“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

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Why is the US Government censoring news from Iran? Are we too stupid to make our own decisions? Who in Washington decides what information should be available to a free people? Care to Guess?

In late July, shortly after the Anti-Defamation League complained that the Iranian-owned broadcaster was using its YouTube channel as a “propaganda tool to promote a wide range of pernicious anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in English to a worldwide audience,” Press TV reported that it had been blocked from posting new video reports on its official PressTVGlobalNews channel.
September 13, 2013, 8:09 pm Comment
Sanctions on Iran Extend to YouTube
Last Updated, Saturday, 3:33 p.m. | NY TIMES

 As my colleague Michael Schwirtz reported, Iran’s new foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, addressed the crisis in Syria in an English-language interview this week on Press TV, a state-owned satellite channel that exists to put Tehran’s spin on the news.
Perhaps aware that Americans are unable to see Press TV broadcasts over the air, Mr. Zarif posted a link to a YouTube video of the interview on the recently verified Twitter feed he uses to engage with citizens of Iran’s traditional enemies.
Readers who are interested in seeing the interview might want to act fast, though, because several Press TV accounts on YouTube have been shut down or disabled in recent months, apparently for violating international sanctions on Iran.
In late July, shortly after the Anti-Defamation League complained that the Iranian-owned broadcaster was using its YouTube channel as a “propaganda tool to promote a wide range of pernicious anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in English to a worldwide audience,” Press TV reported that it had been blocked from posting new video reports on its official PressTVGlobalNews channel.
Two weeks later, after Press TV tried to evade the blockade by setting up a second channel, the A.D.L. complained again, calling the broadcaster’s use of YouTube a violation of American sanctions, and the Iranians again found themselves blocked.
Asked if the Iranian broadcaster’s channels had been being blocked as a result of the sanctions, a YouTube spokeswoman refused to speak on the record about any specific channel but said in a statement to The Lede, “We disable accounts that violate our terms of service or community guidelines, and when we are required by law to do so.”
Faced with this barrier, the Press TV producers in Tehran now appear to be engaged in a game of cat and mouse with YouTube, setting up a new channel to host more of their reports and interviews every time an old channel is shut down. In late August, Press TV advised users to look for its reports on another new channel, which is now also blocked.


  1. We don’t need some minders from the ADL or AIPAC and their bought and paid for flunkies in the US Government to decide for us which news is suitable for our tender minds.

    The Soviet Union blocked and jammed Western radio broadcasts during the Cold War. It was an abhorrent and useless effort.

    It is one thing for the Israeli lobbies to make their case for their cause. It is outrageous that they have the audacity to cajole the weakling sycophants and Israeli-firsters in the US Government to act illegally as censors.

    Those doing this are doing a disservice to the constitutional rights of non-hyphenated Americans and to the interests and causes of Israel.

    1. Quite correct, ADL and AIPAC are on schedule to get the US into the next war in the ME.

    2. So that we understand your point of view:

      What is “Occupation”

      On Blogger since January 2011
      Profile views - 50
      My blogs

      I support a JEWISH Palestine
      About me

      Introduction It's time for peace, there is plenty of room for all arab palestinians to relocate to AZ and find happiness there
      Interests Offering a Palestinian national home land in Arizona

    3. We understand your mission, priorities, loyalties and recommended methods of ethnic cleansing.

    4. You understand nothing.

      But Obama wants to start bringing the SYrian refugees to America.

      Bush and Clinton brought tens of thousands of african moslems to America.

      AZ is a great desert place for the arabs...

    5. I guess your mission will be done when your incitement creates the low information citizens to start to shoot up the Jews in violence.

      Blood libel the 2013 way...

      Blame the Jews. inflame the masses to blame the Jews. Kill the Jews...

      That's really your agenda aint it?

  2. Let’s see how long this useful video is allowed to stand.

  3. I wonder who runs the ADL. Let’s take a look:

    Abrahan Foxman, an only son, was born in Baranovichi, just months after the USSR took the town from Poland in the Nazi-Soviet Pact and incorporated it into the BSSR. The town is now in Belarus. Foxman had Polish Jewish parents: Helen and Joseph Foxman.

    Foxman's parents left him with his Polish Catholic nanny Bronislawa Kurpi in 1940 when they were ordered by Germans to enter a ghetto. Foxman was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church as Henryk Stanislaw Kurpi, and raised as a Catholic in Vilnius between 1940 and 1944 when (after several legal custody battles) he was returned to his parents.

    Education and career

    Foxman immigrated to the United States in 1950 with his parents. He graduated from the Yeshiva of Flatbush in Brooklyn, New York. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the City College of New York and graduated with honors in history. Foxman also holds a law degree from the New York University School of Law. He did graduate work in Jewish studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and in international economics at New School University.

    Foxman joined the Anti-Defamation League in 1965 in its international affairs division. In 1987, he was the consensus choice of the Board to become its new National Director, replacing long-time director Nathan Perlmutter.

    1. Would it make you happy if the Jews were just shot?

      It would seem to make you happy....

  4. Foxman and his hacks in the US Government needs to study this:

    Amendment I

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  5. Others don’t pass Mr. Foxman’s smell test

    The ADL has launched a new purge against its political enemies in the form of a major report that equates skepticism and distrust of government with “a toxic atmosphere of rage,” which is threatening to boil over in the form of violence, specifically targeting Alex Jones as “The Conspiracy King” and inferring that people upset with Barack Obama’s policies are potential mass murderers.

    The tone of the ADL’s hit piece basically implies that Alex Jones and his ilk are such a threat to the establishment that they should be removed from society, which ironically is exactly how Hitler dealt with his political enemies in Nazi Germany. The ADL is allegorically pinning a yellow star on “conspiracy theorists,” Oath Keepers, Tea Party protesters, and anyone else who dares express dissent in response to the financial looting of the country or Barack Obama’s big government agenda.

    And what does the ADL consider to be the criteria for those it claims are intent on carnage and bloodshed in the vein of cop killer Richard Poplawski? A belief that, “There is a conspiracy by malevolent globalists to take over the world and institute a “New World Order”.

  6. Blacklisted, But Not Beaten
    By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN • February 16, 2012, 5:21 PM

    My days as a political analyst at MSNBC have come to an end.

    After 10 enjoyable years, I am departing, after an incessant clamor from the left that to permit me continued access to the microphones of MSNBC would be an outrage against decency, and dangerous.

    The calls for my firing began almost immediately with the Oct. 18 publication of Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?? A group called Color of Change, whose mission statement says that it “exists to strengthen Black America’s political voice,” claimed that my book espouses a “white supremacist ideology.” Color of Change took particular umbrage at the title of Chapter 4, “The End of White America.”

    Media Matters parroted the party line: He has blasphemed!

    A Human Rights Campaign that bills itself as America’s leading voice for lesbians, bisexuals, gays, and transgendered people said that Buchanan’s “extremist ideas are incredibly harmful to millions of LBGT people around the world.” Their rage was triggered by a remark to NPR’s Diane Rehm—that I believe homosexual acts to be “unnatural and immoral.”

    1. Fired from MSNBC not cause he hates Jews or Israel...

  7. {…}
    On Nov. 2, Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, who has sought to have me censored for 22 years, piled on. “Buchanan has shown himself, time and again, to be a racist and an anti-Semite,” said Foxman. Buchanan “bemoans the destruction of white Christian America” and says America’s shrinking Jewish population is due to the “collective decision of Jews themselves.”

    Well, yes, I do bemoan what Newsweek’s 2009 cover called “The Decline and Fall of Christian America” and editor Jon Meacham described as “The End of Christian America.” After all, I am a Christian.

    And what else explains the shrinkage of the U.S. Jewish population by 6 percent in the 1990s and its projected decline by another 50 percent by 2050, if not the “collective decision of Jews themselves”?

    Let error be tolerated, said Thomas Jefferson, “so long as reason is left free to combat it.” What Foxman and ADL are about in demanding that my voice be silenced is, in the Jeffersonian sense, intrinsically un-American. Consider what it is these people are saying.

    They are saying that a respected publisher, St. Martin’s, colluded with me to produce a racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic book, and CNN, Fox News, C-SPAN, Fox Business News, and the 150 radio shows on which I appeared failed to detect its evil and helped to promote a moral atrocity.


    1. yep, it's was ok for Pat to hate Jews.

      Just not love the gays...


  8. {…}

    If my book is racist and anti-Semitic, how did Sean Hannity, Erin Burnett, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Megyn Kelly, Lou Dobbs, and Ralph Nader miss that? How did Charles Payne, African-American host on Fox radio, who has interviewed me three times, fail to detect its racism? How did Michael Medved miss its anti-Semitism?

    In a 2009 cover story in the Atlantic, “The End of White America?” from which my chapter title was taken, professor Hua Hsu revels in the passing of America’s white majority. At Portland State, President Clinton got a huge ovation when he told students that white Americans will be a minority in 2050. Is this writer alone forbidden to broach the subject?

    That homosexual acts are unnatural and immoral has been doctrine in the Catholic Church for 2,000 years. Is it now hate speech to restate traditional Catholic beliefs?

    Documented in the 488 pages and 1,500 footnotes of Suicide of a Superpower is my thesis that America is Balkanizing, breaking down along the lines of religion, race, ethnicity, culture, and ideology and that Western peoples are facing demographic death by century’s end. Are such subjects taboo? Are they unfit for national debate?

    So it would seem. MSNBC President Phil Griffin told reporters, “I don’t think the ideas that [Buchanan] put forth [in his book] are appropriate for the national dialogue, much less on MSNBC.”

    In the 10 years I have been at MSNBC, the network has taken heat for what I have written, and faithfully honored our contract. Yet my four-months’ absence from MSNBC and now my departure represent an undeniable victory for the blacklisters.

    The modus operandi of these thought police at Color of Change and ADL is to brand as racists and anti-Semites any writer who dares to venture outside the narrow corral in which they seek to confine debate. All the while prattling about their love of dissent and devotion to the First Amendment, they seek systematically to silence and censor dissent.

    Without a hearing, they smear and stigmatize as racist, homophobic, or anti-Semitic any who contradict what George Orwell once called their “smelly little orthodoxies.” They then demand that the heretic recant, grovel, apologize, and pledge to go forth and sin no more.

    Defy them, and they will go after the network where you work, the newspapers that carry your column, the conventions that invite you to speak. If all else fails, they go after the advertisers.

    I know these blacklisters. They operate behind closed doors, with phone calls, mailed threats, and off-the-record meetings. They work in the dark because, as Al Smith said, nothing un-American can live in the sunlight.

    Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?” Copyright 2012 Creators.com.

    1. Pat Buchaman?

      Is an anti-semite.

      Long proven. Long revered by the modern new Jew hater dressed up as "anti-zionist"

      After all Pat "Hitler was not all that bad" Buchanan leads the isolationist, jew haters of America club.

      Ok, now deny it in 3, 2, 1....

  9. Buchanan has since criticized Foxman’s campaign to get the US into a war with Syria

    Just Whose War Is This?
    Pat Buchanan | Sep 06, 2013

    Wednesday, John Kerry told the Senate not to worry about the cost of an American war on Syria.
    The Saudis and Gulf Arabs, cash-fat on the $110-a-barrel oil they sell U.S. consumers, will pick up the tab for the Tomahawk missiles.

    Has it come to this -- U.S. soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen as the mercenaries of sheiks, sultans and emirs, Hessians of the New World Order, hired out to do the big-time killing for Saudi and Sunni royals?

    Yesterday, too, came a stunning report in the Washington Post.

    The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations has joined the Israeli lobby AIPAC in an all-out public campaign for a U.S. war on Syria

    Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League have invoked the Holocaust, with Hier charging the U.S. and Britain failed to rescue the Jews in 1942.

    Yet, if memory serves, in '42 the Brits were battling Rommel in the desert and the Americans were still collecting their dead at Pearl Harbor and dying on Bataan and Corregidor.

    The Republican Jewish Coalition, too, bankrolled by Sheldon Adelson, the Macau casino mogul whose solicitude for the suffering children of Syria is the stuff of legend, is also backing Obama's war.

    Adelson, who shelled out $70 million to bring down Barack, wants his pay-off -- war on Syria. And he is getting it. Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor have saluted and enlisted. Sheldon, fattest of all fat cats, is buying himself a war.

    Yet, is it really wise for Jewish organizations to put a Jewish stamp on a campaign to drag America into another war that a majority of their countrymen do not want to fight?

    Moreover, this war has debacle written all over it. Should it come, a divided nation will be lead by a diffident and dithering commander in chief who makes Adlai Stevenson look like Stonewall Jackson.

    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey is having trouble even defining the mission. While Obama says it will be an in-and-out strike of hours, a "shot across the bow," John McCain says the Senate resolution authorizes robust strikes, lethal aid to the rebels and a campaign to bring down Bashar Assad.

    If the Republican Party backs this war, it will own this war.

  10. It looks like Buchanan, Obama and the American people won this round and Foxman lost.

  11. Now the neocons will turn up the heat to get the US into a war with Iran - Elliot Abrams opens with “two no trump”

    No one in Israel has the slightest faith that President Obama means to bomb the Iranian nuclear sites. His rhetoric on preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons has been very tough, including during his visit to Israel in 2013. But the handling of Syria shows his aversion to using force and potentially involving the United States in another Middle East war. Democratic party loyalists who have hitherto advised Israel that Obama might act are, it is said, no longer offering such assurances.

    The Israeli conclusion will be that if Iran is to be stopped they must do it themselves. The odds of an Israeli attack over the coming year have risen, and the Israeli question about the United States is whether the administration will reconcile itself to Israeli action or even perhaps come to see it as a useful way to stop Iran without U.S. action.

    But Israelis will also be more concerned now about a Russian-led diplomatic offensive, some kind of clever offer that does little to disarm Iran but whose wide international acclaim makes an Israeli strike nearly impossible. The lessons here are to work hard (sometimes along with the French) to toughen the American position in negotiations with Iran, and keep honing their own strike plans. Israelis hope for a diplomatic solution as much as the Obama administration does, but will not kid themselves about the chances of a Western collapse that embraces a bad deal.


    1. Now Iran is march forward to victory.

      Neville Chamberlain has assured us peace in our time.

      Good like with that.

  12. Neocon and AIPAC alumnist:

    Dennis Ross: War with Iran more likely if action on Syria is not taken
    Monday, 9 September 2013

    Al Arabiya

    The failure to take military action against Syria will encourage Iran’s hardline establishment to pursue nuclear weapons, raising the likelihood of an Israeli attack that could drag the United States into a war with Iran, former Middle East adviser to President Barack Obama Dennis Ross wrote Monday on The Washington Post.

    Ross noted that after the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in the last decade, the U.S. public is “wear and wary” of any further military engagement in the Middle East.

    Lawmakers opposed to any military strike on Syria, Ross wrote, are worried that the cost of the war is going to be “too high and uncertain.”

    “The wariness is understandable, but it does not make the cost of inaction any lower,” according to Ross, also a counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

    He added that if the resolution for military action against Syria is blocked, “there will be no diplomatic outcome to our conflict with Iran over its nuclear weapons.”

    “The hard-liners in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and around the Supreme Leader will be able to claim that there is only an economic cost to pursuing nuclear weapons but no military danger,” Ross noted.

    He explained that regardless of the United States having said that It will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, “we are prepared to live with an Iran that has nuclear arms.

    But Israel is not prepared to live with a nuclear Iran and would likely launch an attack against Israel. This attack, according to Ross, “will not inevitably involve the United States, but maybe it will — and maybe it should.”

    At this point to cost of not acting against Syria will be seen as not “so low,” according to Ross.

  13. Get ready for the onslaught to take the US into war with Iran.

    1. THe USA is already at war with Iran.

      It's has never stopped attacking it. AND Iran has never stopped attacking America.

      wake up

  14. …and no, I am not to going to shut up about it.

    1. LOL

      Iran is not Israel's sole problem.

      To think otherwise?


    2. the 100,000 dead thank iran for supporting syria.

      they applaud America's lack of spine....

      after all they are just arabs...

      Iran, the persians will fight to the last arab kid...

  15. EITHER AM I.







    1. .

      EITHER AM I.

      It almost sounds biblical. More delusions of grandeur?

      As I pointed out on the last stream, it's good to see your niece, Bollyann, has called again. I assume she needs another $900 for cab fare.

      Also, from the last stream, If that is what she really said, I would suggest that rather than 'working at' she is likely being 'worked on at' the Max Plank Institute of Brain Research, a subject rather than a researcher. Likely, as is your wont, you just misunderstood her. I assume for an old codger like you it can be hard to talk and write checks at the same time.


  16. Let me be perfectly clear.

    The whole subject arose because of Rufus.

    His concerns regarding QUIRK left me with a troubled mind.

    Therefore I e-mailed my Niece at the Max Planck Institute of Brain Research in Hamburg, Germany concerning this affair.

    She got back to me in five minutes saying:

    This sounds serious.

    Let me toss it around over lunch.

    Love you bob

    I hope this Quirk weirdo is not your friend.

    1. .

      Had you read beyond Rufus' initial attack you would have noted that he was once again proved wrong in his remonstrance.

      The fact that you have started quoting Rufus as the basis for your actions shows the levels you have fallen to.

      Likewise, I doubt Rufus appreciates being accused of being responsible for your bizarre thoughts or actions.


    2. Bumper sticker seen in the suburb of Bonkers, outside of Detroit, Michigan ---

      "I can drive safer drunk than sober -- arrest me now"

    3. .

      His concerns regarding QUIRK left me with a troubled mind.

      I think you give Rufus too much credit.



    4. For God's Sake Q- man, even Rufie sits at home.

    5. .

      Bob, you are drifting again. Go have a cup of coffee.

      Don't you have a pill or something that will help clear your mind.

      I haven't a clue as to what you are trying to say.


    6. This isn't an attack, simply polite advice.

  17. Got you there Quirk-O -- you actually said that.

    Even Rufus ain't that dumb.

  18. .

    Bob, you are clueless.

    Go back to sleep. It will do you wonders.


  19. Now go into denial.

    It's your only escape.

  20. .

    For God's Sake Q- man, even Rufie sits at home.

    Sorry, still don't get it. Why don't you go give Bollyann a call if you can afford it.



    1. Bollyann?


      Who in the hell is Bollyann??

      You got her phone numbers from a restroom somewheres?

      Jeez Quirk.

      And by the way, I do think you are 'smarter than Rufus', but not by much.

      Who isn't?

    2. Bollyann sure isn't my Niece.

      She has a name so long and complex it would take a dumb fuck like you a year to pronounce.

      One of your grand daughters?

    3. Look how I have lowered our 'Master of Critical Thinking'.

      He is now just a heartbeat away from a big --

      "Fuck you, Bob, and you too Rufus."

    4. That should read --

      "Fuck you, Bob, and fuck you too Rufus."

    5. .


      Get back to us after than heartbeat, old timer, and explain it all to us again.

      The most you can elicit from me is a sad smile or a bewildered shake of the head.


  21. Right on cue

    Obama says Iran shouldn’t misinterpret U.S. response to Syria

    By Zachary A. Goldfarb, Updated: Sunday, September 15, 9:25 AM

    President Obama declared Sunday that the United States is still prepared to act militarily to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons despite the decision to pursue a diplomatic deal and not strike Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons.

    He also acknowledged his approach to the Syria crisis has been uneven, but defended it as producing the right results.

    Obama spoke in an interview broadcast on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos,” taped Friday before the United States and Russia agreed on a plan to bring Syrian chemical weapons under international control in order to avoid military strikes.

    But Obama said Iran should not interpret the diplomatic response — coming after he threatened to use strikes -- as suggesting that the United States wouldn’t attack Iran to stop the development of nuclear weapons.

    “I think what the Iranians understand is that the nuclear issue is a far larger issue for us than the chemical weapons issue, that the threat. . . against Israel, that a nuclear Iran poses, is much closer to our core interests,” Obama said. “My suspicion is that the Iranians recognize they shouldn’t draw a lesson that we haven’t struck [Syria] to think we won’t strike Iran.”

    Obama said, however, that what the Iranians should draw from this episode is that it is possible to resolve this type of disagreement diplomatically.

    “My view is that if you have both a credible threat of force, combined with a rigorous diplomatic effort, that, in fact you can you can strike a deal,” he said, confirming that he had communicated with new Iranian President Hasan Rouhani by letter.

    Obama also defended his approach to the Syrian crisis, acknowledging it has been turbulent, but insisting it has achieved the right results.

    The comments come after a number of lawmakers and foreign policy experts on both sides of the aisle have criticized Obama for first making the case to go to war in Syria, then deciding to ask Congress for approval, and then making the case for strikes to a primetime audience while also announcing he would first give a Russian diplomatic proposal a chance to work.

    In response to those criticisms, Obama said he is less interested in style than results.



  22. {…}

    “I think that folks here in Washington like to grade on style. And so had we rolled out something that was very smooth and disciplined and linear, they would have graded it well, even if it was a disastrous policy. We know that, because that’s exactly how they graded the Iraq War,” Obama said.

    He added, “I’m much more concerned about getting the policy right. . . .As a consequence of the steps that we’ve taken over the last two weeks to three weeks, we now have a situation in which Syria has acknowledged it has chemical weapons, has said it’s willing to join the convention on chemical weapons, and Russia, its primary sponsor, has said that it will pressure Syria to reach that agreement. That’s my goal. And if that goal is achieved, then it sounds to me like we did something right.”

    Obama also played down differences with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin as Russia and the United States work together to resolve the Syria standoff.

    “ Mr. Putin and I have strong disagreements on a whole range of issues,” Obama said. “But I can talk to him. We have worked together on important issues.. . .This is not the Cold War. This is not a contest between the United States and Russia.”

    Obama plans to pivot back to a focus on the economy this week ahead of major fiscal battles in Congress, and he said he could change the direction of the economy—including the upward path of inequality—if Congress would let him.

    Asked if a president just couldn’t stop inequality, he responded, “I think the president can stop it. The problem is that there continues to be a major debate here in Washington.”

    While he acknowledged that government can’t overcome every trend in the market, policy that invests in the economy “pushes against these trends. And the problem that we’ve got right now is you’ve got a portion of Congress whose policies don’t just want to you know, leave things alone, they actually want to accelerate these trends.”

    © The Washington Post Company

  23. Daniel Pipes, before he got the memo:

    SEPTEMBER 10, 2013 4:00 AM
    Forget Syria, Target Iran
    A limited strike against Assad is the worst possible option, and Iranian nukes are the real threat.
    By Daniel Pipes

    Here’s advice to the members of the United States Congress as they are asked to endorse an American-led attack on the government of Syria: Start your consideration by establishing priorities, clarifying what matters most to the country. The Obama administration rightly points to two urgent matters: stopping the Iranian nuclear buildup and maintaining the security of Israel. To these, I add a third: reestablishing the U.S. deterrent credibility laid low by Barack Obama.

    Note that this list conspicuously does not mention the Syrian regime’s chemical arsenal (the largest in the world) or its recent use. That’s because those pale in horror and in danger by comparison with the nuclear weapons now under construction in Iran. Also, the attack in Ghouta, Syria, on August 21 was appalling, but not worse than killing a hundred times more civilians through other means, including torture. Further, that attack breached multiple international conventions, but surely no one expects “limited strikes” to restrain desperate dictators.

    How best, then, to achieve the real priorities concerning Iran, Israel, and U.S. deterrence? Several options exist. Going from most violent to least, they include:
    1. Knock off the Assad regime. Attractive in itself, especially because it takes out Tehran’s No. 1 ally and disrupts supply lines to Hezbollah, this scenario opens a can of worms: anarchy in Syria, foreign intervention by neighbors, the prospect of al-Qaeda-connected Islamists taking over in Damascus, hostilities against Israel on the hitherto-quiet Golan Heights, and the dispersal of the regime’s chemical weapons to terrorist organizations. Overthrowing Bashar Assad threatens to recapitulate the elimination of long-standing dictators of Iraq and Libya in 2003 and 2011, leading to years, or even decades, of instability and violence. Worse yet, this outcome could rejuvenate the otherwise dying career of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the bully of Turkey, currently nearly overwhelmed by his missteps.

    2. Bust the regime’s chops without overthrowing it — the Obama administration’s proposed approach. This scenario takes us no less into the unknown: Evidence exists that the Assad regime does not worry about the U.S.-led “punishment” but already plans to deploy chemicals again, perhaps against civilians, as does Tehran against American targets. Further, as I have pointed out, a limited strike could lead to “violence against Israel, an activation of sleeper cells in Western countries, or heightened dependence on Tehran.” I’ve also noted that surviving the strikes would permit Assad to claim victory and boast that he had defeated the United States. This step risks almost as much as overthrowing Assad does, but it lacks the benefit of getting rid of him; it is the worst of these three options.

    3. Do nothing. This scenario has several disadvantages: letting Assad get away with his chemical attack; eroding Obama’s credibility after his declaring the use of chemicals a “red line”; and strengthening the hardliners in Iran. But it has the even greater advantages of not further inflaming an already combustible war theater, maintaining the strategically beneficial standoff between regime and rebels, and, most important, not distracting Washington from the really important country — Iran.


  24. {…}

    By all accounts, the mullahs in Tehran are getting ever closer to the point where they can order nuclear bombs to be made and readied for use. Unlike the use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians, this prospect would be a matter of the most direct and vital personal concern to Americans, for it could lead to an electromagnetic-pulse attack on our electrical grid, suddenly returning us to a 19th-century economy and possibly resulting in a couple of hundred million fatalities.

    Such prospects make the methods by which Syrians kill each other a decidedly less vital matter for Congress than Iranian plans to bring the United States to its knees. In this light, note that Barack Obama has followed his fellow Democrat Bill Clinton in a readiness to use force where American interests precisely are not vitally involved: Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Haiti, Libya, and now Syria. Need one really argue that American troops be deployed only to protect their own country?

    While the Saudi foreign minister and the Arab League haughtily demand that “the international community” do its duty and stop the bloodshed in Syria, this American suggests that Sunni Muslims who wish to protect their kin in Syria do so with their own plentiful petrodollars and large armies.

    In this light, I recommend that Congress reject the sideshow proffered by the administration and instead pass a resolution endorsing and encouraging force against the Iranian nuclear infrastructure.

    — Daniel Pipes is president of the Middle East Forum and author of three books on Syria. © 2013 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.

  25. Will Iran be the second stage in the formation of a new political coalition of the un-willing?

    Libertarian Republicans and Liberal Democrats: Marriage or 1-Night Stand?

    Despite a sudden and strong alliance over opposition to war in Syria, the two groups have little else in common and no one to bring them together.


    The popular uprising against potential military intervention in Syria has scrambled Washington’s typical left-right politics. Just consider some scenes around the capital this week.

    Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., a cochairman of the Progressive Caucus, walked past an antiwar protest and got heckled for supporting air strikes, while Tea Party Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich., earned cheers for his opposition. Christopher Preble of the noninterventionist Cato Institute visited the usually hawkish Heritage Foundation and was shocked to hear his rival think-tankers “basically saying exactly what I would have said.” And Democratic firebrand Alan Grayson of Florida teamed with House Republican colleagues to organize a guerrilla whipping operation.

    “I can’t remember when MoveOn and FreedomWorks were on the same side of anything,” said Stephen Miles of the Win Without War coalition.

    It’s such a novel moment for Washington that some speculate we may finally be seeing the mythical populist coalition between anti-interventionist libertarians on the right and antiwar civil libertarians on the left that former Rep. Ron Paul and Ralph Nader have dreamed about for years. “I think it’s totally real,” said Becky Bond, the political director of Credo Mobile, one of the first liberal voices to oppose intervention in Syria. “As someone who was doing this kind of work in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, this feels very different. It’s a real left-right coalition.”

    Indeed, Syria has tilted the political landscape 90 degrees, turning the familiar partisan divide into a vertical split between the leadership in both parties, which favors military intervention, and the parties’ anti-interventionist grassroots bases. And it comes on the heels of a revival of “libertarian populism” on the right, alarm over civil liberties on the left, and a general war weariness among Americans of all stripes.

    The Tea Party has been nearly unanimous in its opposition to strikes against Syria, and Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of FreedomWorks, a Tea Party group, thinks it’s more than just knee-jerk opposition to Obama. “It’s a shift; it’s a realignment,” Kibbe said. On issues such as civil liberties, electronic surveillance, drones, and criminal-justice reform, “there’s absolutely a convergence. We’re building a new coalition.”

    “You’re seeing coming to fruition a lot of the groundwork that was laid over several years,” Miles said. It started in Iraq, with antiwar House Republicans such as Paul and North Carolina’s Walter Jones, he said, and has materialized more recently in bipartisan legislation to trim defense spending.

    One lawmaker who has tapped into that coalition is freshman Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, a Republican who has introduced bills with Democrats to legalize industrial hemp production and end mandatory minimum sentences. He told National Journal that the grassroots opposition to Syria was unlike anything he’s seen since the populist furor over the bank bailouts in 2009. And it may be just the tip of the iceberg. “It’s certainly not a one-off,” Massie said. “I think there are a lot of opportunities going forward.”


  26. {…}

    If you want a glimpse of what this coalition might look like, the July roll-call vote on the amendment to end National Security Agency bulk surveillance sponsored by Reps. Justin Amash, R-Mich., and John Conyers, D-Mich., is a good place to start.

    The measure earned 111 Democratic and 94 Republicans ayes and split the parties internally between more-hawkish leaders and the privacy-minded rank and file. The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent compared the result to a whip count on Syria and found “striking” overlap.

    The two sides often come to the same issue for completely different reasons. The National Rifle Association, for instance, recently joined the American Civil Liberties Union on a lawsuit challenging the NSA’s surveillance programs. The NRA’s concern is that surveillance could be used to create a national gun registry -- a fear that critics dismiss as conspiratorial -- but whatever the motive, the ACLU is happy for the support.

    But while a constituency might be there, no movement now exists to channel the energy bubbling up from the grassroots into real political power. Instead, the populist wings of the left and the right tend to organize themselves in parallel and have little interest in joining forces -- at least publicly. “When it comes to grassroots organizing, you see different groups coming together on certain votes,” Kibbe said, “then going back to their respective camps when it comes time for politics.”

    Mark Meckler cofounded the Tea Party Patriots, the movement’s largest umbrella group, but stepped down last year and joined with an unlikely ally, MoveOn.org founder Joan Blades, to facilitate “living-room conversations” among people with different political views. “There’s just a whole litany of issues where the people are on the same side, but the politicians and the media are working very hard to keep us apart,” Meckler said. He cited a trans-partisan skepticism of “bigness,” in terms of both government and corporate power, and especially when they team up. “You can go far right or far left, and you come full circle.”

    Despite that convergence, Meckler said, it’s hard for organizations that have to cater to bases -- often by beating up on the other side -- to cross the political divide. He notes that the Tea Party Patriots would sometimes work with liberal groups on issues where they had common ground and even share resources, but always through back channels.

    Perhaps someone could come along and capture this bipartisan populist moment, but who? No one has credibility in both camps, which despise each other on all but a handful of issues.

    And that’s the problem. A movement made up of the extremes of both parties will, by definition, have a hard time finding middle ground. There’s simply no reconciling populist liberals’ desire to expand the welfare state with populist libertarians’ demand to slash it. Unless they find more to agree upon, the populists of both parties will be stuck fighting from the same position, but facing opposite directions.

  27. Make no mistake, All Leaders, of All Governments, Everywhere, share a hatred of the intertubes.

  28. Now we got Boobie I, and Boobie II arguing about "who's dumber than Rufus." :)

    Well, bein' the good guy that I am, I'm going to help you out a bit, boys;

    It's a tie. :)

  29. I wish Melody would come back.

    She'd put a little fire in the joint, and some good music.

    But I guess she isn't going to though.

  30. Guess that's about normal for Deuce and this thread..

    the Evil of the Joos...

  31. As to the sexual offenders, there was a really bad case in the Boise area some time ago. Illegal Mexicans, gang rape, murder......I can't recall all the gory details nor do I wish to.

    That poor woman.

    And after what my niece went through, I say just shoot them

    1. Shoot them all, the bastards.

      You just don't DO that.

      India has a big problem with this.

      Just shoot them all.

      Sorry, I get very emotional about this subject.

    2. Now The Mad Crapper will come in. Charging me with failing to do my duty, which duty I did not know I even had until about two weeks later, by which time it had been reported by the hospital to the police.

      Fuck you, Crapper.

    3. There was once, I swear to God, a guy at WSU at Orton Hall, who got the nick name of The Mad Crapper cause he was always leaving turds in the elevator.

    4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwTf-QzZzXM

      Mad Crapper