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Tuesday, December 01, 2015

What is next in Syria now that the Turkish game is being shut down by Russia?

Syria conundrum: Russian bear roars as the West slides 


Was the downing of a Russian bomber always in the offing? Given the number of air forces currently operating in and around Syria, one may be tempted to answer in the affirmative. Currently, there are American, British, French, UAE, Jordanian, Australian, Syrian and Russian military aircraft sharing the skies above Syria. Most of them have different agendas, and different targets. A narrow divide would suggest that apart from Russian aircraft, all others broadly share targets as well as objectives.
However, if the crowded airspace was to be blamed for this shooting of a Russian jet, we should be prepared to see such incidents in the near future also because ‘the space’ is after all going to stay over-crowded as long as the war is there.
Looking from another angle, the downing of a Russian bomber was always going to happen. After all, the Russian air campaign had started to inflict considerable damage on the Western strategic assets on the ground. As far as Turkey’s position is concerned, Russian campaign against Islamic State (IS) has certainly changed the position of Kurds in the region, who are much more organized and equipped than ever. But should we necessarily ‘blame’ Russia for this? Should we use the word ‘blame’ at all in this case?
It is an open secret that the US has been providing all sort of assistance to Kurds in Syria and Iraq in the name of ‘tackling’ the IS. While Russian campaign may have indirectly enhanced Kurdish position vis-à-vis IS and Turkey, the US-supplied weapons have come as direct aid to this effect. While Turkey was certainly not ‘happy’ with the US over arming Syrian and Iraqi Kurds, the latter was able to neutralize the former’s reservation by allowing it to bomb KPP.
Turkey and the US are, therefore, undoubtedly on the same page as far as their position vis-à-vis Russian military presence is concerned and this continues to be the position of other coalition partners. The downing of a Russian bomber was followed by the shooting of a Russian rescue helicopter. According to reports, the TOW missile used to destroy a Russian rescue helicopter and kill its pilot was manufactured by the US, and paid for by Saudi Arabia.
All these crosscurrents and competing agendas have once again affirmed that the efforts of the various members of the two coalitions fighting in Syria are widely dispersed and mutually conflicting, leaving only a marginal space for “co-operation”, or even some hope for it.
These incidents have, yet again, reinforced that the war in Syria is a case of conflict of strategic interests which are too vital for all the State-actors involved to be achieved by just holding periodic rounds of talks in Geneva and Vienna.
While the leading actors, including Russia and Iran, have been involved in the attempts to reach a compromised solution, efforts to build a larger coalition are also glaringly going on in the West. Not only has the US President been wooing Israel’s Netanyahu to mend his ties with him in the wake of heightened Russian campaign, but he has also geared his efforts towards seeking support from other partners, especially Britain, for greater military engagement in Syria.
The efforts to build this grand-coalition (excluding Russia, of course), which have provoked significant opposition in Britain, received a sort of ‘ideological’ cover recently when the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a French resolution to eradicate IS.
The passage of this resolution looks rather sobering and paradoxical given that even as the UNSC deliberates on the best course to defeat what the body called “a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security,” the US and other members still double deal on Russia’s initiative to tackle terror in Syria.
On November 18, 2015, the Washington Post had reported that while Russia does want to form a coalition, Obama administration continues to remain leery of Putin’s eagerness to form such a coalition.
This “eagerness”, however, has now been (successfully) replaced by an outright refusal to form a coalition. Dmitry Peskov, President Vladimir Putin’s personal spokesman, told reporters during a conference call on Friday that, “at the moment, unfortunately, our partners are not ready to work as one coalition.”
This announcement came within 24 hours of Hollande’s meeting with Putin where the latter had said Russia “was ready to cooperate with the coalition which is led by the United States.” Friday’s announcement is, in fact, an acknowledgement of Russia’s solo assault in Syria — something that Putin had also implied in his joint press conference with Hollande.
In this context, the US-led coalition strikes in Syria against IS have dramatically stopped. Both the American and Turkish air forces halted their strikes on Syrian territory around the time Russia deployed S-400 air defense complexes at the Khmeimim airbase, from which it stages its own incursions against IS.
While a spokesperson of the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) said that the absence of anti-IS coalition airstrikes “has nothing to do with the S-400 deployment” in Syria, the deployment is not merely an act of tightening of Russian air defense. A closer look at it suggests its other significance. Certainly, Russian is not going to use these missiles against IS or any other terrorist organization. The only actors these missiles can potentially be used against are the States involved in Syria.
It is, as such, a clear message to them. In fact, the very location of deployment tells the whole story plainly. From Khmeimim airbase — which is only 30 miles from Turkish border — S-400 radar covers Syria, western regions of Iraq and Saudi Arabia, nearly all of Israel and Jordan, Egypt’s northern Sinai, a large part of the eastern Mediterranean and Turkish airspace as far as the capital Ankara.
Therefore, it cannot be gainsaid that this deployment has literally turned almost the whole of Syria into a “no fly zone” for US led coalition air strikes.
Commenting on the decision, Putin said there was previously no need for such measures, because no-one imagined the Russian aircraft could be in danger. Russia would have brought S-400s to Syria a long time ago to protect its warplanes, if it entertained the possibility of a traitorous back-stab.”
While the US-led coalition strikes are on a halt, Russia has certainly speeded up.  The monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that Russia had launched heavy bombardment in the area as Turkmen forces and members of al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front battled against the Syrian army. It said that at least 12 air strikes hit Latakia province.
Jahed Ahmad, a spokesman for a rebel brigade in the region affiliated with the Free Syrian Army, told the Associated Press the Kremlin appeared to be taking “revenge” for the downing of the plane by providing cover for advancing pro-government forces.
While Russia may have increased the rate of strikes, it seems to be an oversimplification to project it as “revenge” only. Arguably, it is a continuation of what Russian strikes were already achieving before its bomber was shot down.
In the days preceding the downing of a Russian bomber, Syrian troops were reported to have retaken large swathes of territory from IS, Al Qaeda, and other terrorist fighters. The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) was also reported to have begun to approach the Euphrates River east of Aleppo, which would effectively cut off IS from its supply lines leading out of Turkish territory.
In this context, Latakia province, which is located in Western Syria bordering Turkey and houses a significant Turkmen population, has been hit several times during the past few days. While for Erdogan, there are no IS militants in Latakia, for Russia it does have enough terrorist population and does function as a supply base for IS militants and therefore is needed to be bombed to dust.
For Erdogan, however, the crucial importance of these Turkmen lands is that he wants to convert them into long-cherished “no fly zones” to be used as a launch-base for terrorist attacks well inside Syria.  While Turkey continues to harp on the mantra of “innocent deaths” in Turkmen lands, for Russia the thing that strategically matters most is to smash any possibility of a future 900 km-long ‘jihad highway’ between Aleppo and Grozny.
And that explains the Russian bombing of Latakia province. For Russia, the area known as Turkmen Mountain or heights  – which Turks call Bayirbucak –north of Latakia province is a major target. That is where the notorious ‘jihad highway’ is located through which Ankara, side by side with the US, weaponizes various terrorist outfits.
For Russia, any possibility of militias allied with Salafis and Salafi-jihadis trying to make a push to conquer overwhelmingly Alawite Latakia province is a red line because this would threaten Russia’s airbase at Khmeimim and eventually even the port of Tartus. Were this to take place, it would lead to a permanent Russian strategic exit from Syria and the Middle East.
No “grand coalition”, with Russia part of it, can therefore work.  Russia’s day-in and day-out changing position vis-à-vis such a coalition is a reflection of this very high improbability, resulting from their poles-apart strategic interests vis-à-vis the US and its allies. And perhaps, it is for this reason that the US has been least enthusiastic among all about forming this coalition at all.
The so-called “common cause” to form this coalition has so far been hard to come by. And the way Barak Obama tapped Erdogan on his back for taking a ‘bold’ decision against alleged violation of its aerial sovereignty has made finding the “common cause” even harder.
Salman Rafi Sheikh is a freelance journalist and research analyst of international relations and Pakistan affairs. His area of interest is South and West Asian politics, the foreign policies of major powers, and Pakistani politics. He can be reached at salmansheikh.ss11.sr@gmail.com

60 comments:

  1. heh :) spaceballs

    *****

    December 1, 2015
    Turkey: Why Muslim Nations Shouldn't be Part of NATO
    By Selwyn Duke

    With NATO member Turkey’s recent downing of a Russian aircraft sparking fears of WWIII, a rather politically incorrect question needs to be asked: should a Muslim nation have NATO membership?

    Having a country as part of the NATO alliance is no small matter. Since an attack on one member nation is considered an attack on all, an escalation of the Russian-Turk crisis resulting in military action against Turkey by Russia could, conceivably, lead to a WWIII. This is why it’s imperative that NATO members be rational actors.

    As to this, I have a theory about the shoot-down of the Russian plane. It’s just a theory, and admittedly it’s “probably” not the explanation in this case. Yet I think it’s worthy of consideration, especially since it could be a factor — and a profoundly dangerous one — at some point in the future.

    When Turkey was admitted to NATO in 1952, the Cold War was ramping up and the nation was relatively secular. Today, however, it’s well known that Turkey has been Islamizing and that its president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is an Islamic supremacist. Also note that Turkey was the location of the last great Islamic caliphate, the Ottoman Empire. And some think that just as Benito Mussolini wanted to resurrect the glories of the Roman Empire, Erdoğan and others want to reclaim the far more recent Ottoman dominance.

    Now, let’s say you’re an Islamic supremacist regime leading an Islamizing nation. Let’s say that, as is par for that course, you believe the whole Earth should be conquered for Islam and have an apocalyptic worldview. You look at the geopolitical scene and see a decrepit, secularizing West on one side, a place that itself is being Islamized as it slowly descends into irrelevancy. And opposing this you see Vladimir Putin’s Russia, the only remaining major nation unapologetically Christian, a nation that has rejected the West’s destructive leftist agenda (Putin himself, whether it’s principle or posturing, has served notice that Russia is willing to be Christianity’s standard bearer).

    Before elaborating further, it must be emphasized that an Islamic apocalyptic worldview is so foreign to most Westerners that they can’t even conceive of it. As to this, however, it has been said that if former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had supreme decision-making power in his land, he would "sacrifice half of Iran for the sake of eliminating Israel.” Remember, we’re dealing with adherents who frequently blow themselves up in an effort to take just a few non-believers with them. And with this suicide/homicide-bomber mentality so prevalent, it does follow that, sometime, somewhere, it would have to penetrate into Muslim halls of government.

    So let’s say this is your mindset. Is it unfathomable to think you might want to start a war between the Christian and secular “infidels”? Might you not hope that Russia would be destroyed or at least neutered and that the already waning West, in a Pyrrhic victory’s wake, would be left teetering and all the more susceptible to a hot or cold Muslim takeover?

    Even if what resulted wasn’t the sudden rise of the final and greatest caliphate, it’s logical to assume that a WWIII could lead to a new world order. Also realize that most of Dar al-Islam (that apart from Turkey) would most probably sit on the sidelines during such an affair; thus, it would likely emerge stronger relative to the West and the rest than it had been before. Turkey, of course, would take it on the chin as part of NATO. But what does that matter to a “half my country for Allah” type?

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    1. Also note that it wouldn’t have to be the Turkish regime’s official policy to spark such a war for the action in question to be taken; rogue elements within the government or military could be enough. And regardless of how it all shook out, wouldn’t the prospect of getting the “infidels” to kill each other be very attractive to a suicide-homicide-vest type? All it means for the Muslim “collateral damage” is that a lot of men get their 72 virgins far sooner. And given that jihadists have sacrificed themselves for the sake of killing just a few non-believers, what kind of an appeal do you think wiping out millions of them would hold?

      Once again, the aforementioned is just a theory, and an unlikely explanation, insofar as the downing of the Russian plane goes. But how likely or unlikely is it that it could be a factor in the future? All we need is just one apocalyptic jihadist at the right nation’s helm.

      There are two Islamic countries in NATO, Turkey and Albania. The latter is only 58 percent Muslim and a quarter irreligious, yet even it spawns some terrorists. And is having Muslim nations in NATO much like having Muslim individuals in the West? Is it just a matter of time before one of them takes up the sword for Allah?

      Of course, many will scoff. It’s important here, however, not to fall victim to that common human failing of mirroring, when we project our own values, priorities and mindset onto others. As Michael Caine’s character explained in the film The Dark Knight, “[S]ome men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

      And some men want to burn it to buy the promise of Paradise.

      Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com.

      http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/12/turkey_why_muslim_nations_shouldnt_be_part_of_nato.html

      Delete
  2. It was during the Maunder Minimum, 1645 A.D. to 1715 A.D., so the thinking goes, that the glaciers in our Glacier National Park and elsewhere really built up.

    They have been shrinking since at least 1800, before the automobile, before all the population increase.

    The glaciers may be waxing again soon.

    *****

    December 1, 2015
    Let's ice skate on the Thames like we did in 1715!
    By Silvio Canto, Jr.

    The climate change conversation took a chilly turn this weekend. In other words, we are going get cold, really cold in the near future. This is from London:

    A team of European researchers have unveiled a scientific model showing that the Earth is likely to experience a “mini ice age” from 2030 to 2040 as a result of decreased solar activity.

    Their findings will infuriate environmental campaigners who argue by 2030 we could be facing increased sea levels and flooding due to glacial melt at the poles.

    However, at the National Astronomy Meeting in Wales, Northumbria University professor Valentina Zharkova said fluctuations an 11-year cycle of solar activity the sun goes through would be responsible for a freeze, the like of which has not been experienced since the 1600s.

    From 1645 to 1715 global temperatures dropped due to low solar activity so much that the planet experienced a 70-year ice age known as Maunder Minimum which saw the River Thames in London completely frozen.

    So let's party like it's 1715?

    It amazes me that people can be so certain about this and that in 20 years. I say this because I remember when we were warned about another ice age in our lifetime. I should have saved that Time issue!

    So let's protect ourselves against global cooling and warming. No matter what, we should all build domed stadia so that fans can watch games when it's too hot or too cold!

    And let's buy some new ice skates just in case that the Thames freezes again!

    P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2015/11/lets_ice_skate_on_the_thames_like_we_did_in_1715.html

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I remember that Time issue too.

      Snowball Earth on the cover.

      Earth one big snowball.

      Delete
  3. Russia has ‘more proof’ ISIS oil routed through Turkey, \

    Erdogan says he’ll resign if it’s true

    https://www.rt.com/news/324045-putin-erdogan-su-downing/

    ReplyDelete
  4. (IraqiNews.com) Baghdad – Media War Cell announced on Tuesday, that the Anti-Terrorism forces had managed to liberate Ramadi glass plant.

    The cell said in a statement received by IraqiNews.com, “Anti-Terrorism forces were able to free the glass factory in the city of Ramadi,” indicating that “those forces raised the Iraqi flag over the building of the plant.”

    The statement added, “The ISIS suffered from heavy losses in lives and equipment.”

    Noteworthy the Joint Special Operations Command called, on Monday (November 30, 2015) the people of Ramadi to evacuate their families from the city and to head the south across Humera area.

    Iraqinews

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  5. TRANSLATION: STAND DOWN ASSHOLE!

    REUTERS: U.S. President Barack Obama urged Turkey on Tuesday to reduce tensions with Moscow after the downing of a Russian warplane and to seal its border with Syria to choke off the supply of money and fighters to Islamic State militants.

    He also raised the specter of Afghanistan in warning Russia against getting bogged down in its military campaign to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    But hopes of the de-escalation called for by Obama suffered a setback when Russia officially announced a list of sanctions to be imposed on Turkey and sources said Moscow may also freeze work on a major gas pipeline project.

    Obama met Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Paris, where they have been attending a climate summit, a week after Turkish jets shot down a Russian warplane along the Syrian border.

    Obama stressed that U.S. support for its NATO ally's security remained steadfast.

    "The United States supports Turkey's right to defend itself and its airspace and its territory," Obama said. "We discussed how Turkey and Russia can work together to de-escalate tensions and find a diplomatic path to resolve this issue."

    Obama told Erdogan that the Islamic State militant group, also known as ISIL, must be pursued by all sides, echoing a message he delivered to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. "We all have a common enemy, and that is ISIL, and I want to make sure that we focus on that threat," Obama said.

    Tensions between Russia and Turkey have complicated U.S. efforts to prod Moscow into steering its military might towards Islamic State rather than Western-backed Syrian opposition groups. Putin supports Assad, while Obama and Erdogan want him to go.

    Obama said he did not expect a quick reversal of Putin's strategy in Syria, but Moscow may eventually align itself with the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. As if Putin needs Obama’s advice

      Delete
    2. Obama should be saying:

      'yo Putin, have at it! Be my guest, right over here in the *qwik* sand of the ME.' Black gold baby!"

      Delete
    3. Putin will just blow the fuck out of the quicksand.

      Delete
  6. NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly half of U.S. households only use cellphones, according to new federal statistics that show more and more people are cutting the cord on landlines.

    Now, only about 8 percent of households have just landlines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday.

    More than 47 percent of American homes use only cellphones. About 42 percent have both.

    A dozen years ago, a mere 3 percent of U.S. households used only cellphones. Given the trend, officials believe more than half of U.S. homes will be wireless within the next year.

    "The tipping point is approaching," said CDC's Stephen Blumberg, the report's lead author.

    The preliminary data is based on in-person interviews in more than 21,000 homes during the first six months of this year. The researchers found:

    —Not all homes have phones: More than 3 percent have neither a landline nor a cellphone. That percentage has been rising slightly over the past three years.

    —Poor adults are much more likely than higher-income people to have only cellphones.

    —Younger people rely more on wireless, too: About 71 percent of people in their late 20s live in households with only cellphones. Only 19 percent of people 65 and older use only cellphones.

    —The Midwest is the most wireless region, with 52 percent of adults there living in cellphone-only homes. The South and West were nearly as high. In the Northeast, only 32 percent live in cellphone-only households.

    article

    ReplyDelete
  7. SOUTHWEST ASIA, December 1, 2015 — U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

    Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

    Airstrikes in Syria

    A remotely piloted aircraft conducted an airstrike near Al Hawl, which struck an ISIL tactical unit.

    Airstrikes in Iraq

    Bomber, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 13 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

    -- Near Huwayjah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

    -- Near Habbaniyah, a strike destroyed an ISIL building.

    -- Near Makhmur, a strike denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Ramadi, five strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL command and control nodes, an ISIL staging area, and an ISIL weapons cache, damaged two ISIL command and control nodes, two ISIL buildings, and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Sinjar, three strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed seven ISIL fighting positions.

    -- Near Qaim, a strike struck an ISIL vehicle bomb facility.

    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike struck inoperable Coalition equipment denying ISIL access in support of Coalition operations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read somewhere, true or not, that we were stopping our air strikes in Syria.

      Don't know what to make of it.

      Delete
  8. Interesting that Russia and the US and such are bolstering air defence capabilities in the region when IS doesn't have an air force.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Russia is pals with Iran.

      On that score it sends a big message to Israel.

      Delete
  9. This happened back in Sept., but I think a lot of people missed it.

    Iraq uses new F-16 jets for first time in raids against Islamic State

    The Iraqi military says it carried out 15 attacks on militant positions north of Baghdad using the first of 36 fighter planes to be bought from the US

    Iraq has put F-16 warplanes acquired from the United States into action against the Islamic State group for the first time, the commander of the air force said Sunday.

    “Fifteen air strikes were carried out in the past four days,” staff lieutenant general Anwar Hama Amin said following a news conference in Baghdad.

    “Smart weapons” were used in the strikes, Amin said, without specifying the type.

    Khaled al-Obaidi, the defence minister, told the news conference that the strikes had achieved “important results” and that the jets will have “an impact on the conduct of operations in the future”.

    Amin told the news conference that the F-16 strikes had taken place in Salaheddin and Kirkuk provinces, north of Baghdad.

    The first four Iraqi F-16s arrived from the United States in mid-July, out of a total of 36 Washington has agreed to sell to Baghdad.

    The purchase had been a source of tension, with Baghdad repeatedly complaining that they have not been delivered quickly enough.

    Insecurity in Iraq, where IS seized significant territory in June 2014, had delayed the delivery of the jets, with the first batch being sent to Arizona, where Iraqi pilots have been training.

    An Iraqi pilot was killed when his F-16 crashed during training in Arizona earlier this year.

    F-16 jets are much more sophisticated than other aircraft in Baghdad’s arsenal and will boost Iraq’s capacity for air strikes, which are currently carried out by ageing Sukhoi Su-25 jets, Cessna Caravan turboprop aircraft and various helicopters.

    But with foreign aircraft from the international anti-IS coalition also carrying out strikes against the jihadists on a daily basis, the delivery is not seen as a . . . . . . . .

    Iraqi F-16's

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    1. Joint Chiefs chair: No, ISIS is not contained
      posted at 2:01 pm on December 1, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

      If readers will recall, Barack Obama claimed that his policies had “contained” ISIS in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on the morning of November 13th. Later on that same day, ISIS launched a Mumbai-style attack on Paris, just weeks after successfully taking down a charter jet with 224 on board, mostly Russian tourists. Stephanopoulos sounded skeptical, and for good reason (emphasis mine):

      I don’t think they’re gaining strength. From the start our goal has been first to contain, and we have contained them. They have not gained ground in Iraq. And in Syria it — they’ll come in, they’ll leave. But you don’t see this systematic march by ISIL across the terrain.

      Given the recent expansion of ISIS into international terrorism and its recent advances in Palmyra and on Aleppo, that was a highly curious claim. Does the military share Obama’s conclusion? Under tough questioning by Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) at a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee, Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Joseph Dunford (USMC) said that the Pentagon has not reached that conclusion at all. And in fact, Dunford disagrees with Defense Secretary Ash Carter about whether the US is in a state of war, too (via Twitchy):

      The United States has “not contained” Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the nation’s top military officer said Tuesday, contradicting President Obama’s remarks last month about the terror group.

      “We have not contained ISIS,” Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told lawmakers at a House Armed Services Committee hearing. …

      Carter had declared during his opening statement that “we’re at war” with ISIS.

      Forbes pressed Dunford whether the U.S. was at war with ISIS, and who declared that war.

      “We are technically not at war,” Dunford replied.

      The second point is more a term of art than a literal declaration. We’re bombing ISIS positions in Syria and Iraq, which means we’re at war whether we’ve declared it or not. It’s an interesting position for the Obama administration to take, for that matter. They insisted that bombing Moammar Qaddafi in Libya did not constitute making war, a claim which Obama and his administration used to refuse to engage Congress on the issue. On the other hand, Obama continues to insist that Congress has to pass a new authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) to fight ISIS when the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs give the president ample authority to pursue the al-Qaeda affiliate-turned-wannabe-caliphate.

      On the first point, however, there simply is no nuance at all. Not only is ISIS not contained, but containment isn’t the policy Obama announced 15 months ago anyway. Obama pledged to “degrade and eventually destroy” the Daesh, neither of which his policies have done, and neither of which his policies promise to do in the foreseeable future either. “Containment” is nothing more than a prevarication meant to take the political heat off of Obama’s back for his failed national-security and foreign policies, and the nation’s top Marine isn’t going to play along. Good for him.

      http://hotair.com/archives/2015/12/01/joint-chiefs-chair-no-isis-is-not-contained/

      Delete
    2. Hillary says no way is she sending American ground troops back to Iraq, or into Syria.

      So if she is elected, and actually keeps her word for once, it would appear ISIS will be able to hold on.

      The Republicans seem divided on the issue.

      We'd have to stay there forever, now, and no one much wants to do that.

      All this seems interminable, either ways, troops or no troops.

      Support some kind of Kurdish State, and Israel.

      Delete
  10. But with the law in place, what happens to all of the collapsed segments of the system? Legally the states can’t simply walk away, but someone still has to pay the bills. Care to guess who that’s going to be?

    I’ll give you three tries and the first two don’t count.


    My 3 guesses are all:

    The property tax payers of the county in which the billing occurred.

    More precisely, that would be my wife and I, as it always has been.



    Collapse of NY’s largest Obamacare co-op has doctors refusing new patients
    posted at 12:41 pm on December 1, 2015 by Jazz Shaw


    Back in the middle of November we covered the announcement that one of the largest New York health insurance providers under the Obamacare co-op umbrella was in trouble. Health Republic had jumped on the Affordable Care Act bandwagon and signed up nearly a quarter million new subscribers, offering cut rate prices and surging to the top of the market in that area. Unfortunately, the expected cash bonanza from the government program failed to live up to expectations and the company quickly ran out of operating capital. Yesterday was the end of the line for Health Republic and they closed their doors.

    Unfortunately for the citizens of New York, this failure didn’t just represent a blow to the company’s profits and the reputation of the White House’s signature legislative achievement. There have been real world consequences for the people who signed up for the plan, including running into doctors who won’t even accept appointments from people using the company’s services. (From The Watershed Post)

    The shuttered company is no longer paying its claims, leaving doctors unsure whether they will ever be paid for seeing Health Republic patients. Some doctors have turned patients away, or are bargaining directly with patients over their medical fees…

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Health Republic’s collapse has forced a panicked scramble among patients and doctors in upstate New York. Local doctors have worried that Health Republic will default on bills, and at least one practice, the Llobet Medical Group, has turned away patients who have Health Republic insurance.

      “This was one of the biggest disasters ever,” said David Cordner, an administrator at Llobet Medical Group, a primary care practice with offices in Margaretville and Kingston. “I don’t understand why New York didn’t see this a lot sooner. Nobody got paid. Where was the money going?”

      Where was the money going? Several New York legislators are asking exactly that question since a lot of taxpayer dollars were flushed down this rat hole before it was finally closed. Health Republic had received $265 million in federal loans to get started and that money has pretty much evaporated. Two state senators along with U.S. Congressman Chris Gibson have called for an investigation and are asking Governor Andrew Cuomo to explain where the money went and what he plans to do to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

      “$265 million of taxpayer money disappeared and 215,000 New Yorkers are facing turmoil in their healthcare coverage,” he told the Watershed Post. “There is no question that there needs to be an investigation to see where there was wrongdoing. This happened on Governor Cuomo’s watch.”

      Some of the personal stories which Watershed Post dug up are precisely the sort of outcome which people had feared, They talked to Candace Rudd, the owner of a hair salon, who called her doctor for an appointment and was told that her insurance was no longer accepted. They were willing to give her an appointment, but wanted a $100 cash payment to get in to see the doctor. Whether or not she’s able to afford that, there are far too many families who couldn’t in upstate New York’s struggling economy.

      This is the larger, national potential for Obamacare on a local level. More than half of the state exchanges have closed at this point and nearly all the rest of them are in financial peril. But with the law in place, what happens to all of the collapsed segments of the system? Legally the states can’t simply walk away, but someone still has to pay the bills. Care to guess who that’s going to be?

      I’ll give you three tries and the first two don’t count.

      http://hotair.com/archives/2015/12/01/collapse-of-nys-largest-obamacare-co-op-has-doctors-refusing-new-patients/



      If you like your doctor you can't keep her.

      O'bumbleCare may collapse before the Light Worker even finally ! leaves office.

      Delete
    2. (I have cast my Royal Coachman to see if the new eotic trout species galopin2 rises to the fly)

      Delete
    3. the new eotic trout species galopin2

      the new exotic trout species galopin2

      the new exotic, erotic trout species galopin2

      Delete
  11. Jihadism, migration in focus as Denmark votes on EU opt-out...

    Sweden Anti-Immigration Party Surges..............Drudge

    Are the Swedes finally waking up from their long northern 'progressive' alcoholic slumber ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The weather report for Sweden:

      Cloudy, with a large chance of moslem gang rape.......possible clearing ahead....

      Delete
  12. Deuce once infamously compared Israel to Zimbabwe.

    The proper comparison, though not perfect, is ISIS to Zimbabwe.

    **********************



    War Room
    Why ISIL Will Fail on Its Own

    As a movement, it’s dangerous. But as a state, it’s collapsing. Here’s how to make that work for us.

    By Eli Berman and Jacob N. Shapiro

    November 29, 2015



    ISIL’s governing institutions are terrible from the perspective of economic activity: they offer poor property rights, unpredictable taxation, no investment in human capital, no credit markets or affordable insurance. Unless ISIL’s leaders have figured out a radical new way of managing production that no other country has devised, then their economy is going to produce little.

    It is impossible to predict how long it will take for the state’s economy to collapse, but the collapse over time is certain. Recent reporting tells of increasingly dire conditions.

    This problem has afflicted states far more legitimate than ISIL. Zimbabwe is the most obvious examples of a state that was rich before its governing institutions doomed it to stagnation and decline. States like Zimbabwe don’t vanish, in part because they’re part of a global system that values stability and ultimately props them up. ISIL has no such safety net.


    Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/11/why-isil-will-fail-on-its-own-213401#ixzz3t6oKkuoa



    ReplyDelete
  13. Ash, wouldn't you want to leave Syria if everyone around you were using chemical weapons ?

    *************************
    Voice
    Syria Is a Chemical Weapons Free-for-All. Happy Holidays.

    The Islamic State is gassing civilians, Assad is dropping chlorine from helicopters, and Washington is sleeping off its Thanksgiving hangover.

    By Jeffrey Lewis
    November 30, 2015


    I realize, of course, that targeting the military units responsible for using chemical weapons is only a half measure. At best, it will mean they will find other, less efficient ways to murder large numbers of people. The real solution to the problem of sides using chemical weapons in the civil war is to stop the civil war. But, as I have written before, this seems unlikely. Assad won’t shuffle off into exile. He can’t win, but Russia seems unwilling to let him fall. And Obama seems unwilling or unable to do anything to change that calculus. And so the war grinds on, with the opposition groups pinned between Assad and the Islamic State, both of whom are glad to use every tool at their disposal, including chemical weapons, to destroy anyone in between. It’s no wonder that millions of Syrians have fled their homes.

    I often hear people wondering what the use is of banning chemical weapons when so many other awful things are happening in Syria. And maybe it is an arbitrary line to pick — chemical weapons use compared to all the other travesties committed by the Assad regime and now the Islamic State. But at some point you have to say enough. For me, it’s chemical weapons. And who knows, maybe good things will happen if we show a little spine. But doing nothing seems unconscionable, particularly now that the Obama administration admits that chemical weapons use has become routine.

    That’s a remarkable statement when you think about it. After Syria agreed to give up its chemical weapons, the president warned of “consequences” if Assad did not follow through. Now, two year later, a U.S. official can characterize the use of chemical weapons in Syria as routine, without so much as delaying a turkey pardon.

    Happy Holidays.


    http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/11/30/syria-is-a-chemical-weapons-free-for-all-happy-holidays/

    ReplyDelete
  14. MPs are preparing to vote on whether UK forces should bomb so-called Islamic State (IS) positions in Syria, but what is the legal basis for such an action?

    The law does not require David Cameron to win a Commons vote before launching military action against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria.

    ...

    All this is entirely separate from the question of whether military action is lawful under international law.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Defence Secretary Ash Carter said the US will deploy special-operations forces more aggressively against Islamic State with a commando-style operatives deployed to find and target terrorist leaders.

    ...

    Mr Carter described a "standing force" that would be mobilised "in full co-ordination with the government of Iraq", a prospect that quickly proved sensitive in Baghdad.

    ...

    While most special-forces operations remain secret, a rare public sign that such units already were being used against IS on a small scale came in Syria in May, when Delta Force commandos raided the home of Abu Sayyaf, a top financier for the group. He was killed and his wife was captured in an operation that produced a treasure trove of intelligence.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Russia has expanded its military operations in Syria to incorporate a 2nd airbase in addition to different posts, in accordance to a U.S. official briefed on the newest intelligence from the region – whilst President Obama expresses muted optimism in that Russian President Vladimir Putin eventually will “shift” his strategy & work with the West.

    Moscow’s presence has grown to a complete of 4 forward operating bases, together with just lately added bases in Hama & Tiyas. However probably the most regarding to the Pentagon is the 2nd airbase in Shayrat which may support fixed-wing aircraft, tremendously expanding Russia’s capability for airstrikes, which started on Sept. 30. “The Russians are operating helicopters out of Shayrat airport, yet they are making [preparations] to land fixed-wing aircraft,” another U.S. official confirmed to Fox News source. Shayrat is found 25 miles outside of the Syrian city of Homs, an hour drive from neighboring Leb

    ReplyDelete
  17. TASS

    Russia is working with the UN Security Council on a document that would enforce stricter implementation of Resolution 2199, which aims to curb illegal oil trade with and by terrorist groups, Russian ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin told RIA Novosti.

    The draft resolution intends to quash the financing of terrorist groups, including Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) extremists.
    .
    “We are not happy with the way Resolution 2199, which was our initiative, is controlled and implemented. We want to toughen the whole procedure,” Churkin said. “We are already discussing the text with some colleagues and I must say that so far there is not a lot of contention being expressed.”

    US Ambassador Samantha Power said that America has “a shared objective” with Russia on this, since it is also working towards bringing the financing of terrorism to a halt.

    ReplyDelete
  18. ANOTHER OF OUR SHIT BIRD “ALLIES” BUYING ISIS OIL

    Israel has become the main buyer for oil from ISIS controlled territory, reports “al-Araby al-Jadeed.”

    Kurdish and Turkish smugglers are transporting oil from ISIS controlled territory in Syria and Iraq and selling it to Israel, according to several reports in the Arab and Russian media. An estimated 20,000-40,000 barrels of oil are produced daily in ISIS controlled territory generating $1-1.5 million daily profit for the terrorist organization.

    The oil is extracted from Dir A-Zur in Syria and two fields in Iraq and transported to the Kurdish city of Zakhu in a triangle of land near the borders of Syria, Iraq and Turkey. Israeli and Turkish mediators come to the city and when prices are agreed, the oil is smuggled to the Turkish city of Silop marked as originating from Kurdish regions of Iraq and sold for $15-18 per barrel (WTI and Brent Crude currently sell for $41 and $45 per barrel) to the Israeli mediator, a man in his 50s with dual Greek-Israeli citizenship known as Dr. Farid. He transports the oil via several Turkish ports and then onto other ports, with Israel among the main destinations.

    In August, the "Financial Times" reported that Israel obtained 75% of its oil supplies from Iraqi Kurdistan. More than a third of such exports go through the port of Ceyhan, which the FT describe as a “potential gateway for ISIS-smuggled crude."

    “Israel has in one way or another become the main marketer of ISIS oil. Without them, most ISIS-produced oil would have remained going between Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Even the three companies would not receive the oil if they did not have a buyer in Israel,” an industry official told the newspaper "al-Araby al-Jadeed."

    "Israel has in one way or another become the main marketer of IS oil. Without them, most ISIS-produced oil would have remained going between Iraq, Syria and Turkey," the industry official added.

    Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 30, 2015

    ReplyDelete
  19. PAYBACKS ARE A BITCH

    JUAN COLE REPORTS

    Putin has a much more effective way of bringing the pain to Erdogan, however. The leftist newspaper Radikal quoted the daily BasHaber’s interview with Prof. Abbas Vali of Bogazici University, who said [BBC Monitoring trans]:

    “The PYD [Kurdish Democratic Union Party] was pleased about Russia’s intervention in Syria. An alliance between the PYD and Russia is inevitable. Russia’s bombardment of the radical Islamist groups on the ground will have a huge impact on the PYD operations. (…) Russia’s operations will considerably bolster the PYD on the ground.”

    The PYD and its paramilitary arm, the YPG (People’s Protection Unites) are considered by Turkey to be branches of the separatist Kurdish terrorist organization the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), but the US and Russia do not agree, and have been willing to cooperate with the leftist Kurds in Syria against Daesh (ISIS, ISIL).

    Putin is attempting to shore up the government of Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey hopes to see it overthrown by Muslim fundamentalist rebels. Putin is angling for an alliance of the leftist Kurds with the Baath regime against Daesh Radikal notes (BBC Mon. trans.):

    “In a meeting in Sochi last month ( 23 October 2015,) Vladimir Putin spoke of his country’s goals for the air operations and their intentions regarding Kurds as follows: ” You cannot separate terrorists as moderates and extremists. Defeating terrorist groups in Syria will not resolve all the problems but it will create the necessary conditions for a political solution. The government and Kurdish forces in Syria should join forces in combating terrorism. Our air operations in Syria will have positive results.”

    Nothing would anger Turkey’s government more than for Russia to give military support to the Syrian Kurds in their quest to establish a connected territory, “Rojava,” linking the three major Kurdish cantons in northern Syria.

    Semih Idiz of the Cumhuriyet (“the Republic), a left of center Turkish paper, revealed (BBC Monitoring trans.) that in response to the shoot down of the Russian fighter jet:

    “The Russian General Staff Chief has also stated that they are going to provide aerial escorts to the jets carrying out the bombing campaign against the Turkmens, which they are going to step up substantially, “in order to protect them from behind.”
    Idiz, in an article on how al-Assad is the main beneficiary of the shootdown, concluded,

    “When we look at the political sphere, Moscow is going to try to render Turkey as ineffective as possible in the Syrian negotiations. It is useful to recall that the United States and Russia are spearheading the negotiations in question. And it is also useful to keep in mind that Turkey, because of a series of strategic mistakes, is one of the weakest links of the “Syrian table.”

    Now if you were [Syrian President Bashar] Al-Asad, would you not be rejoicing on account of Turkey’s having shot down the Russian plane?

    ReplyDelete
  20. TURKEY’S GOAL IS THAT IT WANTS A PART OF SYRIA - PUTIN SAYS, NO

    The recent tension between Russia and Turkey reminds me of two meetings I held many years ago – one with a Russian and the other with a Turk – that could help to shed some light on the current behaviour of both countries.

    About a dozen years ago, the head of a Russian thinktank visited Israel. As head of the National Security Council, I met him, along with several other senior defence officials, and we heard him say that the greatest threat to world peace was Islamic State. True, the name “Isis” wasn’t mentioned then, but the phenomenon that it represents was predicted with astounding accuracy. The Russian official warned about the formation of an Islamic caliphate in Iraq, which was in the process of disintegrating; he warned that this caliphate would try to take control of the Middle East and, from there, would send its long arms northward, via the Islamic former Soviet republics. At the same time, it would try to take advantage of the weakness of the west and would turn its attention to Europe. His conclusion was that Russia, the western powers and Israel shared a common enemy and it was in their utmost interests to join forces to defeat it. I heard similar messages when I met other Russian officials over the years. They also criticised the US’s war in Iraq – which they described as “imbecilic” – and which they said would only accelerate the arrival of a caliphate.

    About a year before that meeting with the Russian, I met a senior Turkish official. That was at a time when relations between Jerusalem and Ankara were excellent. At that meeting, the Turkish official spoke openly about his country’s world view. “We know that we cannot get back the lands that were under the control of the Ottoman empire before 1917,” he said, “but do not make the mistake of thinking that the borders that were dictated to us at the end of the first world war by the victorious countries – mainly the UK and France – are acceptable to us. Turkey will find a way to return to its natural borders in the south – the line between Mosul in Iraq and Homs in Syria. That is our natural aspiration and it is justified because of the large Turkmen presence in that region.”

    There are three conclusions that we can draw when we examine the current situation in the light of those meetings. First, that Russia predicted long ago the rise of Isis and that Moscow sees the organisation as a major strategic threat. Second, that the Russians are right to expect the west to prioritise the battle against Isis, and leave disagreements over other matters until later. Third, although Turkey is a member of Nato, it is not acting in a way that promotes Nato’s interests. Rather, it is dragging the organisation into a skirmish in order to protect Turkish interests – including attacks on the Kurds, who are the only ones actually fighting Isis on the ground, as well as unnecessarily provoking the Russians. According to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, Turkey is even providing Isis with financial assistance.

    The conclusion should be obvious: the threat that Isis poses is similar to the threat that Nazi Germany posed. Coordination between Russia and the west will not guarantee that the battle against Isis is won, but without it that battle will surely be lost. The French president, François Hollande, seems to have accepted this, and we can only hope that he manages to persuade the other Nato countries both to restrain Turkey and to join forces with Russia.

    Israel may have something of a conflict of interests on this issue, but we should always bear in mind what would happen if Isis were to gain in strength and take control of Syria, Jordan and the Sinai. For Israel, too, the conclusion is clear: victory over Isis must come first.

    • Giora Eiland is a former head of Israel’s National Security Council

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/01/russia-fighting-isis-moscow-turkey

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...he author fails to mention Iran, for example, who are also fighting ISIS. Would bombing Iran (which the Israeli PM keeps advocating) help or hinder that fight, do you think? How about Hezbollah, who are propping up Assad at the moment?

      If I were advising Israel, I would encourage her to redouble efforts to make peace with the Palestinians and make progress on negotiations. Moderate factions exist on both sides. Not all Arabs are the same.

      It is an obvious observation, but the region is awash with weapons and sectarian and religious hatred. I fear things could get even worse.


      SCRAP: https://profile.theguardian.com/user/id/1753098

      Delete
  21. NO SHIT? ...YOU THINK?

    Downing Street has conceded there could be elements of Islamist extremism among the 70,000 so-called “moderate” fighters David Cameron claims are ready to seize Isis-held territory as a result of British air strikes.

    On the eve of the House of Commons vote on military action, Mr Cameron’s official spokeswoman accepted that there were “a range of political views” among the forces ranged against Isis.

    She added that the situation on the ground was not “black and white” and said the Government defined “moderates” simply as groups who rejected terrorism and supported a “pluralistic” Syria.

    Mr Cameron’s assertion is due to come under intense scrutiny in the debate on 2 December amid signs that some Labour MPs who previously supported military action may be wavering.

    INDEPENDENT

    ReplyDelete
  22. Russian ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin

    Hmm, he's still working. I saw him speak and take questions long ago at the U of Idaho International Forum or whatever it is called.

    That was back in the days of Gorbachev, I think.

    It seems to me that ISIS has made too many enemies for its own long term survival.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Iraqis think the U.S. is in cahoots with the Islamic State, and it is hurting the war


    Middle East
    Iraqis think the U.S. is in cahoots with the Islamic State, and it is hurting the war
    Resize Text Print Article Comments 866


    Iraqi forces supported by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes advance their position during clashes with the Islamic State near Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's Anbar province. (Osama Sami/AP)
    By Liz Sly December 1 at 9:24 PM
    BAIJI, Iraq — On the front lines of the battle against the Islamic State, suspicion of the United States runs deep. Iraqi fighters say they have all seen the videos purportedly showing U.S. helicopters airdropping weapons to the militants, and many claim they have friends and relatives who have witnessed similar instances of collusion.

    Ordinary people also have seen the videos, heard the stories and reached the same conclusion — one that might seem absurd to Americans but is widely believed among Iraqis — that the United States is supporting the Islamic State for a variety of pernicious reasons that have to do with asserting U.S. control over Iraq, the wider Middle East and, perhaps, its oil.

    “It is not in doubt,” said Mustafa Saadi, who says his friend saw U.S. helicopters delivering bottled water to Islamic State positions. He is a commander in one of the Shiite militias that last month helped push the militants out of the oil refinery near Baiji in northern Iraq alongside the Iraqi army.

    The Islamic State is “almost finished,” he said. “They are weak. If only America would stop supporting them, we could defeat them in days.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Middle East
      Iraqis think the U.S. is in cahoots with the Islamic State, and it is hurting the war
      Resize Text Print Article Comments 866


      Iraqi forces supported by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes advance their position during clashes with the Islamic State near Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's Anbar province. (Osama Sami/AP)
      By Liz Sly December 1 at 9:24 PM
      BAIJI, Iraq — On the front lines of the battle against the Islamic State, suspicion of the United States runs deep. Iraqi fighters say they have all seen the videos purportedly showing U.S. helicopters airdropping weapons to the militants, and many claim they have friends and relatives who have witnessed similar instances of collusion.

      Ordinary people also have seen the videos, heard the stories and reached the same conclusion — one that might seem absurd to Americans but is widely believed among Iraqis — that the United States is supporting the Islamic State for a variety of pernicious reasons that have to do with asserting U.S. control over Iraq, the wider Middle East and, perhaps, its oil.

      “It is not in doubt,” said Mustafa Saadi, who says his friend saw U.S. helicopters delivering bottled water to Islamic State positions. He is a commander in one of the Shiite militias that last month helped push the militants out of the oil refinery near Baiji in northern Iraq alongside the Iraqi army.

      The Islamic State is “almost finished,” he said. “They are weak. If only America would stop supporting them, we could defeat them in days.”

      [Is it too late to solve the mess in the Middle East?]

      Play Video1:53U.S. will deploy special force to fight Islamic State in Iraq

      While testifying before the House Armed Services Committee on Dec. 1, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said that the United States is deploying a specialized expeditionary targeting force to help Iraq put additional pressure on Islamic State. (Reuters)
      U.S. military officials say the charges are too far-fetched to merit a response. “It’s beyond ridiculous,” said Col. Steve Warren, the military’s Baghdad-based spokesman. “There’s clearly no one in the West who buys it, but unfortunately, this is something that a segment of the Iraqi population believes.”

      The perception among Iraqis that the United States is somehow in cahoots with the militants it claims to be fighting appears, however, to be widespread across the country’s Sunni-Shiite sectarian divide, and it speaks to more than just the troubling legacy of mistrust that has clouded the United States’ relationship with Iraq since the 2003 invasion and the subsequent withdrawal eight years later.

      At a time when attacks by the Islamic State in Paris and elsewhere have intensified calls for tougher action on the ground, such is the level of suspicion with which the United States is viewed in Iraq that it is unclear whether the Obama administration would be able to significantly escalate its involvement even if it wanted to.

      “What influence can we have if they think we are supporting the terrorists?” asked Kirk Sowell, an analyst based in neighboring Jordan who publishes the newsletter Inside Iraqi Politics.

      Delete

    2. Iraqi forces supported by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes advance their position during clashes with the Islamic State near Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's Anbar province. (Osama Sami/AP)
      By Liz Sly December 1 at 9:24 PM
      BAIJI, Iraq — On the front lines of the battle against the Islamic State, suspicion of the United States runs deep. Iraqi fighters say they have all seen the videos purportedly showing U.S. helicopters airdropping weapons to the militants, and many claim they have friends and relatives who have witnessed similar instances of collusion.

      Ordinary people also have seen the videos, heard the stories and reached the same conclusion — one that might seem absurd to Americans but is widely believed among Iraqis — that the United States is supporting the Islamic State for a variety of pernicious reasons that have to do with asserting U.S. control over Iraq, the wider Middle East and, perhaps, its oil.

      “It is not in doubt,” said Mustafa Saadi, who says his friend saw U.S. helicopters delivering bottled water to Islamic State positions. He is a commander in one of the Shiite militias that last month helped push the militants out of the oil refinery near Baiji in northern Iraq alongside the Iraqi army.

      The Islamic State is “almost finished,” he said. “They are weak. If only America would stop supporting them, we could defeat them in days.”

      [Is it too late to solve the mess in the Middle East?]

      Play Video1:53U.S. will deploy special force to fight Islamic State in Iraq

      While testifying before the House Armed Services Committee on Dec. 1, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said that the United States is deploying a specialized expeditionary targeting force to help Iraq put additional pressure on Islamic State. (Reuters)
      U.S. military officials say the charges are too far-fetched to merit a response. “It’s beyond ridiculous,” said Col. Steve Warren, the military’s Baghdad-based spokesman. “There’s clearly no one in the West who buys it, but unfortunately, this is something that a segment of the Iraqi population believes.”

      The perception among Iraqis that the United States is somehow in cahoots with the militants it claims to be fighting appears, however, to be widespread across the country’s Sunni-Shiite sectarian divide, and it speaks to more than just the troubling legacy of mistrust that has clouded the United States’ relationship with Iraq since the 2003 invasion and the subsequent withdrawal eight years later.

      At a time when attacks by the Islamic State in Paris and elsewhere have intensified calls for tougher action on the ground, such is the level of suspicion with which the United States is viewed in Iraq that it is unclear whether the Obama administration would be able to significantly escalate its involvement even if . . .

      Fuck it; read it yourself

      “What influence can we have if they think we are supporting the terrorists?” asked Kirk Sowell, an analyst based in neighboring Jordan who publishes the newsletter Inside Iraqi Politics.


      In one example of how little leverage the United States now has, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi pushed back swiftly against an announcement Tuesday by Defense Secretary ­Ashton B. Carter that an expeditionary force of U.S. troops will be dispatched to Iraq to conduct raids, free hostages and capture Islamic State leaders.

      Iraq’s semiautonomous region of Kurdistan, where support for the United States remains strong, has said it would welcome more troops. But Abadi indicated they would not be needed.

      “There is no need for foreign ground combat troops,” he said in a statement. “Any such support and special operations anywhere in Iraq can only be deployed subject to the approval of the Iraqi Government and in coordination with the Iraqi forces and with full respect to Iraqi sovereignty.”

      Delete
    3. Well, that was a fuked up mess, if I've ever posted one. :)

      You can't even copy and paste an article about those people without it coming out fucked up.

      Delete
  24. Who can blame them ? The US defeated the Iraqi army in weeks and have spend over a year farting around with ISIS. To the conspiratorial disposition of the Iraqi mind, what else would they conclude?

    ReplyDelete
  25. TRIANGLE OF TRIUMPH?

    TEHRAN, Dec. 01 (MNA) – Adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution has told Seyed Hassan Nasrallah of Lebanon that Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah secured recent success in the region through valiant resistance.

    Ali Akbar Velayati who is visiting Lebanon during his tour of the region, was received by Seyed Hassan Nasrallah on Tuesday. Both sides discussed regional developments especially on Syrian crisis and the prospect of positive change in the region in the near future.

    Velayati believed that recent changes in the architecture of frontlines which brought about victory for resistance were for the excellent performance by Iran, Russia, Syrian government and people, Hezbollah of Lebanon; “we hope to see even further success for this coalition; definitely, the dream of annihilation of conspiracies of Takfirist terrorists and their supporters will one day be fulfilled,” he told his host Seyed Hassan Nasrallah, who provided a report of the current situation on the field in Syria to the meeting along discussion of other regional issues.



    SH/2988362

    ReplyDelete
  26. If you want to see a new slick look for an internet news site, see this article in The Guardian about the worse police department in the US:


    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/01/the-county-kern-county-deadliest-police-killings

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They've definitely taken it up a couple of notches. :)

      Delete
    2. The police have taken it up more than a couple since I grew up in Kings County, visited my cousin in Kern, went to college in Santa Barbara , and lived in San Luis.

      http://www.digital-topo-maps.com/county-map/california.shtml

      As Richard Pryor would have said: "Those white fuckers are crazy!"

      Delete
    3. Richard Pryor wasn't such a good surgeon.

      I'd take Dr. Ben Carson if O'bumbleCare gave me the choice.

      ;)

      Delete
    4. Wimbish, who receives a total pay and benefits package of almost $200,000 a year, instructs other officers and leads educational classes with young children in the county on the role of a police officer in the community.

      Studies have found that most American police officers make it through entire careers without firing their service weapons. But Wimbish, 54, has been involved in at least four fatal shootings in two years, including that of De La Rosa, during which Wimbish deployed his Taser. None of the four men killed in these confrontations were armed with a deadly firearm themselves. One, a violent criminal, had a BB gun; another was holding a tire iron.
      ===
      5 of the ten deadliest counties in the nation are in CA.
      Majority of victims Hispanic.
      California will get even more interesting in a few years when over 50% are Hispanic.

      Delete
    5. $200,000 a year to snuff Mexicans.

      Nice work if you can get it.

      Delete
    6. Carson could not compare to Pryor when it came to self-medication.

      ...or immolation.

      Delete
    7. If my last name had been Wimbish, I probly woulda had to take it out on somebody.

      Delete
    8. “I love playing with dead bodies,” said Stringer.

      Gotta love it.

      Delete
    9. Almost everybody I knew from those counties (excluding my k-12 classmates) as old as me is dead.
      ...without the assistance of Law Enforcement.
      Sometimes life sucks.

      Delete
    10. "worst"

      (referring to our host's misuse way back up there)

      Delete
  27. "5 of the ten deadliest counties in the nation are in CA."

    Correction: 6 out of ten.

    ReplyDelete
  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete