“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."

Monday, December 01, 2014

Selling green cards to Chinese to fund an intersection on the PA Turnpike - If you need an example as to how the US has diminished itself with insane military spending in the Middle East while China increases its wealth and power, read on:

Chinese investors sign up to fund I-95-Pa. Turnpike link

Interstate 95 crosses over the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Levittown. ( CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer )
Interstate 95 crosses over the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Levittown. ( CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer )  

Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer

Chinese investors have begun signing up to spend $500,000 each to help pay for a long-awaited connection between the Pennsylvania Turnpike and I-95.
In exchange, the investors hope to get permanent residency in the United States for themselves and their families.
Agents for the novel financing plan have been pitching the proposal in China since September, touting the project's financial stability and showcasing photos of Gov. Corbett and Turnpike Commission officials breaking ground for the construction in Bucks County.
"Guaranteed by U.S. Government, Class A+ Repayment Credit!" proclaimed the Chinese-language website promoting the investment last month. "A key expressway-connecting hub project in U.S.A.!"

3-D visualization of I-95 / PA Turnpike connection 
Allentown Morning Call

  • Graphic: Connecting I-95 and the Pa. Turnpike
  • (The website language has been toned down following inquiries by The Inquirer, to remove suggestions of government guarantees for investors. Now, the site says, “Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission enjoys an A+ rating," a reference to the Standard & Poor's rating on turnpike revenue bonds, which aren't involved in this financing plan.)

    More than 100 investors have applied so far to invest in the I-95/turnpike connection. The Turnpike Commission is counting on 400 wealthy foreign investors, mostly from China, to provide $200 million for the $420 million project.

    The rest of the money will come from federal and turnpike funds.

    The heavily indebted Turnpike Commission is borrowing the $200 million from foreign investors under the federal Immigrant Investor Program that grants “EB-5" immigration visas to foreigners who provide at least $500,000 to U.S. projects that create 10 or more American jobs.

    The deal offers something for everyone:

    The turnpike will get cheap money, saving about $35 million over traditional borrowing costs over five years. The turnpike will pay a 2 percent annual interest rate, about half the current rate for municipal-bond borrowing.

    The foreign investors and their families will get a quick path to legal residence in the United States, though they may lose money on their investment.

    The brokers and lawyers will collect millions in commissions and fees, with each of the 400 investors paying $50,000 to the dealmakers and $15,000 to the lawyers.

    The first $50 million installment from the foreign investors is due to be paid to the Turnpike Commission by April.

    The Berwyn company created to make the deal, the Delaware Valley Regional Center, expects to meet that deadline, said Joseph P. Manheim, its managing director.

    "It is going as we had planned," he said. “We are on track."

    The deal was suggested to turnpike officials by Turnpike Commissioner Pasquale T. "Pat" Deon Sr., a Bucks County restaurateur, beer distributor, and Republican power broker. Deon, who also is chairman of the board of SEPTA, saw SEPTA make a similar deal to borrow $175 million to pay for its smart-card fare-payment system in 2011.

    Similar EB-5 foreign-investor deals have provided funding for the Convention Center, the Temple University Health System, and the Comcast Center.

    The turnpike deal was created by Manheim and other officials of the Swarthmore Group, a Philadelphia investment-management firm headed by James E. Nevels, a prominent Republican donor and fund-raiser.

    Nevels is chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and was the first chairman of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission, appointed by Republican Gov. Mark Schweiker. Nevels is also a former president of the Pennsylvania Society, the organization best known for its annual Manhattan gathering of Pennsylvania politicians, lobbyists, and business people.
    The Swarthmore Group is not involved in the turnpike deal; the Delaware Valley Regional Center was created as a separate company, said Manheim, chief investment officer of the Swarthmore Group.
    “We've been doing it on our own time," he said.

    Young Min Ban, portfolio manager for the Swarthmore Group, is director of the Delaware Valley Regional Center. Pamela Mandle, chief executive officer of Swarthmore Group, is a minority investor in the regional center.

    The deal is structured so the Turnpike Commission can repay the foreign investors after five years with cash or with a municipal bond. The bond pricing will be set on the date the loan is made, which means the bond could be worth considerably less than $500,000 in five years if interest rates rise.
    The investors, in effect, are the turnpike’s hedge against interest-rate increases.

    Manheim acknowledged the investors might not get all their money back.

    "There are a variety of risks associated with any kind of investment," he said. “That's a given."

    For many EB-5 investors, though, the prime attraction is a U.S. green card, not the full return of their investment.

    Construction began in October on the long-awaited direct connection between I-95 and the turnpike.
    PKF-Mark III Inc. of Newtown won the contract to build the first section of the $420 million Stage 1 of the new interchange, which will finally provide an unbroken I-95 between Maine and Florida.
    For decades, I-95 has been incomplete in New Jersey near Trenton.

    When Stage 1 is completed in 2018, I-95 will be rerouted onto the Pennsylvania Turnpike east of the connection and then onto the New Jersey Turnpike. The current I-95 north of the connection will be redesignated as I-395 or I-195.

    Since I-95 was built through Bucks County in 1969, crossing the turnpike, truckers and motorists have complained about the lack of a direct link between the two superhighways. Drivers must exit to local roads and then get on the adjoining highway.

    That was the result of a federal prohibition at the time on using federal highway money for toll roads, such as the turnpike.

    But even with the completion of Stage 1, the only direct connections will be from the westbound turnpike to southbound I-95 and from northbound I-95 to the eastbound turnpike.

    All other direct connections will have to wait for the still-unfunded Stage 2, expected to cost about $600 million and to begin construction in 2020.

    Paul NussbaumInquirer Staff Writer





    1970 – Cambodian Campaign: U.S. troops were ordered into Cambodia to clean out Communist sanctuaries from which Viet Cong and North Vietnamese attacked U.S. and South Vietnamese forces in Vietnam. The object of this attack, which lasted from April 30 to June 30, was to ensure the continuing safe withdrawal of American forces from South Vietnam and to assist the program of Vietnamization.[RL30172]
    1972 – North Vietnam: Christmas bombing Operation Linebacker II (not mentioned in RL30172, but an operation leading to peace negotiations). The operation was conducted from 18–29 December 1972. It was a bombing of the cities Hanoi and Haiphong by B-52 bombers.
    1973 – Operation Nickel Grass, a strategic airlift operation conducted by the United States to deliver weapons and supplies to Israel during the Yom Kippur War.
    1974 – Evacuation from Cyprus: United States naval forces evacuated U.S. civilians during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.[RL30172]
    1975 – Evacuation from Vietnam: Operation Frequent Wind, On April 3, 1975, President Ford reported U.S. naval vessels, helicopters, and Marines had been sent to assist in evacuation of refugees and US nationals from Vietnam.[RL30172]
    1975 – Evacuation from Cambodia: Operation Eagle Pull, On April 12, 1975, President Ford reported that he had ordered U.S. military forces to proceed with the planned evacuation of U.S. citizens from Cambodia.[RL30172]
    1975 – South Vietnam: On April 30, 1975, President Ford reported that a force of 70 evacuation helicopters and 865 Marines had evacuated about 1,400 U.S. citizens and 5,500 third country nationals and South Vietnamese from landing zones in and around the U.S. Embassy, Saigon and Tan Son Nhut Airport.[RL30172]
    1975 – Cambodia: Mayaguez incident, On May 15, 1975, President Ford reported he had ordered military forces to retake the SS Mayaguez, a merchant vessel which was seized from Cambodian naval patrol boats in international waters and forced to proceed to a nearby island.[RL30172]
    1976 – Lebanon: On July 22 and 23, 1976, helicopters from five U.S. naval vessels evacuated approximately 250 Americans and Europeans from Lebanon during fighting between Lebanese factions after an overland convoy evacuation had been blocked by hostilities.[RL30172]
    1976 – Korea: Additional forces were sent to Korea after two American soldiers were killed by North Korean soldiers in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea while cutting down a tree.[RL30172]
    1978 – Zaïre (Congo): From May 19 through June, the United States utilized military transport aircraft to provide logistical support to Belgian and French rescue operations in Zaïre.[RL30172]


    1980 – Iran: Operation Eagle Claw, on April 26, 1980, President Carter reported the use of six U.S. transport planes and eight helicopters in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue the American hostages in Iran.
    1980 – U.S. Army and Air Force units arrive in the Sinai in September as part of "Operation Bright Star". They are there to train with Egyptians armed forces as part of the Camp David peace accords signed in 1979. Elements of the 101st Airborne Division, (1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry) and Air Force MAC (Military Airlift Command) units are in theater for four months & are the first U.S. military forces in the region since World War II.
    1981 – El Salvador: After a guerrilla offensive against the government of El Salvador, additional U.S. military advisers were sent to El Salvador, bringing the total to approximately 55, to assist in training government forces in counterinsurgency.[RL30172]
    1981 – Libya: First Gulf of Sidra incident, on August 19, 1981, U.S. planes based on the carrier USS Nimitz shot down two Libyan jets over the Gulf of Sidra after one of the Libyan jets had fired a heat-seeking missile. The United States periodically held freedom of navigation exercises in the Gulf of Sidra, claimed by Libya as territorial waters but considered international waters by the United States.[RL30172]
    1982 – Sinai: On March 19, 1982, President Reagan reported the deployment of military personnel and equipment to participate in the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai. Participation had been authorized by the Multinational Force and Observers Resolution, Public Law 97-132.[RL30172]
    1982 – Lebanon: Multinational Force in Lebanon, on August 21, 1982, President Reagan reported the dispatch of 800 Marines to serve in the multinational force to assist in the withdrawal of members of the Palestine Liberation force from Beirut. The Marines left September 20, 1982.[RL30172]
    1982–83 – Lebanon: On September 29, 1982, President Reagan reported the deployment of 1200 marines to serve in a temporary multinational force to facilitate the restoration of Lebanese government sovereignty. On September 29, 1983, Congress passed the Multinational Force in Lebanon Resolution (P.L. 98-119) authorizing the continued participation for eighteen months.[RL30172]
    1983 – Egypt: After a Libyan plane bombed a city in Sudan on March 18, 1983, and Sudan and Egypt appealed for assistance, the United States dispatched an AWACS electronic surveillance plane to Egypt.[RL30172]
    1983 – Grenada: Operation Urgent Fury, citing the increased threat of Soviet and Cuban influence and noting the development of an international airport following a coup d'état and alignment with the Soviet Union and Cuba, the U.S. invades the island nation of Grenada.[RL30172]
    1983–89 – Honduras: In July 1983, the United States undertook a series of exercises in Honduras that some believed might lead to conflict with Nicaragua. On March 25, 1986, unarmed U.S. military helicopters and crewmen ferried Honduran troops to the Nicaraguan border to repel Nicaraguan troops.[RL30172]
    1983 – Chad: On August 8, 1983, President Reagan reported the deployment of two AWACS electronic surveillance planes and eight F-15 fighter planes and ground logistical support forces to assist Chad against Libyan and rebel forces.[RL30172]
    1984 – Persian Gulf: On June 5, 1984, Saudi Arabian jet fighter planes, aided by intelligence from a U.S. AWACS electronic surveillance aircraft and fueled by a U.S. KC-10 tanker, shot down two Iranian fighter planes over an area of the Persian Gulf proclaimed as a protected zone for shipping.[RL30172]
    1985 – Italy: On October 10, 1985, U.S. Navy pilots intercepted an Egyptian airliner and forced it to land in Sicily. The airliner was carrying the hijackers of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro who had killed an American citizen during the hijacking.[RL30172]
    1986 – Libya: Action in the Gulf of Sidra (1986), on March 26, 1986, President Reagan reported on March 24 and 25, U.S. forces, while engaged in freedom of navigation exercises around the Gulf of Sidra, had been attacked by Libyan missiles and the United States had responded with missiles.[RL30172]
    1986 – Libya: Operation El Dorado Canyon, on April 16, 1986, President Reagan reported that U.S. air and naval forces had conducted bombing strikes on terrorist facilities and military installations in the Libyan capitol of Tripoli, claiming that Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi was responsible for a bomb attack at a German disco that killed two U.S. soldiers.[RL30172]
    1986 – Bolivia: U.S. Army personnel and aircraft assisted Bolivia in anti-drug operations.[RL30172]
    1987 – Persian Gulf: USS Stark was struck on May 17 by two Exocet antiship missiles fired from a Dassault Mirage F1 of the Iraqi Air Force during the Iran–Iraq War, killing 37 U.S. Navy sailors.
    1987 – Persian Gulf: Operation Nimble Archer. Attacks on two Iranian oil platforms in the Persian Gulf by United States Navy forces on October 19. The attack was a response to Iran's October 16, 1987 attack on the MV Sea Isle City, a reflagged Kuwaiti oil tanker at anchor off Kuwait, with a Silkworm missile.
    1987–88 – Persian Gulf: Operation Earnest Will. After the Iran–Iraq War (the Tanker War phase) resulted in several military incidents in the Persian Gulf, the United States increased U.S. joint military forces operations in the Persian Gulf and adopted a policy of reflagging and escorting Kuwaiti oil tankers through the Persian Gulf to protect them from Iraqi and Iranian attacks. President Reagan reported that U.S. ships had been fired upon or struck mines or taken other military action on September 21 (Iran Ajr), October 8, and October 19, 1987 and April 18 (Operation Praying Mantis), July 3, and July 14, 1988. The United States gradually reduced its forces after a cease-fire between Iran and Iraq on August 20, 1988.[RL30172] It was the largest naval convoy operation since World War II.[8]
    1987–88 – Persian Gulf: Operation Prime Chance was a United States Special Operations Command operation intended to protect U.S.-flagged oil tankers from Iranian attack during the Iran–Iraq War. The operation took place roughly at the same time as Operation Earnest Will.
    1988 – Persian Gulf: Operation Praying Mantis was the April 18, 1988 action waged by U.S. naval forces in retaliation for the Iranian mining of the Persian Gulf and the subsequent damage to an American warship.
    1988 – Honduras: Operation Golden Pheasant was an emergency deployment of U.S. troops to Honduras in 1988, as a result of threatening actions by the forces of the (then socialist) Nicaraguans.
    1988 – USS Vincennes shoot-down of Iran Air Flight 655.
    1988 – Panama: In mid-March and April 1988, during a period of instability in Panama and as the United States increased pressure on Panamanian head of state General Manuel Noriega to resign, the United States sent 1,000 troops to Panama, to "further safeguard the canal, US lives, property and interests in the area." The forces supplemented 10,000 U.S. military personnel already in the Panama Canal Zone.[RL30172]
    1989 – Libya: Second Gulf of Sidra incident. On January 4, 1989, two U.S. Navy F-14 aircraft based on the USS John F. Kennedy shot down two Libyan jet fighters over the Mediterranean Sea about 70 miles north of Libya. The U.S. pilots said the Libyan planes had demonstrated hostile intentions.[RL30172]
    1989 – Panama: On May 11, 1989, in response to General Noriega's disregard of the results of the Panamanian election, President Bush ordered a brigade-sized force of approximately 1,900 troops to augment the estimated 1,000 U.S. forces already in the area.[RL30172]
    1989 – Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru: Andean Initiative in War on Drugs, On September 15, 1989, President Bush announced that military and law enforcement assistance would be sent to help the Andean nations of Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru combat illicit drug producers and traffickers. By mid-September there were 50–100 U.S. military advisers in Colombia in connection with transport and training in the use of military equipment, plus seven Special Forces teams of 2–12 persons to train troops in the three countries.[RL30172]
    1989 – Philippines: Operation Classic Resolve, On December 2, 1989, President Bush reported that on December 1, Air Force fighters from Clark Air Base in Luzon had assisted the Aquino government to repel a coup attempt. In addition, 100 marines were sent from U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay to protect the United States Embassy in Manila.[RL30172]
    1989–90 – Panama: United States invasion of Panama and Operation Just Cause, On December 21, 1989, President Bush reported that he had ordered U.S. military forces to Panama to protect the lives of American citizens and bring General Noriega to justice. By February 13, 1990, all the invasion forces had been withdrawn.[RL30172] Around 200 Panamanian civilians were reported killed. The Panamanian head of state, General Manuel Noriega, was captured and brought to the U.S.


    1990 – Liberia: On August 6, 1990, President Bush reported that a reinforced rifle company had been sent to provide additional security to the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, and that helicopter teams had evacuated U.S. citizens from Liberia.[RL30172]
    1990 – Saudi Arabia: On August 9, 1990, President Bush reported that he launched Operation Desert Shield by ordering the forward deployment of substantial elements of the U.S. armed forces into the Persian Gulf region to help defend Saudi Arabia after the August 2 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. On November 16, 1990, he reported the continued buildup of the forces to ensure an adequate offensive military option.[RL30172]American hostages being held in Iran.[RL30172]Staging point for the troops was primarily Bagram air field.
    1991 – Iraq and Kuwait: Gulf War, On January 16, 1991, in response to the refusal by Iraq to leave Kuwait, U.S. and Coalition aircraft attacked Iraqi forces and military targets in Iraq and Kuwait in conjunction with a coalition of allies and under United Nations Security Council resolutions. On February 24, 1991, U.S.-led United Nation (UN) forces launched a ground offensive that finally drove Iraqi forces out of Kuwait within 100 hours. Combat operations ended on February 28, 1991, when President Bush declared a ceasefire.[RL30172]
    1991–96 – Iraq: Operation Provide Comfort, Delivery of humanitarian relief and military protection for Kurds fleeing their homes in northern Iraq during the 1991 uprising, by a small Allied ground force based in Turkey which began in April 1991.
    1991 – Iraq: On May 17, 1991, President Bush stated that the Iraqi repression of the Kurdish people had necessitated a limited introduction of U.S. forces into northern Iraq for emergency relief purposes.[RL30172]
    1991 – Zaire: On September 25–27, 1991, after widespread looting and rioting broke out in Kinshasa, Air Force C-141s transported 100 Belgian troops and equipment into Kinshasa. American planes also carried 300 French troops into the Central African Republic and hauled evacuated American citizens.[RL30172]
    1992 – Sierra Leone: Operation Silver Anvil, Following the April 29 coup that overthrew President Joseph Saidu Momoh, a United States European Command (USEUCOM) Joint Special Operations Task Force evacuated 438 people (including 42 Third Country nationals) on May 3. Two Air Mobility Command (AMC) C-141s flew 136 people from Freetown, Sierra Leone, to the Rhein-Main Air Base in Germany and nine C-130 sorties carried another 302 people to DakarSenegal.[RL30172]
    1992–96 – Bosnia and Herzegovina: Operation Provide Promise was a humanitarian relief operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Yugoslav Wars, from July 2, 1992, to January 9, 1996, which made it the longest running humanitarian airlift in history.[9]
    1992 – Kuwait: On August 3, 1992, the United States began a series of military exercises in Kuwait, following Iraqi refusal to recognize a new border drawn up by the United Nations and refusal to cooperate with UN inspection teams.[RL30172]
    1992–2003 – Iraq: Iraqi no-fly zones, The U.S., United Kingdom, and its Gulf War allies declared and enforced "no-fly zones" over the majority of sovereign Iraqi airspace, prohibiting Iraqi flights in zones in southern Iraq and northern Iraq, and conducting aerial reconnaissance and bombings. Often, Iraqi forces continued throughout a decade by firing on U.S. and British aircraft patrolling no-fly zones.(See also Operation Northern WatchOperation Southern Watch) [RL30172]
    1992–95 – Somalia: Operation Restore Hope, Somali Civil War: On December 10, 1992, President Bush reported that he had deployed U.S. armed forces to Somalia in response to a humanitarian crisis and a UN Security Council Resolution in support for UNITAF. The operation came to an end on May 4, 1993. U.S. forces continued to participate in the successor United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM II).(See also Battle of Mogadishu)[RL30172]
    1993–95 – Bosnia: Operation Deny Flight, On April 12, 1993, in response to a United Nations Security Council passage of Resolution 816, U.S. and NATO enforced the no-fly zone over the Bosnian airspace, prohibited all unauthorized flights and allowed to "take all necessary measures to ensure compliance with [the no-fly zone restrictions]."
    1993 – Macedonia: On July 9, 1993, President Clinton reported the deployment of 350 U.S. soldiers to the Republic of Macedonia to participate in the UN Protection Force to help maintain stability in the area of former Yugoslavia.[RL30172]
    1994 – Bosnia: Banja Luka incident, NATO become involved in the first combat situation when NATO U.S. Air Force F-16 jets shot down four of the six Bosnian Serb J-21 Jastreb single-seat light attack jets for violating UN-mandated no-fly zone.
    1994–95 – Haiti: Operation Uphold Democracy, U.S. ships had begun embargo against Haiti. Up to 20,000 U.S. military troops were later deployed to Haiti to restore democratically-elected Haiti President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from a military regime which came into power in 1991 after a major coup.[RL30172]
    1994 – Macedonia: On April 19, 1994, President Clinton reported that the U.S. contingent in Macedonia had been increased by a reinforced company of 200 personnel.[RL30172]
    1995 – Bosnia: Operation Deliberate Force, On August 30, 1995, U.S. and NATO aircraft began a major bombing campaign of Bosnian Serb Army in response to a Bosnian Serb mortar attack on a Sarajevo market that killed 37 people on August 28, 1995. This operation lasted until September 20, 1995. The air campaign along with a combined allied ground force of Muslim and Croatian Army against Serb positions led to a Dayton Agreement in December 1995 with the signing of warring factions of the war. As part of Operation Joint Endeavor, U.S. and NATO dispatched the Implementation Force (IFOR) peacekeepers to Bosnia to uphold the Dayton agreement.[RL30172]
    1996 – Liberia: Operation Assured Response, On April 11, 1996, President Clinton reported that on April 9, 1996 due to the :"deterioration of the security situation and the resulting threat to American citizens" in Liberia he had ordered U.S. military forces to evacuate from that country "private U.S. citizens and certain third-country nationals who had taken refuge in the U.S. Embassy compound...."[RL30172]
    1996 – Central African Republic, Operation Quick Response: On May 23, 1996, President Clinton reported the deployment of U.S. military personnel to BanguiCentral African Republic, to conduct the evacuation from that country of "private U.S. citizens and certain U.S. government employees", and to provide "enhanced security for the American Embassy in Bangui."[RL30172] United States Marine Corps elements of Joint Task Force Assured Response, responding in nearby Liberia, provided security to the embassy and evacuated 448 people, including between 190 and 208 Americans. The last Marines left Bangui on June 22.
    1996 – Kuwait: Operation Desert Strike, American Air Strikes in the north to protect the Kurdish population against the Iraqi Army attacks. U.S. deploys 5,000 soldiers from the 1ST Cavalry Division at Ft Hood Texas in response to Iraqi attacks on the Kurdish people.[citation needed]
    1996 – Bosnia: Operation Joint Guard, On December 21, 1996, U.S. and NATO established the SFOR peacekeepers to replace the IFOR in enforcing the peace under the Dayton agreement.
    1997 – Albania: Operation Silver Wake, On March 13, 1997, U.S. military forces were used to evacuate certain U.S. government employees and private U.S. citizens from Tirana, Albania.[RL30172]
    1997 – Congo and Gabon: On March 27, 1997, President Clinton reported on March 25, 1997, a standby evacuation force of U.S. military personnel had been deployed to Congo and Gabon to provide enhanced security and to be available for any necessary evacuation operation.[RL30172]
    1997 – Sierra Leone: On May 29 and May 30, 1997, U.S. military personnel were deployed to Freetown, Sierra Leone, to prepare for and undertake the evacuation of certain U.S. government employees and private U.S. citizens.[RL30172]
    1997 – Cambodia: On July 11, 1997, In an effort to ensure the security of American citizens in Cambodia during a period of domestic conflict there, a Task Force of about 550 U.S. military personnel were deployed at Utapao Air Base in Thailand for possible evacuations. [RL30172]
    1998 – Iraq: Operation Desert Fox, U.S. and British forces conduct a major four-day bombing campaign from December 16–19, 1998 on Iraqi targets.[RL30172]
    1998 – Guinea-Bissau: Operation Shepherd Venture, On June 10, 1998, in response to an army mutiny in Guinea-Bissau endangering the U.S. Embassy, President Clinton deployed a standby evacuation force of U.S. military personnel to Dakar, Senegal, to evacuate from the city of Bissau.[RL30172]
    1998–99 – Kenya and Tanzania: U.S. military personnel were deployed to Nairobi, Kenya, to coordinate the medical and disaster assistance related to the bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.[RL30172]
    1998 – Afghanistan and Sudan: Operation Infinite Reach, On August 20, President Clinton ordered a cruise missile attack against two suspected terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical factory in Sudan.[RL30172]
    1998 – Liberia: On September 27, 1998, America deployed a stand-by response and evacuation force of 30 U.S. military personnel to increase the security force at the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia. [1] [RL30172]
    1999–2001 – East Timor: Limited number of U.S. military forces deployed with the United Nations-mandated International Force for East Timor restore peace to East Timor.[RL30172]
    1999 – Serbia: Operation Allied Force: U.S. and NATO aircraft began a major bombing of Serbia and Serb positions in Kosovo on March 24, 1999, during the Kosovo War due to the refusal by Serbian President Slobodan Milošević to end repression against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. This operation ended in June 10, 1999, when Milošević agreed to pull out his troops out of Kosovo. In response to the situation in Kosovo, NATO dispatched the KFOR peacekeepers to secure the peace under UNSC Resolution 1244.[RL30172]


    • 2000 – Sierra Leone: On May 12, 2000, a U.S. Navy patrol craft deployed to Sierra Leone to support evacuation operations from that country if needed.[RL30172]
    • 2000 – Nigeria: Special Forces troops are sent to Nigeria to lead a training mission in the county.[10]
    • 2000 – Yemen: On October 12, 2000, after the USS Cole attack in the port of Aden, Yemen, military personnel were deployed to Aden.[RL30172]
    • 2000 – East Timor: On February 25, 2000, a small number of U.S. military personnel were deployed to support the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET). [RL30172]
    • 2001 – On April 1, 2001, a mid-air collision between a United States Navy EP-3E ARIES II signals surveillance aircraft and a People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) J-8II interceptor fighter jet resulted in an international dispute between the United States and the People's Republic of China called the Hainan Island incident.
    • 2002 – Philippines: OEF-Philippines, As of January, U.S. "combat-equipped and combat support forces" have been deployed to the Philippines to train with, assist and advise the Philippines' Armed Forces in enhancing their "counterterrorist capabilities."[RL30172]
    • 2002 – Côte d'Ivoire: On September 25, 2002, in response to a rebellion in Côte d'Ivoire, U.S. military personnel went into Côte d'Ivoire to assist in the evacuation of American citizens from Bouaké.[11]
    • 2003–2011 – War in IraqOperation Iraqi Freedom, March 20, 2003, The United States leads a coalition that includes the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland to invade Iraq with the stated goal being "to disarm Iraq in pursuit of peace, stability, and security both in the Gulf region and in the United States."[RL30172]
    • 2003 – Liberia: Second Liberian Civil War, On June 9, 2003, President Bush reported that on June 8 he had sent about 35 U.S. Marines into Monrovia, Liberia, to help secure the U.S. Embassy in Nouakchott, Mauritania, and to aid in any necessary evacuation from either Liberia or Mauritania.[RL30172]
    • 2003 – Georgia and Djibouti: "US combat equipped and support forces" had been deployed to Georgia and Djibouti to help in enhancing their "counterterrorist capabilities."[12]
    • 2004 – Haiti: 2004 Haitian coup d'état occurs, The US first sent 55 combat equipped military personnel to augment the U.S. Embassy security forces there and to protect American citizens and property in light. Later 200 additional US combat-equipped, military personnel were sent to prepare the way for a UN Multinational Interim Force, MINUSTAH.[RL30172]
    • 2004 – War on Terror: U.S. anti-terror related activities were underway in Georgia, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen, and Eritrea.[13]
    • 2005–06 – Pakistan: President Bush deploys troops from US Army Air Cav Brigades to provide Humanitarian relief to far remote villages in the Kashmir mountain ranges of Pakistan stricken by a massive earthquake.
    • 2007 - The Mogadishu Encounter, on November 4, 2007, Somali Pirate's boarded and attacked a North Korean merchant vessel. Passing U.S Navy Ships and a helicopter that were patrolling at the time responded to the attack. Once the ship was freed from the pirates, the American forces were given permission to board and assist the wounded crew and handle surviving pirates.
    • 2007 – Somalia: Battle of Ras Kamboni, On January 8, 2007, while the conflict between the Islamic Courts Union and the Transitional Federal Government continues, an AC-130 gunship conducts an aerial strike on a suspected al-Qaeda operative, along with other Islamist fighters, on Badmadow Island near Ras Kamboni in southern Somalia.[16]
    • 2008 – South Ossetia, Georgia: Helped Georgia humanitarian aid,[17] helped to transport Georgian forces from Iraq during the conflict. In the past, the US has provided training and weapons to Georgia.


    • 2010–11 – War in IraqOperation New Dawn, On February 17, 2010, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced that as of September 1, 2010, the name "Operation Iraqi Freedom" would be replaced by "Operation New Dawn". This coincides with the reduction of American troops to 50,000.
    • 2011 – Libya: Operation Odyssey Dawn, Coalition forces enforcing U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 with bombings of Libyan forces.
    • 2011 – Osama Bin Laden is killed by U.S. military forces in Pakistan as part of Operation Neptune Spear.
    • 2011 – Drone strikes on al-Shabab militants begin in Somalia.[18] This marks the 6th nation in which such strikes have been carried out,[19] including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen[20] and Libya.
    • 2011-present – Uganda: U.S. Combat troops sent in as advisers to Uganda.[21]
    • 2012 – Jordan: 150 U.S. troops deployed to Jordan to help it contain the Syrian Civil War within Syria's borders.
    • 2012 – Turkey: 400 troops and two batteries of Patriot missiles sent to Turkey to prevent any missile strikes from Syria.
    • 2012 – Chad: 50 U.S. troops have deployed to the African country of Chad to help evacuate U.S. citizens and embassy personnel from the neighboring Central African Republic's capital of Bangui in the face of rebel advances toward the city.
    • 2013 – Mali: U.S. forces assisted the French in Operation Serval with air refueling and transport aircraft.
    • 2013 – Somalia: U.S. Air Force planes supported the French in the Bulo Marer hostage rescue attempt. However, they did not use any weapons.
    • 2013 – 2013 Korean crisis
    • 2013 – Navy SEALs conducted a raid in Somalia and possibly killed a senior Al-Shabaab official, simultaneously another raid took place in Tripoli, Libya, where Special Operations Forces captured Abu Anas al Libi (also known as Anas al-Libi)[22]
    • 2014-present – Uganda: V-22 OspreysMC-130sKC-135s and additional U.S. soldiers are sent to Uganda to continue to help African forces search for Joseph Kony.[23]
    • 2014-present - Iraq: American intervention in Iraq, hundreds of U.S. troops deployed to protect American assets in Iraq and to advise Iraqi and Kurdish fighters.[24] In August the U.S. Air Force conducted a humanitarian air drop and the U.S. Navy began a series of airstrikes against Islamic State-aligned forces throughout northern Iraq.[25][26]
    • 2014-present - Syria: American aircraft bomb an Islamic State base in Uqayrishah, Syria known as "Osama bin Laden." In conjunction with this, two dozen American commandos are deployed to raid the village in order to rescue James Foley. The operation was unsuccessful, with one American soldier being wounded.[27]
    • 2014-present - With a coalition of Middle Eastern countries, the US military commences an air war on ISIL and the Al-Nusra front in Syria.


    1. Green cards for sale?

      That's news to me.

      I recall when Q was busted for.......

    2. A public law to create US investment, perverted by some slime ball law firms for huge fees and state governments with tin cups scrambling to build an interection on a US highway.

      Keep those carriers floating and the planes flying for $150 billion a year. Get out the checkbooks for all the usual suspects in the ME.

      Job creation?

    3. SundayReview | Opinion
      Can Mushrooms Treat Depression?

      By EUGENIA BONENOV. 29, 2014

      The magic mushroom is back, this time in a new lower dose perhaps user friendly form..............

    4. It is a good think for DC that the American public is so stupid.

    5. Read some of the comments:

      TomPaineCommonSense Boru • 19 hours ago
      From this article, it really is a deal put together by, and funded by, privileged elites who are carving out their own niches in quasi-governmental bureaucracies. The cost of money is at unprecedented historically low rates; why can't US funds be borrowed? It's exactly the type of infrastructure project that creates jobs and invests in an efficient future. Congress didn't understand this in the Great Recession?

      Wonder if they play "Pennsylvania Turnpike I Love You" in Beijing?

    6. Check out the photo and condition of the existing turnpike bridge crossing I95.

      1. Not so good. Little rusty.

        Looks like some Dude named Knave has laid claim to it.

    7. In calendar year 2013, military spending declined from $671 billion to $619 billion, in constant 2011 dollars. Take half of that and divert it to US infrastructure and the country would be richer, smarter, safer and would not need more wounded warrior funds for the poor bastards blown up by IEDs in countries where we have no business and where we have accomplished nothing.

    8. China is building a canal through Nicaragua with its own money. We can’t fund an intersection on the PA turnpike because of the continued occupation of DC and the pillaging of the resources of the US public,

      Get the flag flying higher boys. Thank you for your service, assholes.

    9. ...Since I-95 was built through Bucks County in 1969, crossing the turnpike, truckers and motorists have complained about the lack of a direct link between the two superhighways. Drivers must exit to local roads and then get on the adjoining highway.

      That was the result of a federal prohibition at the time on using federal highway money for toll roads, such as the turnpike.

      But even with the completion of Stage 1, the only direct connections will be from the westbound turnpike to southbound I-95 and from northbound I-95 to the eastbound turnpike.

    10. What happened to all that 'Stimulus Money'?

      Why wasn't some of that used to fix the turnpike?

      1. Why not research that and get back to us, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

      2. Why Jack "I am a murderer" Hawkins, not do the research yourself?

    11. While the US/DC could not connect the PA Turnpike with I95 without the help of the Red Chinese, it did find another way to spend money:

      By Juan Cole | –

      Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi announced to his parliament on Sunday that inspectors had uncovered 50,000 non-existent soldiers in four divisions of the Iraqi Army. Their pay was presumably being diverted to the officers in the division. This ziggurat of corruption was one reason the army collapsed on June 9, allowing Daesh (what Arabs derisively call ISIL) to take Mosul. The officers had many thousands fewer men than they claimed, and those they did actually have were damned if they were dying so the corrupt officers could go on with their double book keeping.

      The Bush Administration spent something like $800 billion in direct costs on the Iraq War, including $20 billion for rebuilding the Iraqi Army after viceroy Paul Bremer abolished . . . the Iraqi Army in 2003. When health care for wounded veterans over their lifetimes is figured in, some suggest the war will have cost trillions of dollars. It is not clear what the US received from that investment. Not security. The Baghdad government is de facto allied with Iran. And the Obama administration has deemed Daesh so much a threat to US national security that President Obama felt it necessary to send the Air Force back in to bomb the country in 2014! The Bush senior administration bombed Iraq in 1991, and the Clinton administration bombed it in 1998. So, in other words, invading and occupying the country seems to have had very little impact on whether it represents a threat to US security in Washington’s eyes, or whether the US feels the need to bomb it..

      The $800 bn was largely wasted or stolen. If you want to find it, get a shovel and dig around in back yards in Fairfax County, to which ex-US officials and contractors involved in looting both countries tend to retire.

      Apparently no greater waste was incurred than in the $20 bn spent to build a new Iraqi Army. Al-Abadi said that the 50,000 ‘ghost’ soldiers were discovered with just a superficial inquiry, and that were a more thorough inspection to be done, it would find “wonders and marvels.” He lamented that grunts are fighting and dying, while officers were scooping up the military budget. Al-Abadi is said to have made a large number of high ranking officers resign over the scandal.

      When Daesh (ISIL) took Mosul in June, it captured large numbers of US armored vehicles, tanks, weapons and ammunition, which the US had spent billions on. The US is now spending millions of dollars in Hellfire and other rockets to destroy the American tanks and armored vehicles that are now in the hands of “Caliph” Ibrahim and his murderous minions.

      Al-Abadi warned that the collapse in international oil prices would require Iraq to slash its government budget in half, which would affect its ability to fight the Daesh fundamentalists.

      Prime Miinister al-Abadi also met over the weekend with Kurdistan PM Nechirvan Barzani and discussed with him the need for the Baghdad Arab government and the Kurds to unite against the threat of Daesh. They also readjusted the oil deal between Baghdad and Erbil in light of plummeting prices.

    12. World Backchannels
      Iraq war: Predictions made, and results

      A look back at some of the predicted US outcomes for the Iraq war, and what happened.
      By Dan Murphy, Staff writer December 22, 2011

      1) Would the war be cheap and would Iraq pay for it?

      The projections: Ahead of and shortly after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, a number of officials, including former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy Paul Wolfowitz suggested the war could be done on the cheap and that it would largely pay for itself. In October 2003, Rumsfeld told a press conference about President Bush's request for $21 billion for Iraq and Afghan reconstruction that "the $20 billion the president requested is not intended to cover all of Iraq's needs. The bulk of the funds for Iraq's reconstruction will come from Iraqis -- from oil revenues, recovered assets, international trade, direct foreign investment, as well as some contributions we've already received and hope to receive from the international community." In March 2003, Mr. Wolfowitz told Congress that "we're really dealing with a country that could finance its own reconstruction." In April 2003, the Pentagon said the war would cost about $2 billion a month, and in July of that year Rumsfeld increased that estimate to $4 billion.

      What happened? The Iraq war cost about $800 billion, or about $7.6 billion a month. When long term benefits are paid out connected with the death and injury of US troops there, the number is expected to rise to about $1 trillion, or about $9.5 billion a month. About $60 billion was spent directly on Iraq reconstruction efforts.

      1. Those Republican and Neo-con stooges, they were lying sacks of shit, were they not?

      2. Were they lying or were they simply mistaken?

        Reminds me of the guys, these days, who are crowing how easy-peasy and cost-effective the current operations are...

    13. heh heh

      December 1, 2014
      Hillary headed to rehab?
      By Thomas Lifson

      The National Enquirer, still basking in the glow of its takedown of philandering John Edwards, a story well known to many in the media but ignored because the man was, after all, the Democrats’ pick for veep and a darling of the left, is reporting that Hillary Clinton may be heading to rehab for a drinking problem.

      A “boozed-up” Hillary Clinton suffered a secret collapse during a recent vacation – and now worried advisers want her to do a secret stint in rehab before her White House run!

      Sources close to the former FirstLady and ex-Secretary of State revealed the hush-hush “Rehab Before White House” plan to The National ENQUIRER in advance of Hillary’s formal announcement to be a 2016 presidential candidate, touted for early next year.

      A high-level insider told The ENQUIRER: “Hillary’s social drinking has gone out of 

      The first problem is the anonymous sourcing. The second problem is that this is just someone’s idea that Hillary should go, not that she will go. This is very thin gruel indeed, even if true.

      The story alleges that husband Bill wants Hillary to go, and shares the concern of her aides (Huma?) that she may make serious mistakes on the campaign trail under the influence of, or hung over from booze. Fair enough. Hillary will be 69 in 2016, and the rigors of a campaign at that age are a challenge in themselves even without the handicap of substance issues.

      I can’t imagine Mrs. Clinton accepting the discipline of an addiction program rehabilitation center. The article mentions that she may avoid the likes of the Betty Ford Clinic in favor of a personal counselor, but even so, a lot of giving up of personal autonomy is required in such a situation. My reading is that Mrs. Clinton is too willful to be able to accept such circumstances and profit from them. But she may crave the presidency so much that she would be willing to do this.

      With John Edwards, the Enquirer played the story out over multiple issues before springing the photographic evidence it had uncovered on Edwards and the world. Since the goal is to sell more copies at the supermarket check-out stands, if the magazine does have more evidence up its sleeve, they will take their time dribbling it out.

      So stay tuned, and pick the long line at the supermarket so as to allow ample time for browsing through the pages of the Enquirer.

      Quirk's candidate.


    14. Religious Discord Menaces Mideast as Israel-Palestinian Peacemaking Fails

      An undercurrent of religious strife has burst to the fore in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, threatening to turn a political battle over land into a war of faiths between Muslim and Jew.

    15. Far outside the Middle East ferocious battles are being fought on the campuses of the world's great Universities for Israel's reputation and good name. The consequences of failure are too horrible to contemplate, including the destruction of Israel's economic lifeline through economic boycotts that germinate on campus and pass into the mainstream.

      I became an Israel campus warrior in 1988 when the Lubavitcher Rebbe first sent me as Rabbi to Oxford University. A steady stream of attacks on Israel were launched by the likes of Hanan Ashrawi, Saeb Erekat, and Yasser Arafat himself. Many of these speeches took place at the world-famous Oxford Union. Our Oxford University L'Chaim Society responded with five Israeli Prime Ministers, including Binyamin Netanyahu, Yitzchak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Yitzchak Shamir, and Ehud Olmert. We partnered with the Union for most of the speeches including mesmerizing defenses of the Jewish state delivered by a young and hyper-charismatic Bibi Netanyahu.

      Since those days the battles have become ever more ferocious with the much more timid pro-Israel groups at America and Europe's leading Universities being clobbered by Students for Justice in Palestine, Israel Apartheid Week, and BDS.

      At NYU, in the heart of a city with 2.5 million Jews, SJP regularly stages die-ins that feign murder at the hands of the IDF, an Israeli apartheid wall, and serves "IDF Eviction Notices" on students to convey the brutality of the Israeli regime.

      1. Last week I traveled back to Oxford with my close friend Dennis Prager for a debate on Israel versus Hamas that was easily the most hard-fought debate on Israel I have ever participated in. In an aggressive and merciless contest, our opponents in the debate threw monstrous charges that Israel is an apartheid regime, that it murders Palestinians with impunity, that Israel is a quasi-Nazi government, that Israel seeks the theft of Palestinian land and the eradication of the Palestinian people, and that Hamas is a legitimate resistance movement whose terrorism is an inevitable and organic response to Israeli colonial rule.

      2. ... the destruction of Israel's economic lifeline through economic boycotts ...

      3. The world has tried, and failed to destroy the Jews in every generation.

        If this generation seeks to use "economic" warfare?

        Bring it on.

      4. SodaStream
        NASDAQ: SODA - Dec 1 2:04 PM ET
        $21.40 - Down - 0.58 (2.64%)

        Down from $72.82 in June of 2013.
        $51.40 in lost equity, per share, in a company that our Israeli contributor claims is strong.

        Which is an indicator of the strength of the BDS Movement, when it can be effectively brought to bear upon a singular target.

      5. And, "O"rdure, it is not the destruction of the Jewish people that is the goal, it is the moderation of the behavior of the Zionist swine that occupy Palestine.

      6. Zionists that would kill Jewish refugees

        Zionists murder civilians, Jewish refugees in a False Flag operation

        On Nov. 25, 1940, a boat carrying Jewish refugees from Nazi Europe, the “Patra,” exploded and sank off the coast of Palestine killing 252 people.
        The Zionist “Haganah” claimed the passengers committed suicide to protest British refusal to let them land. Years later, it admitted that rather than let the passengers go to Mauritius, it blew up the vessel for its propaganda value.
        “Sometimes it is necessary to sacrifice the few in order to save the many,” Moshe Sharett, a former Israeli Prime Minister said at memorial service in 1958.

      7. “I am frequently asked if I have visited Israel,
        whereas yet, it is simply assumed that I have.

        Well, I don’t travel. I really don’t, and if I did,
        I probably wouldn’t visit Israel.

        I remember how it was in 1948 when Israel was being established
        and all my Jewish friends were ecstatic, I was not.

        I said: what are we doing?
        We are establishing ourselves in a ghetto,
        in a small corner of a vast Muslim sea.

        The Muslims will never forget nor forgive,
        and Israel, as long as it exists, will be embattled.

        I was laughed at, but I was right.

        I can’t help but feel that the Jews didn’t really have the right …
        to appropriate a territory only because 2000 years ago, …
        people they consider their ancestors, were living there.

        History moves on and you can’t really turn it back. ”
        ― Isaac Asimov

    16. "Justice Scalia Explains What Was Wrong With The Ferguson Grand Jury"

      Justice Antonin Scalia, in the 1992 Supreme Court case of United States v. Williams, explained what the role of a grand jury has been for hundreds of years.

      It is the grand jury’s function not ‘to enquire … upon what foundation [the charge may be] denied,’ or otherwise to try the suspect’s defenses, but only to examine ‘upon what foundation [the charge] is made’ by the prosecutor. Respublica v. Shaffer, 1 Dall. 236 (O. T. Phila. 1788); see also F. Wharton, Criminal Pleading and Practice § 360, pp. 248-249 (8th ed. 1880). As a consequence, neither in this country nor in England has the suspect under investigation by the grand jury ever been thought to have a right to testify or to have exculpatory evidence presented.

      This passage was first highlighted by attorney Ian Samuel, a former clerk to Justice Scalia.

      In contrast, McCulloch allowed Wilson to testify for hours before the grand jury and presented them with every scrap of exculpatory evidence available.

      In his press conference, McCulloch said that the grand jury did not indict because eyewitness testimony that established Wilson was acting in self-defense was contradicted by other exculpatory evidence.
      What McCulloch didn’t say is that he was under no obligation to present such evidence to the grand jury.

      The only reason one would present such evidence is to reduce the chances that the grand jury would indict Darren Wilson.

      1. There were several eyewitness accounts that strongly suggested Wilson did not act in self-defense. McCulloch could have, and his critics say should have, presented that evidence to the grand jury and likely returned an indictment in days, not months. It’s a low bar, which is why virtually all grand juries return indictments.

        But McCulloch chose a different path.

      2. Bullshit.

        There were seven African/Americans who testified to the Grand Jury that Wilson was charged by Brown.

        Some of Brown's blood was found quite far beyond where his dead body lay, showing he had changed directions and was heading for Wilson.

      3. It should never have gone to a Grand Jury in the first place.

        The prosecutor should have just declined to prosecute. Instead he sent it to a Grand Jury to cover his ass.

    17. .

      It is a good think for DC that the American public is so stupid.

      Anyone in America who doesn't realize that the system is stacked against the 99% is set up for a lifetime of frustration and disappointment.

      On CNBC this morning, they were discussing the comments of this guy Dudley, head of the NY Federal Reserve. He stated that the FED will likely try raising interest rates next year but they will do it slowly and cautiously. Further, he stated that how they proceed will depend on 'the markets' reaction to the increases. So in addition to their Congressional mandates of price control and full employment, the FED has 'assumed' a mandate the keep the market bubble inflated. Worse, they have put that mandate ahead of their traditional ones.

      If there was ever any doubt that the FED's main concern is the welfare of the 1% all they need do is listen to the thinking of these dolts.

      No doubt progressive toadies like Paul Krugman and his minions will continue to claim the the poor 1% are suffering undo pain because of the FED's low interest rates.


    18. We have a financial system that basically allows large private corporations to issue its own currency. We call it stock but with flash trading, options and the use of the shares to compensate employees and use for acquisitions, it is damn close to being a currency. It is a currency that needs no further backing than the corporate assets and needs never to be redeemed by the corporation that issues it. It is debatable as to the job creating capabilities of the private currency. It could be nil to very significant.

      Now we have two major highways that have needed an intersection for 35 years and has been grossly neglected by the federal government, but is now being promoted by giving out green cards to Chinese investors willing to buy bonds guaranteed by the feds paying 2% interest but it is still debt and will be paid back.

      How much better it would be to allow the States to issue a project currency that is paid to the contractors, suppliers and workers, gets recycled unto the economy and does not need an investor or more accurately a creditor. The federal government through the fed could gradually withdraw the currency from circulation based on the economic payout from future tolls. That would be job and income creation tied to economic activity.

      1. Sounds like a good idea, therefore it won't be adopted.

    19. If case you missed it, Quirk, Hillary Clinton is a drunk.

      1. .

        If Hillary was falling down drunk to the point where she couldn't function she would be preferable to many of the GOP dicks that have been mentioned as potential nominees in 2016.

        Since you have been corrected more than once on this issue (as well as on your inability to read and understand a simple paragraph in English), I can only assume you continue it because you think there is some humor in it. While the knuckle dragging hicks in Idaho may find your efforts to be knee-slapping good fun, you might want to remember that you happen to be the only knuckle dragging Idaho hick currently frequenting this blog.

        Just saying.


      2. Too much fine wine with Huma.

        As a knuckle dragging Idaho hick I think something may be going on there in addition to the drinking.

        She's never with Bill, her wedded husband. Who is always with some other woman.

        Never sell a scoop by The National Enquirer short.


        The National Enquirer - Enquiring Minds Need To Know!

        The were right about John Edwards, were they not?

      3. Your poor Hillary. She and Bill came out of the White House "dead broke".

        Whitewater and the cattle futures deal didn't handle the expenses of being President and First Lady.

      4. She was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, you know.

        She's a climber.

      5. And she was "shocked" when she first learned Bill had been fooling around.

        Why, she had no idea.

      6. She had to run for cover from incoming in Iraq, don't cha know.

      7. Or was it Afghanistan?

        Anyway, she got called on it by the Press, as she was photographed standing around pleasantly talking with some folks when the supposed incoming was supposedly incoming.

      8. She reset the 'reset button' with the Russkies, her major accomplishment.

        What a total fraud.

    20. Reuters......Ferguson protesters lawyer up after scores of arrests......

      Why are the lawyering up if the System is rigged against them?

    21. The White House is having Ferguson meetings all day today.

      The Very Very Reverend Al Sharpton is on hand.

      About Luis Farrakhan attending I am not certain,

    22. Jack HawkinsMon Dec 01, 02:09:00 PM EST
      NASDAQ: SODA - Dec 1 2:04 PM ET
      $21.40 - Down - 0.58 (2.64%)

      Down from $72.82 in June of 2013.
      $51.40 in lost equity, per share, in a company that our Israeli contributor claims is strong.

      Which is an indicator of the strength of the BDS Movement, when it can be effectively brought to bear upon a singular target.

      The decline in Soda Stream's stock price is hardly a win for the BDS.

      But you keep showing it as your prize…

      Israel defeated due to sagging soda pop stock price?


      At last tell?

      Soda Stream STILL sells 200 MILLION a year in soda pop canisters and flavor packs, earning it a cool 43 MILLION in net profits a year…

      Now that's the kind of failure we all NEED.

      ANd to boot 500 palestinians lost their over paid jobs!!!!

      According to YOU!!!

      Better to see 500 palestinians now starve then to give them decent jobs and salaries…

      Not to worry, who really CARES about the Palestinians? You certainly don't..

      But another benefit of the lower stock price?

      A better P/E ratio..

      Don't know what that is Jack "I am a murderer" Hawkins?

      LOOK IT UP…



    23. Now Jack "the KILLER" Hawkins is back to calling me an Israeli…

      "Down from $72.82 in June of 2013.
      $51.40 in lost equity, per share, in a company that our Israeli contributor claims is strong."

      See above quote…

      Just a few days ago he admitted I was an American.

      Now I would be PROUD to be an Israeli but alias I am but an American, maybe someday I could move there and get citizenship…

      A dream…

      After all if they allow self confessed drug dealing, gun selling criminals like Jack "I am a criminal" Hawkins to be a citizen? The value of such citizenship has gone down the tubes...

    24. Jack HawkinsMon Dec 01, 02:11:00 PM EST
      And, "O"rdure, it is not the destruction of the Jewish people that is the goal, it is the moderation of the behavior of the Zionist swine that occupy Palestine.

      Wow, coming from a criminal like you I guess I should be taken aback!

      But in the end I will consider the criminal, self deluded source that you are…


      You are but a turd in the sandbox of life…

      Is that why your own wife left you?

    25. “A truth that's told with bad intent
      Beats all the lies you can invent.”
      ― William Blake

      1. Truth: Jack Hawkins is a self confessed criminal.


    26. In fight against IS, Iraqi PM sacks 24 officials

      By Associated Press December 1 at 2:22 PM

      BAGHDAD — Iraq’s prime minister said Monday he retired 24 officials from the Interior Ministry as part of efforts to restructure the country’s security apparatus and remove those who failed to confront the crisis caused by the Islamic State group’s onslaught.

      Haider al-Abadi’s announcement came as the Sunni extremist group attacked a police checkpoint near Iraq’s border with Syria, killing at least 15 Iraqi policemen in an assault that underscored the depth of the country’s turmoil.

    27. Iranian jet seen attacking ISIS targets in Iraq
      Iranian bombings in Iraqi airspace unlikely to have taken place without coordination with U.S.

      The Iranian Air Force is bombing Islamic State (ISIS) targets inside Iraqi territory. It is an intensification of Iran's military involvement on the side of the Shia regime of its neighbor and most likely also a sign of its alleged coordination with the U.S. military which is leading the international coalition fighting ISIS.

      The first footage of an Iranian aircraft bombing inside Iraq was broadcast by Al Jazeera a few days ago in a report on a joint operation by the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, Iraq's army and Shia militias to recapture two Kurdish towns in northeastern Iraq, near the Iranian border. The report mentions "Iraqi jet-fighters," but the plane seen bombing ISIS positions is a F-4 Phantom, which is not in Iraqi service.

      The venerable Phantom which first entered service in 1960 (and was retired by the U.S. Air Force in the 1990s and Israel in 2004) still flies with two air-forces in the region, Turkey and Iran. The Phantom's markings are not visible in the Al Jazeera footage but since Turkey has so far refused to militarily aid the Kurds fighting across the border and the proximity to Iran, it is almost certainly an Iranian fighter.

    28. Jack HawkinsMon Dec 01, 02:11:00 PM EST
      And, "O"rdure, it is not the destruction of the Jewish people that is the goal, it is the moderation of the behavior of the Zionist swine that occupy Palestine.

      Nice hate speech you got there ...

      1. Swine, that is descriptive of the Zionists that murder Jews, for agitprop

        Zionists murder civilians, Jewish refugees in a False Flag operation

        On Nov. 25, 1940, a boat carrying Jewish refugees from Nazi Europe, the “Patra,” exploded and sank off the coast of Palestine killing 252 people.

        The Zionist “Haganah” claimed the passengers committed suicide to protest British refusal to let them land. Years later, it admitted that rather than let the passengers go to Mauritius, it blew up the vessel for its propaganda value.

        “Sometimes it is necessary to sacrifice the few in order to save the many,”
        Moshe Sharett, a former Israeli Prime Minister said at memorial service in 1958.

    29. There are hundreds of former professional military officers in ISIS's ranks. Including a couple of very experienced ones: "Abu Ali al-Anbari, the chief of Syria operations, was a major general in the Iraqi Army and Fadl Ahmad Abdullah al-Hiyali (Abu Muslim al-Turkmani), the chief of operations in Iraq, was a lieutenant colonel in Iraqi Military Intelligence and a former officer in the Iraqi Special Forces," writers Lister.

      And that's on top of as many as 1,000 “medium and top level field commanders, who all have technical, military, and security experience,” according to ISIS documents found in June that Lister cites.

      ISIS not only has a corps of trained officers to organize its 31,000 fighters. They're also capable of attracting and keeping individuals who fought for secular state militaries — a group which likely includes Sunnis who agree with ISIS's sectarian agenda without buying into its radical jihadist ideology.

      Part of ISIS's appeal, Lister explains, lies in its ability to present itself as the purest and most legitimate expression of Sunniism in Iraq and Syria, something that widens the group's appeal beyond just hardcore jihadists.

      Read more:

    30. ISIS is using North Korean tanks, MANPADs -

      N. Korean upgraded tanks still in use in Syrian Civil War
      Influence, legacy of DPRK weapons industry extends beyond original Syrian government clients
      December 1st, 2014
      Joost Oliemans and Stijn Mitzer

      As the now almost four-year-long Syrian Civil War continues, the full extent of North Korea’s influence in Syria remains seen every day.

      Pyonygang and Damascus’ warm relations have led Syria to make several acquisitions of North Korean weaponry in the past. While the Syrian Civil War rages on, the Assad regime, the Islamic State and other factions continue to use much of this equipment in the conflict.

      Perhaps the most notable impact of the DPRK’s arms industry on Syria can be found in Syria’s once enormous tank fleet. Namely, the DPRK upgraded hundreds of Soviet-made T-54 and T-55 tanks for Syria in the late ’70s and early ’80s, with some even seeing use in the 1982 Lebanon War.

      Although the entire T-54 fleet (including the examples upgraded by North Korea) was presumably retired years ago, the T-55s certainly were not and nowadays a tank spotted in the northern half of Syria shows marks of the DPRK’s military influence more often than not. The T-54s themselves were stored in depots for most of the civil war, but as more and more armor has been destroyed and shortages grow, an increasing number are being brought back into service.

      After a large number of tanks were captured at the northern stronghold of Brigade 93 – an armored unit of the 17th Division of the Syrian Arab Army at Raqqa – the Islamic State became a major operator of T-55s upgraded by North Korea, and subsequently used them in the assault on Kobanê. This was not the first case of Pyongyang’s equipment ending up in unintended hands, however, as a MANPADS (man-portable air-defense system) of North Korean manufacture seen at Kshesh airbase testifies.
      Photo: Islamic State Twitter account (now inactive)

      IS fighter with SA-18 (9K38 Igla) MANPADS | Photo: Islamic State Twitter account (now inactive)

      1. The fact that the specific tank upgraded was the T-54/55 is remarkable: North Korea’s indigenous tank industry is largely founded on copying and modernizing the later T-62 series main battle tank. In fact, the specific upgrade used in Syria appears to have been developed solely for export as this type has never been sighted in use within the Korean People’s Army.

        Still, when one considers the tight bond between the two historical allies and the DPRK’s reliance on income from military exports, it is not entirely surprising that Damascus turned to Pyongyang when it needed its aging tank fleet modernized for a soft price. As declassified documents on conversations held in the embassy of the USSR about a 1973 conference in Pyongyang detail:

        “The Deputy Foreign Minister presented a personal message from DPRK President Kim Il Sung to the Syrian President. Orally the Deputy Foreign Minister informed the DPRK is ready to provide Syria with any assistance it may want.

        “For 9 October the Syrian ambassador was invited by Deputy Prime Minister Choe Jae-u (Choe Jae U” to come to another conversation. In this talk Choe Jae-u repeated the DPRK willingness to provide every possible assistance to the Arab peoples, including military support in an according fashion.”

        Although the offer had no immediate effect on the Syrian Arab Army’s arsenal, it is evident the Syrian government had a change of heart over the following decade.

        Features of the upgrade included the installment of North Korean-designed laser rangefinders and some modifications to the turret; some even came equipped with smoke launchers and the legacy 14.5mm KPV heavy machine gun seen on nearly all DPRK’s tanks. Aside from the characteristic laser rangefinder, exclusively seen on North Korean tanks, the KPV is an important giveaway as it is not normally used on the ubiquitous Soviet tank series used in so many countries. It is unknown if Islamic State fighters are able to use the laser rangefinder, as it requires training to operate.
        Photo: KCTV

        Kim Jong Il inspecting a tank equipped with a laser range finder | Photo: KCTV

        While most of the Syrian tanks saw their KPV removed to be used on pickup trucks, a small portion of the tanks continue to carry it. While the KPV was originally installed to increase the tank’s protection against enemy fighter-bombers and helicopters, it mainly sees use against ground forces nowadays.

        Other exports of the DPRK to Syria reportedly included the delivery of heavy artillery systems such as the BM-11 122mm multiple rocket launcher. However, none of these systems have been spotted during the civil war, and it is presumed they have been decommissioned.

        With more and more footage emerging from clashing forces within Syria, new weapons systems once exported by North Korea continue to come to light. Whatever effect they may have on the ultimate course of the war, it is certain that even today the influence of the DPRK on conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere is not to be underestimated.

        Main photo: T-55 with range finder in Syria, YouTube Military Archive channel

      2. How will the MANPADs affect The General Crook Doctrine ?

      3. What say you Jack "I am a Criminal" Hawkins ?


      4. No mention was made of MANPADS in the article.

      5. The introduction of MANPADS onto the battlefield and the impact those weapons may have, highly dependent upon which weapons system is being discussed.

        All MANADS are not equal

      6. Increased use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

      7. You really do not understand the technologies of modern warfare, do you, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson?

      8. I am sure he does, but do you Jack "The Traitor" Hawkins know JACKSHIT?

    31. “We need to have more targeting capability than they have right now,” Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said.

      Officials said the U.S.-led coalition has sought to improve operations against ISIL. They said the operations were enhanced from a low in September 2014 when only 10 percent of coalition aircraft found their targets.

      “The administration’s strategy for dealing with the Islamic State is more of the same: limited air strikes at great expense for questionable results,” the Lexington Institute, a think tank, said.

      1. Those overflights that found no targets, they were not "Close Air Support", but attempts at 'strategic' bombing or just hunting 'blind' for targets of opportunity.

        The oil infrastructure can be targeted without local observers, but individuals in the field, much more difficult.
        In those situations where the Daesh are in a ground fight with local forces backed by Coalition air support, there are no reports of the Daesh prevailing.

        Not in Iraq, nor in Kobane, Syria.

    32. Malice or Incompetence?

      John Kerry’s ceasefire proposal for Gaza has probably destroyed what remained of the United States’ influence in the Middle East, at least for the duration of this administration’s tenure.

      After a hectic day yesterday spent in large part seeing off my son, daughter-in-law, and two-year-old grandson on a two-year sojourn in Berlin, I hastened this morning to my keyboard to comment on perhaps the most noteworthy piece of U.S. diplomatic idiocy in the Middle East that I’ve witnessed in several years (which is really saying something). It had been on my mind since expressing the essence of the matter to Richard Aldous on TAI’s weekly podcast in the morning, and repeating it privately over the telephone to a fellow editor (of a weekly) who is not an area expert and so has been calling me episodically but regularly over the past decade to get my take on various matters. So, thus rehearsed, I was ready to let fly at 7:30 AM when, to my shock, I found that I had been beaten into print by, of all people, David Ignatius.

      Why do I put it that way? Because in recent years I have rarely agreed with Ignatius’s take on just about anything. But in today’s “The big mistake Kerry made” I find little to criticize. He’s got the essence:

      Kerry’s error has been to put so much emphasis on achieving a quick halt to the bloodshed that he has solidified the role of Hamas, the intractable, unpopular Islamist group that leads Gaza, along with the two hard-line Islamist nations that are its key supporters, Qatar and Turkey. In the process, he has undercut not simply the Israelis but also the Egyptians and the Fatah movement that runs the Palestinian Authority, all of which want to see an end to Hamas rule in Gaza… Any deal that reinforces Hamas’s stranglehold—rather than building a path toward change of government, elections and eventual disarmament—is misconceived.

      Given Ignatius’s exquisite cultivation of sources inside Democratic administrations, he is no doubt relying on documentary evidence and assistance in knowing some details of recent goings-on not readily available to me. Who—in the White House would be my guess—provided Ignatius his catalysts I’d rather not speculate about; suffice it to say that competitive intra-administration leaking, that venerable Washington political sport, is alive and well—which is why I often tell out-of-town audiences that Washington is one of the few cities in the world where sound travels faster than light.

      1. Now, there are a lot of people who wrongly believe that the Obama Administration, not to exclude the President himself, is resolutely anti-Israel and pro-Muslim Brotherhood. The Middle East and South Asia are not the only places where one can find brain-addled conspiracy theorists, after all. But Ignatius doesn’t think Kerry’s mistake is born of malice aforethought toward Israel, so that leaves us with what can only be called incompetence (though Ignatius does not use the term… must protect that access). I agree that it’s not malice, but it is incompetence of a kind and on a scale that tars John Kerry as the dumbest Secretary of State in my lifetime.

        Let me elaborate just a bit, and try to provide some perspective here. As Ignatius notes, Kerry went first to Cairo in his quest for a quick ceasefire, but found that the Egyptians could not budge Hamas. Why this surprised him I can’t imagine: Doesn’t he know that this is not Mubarak’s Egypt anymore, where a long-standing double-gaming gambit once provided some indirect U.S. entry into Hamasistan? This is post-Morsi, al-Sisi Egypt, and the Egyptian double game is over. That’s good in that it makes Egypt and Israel effective allies at weakening Hamas, but the drawback is that Cairo can no longer serve as an effective transmission belt for the insertion of U.S. sticks and carrots. So chalk up that flight as a waste of aviation fuel.

        Then it got worse. By ministering to Qatar, where the head of the Hamas political wing lives at the invitation of the Al-Thani, Kerry strengthened that troublemaking little pissant of a country. If you thought U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia—which in this dustup is a tacit ally of Egypt and Israel—could not get worse than they already are, you goofed: They just did. (But if you want to hear anti-Qatari venom that can singe the hair on your chin, better to go to Abu Dhabi or Dubai.)

        Then worse still: Kerry ministered to arguably the world’s foremost anti-Semite, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Richard Cohen’s piece today, “Erdogan’s anti-Semitic fetish”, also leaves me bereft of criticism in the face of another Washington Post columnist who also regularly irritates me.) There are rumors that another Gazan flotilla will be launched, this time with the Turkish Navy as guardian. I hope this isn’t true, because no good can come of it.

      2. And then worst of all: Kerry presents Israel with a draft of a ceasefire agreement that puts Hamas on the same level as Israel, and demeans Fatah and the PA, with which Israel is bound up in a legal if highly imperfect relationship; that would give Hamas the politically life-sustaining prize it seeks in the form of an “open borders” concession it can characterize as helping the people of Gaza; and that would prevent Israel from finishing the work of destroying the deadly tunnel network under the border.

        A ceasefire under those terms would enable Hamas to resupply its war machine, bringing in unlimited numbers of missiles and mortars—and concrete, too, to rebuild and expand the tunnel network. It would enable Hamas to begin the next phase of conflict, in which it targets Israeli civilians while using Gazan civilians as human shields, at a time of its choosing. It would mean that all the IDF killed in this conflict would have died in vain.

        Now, I have never been a particular fan of the current Israeli Prime Minister or his party, but no Israeli government could have stomached an outrageous document like that. That such a document, encompassing such a wildly wrongheaded view, could ever have been produced, let alone submitted to the cabinet in Jerusalem, effectively puts an end to U.S. influence on Israel for the duration of this Administration. What little trust endured after the blunders of the first term and the misconceived “peace process” initiative of the second term is now gone. And when the U.S. government loses the ability to influence Israel, those Arab parties that want something to do with Israel—but not too much in public—lose interest in Washington. Thus ditto U.S. influence in Cairo and Riyadh, and probably in Amman and Ramallah, too.

        Think what this means in historical perspective. In past post-disengagement crises over Gaza, the U.S. Secretary of State was the big guy on the block. U.S. influence relied on our having the money and the biggest guns, true—and we still have those. But it relied more on having suasive reputational power with nearly every actor on the regional diplomatic stage. It relied as much or more, in other words, on the highly efficient and effective shadow of U.S. power, to quote Acheson, than on the power itself. We may have used Egypt’s table a few times in the past, but it was our game that was being played on that table. Now John Kerry, with Barack Obama’s fulsome help, has reduced the U.S. position to that of a message carrier for Hamas via Doha and Ankara. We have fallen from being the undisputed master of ceremonies to creeping around the region as a second-echelon go-between—and a failed one at that. (At a time like this a former State Department employee can barely resist quoting Elmer Fudd: “Oh, d’hawwah.”)

      3. The disaster that is this Gazan War is not entirely, or even mainly, the fault of the Obama Administration, however. The nadir of U.S. influence reflects significant changes in regional realities as well as its own vast diplomatic malpractice. It reflects, for example, the fact that recent Israeli governments, by accelerating land grabs in the West Bank and raising new and, one suspects, deliberately obstacular demands on Palestinian Authority negotiators, have pushed ever more Palestinians into immoderate desperation. Insofar as U.S. policy is guilty of causing the present distress, it is the George W. Bush Administration’s doing, not the Obama Administration’s. Why?

        Because it was the Bush Administration, flush with the willful delusions of the “forward strategy for freedom”, that sanctioned Hamas’s participation in the 2006 elections, even though those elections were predicated on the framework of the September 1993 Oslo Accords, which Hamas has always rejected outright and completely. Hamas only won those elections with plurality, not majority, vote counts because of Fatah’s political incompetence, true; but it never should have been permitted to participate in the first place. Then followed a slow-moving multilateral plot to dispossess Hamas of its victory, but Hamas preempted the plot with a bloody coup—and that’s what got this murderous, vicious bunch of fanatics ensconced in Gaza in the first place.

        Please understand the main point: Hamas’s present position was contingent, not necessary and certainly not inevitable. Since U.S. policy had a significant share in causing this problem (along with others, yes, of course), which has paralyzed every attempt to make political progress among the protagonists as well as sired horrific violence, we arguably have some responsibility for solving it—for getting rid of this scourge. So why is John Kerry doing precisely the opposite?

        It is a sad day when I applaud the failure of an initiative by an American Secretary of State, just as it’s a weird day when I applaud David Ignatius. It’s just one of those days, I guess.

    33. A report today says that about 50 IS were killed in precision strike. That leaves, according to people on the scene, about 250,950 Muslim warriors untouched. The fireworks are awesome, though.

    34. .

      What the Media Gets Wrong About Israel

      While looking through RealClearPolitics this morning, I came across an article by Matti Freidman, an Israeli journalist and author. In the Atlantic article, Friedman repeats arguments he first published in an article in The Tablet.

      Friedman argues that there is a disproportionate attention within the world’s media on what happens between the Israelis and the Palestinians, that there is today a clear anti-Israel bias amongst the world’s media, and that local journalists tend to color their stories on Hamas for various reasons, fear of reprisals from Hamas, towing the party line with the organizations they deal with, or just inexperience or laziness.

      The article made interesting reading so I figured I would try to find out more about Matti Friedman. When I googled him, one of the first links I came across was the following debate over at the On The Media blog.

      The following is the only lead up to the audio debate that takes about 20 minutes.

      On the heels of this summer's war in Gaza, Jerusalem-based journalist Matti Friedman published an essay in Tablet magazine titled “An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth.” Drawing from his experience as a reporter and editor for the AP’s Jerusalem bureau from 2006 to 2011, Matti argues that the western press is far too focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that its framing distorts our perceptions of Israel.

      New York Times deputy national editor Ethan Bronner, who covered Israel-Palestine in the eighties for Reuters, in the nineties for the Boston Globe, and for the Times as Jerusalem bureau chief from 2008 to 2012, sees the coverage of the conflict in notably different ways. Brooke moderates a debate between Ethan and Matti.

      For any here that are interested, in the audio, here

      you will hear many of the arguments offered here during the Gaza conflict a month ago. However, it will be offered minus the usual vitriol.

      The debate is on media coverage and is unlikely to change any minds here, still...


      1. >>>Matti argues that the western press is far too focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that its framing distorts our perceptions of Israel. <<<

        It's true. The fight between the Christians and the Moslems in Nigeria is hardly ever mentioned, yet it is far bloodier.

      2. The only place that covers it is Jihad Watch.

    35. After a large number of tanks were captured at the northern stronghold of Brigade 93 – an armored unit of the 17th Division of the Syrian Arab Army at Raqqa – the Islamic State became a major operator of T-55s upgraded by North Korea, and subsequently used them in the assault on Kobanê. This was not the first case of Pyongyang’s equipment ending up in unintended hands, however, as a MANPADS (man-portable air-defense system) of North Korean manufacture seen at Kshesh airbase testifies.
      Photo: Islamic State Twitter account (now inactive)

      IS fighter with SA-18 (9K38 Igla) MANPADS | Photo: Islamic State Twitter account (now inactive)

      Again -

      One must read the article or one won't be able to read about the MANPAD.
      Picture of MANPAD included.

    36. inkofthechildren
      Poor Kids in Baltimore Have It Worse Than Those in Nigeria, India

      A global survey of 15- to 19-year-olds living in vulnerable cities shows that social support and outlook are driving factors in health outcomes

      Author: Elizabeth Kulze
      Posted: 12/01/14 07:45 EST

      When a teenager from East Baltimore was asked to describe his neighborhood, he spoke of “big rats going around in people’s trash, vacant houses full of squatters and needles on the ground.” A young woman in New Delhi, asked the same question, described the dirt and the “dirty water found lying on the roads,” while a young man in Ibadan, a large city in Nigeria, spoke of the smell of urine and streets “littered with paper and other refuse.”

      All three teenagers live in the poorest neighborhoods in their communities and were surveyed as part of the “WAVE” study, a global research project that examines the well-being of adolescents in vulnerable environments around the world. Led by Dr. Kristen Mmari, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, the survey assessed health challenges faced by 2,400 15- to 19-year-olds from impoverished areas in Baltimore, Shanghai, Johannesburg, Ibadan and New Delhi, as well as their perceptions of their environments.

      The researchers found many similarities—in all five cities, adolescents were exposed to unsanitary conditions, substance abuse and violence—but the differences between each area were especially compelling. Overall, teenagers in Baltimore and Johannesburg, despite being located in comparably wealthy countries, had far worse health outcomes and tended to perceive their communities more negatively.

      In Baltimore, which is located in the world’s richest nation per capita and just 40 miles from the White House, adolescents exhibited considerably high rates of mental health issues, substance abuse, sexual risk-taking, sexual violence and teen pregnancy. In comparison, adolescents in New Delhi exhibited far fewer of those behaviors and outcomes, despite residing in a much less prosperous nation................