“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."

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Our terrorists rebrand themselves: "The Syrian Arab Coalition" - a grouping which U.S. officials have said would receive support under a new U.S. strategy aimed at fighting Islamic State in Syria.

Russia in Syria: Air strikes hit 60 rebel targets as Russian campaign continues

US officials have admitted it could do nothing to protect its proxies on the ground

The Russian military has pressed on with its air campaign in Syria, bombing more than rebel 60 targets as US officials admitted it could do nothing to protect its proxies on the ground.
Syria’s army, emboldened by Russian air power, said it had advanced on villages in northern Hama and Idlib provinces, strongholds of rebel groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Russia said its latest wave of raids targeted fighters associated with Isis in Idlib and Aleppo provinces, although the group has little presence in those areas.
Russia’s defence ministry had claimed on Friday to have killed 100 fighters, including two Isis field commanders, in a strike on an ammunition depot near Aleppo. Meanwhile, US officials said that CIA-backed rebels in the area were under Russian bombardment with little prospect of rescue by their American sponsors.
The Russians “know their targets, and they have a sophisticated capacity to understand the battlefield situation”, said Republican congressman Mike Pompeo, who is on the House of Representatives intelligence committee. They are “bombing in locations that are not connected” to Isis, he said.
Angus King, an independent who is on the Senate’s intelligence and armed services committee, said that US options “are much narrower than they were two weeks ago” before the Russians entered the war.  Nevertheless, the US military said on Saturday that its planes had bombed 25 Isis targets in Syria and Iraq overnight, but did not elaborate.
According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, government forces captured the villages of Atshan and Um Haret in Hama province. 
Syrian troops have faced stiff resistance from the rebels. 
Heavy fighting was also taking place in the al-Ghab plain in Hama province – a natural barrier between areas controlled by Sunni Muslims and members of the Alawite sect to which Mr Assad and many of his loyalists belong.
The observatory also stated that Isis had capitalised on the Russian bombing of Aleppo, sweeping into areas of the province after the previous, more “moderate” forces had fled or were weakened by the Russian strikes.


  1. Another day, another new US strategy for Syria.


    The double game Turkey is playing with regard to NATO, of which it has been a member since 1952, and ISIS has been clear since the start of the Western-supported uprising against the secular Assad regime in Syria in 2011.

    It is no secret to Western intelligence agencies that the most extreme Islamist elements of the anti-Assad forces, ISIS, or Daesh as they are known locally, have been crossing over the Turkish border into Syria in droves with the acquiescence—if not active assistance—of Erdogan’s government for years.

    As the widely respected Middle East correspondent Pepe Escobar has wryly noted, even “the desert pebbles” were aware that our ostensible NATO “ally” Turkey has been playing a double game from the outset.

    Yet with the entry of Russian forces into the region, Turkey’s double game looks increasingly untenable. There is broad support for the Russian airstrikes not only among the Kurds but among the Shia population in Iraq as well.

    Even the Americans are becoming less hesitant to call Turkey out on its assistance to ISIS. On Sunday, The New York Times reported that many Iraqis wish that the United States would “begin cracking down on the [Islamic] militants supply lines from Turkey,” while The Washington Post reported that Turkish authorities “have for years allowed extremists to cross freely into Syria.”

    And while the Turks have, for now anyway, acquiesced in allowing the Russian airstrikes—though just how they could stop them is not at all clear—Erdogan clearly does not approve of what is currently taking place.

    1. On October 4, McClatchy reported that “Turkish radar locked onto” a Russian aircraft as it was on a bombing run “early Friday in al Yamdiyyah, a Syrian village directly on the Turkish border.”

      And yet, even as Russia flies bombing sorties over ISIS-held territory, on Monday, October 5, NATO convened a meeting to condemn two alleged Russian incursions into Turkish airspace.

      NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg complained that Russia had seriously violated Turkish sovereignty, while Erdogan ominously intoned that “an attack on Turkey, means an attack on NATO.”

      The White House, which never misses a chance to miss the point, also weighed in, with spokesman Josh Earnest telling reporters that the United States shares Turkey’s “significant concerns, and the United States has been consulting with our NATO allies about them.” Earnest might also have taken the opportunity to politely ask Turkey to stop financing ISIS, while simultaneously undertaking an air campaign to murder ISIS’s most effective enemies, the Kurds.

      But alas, all the Sturm und Drang over Russia’s alleged violation of Turkey’s airspace is a convenient way for Erdogan to distract world opinion away from what Russia is actually up to. In its efforts to help prop up Assad, Russia is busy destroying the infrastructure through which the Islamic State receives much of its financing, which comes mainly from oil revenue.

      One of the Russian military’s first steps was to bomb pipelines used by the Islamic State to smuggle oil to Turkey which, according to a recent NBC News report, “is a key source of income for ISIS. The group uses the money in part to pay its fighters monthly salaries and provide stipends to their families.”

      And it is here we get to the issue of American double standards. Not 48 hours into its air campaign against anti-Assad forces, Russia was repeatedly and loudly condemned for intentionally taking its eye off the ball by bombing so-called CIA backed “moderates” (or as The New York Times credulously referred to them, “independent Islamists”) rather than flying sorties over ISIS-controlled territory.

      Yet last July, when Turkey suddenly joined the air war over Syria, it bombed Kurdistan Workers’ Party positions in lieu of ISIS strongholds, and yet NATO and US spokesmen could summon up nary a word of condemnation against Erdogan’s treachery.

    2. The problem with the Turkish campaign, such as it is, is that the Kurds—besides being the most effective anti-ISIS fighters—pose no threat to US national security interests—while ISIS, should it prove victorious in Syria, would transform itself from a regional security threat into a something altogether more threatening.

      A second—and less remarked-upon—double standard with regard to US policy toward Russia and Turkey is that in Turkey we have a treaty ally which tramples on “human rights” every bit as hard—if not harder—as the despised Russian President Vladimir Putin.

      The fact is, the thinly disguised Islamist Erdogan jails journalists and intimidates his political opposition with impunity. The Committee to Protect Journalists has described Turkey as “the world’s leading jailer of the press,” while Turkey’s political opposition fares little better. According to The Washington Post, Turkish authorities have “arrested scores of HDP [the left-wing People’s Democratic Party] opposition across the country.”

      Still worse, Erdogan, unlike Putin, is acting as a defender of the radical Islamist forces that attacked lower Manhattan on 9/11, while Russia, which our political establishment insists on seeing as enemy number one, is fighting them.

      And so, Russia’s air war over Syria has, among other things, helped to make clear the continuing absurdity of our policy in the Middle East, in which Erdogan is our “ally” and Putin is our “enemy.”


  3. While Pooty has hardly won me over, my criticism is muted a bit by this -

    Syrian Christian leader: Russia “really targeting ISIS,” while U.S. airstrikes are just “window dressing”

    October 12, 2015 6:35 pm By Raymond Ibrahim 23 Comments

    Whatever Russia’s motives in Syria, one thing is clear: persecuted Syrian Christians favor Russian intervention against the jihadis slaughtering them, while accusing the U.S. and Western allies of only engaging in cosmetic strikes. Here are the words of a Syrian Christian leader — one well acquainted with the persecution his people are experiencing — concerning Russian intervention, as reported in Asia News. Note also what he says of the non-IS rebels being struck by Russia, the groups the U.S. is eager to portray as simply “anti-Assad rebels,” but which in fact are also Christian slaughtering jihadis:

    Jacques Behnan Hindo

    Damascus (AsiaNews) – US air strikes in Syria are window-dressing, and have little real effect on the militias of the Islamic state (IS), who are left free to act on the ground. Instead the Russian attacks in recent days have been effective, forcing jihadists to fall back towards the Iraqi desert. This is according to Msgr. Jacques Behnan Hindo, referring to testimonies of people living in areas of conflict theater.

    “Moscow’s intervention has been positive – said the prelate who leads the archieparchy Syrian Catholic Hassaké-Nisibis, – because they are really targeting Daesh [Arabic acronym for the IS/ISIS, Islamic State] and the militia are beginning to flee. They fled from the area in about 20 cars in a hurry in the direction of Iraq, leaving another 20 cars on site. A sign of a real retreat. “

    The bishop of Hassaké-Nisibi lives under constant threat from IS: “I am less than three kilometers from the town – he says – a month ago their offensive was repelled and they folded around the city. In the past two weeks, thanks to the attacks of the Russians, they began to retreat. ”

    In contrast, Msgr. Hindo reserves rather harsh words for the United States, who are not bombing the positions of jihadi militias but the Syrian government.

    “It’s not about being for or against the government – he says – but people never believed in America’s attacks. Only the Kurds have really fought on the ground, but to hold their ground “and it is not plausible that they can, alone, solve the emergency. Besides the United States, France, Britain only speak of “attacking the Daesh, but do not speak of the Nusra Front and other Islamist militias linked to Al Qaeda. Indeed, there are extremist groups that have changed names to rebuild credibility, and these are not even mentioned. This is also a big problem. “

    The prelate denounces Washington’s “ambiguity” seen in the American’s attitude during the seizure of hundreds of Christians originating in the villages of the valley of the river Khabur. ”On the night of Feb. 23, when Daesh attacked, the American planes – he says – flew over the area for a long time without intervening. Then for three days we saw no more jets, leaving the field open to the militants. This makes us think that in some way have been helped by the Americans and their ambiguous attitude”.

    Click here to read about the most recent Christians to be martyred in Syria — tortured, publicly raped, beheaded, and crucified for refusing to renounce Christ.

    1. And how are things going in 'the necessary war', 'the important war', the war 'we must win', according to our Commander - in - Chief Obama ?

      Not so well -

      Afghan Taliban’s reach is widest since 2001

      October 12, 2015 3:45 pm By Robert Spencer 16 Comments

      A war with no point, no purpose, no goal. A massive waste of American lives and resources. And no accountability for those responsible. They remain in power and keep making the same policy mistakes, based on the same false beliefs, again and again and again.


      “Afghan Taliban’s Reach Is Widest Since 2001, U.N. Says,” by Rod Nordland and Joseph Goldstein, New York Times, October 11, 2015:

      KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban insurgency has spread through more of Afghanistan than at any point since 2001, according to data compiled by the United Nations as well as interviews with numerous local officials in areas under threat.

      In addition, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan over the past two weeks has evacuated four of its 13 provincial offices around the country — the most it has ever done for security reasons — according to local officials in the affected areas.

      The data, compiled in early September — even before the latest surge in violence in northern Afghanistan — showed that United Nations security officials had already rated the threat level in about half of the country’s administrative districts as either “high” or “extreme,” more than at any time since the American invasion ousted the Taliban in 2001.

      That assessment, which has not been publicly released but is routinely shared by the United Nations with countries in the international coalition, appears at odds with the assessment of its American commander, Gen. John F. Campbell, in his testimony to Congress last week.

      “The Afghan security forces have displayed courage and resilience,” General Campbell testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. “They’re still holding. The Afghan government retains control of Kabul, of Highway One, its provincial capitals and nearly all of the district centers.”

      Afghan officials in many districts currently under attack by the Taliban depict a significantly different situation. Even Highway One, a ring road connecting all of Afghanistan’s main cities, has long suffered repeated Taliban ambushes and roadblocks in southern Afghanistan; over the past two weeks the insurgents repeatedly cut the highway in the Doshi and Baghlani Jadid districts of Baghlan Province — long an uncontested government stronghold. Few government officials now use the highway along much of its route.

      In many districts that are nominally under government control, like Musa Qala in Helmand Province and Charchino in Oruzgan Province, government forces hold only the government buildings in the district center and are under constant siege by the insurgents….

    2. Everything Obama touches overseas turns to shit.........damned if it doesn't almost seem intentional sometimes....

  4. BEIJING (AP) — China's September imports fell by an unexpectedly wide margin of 20.4 percent from a year ago in a new sign of weakness in the world's second-largest economy.

    The fall in imports worsened from August's 5.5 percent contraction, defying stimulus efforts aimed at halting an economic slowdown, customs data showed Tuesday. Exports shrank 3.7 percent, though that was an improvement from the previous month's 13.8 percent decline.

    Weakness in trade has fueled doubts Beijing can hit its economic growth target this year of about 7 percent.

    Much of China's slowdown over the past five years was self-imposed as the ruling Communist Party tries to steer the economy to more self-sustaining growth based on domestic consumption. But the past year's unexpectedly deep decline has raised fears of politically dangerous job losses.

    The government has cut interest rate five times since November and pumped money into the economy through spending on public works construction.

    "Import growth appears to have come in weaker than expected," Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said in a report.

    "This suggests that domestic demand may have softened," though part of the decline is due to . . . . .

    Huffington Post

  5. ZAKARIA: But when we think about Syria, which is to my mind more messy, because what you’re talking about is any U.S. involvement would have to be aimed at essentially dislodging Assad from power. Okay. We dislodged Hussein from power. We thought we had good guys who are going to take — pick up, total chaos, civil war, 10 years, 400,000 people dead. We did it in Libya, we dislodged Gaddafi, we thought it would work out well. We had democrats, total chaos. We did it in Yemen. Total chaos.

    It feels like we know how this movie will end. If Assad is dislodged from Damascus, what do you think is going to happen? Total chaos...

    Of course the Neocon Bret Louis Stephens had no answer. (Stephens works for The Wall Street Journal as the foreign-affairs columnist and the deputy editorial page editor, responsible for the editorial pages of the Journal’s European and Asian editions. From 2002 to 2004, he was editor in chief of the Jerusalem Post.)

    This was his fumbled and mumbled response:

    STEPHENS: First of all, Syria is many countries. And just because we can’t solve the riddle of Syria doesn’t mean that we can’t do a lot for places like the Kurdish areas of Syria to help sustain some kind of opposition. Something in that country that is decent and a source of instability.

    1. Stephens’s attempt at an answer gets to the crucial distinction between foreign policy outputs and foreign policy outcomes that Spoiler Alerts has harped on in the past. When hawks talk about taking action in Syria, they tend to focus on their desired outcomes: checking Russian and Iranian power, ousting Assad, defeating the Islamic State and ending the slow-motion humanitarian disaster. These are attractive goals that the current administration is not pursuing. Hawks sound very good when they talk about foreign policy outcomes in Syria.

      The question is how the foreign policy output of greater military intervention in Syria will achieve those desired outcomes. That’s why Zakaria’s question is important, and that’s why Stephens’s failure to offer a credible answer matters. There is a strong and bipartisan 21st-century record of U.S. administrations applying military force in the Middle East with the most noble of intentions and then making the extant situation much, much worse. So any hawk who makes the case for more action has to marry that to a detailed argument for why this time would be different. Simply put, why would the foreign policy output of a more aggressive U.S. posture in Syria lead to a better outcome than the status quo?

      Stephens’s counter is that just because the United States has messed this up in the past is not a reason for not trying again.

  6. The US has no business in Syria. Why is that so difficult to understand?


    1:27 AM EDT

    Forget Assad. What we need is a regime change in Saudi Arabia. That regime is single-handedly responsible for so much strife in this world. Yes, Afghanistan, Taliban, Pakistani nukes, Al Nusra, ISIL, Syria, 9/11, the list goes on. We need to dig a big hole and bury our GOP dickheads and the Saudi royals along with Cheney and Rumsfeld in there. Same place Reagan was buried.

  8. Wrong-o.

    What is needed is regime change in Iran.

    Really stupid answer by roberto3.

    1. Regime change is desperately needed in the USA as well.

      That at least will happen.

      Even the criminal Hillary would be better than Obama.

  9. Rev. Jeremiah Wright says Jesus was a Palestinian.

    1. If you'd listened to Jeremiah for twenty years like Obama did, you'd be all fucked up, too.

    2. On the same day, Louis Farrakhan said 'let us go'.

      He thinks blacks are being held captive here in the USA, apparently.

      I wouldn't oppose if the Nation of Islam wants to leave.....

  10. .

    Perhaps our problems in Syria/Iraq could be resolved by the proper battle cry...

    The 8 Best War Cries of all Time

    When fighting in close quarters combat, the posture which gives a warrior the best advantage is a necessary advantage. What better way to intimidate an enemy than throwing him off balance with an aggressive auditory clash to make him quake in his boots? Yelling as foreplay to a physical altercation is as old as War itself. Persian warriors in the epic Shahnameh had voices “like an enraged elephant” and voices “like a drum beat.” In the Iliad, one character is literally named “Diomedes of the Loud War Cry.”

    It’s now scientifically proven that screaming during physical activity increases energy and power and anecdotal evidence throughout history shows it has an significant effect on both sides of a battle. With that in mind, here are history’s most legendary battle cries.

    Given our current tactics, perhaps ours could be "Look out below."

    Or, maybe the more martial "Look out below, MF's".


  11. .

    "We came, we saw, he died" (followed by a sharp cackle)

    Four Years After Gadaffi's Death, Is Libya Better Off

    This Oct. 20, 2015, will mark four years since the late Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi died in still mysterious circumstances as his convoy was leaving his hometown of Sirte in central Libya while NATO-backed rebels closed in. There is no reliable account of how or why he died, but Human Rights Watch (HRW) believes that his convoy was first bombed by a NATO airplane, forcing him and about 250 of his most loyal companions to seek shelter. An amateur video showed a wounded Gadhafi alive while being loaded into a pickup truck to be taken to Misrata some 250 kilometers (155 miles) northwest of Sirte, and later he was announced dead.
    ⎙ Print
    Libya drifts dangerously to the point of no return as Islamic militants terrorize civilians and two rival governments battle it out.
    Author Mustafa Fetouri Posted October 12, 2015

    Libyan authorities never fully investigated this crime despite promises to do so, and no official account of what really happened was ever published. The rebel credited with Gadhafi’s capture, Omran Bin Shaaban, died under unclear circumstances while receiving treatment in France in 2012.

    Gadhafi’s death will go down as a landmark, and certainly as a bad one. It hardly represents any of the ideals aspired to by a nation that had just emergd from violence and war on the heels of the Libyan revolution, which was supposed to bring back justice and the rule of law, among other hopes. This all leads to a simple question: Is Libya better without Gadhafi?

    Most Libyans would like to have seen him tried before a court of law and be made to answer many questions only he could have answered. After all, Gadhafi ruled for over four decades. But even more Libyans today, including middle-rank former rebel leaders, think he was killed for the very reason he should have been tried: so that he wouldn't be given an opportunity to talk.

    Hassan, a former rebel leader who does not wish to use his real name fearing reprisals, told Al-Monitor that “Gadhafi’s death is certainly not what we wanted, but I believe local and foreign politicians wanted him dead because the man knows too much.” Having him talk could have created a serious political embarrassment for many regional and world leaders.

    When asked about the situation in his country today, Hassan said, “It is not promising, and many of us [former rebels] regret what happened because we never expected it to be this bad.” Without a doubt, Libya today is a fractured country without any central government. Instead, it has two quarreling governments — one in Tripoli recognized by no other state, and another in the city of El Bayada, which enjoys useless international recognition. At the same time, different terror groups are making gains in Libya. The most dangerous of them is the Islamic State (IS), which has so far expanded into three cities: Derna in the east, Sirte in the middle and Subratha in the west.

    So many Libyans share such beliefs nowadays, as they compare their country and indeed their lives today to how they were under Gadhafi’s rule...

    Read more:


  12. .

    Beyond Abbas and Oslo

    Last month, Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, announced before the United Nations General Assembly that the twenty-year effort to establish a Palestinian state through the Oslo process had failed. This declaration was long overdue. The Oslo Accords, which were signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization and brokered by the United States, have been a disaster for Palestinians and a boon to those who wish to maintain Israel’s nearly half-century-old occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza. Their bitter fruits can be seen in the current upsurge in violence against Palestinians and settlers in the occupied territories.

    Oslo was not designed to lead to Palestinian statehood or self-determination, in spite of what the P.L.O.’s leaders at the time appear to have believed. Rather, it was intended by Israel to streamline its occupation, with the Palestinian Authority acting as a subcontractor. In Oslo and subsequent accords, the Israelis were careful to exclude provisions that might lead to a Palestinian political entity with actual sovereignty. Palestinian statehood and self-determination are never mentioned in the text, nor were the Palestinians allowed jurisdiction over the entirety of the occupied territories. Israel’s intention is even more clearly visible in the expansion of illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, which followed the start of the Oslo process. There were fewer than two hundred thousand Israeli colonists in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem when negotiations began. Now, according to the Times, there are about six hundred and fifty thousand of them.

    The P.L.O. leadership, for its part, played a weak hand poorly. It failed to capitalize on the expertise that its delegation had accrued in Madrid and Washington in the two years prior, sending to Oslo inexperienced negotiators with little knowledge of the situation in the occupied territories or international law. As a result, Oslo reinforced rather than evened out the political imbalance between Israel, an undeclared nuclear power supported by the world’s sole superpower, and the Palestinians, a stateless people living under occupation or in exile. With the weight of the United States tipping the scales heavily in its favor—diplomatically, militarily, and through pressure on the Arab states—Israel was able to impose its will, entrenching an apartheid system in which millions of Palestinians live under military rule, with no rights or security, while Israel appropriates their land, water, and other resources. The only part of Oslo that was faithfully implemented, in fact, is the protection that the P.A. provides to Israel by policing its own people.

    In his U.N. speech, Abbas, one of Oslo’s architects, declared that he would no longer abide by its terms unless Israel stopped running roughshod over them. This declaration won’t mean much unless it’s translated into concrete action, like dissolving the P.A. or halting coöperation between the P.A.’s paramilitary police and the Israeli army. There is no indication of either of these things happening anytime soon...


    1. Abbas has incited to start the next uprising, the "lone wolf" Intifada..

      Dozens of knife murders perpetuated by Palestinians have happened since Abbas's speech, he has green lighted the attacks.

      And it will be the palestinians who will pay.

    2. .

      The Palestinians have been paying right along. Nothing new.

      As for Abbas, it depends on who you talk to. If you listen to Bibi or the Glicks, Jennifer or Caroline, it is all Abbas' fault.

      If you talk to the IDF or Israeli intelligence, you will hear something entirely different. They say Abbas has been helpful, maintaining security in the WB, tamping down on the extremists, actually having his security forces help the IDF out of a jam they had got themselves in on at least one occasion.

      I personally think that whether Abbas is helpful or not is irrelevant. 80% of the Palestinians want him gone. They are fed up with the corruption and the lack of progress towards any kind of a peace agreement.


    3. .

      I put up the article above merely because it confirms what I have been saying right along. The Oslo Accords were a sellout of the Palestinians. This latest round of violence (on BOTH sides) was predictable. Anyone surprised just hasn't been watching the flow of events. The following is most obviously true.

      Oslo was not designed to lead to Palestinian statehood or self-determination, in spite of what the P.L.O.’s leaders at the time appear to have believed. Rather, it was intended by Israel to streamline its occupation, with the Palestinian Authority acting as a subcontractor. In Oslo and subsequent accords, the Israelis were careful to exclude provisions that might lead to a Palestinian political entity with actual sovereignty. Palestinian statehood and self-determination are never mentioned in the text, nor were the Palestinians allowed jurisdiction over the entirety of the occupied territories. Israel’s intention is even more clearly visible in the expansion of illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, which followed the start of the Oslo process. There were fewer than two hundred thousand Israeli colonists in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem when negotiations began. Now, according to the Times, there are about six hundred and fifty thousand of them.

      Abbas is merely a mirror though diminished image of Arafat. Corrupt, power-hungry, yet unwilling to push for change. Is there any wonder 80% of the Palestinians want him gone.

      As for the conspiracy minded, they might ask the following regarding the Oslo Accords:

      1. Why was Arafat and the PLO chosen as the negotiating partner for the Oslo Accords?

      a. The PLO and Arafat were both at their nadir. Having supported Iraq in Gulf War I, they had lost all influence with and support from the Gulf States.
      b. Arafat was in exile in Tunisia
      c. The PLO was just about bankrupt.
      d. At Israel's insistence, the PLO was excluded from taking part in the Madrid peace conference.
      e. They had little or no influence with former allies, the Palestinians, or other parties to the peace process.

      2. Was this very weakness the reason they were chosen as the negotiating partner by Israel?

      a. Israel had indulged in a policy of letting the various Palestinian resistance groups fight it out among themselves.
      b. Then in 1989, the PLO recognized the Israel state.
      c. At the same time, attacks from groups like Islamic Jihad and Hamas became more vicious and the US under G.H.W.B. was pushing hard for some type of settlement.
      d. The PLO suddenly became the best of a lot of bad options.

      3. Why was Arafat pulled back from his self-inflicted isolation by Israel?

      a. It was only a short time after Israel had rejected even talking to the PLO that secret meetings started in Norway.
      b. Why were the month long meetings in Norway that resulted the Oslo Accords held in secret? Why have the details remained secret?
      b. What promises were given and received between Arafat and the Israelis?

      4. Why did the Palestinians give up so much and receive so little from the accords?

      5. Why was Arafat's corruption allowed to continue when everyone knew about it?

      No. the Oslo Accords were merely another bit of kabuki in the never-ending saga of the so-called half-century long 'peace process'.

      No matter what you think of the current violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank, no matter who you blame for it, only a fool would believe, even if this particular episode dies down, that the violence won't continue. It's inevitable.


    4. Treat people like kicked dogs and they bite. So they should.

    5. Yes Deuce, and the arabs have been kicking the Jews for centuries.

      Time for the Jew Dogs to BITE...

      Why should the palestinians be any different than their cousins in ISIS?

    6. Palestinians? LOL

      They are and were pawns of the arab world.

      Notice that there was never any movement from 1948-1967 to create a state for them BY the occupying powers, oh yeah, that was the ARABS...

      Arab nationalism is a western imposed concept...

  13. .

    I've probably watched my last GOP debate. The entertainment value is gone.

    I suspect tonight will be the last one I watch on the Democratic side. Need to see how Anderson Cooper does with the questioning and how Hillary responds. I suspect I will be disappointed.


    1. OOOOoooo I'm hoping Hard Drinkin' Joe Biden stumbles to that empty podium tonight.

      Wouldn't that be great if Joe actually crashed the debate tonight ?

      I'm interested in what Jim Webb has to say.

    2. You can watch The Donald on SNL on November 7, Quirk -

      NBC New guest host for “Saturday Night Live” on November 7: Donald Trump.............Hot Air

      He's the only guy around that can out negotiate you. You might learn something.

    3. .

      Trump is a buffoon.

      Kim Novak was correct. The only way to deal with a bully is to stand up to him (even if you have to use the same language he does).


    4. .

      I stopped watching SNL quite a while ago. There are only a couple of this latest cast that I like. Trump isn't one of them.


    5. Trump a buffoon?

      Hmmm....still, you could learn a lot from The Donald.

      Just trying to shore up your bottom line.

      What word do you use to describe Hillary, who bullied poor what's his name Vince to suicide, and what word for Biden, and what word for O'bozo, and what word for Bernie, who wrote that women love to get gang raped, and when he was in his 30's too ?

      Bernie knocked that shit off after he got elected to office.

      Bad for the vote gittin' bidness.......

  14. McConnell is seeking a reduction in cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security recipients and new restrictions on Medicare, including limiting benefits to the rich and raising the eligibility age, several sources said. In addition, the Kentucky Republican is eager to see new policy riders enacted, including reining in the Environmental Protection Agency's clean water regulations.

    White House officials are already rejecting such entitlement changes. But the demand by McConnell showcases the major gulf that exists between the two sides as they try to avoid a potential fiscal calamity if the United States fails to raise the national debt ceiling by Nov. 5 or stumbles into a government shutdown by mid-December.

    The talk comes as . . . . . .

    Cutting Social Security and Medicare Benefits - Your Republican Congress at Work


    JERUSALEM — Three Israelis were killed and nearly two dozen injured in a series of Palestinian attacks Tuesday, sparking calls by Israeli officials to cordon off Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem and a decision by the security cabinet to place soldiers in city centers to support the police. The moves came amid rising bloodshed and unrest on a “day of rage” proclaimed by Palestinian groups.

    Almost two weeks of daily violence, including a spate of attacks by knife-wielding Palestinian teenagers, has left Israelis deeply shaken and fearful of another sustained Palestinian uprising.

    In Tuesday’s attacks, Palestinians used knives, a car, a gun and a meat cleaver to kill and injure Jewish Israelis. As many as 22 Israelis were reported wounded.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Israeli parliament: “Israel will settle the score with the murderers and those who help them. We will cut the hands of whoever tries to hurt us.”

    Palestinian leader and former peace negotiator Saeb Erekat blamed the Israelis for the escalation. He charged that Israel’s 48-year military occupation of the West Bank has spread “a culture of hate and racism that justifies atrocities, including collective punishment and cold-blooded executions.”

    1. Palestinians have started the next war.

      The war of the lone stabber.

      Too bad when those murdering "children" are killed.

      It will not end well for the palestinians.

      The incitement to murder is exactly what Abbas has sowed.

      ISIS and Hamas, Fatah and Al Queda.

      Different feathers of the same bird.

  16. If you look at how people voted in the previous elections, you'll see that the 18 - 34 cohort is approx. 1.75 Times Larger than the 65+ group.

    However, if you look at the "margin of sampling error" numbers in the latest Fox Poll, you will see that the number of 65+ respondents is about 1.25 Times Larger than the 18 - 34 group.

    Note: The 34 and Under cohort vote Very Strongly Democrat, and the 65+ crowd are overwhelmingly Republican Voters.

    Fox Crosstabs

  17. Video: Palestinian terrorist runs over Israelis, hacks one to death
    posted at 1:21 pm on October 13, 2015 by Allahpundit

    Via the JPost, this is difficult to watch. But if you want to know what “the third intifada” looks like to Israelis, this is the only way.

    On the night of October 1st, Naama and Eitam Henkin, an Israeli husband and wife, were driving home from an event for alumni of a West Bank yeshiva. Seated in the back of the car were their four young children, ranging in age from nine to six months. A vehicle had been following the Henkins for a few minutes, and as it approached their car its two passengers opened fire. Naama and Eitam were killed on the spot. Their children were spared, but only, according to Israeli reports, by chance: one of the assailants—who were later identified as members of Hamas—accidentally shot the other in the arm, and, in a panic, they fled.

    The days that followed have had a sickening sense of repetition: on October 3rd, a Palestinian man wielding a knife killed two Israeli men in the Old City of Jerusalem. A day later, an Israeli teen-ager was stabbed, also in the streets of Jerusalem. Last week, Israelis were stabbed in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the West Bank, and outside a mall in the city of Petah Tikvah. On Sunday, an Arab-Israeli man rammed a car into two soldiers outside a kibbutz near Haifa, got out of the car, and stabbed three bystanders. On Monday, four more Israelis were stabbed in Jerusalem. Nearly all of the stabbers were killed or wounded by Israeli security forces, whose presence on Israeli streets, particularly in Jerusalem and the West Bank, is always substantial.

    Today’s attack came in the Geula neighborhood of Jerusalem. Watch this lunatic plow into a bus stop and then, not content to have run several people over, spring out the door and attack a survivor — a rabbi — with a meat cleaver. How the cops got there as quickly as they did to neutralize him, I don’t know.

    Why this, why now? The going theory is that Palestinians have somehow been convinced that Netanyahu’s about to open the Temple Mount to Jews for prayer, an offense to Islamic chauvinism so grave that naturally they have little choice but to respond by stabbing people. In reality, writes Bret Stephens, Palestinians have entered their “psychotic stage.” Or rather, re-entered:

    “Brothers, this is why we recall today what Allah did to the Jews,” one Gaza imam said Friday in a recorded address, translated by the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute, or Memri. “Today, we realize why the Jews build walls. They do not do this to stop missiles but to prevent the slitting of their throats.”

    Then, brandishing a six-inch knife, he added: “My brother in the West Bank: Stab!”…

    The significant question is why so many Palestinians have been seized by their present blood lust—by a communal psychosis in which plunging knives into the necks of Jewish women, children, soldiers and civilians is seen as a religious and patriotic duty, a moral fulfillment. Despair at the state of the peace process, or the economy? Please. It’s time to stop furnishing Palestinians with the excuses they barely bother making for themselves.

    Above all, it’s time to give hatred its due.

    Why have so many attacks involved knives? The reason, I assume, is mostly opportunistic: They’re easy to obtain, easy to conceal, and easy to justify with innocent explanations if discovered. But there may be something to what Stephens says about “blood lust” too. The most horrifying thing about this clip is how incensed this degenerate is even after smashing into people. A car crash isn’t enough to sate him; he’s got to get out and start chopping, to do some damage with his own hands. Maybe he just wanted to look in a man’s eyes as he murdered him. This is the culture on which “peace in the Middle East” depends.


  18. ”As you sow so shall you reap’

    August 2014

    The Israeli military’s horrific slaughter in the Gaza Strip continued unabated over the weekend. The death toll of Palestinians, overwhelmingly civilians, climbed to 1,822, including hundreds of children. Nearly 10,000 have been injured, overflowing hospitals that are at breaking point, like much of the rest of the infrastructure in the enclave of some 1.8 million people.

    The latest atrocity—a missile strike on a UN school in Rafah on Sunday—killed at least 10 people and wounded 35 others. The facility—the third UN school to be hit—had been sheltering some 3,000 of the more than 450,000 people who have been driven from their homes in the Gaza Strip over the past month. UN officials had repeatedly advised the Israeli military of the school’s coordinates.

    Amid mounting international anger, outrage and protests, the attack on the school brought forth utterly hypocritical criticisms from Washington and its allies, who have been backing the Israeli offensive to the hilt. US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki declared that her government was “appalled” at the “disgraceful shelling” of the school and called on the Israeli military to do more to avoid civilian casualties.

    The Obama administration, however, has not only given its full political support to Israel’s criminal war against the population of Gaza; it has also provided the means for waging it. The US, which arms and finances Israel to the tune of $3 billion a year, last week opened the huge cache of arms, known as the War Reserves Stock Allies-Israel, to restock the Israeli military’s depleted supplies of ammunition, mortar rounds, grenades and other weapons.


    1. Anyone that did that to my family would become a project.

  19. The interesting thing about that Fox Poll is that it was 50% Cell Phone.

    I believe that by the time of the election a poll will have to have 75 or 80% Cell Phone to get a fair representation of the electorate.


    Queen Boudica of the British Iceni Celtic tribe in 1st-Century AD Wales was shafted by the Romans – who ignored her husband King Prasutagus’ will when he died, and instead annexed her territories. Both Boudica and her daughters were tortured, lashed and then raped by Roman soldiers – as financiers from the empire also called in all of her loans.

    Angered by her treatment by the colonialists, Boudica led a revolt in AD 60 (or 61, no-one is quite sure) – rampaging through a large portion of Britain and ransacking town after town in revenge.

    First of all Camulodunum (modern-day Colchester), a town inhabited by discharged Roman soldiers and containing a temple to former Emperor Claudius, was completely destroyed by Boudica and her Iceni forces.

    Boudica then turned her attention to Londinium (present-day London) – and led 100,000 warriors from various tribes (including the Iceni and Trinovantes) in burning down the city, as well as the town of Verulamium (now St Albans). It is believed up to 80,000 Romans and British were killed by Boudica’s army.

    With Emperor Nero seriously contemplating withdrawing all Roman forces from Britannia as a result of this, his governor Gaius Seutonius Paulinus finally managed to defeat Boudica and her followers at the Battle of Watling Street – with the Celtic Queen supposedly committing suicide in order to avoid capture.

  21. The IDF creates more terrorists than any mullah.

  22. The Palestinian Authority Murder Incentive Fund
    Why Israel's "peace partners" are so eager to kill Jews.
    October 12, 2015
    David Bedein

    On October 8, 2015, six Arabs either murdered or tried to murder Jews in six different locations in the country. As these attacks occurred, Arabs rioted in every nook and cranny of Israel, on both sides of the 1949 cease fire line.

    At the same time, while the Israel Broadcasting Authority announced one Arab attack and Arab riot after another on the news, the Israel Defense Establishment trotted out spokespeople every hour on the hour to assure the people of Israel that the Palestinian Authority will most certainly work to calm down the atmosphere of violence.

    Yet the PA plays an insidious role, as it provides gratuities to any Arab who murder or attempt to murder a Jew.

    Every month, according to the bylaws of the Palestinian Authority (PA) transfers 17 million shekels to those who have been convicted of first degree murder or attempted murder and who are now serving their sentences behind bars.

    The PA also allocates funds to families of killers, with special grants for families of killers who die as while committing an act of murder.

    According to the PA distribution formula, the more severe the attack conducted by the killer and the longer the prison sentence, the more the stipend is increased proportionately.

    Maher al-Hashlamon Hamdi, who is serving two life sentences for the murder of Dalia Lemkus in a car-ramming and stabbing attack exactly one year ago, started receiving monthly stipends from the PA as soon as Mahdi Hamdi was arrested.

    Hamdi now receives 1,400 NIS a month. These payments will increase over time, and in the future, his monthly stipend will reach no less than 10,000 shekels.

    Zaid Awad, who murdered Baruch Mizrachi on Passover Eve 2014, has received stipends from the PA totaling about 30,000 shekels. These stipends followed those he received for his previous imprisonment before he was released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange, when he received about 300,000 shekels.

    Amad Awad and Hakim Awad, who brutally murdered five members of the Fogel family in Itamar, have so far received almost 75,000 shekels each. According to the PA’s fund distribution formula for murderers, they’ll continue to receive stipends that will even reach 12,000 shekels a month. When calculating the total sum throughout their lives, they will each receive 2.4 million shekels for the multiple murders they committed.

    As mentioned, every month, the PA allots 17 million shekels to funding those who are convicted of murder and attempted murder…in addition to grants to the murderers’ families. More than a few murder convicts admit during interrogation that they want to commit terror attacks in order to receive the payment.

    In other words, you could call this an incentive to murder............

    The 'Palestinians' are a bunch of inbred psychotic apes who love hate.

    They have been this way since even before the days of Martha Gellhorn.

    "Their media is one long scream of hate"

    The last thing they deserve is a State.

  23. "There will be no peace without social justice,"

    1. Non sense.

      There will be no peace until you are dead.

      See directly below.....

  24. First the Saturday Folk, then the Sunday Folk, then the Rufus/Deuce Free Thinking Monday Folk -

    MINORITY REPORT10.13.151:00 AM ET
    Stop the Jihadi Onslaught Against Atheists and Free Thinkers
    We must defend minorities, and also the minorities within minorities.

    LONDON — Fifty-one percent of Americans say they wouldn’t vote for a Muslim president. To be clear, that’s 51 percent too many. My fellow Muslims are naturally disturbed by the implications of this sentiment for everyday life, we rightly protest anti-Muslim remarks such as those made by presidential candidate Ben Carson, and we understandably expect solidarity from other communities in challenging such bigotry. But as 53 percent of Americans say that they wouldn’t vote for an atheist president, it must be accepted that no communities—not even my fellow Muslims—are as unpopular in America today as atheists.

    Now imagine if you can, that you are a brown, ex-Muslim atheist with a Muslim name. This is perhaps the most persecuted minority-within-a-minority in the world today.

    In 2013, atheist blogger Asif Mohiuddin was stabbed in the streets of Bangladesh by jihadist extremists. A month later, rather than his attackers, he was detained for making “derogatory remarks” about religion. His blog was banned. That same year, matters escalated as atheist blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider was hacked to death near his home in Dhaka. This year alone U.S.-Bangladeshi atheist blogger Avijit Roy was hacked to death in February, secular blogger Ananta Bijoy Das was killed in May, while Niloy Neel met his death at the hands of these fanatics in August.

    As al Qaeda praised these attacks news broke that a jihadist group called Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) was working its way through an “atheist” hit list.

    Nine of the eighty-four named on this hit list are U.K.-based bloggers. Targets also include seven in Germany, two in the U.S., one in Canada and one in Sweden. Some are Bangladeshi citizens living overseas. Others are dual nationals or citizens of other western nations.

    Nine of these “enemies of Islam,’” including Roy, Rahman, and Das, have been killed so far, and several others have been attacked. The other five killed are Jafar Munshi, Mamun Hossain, Jagatjyoti Talukder, Arif Hossain Dwip, and Ziauddin Zakaria Babu.

    But matters are not restricted to America or Bangladesh. Saudi Arabia has decided that the “crime” of being an atheist is so grave, that—no joke—atheism has been officially declared a terrorism offense. Meanwhile, free-thinking blogger and Nobel Prize nominee Raif Badawi has been accused of atheism and sentenced to 10 years in prison with 1,000 lashes, 50 of which have been executed. To put the boot in, the Saudis decided to convict his lawyer, too, my friend the liberal Muslim Walid Abulkhair..........

    In Iran there is the crime of 'waging war on God(Allah)'.

    Our USA journalist recently convicted in Iran of being a spy was also accused of this....