“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 29, 2015

Well, well, well, The US is getting tired of Turkey’s bullshit

War with Isis: President Obama demands that Turkey close stretch of frontier with Syria

Ankara is accused of tolerance of – if not complicity with – the terrorists, who use border as a crossing point for Isis recruits and oil sales

The US is demanding that Turkey close a 60-mile stretch of its border with Syria which is the sole remaining crossing point for Isis militants, including some of those involved in the massacre in Paris and other terrorist plots. 
The complete closure of the 550-mile-long border would be a serious blow to Isis, which has brought tens of thousands of Islamist volunteers across the frontier over the past three years. 

In the wake of the Isis attacks in Paris, Washington is making clear to Ankara that it will no longer accept Turkish claims that it is unable to cordon off the remaining short section of the border still used by Isis. “The game has changed. Enough is enough. The border needs to be sealed,” a senior official in President Barack Obama’s administration told The Wall Street Journal, describing the tough message that Washington has sent to the Turkish government. “This is an international threat, and it’s coming out of Syria and it’s coming through Turkish territory.”

The US estimates some 30,000 Turkish troops would be needed to close the border between Jarabulus on the Euphrates and the town of Kilis, further west in Turkey, according to the paper. US intelligence agencies say that the stretch of frontier most commonly used by Isis is between Jarabulus, where the official border crossing has been closed, and the town of Cobanbey.
It has become of crucial importance ever since the Syrian Kurdish forces known as the People’s Protection Units (YPG) captured the border crossing at Tal Abyad, 60 miles north of Isis’s capital of Raqqa in June. Turkey had kept that border crossing open while Isis was in control on the southern side, but immediately closed it when the YPG seized the crossing point. The Turkish authorities are refusing to allow even the bodies of YPG fighters, who are Turkish citizens and were killed fighting Isis, to be taken back across the border into Turkey. The US move follows increasing international criticism of Turkey for what is seen as its long-term tolerance of, and possible complicity with, Isis and other extreme jihadi groups such as al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra Front, and Ahrar al-Sham. Not only have thousands of foreign fighters passed through Turkey on their way to join Isis, but crude oil from oilfields seized by Isis in north-east Syria has been transported to Turkey for sale, providing much of revenue of the self-declared Islamic State.
Last week a Turkish court jailed two prominent journalists for publishing pictures of a Turkish truck delivering ammunition to opposition fighters in Syria. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that the weapons were destined for Turkmen paramilitaries allied to Turkey fighting in Syria, but this was denied by Turkish political leaders close to the Turkmen. 

Turkey is now under heavy pressure from the US and Russia, with President Vladimir Putin directly accusing Ankara of aiding Isis and al-Qaeda. In the wake of the shooting down of a Russian aircraft by a Turkish jet, Russia is launching heavy air strikes in support of the Syrian army’s advance to control the western end of the Syrian Turkish border. The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a Russian air strike on the town of Ariha yesterday killed 18 people and wounded dozens more. Meanwhile Turkey said it had now received the body of the pilot killed when the plane was shot down and would repatriate it to Moscow.

The US demand that Turkey finally close the border west of Jarabulus could, if Turkey complies, prove more damaging to Isis than increased air strikes by the US, France and, possibly Britain. The YPG has closed half the Syrian frontier over the last year and defeated an Isis assault aimed at taking another border crossing at Kobani. Syrian Kurdish leaders say they want to advance further west from their front line on the Euphrates and link up with a Kurdish enclave at Afrin. But Turkey insists that it will resist a further YPG advance with military force. Instead, it had proposed a protected zone on the southern side of the border from which Isis would be driven by moderate Syrian opposition fighters.
The US has opposed this proposal, suspecting that the Turkish definition of moderates includes those the US is targeting as terrorists. It also appears to be a ploy to stop the YPG, heavily supported by US air power, expanding its de facto state along Turkey’s southern flank. US officials are quoted as saying that there could be “significant blowback” against Turkey by European states if it allows Isis militants to cross from Syria into Turkey and then carry out terrorist outrages in Europe.
Meanwhile in Iraq, officials said three more mass graves had been found in the northern town of Sinjar, which Kurdish forces backed by US-led air strikes recaptured from Isis earlier this month.



    Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Wesley Clark explains that the existence of the Islamic State helps Sunni countries Turkey and Saudi Arabia geostrategically, by countering the shi'ite powers: Iran, Iraq and Syria.

    "All along there’s always been the idea that Turkey was supporting ISIS in some way… Someone’s buying that oil that ISIS is selling, it’s going through somewhere, it looks to me like it’s probably going through Turkey, but the Turks haven't acknowledged that."

    “Let’s be very clear: ISIS [ISIL] is not just a terrorist organization, it is a Sunni terrorist organization. It means it blocks and targets Shia, and that means it’s serving the interests of Turkey and Saudi Arabia even as it poses a threat to them,” Clark said.

    "There’s no good guy in this, this is a power struggle for the future of the Middle East," concluded Clark.

  2. A hard saying, but for the good of humanity may they all slay one another.

    Heard at the Casino from my pal Uncle Ed, whose was in the Marines, and in Iraq, and has a son in too.

  3. Just to keep things in perspective, the french were sitting around eating cheese, and playing footsball (and, the russians were making asses of themselves in Ukraine) while we were rescuing the YPG in Kobani, and helping them turn a couple of city blocks into control of most of Northern Syria.

  4. Agree.

    One of the excellent things we have done.

    1. It helps a lot if those one is trying to help doesn't hate one's guts.

      I have read no Kurd has yet attacked any American in Iraq.

      They deserve a country of their own.

      Practically speaking, they pretty much have it right now.

      They need to be recognized.

    2. They are recognized, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, in every nation in which they reside.

    3. You have escaped your mom's control once again. Did you smuggle a computer somehow into your mom's basement, or are you perhaps out at the bowling ally...........

    4. As you continually state, Robert Draft Dodger" Peterson, you are confused.

      Addled, that would be another description of your mental state.

  5. Spain Yesterday, Syria Today

    NOV. 28, 2015

    Ross Douthat

    BETWEEN 1936 and 1939, the Spanish Civil War condensed the awful drama of the 1930s into one conflict. Spain was where left-wing illusions about Stalinism went to die, where Hitler’s war machine tuned up for the Blitzkrieg, where aerial bombardments of civilians and politically-motivated “cleansing” were normalized. It was a proxy war for the totalitarian powers, a magnet for volunteers from around the Western world, and an object lesson in the impotence of Europe’s liberal democracies.

    As with Spain, so now with Syria. Once again we have a divided country bled by an ideological proxy war — this time between the Salafism of the Gulf states and the Twelver Shi’ism of the Iranian regime, with other regional and global powers hovering in the background. Once again we have the escalating atrocities — chemical warfare, massacres and religious persecutions, the return of beheadings, slavery and crucifixion. Once again we have ideologically motivated volunteers rushing in from far and wide; once again we have liberal powers seemingly helpless to bring the conflict to an end.

    Every weekday, get thought-provoking commentary from Op-Ed columnists, The Times editorial board and contributing writers from around the world.

    But then there is this illuminating difference. The Spanish Civil War actually ended relatively swiftly; after less than three years of fighting Franco’s nationalists had won. The Syrian conflict, though, is in its fifth year and counting, and its ultimate outcome is no clearer today than it was in 2012 or 2014.

    In part, this difference is actually a grim sort of good news — not for Syria, obviously, but for the world. One reason Spain’s civil war ended quickly was the sheer effectiveness of the military aid the Axis powers sent to the nationalist cause. Spain proved (or seemed to prove) the effectiveness of total war as a tool of ideologically-motivated statecraft: The left was crushed, Franco’s regime established, and looking from afar Adolf Hitler could draw an obvious lesson for his own terrible ambitions.

    In Syria, the lessons are very different. The war is endless, the factions barely competent, and neither of the main ideological forces invested in the conflict seem capable of actually winning it. The Iranian mullahs have helped President Bashar al-Assad survive, but not to prosper. The Gulf states have lost control over their own Sunni proxies, and now face an Islamic State that threatens them as well.

    1. This means that neither Tehran nor Riyadh can look at Syria and see a template for regional expansion or grand ideological victory. And that, in turn, makes a Middle Eastern version of the massive conflict that followed the Spanish Civil War seem relatively unlikely. For all their ambitions and enmity, neither the Iranians nor the Gulf states (who are currently hiring Colombian mercenaries to fight their other proxy war, in Yemen) look anywhere near strong enough to start one.

      Of the powers involved in Syria that are strong enough to start a wider war, meanwhile — Russia, the United States, France and Turkey — it’s not at all clear what they would hope to get out of it. The West can barely decide which Syrian faction we should be bombing. Russia’s brinksmanship with Turkey is a show of toughness with no clear strategic objective attached.

      That doesn’t make a blundering sort of war impossible. But unlike in Ukraine, where Vladimir Putin does aspire to hold territory, in Syria and its environs none of the outside powers seem to want responsibility for anything. And so long as there’s no ground they’re willing to fight over or even occupy, the risk of sustained great power conflict seems moderately remote.

      Which is happy news relative to where things stood in Europe as the Spanish Civil War was winding down. But if Syria is (probably) not a harbinger of a full-scale Third World War, it is a harbinger of a different set of evils — institutional collapse, permanent disorder, and the inability of global institutions to master the problems that they supposedly exist to solve.

      If the war in Spain previewed an era of totalitarian aggrandizement, the war in Syria has exposed the essential hollowness of so-called nation-states, the ease with which ethnic and religious furies can take over when they crack.

      If the war in Spain was a proving ground for eastern front-style total war, the war in Syria is a training ground for Paris-style terrorists.

      If the war in Spain ushered in a decade of vast militaries on the march, the war in Syria is giving us civilians on the march — the movement of refugees as a geopolitical crisis.

      If the war in Spain demonstrated that Hitler and Stalin were happy to step in when a liberal center failed to hold, the war in Syria demonstrates that the Pax Americana is cracking and no power or alliance is remotely prepared to take its place.

      If the war in Spain was a dress rehearsal for World War II — well, the truth about Syria is that it’s probably not a rehearsal for anything. It’s the main event, and nobody can foresee when it will end.

      New York Times

      The Sudan and Nigeria also come to mind as events with seemingly no end.

    2. Just as none of Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson's sources saw the political demise of the Muslim Brotherhood, in Egypt.
      Brought about the primary Egyptian client of the United States, the Egyptian Army.

  6. New Awakening? Locals in Kirkuk Slowly But Surely Turn Against Extremists

    Ahmad Mohammed

    Sunni Muslim extremists continue to kidnap, execute and otherwise impose their authoritarian rule on locals in the areas they control, such as in southwestern Kirkuk. Slowly but surely though, local resistance…

    On the 12th day after the Sunni Muslim extremist group known as the Islamic State, or IS, took control of southwestern parts of the province of Kirkuk, some of their fighters paid a visit to the house of a local tribal leader.

    IS group fighters looted and destroyed the home of Sheikh Anwar al-Assi in the village of Arumel, south west of Kirkuk city. They did so because the sheikh had refused to swear allegiance to them.

    The attack came despite the fact that al-Assi heads the Abid tribe in the area and that this tribe is one of the major Arab tribes here, and also has members in other parts of Iraq.

    Al-Assi then left his village and went to Sulaymaniyah, inside the semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan, which is controlled by the Iraqi Kurdish military – he had word that next the IS group planned to kill him.

    “The IS group kidnaps and executes anyone who doesn't cooperate with them as well as those they have doubts about,” al-Assi told NIQASH. “Those who don't swear allegiance are accused of working for the government or of trying to form militias to fight against them – all grounds for execution, in the IS group's opinion.”

    “Lately fighters from the IS group have been kidnapping a lot of local people,” al-Assi says, adding that the fighters are becoming more and more violent and unjust. “Not even women have been spared. Fighters kidnapped four women from their homes in the Hawija district recently.”

    This kind of behaviour is starting to get stronger reactions from local people. Currently the IS group control the centre of the Hawija district as well as five other Kirkuk neighbourhoods.

    On June 31, IS fighters killed a woman in the Zab neighbourhood in Hawija because they said she had insulted the IS group. The woman was a housewife and had a son who used to serve in the Sunni Muslim militia known as the Awakening or Sahwa forces, that fought against Al Qaeda; her husband died in 2007.

    “This kind of behaviour is creating resentment toward the IS group,” al-Assi explains. “even those who welcomed them at first are no longer happy with them. And there have been some incidents in Kirkuk that indicate how annoyed people are with the IS group.”

    For example, on Sept. 4, one of the IS group's distinctive black flags was set alight by an unknown person in an abandoned lot near Tal Ali village in western Kirkuk. After this a large number of IS fighters stormed the village and kidnapped 50 of the local men. Thankfully after two days, all of the men were released again.

    And on Sept. 12, three tribal leaders from a clan that was part of the Abid tribe were killed by the IS group; they also kidnapped 20 people from within the Rashad district. The locals were kidnapped because the IS fighters said they were conspiring to form a militia to expel the IS group from their areas.


    1. {...}

      Al-Assi outlines the plans for the formation of organised troops. The training, payment, arming and administration of any such force would be the responsibility of Baghdad. The tribes' role will be to supply the troops with “trusted and honest” forces and to help them avoid infiltration by “armed groups or individuals acting in bad faith”.

      Despite all of this though there have not apparently been any real, organized efforts against the IS group in Hawija yet. People are upset with them, says one local inside Hawija contacted by NIQASH, who could not be named for security reasons, but up until now, most acts of resistance have been limited and individual.

      “There are rumours about tribal leaders setting up forces to fight the IS group but there is no organized resistance yet,” the local said.

      Most organized resistance by locals against the IS group seems to be happening in the Ninawa province at the moment, where the IS stronghold, the city of Mosul, is also located.


    3. Dr David L Manning - Newcastle upon TyneSun Nov 29, 06:58:00 PM EST

      SIR – The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) is clearly a threat to all peace-loving people.

      It has often revelled in barbarity and videoed the ruthlessness of its behaviour for the whole world to see. But the disturbing footage this week of a Russian pilot being shot as he parachuted to the ground by anti-Syrian-government fighters chanting “Allahu Akbar” (God is great), made me wonder. Just who and what do we want to replace President Bashar al-Assad with?

    4. Who are we to say?

      What gives us any say in the matter?

    5. Because, as the gentleman says:

      The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) is clearly a threat to all peace-loving people.

      Not only ISIS, but Iran as well wishes a world without the Great Satan, and the Little Satan.

      Since Americans have died at the hands of each, it is our business to defend ourselves. Ourselves and others too, many would say.

      If I had the ability to do it, I'd replace them all with Swiss, or Hindus, or English, or Jews, or Americans, or some other sane group of people.

    6. Some think Syria can and should be divided up into mini-states.

    7. The Kurdish areas going to a new internationally recognized Kurdish State.

      The Sunni and the Alawites separated....

      A Christian enclave......

    8. The question that had been raise was about Assad, "Draft Dodger", not the Islamic State

    9. But then again, in your addled state, you very may well have confused the two

  7. November 29, 2015
    Israel and India collaborate to develop surface-to-air missile
    By Carol Brown

    The Barak-8, a new long-range surface-to-air missile has been developed by a collaboration between India and Israel. (Barak is the Hebrew word for lightening, but one can still appreciate the irony of the name.)

    India TV News reports that recent tests of the missile conducted in the Mediterranean Sea have been successful, with more planned off India’s newest Navy destroyer. Once those tests are complete, the first 32 missiles will be installed on that destroyer. The times of India reports that in Israel “the missile system will be deployed to secure offshore gas fields. It will also help defend Israeli navy ships from anti-ship missiles.”

    In these perilous times, the partnership between India and Israel is growing. It was not always this way. But times are changing. And on this front, for the better. (See here, here, here, here, and here)

    Hat tip: Breitbart


    India and Israel both know a lot about moslems.

    Both democracies.

    I like to think of them as a natural fit.


    1. India seen as block to climate deal...

      Accuses Obama of 'carbon imperialism'...

      French use emergency 'terror' laws to put activists under house arrest...

      Tear gas, scuffles at banned march......Drudge

      "Carbon Imperialism" is good.

      Obama is a carbon imperialist.


      Among other bad things..

  8. In an emailed statement to The Hindu , a State Department spokesperson said: “We are partnering with India on responsible energy development. India is a strategic partner that has one of the largest economies in the world, and it recognizes the critical importance of increasing energy security, reducing emissions, and improving resilience in the face of climate change.

    We maintain a robust programme of cooperation in this area, including the highly successful U.S.-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE). We are expanding our policy dialogues and technical work on clean energy and low emissions technologies.

    This cooperation strengthens our bilateral relationship, enhances economic growth in both countries, and promotes the development of new and innovative technologies and products to address our shared challenges”.

  9. There have been hundreds of political and military disputes between Russia and Turkey over the years. Some have been casus belli -- justifications for possible war -- while others have contributed to strained relations.


    But today is a day to separate the warrior from the war. On Sunday, Peshkov will return home to his loved ones and to the Russian motherland.

    For his family's sake, I hope for a dignified transfer of remains, and for his sake, I pray he rests in peace. Because that is what a fellow soldier does.

  10. Chances are high that the tomb of Ancient Egypt's boy-king Tutankhamun has passages to a hidden chamber, which may be the last resting place of the lost Queen Nefertiti, experts said on Saturday.


    British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves, leading the investigation, said last month he believed Tutankhamun's mausoleum was originally occupied by Nefertiti and that she had lain undisturbed behind what he believes is a partition wall.


    "Research doesn’t always translate into reality. But it looks like we’re headed in the right direction, and our investigations are going well," said Reeves.

  11. Quotes of the day
    posted at 8:01 pm on November 29, 2015 by Allahpundit


    The American public no longer adheres to standards of personal decorum or protocol (or common decency) in such a way that would punish Mr Trump’s narcissistic behavior. The irony is that conservatives, ostensibly guardians of traditional values like humility, prudence, and discipline, are the vessel for this post-family values politician.

    Today, working-class whites increasingly feel like the American Dream is leaving them behind economically, culturally, and demographically. Liberalism — the election of Barack Obama, the rise of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil) and our apparent impotence abroad, rioting in the streets and unrest in the cities, and political correctness run amok (on college campuses, and elsewhere) — also contribute to the backlash that is buoying Mr Trump. (If they preach diversity, the logic goes, then we will preach deportations. If they preach political correctness in the form of speech codes, micro-aggressions, and “trigger warnings”, then we shall preach the other extreme —straight talk, with no self-imposed limits.) When we’re frustrated and fed up, we sometimes overreach just to prove a point. Donald Trump is the embodiment of this tantrum…

    He is projecting an image of a strongman in a time of weak men. As Bloomberg Politics’ Mark Halperin has said, Mr Trump is adhering to an old Bill Clinton maxim which says “candidates have a better chance to win over voters by being strong and wrong than by being right and weak.”…

    Mr Trump knows that if he shows no sign of fear or self-doubt that people will tend to believe what he says. So Mr Trump says outlandish things with so much conviction that people are prepared to put aside their doubts about whether they are true and just believe him. (I’m reminded of Matt Damon’s line in the TV show 30 Rock: “If you walk briskly in a pilot’s uniform, you can go pretty much anywhere.”)



    This is like the Jerzy Kosinski character that dressed up in a fancy General's uniform in Europe, and was able to go anywhere, and ride the trains for free.

    1. Early life, teaching, and marriage

      Kosiński was born Józef[citation needed] Lewinkopf to Jewish parents in Łódź, Poland. As a child during World War II, he lived in central Poland under a false identity, Jerzy Kosiński, which his father gave to him. A Roman Catholic priest issued him a forged baptismal certificate, and the Lewinkopf family survived the Holocaust thanks to local villagers who offered assistance to Polish Jews, often at great risk. (The penalty for helping Jews in Nazi- Germany-occupied Poland was death for all members of a family and sometimes for the inhabitants of the village). Kosiński's father was assisted not only by town leaders and clergymen, but also by individuals such as Marianna Pasiowa, a member of an underground network that helped Jews evade capture. The family lived openly in Dąbrowa Rzeczycka, near Stalowa Wola, and attended church in nearby Wola Rzeczycka, with the support of villagers in Kępa Rzeczycka. For a time, they were sheltered by a Catholic family in Rzeczyca Okrągła. Jerzy even served as an altar boy in the local church.[2]

      After the war ended, Kosiński and his parents moved to Jelenia Góra. By age 22 he had earned two graduate degrees, in history and sociology, at the University of Łódź.[3] He then became an associate professor at the Polish Academy of Sciences. Kosinski also studied in the Soviet Union, and served as a sharpshooter in the Polish Army.[3]

      In order to emigrate to the United States in 1957, he created a fake foundation, which supposedly sponsored him.[4] He later claimed he forged the letters from prominent communist authorities guaranteeing his loyal return to Poland, as were then required for anyone leaving the country.[4]

      Kosiński first worked at odd jobs to get by, including driving a truck,[4] and he managed to graduate from Columbia University. He became an American citizen in 1965. He also received grants from the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1967 and the Ford Foundation in 1968. In 1970, he won the American Academy of Arts and Letters award for literature.[5] The grants allowed him to write a political non-fiction book that opened new doors of opportunity.[4] He became a lecturer at Yale, Princeton, Davenport, and Wesleyan Universities.

      In 1962, Kosiński married an American steel heiress, Mary Hayward Weir. They divorced four years later. Weir died in 1968 from brain cancer, leaving Kosiński out of her will. He would fictionalize his marriage in his novel Blind Date, speaking of Weir under pseudonym Mary-Jane Kirkland.[4] Kosiński later married Katherina "Kiki" von Fraunhofer, a marketing consultant and a member of the Bavarian nobility.[4]


      Kosiński suffered from multiple illnesses towards the end of his life, and he was under attack from journalists who accused him of plagiarism.[6] By his late 50s, he was suffering from an irregular heartbeat, as well as severe physical and nervous exhaustion.

      Kosiński committed suicide on May 3, 1991, by ingesting a lethal amount of alcohol and drugs[7] and wrapping a plastic bag around his head and suffocating to death.[1][3] His suicide note read: "I am going to put myself to sleep now for a bit longer than usual. Call it Eternity."[6][8]


      I liked the guy.

    2. I bet our Alfons Sweet Quirk Polaski liked Kosinski as well, both being just a little off normal.

  12. ISRAELI border police have shot dead a Palestinian who stabbed one of them in the neck as they were patrolling Jerusalem's historic Old City.


    Palestinians have launched 100 stabbing attacks, vehicle rammings and shootings since October 1, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said.

  13. Deuce ☂


    "Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Wesley Clark explains that the existence of the Islamic State helps Sunni countries Turkey and Saudi Arabia geostrategically, by countering the shi'ite powers: Iran, Iraq and Syria"


    A Syrian refugee in Los Angeles called into a talk show describing Saudi funding for ISIS in Syria, and complicity with Turkey.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Good Grief !

    November 30, 2015
    The Ukraine-ISIS Alliance
    By Sierra Rayne

    Back in February, The Intercept was the first media outlet to reveal clear linkages between ISIS and Ukraine. The article by Marcin Mamon begins by recounting how the leader of the Islamic State's underground branch in Istanbul was headed to Ukraine to join other members of ISIS in fighting those from Eastern Ukraine that want further autonomy from Kiev and a likely political alliance with Moscow.

    Immediately we have a problem. It is unlikely that many average citizens in the West are aware that ISIS is fighting on the side of the Ukraine nationalists. If they were, public opinion might drastically shift towards support for Russia -- as it should. Better to have Ukraine be a proxy state of Russia than yet another budding member of the global Islamic Caliphate taking shape.

    Any arguments that ISIS is helping Ukrainian nationalists fight the Russian backed separatists out of the goodness of its heart, and that ISIS will just pack up and leave Ukraine if a victory is won, strain all measures of credulity. If the Russian separatists lose in eastern Ukraine, Ukraine may very well be on the path to falling under control -- at least partially -- of ISIS, placing ISIS with a state under its control on the borders of several NATO members. Did the West possibly back the wrong horse in Ukraine? Should we instead have supported Russia?

    Kiev has become an important access point for ISIS terrorists into Western Europe:

    Ukraine is now becoming an important stop-off point for the brothers, like Ruslan. In Ukraine, you can buy a passport and a new identity. For $15,000, a fighter receives a new name and a legal document attesting to Ukrainian citizenship. Ukraine doesn't belong to the European Union, but it's an easy pathway for immigration to the West. Ukrainians have few difficulties obtaining visas to neighboring Poland, where they can work on construction sites and in restaurants, filling the gap left by the millions of Poles who have left in search of work in the United Kingdom and Germany.

    Remarkably, Justin Raimondo at the website predicted the problems this would cause back in early March of this year:

    We are told that ISIS is planning terrorist attacks in Europe, and security forces are busy rounding up suspects all across the continent – and yet here is this gaping hole in the West's defenses, where "the brothers" are quietly infiltrating without much notice in the Western media. In cooperation with ultra-nationalist groups like Right Sector, which have also formed their semiautonomous battalions, the Islamists of Ukraine, brandishing Ukrainian passports, have opened a gateway to the West ...

    As US aid flows into Ukraine, how much of it will trickle down to these allies of ISIS -- and to what future use will it be put? If John McCain and Lindsey Graham have their way, US arms will soon find their way into the hands of these terrorists, whose jihad against the Russians is bound to turn westward and strike at the capitals of Europe.

    1. This is blowback with a vengeance: we are creating our own enemies, and giving them the weapons to harm us, even as we claim the need for universal surveillance in order to fight them. The mad scientists formulating US foreign policy are raising an army of Frankenstein monsters -- who are sure to come after their deluded creators.

      Like clockwork, eight months later we have the Paris attacks.

      In July, the New York Times was reporting that three full Islamic battalions were fighting in eastern Ukraine. At about the same time, Elliot Friedland in The Jewish Voice was warning against the problems arising from this Islamic incursion in Ukraine:

      Yet there are Islamist paramilitary battalions fighting alongside Ukrainian forces, which are aligned with the Islamic State and Chechen Islamist factions. If the U.S. steps up military aid to Ukraine, whose army is notoriously corrupt it may fall into the hands of Islamist battalions currently funded by a mixture of Ukrainian oligarchs, Gulf patrons, violent crime and extortion. The Ruskayya Blatina website said that a few militias belonging to the terrorist group ISIS began to fight against the Russian soldiers in Ukraine with support from the American authorities who gave recommendations to the Ukrainian government regarding the Islamic State ... Islamic State-aligned fighters also use Ukraine as a cheap and easy place to buy weapons, which can then be smuggled to Iraq and Syria and Chechenya.

      During the past two months, connections between Ukraine and ISIS have moved up the chain of command, as evidenced by a top Ukrainian official giving his public support for ISIS. Just last week, weapons -- including a FN-6 antiaircraft missile system -- from the Ukrainian military "magically" ended up in the hands of ISIS which "were meant to be delivered to the militant group in Syria via smuggling routes in Turkey."

      Soon after, the Russian hacking group CyberBerkut claimed it is "in possession of documents indicating that employees of the Ukrainian state-owned defense conglomerate Ukroboronprom had discussions with Qatari government officials over the possible sale of surface-to-air missiles [the S-125-2D Pechora-2D (NATO reporting name SA-3 Goa)] in September," weapons that were almost undoubtedly destined for ISIS. According to the leaked documents, the U.S. embassy in Doha also approved the deal.

      What a mess. The question for the West now is who they would rather having controlling Ukraine's territory in the near future -- ISIS or Russia -- and the answer is clearly the latter. If the West wants to build a common coalition against the Islamic State, the best approach may be to remove the Islamic State of Turkey from NATO, allow Russia to take Ukraine, and then invite Russia into NATO (or whatever new alliance seems appropriate) in our common cause against the global jihad.

      "Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive!" -- Sir Walter Scott, Marmion, Canto vi. Stanza 17

      Isn't that the truth - what a tangled web !

    2. This is blowback with a vengeance: we are creating our own enemies, and giving them the weapons to harm us, even as we claim the need for universal surveillance in order to fight them. The mad scientists formulating US foreign policy are raising an army of Frankenstein monsters -- who are sure to come after their deluded creators.
      A fundamental transformation, to be sure.

      I'd take Putin over Erdogan or Obama in a heartbeat.

  16. MOSCOW, November 29. /TASS/. President Vladimir Putin is expected to make a state-of-the-nation address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Rossiya One television channel said on Sunday.

    The channel will broadcast the address live.

    Kremlin Administration chief of staff Sergei Ivanov told reporters earlier Putin would make the state-of-the-nation address in December after a thorough personal scrutiny of the draft and amendments to it.

    “It’s up to the President to decide on how to place accents when he completes reading the blueprint of the address and introduces his corrections and amendments - and he most typically does it with his own hands in the most literal sense," Ivanov said.

    Vladimir Putin said at the beginning of November he had begun to familiarize himself with the address. This is a mandatory annual address a president reads out to members of both houses of parliament to fill them in on his own views as regards the guidelines for the nation’s development.

    “The address is a collective brainchild because it can’t be done at a high professional level without contributions from the government or the Central Bank of Russia," Putin said.

    The previous state-of-the-nation address was presented to the Federal Assembly in the St George’s hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace on December 4, 2014. Putin started reading it out at 12:06 Moscow Standard Time and lasted more than an hour.

    He began it with thanking the Russians for the support and solidarity at crucial moments of history when the future of the country was in the making.

  17. There is no doubt that the Turks ambushed that Russian fighter plane, Technically, all facts point to it. It is my opinion that the Turks were just looking for an excuse or an opportunity. I doubt that they made such a decision on their own.

    Think about this a second. Did the Turks get pre-approval from Washington or the Pentagon for a scenario where the Turks could justify using lethal force to shoot down a Russian fighter? It is logical that they would have, given the location of the Russian base and the “audacity “ of the Russians actually killing terrorists of all stripes including some of John McCain’s favorites. After all, the US year of air assaults and the paltry results were preposterous if not incompetent.

    Putin and the Russians made Washington look incompetent and they further exposed the Saudi, UAE, Turkey and US game of arming our enemies. (When I say “our”, I mean real Americans not the corporate occupation forces in Washington or The GOP Likuds Force or the Neocons like Hillary Clinton)

    I will be bet that there is a Washington based pre-approval somewhere that the Turks seized upon to do this. Nothing else makes sense.

    If so, the US public better wake up and do some head-hacking in Washington.


    Did Washington Order Russian Aircraft Shot Down?
    Politics / Syria

    Nov 27, 2015 - 04:34 AM GMT
    By: Stephen_Lendman

    A personal note. I’m not writing from my usual location, comfortably at home on my desktop - currently hospitalized, hopefully released soon.

    I’ll be briefer than usual, conserving strength - thankful to maintain daily communication with readers, best as able when less than par.
    Let’s not mince words. Washington is no Russian partner. Its policy is adversarially hostile, notably during the Cold War, especially throughout Putin’s leadership years - a preeminent world leader/peace champion polar opposite rogues running America, perhaps one day able to turn the tide against their hegemonic agenda.

    Saving humanity from the scourge of another devastating global war - potential nuclear armageddon - depends on his efforts to prevent it.
    Washington’s rage for endless wars threatens world peace, security and humanity’s survival. Bipartisan US policymakers tolerate no independent countries, especially Russia, China and resource rich ones like Iraq, Libya, Iran and Venezuela - two down, two to go plus others.

    Rogue empires never rest. New plots follow older ones. The worst may be yet to come. Lunatics in Washington want endless wars for unchallenged global dominance even at the risk of killing us all.

    Russian analyst John Helmer says “Turkey never makes a military move without getting Pentagon approval first.” More importantly, did Washington plan and orchestrate Ankara’s aggression against Russia - letting it pull the trigger to execute its policy.

    If so, why? Russia’s effective war on ISIS and other terrorists in Syria challenges America’s hegemonic agenda - decisively disrupting its ruthless aims, changing the dynamic in one area, likely more to come politically, economically and perhaps militarily allied with China, Iran, various Central Asian countries and perhaps others.

    Washington has no effective way to challenge Putin’s righteous mission - waging Security Council authorized real war on terrorism, Syrian government’s request for help on its territory, acting in full accord with international law, polar opposite US phony war, supporting ISIS and other terrorist groups as proxy imperial foot soldiers, not combatting them.

    Putin urges world unity against a common scourge. Washington wants his efforts foiled, perhaps disrupting them by using Turkey to down Russia’s aircraft. Dirty stunts reflect longtime US practice.

    America’s agenda is endless war, instability and chaos. World peace defeats it. Expect more dirty tricks ahead. Russia will get no help from Washington in combating terrorism - its adversary, not partner.

    By Stephen Lendman

    1. ’Oxygen for jihadists’: ISIS-smuggled oil flows through Turkey to intl markets – Iraqi MP

    2. The mother's milk of Daesh is oil.

  18. Terrorist group Islamic State earns millions of dollars selling oil on the black market in Turkey, Iraqi MP and former national security adviser, Mowaffak al Rubaie told RT. He also revealed that wounded terrorists are being treated in Turkish hospitals.

    “In the last eight months ISIS has managed to sell ... $800 million dollars worth of oil on the black market of Turkey. This is Iraqi oil and Syrian oil, carried by trucks from Iraq, from Syria through the borders to Turkey and sold ...[at] less than 50 percent of the international oil price,” Mowaffak al Rubaie said in an interview with RT.

    “Now this either get consumed inside, the crude is refined on Turkish territory by the Turkish refineries, and sold in the Turkish market. Or it goes to Jihan and then in the pipelines from Jihan to the Mediterranean and sold to the international market.”

    Money and dollars generated by selling Iraqi and Syrian oil on the Turkish black market is like the oxygen supply to ISIS and it’s operation,” he added. “Once you cut the oxygen then ISIS will suffocate.”

    The Iraqi MP said there is “no shadow of a doubt” that the Turkish government knows about the oil smuggling operations. “The merchants, the businessmen [are buying oil] in the black market in Turkey under the noses – under the auspices if you like – of the Turkish intelligence agency and the Turkish security apparatus,” he said.

    Citing Iraqi intelligence services, Mowaffak al Rubaie also accused Turkey of providing medical treatment to terrorists in hospitals along the border and at times even in “Istanbul itself.”

    “There are security officers who are sympathizing with ISIS in Turkey,” the Iraqi politician believes. “They are allowing them to go from Istanbul to the borders and infiltrate ... Syria and Iraq.”

    “There is no terrorist organization which can stand alone, without a neighboring country helping it – in this case Turkey,” Rubaie said, urging Ankara to come clean and join the international efforts to destroy the terror group.

    Russia considers ISIS oil smuggling operations to be one of the highest priority targets in crippling the terror group’s finances and capabilities. Moscow has long been requesting that Ankara properly addresses reports of its alleged involvement with ISIS oil smuggling.

    President Putin himself noted that it was “hard to believe, but it is theoretically possible” that the Turkish leadership knows nothing about oil flowing into Turkey illegally. However he noted that the operations are too daring and obvious to ignore.

    “Vehicles, carrying oil, lined up in a chain going beyond the horizon,” said Putin, comparing the views seen by Russian pilots and drones to a “living oil pipe” stretched from ISIS and rebel controlled areas of Syria into Turkey. “Day and night they are going to Turkey. Trucks always go there loaded, and back from there – empty,” Putin said earlier this week.



    Why did the US not strike ISIS oil convoys going to Turkey or anywhere else for that matter?


      Embarrassed by Putin, US Military FINALLY Targets Oil Truck Convoys Stealing Syrian Oil

      Posted on November 17, 2015 by willyloman
      by Scott Creighton

      US stages some empty, driverless tankers for target practice after Putin embarrasses them on the world stage

      Early in the morning of the second day of the G20 Summit meeting in Antalya, Turkey Russian President Vladamir Putin addressed the collected media in a 20 minute speech in which he discussed a number of issues including sanctions, the deal they offered the illegal government in Ukraine and the situation in Syria.

      During that speech, Putin began talking about the illegal funding of the destabilization campaign in Iraq and Syria known as “ISIS” and he promised to expose the 40 nations he says their intelligence proves are funding that campaign.

      Then he mentioned something else that is rarely discussed in polite political conversation when one speaks about Syria… the theft of Syrian oil and the fact that the US is doing nothing to stop it.

      Putin also spoke of the urgent need to curb the illegal oil trade by IS.

      “I’ve shown our colleagues photos taken from space and from aircraft which clearly demonstrate the scale of the illegal trade in oil and petroleum products,” he said.

      “The motorcade of refueling vehicles stretched for dozens of kilometers, so that from a height of 4,000 to 5,000 meters they stretch beyond the horizon,” Putin added, comparing the convoy to gas and oil pipeline systems. RT

      After this comment, the Pentagon propagandists leap into action to quickly stage a bombing of a bunch of empty, driverless trucks.
      Yesterday, I wrote about this situation and showed how our “friends in the region”, the Kurds, are the primary recipient of this stolen oil and I showed they are selling it to Israel at an extremely reduced price. Israel is getting about 3/4 of the oil they need to run their country from the Barzani Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan and they are getting much of their supply from those very tanker trucks Vladamir Putin was talking about.

      “The crude is transported by tankers to Jordan via Anbar province, to Iran via Kurdistan, to Turkey via Mosul, to Syria’s local market and to the Kurdistan region of Iraq, where most of it gets refined locally,” Khatteeb explained.

      Israel has bought as much as three-quarters of its oil from Iraqi Kurdistan in recent months, the Financial Times reported Sunday.
      According to the report, which cited shipping data, trading sources and satellite tanker tracking, Israeli refineries and oil firms have imported more than 19 million barrels of Kurdish oil over the course of three months, from the beginning of May to August 11. Haaretz


      So as you can see, this could be a very sticky situation for the US, Iraqi Kurdistan and Israel with regards to being caught red-handed, stealing oil from Syria. As anyone can see from any conflict map of Syria, “ISIS” tends to focus on targets in the country that either produce or transport oil, which, when viewed in this particular context, might expose what some would call a “motive” for the regime change operation itself. If nothing else, it demonstrates the worse kind of war-profiteering: the plundering of a targeted nation’s national resources for profits.

      Later on Monday, after Putin made his comment to the press that morning, a Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis held a little press conference of his own during which he claimed the United States had suddenly changed their policy toward all those massive convoys of “ISIS” oil tankers leaving Syria with the stolen oil on board.

      Remember, this stolen oil is supposedly what funds “ISIS” and has been funding them and their war of aggression for years.
      In a new twist to an intensifying campaign to squeeze Islamic State oil revenues, U.S. warplanes have destroyed 116 oil-hauling trucks in eastern Syria that were a key part of a smuggling operation that brings the group an estimated $1.4 million a day.
      The series of strikes conducted Sunday and announced Monday was the first of their kind in more than a year of U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria. Four A-10 Thunderbolt II attack planes and two AC-130 Spectre gunships pounded the trucks as they clustered near Abu Kamal, a town close to the Iraqi border.

      U.S. officials previously had said they avoided attacking fuel trucks out of concern for civilian casualties. AP

      Clearly this announcement coming right on the heels of Putin’s statement is not a coincidence.

      The claim made by Capt. Davis was not accompanied by corroborating photos of the strikes. If photos do appear sometime in the future, chances are they would have been taking sometime AFTER Putin’s comments and BEFORE the Pentagon presser.
      Interestingly, and possibly very telling, is this little gem Capt. Davis mentioned in his press conference:

      Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said that in an effort to warn the truck drivers to leave the area in advance of Sunday’s attacks, leaflets were dropped and coalition planes conducted low-level “show of force” flights over the site. AP
      Right. According to the Pentagon themselves, the “ISIS” truck drivers were warned in advance of the attack and allowed to leave the scene… leaving only the empty tankers in the location.


    The obvious question here is: who is driving these trucks?

    Could it be that the same US, French, British and other western nationals who were contractors driving trucks in Iraq after our invasion back in 2003? Is that where all these Western “ISIS supporters” are going? Is that why they didn’t want to blow them up: because they didn’t want to explain how US and British contractors died while driving “ISIS” trucks for companies like Haliburton?

    Makes you think, doesn’t it.

    So what happened really?

    1.Putin embarrassed the US military and promised to expose them for facilitating “ISIS” oil shipments into Iraqi Kurdistan (and eventually, onward to Israel)

    2. Pentagon leadership panicked and came up with a plan

    3. They parked a relatively small number of these tanker trucks in a congested tangle somewhere near the Syria/Iraq border

    4. They had the drivers leave the scene

    5. And they called in some bombers to blow up the empty, driverless vehicles as a show of sorts.

    6. They rushed a spokesman to a podium and announced their “new” program of attacking these massive convoys of “ISIS” oil tankers.

    That’s not hard to understand is it? Seems pretty obvious to me and it should to anyone at the AP or Reuters reporting on this announcement from the Pentagon. But alas…


  21. Raise the flag higher boys. Maybe order a larger flag. See what they have on Alibaba.

  22. Oil going to Iran, and Israel....

    “The crude is transported by tankers to Jordan via Anbar province, to Iran via Kurdistan, to Turkey via Mosul, to Syria’s local market and to the Kurdistan region of Iraq, where most of it gets refined locally,” Khatteeb explained.

    1.Putin embarrassed the US military and promised to expose them for facilitating “ISIS” oil shipments into Iraqi Kurdistan (and eventually, onward to Israel)

    Now I see what the word fungible means.

    The Donald is on record as saying he'd bomb the shit out of all the facilities in ISIS-land that had anything to with oil, and "then send Exxon in to rebuild".



    1. Donald, willing to us US military might to seize foreign lands for US multi-nationals.

      Just another Fascist.

    2. ... willing to use US military ...

    3. Donald took a pass four times when it was actually his ass that was scheduled to go on line.

  23. Mizzou prof arrested for violently grabbing girl for not wearing hijab

    November 29, 2015 1:24 pm By Robert Spencer 43 Comments

    Youssif Z. Omar is not in Benghazi anymore, although surely the multiculturalists at the University of Missouri who insist that Sharia is benign and beautiful will rush to his defense — won’t they?

    Youssif Z. Omar

    “University of Missouri assistant professor charged with ‘violently grabbing 14-year-old relative by the hair and dragging her out of school for not wearing hijab,'” by Kiri Blakeley,, November 29, 2015 (thanks to Bulldog):

    An assistant professor at an American university has been arrested for allegedly grabbing a 14-year-old female relative by the hair and dragging her into a car after he noticed she wasn’t wearing a hijab.

    Youssif Z. Omar, 53, was reportedly at Hickman High School in Columbia, Missouri, on Tuesday when he spotted that the girl did not have the traditional Muslim headscarf.

    Officer Latisha Stroer told the Columbia Tribune in an email that Omar grabbed the girl ‘very violently by the hair’.

    He then allegedly slapped her across the face, and pulled her by the hair down and flight of stairs and into his car.

    The next day, Omar was arrested on suspicion of child abuse while he was at his home on the 1700 block of Timber Creek Drive.

    Omar’s LinkedIn page lists him as being an assistant professor at the University of Missouri, Columbia and manager of Artifacts Journal at the University bookstore.

    His Facebook page says he’s married and originally from Benghazi, Libya. His LinkedIn profile says he was the head of the English department at the University of Benghazi Wahat Branch from 2003-2007….

    Also at Jihad Watch this morning -

    Dearborn Muslims protest: “We are victims twice — by Islamophobia and ISIS”
    By Robert Spencer on Nov 29, 2015 06:17 pm
    Dearborn Muslims protest: “We are victims twice — by Islamophobia and ISIS”
    There are thousands of Muslims in Dearborn; why did only 100 show up for this? This is not the first time that attendance at a Muslim rally against terrorism has been decidedly underwhelming. Earlier this month, only 30 Muslims protested against the jihad massacres in Paris. In July 2015, a Muslim rally in Ireland against […]
    Read in browser »

    Obama: Unity on climate change will be “powerful rebuke” to terrorists
    By Robert Spencer on Nov 29, 2015 07:23 pm
    Obama: Unity on climate change will be “powerful rebuke” to terrorists
    Greasy Islamophobe that I am, I thought the only powerful rebuke to jihad terrorists would be killing them in large numbers. Good thing Obama is here to enlighten me and show that a bunch of politicians jawing over politically correct myths about the weather will actually stop the jihadis in their tracks. Doubtless this climate […]
    Read in browser »

    Sharia Saudi Arabia sentences poet to death for apostasy and blasphemy
    By Robert Spencer on Nov 29, 2015 08:07 pm
    Sharia Saudi Arabia sentences poet to death for apostasy and blasphemy
    “Hundreds of writers around the world have joined human rights groups in urging Saudi Arabia to release a poet who faces the death sentence on charges of ‘apostasy’ for his poetry.” Yet in the West, numerous writers rebuked the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists even after they were murdered, and attacked our Muhammad cartoon contest — both […]
    Read in browser »

    Saudi Arabia seems to me to be an example of what a successful ISIS eventually becomes...

  24. Did New Jersey Muslims Celebrate on 9/11?
    The facts and the eyewitness.
    November 30, 2015
    Danusha V. Goska

    There are tried-and-true methods to assess truth. These include Occam's Razor, multiple accounts, cui bono, and consistency with otherwise verified data. All of these can be applied in the accounts of Muslims celebrating 9-11.

    Occam's Razor says that the simplest explanation is best. Numerous New York and New Jersey residents insist that they or those close to them saw New Jersey Muslims celebrate 9-11. New Jersey radio station 101.5 quotes some of these accounts here. A sampling:

    Tom Penicaro: "I worked for PSEG in Clifton on the Paterson boarder and I witnessed it firsthand. They were celebrating in the streets cheering and stomping on the flag. I am a Marine and I remember very very clearly because I was so pissed I wanted to engage them with a bat I had in my van."

    William Hugelmeyer: "I was working in the jail when the attacks occurred. Once it was clear it was a terrorist attack, we had inmates celebrating. This instantly caused a lockdown. As you could imagine, many other inmates and officers didn't share their jubilation."

    John Pezzino: "They were in the streets banging on the cars trying to drive through the crowd in the street. The Muslims were shouting death to Americans and Allah is great other crap I didn't understand. We were amused until a car with 3 young women mistakenly turned on to main st. The muslims were banging on their windows and screaming, thats when we came out of our car and pushed the muslims off their car helped them back out and get back to the Parkway."

    Walter Emiliantsev: "I lived in NJ at the time on Demott Ave., Clifton! When I tried to go to Paterson to my brother in laws shop, I usually took Main Ave. There were so many people dancing on Main, I couldn't get through! I KNOW what I saw!"

    Occam's Razor suggests that when numerous people, using their first and last names in a public forum, and providing concrete details that can be checked, all provide similar accounts of public behavior, chances are they are telling the truth. It is possible that all of these people, as Kim LaCapria suggests, are suffering from false memory syndrome, or are all attempting to whip up murderous hatred against Muslims, as Benjamin Wittes accuses, but neither LaCapria nor Wittes provides any support for their smears.

    1. Cui bono directs us to consider "who benefits" from a statement. New Jersey has one of the largest Muslim populations in the US, after Michigan. New Jersey's Muslim population constitutes the second highest, by percent, in the US, after Illinois and above Michigan. New Jersey Muslims wield political clout. Note Republican Governor Chris Christie's nomination of Sohail Mohammed for the New Jersey Superior Court in spite of intense pressure, and Christie's dismissal as "crap" any concerns that New Jerseyans might have about sharia law. Note also that a New Jersey judge ruled that a Muslim man had the basis to beat, torture, and rape his 17-year-old wife because he believed that Islam granted him this right. Muslim political clout may explain why so many empowered voices insist that the 9-11 celebrations never happened.

      Too, no decent New Jerseyan wanted to see retaliatory attacks against Muslims in our state. Many speculate, and some report as fact, that police, journalists and local officials downplayed or denied Muslim celebrations to protect Muslims from retaliatory attacks.

      In contrast, those who insist that they witnessed Muslim celebrations have nothing to gain by making these statements publicly, and everything to lose. First, many of those speaking out now have no public record of making these statements previous to this controversy. They saw what they saw and they kept it to themselves, or told only those closest to them, for the past fourteen years. It is only the attempt to expunge this historical fact from public memory, and to smear and disgrace anyone who speaks this truth, that caused witnesses to come forward. They are average New Jerseyans simply telling the truth in the face of a wave of censorship and demonization that could cost them their friends or their jobs.

      Are accounts of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9-11 consistent with other verified data? Indeed they are.

      Palestinians make up a large percentage of Paterson's Muslim population, so much so that the neighborhood where the 9-11 celebration is alleged to have taken place is sometimes nicknamed "Little Ramallah." Local businesses are often named for Palestinian landmarks, for example the Al-Quds restaurant, Al-Quds Halal meat and the Al-Quds bakery. Paterson has a large Hispanic population; there are businesses with the provocative and irredentist name of El Andalus Discount Store and Andalus Islamic Fashion. Paterson Palestinians are not shy about expressing their opposition to Israel, see here. Indeed, Paterson's City Hall famously flew the Palestinian flag. One Paterson resident, Moneer Simreen, is quoted referring to Palestine, not the US, as "our country." Americans, Tariq Elsamma said, "need to obey our needs because we are a large community." Paterson's mayor, Jose Torres, wore a kaffiyeh and supported making Ramallah Paterson's sister city.

    2. Even those who deny that any American Muslims celebrated 9-11 acknowledge that Palestinians overseas did celebrate the attacks. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are familially related to Palestinians in Paterson.

      Further, polling data indicate that there is not inconsiderable support for terror among some Muslims, with support varying by group. In a 2005 FAFO Foundation poll, a significant percentage of Palestinian respondents supported "Al Qaeda's actions like bombings in USA and Europe." A 2013 Pew Poll found that 40% of Palestinians support suicide bombing in defense of Islam. In the same poll, only one percent of Muslims in Azerbaijan voiced support for suicide bombing.

      Finally, we know that six of the 9-11 hijackers lived in Paterson, NJ, and they used the computers of a nearby campus in planning their attacks.

      There are all too many non-Muslims who voice support for terror as well. One notorious example: Ward Churchill, a white American university professor of European, Christian descent called the 9-11 victims "little Eichmanns." Other non-Muslims say that poverty or injustice justifies terrorism.

      Good people of all beliefs need to say, without ambiguity or apology, that Western Civilization is worth maintaining, and that terrorism is both immoral and a tactical dead-end. If Muslims don't like an aspect of public life, they can change it through organizing and hard work. But we aren't having that conversation to the extent that we should. Instead too many of our cultural elites are apologetic about Western Civilization, and too eager to make excuses for terrorism.

      No, Ms. LaCapria, there is no evidence that the people who witnessed New Jersey Muslims celebrating 9-11 suffer from false memory syndrome. No, Benjamin Wittes, those who witnessed the celebrations are not "lying delusional murderous mobs." Rather, the real bigots and racists are those who demonize the honest New Jerseyans who risk censure by simply stating what they saw. From universities, newspaper suites and think tanks, the erasers of history look down on average Americans and sneer. They believe the worst of the American people. They are convinced that if Americans know one small fact – that some New Jersey Muslims celebrated on 9-11 – we will rise up with our pitchforks and torches and erupt into slaughter. They are the delusional ones.

      Americans are nice people. We are not especially bigoted. We know that 9-11 happened. Most Americans probably suspect that some minority of Muslims celebrated, openly or in secret. It's been fourteen years, and the pogrom that some have been perversely hoping for and trying to foment never happened.

      What we need is frank speech. We need to talk to our Muslim fellow citizens about why some of them celebrated on 9-11. And we need to – through speech – convince those who celebrated 9-11 that they are mistaken. The day that we do so will be a good day. We delay that day by denying that these celebrations ever happened.


    3. Israelis – Not Muslims – Cheered in Jersey City on 9/11

      An eye-witness report.

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


  25. ... we wrote about "The Most Important Question About ISIS That Nobody Is Asking" in which we asked who is the one "breaching every known law of funding terrorism when buying ISIS crude, almost certainly with the tacit approval by various "western alliance" governments, and why is it that these governments have allowed said middleman to continue funding ISIS for as long as it has?"

    Precisely one week later, in even more tragic circumstances, suddenly everyone is asking this question.

    And while we patiently dig to find who the on and offshore "commodity trading" middleman are, who cart away ISIS oil to European and other international markets in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars, one name keeps popping up as the primary culprit of regional demand for the Islamic State's "terrorist oil" - that of Turkish president Recep Erdogan's son: Bilal Erdogan.

    1. Good that Russia bombed the tankers.

      ...after Obama didn't for more than a year.

    2. Russian air power and the Syrian Army, if they work in concert, the borders with Israel and Turkey, secured.
      Then the Daesh will be rolled back towards Iraq.



    Good for Putin !

  27. Tulsi Gabbard, Rising Democratic Star From Hawaii, Makes Mark on Party by Defying It
    ...the first American Samoan and the first Hindu in Congress.

    Since the deadly attacks in Paris, she has become a high-profile critic of President Obama’s policies in Syria by amplifying her argument that President Bashar al-Assad should stay in power to avoid elevating the Islamic State and by introducing legislation to defund American efforts to overthrow him.

  28. Joint Operations calls Ramadi residents to evacuate their families from the city

    ( Baghdad – On Monday, Joint Special Operations Command called on Ramadi residents to evacuate the city.

    The command said in a statement received by, “Joint Special Operations Command calls on the people of Ramadi to evacuate their families from the city, and head to the south.”

    Anbar province is witnessing military operations to liberate the areas controlled by the ISIS, while the Iraqi military aviation as well as the international coalition aviation conduct air raids to hit ISIS sites.


    1. We destroyed 400 ISIS oil tanks and killed 23,000 terrorists, says Warren

      ( Baghdad – The international coalition in Iraq announced on Monday, that the coalition forces had destroyed 400 oil tanks belonging to the ISIS during the past two weeks, noting that 23,000 ISIS militants were killed since the start of campaign against the organization.

      Colonel Steve Warren said in a statement obtained by, “The international coalition destroyed 400 ISIS oil tanks during the past two weeks,” noting that, “The coalition have killed 23,000 terrorists since the start of its operations against ISIS “.

      Warren added that “15,000 Iraqi soldiers have been trained and they are ready to fight,” adding that, “The United States has allocated $2 billion to buy military equipment, as will as supplying Iraq with 200 Hummers and 5,000 anti-tank missiles.”


    2. We had to rubblize Iraq to save it.

      ISIS destroys Assyrian city of Nimrud near Mosul, Iraq

    3. Hi Doug,

      We did rubbleize Iraq but we sure as hell didn't save it. Are you suggesting we should start saving Syria now?

  29. SOUTHWEST ASIA, November 30, 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.

    Airstrikes in Syria

    Bomber and remotely piloted aircraft conducted three airstrikes in Syria:

    -- Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike destroyed an ISIL excavator and three ISIL bulldozers and damaged an additional ISIL bulldozer.

    -- Near Hawl, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroyed an ISIL checkpoint and wounded an ISIL fighter.

    Airstrikes in Iraq

    Bomber, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 12 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

    -- Near Albu Hayat, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

    -- Near Fallujah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL rocket rail and two ISIL defensive fighting positions.

    -- Near Habbaniyah, a strike destroyed an ISIL defensive fighting position.

    -- Near Mosul, a strike denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Qayyarah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and wounded an ISIL fighter.

    -- Near Ramadi, five strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL indirect fire site, two ISIL tactical vehicles, an ISIL recoilless rifle, an ISIL vehicle, three ISIL buildings, three ISIL anti-air artillery sites, an ISIL tunnel system, and two ISIL weapons caches.

    -- Near Sinjar, two strikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and 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.

  30. For the first time, more people, over the weekend, visited Online Stores, than "brick and mortar" establishments - 103 Million vs. 102 Million.


  31. Columbia University Researchers Confirm Turkey’s Links to ISIS

    A team of Columbia University researchers from the United States, Europe, and Turkey confirmed last week that the Turkish government has provided to ISIS: military cooperation, weapons, logistical support, financial assistance, and medical services. This detailed investigation was headed by David L. Phillips, Director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights. He had served as Senior Advisor and Foreign Affairs Expert for the U.S. Department of State.

    Here are brief excerpts from the extensive research documenting the direct links between Turkey and ISIS:



    1. Turkey Supplied Military Equipment to ISIS

      An ISIS commander told The Washington Post on August 12, 2014:
      “Most of the fighters who joined us in the beginning of the war came via Turkey, and so did our equipment and supplies.”

      Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, head of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), disclosed on Oct. 14, 2014, documents from the Adana Office of the Prosecutor, revealing that Turkey supplied weapons to terrorist groups. He also produced transcripts of interviews with truck drivers who delivered the weapons to the terrorists.

      According to CHP Vice President Bulent Tezcan, Turkish agents drove three trucks loaded with rockets, arms, and ammunition to ISIS in Syria, on January 19, 2014.

      Cumhuriyet newspaper quoted Fuat Avni as stating that Germany and the United States had audio tapes confirming that Turkey provided financial and military aid to terrorist groups associated with Al Qaeda on Oct. 12, 2014.

      Documents made public on Sept. 27, 2014, revealed that Saudi Prince Bandar Bin Sultan financed the transportation of arms to ISIS through Turkey.


    2. Turkey Provided Logistical Assistance to ISIS Fighters

      According to a June 13, 2014 article in Radikal newspaper, Turkish Interior Minister Muammar Guler issued the following directive: “Hatay is a strategic location for the Mujahidin crossing from within our borders to Syria. Logistical support for Islamist groups will be increased, and their training, hospital care, and safe passage will mostly take place in Hatay.”

      The Daily Mail reported on August 25, 2014 that many foreign militants joined ISIS in Syria and Iraq after traveling through Turkey.

      Britain’s Sky News obtained documents showing that the Turkish government stamped passports of foreign militants seeking to cross the Turkish border into Syria to join ISIS.

      A senior Egyptian official indicated on Oct. 9, 2014 that Turkish intelligence is passing to ISIS satellite imagery and other data.


    3. Turkey Trained ISIS Fighters

      CNN Turk reported on July 29, 2014 that in the heart of Istanbul, places like Duzce and Adapazari have become gathering spots for terrorists.

      Turks who joined an ISIS affiliate were shown on July 28, 2014, at a public gathering in Istanbul.

      A video showed an ISIS affiliate holding a prayer-gathering in Omerli, a district of Istanbul.

      According to Jordanian Intelligence, Turkey trained ISIS militants for special operations.

      Turkey Extended Medical Care to ISIS Fighters

      An ISIS commander told The Washington Post on August 12, 2014,
      “We used to have some fighters — even high-level members of the Islamic State — getting treated in Turkish hospitals.”

      On Oct. 12, 2014, Taraf newspaper reported that Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat, a founder of Pres. Erdogan’s ruling party (AKP), divulged that Turkey supported terrorist groups and still supports them and treats them in its hospitals.


    4. Turkey Supported ISIS Financially Through Purchase of Oil

      On Sept. 13, 2014, The New York Times reported on the Obama administration’s efforts to pressure Turkey to crack down on the extensive network of oil sold by ISIS.

      Fehim Taştekin wrote in Radikal on Sept. 13, 2014 about illegal pipelines transporting oil from Syria to Turkey.

      Turkey Assisted ISIS Recruitment

      Kiliçdaroğlu announced on Oct. 14, 2014 that ISIS offices in Istanbul and Gaziantep are recruiting fighters. On Oct. 10, 2014, the Mufti of Konya stated that 100 men from his city had joined ISIS four days ago.

      OdaTV reported that Takva Haber served as a propaganda outlet for ISIS to recruit Turkish-speaking men in Turkey and Germany.

      Minister of Sports, Suat Kilic, an AKP member, visited Salafi Jihadists who are ISIS supporters in Germany. These Jihadists recruit supporters by distributing free copies of the Quran and raising funds to sponsor suicide attacks in Syria and Iraq.

      OdaTV released a video showing ISIS militants riding a bus in Istanbul.


    5. Turkish Forces are Fighting Alongside ISIS

      American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh asserted in the London Review of Books that
      “Prime Minister Recep Erdogan was known to be supporting the al-Nusra Front, a Jihadist faction among the rebel opposition, as well as other Islamist rebel groups.”

      On Sept. 20, 2014, Demir Celik, a Member of Parliament representing the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), stated that Turkish Special Forces had joined ISIS in the battlefield.

      Turkey Helped ISIS in Battle for Kobani

      Anwar Muslim, Mayor of Kobani, revealed on Sept. 19, 2014 that trains full of Turkish forces and ammunition were delivered to ISIS. On September 30, 2014, a CHP delegation visited Kobani, where locals declared that everything from the clothes of ISIS militants to their guns comes from Turkey.

      A Nuhaber video showed on Sept. 25, 2014 Turkish military convoys, carrying tanks and ammunition, moving freely under ISIS flags in the Jarablus region of Syria and the Karkamis border crossing.

      Salih Muslim, PYD leader of Kurdish fighters, reported that 120 militants had crossed into Syria from Turkey on Oct. 20-24, 2014.

      According to an op-ed written by a YPG Kurdish commander in The New York Times on Oct. 29, 2014, Turkey regularly allows ISIS militants and their equipment to pass freely over its border.

      Diken reported on Oct. 1, 2014: “ISIS fighters crossed the border from Turkey into Syria in full view of Turkish soldiers.”

      Turkey and ISIS Share a Worldview

      RT reported on Oct. 3, 2014 on Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks detailing Turkish support to ISIS.

      Hurriyet newspaper quoted a Turkish civil servant on Sept. 26, 2014: “I was shocked to hear words of admiration for ISIL from some high-level civil servants.”

      An AKP council member posted on his Facebook page: “Thankfully ISIS exists…. May you never run out of ammunition….”

      Erdogan’s son Bilal and Turkish officials met with ISIS fighters, according to Sariyer Gozlem.


    6. It is absolutely unacceptable that while ISIS is committing mass murder in Paris and other European cities, its NATO ‘ally,’ Turkey, is continuing to aid and arm these terrorists. It is high time that Turkey is expelled from NATO and its leaders are indicted and brought to justice for their role in these heinous crimes.

  32. "It is high time that Turkey is expelled from NATO and its leaders are indicted and brought to justice for their role in these heinous crimes."

    Most could, I think, agree with that.

    I'd like to see Israel replace Turkey, and throw in India as well.

    Israel and India seem to get along fine. Both are democracies, and both have vast experience with Islam.

  33. All these refugees who have fled from Syria - who are they fleeing from?

    1. The Christians and Jews, of course.

      Ash, please donate your body for someone's needed head transplant.

      Your brain is obviously quite dead.

      From the looks of your body, that's not so good either, but may be just functional enough.

    2. From ISIS, Ash, and the other armed groups, and from Assad's barrel bombs, and Russian bombs, American bombs, all sorts of stuff, and the war in general.

      Anyone with any sense would want to head elsewhere.

    3. From the poison gas Assad has been spraying around too.

      Syria is not a fun place to be these days.

    4. They are fleeing the Christians and Jews are the Bob? Wow, you are smart.

    5. Dear Ash, you really are totally brain dead this morning, are you not ?!

      Good God, Ash.

      Have been smoking skunk again ?

      I was being facetious:


      treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humor; flippant.
      synonyms: flippant · flip · glib · frivolous · tongue-in-cheek · ironic ·

      If you can't figure out why people are fleeing Syria.....

      well, look at this way, it's not a good place to raise children.....they might get stolen, raped, crucified, beheaded, dead from gas attack, shot, bombed by various powers, and they might have little to eat, too, plus no working school.

      And the adults might get the same treatment too, from any one of the various 'actors' in this sickening drama.

    6. Obviously they fleeing from the war. Many here have identified IS as if they are the only enemy in Syria. I would guess the majority of those fleeing refugees are fleeing from Assad. IS is just one of the problems in the region and Syria in particular.

    7. Well, there now, you are on the right track.

      Who your friends are determine who your enemies are, and vice versa, in Syria.

      Yet some have no friends at all, and every other group is felt to be an enemy.

      Best to exit stage right or stage left or jump off the stage to the front, and scram.

    8. Yet most here are saying "harder" "faster" 'gotta git IS". " bomb bomb bomb" - " get those pesky oil trucks!"

    9. Ash, the reason for the civil war is that the Muslim Brotherhood are demanding representative government.
      The Christians, Kurds and Alawites of Syria can't be having that.

    10. As for "Get Daesh", they are the only group in the mix that the US Congress has authorized its military to use force against.

      The Islamic State is the only combatant enemy the US has, at the moment.

  34. Take a look at the smog in China - Good Lord how could you live in that ? India is bad too. Smog from China can sometimes be seen off the Oregon and Washington coasts.

    Smog chokes Chinese, Indian capitals as climate talks begin
    8 hours ago


    Vendors selling drinks stand beside vehicles near the India Gate war memorial on a smoggy day in New Delhi

    BEIJING/NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The capitals of the world's two most populous nations, China and India, were blanketed in hazardous, choking smog on Monday as climate change talks began in Paris, where leaders of both countries are among the participants.
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    China's capital Beijing maintained an "orange" pollution alert, the second-highest level, on Monday, closing highways, halting or suspending construction and prompting a warning to residents to stay indoors.

    The choking pollution was caused by the "unfavourable" weather, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said on Sunday. Emissions in northern China soar over winter as urban heating systems are switched on and low wind speeds have meant that polluted air has not been dispersed.

    In New Delhi, the U.S. embassy's monitoring station recorded an air quality index of 372, which puts air pollution levels well into "hazardous" territory. A thick smog blanketed the city and visibility was down to about 200 yards (metres).

    Air quality in the city of 16 million is usually bad in winter, when coal fires are lit by the poor to ward off the cold. Traffic fumes, too, are trapped over the city by a temperature inversion and the lack of wind.

  35. World leaders delivered a range of messages, from optimist promises to dire warnings, as talks began Monday near Paris on reducing man-made emissions behind climate change.


    Trudeau said Canada will also help poorer nations cope with global warming. Last week, his government promised to spend $2.65 billion over five years to help developing countries reduce their emissions and adapt to climate change.


    "We must rise to this moment," Obama said in his opening remarks.

  36. Turkey's decision to down a Russian warplane on the Syrian border was dictated by a desire to defend Islamic State oil supplies to Turkey, according to Russian president Vladimir Putin.


    Russia and the United States have discussed Syria and the downing of the plane during talks on the sidelines of the climate summit in Paris.


    The vast majority of Russian airstrikes have targeted areas contested by US-backed rebels fighting Syrian president Bashar Assad, while relatively few have hit IS territory in Raqqah, Dayr az Zawr, and east of Aleppo, according to the maps.