“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Potential allied proposal to end the Syrian conflict as a basis to destroy ISIS

Putin Plan: The Russian President's Strategy for Syria

By  in Moscow -
President Vladimir Putin has been oddly quiet about the recent crash of a Russian jet in Egypt. Zoom

President Vladimir Putin has been oddly quiet about the recent crash of a Russian jet in Egypt. 
A secret strategy paper suggests the Kremlin wants to find a political solution with the West on the issue of Syria. Pressure is mounting on Vladimir Putin as a result of the crash of a Russian jet in Egypt that may have been a terrorist attack.

Vladimir Putin has been oddly quiet in recent days. Despite almost two weeks having passed since the crash of a Russian passenger jet over the Sinai Peninsula, the Russian president has said little about what may have caused the crash, despite mounting evidence pointing to a terrorist attack carried out by the branch of the Islamic State operating in the region. Yet Putin hasn't uttered a word about a possible reaction or retaliatory strikes. When Russia suspended all flights to Egypt, he had his intelligence chief make the recommendation instead of doing it himself.

It is as though Putin wants to create the greatest possible distance between himself and the crash in order to prevent any connection being made between Russia's military intervention in Syria and the 224 deaths on Flight 9268. He doesn’t want to be seen as a president who took a high-risk gamble abroad that ultimately backfired and transformed his own people into terrorist targets.

Thus far, there have been no protests or calls to end the Russian engagement in Syria, nor has there been much resistance, aside from the two wooden caskets that were set afloat in a canal in St. Petersburg, where most of the victims were from. One casket had been spray-painted with the words, "For what?" and the other with “For whom?”

Nevertheless, the suspected terror attack is creating pressure for Putin. If the suspicion is ultimately confirmed that supporters of the Islamic State managed to smuggle a bomb past Egyptian security and onto the aircraft, then Putin will be hard pressed to not act. So he has remained silent, perhaps as a way of buying time.

Palpable Tension

But Russia is nervous, that much is easy to see. And the reports from the front shown each night on television vaunting the success of the Russian operation in Syria will do nothing to change that. The fact is that Assad's offensive is hardly advancing, even with massive Russian support. The Russian people have also been unsettled by reports that 18 suicide attackers have infiltrated their country and are planning terrorist acts. In response, security measures have been increased in public spaces and in large department stores across the country.

As such, this isn't a bad time to try to once again try to push forward a political solution in the Syria conflict, with Russia as the driving force at the negotiating table. Two classified internal strategy papers, one of which has been obtained by SPIEGEL, show that this is also the solution favored by the Kremlin. The single-page document describes Putin's strategy in Syria in five points. The president himself drafted the paper together with his advisors shortly before the surprise visit to Moscow by dictator Bashar Assad on Oct. 21. 

The document doesn't include a date or a signature; it discuss reaching an understanding with the West. In the paper, Putin defines "preventing the terrorists from seizing power in Syria" as the central goal. The country should stay "sovereign, retain its territorial integrity" and should remain a "secular and democratic state." It's a goal also shared by the West, even though Syria couldn't be any further from being a democracy at the moment

Russia Could Drop Support for Assad

The paper indicates that the Russian president hopes to start a negotiating process with the goal of "elections and a reform of the constitution that would create a fair balance in terms of the rights and duties of all ethnic and religious groups." The Kremlin also makes it clear that it won’t insist on holding on to Assad as Syria's leader, demonstrating apparent openness to one of the West's central demands.

In a second document that emerged this week, Moscow's diplomats have made more concrete formulations about the president's specifications for the Syria negotiations currently underway in Vienna. Representatives of the United States, Russia, Iran and a few other countries are taking part in the talks, with the group meeting again this weekend. According to the document, a new constitution should be put up for a vote by the Syrian people within 18 months. It also calls for parliamentary elections that had been planned for spring 2016 to be delayed and then held simultaneously with a presidential election after approval of a constitution. 

What the plan doesn't state is how it would even be possible to hold a referendum and elections in a divided and destroyed country that is terrorized by jihadists. But there's one thing the two documents do make clear: Putin's desire for a political solution to the Syria issue is growing. And he also wants to use the negotiations to reestablish his influence within the international community.

Putin’s Gambit: Restoring Russia as a Global Power

If he were to succeed in pushing through a "Syria Conference" under the aegis of the United Nations, as formulated in the paper, it would show the whole world that Russia had restored its status as a global power. Putin would then be viewed as the man who saved Syria. He could then also hope for an end to Western sanctions against Russia and deflect domestic attention from his stated goal of keeping Ukraine withing Moscow's sphere of influence.
Whether that will all come to pass is, of course, far from certain. Putin had been hoping to get US President Barack Obama on board -- as he did two years ago with his initiative to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons -- but at the UN General Assembly in September, Obama snubbed him. Their positions on Syria are simply too divergent. But without American support, Putin will not be able to succeed in implementing his strategy.

"Measures should be taken in accordance with Resolution 2199 of the UN Security Council to stop the Islamic State's illegal trade in oil and to liberate the oil fields that have been occupied by the terrorists," the Kremlin paper states. 
“Of course, this also means that America will have to place pressure on its NATO partner Turkey to prevent Islamic State from being able to continue to sell oil that is smuggled through Turkey," says Moscow-based Middle East Expert Vladimir Isayev.

Putin, though, appears to believe that he will be able to convince even Sunni countries in the region to support his plan, despite his alliance with Shiite Iran and the Alawite Assad regime. He has systematically been working to improve relations with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Turkey, all predominantly Sunni countries. He also appears to want to abandon his blockade of the Friends of Syria Group, which includes the participation of Sunni countries. Instead it looks like he wants to coopt it, claiming the idea as his own. The document speaks of the formation of a “Syrian Support Group" which, in addition to Russia, would include the other permanent members of the Security Council and the most important Middle Eastern countries as well as the European Union and Germany.

For the time being, however, such plans plans will do nothing to change the fact that there are currently 50 Russian fighter jets, in addition to helicopters and elite troops, operating in Syria. It also remains an open question whether Russia's deployment will remain limited or if it will send in ground troops. "We learned our lesson in Afghanistan," says analyst Isayev. "We deploy weapons in order to advance a political solution."


  1. This is an opportunity to reevaluate the US strategy and alliances in the Middle East.

    TURKEY - Has not been valuable to the US since the cold war where it was a so-called parents in NATO and destined to be part of a greater Europe. Turkey will never be part of Europe and is worthless at a partner in NATO. It is a liability. There is not going to be any land war with Russia. Turkey is supplying money and arms to ISIS and is killing the Kurdish forces fighting ISIS.

    Turkey is also permitting travel back and forth to Europe be European ISIS terrorists.


    SAUDI ARABIA - There is no more loathsome country in the ME than Saudi Arabia. It is the ultimate source of money and support for violent Jihadis. They no longer control the oil markets as they did twenty years ago. We can’t dump these bustards fast enough. Saudi Arabia is an overt supporter of ISIS.


    ISRAEL - The big lie in US politics is that Israel is a valued ally to the US. The liars claim nebulous benefits about military prowess and superior intelligence gathering as being crucial to US interests. The Israeli-firsters also claim that Israel in the vanguard to civilization and the canary in the coal mine. Israel is more of an open flame in the coal mine.

    Israel never loses an opportunity to be opportunistic at the expense of the US, always accompanied by continued land grabs and money grubbing and meddling in US politics.

    On the previous post we saw the so-called benefit of Israeli intelligence and council with the video of Netanyahu telling us there was no doubt about the Iraqis having nuclear weapons. Netanyahu convinced enough US politicians and through the US media that war with Iraq was necessary and urgent. Some source! Not the yellow of a canary in the coal mine but the yellow of an open flame in the coal mine.

    Israel is an active supporter to groups associated with ISIS> ISIS is a critical threat to the West , the ME and Europe. Israel has nothing, absolutely nothing to contribute to the destruction of ISIS. Hezbollah, that’s right, Hezbollah is more valuable an asset to the US than the IDF and the duplicitous Israel government.


    1. The truth?

      You can't handle the truth.

      Israel is vital to America.

      ISIS is still small potatoes as compared to the murder that Syria, Iran and Hezbollah have wrought.

      Isis SUCKS, but Iran, Syria, Hezbollah are far more evil.

      Omg and the good news? Iran is getting 150 billion to purchase more weapons for hezbollah!

      No the real issue is Islamic butchery. Sunni and Shiite together.

      Your blind hatred for Israel shows thru, day after day, thread after thread.

      But sleep well deuce, Israel does more than you know and more than you'd ever admit to keep your anti-Semitic ass safe.

    2. Israel's vitality to the US is well illustrated by the demise of Sodastream in American markets

    3. ...fizzling...

      Again, the challenge:

      Name one thing, since the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, that Israel, our vital ally, . has done for the US that the US did not pay for

    4. Again asked and answered over and over again.

      Sorry if you don't like the answers.

      But now you are getting creative adding additional caveats.

      Define your question, do you really think that 3 billion a year, mostly spent in America on overpriced hardware is but a drop in the bucket of what Israel spends on it's own for it's security?

      Be honest ( I know that almost impossible for you)

      Ask a straight forward query and get a straight forward answer.

      But I will ask, has your persian girlfriend stopped beating you?

      GO ahead answer.

    5. My Persian girlfriend just got out of the shower and is brushing her long black hair. I asked her your question. Her beautiful full smile widens. With her free hand and her slender long fingers she flipped you the bird.

    6. Aha, the Persian girlfriend is finally confirmed, and as a live in partner, too.!

      Enjoy, but try to control your own mind and thoughts.


    A Russian airliner blown out of the sky over Sinai, and now the slaughter of Hezbollah’s Shia Muslims in Beirut – it’s the same war.

    Thursday night’s suicide bombings by Isis in Lebanon, causing almost 50 deaths and wounding 250, displayed the same savagery, the same attention to detail, the same target: the enemies of Isis who are supporting President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. The Lebanese were waiting for these latest attacks for weeks.

    A Russian airliner blown out of the sky over Sinai, and now the slaughter of Hezbollah’s Shia Muslims in Beirut – it’s the same war.

    Thursday night’s suicide bombings by Isis in Lebanon, causing almost 50 deaths and wounding 250, displayed the same savagery, the same attention to detail, the same target: the enemies of Isis who are supporting President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. The Lebanese were waiting for these latest attacks for weeks.

    This does not mean Isis is about to “take over” Lebanon. Nor does it imply a sectarian conflict is about to overwhelm the nation that suffered its own 15-year civil war, which ended a quarter of a century ago. But the Isis struggle against the Russians, Hezbollah, the Iranians, the Syrian regime, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s military rule in Egypt and the Sunni Arab Gulf states will consume the innocent anywhere in the region, and perhaps outside it.

    Lebanon’s own security apparatus has for months been trying to dislodge an Isis outfit around the Sunni town of Ersal in the far north-east of Lebanon, on the very border with Syria, while General Ibrahim and his colleagues were fearful that Isis might target the huge running marathon in Beirut last Sunday.

    Police on bicycles could be seen along the Corniche day and night, talking to gloomy-faced young men with pistols ill-concealed in their trouser pockets, in the hope of preventing an Isis bombing of seafront tourists.

    But Isis decided to strike at its old Hezbollah antagonists. It has hit the southern suburbs before, and it almost managed to destroy the Iranian embassy in Beirut when two suicide bombers tried to blast down the gates to the compound


  3. {...}

    However, Thursday night’s attack took weeks to plan, according to the same security men who have been trying to prevent such suicide bombings. The two motorcycle bombers must have moved many times through the same Bourj al-Barajneh streets close to the community centre, the market, the bakery and the Hezbollah-run hospital which they eventually targeted.

    It’s not easy to move past both the army’s checkpoints at Bourj al-Barajneh and Hezbollah’s own militia barrages. The Isis claim of responsibility was as coldly delivered as its boast of bombing the Russian airliner over Egypt, and Hezbollah, whose thousands of fighters have fought for Assad’s army in Syria – hundreds of whom have paid for this campaign with their lives – delivered its equally bleak reply. This struggle against Isis and its fellow Islamists, Hezbollah said, would be “a long war”.

    Lebanon’s own politicians uttered the sort of condemnation that now comes like confetti in a country with a parliament that can scarcely meet because of sectarian squabbling, and with a cabinet that is unable to agree on garbage collection; where the prime minister constantly threatens to resign, and where there has not been a president for a year and a half. There were “plans to create strife”, one minister said, forlornly.

    Isis long ago proved that it goes for the jugular, sometimes, as we know, in the most literal fashion. But does the Russian and now the Hezbollah assault also suggest that Isis is under serious pressure, if only temporarily, before the weight of its multiple enemies? Perhaps. Safer, though, to take seriously the words of Hezbollah. It’s going to be a long war.

  4. Hezbollah has more to offer the US, Europe and Russia than our canary in the coal mine.

    1. Life is not an either or proposition.

      Hezbollah is a terrorist organization.

      Israel is a democratic nation.

      Your hatred of Israel drips from every post.

  5. The Daily Star

    BEIRUT: The double suicide attack that killed at least 46 people in a southern Beirut suburb earlier this week only increases Hezbollah’s determination to fight ISIS in Syria, party chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said Saturday.

    Nasrallah also denounced the brazen attacks against venues in Paris by a squad of gunmen and suicide bombers that ISIS also took credit for, leaving at least 129 people dead.

    ”If they (ISIS) assume that killing our men and women and children and burning our markets could weaken our determination, then they are mistaken,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech.

    The bombings "will increase our determination... We will go and search to open fronts with ISIS," he warned, two days after a pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up in the suburb of Burj al-Barajneh.

    The ISIS-claimed attack, which also wounded more than 200, was widely condemned by Lebanese of all stripes, including Hezbollah's rivals, offering a rare moment of national solidarity in the deeply divided society.

    Beirut's southern suburbs and other predominantly Shiite areas of the country have been subjected to multiple attacks by Syria-based extremist groups in recent years over Hezbollah's military intervention in the neighboring war.

    One of the goals of such attacks "is to put pressure on Hezbollah [to withdraw from Syria], but they know very well these bombings will not benefit them at all. This will have the opposite effect," Nasrallah said.

    Lebanese security forces have arrested several suspects over the attack. Nasrallah hailed those arrests as an achievement that foiled future bombings.

    Some people initially accused Palestinians from a nearby refugee camp of carrying out the attack after media reported the names of two Palestinians and a Syrian as the alleged bombers.

    But Nasrallah insisted that those reports were inaccurate, saying the leaking of the names was intended to cause strife between Lebanese and their Palestinian and Syrian neighbors.

    He denied reports that any of the suspects arrested until now were Palestinian, saying they were all Lebanese and Syrian.

    Nasrallah strongly urged against the targeting of Palestinians, Syrians or Sunni Lebanese in the wake of the bombings, reiterating a deep rejection of what he said was the "takfiri" and Israeli goal to sow civil strife in the country.

    "Palestinians and Syrians were among the martyrs and wounded. This terrorism does not differentiate [between its victims],” he said.

    He expressed gratitude to the security forces, civilians and parties who extended a helping hand after the attack and stood in solidarity the victims, pleading with rivals to keep the momentum of solidarity going for as long as possible.

    "We must take advantage of the positive atmosphere we witnessed over the past few days," he said, renewing a call he made earlier this month for rivals to negotiate an all-encompassing national settlement that included the election of a president and the passing of a new electoral law.

  6. Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad denounce Paris attacks

    Leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and dozens of Syrian rebel groups have denounced the Paris assaults as "against human values," expressing their deepest condolences to the people of France.

    The leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad all issued statements Saturday denouncing the attacks in Paris, where 129 people were killed and more than 350 people were wounded on Friday night.

    Dozens of Syrian rebel groups have also denounced the attacks in a joint online statement as "against human values."
    The joint statement, which also included the powerful Jaish al-Islam rebel groups, condemned “in the strongest terms" the coordinated assault.

    "We learned today, with great shock and condemnation, about the terrorist attacks against civilians in the city of Paris," the statement said.
    Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah condemned the attacks as "barbaric," and said in a televised speech that "our people in this region know very well this terrorism the 'Islamic State' has carried out in the French capital." He went on to say that “the ‘Islamic State' will not last long."

    Nasrallah stressed further that the recent attacks in a Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut's southern suburbs, in which 43 people were killed in a double suicide attack on Thursday, will only increase Hezbollah's determination to fight the jihadist movement in Syria.
    Hezbollah has been backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country’s five-year civil war.

    The Islamist movement Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization by the European Union and the United States, also condemned the gun and bomb attacks.

    Hamas official Bassem Na'eem said in an email statement that Hamas "strongly condemned the series of attacks and hostile actions that were carried out in Paris."


  7. Press TV has conducted an interview with Michel Aoun, former Lebanese Army Commander, to discuss Hezbollah’s role in maintaining security for Lebanon.

    The following is transcript of the interview:

    Press TV: Why do you support Hezbollah?

    Aoun: Well we are supporting it … we are same people living in Lebanon and maybe with different way, different confessions, different religions but we are the same citizens and we have the same nationality, the same entity. So it is normal that we will be together when Hezbollah doing the resistance to Israel which is an enemy, and is right now fighting against terrorists, so he is defending at the same time the Lebanese society which is a pluralistic society composed from different religions, different people, still being the same people.

    Press TV: So is it the resistance to Israel the main thing?

    Aoun: We started like that. We did not think at that moment in 2006 that we are going to have the terrorism here. So the terrorism arrived, started in Syria and also it was threatening the Lebanese border and they were trying to get in Lebanon. So he made a strong, great job in defending the Lebanese … because the army was not sufficient, let’s say, at that moment.

    Press TV: I was speaking to Amine Gemayel yesterday - the former President - and he told me that Lebanon needs to have only one army and Hezbollah needs to put down its weapons and join the national army. What do you say to that?

    Aoun: The army actually is not so strong, too strong to defend the country, so we have to equip the army and to train it to be able to defend our country. Right now it is not like that.

    Press TV: So do you think Lebanon needs Hezbollah to defend its borders?

    Aoun: Yes, we need the resistance because at any time Lebanon will not have a balance of forces with Israel or with Syria, with any other country. So if we have to defend ourselves, so we have to make a stronger army and also because the number of our population, our economy cannot support a strong army like Israel. Israel is helped by the United States, by all the Jewish Diaspora and so they can have - and helped by the United States especially - have the highest technology and weapons and so they can have a very destructive power so that we cannot afford. So we need a kind of fighting, we need the guerrillas against the classic armies. So they are stronger than us, they are more rich than us, so the only way to defend Lebanon, that is the guerrilla warfare.

    1. ...

      Press TV: So you believe that Israel could have been behind assassinations in Lebanon for the past decade or so?

      Aoun: They have done already many crimes in Lebanon, many murders, some in Saida, some in Beirut. It will not be the first time but everybody was used to say before that Israel is doing the attack but after the Syrian departure, they accused Syria of doing the murders but it is not a true accusation. It is a political one.

      Press TV: How do you see the role of Israel in the conflict in Syria? What they are doing over there?

      Aoun: Well they participate it directly and certainly if they participate it, it pushed to change the regime of Bashar al-Assad, hoping that it will control forever the Golan Heights and it will get rid of the Palestinian refugees in Syria and in Lebanon.

      Press TV: Let’s go to the issue of Turkey. Turkish politics today have made headlines all over the world. AK party has one really big landslide victory, something a lot of people did not expect. Do you think this huge victory for Recep Erdogan and Ahmet Davutoglu would put them in a position to strengthen their support for the militancy in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad?

      Aoun: I do not think so. Maybe he will become more wise to attack again the Syrians and I think he was helped some foreign powers to win the elections but in condition of …

      Press TV: What foreign powers are you talking about?

      Aoun: Well he is in the NATO but I think he will be very quiet after the election and he has many troubles in Syria and he would like to arrange the Turkish situation before then to look to Syria.

      Press TV: What is your message to AK party and President Erdogan now that they won the election?

      Aoun: My message? To take care only of Turkey and has not to dream of an empire in the Middle East.

    2. The open flame in the coal mine.

    3. At the time of this statement, to the Jerusalem Post, by Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren ...

      “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.”

      Even if the other “bad guys” were affiliated with al-Qaeda.

    4. ISIS was created by the mass killings by Syria with Iran's help.

      Assad is a savage. And he and the Mullah's of Iran have created ISIS from the Baathists...

      Your cut and paste "quotes" are meaningless

    5. The United States is at war with al-Qaeda, it is not at war with Syria
      The Israeli back the enemies of the United States.

      That is meaningful

  8. Wiki bio

    Michel Naim Aoun (Arabic: ميشال عون‎) (born 18 February 1935)[1] is a Lebanese politician and former Lebanese Army Commander. He is the founder of the Free Patriotic Movement, over which he presided from 2005 to 2015.

    From 22 September 1988 to 13 October 1990, shortly before the end of Lebanon's Civil War, Aoun served as Prime Minister of one of two rival governments contending for power at that time. He declared "The Liberation War" against the Syrian army forces on 14 March 1989. On 13 October 1990, the Syrian forces invaded Beirut, killing hundreds of unarmed soldiers and civilians. Aoun fled to the French Embassy in Beirut, and was later granted an escape to France. He returned to Lebanon on 7 May 2005, eleven days after the withdrawal of Syrian troops from the country. In 2006, as head of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), he signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hezbollah, starting a major alliance that has remained ever since. Despite the bloody history with the regime of Hafez al-Assad, father of Bashar al-Assad, Aoun visited Syria in 2009.[2][3] He is is a Member of Parliament and the head of the Reform and Change Bloc, which has 27 representatives and is the second biggest bloc in the parliament. In September 2015, Aoun sponsored the candidacy of his son-in law, then Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, to the FPM leadership post. Bassil was elected by acclamation after his main contender, MP Alain Aoun, was convinced to quit the race.[4]

  9. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regularly equates the two Palestinian movements with IS.

    In September, he told the UN General Assembly “when it comes to their ultimate goals, Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas,” he said, using an alternate acronym for IS.

    Senior figures in Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip and is considered by the US and EU to be a “terrorist” group, and Islamic Jihad criticized the terrorist killings that rocked the French capital late Friday.

    Dr. Bassem Naim, head of the Council of International Relations for Hamas, told AFP the group condemned “the acts of aggression and barbarity,” while Islamic Jihad called it a crime against innocent people.

    The jihadist Islamic State group, an Islamist movement that controls much of Syria and Iraq, said it carried out the Paris attacks.

    Naim, a former health minister in Gaza, said he condemned the “barbarity” of the attack in France and hoped for “stability and security” there.

    He denied the attack had anything to do with Islam.

    “Terrorism has no religion,” he said.

    Nafez Azzam, a member of Islamic Jihad’s political bureau, told AFP: “We condemn this crime in Paris against innocent people, this message of hatred.”

    “Islam rejects indiscriminate killing,” he added.

    1. Bibi is correct.

      Hamas, Fatah, the PA are all the progenitors of ISIS.

      Even yesterday Palestinians shot to death Jews for being Jews.

      ISIS IS Hamas, PA, Fatah, Islamic Jihad

      ISIS in syria and iraq was created by syria and Iran.

      Let's remember Assad (with Iran's direct assistance) have slaughtered 360,000+, quirk says it's only 220k....

  10. This is the same Netanyahu who in 2002 was invited by the Republicans to advise them on Iraq: WATCH IT AGAIN:

    That testimony in no small part contributed to the 14 year calamity resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands, wounding of million and the destruction of the Middle east.

    Who are you going to believe, Netanyahu or Hezbollah?

    1. 2002?

      14 years ago?

      wow, so last decade..

      you keep parading statements that were about a time ago as if it has any credibility.

      How about we post the 1973 arab league's 3 NO's?

      Or the 1948 statements of driving the Jews into the sea?

    2. The world is simple Deuce to you.

      You stand with Iran, the Palestinians, (fatah and hamas), Syria and Russia.

      That says it all

    3. Israel stands with al-Qeada

      That says even more

  11. Who do I believe - Hesbollah, or a back-stabbing, congenital liar?

    It's not even close.

    1. Well Hezbollah blew up the marine barracks do you care?

      I thought you CLAIMED to be a MARINE?

  12. .

    Let's remember Assad (with Iran's direct assistance) have slaughtered 360,000+, quirk says it's only 220k....

    We, discussed this only a couple days ago and you still can't get it right.


    1. Pick your number quirk, it means nothing.

      150,000, 220, 360?

      who cares.

      the fact is the fact, assad, with iran's assistance have slaughters countless civilians.

      now pick that out of your teeth


    We are in a war with a monster that is partly of our creation. We have to win and with capable and motivated allies, we will destroy ISIS.

    Hezbollah is one useful ally. Israel is not. Iran is. Russia is. Saudi is not. The Kurds are the Turks are not.

    1. Iran and Syria CREATED ISIS.

      Islamic savages have been murdering Americans since 1783.

      Israel is and will continue to be a valued close ally.

      Your opinion on the matter? Irrelevant.

      BTW, Hezbollah has murdered more Americans than any other group since ww2.... Stick that in your bullshit Liberty pipe and smoke it.

      Hezbollah is your friend?

      When then tortured Buckley to death, where were you? Cheering them?

      Watch this actual video of Hezbollah if you can..

  14. Name one thing that Israel has done for the US since April 1967 when Israeli war planes, paid for by US taxpayers, killed and wounded 185 US servicemen serving on the USS Liberty.

    1. Deuce, why combine the dead and wounded? Not bad enough?

      Asked and answered dozens of times.

      If you don't like the fact that Israel is a special ally of the USA? cram it.

      Israel still keeps you safe (safer) at night, you should thank them....


    2. I know. They weren’t Jews, just American servicemen shot to hell by your team.

  15. .

    Bibi is correct.

    Hamas, Fatah, the PA are all the progenitors of ISIS.

    No, Bibi is as usual wrong.

    Hamas was formed in 1987 with its primary goal being to fight the Israeli occupation of the territories, an occupation that ad a;ready lasted 20 years at that time.


    1. Hamas is an offshoot of the moslem brotherhood as is fatah and the pa.

      They gave the seeds to the Sunni baathists...

      Bibi is right as usual and you are still picking your teeth.

    2. .

      ISIS in syria and iraq was created by syria and Iran.

      There is no doubt Hezbollah was formed by Iran but the reason it was formed was to counter the continued Israeli occupation of Lebanon.

      You fail to see the 'first cause' in these events.


    3. .

      Hamas is an offshoot of the moslem brotherhood as is fatah and the pa.

      You equate genealogy with first cause. By that standard, how can you deny ISIS is the progeny of Saudi and US foreign policy?

      Your lack of understanding of the facts of history is only matched by your inconsistency.


    4. Wow big words for a tooth picking old man...

      I equate ideology with facts...

      You equate false logic with rational discourse,

      Hey quirk, have you ever had an honest discussion in your life?

    5. QuirkSun Nov 15, 11:39:00 AM EST

      ISIS in syria and iraq was created by syria and Iran.

      There is no doubt Hezbollah was formed by Iran but the reason it was formed was to counter the continued Israeli occupation of Lebanon.

      So Iran formed hezbollah in Lebanon, a foreign fighting force to counter Israel, and yet Hezbollah invaded Israel after the UN certified it has completely withdrew...

      Now Hezbollah is used in Syria as storm troopers..

      Oh btw...

      Hezbollah? murders lebanese as easily as it' murders syrians..

      Nice guys you support.

  16. Hey sports fans, look at this:

    What is "Occupation"Sun Nov 15, 10:22:00 AM EST

    14 years ago?

    wow, so last decade..

    you keep parading statements that were about a time ago as if it has any credibility.

    How about we post the 1973 arab league's 3 NO's?

    Or the 1948 statements of driving the Jews into the sea?

    This argument about time irrelevance comes from the same source that Europeans have the right to settle on Arab lands because of something that happened 3000 year ago.

    1. the right to self determination of the Jews living in the lands of Israel is not for you to determine.

      btw what right do you have to live in america?

      and why do you ignore the jews that lived for 3000 years in Israel? under occupation? and the 800,000 Jews expelled from arab occupied lands of the middle east?

      The Jews had been there for thousands of years, more followed of course, just as arabs migrated to the area in the early 1900's to seek jewish provided jobs.

    2. .

      In 1267, the Jewish scholar Nahmanides left Spain and moved to Jerusalem. In his correspondence to relatives, he indicated there were only two Jews left in the whole of Jerusalem, two brothers who were dyers.

      It appears at the time there were more Spanish tourists in Jerusalem than Jews. The 'black Friday' syndrome I suppose, placeholders.


    3. In 1267?

      Did he survey the Galilee, Bethlehem, Hebron, Tiberius ?

      How did the population of Jews in Jerusalem decline so much in the preceding 6 centuries?

      Oh, that's right, the ethnic cleansing by Saladin the moslem...

    4. What was the population of moslems in jerusalem from it's creation until 640 ce?

      that was about 2000 continuous years?


    5. Never been there... no moslems did not show up til 640...

      didn't build a thing...

      took over the jewish and christian sites...

    6. Nice find Quirk, it gives present day Israel all the credibility of Kwanza.

    7. .

      You were the one arguing that a few Jews remaining in Palestine somehow created some kind of squatter right to the country.

      As for Saladin,

      Capture of Jerusalem

      Saladin had captured almost every Crusader city. Saladin preferred to take Jerusalem without bloodshed and offered generous terms, but those inside refused to leave their holy city, vowing to destroy it in a fight to the death rather than see it handed over peacefully. Jerusalem capitulated to his forces on Friday, 2 October 1187, after a siege. When the siege had started, Saladin was unwilling[citation needed] to promise terms of quarter to the Frankish inhabitants of Jerusalem. Balian of Ibelin threatened to kill every Muslim hostage, estimated at 5,000, and to destroy Islam's holy shrines of the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque if such quarter were not provided. Saladin consulted his council and the terms were accepted. The agreement was read out through the streets of Jerusalem so that everyone might within forty days provide for himself and pay to Saladin the agreed tribute for his freedom.[93] An unusually low ransom for the times (around $50 today) was to be paid for each Frank in the city, whether man, woman, or child, but Saladin, against the wishes of his treasurers, allowed many families who could not afford the ransom to leave.[94][95] Patriarch Heraclius of Jerusalem organised and contributed to a collection that paid the ransoms for about 18,000 of the poorer citizens, leaving another 15,000 to be enslaved. Saladin's brother al-Adil "asked Saladin for a thousand of them for his own use and then released them on the spot." Most of the foot soldiers were sold into slavery.[96] Upon the capture of Jerusalem, Saladin summoned the Jews and permitted them to resettle in the city.[97]

      Nahmanides was in Jerusalem 100 years after Saladin. Evidently, not many Jews took up Saladin on his offer.

      Once again, you prove your grasp of history is wanting. Almost as much as your understanding of how the world works.

      And this time, you slander Saladin.



  17. I demand that the arabs in Egypt give the whole place back to the Copts, the last real Egyptians, and to the Jews too.

    It was stolen from them by the sword.

    Same for much of the rest of the mid east. All should go back to the original owners.

    Istanbul should be Constantinople.

    Saudi Arabia should have plenty of Jews. They did in the beginning.

    Iran should be Zoroastrian.

    1. .

      Hey, no problem, we'll get started right away.


  18. Deuce, your guy Bernie blames terrorism on global warming.

    You got to dump your Limo.

    You are a contributor to terrorism, one of the leading culprits.

    And quit with the Jet Setting !

  19. Go shoot an elk or something, grab some comped pancakes at the casino, lurk over at nieces4pieces. Anything. please.

    1. I know you love your Limo.

      I can understand it being hard to part with it even to save the planet and stop terrorism.

      My sympathies, but we all must sacrifice.

  20. .

    Looks like another day of the same ol' same ol' here. It's a beautiful sunny day here. Time to get outside and enjoy it.


  21. In last week’s debate, Carly Fiorina received a question that no Republican candidate could possibly answer:

    In seven years under President Obama, the U.S. has added an average of 107,000 jobs a month. Under President Clinton, the economy added about 240,000 jobs a month. Under George W. Bush, it was only 13,000 a month. If you win the nomination, you'll probably be facing a Democrat named Clinton. How are you going to respond to the claim that Democratic presidents are better at creating jobs than Republicans?

    And because there was no good answer, Fiorina simply chose not to offer one. After briefly appearing stunned by the truth—as Republicans often are—she told a story about a woman she’d met, offered some platitudes about what needs to be done, and then, as any good Republican would, plumb rejected the fact-based premise of the question itself, claiming: “Yes, problems have gotten much worse under Democrats.” And, really, what else could she or any Republican have done? When the truth hurts, shift to truthiness.

    In remarks made before this most recent Republican debate, Hillary Clinton offered a bit of preemptive sympathy for the predicament in which Fiorina found herself: “It must be difficult preparing for debates knowing that when you have a Democrat in the White House, the economy does better.”

    1. It's still “the economy, stupid.” That hasn’t changed. When Democrats remember that fact, they win. In order to win, they must offer voters a choice between their economic vision and that of their Republican opponents. They must remind voters which party has done a better job when given the opportunity to implement their economic vision.

      In 1993 Bill Clinton and a Democratic Congress passed—without a single Republican vote—a budget that raised taxes on high incomes while cutting government spending, most significantly in the area of defense. Republicans howled. I’ll ask you to remember then-Senator Phil Gramm’s prediction: "I believe this program is going to make the economy weak. I believe hundreds of thousands of people are going to lose their jobs. I believe Bill Clinton will be one of those people." Sen. Gramm was wrong. On each of those counts.

      From Carly Fiorina all the way across that debate stage, today’s Republicans all sound like, well, Phil Gramm. They all claim that cutting taxes on the rich will bring prosperity to everyone, yet reality-based analyses show that each of their tax plans would simply pile on mountains of debt. Fiorina also claimed that regulations kill jobs, the economy, and Girl Scouts (well, two out of three, at least). Of course, if that were true, the economy would certainly have performed worse under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama than during the anti-regulatory administration of George W. Bush. If you think that’s true, I’d be happy to sell you tickets for a tour of the Phil Gramm Presidential Library.

      History matters, and past performance is, in fact, indicative of future results. If a Republican wins the White House next year, he or she will almost certainly have House and Senate majorities. They will be able to implement whatever taxing and spending priorities they want—even without changing the filibuster rules—because the reconciliation process means a simple majority in the Senate is enough to win those kinds of votes.

      It matters that Republicans have held the White House and majorities in both houses of Congress twice in the last century, and that those periods resulted in the two worst economic crashes of that century: The Great Depression and the Great Recession that began in 2008. Even if we take out the Depression and just start with Harry Truman, the economy has performed noticeably better under Democratic than Republican presidents by any number of measures: real G.D.P. growth, jobs added, hours worked, declines in the unemployment rate, growth in real median family income, not to mention stock prices and corporate profits. It’s worth noting that these results occurred even though incoming Democratic presidents inherited weaker economies than did their Republican counterparts during these years. Democratic presidents make things better for employers, employees, and shareholders.

    2. Should we take out Truman and Eisenhower? Fine. The numbers since 1961, when JFK took office, also show stronger job creation under Democratic than Republican presidents. A half-century too long for you? OK, over the past quarter-century, we’ve had three two-term presidents, and the one Republican was the worst of the three. Bill Clinton’s presidency saw stronger job growth than not only George W. Bush’s, but also that of his father, as well as Presidents Nixon, Ford, Eisenhower, and, yes, the sainted Reagan—not only in the raw number of jobs created, but on a percentage basis as well.

      When President Obama came into office, our economy was shedding three quarters of a million jobs per month thanks to the crash of 2008, yet the trend started improving immediately after he and Congressional Democrats passed the stimulus, and our economy started adding jobs even before the end of his first year. The last three years have seen the most jobs created of any three-year period in the past fifteen. In between those two job-creating Democrats, George W. Bush presided over eight years during which our economy lost almost half a million private sector jobs. Yes, that’s right. Lost. History matters.

      Hillary Clinton summed it up nicely:

      “For 35 years, Republicans have argued that if we give more wealth to those at the top – by cutting their taxes and letting big corporations write their own rules – it will trickle down, it will trickle down to everyone else.

      Yet every time they have a chance to try that approach, it explodes the national debt, concentrates wealth even more, and does practically nothing to help hard-working Americans.

      Twice now in the past 20 years, a Democratic president has had to come in and clean up the mess. I think the results speak for themselves.

      Have Democratic presidents been perfect? Of course not. Have they vanquished economic inequality and created paradise on earth? No president can. However, Democrats have a positive record to run on: A record of being the better party on job creation, economic growth, and improving the lives of Americans of every strata. Republicans have none of the above. Whoever he or she is, if the Democratic nominee can make this election a choice between them, it should be no contest at all.

      Diary - Daily Kos

    3. Kos

      The Holy Bible, Rufus Edition.

  22. Quite the BIG ego there Deuce...

    Deuce ☂Sun Nov 15, 11:34:00 AM EST
    Name one thing that Israel has done for the US since April 1967 when Israeli war planes, paid for by US taxpayers, killed and wounded 185 US servicemen serving on the USS Liberty.

    Since when did America purchase Mirage III Fighter Jets for Israel?

    The IAF dispatched two Mirage III fighter jets that arrived at Liberty at about 2:00 pm.[33] The formation leader, Captain Iftach Spector, attempted to identify the ship.[33] He communicated via radio to one of the torpedo boats his observation that the ship appeared like a military ship with one smokestack and one mast.[34] Also, he communicated, in effect, that the ship appeared to him like a destroyer or another type of small ship.[34] In a post-attack statement, the pilots said they saw no distinguishable markings or flag on the ship.[34]

    Deuce have you no shame for the truth?

    Or do you just exaggerate, lie and distort as much as possible?

    either way?

    you are dishonest.

    1. Well there is the pot calling the kettle black!

    2. Listen up scum bag. I was on RAF Bentwaters in March 1967 and watched flightline crews painting out the stars and bars on F4 Phantoms and we were hosting Israeli shitbird pilots that took these fighters down to Israel. For all I know, the same shits could have been killing my fellow servicemen.

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

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

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

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

  24. People around USA are getting riled up over this insane idea to import 200,000 'Syrians' in our midst, much less 4 million.

    I am elated to see a little opposition to this totally mad plan.

  25. Hillary says she took money from Wall Street 'because of 9/11'.


    What a bunch of frauds......the entire Democratic Party......all frauds.......Bernie says global warming causes terrorism......hoot Hoot HOOT that man off the stage......

    1. The Democratic 'debate' was so bad it was euthanized 7 minutes early, a mercy killing.

    2. ALL THREE of the demo-idiots want to admit MORE 'Syrians' into out country.

      Vote Republican for the salvation of our country.

    3. our country

      Trump or Cruz come to mind as probably the best bet in this regard.

    4. November 15, 2015
      GOP candidates urging Obama to rethink accepting most Syrian refugees
      By Rick Moran

      Recently. the Obama administration opened additional refugee processing centers in Iraq and Syria to speed the vetting of the extra 10,000 Syrians that they wish to bring to America.

      That was before the Paris terrorist attacks and the revelation that at least one of the terrorists arrived in France as a refugee last month.

      Seeing an opening, several Republican presidential candidates called on the administration to halt the process of resettling most Syrian refugees in the US - the exceptions being Christians who are being persecuted in the region.


      "President Obama and Hillary Clinton's idea that we should bring tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees to America, it is nothing less than lunacy,” Senator Ted Cruz said in an interview on Fox News.

      “Now on the other hand, Christians who are being targeted for genocide, for persecution, Christians who are being beheaded or crucified, we should be providing safe haven to them," Cruz added.

      Islamic State claimed responsibility on Saturday for the Paris attacks, saying it sent militants strapped with suicide bombing belts and carrying machine guns to various locations in the heart of the capital.

      The White House announced plans in September to increase to 10,000 the number of Syrian refugees accepted in the United States during fiscal year 2016, which began Oct. 1, up from the less than 2,000 accepted last year.

      Globally, the United States will accept 85,000 refugees in 2016, and 100,000 in 2017, up from 70,000 in each of the previous two years, Robert Jenkins, a U.S. AID official, told a Washington forum on Friday.

      Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said Syrian refugees should be provided a safe haven, but it does not have to be in the United States.

      "We need to have a better process,” Huckabee said on CNN. “We don't just have open borders like they do in Europe,” he added.

      The FBI has already said they don't have the resources to vet tens of thousands of Syrian refugees. Nor do they have the manpower to keep track of potential violent extremists that would be coming into the country.

      The only conclusion we can draw is that the Obama administration is willing to risk the lives of Americans that we'll get lucky and the jihadists will go someplace else. To deliberately open our door to perhaps dozens of terrorists is mindblowingly stupid. But the administration is far more concerned about appearing to be tolerant and open minded than in securing the homeland.

      Congress can refuse to appropriate funds to bring the Syrians here. And that's something they should do immediately.

      I notice immediately upon gaining power in Hamtramck, Michigan the moslems began issuing threats, to wit -

      First we show the Poles, then everybody else.

      They don't make good neighbors. They don't take to our ways. They do not belong here. We do not want Sharia law.

    5. "The Obama administration is moving to increase and accelerate the number of Syrian refugees who might be admitted into the United States"

    6. Our Hero

      First you initiate terminal chaos, then you import it to the USA.

      Global Organizer in Chief.

      Hero to some around here.

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

    1. I thought Reagan ordered them to blow up the barracks?

      Certainly the ROP would not do it on their own accord.

    2. There is no ROP, Doug.

      There is no "ROP Central Command".

      No "Voice of Islam" on the radio or TV.

      Just destabilized localities, far, far away.

    3. And a Hell of a destabilized community right here at home.

    4. Hey! Desert Rat's taken up croquet !

  27. Ah, but the people of the world are not fooled...

    those who scream allahuakbar as they murder are cut from the same clothe.

    Be they Iranian, Palestinian, Iraqi, Syrian or even if they are born in Manchester...

    Wrap yourself in the Koran and murder Jews, Christians and others?

    Puts you in the category of shit...


    Deuce's pals, the Fatah, the Hamas, the Mullahs, the Hezbollah..

    1. And Sodastream sales crater in the American market when the market discovers Sodastream is an Israeli company.

    2. Hezbollah was founded in mid-1980s primarily to defend the Lebanese soil against the Israeli occupation and aggression. The regime’s occupation of a strip of south Lebanon in 1982 led the resistance fighters through a long anti-occupation campaign to finally liberate the region and force the regime forces to withdraw on May 24, 2000.

      Hezbollah was elected by people to the Lebanese parliament. There are cabinet members and ministers who are from Hezbollah in Lebanon.

      The resistance movement is also fighting ISIS terrorists in Syria and giving aid to the Syrian government to curb the terror group.

      Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah slammed the deadly terror attacks by Daesh in the French capital Paris late Friday.

      “I deem it necessary to officially condemn the terrorist attacks in Paris, which were committed by Daesh,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech on Saturday.

      Hezbollah currently holds 12 seats out of 128 seats of the Parliament of Lebanon and the two ministers of state and agriculture.

    3. Hezbollah is fighting ISIS. Israel is not. Nuff said.


      ISIS claims credit for bombing against Hezbollah

    5. Let’s see, what are the French doing against ISIS, having just suffered a terrorist attack similar to the attack ISIS made on Hezbollah.

      ANTALYA, Turkey — French warplanes launched a ferocious retaliatory assault late Sunday on targets in Raqqa, the de facto Islamic State capital in Syria, after coordination with U.S. defense officials.

      The French Defense Ministry said that 10 aircraft dropped 20 bombs on facilities used by the militant group, which has claimed responsibility for Friday’s terror attacks in Paris, striking a command center, a militant-training facility and an arms depot.

      Opposition activists reached in Raqqa said they counted at least 30 bombs, which they said hit, among other things, a local football stadium, a museum and medical facilities. They said the strikes had knocked out electricity in the city of about 200,000 people.

      The French statement said the operation, launched from bases in the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, was conducted in coordination with the U.S. military command, which has compiled an extensive target list in Raqqa. U.S. officials, speaking at the G20 summit here that President Obama is attending, said the French operation was discussed between the two militaries, as well as in telephone calls Saturday and Sunday between Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and his French counterpart.

    6. How about our greatest ally, who are they attacking, surely ISIS.
      Well, not exactly, the canaries are attacking:

      Report: Israel Air Force Strikes Hezbollah, Regime Facilities in Syria
      According to Syrian-opposition media, two facilities were attacked late Friday evening in the first Israeli strike in Syria since Russia joined conflict.

      read more:

      Just to be helpful, as usual.

    7. Hezbollah as started numerous battles and wars against Israel

      They are there.

      America is 6000 miles away.

      If Israel sees it's national security at risk 30 miles from it's borders? Who the fuck are you to judge?

  28. re: Rufus and his heroes Obama and Kos, above:

    40% Of US Workers Now Earn Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage

    More than 40 percent of all U.S. workers actually make less than what a full-time minimum wage worker made back in 1968.

    Jiggered Figures, much?

    1. Trump said Wages are too high.

    2. I just noticed,

      Doug is back for all of 30 minutes, and he's already posting articles from 2013.

      Some things never change. :)

    3. You're still blaming Bush!

      (I accept he deserves blame, you deny Obama does.)

  29. Where Fed's critics got it wrong in GOP debate


    The Federal Reserve was instrumental in easing the impact of the Great Recession. As bad as the downturn was, it could have have been worse if central bankers hadn't aggressively used monetary policy to curb the severity of the crisis and help put the U.S. economy on the path to recovery.

    So it has been disappointing to hear Republican presidential candidates bash the Fed in their debates and on the campaign trail. For example, the Fed's low interest rate policy is blamed for causing income inequality -- except that the gap between rich and poor started to widen decades ago in the 1970s.

    The argument doesn't hold up even if it is limited to the time period the Fed's policy has been in effect. The gains in employment and resulting growth in income from low interest rates and quantitative easing, a Fed bond-buying program aimed at stimulating economic growth, more than offset other factors. Would inequality be lower, on average, if the unemployment rate were 8 percent instead of 5 percent and if millions more were unemployed?

    Yes, the Fed could have pursued policies that did more to help middle-income households. For instance, more could have been done to help people hurt by the housing bubble (the Fed helped banks that were hurt, after all, so why not households too?). Still, the Fed is not responsible for income inequality. The source of that problem lies elsewhere.

    The Fed is also accused of playing politics by keeping interest rates low. But that shows a lack of understanding of how the Fed conducts monetary policy -- indeed, the criticism makes no sense. Republicans criticize the Fed because its low interest rate policy supposedly hurts the economy, yet somehow the central bank is keeping interest rates low to help the economy? I am not impressed with that argument.

    1. For now, the Fed is keeping interest rates low because that's what economic conditions demand. Inflation is below target, labor markets are doing better but still have plenty of slack, and both of those factors call for low interest rates. Interest rate hikes would make the problem worse, not better. Raising rates too soon and delaying the recovery is a much harder mistake to recover from than waiting too long and experiencing inflation. In other words, it's much easier to bring inflation down than it is to bring employment up.

      So the Fed is right to be patient, and it will raise rates when the economy is ready, not when it makes politicians of either party happy.

      And don't get me started on the proposals to return to a gold standard. That shows nothing but, well, ignorance. That idea has been thoroughly debunked -- it simply doesn't deliver the benefits that are claimed, while the problems are much larger than acknowledged. To be charitable, perhaps the call to return to a gold standard can be explained by Republican politicians pandering to populist beliefs about the Fed and money. But it's not so clear that charity is called for. It's a truly bad idea.

      As Ben Bernanke recently made clear , the Fed's policy of an extended period of low interest rates is a consequence of the failure of Congress to do its job. Instead of pursuing expansionary fiscal policy over and above the initial stimulus package once it was clear more stimulus was needed, or simply holding the line, Republicans in Congress pursued austerity. And they did so aggressively with threats of government shutdowns and so on.

    2. Additional stimulus from fiscal policy would have put upward pressure on interest rates, and the Fed could have begun normalizing monetary policy much sooner. Instead, congressional Republicans did the opposite. They pushed for austerity policies that helped to push interest rates down. Democrats went along, eventually, and that was a mistake, but Republicans drove the policy. There was no way that additional stimulus would make it to President Obama's desk; austerity prevailed, making it much harder for the Fed and hampering the economic recovery. There was no way the Fed could raise rates in such an environment.

      So it's a bit irksome to hear Republicans, many of whom are in Congress, spouting on about the Fed's poor policy when they are the ones who endorsed a policy mistake in pursuit of political and ideological objectives. The Fed did what it needed to do. Republican lawmakers didn't.

      Although some Republicans want Congress to have control over the Fed, the bank's independence was a critical factor in its ability to pursue sound policies and avoid the politics that lead to gridlock, or the mistakes that were made with fiscal policy. The next time you hear Republicans call for more control and oversight of the Fed by Congress, think about how poorly Congress did with fiscal policy, and how creative and aggressive the Fed became in trying to compensate for that failure. Then ask yourself whether that is a good idea.

      CBS News - Mark Thoma

    3. Republicans are F....., why can't you admit Obama and the Dems are too, and knock off the pages of Bullshit?


    Holly intentionally missing Ronda's head while she's on the floor. this really pro wrestling rules?

  31. France Bombs ISIS Headquarters In Syria



    1. Correction:

      France bombs destabilized community far far away.

  32. I think Obama's doing a good job.

    (in spite of the F****d Republicans.)

    1. Hey, I just noticed: Rufus is still hilarious!

  33. Man, if you ever find yourself have a bad day, just find a copy of today's Denver Broncos game, and play it back. :)

    1. I got my kicks from some comment today about how Seattle shoulda run the ball !

      (and fired the coach)

      Give us a hint on the Broncos.

    2. After 4, or maybe it's 5, now, interceptions, Peyton Manning is on the bench.

    3. He don't know shit about age.

      I DO !

    4. I just learned little bro Manning beat that Patriot Guy in two Superbowls.

      ... I'd dropped out for a spell, I guess.

  34. Btw, it's going to come out that there weren't any refugees involved in that Paris attack.

    1. Invite em all in, I say., Obama sez.

  35. Meanwhile:

    IRBIL, Iraq - Kurdish forces said Sunday they uncovered two mass graves outside Sinjar, a northern Iraqi town near the Syrian border that was ruled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) for more than a year before the extremists were driven out last week.

    The first grave uncovered was west of the town's center near the technical institute and contained 78 elderly women's bodies, the Sinjar director of intelligence, Qasim Samir, told The Associated Press. The second grave was uncovered about 15 kilometers west of Sinjar and contained between 50 and 60 bodies of men, women and children, he said.

    1. That was a seriously destabilized locality!

    2. In technical terms, they destabilized the shit out of it.


    Yaalon: Hezbollah, not ISIL, Challenging Israel

    Local Editor

    Zionist entity: Defense Minister Moshe YaalonThe Zionist Defense Minister said on Wednesday that the so-called 'Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant' (ISIL) takfiri group "has not yet challenged Israeli borders," but the occupation regime is concerned Lebanese Resistance fighters of Hezbollah will seize an opportunity to go on the offensive against it.

    "So far, so good. But our main worry, regarding the situation in Syria … is Iranian Revolutionary Guard- backed factions, proxies, trying to open or to renew a terror front against us from the Golan Heights," Moshe Yaalon said during a press conference at the Pentagon alongside his US counterpart Ash Carter.

    The Golan Heights is a Syrian decades-long Zionist-occupied area.

    Yaalon claimed that Tel Aviv does not intervene in Syria as long as the Zionist red lines are not crossed. His quote totally contradicts with the history of the Zionist involvement in the Syrian crisis by funding and training the armed takfiri groups, and treating their wounded operatives inside the occupied territories.

    "We do keep our well-done three redlines: not to allow any violation of our sovereignty, not to allow a delivery of advanced weapons to rogue elements in the region, as well as chemical weapons or agents to rogue elements in the region," he said in an attempt to obscure the Zionist atrocities in breaching the sovereignty of Lebanon, Syria and Palestine.

    Ya’alon’s comments, moreover, came in contrary to reports of Israeli jets on multiple occasions having struck undisclosed targets inside Syria since the conflict began in 2011.

    Regarding the Russian airstrikes on ISIL and other takfiri groups operating against the Syrian national forces, Yaalon said that the Zionists are "taking safety measures, precautions to avoid any conflict between us and them."

    ”We do not intervene in their activities, they don’t intervene in our activities. We are free to operate in order to keep our interests,” he added.

  37. Replies
    1. It's an excellent ally, doing all sorts of stuff for America that America doesn't want to do and while doing it not stirring up the pot...

      Just imagine the war that would break out IF Iran was successful in using Syria to ship advanced weapons to Hezbollah?

      You'd be crying for 4 years at the destruction done to Lebanon by the IDF..

      Maybe you owe the IDF a round of brews for keeping advanced weapons out of the hands of the Hezbollah?

      Dint offer any brews to your pals they will be quite pissed off...

  38. This is the Ally we want:

    BELEK, Turkey, Nov 15 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama vowed on Sunday to step up efforts to eliminate Islamic State and prevent more attacks like those in Paris, while urging Russia's Vladimir Putin to focus on combating the jihadist group in Syria.

    A White House official said Obama and Putin agreed in a 35-minute meeting on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Turkey on the need for a political transition in Syria, saying events in Paris had made it all the more urgent.

    The two-day summit brings . . . . . . . .


  39. Not that Israel is alone. Both the US and France have been all over the lot backing groups that have morphed into ISIS.

    1. They luv those Hiluxes we gave 'em.

      Shoulda given em Luvs.

  40. Deuce ☂Sun Nov 15, 06:19:00 PM EST
    Hezbollah is fighting ISIS. Israel is not. Nuff said.

    I guess checkers is your game....

    Nuff said...

    1. Israel is aiding the one group in the entire world that the United States is officially, by act of Congress, in armed conflict with.

      All that needs be said

  41. Heya Doug, glad to see you are back.

    This place can always use another sane voice.

    Sadly must report...we've lost Deuce....

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

    1. It is not about the lies you tell about me, "O"dure, it is about the actions of the Zionists in Israel.

    2. And those actions, and the words that are used in the attempts to justify such Zionist perfidy, open sourced and verifiable.

    3. But your sources are incomplete and distorted and out of context!

      You are not believable!

      You claims of lies and slander are world renowned!

    4. And Jack, how is that slice of occupied bottom lands you squat on?

      Still holding theft of another's lands?

    5. He told us he got out of the cattle ranching business which he was never in so he either sold the land or never had any to begin with......he lives in him mom's basement when not doing time. I think he's out on probation at this time. When she gives him some money he goes bowling.

  43. What I Discovered From Interviewing Imprisoned ISIS Fighters

    They’re drawn to the movement for reasons that have little to do with belief in extremist Islam.

    By Lydia WilsonTwitter OCTOBER 21, 2015

    No sooner am I settled in an interviewing room in the police station of Kirkuk, Iraq, than the first prisoner I am there to see is brought in, flanked by two policemen and in handcuffs. I awkwardly rise, unsure of the etiquette involved in interviewing an ISIS fighter who is facing the death penalty. He is small, much smaller than I, on first appearances just a boy in trouble with the police, his eyes fixed on the floor, his face a mask. We all sit on armchairs lined up against facing walls, in a room cloudy with cigarette smoke and lit by fluorescent strip lighting, a room so small that my knees almost touch the prisoner’s—but he still doesn’t look up. I have interviewed plenty of soldiers on the other side of this fight, mostly from the Kurdish forces (known as pesh merga) but also fighters in the Iraqi army (known as the Iraqi Security Forces or ISF), both Arab and Kurdish. ISIS fighters, of course, are far more elusive, unless you are traveling to the Islamic State itself, but I prefer to keep my head on my shoulders.

    Rumors abound as to summary executions of ISIS prisoners without due process, but of course no one will go on the record to report such abuses of human rights. Anecdotally, we were told about a prisoner who was interrogated for 30 days but only said “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) for the entire month. “Wouldn’t you shoot him?” they asked. One peshmerga gave an eyewitness report about five prisoners captured, questioned, and shot in the head. We spoke to various military leaders who said they didn’t want to take prisoners, since injured bodies are often booby-trapped and kill approaching soldiers; for this reason the PKK has a take-no-prisoners policy. (The PKK, or Kurdistan Workers’ Party, is the Turkey-based Kurdish separatist group on the international terrorism list; in proving themselves indispensable in the fight against ISIS, they have caused a dilemma for Western governments. They are seemingly not so indispensable that those governments have felt compelled to oppose Turkey’s recent bombing campaign against them.)

    1. Another source told us of the futility of holding prisoners for their bargaining power: “With ISIS, there’s no compromise, no negotiation…they’re not interested in prisoner exchange because they believe that they’re better off dead.” Whatever the truth of the behavior of the military and security services, the fact remains: ISIS prisoners are hard to find.

      One evening we watch a documentary on BBC Arabic profiling Brig. Gen. Sarhad Qadir, the head of police in the Iraqi governorate of Kirkuk. He is shown policing the town of Kirkuk, personally patrolling the streets and houses, arresting people suspected of fighting for ISIS. Kirkuk, then, seems like a good place to start: At least there are prisoners there, shown by the BBC, no less.

      And so my colleagues and I drive to Kirkuk from the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, Erbil, to meet Qadir. Despite the workload of maintaining security in this uneasy, half-Arab, half-Kurdish area, rife with ISIS sleeper cells, he is welcoming, sending armed guards to bring us in from the highway to the city. We are served tea in his office, and he sits with us for half an hour before we are taken to the interview room with two colonels. (The week after I left the country he and other officers would be caught in a huge car bomb; Qadir was wounded for the fourteenth time in the service of Kurdistan.)

    2. Once the first prisoner is there, and with no possibility of small talk, we launch straight into the research questions I am there to ask, the same questions asked of fighters and non-fighters all over the country, questions I’ve asked in Lebanon too, and which have been replicated in other parts of the world by my colleagues at Artis International, a consortium for the scientific study in the service of conflict resolution. The research is based on cognitive and moral psychology, exploring when and why humans commit the most extreme sacrifices—including their lives and the lives of their families—for abstract causes, for so-called “sacred values.” Our research tries to determine why people will change their minds about these sacred values, and whether and how they will change their behavior in defending them. We hope to find out how to persuade people to abandon violent pathways, though I am fast losing faith in that possibility in this part of the world.


      For this trip I am accompanied by senior colleagues; by Scott Atran, an academic based in France; and by Doug Stone, a retired American general who spent over two years in Iraq during the US occupation, interviewing prisoners on a daily basis. This, of course, changes the interview experience fundamentally, crowding the room and giving the event more importance, more formality, but also bringing entirely different questions, emphases, and expertise to bear and so drawing out many different angles on the interviewees. In any case, informality is never going to be achieved with prisoners on death row.

    3. First are questions probing perceptions of the strength of various groups—some of which the interviewee might have sympathy with (although he might not express this). Other groups he would quite clearly consider to be the Other, the Enemy. I bring out a flashcard with pictures of half-naked men on it, ranging from the fairly puny to the biggest bodybuilder—each head replaced by a flag of the Islamic State. Whatever this youngster was expecting, whatever he’s been asked before—this was neither. He looks up, startled, at my colleague Hoshang Waziri—his first human reaction—who begins to explain.

      “This is the Islamic State—look, this is the flag here,” Hoshang says, pointing at the bodybuilder and flexing his biceps. “This picture shows the Islamic State as the strongest it could be. Here, they are very, very weak; and here are all the things in the middle. How strong do you think they are?” The boy timidly points at the weakest—to be expected, as he doesn’t want to seem to be a fan—and we move to a similar picture, but with the Kurdish flag rather than the Islamic State flag superimposed on the bodies. “Now the peshmerga: How strong are they?”

      The prisoner got the hang of the question, and points to the second-strongest picture. In other pictures, he decides that the Iraqi army is in the middle, Iran a little weaker than that, and America the strongest. (He hasn’t heard of the PKK, despite their repeated victories over ISIS.) We ask him to rank all the forces, using the cards, and then I realize that he is still handcuffed and I ask for them to be taken off. In the ensuing hiatus, with policemen fetching keys and walking to and fro, I try to chat more informally, and finally he looks at me, answering questions in one-word answers as to his age, background, education, family. Slowly, with snippets emerging from the rest of the interview, I piece together a picture that is to be repeated, with only minor differences, with other prisoners we talk to that day, stories familiar to General Stone from during the allied occupation, and to journalists and researchers I’ve spoken to since.

    4. This man is 26, the eldest of 17 children from two mothers (that is, his father had two wives at the same time), from Kirkuk. He completed sixth grade, meaning that at least he was literate, unlike others we were to interview. He is married, with two children, a boy named “Rasuul,” meaning Prophet, and a girl named “Rusil,” the plural of Prophet—indicating the centrality of Islam to his life. He was working as a laborer to support his huge family when he hurt his back and lost his job. It was then, his story goes, that a friend, from the same tribe but only distantly related, approached him with the offer to work for ISIS. The story has been honed through repeated interrogation and the trial, and comes out pat. Life under the Islamic State was just terror, he says; he only fought because he was terrorized. Others may have done it from belief, but he did not. His family needed the money, and this was the only opportunity to provide for them.

    5. Later in the interview we find out just how committed he is to his family, first with flashcards that we use to test the degree of fusion of the individual with various groups. We ask about Iraq, Islam, family, friends, and the Islamic State. The choices are again made pictorially: We use a set of two increasingly overlapping circles (at one end of the spectrum the circles are not even touching, at the other they are fully overlapping, with four circles of varying degrees of overlap in between), and again, they are unexpected and confusing to the prisoner—there is not an obvious “right” answer for most of them. The man is drawn out of his shell in spite of himself, losing his self-consciousness in his concentration and his questions to Hoshang. Eventually he decides that he is almost, but not entirely, fused with Iraq and with Islam, completely separate from the Islamic State (again, to be expected), barely connected to friends (“I have no friends”), and fully fused with his family. In fact, his family is the only group he was fully fused with, a decision that took no time at all. During more informal questioning about his family and tribe comes this telling statement: “We need the war to be over, we need security, we are tired of so much war…. all I want is to be with my family, my children.”

    6. When he has been taken away we have the chance to find out just what he was found guilty of, how they found him, and what the evidence was. He was a master of the car bomb, detonating at least four of them in Kirkuk itself and also one scooter bomb, which exploded in a crowded souq selling weapons, killing many scores of people and also weakening the ability of local residents to fight ISIS. He was found through the capture of one of the financers of the sleeper cells in Kirkuk, who had on him a list of pseudonyms along with phone numbers and amounts of money. The police had this man call each person on the list, a cell of six, and set up meetings, where the police captured them—all of them swept up in one day. This man saw that they were there and “he collapsed; he gave us 5 pages of confession.” He stuck to his confession in court, where he was tried under Article 40, the Iraqi law on terrorism, which carries the death penalty.

      Why did he do all these things? Many assume that these fighters are motivated by a belief in the Islamic State, a caliphate ruled by a caliph with the traditional title Emir al-Muminiin, “Commander of the faithful,” a role currently held by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi; that fighters all over the world are flocking to the area for a chance to fight for this dream. But this just doesn’t hold for the prisoners we are interviewing. They are woefully ignorant about Islam and have difficulty answering questions about Sharia law, militant jihad, and the caliphate. But a detailed, or even superficial, knowledge of Islam isn’t necessarily relevant to the ideal of fighting for an Islamic State, as we have seen from the Amazon order of Islam for Dummies by one British fighter bound for ISIS.

    7. In fact, Erin Saltman, senior counter-extremism researcher at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, says that there is now less emphasis on knowledge of Islam in the recruitment phase. “We are seeing a movement away from strict religious ideological training as a requirement for recruitment,” she told me. “If we were looking at foreign fighter recruits to Afghanistan 10 or 20 years ago, there was intensive religious and theological training attached to recruitment. Nowadays, we see that recruitment strategy has branched out to a much broader audience with many different pull factors.”

      There is no question that these prisoners I am interviewing are committed to Islam; it is just their own brand of Islam, only distantly related to that of the Islamic State. Similarly, Western fighters traveling to the Islamic State are also deeply committed, but it’s to their own idea of jihad rather than one based on sound theological arguments or even evidence from the Qur’an. As Saltman said, “Recruitment [of ISIS] plays upon desires of adventure, activism, romance, power, belonging, along with spiritual fulfillment.” That is, Islam plays a part, but not necessarily in the rigid, Salafi form demanded by the leadership of the Islamic State.

    8. More pertinent than Islamic theology is that there are other, much more convincing, explanations as to why they’ve fought for the side they did. At the end of the interview with the first prisoner we ask, “Do you have any questions for us?” For the first time since he came into the room he smiles—in surprise—and finally tells us what really motivated him, without any prompting. He knows there is an American in the room, and can perhaps guess, from his demeanor and his questions, that this American is ex-military, and directs his “question,” in the form of an enraged statement, straight at him. “The Americans came,” he said. “They took away Saddam, but they also took away our security. I didn’t like Saddam, we were starving then, but at least we didn’t have war. When you came here, the civil war started.”

      ISIS is the first group since Al Qaeda to offer these young men a way to defend their dignity, family, and tribe.
      This whole experience has been very familiar indeed to Doug Stone, the American general on the receiving end of this diatribe. “He fits the absolutely typical profile,” Stone said afterward. “The average age of all the prisoners in Iraq when I was here was 27; they were married; they had two children; had got to sixth to eighth grade. He has exactly the same profile as 80 percent of the prisoners then…and his number-one complaint about the security and against all American forces was the exact same complaint from every single detainee.”

    9. hese boys came of age under the disastrous American occupation after 2003, in the chaotic and violent Arab part of Iraq, ruled by the viciously sectarian Shia government of Nouri al-Maliki. Growing up Sunni Arab was no fun. A later interviewee described his life growing up under American occupation: He couldn’t go out, he didn’t have a life, and he specifically mentioned that he didn’t have girlfriends. An Islamic State fighter’s biggest resentment was the lack of an adolescence. Another of the interviewees was displaced at the critical age of 13, when his family fled to Kirkuk from Diyala province at the height of Iraq’s sectarian civil war. They are children of the occupation, many with missing fathers at crucial periods (through jail, death from execution, or fighting in the insurgency), filled with rage against America and their own government. They are not fueled by the idea of an Islamic caliphate without borders; rather, ISIS is the first group since the crushed Al Qaeda to offer these humiliated and enraged young men a way to defend their dignity, family, and tribe. This is not radicalization to the ISIS way of life, but the promise of a way out of their insecure and undignified lives; the promise of living in pride as Iraqi Sunni Arabs, which is not just a religious identity but cultural, tribal, and land-based, too.

      An illustration of the less-than-total commitment to the cause of the Islamic State by Iraqis came from the Kurdish peshmerga Gen. Aziz Waysi, commander of the elite Zerevani (“Golden”) forces. He relates an overheard conversation between an ISIS fighter on the battleground and his leader, via a walkie-talkie previously confiscated from an ISIS corpse. “My brother is with me, but he is dead, and we are surrounded, we need help at least to take away my brother’s body,” General Waysi heard, and then the reply: “What else could you want? Your brother is in heaven and you are about to be.” This answer wasn’t what the poor surrounded young man was hoping for. “Please come and rescue me,” he said, “That heaven, I don’t want it.” But they didn’t, leaving him to whatever paradise awaited.

      What I Discovered Interviewing ISIS Prisoners - The Nation

    10. How could we be so ignorant as to not understand this?

    11. I've still never heard a bit about how the decision to disband the Iraqi Army got made.

      Bush was President, of that I am certain.

    12. ...and we had that guy strutting around in fancy boots fancying himself to be a real cool Viceroy.

  44. I guess those potheads work pretty good. :)

    Monthly Economic Indicators

    The unemployment rate throughout the Metro Denver area improved significantly through September, decreasing 0.5 percentage points to 3.1 percent compared with August. The Metro Denver unemployment rate was also 0.9 percentage points below the September 2014 level of 4 percent. All seven Metro Denver counties reported unemployment rates below 4 percent in September.

    Residential building permits for the Metro Denver area increased in September compared with the prior year. Metro Denver reported a 19 percent increase in total permits issued between September 2014 and 2015, with 292 additional permits issued.

    Unemployment - Denver

    1. .

      Or it could be that they work sloooowwwer and you need to hire more of them to get the work done.


    2. They do a lot of crime. Crime rate has gone up everywhere the shit been legalized. They smoke up the money then shoplift from Albertson's, and Costco. Auto accidents up too.

  45. Come Jack, tell us the tales of the FAKE Jews of Israel, the False flag operation where 3 Jews (2 israelis and one american) were murdered by BIBI... You know all your harebrained conspiracy theories

    GO ahead.

    cut and paste..

    Are you going to use 10-12 sign ons again?

    1. If it suits my purposes, certainly

    2. Yep same old actor Jack...

      Like a puppet on a string...

    3. Jack rat must be back out on probation again.

  46. Maybe you'll be lucky and Syria will come to you.

  47. SOUTHWEST ASIA, November 15, 2015 — U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and 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 Syria

    Fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted six strikes in Syria:

    -- Near Hasakah, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

    -- Near Raqqah, one strike produced inconclusive results.

    -- Near Mara, one strike destroyed an ISIL improvised explosive device cluster, an ISIL fighting position and two ISIL defensive berms.

    -- Near Hawl, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL checkpoint and wounded an ISIL fighter.

    -- Near Dayr Az Zawr, one strike struck an ISIL cash distribution site.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 12 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

    -- Near Kisik, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL mortar system, suppressed an ISIL light machine gun, and wounded an ISIL fighter.

    -- Near Mosul, one strike suppressed an ISIL heavy machine gun.

    -- Near Qayyarah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Ramadi, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed 10 ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL cache, two ISIL buildings, an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb and an ISIL command and control node and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Sinjar, four strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units, destroyed three ISIL vehicles and an ISIL fighting position, and wounded an ISIL fighter.

  48. Jihad Watch
    Exposing the role that Islamic jihad theology and ideology play in the modern global conflicts

    Main target in Paris jihad attack: Jewish-owned Bataclan Theater, frequent target of Muslims and BDS groups

    November 15, 2015 3:41 pm By Robert Spencer 6 Comments

    As Pamela Geller points out here, the jihadi mass murderers in Mumbai in 2008 also went out of their way to target Jews, making a Chabad House in the city a principal site for their jihad. The Qur’an designates Jews the worst enemies of the Muslims (5:82), and this manifests itself in a burning hatred that all too many Muslims have for Jews — a hatred that easily turns murderous.

    This also shows how the global jihad and the BDS movement are close bedfellows.

    “Paris’ Bataclan Theater was BDS and terrorist target for years,” by William A. Jacobson, Legal Insurrection, November 14, 2015 (thanks to Pamela Geller):

    An uncomfortable history for some.

    Of all the attacks in Paris yesterday, the attack on the Bataclan Theater was the most devastating.

    French authorities said more than 80 people died in the club where California-based band Eagles of Death Metal had been playing for about an hour. When the shooting started after four gunmen entered the front of the 1,500-seat theater, dozens struggled to flee out the back alleyway as shots were being fired.

    Gunmen who had entered, dressed all in black and armed with AK-47 rifles, calmly opened fire randomly at patrons who dived for cover on the floor, according to radio reporter Julien Pearce, who was near the stage when the shooting started. “The terrorists were very calm, very determined, and they reloaded three or four times,” Pearce said. “I saw 20 to 25 bodies lying on the floor.”

    But why the Bataclan, of all the theaters and gathering places in Paris?

    The answer may lie in the fact that it is Jewish-owned, and has been a target for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions BDS movement and terrorist threats for years.

    This history was first publicized yesterday by the French Le Point magazine (via Google Translate):...................

  49. France levels ISIS in Raqqa after Paris attack
    posted at 6:31 pm on November 15, 2015 by Taylor Millard

    France is staying true to its promise to wage war on ISIS by dropping bomb after bomb on the terrorist group’s capital of Raqqa. From CNN.

    The targets included a command center, a recruitment center, an ammunition storage base and a training camp for the terror group, said Mickael Soria, press adviser for France’s defense minister.
    ISIS claims Raqqa as the capital of its so-called caliphate. The airstrikes come two days after a series of terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which France’s President described as “an act of war.”

    Twelve aircraft, including 10 fighter jets, were involved in Sunday’s airstrikes, Soria said.

    Twenty bombs were dropped, he said, and all of the targets were destroyed.

    This goes along with French President Francois Hollande vow to rigorously defend itself after Friday’s attack in Paris. Via CBC News:

    Speaking to the country Saturday, Hollande said the attacks were “committed by a terrorist army, the Islamic State group, a jihadist army, against France, against the values that we defend everywhere in the world, against what we are: A free country that means something to the whole planet.”

    Hollande said France “will be merciless toward the barbarians of the Islamic State group.” France “will act by all means anywhere, inside or outside the country.”

    Good on the French for doing this. It may come as a shock to people here, but I’ve got no problem with France, the Arab League, and Russia obliterating ISIS off the face of the planet. It will be interesting to see if the U.S. decides to team-up with Russia in the ISIS fight, although it doesn’t seem likely. The New York Times reported this afternoon President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin talked face to face for over half an hour on Syria and ISIS. How the talk went depends on the source.

    “The conversation lasted approximately 35 minutes and centered around ongoing efforts to resolve the conflict in Syria, an imperative made all the more urgent by the horrifying terrorist attacks in Paris,” an American official said.

    But Russian officials described the meeting in less glowing terms, saying that Mr. Obama and Mr. Putin remained at odds over how to achieve those goals

    “The strategic goals concerning the battle with ISIS, in principle they are very close to each other,” Yuri V. Ushakov, a foreign policy adviser to Mr. Putin, told reporters. “But on tactics, the two sides are currently diverging.”

    1. This shouldn’t be a shocker to anyone because Putin probably wants Obama to stop going after him for supporting Assad, while Obama holds plenty of enmity towards Putin. These differences may end up hindering any cooperation between the countries until 2017, unless Obama decides to come off his high horse and be willing to compromise. But this is Obama we’re talking about and his version of “compromise” is getting everything he wants. It just seems highly unlikely an agreement will be reached outside of the occasional, “don’t walk over into my side of Syria,” pact America and Russia agreed to last month.

      What’s more curious is whether France will start working with Russia in Syria against ISIS. France is part of the coalition pushing for Assad’s ouster, but if the focus is going to be on ISIS itself, then maybe “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” is the best way to go. This is something UK Prime Minister David Cameron seems interested in doing, according to Independent.

      “We have our differences with the Russians, not least because they’ve done so much to degrade the non-Isil [Isis] opposition to Assad, people who could be part of the future of Syria.

      “But the conversation I want to have with Vladimir Putin is to say, ‘Look, there is one thing we agree about which is we’d be safer in Russia, we’d be safer in Britain if we destroy Isil. That’s what we should be focusing on’.”

      He’s going to have a talk with Parliament on getting more involved in Syria. So the world is responding to ISIS and promising to wipe them out. That’s awesome; let them. The quadrillion dollar question is whether all the countries will be able to agree on a strategy. Europe and the Arab League (if they decide to get off their laurels and start fighting ISIS) may have to take a bitter pill and accept Assad until ISIS is destroyed. Russia may have to accept not bombing moderate rebels (if they exist) and actually focus on ISIS. There’s your strategy for destroying ISIS in Syria, if the countries are willing to work together. Which is always easier said than done because everyone has their own goals for the region. It’s nice to see France, Russia, and England vow to take out ISIS. Let them do it by themselves and here’s hoping they succeed.