“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, October 12, 2014

US policy in the Middle East is culminating into a complete military and political disaster - In Iraq, Isis has captured almost all the cities and towns it did not already hold in Anbar province, a vast area in western Iraq that makes up a quarter of the country. It has captured Hit, Kubaisa and Ramadi, the provincial capital

War against Isis: US strategy in tatters as militants march on



World View: American-led air attacks are failing. Jihadis are close to taking Kobani, in Syria – and in Iraq western Baghdad is now under serious threat

America's plans to fight Islamic State are in ruins as the militant group's fighters come close to capturing Kobani and have inflicted a heavy defeat on the Iraqi army west of Baghdad.
The US-led air attacks launched against Islamic State (also known as Isis) on 8 August in Iraq and 23 September in Syria have not worked. President Obama's plan to "degrade and destroy" Islamic State has not even begun to achieve success. In both Syria and Iraq, Isis is expanding its control rather than contracting.

Isis reinforcements have been rushing towards Kobani in the past few days to ensure that they win a decisive victory over the Syrian Kurdish town's remaining defenders. The group is willing to take heavy casualties in street fighting and from air attacks in order to add to the string of victories it has won in the four months since its forces captured Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq, on 10 June. Part of the strength of the fundamentalist movement is a sense that there is something inevitable and divinely inspired about its victories, whether it is against superior numbers in Mosul or US airpower at Kobani.

In the face of a likely Isis victory at Kobani, senior US officials have been trying to explain away the failure to save the Syrian Kurds in the town, probably Isis's toughest opponents in Syria. "Our focus in Syria is in degrading the capacity of [Isis] at its core to project power, to command itself, to sustain itself, to resource itself," said US Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken, in a typical piece of waffle designed to mask defeat. "The tragic reality is that in the course of doing that there are going to be places like Kobani where we may or may not be able to fight effectively.”

Unfortunately for the US, Kobani isn't the only place air strikes are failing to stop Isis. In an offensive in Iraq launched on 2 October but little reported in the outside world, Isis has captured almost all the cities and towns it did not already hold in Anbar province, a vast area in western Iraq that makes up a quarter of the country. It has captured Hit, Kubaisa and Ramadi, the provincial capital, which it had long fought for. Other cities, towns and bases on or close to the Euphrates River west of Baghdad fell in a few days, often after little resistance by the Iraqi Army which showed itself to be as dysfunctional as in the past, even when backed by US air strikes.

Today, only the city of Haditha and two bases, Al-Assad military base near Hit, and Camp Mazrah outside Fallujah, are still in Iraqi government hands. Joel Wing, in his study –"Iraq's Security Forces Collapse as The Islamic State Takes Control of Most of Anbar Province" – concludes: "This was a huge victory as it gives the insurgents virtual control over Anbar and poses a serious threat to western Baghdad”.

The battle for Anbar, which was at the heart of the Sunni rebellion against the US occupation after 2003, is almost over and has ended with a decisive victory for Isis. It took large parts of Anbar in January and government counter-attacks failed dismally with some 5,000 casualties in the first six months of the year. About half the province's 1.5 million population has fled and become refugees. The next Isis target may be the Sunni enclaves in western Baghdad, starting with Abu Ghraib on the outskirts but leading right to the centre of the capital.

The Iraqi government and its foreign allies are drawing comfort, there having been some advances against Isis in the centre and north of the country. But north and north-east of Baghdad the successes have not been won by the Iraqi army but by highly sectarian Shia militias which do not distinguish between Isis and the rest of the Sunni population. They speak openly of getting rid of Sunni in mixed provinces such as Diyala where they have advanced. The result is that Sunni in Iraq have no alternative but to stick with Isis or flee, if they want to survive. The same is true north-west of Mosul on the border with Syria, where Iraqi Kurdish forces, aided by US air attacks, have retaken the important border crossing of Rabia, but only one Sunni Arab remained in the town. Ethnic and sectarian cleansing has become the norm in the war in both Iraq and Syria.

The US's failure to save Kobani, if it falls, will be a political as well as military disaster. Indeed, the circumstances surrounding the loss of the beleaguered town are even more significant than the inability so far of air strikes to stop Isis taking 40 per cent of it. At the start of the bombing in Syria, President Obama boasted of putting together a coalition of Sunni powers such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to oppose Isis, but these all have different agendas to the US in which destroying IS is not the first priority. The Sunni Arab monarchies may not like Isis, which threatens the political status quo, but, as one Iraqi observer put it, "they like the fact that Isis creates more problems for the Shia than it does for them”.

Of the countries supposedly uniting against Isis, by the far most important is Turkey because it shares a 510-mile border with Syria across which rebels of all sorts, including Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra, have previously passed with ease. This year the Turks have tightened border security, but since its successes in the summer Isis no longer needs sanctuary, supplies and volunteers from outside to the degree it once did.

In the course of the past week it has become clear that Turkey considers the Syrian Kurd political and military organisations, the PYD and YPG, as posing a greater threat to it than the Islamic fundamentalists. Moreover, the PYD is the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been fighting for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey since 1984.

Ever since Syrian government forces withdrew from the Syrian Kurdish enclaves or cantons on the border with Turkey in July 2012, Ankara has feared the impact of self-governing Syrian Kurds on its own 15 million-strong Kurdish population.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would prefer Isis to control Kobani, not the PYD. When five PYD members, who had been fighting Isis at Kobani, were picked up by the Turkish army as they crossed the border last week they were denounced as "separatist terrorists”.

Turkey is demanding a high price from the US for its co-operation in attacking Isis, such as a Turkish-controlled buffer zone inside Syria where Syrian refugees are to live and anti-Assad rebels are to be trained. Mr Erdogan would like a no-fly zone which will also be directed against the government in Damascus since Isis has no air force. If implemented the plan would mean Turkey, backed by the US, would enter the Syrian civil war on the side of the rebels, though the anti-Assad forces are dominated by Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda affiliate.

It is worth keeping in mind that Turkey's actions in Syria since 2011 have been a self-defeating blend of hubris and miscalculation. At the start of the uprising, it could have held the balance between the government and its opponents. Instead, it supported the militarisation of the crisis, backed the jihadis and assumed Assad would soon be defeated. This did not happen and what had been a popular uprising became dominated by sectarian warlords who flourished in conditions created by Turkey. Mr Erdogan is assuming he can disregard the rage of the Turkish Kurds at what they see as his complicity with Isis against the Syrian Kurds. This fury is already deep, with 33 dead, and is likely to get a great deal worse if Kobani falls.

Why doesn't Ankara worry more about the collapse of the peace process with the PKK that has maintained a ceasefire since 2013? It may believe that the PKK is too heavily involved in fighting Isis in Syria that it cannot go back to war with the government in Turkey. On the other hand, if Turkey does join the civil war in Syria against Assad, a crucial ally of Iran, then Iranian leaders have said that "Turkey will pay a price". This probably means that Iran will covertly support an armed Kurdish insurgency in Turkey. Saddam Hussein made a somewhat similar mistake to Mr Erdogan when he invaded Iran in 1980, thus leading Iran to reignite the Kurdish rebellion that Baghdad had crushed through an agreement with the Shah in 1975. Turkish military intervention in Syria might not end the war there, but it may well spread the fighting to Turkey.


  1. Doctrinaria in DC is the only thing that matters in the United Oligopoly of America. The Conga Line is concerned with its own power and nothing else. Obama, beholden to his corporate and political masters is more worried about which allies are politically correct than militarily adept.

    I am disgusted and outraged at the entire charade and the complete bankruptcy of our masters and rulers. Since black flags seem to be the flag of winners, run up the skull and bones. Since head hacking is the mark of the winners, let’s start taking some in Mordor DC.

  2. ...and start with The Christian Coalition.

  3. By FITSNEWS || Militants fighting for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are closing in on key positions in Baghdad currently occupied by American troops. … this despite two months of sustained airstrikes against ISIS forces launched by U.S. president Barack Obama.

    And so begins the (next) 30-year war …

    ISIS troops are now less than ten miles away from the perimeter of Baghdad International Airport – which is defended by as many as 300 U.S. combat troops.

    For those of you with (really) short memories, America pulled out of Iraq in December 2011 after a failed nine-year occupation. That withdrawal led to the rise of a host of militant groups – which have since coalesced under the ISIS banner. In July, Obama sent several hundred U.S. troops back to Iraq in an effort to shore up key positions – and in August launched a new bombing campaign against ISIS.

    The campaign isn’t working …

    ISIS has continued its advance and is now on the verge of surrounding the embattled Iraqi capital. More importantly, ISIS forces are also close to occupying the Abu Ghraib suburb – which would enable them to launch artillery attacks on American positions.

    Wait … artillery? Where would ISIS get artillery pieces?

    Glad you asked. ISIS forces captured more than fifty U.S.-made M198 mm howitzers back in June – along with 1,500 armored U.S. Humvees and 4,000 PKC machine guns (each capable of firing 800 rounds per minute). Most of these were weapons bequeathed to the incompetent Iraqi Army upon the U.S. withdrawal three years ago.

    In fact in a bizarrely ironic twist, these weapons have been among the top targets of the failed Obama airstrikes …

    To recap: After destroying the Iraqi Army in 2003 (with American weapons), America rebuilt the Iraqi Army (with American weapons). Now those weapons have fallen into the hands of ISIS, requiring … wait for it … more American weapons to be employed.

    And for what? To make Iraq “safe for democracy?”

    Sheesh …

    “America is using American military equipment to bomb other pieces of American military equipment halfway around the world,” Vox’s Max Fisher wrote at the onset of the U.S. bombings. “The American weapons the US gave the Iraqi army totally failed at making Iraq secure and have become tools of terror used by an offshoot of al-Qaeda to terrorize the Iraqis that the US supposedly liberated a decade ago. And so now the US has to use American weaponry to destroy the American weaponry it gave Iraqis to make Iraqis safer, in order to make Iraqis safer.”

    But hey let’s follow the advice of U.S. Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham and do it all again … America is only $18 trillion in the hole, right?

    A few more weapons ought to do it, right?

    Here’s the thing: As we noted in our original story on Obama sending troops back to Iraq, it’s extremely likely (now virtually imminent) they will come under attack.

    Which is the point …

    “Make no mistake … this is a provocation in search of an escalation, a move Obama hopes will spark a confrontation capable of rallying a war-weary America behind yet another failed, costly intervention,” we wrote at the time.

    In fact the groundwork for more “boots on the ground” in Iraq has already been laid …


    1. I thought possession of guns was considered a good thing by most Americans?

      an armed society is a polite society dontcha know?

    2. .

      Have another cup of coffee, Ash, you need it.


    3. The KC is not an American weapon.
      The Humvee is a truck, not a weapon.

      Multiple inaccuracies

  4. Hence forward the correct term is “Daesh”:

    The militants who are killing civilians, raping and forcing captured women into sexual slavery, and beheading foreigners in Iraq and Syria are known by several names: the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS; the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL; and, more recently, the Islamic State, or IS. French officials recently declared that that country would stop using any of those names and instead refer to the group as “Daesh.”

    The Obama Administration should switch to this nomenclature, too, because how we talk about this group is central to defeating them.

    Whether referred to as ISIS, ISIL, or IS, all three names reflect aspirations that the United States and its allies unequivocally reject. Political and religious leaders all over the world have noted this. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said, “This is a terrorist group and not a state. . . the term Islamic State blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims, and Islamists.” President Obama made similar remarks saying, “ISIL is not Islamic . . . and [is] certainly not a state.”

    Muslim scholars around the world have denounced the group’s attempt to declare a caliphate. Egyptian Islamic theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi published an open letter to Muslim scholars explaining, “A group simply announcing a caliphate is not enough to establish a caliphate.” The Syrian Sufi leader Muhammad al-Yacoubi called the group’s declaration “illegitimate” and that supporting it was “haram,” or forbidden.

    The term “Daesh” is strategically a better choice because it is still accurate in that it spells out the acronym of the group’s full Arabic name, al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham. Yet, at the same time, “Daesh” can also be understood as a play on words — and an insult. Depending on how it is conjugated in Arabic, it can mean anything from “to trample down and crush” to “a bigot who imposes his view on others.” Already, the group has reportedly threatened to cut out the tongues of anyone who uses the term.

    1. .

      The Obama Administration should switch to this nomenclature, too, because how we talk about this group is central to defeating them.



    2. The US should use the term Daesh, words have meaning.

      Whether or not that is "Central" to defeating them, not even worthy of much discussion.

  5. Replies
    1. Hello.

      Did you listen to the Idaho game yesterday?

    2. Are you out of your fucking mind?

  6. Who needs ISIS when you have Comcast?

  7. The only thing working on my internet is BlogSpot - and then only part of the time.

    1. I cannot get Fox News at this time, try as I might.

      I miss all those intelligent and foxy ladies........

    2. The bubble-headed bleach blonde comes on at Five
      She can tell you about the plane crash with a gleam in her eye
      It's interesting when people die, give us dirty laundry.

  8. I can get Google news, and they don't have anything about a change in status for Ramadi, or any of those other towns.

  9. I'm pretty sure that Daesh captured, either all or part of, Ramadi back in January.

  10. “a bigot who imposes his view on others'

    I'll stick with is easy for me to type.

    And reserve Daesh for the crapper......who is always trying to impose his views on everyone around.............views that continually change with the winds......

  11. ISIS is mainly just the old Saddam military folk, pissed off royally for being dismissed and disregarded and discarded and cheated of their share of the oil I have read. It's not like they 'came out of nowhere'......they came right of out the local neighborhoods and towns that they have 'captured'........

    I still maintain they are about at their high water mark about now........

    Besides, was not Quirk buying an airline ticket just yesterday to get over there and clean up the mess?

    Relax then........

  12. By the way, you didn't know India has a space probe going around Mars at this time, did you?

    2 Out of 3 Countries Spreading Polio are Muslim
    October 11, 2014 by Daniel Greenfield

    Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


    And the third country, Cameroon, is one fifth Muslim.

    While India goes to Mars, Pakistan is leading the world in polio. It’s also one of three countries that are exporting polio to the rest of the world.

    By Tuesday, the number of new polio cases in Pakistan stood at 202, and officials are bracing for potentially dozens of other cases by year’s end. Pakistan now accounts for 80 percent of global cases and is one of only three countries at risk of exporting the disease outside its borders, according to the World Health Organization.

    80 percent. Pakistan is number one. The other Muslim country exporting polio is Syria.

    Three of the 10 nations known to have polio have exported the virus outside their borders: Pakistan to Afghanistan, Cameroon to Equatorial Guinea, and Syria to Iraq.

    Pakistan and Syria also exported Muslim terrorism to Afghanistan and Iraq. It’s only appropriate that they would also export polio.

    WHO tried to impose travel restrictions on Pakistan, Syria and Cameroon.

    Under the new recommendations, which are not legally binding but carry tremendous weight, the three countries deemed to pose the greatest risk of further spread—Pakistan, Cameroon, and Syria—must now ensure that all residents and long-term visitors have proof of recent polio vaccination before leaving the country. WHO is also encouraging the seven other nations known to have polio infections to implement similar measures.

    Good luck with that. Meanwhile the West needs to act to impose restrictions on Pakistani settlers bringing terror and polio with them.

    1. What will some of the Moslem countries do when they are in the throes of an Ebola outbreak?

      What if, Allah forbid, an Ebola vaccine is created with input from Jewish scientists?

      O my Allah, what will they do then?

    2. India, the land of institutionalized slavery and an endemic lack of toilets and sewage treatment, sent a "Mission" to Mars.

      Their priorities, definately skewed to idiocy.

  13. Associated Press

    HAUSER, Idaho (AP) – A bus carrying paintball players struck and killed a Washington state man inside a zombie attraction at a corn maze in northern Idaho, authorities said Saturday.

    Jeremy T. McSpadden Jr., 18, of Spokane Valley, Washington, was a role player in the “Zombie Slayer Paintball Bus” attraction at the Incredible Corn Maze in Hauser on Friday night, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office said.

    The attraction is new this season, according to the corn maze’s website. For $15, customers ride the bus and shoot paintballs at the zombies as the vehicle drives through the corn maze.

    It’s not clear why the bus hit McSpadden. He died at the scene.

    The bus was going forward, and neither speed nor alcohol was a factor, Sgt. Ward Crawford said. Detectives had been interviewing witnesses and are expected to finish their preliminary investigation soon.

    “The focus of the attraction is the bus creeps forward so the customers have plenty of opportunity to blast away at the zombies,” Crawford said. “This looks like it was just a horrific confluence of events.”

    A recording on the corn maze’s information line Saturday morning said, “We are sad to announce that all of the attractions, including the free drive-in movie, will be canceled for the remainder of the weekend.”

    A message left seeking further comment was not immediately returned.

    Hauser is near the Washington border east of Spokane.


    See video of corn maze here:

    1. What a hell of a way to go.

    2. That's about the best career opportunity in Idaho, though, dress as a zombie and get hit by paint balls. YEE HAW!

    3. "What a hell of a way to go."

      He didn't have far to go:

      He already was one of the Walking Dead.

  14. Let's never ever forget when discussing ISIS and all this new chaos that it is all Obama's fault.


    Now we have to watch Quirk go over and clean it all up.

    Q has better things to do and shouldn't feel compelled to do this....

    1. Old remembered quote from Trish:

      "With Obama war will be more not less likely."

    2. I don't think she ever bought into this "Conga Line" nonsense.

    3. With McCain, war was 100% likely, for 100 years. "Bomb bomb bomb Iran", remember?

    4. If we had had a war with iran, and successfully had regime change?

      Isis would never had been formed

  15. I am becoming worried about the Iowa Senate race -

    The Iowa Senate race and Israel October 12, 2014 Congressman Bruce Braley is another anti-Israel progressive who need to be booted out of office. He's dangerously close to winning a Senate seat. More

    Iowa Senate race a dead heat October 12, 2014 Early voting may tip the scales toward the Democrat. More

    See at American Thinker

    1. It's a classic city-country contest.

      What cities there are in Iowa are going big for Braley. The country folks are going big for Ernst.

    2. What time did you get up in Idehoe, Bob?

    3. City Folk don't know Shit from Shinola.

    4. The one on the right must be Shinola, because Obama is on the left.

    5. I lost track of time years ago, Doug so I have no idea.

  16. OT
    Our Poor Dear Deluded Rufus:

    Brussels fears European 'industrial massacre' sparked by energy costs

    "We face a systemic industrial massacre," said Antonio Tajani, the European industry commissioner.
    Mr Tajani warned that Europe's quixotic dash for renewables was pushing electricity costs to untenable levels, leaving Europe struggling to compete as America's shale revolution cuts US natural gas prices by 80pc.
    "I am in favour of a green agenda, but we can't be religious about this. We need a new energy policy. We have to stop pretending, because we can't sacrifice Europe's industry for climate goals that are not realistic, and are not being enforced worldwide," he told The Daily Telegraph during the Ambrosetti forum of global policy-makers at Lake Como.
    "The loss of competitiveness is frightening," said Paulo Savona, head of Italy's Fondo Interbancario. "When people choose whether to invest in Europe or the US, what they think about most is the cost of energy."
    A report by the American Chemistry Council said shale gas has given the US a "profound and sustained competitive advantage" in chemicals, plastics, and related industries. Consultants IHS also expect US chemical output to double by 2020, while Europe's output will have fallen by a third. IHS said $250bn (£160bn) in extra US manufacturing will be added by shale in the next six years.

    1. But, of course, in RufusWorld tm, all credit will go to Obama, and then to Hillary.

      We don't need no stinking Natural Gas!

      ...and fracking is just a short term piddle in a pond, as was the real estate crash.

      Beam me up, Rufie!

    2. "The loss of competitiveness is frightening," said Paulo Savona, head of Italy's Fondo Interbancario. "When people choose whether to invest in Europe or the US, what they think about most is the cost of energy."

    3. Oh well, at least they don't have to worry about their tap water catchin' fire.

  17. China embraces 'British Model', ditching Mao for Edmund Burke

    "We want to learn from the British model," said Daokui Li, a member China's upper chamber or `House of Lords' (CPPCC) and a professor at Beijing's Tsinghua University.

    "Today's leaders in China are looking carefully at the British style of political change over the last 400 years, analysing the difference with France," he told me at the annual Ambrosetti gathering of world policy-makers at Villa d'Este on Lake Como.

    "England went through incredible changes: a war against the US; wars against France; wars against Germany twice, the rise and decline of empire; and universal suffrage. Yet society remained stable through all this turmoil, with the same institutions and political structure. We think the reason is respect for tradition, yet willingness to make changes when needed."

    "It is a contrast with France. We know from De Toqueville's study of the Ancien Regime that if you don't do reforms, you will end up with a revolution, and that is what will happen in China if we don't reform in time,"

    China embraces 'British Model', ditching Mao for Edmund Burke

  18. Putin must have had a look at his portfolio

    Putin orders troops back from Ukraine border

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his defense minister to move troops currently near Ukraine's border "back to their permanent bases," according to the Kremlin. Talks on Ukraine's fragile truce are due soon.

    1. However

      Russia still has about 1,000 troops in eastern Ukraine, backed up by another 20,000 on the border, NATO said Thursday, despite Kiev reporting that Moscow had withdrawn the bulk of its forces.

      Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Wednesday that Moscow had withdrawn 70 percent of its forces following a ceasefire he had agreed with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin last Friday.

      "The reported reduction of Russian troops from eastern Ukraine would be a good first step, but we have no information on this," a NATO military officer told AFP.

      "The fact of the matter is there are still approximately 1,000 Russian troops in eastern Ukraine with a substantial amounts of military equipment and approximately 20,000 troops on the Russian border with Ukraine."

  19. ‘Shhhhh... We’re in Sochi’

    President Putin was expected in Sochi on Sunday for the inaugural Formula One Russian Grand Prix. Prior to the race, the sport's commercial operator, Formula One Management (FOM), issued an email to the F1 teams requesting "total silence" on the grid when the national anthem is played.

    "We kindly request that during the national anthem, there is to be total silence on the grid," the email read. "It has been alleged that Formula One is one of the most ill-mannered sports in relation to the national anthem and complaints from fans, public, and political institutions, are now too heavy to ignore."

    The national anthem is usually played around 10 minutes before the start of a grand prix, a feverish period of preparation for teams, drivers, and mechanics on the grid. The issue has been raised several times in the past, but an email edict demanding silence from FOM is unprecedented.

    German publication Bild reported on Sunday, meanwhile, that Putin's presence at the race could cause further disruptions to the event. Bild claimed that a television blackout at the circuit, and a podium ceremony held behind protective bulletproof glass, were among the possible last-minute changes as part of Putin's security measures.

    msh/jm (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

  20. Rule number one

    Raise the flag higher boys

  21. It is hard to find a good suit in Moscow

    Putin and Poroshenko to meet in Milan

    Kiev says the leaders of Ukraine and Russia are to meet next week in Italy and will discuss eastern Ukraine's fragile ceasefire and gas supplies for winter. In eastern Ukraine a no-shooting period had been agreed.

  22. NEWS

    Kurdish fighters thwarted a bid by Islamic State group jihadists to advance into the centre of the battleground Syrian town of Kobane early on Saturday, a monitoring group said.

    The attack came after the IS militants overran Kurdish headquarters in the border town on Friday, sparking fears they would cut off the last escape route to neighboring Turkey for hundreds of mainly elderly civilians still in the town centre.

    The IS assault sparked 90 minutes of heavy fighting with the town's Kurdish defenders before the jihadists fell back, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

    Turkey Kurds Look Kobani October 10Umit Bektas/ReutersTurkish Kurds look towards the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani from the top of a hill close to the border line between Turkey and Syria near Mursitpinar border gate October 10, 2014.

    US-led coalition warplanes also carried out two air strikes on IS targets south and east of the town early Saturday, according to the Britain-based monitoring group, which has a wide network of sources inside Syria.

    Small groups of Kurdish fighters were trying to harry the encircling jihadists with operations across the front line, Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

    UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura warned Friday that 12,000 or so civilians still in or near Kobane, including 700 mainly elderly people in the town centre, "will most likely be massacred" by IS if the town falls.

    Kobane was "literally surrounded" except for one narrow entry and exit point to the Turkish border, de Mistura said.

    Read more:

  23. Turkey, is ruled by a Sunni government. It has close ties with Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood–dominated Sunni opposition. It actively supported Daesh and has done so all along. NATO sent air defense systems to Turkey to defend against the nonexistent threat of the Syria Air Force. Just to be helpful, the Israelis shot down a couple of Syrian jets that were giving air support to Syrian troops fighting Daesh. This should be unsettling for the Obama administration, since it means Turkey is not promoting a multi-ethnic, democratic governments in Damascus or anywhere else.No one has committed more to Syria’s worsening sectarian divisions than the Ass Stabbers of Ankara.

    1. .

      This should be unsettling for the Obama administration, since it means Turkey is not promoting a multi-ethnic, democratic governments in Damascus or anywhere else.

      When has this ever bothered us before except as excuse for intervention?


  24. Unless the defenders of Kobane have an adequate number of defenders, and communication, coordination and cooperation with the Coalition air forces, all there is are 'air strikes', not Close Air Support.

    Air strikes will be ineffective, close air support will not be.

    Words have meaning.

  25. Played four chukkars yesterday, up for eight, today.
    Live is grand.

    You fellas ought to participate.

    1. .

      I haven't played checkers in years. I assume you play virtual checkers, rat, what with needing a partner for the physical kind.



  26. League of Legends Nearing $1 Billion in Revenue

    With around 27 million daily active players, it’s no surprise that Riot Games’ League of Legends has achieved phenomenal commercial success. Now, after winning the hearts and minds of millions of gamers, it appears the popular MOBA title may be close to reaching the $1 billion revenue mark.

    Developed for the PC, League of Legends is a free-to-play title that earns much of its profits from micro-transactions. Since its release in 2009, the game has gone on to become a global phenomenon and remains one of the most prevalent e-sports titles.

    There are some folks that advocate that way to "earn" more, is raise the price of their kosher candies.

    Foolish fella ...

    1. The character may have jut been laying the Socialist line, so opular in Israel, because I do not believe that "O"rdure is the "O"riginal, not the 'Candyman'

    2. Live should be spelled life, Senor Rat Mierda.

      (rough translation - Mr Rat Shit)

    3. Why not take the whole week off, Senor? Or even a month?

      No one will miss you, you needn't worry about that.

    4. Jack HawkinsSun Oct 12, 11:30:00 AM EDT
      The character may have jut been laying the Socialist line, so opular in Israel, because I do not believe that "O"rdure is the "O"riginal, not the 'Candyman'

      Still inside your worthless little head?


      You are as we say in Ohio? A fucking moron.

  27. Canada may transport that oil to their east coast, and say the hell with Obama and the pipeline to the Gulf.

    1. Good for the Canadians, it is their oil, they should take the risks.
      Not US.

    2. There aren't any real or serious risks. It's just a pipeline.

    3. October 12, 2014
      Canada is fed-up with US delay of Keystone, now planning alternative pipeline
      By Thomas Lifson

      President Obama and the Democratic Party have responded to deep-pocketed greenies, like coal billionaire Tom Steyer, by endlessly delaying the Keystone XL Pipeline, a project that enjoys wide public support, including that of labor unions in the private sector. The cost of that delay has included alienation of our friend and neighbor Canada, for whom finding markets for the vast tar sands energy reserves of Alberta is a key national priority.

      It may be hard for Americans to realize how deeply dismayed Canadians are over our failure to proceed on a mutually beneficial project like Keystone. Poisonous seeds have been planted, as Canada sees its future prosperity imperiled by wealthy ideologues in the United States whose political donations mean more to the Obama administration than the welfare of our best friends and largest trading partner by far. Americans tend to take Canada for granted, and Canadians know and resent this. Now, some serious consequences are on the verge of being realized, as a huge project looks like it may happen in Canada that effectively tells America to go fly a kite, Canada will act on its own in its own best interests. Our nations are hardly about to go to war, but a Canada that sees its interests as in conflict with ours, and that seeks other partnerships in preference to us, is a very different neighbor across “the world’s longest undefended border.”

      Read more:
      Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

  28. Hell of a storm here yesterday afternoon, and into late last night.

    Wonderful to watch........

    Lots of rain in places, hail too......

    Wind......trees down........leaves scattered to the four directions.....

    I love storms.

  29. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in jeopardy -

    >>>How did I not already know about the existence of this shadowy, global powerhouse known as the World Cocoa Foundation? It sounds like something straight out of a James Bond movie. Are we trusting the world chocolate supply to an unknown hegemony which could cut off the flow of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups at any moment? And now they are the only ones standing between the planet’s chief supply of cacao beans and an army of Ebola infected migrant workers.

    Start strapping some shopping carts together and check your Google calendars. We’d like the looting to be conducted in an orderly fashion, please.<<<

    1. I am going to stock up on chocolate supplies.

      Not that I eat chocolate every day......but every once in a while the urge overwhelms....

      Buy now while the price is still more or less reasonable......

  30. October 12, 2014
    Armed standoff between rival factions closes tribal casino
    By Thomas Lifson

    No, it’s not mobsters battling for control of an illegal gambling casino in the Roaring Twenties, it is today’s Indian casino business in California. The AP reports:

    A federal judge closed a Central California casino after an armed showdown between tribal factions caused many gamblers to flee with chips left on the tables.

    U.S. District Judge Lawrence O’Neill, acting on an emergency request by the state attorney general, set no date for the possible reopening of the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino in Coarsegold, about 40 miles north of Fresno, The Fresno Bee reported. He scheduled a hearing for Wednesday.

    Utterly bizarre. What did the “factions” plan to do with the parts of the casino they controlled? Is there fraud going on and skimming taking place?

    The gaming commission had said it would close the casino if the tribe failed to provide audits and other financial documents by Oct. 27. One audit is 18 months overdue.

    Vernon King, treasurer for the tribal council led by the faction that was ousted from the casino, said his group wanted to recover audit information and avoid a shutdown later this month. The casino, he said, employs 1,000 to 1,500 people and provides an average of around $450 a month to each of about 900 tribal members.

    Rob Rosette, a lawyer for the group that has controlled the casino since August, said the other faction refused offers to negotiate for several months.

    I have always found the proliferation of Indian casinos troubling. Yes, Native Americans have gotten a raw deal and remained mired in poverty in many places. But is this the best way to handle it? In some places I am familiar with, a huge bonanza is split up among comparatively recently-recognized “tribes” composed of people with relatively few native ancestors in their lineage that staked out locations near prime urban markets. Some members of these “tribes” get hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, doing absolutely nothing for other Native Americans located on reservations too far away from cities to be able to take advantage of the casino industry.

    There has got to be a better way.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

    One of the Casinos near here has another new manager, last in a long string of managers.......three of whom were arrested by Tribal Police for stealing money from the Casino.

    The last guy they brought in from Vegas, a white dude.

    He's gone, don't know who the new guy is yet......but Free Wampum Days have been cut in half.......

  31. Jack HawkinsSun Oct 12, 11:30:00 AM EDT
    The character may have jut been laying the Socialist line, so opular in Israel, because I do not believe that "O"rdure is the "O"riginal, not the 'Candyman'

    You presented a challenge, post on BOTH of my Blogs, I did...

    "Fuck you Rat" I said.


    I met your "challenge".

    Now Jack Hawkins/rat prove to us you are NOT the self confessed killer of civilians in Central America. PROVE to us that you are not the fella I reported to the AZ FBI, who you bragged about reading my Criminal Complaint about you.

    Do you remember? When you bragged you had access to on going investigations at the AZ FBI office? When you bragged your "Leaker" inside the office of the AZ FBI turned over FILES and intel claiming I was the subject of a FEDERAL INVESTIGATION?

    Were you lying about having a MOLE inside the AZ FBI or LYING as there is no "investigation" about me.

    Which is it Jack/Rat? Are a criminal that has access to the AZ FBI files? Or are you a liar?

  32. Don’t push the Sunnis to the wall

    The Wider Appeal of ISIL and Sunni Grievances
    By Juan Cole | Oct. 12, 2014 |

    By Juan Cole

    al-Quds al-`Arabi [Arab Jerusalem] reports on the appeal of ISIL to Salafi hard line Sunni Muslims.
    In a worrisome development, radicals throughout the region are rallying to the so-called “Islamic State,” which is actually just a bunch of armed thugs and brigands.

    Some of the Pakistani Taliban in Waziristan have announced their loyalty to ISIL leader Ibrahim al-Samarra’i, who styles himself caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

    Two or three Lebanese Sunni troops have defected from Beirut and announced for ISIL or Jabhat al-Nusra (the Succor Front, i.e al-Qaeda in Syria).

    The Ansar al-Shariah or so-called Helpers of Islamic Law in Libya, a terrorist organization, last week announced allegiance to ISIL.
    Those groups inspired by the lightning spread of ISIL into Sunni Arab areas of Iraq since last June often see themselves as persecuted minorities. The Taliban in Pakistan are rural fundamentalists of Pushtun ethnic heritage, while the dominant group in Pakistan is the Punjabis, many of whom are Sufis or religious liberals and a minority of whom are Shiites. The Pakistani Taliban live in rugged, mountainous resource-poor regions and have been alternatively neglected and harassed by the Pakistan government.

    In Lebanon, many Sunnis are resentful of the leading political and military role of the Shiite Hizbullah. Likewise in Iraq, Sunni Arabs chafed under the government of the Shiite Da`wa Party (Islamic Call or Islamic Mission), which imprisoned them arbitrarily, repeatedly bombed their villages, and generally treated them in a humiliating way. They also suffer from high unemployment under Shiite rule. The Shiite government in turn is viewed by them as a gift from a hated American military occupation.

    In Libya, fundamentalists were persecuted under dictator Muammar Qaddafi a major massacre committed against them at Abu Salim prison. (Those who wonder whether he should have been overthrown should remember that he provoked his own overthrow.)

    Still, al-Samarra’i cannot possibly hope to capitalize on this surge of popularity among the lunatic fringe (he is not popular with mainstream Sunni communities because of his barbarity). He has the world against him and likely will be driven back underground or killed, like his predecessor Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Radical groups are mostly locally oriented, seeking more power and wealth in their own countries, a struggle that will preoccupy them long after al-Samarra’i is dead and buried. ISIL is just a flavor of the month among the insurgents. But non-Sunni governments should take note that in this era of social mobilization, it is unwise to push large Sunni populations to the wall.

    1. It's a pig fly moment. Juan Cole FINALLY gets it.

      ISIS/ISIL is a REACTION to The Shiites (Iran, Hezbollah and loosely the Assad thugs) seizing of hegemony from Iraq to Lebanon and everything in-between.

      The ISIS maybe a group of shit Sunnis, but the truth? ISIS had killed about 3 thousand people, "The Shiites" are responsible for the murders of over 400,000 or so.

      The center of the shit storm is Assad and his rampage of murder that has topped 200,000 civilians and made homeless 1/2 of Syria (about 11,000,000 people) The hand behind of this of course is the 12th Imamers, the wanters of chaos, the hidden mahdi nut jobs whose faith demands total world war to bring about the return of the Hidden 13th Imam.

      Turkey? They are the Ottoman Empire descendants. Kurds? Pawns. Lebanon? a nation swallowed up by Syria for decades, then fought and won it'd independence only to be taken over by Hezbollah (iran and syria) once again...

      Iran is trying actively to destabilize the entire region, from training and funding hamas, hezbollah, the shia in yemen, to shiia terrorists in virtually every arab and islamic african nation on the planet.

      If you want peace in the region? Well heck, there is no such thing, but if you wanted tolerable stability?

      -make illegal the moslem brotherhood and it's children (hamas for one)
      -take out assad and his cronies.
      -regime change in Iran


    2. Sounds like a good program to me.

    3. Leave Iran alone. Quit fucking with them and they will be the rightful and logical hegemon to the region.

    4. Iran doesn't leave anyone alone.

      IF IRAN didn't fuck with others, they'd be left alone.

      Iran's stated foreign policy is the destruction of BOTH the Great Satan ( the USA) and the little Satan (Israel) AND hegemony over all other peoples to come to Allah.

      If you think otherwise? You are naive.

  33. A question

    Has anyone asked how many flights on a normal a day leave these West African ebola countries for the US? I doubt there is no more than a few hundred passengers daily. That could be reduced to certain high priorities and probably reduced to a single flight a week. Would not
    that make more sense than to do hundreds of millions of dollars of economic damage to a country of 315 million and a $17 trillion economy?


    1. the plan is to democratize ebola...

      that's obama and Valerie Jarret's goal.

      exporting ebola clusters one plane at a time...

  34. Why not a 30 day quarantine before leaving any of those countries for the U.S.?

    We have 3,000 troops over there. Surely, we could set up a quarantine area.

    1. (every once in a while an old blind boar finds an excellent acorn)


  35. It is Sunday and time to announce the Winner in our weekly "Great Thought of the Week Contest"

    Ladies and Gentlemen, this week's Winner is RUFUS.

    The blog comment is here -

    Rufus IISun Oct 12, 01:47:00 PM EDT

    Why not a 30 day quarantine before leaving any of those countries for the U.S.?

    We have 3,000 troops over there. Surely, we could set up a quarantine area.


    This was recorded in the "Ebola" and "Cut Through The Shit" categories.

    Congratulations, Rufus.

    And Happy Blogging for next week.

  36. Replies
    1. Green Bay made a marvelous score with a couple seconds left to win against Miami.

      Excellent exciting finish.

    M198 Howitzer
    155 mm Projectiles

    No one has reported on the mix of rounds captured by IS. As you can see, the M198 has a wide range of options.

  38. This will resonate with some here -

    Washington And The World
    Why the Middle East Still Doesn’t Matter

    Forget about oil, Israel and terrorism—the world’s most dysfunctional region is a waste of time.


    October 09, 2014

    The American foreign policy elite is obsessed with the Middle East. Despite President Obama’s rhetoric about a “pivot to Asia,” the United States remains bogged down in the region, now at war in Syria in addition to Iraq. What’s most perverse about all this is that the Middle East doesn’t matter. Washington would do better to leave the region alone.

    Otto von Bismarck, Nicholas Spykman or any of the other great strategists of centuries past would be puzzled at the degree of interest Western elites give to the Middle East. The region is an economic dwarf. Its combined GDP—even including oil—represents roughly 6 percent of world GDP. Its population is closer to 5 percent of world population, and its military forces are similarly unimpressive. As the iconoclastic scholar Edward Luttwak has pointed out, America’s Middle East analysts frequently fall victim to the “Mussolini syndrome” when thinking about the region, attributing “real military strength to backward societies whose populations can sustain excellent insurgencies but not modern military forces.” No Middle Eastern state can project power outside the region—not Iran, which spends about $18 billion per year on defense, and not Saudi Arabia, despite its roughly $60 billion in annual military spending.

    Nonetheless, three fears have turned this small, poor, weak region into the central focus of U.S. foreign policy: oil, Israel and terrorism. Each of these concerns merits attention, but nowhere near the amount they have received over the last several decades. And certainly, none of them calls for the sort of forward-deployed interventionism both Republicans and Democrats favor.

    First, take oil. While their fears are rarely spelled out explicitly, Washington policymakers worry that regional wars or instability will threaten the ability of oil producers to get their output onto world energy markets, creating volatility, hampering economic growth and producing second- and third-order effects that send the global economy into a tailspin. Perhaps this argument is never spelled out explicitly because it’s wrong.

    1. Oil is a fungible commodity sold on world markets. When the price of oil in one country rises, it rises in all countries—even those that have achieved the Shangri-La of “energy independence.” On the supply side, when supply decreases, price goes up and producers have an incentive to produce more oil to reap the higher profits. Combine the self-interest of producers with financial innovations like sophisticated spot and futures markets that allow consumers to hedge risks and it’s easy to see why, historically, supply disruptions have had limited and ephemeral effects on price.

      Even the worst-case energy security nightmares don’t stand up to closer inspection. One scenario in which the U.S. military might come in handy is if a state like Iran tried to conquer and consolidate control over a major oil terminal such as Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia, giving it an uncomfortable, not to say market-making, amount of control over world oil markets. Fortunately, though, Iran doesn’t have anywhere near that kind of power-projection capability and if it did, America’s carrier-based airpower and long-range bombers could handle the threat relatively easily.

      Another Middle East fear involves Israel. Here again, the precise problem is rarely spelled out, but people believe that Israel, small and friendly with the United States, lives in a bad neighborhood and benefits from a robust American presence in the region. The problem is that Israel in 2014 fits differently into the region than it did in the dangerous years after its founding. It enjoys an enormous qualitative military edge over any combination of potential regional rivals. It has roughly 200 nuclear weapons deployed on an array of platforms, including submarines, that give it a secure second-strike capability against any state in the region that might dare to threaten its survival. It is hard to see, moreover, how the maelstrom of sectarian conflict that recent U.S. policy has helped unleash across the region has benefited Israel.

      Finally, of course, are fears about terrorism. This explanation for why the Middle East supposedly matters is peculiar, in that the basic contours of U.S. policy in the region predate 9/11. It is tough to think that a concern that emerged after a policy began explains the policy. But there is no evidence that terrorism is a threat that warrants an effort to micromanage the Middle East. The chance of an American being killed by terrorism outside a war zone from 1970-2012 was roughly one in 4,000,000. By any conventional risk analysis, this is an extraordinarily low risk. Perhaps this is why, as early as 2002, smart risk analysts were asking questions about counterterrorism policy such as “How much should we be willing to pay for a small reduction in probabilities that are already extremely low?”

    2. The amount we’re paying now to fight terrorism—roughly $100 billion per year—is simply crazy. If someone ran a hedge fund assessing risk the way the U.S. government has responded to terrorism, it would not be long for the world. Indeed, it is difficult to identify how U.S. policy across the region—with the possible exception of some drone strikes and special operations raids—have reduced the extremely low probability of another major terrorist attack. If anything, our policies may have increased them.

      Writing in 2007, Philip Auerswald presciently argued that “the first, most severe, and likely most enduring mistake made with regard to Iraq was believing that any country in the Middle East matters enough in the 21st century to justify starting a war.” We’re back at it in 2014, despite the fact that none of the reasons frequently offered for obsessing over the Middle East stands up to scrutiny.

      Meanwhile, we have created cadres of Middle East obsessives who argue that their region of study is vital, while America’s slighted Asia Pivoteers whinge from the sidelines, not daring to speak the heretical truth: The Middle East, from a military point of view, is little more than a waste of time.

      Justin Logan (@justintlogan) is director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute.

      Read more:

    3. (my good deed for the day to our Host)

    4. I’ll buy into that. It has always been about the Americas. Had we focused on the Aleutians to Tierra del Fuego, we would have created triple the wealth of China and everything we could possibly need would be made in America and not one more aircraft carrier would be required. It is still not too late to make the pivot, but we pissed away fifty years.

    5. If you were wondering who Nicholas Spykman is, so was I.........

  39. Israelis and Palestinians join forces to combat Ebola

  40. This comment has been removed by the author.