“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, October 17, 2015

While George W. Bush went AWOL, thousands of US servicemen died in Viet Nam. While George W. Bush was President he got thousands of US servicemen killed in Iraq based on other lies

George W. Bush’s military lies: The real story about the undeniable service gaps he got away with 

The CBS report at the heart of a new film might been false. But the underlying question about his service remains 

George W. Bush's military lies: The real story about the undeniable service gaps he got away withGeorge W. Bush  (Credit: Wikimedia)
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein weren’t just journalistic heroes in the normal sense. Their work on Watergate redefined the journalistic world they inhabited, making them more like heroes in the classic mythical sense, as culture-founding figures, whose creation the rest of us merely live inside of. Everyone wanted to be the next Woodward and Bernstein.
That stature was underscored by the stars who brought them to the screen — Robert Redford as Woodward, Dustin Hoffman as Bernstein. Four decades later, Redford has returned, in a sense to close out that era (a la his earlier role in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid“). Redford plays Dan Rather in a new film, “Truth,” about the September 8, 2004 “60 Minutes II” report on George W. Bush’s dodgy record in the Texas Air National Guard, which effectively ended Rather’s career at CBS, after he and producer Mary Mapes were unable to prove the authenticity of six memos which played a central role in their report. The connection was duly noted by author and activist Glenn W. Smith at Huffington Post:
By casting Redford as Rather, the filmmakers hinted at their intentions. Redford, of course, played Bob Woodward in “All the President’s Men,” the superb 1976 film about Watergate and the Golden Era of Independent Journalism. Now Redford appears as Rather in a film about the death of that Golden Era.
The juxtaposition is startling. On one side we have the courageous, muscular leadership of the Washington Post’s editor, Ben Bradlee, during Watergate. On the other there are the media moguls of Viacom and CBS during the Bush/National Guard affair.
As Smith quickly goes on to point out, Woodward and Bernstein could well have suffered Rather’s fate, because they, too, went too far, on an occasion that figured crucially in the film, as well as in real life. They reported that a federal grand jury had been told that Bob Haldeman controlled Nixon’s campaign slush fund — which he did, but the grand jury didn’t ask who controlled it. That was just the opening Nixon had been hoping for to derail the Post’s reporting, but Ben Bradlee stuck to his guns. As Smith quotes from “All the President’s Men“:
Bradlee said he had never seen anything like this before. Skeptical but shaken, he said that the problem was no longer just journalistic. He mentioned something about the state and the future of the country.
Naturally, the movie embellished it (See “Hollywood Reporter” clip here):
Nothing’s riding on this except the, uh, First Amendment to the Constitution, freedom of the press and maybe the future of the country. Not that any of that matters, but if you guys f… up again, I’m going to get mad. Good night.
The parallel here should be underscored. Rather’s career with CBS was ended because he built his story on apparently fraudulent memos — their actual status remains undetermined — from Lt. Colonel. Jerry B. Killian. The most notable one, labeled “CYA” for “cover your ass,” claimed Killian was being pressured from above to give Bush undeserved better marks in his yearly evaluation. However, shortly after the original airing, Killian’s secretary, Marian Carr Knox, placed the memos’ status in an almost exact parallel to Woodward and Bernstein’s false reporting of an underlying true fact. “I didn’t type them,” Knox said in a broadcast interview, “However, the information in those is correct.”
Smith’s point here is simple:
Even if the documents could be criticized (falsely, it turns out), we can draw a close parallel with Woodward and Bernstein’s story on Haldeman: the story about Bush abandoning his service in the Air National Guard was also true.
Indeed, the gaps in Bush’s service record were undeniable. They were reported, but virtually ignored four years earlier, in the 2000 election cycle, when the media was monomaniacally focused on their self-fabricated narrative of Gore being the untrustworthy one who told tall tales about his past.
On May 23, 2000, Boston Globe reporter Walter V. Robinson reported finding a “one-year gap in Bush’s Guard duty,” saying that “22 months after finishing his training, and with two years left on his six-year commitment, Bush gave up flying — for good.” Beyond a momentary flurry, there wasn’t much other corporate media interest in that cycle, though Martin Heldt published a detailed analysis of Bush’s guard records at the Online Journal in September 2000. Fast forward to the morning of the “60 Minutes” report, and Robinson wrote another story “Bush fell short on duty at Guard,” with “Records show pledges unmet,” as the subhead. The framing had shifted from Bush’s attendance gap, to Bush violating his sworn duty — and getting away with it:
Bush fell well short of meeting his military obligation, a Globe reexamination of the records shows: Twice during his Guard service — first when he joined in May 1968, and again before he transferred out of his unit in mid-1973 to attend Harvard Business School — Bush signed documents pledging to meet training commitments or face a punitive call-up to active duty.
He didn’t meet the commitments, or face the punishment, the records show. The 1973 document has been overlooked in news media accounts. The 1968 document has received scant notice.
The Globe’s analysis was supported by two other independent analysts. The first, retired Army Colonel Gerald A. Lechliter, wrote a highly detailed 32-page analysis, which the New York Times put on its website, but never seriously built upon in its reporting, or its editorial page. Lechliter was also interviewed by the Globe.
The second was a civilian analyst, Paul Lukasiak, whose website the AWOL Project,[Sept 2004 web.archive version] had attracted considerable attention online, and was discussed at length by Eric Boehlert here at Salon the day after the 60 Minutes report. Both Lechliter and Lukasiak placed the Bush documents in the framework of contemporary military rules, regulations, policies and procedures, which were absolutely crucial for understanding what was really going on, and not being easily spun by Bush apologists. All three of these analyses reached similar conclusions, without any reliance on the “60 Minutes” memos. I summarized the broad outlines of these misadventures in a story three weeks later:
Bush’s problems began in late Spring on 1972, when he first tried to transfer to a non-flying unit — a back door way of breaking his signed service agreement approved by his Texas superiors, but rejected at the federal level. He then failed to take a mandatory flight physical and was suspended from flying, stopped attending drills for at least six months, and was not observed by his superior officers for a full year. (He never took another physical again, and was, apparently, never disciplined for it.) A hurried spate of training unlawfully packed into a brief two-month period was then followed by his discharge from the Texas Air National Guard (TXANG), but he never fulfilled his obligation to finish his service at a unit in Massachusetts when he returned to New England to get an MBA at Harvard Business School.
In the context of this larger story, the memos were clearly important for “60 Minutes” as a scoop, but they were hardly essential for disproving Bush’s claims that he had met his military obligations, or that his honorable discharge closed the book on the story.. The documentary record alone already disproved these claims conclusively. As the Globe reported:
”He [Bush] broke his contract with the United States government — without any adverse consequences. And the Texas Air National Guard was complicit in allowing this to happen,” Lechliter said in an interview yesterday. ”He was a pilot. It cost the government a million dollars to train him to fly. So he should have been held to an even higher standard.”
In the conclusion of his own analysis, Lechiliter struck a similar tone:
His commander’s connivance at ensuring Bush paid no penalty for his flagrant violation of regulatory requirements for attendance at training and taking a flight physical in no way excuse Bush’s disgraceful, selfish behavior.
In the final analysis, the record clearly and convincingly proves he did not fulfill the obligation he incurred when he enlisted in the Air National Guard and completed his pilot training, despite his honorable discharge. He clearly shirked the duty he undertook in 1968 upon enlistment and in 1969 upon completion of his flight training at Moody AF Base…..
We have not yet heard a satisfactory explanation by the President for his abandoning a profession he purportedly loved passionately … As a self-proclaimed “wartime president,” this President owes the U.S. public, especially the military and veterans, no less. He certainly cannot rely on his military record to answer these questions.
In his September 9 story, Boehlert explained:
The detailed research from Lukasiak, a Philadelphia caterer, deals strictly with the contents of Bush’s military service documents, particularly those after April 1972, when Bush decided — on his own — to stop flying. But what’s fascinating is that when recent news reports from Salon, the Associated Press, CBS and the Boston Globe are layered on top of the AWOL Project research, they fit together almost seamlessly, revealing a vivid portrait of Bush as a young man who evaded his military service.
Again, this can’t be stressed enough: the controversial memos that Rather and Mapes relied on were just part of a much larger mosaic. Take them away, and the larger mosaic still remains, with all of its other damning details.
And yet … “The CBS story, and the furor that caused, buried the story so deeply that you couldn’t possibly disinter it in 2004,” Robinson told Texas Monthly’s Joe Hagan for a comprehensive retrospective story in 2012. “Inevitably, the only candidate who ended up with a serious credibility problem about his military service was John Kerry, who had absolutely nothing to hide or be ashamed of,” Robinson said. “To me, in a close election — and it was a close election — who knows, that could have been the difference.”
So why were the memos so important? The short, obvious answer is that they were concrete objects which had been elevated as talisman objects, capable of delivering truth in a fragmented, polarized media environment. What happened with them clearly proved this was wrong. Polarized interpretation is not nearly so easily set aside. The authenticity of the memos was challenged almost immediately, and many (probably most) people assume they were quickly shown to be fakes. But this is not the case: their authenticity was easily placed in doubt, but nothing more. The “independent” investigation CBS initiated (headed by former Attorney General Richard Thornburgh, who was appointed by Bush’s father — no ethical conflict there, right?) could not say if the memos were authentic or not. As NPR reported after Rather decided to sue CBS:
Rather’s attorneys also point to public statements by Michael Missal, a lawyer in Thornburgh’s law firm who helped conduct the investigation.
“It’s ironic that the blogs were actually wrong when they had their criticism,” Missal said in a speech back in March at Washington and Lee’s law school.
“We actually did find typewriters that did have the superscripts, did have proportional spacing, and on the fonts, given that these are copies, it’s really hard to say,” Missal said. “But there were some typewriters that looked like they could have some similar fonts there, so the initial concerns didn’t seem as though they would hold up.”
Elements of those findings cropped up deep in the report. But given the firestorm online, Rather questions why they were not prominently placed among the report’s key conclusions.
This does not mean that Rather and Mapes were right. We still don’t know that and we probably never will. But it does mean that the first wave of criticism from rightwing blogs — the criticism that stopped the story in its tracks — was wrong, based on false assumptions. In fact, in 2007, Texas author and journalist James Moore pointed out that this was evident almost immediately. Superscripts were a major reason given for claiming the memos were fakes, that they weren’t available on typewriters at the time. But the very last release of Bush guard records disproved this:
The last document dump occurred about a week after Dan Rather’s apologia on his former network’s newscast. This was a single page memo promoting 2nd Lt. George W. Bush to 1st Lt. and it used superscript. The media took no notice that this piece of evidence completely contradicted the most powerful criticism of the Rathergate memos.
So the documents weren’t obvious forgeries. But they were contestable—as was almost everything, then. After all — as Robinson alludes to — this was all taking place at the same time as the multi-million-dollar Swiftboat Veterans attack on John Kerry’s war record. Essentially you had two political coalitions, one branded as pro-military, ultra-strong on defense, the other not: The “daddy party” vs. the “mommy party.” The facts be damned, it was just too discordant to have the Democratic candidate be the war hero, and the Republican candidate be the deserter. And so the facts themselves had to be changed to fit the cultural narrative. That is exactly what happened.
What we’re talking about here is the dominance of myth over fact, mythos over logos. But, of course, a movie like “Truth” — or “All The President’s Men” — is nothing if not a powerful piece of mythos itself. They tell a story that gives meaning to the world, and to our place in it. Some myths are far more factually accurate than others, but what gives them power as myths is not their accuracy (that’s the realm of logos), it’s the power of the meaning they create.
In one sense, Smith is right to say Redford’s roles in these two films mark “the Golden Era of Independent Journalism” and “the death of that Golden Era.” But the era itself was a myth — though one that required at least some measure of accuracy in order to survive. As the accuracy seeped away out of the corporate media’s center, and began showing up in places like Lukasiak’s AWOL project, the old myth withered even before it died. A new myth is out there, waiting to be told. Or perhaps, just to be repeated, so everyone can hear this time.
Paul Rosenberg is a California-based writer/activist, senior editor for Random Lengths News, and a columnist for Al Jazeera English. Follow him on Twitter at @PaulHRosenberg.


Bombshell dossier: U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, left of Bush, wrote to the President to say the UK 'will be with us'
Bombshell dossier: U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, left of Bush, wrote to the President to say the UK 'will be with us'

The classified document also discloses that Blair agreed to act as a glorified spin doctor for the President by presenting ‘public affairs lines’ to convince a sceptical public that Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction – when none existed.
In return, the President would flatter Blair’s ego and give the impression that Britain was not America’s poodle but an equal partner in the ‘special relationship’.

Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook



    EXCLUSIVE: A sensational leaked White House memo (centre) shows that Blair had given an unqualified pledge to sign up to the conflict a year before the 2003 invasion started - despite public statements to the contrary. He told voters: 'We're not proposing military action' - in direct contrast to what the secret email now reveals. The classified document, written by Colin Powell, then the U.S. Secretary of State (top right) also discloses that Blair agreed to act as a glorified spin doctor for the President by presenting 'public affairs lines' to convince a sceptical public that Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction - when none existed. In return, the President would flatter Blair's ego and give the impression that Britain was not America's poodle but an equal partner in the 'special relationship'. Pictured bottom-right is a scene of destruction from the Iraq war.

  2. Smoking gun emails reveal Blair’s ‘deal in blood’ with George Bush over Iraq war was forged a YEAR before the invasion had even started - despite claiming he wanted peace

    Leaked White House memo shows former Prime Minister's support for war at summit with U.S. President in 2002

    Bombshell document shows Blair preparing to act as spin doctor for Bush, who was told ‘the UK will follow our lead'

    Publicly, Blair still claimed to be looking for diplomatic solution - in direct contrast to email revelations

    New light was shed on Bush-Blair relations by material disclosed by Hillary Clinton at the order of the U.S. courts

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  3. A bombshell White House memo has revealed for the first time details of the ‘deal in blood’ forged by Tony Blair and George Bush over the Iraq War.

    The sensational leak shows that Blair had given an unqualified pledge to sign up to the conflict a year before the invasion started.
    It flies in the face of the Prime Minister’s public claims at the time that he was seeking a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
    He told voters: ‘We’re not proposing military action’ – in direct contrast to what the secret email now reveals.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  4. They both should be tried and when found guilty, hanged.

  5. ..

    Rufus is right. What are you going to do when

    Ben Carson

    is your next president.


  6. Paul Rosenberg is a California-based writer/activist, senior editor for Random Lengths News, and a columnist for Al Jazeera English.

    Excellent sourcing.

    Anyway, even if all is true, George is a piker compared to Obama.

    When Obama finally put out his birth certificate, after months of delay, I recall you declared his Birth Certificate to be a computer generated fraud.

    Ever since that day I have felt Obama is not an American and not a legitimate President.

    1. I'm always suspicious when a writer admits to being an activist.

      An activist always morphs so very easily into being a propagandist.

      Everyone should follow my lead here.

    2. Anyone with a brain would rather take their chances following a drunk Dick Cheney on a pheasant hunt than follow your lead, anywhere.

  7. .

    This from the Idaho Spud on the last stream,

    WiO's reply to yours above is a classic.

    So I do thank you for giving him that wonderful opening......

    my response,

    QuirkSat Oct 17, 11:28:00 PM EDT

    WiO's statement above didn't make sense. At least, I could make no sense of it. That's why I didn't respond.

    Why don't you explain to me exactly what his point was?

    I was serious and still waiting for your answer Unca Bob. You found the response amusing. Let me in on the joke.



  8. Deuce ☂Sat Oct 17, 11:08:00 PM EDT
    They both should be tried and when found guilty, hanged.

    Sounds like you are ready to renounce your US citizenship and more to either Russia or Iran.

  9. No, on the contrary, I want to see this country give the Neocons and George W. Bush the justice they deserve.

  10. They and their masters at Aipac are traitors.

    1. Quite the load of incite there Deuce.

      i think you don't have a clue of the violence you are advocating.

      Should the Jews be gassed or just shipped to labor camps?


    During all this time, the US spent more money, sent more troops, fought more wars, lost more lives and expended more political capital in this region than anywhere else in the world.

    And yet despite this, America continues to suffer from two disturbing maladies: a profound and, in some instances, wilful ignorance about the Middle East and its peoples, and a failure to engage in reasoned discourse about how it can constructively address a range of critical problems it faces across the region.

    I have been following US presidential debates for decades, hoping against hope that either the candidates or the media personalities who question them would provoke a serious discussion about key Middle East issues. Most often, I am disappointed since these matters are either ignored or addressed in glib generalities, which describes perfectly how they were handled in first two Republican debates.

    When foreign policy was discussed, it was limited to either exaggerated expressions of love for Israel or contempt for Barack Obama’s “weakness” and what was mistakenly referred to as “his” Iran deal. Carly Fiorina, for example, pledged that “on day one in the Oval Office” her first phone call would be “to my good friend Bibi (Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu) to reassure him that we will stand with the State of Israel”, while Ted Cruz promised “to cancel the Iran deal and move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem”. Others pledged their support for a tougher approach in Syria, with Jeb Bush holding up as an example his brother’s “forceful” response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 which he bizarrely claimed had made America safer and more respected in the world.

    While the two Republican debates were disturbing and empty, this week’s Democratic presidential debate was a bit more promising, featuring a significant discussion as to whether the use of force by the US in Iraq, Syria and Libya was warranted and effective.


    1. {...}

      Four of the Democratic contenders vigorously challenged Hillary Clinton’s full-throated support of and vote for George Bush’s war in Iraq.

      Bernie Sanders went so far as to refer to the Iraq war as “the worst foreign policy blunder in the history of this country”, with Lincoln Chafee asking whether Mrs Clinton’s vote for the war called into question her judgment and her fitness to serve as commander in chief. Questions were also raised about the role Mrs Clinton played in encouraging Mr Obama to use military force in Libya, and her support for US air power to create no-fly “safe zones” in Syria.

      These substantive challenges were grounded in an under­standing shared by most Democrats that the war in Iraq had been a devastating failure – based on a lie and resulting in regional instability, an emboldened Iran, a weakening of the US military and a tarnished US image.

      As encouraging as these thoughtful challenges were, I was troubled by Mrs Clinton’s hollow responses and the fact that they went unchallenged by the mainstream media. For example, she dismissed the charge that she had failed to demonstrate good judgment in Iraq, glibly suggesting that when Mr Obama appointed her as secretary of state, he had, in effect, absolved her of bad judgment. She defended her role in Libya, calling it “smart power at its best” and claiming that it resulted in “free elections” in which moderates won with the hope of creating a democracy – ignoring the chaos and bloody conflict that soon followed. She also made the evidence-free claim that using military force to create no-fly safe zones in Syria would “get the Russians to the table” and would not, as critics charge, simply be pouring more petrol on the Syrian fire.


    2. {...}

      The Democratic debate was a good start and I can hope for more, but fear that more may not come for three reasons. It will not come from Republicans, since that party has become captive of neoconservatives and the evangelical right.

      These movements have substituted facts with ideology. They see the world through a primitive lens of good and evil, and have replaced diplomacy with the simplistic use of force. Added to this, too many Republicans have become xenophobic, demonising Arabs and Muslims, in addition to Hispanics. Today’s GOP is not the party of George HW Bush and James Baker.

      But Democrats also have a problem. For too long their political leaders have ignored dealing with the uncomfortable complexities of the Middle East because it simply didn’t serve any political advantage to know about Arabs and Muslims. All they had to know was that the US had an “unbreakable bond with Israel”. Seeing the Arab world through this lens led too many politicians to either remain ignorant of Middle Eastern realities or, if they did know, to shy away from elevating these issues into the national debate.

      As a result, Democrats can debate the use of military force, but are either uncomfortable with or averse to questioning Israeli policies or the treatment of Palestinians or identifying the root causes of conflict in Syria or Iraq.

      Finally there is the role played by the media and their paid commentators who are all-too- often mere purveyors of conventional wisdom. Because they frequently know less than the candidates they are covering, they are ill-equipped to challenge them or to report on their dangerous and/or trite responses to critical foreign policy questions.

      As a result, while I’m pleased that we are at least seeing the Democrats have a substantive discussion on the use of force in conflicts, it’s still not the serious and comprehensive discussion about US policy in the Middle East we so desperately need.

      James Zogby is the president of the Arab American Institute

      On Twitter: @aaiusa

      US presidential aspirants don’t understand the Middle East


    Another Russia warplane is taking off from Latakia airport, in northern Syria — proof of the growing involvement by President Vladimir Putin in what he calls a “war on terrorism” and his critics denounce as merely an attempt to prop up his ally, President Bashar al-Assad, by attacking pro-western insurgents rather than the fanatics of Islamic State.

    After a military build-up dating back several weeks, Russia now has about 50 aircraft in Syria. Yet an unexpected calm hangs over the airport, which was recently closed to international civilian flights to make room for the Russian forces.

    On one side, military planes are lined up in small groups of twos, threes and fours. Russian technicians and maintenance workers and trucks can be seen moving along the tarmac.

    The Kremlin says it is flying an average of about 50 missions a day in Syria, although the number, co-ordinated with Assad’s ground forces, varies from day to day.

    Sources close to the operation say the aim is eventually to raise this to 200-300 a day, marking a considerable escalation. As part of preparations, a new airstrip is reported to be under construction nearby.

    Russia, using the conflict to showcase its military prowess, has deployed Su-24M and Su-34 bombers, low-flying ground attack Su-25CM jets and multi-role Su-30CM fighters. They are backed by Mil Mi-24 attack helicopters and multi-role Mi-8 helicopters.

    Military analysts said the first airstrikes, which began on September 30, were aimed at probing rebel forces, establishing their positions and the extent of their firepower.

    By attacking simultaneously on several fronts, Assad and his allies hope to deprive insurgents of the ability to move forces in the defence of a particular front, keeping them bogged down and overstretched.

    A source close to the operation said the targets were chosen by the Syrians. They were then passed on for verification by Russian drones — one of which Turkey claims to have shot down last week.


    Brett 33 MINUTES AGO
    Russia will now make the west pay for our mistakes in 2003. Helping to defeat ISIS is a perfect political front. Checkmate from Russia with love.

    Keith 50 MINUTES AGO
    The enemy of my enemy is my friend??

    Keith 51 MINUTES AGO
    Wow, here we go again, being edited for any criticism of mr Obama. Praise Vladimir, at least he has got balls.

    Gary 56 MINUTES AGO
    You boys should man up and get involved outside of your cheap this talk.

    Sydney 1 HOUR AGO
    Give them Hell Vlad show them what Obama should have done.

    Brian 1 HOUR AGO
    Russian air power will be far more effective than the West's despite the fact that Russian military technology lags. If there is even a remote possibility of collateral damage then the West scrubs the mission. The Russians will bomb anyway.

    nigel 2 HOURS AGO
    How ironic that Obama won the nobel peace prize in 2009.

    Keith 10 MINUTES AGO
    @nigel The fact that he did, says more about European socialism than anything else. I think Sweden's time is near. They will reap what they have sowed.

    Trevor 3 HOURS AGO
    Putin might be backing a criminal regime, but it is the same one that has ruled Syria for several generations and generated an educated and relatively tolerant society. Putin is embarrassing the weak Europeans and NATO, the utterly worthless UN, and the pathetic Obama administration. Putin offers the only hope for crushing ISIS and other extremists. The so called democratic world has disgraced itself and abandoned millions of Christians and moderate Muslims to genocide.

  14. A senior Russian defense official has announced his country’s readiness to extend military assistance to Iraq in its battle against the foreign-backed Daesh terrorists.

    Speaking to reporters on Saturday at the 6th Xiangshan Security Forum in the Chinese capital of Beijing, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Moscow has not yet received a request for military assistance from the Iraqi government in the fight against the Takfiri terror network, but it would consider such an appeal, Tass news agency reported.

    "In case we receive a request, we shall consider it accordingly", Antonov emphasized adding, "What I can say now is that as of today we do not have a request from Iraq like the one we have from [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad."
    "As there are very many insinuations about Syria, I would like to stress we have a written request from Bashar Assad for a military and military-technical assistance in fighting IS (Daesh)," said the Russian official. "We stress we are acting on a legal base and in compliance with the international law."

    Antonov’s remarks came following major success of the Russian airstrike campaign against foreign-backed terrorist forces across Syria and after a number of Iraqi officials complained about the ineffective aerial attacks against Daesh militants in the country claimed by the so-called US-led coalition.

    Some Iraqi authorities have also expressed interest in Russia’s air force assistance to the nation as it remains engaged in a major battle against Daesh terrorists, who are still in control of a vast portion of the country’s territory.

    Earlier in October, a senior Iraqi lawmaker said Baghdad was planning to officially ask Moscow to assist in airstrikes against Daesh in a bid to purge the Takfiri terrorists from the territories it still controls in the west and north of the Arab country.

    “We might be forced to ask Russia to launch airstrikes in Iraq soon. I think in the upcoming few days or weeks Iraq will be forced to ask Russia to launch airstrikes and that depends on their success in Syria,” said Hakim al-Zamili, who chairs Iraq’s parliamentary committee on defense and security.


  15. The Russians are using the most basic common sense approach by bombing targets based on Syrian intelligence. It is effective. Compare that to the Pentagon bombing of the past year. They did not want to talk to the Syrians. The US provided air power to any group that claimed to be fighting Assad. It was no wonder that 50,000 air strikes later - Nada.


    Russian attack jets have hit 51 Islamic State targets in Syria in the past 24 hours, including four command posts, six arms depots, a mortar battery, two underground bunkers, 32 field camps and six outposts.

    The strikes took place in the Latakia, Aleppo, Hama and Damascus provinces.

    The damage the Russian SU-34 jets caused to the underground bunkers was especially significant, Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said.

    They hit the terrorists' underground infrastructure in Homs, which had allowed the militants to move undetected and increase their effectiveness in combat.

    The well-funded Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) has been hiding whole weapons caches underground, which included explosive devices for carrying out terrorist attacks.

    A small missile factory was among the objects destroyed. However, these underground bases and conduits are believed to be widespread across Syria, so more work needs to be done, Konashenkov says.

    1. MORE

      The entire command infrastructure of one of the terrorist groups operating in the Hama province was disrupted by the strikes, sending the militants fleeing from the area, the Defense Ministry added.

      According to information from the Russian armed forces, desertions on a massive scale are occurring amongst IS ranks in the north and north-east of the country. In the Raqqa province, IS has started a mobilization of everyone aged 14 and over.

      In Idlib and Hama, field commanders with Al-Nusra Front are resorting to separating families at gunpoint in order to get their hands on ever younger child soldiers.

      Fighting between different jihadist groups over territory control and funds are also on the rise, the Defense Ministry report states. Intercepted radio communications suggest that IS has targeted Al-Nusra Front with three car bombings in the past week.

      IS leaders are demanding that their field commanders employ more car bombs and other home-made explosives against advancing Syrian forces, the report says.

    2. The IDF better hope that the Palestinians don’t ask Putin for assistance.

    3. Better hope that Putin doesn't ask the IDF for assistance.

    4. .

      Some here, suggested that Russia wouldn't be able to muster the number of airstrikes the US has/is delivered/delivering.


  16. Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia Help Syrian Army Advance Near Aleppo

    By Reuters and VICE News

    October 17, 2015 | 11:05 am

    Syrian troops advanced in their offensive to retake territory around the northern city of Aleppo Saturday, backed by Iranian troops and members of Lebanon's Hezbollah. A military source told Reuters that "hundreds" of support troops were involved.

    The campaign around Aleppo, which the army launched on Friday, is one of several assaults it has waged against rebel fighters since Russian jets began carrying out airstrikes on September 30 in support of the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Control of the city, Syria's largest before the civil war started in 2011, has been divided between government forces and various rebel groups since 2012.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the combined army retook three villages, with clashes resulting in the deaths of least 25 fighters. The Observatory also reported that troops are trying to advance to the east of Aleppo toward Kweires military airport, aiming to break a siege on the base by Islamic State and other insurgents.

    Russian aircraft have conducted 36 sorties and hit 49 Islamic State targets in the last 24 hours in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement. In addition to the area around Aleppo, targets were reportedly hit in and around Hama, Idlib, Latakia, and Damascus.

    The army and its allies have also been fighting to retake parts of the northern provinces of Hama, Idlib and Latakia seized by rebels in recent months, as well as insurgent areas north of Homs city, around the capital Damascus, and in the southern province of Deraa near the Jordanian border.

    Also on Saturday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier urged Iran to use its influence over Assad to move toward an end to the Syrian civil war. Steinmeier is in the midst of a four-day trip to the Middle East — he travels to Saudi Arabia on Sunday — on which he’s exploring ways to bring Tehran and Riyadh into talks to reach a solution to the four-year-old Syrian conflict.

    ”My wish is that Iran uses its influence in the government and on Assad and his entourage so that we take the first steps towards a de-escalation in Syria,” Steinmeier said in Tehran on the first official visit to Iran by a German foreign minister in more than 10 years.

    Though Germany is not taking part in any military action in Syria, it is providing weapons and training to Kurdish Peshmerga forces in neighboring Iraq.

    Follow VICE News on Twitter: @ViceNews

  17. If we quit arming the jihadis and ISIS, this thing could end quickly.

    1. While I would agree that stemming the flow of arms into the region would be helpful I don't believe any quick resolution is on the horizon as the region is beset by numerous sectarian conflicts and the only thing resembling stable government has been provided by authoritarians with Israel being the exception.

  18. BAGHDAD (AFP) -

    Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bullish entry into the Syrian conflict has worked wonders for his popularity in neighbouring Iraq, where some await “Hajji Putin” like a saviour.

    Sitting at his easel in his central Baghdad workshop, painter Mohammed Karim Nihaya touches up a portrait of Putin he copied from the Internet.

    "I have been waiting for Russia to get involved in the fight against Daesh," he says, referring to the Islamic State group that last year declared a "caliphate" straddling Iraq and Syria.

    "They get results. The United States and its allies on the other hand have been bombing for a year and achieved nothing," the bespectacled artist says.

    The US-led coalition has had some successes in helping Iraqi forces reconquer territory lost to IS in 2014 but overall the campaign has also suffered setbacks.

    Russian warplanes began bombing targets in Syria on September 30 and on Wednesday Moscow ramped up its air war, unleashing cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea.

    Some of them crossed Iraqi airspace and many here, especially among the Shiite majority, would welcome a bit of Russia's firepower on home soil as a much-awaited game-changer.

    Only a fraction of Russian air strikes in Syria may have been destined for IS but Mohammed, a young jobless man outside the painter's shop, does not let statistics cloud his enthusiasm.

    "We don't want the international coalition, we want only Russia and we will slaughter a sheep to welcome them," he says.

    Some Iraqis see Moscow -- which has staunchly backed Damascus and Tehran in recent years -- as a more natural ally than the United States, which occupied the country for eight years.

    Putin's patented leadership brand of bare-chested antics and cold determination is a also hit in Iraq, where the cult of the strong leader is alive and well 12 years after Saddam Hussein's ouster.


    1. {...}

      - 'PUTINMANIA' -

      On social media, many have already made him an honorary citizen, with one widely circulated joke even detecting phonetic evidence of Iraqi antecedents in the Russian president's name.

      It goes like this: Putin's father was an Iraqi grocer from the Shiite south, near Nasiriyah, who introduced figs ("tin" in Arabic) to local markets and thus became known as "Abu Tin".

      After World War II, he moved to the Soviet Union, married "a blonde Russian girl" and named their son Abdulamir. That proved a bit of a mouthful for locals who Russianised it into Vladimir.

      The apocryphal nature of the story appears lost on some Facebook users, who have embraced "Putin the Shiite" and even replaced their profile pictures with a portrait of the Russian strongman.

      "We should give Putin Iraqi and Syrian citizenship because he loves us more than our own politicians," says Mohammed al-Bahadli, a student walking on a street in the Shiite shrine city of Najaf.

      "Muslims bomb us because we are Rafidha," says Saad Abdullah, who owns a convenience store in Najaf, employing a term which means "rejectionists" and is used by IS to refer to Shiites.

      "Meanwhile Putin, who is an Orthodox man, is defending us.... Maybe he really is a Shiite and we didn't know about it," he says before flashing a huge smile.

      Taxi driver Ali al-Rammahi says Putin is the only reason he hasn't already joined the thousands of Iraqis fleeing the country to knock on Europe's doors.

      "I thank Putin because he convinced me to stay in Iraq... Hajji Putin is better than Hussein Obama," he says, using the title given to Muslims who have performed the pilgrimage to Mecca.

      "Putinmania" has also gripped some of Iraq's politicians, creating some confusion over Baghdad's stance on a Russian intervention.

      Hakim al-Zamili, the head of parliament's defence committee and a leader in a Shiite militia that once fought US forces, has suggested Baghdad has decided to request Russian air strikes.

      Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is supported by the West, has been more equivocal but has not ruled out enlisting Russia's help.

      Moscow recently increased its footprint in Iraq by joining a coordination cell set up in Baghdad to pool intelligence on IS fighters with non-coalition members Syria and Iran.

      by Jean-Marc Mojon with Raji Nasser in Najaf
      ? 2015 AFP

    2. It reminds me of those glorious days of purple fingers of freedoom celebrating US success in Iraq.

    3. Those days in Iraq, the pre-ISIS days, were much better days than these days nowadays in Iraq, punk-o.

      You little smart ass punk, you deserve a good non lethal mugging.

    4. Wow! really? things aren't quite so peachy in Iraq these days? It is a good thing we have you here to fill is in on such important developments in the world. That observation ranks equally as important as your play by play football reporting benefitting all those Vandal fans that frequent this bar. You are quite the American thinker Bob!

    5. Ash,

      You are quite the American. You set the pattern. You deserted.


    6. There you go making shit up again WiO.

    7. "Libel, on the other hand, is the written "publication" of a defamatory remark that has the tendency to injure another's reputation or character. Libel also includes a publication on radio, audio or video. Even though this would be considered oral, or verbal, communication to someone it is actually considered to be libel because it is published in a transfixed form."

    8. AshSun Oct 18, 01:00:00 PM EDT
      And you are a pedophile Bob, as evidenced by your 'love' of your 'niece' - unless you can refute it.

      What, pray tell, is a "black accent"?

    9. There you go making shit up again Ash.

  19. I got over 7 hours of blissful wonderful uninterrupted sleep !

    This is remarkable for me.

    Didn't have to get up to piss once.

    Some nice dreaming too.

    I must be healing.

    And the exhaustion after the Idaho win......

    And look above at all the bullshit, WiO always excepted, that I avoided !

    October 18, 2015
    More blatant media bias exposed
    By Ethel C. Fenig

    Not that there was any doubt but Avi Mayer has still further proof how gently the liberal media treats its favorites who act and/or behave despicably while denigrating those who don't conform to standard liberal thinking.

    And yes, CNN, I'm talking about you. From the staging of the Democratic presidential debate to reporting on national and international affairs you usually are unfair and definitely unbalanced.

    In your defense, you are not alone so you think this is standard best journalist practice. Big hint: it isn't.

    Who knew after surviving thousands of years, Joseph's Tomb, an ancient historic, biblical site could just spontaneously catch fire? Just like that.

    Next, you'll report without question on the Mahmoud Abbas, now in his 15th year of a four year term as president of the Palestinian (sic) Authority, eulogy for a 13 year old innocent who was killed by evil Israelis. Oh, you did.

    In reality, "he has been shown by street cameras to be engaging with a 15-year-old cousin in a stabbing rampage in a Jewish neighborhood."

    Eyewitnesses said the 13-year-old, Ahmed Mansara, repeatedly stabbed a Jewish boy of the same age as he was getting on his bicycle outside a candy store.

    Photographs published on Israeli web sites Thursday also confirm that Mansara is alive. He is shown lying in a hospital bed in Jerusalem with a bandage on his head but looking otherwise well and quite alert.

    By the way, the murderous 13 year old is being treated in Hadassah Hospital, an Israeli hospital for all its citizens.

    Just thought you'd like to know.

    But then again, in the liberal world, all is moral equivalence and murderer and defender are all the same in the "cycle of violence." But not in the real world.

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


    Deuce, if you are no longer seeing the Persian Lady, maybe you can catch a date and compare with Christiane Amanpour.

  20. An activist writer is a propagandist and a propagandist is a type of advertising executive.

  21. Today is a day that all here of my age group, that is, everyone here but young dunce Ashlikins, should devote to mourning the passing of The Playboy Centerfold.

    We all grew up with that, did we not ?

    It seems so graceful, so artistic, so civilized and properly suggestive compared to the trash all about us these days.

    I am devoting my day to this endeavor, and grocery shopping with my daughter.

    Cheers !

  22. .

    Nostalgia for the Bush 'glory days' in Iraq.

    A man who puts up posts from neo-nazi websites offering up his homespun wisdom on 'activist' writers.

    Ash, an eleven year old 'deserter' to Canada?

    Failed drone strikes 'setting the standard' for the West or some such.

    Spoiled children mouthing off. When they have no real arguments, they throw a bunch of shit against the wall hoping something will stick. When it doesn't, they offer up more inanities.



    WASHINGTON — President Obama will sign an order Sunday directing his administration to begin issuing waivers to Iran nuclear sanctions — but the waivers will only go into effect once Iran meets its obligations under the agreement limiting its nuclear program, senior administration officials said.

    The presidential memorandum marks what's being called "adoption day" for the international agreement intended to roll back Iran's nuclear program. But administration officials made clear that the milestone is a mere formality, driven more more by the calendar than by any action by Iran.

    Sunday marks 90 days since the United Nations Security Council approved the agreement. "So adoption day is a calendar-driven event and it’s the day at which all the parties begin to take the steps they need to make sure they take to get to implementation day," said State Department spokesman John Kirby. "And we’re not at implementation day; that’s a whole different purpose."

    No date is set for implementation day. Under the agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, implementation will come only when the International Atomic Energy Agency certifies that Iran has lived up to its obligations to reduce its stockpiles of enriched uranium, dismantle two-thirds of its centrifuges, and halt construction of new nuclear facilities..

    Western officials have said they expect that to take four to six months. "We do envision that happening in a fair amount of time. Obviously, Iran has a motivation to do that as soon as possible," said a senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the State Department. "For us, it’s important that it’s done right, not that it’s done quickly."

    The agreement, signed by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, Germany and Iran, requires President Obama and the European Union to direct the issuance of waivers on adoption day. Even though they won't go into effect for months, the arrangement allows businesses to know what sanctions are being waived, another senior administration official said.

  24. Netanyahu was really, really worried that a nuclear attack would shortly be mae on Jerusalem and of course the GOP Likuds Force were worried abut Washington.

    As it turns out the IDF is holding the line against rocks, switchblade, shanks and kitchen knives. The Russians and Hezbollah are chasing and killing terrorists who were armed by the US and the Saudis.

    After 50,000 US air strikes, ISIS is still in business.

    Iran is at war, against terrorists. Iraq wants Russian air support. And Bibi, what is lard ass doing? Same old shit.

    Barack Obama needs an Israeli-Palestinian flare-up like a hole in the head. Trapped in Afghanistan, mired in Syria, stumped by Putin, confounded by Iran, worried about Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and what not, the last thing the U.S. president needs right now is a war over the Temple Mount that could serve as a recruitment poster for Islamic State and inflame the Middle East as a whole.
    Never mind the very thought that he was going to have to deal once again with nebbish Mahmoud Abbas and nemesis Benjamin Netanyahu.

    From the outset, there were clear indications that the administration was in denial. After initial reports of the outbreak of violence and terror, the U.S. buried its head in the sand and prayed that things would blow over without the need for it to get involved. Then Secretary of State John Kerry and his spokesman John Kirby issued a series of hasty statements somewhat divorced from reality that they had to retract within hours; finally, Obama was cornered at a press conference on Friday and his response to was to insinuate that Netanyahu and Abbas had equally failed in containing incitement. The usually keen Kerry will meet with Netanyahu on Wednesday in Berlin with what seems to be a distinct lack of enthusiasm.

    Many people in the administration and in the American media – including conservatives and Republicans, who were unusually reticent – appeared unperturbed by what seemed to be the umpteenth bloody chapter in the depressing Israeli-Palestinian saga. Netanyahu’s melodramatic statements about the situation seemed to diminish in the shadow of his apocalyptic overkill over the nuclear deal with Iran. And while Netanyahu had been quick to announce that he was turning the page in relations with Washington, Americans, like Israelis, are quicker to forget their own sins than to forgive the insults of others; their statements about “excessive use of force” and “Israeli terror” reflected the resentment still lingering in Washington while the mortified Israeli reaction highlighted the short memory span of Jerusalem.

    read more:

  25. Where is that honest CIA man that testified to Congress and said the smartest thing the US could do was to Dump Israel tomorrow?

    1. Deuce, there have been between seven and eight thousand Coalition Air Strikes.

    2. He does get somewhat carried away on occasion.....on most occasions.....he once put up a figure for the number of Iraqi civilians killed in "Bush's War" --- I did some real checking and he was only off and above by 10 X........

    3. The truest figure to be found, the one I quoted, was provided by an Iraqi official who was working with the United Nations, and he had reason to inflate his figures, as the relief money was tied to the number of civilian dead.

      His figure was 1/10th of that claimed by Deuce.

    4. I was using hyperbole on the strikes.

    5. :) "Hyperbole" at the EB?

      Well, who'd a thunk? :)

  26. ’I’d Dump the Israelis Tomorrow’: Controversial Ex-CIA Analyst Michael Scheuer Strikes Again OCTOBER 23, 2013, 5:39 AM

    While the alliance between the US and Israel is largely supported across the American political spectrum – one of the few things on which the left and right wings can actually seem to agree – this support is far from universal. Given the importance of the of the alliance with the US to the state of Israel, both Israelis as well as American Jews and non-Jews alike who support Israel should have some sense of who the opposition is, and what they are saying. Note here that I am not talking about the crackpots and obvious anti-Semites, but rather those who would be considered inside a broadly defined “acceptable mainstream”.

    One example of policy-based opposition to the US alliance with Israel was on display yesterday afternoon in Washington, DC at a Congressional hearing on the Middle East and al-Qaeda. One of the witnesses was an ex-CIA analyst and operations officer Michael Scheuer.

    For many years Scheuer was head of the team at the CIA studying and tracking Osama Bin Laden. Scheuer is perhaps best known for a book he wrote after retiring from the CIA called Imperial Hubris, which he initially published under the pseudonym “Anonymous.” Since then, Scheuer has published a number of other books and made a name for himself as an outside the box thinker.

    In Scheuer’s appearance before Congress – which is on YouTube here – he argues that al-Qaeda’s hatred towards the West is driven by western policy and actions in the Middle east, as opposed to a more generalized cultural or religious animosity. If you listen to Scheuer’s testimony, you can see he is not spouting anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist or pro-Palestinian rhetoric. While he is rather eccentric, Scheuer bases his opposition to the American alliance with Israel on the purely Realpolitik argument of the US needing to disentangle itself from ties to both Israel and the Middle East more broadly. In fact, it is worth noting that Scheuer considers the US alliance with the Saudis to be far worse to the US from a policy perspective. The thrust of his argument, to greatly simplify, is change American policy and the problem goes away – and a big part of the policy change he advocates is that the US should end its alliance with Israel.

  27. .

    This does not mean that Rather and Mapes were right.

    Of course, they weren't right. And here I am not commenting on what Bush did or didn't do (it wouldn't surprise me given his personalty and the prerogatives often granted the rich and influential). No, what I am talking about is the story. It wasn't up to snuff.

    The movie Truth is based on Mary Mapes' book. She basically argues that the ends justify the means. No, it doesn't. Not when you are a reporter.

    Dan Rather apologized for the story at the time. Now, he and Mapes are trying to recover their lost reputations. It is no wonder that Salon would support this story. G.W.B. is poison to the left. Bashing him has no risk at all.

    It's impossible to feel sorry for Bush; however, that has nothing to do with the responsibility of the press to report the truth based on the evidence they had.


  28. Hillary is down south now, squawking in a southern accent for the folks.

    Before a black crowd, it is her habit to squawk in a black accent.

    If this country is so stupid as to elect this criminal, and after Obama too, we deserve what we have coming.

    1. Has anyone really tracked down the rumor, the rumor that refuses to die, that she and Billy stole the White House silver set upon vacating ?

      Until someone does, and can refute it, I take it as true, 'cause that's the kind of folks they are......

      I'm glad Kathleen Willey is dogging her.....

      Kathleen Wiley says:

      "Hillary Clinton IS the War on Women"

      She knows.

      Hillary has tried to ruin Kathleen Willey.

    2. American Thinker Blog
      'Smoking gun' emails just released by UK Daily Mail prove Hillary a bigger liar than Tony Blair - 10/18/15 Proves that she lied in her numerous statements that there were no classified documents on her server, even with her later qualification that none were marked classified at the time. More

      See:American Thinker, that wonderful conservative blog filled with people of color of all sorts, the common thread being they are conservatives.

      We should all know only white racists can be conservatives, according to Shit Spinner, etal.

    3. Kathleen Willey, for those that might not know, is one of "Bubba" Bill Clinton's many sexual assault victims.

    4. And you are a pedophile Bob, as evidenced by your 'love' of your 'niece' - unless you can refute it.

      What, pray tell, is a "black accent"?

    5. Fuck you, Ash.

      Here, Asshole, follow it yourself -

    6. You little asshole, you deserve a very serious mugging..................

    7. I see not even an attempt to refute the claim you are a pedophile so, according to your own criteria, you Bob are indeed a pedophile.

  29. Overheard at a Catholic Women's Bible Study Group -

    "Jesus may have been a Jew, but Mother Mary sure was not. She was Catholic"


    Chaos at the Vatican
    The Synod on the family, explained.
    11:04 AM, Oct 17, 2015 • By JONATHAN V. LAST

    Everyone talks about “chaos” in Congress just because Republicans haven’t chosen a new speaker of the House. If you want to see real chaos, look at Rome, where Pope Francis’s synod on the family has been a shambling disaster since the moment it started.
    Chaos at the Vatican

    Check that—the meltdown started before the synod convened. The day before Francis kicked off the assembly, Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa made quite a stir. Charamsa is not just a normal priest, but a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith—the division of the Church tasked with keeping track of doctrine and orthodoxy. (You may remember them from such films as The Inquisition!)

    Anyway, Charamsa, it turns out, is gay. And not just theoretically gay, but practically so, having taken a gay lover. (Or rather, a “partner,” per news accounts.) This might sound like a small doctrinal problem for a fellow whose portfolio is overseeing doctrine, since the Church teaches that (1) homosexual acts are not rightly ordered; (2) sex outside of marriage is sinful; and (3) priests make a vow of celibacy.

    So Charamsa was 0-for-3.

    Pope Francis: Menace or Farce?
    Francis Day 3: The Tambourining
    President Selfie Stick Welcomes Pope Tambourines to ...
    Obama to Meet with Pope in Vatican City on March 27
    Biden to Attend Party With Cardinals So He Doesn't ...

    But even that wasn’t the big problem. On October 3, Charamsa was removed from his post not because he was a priest engaged in an adulterous, homosexual affair in contradiction to his vows. No, Charamsa was removed because he was planning to lead a demonstration with a group of gay activists outside the Vatican as the synod convened in order to protest the Church’s “homophobia”—his word—and advocate that the synod recognize beautiful, healthy relationships like his. After all, as the Holy Father has said on the subject, “Who am I to judge?”

    This may sound like an inauspicious start to Pope Francis’s great synod on the family. It might even sound as though certain factions have viewed the synod as a chance to re-write the Church’s teachings about the nature of marriage, family, and sexuality. But don’t worry, it’s much worse than that.............

  30. This is unfuckingbelievable; Trey Gowdy will be lucky if it's not Him that ends up in jail.

    Rep. Elijah Cummins writes:

    Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), the ranking member of the eGhazi committee,, makes a startling charge against Rep. Trey Gowdy, the Chairman of the eGazi committee:

    To further inflate your claim, you placed your own redactions over the name of the individual with the words, “redacted due to sources and methods.” To be clear, these redactions were not made, and these words were not added, by any agency of the federal government responsible for enforcing classification guidelines.
    Predictably, commentators began repeating your accusations in even more extreme terms, suggesting in headlines for example that “Clinton Burns CIA Libya Contact.”

    Contrary to your claims, the CIA yesterday informed both the Republican and Democratic staffs of the Select Committee that they do not consider the information you highlighted in your letter to be classified. Specifically, the CIA confirmed that “the State Department consulted with the CIA on this production, the CIA reviewed these documents, and the CIA made no redactions to protect classified information.”

    Unfortunately, you sent your letter on October 7 without checking first with the CIA. Now that we have done so, we have learned that your accusations were incorrect.

    As a result of your actions, the State Department yesterday asked the Select Committee not to reveal the individual’s name publicly, not for classification reasons, but to protect the individual’s privacy and avoid bringing additional undue attention to this person.

    Unfortunately, the standard operating procedure of this Select Committee has become to put out information publicly that is inaccurate and out of context in order to attack Secretary Clinton for political reasons. These repeated actions bring discredit on this investigation and undermine the integrity of the Select Committee and the House of Representatives.




    Israel and the United States signalled on Sunday they were starting to put disputes over the Iran nuclear deal behind them, announcing resumed talks on U.S. defence aid for Israel as it hosted Washington’s top general and a joint air force drill.

    The allies had been looking to agree on a 10-year military aid package to extend the current U.S. grants to Israel worth $3 billion annually, which are due to expire in 2017.

    But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu froze those negotiations ahead of the July deal reached between Iran and world powers, which Israel deems insufficiently stringent and against which it had lobbied the U.S. Congress.

    "With the nuclear deal now moving ahead, Israel is also moving ahead, hoping to forge a common policy with the United states to address the continuing dangers posed by Iran," Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassador to the United States, said in a Facebook post.

    "Discussions over a new Memorandum of Understanding between Israel and the United States, which had been on hold for some time, resumed this past week in Washington," he said, using a term for the defence-aid agreement.

    Netanyahu, who is due to meet President Barack Obama at the White House next month, warmly received U.S. Marine General Joseph Dunford and praised him for making Israel the first stop of his first trip abroad since becoming chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff on Oct. 1.

    “That’s an expression of the tremendous alliance between Israel and the United States,” Netanyahu said, adding that the alliance was more important than ever given threats in the region, including from Iran.



      POSTED: February 11, 2015

      The news remains grim: Without major cash infusions from the city and state, the Philadelphia School District faces a deficit of roughly $80 million for the coming school year, officials said Monday night.

      School Reform Commissioner Feather O. Houstoun, opening the discussion at a planning meeting, put it mildly: Despite a new Democratic governor who has expressed sympathy for the district's plight, the 2015-16 budget is sure to contain "a lot of challenges."

      Chief among them are fixed costs that are increasing far faster than revenue. Current projections have revenue rising $13 million and expenditures rising about $100 million to maintain the current level of service, which does not allow for full-time counselors and nurses at every school.

      The district would need $370 million more next year to execute Superintendent William R. Hite Jr's plan for academic improvements.


      The state official running the Newark schools conceded at Tuesday night’s school board meeting that his predecessor–a woman he appointed–created a $63 million budget shortfall by relying on assumptions that “turned out not to be true.” Christopher Cerf, who named Cami Anderson to the Newark job four years ago, quickly added he didn’t believe she and her staff had deliberately lied about the budget or had done anything illegal.

      Cerf, the former state education commissioner and a business entrepreneur whose company held contracts with the Newark schools, was then quickly put on the defensive by a school board member who accused him of budget manipulations in the effort to prevent the district from running out of money by the end of the year.

      “This is a crisis,” said Antoinette Baskerville-Richardson of the budget shortfall that has resulted in a spending freeze at schools throughout the state’s largest school district. Baskerville-Richardson demanded that Cerf admit his own responsibility for the district’s financial troubles.

      He angrily replied, “Okay–I accept responsibility.”


      July 29, 2015 at 6:59 AM
      CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Financial missteps by the prior administration have resulted in a possible budget deficit of $27.2 million at the end of this year, said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish.

      Budish, council member David Greenspan and county officials met Monday with Northeast Ohio Media Group reporters and editors.


      More than six years after falling under state-controlled leadership, Detroit Public Schools' finances continue to worsen, with officials projecting an accumulated deficit that could top $335 million by this time next year.

      The shortfall for the fiscal year that just ended June 30 has ballooned to $238 million — far steeper than the $166 million expected just weeks ago.


      mpact of Federal Sequestration
      Federal funding declined approximately 5% for 2013-14, and an additional 5% for 2014-15 school years due to federal sequestration of funds mandated by the legislature. Major areas impacted were federal entitlements such as Title I, II and III, as well as IDEA-B funding for Special Education. Certain federal grants such as Head Start and After School Challenge Program were also reduced as a result of federal sequestration. SAISD currently has a 95% hold harmless status for Title I funding. As such, TEA is only obligated to fund SAISD 95% of the amount awarded in the previous year for Title I. TEA will more than likely not fund grantees past their hold harmless amounts. It is unlikely that SAISD will be restored to pre-sequestration levels. Fortunately, the restored state funding has and will continue to be used to mitigate the negative impact of the federal cuts.

    6. The Palestinians now get 5 billion a year.


    7. LOL you are a lying Aipac shill, doing or saying anything to defend your Israel First positions.

      Here is what you said in defense of the obscenity of the US Congress taking money needed by millions of US school children and giving it to money grubbing apartheid Israel.

      What is "Occupation"Sun Oct 18, 11:40:00 PM EDT
      The Palestinians now get 5 billion a year.


      Here are the facts:

      Dateline: October 7, 2015

      Despite not recognizing Palestine as an independent country, the U.S. Government has given more than $5 billion in assistance to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1993, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

      In its audit report to Congress, the GAO found that as of June 30, 2015, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) had set aside about $1.1 billion in Economic Support Fund (ESF) assistance for the West Bank and Gaza for fiscal years 2012 through 2014.

      Of that amount, about $874 million (77%) had actually been distributed.

      What is USAID?

      USAID is an independent, non-partisan federal government agency responsible distributing monetary assistance from the American people to the poorest and most vulnerable people in foreign nations and states. “That assistance does not represent a Democratic value or a Republican value, but an American value; as beneficiaries of peace and prosperity, Americans have a responsibility to assist those less fortunate so we see the day when our assistance is no longer necessary,” states USAID’s website.

      While USAID is responsible for determining which countries need how much money and how that money should be used, all of its recommended expenditures for foreign aid must be approved by Congress as part of the annual federal budget process.


    A key part of Scott's proposal actually boosts spending: $19.75 billion for K-12 education, up from $18.9 billion in the current budget.

    Those footing the bill, however, will be local taxpayers.

    While the state will kick in $391 million, Scott's education spending plan relies on a $452 million increase in revenue that will be financed by keeping the local millage tax rate of 5.089 the same. While that's not a rate increase, most homeowners will pay more as their values rise.

  33. Sweden Aspires To Become The World’s First Fossil Fuel–Free Nation

    October 13th, 2015 by Cynthia Shahan

    The Swedish government is quite serious about its renewable energy goals, seeking to become the world’s first fossil fuel–free nation. The last week of September, the country announced that it is laying the groundwork and reinforcing progress at every turn. It will be spending an extra $546 million on renewable energy and climate change action, according to “The Budget Bill for 2016 – Investing in Sweden’s Future.” Sweden means clean business.

    Their aim is none other than to become the world’s first nation to end all dependence on fossil fuels. Thanks to data compiled by Bloomberg, we know that, last year, Sweden acquired about ⅔ of its electricity generation capacity from clean and low-carbon sources. Continuing towards a complete shutdown of fossil fuels for electricity production, Sweden plans to progress incomparably with increased reductions of emissions by 2020.

    The country is focused on increasing its solar and wind energy capacity, and the intent for its transport industry is to gradually become more sustainable (and presumably switch fully to electric and human-powered transport). Last year, Sweden announced plans to make Stockholm, the country’s capital, fossil fuel–free by 2050.

    Bloomberg points out, “the Government will increase . . .

    Fossil Fuel Free

    1. Same idiot bunch of Swedes that let untold numbers of moslems in to rape their women.

      Good luck to 'em with solar up there in Sweden.

    2. Oh, wait, I 2050.

      Well, that gives 'em some time to work the problem.

  34. This means YOU, galopn2 -

    SANDERS: Raise Taxes on Everyone...

    Plans speech to explain his socialism..............Drudge

    Deuce is already planning to give his limo and walled compound to poor, uncoerced. following the advice of Jesus.

    I plan to sell everything, and go underground.

    1. Joining Quirk, and his Souls R Us life style.

    2. Idaho 'pedo' Bob underground - wouldn't that be sweet!

  35. What a wonderful Pow Wow they had at the Casino this weekend. Those little kids, all dressed up in regalia, hair perfect (no burkas among this crowd) so cute as to make one faint, the Stick Dance Competition, $10,000 top prize, all the jewelry sellers, the fresh salmon and steelhead from the rivers, the dancing, the lead in parade, 'Golden People' first (the old folks), right behind the Nez Perce flag, Old Glory, and the Canadian flag, all held equally high - the Nez Perce are very very patriotic - followed by Nez Perce of all ages from USA and Canada, the singing, chanting, the Prayer Ceremony, with it's dancing and chanting - that's how praying ought to be done ! - whole thing WONDERFUL!!

    And the pickup trucks and vans! The entire Tribe drives nearly new pickups and vans now.......

    Excellent weekend celebration.

    1. In Iran exuberant excellent folks like this would be exterminated.

      "There is no joy in Islam"

      Assaholla Ruhollah Khomeini

  36. .

    We should all know only white racists can be conservatives, according to Shit Spinner, etal.

    Naw, I'm sure racists of color can be conservative too.


    1. So, you are calling the intelligent conservative blacks and browns over at American Thinker Uncle Toms ?

      Shame on you, Shit Spinner.

      Why should gays or singles have their payroll taxes increased to pay for family vacations and maternity leaves for the breeders ?

      That's what I want to know.

      Bernie is crazy. He reminds me of that crazy old socialist whose name I can't recall in "For Whom The Bell Tolls". Ernie had a wonderful internal monologue by that guy.

      If Bernie is elected the bell will toll for us all.

      And don't think old crazy Bernie couldn't become violent.

      The idea of Bernie as Commander - in - Chief should sent chills down the spines of everyone, including those hearty souls at Souls R Us who think they can scheme their way out of anything......

      They may have to seek refuge at some small reclusive family farm out west someday.......

    2. If Drinkin' Joe doesn't jump in, and Hillary gets indicted, we may be looking at Bernie as the candidate for President on the 'Democratic' ticket.

      Holy shit, what's this country coming to.......

    3. .

      So, you are calling the intelligent conservative blacks and browns over at American Thinker Uncle Toms ?

      An English major? I'm beginning to think you never made it past English 101. High school English 101 that is. Your reading comprehension is non-existent. Whether that is from longstanding pathologies or drink is hard to say.


  37. August 6, 2015
    A Shakespearean Middle East's Strangest Bedfellows
    By Aaron David Miller

    In Shakespeare's The Tempest, Act 2, Scene 2, Trinculo coins a phrase that has held true throughout the ages -- certainly in politics and foreign policy:

    "Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows. I will here shroud till the dregs of the storm be past."

    Nowhere is the Bard's wisdom better played out than in contemporary Middle Eastern politics, an arena where changing circumstances and shifting opportunities force strange relationships and unexpected associations. How long these unlikely pairings endure may well depend on how long and how turbulent the dregs of the current storm may be. But even when the new associations are driven by mandatory tactical adjustments -- based on the principle that the enemy of my enemy is my friend -- they speak to the triumph of pragmatism over principles, and of survival over ideological or even religious conviction in a combustible region. Here are my top five strange bedfellows.

    Saudis and Al-Qaeda in Yemen: As David Ottaway points out in his recent analysis of the Yemen war, the exigencies of battle are compelling Saudi Arabia to cooperate with at least one of its implacable foes. In mid-July, the Wall Street Journal reported that al-Qaeda fighters had taken up their arms alongside Saudi-backed Sunni tribal militias in an effort to take back the port city of Aden. Further, Riyadh-residing Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi's delegation to ill-fated Yemeni peace talks included an al-Qaeda operative who made the U.S. Treasury's Specially Designated Global Terrorist list in 2013 because of his associations with al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP. Think about it. In 2009, an AQAP suicide bomber nearly killed Mohammed bin Nayef, now the Kingdom's deputy Crown prince. Yet Saudi determination to beat the Iranian-backed Houthis seems to trump their awareness of al-Qaeda's prime objective: to overthrow what they consider the corrupt Sunni regimes in the region. The same logic applies to Syria, where Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar support radical Islamic groups tied to Al-Qaeda in order to oppose the Assad regime.

    1. Saudis and the Muslim Brotherhood: Last week's visit to Riyadh by a Hamas delegation gave rise to yet another bizarre twist in Middle East politics. A new Saudi king has utterly reversed the policy of his predecessor. Whereas before the Saudis worked to isolate Hamas and its parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Saudis are reaching out to the Brotherhood -- and publicly playing host to Hamas.The same motivation that drives Riyadh to cooperate with al-Qaeda applies here: countering the Iranian threat. Just days ago, Hamas spokesmen announced that Iran was terminating its assistance to the group. So the door is now open to a renewal of Saudi aid to Hamas. But embryonic Saudi ties to the Brotherhood go beyond Gaza. Riyadh is also cozying up to the Yemeni Islah party -- a Brotherhood offshoot -- to advance their agenda in Yemen against the Houthis.

      Israel and Hamas: One of the strangest alignments is the off-and-on effort by Israel and Hamas to create a sustainable modus vivendi. On one level, having waged three wars in half a dozen years, it seems strange even to talk about a relationship. But proximity sometimes breeds not just children and contempt, as Ben Franklin said, but pragmatism too -- the two are perversely dependent on each other. Israel cannot or will not destroy Hamas because it does not want chaos in Gaza and is not prepared to reoccupy the territory, nor to open the door to jihadists linked to the Islamic State. Hamas needs Israel as its target to maintain its revolutionary credentials, and the group cannot reopen Gaza without an end to Israeli and Egyptian restrictions. In the past several years, there have been credible reports of negotiations between Israel and Hamas to cut a deal for a long-term interim agreement. Hamas would stand down its high-trajectory weapons for a 15-year cease-fire, and Israel would agree to open up Gaza. Mistrust between the two sides, as well as and internal politics, make it hard to envision a formal agreement. Still, both parties also share another common objective: weakening Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would much prefer to secure a long-term accord with Hamas than to engage in negotiations over 1967 borders and the status of Jerusalem with Abbas.

      Nuclear deal fallout: We might also add the growing alignment between Israel and Saudi Arabia to the list; and for that matter the historic opening in U.S.-Iranian relations. Both are examples of how narrow interests -- on one side, the desire to oppose an accord on the nuclear issue; on the other, the determination to reach one and defuse a potential crisis -- can substantively change relations between longstanding rivals. But the broader point on strange bedfellows is perhaps more important. What is prompting the joining of most of these odd couples is a region in turmoil, and a shift in the balance of regional power as states respond to the fear of a rising Iran, and the consequences that rise may bring.

      (AP photo)

      Aaron David Miller, a Vice President at the Woodrow Wilson Center, served as a Middle East negotiator, analyst and adviser in Republican and Democratic Administrations.

  38. At least the Swiss are still sane -

    Today's Top Stories
    1 - 4 of 12
    Anti-immigration SVP wins Swiss election in swing to right
    ReutersBy By Joshua Franklin | Reuters – 7 hours ago


    Swiss People's Party (SVP) President Toni Brunner talks to media outside the Swiss Parliament building in Bern, Switzerland October 18, 2015. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

    Reuters/Reuters - Swiss People's Party (SVP) President Toni Brunner talks to media outside the Swiss Parliament building in Bern, Switzerland October 18, 2015. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

    Related Content

    Swiss Liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) President Philipp Mueller talks to media in the Swiss Parliament building in Bern, Switzerland October 18, 2015. REUTERS/Ruben SprichView Photo

    Swiss Liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) President Philipp Mueller talks to media …
    Empty ballot boxes stand at an election office in Zurich, Switzerland, October 18, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd WiegmannView Photo

    Empty ballot boxes stand at an election office in Zurich, Switzerland, October 18, …
    A member of an election office stamps ballots in Zurich, Switzerland, October 18, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd WiegmannView Photo

    A member of an election office stamps ballots in Zurich, Switzerland, October 18, …
    Members of an election office sort ballots in Zurich, Switzerland, October 18, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd WiegmannView Photo

    Members of an election office sort ballots in Zurich, Switzerland, October 18, 2015. …

    By Joshua Franklin

    ZURICH (Reuters) - The anti-immigration Swiss People's Party (SVP) won the biggest share of the vote in Sunday's national parliamentary election, projections showed, keeping pressure on Bern to introduce quotas on people moving from the European Union.

    Success for the Swiss People's Party (SVP), coupled with gains made by the pro-business Liberal Party (FDP), led political commentators to talk of a "Rechtsrutsch" - a "slide to the right" - in Swiss politics.

    Immigration was the central topic for voters amid a rush of asylum seekers from the Middle East and North Africa to Europe.

    "The vote was clear," SVP leader Toni Brunner told Swiss television. "The people are worried about mass migration to Europe."

    Sunday's result cements the SVP's position as the dominant force in Swiss politics.

    1. The SVP won 29.5 percent of the vote, according to projections from Swiss broadcaster SRF, up from 26.6 percent in the 2011 vote and far exceeding expectations.

      This would translate into an extra 11 seats, bringing their total tally in the 200-member lower house to 65, the best result for any party in at least a century.

      The election gains for the SVP, which was already Switzerland's biggest single party, come 20 months after the Swiss in a referendum backed limits on foreigners living in the Alpine nation. The SVP had strongly supported the restrictions.

      Lawmakers have until 2017 to reconcile this referendum result with an EU pact that guarantees the free movement of workers, otherwise the Swiss government must write quotas into law regardless of any compromise with the EU.

      The Swiss system of direct democracy means citizens decide most major issues in referenda regardless of parliament's makeup.

      But the latest right-wing gains should keep pressure on Bern to take a hard line with Brussels as it seeks to implement the immigration referendum.

      "STAY FREE!"

      The left-leaning Social Democrats (SP) finished in second place. Their share of the vote rose 0.2 percentage points to 18.9 percent but they were set to lose two seats, according to the SRF projections.

      The pro-business Liberal Party (FDP), Switzerland's third largest party, saw its support edge up 1.2 points and is seen gaining three extra seats, tilting parliament further to the right.

      During the election campaign, the SVP rallied against Swiss reforms to deal with asylum seekers, even though in Europe's current migrant crisis Switzerland is having to handle far fewer migrants than some other nations such as Germany.

      With slogans like "Stay free!" the SVP has also played to fears that Switzerland may head towards EU membership, while also producing tongue-in-cheek YouTube music videos in a bid to appeal to younger voters.

      Sunday's result prompted calls from the right for greater representation in Switzerland's seven-member governing council, the composition of which will be decided in December by parliament. The SVP and FDP currently have one seat each.

      "I emphatically demand that the three biggest parties should each have two seats and the fourth biggest party has one," Brunner said.

      "We've demanded this for years and for decades it was a recipe for success for Switzerland."

      (Additional reporting by Oliver Hirt; Editing by Philippa Fletcher and Gareth Jones)

  39. India: Israel’s Promising New Friend
    A relationship that’s bound to flourish.
    October 19, 2015
    Joseph Puder

    For Israelis, it is refreshing to know that Israel has an important new friend, India. In the midst of a wave of terror engulfing Israel, orchestrated by both the Hamas leadership and the Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, it has resulted in the random knifing of Israeli-Jews by Arab-Palestinian youths. And, while there appears to be deafening silence at the United Nations, the president of the world’s largest democracy, India, will be paying a state visit to Israel.

    India’s President Pranab Mukherjee will arrive in Israel on Tuesday (October 13, 2015) for a four day official visit, the first of its kind by an Indian president in the Jewish state. Following his visit to Jordan he will fly to Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv and proceed to Ramallah to meet with the Palestinian Authority leadership. In Israel, President Mukherjee will be the official guest of Israel’s President Reuben Rivlin. Mukherjee will be bringing a top academic delegation with him. During his stay, Mukherjee will meet with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein and Yitzhak Herzog, leader of the Opposition Labor party. On Wednesday, the Indian president will address the Israeli Knesset. Later, President Rivlin will host Mukherjee at a special state dinner in the Presidential residence, with 120 specially invited guests. On his final day in Israel, Mukherjee will receive an honorary doctorate. Mukherjee hopes to signs three large agreements with Israel pertaining to water, energy, and education.

    When, in July, 2015, the UN Human Rights Council voted to approve a report criticizing Israel for its alleged conduct in the latest Gaza war, only the U.S. voted against it. What was surprising however turned out to be India’s abstention. For the first time in a major anti-Israel vote, India did not vote with the Arabs. India’s abstention was a reflection of Israel’s realignment in its international relations. After decades of Jerusalem focusing its diplomatic and trade efforts on Europe and America, Israel is pivoting toward Asia. The payoff came during Israel’s ‘Protective Edge’ operation in Gaza, when the Indian Foreign Ministry issued a balanced statement that expressed “alarm over the civilian loss of life,” but at the same time voiced its concern over “cross-border provocations resulting from (Hamas’) rocket attacks.” In recent years India has been a key player in the Non-Aligned Movement - a body of states that was founded by Marshall Tito (of Yugoslavia) Nehru, and included Egypt’s President Abdul Nasser. As a result, India voted automatically for the Palestinians and against Israel in international forums.

    Common features exist between India and Israel. Both have been ruled by Britain and endured partition. (India became a majority Hindu state and Pakistan a Muslim state. The Palestine partition sought to create a Jewish state and an Arab-Muslim state, which the Arabs rejected and chose instead to destroy the Jewish state.) Another common feature has been India’s war with its Muslim sub-continent neighbor, Pakistan. In the Kashmir conflict with Pakistan, India sought Arab support. Yet, New Delhi covertly accepted critical intelligence and military assistance from Israel during its wars with China in 1962 and with Pakistan in 1965 and 1971. India has been however, traditionally a pro-Arab state. In 1947 it voted against the Palestine Partition Plan, and refrained from diplomatic relations with Israel until 1992.

    1. India’s foreign policy throughout the decades maintained a close relationship with the Arab states to offset Arab solidarity with Islamic Pakistan. That naturally precluded a close relationship with Israel. Also, India’s almost 200 million Muslims (second largest Muslim population in the world) and 7 million Indians employed in the Arab Gulf states necessitated lowering the profile of its relationship with Israel. Little was said about the close security and defense relationship between Israel and India that has developed since 1992.

      Al-Jazeera reported (July 10, 2015) that “India’s deepening defense ties with Israel is one factor that has brought the two countries closer. The Asian giant is Israel’s biggest defense buyer, spending $10bn in the past decade.” Al-Jazeera quoted Professor Vivek Mishra of the Jawaharlal Nehru University as saying, “If there is a single factor that can be listed for India’s growing bonhomie with Israel, it is because of India’s growing need in the defense sector and steps against terrorism.”

      The election of the conservative Bharatiya Janata (BJP) Party leader Narendra Modi as Prime Minister of India on May 26, 2014 changed the hitherto “under the rug” relationship between India and Israel. Modi, as Chief Minister of Gujarat state visited Israel in 2006. He managed to attract billions in Israeli investments in Gujarat, and as a Hindu nationalist, he saw in Israel an ally in fighting radical Islam. As such, he set out to balance India’s relations between Israel and the Palestinians, which was solidly behind the Palestinians. The way the current Indian government views things is rather simple and profound at the same time. New Delhi claims their Middle East policy is based on two legs that do not interfere with one another: one leg seeks to advance their ties with the Arab world while the other strengthens relations with Israel. The Indian government says it is not a zero sum game.

      Since the diplomatic relations between India and Israel were established in 1992, trade has risen from $200 million to over $5bn in 2014-15. The Times of Israel reported (April 17, 2015) that “Indian multinationals have made long-term investments to the tune of hundreds of millions in Israeli start-ups eco-system. Indian technology firms, operating in a competitive global market, see Israel as a destination for world class talent and for acquiring cutting-edge innovation.” Israeli institutions of higher education such as the IDC Herzliya and Tel Aviv University have established ties with leading Indian universities and research institutions to create exchange programs and joint research projects. Times of Israel further reports that “Flagship programs like the ones offered by Israel-Asia Centre and Tel Aviv University are training the next generation of Indian corporate and technology leaders, with special focus on women’s entrepreneurship.”

    2. According to Ynet-News (July 5, 2015) in November, 2014, during a meeting between then President Shimon Peres and PM Modi, the latter said that he was “Very impressed with Israel. India appreciates the contribution of the State of Israel to the world of advanced technology; Israel combines innovation, creative ideas, and bravery that have solved several problems around the world. I personally experienced Israel’s great abilities when I led the state of Gujarat, and I opened a technological greenhouse center, with the participation of several Israeli companies that were the best in their field.”

      There is little doubt about the value that both the Indian and Israeli governments attribute to the strategic relationship between Jerusalem and New Delhi. At the same time, the personal chemistry between PM Modi and PM Netanyahu helped boost the warmer relationship. Netanyahu was among the first to congratulate Modi following his landslide victory in the 2014 elections. In September, 2014, the two Prime Ministers met at the UN General Assembly in New York. On that occasion, Netanyahu declared that the “sky is the limit” with India. Modi reciprocated a few months later, sending Chanukah greetings on twitter to Netanyahu in Hebrew. Last March, Modi again twitted in Hebrew to congratulate his “friend Bibi” on his reelection.

      As long as Modi and his BJP party govern India, the relationship between New Delhi and Jerusalem is bound to flourish. Beyond that, it is hard to see a sharp reversal by India given the state of the world, and in particular the upsurge in global Islamic terrorism.

    3. This is a good thing for both these so dissimilar countries, oddly similar too in many ways.

      Warms my heart to read of it.

      I always tell my Niece, 'we both got rid of the British, did we not !'

      And add I'm glad we both picked up their language.....

      She speaks and writes English better than some here, Ashole for instance. And knows four other languages in addition.....

  40. Hear, hear -

    'Frustrated' Muslims Can’t Stop Killing Jews… and Everyone Else
    Muslim “Frustration” caused 9/11 and every other act of terror.
    October 19, 2015
    Daniel Greenfield

    Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

    As Jews were being butchered in the streets of Jerusalem, Secretary of State John Kerry blamed them.

    “There's been a massive increase in settlements over the course of the last years, and now you have this violence because there's a frustration that is growing," the nation’s greatest diplomat said.

    “Settlements” are Jews living in parts of Israel captured by the invading Muslim armies in 1948, from which Jews were ethnically cleansed, and then retaken and liberated by Israel in 1967. A Jew living in a part of Jerusalem from which Jews were driven out in 1948 is a “settler” who “frustrates” Muslims.

    And who can blame Muslims for taking an axe or a knife to those frustrating Jews. Not John Kerry.

    Back before 1967, Muslim terrorism had to be attributed to “frustration” at Jews living anywhere in Israel. Before Jews had an independent state or any realistic possibility of achieving one, Muslims were frustrated at Jews living. And so they strove to make the Jews into the “unliving” by murdering them.

    That much hasn’t changed.

    “Frustration” is one of the most common excuses for Muslim violence. Most frustrated people just punch a wall. It takes a special sort of person to respond to frustration by ramming into a bus stop and then hacking at an elderly Rabbi with a cleaver or stabbing a 13-year-old boy on a bike.

    But Muslim “frustration” is an international problem.

    9/11, according to the OIC, was caused by Muslim “frustration”. Boko Haram’s bombing of churches and mass murder of Christians in Nigeria is due to “frustration”. When the Taliban blew up the Buddha statues in Afghanistan, their spokesman claimed that they did it out of “frustration” with the West.

    In the UK, Jahangir Mohammed, director of the Centre for Muslim Affairs, says Muslims are "very angry and frustrated". A Home/Foreign Office report warned that Muslim terrorism was caused by “the lack of any real opportunities to vent frustration.”

    NPR tells us that French Muslims are “frustrated”. Muslim migrants showing up in Sweden are also finding “frustration” there. In fact, as far back as 1995, the New York Times informed us that “Europe's Muslim Population” is… you guessed it; “Frustrated.”

    Are the Muslims frustrated in Australia? Yes, they are. They’re frustrated in New Zealand. They’re even frustrated in Canada. They’re frustrated in Atlanta and Baton Rouge. Are Muslims frustrated in China? Newsweek warns us that “frustration” could “drive” Muslims in China to join ISIS. Muslims are even frustrated in Pakistan where they’ve managed to kill or repress all the non-Muslims.

    In India, we are told that “Muslim frustration broke into violence on Direct Action Day... when after three days of dreadful slaughter 20,000 Muslims and Hindus lay dead in the streets of Calcutta.”

    1. The textbook, “The Muslim World in the 21st Century” informs us that “Indonesia saw an outburst of the frustration against Chinese domination of the economy in 1997.” This is a nice way of saying that angry Muslim mobs ran wild murdering and raping Chinese people because they actually worked for a living.

      But what other people consider psychotic behavior and war crimes is just Muslim frustration. When they get frustrated enough, Muslims have to stab a bunch of Jews in Jerusalem , rape hundreds of Chinese women or fly planes into the World Trade Center.

      If only everyone else didn’t frustrate Muslims into behaving that way.

      Back in the US, Political scientist M. Steven Fish claims that Muslim terrorists feel “frustration and humiliation” because the “Christians won big”. The Christians have been giving back their winnings since the 1950s, but Muslims have only been getting more “frustrated” with every Christian concession.

      Fathali Moghaddam at Georgetown invented "Staircase Terrorism" (which despite the name doesn't involve Muslims pushing non-Muslims down staircases) which claims that Muslim aggression begins with feelings of "frustration" that lead to violence.

      Muslim frustration leads to aggression. When the poor dears get worked up enough, they get violent. The more their violent efforts are frustrated, the more violent they become. Before you know it, they’re throwing a suicide bomber tantrum and diplomats rush off with a pile of candy and concessions to reduce their frustration levels to slightly less murderous norms.

      Instead of giving them an immigration time-out or a shock-and-awe spanking, they hunt down whoever made poor Mohammed Jr. feel so frustrated that snookums is out on the streets stabbing people.

      “What do you want from Mohammed? He’s frustrated. He’s a very sensitive boy. Why can’t you be more understanding of his feelings and stop trying to fight back when he comes at you with a butcher knife?”

      All this global Muslim frustration though seems to indicate that the problem might be Mohammed.

      Muslims are frustrated by the Jews in Israel, the Christians in Europe, the Buddhists in Myanmar, the Yazidis in Iraq, the Hindus in India and the atheists in Bangladesh.

      If there’s a religion that Muslims can live in peace with, it has yet to be discovered. If frustrated Muslims succeeded in their goal of wiping out or enslaving all non-Muslims, they would go back to taking out their “frustrations” on each other with Sunnis and Shiites slaughtering each other as they do today.

      It’s not us. It’s them.

      Muslim frustration is as universal as death and taxes. If Muslims just had an issue with Israeli Jews, then it might be the fault of the Jews. But how does one explain ongoing Muslim conflicts with Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Yazidis, atheists and even other Muslims? It can’t all be the “settlements”.

      Either everyone (including other Muslims) is picking on Muslims, oppressing and frustrating them, driving them so deep into despair that they have no choice but to hack elderly Rabbis to death or rape Chinese women in Jakarta… or the Muslims are the ones picking fights with everyone else.

    2. When one group of people is constantly bombing, stoning, murdering, raping, burning, beheading and stabbing every other religion it can get its hands on… maybe it’s the real problem.

      John Kerry blames the “settlements” for Muslims stabbing Jews.

      And yet during the Scorpions’ Pass Massacre in 1954, there were no “settlements”. Despite that, “frustrated” Muslim Brotherhood Bedouin terrorists massacred eleven Israeli passengers on a bus; including a 9-year-old boy whom they shot at point blank range. A 5-year-old girl who survived found her mother had been raped and her finger had been cut off for her wedding ring.

      But back then the rapists and child-murderers were “frustrated” at the existence of Israel. So what of the Hebron Massacre in which the Jewish population was exterminated with knives and axes? Blame Zionism. Then what of the Safed Massacre in 1834? The Jewish victims were raped and murdered. This was not to be confused with the Muslim attacks on Jews in Safed in 1838 or 1927 or 1517.

      Were the Muslims frustrated by Zionism or “settlements” in 1517?

      Muslim “frustration” with Jews leading to outbreaks of butchery has a long history. Because it’s not about “settlements” or even Jews. It’s not about unemployment in Europe or American foreign policy. It’s not about Myanmar’s refusal to accommodate Muslim Rohingya invaders or Chinese businesses in Indonesia. All of these are excuses for Muslims to do the terrible things they want to do anyway.

      Muslim violence is not about anyone else except Muslims. No one else is responsible for Muslim violence except Muslims.

      The one thing that Muslim murderers excel at is playing the victim. Someone always “made” Mohammed do it. Someone got him so frustrated and upset that he had no choice but to rape and kill.

      There’s a term for the kind of people who think like this; criminals. There’s a term for the kind of people who defend them; liberals.

      The Muslim case for justice can be found in the books of a million police departments where all the stories begin with the criminal feeling sorry for himself and end in hospitals and morgues. The story always begins with, “I wanted what was coming to me” or “She shouldn’t have made me angry.”

      We don’t put up with that behavior from individuals. Why do we put up with it from an entire culture?

      There’s a place we send people who start killing when they get frustrated enough. It’s called prison. We can’t lock up the entire Muslim world, but we can lock ourselves away from it by ending migration and immigration to the civilized world from a Muslim world where frustration justifies violence.

      And maybe, if Muslims get frustrated enough by this civilizational time-out, they’ll choose civilization over barbarism.

    3. We don’t put up with that behavior from individuals. Why do we put up with it from an entire culture?

      There’s a place we send people who start killing when they get frustrated enough. It’s called prison. We can’t lock up the entire Muslim world, but we can lock ourselves away from it by ending migration and immigration to the civilized world from a Muslim world where frustration justifies violence.

      And maybe, if Muslims get frustrated enough by this civilizational time-out, they’ll choose civilization over barbarism.

      Damn good idea....lock them out.

  41. This is what I have been trying to get across to the uncomprehending here.......Deuce, his poodle Ashlikins, his blood hound galopn2, and Quirk, an independent fool -

    October 19, 2015
    Henry Kissinger: Is nuclear catastrophe inevitable?
    By James Lewis

    Henry Kissinger, who is still (to my mind) the wisest foreign policy analyst in the land, just wrote a Wall Street Journal piece called "A path out of Middle East Collapse."

    Today that article is being carefully analyzed all over the world.

    Kissinger’s most crucial point: "If nuclear weapons become established (in the Middle East), a catastrophic outcome is nearly inevitable."

    Well, Obama and Europe have just handed the nuclear key to Iran, and Saudi Arabia is shopping for its own. Pakistan is selling. Are we in "inevitable catastrophe" territory yet?

    Our delusional liberals have been whistling past that graveyard to protect Obama. But the next president won't have that option. Putin just said that "some American politicians have mush for brains," and that isn't just braggadocio.

    Dr. K starts with the disastrous collapse of the power balance in the Middle East. And because he writes in long, thought-provoking sentences, it's worth focusing on some of his high points.

    1. "With Russia in Syria, a geopolitical structure that has lasted four decades is in shambles."

    2. Four Arab states have ceased to function: Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. All are at risk of being taken over by ISIS, which aims to become a global caliphate governed under shariah law.

    3. The U.S. and the West need a coherent strategy. We don't have one now.

    4. Treating Iran as a normal power is wishful thinking. It could happen over time. But today, Iran "is taking on an Armageddon dimension."

    Israel is in the maelstrom, but so is the rest of the world, which is why Russia is making an unprecedented military intervention in Syria. Putin is protecting Russia first of all.

    5. "So long as ISIS survives and remains in control of a geographically defined territory, it will compound Middle East tensions... The destruction of ISIS is more urgent than the overthrow of Bashar Assad."

    6. "The US has already acquiesced in a Russian military role." (Vladimir Putin has suggested a new Russo-Western alliance, on the World War II model.)

    Given the general failure of political will in the West, combined with Putin's strategic clarity, a practical alliance could work.

    Dr. Kissinger didn’t say it, but Putin has been watching jihadist forces on his southern border come closer and closer to nuclear weapons. Putin rose to the top by fighting jihadist Chechens, in Russia's usual merciless fashion. Today, thousands of Chechens have joined ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and may go back to fight in Russia and China.

    Imagine thousands of suicidal fanatics on our southern border, and you get the picture as seen from Moscow.

    Bottom line: To avoid the "catastrophe" of a hot nuclear arms race in the Middle East, a practical alliance of the West with Russia might save the world.

    And if you don't believe me that Obama totally screwed the pooch by taking the troops out too soon, believe Garry Kasparov, Henry Kissinger, Putin, the American military trying to advise Obama, and Bibi.

    It's hard for me to admire Putin, being a 1st Amendment kind of guy, and disliking the killing of journalists, and disliking his invasion of the Ukraine, but a certain seed has been planted:

    "some American politicians have mush for brains"

    Vlad Putin

    I fully agree with him there.

  42. The typical Wio lie:

    What is "Occupation"Sun Oct 18, 11:40:00 PM EDT
    The Palestinians now get 5 billion a year.



    The truth from USGAO:

    US Aid to Palestine: Gaza and the West Bank
    More Than $5 Billion in Aid Since 1993

    1. Are you going to try to claim it was just a typo WiO?

  43. Care to guess what the total cumulative Israeli tax has cost US taxpayers since 1993?

  44. Replies
    1. Why are US schools in major US cities with millions of US school children facing cutting back on needed programs because The US Conga Line takes their money and gives it to Israel?

  45. VOA News
    October 19, 2015 3:47 AM

    An Eritrean migrant has died after being shot Sunday by Israeli police after another man killed an Israeli soldier and wounded 10 other people in a stabbing attack.

    Police said an officer shot the Eritrean after mistaking him as a second attacker. Media reports say the man was also beaten by an Israeli mob at the scene.

    Israeli security officials identified the man who carried out the stabbings at a 21-year-old Arab Israeli who did not have a past record of militant activity.

    The attack at the main bus station in Beersheba was the single bloodiest incident in more than two weeks of violence against Israelis that has left eight Israelis and 41 Palestinians dead.

    Other incidents were also reported Sunday in the city of Hebron on the West Bank and along the Israeli border with Gaza.

    Police started building a wall between one Jewish neighborhood (Armon Hanatziv) and a Palestinian village (Jabel Mukaber) in east Jerusalem to try to prevent more trouble.


    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said attacks on innocent civilians just going about their own business are "outrageous and unjustified." But he has avoided directly blaming one side or the other for the recent eruption of violence.

    Kerry plans to meet separately this week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.


    Israel is blaming Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, and a group called the Islamic Movement of spreading lies about Israel and inciting youths to riot.

    But Palestinians are already fed up with a dim outlook for peace, a lack of economic opportunity, and Jewish settlement activity in lands they want for a future state.

    Israel says the settlements are necessary for its security and that there can be no peace until the Palestinians recognize Israel's right to exist.

    1. Dont forget the PA i.e. Fatah.

      The Palestinians, aka the "fakistinians" will never have the state the dream of. Nor will Israel.

      Israel already has given up 70% of the lands promised by the League of Nations in an attempt at appeasement of the arabs who, by any rational measurement already control 899/900th of the middle east.

      All reasonable people who can look at a map can see there is no shortage of arab controlled lands..

      and yet?

      hundreds of thousand of arabs are fleeing to christian controlled EUROPE...

      what gives?

      Why should the arabs, who already control 899/900th of the middle east, (can you refute this fact Deuce? NO? ) flee to europe???

      I love the silence Deuce and his peanut gallery that cannot refute the point...

      Arabs control and have settled into nations, 899/900th of the middle east.

  48. Replies
    1. In your dreams.

      But reality is happening.

      Israel is being recognized as the force of stabilization, modernization and democracy in a sea of crap that is growing by the day..

  49. Reuters

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday it was vital that Israeli and Palestinian leaders clarify the status around the al-Aqsa compound and agree on steps that can be taken to calm unrest during talks this week.

    Kerry said Israel had a right to protect itself against random acts of violence, and in his conversations with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the Israeli leader said he was committed to maintaining the status quo at the holy site.

    "I don't have specific expectations except to try to move things forward, and that will depend on the conversations themselves," Kerry told reporters.

    Kerry also said he would meet with leaders from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Russia in Europe later this week to discuss the Syrian conflict.

  50. Russian forces sent out a warning to the Israeli Air Force after Israeli jets were detected near Russian controlled airspace near the Syrian–Lebanese border, Lebanese media outlet As Safir reported Friday.

    The warning was issued after a Russian radar system spotted Israeli jets approaching Russian-controlled airspace two weeks ago, a Lebanese diplomatic official said, according to the report.

    Russia's defense ministry said Thursday that its forces in Syria had set up a "hotline" with Israel's military to avoid clashes in the sky over the war-torn country.

    An "information-sharing" mechanism "has been established through a hotline between the Russian aviation command center at the Hmeimim air base (in Syria) and a command post of the Israeli air force," the ministry said in a statement, adding that the two sides were undergoing training on how to cooperate.

    According to As Safir, the Lebanese source said that Russian aircraft immediately blocked the Israeli jets' path while they flew above the Akkar region in northern Lebanon. "The Russians immediately sent a clear warning to the Israelis that entering Syrian airspace would be a pretext for opening fire," the source added.

    According to the paper, which is considered loyal to Hezbollah, the Israeli aircraft quickly heeded the warnings and changed their course.

  51. Published on Mon Oct 19 2015
    Re: Iran, Hezbollah pour fighters into Syria, Oct. 15
    Iran, Hezbollah pour fighters into Syria, Oct. 15
    We should be supporting Russia’s efforts against ISIS, as an ally, assuming this is their main target in Syria. Surely this is more important than whether Bashar al-Assad is assisted in the process and manages to regain control of the country.
    And on the topic of ISIS, waging war takes a lot of money, and they obviously have funding sources that haven’t been blocked, most likely from their oil wells in Iraq. It puzzles me why these are still not a target, and why they were not destroyed long ago.
    Thinking of the state of the Middle East these days, and how its effects have rippled around the world, it makes you wonder how different things might have been if the U.S. had not invaded Iraq years ago and removed president Saddam Hussein, creating the instability and power vacuum that still exists today.

    David Pankhurst, Toronto

  52. Eritrean bystander beaten to death after being mistaken for ‘terrorist’ in Israeli bus station attack

    An innocent bystander has died after being shot by a security guard and then beaten by a mob who thought he was the accomplice of an attacker who launched a deadly attack on a bus station.

    One Israeli was killed and 10 injured after the assailant, armed with a gun and a knife, opened fire in a bus station in Beersheba, Israel.

    The Arab attacker was shot and killed in the incident on Sunday evening.

    Following the initial gunfire, a security guard shot the Eritrean asylum seeker, who is believed to have been standing near the scene.

    Video footage shows him being beaten by an angry crowd who incorrectly believed he was an accomplice.

    He then has a bench thrown at him and is pinned to the ground with a chair. He died later from his injuries.

    After the incident, a crowd of gathered outside the station and chanting "death to Arabs", according to reports.


    While the world still rages on at Russia’s presumption in the Middle East – to intervene in Syria instead of letting the Americans decide which dictators should survive or die – we’ve all been forgetting the one institution in that Arab land which continues to function and protect the state which Moscow has decided to preserve: the Syrian army. While Russia has been propagandising its missiles, the Syrian military, undermanned and undergunned a few months ago, has suddenly moved on to the offensive. Earlier this year, we may remember, this same army was being written off, the Bashar al-Assad government said to be reaching its final days.

    We employed our own army of clich├ęs to make the case for regime change. The Syrian army was losing ground – at Jisr al-Shugour and at Palmyra – and so we predicted that the whole Assad state had reached a “tipping point”.

    Then along came Vladimir Putin with his air and missile fleets and suddenly the whole place is transformed. While we huffed and puffed that the Russians were bombing the “moderate” rebels – moderates who had earlier ceased to exist according to America’s top generals – we’ve been paying no attention to the military offensive which the Syrians themselves are now staging against the Nusra Front fighters around Aleppo and in the valley of the Orontes.


    1. {...]

      Syrian commanders are now setting the coordinates for almost every Russian air strike. They were originally giving between 200 and 400 coordinates a night. Now the figure sometimes reaches 800. Not that the Russians are going after every map reference, of course. The Syrians have found that the Russians do not want to fire at targets in built-up areas; they intend to leave burning hospitals and dead wedding parties to the Americans in Afghanistan. This policy could always change, of course. No air force bombs countries without killing civilians. Nor without crossing other people’s frontiers.

      But the Russians are now telling the Turks – and by logical extension, this information must go to the Americans – their flight coordinates. Even more remarkable, they have set up a hotline communications system between their base on the Syrian Mediterranean coast and the Israeli ministry of defence in Tel Aviv. More incredible still is that the Israelis – who have a habit of targeting Syrian and Iranian personnel near the Golan Heights – have suddenly disappeared from the skies. In other words, the Russians are involved in a big operation, not a one-month wonder that is going on in Syria. And it is likely to continue for quite a time.


    2. {...}


      ...The Syrians were originally anxious to move back into Palmyra, captured by Isis last May, but the Russians have demonstrated more interest in the Aleppo region, partly because they believe their coastal bases around Lattakia are vulnerable. The Nusra Front has fired several missiles towards Lattakia and Tartous and Moscow has no desire to have its air force targeted on the ground. But the Syrian army is now deploying its four major units – the 1st and 4th Divisions, Republican Guards and Special Forces – on the battle fronts and are moving closer to the Turkish border.

      Russian air strikes around the Isis “capital” of Raqqa may or may not be hurting Isis, although the Syrians like to boast that they have plenty of intelligence coming to them from the city. Interesting, if true, because Isis personnel are specialists in torturing to death “agents of the regime” and it would be a brave man to pass on information to Damascus. Yet travellers’ tales can be true. There’s a regular civilian bus route from Raqqa to Damascus – buses have an odd habit of crossing front lines in most civil wars – and if passengers prefer not to talk to journalists, they will talk of what they have seen when they get home.

      All this is only the beginning of Mr Putin’s adventure. He is proving to be quite a traveller to the Middle East – and has already made firm friends of another pillar of the region, that President-Field Marshal who scored more than 96 per cent at the polls and who currently rules Egypt. But the Egyptian army, fighting its little war in Sinai, no longer has strategic experience of a major war. Nor, despite their dalliance in the air over Yemen, Libya, Syria and other targets of opportunity, do the present military authorities in Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and Jordan have much understanding of how a real war is fought. Libya’s own army is in bits. Iraq’s military has scarcely earned any medals against its Islamist enemies.

      But there is one factor which should not be overlooked.

      If it wins – and if it holds together and if its manpower, which is admittedly at a low level, can be maintained – then the Syrian military is going to come out of this current war as the most ruthless, battle-trained and battle-hardened Arab army in the entire region. Woe betide any of its neighbours who forget this.

    3. The Syrian military used to be a force to be respected.

      Now it is on lifelines from hezbollah, a hundred thousand foreign Shiite fighters from Iraq and Pakistan (and others), Iranian forces and of course Russia.

      Syria will never, let me repeat, never be what it once was.

      However the Syrian army is the most ruthless having murdered almost 360,000 of it's own civilians.

      They take the prize for killing the most palestinians in the region!!!