“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."

Friday, November 20, 2015

Gunmen Take 170 Hostage at Radisson Hotel in Bamako, Mali

Gunmen took at least 170 people hostage at a Radisson Blu hotel in the former French colony of Mali Friday, U.S. Embassy officials and a hotel spokesman told NBC News. 
The raid on the upscale hotel, near government ministries and diplomatic offices in the capital Bamako, comes a week after attackers killed 129 people in Paris. 
"They have locked in about 140 guests and about 30 employees," said a spokeswoman for the Carlson Rezidor group, which owns Radisson, told NBC News. "So the hotel is locked down and there is no possibility to go out or come in." 
Image: Malian security forces take position
Malian security forces take position near the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on Nov. 20, 2015. SEBASTIEN RIEUSSEC / AFP - Getty Images
A security source told Reuters that 10 gunmen attacked the hotel, but that report could not immediately be confirmed by NBC News. 
Witnesses in the area said police had surrounded the hotel and were blocking roads leading into the neighborhood, it reported. 
"As per our information the persons who have entered the building and have initiated the hostage-taking have locked the property, so it is not locked by police or other forces," the hotel spokeswoman added. 
The company said it was working to establish the names and nationalities of those taken. 
The U.S. Embassy in Mali said it was aware of an "ongoing active-shooter operation at the Radisson Hotel." 
"The U.S. Embassy staff has been asked to shelter in place," it said. "All U.S. citizens should shelter in place. Private U.S. citizens are encouraged to contact their family. Monitor local media for updates. U.S. citizens should adhere to the instructions of local authorities and monitor local media." 
In August, the Embassy issued a security message informing U.S. citizens "of a heightened security risk to westerners in southern Mali, including the area outside Bamako city." 
Meanwhile, a Chinese guest with the family name Chen told China's state-run Xinhua news agency that he was among a number of Chinese guests trapped in the hotel. 
Northern Mali was occupied by Islamist fighters, some with links to al Qaeda, for most of 2012 until they were driven out by a French-led military operation. 
An Islamist group claimed responsibility for the death of five people last March in an attack on a restaurant in Bamako that is popular with foreigners. 


  1. World powers are poised to forge a single resolution at the United Nations Security Council to declare a common war against Isis and “eradicate” jihadists in Iraq and Syria, The Independent understands.

    The attacks in Paris as well as the downing of the Russian jet over the Sinai Peninsula have galvanised a hitherto divided Security Council. And a new reality exists: with its alleged execution this week of a Chinese national, Isis has now slaughtered citizens of all five permanent Security Council members.

    French officials said they were formally submitting a draft resolution to the Security Council, pushing aside a competing draft offered by Russia earlier this week. It could be adopted as early as Friday or over the weekend.

    The French manoeuvre reflected confidence that its resolution would not provoke Russian or Chinese vetoes and would thus win approval.

    The text, shared with the The Independent, calls on member states “with the capacity to do so” to “take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, on the territory under the control of Isil [Isis] in Syria and Iraq, to redouble and co-ordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by Isil… and to eradicate the safe haven they have established in Iraq and Syria”.

    The resolution “is short, strong, and focused on one primary goal: the fight against the common enemy, Daesh [Isis]”, said France’s ambassador to the UN, François Delattre. “We intend to work with all our Security Council partners to achieve a swift adoption of this project, around which we hope the international community will come together.”

  2. American teen named among victims of Gush Etzion terror attack

    Ezra Schwartz, an 18-year old American on a gap year in an Israeli yeshiva was one of three murdered victims of a terrorist attack late Thursday afternoon at the Gush Etzion junction in the West Bank. Seven others were lightly wounded in the attack.

    Palestinian Shadi Arafeh, 24, of Hebron, was also pronounced dead at the scene.

    Yaakov Don, 49, a teacher and father of four who lived in the nearby Alon Shvut settlement was evacuated to Hadassah- University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Karem in serious condition and was pronounced dead upon his arrival in the hospital.

    A Palestinian terrorist driving through the junction opened fire with an automatic rifle at the cars before ramming a vehicle with his car. Security forces surrounded the terrorist and arrested him.

    Hmm... Paris, Israel, Mali

    1. Palestinian terrorist kills two in south Tel Aviv stabbing attack

      Suspect, a 36-year-old man from the Hebron area, is apprehended by bystanders who subdued him until police forces arrived; Hamas praises "heroic" operation.

      Palestinian terrorist armed with a knife murdered two Israelis and moderately wounded a third during a rampage in a southern Tel Aviv office building on Thursday afternoon.

      The victims were named as Aviram Reuven, 51, from Ramle, and Aharon Yisayev, 32, from Holon.

      The attack began at around 2 p.m., when 36-year-old Raed Khalil bin Mahmoud, the father of five and resident of Dura in the West Bank southwest of Hebron, walked to the second floor of the Panorama building on Ben-Zvi Street and began stabbing worshipers at an afternoon minha service being held inside a Judaica store.

      If jew did this to moslems praying in a mosque? It would be a headline in everyone's paper in the world

    2. You kidding me? Jews attacking Palestinians in schools and hospitals isn’t terror?

      The 2014 war was the most devastating for Gaza's 1.8 million people, killing more than 2,200 Palestinians, mostly civilians, according to UN figures. Seventy-two people were killed on the Israeli side, including 66 soldiers.

      In one case, the new inquiry found that a UN girls' school was hit by 88 mortar rounds fired by the Israeli forces. Another girls' school was also hit by direct fire from Israeli soldiers with an anti-tank projectile.

      A third girls' school was hit by an Israeli missile.

      'No warning'

      At a fourth girls' school, the inquiry said, "no prior warning had been given by the government of Israel of the firing of 155 MM high explosive projectiles on, or in the surrounding area of the school".

      The UN released its summary of the report but said the full 207-page report is private. The inquiry looked at 10 incidents. Ban's statement stressed that the board of inquiry "does not make legal findings" and was not tasked with addressing the wider issues of the Gaza conflict.

      Ban ordered the inquiry in November after thousands of buildings were destroyed and at least 223 Gaza schools, either run by the UN refugee agency or the Hamas government, were hit in the fighting.

    3. If you are going to bring up the Gaza war, started by Hamas kidnapping 3 kids and murdering them? Thenrocketing thousands of civilians and terror tunnels?

      That war Deuce, and your friends started it.

      Get over yourself.

      War sucks, don't like it? DONT START IT!

    4. What is interesting is that you showcase Gaza as a horrible crime by the IDF and yet you have never shown any civilians killed by the USA or Russia in their bombing of ISIS (or other rebels)

      Why no press releases on those thousands of bombing sorties???

    5. So you are saying, by omission, is that Palestinians have the right to stab and murder jews at will, this is to be permitted without scrutiny?

      Sorry Deuce, you are wrong.

    6. What caused the latest escalation?
      Rocket fire from militants in Gaza and Israeli air strikes on the territory increased after the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers in June, which Israel blamed on Hamas and which led to a crackdown on the group in the West Bank. Hamas denied being behind the killings but later on its political leader Khaled Meshaal said members had carried them out. Tensions rose further after the suspected revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem on 2 July, after which six Jewish suspects were arrested.
      On 7 July, Hamas claimed responsibility for firing rockets for the first time in 20 months, after a series of Israeli air strikes in which several members of its armed wing were killed.

      War sucks...

    7. Russia and the US are trying to reduce the terror choke hold by ISIS. Israeli occupation and its apartheid compound in Gaza has its own chokehold on Gaza. Occupying forces are always fair game for partisans.

    8. Actually Deuce you are wrong again. Egypt is choking gaza as Hamas is helping the radicals blow up Russian airliners and attack egyptian soldiers

      Israel does not "occupy" gaza, nice fairy tail, nor are they any "occupation" forces in Gaza.

      Now if you are saying every man, woman and child walking on a street in Tel Aviv is an "Occupation force"? (including american tourists and arabs)?

      Then you are personally an "occupation force" in America as well...

      Problem is deuce?

      You refuse to accept the reality that Israel is. It is not illegal or illegitimate.

      It has a right to be.


      Attacks on it's citizens? Are acts of war.

      Do you want some kleenex when Israel retaliates?

    9. The 2014 war was the most devastating for Gaza's 1.8 million people, killing more than 2,200 Palestinians, mostly civilians, according to UN figures. Seventy-two people were killed on the Israeli side, including 66 soldiers.

      Subtract the human shields Hamas forced to die for nothing, the executions hamas did themselves, the terrorists (or Hamas "soldiers") the number of collateral damage, i.e. death to civilians by the IDF is about 900 people. War is hell. Civilians are killed.

      To imply that Israel intentionally targeted civilians is specious.

      America? France? All nations fighting wars have civilians deaths. Israel does more than any other nation on the planet to limit civilian deaths.

      that being said.

      Let's look honestly at the gaza war.

      Over 10,000 Israeli bombing runs and only 2200 dead?


      Was the IDF inept at killing civilians?????

      Surely one must look at the numbers and be dumbfounded that out of 1.8 MILLION people, in the world most crowded place on earth, a virtual prison (as some here claim) how the heck did the IDF not kill at least ONE person per bomb????

      Assad has killed 220 - 360 thousand (depending on who you believe)

      The Iran-Iraq war? millions...

      Doesn't sound like the IDF was very successful at killing that many Gazans...

      Now for contrast?

      Remember Assad's daddy and Hama?

      Initial diplomatic reports from Western countries stated that 1,000 were killed.[5][6] Subsequent estimates vary, with the lower estimates claiming that at least 10,000 Syrian citizens were killed,[1] while others put the number at 20,000 (Robert Fisk),[2] or 40,000 (Syrian Human Rights Committee).[3][4] About 1,000 Syrian soldiers were killed during the operation and large parts of the old city were destroyed. Alongside such events as Black September in Jordan,[7] the attack has been described as one of "the single deadliest acts by any Arab government against its own people in the modern Middle East".[8] According to anti Syrian government claims the vast majority of the victims were civilians.[9]

      Now that's killing...

  3. Spanish foreign minister José Manuel García Margallo said Wednesday in the course of a television interview:

    “At the end of the day, the thesis has begun to clarify that it is the lesser evil to make an agreement with Bashar al-Assad and to thereby achieve a cease-fire that will allow the delivery of aid to the displaced, the halting or controlling of the flow of refugees, putting in place a political transition, and, above all, attacking the common enemy, i.e. Daesh [ISIS, ISIL].”

    1. ISIS has murdered tens of thousands... Assad with Iran and Hezbollah has murdered hundreds of thousands.

      lesser of two evils?

  4. It is a banner day for The GOP Likuds Force, their masters at AIPAC and their leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, PM of Israel, has a cause to be high fiving in Tel Aviv:

    Former US navy analyst Jonathan Pollard, jailed for life in 1987 for passing classified information to Israel, has been released.

    The 61-year-old was freed on Friday morning, ending one of the longest-running and most contentious issues between the US and Israel.
    Mr Pollard's parole conditions require him to remain in the US for five years.
    Repeated Israeli appeals over the years for the US to show clemency towards Mr Pollard were rejected.
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Israeli people welcomed his release.
    "As someone who has raised Jonathan Pollard's case for many years with US presidents, I have wished for this day.
    "After 30 long and hard years, Jonathan Pollard is finally reuniting with his family," Mr Netanyahu's spokesperson tweeted.


      "As someone who has raised Jonathan Pollard's case for many years with US presidents, I have wished for this day.
      “After 30 long and hard years, Jonathan Pollard is finally reuniting with his family,” Mr Netanyahu’s spokesperson tweeted.

    2. No not a great day, a great day will be when Abbas is brought infront of the ICC for war crimes.

      A great day? When Palestinians love life more than they love death.

      A great day? When Hamas is driven, like the rats they are, thru the tunnels into the Sinai to be arrested or killed by Egypt and the people of Gaza can live without the fear of Hamas murdering them.

    3. Hamas executed 23 Palestinians under cover of Gaza conflict, says Amnesty
      Damning report by rights group claims Hamas also carried out other horrific abuses in 2014 as it ‘ruthlessly settled scores’ with opponents

      Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem
      Wednesday 27 May 2015 01.00 EDT Last modified on Wednesday 27 May 2015 04.47 EDT
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      Hamas has been accused of using the cover of last summer’s war in Gaza to carry out summary executions, including to “settle scores” against opponents under the pretext they were “collaborators with Israel”.

      The claims that Hamas committed rights abuses amounting to war crimes are made in a damning report by Amnesty International highlighting abuses committed by Hamas during last summer’s 50-day war.

      It includes accusations that Hamas carried out the summary execution of at least 23 Palestinians and the arrest and torture of dozens of others, including members and supporters of Hamas’s political rivals, Fatah.

      “In the chaos of the conflict, the de facto Hamas administration granted its security forces free rein to carry out horrific abuses, including against people in its custody. These spine-chilling actions, some of which amount to war crimes, were designed to exact revenge and spread fear across the Gaza Strip.”


      But who built those tunnels? The answer is Hamas, of course—using some of the same children who are now trapped under fire in Gaza.
      The Institute for Palestine Studies published a detailed report on Gaza’s Tunnel Phenomenon in the summer of 2012. It reported that tunnel construction in Gaza has resulted in a large number of child deaths.

      “At least 160 children have been killed in the tunnels, according to Hamas officials”

      The author, Nicolas Pelham, explains that Hamas uses child laborers to build their terror tunnels because, “much as in Victorian coal mines, they are prized for their nimble bodies”.

      Human rights groups operating in Gaza raised concerns about child labor in the tunnels as far back as 2008. Hamas responded by saying it was “considering curbs.” Following Operation Cast Lead in 2009 Hamas softened its position and the Interior Ministry established the Tunnel Affairs Commission (TAC) which, “In response to public concern at a rising toll of tunnel casualties, particularly of child workers…issued guidelines intended to ensure safe working conditions.” No mention is made in the report of the conditions that would result for both Palestinian and Israeli children from building tunnels that would be used to launch terror attacks.

      Nor does it seem that Hamas paid much subsequent attention to ensuring the safety of the child workers that it used to build the tunnels that would wind up endangering the lives of many in Gaza. On a tour of the tunnels in 2011, Pelham noted that, “nothing was done to impede the use of children in the tunnels.”

      Not only are Hamas misappropriating much of the humanitarian aid supplied to Gaza—800,000 tons of cement were used to construct the terror tunnels into Israel—they are also directly exploiting and endangering Gaza’s youth in their construction and operation.

      Wow, nice going Hamas....

      Killing your own children, oh yeah, it's not like the LEADERS of Hamas's kids are doing the digging...


    Italian police: Muslim migrants threw Christians overboard

    Muslims who were among migrants trying to get from Libya to Italy in a boat this week threw 12 fellow passengers overboard -- killing them -- because the 12 were Christians, Italian police said Thursday.

    Italian authorities have arrested 15 people on suspicion of murdering the Christians at sea, police in Palermo, Sicily, said.

    Why migrants are dying to get to Italy

    The original group of 105 people left Libya on Tuesday in a rubber boat. Sometime during the trip north across the Mediterranean Sea, the alleged assailants -- Muslims from the Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal -- threw the 12 overboard, police said.

    Ah such a nice people...

  6. 32 dead in Nigeria blast blamed on Book Haram

    At least 32 people are dead and about 80 people are hurt after an explosion in the Nigerian city of Yola, according to various reports.

    The blast took place at a fruit and vegetable market near a main road, Al Jazeera reports.

    More from the religion of Peace.

  7. Hamas, ISIL, and Boko Haram Wage the Same Islamic Jihad. So Why Does U.S. Policy Treat Them Differently?

    Hamas. ISIL. Boko Haram. Many know that these terror groups for their brutality. However many may not know they are also bound together by the common rule of Shariah Law.

    This system of governing condones a wide variety of abuses. Sharia-ist men are righteously entitled to own women and girls as sex slaves. Men or women of any culture or religion who refuse to submit to their version of Islam are subject to fines, imprisonment, or murder.

    A quick primer: Shariah Law is not associated with the Prophet Muhammad. And it is found nowhere in the Koran. Rather, it was written hundreds of years after the death of Muhammad by power hungry men eager to control the Prophet’s followers for political gain. This was the beginning of Sharia-ism, the political movement of Radical Islam.

    Today there are over two hundred terrorist groups in the Middle East intent on forcing Shariah Law on everyone. Their Sharia goal is the same: to control all of humanity, starting with women.

    The body count is staggering. In the past three years, more than 130,000 Syrians have died in the wake of ISIL’s Islamic Jihad, and another 5,500 Iraqi Christians and Muslims between January and July of this year. Mosul, a city Christians called home long for nearly 2000 years, is now nearly entirely Muslim thanks to ISIL’s persecution. Boko Haram kidnapped three hundred Christian Nigerian schoolgirls and murdered over a thousand more.

    Nevertheless, opinion is split about one of the most prominent groups, Hamas.

    The case is simple. Since 2009, Hamas has been implementing Shariah Law. This March, the terror group formally implemented it, and barred 400 women from participation in a UN marathon in Gaza. Shariah police impose the veiling of women and segregation of the sexes through corporal punishment. If raped, women will be lashed or tortured to death unless four men appear in Shariah Court to corroborate her story. The penalty for criminal activity is hand amputation or 20-80 lashes. Homosexuals and apostates face the death penalty.

    1. Shariah law requires that any means be used to control the world, and Hamas, more than the other groups has chosen to sacrifice women, children and animals in the service of Allah. Surf the web and you will find over hundred fact-checked articles and videos that Hamas fills Mosques, hospitals & schools with women and children to use as human shields. Or listen to Hamas admit to these horrific acts. On this video. They are told to stay put and ignore Israeli text and leaflet warnings , while Hamas Jihadis hide in their concrete underground tunnels. If you are an animal lover, you’ll be horrified to know that Hamas loads donkeys up with explosives and coaxes them into the line of fire.

      Hamas re-directs international aid into the construction of a sophisticated underground military infrastructure rather than build an economy to create jobs. Thousands of tons of concrete have been used to build terror tunnels rather than roads and schools. Indeed, Hamas would rather fill the existing UN schools with weapons than children. Keeping fellow Gazans in poverty is a strategic tactic to gain world empathy.

      Gazans, of course, are suffering under Hama’s reign. “Living under Hamas is a tragedy,” said one Gazan reporter. “Nobody can forgive Hamas for what they’re doing. No one can forgive Hamas for butchering Palestinians to get power. Most Gazans hate Hamas with a passion.”

      Even rival terror groups, such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), have slammed Hamas, saying “penalties like lashing are not compatible with Palestinian society, which is a multicultural society.” The PFLP also accused Hamas of “failing for eight consecutive years” to prevent Gaza’s “continuous crisis of poverty, unemployment and delayed payment of public workers’ salaries.”

      And yet the U.S. has promised Gaza $47 million in financial aid, which will almost certainly end up in the hands of Hamas. If Americans really care about the 1.7 Million Gazans held hostage by Hamas; there is only one answer. Hamas and its Islamic Jihad must be rooted out and destroyed. Only then should America release humanitarian aid. As things now stand, every dollar for Gaza buys their oppression.


  8. Paul Krugman: The Farce Awakens

    Why do Republicans have so many panic attacks?:

    The Farce Awakens, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: Erick Erickson, the editor in chief of the website, is a serious power in right-wing circles. ... So it’s worth paying attention to what Mr. Erickson says. And ... his response to the attack in Paris was a bit startling. The French themselves are making a point of staying calm, indeed of going out to cafes to show that they refuse to be intimidated. But Mr. Erickson declared on his website that he won’t be going to see the new “Star Wars” movie on opening day, because “there are no metal detectors at American theaters.”

    It’s a bizarre reaction — but when you think about it, it’s part of a larger pattern. These days, panic attacks after something bad happens are the rule rather than the exception, at least on one side of the political divide. ...

    But we shouldn’t really be surprised, because we’ve seen this movie before (unless we were too scared to go to the theater). Remember the great Ebola scare of 2014? The threat of a pandemic, like the threat of a terrorist attack, was real. But it was greatly exaggerated, thanks in large part to hype from the same people now hyping the terrorist danger.

    What’s more, the supposed “solutions” were similar, too, in their combination of cruelty and stupidity. ...

    What explains the modern right’s propensity for panic? Part of it, no doubt, is the familiar point that many bullies are also cowards. But I think it’s also linked to the apocalyptic mind-set that has developed among Republicans during the Obama years.

    Think about it. From the day Mr. Obama took office, his political foes have warned about imminent catastrophe. Fiscal crisis! Hyperinflation! Economic collapse, brought on by the scourge of health insurance! And nobody on the right dares point out the failure of the promised disasters to materialize, or suggest a more nuanced approach.

    Given this context, it’s only natural that the right would seize on a terrorist attack in France as proof that Mr. Obama has left America undefended and vulnerable. Ted Cruz ... goes so far as to declare that the president “does not wish to defend this country.” ...

    The point is that at this point panic is what the right is all about, and the Republican nomination will go to whoever can most effectively channel that panic. Will the same hold true in the general election? Stay tuned.

    Economists View

  9. from Polish Knuckleheads - (I made that up but it fits) -

    POLISH NATIONALISTS BURN JEW IN EFFIGY...............Drudge Report Headline

    You see, there aren't any Jews left in Poland, yet there is still, after all these decades, anti-semitism there...

    Well, they are going to get theirs --

    First we show the Poles, then everybody else."

    The statement is from a member of the newly elected muslim majority city council in Hamtramck, Michigan, first in USA.

  10. The Donald gets stronger -

    Reuters national poll: Trump now leads by … 23 points
    posted at 9:31 pm on November 19, 2015 by Allahpundit

    Although … what if the second part’s true too? The GOP establishment has a big problem in New Hampshire that’s getting bigger, writes Nate Cohn:

    If a candidate acceptable to the party can’t win New Hampshire or Iowa, the G.O.P. will face a bleak choice: undertake the daunting and expensive task of mounting a come-from-behind effort, or grudgingly acquiesce to a candidate it really doesn’t want, like Ted Cruz, but who may be better than someone it can never accept, like Mr. Trump…

    But the G.O.P. establishment then was not in anywhere near the danger it is now. This year, the “outsider” candidates, like Mr. Trump, Mr. Cruz and Ben Carson, possess as much organizational, financial and personal strength as the establishment candidates, or maybe more. This year’s schedule affords the party few opportunities to make a comeback: The contests after Iowa and New Hampshire — the Nevada caucuses, South Carolina and the predominantly Southern states on Super Tuesday — are all relatively favorable to conservatives. This year’s establishment candidates have shown far less strength, by any measure, than Mr. Dole or George H.W. Bush, who had the resources, name recognition and party backing to survive early setbacks…

    All of this creates a lot of danger for the party’s establishment. Its worst-case outcome is what the polls are already showing: a clear win for an unacceptable candidate, and the other candidates so evenly split and so far behind that the contest fails to clarify which candidate the establishment should coalesce behind.

    1. .

      This is and example of Republican chickens coming home to roost.

      The GOP applauded when the Citizens United decision came down. They saw it working to their advantage. It didn't. On the one side you have Trump who has money to burn and isn't dependent of the establishment for support. On the other, you have Hillary and her husband, Bill, who have raised the extraordinary sum of $3 billion since Bill first started running for office 40 years ago. Like Trump, Hillary is not dependent on any establishment funding (although she will gladly accept all donations).


  11. November 20, 2015
    UnitedHealthcare mulling withdrawal from Obamacare exchanges
    By Rick Moran

    One of the nation's largest insurance companies is seriously considering withdrawing from the Obamacare insurance exchanges due to massive losses, and the small chance that the enrollment numbers will get any better.

    The company cited the closing of nearly half the non-profit co-op organizations as a major reason for their hesitation in offering insurance plans beyond 2016.

    UnitedHealthcare is bleeding $425 million in losses this year and is considering abandoning the exchantes because "market data has signaled higher risks and more difficulties while our own claims experience has deteriorated," according to a statement from CEO Stephen J. Hemsley..................

    1. .

      My company for Part D coverage got out of the business this year. I'm currently looking for another one.


  12. United Healthcare is being forced to compete a bit more than they like. Tough titty, that.

    As for $425 Million - that is so small as a percent of United Health's total profits, as to be a rounding error.

  13. Islamic State threatens jihad mass murder in Times Square

    November 19, 2015 6:43 am By Robert Spencer 14 Comments

    They have long had New York in their sights, and will strike there when they can. Obama is bringing that day closer by bringing into the country huge numbers of “refugees” with no possible way to screen out jihadis from among them.


    “ISIS New York video: Terror group releases warning of Times Square attack,” by Alyssa Zauderer and Andrea Cavallier, PIX11, November 19, 2015 (thanks to Bulldog):

    NEW YORK – Terror group ISIS released a propaganda video Wednesday that makes threats against New York.

    The video shows several scenes in Manhattan including Times Square, a Gap in Herald Square, T.G.I. Friday’s and yellow taxi cabs on city streets. It also includes images of terrorist sharpshooters and terrorists wearing suicide belts.

    The new video also features footage from a previously released video mentioning a New York attack.

    Mayor de Blasio along with NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton addressed the video at a late Wednesday night press conference in Times Square.

    “We understand it is the goal of terrorists to intimidate and disrupt our democratic society,” de Blasio said. “We will not submit. It’s crucial that people go about their normal business recognizing the NYPD is providing extraordinary protection for the people of this city.”

    That’s rich. De Blasio already submitted when he stopped New York City’s entirely legal surveillance program in Muslim communities, at the behest of pro-Sharia Islamic supremacists such as Linda Sarsour.

  14. $425 million is on hell of a rounding error.

  15. Might as well hit on Obama one more time, it relaxes me -

    By Charles Krauthammer Opinion writer November 19 at 8:22 PM

    Tell me: What’s a suicide bomber doing with a passport? He’s not going anywhere. And, though I’m not a religious scholar, I doubt that a passport is required in paradise for a martyr to access his 72 black-eyed virgins.

    A Syrian passport was found near the body of one of the terrorists. Why was it there? Undoubtedly, to back up the ISIS boast that it is infiltrating operatives amid the refugees flooding Europe. The passport may have been fake, but the terrorist’s fingerprints were not. They match those of a man who just a month earlier had come through Greece on his way to kill Frenchmen in Paris.
    Charles Krauthammer writes a weekly political column that runs on Fridays. View Arch

    If the other goal of the Paris massacre was to frighten France out of the air campaign in Syria — the way Spain withdrew from the Iraq war after the terrorist attack on its trains in 2004 — they picked the wrong country. France is a serious post-colonial power, as demonstrated in Ivory Coast, the Central African Republic and Mali, which France saved from an Islamist takeover in 2013.

    Indeed, socialist President François Hollande has responded furiously to his country’s 9/11 with an intensified air campaign, hundreds of raids on suspected domestic terrorists, a state of emergency and proposed changes in the constitution to make France less hospitable to jihad.

    Meanwhile, Barack Obama, titular head of the free world, has responded to Paris with weariness and annoyance. His news conference in Turkey was marked by a stunning tone of passivity, detachment and lassitude, compounded by impatience and irritability at the very suggestion that his Syria strategy might be failing.

    Play Video2:20

    Obama speaks about the Islamic State and refugees following the Paris attacks

    President Obama made remarks and answered questions at the G-20 summit in Turkey on Nov. 13. Here's what he said about the path forward fighting the Islamic State, welcoming Muslims and protecting Syrian refugees. (AP)

    1. The only time he showed any passion was in denouncing Republicans for hardheartedness toward Muslim refugees. One hundred and twenty-nine innocents lie dead, but it takes the GOP to kindle Obama’s ire.

      The rest was mere petulance, dismissing criticisms of his Syria policy as popping off. Inconveniently for Obama, one of those popper-offers is Dianne Feinstein, the leading Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. She directly contradicted Obama’s blithe assertion, offered the day before the Paris attack, that the Islamic State (a.k.a. ISIL) was contained and not gaining strength. “I have never been more concerned,” said Feinstein. “ISIL is not contained. ISIL is expanding.”

      Obama defended his policy by listing its multifaceted elements. Such as, “I hosted at the United Nations an entire discussion of counterterrorism strategies and curbing the flow of foreign fighters.” An “entire” discussion, mind you. Not a partial one. They tremble in Raqqa.

      And “We have mobilized 65 countries to go after ISIL.” Yes, and what would we do without Luxembourg?

      Obama complained of being criticized for not being bellicose enough. But the complaint is not about an absence of bellicosity but about an absence of passion, of urgency and of commitment to the fight. The air campaign over Syria averages seven strikes a day. Seven. In Operation Desert Storm, we flew 1,100 sorties a day. Even in the Kosovo campaign, we averaged 138. Obama is doing just enough in Syria to give the appearance of motion, yet not nearly enough to have any chance of success.

      Obama’s priorities lie elsewhere. For example, climate change, which he considers the greatest “threat to our future.” And, of course, closing Guantanamo. Obama actually released five detainees on the day after the Paris massacre. He is passionate about Guantanamo. It’s a great terrorist recruiting tool, he repeatedly explains. Obama still seems to believe that — even as ISIS has produced an astonishing wave of terrorist recruitment with a campaign of brutality, butchery and enslavement filmed in living color. Who can still believe that young Muslims are leaving Europe to join the Islamic State because of Guantanamo?

      Obama’s other passion is protecting Islam from any possible association with “violent extremism.” The Islamic State is nothing but “killers with fantasies of glory.” Obama can never bring himself to acknowledge why these people kill and willingly die: to advance a radical Islamist millenarianism that is purposeful, indeed eschatological — and appealing enough to have created the largest, most dangerous terrorist movement on Earth.

      Hollande is trying to gather a real coalition to destroy the Islamic State, even as Obama touts his phony 65. For 11 post-World War II presidencies, coalition leading has been the role of the United States. Where is America today? Awaiting a president. The next president.

      The air campaign over Syria averages seven strikes a day. Seven. In Operation Desert Storm, we flew 1,100 sorties a day. Even in the Kosovo campaign, we averaged 138. Obama is doing just enough in Syria to give the appearance of motion, yet not nearly enough to have any chance of success.

  16. Jordan launches a flurry of strikes, and promptly disappears off the radar.

    Russia creates a twitter when if gasses up some long range bombers, and drops some dumb bombs - then, goes quiet.

    France creates a ballyhoo, and flies a handful of missions, and then . . . . .

    Meanwhile, Every Day, Obama beats on them. Day in. Day out. Sundays and Holidays. Early in the Morning, Late at Night.

    Military Strikes Hit ISIL Terrorists in Iraq
    From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release

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    SOUTHWEST ASIA, November 20, 2015 — U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

    Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Bomber, attack, ground-attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 20 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Beiji, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

    -- Near Fallujah, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL anti-air artillery pieces, two ISIL heavy machine guns, and two ISIL buildings.

    -- Near Kisik, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL light machine guns, four ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL vehicles, two ISIL supply caches, and an ISIL bunker.

    -- Near Mosul, one strike struck an ISIL weapons vehicle borne improvised explosive device manufacturing facility.

    -- Near Qayyarah, three strikes struck two ISIL gas and oil separation plants and an ISIL petroleum refinement facility.

    -- Near Ramadi, five strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL boat, an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb, two ISIL staging areas, damaged an ISIL headquarters building, suppressed an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb, and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Sinjar, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL vehicle.

    -- Near Tal Afar, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL building and an ISIL light machine gun.

    1. A strike, as defined in the CJTF releases, means one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative effect for that location. So having a single aircraft deliver a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of buildings and vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making that facility or facilities harder or impossible to use.

      Accordingly, CJTF-OIR does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

  17. Meanwhile, let's remember, 9-11 came with a Republican President, A Republican Governor, and a Republican Mayor.

    The Great Recession, and the Great Depression, were brought on by Republican Administrations.

    The Great Embarrassment, for which the Republicans will never forgive Obama, was that a Black Democrat came in and fixed the Republicans' messes.

  18. What a crock. The recession was brought on by the housing collapse which was given to us via Freddie and Fannie and about which Bush had warned in each of his eight State of the Union Addresses.

    Then, the minute O'bozo gets in office the Middle East goes totally to hell because he pulls all the troops out.

    Well, I've been around here long enough to know well by now that Rufus always has had difficultly reading history, and following the course of events.

  19. WFB U.S. pilots confirm: Obama admin blocks 75% of proposed airstrikes on ISIS

    Hot Air

    Doesn't anybody but me begin to wonder just whose side he is really on ?

    Or is he just crazy ?

    It is really hard to say.

  20. Those Pilots are anonymous; they don't have to answer for dead women and children.

  21. You think so ?

    Most people these days are calling his Presidency a big failure.

    The Prisoner of Obama
    Column: Hillary Clinton’s career will sink or swim with Barack Obama’s ISIS strategy

    BY: Matthew Continetti
    November 20, 2015 5:00 am

    When President Obama took office, Iraq was stable. Now there are four failed states in the Middle East—Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen—and the potential for many more. This is the foreign policy legacy to which Hillary Clinton is committed.

    President Obama is very good at advocating and implementing policies of which the public disapproves. Obamacare, the Bergdahl trade, the phony war on ISIS, the executive amnesty, gun control, the Iran deal, no changes to the Syrian refugee program—he’s been persistent in his flouting of majority wishes and constitutional norms. But Clinton doesn’t have his talent. She doesn’t have his fan boys.

    Clinton must assume, as most Democrats do, that changes in our population and culture allow liberals to be much more dismissive and contemptuous of opposing viewpoints than they have been in the past. Clinton must assume, as most Democrats do, that the electorate will find the alternative to Democratic rule so repulsive that it will support whomever John Oliver tells it to. Clinton must assume, as many Democrats do, that the economy will be good enough, that Obama will be popular enough, that the world will be stable enough in November 2016 to ensure that the Clintons return to the White House.

    That’s her bet. Did I mention it’s a risky one?

    With so many's hard to be sure whose side he is on.

    It's like rooting for the University of Idaho football team.

  22. I think it's safe to say that Obama Is Not "on the side of" racist, Idaho turd-kickers.

    However, with a 99.9999% Reduction in Americans killed and wounded in Iraq, and a 50%, or so, Reduction in the % of Americans dying for lack of health insurance,

    And, a 50% Decrease in the number of Unemployed,

    and a 200% Increase in the Stock Market,

    I think it's safe to say that "he's on the side of Me, and Mine."

    1. Hmmmmm......what name shall I call Rufus in return ?

      Rufus, you are an old illiterate drunken racist gizzard.

  23. Russia: Over 500 sorties put million-dollar dent in daily ISIS oil revenue
    posted at 4:41 pm on November 20, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

    Give Russia this much credit: when it goes to war, it goes at it rather enthusiastically. Russia’s defense ministry has released video of its soldiers writing messages on missiles and bombs such as “For Our Guys” and “For Paris,” loaded on bombers that subsequently delivered them to ISIS at full speed. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu claims that the strikes have targeted ISIS’ oil revenues, and have degraded them by over a million dollars a day:

    The Russian military has destroyed numerous oil facilities and tankers controlled by the Islamic State group in Syria, sharply cutting its income, Russia’s defense minister said Friday.

    Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin on Friday that Russian warplanes destroyed 15 oil refining and storage facilities in Syria and 525 trucks carrying oil during this week’s bombing blitz. He said this deprived IS of $1.5 million in daily income from oil sales. …

    Russian state TV on Friday showed Russian air force ground crew writing “For Ours!” and “For Paris!” on bombs being attached to Russian warplanes.

    According to Shoigu, Russian warplanes have flown 522 sorties and destroyed over 800 targets over the last four days. Russian long-range bombers and navy ships have launched 101 cruise missiles in four days, including 18 fired Friday by Russian navy ships from the Caspian Sea.

    ABC News notes that Russia has been flying bomber sorties since the end of September, but have increased the intensity after ISIS blew up a Metrojet airliner filled with Russian tourists. That’s true, but a bit misleading. Russia had been flying bombing runs over Syria, but mostly in the western part of the country against Syrian rebels more intent on unseating Bashar al-Assad. After ISIS attacked Russians, the priorities have shifted — and pretty dramatically.

    If Russia is correct about their impact on ISIS’ oil infrastructure, then it’s quite an improvement on American efforts in this regard. Bloomberg’s Cam Simpson reported yesterday that the US not only overestimated the damage it had done in its own airstrikes on ISIS’ oil revenues, it vastly underestimated the amount of revenue the terrorist quasi-state generated from it. “It’s not a rounding error,” Simpson notes, saying that the US missed the mark by $400 million or so:
    Did the U.S. Underestimate Islamic State Oil Operations?

    1. Oil is only one revenue source for ISIS. According to the the AP, they also control the black market on cigarettes in their territory — which is odd, since they forbid smoking, too. They levy taxes on all trade, but especially on sales of passports brought in by foreign recruits, cell phones, human trafficking, and smuggling antiquities, some of which ISIS does itself. But oil is truly where it’s at, and not just in producing crude, but in extortion through oil too:

      Why can’t either simply shut down the crossing and deprive ISIS of its revenue stream?

      “Because there is no choice. ISIS has the diesel, the oil. Last time, a little bit before Ramadan, the rebels closed ISIS’s crossing.” ISIS responded by turning off the tap. “The price of oil in Syria went up. The bakeries stopped because there was no diesel. The cars, the hospitals, everything shut down.”

      There’s a knock-on effect to the ISIS energy racket. Abu Khaled says that everything in Syria works on generators now. “I have a huge generator, I can fuel a small area, and people pay me for the power.” And because he could purchase his diesel fuel at cut-rate prices owing to his ISIS membership—one-sixth the cost to civilians—he became a minor energy baron in his own right.

      ISIS also, famously, sells Assad’s oil back to him. “In Aleppo, people have electricity for maybe three or four hours per day. The electricity station is in Asfireh, ISIS-controlled territory, near Kweris airport. So the regime pays for the fuel to run the station. It pays the salaries for the workers because they’re specialized and can’t be replaced. And ISIS takes 52 percent of the electricity and the regime takes 48 percent. That’s the deal they have with Assad.”

      Take out the oil, and you take out a significant strut of ISIS’ grip on power. The Russians are aiming at the right target, although it remains to be seen whether their assessment of damage done is accurate. Their aggressive action prompts the question yet again, though: How did the US miss this so badly, and why haven’t we demonstrated the same will to action?

      Adam Kredo has an answer at the Free Beacon:

      U.S. military pilots who have returned from the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq are confirming that they were blocked from dropping 75 percent of their ordnance on terror targets because they could not get clearance to launch a strike, according to a leading member of Congress.

      Strikes against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) targets are often blocked due to an Obama administration policy to prevent civilian deaths and collateral damage, according to Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

      The policy is being blamed for allowing Islamic State militants to gain strength across Iraq and continue waging terrorist strikes throughout the region and beyond, according to Royce and former military leaders who spoke Wednesday about flaws in the U.S. campaign to combat the Islamic State.

      “You went 12 full months while ISIS was on the march without the U.S. using that air power and now as the pilots come back to talk to us they say three-quarters of our ordnance we can’t drop, we can’t get clearance even when we have a clear target in front of us,” Royce said. “I don’t understand this strategy at all because this is what has allowed ISIS the advantage and ability to recruit.”

      The Russians are clearly not as particular.