“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Europe is not a playground for temporary U.S. politicians or military. Europe is a permanent changing collection of sovereign states, capable of running their own affairs.

The Changing borders of Europe:

It Is Not Up To The U.S.A. To Start A War In Europe Over Ukraine With Russia

There is a growing political consensus in the United States that it would be good to arm the regular forces in Ukraine so that they can crush the separatists and kick the Russians out of the country.

That is too easy to decide from the cosy distance of the Atlantic Ocean. It is also short-sighted. Arming the forces in Ukraine will lead to a wider war in Europe, a possible World War Three, with the likely loss of lives of tens of thousands of people and massive destruction of assets and economies. In Europe, not in the United States.

The U.S. could sell arms, invest and aid in the rebuilding of Europe after the war, just as the American economy got a boost after World War Two and the dollar obtained its supremacy in global trade as a consequence of the lend-lease military supply programs in the forties that made several European countries deep in debt towards the United States. But those financial and political gains are not worth the costs.

War is not yet unavoidable. Russia is no longer reliable and president Vladimir Putin is turning into a single-minded despot. Nevertheless, that does not mean that the people of Ukraine, Russia and the rest of Europe should be sacrificed in the name of safeguarding a Western view of democracy and to maintain a specific frontier.

The United States is a military superpower — be it perhaps waning and biding its time to find an opportunity to become undisputed top-dog again. Since its own war of independence and the civil war – that ended in 1865 – it has waged war anywhere in the world but on its own territory, as a virtual Master Of The Universe with the right to intervene anywhere and anytime. (Okay, Pearl Harbor was on U.S. territory but not on the mainland)

Europe is not a playground for U.S. politicians or military. Europe is a collection of sovereign states, capable of running their own affairs.

The Ukraine crisis is a tinderbox that could inflame the continent. The United States should not strike the match to light it. If there has to be war in Europe, leave it up to the Europeans to take that dramatic decision. Wednesday’s peace conference in Minsk may prove to be another failure, but talking has not taken any lives yet.

Marcel Michelson

I have over 25 years' experience in international financial journalism, working for the Thomson Reuters news agency in various countries, and had reporting assignments in many more, including China, Japan and the United States. I started as a cub reporter in the Netherlands and worked several years in the very competitive European news hub of London. Later, I became a chief correspondent for France and had a short secondment as European business editor. Based in Paris, I now run my own communication and content agency, I help clients with media and communication strategies, media training, market research, reputation studies and management due diligence. I studied general and business economics at the University of Amsterdam, where I obtained the equivalent of a Master's degree. In my spare time, I am an accomplished cook and blog about food and recipes on . I practice Swedish gym, jogging, cycling and enjoy traveling. I have been married to Maartje since 1989, after we met during cycling holidays in the Spanish Rioja area. We still regularly share wine and meals, as well as some athletic activities.


  1. The MIC needs another war, and they seem to have the CIA, and the State Dept. working on it.

    Before we go getting any deeper, we need an investigation into what we've actually done up to this point. Did we foment a coup against a duly elected government? If so, shouldn't we pack up our toys, apologize, and go home?

  2. ...Arming the forces in Ukraine will lead to a wider war in Europe, a possible World War Three,...

    How so?
    He doesn't take the time to spell it out but concludes it as a given.

  3. Who has the most to lose if there is a war? What is the risk/reward? Why is it the business of the discredited US Congress?

    1. Another way of looking at the situation is to ask, who can be lost to Putin if resistance isn't shown?

    2. You can’t lose what you don’t own.

    3. Agreed, but Allies can be lost.

    4. I reposted a video at the top of this post to put some historical perspective. Pay attention to Crimea, Kiev, Russia, Poland and Austria. History does not stop.

    5. Thank you, I will watch the video.

    6. Changed rulers many times over the thousand years.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. We had this rip roaring debate on healthcare. We hear that Washington can’t do anything right. Where is their insight and wisdom into the ever changing borders of Eastern Ukraine?

    We provided lethal arms to the Holy religious warriors in Afghanistan. How did that work out for you and your family?

  6. The CIA removed the elected governments in Chile and Iran. How did that go? Is it un-American to mind our own business?

    1. What exactly is it to be American?
      That is up for endless debate, IMO.

    2. We could start with The Pledge of Allegiance. That is all American, maybe not:

      Francis Bellamy was a minister who was thrown out of his Baptist post because of sermons describing Jesus as a socialist. He and novelist cousin Edward Bellamy both saw a future for the United States as a country in which the government controlled virtually every aspect of a person's life.

      Francis Bellamy (who also wrote for a magazine underwritten by flag sales and therefore stood to gain by having schools require a flag salute each day) and his friends got President Benjamin Harrison to incorporate Bellamy's pledge into the 400th anniversary celebration of Columbus' arrival in the New World. It has been recited in public schools ever since.

      In 1954, amid anti-communist fervor, President Eisenhower and Congress added "under God" at the behest of a Presbyterian minister, George MacPherson Docherty. The Scottish immigrant became better known as a civil rights activist in later years, working with Martin Luther King Jr.

      All this notwithstanding, the pledge has remained a recurring political hot button. Then-Vice President George H.W. Bush became its chief defender when running for president in 1988 against former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, who had vetoed a bill requiring students to recite the pledge.

      And many conservatives defended the pledge against legal challenges in recent years, winning federal appeals court rulings both in San Francisco and Boston.

      Even some conservatives have noticed the seeming contradiction.

      "It's ironic to see conservatives rally to such a questionable custom," Gene Healy, a Cato Institute scholar, wrote in 2003, when the California pledge case was originally in the news. "Why do so many conservatives who, by and large, exalt the individual and the family above the state, endorse this ceremony of subordination to the government? Why do Christian conservatives say it's important for schoolchildren to bow before a symbol of secular power? Indeed, why should conservatives support the Pledge at all, with or without ‘under God'?"


    3. US school children used to use the fascist salute during the pledge. How “American” is that?

    4. check it out:


    6. I'd rather the kids have to recite a pledge to the truth and nothing but the truth.
      I grew up having to recite The Pledge to the state, which is a pledge to Nationalism.
      That leads to "My Country, right or wrong". I don't agree with mandatory allegiance to anything but the truth.

    7. And, to be honest, the truth can get you in a fair amount of trouble, from time to time, also. :)

    8. :)
      I wish to assert my 5th Amendment right so as not incriminate myself.

  7. The point is, that Washington DC has no demonstrated expertise at running other people’s countries. We are fairly good at breaking them and destroying property while killing and maiming the locals by the millions. We had a former AWOL coke head, rich man’s brat as a president and he got 100,000 US servicemen killed and injured while wrecking Iraq and killing Iraqis by the hundreds of thousands. We destroyed them and for what.

    So we can watch these disgusting “Wounded Warrior” ads on TV. They would be more accurately described as “Washington’s Human Wreckage"

    1. The point is, that Washington DC has no demonstrated expertise at running other people’s countries

      Also, agreed.
      If the Ukrainians want to rule themselves, it should be a local issue.
      Without pressure from Moscow and its military presence.

  8. How many of the world's countries has England Not invaded?

    answer: 22

  9. VOA News
    Last updated on: February 07, 2015 8:39 PM

    The United States wants a peaceful solution to the conflict in Ukraine but will continue to provide Kyiv with "security assistance," not to encourage war but to allow it to defend itself against Russia, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Saturday.

    Speaking at an international security conference in Munich, Biden said Russia's President Vladimir Putin had repeatedly vowed to work for peace but instead had delivered "tanks, troops and weapons" to the conflict. He said Russia should be judged by its deeds, rather than its words.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he had "no doubt" that the United States would send economic help and what he called aid of "other kinds" to Ukraine.

    In an interview to be fully aired Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Kerry said the United States would be helping Ukraine with the understanding that there is no military solution.

    "The solution is a political, diplomatic one," Kerry said. "But President Putin's got to make the decision to take an off-ramp" on support for the separatists. "And we have to make it clear to him that we are absolutely committed to the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine, no matter what."

    1. I can't think of a single reason why we should be "committed to the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine."

      Especially, "No Matter What."

    2. The concept if Sovereign nations entitled to their own integrity is the basis upon which international relations rests. It was a fundamental concept used when setting up the UN. You know, 'thou shall not wage war unless attacked'? The USA in recent times has made a mockery of such fundamental international relations but still, hypocritically, insists others follow such agreements.

    3. The UN mocks itself.
      US out of the UN and the UN out of the USA.
      Just my opinion though.

    4. Why do you think the US should exit the UN dougman?

    5. There are a few good reasons here...

    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Jack HawkinsSun Feb 08, 10:15:00 AM EST
    Even allen praised "O"riginal for his Ohio candy company, the only one that supplied the dietary needs of the Orthodox community. The President of the now defunct Chocolate Emporium Inc. confirmed that hers was the only company n all of Ohio, the Midwest, that supplied that market.

    It is all in the archives. It is being complied ...

    Sweetness and light.

    Outing of people's PERSONAL information in a derogatory way is in violation of Blogspot rules.

    Chocolate Emporium is not, nor has ever been connected to me in any way, but this does not get Jack off the hook.

    His intention is to "out" people. He has stalked the wrong Jew for almost a decade.

    Even now when confronted with his error, he STILL LIBELS the Chocolate Emporium.
    These folks have done nothing to him and he continues to slander them.

    Jack have you no shame?


    Cui bono?

    1. I don’t have time for the foolishness that no one is interested in besides you three.

    2. And yet? You delete my posts and never Herr Rat's

      That is UR approval of his behavior

  11. The Baltics may be next.

    There are enough Roosians in the Baltics to justify a Pooty Roosian invasion there.

    However the Baltic states are now in NATO which complicates things for Pooty considerably.

    Since he is not crazy he will probably look elsewhere.

    But where ?

    We need to ask Sarah Palin.

    As it was she who predicted this business in the Ukraine long ago, way before anyone else, the stupid housewife......


    1. That damned stupid wolf shooting moose skinning housewife......who can "see Russia from my window"......;)

    2. Even the far darting mind of the magical Quirk was unable to see so far ahead.....:)

  12. Fear of Vladimir Putin grows in EU capitals amid spectre of ‘total war’

    Analysis: That Angela Merkel has gone to Moscow speaks to the sudden gravity of the situation in east Ukraine

    Russian President Vladimir Putin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande in Moscow urgent meeting.

    President Vladimir Putin with Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Fran├žois Hollande in Moscow for an urgent meeting over Ukraine. Photograph: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

    Ian Traynor, Europe editor

    Friday 6 February 2015 11.12 EST

    In Brussels and other European capitals, the fear of Vladimir Putin is becoming palpable. The mood has changed in a matter of weeks from one of handwringing impotence over Ukraine to one of foreboding.

    The anxiety is encapsulated in the sudden rush to Moscow by Angela Merkel and Fran├žois Hollande. To senior figures closely involved in the diplomacy and policymaking over Ukraine, the Franco-German peace bid is less a hopeful sign of a breakthrough than an act of despair.

    “There’s nothing new in their plan, just an attempt to stop a massacre,” said one senior official.

    Carl Bildt, the former Swedish foreign minister, said a war between Russia and the west was now quite conceivable. A senior diplomat in Brussels, echoing the broad EU view, said arming the Ukrainians would mean war with Russia, a war that Putin would win.

    Announcing the surprise mission to Kiev and Moscow, Hollande sounded grave and solemn. The Ukraine crisis, he said, started with differences, which became a conflict, which became a war, and which now risked becoming “total war”.

    Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former Danish prime minister and until recently the head of Nato, publicly voiced fears that Putin could expand what is seen as Soviet revisionism to countries now in Nato and the EU. In the Baltics, Putin might risk a little exercise in “hybrid warfare”, he said, just to test how the western alliance would react.....................

  13. What will you advise the West to do, Noble Ash, if Pooty suddenly heads for the Baltic states ?

    If he decides to >>risk a little exercise in “hybrid warfare”<< there ?

  14. February 8, 2015
    Ukraine crisis spiraling out of control
    By Rick Moran

    With last summer's cease fire agreement a distant memory, and amid a growing division between the US and Europe on whether to supply the Kiev government with weapons, western leaders are meeting in Munich to desperately find a formula that would stop the escalating fighting in eastern Ukraine.

    The Ukraine government claims that Russian tanks and troops are assisting separatist rebels in their drive to defeat government forces and establish a separate country for the largely ethnic Russians who live there. The Ukraine government refuses to bargain away their territory and Russia appears just as determined to help the rebels win. The fighting is becoming fiercer and the government in Kiev says it needs arms to push back against the Russian backed rebel drive..............

    1. Munich is always a good place to meet.

  15. Is there a living human being outside of Latvia, Lithuania, and Belarus that actually give a flying fuck what happens to Latvia, Lithuania, or Belarus? Really?

    1. Now that we've cleared that up, let's move on to Bulgaria, Hungary, and . . . . . . . . . aw, fuckit, just insert the name of another Caucasus/eastern European shithole, here . . . . . . . . . . and, ask the same question.

    2. Is there a human being living outside of Mississippi that actually gives a shit what happens to Mississippi ?

      No, there is not.


    3. Yet Rufus really cares about the folk in the deserts of iraq

    4. Where did you get that idea?

    5. Oh, right, you only give a shit about getting your paws on cheap oil. What an immoral one you are!

    6. Or should I say "greedy bastard"?

    7. Thank you, sweetie (but I think you're starting to drink a little too much of that stuff.) :)

    8. Rufus,

      You have made it very clear that you don't give a shit about the people of Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, et al and that you think the USA should do nothing to protect them. On the other hand you have consistently and contstantly urged tha the USA use it's military might to support the people in the desert in Iraq - you regularly post how the military operations are going an you are, by far, its biggest cheerleade. The sole reason, which you've stated numerous times, is because of the desire for the USA to access the oil in Iraq. Because of such views you have expressed, it is clear you are an immoral bastard who only wants cheap oil. That has been your only justification for employing the military might of the USA. That makes you a bad man, immoral, one who only cares about one's creature comforts. What makes it more despicalble is that you apply such standard of conduct based on such a loosly considered notion of one's "country" - if it is for the good of the USA (cheap oil) well then we should do whatever we can regardless of the loss of life for such a weak justification as 'I need to drive my truck cheaply for beer'.

    9. :) :) Lord God help a goose. :)

      You are a hoot.

      Carry on precious; you're on a roll.

  16. Steyn on Brian Williams February 8, 2015 He’s the one we’ve been waiting for. More


    See: American Thinker

    >>>He’s the one we’ve been waiting for. The inimitable Mark Steyn has taken on Brian Williams, perhaps the most satirized figure in public life of the last month. Actually, with Williams, Steyn offers both wisdom and potshots, musing on the way memories embellish themselves over the years, but pointing out the egregiousness not only of Williams’ self-promotion, but the failure of the NBC organization to do much beyond ensure that his hair is perfect when he appears on camera.

    As always with Steyn, there is something in every paragraph, almost every sentence, to make you laugh, think, or learn something about show tunes, ballet, or another of Steyn’s eclectic trove expertise. A couple of examples............<<<

    Good ol' Steyn, as ready with memorable phrasing.

  17. So, the worry is that Russia will travel through Poland to attack Europe - the core countries of which have a GDP about 7 Times that of the bear. Yeah, that would be worth the price of the ticket.

  18. Meanwhile,

    Amman (AFP) - Jordan announced Sunday it conducted dozens of air strikes on the Islamic State group that murdered one of its pilots, as part of an international assault Washington says is bearing fruit.

    Air Force chief Major General Mansour al-Jobour told reporters the kingdom had launched 56 air raids on IS since Thursday.

    "On the first day of the campaign to avenge our airman Maaz al-Kassasbeh, 19 targets were destroyed, including training camps and equipment," he said, reading from a prepared text.

    Jordan has vowed to crush IS after the jihadists burned alive Kassasbeh, who was captured in December when his F-16 warplane went down in Syria.

    Eighteen more targets including ammunition and fuel depots and logistics centres were hit on Friday.

    On Saturday, 19 IS targets were destroyed, including barracks and residential centres.

    "So far, the campaign has destroyed 20 percent of the fighting capabilities of Daesh," he said using another name for IS which controls swathes of both Syria and Iraq.

    Jordan is part of the US-led coalition of Arab and Western countries that has been carrying out air strikes against IS since September.

    State media reported that a squadron of United Arab Emirates F-16 fighter jets arrived Sunday in Jordan escorted by pilots and technicians.

    C-17 transporters and refuelling planes were part of the squadron sent to on the orders of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan, the Petra news agency said.

    US Secretary of State John Kerry said the aerial campaign on IS in Iraq and Syria was beginning to win back territory seized by the jihadists and deprive the group of key funds.

    There have been 2,000 air strikes on IS since the coalition's formation in August, Kerry told the Munich Security Conference.

    The air war had helped to retake some 700 square kilometres (270 square miles) of territory, or "one-fifth of the area they had in their control," he said.

    The top US diplomat did not specify whether the regained territory was in Iraq or Syria.

    But he added the coalition had "deprived the militants of the use of 200 oil and gas facilities... disrupted their command structure... squeezed its finance and dispersed its personnel."

    - 'Turning point' -

    Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said that while the bombing campaign had "degraded" IS capability, the group was still in control of "vast territory".

    "They still have access to Syria's cash and funds. They have access to weaponry. They're not gone as a threat yet," Judeh told ABC television.

    Interior Minister Hussein Majali said in remarks published on Saturday that Kassasbeh's gruesome murder by IS was a "turning point" in the kingdom's fight against extremism.

    "The day of the hero, martyr pilot's assassination is a turning point in Jordan's history in order to face this horrific crime that was committed by the cowardly terrorist organisation," he said.

    Jobour said more than 7,000 IS militants had been killed since Jordan began participating in coalition air strikes.

    Following . . . . . . .

    Dead Men To Be

    1. >>>Jobour said more than 7,000 IS militants had been killed since Jordan began participating in coalition air strikes.<<<

      Jobour is as full of crap as Baghdad Bob but the Jordanians are putting on a better show than we have been doing.

    2. I read Baghdad Bob finally got out of the can and immigrated to Detroit, and now is working for some new outfit called Quba Tourism LLC which vacations folks to Cuba due to the new opening with that nation.

  19. There is no way possible for the US to back down Putin militarily on Russia’s borders. In the sixties when we had 550,000 US troops in Germany, we went out of our way to stay back from certain areas. US MPs were shot and killed in Berlin and there was no belligerent US military response.

    When in Germany, I was told in no uncertain terms never to get closer than 10 kms to the East German border. When in Greece, I could not travel near the Albanian or Yugoslavian border. I served on at least three bases that had tactical nuclear weapons by the hundreds and still when the Russians went into Czechoslovakia, we did nothing.

    We recognized Russia’s sphere of influence.

    The Republican party has never been worse than it is now when it comes to reckless stupidity and ignorance in foreign affairs.

    Having a mercenary army does not help matters but this does; the US has made a complete muck-up of Iraq, Egypt, and Libya. There is nothing of lasting value for all the money, lives and damage done in the constant overuse of militarism. That should be a lesson learned.

    The US military can only lose engaging Russia on its own borders. We do not have the means to defeat Russia in a war of attrition and we do not have the national will. Obama should have learned that in Syria.

    There is no measure of a victory in Ukraine that is worth the cost. It is too bad that we have so few members of Congress that served as citizen soldiers. Patience and letting the Russian economy continue its long slow cracking and crashing is the best and only sensible solution. It worked before and everything we have done since then has failed.

  20. JERUSALEM (AP) — A national leader's appearance before the U.S. Congress is usually a source of pride and unity. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's planned trip to Washington — opposed by the White House and many Democrats — has Israel in uproar.

    The Israeli leader faces growing calls to cancel the visit as rivals accuse him of risking Israel's relations with the United States in hopes of winning extra votes in next month's Israeli parliamentary election.

    But Netanyahu has shown no signs of backing down, saying Sunday he would "do everything" to prevent U.S.-led international negotiators from reaching a "bad and dangerous agreement" with Iran over its nuclear program.

    1. Obama has directed the National Black Caucus to be unavailable for Bibi's speech..

    2. Maybe Israel should just take out a few secret, undisclosed Iranian targets in Syria and maybe take out a couple secret undisclosed plutonium reactors and not give the speech...

    3. Israel and the world understand now that Obama wants an agreement no matter what terms, no matter what concessions America must make. Obama is prepared to give up the ranch for his vanity..

      Good luck with that..

      Meanwhile Iran has taken over Yemen. :)

  21. I’ll be amazed if he doesn’t cancel.

    1. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to speak before Congress on March 3, but there's a growing chorus of voices calling on him to cancel the appearance. The latest organization to issue this call? The Anti-Defamation League, a U.S.-based international organization dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism.

      Abrahm Foxman, the group's national director and a leading voice in the Jewish community, told The Jewish Daily Forward that the controversy over Netanyahu's speech is unhelpful. He added that Netanyahu should stay home.

      “One needs to restart, and it needs a mature adult statement that this was not what we intended,” Foxman said in an interview published . . . . .

      Et Tu ADL?

    2. Obama is pressuring Bibi to cancel. How dare Bibi actually speak to the representatives of the people of the United States, after all Obama would NEVER go to Israel and talk to the people for political reasons..

      Oh my bad he has....

      Obama has encouraged dialogue with Castro of Cuba, Iran, the moslem brotherhood, hamas and hezbollah.. But the nerve of the Prime Minister of Israel to actually ACCEPT the invitation by the Speaker of the House? UN HEARD OF...

      Oh yeah, he did that in 2011....

    3. .

      I’ll be amazed if he doesn’t cancel.

      It will likely be dependent on how the politics are trending. I'm sure he would love the spotlight and proselytize his views on a big stage; however, I've heard it said by a number of sources that despite his bombast he is not a risk taker.

      IMO, he is like most high profile politicians. His number one interest is in keeping his job. He will do what he wants up until the point he thinks it might hurt his chances of keeping the PM job.


  22. No one is challenging Russia's borders. It is Russia that is challenging the borders of others.

    It's almost a national pastime of theirs, that and drinking Vodka.

    It should be made difficult for them.

    1. All the way to Alaska, at one time. A long ways.

      If they had the sense to sell off more of their holdings they could fix their economy and go back to drinking full time....

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. Ah Iran is planning it's next embassy bombing....

    Uruguay confirms: Iran diplomat suspecting of collecting intel on Israeli embassy fled
    Ahmed Sabatgold suspected of collecting intelligence for bombing attempt on Israeli embassy in Montevideo.

    The government of Uruguay officially confirmed reports over the weekend that an Iranian diplomat had left the country after being suspected by Uruguayan security forces of collecting intelligence about the Israeli embassy in Montevideo.

  25. Really, Israel assassinates Iranians fighting ISIL and now Israel has its panties wet about a revenge bombing. Who would have thought?

    1. Maybe Israel should act like Iran and start bombing Iranian Culture Centers around the world, oh wait, those Iranians HATE the Iranian government, maybe israel can find an enemy of Iran and around iran and arm them with a couple billion in weapons?

      Maybe Israel can start bombing Iranian embassies?

      Iranian Generals planning a missile base on the syrian side of the golan is hardly "fighting" ISIL.

      But's let's remember Iran has helped Assad butcher almost 300,000 sunnis and create the largest refugee issue in the history of the middle east.. 11 MILLION.

      That's what caused Isil to be created. Sunni Jihadists tired of being genocided by Iran and their henchmen Syria and Hezbollah.

      Both sides of the jihadist coin suck...

    2. Israeli assassins are quite celebrated in Israel.

  26. We already know that the chief Israeli shitbird , Netanyahu will do anything to stop the Iranian nuclear deal. Uruguay has already denied the fancidul report that Iran is trying to attack one of their embassies:

    Iran and Uruguay have dismissed a report by Israeli media about the expulsion of an Iranian diplomat from Uruguay over his alleged involvement in a fake bomb incident in the Latin American country’s capital.

    On Friday, Israeli daily Haaretz quoted an unidentified Israeli official as saying that Uruguay had expelled a senior Iranian diplomat two weeks ago over last month’s planting of a fake bomb near Israel’s embassy in Montevideo.

    However, Iran’s embassy in Montevideo rejected the report as false on Saturday, saying such media claims are aimed at creating Iranophobia and tarnishing the Islamic Republic’s international image.

    In a similar statement on Friday, the Uruguayan government also denied having expelled an Iranian diplomat in relation to the fake bomb incident.

    On January 8, the police in Uruguay discovered an object suggestive of a bomb near the new Israeli embassy located in the World Trade Center office complex in Montevideo.

    Montevideo bomb squad officers detonated the fake bomb. Bomb brigade Lieutenant Colonel Alfredo Larramendi told reporters that the dummy bomb “never posed any danger,” but it might have been planted “there to see the response time” of responders, or to “size up the quality of the security of Israel’s embassy.”

    Tehran has said in the past that Tel Aviv has ordered attacks against its own embassies in India and Georgia in order to damage Iran’s image in the host countries.

    1. Iran has a HISTORY of murdering Israelis and Jews across the world.

      No surprise.

      I guess you think the Argentinian Jewish Community Center was a matzo ball explosion?


    2. No it had everything to do with Israeli actions in Lebanon.

      For almost seven years, from June 1985 to February 1992, there was no attack from Lebanon on Israeli territory. Then in February 1992, Israel killed a Hezbollah leader, Sheikh Mussawi, together with members of his family, while they were driving in a car north of the “Security Zone” occupied by Israel and its mercenary force, the “South Lebanon Army” (SLA). The first shelling of Israel by the Hezbollah only occurred after this murder. It is obvious that Israeli interests in keeping the “Security Zone” under its control must be very great, because it risked a shelling of its population in order to try and lessen the danger to the “Zone” by killing a leader of the forces which up to that point had not assaulted Israel.

      Fuck with the bull and you get the horn.

    3. *About the Author:

      Israel Shahak was born on April 28, 1933 in Warsaw, Poland. In 1943-5, the Nazis in the Poniatowo and Bergen–Belsen concentration camps imprisoned Shahak and his parents. The 12–year–old Shahak and his mother immigrated to Palestine after the liberation of the camps in 1945. In the 1960s, while working as Professor of Chemistry at Hebrew University, Shahak became one of Israel´s leading voices of dissent. In 1970 he was elected chairman of the Israeli Human and Civil Rights League, and spent the next three decades strongly advocating equality and civil rights. In the 1990s, Shahak emerged as one of the strongest critics of the Oslo ‘peace process’, which he denounced as a fraud and a vehicle for making the Israeli occupation more efficient.

      Shahak gained a wide international audience through his regular “Translations from the Hebrew Press”, which gave the non-Hebrew speaking world a unique glimpse into the extreme and racist rhetoric about Arabs, Palestinians and Jewish supremacy that characterizes much of ‘mainstream’ discourse in Israel. The translations also clarified Israeli strategic thinking and policy goals in a manner that directly contradicted official ‘hasbara‘ (propaganda), which presented Israel as a besieged state struggling only for peace and survival. Shahak´s writings continuously exposed and denounced Israel as an expansionist, chauvinist and racist state bent on the domination of the surrounding Arab peoples, especially the Palestinians. His recent books, including Open Secrets: Israeli Nuclear and Foreign Policies (Pluto Press, 1997), Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years (Pluto Press, 1997) and Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel (Pluto Press, 1999), provide an invaluable insight into Israeli discourse and policy. Shahak explained, “After 1967, when I ceased being just a scientist and became a political being, my first reason was that after 1967 the Israeli aim was to dominate is the Middle East, which every rational human being knows is impossible. My second reason was that there must be a Palestinian state.” Edward Said observed “As someone who spoke and wrote about Palestine, I could not have done what I did without Shahak's papers and of course his example as a seeker after truth, knowledge, and justice. It is as simple as that, and I therefore owe him a gigantic debt of gratitude.”

      Israel Shahak died on July 2, 2001, aged 68, from complications caused by diabetes.

  27. Iran’s top leader said on Sunday no deal would be better than a bad deal when it comes to negotiations with world powers over the country’s disputed nuclear programme.

    Foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, meanwhile, told a gathering of the world’s top diplomats and defense officials that “this is the opportunity” for a deal.

    The United States and its five negotiating partners, the other members of the UN Security Council and Germany, hope to clinch a deal setting long-term limits on Tehran’s enrichment of uranium and other activity that could produce material for use in nuclear weapons.

    Iran insists it has the right to enrich uranium and has demanded the lifting of crippling international sanctions. Tehran insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful despite western suspicions it has a military component.

    Iran and the six-nation group – the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany – hope to reach a rough deal by March and a final agreement by 30 June.

    In remarks posted on his website, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all major decisions, said Tehran agreed with Washington that no agreement is better than an agreement that doesn’t meet its interests, without elaborating.

    Zarif said now was the window of opportunity to come up with a final deal. He met individually at the Munich security conference with each country involved, except France which was scheduled later on Sunday.

    “This is the opportunity to do it, and we need to seize this opportunity,” he said. “It may not be repeated.”

    Following a 90-minute morning meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry, their second meeting on the sidelines of the conference, Zarif said he felt that progress had been made in the past months and suggested it would be unproductive to further extend negotiations.

  28. The Real Israeli Interests in Lebanon

    by Israel Shahak *

    Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
    July 1996, pgs. 19, 111

  29. Jordan announced it has carried out dozens of air strikes on Islamic State (ISIS), as a top U.S. envoy said Iraqi troops would begin a major ground offensive against the jihadists in the week ahead.

    Jordanian air force chief Major General Mansour al-Jobour said Sunday the kingdom had launched 56 air raids since Thursday as part of an international assault against ISIS that Washington says is beginning to bite.

    Jordan has vowed an "earth-shattering" response after the Sunni extremists captured one of its air force pilots, Maaz al-Kassasbeh, burned him alive and released a gruesome video of the execution.

    "On the first day of the campaign to avenge our airman Maaz al-Kassasbeh, 19 targets were destroyed, including training camps and equipment," Jobour told reporters.

    John Allen, the US coordinator for the anti-ISIS coalition of Western and Arab countries, said Sunday that Iraqi troops would begin a major ground offensive against the jihadists "in the weeks ahead".

    "When the Iraqi forces begin the ground campaign to take back Iraq, the coalition will provide major firepower associated with that," he told Jordan's official Petra news agency, stressing that the Iraqis would lead the offensive.

    ISIS have . . . . . .

    Some Dead Men on their last stroll

    1. >>>So far, the campaign has destroyed 20 percent of the fighting capabilities of Daesh," Jobour said, using another name for IS.

      Jobour said more than 7,000 IS militants had been killed since Jordan began participating in coalition air strikes.<<<

      This Jobour dude is ten laughs a minute....

    2. That works out to a belly shaker every six seconds.........

    3. That's probably pretty close.

      We're up to well over 2,000 airstrikes, now.

    4. Anyway,

      John Allen, the US coordinator for the anti-ISIS coalition of Western and Arab countries, said Sunday that Iraqi troops would begin a major ground offensive against the jihadists "in the weeks ahead".

      "When the Iraqi forces begin the ground campaign to take back Iraq, the coalition will provide major firepower associated with that," he told Jordan's official Petra news agency, stressing that the Iraqis would lead the offensive.

    5. I read recently the new USA trained 'Iraqi Army' - the old USA trained one having disintegrated - was only now beginning training, without guns, shouting "bang, bang" to simulate firing because they have no ammo.....

      Time will tell how it goes.

      Don't read me wrong, I hope it goes well.

      Just really skeptical.

      The UAE has announced it is rejoining the coalition.

  30. Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana Most Conservative States

    Mississippi is the most conservative state. Idaho lags way behind at # 8......

  31. All this bombing might be increasing the support for ISIS in SunniLand, rather than decreasing it. I've been reading support for ISIS by the locals is growing, if anything, and not receding. There has got to be some collateral damage. This always pisses the relatives of the dead off and It isn't ISIS that is dropping the bombs from the skies. It's a question whether the bombing is doing more good or harm....

    1. Quick demise of ISIS terrorist group unlikely, experts say

      Daily Photo Galleries
      Sunday - Feb. 8, 201

      The latest savagery by the Islamist army known as ISIS — burning to death captured Jordanian fighter pilot Moaz al-Kaseasbeh — prompts new concerns about its longevity and global reach.

      That follows a year in which ISIS erased the border between Syria and Iraq by seizing large swaths of both, beheaded or crucified hundreds of captives and proclaimed itself a “caliphate,” or the Islamic State.

      “While they aren't expanding too much these days, they are certainly remaining, which is part of their slogan,” said Ayman Al-Tamimi, an authority on Islamist groups and a fellow at the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum.

      ISIS has no “local challengers in their main strongholds” of Syria and Iraq, according to Tamimi, which “points, at a minimum, to their endurance ... at least for the next few years.”

      Likening its rise to that of Nazi Germany, he said, “Then, at best, we are in 1941 or early '42.”

      Tamimi and other experts agree that ISIS' durability and its attraction for recruits from the Middle East and the West are alarming.

      “I think we are in the middle of this process ... the explosions in the Arab world,” said Reuven Paz, an expert on jihadism and a lecturer at Israel's Interdisciplinary Center Herzilya.

      Paz is particularly bothered by ISIS' “quick radicalization” of people “all over the world, (but) mainly among Muslim communities in the West and the Arab world,” sparked by its battlefield success: “You see youngsters at the age of 16 or 17 leave their parents and go to Syria and Iraq.”........................

    2. FBI: US Airstrikes Increasing Support for ISIS
      Group Using US Attacks to Boost Recruitment
      by Jason Ditz, September 17, 2014
      Print This | Share This

      US airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq, far from “degrading” the organization, are actually giving ISIS a huge shot in the arm, according to FBI Director James Comey, who testified today before Congress.

      ISIS “growing online support intensified following the commencement of US airstrikes in Iraq,” Comey confirmed, saying the group was likely to try to pick up its efforts to take more US hostages going forward to get more publicity.

      The US operation seems to be playing directly into ISIS’ hands in many ways, with President Obama’s high-profile speech last Wednesday, promising to escalate the war on ISIS into neighboring Syria, paying off for ISIS in recruitment as well.......

  32. Sorry, bubba. This deal is on its way to being over.

    The Dead Men Walking won't be walking much longer.

    The Black President Wins; you lose.

    1. It's not about a black President, bubba.

      He already fucked it all up by taking the troops out too soon.

      Time will tell bubba.

      July 4th 2015 comes closer day by day.....bubba.

  33. The only interesting thing left is trying to predict the evolution of the ground game (e.g. will it start in the North, or the South?)

    1. You mean, will it collapse first in the North, or the South ?

      You underestimate the amount of support ISIS has among the locals, I think.

      This army that is being built, based on the experience of the last go round, will be mostly Shia will it not ? Because Sunni troops might well do just what they did before......go over to the side.

      We are contributing to a sectarian religious war................

    2. go over to the other side

      Join up with their brothers....

  34. We're killing about 1,500 psychopaths a month, now, and have been for the last 5 or 6 months. That group might be able to sustain those kinds of losses for another 4 or 5 months without breaking, but I doubt it.

    1. Now, another 20,000 or so fresh troops will be entering the fray. They won't be the best troops that God ever put on the field, but they will be coming in under overwhelming air power.

      The Daesh have walked almost their last mile.

    2. How many of those fresh troops will be Sunnis ?

  35. The real weakness of ISIS is they don't have a reliable major state sponsor.

    There is no Russia, China, USA backing them up.

    It's ridiculous trying to reconstitute Iraq.

    Iraq doesn't exist any longer.

    It's like trying to blend oil and water, IMHO.

  36. Palestinian Authority rewards jihadis for number of Jews they murder

    February 8, 2015 6:51 pm By Robert Spencer 6 Comments

    ObamaAbbasDon’t you dare call it savagery, you racist, bigoted Islamophobe. “Palestinian Authority Rewards Terrorists for Number of Jews They Kill,” by Edwin Black, Algemeiner, February 8, 2015:

    Last year, Congressional legislators were astonished to learn that the Palestinian Authority was issuing monthly payouts totaling between $3 and 7 million as salaries and other financial rewards to specific terrorists and their families...........

  37. Strategic Horizons
    The Case for a Punitive Expedition Against the Islamic State

    A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft flies over northern Iraq after conducting airstrikes in Syria, Sept. 23, 2014 (DoD photo by Senior Airman Matthew Bruch, U.S. Air Force).

    By Steven Metz, Feb. 6, 2015, Column

    From the moment the United States took on the so-called Islamic State (IS), whether or not to use ground forces has been one of the most contentious issues. Deeply aware of the lingering national hangover from Afghanistan and Iraq, U.S. President Barack Obama stated that American ground forces “will not have a combat mission,” and will only assist the local forces fighting the extremists.

    While this makes political sense, it may not be effective strategy. Airstrikes by the U.S. and other nations have put a damper on the mobility of IS, but cannot defeat it outright. In fact, the organization appears to be finding new recruits as fast as the airstrikes kill its fighters. Even though some U.S. military officials believe the Iraqi military will eventually go on the offensive, Baghdad’s armed forces and the various anti-IS militias will never eradicate the extremist organization, at least as long as it controls parts of eastern Syria and has a steady flow of foreign recruits. To believe otherwise is wishful thinking, not sound strategy.........

  38. MOSCOW: Russia's rouble firmed on Monday and shares rose, supported by the prospect of further diplomacy to find a solution to the Ukraine crisis.

    At 0810 GMT, the rouble was around 2.2 per cent stronger against the dollar at 65.51 and gained 2 per cent to trade at 74.45 versus the euro.

    The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 2.9 per cent to 850 points, while the rouble-based MICEX traded 0.8 per cent higher at 1,769 points.

    The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany ..

    Read more at:

    1. Nestle borrowed some money the other day at a "Negative" interest rate.

      This surely must be the "end times."

  39. .

    A few factoids that help explain what is going on in the world today.

    There’s a huge difference between the current Greek crisis and previous cycles of panic: today bond markets are treating the Greek economy as an isolated patient, swatting away notions of contagion risk to other periphery countries. The numbers tell the story. In the wake of the anti-austerity party Syriza’s victory in Greek elections last month, Spain’s 10-year yield fell to new record-breaking lows, closing at a staggering 1.38% at one point last week. That means Spain can borrow at better rates than the thriving United States. Compare that to Greece’s 10-year yield, which shot above 11% in the days after Syriza took office.

    (Source: Eurasia Group, Bloomberg Business: Spain, Greece)


    The price of Venezuelan oil collapsed from $96 in September to $38 last month. That’s not a good thing in a country where oil exports provide more than 95% of foreign exchange. Venezuela needs that hard currency—more than 70% of its consumer goods are imported. Things are getting bleaker. The International Monetary Fund predicts an economic contraction this year of as much as 7% of GDP. Inflation is over 60%.


    The al-Maginot Line?

    With ISIS rampaging across Iraq and Syria—and Houthi rebels seizing the capital of Yemen and pushing that country into civil war—Saudi Arabia is accelerating its plans to wall itself off from volatile neighbors. In September, the Saudis began construction on a 600-mile wall along the border with Iraq. To the south, they are strengthening fortifications to keep unwanted visitors from breaching the 1,060-mile border with Yemen. Border guards told a CNN correspondent that in just the last three months, they have stopped 42,000 people from crossing a 500-mile section of the border. It’s not just about security—it’s also economic. As of 2013, Saudi citizens represented just 43% of the country’s workers—and only some 15% of the private sector—with the rest consisting of foreign workers.


    The IMF expects the Russian economy to contract 3.5% in 2015. At least Russians can express their dismay while drinking more affordable liquor: this week, Moscow passed a new measure cutting the minimum price of a bottle of vodka by 16%.



    1. 16% ?


      Pooty knows what he is doing at home, whether he does abroad or not.

      If only that would lower the price of a bottle of Russian vodka here....

    2. I read the Roosians are drinking so much vodka these days that it is causing their population to decrease......the nation is literally drinking itself to death.....

  40. An interesting, and unremarked upon event, was the UAE moving that squadron of F-16's to Jordan.

  41. Mostly male 'woman' gives birth to healthy twins...


    22 killed in soccer stampede outside Cairo...

    Robot vacuum attacks woman while she sleeps!.....

    Woman, 82, Arrested For Theft Of 'Sexiest Fantasies' Body Spray.....Drudge

    I ask, really, what can be expected of a race of beings like ours ?

  42. Obama not quite saying what he really thinks about Netanyahu, but you get the idea:

    Obama: 'Real Differences' With Israel's Netanyahu on Iran
    WASHINGTON — Feb 9, 2015, 12:56 PM ET
    Associated Press

    President Barack Obama says he has "very real differences" with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH'-hoo) over Iran and the need for more sanctions.

    He's also defending his decision not to meet with Netanyahu during his upcoming Washington visit, which comes shortly before Israel's elections.

    Obama spoke Monday at a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (AHN'-geh-lah MEHR'-kuhl). He says as much as he loves Merkel, if she was two weeks out from an election, she wouldn’t have received a White House invitation either. But Obama says he suspects she wouldn’t have asked for one. (Ouch!)

    Netanyahu plans to address Congress over his concerns about U.S. nuclear negotiations with Iran. Obama says Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and others involved in the talks agree with him that more sanctions wouldn’t make sense.


    Hopefully the classless lug gets the hint.

    1. Bibi is not really saying how he feels about that classless lug O'bozo, either.

  43. Your a dope.

    No, you're a dope.

    You are too.

    I'm not, you are.


  44. Mairav Zonszein in Tel Aviv-Jaffa

    Monday 9 February 2015 07.11 EST

    Binyamin Netanyahu has reaffirmed his intention to address a joint session of the US Congress next month on the subject of Iranian nuclear talks, despite opposition in both Israel and the US.

    At his weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, Netanyahu made no mention of the tensions with Washington but insisted he would “do everything and will take any action to foil this bad and dangerous agreement that will place a heavy cloud over the future of the state of Israel and its security”.

    I would not give him landing rights.

    1. That would a very uncivilized thing to do.

    2. Deuce, neither would I, after all America now stands with the fascist Mullahs of Iran and not Israel.

      So Israel will be free to pursue IT'S national interests.

      Personally? I hope that Israel will eliminate Iran and it's proxies from the world, thus saving the world again…,

    3. Ahhh, the old final solution plan. As you should well know, they are rarely final and hardly a solution. But, I may have missed something, when was the last time Israel saved the World?

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. .

      24/7 airlift of bagels and cream cheese during the great worldwide bagel blight of '68.


  45. Coexist graffiti artist badly beaten by Muslim 'youths'

    February 9, 2015

    Mugged by reality



    Noble Ash has been lucky, and has escaped being mugged by reality, so far.

  46. He will do everything and will take an action to foil US foreign policy? Really? WTF does this asshole thinks he is?

    1. Foil US foreign policy ?

      What foreign policy ?

      How does one foil 'strategic patience' ?

      Bibi has his work cut out for him. I think he will fail.

    2. .

      How does one foil 'strategic patience' ?

      You counter with 'precipitate paranoia'.


    3. ‘precipitate paranoia’....OOH, good one!

  47. Forget the landing rights. He would get an escort to turn around and get lost.

    1. My thinking was leading me more toward Patriot Missile Batteries, and such. :)

  48. Doing the math, Jordan seems to be taking out over 125 jihadis per air strike.

    Those guys are good.

  49. Drip, drip, drip

    Late on Thursday, the Belgian parliament approved a resolution calling for official recognition of Palestine as a state.
    Belgium is the latest European country to tackle the question, as pressure grows on Israel and Palestinians to return to the negotiating table.

    Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, with three other parties in the ruling coalition, called on the government to recognize Palestinian statehood at a most appropriate moment, the Palestinian News Network reports.

    The recognition text which was rejected by the left and green opposition, invites the Belgian government to recognize a Palestinian State “at the right time” taking into account several considerations: the positive impact of this recognition to restart a negotiation process between Israel and Palestine, the evolution of cooperation within the European Union, and the existence of a Palestinian government exercising full authority over the entire Palestinian territory.

    Parliaments in Britain, Spain, France, Ireland and Portugal have also symbolically backed statehood for Palestine, while the government in Sweden has officially recognized the state last December, becoming the first country in the European Union to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian State.

    1. Swedes, and many here will agree, are stupid fuckers.


    3. grrrrr, POLAND ranked higher than Sweden.

      I will never hear the end of this..........

  50. .

    Trends: Bigger Than a Speech to Congress?

    SOMETIMES even the best-hatched plans go awry. A year ago Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, pushed for a law to raise the threshold parties needed to enter the Knesset, from 2% to 3.25%. Mr Lieberman has long campaigned to reduce the presence of Arabs in Israel’s parliament and, like others on the right, hoped the move would sideline if not eliminate three small Arab parties each of which holds three or four seats.

    The ploy had the opposite effect. Fearing political purgatory in Israel’s March 17th elections, the three parties pulled off the impossible and joined forces to create a single bloc, the Joint List. It could become the fourth-largest party and determine Israel’s next government.
    In this section

    Bad luck for Nigeria
    By hook, crook or chequebook
    A one-man demolition job
    It will be a long haul
    An Israeli campaigning in America
    Our home too
    The No.1 mullahs dating agency

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    The Knesset
    Avigdor Lieberman
    Government and politics

    Meanwhile Mr Lieberman’s party, Yisrael Beiteinu (“Israel Our Home”), faces oblivion. Buffeted by a series of corruption scandals and its leader’s confusing flip-flops, it is fast slumping towards the minimal threshold. Many savour his comeuppance. “We won’t shed a tear,” chuckles Mtanes Shihadeh, an Arab pollster.

    Arabs form about 20% of Israel’s 8m population. Mainstream parties, both left and right, routinely field the odd Arab candidate and Arabic is often heard in the Knesset’s corridors, where it survives as an official language. But there are far fewer Arabs in the Knesset than their demographic weight would suggest. Most Arabs in East Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in 1967, cannot vote. And many others elsewhere choose not to. In the 2013 election 56% of Arabs voted against almost 70% of Jews.

    That might now change...


  51. Attempts at manipulating voter participation often go awry

  52. .

    He also told a group of French-speaking Likud voters on Sunday night that he would go anywhere in the world where he was invited to speak about the Iranian threat, not just as an Israeli but as a leader of all Jews.


    The definition of hutzpah.


    1. .