“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

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Was John McCain instrumental in getting US TOW missiles transferred to “Syrian Rebels” in Raqa?


Syrian insurgents acquire TOW missiles - IHS Jane's 360

A still from one of the videos shows a TOW missile leaving the launcher. While it is unclear which version of the M220 system is being used, the guidance wire can be seen running from the missile to the launcher, showing it is not the new wireless variant. Source: Harakat Hazm

Syrian insurgents have released the first videos showing them using US-made M220-series TOW heavy anti-tank weapon systems, indicating that a state sponsor is supplying them with a new type of guided missile.

The three videos were uploaded to YouTube between 1 and 5 April by members of the moderate insurgent group Harakat Hazm. Two of these show TOWs being fired at targets near the town of Hish in the Idlib Governate; the third is of the missile system in the back of a pick-up truck.

Weighing nearly 80 kg without a thermal sight, the M220 series is comparatively heavy, which limits its tactical utility as an insurgent weapon, but its missiles have a longer range and more effective warheads than most contemporary anti-tank guided missile systems.

The system has been widely exported, including to Saudi Arabia and Turkey - which both support the Syrian opposition - and Iran, the Syrian government's main backer. The militaries of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the other two Gulf states widely believed to have supplied weapons to Syrian insurgents, use European anti-tank guided missiles (HOT and MILAN), rather than TOW.

The TOWs in the insurgent videos are unlikely to have been supplied to pro-government forces by Iran and then captured by the insurgents. They are in good condition, so almost certainly do not date back to the mid-1980s when thousands of US TOWs were illegally transferred to Iran, and have the standard day sight/tracker, so cannot be the Iranian-made Toophan version, which has a different sight.

The United States should have been informed about the delivery of TOWs to Syrian insurgents as recipients of its weaponry have to notify it about any subsequent transfers to third parties.

US officials have recently indicated that the existing CIA-led programme of targeted military assistance to the moderate opposition will be expanded. This will supposedly involve more training and non-lethal assistance instead of directly supplying insurgents with weapons.

The state sponsor behind the delivery of the TOWs is backing a group that appears to be part of a splinter faction of the Syrian Military Council (SMC), which was set up to channel foreign support to the comparatively moderate insurgents and co-ordinate their activities.

Harakat Hazm was established on 25 January 2014 by the merger of 12 small groups under the leadership of Bilal Atar (alias: Abu Abd-al-Sham). Salim Idris, the then chief of staff of the SMC, appeared in its formation video to give the group and its objectives a rare endorsement.

The group remained loyal to Idris after he was officially dismissed on 16 February. Harakat Hazm was not represented in the 19 February video in which 12 senior SMC commanders appeared alongside Idris to announce the formation of a rival military leadership. However, it distributed the video through its media channels and released its own statement of support for Idris on 17 February.

Source: http://defence.pk/threads/syrian-insurgents-acquire-tow-missiles.308393/#ixzz3oAlLZxRU


U.S. Senator John McCain met with members of the Syrian opposition in Gaziantep on July 1 amid a warning from fragmented rebels that they will lay down their arms in a week if they do not receive aid in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Following his meeting with representatives from the Syrian National Council (SNC), the rebel interim government, civil society activists, and commanders from the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the senator called for a strategy to provide greater support to Syrian opposition as parts of efforts to defeat ISIL.

McCain said he had been given firsthand accounts of the “deteriorating security and humanitarian situation on the ground inside Syria, and how the recent offensive by ISIL in Iraq is shifting dynamics on the battlefield in favor of extremists in both countries.”

He added that the Syrian opposition was fighting a two-front war against the Bashar al-Assad regime on the one side and al-Qaeda-inspired terrorist organizations like ISIL on the other.

“We need a strategy that can force al-Assad to leave power and defeat ISIL in both Syria and Iraq, and that strategy should start with greater support to these Syrian opposition forces, especially vital military training and assistance, such as anti-armor and anti-air capabilities and support for creating a safe zone in Syria,” the senator said. ISIL renamed itself simply as the Islamic State (IS) after its leader declared a new Islamic state in lands seized last month across a swathe of Iraq and Syria.

Syrian National Coalition President Ahmad Jarba and the leader of the Free Syrian Army, Brig. Gen. Abdul-Ilah al-Bashir, held talks in Washington in May urging members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to authorize the supply of arms, particularly for anti-aircraft weapons. However, the Obama administration is worried that such weapons could fall into the hands of extremist opposition groups such as ISIL and the al-Nusra Front.

And yesterday, rebels from northern and eastern Syria threatened to lay down their arms in a week if the country’s exiled opposition does not help them fight ISIL. “We, the leaders of the brigades and battalions... give the National Coalition, the [opposition] interim government, the [rebel] Supreme Military Council and all the leading bodies of the Syrian revolution a week to send reinforcements and complete aid,” the statement said. “Should our call not be heard, we will lay down our weapons and pull out our fighters,” it added.

“Our popular revolution [against al-Assad] ... is today under threat because of [ISIL], especially after it announced a caliphate,” said the statement. The factions that signed the statement are local rebel groups based in Raqa, Deir ez-Zor and parts of Aleppo province where fighting against ISIL has been most intense, and which are now under ISIL control.

The statement comes days after U.S. President Barack Obama called on Congress to approve $500 million to train and equip the moderate Syrian opposition.



    MOSCOW: Russian air strikes destroyed an Islamic State command post near Raqa among other targets, the defence ministry said today, as Moscow pressed on with its bombing campaign in Syria.

    "Over the past 24 hours SU-34 and SU-24M jets of the Russian airborne formation in Syria made more than 20 sorties over nine Islamic State infrastructure facilities," the defence ministry said.
    SU-34 fighters jet dropped a concrete busting BETAB-500 bomb on a command post in the area of IS stronghold Raqa, releasing video of the strike.

    "A powerful explosion in the bunker means that it was also used by terrorists to store a large amount of ammunition," the defence ministry said in a statement.

    SU-24 bombers also destroyed a warehouse that stored ammunition in the mountains near the city of Jisr al-Shughur in Idlib province in northwestern Syria.

    The warehouse was completely destroyed, the ministry said, referring to a "huge cloud of smoke and crater" following the strikes.

    SU-34 fighter jets also targeted a training camp belonging to the Islamic State group near the town of Maaret al-Numan in Idlib province and destroyed ammunition and equipment, the ministry said.

    Russian unmanned aerial vehicles continue to monitor the areas under control of the Islamic State group, the statement said.
    "All the targets get destroyed quickly, irrespective of weather conditions and time of the day."

    Russia on Wednesday launched air strikes in Syria, its first major military engagement outside the former Soviet Union since the occupation of Afghanistan in 1979.

    Washington has accused Russia of striking moderate rebels fighting against the embattled Syrian president under cover of a claimed assault on IS militants.

    US President Barack Obama warned on Friday that Moscow's aggressive military campaign in Syria was a "recipe for disaster." Story First Published: October 03, 2015 16:20 IST

    1. http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/russian-strikes-destroy-islamic-state-command-post-other-targets-in-syria-official-1225704

  2. I'll drag my comment up from last thread:
    Jeez Louise it seems like my "disengage and let them sort it out" meme is starting to take hold though Rufus mostly, and b00bie (of course) , still want to play in that awful sandbox, even if their playmates are Russian

    Russia ran their empire on the rocks in Afghanistan and now, after painful restructuring, seem intent on testing the depths of the ME sandbar. I wish them the best of luck in stopping all the killing but I don't believe that is their goal - black gold, bubbling crude, animates them just lije it does Galopn2. Greedy immoral fools that they are.

    I don't think they'll succeed in that sectarian killing stew any better than we did. Obama got it right - 'it's a mistake what Putin is doing'

    1. You are right now and you were right then.


    Jihadists lock down Syria’s Raqa, send in arms
    June 30, 2014 2:24 PM

    Beirut (AFP) - Activists in Raqa, a stronghold of the Islamic State (IS), said Monday the jihadists have locked down the Syrian city and are shipping in new weapons, including missiles from Iraq.

    "All roads leading in and out of Raqa city have been closed. Nobody can enter or leave Raqa at all right now," said Hadi Salameh, speaking to AFP via the Internet.

    "They also brought in surface-to-surface missiles," said the activist, using a pseudonym to protect his identity.

    An image sent to AFP by the activist showed a large missile mounted on the back of a military vehicle in the north Syrian city, in broad daylight.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the influx of arms.

    Its director Rami Abdel Rahman said: "The Islamic State is bringing in heavy weapons from Iraq to Raqa every day. The group has all the trappings of a state except an air force."

    Another activist in Raqa, Abu Ibrahim, posted pictures on Facebook showing missiles, and claimed the group was parading heavy machineguns as well as tanks, armoured vehicles, US-made Humvees and artillery cannons.

    The reports come a day after the jihadist group announced the establishment of a "caliphate" led by its shadowy chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, referred to as "caliph Ibrahim".

    A caliphate is an Islamic system of rule that became obsolete with the fall of the Ottoman empire nearly 100 years ago.

    On Monday, the second day of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, the group "detained three young men, accusing them of not observing the fast", the Observatory said.

    The extremist group was once welcome in Syria by some rebels seeking President Bashar al-Assad's ouster, but its systematic abuses and its quest for domination turned the opposition against it.

    The group has been fighting Syria's rebels, including other Islamists, since January, but has retained control of Raqa as well as large swathes of Deir Ezzor near Iraq and parts of Aleppo province in the north.

    Despite its overall unpopularity among Syrians, it has maintained a firm grip in areas under its control.

    A recent offensive in Iraq spearheaded by IS saw the group capturing heavy weapons seized from fleeing Iraqi government troops

  4. The fact is all this killing and mayhem is being conducted with US arms supplied by the CIA or by the Pentagon through arms sent to Iraq. None of this would be happening were it not for the Neocon Putsch, reported by General Wesley Clark and the disastrous calamity of fools working for the jester, US President George W Bush.

    We own this.

  5. I will point out that by "playing" 30,000 feet Above the sandbox we have suffered No Casualties, and very little loss of treasure.

    Playing Above the sandbox is Not playing "in" the sandbox.

  6. As for letting ISIL have Iraq, with its 3 Million bbl/day of Oil Exports . . . . . well, hell, even the most pacifistic patriot in the world has to realize that that's a non-starter.

    1. It's simplistic narrow thinking like that which typifies your lack of understanding of the region and the consequences of US actions. Not long ago you though they were just 25k folk in pickups which could be defeated in weeks through death from above. Now you think those same folk can take and hold Iraq. The region is far more complex than that.

  7. The Republican establishment thinks we need another Bush and the GOP Likuds Force believes we need another war, this time with Iran.

    Keep in mind, that almost every war conducted by the US in the past 70 years has been a loser. In every war during the past 70 years, none of them was conducted by a nation state. The only attack against the US was 911. It was not state sponsored but most of the participants and financiers were Saudi. It was logical and just that we retaliated against Saudi Arabia.


    There is a problem.

    We forgot to attack the Sauds. In fact, we evacuated the Saudis from the US. Surely, we interrogated them before the left? No, we forgot.

    But being master crafters, experts at nation building, foreign military adventures, we made lightning reprisal strikes against Afghanistan and Iraq. We hit them hard, not quite sure why inIraq, but we gave them a real good US ass kicking and left.


    There is a problem.

    We forgot to leave but never one to retreat or learn a lesson, we decided to grab some low hanging fruit and attacked Libya. Surely, this was a good idea and just to show everyone how good we are at empire and being the master manipulating bad ass mutherfuckers, we grabbed hundreds of tons of arms and sent them to the Syrian Minutemen to get rid of the evil Assad.

    It was the only humanitarian thing to do.

    OOrah! God Bless America and to all you poor, dead, ruined and maimed collaterally fucked up assholes, you are in our thoughts, hearts and prayers.

    1. correction:

      ...Keep in mind, that almost every war conducted by the US in the past 70 years has been a loser. In every war during the past 70 years, none of them was conducted by a nation state ( that attacked us). The only attack against the US was 911. It was not state sponsored but most of the participants and financiers were Saudi. It was logical and just that we retaliated against Saudi Arabia...

    2. .

      It was not state sponsored but most of the participants and financiers were Saudi.

      This is the Saudi MO. The only reason they got involved in Yemen is that it is right next door. Usually, they just finance the terrorists and promote the Jihadis by pushing Wahhabism, the radical form of Islam that the terrorists use to justify themselves. The Saudis have spent billions supporting terrorism and putting out millions of copies of their own version of the Koran and setting up madrassahs throughout the world where Wahhabism can be proselytized.

      When countries were committing to take in Syrian refugees, Saudi Arabia committed to contribute $200 million. For food and clothing? Naw. To build madrassahs and mosques so the refugees didn't forget their lessons.



    3. .

      Iran the biggest supporter of terrorism in the world? Nonsense.

      Saudi Arabia has been supporting, promoting, and financing terrorism since long before there was a Hamas or Hezbollah.


    4. .

      Don't talk to me about singular minds.

      Has anyone, US, Israel, our other allies, called Saudi Arabia a terrorist state?


    5. .

      Is Saudi Arabia in Danger of Collapse?

      s if there weren’t already enough problems to worry about in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia might be headed for trouble. From plummeting oil prices to foreign-policy missteps to growing tensions with Iran, a confluence of recent events is mounting to pose some serious challenges for the Saudi regime. If not properly managed, these events could eventually coalesce into a perfect storm that significantly increases the risk of instability within the kingdom, with untold consequences for global oil markets and security in the Middle East.

      Here are some of the percolating problems that could throw the country off kilter.

      Fissures Within the Royal Family...

      The Yemen War...

      Economic Problems...

      Hajj tragedy...

      Escalating Conflict With Iran. ..

      U.S. Retrenchment...

      The article is long and goes on to blame all the problems in the ME on Obama. What ever you think of the conclusion, the article itself is interesting in providing a summary of the problems facing the kingdom.


      The Saudi problems are all self-inflicted; but while it would provide me with a shit load of guilty pleasure, the precipitous fall of the Saudi sheikhs would likely prove disastrous for the world economy, at least in the short term.


    6. The Saudi monarchy is quite wary of the large population of Wahhabbi under 5heir control - relatively speaking the monarchy is on 'our' side.

    7. Ashlikins, our moron from Canada, is, like many here, especially Quart, equating supporting a no fly zone, safe zone with "war mongering".

      None of you have any compassion. I am trying to save lives, and not create refugees.

      Ashlikins gumbles and farts wetly in his diapers, Quart merely grumbles.

      And, galopin2 is right about his strategy......he hasn't gotten any Americans killed.....

    8. .

      You know, as I recall, this whole no-fly zone crusade of yours was a late comer. Wasn't your first suggestion that the US sent in troops to help the Christians and the Kurds and the 'moderate' militants?

      I have called you a warmonger on numerous occasions for backing (r more likely just falling for) the neocon memes, especially that of leaving residual US forces in these countries to be attacked by everybody and his cousin. However, I don't recall calling you a warmonger for the 'no-fly zone' idea. What I actually called you was a moron, a nitwit, stupid, a dumb hick and other things because of the potential known-unknowns associated with the policy.


    9. .

      As for Ash' comment, the only side Saudi Arabia is on is Saudi Arabia's. The fact they are responding to a situation they helped create and the same situation the US is forced to respond to doesn't make them our "ally'.

      The US makes the same mistake in viewing Iran as an 'ally' in the fight against ISIS. They just repeated the mistake with Russia. All of these countries are just concerned about their own interests. Sometimes interests overlap.


    10. The Saudis are official allies are they not. Heck, even Canada is selling them weapons. Dubya held hands in public with the king. The US quickly and covertly flew the bin laden clan out right after 911. The monarchy is mild in comparison to the vast majority over which they rule. Supporting the odd Wahhabbi action is lake throwing red meat issues at the tea party right in America ;)

  8. .

    The United States should have been informed about the delivery of TOWs to Syrian insurgents as recipients of its weaponry have to notify it about any subsequent transfers to third parties.


    Hell, if you can't trust your allies who can you trust?


  9. .

    Ankara Explosions: 86 Killed, 186 Hurt Before Rally in Turkish Capital

    STANBUL, Turkey — At least 86 people were killed in twin explosions Saturday outside the main train station in the Turkish capital Ankara where protesters were gathering for a peace march, prosecutors said.

    Graphic pictures from the scene showed several bodies covered by flags and placards, with bloodstains visible and body parts scattered in the road. Officials said 186 people were hurt.

    There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, Turkey's deadliest in years. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said there were "strong signs" that they were suicide bombings, reported the Associated Press.

    Hours after the attacks, a ban was imposed in Turkey on broadcasting images which directly showed the bomb blasts. A government spokesman warned media organizations that they could be subject to a "full blackout" if they didn't comply.

    The peace rally had attracted busloads of leftist and Kurdish activists, who came to Ankara from other cities to join in...


    In recent months, Turkish jets have carried out deadly airstrikes on Kurdish rebels in Iraq, renewing the conflict with the Kurdistan Workers' Party.

    Kurdish rebels declared a temporary cease-fire hours after Saturday's attack.



    1. .

      Reason #32 the US should stay out of the ME.

      Unfortunately, Turkey is a NATO ally, a shitty one but still a NATO ally that we have treaty obligations with.

      We have been supporting the Kurds in Syria/Iraq. Turkey has been bombing them. The Kurdish insurgency in Turkey has been growing lately.

      There is the possibility we will be drawn into this thing even further.


    2. .

      The Kurds have been screwed over by the US before, used and then kicked to the curb.

      I doubt they will be surprised if it happens again.


  10. Making It All Up

    Over 270 researchers, working as the Reproducibility Project, had gathered 100 studies from three of the most prestigious journals in the field of social psychology. Then they set about to redo the experiments and see if they could get the same results. Mostly they used the materials and methods the original researchers had used. Direct replications are seldom attempted in the social sciences, even though the ability to repeat an experiment and get the same findings is supposed to be a cornerstone of scientific knowledge. It’s the way to separate real information from flukes and anomalies.

    These 100 studies had cleared the highest hurdles that social science puts up. They had been edited, revised, reviewed by panels of peers, revised again, published, widely read, and taken by other social scientists as the starting point for further experiments. Except . . .
    The researchers, Vedantam glumly told his NPR audience, “found something very disappointing. Nearly two-thirds of the experiments did not replicate, meaning that scientists repeated these studies but could not obtain the results that were found by the original research team.



    1. {…}

      For one thing, the “reproducibility crisis” is not unique to the social sciences, and it shouldn’t be a surprise it would touch social psychology too. The widespread failure to replicate findings has afflicted physics, chemistry, geology, and other real sciences. Ten years ago a Stanford researcher named John Ioannidis published a paper called “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False.”

      “For most study designs and settings,” Ioannidis wrote, “it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true.” He used medical research as an example, and since then most systematic efforts at replication in his field have borne him out. His main criticism involved the misuse of statistics: He pointed out that almost any pile of data, if sifted carefully, could be manipulated to show a result that is “statistically significant.”

      Statistical significance is the holy grail of social science research, the sign that an effect in an experiment is real and not an accident. It has its uses. It is indispensable in opinion polling, where a randomly selected sample of people can be statistically enhanced and then assumed to represent a much larger population. But the participants in behavioral science experiments are almost never randomly selected, and the samples are often quite small. Even the wizardry of statistical significance cannot show them to be representative of any people other than themselves…


    2. {…}

      Behavioral science shares other weaknesses with every field of experimental science, especially in what the trade calls “publication bias.” A researcher runs a gauntlet of perverse incentives that encourages him to produce positive rather than negative results. Publish or perish is a pitiless mandate. Editors want to publish articles that will get their publications noticed, and researchers, hoping to get published and hired, oblige the tastes of editors, who are especially pleased to gain the attention of journalists, who hunger for something interesting to write about.

      Negative results, which show that an experiment does not produce a predicted result, are just as valuable scientifically but unlikely to rouse the interest of Shankar Vedantam and his colleagues. And positive results can be got relatively easily. Behavioral science experiments yield mounds of data. A researcher assumes, like the boy in the old joke, that there must be a pony in there somewhere. After some data are selected and others left aside, the result is often a “false positive”—interesting if true, but not true.

      Publication bias, compounded with statistical weakness, makes a floodtide of false positives. “Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue,” wrote the editor of the medical journal Lancet not long ago. Following the Reproducibility Project, we now know his guess was probably too low, at least in the behavioral sciences. The literature, continued the editor, is “afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance.”


    3. {…}

      Behavioral science has many weaknesses unique to itself. Remember that the point of the discipline is to discover general truths that will be useful in predicting human behavior. More than 70 percent of the world’s published psychology studies are generated in the United States. Two-thirds of them draw their subjects exclusively from the pool of U.S. undergraduates, according to a survey by a Canadian economist named Joseph Henrich and two colleagues. And most of those are students who enroll in psychology classes. White, most of them; middle- or upper-class; college educated, with a taste for social science: not John Q. Public.

      This is a problem—again, widely understood, rarely admitted. College kids are irresistible to the social scientist: They come cheap, and hundreds of them are lying around the quad with nothing better to do. Taken together, Henrich and his researchers said, college students in the United States make “one of the worst subpopulations one could study for generalizing about Homo sapiens.”


    4. .
      So What Does It All Mean To US?

      A week after the Reproducibility Project set off its cluster bomb, President Obama’s Social and Behavioral Sciences Team issued its first annual report. (Who knew there was such a thing?) The team describes itself as “a cross-agency group of experts in applied behavioral science that translates findings and methods from the social and behavioral sciences into improvements in Federal policies and programs.”

      We can be relieved that the work of the team is much less consequential than it sounds. So far, according to the report, the team has made two big discoveries. First, reminding veterans, via email, about the benefits they’re entitled to increases the number of veterans applying for the benefits. Second, if you simplify complicated application forms for government financial aid—for college students and farmers, let’s say—the number of students and farmers who apply for financial aid will increase. “One behaviorally designed letter variant” increased the number of farmers asking for a microloan “from 0.09 to 0.11 percent.”

      Evidently impressed with all this science, President Obama issued an executive order directing federal agencies “to use behavioral insights to better serve the American people.” Agency heads and personnel directors were instructed to “recruit behavioral science experts to join the Federal government as necessary to achieve the goals of this directive.” We should have known! After all the bogus claims and hyped findings and preening researchers, after the tortured data and dazed psych students, this is the final product of the mammoth efforts of behavioral science: a federal jobs program for behavioral scientists…


    5. .

      How many federal employees are there in the US?

      At least 2,748,978.

      There are 2,748,978 civilian federal employees in the United States as of January 2009. This is according to the Federal Employment Statistics published by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Employees with security agencies (CIA, NSA, etc) as well as the National Imagery and Mapping Agency are not included in this number. 97.6% of civilian federal employees work in the executive branch of government.

      If we add in the groups not counted and contract workers, etc., perhaps it reached the 4.5 million employees I heard cited the other day. The GOP is right when they say the federal government is bloated and way too big. Unfortunately, they are not about to do anything about it.

      The main objective of a bureaucracy is to survive and grow. There are few sunset clauses when it comes to federal agencies, even President Obama’s Social and Behavioral Sciences Team. When he leaves it will simply morph into Someone Else's Social and Behavioral Sciences Team.




    Russia is increasing the number of air strikes against Islamic State in Syria, its defence ministry has said.

    It cited "a significant increase in the number of ground targets" located by air-based and space-based reconnaissance teams across Syria.
    Russia says it has hit 55 Islamic State (IS) group targets in Syria in 24 hours up until Saturday.

    Syrian rebels and Western governments say Russia has mainly been hitting non-IS targets.

    The US has accused Russia of running “fundamentally flawed” operations in Syria that would “inflame the civil war and therefore extremism”.

  12. During my military career, we had an opportunity to cooperate with the NSA on the monitoring of Soviet test missile launches. We did this in order to gather as much data as possible so that in the event of a mass Soviet missile launch against CONUS, we would recognize the early signs of pre-launch and make a rapid post launch report allowing The Strategic Air Command to put the maximum hurt back at them.

    Lyndon Johnson “accidentally” let slip about our much improved ability (we shaved off almost 20 minutes in the amount of time to call an attack) to call a warning on Soviet activities. The Soviets also knew that SAC always had 20% of it’s strategic bombing (nuclear) fleet in the air. WE also had an amazing 50,000 tactical nuclear field weapons many attached to the belly of fighter aircraft stationed in Europe ( I was stationed on three of them) , ready to scramble on three minutes notice, piloted by a US suicide pilots who knew he had the fuel to make a one way trip into the Soviets. (They had parachutes, pistols and a compass but trust me, they knew they were dead enders)

    At that time the NSA was prohibited from spying in the US on actual Americans.

    Today, the NSA knows where your iPhone is but their actual needed skills look to need some sharpening:

    Among the first clues that Russia was mobilizing for a military offensive in Syria were requests Moscow began making in ­mid-August for permission to cross other countries’ territory with more and larger aircraft.

    “We were getting the word the Russians were asking for inordinate overflights,” a senior Obama administration official said, referring to reports from U.S. allies receiving the requests. Russia was seeking clearance for not only cargo planes but also “fighter aircraft and bombers” that Syrian pilots had never been trained to fly, the official said. “It was clear that something pretty big was up.”

    But despite that early suspicion — which only intensified as Russia then deployed fighter jets and teams of military advisers — the United States seemed to be caught flat-footed by the barrage of airstrikes that Moscow launched last week.

    1. We are good at detecting toothpaste, shaving cream and baby formula, otherwise flatfooted when Russians are moving ships and planes.

      Recall how feckless US air defenses were when Saudis were flying erratically searching for buildings to crash into.


  13. A hundred billion or six hundred billions just doesn’t cut it. I’m sure another hundred billion or so would tidy things up nicely.

  14. QuirkSat Oct 10, 01:04:00 PM EDT

    Don't talk to me about singular minds.

    Has anyone, US, Israel, our other allies, called Saudi Arabia a terrorist state?


    Yep I have for years.

    1. But I notice, you don't respond to the point and deflect.

    2. .

      Frankly, I have heard you say a lot about Iran. Saudi Arabia? Not so much. If you have, I missed it.

      As for the point you made on a singular mindset,

      I have said numerous times that ALL of the regimes in the ME are dicks. ALL of them. However, my comment was about Saudi Arabia and the oft-repeated trope that the Iranians are the BIGGEST promoter of terrorism is the world. My answer to that is bullshit. The word BIGGEST is singular. There is only one BIGGEST promoter of terrorism in the world and IMO that country has been and continues to be Saudi Arabia.

      You might want to read a little closer.


  15. See the arsehole Wolf Blitzer interview Dr. Ben Carson here -

    Ben Carson: If people had been armed, Hitler’s power to achieve his goals would have been “greatly diminished”
    posted at 1:21 pm on October 9, 2015 by Allahpundit

    The man certainly does know his way around a Hitler hypothetical. Just ask his own campaign manager.

    “It’s an example [Carson] has been using for years and to be honest with you he needs to find a better example because the problem is as soon as you say Hitler, nobody hears anything else you say,” Campaign Manager Barry Bennett told ABC News. “Its just so evil, so contemptible, that no one can hear anything else.”

    Believe it or not, that comment was in reference not to what Carson said yesterday on CNN about gun control in the Third Reich but to what he said a few days earlier on “The View” about how Hitler could happen here. It’s been a week-long Nazipalooza. In fact, WaPo has a list out today of Carson using Nazi analogies in 13 separate contexts over the last few years. Bennett is right that it’s a distraction and will only become more of one now that the media’s zeroed in on it as a rhetorical tic of his, but Carson’s whole brand is refusing to bow to political correctness. He won’t relent, no matter how much the left jeers him — even when it’s the ADL telling him to settle down.

    The Anti-Defamation League condemned the comments, saying in a statement: “Ben Carson has a right to his views on gun control, but the notion that Hitler’s gun-control policy contributed to the Holocaust is historically inaccurate. The small number of personal firearms available to Germany’s Jews in 1938 could in no way have stopped the totalitarian power of the Nazi German state.”…

    “That’s total foolishness,” Carson told George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America. “I’d be happy to discuss that in depth with anybody but it is well known that in many places where tyranny has taken over they first disarm the people. There’s a reason they disarm the people. They don’t just do it arbitrarily.”

    I doubt this is a calculated media strategy, but deliberate or not, it’s subtly brilliant. His single biggest liability with conservatives on the issues headed into this year’s primary was probably his tepid support for gun rights, most infamously expressed a few years ago in an interview with Glenn Beck. Being lukewarm on guns is a bad, bad thing to be when you’re angling to draw midwestern red-meat grassroots conservatives in Iowa. Carson has since come around and defends gun rights as a crucial hedge against tyranny in his new book, but he needs to get the word out among conservatives who may have already written him off for what he said to Beck. How do you do that? You bait the media with Hitler references and trust that their pearl-clutching on camera will carry your message forth. Carson has already learned something valuable from the media uproar over what he said a few weeks ago about not supporting a Muslim for president: You usually can’t go wrong in a GOP primary by upsetting the political/media class. Which probably explains 50 percent or so of Trump’s appeal, come to think of it.

    1. As for the merits of the argument, it depends in part on which “people” he means. If Europeans writ large were armed, that might have “greatly diminished” Hitler’s ambitions. (Or it might not have. Given the lengths to which the Nazis were willing to go to make examples of resisters, plenty of armed Europeans would have concluded that it was wiser not to resist.) If only European Jews were armed, probably less so: A large paramilitary force with vastly superior weapons and no moral restraints on its actions will almost always prevail, as the Warsaw ghetto uprising demonstrates. But don’t lose sight of the real point here. Charles Cooke puts it well:

      Whether Carson is right or wrong with his central claim is entirely irrelevant to the most important question here, which is not “can armed people always overthrow a tyrannical government” but “does the government get to deny them the chance to try?” The right to keep and bear arms is an individual right, not a collective privilege, and individual rights do not need to be justified on practical grounds. Just as we would not deny free speech to a man simply because he seemed unlikely to win a given argument, we must not abandon our auxiliary self-defense rights on the basis that the odds might be stacked against the little guy. I’m a staunch defender of the right to keep and bear arms because I have an untouchable Lockean right to protect myself, not because I can prove definitively that I will never be outgunned. Would I necessarily win in a fight against a home intruder? No, I would not. Would I necessarily survive if the government or the police wanted me dead? No, I would not. But I will assert my unalienable right to try against any man at any time in any place, and those who hope to strip me of that chance can man up, head to my front door, and come and damn well take it.

      Why deny those brave enough to resist the opportunity to do so?


      "The 2nd Amendment is not about shooting deer. It is about shooting tyrants."

      Judge Napolitano

  16. “Muslims have the right to lie in a good cause”—Pakistani president to Reagan

    October 9, 2015 2:08 pm By Raymond Ibrahim 24 Comments

    Ben Carson recently created controversy by warning against the Muslim doctrine of taqiyya, which allows Muslims to deceive non-Muslims. I already addressed the accuracy of Carson’s statements here, and the media’s attempts to discredit him here.

    Soon thereafter, Daniel Pipes, the president of the Middle East Forum, brought an interesting anecdote to my attention.

    Back in the 1980s, Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, the president of Pakistan, explained to Ronald Reagan how it was no problem for the Pakistanis to sign the Geneva agreements and yet continue supplying weapons to the Afghan jihadis (“freedom fighters”) combating the Soviet Union.

    Zia and Reagan

    Why wasn’t it a problem? According to Zia, “We’ll just lie about it. That’s what we’ve been doing for eight years.” He added, “Muslims have the right to lie in a good cause.” (Click here for source and image of excerpt)

    Compare this casual statement from the president of a Muslim nation with the claims of UCLA’s Abou El Fadl, whom the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler quoted at length in an effort to prove Carson wrong about taqiyya. According to the Muslim professor, “there is no concept that would encourage a Muslim to lie to pursue a goal. That is a complete invention.”

    So which Muslim do you believe? The strong and secure Muslim who said that “Muslims have the right to lie in a good cause” — in this case, jihad against “infidels.” Or the Muslim minority surrounded by American “infidels” who claims that there is “no concept that would encourage a Muslim to lie to pursue a goal”?

    Apparently it never occurred to the WaPo’s Kessler that El Fadl himself may have been exercising, in Zia’s words, his Muslim “right to lie in a good cause” — in this case, to prevent Americans from ever being suspicious of Muslim individuals and organizations in the U.S.


    Never believe an ad man, or a Muslim...........

    Old American Adage

  17. Quirk, with his recent declaration that the main function of any bureaucracy is to perpetuate and grow itself, has shown a stirring of good solid sense.

    This is also the hidden reason for the truly idiotic move of putting North Canadian monster wolves in Idaho.

    All these asshole 'biologists' and others in Fish and Game, US Fish and Game, etc etc, need something to do, and want fat paychecks, to hell with the elk.....

    1. Am knocking on wood and hoping for good news of a wolf down at the farm this weekend......

      My young white hunter is on the prowl......

    2. Soon the 'biologists' in Fish and Game will be demanding more $$$$$ for programs to study and implement ways to "save the elk"......you see how this goes.....it's a wonderland of idiocy and wasted money and destruction of the divine balance of things nature, and Elk Unlimited, had provided for us all.......

  18. An ad at a local Post Office here had starting salaries for any Postal employee at $51,000 a year.

    I was shocked....

  19. from the "Headlines From Heaven" files -

    HILLARY HELL: DOWN 10 POINTS IN LESS THAN WEEK................Drudge