“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."

Thursday, August 01, 2013

An update on the Syrian Civil War, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq: A civil war within a civil war.

The always hysterical Debka file is worried:

Syrian army and Hizballah capture Homs - opening way to Aleppo and decisive Assad victory

DEBKA file Exclusive Report July 29, 2013, 8:08 AM (IDT)

Three months after winning the strategic town of Al Qusayr, the combined Syrian and Hizballah armies have captured the historic Muslim Brotherhood city of Homs, 162 kilometers northeast of the capital Damascus. DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report that Sunday, July 28, jeeps with recoilless guns, pick-up trucks with anti air guns - all loaded with defeated rebel Farouq Brigades fighters were to be seen fleeing the city. As they fled, Syrian and Hizballah army tanks facing no resistance rolled into the center of Homs, the old city and the Khladiyeh district and hoisted images of President Bashar Assad.

The fall of Homs, which the rebels designated from the start of the uprising “capital of the revolution,” opens the way for Syrian-Hizballah forces to move north on Aleppo, Syria’s largest city.

Aleppo’s capture would grant Assad a decisive victory in the civil war and confer on the Lebanese Shiite terrorist Hizballah for the first time the standing of an armed force with strategic capabilities, as well as giving the Iran-Syrian-Hizballah alliance a major boost.

Early Monday, Syrian ground-to-ground missiles were pounding rebel fortifications Aleppo to soften their resistance, while Syrian air force helicopters struck Kurdish PYG units ranged along the Syrian-Turkish border. Although the helicopters flew over the frontier, they did not run into any interference from the Turkish air force, its artillery emplacements or the NATO Patriot anti-missile batteries deployed there.

The Kurdish units were targeted to prevent them moving into Aleppo in defense of the city’s Kurdish quarters against the Syrian army-Hizballah advance.
After the fall of Homs and the fast approaching Syrian assault on Aleppo, Washington, Jerusalem and Ankara have run out of time for quibbling whether to step into the Syrian conflict. The critical decision facing them now is whether to save Aleppo from a savage Syrian army-Hizballah onslaught that will determine the final fate of the war, or continue to stand aside.

The various tactics outlined by top US soldier Gen. Martin Dempsey last week for US military intervention at a cost of $1 billion per month have been overtaken by events. The Obama administration must now decide very quickly whether Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers should be allowed to win the Syrian civil war or stopped at Aleppo.


  1. The Muslim Brotherhood is being soundly defeated, politically in Egypt, militarily in Syria.

    Encouraged to over extend themselves, believing the US to be on their side, the Wahhabi are now bleeding, profusely.

    Whether by accident of design, it is a good day for the USA.

    The Turks have stood down. The Patriot missiles did not fire on the Syrian choppers, there was not a Stinger in sight.

    Those that ran interference for the Wahhabi, that entered the war on their behalf will not be strengthened by it.

    Believe what you will about whether it is by accident or design, but the pagans and the Syrian Christians have the upper hand. They have the winning cards in their hand, the Wahhabi and their Israeli allies are left holding dick.

    Life is sweet, revenge sweeter.

    As the old song goes ...

    It has only just begun.

    1. BEIRUT - Forty people were killed and at least 120 people were wounded in an explosion at a weapons cache in the central Syrian city of Homs on Thursday, a group opposed to President Bashar Assad said.

      The explosion occurred in the south-eastern district of Wadi al-Dhahab, which the army has taken over, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The group has a network of sources in the opposition and state security forces.

      The Observatory said the casualties were soldiers and civilians and that some of the wounded were in a critical condition.

      Activists said the explosion, which appeared to be significantly larger than most bombs used daily by either side in the two-year-old Syrian conflict, ripped through the southeastern neighborhood of al-Nozha.

      The neighborhood is majority Alawite, the same sect as President Bashar Assad. Sunni Muslim insurgents have targeted Alawite areas, especially military positions, around the country with bombs and mortars.

      Oh did the explosion just kill some of assad's folks? Sounds like the Alawite's are "bleeding profusely"

      Life is sweet, revenge sweeter.

      As the old song goes ...

      It has only just begun.

  2. Snowden leaves Moscow airport, gets refugee status in Russia

  3. Yesterday our quot claimed that the North Koreans haad killed, what was it, 150,000 of US.

    How wrong a quot can be.

    In the Korean War, the US suffered 52,000 KIA, more or less. The idea that they were all killed by he North Koreans, a denial of reality, for quot's own propaganda purposes.

    The majority of those 52,000 KIA were killed by soldiers of Charlie Chi-com, not by North Korea.

    So ...

    Not only did quot have the number of US KIA off the mark, by a factor of three, but he had the wrong perpetrator, as well.

    Twisting in the wind ...
    He bettin' on a losin' hand ...
    Makin' the same mistakes he swore he'd never make again.

    1. Love the out of context, misstated quote as usual.

      You lie, misdirect and distort.

      There is not a comment you cannot twist or bend into something it never was.

      You are "worm tongue" for sure.

  4. The U.S. troops are gone from Iraq, are leaving Afghanistan, and, so far, we're not in another "hot" war in Syria.

    And, the unemployment claims (326,000) are the lowest since Jan. 2008.

    1. And, let's give some credit to bloggers, like Deuce; they were the first ones to push back against the "inevitable" kinetic actions in Syria.

  5. The important question of today doesn't concern Aleppo, but rather St. HoodieMartin's hoodie. What is to become of this important American artifact, this icon of American saintliness?

    Will it go to the Trayvon Martin Foundation? Perhaps even to The Smithsonian? Read on to find its current status and possible future resting place -

    >>>>>>Sift everything. Sift the weeks of testimony, the theatrics, the recriminations, the tears. Sift the months of noisy commentary — the relentless, pounding, grating noise.

    One image remains, clinging there to our consciousness. Sturdy, permanent, enduring, a distillation — a takeaway.

    ((((Evolution of the hoodie: Trayvon Martin’s death has sparked widespread interest (and debate) about the perceptions surrounding hoodies and those who wear them. It’s also become a protest symbol worn by those rallying in support of the unarmed teenager who was shot in a gated Florida community last month. But the hoodie has had a long history, starting from its use by monks in the Middle Ages. In modern times, the hoodie has been used as a uniform, incorporated into high-end fashion for women and maintained an important presence in athletics and hip-hop culture. And a wide range of celebrities have been known to wear them.)))))

    Reaction to the George Zimmerman trial verdict: From church pews to the broadcast airwaves, to tweets and hastily organized protests, Americans have reacted strongly to the news that George Zimmerman has been acquitted of all charges in the killing of teenager Trayvon Martin.


    In the moment that the hoodie — Trayvon Martin’s hoodie — appeared in Courtroom 5D in Seminole County, Fla., it was as if the air sluiced out the door. There was a breathless, aching stillness.

    *****Prosecutors displayed the dark gray sweatshirt that Martin wore on the last night of his life in an enormous, rectangular, thickly three-dimensional frame. The hoodie lay suspended between clear plastic sheets with its arms spread wide inside a cross-shaped cutout, set starkly apart from the brilliant white of the matting. It might easily have been mistaken for a religious relic, even as it became a singularly evocative entry in a long inventory of indelible courtroom artifacts from O.J. Simpson’s ill-fitting gloves to Lorena Bobbitt’s emasculating kitchen knife. Prosecutors lifted the framed hoodie awkwardly, teetering toward the jury.*****

    “I get goose bumps just thinking about it,” says Michael Skolnik, who sat next to Martin’s parents on that morning, the day before the Fourth of July. Skolnik, the political director for hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and a member of the Trayvon Martin Foundation board, felt as if he were in the presence of something as consequential and iconic as Babe Ruth’s bat or the Declaration of Independence. “It’s like this mythical garment,” he says.<<<<<<

    A Mythical Garment

    Perhaps The Hoodie should be taken on national tours, so folks everywhere are afforded the opportunity to view this marvel. Perhaps it should be made available for public displays on the High Days in our culture, MLK Day, perhaps. As The Shroud of Turin has been displayed, but only on very infrequent occasions. Though some might think this a sacrilege. Perhaps it should be burned.

    What do you think should be done with this sacred relic of our fucked up culture?

    1. >>>>Smithsonian interest

      “I would like to see it preserved,” the Rev. Al Sharpton proclaimed into a cellphone on his way to a White House meeting about voting rights with President Obama.......

      .....Sharpton would like to see the hoodie reside one day at the National Museum of African American History and Culture now under construction on the Mall and expected to open in 2015. The museum’s director, Lonnie Bunch, has assembled other pieces with legal themes. He acquired a guard tower from Louisiana’s notorious Angola State Penitentiary and the handcuffs used to restrain renowned African American scholar and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. in an episode that sparked a national debate about race and led to a “beer summit” with Obama aimed at cooling passions.

      Martin’s hoodie, Bunch said, represents a unique opportunity to further the discussion about race in America. (And, by the way, he’d love to have it for his collection once the legal case plays out. He also has his eye on the hoodie that Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children's Defense Fund, wore in solidarity with protesters......

      .....Curators, he mused, could “ask the bigger questions” prompted by the case.

      “Are we in a post-racial age?” Bunch asked, dreaming about how the hoodie might help shape perceptions. Then he answered the question: “This trial says, ‘No.’ ”>>>

      And so, again the question becomes, insistently, what would YOU do with St. HoodieMartin's hoodie?

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. .

    As they say, the numbers are "good enough for government work".

    The American savings rate just jumped up, substantially, with the flick of the pen, as pension 'promises' were added to savings.

    Americans aren’t suddenly saving a lot more of their incomes. But it looks that way, thanks to a change in how the federal government accounts for pension plans — a change that, if you’re not careful, could lead you to think the nation is better set for retirement than it actually is.

    Until Wednesday morning, the Commerce Department pegged America’s personal savings rate at 4.1 percent for 2012. A revision made every five years to how the department measures the components of the economy pushed that savings rate up; now it’s 5.6 percent for 2012. The same change makes savings look much stronger before the Great Recession, too: The rate for 2002 was revised up from 3.5 percent to 5 percent. For 2005, it rose from 1.5 percent to 2.6 percent.

    That money isn’t necessarily real. The Bureau of Economic Analysis didn’t find hundreds of billions of dollars stuffed in Americans’ mattresses. It decided to start counting all pension promises as savings in the bank.

    That change is called accrual accounting, and as officials at the BEA point out, it’s a well-accepted practice in the corporate world. The idea is that if a company or, more likely in this case, a government entity, has agreed to provide pension benefits to workers, the value of those benefits should count as savings for the worker, even if the company or the government doesn’t have a future income stream large enough to cover all those pension IOUs...

    If it's good enough for the crooks on Wall Street it's good enough for its flunkies in the government. Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.


  8. Egyptian Muslim cleric instructs European Muslims on how best to beat their wives

    Jul 31, 2013 01:34 pm | Robert

    "Men are the managers of the affairs of women for that God has preferred in bounty one of them over another, and for that they have expended of their property. Righteous women are therefore obedient, guarding the secret for God's guarding. And those you fear may be rebellious admonish;...

    Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood top dog: "This is what we say to the Jews: We will not accept you on the land of Palestine."

    Jul 31, 2013 01:05 pm | Robert

    When Pamela Geller devised the ad above and we tried to run it in Seattle (in response to bogus "Palestinian" ads claiming that "Palestinians" don't have equal rights in Israel), Seattle transit balked, saying that the statement wasn't true. We then provided proof from statements by Mahmoud Abbas and...

    Egypt: Children on front line of pro-Muslim Brotherhood demos dressed in white "death shrouds" for their "martyrdom": "I am ready to die!"

    Jul 31, 2013 11:58 am | Robert

    Yet the Muslim Brotherhood's chief supporters in the U.S., such as Hamas-linked CAIR's Hussam Ayloush and DHS official Mohamed Elibiary, continue to insist that the Muslim Brotherhood represents "freedom" for Egyptians. Not for these victimized children. "Children Used on the Front-line of Islamist Demonstrations," from Egyptian Streets, July 30...


    Of particular interest today at Jihad Watch, particularly the first and second articles above about moslem treatment of women, and the proposed ethnic cleansing of Jewish people from 'Palestine'.

    We have nitwits here at this blog who steadfastly and tightly close their eyes to such realities. This is disgusting.

    out for the day, got mucho to do...

  9. Replies
    1. Highlights
      ISM's manufacturing sample reports a burst of strength in July with the composite headline index up a striking 4.5 points to 55.4. This is the strongest reading in more than 2 years. New orders lead the way, up nearly 6-1/2 points to 58.3. The production reading is also incredibly strong, up more than 11-1/2 points to 65.0 which is the strongest reading of the whole recovery!

      It's hard to understate the gains in this report. Employment is up, imports are up, export orders show growth, delivery times are up which is a sign of congestion in the supply chain consistent with strong activity.

      Inventories are down which is another positive tied to strong production. Given the gain in new orders, inventories will have to be restocked which is a plus for future production and employment.

      Interestingly, prices show contraction which is a big surprise given all the activity and especially the increases underway in fuel prices.

      The Dow is moving to opening highs following today's report which, given its strength, may pull expectations forward for Fed tapering.


  10. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia and is allowed to enter the country’s territory.

    The whistleblower has been granted temporary political asylum in Russia, Snowden's legal representative Anatoly Kucherena said, with his words later confirmed by Russia’s Federal Migration service.

    “I have just handed over to him papers from the Russian Immigration Service. They are what he needs to leave the transit zone,” he added.

    Kucherena showed a photocopy of the document to the press. According to it, Snowden is free to stay in Russia until at least July 31, 2014. His asylum status may be extended annually upon request.

    With his newly-awarded legal status in Russia, Snowden cannot be handed over to the US authorities, even if Washington files an official request. He can now be transported to the United States only if he agrees to go voluntarily.

    Snowden departed at around 15.30 Moscow time (11.30 GMT), airport sources said. His departure came some 30 minutes before his new refugee status was officially announced.

    His present location has not been made public nor will it be disclosed, Kucherena said.

    “He is the most wanted person on earth and his security will be a priority,” the attorney explained. “He will deal with personal security issues and lodging himself. I will just consult him as his lawyer.”

    Snowden eventually intends to talk to the press in Russia, but needs at least one day of privacy, Kucherena said.

    The whistleblower was unaccompanied when he left the airport in a regular taxi, Kucherena added.

    However, WikiLeaks contradicted the lawyer, saying the organization’s activist Sarah Harrison accompanied Snowden.

  11. He better rethink this move:

    The whistleblower was unaccompanied when he left the airport in a regular taxi, Kucherena added.

    Actually, the press thought he was alone. : )

  12. He made a great move getting out of that airport. Boehner should take a lesson from Putin on how to deal with Obama.

  13. MOSCOW -- Edward Snowden's father said he was grateful to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government for their “courage” and “strength” in protecting his son, who is wanted for leaking top-secret U.S. security agency files.

    In an interview broadcast Wednesday in Russia with the Rossiya-24 television news network, Lon Snowden said his son is unlikely to get a fair trial in the United States, so Russia remains the safest place for him at the moment.

    “The fact is, no assurances have been made that he will be given a fair trial" in the United States, the elder Snowden said at the station's studios in Washington, where he was accompanied by a lawyer. “I feel Russia has the strength and resolve and convictions to protect my son.”

  14. He is right, Snowden would not get a fair trial in the US.

    His incarceration prior to trial would be perfect hell.

  15. {...}

    In the U.S., energy-efficiency standards for room air conditioners were set back in 1997. DOE estimated that for manufactures to comply with the standard, an average sized unit would be about $13 more for them to produce. In actuality, though, the manufacture price per unit has dropped — from $441 when the standard was set to $280 in 2011.

    While air conditioners are an extreme case and there were many factors contributing to the dramatic reduction in their price over this time, the over-estimation of the cost to manufactures of producing more efficient appliances is not limited to one kind of appliance or even a class of appliances. It’s embedded in every standard.

    “In defense of DOE, we understand that they are under enormous pressure from industry to push that ‘cost’ part of their calculation up,” said ACEE Executive Director Steven Nadel. “But when you look back at what DOE said it would cost and what it actually ended up costing, it’s clear that the math is off, and there’s reason to believe that stricter standards are still economically justified.”

    The ACEEE study looked at nine appliance standards that took effect over the 1998-2010 period and found that DOE overestimated price impacts in every case. DOE estimated an average increase in manufacturer’s selling price of $148. On average the actual change in price was a decrease in manufacturer’s selling price of $12.

    According to Nadel, the biggest problem with how the DOE does its math is that there is no accounting for innovation to meet the standards.

    “We believe that new standards can and do drive innovation,” said Nadel. “But DOE doesn’t take that into account. It’s not necessarily an easy calculation, but those calculations are out there and . . . . {...}



  16. .

    The devil's bargain.

    Saudi Arabia, our ally,

    On July 29, Raif Badawi, founder of the Free Saudi Liberals website, was sentenced to 600 lashes and seven years in prison. His crime? Insulting Islam, speaking ill of Saudi Arabia’s religious police and, most puzzling of all, “parental disobedience.”

    Badawi is a 30-year-old man. Can an adult be imprisoned for disobeying his father? In Saudi Arabia, where all citizens are treated as children, the answer to that question is ‘yes.’ The Saudi dictatorship doesn’t trust its citizens to speak their mind, and so impose paternalistic and draconian laws to keep in check those who might think differently...


    But if the Saudi king was really interested in dialogue and respect, he might have started in his own theocratic, gender-apartheid dictatorship. Why did he need to fund a $20 million a year center in Austria when his own country bans Christians from importing Bibles and building houses of worship? Why, indeed, did he need to fly to Europe for such ceremonial ribbon-cutting when in his own country he could have stopped the beheading of Abdul Hamid Al Fakki and Amina bint Nasser for “witchcraft”? If he cared about respecting people of other faiths, how about letting non-Muslims step foot in the city of Mecca where they are banned? Or not arresting people for celebrating Christmas? Why not stop the printing of Saudi textbooks that call Jews and Christians “apes and pigs”?

    Let’s be clear. Saudi Arabia is still a brutal dictatorship that harasses and imprisons liberals, democrats, activists, bloggers and journalists. It’s a place where women don’t have freedom of movement or access to the same services as men. The guardianship system ensures that women are treated as children who needs a man’s permission to do anything of consequence.

    We look away because Saudi Arabia buys Western arms and sells oil at a steady price. It may seem like a good, stable arrangement. But it’s a devil’s bargain and lurking beneath the surface are deeper trends--the same ones that led to chaos and collapse in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya and Syria in the past two years alone. Betting on Saudi stability is a crucial mistake.


  17. Dr. Kisha Davis' patient, who is uninsured, was gearing up to deliver a stream of invective about President Barack Obama's health care reform law. "I don't believe our government is doing this!" Davis recalls her saying.

    Then Davis, a family physician at the Casey Health Institute in Gaithersburg, Md., broke in. "She was getting ready to go on this rant," said Davis, 34. "Then I said, 'But you're going to get insurance and in six months, all these tests that we're trying to get you, you're going to be able to get. And these medicines you can't afford, you're going to be able to get.' And she just kind of stopped in her tracks, like it had never crossed her mind it would help her."

    Conversations between primary care doctors and their patients are likely to be a critical part of getting the word out to uninsured people that Obamacare's health insurance exchanges may be a gateway to coverage that has eluded them. The incident also underscores the scale of the challenge facing the Obama administration, states working to implement the law, pharmacy chains, health insurance companies and others in making sure the public understands what the law does and . . . .

    Doctors getting ready

  18. Replies
    1. The Drought is pretty much over, and corn prices are plummeting.

      December Down to $4.66/bu, today.


  19. Hey Quirk,

    A while back you asked Rufus what he thought of POT. That intrigued me then and, in light of recent events, do you think POT is at a price worth buying?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. .

      Haven't really been following it Ash. For the last year or I've not been in many individual stocks.


  20. The White House said Thursday that it is "extremely disappointed" in Russia's decision to grant National Security Agency leak source Edward Snowden temporary asylum in the country, casting it as a setback in the countries' bilateral relationship.

    "Mr. Snowden is not a whistleblower," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Thursday afternoon.

    Carney said that the U.S. was not given advance warning of Russia's decision.

    He also suggested that the White House might make good on earlier threats to cancel a trip to Moscow in September to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    "We are evaluating the utility of a summit," Carney said.

    The anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks, which has been providing counsel for Snowden since his stay in Hong Kong, confirmed that Russia had granted Snowden temporary asylum for one year. In a statement, both WikiLeaks and Snowden praised Russia for their cooperation.

    "Over the past eight weeks we have seen the Obama administration show no respect for international or domestic law, but in the end the law is winning," Snowden said in the statement released by WikiLeaks. "I thank the Russian Federation for granting me asylum in accordance with its laws and international obligations."

    Read more:

  21. That’s how the ruling class, the deciders see it.

    Raise the flag higher boys, there is not much saluting going on in the cheap seats:

    More Americans see National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden as a whistle-blower (55 percent), than a traitor (34 percent), according to a poll released Thursday shortly after the former NSA contractor reportedly secured asylum in Russia.

    The Quinnipiac University national poll, which had an error margin for plus or minus 2.6 percentage points, found the public mood unchanged from a similar survey on July 10.

    “Most American voters think positively of Edward Snowden, but that was before he accepted asylum in Russia,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

    By a 56 percent to 51 percent ratio, more Democrats than Republicans said Snowden was a whistle-blower. Slightly more Republicans than Democrats called him a traitor, 38 percent to 36 percent.

  22. Good afternoon NSA.

    Go fuck yourself.

    1. Army bans soldiers from reading about NSA

      Newspaper divulges 'top secret' info on access to online data


      Watch what you say, Mr Deuce. We just up and decide to shut you down.

      Thank you,

      Staff, NSA

  23. Wonderful beginning image -

    By George F. Will, Wednesday, July 31, 3:54 PM E-mail the writer


    In 1860, an uneasy Charles Darwin confided in a letter to a friend: “I had no intention to write atheistically” but “I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars.” What appalled him had fascinated entomologist William Kirby (1759-1850): The ichneumon fly inserts an egg in a caterpillar, and the larva hatched from the egg, he said, “gnaws the inside of the caterpillar, and though at last it has devoured almost every part of it except the skin and intestines, carefully all this time avoids injuring the vital organs, as if aware that its own existence depends on that of the insect on which it preys!”

    George Will

    Detroit in crisis: On July 18, Detroit became the largest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy. Here’s a look at the city since the filing.

    Government employees’ unions living parasitically on Detroit have been less aware than ichneumon larvae. About them, and their collaborators in the political class, the question is: What. Were. They. Thinking? Well, how did Bernie Madoff or the Enron executives convince themselves their houses of cards would never collapse?

    Here, where cattle could graze in vast swaths of this depopulated city, democracy ratified a double delusion: Magic would rescue the city (consult the Bible, the bit about the multiplication of the loaves and fishes), or Washington would deem Detroit, as it recently did some banks and two of the three Detroit-based automobile companies, “too big to fail.” But Detroit failed long ago. And not even Washington, whose recklessness is almost limitless, is oblivious to the minefield of moral hazard it would stride into if it rescued this city and, then inevitably, others that are buckling beneath the weight of their cumulative follies. It is axiomatic: When there is no penalty for failure, failures proliferate.

    This bedraggled city’s decay poses no theological conundrum of the sort that troubled Darwin, but it does pose worrisome questions about the viability of democracy in jurisdictions where big government and its unionized employees collaborate in pillaging taxpayers. Self-government has failed in what once was America’s fourth-­largest city and now is smaller than Charlotte.

    Detroit, which boomed during World War II when industrial America was “the arsenal of democracy,” died of democracy. Today, among the exculpatory alibis invoked to deflect blame from the political class and the docile voters who empowered it, is the myth that Detroit is simply a victim of “de-industrialization.” In 1950, however, Detroit and Chicago were comparable — except Detroit was probably wealthier, as measured by per capita income. Chicago, too, lost manufacturing jobs, to the American South, to south of the border, to South Korea and elsewhere. But Chicago discerned the future and diversified. It is grimly ironic that Chicago’s iconic street is Michigan Avenue.

    Detroit’s population, which is 62 percent smaller than in 1950, has contracted less than the United Auto Workers membership, which once was 1.5 million and now is around 390,000. Auto industry executives, who often were invertebrate mediocrities, continually bought labor peace by mortgaging their companies’ futures in surrenders to union demands. Then city officials gave their employees — who have 47 unions, including one for crossing guards — pay scales comparable to those of autoworkers. Thus did private-sector decadence drive public-sector dysfunction — government negotiating with government-employees’ unions that are government organized as an interest group to lobby itself to do what it wants to do: Grow.


    1. Steven Rattner, who administered the bailout of part of the Detroit-based portion of America’s automobile industry, says, “Apart from voting in elections, the 700,000 remaining residents of the Motor City are no more responsible for Detroit’s problems than were the victims of Hurricane Sandy for theirs.” Congress, he says, should bail out Detroit because “America is just as much about aiding those less fortunate as it is about personal responsibility.”

      There you have today’s liberalism: Human agency, hence responsibility, is denied. Apart from the pesky matter of “voting in elections” — apart from decades of voting to empower incompetents, scoundrels and criminals, and to mandate unionized rapacity — no one is responsible for anything. Popular sovereignty is a chimera because impersonal forces akin to hurricanes are sovereign.

      The restoration of America’s vitality depends on, among many other things, avoiding the bottomless sinkhole that would be created by the federal government rescuing one-party cities, and one-party states such as Illinois, from the consequences of unchecked power. The consequences of such power — incompetence, magical thinking, cynicism and sometimes criminality — are written in Detroit’s ruins.

  24. .

    I tend to agree with George Will on most of his policy positions. However, in some cases he runs off the tracks.

    I don't like the idea of public service unions for various reasons. Where they do exist it should be against the law for them to strike,IMO. That being said, in the article above, Will implies that the unions are the reason for Detroit's demise. Will takes the simplistic view (or at least implies it in the article) that there is one reason for Detroit's demise and that the reason is public service unions. Pure bullcrap.

    Here, where cattle could graze in vast swaths of this depopulated city, democracy ratified a double delusion: Magic would rescue the city (consult the Bible, the bit about the multiplication of the loaves and fishes), or Washington would deem Detroit, as it recently did some banks and two of the three Detroit-based automobile companies, “too big to fail.”

    More bull. No one here expected a Washington bailout. Most of that stream of thinking came from the outside. Although, I had heard that some of the Michigan delegation might be thinking of trying to run that flag up the poll. But hell, that's what they get paid for. It's unlikely to happen.

    The rest of the article is merely a staunch conservative taking a swipe at liberals, that and some weird discussion about democracy that I still haven't figured out.

    Will grew up in the Midwest (Illinois) but it seems he has spent too much time on the beltway.


  25. I reluctantly have to admit that my guy, John McCain, is truly unhinged.

    “Russia’s action today is a disgrace and a deliberate effort to embarrass the United States. It is a slap in the face of all Americans. Now is the time to fundamentally rethink our relationship with Putin’s Russia. We need to deal with the Russia that is, not the Russia we might wish for. We cannot allow today’s action by Putin to stand without serious repercussions.

    “The first thing we should do is significantly expand the Magnitsky Act list to hold accountable the many human violators who are still enjoying a culture of impunity in Russia. We should push for the completion of all phases of our missile defense programs in Europe, and move expeditiously on another round of NATO expansion, including the Republic of Georgia. We should challenge the political convictions and detentions of Russian dissidents such as Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Alexei Navalny. And perhaps most importantly, we should speak out on behalf of the many people in Russia who increasingly are finding the courage to peacefully demand greater freedom, accountability, and rule of law in Russia.

    “Today’s action by Putin’s Russia should finally strip away the illusions that many Americans have had about Russia the past few years. We have long needed to take a more realistic approach to our relations with Russia, and I hope today we finally start.”

    1. I voted for Sarah, secretly hoping McCain would die in the first month of his term.

      I realize this reflects poorly on myself.

  26. Mark Levin is disclosing a CNN report about a CIA black ops operation in Benghazi with up to 35 CIA agents, being covered up by CIA and the State Department.

  27. If accurate, this is a big deal.

  28. Exclusive: Dozens of CIA operatives on the ground during Benghazi attack
    CNN has uncovered exclusive new information about what is allegedly happening at the CIA, in the wake of the deadly Benghazi terror attack.

    Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the assault by armed militants last September 11 in eastern Libya.

    Sources now tell CNN dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night, and that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret.

    CNN has learned the CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency's Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out.

    Read: Analysis: CIA role in Benghazi underreported

    Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency's missions in Libya, have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency's workings.

    The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress.

    It is being described as pure intimidation, with the threat that any unauthorized CIA employee who leaks information could face the end of his or her career.

    In exclusive communications obtained by CNN, one insider writes, "You don't jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well."

    Another says, "You have no idea the amount of pressure being brought to bear on anyone with knowledge of this operation."

    "Agency employees typically are polygraphed every three to four years. Never more than that," said former CIA operative and CNN analyst Robert Baer.

    In other words, the rate of the kind of polygraphs alleged by sources is rare.

    "If somebody is being polygraphed every month, or every two months it's called an issue polygraph, and that means that the polygraph division suspects something, or they're looking for something, or they're on a fishing expedition. But it’s absolutely not routine at all to be polygraphed monthly, or bi-monthly,” said Baer.


    1. {…}
      CIA spokesman Dean Boyd asserted in a statement that the agency has been open with Congress.

      "The CIA has worked closely with its oversight committees to provide them with an extraordinary amount of information related to the attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi," the statement said.

      "CIA employees are always free to speak to Congress if they want," the statement continued. "The CIA enabled all officers involved in Benghazi the opportunity to meet with Congress. We are not aware of any CIA employee who has experienced retaliation, including any non-routine security procedures, or who has been prevented from sharing a concern with Congress about the Benghazi incident."

      Among the many secrets still yet to be told about the Benghazi mission, is just how many Americans were there the night of the attack.

      A source now tells CNN that number was 35, with as many as seven wounded, some seriously.

      While it is still not known how many of them were CIA, a source tells CNN that 21 Americans were working in the building known as the annex, believed to be run by the agency.

      The lack of information and pressure to silence CIA operatives is disturbing to U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, whose district includes CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

      "I think it is a form of a cover-up, and I think it's an attempt to push it under the rug, and I think the American people are feeling the same way," said the Republican.

      "We should have the people who were on the scene come in, testify under oath, do it publicly, and lay it out. And there really isn't any national security issue involved with regards to that," he said.

      Wolf has repeatedly gone to the House floor, asking for a select committee to be set-up, a Watergate-style probe involving several intelligence committee investigators assigned to get to the bottom of the failures that took place in Benghazi, and find out just what the State Department and CIA were doing there.

      More than 150 fellow Republican members of Congress have signed his request, and just this week eight Republicans sent a letter to the new head of the FBI, James Comey, asking that he brief Congress within 30 days.

      Read: White House releases 100 pages of Benghazi e-mails

      In the aftermath of the attack, Wolf said he was contacted by people closely tied with CIA operatives and contractors who wanted to talk.

      Then suddenly, there was silence.

      "Initially they were not afraid to come forward. They wanted the opportunity, and they wanted to be subpoenaed, because if you're subpoenaed, it sort of protects you, you're forced to come before Congress. Now that's all changed," said Wolf.

      Lawmakers also want to about know the weapons in Libya, and what happened to them.

      Speculation on Capitol Hill has included the possibility the U.S. agencies operating in Benghazi were secretly helping to move surface-to-air missiles out of Libya, through Turkey, and into the hands of Syrian rebels.

      It is clear that two U.S. agencies were operating in Benghazi, one was the State Department, and the other was the CIA.

      The State Department told CNN in an e-mail that it was only helping the new Libyan government destroy weapons deemed "damaged, aged or too unsafe retain," and that it was not involved in any transfer of weapons to other countries.

      But the State Department also clearly told CNN, they "can't speak for any other agencies."

      The CIA would not comment on whether it was involved in the transfer of any weapons.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. The survivors have not been allowed to talk. All hushed up. Not able to tell of their experiences during this criminal fiasco.

      Obama said no one wanted to 'get to the bottom of this more than me'.

      Remember that? Right there on the TV, too.

      He promised us a full report to come out right after the election.

      Have you seen any such report?

      Me neither.

      I am beginning to suspect that Obama is just a lying son of a bitch, and a high class street thug.

    4. As I said at the time and in the discussions afterwards, Benghazi was, for the USA, a CIA town, the operations there, all CIA all the time, with the State Dept providing cover and concealment.

      Lo and behold, that story is now breaking out into the mainstream of the data flow.

      Have a happy


    5. Everybody knew that, you dumb shit. And you weren't the first to mention it.

      You give yourself way too much credit where none at all is due.

      Since you are back, I'm going to drive in to Wal-Mart.

  29. I always hate it when American Thinker steals my ideas, and turns to out and out plagiarism --

    >>>>the grievance industry trying to create a racial Shroud of Turin?

    The Smithsonian wants to display the hoodie worn by Tayvon Martin the night he was shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. Really, is this what we need now? A modern-day abomination: a Turin Shroud for race-mongerers? Will this become a place of pilgrimage for people looking for reasons to hate?<<<<

    August 1, 2013
    The Fate of Trayvon Martin's Hoodie
    Ed Lasky

    This isn't the first time, and soon I predict they will be calling TM St. HoodieMartin.

    I am about ready to my lawyer.

    1. Have you noticed it too?

      Our country is really fucked up.

  30. If there were dozens of CIA agents on the ground at the time, what were they doing?

    What about the poor son of a bitch that they threw in prison on trumped up charges, ostensibly because he caused it all by making a video?

    1. CIA guys might have been in a bordello?

    2. That Benghazi situation was a perfect fit for Quirk. He would have saved them all. Unfortunately, he was in a bordello outside of Vegas at the time.

    3. Our camp follower is trying for a little revisionism.
      At the time he was all Hillary, all the time, when looking to find fault for the operation in Benghazi being botched.

      He did not want to admit it was the CIA that screwed the pooch.

    4. The CIA fellas were the "Heroes", the State Department, the villains.

      We all remember, boobie.
      Be better for you if you found another camp to follow.

  31. Here is the quot quote that he says is taken out of context. Indeed, it is.

    What is "Occupation"Wed Jul 31, 08:13:00 PM EDT

    IN the 1960s?


    How about this...

    The North koreans have killed more americans that Israel in the entire span of human history times 150,000?

    His claim would indicate that the North Koreans have killed well over 8 million americans. Based upon the confirmed death count of 35 US citizens killed by the military forces of the secular state of Israel, since 1967.

    Over 8 million, seems that our quot specializes in hyperbole, hysteria and outright lies.

    The Norks are nasty, but they have not even approached 50,000 americans killed, let alone the 8 million plus quot claims they have.

    That is the context of quots statements, the Israeli murdered 35 US citizens, he compares that a claim that the NorKs have killed 8 million of US.

    My number is verifiable and accurate, quot's an outright fabrication, like most of his claims about the secular state of Israel in a portion of Palestine, in the middle of the Islamic Arc.

    Populated by a major majority of people, ethnically and culturally, of Middle Eastern descent.

    He's still just twistin' in the wind.


    1. What do you know, if cut and pasted quot becomes Story of "O".

    2. Only if we were to credit the slaughter of at least 1,771 Ixil Mayans, that the Israeli aided and abetted in Guatemala would quot's number of 8 million american dead approach reality.

      Each reader can ask himself if they think that quot counts the slaughter of at least 1,771 Ixil Mayans in the body count of americans killed by the secular state of Israel?

      Perhaps he will address Israeli complicity in the slaughter of at least 1,771 Ixil Mayans?

    3. Only by including Israeli complicity in the slaughter of at least 1,771 Ixil Mayans would quot's claim be both in context and accurate.

      Otherwise ...

      He's still twisting in the wind.

  32. November 11, 2010
    Categories: Congress, Hillary Clinton , Israel, Middle East, Netanyahu, Peace Process
    Before Clinton meeting, Cantor’s one-on-one with Bibi

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York this morning, following yet another bumpy few days in U.S.-Israeli relations.

    While the Obama administration has been scrambling to find a way to try to salvage Israeli-Palestinian peace talks which have come to an impasse over resumed Israeli settlement building, Netanyahu has been sounding a triumphant note since he arrived in New Orleans over the weekend following the GOP gains in last Tuesday's midterm elections.

    Last night, Netanyahu met in New York for over an hour with incoming House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who is set to become the highest ranking Jewish member of Congress in history. The meeting took place at New York’s Regency Hotel, and included no other American lawmakers besides Cantor. Also attending on the Israeli side were Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren, and Netanyahu’s National Security Advisor Uzi Arad.

    Israeli sources characterized a one-on-one meeting between an Israeli prime minister and a lone American lawmaker as unusual, if not unheard of. Cantor's office did not think that Cantor and the Prime Minister had held a one-on-one meeting before.

    "Eric has a longstanding friendship with Prime Minister Netanyahu and appreciated the opportunity to catch up last evening," Cantor's office said in a readout of the meeting it provided. Their discussion "covered a range of topics that included Iran, the United Nations, and the recent U.S. election which saw the Republicans win the majority in the House."

    On Iran, "Eric made clear that he believes that it is time for the administration to fully and aggressively implement the Iran Sanctions Act passed by Congress earlier this year," it said. "Unless the Administration continues to ratchet up the pressure on the Iranian regime, the progress made by the sanctions already implemented will unravel," he opined.

    Cantor also "reiterated his belief that compromise between Israel and the Palestinians can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties." He urged the Obama administration to "make it absolutely clear that the U.S. will veto any effort by the Palestinians" to seek recognition of their state by going to the United Nations.

    (For her part, Clinton said yesterday -- as she has repeatedly -- that the only way forward for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement is through negotiations. "There can be no progress until they actually come together and explore where areas of agreement are and how to narrow areas of disagreement," she said at a news conference following a meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit. "So we do not support unilateral steps by either party that could prejudge the outcome of such negotiations.")

    Regarding the midterms, Cantor may have given Netanyahu some reason to stand firm against the American administration.

    "Eric stressed that the new Republican majority will serve as a check on the Administration and what has been, up until this point, one party rule in Washington," the readout continued. "He made clear that the Republican majority understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States, and that the security of each nation is reliant upon the other."

  33. What happened in the early part of 2010?

    The Gaza flotilla raid was a military operation by Israel against six ships of the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” on 31 May 2010 in international waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The flotilla, organized by the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (İHH), was carrying humanitarian aid and construction materials, with the intention of breaking the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip.

    Fear over Syrian weapons motivated apology to Turkey, Netanyahu says
    By Associated Press,March 23, 2013

    JERUSALEM — Concern that Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons could reach militant groups bordering Israel and Turkey was the motivation for restoring relations with Ankara after a three-year rift, Israel’s prime minister said Saturday.

    Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on his Facebook page that Israel and Turkey, which border Syria, need to communicate with each other over the Syrian crisis.

    “The fact that the crisis in Syria intensifies from moment to moment was the main consideration in my view,” Netanyahu wrote.

    Netanyahu phoned Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday and apologized for a botched raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in 2010 that left eight Turks and one Turkish American dead. Turkey had demanded an apology as a condition for restoring ties. Netanyahu had until now refused to apologize, saying Israeli soldiers acted in self-defense after being attacked by activists.

    President Obama, on a visit to the Middle East last week, helped broker the Israeli apology to Turkey.

    Turkey and Israel were once strong allies, but relations began to decline after Erdogan, whose party has roots in Turkey’s Islamist movement, was elected in 2003. Erdogan has embarked on a campaign to make Turkey a regional powerhouse and the leading voice in the Muslim world, distanced from Israel.

    After the flotilla raid, the nations withdrew their ambassadors.

    1. That Bibi, he is quite the camp follower, too.

  34. Rand Paul asked Clinton during the Benghazi hearings if any arms were going to Turkey.

    Clinton lied, saying she had no idea.

    Israel along with the connivance of the US were engaged in smuggling arms to the Syrian rebels (and AQ) for the purpose of overthrowing Assad because he would not play ball in Netanyahu’s
    obsession with Iran.

    1. Israel has been arming the Wahhabi since Afghanistan, the US paid, the Israeli made the deliveries.
      Allowing the Saudi to finance Pakistan's nuclear program.

      The US and Israel both complicit in providing the Islamoids a nuclear strike capability.

    2. Hillary may have been out of the Benghazi loop, the mission in Benghazi was General P's.
      Even under the current Congressional authorization to arm the Wahhabi in Syria, the CIA is handling the operation.

    3. Would General P trust Hillary, to be in the Benghazi loop?

      I would tend to doubt it.
      President Obama likes to delegate responsibility, what does Hillary know about weapons or surging logistics into a war zone? Not to much about either, seems to be the answer, she had no experience in DC that would make her qualified to run such a operation.
      She had no need to know.

      General P, he would have been Obama's expert in both tasks involved.
      He was then let go, almost immediately after the debacle.

      If there was a large CIA contingent in Benghazi, larger than the "rescue" forces in Italy, then the first reports of the CIA being told to "Stand Down" makes much more sense. General P wanted to keep the clandestine operation just that, in house and clandestine.

    4. Would Bibi trust Hillary to be in the loop?

      He would want Israeli complicity in aiding Wahhabi extremists to be known to as small a circle as possible. Hillary would have no need to know, in fact that she had Plausible Deniability would have been paramount to all involved. She would not have wanted to know.
      In fact the Urban Dictionary explains it, to a T.

      plausible deniability

      A condition in which a subject can safely and believeably deny knowledge of any particular truth that may exist because the subject is deliberately made unaware of said truth so as to benefit or shield the subject from any responsibility associated through the knowledge of such truth.

      The CIA black ops division undertakes dangerous and usually what would be considered illegal missions that are not officially sanctioned by the US administration so that the administration, which usually benefits from such missions, can safely dissavow any knowledge of them in the event of their publicly uncovered success or failure. The administration is in the position of plausible deniability towards the CIA's actions.

      A happy coincidence, aye.


  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Best comment you've made all day.

    2. Practically the only truthful thing to come from Rat in 5 years.

    3. Thought I should post one you could comprehend.

    4. Oh, I get it alright. You've got nothing to say.

    5. No, boobie, it is just that I did not want to challenge the limits of your comprehension.
      Anything with substance does.

      Even when nothing is posted the content is beyond your cognitive abilities.

    6. As for quot, when the context of his comments is revealed, his silence fills the room.

      Not a word on Israeli complicity in the slaughter of at least 1,771 americans.

      Little wonder, our hyphenated Israeli is as cognitively challenged as his camp follower.

    7. "Not a word on Israeli complicity in the slaughter of at least 1,771 americans."

      What is to say? Nothing factual ever spoken, not a word, term or phrase would not be twisted, distorted or out and out lied about by you.

      Nothing deafing about my refusal to play your game.

      Your game is a lie.

  36. Australia's government Friday warned of slower-than-expected economic growth, higher unemployment and shrinking tax revenues in the latest sign that the nation's mining boom is rapidly cooling.

  37. On this day in 1981, MTV made its cable-television debut. The first music video that aired on the network was “Video Killed the Radio Star“ by the Buggles.


  38. .

    CNN has uncovered exclusive new information


    It sounds like another CNN 'blockbuster, exclusive, investigative journalism report'.

    And, as has been stated above, it does sound like old news.


  39. .

    Sources now tell CNN dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night, and that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret.

    Yowzer!!! Another scoop.

    Didn't everyone in the world (evidently with the exception of CNN) know that there were dozens of CIA people on the ground that night?

    It's good to see CNN's crack news team was able to dig that out after only ten months.

    And the CIA was actually trying to keep what they were doing there secret?

    Goodness gracious! Isn't that what spy agencies do?


    1. .

      Among the many secrets still yet to be told about the Benghazi mission, is just how many Americans were there the night of the attack.

      Jeez, another CNN exclusive.

      We've knew within a couple days that there were 21 or 22 CIA in the annex. It was also reported that there were 7 State Department employees in Benghazi. That is getting dangerously close to the 35 that were 'speculated' to be there by "a source". Also, there was a lot of coming and going there that night. Does the 35 include the people that were sent up from Tripoli?


    2. .

      There are a couple of points of interest in the CNN story.

      First, that the CIA is intimidating their people to remain silent on the CIA mission in Benghazi. Second, there's the 'speculation' that they were using the Benghazi operation to smuggle surface-to-air missiles to the rebels in Syria.

      In the first instance, there is nothing surprising regarding the CIA’s reluctance to have its people talking to Congress in an open hearing about what they were doing in Benghazi. The CIA is after all and intelligence organization. However, the intimidation issue is troubling as is this statement by CIA spokesman Dean Boyd,

      "CIA employees are always free to speak to Congress if they want," the statement continued. "The CIA enabled all officers involved in Benghazi the opportunity to meet with Congress. We are not aware of any CIA employee who has experienced retaliation, including any non-routine security procedures, or who has been prevented from sharing a concern with Congress about the Benghazi incident."

      Free to speak to Congress ’if they want’? What if they do not want to speak to Congress solely because they have been threatened and intimidated?

      Boyd says ‘we’ are not aware of any intimidation. Is that the royal ‘we’, Dean? I think someone brought up the subject of plausible deniability before. We have seen too much parsing, weasel-wording, and outright lying right up to and by the top dog, Clapper, to just take these guys words on face value.

      However, Congress has the tools to find out what they want from these guys even if it is in closed session. They have the subpoena power and we have seen that it is getting harder and harder for these agencies to just ignore those summons.


    3. .

      The second issue, the speculation that the CIA was smuggling surface-to-air missiles to Syria, is also a big deal. It’s a big deal because at the time the US was indicating that they weren’t sending any arms into Syria much less surface-to-air missiles. Would it be a surprise if we were? I don’t think so. Just as it wouldn’t be a surprise if we were doing the same thing through Jordan. However, it would be embarrassing. Not embarrassing to the CIA. As was pointed out, that’s what they do. But it would be embarrassing to the Obama administration for conducting a secret war and lying to the American people when a large majority of them oppose intervention in Syria.

      But until we have hearings and testimony under oath, this is all just speculation.

      The first question I would ask is if the US was providing the missiles ten months ago why haven’t they been used, especially as government troops have recently taken over two of the three key cities that were held by the rebels. I have just seen reports this month that said that a small amount of MANPADs have been delivered to the rebels within the last month. While they might have thought about supplying the MANPADs 10 months ago, recent events and the rise to power of al Queda and the Islamists in Syria would likely give the US pause (hopefully).

      But what about the CIA smuggling small arms (sans surface-to air missiles) through Turkey to the rebels in Syria? As noted above it wouldn’t surprise me. However, to the best of my knowledge that is not a question that was ever asked of the CIA in any of the congressional hearings.

      CIA spokesman Dean Boyd asserted in a statement that the agency has been open with Congress.

      I have no reason to doubt this. The reason being is that I don’t recall the subject ever being brought up in the hearings. All the questioning centered around what happened on September 11 and what part the CIA played.

      I tried Googling it to check and the only article I found was from the Business Insider dated May 17 indicating CNN’s Jake Tapper brought up the issue and according to CNN GOP Rep. Frank Wolf concurred it a question that should be brought up and answered in the open.


    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. .

      As for the CIA and Benghazi, if Wolf and the GOP think there is actually any scandal there, they should continue to push for hearings, they should subpoena witnesses if they have to, and they should have them testify under oath even if in closed session.


    6. .

      Now as for the State Department (since Hillary was brought into this discussion)

      There were two main issues raised in the Benghazi hearings regarding the State Department.
      The one the GOP concentrated on was the so-called cover up and how high within the Obama administration it went. Everyone has an opinion on the issue. Mine is that there was a definite attempt at cover-up; however, the reasons for the cover up remain clouded. Obviously, some of it is CYA but there also could be other reasons such as the CIA’s mission in Libya or the elections
      However, the more important one, IMO, was why were State Department personnel put in harm’s way with inadequate security?

      With regard to the State Department, the hearings included testimony from key individuals on the ground. From that and various e-mails, telephone calls, formal requests, etc. we know that there were numerous threats and actual attacks on US and other countries’ diplomats pior to 9/11. We know that based on the facts on the ground, the responsible people in Libya including the ambassador requested beefed up security in the months leading up to 9/11. We know that the requests were not only denied but that security was cut even more, further putting State Department personnel in harm’s way. When additional security was denied, we know that requests were put through to D.C. requesting the people in-country be given small arms training in order to defend themselves. That request was also denied. Based on testimony from the RSO in Libya we know that there was inadequate security not only in Benghazi but also in Tripoli, that the deficiencies were reported, and that the deficiencies were ignored.

      The GOP says the FUBAR that was Benghazi was for a political reasons, that the Obama administration having declared al Queda all but dead and indicating that the new Libyan government was firmly in charge didn’t want to take any actions that would put to the lie that fiction.

      Regardless of the reason, we know that State did not provide adequate protection for their personal even though required to do so by State Department rules and guidelines. As a result of that inaction, the US ambassador to Libya was killed along with three others. We know that Hillary Clinton ‘took responsibility’ for Benghazi but when it came down to it low-level flunkies (no political appointees) took the ‘blame’.

      That is the shame of Benghazi.


    7. .

      As for Hillary knowing what the CIA mission was in Benghazi, it is irrelevant one way or the other. Her 'responsibility', read guilt, lies elsewhere.

      As for Petreaus, he resigned, though there were plenty of reasons to fire him, many of them preceding Libya.

      However, if Congress wants him to testify further all they have to do is subpoena him. The fact that he has left government service doesn't grant him immunity rom testifying.



  40. .

    From the article, we also hear that the State Department indicated that they did not transfer any arms.

    What a scoop.

    Also, that the CIA didn't have any comment on the subject.



    1. All that seems pretty reasonable, Q.
      Deuce's conclusion that if the CNN reporting were accurate, then Mrs Clinton lied, not necessarily so.

      There are a multitude of reasons why those Soviet style SAMs may never have been fired at Syrian aircraft.
      The easiest, the batteries were kaput. Those things do not have much of a shelve life.
      Another, they were so "valuable" to the terrorist leadership in Syria that they were never deployed to someone that could use them frivolously.

      As to your other comments, Q, this CNN scoop is right in line with the CNN story that they were in Benghazi and talked to a fella that said he was the fella that the FBI thought could be a suspect of some sort.

      Whether or not he was the fella, that is still an open question.
      What he was suspected of, if he was really the fella that the FBI had listed amongst the suspects, and why he was a suspect, or even a "Person of Interest", never mentioned in the televised interview.

      And, to date, CNN has not written a word about it.

      Our camp follower, boobie, was not much for putting credibility in MSM stories, until he found one that bashed the US government. Then they were oracles of truth, once again.

    2. If Benghazi were a "real" consulate, then there would be some culpability of Hillary's part. But it was not a "real" consulate, it was a CIA cover operation. A cover story so thin that the "consulate" was not on the State Dept. web site that listed consulates.

      If General P were called to testify, I would be surprised. It would flesh out the "phoney" scandal, which neither side of the political divide in the government wants to have happen.

    3. Jesus rat, can't you ever just shut up for a while? Or, as dad used to say, pipe down?

      You've been running off at the mouth all day long.

      Get some rest.

    4. .

      As usual, rat, you are wrong.

      Hillary's main responsibility as SOS was to provide for the security of the people that worked for her. She didn't.

      Two, in actual sworn 'testimony' (not conjecture), the number two man, acting OIC at the embassy said that one of the reason the ambassador went Benghazi was to verify progress was made there towards making Benghazi a full consulate as money to complete the project had to be allocated by the end of November.

      This was testimony from individuals who were on the ground in Libya, in Tripoli, in Benghazi on a day to day basis.


    5. .

      That is, as usual, rat, you are wrong on this.


    6. .

      As for CNN and 'witnesses', after seeing the clusterfuck they created during the Boston Bomber episode, does anyone really think this is the same CNN that brought us the first Iraq war?


  41. There's a lesson in this article for a couple of the people here -

  42. August 2, 2013
    India Turns to Israel
    By Michael Curtis

    At the Maccabiah games held in Israel during July 2013, a contingent of 28 Indian Jews competed with 9000 Jewish athletes from more than 70 countries in the 38 sports contested. The members of the contingent won no medals but their team did beat the British team at cricket. Impressive though this triumph in Tel Aviv may be, far more important is the increasingly cordial relationship between Israel and India.

    Cordiality was not always the case. India voted against the November 29, 1947 United Nations Partition Resolution that led to the creation of Israel. It voted in 1949 against Israel becoming a member of the United Nations. It did recognize the existence of Israel as a state in 1950. This position was supported by Hindu organizations throughout the country while the ruling Congress party appeased the Muslim population. But India, a founding member of the nonaligned movement and essentially pro-Arab in its policy positions, did not establish formal diplomatic relations with the Jewish state until January 1992. At that point J. N. Dixit, the Indian foreign minister, complained, "What have the Arabs given us?"

    The relationship between the two countries has been uneven depending on the policies of the different Indian political leaders in power, though official contacts have been maintained. The relationship cannot be termed an alliance but clearly closer relations have been developing in recent years. India, conscious for many years of the power and the influence of the Soviet Union, supposedly anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist, concerned to placate Arab opinion, worried about energy supplies from the Gulf states, and always anxious about the more than 120 million Muslims in its population, has since the fall of the Soviet Union become aware of the benefits gained from cooperation with Israel. The benefits have largely been in the area of mutual trade, but both countries have experienced security problems, difficulties with Muslim minorities and have been confronted by Islamist terrorists. To this end a joint anti-terror commission was set up in 2000 to deal with the problem of Islamist extremists.

    The present reality is that bilateral trade between the two countries, about $200 million in 2001, amounted in 2010 to $4.7 billion, and in 2013 to $6.6 billion, in addition to a $50 million academic research arrangement. India is now Israel's second largest export market, and its eighth largest trading partner. Israel has access to the Indian domestic market while Indians have access to Israel's high technology sector. In 2013, negotiations began for a free trade agreement involving technology, biotechnology, and agriculture. Already there is a three-year agricultural agreement according to which Israel helps Indian farmers; it has set up 28 agricultural training centers in 10 of the Indian states.


    1. Indian officials appreciate the value of Israeli expertise. By an agreement of May 2005 for joint endeavors five areas have been listed as priorities in a number of technology fields: nanotechnology, biotechnology, water management, alternative energy, and space and aeronautics.

      Since 2006 the two countries have been cooperating on water technology, especially in the fields of drip irrigation and desalination, in both of which Israel is a global leader. A $50 million agricultural fund focuses on dairy farming technology and micro-irrigation. An agreement in 2011 fostered cooperation on urban water systems. This resulted from years of joint research and shared investment in water technologies.

      In their search for methods to provide cleaner water for the 1.2 billion population in their country, Indian officials and engineers have been consulting Israeli personnel who have solved many of the similar problems that India is facing. To find solutions for the major water crisis in their country, a group of 16 Indian officials in June 2013 visited wastewater treatment plants in Israel, and met with leading environmentalists and agronomists. They commented on the success of Israeli technologies that India was unable to implement at this time.

    2. Apart from technological and research assistance, Israel has also been involved in Indian security. A major part of the trade relationship between the two countries has been in arms supplies; Israel is now, after Russia, the largest supplier of arms to India. The two countries have cooperated in joint research on military weapons and on intelligence issues. India launched a 300-kilogram satellite for Israel through its space program. India bought the Barak-1 missiles from Israel as well as an anti-aircraft system, missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, electronic equipment, and laser-guided bombs. India also been considering, or rather reconsidering, buying the Israeli Iron Dome.

      All this may produce political changes in India's Middle East policies. India has long been supportive of the Palestinian cause. It was, in 1975, the first non-Arab state to recognize the PLO, as "the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people," a phrase coined by Yasser Arafat. It was, in 1988, one of the first countries to recognize the "State of Palestine." The Indian position on the Arab-Israeli conflict was made clear by Manmohan Singh, prime minister at the UN General Assembly session on September 24, 2011. He then declared, "India is steadfast in its support for the Palestinian people's struggle for a sovereign, independent, viable and united state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, living within secure and recognizable borders side by side and at peace with Israel." On November 29, 2012 India cosponsored the resolution of the UN General Assembly upgrading the status of Palestinians to non-member observer state. It gave $10 million to the Palestinian Authority.

      Nevertheless, though India nominally supports the Palestinian bid for full membership of the United Nations, it still believes that the only realistic path for the Palestinians to achieve statehood is through direct negotiations. The Hindu majority in India is one of the world's least receptive peoples to anti-Semitism. It is also aware that, notwithstanding Indian's support of Palestinians, that Muslims will generally remain hostile to it. They remember that while the Palestinians favored Pakistan in its dispute with India over Kashmir, Israel supported India. Above all, they are aware that Israel and India share a common enemy, Islamic extremism. This may bring the two countries even closer together.


      My Hindu niece certainly does not have any ill will towards Jewish people. She perceives that they do not mistreat women, the way the moslems do, and, alas, many Hindu males as well.

      I hope India and Israel become much closer.