“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."

Sunday, August 31, 2014

While the US puts together a coalition to free some towns and Villages from ISIS, The Thieves of Tel Aviv decide to steal some villages for their own

Once again, Netanyahu and his right wing cabal take advantage of the United States while the US deals with problems in the Middle East and Russian aggression in Ukraine. The US cannot unbridle itself fast enough from the strategic liability and our absurd obsession with a rogue apartheid regime in Israel

Right on Script from the Israeli Playbook:

US calls out Israel over decision to expand state land in West Bank
LAST UPDATED: 09/01/2014 00:37

The United States sees Israel's announcement on Sunday of a land appropriation for possible settlement construction in the West Bank as "counterproductive" to peace efforts and urges the Israeli government to reverse the decision, a State Department official said.

"We have long made clear our opposition to continued settlement activity," the US official said. " This announcement, like every other settlement announcement Israel makes, planning step they approve and construction tender they issue is counterproductive to Israel's stated goal of a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians."

"We urge the government of Israel to reverse this decision," the official said in Washington.

US in the air, Iraqis, Peshmerga and others on the ground, killing ISIS

The response to the Russian assault on Ukraine lies largely with the Europeans - This week will tell

Putin escallates the aggression:

The European View of the Russian Invasion:

The Options:

Last Updated Aug 30, 2014 11:27 AM EDT
KIEV, Ukraine -CBS- Ukrainian forces say one of their fighter jets has been shot down by a Russian missile in combat against Russia-backed separatists in easternUkraine.
The development comes as the European Union was poised Saturday to impose new sanctions against Russia and Ukraine's president warned the conflict with Moscow threatens peace and stability for Europe as a whole.A brief statement posted Saturday on the Facebook page for the so-called operation against separatists said the Su-25 was hit on Friday, and that the pilot ejected and was uninjured. The statement said the plane was hit by a missile from a Russian launcher, but did not give more detail.
Petro Poroshenko said before a summit of the EU's 28 leaders that a strong response was needed to the "military aggression and terror" facing his country.
"Thousands of the foreign troops and hundreds of the foreign tanks are now on the territory of Ukraine," Poroshenko told reporters in English. "There is a very high risk not only for peace and stability for Ukraine, but for the whole peace and stability of Europe."
On the ground, fighting continued. The office of the Donetsk mayor reported in a statement on Saturday that at least two people died in an artillery attack on one of Donetsk's neighborhoods. Shelling was reported elsewhere in the city, but there was no immediate word on casualties.

A burned trolleybus is seen near a Donetsk train station after shelling in Donetsk, Ukraine, Aug. 30, 2014.
A burned trolleybus is seen near a Donetsk train station after shelling in Donetsk, Ukraine, Aug. 30, 2014.

CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reports from London that pro-Russian rebels have opened a new front in Novoazovsk, near Ukraine's southern border with Russia.
The rebels showed reporters the Ukrainian border guards they'd captured and locked up in a garage. One of them said two of his fellows had been killed in an ambush.
NATO believes Ukrainian rebels are being given Russian military equipment. On Friday, shaky cell phone footage showed a tank suspected to be Russian in the area, and NATO satellite photographs show tanks as well as field artillery and troop carriers.
As for Russian President Vladimir Putin, he's sticking to the government line that if there are Russian soldiers in Ukraine, it's a mistake, Palmer reports.
The border in that area isn't well marked, he told a youth club Friday, and it's easy to get lost.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Plausible Deniability is Gone (No more Russian Bullshit)

Putin says he's not invading Ukraine. Heres a video of Putin's tanks invading Ukraine.
Updated by Max Fisher on August 28, 2014, 2:00 p.m. ET @Max_Fisher

(Notice the Russian T-72BM tank in the convoy- picture of T-72BM below, being used in Chechnya)

On Tuesday, several days after Russian self-propelled artillery moved into eastern Ukraine in what was clearlyhostile invasion that Vladimir Putin insists is not occurring, someone took a video of some very heavy tanks crashing around an eastern Ukrainian town near the rebel-held city of Luhansk. While they look suspiciously like Russian tanks sent as part of the invasion, Moscow and the pro-Russia rebels have all insisted that any heavy equipment was stolen from or abandoned by the Ukrainian military.
But now military analysts have taken a look at the video and say that at least one of the tanks could only come from the Russian military, apparently settling the issue of whether these are in fact Russian military forces.
Joseph Dempsey, an analyst with the International Institute for Strategic Studies, told the BBC that one of the tanks is something called a T-72BM, a modern variant identifiable by its special "Kontakt-5 Explosive Reactive" armor, and one that Russia has not exported but uses heavily in its own military. That is a new development, and one that suggests not just that Russia is invading, but being increasingly brazen about it:

Dempsey told the BBC, "The Soviet-era tanks operated by the separatists have until now represented those that could have been potentially acquired internally within Ukraine, providing a degree of plausible deniability to any suspected third-party supplier." That degree of plausible deniability is now gone.

Friday, August 29, 2014

NATO's outgoing secretary general is repeating his call for member countries like Canada to boost their defence spending in response to the "wake-up call" of recent crises like the one unfolding in Ukraine


Putin likens Ukraines forces to Nazis and threatens standoff in the Arctic

Russian president hits back at invasion accusations as Nato accuses Kremlin of blatant violation' of Ukraine's sovereignty

Shaun Walker in Mariupol, Leonid Ragozin in Moscow, Matthew Weaver and agencies 
The Guardian, Friday 29 August 2014 07.51 EDT

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has hit back at accusations that he has effectively invaded Ukraine, accusing Kiev's forces of behaving like Nazis in the conflict in the east and ominously threatening to take his standoff with the west into the disputed Arctic.
Hours after Barack Obama accused Russia of sending troops into Ukraine and fuelling an escalation in the battle, and as the government in Kiev indicated that it wanted to join Nato, Putin retorted that the Ukrainian army was the real villain, targeting residential areas of towns and cities as German troops had done in the former Soviet Union.
He added that Russians and Ukrainians "are practically one people", reprising a theme of an earlier statement in which he referred to the disputed areas of south-eastern Ukraine as Novorossiya, harking back to tsarist times, when the area was ruled from Moscow.

He answered questions from young supporters, some waving banners bearing his face, at a pro-Kremlin youth camp on the shores of a lake. He looked relaxed but his tone grew intense as he spoke of Russia's military might, reminding the crowd that Russia was a strong nuclear power. "Russia's partners … should understand it's best not to mess with us," he said.
And he made a pointed reference to the Arctic, which, with its bounteous energy reserves and thawing waterways, is emerging as a potential new point of conflict between Russia and its western rivals. "Our interests are concentrated in the Arctic. And of course we should pay more attention to issues of development of the Arctic and the strengthening of our position," he said.

Russia's latest alleged incursions, in which it stands accused of sending as many as 1,000 soldiers together with military hardware across the border to bolster the flagging separatist insurrection, has prompted a flurry of emergency meetings.
Nato ambassadors emerged on Friday morning to accuse Russia of a "blatant violation" of Ukraine's sovereignty.
"Despite Moscow's hollow denials, it is now clear that Russian troops and equipment have illegally crossed the border into eastern and south-eastern Ukraine," its secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said. A minor incident later blew up in central Europe when a plane carrying the Russian defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, was apparently denied permission to travel through Polish airspace.
The conflict escalated this week when Ukraine accused Russia of helping separatists open up a second front in the far south-east, near the coastal city of Mariupol. Rebels overran the nearby town of Novoazovsk, close to the Russian border, and local Ukrainian defence units said the men involved had crossed from Russia and appeared to include regular Russian troops.

The ultimate goal of the Russian movements remain unclear; some believe a full-on advance towards Mariupol could be in the offing, while others suggest the increased activity is aimed at changing the facts on the ground and ensuring that a long-term "frozen conflict" situation emerges in the region, such that Kiev can never win back full control.
At Mariupol airport, Captain Ruslan Muzychuk said forces were "preparing to defend the city" from a potential attack, stating it was "one of the most important places for Ukraine to control". He said he believed the forces that had seized Novoazovsk included regular Russian soldiers. Armoured vehicles, pick-up trucks and civilian cars filled with fighters poured in and out, in a sign of the improvised nature of much of the Ukrainian military effort.
At a sport school in Mariupol that has been turned into a base for the Azov battalion, a volunteer unit that has drawn criticism for its far-right links but is fighting with the Ukrainian army, one of the commanders said he believed his men were now at war with the Russian army.

"From the way they look it is clear they are different to the separatist fighters," said the commander, who gave his nom de guerre, Kirt. He said his battalion were having to fight without heavy weaponry or armoured vehicles. They have been promised reinforcements and new equipment repeatedly by Kiev, he said, but the government does not deliver.

“Investors are scared of intensified military activities and a start of military clashes between Russia and Ukraine.”

Ruble Drops to Record as Stocks Fall on Ukraine; Wheat Advances
By Ksenia Galouchko August 29, 2014

The ruble weakened to a record and stocks fell amid concern Russia may face more sanctions as fighting intensifies in Ukraine. Wheat extended its first monthly advance since April.
The currency weakened 0.5 percent to 36.9315 against the dollar at 2:15 p.m. in Moscow, after dropping to a low of 37.0260. The Micex Index slid 0.6 percent. Ukraine’s July 2017 Eurobonds fell for an eighth day, the longest slump since March 2013. Wheat rose a fourth day on concern the conflict will reduce supplies from the Black Sea region.
An escalation of fighting in eastern Ukraine prompted calls by the European Union to threaten further penalties and U.S. President Barack Obama said yesterday Russia faces “more costs and consequences” for violating the sovereignty of its neighbor. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called the offensive a “de facto” incursion by Russia.
“Ukraine’s statements about Russia’s military presence on its territory are concerning signals and a clear symptom that there may be new sanctions,” Artem Roschin, a foreign-exchange dealer at OOO KB Aljba Alliance bank in Moscow, said by phone. “Investors are scared of intensified military activities and a start of military clashes between Russia and Ukraine.”
Sanctions already imposed by the U.S. and Europe are exacerbating a slowdown that threatens an economy teetering on the brink of a recession. Gross domestic product will grow 0.5 percent this year, the slowest since a 2009 contraction, according Economy Ministry forecasts.
Putin’s Troops
More than 1,000 of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s troops are operating inside Ukraine, manning sophisticated weaponry and advising local separatists, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization said yesterday.
The escalation, denied by Russia, prompted a warning of “consequences” from U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said EU leaders would discuss new sanctions this weekend.
Today’s decline in the ruble sent it down 3.1 percent in August. The ruble weakened 0.4 percent to 48.6275 per euro, the third day of declines. The yield on benchmark ruble notes maturing February 2027 rose three basis points to 9.75 percent after gaining the most since March 12 yesterday. The currency is the worst performer against the dollar among 24 emerging markets this year after the Argentinian and Chilean pesos, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Stocks fell for a second day, extending this week’s decline to 2.2 percent.
Sell Stocks
Morgan Stanley cut Russian shares to underweight from neutral, citing the rising risk of sanctions following the latest escalation in Ukraine, according to today’s e-mailed note.
“Escalation puts the ‘investability’ of Russia into question,” analysts led by Ronan Carr said in an e-mailed note. “In our worst-case scenario involving full sanctions, a material portion of the listed stock market in Russia could become uninvestable for many investors.”
The yield on Ukraine’s Eurobond rose 15 basis points higher to 12.37 percent, a three-month high.
Wheat futures were at $5.7675 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade today, set to gain 2.6 percent this week. They surged 8.8 percent in August, and reached $5.7925 yesterday, the highest since July 3. Futures rebounded 11 percent since touching a four-year low on July 29 as the conflict worsened.
Russia and Ukraine together will account for 21 percent of global wheat exports in 2014-15, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.
To contact the reporter on this story: Ksenia Galouchko in Moscow at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Wojciech Moskwa at Alex Nicholson, Stephen Kirkland

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Russians soldiers decide to go on vacation to attack Ukraine

U.S. official says 1,000 Russian troops enter Ukraine

By Victoria Butenko, Laura Smith-Spark and Diana Magnay, CNN
updated 10:17 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014

Kiev, Ukraine (CNN) -- A top Ukrainian army officer said a "full-scale invasion" of his country was under way Thursday, as a U.S. official said up to 1,000 Russian troops had crossed Ukraine's southern border to fight alongside pro-Russian rebels.

U.S. officials said Russian troops were directly involved in the latest fighting, despite Moscow's denials.

Rebels backed by Russian tanks and armored personnel carriers fought Ukrainian forces on two fronts Thursday: southeast of rebel-held Donetsk, and along the nation's southern coast in the town of Novoazovsk, about 12 miles (20 km) from the Russian border, according to Mykhailo Lysenko, the deputy commander of the Ukrainian Donbas battalion.
"This is a full-scale invasion," Lysenko said, referring to the fighting in the south.

Intelligence now indicates that up to 1,000 Russian troops have moved into southern Ukraine with heavy weapons and are fighting there, a U.S. official told CNN Thursday.

Ukraine's National Defense and Security Council said that Russian forces were in full control of Novoazovsk as of Wednesday afternoon.
Russia's military fired Grad rockets into the town and its suburbs before sending in two convoys of tanks and armored personnel carriers from Russia's Rostov region, it said in a statement

"Ukrainian troops were ordered to pull out to save their lives. By late afternoon both Russian convoys had entered the town. Ukraine is now fortifying nearby Mariupol to the west," the NDSC said.

A number of villages in the Novoazovsk, Starobeshiv and Amvrosiiv districts were also seized, it said.

The NDSC also warned that a rebel counterattack is expected in the area where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down in July. Ukrainian and Western officials believe it was downed by rebels armed with Russian-made weapons.

Novoazovsk is strategically important because it lies on the main road leading from the Russian border to Ukraine's Crimea region, which Russia annexed in March. Separatist leaders in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions then declared independence from Kiev.

U.N. Security Council to meet

As international concern mounted over the apparent escalation in fighting, Lithuania requested an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting on Ukraine.

UK ambassador to the United Nations Mark Lyall Grant said Russia would be asked to explain why its soldiers are in Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk had earlier called for the U.N. meeting, as well as action by Europe.

The latest flare-up comes despite a meeting between Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Belarus on Tuesday at which some progress appeared to have been made toward finding a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

Poroshenko canceled a planned trip to Turkey on Thursday "due to sharp aggravation of the situation in Donetsk region ... as Russian troops were brought into Ukraine," a statement from his office said.

In a Cabinet meeting, Yatsenyuk said Russia "has very much increased its military presence in Ukraine" and that tougher measures may be needed to curb Russia's support for the rebels.

"Unfortunately, the sanctions were unhelpful as to de-escalating the situation in Ukraine," he said, referring to the economic sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union against Russian individuals and companies.

Yatsenyuk suggested one way to halt "Russian aggression" could be to freeze all assets and ban all Russian bank transactions until Russia "pulls out all its military, equipment and agents" from Ukraine.

"Vladimir Putin has purposely started a war in Europe. It is impossible to hide from the fact," he said.

U.S. ambassador: Russia is directly involved

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt also said Thursday that Russian soldiers were directly involved in the fighting, alongside the pro-Russia rebels.

"Russian-supplied tanks, armored vehicles, artillery and multiple rocket launchers have been insufficient to defeat Ukraine's armed forces, so now an increasing number of Russian troops are intervening directly in the fighting on Ukrainian territory," he said on Twitter.

"Russia has also sent its newest air defense systems including the SA-22 into eastern Ukraine and is now directly involved in the fighting.”

Moscow denies supporting and arming the pro-Russia rebels. It has also repeatedly denied allegations by Kiev that it has sent troops over the border.

A Russian senator and the deputy head of the Committee on Defense and Security in Russia's upper house of Parliament, Evgeny Serebrennikov, dismissed the latest reports of a Russian incursion as untrue.

"We've heard many statements from the government of Ukraine, which turned out to be a lie. What we can see now is just another lie," he said to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.

Russian lawmaker Leonid Slutsky also accused Kiev of lies, in comments to RIA Novosti.

"I can only say that there's no ground for claims like this, and the junta tries to lay its own fault at someone else's door," he said, referring to the Kiev government.

Moscow regards it as illegitimate because it took charge after Ukraine's pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted in February.

Rebel leader: 3,000 to 4,000 Russians in our ranks

However, the Prime Minister of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, acknowledged Thursday that there are current Russian servicemen fighting in the rebels' ranks in eastern Ukraine.
In his statement, televised on state-run Russia 24, Zakharchenko said the rebels have never concealed that many Russians are fighting with them. He said up until now there were 3,000 to 4,000 volunteers, some of whom are retired Russian servicemen.

Zakharchenko went on to reveal that the Russian servicemen currently fighting in their ranks are active, "as they came to us to struggle for our freedom instead of their vacations.”

On Tuesday, Ukraine's Security Service said it had detained 10 Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

Russian state media cited a source in the Russian Defense Ministry as saying the soldiers had been patrolling the border and "most likely crossed by accident" at an unmarked point.

The NDSC said Thursday that Ukraine's Security Service detained another Russian serviceman who testified that his unit was supplying heavy military equipment to militants.

Ukrainian volunteers retreat from Mariupol area

Pro-Kiev forces apparently already have engaged with rebel forces between Novoazovsk and Mariupol, the Sea of Azov port city 35 kilometers to the west that the country's security council said was being fortified.
A CNN crew north of Mariupol saw a ragged convoy of about 25 vehicles, some with their windows smashed out, belonging to pro-Kiev volunteer fighters heading away from the city Thursday afternoon.

The volunteers, including two from the country of Georgia, said they'd been involved in fighting in the Mariupol area but didn't provide details.
Earlier Thursday and further north, the CNN crew was near Donetsk city, which Ukrainian forces have been trying to wrest from rebels for weeks. Heavy Ukrainian artillery fire targeted areas near Donetsk's southern suburbs amid a heavy downpour of rain.

The main highway 15 kilometers south of Donetsk was deserted. With return fire coming from Donetsk, villagers in the area said they'd been taking shelter indoors or underground, coming out only for an hour or two a day to get supplies.

'Russian-directed counteroffensive’

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Wednesday highlighted the latest reports of heavy fighting around Novoazovsk and Donetsk airport, as well as of "additional columns of Russian tanks, multiple rocket launchers and armored vehicles" heading for communities in southeastern Ukraine.

"These incursions indicate a Russian-directed counteroffensive is likely underway in Donetsk and Luhansk," she said. "Clearly that is of deep concern to us.”

She accused Moscow of not acting in a transparent manner when it came to the Russian people, as well as Ukraine and the rest of the world.
"We're also concerned by the Russian government's unwillingness to tell the truth even as its soldiers are found 30 miles inside Ukraine," she said. "Russia is sending its young men into Ukraine but are not telling them where they're going or telling their parents what they're doing.”

On Wednesday, NDSC also claimed that members of a Russian tactical battalion were present in the village of Pobeda, in Ukraine's Luhansk region.

"If these troops got lost and accidentally found themselves in Ukraine as well, they should go back East," the update said.

The city of Luhansk, a rebel stronghold, has been at the center of fighting for days, prompting a humanitarian crisis. The NDSC said it remained without water, power or phone connections Thursday.

How women are sexually mistreated in India

Activists Want To Block A Statue Of 'Sexual Weirdo' Gandhi Being Built In London
By Chris Giles Aug 26 2014

On a visit to India in July, UK chancellor George Osborne announced that a statue of Mahatma Gandhi would be erected in Parliament Square. You can criticize Osborne for a lot of things, but you’d have thought his decision to build a statue of a globally revered peace-loving icon of Indian independence would be fairly uncontroversial.
However, alongside all of Gandhi’s notable achievements, he also used to do stuff like getting girls and boys to bathe and sleep together, chastely, as a kind of celibacy experiment. He also slept naked next to women—including, in one case, his grandniece—to test his own restraint. It’s this aspect of his character that doesn't wash too well with 82-year-old Dr. Kusoom Vadgama, founder of the Indo-British Heritage Trust, or Bhai Amrik Singh, leader of the UK's Khalistani Sikh Federation, who described Gandhi as a "sexual weirdo."
I gave Dr. Vadgama a call last week to talk about the campaign she’s launched against the proposed statue.
VICE: So how did this all begin?
Dr Kusoom Vadgama: I've been aware of the unjust treatment of women [in India] for many years. In Delhi over two years ago, an innocent women was killed and raped on a bus. The abuse she suffered was horrific—it pierced through my heart. There has also been another incident where women were hanged. These men want to abuse and destroy the spirit of women. When the chancellor, George Osborne, went to India they decided to announce the erection of a Gandhi statue in Parliament Square. First of all, there's already a statue of Gandhi in Tavistock Square. And secondly, no man has the right to abuse or use a woman’s body to satisfy his own whims.
In Gandhi’s case he wrote in his own autobiography that he went to sleep with his grandniece. When you [test] how much you can control yourself by going to bed with a 16-year-old, I think it’s bizarre. I don’t know if you’ve looked up Gandhi and his sex life, but you will be shocked. He is one man. I just feel I have to speak on behalf of woman all over the world about what men do to dominate and destroy the lives of women. We’re not pieces of furniture. I will do my damndest to stop this statue going up.
But Gandhi also helped with the emancipation of women in India.
That’s the irony of it. Everyone joined him because it was the culture of a movement. People hammer on about how great he was, but he insulted women. He used to tell little boys and girls to bathe together. It was also exposed that he went to bed naked with his grandniece and people at the time were disgusted. 
OK, but does he not deserve some recognition for all the great stuff he did?
I’m not denying he did a great deal. But in India people are brainwashed to believe that the history of India begins and ends with Gandhi. He was not the only one. His iconic status has risen as if nobody did anything else at all. If he wore a bowler hat and a suit nobody would take any notice of it, but he designed clothes to associate with the poor. In India you are born with Gandhi because the first time you look at the money, Gandhi’s face is on it. The whole system is focused to a degree of mass hypnotism. For me, I feel it's the women who have been insulted and degraded to a degree by a man who is meant to be the saintly savior of India. He has been overrated and he has to be put down to earth and treated as a normal person. Don’t put him in Parliament Square. He is a symbol of what women don’t want.
So why do you think he's held in such high regard?
In India we have a habit of worshiping people—like if you're rich, beautiful, or a film star. Gandhi was a horrible man to his family. He ill-treated his wife. He didn’t even tell her he was going to be celibate. Yet as a schoolgirl I was absolutely behind him. If he went on a fast, I went on a fast. Anything he did, I would do. I was so jealous of the two girls that went around with him. He was my god. But he has insulted the culture and women of India and the world. We got our independence, now we want our dignity.
I’d say the majority of people like Gandhi, so have you had much opposition to your campaign?
The initial reaction is always, “My god, I didn’t know that.” Then after it’s explained they give me their support. Many people locally are supporting me. I just can’t believe it. It's also important that the Indian diaspora here have some kind of role model, but does Gandhi inspire you? Overall, people have been supportive and shocked when I tell them [about his sex life.] Although, one of the fundraisers for the statue had a go at me and said, "What men do with women isn’t anybody’s business.” I accept that, but I said, “I am drawing a line when it involves a teenager who is his blood relation.” 
You’ve just started a petition, too, right? How’s that going?
It's a petition personally to George Osborne and has just gone online. There's already a Gandhi statue two miles from Parliament Square—why [do they need another]? Maybe they want to impress the government in India, or it might be to do with the trade benefits or something. I have already sent George Osborne two letters and am just about to write a third one.
Has he replied?
No. I wrote the second letter in the full knowledge that he would neither reply nor do anything to stop the construction of the statue. But I’m going to keep going. This is a very serious mater. I want to say, "Enough is enough."   

Follow Chris Giles on Twitter.

IRS lied to us about Lois Lerner’s emails (they WERE backed up), Now we learn her Blackberry was destroyed AFTER Congress started its probe

Talk radio host and author of “The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic,” Mark Levin argued that President Obama is creating a “constitutional crisis,” “systematically deconstructing our Constitution and our society,” and “conducting himself as a despot” on Wednesday.
Levin cited the executive action that it is believed the president will undertake to allow illegal immigrants to have a pathway to legal status, the violations of religious liberty in the Affordable Care Act, and bypassing Congress through executive orders as some of the examples of Obama’s disregard for the Constitution.
Levin also stated that “Democratic Party that no longer believes in the constitutional system.” And that President Obama has “all but destroyed the Congress,” which he said has “all but surrendered to” Obama. 

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

US Jihadi, convert from Christianity, raised in Florida, Suicide bomber, Dead in Syria

Coming to a mall near you?

Douglas McCain

Officials: American fighting for ISIS killed in Syria

By Greg Botelho and Jim Sciutto, CNN
updated 6:48 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014

NEW: "There's going to be more of this," ex-general says of Douglas McCain's story
McCain converted to Islam years ago; family saw Facebook posts sympathetic to ISIS
Group says McCain died fighting for ISIS against a rival extremist group in Aleppo
U.S. officials: McCain was among tracked Americans thought to be in militant groups

(CNN) -- An American man died last weekend in Syria while fighting for ISIS, two U.S. officials told CNN, the latest evidence of the reach of a terror group that's become increasingly powerful and feared in the eyes of Americans.

The man's uncle, Ken McCain, said that his nephew had gone to fight as a jihadi and that the U.S. State Department told the family Monday about the death.

Douglas McArthur McCain, 33, died in a battle between rival extremist groups in the suburbs of Aleppo, Syria's once-bustling commercial capital and largest city, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based group that monitors the conflict.

Like the U.S. officials, the group characterized McCain as an ISIS fighter and said he was killed battling al-Nusra Front, an al Qaeda-linked organization that the U.S. government has blacklisted as a foreign terror organization.

McCain is not the first American to fight alongside militants in Syria. Attorney General Eric Holder estimated this summer that there are 7,000 foreign fighters in the war-ravaged Middle Eastern nation, many from places like Europe and the United States. Last month, National Counterterrorism Center Director Matt Olsen surmised that about 100 of those who have flocked to join militants in Syria are American.

Nor is McCain the first of these American militants to die in Syria. Islamists touted the role of a 22-year-old man -- identified by U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki as Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, who grew up and went to school in Florida -- in a Syria suicide bombing conducted in coordination with al-Nusra Front.

Yet McCain's death takes on added significance, perhaps urgency, given that he's believed to be the first American killed while fighting with ISIS.
Until now, Washington largely has limited its involvement in Syria to diplomatic efforts and supporting "moderate opposition," as described by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey and others, that is fighting to unseat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

That's the same goal as ISIS, which aims to rule a caliphate, known as the Islamic State, spanning Iraq and Syria.

Even so, the United States initiated airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq this month and signaled that it might next go after the group inside Syria.
The United States has started gathering intelligence on the locations of ISIS leadership and troops in Syria, two U.S. officials told CNN. President Barack Obama has OK'd reconnaissance flights over the war-ravaged nation, according to a U.S. official.

Who was Douglas McCain?

According to his uncle, McCain's journey to Syria began after he converted several years ago from Christianity to Islam.

The family wasn't alarmed by his conversion, but his Facebook posts sympathetic to ISIS got their attention. When they last heard from him several months ago, McCain said he was traveling to Turkey, according to his uncle.

The fact that McCain became a jihadi left his family  evastated" and "just as surprised as the country," said Ken McCain, who lives in Minnesota.

He described the nephew he knew as "a good person, loved his family, loved his mother, loved his faith" -- the latter being a reference to the Christianity he practiced before his conversion.

U.S. counterterrorism investigators had been looking into McCains activities for some time before his death, one U.S. official said.

He was on a list of Americans who are believed to have joined militant groups and who would be stopped and subjected to additional scrutiny if he traveled, according to the official.

Retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, who had top roles in the State and Defense Departments in President George W. Bush's administration, said he expects more stories like McCain’s.

"The ability to travel into these countries demonstrates how porous the borders are," Kimmitt said. "I think we need to understand that there's going to be more of this rather than less of this.”

Fears over Westerners in terror groups

Syria's civil war has been brewing for three years. In the absence of a unified rebel front, many groups -- some moderate, some more secular, some extremist -- have tried to fill the void.

Much of the time, they've battled al-Assad's forces, though there has also been infighting among them.

Among these rebel groups, one has emerged recently in the public's consciousness: ISIS. That's as much due to its brazenness and viciousness as to its success. The general command for al Qaeda -- itself responsible for the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks -- went so far as to disown ISIS and blame it for "the enormity of the disaster that afflicted the Jihad in Syria.”

Yet the group has thrived.

It's taken more and more territory in Iraq and Syria, sometimes overrunning government forces while terrorizing civilians. ISIS's stature grew even more internationally with the recent beheading of American journalist James Foley, a killing it videotaped and then put online.

"They are beyond just a terrorist group," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said last week. "They marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess.

"This is beyond anything we have seen, and we must prepare for everything.”

These preparations includes tracking Westerners like McCain. In addition to whatever they might do against allies and civilians in the Middle East, U.S. officials worry that they could bring their groups' brand of terror back home.

Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said last month that gathering intelligence on such Americans fighting in Syria is a top priority."

"(Authorities) are taking whatever steps they can, under the law, to monitor and prevent those coming back from doing us harm," Carlin said.