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Sunday, September 29, 2013

“All of N.S.A.’s work has a foreign intelligence purpose,” the spokeswoman added. “Our activities are centered on counterterrorism, counterproliferation and cybersecurity.”


pastedGraphic.pdf
NY TIMES

September 28, 2013

N.S.A. Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens
By JAMES RISEN and LAURA POITRAS

WASHINGTON — Since 2010, the National Security Agency has been exploiting its huge collections of data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans’ social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with officials.
The spy agency began allowing the analysis of phone call and e-mail logs in November 2010 to examine Americans’ networks of associations for foreign intelligence purposes after N.S.A. officials lifted restrictions on the practice, according to documents provided by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor.
The policy shift was intended to help the agency “discover and track” connections between intelligence targets overseas and people in the United States, according to an N.S.A. memorandum from January 2011. The agency was authorized to conduct “large-scale graph analysis on very large sets of communications metadata without having to check foreignness” of every e-mail address, phone number or other identifier, the document said. Because of concerns about infringing on the privacy of American citizens, the computer analysis of such data had previously been permitted only for foreigners.
The agency can augment the communications data with material from public, commercial and other sources, including bank codes, insurance information, Facebook profiles, passenger manifests, voter registration rolls and GPS location information, as well as property records and unspecified tax data, according to the documents. They do not indicate any restrictions on the use of such “enrichment” data, and several former senior Obama administration officials said the agency drew on it for both Americans and foreigners.
N.S.A. officials declined to say how many Americans have been caught up in the effort, including people involved in no wrongdoing. The documents do not describe what has resulted from the scrutiny, which links phone numbers and e-mails in a “contact chain” tied directly or indirectly to a person or organization overseas that is of foreign intelligence interest.
The new disclosures add to the growing body of knowledge in recent months about the N.S.A.’s access to and use of private information concerning Americans, prompting lawmakers in Washington to call for reining in the agency and President Obama to order an examination of its surveillance policies. Almost everything about the agency’s operations is hidden, and the decision to revise the limits concerning Americans was made in secret, without review by the nation’s intelligence court or any public debate. As far back as 2006, a Justice Department memo warned of the potential for the “misuse” of such information without adequate safeguards.
An agency spokeswoman, asked about the analyses of Americans’ data, said, “All data queries must include a foreign intelligence justification, period.”
“All of N.S.A.’s work has a foreign intelligence purpose,” the spokeswoman added. “Our activities are centered on counterterrorism, counterproliferation and cybersecurity.”
The legal underpinning of the policy change, she said, was a 1979 Supreme Court ruling that Americans could have no expectation of privacy about what numbers they had called. Based on that ruling, the Justice Department and the Pentagon decided that it was permissible to create contact chains using Americans’ “metadata,” which includes the timing, location and other details of calls and e-mails, but not their content. The agency is not required to seek warrants for the analyses from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
N.S.A. officials declined to identify which phone and e-mail databases are used to create the social network diagrams, and the documents provided by Mr. Snowden do not specify them. The agency did say that the large database of Americans’ domestic phone call records, which was revealed by Mr. Snowden in June and caused bipartisan alarm in Washington, was excluded. (N.S.A. officials have previously acknowledged that the agency has done limited analysis in that database, collected under provisions of the Patriot Act, exclusively for people who might be linked to terrorism suspects.)
But the agency has multiple collection programs and databases, the former officials said, adding that the social networking analyses relied on both domestic and international metadata. They spoke only on the condition of anonymity because the information was classified.
The concerns in the United States since Mr. Snowden’s revelations have largely focused on the scope of the agency’s collection of the private data of Americans and the potential for abuse. But the new documents provide a rare window into what the N.S.A. actually does with the information it gathers.
A series of agency PowerPoint presentations and memos describe how the N.S.A. has been able to develop software and other tools — one document cited a new generation of programs that “revolutionize” data collection and analysis — to unlock as many secrets about individuals as possible.
The spy agency, led by Gen. Keith B. Alexander, an unabashed advocate for more weapons in the hunt for information about the nation’s adversaries, clearly views its collections of metadata as one of its most powerful resources. N.S.A. analysts can exploit that information to develop a portrait of an individual, one that is perhaps more complete and predictive of behavior than could be obtained by listening to phone conversations or reading e-mails, experts say.
Phone and e-mail logs, for example, allow analysts to identify people’s friends and associates, detect where they were at a certain time, acquire clues to religious or political affiliations, and pick up sensitive information like regular calls to a psychiatrist’s office, late-night messages to an extramarital partner or exchanges with a fellow plotter.
“Metadata can be very revealing,” said Orin S. Kerr, a law professor at George Washington University. “Knowing things like the number someone just dialed or the location of the person’s cellphone is going to allow them to assemble a picture of what someone is up to. It’s the digital equivalent of tailing a suspect.”
The N.S.A. had been pushing for more than a decade to obtain the rule change allowing the analysis of Americans’ phone and e-mail data. Intelligence officials had been frustrated that they had to stop when a contact chain hit a telephone number or e-mail address believed to be used by an American, even though it might yield valuable intelligence primarily concerning a foreigner who was overseas, according to documents previously disclosed by Mr. Snowden. N.S.A. officials also wanted to employ the agency’s advanced computer analysis tools to sift through its huge databases with much greater efficiency.
The agency had asked for the new power as early as 1999, the documents show, but had been initially rebuffed because it was not permitted under rules of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that were intended to protect the privacy of Americans.
A 2009 draft of an N.S.A. inspector general’s report suggests that contact chaining and analysis may have been done on Americans’ communications data under the Bush administration’s program of wiretapping without warrants, which began after the Sept. 11 attacks to detect terrorist activities and skirted the existing laws governing electronic surveillance.
In 2006, months after the wiretapping program was disclosed by The New York Times, the N.S.A.’s acting general counsel wrote a letter to a senior Justice Department official, which was also leaked by Mr. Snowden, formally asking for permission to perform the analysis on American phone and e-mail data. A Justice Department memo to the attorney general noted that the “misuse” of such information “could raise serious concerns,” and said the N.S.A. promised to impose safeguards, including regular audits, on the metadata program. In 2008, the Bush administration gave its approval.
A new policy that year, detailed in “Defense Supplemental Procedures Governing Communications Metadata Analysis,” authorized by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey, said that since the Supreme Court had ruled that metadata was not constitutionally protected, N.S.A. analysts could use such information “without regard to the nationality or location of the communicants,” according to an internal N.S.A. description of the policy.
After that decision, which was previously reported by The Guardian, the N.S.A. performed the social network graphing in a pilot project for 1 ½ years “to great benefit,” according to the 2011 memo. It was put in place in November 2010 in “Sigint Management Directive 424” (sigint refers to signals intelligence).
In the 2011 memo explaining the shift, N.S.A. analysts were told that they could trace the contacts of Americans as long as they cited a foreign intelligence justification. That could include anything from ties to terrorism, weapons proliferation or international drug smuggling to spying on conversations of foreign politicians, business figures or activists.
Analysts were warned to follow existing “minimization rules,” which prohibit the N.S.A. from sharing with other agencies names and other details of Americans whose communications are collected, unless they are necessary to understand foreign intelligence reports or there is evidence of a crime. The agency is required to obtain a warrant from the intelligence court to target a “U.S. person” — a citizen or legal resident — for actual eavesdropping.
The N.S.A. documents show that one of the main tools used for chaining phone numbers and e-mail addresses has the code name Mainway. It is a repository into which vast amounts of data flow daily from the agency’s fiber-optic cables, corporate partners and foreign computer networks that have been hacked.
The documents show that significant amounts of information from the United States go into Mainway. An internal N.S.A. bulletin, for example, noted that in 2011 Mainway was taking in 700 million phone records per day. In August 2011, it began receiving an additional 1.1 billion cellphone records daily from an unnamed American service provider under Section 702 of the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, which allows for the collection of the data of Americans if at least one end of the communication is believed to be foreign.
The overall volume of metadata collected by the N.S.A. is reflected in the agency’s secret 2013 budget request to Congress. The budget document, disclosed by Mr. Snowden, shows that the agency is pouring money and manpower into creating a metadata repository capable of taking in 20 billion “record events” daily and making them available to N.S.A. analysts within 60 minutes.
The spending includes support for the “Enterprise Knowledge System,” which has a $394 million multiyear budget and is designed to “rapidly discover and correlate complex relationships and patterns across diverse data sources on a massive scale,” according to a 2008 document. The data is automatically computed to speed queries and discover new targets for surveillance.
A top-secret document titled “Better Person Centric Analysis” describes how the agency looks for 94 “entity types,” including phone numbers, e-mail addresses and IP addresses. In addition, the N.S.A. correlates 164 “relationship types” to build social networks and what the agency calls “community of interest” profiles, using queries like “travelsWith, hasFather, sentForumMessage, employs.”
A 2009 PowerPoint presentation provided more examples of data sources available in the “enrichment” process, including location-based services like GPS and TomTom, online social networks, billing records and bank codes for transactions in the United States and overseas.
At a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday, General Alexander was asked if the agency ever collected or planned to collect bulk records about Americans’ locations based on cellphone tower data. He replied that it was not doing so as part of the call log program authorized by the Patriot Act, but said a fuller response would be classified.
If the N.S.A. does not immediately use the phone and e-mail logging data of an American, it can be stored for later use, at least under certain circumstances, according to several documents.
One 2011 memo, for example, said that after a court ruling narrowed the scope of the agency’s collection, the data in question was “being buffered for possible ingest” later. A year earlier, an internal briefing paper from the N.S.A. Office of Legal Counsel showed that the agency was allowed to collect and retain raw traffic, which includes both metadata and content, about “U.S. persons” for up to five years online and for an additional 10 years offline for “historical searches.”
James Risen reported from Washington and New York. Laura Poitras, a freelance journalist, reported from Berlin.

129 comments:

  1. The NSA may be collecting everything happening on Earth, but they're certainly not preventing terrorism. For example, the Times Square bomber was discovered by a nearby street vendors. The shoe bomber was discovered and stopped by passengers on the plane -- despite the fact that his father pre-warned our 'intelligence' community that his son was a terrorist threat.

    American intelligence is clearly an oxymoron. Collecting everything does nothing more than create a larger haystack for the NSA morons to comb through. This is not rocket science, eh?

    Stop the NSA. What they're doing is not only a waste of time and money. It's destroying the U.S. constitution.

    ReplyDelete
  2. " In order to restore the constitutional liberties that have been eroded by invasive surveillance and end secret interpretations of the law that vastly exceed the intent of Congress, a bipartisan group of lawmakers including Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have introduced legislation to reform domestic surveillance laws and the secret surveillance court. "

    get your reps to support it

    read more:
    http://www.wyden.senate.gov/ne...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm perfectly happy to give up my freedom and civil liberties for intrusive, invasive programs that can effectively detect and prevent domestic and foreign terrorism. The Tsarnaev brothers proved last April that these TIA-like initiatives do not work. Period. They can't even prevent guys who are putting it out there from carrying out attacks. Seriously, read up on what was missed ... if the State Department, ICE, NSA, FBI, and whomever else had their act together this one was preventable.

    My favorite line from the article: "An NSA spokeswoman tells the Times, 'All data queries must include a foreign intelligence justification, period.'" I'm sure there's a reliable, internal audit system in place to make sure of this, seeing as everything is classified and we'll never be able to know otherwise. Not. We're as unsafe as we were on September 10, 2001. Don't kid yourself. It's a complete gamble--a crap shoot. Sometimes intel falls in their lap and they get lucky.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Lucky", you say?

      Do YOU feel "Lucky", punk?
      Well, do you?

      Delete
  4. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers,
    and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be
    violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause,
    supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place
    to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The is no reasonable expectation of privacy in a public place.
      There is no place more open, no place where the people have absolutely no expectation of privacy than ...

      The World Wide Web or any form of wireless communication.

      If you expect any privacy in either realm, your expectations will remain unfulfilled.
      The WWW and wireless communications are not people, houses, utilize no paper and are not the user's property, but are public conveyances that are open to exhibit of anyone that wants to look. That is the expectation that the people should have when using the World Wide Web or wireless communication. Almost all electronic voice communications are wireless at some point in their voyage from the lips of the speaker to the ear of the listener..

      Delete
  5. True, but many records are already available to any law enforcement agency with administrative subpoena power (which is most federal agencies.) Tax records are held by state and federal governments and property records are generally public. As far as I'm concerned, if you go on a "social media" website and upload your information and photos to a server-God-knows-where you've essentially given up any right to privacy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, spying on its own citizens has become an essential function of the United States. Americans should not worry, therefore, that such activities will be negatively affected by a government shutdown.

      Delete
  6. Check out each one of these below links ... it's what came up in about ten minutes of searching for FBI "stings" that have prevented terrorist attacks. Take a few
    minutes to read each; I selected the links that tell each story best. More are available on each.
    The recurring theme in each goes something like this: An FBI agent or informant approach some not-so-bright individual(s) and develops a relationship. He later suggests an action that could facilitate a terrorist attack. These targeted individuals are typically destitute. He offers money. Sometimes a second undercover FBI agent plays the connection on the other side of the false scheme, and the target is the connection between the two. No matter, it’s still a crime.
    Now, before you think this is the feds targeting Muslims, get ready for a surprise: one story is about a militia group in WV and another is an anti-Muslim pair who wanted to use a secret death ray to kill Israel’s enemies:

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com...

    http://www.news10.com/story/22...

    http://www.timesunion.com/loca...

    http://bbs.clutchfans.net/show...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...

    http://articles.latimes.com/19...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M...

    The "fireman" in the last story was actually an undercover policeman who provided the blueprints at the request of an ATF agent. To coerce him to keep his mouth shut afterward “Paul” was given a cushy DOJ position with the US Marshals Service, paid relocation included. But don’t believe me, check it out on your own. This one happened just as the internet was getting going in the mid-90s so you need to dig deeper.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Forget the US government targeting people because of their religion, back in the day, they targeted folks that were successful, that while not destitute, needed an influx of cash. The government would target people that were desperate.

      People like John DeLorean, the automotive engineer and entrepreneur.
      Here is Joh DeLorean's tale of persecution by the Federal government of the United States, as told at Wikipedia.

      In the summer of 1982, DeLorean received a phone call from James Hoffman, a former drug smuggler turned FBI informant.[citation needed] DeLorean met with Hoffman on July 11, 1982, to discuss an investment opportunity to help save his company. Over the course of the next three months, Hoffman slowly explained his intricate plan involving cocaine smugglers, a bank for laundering money, and the specifics of how much money DeLorean would be required to front to procure the deal.[citation needed] DeLorean went along with these discussions only agreeing that what was being suggested would work, he had been talking to his attorney who advised him to just stall and not give the money, which was supposed to be paid to James Hoffman as a commission for brokering a deal between DeLorean Motor Company and potential "investors".[citation needed]

      DeLorean avoided paying the money by lying and stating that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) had control of the money and had placed the money to pay fees to the British government. He was told by Benedict, an "investor," communicated that DeLorean had put him in a bad spot and that it would be a "bloody mess", construed as a threat that later DeLorean was told meant his daughter would be harmed if he did not cooperate.[citation needed] DeLorean was told to make it look like the money was there so the deal could go through. On October 19, before going to meet the investors to consummate the deal, DeLorean wrote a letter to his attorney and sealed it, with instructions to open it only if he did not return. The letter explained the situation he was in and his fear for his family's safety if he tried to back out of the deal. On October 19, 1982, DeLorean was charged with trafficking in cocaine by the U.S. government.

      DeLorean successfully defended himself with a procedural defense, despite video evidence of his referring to a suitcase full of cocaine as "good as gold" – arguing that the FBI had enticed a convicted narcotics smuggler to get him to supply the money to buy the cocaine. His attorney stated in Time (March 19, 1984),
      "This [was] a fictitious crime. Without the government, there would be no crime."
      The DeLorean defense team did not call any witnesses. DeLorean was found not guilty because of entrapment on August 16, 1984.


      Entrapment is a standard police procedure, if the target has good lawyers, he may not go to prison.

      Delete
  7. News from Aipacistan


    The Lobby Sets Out To Defeat Obama on Iran

    25 SEP
    The two presidents have spoken: Barack Obama and Hassan Rouhani. And they are on the same page. By that I mean not they agree about the issues dividing the two countries but that they are both ready to move forward, to test each other and see if agreement is possible.

    As tentative as this is, it is also huge — as anyone who has paid even a little attention over the past 34 years knows.

    However, I do not see this process leading anywhere because the Netanyahu government and its lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), are both determined to end the process and have the ability to do it.

    They intend to use the United States Congress to pass resolutions that will cause Rouhani to walk away by making clear that Congress will accept nothing short of an Iranian surrender on nuclear issues. Although President Obama wants to negotiate with Iran about ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program not be used to produce weapons, the lobby, which writes the laws imposing sanctions on Iran, insists that Iran give up its nuclear program entirely.

    AIPAC listed its demands in a statement last week.

    The bottom line is this: Congress must not consider lifting economic sanctions until the Iranians stop uranium enrichment, stop work on installing new centrifuges, allow international inspection of nuclear sites, and move out of the country its stockpile of highly enriched uranium. In contrast to the administration which, recognizing that Iran (like every other country) has the right to nuclear power for peaceful purposes, AIPAC says that Iran has no such right. (Israel, of course, has a large stockpile of nuclear weapons but, hey, that’s different).

    Not only that, if Iran does not agree to total nuclear surrender, “The United States must support Israel’s right to act against Iran if it feels compelled—in its own legitimate self-defense—to act.”

    In other words: the only way for Iran to avoid a military attack is by totally dismantling all its nuclear facilities and potential (to address the “potential,” Israel has repeatedly assassinated Iranian nuclear scientists on Iranian soil). This contrasts with the U.S. view that each step toward compliance by Iran would result in the lifting of some sanctions.

    AIPAC is already preparing legislation that will send a clear message to Rouhani: don’t bother reaching out to the west because you will achieve nothing.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who with Robert Menendez (D-NJ), is AIPAC’s top lieutenant in the Senate says that “if nothing changes in Iran, come September or October, “ he will introduce a bill “to authorize the use of military force to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb.” He says that the “only way to convince Iran to halt their nuclear program is to make it clear that we will take it out.”

    Senators Menendez, Chuck Schumer (D-NY, John McCain and Graham also sent letters to President Obama urging “full compliance” by Iran before the United States offers anything. In short, led by AIPAC, the senators want “unconditional surrender” by Iran to avoid attack. This is diplomacy? It sounds more like the way the Germans and later the Russians addressed Czechoslovakia.

    But why would anyone think the Senate will pass AIPAC’s war bills. The answer is simply that the midterm elections are coming up and that means Members of Congress need campaign cash. And AIPAC helps provide it.

    Remember what AIPAC’s former #2 guy, Steve Rosen (later indicted under the Espionage Act) told New Yorker writer Jeff Goldberg in 2005. Goldberg asked Rosen just how powerful AIPAC is. Goldberg described Rosen’s response.

    A half smile appeared on his face, and he pushed a napkin across the table. “You see this napkin?” he said. “In twenty-four hours, we could have the signatures of seventy senators on this napkin.”

    Obama better be prepared. AIPAC has been pushing war with Iran for a decade. Its bills to achieve it won’t be written on napkins.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually Iran has been pushing war for decades.

      AIPAC stands for a strong America and a safe israel.

      Sorry you cannot comprehend that.

      If you think Iran is serious about real peace? Go for it.

      Just watch their actions and not their words.

      Let's see Iran accept all member states of the UN as equals.

      Let's see Iran stop providing billions in aid for missiles and rockets targeting Israel's civilians.

      Let's see Iran come clean, as America has come clean in the 1953 over throw of their president, with the admitting of attempting to bomb a DC restaurant, bombing Jewish Community Centers and targeting Iranian dissidents in England with murder.

      Let's see Iran stop supplying hamas with weapons, cash and rockets.

      Let's see Iran send offer relations with Israel as well as the USA.

      If Iran's peace is conditional with the murder of Israel? Israel will not cooperate, nor will the majority of the Congress. Unlike those on this blog, they value allies like Israel.

      Delete
  8. http://mjayrosenberg.com/2013/09/25/aipac-sets-out-to-defeat-obama-on-iran/

    ReplyDelete
  9. Remember what AIPAC’s former #2 guy, Steve Rosen (later indicted under the Espionage Act) told New Yorker writer Jeff Goldberg in 2005. Goldberg asked Rosen just how powerful AIPAC is. Goldberg described Rosen’s response.

    A half smile appeared on his face, and he pushed a napkin across the table. “You see this napkin?” he said. “In twenty-four hours, we could have the signatures of seventy senators on this napkin.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And yet AIPAC could not get Obama to recognize that the Western Wall in Jerusalem is israeli.

      Your koolaid is quite strong.

      Delete
  10. A half smile appeared on his face, and he pushed a napkin across the table. “You see this napkin?” he said. “In twenty-four hours, we could have the signatures of seventy senators on this napkin.”

    ReplyDelete
  11. Is there a more sinister and more potentially scurrilous organization in US politics than AIPAC? Consider the cynical cocksure bastard Steve Rosen passing his blank napkin.

    M J Rosenberg has:

    Steve Rosen, the guy fired by AIPAC after his indictment for espionage, is back.

    That, in itself, is amazing. You’d think he would be hiding in the Negev. But, hey, OJ Simpson stuck around after he was acquitted, and the government did drop its case against Rosen after people like Congresswoman Jane Harman turned on the pressure.

    Anyway Rosen is worried because President Obama put it in a position where it has no choice but to publicly lobby for war with Syria in order to get the war it wants with Iran. Rosen hates it when AIPAC’s doings are exposed. (with good reason), He explained why in a 1982 memo to me that I later leaked to the Washington Post.

    This is how the Post reported it:

    Rosen, for example, wrote in a 1982 memo that AIPAC…should lead opinion in the Jewish community and “reward friends and punish enemies.” It also should provide politicians with usable pro-Israel arguments and show them “that we are watching,” the memo said. He added two “caveats:” That “hostile ears are always listening” and that “a lobby is a night flower: it thrives in the dark and dies in the sun.”

    But now AIPAC’s doings are all over the media. It is the lobby publicly pushing Congress to approve war with Syria. If Congress says no, AIPAC looks like a paper tiger and it will know that the chances of getting war with Iran are nil.

    I’m praying (it’s Rosh Ha Shana) that Congress votes NO. We can stop two wars.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you M J Rosenberg, let’s stop the next war with Iran with a coalition of like minded thinking human beings not cowered by the cowards who slime their betters with the AIPAC-er approved anti-semite thought toxin and discourse dissuasion elixir.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Former AIPAC official warns against US ‘retreat’ from Israel’s ‘permanent reality’– conflict

    Philip Weiss on September 5, 2013

    The author of the famous statement that the Israel lobby is a “night flower,” former AIPAC official Steven J. Rosen at Foreign Policy explains how painful it is for the lobby to have to come into the sunlight on the Syria question. But the risk of silence was too great, losing a precedent for American military action against Iran:

    Pesident Barack Obama’s decision to make Congress decide on the course of the Syrian intervention has put the pro-Israel camp just where it did not want to be: openly advocating American military involvement in the volatile Middle East. It’s a calculation based on the lesser of two evils, the greater being risking Washington’s withdrawal from leadership on global security just as Iran crosses the nuclear threshold. No one has a greater stake in a strong United States — and the credibility of America’s deterrent capability — than Israel and the Jewish people. Indeed, many of the arguments that motivate the president’s opponents on Syria could also apply in the event that a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities becomes necessary.

    Rosen is rightly fearful that the American public will see this as a war for Israel:

    Yet this is a debate about the American national interest, and most American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) supporters do not want it to degenerate into a debate about Israel. Most agree with former Israeli Ambassador Itamar Rabinovitch that, “It’s bad for Israel [if] the average American gets it into his or her mind that boys are again sent to war for Israel.”

    Paralyzed by these fears, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and AIPAC supporters in Washington remained nearly silent for weeks,… [T]hey remained quiet even after Obama indicated that he was preparing a military strike. They did not want to be drawn into a political melee in a deeply divided Congress, risking strains in the bipartisan support for Israel that forms the bedrock of the U.S.-Israel relationship.

    And though I often think our views at this site are marginalized, note how our drumbeat about the neoconservative and lobby support for the Iraq war has helped define the US discourse among Democrats, per Rosen:

    …Israel’s detractors never cease asserting that the Iraq War was fought on Israel’s behalf, and that belief has eroded support for Israel on the left wing of the Democratic Party.
    {…}

    ReplyDelete
  14. {…}

    Rosen seeks to explain the power of the lobby, without talking about the money that it gives.

    As a White House official told the New York Times, AIPAC is “the 800-pound gorilla in the room” because it has close relations with and access to a vast array of members on both sides of the aisle and on all sides of the debate. Simply put, the president has staked a lot of political capital on the gambit to sway Congress on his Syria plan — and he needs AIPAC’s support….[T]he main thing is the mobilization of AIPAC’s vast network of trusted “key contacts” to speak privately with members they know well.

    Rosen is afraid of “isolationism” and “a wider U.S. retreat in the Middle East…. [that] would certainly undermine the campaign to prevent Iran from completing its nuclear weapons program.”

    Apparently retreat is what most Americans want now. They don’t see any profit in our continuing engagement in unrest, one root of which is the lack of acceptance of Israel, an occupier.

    Rosen is reduced to pro-Israel doctrine, it lives in a terrible neighborhood and doesn’t have security (Hey, who chose Palestine?):

    Americans and Brits are far away, but Israel’s permanent reality is that it lives in that very bad neighborhood, faced with an existential crisis and a Syrian civil war in danger of spiraling out of control. That is why, while Americans are divided on the issue, an overwhelming majority of Israelis are hoping President Obama will prevail.



    The permanent reality. So that means war after war after war. No wonder Americans are balking at this vision for the future.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2013/09/former-aipac-official-warns-against-us-retreat-from-israels-permanent-reality-conflict.html

    ReplyDelete

  15. About M.J. Rosenberg
    M.J. Rosenberg served as a Senior Foreign Policy Fellow with Media Matters Action Network, and prior to that worked on Capitol Hill for various Democratic members of the House and Senate for 15 years. He was also a Clinton political appointee at USAID. In the early 1980s, he was editor of AIPACs weekly newsletter Near East Report. From 1998-2009, he was director of policy at Israel Policy Forum. You can follow his work at mjayrosenberg.com.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Only seventy Senators?

    This really ticks me off. I'm paying dues and all I get is seventy Senators?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe they just need a little more time. Another 24 hours.For the full one hundred.

      The group is very good, I'm proud to be a member.

      Meanwhile CAIR sits in the White House.

      Delete
    2. Put your slippers on and change your pajamas. Your oatmeal is getting cold and quit forgetting to flush the toilet.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous supports those that are complicit in genocide ...
      Those that are guilty of Crimes Against Humanity ...

      And he is proud of it.

      May God have mercy on his soul.
      He is going to need it.

      Delete
  17. Netanyahu and his flunkies and flacks in AIPAC and the US Conga Line are going to do everything possible to sabotage Obama’s potential rapprochement with Iran. It will be put into high gear by Netanyahu. It is his obsession and current mission to the US.

    Real US interests, of non-hyphenated US workers and middle class Americans have no interest in continued US economic aggression and military threats against Iran.

    The permanent war party and the military-indusrtrial-financial complex will fight back hard.

    There will be false-flag operations designed to derail the process. The Saudis may well sponsor the projects

    Israel will milk the US treasury for every last drop in the federal tit as recompense for their perceived diplomatic loss. That is SOP for Israel and will continue until there are enough honest men and women of character in the US Congress who will put the interests of the the people of Detroit, Philadelphia and Chicago over the interests of European settlers and homesteaders on Israeli occupied lands in Palestine.

    The continued degradation of US security and civil rights, the plunder of US privacy by federal agencies such as the NSA, highlighted in this post, is all related to the insane US foreign policy foisted on the US public by the political pirates and commercial buccaneers in DC.

    Simple human behavior will dictate if you harm others, they will return the compliment. Blow-back and revenge or whatever you care to call it is as old as mankind. It will never change. Quit fucking with people in their own countries will not stop the wreckage that has been wrought by the Islamists, the Bible thumpers and the zionists. It will be a start.

    Minding our own business should be a virtue. Now it is a necessity and the obstructionists, the Neocons, the McCains, The money interests, the stink tanks on the Potomac need to be given their just rewards.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here they come, wild and unbelievable charges are already in the air.

      ludicrous on their face.

      Minister Steinitz tells NYT 'Iran is maybe world's most aggressive country ...

      It should be a stand-up comedy act on SNL, not a serious position for a supposed ally of the US to take.
      There has not been any aggression by Iran. They have not invaded any other country.

      The Israeli need to substantiate their wild and unreasonable claims.
      The must supply a data set concerning Iranian aggression ...
      Where, when, who, how?

      Then we could get to why, but not before the first four points are answered.

      Delete
  19. Then there's Rupert Murdoch, owner of the Wall Street Journal and Fox News.

    Fox News - now, there's a trip. Co-owned by Rupert Mudoch (super aggressive Zionist,) and Saudi Prince Alwaleed.

    Poor little old ethanol hardly has a chance.

    ReplyDelete
  20. oh, wow, good thing I read this place because I understand all now:

    Israel is pissed because of the Obama phone conversation so AIPAC is shutting down the US government.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Misdirection, ash, all good magic acts use it.
      There is a triumvirate of smoke, mirrors and misdirection.

      Some of it floats in the breeze, but obscures the reality beyond

      Some events seem visible on the surface, but ...
      ... location, location, location, it is really not where it appears be.

      Some of the the most malevolent subterfuge goes on at depth.

      Israel is pissed, if they can't get their war of aggression now ...
      Bibi will be out of office and his life's work will have been in vain.

      Since 1993 Bibi has been advocating that the US attack Iran.
      Economic sanctions leading to a UN inspection regime to ensure that Iran is compliant with the NPT is not enough for Bibi.
      He wants blood in the streets, will not settle for less without an all out fight.

      Every tool will be used.
      The Maya Indians. the did not have "Luck on their side.

      The United States of America, does

      “God always looks after the fools and — and the United States.” according to Otto von Bismarck anyway.

      Gotta figure that a fella like him would know


      Delete
    2. Bismark only said that because we got "Lucky"

      To bad we still do

      :(:(:(:(:(

      Delete
    3. desert rat,

      It is alleged that Israel supplied 3 or 6 helicopters to the Guatemalan government at the request of the Reagan administration, a common enough practice among allies. How the Guatemalans used these helicopters, if any, never entered the equation. No Israeli killed or wounded so much as a single Mayan. If you have proof to the contrary, present it.

      On another matter, there really are books for dummies on Judaism; I have a couple of my own. Therefore, my use of "dummies" was not a slight directed at you.

      Delete
    4. Judaism is not a subject that concerns me.
      Not in the least.

      Another cult in the desert, one that venerates it's own version of the Jonestown Massacre.


      No thanks, allen,

      Delete
    5. I could be confused, I do know that the secular state of Israel venerates it's own version of the Jonestown Massacre...

      The mass suicide at Masada.

      But I do not know if Judaism does.
      I will assume the best, and think that Judaism does no condone suicide
      Not when there still exists an option of fighting for right and freedom.

      Delete
    6. But it is not worth the effort to find out.

      It doesn't matter in the least, to me.

      Delete
  21. The Dark King of Judea arrives:

    Israel’s prime minister and the heads of two major Knesset committees expressed concern that a conversation between U.S. and Iranian leaders may signal that efforts to halt the country’s nuclear program will stall.

    “I will tell the truth in the face of the sweet-talk and onslaught of smiles,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters as he boarded his plane for the U.S., where he will meet President Barack Obama and speak before the United Nations.

    The Israeli leaders spoke after a historic phone call between Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and Obama, the highest-level U.S.-Iranian encounter since before Iran’s Islamic revolution of 1979. Netanyahu has in the past expressed skepticism about the motives behind Rouhani’s initiative and suggested Iran is trying to buy time to develop the capability to make a nuclear weapon. Iran says its nuclear program is aimed at electricity production and other civilian needs.

    “Every attempt to enforce UN resolutions on Iran to show transparency and offer proof that they have no plans for a nuclear arms program has failed until now,” said Tzachi Hanegbi, head of parliament’s House committee and a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The President of Iran is not on the US payroll, Bibi is.

      He and his organization have a long history of insubordination.
      Our American friends offer us money, arms, and advice. We take the money, we take the arms, and we decline the advice.
      Moshe Dayan


      Rouhani, he does not owe the US government or its people a thing.
      That he came and spoke with moderation goes a long way to set a tone.
      The fella was even polite,

      Delete
  22. Who is Tzachi Hanegbi you ask? Read on:

    Neither Jewish ethics nor Jewish tradition can disqualify terrorism as a means of combat. We are very far from having any moral qualms as far as our national war goes. We have before us the command of the Torah, whose morality surpasses that of any other body of laws in the world: "Ye shall blot them out to the last man." But first and foremost, terrorism is for us a part of the political battle being conducted under the present circumstances, and it has a great part to play: speaking in a clear voice to the whole world, as well as to our wretched brethren outside this land, it proclaims our war against the occupier. We are particularly far from this sort of hesitation in regard to an enemy whose moral perversion is admitted by all.



    Yitzhak (Tzachi) Hanegbi was born in Jerusalem in 1957. His mother is Geula Cohen, a prominent member of the 1940s underground group Lehi and later MK for Likud and Tehiya. His father, Immanuel Hanegbi, was the Operations Officer for the Lehi. After his military service in the paratroopers corps, Hanegbi studied international relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. As president of the Hebrew University Student Union in 1980, he received a six-month suspended sentence for leading an attack on Arab students.

    Despite this incident, he became president of the National Union of Israeli Students later that year, holding that title until 1982. After his undergraduate studies, he went on to study law, obtaining an LL.B.

    In July 2010, after a four-year trial for election bribery, fraud and breach of trust, a Jerusalem court cleared Hanegbi of all charges. However, the three-judge panel found him guilty of perjury.

    The case stems from Hanegbi's denial that he was behind an ad boosting his appointments of Likud party's political activists to positions in the Ministry of the Environmental Protection. The judges verdict cleared Hanegbi of any criminal wrongdoing, accepting the defense's argument that such appointments were not illegal prior to 2004, and that this was the common practice among all cabinet members in all the previous governments since Israel's independence. The court ruled that selectively prosecuting Hanegbi for what was a widespread and common practice was wrong and unfair. Hanegbi was urged by his legal team to appeal the perjury conviction to Israel's High court of Justice. Following the verdict, several prominent leaders and officials publicly defended Hanegbi. Former Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg who opposes Hanegbi politically, has called for the firing of the prosecutor by the Attorney General.

    On 9 November 2010, the Jerusalem court fined Hanegbi 10,000 NIS, and in a 2-to-1 decision imposed moral turpitude to the offense. Hanegbi therefore suspended himself from the Knesset and from his position as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, pending his legal appeal. His seat was taken by Nino Abesadze.

    Hanegbi lives in Mevaseret Zion, on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

    ReplyDelete

  23. What was Lehi?

    The Lehi was a terrorist group, The Stern Gang. How do we know that they were a terrorist group? Read on:

    Lehi had three main goals:

    * To bring together all those interested in liberation (that is, those willing to join in active fighting against the British).
    * To appear before the world as the only active Jewish military organization.
    * To take over Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel) by armed force.

    Lehi believed in its early years that its goals would be achieved by finding a strong international ally that would expel the British from Palestine, in return for Jewish military help; this would require the creation of a broad and organised military force “demonstrating its desire for freedom through military operations."

    Lehi also referred to themselves as ‘terrorists' and may have been one of the last organizations to do so.

    An article titled “Terror" in the Lehi underground newspaper He Khazit (The Front ) argued as follows:

    Neither Jewish ethics nor Jewish tradition can disqualify terrorism as a means of combat. We are very far from having any moral qualms as far as our national war goes. We have before us the command of the Torah, whose morality surpasses that of any other body of laws in the world: "Ye shall blot them out to the last man." But first and foremost, terrorism is for us a part of the political battle being conducted under the present circumstances, and it has a great part to play: speaking in a clear voice to the whole world, as well as to our wretched brethren outside this land, it proclaims our war against the occupier. We are particularly far from this sort of hesitation in regard to an enemy whose moral perversion is admitted by all.

    The article described the goals of terror:
    It demonstrates ... against the true terrorist who hides behind his piles of papers and the laws he has legislated.
    It is not directed against people, it is directed against representatives. Therefore it is effective.
    If it also shakes the Yishuv from their complacency, good and well.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What insane asylum have you escaped from!

      It reads like al-Qeada's plan in Syria
      That cannot be true.

      :(:(:(

      Delete
    2. Sorry the facts upset you. Put down your AIPAC handbook and use your much vaunted English comprehension skills.

      Delete
    3. …unless of course you had your “irony flashers” on and I flew past them.

      Delete
  24. Thugs warning us about other thugs?

    ReplyDelete
  25. The thick treacle of hypocrisy is hard to get off your shoes.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Pig shit has a similar affect.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I hope Obama meets Bibi with his golf clubs waiting at the door, wearing his Nike golf cap, a gang banger bling wrist watch which he refers to on three minute intervals.

    ReplyDelete
  28. “Every attempt to enforce UN resolutions on Iran to show transparency and offer proof that they have no plans for a nuclear arms program has failed until now,” said Tzachi Hanegbi, head of parliament’s House committee and a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party.

    Now you know who this bitch is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I lurk around here and could never understand why Deuce puts up with you but it hit me today. Entertainment.

      Expect sulking Netanyahu to come up with another one of his Mickey Mouse diagrams in the UN.

      Seems this Israeli administration is allergic to peace!

      The world is welcoming talks between Iran and the world powers. A positive outcome of these negotiations should be beneficial to all.

      Israel is the only one of the allies of the United States who wants to run US foreign policy. I genuinely believe that successive US governments have spoiled Israeli politicians to a point where the US must act against her own interests in order to please them.

      Delete
  29. Here are the core values of Netanyahu Inc, The Conga Lines’s guy:

    We have before us the command of the Torah, whose morality surpasses that of any other body of laws in the world: "Ye shall blot them out to the last man." But first and foremost, terrorism is for us a part of the political battle being conducted under the present circumstances, and it has a great part to play: speaking in a clear voice to the whole world, as well as to our wretched brethren outside this land, it proclaims our war against the occupier. We are particularly far from this sort of hesitation in regard to an enemy whose moral perversion is admitted by all.

    We really need his advise on how the US is to conduct its foreign affairs?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anyway, I wish to celebrate the last warm days of straw and prepare for gray felt.

    ReplyDelete
  31. In all of this, an irony struck, like a pipe across the skull.

    I was thinking of the thread concerning the palace that Herod the Great, King of the Jews, had constructed at Masada and the subsequent use of that palace in a revolt against Europeon occupier and their local agents.

    The myth of Masada is that the rebels held out until the Europeon forces were set to breach the perimeter defensive wall. The night before first contact, before the battle was even met, the rebels committed mass suicide. Killing every woman, child and able bodied man amongst themselves.

    Kind of a Jonestown Massacre.

    There were those amongst the editorial contributors that praised this tactic.
    Claimed it heroic.

    These same contributors often refer to Winston Churchill as a man o be reckoned with.
    That if his advice was heeded, the US would stand strong in face of tyranny of the mind, body and soul all across the universe.

    We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
    Winston Churchill


    One wonders what Mr Churchill would have thought of the rebels who surrendered without a fight in their heroic "Victory of Principle" at Masada?

    Only spimiesters extraordinaire could take that tale of cowardice in the face of the enemy and create a heroic action to be venerated by an entire nation.
    It is symptomatic of a sociologically perverse state.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who cares about the desert rat but you?
      Those are not his musings, but historic truths.

      What is wrong with you

      Delete
  32. " It is ridiculous, and more than a little immoral, to try to dress up nihilistic assaults designed merely to kill as many ordinary people as possible as some kind of principled political violence."

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/brendanoneill2/100238080/im-sorry-but-we-have-to-talk-about-the-barbarism-of-modern-islamist-terrorism/

    ReplyDelete
  33. allen, up thread brought up the topic of Israeli support of Rios-Mont, of Guatemala.

    Let's begin ...

    The conviction of Rios Montt for genocide in Guatemala during his short rule (1982-1983) has brought that episode back into the news. The death toll during the Guatemalan civil war was estimated at 200,000 by a UN commission, with the overwhelming majority of these casualties (93 percent) committed by the army, though only a portion during the reign of Rios Montt. The record is one of mass slaughter, mass rape, and possibly the worst human rights violation in the Western Hemisphere in the last 50 years.

    There was a "One sided" conflict.
    Not really fitting desert rat's image of a "Civil War".

    Known as “Brother Efraín,” a fundamentalist convert of the California-based “Church of the Word” (Verbo), Rios Montt thanked his God in heaven for anointing him as Guatemala’s president, but on earth he thanked Israel for establishing his March 1982 military coup. Israeli press reported that 300 Israeli advisors helped execute the coup, which succeeded so smoothly, Brother Efraín told an ABC News reporter, “because many of our soldiers were trained by Israelis.” Through the height of la violencia (“the violence”) or desencarnacíon (“loss of flesh, loss of being”), between the late 1970s to early 1980s, Israel assisted every facet of attack on the Guatemalan people. Largely taking over for the United States on the ground in Guatemala, Israel had become the successive governments’ main provider of counterinsurgency training, light and heavy arsenals of weaponry, aircraft, state-of-the-art intelligence technology and infrastructure, and other vital assistance.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A February 1983 CBS Evening News with Dan Rather program reported, Israel “didn’t send down congressmen, human rights activists or priests” to strengthen Israel’s special relationship with Guatemala. Israel “taught the Guatemalans how to build an airbase. They set up their intelligence network, tried and tested on the [Israeli-occupied Palestinian] West Bank and Gaza, designed simply to beat the Guerilla.” Time magazine (03/28/83) chimed in that Guatemalan army “outposts in the jungle have become near replicas of Israeli army field camps.” At one of these Israeli outposts replicated in Huehuetenango (among the areas hardest hit by the genocide, with the second highest number of massacres registered by a UN truth commission), Time continues: “Colonel Gustavo Menendez Herrera pointed out that his troops are using Israeli communications equipment, mortars, submachine guns, battle gear and helmets.” Naturally, as Army Chief of Staff Benedicto Lucas García had stated previously: “The Israeli soldier is a model and an example to us.”

      Delete
    2. Today’s Guatemalan power elite, firmly rooted in the same lineage of death squads that ravaged the country for decades, continues to gaze on this legacy with adoration. “If there is thriving agriculture—it’s an Israeli contribution,” hailed Guatemala’s Congressional speaker in 2009 when his government body bestowed its highest honor to Israel, adding further praise for Israel having shared its “rich experience” in security, education, and medicine over the years.

      Investigative journalist Allan Nairn interviewed current Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina when Molina was Rios Montt’s commander carrying out the genocide in the Nebaj area. At one point in the filmed 1982 interview, Molina shows Nairn one of his army’s artillery mortars, answering that the brand of weapon and its ammunition were provided by Israel.

      Delete
    3. Israel began selling Guatemala weapons in 1974 and since then is known to have delivered 17 Arava aircraft. In 1977 at the annual industrial fair, Interfer, Israel's main attraction was the Arava. "An operative Arava is to be parked outside the IAI pavilion for public inspection, although its silhouette in flight is a common sight over the capital and countryside."'
      Referring to the Aravas, Benedicto Lucas Garcia, chief of staff during the rule of his brother Romeo Lucas Garcia (1978-1982) said, "Israel helped us in regard to planes and transportation-which we desperately needed because we've had problems in transferring ground forces from one place to another. By 1982, at least nine of the Aravas had been mounted with gun pods.

      Among the other weapons sold by Israel were 10 RBY armored personnel carriers, three Dabur class patrol boats armed with Gabriel missiles, light cannons, machine guns and at least 15,000 Galil assault rifles. The Galil became Guatemala's standard rifle and Uzis were widely seen as well.

      According to Victor Perera, "Uzis and the larger Galil assault rifles used by Guatemala's special counterinsurgency forces accounted for at least half of the estimated 45,000 Guatemalan Indians killed by the military since 1978"
      ...

      in 1983 that there were 300 Israeli advisers in Guatemala, working "in the security structures and in the army." Other reports were less specific as to numbers, but suggested that these Israeli advisers, "some official, others private," performed a variety of functions. Israelis "helped Guatemalan internal security agents hunt underground rebel groups."

      Gen. Lucas said Israeli advisers had come to teach the use of Israeli equipment purchased by Guatemala. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s the Guatemalan police agencies had had extensive U.S. training in "riot control training and related phases of coping with civil disturbances in a humane and effective manner," a euphemism for the terror campaigns in which these forces participated that in 1967-1968 took 7,000 lives ...

      When Congress forbade U.S. forces to train the internal police forces of other countries-passed in 1974, this law was supplanted in 1985 by legislation that put the U.S. back in the police-guidance business - the Israelis stepped in and "set up their intelligence network, tried and tested on the West Bank and Gaza."

      Israeli noncommissioned officers were also said to have been hired by big landowners to train their private security details. (Under Marcos, Israel did the same in the Philippines. These private squads, together with "off-duty military officers formed the fearsome 'death squads' which later spread to neighboring El Salvador, where they have been responsible for an estimated 20,000-30,000 murders of left-wing dissidents."
      ...

      In 1981, the Army's School of Transmissions and Electronics, a school designed and financed by the Israeli company Tadiran to teach such subjects as encoding, radio jamming and monitoring, and the use of Israeli equipment was opened in Guatemala City. According to the colonel directing the school, everything in it came from Israel: the "teaching methods, the teaching teams, the technical instruments, books, and even the custom furniture...designed and built by the Israeli company DEGEM Systems."

      At the opening ceremony the Israeli ambassador was thanked by Chief of Staff Gen. Benedicto Lucas Garcia for "the advice and transfer of electronic technology" which, Lucas said, had brought Guatemala up to date. Calling Guatemala "one of our best friends" the ambassador promised that further technology transfers were in the works.

      Delete
    4. desert rat is correct, you are an agent of Hegel.

      Delete
  34. Replies
    1. Well, allen, the was no FOX News in 1982&83.

      Now, all I had ever claimed was that Israel was complicit in the genocide.
      This complicity illustrated above. Supplying arms, training and some field leadership.
      I never made a claim that Israel was responsible for the actions of the various series of governments they supplied or even those of Rios Mont who they assuredly advised prior to the coup de etat.

      It was not until yesterday when the Israeli passport holding contributor made comment that by supplying weapons to political factions in Lebanon and Syria that Iran was guilty of Crimes Against Humanity.

      That contributor often claimed that the state of Israel was systematically being held to a different standard than the Arab world, even all the world. To remedy that it seemed to me that rather than argue with him that Iran was not guilty of CAH in Lebanon, I would apply his standard to Israel.

      That the trial and conviction of Rio Mont, on charges of genocide, in Guatemala a few months ago reopened an issue that had fallen by the wayside. Off the radar, so to speak.

      No longer.

      Delete
    2. Oh, there are books, written by israeli, excerpted, here and there.

      I may get to that, later.
      I may not.

      RULE 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.

      Delete
  35. The NYT covered the trial of Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt. Montt was sentenced to 80 years confinement. The sentence was overturned two weeks later by Guatemala's highest court.

    Among US allies providing equipment to General Montt's regime were Israel, Taiwan, Chili, and Argentina. During the trial none of these suppliers was accused of genocide. Moreover, no Israeli was mentioned as physically responsible for a single death.

    That the Guatemalan military would wish to base its military training on that of the IDF is not surprising. A possible explanation is that the IDF actually has won wars since 1948.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The the financial elite wer going to "Shut Down" the economy if Rios Mont was not released.

      Shades of the GOP.

      But the government, there, chose not to shut down.
      Rios Mont is an old man, he'll be dead soon.

      Why fuck up those still living to prove a point?

      Guatemala is a fucked up place.
      Israel made its choice.
      You can attempt to spread the responsibility, allen...
      but Israel cannot avoid it.

      Was the US complicit in that genocide, perhaps, but not nearly as much as Israel.
      The US had handed off the "Boots on the Ground" role.
      Israel's actions are her own.

      As during the USS Liberty discussions...
      .. the attempts to blame the US for Israeli actions seems, well, rote at this point.

      Delete
  36. Now anyone that wishes to can reference accounts of Iranian actions in Lebanon that have led to mass murder.
    That have led to political assassinations, though i think there is a cut out in Damascus.

    In any case our editorial contributor with the "convenient" memory told us that Iran's contribution was worthy of Crimes Against Humanity.
    Well, let someone document what that support entails.
    How many weapons factories have been built?

    The Israeli built one to Guatemala.
    The US financed a General Dynamic tank production facility built in Egypt.

    How many have the Iranians built in Lebanon?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How many Iranian aircraft does Hezbollah possess?



      Delete
    2. Supplying box cutters to Hezbollah now amounts to a Crime Against Humanity?

      You are comically stupid in your response today.

      The Israeli quakes in fear of box cutters.
      He will never be safe.

      ;-)

      Delete
  37. The US was not a party to the suit, despite the presence of the US ambassador throughout. In fact, the role of the US went unstated. Consequently, neither the Guatemalans nor I am blaming the US for anything. Any Israeli "boots on the ground", if any, remained in training facilities and were not combat operational.

    The 800 pound gorilla in the court and unreported by media is the racism rife throughout Guatemalan society. Mayans were and are viewed as scum by their more European compatriots. Given this endemic animosity, opportunity was all that was necessary to lead to massacres. By the way, no amount of training will lead a normal person to become a monster; only socialization from childhood can accomplish this end.

    As to the USS Liberty, I haven't a clue what you are talking about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We agree, allen.
      The Israeli supplied the small arms weapons; We agree
      The Israeli provided aircraft, We agree
      The Israeli provided trainers. We agree.

      The scope of the trainers role, some disagreement. They did not remain "on training facilities", they were in the field, TRAINING the Guatemalan troops. That was how it was done, in the early 1980's. That was training doctrine, train in the field.

      Now, i never said that the any Israeli committed a single atrocity.
      Committed a single murder.

      Only that Israel was complicit in it.
      Complicit - involved with others in an illegal activity or wrongdoing.

      Rios Mont was committing illegal activity, Israel was deeply involved with installing and maintaining the authority of Rio Mont.
      The state of Israel was complicit in the genocide, though not an active participant in murder.

      Now, yesterday it was claimed by another editorial contributor, quot, that by supplying weapons, rockets, training etc., to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

      That Iranian complicity with the criminal actions of Hezbollah made the Iranians guilty of Crimes Against Humanity.

      Utilizing that same standard of evidence and justice, that would make Israel guilty of the same in Guatemala.

      Delete
    2. Employing any standard of evidence, there remains a request for documentation or reference to same with regards Iranian munitions in Lebanon.

      Do the Iranians have as many troops, trainers or advisers in Syria and Lebanon as the US and NATO have in Jordon?
      Or in Afghanistan on the approaches to the Iranian frontier?

      We will not even add Turkey into the mix, with regards to the imbalance of power.
      Turkey is a formidable foe.

      Against all that on their borders, where are the Iranians the aggressor?

      Delete
    3. Where are the Iranians moving out of being a secondary regional player and into the role of Hegemony?


      Delete
  38. Here we go, private enterprise moving onward, UPward!

    USA TODAY -

    A second private cargo spacecraft berthed at the International Space Station on Sunday morning, fully establishing NASA's commercial resupply fleet.


    Now it is time .....

    End Farmland Welfare

    Let's start GROWING the US economy!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hunger in the homeland is an inexcusable disgrace.

    40 Percent of Food in the U.S. Never Gets Eaten, Scientific American
    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2013/09/18/forty-percent-of-food-in-the-us-never-gets-eaten/

    Meanwhile, three states now have more than 1/5 residents on food assistance, and the numbers are growing: Mississippi, New Mexico, and Tennessee.

    Today, I watched a spider drop the human equivalent of 500', without injury. Acorns are now falling; they do so from the human equivalent of perhaps 1,000 feet without damage. A black widow's web-silk has a tensile strength 7 times that of a steel thread of the same diameter. How is all this meaningful? Image the progress humans could make by spending research dollars on gaining insight into the chemical and physical properties that make these marvels possible. Instead, our thirst for cash to fund military research is unquenchable. Sad...

    40 Percent of Food in the U.S. Never Gets Eaten, Scientific American
    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2013/09/18/forty-percent-of-food-in-the-us-never-gets-eaten/

    Meanwhile, three states now have more than 1/5 residents on food assistance, and the numbers are growing: Mississippi, New Mexico, and Tennessee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have never been to Mississippi or Tennessee, except for driving through...
      ... but there is a whole bunch of nothin' in New Mexico.

      Big swathes of Federally managed land, Forests, Indian Reservations.
      Small towns barely hanging on along the highway...
      Desolate and destitute ...
      .... a whole bunch of nothin'



      Delete
  40. That is what, the third or fifth time that you have posted the link, allen?

    Do you have a proposal to remedy this matter of agricultural waste?
    A problem that may be endemic to that portion of the market economy in the US.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you have a proposal, an alternative to the status que.

      Obviously you have given it some thought, to have been posting the link so aggressively.

      Delete
    2. The number, if correct, is mind boggling. I hope the article will find its way into the mind of the public.

      Without knowing the losses incurred in the field, during transport and processing, theft, accident, and disposal by wholesalers and retailers, it is difficult to make an appraisal. Most importantly, how much waste occurs in the home.

      However it shakes out, I think you would agree it is worthy of attention.

      Delete
  41. Suspected Islamist militants stormed a college in northeastern Nigeria and shot dead around 40 male students, some of them while they slept early on Sunday, witnesses said.

    The gunmen, thought to be members of rebel sect Boko Haram, attacked one hostel, took some students outside before killing them and shot others trying to flee, people at the scene told Reuters.

    “They started gathering students into groups outside, then they opened fire and killed one group and then moved onto the next group and killed them. It was so terrible,” said one surviving student Idris, who would only give his first name.

    “They came with guns around 1 a.m. (2400 GMT) and went directly to the male hostel and opened fire on them ... The college is in the bush so the other students were running around helplessly as guns went off and some of them were shot down,” said Ahmed Gujunba, a taxi driver who lives by the college.

    Boko Haram, which wants to establish an Islamic state in northern Nigeria, has intensified attacks on civilians in recent weeks in revenge for a military offensive against its insurgency.

    Several schools, seen as the focus of Western-style education and culture, have been targeted.

    Boko Haram and spin-off Islamist groups like the al Qaeda-linked Ansaru have become the biggest security threat in Africa’s second largest economy and top oil exporter.

    Western governments are increasingly worried about the threat posed by Islamist groups across Africa, from Mali and Algeria in the Sahara, to Kenya in the east, where Somalia’s al-Shabaab fighters killed at least 67 people in an attack on a Nairobi shopping mall a week ago.

    Bodies were recovered from dormitories, classrooms and outside in the undergrowth on Sunday, a member of staff at the college told Reuters, asking not to be named.

    A Reuters witness counted 40 bloody corpses piled on the floor at the main hospital in Yobe state capital Damaturu on Sunday, mostly of young men believed to be students.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bounty Hunters - Have guns will travel

      Delete
    2. The Africans have been battling Europeon hegemony since ...

      In Kenya, dating back to 1894:
      Arthur Hardinge, the first commissioner of British East Africa, that
      "[t]hese people must learn submission by bullets—it is the only school . . . In Africa to have peace you must first teach obedience and the only person who teaches the lesson properly is the sword."

      During the period in which Kenya's interior was being forcibly opened up for British settlement, Francis Hall, an officer in the Imperial British East Africa Company and after whom Fort Hall was named, asserted:

      "There is only one way to improve the Wakikuyu [and] that is wipe them out; I should be only too delighted to do so, but we have to depend on them for food supplies",

      and colonial officers such as Richard Meinertzhagen wrote of how, on occasion, they massacred Kikuyu by the hundred.

      The onslaught in Kenya led Winston Churchill, in 1908, to express concern about how it would look if word got out:

      160 [Gusii] have now been killed outright without any further casualties on our side. . . . It looks like a butchery. If the H. of C. gets hold of it, all our plans in E.A.P. will be under a cloud. Surely it cannot be necessary to go on killing these defenceless people on such an enormous scale.
      Wiki

      Advance to the 1950 and it becomes the Mau Mau in revolt against a Hegemonic Europe.
      It was not Islam that drove the rebellion

      The contemporary, colonial view saw Mau Mau as a savage, violent, and depraved tribal cult, an expression of unrestrained emotion rather than reason.
      Mau Mau was "perverted tribalism" that sought to take the Kikuyu people back to "the bad old days" before British rule.
      Some think this characterisation reflected the British refusal to attend to those social and economic grievances of the Kikuyu that stemmed from colonial rule.

      Delete
    3. The current wave of conflict against a Hegemonic "West" now uses Islam as a crutch.
      Islam is not the cause of the conflicts, it is an effect.

      Africa is in turmoil, has been since the Europeon first arrived to exploit it.
      May have been in turmoil prior to that, as well.

      Delete
    4. The genocide in Uganda was not driven by Islam, but by tribal animosities fostered by the Europeon hegemony..

      Delete
  42. More from our Saudi allies


    A conservative Saudi Arabian cleric has said women who drive risk damaging their ovaries and bearing children with clinical problems, countering activists who are trying to end the Islamic kingdom's male-only driving rules.

    A campaign calling for women to defy the ban in a protest drive on 26 October has spread rapidly online over the past week and gained support from prominent women activists. On Sunday, the campaign's website was blocked in the kingdom.

    In an interview published on Friday on the website sabq.org, Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Lohaidan, a judicial adviser to an association of Gulf psychologists, said women aiming to overturn the ban on driving should put "reason ahead of their hearts, emotions and passions".

    Lohaidan's strong endorsement of the ban demonstrates how entrenched the opposition is to women driving among some conservative Saudis.

    "If a woman drives a car, not out of pure necessity, that could have negative physiological impacts as functional and physiological medical studies show that it automatically affects the ovaries and pushes the pelvis upwards," he told Sabq. "That is why we find those who regularly drive have children with clinical problemsof varying degrees."

    He did not cite specific medical studies to support his arguments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...got to be rough on testicles as well...

      Delete
    2. ...an association of Gulf psychologists,..

      That is a hoot!

      Delete
  43. Good God Shitfull likes to hear himself talk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I doubt he hears a thing, doesn't seem to be the type that moves his lips when he types.
      That an anonymous anony would think someone hears their own voice while typing ...
      It says more about anonymous then he should want any of us to know...
      ... and nothing at all about anyone else.

      :):):)

      Delete
    2. Leads this reader to wonder, Anonymous, do you move your lips when you read, do you sound out each word?

      Delete
  44. And Deuce that stuff you put up about prayer the other day was really unbelievably juvenile. I couldn't believe it.

    What about contemplative prayer for instance?

    And can you get over the idea that this is supposed to be easy?

    I've never read a serious writer who even came close to that complaint.

    What about your medieval female saints? They prayed a hell of a lot and wrote some beautiful stuff because of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd post some of them, but the darned computer .....

      :(:(

      Delete
    2. You are right Anon II, I would, but my mouse among other things is acting up.

      If you are interested you can go look them up yourself though.

      I doubt you'd be interested.

      Delete
    3. That is something I gathered reading your anonymous musings.

      Often in error - Never in doubt

      Delete
  45. It'll be great to live without a government for awhile.

    May the shutdown last long long time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This will be a great outcome for the United States, if the shutdown lasts a long long time.
      I hope the Republicans hold firmly to principe

      If only my darling Sarah could be there leading the fight, then I know we would shut down the beast!

      And a default on the federal debt, which may occur within 30 days without congressional action, would be much worse, economists say. Failing to raise the debt ceiling would require the government, a major driver of growth, to cut spending by about a third, potentially forcing delays in Social Security checks, military pay and payments to doctors.

      There are other risks, too. On Oct. 17, the Treasury is scheduled to ask investors for $120 billion in loans. But if investors grow nervous about whether the United States will be able to pay them back, they are likely to demand higher interest rates, which would cause rates to spike throughout the financial system, leading to more expensive mortgages, auto loans and credit card bills.

      Delete
    2. Admiral David FarragutSun Sep 29, 10:16:00 PM EDT

      "Damn the torpedoes, Full speed ahead!"

      Delete
  46. GOP officials say another option being considered by Mr. Boehner is to bring the spending bill back to the floor with yet another amendment that might allow Republican lawmakers to claim they achieved something in the battle.

    One possibility is an amendment to limit federal contributions to offset the costs of health-care premiums paid by lawmakers and their staffs. Because lawmakers and aides will be required under the new health law to obtain coverage through exchanges designed for people without insurance, their costs will increase dramatically without the U.S. contribution.

    Limiting the federal contribution is privately opposed by many lawmakers. But it is considered a potential 11th hour move, because it would put the Senate in the position of defending a policy that benefits lawmakers themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  47. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-taUfmQL4-w

    ReplyDelete
  48. SHITFULL must be off working on his Hegelian dialectics again.

    He likes the idea that the World Spirit settled upon Germany as its modern homeland, the peak of human creativity an' all good thin's.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least the man that swooned for Regina knew better.

      (this is an obscure reference for those who can get it)

      Delete
  49. KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — Thousands of Sudanese protesters took to the streets of the capital Khartoum late Sunday, chanting "freedom" and renewing calls for their longtime autocratic president to resign after dozens of protesters were killed in a week of demonstrations sparked by austerity measures.

    The government, which has imposed a media blackout, moved to appease the rancor with cash, saying it would distribute cash to half a million families to offset higher fuel and food prices in a country where nearly half the population lives below the poverty line.

    The street demonstrations, which began after subsides were lifted last week, have been the most widespread in Sudan since Omar al-Bashir seized power 24 years ago.

    Waving pictures of slain protesters, thousands held a Sunday-night memorial for Salah al-Sanhouri, a demonstrator shot Friday during an earlier protest in Burri, an old Khartoum district.

    Women called for the "downfall of the regime" and chanted "freedom, peace and justice, revolution is the choice of people."

    Residents cheered on the marchers from rooftops while nearby security forces were stationed in pick-up trucks carrying mounted machine guns near the spot where al-Sanhouri was shot.

    "The protests will continue and will reach a general strike. This is our aim," said Ghazi al-Sanhouri, a nephew of the slain protester. "We will keep uncovering the regime's brutal tactics in suppressing the protests by killings and atrocities."

    Al-Sanhouri's father, Moudthir al-Reih, told The Associated Press: "this regime will come to an end ... God willing it will be over."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Public discontent had been growing over failed economic and political policies that led South Sudan to break off and became an independent state in 2011, taking approximately three quarters of Sudan's oil production with it. Critics also blamed al-Bashir for draining the country's coffers by battling armed rebel movements in three different fronts inside the country.

      The unrest began in the city of Wad Madani south of Khartoum but quickly spread to at least nine districts in Khartoum and seven cities across the country.

      The crackdown on thousands of protesters has been violent, leaving at least 50 dead according to international rights groups. Doctors and activists put the death toll higher, telling The Associated Press it stands at more than 100. The government has acknowledged some 33 killed, including policemen.

      In a latest blow to freedom of the press, Sudanese authorities also forced the country's largest daily newspaper, Al-Intibaha, to stop printing, according to the paper's website. The paper, the country's largest in terms of circulation, is owned and run by an uncle of al-Bashir, al-Tayab Mustafa. Mustafa could not be immediately reached.

      Several dailies came under pressure to depict demonstrators as "saboteurs." The government also closed the offices of Gulf-based satellite networks Al-Arabiya and Sky News Arabia. Several newspapers were ordered to stop publication while others stopped voluntarily to avoid government pressure.

      In an interview with Al-Arabiya Sunday, Sudan's Foreign Minister defended the move, saying "media make revolutions."

      "If the revolution is created by media, we have to be serious in dealing with it," he said from New York, where he was attending the United Nations General Assembly.

      Diaa Eddin Belal, editor-in-chief of al-Sudani newspaper, told the AP that editions of his paper were confiscated and they were ordered to stop printing three times since Wednesday. Back to work on Sunday, Belal said that in one incident on Friday the papers had been on their way to distribution centers when he received a phone call from police telling him that there would be no papers that day.

      "The government feels that it is own existence is endangered and the press is playing a role in influencing public opinion ... they want papers to turn into official gazettes that reflect only (the government's) point of view with no criticism or negative feedback," he said.

      In a move aimed at pacifying a frustrated public, the government said Sunday it would distribute one-off payments to families in need, raise the minimum wage and boost public sector salaries.

      The official SUNA news agency reported that Minister of Social Solidarity Mashair al-Dawlab ordered a half million families to be given 150-Sudanese-pound ($21 by local exchange rate) aid packages in early October. It also quoted the deputy finance minister as saying the public sector salary increases would start at the same time.

      Meanwhile, Sudan's main labor union said a hike in minimum wages promised since January would be implemented in the coming two days.

      Still worried of lingering protests however, the Education Ministry said on Sunday that schools will remain closed until Oct. 20. Schools were closed since Wednesday after high school students led protests in different districts in the capital chanting against al-Bashir.

      Delete
    2. Sudan - condemned by the same two specters haunting most of Muslim Africa and the Middle East: inability to grow sufficient food or lacking the cash to buy it; and the inflation of fuel prices in the absence of domestic supplies.

      Islam is about to disintegrate across much of the world in the faces of the challenges of modernity - there is nowhere to go and nothing to do about compromised faith - hence, the nihilistic "nothing" of its front line troops - only ever greater doses of cruelty will yield the same sense of accomplishment. If 50 die today, then, 75 must die tomorrow. otherwise its Xanax time.

      Delete
    3. Sudan - 1883 - 1885
      The End of General Gordon.
      Agent of Hegemonic Europe

      Meanwhile, far to the southward, over the wide-spreading lands watered by the Upper Nile and its tributaries, the power and the glory of him who had once been Mahommed Ahmed were growing still. In the Bahr-el-Ghazal, the last embers of resistance were stamped out with the capture of Lupton Bey, and through the whole of that vast province—three times the size of England—every trace of the Egyptian Government was obliterated.

      Still further south the same fate was rapidly overtaking Equatoria, where Emin Pasha, withdrawing into the unexplored depths of central Africa, carried with him the last vestiges of the old order. The Mahdi himself still lingered in his headquarters at El Obeid; but, on the rising of the tribes round Khartoum, he had decided that the time for an offensive movement had come, and had dispatched an army of thirty thousand men to lay siege to the city.

      At the same time, in a long and elaborate proclamation, in which he asserted, with all the elegance of oriental rhetoric, both the sanctity of his mission and the invincibility of his troops, he called upon the inhabitants to surrender. Gordon read aloud the summons to the assembled townspeople; with one voice they declared that they were ready to resist.

      This was a false Mahdi, they said; God would defend the right; they put their trust in the Governor-General.
      The most learned Sheikh in the town drew up a theological reply, pointing out that the Mahdi did not fulfil the requirements of the ancient prophets. At his appearance, had the Euphrates dried up and revealed a hill of gold?
      Had contradiction and difference ceased upon the earth?


      And moreover, did not the faithful know that the true Mahdi was born in the year of the prophet 255, from which it surely followed that he must be now 1046 years old? And was it not clear to all men that this pretender was not a tenth of that age? These arguments were certainly forcible; but the Mahdi’s army was more forcible still.

      Delete
    4. The besieged sallied out to the attack; they were defeated; and the rout that followed was so disgraceful that two of the commanding officers were, by Gordon’s orders, executed as traitors.

      From that moment the regular investment of Khartoum began. The Arab generals decided to starve the town into submission. When, after a few weeks of doubt, it became certain that no British force was on its way from Suakin to smash up the Mahdi, and when, at the end of May, Berber, the last connecting link between Khartoum and the outside world, fell into the hands of the enemy, Gordon set his teeth, and sat down to wait and to hope, as best he might.

      With unceasing energy he devoted himself to the strengthening of his defences and the organisation of his resources—to the digging of earthworks, the manufacture of ammunition, the collection and the distribution of food. Every day there were sallies and skirmishes; every day his little armoured steamboats paddled up and down the river, scattering death and terror as they went.
      ...
      To combat the growing discontent and disaffection of the townspeople he instituted a system of orders and medals; the women were not forgotten; and his popularity redoubled. There was terror in the thought that harm might come to the Governor-General. Awe and reverence followed him; wherever he went, he was surrounded by a vigilant and jealous guard, like some precious idol, some mascot of victory.
      How could he go away?
      How could he desert his people?
      It was impossible. It would be, as he himself exclaimed in one of his latest telegrams to Sir Evelyn Baring, “the climax of meanness,” even to contemplate such an act. Sir Evelyn Baring thought differently. In his opinion it was General Gordon’s plain duty to have come away from Khartoum.

      To stay involved inevitably a relief expedition—a great expense of treasure and the loss of valuable lives; to come away would merely mean that the inhabitants of Khartoum would be “taken prisoner by the Mahdi.” So Sir Evelyn Baring put it; but the case was not quite so simple as that.

      When Berber fell, there had been a massacre lasting for days—an appalling orgy of loot and lust and slaughter; when Khartoum itself was captured, what followed was still more terrible. Decidedly, it was no child’s play to be “taken prisoner by the Mahdi.” And Gordon was actually there among those people, in closest intercourse with them, responsible, beloved. Yes; no doubt. But was that, in truth, his only motive?
      Did he not wish in reality, by lingering in Khartoum, to force the hand of the Government?
      To oblige them whether they would or no, to send an army to smash up the Mahdi?
      And was that fair? Was that his duty?
      He might protest, with his last breath, that he had “tried to do his duty”; Sir Evelyn Baring, at any rate, would not agree.

      But Sir Evelyn Baring was inaudible, and Gordon now cared very little for his opinions. Is it possible that, if only for a moment, in his extraordinary predicament, he may have listened to another and a very different voice—a voice of singular quality, a voice which—for so one would fain imagine—may well have wakened some familiar echoes in his heart?

      One day, he received a private letter from the Mahdi. The letter was accompanied by a small bundle of clothes.

      In the name of God! [wrote the Mahdi] herewith a suit of clothes, consisting of a coat (jibbeh), an overcoat, a turban, a cap, a girdle, and beads. This is the clothing of those who have given up this world and its vanities, and who look for the world to come, for everlasting happiness in Paradise. If you truly desire to come to God and seek to live a godly life, you must at once wear this suit, and come out to accept your everlasting good fortune.


      Did the words bear no meaning to the mystic of Gravesend?
      But he was an English gentleman, an English officer. He flung the clothes to the ground, and trampled on them in the sight of all. Then, alone, he went up to the roof of his high palace and turned the telescope once more, almost mechanically, towards the north.

      Delete
    5. On August 26th, Lord Wolseley was appointed to command the relief expedition; and on September 9th, he arrived in Egypt.

      The relief expedition had begun; and at the same moment a new phase opened at Khartoum. The annual rising of the Nile was now sufficiently advanced to enable one of Gordon’s small steamers to pass over the cataracts down to Egypt in safety. He determined to seize the opportunity of laying before the authorities in Cairo and London, and the English public at large, an exact account of his position. A cargo of documents, including Colonel Stewart’s Diary of the siege and a personal appeal for assistance addressed by Gordon to all the European powers, was placed on board the Abbas; four other steamers were to accompany her until she was out of danger from attacks by the Mahdi’s troops; after which she was to proceed alone into Egypt.

      On the evening of September 9th, just as she was about to start, the English and French consuls asked for permission to go with her—a permission which Gordon, who had long been anxious to provide for their safety, readily granted. Then Colonel Stewart made the same request; and Gordon consented with the same alacrity. Colonel Stewart was the second in command at Khartoum; and it seems strange that he should have made a proposal which would leave Gordon in a position of the gravest anxiety without a single European subordinate. But his motives were to be veiled for ever in a tragic obscurity.

      The Abbas and her convoy set out. Hence-forward the Governor-General was alone. He had now, definitely and finally, made his decision. Colonel Stewart and his companions had gone, with every prospect of returning unharmed to civilisation. Mr. Gladstone’s belief was justified; so far as Gordon’s personal safety was concerned, he might still at this late hour, have secured it.

      But he had chosen; he stayed at Khartoum.

      Delete
  50. Israeli security officials said Sunday they have arrested a Belgian businessman of Iranian descent for spying on Israel and gathering intelligence on possible terror targets.

    ...

    The alleged spy was detained on Sept. 11 as he was attempting to leave Israel through Ben Gurion International Airport. The announcement of the arrest comes just two days before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to speak at the United Nations General Assembly, where he is expected to argue that the Iranians cannot be trusted and that stiff economic sanctions should remain in place until Iran agrees to curtail its nuclear program.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Here's a great post about Iran's kidnapping of Americans and Obama begging for their release..

    http://pjmedia.com/michaelledeen/2013/09/29/the-historic-phone-call-was-a-hostage-negotiation/?singlepage=true

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am Anonymous

      I am he as you are he as you are me
      And we are all together

      See how they run like pigs from a gun see how they fly
      I'm crying

      Sitting on a cornflake waiting for the van to come
      Corporation teeshirt, stupid bloody Tuesday
      Man you been a naughty boy. You let your face grow long
      I am the eggman, they are the eggmen
      I am anonymous, goo goo goo joob

      Mister City Policeman sitting, pretty little policemen in a row
      See how they fly like Lucy in the sky, see how they run
      I'm crying, I'm crying
      I'm crying, I'm crying

      Yellow matter custard dripping from a dead dog's eye
      Crabalocker fishwife pornographic priestess
      Boy you been a naughty girl, you let your knickers down
      I am the eggman, they are the eggmen
      I am anonymous, goo goo goo joob

      Delete
    2. And if I were you I'd keep it that way, before someone takes you away.

      Delete
    3. Remember when you ran away and I got on my knees and begged you not to leave because I'd go berzerk?
      Well, you left me anyhow and the days got worse and worse and now you see I've gone completely out of my mind.

      And They're coming to take me away Ha Ha
      They're coming to take me away ho ho he he ha ha
      to the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time, and I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats
      and they're coming to take me away ha ha

      You thought it was joke and so you laughed, you laughed when I had said that losing you would make me flip my lid, right? You know you laughed, I heard you laugh, you laughed, you laughed and laughed and then you left, but now you know I'm utterly mad.

      And they're coming to take me away Ha Ha
      They're coming to take me away ho ho he he ha ha
      To the happy home with trees and flowers and chirping birds and basket weavers who sit and smile and twiddle their thumbs and toes
      They're coming to take me away ha ha...

      I cooked your food, I cleaned your house, and this is how you paid me back for all my kind unselfish loving deeds. Huh? Well you just wait they'll find you yet, and when they do they'll put you in the ASPCA you mangy mutt.


      Delete
  52. There's been a bit of talk about Neville Chamberlain, recently. I just happened to run across this:


    Seventy-five years ago, on Sept. 30, 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Pact, handing portions of Czechoslovakia to Adolf Hitler's Germany. Chamberlain returned to Britain to popular acclaim, declaring that he had secured "peace for our time." Today the prime minister is generally portrayed as a foolish man who was wrong to try to "appease" Hitler—a cautionary tale for any leader silly enough to prefer negotiation to confrontation.


    But among historians, that view changed in the late 1950s, when the British government began making Chamberlain-era records available to researchers. "The result of this was the discovery of all sorts of factors that narrowed the options of the British government in general and narrowed the options of Neville Chamberlain in particular," explains David Dutton, a British historian who wrote a recent biography of the prime minister. "The evidence was so overwhelming," he says, that many historians came to believe that Chamberlain "couldn't do anything other than what he did" at Munich. Over time, Dutton says, "the weight of the historiography began to shift to a much more sympathetic appreciation" of Chamberlain.


    First, a look at the military situation. Most historians agree that the British army was not ready for war with Germany in September 1938. If war had broken out over the Czechoslovak crisis, Britain would only have been able to send two divisions to the continent—and ill-equipped divisions, at that. Between 1919 and . . . . . . . . . . . .

    An Interesting Article

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. England could not project power onto the continent in 1938.
      It could not even sustain the power projection it had on the continent in 1940.
      Even while Mr Churchill was in command

      Dunkirk evacuation, (1940) in World War II, the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and other Allied troops from the French seaport of Dunkirk (Dunkerque) to England. Naval vessels and hundreds of civilian boats were used in the evacuation, which began on May 26. When it ended on June 4, about 198,000 British and 140,000 French and Belgian troops had been saved.

      Delete
    2. They definitely had their hands full. I watched a special on the Japanese invasion of Malaysia the other day. Japanese landed in SE Thailand and made their way down the east coast then over to the west. Bombed the shit out of Penang. Interview with an old gal who was in Penang at the time as a little girl. She remembers hearing what sounded like a swarm of bees, looked up in the sky, and the whole sky was filled with planes. About 1,600 dead in the end, I think.

      The British in Penang at the time knew of the Japanese landing in Thailand and had radioed to London to send ships and support.

      No can-do.

      Delete
    3. Throughout the late 1920's and 1930's Mr Churchill had called for increases in military spending.

      His proposals did not carry the day, and by 1938 the results were obvious o the British and one can surmise, the Germans.
      They could not project an adequate force to challenge Germany in Eastern Europe.

      The US in tn the era after WWII onward to the present day has heeded Mr Churchill's advice.
      We have a military that is unsurpassed by any other in the ability to project power across the globe.

      The United States is not in the position of England in 1938.
      To even suggest such a thing, not rising to the level of a 4th grader's comic coloring book.

      Comedic relief, that's what references are to Neville Chamberlain, with regard to comparisons of the England in 1938 and the US today.

      Today the weapon most feared by the Israeli passport holder, box cutters.

      We've got every other threat covered!

      Delete
  53. LATimes -
    WASHINGTON - Iran's foreign minister said Sunday that his country was willing to negotiate with the United States over its nuclear program but that Washington needed to reciprocate by stopping the sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy.


    It was the other day when rufus alluded to the importance of Israel's nuclear arsenal in the upcoming negotiations.

    I could not agree more …

    The Iranians are stuck, they are being bankrupted over a program that was ill conceived from its genesis.
    Built on a foundation of nationalism and not sound economic reasoning.

    How do they end the sanctions regime, without giving up a major portion of their nuclear power program?
    A program that the are heavily invested in, financially and emotionally

    Change the tone of the discussion, then change tactics.

    Agree to shutting down the centrifuges.
    Agree to a intrusive inspection regime.
    Agree to almost every demand …
    ….. If ……
    The Middle East becomes a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone.
    The Israeli join the NPT and disarm their nuclear arsenal.

    Of course the Israeli will decline to participate.

    The Iranians will then propose a less stringent nuclear inspection regime, they will build no more centrifuges and spin away with those they have, to fuel their 22 nuclear power generating reactors to fuel their journey to a prosperous tomorrow with the peaceful atom.

    The Europeon, who want to allow Iranian oil back on the market, to lower prices and spur economic growth will waiver in their support of the current sanctions regime.
    The Chinese and Russians, we know where they will stand.
    India, Japan and South Korea, will want to open those spigots.

    The onerous will be on Israel for failing to take any move towards a peaceful, moderated settlement of the issue of nuclear weapons and disarmament.

    Count on Bibi to be inflammatory, even if he doesn't want to be.

    If Mr Rouhni is really a chess master, a leading tactician of international subterfuge, well then …
    That type of program would be the least we could expect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Could that be why Bibi has hopped the redeye to D.C?

      The Obama Administration talked to the Israelis right before the talk with Rouhani, and, also, immediately after. Obahmi might have told the Israelis something they really didn't want to hear.

      Delete
    2. I think he's on his way over for a GA speech.

      Delete
    3. Ah, I didn't know that. Knowledge is a wonderful thing (when you're running your chops.)

      :)

      Delete
    4. The Middle East Nuclear Free Zone, Rouhani led with that at the UN.

      Think that could be a "tell"?

      Delete
    5. At various times through the years, Iran has threatened to use its peaceful nuclear program to attack the UK, France, Germany, the Vatican, Israel, and the US. That would be by most accounts "inflammatory". Whereas, Israel doesn't even admit to a program and has threatened no one.

      Israel could counteroffer: everybody disarms. You can bet the Russians, Chinese, Paks, and the US will job on that bandwagon.

      Get serious.

      Delete
    6. The Iranians are probably just stalling until they can "light one off."

      That's what I'd be doing. :)

      Delete
  54. As we approach the Great Unveiling next week, you’re going to see a lot of these talking points repeated as if they’re facts. Most of them aren’t dead wrong -- they could be true.

    ...

    1. Once Obamacare goes into effect, it will be impossible to substantially cut it back.

    Both sides seem convinced of this -- Republicans in terror, Democrats in glee. Funny thing, though -- the other day, my father mentioned casually that many of his classmates at the Syracuse's Maxwell School of Public Policy in the mid-to-late 1960s had been on Medicaid.

    And then, suddenly, they weren’t.

    ...

    2. Accountable Care Organizations are certain to bring down overall health spending.

    Here’s another interesting observation I heard the other day, this time from a participant in the recent Brookings' papers: it’s not clear that ACOs are going to save money. The idea behind ACOs is that they will help us move away from fee-for-service medicine, in which doctors are paid for doing stuff, and toward a system where doctors are paid by the patient, a system usually rendered in the popular lexicon as “paying for health, not treatment.”

    ...

    3. Obamacare works because it gets money from deadbeats who go to the emergency room and then stiff the rest of us for the cost.

    Actually, hospitals have a pretty effective mechanism for collecting money from the deadbeats: debt collectors. Uncompensated care is definitely a problem, and it will almost certainly fall under Obamacare.


    Not So Conventional

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