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

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Putin responds to the Turkmen that killed the Russian pilot but hold on. Here is what Russia has been doing to the Turkmen prior to the Russian plane being shot down:

Baku – APA. Nov 27 Russian air strikes in northwest Syria have heavily targeted ethnic Turkmen areas, according to a Reuters data analysis that helps explain rising tensions between Moscow and Ankara in the weeks before Turkey shot down a Russian warplane.

Tuesday's incident marked the biggest clash between a NATO member and Russia in half a century, and has drawn threats of economic retaliation from the Kremlin. Turkey says the plane strayed into its airspace, which Moscow denies.

Long before that, Turkey had condemned Russia's bombing of towns and villages in the north of Syria's western Latakia province, areas it says belong to Syrian Turkmen, who are Syrians of Turkish descent.

Russian Defense Ministry data, collated by Reuters, shows the bombing raids have struck at least 17 named locations in Turkmen areas since President Vladimir Putin ordered them to begin on Sept. 30.

Russian missiles have destroyed ammunition bunkers, command points and a suicide bomb factory in towns including Salma, Ghmam and Kesladshuq to the west of Syria's Alawite mountains, according to the data, an area humanitarian groups say is ethnically Turkmen.

Salma, which has a majority Turkmen population, has been bombed on at least eight occasions and has found itself at the centre of some of the most geographically concentrated strikes.

Russian jets have hit 15 separate named targets within a 13 km (8 mile) radius of the town, which is used as a base by Turkish-backed rebels in their fight against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"The Russians were heavily bombing Turkmen villages before the downing of the plane," said Samir Alo, head of the Higher Council of Turkmen in Syria. "Thousands of Turkmen families have been driven to the border."


Turkmen card plays into hands of AK Party gov’t in times of crisis

November 28, 2015, Saturday/ 17:00:00/ GÜLTEN ÜSTÜNTAĞ / ISTANBUL TODAY’S ZAMAN

Despite both Syrian and Iraqi Turkmens having occasionally been among Turkey's foreign policy priorities in times of crisis, experts have questioned the sincerity of the protection Turkish policy offers them since the de facto situation proves that Syrian and Iraqi Turkmens' rights have been trampled on compared to other groups in those countries.
The same experts have also concerns that Turkmens are seen as a foreign policy instrument by the Turkish government and are sometimes brought to the table for the purpose of strengthening Turkey's hands in the process of realizing its aspirations regarding Syria and Iraq as part of a broader vision for the Middle East.
After air campaigns against the terrorist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) were intensified by Russia, in partnership with the Syrian regime, the Turkish government brought the dire conditions of Bayır-Bucak Turkmens, who are also suffering from the bombardments, to the international community's agenda.
Since the beginning of the civil war in Syria in 2011, the Bayır-Bucak Turkmens did not occupy Turkey's domestic and foreign policy agendas until Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's ground forces, supported by the Russian air force, recently targeted the rural area of Latakia that encompasses Fırınlık, Acısı and Avanlı in a mountainous region inhabited by Turkmens near the border with Turkey.
Around 1,500 Bayır-Bucak Turkmens fled across the Turkish border after Russia started to pound the area, crossing into Hatay province through Turkey's Yayladağı border gate. It is estimated that the number of the Turkmen villages in the area is around 50.
In the case of Iraq's Turkmens, who were deprived of many social, economic and cultural rights and subjected to immense cruelty and atrocities under the regime of Saddam Hussein since 1970, they finally became free of this situation after the US toppled Saddam in 2003. At those times, Turkmens were not even an issue in relations between Ankara and Baghdad.
Shortly after this, Turkmens began to face serious pressure from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) led by Massoud Barzani, particularly in Kirkuk and Telafer, which were once dominated by a Turkmen population but are now Kurdish majority. Turkmens see Kirkuk as one of their homes. With the displacement of Turkmens in Kirkuk, their percentage of the total population decreased by 35 percent, causing Turkmens to feel threatened in terms of their existence in the region.
Turkey has long been criticized for remaining indifferent to the problems of Turkmens in northern Iraq, despite its rhetoric declaring that the violations of the Turkmens' rights in Iraq are a "red line" for Turkish foreign policy that could provoke any kind of response, including a military one, if Turkmens' right are violated.
None of these threats seem to have worked because the region's Kurds already control the oil trade worth billions of dollars and the Turkmen population fell even more after the Kurds forcibly relocated them.
The goal of the rhetoric was to prevent an independent Kurdish state from emerging in northern Iraq. Despite the fact that there is no independent Kurdish state recognized internationally, a de facto state is visible there that rules the region without answering to the central Iraqi government in Baghdad.

Controversial remarks on MİT-trucks brought Turkmens to the fore

Until the beginning of 2014, Turkmens in Syria were not frequently discussed. In January 2014, gendarmes stopped three Syria-bound trucks belonging to the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) in Turkey's southern provinces of Adana and Hatay after prosecutors received tip-offs that the vehicles were illegally carrying arms to armed organizations in Syria.
Consecutive statements following the interception from senior political figures, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, with some claiming that the trucks were carrying humanitarian aid to Turkmens in Syria, revealed a serious contradiction when others confirmed weapons shipments to Syrian opposition forces fighting against the Assad regime.
It was the moment when the Turkmen card played into the hands of the Turkish government as a tool to justify its position as a country, "supporting its kin in Syria" in an effort to shake off international pressure in the face of accusations that the country has secretly extended a hand to ISIL, an organization considered to be terrorist by the West.
On Tuesday, Turkish jets downed a Russian warplane on the Turkish-Syrian border for violating Turkish airspace. This move, which provoked a harsh response from the Russian side with a series of measures being declared against Turkey, came after Russian jets bombarded Turkmen-inhabited areas.
Although at first sight the downing appears to have links to the protection of Turkmens, many agree that it will exacerbate the security conditions of the Turkmens, with Russia intensifying the air strike campaign on the region in which they live, and that the move will not stop another de facto Kurdish state from being formed in Syria's north.

Turkmens in Syria prominent element of country

The existence of Syria's Turkmens in the region dates back to the seventh century, when the Oghuz Turks, who are considered ancestors of today's Turks living in Turkey, migrated from Central Asia. The first incident marking the appearance of Syria's Turkmens as an actor in regional history was their taking part in the army of Salahuddin Ayyubi (Saladin), who defeated the Crusaders and captured the holy city of Jerusalem in 1096.
When Ottoman Sultan Yavuz Selim defeated the Mamluks in Aleppo in 1516, Turkmens automatically joined the territory of the Ottomans, until 1918, when the Ottoman Empire lost control of the lands in World War I to the Allies. After the Ottomans withdrew from the region, Turkmens immediately launched a fight for independence that resulted in failure. As per the Ankara agreement between Turkey and France in 1921, Turkmens' social and cultural rights were recognized, granting Turkey the right of guarantor state.
According to Middle East historian Erol Çalı, who spoke to Sunday's Zaman, there are nearly three 3.5 million Turkmens living in Syria and 200,000 of them live in the Bayır-Bucak area, with some of them having left the place due to the ongoing military campaign against them. Çalı emphasizes the Assad family had close ties with the Turkmens, but that this did not prevent the policy of intimidation applied against the Turkmens by the Nusayris under the leadership of Hafez al-Assad, the father of Bashar al-Assad, who took over the Syrian administration after the 1970 military coup.

Experts: Turkmens abandoned to their fate

Speaking to Sunday's Zaman, Serhat Erkmen, a prominent Middle East analyst at the 21st Century Turkey Institute, stressed that Turkmens both in Syria and Iraq were the subject of a change in demographic composition over a decade, as well as political divisions.
"They were pressed and attacked for years and never obtained power to defend themselves and respond to these assaults. When comparing their current situation to that of 10 years ago, no progress can be observed. Most of the lands previously inhabited by Turkmens in Syria are now partitioned by ISIL, the Assad regime forces and some Kurdish groups. It cannot be said that they have gotten enough support from Turkey."
Sedat Laçiner, an expert on the Middle East and international relations, told Sunday's Zaman regarding the discussion that Turkmens have been the losers for more than a decade in the region.
"Turkey's insufficient policies towards the region have played a key role in this picture. For a long time, Turkish governments failed to handle the issue based on ethnic politics and did not develop a policy specific to Turkmens in general. The priority was to block a Kurdish state being created or to topple Assad in Syria. Also, Turkey formed a foreign policy based on sectarian divisions by supporting Sunni Arabs in the Middle East. By not coming to terms with the great powers such as the US and Russia in Syria, no solution can be found for the Turkmens," Laçiner said.
Samet Altıntaş contributed to this report.


Turkish weapons ‘heading to end in ISIS hands’: RT speaks to Cumhuriyet journalists

With a Turkish prosecutor asking a court to imprison the Cumhuriyet journalists pending trial on charges of treason, espionage and terrorist propaganda, the mood in the office was tense and many refused to talk to RT on camera, but still wanted to be heard.
In May, the outlet which is considered to be the opponent of the government, published photos of weapons it said were then transferred to Syria by Turkey's intelligence agency.
Those who sent the convoy from Turkey knew that the weapons were "heading to end [up] in ISIS hands," one of the Cumhuriyet bosses told RT's Ilya Petrenko. "There was that flag that belongs to ISIS... [it could be seen] very clearly [from] Turkish border line," the journalist said.
Turkish officials made contradictory statements after the paper blew the whistle, first saying that the arms "were going to the Free Syrian Army," then denying the delivery altogether, and then saying the "aid was destined for the Turkmen."
"When you ask [the government] who [the Turkmen] are, they tell you that those are our guys," another Cumhuriyet journalist told RT. But when the reporter "personally talked" to the fighters supported by her government in Syria, she said she didn't see how they could be different from the terrorists, saying "they were all brothers."
"[There is] no difference between ISIS and the other guys. I think there is a problem with the labels here, because all the world is focused on ISIS, but there are other jihadist groups there, and they have links with Al-Nusra or ISIS, [while] Turkey says 'we are helping that groups – not ISIS'," the Turkish journalist added.


  1. Moslems and Rape

    Sweden ranks Number 2 on the global list of rape countries. From 1975 to present, rape in Sweden has increased 1472%. Based on this model, it is now projected that one in four Swedish women (and sometimes little little girls) will be raped. Rape of men and boys is also on the rise..............

    ...........In Denmark, more than half of convicted rapists are Muslims. In Norway, there has been a dramatic spike in rapes. In Oslo, 10% of females over the age of 15 have been raped by Muslim men with Muslim men guilty of 100% of the rapes against Norwegian women. Rape in Oslo is now so common that hotels hand out key chain alarms when people check in and increasingly Norwegian women only go out in groups. As is the case throughout the West, anyone who speaks the truth about this is labeled a “racist.”

    (To learn more about rape jihad across Europe, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)

    Meanwhile, in the face of this savagery, our political leaders, the media, academics, Muslims, feminists, and/or garden variety lemmings assert that Islam respects women, that it does not sanction the mistreatment of women, and/or that Western culture is a rape culture on par with ISIS. But no matter how persistently or how deeply these fools keep their increasingly vulnerable heads in the sand, it will not change reality. Quite the opposite. By denying the truth, these liars, apologists, and moral relativists fuel violence, rape, torture, enslavement, and death.

    We must (more than) make up for the damage they inflict. So let us get about the task of educating others to make sure this reality does not take hold in America. Let us do our part to make sure that women and girls in the United States do not wind up victims of rape jihad.

    No more moslems.

    Wake UP, America !

    1. Dr. Ben Carson doesn't want Syrian 'refugees' coming to the USA, and either do I.

      The 'refugees' really aren't refugees. They have made it to Jordan, or Turkey, or Egypt............

      Let them stay there.

      It is really welfare immigration and jihadi immigration.

    2. From 1975 to present, rape in Sweden has increased 1472%.

      One thousand four hundred and seventy two percent !

    3. Muslims and Jews, the US don't want none of those weird religious refugees coming here.
      Whether they be from Europe or the Middle East.

      If they ain't "Christians" they don't belong here, that's the rant from the bigots.

  2. AFP, BeirutSunday, 29 November 2015

    At least 18 civilians were killed and 40 wounded in "probably Russian" air strikes on a rebel-held town in northwestern Syria on Sunday, a monitoring group said.

    The strikes hit the Idlib province town of Ariha, which is controlled by the Army of Conquest, a rebel alliance of mainly Islamist groups, including al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

    Several areas of the town were hit and rescue operations are under way with several critically wounded, the Britain-based group said.

    The Army of Conquest alliance seized Ariha in May after heavy fighting with regime forces.

    Russia launched a bombing campaign in Syria on September 30. It says it targets the ISIS group and other "terrorists", but critics accuse it of targeting moderate and Islamist rebel fighters more than ISIS.

    Russian air strikes have previously hit several Army of Conquest positions in Idlib province.


    In Libya, where a NATO bombing campaign helped overthrow Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi four years ago, there is no functional government.

    Warring factions are far more focused on fighting one another than on taking on the Islamic State, and Libya’s neighbors are all too weak or unstable to lead or even host a military intervention.

    The Islamic State has already established exclusive control of more than 150 miles of Mediterranean coastline near Surt, from the town of Abugrein in the west to Nawfaliya in the east. The militias from the nearby city of Misurata that once vowed to expel the group completely have all retreated. Only a few checkpoints manned by one or two militiamen guard the edge of the Islamic State’s turf, where its fighters come and go as they please.

    Militia leaders and Western officials estimate that the group’s forces in Libya now include as many as 2,000 fighters, with a few hundred in Surt and many clustered to the east, around Nawfaliya. A flurry of recent bombings, assassinations and other attacks has raised fears that the city of Ajdabiya, farther to the east, is the group’s next target. Its conquest could give the Islamic State control of a strategic crossroads, vital oil terminals and oil fields south of the city.

    What is more, in the tangle of factions that have taken over whatever remains of the Libyan government, Islamic State fighters have been receiving weapons and other support from the accumulated oil wealth that should belong to the Libyan state. And they are getting the weapons through an intermediary who himself played a peripheral role in the deadly attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi in 2012.

    One of the Islamic State’s most senior leaders, a former Iraqi Army officer under Saddam Hussein now known as Abu Ali al-Anbari, recently arrived in Libya by boat from across the Mediterranean, residents and Western officials say. And Western officials say another senior Iraqi leader of the Islamic State — Wissam Najm Abd Zayd al Zubaydi, also known as Abu Nabil — may have recently served as the group’s top commander in Libya until he was killed this month in an American airstrike near the eastern Syrian city of Darnah.

    “A great exodus of the Islamic State leadership in Syria and Iraq is now establishing itself in Libya,” said Omar Adam, 34, the commander of a prominent militia based in Misurata.

    The group in Surt has also begun imposing the parent organization’s harsh version of Islamic law on the city, enforcing veils for all women, banning music and cigarettes, and closing shops during prayers, residents and recent visitors said. The group carried out at least four crucifixions in August.

  4. Obama and Clinton have the temerity to criticize how Putin is handling taking on “The Rebels”.

  5. We really are exceptional. No doubt about it.

    1. What is quite exceptional is the American propensity to characterize the world in black and white - US versus THEM when, in reality it is a complex variety of colors with many different players.

  6. MOSCOW, November 28. /TASS/. The Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association cannot find explanations for the actions of the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and rings tocsin, Russia’s presidential press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said on Saturday in an interview with the Vesti V Subbotu television programme at the Rossiya 24 channel.

    "We have been receiving very many signals from, let’s call them, various public organisations, from the Association of Industrialists and Businessmen, which is working here, and they are literally ringing tocsins," he said. “They also are unable to explain why Erdogan has done so."

    “Turkey’s provocative actions (of downing the Russian Sukhoi Su-24 bomber) are not in the interests of NATO or Russia, or Turkey itself," he added.

    An F-16 fighter jet from the Turkish Air Force shot down a Russian Su-24M bomber on Tuesday. Ankara claims the Su-24M bomber violated the Turkish air space in the area of the border with Syria.

    However, Russia’s Defence Ministry has said the Su-24M plane stayed exclusively over the Syrian territory and “there was no violation of the Turkish air space."

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that the attack on the bomber will have "serious consequences" for the Russian-Turkish relations. According to Putin, the Turkish Air Force’s attack on the Russian combat plane that took part in the operation against terrorists in Syria and posed no threat to Turkey is a “stab in the back of Russia."

    The crew of the Su-24M bomber managed to eject but one of the pilots was killed by gunfire from the ground. The second pilot was rescued and taken to the Russian air base.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said, speaking at the ceremony of the presentation of credentials by new foreign ambassadors on Thursday that Turkey was steering the relations into the gridlock as it neither apologised, nor offered to repair the damage, nor promised to punish those responsible,

    "We have not heard yet apologies from the highest political level of Turkey. Nor do we hear proposals to repair the damage or promises to punish the perpetrators for the committed crime," Putin said. “One gets the impression that the Turkish leadership is steering deliberately the Russian-Turkish relations into the dead end, which is regrettable," he added.

    In an interview with CNN, Erdogan warned Moscow that Turkey would take steps if its warplane were downed by the Russian S-400 missile system in case it violated the Syrian airspace. "I think if there is a party that needs to apologize, it is not us," he said. "Those who violated our airspace are the ones who need to apologize.".


    Don’t be surprised to see a military coup in Turkey.

  8. Norman Bailey: a military coup in Turkey?


    As David points out, Erdogan’s external problems are increasing rapidly. His domestic problems are increasing even faster and are likely to be even more damaging. He has systematically alienated a very large percentage of the population of Turkey: Kemalists, Kurds, Alevis and Gulenists. In all, perhaps sixty or so percent of the population. Next month’s elections are likely to be curiously irrelevant in the contex of the ongoing meltdown of the Turkish polity. Unlike most analysts, however, I do not see the most likely outcome as either a failed state or increasing authoritarian control by the governing party. I think the most likely scenario will be a military takeover when things reach the appropriate moment of impending disintegration. The Kemalists would enthusiastically support such a coup. If the military were sufficiently intelligent, they would mollify the Alevis and Gulenists; not that difficult. The touchiest situation would be with the Kurds, who might well try to take advantage of such a coup by declaring separation from the rest of Turkey, which the army would have to violently oppose. If the Kurds were to resist that temptation, however, I see no reason why the army would not also make a deal with Ocalan, releasing him from prison and offering an extensive autonomy for his people, in return for helping Turkey control its southern border.
    The Obama administration could be counted on to miss yet another opportunity to do the right thing and condemn the coup as “anti-democratic” (see Egypt), but just about everyone else, except possibly Iran, would welcome such a development.



    When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed. -

    Explanation of the Rule

    The Chatham House Rule originated at Chatham House with the aim of providing anonymity to speakers and to encourage openness and the sharing of information. It is now used throughout the world as an aid to free discussion. Meetings do not have to take place at Chatham House, or be organized by Chatham House, to be held under the Rule.

    Meetings, events and discussions held at Chatham House are normally conducted 'on the record' with the Rule occasionally invoked at the speaker's request. In cases where the Rule is not considered sufficiently strict, an event may be held 'off the record'.

    - See more at:

  9. .

    I would be surprised if there was a military coup in Turkey, There is no doubt Erdogan is playing a dangerous game or that he has plenty of internal enemies. However, since he came to power he has been systematically removing his key enemies in the military. As for his popularity, I'm not sure where the author got his numbers but the AKP just won a clear majority in the latest election.

    We shall see.


    1. I agree.

      Erdogan has swept the Army pretty much clean of conspirators.

      One can always hope, however.

      Some new Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is needed.

      Women in Turkey actually had the right to vote before women in the USA, courtesy of Atatürk.

      Some noted lawyer for the Turkish opposition parties got his brains blown out on the street just the other day.

    2. Further, that portion of Turkish society (can't recall the name) from which the old military generally hailed is shrinking in the battle of demographics, I have read.

  10. .

    This is Not a Day Care. It’s a University!

    Dr. Everett Piper, President

    Oklahoma Wesleyan University

    This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service and complain because he felt “victimized” by a sermon on the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. It appears that this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love! In his mind, the speaker was wrong for making him, and his peers, feel uncomfortable.

    I’m not making this up. Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic! Any time their feelings are hurt, they are the victims! Anyone who dares challenge them and, thus, makes them “feel bad” about themselves, is a “hater,” a “bigot,” an “oppressor,” and a “victimizer.”

    I have a message for this young man and all others who care to listen. That feeling of discomfort you have after listening to a sermon is called a conscience! An altar call is supposed to make you feel bad! It is supposed to make you feel guilty! The goal of many a good sermon is to get you to confess your sins—not coddle you in your selfishness. The primary objective of the Church and the Christian faith is your confession, not your self-actualization!

    So here’s my advice:

    If you want the chaplain to tell you you’re a victim rather than tell you that you need virtue, this may not be the university you’re looking for. If you want to complain about a sermon that makes you feel less than loving for not showing love, this might be the wrong place.

    If you’re more interested in playing the “hater” card than you are in confessing your own hate; if you want to arrogantly lecture, rather than humbly learn; if you don’t want to feel guilt in your soul when you are guilty of sin; if you want to be enabled rather than confronted, there are many universities across the land (in Missouri and elsewhere) that will give you exactly what you want, but Oklahoma Wesleyan isn’t one of them.

    At OKWU, we teach you to be selfless rather than self-centered. We are more interested in you practicing personal forgiveness than political revenge. We want you to model interpersonal reconciliation rather than foment personal conflict. We believe the content of your character is more important than the color of your skin. We don’t believe that you have been victimized every time you feel guilty and we don’t issue “trigger warnings” before altar calls.

    Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a “safe place”, but rather, a place to learn: to learn that life isn’t about you, but about others; that the bad feeling you have while listening to a sermon is called guilt; that the way to address it is to repent of everything that’s wrong with you rather than blame others for everything that’s wrong with them. This is a place where you will quickly learn that you need to grow up!

    This is not a day care. This is a university!


    1. .

      Interacting with my grand kids, I find it hard to believe some of this stuff is true; yet, we have seen it in the videos. The one at Yale where the hysterical black student went batshit crazy confronting a professor was an eye opener.


    2. This intellectual teenage mental squalor hasn't hit yet at the University of Idaho.

      We are usually at least a decade behind the newest trends, if we follow them at all.

      'Cow Colleges' are the best places left for higher learning in the USA.

    3. P.S. - Good on Dr. Everett Piper, President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University.

  11. SOUTHWEST ASIA, November 29, 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

    Remotely piloted aircraft conducted three strikes in Syria:

    -- Near Raqqah, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL vehicles.

    -- Near Dayr Az Zawr, one strike destroyed an ISIL front-end loader.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Bomber, fighter, attack, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 19 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Huwayjah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and wounded an ISIL fighter.

    -- Near Qaim, two strikes struck two ISIL bomb-making facilities.

    -- Near Fallujah, one strike destroyed an ISIL rocket rail.

    -- Near Habbaniyah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL sniper position, and an ISIL building.

    -- Near Hit, one strike destroyed an ISIL-used bridge.

    -- Near Kisik, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

    -- Near Mosul, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL fighting position.

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

    -- Near Ramadi, seven strikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun position, two ISIL buildings, two ISIL weapons caches, wounded an ISIL fighter, and denied ISIL access to terrain.

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

    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

    -- Near Tal Afar, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

    Definition of a ‘Strike’

    A strike, as defined in the CJTF releases, means one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect for that location.

    So, the officials said, having a single aircraft deliver a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike. Multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, with the cumulative effect of making that facility [or facilities] harder or impossible to use is also considered a single strike, task force officials said.

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



    Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates called for President Obama to speed up his strategy to fight ISIS in the Middle East.

    "I think it does need to be sped up and intensified," he said in an interview that aired Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

    "I think that while ISIS is a long-term problem for us, we have near-term issues associated with it."

    He cited the Paris terror attacks, crashed Russian jet in the Sinai and deadly explosions in Beirut as recent issues that should force the U.S. and its allies to ramp up its efforts against ISIS. The terrorist group has claimed responsibility for all three incidents.

    Gates, however, said calls for a brand new strategy are misguided.

    "I don't know what that is," he said.

    "Putting tens of thousands of U.S. troops in there is not a near-term solution. It would take months and months, even if you decided you wanted to do it, to put the logistics in place, get the troops trained, and so on," Gates continued. "And then I'm not sure they don't aggravate the problem."

    Instead, Gates suggested advisors on the ground with the various local groups and security forces, more U.S. Special Forces and additional covert operations.


    Turkey and Saudi Arabia, two U.S. allies and members of the coalition to fight ISIS, must also be part of the strategy, he said.

    Turkey and Saudi Arabia are about 75% of the problem!


    PARIS — Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked France to draw up a map of where groups fighting ISIS militants operate in Syria in order not to bomb them, France's foreign minister said on Friday.

    Putin met with French President Francois Hollande on Thursday at the Kremlin.

    "He asked us to draw up a map of forces that are not terrorists and are fighting Daesh," Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on RTL, referring to ISIS by its Arab acronym. "He committed to not bombing them once we've provided that."

    The West has accused Moscow of targeting mostly-Western backed rebel groups fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is a key Russian ally.

    1. There are times when I almost admire Putin.

      Then I think of the dead journalists, the Ukraine, many other things, those young girls he sent to prison, and think better of it.

  14. Inquiry -

    What's your favorite Hillary Clinton lie ?

    1) She was named for Sir Edmund Hillary, the conqueror of Mount Everest — even though she was already 6 years old when he made his famous ascent.

    2) When in war torn Bosnia in 1996, she claimed she and her entourage landed under sniper fire and had to run “with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base”

    3) She tried to join the Marines, but was turned down.

    4) When her husband got caught in a sexual scandal, she blamed it all on a 'vast right wing conspiracy'

    5) She and Bill were 'dead broke' when they left the White House

    6) Other - if you have a favorite lie not mentioned above - there are dozens - please note it in 'reply'


  15. Another danger of 'climate change': Giant flying boulders?.......

    California freeze: -11° in Sierra amid snow and ice...


    Decade long ice age predicted as sun 'hibernates'...

    POLL: Growing doubts human activity to blame for warming...

    Hollande slams 'scandalous' Paris climate protest clashes...

    FLASHBACK: Temp data fiddling 'biggest science scandal ever'...............Drudge


  16. LE PEN RISING : French Far-Right Poised to Win Regions in Vote... Nationalist surge..............Drudge

    The last gasp of a dying society, or the beginning of a renaissance ?


  17. ISIS’ Grip on Libyan City Gives It a Fallback Option


    Foreigners in Control

    Two fuel truck drivers recently released after a month in Surt’s main prison said they were stunned by the extent of the foreign control over the group’s Libyan outpost. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity for their safety but provided consistent accounts in separate interviews, backed up by a third interview with their employer, Mr. Mangoush, who had also debriefed three other drivers kidnapped with them.

    The drivers were stopped on Oct. 6 on a desert highway 90 miles south of Misurata, in part for the fuel in their trailers and in part to be taken as hostages. They were surprised to find themselves surrounded by two dozen masked fighters who spoke mainly in foreign dialects of Arabic — there were many Tunisians, but also Egyptians, Iraqis, Yemenis and Sudanese, they said.

    The fighters and guards in Surt all bowed to a Saudi administrator, or “wali,” who had been sent by the Islamic State to preside over the city. (A former Surt City Council member now in exile in Misurata said the Islamic State periodically rotates in new administrators, who typically are from the Persian Gulf.)Whenever drones were heard flying overhead, guards would run to the Saudi, take away his cellphone, and hurry him away to safety, the truck drivers said, suggesting that the Islamic State considered him important enough to be a target of American airstrikes.