“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, November 15, 2014

Putin Hangs Tough

Putin says Russia prepared for oil price collapse as more sanctions threatened 

At G20 summit, Russian president says he regards sanctions over Ukraine as pointless, illegal and likely to harm world trade Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.

Guardian , political editor
Friday 14 November 2014  

Vladimir Putin has admitted for the first time that he is prepared for his country to face a “catastrophic” slump in oil prices, as David Cameron said Europe would have no choice but to step up sanctions if the Russian president did not abide by previous agreements to respect Ukraine’s independence. Putin was speaking before a bilateral meeting with Cameron on the margins of the G20 summit in Brisbane. The meeting is likely to be a bruising affair, especially after the British prime minister likened Russia to Nazi Germany, saying Europe had learned lessons from history about how a big country could bully others. 

Putin said Russia’s economy had the reserves to withstand a collapse in oil revenues, but added: “We are considering all the scenarios including the so-called catastrophic fall of prices for energy resources, which is entirely possible and we admit it.” He said he regarded sanctions as pointless, illegal and likely to harm not just Russian but world trade. “This contradicts international law because sanctions can only be imposed within the framework of the United Nations and its security council.” 

He claimed that as many as 300,000 German jobs could be at risk if there were no contracts with Russia. Putin is also due to see Angela Merkel at the summit. The Russian economy is forecast by its central bank to run zero growth next year, and the value of the rouble has fallen. Russia gets half its total budget revenue from oil and natural gas taxes. 

British government sources are increasingly confident that sanctions limiting the ability of Russian banks to raise capital are taking their toll. Britain has been urging the Russians to stand by a ceasefire agreement signed in Minsk in September and to stop sending Russian material and arms across the border to rebel-held regions of Ukraine. 

Cameron told reporters: “It’s possible to stand by the Minsk agreement. It’s not a perfect agreement from anyone’s point of view, but it has some key parts to it, about Russian troops and about borders and about respecting Ukraine’s sovereignty. I think there’s a very clear choice for Russia of which path it takes. If it takes the Minsk path we could progressively see normalization of relations between Russia and Ukraine, you could see Ukraine’s sovereignty and elections respected, you could see the removal of sanctions if that were to happen. 

“But the other path of not respecting the Minsk agreement, continuing to undermine Ukrainian sovereignty, continuing to see Russian troops in Ukraine and Russian tanks and the rest of it – I don’t think Europe would have a choice but to maintain the sanctions we have, to start looking at further measures that could be taken if Russia takes further steps, and to putting relationships between European countries and Russia on a very different basis.” 

Earlier, Cameron said: “We have to be clear what we are dealing with here is a large state bullying a smaller state. We have seen the consequences of that in the past and we should learn the lessons of history and make sure we do not let it happen again. I don’t think there is a military solution to this, but the sanctions have had some effect. You can see that in what has happened to the Russian rouble, what has happened to the Russian stock market and the difficulty the Russian banks have in gaining finance.” 

It is thought that 38 Australians were among the 298 people killed on flight MH17, the civilian plane shot down over Ukraine in July. Such is the anger in Australia that there were protests against Putin outside his hotel in Brisbane. Australia sent three ships to its northern coast after a flotilla of Russian navy vessels appeared there this week. Abbott said: “It is our clear understanding on the evidence so far this plane was clearly shot down by Russian-backed rebels most likely using Russian-supplied equipment. I think there is heavy responsibility on Russia to come clean and to atone.

“It is part of a regrettable pattern, whether it is the bullying of Ukraine, the increasing number of Russian military aircraft flying into the airspace of Japan, European countries or the task group in the South Pacific. Russia would be so much more attractive if it was aspiring to be a superpower for peace and freedom and prosperity, if it were trying to be a superpower for ideas and values, instead of trying to recreate the lost glories of tsarism or the old Soviet Union.”


  1. Pooty is a shit.

    We need Hillary as President to reset that button again.

    har de har har

  2. APPLE World's First Trillion-Dollar Company?

    Now Worth More Than Entire Russian Stock Market.............drudge

    Putting things in perspective.

  3. .

    You think that is something?

    Google to lease former Nasa airfield for space research

    Interesting, but

    Google has not divulged exactly how the site will be used.

    Be afraid, be very afraid, Google rules the world.



  4. .

    From the WaPo,

    As House approves Keystone pipeline bill, Obama veto grows more likely

    Girding for battle with a Republican Congress over environmental policy, President Obama is signaling that he is likely to veto a bill authorizing the Keystone XL oil pipeline just as momentum for the project builds on the Hill.

    Individuals familiar with the administration’s thinking say Obama is leaning against approving the massive pipeline. And in a news conference in Burma on Friday, the president rejected two of the main arguments made by pipeline proponents, saying he had “to constantly push back against this idea that somehow the Keystone pipeline is either this massive jobs bill for the United States or is somehow lowering gas prices.”

    “It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else,” he said. “That doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices.”

    The pipeline fight is coming to a head as Obama seeks to cement his environmental legacy by forging a climate deal with China, imposing carbon limits on U.S. power plants, setting aside more public land for conservation and, in an announcement made Friday, providing $3 billion to poor countries to cope with the impact of global warming.

    If true, Obama will once again prove that American jobs are the least of his worries.

    Frankly, I happen to agree with Obama's views as noted above. It is unlikely that the pipeline will help reduce US gas prices. In fact, it may actually result in increased US prices. Likewise, I can't believe that the pipeline will result in 41,000 US jobs as its advocates promise. I am always skeptical of jobs claims and given the nature of the pipeline and the oil and refining industry in general, I just don't see where you would get that many 'permanent jobs'.

    That being said, I believe the real reason for Obama's veto (if it comes) would be to satisfy his base in the environmental lobby which argues that the pipeline will lead to more Canadian oil being pumped and put on the world market and ultimately increasing the amount of pollutants in the air. This is of course nonsense since the Canadian oil is going to reach the world market whether it is pumped down and through the US Gulf Coast or whether it is shipped through Canada to the sea. This same argument could also be applied to the price issue.

    Which brings us to the matter of jobs. Even if the pipeline doesn't create 41,000 jobs, it will create some jobs, perhaps a good number of jobs. And as far as the environmental or security risks, Obama's own administration has said there are none. Both the EPA and the State Department have signed off on the project. If Congress passes a bill authorizing the pipeline, an Obama veto will once again prove that Obama cares more about questionable environmental claims than he does about US jobs. This is just one more example.

    (continued below...)


    1. .


      The latest treaty with China on climate change proves the same point. If the Senate were to sign off and the treaty was implemented, Obama will once again prove that American jobs are the least of his worries. China currently produces more pollution than all western industrialized nations combined. The US is currently reducing its pollution each year while China increases theirs. The treaty says the US will cut our pollution back to 2005 levels by 2025. It says Chinese pollution levels will peak in 2030. Beyond that the treaty is fuzzy. It says nothing about actual reductions in Chinese pollution. The treaty will end up costing US jobs while making nothing but symbolic gestures to ameliorate climate change in the future.

      A third example of Obama’s disregard for US jobs is his proposed executive action on immigration. If Obama carries through on the 10 point plan that is being floated he will open the door to legalize 4.5 million current illegals, expand the current DACA program, and make 500,000 technology jobs available for the illegals through the State Departments visa program. In doing so he would be going against the clear will of Congress.

      When it comes to jobs, we have seen the enemy and it is Obama.


  5. If he acts on immigration, it is totally unconstitutional.

    He cannot unilaterally change the law.

    Will he get away with it?

    In the short term maybe.....

    He has been and will continue to be a disaster for the US of A.


    1. The Next Border Crisis
      Column: How Congress can fight Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty

      Detainees sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in Brownsville,Texas - photo/ AP

      BY: Matthew Continetti
      November 14, 2014 5:00 am

  6. New word from The Five on Fox -

    Gruber, to gruber, grubbering - to accidentally tell the truth

  7. .

    Islamic State says it plans to issue its own currency.

    No, really.

    Seriously. They said it.


    1. I hear their equivalent of our hundred dollar bill is graced with a severed head.

    2. "How much for a gallon of camel's milk, Abu?"

      "100,000 severs."

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. .

    On a recent stream, I joked about confirmation bias. It generated a couple posts. In one of them, WiO made a good point. Despite whatever articles are put out lauding certain aspects of Obamacare, there will always be opposing articles that point out negative aspects of it. Despite suggestions that Obamacare is a major factor in holding down healthcare costs there will always opposing views (some official like those of CBO and OMB) that says it has played a small part in the overall moderation of prices over the past few years. Whatever level of responsibility Obamacare has for holding down prices, there will be people who point out ‘how’ it moves to keep prices down. And despite what polls say about things such as ‘consumer satisfaction’ the ultimate decisions will be made by individual consumers.

    An example of conflicting information published in the news media on Obamacare.

    One post was put up showing that the benchmark plan in certain cities was actually going down in price slightly. Another showed poll results from Gallup that showed 7 out of 10 consumers were satisfied with the insurance they picked up on the exchanges. A positive. Yet, today in the NYT, the following column was put up.

    <a href="”>Cost of Coverage Under Affordable Care Act to Increase in 2015</a>

    In the article it states,

    <i>WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Friday unveiled data showing that many Americans with health insurance bought under the Affordable Care Act could face substantial price increases next year — in some cases as much as 20 percent — unless they switch plans.

    The data became available just hours before the health insurance marketplace was to open to buyers seeking insurance for 2015.</i>

    The article goes on to cite the Gallup poll and some examples of the problems. So although 7 out of 10 people may be satisfied with the policies they picked up under the exchanges it appears that a great many of them may end up being forced to change policies due to price. Having gone through the experience in signing up for Medicare I can say that it is a lot worse than filling out taxes and not something people would look forward to as an annual event.

    In the end WiO’s point is well taken. Despite all the articles put out there, people are going to judge the program based on their own individual experience, and frankly, I don’t think we will know what the final judgment will be until after this sign-up period and maybe even longer.


  10. .

    Whoops, little problem with the HTML.


  11. November 15, 2014
    Private Obamacare investigator says more bad news coming
    By Ethel C. Fenig

    Rich Weinstein, the private citizen uncovering the secrets behind the sneaky foundations of Obamacare that professionals can't/won't warns there is more to come. And it is not good.

    “There’s still a lot of stuff that’s coming out,” Weinstein said. “People need to see it. It’s coming together. And for me, it’s really kind of relieving because … it’s stuff people should have been seeing for a long time. And I can finally it get out there. I just want people to think.”

    “Rich, what is coming next?” Beck asked. “What is the one thing that you would say, ‘America, you need to know this’?”

    Weinstein said Americans need to know that even if they survived the first wave of the Obamacare rollout with their insurance intact, there are measures built into the legislation that won’t come into effect for ten or twenty years, and employer-based insurance will be next.

    “The Cadillac tax, people think is just for the high-end insurance plans,” he said. “But the way Dr. Gruber describes it on video, within a certain period of time, I don’t know if he said 10 or 20 years, it’s going to hit everybody, and it’s targeted at the employer sponsored insurance.”

    Weinstein said the coming wave of higher premiums and lost plans are structured in a way that you blame the “evil insurance companies,” in Gruber’s words, not the government that forced them to implement the policies.

    The administration and Gruber will deny that they are out to change employer-based health insurance, Weinstein asserted. But he also cautioned that you cannot rely on what they say in speeches — you must also listen to what they are saying at the universities, at economic forums, and among themselves.

    “It’s all out there,” he said.

    1. Yes it is. David Steinberg of PJ Media links to for yet another video--we're up to number 5--of Gruber knocking those questioning his brilliance in government mandated, sponsored health care insurance.

      In the 2011 video shot by and sent to on Thursday, Gruber appears before the Vermont House Health Care Committee to present recommendations for a universal, publicly financed health care program. The recommendations were part of the 2011 “Hsiao Report” submitted to the Legislature by economist William C. Hsiao and co-written by Gruber.

      As Gruber sits listening, the committee chair reads a comment from a Vermonter who expresses concern that the economist’s plan might lead to “ballooning costs, increased taxes and bureaucratic outrages,” among other things.

      After hearing the Vermonter’s worries, Gruber responds, “Was this written by my adolescent children by any chance?”

      The remark was met with uproarious laughter.

      Contrary to Gruber’s snarky insult, the comment was not written by an adolescent.

      “It was actually written by a former senior policy adviser in the White House who knew something about health care systems,” said John McClaughry, a two-term Vermont state senator and adviser to President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.

      McClaughry, who wrote the comment in an op-ed weeks before the 2011 committee meeting, told Vermont Watchdog he did not know Gruber made the condescending insult. However, he was aware of other videos discovered this week in which Gruber boasted of writing deceptive policies to trick “stupid” American voters.

      “No one should trust this man. … Based on the rest of the stuff that’s come out on the videos, nobody can trust this guy. He has no use for transparency, he thinks people are stupid, and he’ll do anything to get this thing through and pocket his $400,000. That’s not in the interest of the people of Vermont,” McClaughry said.

      Yep, "it's all out there." And it is up to us to stop condemning the professionals, the watchdogs for not finding it but to go out there and find it utilizing the new technology and publicize it wherever we can on all the social media. And then protest.

      The MSM - "Democratic operatives with bylines" - aren't the news gatekeepers any longer. We are.

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

    2. Just a little early morning 'gatekeeping'..................

  12. Comet probe sends back science treasure in final hours
    45 minutes ago by Richard Ingham, Veronique Martinache
    A photo released on November 13, 2014 by the European Space Agency, and captured on November 12 by the CIVA-P imaging system, sh
    A photo released on November 13, 2014 by the European Space Agency, and captured on November 12 by the CIVA-P imaging system, shows a 360┬║ view of the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko during Philae's descent

    Europe's science probe Philae sent home a treasure trove of data from a comet heading towards the Sun before falling silent as its power ran out, mission control said Saturday.

    Crowning a historic feat, the robot lab streamed data from its experiments back to its mother ship Rosetta in the final hours before its battery ran down.

    This included the outcome of an eagerly-waited chemistry test of a sample drilled from the comet's icy and dusty surface, scientists said.

    "Rosetta's lander has completed its primary science mission," the European Space Agency (ESA) said.

    Lacking power, its instruments and most systems went into standby mode after three days of non-stop work, sending back data that will keep scientists busy for years.

    "The data collected by Philae and Rosetta is set to make this mission a game-changer in cometary science," said Matt Taylor, Rosetta project scientist.

    Philae had landed in a dark shadow after a bouncy triple touchdown Wednesday.

    It did not get enough sunlight to recharge its batteries sufficiently to extend its mission beyond its initial 60-hour work programme.

    Mission engineers do not rule out making contact with the lander in the coming months as Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko moves closer to the Sun.

    1. Conceived more than 20 years ago, the Rosetta mission aims at shedding light on the origins of the Solar System 4.6 billion years ago, and maybe even life on Earth.
      Philae operational after a difficult landing
      A graphic shows the difficult landing of Philae on 67P

      A theory gaining ground in astrophysics is that the fledgling Earth was pounded by these bodies of cosmic ice and carbon-rich dust, seeding our planet with the basics to start life.

      Rosetta and its payload travelled more than six billion kilometres (3.75 billion miles), racing around the inner Solar System before they caught up with the comet in August this year.

      On Wednesday, Philae bade farewell to its mother ship and descended to a comet travelling at 18 kilometres (11 miles) per second, 510 million kilometres (320 million miles) from Earth.

      The touchdown did not go entirely as planned—hardly a surprise in an operation some gloomily predicted had only a one-in-two chance of success.

      Philae landed smack in the middle of its targeted site, but a pair of anchoring harpoons failed to deploy.

      It rebounded, touched down again, bounced up once more and then landed for the third time at a place believed to be about a kilometre (half a mile) from the landing site.

      Philae found itself in the shadow of a cliff, tilted at an angle that left one of its three legs pointed to the sky.

      Weighing 100 kilos (220 pounds) on Earth, Philae has a mass of just one gramme (0.03 of an ounce)—less than a feather—on the low-gravity, four-kilometre comet.

      That meant just a jolt could have caused it to drift off into space.

      And lack of sunlight for its solar panels meant it had to survive on a battery with a charge of around 60 hours, enough to carry out its scheduled scientific work.

      Race against time

      Stacked against the odds, the scientists resorted to every trick possible to use power miserly and keep Rosetta working without causing it to drift away.

      Using the lander's toolkit of 10 instruments, they started with passive observation—taking pictures, measuring the comet's density, temperature, and internal structure, "sniffing" molecules of gas from its surface—that would not move the craft.

      Finally, in the most important but riskiest experiment of all, they drilled a core of material out of the comet surface to analyse its chemical signature.

      All the data had to be stored and dispatched back to Rosetta as the power indicators shrank towards the red zone.

      "We received everything," mission scientist Jean-Pierre Bibring told AFP. "The word is 'fabulous,' just 'fabulous.'

      The team's eagerly-awaited first report will be made at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco next month.

      The "67P" comet is due to loop around the Sun next year, flaring gas from its head and leaving a spectacular icy trail of ice from water stripped from its surface.

      Rosetta will escort it until the comet heads back out towards the depths of the Solar System in December 2015.


  13. In praise of Putin -

    November 15, 2014
    Compelling Israel to go Nuclear: Another Obama Triumph
    By James Lewis

    Don’t look now, but the Japanese government under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has just dumped its sixty-year anti-nuclear policy. The reason is simple: the United States’s nuclear defense guarantee protecting Japan can no longer be believed.

    We have done nothing about China’s vast grab of mineral-rich maritime territories claimed by Japan and the Philippines. We have done nothing about Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine and the Crimea. Poland and the Baltics have been openly threatened by Putin, and NATO is doing a lot of talking. The Ukraine gave up its own Soviet-era nuclear weapons, assured that NATO would protect it from Russian aggression. Today the Ukrainians may regret giving up those nukes.

    As always, appeasement makes the world much more vulnerable to aggression. Our abandoned allies see the handwriting on the wall, and they are arming up, going for their own nukes.

    Israel is a silent nuclear power with an estimated 200 bombs. Even in the face of massive Arab assaults, it has never used those weapons -- not even in underground test explosions, like the ones India and Pakistan carried out in the 1970s. But with Obama conniving against Israel, together with neo-Ottoman Turkey, Islamist Iran, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Israel’s incentives to remain non-nuclear are fast disappearing. Obama believes in pieces of paper with the mullahs’ signatures scrawled on them. Sane nations do not.

    When Iran gets a bomb, Israel is likely to go nuclear very fast in a very public way. So are other countries that will have to defend themselves without our help. After the mullahs get theirs, the Saudis and Egypt will form a joint nuclear command -- the Saudis because they have already paid Pakistan to develop nuclear weapons, and Egypt, because it has the large army and a technical elite to run a nuclear industry. The Saudi-Egyptians don’t fear of Israeli aggression, because they know that Israel has nothing to gain. That is why Israel gave back all of the Sinai Desert to Egypt in exchange for a peace treaty forty years ago. The Saudis have been leaking public peace proposals with Israel, to make common cause against Iranian aggression. The Saudis may publicly claim to hate Israel, but in fact their real fear is an aggressive Iran.

    1. The two biggest dangers are Iranian (Shia) fanaticism, and equally suicidal Sunni fanaticism, the most ancient fissure in the Muslim world. The war in Syria is the first Shia-Sunni war of recent times, and it has killed some 200,000 (mostly) Arabs so far. In the 1980s the Iran-Iraq War killed a million people, pitting Saddam Hussein (Sunni fascist) against Ayatollah Khomeini (war-making Shi’ite). Many of the truck bombings of Shi’a pilgrims in Iraq are committed by Sunnis. ISIS kills Sunni tribal leaders, but its real theological enemies are Shi’ite Muslims.

      This week we found out that Al Qaida and ISIS have formed an alliance. ISIS-AQ has also targeted Saudi Arabia and Iran. Already ISIS has captured poison gas supplies, and Israel has just assassinated five nuclear scientists in Iran, suggesting that ISIS wants to equip its suiciders with Armageddon weapons.

      This is the worst international news since Nazi and Imperial Japanese Axis, which were defeated just before nuclear weapons were invented. Had Hitler possessed nukes in that last bunker, he would have used them. Had Japan owned nuclear weapons at the time of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they would have used them. The Nazis and Imperial Japanese were suicidal toward the end of the war. They would not have hesitated to pull the trigger.

      Iran has boasted about its martyrdom theology since Jimmy Carter made the biggest strategic blunder of the 20th century by allowing Ayatollah Khomeini to establish the first Islamist totalitarian regime since the Ottoman Turks. The lethal weakness of the West has now enabled new Islamofascist powers in Turkey, ISIS-Al Qaeda, and Iran.

      Islamist infiltration of Western politics is now beyond serious dispute. We have Islamists agents in our government -- possibly Valerie Jarrett, probably Huma Abedin -- and our top politicians, like Obama himself, have sworn to advance the Islamist agenda.

      You may not recognize Obama’s way of publicly supporting Islamic imperialism, but every Muslim in the world does.

    2. In the English town of Rotherham, a Pakistani gang of pedophiles sexually abused an estimated 1400 children over more than a decade. They prevented public exposure using the massive propaganda scare campaign for “multiculturalism.” The British Establishment was also infiltrated by pedophiles at the same time, notably at the top of the BBC, where child program star Jimmy Savile has now been exposed as a mass child abuser. While the “multicultural” delusion dominated the media in Europe (and the United States), the Pakistani “cultural custom” of adult male abuse of young children covered up thousands of crimes. In the UK many are still being uncovered now -- but you can’t have pedophile gangs victimizing thousands of children if the police and media are not tacitly cooperating.

      We now know that the UK cops and media knew all along -- but the “multicultural” political machine was too powerful to allow epidemic pedophile crime to be exposed and prosecuted. In its usual fashion the BBC covered up its own top-level corruption, and in towns like Rotherham, parents, teachers, social workers, cops, and prosecutors did nothing.

      Other European countries are surely covering up similar “cultural” crimes. In the European Union the ruling class is no longer under electoral control. They have become like the ancient aristocracy, corrupt, self-serving, reckless, and exploitive. Half of Europe has been impoverished, because the Germans insist on keeping the euro a hard currency like the Deutschmark. Since poor nations like Italy cannot float their currencies against the Euro-Deutschmark, they are at a constant disadvantage, and their economies have been in recession for almost a decade. This is a new kind of German economic imperialism, using the European Union as a front. The damage in the weaker countries is immense.

      As a result, neo-fascist parties are emerging. Italy’s neofascist Giuseppe Grillo now controls 29% of the votes in Parliament, more than Il Duce himself ever did. In Hungary a frankly neonazi racist party, the Jobbiks, have emerged. Islamist forces have penetrated European politics since the OPEC oil monopoly arose forty years ago, and the Grillo neofascist party, for example, directly echoes Iran’s party line.

      The biggest sign of Europe’s surrender to Islamist imperialism is its unstoppable immigration flow from the primitive areas of nations like Pakistan. Today more than 40 million Muslims populate Europe’s major capitals, establishing Shari’a zones wherever possible, such as in the City of London. Public critics of Islamist fascism require police protection in Denmark and the Netherlands.

    3. If only 1 percent of Europe’s 40 million Muslims were radicalized, there would be 40,000 potential suicide-killers wandering the streets. And modern Europe is utterly unable to stem the tide -- stopping Islamist immigration is not even open for public discussion. Instead, like the U.S., Europe has resorted to massive electronic espionage of all its citizens, not bothering to distinguish between peaceful people and radicalist followers of an open war theology. Any “profiling” would be “racist,” you see.

      In these circumstances of suicidal public policies, people like Vladimir Putin begin to sound very sensible. Under Obama the United States will not protect Europe from Islamist invasion -- just the opposite. Europe has rendered itself helpless except for the new parties and, oddly enough, the biker gangs in Germany and the Netherlands. Islam hates Christians as well as Jews, and ISIS kills any infidels in the areas it conquers. Pacifist Europe keeps shutting its eyes to the obvious, but in the end, their only salvation is Vladimir Putin, who openly threatens Muslim terrorists with castration.

      Social-democratic Europe has lost the ability to defend itself. The United States is not as far gone (yet), but Obamanism will help us to catch up soon. Twenty years after the West showed itself to be more productive and tolerant than the Soviet Empire, those lessons have been lost due to Western suicidal weaknesses.

      That’s the state of play. Nothing is inevitable in politics, but the threatening clouds of regional and maybe global war are clear enough. We can either do nothing, or make things worse, as this administration has been doing. Or we can take effective action, and hope it is not too late.

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

    4. Pooty Putin is a one half 1/2 shit.

  14. Republicans dearly loves them some "free market," except, of course, when they don't (re: when there's a black guy in the White House involved.)

    Now, the word comes out that the average dumb shit (re: Republican) can save some money by going to the website, and checking on a less expensive plan, and the wailing of gnashing of teeth is a horrible thing to behold.

    1. .

      The 'black guy in the White House' meme again?



      As for the 'wailing and gnashing' of teeth here, I don't see it. I see one man, WiO, citing his personal experience. I see another pointing out that you can pretty much 'prove' anything you want as long as you pick the right study or poll. And I see a number here voicing their disgust at the videos of some elitist liberal academic laughing with his bros about the 'dumb shit' American public and how he lied while putting something over on them. I wouldn't call that gnashing of teeth, I would call it the normal reaction when reaction of the average citizen when they confront some slimy weasel who tells you he lied, voices his contempt for you, and then laughs about it.


  15. Remember all those "doublings, and triplings" that were to come?

    Well, the fact is, the cost of the least expensive benchmark plan (silver) is down 0.2% across the country.

    Shake it, and bake it any way you want; Healthcare Costs have dropped.

    1. .

      Well, the fact is, the cost of the least expensive benchmark plan (silver) is down 0.2% across the country.

      True, if you are willing to accept 'poll' information from a single source. And isn't the 'silver' plan the only 'benchmark' since that is the one always referenced and always pushed by the ACA?

      Polls are ephemeral things, they are highly dependent on how the question is asked as well as on how, when, and from whom you ask the question.

      If you are intellectually curious and not prone to confirmation bias you will also note that there are other studies that tell a different story. Googling the phrase 'how many people in the us have the obamacare silver plan', these were the first three links that popped up.

      1. The first was put out two weeks ago in Forbes and is titled Key Study on Obamacare 2015 Rates is Out and You Won. It presents a best case scenario for Obamacare rates based on a study by McKinsey and Company. How ever, the rates are different (higher) than in the Gallup poll.

      2. The second link was put out this morning by CBS Money Watch and is titled Obamacare 2015: Higher Costs, Higher Penalties. It primarily talks about the issue of the rising penalties under Obamacare and the fact that Obamacare has not met one of its primary goals of getting the majority if not all of the uninsured onto an insurance plan that meets a current level of coverage. However, it does cite an IBD study showing examples of where prices for the lowest priced 'bronze' plan are going up.

      3. The third link was of an article published 3 days ago in USA Today titled Health Insurance Premiums to Fluctuate Under Obamacare which makes the case that this year's cost for health insurance depends on where you live and what providers can offer.

      The point being when looking at an extremely complex program that effects 18% of the economy and every American in one way or another, you can always find and article, study, or poll that will tell you what you want to hear.

      Shake it, and bake it any way you want; Healthcare Costs have dropped.

      No, they haven't. According to one poll the cost of Obamacare silver plans has dropped. Overall healthcare costs have risen although following the trend of the past few years more moderately than in the past. Most informed sources attribute the smaller increases to the continuing effects of the recession and to the fact that a number of high-priced, ubiquitous, specialty drugs such as Lipitor have lost patent protection and have gone generic.


  16. KIRKUK: Iraqi forces broke a months-long siege by Islamic State group fighters of the country's largest oil refinery Saturday as America's top officer flew in to discuss the expanded war against the jihadists.

    Completely expelling IS fighters from the area around the refinery would mark another significant achievement for Baghdad, a day after pro-government forces retook the nearby town of Baiji.

    "Iraqi forces... reached the gate of the refinery," the governor of Salaheddin province, Raad al-Juburi, told AFP.

    Three officers confirmed that Iraqi forces had reached the refinery, 200 kilometres (120 miles) north of Baghdad, where security forces have been encircled and under repeated attack since June.

    The new success for Iraqi forces came a day after they recaptured nearby Baiji, the largest town they have taken back since IS-led militants swept across Iraq's Sunni Arab heartland in June.

    Fully clearing the Baiji area of jihadist fighters would further boost Baghdad's momentum and cap a week which also saw pro-government forces retake a major dam.

    A joint operation by the army and Shia militia earlier this week wrested back the Adhaim Dam in the eastern province of Diyala.

    A breakthrough preliminary deal reached on Thursday between the federal government and the autonomous Kurdish region on long-standing budget and oil disputes also raised the prospect of increased coordination in the fight against IS.

    The group released an audio recording on Thursday purportedly of its chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, after rumours that air strikes may have killed or wounded him.

    The IS group has had most of the initiative, both on the ground and in the propaganda war, in recent months.

    But the man said to be Baghdadi seemed at pains to reassure his followers and the lack of video failed to dispel speculation he might still have been wounded.

    America's top military officer, General Martin Dempsey, arrived in Iraq for talks on the expanding military operations against the jihadists.

    A US-led coalition is carrying out air strikes against IS jihadists in both . . . . . .

    Iraqis retake Refinery, Dam

  17. When Iran gets a bomb, Israel is likely to go nuclear very fast in a very public way. So are other countries that will have to defend themselves without our help. After the mullahs get theirs, the Saudis and Egypt will form a joint nuclear command -- the Saudis because they have already paid Pakistan to develop nuclear weapons, and Egypt, because it has the large army and a technical elite to run a nuclear industry.

    On the contrary, Israel has responsibly and not overtly threatened anyone with a nuclear weapon. To do so would be foolhardy as that would incentivize any modern country to adapt a 70 year old technology and promptly return the nuclear favor.

    Now assume that Iran or any other power achieved an armed nuclear status. The threat is deterred by both parties. The numbers of weapons are meaningless. One only has to review the damage done on 911 by three commercial airliners to extrapolate the catastrophic affects of one nuclear weapon. If Israel attacks Iran under the misguided Zionist crazies, they will have affectively signed their own death warrant. The amount of hatred and sheer numbers of those that would want revenge on Israel would part the political waters and not even Moses could stop them when attrition started.

    ISIS got all the weapons and recruits they needed by taking them and they have the motivation and resourcefulness to acquire one nuclear weapon. Think not?

    Israel, using a nuclear weapon or starting a war against Iran, would not have the US to protect them and could not protect itself from the inevitable.

    Offensive nuclear weapons my be fanciful for the Walter Mitty in us and good for teenage gamers but in the current World, they are useless for first use. They are Doomsday, not to be used unless you have a death wish.

    And please use some common sense and refrain from the idiotic racist claim that “Muslims” have a death wish. Everyday we have thousands of examples of Muslims fighting other Muslims to stay alive and protect their families and kin. No rational person has a death wish. Iran is about as rational a country as exists, but their ability to hate and seek revenge is no more or less than the Israelis.

    Israel can no longer expect the same overly accommodating Europe and US, as it has enjoyed for the past fifty years. They will try of course and the loathsome Republican Party will be at their beckoning call. The Republicans are smart enough to know that if they try and involve us in such a folly, they will have no control of anything in two years.

  18. Vladimir Putin is set to leave the G20 summit early after a tense meeting with David Cameron over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.

    The Russian president is reportedly planning to leave the summit early on Sunday and miss its official lunch in response to repeated criticism from western leaders.

    The move comes after Tony Abbott, the Australian Prime Minister, threatened to "shirt front" Mr Putin - a form of physical confrontation. Stephen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister, told Mr Putin: “I guess I'll shake your hand, but I'll only have one thing to say to you - get out of the Ukraine."

    Mr Cameron told Mr Putin that he is at a "crossroads" and could face further sanctions after the pair held "robust" discussions on Ukraine.
    During a tense 50 minute meeting Mr Cameron warned that Russia is risking its relations with the West and must end its support for Russian separatists.

    Mr Putin denied that Russian troops have entered Ukraine and claimed that he is prepared to accept a ceasefire and stop the flow of Russian weapons across the border. He also said that he is prepared to recognise Ukraine as a "single political space".
    Mr Cameron is said to be "realistic" about Mr Putin's comments after he previously broke pledges to end Russian action in Ukraine.
    The meeting at the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, follows a tense build up in which Mr Cameron compared Russia to Nazi Germany.
    Tensions escalated further when Russia stationed a fleet of warships off the coast of Australia in an apparent show of strength ahead of the summit.
    In interviews hours before the meeting, Mr Cameron suggested that he cannot trust Mr Putin and described Russia's decision to send a fleet of warships to Australia as "international machismo".
    Asked if he trusts Mr Putin, the Prime Minister told ITV News: "I take people as I find them. The sad thing is that to date undertakings given in the Minsk agreement have not been followed but the right thing to do is to continue to engage.
    "So far we haven't seen his actions follow up the statements that he's given on previous occasions.
    "The point is and the reason for meeting is that this issue matters and it's very important Russia understands what's at stake and gets a very clear message.

  19. The above from The Telegraph.

    What an asshole to take four warships to an economic conference in Australia The Russians need to get a grip.

    1. .

      I guess I agree. I have been sympathetic with Putin up to a point. I actually believe that back in the 90s the Russians were assured there would be no further NATO expansion threatening Russia's sphere of influence even though it was couched in diplomatic weasel wording. Likewise, I view the regime change in Ukraine as a coup d'├ętat resulting in a government that is pockmarked by groups of right-wing nut jobs so I am not all that sympathetic to it. But still at this point Russia should probably let issues play out in Ukraine (what is left of it) as they will without Russian interference. Unlike the US in Iraq/Syria, Russia can back off at this time without losing face. I doubt that will happen though.


  20. BBC:

    The Russian president faced a frosty reception from Canada's Mr Harper.

    "I'll shake your hand, but I only have one thing to say to you: you need to get out of Ukraine," Mr Harper told him, the Canadian leader's spokesman said.

    President Obama said the US was at the forefront of "opposing Russia's aggression against Ukraine, which is a threat to the world".

  21. Anyone else having problems editing comments and having the page jumping to the top of the post?

    1. I have Comcast; if I had any "new" problems I'd never notice.

    2. .

      I've had that problem as well as an earlier problem with HTML.


  22. Has anyone 'splained, yet, how ISIS is going to fight, and hang onto their territory, while "hiding out in the populace?"

    1. .

      The same way any terrorist group does.

      Whether they hang on to territory will depend on the US and the type of pressure it is willing to bring to bear.


    2. They seem to be pretty firmly ensconced in Anbar.

    3. Maybe they were instituting the old "swim wit de fishies" tactic in Baji.

  23. Israel, using a nuclear weapon or starting a war against Iran, would not have the US to protect them and could not protect itself from the inevitable.

    Iran has already started a war against America and Israel.

    Today, Iran fully funds and supports proxies on 2 of Israel borders with over 100,000 rockets and more.

    The war has been going on since 1978.

    Maybe Israel should start funding and supplying those in Iran who want to topple the Iranian nation with arms, rockets, missiles, drones and the like?

    1. The war started with the unilateral claim of sovereignty by Israel in 1948.

    2. Iran was not at war with Israel until 1978.

      The arabs of the area were murdering Jews for centuries

    3. It continued in 1953 when the US and Britain engineered a coup in Iran.

    4. Israel has been murdering Iranians with state trained thugs, assassins and psychopaths that get their thrills killing because a state protects them.

    5. And they are no better or worse than our governmental sanctioned thugs:

      WASHINGTON — The federal government has significantly expanded undercover operations in recent years, with officers from at least 40 agencies posing as business people, welfare recipients, political protesters and even doctors or ministers to ferret out wrongdoing, records and interviews show.

      At the Supreme Court, small teams of undercover officers dress as students at large demonstrations outside the courthouse and join the protests to look for suspicious activity, according to officials familiar with the practice.

      At the Internal Revenue Service, dozens of undercover agents chase suspected tax evaders worldwide, by posing as tax preparers or accountants or drug dealers or yacht buyers, court records show.

      At the Agriculture Department, more than 100 undercover agents pose as food stamp recipients at thousands of neighborhood stores to spot suspicious vendors and fraud, officials said.

      Undercover work, inherently invasive and sometimes dangerous, was once largely the domain of the F.B.I. and a few other law enforcement agencies at the federal level. But outside public view, changes in policies and tactics over the last decade have resulted in undercover teams run by agencies in virtually every corner of the federal government, according to officials, former agents and documents.

    6. Give someone a uniform or a badge, get them to salute a flag and they will do the bidding of the state.

    7. It is not about Iran attacking Israel or anyone else for that matter. It is about Israel wanting to be far superior to any of its neighbors so that it can do whatever it pleases in the Middle East. The fear is that once Iran or others have the bomb, Israel can no longer attack its neighbors indiscriminately.

      It is all about the zionist supremacist philosophy. Read Gilad Atzmon's book, "the wondering who?" to understand what is really going on.

  24. Moshe Yatom, a prominent Israeli psychiatrist who successfully cured the most extreme forms of mental illness throughout a distinguished career, was found dead at his home in Tel Aviv yesterday from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. A suicide note at his side explained that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been his patient for the last nine years, had “sucked the life right out of me.”

    “I can’t take it anymore,” wrote Yatom. “Robbery is redemption, apartheid is freedom, peace activists are terrorists, murder is self-defense, piracy is legality, Palestinians are Jordanians, annexation is liberation, there’s no end to his contradictions. Freud promised rationality would reign in the instinctual passions, but he never met Bibi Netanyahu. This guy would say Gandhi invented brass knuckles.”

    1. I guess someone aint playing polo...

      rather just posting as ANON...


  25. Deuce ☂Sat Nov 15, 03:05:00 PM EST
    Israel has been murdering Iranians with state trained thugs, assassins and psychopaths that get their thrills killing because a state protects them.

    Wow, do you have any evidence?

    Or just your normal Israel hating shit?

    1. Easy: Wikipedia : List of Israeli assassinations

      Get ready for a very long well detailed read about rogue state killings that would make the KGB feel like the little leagues.

    2. The longer and closer you look, the worse it gets.

    3. Have another taste:

    4. Easy: Wikipedia : List of Israeli assassinations

      wow, that's PROOF

    5. Deuce ☂Sat Nov 15, 05:44:00 PM EST
      Have another taste:

      Like I said, evidence.

      that video?

      shows WHAT?

      sorry deuce, not every death (no matter who committed it) in a war zone is an "assassination"

      no proof. just smoke and loud noises and a dead guy..

    6. Much like the allegations you have made against other contributors to the Elephant Bar.
      Demanding one standard of evidence from other while not performing to that level yourself.

      Such is the hypocrisy you put on public display.

    7. Easy: Wikipedia : List of Israeli assassinations

      wow, that’s PROOF

      Read the sources. The video is self evident. You will apologize for anything Israel does and that is your fall back position after denial.

    8. No, I accept that people get killed in war.

      I also am aware that the "press" gets killed too...

      It's war.

      Shit happens.

      But if you listed, with the same frequency, the Palestinian/Iranian/arab world's actual murders of truly innocents?

      I might give your propaganda some read...

      But I watched the "video" and it's not evidence or proof of anything that puts blame on anyone.

      There is no "evidence".


      Excellent list...

      Not all confirmed. but QUITE a quality kill list of thugs and bastards....

      Glad they are dead...

      Congrats to Israel.

  26. Playing polo, now that is a really intense way to spend an hour.
    Then it's done, until the next game, on another day.

  27. Troy University, Alabama - 34
    University of Idaho - 17

    No game next weekend. Final game away at Appalachian State.

    Been a long season.

    1. We could fire the coach, and probably will. We have tried that in the past, though, and it never makes any difference.

  28. Deuce ☂Sat Nov 15, 05:36:00 PM EST
    Easy: Wikipedia : List of Israeli assassinations

    Get ready for a very long well detailed read about rogue state killings that would make the KGB feel like the little leagues.

    The GIANTS of Murder, The Mossad...

    And yet? If they were 1/100th as good as you claim?

    All of the enemies of Israel would have been killed decades ago...

    1. But Deuce you raise an interesting point..

      Do I, as a supporter of Israel, support Israel taking out, killing, assassinating enemies of Israel or the Jews that are in fact, directly responsible for getting Jews or Israelis killed?

      Yep I do.

      The Palestinians, Arabs, Iranians all murder innocent Jews, men, women, babies, on purpose, constantly, targeting the innocents.

      Those Palestinians, Arabs and Iranians that do such crimes I have no problem having them whacked.

      the difference with israel? The people, if israel did it? Most likely deserved it.

      Now of course there is the famous case of the innocent waiter that the mossad killed by mistake. I grant you it's not a perfect world. But in the end? Israel aint TRYING to take out KIDS on purpose whereas the Palestinians, the Arabs and the iranians do that...

  29. I always feel a little better when I read of an Iranian nuclear scientist or two getting whacked.

    1. Some folks just do not value life.

    2. .

      Ironically, you just proved your point.


  30. War with Isis: Islamic militants have army of 200,000, claims senior Kurdish leader
    Exclusive: CIA has hugely underestimated the number of jihadis, who now rule an area the size of Britain
    Patrick Cockburn Author Biography


    Sunday 16 November 2014

    The Islamic State (Isis) has recruited an army hundreds of thousands strong, far larger than previous estimates by the CIA, according to a senior Kurdish leader. He said the ability of Isis to attack on many widely separated fronts in Iraq and Syria at the same time shows that the number of militant fighters is at least 200,000, seven or eight times bigger than foreign in intelligence estimates of up to 31,500 men.

    Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff of the Kurdish President Massoud Barzani said in an exclusive interview with The Independent on Sunday that "I am talking about hundreds of thousands of fighters because they are able to mobilise Arab young men in the territory they have taken."

    He estimates that Isis rules a third of Iraq and a third of Syria with a population of between 10 and 12 million living in an area of 250,000 square kilometres, the same size as Great Britain. This gives the jihadis a large pool of potential recruits.

    Proof that Isis has created a large field army at great speed is that it has been launching attacks against the Kurds in northern Iraq and the Iraqi army close to Baghdad at the same time as it is fighting in Syria. "They are fighting in Kobani," said Mr Hussein. "In Kurdistan last month they were attacking in seven different places as well as in Ramadi [capital of Anbar province west of Baghdad] and Jalawla [an Arab-Kurdish town close to Iranian border]. It is impossible to talk of 20,000 men or so."

    The high figure for Isis's combat strength is important because it underlines how difficult it will be eliminate Isis even with US air strikes. In September, the CIA produced an estimate of Isis numbers which calculated that the movement had between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters. The underestimate of the size of the force that Isis can deploy may explain why the US and other foreign governments have been repeatedly caught by surprise over the past five months as IS inflicted successive defeats on the Iraqi army, Syrian army, Syrian rebels and Kurdish peshmerga.

    In pictures: Fighting between Kurds and Isis intensifies in Kobani
    1 of 30


    1. The US and its allies are beginning to take on board the obstacles to fulfilling President Obama's pledge to degrade and destroy Isis. General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Baghdad on Friday in a surprise visit. He said he wanted "to get a sense from our side about how our contribution is going". Earlier in the week, he told Congress that to defeat Isis an efficient army of 80,000 men would be necessary. Few in Iraq believe that the regular army is up to the task, despite winning a success last week by retaking the refinery town of Baiji and lifting the siege of the refinery, the largest in Iraq.

      In a wide-ranging interview, Mr Hussein spelled out the new balance of power in Iraq in the wake of the Islamic militants' summer offensive and the military re-engagement of the US. The Kurdistan Regional Government now faces Isis units along a 650-mile front line cutting across northern Iraq between Iran and Syria. Mr Hussein said that the US air intervention had enabled the Kurds to hold out when the unexpected Isis assault in August defeated the peshmerga and came close to capturing the Kurdish capital Irbil: "They were fighting with a strategy of fear that affected the morale of everybody, including the peshmerga."

      As well as terrifying its opponents by publicising its own atrocities, Isis had developed an effective cocktail of tactics that includes suicide bombers, mines, snipers and use of US equipment captured from the Iraqi army such as Humvees, artillery and tanks. To combat them, Mr Hussein says the Kurds need Apache helicopters and heavy weapons such as tanks and artillery.

      The Kurdish leaders are now much more relaxed about Isis because they have a US guarantee of their security. The grim experience of the US in seeing the collapse of the government and army in Baghdad, which the Americans had fostered at vast expense, also works in favour of the Kurds.

      Holding on: Kurdish chief of staff Fuad Hussein with John Kerry in June Holding on: Kurdish chief of staff Fuad Hussein with John Kerry in June AFP/Getty
      Mr Hussein does not like to talk about it today, but the Kurdistan Regional Government got a nasty surprise in August when it asked the Turkish government for help in stopping Isis only to be told Ankara planned no immediate assistance. It was only then that the Kurds turned to Iran and the US, both of which immediately acted to prevent a complete victory by the Islamic militants. Iran sent some officers, military units and artillery while the US started air strikes on 8 August.

    2. Mr Hussein speculates that the CIA and US intelligence agencies may only have been speaking about "core" fighters in claiming that the jihadis had at most 31,500 men under arms. But the fighting over the past five months has shown that Isis has become a formidable military force. "We are talking about a state that has a military and ideological basis," said Mr Hussein, "so that means they want everyone to learn how to use a rifle, but they also want everybody to have training in their ideology, in other words brainwashing."

      A sign of the military professionalism of Isis is the speed with which they learned to use captured US tanks, artillery and other heavy equipment captured after the fall of Mosul on 10 June. The same thing happened in Syria where Isis captured Russian-made arms which it rapidly started using. The most likely explanation for this is that IS's ranks contain many former Iraqi and Syrian soldiers whose skills Isis has identified. Mr Hussein says that the peshmerga has been impressed during the fighting by Isis's training and discipline.

      "They will fight until death, and are dangerous because they are so well-trained," said Mr Hussein. "For instance, they have the best snipers, but to be a good sniper you need not only training on how to shoot, but discipline in staying put for up to five hours so you can hit your target."

      There is supporting evidence for Mr Hussein's high estimate for Isis numbers. A study by the National Security Adviser's office in Baghdad before the Isis offensive showed that, when 100 jihadis entered a district, they would soon recruit between five and 10 times their original number. There are reports of many young men volunteering to fight for Isis when they were in the full flood of success in the summer. This enthusiasm may have ebbed since the US started air strikes and the Isis run of victories ended with their failure to capture Kobani in northern Syria despite a long siege.

      In an impoverished region with few jobs, Isis pay of $400 (£250) a month is also attractive. Moreover, Mr Hussein says that in the places they have conquered Isis is remodelling society in its own image, aiming to educate people into accepting Isis ideology.

      A fighter jet takes off from a US war ship A fighter jet takes off from a US war ship Reuters

    3. The Kurds have recovered their military self-confidence in the knowledge that they are backed by the US and Iran. The peshmerga have taken back some towns lost in August, notably Zumar close to the Syrian border, but not Tal Afar and Sinjar where 8,500 Yazidis are still besieged on their mountain top. But there are limits to how far the Kurds are willing to advance even if they succeed in doing so. Mr Hussein says that the Kurds can help an Iraqi army, supposing a non-sectarian one is created, but "the Kurds cannot liberate the Sunni Arab areas".

      This is the great problem facing a counter offensive against Isis by Baghdad or the Kurds: it will be seen by the five or six million Sunni Arabs in Iraq as directed against their whole community. Hitherto, the US has been hoping to repeat its success between 2006 and 2008 in turning many Sunni against al-Qaeda in Iraq. Mr Hussein ticks off the reasons why repeating this will be very difficult: the Americans then had 150,000 soldiers in Iraq to back up anti-al-Qaeda tribal leaders. Isis will savagely punish anybody who opposes it. "We have seen what happened in Anbar to the Albu Nimr tribe [that rose up against Isis]. They stood bravely against the terrorist but 500 were killed. It was a disaster."

      Overall, Mr Hussein says he does not see any convincing sign of resistance from the Sunni Arabs. Many of them may be unhappy, particularly in Mosul, but this is not translating into effective opposition. Nor is it clear what outside force could organise resistance. The Iraqi army might be acceptable in Sunni areas but only if it is reconstituted so that is not dominated by the Shia.

      At the moment, the Kurds see little sign of its presence. They have been asking for regular troops to defend the Mosul Dam on the Euphrates so they can use up to 3,000 peshmerga stationed there, but no Iraqi troops have turned up. "Those who are now defending Baghdad are the army of the [Shia] parties. To re-establish a professional army needs time."

      Mr Hussein did not say so, but it may be too late to establish a competent cross-confessional regular army in Iraq. The counter-offensive by Baghdad is led by the three main Shia militias which have almost the same ideological fervour and sectarian hatred as Isis. Any advance on the battlefield leads to the population deemed loyal to the losing side taking flight so the whole of northern Iraq has become a land of refugees.


      Good luck with the no boots on the ground idea and the idea that Iraq will ever be one country again.

      Help the Kurds and let Allah settle the rest.

    5. Looks like Bob Oreille is on meth amphetamine