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Sunday, August 10, 2014

If ISIS succeeds in routing the Kurds and collapsing the fragile Iraqi state, there will be no end to the killing. American political and military power destabilized Iraq, Libya and Syria and supported ISIS in Syria. Now what?

We Had to Go Back

The U.S. had to intervene in Iraq because ISIS’s goals are absolutely terrifying.
By Reihan Salam - 8 August 2014

Scratch the surface of most of the world’s armed conflicts and you won’t see an ideological struggle or deep-seated ethnic or religious hatred that has erupted in a war of all against all. Rather, what you’ll find is a collection of thugs for hire, some in uniforms and some not, who are taking advantage of the chaos of war to prey on the weak. Sometimes this involves stealing oil or diamonds, or sexual brutality. But it’s pretty rare that it involves some larger design. True, the hooligans who take part in these orgies of destruction will often claim loyalty to some larger cause. They’re usually lying. The only heroes you’ll find in these wars are the people fighting for their lives and their loved ones.
The war that is now unfolding in Iraq is something different, and something much scarier. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria steals with the best of them, and I don’t doubt that some of the fighters who’ve attached themselves to its cause are thrill-seeking psychopaths like those you’ll find in any lawless hellhole. On the whole, however, you get the impression that its fighters aren’t killing for fun and profit, and they’re certainly not killing to protect themselves from other crazies. Instead, they are killing because they are utopians. They want to live in a world that is quite literally cleansed of those who do not share their deranged beliefs, and by killing Yazidis and Christians and members of other religious minorities, they believe that they are serving a noble and just cause. The Taliban are awful, but given their willingness to cut deals with the Afghan government and the United States and its allies, they aren’t quite so insane. Even al-Qaida is more tolerant of religious minorities than the lunatics of ISIS. Now, with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stolen loot, ISIS is on the march, closing in on stranded pockets of women and men they see as pagans and slowly starving them to death. The Kurdish peshmerga, the only Iraqi fighting force capable of holding ISIS at bay, has put up a brave resistance, yet they are starting to buckle.
And now, without a moment to spare, President Obama has decided to do something. For months, the president has resisted committing U.S. military forces to the fight against ISIS. But ISIS’s campaign of extermination against Iraq’s religious minorities has stirred him to action. In a nationally televised address on Thursday night, the president announced that he had authorized a limited bombing campaign against ISIS as well as a humanitarian effort on behalf of the stranded Yazidis.
Though I’ve criticized the Obama administration for withdrawing from Iraq at the tail end of 2011, I recognize that the decision to intervene militarily now is a thorny one. ISIS has succeeded in no small part because Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government has failed to win the confidence of Iraq’s Sunni Arabs, who’ve suffered mightily from his sectarian chauvinism. Coming to the Iraqi government’s rescue looks a little too much like forgiving Maliki for his sins. Most of the defense wonks who’ve called for the president to come to Iraq’s aid have insisted, quite reasonably, that Maliki first agree to build a more inclusive government that all Iraqis can trust and respect—a reasonable request given the stakes. Maliki’s refusal to make meaningful concessions has made a large-scale intervention profoundly unattractive.
But the prospect of genocide changes things. What President Obama understands, I hope, is that if ISIS succeeds in routing the Kurds and collapsing the fragile Iraqi state, there will be no end to the killing. American military power cannot make Iraq whole again. It can, however, help give the Kurds a fighting chance to beat back ISIS, and to establish a safe haven for the members of religious minorities fleeing from ISIS-held territory. And in doing so, it can buy time for Maliki to think hard about his legacy: whether to avoid sharing power he is truly willing to let Iraq once again become a slaughterhouse.
By giving the Kurds breathing room, the president is doing the honorable thing. Throughout America’s decadeslong entanglement in Iraq, it is the Kurds who have been our firmest friends. Right now, Kurds are fighting and dying to protect their homeland, yes, but also to defend Yazidis and Christians who cannot defend themselves. They are fighting for the entire civilized world, and for a country as powerful as our own to not lend them assistance would be genuinely shameful—not least because it is the U.S. invasion of Iraq that has contributed so much to that country’s unraveling.
I am a pessimist. Though I sincerely hope that the limited airstrikes authorized by the president will be enough to force ISIS into retreat, I don’t expect this gruesome war to end tomorrow. We need to start thinking about the Yazidis and the Christians and the other persecuted Iraqis who will need to find shelter somewhere other than Iraq. The United States welcomed as many as 130,000 refugees from South Vietnam after the fall of Saigon in 1975. We might have to welcome just as many from Iraq in the years to come.

Reihan Salam is a columnist for Slate.


  1. It is a very sobering exercise listening to Scott Ritter in light of events of the past twenty years. Have we learned anything?

    The question is irrelevant. We are stuck with a system and a media that supports the system and an electorate ignorant of what is happening in their name. They know more about Kim Kardashian than they do about the power and media brokers that affect their lives and future. The best that we can do is to challenge the lies and mitigate the calamitous results of the stupid, the thoughtless and the criminal decisions made by our rulers and masters

  2. If we can't "welcome" a few thousand babies from Honduras, and Guatemala, I don't see bringing in a few Hundred thousand, or Million, able-bodied slackers from the Middle East.

    I'm still having a hard time seeing all this. There aren't all that many of the ISIS pricks. A population of 6.2 Million should be able to defend itself, especially with us giving them ammo, and support from the air.

    I guess I'll be a little more excited about the "brave Kurds" when I hear that they've instituted a Universal Draft, and that all the able-bodied men are spending their fair share of time on the front lines. ymmv

    1. Some want to quote Ayn Rand. Some the Bible.

      I'm more inclined to "Wag the Dog."

      To wit: "It's a Pageant."

    2. Ancient Mesopotamia wasn't a "country." Mesopotamia was a number of "City-States" that were Constantly at war with one another. Emphasize the word, "Constantly."

      The sweetest deal enjoyed by any group of people in the world is, probably, that situation that is in effect for the people of the Southern South. (Approximately, 50% of the budget of the State of Mississippi is paid for by the Federal Government.)

      That said, the opportunity to "Secede" would be embraced, overwhelmingly, by the White Population of said area. They will be enrage, I am sure, throughout all eternity, that their "God-given right to enslave Black People" has been infringed upon by the hated "Northerners."

      People are hard-wired to hate, and want to kill, "The Other" - even if "the other" are just the people one town, over, or whose "sect" worships Jeebus in the most minutely different way.

      It has been this way as long as there have been humans, and it's hard to make the argument that it's going to change.

      If the spoiled, and pampered, citizens of the Southern United States can't accept their situation, it's hard to see how the Sunnis will ever accept the dominance of a Shia-led Baghdad. Obama is known for "going slow." In this case he had better find an even lower gear than usual.

    3. Iraq is not a real country. Nor is Jordan.

      Both lack any historic ties to the land and were set up as a payoff to the KING of Jordan after the British and the tribe Saud of Arabia stole the oil there.

    4. Neither is israel, all three of those 'artificial' countries were set up by the British.
      To further Britain's foreign policy objectives.

      The Equivalency Standard is applicable, "One More Time".

    5. At least, the Iraqis are native to the region, unlike the Russians in Palestine.

    6. Rufus, thanks for your insight, the "russians" are as native in Israel as any European in America. But you always love to skip over the Jews that have lived there for 3000 year and the 1/2 of the population of Jews driven from their middle eastern homes to israel by the arabs.

    7. By rufus, rat's and deuce's standards, only Jews have no rights to self determination.


      Gets funnier by the day..

    8. .

      WiO, you set yourself up to be rebuffed with ridiculous statements like Iraq and Jordan are not real countries.


  3. ”Iraq is not a real country. Nor is Jordan.”.... underlying that racist statement is the implication that they are not “real people” and certainly not the chosen people. The statement disqualifies the people because they lack the master credentials for being there. The Abrahamic religions, from the psychopath Abraham are all a cosmic joke and one of the great deceptions and tragedies to plague humanity.

    1. No underlying the creation of modern Iraq was a consolation prize for the Hussein family for being run off of Arabia.

      Learn history, it could do you some good.

    2. .

      You pick and choose the history you like, WiO, and ignore the rest.

      Of course Iraq and Jordan are real countries whether you like it or not. To state otherwise is absurd. Learn history, it could do you some good.


  4. Jews from Brooklyn, formerly from Poland, the Ukraine and Russia belong there but the native population does not because some rabbi witch-doctor or Bilble thumping turd from Alabama says it is so. Give me a break.

    1. The arabs of the middle east that now live in the "palestinian territories" mostly emigrated from other arab lands in the 1800's.

      Jews lived in the middle east for 3000 years which you do not recognize, but then again, you live in America and say you have a right to this land... Why again?

    2. Arabs from the middle east have what right to live in America?

      Blacks from Africa have what right to live in America?

      Arabs from Arabia have what right to live outside of Arabia? WHY?

      What is occupation?

      The world recognizes the Jewish right to it's land called "Israel". The arabs? Do not. Oh, let's resay that...

      Most of the Arab world DOES recognize the Jewish people's right to Israel.

      But Deuce, living on occupied Philadelphia, stolen from Indians, sits in judgement..


    3. Searching for "Equivalency "O"rdure makes a fool of himself, again.

      "The World", israel does not acknowledge the "World".

      It's very formation a violation of UN Resolution 181.

    4. UN resolution was accepted by Israel, the arabs said no and declared war.

      Sorry charlie, the arabs lost...


      Can't go back in time and rewrite history.

      Israel IS.


    5. Palestine is still a still born...


    6. No, "O"rdure the fact is that Resolution 181 was rejected by the Zionists.

      They reached no negotiated settlement with the Palestinians. They declared their 'state' without the auspices of the UN.
      Without meeting the requirements of UN Resolution 181.

      To claim otherwise, a fraud and a lie. Which you are continually attempting, and constantly called on.

      I would reference your inability to provide documentation of your claims of confessions to murder and mayhem, allegedly made by other contributors, here at the EB.

      "O"rdure lies, constantly, in his presentations here at the EB. He has no record of truthfulness, he is a fraud.
      He is propagandist of the lowest sort.

    7. Farmer Rob, aka Rat doesn't like the existence of the Jewish State of Israel.

      All the while squatting on stolen bottom lands in AZ.

      Yes, our self confessed killer of civilians in Central America has an opinion on every topic and nothing to add....


      Silly man...

      You just keep clinking your heels together like Dorothy and say "there's no place like home" a few more thousand times and trust me you will still be on the wrong side of history.

      Israel IS.


  5. I see the on-going story of the "Yazidi" (Yazidi? really?) and I think of the narrative of "Old Shoe," shot down behind the lines in Albania.

    Perhaps, I'm getting a bit cynical in my old age. Ya think? :)

    1. Then, there's that favorite from my childhood,

      "The Mouse That Roared."

  6. Let's get one thing straight about the Kurds. When ISIS came storming through, the Kurds didn't rush down to protect those "Christian" towns on the periphery.

    They ran down to Kirkuk, to take over the oil fields.

  7. So, what do the noble kurds do, now?

    I kind of suspect that they will discover the "humanitarian imperative" to liberate a couple of those Christian towns. That would be great press, and would ensure an increased "arms" flow from the West (U.S.)

    Being "humanitarian," it would warrant Obama's Air Support, thus holding casualties to acceptable limits.

    1. And, surely such a humanitarian group should enjoy the fruits of an extra oil field, or two.

    2. Already has happened, Rufus.

      ERBIL, Iraq — Kurdish forces on Sunday carried out counterattacks against Sunni militants in two crucial border towns, and American aircraft struck the militants in northern Iraq, military officials said.

      The American airstrikes, carried out by remotely piloted drones and fighter jets, were intended to protect Kurdish forces near Erbil, the capital of the Iraqi Kurdistan region, according to a statement by the United States Central Command.


      Kurdish officials said they had retaken the town of Gwer and were on the verge of seizing Mahkmour, where American military planes first struck the positions of ISIS fighters on Friday.

      Both towns are about 20 miles from Erbil, and advances by ISIS fighters there had briefly panicked residents here.

      Kurdish Forces Confront ISIS Fighters as U.S. Airstrikes Continue


    3. And, This

      A senior administration official said the United States was aware that a small number of Yazidis on the mountain had found a path into Syria. But the official said the number of the displaced who had managed to leave was in the hundreds, only a small fraction of those stranded there.

      The official said the United States did not view the corridor into Syria as a significant part of the solution for rescuing the Yazidis, but rather as an “ad hoc” effort made by the refugees themselves.

      The American military did not help to clear the path into Syria, the official said, noting that the Iraqi and Kurdish forces will have to find a way to escort all of the people off the mountain and relocate them to safety.

      is in direct Contradiction of what we've been reading from Other sources the last 24 hrs.

      The pigs are rushing the trough.

  8. ... North Carolina, where Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan remains ahead. However, Jensen said it’s not because of high approval ratings.

    “Hagan has a -10 approval rating, and usually if you have a -10 approval rating it means you’re doomed,” Jensen said. But, he added, Hagan’s Republican challenger, Thom Tillis, “has a -23 favorability rating, so that race remains very competitive despite Hagan being an unpopular incumbent, because voters really don’t care for her opponent, either.”

    The pollster added, “to a much greater extent than usual this year, with voters being so unhappy, ‘so-and-so’ has a negative approval rating, but they still lead for reelection because people like the alternative even less.”

    1. It's hard to approve of any of the bastards when your income has "fallen, and can't get up." :)

    2. People are pissed off because they're in a trap, and can't see a way out.

      They're not sure exactly who to blame, but they're starting to suspect that it's "All of the Assholes."

    3. Reaganomics did not envision the Supply Side Nightmare Scenario.
      Making no provisions for the tripling of the workforce that "Victory" in the 'Cold War' has brought to the global capitalist economy.

      The 'Old School' rules have broken down under the onslaught of cheap labor and fiat currencies

    4. And, let's be honest; Bill Clinton bought into a lot of that bullshit (especially, as regards "trade," and China) lock, stock, and barrel.

    5. Reagan and Clinton, twin sons of different mothers.

      There has been no significant economic policy initiative since Nixon took US off the 'Gold Standard' and Bretton Woods..

      Stay the Course !

    6. How many trillion of dollars have been allowed to find a 'home' in off shore tax havens?

      Wasn't the last GOP candidate a "Master" of the Tax Code, locating his corporate identity in Caribe tax havens?
      Was that not his claim to fame, well, tax avoidance and RomneyCare ... Shouldn't forget that.

      IL Gov. Candidate’s Use of an Overseas Tax Haven

      Bruce Rauner channeled part of fortune to Cayman Islands
      Dave McKinney of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote on Friday that Bruce Rauner, the multimillionaire Republican candidate for Illinois governor, has channeled at least part of his fortune into the Cayman Islands, a Caribbean paradise long criticized as a tax haven for American investors.

      A Rauner spokesman insisted that the former private equity investor has met his legal tax obligations and properly disclosed to the federal government information regarding at least five investments by him or his firm in a country that has no income tax and a financial system cloaked in secrecy.

      Rauner’s campaign has refused so far to release a full set of his most recent tax returns to corroborate that and perhaps show the extent and value of those investments in offshore companies. No one has suggested Rauner has done anything illegal. In fact, offshore investments among the wealthy have been a common practice in recent years, McKinney noted.

      However, Rauner’s Cayman Island interests are raising questions about why, as a candidate for governor, he would keep any of his wealth in an island nation with a reputation for its pristine, palm-tree-laden beaches – and tax avoidance.

      “I’d think someone who anticipates being in the public eye wouldn’t be in the Cayman Islands because the question to be asked is, ‘Why would you have invested there?’” said Richard L. Kaplan, a University of Illinois law professor and internationally recognized expert on US taxation and tax policy, according to the article.

      Rauner is challenging incumbent Democrat Pat Quinn in the November election.


      How Bank of America Benefits From a $16 Billion Settlement

      Still, there is another possible way that the bank could find relief from the pain of that $9 billion in cash: its extensive offshore workings. Bank of America has some 264 subsidiaries in offshore tax havens, including the Cayman Islands, the Netherlands and Singapore, according to a joint report last June by the Citizens for Tax Justice, a progressive think tank in Washington, D.C., and U.S. PIRG Education Fund, a left-leaning public interest research group, also in Washington. The subsidiaries help hoard some $17 billion, according to the report, which is based on SEC filings, adding that the money is kept offshore because bringing it back to the United States, or repatriating it, would trigger a federal income tax bill to the bank of $4.3 billion.

      If Bank of America’s final settlement includes (or overlooks) provisions that would allow the company to pay that non-deductible $9 billion from an offshore subsidiary, it could then potentially deduct that payment from the foreign profits of that subsidiary, in turn reducing its foreign tax bill and boosting its bottom line. “If B of A has to make a potentially non-deductible fine payment to the U.S. government, it will prefer to have the obligation formally the responsibility of an affiliate in a foreign country,”


  9. Washington Opened The Gates Of Hell In Iraq: Now Come The Furies

    Then came the neo-cons who for no discernible reason of national security could not leave well enough alone. By god, they were going to have regime change, a stable supplier of 6 million barrels of oil per day, and a stalwart ally armed to the teeth on the very doorstep of the Axis-Of-Evil; that is, the Iranian Shiite theocracy which happened to be religious kin to the single largest block of the Iraqi population.

    What these fools did was to open the gates of hell. The end result of Washington’s 20-year campaign to liberate Iraq, beginning with the first gulf war and followed by the devastating trade sanctions of the 1990s and the brutal desecrations of Bush II’s “shock and awe” and all the military mayhem which followed, was to aggravate, widen and mobilize all of the latent ethnic and religious conflicts and enmities that had been bottled up for decades inside the Sykes-Picot illusion.

    Now the furies have come. Ironically, the bloodthirsty ISIS is comprised of fighters who were first enabled by the misbegotten Bush maneuver known as the “surge”; then armed and trained by the CIA for the campaign against Assad; and now brandish the best weapons that any ramshackle jihadist group ever had.

    And yet America’s “peace” President is sending the bombers back in because there is a “humanitarian crisis” involving a religious sect no American has ever heard of, stranded on a mountain top that has nothing to do with the security and safety of the citizens of Lincoln NE and Spokane WA.

    Has not the American war machine turned the entirety of Mesopotamia and the Levant into a humanitarian crisis—of which this is only a tiny manifestation? Isn’t it time to at least stop fueling the blowback?


  10. .

    It is a natural impulse in the West to sympathize with and want to help the innocents and the helpless. Likewise, as a signatory to the Convention on Genocide the US has at a minimum a moral obligation to help those that face genocide. Also, what American would argue against doing whatever it takes to protect Americans we have put in harms way? This is why the majority of voices in the media seem to be supporting Obama's current actions in Iraq, that is, except for those who argue he should do more.

    However, we should also ask the question what are the real motives for the actions being taken in Iraq.

    It is possible that the reasons given by the administration are the real motivators in this crisis. It is hard to tell since most of the Obama foreign policy seems to have been a series of ad hoc moves each of which can conflict with or be 180 degrees from his previous moves and statements. Is it just a case of an extended learning curve as a definitive 'Obama Doctrine' slowly evolves? Hard to say.

    However, we should at least look to other possibilities, other possible motivations for the current actions. I would add one assumption: Intervening as he is doing now is the last thing Obama wanted to do. I don't think anyone would argue with that. That being said,

    (Not in any order and with no priority attached.)

    1. Perhaps this action in helping the Kurds will show Malicki the carrot that is being held out to him if they commit to an inclusive government.

    2. Perhaps with all the turmoil going on in the world, Obama needed a win. This is a low risk strategy with little potential downside.

    3. The 2014 election. The latest polls I have seen put Obama's approval ratings around 40%. And while Obama's ratings on foreign policy have always been strong, they are now tanking too. The current actions seem to be popular in Congress, the Media, and with the general public.

    4. Oil. The stated reasons for the current actions in Iraq are to prevent the genocide of thousands and protect our people on the ground in Erbil. Perhaps true but it is also true that Erbil is the capital of Kurdistan, a region that has about 25% of Iraq's oil reserves. That oil if used by IS would provide a huge boost to the IS war aims. If shut off, it could raise world oil prices and disrupt markets. This was also the key issue in the Libyan fiasco.

    Above, Reihan Salam says, "But the prospect of genocide changes things."

    But does it? Perhaps the immediacy of those 40,000 Yazidis stranded on that mountain has focused the attention of the media and through them the people who follow the daily news cycle. However, if this is really about genocide what about the millions who have just as cruelly lost their lives in the Congo over the last decade?


    1. Dont forget the "genocide" in Gaza... At last count almost 900 civilians have been killed, setting a new world record for the smallest genocide in history..

      Who cares about the Congo, Nigeria, Syria, Tibet, Armenia?

      Gaza, now that's sexy genocide...

      Great photos that went unused in syria? Now can be used in Gaza!!!!

      Photoshop need not even be used....


    2. .

      I've never accused Israel for genocide in Gaza.

      All I have done is argue against the bullshit you spread about the reasons for the war and who actually started it.


    3. Gaza is US subsidized genocide, that is what puts it front and center.

      It is a US proxy killing those children.

    4. QuirkSun Aug 10, 02:25:00 PM EDT
      I've never accused Israel for genocide in Gaza.

      No you have not…

      That was about the MSM and world's attention to Gaza and it's ignoring the rest.

    5. "O"rdure claims it is a genocide, in Gaza.

      Just up thread. Being a Zionist, he would know.
      Unless he is going to tell us that he was lying, yet again.

    6. What is "Occupation"Sun Aug 10, 02:15:00 PM EDT

      Dont forget the "genocide" in Gaza...

    7. And in the Galilee.

      As Mr David Ben-Gurion said ...

      Regarding the Galilee, Mr. [Moshe] Sharett already told you that about 100,000 Arabs still now live in the pocket of Galilee.
      Let us assume that a war breaks out.
      Then we will be able to cleanse the entire area of Central Galilee, including all its refugees, in one stroke.

      In this context let me mention some mediators who offered to give us the Galilee without war.
      What they meant was the populated Galilee.
      They didn’t offer us the empty Galilee, which we could have only by means of a war.
      Therefore if a war is extended to cover the whole of Palestine, our greatest gain will be the Galilee.
      It is because without any special military effort which might imperil other fronts,
      only by using the troops already assigned for the task, we could accomplish our aim of cleansing the Galilee.

      From a protocol of the Government of Israel,
      translated from Hebrew by Israel Shahak, in "Truth or Myth about Israel? Read between Quotation Marks" by Charley Reese in The Orlando Sentinel (13 June 1999); later published as "What Israeli Historians Say About 1948 Ethnic Cleansing" in Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (September 1999)

      Referring to Palestinian refugees: "We must do everything in our power to ensure that they never return."
      • Address at the Mapai Political Committee (7 June 1938) as quoted in Feuerlicht, Roberta, 1983.

      • From Jewish terrorism against Arabs it is a short step to Jewish terrorism against Jews.
      ○ "On three fronts" (3 August 1938) as quoted in Rebirth and Destiny of Israel, New York: Philosophical Library, 1954, p. 91.

    8. Three key features characterize Israeli apartheid:

      • Four million Palestinians in the Occupied Territories lack the right to vote for the government that controls their lives through a military occupation.

      In addition to controlling the borders, air space, water, tax revenues, and other vital matters pertaining to the Occupied Territories,
      Israel alone issues the identity cards that determine the ability of Palestinians to work and their freedom of movement.

      • About 1.2 million Palestinian Israelis, who make up 20 percent, or one-fifth, of Israel’s population, have second-class citizenship within Israel, ...
      ... which defines itself as a Jewish state rather than a state for all its citizens.

      More than 20 provisions of Israel’s principal laws discriminate, either directly or indirectly, against non-Jews, according to Adalah: The Legal Center for Minority Rights in Israel.

      Millions of Palestinians remain refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and elsewhere, unable to return to their former homes ...
      ... and land in present-day Israel.

      Even though the right of return for refugees is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    9. Excerpt from the Convention on the Prevention and
      Punishment of Genocide (For full text click here)

      "Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

      (a) Killing members of the group;

      (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

      (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

      (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

      (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

    10. Deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to destroy a group includes the deliberate deprivation of resources needed for the group’s physical survival, such as clean water, food, clothing, shelter or medical services.

      Deprivation of the means to sustain life can be imposed through confiscation of harvests, blockade of foodstuffs, detention in camps, forcible relocation or expulsion into deserts.

    11. detention in camps

      The Israeli blockade of Gaza is, in and of itself, a condition of genocide.

      • Four million Palestinians in the Occupied Territories lack the right to vote for the government that controls their lives through a military occupation.

      In addition to controlling the borders, air space, water, tax revenues, and other vital matters pertaining to the Occupied Territories,
      Israel alone issues the identity cards that determine the ability of Palestinians to work and their freedom of movement.

      "O"rure has finally acknowledged the truth...
      Who else bets he starts walking it back?

    12. I guess you never went to college.

      That's what the "'s are for...

      But I will admit that Israel is causing genocide in Gaza as soon as your repost your confession for being a serial killer of children in Scottsdale, AZ.

  11. Audit of the Federal Reserve Reveals $16 Trillion in Secret Bailouts

    Sat, 01 Sep 2012 01:33 CDT

    The first ever GAO (Government Accountability Office) audit of the Federal Reserve was carried out in the past few months due to the Ron Paul, Alan Grayson Amendment to the Dodd-Frank bill, which passed last year. Jim DeMint, a Republican Senator, and Bernie Sanders, an independent Senator, led the charge for a Federal Reserve audit in the Senate, but watered down the original language of the house bill(HR1207), so that a complete audit would not be carried out.

    Ben Bernanke (pictured to the right), Alan Greenspan, and various other bankers vehemently opposed the audit and lied to Congress about the effects an audit would have on markets. Nevertheless, the results of the first audit in the Federal Reserve's nearly 100 year history were posted on Senator Sander's webpage earlier this morning.

    What was revealed in the audit was startling:

    $16,000,000,000,000.00 had been secretly given out to US banks and corporations and foreign banks everywhere from France to Scotland.

    From the period between December 2007 and June 2010, the Federal Reserve had secretly bailed out many of the world's banks, corporations, and governments. The Federal Reserve likes to refer to these secret bailouts as an all-inclusive loan program, but virtually none of the money has been returned and it was loaned out at 0% interest.

    Why the Federal Reserve had never been public about this or even informed the United States Congress about the $16 trillion dollar bailout is obvious - the American public would have been outraged to find out that the Federal Reserve bailed out foreign banks while Americans were struggling to find jobs.

    To place $16 trillion into perspective, remember that GDP of the United States is only $14.12 trillion. The entire national debt of the United States government spanning its 200+ year history is "only" $14.5 trillion. The budget that is being debated so heavily in Congress and the Senate is "only" $3.5 trillion.

    Take all of the outrage and debate over the $1.5 trillion deficit into consideration, and swallow this Red pill: There was no debate about whether $16,000,000,000,000 would be given to failing banks and failing corporations around the world.

    In late 2008, the TARP Bailout bill was passed and loans of $800 billion were given to failing banks and companies. That was a blatant lie considering the fact that Goldman Sachs alone received 814 billion dollars. As is turns out, the Federal Reserve donated $2.5 trillion to Citigroup, while Morgan Stanley received $2.04 trillion. The Royal Bank of Scotland and Deutsche Bank, a German bank, split about a trillion and numerous other banks received hefty chunks of the $16 trillion.

    "This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you're-on-your-own individualism for everyone else."
    - Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

    1. .

      Old news.

      The sad part is nothing was ever done about it and no one even remembers it anymore. Low information citizens and the immediacy of the news cycle.

      The moving finger writes; and, having writ, moves on...


    2. Exactly, Q.
      A year later and nothing has changed.

      Stay the Course !

      Vote either Republican or Democrat, it matters not at all.

    3. Bush or Obama policies do no change.
      Greenspan, Bernanke or Janet Yellen, six of one, half dozen of the others.

      Stay the Course !

  12. Don’t be too hard on the immediate reaction of the Kurds. The ISIS version of “shock and Awe” makes the US Army version look like another day in the neighborhood wiith Mr. Rogers. As the shock wears away, I think the Kurds will acquit themselves.

    1. Yeah, I'm just getting old, and skeptical, I guess. It's not like they've ever blown that "newest, bestest friend with super-army" smoke up our ass before, right? :)

  13. BAGHDAD (AP) — Reinvigorated by American airstrikes, Kurdish forces retook two towns from Sunni militants Sunday, achieving one of their first victories after weeks of retreating, a senior Kurdish military official said.

    Kurdish peshmerga fighters were able to push the militants of the Islamic State group out of the villages of Makhmour and al-Gweir, some 45 kilometers from Irbil, Brig. Gen. Shirko Fatih said.

    The United States launched a fourth round of airstrikes Sunday against militant vehicles and mortars firing on Irbil as part of efforts to blunt the militants' advance and protect American personnel near the Kurdish capital.

    U.S. warplanes and drones have also attacked militants firing on minority Yazidis around Sinjar, which is in the far west of the country near the Syrian border.

    In the Kurdish capital on Sunday, the president of the semi-autonomous Kurdish Regional Government, Massoud Barzani, said American . . . . . . .


  14. Israel can’t Afford to Lose Jews Like Me
    By contributors | Aug. 10, 2014

    David Schanzer

    Writing in the New York Times . . . , columnist Shmuel Rosner labeled non-Israeli liberal Jews that are becoming more estranged from modern day Israel, as “fair weather fans” that Israel both can and should ignore. He is dead wrong on both counts.

    I am far from the most liberal Jew in America, but I am in the camp of Jews that Rosner is criticizing – Jews who have traditionally supported Israel but in recent years are feeling less and less comfortable doing so due to Israeli policy. The reason I am deeply concerned about Israeli policy is because – 1) I love Israel, and 2) I believe that current Israeli policy is jeopardizing what Rosner properly calls “the greatest Jewish enterprise of the last two millenniums.”

    Rosner tries to pawn off these legitimate concerns as motivated by Jewish guilt, claiming that American Jewish liberals are distancing themselves from Israel to “clear their conscience.” As we say here in America – that dog won’t hunt. Israelis may feel better if they can blame the views of some American Jews on personal shame. If that were true, we really would be fair weather fans. Rosner doesn’t seem to be willing to take on the much harder task of acknowledging that liberal American Jews share his objective of securing the Jewish state for posterity, and then dealing with our policy arguments on the merits.

    Rosner might be surprised to know that at least this liberal Jew did not object to the incursion into Gaza. The tunnels had to be destroyed. The launchers of rockets had to be punished. No state can submit to this kind of security threat on its back doorstep. I am even willing to defend actions that result in unintentional civilian casualties. There is no good, moral answer to how to deal with terrorists who use potentially lethal force against you and then try to immunize themselves from reprisals by surrounding themselves with civilians. I do, however, wish the IDF had been more discriminating. I can’t defend killing children on the beach and I believe Israel should have avoided bombardment of UN safe harbors. But no war has ever been fought without mistakes or transgressions. I believe that the IDF is attempting to comply with the law of war, but these efforts have fallen short too often.



    1. {...}

      The bigger issue than IDF conduct, for me, is Israel’s lack of strategic vision.

      We hear consistently from Israeli politicians and commentators that Hamas must be crushed, annihilated, defeated. I wish that were possible too. But the reality is that while Hamas’ infrastructure can be degraded by Israel’s military might, the organization cannot be militarily defeated (at least without a horrific, unacceptable bloodletting). The only way to truly destroy Hamas is to reach a settlement with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas regarding occupation of the West Bank, show the Palestinians in Gaza that they can live a normal, better life through reconciliation, and ultimately drain the political support Hamas currently enjoys. Unfortunately, the settler movement and the condition of Israeli politics have rendered the likelihood of a peace deal more and more remote. And, as has been convincingly demonstrated by so-called liberal American Jews like Peter Beinart and Jeremy ben Ami (leader of J Street), without a peace deal, Israel cannot continue to be a Jewish, democratic state. This is the true cause of my disillusionment.

      It is worth noting that what Rosner deems to be the “liberal” Jewish position – that is ending Israel’s 47-year occupation through a two-state solution – has been the consistent policy of the United States over successive Democratic and Republican administrations. But the ground has shifted in modern Israel so much that policy supported by George W. Bush and Barack Obama is now considered liberal. I do wonder: What is the “conservative” Jewish position? Is it permanent occupation? Ethnic cleansing of Muslims from Israel, the West Bank and Gaza? Or a one-state solution with unequal rights of citizenship for non-Jews? To merely ask the question is to answer it – there is no viable alternative to the two-state solution.

      Rosner is surely correct that Israelis can survive even if they “lose the support of some liberal Jews.” But this dismissive attitude is reflective of the myopia that afflicts modern Israel. We live in a globalized world. No country, even one with the depth of human capital of Israel, can be successful if it is a pariah state. If Israel is losing the support of Jews like me – who pulled weeds out of kibbutz cotton fields for weeks in 1978 when I was fifteen – where will it find the economic and political support to thrive and prosper in a world that, by and large, is anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist, anti-occupation, and anti-Israel ? Losing support from some American Jews is not just about lost donations, lost tourism dollars, or lost advocacy for pro-Israel causes in the U.S. Congress (although all of these hurt Israel badly). It is a danger sign. The lights are flashing red. Apparently, Rosner has his eyes closed. Unfortunately, many Israelis do as well.

      My final sin, in Rosner’s view, is that in my criticism of Israeli policy and actions, I am not treating my fellow Jews as family by providing “unconditional love.” But I do love Israel unconditionally, just as I do my children. And that hardly means I allow my children to do whatever they please or that I never criticize them. My obligation as a loving parent is to try and shape and mold my children so they make good, thoughtful, moral decisions that help them live joyous, successful lives. My love for Israel is unconditional in that as long as it exists, I will continue to advocate for its security, freedom and prosperity. My plea to Israel, out of love, is to change course before it is too late.

      David H. Schanzer is an Associate Professor of the Practice for Public Policy at the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy and the Director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security. He is also a regular contributor to ISLAMiCommentary.
      Mirrored from IslamiCommentary

  15. Why can't those tunnels be destroyed from the Israeli side of the fence?