“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."

Thursday, January 22, 2015

There are two words that must not be spoken in all the official rhetoric about Charlie Hebdo’s dead: “Saudi Arabia".

Saudi Arabia's history of hypocrisy we choose to ignore

BY ROBERT FISKBelfast Telegraph - 15 JANUARY 2015

Sir William Hunter was a senior British civil servant and in 1871 published a book which warned of “fanatic swarms” of Sunni Muslims who had “murdered our subjects”, financed by “men of ample fortune”, while a majority of Muslims were being forced to decide “once and for all, whether [they] should play the part of a devoted follower of Islam” or a “peaceable subject”.

Hunter identified a “hate preacher” as the cause of this “terror”, a man inspired on a visit to Arabia by an ascetic Muslim called Abdul Wahab whose violent “Wahabi” followers had formed an alliance with – you guessed it – the House of Saud. Hunter’s 140-year-old volume The Indian Musalmans – given a dusting of internet race hatred, murderous attacks by individual Sunni Muslims, cruel Wahabi-style punishments and all-too familiar proof of second-class citizenship for Muslims in a European-run state – might have been written today.

Even before Hunter’s day, the Wahabis captured the holy cities of Arabia and – Isis-style – massacred their inhabitants. Like Isis, they even overran Syria. Their punishments, and those of their Saudi military supporters, make the public lashing of today’s Saudi blogger Raif Badawi appear a minor misdemeanour. Hypocrisy was a theme of Arabian as well as European history.

In those days, of course, oil had no meaning. The Saudi ruler was dispatched to Constantinople in 1818 to have his head chopped off by the local superpower – the Ottoman Empire – and the European states made no complaint. A young British army captain later surveyed the destroyed Saudi capital of Diriya – close to modern-day Riyadh – with satisfaction.
But successive campaigns of Saudi-Wahabi conquest, and then the swift transition of oil from the vile black naphtha, in which Arabian sheep regularly drowned, into the blood vessels of the Western world, meant that the purist Wahabi violence – which included the desecration of mosques, the destruction of ancient Muslim tombs and the murder of “infidels” – was conveniently separated from the House of Saud and ignored by Europeans and Americans alike.

Erased, too, is history; including the fact that Mohamed Ibn Saud, the leader of the Nejd, even married Abdul Wahab’s daughter.

Our disregard of present-day Saudi-Wahabi cruelties and venality might astonish Sir William Hunter; the Wahabi Indian Muslims in his British Empire were led by an insurrectionist prelate called Sayyid Ahmed whose followers regarded him as the next Prophet and whose own pilgrimage to Arabia turned him into a life-long purger of promiscuity.
His believers came from Afghanistan as well as India where his power lay in what is now Pakistan. In fact, he was proclaimed “Commander of the Faithful” in Peshawar. His men might have been the Taliban.

Britain’s wars against the Wahabis were as ferocious as Europe’s today, though far more costly in lives. And if Hunter rightly identified the second-class status, lack of employment and poor education of the Sunni Muslims of India as a cause of insurrection – France, please take note – he also understood that India’s Muslims were being asked to choose between pure Islam and Queen Victoria. The Hindus of India and the British rulers were at war with those whom Hunter, mindful of medieval Christian missions to Jerusalem, caricatured as the “Crescentaders”.

Today, the Americans and Europeans – and of course, our own Prime Minister – like to draw a line between the “moderate”, friendly, pro-Western, oil-wealthy Saudi Arabians who are praised for denouncing the “cowardly terrorist attack” in Paris, and their Crescentader Wahabi friends who behead thieves and drug dealers after grossly unfair trials, torture their Shia Muslim minorities and lash their own recalcitrant journalists.

The Wahabi Saudis – for they are, of course, the same – cry crocodile tears over the murder of Charlie Hebdo cartoonists who lampoon their religion, while sympathising with the purists in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan who slaughter journalists and aid workers, destroy ancient monuments and enslave women.

All in all, a pretty pass. The Saudis are special, aren’t they? Fifteen of the 19 hijackers of 9/11 were Saudis – and George W Bush immediately arranged for leading Saudis (including some from the House of Bin Laden) to be freighted out of America to safety. Osama was himself a Saudi (later de-citizened).

The Taliban were financed and armed by the Saudis; the Taliban’s Organisation for the “Promotion of Virtue and the Suppression of Vice” was identical to the Saudi-Wahabi religious police in Riyadh and Jeddah. So precious are the Saudis to us, that Tony Blair was able to close down a British police inquiry into Anglo-Saudi bribery. “National interest” was at stake. Ours, of course, not theirs.

And we ignore, amid all this tomfoolery, the spread of Saudi money through the institutions of Sunni Islam in Asia, in the Balkans – take a look at the new Saudi-designed mosques that mock the wonderful old Ottoman institutions in Bosnia – and in Western Europe. Suggest that the Saudi authorities – not, of course, to be confused with their Wahabi fraternity – are supporting Isis, and journalists will be confronted not by sympathy for their oppressed colleagues, but by threatening letters from lawyers on behalf of the Saudi government. Even in the Levant, aid workers are frightened of the school-teaching in Saudi-funded refugee camps for Syrians.

As Irish columnist Fintan O’Toole pointed out this week, there are two words that must not be spoken in all the official rhetoric about Charlie Hebdo’s dead: Saudi Arabia. “A hundred billion dollars buys you a lot of silence,” he wrote. “The house of Saud runs a vicious tyranny that... while the Charlie Hebdo killers were going about their ultimate acts of censorship... was savagely lashing the blogger Raif Badawi for daring to promote public debate.”

The Wahabi grave smashers threaten to destroy the Prophet’s tomb as a religious duty – just as they have smashed the graves of “saints” in Africa and the Middle East – but a cartoon of the Prophet is a provocation that deserves death.

Sure, we all know the rubric. The Saudis stand in the forefront of the “war against terror”, arresting, torturing (though we’ll have to go softly on that one) and imprisoning “terrorists”, condemning Isis as “terrorists”, standing behind the French and the Europeans in their struggle against “terror”, along with the Egyptians and the Russians and the Pakistanis and all those other “democrats” in their “war against terror”.

Speak not a word about the Kingdom as a Wahabi-Saudi regime. It would be wrong to do so. After all, the Wahabis don’t call themselves Wahabis, since they are “true” Muslims. Which is what the Saudis are, aren’t they?


  1. LONDON -- The horrific terrorist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo weekly in Paris have led to speculation as to whether the killers -- the brothers Chérif and Saïd Kouachi -- were lone wolves or tied to masterminds in ISIS or its rival, Al-Qaeda. Although Al-Qaeda in Yemen has taken credit for the attack, it is unclear how closely the affiliate actually directed the operation. No matter which organizational connections (if any) ultimately prove to be real, one thing is clear: the fountainhead of Islamic extremism that promotes and legitimizes such violence lies with the fanatical "Wahhabi" strain of Islam centered in Saudi Arabia. And if the world wants to tamp down and eliminate such violent extremism, it must confront this primary host and facilitator.

    Perversely, while the Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awad Asiri took part in a "Je suis Charlie" solidarity rally in Beirut following the Paris attacks, back home the Saudi blogger Raif Badawi received the first 50 of 1,000 lashes he is due each Friday over the next 20 weeks. His crime? Running a liberal website promoting the freedom of speech. (Thankfully, in recent days it seems the Saudi authorities have buckled to international pressure and suspended the sentence.)

    It would be troublesome but perhaps acceptable for the House of Saud to promote the intolerant and extremist Wahhabi creed just domestically. But, unfortunately, for decades the Saudis have also lavishly financed its propagation abroad. Exact numbers are not known, but it is thought that more than $100 billion have been spent on exporting fanatical Wahhabism to various much poorer Muslim nations worldwide over the past three decades. It might well be twice that number. By comparison, the Soviets spent about $7 billion spreading communism worldwide in the 70 years from 1921 and 1991.

    This appears to be a monumental campaign to bulldoze the more moderate strains of Islam, and replace them with the theo-fascist Saudi variety. Despite being well aware of the issue, Western powers continue to coddle the Saudis or, at most, protest meekly from time to time.


    1. Iran and the hidden Imans, the Mullahs AND the Saudis w/the Wahabists...

      Two sides of the SAME coin.

      Both sides suck

    2. The Iranians may suck, but they do not attack the US.
      They have not left their region.
      They are not a global threat.

      There is no current Authorization for Use of Force that can be utilized against Iran.
      Same cannot be said for the Saudis.

    3. Sorry Charlie you are wrong.

      The IRanians are all over the globe and are attacking Americans, maybe because they do not hold up a big sign that says "we did it" you cannot see the connection.

      But there is proof if you wish to open your jaundiced eyes to see.

    4. No they are not. The Iranians are like the Israelis, attack them and they bite back. You ought to respect that.

  2. {...}

    For instance, a Wikileaks cable clearly quotes then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying "donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide." She continues: "More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups." And it's not just the Saudis: Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates are also implicated in the memo. Other cables released by Wikileaks outline how Saudi front companies are also used to fund terrorism abroad.

    Evidently, the situation has not improved since Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. Late last year, Vice President Biden caused a stir by undiplomatically speaking the truth at an event at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, saying:

    "Our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria. The Turks were great friends... [and] the Saudis, the Emirates, etcetera. What were they doing?.... They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad -- except that the people who were being supplied, [they] were al-Nusra, and al-Qaeda, and the extremist elements of jihadis who were coming from other parts of the world."


  3. Previous from the Huffington Post - This from the Daily Beast

    The Missing Pages of the 9/11 Report

    The lead author of the Senate’s report on 9/11 says it’s time to reveal what’s in the 28 pages that were redacted from it, which he says will embarrass the Saudis.

    A story that might otherwise have slipped away in a morass of conspiracy theories gained new life Wednesday when former Sen. Bob Graham headlined a press conference on Capitol Hill to press for the release of 28 pages redacted from a Senate report on the 9/11 attacks. And according to Graham, the lead author of the report, the pages “point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as the principal financier” of the 9/11 hijackers.

    “This may seem stale to some but it’s as current as the headlines we see today,” Graham said, referring to the terrorist attack on a satirical newspaper in Paris. The pages are being kept under wraps out of concern their disclosure would hurt U.S. national security. But as chairman of the Senate Select Committee that issued the report in 2002, Graham argues the opposite is true, and that the real “threat to national security is non-disclosure.”

    Graham said the redacted pages characterize the support network that allowed the 9/11 attacks to occur, and if that network goes unchallenged, it will only flourish. He said that keeping the pages classified is part of “a general pattern of coverup” that for 12 years has kept the American people in the dark. It is “highly improbable” the 19 hijackers acted alone, he said, yet the U.S. government’s position is “to protect the government most responsible for that network of support.”

    The Saudis know what they did, Graham continued, and the U.S. knows what they did, and when the U.S. government takes a position of passivity, or actively shuts down inquiry, that sends a message to the Saudis. “They have continued, maybe accelerated their support for the most extreme form of Islam,” he said, arguing that both al Qaeda and ISIS are “a creation of Saudi Arabia.”

    Standing with Graham were Republican Rep. Walter Jones and Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch, co-sponsors of House Resolution 428, which says declassification of the 28 pages is necessary to provide the American public with the full truth surrounding the 9/11 attacks. The two lawmakers echoed Graham’s assertion that national security would not be harmed, and point out that on two separate occasions President Obama has told 9/11 families that he wants to see the pages declassified. Jones and Lynch wrote a letter to Obama in April urging him to take action, and have been told by the White House that a response is in the works.

  4. ...In Sarasota, Florida, a federal judge is reviewing 80,000 pages of documents that relate to a prominent Saudi family and its extensive contacts with three of the hijackers when they attended flight school in Sarasota.

    The family abruptly left the U.S. for Saudi Arabia a few days before the attacks, leaving dinner on the table and a brand new car in the driveway “as though they’d been tipped something was going to happen, and they’d better not be in the country,” said Graham. One member of the family is described as a high-level adviser to the Saudi royal family. The FBI initially rebuffed a Freedom of Information request about the case, Graham said, prompting him to observe that the “pervasive pattern of covering up” the Saudi role in 9/11 extends to all U.S. institutions.

    When the 800-page Senate report was made public in 2002, Graham recalled that he and Republican Sen. Richard Shelby were “shocked to see an important chapter in the report has been redacted.” All but three Senate Democrats, joined by one Republican and one independent, signed a letter calling on President Bush to declassify the 28-page section detailing the role of foreign governments in bankrolling the 9/11 attackers.

    “Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters,” the redacted portion, begins midway through the report, on page 395. Despite the title, then-CIA Director Porter Goss and the co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission all called for it to be declassified, yet it has stayed secret for a dozen years, fueling conspiracy theories that Graham says can only be put to rest by its release.

  5. In a just World, the flag waving, fancy saluting human slug, George Bush, should be turned over to the ICC for trial. That will not happen, but ending our support and mutual parasitism with those disgusting Saudi lice would be a step in the right direction.

  6. .


    That was the word I was trying to think of the other day when talking of the Saudis as the progenitor of radical jihad.


  7. .

    Normally, I have nothing against Bob Corker, the current chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee; however, I saw him on CNN this morning being grilled over Boehner's request to Netanyahu to address Congress. Corker didn't have the balls to state he supported the move but he refused to condemn it either. Instead he hypothesized some kumbaya moment between now and the time of the visit where all sides come together and party down.

    It was pathetic.


    1. He is a Republican, that is synonymous with Pathetic

  8. I drive a Chevrolet Impala. I really like the car; it's comfortable, has nice, crisp performance, and it runs on American Corn (and, cornstalks, cobs, and leaves.)

    I filled up with Corn, yesterday, when I got back in town, and calculated that I'm now driving for About $0.05 / Mile.

    A Nickel..

    1. We're replacing almost A Million Barrels / Day of oil with Home-Grown Ethanol, and, Internationally, the number is a bit over 2 million barrels/day.

      It's amazing how this is being overlooked in the discussions about falling gasoline prices.

      (okay, okay, I'm not That naïve; it's really not "amazing.") :)

    2. Rufus, congrats.

      there was a time when I had a diesel benz and used straight veggie oil, made in america.

      did that for about 3.5 years.

      but I didn't care about the cost (which was not cheap) I cared that America didn't NEED middle eastern oil.

      I, from the very 1st day on this blog have advocated domestic fuels to cut the chord to opec.

      Peace will reign in the middle east when dictators and such do not get rich for doing nothing but selling crude.

      To much money given to whacky folks.

      For the money that the federal reserve has printed in 4 months? We could have set up a energy corridor from texas to canada. Setting up towns and distilleries, geo thermic and solar manufacturing plants, towns with training for electricians (installers), welders and decent paying factory jobs…

      But no, we give BILLION to unhinged groups and nations like Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan, Palestinans, Hamas, even funding the oil shipping lanes with free passage for the chinese!!!!

      So I do agree with you, even if you are ignorant of what Israel is. Even though you are drunk most of the time, even though you like Obama and the commies that run his administration.

      Shame in the 6 years that Obama has been Prez, (the 1st 2 with control of both house and senate) he could not have shown leadership on this subject….

  9. Bloomberg
    Argentine President Says Nisman Killed in Conspiracy
    Bloomberg -

    Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said she believes a prosecutor who accused her of graft was murdered, and that he was killed in order to discredit her government.

  10. Report: Mossad undercuts Netanyahu, warns US Congress against more Iran sanctions

    Israeli intelligence officials have apparently come around to the same view shared by both the Obama administration as well as American spy agencies.

    1. .

      The rift is so severe that it compelled the Mossad to contradict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and directly warn US Congressional officials that more sanctions against the Islamic Republic at this juncture could effectively spell the end of negotiations, according to Bloomberg.

      Just as we don't need Bibi here lecturing the US on our foreign policy decisions we also don't need Mossad interfering.

      Unfortunately, we also have Israel's US agent, AIPAC, politicking for additional sanctions.

      I expect Obama will ignore all these dicks but still it is unseemly. Boehner and his bros are dicks.


    2. The report being leaked by Obama is just revenge for The House inviting Bibi.

      But Iran's agent, Valerie Jarrett has an OFFICE in the Whitehouse.

      To point out AIPAC, an American organization, as something sinister is specious.

      Once again, you jump the shark.

      How about listing the Arab groups and the money they spend to influence America?

      Their budget is a 1000 times that of AIPAC's.

      I guess the problem is is simple. AIPAC is made up of real Americans who share their views with their elected representatives, who do it successfully.

      Now we could say it's because the citizen lobbyists of AIPAC are charming and persuasive.

      But the simple fact is that the issue for America and Israel's mutual security and shared values is compelling.


      We don't have to see, intimidate or push, our message to those with open eyes is easy.

    3. The only thing American about Aipac is the flag they cloaked over the Star of David.

    4. So the entire membership of AIPAC, all Americans are somehow traitors?

      Your accusations stink of anti-Semitic overtones.

      So Jews and Christians and others DO NOT have a right to lobby Congress on their OWN nickel?

      But it's ok for the Palestinians, Germans, Russians, Greeks, Saudis?

      One standard for those that support the Jewish state's security…

      None for anyone else.

      How so very 1938 of you Deuce…

      You should be proud…

    5. Spare me. There should be no religious input in our government. A self proclaimed religious state the size of Paraguay promoting an agenda as a foreign power should be doing their work in the State Department or the Israeli Embassy and should not be roaming the halls of the US Congress. Israel through their control network should have a lesser access than Mexico, China, Germany or the UK, not because they are Jews but because they are not vital to US interests in the Middle East except as a net negative. US credibility is tainted by the association.

  11. “They have continued, maybe accelerated their support for the most extreme form of Islam,” he said, arguing that both al Qaeda and ISIS are “a creation of Saudi Arabia.”

    Israel prefers Daesh (al-Qeada) in Syria, over the Alawites, Christians and their Kurdish allies

    Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren told the Jerusalem Post that Israel so wanted Assad out and his Iranian backers weakened, that Israel would accept al-Qaeda operatives taking power in Syria.

    “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.”

    Even if the other “bad guys” were affiliated with al-Qaeda.
    “We understand that they are pretty bad guys,” Oren said in the interview.

    In broad daylight, a Saudi-Israeli alliance

    Saudi Israeli alliance forged in blood

    Understanding the Israeli-Egyptian-Saudi alliance

    1. Notice the poster of this above post lacks any ability to speak.

      Just the same bullshit, same links, day in and day out..

      In broad daylight?

      America and Saudi Arabia have been joined at the hip.

      Israel understands where it lives. The poster, does not.

      He scoops horse manure in AZ for a living….

      Not a valued source for anything except how to use horse manure for fun and profit.

    2. Valued enough that the SSocial Media Commando of the Zionist government targets the posts with a disinformation campaign.

      That means the posts are accurate, on time and on target.


    3. Israel Pays Students For Pro-Israeli Social Media Propaganda

      The move was publicised in a statement from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office, the Associated Press reported. Students will receive scholarships to "engage international audiences online" and combat anti-Semitism and calls to boycott Israel, it was alleged.

      According to Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, the most recent proposition is being spearheaded by Danny Seaman, who was slammed by the media for writing anti-Muslim messages on Facebook.

      Students will be organised into units at each university, with a chief co-ordinator who receives a full scholarship, three desk co-ordinators for language, graphics and research who receive lesser scholarships and students termed “activists” who will receive a “minimal scholarship”, the Independent reported.

    4. Israel doesn't have the budget that the Moslem Brotherhood has…

      Tunisia's Ennahda movement has hired public relations giant Burson-Marsteller to boost its image in the United States ahead of elections that could see the Islamist party return to power.

      Read more:

    5. The Palestinian Authority Taps Top Lobbying Firm Patton Boggs

      Determined to keep American aid flowing to the PA, despite a recent alliance with Hamas
      By Ronn Torossian | 11/26/14 9:00am

      this week the PR trade magazine O’Dwyers reported that Squire Patton Boggs, the largest American lobbying firm, has been hired by the Palestinian Authority for the annual fee of $660,000 ($55,000 a month) to ensure that the PA continues to receive the nearly $500 Million in annual U.S. aid that has already been committed to by the United States. According to Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) documents, “Patton Boggs will assist the PA in assessing US funding promises to date and help ensure that further commitments of financial assistance are fulfilled and received by the Palestinians.”

    6. Journalist Jacob Laksin has documented the tens of millions of dollars that the Carter Center has accepted from Saudi Arabian royalty and assorted other Middle Eastern sultans, who, in return, Carter dutifully praised as peaceful and tolerant (no matter how despotic the regime). And these are only the confirmed, public donations.

      Carter has also accepted half a million dollars and an award from Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, saying in 2001: "This award has special significance for me because it is named for my personal friend, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan." This is the same Zayed, the long-time ruler of the United Arab Emirates, whose $2.5 million gift to the Harvard Divinity School was returned in 2004 due to Zayed's rampant Jew-hatred. Zayed's personal foundation, the Zayed Center, claims that it was Zionists, rather than Nazis, who “were the people who killed the Jews in Europe” during the Holocaust. It has held lectures on the blood libel and conspiracy theories about Jews and America perpetrating Sept. 11.

      Another journalist, Rachel Ehrenfeld, in a thorough and devastating article on "Carter’s Arab Financiers," meticulously catalogues Carter’s ties to Arab moneymen, from a Saudi bailout of his peanut farm in 1976, to funding for Carter’s presidential library, to continued support for all manner of Carter’s post-presidential activities. For instance, it was the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), founded in Pakistan and fronted by a Saudi billionaire, Gaith Pharaon, that helped Carter start up his beloved Carter Center. According to Ehrenfeld:

      “BCCI's origins were primarily ideological. [Agha Hasan] Abedi wanted the bank to reflect the supra-national Muslim credo and ‘the best bridge to help the world of Islam, and the best way to fight the evil influence of the Zionists.’

      As Ehrenfeld concluded:

      “[I]t seems that AIPAC's real fault was its failure to outdo the Saudi's purchases of the former president's loyalty. There has not been any nation in the world that has been more cooperative than Saudi Arabia," The New York Times quoted Mr. Carter June 1977, thus making the Saudis a major factor in U. S. foreign policy.

      ”Evidently, the millions in Arab petrodollars feeding Mr. Carter's global endeavors, often in conflict with U.S. government policies, also ensure his loyalty.”

    7. .

      According to Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) documents, “Patton Boggs will assist the PA in assessing US funding promises to date and help ensure that further commitments of financial assistance are fulfilled and received by the Palestinians.”

      AIPAC can do what it wants. All I ask is that they register as an agent of a foreign government under the registration act.


    8. Then apply that standard to every citizen lobbyist.

      But to require that of only those that support the America Israel relationship?


    9. Rather than make snide remarks? Change the law.

      Lobby Congress

      Do your civic duty

  12. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S.-led forces attacked Islamic State targets with 21 air strikes in Iraq and 10 in Syria since Wednesday, the American military said.

    Sixteen of the air strikes in Iraq were centered around Mosul, where they hit tactical units, vehicles, bridges, artillery systems and destroyed six culverts, the Combined Joint Task Force said in a statement on Thursday.

    Other strikes in Iraq hit near Sinjar, Tal Afar and Kirkuk, it said.

    U.S. and partner nations continued to target Islamic State militants near Kobani, with nine strikes in a 24-hour period. A tenth air strike destroyed a weapons storage facility near Ar Raqqa, the statement said.

    Gettin' Bizzy around Mosul

    1. The timing is about right.
      The Iraqi have had time to reorganized their Army, and want their country back.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Timing, heh heh, wasn't July 04, 2015 the date that you two confidently predict that IS will be out of Iraq? hmmmm.....

      "Ousting Islamic State from Iraq could take two years, Britain warns as allies gather

      Published Thursday, Jan. 22 2015, 6:43 AM EST

      The U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State could need up to two years to expel the militant group from Iraq whose own forces are still months away from launching proper combat operations, Britain’s foreign minister warned on Thursday.

      Twenty-one coalition members, including Canada, are gathered in Britain to discuss intensifying the campaign against Islamic State by doing more militarily and stemming the flow of foreign fighters. Those efforts continued in Europe on Thursday, as police have arrested two German men suspected of being Islamic State members and an Austrian court began its trial of a Chechen accused of fighting with the militants in 2013.


      Speaking before he played host to the coalition meeting, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the task of pushing IS back in Iraq would be slow and that Iraqi forces were getting better but were still some way off from being able to launch a major ground offensive.

      “This isn’t going to be done in three months or six months. It’s going to take a year, two years to push ISIL back out of Iraq but we are doing the things that need to be done in order to turn the tide,” Hammond told Sky News, referring to Islamic State by an earlier acronym.

      Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Abadi met British Prime Minister David Cameron before the London coalition meeting. Cameron told him Britain was ready to do more. Al-Abadi wants more training and equipment for the regular Iraqi army beyond the air strikes which the coalition is already conducting to push back Islamic State.


    4. This information from the British government is likely as accurate as ...

      "It is unknowable how long that conflict [the war in Iraq] will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."
      Donald Rumsfeld - in Feb. 2003

    5. July isn't very far off at all. Time will tell.

    6. .

      The overriding optimism here is refreshing albeit somewhat amazing.


    7. July was Rufus's prediction.

      As Legionnaire Q related, how is victory to be defined?

      Will the political background noise, the underlying sentiments of the Sunni that were removed from power, in Iraq, ever be staunched? Probably not.

      Can the central government in Baghdad micro-manage all of Iraq in an authoritative way? Probably not.

      Can Daesh be physically displaced from most of the ground it now controls? No doubt.
      When, on what schedule? That is up to the Iraqi, not the US.

    8. Yep, July 4th was My Prediction. :)

      I'm expecting the Battle for Mosul to commence sometime in the next two months, and to be a most unsatisfying, total mess (but, ultimately, a successful mess.)

      And, when Mosul goes, the jig is up.

    9. However, I Do Not understand the use of the term "optimism" in my prediction. Let's be clear, Daesh is stalled out, and the oil is safe; therefore, it is of Zero importance to the U.S. whether the headcutters are expelled from Iraq in 2014, 2015, 2016, or Never.

      It does not matter one whit to me, or thee, if the Daesh are comfortably ensconced in Mosul for one more day, or in perpetuity. (In fact, there is quite likely to be more money to be made the longer they stay.) :)

    10. eh!? More money to be made - by whom?

      If it is indeed as you say irrelevant from a US point of view whether they stay or go from Iraq it lends credence to the notion that they will still be there come July 4th.

    11. .

      And, when Mosul goes, the jig is up.

      What does that mean?


    12. I think it means he doesn't have a clue what he is talking about.

    13. Mosul is their "hinge." Their supply depot. Their R&R center. The "glue that binds."

      When Mosul goes down it becomes much easier to "roll up" the small pockets spread around the country.

    14. The reason I think the Battle of Mosul will be "sooner, rather than later" is I just don't believe the Iraqis will wait as long as we want them to wait.

      I could be wrong, but, as the man said, we'll know soon enough.

    15. I would suggest that "The 'glue that binds'" is their religiosity and the desire for a Caliphate not R&R in Mosul.

      Lordy, talk about Vietnamese rose colored glasses!

    16. You're way out of your element, here, Ash. All the "religiosity" in the world won't win you a battle if you don't have guns, ammo, troops, money, and supplies. That is where Mosul comes in.

    17. as we have seen throughout the US occupation of Iraq an on until now 'they' can be vastly outgunned, out battled, out bombed, but they are still there and the US suffers as it keeps on trying to win. Mosul may very well be taken but there will still be a lot of hearts and minds playing the Caliphate game, in Iraq.


    Charles Schmitz, an expert on Yemen and professor at Towson University, said the fallout from the apparent coup against Hadi was a mixed bag for the United States.

    "The Houthi are virulently anti-al Qaeda. They have gone after al Qaeda like no one has before. There is a certain coincidence of interest with the U.S. with the Houthis against al Qaeda," he said.

    "The Houthi have done nothing to even slightly irritate the Americans. they have been very careful not to do anything like that. The Americans are very much leaving the door open."

    1. "It is not clear to me to what extent Washington has relations with the Houthi movement. But now effectively the Houthis are kingmakers. While they do not dominate Yemen, they control the largest piece of real estate and they are the single-largest group," Bokhari said.

      The level of Iran's support for the Houthi movement, beyond rhetorical backing is in question. Tehran's intelligence resources are already stretched by the Syrian crisis and its finances have been hampered by western nuclear sanctions and the fall in the price of oil.

      The complex web of tribal and sectarian forces scrambling alliances and traditional alliances in Yemen represent the region in microcosm and reflects massive challenges facing U.S. officials in search of a working policy.

      "We don't have a lot of leverage in there at the moment," Seche said.

      "There are so many forces and counter forces at play -- none of which we or anyone controls effectively," he said.

      "There are currents and issues and long standing hostility they are going to have to work themselves to some extent."


    2. "We don't have a lot of leverage in there at the moment,"
      Seche said.

      "There are so many forces and counter forces at play -- none of which we or anyone controls effectively,"

  14. From the NYTimes, 2007

    the elusive Baghdadi was actually a fictional character

    Brigadier General Kevin Bergner, the chief American military spokesman, said the elusive Baghdadi was actually a fictional character whose audio-taped declarations were provided by an elderly actor named Abu Adullah al-Naima.

    The ruse, Bergner said, was devised by Abu Ayub al-Masri, the Egyptian-born leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, who was trying to mask the dominant role that foreigners play in that insurgent organization.

    The ploy was to invent Baghdadi, a figure whose very name establishes his Iraqi pedigree, install him as the head of a front organization called the Islamic State of Iraq and then arrange for Masri to swear allegiance to him. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's deputy, sought to reinforce the deception by referring to Baghdadi in his video and Internet statements.

    The evidence for the American assertions, Bergner announced at a news briefing, was provided by an Iraqi insurgent: Khalid Abdul Fatah Daud Mahmud al-Mashadani, who was said to have been captured by American forces in Mosul on July 4.

    According to Bergner, Mashadani is the most senior Iraqi operative in Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. He got his start in the Ansar al-Sunna insurgent group before joining Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia more than two years ago, and became the group's "media emir" for all of Iraq. Bergner said that Mashadani was also an intermediary between Masri in Iraq and bin Laden and Zawahiri, whom the Americans assert support and guide their Iraqi affiliate.

    "Mashadani confirms that al-Masri and the foreign leaders with whom he surrounds himself, not Iraqis, made the operational decisions" for Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, Bergner said.

  15. Not to worry, Deuce assures us, no one is out to kill Jews

    What was an Iranian general doing hanging around on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights border with Israel? The answer is that, along with several high-ranking figures in the Hezbollah terrorist group, General Mohammed Ali Allahdadi, a reputed ballistic missiles expert, was there helping to set up a missile base from which the terror group would, with Iranian aid and instructions, strike at the State of Israel. But before he completed his mission Allahdadi was killed along with some of the Hezbollah personnel in an Israel strike on their base near the town of Quenetra. The mission nipped the Iranian scheme in the bud but it’s doubtful that anyone in the Israeli government is under the impression that the strike ended the threat of attack from Iranian forces and their auxiliaries. But the revelation of the Iranian effort near the Golan is significant because it illustrates how deeply involved Iran is in fomenting a new terror war against Israel as well as the peril presented by Western policies that would, at best, make Iran a threshold nuclear power in the years to come.

    The purpose of the Iranian effort wasn’t just to make mischief for the Israelis under the cover of the chaos engendered by the Syrian civil war. The point of the plot was to allow Hezbollah to create a missile base from which it could rain death and destruction down on Israelis without involving the country of Lebanon. Hezbollah is still smarting from the negative feedback created by the 2006 war it started with Israel and which left much of that country in ruins. So what the group and its Iranian masters wanted is a secure base from which it could pepper Israel with rockets from the north in much the same manner that Hamas has done from the south. But, fortunately, as it has with various other terror plots involving Hezbollah in Syria, Israeli action has made the execution of this plot more difficult if not impossible in the short run.

    But the significance of this goes beyond the threat to Israel’s missile defense efforts or its desire to keep the north peaceful even as Hamas stirs the pot in the south.


    1. It’s no surprise to learn that senior Iranian military personnel are wandering around loose in Syria. Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard personnel have been deployed to Syria to aid efforts to preserve the rule of dictator and Iranian ally Bashar Assad. But what is also now becoming clear is that the Iranians are looking to use their entry into Syria as part of an effort to, at the least, revive a northern front military option against Israel.

      That this effort involved a ballistic missile export should, however, interest observers. While it is possible that the initial hopes for Allahdadi’s efforts were limited to attempts to launch the kind of middle-range rockets Hamas lobbed at Israel last summer, it is impossible to ignore the implications of Iran expanding its ballistic missile program to Syria.

      While the world has focused its attention on Iran’s nuclear program and the effort to force the Islamist regime to abandon its ambitions for a bomb, relatively little notice has been paid to Iran’s ballistic missile program. Indeed, the Iranians have been as reluctant to discuss their rockets as they have been to reveal the details about their military research on nuclear material. But if Tehran is already sending generals to the border with the Golan to build up a missile threat against the Jewish state, it doesn’t take much imagination to think what will happen once the U.S. drops sanctions on the regime as part of a new and weak nuclear deal that let the Iranians keep their program and its infrastructure.

      That puts the effort by the Obama administration to appease Iran and to work for a new détente with the regime rather than pressing it to give up its nuclear capability in a very different light. Previously, when one spoke of Iran’s state-sponsored terrorism, it brought to mind their using Hezbollah operatives to launch atrocities such as the 1994 AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires or the attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. But now when we link Iran and terror, it must be acknowledged that it is possible that one day the primary Iranian threat to Israel will be nuclear and that missiles based in Syria will be the method by which Tehran will cause trouble and perhaps even launch a nuke at Israel.

      If Israelis are more nervous about Iranian intentions in nuclear talks that Tehran has been, it is not just because they may think President Obama has proved himself a terrible negotiator in the peace talks. Rather, it is due to a sensible fear about Syria becoming nothing more than a launching pad for rockets in the same way Gaza has been transformed into a bastion of terror. Throw in the potential for nuclear weapons and you have a formula that ensures chaos and future bloodshed. Unless the U.S. wakes up to this threat and the folly of its stance toward Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, the consequences could be catastrophic.

    2. Always the consul, since 1948, Be afraid, be very afraid.

      The Shadow may get you.

    3. Lots of ... if, maybe, could ...

      Not a lot of hard, cold facts,

      "We will bury you!"
      is a phrase that was used by Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev while addressing Western ambassadors at a reception at the Polish embassy in Moscow ...

      But they never had the capacity to get it done. It was an empty threat, or boast.
      It belayed a mindset, no doubt ...
      But was no cause for war.

    4. Someday, I hope your wife and kids live under the threat of terrorist's rockets.

      Oh that's right, the "wife" and kid you had? Escaped from you decades ago leaving you the broken bitter piece of shit you are

    5. The Iranian General, in Syria, was there advising in the fight against the Daesh.
      As was the one killed in Iraq.

      Assisting in the fight on the ground against the Daesh ...
      The only sad part of the story ...
      The Coalition will not utilize their air superiority with 'Close Air Support' in their efforts.

      Will not institute the Rat Doctrine across the whole of the battle space in Syria.

    6. The Coalition will not utilize their air superiority with 'Close Air Support' in Assad's and his allies efforts.

    7. Jack HawkinsThu Jan 22, 01:00:00 PM EST
      The Iranian General, in Syria, was there advising in the fight against the Daesh.
      As was the one killed in Iraq.

      No the Iranian General was attempting got set up a base against Israel in Syria.

      English really aint your 1st language is it?

  16. Sanaa, Yemen (CNN) -

    Yemen's President and Cabinet have resigned, Yemeni officials said Thursday -- moves that came a day after the government and Houthi rebels struck a tentative peace deal meant to end days of turmoil.

    News of Yemeni President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi's resignation came Thursday night, shortly after a government representative said Yemeni Prime Minister Khaled Mahfoudh Abdullah Bahah and the country's Cabinet had quit.

  17. Someday, I hope your wife and kids live under the threat of terrorist's rockets.

    I have lived under that threat my entire life.
    According to the Federation of American Scientists, an organization that assesses nuclear weapon stockpiles, in 2013, Russia possessed an estimated 8,500 total nuclear warheads of which 1,800 were strategically operational

    Between the Palo Verde nuclear power generating station, Williams Air Force Base, and the Military Industrial Complex facilities in the Phoenix metropolitan area, we can rest assured that the targets are already plotted.

    The terrorist threat to Phoenix, Arizona remains the same, it is greater than the terrorist threat that Iran can, or ever will, be able to project.

    1. Just because a threat exists, does not mean that it will ever come to pass.
      That does not diminish the threat, but it does have an impact upon the course forward, in the face of the threat.

      The policies that the US pursued, Mutual Assured Destruction, in the face of the nuclear threat, succeeded.

      It has succeeded, as well, in the India/Pakistan conflict. Which some would say was a conflict between Hinduism and Islam.
      MAD has deterred the Muslims in Pakistan from attacking the Hindus of India with nuclear weapons.

      There is no evidence that has ever been presented that would lead a reasonable man to conclude that the Iranian Muslims are 'crazier' than Pakistani Muslims.

    2. :)

      My understanding is that the Mullahs are, mostly, if not entirely, very wealthy men - multi-millionaires, billionaires, and such.

      I don't think it's commonplace for multi-millionaires, and billionaires to commit mass suicide.. :)

    3. Jack your reading skills are lacking.


      the point was not about YOU.

      what a narcissistic asshole you are….

      "Jack HawkinsThu Jan 22, 01:38:00 PM EST
      Someday, I hope your wife and kids live under the threat of terrorist's rockets.

      I have lived under that threat my entire life."

      Who cares about YOU…..

    4. You are correct, "O"rdure, it is not about me, never has been.


    5. Which is why your writings, continually focused upon good ole Jack, are so, so humorous.

      That you have 'bought in' to the idea that if you could discredit a fictional character you could discredit the truth ...
      High Comedy

      or, as some of my associates would say ...
      That's some funny shit


  18. When the "Powers That Be" want to extend the game, they may just manipulate the board.
    Ambassador Stuart Jones in an interview published Thursday says:
    "The airstrikes have now killed more than 6,000 ISIS fighters in Syria and Iraq."

    On Wednesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi appealed for more aid for the country's beleaguered ground forces, which have yet to score a decisive victory against ISIS despite five months of U.S.-led coalition air raids.

    In an interview with The Associated Press, al-Abadi praised the coalition's air campaign but said the international community had stalled on commitments to train and equip the ground forces needed to retake major cities.

    "There is a lot being said and spoken, but very little on the ground," Al-Abadi said.

    1. The Pentagon has made a spending request to Congress of $1.6 billion, focusing on training and arming Iraqi and Kurdish forces. According to a Pentagon document prepared in November, the U.S. is looking to provide an estimated $89.3 million worth of weapons and other equipment to each of the nine Iraqi army brigades.

      "We want to see an acceleration of the training, acceleration of the delivery of arms," al-Abadi said. He reiterated that Iraq does not want any foreign boots on the ground, but said it needs "support and logistics."

      "We are fighting very hard to find resources to purchase arms," al-Abadi said. "We are left almost alone to get these arms and munitions for the army, for our fighters, and we expect much more."

      On a visit to Baghdad last week, Gen. John Allen, the U.S. envoy to the coalition, said that advise-and-assist teams are working to train and equip 12 Iraqi brigades to prepare them for retaking Mosul and the western town of Fallujah. But he said there is no timeline for an assault on those cities.

    2. "Bombing from the air has been very, very effective," al-Abadi said.
      "We are very thankful for the air campaign to support our military, but I think you cannot achieve big things without a real fight on the ground."

    3. Like I said, I might be way out of line on this. However, I wouldn't completely discount the possibility of a little deception regarding the "timeline."

    4. 2,000 Airstrikes, 6,000 Dead Headcutters.

      About 3 Daid Headcutters per "strike."

      Hmmm, that sounds familiar. Did someone around here postulate similar numbers?


    5. .

      Gee, maybe the State Department should explain to the Pentagon how to count casualties.

      Pentagon Doesn’t Know How Many People It’s Killed in the ISIS War


  19. Mr al-Abadi is quite correct.
    ... you cannot achieve big things without a real fight on the ground."

    It is true in Iraq, it is true in Syria.

    The US and the Coalition partners should provide 'Close Air Support' to the forces of Mr Assad.
    That is if it is in the National Interest of the US to defeat al-Qeada.
    If the US does not support Mr Assad in the conflict it would be an indicator that the "War on al-Qeada" is just a propaganda tool to further fund General Dynamics and the other members of the Military Industrial Complex feeding at the Federal trough.

  20. Sheldon Silver, the longtime speaker of the New York state Assembly, was arrested Thursday morning on charges that he​​ abused his position to pocket $4 million in bribes and kickbacks.

    Federal authorities also seized $3.8 million from Silver, freezing eight of his bank accounts at six different banks, authorities said.

    “Over his decades in office, Speaker Silver has amassed titanic political power,” Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara.

    “But, as alleged, during that same time, Silver also amassed a tremendous personal fortune – through the abuse of that political power. All told, we allege that Silver corruptly collected some $4 million in bribes and kickbacks disguised as ‘referral fees.’ ”

    Silver was hit with a five-count​ criminal​ complaint​ brought by Bharara​, which claims that his corruption dates back to 2000.

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