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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Background on the Neocon coup d’état and the Failure of the U.S. Intelligence Agencies and U.S.Media

What has changed?

July 22nd, 2004

Dreyfuss Endorses Taliban Plan for Peace



Bob Dreyfuss

May 21, 2009
For a long time now, Obama advisers and administration officials have been repeating the idea that the Taliban and its allies in Afghanistan and Pakistan won’t negotiate a deal because they think they’re winning. 
Now, thanks to the New York Times, we know that’s not true.
The Taliban is negotiating. And from the brilliant Times piece today by Dexter Filkins, we also know that what they’re asking for isn’t unreasonable. Here’s the bottom line:
The first demand was an immediate pullback of American and other foreign forces to their bases, followed by a cease-fire and a total withdrawal from the country over the next 18 months. Then the current government would be replaced by a transitional government made up of a range of Afghan leaders, including those of the Taliban and other insurgents. Americans and other foreign soldiers would be replaced with a peacekeeping force drawn from predominantly Muslim nations, with a guarantee from the insurgent groups that they would not attack such a force. Nationwide elections would follow after the Western forces left.
If that’s what the Taliban asking for, then the Taliban and the Dreyfuss Report are in precise agreement. Not on philosophy, of course. I hate the Taliban and everything they stand for. But it’s time for a deal.
Unless you think that sending Zal Khalilzad to Afghanistan to run the country as President Karzai’s CEO is a good idea. (If you think that’s a good idea, then maybe you’d propose sending Richard Perle to be Iraq’s CEO, Douglas Feith to be Israel’s CEO, and — why not? — pick a neoconservative to be king of Saudi Arabia, too. King Michael Ledeen? None of these ideas are stupider than Khalilzad as Afghan CEO.)
FIlkins’ piece — which you have to read in its entirety — says that the talks involve top leaders of the Taliban and its allies, including warlords Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Sirajuddin Haqqani, all of whom have had representatives involves in talks with Karzai et al.:
While the talks have been under way for months, they have accelerated since Mr. Obama took office…. 
The talks under way now appear to be directed not at individual bands of antigovernment insurgents — the strategy suggested by President Obama — but at the leaders of the large movements.
And Karzai’s spokesman officially endorsed the talks:
Afghan officials said they welcomed the talks. “The government has kept all channels of communication open,” said Homayun Hamidzada, a spokesman for Mr. Karzai. “This includes the Taliban and Hekmatyar.”
There’s no question that such talks are difficult. But the Times piece underscores the vastly different approach between (1) escalating the war, sending tens of thousands more US troops in, and developing a village-by-village counterinsurgency effort, and (2) offering to exchange a pullout of US forces for a deal. 
Part of the solution lies in the United States working closely with conservative, even pro-Taliban forces in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan’s Sharif brothers, who are very close to the Saudis, have already taken the lead in setting up Taliban talks with Karzai’s brother and other Afghan officials. 
Part of the solution involves persuading India, Iran, and Russia — who supported the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance — to accept the notion of a coalition government in Kabul. The United States might have to use some political capital with those three countries, and others, to bring them in. 
But it’s clear, now, that the Obama mantra — that we can’t talk to the Taliban until we’ve gotten the upper hand militarily — is both wrong-headed and false. (2009!)

THE MALIGNANCY OF THE ISRAELI LOBBY ON THE US BODY POLITIC:

The only US politician running for President that is not a Neocon is Bernie Sanders. Trump is a wild card. The Israeli Lobby will not be able to have its way with Sanders as they have with Clinton, Cruz and Rubio. What follows is another interview from 2009: 




117 comments:

  1. Why do US politicians not place America First?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Why negotiate from a position of weakness when we could build our forces up and negotiate from a position of strength ?--


    "It's the war we have to win, the necessary war" our Commander in Chief - old us all.

    ReplyDelete
  3. GWB said "I believe the role of the military is to fight and win war and, therefore, prevent war from happening."

    Boobie and Dubya, two birds of a feather. 

    ReplyDelete
  4. Who should we trust? Obama fooled me, then he betrayed me. It is better to admit you've been fooled and reorient yourself than keep on pretending the Emperor is wearing clothes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How did Obama fool you? Did you grasp at the lofty rhetoric of home and change,

      Delete
    2. Youthful indiscretion.

      Delete
    3. Ah, you are older and wiser now. Is it Trump for POTUS for you now?

      Delete
    4. .

      Get specific Freda; otherwise, you are wasting pixels.

      .

      Delete
    5. You waste an immense amount of pixels, Quirk.

      Whom do you support for President ?

      At this point I'm for Trump.

      First and middle name not required, to save pixels.

      Delete
  5. An interesting look at current US politics :

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/02/26/opinion/the-governing-cancer-of-our-time.html

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ah another day, another slew of Israel hating crackpots...

    LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. America first really distresses the Neocons and Israeli Firsters,

      Delete
    2. Deuce, you as a Iranian Firster now feel you have the right to tell patriotic Americans what is right and wrong?

      Your love of nations, Iran, hangs gays, stones women, and kidnaps people on a regular basis, tortures them and even murders them in custody, including Canadians, Americans and others..

      What say you?

      How can you live in America still?

      Delete
    3. I can calculate the cost of the US obsequious relationship with Israel. I cannot find anything that Israel has ever done for the US, its citizens or for anyone else that is not Jewish, that it has not been paid for.

      Help us out. What has Israel relationship done for the US as opposed to what the relationship has done to us?

      Delete
    4. The numbers speak for themselves.

      Delete
    5. I didn’t serve in the Iranian military. I served in the US Air Force for seven years. Who did you serve with?

      Delete
    6. I signed up with Selective Service.

      Many who served, like you, have dual loyalties.

      As you said, 99% of this nation are assholes since they didn't serve.

      But like it or not?

      Your serving does not make you any more of an American than I.

      Delete
    7. At 17, I voluntarily held up my right hand and took an oath to serve and defend the USA at 401 North Nroad Stree in Philadelphia.

      From 19 to 21, I served on one strategic nuclear SAC base and two tactical nuclearTAC bases, all three could have been terminated with 10 minutes notice.

      At 20 I was in Da Nang Viet Nam.

      At 21 I was back on a TAC base and watched US airman painting out the US insignia off of F-4 Phantoms and send them to the Israeli Air Force. Three months later the Israeli Air Force killed and wounded over 125 US servicemen.

      I understood why the Viet Cong was killing US servicemen. So did most everyone else that served there. I never met anyone who served in the US military that understood the Israeli murder of US servicemen to be anything other than a cowardly attack that needed to be answered in kind.

      You keep your team. I’ll keep mine

      Delete
    8. I’m glad that you did not break the law and not sign up for selective service. Had you not signed up, you could have received jail time. Shining up for selective service was hardly an act of patriotism. It was required by US law.

      Delete
  7. The numbers speak for themselves and what they say is contrary to Deuce and his collection of zionist hating trolls..

    Freeman is famous for his accusations of Israeli genocides of the palestinians..

    And yet the fact remains.

    2200 palestnians killed in the last war... over 1/2 were terrorists (or freedom fighters if you must)

    In the last 40 months? 360,000 dead in syria, including over 10,000 palestinians by fellow arab (and persian) hands.

    now counting up the total for dead moslems from libya, niger, yemen, iran, iraq, lebanon, syria and others?

    the numbers are in the millions....

    compare that to the cliff the Israelis are driving over with their "genocide" in gaza.


    kinda makes you laugh if it wasn't so sick....


    The Jew hating, Israel bashing, Zionist trashing crowd so so fast to point their bony fingers at Israel, while ignoring the THOUSANDS a month killed by America, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah and other across the globe who share the pride and love for ALLAH...

    LOL

    ReplyDelete
  8. If the Israeli's were 1/50th of as bad as Deuce and her critics claim?

    Why is the death toll so low?

    Today there has been a 530% increase in the number of arabs that live in gaza and the west bank since 1967..

    Yeah I said it 530% INCREASE, at the same time? The rest of the arab oppressed middle east has seen almost a complete cleansing of every Jew in the other 899/900th of the lands...

    Yeah maybe Israel should be as bad as America, Syria, Iran, Russia (and others) and create a stampede of palestinians to flee gaza and the west bank for all parts Europe?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Meanwhile, Income and Spending were Up 0.5% in January,

    and the smartest military campaign in my lifetime continues to push ISIS back toward Mosul - where they will be penned up and killed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You really have no clue about ISIS and the role Sunni Islam has to play in all this?

      Delete
  10. WiO, is your goal to have Judea and Samaria considered part of Israel by rest of the world?

    I do find it interesting that you are the first to inject Israel into the discussion today.

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  11. If Assad had been removed it would have left Syria like Libya and Iraq, which of course suits the west and Israel. For the rest of us, there is some good news from Syria at long last. Proof if any were needed that Cameron, Obama, etc need to keep out of issues they don’t understand and let Assad and Putin get on with sorting this mess out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While I agree the locals should be left to sort out their mess I find it puzzling that you think Putin is somehow qualified but Obama and Cameron aren't.

      Delete
    2. The Russians were invited. Who in the Syrian Government invited the US or UK?

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    3. Thank you!!!

      Delete
    4. May parties in the region have asked for US help to further their goals. Heck, just about any player in the region will 'invite' help.

      Saying Assad invited Putin to help is disingenuous like asserting that the Assad government is the legitimate government of Syria.

      Delete
    5. Under whose laws is Assad not head of the “legitimate" government of Syria?

      Delete
    6. It revolves around what one considers a legitimate government to be. You seem to be operating on the principle that since Assad once ruled all of Syria he currently represents the legitimate government of Syria. Do you believe the Kim dynasty is the legitimate government of North Korea? While Kim does rule the North and Assad still rules part of Syria neither of these facts imply legitimacy other than in a very narrow sense, and that legitimacy does not earn either hereditary dictator the right to military support from outside powers.

      Delete
    7. It is the UN, and its subsidiaries, Ash, which considers Assad to be the legitimate government of Syria.

      You know, folks like the International Criminal Court, international organizations that you have supported wholeheartedly in the past.

      If their considerations are now not to be considered 'legitimate' when should they be?

      Delete

    8. And, yes, the government of NorK is as 'legitimate' as the government of Israel controlling the West Bank and Gaza.

      Delete
    9. They are legitimate only in the narrow sense you mention. Syria is in civil war. Assad is only the legitimate ruler of a part of Syria now (using your measure of legitimacy ) in any case the legitimacy they have doesn't rise to level that deserve outside power to maintain or extend their rule.

      Delete

    10. Sure it does, Ash.
      The Assad government asked for help in combating foreign terrorists, the Russians are providing that assistance.

      That you object, does not amount to a hill of beans.

      You have no vote in the UN, do you?
      No say as to what legitimacy is.

      Delete
  12. ROBERT FISK HAS AN INTERESTING TAKE ON PUTIN AND SYRIA

    Syria civil war: State-of-the-art technology gives President Assad’s army the edge

    | Middle East | News | The Independent

    You can see the Syrian army’s spanking new Russian T-90 tanks lined up in their new desert livery scarcely 100 miles from Isis’s Syrian “capital” of Raqqa.

    There are new Russian-made trucks alongside them, and a lot of artillery and – surely Isis’s spies are supposed to see this – plenty of Syrian soldiers walking beside the perimeter wire beside Russian soldiers wearing floppy military hats against the sun, the kind they used in the old days in the summer heat of Afghanistan in the 1980s. There’s even a Russian general based at the Isriyah military base, making sure that Syrian tank crews receive the most efficient training on the T-90s.

    No, Russian ground troops are not going to fight Isis. That was never the intention. The Russian air force attacks Isis from the air; the Syrians, the Iranians, the Afghan Shia Muslims from north-eastern Afghanistan, the Iraqi Shias and several hundred Pakistani Shias must attack Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra on the ground.

    But the Russians have to be up in the desert to the east of the Aleppo-Hama-Homs-Damascus axis, both to train the Syrian tank crews and maintain an eastern base of forward air controllers to guide the Sukhoi bombers on to their night-time targets.
    Everyone on the Syrian front lines will tell you that the Syrian air force bombs its enemies only in clear weather. When the winter clouds descend and the rain falls across northern and eastern Syria, the Russians take over.


    “The Syrians are low enough to see – the Russians, when they come, you never see them,” as one constant visitor to the war fronts put it with military simplicity. No wonder senior Russian officers are now also attached to the Syrian army command in Aleppo. Vladimir Putin doesn’t do things by halves.

    Russian warplanes fly in the sky over the Mediterranean coastal city of Latakia, Syria
    Yet the most important military support the Russians have given to the Syrians is not the tanks – impressive though they look – but the technology that goes with them.

    Syrian officers have been shown how the new T-90 anti-missile system causes rockets to veer off course only yards from the tanks when fired directly at them. Is this the weapon that might defeat the mass rocket assaults of Isis and Nusra? Perhaps. Even more important for the Syrians, however, are the new Russian night-vision motion sensors, and the electronic surveillance-reconnaissance equipment which enabled the government army to smash through the Nusra defences in the mountainous far north-west of Syria, breaking the rebel supply lines from Turkey to Aleppo.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Deuce ☂Sun Feb 28, 11:11:00 AM EST
    I can calculate the cost of the US obsequious relationship with Israel. I cannot find anything that Israel has ever done for the US, its citizens or for anyone else that is not Jewish, that it has not been paid for.

    Help us out. What has Israel relationship done for the US as opposed to what the relationship has done to us?



    Deuce, we have explained this, but you refuse to listen. You have such a hatred for Jews and Israel you are blind to anything that is said that is contrary to your beliefs. What is amazing is how you still hide your hatred of Israel, Jews and Zionism to your "friends" that are Jews...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Notice that "O"rdure avoids answering the quetion, yet again.

      He is acting like it is "Groundhog Day", all over again.

      {;-)

      Delete

    2. "O"rdure's lack of specificity does validate the content of the site, though.

      Thanks, "O"rdure, for all the support you provide in proving the primary posters correct.

      Delete
    3. Jack "The fake Warrior" Hawkins.....

      Since you are using what little of your life is left to study the previous posts, I don't doubt you have the ability to find the answers I have given a dozen time IF IT SUIT your purpose.

      No lack of "specificity" needed when it's been down countless times..

      Only a fool would jump at you or deuce's command..

      Is that why your wife left you with your only child? She wasn't a fool?

      Delete
  14. Strikes in Syria

    Attack, ground attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted eight strikes in Syria:

    -- Near Tal Abyad, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL building.

    -- Near Hawl, five strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL buildings and an ISIL vehicle bomb.

    -- Near Raqqah, a strike destroyed an ISIL excavator.

    -- Near Hasakah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL building.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 14 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Baghdadi, two strikes destroyed an ISIL front end loader and an ISIL vehicle bomb.

    -- Near Fallujah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Kirkuk, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

    -- Near Kisik, a strike suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

    -- Near Mosul, seven strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL assembly areas, five ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle bomb facility, an ISIL weapons storage facility and suppressed an ISIL mortar position and two ISIL rocket fire positions.

    -- Near Qayyarah, a strike produced inconclusive results.

    -- Near Ramadi, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Robert McNamara got a lot of my friends and classmates killed. Obama isn't getting anyone's friends and classmates killed (unless they're fighting for ISIS.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You and McNamara regularly trot out statistics to demonstrate how the a US is winning. How'd that work out for assessing success in Vietnam?

      Delete
  16. We had 500,000 Troops in Vietnam, and 56,000 of them were killed.

    We have 3,600 advisors in Iraq, and None of them have been killed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There was that one E-8 amigo.

      But on the whole you are correct.
      The US is following the path that Mr McNamara discarded, in the Vietnam War.

      That Ash does not realize it, no fault of yours.

      Delete
    2. In both cases detailed recitation of military statistics tells us very little about the success of 'winning' the war for the hearts and minds of the people.

      Delete
    3. The success can be seen in the local forces in Iraq taking part in the battle against the Islamic State. The Sunni, Shia and Kurdish militias that are being mobilized.

      The fact that the government, with the support of the militias have taken Ramadi, are pressuring Fallujah and Mosul.

      That in Syria the Islamic State is being pressured by the Syian Army and the Kurdish and Sunni Arab militias of the YPG. Those forces have closed the Islamic State's supply lines to Turkey and are now closing on Isis’s Syrian “capital” of Raqqa.

      Step by step the Caliphate in Iraq and Syria is shrinking.
      That in Libya the terrorists have taken down the al-Qeada banner and raised the flag of the Islamic State, not indicative of any change on the ground, but a change in their marketing and propaganda.

      Their numbers in Libya, reasonably static at around 5,000 fighters.
      No match for for the 1,400 M1 Abrams tanks the US has supplied the Egyptian Army.
      That Libya no longer projects terrorist attacks into Europe, as it did in the Qaddafi era, a plus for US.

      Delete
  17. I don't consider 56,000 Dead Americans a "statistic."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too fucking bad because it is, by definition.

      Delete

    2. A statistic that proves that Mr Obama's policy is to be much preferred, over that of LBJ.

      Delete

    3. Much preferred over the policy prescriptions of Lyndsey Graham, Marc Rubio, Ted Cruz or Chris Christie.

      Delete
    4. "During the Vietnam War, McNamara employed a strategic method he had successfully used during his days at Ford where he created data points for every element of production and quantified everything in a ruthless fashion to improve efficiency and production. One of the main metrics he used to evaluate progress and inform strategy was body counts. “Things you can count, you ought to count,” claimed McNamara, “loss of life is one.”

      The problem with this method was that the Vietnam war was characterised by the unmeasurable chaos of human conflict not the definable production of parts on a factory assembly line. Things spun out of control as McNamara’s statistical method failed to take into account numerous unseen variables and the public turned against US involvement in the war through acultural outcry that would change the country. Although on paper America was ‘winning’ the war, ultimately they lost it."


      http://chronotopeblog.com/2015/04/04/the-mcnamara-fallacy-and-the-problem-with-numbers-in-education/

      Delete

    5. That is a peripheral, Ash.

      What he really did, was to increase the size of the US presence, from a few advisers to over 500,000 troops.

      He acquiesced to the coup that led to the downfall of the legitimate government of South Vietnam, and prompted a series of military dictators following their US masters to defeat.

      He, like you, thought he knew what was 'best' for those pesky foreigners and could determine who was their legitimate leader and who was not...

      Delete

    6. He took the control of South Vietnam away from the Vietnamese in Saigon and transferred it to Washington DC.

      That is the real story of Robert McNamara and Vietnam, not his use of analytic statistics.

      Delete

    7. His greatest failure, he knew his policies were a failure, and then doubled down on them.

      Delete
    8. He, like me? You got that flat out wrong. I've been consistent in advocating that we let the locals sort it out. It is you m who have consistently urged that the US military sort it out for a whole host of countries ranging from advocating the US invade Iraq and rolling on to Syria and now in favor of continued bombing in the middle East. You talk out of both sides of your mouth.

      Delete

    9. The list goes on almost in the fashion of a litany. The secretary of defense was a key figure in decisions to escalate the war between 1961 and 1965, and he readily concedes that the assumptions upon which he and his colleagues acted were badly flawed. They approached Vietnam, he recalls, with "sparse knowledge, scant experience and simplistic assumptions." Victims of their own "innocence and confidence," they foolishly viewed communism as monolithic, knew nothing about Indochina, and were "simple-minded" regarding the historical relationship between China and Vietnam. They badly misjudged Ho Chi Minh's nationalism and consistently overestimated South Vietnam's ability to survive. Regarding the key decisions of 1965, he admits he should have anticipated that bombing North Vietnam would lead to requests for ground troops. He concedes there should have been a public debate on the July 1965 decision for war. Over and over he acknowledges that he should have examined the unexamined assumptions, asked the unasked questions, and explored the readily dismissed alternatives.

      McNamara was the primary war manager for both John F. Kennedy and Johnson, and here too he admits error. He concedes a lack of candor in his reports to the public, ...

      As to why the failure occurred, McNamara draws two conclusions. One, commonly cited by beleaguered top officials, is a "blizzard of problems" that left no time to think. Of the crucial decisions to escalate in 1964, for example, he writes that "we were left harried, overburdened, and holding a map with only one road on it. Eager to get moving, we never stopped to explore fully whether there were other routes to our destination."


      https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/review-essay/1995-05-01/wrong-kind-loyalty-mcnamaras-apology-vietnam

      Delete

    10. McNamara recognized earlier than most of his colleagues that the war was not winnable. Tragically, however, he refused to act decisively on his convictions, and perhaps the most serious issue raised by his memoir involves his handling of his own steadily growing doubts. He readily admits -- as has long been known -- that his "sense of the war gradually shifted from concern to skepticism to frustration to anguish. I had always been confident that every problem could be solved, but now I found myself confronting one -- involving national pride and human life -- that could not." McNamara recognized earlier than most of his colleagues that the war was not winnable. Tragically, however, he refused to act decisively on his convictions, and perhaps the most serious issue raised by his memoir involves his handling of his own steadily growing doubts. He readily admits -- as has long been known -- that his "sense of the war gradually shifted from concern to skepticism to frustration to anguish. I had always been confident that every problem could be solved, but now I found myself confronting one -- involving national pride and human life -- that could not."

      Delete

    11. While desperately exploring presumably less costly and destructive alternatives, such as the bombing halt and peace offensive of late 1965 and a shift of focus to pacification and the McNamara line in 1966, he continued to give in piecemeal to military proposals for escalation.

      Delete

    12. It is you, Ash, who has declared that the government of Syria is not legitimate.
      Just as McNamara presided over the coup that toppled President Diem of South Vietnam.

      The analogy is clear and forth right.

      Delete

    13. You both have given yourselves more authority than the ICC would allow.

      Delete
    14. You have logical problems Jack - saying that Assad's government lacks legitimacy does not equate to advocating the US should attack.

      Delete

    15. The reasoning for the US to attack Syria, Ash, is the claim that Assad is not the legitimate leader of Syria.

      You support the position that Assad is not legitimate.
      Moving US one step closer to justifying US involvement

      Delete
  18. .

    Iran election: Reformists win all 30 Tehran seats

    Allies of Iran's reformist President Hassan Rouhani have won a landslide victory in Tehran, in the first parliamentary vote since Iran signed a nuclear deal with world powers.
    With 90% of the votes counted, the pro-Rouhani List of Hope is set to take all 30 parliamentary seats in the capital.

    The leading conservative candidate Gholamali Haddad-Adel is in 31st place.

    Millions voted on Friday to elect the 290-seat parliament as well as members of the Assembly of Experts.

    The 88-member assembly appoints Iran's Supreme Leader and might end up choosing a successor to Ayatollah Khamenei, who is 76 and has suffered ill-health.

    Early results gave former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a moderate conservative, and Mr Rouhani the most votes for the assembly, which is composed of mostly elder and senior clerics.


    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35681250

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. "Counterfeit Bob" has already denounced those results as "meaningless", paraphrasing his response.

      He is now a self-proclaimed expert on Iranian politics.

      Delete
    2. .

      Analysis: Lyse Doucet, BBC News international correspondent

      This stunning election result will make a difference in Iran's engagement with the wider world.

      President Rouhani's hand has been strengthened in parliament to help open his country to greater trade and investment. That will help him, and others in his reformist camp, to deepen the dialogue with the West, which began with negotiations on a landmark nuclear deal.

      But much of this opening will continue to be with Europe, rather than the US. Iran's relationship with America is still complex and controversial.

      Iran's ambitions in the region are also deeply rooted - it has strategic interests in countries like Syria, Iraq and Lebanon as well as Afghanistan, and a strong sense of its right to remain engaged. These are areas where Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards and its conservative Supreme leader hold sway.

      But Iran wants to be regarded as an equal partner, able to sit at the world's top tables to work on common threats like the so-called Islamic State. President Rouhani's team may now feel empowered to engage a bit more, more often.
      ________________________________________

      The parliamentary result in Tehran is significant because lawmakers from the capital usually determine the political direction of the house, analysts say.

      However, reformists look to have done less well in constituencies outside the capital.


      Image copyright AP Image caption The economy has been a key issue in these elections
      Mr Rouhani said on Saturday that the election gave the government more credibility and clout.

      "The competition is over. It's time to open a new chapter in Iran's economic development based on domestic abilities and international opportunities," the official Irna news agency quoted him as saying.

      "The people showed their power once again and gave more credibility and strength to their elected government."

      Voting was extended three times on Friday as crowds reportedly flocked to polling stations. Turnout was more than 60%.

      Reformists, who want better relations with the outside world and more freedoms at home, were hoping to gain influence in the conservative-dominated bodies.

      But of 12,000 people who registered as candidates, only half were allowed to stand, including just 200 moderates.

      This was the first election to be held since last year's deal between Iran and world powers over the country's nuclear programme and the lifting of sanctions.

      BBC Persian's Ali Hamedani says the economy was a key issue in the process. With sanctions lifted and Western investors beginning to return to Iran, there are high hopes for an improvement in daily life, he says.

      Reformists and moderates say they are targeting greater foreign investment which, our correspondent says, will create jobs for young people.


      .

      Delete
    3. Perhaps it was a 'good thing' that there were so few 'moderates' as the apparent lack of candidates allowed for a consolidation of support.

      While the 'conservative' vote was split 11,800 ways.

      Delete
    4. On second reading that should have been ...

      ...5,800 ways ...

      Delete
    5. Bob speaks truth to the retarded like you.....

      He is correct.

      Iran is not a free nation in any way, except if you want to stone women, hang gays or supply weapons to Jew hating terrorists...

      but you'd fit right at home there Jack?

      Or should we call you by your real name?

      eh Jack "Stolen Valor" Hawkins?

      I wonder would deuce put up with you if he really KNEW who you were?

      Delete
    6. Israel’s arrogance is only exceeded by its remarkable capacity for deceit.

      Here's a Country with WMD, its sinister hands all over the media and the emotional development of a very sneaky, snotty and selfish little brat that has no friends just hostages.

      When Jews finally find the courage to confront Israel’s dark and diabolic truths takes responsibility and heals themselves with out manipulating blame elsewhere we might know Peace.


      http://www.alternet.org/comments/activism/brian-eno-oscars-swag-bag-part-israels-cultural-propaganda-campaign#disqus_thread

      Delete
  19. Replies

    1. Killed by a US Army Staff Sergent, a Pentagon number cruncher.

      Delete
    2. Was number crunchy Galopn2?

      Delete
  20. Security forces prepare to storm Heet and Kabisa, give residents 48 hours to leave

    (IraqiNews.com) Anbar – The spokesman of the Emergency Regiment of Anbar police First Lieutenant Saud Harb Obeidi revealed, that the security forces are preparing to storm Heet and Kabisa Districts, while called the people of Heet and Kabisa Districts to leave their areas during the coming 48 hours.

    Obeidi said in a press statement followed by IraqiNews.com, “The security forces advanced to the entrances of Heet and Kabisa areas and informed the residents through loudspeakers and leaflets to leave their towns and stay away from ISIS gatherings.”

    Obeidi added, “The security forces completed all the needed preparations to storm Heet and Kabisa, after mobilizing military and police forces in all axes backed by the tribal fighters and emergency police regiments, as well as international coalition aviation.”

    Feelin' the Heet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      There goes 2 more towns.

      The word of the day: 'rubbleized'

      .

      Delete
    2. ISIS Baghdad strikes kill 87 Iraqi security officers, Shiites
      DEBKAfile February 28, 2016, 7:37 PM (IDT)
      In its worst Baghdad assaults for months, ISIS forces Sunday seized Iraqi military positions in Abu Ghraib on the western outskirts of Baghdad, killing at least 17 troops; and sent two suicide bombers on booby-trapped motorbikes to blow up the Shiite district, killing 70 people and injuring at least 100. The Abu Ghraib assault, launched by jihadists driving Humvees and pickup trucks with fixed machine guns, put the Iraq forces to retreat for several hours. Iraqi army helicopters were finally brought in to bombardi them.


      Yeah, them ISIS are really going away quietly

      Delete
    3. Since all sides of the Syrian, Iraqi, Hezbollah, Iranian & Russia are all shits?

      it's the same record day after day...

      But don't let that interfere with your claims of genocides by the Israelis...

      LOL

      Bomb Bomb Bomb, that's what America does... And others...

      Delete

    4. The Iraqi Security forces are not the US Army.
      Iraq is an Iraqi problem, they are handling it, themselves.

      Delete
  21. FROM THE GUARDIAN:

    Hardliners in Iran have been dealt a humiliating blow after reformist-backed candidates in Friday’s hard-fought elections appeared on course for a sweeping victory in Tehran, with a combination of moderates and independents sympathetic to President Hassan Rouhani leading in provinces.

    A coalition of candidates supported by the reformists, dubbed “the list of hope”, is likely to take all of the capital’s 30 parliamentary seats, according to the latest tally released by the interior ministry, in surprising results seen as a strong vote of confidence in Rouhani’s moderate agenda. Mohammad Reza Aref, a committed reformist who has a degree from Stanford University in the US, is at the top of the list.

    Preliminary results for the Assembly of Experts, which is responsible for appointing the next supreme leader, showed Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a key Rouhani ally, leading the race. Elections to the assembly are usually a lacklustre event but have attracted huge attention this time because of the age of the current leader, 76-year-old Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    Khamenei and Rafsanjani, a prominent pragmatist who was not allowed to run for president in 2013, have been at odds in recent years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When there are Iranians elected officials that can call of the changing of Iran from a "islamist" nation to a secular nation without being executed, when an Iranian official can call for relations with Israel as the Jewish state and call the Iranians Islamic republic a fascist regime WITHOUT being killed?

      Then you will have progress...

      Til then?

      Puppet show.

      Delete
    2. Pork Rinds for YahwehSun Feb 28, 07:41:00 PM EST

      When there are Israeli elected officials that can call of the changing of Israel from a "jewish" nation to a secular nation without being executed, when an Israeli official can call for relations with Iran as the Islamic state and call the Israeli Zionist regime a fascist regime WITHOUT being killed?

      Then you will have progress...

      Til then?

      Puppet show.

      Delete
  22. First Russian air strikes in 48 hours of Syrian truce
    DEBKAfile February 28, 2016, 10:38 PM (IDT)
    Following day-long reports that the Syrian truce was more or less holding on its second day Sunday, It turned out that Russian forces had carried out air and artillery strikes from early morning in the northern districts of Aleppo, Hama and Idlib.



    LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. You would think that attacks on al-Qeada operatives in Syria amounts to funny stuff.

      Delete
  23. THE NEOCONS ARE BETTING TRUMP WILL BE BAD FOR I-BUSINESS. HOW ABOUT THE EVANGELICAL SHILLS FOR THE I-TEAM?


    Many headlines trumpeting Donald Trump’s victory in the Nevada Republican caucuses credit voters’ anger with the federal government. But the real lesson of Trump’s rise is not about fury, but faith. Trump's momentum reveals that the conservative Christian voting bloc is a splintered remnant of the kingmaking machine it once was. And perhaps this is good news both for Trump for and the conservative Christian movement itself.

    To an outsider, conservative Christian support for these three candidates appears to be something of a draw. But no candidate has endured more resistance from prominent Christian leaders than The Donald. The editor of the leading evangelical magazine in America, Christianity Today, declared “Trump threatens to Trump the Gospel.” R.R. Reno, the editor of the conservative Catholic magazine First Things, warned America may be heading for a “Trumpaggedon.” Russell Moore, the political spokesperson for the 15-million member Southern Baptist Convention took to the opinion pages of The New York Times to dissuade evangelicals from supporting Trump.

    Again, such fierce opposition from so many evangelical leaders just three decades ago would have shipwrecked a Republican candidate for president. But not today.

    Though Ted Cruz won the heavily evangelical Iowa caucuses, his win was so narrow that Trump walked away with seven delgates to Cruz’s eight. In New Hampshire, Trump won a sweeping victory including among evangelical Christians. In South Carolina, Trump won a plurality of conservative Christian votes, beating out Rubio and Cruz yet again. And in Nevada, Trump captured four out of 10 evangelical voters—his best showing to date.

    Despite a torrent of resistance from conservative Christian leaders, Trump has managed to garner increasing support from evangelicals in the Midwest, West, Northeast, and even the Deep South.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/02/the-demise-of-conservative-christian-political-prominence/471093/

      Delete
  24. Writing in the Washington Post, foreign policy analyst Robert Kagan announced that he is through with the Republican Party. He has washed his hands of them.

    ...

    He was unhappy that Obama and the American public were retreating from the belief that the United States had a “global responsibility” to stay strong and lead the world, writing that:

    Unless Americans can be led back to an understanding of their enlightened self-interest, to see again how their fate is entangled with that of the world, then the prospects for a peaceful twenty-first century in which Americans and American principles can thrive will be bleak.

    ...

    The Times immediately followed up with another article by the editor of The National Interest, Jacob Heilbrunn, a fierce opponent of neo-conservatives and interventionism. He said Kagan and Secretary of State Clinton would be a perfect fit:

    Mrs. Clinton voted for the Iraq war; supported sending arms to Syrian rebels’ likened Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, to Adolf Hitler; wholeheartedly backs Israel; and stresses the importance of promoting democracy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jacks writings indicate he is firmly in the neoconservative camp.

      Delete
    2. Not at all, Ash.

      Jack is in the "Pragmatic" camp.
      The US is not about to withdraw fro the region, so Jack wants to see the smallest footprint possible.

      Delete
    3. You just hate the label - you have always argued that the US is exceptional and should police the world unfettered by international constraints (i.e. ICC)

      Delete
    4. No, Ash.

      I have always argued that the US should promote its National Interests, and should work with others around the globe that would assist US in advancing those interests.

      I have always objected to the US forfeiting its sovereignty to foreign or international entities.

      Delete
    5. So you don't think the US is exceptional? Everything else you wrote conforms to the neoconservative ideology.

      Delete
    6. No, the US is not especially exceptional.

      What is neoconservative ideology?
      Where is it defined, post a link to it.

      I always thought that direct US military intervention was a major component of 'neoconservatism', perhaps that is just a splinter group, aye?

      Delete
  25. Deuce ☂Sun Feb 28, 11:51:00 AM EST

    Under whose laws is Assad not head of the “legitimate" government of Syria?


    "Under the Laws of Reason and Reason's God" as the old saying had it.

    Who made him King but the barrel of a gun, finally ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Read this "Counterfeit Bob", it'll answer your question.

      http://www.danielpipes.org/191/the-alawi-capture-of-power-in-syria

      Of course by your remarks can we assume that you, like the Israeli would prefer al-Qeada taking power in Syria?

      Delete
  26. You got a real problem, Deuce.

    Hillary is going to be your party's nominee ?

    My suggestion:

    Buy a baggie and roll your own all night long.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Yo, Galopn2, how did today's ISIS killing of 70 odd folk in Iraq today figure into your calculus?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It validates the US support of the government elected by the "Purple Fingers of Freedom"

      Delete
    2. I figure there must be a war going on. Is that about what you figure?

      Delete
    3. Just trying to figure out your math - bed down locations versus 70 dead...

      Delete
    4. They send suicide bombers via motorcycle we send remote controlled bombs via remote control. You love to list our accomplishments - how does what they do fit your calculus?

      Delete

    5. Now is it you, ash, who is using the McNamara matrix of analytic analysis to justify your position ?

      Delete
    6. Ash, if they destroy a truck, they don't report the number of head-cutters in the truck. If they bomb a "bed-down location" they don't report on the number of ISIS "bedded down."

      They're bad guys, Ash. They had Iraq in a bad situation when we stepped in to help the government fight back.

      Delete
    7. Yeah Jack, I'm mocking you and Galopn2's analytic methods.

      Delete
    8. Ironically, we are helping the government that we installed ;)

      Delete

    9. Never saw where Jack used analytic methods.
      Perhaps you can indulge me and post a link or provide a quote.

      Delete
    10. Oh, sorry Jack, I must have misread you - here I thought you have been supporting Galopn2's metrics. My bad. You are on your own Rufus.

      Delete
    11. Jack throws Galopn2 under the bus - ouch!

      Delete
    12. I just read them, Ash, I do find them to be informative,

      Death by a thousand cuts ...

      The Russians are doing a much better job of it, though.
      Has the Israeli all in a tizzy.

      Delete
    13. Take the pot, Ash.

      There's no use in us arguing. I believe in what the U.S. is doing, and you have a deep-seated pathology against it. Have a good one.

      Delete
    14. ISIS seems to have the Iranians, Syrians, Iraqis, Shia, Hezbollah in a "tizzy"

      Watching the entire region implode?

      Is interesting TV

      Delete
  28. Islamic State militants killed dozens of people in two major attacks on Baghdad on Sunday, bombing a market and assaulting security forces on the city's outskirts in a demonstration of the group's ability to disrupt the Iraqi capital even as it loses ground.

    ...

    The Abu Ghraib assault marked the most significant attack on the area in more than a year and came despite an ongoing operation by Iraqi security forces to push back militants from the city's western edge.

    ...

    In response to the bombing in the neighborhood named after his father, the prominent cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called on fighters with his militia, formerly the Mahdi Army but now known as the Peace Brigades, to be on standby to defend the capital.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah how many Sunnis in Iraq have they murdered?

      400,000?

      Delete