“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best


I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

“Where is President Obama?” wailed a refugee. And, indeed, where is Obama?


By: Patrick J. Buchanan
9/10/2013 09:33 

Last week, hell came to the tiny Christian village of Maaloula where they still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus.
“Rebels of the Free Syrian Army launched an assault aided by a suicide bomber from Jabhat al-Nusra,” the al-Qaida-linked Islamic terrorist group, writes the Washington Post.
The AP picked up the story:
One resident said bearded rebels shouting “God is great!” attacked Christian homes and churches. “They shot and killed people. … I saw three bodies lying in the middle of a street.”
Maaloula is now a “ghost town.” Christians left behind were told, “Either you convert to Islam or you will be beheaded.”
“Where is President Obama?” wailed a refugee. And, indeed, where is Obama?
He is out lobbying Congress for authority to attack the Syrian army that defended Maaloula as John McCain beats the drums for a Senate resolution to have the U.S. military “change the momentum” of the war to the rebels who terrorized the convent nuns of Maaloula.
If we strike Syria and break its army, what happens to 2 million Syrian Christians? Does anyone care?
Do the Saudis who have signed on to Obama’s war — but decline to fight — care? Conversion to Christianity is a capital offense in Riyadh.
Do the Turks, who look the other way as jihadist killers cross their frontier to set up al-Qaida sanctuaries in northern Syria, care?
Do the Israelis, who have instructed AIPAC to get Congress back in line behind a war Americans do not want to fight, care about those 100,000 dead Syrians and 400 gassed children?
Here is Alon Pinkas, Israel’s former general consul in New York, giving Israel’s view of the Syrian bloodletting: “Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death. That’s the strategic thinking here.”
According to two polls reported this weekend by the Jerusalem Post, Israelis by 7-1 do not want Israel to go to war with Syria. But two-thirds of Israelis favor the United States going to war with Syria.
Peggy Noonan writes that the debate on war on Syria “looks like a fight between the country and Washington.”
She nails it. The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and Weekly Standard are all up for air strikes. In the think tanks of D.C., the corridor talk is all about “On to Teheran!”
But what of the soldiers who will fight the neocons’ war? Major General Robert Scales speaks for our next generation of wounded warriors.
Our fighting men, Scales writes, “are tired of wannabe soldiers who remain enamored of bloodless machine warfare. … Today’s soldiers know war and resent civilian policymakers who want the military to fight a war that neither they nor their loved ones will experience firsthand.”
Enthusiasm for war is likely higher at Cafe Milano in Georgetown than in the mess hall at Camp LeJeune.
Why is opposition to the war surging? Because the case for war is crumbling.
U.S. credibility is on the line, we are warned.
If we do not attack Syria to punish a violation of Obama’s “red line,” no one will believe us again. Our allies will no longer have confidence that America will come over and fight their next war for them.
Yet George Bush blustered in his “axis-of-evil” State of the Union that “the world’s worst dictators” would not be allowed to get “the world’s worst weapons.”
And Kim Jong Il went out and tested an atom bomb and built an arsenal of nuclear weapons. And what did The Decider do? Nothing.
Did our alliances collapse because “W’s” bluff was called?
Should Congress really authorize a war on Syria because Hillary Clinton and Obama said “Assad must go!” and Obama said his “red line” has been crossed?
Or should Congress used this vote as a teaching tool for Baby Boomer Bismarcks by declaring:
“We are not taking our country to war because you blundered in issuing ultimata you had no authority to issue. Rather than go to war, you should admit your mistake, as real leaders do, and take responsibility.”
How many Syrians should we kill to restore the credibility of Barack Obama? How many Syrians should we kill to impress upon Iran how resolute we are? How many Syrians should we kill to reassure nervous allies that Uncle Sam will forever come fight their wars for them?
In America, before we put a man to death, we prove him guilty of murder “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Should we not set as high a standard of proof before we kill a thousand Syrians and plunge the United States into another war?
Where is the evidence Assad ordered a gas attack? German intelligence says it intercepted orders from Assad not to use gas. Congressmen coming out of secret briefings say the case is inconclusive.
The American people do not want war on Syria, and such a war makes no sense. Who is trying to stampede Congress into war on Syria, and then on Iran — and why? Therein lies the real question.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?” 


  1. The government has been shelling near the hotel and a monastery, according to rebels and Russia Today, an official television outlet that supports Mr. Assad. Rebels say they pulled out of the town to minimize the damage; others say they still occupy much of it.

    The nuns could not tell what was happening outside but heard shelling and rocks falling from the cliffs, Mother Sayaf said. She tried to look on the bright side, seeing evidence of miracles.

    “Neither crosses nor statues were broken,” she said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

  2. On this day in 1972, the USA basketball team suffered its first loss in international competition, falling to the Soviet Union in Munich, Germany. The Olympic loss had a controversial ending.

    1. Ah the Munich Olympics, where the Palestinians showed their love for their fellow human beings, the Israelis, by murdering them.

      Not the 1st or last time the Palestinians would target innocent civilians on purpose...

      Munich massacre
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      Munich massacre

      Image of a kidnapper looking over the balcony of the Israeli team quarters at Building 31 of the Munich Olympic Village, possibly the most widely recognizable and iconic photo of the event.[1][2]

      Location Munich, West Germany
      Coordinates 48°10′46.9″N 11°32′57.1″E
      Date 5–6 September 1972
      4:30 am – 12:04 am (UTC+1)
      Target Israeli Olympic team
      Attack type mass murder, massacre, hostage-taking
      17 total
      6 Israeli coaches
      5 Israeli athletes
      5 members of Black September
      1 West German police officer
      Perpetrators Black September
      Motive Israeli-Palestinian conflict
      [show] v t e
      Palestinian insurgency
      in South Lebanon
      The Munich massacre was an attack during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany on 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team, who were taken hostage and eventually killed, along with a German police officer, by the Palestinian group Black September.[3][4][5][6] Shortly after the crisis began, they demanded the release of 234 prisoners held in Israeli jails,[7] and the release of the founders (Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof) of the German Red Army Faction, who were held in German prisons.[8] Black September called the operation "Ikrit and Biram",[9] after two Christian Palestinian villages whose inhabitants were expelled by the Haganah in 1948.
      The attackers were apparently given logistical assistance by German neo-Nazis.[10] Five of the eight members of Black September were killed by police officers during a failed rescue attempt. The three surviving attackers were captured, but later released by West Germany following the hijacking of a Lufthansa airliner. Israel responded to the killers' release with Operation Spring of Youth and Operation Wrath of God, during which Israeli intelligence agency Mossad and special forces systematically tracked down and killed Palestinians suspected of involvement in the massacre.

    2. Then in retaliation the Israeli murdered an innocent man.

      Seemed like a reasonable idea, at the time.
      He was a "darkie".

      A man of Middle Eastern appearance seemed to resemble the fuzzy newspaper photograph that was their only way of identifying Salameh. But this Salameh was behaving strangely – although he was supposed to be a stranger in Norway, he clearly knew his way around Lillehammer.

      Despite these question marks, Tel Aviv gave the go-ahead. The assassins blasted the man they had identified as Salameh with 14 bullets – a textbook killing.

      But they’d killed the wrong man – their victim was Ahmed Bouchiki, an innocent Moroccan waiter, who had been living in Norway for five years.

      Descriptions of the suspicious foreigners were passed to the authorities. Police swooped on two low-ranking members of the team, who quickly broke under interrogation. Within days, six agents had been rounded up, and at their trial, details of Israel's secret activities were exposed. The Lillehammer operation became the greatest disaster in Mossad’s history. To make matters even worse, Mossad discovered that the original intelligence that had led it to Norway was false, deliberately planted by one of Salameh’s Palestinian spies.

      Israeli murdered another innocent man.
      A more morally repugnant act than the Munich Massacre.

    3. Yep Israel did kill the wrong person, but it did track down and kill everyone of your friends.

      Kinda sucks doesnt it rat? Knowing that at any moment the Mossad will find where you hide and come a calling.....

      No wonder you hide in AZ and dont travel via the airlines. The Mossad will get you...

      better look under your bed...

  3. In a nutshell:

    Okay, I'm willing to take a minute, and accept an unconditional surrender, but don't piss me off, because I really, really want to bomb your filthy asses. (oh, and the ships stay where they are.)

  4. I fine it interesting that your focus once again goes to Israel.

    Syria murders 100k of it's own and the question is?

    Where is israel?

    Newsflash. It's not Israel's war. Syria has done all it can to destroy Israel, the people of Syria? have supported their nation for decades in the quest to murder Jews.

    Syria's Christians, moslems, Druze and Alawites share the collective destruction of Syria's jewish population that dates back 2400 years or more.

    It's a pity that another ex-french colony (vichy flavored of course) is self destructing.

    1. Where is Israel?

      Murdering 20,000 of its own each and every year of the 21st century.
      250,000 so far, just this century.

      That's where Israel is, right in the middle of the murderous mix.
      Doing its share to debase the human race.

    2. desert rat, if you are going to play the abortion card, they play it.

      Where is America with it's 1.2 MILLION of its own each and every year of the 21st century.

      55 MILLION so far, just this century.

      That's where America is, right on the top of the murderous mix.
      Doing its share to debase the human race.

      Now Israel's rate or total numbers of abortion? much lower than russia, china, europe or america.

      Israel at the bottom of the list..

      back at you criminal.

      Yea you, the one who personally has debased just how many lives?

      How many murders have you committed inside and out of the womb?

      Look in the mirror murderer....

    3. It is not about the desert rat, quot.

      It is about the murder of 20,000 Jews each year, in and by the state of Israel

      20,000 Jews murdered by the Zionists, each and every year.

      It is indicative of the value the Zionist Israeli put on Jewish lives, that they end 20,000 of them prematurely, each and every year.

      If the Israeli do not value Jewish lives, why should anyone else?

  5. Interesting that you say it is not Israel’s war but Israel and AIPAC always seem to have advice on which are America’s wars.

    Your collective guilt declaration is astounding in its implications. You really don’t think these things through.

  6. You and unfortunately, many of your fellow travelers state without hesitation that you wish “they” would all kill each other while sanctimoniously see anti-semitism everywhere. The anti-semitism you detect is nothing compared to your often stated wish of genocide, slaughter and ethnic cleansing.

    You really wonder at why you have lost all moral authority?

    1. I state no wish for genocide.

      i will and I see Karma.

      nazis are killing the nazis.

      The ethnic cleansers are being cleansed by ethnic cleansers.

      Aint my issue if the savages are now ripping each other's kid's heart out. they are YOUR friends, your pals, your fellow Israel haters....

      maybe you and your lady friend should organize an aid convoy to Syria.... For the children...

      yeah that's the ticket...

      a "flotilla" for the syrian kids..

      good luck with that.

    2. You have certainly advocated for the genocide of the Palestinians.

      You own it, quot.

    3. If you cant "quote it" you're full of shit.

      so why not post it?

      bet ya can't?

      cause we both know you are a liar...

    4. Now as for the self inflicted future of the palestinians?

      I will not cry when the fake nationalistic cause called "palestine" is forgotten.

      When the arabs go back to arabia?

      go to the desert from where they came?

      all good...

    5. DeuceTue Sep 10, 11:04:00 PM EDT
      You and unfortunately, many of your fellow travelers state without hesitation that you wish “they” would all kill each other while sanctimoniously see anti-semitism everywhere. The anti-semitism you detect is nothing compared to your often stated wish of genocide, slaughter and ethnic cleansing.

      You really wonder at why you have lost all moral authority?

      this coming from someone that wishes that Israel would be erased?

      Give me a break....

    6. quot, you are just full of shit lately.

      We don't have to quote the quot, we all remember the outlandish statements you've made.
      You are the only outlier when it comes to memories of posts and threads past.

      You are slipping worse than boobie.
      Better go back and read the "O"riginal character biography.

    7. you see deuce, one who hates israel as much as you do has no "moral authority"

      to watch the syrians butcher each other while the world does NOTHING?

      proves the reason Israel is.

      No one did anything to stop the genocide of the Jews.

      Nor would they in the future.

      if Iran hit Israel with a nuke?

      YOU WOULD NOT GIVE A SHIT. Nor would Rat or Rufus.

      So dont lecture me about "moral authority"

      i remember the comments from this blog when Israelis were being shelled..

      "home made rockets" "firecrackers"

      It's simple. Your girl friend's pals are butchering each other.

      I aint got no dog in the fight.

  7. Buchanan has it about 100% right.

    1. More than 64% Americans are against a Syria strike.
      Congress Members Who Have Seen Classified Evidence About Syria Say It Fails to Prove Anything
      "Classified Syria Intelligence Fails to Prove Assad Used Chemical Weapons
      The administration’s public case for chemical weapons use by the Syrian government is extremely weak, and former high-level intelligence officers say that publicly-available information proves that the Syrian government likely did not carry out the chemical weapons attacks."
      Congressman Tom Harkin said:
      "I have just attended a classified Congressional briefing on Syria that quite frankly raised more questions than it answered. I found the evidence presented by Administration officials to be circumstantial."
      Michael Burgess said:
      Yes, I saw the classified documents. They were pretty thin.
      Yahoo News reports:
      New Hampshire Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, for instance, left Thursday’s classified hearing and said she was opposed to the effort “now so more than ever.”
      “I think there’s a long way to go for the president to make the case,” she said after the briefing. “It does seem there is a high degree of concern and leaning no.”
      Senator Joe Manchin announced he was voting “no” for a Syria strike right after hearing a classified intelligence briefing.
      Congressman Alan Grayson points out in the New York Times:
      "The documentary record regarding an attack on Syria consists of just two papers: a four-page unclassified summary and a 12-page classified summary. The first enumerates only the evidence in favor of an attack. I’m not allowed to tell you what’s in the classified summary, but you can draw your own conclusion. [I.e. it was no more impressive than the 4-page public version.]"

  8. Anyone who watched that speech can come to no other conclusion than Obama is in over his head.

    1. I don't know, Deuce; he hasn't fired a shot, yet, and he's got Putin, And Assad shitting their pants.

    2. Don’t get me wrong , I am delighted at the outcome. Israel and the Neocons are not going to get their war with Iran. I do not recall anytime in my lifelong interest in politics where the United States public was 64% against the political wishes of Washington prior to a war.

    3. Putin looked pretty cool to me. Honestly, when Obama turned around at the end of his speech and walked away, do you think he looked presidential?

    4. And, don't get me wrong; I wish we would forget the entire middle east ever existed. :)

      And, I'm not sure that if this deal does come out okay, that it's not, either thanks to putin, or just plain dumb luck.

    5. Assad can come to no other conclusion than those chemical weapons are nothing more than a liability and his get out of jail card. He needs to request Russian advisors to come in and take charge of securing them and the destroying them. That will take about two years. With Russian personnel stationed in various parts of Syria, the US cannot be arming rebels that will be shooting at them.

      It puts a stick in the eye of the Turks and saudis and restrains Israel from more attacks.

      Russia will need to reinforce her fleet to back up her inspectors.

      Not a bad day’s work for Putin.

    6. Syria said on Tuesday night it would sign an international chemical weapons treaty and admit the scale of its chemical weapons stockpile for the first time.

      The foreign minister, Walid al-Moallem, said his country would halt production of chemical arms, disclose the location of its existing arsenal and allow access to UN inspectors in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention.

      Joining the convention implied a commitment to destroy the poison gases and nerve agents thought to be in Syria's possession, but a battle was looming at the UN over whether the timetable for Syrian disarmament should be enforced by the threat of military action.

      The US, Britain and France are preparing a hard-edged security council resolution backed by the possible use of force. Russia is proposing a much milder non-binding council declaration. As both sides manoeuvred for tactical advantage, Russia first summoned an emergency council meeting for 4pm on Tuesday then abruptly cancelled it.

    7. If what you say happens?

      War is more likely now between Israel and Iran.

      America the weak will allow the North Koreas and Iran to fill the void.

      Good luck

    8. Now you're afraid of the North Koreans?
      They're the "Bad Guys"?

      Funny stuff.

      As for Israel and Iran ...
      Get it On!


      They deserve each other.

    9. I hope AZ is Hezbollah 1st area they take over...

    10. It will not be.

      Once again your hopes will be dashed upon the rocky shores of reality.

    11. One can hope that you will have reality from the inside of a prison cell some day...

    12. Your hopes will be dashed upon the rocky shores of reality.
      I'm free as the breeze and will remain so.

      As I was telling Eleanor, just the other day ...

  9. Need I say more?

    ”Let me make something clear: the United States military does not do pin-pricks.”

  10. Both Spitzer and Carlos Danger lost in the NYCity primary election.

    Guess those New Yorkers aren't really as wacky as they sometimes seem.

  11. President Obama, in an address to the nation on Syria, said Tuesday that while he had resisted calls for military action in the country’s civil war, the situation “profoundly changed” after the Assad regime “gassed to death” hundreds of people last month.


    But the environment changed rapidly over the past two days, forcing Obama to recalibrate his approach and walk back his “red line” threats, while still leaving open the door to military action. He is now expected to call for a pause in congressional consideration of the use of force.

  12. "Life is like a penis - simple, relaxed and hanging free...it's women who make it hard."

  13. As he delivered familiar lines, Mr Obama sounded like a quietly despairing professor who cannot understand how the class is not catching the force of his argument.

    The cause was “plainly just", he said, and the need for action "clear".Point by point, Mr Obama explained why America must act following the chemical weapon strikes of August 21 that killed 1,400 people, including 426 children.

    He laid out the intelligence supporting the US contention that Assad was responsible; he set down the moral case to act on behalf of the father “clutching his dead children, imploring them to get up and walk" and dwelled on the historical responsibility to uphold global prohibitions on using chemical weapons.

    He empathised with the war-weariness of the American public and promised absolutely there would be no US boots on the ground in Syria. Regime change was not on the agenda; a limited strike in the interests of American national security, was.

    As he delivered familiar lines, Mr Obama sounded like a quietly despairing professor who cannot understand how the class is not catching the force of his argument. The cause was “plainly just", he said, and the need for action "clear".

    "When, with modest effort and risk, we can stop children from being gassed to death and thereby make our own children safer over the long run, I believe we should act," he said, "That's what makes America different. That's what makes us exceptional."

    Unfortunately for Mr Obama, America and Congress has made clear it does not agree.

    Opinion polls show that 80 per cent of Americans accept that the Assad regime used gas on his people, but even so they do not want to risk entanglement in another foreign war.

    And so Mr Obama was reduced to delivering the rhetorical equivalent of a shrug: there were no new arguments, no conspicuous display of passion.

    Instead the president, sounding both hurt and baffled, requested members of Congress examine their consciences as to why, after he had dignified their offices with consultations and explanations, they had decided to leave him so embarrassed.

    “To my friends on the right, I ask you to reconcile your commitment to America's military might with a failure to act when a cause is so plainly just," he said.

    “To my friends on the left, I ask you to reconcile your belief in freedom and dignity for all people with those images of children writhing in pain and going still on a cold hospital floor, for sometimes resolutions and statements of condemnation are simply not enough."

    Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right Mr Obama seemed to be saying, and me stuck in the middle trying to persuade a war-weary public whose minds (he had already admitted in a meeting with Congressman yesterday) were very unlikely to be changed by this speech.

    Against this background, Mr Obama set out the Russian proposal to put Syria’s chemical weapons beyond use, citing the "credible threat of US military action" for bringing Assad to the table, even as he chided members of Congress for failing to back his decision to use that force.

    "I've ordered our military to maintain their current posture," Mr Obama said, "to keep the pressure on Assad and to be in a position to respond if diplomacy fails." But with Congress having already made clear once that it will not back strikes, such threats now echo with emptiness – and the commander-in-chief, by his words and his demeanour, was unable to conceal that uncomfortable fact.


  14. Al Qaeda-linked groups operating alongside Syria’s rebels are growing stronger, analysts told Congress on Tuesday, countering recent claims by the Obama administration and some senior lawmakers that extremists are playing only a marginal role in the civil war.

    “Al Qaeda and its allies dominate a large portion of northern Syria and play a key role in fighting throughout the rest of the country,” Thomas Joscelyn, an analyst with the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, testified before the House Homeland Security Committee.

    While Mr. Joscelyn said “al Qaeda does not control the entire rebellion, which is made up of a complex set of actors,” his testimony stood in stark contrast to that provided last week by Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who sought to downplay the role of extremists among Syria’s opposition fighters.

    Mr. Kerry had followed the lead of Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, during hearings last week by touting the work of Syria analyst Elizabeth O'Bagy, a researcher at the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War.

    Ms. O’Bagy, who has also acknowledged having been paid to work for another group that lobbies in Washington in favor of deeper U.S. engagement in Syria, wrote recently in The Wall Street Journal that “the war in Syria is not being waged entirely or even predominantly by dangerous Islamists and al Qaeda diehards.”

    Mr. Kerry’s citing of the article drew criticism on two fronts. On the one hand, analysts wondered why he had not cited official U.S. government intelligence assessments. On the other, his characterization represented a sudden break from previous concerns expressed by the Obama administration about the extremist elements in the Syrian opposition groups fighting the government of President Bashar Assad — concerns the administration cited for not aiding the rebels with more extensive military aid.

    In written testimony, Mr. Joscelyn told the House panel Tuesday, “These same al Qaeda-affiliated forces have fought alongside Free Syrian Army brigades. There is no clear geographic dividing line between the most extreme fighters and other rebels.”

    Furthermore, Mr. Joscelyn said, “Al Qaeda has made the fight for Syria a strategic priority” since the organization, which means “the Base” in Arabic, seeks to “establish an Islamic Emirate in the heart of the Levant.”

    Meanwhile, uncertainties continue to swirl around the issue of how the al Qaeda-linked groups now operating in Syria will conduct themselves should Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government suddenly disintegrate — a possible scenario in the event that U.S. military strikes are launched.

    “There is serious concern that if Assad falls, the extremist wings of the rebel movement will fill the vacuum and take over Assad’s arsenal of chemical weapons,” said Rep. Michael T. McCaul, Texas Republican and chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.

    Mr. McCaul said a statement that the task of “securing these weapons will take an international coalition, and will ensure that they can neither be used by Assad or the extremist elements of the rebel forces.”

    He added that the Obama administration’s “widely telegraphed” plan to conduct U.S. military strikes in response to Mr. Assad’s recent alleged use of chemical weapons “will not accomplish this goal.”

  15. In January, A Leaked Memo Provided A Shocking Look At How Saudi Officials Commuted The Sentences Of 1,200 Death Row Inmates On The Condition They Join The Rebels And Fight Against Assad In Syria, According To The Assyrian International News Agency.

    The memo read: “We have reached an agreement with them that they will be exempted from the death sentence and given a monthly salary to their families and loved ones, who will be prevented from traveling outside Saudi Arabia in return for rehabilitation of the accused and their training in order to send them to jihad in Syria.”

    Saudi officials, anxious to have Assad removed from power, reportedly gave the prisoners a choice: decapitation or participating in Syria’s civil war on the side of the rebel forces.

    Inmates from Yemen, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Jordan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Egypt, Pakistan, Iraq, and Kuwait were said to have accepted the offer.


  16. Desperate to recoup following the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and left without its terror mastermind, Osama Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda may have an opportunity to get back on track in Syria, according to a report by two US statesmen.

    The report comes as the US Congress is in the process of considering whether to approve a military strike against the Syrian regime of President Bashar Assad, who the Obama administration blames for a chemical attack on a Damascus neighborhood on August 21 that left hundreds of civilians dead or injured.

    "The civil war in Syria may provide Al-Qaeda with an opportunity to regroup, train and plan operations,” concluded former Rep. Lee H. Hamilton and former New Jersey Gov. Thomas H. Kean in a summary of the report's findings. “Foreign fighters hardened in that conflict could eventually destabilize the region or band together to plot attacks against the West."

    The report, entitled ‘Jihadist Terrorism: A Threat Assessment’, was published Monday by the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington think tank.

    While admitting it is too early to predict the long-term threat posed by Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, the paper warned that the “right set of circumstances in the unstable Middle East” could breathe life into the network.

    This unpredictability on the part of the rebel forces, comprised as they are of known terrorist elements, is what Assad was referring to when he warned in a recent CBS interview that the United States should “expect everything” in the event Washington decides to go ahead with an attack.

    The report harkened back to the circumstances of the Iraq war, arguing that the highly controversial US military operation “revitalized the [Al-Qaeda] network and gave it new relevance.

    Similarly, Syria's conflict could offer a convenient safe haven for Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda's affiliate, it warns, while adding that Al-Nusra "is widely regarded as the most effective fighting force in Syria."

    Meanwhile, it seems that the group has learned a thing or two about public relations, refraining from imposing mandatory Islamic law on the populace, opting instead for providing social services to the war-torn region

    "For the moment, Al-Nusra is not imposing Taliban-style rule on the population as [Al-Qaeda in Iraq] did in Anbar province during the first years of the Iraq War," the report says. Instead, Al-Nusra "is operating in a Hezbollah-like manner as a large-scale provider of social services," such as food distribution points and hospitals.

    "This is something of a first for an Al-Qaeda affiliate; developing a Mao-like 'population-centric' approach to implementing a successful insurgency," it added.

    Meanwhile, there are other groups fighting on the side of the rebel opposition that are every bit as dangerous as Al-Qaeda.

    In January, a leaked memo provided a shocking look at how Saudi officials commuted the sentences of 1,200 death row inmates on the condition they join the rebels and fight against Assad in Syria, according to the Assyrian International News Agency.

  17. Expert Report: Talk of WMD Terror Threat to U.S. Has Been 'Overheated'

    By Rachel Oswald, Global Security Newswire
    September 9, 2013 | 2:02 p.m.

    WASHINGTON -- Warnings over the past dozen years of the threat of extremists carrying out weapons-of-mass-destruction attacks on the United States have been overblown, concludes a new think-tank report released on Monday.

    The Bipartisan Policy Center report notes that in the 12 years since the Sept. 11 attacks, no domestic Islamist terrorist groups or individuals are known to have gained access to or utilized chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons.

    “This point bears repeating as there has been considerable overheated commentary on this subject over the past decade,” states the report, a project of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Homeland Security Project. The 84-page report, which is backed by the former heads of the 9/11 Commission, is the first in a series of planned yearly threat assessments on the Islamist terror threat.

    The document notes that none of the 221 separate cases of known Islamist extremism since Sept. 11 have involved reports of WMD acquisition, production or usage.

    "Jihadist Terrorism: A Threat Assessment" was written by Peter Bergen, a national security analyst who appears on CNN; Bruce Hoffman, director of Georgetown University’s Center for Security Studies; and Mike Hurley, a former career CIA operations officer.
    The authors emphasize that the lack of Islamist WMD attacks to date does not eliminate the need to continue efforts to secure and lock-down WMD-relevant materials.


  18. {…}
    Former Republican New Jersey Governor Tom Kean, who chaired the now-disbanded 9/11 Commission, formally named the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, said he sees some WMD threats as more exaggerated than other perils.

    (AIPAC comes to mind)

    Those include, he said, “the wilder, almost science-fiction” warnings about the potential for terrorists to detonate a nuclear device in the atmosphere above the United States for the purposes of creating an electromagnetic pulse that could disrupt and damage the electrical grid below.

    (AIPAC comes to mind)

    A number of Washington political figures and pundits are calling for the United States to take steps to strengthen the disparate electrical networks in the country so that they can better withstand a feared EMP attack. A massive test involving over 150 companies and organizations is planned for November that is intended to examine how local governments and businesses handle a sudden shutdown of the electrical grid due to a terror attack or natural disaster.

    In terms of how to most effectively defend against a WMD strike, Kean said he sees the most cost-effective approach coming from investing more to help public-health systems respond to attacks.
    "I think when you talk about health facilities, that to me is always a priority because it covers everything," Kean said in a phone interview with Global Security Newswire. He co-chairs the BPC Homeland Security Project with Lee Hamilton, the former 9/11 Commission vice chairman and a onetime Democratic congressman from Indiana.

    The federal government in recent years has moved to substantially curtail the funding it provides to state and local public-health agencies and emergency-response-planning efforts, according to a November 2012 study by the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan think-tank based in Washington. The loss of funding has meant that much of the headway in preparing localities for responding to WMD terror attacks, notably biological ones, is being rolled back, according to the Aspen report.

    Addressing the law-enforcement response to the April Boston Marathon bombing, the BPC report warns against overreacting to future conventional terror attacks on the homeland in order to avoid playing into the hands of terrorists.

    "The Boston Marathon bombings, for example, an undeniably tragic but comparatively modest terrorist incident, closed down not only the Boston suburb where the Tsarnaev brothers were believed to have fled, but the entire Boston metropolitan area and Logan International Airport," reads the BPC threat assessment. “The lesson to future adversaries is that even a handful of deaths can elicit a large response.”

    (AIPAC comes to mind)

    The report offers a list of recommendations for improving U.S. national security. Those include drastically curtailing the number of congressional committees that have oversight of the Homeland Security Department. Currently a “mind-boggling" 108 panels have oversight of differing aspects of the department, according to the study.

    "We are less safe because Congress has not addressed the jurisdictional problems" with DHS oversight, Kean said

  19. Them peoples are dumber than Detroiters, and that take some doing, passing up the inside track what with Huma and Hill in the background.

    Who says 'democracy works'.

    My ass.

  20. samWed Sep 11, 01:46:00 AM EDT
    "Life is like a penis - simple, relaxed and hanging free...it's women who make it hard."


    Ain't that the truth as this old fart has learned of late.....

  21. 900 hundred bucks just yesterday...

  22. But it is worth it, she is the best of us all....