“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."

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bullshit from Putin

'Putin is a pariah - he must now be treated as such'
After the terrible loss of MH17, Europe must now stand firm against Putin

By John Kampfner
1:10PM BST 19 Jul 2014

For the past two decades, many around the world have been in denial. Russia was changing, they insisted. And so it has. It has embraced money, private jets and super yachts. For a fleeting few years in the early 1990s it toyed with democracy, only to conclude that this course was synonymous with chaos. Out of this new experiment of bling with brutishness came Vladimir Putin.
Six months into the crisis in Ukraine, the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner marks a defining moment in the West’s approach to Russia. Or at least it should.
Putin is a pariah. He must now be treated as such.
The terrible loss of MH17, with passengers from a dozen nations on board, was tragedy enough. The stories of Dutch families obliterated, scientific experts on their way to a conference in Australia, and Newcastle football fans making the extraordinary journey to New Zealand were heart-rending. Initially, as the facts remained a little unclear, the Russian President could, just could, have salvaged what remained of his international credibility in his response to the crash. He could have expressed his horror at the military escalation in eastern Ukraine, vowing that the perpetrators of the crime would be brought to justice. Then, in time, he might have called for a conference on the future of Russians in Ukraine and ensured that they secured greater autonomy. He would have been able to trade on some goodwill, alongside the power that comes with Russia’s dominance of energy supplies to Europe. Machiavelli would have approved.
Instead he reverted to thuggish type. As state television produced its now familiar diet of propaganda, the president insisted that the Ukrainians only had themselves to blame. Meanwhile, rebel leaders in the crash site area threatened journalists and investigators who tried to piece together the facts. The idea, from the very start of the Ukrainian insurgency, that the balaclava-clad forces in Crimea and the east of the country were a spontaneous reflection of local sentiment was laughable. They have been armed and coordinated from on high, from the Kremlin. Now the order has gone out to eliminate the incriminating evidence. This will be difficult, but Putin’s hope is to muddy the trail just enough that it will allow some European politicians to argue that further sanctions and other repercussions be toned down.

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For sure, Putin did not want developments to unfold in the way they have done. The rebels had, shortly before the Malaysian airliner was downed, just boasted about their prowess in picking Ukrainian military planes from the sky. They ended up picking the wrong target. Their minders in Moscow will be furious with them, knowing that the events of the past 48 hours will set back the rebels’ cause.
In recent weeks, as the Ukrainian authorities had regained a few footholds in the East, the attention of the international media had moved elsewhere. Now it has refocused on the region. Movements of Russian military kit will be more closely monitored. Putin cannot afford another mistake. In the short-term at least, the rebels and their masters will have to watch their step.
Putin has no end game in Ukraine. He knows what he doesn’t want – a functioning, Western leaning, democratic state. He hated the idea that in May Ukraine conducted presidential elections, which contained clear choices and produced an undisputed outcome – at least in areas he couldn’t reach. His only purpose is to destabilise, as he has done in other former republics of the Soviet Union, whose demise he has publicly lamented. Nor does he have a grand plan for Russia, apart from restoring its “dignity”, after the “humiliations” of the 1990s.
Some of his resentments are justified. Russia was taken for granted in the early 2000s. The post-9/11 logistical support it provided for America’s war in Afghanistan, and its agreement not to hinder the war in Iraq were banked, with nothing given back in return. Putin could be forgiven for becoming wary of the West. Indeed, with power shifting to Asia and with emerging countries looking for points of reference beyond the United States, he could have developed a more subtle foreign policy that might have posed an interesting challenge. Instead he fell into a mind-set that was part Soviet era and part Latin American dictator of the 1970s.
His land grab in Crimea was hugely popular back home; his poll ratings reached an all-time high. Although it squealed, the West did not particularly object to the snatching back of a peninsula that had traditionally belonged to Russia and was ostentatiously handed over to Ukraine by a drunken Nikita Khrushchev in 1954 – at a time when demarcations between Soviet states were largely irrelevant anyway.
The crisis in eastern Ukraine is different. It will further damage Russia’s flat-lining economy and is costing lives. Families in the region are being torn asunder as they are forced to make choices about allegiances. Yet, miserabilist that he is, Putin will not call off the dogs of war, because that will look weak.
Back in Moscow, in the sushi bars and the five-star hotels, business goes on as usual. Russia has the veneer of a modern state. The wealthy are driven from plush office to suburban dacha in their tinted-windowed Mercedes, not quite impervious to events in Ukraine, but confident that it won’t affect them.
With each month, the United States has shown greater determination. Europe is divided. Some leaders want tougher action; others, mindful of their dependency on Russian gas, continue to hold back. President Obama is contemplating a further set of sanctions against named individuals and companies deemed to be close to Putin. For all the denials, the earlier rounds have hurt – a little.
The British government’s denunciation of Russian foreign policy and supine embrace of its money is hypocritical and self-defeating. Apart from one or two individuals who have stood up to the Kremlin – and usually ended up in jail – Russia’s billionaires have been his de facto ambassadors, providing glamour to Russia’s international image. They know which side of the fence they are on.
In September 1983 when the Soviets shot down a Korean passenger jet that had strayed into their air space, the Cold War was at its height and Russia was a closed country. Politically and militarily, the Kremlin may not have moved on, but economically the world is very different. Russia’s wealth is tied up in Western banks. Its companies are listed on global stock exchanges. Its oligarchs own prestigious properties in London, Courchevel and the Cote d’Azur. The country that helped them become rich is led by one of the most sinister politicians of the modern age.
This is both Putin’s strength and his weak spot. And this is where the West needs to act.

John Kampfner was the Telegraph’s Moscow bureau chief 1991-94. His latest book, The Rich, is published in October


  1. Deuce ☂Sat Jul 19, 03:21:00 PM EDT
    I don’t believe in Moses, Abraham, Muhammed or Jesus. I don’t believe in God or any of the bullshit Middle Eastern religions. They can fight it out for which one is the worse. Of course they stole Arab lands. I would believe in Jewish self determination if the Jews believed in Jewish self-determination, but they don’t. They believe in US sponsored, financed, and Uncle Sam’s skirts when the going gets tough. That is not self-determination tough guy.

    Deuce: I am a big believer in the rights of free people to defend themselves. All people. Had the Jews practiced self-determination and protecting themselves, there would be a lot more of them and the World would be better off for it. The only Jewish reaction that shocks me is your persistent, transparent stupidity.

    Just to clarify.

    Jews have no rights to any state in the middle east as all lands belong to the arabs.

    Arab nationalism is real, as a historic people but Jews are not entitled to the same.

    The UN's creation of the modern State of Israel is a crime.

    Jews were to lazy to defend themselves in ww2 against the nazis.

    You do not believe in any western religion, however you do believe that "arabs" own the middle east.

    Am I correct in your positions?

    1. Did the Arabs "steal" the Jewish lands of the middle east?

      Who are the "arabs"? And why do you think they "own" the lands of the middle east?

      Does America "own" it's lands? Does England own the Faulkins? By what right did the English and French come to own the Ottoman Empire's lands?

      Do you recognize the Balfour Declaration, the League of Nations or the United Nations declaration of Jewish ownership of the territories called "palestine"?

    2. Uummmm, dude, WiO, just because Israel has'rights' doesn't mean it has the right to ground Palestinians under its boot.

      what you guys are doing in Gaza is working against your interests.

    3. AshSat Jul 19, 08:13:00 PM EDT
      Uummmm, dude, WiO, just because Israel has'rights' doesn't mean it has the right to ground Palestinians under its boot.
      what you guys are doing in Gaza is working against your interests.

      Dude, totally non-responsive and has jack shit to do with the questions I asked.

      As for the "right to ground Palestinians under it's boot" is specious.

      1. The vast lands of the Palestinian arab territories is not even being touched. Jordan and the West Bank AND over 50% of tiny Gaza has not been touched.

    4. 2. What does "Ground Palestinians" really mean. In context the Lebanese Army completely "ground the palestinians"

      Late in the night of Saturday May 19, 2007, a building was surrounded by Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) in which a group of Fatah al-Islam militants accused of taking part in a bank robbery earlier that day were hiding. The ISF attacked the building early on Sunday May 20, 2007, unleashing a day long battle between the ISF and Fatah al-Islam militants on 200 Street, Tripoli. As a response, members of Fatah al-Islam in Nahr al-Bared Camp (16 km from Tripoli) attacked an army checkpoint, killing several soldiers in their sleep. The army immediately responded by shelling the camp.

      The camp became the centre of the fighting between the Lebanese Army and Fatah al-Islam. It sustained heavy shelling while under siege. Most of the inhabitants fled to the nearby Beddawi Palestinian refugee camp (doubling that camps population) or further south to Tripoli, Beirut and Saida. The last civilians (25 women and 38 children, the families of Fatah al-Islam members) were evacuated from the camp on Friday August 24, 2007.

      The conflict between the Lebanese Army and Fatah al-Islam ended on Sunday September 2, 2007 with the Lebanese Army taking full control of the camp after eliminating the remaining terrorist pockets.[1]

      The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA, charged with the care of the Palestinians, struggled to contain the unprecedented humanitarian crisis

      Now I'd take that as a standard for grounding into the ground, or this example:

      The Hama massacre (Arabic: مجزرة حماة‎) occurred in February 1982, when the Syrian Arab Army and the Defense Companies, under the orders of the country's then-president, Hafez al-Assad, besieged the town of Hama for 27 days in order to quell an uprising by the Muslim Brotherhood against al-Assad's government.[1][2] The massacre, carried out by the Syrian Army supposedly under commanding General Rifaat al-Assad, President Assad's younger brother, effectively ended the campaign begun in 1976 by Sunni Muslim groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, against the government.

      Initial diplomatic reports from Western countries stated that 1,000 were killed.[3][4] Subsequent estimates vary, with the lower estimates claiming that at least 10,000 Syrian citizens were killed,[5] while others put the number at 20,000 (Robert Fisk),[1] or 40,000 (Syrian Human Rights Committee).[2][6] About 1,000 Syrian soldiers were killed during the operation and large parts of the old city were destroyed. Alongside such events as Black September in Jordan,[7] the attack has been described as one of "the single deadliest acts by any Arab government against its own people in the modern Middle East".[8] The vast majority of the victims were civilians.[9]

      Remember Hamas is the daughter of the Moslem Brotherhood.

      I'd take the above reference too as a "standard"

      So to answer your question, I don't think Israel is grinding the Palestinians under it's boot.

      As for your 2nd point:

      what you guys are doing in Gaza is working against your interests.

      Well Ash, 4 million Israeli Jews and 1.25 million Israeli arabs are under terrorist rocket attacks. Over 1500 in the past 10 days, over 9000 in the past 10 years.

      It's in the interests of Israeli citizens not to die, not to make folks like Deuce, Rat, Rufus and others happy. After all, NOTHING israel would do, short of suicide would make the world happy.

      israel is, and according to your standards? That is working against Israel's interests.

    5. Lordy, you do.left be to cite the number of rockets 'they' have launched. How many has Israel laughed? Way.more I would bet. If you factor in tonnage and lethality then Israel has shot off far far more. Allen lives to keep score - what is it 300 dead to 2?

      Israel has the Palestinians penned up and they are slaughtering them at will. Nope, not many have sympathy for Israel and that does not serve Israel's interest.

    6. Gotta luv what the phone adds. I think y'all can still get my drift.

    7. ash, non responsive.

      try answering the specific points.

      "Israel has the Palestinians penned up and they are slaughtering them at will. " these type of comments are not factual. but keep trying to not answer the points.

    8. AshSat Jul 19, 08:53:00 PM EDT
      Lordy, you do.left be to cite the number of rockets 'they' have launched. How many has Israel laughed? Way.more I would bet. If you factor in tonnage and lethality then Israel has shot off far far more. Allen lives to keep score - what is it 300 dead to 2?

      Hamas shoots rockets at civilians on purpose, they even admit it...

      No contest.

  2. As is so often the case with you, you made an assumption about an event in your head, not mine.

    “Along with civilians, captured Polish Army soldiers were also massacred. On the very first day of invasion (1 September 1939), Polish prisoners of war (POWs) were murdered by the Wehrmacht at Pilchowice, Czuchów, Gierałtowice, Bojków, Lubliniec, Kochcice, Zawiść, Ornontowice and Wyry. The German army did not consider captured servicemen to be combatants because they fought differently from them, often avoiding direct confrontation in favor of guerilla tactics in the face of overwhelming force. Tadeusz Piotrowski, a Polish-American historian; estimated over 1,000 POWs executed by the Heer on the first day, while Timothy Snyder, an American historian wrote that over 3,000 POWs were killed in 63 separate shooting actions in which they were often forced to take their uniforms off.”

    According to your take, the Polish troops were cowards. Really!?

    1. No. you got your facts twisted. I corrected you and you throw up some deflecting bullshit that I said Polish fighting men were cowards. You are full of shit, a liar and unworthy of polishing Polish boots. Talk to Rufus about your Marine Corps experience. Really!

  3. I remember what Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney told us about Putin..

    They were right.

    1. Sarah Palin told us she could see Putin's place from her living room window.

    2. That is too sophisticated for us kids. Go back to BC and hang with like minded adults. Please!!


    3. AshSat Jul 19, 09:10:00 PM EDT
      That is too sophisticated for us kids. Go back to BC and hang with like minded adults. Please!!


  4. Global leaders rounded on Vladimir Putin on Saturday night as armed separatists continued to block international inspectors attempting to identify and repatriate bodies at the Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine.

    Amid reports that pro-Russia rebels accused of shooting down the plane had removed corpses themselves and were looting credit cards and other possessions belonging to some of the 298 victims, Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, said that Putin had "one last chance to show he means to help [rescuers recover the bodies]".

    Rutte vented his anger following what he called a "very intense" conversation with the Russian president. Referring to allegations that bodies of the passengers, including 193 Dutch nationals, were being treated with contempt and allowed to rot at the scene, he said: "I was shocked at the pictures of utterly disrespectful behaviour at this tragic spot. It's revolting."

    David Cameron called for the EU and the west to change its approach to Russia if Putin does not alter course on Ukraine following the tragedy. The prime minister said: "This is a direct result of Russia destabilising a sovereign state, violating its territorial integrity, backing thuggish militias, and training and arming them. We must turn this moment of outrage into a moment of action."

    The Dutch foreign minister, Frans Timmermans, and a small team of monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) were prevented from identifying and repatriating bodies on Saturday, having been allowed only limited access to the disaster site under the supervision of the armed separatists.

  5. Netanyahu and Putin must share the same public relations firm.

    1. Actually world leaders are being QUITE supportive of Bibi and Israel.

      Turkey and Qatar are not... But then who is surprised.

      The Gaza situation is putting every nation on notice, how they will respond to rocket attacks.

  6. Ash is right, Israel loses daily.

    1. Notice you didn't answer my points. Just want you to be clear.

    2. Actually, Israel is winning in world opinion, of course the arab mobs in europe? no surprise there. But if you notice Egypt and most other Arab nations are standing quietly on the side, not stopping israel and cheering the destruction of the Hamas.

    3. You are delusional. People, when they know the facts are disgusted.

    4. Fact: Hamas is a recognized terror group.

      Fact Hamas shot 1500 rockets at civilians on purpose and bragged about it.

      The only thing that in any way shape of form? Is how much Hamas (Iranians) SUCK at murdering vast numbers of Jews.

      They SUCK...

      a billion dollars in tunnels, a billion in rockets and a what have you got?

      Hamas has killed 300 of their own... Caused billions in damage.

      Yep can we say "winning"

      No one gives a shit anymore about the palestinians. They create the pile of shit they live in, the world KNOWS this...

      and doesn't care anymore..

      Not with 170,000 dead in syria, 500,000 wounded and 7 million refugees.
      Not with ISIS murdering it way thru Iraq
      Not with Russia blowing up airliners
      Not with Yemen, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan and more all dying...
      Not with 100,000 illegals coming across the border
      Not with 17 trillion in debt
      Not with healthcare being such a pain in the ass.
      Not with 3.40 a gallon gas, 2x electric bills...

      The palestinians (and you) cry wolf so much that NO ONE CARES...

      No one..



  7. Following reports about attempts to use victims’ credit cards, Dutch banks said that they were taking “preventive measures" and that any losses suffered by relatives of the dead would be paid back. The DeTelegraaf newspaper said: “The government must make clear to the world that we are beside ourselves with rage.”

    Speaking about the British government's priorities Philip Hammond, the foreign secretary, said: "Our focus now is on securing the site so there is a proper international investigation to identify the cause and the perpetrators and bring them to justice, and making sure the victims are dealt with with proper dignity and respect."

    The US secretary of state, John Kerry, also stressed in a phone call with the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, that investigators must get full access to the crash site.

    The situation there descended into chaos on Saturday as "experts" of unknown provenance moved bodies decomposing in the baking heat from fields to the roadside, and used bags to collect body parts. A spokesman for the OSCE, Michael Bociurkiw, said: "Some of the body bags are open and the damage to the corpses is very, very bad – it is very difficult to look at."

    It was a horrific scene and came despite huge pressure on Moscow to force the rebels to allow proper access to the site. The Ukrainian government accused the separatists of removing 38 bodies from the site to a morgue in rebel-held Donetsk. But as politicians and newspapers across the world lay blame for Thursday's tragedy at the door of pro-Russia separatists and Vladimir Putin personally, the Kremlin has remained defiant. Putin has said Ukraine is to blame, and Russia's defence ministry issued a list of 10 questions for Kiev on Saturday, insinuating that it was a Ukrainian missile that downed the plane, while the self-declared prime minister of the Donetsk People's Republic, Alexander Borodai, told Russian television that the entire event had been a setup by Ukrainian authorities.

    "[Ukrainian president Petro] Poroshenko promised a 'surprise' for the rebels. I think this is the surprise he was talking about – a plane full of civilians shot down," said Borodai. However, a senior Ukrainian security official claimed on Saturday that Kiev had evidence the missile was fired from separatist territory by Russian specialists who had crossed the border with the equipment.

  8. The Ukrainian prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, told a German newspaper that the missile required “very professional staff” and "could not be operated by drunken gorillas", suggesting that the separatists had outside help from Russia. When asked about the growing circumstantial evidence that the separatists shot down the jet in error, thinking it to be a Ukrainian air force plane, Borodai said: “It’s a lie and I hope it will be proved as a lie by experts, including international experts who have already arrived on our territory.”

    However, there were no recognisable international or even Ukrainian experts at the crash site, which was completely controlled by rebel gunmen. Ukraine's government on Saturday accused the rebels of destroying evidence and making life difficult for OSCE observers. "We have to be very careful with our movements because of all the security. We are unarmed civilians, so we are not in a position to argue with people with heavy arms," said Bociurkiw.

    Of the 10 dead Britons, the four yet to be identified were named on Saturday as John Allen, a Netherlands-based lawyer who died with his wife Sandra and their sons Christopher, Julian and Ian; Robert Ayley, 28, a dog breeder and father of two from Guildford in Surrey, who lived in New Zealand; Stephen Anderson, 44, who lived in Penang, Malaysia; and Andrew Hoare, 59, a banker who died alongside his Dutch wife Estella and their two children, Friso and Jasper, who were aged 12 and 14 and of Dutch nationality.

    Russia's ambassador to the UK, Alexander Yakovenko, has been summoned to the Foreign Office to be told that Putin must use his influence on the separatists to ensure access to the crash site, No 10 said. In Germany, Andreas Schockenhoff, a senior ally of chancellor Angela Merkel, told the Observer: "The disaster in the Ukraine has made it clear beyond all doubt that we are not dealing with a bilateral conflict, but a serious threat to the peace all across Europe."

    Schockenhoff said Russia was "not a neutral actor in the conflict" since it had armed and trained the separatists. He called on Europe to show "a united front and make any failure to cooperate very painful for Putin".

    Meanwhile, the Russian foreign ministry published a list of 12 US citizens who are now banned from entry to Russia in response to the latest US sanctions. They include officials involved in the running of the Guantánamo detention facility and military personnel involved with the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal.

    Fighting has continued between the Ukrainian army and separatists in east Ukraine since the crash on Thursday, with more than 20 civilians reported to have died in Luhansk on Friday. Ukrainian authorities claimed they had evidence of military equipment transferred to the area from Russia in the early hours of Saturday morning.


    1. Which another one of the reasons, aside from the 'ahead of the curve' announcements from the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, to think it was the Ukrainian military that dropped the airliner, in a False Flag operation.

    2. ah, another of them False Flag ops.


    3. Jack sees both sides of an issue and the additional 4 sides he creates arguing with himself...

      can we say "looney tunes"

  9. Sodastream is down over 50%,in stock value since this part October, it would be down more, but George Soros stepped in and started buying, for political purposes, as is his wont... Sales in the Americas, down 28%, all in response to Israeli policies towards the Palestinians. Sodastream had to shut down operations in the UK.

    That is the Existential Threat that allen told us about.
    That illustrates the growth and success of the Boycott, Divest and Sanction Movement.

    allen played that economics card, telling us that the existential threat to Israel was the inherent weakness of its economy. Israel's dependence upon foreign investment and trade, and, as per normal his 'argument' came back and bit him in the ass.
    It is the Existential Threat that the NASI now want to ignore.

    Why, because the NASI are not responsive to realities that do not fit their propaganda talking points.
    Their reluctance to embrace the truth does not change it, not in the least.

    “Bigotry does not consort easily with free trade.”
    ― Peter Ackroyd


    1. Sodastream is down over 50%,in stock value since this past October

    2. Wow, and sales for David's Sling and Iron Dome and Israeli's airplane anti-missile system are skyrocketing.

      Keep up the Sodastream news as world wide, sales are UP during the same period.

      And the USA is only 4% of the world :)

    3. The US may be just 4% of the world population but it represents 25% of global economic activity and 25% of Sodastream retail outlets.

      The market for Sodastream's product was booming, while their sales were plummeting.
      U.S. retail sales of home soda machines soared 30 percent last year,

      Sodasream's market value drop was the second-worst among the 23 stocks tracked in the Bloomberg Israel-US Equity index, which rose 5 percent in the quarter.

      But it is across ALL of the Americas that Sodastream sales are down, "O"rdure, not just the US.

      Your reading skills need improvement, or perhaps it is just your English vocabulary.
      We have been through this with your predecessors, it is a shame we have to retrace the "O"rdure learning curve, time and again.

      What we have is "O"rdure continuing to reject reality, now claiming that Israel will abandon retail markets and become the leader in the death merchant business, typical of a NASI living in a fantasy land.

    4. it's a great time to buy the stock Herr Rodent..

      It's undervalued.


      you really just don't understand business..

    5. The US also represents over 40% of the world spending for armaments.
      So if the US does not buy the toys, very few will be able to afford them.

      Since the US is funding development of the system, and as allen posted, it is a failure at present, if the US does not participate, Israel's got nothing of significance to sell

    6. LOL

      Getting more desperate by the post, and dumber..


  10. The Bard of MurdockSat Jul 19, 10:12:00 PM EDT

    And people say Moslem extremists are heartless and barbaric. These Ukrainian separatists are no better than ISIS. First they kill 298 people and then they refuse to allow people to even collect their bodies and possessions. And these are the kind of barbaric people Russia support.Yet another low day in the history of the human race.

  11. More on the Noble IDF and the valor of Israel

    The 24-hour shift that Omar Mansour completed was entirely routine – at least by the warped standards of Gaza under Israeli assault.

    The ambulance driver and paramedic collected the remains of a family of eight who had been eviscerated by a tank shell as they broke the Ramadan fast.

    He was forced to leave two wounded men lying beside the road because of hostile fire. And Mr Mansour worked frantically to recover the wounded from two ruined tower blocks during a 15-minute pause in the bombardment.

    Then he snatched two hours of sleep at home with his wife and children. But nothing could clear his head of the images of a day of suffering.

    "The worst thing is the smell," said Mr Mansour, 30. "The smell of blood – of burned blood – is everywhere. It's in the ambulance, in the hospitals, everywhere. I still have it in my nose. I use perfume to try to get rid of it – but it's still there."

    On the 12th day of Israel's offensive, the ambulance staff of the Palestinian Red Crescent have become accustomed to a remorseless routine of 24-hour shifts and constant scenes of destruction.

    On Friday night, Mr Mansour was called to the town of Beit Hanoun, lying squarely in the line of advance of Israel's ground invasion. At sunset, the Abu Garad family had gathered for Iftar – the daily meal relieving the Ramadan fast. The husband, wife and six children were sitting together when they were killed, apparently by an Israeli tank shell.

    Mr Mansour's ambulance team could do nothing but collect the remains. "They were all in pieces," he remembered. "No one was wounded – they were all finished. There was a leg here, half a leg there, fingers."

    Earlier, Mr Mansour was summoned to the village of Umm an-Nasser, near the Israeli border. He arrived to find that most of the inhabitants had fled, leaving the streets deserted. One man lay dead, his legs blown off and one eye torn away.

    As the ambulance team tried to pick up some injured people nearby, Mr Mansour said that Israeli soldiers opened fire. "They did not want us to pick up the wounded, so they shot at us," he said.


    1. n recent days, IDF sources reported spotting Hamas gunmen boarding ambulances in Gaza filled with children.

      Hamas urged residents of northern Gaza to remain in their homes, and provide cover for its concentration of rocket launch squads in that area.

      These tactics are designed to provide the terrorist organization with protection from the IDF.

      They are the same tactics that have prevented the air force from destroying all of Hamas’s rocket infrastructure, hidden deep under residential buildings, or targeting its leadership, which is hiding under the Shifa hospital in Gaza City.

      Hamas spread out its assets across Gaza, and there is no one center of gravity for the IDF to target.

      The military operation is complex and long, and the IDF’s focus on destroying tunnels is only the first stage of the ground maneuver.

      Despite their tactics, Hamas and Islamic Jihad are in trouble. They have lost more than half of their rockets supply – some 40 percent have been destroyed in air force attacks and another 1,700 rockets have been fired at Israel. Many rockets remain, but the supply is beginning to dwindle.

  12. {...}
    Mr Mansour maneuvered the ambulance to shield the other medics and the firing died away, allowing them to rescue the wounded.

    But the shooting started again when they tried to treat two more injured men beside the road. This time, there was no respite. "The soldiers shot towards us and, if we had stopped, they would have fired directly at us. So we could not stop to pick up the two men. We had to leave them," he said.

    Mr Mansour caught a brief glimpse of the bloodied figures he was compelled to abandon: they were men in their twenties, who looked so alike that they might have been brothers.

    Palestinian medics accuse Israeli forces of routinely shooting at ambulances, often preventing the rescue of casualties. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) adamantly deny this charge, saying that air strikes and bombardments have frequently been aborted to avoid hitting ambulances.

    But Mr Mansour said that his own ambulance station has been damaged three times, forcing its crews and vehicles to move to the United Nations medical centre in Jabaliya refugee camp.

    At 3am on Saturday, two tower blocks in this densely populated area of the Gaza Strip were hit by artillery shells. Mr Mansour was soon heading to the scene, but he found himself driving into the middle of an Israeli bombardment. "The shelling was still going on. We heard the explosions and we saw the fireballs all around us," he remembered.

    Frantically, the ambulance team called the International Committee of the Red Cross which, in turn, contacted Israeli commanders. The result was that Mr Mansour was informed that he had 15 minutes to recover the wounded before the shelling would resume.

    Gaza City is seen from the northern Gaza Strip (AP)

    During that time, he collected the last casualties of his shift: three women aged between 17 and 20, all terribly injured by shrapnel, and the corpses of one man and another woman.

    "From the first day of the war until now, I have only picked up civilians," said Mr Mansour. "Women, children, old people, often at their houses."

    The 30-year-old medic, who qualified only a year ago, has a family of his own. In between shifts, Mr Mansour snatches a few hours with his wife, Aya, and their sons, Zaheir, five, and Mohammed, three, and their daughter, Elena, two.

    They live in Jabaliya, which has suffered numerous air strikes. "I call them every 10 minutes to check on them," said Mr Mansour. "And when I go home, I hold my own children and cry because of all the other wounded children I have seen."


    1. Deuce, what does it matter? You have said that you'd only be happy if Israel were dismantled, you have accused Israel of genocide.

      Who cares about your one off story, we get it, you and jack and rufus and ash all call israelis nazis.

      Now maybe you should step back and allow israel to kill a few hundred thousand, then you will have your story..

      But you MUST allow israel to start lining the kids up and shooting them 6 at a time with one bullet...

      Oh and you must allow Israel to live up to your claims and start barrel bombing schools filled with happy shiny palestinian kids faces..

      Then and only then will your stories have merit...

      Let the slaughter begin!!!!

    2. Imagine Gaza with Greenhouses...

      Oops, I forgot:

      That's history.

    3. "you and jack and rufus and ash all call israelis nazis"

      Are you saying they're not?

    4. I am HOPING they are!!!!

      The solution for Hamas is easy... Reduce Gaza like Syria's dictator did in Hama!!!!!

      If Israelis are the Nazis and genocidal savages that Deuce, rufus, Jack and Ash CLAIM?

      We should be seeing 40,000 dead on a daily basis any day now....

      What the Israelis up to now?

      Oh... Mybad...

      Israel only killed 300... of which the vast majority are.. or should I say WERE hamas fighters...

      Darn it...

      Let's go Israel, reach down and be the genocial maniac everyone says you are...

      I c=am ready to apologize for the deaths of 400,000 or so Palestinians...

      i have a nice candle to burn...

    5. SO the truth comes out... Hamas is using ambulances filled with kids to move around the strip..

      Not the 1st time...


      So sorry, the IDF is on to the game.

  13. "OT"

    Mohamed Atta should be entitled to receive survivor benefits...

    No wonder they killed Stevens, and, I'm surprised Trent Lott had it in him:

    US Illegal Alien Policy - Yes, We're Going Bananas
    By Mark Steyn 5-22-6

    ...On the other hand, President Bush had proposed illegal aliens should also be able to collect Social Security benefits for any work they had done in Mexico (assuming, for the purposes of argument, there is any work to be done in Mexico).

    On the other other hand, Republican Sens. Trent Lott of Mississippi and Ted Stevens of Alaska had added earmarks to the bill proposing that the family of Mohamed Atta should be entitled to receive survivor benefits plus an American Airlines pilot's pension based on past illegal employment flying jets over the Northeast corridor on Tuesday mornings in late 2001.

    Fortunately, the world's greatest deliberative body was able to agree on this sensible moderate compromise.

    Meanwhile, from the Associated Press: "Mexico warned Tuesday it would file lawsuits in U.S. courts if National Guard troops detain migrants on the border."

    On what basis? Posse Comitatus? It's unconstitutional to use the U.S. military against foreign nationals before they've had a chance to break into the country and become fine upstanding members of the Undocumented-American community? Or is Mexico taking legal action on the broader grounds that in America it's now illegal to enforce the law?
    Which, given that Senate bill, is a not unreasonable supposition.

  14. This isn’t a war between two parties, it is a defenseless civilian population suffering from a brutal and disgusting assault armed killers and thugs in uniform representing Israel. It makes me want to spit to think that US politicians don’t have the courage to call murder for what it is.

    1. I'm in love with your last name, Bobbie! (multiple heart icons)

    2. Sorry Deuce,

      Defenseless civilian populations do not hide 30,000 rockets in their homes, as the reporter on MSNBC this am said, the population of Gaza IS HAMAS and choose to militarize their homes.

      It make me thrilled to know your wigging out...

      Hamas is being killed as we speak and it will continue until the word "surrender" is said.

      Murder is not collateral damage, Murder is what Hamas does when it targets civilians on purpose.


      the spittle, froth and foam is spewing from your mouth...

      Innocent Hamas members (and their human shields) are getting hit...

      Hamas COULD allow the human shields to leave, but then? No propaganda...

    3. They were building those tunnels in hopes of finding water.

      ...or, better yet, BLACK GOLD!

  15. Hope you are all proud that I did a multiple takedown of "PJ Media" and their worthless MSM mimicking coverage of Obama's Border Disaster.
    (I'd ask that you suck me off, Rufus, but your mouth's not big enough)

    ...he's busy sucking Barry's skinny dick, anyhoo.

  16. "Hope you are all proud..."

    Sorry, forgot to exclude the Skinny Dick Sucker.

  17. Now this is great!!!!!

    Anti-Israel protesters rally across France, defying ban imposed after synagogue clash
    Thousands march through French cities in protest of Israeli operation in Gaza Strip; French president says will not allow violence to spill over into France.REUTERS - Thousands of pro-Palestinian (arabs/moslems) protesters marched in French cities on Saturday to condemn violence in Gaza, defying a ban imposed after demonstrators marched on two synagogues in Paris last weekend and clashed with riot police.

    I hope they protest the violence in Israel by being violent in Paris and London..

    May the cities burn.

    1. In the first three months of 2014 more Jews left France for Israel than at any other time since the Jewish state was created in 1948, with many citing rising anti-Semitism as a factor.

      Yep, England & France? Being taken over by Islam...

      May their cities burn.

    2. 2 Hamas "soldiers" slip thru a tunnel and kill two Israelis!!!!!

      The tunnel, took over 2 years to build and cost in excess of 400,000 dollars, but it was worth it said a Hamas spokesperson... "We are victorious, we executed two zionist pigs"

      Israel, of course, blew up the tunnel and is now increasing ground troop call ups.

      It was reported that members of the Hamas cell lit off firecrackers and gave out candy in celebration...

      I myself am praying for diabetes for them


    4. YEP that's why I hope they riot and burn the city down..

      Peaceful Pro-palestinian rally is like saying "kosher pig market"

      Just a walking oxymoronic statement if ever I heard on.

  18. One Ukrainian described the 'separatists' as "drunken guerrillas".

    That sounds about right. The Russians and Russian cousins have a big reputation for doing a lot of drinking while fighting.

    An Army marches on its Vodka.

  19. "The tunnel, took over 2 years to build and cost in excess of 400,000 dollars"

    Madam Yellen "easily" covered that with a stroke of her pen.

    1. Well it did cost only 200k at the beginning of Obama's reign.


  20. "In the first three months of 2014 more Jews left France for Israel than at any other time since the Jewish state was created in 1948, with many citing rising anti-Semitism as a factor."

    Tell me it ain't so, Joe.

    History caint repeat itself, can it?

    Does Russia still shoot down airliners?

    1. Vichy France will rise again!

      G_d willing.

  21. DougSat Jul 19, 10:35:00 PM EDT

    Imagine Gaza with Greenhouses...

    Oops, I forgot:

    That's history.

    The destruction by the Gazans of the green houses left by the Israelis in perfect working order as a parting gift to the Gazans was the end of any sympathy for them by me.

    This was a sin against the Spirit of Roethke, a sin against the sacred spirit.

    A perfect showing of their inner reality.

    The final straw that broke this camel's back.

    I don't much care what happens to them.

    They have no inner eye.

    1. I'd love to hump your camel.

      ...I mean ride your camel's hump.

    2. :), well, I don't know just what you mean but I don't like the sounds of it.

      Permission denied !

  22. Putin should just step up and pay reparations to the Malaysians.

    The cover-up is worse than the crime/mistake.

    The denial worse than an admission.

    1. We should have a pity party for the future of Malaysian Air and Obama's America.

      Not Good.

    2. ...imagine yourself among the lucky suckers that were killed by the Buk Blast that didn't have to endure that long pony ride down.

      You'll sleep better.

    3. If they add those folks into the equation, the Dutch will no longer be the tallest people on Earth.

    4. ...maybe they measure them in their wooden clogs?

    5. My aunt had a pair of those wooden shoes.

      They are really really uncomfortable.

      The Dutch may be tall but they must be really short on brains to walk around in those !

      I'll take Adidas.

    6. They're noisy too. ...and have no swoop.

      My landlord's dad at my microbrewery used to visit, and I could hear him coming all the way from his car.

      (I never saw it:
      I wonder if it was a Volvo, Saab, or an extra-large Vulva?)

    7. "This gallery shows the normal, healthy variations that occur within the female genitals..."

      Please post your Cliff Notes,

      I'm busy.

    8. .

      Bob Oreo: The Dutch may be tall but they must be really short on brains to walk around in those !

      They are practical. They float.


  23. Man, I've already got EIGHT likes!

    Too bad we don't have a Representative Government.

  24. .

    Everyone agrees the current immigration system is a mess. For instance, I think the current limit on H1B visas is set ridiculously low and should be expanded. However, the following suggestion to set up a start-up visa program is meant to create jobs not fill existing jobs.

    Fortunately, there is such an idea at hand: Congress should act now to create a new startup visa to attract immigrant entrepreneurs.

    A startup visa that allows immigrants to start businesses in America has the potential to create many needed American jobs and boost GDP growth. A Kauffman Foundation analysis of one proposal in Congress to enact a startup visa found that it could create up to 1.6 million new jobs for Americans over 10 years and add an additional 1.5 percent to economic growth. This estimate, derived from historical data on employer firm creation and survival, plus Census Bureau statistics on job creation, is considered conservative.

    Happily, a startup visa has bipartisan support in Congress. The idea was included in the comprehensive immigration bill that passed the Senate last year and in legislation the House Judiciary Committee approved in 2013. During committee consideration of that bill, members of both parties expressed support for a visa that would create jobs for Americans.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

    Naturally, as a proponent of start-up visas, the authors point out the potential that they represent; however, I have never heard of start-up visas before and there are questions that come to mind. For instance, with an H1B visa if the job disappears so does the visa. At that point the immigrant has to apply for a different type visa or leave. We know that start ups fail 75-90% of the time (depending on who is coming up with the numbers). My first question would be, are these failed 'entrepreneurs' send back from whence they came or do they like all the illegals coming in from the border just silently drift into the general population?


  25. The enemy always does. For years Hamas has been working on a secret weapon: tunnels. “Eight Palestinian militants emerged from a tunnel some 300 yards inside Israel on Saturday morning, armed with automatic weapons and wearing Israeli military uniforms, the Israeli military said. The gunmen fired a rocket-propelled grenade at two Israeli military jeeps on patrol, starting a battle that killed two Israeli officers and one of the militants, according to the military. The rest then retreated underground, back to Gaza.”

    The IDF has taken 30 tunnels so far, many lined with concrete. While the Israelis were not strategically surprised, they were inevitably taken at tactical unawares. They knew there were tunnels but not where all were and how they would be used.

    Israeli officials framed the encounters as successes in thwarting attacks on Israel. But they were also an indication that Hamas could strike even during the invasion through a tunnel network that Israeli officials just revealed they had been studying for a year to plan a way to destroy them.

    1. I'd love to have my niece apply on one of those. I'd help set her up in some psychology business.

    2. .

      One of those? One of those what?

      An Israeli military Jeep?

      A segue?

      Or a Segway?

      Psychology business?

      No need to worry. Just studying you could keep her busy for the rest of your life and provide research material for numerous books well into the future.


  26. .

    More on the Dumbing Down of the Education Process

    Last September, Vincenzo Sinapi-Riddle, a student at Citrus Community College near Los Angeles, was collecting signatures on a petition asking the student government to condemn spying by the National Security Agency. He left the school’s designated “free speech area” to go to the student center. On his way there, he saw a likely prospect to join his cause: a student wearing a “Don’t Tread on Me” T-shirt.

    [A Qtorial: This was likely his first mistake as the guy wearing the 'Don't Tread on Me' shirt was likely working undercover for the FBI. Jes saying.]

    He stopped the student and they began talking about the petition. Then an administrator came out of a nearby building, informed them their discussion was forbidden outside the speech zone, and warned Sinapi-Riddle he could be ejected from campus for violating the speech-zone rule.

    Sinapi-Riddle has now sued Citrus College, a state institution, for violating his First Amendment rights by, among other things, demanding that “expressive activities” be confined to the 1.34 percent of campus designated as a “free speech area.”

    Perhaps the most outrageous part of his experience is how common it is.


    1. .

      Contrary to what many people seem to think, higher education doesn’t exist to hand out job credentials to everyone who follows a clearly outlined set of rules. (Will this be on the exam? Do I have to come to class?) Education isn’t a matter of sitting students down and dumping pre-digested information into their heads.

      Higher education exists to advance and transmit knowledge, and learning requires disagreement and argument. Even the most vocational curriculum -- accounting, physical therapy, civil engineering, graphic design -- represents knowledge accumulated through trial and error, experimentation and criticism. That open-ended process isn’t easy and it often isn’t comfortable. The idea that students should be protected from disagreeable ideas is a profoundly anti-educational concept.

      As for the claim that free expression is “distracting,” that’s true. Learning to deal with such distractions -- whether by engaging or ignoring them -- is a big part of learning how to function as a responsible adult in a free and media-rich society. The irony of the shopping mall model is that shoppers know perfectly well how to do this. Walking through a mall, we negotiate all sorts of advertising signs and sample peddlers without a problem. Surely college students can do the same with sales pitches for ideas.

      Ironically, this kind of PC bullshit exploded after the '60s, a time when those who proposed this shit would have been run off campus.


  27. Hamas admits the Gaza Strip is not occupied

    Musa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas official, said Saturday that his movement prefers Israeli reoccupation of the Gaza Strip to the blockade.

    Abu Marzouk told the Rai al-Youm newspaper that Israeli reoccupation of the Gaza Strip would mean that Israel would have to provide the Palestinians with electricity, water and jobs.

    Hamas publishes cease-fire initiative
    “We prefer the reoccupation of the Gaza Strip by Israel to returning to the state of blockade that prevailed before the current aggression,” Abu Marzouk, who is based in Cairo, said. “Occupation means providing electricity, water and jobs. Providing these daily matters is the responsibility of the occupying state.”

    Abu Marzouk said that he relayed this message to a Norwegian envoy, who met with him in Cairo a few days ago to discuss the situation in the Gaza Strip.

    1. .

      You play with semantics and make yourself look silly. Occupier or prison guard, which sounds better?

      As suggested, given that bifurcated choice, the people of Gaza would be better off if Israel did move in and accept the responsibility. But it won't happen. As the US learned in Iraq and Afghanistan, occupation is expensive. That's what Israel likes about the PA. That organization helps defray the costs of the Israeli occupation in the West Bank.


    2. Stop with the prison guard non sense.

      If Hamas would play checkers in the afternoons instead of building bombs, missiles and digging tunnels all would be well.

      Such an analysis as you offered is below you, Quirk, and I am sorely disappointed.

    3. .

      Nonsense, Bob. It is no more silly than WiO's claim that Israel is not an occupier which he went out of his way to do.

      When you enclose and confine a population, blockade their coast line, control their air space, control their movements, control their economy including imports and exports, control their utilities, water, electricity, control what food they get and how much, control how they can use their natural resources, well hell, you control them. You are either an occupier or a prison guard.

      If not, give me another definition and I will be glad to debate it with you.

      And don't give me the bull about being anti-Semitic. As WiO might say, that would be 'non-responsive'.



    4. Read the Hamas Charter. They want to push the Jews into the sea.

      It is not a normal situation.

      The blockade is necessary to try and prevent even more missiles and other war stuff from getting into the area, which abuts Israel.

      It is not a 'normal' situation.

      Recall for me how Israel got involved in Gaza in the first place.

      Via victory in a defensive war.

      If you were an Israeli would you lift all caution, which might result, and soon too, with an Iranian nuke right on your doorstep?

      That could be tunneled into Israel and blown up?

      If Hamas wants peace all they have to do is be peaceful. After the passage of some time, tensions would ease, fruitful negotiations might take place.......

      But they won't. It is not in their Charter.

      I am glad to read many of the Gazans seem to be getting sick and tired of Hamas.

      When is the next election?

      Will there be one?

    5. Israel gets nothing of any value from Gaza. It is just a big headache for them.

      If there were Danes living there, no problem would exist.

    6. .

      Again, you are unresponsive.

      Are the Israelis occupiers or are they prison guards? If neither, what are they vis-a-vis Gaza, or even the West Bank for that matter?


    7. This guy says it well -

      Why I Stand With Israel

      A great many of us pride ourselves on the subtlety of our minds, and on recognizing the complexities, both moral and practical, of the world, and this is a very good impulse.

      But when this impulse is raised to the level of dogma, it risks obscuring more than it clarifies. There are some occasions–yes, few, but some–when the moral calculus is exceedingly simple.

      I used to have a great personal interest in the policy detail of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I could lecture at length on the subtleties of Camp David, Taba, the Road Map; on the different kinds of settlements; on the security barrier, its precise shape and contours; on the various UN resolutions; on the history of Fatah and Hamas. By now, like Lord Palmerston and the Schleswig-Holstein Question, I have forgotten most of the details.

      What I have not forgotten is the following: the State of Israel is a democracy with the rule of law and respect for human rights (yes, imperfect, unlike the United States and Europe, which, as we all know, are perfect); demonic hatred of Jews is a real and persistent fact of history and when left unchecked it always leads to atrocities; this demonic hatred is absolutely clearly distilled into the enemies of Israel; and most, most importantly this: if tomorrow Hamas, Hizbullah and other enemies of Israel dropped their weapons, peace would break out; if tomorrow Israel dropped its weapons, a genocide would break out.

      There is, there can be, no moral equivalency. Sometimes there really are Good Guys and Bad Guys......

      Your problem, Quirk, is in not fully recognizing the special hatred mindset of Israel's enemies.

      Egypt has moderated(depending on who is currently Pharoah)

      Hamas, Hizbollah, Iran have not.

      You ask Israel - with their experience through history - to take risks that you would not take in your home near Detroit.

      Think of it this way - it would be like you welcoming MS-13 into your neighborhood.

    8. And not taking special precautions for your own safety.

    9. Again, you are unresponsive.

      Are the Israelis occupiers or are they prison guards?


      They are defending themselves.

      They are in a defensive posture.

      Simple as that.

    10. .

      After the passage of some time, tensions would ease, fruitful negotiations might take place.......

      It has been 45 years. How do you define the passage of time. Do you really believe their will be a political settlement in your or my life times?

      The PLO was formed in 1964 and soon was recognized by the majority of countries and the UN as the representative of the Palestinian people. What people seem to forget is that one of the main reasons they formed their own organization was because of the duplicity of the other Arab states. They have been having it stuck to them by their bros in the other Arab countries since '48, all of them looking to get their piece of the pie. The Palestinians have always been pawns to the other countries in the region, the same countries that fought Israel in '67.

      Hamas was formed in '87, twenty years, a full generation after the six-day war.

      The wall went up around Gaza in '94 as part of the Oslo 'peace process'. The people of Gaza have been in their own little prison for the past 20 years. An entire generation has grown up behind those walls.

      As for Hamas' Charter, the PLO didn't recognize Israel's right to exist either, that is until they did. In '88, as I recall.

      Most of the rest of the stuff you say is true. I am not arguing with that. It's just the phony euphemisms that you guys throw around that drives me crazy.

      I am not saying things couldn't change. However, given the history, given demographic and political trends in Israel, given the issue of the land, given religious issues and views, given future needs for resources, given Israeli security concerns, I just don't see it happening.

      Currently, the West Bank is being absorbed. The Israelis occupy and control it. The high points have been taken. I don't see them being given back. Gaza is an enclave the Israelis control but they don't want to physically occupy. The costs would be too high both in lives and treasure.

      That is the reality, IMO. Now if blaming the entire situation on the Palestinians and positing the Israelis as victims somehow makes you feel justified, fine go for it. Just don't expect me to jump up and shout "Ditto".


    11. .

      Oreo Bob: You ask Israel - with their experience through history - to take risks that you would not take in your home near Detroit.

      Think of it this way - it would be like you welcoming MS-13 into your neighborhood.

      Your analogies are silly.

      Detroit has about 1/10 the population of Israel.

      MurderIn 2009, 135 people were murdered in Israel.

      Two major motivations for homicide in Israel are violence against women (including honor killings in Muslim families) and politically motivated violence i.e. Arab terrorism against Israelis.[16][17]

      In Detroit,

      The annual homicide rate per 100,000 is 48.2.

      In 2012, Detroit had 411 homicides.

      I couldn't find the exact number in Detroit for 2009 for a real apples to apples but the 400 number is kind of an average in Detroit over the past few years and that is down from the good old days. And it's not unusual go. Look at most major cities in the US, New Orleans, Chicago, Camden, Philly, etc.

      411 vs. 67 with 1/10th the population. 48.6 per 100,000 vs 2.4 per 100,000.

      And by the way, MS13 is in Detroit. It is in most major cities in the US. It is officially been designated an international crime organization.


  28. .

    Donal Rumsfeld: The message is that there are no "knowns." There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know.

    The unknown unknowns are a bitch.

    Putin is doubling down over the shooting down of the Malaysian plane and he may pay dearly for it. I haven't a clue as to what sanctions and actions can reasonably be brought against him and Russia but I am sure they exist if there is a will. The will seems to be stiffening a little with the continued disgusting display of the separatists.

    Putin's continued unconditional support of the separatist actions in the Ukraine needs to change.

    David Cameron called for the EU and the west to change its approach to Russia if Putin does not alter course on Ukraine following the tragedy. The prime minister said: "This is a direct result of Russia destabilising a sovereign state, violating its territorial integrity, backing thuggish militias, and training and arming them. We must turn this moment of outrage into a moment of action."

    A brief moment of clarity from Cameron; unfortunately, as we have seen his admonition could apply to a number of countries in today's world.


  29. .

    When you see the various crisis Obama has been facing this year, you have to think it is taking a toll. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Normally, I would be feeling sorry for him (and in truth I am) but the guy just makes it so damn hard. From a public relations standpoint the guy is a walking disaster.

    Yet, he still has his supporters.

    Go figure.


  30. .

    When advancing Islamic State militants launched mortar attacks in late June, nearly all of Bakhdida’s 50,000 residents fled overland to Irbil, the capital of the Iraqi region of Kurdistan, for protection. Were it not for Kurdish pesh merga forces that swept in to beat back the onslaught, this historic Christian enclave, known to locals as Qaraqosh, would be deserted.

    In recent days, most people have come back to their homes. But dire water and fuel shortages, electrical blackouts and a lack of work are strangling returnees who must also grapple with the mental strain of living within firing range of al-Qaeda-inspired Sunni jihadists.

    With Iraq at risk of fracturing along sectarian fault lines, local leaders fear the loss of one of the world’s oldest Christian communities and its heritage as more and more residents move to Kurdish cities and neighboring countries. On Friday, the exodus was accelerated when the Islamic State decreed that Christian holdouts in the city of Mosul must convert to Islam or pay a special tax — with death as a “last resort.’’


    Iraqi Christians have endured greater persecution since the 2003 U.S. invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein. In the sectarian conflict that followed, a surge of harassment, church bombings and other deadly attacks caused the population to shrink from 1.5 million to about 400,000.

    You have to wonder if Obama is thinking about helping out the 'moderates' in Iraq.


  31. .

    Twenty-one Egyptian Border Guards Killed by Militants Along the Libyan Border

    Security officials say militants operating from Libya are trying to forge ties with Islamists in the Sinai, an alliance that could prolong Egypt's instability and scare away investors that are badly needed to help fix the battered economy.

    Tribal smugglers told Reuters they charge up to one million Egyptian pounds (£81,000) to move weapons in four-by-four vehicles along desert routes.

    Five border guards were killed in a similar attack in the same area a few months ago.

    Security officials say militants along the Libyan border harbor ambitions similar to the al-Qaida breakaway group that has seized large swathes of Iraq – they want to topple Sisi and create a caliphate in Egypt.


  32. Why I Stand With Israel

    A great many of us pride ourselves on the subtlety of our minds, and on recognizing the complexities, both moral and practical, of the world, and this is a very good impulse.

    But when this impulse is raised to the level of dogma, it risks obscuring more than it clarifies. There are some occasions–yes, few, but some–when the moral calculus is exceedingly simple.

    I used to have a great personal interest in the policy detail of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I could lecture at length on the subtleties of Camp David, Taba, the Road Map; on the different kinds of settlements; on the security barrier, its precise shape and contours; on the various UN resolutions; on the history of Fatah and Hamas. By now, like Lord Palmerston and the Schleswig-Holstein Question, I have forgotten most of the details.

    What I have not forgotten is the following: the State of Israel is a democracy with the rule of law and respect for human rights (yes, imperfect, unlike the United States and Europe, which, as we all know, are perfect); demonic hatred of Jews is a real and persistent fact of history and when left unchecked it always leads to atrocities; this demonic hatred is absolutely clearly distilled into the enemies of Israel; and most, most importantly this: if tomorrow Hamas, Hizbullah and other enemies of Israel dropped their weapons, peace would break out; if tomorrow Israel dropped its weapons, a genocide would break out.

    There is, there can be, no moral equivalency. Sometimes there really are Good Guys and Bad Guys.

    That the Palestinians are weak and poor while Israel is comparatively strong and rich changes nothing. That Israel is often unwise and, yes, occasionally criminal, changes nothing.

    To take a purposefully provocative analogy: yes, during World War II, the Allies (even excepting the Soviet Union) committed war crimes. The strategic bombing of Germany and the atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagazaki were war crimes. Elizabeth Anscombe was right to denounce Truman. It nonetheless remains true that if you lived through World War II and pretexted of Allied crimes to portray the sides as morally equivalent, or to refuse to take sides, you were guilty of moral cretinism and cowardice.

    This is a conflict where there really are Good Guys and Bad Guys and to pretend otherwise is indefensible. The chief culprit of the plight of the Palestinians is not Israel but the terrorists and fanatics who use them as tools of their ravenous bloodlust.

    Golda Meir was right then, and is right now. The conflict will end when the enemies of Israel start loving their children more than they hate Israel.

    Yes, it really is that simple.

  33. Judge Jeanine Pirro on Fox was just saying it is time for Israel to clean out Gaza once and for all.

    Enough already !

  34. .

    A breakthrough?

    A leader of the pro-Russia rebel fighters in Ukraine has said they will guarantee the safety of international monitors at the Malaysian plane's crash site if Kiev agrees to a truce.

    "We declare that we will guarantee the safety of international experts on the scene as soon as Kiev concludes a ceasefire agreement," said Andrei Purgin, deputy premier of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in a statement. He urged Kiev to "immediately conclude such an agreement" with the rebels.

    His statement came as the international community increased pressure on Russia to get the Moscow-backed rebels to grant investigators full access to the crash site of the Malaysian MH17 jet.


  35. Border Patrol agents took .50 caliber machine gun fire from drug runners on the Rio Grande the other day.

    Suppressing fire to help 40-50 wetbacks cross.

    Some are using jet skis to cross.

    We need to get Q and his boys down there to put a stop to all this shit.

    1. We know 'O' ain't gonna do it.

      He's golfing.

    2. And that's the difference between an 'O' and a 'Q'.

      One no can do, one can do.

  36. July 20, 2014
    Islamic State smashes Iraqi government offensive to retake Tikrit
    By Rick Moran

    In what is being described as the worst defeat for Iraqi arms since the terrorists took over half the country last month, forces of the Islamic State smashed the Iraqi government's ineffective effort to retake the city of Tikrit - Saddam Hussein's birthplace - taking up to 800 prisoners and destroying up to 8 helicopters.


    Witnesses reached by phone, who asked not be identified for security reasons, said that by Friday morning the final pocket of government troops had collapsed, an ignominious end for a counteroffensive that had begun with a helicopter assault into Tikrit University but ended with troops trapped at Camp Speicher.

    There was no comment from the Iraqi government. On Wednesday, the military had acknowledged that its forces had made what it called a “tactical retreat” to Ajwa, a town about 10 miles south of Tikrit, after the push into the city failed.

    Interviews with Tikrit residents and statements on Twitter accounts associated with the Islamic State described massive government losses. One Twitter post said Islamic State militants had shot down or destroyed on the ground as many as eight helicopters, a number that if confirmed would be a catastrophic loss for the government. Another Twitter posting said Islamic State militants had set the base’s fuel storage tanks on fire and that a suicide bomber had attacked a “gathering” of government soldiers.

    One resident said that as many as 700 government soldiers and 150 fighters he described as Iranians, but who may have been Shiite Muslim militiamen, had participated in the final battle. Sunni Muslims in central Iraq often inaccurately describe Iraqi Shiites as Iranians.

    “They were being bombarded and mortared all night, and by Friday morning you could see burning helicopters everywhere and the fighting had stopped,” the resident said.

    He said many of the captured soldiers had been executed. “They are parading prisoners through the streets of Tikrit,” the resident said.

    A military officer from the Kurdish peshmerga militia, who until the recent political split between the Kurdistan Regional Government and Baghdad had served in the Iraqi military’s special forces, confirmed the defeat.

    “The government forces, which were a mix of regular army, special forces units and Shiite militias, have been destroyed,” he said, speaking only on the condition of anonymity so as not to aggravate the already poisonous relationship between the Kurds and the government of Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki in Baghdad.

    “When they were unable to push past Ajwa with reinforcements on Wednesday, their fate was sealed,” the officer said.

    The fact that Shiite milita were involved in the battle at all tells us that the government doesn't trust most of its army to fight on their side. Iraq has a 500,000 man army and they couldn't muster more than 700 for an important offensive?

    Meanwhile, the Islamic State's terror campaign in Baghdad is proceeding. They took credit for a wave of bombings yesterday in the city that claimed 27 lives.

    But all is not peaches and cream for the Islamic State. Their Sunni allies are balking at their barbarity and there have been clashes between the terrorists and Sunni militias in recent days. But there is not likely to be a complete break - not until Bagdhad is secure.


  37. July 20, 2014
    The vacuum left by Obama has been filled
    By Carol Brown

    Obama’s one-two punch of incompetence and intentionally malicious acts have directly contributed to yet another horror unfolding in the Middle East.

    The headline at Catholic Culture reads: “Christians in Mosul told: leave, convert, or die”

    Christians in Mosul, Iraq, have been told that they must leave, convert to Islam or accept dhimmitude, or die.

    A communique from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) gave Christians a deadline of June (sic) 19, saying that if they do not leave or accept Islamic rule, "their destiny is the sword." The Aleteia web site, citing local sources, said that this message was being broadcast on loudspeakers by mosques in Mosul.

    Bishop Saad Sirop, an auxiliary of the Chaldean Catholic patriarchate in Baghdad, told Aid to the Church in Need: "In the last hours, the jihadists of ISIL have forced the few remaining Christians in Iraq's second city to leave their homes."

    Those who do leave the city have been stopped at checkpoints, where jihadists have confiscated some of their possessions and even their vehicles. In Mosul, homes belonging to Christians are being marked by jihadists, to be taken over and looted. ISIL has ordered that Christians may not be given food from relief shipments.

    Breitbart reports (with the full text of Sako’s letter in the piece):

    Iraq’s Christian leaders have just made a desperate cry for help. Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako, head of Iraq’s Catholic church, has issued an appeal “to all who have a living conscience in Iraq and all the world.”

    The situation for Iraq’s Christians has been steadily deteriorating ever since the 2003 invasion, in part because the U.S. never acknowledged that Christians were being targeted by Islamists and did not prioritize protection of Christians or other minorities.

    But with the recent sweep through Mosul and other Iraqi cities by the jihadi group ISIS, Iraq’s Christians look to be on the verge of genocide.

    On June 16th it was reported that ISIS had marked the doors of Christians in red. Patriarch Sako’s letter confirms that rumor. While no one yet knows what this ominous sign foretells, Sako and other Christian leaders are pleading with the world to intervene before the meaning of the sign is made clear. (snip)

    Bishop Habash said, “Christians throughout the Middle East have been targeted, and we are on the verge of being exterminated. The West stepped in to stop the ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims and Kosovar Muslims, so we know it can be done. The West must step in now and save the Middle East’s Christians, or we will be wiped out.”

    As reported The Right Scoop:

    It’s being reported that for the first time in history, the Iraqi city of Mosul is now empty of Christians after a warning was blasted from mosque speakers, and flyers passed out. The ultimatum issued was to either flee the city, pay the ‘al-Jiziya’ tax for Jews and Christians living under Muslim dominance prescribed in the Koran, or “face the sword.” After seeing their bloodthirsty viciousness in dealing with the remnants of the Iraqi army, the Christians chose to leave.

    For. The. First. Time. In. History.

    A once vibrant Christian community in the ancient city of Mosul is no longer because they have been driven out by the growing call to subjugate or kill all infidels. With no Jews left in Iraq, that leaves only Christians to expel.

    And the world seems not to care. Or worse.

    This lays, in part, at the feet of Obama. He abandoned Iraq and left a vacuum which has been filled by Islamic terrorists. And as the vacuum is filled, Christians have been emptied from the land. The last remaining Christians in Mosul are running for their lives.

    Say a prayer for each and every Christian fleeing Mosul and struggling mightily throughout the Muslim world.


      This is the kind of treatment the noble Hamas wishes to give to the Jews.

      "Say a prayer for each and every Christian fleeing Mosul and struggling mightily throughout the Muslim world."