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Monday, December 19, 2011

Who Do You Believe in The Middle East?

What are the successes of fifty years of US policy in the Middle East? What has been the cost? Who has won and who has lost? How did a foreign power, Israel,  develop so much influence over the US political duopoly? Why has there been unending conflict?

My generation fought a war over a lie and an historic mistake in Viet Nam. We knew that when we fought it.Viet Nam was and is a natural adversary of China. The  Vietnamese know the territory, we don’t. Our interventionist policy failed there and has been failing ever since in the Middle East. Our collaborative ignorance about foreign affaies and the Middle East in particular, has been made apparent by our disastrous  democracy crusade in Afghanistan and Iraq. At this very time, far right wing religious and political parties in Israel are doing their best to further entangle the US with a war with Iran. We are supposed to believe that Iran will develop a nuclear weapon and use it against Israel which has anywhere from 150-300 nuclear weapons, the means to deliver them, and the intelligence and defense system to stop any Iranian attack and destroy Iran in total.

Iran has the means to acquire nuclear weapons and in the long run, we can do littlle to stop it at a price that is acceptable to us and with any benefits to us.

We have a scary Islamic power, Pakistan, that has the technology and the crazies to do the unthinkable. We cannot do much about that except what we are doing and that is letting them know about the certainty of our response to any nuclear attack.  Israel has that same power and strength against any enemy on the planet. The argument of a life and death nuclear struggle between Iran and Israel is just another myth in the land of myths. I for one am sick of their myths and their intrusions into  the internal political affairs of The United States of America.

I have no interest in telling the Israelis what to do about their security problems except that they are their problems. Israel should be cut free of US support and US manipulation in the affairs of Israel. I am sure that there are many Israelis that share my concerns and would welcome such freedom. The Likud being the exception, but even the Likud should welcome such freedom. Currently, you have an Israeli election schedule being manipulated because of concern that Obama will win re-election next year. Why should that be?

Our priority should be the welfare of 315,000,000 Americans, half of them not doing so well. Our priority should be in the Americas. We know how to destroy and punish any enemy that is foolish enough, crazy enough and has the temerity to attack the US. We also should recognize that we have interests and priorities with countries. We do not have friends in countries. It should be obvious that we neither understand the Middle East nor has our foreign policy done us much good. Are we up for another fifty years of such expensive failures?

Who do you listen to? Who do you believe?


143 comments:

  1. Obama is a nice guy, after Bush anyone would be thought a nice guy...

    blah,blah

    Who wrote the introductory propaganda before the video?

    b

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  2. Who do you listen to? Who do you believe?

    Meg McCain as much as this guy.

    b

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  3. Your host, boobie, can't you recognize the style of the writing?.

    Obama is a nice guy, a good family man. ;-)
    Though I think his books were ghost written, too.

    Mr Bush, was not so nice. Not regarded so by any of the players in the Middle East. Except, perhaps, the Sauds, who just viewed him as dumb and easily manipulated.

    That the Saudi are unhappy with the US leaving Iraq to its elected leaders, well, that's another plus, for Mr Obama.

    Mr Fisk hits the target, with regards Middle East map drawing by Mr Churchill and that lady whose name escapes me at the moment.

    He is right about UN Resolution 242.

    Right about the corruption that is endemic of the region.

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  4. Mr Fisk is correct about the US interference in Iranian politics, back in the day.

    Right about the "West" sending soldiers and tanks and not doctors and teachers, to the Middle East.

    The professional war mongers here in the "West" need an "enemy".

    They are scrapping the bottom of the barrel, targeting Iran for fear and loathing.
    Those folk are still living in mud huts and cannot mobilize a military threat, not to US or our treaty allies..

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  5. Well crapper I wasn't sure it was deuce because of all the embedded links which is not to my knowledge his usual practice.

    b

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  6. DR: Right about the "West" sending soldiers and tanks and not doctors and teachers, to the Middle East.

    And the "East" (Soviet Union) never sent tanks to Egypt, Syria, and Iraq.

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  7. Nukes are insurance against annihilation, not skirmishes. In a world with multiple nuclear powers, it can't be used as an offensive weapon. I'd worry far more about Pakistan than Iran. As for the Iranian bomb, the greatest risk for Americans is becoming the same type of irrational zealots that the propagandists make the Iranians out to be.

    From "Remember the Alamo" to "Remember the Maine" to "Remember 9/11" propagandization of calamities has always played a role in organizing mass patriotism/indignation in the U.S. to military action.

    I think it's worth worrying about nuclear proliferation. But it's probably not worth starting a war and increasing regional instability in order to somewhat reduce the possibility of a future nuclear exchange.

    But it's kind of funny to live in a country where a good number of people want to eliminate foreign aid but increase foreign bombing.

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  8. We cannot afford more of the same. It is killing us.

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  9. Obama is the best friend the ME has ever had for a POTUS, he is not kowtowing to Netanyahu, he is in fact laying the groundwork for major change in our approach to the issue.

    I don't agree with all of Fisk but he knows his subject as somebody who has travelled to a heck of a lot of war zones. Israel controls the US government, and every policy on the ME that that the US does benefits Israel alone and harms the US. Unarmed Palestinians have been approached the Israeli border and have been unceremoniously shot and killed by Israeli soliders armed by the US. And, as always, the US repeats the mantra "Israel has a right to defend itself," forgetting that the right of peaceful assembly is one of those democratic values that it claims to support.

    However the Arab uprisings may turn out, one thing is certain. None of the new governments that will develop will be "Israel friendly". Look to Turkey for an example, or erven to Iran. The US will soon be alone in the ME with its evil seed, "the only democracy in the Middle East"

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  10. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spent the opening minutes of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday decrying ultra-Orthodox efforts to segregate women and men on public buses, after one female passenger refused to sit in the back of the bus on a trip from Ashdod to Jerusalem.

    "I heard about an incident in which a woman was moved on a bus," Netanyahu told his cabinet ministers. "I adamantly oppose this. Fringe groups must not be allowed to tear apart our common denominator. We must preserve public space as open and safe for all citizens of Israel."


    Opposition leader Tzipi Livni made a personal call to the woman, Tanya Rosenblit, and praised her for her "bravery" and "determination."

    "Her determination symbolizes the need for all of us who fear for Israel's image to fight and not give in," Livni said. "Tanya has shown personal bravery."

    Along with those politicians eyeing elections on the horizon, half of the state is currently outraged over what is actually a longstanding phenomenon, in place officially for more than 10 years, and in practice even longer. No new developments have occurred since the matter was approved by the Supreme Court in January of this year.

    Nothing new has occurred and nothing has changed, except that the Israeli media, dealing with the issue at the highest possible decibel, is playing into the hands of Netanyahu, Livni and all the rest of the politicians, who morning and night issue declarations of condemnation and consternation over the phenomenon of "excluding women from public space".

    As of yet, nobody has asked them the underlying question, of how the phenomenon of segregation on buses emerged over the last decade with the approval of a long line of transportation ministers, many of whom are still prominent in the leaderships of the Likud, Kadima, and Yisrael Beiteinu: Ariel Sharon, Tzachi Hanegbi, Avigdor Lieberman, Meir Sheetrit, Shaul Mofaz and Yisrael Katz.

    The bus on which Rosenblit was traveling that day, No. 451, is registered under the High Court of Justice as a 'mehadrin line', otherwise known as 'strictly kosher'. This designation was given to more than 50 bus lines, serving both inter and inner city, for an "trial period" which has lasted for over two years already.

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  11. I think Kim Jong Il was 70 and he died having a 69. The media is getting it all fouled up.

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  12. From the days of Peter the Great, Ms T, Russia has been a member of the "West". It is a Europeon country.

    The Russians did not draw the map of the Middle East.

    The majority of the migrants, transplanted to Israel, in the past decade, Russians.

    The Russians are at war with Islamoids, in Russia.

    The Moscow theater episode and the destruction of Grozny along with their 10 year occupation of Afghanistan both exemplify that fact.

    That all the Europeon players have been using proxies in the Middle East, agreed.

    But Russia, they're Western Europeons, not Easterners.

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  13. That the Russians are on both sides of the current divide, in the Middle East, just part of their need to keep the pot stirring.

    While the Israeli are selling the Russians military technologies, which are then transferred to the Iranians.

    To keep the pot boiling.

    Have to wonder why, and who it benefits.

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  14. It certainly is not to the benefit of the residents of the United States or the Americas.

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  15. The winner in all this? China, going away.

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  16. ABC News reports


    By age 23, up to 41 percent of American adolescents and young adults have been arrested at least once for something other than a minor traffic violation, ...

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  17. DR: But Russia, they're Western Europeons, not Easterners.


    I disagree. The line was the Iron Curtain, where the McDonaldses came to an end. I include Greece in there too. Everyone who uses Cryllic and does the Sign of the Cross from right to left rather than left to right (the infidels!).

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  18. Well, the American People are making their wishes known (whether that is of any importance, a subject for another day.)

    After Ron Paul doubled down, and doubled down, again, on his non-interventionist Middle East policy all the "republican" commentators went on, and on about how his insane foreign policy had torpedoed any chances he might have for an Iowa win.

    Instead, he's jumped to the Top of the Pack.

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  19. He kept asking, "Why do you want another War?"

    The question seemed to resonate in Iowa.

    I know it resonated with me.

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  20. Rufus:
    Instead, he's jumped to the Top of the Pack.


    Obama money does help, don't it?

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  21. You are certainly welcome to disagree, Ms T.

    Does not change reality, though.

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  22. It tends to resonate more with those that actually come from families that do the fighting and those families sick of seeing money going to people that would never do anything for them.

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  23. I found that story about kosher busses where woman are expected to go to the rear of the bus astounding.

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  24. The funny thing, with regard the Republicans and the "pundits" ...

    Assuming that the "Rank & File", those whom want "Anyone but Romney", will rally to Romney if he is handed the nomination.

    Instead of staying home, or voting for an alternative, when one is made available.

    The lack of support for Mr Romney, by 70% of the GOP base, that will guarantee Mr Obama's reelection, if Mr Romney is the nominee of the DC elites...

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  25. Rosa Parks lives and breathes, in the hearts of the oppressed, all across the Jim Crow societies that abound in the Middle East.

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  26. Actually, it was probably a bad poll. But, the fact is, as nutty as the old Racist, Truther bastard is, the American people are reacting to something that he's saying.

    And, it seems likely, to me at least, that the main area of agreement is his strident anti-militarism. If for no other reason that that is the part of his message that the republicans, themselves, have most amplified in the last week or so.

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  27. I saw, somewhere, that Ron Paul polls the highest of all among "Active Military," and their families.

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  28. Which leads me to think that he could Really shock the shit out of'em in South Carolina.

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  29. Support our troops as they support Ron Paul!

    FACT: Ron Paul Receives More Military Donations Than All The Other Republican Candidates Combined and More Than President Obama

    Stay the Course!

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  30. If he was to win South Carolina "they" might shoot the old sonofabitch.

    Kennedy? Wallace?

    's been known to happen.

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  31. Maybe some ex-military should provide their services to protect him.

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  32. Hard to protect against Carlos "White Feather" Hancock.

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  33. Tell you what, if Dr Paul wins in Iowa and SC, the Republican DC elites will rally to Newt, in Florida.

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  34. Carlos Hancock


    Ol' "White Feather" was the guy that put the round through the opposing sniper's scope.

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  35. Newt scared "everyone" to death with that deal about sending the Marshalls out to drag Judges in front of Congressional Committees.

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  36. Limiting the power of Federal judges, it'll make for a good chapter, in his next book.

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  37. But, mostly JFK.

    I've done enough shooting to bet a million dollars that Lee Harvey Oswald didn't pull the trigger on the round that killed the President.

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  38. After two weeks of intensive (and, Bubba, it is intensive) training on the Marine Corps Rifle Range, using one of the best rifles in the world, Lee Harvey Oswald couldn't hit the side of a barn.

    I, on the other hand, fired Expert (just a tisch bit short of Sniper School material.)

    Now, they credit Lee Harvey with taking a piece of shit rifle of legendary inaccuracy with a nickle/dime loosely-fitting scope,

    and pulling off a shot that I couldn't make in my dreams.

    Your ass.

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  39. Hell, rufus, the limit on bets is $10,000.

    But yes, the idea that Oswald hit the moving target with that mail order Eyetalian rifle, a 6.5mm Carcano, stretches Federal credibility to the extreme.

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  40. I trained at the sniper school run by 3/7 SFG at Fort Gulick, Canal Zone.
    Using a M-21, 7.62 NATO, semi-automatic rifle and that series of shots, from the 6th floor of the School Book building, would have been more than difficult to make.

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  41. If he'd taken him down with ONE shot, I'd say, "okay, it's possible." Even the worst shot can get lucky.

    But, to try to sell that a marksman of his low quality was able to recover, and take out that ridiculously hard to hit target (perfectly) with a subsequent shot is just a few hundred bridges too far. You'd have to really, really want to believe; and even then you'd have to be totally ignorant of shooting.

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  42. .

    Frankly, a Paul presidency likely wouldn't be as bad as some project. Of course, he has some weird ideas but the reality is he is just one man and would be limited in what he could force through. OZ would still be OZ.

    His chief weapon in instituting change would likely be the veto.

    My main concern is not so much with Paul as with the Paulistas. The people backing his campaign are young and aggressive. They are the Facebook nation, computer literate and able to whip up a frenzy through the internet.

    Worse, they go beyond fervid in their beliefs and they are rabid in their attacks on those who disagree with them. Anyone who has read the comments on one of these blogs supporting him know what I mean.

    I dislike those who think they are annointed, that theirs is the only truth, whether it comes in politics or religion.

    .

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  43. Appears to be an M-14 (the rifle with which I qualified,) with a special trigger, and barrel.

    A shooting sonofabitch.

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  44. A "Paul Prsidency." Boy, that'd be a hoot. :)

    It'd be a mess, though.

    Probably end up in a "Recall" election. :)

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  45. Well, hell, I've delayed all morning, but I've got "work" to do.

    Which, as usual, is a euphemism for sending people money. :)

    Damn, I hate "work." later.

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  46. Yep, a well tuned M-14.

    At 800 yards the target will die.

    But if it's moving, you'll only get one shot on the mark, the rest would be suppressive.

    If you're throwing a bolt, you'd never get three rounds on target in the time reported by the Warren Commission:
    time span between the first and last hits on the President is 4.8 to 5. seconds .

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  47. That old rifle had a "rough" action. I think the Italians called it the rifle that "never killed a man in anger."

    Had to wait to "clear" the tree, shooting "downhill" at a "moving target" with that old bag of junk. And, then, getting off an accurate shot on the third round in 5 seconds? You couldn't Get Drunk Enough to believe a fairy tale like that.

    White Feather couldn't a done it.

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  48. That's why when a truly bizarre conspiracy theory comes along, like the "truther" deal, it doesn't receive the derision it deserves. The PTB have thrown so much ridiculous crap at the American people, that they no longer believe anything.

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  49. A lot like placing those three rounds in SP/4 Tillman's forehead, from over 250 yards, uphill, with a SAW on full auto.

    Incredulous.

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  50. C'mon, folks, admit it, the Republicans have a bunch of ass hole candidates.

    Romney would make a good Democrat, though.

    b

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  51. Q says of Ronistas Paulistas -

    Worse, they go beyond fervid in their beliefs and they are rabid in their attacks on those who disagree with them. Anyone who has read the comments on one of these blogs supporting him know what I mean.

    I dislike those who think they are annointed, that theirs is the only truth, whether it comes in politics or religion.


    Amen

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  52. Have we forgotten that Grinch was charged with God only knows how many ethics violations, back when he was the big man of the House, and pled to some of them, and was drummed out? Paid a big fine too, IIRC.

    Now he thinks he is Napoleon.

    b

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  53. And Ron Paul might be the only candidate currently on the slate that could actually lose to Obama.

    b

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  54. Let's see if I can try and get the beginnings of Grinch right -

    a serial philanderer, hypocrite and liar; a bribe taker, oath violator and general southern snake oil salesman; an historian for megabucks to a housing agency, a man who compares himself with Reagan and Thatcher, a strategically timed born again Christian who believes himself to be Napoleon.....



    b

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  55. In North Korea people are eating dogs and grass and shit, but now everyone has to take down their Kim Jong Il pictures and put up new ones of his little fat fuck son.

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  56. The Norks are weeping in the streets, Miss T., it's so moving.


    b

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  57. Who do you believe?



    Baghdad (CNN) -- Iraq's Judicial Committee issued an arrest warrant Monday for Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, who is accused of orchestrating bombing attacks.

    The warrant was issued under "Article 4," which is terrorism.

    The Interior Ministry, at a news conference, showed what it called confession videos from people identified as security guards for al-Hashimi, the country's Sunni vice president. In the videos, the men described various occasions in which they purportedly carried out attacks under direct orders from al-Hashimi.

    One man said he carried out assassination attempts using roadside bombs and guns with silencers. He said the orders came from the vice president and at times through the director of his office.

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  58. Guys,

    Fisk is a lying asshole that has some connection that I don't understand with the radical islamists...

    I have told the story here before of my friend, ex coworker that got an ice pick in his brain for writing an unflaterring story on Arafat and his thuglike rule.

    Fisk led the charge to disparage the story and the consequences...

    It was an eyeopener to me...


    .

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  59. Well, g, I don't doubt that Arabfat was a thug.

    I don't doubt that he was a corrupt thug and don't doubt that he'd have an ice pick put in your friend's brain, if he thought it'd advance his cause.

    But also, I do not doubt that Mr Churchill and company drew the current map of the Middle East.
    I do not doubt that the US was involved in the Iranian coup that installed the Shah, in Iran.

    I certainly do not doubt that Mr Fisk is corrupt, as well.
    But that does not invalidate the truths in what he said, nor does his telling of some truths confirm or validate the idea that all of his statements are true.

    Knowing, as we do, that Mr Obama had a ghost writer for his books.

    The basic truth, though, that the US influence in Egypt was bought with guns, tanks, helicopters and training for the military. Not with doctors, teachers and agricultural advisory.

    Same goes for Saudi Arabia, Jordon, Lebanon, the UAE, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    The truth remains that the US and the "Anglo Axis" has supported regimes in the Middle East, to include Arabfat's, that did not promote the principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence.

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  60. It is also true that Obama removed the bust of the head map-maker from the Oval Office, and sent it back to England.


    For what it's worth.

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  61. The man is definitely Not an "Anglophile." :)

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  62. True enough, rufus, about Mr Obama.

    While Mr Bush certainly was an old school Anglophile, to an extreme that did not benefit the people of the United States.

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  63. At the risk of incurring the wrath of the current bar flies I have to admit that I blame Wilson as much as anyone for the current state of affairs in the MENA...

    And I'm ducking for cover when I say that I'm one of those that thinks that the state of Israel should have included Jordan...

    Blame Lawrence for that...

    But that's history.

    I suppose, if pressed, I'm a Paulian today...

    .

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  64. Rat, did you know Henry Crown, Lester Crown's daddy, was all mixed up with the Chicago Crime Family, and thus Jack Ruby?

    And, that he was "pulling strings" (some say, "inventing") the Warren Commission.

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  65. Woodrow Wilson? I doubt you'll draw much "ire" there, Gnossos.

    I doubt he has too many big-time fans at the bar.

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  66. Paulian, I haven’t heard about that in years.

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  67. That the Crown's had crime connections, I knew, rufus.

    He was part of our own home grown crime syndicate that revolved around Kemper Marley and the Valley National Bank. Which financed the mob hotels built in Las Vegas

    VNB was tied to Continental Bank % Trust of Chi-town, which was the Crown Bank.

    I did not know that they were invested in the "Single Bullet Theory" and the Warren Commission.

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  68. I understand where Fisk is at from the level of an expat’s point of view. It’s called going country. You come to realize what you thought and were taught is not as it is. You end up in an alternate world where you stand apart from your old home and new and come to a new view of reality. It is not important to totally agree with a Fisk or disagree. The same with a Hitchens, but these are intelligent thinking men and it helps to add a dimension to what is accepted for doctrine by the spinmeisters in Congress, the media and the hired guns of the puppetmasters.

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  69. fair and balanced at the bar.

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  70. Henry Crown's Solicitor was tasked with Organizing the Warren Commission.

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  71. Ruby, also, had connections to one of the Supremes, Tom Clark.

    Tom Clark, also, was criticized, as a U.S. Attorney, for moddleycoddling Chitown gangsters.

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  72. oppositionresearchMon Dec 19, 04:47:00 PM EST


    Q&A: Chicago’s Lester Crown on how his family doles out charity

    Chicago’s Crown and Pritzker families will be among 10 recipients of the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy being awarded Thursday in New York. The award is given every two years to individuals and families with exceptional and sustained records of philanthropic giving, according to the Carnegie Corp. How does a billionaire guide his charitable giving? We asked industrialist Lester Crown, chairman of Henry Crown & Co., who will accept the award on behalf of his family.

    Q: How did you determine what causes you wanted to focus on?

    A: Our agenda for philanthropic work centers on, in order, Jewish causes and needs locally, nationally and internationally, and that’s primarily Israel, obviously. (Then) local needs of Chicago. Three, education, and four is everything: It includes medical, arts and culture, and all civic matters.
    We lived in the right country at the right time and have been extremely fortunate. When you have been that fortunate, you owe a great deal back to the society. Under Jewish tradition it’s called tzedakah. It really means responsibility. … The responsibility that you have to others.

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  73. Developing the single bullet theory while working for the Commission did not hinder Arlen Specter's career.

    Amazing thing, how all the assassins in the US were lone lunatic gunmen.

    Except, of course, for JW Booth.

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  74. Speaking of "intelligent" men: Lee Harvey Oswald was assigned to "Language School," to study Russian.

    Then, of course, he became Naval Intelligence. Supposedly, "defected" to Russia, and came home a few months later, dragging a Russian Admiral's daughter with him.

    Next surfaces handing out "fair play for Cuba" (Pro-Castro) fliers around the corner from the offices of Naval Intelligence, and FBI.

    He wuz a spook. They didn't send dummies to Language School, and put'em to work at Naval Intelligence.

    Hell of a plan that highly intelligent spook put together, wasn't it?

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  75. Le'ssee, first he buys a worthless piece of garbage rifle, and scope from a Mexican mail-order outfit.

    Then, he positions himself at a workplace where everyone knows him.

    Then, he develops an escape plan which seems to consist of wandering around, walking a mile to his home, and taking in a movie.

    What could go wrong?

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  76. My reality, the last days of a failing relationship, A simmering resentment builds up between you as every little disagreement escalates from socks left on the floor to world war 3 until eventually one of you calls a halt to the charade and ends it and moves in with friends for a few nights and your favorite liquid vice.

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  77. Oh, I forgot; he had to stop on the ground floor for a sandwich, and a coke.

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  78. Can't have a viable escape plan w/o stopping for a sandwich and a coke.

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  79. Mea Culpa

    I had my banks confused.

    Mr Crown was involved with First Chicago Bank, which along with the VNB were, both, bought out by Bank One and then subsequently JP Morgan Chase.

    The story remains the same, with only the names of the Chi-town banks changed.

    Continental, the first of the banks that were "To Large to Fail", but did.
    Which may be why it remains in my brain.

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  80. The pedicure/manicure thing should have been the dead giveaway, Tr . . . er, Jenny. :)

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  81. Who are you going to believe?

    The "official" story or one that fits the facts?

    Whether in Dallas, the eastern Mediterranean or the frontier border zone of Afpakistan.

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  82. I thought McCarry in his "Tears of Autumn" spun a pretty good yarn on the Kennedy business...

    .

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  83. I've never read that one. I'll try to get hold of it. When was it published?

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  84. .

    Divorces are never clean cut, not something that happens overnight.

    With mine, I ended up getting drafted three times (must be close to a record).

    Funny story (not ha ha funny, but you know, funny).

    .

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  85. wiki ...

    The Tears of Autumn (1974) is American author Charles McCarry's second novel, and the second novel in the Paul Christopher series.
    [edit] Plot

    In November 1963, American intelligence officer Paul Christopher investigates the assassination of US President John F Kennedy. Believing that the Kennedy White House was behind the assassination of Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem, Christopher deduces that Vietnamese leaders had Kennedy assassinated as revenge. When one of Kennedy's former advisers threatens Christopher not to discuss the matter with anyone else, Christopher quits the Agency and heads to Vietnam to find the truth.

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  86. Drafted 3 Times?

    That one sounds like it could be getting close to ha ha funny (at least after a sufficient number of your favorite alcoholic beverage.) :)

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  87. Vietnam? :)

    To search for the "Truth?"

    Now THAT is Ha Ha funny.


    I think the "truth" lies a bit closer to home.

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  88. David Ignatius: First you mention the killing of Diem in Vietnam. A fellow spy novelist Charles McCarry argued, Charles McCarry was a CIA officer himself, argued in a classic American spy novel called “The Tears of Autumn”, that there was a link between this assassination of Diem, this Vietnamese leader, and the assassination of Kennedy. A lot of people at the Agency who knew the secret that you’re gonna tell us in a minute, was convinced that this was an allegory, in that McCarry was really talking about the link between the Kennedy’s administration efforts through the CIA to assassinate Fidel Castro and the eventual assassination of President Kennedy. So take us back, that story is very well told in your book, and just walk us through the remarkable story of how he tried to kill Castro and the possibility that President Kennedy was himself was murdered in some way we still don’t understand, and your response to that.

    Tim Weiner: From the moment John Kennedy was assassinated to the end of his own Presidency, Lyndon Johnson was convinced the killing of John Kennedy was either the act of divine retribution for the murder of Diem or blowback from the attempt to kill Fidel Castro. The labyrinth that the CIA wandered into after the murder of the President was profound and dark.

    Segment break.

    David Ignatius: Tell us a little about this story and what happened after.

    Tim Weiner: The roots of the story lies at the end of the end of the Eisenhower Presidency, when the CIA was authorized, although there is nothing on paper, to get rid of Castro in a political sense, not to kill him. After the Bay of Pigs in the spring of 61, the stakes went up. And though again there is nothing on paper, there is no question that Bobby Kennedy oversaw more than one mission to kill Fidel Castro. The CIA which has a military ethos, believed it was acting under a lawful order from the commander in chief. And saluted smartly and then sort of buried its face in its heads, and said oh Lord, now what? The chemists came up with poison pills, they never go there. The mafia was enlisted to put the poison pills or to get a thug next to Castro and blow his head off, nothing worked. And finally in the last days of President Kennedy’s life, dashing Desmond Fitzgerald, the man most like James Bond in the CIA, he drove a Jaguar, he lived in a beautiful house in Georgetown. He made a contact, a face to face contact with a Cuban Major who did not like Fidel Castro at all. And they talked about murder weapons, rifles, telescopic sights, silencers, and there were meetings.

    David Ignatius: Des Fitzgerald said that he was there, I think your book says he was there on behalf of Robert Kennedy. Is that right?

    Tim Weiner: He said was there as an emissary for Bobby Kennedy which was dangerously close to the truth if not the whole truth itself.

    David Ignatius: And shortly thereafter President Kennedy is killed in Dallas by Lee Harvey Oswald a man who we know defected to the Soviet Union but arguably more important had been at the Soviet embassy in Mexico City seeking to go to Cuba. Who had all sorts of involvement with Cuba issues. In your own mind Tim what is your judgement if in fact there is a link between the CIA’s efforts to kill Castro which were clear and documented and the murder of JFK?

    Tim Weiner: There’s no evidence to connect the CIA to a murder of an American president. And the thought is so abhorrent that it’s difficult to even speak but Lyndon Johnson believed that there was a direct connection that Kennedy was trying to kill Castro but Castro got to him first.

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  89. David Ignatius: I didn’t mean to suggest that the CIA killed Kennedy which I think is preposterous but that Castro knowing that we were going after him, decided to go after our President. On a scale of 0 to 100 what level of credence would you give it?

    Tim Weiner: What’s crucial is that in the minutes and hours and days and weeks after the assassination of President Kennedy, the CIA had a mountain of leads, pieces of circumstantial evidence, that very strongly suggested that Lee Harvey Oswald was a Cuban agent or a Soviet agent. And the question only admits two proofs. Either the Communists tried to kill Kennedy or they didn’t. And either Lee Harvey Oswald got off a million to one shot with a mail order rifle or he didn’t. And Richard Helms who had to pursue this question from November 1963 through the next decade said the question would always be an open book.

    David Ignatius: And in your mind you’re the historian, what’s your judgement? I keep trying to be clear on this.

    Tim Weiner: My judgement is that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. But that there is absolutely no strong proof that takes you down the road that the Soviets or the Cubans killed Kennedy. When the Soviet and Cuban files are opened, if they are ever opened, we will know.

    David Ignatius: I’ll mention one brief anecdote that sticks in my mind on this subject. Like you Tim, I talked fairly often to Richard Helms who had been director of the CIA. And in the late 1980’s I was the editor of the Washington Post’s opinion section called “Outlook”. And in that capacity I commissioned an article that discussed in part for the first time the remarkable link in time between Des Fitzgerald’s meetings in Paris with the Cuban agent, I think his name was Rubella, and the subsequent Kennedy assassination. And I got a phone call after it was published from Dick Helms and he was furious. And he thought, this was very unusual, you know he was one of the most calm and reasoned man I ever met, a gentleman’s gentleman. And a remarkable man and one of the heroes of this book I think but I want to talk about that in a minute. Here he was on the phone and he was really upset that we had published this. I will always think that Dick Helms had this awful gnawing fear that it was conceivable, remote but coneivable that there was a connection and he didn’t like to see that connection explored in print as we did in this Outlook article. You talked often with Dick Helms did you have that same feeling that this ate at him a little bit.

    Tim Weiner: I think the uncertainty over whether there was a Soviet conspiracy to kill Kennedy or a Cuban conspiracy ate at him mightily.

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  90. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Those changes, however, are fueling expectations among North Koreans for change and are likely to make the road ahead rougher for the younger Kim, said Cui Yingjiu, a retired professor of Korean language at Peking University in Beijing and a former classmate of Kim Jong Il's in Pyongyang in the 1960s.

    "The old way of thinking is changing. The time for dictators has passed," he said.

    "They see the changes in China. They're only thinking about money now."

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  92. CAIRO - After 10 months of trying to cloak their power in civilian robes, Egypt's military rulers made clear Monday that they are governing by martial law alone.

    ReplyDelete
  93. I used to think we could carry on trying to make things work at least in in a totally dysfunctional way or at least address the issues that are the root cause, have proper grown up conversations, make the required changes and get things on a proper sound footing or the best position but you had to fuck it up. You fucking asshole!!

    ReplyDelete
  94. I would want two snipers, experienced in wet-work, in different locations, and a patsy. A plan for killing the patsey, and a plan for killing the one that killed the patsy. Also, something that would lead the attention away from myself (like a peripheral "mafia" connection. Or, maybe, a "Russian/Cuban" connection.

    I would have to trust that I had the connections to assure a cover-up. That would require a sponsor in the highest of places.

    I would have to have personnel capable of killing the assassins, and personnel capable, and willing, to kill the ones that killed the assassins.

    ReplyDelete
  95. And, I'd have to have a DAMNED Good Reason.

    In short, I'd have to be the Director of the CIA, working in concert with the Vice President of the United States.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Well you're a ruthless son of a bitch Rufus.


    Get separate checking accounts first thing, Jenny.


    b

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  97. Then Rufus you'd have to have someone kill you too lest you talk sometime in your old age.

    b

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  98. And, you'd deserve it.

    b

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  99. Men think with their dick, . . . Jenny.


    Why do women keep thinking that "this one is different?"

    ReplyDelete
  100. I am sitting in darkness listening to white fucking christmas waiting for Moodys to downgrade me.

    ReplyDelete
  101. One that would allow the sinking of a US Navy ship, to create an excuse to take the Suez Canal, from the natives?

    A fella that died a multimillionaire, while having spent his entire career on the public payroll?

    ReplyDelete
  102. And, Jenny, for God's sake don't sleep together. I mean as in, snoresnore.

    People weren't designed to sleep together for three or four decades.

    Think about separate rooms, even.

    If this sounds a little radical, think how you would want to arrange things if you were living with, say, Rufus.

    b

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  103. .

    Seemed like there was a time all my friends were getting divorced.

    First thing I learned was not to take sides, and there are always two sides. Unless you are part of the relationship you have no idea what is going on.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  104. That was the #1, very first thing I did.

    Closed my bank account.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Do you know how stressful it is to get used to a new dick when the old one was perfect?

    ReplyDelete
  106. You should be listening to White Rabbit.

    ReplyDelete
  107. .

    As for being downgraded, it didn't seem to hurt the U.S. too much.

    And I like White Christmas, especially sipping a little Remy Martin.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  108. :) Sounds like you need to keep on looking, Dearie.

    ReplyDelete
  109. .

    Do you know how stressful it is to get used to a new dick when the old one was perfect?


    No.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  110. If your guy is anything like Quirk you might keep it together by getting separate houses, and arranging some visitation rights for one another.


    b

    ReplyDelete
  111. .

    Think about separate rooms, even.


    That only works until the partner takes a roommate.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  112. Do you know how stressful it is to get used to a new dick when the old one was perfect?


    No.


    Me neither.

    b

    ReplyDelete
  113. Yeah, you're looking at it entirely from the wrong angle. You should be having a lot of fun out there exploring new things.

    Man, I tried on a lot of new and different fitting pussies with my new found freedom.

    Happy times.

    ReplyDelete
  114. We got two perfect dicks here, the crapper and the orthodox jew.

    b

    ReplyDelete
  115. He was hunting geese up in the slough. He leaned

    the old 16 gauge against the corner of the blind
    to take a leak. As luck would have it, the foolish
    dog knocks the gun over, it goes off and Ole took
    most of an ounce of # four shot in the groin.
    Several hours later, lying in a Duluth hospital
    bed he comes to, and there is his doctor, Sven.

    "Vell, Ole, I got some goot news and some bat
    news. Da goot news is dat you are going to be OK.
    Da damage vas local to your groin. Dere vas very
    little internal damage, and ve vere able to remove
    all of da buckshot."

    "Vhat's the bat news?," asks Ole.

    "Da bat news is dat dere vas some pretty extensive
    buckshot damage done to your penis. I'm going to
    have to refer you to my sister, Lena ."

    "Vell, I guess dat isn't too bad," says Ole. "Is
    your sister a plastic surgeon?"

    "Not exactly," Sven says. "She's a flute player in
    the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra. She's going to
    teach you vhere to put your fingers so you don't
    piss in your eye."

    ReplyDelete
  116. For Rufus, for the next time he goes abeer drinkin' in the very ancient near east----

    In some ways, Ur Nammu's code is more advanced. For instance, it prescribes a fine for someone who takes out another person's vision, rather than an eye for an eye. Scholars are already aware of much of the code from later versions.

    However, the fact that this is the earliest known edition allows researchers to compare it with later copies and see how it evolved. For instance, the copy sheds light on one of the oddest rules governing what you should pay a "female tavern-keeper" who gives you a jar of beer.

    Apparently, if you have the female keeper put the beer on your tab during the summer, she will have the right to extract a tax from you, of unknown amount, in winter.

    "If a female tavern-keeper gives (in) summer one beer-jar to someone on credit its nigdiri-tax will be (...) in win(ter)..." (Translation by Miguel Civil)

    The lesson? If you live in ancient Mesopotamia, don't put the beer on your tab.


    Full Report On New Finds Here

    b

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  117. The missing voice in all this is the voters. Talks with dozens of Republicans in Iowa last week revealed a lot of undecided voters, but little longing for a new candidate.

    "There is no passionate demand for a new candidate at the moment," says pollster Scott Rasmussen.

    Perhaps that could change in the future -- never say never -- but the overwhelming likelihood is that the 2012 GOP nominee will be one of the current field.

    ReplyDelete
  118. It's frightening that Ron Paul is taken seriously by anyone.


    b

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  119. Some dude at Belmont Club saying time is ripe for China to take NK and Taiwan simultaneously to negate US influence in the region.

    Says the Chinese would sense Obama would do nothing about it.

    ReplyDelete
  120. You know the media and establishment is in overdrive about Ron Paul. “Racist" is the word of the day. Everything else has bounced off him.

    Racist my ass.

    ReplyDelete
  121. If China takes over Taiwan, they had better kiss off their overseas trade and say hello to a nuclear Japan and a nuclear Viet Nam. They would also be amazed at how vulnerable they would be to a nuclear Australia. The Indians would be none to happy and the Russians way start getting nervous about their unpopulated east. I think the Chinese are smarter than that. After all, we pay first class to get gasoline sent to our troops in Afghanistan and the Chinese are digging the World’s second largest copper mine.

    ReplyDelete
  122. The net result would be increased US influence in the region.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Poor thing.

    Former Venezuelan beauty queen Eva Ekvall has died of breast cancer at the age of 28.

    She died in hospital in Houston in the US on Saturday, her family said.

    Eva Ekvall was crowned Miss Venezuela in 2000 and was also a Miss Universe finalist. She worked as a model, actress and television presenter.

    She wrote a book about her struggle with the disease that helped raise awareness of it in Venezuela. It included photos of her treatment.

    The book - titled "Fuera de Foco" (Out of Focus) - also featured e-mails to family and friends.

    Her treatment included chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.

    Ms Ekvall knew the images of her bald, sick and without make-up would shock people in Venezuela, where beauty queens are major celebrities and cosmetic surgery is very popular.

    "It's absurd that there should be a taboo about breast cancer in a country of breast implants, where women have few reservations about showing off their surgically-enhanced breasts," she told BBC Mundo in March.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Search: “Ron Paul Racist” :

    About 1,120,000 results (0.12 seconds)

    Oh yea! Just which race has he offended?

    ReplyDelete
  125. I hit a raw nerve there.

    b

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  126. The way I feel when someone calls Sarah Palin 'dumb'.

    b

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  127. Post a video showing a smart Sarah Palin.

    ReplyDelete
  128. I was trying to find Sarah Palin's speech to, I think it was, the Republican National Committee, but failed.

    Deuce had posted it as a thread. You can go back and find it under "Sarah Palin Comes Into Her Own" or some similar title beginning with Sarah.

    One hell of a speech, no teleprompter that I could see, impressed even deuce, or he wouldn't have put it up as a thread.

    I couldn't find it on utube, though I didn't look all that hard. She is introduced by that black guy whose name escapes me right now.



    b

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  129. It was a beautiful speech, and all us males around the bar were having political orgasms....

    b

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