“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

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Man's feelings are always purest and most glowing in the hour of meeting and of farewell. ~Jean Paul Richter

The Elephant Bar and Libertarian are closed. Best of luck and fortune to all. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you all for your gifts and shared views. I have nothing more to say.


- Deuce

Southern Command Wants More Money to Fight a Losing Battle

 The head of the military's Southern Command wants more money to fight a losing battle

by Conor Friedersdorf
General John F. Kelly, the head of the U.S. Southern Command, testified last week before the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he argued, as generals tend to do, that he has inadequate resources to fulfill the missions assigned to him. 
Here's how the Associated Press summed up his statement:
The U.S. doesn’t have the ships and surveillance capabilities to go after the illegal drugs flowing into the U.S. from Latin America, the top military commander for the region told senators Thursday, adding that the lack of resources means he has to “sit and watch it go by.”
Gen. John Kelly told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he is able to get about 20 percent of the drugs leaving Colombia for the U.S., but the rest gets through. 
Think about that.
Though the U.S. spends billions of dollars each year fighting the War on Drugs, and despite having done so for many years, 80 percent of the drugs from one of the countries we've focused on the most still gets through all of our interdiction efforts. 
Is the answer to throw more money at the prohibitionist strategy?
Kelly requests more resources:
Kelly ... said he would be able to interdict more drugs if he had 16 ships that could be used as the base for helicopters. Generally, law enforcement officials use the helicopters to quickly go after traffickers operating small boats, forcing them to stop and surrender. Currently, Kelly said he has one U.S. Navy ship and two Coast Guard vessels that can be used for the drug operations. The overall goal has been to reduce the amount of drugs coming into the U.S. from Latin America by 40 percent, which officials believe would cut into the profits of the cartels and perhaps turn them against each other.
To reach that goal, he said, would require the 16 ships. 
Helicopter carrier USS Wasp
 So best-case scenario, we could spend more ... and maybe, if we're "lucky," spark a bloody cartel war abroad. Somehow, that inclines me to spend those extra billions elsewhere! If we turn to Kelly's full statement, we find a frustrating refusal to frankly state the tradeoffs that we've chosen in our present approach to drug policy.  
In his telling, transnational criminal organizations are a security problem for several reasons. If you think about it, almost all of those reasons are exacerbated by the black market.
  1. "The spread of criminal networks is having a corrosive effect on the integrity of democratic institutions and the stability of several of our partner nations." Without black-market profits, criminal drug networks would almost certainly shrink.
  2. "Transnational criminal organizations threaten citizen security, undermine basic human rights, cripple rule of law through corruption, erode good governance, and hinder economic development." Again, the ability of drug cartels to bribe officials, violate human rights, and cripple the rule of law would be undermined if they suddenly lost their ability to profit from drugs on the black market.
  3. "Illicit trafficking poses a direct threat to our nation’s public health, safety, and border security. Criminal elements make use of the multitude of illicit pathways in our hemisphere to smuggle drugs, contraband, and even humans directly into the United States." Without a black market in narcotics, smuggling operations would be less sophisticated and the money flowing to smugglers would decrease.
  4. "Illegal drugs are an epidemic in our country, wasting lives and fueling violence between rival gangs in most of our nation’s cities." It's possible that more addict lives would be wasted if drugs were legalized, because of increased use and abuse. Drug-fueled gang violence and the lives lost to it would almost certainly decrease.
  5. "The third concern is a potential one, and highlights the vulnerability to our homeland rather than an imminent threat: that terrorist organizations could seek to leverage those same smuggling routes to move operatives with intent to cause grave harm to our citizens or even quite easily bring weapons of mass destruction into the United States." Again, if drugs were legal, fewer resources would be poured into routes and personnel that could be exploited by foreign terrorists. 
Why doesn't the testimony note, as I just did, that the black market in drugs that prohibition creates exacerbates nearly every way in which transnational crime hurts us?
Kelly isn't to blame. He doesn't make policy. He tries to carry it out. But the policy that he's been given is as doomed to fail as it always has been. Prohibition may make some (though not all) people inclined to addiction safer in some ways. But it makes all of us less safe in other ways, and wreaks havoc in foreign countries. It would be nice if hearings on U.S. drug policy acknowledged such tradeoffs.
 Source: Borderland Beat

Friday, March 21, 2014

Israel and Saudi Arabia Support al-Qaeda Operatives in Syria



Israeli officials have even expressed a preference for Saudi-backed Sunni extremists winning in Syria if that is the only way to get rid of Assad and hurt his allies in Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Even to the point of forming a 'de facto' alliance with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, the Wahhabi Sunni monarch (known for his gross anti-Semitism and the "Golden Chain' that financed the September 11, 2001 attack upon the United States).


Last September, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren told the Jerusalem Post that Israel so wanted Assad out and his Iranian backers weakened, that Israel would accept al-Qaeda operatives taking power in Syria.

Michael Oren

“We always wanted Bashar Assad to go,  we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran
 to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.”


Even if the other “bad guys” were affiliated with al-Qaeda.  
“We understand that they are pretty bad guys,” Oren said in the interview.

http://www.jpost.com/Syria-Crisis/Oren-Jerusalem-has-wanted-Assad-ousted-since-the-outbreak-of-the-Syrian-civil-war-326328

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah

It is important to remember that the attack upon the US 
was funded and organized by Saudi Arabians, not by Iran.

 Saudi Arms Shipments to Al Qaeda Rebels 
Waiting behind Iraq’s Borders with Syria

Following the Iraqi Army’s operations against Al-Qaeda forces in Al-Anbar province, the Saudi arms shipments have been stuck behind Iraq’s borders with Syria. The Saudi arms shipments entered Iraq from the Saudi city of Nakheib and via Ar-Ar border crossing.

Nearly 70 2-ton vehicles are waiting for the Iraqi army forces to end its operation and withdraw from the region giving them a chance to cross the border with Syria.

 The vehicles are packed with explosives used for suicide attacks as well as anti-armor and anti-aircraft weapons.

Saudi Arabia is still supporting the Al-Qaeda terrorist groups in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

While Turkey has closed a large part of its borders to terrorists and Jordan has also considered restrictions for the Saudi nationals who intend to sneak into Syria, Iraq’s desert borders where the government does not have a lot of military and security supervision are regarded as the best route for Saudi Arabia’s logistical supports for the terrorists in Syria.
 http://www.globalresearch.ca/saudi-arms-shipments-to-al-qaeda-rebels-waiting-behind-iraqs-borders-with-syria/5363794 


 Israel Attacks Syria in Support of al-Qaeda 
Israeli struck Syria from the air at least five times in the past year in support of al-Qaeda elements in Syria. In January 2013, Israel struck a Syrian Army convoy carrying weapons while it had stopped at a Syrian research center on the outskirts of Damascus. 

CNN) -- A series of massive explosions illuminated the predawn sky in Damascus, prompting more claims that Israel has launched attacks
Israel attacked twice more, over the course of one weekend in May, targeting a shipment of advanced surface-to-surface missiles at the Damascus international airport. 
The Israeli Air Force struck at Assad's forces at least twice in October of 2013 and then again this past week with another pair of airstrikes and an artillery barrage, in support of al-Qaeda forces, in Syria.


http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/03/19/israel-syria-airstrikes-army/6598085/
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/31/1252115/-Breaking-Israel-Bombs-Syria#

Covert Israeli Forces Inside Syria Within al-Qaeda Ranks
 Israeli Military Vehicle Seized in al-Qasayr 

Media sources confirm the seizure of an Israeli military vehicle in Al Qseir inside Syrian territory.

The vehicle’s licence plate corresponds to that of the Israeli military with a black background and the letter Tsade (צ) (see image below)

Al Qseir is a strategic border town on the Northern frontier of Lebanon. Occupied by rebels, it was taken back by Syrian forces on Monday.

Al-Qseir  controls the highway which runs from the Lebanese border to Homs. It is through this border city that weapons and foreign mercenaries have entered Syria.

According to SANA, quoting (unconfirmed) media source:

“The seizure of an Israeli military vehicle which terrorists had been using in al-Qseir refutes the allegations made by Israel to justify its aggression on Syria and proves the scale of Israel’s military and intelligence involvements in the events in Syria.”

Israeli military vehicle which terrorists had been using in al-Qseir
  “The source said that the Israeli military support for the armed terrorist groups proves the involvement of Qatar, Turkey and Israel in the aggression on Syria which is waged through a single central operations room.

 Israeli military support for terrorism in Syria proves once more that Israel was and still is 
adopting the policy of organized state terrorism,  stressing that the world must act to confront this terrorism.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/covert-israeli-forces-inside-syria-within-rebel-ranks-israeli-military-vehicle-seized/5335769








Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Guardian is reporting the good news that the western tribes in the Anbar region are driving out Saudi and Syrian al-Qaeda.

If there is a turning point in the Iraqi violence, this could be the start:
Al-Qaida in Iraq is being pushed out of its strongholds in Anbar province after three days of fighting with Iraq's fiercely independent tribes. A number of al-Qaida fighters have been killed and captured, including Saudis and Syrians. The clashes erupted after a new grouping calling itself the Anbar Rescue Council - which claims to represent a large number of Anbar tribes and sub-clans - said it intended to clear the province of the terrorist group. It also follows a meeting between tribal leaders and the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, last week in which they asked for government support and arms in their fight against al-Qaida. The fighting also comes as the Iraqi government has said it believes it is close to capturing the organisation's new leader in Iraq, Abu Ayoub al-Masri. Although the power struggle has not reduced the number of attacks against the US-led coalition in Anbar province, it points to a complex reordering of the lines of conflict in the so-called "Sunni Triangle".
From Falluja, where the notoriously fractious Bou Eisa clan have turned against al-Qaida, to the city of Qaim, where it is the Bou Mahal who are pursuing them, they are being being pushed out of their old strongholds in the rural west.
Apparently, Maliki has been offering the tribal sheikhs up to $5,000 a month and weapons while al-Qaeda "emirs" have been undermining the traditional powers of the tribal leaders, interferring with civil engineering projects and cutting off government ration trucks.
"People just got sick of it," said one Anbar resident. "They were setting up their own checkpoints, taking property and houses for their use. They were killing not just police and army but clerics they did not agree with and tribal leaders."
I would bet Iraqi women are behind this change. Don't mess with the baby's milk!

In a related story the BBC report on the New Iraqi plan to curb violence.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has announced a new four-point plan aimed at reducing sectarian violence.

The plan to set up local security committees in areas around the country was agreed after intensive talks with top Sunni and Shia politicians.

It seems that al-Maliki's efforts to enlist the western tribes against al-Qaeda are bearing fruit and it would be easy to become overly optimistic. There are so many variables which must fall into place but if there is to be any lasting peace and stability in Iraq, it must be a product up of a "bottom up" effort. The plan seems to be that ordinary Iraqis take things into their own hands and restore stability and security to Iraq. Of course, there are no guarantees that the tribal guns won't once again be turned on coalition forces but for now, a defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq will be huge.

9 comments:

  1. It just seems like 3M should have a product called al-Maliki.
    Reply
  2. Let's hope that he can be the glue that holds it all together.
    Reply
  3. He better be good "glue," cause he's sure one ugly son of a bitch.
    Reply
  4. Now, now Rufus. Stupid is as stupid does. Besides, Maliki ain't running for a beauty contest.
    Reply
  5. Well, it's sure a good thing. Bless his heart, he's got a tough job, and he seems to be trying hard.
    Reply
  6. How many operators have the Syrians and Saudis working in the province? Certainly some. Let us hope the new Iraqi tough love interrogation techniques can jar some useful information loose. Let us hope the Bush administration is smart enough to use it.
    Reply
  7. You can say what you want to about Bush's foreign policy but I think this is damn good news.

    And so is this.
    Reply
  8. Good news..good, good news.
    Reply
  9. whit & buddy,

    re: Fatah v. Hamas

    Watch out, now. Dr. Rice is on the case as this is written.

    Oh, we'll send money in any event to any winner.
    Reply

Rufus in Hell - 2006 revisited

Deep sea oil rig, Gulf of Mexico

Publiuspundit Posted an interesting Look at A potential Huge Oil Find

Source: National Aeronautics & Space Administration

"Today, a quiet revolutionary time bomb was presented to Hugo Chavez. He has no idea what it is or what it means. But this gift means it’s all over for the brutal Venezuelan tyrant in the next few years. He won’t be bothering us anymore. He won’t be bothering anyone anymore. He’s finished.

Treasure was discovered in America’s Gulf of Mexico waters today, black gold so vast and so deep and so surprising and so recoverable that overnight, America’s energy reserves have just increased as much as 50%. Chevron, Norway’s Statoil and deep-sea driller Devon Energy have just discovered as many as 15 billion barrels of previously unknown oil in a vast underwater pool five miles under the floor of the sea. No one even had a clue about this huge oil’s existence up until new high technology of deep sea drilling (cost: $1 billion a pop, and every bit as weird and high-tech as a spaceship) came to the fore.

But now it’s known. And even with America’s oil appetite at 6 million barrels of crude a day, oil prices just dropped $2 to $68 a barrel due to all the anticipated coming supply. And these prices are going down further. That’s great news for everyone - little countries like Costa Rica whose citizens have to pay top dollar for fuel, as well as the average American mom in her SUV cringing at her final bill at the pump.

Oil tyrants beware.

The West, having discovered free-world sources, now may no longer need their oil. They will no longer be able to abuse us with their threats of nuclear and other blackmail if we don’t do their bidding. Sky high oil prices may be a thing of the past. China and India will get the oil they need with no ill effect on the rest of us. There will be no short supply. There will be oil for all.

Most critically for the cause of democracy, these brutal tyrants - in Iran, Chad, Russia and Venezuela - will no longer have so much oil money they will be un-beatable as leaders in their own countries and emboldened to oppress their citizens. Democratic pressures will now have room to grow of this.

This is revolution.

Venezuelans, Russians, Africans and Iranians now have reason to rejoice, because they will have far more bargaining power to demand change. It’s like divinity sent this huge oil windfall down to us all. Just out of the sky, just out of the water. Thanks to Chevron, Statoil and Devon, we are now all blessed - America, the oppressed states, China, India, and the rest of the world."



A.M. Mora y Leon @ 11:17 pm |

6 comments:

  1. Uh, guys, we use about 20 million barrels of crude every day. They figure that within five years this find will be producing about Three Percent of that.

    Still got a ways to go. But, it is a start.
    Reply
  2. BTW, what happened to the comments from last nights thread?
    Reply
  3. My fault. I tried to do something creative and lost them. I saw my mistake and it will not happen again. apologies to all.
    Reply
  4. Oh yeah, now that an atmosphere exists to develop oil alternatives, big oil decides to strangle the the baby in the cradle.

    I knew it! ;)
    Reply
  5. This could not be better news unless they unfroze the head of Ted Williams....ah bad metaphor...ah better news than if I had won the big lottery..much better.
    Now when we defend the rights of mankind the left will hard pressed to say it's all for oil profits.
    Of course there's probably some slimy green crap that only grows in that area of the world that if disturbed by drilling will cause gravity to be suspended from the physical universe.....but's thats why we have velcro!
    Reply
  6. Rufus in Hell

    Wrong-O again O' Buffalo Breath.


    I'm not against Oil.

    I'm For cheap, and "abundant" energy.
    Reply

Israel and Saudi Arabia Support al-Qaeda Operatives in Syria



Israeli officials have even expressed a preference for Saudi-backed Sunni extremists winning in Syria if that is the only way to get rid of Assad and hurt his allies in Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Even to the point of forming a 'de facto' alliance with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, the Wahhabi Sunni monarch (known for his gross anti-Semitism and the "Golden Chain' that financed the September 11, 2001 attack upon the United States).


Last September, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren told the Jerusalem Post that Israel so wanted Assad out and his Iranian backers weakened, that Israel would accept al-Qaeda operatives taking power in Syria.

Michael Oren
“We always wanted Bashar Assad to go,  we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran
 to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.”


Even if the other “bad guys” were affiliated with al-Qaeda.  
“We understand that they are pretty bad guys,” Oren said in the interview.

http://www.jpost.com/Syria-Crisis/Oren-Jerusalem-has-wanted-Assad-ousted-since-the-outbreak-of-the-Syrian-civil-war-326328

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah

It is important to remember that the attack upon the US 
was funded and organized by Saudi Arabians, not by Iran.

 Saudi Arms Shipments to Al Qaeda Rebels 
Waiting behind Iraq’s Borders with Syria

Following the Iraqi Army’s operations against Al-Qaeda forces in Al-Anbar province, the Saudi arms shipments have been stuck behind Iraq’s borders with Syria. The Saudi arms shipments entered Iraq from the Saudi city of Nakheib and via Ar-Ar border crossing.

Nearly 70 2-ton vehicles are waiting for the Iraqi army forces to end its operation and withdraw from the region giving them a chance to cross the border with Syria.

 The vehicles are packed with explosives used for suicide attacks as well as anti-armor and anti-aircraft weapons.

Saudi Arabia is still supporting the Al-Qaeda terrorist groups in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

While Turkey has closed a large part of its borders to terrorists and Jordan has also considered restrictions for the Saudi nationals who intend to sneak into Syria, Iraq’s desert borders where the government does not have a lot of military and security supervision are regarded as the best route for Saudi Arabia’s logistical supports for the terrorists in Syria.
 http://www.globalresearch.ca/saudi-arms-shipments-to-al-qaeda-rebels-waiting-behind-iraqs-borders-with-syria/5363794 


 Israel Attacks Syria in Support of al-Qaeda 
Israeli struck Syria from the air at least five times in the past year in support of al-Qaeda elements in Syria. In January 2013, Israel struck a Syrian Army convoy carrying weapons while it had stopped at a Syrian research center on the outskirts of Damascus. 

CNN) -- A series of massive explosions illuminated the predawn sky in Damascus, prompting more claims that Israel has launched attacks
Israel attacked twice more, over the course of one weekend in May, targeting a shipment of advanced surface-to-surface missiles at the Damascus international airport. 
The Israeli Air Force struck at Assad's forces at least twice in October of 2013 and then again this past week with another pair of airstrikes and an artillery barrage, in support of al-Qaeda forces, in Syria.


http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/03/19/israel-syria-airstrikes-army/6598085/
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/31/1252115/-Breaking-Israel-Bombs-Syria#

Covert Israeli Forces Inside Syria Within al-Qaeda Ranks
 Israeli Military Vehicle Seized in al-Qasayr 

Media sources confirm the seizure of an Israeli military vehicle in Al Qseir inside Syrian territory.

The vehicle’s licence plate corresponds to that of the Israeli military with a black background and the letter Tsade (צ) (see image below)

Al Qseir is a strategic border town on the Northern frontier of Lebanon. Occupied by rebels, it was taken back by Syrian forces on Monday.

Al-Qseir  controls the highway which runs from the Lebanese border to Homs. It is through this border city that weapons and foreign mercenaries have entered Syria.

According to SANA, quoting (unconfirmed) media source:

“The seizure of an Israeli military vehicle which terrorists had been using in al-Qseir refutes the allegations made by Israel to justify its aggression on Syria and proves the scale of Israel’s military and intelligence involvements in the events in Syria.”

Israeli military vehicle which terrorists had been using in al-Qseir
  “The source said that the Israeli military support for the armed terrorist groups proves the involvement of Qatar, Turkey and Israel in the aggression on Syria which is waged through a single central operations room.

 Israeli military support for terrorism in Syria proves once more that Israel was and still is 
adopting the policy of organized state terrorism,  stressing that the world must act to confront this terrorism.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/covert-israeli-forces-inside-syria-within-rebel-ranks-israeli-military-vehicle-seized/5335769








Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mitch McConnell - Can He Survive?

Ann Coulter: Still Full of It

 By George Rasley, CHQ Editor

When Republican author and columnist Ann Coulter attacked the Senate Conservatives Fund and others who oppose Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election as “shysters,” we said “Ann Coulter is full of it.”
Now, three weeks after Coulter first criticized conservative and liberty-leaning organizations, and their members, for opposing McConnell’s re-election she has doubled down on her defense of Senator McConnell, and in the process, upped the intensity of her attacks on those who oppose granting McConnell lifetime tenure in the Senate.

In a March 12 article on Townhall, Coulter posits that anyone who thinks Republican primary elections are the right place to begin the battle against Big Government is a member of a “right-wing mob” driven not by the facts of McConnell’s record, but by irrational “mob characteristics,” such as imperviousness to facts, slogans as arguments and acceptance of contradictions.

Coulter then lays out a set of facts that she claims validate her argument that Mitch McConnell is a “conservative” starting with McConnell’s opposition to the McCain-Feingold campaign finance “reform” law and including McConnell’s opposition to amnesty for illegal aliens and role in the passage of the 2011 Budget Control Act that led eventually to the reductions in spending forced by the sequester provisions in that law.

The problem with this defense of Mitch McConnell is that it is founded on the proposition that conservatism is a smorgasbord, and that by dropping by to pick up a meatball or two a candidate or elected official qualifies as a “conservative” and should therefore be immune to a primary challenge from the right.

In our view conservatism is a fully formed world view with constitutional limits on government to protect individual liberty, life and economic opportunity at its core. Treating conservatism as a smorgasbord from which legislators pick and choose as Coulter proposes reduces the conservative movement’s principles to a mere collection of this year’s bills and special interest demands, not a governing philosophy.

And more to the point of Coulter’s article on Townhall, she apparently missed the causes of the rise of the TEA Party movement that now supplies the on the ground horsepower driving the opposition to the re-election of Mitch McConnell and other big government establishment Republican Senators, such as Mississippi’s Thad Cochran.

The fact of the matter is the TEA Party movement is a rebellion against Big Government and in its opposition to Big Government it is as much a rebellion against the Republican establishment’s betrayal of conservative principles on the growth of government and spending during the Bush years as it is about Obama and Obamacare.

And Mitch McConnell and his record in the Senate are Exhibits A through Z 
in the case against the Capitol Hill Republican establishment and the inside-the-Beltway GOP leadership for 
betraying conservative principles  on spending and the growth of government.

Mitch McConnell has a record of pork-barreling and earmarking that has regularly put him near the top of lists of legislators supporting wasteful spending, such as the Citizens Against Government Waste Pig Book. CWGW referred to Mitch McConnell as one of the Senate’s “perennial porkers” long before he faced a 2014 primary challenge, and that’s a fact, not an argument by bumper sticker.

Mitch McConnell for voted for the TARP Wall Street bailout and he supported the $25 billion Bush version of the automobile manufacturers bailout saying it was “a sound way to go forward.” Yes, we know McConnell’s opponent may or may not have been supportive of TARP, but that is a strike against him if true, not a defense of McConnell.

As for Ann Coulter’s ridiculous proposition that because McConnell “tricked” Obama into supporting the sequester he can claim credit for cutting spending, let’s take a look at the coin McConnell traded for the now-abandoned sequester; Cut, Cap and Balance.

That’s right, while Ann Coulter may have forgotten, conveniently, that the goal of conservatives going into the 2011 debt ceiling debate was to force Obama to accept some version of Jim DeMint’s Cut, Cap and Balance legislation we haven’t forgotten or forgiven the betrayal.

We well remember that Mitch McConnell started the debate over Cut, Cap and Balance opposed to the legislation and in favor of giving President Barack Obama the authority to increase the debt ceiling unless Congress voted its disapproval.

McConnell did eventually sign on to a Cut, Cap and Balance bill, but there was never any serious effort made in the Senate on behalf of the bill and McConnell’s Budget Control Act not only raised the debt ceiling, it also gave Obama and the Democrats a free pass on the issue during the 2012 election.
What’s more, calling them “crippling” and “destructive” McConnell regularly criticized the sequestration spending cuts for which he is now trying to claim credit.

The fault line in today’s politics isn’t between Democrats and Republicans, it is between the proponents of Big Government in both political parties and those who favor putting the federal government back inside strict constitutional limits to reduce the spending and erosion of freedom that Big Government brings no matter which establishment political party holds sway in Washington.

Ann Coulter’s smorgasbord conservatism is a path to permanent minority status for the GOP because it blurs the lines between the parties and amounts to a grant of lifetime tenure to establishment Republican Senators like Mitch McConnell, Thad Cochran and other Big Government Republicans. 

The first battlefield in the fight against Big Government must be the Republican primary elections 
and anyone who doesn’t understand that, including Ann Coulter, is full of it.

 

It's the Primaries, Stupid!
 ConservativeHQ Endorses the Following Candidates:


U.S. Senate Republican Primary
  • Sam Clovis: Iowa Senate
    Dan Sullivan: Alaska Senate
    Chris McDaniel: Mississippi Senate
    Ben Sasse: Nebraska Senate
  •  
U.S. House of Representatives Republican Primary
  • Bryan Smith: ID-2
    Dan Bongino: MD-6
    Frank Roche: NC-2
    Dave Brat: VA-7
    Alex Mooney: WV-2
     



 
November is nine months away, and McConnell remains the favorite. 

But there are distressing signs for the Republican leader. 

The new poll found that 60 percent of Kentuckians disapprove of the powerful five-term incumbent,
compared to just 32 percent who approve of his performance in the Senate. 

That’s a shade worse than the ratings registered by President Barack Obama, 
who lost the state by 22 points in 2012. 


  http://time.com/5333/mitch-mcconnell-kentucky-senate-race-2014-poll-alison-lundergan-grimes/

Neocons’ Ukraine-Syria-Iran Gambit
March 19, 2014 

Exclusive: The Ukraine crisis – in part stirred up by U.S. neocons – has damaged prospects for peace not only on Russia’s borders but in two Middle East hotspots, Syria and Iran, which may have been exactly the point.

By Robert Parry

You might think that policymakers with so many bloody fiascos on their résumés as the U.S. neocons, including the catastrophic Iraq War, would admit their incompetence and return home to sell insurance or maybe work in a fast-food restaurant. Anything but directing the geopolitical decisions of the world’s leading superpower.

But Official Washington’s neocons are nothing if not relentless and resilient. They are also well-funded and well-connected. So they won’t do the honorable thing and disappear. They keep hatching new schemes and strategies to keep the world stirred up and to keep their vision of world domination – and particularly “regime change” in the Middle East – alive.

Sen. John McCain appearing with Ukrainian rightist, Oleh Tyahnybok at a rally in Kiev.
Now, the neocons have stoked a confrontation over Ukraine, involving two nuclear-armed states, the United States and Russia. But – even if nuclear weapons don’t come into play – the neocons have succeeded in estranging U.S. President Barack Obama from Russian President Vladimir Putin and sabotaging the pair’s crucial cooperation on Iran and Syria, which may have been the point all along.

Though the Ukraine crisis has roots going back decades, the chronology of the recent uprising — and the neocon interest in it – meshes neatly with neocon fury over Obama and Putin working together to avert a U.S. military strike against Syria last summer and then brokering an interim nuclear agreement with Iran last fall that effectively took a U.S. bombing campaign against Iran off the table.

 

With those two top Israeli priorities – U.S. military attacks on Syria and Iran – sidetracked, the American neocons began activating their influential media and political networks to counteract the Obama-Putin teamwork. The neocon wedge to splinter Obama away from Putin was driven into Ukraine.

Operating out of neocon enclaves in the U.S. State Department and at U.S.-funded non-governmental organizations, led by the National Endowment for Democracy, neocon operatives targeted Ukraine even before the recent political unrest began shaking apart the country’s fragile ethnic and ideological cohesion.

Last September, as the prospects for a U.S. military strike against Syria were fading thanks to Putin, NED president Carl Gershman, who is something of a neocon paymaster controlling more than $100 million in congressionally approved funding each year, took to the pages of the neocon-flagship Washington Post and wrote that Ukraine was now “the biggest prize.”

Carl Gershman
But Gershman added that Ukraine was really only an interim step to an even bigger prize, the removal of the strong-willed and independent-minded Putin, who, Gershman added, “may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad [i.e. Ukraine] but within Russia itself.” In other words, the new hope was for “regime change” in Kiev and Moscow.

Putin had made himself a major annoyance in Neocon World, particularly with his diplomacy on Syria that defused a crisis over a Sarin attack outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013. Despite the attack’s mysterious origins – and the absence of any clear evidence proving the Syrian government’s guilt – the U.S. State Department and the U.S. news media rushed to the judgment that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad did it.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Politicians and pundits baited Obama with claims that Assad had brazenly crossed Obama’s “red line” by using chemical weapons and that U.S. “credibility” now demanded military retaliation. A longtime Israeli/neocon goal, “regime change” in Syria, seemed within reach.

But Putin brokered a deal in which Assad agreed to surrender Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal (even as he continued to deny any role in the Sarin attack). The arrangement was a huge letdown for the neocons and Israeli officials who had been drooling over the prospect that a U.S. bombing campaign would bring Assad to his knees and deliver a strategic blow against Iran, Israel’s current chief enemy.

Putin then further offended the neocons and the Israeli government by helping to facilitate an interim nuclear deal with Iran, making another neocon/Israeli priority, a U.S. war against Iran, less likely.

Putting Putin in Play

So, the troublesome Putin had to be put in play. And, NED’s Gershman was quick to note a key Russian vulnerability, neighboring Ukraine, where a democratically elected but corrupt president, Viktor Yanukovych, was struggling with a terrible economy and weighing whether to accept a European aid offer, which came with many austerity strings attached, or work out a more generous deal with Russia.

There was already a strong U.S.-organized political/media apparatus in place for destabilizing Ukraine’s government. Gershman’s NED had 65 projects operating in the country – training “activists,” supporting “journalists” and organizing business groups, according to its latest report. (NED was created in 1983 to do in relative openness what the CIA had long done in secret, nurture pro-U.S. operatives under the umbrella of “promoting democracy.”)

So, when Yanukovych opted for Russia’s more generous $15 billion aid package, the roof fell in on him. In a speech to Ukrainian business leaders last December, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, Victoria Nuland, a neocon holdover and the wife of prominent neocon Robert Kagan, reminded the group that the U.S. had invested $5 billion in Ukraine’s “European aspirations.”

Victoria Nuland
Robert Kagan
Then, urged on by Nuland and neocon Sen. John McCain, protests in the capital of Kiev turned increasingly violent with neo-Nazi militias moving to the fore. Unidentified snipers opened fire on protesters and police, touching off fiery clashes that killed some 80 people (including about a dozen police officers).

On Feb. 21, in a desperate attempt to tamp down the violence, Yanukovych signed an agreement brokered by European countries. He agreed to surrender many of his powers, to hold early elections (so he could be voted out of office), and pull back the police. That last step, however, opened the way for the neo-Nazi militias to overrun government buildings and force Yanukovych to flee for his life.

With these modern-day storm troopers controlling key buildings – and brutalizing Yanukovych supporters – a  rump Ukrainian parliament voted, in an extra-constitutional fashion, to remove Yanukovych from office. This coup-installed regime, with far-right parties controlling four ministries including defense, received immediate U.S. and European Union recognition as Ukraine’s “legitimate” government.

This is Oleh Tyahnybok,
 he has claimed a "Moscow-Jewish mafia" rule Ukraine and that
 "Germans, Kikes and other scum" want to "take away our Ukrainian state."
 As remarkable – and newsworthy – as it was that a government on the European continent included Nazis in the executive branch for the first time since World War II, the U.S. news media performed as it did before the Iraq War and during various other international crises. It essentially presented the neocon-preferred narrative and treated the presence of the neo-Nazis as some kind of urban legend.

Virtually across the board, from Fox News to MSNBC, from the Washington Post to the New York Times, the U.S. press corps fell in line, painting Yanukovych and Putin as the “black-hat” villains and the coup regime as the “white-hat” good guys, which required, of course, whiting out the neo-Nazi “brown shirts.”

Neocon Expediency

Some neocon defenders have challenged my reporting that U.S. neocons played a significant role in the Ukrainian putsch. One argument is that the neocons, who regard the U.S.-Israeli bond as inviolable, would not knowingly collaborate with neo-Nazis given the history of the Holocaust (and indeed the role of Ukrainian Nazi collaborators in extermination campaigns against Poles and Jews).

But the neocons have frequently struck alliances of convenience with some of the most unsavory – and indeed anti-Semitic – forces on earth, dating back to the Reagan administration and its collaboration with Latin American “death squad” regimes, including work with the World Anti-Communist League that included not only neo-Nazis but aging real Nazis.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah
More recently in Syria, U.S. neocons (and Israeli leaders) are so focused on ousting Assad, an ally of hated Iran, that they have cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s Sunni monarchy (known for its gross anti-Semitism). Israeli officials have even expressed a preference for Saudi-backed Sunni extremists winning in Syria if that is the only way to get rid of Assad and hurt his allies in Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Last September, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren told the Jerusalem Post that Israel so wanted Assad out and his Iranian backers weakened, that Israel would accept al-Qaeda operatives taking power in Syria.
 
Michael Oren  

“The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc,” Oren said in the interview.
“We always wanted Bashar Assad to go,  we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.”

Oren said that was Israel’s view even if the other “bad guys” were affiliated with al-Qaeda.

Oren, who was Israel’s point man in dealing with Official Washington’s neocons, is considered very close to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and reflects his views. For decades, U.S. neocons have supported Netanyahu and his hardline Likud Party, including as strategists on his 1996 campaign for prime minister when neocons such as Richard Perle and Douglas Feith developed the original “regime change” strategy. [For details, see Consortiumnews.com’s “The Mysterious Why of the Iraq War.”]

In other words, Israel and its U.S. neocon supporters have been willing to collaborate with extreme right-wing and even anti-Semitic forces if that advances their key geopolitical goals, such as maneuvering the U.S. government into military confrontations with Syria and Iran.

So, while it may be fair to assume that neocons like Nuland and McCain would have preferred that the Ukraine coup had been spearheaded by militants who weren’t neo-Nazis – or, for that matter, that the Syrian rebels were not so dominated by al-Qaeda-affiliated extremists – the neocons (and their Israeli allies) see these tactical collaborations as sometimes necessary to achieve overarching strategic priorities.

And, since their current strategic necessity is to scuttle the fragile negotiations over Syria and Iran, which otherwise might negate the possibility of U.S. military strikes against those two countries, the Putin-Obama collaboration had to go.

By spurring on the violent overthrow of Ukraine’s elected president, the neocons helped touch off a cascade of events – now including Crimea’s secession from Ukraine and its annexation by Russia – that have raised tensions and provoked Western retaliation against Russia. The crisis also has made the continued Obama-Putin teamwork on Syria and Iran extremely difficult, if not impossible.

Like other neocon-engineered schemes, there will surely be much collateral damage in this latest one. For instance, if the tit-for-tat economic retaliations escalate – and Russian gas supplies are disrupted – Europe’s fragile recovery could be tipped back into recession, with harmful consequences for the U.S. economy, too.

There’s also the certainty that congressional war hawks and neocon pundits will press for increased U.S. military spending and aggressive tactics elsewhere in the world to punish Putin, meaning even less money and attention for domestic programs or deficit reduction. Obama’s “nation-building at home” will be forgotten.

But the neocons have long made it clear that their vision for the world – one of America’s “full-spectrum dominance” and “regime change” in Middle Eastern countries opposed to Israel – overrides all other national priorities. And as long as the neocons face no accountability for the havoc that they wreak, they will continue working Washington’s corridors of power, not selling insurance or flipping hamburgers.

Sexy Sarah Gun Pose in Camo Bikini