“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, May 24, 2015

The bin Laden mail. We don’t know who translated this stuff, let alone who censored it

Suddenly it looks like we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive

Who’s left if we want to negotiate with Isis?

What an old softee he was, compared to the throat-cutting killers of the “Islamic State”. The black-bannered executioners are back at work in Ramadi and Palmyra and yet, back from the dead, old bin Laden returns once more, fished out of the Indian Ocean (if he was ever there) for one final re-appearance. He loves his wife, he wants his son to take over the whole al-Qaeda outfit, he studies – if he can read English – Noam Chomsky.
Surely he’s a chap we could do business with, the “moderate” we are always searching for when we fail to destroy our enemies, a “middle party” to start a “dialogue” with these unruly Isis fellows. But the French, in their search for the “interlocuteur valable” who would chat to the FLN when de Gaulle chose to throw in the towel in Algeria, found they had already assassinated all their potential “interlocuteurs” – and we, goddammit, did the same with bin Laden. Having liquidated the Fountainhead of World Evil in 2011, we’ve no one left to represent us if we want to negotiate with the new Fountainhead of World Evil in 2015.
I have the suspicion we’re being fooled here. I’m puzzled about the CIA’s latest dip into the barrel of the collected works and thoughts of the Old Man of Abbottabad. Why now, so long after they released the first tranche of fascinating but occasionally boring tracts between bin Laden and his lads in Yemen, do they pop up with yet more bin Laden junk-mail? Because Seymour Hersh has just presented us with a more disturbing version of the bin Laden myth, in which the guy, after effectively falling under Pakistani intelligence control, was blown to bits by his American killers in Abbotabad – and some of those bits then thrown over the Hindu Kush? (The sea burial was a lie, according to Hersh).
Why were the new bin Laden videos silent? And why were some of these documents, like the previous set, actually censored – for which read the devious phrase “redacted” – by the CIA? The CIA feels it necessary to censor bin Laden? Weirdly, not a soul asked why. Journos waffled on about a “treasure trove”. I’m not so sure. What was it that the CIA knew and bin Laden knew – and which we mustn’t know?
My meetings with bin Laden – in 19931996 and 1997 – long ago became an albatross for me, a piece of tat to hang on a reporter’s CV, as if talking to the man who would approve (if he did not plan) the international crimes against humanity of 11 September 2001, somehow makes history clearer. But I do recall how at our second meeting in 1996, he was obsessed by Saudi Arabia’s corruption, how its royal family had betrayed Islam – until I learned that the Saudis were still offering him – via a Saudi diplomat who visited him in Afghanistan – millions of dollars and the return of his passport if he “returned” to Riyadh.
And there’s an intriguing paragraph buried in Hersh’s version of events – or “counter-narrative”, as colleagues insist it be called – in which Hersh’s “retired official” source tells him that during the hunt for bin Laden, Saudi Arabia was a worrying factor because the Kingdom “had been financing bin Laden’s upkeep since his [post 9/11] seizure by the Pakistanis”. The Saudis, according to Hersh’s “retired official”, “feared…we would pressure the Pakistanis to let bin Laden start talking to us about what the Saudis had been doing with al-Qaeda. And they were dropping money – lots of it.”
I have too many questions about the latest bin Laden mail. We don’t know who translated this stuff, let alone who censored it. I don’t doubt the authenticity of some passages; the letter to his wife Khairiah Saber – mother of Hamza, whom bin Laden wished to be next leader of al-Qaeda – contains a moving paragraph about his desire to see her in the afterlife and to be her husband there again (even if she marries in the real world after his “martyrdom”). But the fear of US drone attacks – bin Laden’s only advice is to travel under cloudy skies – the forlorn and belated understanding that education is necessary for real revolution, and the determination to strike at the US rather than its Middle East puppets, does not suggest that the Abbottabad recluse was running a “terror” control centre.
So why is all this material coming piecemeal and truncated? The 103 letters, reports and videos released last week follow three years after the “Combating Terrorism Centre” at West Point’ released an earlier 175 pages of bin Laden chit-chat which was equally truncated and oddly translated. For example, when a bin Laden agent in Yemen sent his master a copy of an article of mine which described al-Qaeda as “the most sectarian organisation in the world”, the second half was translated by the Americans back from Arabic into English – with obvious deviations from the original English used in The Independent. But the first half was a straight “lift” from the paper with no attempt to translate from Arabic.
Now we’re told that even more documents from Abbottabad await “declassification”. From what do they have to be declassified? It’s one thing to “declassify” government information for the world to read – but to “declassify” bin Laden’s secrets for the world to read? What does this mean? Saudi material perhaps?
I won’t delve into the “porn” stash supposedly found at Abbottabad – which it took the CIA four years to watch before deciding not to release it. Is the organisation which waterboards victims and stuffs food up their rectums really so prissy? And then there are the books, Chomsky, Woodward & Co. Quite an English-language reading list – if bin Laden could read English. But when I met him in 1997, he could hardly speak a word. Did he have language tutors in Abbottabad? He did read Arabic-language books. Which of them were found by the Americans? Or did they contain too many works on Saudi Arabia?
Certainly the previous batch of mail suggested the old boy was prepared to contemplate negotiating with the Brits. Nothing to suggest this in the latest collection. Could he have been useful as a bridge to the “moderates” that we in the West will undoubtedly discover inside the abominable Isis? Oh, if we could only read the letters of the “Islamic State” archives. But maybe they would have to be censored, too. Which is why I can suggest at least one “interlocuteur valable” for Isis, despite bin Laden’s demise. Saudi Arabia. 


  1. Robert Fisk?


    The word is derived from articles written by Robert Fisk that were easily refuted, and refers to a point-by-point debunking of lies and/or idiocies.
    Here we have a great example of a fisking of a clearly biased writer.

    Here we have another example of fine truth telling from a man who very name now means being dishonest.

    1. If the debunking is so easy, do it.
      Or provide a link to where someone else has, otherwise, "O"rdure is just back with more ad hominem agitprop.

    2. LOL

      Jack, it's now part of the planet's dialogue.

      You are a "Fisker" 1st Class...

      there I used it in a sentence.

    3. As I said, previously ...

      If the debunking is so easy, do it.
      Or provide a link to where someone else has, otherwise, "O"rdure is just back with more ad hominem agitprop.

    4. Do your own research Jack..

      We have debunked you hundreds of times and that still doesn't shut you up...

  2. Sunday 13 April 2008 10.20 EDT

    Man of war
    He's been bombed, shot at and severely beaten. His reporting over 30 years in the Middle East has earned him many awards - and as many enemies. So, at 61, is Robert Fisk finally ready to leave Beirut? Not a bit of it, says Rachel Cooke

    Over the years, the balcony of Robert Fisk's flat in Beirut, which looks out over the city's renowned Corniche, has taken on a legendary quality. In his writing, he mentions it often, as a place of refuge: it is where he wants to be as he tries to forget the quotidian horror of his working day. Having survived countless shells in the more than 30 years he has lived in the building, it has come to stand for Fisk's longevity as a reporter, his endurance and also, perhaps, his luck. In his book The Great War for Civilisation, he describes the way that, in the years since the American-led invasion of Iraq, he wakes to the sound of the wind swishing through the branches of the palm trees outside his window and thinks: 'Where will today's explosion be?' (Answer: on his doorstep. Rafik Hariri, the former prime minister of Lebanon, was murdered on 14 February 2005, probably by the Syrians, only yards from Fisk's home, in an explosion so fierce the aforementioned palm trees dipped towards him as if 'in a tornado'.) It is, then - at least on the page - a place of peace and tranquillity, of quiet before the permanent storm that is life in the Middle East.

    In reality, though, it is not quite like this. I've stood on more relaxing traffic islands. It is early evening, and Fisk and I are sitting on this famous balcony in the gloom of a Beirut power cut. We are talking - or, rather, he is talking. Luckily he has a loud, uncompromising kind of a voice and the balcony is tiny, so he is close to me, both of which ensure that I can hear him above the roar of cruising Mercedes below. It is the end of a long day - he picked me up at nine this morning for a drive south to the border with Israel, and I've been with him every minute since - but, if anything, Fisk's energy, unlike my own, increases with every word he utters. On he goes: unrelenting, furious, pernickety and labyrinthine in argument. Every anecdote involves three dusty side alleys, every explanation three historical examples. Worn down by these things, I ask - too casually, I see now - if he thinks that, once the Americans exit Iraq (he believes that they will do this soon; that the US media is already preparing the ground by running articles bemoaning - I paraphrase - the fact that the Iraqis simply don't deserve what the US has offered them), there will be a civil war. 'Do you CARE?' he shouts. Perhaps I look startled, because he now corrects himself. 'Do WE care? I don't think we do.’


    1. {...}

      It's at this point that I start to think longingly of my hotel room in the Holiday Inn; not the old Holiday Inn, which stood close to the green line during the Lebanese civil war and is a pockmarked, shelled-out monument to terror to this day, but a new one, above a smart shopping mall. But it's difficult to get away. For one thing, every time I open my mouth to make my excuses, either he interrupts - Bin Laden this, Noam Chomsky that - or he takes another mobile phone call (no call can be missed, no matter that those coming in tonight are not from top contacts but from groups wanting to book him for lectures). When I do finally lift my bottom from my seat, he takes it as an opportunity to show me his desk - on it, a set of Russian dolls decorated with the faces of Israeli prime ministers and a framed postcard of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in the moments before his assassination in 1914 (Fisk's father fought in the trenches in the First World War, a fact that has had a profound influence on his own life). At last he puts me in a taxi, though not before he has reminded me that he'll pick me up at 5.30am so that we can travel to the airport together: he is off to Canada to lecture; I'm going home to sleep like the dead. It's kind of him to take such care of me, but I can't say I feel too grateful at this moment. Will he still be like this in the morning? Fisk’s long-suffering driver, Abed, was right: one day with him is like a month with anyone else.


    2. {...}

      The Neocons Hate Fisk

      Robert Fisk is one of the most famous journalists in the world, and one of the most divisive. Many revere him both for the muscular quality of his reporting - in a world numbed by 24/7 television, he makes news seem gripping and important and full of pity - and for his refusal to shy away from saying that which few other writers dare to put down on the page. No one escapes the heat of his ire: neither Bush nor Blair, neither Israel nor the Arab dictatorships. For him, journalism is about 'naming the guilty' and sod the consequences. In his more than 30 years as a Middle East correspondent - during which time he has survived bombs, bullets, two kidnap attempts and, perhaps most notoriously, a thorough beating at the hands of a group of Afghan refugees in Pakistan - he has won more awards than any other foreign news journalist and has written two bestselling and acclaimed books: Pity the Nation, a devastating history of the Lebanese civil war, and The Great War for Civilisation, a 1,300 page history, with eyewitness accounts lifted directly from his own notebooks, of the 'conquest' of the Middle East (his latest book, The Age of the Warrior, a collection of his journalism, has just been published). Fisk's lectures sell out across the world; at his book signings, the queue extends out of the door.

      For others, though, Fisk is a hate figure, especially since 9/11, when he outraged many by asking what had motivated those who were responsible for the attacks. As a result, he received extensive hate mail. 'My father thinks he's the Antichrist,' said a friend of mine when I told her that I was going to meet him. His enemies accuse Fisk of being 'biased'; he is anti-west and anti-Israel, they argue. Usually they stop short of calling him anti-semitic, though this does happen sometimes. Alan Dershowitz, the liberal Harvard law professor, has called Fisk 'pro-terrorist' and 'anti-American', which, he added at the time, 'is the same as anti-semitic'. (Fisk's approach to this sort of thing is robust: anyone who makes this accusation in print can expect to hear from his lawyer.) His enemies also accuse him of getting his facts wrong. In 2001, the word 'Fisking' passed into the language, meaning a point-by-point refutation of a news story. The term was named after Fisk because he is such a frequent and, his enemies would say, deserving target of this kind of treatment.


    3. For my own part, I admire his bravery - that, at least, is indisputable - and his writing; he is a brilliant reporter, and I feel this even when I disagree with him. At the Israeli border, where Fisk wants to check out the rumour that south Lebanon’s villages are empty of their young men, all of whom have gone to Iran to train as Hizbollah fighters in the expectation that there will soon be another war, I am struck by his charm, his refusal to accept his interviewees’ answers at face value, and his eye for the telling detail. His book Pity the Nation is without peer. But it is worrying that he refers to himself repeatedly in the third person. 'Have you read any Fisk?' he asks me on the telephone before I land in Beirut, a question that is insulting on so many levels. And now I'm here, he keeps calling himself 'Mr Bob'. Oh, well.

      When we get back from our trip, we eat lunch in the heart of Rafik Hariri's rebuilt Beirut, in streets so beautiful that it's almost vertigo-inducing to consider the way that, two hours down the road, I see how people are still trying to recover from the Israeli bombs of 2006. Does he ever get used to this, to landing in normality after a day out in the field? He looks dismissive. 'I was talking to an Armenian girl the other day,' he says. 'She said: "How has Lebanon changed you?" It was the same week that Antoine Ghanem [the Lebanese anti-Syrian MP, murdered in September 2007] was killed in his car. I saw him in his car, dead, blood everywhere. I was totally unmoved by it. That's what Lebanon has done to me, and it has done exactly the same to the Lebanese.'

      Does it appal him, this numbness? 'No. If you do the job I do, you're going to see a lot of dead people. My anger is still there. I name the guilty party, and fuck them if they don't like it. At Sabra-Shatila [when, in 1982, Christian Phalangists murdered some 2,000 Palestinian refugees while the Israeli army stood by],


    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. {...}

      I'd never seen so many bodies. I stopped counting at 100. I climbed over corpses. I remember thinking: if these people have souls, they would want me to be there. I thought they would treat me as a friend for that reason. So I wasn't horrified. I was horrified that they had been murdered, but that [manifested itself in] anger. I thought: the fucking people who did this. I knew some of them. I've met some of them since! Of course, this may be very arrogant of me. Maybe they'd prefer not to have Mr Robert wandering around. People are frightened of dead bodies because they're frightened of dying. I'm very careful. I want to live a long time. But I'm not afraid of the institution. I'm one of the few people who knows he's going to die.'

      But if he doesn't want to die, why has he done his job for such a long time? He is 61; most men would have long since hung up their flak jacket (not that Fisk deigns to wear one). 'There is nothing so satisfying as to be shot at without effect.' So he is addicted to danger? 'William Dalrymple called me a war junkie in his silly book. No, I don't have a desire for it. I'm appalled and infuriated by it.' So what does he mean: that it is exciting? 'When I came here, there was no doubt it was exciting. I was 29. At that age, your experience is movies, in which the hero always lives. So you think you'll live. I remember bullets whizzing past me like bees, feeling the air pressure change as they did. Back in Europe, you could dine out on your experiences for ages. But I was frightened.' Being frightened is a necessary side-effect if you're to tell readers what is happening. Fisk is dismissive of what he calls 'hotel journalism', a trend that has reached its nadir in Iraq, where reporters stay largely inside the Green Zone; they might as well, he says, be reporting from County Mayo.

      But against such a background, does the rest of life - love, friendship, home - seem more or less important? Fisk refuses to discuss his private life (he is divorced from the journalist Lara Marlowe), but such an existence must play havoc with relationships. 'If you don't use your terror to think properly, you're dead,' he says. 'The thing that's bad about that is you start making other decisions in life too quickly: where to buy a house, where to go on holiday.' All he'll say about the other stuff is: 'I'm not sure whether I've been happy. After my last book tour, I sat on my balcony with a cup of tea. I thought: you can't rewind the movie. I've spent more than half my life in the Middle East. There have been great moments of horror and depression and loneliness. Was it the right thing to do? I could have been in Paris with a safe job, watching children grow up. Then I remembered the letter in which the foreign editor of the Times offered me the job [he left the Times for the Independent in 1988]. It was like King Abdullah being offered Jordan, or Faisal, Iraq. Sitting there, I realised that if I had my time over, I still would have gone. I would have lived this life. I can't imagine a more eventful, dramatic life.' So when is he happy? ‘Oh, when I'm bought lunch by The Observer.'


    6. {...}

      The trouble is that he has 'so many' friends. 'You don't know people as well as you should. It's a bit like having four stories to write in a day: you can't concentrate on any of them.' In The Great War for Civilisation, he recalls that in 2001, after he was beaten up by refugees on the Afghan border - they reduced him to tears and left him with a problem with his balance, but he said afterwards that he didn't blame them for their fury - the second person to call him as he lay bleeding in bed was Rafik Hariri, then the Lebanese prime minister. He tells this story somewhat proudly, but it makes me feel a little sad for him.

      Fisk was born in 1946 in Maidstone, Kent, an only child. His father, the borough treasurer of Maidstone Council, seems to have been quite a distant man: 'a man of his time', says Fisk, who was closer to his mother. Bill Fisk had fought in the trenches and used to take his small son round the battlefields of the Great War each year. By the time Robert was 14, he could recite the names of all the offensives: Bapaume, Hill 60, High Wood, Passchendaele. Fisk is adamant that he is not a soldier manqué, that his career is not some kind of atonement for his failure - his generation's failure - to have fought in a war. But still, there is a link between his father's life and his work. After the Allied victory in 1918, the victors divided up the lands of their former enemies. As he notes in the preface to The Great War for Civilisation, in the space of 17 months they created the borders of Northern Ireland, Yugoslavia and the Middle East - the very places where Fisk has spent the past 30 years watching people 'burn'. He decided when he was just 12 that he wanted to be a reporter, after seeing Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent. He took a degree in linguistics and classics at Lancaster University - his digs were on the front at Morecambe - and then joined the Newcastle Evening Chronicle as a cub reporter. From 1972, he was Belfast correspondent for the Times. Then, in 1979, he was dispatched to Beirut, from where he reported on the Iranian revolution, the Iran-Iraq war, the Gulf war, the Balkan conflict and, of course, on more than a decade of Lebanon's 15-year civil war. During the hostage crisis, he was the only western male journalist who stayed in Beirut. 'I thought: if you leave, you'll never come back. There was the danger of contamination, that people would think I was a spy. There are still people who think I'm a spy because I am a foreigner, because I wasn't kidnapped.'

      It's a crazed exaggeration to say that his being offered the Middle East was like Faisal being offered Iraq, but still, it was something of a poisoned chalice: replete with stories and adventure, but also with a ravenous kind of danger. When he arrived, the war was four years old. Were his parents worried about him? 'My father became so as the years went by, but at first he just told me: "Don't worry about shells, worry about snipers." When he died, my landlord, Mustapha, said: "I don't think you would have survived without him", and he was right.' When the Israelis finally ordered all journalists to leave West Beirut, his mother somehow got through on the telephone - a miracle, given the shelling - and when he told her that he was staying put (he believed the Israelis wanted journalists to leave so they could get on with killing people), she said: 'Yes, we thought you should stay.' Even so, as their only child, didn't he ever feel guilty? 'No, it didn't worry me at all. I want to do what I want to do. I wanted to report the war. What else would I do if I didn't do that? I would go mad.’

    7. {...}
      One of the striking things about Fisk is that he has never gone native - or, as he puts it, 'become one of those mad loonies who go round wearing kafias and empathising' - a fact he attributes to the fact that the Arab world 'drives me up the wall', and to his father, 'who taught me to be me: he was dismissive of people who tried to copy other people'. But how does he feel about Lebanon? He has a house in Ireland, yet you cannot imagine him ever leaving his flat on the Corniche. 'I don't like people who say they love Lebanon,' he says. 'They come here, cream off the stories they want, don't bother to learn the language [he speaks Arabic], then go off and become Moscow correspondent. I love the life I have here, but the Lebanese are dangerous people. They're hospitable, gracious, cosmopolitan, learned, yet they can rip themselves to pieces in a civil war and kill 150,000 people. Foreigners come here, they smile and Lebanon smiles back, and they don't spot when she stops smiling. Between "no problem" and haraam ["for shame"], there's about five seconds. I treat the Lebanese with respect; most people don't. It's not my country.' Does this statement include an element of fear? 'No. But I think they live a great tragedy. Anyone living in an artificially created country is living a tragedy. They risked their lives for me. [In the hostage crisis] they used to put me in a Druze hat to take me to the airport.'

      The phrase 'It's not my country' is one he uses several times, notably when I bring up the subject of fundamentalism, about which he has (unusually) little to say: 'It's not my country; I might [worry about fundamentalism] if I were Lebanese.' When I worry aloud about women's rights in the Muslim world - I've just been to Yemen to report on them - he grows exasperated. 'Yes, and it's amazing that the great pastor George W Bush, who cares so much about Christianity, is successfully emptying Iraq of one of the oldest Christian communities in the Middle East. You've got to take society as you find it, unless there is clear evidence of torture or sexual mutilation, and then education is the only thing. Laws don't work. If we put as much money into computer science and schools in the Middle East as we do into weapons, we would not have the problems we have. But we don't do that. We want oil.' These problems, he believes, are severe; the situation is more serious than at any time since he came here. Those who say he is a doom-monger are just wrong. 'I will not say there is any hope. I will not! We are in deep shit.’


    8. {...}

      When Fisk first arrived in Beirut, he believed that Israel would survive. Now he is not so sure. The Israeli press is, he says, self-delusional. The army is ‘shabby, a rabble; they don’t always obey orders, and they don’t always turn up'.

      In South Lebanon in 2006, they got 'chucked out by Hizbollah, a third-rate militia'. He wonders whether, if Israel's borders were really threatened - 'as opposed to false threats; Ahmadinejad might as well work for the Israelis, and maybe he does' - America would go to war for it. 'American power in the Middle East is collapsing. It doesn't need much more than a shove, and it will - and that's not going to be a good thing.' But I'm not exactly sure why he thinks it will be a bad thing, because his next point is that the west should leave the Middle East alone: 'We've got to stop bombing them, either in a surrogate manner through Israel, or directly... There are 22 times more western troops in the Muslim world than there were at the time of the crusades... We come promising freedom yet we always arrive with our horses and our swords, our Humvees and our helicopter gunships.' When this collapse of US power does happen - he won't give me a timescale - Israel's best bet will be to go back to its international borders. Has Israel a right to exist? 'Yes, why not? I think any group of people can have a homeland, but they've got to remember that if they build it on other people's land, there will be a problem with that, [especially if] they then treat the dispossessed as animals.'

      After I've paid our bill, Abed, Fisk's faithful driver, takes us to his flat. Though my illusions about that peaceful balcony are somewhat shattered, it's a lovely place: spare and cool and book-laden, with a few handsome pieces of Syrian furniture. I switch my tape recorder on. Off he goes again. We talk first about bias. 'We must pursue injustice. This is not a football match where you report both sides. This is a massive human tragedy. At Sabra-Shatila did I give equal time to the Phalange? No, I did not. When I reported on a suicide bombing in an Israeli pizzeria did I give equal time to Islamic Jihad? No. You talk to the victims.' Then we talk about Osama Bin Laden, whom Fisk has interviewed three times. 'Bin Laden is irrelevant. Killing him now is like arresting the nuclear scientists after the atom bomb was invented. The monster is born. Even when he does speak, we don't listen. He says things [Arab] leaders will not say. He articulates injustice.' When, finally, I can think of no more questions - or, at least, when I can go on no longer - he seems surprised that my industry does not match his own. I follow him downstairs to find a taxi and I think again what a straight, almost military back he has. He is very proud. Perhaps I have offended him with my exhaustion. Or does he just want for company?

    9. The Age of the Warrior, by Robert Fisk, is published by Fourth Estate, priced £14.99. To order a copy for £13.99 with free UK p&p go to or call 0870 836 0885

  3. You don’t know Robert Fisk because he is a real journalist.


  4. After the Allied victory in 1918, the victors divided up the lands of their former enemies. As he notes in the preface to The Great War for Civilisation, in the space of 17 months they created the borders of Northern Ireland, Yugoslavia and the Middle East - the very places where Fisk has spent the past 30 years watching people 'burn'.

    The definition of "Civilization", does it include the mass slaughter of people, answer us that Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.
    Everywhere the Europeans put a cultural colony, the native people die by the score.
    The natural resources are plundered, while the native peoples are subjugated.

    Time after time, all around the globe.
    Then the colonialists tell themselves and any who will listen that the death and destruction, it was for those native folks 'own good'.
    The Belgian Congo stands as an illustrative example, but there are many, many others.

    1. Where are the White Mountain Apache now, d.rat shitter ?

      You killed and ran drugs just to pay for your stolen rich river bottom land -

      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

      Your history is quite clear.

      The history of colonialism is a mixed bag. Many parts of the old British Empire gained a lot by the experience. The Congo- people not so much. The French Empire folks somewhere in between.

      What did happen, time after time, all around the globe, is the farmers won out over the paleolithic hunter/fisher/gatherer folk.

      The reason for this is extremely simple.

      Even you ought to be able to figure it out, Criminal rat's ass.

      You OUGHT to be able to figure it out, which is far different from you actually doing so.

  5. Osama is still alive, like Elvis.

    Buried at sea, good grief, who would fall for that old routine ?

    Only the American People, so easily fooled.

    So easily fisked, so easily grubbered.

    I for one, never believed a word of it.

    For one thing a sea burial is haram, is unislamic.

    When's the last time you ever heard of one of these rag head camel jockeys getting a sea burial, huh ?

    That's right, you never did hear of it.

    It was all a conspiracy.

    1. So, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson do you believe Seymour Hersh's version of the events surrounding Seal Team 6's foray into Pakistan, or do you propose to present us with another version?

      We could ask those that went on the mission, but they were killed in Afpakistan, when their Chinook was shot down.

    2. Jack, off, you are following me around again.

      It is not polite, and you are an idiot.

      And a conspiracy monger.

      You are the sad laughing stock of this place.

      Nearly everyone is on record here judging you to be a pathological liar, and in need of help.

      These people are serious. You need help.

    3. Robert "Draft dodger" Peterson you should answer the question.

      When it comes to the comedic relief, here at the elephant Bar, you are the star performer.

      The coward, both physical and moral, the admitted thief of both your aunt's honor and the bank's money.
      You have advocated for mass murder, butchery and cannibalizing US citizens, then said it was a 'joke'.
      You are the laughing stock, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

      If you were to move on to "O"rdure's blog, no one would follow.

    4. Your 'niece' will never know the difference ...


  6. Returning to Lebanon ...

    Hezbollah is fighting across all of Syria alongside the army of President Bashar al-Assad and is willing to increase its presence there when needed, the leader of the Lebanese Shi'ite movement said on Sunday.

    Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah told thousands of supporters via video link that the fight was part of a wider strategy to prevent groups like al Qaeda's wing in Syria, Nusra Front, and the ultra-hardline Islamic State from taking over the region.

    "Our presence will increase whenever it should... Yes, we are not present in one place in Syria and not the other. We will be everywhere in Syria," he said during a celebration to mark the withdrawal of Israeli soldiers from south Lebanon in 2000.

    Hezbollah, backed by Iran, is a staunch ally of Assad in the four-year-long Syrian civil war. The conflict has become a focal point for the struggle between Tehran and Sunni Saudi Arabia, which has backed the insurgency.

    Nasrallah also said that an offensive his group is leading in the mountainous region of Qalamoun along the border between Syria and Lebanon will last "until the borders are secured."

    He said the residents of the area "will not accept the presence of terrorists and takfiris in any of the Bekaa or Arsal outskirts." Takfiri is a term for a hardline Sunni Muslim who sees other Muslims as infidels, often as a justification for fighting them.

  7. Where do we get these jackasses?

    WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said Sunday that Iraqi forces had demonstrated “no will to fight” against the Islamic State, blaming them for a retreat that led to the terrorist group’s victory in capturing the Iraqi city of Ramadi.

    While that critical assessment of Iraqi security forces has been voiced in Congress and by policy research institutes, Mr. Carter’s remarks on CNN’s “State of the Union” were some of the administration’s strongest language to date about Iraq’s repeated inability to hold and take back territory from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

    “They were not outnumbered. In fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force and yet they failed to fight and withdrew from the site,” he said. “That says to me and, I think, to most of us, that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight ISIL and defend themselves.”


    The US was raising $500 million in arms to fight Assad 8 months ago? How did that work out? McCain was visiting Isis. Israel was providing first aid.

    The Turks were buying Isis stolen oil and the Saudis and Emirates were financing them and then we have some dick from The Pentagon whining that the Iraqis were bailing because they believe that Isis will win.

    1. Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter's employment contract with Obama must include an "I get to tell the truth" clause in it.

      Everyone else in the Administration lies like hell.

  8. The Iraqi Army is a joke.

    They had the numbers at Ramadi, but as usual just ran away.

    Obama's entire foreign policy is a bad joke.

    In three, five, ten years millions may die because of it.

    Many tens of thousands already have..........

  9. By my clock, only five more hours until Iraq is ISIS Free.....

    We must wait only five more hours....

  10. Moving along to more hopeful things - maybe a Carson/Fiorina ticket is the dream ticket -

    Fiorina, Carson jostling to move into the top tier

    posted at 12:31 pm on May 24, 2015 by Jazz Shaw

    The Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC) kicked off this week in Oklahoma City and many of the GOP presidential hopefuls were on hand to make their pitch. Two of them in particular caught the notice of the political reporting class as well as the attendees. Carly Fiorina gave a very well received stem winder which had the crowd on their feet, and rather than going after her fellow primary contenders, her sights were set on the Democrats’ presumptive nominee.

    GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina on Saturday accused President Obama and his former secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, of poorly representing America’s interests on the world stage.

    “The world is a dangerous and tragic place when America is not leading,” Fiorina told the crowd at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City. “Nowhere is leadership more important now than in the world.”…

    “Hillary Clinton must not be the president of these United States,” she said.

    “She must not be president of the United States as she is not trustworthy and does not have a record of leadership,” Fiorina added.

    Fiorina repeated earlier campaign vows that she would make herself more publicly accessible than her possible Democratic opponent.

    “Since I launched my campaign for the presidency less than three weeks ago, I have answered about 413 questions from the press, and yes, I am counting,” she said. “Hillary Clinton, I think, has answered 13 questions now since April 12.”

    “We know that Hillary Clinton will not be held to account unless we have a nominee that holds her to account in the general election,” she added.

    1. Fiorina is keeping with a familiar theme which she established right out of the gate. In an era when the media is still more than willing to double down on the entire “Republican War on Women” meme, Fiorina has staked out a space where she can attack Hillary Clinton with abandon on every issue under the sun and even the most liberal journalists are hesitant to play the gender card against her. She’s also continuing to hammer on Clinton’s complete lack of credentials or significant accomplishments during her years in the public eye, while highlighting her own experience on both the domestic front and foreign relations. It’s too early to say how much this may move the needle, but Fiorina certainly seems to be in this thing to win it.’

      Meanwhile, at the same conference, the straw poll winner was neurosurgeon Ben Carson, and it really wasn’t even a close call.

      Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson won the presidential straw poll at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference on Saturday with 25.4% of the vote — a cherry on the sundae for the candidate, who also scored a last-minute time slot upgrade when he replaced Sen. Ted Cruz as the gala event’s headline speaker.

      It certainly is a big upgrade if you get to “replace” Ted Cruz, but this wasn’t because the conference organizers suddenly took a dim view of the Texas senator. Both Cruz and Marco Rubio had to cancel their speeches when they were held up in DC for a weekend vote on the NSA. That opened the door for Carson to take the prime speaking position and it looks like it paid off in straw poll votes.

      Carson has stumbled repeatedly since getting into the race and as we’ve been taking the temperature of the conservative readers here there seems to be diminished confidence that he’s the guy who can carry the ball into the end zone for the GOP. Everyone seems to agree that he’s a great guy with solid values and he’s clearly smart as a whip, but his inexperience in the electoral lion’s den is showing on a regular basis. Too many of those mistakes may open the door a bit too wide for the Democrats, but who knows? With a bit more fine tuning of his campaign team he may still break through.

      We’ve got a couple of months left for the lower tier candidates to start ringing up the numbers they will need to qualify for a podium at the main debates or attract the attention of donors and undecided voters. The SRLC is only one of many such venues where these folks can fine tune their message and keep their hopes alive.

  11. Seems like these shootings of Police are becoming a weekly event around the country......

    New Orleans Cop Shot Dead in Cruiser
    May 24, 2015, 5:38 PM ET
    PHOTO: Caution tape marks of the scene after the body of a police officer for New Orleans public housing agency was found Sunday, May 24, 2015, in New Orleans.
    Caution tape marks of the scene after the body of a police officer for New Orleans' public housing agency was found Sunday, May 24, 2015, in New Orleans.
    Kathleen Flynn/ The Times-Picayune/AP Photo

    A New Orleans police officer was found shot dead in his marked patrol car this morning, city officials said.

    The shooting was reported around 7 a.m., the New Orleans Police Department said in a news release. The victim's car rolled forward and struck a curb after the shooting.

    The officer's name has not been released, but the New Orleans police identified the victim as a 45-year-old man who worked as a Housing Authority police officer.

    Cleveland Police Officer Found Not Guilty in Unarmed Couple's Shooting Deaths

    Omaha Police Officer Killed Just Hours Before Maternity Leave

    Decorated Boston Police Officer Released From Hospital After Being Shot

    A Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) police officer "Investigates complaints, maintains order, aids individuals, and identifies criminal offenders," according to a summary of the position on The officers also perform "unplanned physical tasks which include the restraining of violent individuals, running, climbing fences and responding to EMS and rescue emergencies. Officers must handle gun belts," the summary said.

    The officer had been a member of the HANO Police Department since 2013, according to the police press release. The police department declined to comment further.

    New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a statement: "The death of this HANO police officer is an unspeakable tragedy, and a vile and cowardly act. Tragedies that involve our men and women in uniform affect our entire city and touch every member of our law enforcement community. We are deeply saddened by this loss, and our hearts and prayers are with the officer's friends and family and with the entire HANO family during this very difficult time.

    "NOPD and HANO will work very closely to identify and arrest those responsible for this heinous assault. NOPD and HANO are part of the same close-knit law enforcement family that puts their lives on the line to protect and serve the people of New Orleans. Never are we more aware of the risk they face every day than we are on terrible days like this."

    The New Orleans Police Department is investigating.

  12. Unbelievable total capitulation by the US Government to the proported interest of Israel

    US Knee jerk support for Israeli Nukes Torpedoes UN Disarmament Talks

    By Juan Cole | May. 24, 2015 |

    After four weeks of negotiations, a revised UN treaty on nuclear disarmament has been torpedoed by the United States, leaving the issue of global disarmament dead in the water for the next five years. Non-nuclear states are furious at Washington and also fearful that in the absence of an agreement, nuclear proliferation will now march on. Moreover, they are upset at the slow pace of reduction of numbers of nuclear weapons by nuclear-armed states such as the US and Russia.

    The US vetoed the document because it contained a clause requiring Israel to meet with Arab neighbors and to participate in talks leading to the making of the Middle East a nuclear free zone. Israel is the only country in the Middle East with a substantial nuclear arsenal, which it hides in plain sight by refusing to talk about it. UN-mandated negotiations with Egypt and other Arab states could have forced Israel to admit its nuclear stockpile and begin reducing it.

    The US tried to make it look like the revised treaty’s demise was Egypt’s fault, since that country had put in the clause concerning Israeli nukes.

    But it is perfectly understandable that Egypt wants a nuclear arms-free zone in the Middle East.

    In running interference for Israel’s estimated 400 warheads, the US has made the world a more dangerous place. It has sacrificed a general revision of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty for the sake of protecting Tel Aviv’s nukes– which are themselves driving the Middle East arms race.

    Egypt warned that the Arab world would take strong stances as a result of the US veto.

    There are rumors that Saudi Arabia is threatened by Israeli and Iranian nuclear programs and may go for broke to try to acquire at least a breakout capacity, itself.

    Guess which country has requested further meetings at the UN in hopes of reviving the revised NPT? Iran.

  13. Why not save money and close DC down and wait for further instructions from Israel?

    1. Think you are losing it Deuce..

      You are sounding more and more like those guys on street corners by the day.

    2. You ought to go climb on your own soap box then, O"rdure, but then you'd have no audience, would you.

    3. Good idea, Deuce.

      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.

      I like your idea, Deuce, as a two year temporary measure.

    4. A traitor to the United States and its Constitution, that is what Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson has just proclaimed himself to be.

    5. Mr Lincoln would have him shot.
      General Sherman would burn his home.

  14. Let me explain something to you, the US just told the World that the only way to get respect is to get nuclear weapons by hook or by crook. Nuclear weapons are seventy year old technology. Any industrial country, so motivated can make them or buy them. Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and The Emirates were just given a demonstration that the US is not serious about NPT.

    1. Canada can't get no respect, nor Spain, nor............

      Nor Rodney Dangerfield -

      "I called up Suicide Prevention, and they tried to talk me into it. I can't get no respect."

      "On Halloween the wife sent the kids out dressed like me."

      "I told the bartender, 'make me a zombie' and he said 'God beat me to it'. "

      Rodney needs a nuke.

      I'm glad Deuce has explained that to us.

      So does Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Mexico, Costa Rica, Italy, the Vatican, and New Zealand, among many others.

      This comment is intended to mock a very silly statement.

    2. Pics of Rodney-;_ylt=AwrTcdFqpWJVHCcABX4nnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTByNWU4cGh1BGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw--?p=Rodney+Dangerfield&fr=yhs-mozilla-002&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-002

      Rodney Dangerfield
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      Rodney Dangerfield
      Dangerfield during an open air show in New York in 1978
      Birth name Jacob Rodney Cohen
      Born November 22, 1921
      Deer Park, New York, U.S.
      Died October 5, 2004 (aged 82)
      Westwood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
      Medium Stand-up, film
      Nationality American
      Years active 1940–1949, 1962–2004
      Genres Surreal humor, Wit, Black comedy, Deadpan, Jewish humor, insult comedy
      Influences Groucho Marx, W. C. Fields, Laurel and Hardy, Henny Youngman,[1] Don Rickles
      Influenced Norm Macdonald, Conan O'Brien, Robert Klein,[2] Bob Saget,[3] Chris Rock[4]
      Spouse Joyce Indig (1949–1962; 1963–1970; 2 children)
      Joan Child (1993–2004)
      Notable works and roles Al Czervik in Caddyshack
      HBO television specials
      Thornton Melon in Back to School
      Ed Wilson in Natural Born Killers
      Monty Capuletti in Easy Money
      Signature Rodney Dangerfield Signature.svg
      Grammy Awards
      Best Comedy Recording
      1981 No Respect
      American Comedy Awards
      Creative Achievement Award 1995

      Rodney Dangerfield (born Jacob Rodney Cohen, November 22, 1921 – October 5, 2004) was an American comedian and actor, known for the catchphrase "I don't get no respect!" and his monologues on that theme. He is also remembered for his 1980s film roles, especially in Easy Money, Caddyshack, and Back to School.


      1 Early life
      2 Career
      2.1 Early career
      2.2 Career surge
      2.3 Career peak
      3 Personal life
      4 Later years and death
      5 Legacy
      6 Filmography
      7 TV work
      8 Discography
      8.1 Albums
      8.2 Compilation albums
      9 References
      10 External links

      Early life

      Dangerfield was born in Deer Park, Babylon, New York, in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York.[5] He was the son of Jewish parents, the vaudevillian performer Phil Roy (Philip Cohen) and Dotty Teitelbaum. His ancestors came to the United States from Hungary.[6] Dangerfield's father was rarely home; Rodney would normally see him only twice a year. Late in life, Rodney's father begged him for forgiveness and Dangerfield forgave him.[7]

      After his father abandoned the family, his mother moved him and his sister to Kew Gardens, Queens and he attended Richmond Hill High School (Queens, New York) where he graduated in 1939. To support himself and his family, he worked jobs like selling newspapers (in which he would get paid a dollar[clarification needed]), selling ice cream at the beach, and delivering groceries.[7]

      At the age of 15, he began to write for stand-up comedians, and he himself began to perform at a resort in Ellenville, New York,[8] at the age of 19 under the name Jack Roy,[9] to which he legally changed his name.[10] He struggled financially for nine years, at one point performing as a singing waiter until he was fired, and also working as a performing acrobatic diver before giving up show business to take a job selling aluminum siding to support his wife and family. He later said that he was so little known then that "at the time I quit, I was the only one who knew I quit!"

      I always liked that guy.

      One of those Jews born to vast wealth and owning the US Congress.

      He's got my respect.

  15. The Supreme Assaholla of Iran, right after the revolution there - you remember the guy, always a scowl on his stupid face, never cracked a smile in his entire life- once said:

    "There is no joy in Islam".

    But there is among the Jews, and in Israel.

    This is just another of the multitude of reasons we should support Israel.

    They love life.

    Jewish humor, and English humor, are the best in the world, in my book.

    My Niece tells me Hindu humor is great too, but I don't know enough of it to form my own opinion.

    Lacking that, and knowing her excellent judgement, I accept her judgement, and include them.

    Poor old rat's ass. He is as humorless as the Assaholla.

    There is laughter, they say, in Heaven.

    1. Which is salvation for our dear Quirk.

      With his rap sheet, humor and laughter are the only things that will get him to the other side of The Pearly Gates.

  16. .

    Not good, fellas. Not good at all.

    It's the blame game.

    Our military insulting their military. Their politicians insulting our politicians.

    One week Dempsey saying having the Iranians involved is probably positive. The next the US is complaining about using Shia militias in Tikrit.

    Our Special Forces complaining that they are being asked to hurry up and wait, that they are not allowed to the follow troops they are training into battle.

    Many of the 50 invisible allies that form our grand coalition are complaining that pace of the war is too slow and that Obama doesn't seem committed to win.

    All of our allies, Shia, Sunni, and Kurd arguing we are not supplying them with weapons.

    Most everyone pissed off. Progress spotty at best.

    Quirk shaking his head wondering what the actual strategy is, muttering 'clusterfuck, clusterfuck' under his breath.

    No gentlemen, not good at all.


  17. .

    After four weeks of negotiations, a revised UN treaty on nuclear disarmament has been torpedoed by the United States, leaving the issue of global disarmament dead in the water for the next five years

    So what?

    The NPT is a joke.

    They fail to denounce Israel for not coming clean or signing the NPT.

    They put sanctions on Iran for doing things that are legally allowed under NPT.

    The US and France skirt the NPT by signing Civil Nuclear Agreements.

    It's all pretty much a joke.


  18. What I don't get here is that Deuce seems to almost desire that Iran gets nukes.

    Why ?

    Why would anyone desire that a counry run by mad men have nuclear weapons, a country that threatens its neighbors, and us too, and that subscribes to a truly insane theology ?

    I just don't get it.

    Israel has been perfectly rational with its weapons. I can't recall them chanting from their synagogues, Death to Iran, Death to Saudi Arabia, Death to Egypt.

    Israel is the only country in that area that actually needs nukes as a deterrent.

    I'm glad they have them, and the others don't, at least not yet in numbers.

    I hope Deuce is right and the Iranians can be deterred.

    It's always seemed safer to me to not take the chance.

  19. There is not one true democracy among all the Moslems nations on earth.

    >>>Using the Economist Intelligence Unit’s democracy index, we find there are no Muslim full democracies. None. These nations are almost all Christian.<<<

    May 25, 2015
    The Christian-Muslim Clash of Civilizations
    By Sierra Rayne

    The dominantly Christian nations currently have a net GDP almost four times greater than the predominantly Muslim nations, but the gap is closing fast.

    If the current rates of increase continue, by sometime in the 2050s, Muslim nations will make up a larger share of the global economy than their Christian counterparts. Economic power drives political and military power.

    Of course, the threat is not only external. It is also internal -- we are being undermined from within by the same forces that act from outside our borders. There are valid reasons why those such as Geert Wilders and Pamela Geller are very concerned about the increasing Islamification of the West.

    The three nations with the highest failed state indices are dominantly Muslim countries: Somalia (99.8 percent Muslim), Chad (55 percent), and Sudan (91 percent). By contrast, all 13 of the nations ranked as “sustainable” (i.e., the lowest failed state indices) are dominantly Christian. In fact, none of the 32 nations with the lowest failed state indices are predominantly Muslim -- not one, all but a couple are Christian (Japan is dominantly unaffiliated and Singapore is generally Buddhist).

    1. Looking at the press freedom index, the top 27 nations with the most free press systems are almost entirely Christian -- with an unaffiliated state or two (such as Japan and the Czech Republic) in the mix. The first dominantly Muslim country (Mali) is ranked 28th. The next Muslim nation would be Burkina Faso in 49th, followed by Guinea-Bissau in 67th. Out of the top 66 nations with the most press presses, only two are Muslim dominated -- essentially all the rest are Christian.

      Four of the seven nations with the least free press systems are Muslim dominated. The other three are North Korea, Burma, and Eritrea. The only one of these that is predominantly Christian is Eritrea, although it has a large Muslim population (37 percent, versus 63 percent Christian).

      In term of the corruption perception index, the first dominantly Muslim country is ranked 19th. The top 18 least corrupt nations are all Christian (once again, except unaffiliated Japan and Buddhist Singapore -- as well as unaffiliated Hong Kong). Just two Muslim countries (the UAE is in 28th) are in the top 30. Essentially all the rest are Christian. At the other end of the spectrum, seven of the bottom eight most corrupt nations are dominantly Muslim. None of these most corrupt countries are Christian (Burma is the eighth nation, and it is mostly Buddhist).

      Using the Economist Intelligence Unit’s democracy index, we find there are no Muslim full democracies. None. These nations are almost all Christian. The top-ranked Muslim nation is only in 60th (Indonesia), and it is almost a hybrid regime (i.e., quasi-authoritarian state). Other than Malaysia (71st) and Mali (79th), there are no other Muslim states ranked as flawed democracies. All other Muslim nations are varying degrees of authoritarian regimes. Three of the four least democratic nations are Muslim -- the other member is North Korea, not exactly illustrious company.

      What we can clearly say is that Muslim economies are growing about three times faster than Christian economies, and that dominantly Muslim nations do not share the West’s culture of stable democratic institutions, a genuinely free press, and a relative lack of corruption. These facts represent an existential threat for the West as we know it, and they should give real pause to those that believe in promoting economic growth in predominantly Muslim nations and encouraging the increasing Islamification of the West.

      Why do a few people here always whine about the poor muslim nations?

      That is something else I just don't get.

    2. You certainly don't get much. Nope you don't get much at all!

    3. Good morning, Noble Ash !

      What is you whine topic for today ?

      This is a great day.

      There will be no more ISIS inspired violence in Iraq.

      Quit your whining and celebrate, my young lad.

  20. I had to read this three times to make sure I had the story correct - It goes like this:

    * Syria is sending air assaults on ISIS in Palmyra
    * ISIS has already killed 400 civilians in Palmyra
    * Syria is trying to rid itself of ISIS and unlike Iraq is committed to the fight
    * Ankara and Washington think that this is a good time to attack Syrian troops with air support to
    McCains rebels that started this entire disaster in the first place

    Syria conflict: Regime jets carry out air raids around IS-controlled city of Palmyra, monitor says

    Syrian government aircraft have launched at least 15 strikes in and around the ancient city of Palmyra, following its fall to the Islamic State group, a monitor group says.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least four civilians had been killed in the raids, which were the most intense since jihadists overran the ancient city on Thursday.

    Director Rami Abdel Rahman said dozens of people had also been wounded in the raids, and that IS was believed to have taken losses when a military security building was hit.

    The world is “not even close to grasping the magnitude" of the humanitarian crisis in Syria, a top aid official said ahead of the fourth anniversary of the peaceful protests that marked the start of the devastating conflict.

    The strikes targeted several areas of the city, including some close to the city's famed Greco-Roman ruins, a UNESCO world heritage site, he said.

    A military source confirmed operations were underway in and around Palmyra.

    "Military operations, including air raids, are ongoing in the area around Al-Suknah, Palmyra, the Arak and Al-Hail gas fields and all the roads leading to Palmyra," he said.

    "We are pursuing [IS] wherever they are."

    The Observatory said it had documented the executions of at least 217 people, among them 67 civilians, including 14 children.

    Some of those killed had been beheaded, Mr Abdel Rahman said, adding that the jihadists had also taken some 600 people prisoner.

    Syrian state media said at least 400 civilians had been killed by IS in Palmyra, most of them women, children and old men.

    The pro-government Al-Watan daily reported on Monday that the number of executions had risen to 450.


    1. {...}

      Turkey, US agree ‘in principle’ to air support

      The air assault on Palmyra comes as Turkey's foreign minister confirmed a deal had been reached between Ankara and Washington to give air support to some mainstream rebels fighting Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's regime.

      Mevlut Cavusoglu said the air support would protect rebel forces who have been trained by a US-led program on Turkish territory, but gave no further details of the "in-principle agreement".

      "They have to be supported via air. If you do not protect them or provide air support, what is the point?" Mr Cavusoglu told the pro-government Daily Sabah during a visit to Seoul.

      "There is a principle agreement on providing air support. How it is going to be provided is in the responsibility of the army."

      There was no immediate comment from US officials on Mr Cavusoglu's assertion that, if confirmed, could mark an expansion of US involvement in the conflict now in its fifth year.

      Washington has so far refrained from committing to enforcing a safe zone for Syrian rebels, as it could be seen as a declaration of war on the Syrian state.

      The US-led program, which has been mired in delays, is meant to send 15,000 troops back to Syria to fight IS militants.

      Turkey has said that any support program must be part of a comprehensive strategy which includes battling forces loyal to Syria's president.

      Washington has maintained its opposition to Mr Assad but said that the goal of training is only to defeat IS militants.

      Syria's civil war has killed more than 215,000 people and displaced millions since it began in March 2011, the United Nations said.

      The conflict spiralled into an armed insurgency, which has deepened with the rise of IS and other extremists.


    2. This would be the equivalent of Roosevelt authorizing the bombing of Stalingrad while the Germans were assaulting it because Stalin was a vicious prick and ruthless in the counter attack against the Nazis and civilians were getting killed and displaced.

  21. Great Day in the Mornin', Bar Folk !

    You will soon notice - no ISIS inspired violence in Iraq.

    They all been run out of Dodge, by the 'rat Doctrine' and the 'indigenous forces'.


    Soon today will be called:

    Memorial/Iraq ISIS Free Day

    You wait and see !

    Hooray, cheers, yippeeee !!

    1. That really does please you, doesn’t it?

    2. Naw. You miss read me, Your Honor.

      I like to point out what an idiot our rat's ass is, that is all.

      He pumped himself up at a 'military expert'.

      He actually don't know squat.

      He has made a fool of himself for all to see.

      It's that which pleases me.

      You are doing the same, which displease me, as you are smarter than that.

      rat's ass is a natural born moron, you aren't.

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

      With his own way of thinking about things.

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

  22. As to my wanting Iran to have nuclear weapons, I have never said that. I don’t want any country in the religious crazed Middle East having nuclear weapons especially Israel with 400 of them. Who will be the targets of 400 nuclear weapons?

    What will happen to those nuclear weapons when a permanently established ISIS takes on Israel? ( If the Syrians fall to ISIS because of US terminal stupidity, Iraq is gone with it)

    Here is what Israel thinks it has:

    In an exclusive interview with the Jerusalem Post, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz says if Isis (Islamic State) ever plans an attack on Israel, "they will lose outright."

    “The IDF has the wherewithal to defend itself against Islamic State... Islamic State is creating its own "shock and awe" by beheading innocent people. But I believe we are capable of dealing with and containing this threat, and that is exactly what we should do.”

    Posed with the question, "do you think the world is overly worried about Islamic State," Gantz replied:

    "The IDF has the wherewithal to defend itself against Islamic State...The Americans created a doctrine they call 'shock and awe' by employing a thousand Tomahawk missiles in Iraq. Islamic State is creating its own 'shock and awe' by beheading innocent people. But I believe we are capable of dealing with and containing this threat, and that is exactly what we should do."

    When asked about Hezbollah and its stock of attack drones, Gantz says the militant group has plenty of drones through Iran, and while he's not worried about shooting down planes, his forces are preparing for an all out defensive and a possible takeover of Lebanon.

    "We are preparing for the next war, which I have spoken of on multiple occasions. The North poses a bigger challenge. It will require a strong home front, a hard fighting battlefront, and national unity, as we saw during Operation Protective Edge, and we will win.

    "We will take Lebanon and knock it back 70 or 80 years, in all areas, and we'll see how that plays out. And it could also turn out that we'll need to capture Lebanese territory. There are no surprises here, but rather things we are preparing for, year after year, season after season, staring the challenge in the eyes."

    Gantz believes the current allocated defense budget agreed on by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is insufficient to allocate adequate resources, "to train enough, prepare at the borders ... and continue to increase our strength enough to face threats."

    Despite billions of dollars being channelled towards defense establishment over education, welfare and health resources, Gantz says the spending is justified in the face of the growing militant groups.

    Gantz has not been paying attention. ISIS does not produce a single round of ammunition but has accumulated an arsenal of whatever it needs from the US, Iraq an Syria. If ISIS takes on Israel, will Israel start nuking its own territory and borders? Will it depend on the wind? Will it be so sure that ISIS, after being attacked with nuclear weapons would be shunned by the entire Islamic World, including the nuclear armed part?

    Is Israel so sure that their own weapons will not fall into the hands of ISIS?

    1. What "O"rdure is writing, not the norm for the region, garnered from the history of the past Crusades.
      The Crusaders always lose, it's because of colonial demographics. There are so many of 'them' spread across the entire globe. So few colonialists, gathered together in one small area.

      ISrael is a one nuke target.
      If the Islamic State really can buy a nuclear weapon, if that meme is just not hyperbolic agitprop, well then, ISrael is doomed.

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

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

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

      I was laughed at, but I was right.

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

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

      ― Isaac Asimov

  23. ...”The IDF has the wherewithal to defend itself against Islamic State...The Americans created a doctrine they call ‘shock and awe’ by employing a thousand Tomahawk missiles in Iraq.

    How has that worked out for the US and Iraq, General?

    1. That actually worked out pretty well. After that and the Surge, Iraq had three years of mostly peace.

      Iraq was screwed though when Obama came into office.

      Things went down hill immediately.

  24. Who have been the targets of Israel's nuclear weapons ?

    Why, nobody, and they've had them for decades.


    I am hoping you will comment on this article, as I recall you were in search of the Golden Thread, as I have been.......

    May 25, 2015
    John Bolton underestimates Obama
    By Carol Brown

    On Fox News Sunday, John Bolton said we’re losing the war against ISIS because the Obama administration is “blinded by their own ideology.” He went on to say:

    I think they’re in denial. I don’t think that’s anything new. I think they’ve been in denial about the war on terror the last six plus years. They don’t want to admit we are in a war. They would rather treat it as a law enforcement matter. That is palpably wrong. I think their unwillingness to understand the nature of the ideological threats we face from the likes of ISIS paralyzes their ability to win. And we are losing. There is no doubt about it.

    I have enormous respect for John Bolton, but on this I believe he is wrong.

    Bolton is underestimating the very real possibility that is even more horrifying than a president in denial, which is this: Obama’s actions and inactions are all by design. And while Obama is indeed driven by his ideology, the ideology is one that is simpatico with Islam. As a result, of course, we are losing to ISIS, to Islamic terror, to jihad, to the growing Caliphate, to a Middle East spiraling out of control, and to Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon.

    What we see unfolding is not because Obama is unwilling to understand the reality on the ground or because he’s paralyzed as to what to do. Quite the opposite. I would suggest that Obama understands the situation quite well. And he’s all on board. There’s no paralysis, much as we might like to think so, giving ourselves a shred of hope that the country didn’t really elect a person to be President of the United States who aligns himself with evil forces that are plotting and acting against us.

    I do agree with Bolton on one point. In part. He is correct that Obama does not want to go to war. But I believe the reason is quite specific. Obama does not want to go to war against Islamic supremacism (something far greater than a war on terror, which is a phrase that minimizes the scope of what we’re up against).

    The man-child sitting in the Oval Office spent his formative years in Indonesia, finds the Muslim call to prayer the sweetest sound, decided that the mission of NASA was Muslim outreach, gave his first interview as president to an Arab news station, jetted off to Cairo to give a speech and gave the Muslim Brotherhood front row seats as he pandered and apologized, made his first call as president to the leader of the Palestinian Authority, proclaimed on the world stage that we must not slander Islam, labeled blatant acts of jihad terror as “workplace violence,” has consistently tipped the scales in the Middle East against our allies and in favor jihadists, is importing Muslims to the United States from places like Syria at an alarming rate, is openly hostile to Israel, and is negotiating with Iran.

    And that’s just for starters...............

    I have long wondered about this....

    1. Kindly do not dismiss the thoughts because you hate, inexplicably, the source.

    2. I hope WiO comments on this article too.

      The opinions of WiO and Quirk are the only opinions here I respect, other than my own, of course, of course.

      Well, Rufus on energy is well worth reading.

    3. The observation is both myopic and foolish. Who went where and why? Did Arabs overthrow the governments in Texas and Louisiana for their oil? Are they Iranian ships off the coast of New Jersey and Florida?

      Which Islamic country has invaded Canada and Mexico and established military bases?

      Here is how it works with human beings:

      You bite, they bite back.

      You kill their cousin or brother or child, they seek revenge.

      911 wasn’t aggression, it was revenge. It should have been answered with immediate disproportionate revenge on our part to the guilty parties, the training camps and the Wahabbists, Saudia Arabia.

      Then we should have taken stock and realized that our interventions and wars have consequences. Quit fucking with them. Leave them alone. Get out and stay out.

      Mind our own business and take care of business in our own backyard.

      I could do a post a day for a year on all the negative consequences of our military aggression and our terminal inability to mind our own business. I could not do three posts on how life has improved for anyone especially Americans at the hands of our own chosen leaders.

      Quit picking sides, we are every bit as ignorant, stupid and with the same failings as every other society. Our own cops kill more Americans than every terror group on the planet.

      We strike more terror into the lives of ordinary people than 100 ISIS.

      Ask the Vietnamese, Cambodians, Afghans, Iraqis, Libyans, Syrians, Laotians, Lebanese. The numbers are in the millions. Every US caused death, injury, and destruction of property and honor has consequences. It creates revenge, hate in the same way that it created rallying slogans in American hearts such as “Remember the Alamo” and “Pearl Harbor”.

      The article is written by an illiterate on human history and human behavior.

    4. You're crazy. >>>>911 wasn’t aggression, it was revenge.<<<<

      At it's root 911 was simply an answer to the call of the Koran to kill the infidel.

      Here's an interesting article if you like this type of thing...

      Is man inherently evil?
      posted at 2:01 pm on May 24, 2015 by Jazz Shaw

      Well, here’s a light, breezy topic for us to tackle over a long weekend. Is mankind essentially good and noble at his core with a few outlying, sick individuals messing things up for the rest of us? Or is man prone to evil on a genetic level, only managing a facade of civilization and goodness through strained communal effort? Writing at The American Thinker, Mike Konrad thinks he’s onto the answer, and it’s not a very cheerful one. But he argues that the truth can be found right in the Bible.

      What separates Christianity from all other religions is a hard truth: Man is intrinsically evil. This flies in the face of hyper-leftist dogma that man is essentially good; all that is necessary is an environmental tune up.

      While it is true that crime is greater in poor neighborhoods — poverty can bring out the worst in people — it is equally true that that potential for evil has to be there. Increasing prosperity will lessen street crime to be sure. Well-fed people have less need to steal, but crime will merely blossom in other areas.

      This doctrine is called “Original Sin;” and it has been replaced in our culture by self-esteem.

      Konrad goes on to state that it is not the faith of Christianity which is dying, but the organized church and the clergy in general.

      Men need to be told they are depraved, and they need free grace. It is not earned. Our churches do not teach this. This is why official Christianity in the West is dying. We need a restoration of humility and perspective to define our behavior and to define our goals in society.

      If the churches, of whatever denomination, continue to ignore this, let them die out. What recent surveys show is that Christianity is not shrinking — just the 501(c)3 official corporation churches — but merely retreating to home churches and bible studies, which is how the church started out in the first century. Despite what clerics think, God does not need clergy.

      I’m not going to debate Mike on biblical interpretation as I would be in far over my head. (Though if Ed wants to jump in on that score I’m sure he could speak to it with considerable authority.) But I do believe that even a cursory glance at the broader history of man, as well as the work of centuries of anthropologists, offers some proof of the fruit not falling far from that tree. (Pun intended… #SorryNotSorry.) Left unchecked, man has tended toward quite a bit of violence and aggressive behavior, whether you choose to characterize it as “evil” or not.

      We are not born with any inherent sense of propriety, respect for property or the sanctity of the persons of others. These are things which are trained into us (hopefully) by our parents and the broader environmental lessons of civil society, assuming one is fortunate enough to be born into a civilized land. That’s why parents inevitably have to begin yelling at toddlers about why it’s wrong to take things that don’t belong to them and stop them from hitting their playmates. But if you were a son born into a tribe traveling with Genghis Khan, your parents would probably have been telling you, “the greatest joy for a man is to defeat his enemies, to drive them before him, to take from them all they possess, to see those they love in tears, to ride their horses, and to hold their wives and daughters in his arms.” Anger, aggression and a desire to fulfill our own needs and desires, even if that comes at a cost to others, seems to be built into our hind brains in some fashion. The idea of organized societies which band together to enforce rules and maintain the rights of individuals is actually a fairly recent development in historical terms.

    5. How did the practice of slavery arise early in man’s history and flourish right through to modern times? That’s got to be pretty much the epitome of evil, isn’t it? And yet it’s been ubiquitous around the globe, embedded right in the pages of the Old Testament. I believe it all comes down to something which anthropologists refer to as Kin Selection. We tend to exhibit empathy which relies on categorizing people based on whether they look like us or not. Family comes first, but given a choice between helping, ignoring or harming non-family members, we gravitate towards those who we recognize as being closely related to our genetic chain, likely due to some built in survival mechanism.

      I don’t list war – at least taken as a general practice of nations – as an “evil” for purposes of this discussion because war is sometimes an unpleasant necessity agreed upon by members of a polite society as a means to a desirable end. But that’s only when we look at it from the ten thousand foot level. On the granular scale, as my Dad frequently would say, bad things happen in war. And he was right. Awful things are done by individuals when the restraints of decent society are far away and the watchful eyes of law enforcement are nowhere to be seen. It took place in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam and World War 2. The horror stories which came out of the fall of Berlin and what happened to many of the civilians living there would curl your hair. Reaching as far back across the sands of time as you like, you would doubtless discover the same thing were you able to create a time machine and go back to watch the earliest tribes attacking one another.

      We create societies such as ours not to celebrate our inherent peace and goodness, but to tamp down the beast. Is this original sin or just an inherited mechanism which maximized our chances of survival and procreation? Beats the heck out of me. But I am reminded yet again of a moment in the movie Leap of Faith, where Steve Martin plays a corrupt, fake revival tent preacher on the path to redemption. During one particularly inspired rant, he lets the mask slip a bit, looks to the heavens and cries out:

      You say, ‘love never endeth.’ I say love never started. You say ‘the meek shall inherit the earth.’ And I say all the meek can count on is getting the short end of the stick. You say, ‘is there one among you who is pure of heart?’ and I say not one.

      (As an aside, that’s a fantastic movie. If you haven’t seen it you should give it a look.) But anyway… food for thought. Your observations, as always, are welcome.

      Update (Ed): I’ll address this from the Biblical perspective, rather than from the philosophical perspective, as Jazz has done. This debate has raged from the very beginnings of the Christian church, and resulted in forceful denunciations for centuries, until modern theologians revived a few old heresies.

      To declare that man is inherently evil is to misunderstand the nature of original sin. God created man in His own image, as He created everything else in the material world. The original sin of Adam and Eve was to reject God and grasp for His status through disobedience, for which they were ejected from the Garden, but still remained in the love of God. Put more simply, “original sin” is the predilection toward sinfulness, but we choose whether to be evil or good. We are not inherently evil, or the sacrifice of Jesus would have been in vain. To consider mankind inherently evil would be itself a rejection of God’s work and His image.

    6. The argument for mankind and creation as inherently evil, or at least of evil origin, was a heresy known as Manichaeism, as well as forms of Gnosticism (and its antecedents, such as Marcionism). Both strains of thought postulated that the material world either sprang from a lesser god (Gnosticism) or Satan (Manichaeism), and that God works to transform it to good. In both systems, God created only the spiritual realm. This, however, presents a particular problem for Christians, since the Incarnation of Jesus was that of a fully human man, as well as a fully divine consubstantial Son of God. It also can’t be reconciled with salvation and resurrection, or Jesus’ own teachings about corporal works of mercy, such as feeding and clothing the poor and sick. Why would Jesus have been resurrected materially if the corporeal form is inherently evil? Why not simply rise as a spirit instead?

      Creation, as we see from Genesis, is indisputably good in the eyes of God. That is equally true of man, created finally on the sixth day (Gen 1:26-31): “And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” To argue that God was blindsided by man and turned itself into an inherent evil is to deny the omniscience and omnipotence of God. We have been corrupted through original sin — which proceeds from the gift of free will but does not overcome it. We can accept the grace through the Holy Spirit to overcome sin and find our way to salvation because we are not inherently evil, but flawed and prone to sin. God loves us and wants us to come back to him as sons and daughters, which makes a pretty good argument that we are not inherently evil but inclined to waywardness. We choose evil, or we choose saintliness. That is the gift of free will.

      Putting this in the context of contemporary political debate is, in my estimation, a tremendous mistake. The issue of “hyper-leftist” thought has less to do with theology than with the material world anyway, but the actual problem is that we tend to use modern theories as a way to explain away our own predilection to sin, and it’s not just “leftists” who do that, either. I think that’s what Konrad means, and he’s correct in that sense; sin exists, and isn’t just a choice between moral relatives in a philosophical sense. To argue that we are inherently evil is to deny the goodness of creation, and to provide yet another excuse for our choosing sin over God.

      Anyway, that’s my perspective from my faith tradition.

    7. Revenge is the desire to repay an injury or a wrong by inflicting harm, often the violent sort. If you hit me, I will hit you back. Furthermore, by the logic of revenge, I am right to hit you back. The initial wrong justifies the act of revenge. But does that wrong really make it right for me to hit back? Once we act out of revenge, don’t we become mired in a cycle of violence and counterviolence with no apparent end? Such is arguably our current predicament.

      Of course, moving from ends to beginnings, the other peculiarity of revenge is that it is often unclear who committed the first wrong or threw the first stone. If someone, George W. Bush say, asserts that the United States is justified in revenging itself on Al Qaeda, by invading Afghanistan, then Iraq and the rest of the brutal saga of the last 10 years, what would Bin Laden have said? Well, the opposite of course.

    8. In a scarily fascinating 2004 video, called “The Towers of Lebanon,” in which Bin Laden claimed direct responsibility for 9/11 for the first time, he says that the Sept. 11 attacks were justified as an act of revenge. If the United States violates the security of the Muslim world — especially by using his homeland of Saudi Arabia as a base during the first Gulf War — then Al Qaeda is justified in violating American security. If there had been no initial violation, he claims, there would be no need for revenge. Bin Laden contrasts the United States with Sweden: as the Swedes have never been aggressors in the Muslim world, he says, they have nothing to fear from Al Qaeda.

      Bin Laden then reveals the extraordinary fact that the idea for 9/11 originated in his visual memory of the 1982 Israeli bombardments of West Beirut’s high-rise apartment blocks. He recalls his intense reaction to seeing images of the destroyed towers there and formed the following notion: “It occurred to me to punish the oppressor in kind by destroying towers in America.” (“Missile into towers,” he might have whispered; the idea stuck.) The Sept. 11 attacks, which most of us remember as a series of visual images, repeatedly televised and published, originate with an earlier series of images. For Bin Laden, there was a strange kind of visual justice in 9/11, the retributive paying back of an image for an image, an eye for an eye.

      Opposites attract — the awful violence of 9/11 is justified by Al Qaeda as an act of revenge that in turn justifies the violence of America’s and Bush’s revenge. My point is that revenge is an inevitably destructive motive for action. When we act out of revenge, revenge is what we will receive in return. The wheel of violence and counter violence spins without end and leads inevitably to destruction.

    9. Not rot from the Bible but history and common sense.

    10. Investigating what motivates the enemy, that is what got Mr Fisk in trouble with the Zionist ideologues in the first place.

      It would seem that the Zionists are always projecting their own motivations upon the 'other'.
      We can see that, in microcosm, here at the Elephant Bar.

  26. Memorial Day:

    9 Months killing ISIS, and NO American Casualties, or Fatalities.

    Easily, the most Intelligent Military Campaign of my lifetime.

    1. For the Second day in a row, the world's 8th largest economy has produced over 31% of its electricity through non-large hydro Renewables.


    2. Military Campaign ?

      Or Air Force target practice ?

      If you judge by the number of American dead, it's a work of genius.

      If you judge by defeating an enemy, it's a Zero.

      By your standard, the perfect military campaign would be to stay home.

      In the long run this wouldn't conduce to any kind of peace, however.

      Some other standard is needed.

    3. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson has already forgotten the campaigns success in Erbil, Kobane and Tikrit.
      The battle of Ramadi is not yet done, the counter-attack is under way.

      How much support the US and its Coalition partners provides to the Iraqi government, the only question.
      If the US and Coalition partners would support the 'boots on the ground' fighting the Islamic State in Syria, the victory at Kobane could be replicated, but the US does not support those forces.

      So, the campaign against the Islamic State falters, in Syria.

  27. Enormous respect for John Bolton? Who the hell is Carol Brown anyway?

    1. Someone who has never had brunch at Chez Rufus?

    2. Who the hell is Juan Cole ?

      I didn't ask for your opinion on the article. I already can make an intelligent guess on that.

      I was hoping to get the opinions of Quirk, and WiO, which might be interesting.

      By the way, Happy Memorial Day to all the Vets.

    3. She's probably not into gator tails, and Bud/Beam for drinks, Rufus.

      Not many people are.

  28. State Police of the Tamaulipas Force, dismantled in Reynosa, a system of narco espionage, of organized criminals that consisted of a circuit of cameras installed in this Town.

    The Tamaulipas Group for Coordination informed in a communication that the network was installed at 52 points of high impact to carry the data from 39 cameras operating via the internet, with which they carried out surveillance of the actions of the State and Federal Forces of security, as well as the civilian population.

    The dismantling took place Monday and Tuesday past by elements of the Tamaulipas Force, with support of the Military who provided security at the places where State Police retired the apparatus.

    During the operation to retire the devices, members of a criminal group that operate in this frontier Town, on realizing the network was being dismantled, retreated and switched off 18 cameras on the network.

  29. ... a right-wing Neocon flak and smear artist created by Ed Lasky of the American Thinker:

    from the Philadelphia Jewish Voice -

    American Smear-Artist
    Ed Lasky attacks Senator Barack Obama.

    -- Ira Forman

    Buried between traditional spam messages about get-rich-quick schemes and limited time offers, many members of the Jewish community have found despicable smear emails polluting their inboxes in recent weeks. Such emails aimed at Barack Obama (and targeting Jewish voters) have been so outrageous that leaders from nine non-partisan Jewish organizations recently took the nearly unprecedented step of signing onto a strongly worded letter repudiating these smear tactics.

    But the right-wing attack machine is not just using scurrilous emails to mug their opponents. Mainline conservative have been using more "legitimate" web sites to traffic in innuendo about the Democratic candidates– with many of their fallacious attacks landing in the discredited emails.

    Ed Lasky of the conservative American Thinker has been a primary culprit in this endeavor. He has been writing about Obama for months and his "analysis" is to the Illinois Senator as was Walt and Mearsheimers’ to the pro-Israel community: a political agenda wrapped in faulty logic and incorrect assertions.

    Lasky’s recent screed, "Barack Obama and Israel" offers a preview of what the GOP smear campaign would look like should Obama win the Democratic nomination. Given that similar smear campaigns have been launched against Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator John Edwards, it is clear these tactics will be used by conservative operatives in the General Election against any Democratic nominee.

    Lasky’s piece is filled with half-truths, omission of "inconvenient facts," innuendo, deeply flawed logic, undocumented charges, hearsay, and guilt by distant association.

  30. REPEAT: Lasky’s piece ( Read: The American Thinker) is filled with half-truths, omission of “inconvenient facts,” innuendo, deeply flawed logic, undocumented charges, hearsay, and guilt by distant association.

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

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

    3. Take that to your blog, Oh you don’t have one.

    4. .

      What's new. It's SOP for all parties in all political campaigns.



  31. Police Lt. Kimberly A. Schneider told The Associated Press that Capitol Police officers on routine patrol spotted the parked, unoccupied vehicle on a street on the mall west of the Capitol around 5 p.m. Sunday.

    “Further investigation revealed a pressure cooker, and an odor of gasoline was detected,” Schneider said, adding a Capitol Police bomb squad was called in because the vehicle was deemed “suspicious in nature.”

    Authorities have noted that pressure cookers have been used in the past to create explosive devices. Three people were killed and more than 260 others wounded in April 2013 when two pressure-cooker bombs were set off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

    Schneider said the bomb squad destroyed “items of concern in the vehicle, including the pressure cooker” Sunday around 7:45 p.m. after temporarily closing off the area on the long Memorial Day holiday weekend. She did not immediately identify the other items but said only that “this safe disruption produced a loud bang.”

    Schneider also said a follow-up search of the vehicle found nothing hazardous. Her email said the suspicious vehicle was investigated during a concert in Washington though it was unclear how many people were nearby at the time.

    The vehicle’s owner was found and identified as Israel Shimeles of the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Virginia, Schneider said. Shimeles was arrested and charged with “operating after revocation,” Schneider said. Schneider didn’t elaborate on the charge.

    Read more here:

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

    2. Take that to your blog, Oh you don’t have one.

  32. This is what's got the Republicans' tails in a knot:

    Military spending, this year, is looking to come in at approx. 3.1% of GDP.

    Not nearly enough for the Republicans, and Am Thinker War Machine

    1. Especially considering that as recently as 2013 it was more like 3.6%

      Treas. Statement

  33. Many of those at Am. Thinker believe it is too late to do anything about the Obama created fiasco in Iraq.

    You're the War Machine Guy. You sit around and mark down dead body counts and hoot and holler over meaningless bombing runs.

    Meanwhile ISIS takes Ramadi, and Shia Iraq has become a satrap of Iran.

    You are the guy that owns it. You voted for our Napoleon on the Potomac.

    Cheers !!

    Wife and I are going for a drive and a lunch.

    1. You damned right I "own" this - and proud of it.

      This will be looked back upon as the smartest, and most successful military campaign in post WWII history.

    2. As noted above, Rufus, our draft dodging contributor has already forgotten Erbil, Tikrit and Kobane.
      He only has 'selective memory'.

      Has no understanding of the real costs of the war, or how the US politicians screwed the pooch, spending well over a trillion dollars, and not effecting the outcome, post invasion.

      He would have US throw more blood and treasure into the sand box, without a cause.

    3. He has already abandoned the "Purple Fingers of Freedom" and has advocated for the US to abandon the Constitutional government we enjoy, in favor of foreign forces subjugating US..

    4. Yep, Bush spent a couple of $Trillion in Iraq, and lost close to 4,000 Lives, and Tens of Thousands Maimed,

      while Obama is in the process of cleaning up his mess while spending about 1,000th the Treasure, and No Americans Killed, or Maimed.

      This should be a no-brainer, even for the Idaho KKK . . . er . . . Militia.


  34. In Iran, the daily newspaper Javan, which is seen as close to the Revolutionary Guard, quoted Soleimani as saying the U.S. didn’t do a “damn thing” to stop the extremists’ advance on Ramadi.

    “Does it mean anything else than being an accomplice in the plot?” he reportedly asked, later saying the U.S. showed “no will” in fighting the Islamic State group.

    Soleimani said Iran and its allies are the only forces that can deal with the threat.

    “Today, there is nobody in confrontation with (the Islamic State group) except the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as nations who are next to Iran or supported by Iran,” he said.

    Read more here:

    Funny, I do recall the draft dodger, Robert Peterson, telling us that only US troops could prevail against Daesh, now it is the Iranian, Soleimani, who is consumed with hubris. Two peas in a pod.

    The "Purple Fingers of Freedom" can and will prevail in Iraq, if provided with close air support.
    Nine sorties, over three days of the Islamic State's assault on Ramadi, is not going to "get 'er done".

    We'll see how the counter-attack shakes out, which countries are willing to step up and take on those radical Wahhabi.
    The organization that attacked the US, on 11SEP2001


  35. It is sad that on Memorial Day weekend that Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson would advocate 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.

    If General Sherman were still alive he would burn down the draft dodger's home.
    Mr Lincoln would applaud.

  36. The US needs to make a deal with Iran and Assad on the common threat of ISIS. Everyone else including Israel, Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia is useless to US interests in mitigating the disaster that was of US making in Iraq, Libya and Syria. The alternative is an ISIS State carved out of Syria and Iraq and rump states in North Africa.

  37. In 2008, Military Spending was 4.05% of GDP

    Today, we're looking at an almost 25% reduction at 3.1% of GDP.


  38. In a couple of weeks Ramadi will be back in government hands, with ISIS being weaker for the kerfuffle. The same for Baiji.

    Then comes either Fallujah, or Mosul.

    Followed by the "mopping up."

    As I said, "the smartest military campaign of my lifetime."

    1. Iraqi forces have regained ground east of Ramadi since launching a counter-offensive on Saturday, a week after it was overrun, and on Monday retook a rural area south of the city.

      Police sources said Iraqi forces supported by Iran-backed Shi'ite militia and locally recruited Sunni tribal fighters had retaken parts of al-Tash, 20 km (12 miles) south of Ramadi.

      Pro-government Sunni tribal fighters, with the help of the army, laid land mines to reinforce their defensive lines around Baghdadi, a settlement northwest of Ramadi which controls access to a major Iraqi air base. Islamic State attacked Baghdadi with seven suicide car bombs on Sunday.

      In Ramadi, residents said trucks carrying Islamic State fighters arrived on Sunday evening.

      Local man Abu Saed heard a commotion outside his house in the city's southeastern Officers neighbourhood.
      "I saw two trucks pull up outside with dozens of fighters carrying arms running quickly into nearby buildings and taking cover."

      Another resident said at least 40 fighters had jumped out of three trucks that arrived in the southern al-Tamim district on Sunday evening.

      "They were carrying weapons and wearing mostly khaki dress with ammunition belts wrapped around their chests,"
      said Abu Mutaz. "They were talking in an Arabic dialect, they were not Iraqis."

    2. In Syria, Hezbollah fighters captured two hilltops from al Qaeda's Syria wing, the Nusra Front, in areas close to the Lebanese border and killed dozens of enemy combatants, Hezbollah-run al-Manar television reported on Monday.

      Iranian-backed Hezbollah has backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his country's civil war. The group's leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, has vowed to clear the border area of Sunni Muslim militant groups that have carried out attacks on Lebanese soil.

    3. Airstrikes in Iraq

      Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 25 airstrikes in Iraq, approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:

      -- Near Baghdadi, five airstrikes struck one large and two small ISIL tactical units, destroying four ISIL structures, two ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL armored excavator, an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL vehicle bomb.

      -- Near Beiji, three airstrikes destroyed an ISIL dump truck, an ISIL excavator and an ISIL tanker.

      -- Near Fallujah, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL anti-aircraft artillery piece and an ISIL fighting position.

      -- Near Hit, an airstrike struck an ISIL vehicle-bomb facility.

      -- Near Mosul, nine airstrikes struck five ISIL tactical units and an ISIL staging area, destroying four ISIL heavy machine guns, three ISIL buildings, an ISIL armored vehicle, an ISIL excavator and an ISIL vehicle bomb.

      -- Near Ramadi, an airstrike struck an ISIL vehicle.

      -- Near Sinjar, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, destroying two ISIL buildings, two ISIL heavy machine guns and an ISIL rocket-propelled grenade.

      -- Near Tal Afar, three airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and an ISIL vehicle, destroying two ISIL buildings, two ISIL heavy machine guns and two ISIL mortar systems.