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

Monday, May 25, 2015

National self-delusion and un-winnable wars: The blame game of Republicans claiming if only Obama had done this or that, Bush’s Folly in Iraq would have been different, this time.


The tales we tell to cope with unwinnable wars

The mythology of Vietnam is now distorting accounts of the Iraq war

May 25, 2015 2:00AM ET ALJAZEERA
During my time as an Army infantryman in Iraq, I heard my fellow soldiers express their frustration in many different ways. There are only so many four-letter words to go around, after all, before the mind takes a more creative bent. One expression stands out in my memory: the suggestion that we should “go ‘Nam” on our enemies.
The impulse to “go ‘Nam” arose when we were forced to hold our fire, to reserve our force, to stand down. It expressed a desire to return to the unrestrained combat of the Vietnam War: body counts, torching villages, search and destroy, a disregard for collateral damage or escalation of force procedures. It was the dark and frustrated fantasy of Americans far from home, occupying a violent and dangerous place.  Struggling to comprehend the point of the Rules of Engagement and desperate to get home safe, it’s understandable why the frustrated grunts never made the next logical step: realizing that we lost the Vietnam War.
In “On War,” Carl von Clausewitz writes that the most important judgment commanders make is figuring out “the kind of war on which they are embarking.” Unfortunately for the tens of thousands of Americans who died and whom we honor this Memorial Day, and the countless more Vietnamese casualties, American leaders were never honest with themselves or anyone else about what they were doing in Southeast Asia. What began in the 1950s as modest support for French colonial forces in Indochina morphed over the next decade into a massive, bloody ground and air campaign that illegally spilled over into neighboring Laos and Cambodia. America, guided by a dark obsession over communist expansion, succumbed to inertia, trying every strategic gambit besides withdrawal.
The shifting goals and strategies not only betrayed the soldiers fighting in Vietnam, but also left a festering wound in the American psyche. By the 1980s, Ronald Reagan and Hollywood were all too eager to address this lingering cynicism, what had come to be called “Vietnam Syndrome,” with a medicine that was equal parts mindless optimism and willful misremembering. How Reagan went about recasting Vietnam as a “winnable” war that was lost because of a lack of will, even a lack of faith in America itself, stands as a warning about how we remember our most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Only the most entrenched revisionists assert that America won the war in Vietnam. Dramatic images of helicopters rescuing American personnel from the roof during the fall of Saigon in 1975 are a symbolic reminder of how real the loss actually was. More common is the view that the Viet Cong defeated American forces without having ever won an actual battle. This myth reveals a lingering pride in the overwhelming force the American military brought against Vietnam.
But the brute force that the American military brought down on Vietnam was counterproductive. A study from the State Department found that our massive aerial bombing of North Vietnam had failed to achieve its goals and was instead a “sad waste" of civilian casualties and American planes and pilots lost. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara said of the brutal bombing campaign, “The picture of the world’s greatest super power killing or seriously injuring 1,000 non-combatants a week, while trying to pound a tiny, backward nation into submission on an issue whose merits are hotly disputed, is not a pretty one.” The ground war wasn’t much different. According to some accounts, two civilians were killed for every Viet Cong soldier. There was obviously a fundamental disconnect between implementing “search and destroy” and winning “hearts and minds.”
The frustrating thing about counterfactuals is that they can’t be disproven. 
Haunting the pretense for Vietnam was a conflation of American ideals and American security interests. The two are not the same. For some, that was one of the lessons of the war in Vietnam — without popular support and strategic clarity, foreign adventurism is doomed to failure. And if that was the lesson, then Vietnam was unwinnable. Imposing our own desired political structure on a sovereign nation of people whose culture was completely alien to policy makers didn’t offer the chance of victory.
But not everyone learned the same lesson. As David Corbett writes, “But for … the Reagan administration, Vietnam had a different resonance. They saw that war as a critical failure of American will, and believed that victory had been prevented because troops had not been given ‘permission to win.’ They also believed that this circumspection about the use of military force was undermining American power, and was inviting Soviet aggression around the globe …” The frustrating thing about counterfactuals is that they can’t be disproven. Would the Vietnamese, North and South, have joined hands and decided to take up a parliamentary-style government and capitalist economy if we had killed 100,000 more civilians? I don’t think so. But I can’t prove it.
At any rate, the myth took root. Reagan parlayed the misremembering of Vietnam into politically expedient spectacle. On February 28, 1981, Reagan made his first public statement about the war as president while awarding the Congressional Medal of Honor to a Vietnam veteran. One sentence stands out: “They came home without a victory not because they’d been defeated, but because they’d been denied permission to win.” Reagan’s message implied that there was some achievable level of violence beyond what had already been unleashed on Vietnam that would have turned the tide. Instead of offering an apology to veterans for having to pay the price of America’s reckless policies, Reagan scolded the public for not supporting those policies vigorously enough.
It makes sense that a former actor would come up with a formula that Hollywood would repeat nearly word for word in the Sylvester Stallone-driven “Rambo” film series of the 1980s. In the second installment, “Rambo: First Blood II,” protagonist John Rambo, brooding Vietnam War veteran, is sent on a secret mission back into Vietnam to retrieve prisoners of war that weren’t returned after the Paris Peace Accords. The only question Rambo has for his handler is “Do we get to win this time?” As historian Andrew Bacevich writes “The New American Militarism,” “In this instance, Stallone and his collaborators absorbed and played back (thereby validating) perceptions about Vietnam and attitudes regarding soldiers that coincided neatly with the views and agenda of Reagan and his collaborators in Washington.”
When the guys I served with in Iraq wanted to “go ‘Nam,” they were asking for permission to do whatever it took to win the war and help their buddies make it home. Any understanding of the real history of Vietnam had been obscured under the fog of political posturing and pop culture bombast. It’s more reassuring to believe that you can win, and aren’t being allowed to than to confront the fact that elected officials have trapped you in an unwinnable war.
What’s troubling is that we are now seeing the pattern repeat itself in the way we remember the war in Iraq. It makes little difference if you blame failure on Bush’s tactical choices or Obama’s withdrawal. Both positions imply that the war could have been won. There’s no critique of the efficacy of nation building, of sending massive armies to foreign countries and restructuring them by force. Another irrefutable counterfactual: It might have worked, if only…
You have to wonder if decades from now, young Americans hunkered down in some far-flung corner of the world will find themselves wishing they could “go Iraq” on the enemy. 
Scott Beauchamp is a veteran and writer living in Portland, Maine. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Bookforum and The Baffler, among other places. 


  1. Memorial Day for Veterans is not about those that “gave their lives” - it is more accurately about those whose lives were taken from them by politicians. The best memorial and thanks is to quit making American casualties in needless and increasingly more stupid criminal wars.

    Maybe a good start would be to require all members of Congress who vote for a war, as a sign of solidarity with “the troops” and as a symbol of the national need to enter the war, should volunteer for the amputation of an arm or a leg. Put a little skin and bone into the game.

    Perhaps it would occur to them that a political solution would be a preferable choice.


  2. In '67 the troops wanted to "Go North."

    We all knew it was a fuck-up (but not nearly to the extent that the locals did.)

  3. Vietnam was fought for the same reason as Iraq - "Money!! motherfucker."

    1. Money for General Dynamics, and McDonnell Douglas, and Grumman, and Lockheed Martin, and Halliburton, ad whatthewhothefuckever.

  4. Surely if a war is worth the deaths and maiming of thousands, a few arms and legs from congressman is a paltry gesture, hardly worth mentioning, to express their patriotic fervor.

    1. Of course, those arms and legs would have to be removed by flying chunks of hot steel, and obviously without the benefit of anesthetic.

      Oh, and it goes without saying that 1 out of 4 would have to be Fatal (just to get a "fair" representation, of course.)

  5. George Bush did tell the man without a face that they were on a “ journey together”. I am sure it wasn’t just a figure of speech.

    1. They "shared a great adventure."

    2. Nothing like having your face melted off and then having to listen to the criminal idiot that caused it, George Bush, making metaphors.

  6. I can see Senator Cruz leading the line to sign up, patriotic man of blood and steel that he is.

    1. He can put that new "Obamacare" policy to the test . . . . . . . oh, wait . . . . . , . .no, . . . he'll have to use the VA

      (he'll just love that part.)

  7. I read the post and thought of the revisionism that followed World War One, in Germany ...

    The stab-in-the-back myth (About this sound Dolchstoßlegende (help·info))[1] was the notion, widely believed in right-wing circles in Germany after 1918, that the German Army did not lose World War I but was instead betrayed by the civilians on the home front ...
    - Wilkipedia

  8. We could also test the fervor of the American Public in the need to go to war and at what level.

    Ok everyone listen up, The country needs your patriotic help to attack Iran. Please send in a check in the amount that it is worth it to you. We will tally it up, let you know the amount collected and proceed accordingly. Republicans’ pay as you go. No deficits please. Dig deep.

    1. And, we want your first-born.

      And, probably, your second and third, also.

      (can't guarantee you'll get'em back.)

  9. Use the same standards as food stamps. If you want it badly enough, pay for it.

  10. May 25, 2015
    SecDef Ash Carter tiptoes around Obama administration failure in Iraq

    By Thomas Lifson

    It’s got to be tough being Ashton Carter, Secretary of Defense for President Obama. When your boss persists in a failed strategy and you desperately reckon with the disaster pending, you either resign and leave the Republic in the hands of a less capable successor, or you delicately try to tell the boss to try something else. At least that’s my estimation of what was going on yesterday and the Secretary of Defense went on CNN yesterday and said:

    “If there comes a time when we have to change the kinds of support we give we will make that recommendation,” Mr. Carter said in an interview with CNN aired Sunday.

    That’s pretty nebulous, but it suggests in bureaucrat-speak that things in Iraq and Syria are going to hell with ISIS, and the Obama administration doesn’t know what it is doing.

    Mr. Carter offered a withering critique of the will of Iraqi defense forces in the fall of Ramadi to Islamic State.

    “The Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight,” he said. “They were not outnumbered. In fact they vastly outnumbered the opposing force and yet they failed to fight and withdrew from the site...We can give them training, we can give them equipment. We obviously can’t give them the will to fight.”

    As the Wall Street Journal article that quoted Carter noted:

    Islamic State forces last week captured the key Iraqi city of Ramadi and also expanded their reach in Syria. Critics and even allies of the administration took to Sunday television talk shows to call for a strategy change by the administration to stem the advance of Islamic State forces. (snip)

    Michele Flournoy, who served as undersecretary of defense under Mr. Obama from 2009 to 2012, and was in the running for the top job, said the administration needs to do more to turn the tide in Iraq.

    “We have under-resourced the strategy,” she said on CNN. “We need to provide more firepower support.”

    There does not seem to be a will to win. Is President Obama worried about American casualties if he provides forward observers to guide attack aircraft? Possibly. At the moment, many sorties are returning with full bomb loads because they cannot find clear targets to strike, thanks to the absence of on-the-ground guidance by American forces.

    One thing is certain, however, and that is that the Obama/Clinton foreign policy in Iraq has been a disaster. Christians, Yazidis, and Muslims not strictly in accord with ISIS’s classical Islamic theology are being burned alive, enslaved, and genocided. A friend sums it up in an email:

    All of this death and destruction could have been prevented. Bush gave Obama a won war and a quiet Iraq and our President thought it was a good idea to pull all troops out. And, then when ISIS was still weak our President ignored the pleas of the Iraqis and our generals to give air support to Iraqis forces saying that ISIS was the “junior varsity” of terrorists

    The world is aflame and our President is responsible for it.

    Maybe Secretary Carter will see the wisdom of resigning in protest.

    First they vote for Bush, then they vote for Obama.

    Perhaps the American voter is the bad ass here.

    Anybody here in that category ?

    It's all definitely been the best run political and military campaign of our lifetimes.

    And nobody knows what to do or not do next.

    So, Cheers

    1. The head of the US Air Force is saying that if we continue as we are, drawing down, in 5 years we will have lost air superiority to both the Russians and the Chinese. But then he's military so some would say you can't believe a word he says.

      Joe Campbell would say that it is, finally, a serious world and we best keep our arrows sharp, so as to not have to use them.

      I'll leave my last word to Joe.

      Have a good day


    2. It seems to me that there are 3 options. Keep on bombing and hope for the best. Stop bombing and hope for the best. Escalate.

      Bob, Given that you believe that the withdrawal of troops from Iraq has led us to where we are now in Iraq I trust you think putting the troops back in is the wise thing to do. Yes or No?

    3. No. We were agreed, Mr President Ash, IIRC.

      Let the locals sort it out, at this point.

      There has been discovered a protein in jellyfish that is good for the memory.

      May I order you some ?

      If we went back in we wouldn't stay long enough to make a long term difference.

      We had our chance. Bush gave them a shot at another way of life. Obama blew it.

      Morons like Rufus voted for him. Rufus owns it now. Ask him what to do.

      I say, again, help the Kurds to Independence.

      Support Israel.

      Make nice with Sisi.

      Let's deal with the people that like us.

      I've given up on arguing that we should do something about Iran and nukes. I think they already have them, anyway.

      My advice is, even in Canada, even in Idaho, each should build a radiation shelter.

      Rent a backhoe, buy a shipping container, bury it, and remember food, water, medical, matches and smokes.

      And some good books.

      Get a solar panel too, and battery, so you see when you are containered up.

      Can you think of anything else ?

      Radiation knows no borders.

    4. What could the troops have provided then that they can't now? Why would it be good to keep thousands of troops on the ground for what, about 7 years, but it isn't now good to re-insert them? You seem confused, contradictory.

    5. Why should the US spend billions to support such a practice?

    6. Why, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson should the US abandon all those "Purple Fingers of Freedom"?

      Those "Purple Fingers of Freedom" the US spent over 4,000 lives to liberate, spent well over a trillion dollars to establish an Islamic republican government for?

      Why should the US just leave?

      Were GW Bush and Dick Cheney that wrong, that now we should abandon all they hoped to accomplish when they established the Republic of Iraq?

  11. Ashton Carter is an asshole who never spent a day in his life in uniform.

    1. Rufus is an asshole that rolled into the Marine Recruiting Office dead drunk, ended up in 'Nam, and wonders 45 years later what he was doing there, and admitting he had no business being there.

      Obama has never spent a day in uniform either, but he's a Hero to our ol' Doofus.

      Ashton Carton told the truth.

      The only one in the entire Obama Administration to have ever done so.

  12. The US is supporting a united, consolidated Republic of Iraq, a government voted into power by the "Purple Fingers of Freedom".
    To spend a few billion dollars in the continuing effort, a small price to pay for continuity of purpose.

    Republican democracy ... not a perfect political solution, but the one the US has decided is better than letting the Wahhabi barbarians rule the roost. The solution that secures Iraqi oil production at right around the 3 million barrel per day allotment that the Saudi will tolerate.

    The solution that will spread like a virus into Saudi Arabia itself.
    Fulfilling the desired effect of the 14SEP2001 AUMF, the destruction of those that supported the attack upon the US on 11SEP2001.

    Without it appearing to.

    1. Not me, Ash, but you asked for an answer and now you have it.

      Just because something is, and I explain it to you, does not mean I think it is a 'good thing', just that it is 'the thing'.

    2. You can explain to us why it is not a 'good thing', if you can.

      Tell us what the US would gain by leaving.

    3. Why the US should walk away from the 14SEP2001 AUMF.

    4. How abandoning the "Purple Fingers of Freedom" advances the humanitarian mission you, Ash, have said the US should be engaged in. When the Wahhabi headcutters take over a city, the refugees invariably walk towards the purple painted fingers.

  13. You see, Ash, what Jack thinks is that by helping those that have been selected in a fair and free election is better for US than supporting despots, dictators and the divine rights of kings.

    1. ...that helping those that have been selected in a fair and free election ...

      delete 'by'

    2. And Jack thinks that LBJ was right when he said ...

      We are not about to send American boys 9 or 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.
      - Lyndon B. Johnson

  14. The idea of a unified Iraq is a non starter at this point. Too much hatred.


    Criminal Jack has painted himself into a corner with this statement:

    Jack HawkinsMon May 25, 10:51:00 PM EDT

    You see, Ash, what Jack thinks is that by helping those that have been selected in a fair and free election is better for US than supporting despots, dictators and the divine rights of kings.

    Jackass should be supporting Israel by this logic, and not supportive of any moslem regimes, as there isn't a fully democratic one on the face of the earth.

    See my post on this just recently.

    Jack wants a 'Palestinian State' which will not be a democratic state.

    But then, Jack has always been nuts.

    Might make a passable private security guard though.

    I have recommended him to Deuce for this position.

    1. (the cartels were pleased with his body counts, Jack has bragged)

    2. Jack went into Doyle's Bar and Cards one day and asked the barkeep:

      "Make me a Zombie"

      The barkeep, giving Jack the once over, replied:

      "God beat me to it:

    3. I support the idea that all the residents of Palestine should be able to vote, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.
      To include ALL of the Palestinians, those that reside in the country, now, and the descendents of those forced out of the country since 1948.

      The position is consistent, unlike yours, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

    4. Jack HawkinsThu May 14, 01:12:00 PM EDT
      How much cash I got from the cartels is hard to say, but they were happy
      with the body count I gave them…

      I was desperate to raise money for my 350 acres of bottom lands in AZ

      Would this guy make a good security guard, a bad security guard, or what ?

      But I recommended him to Deuce, who doesn't seem to appreciate the Police.

    5. For the past 46 years, all residents within greater Israel have lived under the same regime, which claims to be the sole legitimate political and military authority.

      The state controls the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, ruling over eight million rights-bearing citizens (75% of whom are Jews) and four million Palestinian subjects denied civil and political rights.

      Millions of Palestinian refugees (who were born in the territory or whose direct ancestors were) cannot set foot in their homeland, let alone determine its political future as citizens.

      How is the notion of apartheid relevant to this reality?

      The Israeli regime is based on an ethnic-religious distinction between Jewish insiders and Palestinian outsiders.

      It expands citizenship beyond its territory, potentially to all Jews regardless of their links to the country,
      and contracts citizenship within it:

      Palestinians in the occupied territories and refugees outside have no citizenship and cannot become Israeli citizens.

      The regime combines different modes of rule: civilian authority with democratic institutions within the Green Line
      (the pre-1967 boundaries), and military authority beyond it.

      In times of crisis, the military mode of rule spills over the line to apply to Palestinian citizens in Israel.
      At all times, the civilian mode of rule spills over the line to apply to Jewish settlers.

      The distinction between the two sides of the line is constantly eroding as a result,
      and norms and practices developed under the occupation filter back into Israel.

      Israel as a "Jewish democratic state" is "democratic" for Jews and "Jewish" for Arabs.

      Jack supports the idea that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with inalienable rights and that the Zionist regime in occupied Palestine violates the inalienable rights of millions of people.

    6. You see, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson the Zionists are despots that claim that they govern by divine right.

  15. While ...
    It is sad that on Memorial Day weekend Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson advocated that the US abandon the Constitution that so many patriotic servicemen and women have died to defend, in favor of subjugation of the US by a foreign power.

    Idaho BobMon May 25, 12:14:00 AM EDT

    I'd rather have the Israelis temporarily running things here, until we can get a good Republican in there as Prez, than Obama.

    Obama has made a total mess out of everything. A couple of years with Likud running things here would be a vast improvement.

  16. Well, Jack, Abbas was voted in by the Palestinians.

    He is now in the 12th year of his 4 year term.

    Over in Gaza, your beloved Hamas won the 'vote' by counting the votes themselves, along with throwing opponents off the roofs of buildings, among other tactics.

    While over in your wonderland of Iran, the only candidates allowed to 'run' are those approved by the assahollas.

    When the folks don't like it and protest in the streets, the mullahs shoot them down in cold blood.

    Remember Neda ?

    Nevertheless we are told here the Iranians are fighting for civilization, and the Israelis own the US Congress, hinted that the Israelis started 30 wars, that Israel is an apartheid country even though Arabs sit in the Knesset, and all manner of other total horse shit, including your infamous statement that Jews/Israelis are "the scum of the earth".

    You are the scum of the earth, Jack.

    1. bobal Mon Sep 01, 05:20:00 PM EDT
      Rat's a gentleman.

      With his own way of thinking about things.

      Habu has his own way of thinking about things too, but is so corrosive, that after a while you don't want to read him anymore.

      While with Rat, you are always eager to hear what he has to say.

    2. That's from before I really got to know ya...


      You certainly search the archives.

      Like Quirk said, only a sicko does that like you do.

  17. The ISraeli Zionist have announced that they rule Palestine by "Divine Right".
    Top Israeli Diplomat Cites Bible, Instructs Overseas Envoys to Stress ‘This Land Is Ours, All of It Is Ours’

    This is incompatible with all that the Founders held dear.


    1. Israel’s deputy foreign minister invoked the Bible to urge Israeli diplomats that they should not be apologetic in emphasizing to other countries that Israel has a moral right to all of the land of Israel, including Judea and Samaria, that is, the West Bank.
      During her presentation, Hotovely quoted analysis by the famous 11th-century biblical commentator Rashi, who wrote that the Torah begins with a description of the creation of the world. If Jews were accused of stealing the land of Israel they could explain that the entire world belongs to God who gave the land of Israel to the Jews.

      “Rashi says the Torah opens with the story of the creation of the world so that if the nations of the world come and tell you that you are occupiers, you must respond that all of the land belonged to the creator of world and when he wanted to, he took from them and gave to us,” she said ...
      “It is important to say that this land is ours, all of it is ours. We didn’t come here to apologize for this,”

    2. The ISraeli claim a divine right to be despots.

    3. As for Abbas, he is a Zionist proxy.
      Just as the Ashkenazi were used, by the NAZI, to police the ghettos and concentration camps.

      The first commander of the Warsaw ghetto was Józef Szeryński, a Polish-Jewish police colonel. ....

      In ghettos where the Judenrat was resistant to German orders, the Jewish police were often used (as reportedly in Lutsk) to control or replace the council.

      One of the largest police units was to be found in the Warsaw Ghetto, where the Jüdischer Ordnungsdienst numbered about 2500. The Łódź Ghetto had about 1200, and the Lviv Ghetto 500.

      The Polish-Jewish historian and the Warsaw Ghetto archivist Emanuel Ringelblum has described the cruelty of the ghetto police as "at times greater than that of the Germans, the Ukrainians and the Latvians."

    4. The Zionist government of ISrael providing hundreds of millions of dollars to maintain Mr Abbas in power.

      The State of Israel pays the Palestinian Authority approximately $100 million per month.

      The Zionists maintain Mr Abbas in power with that money. It is the ISraeli that legitimize Mr Abbas


    5. I do find it interesting that the Zionists have now made the Torah and Judaism, the question of just who the descendents of the people that Moses led from Egypt a matter of legitimate political debate.

      There may be unintended consequences to that line of Zionist reasoning, or not.


    6. ... the question of just who the descendents of the people that Moses led from Egypt are a matter of legitimate political debate.

    7. Maybe among Klansman, White Supremacists and Spiritual Nazis, but for the rest of the world? the issue has been settled.

      The League of Nations and the UN have spoken

      Maybe you just can't listen?

  18. You stupid shit.

    Jack HawkinsMon May 25, 11:31:00 PM EDT

    The ISraeli claim a divine right to be despots.

    That's exactly what the Moslems claim.

    The Jews have evolved. Your beloved Moslems haven't and never will. You leave the wonderland of Islam, you are automatically under a death threat.

    1. The Zionists claim their "Divine Right", Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, just this week.

      That is where they are on the evolutionary scale, today.

  19. >>>Jack HawkinsMon May 25, 11:56:00 PM EDT

    ... the question of just who the descendents of the people that Moses led from Egypt are a matter of legitimate political debate.<<<

    O God Almighty.

    You stupid shit.

    "legitimate political debate"

    What a hoot.

    That old narrative is extremely interesting in many ways. As to who what when where why if maybe how to interpret and so on.

    In it's own way it has been beautifully handed down.

    Many in our own country in our beginnings adopted it as an extended metaphor for our own experience.

    I'd almost say it could be read as another example of the monomyth, but I'd need to think longer about it before doing so.

    You're an absolute gas, d. rat, a total Hoot, a malignant bad joke.

    And a 'military expert'.

    Bwaha !

    1. You claim I am a military expert, but you, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson are a thief and a traitor to the United States of America.

      It is sad that on Memorial Day weekend Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson advocated that the US abandon the Constitution that so many patriotic servicemen and women have died to defend, in favor of subjugation of the US by a foreign power.

      Idaho BobMon May 25, 12:14:00 AM EDT

      I'd rather have the Israelis temporarily running things here, until we can get a good Republican in there as Prez, than Obama.

      Obama has made a total mess out of everything. A couple of years with Likud running things here would be a vast improvement.

      Your favorite President, Abe Lincoln, would send General Sherman to burn down your house.

  20. This just in from that racist rag - Quirk insists ! - The American Thinker -

    May 26, 2015
    An evening with Dr. Ben Carson
    By Grant Giske

    Thursday I attended a private small reception for Dr. Ben Carson. He quietly entered by himself and actively engaged in conversation with us. He listened and asked questions far more than he talked. Calm, soft-spoken, inspiring, confident. He later spoke to us for about 20 minutes. No notes, just quietly explaining that he is not a politician and never expects to be one – that he is not politically correct. He discussed his life’s experiences from abject poverty in Detroit, of being known as the dumbest student in class to discovering reading (at his mother’s insistence) where he learned to dream about all the possibilities awaiting him in life if he just applied himself. Soon he was at the top of his class. Outstanding SAT scores propelled him to Yale and later to Med School at Michigan and at age 33 as a pediatric neurosurgeon the youngest department head at Johns Hopkins Medical Center.

    In two and a half hours he never boasted about his accomplishments. No mention that he was named by CNN and Time Magazine as one of the nation’s foremost physicians and scientists – named by the Library of Congress as one of 89 “Living Legends” – is the recipient of the Spingarn Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the NAACP, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the land. No mention that he holds more than 60 honorary doctorate degrees – that he had served on the Board of Directors at the Kellogg Company, Costco, the Academy of Achievement, and several others – that he had organized and headed teams of medical professionals that successfully completed some of the most complex brain surgeries ever attempted. (from

    Nor did he personally attack any of the potential candidates from any party. Rather he spoke about what is not working well in America and his ideas how all Americans working together can bring back American exceptionalism. He repeatedly emphasized our potential as individuals and as a nation. He spoke about his great respect for our Constitution and the founding fathers who created it. His immense love of country poured out.

    He spoke of his vision of what is needed to inspire people to rise out of poverty – of about replacing programs which tend to encourage multi-generational poverty with those which encourage people to advance their skills – for people to take responsibility for their own lives rather than make excuses and blame others for their fate. He is not abandoning the poor. He believes Government must help those who cannot help themselves.

    He spoke about how we must dig ourselves out of the deep financial trouble we are in due to our immense debt – that we must simplify our tax system – that the health care all Americans receive should be determined between our doctors and ourselves, not the Government or insurance companies. He proposes Health Savings Plans for all Americans, beginning at birth, supported by Government where necessary, which we would use to cover day to day health care issues leaving insurance only for high cost major health issues.

    1. Internationally, he spoke about America’s responsibilities for positive leadership around the world – about regaining the respect of all nations – of standing up to those countries and organizations which are spreading terrorism around the world. He expressed his great concern that the emergence of rogue nations and groups has made the World very dangerous – that without America re-establishing its position as a World leader for peace, all people, including Americans are at great risk.

      Asked if he could win, his response was a calm and very confident yes. He explained that conditions have decayed in America to the point where millions of Americans, without respect to party, are fed up with our Federal Government and are crying out for real change – for a president who can “Heal – Inspire – Revive” which is the tag line on his website.

      Each of us, without respect to our current party affiliation, without respect to whomever we might favor at this time must take the time to learn more about Dr. Carson, as well as all of those who will be asking for our vote for President.

      Dr. Carson’s website: Click on the menu pull down in the upper right hand corner.

      Carson Scholars website: Dr. and Candy Carson’s nonprofit which has granted over 6,700 college scholarships to deserving students and has sponsored over 131 Reading Rooms in schools across the country.

      Dr. Carson’s announcement: Not being politically correct, the first 30 minutes honors America through music. Dr. Carson begins his announcement at about 32 minutes.

      Dr. Carson interview: Includes an excellent short video on his life and an interview with Dr. Carson.

      Read any of his books: Think Big, Gifted Hands, America the Beautiful, One Nation, Take the Risk, One Vote.

      Yes the Presidential election is 18 months away. But the first of the Republican debates is only 11 weeks away. It should not be left to the party powers and media to select our next President. It is our privilege and responsibility to first get informed and then to use our brains, without respect to party, to select the person who each of us believes is the best choice for the next President of the United States.

      Grant can be reached at

    2. (Quirk needs to get out and about a bit, reading wise)

    3. Dr. Ben Carson is authentic. No money in his family. Came from the ghetto. Did it all himself. No big backers, ever. What a contrast with Obama.

      The life Carson has lived is noble.

      The kind of guy we need as President. The very best kind of guy around.

      If he starts to get a grip, the Democratic hit machine will be all over him, and some Republicans too.

      Go, Ben !

  21. Why Iraq's Military Has No Will to Fight

    The country’s political dysfunction has undermined all efforts to build an effective fighting force.

    >>But the main problem with the Iraqi military is the problem with Iraq as a whole—the country effectively no longer exists as a unified state. Kurdistan, for all intents and purposes, acts as an independent country. Much of the Sunni population lives in territories controlled by ISIS. The rump Iraqi government, meanwhile, operates in close cooperation with Iran, who funds Shia militias that act as a paramilitary force. The Iraqi military, then, is less a cause of the country’s failures than a reflection of them.<<

    1. >>the country effectively no longer exists as a unified state<< - and never will again.

    2. >>Despite these efforts, the Iraqi military is in pretty bad shape. Given the prevalence of desertion, it’s impossible to say with any reasonable certainty how many soldiers are actually serving—estimates vary from 50,000 to 140,000. Last summer, a group of several hundred ISIS fighters routed nearly 30,000 Iraqi troops tasked with defending Mosul, the country’s second-largest city, as many soldiers abandoned their uniform and melted back into the population. Even the military’s few success stories come with major caveats. Tikrit, which Iraqi troops recaptured from ISIS in March, remains completely empty three months later.<<

      Actually it was some Iraqi troops and Iranian Shia militias that took Tikrit, a ghost town now.


  22. Iraq opens operation to choke off Islamic State lifelines in Ramadi

    The counteroffensive on Ramadi has been named “Labayka ya Hussein” — invoking the name of one of Shiite Islam’s most revered figures and an indication of the religious overtones of Iraq’s fight.

    The operation, launched early Tuesday, aims to secure the remaining areas in neighboring Salahuddin province, where there has been a fierce battle for the oil refinery in Beiji, before moving on to Ramadi, Assadi said.

    “It will finish the liberation of Salahuddin and besiege Ramadi, not liberate it yet,” said Assadi. “We expect it will only take a few days, less than a week.”

    Assadi said that militia forces had received new supplies of “modern weapons” that would be used in the battle and “surprise the enemy,” but declined to give further details.

  23. Jack HawkinsMon May 25, 11:46:00 PM EDT
    The Zionist government of ISrael providing hundreds of millions of dollars to maintain Mr Abbas in power.

    The State of Israel pays the Palestinian Authority approximately $100 million per month.

    The Zionists maintain Mr Abbas in power with that money. It is the ISraeli that legitimize Mr Abbas

    Are you not capable of actually telling the truth, no matter how simple?

    1. Over a $$BILLION$$ USD the ISrael funnel to Mr Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.
      That's the ruth.
      That money sustains his political power in Zionist occupied Palestine.

    2. .

      It is not the ruth, at least not in the sense the rat seems to imply.

      According to deals signed as part of the Oslo Accords, Israel collects tax money for the Palestinians (import/export taxes, VAT, taxes on salaries for Palestinians working in Israel) and returns that money (closer to $50 million/month) to the PA. the PA does the same thing for the Israelis although as you would expect on a smaller scale.

      Since the money is used to pay the salaries of government officials, Israel uses the deal as a cudgel to punish the Palestinians whenever they 'step out of line'.


  24. Jack says: Jack HawkinsMon May 25, 11:16:00 PM EDT
    For the past 46 years, all residents within greater Israel have lived under the same regime, which claims to be the sole legitimate political and military authority.

    The state controls the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, ruling over eight million rights-bearing citizens (75% of whom are Jews) and four million Palestinian subjects denied civil and political rights.

    So according to Jack there is no palestinian people, no occupation and that Israel has the right to govern from the river to the sea.

    His only objection is the fact that the arabs do not vote!


    1. Now that Jack has set the new parameters I want to say thanks...

      Israel now should round up and execute any and all Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad members as traitors to Greater Israel.

      Thanks Jack for the Idea.

    2. Now that the issue is settled, or issues, we can say, thanks to Jack Hawkins ideas.

      Israel is the SOLE legitimate nation from the river to the sea.

      Jerusalem is their united and historic capital. (almost 3100 years)

      The arabs of gaza and the west bank will need to be incorporated into Greater Israel as soon as possible.

      The traitors and anti-Israel players of the west bank and gaza should be arrested and executed as subversives and war criminals or deported to Syria.

      Now Israel will be the free-est place on the planet for peace loving arabs!!!

      This will almost add 1/3 more folks to be Israeli!!!!!

      We can now expect an end to the arab boycott and of course the removal of the word "palestine" from all international agencies's documents such and the UN, ICJ, and the dissolving of UNRWA.

    3. The fleeing refugees from syria and iraq can be settled into gaza asap, with of course a generous stipend from the UN, America, Europe and the oil rich arab world.

      I'd say 11 trillion dollars in aid should do it, it should be given to Israel asap to spend on it's new arab citizens to provide schools, housing, food and job training...

    4. Of course Israel will have to accommodate the new "states" of gaza and arab west bank. These states will should have representation in the Knesset just as California as representatives in the Senate.

      I'd say 2 per state should be representative.

      The new Greater Israel would have about 10 states. 2 of which would be majority arab.

      Sounds great, of course any citizen of Israel that advocates the violent overthrow of the Nation State of the Jewish people should be arrested, tried and if convicted given the death penalty or permeant deportation to jordan or syria. Of course if Jordan wishes to JOIN the great nation state of the Jewish people, Israel, it too, would have to be given representative rights and would have to be de-islamisted....

    5. Of course at the rate the middle east is going? Iraq, Syria, yemen, sudan (not southern sudan) arabia, UAE, Lebanon and others will cease to have territorial integrity.....

      Pan arab nationalism is dying...

      Turkey will expand, Iran will continue to expand, the Kurds will get their truncated state, Syria will be partitioned, as will lebanon and others....

      As Jack Hawkins has shown us, Israel will expand it's borders to swallow up all of gaza, west bank, jordan to start....

      No more colonial claims, no more silly occupation claims...

      Egypt will annex parts of libya.....

    6. Of course, Iran could dissolve too..


    7. Oh and I forgot, Isis, which is really the Sunni arab's will combine in Syria, Iraq, Iran to form a new non-colonial nation, of course a savage, spiritual nazi nation, but a nation none the less....

    8. Now the interesting point not reported?

      Iran is crumbling as speak.

      Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, all the King's horses and all the King's men could not put ole Humpty back together again....

      Fractures are happening in Iran....

      MOST of Iran is made up with NON-persians.

      Iran's folly in Syria and Yemen is actually causing a great destruction in Iran.

      Of course the very issue of Iran's death rate during the Iran/Iraq war is being felt as there was a huge number of young kids killed, whose parents now are getting old and have no children to help them...

    9. Jordan should start to crumble soon also....

      As Lebanon will start picking off Hezbollah control (remember Hezbollah turned it's GUNS on their fellow Lebanese 5 years ago)

      Hezbollah, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's proxy in Lebanon is now sending 15 year olds from lebanon to fight in Syria...


      getting interesting..

    10. Here is a article from Jack's favorite Israeli newspaper, Haaretz

      In a speech on Sunday to mark the 15th anniversary of Israel’s withdrawal from south Lebanon, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah termed the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, “a danger second to none in history.” The previous day, he said Hezbollah was fighting an existential threat to Lebanon and the entire Arab world, warning that if Syria’s Sunni rebels succeeded in topping the Assad regime, they would perpetrate slaughter, rape and slavery in Lebanon. He also called for a general Lebanese mobilization against Islamic State, attesting to the difficulties Hezbollah and the Assad regime are having in finding enough people to fight on all the fronts where they are engaged.

      The tone of alarm in Nasrallah’s speeches is reinforced by the unending stream of bad news for Assad’s forces in Syria. In eastern Syria, Islamic State has captured the ancient city of Palmyra and apparently massacred Syrian soldiers there. In northwest Syria, the Sunni rebels are advancing; this weekend, they captured a hospital compound in Jisr al-Shughur where Assad loyalists had held out for weeks, and from which Syrian President Bashar Assad had promised in vain to rescue them. And heavy fighting continues in the Qalamoun mountains region on the Syria-Lebanon border.

      The bigger picture is gradually becoming clear: After almost a year of a relative stalemate, the Assad regime is retreating on multiple fronts. The rebels’ advances in the north, in which the Al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front is also participating, endangers the coastal strongholds of Assad’s Alawite sect and threatens the cities of Homs and Hama from the west. Those cities are also threatened from the east, by Islamic State, which in addition is bombarding Damascus on a daily basis and has seized positions in the capital’s eastern neighborhoods.

      Israeli security sources attribute the Assad regime’s failures since March to the ongoing erosion in his military capabilities and in his fighters’ motivation after more than four years of bloody civil war. These sources also confirmed recent reports in the British press that for the first time in a long time, the Syrian rebels are getting coordinated assistance from other countries, primarily Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, which in the had past quarreled among themselves over what to do in Syria.

      Particularly noteworthy is the use of TOW antitank missiles on the northern front. These American-made missiles, which were recently shipped in from the Gulf states, are a relatively antiquated model; the Israel Defense Forces got them back in the 1973 Yom Kippur War and replaced them two years ago with an improved version made by the Israeli firm Rafael. But it constitutes a major development for Syria’s civil war. The acquisition of large quantities of TOW missiles has, for the first time, enabled the rebels to mount significant attacks on Syrian tanks.

      All this news constitutes a deterioration in Assad’s position. He still benefits from Hezbollah’s reinforcements, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s command capabilities and Russian arms shipments to the northern port of Tartus. But taken altogether, recent developments constitute a real threat to his survival.

      Consequently, Israeli defense officials now see a reasonable chance that sometime in the coming months, Assad will decide to abandon Damascus and focus on defending the Alawite enclave in the north.

  25. Corruption allegations

    There are frequent allegations that officials of the Palestinian Authority, including Mahmoud Abbas, have systematically embezzled public funds.[24]

    Abbas's mentor and predecessor, Yasser Arafat, was accused of embezzling billions of dollars of Palestinian money.[25][26] This perceived corruption of the Fatah leadership is believed to have contributed to a convincing win by Hamas in the January 2006 parliamentary election. Fatah leaders were accused of siphoning funds from ministry budgets, passing out patronage jobs, accepting favors and gifts from suppliers and contractors.[27]

    The source for specific allegations against Abbas was one of Arafat's most trusted aides, Mohammed Rashid, accused by the PA of embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars, who threatened to expose corruption scandals in the Palestinian Authority. For many years, Rashid served as Arafat's financial advisor and was given a free hand to handle hundreds of millions of dollars that were poured on the Palestinian Authority and the PLO by US, EU and Arab donors. According to Rashid Abbas's net worth was $US100 million[28]

    On 10 July 2012 Abbas and his sons were attacked, in the US Congress, for their alleged corruption. The debate was entitled Chronic Kleptocracy: Corruption Within the Palestinian Political Establishment[29] In his testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Middle East and South Asia, Elliott Abrams stated that "Corruption is an insidious destroyer not only of Palestinian public finance but of faith in the entire political system. And it has certainly had an impact on potential donors. I can tell you from my own experience, as an American official seeking financial assistance for the PA from Gulf Arab governments, that I was often told "why should we give them money when their officials will just steal it?"[30][31]"

    The conspicuous wealth of Abbas's own sons, Yasser and Tarek, has been noted in Palestinian society since at least 2009, when Reuters first published a series of articles tying the sons to several business deals, including a few that had U.S. taxpayer support.[32] In a Foreign Policy article author Jonathan Schanzer suggested four ways in which the Abbas family has become rich. They include monopolies on American made cigarettes sold in the territories; USAid funding; public works projects, such as road and school construction, on behalf of the Palestinian Authority and special preferences for retail enterprises. It was strongly implied that the sons lineage was the main credential in receiving these contracts.[33]

    1. One of his sons, Yasser Abbas, (but not brother Tarek or father Mahmoud) filed a $10 million libel lawsuit in the United States District Court, District of Columbia, in September 2012 against Foreign Policy Group LLC and Schanzer alleging "false and defamatory statements. It seems every statement will be challenged, in a jury trial, if the court accepts jurisdiction."[34] Abbas also accused Schanzer of not contacting him for comment and of relying on untrustworthy sources of information. Abbas accused Schanzer of acting with malice and pursuing an agenda against the brothers, even though he also contended that he's a private citizen and not a public figure, so we wouldn't need to prove actual malice to win.[35] In reply, the magazine has argued that Abbas’ suit is aimed at intimidating his critics and stopping debate. "In the final analysis, the commentary falls well within the protections of both the First Amendment and the common law," lawyers for the magazine assert.[36]

      Some analysts believed the Abbas family would not proceed with the case as it would allow Foreign Policy and Schanzer to dig in too deep into the PA's secret finances and records.[37] However, the case proceeded.

      In September, 2013, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan dismissed the suit using D.C.'s anti-SLAPP measure. Sullivan determined the lawsuit intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandoned their criticisms or opposition.[38]

      Sullivan summed up:

      "The defendants have made a prima facie showing that Mr. Abbas's defamation claim arises from an act in furtherance of the right of advocacy on issues of the public interest, and that Mr. Abbas has failed to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits of his defamation claim because the contested statements are either not capable of defamatory meaning or are protected statements of opinion.".[38]

      The decision has been appealed.[39]

      These people don't deserve a state. And may not want one. Too much money to be had the way things are now. Whine, whine, all the way to the Swiss Bank.

    2. All monies should be given to Israel to handle for the palestinians.

    3. The ISraeli funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to the Palestinian Authority.
      The Zionists sustain the Palestinian Authority.

    4. The Israelis, transfer tax collections to the PA.

      Now America? GIVES 1/2 BILLION a year in charity to the PA

      Get your facts correct Jack, it's a rare moment when anything you post resembles any truth.

      The readers here are disgusted by your continued practice of deceit...


    5. The ISrael hold those funds at their own discretion, "O"rdure.
      That is the fact of the matter.

      ISrael founded Hamas and funds the Palestinian Authority, that is reality.
      If you choke on it, chew it a little more.

    6. Dec 01, 2012 · Israel has canceled the transfer of US$120 million collected in taxes on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in response ...

      Jan 02, 2015 · JERUSALEM Israel will withhold critical tax revenue ...

      The ISraeli fund the Palestinian Authority, the Zionists devised the system they use to do it. Then "O"rdure trie to hide behind that system, it is comical misdirection.

      Systematic misinformation. No one 'forces' the ISraeli to provide the Palestinian Authority those funds.

    7. .

      The ISrael hold those funds at their own discretion

      The collection and transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinians results from an agreement signed as part of the Oslo Accords. The only discretion Israel has is in whether they will adhere to the terms of the legal agreement they signed with the PA.


    8. The ISraeli violate the Oslo Accords at their whim...

      You, Legionnaire have told us so ...
      Mr Bibi has stated there will be no adherence to the Oslo Accords, he told the world ...

      “I think anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state, and to evacuate territory, is giving radical Islam a staging ground against the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said at a press conference in a bid to win over right-wing voters. Furthermore, Netanyahu pledged to build more settlements in the West Bank after years of construction that has drawn international condemnation. “We will continue to build in Jerusalem, we will add thousands of housing units, and in the face of all the [international] pressure, we will persist and continue to develop our eternal capital.”

      Which is in violation of Article V of the Accords.

      Article V
      Permanent status negotiations issues

      It was understood that several issues were postponed to permanent status negotiations, including: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and co-operation with other neighbours, and other issues of common interest. The outcome of these permanent status negotiations should not be prejudiced or pre-empted by the parties.

      The ISraeli have already abandoned the Oslo Accords, Legionnaire.

    9. In a 2001 video, Netanyahu, reportedly unaware he was being recorded, said: "They asked me before the election if I'd honor [the Oslo accords]... I said I would, but [that] I'm going to interpret the accords in such a way that would allow me to put an end to this galloping forward to the '67 borders. How did we do it? Nobody said what defined military zones were. Defined military zones are security zones; as far as I'm concerned, the entire Jordan Valley is a defined military zone. Go argue."

      Netanyahu then explained how he conditioned his signing of the 1997 Hebron agreement on American consent that there be no withdrawals from "specified military locations", and insisted he be allowed to specify which areas constituted a "military location"—such as the whole of the Jordan Valley.
      "Why is that important? Because from that moment on I stopped the Oslo Accords", Netanyahu affirmed

    10. So to reference those Accords, and to say the ISraeli are bound by them, just plain silly, Legionnaire Q

    11. When the ISraeli have suspended the payments, for political reasons, what enforcement arm of the Oslo Accords was implemented?

      None, because there is no enforcement component to the Oslo Accords.
      The Oslo Accords are finished, more so than the Republic of Iraq.

      The ISraeli never negotiated in good faith, Bibi is on the record to confirm it.

    12. .

      What you say is irrelevant, rat.

      The ISraeli funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to the Palestinian Authority.
      The Zionists sustain the Palestinian Authority.

      You imply that out of the goodness of their heart Israel is sustaining the PA. That is bullshit. Either that or it is another case of your usual equivocation.

      You offer up the fact that Israel can hold up payments to the PA at times (mainly because the PA lacks the power to stop them) and imply when they aren't doing it they are being charitable rather than just less duplicitous. That too is bullshit. They are not doing it out of charity but out of self-interest. They are not doing it for free they get paid to do it.

      Then when that tack fails you argue the Israelis can do what they want. Again absurd. Whenever, the Israeli hold up PA funds, the actions are temporary and short-lived. World pressure demands it. More importantly, the PA plays a key role in Israel's security and it saves them money.

      As mentioned above, the Palestinians provide a reciprocal service for the Israelis. But this is minor. Israel also collects a handling fee for the service, the last article I saw indicated they keep about 25% of the taxes collected (plus whatever the Palestinians owe for the utilities they purchase from Israel). However, even this is minor compared to the true savings. The PA bureaucracy manages much of the services in the West Bank but more importantly provide security there acting as a police force. Were the Israelis to take over complete control of the West Bank and Gaza, take responsibility for the people and for overall security, they would lack the resources to do so and likely go broke.


    13. Of course the ISraeli are funding the Palestinian Authority out of their own self-interest, Legionnaire Q.

      That is the whole point.
      The PA is an ISreali proxy, in place to keep the Palestinian people in place.
      The ISraeli using the PA the same way the NAZI used the "Judenrat", a Jewish council created under German orders which was responsible for internal matters in a ghetto.

    14. In the beginning the members tried to resist German pressure. However, as time went on, the Judenrat was forced to deliver Jews to the deportation trains that were bringing them to their deaths. Under pressure many members of the Judenrat cooperated with the Germans. - Wikipedia ...

    15. quirk As mentioned above, the Palestinians provide a reciprocal service for the Israelis. But this is minor. Israel also collects a handling fee for the service, the last article I saw indicated they keep about 25% of the taxes collected (plus whatever the Palestinians owe for the utilities they purchase from Israel)

      The PA and Hamas are in arrears about 1/2 billion

      The Israeli power company, which supplies most of the electricity to the West Bank, said it decided to limit the supply to the districts of Nablus and Jenin for less than an hour on Monday afternoon given the Palestinian Authority’s debt, which has been building over a number of years, and is now at a peak of 1.9 billion shekels, or around $490 million.

      Over the last year, the company said, it has issued warnings and tried to find an arrangement to reduce the debt through contacts with the Israeli government and international bodies, to no avail. The company said it has been stopped in the past from taking the step of reducing supply for political reasons. There have, however, been proposals in Israel to divert some of the withheld Palestinian tax revenue toward paying down the debt.

    16. .

      The Zionists maintain Mr Abbas in power with that money. It is the ISraeli that legitimize Mr Abbas

      Recent events would indicate that if the Israelis are actually paying for the PA and legitimizing Mr. Abbas, they are likely disappointed in their investment at the moment.

      Mr. Arafat is a different matter all together.

      What follows is strictly my opinion and is based on circumstantial (a lot of circumstantial) evidence.

      By 1992, Arafat was at his nadir. He had supported Hussein in the Desert Storm conflict and had lost all credibility. He had lost support and influence as well as aid from key Gulf States and the West including the US. He had lost influence and support amongst Fatah and even the PLO. The PLO was de facto bankrupt. Arafat was exiled and isolated in Tunisia. Things had rarely been worse for him.

      Israel was being forced by the West (read US) to restart negotiations with the Palestinians and were in the middle of the Madrid Conference which was failing. Then suddenly, Israel called Arafat out of exile for secret meetings in Norway, strange since Israel had previously refused to negotiate with Arafat. It would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall in those secret meeting, to see what was agreed to, to see what promises were given or implied, to count the number of winks and nudges. Unfortunately, the meetings themselves remain secret with no meeting notes or reminiscences of the participants published.

      What came out of these secret meetings was the Oslo Accords, the first of which was skewed heavily to Israel’s advantage. Arafat then proceeded to start skimming the reported $1.3 billion he is said to accumulated for himself. It is worth noting that Arafat’s bank accounts weren’t only held in Switzerland but also in Israel. There is no doubt that Arafat was corrupt on a massive scale. The only question is was he able to do it on his own or did he do it with a little help.

      If you are a party being forced into a negotiation you want no part of it is probably in your interest to get the weakest opponent you can find to negotiate with.


    17. .

      If he is thoroughly corrupt that helps.


  26. Now Jack brings up a point....

    The Palestinians are not a real nation, people, nor can they stand on their own...

    This is not the genesis of a state.

    1. One State, as many people as live there.
      Equal rights for all the residents.

      All refugees have the "Right of Return"

    2. Sure, working on it...

      Equal rights for all non violent citizens...

      I am sure those that are violent, or have been will be deported or executed.....


      But the arrest of the Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad member and their incarceration and or execution is a must...

      that's the 1st step...

    3. All refugees have the "Right of Return"

      The term "refugees" only apply to those actually made refugees..

      Not that made up invention of generational refugees...

      No the universal accepted definition...

      no 4th or 5th generation wannabe refugee...

      In a few more years? there will be no more "refugees" alive...

      so no changing meanings Jack...

      a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.
      "tens of thousands of refugees fled their homes"
      synonyms: émigré, fugitive, exile, displaced person, asylum seeker; boat people
      "collecting blankets for the refugees"

      Not those descended FROM refugees...


      don't you hate it when you are wrong Jack?

    4. .

      Arguing that future generations of Palestinians have a right to return is like arguing for compensation for today's blacks in the US because of crimes committed a century or more ago. While the plan's fairness can be questioned, the key hurdle is its lack of practicality. That being said, the PA cannot accept just dropping their position on 'right of return', not and maintain their position as leader of the Palestinians. However, a token arrangement could be easily be agreed to. Well, it could if the Israelis had any intention of negotiating a settlement.

      To be honest, no one gives a shit about the Palestinian refugees. They are pawns used as an excuse by both sides, the various Arab countries to pound Israel and Israel to avoid a settlement. If anyone wanted a settlement, the 'right of return' issue could be easily settled.

      The same would apply to all the other issues if there were any honest negotiating.


    5. .

      Revisionist history aside, the argument that equates the Palestinians who were on the ground in 1948 with Arab countries that invaded Israel/Palestine back then is self-serving and simplistic. The invading Arab countries didn't give a shit about the indigenous Palestinians. It was the beginning of the 'Palestinian excuse' used by both sides since 1948. What they wanted was the land the same as the Israelis.


  27. One more 'optimistic' article about the Iraqi 'Army' -

    May 26, 2015
    Why the Iraqi army runs away in battle
    By Rick Moran

    Matt Schiavenza of The Atlantic has an interesting article that seeks to explain the dysfunction of the Iraqi army which has led to several highly visible routs at the hands of Islamic State.

    Secretary of Defense Ash Carter pointed out this dysfunction on Sunday when he said that the Iraqi army has no "will" to stand and fight against ISIS despite their superior numbers and superiority in equipment. The US has spent $25 billion in train and army the Iraqi army in the last decade with literally nothing to show for it.

    What accounts for the Iraqi military’s failure? Many problems stem from the Bush Administration decision to disband the existing Iraq military in 2003 and build a new one from scratch. Intended to rid the institution of officers linked to Saddam Hussein, the move instead left thousands of armed men unemployed and embittered. This contributed to a security vacuum within Iraqi society and fed a vicious anti-U.S. insurgency. Many high-ranking officials who served under Saddam have now become senior commanders with ISIS.

    The Iraqi army is also notoriously corrupt, a legacy of Nouri al-Maliki’s years as prime minister. Fearful that a strong military would pose a threat to his power, al-Maliki replaced top commanders with political patrons drawn from his Shia sect, undermining any attempt to establish a merit-based system of promotion. So-called “ghost battalions” draw salaries despite never reporting for duty, and the forces who do remain are no match for fanatical ISIS fighters. “Military training, no matter how intensive, and weaponry, no matter how sophisticated and powerful, is no substitute for belief in a cause,” William Astore, a former U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, wrote last year in the American Conservative.

    But the main problem with the Iraqi military is the problem with Iraq as a whole—the country effectively no longer exists as a unified state. Kurdistan, for all intents and purposes, acts as an independent country. Much of the Sunni population lives in territories controlled by ISIS. The rump Iraqi government, meanwhile, operates in close cooperation with Iran, who funds Shia militias that act as a paramilitary force. The Iraqi military, then, is less a cause of the country’s failures than a reflection of them.

    The long-standing problems with discipline and leadership has hamstrung the army since it was reconstituted by the Bush administration. Without competent officers to lead them, the lower ranks don't see a reason to stand and fight - especially since among the first to drop their weapons and flee are the officers themselves. Also, the terrifying reputation of ISIS in how they treat captive soldiers adds to the fear of the ordinary soldier. And with little stake in the army's success, the average soldier simply sees no advantage to making a stand.

    This is a problem with no quick fix. Only time and training will develop leadership skills in officers and unit cohesion in the ranks. And if there's one thing the Iraqis don't have, it's time. The Shia militias match Islamic State in fanaticism, but their military abilities leave much to be desired. There is no substitute for a professionally trained army and it will be years before Iraq's military will even approach that standard.

    1. Yep, the US military did a piss poor job in the decade it controlled the Iraqi military.

      Wonder, was it by design?

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    3. No, Robet "Draft Dodger" Peterson, it was Mr Bremmer and Mr Bush, who dissolved the Iraqi Army.
      It was the US military that was tasked with building a new one.

      Mt Moran said it takes years to do that, the US military had a decade to do it, obviously they did a poor job.
      Was it by design, or was the US military just plain inept?


    4. If the US military cannot build an Army, how in the world could it succeed at building a nation?
      Mr Bush knew that the US military was not suited for nation building ...

      "Let me tell you what else I'm worried about: I'm worried about an opponent who uses nation building and the military in the same sentence. See, our view of the military is for our military to be properly prepared to fight and win war and, therefore, prevent war from happening in the first place." GW Bush, 6 Nov 2000

      Seems they cannot build Armies, either.

  28. .

    If he starts to get a grip, the Democratic hit machine will be all over him, and some Republicans too.

    I've said from the beginning the man needs to get a grip.

    He is certainly not ready for prime time.


    1. Hardy har har.

      He's refreshing, except to an old cynic like you.

      You expect them all to be dicks, but he's not a dick, and he spent his entire working life in a surgical gown.

      He's the perfect fellow to put your 'they're all dicks' non sense to bed, for once and all.

      In fact, IIRC, you said once he told the truth, and dicks don't do that.

      Seems like your inbred cynicism has won the day, though.

    2. Your problem might be traced back to your career in advertising, where everybody lies like hell. You've come to expect it and accept it.

      And are thrown off your game when something authentic comes along.


    3. Old Doc Carson, he just is not ready for the 'Big Show', he ought to run for dog catcher in hi home town, get a little political experience, before he goes for the top spot.

      Fella has a case of inflated ego, a lot of doctors do.

    4. And you ought to be in prison, Criminal.

      Jack HawkinsThu May 14, 01:12:00 PM EDT
      How much cash I got from the cartels is hard to say, but they were happy
      with the body count I gave them…

      I was desperate to raise money for my 350 acres of bottom lands in AZ

      Fuck Off

      Go follow Ash around.

    5. Ash claims you are a serial liar, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.
      Your actions confirm his claims.

    6. I think that is called "hearsay"

      Ash's claims are Ash's to make.

      I call you a serial stalker, directly. That's why I call the AZ FBI on you and reported you.

      See no, hearsay.

      Direct, legal and authentic....

      I swore to the officer that you in fact made death threats, under penalty of false statement and perjury...

      I stand by my sworn statement.

      You threatened me, you stalked me (or at least tried to, since you stalked the wrong jew for a decade as we later learned)

      See how it works Jack?

      No what he or she said....

      Just direct, 1st person accusations or charges...



  29. Fighting, airstrikes reported near Ramadi as Iraq launches operation to retake city

    A major military operation in Iraq to retake the Islamic State-held city of Ramadi was under way Tuesday, as fighting and airstrikes were reported west and south of the city.

    A spokesman for Iraq's Shiite militias said Tuesday the operation would "not last for a long time" and that Iraqi forces have surrounded Ramadi from three sides, according to The Associated Press.

    New weapons are being used in the battle "that will surprise the enemy," Ahmed al-Assadi, who is also a member of parliament, told reporters. He added there was also another operation under way, north of the nearby province of Salahuddin.

    According to plans, forces fighting in Salahuddin would surround Ramadi from its northeastern side, he added.

    The Anbar province operation aims at cutting off supply routes and recapturing the outskirts of Ramadi first — not the city itself, according to provincial councilman Faleh al-Issawi and tribesman Rafie al-Fahdawi.

    The two told The Associated Press that there was ongoing fighting and airstrikes west and south of Ramadi on Tuesday, adding that more Sunni fighters will be armed starting from Wednesday to join the battle.

    1. What ?

      ISIS is in Ramadi ? can that be ?

      Criminal, you put your 'military expertise' on the line and told us all that ISIS would be cleansed from all Iraq by Memorial Day, which was yesterday.

      How then can ISIS be in Ramadi ?

      The truth is you don't know Jack Fuck about anything, and you ALWAYS attack your betters, like Ben Carson for instance.

      Cheers !!

      Got work to do.........

    2. It is sad that on Memorial Day weekend Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson advocated that the US abandon the Constitution that so many patriotic servicemen and women have died to defend, in favor of subjugation of the US by a foreign power.

      Idaho BobMon May 25, 12:14:00 AM EDT

      I'd rather have the Israelis temporarily running things here, until we can get a good Republican in there as Prez, than Obama.

      Obama has made a total mess out of everything. A couple of years with Likud running things here would be a vast improvement.

    3. It is an amazing leap that Jack Hawkins makes, again, when he says what he says....

      Notice how Jack's ill conceived logic is once on display for the readers.

      He apparent lack of English understanding reminds me that Jack's 1st language is Arabic.

      Readers take heed. Jack, the RAT, Hawkins, never met a sentence he could not distort, this is why most of the readers, including a founding blogger has left.

  30. Oh GOODY...

    Gaza JUST ATTCKED Israel with Rockets and coordinated suicide car attacks...

    It's going to be a deadly summer for the Palestinians.....


  31. .

    Washington (CNN)A federal appeals court on Tuesday denied a request from Justice Department lawyers to allow President Barack Obama's controversial immigration actions to go into effect pending appeal.

    The decision is a victory for Texas and 25 other states that are challenging the Obama administration's actions, which were blocked by a District Court judge in February. Tuesday's decision means that while the issue is appealed, eligible undocumented immigrants will be unable to apply for the programs aimed at easing deportation threats.

    "Because the government is unlikely to succeed on the merits of its appeal of the injunction, we deny the motion for stay and the request to narrow the scope of the injunction," according to the 2-1 decision by a panel of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals...


    1. Sometimes I just LOVE the Courts.

    2. .

      I notice that the GOP still has not offered any comprehensive proposals for immigration reform. They bitch, they complain, they correctly point out problems with the Dem proposals but they are so busy bitching they seemingly never have time to offer alternatives. This even though they control both houses of Congress.

      The GOP has been bitching about Obamacare for 7 years, pointing out all its faults, demanding it be repealed; yet they never get around to offering a comprehensive alternative. Seven years (and decades before that) and no proposals.

      The war in Iraq. They argue a hypothetical that there would be no war in Iraq had Obama not withdrawn all the troops in 2011, a claim that obviously can't be proved. They argue Obama has no strategy in Iraq or if he does have one it is flawed. Evidently, they are so busy bitching they are too busy to offer one themselves. Oh, you have the isolated nut jobs (McCain, Lindsay) who want to send in combat troops never mind that Baghdad refuses to entertain the idea. However, for the most part likely GOP candidates for 2016 have bitched but offered no alternatives.


    3. Many GOPers have suggested a worthy plan on immigration.

      Close the borders.


      The problem is, Quirk, while the GOP controls both Houses of Congress, Obama is President, and he has a veto they cannot over ride in the Senate.

      >>They argue a hypothetical that there would be no war in Iraq had Obama not withdrawn all the troops in 2011, a claim that obviously can't be proved.<<

      This is utterly stupid. Don't give me any more of your correlation/causation or what it was bullshit.

      If you can't see that, hell you can't see anything.

      You might as well go walk your mangy mutt.

    4. The military brass pointed out to our Napoleon on the Potomac endlessly that if you do this, the result will be that.

      They begged him.

      He did this and the result is that.

      He pulled the troops out, chaos ensues, and ISIS arises.

      It is not THAT complex Quirk.

      Rather it is self evident.

      Try harder.

    5. Try to think of it this way, Quirk:

      If you remove the dam on the river, the water behind the dam will rapidly run down the river.

      Does that help ?

    6. .

      This is utterly stupid.

      Gee, since this is coming from a representative of the Idaho Mensa and Quilting Club, I will be forced to give it all the consideration it deserve.


    7. .

      He pulled the troops out, chaos ensues, and ISIS arises.

      I stated half way through Bush's war that the US was laying the seeds and that chaos would ensue when we left. The writing was on the wall. However, given the sectarian divisions there, given the corrupt Shia government we helped install, to argue that a few thousand US troops there would have stopped the rise of ISIS (which began in Syria), especially when the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Staff admitted today that the US had no idea and no strategy for addressing a group like ISIS, well to my mind it is just inane.


    8. How do you explain the three years of peace (relative, but real) between the ending of the Surge, and the coming of Obama and chaos ?

      Your paragraph is quite something.

      >>I stated half way through Bush's war that the US was laying the seeds and that chaos would ensue when we left<<

      (By the way it wasn't Bush's war, The United States Congress voted for it, including Hillary and Kerry)

      You were right.

      Then you wiggle wiggle about 'a few thousand troops' etc.

      That paragraph is, well to my mind it is just inane.

      A sad last gasp attempt to wiggle off the hook.

  32. Nancy Pelosi says we must engage ISIS - wait for it - on the Internet.

    1. .

      In my opinion, it's not quite as stupid as it sounds on its face.


    2. I get the idea, stop foreign idiots from going to Iraq joining ISIS, however this is small potatoes and all the 'social media' I think she called it isn't going to influence those there one bit. It's a home grown monster and will mostly remain so, in my opinion.

  33. I'm not for putting our troops back in, but a wonderful ethical argument can be made for doing just that.

    Our earth has become a small place. One can fly around it in a day. One can talk to one's Niece on Skype have way around the world. Communications are instantaneous. We know what is going on in Iraq. We know how bad it is. We know what they do to the little kids, to the young girls.

    Knowing this, are we, and everyone else with a conscience, to simply stand back and watch ?

    Are not the innocent there in Iraq in a deep way part of us all ?

    No man is an island, the poet said.

    Are we not complicit if we do nothing, when he could do something to alleviate the suffering, not coming to the aid of our innocent brothers and sister over there ?

    What kind of people are we then ?

    etc etc

    Maybe this is the correct argument and we are all of us wrong.

    That is to say, it's not such a simple issue, and people of good heart can disagree.