“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

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What was the real reason that the US got involved with Syria?


  1. Deuce ☂Wed Dec 31, 09:38:00 AM EST

    She was from Idaho. Why a young mother with three young children, including a two year old is shopping with a loaded gun in her handbag is beyond belief.

    Maybe she was then, but everything I read said not from Idaho.

    Not that it makes any difference.

    Sad event. The little kid doesn't even recognize what happened yet. She might have been packing the gun thinking to protect the kids.....


    1. 2-year-old accidentally kills his mom in Wal-Mart
      Posted: Dec 30, 2014 12:20 PM PST Updated: Dec 30, 2014 5:52 PM PST

      Authorities in northern Idaho say a 2-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed a woman after he reached into her purse at a Wal-Mart store and the concealed gun fired. (Source: Raycom Media) Authorities in northern Idaho say a 2-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed a woman after he reached into her purse at a Wal-Mart store and the concealed gun fired. (Source: Raycom Media)

      Police: Sleeping mom left drug needles, pipes near child in flophouse
      Man expected to recover from Northern Kentucky stabbing
      Plan ahead for safe ride home from New Year's Eve celebrations
      Cincinnati reaches pension settlement
      67-year-old Duck Hunter rescued from Little Miami river

      2-year-old fatally shoots mom in Idaho Wal-Mart
      Vegas snow on New Year's Eve is a roll of the dice
      Mom who says she left tot on porch faces charges
      Hammerstein museum plan hits sour note for some
      Police shoot, kill man who tries to run them down

      AP National News VideoMore>>
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      US mulls putting NKorea on terrorism sponsor list
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      Obama says North Korea hacked Sony, vows response

      Associated Press

      HAYDEN, Idaho (AP) - A 2-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his mother after he reached into her purse at a northern Idaho Wal-Mart and her concealed gun fired, authorities said Tuesday.

      Veronica J. Rutledge, 29, was shopping with her son and three other children, Kootenai County sheriff's spokesman Stu Miller said. Rutledge was from Blackfoot in southeastern Idaho, and her family had come to the area to visit relatives.

      She had a concealed weapons permit. Miller said the young boy was left in a shopping cart, reached into his mother's purse and grabbed a small-caliber handgun, which discharged one time.

      Deputies who responded to the Wal-Mart found Rutledge dead, the sheriff's office said.

      "It appears to be a pretty tragic accident," Miller said.

      The victim's father-in-law, Terry Rutledge, told The Associated Press that Veronica Rutledge "was a beautiful, young, loving mother."

    2. Hayden is where the Aryan Nations used to hang out before being run out of town by a local jury. The Fuhrer and chief scamp of the group, Richard Butler, from California, died broke and alone, to everyone's relief.

  2. U.S. blocks Palestinians at UN while cementing support for 1967 borders


    The US affirms its support for the 1967 borders being reestablished, while voting against the UN Resolution solution proposed by the Palestinians.



      The US did nothing except vote.

      There were not enough votes by all parties.

      It's called democracy of nations.

      One vote per nation that sits on the UNSC.

      There were not enough votes to pass, some folks abstained.

      Either way?

      The palestinians once again LOSE…


      The nation of Palestine is as dead as Jack's love life… (not counting the horses he dates)

  3. Well, here we are - New Years Eve.

    The Dow's at 18,000

    GDP is pushing at $18 Trillion

    We're Not all dead from Ebola

    ISIS hasn't snuck across the border, and conquered L.A.

    Unemployment is falling,

    And, Gas Prices are snuggling up to $2.00 / gallon.

    Median Income is rising, again, and

    People are buying Obamacare policies like they're going out of style.

    Whatever are the Obama-haters going to go nuts over, now?

    Oh, wait . . . . . . . . .


    That's the ticket. :)

    1. The price had inflated, based on the data points presented, at a 5% compounded rate, over 14 years.
      June 2000 to June 2014.

      Less than gasoline has risen, over the same time span.


    2. I buy a dozen eggs every couple of weeks, and I haven't paid over $1.70, yet.

      I'm going to the store after while; I'll see what the price in Memphis is, Today.

    3. Try the inflation from 2009 - 2014. Oh, that's right, you dare not.

      The humble egg will not and was not meant to be an indictment of anyone. Those who took it so are insecure. As to tens of millions of Americans who live on the edge, insecure is probably as good a description as any other.

      "Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she laid an asteroid."

    4. Tell us what that rate is, allen.
      If that is your point, then make it.

    5. I did yesterday. Little one, you must read more and comment less, unless you wish to be a fool, in which case a pointy hat will suffice.

    6. 18 TRILLION in quantitative easing, higher health care, higher diesel, higher tires, water sewage, 95 million americans no longer seek work, 47 million on food stamps…

    7. As I stated, yesterday, you can buy a nice, plump little frier for $0.99 / lb..

      That's down from $1.25 / lb., not long ago.

      It's hard for me to see "chicken" going one way, and "egg" going the other,

      for long. :)

  4. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An air strike by an unmanned U.S. aircraft over Somalia this week killed Tahliil Abdishakur, the chief of the al Shabaab militant group's intelligence and security wing, the Pentagon confirmed on Wednesday.

  5. NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Wednesday as concerns about demand for fuel kept worries about a global supply glut intact.

  6. No matter today's outcome, the year 2014 will go down as a very good year for the U.S. stock market.

    Entering today's session, the S&P 500 is up 12.6%, excluding dividends.
    The Nasdaq Composite is up 14.4% and the Dow Jones industrial Average is up 8.5%


  7. .

    $170 million. The cost for a fairly large city to go through bankruptcy.



    1. Among the top paid firms are the city's lead bankruptcy firm, Jones Day, which earned a payout of $57.9 million; investment banking firm Miller Buckfire, $22.82 million; financial restructuring advisory firm Ernst & Young, $20.22 million; and the operational restructuring firm Conway MacKenzie, $17.28 million.

      The city's list also shows that Dentons US LLP, a law firm that acted on behalf of an official committee of city retirees fighting pension cuts, will get $15.41 million.

      The disclosure also revealed the city's two pension funds paid attorneys at Clark Hill $6.25 million and financial advisers at Greenhill & Co. $5.71 million.

      The filing shows that Detroit's bankruptcy mediator firms were paid $980,000 and that the city's two pension funds paid consultants and attorneys about $12 million to fight the bankruptcy case. Federal judges who helped mediate the case were not compensated.

  8. Re: ... the egg as metaphor ...

    "There are few, very few, that will own themselves in a mistake, though all the World sees them to be in downright nonsense."

    The egg has risen 109% since 2009. That is a provable fact. Why should such a simple fact be so disturbing? Could it have anything to do with the national debt having risen in like manner?

    The nation's GDP is related to the nation's debt only to the extent that the government solely controls both.

    1. As is gasoline, allen, a metaphor.

      A rising tide lifts all boats.

      Capsizing those tied hard and fast to the pier.


    2. A rising tide lifts all boats, which is a good thing supposedly, if you have a boat.

      But in reality no boat is relatively worth any more than any other in a rising tide.

      What happens is the boats are priced even further out of range for those without boats to begin with....

      Lower gas prices, for which O'bozo had nothing to do, are good for motor boat owners, but do nothing for those without motor boats.

    3. We are all waiting expectantly for Jack "Portfolio" Hawkins to give us his financial pick recommendations for the coming year.

      Everyone is doing so on Fox.......

    4. There has never been a war, other than in Lilliput, of blood for eggs. The Sixth Fleet will not be positioned to ensure the unfettered flow of eggs. Shall it ever be heard, "No blood for Omega 3"?

      Trying find a comparison in the spot price for eggs to the spot price of gasoline is nonsensical. Gold is up, ergo the Swiss Franc must be down. The number of rat trappers in India is up, therefore, the price of silk must be down. The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain...

  9. Oh and there still is no NATION called Palestine..


    1. That is why the ethnic Arab/Palestinians are all Israelis, "O"rdure.


    2. The Israeli government's denial to those Arab/Palestinians the full rights and privileges of citizenship ...

      That is what makes Israel an apartheid state

    3. ... only to the illiterate ...

    4. Jack HawkinsWed Dec 31, 12:29:00 PM EST
      The Israeli government's denial to those Arab/Palestinians the full rights and privileges of citizenship ...

      That is what makes Israel an apartheid state

      America does not give full rights and privileges to citizens of Canada.

  10. Bob OreilleWed Dec 31, 09:10:00 AM EST

    Still hoping to read of a clean, non violent take down of a LOT of cash from one of the local Casinos.....


    Bob OreilleWed Dec 31, 09:12:00 AM EST

    I will be criticized by rat -O -rooter for this Robin Hood type attitude I sometimes enjoy.

    Supporting criminals, etc......

    You watch.

    Jack HawkinsWed Dec 31, 09:18:00 AM EST

    Your lack of respect for the property of others, your blatant disregard for the Law, and your racism is singling out the Indian casinos to be robbed, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, par for you.

    As you said, just yesterday, you stand squarely amongst the dumb fucks.

    What is "Occupation"Wed Dec 31, 09:25:00 AM EST

    Jack HawkinsWed Dec 31, 09:18:00 AM EST
    Your lack of respect for the property of others, your blatant disregard for the Law, and your racism is singling out the Indian casinos to be robbed, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, par for you.

    As you said, just yesterday, you stand squarely amongst the dumb fucks.

    another day, another sad attempt at character assassination attempt by Jack Hawkins.

    The readers will notice the ad hominem attacks, Jack has started this AM.


    The readers should also note that there is no reference to "Indian Casinos" whatsoever. The reference is clearly to "local Casinos

    And who among us but the rat, who has no sense of humor whatsoever. does not get a little chuckle out of a well planned non violent pay back to some turd running whores in trailers under the guise of "Massage Here" once in a while?

    No one but our rat turd.

    rat the Crapper at work !

    Told ya so !!!!!


    1. The only casino local to Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson are the Indian Casinos.

      That he fails to reference that salient reality does not diminish it.

  11. "Portfolio" Jack is good.

    Ha ha

    Deuce has a legit portfolio, Jack doesn't have Jack shit.

  12. Shoes were 50% off. Look for a collapse in the price of ground beef.

    He had been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put in vials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw inclement summers.

    1. One can fight global cooling that way.......

  13. Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, claimed that Iranian backed local forces are active in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, and outnumber those of Hezbollah in Lebanon in size.

    Meanwhile, Syrian opposition forces claimed that Iran had set up a "Syrian Hezbollah" which serves as the Revolutionary Guard's long arm in the region. They confirmed the claim that there was a large number of forces present in both Syria and Iraq.


  14. Is Major General Nagata subtly questioning Obama’s refusal to acknowledge the reality of jihad terror?

    December 30, 2014 10:07 am By Robert Spencer 56 Comments

    There is good reason to think so, and it would be heartening to think that there is still at least one high-level official who sees the reality of the situation and is unwilling to close his eyes to it. More on this story. “Obama’s See-No-Islam Policy Forces Military Rethink,” by Neil Munro, Daily Caller, December 29, 2014:

    …“We do not understand the movement, and until we do, we are not going to defeat it,” Maj. Gen. Michael Nagata, the special forces commander in the Middle East, told the group of outside experts, according to a friendly article in the New York Times.The general’s instructions to the group ostentatiously ignored the role of Islam. “I want to engage in a long-term conversation to understand a commonly held view of the psychological, emotional and cultural power of I.S.,” he said, formally obeying Obama’s see-no-Islam policy.

    “We have not defeated the [jihadis’] idea. We do not even understand the idea,” he said, according to the article, which does not mention Islam as a motivating force, nor the White House’s fatwa against any mention of Islam.

    But Nagata’s statements repeatedly hint that the Islamic State’s power is based on its Islamic authenticity.

    “What makes I.S. so magnetic, inspirational?…There is a magnetic attraction to I.S. that is bringing in resources, talent, weapons, etc., to thicken, harden, embolden I.S. in ways that are very alarming,” he wrote............


    1. ISIS, for instance, stands for the Islamic (emphasis mine) State in Iraq and Syria.

      The use of "Islamic" is why sympathizers here and elsewhere prefer a silly euphemism. They do it for the same reason they use "Zionist" rather than "Jew": It is a crude attempt at subterfuge.

    2. Zionists are not representative of Judaism, just as the Daesh is not representative of Islam.

      Both are political ideologies, wrapped in religious propaganda that is designed to obfuscate the truth.

      Why, even Joe Biden will tell you that you do not have to be Jewish to be a Zionist.

    3. Jack, will all due respect, and there is none.

      You are in no position to tell Jews anything.

      Meanwhile the FACT is still the FACT, Israel, the Jewish State, the homeland for the Jewish People LIVES.

      I stand with Israel, you hate Israel, Zionism, Judaism and Jews.

      Are you too much of a coward to be HONEST?

      Jack "the Jew hater" Hawkins.

    4. Hmmm...good ol' Joe.

      I must be a Zionist then, cause I've always supported Israel, even though I'm not Jewish.

      I've been using ISIS mainly because I find it easier to type than Daesh or ISIL.

      I am thinking about simply going to IS, there really being no Iraq or Syria any longer in any meaningful sense.

      Shia Iraq is rapidly becoming a province, so to speak, of Iran...........

      Oh, O'bozo !............

    5. Comical, but that is all you guys are left with.
      The intellectual arguments failed your side, long ago.

      I hate racists, apartheid apparatchiks and those that would make excuses for them.



    6. “To me the Zionists, who want to go back to the Jewish state of A.D. 70 (destruction of Jerusalem by Titus) are just as offensive as the Nazis.
      With their nosing after blood, their ancient "cultural roots," their partly canting, partly obtuse winding back of the world they are altogether a match for the National Socialists.

      That is the fantastic thing about the National Socialists, that they simultaneously share in a community of ideas with Soviet Russia and with Zion.”

      ― Victor Klemperer, I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years, 1933-1941

    7. So Jack is an avowed fan of Hitler.

      Thanks Jack for admitting you want for the genocide of all the Jews.

  15. The fat lady is not singing yet.

    Palestine will join the International Criminal Court, President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday, a move that sets the stage for filing a war crimes case against Israel.

    He made the announcement in the West Bank, a day after the UN Security Council failed to pass a resolution that had aimed to set a deadline for Israel to end its occupation of territories sought by the Palestinians.

    Mr Abbas had warned that if the resolution failed, he would resume a Palestinian campaign to join international organisations to put pressure on Israel.

    Israel says all disputes should be resolved through peace talks, and such actions are aimed at bypassing negotiations.

    The resolution vote was a blow to an Arab campaign to get the UN’s most powerful body to take action to achieve an independent state of Palestine.

    The US, Israel’s closest ally, had made clear its opposition to the draft resolution, insisting on a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, not an imposed timetable.

    It would have used its veto if necessary, but did not have to because the resolution failed to get the minimum nine “yes” votes required for adoption by the 15-member council.

    The resolution received eight “yes” votes, two “no” votes - one from the US and the other from Australia - and five abstentions.
    “We voted against this resolution not because we are comfortable with the status quo. We voted against it because ... peace must come from hard compromises that occur at the negotiating table,” US Ambassador Samantha Power said
    She criticised the decision to bring the draft resolution to a vote as a “staged confrontation that will not bring the parties closer”. And she added that the resolution was “deeply unbalanced” and did not take into account Israel’s security concerns.

    Until shortly before the vote, council diplomats had expected the resolution to get nine “yes” votes.

    But Nigeria, which was believed to support the resolution, abstained. Its ambassador, U Joy Ogwu, echoed the US position saying the ultimate path to peace lies “in a negotiated solution”.

    The Palestinians could point to support from two European nations, France and Luxembourg, reflecting the growing impatience especially in Europe over the lack of progress in achieving a two-state solution, and the increasing pressure on governments to do something to end the decades-old conflict.

    This impatience, and frustration over the Security Council’s paralysis in dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, was echoed by many on the council, including the US.

    Before the vote, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the Palestinians can return again to the Security Council, which will have five new members starting Thursday who are viewed as more sympathetic to their cause.

    Israel’s image and standing, especially in Europe, have come under increasing pressure as a result of this summer’s Gaza war and its refusal to halt settlement building.

    Mr Abbas found himself under fire at home to proceed with a UN vote and to take other measures after months of unrest with Israel.
    Pressure increased earlier this month after a Palestinian minister died from a heart attack after scuffling with Israeli security forces in the West Bank at a protest against settlements.

    That incident came after months of tensions that included the collapse of the latest round of US-backed peace talks, a 50-day war between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, Israeli security measures that restricted Muslim access to a revered holy site in Jerusalem and a spate of Palestinian attacks that killed 11 people.

    The violence seems to have mostly subsided in recent weeks but attacks persist.

  16. We ought to get out of the UN.

    It is a joke.

    1. Same with The International Criminal Court.

  17. .

    It would have used its veto if necessary, but did not have to because the resolution failed to get the minimum nine “yes” votes required for adoption by the 15-member council.

    Given the rotating membership of the SC, it is only a matter of time before the US is forced to use its veto.


    1. Exactly.

      Supposedly meaningful votes are hostage to some idiotic rotation schedule.

      Libya was once head of the Human Rights Council or whatever it is called.

      The UN is a farce.

  18. Jack HawkinsWed Dec 31, 02:10:00 PM EST

    Comical, but that is all you guys are left with.
    The intellectual arguments failed your side, long ago.

    I hate racists, apartheid apparatchiks and those that would make excuses for them.



    Jack HawkinsFri Jul 18, 12:36:00 AM EDT

    I mean, you are an Israeli, and here is nothing worse than that.

    In all the world, the Arabs of Israel are the scum.

    Now if you were a European, well thatd be different, but Israelis are all Arabs, Semites.
    Scum of the Earth


    Have a nightmare tonight and a shitty tomorrow,
    QuirkFri Jul 18, 01:13:00 AM EDT


    And the voice of the rat is heard in the land.

    And the world once again cringes.

    Bob OreilleFri Jul 18, 02:35:00 AM EDT

    "I mean, you are an Israeli, and there is nothing worse than that."

    There we go. That's a keeper. I am going to store that one.

    Jack "Hamasass PsychoRat of the Desert" Hawkins puts it in one concise line.

    His whole outlook. Simple, ignorant, unbelievably irrational.

    No wonder most people can't stand him.

  19. Go fuck yourself, Jack.

    Go look to your Portfolio.


    Happy New Year to everyone else.

    I've been sending some Happy New Year free ecards this morning.

    What an easy way to send greeting to people !

    Tomorrow is the Rose Bowl too !

  20. QuirkWed Dec 31, 02:40:00 PM EST

    It would have used its veto if necessary, but did not have to because the resolution failed to get the minimum nine “yes” votes required for adoption by the 15-member council.

    Given the rotating membership of the SC, it is only a matter of time before the US is forced to use its veto.

    Quirk, you might be correct, however that is not what happened yesterday.

    Palestine still is not a nation.

    1. .

      Whew, dodged another one.


      Happy New Year.


  21. Deuce ☂Wed Dec 31, 02:17:00 PM EST
    The fat lady is not singing yet.

    Palestine will join the International Criminal Court, President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday, a move that sets the stage for filing a war crimes case against Israel.

    It also sets the stage for war crimes against the Palestinians. :)

  22. Israeli forces have once again violated the territorial integrity of Lebanon by making an incursion into the south of the country.

    More than 12 Israeli troops on Tuesday crossed the Blue Line along the Lebanese border, advancing 100 meters deep into the Lebanese village of Kfar Shouba.

    The Blue Line is a border demarcation between Israel and Lebanon determined by the UN.

    Lebanese media say the soldiers searched the area and took some photos before retreating.

    “A Merkava tank stood covering the operation on a hill facing the Lebanese restaurants [near the border] while soldiers took battle positions nearby,” Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star reported.

    The Tuesday report added that the border violation also involved extensive flights by Israeli jets.

    The Lebanese Army also deployed its forces near the border “to prepare for any possible escalation by the Israelis.”

    United Nations peacekeepers stationed at the Blue Line also documented the Israeli violation.

    The government in Beirut, Hezbollah, and the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, known as UNIFIL, have repeatedly condemned Israel for violating UN Resolution 1701 and the Lebanese territorial integrity.

    UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which brokered a ceasefire in the war of aggression Israel launched on Lebanon in 2006, calls on Tel Aviv to respect Lebanon’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

    The Lebanese government has filed several complaints to the United Nations over the violation of the country’s airspace by Israeli military aircraft.

  23. President Vladimir Putin used his New Year messages to urge “equality” between Russia and America on Wednesday, adding that both countries had a “responsibility” for preserving peace.

    Although Russia's crisis-hit economy is barely one-eighth of the size of America's, Mr Putin spoke the language of parity between the two nations.
    The comments came in separate addresses to foreign leaders and to the Russian public, following by far the most difficult year for Moscow's relationship with the West since the Cold War.
    In a generally conciliatory message, Mr Putin used the coming 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War to invoke the memory of Russia fighting "shoulder to shoulder" with the Western Allies against Nazi Germany.
    "This historic date is a reminder of the responsibility of Russia and the United States in maintaining peace and international stability," he said in a message to President Barack Obama. Mr Putin added that he wanted relations with America to "develop successfully proceeding from principles of equality and mutual respect".

  24. Shiite militias behaving badly

    Senior Iraqi Kurdish politician Mullah Bakhtiar discusses his party’s relationship with Iran and with Kurdish parties in Syria – and in particular, in Kobani and Rojava, as well as whether anyone should be concerned about the unofficial Shiite Muslim militias behaving badly in northern Iraq.

    The head of the political bureau of one of Iraqi Kurdistan’s ruling parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, or PUK, talked to NIQASH about his party’s internal and external political turmoil and how the current security crisis is affecting them. Mullah Bakhtiar also said that, despite the fact that the PUK tends to have a better relationship with Iran and therefore, by default, the Shiite Muslim militias sponsored by Iran who are currently up north fighting extremists, his party has also expressed its concerns about their bad behaviour – and to no less than one of the militias’ most important leaders from Baghdad.

    NIQASH: What are the latest developments in the war against the extremist Islamic State, or IS, group?

    Mullah Bakhtiar: When the Islamic State group first attacked Iraqi Kurdistan we were shocked. But now we’ve been able to develop plans to fight back and contain the situation. We can confidently say that the IS group has suffered one defeat after another.

    NIQASH: But even before this particular crisis you were among those who expected the IS group to attack Iraqi Kurdistan. Why was that?

    Bakhtiar: I have a lot of information about terrorist groups in the Middle East – I follow up on their movements and their announcements. Our party actually has a special office for information on these groups. We get very good information coming through and that is why I was convinced that the IS group were ramping up for something big. I wrote an article about it, around three months before the Islamic State attacked Mosul - in that I said they would come and attack us.

    NIQASH: One of your major political allies, the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party, or KDP, has expressed concern about the Shiite Muslim militias coming from down south and deploying nearby. But your party doesn’t seem to mind them as much…

    Bakhtiar: The way things were going in Iraq, it was difficult for anyone to say no to the formation of these Shiite Muslim militias. Baghdad looked like it was endangered and we had to either help by sending troops there or we could work together with Shiite Muslim militias. At that time, the IS group was attacking Iraqi Kurdistan and Sinjar, so we did the latter. And despite all the complaints, the Shiites of Iraq have the right to their own defence too. The war against the IS group is a matter of survival for Iraq’s Shiites too.
    But it is true that some of the militias’ behaviour has not been correct and we too are concerned about this.

    NIQASH: Did you discus your concerns with Hadi al-Amiri, the head of the Badr Organisation, during his visit to Iraqi Kurdistan?

    Bakhtiar: We have informed all the Shiite Muslim actors about our concerns, not just Hadi al-Amiri. When he came to Sulaymaniyah, we signed an agreement that clearly stated that the Shiite Muslim militias in the north would not be in charge of the areas of Jalawla and Sadiya. The agreement states that the areas will be ruled within the framework of government institutions.


  25. The name Sheldon Adelson, the right-wing, pro-Israel casino mogul who has bankrolled the Republican Party, rings a bell for close observers of American politics. But how about the Falic family?

    The Falics should be just as well known. Members of the family have donated millions of dollars to pro-Israel U.S. politicians from both parties. Beneficiaries of their largesse include GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney; Democrats Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Eliot Engel; the Republican National Committee; and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. In addition, the family has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political campaigns.

    Bringing the Debate to You

    They have made their money through Duty Free America, which operates stores in airports around the U.S and the world where consumers buy tax-free products.

    Leon Falic and his brothers bought the company in 2001. The Florida-based Falic Family Private Foundation, which receives the bulk of its funds from Duty Free Americas, has given money to a variety of pro-Israel causes, including West Bank settlements. And on December 28, the family is set to donate a Torah to Ariel University’s synagogue in honor of Fima Falic, who died in 2012. Israeli politicians will join the family in a ceremony that day. Nily Falic, the wife of the late Fima, is the national chairperson of the Friends of the IDF, a multi-million dollar operation that gives tax-free donations to the Israeli army.

    The Falics are one of a number of wealthy, right-leaning Jewish American families that fund Israel’s and America’s right-wing politicians and illegal settlement projects. Hundreds of millions of dollars from U.S. tax-free foundations are poured into Israeli West Bank settlements every year. Taken together, the funds that originate in the U.S. are used for everything from infrastructure to business to security, solidifying Israeli control over the West Bank and putting a Palestinian state further out of reach.

    A Duty Free Americas’ employee told me over the phone the Falics were not available for comment until Monday.

    In addition to boosting the coffers of Netanyahu, Romney and Wasserman Schultz, the Falic Family has sponsored students to take a Zionist Organization of America-sponsored trip to Israel, where they visited the Falic-owned Psagot Winery, located in the settlement of Psagot, near the West Bank city of Ramallah. After Fima Falic died, the Zionist Organization of America released a statement extending “condolences to the entire Falic family on the sudden passing of Fima Falic, true Zionist and generous Israel supporter.” And as Mondoweiss’ Allison Deger reported in 2012, the family also funded an archeological dig in the settlement of Shiloh.

    - See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/12/settlement-netanyahu-america#sthash.6cIqJllw.dpuf

  26. This post originally ran on Juan Cole’s Web page.

    The UN Security Council yesterday voted down an Arab League resolution on Palestine that would have called for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories within 3 years and a return to 1967 borders. Similar resolutions were passed by the UN Security Council in past, but this time the motion could not collect the 9 votes to pass. It in any case would have been vetoed by the United States (the five permanent UNSC members can shoot down any resolution they like).

    It should be noted that France, Russia and China did vote for the resolution, and they represent a significant swathe of the human population, as well as being a majority of the permanent members (the UK abstained, but said it was not because London opposed the resolution in principle). Russia said that the nearly 70 year old conflict was contributing to the production of radicalism in the region.

    Palestine president Mahmoud Abbas was approaching the UNSC so as to clear the way, when the resolution inevitably failed, for approaching other forums. It now seems likely that Palestine will join the International Criminal Court by signing the Rome Statute, and will press its case there. But the US has strong-armed Abbas not to take this step, and going to the UNSC helps blunt US condemnations, wince everyone could see that he tried.

    Had the resolution been presented to the UN General Assembly, it would have passed overwhelmingly.

    The international community has gotten tired of the games the Israelis are playing, in alleging that there is an ongoing ‘peace process.’ There isn’t. The Israelis consistently refuse to negotiate with the Palestinians in good faith, as I argued in The Nation last week. The Israelis are violating the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 on the treatment of occupied populations, by flooding their own population into the West Bank. They are keeping Palestinians stateless, which denies them all basic human rights.

    The world is not going to put up with this situation in Palestine for much longer.

    1. The world?

      Will do NOTHING.

      It doesn't do anything when pol Pot murdered millions, when hitler murder millions, rwanda murdered millions, syrians murdered 1/4 of a million and made 11 million homeless..

      No The world will not DO anything about a couple thousand terrorists and their human shields dying...

  27. We don’t agree on much here but I toast all of you for a prosperous and healthy new year. Good luck to all of you and your families.

    1. May the same be true for you and yours.

      Thank you for the work you have invested in this blog.

  28. I bought a dozen medium eggs for $1.38.

    1. Happy New Year to those that occasionally agree with me - the rest (you know who you are,) ah, whatever . . . . . . .

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  30. Frenemies through thick and thin !

  31. Both volumes emphasise that the state is an institution that feeds on war, one whose national stability has often been buttressed by ethnic cleansing; and that the European Union after 1945, for instance, was built atop a pile of mass graves.

    Francis Fukuyama: ‘In recently democratised countries I’m still a rock star’; The world-renowned political thinker on what’s left of ‘The End of History’, the crimes of the neocons and having the ear of the Chinese leadership

    1. Leo Strauss is one of modernity's most misunderstood and ill-used intellectuals pillars. It is highly unlikely that Strauss would have approved of the American approach to pacifying Iraq. He was not a fool.