“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best


I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Saturday, July 09, 2016

A casket ban was implemented by President George H.W. Bush in 1991. "Hiding" the war dead from the eyes of Americas citizens skewed the very real cost of wars.

US Veterans On Chilcot: We Need Our Own Inquiry To Avoid Repeating Mistakes

UK’s investigation into Iraq invasion is ‘example of what we could do with political courage’, says codirector of Iraq Veterans against the War

George W Bush and Tony Blair in 2004.

Following the devastating British inquiry into the 2003 invasion of Iraq, American veterans and their families have warned that the US is liable to repeat the mistakes without a similarly comprehensive investigation.

The UK’s Chilcot inquiry was released on Wednesday, and while it is no secret in the US that the invasion was a failure, nothing so damning as the 2.6m-word British inquiry has been released by an independent US government body. 

“The Chilcot report is an example of what we could do if there was any kind of political courage to reckon with the after-effects of the global war on terror that we were pushed into,” said Matt Howard, who was deployed to Iraq twice while serving in the marine corps.

Congressional reports have shown that the US invasion was based on faulty intelligence, but none were as crushing as Chilcot, which provoked the mother of a British soldier killed in the war to declare former British prime minister Tony Blair the “world’s worst terrorist”. 

The inquiry found that President George W Bush and his aides exaggerated intelligence to make a case for invading Iraq, and that planning and preparations for Iraq after Saddam were “wholly inadequate”.

“The fact that we haven’t done a report like that – and there haven’t been any moves to do that – makes it a whole hell of a lot more likely that we are going to go right down the same road and make the same mistakes we did less than 13 years ago,” said Howard.

He is now codirector of Iraq Veterans Against the War, which he joined after seeing the gap between how the war was being described by the government and the media and what was actually happening in Iraq. 

Nearly 5,000 US soldiers died in the war and disillusionment is high among those who survived – only 44% of veterans who fought in post-9/11 wars said the invasion of Iraq had been worth it, according to a 2011 Pew Research Center survey.

But the response to Chilcot, which supported allegations that the invasion helped spawn terrorist groups like Islamic State, was muted in the US. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, a prominent not-for-profit group, did not have a comment on the report.

And the same day the report was released, Barack Obama made a surprise announcement that more than 8,400 US troops would remain in Afghanistan when he leaves office in January. 

That was the top story for Stars and Stripes, an independent news service within the Department of Defense that reports on the US military. It covered Chilcot with an Associated Press story – “Scathing report slams Blair over botched Iraq war” – at the top of its website on Wednesday.

The story also ran in the print edition of the paper, which is available to military posted abroad. The story was headlined: “Report blasts UK’s Iraq war intelligence and planning,” and featured a color photo of two demonstrators in Blair and Bush masks whose hands were covered with fake blood. 

And while Blair defended his decision in a two-hour press conference, Bush was largely silent on Wednesday, his 70th birthday. He celebrated by cycling with wounded warriors and a spokesperson said on Wednesday afternoon that the former president had not “had the chance” to read the inquiry.

“Despite the intelligence failures and other mistakes he has acknowledged previously, President Bush continues to believe the whole world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power,” the spokesperson said in a statement. 
Most Republicans offered similarly defiant responses to the report, which also found that the US largely ignored the British government’s advice about the war and the involvement of the United Nations. 

“Unfortunately, there hasn’t been the same kind of public reckoning with our own government and country’s involvement in the war in Iraq,” said Howard.
He said it was encouraging to see a UK government body take the lead-up to war seriously, but he did not expect the US government to revisit its decisions in such a substantial way. 

“I think that a majority of those folks that were behind the decision to agree to invade Iraq don’t have a lot of interest in revisiting that – both in terms of how it affected Iraq, the country itself – and in terms of how it affected US service members, a veteran community of more than 2.8 million people, and the families that have to deal with the aftermath,” Howard said. 

Those families include Cynde Collins-Clark, who has cared for her son for the past 11 years because of illnesses he incurred during his 366-day deployment to Iraq in 2003. 

Collins-Clark said her son was “100% incapacitated due to war-related injuries”, and though she worked closely with the Department of Veterans Affairs on her son’s case, she was still struggling to get the financial and medical resources she needed to care for her herself and her family.

Collins-Clark said “we must learn” from the aftermath of the war, which saw the veterans affairs department overwhelmed and unprepared for the demand for care. 

But she was not convinced a report like Chilcot could have real impact on the American families taking care of veterans. “I have noticed that millions of dollars and man-hours are dedicated to defining the problem and there is rarely meaningful outcome directly to the vets and families,” Collins-Clark said in an email. 

Collins-Clark founded Veterans’ Families United, a not-for-profit group meant to help veterans and their families access needed resources. She has confronted the dysfunctional US veterans’ care system personally and through the experiences of others who are involved with her group. 

“The aftermath of war is complex and confounding and we ‘grassroots’ veterans and families (the less than 1% of the American population that served) are caught in the quagmire of a system that allocated billions of dollars to war and the VA,” she said. “It is an example of exploitation and oppression for those who stood up to end it for others.”



    2014 CBS News/New York Times poll

    Just 18 percent of Americans think the result of the war in Iraq was worth the loss of American lives and other costs of attacking Iraq, the lowest percentage ever recorded in CBS News Polls. Seventy-five percent do not think the Iraq War was worth it, up eight percentage points since 2011 (just before all U.S. troops were removed), and up 30 points since August 2003.


      Another Iraq War Rehash - WSJ (Back in 2003, the Murdoch-owned press beat the drum for the Iraq War)

      British Politics Must Stop Its Addiction to Inquiries - Newsweek

      That is to be expected, but this is a chorus not being picked up by most of the media. Trump has been attacking both the idea of the Iraq War and Hillary Clinton's role in supporting it.

      Trump should endorse a US investigation and let the chips fall where they may.

  2. Trump is on video (Larry King) supporting the invasion.

    1. A month, or two, Before the kickoff, I think.

    2. Trump, on video and radio, with every position possible concerning Iraq


    3. .

      Couldn't find anything by Larry King but I do remember this from an interview with Howard Stern,

      Stern asked Trump directly if he supported going to war with Iraq, and Trump hesitantly responded, “Yeah, I guess so.”

      and my impression that it was hardly what I would call a ringing endorsement.


      From FactCheck.org

      Trump expressed concerns about the cost of the war soon after it started. If Trump did support the war, he turned on it quickly. As the timeline below shows, Trump in July said that he wished the money being spent in Iraq could be spent in New York City. By November, he talked about the “tremendous cost” of the war and the “very, very unpleasant surprises in Iraq.”

      By 2004, Trump’s opposition to the war was well documented.


    4. Almost everyone at the Belmont, except Ash, supported it at the beginning. I based my approval on the British 50 page dossier. After they fired the Iraqi army, I realized this was empire building and hoped for a swift drawdown, which should have happened when they captured Saddam. I think Trump is entitled to the same doubts.

      Most of us here were against the Libyan and Syrian intrusions. Hillary Clinton was enthusiastic for all of it. She has also demonstrated a scary failure to understand the most basic forms of intelligence security. There is not one doubt in my mind about here qualification to be President. She isn’t.

      As to Obama, he has been an extreme disappointment on foreign relations but infinitely better than any of the recent 17 GOP candidates.

    5. I find more fault in learning nothing from experience than doing a complete 180 if facts change.

    6. .

      In the Anderson Cooper video, the newscaster seemed to be getting hysterical trying to get Trump to admit he was for the war. I think Trump's answer was fine.

      If you take that casual off the cuff remark to Stern you also have to take similar remarks later but still prior to the start of the war where he seemed to oppose it.

      Trump is a unique admixture of liar, conman and/or nut job; but I would give him the benefit of the doubt on this one.


    7. Trumps recent positions regarding Iraq has been we should have kept the oil and we still have that oil. At least that has been what he's said at his rallies. I think he believes ISIS should be squashed and 5heir regions oil should pay US tribute.

    8. We should still get that oil...

  3. .

    If there was any typically mediocre political hack running for the GOP instead of Trump, she would have been dead in the water and out of it months ago. A conspiracy theorist may see Trump as some kind of Manchurian Candidate dreamed up in the smoke filled rooms of the DNC to assure a Clinton victory. And Trump does seem to have some kind of political death wish. Either that or this whole campaign was just a publicity stunt that he can't believe ever got this far and now every time he has a chance to pull ahead he sabotages it himself to avoid the the tremendous implications of becoming president.

    Anyway, I would be willing to be every psychiatrist in the country would love to get this guy on their couch for a few sessions.


    1. Trump believes most of what he says and it makes sense in a way - in the wa6 that Bob makes sense.


    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - When Philander Castile saw the flashing lights in his rearview mirror, it wasn't unusual. He had been pulled over at least 52 times in recent years in and around the Twin Cities and given citations for minor offenses

    It is not up to the police to count his traffic infractions. He obviously had contempt for the law, but that doesn’t justify a summary execution.

  5. Why would someone name their kid “Philander”?

    1. .

      Meaning & History

      From the Greek name Φιλανδρος (Philandros) meaning "friend of man" from Greek φιλος (philos) "friend" and ανηρ (aner) "man" (genitive ανδρος). It was the name of a son of Apollo with the nymph Acalle. In the 18th century this was coined as a word meaning "to womanize", and the name subsequently dropped out of use.


    2. He, also, had, I think it was, 86 charges Dismissed.

      And, by the fact that he had a Carry Permit, he had No Criminal Record.

    3. .

      Perhaps, his parents were classical scholars along the lines of our noted English major.


    4. Btw, wasn't his name "Philando?"

  6. What is "Occupation"Sat Jul 09, 12:23:00 PM EDT
    Same stupid reason to name a kid after a playing card..


    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    A deuce is a playing card with a rank of two. It is also a slang word for the number two.

    Deployable Universal Combat Earthmover (Army) used to remove rubble, debris and dumb ass big mouth, know nothing, industrial grade assholes like you .

    1. Ummm, dude, acronym is not definition.

    2. .

      Facts in evidence sir I conclude that the "industrial grade asshole" is right and you are once again? wrong.

      This from the guy who picks a screen name that proves he doesn't even know what and occupation is.


    3. You certainly know what an occupation is....we know on your say so that Israel has annexed Gaza and is occupying it with IDF troops, 'effectively'.

    4. America occupying German and Japan was an "occupation"

      To use your definition of the day?

      you are an occupier

    5. Deuce's use of his name is just that.

      AshSat Jul 09, 01:25:00 PM EDT
      Ummm, dude, acronym is not definition.

      an acronym's 1st letter is not capitalized. You are illiterate.

    6. Quirk writes: This from the guy who picks a screen name that proves he doesn't even know what and occupation is.

      My screen name puts into question What is Occupation, as if Israel is guilty of it?

      SO is America, China, England, Russia, Jordan, France, Portugal, Japan, Canada and many more.

    7. .

      No, your name merely shows you confusion on the subject. The rest of the world knows and has called it what it is.

      I assume the last sentence is a question. If so, the answer is no. Those countries have moved on. Any conquered lands they have absorbed long ago. Israel is different.

      Israel tries to play it too cute and clever. They deny reality and refuse to call the lands occupied though the rest of the world knows the reality. They call the conquered lands 'disputed' though they do not officially claim them. Does that make any sense?

      This follows the Israeli pattern. They say they want two states but their actions prove their words false. They refuse to even define the borders of their country which give them
      room to expand and establish facts on the ground as with the WB settlements. They do the same thing with their nuclear program. Everyone knows they have one but by not admitting it they don't have to deal with the inconvenience of things like the NPT.

      The US colludes with Israel in the deception but most countries in the world including the US recognizes it for what it is.

      I've said it before, Israel would have been better off claiming the land they conquered years ago. The furor around the world would have likely died down by now. However, instead they decided to indulge in this 70 year kabuki and con game, not declaring what is obvious.

      No, the definition of occupation is pretty clear as are the requirements for ending it. They are spelled out in the Hague and Geneva agreements. One only has to read them in their entirety.

      Naw, I would say the confusion rests solely with you.


    8. One standard for Israel and the Jews, no standards for anyone else.

      You confirm that reality.

      Now let's talk about Tibet, Fauklins, Chechnya, Cyprus, Ukraine as a few starting points

    9. .

      America occupying German and Japan was an "occupation"

      Of course it was. Who would even question such an obvious statement.

      A normal occupation is usually expected after a major war. However, compare the US occupations with that of Israel. First, Israel denies the obvious, the fact that they are an occupying power. They refuse to accept the rules and obligations of an occupying force that are accepted under international law. And third, their occupation (which is intended to be a temporary situation) has gone on for five decades with no end in site.

      Compare that with the US occupations after WWII, about 4 years in Germany and around 7 years in Japan.

      Given the normal definitions of occupation and the expectations that it will be a temporary situation and when tying that to the history of the so-called peace process, I don't know how anyone can honestly still call Israel's control over the Occupied Territories an occupation rather than an annexation. Perhaps, this is why you are still struggling with meaning of occupation.


    10. .

      One standard for Israel and the Jews, no standards for anyone else.

      Don't be silly. I criticize any country including my own if I think they are fucking up.

      You on the other hand seem fine with criticizing the US but I still haven't seen you once criticize Israel for anything, unless you were serious when you indicated they should be shooting more Palestinians. Where if true it would provide us with another argument.


    11. I have criticized Israel, they do need to shoot more terrorists you are right about that.

      I have also said that Israel should never have returned Sinai twice

    12. Now of course you don't get to pick my criticisms nor judge the quality of them.

      I find fault with Israel all the time.

      Just not here.

      Want some more?

      Israel should not provide humanitarian aid to any nation that supports a boycott of it.

      Israel should not simply bulldoze terrorists homes (with court approval), they should seize those lands and deport the immediate families to Syria.

      Israel should NOT hold on to the majority arab population centers of Israel and transfer them to the PA. I find it horrible that the Jewish state should have major population centers of arabs inside it's borders. Move the borders to give those arab center freedom from all Israeli connections.

      I find the fact that Israel doesn't allow it's regular citizens to carry weapons horrible.

      I find the fact that Israel restricts in the import of American foods and has tariffs on such as horrible

      The lack of competition in the cell phone industry is horrible.

      Want more?

    13. Since it is obvious that "O"rdure does not know the meaning of Occupation, he has been asking for the definition for years, when he is provided a real meaning, that occupation is ordure, he objects.

      It appears obvious that our learning impaired Zionist just does not like the answer.

    14. On would think "O"rdure would object to Israel following the Rul of Law established by the Islamic Empire that previously ruled Palestine, but he does not list that among his objections.

      The Israeli government has, to a large extent, continued the Ottoman legal system in regard to land ownership. 

      Thus, today the vast proportion of land within the State of Israel (roughly 93%) is owned and managed either by the Israel Lands Administration (ILA) or the JNF.  This figure includes much of such extensive regions as the Negev and the Judean Wilderness (near the Dead Sea), which are sparsely populated. 

      Jewish settlements in the State of Israel usually are located on lands that are owned by the ILA or the JNF and that have been consigned to each settlement through long-term leases. 

      Less than 7% of the land in the State of Israel is privately owned.


    15. .

      Now of course you don't get to pick my criticisms nor judge the quality of them.

      Of course, I do.


  7. In some games, an extremely valuable card - see: "deuces wild."

  8. .


    What Ever Happened to the American Century

    …For such a world, a new term is needed. Perhaps something like failed region. This, it seems, is one thing that the American Century has come to mean 75 years after Henry Luce urged it into existence. And perhaps lurking in the undergrowth as well is another phrase, one not quite yet imaginable but thoroughly chilling: failed world.

    With this in mind, imagine what the Obama administration’s “pivot” to Asia could mean in the long run, or the recent U.S.-NATO pivot to the Baltics and Eastern Europe. If huge swaths of the planet have begun to disintegrate in an era when the worst the U.S. faced in the way of opponents has been minority insurgencies and terror outfits, or more recently a terror caliphate, consider for a moment what kinds of chaos could come to regions where a potentially hostile power remains. And by the way, don’t for a second think that, even if the Islamic State is finally defeated, worse can’t emerge from the chaos and rubble of the failed region that it will leave behind. It can and, odds on, it will.

    All of this gives the very idea of an American Century new meaning. Can there be any question that this is not the century of Henry Luce, nor the one that American political and military leaders dreamed of when the Soviet Union collapsed? What comes to mind instead is the sentiment the Roman historian Tacitus put in the mouth of Calgacus, a chieftain in what is now Scotland, speaking of the Roman conquests of his time: “They make a desert and call it peace.”

    Perhaps this is no longer really the American century at all, despite the continuing status of the U.S. as the planet’s sole superpower. A recent U.N. report estimates that, in 2015, a record 65 million people were uprooted, mainly in the Greater Middle East. Tens of millions of them crossed borders and became refugees, including staggering numbers of children, many separated from their parents. So perhaps this really is the century of the lost child.

    What could be sadder?


  9. Both of the BLM narratives about the two recent Police shootings are beginning to show some wear around the seams.

    Narrative Starts To Fall Apart In Minnesota Police Shooting


    Don't have a link to the other but it is showing wear and tear too.

    All this instantaneous communication these days sometimes is a little troubling.

    A shaky narrative can take on a life of its own, 'go viral' as they say, and all of a sudden you have more dead people laying around.

    The Freddie Gray narrative is a case to this point.

    Ms. Mosby, seeking higher office, is 0-2 with one hung jury, is almost certainly going to lose the rest, should cut her loses, withdraw the charges, and try to get out of Dodge. She is now being sued over her law license, the claim being malicious prosecution.

    Some here, who shall remain nameless, wanted to hang all the cops from the git-go.


    It's best to wait for some real facts to come out before rushing to judgements.

    1. BLM along with the New Black Panthers are now openly urging the shooting of Police Officers.

      At this point they should both be declared terrorist organizations.

      Hillary's input is to declare whites must change their ways.

      Meanwhile in Chicago, which is about 1/3 white, 1/3 black and 1/3 Hispanic, black on black killings amount to something like 70% of the killings in that liberal wonderland.

      O'bozo obviously doesn't give a shit, as he has never visited there to even tell them to knock it off a bit.

    2. So much for your principles!

    3. Sorry, I thought you meant about the boycott.

    4. I really think that Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson has gone off the deep end.
      First he tells us that the FBI is a totally corrupt institution ...

      Now he tells us that the Bureau of Land Management is a terrorist organization.
      He is spouting Bundy propaganda line.

      Shame on you Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

  10. .


    It's best to wait for some real facts to come out before rushing to judgements.


    Yet, this from the same hick yesterday...

    Idaho BobFri Jul 08, 06:30:00 AM EDT

    I'm betting nit because of the body armor, planning, triangulation of shooters etc.

    Also because has not ISIS been sending out instructions to target cops and whites lately ?

    Rumor has it the faux farmer was popping both Zoloft and Prozac trying to treat the wave of depression that overcame him when he found out that Johnson was merely your run of the mill police-hating nutjob.


    1. You fudge brain, that is not a rush to judgement at all.

      I explicitly say it is a 'bet'.

      Which obviously means I am uncertain.

      The only thing I'm popping is my blood pressure pills, and I think I need another now, as your stupidity always drives my blood pressure up.

      What are you trying to do ?

      Knock me off with a stroke ?

      That is hardly humble and kind, and as karma is real, and life after death not a wish fulfilling dream, but can be an unbearable nightmare, I advise you to consider your position in the nature of things, city slicker.

      And think of all that false advertising you need to burn off too !

      Of course, being of Catholic background, you can throw the whole weight of your sins on Christ Jesus, and have him pay the your price.

    2. .

      Please, your arguments are specious.

      What, was your 'bet' based on a coin flip or an opinion.

      Spare us your whining.


  11. Also I put up this article for the Bar's consideration -

    Comey And The Will To Power


    * Note the Nietzsche quote at the end.

  12. Delta A320 to tower: Anybody Home?

    Pilots of a Delta flight mistook a South Dakota Air Force base for a civilian airport and landed their Airbus A320 with 130 passengers aboard without a hitch. Federal officials are investigating the incident.

    On Thursday evening, Delta Flight 2845 arriving from Minneapolis to South Dakota’s Rapid City Regional Airport landed on the runway of Ellsworth Air Force Base situated some 10 kilometers from the original destination.

    The landing strips of the civilian airport and the Air Force base are not only located in close proximity, but are also aligned in almost the same direction, so the pilots made a wrong visual identification of their destination.


  13. Syrian government troops have retaken a strategic town east of the capital, Damascus, from foreign-backed militants, blocking one of their supply routes.

    Government troops, backed by allied forces, on Saturday took control of Maydaa, following two weeks of fierce clashes with the so-called Jaysh al-Islam terror group, according to the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

    Maydaa served as a supply line to the militant-held East Ghouta region on the outskirts of Damascus, and was the closest area to Zamir airbase, which foreign-backed terrorists hold east of Damascus.

    1. Guess who are the foreign backed terrorists.

  14. The Syrian army, backed by Hezbollah resistance fighters, has thwarted an attack by terrorists in Syria’s Qalamoun region, killing two commanders of the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front terrorist group.

    Informed sources said the terrorist commanders were killed on Thursday during fierce fighting which broke out in Qalamoun, located on Damascus countryside, Lebanon’s al-Manar TV channel reported.

    In a post on its Twitter account, Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah identified one of those slain as Abu Obaida, adding that the militant was killed in Syria’s southwestern town of Serghaya.

    In another development on Thursday, Syrian troops and Hezbollah fighters managed to completely wrest control over the Mallah farms near the northwestern city of Aleppo.

    They further recaptured the Castello road, which was used by terrorists as a strategic path to the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo.

    Meanwhile, SANA news agency reported that the Syrian army managed to foil an attack by the Takfiri Daesh terrorists on a number of military posts in the eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.

    1. Hezbollah and the Syrian military began a joint offensive on the Lebanon-Syria border last year to dislodge the Daesh and Nusra Front militants from the area. The Lebanese army also strikes the extremists’ hideouts on a nearly daily basis.

  15. An Italian delegation is going to pay an official visit to Damascus over the weekend in order to prepare the ground for the restoration of diplomatic relations between Italy and Syria.

    President of Italy’s External Intelligence and Security Agency General Alberto Manenti, who will be heading the delegation, and his entourage will arrive at the Damascus International Airport on Saturday.

    They will hold “negotiations concerning the normalization of Italy-Syria bilateral relations, the abolition of European Union (EU) embargos as conditioned by the Syrian government for any possible security cooperation” with high-ranking Syrian officials, Russia al-Youm television reported.

    The Italian delegation has already pledged to pave the way for EU-Syria rapprochement as soon as possible.


  16. Reuters is reporting that the Syrian Arab Army and its Shiite militia allies have taken Malah Farms to the northwest of the city and so have cut the last remaining road by which the rebel forces in East Aleppo were resupplied with armaments. (Reuters is too polite to say so, but the armaments come via Turkey, ultimately from Saudi Arabia and in some cases the United States’ CIA. What is being said is that Turkey can now no longer smuggle the arms in to the fundamentalist rebels there.)

    Syrian forces cut the lone remaining road leading into the rebel-held neighborhoods of Aleppo, insofar as they have taken up positions within a kilometer of it from which they can shell any convoys on it.

    Alarmingly, it is also the last route by which Mercy Corps can get humanitarian aid to tens of thousands of non-combatants in that part of the city. One militia member told Reuters that now, no one can enter or leave [East] Aleppo. Another said that all the rebel groups in the area are sending reinforcements and mobilizing to try to take back territory lost to the regime forces.

    The opposition is complaining that the Syrian operation, which is supported by the Russian air force, was conducted under the cover of a 3-day cease-fire, which the Syrian regime did not in fact honor.

    Aljazeera claims that East Aleppo was hit by 150 airstrikes by the Russian and Syrian air forces, leaving 20 civilian non-combatants dead. Aljazeera leans toward the rebels.

    From the other side, the Hizbullah mouthpiece al-Manar (and Hizbullah fighters from Lebanon were an important part of this campaign on the government side) explains that the campaign to take Malah Farms north of Aleppo began June 25, and that by last Sunday the three farms making it up had mostly fallen to the Syrian forces and their allies. The battle last Sunday left dozens of rebels dead from the Nur al-Din Zangi Brigade and from al-Qaeda in Syria (the Nusra Front).

    On Tuesday these two groups launched a counter-attack, using suicide bombers, but it failed. By Thursday, the Syrian Arab Army and allies had taken the remaining pockets of the southern farm and so had Malah in its entirety.

    The army now dominates Castello road in and out of East Aleppo.

    - Juan Cole


    U.S. President Barack Obama warned Russia on Friday that its bombing campaign against Syrian rebels will suck Moscow into a "quagmire," after a third straight day of air raids in support of President Bashar al-Assad.

    At a White House news conference, Obama frequently assailed Russian President Vladimir Putin, who he accused of acting out of a position of weakness to defend a crumbling, authoritarian ally.

    Friday prayers were canceled in insurgent-held areas of Syria's Homs province hit by Russian warplanes this week, with residents concerned that mosques could be targeted, according to one person from the area.

    Putin’s decision to launch strikes on Syria marks a dramatic escalation of foreign involvement in a more than four-year-old civil war in which every major country in the region has a stake.


    1. I guess Putin doesn’t do quagmires.


    2. The US does quagmires, there is a lot of money to be made, over the long haul.
      6MAR2009 General Dynamics was trading at $36.49.
      After 7.5 years of Team Obama General Dynamics is trading at $140.48

      Lester Crown sure got his money's worth when he financed Obama's three book deal.


    The influential pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee will deploy hundreds of activists next week to win support in Congress for military action in Syria, amid an intense White House effort to convince wavering U.S. lawmakers to vote for limited strikes.

    "We plan a major lobbying effort with about 250 activists in Washington to meet with their senators and representatives," an AIPAC source said on Saturday.

    Congressional aides said they expected the meetings and calls on Tuesday, as President Barack Obama and officials from his administration make their case for missile strikes over the apparent use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar Assad's government.

    The vote on action in Syria is a significant political test for Obama and a major push by AIPAC, considered one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington, could provide a boost.

    The U.S. Senate is due to vote on a resolution to authorize the use of military force as early as Wednesday. Leaders of the House of Representatives have not yet said when they would vote beyond saying consideration of an authorization is “possible" sometime this week.

    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.545661


  19. Lest we forget: Hillary Rodham Clinton was all in to have US troops on the ground in Syria and don’t forget the American people said not so fast.

  20. 2013

    A few days before the ISIS-led attacks in France that killed 120 people, Latino media noticed a hawkish tone in an off-the-cuff remark by Hillary Clinton in response to question about border security. In her response, Clinton argued that military aid through Plan Colombia ultimately created a “success story” in that country, and that it prevented an influx of migrants to the U.S. In the wake of the terrorist attacks on France, Clinton is bringing her pro-war foreign policy approach to the forefront.

    On Thursday, the former Secretary of State addressed the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, delivering a major policy address on combatting ISIS. We’re relying on a transcript from Time, which you can read in full here.

    She told her audience to be prepared to put more U.S. troops on the ground in Middle Eastern conflict zones. Clinton also called for the U.S. to arm and fund Middle Eastern partners, some that she named (Turkey, Israel). Some of the partners were not names, such as like Egypt, where a 1.3 billion dollar aid package is expected to be passed despite concerns over human rights abuses, Reuters reports.

    Hillary Clinton talking about Syria during an event at the White House in Washington, September 9, 2013.

    Following terrorist attacks in Paris in November, 2015, the presidential candidate has called for more boots on the ground in countries where the organization operation operates. She told reporters that she had urged more military action in Syria as Barack Obama’s Secretary of State.
    REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

    1. 1) To support [Syrians], we should immediately deploy the special operations force President Obama has already authorized, and be prepared to deploy more as more Syrians get into the fight. [...] Our increased support should go hand in hand with increased support from our Arab and European partners, including special forces who can contribute to the fight on the ground.

      Calls for direct and indirect support of ground forces peppered Clinton’s speech. However, she tempered her remarks by saying that she wouldn’t want U.S. troops deployed at the scale of other recent conflicts.

      2) I do not believe that we should again have 100,000 American troops in combat in the Middle East. That is just not the smart move to make here. If we have learned anything from 15 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s that local people and nations have to secure their own communities.

      Throughout the speech, Hillary appeared to be hedging between a call for boost on the ground and the current no-muss, no-fuss, low-American casualty strategy of air strikes. Someone, she argued, would have to send troops whether it is Syrian rebels or U.S. coalition partners

      3) A more effective coalition air campaign is necessary, but not sufficient, and we should be honest about the fact that to be successful, airstrikes will have to be combined with ground forces actually taking back more territory from ISIS.

  21. She ain’t so good on the security and the confidential thing-ma-jigs but she shoe do know military strategy in the Middle East.

    Clinton also called for a no-fly zone to be instituted in Syria. She told reporters after her speech that such a measure worked in Iraq.

    6) We have a no-fly zone over northern Iraq for years to protect the Kurds. And it proved to be successful, not easy — it never is — but I think now is the time for us to revisit those plans.

    1. SAY WHAT?

      It worked brilliantly in Iraq and really outfucking standing in Libya.

  23. Straight White Male Was Involved In Planning BLM Protest In Dallas


    (This is a test.)

  24. Obama began touting the panel’s recommendations in March 2015. The report, titled “President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing Report,” was published in May 2015.

    The report urges the federal government to federalize police training and practices, via the use of federal lawsuits, grants and threats to cut federal aid. So far, Obama’s deputies have cajoled and sued more than 30 police jurisdictions to adopt federal rules in a slow-motion creation of a national police system, similar to the slow-motion creation of a federal-run health-sector via Obamacare.

    Obama also used the press conference to insulate his federalized police program — and his allies in the Black Live Matter movement — from popular rejection after the five police were murdered by the anti-cop African-American in Dallas.

    “The danger is that we somehow think the act of a troubled person speaks to some larger political statement across the country — it doesn’t,” Obama insisted.

    Obama shrugged off growing criticism that his own anti-cop statements helped trigger the shootings in Dallas and several other cities on Thursday and Friday. “It is very hard to untangle to motives of this [Dallas] shooter … you have a troubled mind … what feeds it, what sets it off, I’ll leave that to psychologists and people who study these kids of incidents.”


    1. Trump will be the new Hitler.

      Not the New Hitler that currently resides in the White House.

  25. for Quirk:

    Israeli drivers are the worst in the world

  26. Bigoted remark against Jews if ever there was one.

    1. Hardly many Israelis are arab christians and moslems.

      Learn about Israel before speaking


  27. BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraqi forces have captured a key airbase from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group that can serve as a launchpad for retaking the terrorist-held city of Mosul, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Saturday.

    The Qayyarah airbase in the Tigris valley 60 kilometres south of Mosul would be "an important base for the liberation of Mosul", Abadi said in a statement.

    He called for the people of Iraq's northwestern Nineveh province, of which Mosul is the capital, to "prepare for the liberation of their cities".



  28. BBC News -

    John Prescott, who was deputy prime minister when Britain went to war with Iraq in 2003, says the invasion by UK and US forces was "illegal".


  29. David Brown, the Dallas police chief trying to help his city heal after the deaths of five officers Thursday, knows the horror all too well: His son killed a police officer six years ago before being fatally shot himself.

    Brown's son, also named David, died in a 2010 shootout with police in the suburban Dallas community of Lancaster, according to news reports.

    He was 27 and reportedly on drugs.

    The elder Brown had been on the job as chief for seven weeks.

    It was Father's Day.

    And it was not the first violent tragedy to befall Brown, who also has lost a brother and a partner to violence...


  30. Not only did we capture their airbase, we took out their Front-end Loader. :)

    Strikes in Syria

    Bomber, ground-attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted nine strikes in Syria:

    -- Near Abu Kamal, two strikes destroyed three ISIL wellheads.

    -- Near Raqqah, two strikes struck two ISIL-used bridges.

    -- Near Ayn Isa, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit.

    -- Near Manbij, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL-used bridge.

    -- Near Mar’a, a strike struck an ISIL operations center.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted eight strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

    -- Near Bashir, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL weapons cache.

    -- Near Beiji, a strike destroyed an ISIL front-end loader.

    -- Near Hit, a strike destroyed an ISIL mortar system and an ISIL weapons cache.

    -- Near Mosul, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three ISIL assembly areas, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL weapons cache, and two ISIL fighting positions.

    -- Near Qayyarah, a strike destroyed an ISIL front-end loader.

    -- Near Ramadi, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit, damaged a separate ISIL fighting position, and destroyed an ISIL rocket propelled grenade system, an ISIL recoilless rifle, an ISIL anti-air artillery piece, six ISIL heavy machine guns, an ISIL supply cache, and an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Tal Afar, a strike destroyed an ISIL mortar system.

    1. A Robot Carrying A Claymore Mine Took Out A Soft Drink Dispenser


    2. The U.S. military is testing a dependable, rugged little vintage bomber as it battles elusive ISIS militants in Syria and Iraq.
      War was just an experiment for two of the U.S. military’s oldest and most unusual warplanes. A pair of OV-10 Broncos—small, Vietnam War-vintage, propeller-driven attack planes—recently spent three months flying top cover for ground troops battling ISIS militants in the Middle East.
      The OV-10s’ deployment is one of the latest examples of a remarkable phenomenon. The United States—and, to a lesser extent, Russia—has seized the opportunity afforded it by the aerial free-for-all over Iraq and Syria and other war zones to conduct live combat trials with new and upgraded warplanes, testing the aircraft in potentially deadly conditions before committing to expensive manufacturing programs.
      That’s right. America’s aerial bombing campaigns are also laboratories for the military and the arms industry. After all, how better to pinpoint an experimental warplane’s strengths and weaknesses than to send it into an actual war?
      The twin-engine Broncos—each flown by a pair of naval aviators—completed 134 sorties, including 120 combat missions, over a span of 82 days beginning in May 2015 or shortly thereafter, according to U.S. Central Command, which oversees America’s wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan.



    Anybody here in favor of a Federal Police Force ? (as if we didn't have enough armed Feds as it is)

    NOT ME

    That might well be the move that moves me to New Zealand and the fishing streams.

    Or maybe to India to meditate in the Himalayas with my Niece's dad.

    Maybe a little of both.

    1. (actually, the two combined sound like a pretty good way to go out, to me)

    2. Pick up a Hindustand Soft Drink Dispenser for Syria, they're one short.

    3. I'm a generous man when I have any money, which is why I never have much money.

      I'll try though to get on long term contract a dozen "QuirkQuenchers" and send them over.

      The "QuirkQuenchers" have a "life time warranty".

      Since they don't work the owner generally dies of thirst within 7-10 days, at which point the "life time warranty" expires.

  32. I submit, this is nonsense -

    There are just SIX plots in every film, book and TV show ever made: Researchers reveal the 'building blocks' of storytelling
    Prior to this study it was believed there was 3 to more than 30 plots
    Used fictional stories that have been downloaded over 150 times
    Most popular stories follow the 'fall-rise-fall' and 'rise-fall' arcs

    By Stacy Liberatore For Dailymail.com

    Published: 14:56 EST, 8 July 2016 | Updated: 20:01 EST, 8 July 2016

    From Harry Potter and Romeo and Juliet to the stories of Oedipus and Icarus, almost every tale told conforms to one of just six plots, researchers have claimed.

    A major new analysis of over 1,700 stories identified the core plots 'which form the building blocks of complex narratives'.

    Researchers used complex data-mining to locate words linked to positive or negative emotion in each story to reveal the set of arcs....


    Fall-rise-fall: 'Oedipus Rex', 'The Wonder Book of Bible Stories', 'A Hero of Our Time' and 'The Serpent River'.

    Rise-fall: 'Stories from Hans Andersen', 'The Rome Express', 'How to Read Human Nature' and 'The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali'.

    Fall-rise: 'The Magic of Oz', 'Teddy Bears', 'The Autobiography of St. Ignatius' and 'Typhoon'.

    Steady fall: 'Romeo and Juliet', 'The House of the Vampire', 'Savrola' and 'The Dance'.

    Steady rise: 'Alice's Adventures Underground', 'Dream', 'The Ballad of Reading Gaol' and 'The Human Comedy'.

    Rise-fall-rise: 'Cinderella', 'A Christmas Carol', 'Sophist' and 'The Consolation of Philosophy'.

    The most popular stories have been found to follow the 'fall-rise-fall' and 'rise-fall' arcs.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3679510/There-just-SIX-plots-film-book-TV-Researchers-reveal-building-blocks-storytelling.html#ixzz4DyjQJzK2
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    1. I submit as a possible alternative that in serious literature there is only one plot, that of the monomyth and the rise of consciousness, with it's variations of success or failure.

      'The World Renowned Critic Quirk' might say it's all a matter words.

      Which is, indeed, hard to deny, but not very enlightening.

  33. nitial reports from Dallas described multiple snipers with AR-15s #weaponsofwar. The ongoing propaganda theme among the tabloids is that the AR-15 has become the weapon of choice for terrorists and mass shooters. CBS news reported that the terrorist in Dallas used an antique, the SKS. It now appears that the shooter used a Saiga AK-74 style rifle.

    The Saiga AK-74 is a semiautomatic version of the venerable AK-47. The AK-74 fires a smaller 5.45 X 39 cartridge more like that of the AR-15. Saiga is a Russian commercial company which imports rifles into the United States. The Saiga is at the more expensive end of AK style rifles.



  34. Islamic State beheads 4 soccer players after declaring the sport un-Islamic

    July 9, 2016 4:59 am By Robert Spencer 31 Comments

    “Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious.” — Ayatollah Khomeini

    soccer players

    “ISIS extremists behead four footballers after declaring the sport anti-Islamic,” by Paul Byrne, Mirror, July 8, 2016 (thanks to Robert):

    ISIS militants have beheaded four members of a football team after declaring the sport anti-Islamic.

    The extremists banned organised sports like football when they took over Raqqa in Syria more than two years ago.

    Fans in the city used to flock to watch Al-Shabab play matches in the city’s large stadium.

    But earlier this week crowds watched as the four young men – accused of spying for the Kurdish YPG – were dispatched by ISIS executioners.

    A fifth unknown man was also killed.

    The victims, who played for popular team Al-Shabab, were beheaded in front of a crowd of children in Raqqa after they were accused of spying for the Kurdish YPG.

    Photographs of the the aftermath of the gruesome execution, together with snaps of three of stars lining up for their side in the days before ISIS invaded, were released in a series of tweets by protest group, Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently.

    The men were named as Osama Abu Kuwait, Ihsan Al Shuwaikh, Nehad Al Hussein and Ahmed Ahawakh…..


    1. "There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious."

      They stole Quirk's motto!

  35. Will this drive Quirk insane?

    Dallas Shooter Micah Johnson Attended Islamic Seminary School with Orlando Shooter Omar Mateen


    1. (He also claims Lyin Ted Fucked Fiorina!)

    2. Good grief, perhaps my 'bet' was 1/2 right after all ?

      We may need to put a continuing 'welfare check' on Quirk, lest he explode.

    3. .

      Right, Bob. If Micah Johnson turns out to be a radical Islamist jihadi we'll have to promote you from nitwit to half-wit.


    4. I continue, as always, to ignore your slanders, and keep your well being forefront in my mind.

  36. Things have gotten totally crazy - support the NRA - Join The Huey P. Newton Gun Club now....

    Huey P. Newton Gun Club