“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."

Monday, June 17, 2013

Under Mubarak’s 29-year rule, Egypt was a major Mideast bulwark against religious militancy. Egypt, under Morsi is now supplying thousands of Jihadis to fight in Syria with al Qaeda, the same side that the US and UK is supplying weapons.

Egypt Seen to Give Nod Toward Jihadis on Syria

Under Hosni Mubarak's rule, Egypt's authorities took a tough line on Egyptians coming home after waging "jihad" in places like Afghanistan, Chechnya or the Balkans, fearing they would bring back extremist ideology, combat experience and a thirst for regime change. In most cases, they were imprisoned and tortured.
But after Mubarak's overthrow and his replacement by an elected Islamist president, jihad has gained a degree of legitimacy in Egypt, and the country has become a source of fighters heading to the war in Syria.
Egyptian militants are known to have been travelling to Syria to fight alongside Sunni rebels for more than year — but their movements were done quietly. But in recent days, a string of clerics have called for jihad in Syria, with some calling for volunteers to go fight against President Bashar Assad's regime.
On Saturday, Morsi attended a rally by hard-line clerics who have called for jihad and spoke before a cheering crowd at a Cairo stadium, mainly Islamists. Waving a flag of Egypt and the Syrian opposition, he ripped into the Syrian regime, announced Egypt was cutting ties with Damascus and denounced Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah guerrillas for fighting alongside Assad's forces.

Clerics at the rally urged Morsi to back their calls for jihad to support rebels. Morsi did not address their calls and did not mention jihad. But his appearance was seen as in implicit backing of the clerics' message. It came after a senior presidential aide last week said that while Egypt was not encouraging citizens to travel to Syria to help rebels, they were free to do so and the state would take no action against them.
Khalil el-Anani, an Egyptian expert on Islamist groups, called the move "Morsi's endorsement of jihad in Syria" and warned it was "a strategic mistake that will create a new Afghanistan in the Middle East."
"He is pushing Egypt into a sectarian war in which we have no interest," he said.
The new tone in Egypt risks fueling the flow of Egyptian jihadi fighters to Syria, where the conflict is already increasingly defined by the sectarian divide, with the mostly Sunni rebels fighting a regime rooted in the minority Alawite sect, an off-shoot of Shiite Islam, and backed by Shiite Iran and Hezbollah.
The conflict is also becoming more regional after Hezbollah intervened to help Assad defeat rebels in a strategic western town this month. Since then, hard-liners around the region have hiked calls for Sunnis to join the rebels in the fight. There are already believed to be several thousand foreign fighters among the rebel ranks, largely Islamist extremists some with al-Qaida ties.
The United States last week hardened its own position on Assad's regime, agreeing to provide the rebels with lethal weapons.
Damascus on Sunday lashed out at Morsi for his speech a day earlier, saying he "joins a choir of conspiracy and incitement led by the United States and Israel against Syria."
It accused him of endorsing calls by hardline clerics for people to fight in Syria.
Egypt's powerful military also seemed to distance itself from Morsi speech, in which he pledged that Egypt's government and military are behind the struggle of the Syrian people against Assad.
On Sunday, the state news agency quoted an unidentified military official underlining that "the Egyptian army will not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. It will not be dragged or be used in any of the regional struggles."
There are no official figures on how many Egyptians have gone to Syria to fight. Security officials monitoring the movement of militants estimate as many as 2,500 have gone, and their numbers are likely to significantly pick up after Hezbollah's intervention.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Organizations associated with Egypt's ultraconservative Salafi movement are believed to help organize movements for Egyptians to Syria. Islamist websites have reported that up to several dozen Egyptians have been killed while fighting in Syria the past two years, though the number has not been independently confirmed. The conflict, now in its third year, has killed nearly 93,000 people, according to new figures released by the United Nations.
Under Mubarak's 29-year rule, Egypt was a major Mideast bulwark against religious militancy. Mubarak closely cooperated with the United States and other Western nations in the hunt for extremists wanted in connection with terror attacks and dismantling the financial networks for militant groups. His regime was also notorious for rights abuses and torture against militants and other opponents
In the 1990s, militants who gained combat experience fighting the Russians in Afghanistan staged an anti-government insurgency that took the lives of more than 1,000 people, mostly civilians. Mubarak's security forces crushed the insurgency, and in the years that followed the groups involved renounced violence, though they maintained a hard-line ideology.
The fall of Mubarak in early 2011 and Morsi's election nearly a year ago allowed many of the former militants to come in from the cold.
Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, from which he hails, gets key backing from one of the main former Islamic militant groups, Gamaa Islamiya, as well as from several political parties of the Salafi movement.
A senior official at the Interior Ministry, which is in charge of police and internal security, said the names of at least 3,000 militants have in recent months been removed from the wanted list posted at the country's points of entry over the past two years.
Many of the 3,000 have since Morsi taken office returned to Egypt from exile and are now freely participating in the country's Islamist-dominated politics, said the official.
Those who returned home included individuals tried and convicted in connection to the 1981 assassination of President Anwar Sadat, the attempted assassination against Mubarak in Ethiopia in 1995 or militants who have been involved in wars abroad, said the official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Morsi's turning up the heat on Assad's regime appeared to be a concession to his ultraconservative allies, who have been unhappy with his government's moves to improve ties with Shiite Iran, Assad's main regional backer.
It also strengthens their backing for him ahead of giant anti-Morsi demonstrations planned by his opponents on June 30.
"This is a terrible idea," said Michael W. Hanna, an Egypt expert from the New York-based Century Foundation. "He is refocusing the anger of Egyptians over his policies away toward foreign issues instead of the domestic mess he is presiding over at home."
The security official said there are worries in the security establishment that sanctioning travel to Syria for Egyptians could later embolden jihadi groups to set up their training camps and political parties to create their own militias. Armed militant groups have become increasingly active in lawless parts of the Sinai Peninsula, where there has been a flood of weapons smuggled from Libya.
The change in Egypt's approach has not gone unnoticed in the West.
Last week, Germany's Interior Ministry issued its 2012 report on domestic security in which it noted an increase in the travel to Egypt by suspected Islamic extremists, ostensibly because they wanted to live in Muslim countries or study Arabic but in some specific cases may have been really interested in joining jihadi training camps.
The report doesn't specify where these training camps are located, whether in Egypt or elsewhere in the Middle East, North Africa or South Asia.
AP correspondent Robert H. Reid in Berlin contributed to this reports.


    Published: June 14, 2013 126 Comments

    AMMAN, Jordan — ACCORDING to Bill Clinton, Barack Obama risks looking like a “fool” if he decides not to intervene militarily in Syria’s continuing civil war. Likening the situation to his decision to intervene in Kosovo in 1999, Mr. Clinton said Tuesday that if he hadn’t used force to stop Serbia’s campaign of ethnic cleansing, critics might have said: “You could have stopped this by dropping a few bombs. Why didn’t you do it?” Mr. Clinton believes that Mr. Obama could end up looking like a “total wuss” if he doesn’t intervene. And it seems he’s going to act.

    The recent recapture of the strategic town of Qusair by forces loyal to the government of Bashar al-Assad and the White House’s public acknowledgment that chemical weapons have been employed by the Syrian regime — thereby crossing a “red line” — persuaded Mr. Obama to adopt the doctrine of intervention and provide arms to the rebels. He shouldn’t have.

    Lacking a grand strategy, Mr. Obama has become a victim of rhetorical entrapment over the course of the Arab Spring — from calling on foreign leaders to leave (with no plan to forcibly remove them) to publicly drawing red lines on the use of chemical weapons, and then being obliged to fulfill the threat.

    For nearly two years, the Obama administration has described the Syrian regime as having “lost all legitimacy” and “clinging to power.” And yet, it has surprisingly endured. That’s because neither assertion is really accurate. Mr. Assad still has strong support from many Syrians, including members of the Sunni urban class. While the assistance Syria receives from its external allies, like Iran and Russia, is important, it would be inconsequential if the Assad regime were not backed by a significant portion of the population.

    Interventionists tend to detach their actions from longer-term consequences. This myopia is often coupled with a prevalent misunderstanding of the political and cultural context of where they want to intervene. Both problems are present in the current American approach to Syria.


  2. {…}

    The Syrian revolution isn’t democratic or secular; the more than 90,000 fatalities are the result of a civil war, not a genocide — and human rights violations have been committed on both sides.

    Moreover, the rebels don’t have the support or trust of a clear majority of the population, and the political opposition is neither credible nor representative. Ethnic cleansing against minorities is more likely to occur under a rebel-led government than under Mr. Assad; likewise, the possibility of chemical weapons’ falling into the hands of terrorist groups only grows as the regime weakens.

    And finally, a rebel victory is more likely to destabilize Iraq and Lebanon, and the inevitable disorder of a post-Assad Syria constitutes a greater threat to Israel than the status quo.

    Not since the 2003 invasion of Iraq has American foreign policy experienced a strategic void so pervasive.

    The responsible role of a lone superpower is not to pick sides in a civil war; it’s to help enable conflict resolution while maintaining a policy of neutrality. Instead, the United States came down on one side of a regional sectarian conflict, inadvertently fomenting Sunni hubris and Shiite fear — the same effects (but in reverse) caused by America’s involvement in the Iraq war.


  3. {…}

    Unlike in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, the revolution in Syria involves upending a sectarian political order, and therefore it disrupts the fragile sectarian balance within the region. Absent “boots on the ground,” supplying rebels with arms or establishing a no-fly zone are half-measures that are unlikely to advance an endgame that serves American interests or alters Mr. Assad’s calculus to step aside — all the while, intensifying the lethality of the conflict without contributing toward a decisive end.

    More important, by arming the rebels, Mr. Obama is not only placing the United States in an open proxy war with Russia and Iran, but also raising the stakes and consequently jeopardizing broader and more valuable American interests.

    THERE is no doubt that weakening Mr. Assad’s allies, like Iran and Hezbollah, is in the United States’ interest. But intervening in Syria could also harm much more important American goals like securing Russia’s cooperation in addressing Iran’s nuclear program and maintaining stability in Iraq. There is also the risk that intervention will become counterproductive. Empowering American-favored rebel forces to confront the influence of the hard-line Islamist groups that are also fighting against Mr. Assad may backfire and intensify rivalries, causing the fault lines of the civil war to break down even further and turn the increasingly dominant hard-line Islamists against Western-backed rebels. Mr. Assad will then be fighting an insurgency that is fighting itself.

    Strangely, despite having committed to arming the rebels, Mr. Obama has yet to exhaust diplomatic efforts, which were inadequate and poorly constructed from the start. The White House’s actions and rhetoric have deprived diplomacy of its most basic prerequisites. Once it called for Mr. Assad to step down in August 2011, the United States fully abdicated the role of a credible arbiter — the core ingredient for eventually moving civil wars toward power-sharing arrangements. Then Washington insisted that Mr. Assad’s departure was required for a political transition to begin. (Its position only recently evolved; now America believes negotiations must end with Mr. Assad’s departure.)

    But what’s the point of negotiating a political settlement if the outcome is already predetermined? In order for diplomacy to gain traction, it is the United States, not Russia, that must make the greater compromise and rescind its demands about Mr. Assad’s stepping down as a predetermined outcome.

    His current term as president will expire in May 2014, which could provide a face-saving mechanism for a political transition to take place while keeping the institutions of the state intact. If the United States and Russia could agree on that, negotiations could then expand to involve regional Sunni and Shiite powers, who could rein in their proxies in Syria, and finally to a local level, mediating between Assad loyalists and rebels.

    Mr. Obama would have been wise to make a forceful diplomatic push first before succumbing to the naïveté of his pro-intervention critics. Intervention in Syria won’t end as Kosovo did for Mr. Clinton.

    Syria is like Iraq, except worse.

    Ramzy Mardini is an adjunct fellow at the Beirut-based Iraq Institute for Strategic Studies. He served at the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs in 2006.

  4. Syria is like Iraq, except worse. Far worse.

  5. Our stalwart ally, Saudi Arabia is with us, how could anything go wrong?

    Giving them rebels Manpads, they are.
    Pootie Poot's gonna love that.

    We're still cashing in on dividends we earned arming The Muji's against the Soviets in The Stan back in the day.

    9-11 was just the first major installment, many features yet to come.

    Trust Me.

    ...and of course, The Bamster.

  6. DeuceSun Jun 16, 09:24:00 AM EDT

    "When the White House announced the policy change on Syria, through deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes,Obama was more interested in a LGBT Pride Month celebration, a Father’s Day luncheon and a reception for the W.N.B.A. championship Indiana Fever basketball team."


    And before that, he asked God to bless Planned Parenthood.
    (translation: Muhammad to bless the Baby Killers.
    ...he needn't have asked.)

    ...vacuuming poor little black babies away, just as Margaret Sanger would have had it.

    Rich little black b...... like Sasha and Malia need not apply.

    ...although dad does not want them to be "punished" with a child.

  7. AnonymousSun Jun 16, 10:16:00 AM EDT

    "If Obama had a son most all would have looked like him."

    Lucky SOB

  8. The Syrian Army does to the Saudis what the US should have done to the Saudis on multiple occasions:

    Syrian army forces have killed a large number of Saudi militants during mop-up operations against armed groups in the strategic city of Aleppo.

    On Sunday, a number of Saudi gunmen were killed during intense clashes with Syrian troops in the Kafr Hamra district of Aleppo, situated about 310 kilometers (193 miles) northwest of the capital, Damascus, the official SANA news agency reported.

    The development comes as the bodies of 70 Saudi nationals fighting against the Syrian government have been returned to Saudi Arabia.

    A Saudi source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the bodies were delivered to the country at King Fahad International Airport in the city of Dammam.

    The source said the Saudi regime had sent a number of diplomats to Turkey in order to facilitate the transfer process.

    He also said there are currently about 8,000 Saudi nationals in Syria fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    Additionally, Syrian troops clashed with militants affiliated to the terrorist group al-Nusra Front near Aleppo’s Kilikia Association, Maaret al-Artik and Einjara School. Dozens of gunmen were killed in the heavy exchange of fire. Two 23mm anti-aircraft guns and a number of heavy machineguns were destroyed.

    A terrorist hideout was also raided by the Syrian forces in the village of Daret Azza, and several gunmen were killed.

    Meanwhile, Syrian troops inflicted heavy losses on terrorists during offensives on the outskirts of Damascus.

    Syrian troops clashed with militants in the town of al-Ahmadia, killing and injuring a number of them.

    Government forces also stormed a terrorist hideout in the city of Douma, located about 10 kilometers (six miles) northeast of Damascus, and shot dead scores of militants.

    In clashes between the Syrian troops and militants in the city of al-Zabadani, a Takfiri militant commander, identified as Suleiman Tinawi, was killed.

    A unit of the Syrian army also attacked gunmen in the town of Babila, where a large amount of arms and munitions was destroyed, and the leader of a local militant group, Amer Rashwan, was killed.

    Syrian troops also engaged al-Nusra militants in the town of al-Hajar al-Aswad.

    Syria has been gripped by a deadly unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers, have been killed in the violence.

    On June 14, Louay Meqdad, a representative of the so-called Free Syrian Army, said the terrorist group will ask for tanks, warplanes and other heavy weapons during an upcoming meeting with US and Western officials in Turkey.

    “We are going to ask them directly and clearly that we need tanks and the air jets, all weapons that they can offer us,” the representative stated.

    President Assad said in May that militants from as many as 29 different countries were fighting against the government in different parts of the country.

  9. When bad news is good news:

    This week’s G8 Summit in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, got off to the worst possible start as talks between the two leaders immediately stalled.

    Mr Putin refused to stop providing arms to Bashar al-Assad and rebuked Mr Cameron and President Barack Obama for aiding the rebels fighting the Syrian leader.

    The Prime Minister admitted that he and Mr Putin “don’t see eye-to-eye on everything” and had a “serious and honest discussion” over Syria.
    However, a spokesman for Mr Putin later said that the two leaders have “lots of very serious differences” over the situation in Syria.
    Mr Putin attacked Mr Cameron’s continued support for the rebels after he was asked whether he has “the blood of Syrian children on his hands” – a reference to comments previously made by the Prime Minister.

    1. Lets see topless pics of Pootie and "Mr Cameron"

  10. The body language of Putin in the video was amazing. I can’t recall ever seeing anything like it. Who will be more affective of rolling Obama, Putin or his Neocon flunkies?

  11. "The Syrian Army does to the Saudis what the US should have done to the Saudis on multiple occasions:"


    Killing innocent Sod-Asses?
    Not on my watch:

    What have they ever done to us other than killing thousands of civilians and soldiers, and funding Jihad Worldwide?

    ...great Strategery, W!
    BHO is W2 on Steroids.
    Free for all under Obamacare. is the "news" courtesy of your Obamaphone.

    Prior to departing office (if he ever does) he'll mandate ObamaIphones by Executive Order.

    He is our chief exc. after all.

  12. Glad to see you back Doug. Was beginning to worry a bit.


    1. Q ripped Ruf a big new one yesterday in case you missed it.


    2. Oh, boy!

      Q is good at that.

      Did it to me.

      (on a technicality, aka fact, not my character, as was no doubt the case for RufieII)

    3. "Was beginning to worry a bit."


      Somebody's gotta do it.

      Mom's gone, as is the best mom ever:

      My Wife.

  13. ObamaIphones looks like ObamaLphones on my screen.

    I meant:

  14. Hang in there. I know it's tough.


    1. Esp when you do what I've just done:

      Create a timeline of the Cataclysm that's been the last 3 years of our lives.

      From bliss to heartache in a virtual heartbeat.

  15. Pootie may be a crook,

    but he's closer to being our crook than "our" crook:


  16. Q was claiming the Rufoid did not have a brain.

    Made a pretty good case for the proposition too.


    1. Now we should decide what IS in that cranium.

      My bet's on

      Rootie Tootie, Fresh and Fruity.

  17. Rufie Poopie, Fresh and Stinky.

    More like it.


    Shit for brains.

  18. Replies
    1. We should all bed a Weasel at least once.

      ...just to see what happens.

    2. "They are small, active predators"

      I'd call that an extreme understatement.

    3. Wasn't "The Dude"

      cursed by a Weasel in his bubblebath?

      ...courtesy of a couple of guys that looked like part of Pootie's Mafia.

    4. Greatest movie ever made, btw.

    5. It's called

      "The Big Lebowski"


      Check it out.

      Cohen Brothers, of course.

    6. "...courtesy of a couple of guys that looked like part of Pootie's Mafia."


      They also peed on his favorite rug.

      as they took lead pipes to everything in his appartment.

      Guy should have got an Oscar then, instead of a year or two ago. escapes alzheimer Doug.

    7. Coen Brothers.

      Jeff Bridges

      Google is your friend.

      ...and our demise.

      Courtesy of Our Surveillance State.

  19. Doug is back.



    1. Doug is avoiding you know what w/this distraction.

      If I ever experience joy again, you'll never hear much from me.

      ...although some thanks to God would come to mind.

    2. You will make it.

      Love does not die.

      She is right over there, on the horizon, waiting to greet you, and I know it.


  20. (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Monday urged young people in Northern Ireland to finish making "permanent peace" and set an example to other parts of the world stricken by religious conflict, violence and war.

    Obama, accompanied by his wife Michelle, stopped in Belfast before leaving for the G8 summit, which is being held at a secluded lakeside hotel not far from the site of one of the worst killings in the province’s conflict.

    Ireland needs O’bama’s advice about peace and supplying weapons to insurgents and terrorists.

  21. Change is spare.

    Seems like more of the same.

  22. Did John and Bobbie and Maryilan ever share the same bed?

    ...or was it just another hum-drum serial affair?

    So to speak.

    1. BIRTH DATE:June 01, 1926

      DEATH DATE:August 05, 1962

      PLACE OF BIRTH: Los Angeles, California

      PLACE OF DEATH: Los Angeles, California


      At least it wasn't a long trip.

    2. Mom caught me with a little miniature plastic telescope viewer thingie that featured a topless pic of Jane Russell flopped over a wooden chair in my pocket while doing the wash.

      She did not return it.

    3. Even my great memory (long term only) does not recall where I came across that prize.

  23. Maryilan tonight at 9pm HBO

    ...for you lucky stiffs w/a TV

  24. Quirk didn't rip anyone a "big, new one," yesterday.

    He recited an inane laundry-list of things that he might, from time to time (depending on the day, and hour,) think is wrong with the world, and blamed them on Obama. One of which was the widening "Income Gap."

    The "Income Gap?"

    You spend 99% of your day bitching about Obama's Social (income gap-narrowing) policies, and then blame HIM for the income gap?

    Give me a break.

    1. Yep, legalizing 30 Million low education low skilled illegals will close that gap quick-like.
      Not to mention fund free Obamacare for their six kid families.

      Illegals have put 10's of Millions Black Males out of the workforce and destroyed their families.

      What with that and "Planned Parenthood" Half-White Obamass is a real hero for the blacks.


      Shit for brains.

    2. In South Central (LA CA)
      Thousands of Black Entrepreneurs in the furniture and car repair trades were run out of business due to emission violations.
      (paints, solvents, Bondo, and such)


      ...replaced by illegal "Hispanics" who conduct their businesses outside the law.

      Whatta Country!

      Go BHO!

      Rufie says so.

      ...for The Confederacy.

    3. "Thousands of Black Entrepreneurs in the furniture and car repair trades were run out of business due to emission violations."

      ...left out:

      by the EPA,

      ...our protector of all things illegal, and prosecuter of law-abiding Citizens.

  25. "The world has about 35 cubic miles of oil reserves still in the ground.

    The world uses about 1 cubic mile of oil per year.

    Do the Math."

    From Dick G. - A commentor on The Oil Drum

    1. Been on Solar Water heat for more years of my life than I have not been.

      Now Petro-Free thanks to a 10 KW PV Array. tu, Rufie?

      (I do fill up the Corolla w/8-10 gallons 3 or 4 times a year, tho)

      ...nobody's perfect.

      Even Me.

      Hard as it is to believe.


    2. " tu, Rufie?"

      Correction: tu, Rufie II?

  26. Wow, a couple of really interesting things happened in California, yesterday.

    23.5% of California's electricity came from non-large hydro Renewables, and

    Solar contributed Over 20,000 Megawatt hrs of electricity.


    1. CA has a massive deficit, following Detroit on the path to bankruptcy.

      ...fired State Employees drawing six-figure retirements as punishment for their misbehavior.

      CA's future is BLACK.

      (actually "Hispanic")

      La Raza will have won.

      California for the Mexicans, as God wanted.

      (and Rufie, long as it's "Green")

      ...and bankrupt.

    2. That's your answer to

      Doug Mon Jun 17, 09:08:00 AM EDT

      wrt to your personal (ethanol fueled) response as far as your personal commitment and investment in "alternate energy"?

    3. ...Solar Water Heating being impossible in the frigid climes of Mississippi.

      PV, impossible, except for everybody else.


      (Shit For Brains)

    4. Actually, California is running a Large Surplus.

    5. ha, ha, HA!

      Linky Dink, please.

    6. Still no answer to why you don't run on Solar Hot Water.

      ...much less PV.

      (cause it does not cost out in Mississippi at the present time) you consume those precious cubic miles of petroleum.

      For Shame!

    7. I'm moving from Ms.

      But, I do run my car on E85 (85% Ethanol.)

  27. I added a video on Ron Paul’s take on the US and our newfound allies in Syria, al Qaeda.

    1. Even a stopped, and cracked, Clock is right two times a day.

  28. Rand Paul would result in a Hillary landslide.

    Go Team!

  29. Libertarians...

    For THEIR visions,

    not mine.

  30. Ron Paul accurately describes the situation about DC, Syria and the general problem in the Middle East of the US supported Neocon campaign to destabilize every country in the Middle East under the cynical guise of democratization.

    We regularly get posters on this site that are gleeful that one Muslim group is killing another as if this will somehow accrue to our benefit.

  31. Oil heading north of $100. Consider it your donation to the Neocon cause. No problem, you only pay at the pump. No paper work.

  32. Replies
    1. OR, buy a flexfuel car, and run it on American Ethanol.

    2. E85 is selling at $0.80 and $0.90 / gal less than gasoline all over the U.S.

      an example

  33. Everybody in the world knows This, by now:

    California expects to take in $2.4 billion more in revenue than it will spend this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

    $95.4 Billion Revenue, $93 Billion Spending


      population 37 million
      unemployed 1.6 million
      food stamps 4.2 million

      debt 407 BILLION
      revenue 390 billion, spending 471 billion

    2. And like many states, California has yet to deal with its longer-term problems. The big whammies there include unfunded liabilities associated with the teachers' retirement system and state retiree health benefits.

  34. He added that Russia’s position on no-fly zones was clear and fundamental.
    “All these maneuvers linked to no-fly zones and various kinds of humanitarian corridors are a direct consequence of disrespect for international law. Libya was a concrete example of how such zones are introduced and how such decisions are implemented. We do not want the scenario to repeat with regards to the Syrian conflict. We are not going to allow this scenario in principle,” Lukashevich explained.
    The diplomat said that all claims and assertions that the American colleagues were carrying out preparatory works in the territory of Jordan were also direct violations of international law.
    "We will adhere to our stance,” Lukashevich emphasized.

  35. Why would Obama even consider such outrageous behavior unless he is just folding to the neocons. There is no other logical conclusion.

    1. Unless he is beholden to the Sunni...

    2. Right. He is a sunni. This is the correct answer. We have elected a sunni as President.

      And Rufoid, who hates all religions, voted for him. Being the dumb shit that he is.


  36. There is no US interest in us being involved. None.

    1. None? While I don't think it is a good idea to go to war, again, I can see the logic. The conflict is not simply a civil war confined to Syria but rather it has regional implications. Our side is losing the battle in Syria and Iran/Syria/Hezbollah are winning. You know military guys, they don't like to lose.

    2. And the military approach they are considering has had success in the past. Gadhafi was poised to win until our side ramped up and now he is gone and Libya sits on the win side of the ledger.

    3. Syria is not Libya. Syria is a thousand miles, figuratively, from Libya.

      Also, in Libya, we supposedly did not know that we were supporting Al Queda (you know, the guys we've spent a couple of $ Trillion "being at war with."

    4. Sure, there are a lot of bad actors on both sides of the equation but there is us (the west) and them (Russia/Iran/Syria...). 2 sides duking it out in the great global game and we are poised to lose this battle. Americans don't like losing.

    5. They don't like losing if they feel "invested." Americans, however, don't seem to feel very much invested in Syria,

      with 70% saying, "stay the hell out of there."

    6. Yeah, but 'they' don't really understand the global game that their noble leaders are playing and who the heck runs a military affair according to polls? America loves all things military and the military leaders are large and in charge (with their buddies in the private world of the military/industrial complex of course). Public opinion is something to be managed and ignored if needed and the 'pubs are screaming for even more war. Tis only the 'kooks' like Paul (and formerly Nadar) who opposed this stuff. That and our rabid pacifist Quire ;)

    7. .

      And then we have Ash, the seer of the north, offering us his wisdom.

      He can see the logic.

      Assad is winning.

      FUKUS doesn't like losing.

      The military/industrial complex wants war.

      Libya was a great win for our side.

      The neocons are still around.

      Rand Paul is a kook.

      Gee, it's all so clear now.


    8. As usual Quirk has no argument but ad hominem. Have at it dude.

    9. .

      Deuce's comment had to do with US interests, not those of the dicks running the US.


  37. That and our rabid pacifist Quire ;)

    An interesting use of an archaic word. Impressive.

    1. heh heh, typo. I guess Queer would have been an appropriate Freudian slip...



  38. There will be no peace in The Middle East while the hegemon is interested in continued disruption and is hostile to a potential rival rising to challenge her position.

    That is the way it is, the way it has always been and the way that it will continue. It is political craftsmanship to behold, where a state can have such aspirations and manipulate a far greater power to provide the service of a Praetoriani. The Romans would have been very impressed.

    It is quite the circus act, the lithe young trainer manipulating the lion with a very short stick.

    1. I don't think that peace would reign in the ME if the US stepped back. There is a lot of hate and conflicts of interests abound. I don't think continual war is in the US interest but if the US were to withdraw its finger from the scale forces counter to US interests may very well prevail.

    2. Are you prepared to let Iran dominate the region?

    3. Would they be worse than Saudi Arabia? We have been the dream team for the ayatollahs. Had we not been fucking with them all these years, the Iranian people would have gotten rid of them, the same way the Egyptians are trying to ged rid of Morsi and the Turks are trying to get rid of Erdogan.

    4. I agree but, for example, go back to Gulf War 1 and Saddam's takeover of Kuwait. He would have controlled a heck of lot of oil and it would have given him more power to realize his dream of Arab power. We beat him back in GW1 and took over in GW2. The west still has a modicum of control of Iraq oil despite the Shia closeness to Iran but we stand to lose that as contracts are made.

      How powerful (without US support) is the Saudi monarchy? The Kuwait monarchy? Dubai, Qatar? There is a long history of Sunni vs Shiite animosity and, in general, the Sunni have ruled the roost. Their grip on power is slipping yet the Wests reliance on cheap oil still drives much of our economy. Ethanol hasn't solved the problem as of yet.

    5. Ethanol hasn't been given the opportunity. We replaced 10% of our fuel with ethanol, almost as an afterthought - and, then, they threw on the brakes (politically, and regulatorily.)

    6. If oil did spike to 250 a barrel, maybe, just maybe, the free market would embrace ethanol.

    7. DeuceMon Jun 17, 11:07:00 AM EDT

      There will be no peace in The Middle East while the hegemon is interested in continued disruption and is hostile to a potential rival rising to challenge her position.

      There will be no peace among the Sunni and the Shia. Ever.

  39. The plan was that the Shah would take Iran into the role. The French buggered that up returning the ayatollah while the Shah was losing his hold.

    Your argument is not supported by the results of twelve years of US instigated wars in the Middle East. Iraq was to have been the poster child of the neocon dream. Iraq will explode at any time.Egypt is worse off since Mubarak was forced out by the US as is Libya. Afghanistan is no better off since the US manipulated and assisted the mujahideen to force the Russians out.

    We created a disaster in Viet Nam and Cambodia.Our leaving allowed them to settle their differences amongst themselves and today they are far better off than they were with American “military assistance.”

    1. I am all in favor of keeping out of the conflicts of the middle east. I am also prepared to let Iran and its allies dominate the region if that is what it comes to. There are many in the US, and more importantly, the leaders, who see Russia and Iran and Syria as 'bad' and think that if they should have increased influence over the large source of oil that still exists in the region it would spell dire problems for the US (and the rest of the West). Those 'folks' also believe that we are morally and politically superior to those 'on the other side' with our democratically elected leaders providing freedom and justice and prosperity.

    2. In the end, though, it is sheer power politics with oil and all the power that flows from it at play.

    3. I am all for Iran getting a nuclear bomb. Of course the moment that happens? Iran either will be nuked or oil will go to 250 dollars a barrel.

      Either way?

      I am fine with that.

    4. Jimmy Carter supported the Shah's downfall....

    5. I am laughing my ass off listening to Ash. It is comedy of the very highest sort.

      Our Canadian sage says:

      "I am all in favor of keeping out of the conflicts of the middle east. I am also prepared to let Iran and its allies dominate the region if that is what it comes to."

      What Me Worry and pass the doogy.

      Our best policy, which we may be waltzing into, is arm them up and let them all kill one another. Thank God we have a sunni President.

      Anything that weakens a moslem country or islam as a whole is the star we should be following.

      This is cold and calculating. And correct.


    6. So, given what you wrote above, you support the Obama policy. Interesting.

  40. All this pious bullshit about 100 people killed by sarin gas in Syria. We killed between 2000 - 6000 Panamanians in a few nights with Bush senior ’s attack on Panama City. We will never know as most of them were bulldozed into mass graves. A real OOrah action that was.

    1. And yet you posted: DeuceSat Jun 01, 06:03:00 PM EDT
      The remains of dozens of Palestinians killed by Israelis in fighting during the war of 1948 which led to the creation of the state of Israel have been found in a mass grave in Tel Aviv's Jaffa district.

      An official at the Muslim cemetery there told AFP news agency that the grisly find occurred on Wednesday when ground subsided as workers carried out renovations, revealing six chambers full of skeletons.

      Jaffa fisherman Atar Zeinab, 80, says that as a teenager during the final months of fighting in 1948, he helped to collect the Arab dead in the area south of Jaffa and bring them for hasty burial in the cemetery, the area's main graveyard.

      "I carried to the cemetery 60 bodies during a period of three or four months," he told AFP. "We used to find the people in the street and most of the time we didn't know who they were."

      why the double standard????

  41. Why is so hard for us to mind our own business. Focus on Detroit if we need a mission.

    1. Hard to focus on Detroit if we are paying through the nose for oil controlled by the Russians and their allies.

    2. Detroit is an easy fix.

      Give them weapons and rockets, let the burn the city down.

      Oh that's right, it already is..

      They just used matches.

  42. An ethanol-optimized engine will achieve the same hp/mpg ratio as a gasoline engine, and do it on a fuel that is, routinely, 25% less expensive.

    The cost of ethanol optimization? Essentially, Zero.

    The benefits in balance of payments, energy independence, savings on overseas adventures? Limitless.

    We're nuts.

  43. And yet you posted: DeuceSat Jun 01, 06:03:00 PM EDT
    The remains of dozens of Palestinians killed by Israelis in fighting during the war of 1948 which led to the creation of the state of Israel have been found in a mass grave in Tel Aviv's Jaffa district.

    An official at the Muslim cemetery there told AFP news agency that the grisly find occurred on Wednesday when ground subsided as workers carried out renovations, revealing six chambers full of skeletons.

    Jaffa fisherman Atar Zeinab, 80, says that as a teenager during the final months of fighting in 1948, he helped to collect the Arab dead in the area south of Jaffa and bring them for hasty burial in the cemetery, the area's main graveyard.

    "I carried to the cemetery 60 bodies during a period of three or four months," he told AFP. "We used to find the people in the street and most of the time we didn't know who they were."

    why the double standard????

    1. Double standard. I criticized both. Study up on your definitions.

    2. Why ANY criticism at all about 60 bodies collected over months of fighting that were buried in a cemetery in the 1st place?

      Why is that our business? Why is it worthy of a post?

      Bodies found in graveyard..

      Now that is a double standard.

    3. We have 100 bodies that we are prepared to go to war over in Syria. All over hyped up and unsubstantiated charges. You are the one who keeps bringing up the Israel misconduct.

    4. There was NO Israeli misconduct.

      Dead people get buried in grace in a cemetery.

      You are the one that found that to be "grisly".

      You create Israeli misconduct when there is none, not I

    5. Everyone can draw their own conclusions:

    6. "Jaffa fisherman Atar Zeinab, 80, says that as a teenager during the final months of fighting in 1948, he helped to collect the Arab dead in the area south of Jaffa and bring them for hasty burial in the cemetery, the area's main graveyard.

      "I carried to the cemetery 60 bodies during a period of three or four months," he told AFP. "We used to find the people in the street and most of the time we didn't know who they were."

      So during the war, over a period of 3 or 4 months bodies were collected by the Arabs and DUMPED into a mass grave.

      60 people. Averaging 15 bodies a month.

      Why is this a FIND if there is a guy that remembered DUMPING the bodies there?

      Where is the Israeli "misconduct"?

      They didnt create the mass grave. One dead person every other day or so COULD have been buried...

      A non-news story, reposted by Deuce...

    7. Now 93,000 killed in Syria?

      That is not news...

      Nor of import....

    8. You are enjoying it and have posted as much. Sunnis killing Shia and vs vs. Then to really get you hot, you speculate on Iran being Nuked, and of course your old time fav, nuking the Black Rock at Mecca.

    9. I would LOVE the black rock of mecca to be vaporized.

      As for the shits verses the suns?

      I care just slightly more than you do.

    10. But let's be honest.

      You dont give a shit if Israel is nuked.

      You didnt care that 6 million Jews were murdered, nor did the world.

      the world could care if 100k syrians are murdered, or if Iran and iraq killed 1.5 million of each other...

      And the truth? America doesnt care about the 55 MILLIOn babies murdered thru abortions either...

      So let's be honest. NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT ANYONE

    11. When the Hamas was firing 10 thousand rockets on Israel?

      This blog called them homemade fireworks...

      No one cares. So why should I give a shit if Iran causes it'sself to get nuked?

      You dont... Why should I?

    12. If Iran goes hot and gets a nuke?

      It won't be Israel it nukes but the Sunnis....

    13. It's kind of funny actually, nuking the black rock of mecca COULD change the entire Islamic world in on nanosecond.

      Forcing them to reform and to turn inward to change.

      That' considered, by some at the blog, to be radical.

      But giving rackets, tanks and weapons to the moslem brotherhood? Giving weapons to al queda in Syria? Giving hundreds of millions in weapons to hezbollah? All good ideas.

      stupid, stupid, stupid people.

    14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  44. The idea that the US forced Mubarak out is fanciful.

    he Egyptian Army was the power broker. They decided not to support Mubarak and his son's ascension to power.
    The Egyptian Army is the US poxy in Egypt, and while that Army supported Mubarak, so did we.
    When the Army folded on the Mubarak family, so too did the US.

    There was no other chice.
    No other option, but to go with the flow.

    There wuld have been no support for a US invasion of Egypt to install Mubarak Jr as the Supreme Leader, there in Egypt.
    No supprt for a US drone campaign against the Muslim Brotherhd.

    1. No supprt for a US drone campaign against the Muslim Brotherhd.

      Why would Obama support a drone strike campaign against his supporters?

      Barack Obama is compromising American security by allowing “radical Islamists” access to the White House, according to a report by the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

      The organization reported this week that “scores of known radical Islamists made hundreds of visits to the Obama White House, meeting with top administration officials.”

      The information was obtained from visitor logs at the White House as well as court documents and “other records” that have identified many of the visitors as belonging to groups serving as fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and other Islamic militant groups.

  45. .

    Poor word choice, rat.

    Proxy: the agency, function, or power of a person authorized to act as the deputy or substitute for another.

    If the army was our proxy they should have acted the way we wanted them to act yet you say the army dictated what we did in which case that would make us their proxy. But that doesn't make sense either since without US aid Egypt would be up shits creek (more so than now) something the army couldn't accept since they own 40% of the economy.

    No other option, but to go with the flow.

    True enough but primarily because Obama and his minions don't have a ME foreign policy. Their actions are all ad hoc. They twist in the wind or as you put it 'go with the flow'. Hillary's performance leading up to the overthrow of Mubarek was embarassing, first praising him and telling the world how stable his regime was and then throwing him under the bus.

    Over the years, the U.S. has proved it will turn on a dime with regard to its allies, Vietnam, Egypt, Libya, etc.



  46. Desert Rat has it partly correct, for once. There was little we could do to support Mubarak.

    Our sunni President didn't have to make that speech in Cairo, though.


  47. Quirk has just made a great argument for staying in Afghanistan and Iraq, too.

    Our forces are magnificent.

    But, we always bug out too soon when with just a little more effort we could control the situation.


  48. I am not arguing about whether we should have gone in, in the first place.

    I am saying, once gone in, stay.

    For fifty five years if necessary, like Germany.

    My niece writes me from Germany now. It is decent there, she says, and she is getting along well. No Nazis parading around and everyone is helpful and polite.


    1. This is a total misreading of history. After the collapse of the Nazis, there was no insurgency in Germany. We were in Germany from 1945 to 1988 because of the Cold War with the Soviets; to keep them out. After that time, I have no idea why we are there.

    2. I disagree. There was no insurgency in Germany because we, the English, the French and especially the Russians had a loaded gun at their sweet heads. After we had jointly reduced them to rubble.


  49. Seventy years ago they would have put my niece in the gas chambers for being a brown.

    Culture counts, and can be changed.


  50. Proxy - a person authorized to act on behalf of someone else; agent.

    In a memo obtained by Reuters, Kerry wrote that, "A strong U.S. security partnership with Egypt, underpinned by FMF (Foreign Military Financing), maintains a channel to Egyptian military leadership, who are key opinion makers in the country."

    "A decision to waive restrictions on FMF to Egypt is necessary to uphold these interests as we encourage Egypt to continue its transition to democracy," he added.

    Partnership - a relationship resembling a legal partnership and usually involving close cooperation between parties having specified and joint rights and responsibilities

    The definition goes further, and includes 'agency'
    Each is viewed as the agent of the others, and traditionally all are jointly and severally liable for the tortious acts of any partner.

    So, a proxy is an agent, a partner is an agent.

    The US and the Egyptian Army are partners, senior and junior, to be sure.
    But that partnership makes the Egyptian Army an agent of the US, a proxy, by the words of the Sec of State of the United States, released on 9MAY2013.

    Dig deeper, Q.

  51. Leningrad, Moscow, Stalingrad, the battle of Kursk, where Q and I fought with our fists, the Russians were in no mood to play day care.


    1. Quirk turned the left flank of jerry there at Kursk.