“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."

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The neocons have plunged the U.S. government into extraordinarily ill-considered wars wasting trillions of dollars, killing hundreds of thousands if not millions of people, and destabilizing large swaths of the planet including the Middle East, much of Africa and now Europe. Those costs include a swelling hatred against America and a deformed U.S. foreign policy elite that is no longer capable of formulating coherent strategies.


Are Neocons an Existential Threat?

Exclusive: Despite a record of unprecedented error, American neocons remain the dominant foreign policy force in Official Washington, demanding more “regime change” in the Middle East and a new Cold War that could heat up and end all life on the planet, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry
The neoconservatives arguably have damaged American national interests more than any group in modern history. They have done more harm than the marginal Communists pursued by Sen. Joe McCarthy in the 1950s, more than the Yippies of the 1960s, more than Richard Nixon’s Watergate burglars in the 1970s or the Iran-Contra conspirators in the 1980s.

The neocons have plunged the U.S. government into extraordinarily ill-considered wars wasting trillions of dollars, killing hundreds of thousands if not millions of people, and destabilizing large swaths of the planet including the Middle East, much of Africa and now Europe. Those costs include a swelling hatred against America and a deformed U.S. foreign policy elite that is no longer capable of formulating coherent strategies.
Jackson Diehl, deputy editorial page editor of the Washington Post.
Jackson Diehl, deputy editorial page editor of the Washington Post. Diehl advocated the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the Post's early tenor of approval for the war has been attributed to his influence.
Yet, the neocons have remained immune from the consequences of their catastrophes. They still dominate Washington’s major think tanks as well as the op-ed pages of virtually all the leading newspapers, including The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and New York Times. They hold down key positions in the State Department, and their “liberal interventionist” pals have the ear of President Barack Obama.

Clearly, the neocons are skilled operatives, knowing how to arrange a steady stream of funding for themselves, from military contractors donating to think tanks, from U.S. taxpayers footing the bill for organizations like the National Endowment for Democracy, and from ideological billionaires set on aligning U.S. foreign policy with hard-line Israeli desires.

The neocons are adept at writing op-ed articles that twist any set of facts into support for their ideological cause; they supply just the right quote that fits into the news cycle’s latest narrative; and they host policy conferences that attract powerful politicians and fawning media coverage.
But are the neocons a force that can coexist with the American Republic? Have they become an existential threat not only to the constitutional structure crafted in 1787 but to continued life on the planet? Are they locked on a course of action that could lead to a nuclear holocaust?

Clearly, the neocons’ commitment to Israeli interests violates a key principle established by the nation’s early presidents who all warned against “foreign entangling alliances” as a fundamental threat to a citizens’ republic that would transform America into a warrior state that would inevitably sap the nation’s liberties.

That loss of liberty has surely happened. Not only is there now bipartisan support for a surveillance state that can spy on the personal lives of American citizens, but the U.S. government has wedded itself to the concept of “strategic communications,” a catch-phrase that merges psychological operations, propaganda and P.R. into a seamless approach toward managing public perceptions at home and abroad.

When information is systematically pushed through a filter designed to ensure consent, the core democratic concept of an informed electorate has been turned on its head: The people no longer oversee the government; the government manipulates the people.

Neocon Tactics
All this has been part of the neocon approach dating back to the 1980s when key operatives, such as Robert Kagan and Elliott Abrams, were part of inter-agency task forces designed to whip the American people into line behind the government’s aggressive war policies. Guided by seasoned CIA propagandists, such as Walter Raymond Jr., the neocons learned their lessons well.
But the neocons are no longer just threatening the existence of the Republic; they are now endangering the continuation of life itself. They have decided to launch a new Cold War against Russia that will push the world toward the brink of thermo-nuclear war.

Of course, the neocons will frame their doomsday strategy as all Vladimir Putin’s fault. They will insist that they are just standing up to “Russian aggression” and that anyone who doesn’t join them is a “stooge of Moscow” or “weak.” They will dictate the shape of the debate just as they have in countless other situations, such as guiding Americans to war in Iraq over non-existent WMD stockpiles.

The neocon pundits will write seemingly authoritative op-eds about devious Kremlin strategies which will glue black hats on the Russians and white hats on whomever is on the other side, whether the neo-Nazis in Ukraine or the Islamic State/Al Qaeda terrorists in Syria. Americans will be whipped up into a frenzy that will demand a direct clash with the “Russ-kies” or “regime change” in Moscow.

There will be little or no concern about the risks. With the neocons, there never is. The assumption is that if “Amur-ika” is tough, the other side will back down. Then, with U.S.-led economic sanctions from the outside and U.S.-funded NGOs stirring up trouble from the inside, “regime change” becomes the cure-all.

Everyone who’s important in Official Washington – everyone on the talk shows and op-ed pages – knows that these disruptive situations always play out just the way they’re diagramed inside the top think tanks. A hand-picked “democratic reformer” who’s traveled the think-tank circuit and gotten the seal of approval – the likes of Iraq’s Ahmed Chalabi – will easily be installed and then the target country will do whatever the neocons dictate. After all, that approach worked so well in Iraq. The neocons always know best.

Raising the Stakes
Yet, with Russia, the stakes are even higher than with Iraq. Yes, it’s easy to find fault with Vladimir Putin. I myself have a personal rule that men over 40 should keep their shirts on when out in public (unless maybe they’re actors in a Bond film or going for a swim at the beach).

But Putin at least is a rational player in global affairs. Indeed, he has tried to cooperate with President Obama on a variety of key issues, including convincing Syria to surrender its chemical weapons and getting Iran to make concessions in the nuclear deal – two contributions to world peace that infuriated the neocons who favored bomb-bomb-bombing both Syria and Iran.

At a dinner party in Europe this summer, I was asked by a well-informed British woman what should be done with Putin. My answer was that Putin doesn’t frighten me; it’s the guy who comes after Putin who frightens me – because despite the neocons’ confidence that their “regime change” plans for Moscow will install a malleable moderate, the more likely result would be a much harder-line Russian nationalist than Putin.

The idea of the nuclear codes being handed to someone determined to defend the honor of Mother Russia is what scares me. Then, the clumsily aggressive neocons in Washington would have their reckless counterpart in Moscow, with neither side having the wisdom of a John F. Kennedy or a Nikita Khrushchev as displayed during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Would American neocons or a Russian super-nationalist have the wisdom and courage to back down, to compromise, to make the concessions necessary to avoid plunging over the edge? Or would they assume that the other guy would blink first and that they would “win” the showdown?

I recall what William R. Polk, one of Kennedy’s mid-level aides during the Cuban Missile Crisis, wrote recently about what happens to the human mind under such stress.

“Since human beings make the decisions, we must be aware of decision makers’ vulnerabilities,” Polk wrote. “During the Cuban Missile Crisis, I was one of about 25 civilians fully engaged in the events. I was not at the center but in the second or third ‘echelon.’ So I did not feel the full strain, but by the Thursday of the Crisis, I was thoroughly exhausted. My judgment must have been impaired even though I was not aware of it.

“I do remember, however, a terrible episode – fortunately lasting only a few minutes – at which I thought to myself, ‘let’s just get it over with.’ When later I met with my Soviet counterparts, I got the impression, although they denied it, that my feelings were not unique. How the strain impacted on the inner group I can only guess.”

If someone as stable and serious as Bill Polk had such thoughts – “let’s just get it over with” – what might happen when American neocons or hyped-up Russian nationalists are inserted into the decision process? That is an existential question that I don’t want to even contemplate.

Endless Putin-Bashing
And, if you doubt that the neocons will engage in over-the-top Cold War-style Putin bashing, you should read the op-ed by The Washington Post’s neocon deputy editorial page editor Jackson Diehl on Monday, entitled “Putin shifts fronts: With a move into Syria, he continues his in-your-face maneuvers.”

Diehl delves into Putin’s psyche – a process that is so much easier than doing real reporting – and concludes that Putin’s decision to join the fight in Syria against the Islamic State and Al Qaeda is just another attempt to stick his finger in the eye of the righteous but clueless United States.
Diehl, of course, starts off with the neocon-approved narrative of the Ukraine crisis, ignoring the key role of neocon Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland (Robert Kagan’s wife) in midwifing the Feb. 22, 2014 coup that overthrew democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych and installed an intensely anti-Russian regime on Russia’s border. Nuland even handpicked the new Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, telling U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in a phone call several weeks before the coup that “Yats is the guy.”

The coup-makers then dispatched neo-Nazi militias (and Islamist militants) to wage a bloody “anti-terrorism operation” against ethnic Russian Ukrainians who resisted the “regime change.” [See’s “Ukraine Merges Nazis and Islamists.”]

But all that complexity is neatly boiled down by American neocons and the mainstream U.S. media as “Russian aggression.” Regarding the Syrian civil war, some neocons have even joined with senior Israeli officials in claiming that a victory by Al Qaeda is preferable to the continuation of Assad’s secular regime. [See’s “Syria’s Nightmarish Narrative.”]

Yet, however the story goes, the biggest bad guy is Putin, always with sinister motives and evil intent. So, in explaining the situation in Ukraine and Syria, Diehl writes:
“Throughout the summer, Russia’s forces in eastern Ukraine kept up a daily drumbeat of attacks on the Ukrainian army, inflicting significant casualties while avoiding a response by Western governments. On Sept. 1, following a new cease-fire, the guns suddenly fell silent. Optimists speculated that Vladi­mir Putin was backing down.

“Then came the reports from Syria: Russian warplanes were overflying the rebel-held province of Idlib. Barracks were under construction at a new base. Ships were unloading new armored vehicles. Putin, it turns out, wasn’t retreating, but shifting fronts — and executing another of the in-your-face maneuvers that have repeatedly caught the Obama administration flat-footed.”

The rest of the op-ed is similarly didactic and one-sided: Putin is the villain and Obama is the rube. In Diehl’s world, only he and other neocons have what it takes to take on Putin and put Russia down.
Any alternative explanation for Russia’s action in Syria is brushed aside, such as Putin deciding that a victory by either Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front – as favored by Israel – or the even more bloodthirsty Islamic State is unacceptable and thus Assad’s regime must be stabilized to avert a major geopolitical catastrophe.

Typically, the neocons breeze past the frightening logic of what the collapse of Assad’s military would mean for the Middle East, Europe and the world. After all, once Israeli leaders decided to throw in their lot with Al Qaeda in Syria, the die was cast as far as the neocons were concerned.
But the notion that the neocons can micromanage the outcome in Syria, with “moderate” Al Qaeda taking Damascus rather than the more “radical” Islamic State, reflects the arrogant know-nothing-ism of these U.S. opinion leaders. More likely, Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front would coordinate with their former allies in the Islamic State and share in the Sunni revenge against Syria’s Christian, Alawite, Shiite and other minorities.

So, while the Islamic State would busy itself chopping off heads of “heretics,” Al Qaeda could use its new headquarters in Damascus to plot the next round of terror attacks against the West. And, as destabilizing as the current refugee flow into Europe has been, it would multiply astronomically as the survivors of the Islamic State/Al Qaeda bloodletting flee Syria.

With Europe in chaos and the neocons still insisting that the real enemy is Russia, the possible consequences would be frightening to contemplate. Yet, this is the course that the neocons have set for the world – and nearly all the Republican candidates for president have signed on for the journey along with Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

In 2014, arch-neocon Robert Kagan, whom Secretary of State Clinton selected as one of her advisers while also promoting his wife, Victoria Nuland, told The New York Times that he could embrace a Clinton presidency: “If she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue … it’s something that might have been called neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that; they are going to call it something else.” [For more, see’s “Is Hillary Clinton a Neocon-Lite?” and “Obama’s True Foreign Policy ‘Weakness.’“]

So far, virtually no one in the 2016 presidential race or in the mainstream U.S. news media is seriously addressing the reality of the neocons’ “regime change” chaos spreading across the Middle East and the prospect of a destabilized Europe. What limited discussion there is on the campaign trail mostly echoes Jackson Diehl’s Putin-bashing.

No one dares confront the existential question of whether the United States and the world can continue to tolerate and accommodate the neoconservatives.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

SOME GOT IT RIGHT - We did lose in Viet Nam and the consequences from our debacle in Iraq and the Middle East has yet to crest:


  1. FROM NPR:

    NPR has new details on what investigators are discovering about Pentagon analysis of the battle against ISIS in Iraq.

    The Pentagon is looking at whether senior military officials at U.S. Central Command, or CENTCOM, pressured intelligence analysts into painting a rosy picture of the fight against ISIS. The Defense Department's inspector general is talking to a group of intelligence analysts who are providing evidence and details on how bias crept into their assessments.

    One military source who witnessed the skewing of reports and told NPR he was "a victim of them" said that analysts at CENTCOM got the message as they began writing their assessments of events on the ground. If analysts wanted to include a piece of good news regarding the campaign against ISIS or the progress of Iraqi forces, they needed almost no sourcing. But if they wanted to include bad news — such as Iraqi forces retreating — analysts were required to cite three or four sources.

    Two military sources familiar with the investigation say that, while they haven't discovered a direct order to cherry-pick intelligence, it was something that evolved because of the way data were handled and produced.

    "The bad news didn't just need to be footnoted," one military source, who did not want to be further identified because he is involved with the inquiry, told NPR. "The intelligence data itself had to be attached to the report. It became pretty clear if they wrote something bad, it was likely to be changed. Knowing that bad news on ISIS wasn't welcome meant that, over time, the picture of the fight began being rosier."

    A military source described the evolution of one report that came out of CENTCOM's intelligence shop. It was a dispatch on an ISIS attack in Iraq near the Syrian border. The initial CENTCOM report read, "Iraqi forces retreated." It was sent back for reworking, the source said. Eventually that report came to read that the Iraqi forces had not retreated, but instead had reinforced another Iraqi position. The final draft suggested a strategic decision had been made. But that was not what happened, the source said — the Iraqi forces ran. A second source confirmed the account of the change in wording to put the Iraqi forces in a more positive light.

    The head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Lloyd Austin, was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee. He had been called to provide a progress report on the fight against ISIS. But he was obliged to address, although obliquely, the Pentagon investigation into CENTCOM first. "There is an ongoing DOD IG investigation looking into allegations concerning the processing of intelligence information by CENTCOM's intelligence directorate," Austin said in his opening remarks. "Because the allegations are currently under investigation ... it would be premature and inappropriate for me to discuss this matter."

    1. ...
      All he would say was that the CENTCOM reports, contrary to what had been said in the media, did not go directly to the president, and CENTCOM drew its intelligence analysis from a variety of sources — 1,200 analysts, combat commanders on the ground, and other agencies. Even so, in his testimony, the general seemed to be painting an upbeat picture. "In recent months, Iraq's security forces have experienced some setbacks, and this is to be expected in a fight as complex as this one," said Austin. "But overall the Iraqis continue to make progress."

      Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, made clear he wasn't swallowing Austin's assessment. "I must say I have been on this committee for 30 years and I have never heard testimony like this," McCain said. "Never."

      Just the week before his appearance, McCain told the general, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Martin Dempsey, had testified that the fight against ISIS was tactically stalemated. “So obviously you and the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have a very different view of what the situation is,” McCain said.
      Sources Detail Skewed Reports On How The U.S. Is Doing Against ISIS
      SEPTEMBER 16, 2015 8:09 PM ET

    2. .

      It happens every war. When articles were posted here the vast majority of them talked about everything in minute detail like the bombing of a pick-up truck or a enemy position (which could be anything from a group of ISIS fighters to a goatherd given the revised ROI) but you rarely saw anything descriptive about ISIS efforts except where it couldn't be hid like Kobane or Ramadi.

      But if they wanted to include bad news — such as Iraqi forces retreating — analysts were required to cite three or four sources.

      Also, applies to the civilian death toll. Three or four sources? In Syria, there weren't three or four sources in the country. Beyond that as in Libya the info probably would have been rejected anyway because the sources would have been rejected as 'unreliable'. In Libya, they wouldn't admit to killing civilians until they could 'independently' verify the deaths. The problem was they would never even try to verify the deaths thus giving themselves Plausible deniability. It wasn't until after the war when reports came out of major newspapers (NYT and WaPO?) as well as a study by the UN verifying the deaths that the US admitted it.


  2. ISIS Leader Omar al-Shishani Fought Under US Umbrella as Late as 2013
    by Brad Hoff, September 19, 2015

    Abu Omar al-Shishani, the red-bearded face of ISIS terror lately described in such headlines as ‘Star pupil’: Pied piper of ISIS recruits was trained by U.S. for the fact that he received American military training as part of an elite Georgian army unit in 2006 and after, did not stop playing for “team America” once he left his home country in the Caucuses. He actually enjoyed US backing and American taxpayer largesse as late as 2013, soon after entering Syria with his band of Chechen jihadists.

    A new book about ISIS chronicles the terror group’s earliest successes when it first made a name for itself on the Syrian battlefield by tipping the scales in favor of rebels in Northern Aleppo who had spent nearly a total of two years attempting to conquer the Syrian government’s seemingly impenetrable Menagh Airbase.

    Benjamin Hall, journalist and author of Inside ISIS: The Brutal Rise of a Terrorist Army, was embedded in Northern Syria during part of the 2012-2013 siege of Menagh, even staying in FSA camps outside the base as attacks were underway.

    At that time the Revolutionary Military Council of Aleppo was the US/UK officially sanctioned command structure in the region headed by FSA Colonel Abdul Jabbar al-Okaidi, described in international press at the time as “a main recipient” of Western aid.

    Hall, who throughout his book expresses sympathy and occasional outright support for the insurgent groups within which he was embedded, describes the pathetic state of a rebel movement in disarray and lacking morale. He identifies a singular turning point which renewed both the tide of rebel military momentum and morale in Northern Syria:

    That day in Minnah [or alternately Menagh], I was reminded that nothing happens on time in the Middle East. It took ten months for the rebels to finally capture that base, but it only fell when the FSA were joined by the ISIS leader Abu Omar Shishani and his brutal gang of Chechens. When we had been there, it had been under the sole control of badly funded, badly armed rebels with little knowledge of tactical warfare – but when Shishani arrived, he took control of the operation, and the base fell soon after. [1]

    Hall further relates that Omar Shishani’s (or Omar “the Chechen”) presence evoked a certain level of mystique and awe among his FSA associates as he “systematically obliterated Menagh defenses by sacrificing as many men as it took” and rightly concludes that, “it is no exaggeration to say that Shishani and other battle hardened members of ISIS are the ones who brought the early military success.” [2]

    1. .

      Chechans rebels, one more reason Putin is supporting Assad.



    VOA News
    September 19, 2015 6:37 AM

    The United States and Russia are talking to each other about Syria to ensure their forces in the unstable conflict zone avoid accidentally engaging each other.

    U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter spoke to his Russian counterpart Friday for the first time since Carter took office seven months ago.

    A senior Defense official said Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu told Carter that Russia's activities in Syria are defensive in nature and that Moscow is just honoring commitments it made to the Syrian government.

    The diplomatic move Friday represents a new initiative in the Syrian crises as the U.S. and Russia have been content until now to denounce each other about their respective roles in the conflict.

    Seeking common ground

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, in London to talk with allies about options in Syria, said "We are looking for ways in which to try to find the common ground. Clearly, if you are going to have a political settlement, which we have always argued is the best and only way to resolve Syria, you need to have conversations with people and you need to find the common ground."

    The talks between the two world powers happened just hours after news of Russia's military build-up in Syria appeared to be entering a new phase with the arrival of fighter aircraft.

    Kerry will meet with some of his European counterparts Saturday to discuss the situation in Syria.

    U.S. officials said Friday that Russia had deployed four Sukoi attack aircraft to an air base near Latakia. Eight Russian helicopters have also been spotted.

    "Moscow’s ultimate intentions are unclear but initial signs suggest a focus on providing air support to Syrian forces and to humanitarian relief operations," a U.S. intelligence official told VOA on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the matter publicly.

    U.S. officials say Russia now has 500 naval infantrymen on the ground in Syria, with more on the way.


    BREGANA, CROATIA — The 17,000 asylum seekers stranded here in Croatia awoke Saturday morning in train stations, parking lots and rough camps alongside rivers, after being pushed back by police with pepper spray from the Slovenian border.

    On a grim march through countries that do not want them, the tens of thousands of war refugees and economic migrants have found themselves stalled in Serbia and Croatia, blocked from their ultimate destinations in Germany and Scandinavia by a razor wire fence in Hungary and riot police in Slovenia.

    Late Friday Slovenian police used pepper spray to push back asylum seekers at a border crossing west of the Croatian capital of Zagreb. Early Saturday the Slovenian police caught about 1,100 refugees trying to cross the porous border and took 850 to a migrant processing center.

    Other refugees made it to a kind of no-man’s land between the two counties. At the Croatian village of Harmica a few hundred syrians, iraqis and afghanis were camped on a bridge over the Sutla River. They were bottled up by a phalanx of Slovenia riot police, who urged patience. Two buses were slowly making round trips, taking the travelers to a migrant reception center in Slovenia.

  5. Mixed reception

    “Our problem now is that our smartphones aren’t working, so we don’t know exactly where we are or where we’re going,” said Bassam, 38, a lawyer from Aleppo, Syria, who left home a month ago with his wife and two daughters, ages 3 and 5, in hopes of reaching Germany.

    Bassam, who withheld his full name for fear of reprisals against relatives back home, said he and his family asked a taxi in Zagreb, Croatia, to take them to the border. But he said they did not know how they would make it to their final destination.

    “This is where the taxi driver dropped us off. I have no idea,” he said, as his daughters snacked on Oreos on a blanket they had spread on the grass in a park near the border.

    Many of the migrants said the once-honed system to get route information on their smartphones had broken down after they entered Croatia, closing off Google Maps, Facebook and WhatsApp, their typical communication tools. Locals were giving them advice.

  6. The biggest foreign adventure we've been involved in since WWII was Vietnam, the longest lasting and most costly and most destructive.

    Begun by the Democrats, the Democrats finally pulled the plug on it, all of it, all for nothing.

    Game Day here ! Woke up early in an excited old family photos for old family letters to and from Sweden today too with another another family Vandal in town for the game.....we are coordinating the family archives.....

    Go Vandals !

    Have a great day.....

    1. Oh well a dig at the Clintons -

      September 19, 2015
      The long running Clinton drama down to its final episodes
      By Rick Small

      I stand second to none in my ongoing opposition to Hillary Clinton. Since her firing by the head of the Democrat Legal Counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee, I have thought her to be ruthless, mean-spirited and vindictive. In his public dismissal, her former boss called her, among other things, dishonest.

      In my opinion her husband is worse.

      Yes, life is ironic—a young lawyer bright and shiny from Yale Law School gets publicly bounced and reprimanded because she was behaving in a corrupt manner while investigating a corrupt president.

      Character is destiny.

      The never-ending tale of Bill and Hillary has become the longest running political reality show of the era. The episodes are routine now with everyone knowing his or her roles. The Clintons have their shtick down pat and the media knows its role—they better. After all, they've been playing the foil for decades.

      The formula:

      The alleged crime(s) - sexual, political, financial; the Clinton’s assault on both the messenger and the victim; the long boring scenes of them ducking, denying, obfuscating, and delay, delay, delay; the inevitable mocking dismissal of the original charges, as “old news;” and Bill gets close-up on the lip-biting, then anger, and walks off stage left to be surrounded by Hillary and Chelsea (who is mostly a bit player—that’s her range.)

      Or when Hillary is the protagonist, she gets angry—“What difference, at this point, does is it make?” That will go down with other Clinton series classics: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” and my personal favorite from a particularly nasty sex scene in Arkansas, the ever thoughtful, southern gentleman, Bill, “You better put some ice on that.”

      Next, Hillary gets wordy—on and on, back and forth, through verbal contortions that would make her torts professor proud. Pound the facts, pound the law if all else fails pound the table - next, cry and publicly remember mama.

      Last week, in the most contemporary variation on the storyline, Hillary’s face had become a tragic persona - lifelong political foe that I am, I am beginning to pity her.

      In 1950 Billy Wilder gave us the classic “Sunset Boulevard.” Gloria Swanson portrays Norma Desmond, a movie star long past her prime, desperate to revive the former days of adulation and power—slipping deeper and deeper into the psychosis of one who has once held the world in her hands—expecting it always to be so.

      I confess my descriptive powers cannot do justice to the final scene of a woman who does not know it’s over—while the whole world gasps at the sight of her face as she whirls her head into the close-up—garish makeup, not concealing her wrinkled visage and a Joker-like painted gash for a smile.

      Bill—please end the abuse. And despite punishing others in that way, I am tired of public humiliations.

      Read more:
      Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

  7. Hillary Clinton is unsuitable to be president, an unworthy and a dangerous political sociopath.

    1. They're all dangerous on foreign policy. About all you can do is pick the one that might be the least terrible, domestically.


  8. After all, once Israeli leaders decided to throw in their lot with Al Qaeda in Syria, the die was cast ...

    Remember, you read it here first, and often.

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

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

    “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.”
    Even if the other “bad guys” were affiliated with al-Qaeda.

    Despite the repeated denials of one of the Israeli posters, here at the EB

  9. "Israeli Settlers Publish Their Reality, with Palestine as Fiction

    JERUSALEM — Israeli settlers have long asserted that the Palestinians are an invented people, that the West Bank’s real name is Judea and Samaria, and that it was liberated by Israeli soldiers in 1967. Now the settlers, apparently worried that their version of history is not reaching other Israelis, are promoting it in a Hebrew-language publication that resembles a comic book.

    This week the Yesha Council, the settlers’ umbrella organization, announced that it was printing 10,000 copies of a 22-page booklet titled “Kibush Kishkush,” which translates roughly as “Occupation Baloney.”

    With folksy explanations and cartoon-style illustrations, the booklet has already been ridiculed by critics as naïve propaganda. The authors regard the booklet as an easy-to-understand guide to how settlers see reality.

    It presents the settlements, which most countries consider illegal, as a normal, integral and now inseparable part of Israel, noting that hundreds of thousands of Israelis live in 150 established communities, many founded in the 1970s and ’80s.

    What remains unclear is why, nearly half a century after Israel conquered the territory from Jordan, the Yesha Council felt the need to explain the settlement enterprise in Hebrew to Israelis.

    Yigal Dilmoni, the deputy chief executive officer of the Yesha Council and the primary author of the pamphlet, said it was created as part of an effort to address what he called widespread ignorance about the settlements among the Israeli public. Mr. Dilmoni also said the booklet would provide settler youths and others with “tools to counter the claims” of what he described as the Israeli leftist news media, politicians and organizations that have called the settlements an underlying obstacle to peace.

    The Palestinians, the booklet says, are “a name used to describe Arabs who live in the territories of Judea and Samaria,” the West Bank’s biblical name. The occupation, according to the booklet, is a fiction. Rather, it says, the lands in question were freed by the Israeli Army in the Arab-Israeli War of 1967.

    “Our enemy is ignorance and lack of knowledge,” Mr. Dilmoni said. “People won’t connect with a place if they don’t know it or understand it.”

    Mr. Dilmoni said the settlers first realized they had a problem 10 years ago, when Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza involved the razing of 21 Jewish settlements and the evacuation of about 8,000 settlers. Four small settlements in the northern West Bank were also evacuated. Most Israelis supported the move.

    For the ideologically motivated settlers, the traumatic episode underlined what they described as the dangers of estrangement from wider Israeli society.

    There has since been a concerted effort by supporters of the settlement movement to penetrate politics and the news media. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in his third consecutive term, heading a coalition dominated by right-wing and religious parties.

    Still, the Yesha Council appears to fear the influence of Israeli leftist groups that support the establishment of a Palestinian state in lands Israel seized in 1967. Mr. Dilmoni would not identify them, but organizations like Peace Now, B’Tselem and Yesh Din frequently release reports tracking settlement activity, what they cite as violations of Palestinian rights, and shortcomings of Israeli law enforcement.

    The booklet would “not change the facts,” said Hagit Ofran, who leads Peace Now’s settlement watch team. “For close to 50 years there has been an occupation,” she said. “This pamphlet is evidence that they, too, understand they have a problem.”

    1. On its Facebook page, Peace Now said the Yesha Council had proved that its greatest expertise lay in “concealing from the Israeli public the reality that millions of Palestinians live around the settlements, lacking in rights and under Israeli control.”

      An Israeli left-wing online magazine, +972, called the booklet “the idiot’s guide to whitewashing the occupation” and gave it the title “Occupation, Shmoccupation!”

      The plan, according to Mr. Dilmoni of the Yesha Council, is initially to deliver copies of the booklet in settlements for distribution among the younger generation. When Israeli universities reopen in October, he said, copies will be distributed to the students.

      Mr. Dilmoni said he hoped the booklet would help dispel what he called “stigmas” attached to the settlers.

      The booklet addresses the policy of “price tag,” under which radical settlers and their supporters have vandalized Palestinian property, mostly to avenge or deter actions by Israeli security forces against unauthorized settlement activity. The issue took on added poignancy after the July arson attack in the West Bank village of Duma that killed a Palestinian toddler and his parents. Israeli authorities say Jewish extremists were responsible.

      “The vast majority of the residents of Judea and Samaria are law-abiding citizens who respect their Arab neighbors,” the booklet asserts, while conceding that “a criminal, radical minority does at times damage Arabs’ olive trees and property.” The booklet also claims that sometimes the damage results from internal conflicts and that Jewish-owned olive trees are sometimes damaged by Arabs.

      The booklet mostly blames what it calls the provocations of left-wing organizations. They, according to the booklet, have misled the Israeli public into thinking that such violence “takes place on a daily basis.”

      There can be no further Israeli withdrawals, the booklet states, pointing to repeated failures of the peace process “despite a strong Israeli desire to end the conflict through negotiations.”

      The booklet also asserts that every attempt at territorial compromise has led to terrorism and violence. Instead, it concludes, the solution is long-term maintenance of the status quo.

      As for Israelis who question living in contested territory when it sounds so dangerous, the booklet says, “The answer is simple — because it’s ours.”"

  10. The Marine Corps is really chomping at the bit to get their first squadron of F35's active, and I think this is the reason why:

    One of the most highly-anticipated features of the F-35 armament is the Small Diameter Bomb II (SBD II).The bomb is able to guide towards its target using laser, imaging infrared or radar homing.

    It can hit moving or stationary targets in any weather, or at night, with unprecedented reliability and accuracy.

    The 'super weapon' is predicted to be the most versatile air-to-ground munition in the Pentagon's air combat inventory.
    The cost per SDB II is said to be around $250,000 and the US military plans on buying as many as 17,000 of them.

    Read more:
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  11. I wonder if those republicans advocating putting Rosa Parks on the $10.00 Bill (Cruz, Rubio, and Trump, if I remember correctly) realize that she was on the
    Board of Planned Parenthood? :)

  12. Anyone in the military during the 1960’s will recall that part of basic training and at later Commander’s Calls were instructed on UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice). This was always accompanied by an admonition not to obey an illegal order.

    UCMJ) 809[890].ART.90 (20), makes it clear that military personnel need to obey the "lawful command of his superior officer," 891.ART.91 (2), the "lawful order of a warrant officer", 892.ART.92 (1) the "lawful general order", 892.ART.92 (2) "lawful order". In each case, military personnel have an obligation and a duty to only obey Lawful orders and indeed have an obligation to disobey Unlawful orders, including orders by the president that do not comply with the UCMJ.

    A civilian military consisting of those called to service with no interest in a military career took that part of the UCMJ seriously. I have my doubts about an army of mercenaries and contractors as currently constituted.

    On Monday, the Air Force Times, a weekly newspaper with a circulation of over 65,000 subscribers who include active, reserve and retired U.S. Air Force, Air National Guard and general military personnel and their families, published the advertisement below, carrying a message from 54 veterans urging U.S. drone pilots to refuse to follow orders to fly surveillance and attack missions, citing international law.


    2. I would like to see more dissent, more refusals, more whistle blowing and see some men in uniform do what our bought and paid for politicians refuse to do: stand up for the law.

    3. International Law Definition - › Legal Dictionary
      He defined international law as follows: "A body of rules common to all civilized nations, equally binding upon all and impartially governing their mutual intercourses." The highest judicial authority of international law is the International Court of Justice and the administrative authority is the United Nations.

      My opinion of the United Nations is about as low as my opinion of ISIS/ISIL.

  13. Good Lord, Wofford ain't worth a shit and they got it Idaho 27 Wofford 24 deep in the second half.

    Might we actually lose to the Wofford Terriers ????

  14. Update: ISIS in Iraq
    Subject: The best military campaign of my lifetime
    Source of quote: General Rufus

    The Buzz
    We’re Losing the War Against ISIS in Iraq
    David Kilcullen

    September 15, 2015

    My last post examined Islamic State as a global terrorist entity—a complex and constantly evolving threat. This two-part post focuses more tightly on the unfolding war against ISIS in Iraq. Here things are much clearer: we’re losing.

    Anyone reading this already knows much of the history, but to recap: ISIS exploited Iraqi government ineptitude and sectarian division after US forces left in 2011, and used the sanctuary created by the Syrian civil war to grow from an urban guerrilla group—small cells, civilian clothes and vehicles, light weapons, operating mainly by night with asymmetric (i.e. terrorist) hit-and-run tactics—into something more like a conventional light armored cavalry.................

  15. O My Lord - Wofford intercepted Idaho on the two yard line. Two plays later, one long run and one long pass, and they are ahead by 4 points 31 to 27.

    Very quiet 'at home in the Dome' right now, the announcer is saying....

    5:54 remaining....