“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."
Incredible; You have to go to Russian TV for credible reporting on how the US is ignoring the facts of our al Qaeda allies use of sarin gas in Syria, not the Syrian government.ReplyDelete
US politicians should be held criminally accountable for any blowback that occurs if what seems to be inevitable occurs.
I have not seen the headline of one US news source demanding the proof of Sarin gas use by the Syrian authorities. A month ago, we did a piece on the use of sarin gas by al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria. This ws reported by a UN investigation and ignored by the US permanent war party in DC.ReplyDelete
There were reports that sarin, together with automatic rifles, pistols and homemade bombs (IEDs) was seized in the Faraieh neighborhood of the city of Hama. Similar IEDs spiked with nerve gas were used by al Qaeda in Iraq.
We have heard this line of bullshit before:ReplyDelete
Iraq and the sarin gas of spin: An extraordinary eyewitness account of the regiments of spin doctors sent to Baghdad
By STEPHEN CLAYPOLE
UPDATED: 02:50 EST, 30 November 2009
In the pre-dawn darkness of an April morning in 2003 an American C-130 Hercules transporter made a forced zig-zag descent through a potentially hostile sky and came to a screeching halt in an arc of armoured vehicles at Baghdad international airport.
On board – as well as me – was a human cargo of the first civilian administrators in post-Saddam Iraq led by Jay Garner, a retired US Army General.
It was nine days after a statue of Saddam Hussein had been pulled down in Firdos Square, an event staged for the cameras at the nearby international media village.
Looking around in the gloom of the Hercules’s hold I noted about 50 officials from the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Affairs (ORHA) and realised that a disproportionate number were spin doctors – not specialists in relief, reconstruction and sustainable development.
They were not going to do much to overhaul Iraq’s creaking power stations. But the reality was that they were in control.
There was Larry Di Rita, one of the right-hand men of US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld and later Pentagon chief spokesman; Margaret Tutwiler, a former State Department spokesman and Republican campaigner who helped to end the 2000 Florida recount impasse in George W. Bush’s favour; Dan Senor, a former White House assistant Press secretary; Emily Hands, a Downing Street Press officer; and Charles Heatly, a young Arabic-speaking British diplomat who was acting as a pair of eyes and ears for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
Forget the oxygen of publicity. This was about the sarin gas of spin and ‘information operations’. It came to me that just as the Spanish-American War in 1898 had been a newspaper proprietors’ war, the invasion of Iraq was a spin doctors’ war.
Last week, the Chilcot Inquiry began and already there have been revelations about the way the decision to go to war was made. But I also think the way the war itself was presented from Baghdad should be an essential part of the inquiry’s brief.
Just a few weeks before I landed in Baghdad, I had been hiking across the South Downs near Brighton when Tim Cross, a British Major-General, came through on my mobile.
He was a deputy to Jay Garner and an outstanding specialist in relief operations. ‘We are worried about the “media piece” [a military term for media relations] at ORHA,’ said Maj-Gen Cross. ‘Can you drop everything and join us?’
Within a few days I had become a sub-contractor to a Pentagon contractor, a huge defence and technology company called SAIC – known in Washington for its agility in winning large government contracts.
I was assigned to the Iraqi Media Network whose mission was to set up TV and radio channels and a newspaper.
To begin with, I was asked to help out on what the Americans call ‘public affairs’. The ‘media piece’ was in a poor state.
Jay Garner, a fine but limited American who got more things right than his brainy successor Paul Bremer, had been given no training in making TV appearances. The Pentagon was already micro-managing him to oblivion.
Several other people were sent urgently to help out with the ‘media piece’ and in a few days I was shunted to one side by the contingent from the White House, the Pentagon, No10 and the FCO.
ORHA was already doomed before it arrived in Saddam’s foul-smelling Republican Palace in Baghdad – later the epicentre of the Green Zone – where black rats and sand fleas outnumbered the civilian administrators.
Apart from a reasonably effective non-governmental organisation (NGO) clearance centre and a contingent of US Army Corps of Engineers, there was not much to put behind the reconstruction effort.
Drifting around the vast Republican Palace with its marble walls and kitsch chandeliers, I saw and heard a lot of things.
The most revealing of all were the Secret Video Teleconferences (SIVITS) where Donald Rumsfeld with his popping eyes, Paul Wolfowitz, the author of the Iraq Strategy, and occasionally George W. Bush appeared on large screens to lower the morale of ORHA staff.
I did not have security clearance to sit in on these conferences – but in a large echoing palace with few doors nothing remained secret for long. For some weeks Washington was convinced that it could spin its way out of its abject failure to tackle the issue of nation-building.
The SIVITS often returned to this theme. Jay Garner was accused – not to his face – of failing to relate to the Iraqi people. This was a bit difficult given that the US Forces had knocked down virtually every TV and radio transmitter in the country.
In one SIVIT a giant brain at the Pentagon suggested that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani should become the temporary Mayor of Baghdad. Another wondered whether Florida-style garbage collection could be brought to the streets of Baghdad.
On the British side, nobody appeared to be firmly in charge in London. Alastair Campbell seemed to be the most frequent caller, speaking from time to time with Tim Cross, Jay Garner and Emily Hands.
The FCO was, I think, holding itself back like the cavalry until No10 really needed it.
As things drifted, there was talk of the British taking on half the oversight roles at the Iraqi ministries. That quickly ended when John Sawers, the former No10 foreign policy adviser, arrived.
I shared a stale croissant or two with him in the mess hall at the Republican Palace and it was clear that the UK was on the way out of Iraq as soon as it could be achieved.
Sawers was very discreet, as you would expect of a future head of MI6, but his body language showed that he was truly appalled at what was going on in Baghdad.
Six years on I still agonise, like many others, about how our country got into Iraq without robust contingency plans for the aftermath of the invasion and a clear exit strategy.
Earlier this year, I offered myself as a witness to the Chilcot Inquiry. I thought I might be able to contribute significant insights into what went wrong with Tony Blair’s Iraq adventure.
Although a relatively minor player, I am one of the few people in the UK who has not rehearsed his/her evidence over and over again in the four previous Iraq inquiries, engaged in Civil Service backside covering, finger pointing, memoirs, off-the-record briefings, academic discussions and the other by-products of spin.
I got a snotty reply from the Iraq Inquiry in July, ending: ‘Please note that it will be at the discretion of the Inquiry as to whom they invite as witnesses and the Inquiry team will contact you in due course if they wish to do so.
I hope you find this useful.’ No!
Nevertheless, I hope that Chilcot manages to unearth the truth about Iraq. It was a spin doctors’ invasion, but the bombs and the bullets were real.
Now the voices of the dead – brave soldiers and civilians – cry out to be heard.
Where is John McCain?ReplyDelete
Libya's militias are fighting attempts to curb their influence even as the security situation in the country deteriorates. But doubts remain over whether official security forces have the power to replace them.
Benghazi was a stronghold for the opposition to Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi and hosted politicians from around the world who wanted to show their support for the Libyan rebels.
Today, however, many regard the security situation in the city on the Mediterranean to be very dangerous and worse than in the capital, Tripoli. Ever since a 2012 attack on the US consulate in the city claimed the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, few foreigners have traveled to the city.
The gunfight between Libya Shield and protesters killed 31 people
Militias largely control the city and have set up checkpoints to regulate people's movement. Official police and military forces retain little power in Benghazi and often fall victim to militia attacks.
Many people in Benghazi say they have had enough of militias determining their lives. Hundreds of people, some armed, took their anger to the streets on Saturday (08.06.2013) and stormed a barracks of the Libya Shield militia. The incident ended in a shootout between militia members and protesters which claimed 31 people's lives.
Here is McCain on LibyaReplyDelete
August 22, 2011
Senator John McCain on Libya
By The Situation Room
BLITZER: Senator John McCain, as you just saw, was among the first to call for intervention in Libya. And now that the regime has basically collapsed, Senator McCain says the Obama administration should have been more aggressive. Senator McCain is joining us now, right now.
Senator, thanks very much for coming in.
MCCAIN: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Let me get your quick reaction to the news that we broke here in THE SITUATION ROOM. The Libyan ambassador here in Washington, who represents the rebels, the transitional authority in Libya, he says that one of the sons of Gadhafi, Mohammad Gadhafi, has been hijacked or escaped.
What does that say to you?
MCCAIN: It seems to me that the situation is still rather unsettled and, again, there's two steps forward and one step back. And there's still a lot of work to do, not only militarily, but there will be a great task ahead is, building a democracy in a country that's never known it. And it's going to require a lot of work and a little luck.
BLITZER: Some have suggested that those Gadhafi loyalists, the mercenaries, the troops, the others, they may just take off their uniforms, blend in and start some sort of insurgency along the lines of what we saw in Baghdad after 2003.
Should we be worried about that?
MCCAIN: I think we should be worried about a lot of things, but the fact is, Wolf, that you saw the rapid collapse of the Gadhafi forces. The only thing that was holding him in power was money and fear; and once those are dissipated by military strength, then it's very difficult for anyone to be loyal to Gadhafi, unless they are a blood relative.
So I -- I worry about that. I worry about the different tribes. I worry about the piece that you just had on weapons of mass destruction. I worry about the prisons. I hope we can secure them soon, because there's hundreds, if not thousands, of political prisoners. I hope that we won't see a repeat of what happened in Baghdad: looting of public buildings. I -- I'm -- I think that there's a number of other -- especially, and I appreciate the National Transition Council's message on reconciliation and national unity. There's a lot of bad blood there, and let's hope that the people will restrain themselves and recognize that a bloodbath is not in anyone's interest.
Maybe Michelle Obama is the only one with enough sense to keep us out of this?ReplyDelete
That almost sounds an indecent suggestion, Sir. But I am unable to pinpoint just why.Delete
Christians "are being driven from their biblical heartlands by hard line Muslim governments with no toleration of religious diversity"
Jun 13, 2013 08:44 am | Robert
But in the U.S., if you say that Muslims are persecuting Christians and being anything but tolerant, you will be smeared as a "racist" "Islamophobe." It is increasingly clear that those who make such charges intend to clear away obstacles to this persecution. "Christians face being driven from the Middle...
Like Christians "are being driven from their biblical heartlands by hard line Muslim governments with no toleration of religious diversity"
Obama monitors everything -- except mosques
Jun 13, 2013 08:37 am | Robert
Madness. "Obama's Snooping Excludes Mosques, Missed Boston Bombers," from IBD, June 12 (thanks to Paul): Homeland Insecurity: The White House assures that tracking our every phone call and keystroke is to stop terrorists, and yet it won't snoop in mosques, where the terrorists are. That's right, the government's sweeping surveillance...
from Jihad Watch
There seems to be a rather large 'blind spot' in the Rufus approved NSA 'full blanket coverage' spooking of everyone and every moving thing in the USofA - its mosques.Delete
I am wondering if Rufus approves of this exemption.
Like Rufus says if you have nothing to hide....What Me Worry?
Obama monitors everything -- except mosques
Madness. "Obama's Snooping Excludes Mosques, Missed Boston Bombers," from IBD, June 12 (thanks to Paul):
Homeland Insecurity: The White House assures that tracking our every phone call and keystroke is to stop terrorists, and yet it won't snoop in mosques, where the terrorists are.
That's right, the government's sweeping surveillance of our most private communications excludes the jihad factories where homegrown terrorists are radicalized.
Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover string operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.
Who makes up this body, and how do they decide requests? Nobody knows; the names of the chairman, members and staff are kept secret.
We do know the panel was set up under pressure from Islamist groups who complained about FBI stings at mosques. Just months before the panel's formation, the Council on American-Islamic Relations teamed up with the ACLU to sue the FBI for allegedly violating the civil rights of Muslims in Los Angeles by hiring an undercover agent to infiltrate and monitor mosques there.
Before mosques were excluded from the otherwise wide domestic spy net the administration has cast, the FBI launched dozens of successful sting operations against homegrown jihadists — inside mosques — and disrupted dozens of plots against the homeland.
If only they were allowed to continue, perhaps the many victims of the Boston Marathon bombings would not have lost their lives and limbs. The FBI never canvassed Boston mosques until four days after the April 15 attacks, and it did not check out the radical Boston mosque where the Muslim bombers worshipped.
The bureau didn't even contact mosque leaders for help in identifying their images after those images were captured on closed-circuit TV cameras and cellphones.
One of the Muslim bombers made extremist outbursts during worship, yet because the mosque wasn't monitored, red flags didn't go off inside the FBI about his increasing radicalization before the attacks.
This is particularly disturbing in light of recent independent surveys of American mosques, which reveal some 80% of them preach violent jihad or distribute violent literature to worshippers.
What other five-alarm jihadists are counterterrorism officials missing right now, thanks to restrictions on monitoring the one area they should be monitoring?
(Reuters) - The death toll in Syria reached at least 93,000 at the end of April, but the true number of victims from the violence now in its third year may be much higher, the United Nations human rights office said on Thursday.ReplyDelete
but who cares
they are not real people
The U.N. report said almost 38,000 reported killings had been excluded because records - which require the victim's full name and date and location of death - were incomplete.ReplyDelete
really, non-people, non-kids.
Welcome to the “Olive Tree” refugee camp in Atmeh, Syria. There are no UN relief convoys here. No running water. No electricity, no heat. No sewage systems and only one medical tent. And yet this camp is home to around 13,000 men, women and children who fled their homes to escape the Assad regime onslaught.ReplyDelete
in other news...
Walk or run for the children of Gaza in Washington, DC
American Friends of UNRWA and KinderUSA invite you to join the Gaza Solidarity 5K Walk/Run in Washington, DC. This family-friendly 5K provides a rare opportunity for people living in the United States to show their solidarity with the children of Gaza. Funds raised through the Gaza Solidarity 5K Walk/Run will go to UNRWA’s ongoing summer youth activities, providing critical psycho-social support for children in Gaza.
SHOCKING PHOTOS REVEAL ‘ISLAMIC JIHAD’ SUMMER CAMP FOR KIDS
Jun. 12, 2013
For most children, summer camp involves activities like capture the flag and water polo. However, for a group of children in the Gaza Strip, summer camp involves AK-47s and the lesser known game “kidnap an Israeli soldier.”
Children at the Islamic Jihad summer camp also took part in weapons use, jumping over fire and crawling under barbed wire. Controlled explosions also reportedly occurred while the kids participated in the so-called camp.
All over TV, they are not "beating" the War Drums; they're POUNDING Them.ReplyDelete
I'm getting too old for this shit.
Right on the heels of Iraq, and Libya, here we go again.
Not one of the assholes has challenged the rulers to put up the evidence and defend the position that it was not a false flag from AQ>Delete
The party will be over when someone gets a lucky shot at a carrier.ReplyDelete
a John McCain moment.ReplyDelete
He damned near sank one, didn't he? Probably the worst pilot in the history of the U.S. Navy.Delete
Zbigniew Brzezinski was on tv this morning trying to make some sense; but, you could tell, he was talking to deaf ears.Delete
The media wants "their" war, also.Delete
ZB has never made any sense.Delete
Biggest fraud ever.
Rufus: Probably the worst pilot in the history of the U.S. Navy.Delete
John McCain's capture and subsequent imprisonment began on October 26, 1967. He was flying his 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam when his A-4E Skyhawk was shot down by a missile over Hanoi.
McCain began as a sub-par flier who was at times careless and reckless; during the early to mid-1960s, the planes he was flying crashed twice and once collided with power lines, but he received no major injuries. His aviation skills improved over time, and he was seen as a good pilot, albeit one who tended to "push the envelope" in his flying.
Still stand by your slander of one who actually served this nation?
Perhaps, Rufus was being a little hyperbolic; however, if you insist on being literal, the simple thing to do would to put up an example of someone being a worse pilot.
Slander? He was a fucking aviator. AND, if that isn't bad enough, he lost 3 airplanes, and damned near sunk the Forrestal. Yeah, I'll stand by my remark.Delete
Lighten up, prick. I paid for my right to call the asshole a shithead.
They are all lap dogs. If Romney were in there we wouldn't be hearing the war drums, we'd be hearing how Bain would profit from the coming neo-con war.ReplyDelete
If Romney were in, he would be involved up to his eyebrows, and Mitt would be awaiting further instructions.Delete
If Romney had become President, the USA would still have deterrence and Iran and Hezbollah would not have had the guts to overtly step into Syria.Delete
But Mitt didn't win.
Obama did. And Obama OWNS the entire shitfest.
That was his most effective mission without getting shot down.ReplyDelete
Goes to Syria, and gets his picture taken with an AQ. The man's a walking clusterfuck.Delete
He was flying his 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam when his A-4E Skyhawk was shot down by a missile over Hanoi.Delete
So 22 successful bombing runs are a failure?
The strategic, economic, and human consequences of a U.S.-led military intervention in Syria are hard to predict. The costs--for regional instability, budgetary overstretch, and U.S. lives--could be gargantuan. And they need to be weighed against the likelihood (and benefits) of "success"--something the administration has yet to define. This cost-benefit analysis must also include an honest assessment of the expenses associated with " the responsibility to rebuild" the post-intervention society (something the Bush administration notoriously neglected to do in Iraq).ReplyDelete
MOSCOW—The Kremlin Friday dismissed as unconvincing evidence that U.S. officials provided of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons and criticized Washington’s decision to arm Syrian opposition fighters, but stopped short of threatening to deliver air-defense missiles to the Assad government in response.ReplyDelete
A senior Kremlin official said Moscow is “not yet” discussing the delivery of the advanced air-defense system in the wake of the U.S. decision. Last month, Russian officials threatened to fulfill the 2010 contract for the S-300 missiles as a way to deter potential outside military intervention in the two-year-old Syrian civil war. Western powers and Israel have staunchly opposed the sale of the system.
Both Moscow and the U.S. are pushing the warring sides in Syria to enter peace talks in the coming months. But opposition forces have appealed for more weapons and support in recent weeks as they’ve lost ground against Mr. Assad’s troops and their allies from the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group. The Kremlin opposes any international action against its longtime client, Mr. Assad, and has been skeptical of past Western claims that his forces were using chemical weapons.
Thursday, President Barack Obama authorized the U.S. administration to arm fighters against the Assad regime, reversing a long-running policy of giving only nonlethal support to the country’s opposition. The White House cited confirmation that Mr. Assad’s regime had killed up to 150 people with chemical weapons as the reason for its about-face.
This coming from the Russia that still occupies Georgia and Chechnya?Delete
This coming from a Russia where reporters are killed, business people imprisoned and their companies are stolen?
Right, who to trust? The 'evil empire' or the good old USA, land of renditions, torture, wars of choice, gutting the Constitution, persecutions of the press and whistleblowers, spying on it's citizens, etc.
That is a toughie.
Russian officials say the evidence isn’t rock solid. “I want to confirm that we had a meeting with American representatives in which Americans tried to present information to us about the regime’s use of chemical weapons, but frankly speaking, the evidence Americans set out looks unconvincing,” Yuri Ushakov, the Kremlin’s top foreign-policy aide, said Friday, according to Russian news agencies.
Mr. Ushakov cited the flawed intelligence assessment from the administration of former President George W. Bush about weapons of mass destruction in the run-up to the Iraq war but said he didn’t want to “draw any parallels.”
Other Russian officials were more direct. “The data on Assad’s use of chemical weapons is fabricated just like the lies about weapons of [Saddam] Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction,” read a tweet on the feed of Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the Russian parliament’s international relations committee. “Obama is going down the path of G. Bush.”
Ben Rhodes, the White House Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, said the conclusion that Mr. Assad’s regime has wielded chemical weapons was based on physical samples taken from Syria. He said the U.S. relied on “multiple, independent streams of information” and has “high confidence” in the assessment. He cited four dates and locations during which the U.S. thinks Mr. Assad’s regime employed chemical weapons.
Mr. Ushakov, who long served as the Russian ambassador to the U.S., said any extension of the White House’s support for Syria’s opposition fighters won’t help a joint effort by the U.S. and Russia to bring the bloody conflict’s opposing sides to the negotiating table.
The U.S.’s decision to arm Syria’s opposition fighters could change the balance of power on the ground in the war-torn country, where Mr. Assad’s troops recently have been gaining an edge over beleaguered opposition fighters. U.S. officials have stressed that Mr. Assad, backed by Hezbollah, has been making gains more than two years into a violent conflict that has left more than 90,000 people dead, according to United Nations figures.
The U.S. move comes ahead of a high-stakes meeting between Mr. Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G-8 summit in Northern Ireland that starts on June 17. Syria will be at the top of the agenda for the sidelines meeting.
The Syrian regime is a longtime Kremlin ally dating back to the days of the Cold War. Mr. Putin has opposed outside military intervention in the Syrian conflict, and Russia has joined China in vetoing three UN resolutions that were aimed at forcing Mr. Assad to step down.
Mr. Ushakov stressed that the U.S. and Russia aren’t “competing on Syria,” and are trying to find a constructive way to solve the problem in the region.
Syria’s government signed a contract in 2010 to buy four S-300 batteries with 144 missiles for $900 million, and the first deliveries were scheduled to start in summer 2013. The weapons could change the power dynamic in the Middle East and help the Assad regime prevent the sort of military campaign Western governments organized to aid rebels fighting Col. Moammar Gadhafi in Libya.
Not to worry, Russia will not ship fulling functioning s-300s or if they do? they will sell Israel the codes to destroy them 1st. So Syria will still have to PAY the 900 million.Delete
…Other Russian officials were more direct. “The data on Assad’s use of chemical weapons is fabricated just like the lies about weapons of [Saddam] Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction,” read a tweet on the feed of Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the Russian parliament’s international relations committee. “Obama is going down the path of G. Bush.”ReplyDelete
The Halabja poison gas attack (Kurdish: کیمیابارانی ھەڵەبجە Kîmyabarana Helebce), also known as Halabja massacre or Bloody Friday, was a genocidal massacre against the Kurdish people that took place on March 16, 1988, during the closing days of the Iran–Iraq War, when chemical weapons were used by the Iraqi government forces in the Kurdish town of Halabja in Southern Kurdistan.Delete
The attack killed between 3,200 and 5,000 people, and injured around 7,000 to 10,000 more, most of them civilians; thousands more died of complications, diseases, and birth defects in the years after the attack. The incident, which has been officially defined as an act of genocide against the Kurdish people in Iraq, was and still remains the largest chemical weapons attack directed against a civilian-populated area in history.
The Halabja attack has been recognized as a separate event from the Anfal Genocide that was also conducted against the Kurdish people by the Iraqi regime under Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi High Criminal Court recognized the Halabja massacre as an act of genocide on March 1, 2010, a decision welcomed by the Kurdistan Regional Government. The attack was also condemned as a crime against humanity by the Parliament of Canada.
What is the relevance here?Delete
The data on Assad’s use of chemical weapons is fabricated just like the lies about weapons of [Saddam] Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction,Delete
Saddam had and used WMD
Saddam had and used WMD
Which says nothing to justify using the false excuse that he had WMDs in 2003 as the casus belli for going to war.
WMDs were the 'excuse' we used for going to war in 2003. Today the 'excuse' for going to war is that Syria is using WMDs.
We've seen this act play out before in Libya. The British and French piss and moan, Obama holds back, the bitch troika of Clinton, Powers, and Rice keep hounding him, and like a pussy-whipped husband he gives in. The phony excuse, 'humanitarian reasons'. The real reason, 'regime change and oil contracts'.
Now in Syria, we see the same kabuki. Piss and moan about the innocents being killed (never mind that al Queda et al are doing half the killing), Britain and France pound the drums for war, Obama balks, Donilan retires, the two bitches return, Obama folds, we go to war in Syria. The excuse, 'Syria used chemical weapons'. The real reasons, 'regime change and beyond that, who the fuck knows'.
And the MSM willingly and unquestioningly disseminate the administration's talking points and lies.
The end game? Expect the same clusterfuck we have seen in Libya.
My world has turned upside down and inside out.ReplyDelete
What a change from the days when Russia meant SS-9 and SS-18 launches from Plesetsk, Kapustin Yar and Tyura Tam.
Now my big designation is : WTF
Here's the deal: Russia is the world's 2nd largest Exporter of oil. We are the world's largest Importer of oil. The more turmoil there is in Syria, and Iran, the more money Russia makes.Delete
We, on the other hand, are scared to death that we will get caught-out without that mideastern oil.Delete
Oh, and the no. 1 Exporter of oil - Saudi Arabia. Oil is up $1.20, today. That is, approximately, a $8 Million/day pay raise for Mecca. Call it $3 Billion/yr. Today.
Maybe we should announce the opening of USA gas fields to private drilling, crash the price of oil?Delete
That doesn't make any sense, at all. There are no major fields that are Not open to private drilling.Delete
Will some reporter with some non pre-shrunk testicles please ask, “Where is the beef?”ReplyDelete
US, UK, France and the Saudis......ReplyDelete
The Israelis are oddly missing from this morning's list of usual suspects, neo-cons and scamps.
It's odd as the Israelis had recently been involved in a 24/7 total aerial bombardment of all of Assad's assets.Delete
It is only you and your fellow AIPACer that sees an anti-semite under every rock. Events are what they are. The present hierarchy here from top to bottom are:Delete
Lesser Arab States
DeuceFri Jun 14, 10:53:00 AM EDTDelete
It is only you and your fellow AIPACer that sees an anti-semite under every rock.
Hardly accurate. Could you provide 1 example of this?
Even one of the president's biggest butt-boys questions this move.
I hate to say it but this president looks as if he is worse than weak here. He is being dragged around by events and pressures like a rag doll. And this news that we are entering the war with military supplies is provided by Ben Rhodes, not the president. That’s nothing against Ben, but when a president is effectively declaring war, don’t you think he has a duty to tell the American people why and what he intends to achieve?
But nada. You voted twice for Obama? You’re getting the policies of McCain and the Clintons, the candidates he defeated. I wish I could understand this – but, of course, my worry is that the pincer movement of Rice and Power is already pushing us into a war we do not need, and cannot win.
This is worse than a mistake. It’s a betrayal – delivered casually. Maybe he thinks his supporters will treat this declaration of war just as casually. In which case, he’s in for a big surprise.
I'll bet that Obama wishes he'd never uttered the phrase "red line."ReplyDelete
Astute observation. And I bet he never does again, unless by some miracle this all goes perfectly.
He won't even say, 'Michelle, that's a beautiful red hem line on that dress.'
Will some reporter with some non pre-shrunk testicles please ask, “Where is the beef?”
Not likely. When people speak of the incestuous relationship between the press and Obama administration, there is some truth to it.
“Conflicts” is not the best description of Farhi’s subject. His topic is marriages, unions, and blood, legal and romantic and familial connections between individuals where one party works in media and another works in politics. The extent of such links is staggering. Farhi has to interrupt his story to announce, in a parenthetical, that Post reporter Sari Horwitz, who covers the Justice Department, is married to William B. Schultz, who is Kathleen Sebelius’ top lawyer at the Department of Health and Human Services. Ben Sherwood, the president of ABC News, is brother to Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, “a top national security adviser to President Obama.” Another Obama national security aide, Ben Rhodes, is brother to David Rhodes, president of CBS News. One of CNN’s top D.C. hacks is married to Tom Nides, whose upward career trajectory has taken him from the office of Democratic congressional powerbroker Tony Coelho to, where else, Fannie Mae, Credit Suisse, and Morgan Stanley, as well as a two-year stint as an undersecretary of state for Hillary Clinton. Whose daughter is on contract with NBC.
White House spokesman Jay Carney, who worked for many years at Time magazine, is married to Claire Shipman, a correspondent for ABC News. The White House correspondent for NPR, Ari Shapiro, has been married to former White House counsel Michael Gottlieb since 2004. Longtime NPR personality Michele Norris went on leave in 2011, when her husband Broderick Johnson, a corporate lawyer who served in the Clinton White House, joined the Obama reelection campaign as a full-time adviser. Wall Street Journal political reporter Neil King is married to Shailagh Murray, who serves as communications director for Vice President Joe Biden, and who used to report on Congress for the Post. Savannah Guthrie of NBC recently became engaged to Mike Feldman, a former Gore aide who is now part of the Democratic Glover Park Group consultancy. Syndicated columnist Connie Schultz is married to Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio.
Tracing these associations is enough to keep busy any student of the caste. Assurances from mainstream media outlets that “they’ve worked out the conflicts” that might arise from deep ties between reporters, editors, and government employees, Farhi reports, “hasn’t stopped a few eyebrows from being raised.” You can guess whose eyebrows are those. Farhi quotes the great Mark Steyn, who wrote on National Review Online in May, “The inbreeding among Obama’s court and its press corps is more like one of those ‘I’m my own grandpaw’ deals.” The journalists, though, aren’t laughing. “Such insinuations make media types bristle.”
And oh, how they bristle, "There is zero evidence, zero that...
North Dakota released its April Bakken information this morning.ReplyDelete
In the first 4 months of the year, they have drilled 570 Wells, and increased production by 22,703 bbl/day.
That's 39.8 bbl/day of increased production for every well drilled.Delete
About $5.7 Billion, total cost, for those 570 Wells.Delete
We Import approx. 7.5 Million bbls/day.Delete
188,442 Wells to go.Delete
7,500,000 / 39.8 = 188,442
Just kidding, of course; the Bakken will "top out" sometime within the next year and a half.Delete
In a speech to the conservative Faith and Freedom Coalition Road to Majority Conference in Washington, D.C, Paul scolded Senators on both sides of the aisle for considering authorizing arms support to the Syrian opposition. Paul argued that many many of the rebels who are clashing with forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al Assad “are al quaeda or affiliates.”ReplyDelete
“The Senate is attempting to arm the rebel forces in Syria, many of whom are al quaeda or affiliates. They do so out of a miguided attempt to stop the violence in Syria,” Paul said. “Instead their actions will bring more violence and more persecution of Christians, who have long been protected in Syria.”
Paul’s speech came just hours after the UN released a report showing that 93,000 Syrians have died in a sectarian war that has lasted for over two years. The real death toll is said by experts to be even higher.
Paul, however, urged fellow lawmakers and the White House to cut off funding to the Syrian rebels, calling them “haters of Christianity.”
“It is clear that American taxpayer dollars are being used to enable a war on Christianity in the Middle East and I believe that must end,” he said.
The munchkins in OZ are not going to like hearing that, not at all; however, sometimes you have to fight fire with fire, especially when it's hard to deny what he is saying is true.
Now, what do you think the chances are that his comments will hit the MSM?
With DC and the MSM, the cone of silence has been invoked.
On occasion Paul sounds like a loose cannon, but I have to admit I like the guy.
My sentiments exactly.Delete
Looking like a wuss?
THE scariest possibility regarding Barack Obama's decision yesterday to begin providing limited military aid to the Syrian rebels would be if it had something to do with the advice he was getting from Bill Clinton. In a recent conversation with John McCain that he didn't know was being recorded, published on Politico, Mr Clinton made two basic points. The first was that one shouldn't "overlearn the lessons of the past"; intervention in Syria would involve less risky commitments than in Afganistan or Iraq, since there is little public or international pressure to commit American troops. The second was that if Mr Obama doesn't intervene in Syria and the result is a "calamity", he risks looking like a "wuss". Essentially, high levels of public opposition are not a good reason for Mr Obama to refrain from intervening.
I dearly hope that the policy documents the State Department is now drawing up regarding American military aid to Syrian rebel groups do not read "Goal: Keep POTUS from looking like a wuss."
If we quit drilling the Bakken, today, we will have spent approx. $70 billion in 2013 Dollars,ReplyDelete
and in five years, we would have, essentially, zilch production to show for it (such is the decline rate in the Shale Oil plays.)
The same money, spent on ethanol refineries, would yield 2.5 Million bbls/day for fifty, or a hundred years, or more (there's no way to know how long a stainless steel still will last.)Delete
We can do this Now, or we can dick around with wars in the Mideast for god only knows how long, and THEN do it. But, do it, we will.
Jeb Bush says, "Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families..."
1. Capable of initiating, sustaining, or supporting reproduction
Is old Jeb saying that the immigrants will be
2. producing or bearing fruit in great quantities
or just that native Americans just don't have balls?
I read it as they are great at breeding democrats. Those probably illegal immigrants out at the Casino this morning didn't look like natural born Republicans to me. Bi-lingual though. Got in a conversation with the family patron. Nice feller, but whose money were they using? They did seem to be winning. Happy family all round. Even the little daughter who had some sort of syndrome I could not identify was having a great time on the one armed bandit.Delete
"or just that native Americans just don't have balls?"Delete
Say that to Umatilla Jack and see how long you remain standing.
Yes. It’s a pity the Brits and French didn’t do the right thing and act to stop the American Civil War. Freedom loving Confederates fighting for their rights against a brutal war machine.ReplyDelete
Clinton sanctions killed 100,000 Iraqi children but that was ok since Sadaam deserved it.
The opposition in Syria swore allegiance to Al Qaeda and killed and tortured a 15 year old in front of his parents for insulting the Prophet. Just because Afghanistan, Iraq, Lybia, and Egypt have become Wahabist doesn’t mean that the Saudi Wahabists backing the Syrians aren’t going to do the same in Syria.
The Freedom Loving Democracy loving Iranian students used to have a radio show in DC way back when denouncing they Tyrant Shah. They were the cute liberal western face of Khomeni’s revolution that set up an Islamic dictatorship and seized the American Embassy.
I hope you hang around.
"Freedom loving Confederates fighting for their rights against a brutal war machine......"Delete
I hope I don’t get hanged. :0ReplyDelete
On the stupidity of placing a bet on a losing horse after the race is over -ReplyDelete
Obama-backed Syrian jihadists massacre Christian village population
"Syria Militants Massacre Christian Village Population (Graphic Images)," from Syria Report, June 12 (thanks to Joel):
More details of a massacre in Homs late last month have emerged following the global outcry of a massacre in Deir el-Zour yesterday.
The massacre, carried out by Free Syrian Army militants reportedly targeted men, women and children in the Christian village of al-Duwayr/Douar close to the city of Homs and the border with Lebanon. The incident received little media attention, having occurred at the same time as thousands of Syrian troops converged on the insurgent-occupied town of al-Qusayr.
According to sources, around 350 heavily armed militants entered the village, broke into homes and assembled residents in the main square of the village where they were executed. The final death toll is not known but photos show severe damage to property in the village.
Syrian army sources said that they reached the village after the massacre, resulting in clashes with militants. Sources also reported that Turkish and Chechen extremists were among the perpetrators. Chechen militants are known to have kidnapped two Christian bishops in Aleppo earlier this year. The following images show al-Duwayr/Douar village after the massacre:
[Many more images here.]
Conditions for ethnic and religious minorities have been made increasingly worse as Free Syrian Army affiliated organisations including Jabhat al-Nusra increase ethnic and sectarian cleansing across Syria. Kidnappings, executions and assassinations are common.
Late last month, around the time of the massacre in Homs, a fifteen year old girl was kidnapped by militants in Damascus, who demanded $100,000 for her release. Miryam Jbeil, a niece Damascus-based Catholic priest Nader Jbeil, was released after a number of days in captivity.
miryam.jpgIn the aftermath of the Syrian army assault on al-Qusayr, the church was discovered to have been desecrated by Free Syrian Army militants.... [more photos here]
These things over seas important as they are seem of smaller account compared to what is going on here at home. Holder is saying, concerning the documents requested by the House, which has already held him in contempt, that he does not have to turn them over, and even a court cannot force him to do so. The issue is of course before the courts, whom, one can only hope, will not much like his attitude.ReplyDelete