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Monday, January 25, 2016

“Do you realize now what you have done?”

‘We had to destroy the Country to save it, Sir!’ The US Imperial Treadmill in Iraq etc.

By Tom Engelhardt | ( Tomdispatch.com)

One of the charms of the future is its powerful element of unpredictability, its ability to ambush us in lovely ways or bite us unexpectedly in the ass. Most of the futures I imagined as a boy have, for instance, come up deeply short, or else I would now be flying my individual jet pack through the spired cityscape of New York and vacationing on the moon. And who, honestly, could have imagined the Internet, no less social media and cyberspace (unless, of course, you had read William Gibson’s novel Neuromancer 30 years ago)? Who could have dreamed that a single country’s intelligence outfits would be able to listen in on or otherwise intercept and review not just the conversations and messages of its own citizens — imagine the totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century — but those of just about anyone on the planet, from peasants in the backlands of Pakistan to at least 35 leaders of major and minor countries around the world?  This is, of course, our dystopian present, based on technological breakthroughs that even sci-fi writers somehow didn’t imagine. 

And who thought that the Arab Spring or Occupy Wall Street were coming down the pike or, for that matter, a terror caliphate in the heart of the former Middle East or a Donald Trump presidential run that would go from success to success amid free media coverage the likes of which we’ve seldom seen? (Small career tip: don’t become a seer. It’s hell on Earth.)

All of this might be considered the bad but also the good news about the future.  On an increasingly grim globe that seems to have failure stamped all over it, the surprises embedded in the years to come, the unexpected course changes, inventions, rebellions, and interventions offer, at least until they arrive, grounds for hope.  On the other hand, in that same grim world, there’s an aspect of the future that couldn’t be more depressing: the repetitiveness of so much that you might think no one would want to repeat.  I’m talking about the range of tomorrow’s headlines that could be written today and stand a painfully reasonable chance of coming true.

I’m sure you could produce your own version of such future headlines in a variety of areas, but here are mine when it comes to Washington’s remarkably unwinnable wars, interventions, and conflicts in the Greater Middle East and increasingly Africa.

What “Victory” Looks Like

Let’s start with an event that occurred in Iraq as 2015 ended and generated headlines that included “victory,” a word Americans haven’t often seen in the twenty-first century — except, of course, in Trumpian patter.  (“We’re going to win so much — win after win after win — that you’re going to be begging me: ‘Please, Mr. President, let us lose once or twice. We can’t stand it any more.’ And I’m going to say: ‘No way. We’re going to keep winning. We’re never going to lose. We’re never, ever going to lose.’”)  I’m talking about the “victory” achieved at Ramadi, a city in al-Anbar Province that Islamic State (IS or ISIL) militants seized from the Iraqi army in May 2015.  With the backing of the U.S. Air Force — there were more than 600 American air strikes in and around Ramadi in the months leading up to that victory — and with U.S.-trained and U.S.-financed local special ops units leading the way, the Iraqi military did indeed largely take back that intricately booby-trapped and mined city from heavily entrenched IS militants in late December. The news was clearly a relief for the Obama administration and those headlines followed.

And here’s what victory turned out to look like: according to the Iraqi defense minister, at least 80% of the city of 400,000 was destroyed.  Rubblized.  Skeletized.  “City” may be what it’s still called, but it’s hardly an accurate description.  According to New York Times reporter Ben Hubbard, who visited Ramadi soon after the “victory,” few inhabitants remained.  Of an Iraqi counterterrorism general there with him, Hubbard wrote:
“In one neighborhood, he stood before a panorama of wreckage so vast that it was unclear where the original buildings had stood. He paused when asked how residents would return to their homes. ‘Homes?’ he said. ‘There are no homes.’”
Hubbard also cited the head of the Anbar provincial council as estimating that “rebuilding the city would require $12 billion.” (Other Iraqi officials put that figure at $10 billion.) That’s money no one has, including an Iraqi government increasingly strapped by plummeting oil prices — and keep in mind that that’s only a single destroyed community.  The earlier, smaller victories of the Kurds at Kobane and Sinjar in Syria, also backed by devastating U.S. air power, destroyed those towns in a similar fashion, as for instance has Bashar al-Assad’s barrel bombing air force and military in parts of the city of Aleppo and in the now thoroughly devastated city of Homs in central Syria.  The Russians have, of course, entered the fray, too, in the American style, bombing and advising.
Let’s add one more thing before we write our future headlines.  The day after President Obama gave his final State of the Union address, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter visited the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.  Eighteen hundred of that division’s members are soon to be deployed to Iraq to aid Iraqi military units in their drive to retake parts of their country from the Islamic State.  For those future advisers, Carter elaborated on the president’s plans, laying out in some detail how he (and presumably Obama) saw the conflict playing out.  Favoring the image of the Islamic State as a metastasizing cancer, he said:
“The ISIL parent tumor has two centers — Raqqa in Syria, and Mosul in Iraq. ISIL has used its control of these cities and nearby territories as a power base from which to derive considerable financial resources, manpower, and ideological outreach. They constitute ISIL’s military, political, economic, and ideological centers of gravity. 
“That’s why our campaign plan’s map has got big arrows pointing at both Mosul and Raqqa. We will begin by collapsing ISIL’s control over both of these cities and then engage in elimination operations through other territories ISIL holds in Iraq and Syria.”
In fact, such a campaign would give “elimination operations” new meaning, since it would clearly involve quite literally eliminating the urban infrastructure of significant parts of the region.  Three cities are, in fact, at present targeted: Fallujah (population perhaps 300,000), the other major IS-controlled city in al-Anbar Province, Mosul (the second largest city in Iraq, with a population presently estimated at 1 to 1.5 million), and Raqqa, the Syrian “capital” of the Islamic State, now reportedly stuffed with refugees (population 200,000-plus).  Put them together and you have a 2016 plan for a U.S.-backed set of campaigns in Iraq and Syria based on the same formula as the taking of Ramadi: massive American air power in support of heavily trained and advised Iraqi special ops forces and army units or, in Syria, Kurdish peshmerga outfits and assorted Kurdish and Syrian rebels.  Add in the Islamic State’s urge to turn the urban areas it holds into giant bombs and what you have is a plan for the rubblization of yet more cities in the region.

There has, of course, been much talk about an offensive to retake Mosul since relatively small numbers of Islamic State fighters captured the city from tens of thousands of fleeing Iraqi troops in June 2014.  There was, for instance, a highly touted spring offensive against Mosul that was much discussed in early 2015 but never happened, so it’s impossible to be sure that the overstretched, generally underperforming Iraqi military will even make it to Mosul in 2016 or that there will be any non-American “boots” available to take Raqqa, especially since that city sits well outside any imaginable future Kurdistan. Still, assuming all went “well,” we essentially know what the future holds: Ramadi-style “victories.”
As a result, the end of the year headline for American/Iraqi/Kurdish/Syrian rebel operations — adapted from an infamous 1968 line by an anonymous American officer in Vietnam after U.S. planes had pummeled the provincial capital of Ben Tre — would be: “We Destroyed the Cities to Save Them.”

Based on Ramadi, you could then perhaps offer these “ballpark” (not that any stadiums would be left standing) future estimates for rebuilding: Falluja, $10 billion; Raqqa, $7 billion; Mosul, $20 to $25 billion. Those are obviously fantasy figures, but the point is that “success” against and “victory” over the Islamic State would undoubtedly leave much of the region a modern Carthage. And who would pay for a new Ramadi, or Mosul, or Fallujah, or Raqqa, no less all of them and more?

Put another way, “victory” would mean that Iraq will have far fewer habitable cities and a far larger number of displaced people whose resettlement will undoubtedly be subject to the ethnic tensions that helped fuel the Islamic State in the first place.  This represents a reasonably predictable future, one that should be obvious enough to anyone who took a half-serious look at the situation.  It certainly should be obvious to Ashton Carter, as well as to American planners at the Pentagon and in the Obama administration.  And yet the planning goes on as if “victory” were a meaningful category under the circumstances.

And here’s the thing: you can join the Islamic State in blowing up the physical plant of Syria and parts of Iraq and then eject its fighters from the rubble, but you’ll be destroying the means of existence of a vast, increasingly unsettled population.  What you may not be able to do in the process is destroy a movement that began in an American military prison in Iraq and has always been a set of ideas. You may simply create a legend.

Unleashing the Special Operators and the Drones

Now, let’s consider another set of potential future headlines linked to present planning and past experience.  Secretary of Defense Carter claims that the U.S. strategy against the Islamic State is focused on creating “sustainable political stability in the region,” by which he means not just the battlefields of Iraq and Syria, but all of the Greater Middle East.  As he said to the members of the 101st Airborne:
“Next, let me describe the fight outside of Iraq and Syria. As we work to destroy the parent tumor in Iraq and Syria, we must also recognize that ISIL is metastasizing in areas such as North Africa, Afghanistan, and Yemen. The threat posed by ISIL, and groups like it, is continually evolving, changing focus and shifting location. It requires from us, therefore, a flexible and nimble response with a broad reach.”
For this, he clearly plans to let loose American Special Operations forces not just in Syria but elsewhere on assassination missions against key Islamic State figures or those heading their distant franchises.  He’s also intent on sending in the drones across the region in “counter-terror operations and strikes on high-value targets” to “act decisively to prevent ISIL affiliates from becoming as great of a threat as the parent tumor itself.”

As with the future taking of cities in Iraq and Syria, there is an experiential baseline for such operations across the region.  In his book Kill Chain, Andrew Cockburn has called this approach to the enemy “the kingpin strategy.”  It was first used in the drug wars in Latin America and Central America in the 1990s and then, after 9/11, adapted to the weaponized drone and special operations forces.  The idea was to dismantle drug cartels or later terror outfits from the top down by taking out their leadership figures.

In fact, in both the drug wars and the terror wars, as Cockburn shows, the results of this strategy have been repetitiously calamitous.  The drone, for instance, has proven remarkably capable of “eliminating” both the top leadership of terror groups and key “lieutenants” as well as other influential figures in those organizations — with the grimmest results: under the pressure of the drones and those special ops raids, such organizations (like the drug cartels before them) simply replaced their dead leaders with often younger and even more aggressive figures, while attacks rose and the groups themselves, instead of folding up, spread across the Greater Middle East and deep into Africa.  The drones, bringing with them relatively widespread “collateral damage,” including the deaths of significant numbers of children, have terrorized the societies over which they cruise and so proved an ideal recruitment poster for those spreading terror groups.

Hence, first in the Bush era in a seat-of-the-pants way and then in the Obama years in a highly organized fashion, drone assassination campaigns in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Somalia killed leadership figures while functionally helping to spread the terror organizations they directed.  They have, that is, been engaged not in a war on terror, but in a war for terror.  When you look at the expansion of those terror outfits, including the growing numbers of “franchises” of the Islamic State, it should be obvious that, from special ops missions to drone assassinations, from full-scale invasions to the destruction of cities, the 14-plus years of varied American strategies and military tactics have repetitively contributed to one horror after another, sucking much of the region into the vortex.

What’s striking when you listen to Secretary of Defense Carter is that, obvious as this may be, none of it seems to truly penetrate in Washington.  Otherwise how do you explain the lack of any serious recalibration of American actions, the only debate being between those in the Obama administration, including the president, who favor a version of mission creep and their Republican critics who favor doing more in a bigger way?  In other words, in 2016 we’re clearly going to witness further rounds of the utterly familiar with — somehow — the expectation that something different will happen.  Since that’s not likely, for the next set of future headlines just reach into the familiar past, substituting, when necessary, the future terror kingpin’s name: “AQAP [al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula] announces death of [fill in name] in U.S. drone strike,” “U.S.: ISIS no. 2 killed in U.S. drone strike in Iraq,” “Army elite Delta Force kills top ISIS official, [fill in name], in daring Syria raid,” “Pentagon says senior al-Qaeda leader killed in drone strike,” and so on more or less ad infinitum.

The Arc of Instability

Recently, with Ashton Carter’s strategy for “stability” on my mind, I caught a phrase in a news report that I hadn’t heard for quite a while.  A journalist, perhaps on NPR, was discussing the recent al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) terror attack on a hotel in Burkina Faso, a previously relatively stable country in West Africa, where at least 30 died, mainly foreigners.  He spoke of a spreading “arc of instability” in the region.

Back in the early years of the century, officials of the Bush administration and supportive neocons regularly used that phrase to describe the Greater Middle East, from Pakistan to North Africa. Strangely enough, it disappeared in the post-Iraqi invasion years and remained largely absent in the Obama years as the disastrous Libyan intervention, presidentially orchestrated drone assassination campaigns, and other actions helped further transform the Greater Middle East into a genuine “arc of instability.”

Today, in a way that would have been unimaginable back in 2002-2003, the region is filled with failing or failed states from Afghanistan and Syria to Libya, Yemen, and Mali.  While Iraq may not quite be a failed state, it is no longer exactly a country either, but something like a tripartite entity.  And so it goes, and so it evidently will go if the U.S., as in 2015, drops another 23,000 bombs and thousands of additional munitions on the region — or far more, as seems likely under the mission-creep pressure of the war with the Islamic State.

We can’t, of course, know just what countries will fail next.  However, it’s safe to assume that, as long as the Obama strategy — and the Hillary Clinton or Ted Cruz or Donald Trump or Marco Rubio one that may follow — involves more (or much more) of the same, more (or much more) of the same is likely to happen.  As a result, similar predictable headlines will appear, as countries dissolve in various ways and the Islamic State, groups like al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or newly founded terror outfits gain footholds amid the chaos.  In that case, you only have to look into the recent past for headlines-to-come and adapt them slightly: “ISIS Is Building ‘Little Nests’ in [name of country here], U.S. Defense Secretary Warns,” “ISIS Is Gaining Ground in [name of country here], Competing with al-Qaeda,” “Islamic State Gained Strength in [name of country] by Co-opting Local Jihadists,“ and so on.

Amid the grimly predictable, there are, of course, many unknowns. Above all, we have no idea what it means at this point in history to turn a region, city by city, country by country, into something like a vast failed state and then continue to bomb the rubble.  How do we begin to imagine what could emerge from the ruins of such a failed region in such a world, from an arc of instability far vaster than anything we have contemplated since World War II?  I wouldn’t want to predict the headlines that could someday emerge from that situation, but whatever surprises are in store for us, the mere prospect of such a future should make your blood run cold.

Tom Engelhardt is a co-founder of the American Empire Project and the author of The United States of Fear as well as a history of the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture. He is a fellow of the Nation Institute and runs TomDispatch.com. His latest book is Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.
Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Nick Turse’s Tomorrow’s Battlefield: U.S. Proxy Wars and Secret Ops in Africa, and Tom Engelhardt’s latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.
Copyright 2016 Tom Engelhardt
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115 comments:

  1. we have no idea what it means at this point in history to turn a region, city by city, country by country, into something like a vast failed state and then continue to bomb the rubble. How do we begin to imagine what could emerge from the ruins of such a failed region in such a world, from an arc of instability far vaster than anything we have contemplated since World War II? I wouldn’t want to predict the headlines that could someday emerge from that situation, but whatever surprises are in store for us, the mere prospect of such a future should make your blood run cold.

    ReplyDelete
  2. How many future terror cells are we creating per square kilometer of this destruction?

    ReplyDelete
  3. .

    Ditto. An yet, there are still some here who talk of our 'victory'.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  4. .

    I simply can't imagine how anyone can look at the ruins of Kobane and talk of our great victory there.

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then you never saw the pictures of Dresden, Hiroshima or Nagasaki.
      Nor Berlin or Tokyo or Moscow.
      After the end of WWII

      The war ended in a US Victory, over fifty years of US economic dominance.
      3% of the world' population enjoying the fruits of 25% of global production and subsequnt consumption.

      Delete
    2. .

      Moronic.

      And you were doing so well, rat.

      .

      Delete
  5. .

    I believe within the past week here I saw the words 'the most precise bombing campaign in history'.

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, doing more damage with less 'throw weight'.
      Efficiency ... that' the bye-word, in Pentagonese.

      Delete
  6. .

    And some argue, 'All we need to do s keep the troops there a little longer'.

    "That's the ticket."

    .

    ReplyDelete
  7. .

    This is tough to read.


    And yet, for anyone interested the details they have been there from the beginning.

    With little effort it has been easy to find the stories, the pictures, the videos, and worse, the statistics.

    ReplyDelete
  8. .

    And for most, the only thing that matters is how many Americans die. Possibly the money, but not so much.

    As for the hundreds of thousands, even millions, of the natives that die or have been turned into refugees?

    The who?

    .

    ReplyDelete
  9. And we will have to hear that Iran did it all.

    ReplyDelete
  10. IT GETS WORSE

    Congress Is Writing the President a Blank Check for War
    by Ron Paul, January 25, 2016

    While the Washington snowstorm dominated news coverage this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was operating behind the scenes to rush through the Senate what may be the most massive transfer of power from the Legislative to the Executive branch in our history. The senior Senator from Kentucky is scheming, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham, to bypass normal Senate procedure to fast-track legislation to grant the president the authority to wage unlimited war for as long as he or his successors may wish.

    The legislation makes the unconstitutional Iraq War authorization of 2002 look like a walk in the park. It will allow this president and future presidents to wage war against ISIS without restrictions on time, geographic scope, or the use of ground troops. It is a completely open-ended authorization for the president to use the military as he wishes for as long as he (or she) wishes. Even President Obama has expressed concern over how willing Congress is to hand him unlimited power to wage war.

    President Obama has already far surpassed even his predecessor, George W. Bush, in taking the country to war without even the fig leaf of an authorization. In 2011 the president invaded Libya, overthrew its government, and oversaw the assassination of its leader, without even bothering to ask for Congressional approval. Instead of impeachment, which he deserved for the disastrous Libya invasion, Congress said nothing. House Republicans only managed to bring the subject up when they thought they might gain political points exploiting the killing of US Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi.

    It is becoming more clear that Washington plans to expand its war in the Middle East. Last week the media reported that the US military had taken over an air base in eastern Syria, and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said that the US would send in the 101st Airborne Division to retake Mosul in Iraq and to attack ISIS headquarters in Raqqa, Syria. Then on Saturday, Vice President Joe Biden said that if the upcoming peace talks in Geneva are not successful, the US is prepared for a massive military intervention in Syria. Such an action would likely place the US military face to face with the Russian military, whose assistance was requested by the Syrian government. In contrast, we must remember that the US military is operating in Syria in violation of international law.

    {...}

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. {...}

      The prospects of such an escalation are not all that far-fetched. At the insistence of Saudi Arabia and with US backing, the representatives of the Syrian opposition at the Geneva peace talks will include members of the Army of Islam, which has fought with al-Qaeda in Syria. Does anyone expect these kinds of people to compromise? Isn’t al-Qaeda supposed to be our enemy?

      The purpose of the Legislative branch of our government is to restrict the Executive branch’s power. The Founders understood that an all-powerful king who could wage war at will was the greatest threat to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That is why they created a people’s branch, the Congress, to prevent the emergence of an all-powerful autocrat to drag the country to endless war. Sadly, Congress is surrendering its power to declare war.

      Let’s be clear: If Senate Majority Leader McConnell succeeds in passing this open-ended war authorization, the US Constitution will be all but a dead letter.

      Reprinted with permission from RonPaulLibertyReport.com.

      COMMENT

      I sincerely believe that there is no hope for the future os US freedom as long as we maintain a standing mercenary military force.

      Delete
  11. On my way back from Vegas it disgusted me to see US soldiers traveling through airports in camouflage battle fatigues.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Las Vegas itself is a disgusting place.

      Totally given over to sucking off the weaknesses of people.

      Shit City, USA.

      Delete
    2. They don't have a psychology department at UNLV.

      No Master's Degree in Psychology there.

      You can get a degree in 'Gaming' though.

      Delete
  12. Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Simple Answers to False Claims




    Defeating the radicals begins with the facts.

    January 25, 2016

    Dr. Shmuel Katz

    9



    10598





    Reprinted from Aish.com.

    It took the Arab propaganda machine decades of persistent, aggressive effort to convince many oblivious individuals – including some world leaders – of the canard that Jews illegally occupy Arab land, having "stolen it from Palestinians."

    The Mideast conflict may be complicated to solve, but is quite easily explained:
    1. The Jewish people have an unbroken 4,000-year national history in the land of Israel.
    2. Never in history has there been an Arab Palestinian State.
    3. The Palestinian movement was founded to annihilate Israel.

    Let's look at some facts:

    The Palestinian movement (PLO) was founded with the express purpose of destroying Israel. The PLO Covenant – adopted in 1964, long before Israel held any disputed territories – calls "to move forward on the path of jihad until complete and final victory is achieved," i.e. the annihilation of Israel.

    Fatah refers to Mohammed signing an insincere "peace treaty."

    This view permeates the Palestinian movement: Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah's "Party of God," and Hamas (acronym for Islamic Resistance Movement) all share the goal of destroying Israel. Mahmoud Abbas' political party – "Fatah" – is the name of chapter 48 of the Koran which describes Mohammed signing a "peace treaty" as a way to gain leverage and launch an attack.

    At the root of Palestinian ideology is this "phased plan" to destroy Israel. Palestinian statesman Faisal Husseini described peace agreements with Israel as a Trojan Horse:


    "If we agree to declare our state over what is now only 22 percent of Palestine, meaning the West Bank and Gaza – our ultimate goal is [still] the liberation of all historical Palestine from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] sea, even if this means that the conflict will last for another thousand years or for many generations."

    It is cheap to talk about peace, and dangerously emboldens those who lack true commitment to peace. Genuine Arab-Israeli conciliation will require genuine peace partners – not conniving perpetrators planning to liquidate Israel in stages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The war against Israel is bolstered by anti-Semites in the West.

      The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) – a global campaign to put economic and political pressure on Israel – gives anti-Semites the veneer of "humanitarian cause" to spew venom against Israel.

      In its efforts to isolate and stigmatize Israel – the only true democracy in the Middle East – BDS makes a false analogy between Israel and Apartheid South Africa. Israel was the first Middle East country to grant Arab women the right to vote. One-third of the staff at Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital are Arabs. Israeli-Arab Salim Joubran sits on Israel's Supreme Court, and Israeli-Arab Majalli Wahabi has served as acting President of Israel.

      Ironically, anti-Israel boycotts actually harm the Palestinians.

      With great irony, BDS actually harms Palestinians. SodaStream's West Bank factory gainfully employed 900 Palestinians working side-by-side with Israelis – building bridges of peace, and earning wages far greater than Palestinian employers would pay. Yet BDS forced the factory to close, causing 900 Palestinian families to lose their primary source of income.

      For BDS activists, harming Palestinians is apparently a fair price to pay for harming Israel.

      This smear campaign includes pressuring artists and musicians to cancel appearances in Israel. For example, when Paul McCartney announced a performance in Israel, Islamist leader Omar Bakri Muhammad threatened:


      “Paul McCartney is the enemy of every Muslim... If he values his life, Mr. McCartney must not come to Israel. He will not be safe there. The sacrifice operatives [i.e. suicide squads] will be waiting for him.”

      Rather than forging peace, supporting BDS encourages the work of anti-Semites.

      The Solution: Free Speech

      One of the biggest challenges facing the free world today is protecting Free Speech. This freedom is widely trampled by Muslim dictatorships who control their populations by eliminating free speech. They justify harsh actions against dissenting voices by labeling them "traitors, collaborators, thieves," etc.

      To make matters worse, Western society – under the guise of political correctness – is silencing itself. The rules of political correctness make it increasingly difficult to condemn Radical Islam and its goal of violent conquest.

      Encouraging open dialogue is the best chance for wisdom and truth to prevail.

      For the free world, the response to these abuses of free speech should be even more speech – clear, factual speech that enables thinking individuals to understand the reality. Encouraging open dialogue is the best chance for wisdom and truth to prevail.

      As we've seen with ISIS and others, the extremists do not discriminate. Given the opportunity to implement their radical agenda, they will kill or harm anyone who doesn't see things their way. This cannot be taken lightly, and the sooner the free world wakes up, the better chance we have to confront it.

      Israel is the "canary in the coal mine," warning the free world what will happen should the radicals win. If the world allows the false Palestinian narrative to persist, the jihadists will be emboldened, posing greater threats not only to Israel but also to the West.

      In order to defeat this falsehood, we need to recognize the enemy's tactics, and challenge those who harm Israel. Here's how you can help:
      1. Educate yourself with facts from reliable sources.
      2. Share your knowledge with others – Jews, Christians, Muslims and Atheists alike.
      3. Do not allow yourself to be silenced if you are speaking the truth.

      It is time for every peace-loving individual to take a closer look at the evidence, and realize that we each have skin in the game. Together, we can ensure that justice prevails.

      Delete
    2. Most here, Isaac, unlike Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson have educated themselves from reliable sources. The JPost, Haaratz to name but two.
      We do hare that knowledge and will not be silenced

      Israel is an apartheid state, they chose their path, made their own bed ...



      Delete
    3. .

      The Solution: Free Speech...

      Encouraging open dialogue is the best chance for wisdom and truth to prevail...



      Yet...

      Israel Breaking and Silencing Breaking the Silence

      Lawmakers from four right-wing parties presented a bill to outlaw the Breaking the Silence group, which documents alleged abuses against Palestinians by Israel Defense Forces soldiers, according to Channel 10. The MKs — Shuli Moalem-Refaeli and Bezalel Smotrich of the Jewish Home; Yaakov Mergi of Shas; Merav Ben-Ari of Kulanu; and Oded Forer of Yisrael Beytenu — contend that the group, which has been the subject of a fierce months-long debate, is “subversive.”

      “It isn’t human rights that stands behind their work,” Moalem-Refaeli told the TV station, “but the desire to encourage and advance the boycott against the State of Israel. Breaking the Silence is undermining the existence of the State of Israel.” She confirmed on January 13 that she had submitted the bill, more headline-grabbing than practical, to the chagrin of the NGO. “No bill, however populist, will silence us,” the left-wing group said in response.


      http://www.timesofisrael.com/from-labeling-ngos-to-police-pat-downs-the-knesset-bills-making-waves/


      .


      Delete
  13. I thought Israel caused it all.

    I have read that from some sources here.

    It's all the fault of USA and Israel.

    Certainly the Iranians are all choir boys.

    And the Iraqis too, all choir boys.

    They've all been choir boys for 1400 years.

    Uncle Ed the Marine out at the Casino doesn't seem to agree, though.

    He has the idea they are all a bunch of assholes.

    He might be right.

    Seeing that the Mooselims killed 80 million, and counting, Hindus over the centuries, he might be right.

    Seeing that over 90% of the conflicts in the world today are the Mooselims v the Neighbor, he might well be right.

    Uncle Ed's solution ?

    Let them all kill one another.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Source for the Jews being behind it all:

      rat

      Delete
    2. Uncle Ed is a really decent guy.

      A little younger than I, he's got a business going where he contracts out through Social Services to provide elder care for folks during the day.

      Delete
  14. The "Yinon Plan" is unfolding, the "Arc of Instability" just what was envisioned.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. The Yinon Plan: Order from Chaos…


      The Yinon Plan, which is a continuation of British stratagem in the Middle East, is an Israeli strategic plan to ensure Israeli regional superiority. It insists and stipulates that Israel must reconfigure its geo-political environment through the balkanization of the surrounding Arab states into smaller and weaker states.

      Israeli strategists viewed Iraq as their biggest strategic challenge from an Arab state. This is why Iraq was outlined as the centerpiece to the balkanization of the Middle East and the Arab World. In Iraq, on the basis of the concepts of the Yinon Plan, Israeli strategists have called for the division of Iraq into a Kurdish state and two Arab states, one for Shiite Muslims and the other for Sunni Muslims. The first step towards establishing this was a war between Iraq and Iran, which the Yinon Plan discusses.

      The Atlantic, in 2008, and the U.S. military’s Armed Forces Journal, in 2006, both published widely circulated maps that closely followed the outline of the Yinon Plan.

      Aside from a divided Iraq, which the Biden Plan also calls for, the Yinon Plan calls for a divided Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria.

      The partitioning of Iran, Turkey, Somalia, and Pakistan also all fall into line with these views.

      The Yinon Plan also calls for dissolution in North Africa and forecasts it as starting from Egypt and then spilling over into Sudan, Libya, and the rest of the region.

      Securing the Realm: Redefining the Arab World…

      Although tweaked, the Yinon Plan is in motion and coming to life under the “Clean Break.”

      This is through a policy document written in 1996 by Richard Perle and the Study Group on “A New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000″ for Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel at the time.

      Perle was a former Pentagon under-secretary for Roland Reagan at the time and later a U.S. military advisor to George W. Bush Jr. and the White House. Aside from Perle, the rest of the members of the Study Group on “A New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000″ consisted of
      James Colbert (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs),
      Charles Fairbanks Jr. (Johns Hopkins University),
      Douglas Feith (Feith and Zell Associates),
      Robert Loewenberg (Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies),
      Jonathan Torop (The Washington Institute for Near East Policy), David Wurmser (Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies),
      and Meyrav Wurmser (Johns Hopkins University).

      A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm is the full name of this 1996 Israel policy paper.

      In many regards, the U.S. is executing the objectives outlined in Tel Aviv’s 1996 policy paper to secure the “realm.” Moreover, the term “realm” implies the strategic mentality of the authors.

      A realm refers to either the territory ruled by a monarch or the territories that fall under a monarch’s reign, but are not physically under their control and have vassals running them.

      Delete
    2. http://www.globalresearch.ca/preparing-the-chessboard-for-the-clash-of-civilizations-divide-conquer-and-rule-the-new-middle-east/27786

      Delete

  15. The Zionist Plan for the Middle East


    Translated and edited by

    Israel Shahak

    The Israel of Theodore Herzl (1904) and of Rabbi Fischmann (1947)

    In his Complete Diaries, Vol. II. p. 711, Theodore Herzl, the founder of Zionism, says that the area of the Jewish State stretches: “From the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates.”

    Rabbi Fischmann, member of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared in his testimony to the U.N. Special Committee of Enquiry on 9 July 1947: “The Promised Land extends from the River of Egypt up to the Euphrates, it includes parts of Syria and Lebanon.”

    from

    Oded Yinon’s
    “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties”
    Foreward

    by Israel Shahak


    The following essay represents, in my opinion, the accurate and detailed plan of the present Zionist regime (of Sharon and Eitan) for the Middle East which is based on the division of the whole area into small states, and the dissolution of all the existing Arab states. I will comment on the military aspect of this plan in a concluding note. Here I want to draw the attention of the readers to several important points:

    1. The idea that all the Arab states should be broken down, by Israel, into small units, occurs again and again in Israeli strategic thinking. For example, Ze’ev Schiff, the military correspondent of Ha’aretz (and probably the most knowledgeable in Israel, on this topic) writes about the “best” that can happen for Israeli interests in Iraq: “The dissolution of Iraq into a Shi’ite state, a Sunni state and the separation of the Kurdish part” (Ha’aretz 6/2/1982). Actually, this aspect of the plan is very old.

    2. The strong connection with Neo-Conservative thought in the USA is very prominent, especially in the author’s notes. But, while lip service is paid to the idea of the “defense of the West” from Soviet power, the real aim of the author, and of the present Israeli establishment is clear: To make an Imperial Israel into a world power. In other words, the aim of Sharon is to deceive the Americans after he has deceived all the rest.

    3. It is obvious that much of the relevant data, both in the notes and in the text, is garbled or omitted, such as the financial help of the U.S. to Israel. Much of it is pure fantasy. But, the plan is not to be regarded as not influential, or as not capable of realization for a short time. The plan follows faithfully the geopolitical ideas current in Germany of 1890-1933, which were swallowed whole by Hitler and the Nazi movement, and determined their aims for East Europe. Those aims, especially the division of the existing states, were carried out in 1939-1941, and only an alliance on the global scale prevented their consolidation for a period of time.

    The notes by the author follow the text. To avoid confusion, I did not add any notes of my own, but have put the substance of them into this foreward and the conclusion at the end. I have, however, emphasized some portions of the text.

    Israel Shahak

    June 13, 1982

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.globalresearch.ca/greater-israel-the-zionist-plan-for-the-middle-east/5324815

      Delete
    2. Security Alert: Las Vegas


      My wife, who sometimes watches the X-Files, informs me that some fellow named 'Scully' (I think it is), an FBI Agent, is closing in on the DNA transfer from human to alien, or alien to human, that took (is taking ?) place out of Area 51 near Vegas.

      This is of immense national security interest to us all, even more so than rat's super secret project with the CIA, NSA, Defense, off the coasts of Panama.

      It seems some creature nicknamed "Q" is about to be arrested, and genetically tested.

      The good news is humanity might be able to stop the malevolent spread of this contagion with this "Q" creature's arrest.

      I got to thinking.....our Quirk acted quite strange when I picked him up after his incursion into Area 51 in his Ultralight, The "Q" Bird, some time back.

      Could it be.....

      Delete
  16. Trump 33.6%
    Cruz 27.2%

    RCP Iowa rolling poll

    ReplyDelete
  17. DeLay: FBI 'Ready to Indict' Hillary
    (Newsmax TV)

    By Bill Hoffmann | Monday, 25 Jan 2016 05:23 PM

    The FBI is ready to indict Hillary Clinton and if its recommendation isn't followed by the U.S. attorney general, the agency's investigators plan to blow the whistle and go public with their findings, former U.S. House Majority leader Tom DeLay tells Newsmax TV.

    "I have friends that are in the FBI and they tell me they're ready to indict," DeLay said Monday on "The Steve Malzberg Show."
    Watch Newsmax TV on DIRECTV Ch. 349, DISH Ch. 223 and Verizon FiOS Ch. 115. Get Newsmax TV on your cable system – Click Here Now

    "They're ready to recommend an indictment and they also say that if the attorney general does not indict, they're going public."

    Clinton is under FBI investigation for her use of a private server to conduct confidential government business while she was secretary of state. But some Republicans fear any FBI recommendation that hurts Clinton will be squashed by the Obama administration.

    DeLay, a Texas Republican and Washington Times radio host, said:
    Special:
    "One way or another either she's going to be indicted and that process begins, or we try her in the public eye with her campaign. One way or another she's going to have to face these charges."

    Last week, Clinton's press secretary Brian Fallon accused intelligence Inspector General Charles McCullough of colluding with Republicans to damage Clinton's campaign for president.

    The charge came after a report that McCullough sent a letter to two GOP lawmakers that some of Clinton's emails sent from her private server when she was secretary of state should have been marked with classifications even higher than "top secret."

    Related Stories:

    Jeb: 'If Hillary Broke the Law, She Should Be Prosecuted'
    Rudy Giuliani: Hillary Can't Avoid Indictment in Email Scandal

    © 2016 Newsmax. All rights reserved

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Constitution, so our Fathers told us, was written for a moral people.

      The Elephant Bar, despite the differences, is still passing this test, as we only have one here who might vote for a criminal.

      Hopefully this Gentleman will think better of it.

      Delete
    2. Yes, yes, she is presumed innocent.

      Though everyone knows she isn't.

      A trial is needed.

      Give her a fair trial, find her guilty, put her in the klink.

      Delete
  18. Who Runs the Pentagon?

    Not Defense Secretary Ashton Carter—while he may be more than a figurehead, “the building” has no boss.

    By Andrew J. Bacevich JANUARY 20, 2016

    The crippling and pervasive defects in us national-security policy—costly exertions that, time and again, fail to yield the promised results—are patently obvious, consistently bemoaned, and yet effectively tolerated. To say that the apparatus principally responsible for implementing those policies is an underperforming behemoth qualifies as a considerable understatement. The kindest verdict one can offer regarding the Pentagon is that it marginally outperforms its first cousin, the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    The next president will enter office in January 2017 vowing to correct those defects. The likelihood that he or she will succeed in doing so is nil. The reasons why are legion, but prominent among them is the fact that those who ascend to the top of the national-security apparatus invariably arrive in the Pentagon as unwitting agents of the status quo. By the time they land one of the top jobs, they have long since forfeited any capacity for critical thought.

    To illustrate the point, consider the case of Ashton Carter, now a year in office as secretary of defense. The 25th person to hold that position since its inception just 69 years ago, Carter is seasoned, able, and undoubtedly well-intentioned. Yet he is as much a creature of the Pentagon as he is its CEO. He embodies the culture of national security, having absorbed its assumptions, worldview, habits, and language.

    According to his official biography, “Secretary Carter has spent more than three decades leveraging his knowledge of science and technology, global strategy and policy as well as his deep dedication to the men and women of the Department of Defense to make our nation and the world a safer place.” Along the way, he acquired a bushel of impressive credentials. After graduating from Yale, Carter won a Rhodes scholarship and eventually returned from Oxford with a PhD in theoretical physics. His current Pentagon tour of duty is his fourth, and follows earlier stints as deputy secretary; undersecretary for acquisition, technology, and logistics; and assistant secretary for international-security policy. As they say in Washington, Carter “knows the building.” When not in government service, “Ash” contemplates ways of making the world a safer place at prestigious universities like Harvard and Stanford, while sitting on boards and commissions that provide venues for out-of-office members of the national-security elite to audition while talking shop. Depending on your point of view, Carter arrived in his present post either exceedingly well-prepared or thoroughly vetted.

    Upon assuming office in February 2015, Carter wasted no time in identifying his three priorities: first, helping the commander in chief to make sound decisions and then implementing those decisions “with our department’s long-admired excellence”; second, caring for all the members—military and civilian alike—of “the greatest fighting force the world has ever known”; and third, building “the force of the future.” This last priority means “embracing the future” while simultaneously finding ways to economize through “a leaner organization, less overhead, and reforming our business and acquisition practices.”

    Although offering little that is novel or distinctive, Carter’s agenda qualifies as unobjectionable. Devoid of specifics, his goals are those of a technocrat, charged with presiding over a system that he knows well and accepts. Reduced to its essence, Carter’s message to “the building” at the outset of his tenure was this: “We’re terrific! And I know how to make us better still!”

    {...}

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. {...}

      Since taking office, Carter has spent his time doing what defense secretaries do. He flies around the world visiting the troops and consulting with field commanders. He presides at ceremonies, hosts visiting dignitaries, testifies before Congress, makes speeches, holds press conferences, and appears on TV. He manages—or pretends to manage—a sprawling bureaucracy. He makes decisions, sometimes dressed up for the occasion as “historic,” but typically representing an incremental departure from past practice—lifting the ban on women serving in combat, for example. And by no means least of all, he facilitates the expenditure of money in staggeringly large quantities.

      {...}

      Delete
  19. {...}

    What Carter has not done is pose first-order questions related to national-security policy and practice.

    Instead, he has deferred to and thereby protected existing routines and arrangements. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Averting change while pretending to foster it represents the defense secretary’s foremost, even if unacknowledged, function. In the history of that office, only two of Carter’s predecessors have had the temerity to challenge that proposition. The first was Robert McNamara in the period from 1961 to ’68; the second was Donald Rumsfeld from 2001 to ’06.

    McNamara showed up for work intent on imposing a management system imported from the postwar corporate world. He aimed to align the Pentagon with fads and fashions straight out of Harvard Business School, as implemented in the Detroit auto industry. Precisely 40 years later, Rumsfeld sought to impose an entirely new approach to waging war. With information technology all the rage among the military intelligentsia, Rumsfeld believed that fads and fashions pioneered by Silicon Valley could enable the US military to revolutionize the way it fights.

    Each project deservedly and ignominiously failed. Yet in both cases, the implications of failure went well beyond the rejection of a particular reform agenda. McNamara and Rumsfeld, each in his own way, had attempted a radical assertion of civilian control. Each in turn had insisted that someone should be in charge, not merely symbolically but substantively. Each had insisted that there be but a single hand on the Pentagon tiller: his own. Eventually, arrogance did them in, compounded by the ill-advised and mismanaged wars that destroyed their reputations. One further consequence of their respective failures was to gut the concept of civilian control. Although the principle remained, the practice became squishy.

    The result was by no means a handing of authority to the brass. Neither McNamara’s downfall nor Rumsfeld’s several decades later meant that the generals now called the shots. Instead, the effect of their demise was to disperse authority, leaving no one really in charge and therefore no one accountable.

    * * *
    {...}

    ReplyDelete
  20. REPEAT

    The result was by no means a handing of authority to the brass. Neither McNamara’s downfall nor Rumsfeld’s several decades later meant that the generals now called the shots. Instead, the effect of their demise was to disperse authority, leaving no one really in charge and therefore no one accountable.

    THIS IS THE US MILITARY UNLEASHED

    REPEAT

    no one really in charge and therefore no one accountable.

    ReplyDelete
  21. THE HEADLINE SAYS IT ALL:

    Five Years After Tahrir Square, Egypt’s Police State Worse Than Ever

    By Lauren McCauley, January 25 2016

    Five years after mass popular uprisings ousted longtime dictator Hosni Mubarek, Egyptians are again under siege.

    ------

    Egypt’s Revolution: Creative Destruction For A ‘Greater Middle East’?

    By F. William Engdahl, January 25 2016

    Originally published in February, 2011

    ------

    The Paris Meeting of Conspirators in Support of Syria’s “Moderate Terrorists”: Talks Filled With Sinful Crime.

    By Christopher Black, January 24 2016

    On January 20th a cabal of dependencies of the United States of America, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, France, and Italy, met in Paris to discuss war on Syria.

    -----

    Expanding US-NATO Military Presence inside Syria. American Boots on the Ground

    By South Front, January 25 2016

    The United States is expanding its presence in Syria. Satellite imagery taken Dec. 28 shows construction underway to extend the runway at an airfield in Rmeilan, al-Hasaka province, which would prepare the site to accommodate larger aircraft.

    -----

    On Eve of Syria “Peace Talks,” Washington Threatens Escalation across Region

    By Bill Van Auken, January 25 2016

    With Syria “peace talks” ostensibly set to begin in Geneva today, Washington has ratcheted up threats of US military escalation throughout the region.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/selected-articles-us-nato-war-agenda-for-the-middle-east-american-boots-on-the-ground/5503652

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sisi began a policy of trying to reform Egyptian 'education' curriculums, etc.

      This pissed the MB off, or course, and the 'clerics'.

      It may be a futile effort, but noble nevertheless.


      '

      Delete
    2. Our "Draft Dodger" speaking highly of a military dictator in a foreign land.
      He was a fan of the General/President of Pakistan, too.

      He had told us that Egypt was lost, not realizing that the US had a proxy in the US Army War College alum that was planning the demise of the Muslim Brotherhood, with US support.

      Delete
  22. DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS?

    US troops have taken control of Rmeilan airfield in Syria's northern province of Hasakah to support Kurdish fighters against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a spokesperson for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) told Al Jazeera.

    The airfield near the city of Rmeilan, which will become the first US-controlled airbase in Syria, was previously controlled by the US-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

    The airfield is close to Syria's borders with Iraq and Turkey.

    "Under a deal with the YPG, the US was given control of the airport. The purpose of this deal is to back up the SDF, by providing weapons and an airbase for US warplanes," Taj Kordsh, a media activist from the SDF told Al Jazeera on Tuesday.

    "This airport was previously controlled by the YPG for over two years now. This strategic airport is close to several oil bases - one of the biggest in this area.

    "Rmeilan airport was previously used for agricultural purposes by the Syrian government," he said.

    Previous reports published by the Syrian Local Coordination Committees say that the US has been preparing and expanding Rmeilan airport for a while now.

    When asked by Al Jazeera, a US CENTCOM media operations officer did not confirm or deny the reports

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, did not know about that.

      The Kurds seem reasonable enough.

      Delete
    2. Those Kurds are terrorists, "Draft Dodger" on the same list as Hezbollah.

      Delete
  23. My Niece tells me she is avoiding the demos in Dresden - thankfully -


    January 26, 2016

    PEGIDA planning mass demonstrations across Europe

    By Carol Brown


    Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA) is a grassroots movement that was formed in Germany a little over two years ago. The scale of their rallies has rapidly grown. And now they’re organizing mass demonstrations for February 6th to be held in cities across Europe.

    For those not familiar with PEGIDA, or for those who want to learn more, here’s a bit of background:





    PEGIDA provides a structure for citizens to come together to celebrate national pride and to express opposition to Merkel’s suicidal open door immigration policy that has allowed in throngs of Muslims from Islamic countries – a policy that is destroying Germany in unthinkable ways.

    If you’ve ever seen a video of a PEGIDA march, you’ll notice young and old, healthy and infirmed, day or night, in all kinds of weather, patriotic Germans show up and wind their way through the streets. Some carry flags while others hold signs. There is often an eerie silence, though occasionally a chant breaks out or you can hear the national anthem being sung. (See here, here, here, here, here, and here for a sample of videos from a few of their marches.)

    The size of the demonstrations is often large, with numbers reaching into the tens of thousands. Beginning in October, the group organized weekly marches in Dresden and other cities primarily located in the eastern part of Germany (which is likely no coincidence given the region’s history and people’s first-hand knowledge of life under totalitarian rule).

    But the core values embraced by PEGIDA are spreading beyond the eastern part of Germany. A recent study cited at the Gatestone Institute showed increasing numbers of Germans coming around to the hard truth about Islam and its incompatibility with Western culture. Another poll noted in an article at Deutsche Welle showed that nearly 30% of German’s believe PEGIDA’s marches are justified and that 13% of them would attend a PEGIDA march if one were held in their hometown. (And, yes, these numbers are still absurdly low in light of the madness that is unfolding, but the numbers represent a shift toward reality. One can only hope Germans will continue to wake up, though it remains unclear if it is already too late.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In addition to increasing support across Germany, as noted at the outset of the blog, PEGIDA’s reach is now expanding into other European countries as their base of support grows. Gates of Vienna notes that “PEGIDA is in Austria, Czechia, Poland, Hungary, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland and Great Britain. The movement has good connections from Vlaams Belang, through the French Front National, the British EU-hostile UKIP and the nationalist parties of Eastern Europe, to the Italian Lega Nord.”

      Reporting on the upcoming mass demonstrations, Deutsche Welle reports:


      Germany's anti-immigration movement Pegida has signed a declaration with like-minded groups from 14 European countries, agreeing on joint protests in February. The associations warn of “Islam conquering Europe.” (snip)

      The anti-immigration groups from different EU states have agreed on international protests on February 6, dubbed the “Day of the European Patriots.” The protests are to be held in Pegida's stronghold of Dresden as well as in Prague, Warsaw and other European cities. (snip)

      The representatives of the far-right movements signed a joint “Prague declaration,” warning that the “history of Western civilization could soon come to an end through Islam conquering Europe.”

      As you might imagine, PEGIDA is controversial as the left tries to paint them as neo-Nazis (they’re not) and dangerous right wingers (as if it’s dangerous to love your country and want to protect it from ruin). It’s also common for peaceful marches to be infiltrated by people who start trouble in order to taint PEGIDA’s reputation. The German government is, of course, staunchly against them and it is typical to see police out in force at their demonstrations – more police than Germany appears able (or willing) to muster to protect its citizens from such horrors as mass rape.

      So far, despite the opposition, PEGIDA is not only persevering, but winning over more and more Europeans. Perhaps too slowly, too late, and too little.

      I hope not. And pray.

      May God bless every patriot. May February 6th be a day when a sea of Europeans takes to the streets. May they be safe, be heard, and be effective.

      Cheering them on from across the pond, as they say. We watch, wait, wonder, and worry. Is this our future? (Answer: If there is not a dramatic and immediate course correction, then yes. It is.)

      (To read more about PEGIDA see here, here, and here.)


      Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA) is a grassroots movement that was formed in Germany a little over two years ago. The scale of their rallies has rapidly grown. And now they’re organizing mass demonstrations for February 6th to be held in cities across Europe.

      For those not familiar with PEGIDA, or for those who want to learn more, here’s a bit of background:

      PEGIDA provides a structure for citizens to come together to celebrate national pride and to express opposition to Merkel’s suicidal open door immigration policy that has allowed in throngs of Muslims from Islamic countries – a policy that is destroying Germany in unthinkable ways.

      Delete
    2. If you’ve ever seen a video of a PEGIDA march, you’ll notice young and old, healthy and infirmed, day or night, in all kinds of weather, patriotic Germans show up and wind their way through the streets. Some carry flags while others hold signs. There is often an eerie silence, though occasionally a chant breaks out or you can hear the national anthem being sung. (See here, here, here, here, here, and here for a sample of videos from a few of their marches.)

      The size of the demonstrations is often large, with numbers reaching into the tens of thousands. Beginning in October, the group organized weekly marches in Dresden and other cities primarily located in the eastern part of Germany (which is likely no coincidence given the region’s history and people’s first-hand knowledge of life under totalitarian rule).

      But the core values embraced by PEGIDA are spreading beyond the eastern part of Germany. A recent study cited at the Gatestone Institute showed increasing numbers of Germans coming around to the hard truth about Islam and its incompatibility with Western culture. Another poll noted in an article at Deutsche Welle showed that nearly 30% of German’s believe PEGIDA’s marches are justified and that 13% of them would attend a PEGIDA march if one were held in their hometown. (And, yes, these numbers are still absurdly low in light of the madness that is unfolding, but the numbers represent a shift toward reality. One can only hope Germans will continue to wake up, though it remains unclear if it is already too late.)




      In addition to increasing support across Germany, as noted at the outset of the blog, PEGIDA’s reach is now expanding into other European countries as their base of support grows. Gates of Vienna notes that “PEGIDA is in Austria, Czechia, Poland, Hungary, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland and Great Britain. The movement has good connections from Vlaams Belang, through the French Front National, the British EU-hostile UKIP and the nationalist parties of Eastern Europe, to the Italian Lega Nord.”

      Reporting on the upcoming mass demonstrations, Deutsche Welle reports:


      Germany's anti-immigration movement Pegida has signed a declaration with like-minded groups from 14 European countries, agreeing on joint protests in February. The associations warn of “Islam conquering Europe.” (snip)

      The anti-immigration groups from different EU states have agreed on international protests on February 6, dubbed the “Day of the European Patriots.” The protests are to be held in Pegida's stronghold of Dresden as well as in Prague, Warsaw and other European cities. (snip)

      Delete
    3. The representatives of the far-right movements signed a joint “Prague declaration,” warning that the “history of Western civilization could soon come to an end through Islam conquering Europe.”

      As you might imagine, PEGIDA is controversial as the left tries to paint them as neo-Nazis (they’re not) and dangerous right wingers (as if it’s dangerous to love your country and want to protect it from ruin). It’s also common for peaceful marches to be infiltrated by people who start trouble in order to taint PEGIDA’s reputation. The German government is, of course, staunchly against them and it is typical to see police out in force at their demonstrations – more police than Germany appears able (or willing) to muster to protect its citizens from such horrors as mass rape.

      So far, despite the opposition, PEGIDA is not only persevering, but winning over more and more Europeans. Perhaps too slowly, too late, and too little.

      I hope not. And pray.

      May God bless every patriot. May February 6th be a day when a sea of Europeans takes to the streets. May they be safe, be heard, and be effective.

      Cheering them on from across the pond, as they say. We watch, wait, wonder, and worry. Is this our future? (Answer: If there is not a dramatic and immediate course correction, then yes. It is.)

      (To read more about PEGIDA see here, here, and here.)


      http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/01/pegida_planning_mass_demonstrations_across_europe.html#ixzz3yL1wCjZ4

      Delete
  24. As a retired farmer, I'd rather rely on Israeli drip irrigation equipment. I've learned that much.....


    Both sides take these critical beliefs and “divine guidance” from Muhammad’s statements that “at the end of the time of my ummah, the Mahdi will appear. Allah will grant him rain, the earth will bring forth its fruits, he will give a lot of money, cattle will increase and the ummah will become great … his name will be my name, and his father’s name my father’s name … Even if the entire duration of the world’s existence has already been exhausted and only one day is left before Doomsday, Allah will expand that day to such length of time as to accommodate the kingdom of a person from my Ahlul-Bayt [family of Muhammad] who will be called by my name. …”



    End of the World: "Muhammad Mahdi" is Coming




    Apocalyptic Muslims gear up for the global Islamic state.

    January 26, 2016

    Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/261559/end-world-muhammad-mahdi-coming-dr-majid-rafizadeh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Though that promise of a lot of money doesn't sound so bad.

      Delete

    2. http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/45248-franklin-graham-are-we-in-the-last-hours-before-christ-s-returnAs I read the news, I can't help but wonder if we are in the last hours before our Lord Jesus Christ returns to rescue His church and God pours out His wrath on the world for the rejection of His Son. I don't know if we have hours, days, months, or years—but as Christians, God calls us to take the truth of the Gospel to the ends of the Earth.
      Our job is to warn sinners of the consequences of sin and show them that God is loving and gracious, willing to forgive if we come to Him in repentance and faith.
      We have to accept God's provision for our sins—the shedding of Christ's Blood on the cross.
      This is what we preach at BGEA—Jesus Christ, dead, buried and risen!

      Ultimately this is what matters most in this world.

      Delete
  25. WHY DOES THE JEWISH STATE OF ISRAEL FEAR AND HATE IRAN?

    Generating economic growth in the Middle East is crucial to defeating extremism, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday, putting forward his country as a regional trade hub and pillar of stability.

    Rouhani is on a four-day trip to Italy and France, looking to rebuild Iranian relations with the West some two weeks after financial sanctions on Tehran were rolled back in the wake of its nuclear accord with world powers last year.

    Italy announced some 17 billion euros ($18.4 billion) of business deals with Iran on Monday. Mega contracts are also in the offing in France, reflecting EU countries’ keenness to cash in on the diplomatic thaw with the Islamic Republic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because they chant 'Death to Israel', and mean it.

      You really need to ask ?

      It wasn't always like this.

      Back when the Shah was in power in Iran the two nations got along normally.

      Delete
    2. Because Iran ships missiles into both southern Lebanon and Gaza that are launched into Israel.

      This creates both hate and fear.

      Delete
    3. First use of nuclear weapons would put the outlaw regime in jeopardy.
      The Russians, Chinese or Pakistani could well retaliate, to curry favor with the survivors of the oil rich land masses that the Israeli attacked, without provocation.

      Israel is a one nuke target.

      So, "O"rdure, the answer is still Mutual Assured Destruction.

      Delete
  26. What indeed? Arabs gorge on hate, they roll in it, they breathe it. Jews top the hate list, but any foreigners are hateful enough. Arabs also hate each other, separately and, en masse. Their politicians change the direction of their hate as they would change their shirts. Their press is vulgarly base with hate-filled cartoons; their reporting describes whatever hate is now uppermost and convenient. Their radio is a long scream of hate, a call to hate. They teach their children hate in school. They must love the taste of hate; it is their daily bread. And what good has it done them?

    The Arabs of Palestine
    Martha Gellhorn
    *********

    Nothing changes -

    Muslim teen who stabbed Israeli mother incited by Palestinian TV

    January 25, 2016 11:32 am By Robert Spencer

    “Palestinians” are routinely exhorted on Palestinian TV to stab Israelis. Why should anyone be surprised when they stab Israelis?

    Stab2

    “Teen Otniel knife terrorist ‘influenced by Palestinian Authority TV,'” by Yaakov Lappin, Jerusalem Post, January 24, 2016:

    The 15-year-old Palestinian terrorist who stabbed mother-of-six Dafna Meir to death on January 19 in the West Bank community of Otniel was under the influence of broadcasts by Palestinian Authority TV, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) investigation has found.

    A statement released on Sunday on the progress of the investigation said the minor, who was arrested in his home in Beit Amra, near Hebron, disclosed during questioning that “in the period of time preceding the terrorist attack,” he watched “PA television, which presented Israel as a state that ‘kills Palestinian youths.’” On the day of the attack, “under the influence of the content he saw on television, the minor decided to carry out a stabbing attack in order to murder a Jewish person.”

    Due to Otniel’s proximity to his home village, the minor chose to strike there. After arriving at Otniel, he spotted Meir and stabbed her repeatedly before fleeing.

    The terrorist incident “underscores, once again, the severity of the threat posed by the wild incitement that is ongoing against the state of Israel and Jews in the Palestinian media, which influences lone attackers and causes them to carry out acts of murder and terrorism,” the ISA added.

    Last week, following intensive intelligence and operational activities, Duvdevan unit members accompanied by Shin Bet intelligence agents tracked down the suspect. They moved in on the teenager’s home overnight between Monday and Tuesday, arresting him in his bed and taking him into custody.

    Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon last week paid tribute to Dafna Meir, a “virtuous woman” whose many remarkable accomplishments became known to the public in recent days, he said….

    "If...Koranic passages encourage terrorism...every Muslim would be a terrorist"
    India: Gandhi statue defaced with Islamic State slogan and threats

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2016/01/muslim-teen-who-stabbed-israeli-mother-incited-by-palestinian-tv

    ReplyDelete
  27. Why do so many folk hate Israel ...

    It is a pariah state, a nuclear outlaw ...

    One that has a history of military aggression against its neighbors, of disregard for the international community.

    It has developed a system of apartheid that puts 5 million people in poverty and despair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aaaahhhh.....last I read about 70% of the American people support Israel, same as always.

      Of the remainder 20% don't know where the mid-east is....

      You're full of shit, as usual.

      Delete
    2. .

      2 Jewish-Israelis indicted in deadly Duma firebombing

      January 3, 2016 7:54am

      JERUSALEM (JTA) — Two Jewish-Israelis have been indicted in the deadly firebombing of a Palestinian family’s home in the West Bank village of Duma.

      Israeli prosecutors filed the indictments in Lod District Court on Sunday, when a gag order was lifted on some details of the July 31 arson attack case.

      The main suspect is Amiram Ben-Uliel, 21, of Jerusalem, who was charged with three counts of murder, according to Israel Police. Three members of the Dawabshe family — an 18-month-old boy and his parents — were killed in the firebombing.

      A minor, who cannot be named because of his age, also was charged as an accessory to murder, the police said in a statement.

      According to the indictment, Ben-Uliel admitted to planning and carrying out the Duma attack. He said it was in retaliation for the murder of Malachi Rosenfeld, 25, in June in a drive-by shooting by Palestinian attackers in the West Bank on a road near Duma.

      The police said in a statement that Ben-Uliel returned to the scene of the Duma attack and walked them through its events, in which he allegedly spray-painted graffiti including “vengeance” and “long live the Messiah” on the house before throwing firebombs through the window. Along with the three deaths, a child remains hospitalized and faces a difficult rehabilitation.

      Members of Ben-Uliel’s family say they believe he is innocent and that he confessed to the crime because he was tortured during questioning.

      The Shin Bet has denied allegations of torture, though it has acknowledged the interrogations included extraordinary actions, including “moderate physical pressure” that was approved and overseen by the relevant government authorities.

      Ben-Uliel reportedly was detained by the Shin Bet security service on Dec. 1. His father, Reuven, is the rabbi of the West Bank settlement of Karmei Zur, where he grew up. The younger Ben Uliel was active in the movement to save the Ramat Migron outpost. Since the arson attack, he and his wife, who also was a settlement outpost activist, moved to Jerusalem, where they had a baby and became haredi Orthodox.

      In its statement, the police hailed the “extraordinary cooperation among the security agencies” during what it called a “complex investigation.”

      “The investigation was of national importance and came to an end with the filing of indictments,” the police said. “In the fight against terrorism there are no shortcuts.”

      Also Sunday, in the same court, charges were filed against Yinon Reuveni, 20, for an arson attack in June on the Church of Loaves and Fishes in the Galilee. Reuveni and two minors also was charged with another arson attack in Jerusalem more than a year ago. Another minor was charged in a series of incidents of vandalism and arson.


      http://www.jta.org/2016/01/03/news-opinion/israel-middle-east/2-jewish-israelis-indicted-in-deadly-duma-firebombing

      .

      Delete
    3. The question as not why the people of the US hate Israel, You da ho Bob.

      I do not know anyone that hates Israel, but I do know many folks that disapprove of Israeli policies and programs.
      Many in the US that think the US should not fund that pariah state with foreign aid the US government must borrow, to give away.

      Those that hate Israel are mostly the victims of its aggression and the system of apartheid it has established.

      Delete
    4. Then there is the 'marketplace' which never lies.

      When Sodastream was exposed as part of the Israeli's apartheid system, its US sales collapsed, taking the company' market valuation with it.

      That market reality speaks louder than any poll.

      Delete
    5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
  28. Heh, the well named Ms. Click(er) gets hers - "The mills of the gods grind slowly, but exceedingly fine" -

    January 26, 2016

    Update: More muscle against Assistant Professor Melissa Click

    By Ethel C. Fenig


    Slowly, to be sure, but at last some universities and some police departments in university towns are beginning to fight back against students who protest imaginary microaggressions with real illegal macroaggressions. A few months ago, University of Missouri communications assistant professor Melissa Click communicated her displeasure with student journalists who were videoing her leading a demonstration on campus. They captured on video her enraged face and uplifted arms as she called out, "I need some muscle over here" to remove the non-protesting students.



    The Missouri state legislature discussed firing her.





    The student videographer filed a complaint with university police.

    And now the Columbia, Missouri city prosecutor has charged Click with misdemeanor assault.

    Well, good. Precious, fragile students aren't the only ones entitled to a safe space free of microaggressions; indeed, it is time for them to learn that the world is full of unsafe spaces inhabited by some nasty macroaggressors and to learn how to deal with them. This university employee certainly didn't do that; Click didn't even do her job. I hope that the university student disrupters will finally learn something valuable from their excessive temper tantrum. Isn't that why they're in school?




    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/01/update_more_muscle_against_assistant_professor_melissa_click.html#ixzz3yMdSbUwd

    ReplyDelete
  29. The Bern, in the last 'town hall' debate, promises to raise your taxes.....

    (Limo confiscation to be announced later....)

    The last politician that promised to raise taxes was, IIRC, Mondale, who, IIRC, won one state, Minnesota.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The candidates that said they would lower taxes, won the election but then raised taxes, instead ...

      Reagan, Bush Sr, Bush Jr.

      Delete
  30. Reuters -

    ROME - Generating economic growth in the Middle East is crucial to defeating extremism, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday, putting forward his country as a regional trade hub and pillar of stability.

    ReplyDelete
  31. O'Mallard makes startling late surge in Iowa -


    O'Malley Gaining Support Among Young Illegals in Iowa......Drudge

    ReplyDelete
  32. ABC/Wash. Post, the most accurate pollster (65% Cellphone) asks the most predictive question -

    Who do you think will win?

    Clinton 54 Trump 42

    Clinton 61 Rubio 32

    Clinton 60 Cruz 34

    Clinton 55 Bush 39

    Poll

    ReplyDelete
  33. ABC/Wash. Post, the most accurate pollster (65% Cellphone) asks the most predictive question -

    Who do you think will win?

    Clinton 54 Trump 42

    Clinton 61 Rubio 32

    Clinton 60 Cruz 34

    Clinton 55 Bush 39

    Poll

    ReplyDelete
  34. Replies
    1. He beat all of the Republicans, also, but by not quite as much.

      Delete
    2. The thing is, his chances for the nomination are pretty slim.

      Delete
    3. Sanders is third in the betting ...

      See below

      Delete
    4. I take it back, Sanders beats Rubio and Cruz, but loses to Trump 46 - 49.

      Delete
  35. The mother of the young social worker who was allegedly stabbed to death by a 15-year-old asylum seeker at a shelter for refugee children today spoke of her anguish as the family blamed Sweden's migration crisis for her death.
    Alexandra Mezher, 22, was working alone with ten youths aged between 14 and 17 when she was attacked at the home for unaccompanied young refugees in Mölndal, near Gothenburg. She later died of her injuries in hospital.
    Chiméne Mezher, 42, today told how she had lost her 'angel', as a close cousin said: 'It is the Swedish politicians' fault that she is dead.'
    Sweden is one of the main destinations for refugees and migrants entering the EU and police warn they cannot cope with the tide of migrant-related crime.


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3416343/Sweden-asylum-worker-22-stabbed-death-frenzied-attack-CHILD-migrant-centre-refugee-boy-15-arrested-murder.html#ixzz3yMtVpWbu
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    ReplyDelete
  36. Clinton has also seen her odds to become the next POTUS fall and now sits at EVEN money. The former Secretary of State has been the odds-on favorite to move into the White House since the numbers have been posted.

    On the Republican side, Donald Trump has grabbed a firm grasp on the lead and is now the -200 favorite to be the nominee. The same poll that showed large growth for Sanders, has Trump holding an 11-point lead over second-place Marco Rubio.
    2016 US Presidential Election - Next President of the United States

    Odds as of January 25 at Bovada

    Hillary Clinton EVEN
    Donald Trump +200
    Bernie Sanders +350
    Marco Rubio +1000
    Ted Cruz +1400
    Jeb Bush +3300
    Chris Christie +5000
    John Kasich +5000
    Carly Fiorina +12500
    Ben Carson +20000

    http://www.oddsshark.com/entertainment/us-presidential-odds-2016-futures

    Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson's favorite, Dr Ben Carson, the longest shot of the bunch.

    ReplyDelete
  37. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deuce is a pussy.

      Scared by what the Jews say..

      LOL

      Delete
    2. Dumb schmucky Jews like you? Not so much.

      Delete
  38. Predictwise has Hillary Clinton at 53% to become next President,

    Donald Trump at 18%

    Predictwise

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trump is 48% to win the nomination,

      but only 37.5% to beat the Dem. (18%/48% = 37.5%)

      Delete
  39. Bye Wio, we will be checking in at your blog when we feel deprived of insight, truth or history.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
  40. Potemkin Ideologies

    As I keep saying, the Republican and Democratic parties, as revealed by their primaries, are not at all symmetric.

    On the Democratic side, the argument is about a theory of change: voters really do care about progressive priorities, and are torn between two candidates who broadly have similar ideologies but have different visions of the politically possible.

    What we’re seeing on the Republican side, by contrast, is that almost nobody except a handful of pundits and think-tank hired guns cares at all about the official party ideology.

    Remember when Bill Kristol predicted that Trump’s support would collapse because he declared that he would protect Social Security and Medicare? Surprise: there are virtually no sincere small-government types out there in the real world. Wealthy donors want tax cuts, and this may indirectly lead them to support cuts in social insurance programs to free up the funds. But people who actually care about the government spending too much in general (as opposed to spending too much on Those People)? No such constituency.

    And what about moral values and personal responsibility? Today Jerry Falwell Jr. endorsed the multiply married, philandering, not visibly God-fearing Donald Trump. How is that possible? Greg Sargent says that evangelicals are driven by fear of the collapse of society as they know it. And that’s certainly consistent with what we’re seeing.

    But I’d push it a bit further, and harsher. What’s really going on, I’d argue, is (justified) fear over the erosion of white patriarchy. (That’s what the attack on Planned Parenthood is really about too.) That is, it’s about authority, not virtue.

    And so Trump’s lifestyle, his personal New York values, don’t matter, as long as he’s seen as someone who will keep Others in their place.

    What used to happen was that the conservative movement could basically serve the plutocracy, while mobilizing voters with racial/gender anxiety, all the while maintaining a facade of serious-minded libertarian philosophy. But now it’s broken down, and the real motives are out in the open.

    PK NYT

    ReplyDelete
  41. ISIS group steals 3 trucks due to dispute between al-Baghdadi and al-Shishani

    (IraqiNews.com) Nineveh – A security source in Nineveh province announced on Monday, that a group belonging to ISIS stole three trucks carrying heavy and medium weapons east of Mosul, while pointed out that the group stole the trucks due to a dispute between ISIS leader al-Baghdadi and his deputy al- Shishani.

    The source said in a statement received by IraqiNews.com, “One of ISIS warlords stole three trucks carrying medium and heavy weapons, in addition to 17 mm mortar shells from the industrial zone east of Mosul and headed to Raqqah City in Syria, along with his bodyguards.”

    The source added, “The robbery took place after a dispute between the followers of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his deputy Abu Omar al- Shishani.”

    Those guys are having all the fun. :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. except for when they're not, anyway :)

    Army forces kill, wound 80 “terrorists” in Albu Shajal northwest of Fallujah

    (IraqiNews.com) Baghdad – Baghdad Operations Command announced on Tuesday, that 80 “terrorists” had been either killed or wounded during security operations in the area of Albu Shajal northwest of Fallujah.

    The spokesperson for the command, Gen. Saad Moen, said in a press statement obtained by IraqiNews.com, “Baghdad Operations forces, in coordination with the Iraqi Air Force as well as the international coalition aviation, are continuing in the cleansing operation of Albu Shajal area northwest of Fallujah for the third day in a row,” adding that, “42 terrorists had been killed, including the criminal Tarek Shabal and two suicide bombers, in addition to wounding 38 others and dismantling 31 explosive devices.”

    Not having fun

    ReplyDelete
  43. .

    The U.S. was supposed to leave Afghanistan by 2017. Now it might take decades.

    Bob has been touting the meme that if we could just leave a few thousand troops in a country our and, one assumes, their problems would be solved.

    It looks like he will get what he wants in Afghanistan.

    This move should be great for the women of Afghanistan. No doubt their lot will be appreciably improved in short order.

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are taking great liberty with what I've been 'touting'.

      You know well what I've touted and have not touted.

      You are slipping into the Rufus/rat/Deuce mode, where you just put words in the mouths of others.

      You are dishonoring yourself.

      It is sad to see.

      Knock it off.

      Delete
  44. .

    America’s Heroin Crisis Was Birthed by the Law of Unintended Consequences

    Our friend Robert VerBruggen has a good op-ed over at Real Clear Policy reconsidering his drug legalization libertarianism. He worries that legalizing hard drugs would not be the boon to mankind many libertarians and other legalizers like to think it would be.

    "I was never so naive as to think there would be noincrease in drug use or abuse if drugs were legal. But I did think legalization would easily pass a practical cost-benefit test: reduce incarceration, if perhaps not as much as some might think; end an illegal market whose violence spills far beyond our borders; and expand personal freedom, all for the acceptable price of an extra overdose or other health problem here and there, plus maybe some extra property crimes by addicts stealing to feed their habit. Drug addiction couldn’t go up that much. The War on Drugs is an utter failure and drugs are widely and cheaply available anyway. Everyone knows that.

    Well, reality is not lining up with this view of the world. In 1999, Americans had fatal drug overdoses at a rate of 6 per 100,000. In 2014, that number stood at 14.8 per 100,000 — a rise of 8.8 per 100,000. To put this in perspective, America’s famously high homicide rate is about 5 per 100,000. And the overdose spike is apparently driven by a policy change much gentler than full legalization.


    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/430274/heroin-prescription-painkillers-america-growing-crisis

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Rapid rise of heroin use in US tied to prescription opioid abuse, CDC suggests

      Overdose deaths quadruple in period from 2002 to 2013 as biggest increase in use is seen among users of pain relievers: ‘It’s a poly-substance abuse issue’

      ...Heroin-related overdose deaths in the US have nearly quadrupled since 2002 and use of the drug has increased by 63%, according to a newly released report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that sheds light on a growing epidemic.

      “Over the past decade, we have found a significant increase in heroin use across almost all demographic groups,” said Dr Christopher M Jones, senior adviser at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and co-author of the report. But the greatest increases were seen among “populations who historically had lower rates of heroin use”, he added. Heroin use among women doubled between 2002 and 2013, the period of study, while use among non-Hispanic whites more than doubled.
      ...
      ncreasing heroin dependence is closely tied to prescription pain reliever abuse, said Dr Jay Unick, associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work and author of a 2013 study on trends in heroin- and opioid-related overdoses.

      “A decade and a half ago we saw a real surge in the availability of prescription opiate drugs in the US [and a] dramatic increase in the number of people using opiates,” Unick said.

      Delete
    2. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jul/08/heroin-use-overdose-deaths-us-prescription-opioids

      Delete
  45. Since the arrival of U.S. forces in 2001, Afghanistan’s prominence in the global drug market has skyrocketed. Statistics from the 2014 World Drug Report state that Afghanistan is now responsible for more than 80 percent of the world’s opium, although many believe the number to be much higher.

    Despite claims regarding the fight against Afghanistan’s opium scourge, which is directly linked to America’s “nationwide heroin crisis,” multiple U.S. agencies have been found to be directly linked to its skyrocketing availability.

    American officials speaking with the New York Times in 2009 revealed that one of the country’s largest heroin dealers, coincidentally the brother of former Afghan president Hamid Karzai, had received regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency since the beginning of the war.

    “The financial ties and close working relationship between the intelligence agency and Mr. Karzai raise significant questions about America’s war strategy…” the article states. “The C.I.A.’s practices also suggest that the United States is not doing everything in its power to stamp out the lucrative Afghan drug trade, a major source of revenue for the Taliban.”


    https://www.unodc.org/documents/wdr2014/World_Drug_Report_2014_web.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  46. Highlights

    Consumer spending may not be that strong but consumer confidence is solid, at 98.1* in January and more than 2 points over the Econoday consensus. The assessment of the current jobs market is favorable with only 23.4 percent describing jobs as hard to get. This is a low percentage for this reading and down more than 1 percentage point from December. But improvement here is offset by a dip in those describing jobs as currently plentiful, down 1.4 percentage points to 22.8 percent. The mix of job readings as well as little change in the description of business conditions made for no change in the present situation component, at 116.4 for both December and January.

    Confidence is less striking on the expectations side of the report where the component nevertheless is up nearly 3 points to 85.9. Confidence in the outlook for income is solid with optimists out in front of pessimists by 18.1 vs 10.8 percent which is wide for this reading. There's also a bit less pessimism over the jobs outlook though more still see fewer jobs opening up than those who see more jobs ahead, at 16.5 vs 13.2 percent.

    Buying plans are positive with autos, homes, and appliances all gaining. Expectations for interest rates, in a reflection of Federal Reserve policy, have been increasing noticeably with an outsized 72.4 percent of the sample seeing gains ahead. For the stock market, fewer see increases ahead and more see selling but the results are muted compared to the volatility the stock market is currently suffering.

    This report, in fact, is a testament to the strength of the U.S. consumer who so far is resisting pressure from overseas weakness. One negative in the report, however, is another tick lower for inflation expectations, down 1 tenth to 4.8 percent which is very low for this reading and is certain to be a topic of discussion at this week's FOMC meeting.

    Consumer Confidence

    *Up from 96.3 in Dec.

    ReplyDelete
  47. With Trump dropping out of the Faux News debate, one wonders ...
    Will he do an hour interview with NBC in that time slot?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Or, more likely, a telethon for the Wounded Warriors ..

      It is said that 'talks' are in the works.

      Delete
  48. The committee checking the qualifications of candidates for Iran's Assembly of Experts, a body which selects the country's supreme leader, announced Tuesday that it had disqualified Hassan Khomeini, grandson of the founder of the Islamic republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, due to what it called lack of sufficient knowledge in religious matters. The committee had already disqualified 3,000 candidates for parliament.
    The 43-year-old Khomeini, who had kept his distance from politics for years and waited for the right time to enter politics, announced his candidacy recently after being recruited by former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani.
    The disqualification is the latest blow to US President Obama and supporters of Tehran's nuclear deal with Western powers who had expressed hope that the agreement would lead to victory by reformists, who are secretly supported by President Hassan Rouhani, in the February 26 election for the parliament and the Assembly of Experts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are morons around here who say with a straight face that Iran is a democracy.

      Delete
  49. The Donald is making a mistake by not showing up at the last debate.

    First real mistake I've seen him make.

    (if I am correct of course, but he's the guy with the 33% of the vote in Iowa :) )

    ReplyDelete
  50. And further, Quirk, knock off your shit about calling other people 'fascists' on no evidence whatsoever.

    This is supposed to be a forum of high intellectual debate.

    You are running it into the gutter.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If we were to go back into Iraq, which I've argued against, McCain's idea and Senator Graham's idea of 10 to 20 thousand troops is absurd.

      Before the Surge our numbers were around 150 thousand. The Surge put that up to somewhere near 200 thousand.

      To get real control of Sunni Iraq that is the numbers that ought to be talked about, if not more.

      And for a long long time.

      Shove your bullshit up your asshole, Quirk.

      Delete
    2. .

      This is supposed to be a forum of high intellectual debate.


      :o)

      Stop it. You're killing me.

      .

      Delete
    3. Do English majors study irony?

      Delete
  51. from Hot Air -

    CBO: 2016 ObamaCare enrollment to fall short of projections by … 8 million

    Jan 26, 2016 8:01 PM by Ed Morrissey
    27 Comments »
    Missed it by 40%.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. from American Thinker -

      CBO: Estimates of Obamacare sign-ups 40% lower than expected - 1/26/16
      Fewer plan options and double-digit premium increases are keeping people away in droves.
      More

      Delete
  52. BREAKING NEWS: Ammon Bundy arrested with three fellow militiamen after 'two people were shot' at site of Oregon stand-off
    Bundy was the leader of the group occupying the government building
    They took over the property in Burns, Oregon, more than 3 weeks ago

    By Dailymail.com Reporter and Associated Press

    Published: 21:10 EST, 26 January 2016 | Updated: 21:10 EST, 26 January 2016

    The head of the militia group occupying a government building in Oregon has been arrested, reports claim.

    Ammon Bundy was one of four militiamen to be detained by the FBI on Tuesday evening after shots were fired on the premises, according to Oregon Live.

    Two people were shot, the report claims.

    It comes more than three weeks after Bundy and his associates took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon, to protest the incarceration of two ranchers who started fire on federal land.



    Ammon Bundy has allegedly been arrested with three of his militiamen three weeks after taking over a government building in Oregon He is pictured, left, approaching an FBI gate at the Burns airport on Friday


    Ammon Bundy has allegedly been arrested with three of his militiamen three weeks after taking over a government building in Oregon He is pictured, left, approaching an FBI gate at the Burns airport on Friday

    Frustrated local and state officials have been increasingly urging the FBI to do something to resolve the situation.



    Bundy and his group have held frequent news conferences at the site, travelled to meet with sympathizers and others to espouse their views and some even attended a community meeting last week, where local residents shouted at them to leave.

    Federal authorities have taken a hands-off approach so far and say they want a peaceful resolution.

    Bundy has been in contact with an FBI negotiator and local law enforcement.

    On Friday Bundy went to the Burns Municipal Airport, where the FBI has set up a staging area, and met briefly with a federal agent.

    Bundy left because the agent wouldn't talk with him in front of the media. Sieges by federal authorities in the early 1990s led to deadly standoffs in at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and Waco, Texas.



    The group took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on January 2 after a peaceful protest in nearby Burns, Oregon, over the conviction of two local ranchers on arson charges.

    Dwight Hammond, 73, and his son Steven Hammond, 46, said they lit fires on federal land in 2001 and 2006 to reduce the growth of invasive plants and protect their property from wildfires.

    The two were convicted three years ago and served time — the father three months, the son one year.

    But in October, a federal judge in Oregon ruled their terms were too short under U.S. law and ordered them back to prison for about four years each. Among the demands by the Bundy group is for the Hammonds to be released.

    The alleged arrests on Tuesday come after an Army veteran was arrested for a DUI while he was heading to join the militia occupying federal land in Oregon.

    Joseph Arthur Stetson, 54, was caught on camera threatening to kill cops on Monday as he was driving to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3418491/Ammon-Bundy-arrested-three-fellow-militiamen-shots-fired-Oregon-stand-off.html#ixzz3yPP9yHhT


    We had been thinking of driving down there but it's been too cold.

    Probably both sides will claim the other side started it.

    "Never give a rifle to a melancholy bore."

    W.H. Auden

    That includes, or should include, both irate ranchers and Government Agents. And all melancholy rats in general.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      The report I just read on Comcast said 1 dead.

      Is there anyone who didn't see this coming?

      .

      Delete
  53. Asylum seekers arriving in Denmark will have cash and valuables worth more than $2,000 taken from them at the border under controversial new laws adopted by the country's parliament overnight.

    ...

    The bill, presented by the right-wing minority government of Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, was approved by a huge majority of 81 of the 109 MPs present, as members of the opposition Social Democrats backed the measures.

    ...

    Mr Rasmussen has shrugged off the criticism, seemingly more concerned with opinion polls showing that 70 per cent of Danes rank immigration as their top political concern.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      The new 'Frisk and Nick' policy.

      .

      Delete
  54. Highlights

    Consumer spending may not be that strong but consumer confidence is solid, at 98.1* in January and more than 2 points over the Econoday consensus. The assessment of the current jobs market is favorable with only 23.4 percent describing jobs as hard to get. This is a low percentage for this reading and down more than 1 percentage point from December. But improvement here is offset by a dip in those describing jobs as currently plentiful, down 1.4 percentage points to 22.8 percent. The mix of job readings as well as little change in the description of business conditions made for no change in the present situation component, at 116.4 for both December and January.

    Confidence is less striking on the expectations side of the report where the component nevertheless is up nearly 3 points to 85.9. Confidence in the outlook for income is solid with optimists out in front of pessimists by 18.1 vs 10.8 percent which is wide for this reading. There's also a bit less pessimism over the jobs outlook though more still see fewer jobs opening up than those who see more jobs ahead, at 16.5 vs 13.2 percent.

    Buying plans are positive with autos, homes, and appliances all gaining. Expectations for interest rates, in a reflection of Federal Reserve policy, have been increasing noticeably with an outsized 72.4 percent of the sample seeing gains ahead. For the stock market, fewer see increases ahead and more see selling but the results are muted compared to the volatility the stock market is currently suffering.

    This report, in fact, is a testament to the strength of the U.S. consumer who so far is resisting pressure from overseas weakness. One negative in the report, however, is another tick lower for inflation expectations, down 1 tenth to 4.8 percent which is very low for this reading and is certain to be a topic of discussion at this week's FOMC meeting.

    Consumer Confidence

    *Up from 96.3 in Dec.

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  55. Italy's Prime Minister has been accused of "surrendering" the country's cultural identity, after ordering the cover up of ancient nude statues to avoid offending the visiting Iranian President.

    ...

    Mr Renzi met with similar criticism last year when he covered up nude pictures in the renaissance town hall of Florence — the city where he used to be mayor — on the occasion of a visit by the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates.

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  56. At least 8 Hamas militants were killed digging underground tunnels after heavy rains northeast of Gaza City caused the tunnel to collapse, according to a report by Israel Radio citing Palestinian sources.

    Stormy weather led to the collapse of a tunnel in al-Tuffah, which is in northern Gaza. According to the media reports, the militants were killed during the tunnel's collapse and were buried alive.

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  57. .

    In the conversation above about my post that discussed keeping troops in Afghanistan past 2017, in fact, keeping them there for a very long time,

    Idaho BobTue Jan 26, 09:12:00 PM EST

    You are taking great liberty with what I've been 'touting'.

    You know well what I've touted and have not touted.



    Well, I thought I did.

    Please, tell me where I went wrong.

    Haven't you suggested we stay longer in Afghanistan?

    Haven't you indicated it was for the sake of the women there if nothing else?

    There are approx. 10,000 troops there now. Obama was going to pull half of the out by the time he left office and all were to be out at the end of 2017. The article I posted indicated he might postpone those decisions and leave it up to the next guy/gal.

    Even if Obama was able to negotiate keeping some troops in Iraq after 2011, something the facts don't support, surely you don't think he would have been able to keep more than 10,000 do you?

    If that's the case, you should be happy as a pig eating shit that Obama will be keeping the troops in Afghanistan. It will prove your point. And with any luck at all it should improve the lives of all the women there just as you predicted.

    Hot damn, it's what you and McCain and the others have been calling for.

    .

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