensible even if it kills them and the country. No more Nixons! What a rallying cry.

5/10/2006 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Boys, it ain't a matter of infallible, or irrational. it's a matter or remembering 1992.

A conservative souring on Bush the elder (deserved or not isn't the point) gave us a third-party candidate who accomplished nothing whatsoever but to turn the Clintonistas loose on our nation.

That is my sole argument.

That and you guys have the worst-developed senses of timing and proportion of any intelligent conservatives I've ever seen in my life.

But, y'know, you're still goodfellas. Just, well, Allen, you for instance, have gotten unhinged over the Quartet, and are condemning people who--of the choices that will ever be available--are the staunchest supporters of Israel. Enough voters so embittered, and the left-wing of the Dems will be in office. You know, the bunch that holds your people in moral equivalence with Arafat?

This ain't rocket science, fellers.

5/10/2006 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Allen, I have to agree with you. I honestly believe Bush has lost some of his marbles. He has lost the ability to associate proportionality, reason, virtue and loyalty. He looks different. Am I the only one that cannot even stand to listen to him?

5/10/2006 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

but go ahead, blow your feet off, don't mind me.

5/10/2006 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

He's been making some good, solid policy speeches lately--not to mention the sharp humor at the famous dinner--has anybody been listening? Or are we just having fang and horn hallucinations?

5/10/2006 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Buddy, there is not one Democrat I would trust or support. I despise them. Would I vote for a viable third party? Yes. Reagan said it well when asked why he left the Democratic Party? He said they left him. What conservative principals does Bush stand for? There is no more basic one than defending our national borders. Iraq has turned into a calamity of errors. The timing is awful as it has helped drive up the cost of oil to the benefit of a host of our enemies. A lot in the Belmont do not seem concerned about our lack of political support in the world. I wish it were not important but it is. Bush is not the victim. He is a leader, a failed one. he is another LBJ. Johnson had the decency to quit. It was a weak move for a president with 550,000 men committed to field, but he knew he was beaten personally. Bush is beaten and does not know it.

5/10/2006 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Look, maybe it'd be helpful to review: there are two political parties, and they each have different agendas. The president is the leader of one of these two parties. when one parety has the presidency, it means the other party doesn't.

That's all it means--it does *not* mean the man is your fantasy daddy, the Second Coming, the Tooth Fairy, Wizard of Oz, Terminator, James Bond, or God Almighty.

5/10/2006 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Try Captain Ahab.

5/10/2006 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tancredo says when he visits schoolrooms, poor kids have already been indoctrinated to believe in the CONTINENT of America, not the USA, so they can't see why he cares so much about borders.

Seriously disagree that this is what we owe our ancestors for their many sacrifices in creating this great nation.
As if we couldn't do better if we cared.

5/10/2006 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

8:04 PM Words, Buddy.
Heartland Enforcement came to a halt in his second term.
He is not a neutral agent.
It is apparent events have followed his and Rove's plan wrt immigration.
Why that is the plan makes no sense to me, never has.

5/10/2006 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Two days ago, Wretchard began a thread on the life and times of Ernesto "Che" Guevara. It is impossible to examine Che in the absence of Castro.

Since 1959, Fidel Castro has attempted on every possible occasion to export the “Revolution.” The United States has found itself opposing Castro in Asia, Africa, Central America, and South America. Castro has now succeeded in bringing the “Revolution onto American soil.

Without the firing of a shot, Castro has lived to see the “Revolution” brought to America itself. If you think not, look again at the media coverage of the recent demonstrations and the demonstrators. It is not an accident that Che is the icon of the new revolutonary struggle in the streets of the American Southwest; the demonstrators know that the “Revolution” has come, at long last. Apparently, until the red flag is raised over the Capitol, some users of this site will miss the obvious.

I would go so far as to say that the governance of the Southwest has been effectively lost to the historic United States. If you think not, pay attention to how both Republican and Democrat politicians of the region bow to the hurricane of the “Revolution.” The coming debate and vote on the proposed immigraion bill will be definitive proof.

So, what is the United States? It is not what it was, to be sure. And what is an American? Well, it may be you and it may be me, but American ain’t what it used to be. Other than some dilitantes on this site, the rest of the world recognizes a feckless administration and a wounded champion. If you think not, watch the happenings in the UN.

Yes, it would be rude to arbitrarily change a thread topic. But, if the United States is no longer the United States but, rather, Mexamerica instead, that is germane to all possible political threads. In short, the United States cannot successfully prosecute a war on Islamofascism if there is no United States.

5/10/2006 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

7:53 PM: 2164th,
No, you are not.
I wish it wasn't so, but it is:
How can I respect a "Devout" Man who spouts Lies and Orwellian "Truth?"

5/10/2006 08:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Allen, your 1:48PM: "Therefore, the habitual doom saying you claim must be otherwise directed."

Who you fooling? I may not be "nimble of wit" as you so charmingly know you and the rest of you are, but I can count. There is about a 1 to 3 ratio of fairly on-topic discussion to off-topic complaints about Bush/ the war/ and immigrants plus partisan "Down with the GOP" cheers, along with a few complaints about those complaints and return jeers (including mine!) Of course, many threads before this one are as off-course or more.

Don't get me wrong-- off-topic can spin both entertaining and enlightening, but constant pessimistic, negative and almost nasty derogation of current US policy, no matter what the Belmont topic, is neither informative nor appealing to many readers who come here. There are plenty of other sites one can visit for Blame Bush for Everything to Include My Midlife Mood sort of thing. Belmont fans used to expect differently.

5/10/2006 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

2164th, granted, we have a great big sh*t sandwich on our plate. We have to eat it. A couple of decades of profligate consumption are coming to an end as the era of cheap energy passes. Bush has been trying against deadset oppo, to amp production (ANWAR, the Shelf), but in 2005 exploration capex *doubled*, and yielded barely 2004's production.

Yes, all sorts of very old and well-seasoned chickens are coming home to roost, on all these troubling issues.

However, of about a dozen critical issues--including the fiscal--including the borders--two stand out as sine-qua-nons of our ability to function at a high enough level to enable the salvation of the others: the war (a few 911s and we're in a bad, very different world), and the economy.

Despite the vilest opposition from enemies of all stripes, from Waziristan to San Francisco, the guy has done what we needed on these two issues, and is trying to *build support* to work the others.

Personal income is up 6%, tax rcpts are up 15%, unemployment is at rock bottom, AQ has done zip to our civilian population (who'd a thunk THAT, on 9-12-01?), and anyone not listening to the chattering classes would be tempted to say the guy is doing an excellent job overall. Overall. The word is "overall". You don't have to agree with you CEO to follow along for the overall good of the enterprise. You just have to weigh alternatives.

5/10/2006 08:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May I add: This is Wretchard's blog and he seems not to mind the current tone of commentary (and surely will dislike my own), but here's the deal: moderates out in readerland are starting to view this site as the neo-Bircher Club based on the threads alone. Wretchard's good stuff has become like a sideshow to the virulent Hate Bush conspiratorial stuff.

It would seem some of us have stayed put, patiently in place to support the Long War, while the political ground has shifted out from under our feet and radically to the farthest right edge of the spectrum where certain pundits and their followers scream, "We demand results yesterday, and make them perfect results along the lines of our brilliant suggestions, while you're about it!"

How long can one man like Buddy Larsen refute the chronic defeatism and negativity of others? He does an incredible job, and for that many of us who care about constructive politics and our country's long-term prospects are grateful. There are a few other commenters here who sometimes enjoin the pushback against the doom and gloom, but is it enough, especially when someone above brays about "conservative" blogs now pushing for Bush's impeachment?

Have we really become such Jacobins and jackasses?

5/10/2006 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bud, your 8:37 Anwar reminds me of something I wrote earlier and did not post, but it is a different perspective, so to speak, that being mine.
House votes to remove long-standing moratorium on drilling on most of the country's Outer Continental Shelf

It was a victory for Rep. John Peterson, R-Pa., who has campaigned to open offshore waters to natural gas development. But the action does not affect a presidential moratorium, in effect until 2012, that bars offshore oil and gas drilling in virtually all coastal waters outside the central and western Gulf of Mexico.
Ok Boosters, Spin that into proof of GWB's greatness.

5/10/2006 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Maybe if Jeb is elected he can renew the deal he did with his bro?

5/10/2006 08:51:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Doug, that crap has been going on in schools since the late 60s. Bush already comes near caricature trying to wrap the flag around the American experience. What in the name of good sense do you think he's supposed to do, besides undermine the worst instincts of the NEA via measuring job performance ("No child Left...")?

He singly-handedly takes on this huge left-wing establishment, incurs the vilest hatred from the Left over it, a program to turn the whole generational thrust back toward doing right for the kids--and you're flogging away at him because it ain't happening fast enough for you? What if no one had even bothered to advance such a program against such powerful interests? You have to re-gather your wits--"words", indeed!

2164, Ahab--LOL!

5/10/2006 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Despite the vilest opposition from enemies of all stripes, from Waziristan to San Francisco"
He would have had NO OPPOSITION if he had sealed the Borders on 9-12-2001.
Instead he has done the exact opposite.

5/10/2006 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I didn't blame Bush for indoctrinating the students, Buddy.
I blame him for policies that are in harmony with the indoctrination:
Open Borders.
Wish you and Bush did less label applying, and did more fact relating.

5/10/2006 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Blanc--thanks for that nice comment re my obviously ineffective rambling--

5/10/2006 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Eyes wide shut.

5/10/2006 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Okay, so fire him. Bring in Pelosi to "Seal the Border". Be sure and have the State Dept get all twenty million Americans out of harm's way in South America, first, tho. And sell any holdings your pension fund might have in USA companies doing biz down there--I believe that's about half the fortune 500.

start the ball rolling on Fortress America--who cares where it leads, who cares if we have a global depression and your kids and mine end up hoeing taters for a living?

5/10/2006 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

well, nite all--sorry if i've been rude.

5/10/2006 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen,

Your 7:52 PM - "unhinged"

I may be many things, but "unhinged" is not one of them.

Unhinged is an administration that engages in a ménage à quatre (the Quartet), willing to exchange a relative 500,000 casualties as the price of intercourse.

I am a life-long Republican. I paid my own dues. If George Walker Bush is a Republican, I am a Jesuit archbishop.

5/10/2006 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

If you are correct, it is because of 5 years of inverted policy following 9-11.

I do not believe your Armagedon is anywhere near what would have happened THEN.

Even now, given that Bush's "solution" is to completely sell out our Heritage, I'd settle for him enforcing the law to the same degree it was under his father (best I can remember) and see what happens.

5/10/2006 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


Your 8:33 PM - Who you fooling?

Not you, it seems.

Please, consider carefully my 8:27 PM.

5/10/2006 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Seems the WSJ, GWB, and Bud's superior vision from on high gives them the right (in their minds) to ignore the law of the land.

5/10/2006 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Sealing the Border" perhaps a bad choice of words?
I certainly did NOT mean stopping all Commerce, I meant controlling the flood of illegals, including Tens of thousands of Other than Mexicans, across our border.
Only five years of willful forgetting erases how sensible that seemed on 9-12.

5/10/2006 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

damn--I was almost outta here--

Allen, all I'm saying is that I love Israel, too, even tho I'm not Jewish, and I don't want to see her in the tender mercies of the left-wing in this country. I thought I had stated that rather clearly.

Doug, INS has turned away six million attempted entries in the last five yeras. Do you know that illegal entry attempts are civil violations? We need to criminalize it if you want to incarcerate.

And calling my post Armageddonish while saying Bush's "solution" is to completely sell out our Heritage ?

Ok, tryin' to quit, now--

5/10/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

But then, the tendency of Bush and those who support the illegal flood, tend to Label the rest of us Dangerous Reactionaries who would instantly deport millions, and stop all trade.
(instead of just 2 forms:
Illegals and Illegal Drugs)

5/10/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger Olorijn said...

While paying ransoms under the table may be a practical way of avoiding the bad publicity resulting from your citizens murdered, the hypocrisy present in the reaction to a politician's suggestion that German Industry should fund future ransom's is hilarious,2144,1994295,00.html

Quoting Deutsche Welle, "Left-wing Social Democratic parliamentarian Ottmar Schreiner told the tabloid Bild on Friday that German industry should be urged to set up a special fund which would enable it to repay any ransom money the government has to agree to in future abductions of employees of German firms abroad."

5/10/2006 09:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bud, you ignore the CESSATION of Heartland enforcement being an important surrender of one of our important legal deterents.
As I said, reality reflects Bush Policy.
You point to increased efforts in some areas, but ignore surrender in others.

I'm coming around to agreeing with Hewitt and others that a fence is the answer, given that we have relinquished sanity to lawyers while luring ever more border breakers with REWARDS.

5/10/2006 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

interesting thought Doug..

'selling out our Heritage'

So it really has nothing to do with National Security. I guess if it really ever had, you would have called for the fence on the Canadian border, as that is where the terrorist actually tried to cross.


5/10/2006 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yes, Bud, creating a Permanent Democrat Majority is in my mind selling out our Heritage.
THREE QUARTERS of Calif Legislators have Hispanic Surnames, and as far as I know the Calif Legislature is by far the most looney left there is.
Odd that they've achieved that 3/4 number despite the demographics not having arrived there yet, isn't it?
But then, poorly educated, liberal voting folks w/little feel for THIS COUNTRY'S Heritage are feeling quite entitled these days, with very good reason.

5/10/2006 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Oh, that's rich--"keep the Commerce flowing", just do a quick and easy border seal--tell them Latins that we want to keep selling them our stuff, and by gosh we want to keep buying their stuff, too, but meanwhile "tell all your millions to please keep their feelings about USA just-so, after we shoot Latin America the bird."

Do you have ANY idea how things play in the press down there? How deep is the psy-war between USA-backers and--the others?

We can yank the rug out from under the good guys south of the rio grande--sure we can. Easy.

Look, I'm a Norwegian--if I need to be around all Norwegians I guess I'll just have to head on back to Oslo.

I WANT border security, TOO--I just know the cost/benefits surrounding the needed methods of doing it right. how do i know? I spent years down there, i know the people, and i live in south central Texas. Your ideas, Doug, would soften dramitically if you weren't viewing the entire issue on your computer monitor.

5/10/2006 09:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Exactly, Smacko:
Powerful argument, congrats.
Malkin is too:
She hates herself.

5/10/2006 09:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yeah, Bud, me and VDH know nothing about it 'cept what we see on TV.

...and you ignore that until Clinton/Bush, the law WAS being much more effectively enforced, although far from perfectly.
Your history seems to begin with the Bush Implementation of Open Borders.

5/10/2006 09:52:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


I did not introduce my comments about President Bush today in order to hijack Wretchard’s site or to gratuitously vent my spleen.

Wretchard brought to our attention the behavior of the Germans, which, if it persists and spreads, will undermine the ability of either the US or Iraq to bring order to chaos.

Long ago, I lost count of the number of heretofore highly respected Republican/Conservative opinion makers/shapers who find Mr. Bush wanting.

I did not suggest the impeachment of Mr. Bush, others did. I simply posed a question.

If Mr. Bush cannot hold his base, then, how will he have either the moral or political authority to attempt a correction of the self-defeating, corroding German surrender to extortionists? That, it seems to me, goes directly to Wretchard’s thesis.

If Mr. Bush has lost the loyalty of his base, how will he have either the moral or political authority to speak to any issue raised by Wretchard in future?

None of this is “Bush bashing”; it’s politics. I would appreciate your analysis of Mr. Bush’s political weakness as that relates to Germany’s willingness to pay ransom.

5/10/2006 09:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Same for 'Rat about the ignorance, of course, Bud, Arizona is now number one since San Diego built a fence and REDUCED CRIME in San Diego.
Only Texans REALLY know the haps.

5/10/2006 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

9:52 PM Allen,
Similar to blaming others for ANWAR, while banning Gulf Drilling with your brother.

5/10/2006 09:56:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

there you go, doug--off the deep end agin.

5/10/2006 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Where was that?
You'd know the depths of them Gulf Rigs better than I.

5/10/2006 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Build the fence--go ahead--we're gonna do it, it's in the cards. Hopefully we're making the case well enough to keep it from being cast as a you-know-what thing, by our enemies across the hemisphere. that's what time and open debate does--it makes the case.

5/10/2006 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I have no idea what will come out of this Congress and White House next, given the recent past.
Hope springs eternal.

5/10/2006 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


Tausend Dank!

You have made my point, exactly.

Germany and the EU are weak, having no other options than the payment of ransom or the abandonment of their unfortunate nationals. A weak American administration, one that pays protection money to Hamas, let's say, or is rapidly losing the support of its base, cannot presume to unhypocritically admonish the German government.

5/10/2006 10:08:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I'm sorry Sacramento has buggered the state so badly. Really. If I was in California, I'd probably be more hawkish. We here in the Lone Star State--which fought its way loose from Santa Anna with no help from My American Heritage (which I infer must have something to do with Plymouth Rock) other than a buncha scroungy ex-pats from Tennessee and New Orleans--do not have California's problems.

To my eyes, my American Heritage is about half Latino. But I don't own the Heritage narrative--I don't think you do either, Doug, being a Scotsman from Hawaii.

5/10/2006 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

When one opposes a policy of unlimited inflow of poorly educated Mexicans while at the same time severely restricting highly educated Chinese, Indians, Euros, and Canucks, etc, these days, one thereby proves he's a RACIST!
Orwell would be proud.

5/10/2006 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Heritage I refer to Bud, was wrt a nation of laws.
Worked pretty good before.

5/10/2006 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Oh, i see. Good. making sense now. Gotta go--nite--

5/10/2006 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

In my hometown "Mexicans" used to become fellow Americans.
What with the NEA and the Welfare State, pop culture, and etc that is far from the case, NOW.
That is no fault of the Mexicans:
It still remains a FACT.

5/10/2006 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

...and all those "other than Mexicans" are a security problem, for sure.

5/10/2006 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Damn--so close to the sack---this IS it fer me, but, do examine your post, doug. If you're saying that it's a FACT that America is no longer the same America, then what have you established?

That you're "for" something that's gone, and "against" the America that we actually *have* ?

So, *who* is the un-American, then?

I well remember being a tyke in the 50s at the grandparents home in North Louisiana, in Pleasant Hill, where a great Civil War battle had been fought. All the old folks were still Confederates.

5/10/2006 10:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I'm for encouraging people who are highly motivated, and able, to assimilate, instead of luring people with little education in order to further drive down low end wages.

Many folks now arriving have no idea whatsoever what this country stands for, other than a job, or welfare opportunity.
A sad fact, but a fact nevertheless.

5/10/2006 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Present policies are divisive.
(special rewards and privileges for the annointed minorities, etc.)
Then comes the name-calling.

5/10/2006 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Again I come back to the stubbornly resisted fact that things worked 10 years ago when effort was put into controlling the flow by better enforcing the Laws of the land, even with much room for POSSIBLE improvements..

Somehow in a decade that's become IMPOSSIBLE?

That's not exactly a Civil War Magnitude Time Frame.

5/10/2006 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

But Clinton/Bush have done all they can to make following the law ancient history.

5/10/2006 10:48:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Oops, go let the dogs out, take a leak, have a few dozen cookies and a half gallon of milk, let the dogs back in, turn off the kid's tv, fart, burp, scratch, kick off boots, walk over to kill this Madness Machine, and here you are again with the conspiracy theory.

(*yawn*) Links, please, to the shut-down of "Heartland Law Enforcement".

Please, no nutjob rants, I'll need some bureaucratic documents, some respectible sources.

Otherwise you're just making wild assertions, foaming at the mouth, being a liberal's dream conservative, in spades.

The heartland laws I see enforced are the ones against flying jetliners into downtown skyscrapers, and the laws that set up things where everybody that wants to can work and make a life.

Now, please grow up, while I catch me some z's.

5/10/2006 11:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That's pathetic Bud.
I have posted the heartland links several times before.
But you follow your leader and routinely resort to name-calling.
Ignoring the reality that during Clinton/Bush, leadership from the top wrt Border Enforcement has been missing or hostile.
I would find the links and post them again if I thought you would give them a fair hearing, but then I WOULD start foaming, I guess, since you show no signs of acknowledging any of the facts posted here today.
The increase in illegals during Clinton/Bush is NOT divorced from their policies, stated, or otherwise.

5/10/2006 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Please, no nutjob rants...
Now Please Grow up...
Daddy W and daddy Bud condescend to the kids.
How neither of you fathom how offensive that is is beyond me.
Many are greatly offended by our elitist, disdainful, disrespectful President.
That is a fact.

5/10/2006 11:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Meanwhile, respect for the rule of law declines daily.

5/10/2006 11:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

First Google Desktop hit (I enjoy using the tool: when I start foaming I'll stop)
is not what I was looking for, but interesting:
I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!” Louie shouted..."
...Perils of Arbitrary Enforcement.

5/10/2006 11:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

A report last year by the Government Accountability Office, Congress' auditing arm, criticized the lack of emphasis on prosecuting employers of illegal immigrants;
it found that investigators issued just THREE CITATIONS for hiring illegal workers in 2004.

In 1995, the agency reported apprehending more than 1.3 million illegal immigrants. In 2005, with more than twice the number of agents as in 1995, the Border Patrol apprehended just under 1.2 million illegal immigrants.

"These figures don't mean anything," says T.J. Bonner, president of the border agents union and a 28-year veteran.
The Border Patrol won't be able to secure the nation's frontiers until the government enforces laws against hiring illegal immigrants, Bonner says.

USA Today

5/11/2006 12:00:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, said people who do not speak English will not be able to succeed in this country. He told of a Hispanic neighbor who requires his children to speak English in the home with that philosophy in mind.

That prompted a heated reply from Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., who recalled that when she was a child, she spoke English in school and Spanish at home.

"That hasn't prevented me or my sister from reaching our full potential," said Sanchez, whose sister, Loretta Sanchez, is a Democratic congresswoman from California.
Full potential means she *stole* the Election from (B-1) Bob Dornan with ILLEGAL voter support.

Now she and sis excercise their full potential by advancing a transgender/multiculti/commie/special rights etc agenda.

5/11/2006 12:25:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Dobbs on Dismal Record of Lies
"And the lies keep coming from both political parties. This president is not enforcing the immigration laws enacted by Congress, and this Congress is failing in its duty of oversight to demand that those laws be followed. Only a fool, Mr. President, Sen. Kennedy, Sen. McCain, would believe you when you speak of new legislation. You don't enforce the laws now.
Would you do so if the law were more to your liking? Would you secure our borders and ports? Would you halt illegal immigration? Those are rhetorical questions, only, I assure you. The answers are obvious; obvious because of your conduct."

Addressing the president, Dobbs says up to 3 million illegal aliens continue to cross our border with Mexico each year, with enforcement against illegal employers of illegal aliens in this country all but nonexistent.

"How do you explain that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have all but ended their investigations and inspections of employers that hire illegal aliens? Again, only a rhetorical question, because we all know the answer," Dobbs said.

The CNN anchor goes on to state the "official record," noting only 318 employers out of five and a half million in the U.S. have been fined for hiring illegals since 2001. In 2004, only three employers were fined.

"That is a dismal record, Mr. President, as dismal as the fact that the number of ICE agents assigned to enforce immigration laws in the workplace has declined from only 240 back in 1999 to now less than 100," Dobbs said.
Is there no shame in Defending Lawbreaking Liars?

5/11/2006 02:01:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

In which spreading TB to neighbors and restaurant customers, costing taxpayers $200,000 (not counting FREE Doctors time) turns out to be a GOOD thing as compared to us lazy Americans.
Even if one agrees with the WSJ/Buddy feelgood argument for "good" lawbreaking, the economic and health costs remain the same:
Somehow nothing, including our Laws, should interfere with the Open Borders Imperative.

5/11/2006 04:43:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...


What would Thursday morning be without Peggy Noonan? And if it’s any comfort to you, Doug, she's also foaming at the mouth. (That has got to be one ugly spectacle!) Add Ms. Noonan to the growing list of the unenamored. Writes she, "It may take a defeat in November for the GOP to unlearn the lessons of power."

Word to Microsoft - Get that sticker out ASAP! The public must be forewarned of the hazards associated with foaming and keyboarding. John Edwards, if you're reading this, it was my idea first, dude.

5/11/2006 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

Sorry Ms. Noonan.

5/11/2006 06:18:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

As I was driving into work this morning I was listening to an interview with a representative from an insurance company that specializes in....kidnap and ransom insurance. You, or the corporation that hire you can purchase insurance. The policy covers coverage to pay up to a certain amount of ransom. If adbucted the insurance company will send out a representative to negotiate the ransom. Rates are determined by how much coverage you want what location in the world you are covered for.

5/11/2006 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger Heroic Dreamer said...

This article brought home to me how similar the jihadi movement is to organized crime. The jihadists are gangs of thugs - not armies of soldiers. This is important because if you can identify your enemy, you are that much closer to victory over your enemy.

5/11/2006 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger ed said...


I've been buying the occasional lottery ticket just for kicks.

Now I'm going to head off to Iraq to kidnap me a German. The odds are better and the payout is more secure.

5/11/2006 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Smacko said...


I wouldn't call you racist. I would call you a nativist. Not meaning it in a bad sense, so maybe a 'culturalist'.

And there is nothing wrong with that. Watching and reading about the riots and problems with cultural integration in France has given me pause.

But it is not just the lack of assimilation in France of the Muslims. The French also rail against the influence of US culture (or lack of :)).

See also Southern culture push back against the infux of Yankees. I'm not talking about the Confederacy, but the hear and now.

How about the take over of NY neighborhoods by immigrants. Same issue.

My point would be that you leveraged the National Security issue of the southern border into an arguement where it had little place to be.

Because, the arguement of nativism, cultural changes, and assimilation, while important and need to be addressed, do not carry the same DO IT NOW weight without the National Security issue that have no business in this debate except to inflame.

I would argue that the position of Buddy and myself would be not far from yours if you could ever stop your demagoguery (sp?).


What the hell. In your enraged impersonation of William Wallace you are willing to lop off ANY head you see, friend or enemy, in your pursuit -----


5/11/2006 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

If you and Buddy and Bush could pay the bills of Millions of uneducated Illegals while getting new jobs for the CITIZENS forced out of earning a living wage, cure the sick, and reform the LARGE (33 percent of our prison population) number of Illegals who break other laws, we'd be on the same page, smacko.
Instead, you see yourselves as better than those who call for
If you don't see the destruction of this country caused by UNLIMITED Unlawful entry,
you are being willfully blind.
But then Bud asked for links, and left a few more disparaging labels that you and he and Bush use so frequently, and left.
That passes as proof of moral superiority to some.
Bush claims to be trying to secure our Border and enforce our laws
That is a lie and a threat to our welfare and security whether you care to face it or not.

5/11/2006 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Smacko said...

Enforcing the laws of the land.

What a neato catchphrase.

What, the 'Defend our Culture' on not working to well?

Hell, I agree (and prolly others) that we should build a fence, beef up patrolling, work out a method to send them back.

But I don't consider others TRAITORS, LIERS, INFIDELS, IMPEACHABLE if they don't do it NOW!!!

Thats not passion. Thats emoting. I don't think public policy should be driven by emotions.

5/11/2006 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5/11/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...


You do the best you can, the rest remains in the hands of the Creator.

For two days now you have been the recipient of a host of uncomplimentary observations. Among other things, you have been accused of abandoning the fight for victory in the “big picture” GWOT by focusing on your “pet” project, illegal immigration. As usual, your critics, like administration defenders, generally, fail to insert the modifier “illegal.”

As is so often the case in this age of political correctness, your Klan credentials are implied, even if good-naturedly. No one has bothered to ask how you would feel if twelve to twenty million illegal Irishmen were now running loose in the United States. I’ll bet none of your critics would really care for the answer you would probably give. I think your position on illegal immigration would closely correspond to mine: I don’t give a rat’s tail whether the illegals are “little brown” people, fat yellow people, or translucent green Venusians; I want my country back; because, without the America that entered the GWOT on September 11, 2001, the war is lost.

If I fully take in the logic at play, you are to ignore that the wall has been breached by the barbarians and the king’s kingdom is relegated to the confines of the keep. You are advised to ignore the obvious, immediate mortal danger to the entire kingdom and focus, instead on…what?

Well, like you, I know that our country is being overrun by foreign, communist inspired invaders, intent on making the Southwest another of Castro’s revolutionary paradises. Sadly, I think the progress made to this end is irreversible, but I hope to be proven wrong. This invasion has and will change the way America is defined and governed. The America that will exist post-immigration bill 2006 will not be the America that entered the long-war in 2001.

I don’t know how to persuade folk to put out the house fire, NOW, and debate the state of homeowners’ insurance at a latter date. As Dr. Irons will attest, in the treatment of trauma, a protocol must be followed. If the patient bleeds out in one minute, an open airway or immobilization are to no purpose.

5/11/2006 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bush has had 5 years since 9-11, it is not credible to contend that allowing MORE illegals than ever is an honest effort.

No matter what labels you apply to the effort, the lies about the effort, or the tone of the reaction to the lies and dereliction of responsibilies.
There is also the matter of his Oath to defend the country.

Again, not a credible effort wrt to Border Security, and Heartland Enforcement.

5/11/2006 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Very well put, as usual, Allen.
"You are advised to ignore the obvious, immediate mortal danger to the entire kingdom and focus, instead on…what?"
That's OBVIOUS, Allen!!!
On the Klan-like morality of those who disagree and bring unpleasant FACTS to the discussion!

5/11/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Diversity, La Raza, Hawaiian Sovereignty, and etc.

It is suggested that recognizing diversity is an American tradition. The diversity of the United States of America is a great strength, but not its greatest. Israel is diverse. Iraq is diverse. Bosnia is diverse. Great Britain has been recently been reminded that diversity by itself can create dangers as well as strengths. The unique accomplishment of the United States of America is not our diversity; it is that we have molded our multiple ancestries and magnificent diversity into a single nation based upon a set of common principles, language and traditions.

Hawaii itself is a proud example of that diversity. According to the 2000 Census, 40 percent of Hawaiians are of Asian descent. 24 percent are white. Nine percent said they were Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders. Seven percent claimed Hispanic ethnicity and two percent were black. 21 percent of Hawaiians reported two or more racial identities. Their two senators are of native Hawaiian and Japanese ancestry. Their governor is Jewish. But what unites Hawaii is not its diversity, but its common Hawaiian traditions and the fact that Hawaiians are all Americans.

To destroy our national unity by treating Americans differently based upon race is to destroy what is most unique about our county. It would begin to make us another United Nations instead of the United States of America.
But who are we to judge those that reward lawbreakers calling for a return of "stolen land" and La Raza?
Free In State Tuition,
Free Drugs and Healthcare,
Preferential Treatment,
(except the racist pigs in our midst:
You know who you are.)

5/11/2006 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Smacko said...


You've jumped the shark.

our country is being overrun by foreign, communist inspired invaders, intent on making the Southwest another of Castro’s revolutionary paradises

Now thats a BIG jump.

I thought it was about the enforcement of law and our cultural heritage. I had NO idea there were 11 million commie bastards here instead. Prolly all in Hollywood again.


Whats the most important aspect:
- Stopping them from coming
- Dealing with the ones here

Is it a question of border security or assimilation (and not the commies...the other illegals :))

Do we ship them ALL back? Would you support a National ID card if it helps the effort to ship them back? Could a couple stay? More than a couple? If any could stay, where do you draw the line at which ones stay. Is 5 years here OK....10....15? How about the ones that already have children that are US citizens. Ship the parents back and keep the kids? Should we send the Marines or the ATF to raid the families?

I think that things can get complicated quickly. I don't think your and Allens rantings do much at all to find REAL solutions. Bet it feels good though.

5/11/2006 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

And as another sign of how the mighty Belmont Club comments section has fallen.

I'm debating Doug on immmigration. We are over 150 post on a thread dealing with hostages and ransom.


I thought THAT was heritage and tradition!!!!

Who's the Belmont Nativist now!!!

5/11/2006 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


Your 1:34 PM - You've jumped the shark.

I doubt it. Try READING the post.

For your consideration, try spending some time looking at publicly available information on La Raza. You might also spend some time viewing video and photographic evidence from the various demonstrations, as well as interviews with participants.

At no time in its history did more than 10% of the CCCP hold membership in the Communist Party. However, every person living in Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was "influenced" by the party.

I have never called the illegal immigrants "bastards" and I have not referred to 11 million such "bastards." "Illegal" is perfectly descriptive, although barbarian is far more apropos.

Here's your sign.

5/11/2006 06:36:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


Is Dr. Thomas P. M. Barnett jumping the shark? He must be, having written, “PUTIN’S BACKTALKING IS JUST ANOTHER SIGN THAT THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION IS A SPENT FORCE.”

Of interest, also, was his coverage of Hispanic-American economic and political clout. By the way, the folk of interest to him are either LEGAL immigrants or native-born Americans.

As an aside, I hope there is a special place in Hades for the instigator of hyphenated American citizenship. Red and yellow, black or white, they are precious in our site; all are Americans. Hyphenation is xenophobic, chauvinistic, and racist, to say the least.

5/11/2006 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


When next someone like "smacko" challenges you for specifics, you might consider offering some of the following for consideration.

I am not sure what Rudyard Kipling and "The White Man's Burden" has to do with illegal immigration or Germany paying ransom.

The United States is paying Dane Geldt - tens of billions of dollars in welfare payments of every sort imaginable are daily transfered to illegal aliens. So long as such payments are made, our unwelcome guests will not voluntarily return home. The money spent on the various American illegal immigrant protection rackets would pay for enough law enforcement to substantially reduce the problem, in my opinion. With that lesson in mind, Germany might see fit to vigorously and belligerently protect its citizens abroad.

EVERY naturalized American MUST possess a document which serves as proof of citizenship, the Certificate of Naturalization.

EVERY naturalized American is advised to hold a United States Passport.

EVERY naturalized American MUST provide to the Social Security Administration proof of change in immigration status via form SS-5.

EVERY naturalized American is advised to register to vote.

A national identification card is unnecessary if naturalized Americans fulfill their obligations under law and produce on demand NOTHING less than the Certificate of Naturalization.

All who cannot or will not comply with the law should be indefinitely detained until deportation can be accomplished.

Minor children of deported illegal immigrants will accompany their parents to the parental country of origin. For those parents willing to place their minor children up for adoption, deportation of these minors shall be waived.

Time is irrelevant to establishing lawful residence. Whether the illegal alien has resided in the United States for a day or a century has no mitigating effect on his unlawful presence.

All illegal aliens should be offered the opportunity to surrender to Federal authorities, with the understanding that upon deportation entry into the United States is permitted through appropriate channels. Moreover, those voluntarily surrendering for deportation will be given preferential treatment during the legal entry process.

Those illegal aliens who fail to surrender to Federal authorities, upon apprehension, will be barred for five years from making application for legal entry into the United States. When twice apprehended, an illegal alien forever forfeits the right to lawful entry into the United States. Third time offenders shall be imprisoned at hard labor for a term of not less than twenty years, without eligibility for parole. Additionally, these prisoners shall be housed and administered outside the general prison population, with their skills and labor available to the public at fair market value. Proceeds will first apply to the costs associated with imprisonment.

5/12/2006 05:10:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

allen how do you differentiate someone who is 'naturalized' with no documentation from someone who was born in the US but has no documentation?

5/12/2006 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...


Every naturalized citizen is issued a Certificate of Naturalization, which must be made available for inspection and verification upon request by controlling legal authority.

Such documents as a driver’s license or passport or social security card or certificate of birth are cross-referenced and show immigration status, if any.
Naturalized American citizens accept proudly the responsibility to carry the necessary proof of status at all times. Only those of questionable/nonexistent status play the catch me - chase me game.

If unable to produce some acceptable proof of identity, anyone could, theoretically, be detained until proof can be had; indeed, a small inconvenience to pay for the benefits of US citizenship.

5/12/2006 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

allen, it is entirely possible there are many US citizens born and raised in the US who don't have documents. How do you weed these people out during your document sweep?

5/12/2006 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...


Your 10:27 AM - "document sweep"

You must be fatigued because you're getting either careless or desperate. I did not call for a document sweep.

There may exist some infinitesimal subset of Americans without a single one of the documents I listed. And while anecdotal, I've never personally met one. However, any naturalized American will have not less than her Certificate of Naturalization.

As to screening for deportation, that is approached as is eating an elephant - one bite at a time. In the course of a year, most people require some good or service where positive identification is demanded. The job is done one person, one day at a time at point of contact. Of course, if substantial bounties were paid for information leading to the arrest of illegal aliens, the process would be greatly accelerated. There is a good bet that illegal aliens could be recruited to this end.

5/12/2006 11:33:00 AM  

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