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

Friday, December 18, 2015

Marching on : The US Monster Surveillance State - Spying on All Americans While Ignorning the Fountainhead of Terror, Saudi Arabia

The NSA will spy on you for reading this article

NSA Tor Tails Online Privacy

Are you looking for ways to protect your privacy while browsing the web? Are you trying to learn how to use Tor, the browser that anonymizes your Internet traffic? Are you interested in ditching Windows for something that’s more privacy-friendly? The good news is that there are ways to do that. The bad news is that this sort of online behavior apparently triggers NSA spying, especially if you’re a foreigner.

A report from German site Tagesshau reveals that the NSA has a computer system dedicated to accessing Tor called XKeyscore. The NSA apparently digs for “deep-packet inspection” Internet users located outside of the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and other countries that comprise the Five Eyes countries that work with the NSA on surveillance programs.

Hating Windows is apparently another infraction that will get you on the short list, especially if you’re looking to install the Tails operating system, which is generally used by people looking to guard their privacy.

Reporting on Tagesshau’s findings, Boing Boing speculates that the NSA and its partners might be using these simple mass surveillance spying practices to divide Internet users into two principal categories: Those who don’t care about guarding their privacy online, and those who use services like Tor, Tails and others.

It appears that even looking for information about Tor and Tails – and potentially reading this post – will get you fingerprinted.

“I have known that this story was coming for some time now, having learned about its broad contours under embargo from a trusted source,” Boing Boing writes. “Since then, I’ve discussed it in confidence with some of the technical experts who have worked on the full set of Snowden docs, and they were as shocked as I was.

“One expert suggested that the NSA’s intention here was to separate the sheep from the goats – to split the entire population of the Internet into ‘people who have the technical know-how to be private’ and ‘people who don’t’ and then capture all the communications from the first group,” the site continues.

It’s believed that details about this NSA operation may come from a second source other than Snowden, although it’s not clear who that person is.

Even though it might sound scary to the regular user looking for online data protection, the NSA’s thinking isn’t illogical. It makes perfect sense to want to know who’s looking to hide their online activity behind things like Tor and Tails because some of the people who do it are indeed up to no good. They’re not reporters looking to protect their sources, and they’re not living in oppressed countries. Some of them are the bad guys the NSA is trying to catch, and bad guys will almost certainly want to protect all online activity with the help of these encrypted technologies.



    Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed terrorist group, poses a direct threat to American and Israeli security. The group dominates the Lebanese government, fights for the Assad regime, and possesses an arsenal of more than 100,000 rockets. Hezbollah has killed more Americans than any terrorist group other than al-Qaeda and has carried out dozens of attacks in recent years.

    The Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015 (H.R. 2297 and S.1617) aims to sanction international financial institutions that knowingly facilitate Hezbollah’s activities, including the provision of significant financial services. The legislation is authored by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) in the Senate and Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY) in the House of Representatives.

    The important measure will force foreign financial institutions to choose between doing business with Hezbollah or the United States. Additionally, the legislation targets satellite and Internet providers that provide material support to the Hezbollah television station al-Manar.

    It was passed in the House on Dec. 16 by a vote of 425-0. The Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent on Nov. 17. The bill now awaits President Barack Obama’s signature.

    While the rest of the civilized World is concerned with ISIS, What is the Israeli Lobby up to? War with Iran. The irony, danger posed to the welfare and security of ordinary US people by Saudi Arabia and Israel far surpasses the threats posed by ISIS.

  2. The two gentle folks in San Bernardino were babbling all over the place, and, in addition, the Lady passed three vettings, too.

    The Gentleman, with the Hispanic name, who sold them the guns, has now been arrested and charged with giving material aid to terrorism, or whatever.

    The mother/father of the male perp should be charged as well. They both knew what was happening.

    He knew what was going on. I hope he gets life in prison.

    1. Hezbollah is fighting ISIS. Israel and Saudi Arabia are enablers and supporters of ISIS. Israelhas been killing Hezbollah forces that are fighting ISIS.

      The US government cannot be serious in its war against ISIS while tolerating Israeli and Saudi activities.

    2. Hezbollah is Iran.

      All Israel is doing is bombing the occasional arms/missile shipments they find coming to Lebanon or Hamastan from Syria.

    3. South Lebanon was supposed to be demilitarized long ago, IIRC.

  3. More AIPAC Propaganda:

  4. I know what my wife would say about this particular topic:

    "If you got nothing to hide you've got nothing to fear"

    Yes, I know, I find it somewhat irritating as well.

  5. Less than 12 hours after Bernie Sanders received his biggest endorsement of the presidential campaign, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has cut off his access to the Democratic party’s all-important master voter file.

    The result is that his campaign is now unable to perform all the most basic aspects of voter contact such as knocking on doors and making phone calls in any functional way. While the Sanders campaign can still talk to voters, it has no way of actually keeping track of their identity and whether they support the Vermont senator’s candidacy.

    After NGP-VAN – the company that administers the DNC’s voter file – updated its system on Wednesday, a glitch reportedly made some confidential data from Hillary Clinton’s campaign briefly accessible to the Sanders campaign and one campaign staffer was able to access that information. The staffer has since been fired. The glitch was first reported by the Washington Post.

    As a result of this temporary breach, the DNC has indefinitely cut off the Sanders campaign’s access to the voter file, which functionally halts its field operation. The move by the DNC raises eyebrows as many Democrats, including Sanders and fellow presidential candidate Martin O’Malley have long accused the DNC’s chair, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, of attempting to rig the presidential process to benefit Clinton. In particular, they have raised questions about the relative paucity of debates, which have been scheduled for weekend evenings and to coincide with other events such as a major University of Iowa football game.

    The action by the DNC happens less than 48 hours before the third Democratic debate, which is scheduled for Saturday night, only a few days before Christmas and at the same time as a nationally televised NFL game. The news also broke less than 12 hours after Sanders received his biggest labor endorsement yet from the Communication Workers of America as well as the backing of the influential progressive activist group Democracy for America. However, national polls show Clinton with a steady lead of well over 20 percentage points over Sanders and the Vermont senator has struggled to keep pace with Clinton in the key early caucus state of Iowa as well.

    In a statement, Michael Briggs, a spokesman for the Sanders campaign told the Guardian the issue was the result of systemic failures by NGP-VAN. “Sadly, the vendor who runs the DNC’s voter file program continues to make serious errors,” said Briggs. “On more than one occasion, the vendor has dropped the firewall between the data of different Democratic campaigns. Our campaign months ago alerted the DNC to the fact that campaign data was being made available to other campaigns. At that time our campaign did not run to the media, relying instead on assurances from the vendor.”

    He added of Wednesday’s incident: “Unfortunately, yesterday, the vendor once again dropped the firewall between the campaigns for some data. After discussion with the DNC it became clear that one of our staffers accessed some modeling data from another campaign. That behavior is unacceptable and that staffer was immediately fired. We are as interested as anyone in making sure that the software flaws are corrected since mistakes by the DNC’s vendor also have made our records vulnerable. We are working with the DNC and the vendor and hope that this kind of lapse will not occur again.”

    Stu Trevelyan, the chief executive of NGP-VAN, told the Guardian: “The security and privacy of our customers’ data is our top priority. This was an isolated incident where as the result of a software patch, for a brief window, the voter data that is searchable across campaigns in VoteBuilder included specific data points it should not have, on a specific part of the system.”

    A spokesman for the DNC didn’t respond to request for comment from the Guardian.

  6. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is another person I can't stand.

    She deserves to end up working the night shift at a McDonald's somewhere in the midwest.

  7. Saudi Millionaire cleared of rape charges after he accidently fell into woman

    For my male readers, can I ask you a question? Have you ever, purely by accident, fallen inside of a woman? I ask this question because this is what seemed to have happened to Saudi millionaire Ehsan Abdulaziz who was accused of raping a woman. He was cleared of all charges, however, when he made it clear that while his semen was found inside of her, it was because he accidently fell inside of her.

    A Saudi millionaire has been cleared of raping a teenager after claiming he might have accidentally penetrated the 18-year-old when he tripped and fell.

    Property developer Ehsan Abdulaziz, 46, was accused of forcing himself on the young woman as she slept off a night of drinking on the sofa in his plush flat in Maida Vale, west London.

    He had already had sex with her 24-year-old friend and said he might have fallen on top of the teenager while his penis was poking out the top of his underwear.

    Married father-of-one Mr Abdulaziz was cleared of one count of rape following a trial at Southwark Crown Court.

    Mr Abdulaziz, who had known the 24-year-old for around seven months, invited the friends to join him at his private £1,000-a-night table and bought both women a round of drinks.

    He later offered them a ride home in his Aston Martin.

    The three went back to his apartment, where he offered them vodka before taking the 24-year-old into the bedroom for sex.

    The teenager claimed she woke in the early hours of the morning to find Mr Abdulaziz on top of her, forcing himself inside her.

    In his evidence, Mr Abdulaziz demonstrated how the complainant had put her hand behind his head to pull her towards him, causing him to fall down.

    He said: 'I'm fragile, I fell down but nothing ever happened, between me and this girl nothing ever happened.' He said traces of his DNA could have been found in her vagina because of the fall.

    Mr Abdulaziz admitted that he went to rouse the sleeping girl wearing only his underpants, and said that his erect penis may have been poking out.

    Mr Davies said: 'You're 45 and you know there was a you knew there was a young girl sleeping in your living room and it was okay for you to walk in there with your penis sticking out of the top of your pants?

    Mr Abdulaziz replied: 'I didn't go in there to have a conversation, I just went in there to switch off the TV and have a glass of water.'

    The businessman insisted he had never had a one night stand in the 20 years he had lived in London.

    Feminists claim there is a rape crisis on college campuses and that rape occurs if a man doesn't repeatedly ask a woman for permission at every step during the sexual process. But you don't hear their voices in Mr. Abdulaziz's case. Do you think they are sympathetic to this novel "sexual slip and fall" defense? Do you think jurors drove home in brand new BMW's convinced of Mr. Abdulaziz's innocence?

    Maybe this is more common than I know. In the comments section, please let us know if you have ever slipped and fell inside of a woman, and if so, how you managed to find your way out again.

  8. Nah, it's not the "stupid" party:

    30% of Republicans (per PPP Poll) want to bomb Agrabah.

    Where is the country of "Agrabah," you ask?

    Hint: Are you familiar with the story of Alladin?

  9. .

    South Lebanon was supposed to be demilitarized long ago, IIRC.

    Naw, that can't be right. Otherwise...

    - Why is Israel still occupying parts of the Golan Heights?

    - Why have 24,000 Israeli settlers moved into the Golan Heights?

    - Why, on his last trip to Washington, did Bibi suggest to Obama that maybe Israel should absorb permanently those parts of the Golan Heights they now occupy?


    1. ummmm, the Golan Heights occupation is primarily about protecting from Syria and has little to do with Lebanon does it not?

    2. .

      You are right,Ash, about the Golan Heights being in Syria; however, the discussion above was about Hezbollah and how all of southern Lebanon should be demilitarized. I was merely pointing out the hypocrisy in the statement.

      Look at the map of Lebanon, Syria (with Golan Heights), and Israel. Israel invaded and occupied the Golan Heights in '67. Hezbollah was formed in response to Israel's invasion of Lebanon in '82. Hezbollah is now in both Lebanon and Syria fighting ISIS. The UN has peacekeeping troops in both countries, UNDOF in the Golan Heights and UNIFIL in Lebanon.

      Israel should be concerned about all the fighting going on around them. On the other hand for Bob to talk about demilitarizing Lebanon with all the other shit going on in the area, with ALL the players and all the history is, IMO, a bit simplistic or else a bit hypocritical.


    3. .

      ...opps...the map...;_ylt=A0LEVi1hlHRWsMkA4HYnnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTByMjB0aG5zBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw--?p=map+of+lebanon+syria+israel&|+Jews+for+Justice+for+...&oid=42c4562d96a84ef3b3000000008b98ba&tt=Israel+bombs+its+way+into+Mideast+conflict+|+Jews+for+Justice+for+...&sigr=10ppr49t2&sigi=11acu9dc2&sigb=137eo0dc4&sign=125nf993g&sigt=125nf993g&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-004


  10. SOUTHWEST ASIA, December 18, 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

    Attack aircraft conducted three strikes in Syria:

    -- Near Ayn Isa, a strike destroyed an ISIL mortar position.

    -- Near Manbij, two strikes destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Attack, bomber and fighter aircraft conducted 19 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

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

    -- Near Fallujah, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, cratered an ISIL-used road, denied ISIL access to terrain and destroyed three ISIL heavy machine guns, four ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL mortar position, two ISIL command and control nodes, and an ISIL-used bridge.

    -- Near Kisik, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL light machine guns, two ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

    -- Near Mosul, four strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL heavy machine guns, two ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL vehicles and two ISIL assembly areas.

    -- Near Ramadi, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun, six ISIL staging areas and an ISIL building.

    -- Near Sinjar, four strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, suppressed an ISIL light machine gun position and destroyed four ISIL vehicles, two ISIL heavy machine guns, two ISIL light machine guns, two ISIL excavators, and an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike destroyed five ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL communications tower.

    Additionally, there was an unreported strike on Dec. 15:

    -- Near Fallujah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit, denied ISIL access to terrain and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and two ISIL buildings.

    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is a strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

    Heating up in Fallujah?

  11. .

    I just witnessed Obama offering up his revisionist history of events in Libya and Syria.


    Has this man ever admitted to his screw ups? Not that I can remember.


  12. Time to get a few things straight -

    The Left's Muslim Replacement Theology for Jews
    Muslims are the new Jews; time to get rid of the old Jews.
    December 18, 2015
    Daniel Greenfield

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

    Muslims are the new Jews. You can find this offensive claim repeated everywhere in the media. The Jews, a small ethnic minority of millions that was stateless for thousands of years, are a terrible analogy for a global Muslim population of 1.6 billion and around 50 countries that do not comprise a single ethnicity or race. Comparing the two makes as much sense as comparing the Finns to all of Asia.

    The only thing the Muslims and the Jews have ever had in common is that the former conquered, persecuted and enslaved the latter. Any religious similarities are the product of Muslim cultural appropriation of Jewish beliefs and any cultural similarities are the result of Muslim colonization.

    Comparing Jews to Muslims makes as much sense as comparing Jews to Nazis. But the media began making the argument that the Jews are the new Nazis from the very moment that the stateless Jews got their first state since Rome and its allied Arab invaders had destroyed the last one.

    In this twisted historical revisionism, the Jews, a beleaguered minority hanging on to a country slightly bigger than Fiji, who have spent the last 40 years cutting pieces off their small slice of the world to hand over to the region’s massive Muslim majority in the hopes of being left alone, are the new Nazis.

    And the Muslim billion ruling over vast territories where human rights for non-Muslims are rarer than hen’s teeth, where non-Muslim populations decline year after year as they are forcibly converted or are forced to flee their Muslim oppressors, are somehow the new Jews. Orwell would have wept.

    The new Nazis are the Jews, who freed hundreds of terrorists to try and restart negotiations with Muslim terrorists. And the new Jews are the Muslims who behead, enslave, rape and bomb their way across the region. The Jewish Nazis have killed about 4 or 5 Muslim terrorists a month on average this year. The new Muslim Jews in Syria alone account for a death toll of over 100 every day.

    The analogy makes no sense. But that hasn’t stopped the media from embracing it anyway.

    The media compared the Syrian migrants to Joseph and Mary at the inn. When that social media meme got old after about 5 minutes, it was time to compare them to Holocaust survivors fleeing the Nazis.

    One analogy made as much sense as the other.

    The media had already made it an annual tradition to break out the Joseph and Mary analogy every Christmas to attack Israel. Now it doubled down on it to attack Americans. But Joseph and Mary were Jewish natives of Israel. They weren’t foreigners. And today it’s the media that insists Jews shouldn’t be allowed to stay in Bethlehem or any part of the West Bank. The innkeeper in this analogy is Obama.

    Herod was the foreigner ruling over Israel, the son of an Idumean father and a Nabatean Arab mother, you might think of him as the Obama of the day, while driving the Jews out of their own country. Herod’s father had allied with an Arab ruler who controlled what is today Syria and Saudi Arabia, in an alliance against the next-to-last Jewish king of Israel. Herod had the last Jewish king of Israel killed. The Jews persecuted by the Arab Herod aren’t the Muslims of today. The Muslims of today are Herod.

    The Nabateans and Idumeans (according to the Greek historian Strabo they were both Arabic peoples) had been expanding westward into Israel much the way that their descendants are expanding into the West today. The Idumeans promised to integrate into the Jewish nation, but instead massacred its people and eventually took over the country through treachery and terrorism, and destroyed it.

  13. There may be an analogy there for Muslim migration to the West, but the media wouldn’t touch it with a pole the length of the Atlantic Ocean.

    Today, Joseph and Mary might be a Jewish couple who are told by the European Union that they aren’t allowed to live in Givat Hamatos, near Bethlehem, because there is no room for Jews in the West Bank. Or a German couple in a small rural town forced out of their home by the local authorities to accommodate the flood of Syrian Muslim migrants who are beginning their colonization of the country.

    There’s always “room at the inn” for Muslim invaders who have colonized and displaced the local population. But there’s never any room available for their indigenous non-Muslim victims.

    The media howls that the Syrian Muslim migrants are just like the Jews fleeing the Holocaust. But the Jews were a stateless people who were suffering genocide at the hands of the majority. The Syrian Muslims are not stateless, they’re Syrians, they’re not a minority, they’re the majority, and they’re not suffering genocide, they’re the ones perpetrating it.

    The worst actors in the Syrian Civil War are Sunni Muslims. Some Sunni Muslim groups, such as ISIS, are fighting other Sunni Muslims for power and territory. But Sunni Muslims as a group do not face genocide. They’re the majority. It’s Yazidis and Christians facing genocide at the hands of Sunni Muslims.

    The Jews had no Jewish State to go to during the Holocaust. Sunni Muslims have over forty countries to choose from. If they want land area, they have over 30 million square miles to pick from. That’s a territory that is ten times the size of the United States. There’s plenty of room for them all.

    1. The Jews had no Jewish State to go to during the Holocaust. Sunni Muslims have over forty countries to choose from. If they want land area, they have over 30 million square miles to pick from. That’s a territory that is ten times the size of the United States. There’s plenty of room for them all.

      The only valid historical analogy involving Arab Muslims, Jews and the Holocaust is the one that Netanyahu was shouted down for making. The Arab Muslims sympathized with the Nazis. Not only did the Mufti of Jerusalem play a vital role in encouraging Hitler’s genocidal plans for the Jews, but after the war Nazi butchers found safe harbor in Muslim countries. Many converted to Islam.

      The one thing that both sides in the Syrian Civil War agree on is that the Nazis had the right idea about the Jews. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Sheikh Qaradawi spoke approvingly of Hitler and hoped for a Muslim Holocaust of the Jews, "The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them - even though they exaggerated this issue - he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hands of the believers."

      But that didn’t stop the White House from rolling out the red carpet for his deputy a few years later.

      On the Shiite side, Assad Sr. had threatened to wreak the “apex of the Israeli Holocaust”. Hezbollah boss Nasrallah had boasted that, “If they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”

      In a pre-war poll, 77% of Syrians had expressed support for Hamas whose goal is the extermination of the Jews. Hating Jews and wanting to kill them is the one thing that brings Shiites and Sunnis together.

      But hate doesn’t have to be as obvious as Assad or Qaradawi. The constant claims that Muslims are the new Jews carry with them a whiff of progressive replacement theology. The old Jews have been found wanting. Setting up a country and defending it against Muslim terrorism made them bad victims. The Muslims are superior replacement victims. They have the right to Israel and to Jewish history.

      Ishaan Tharoor at the Washington Post, whose meme popularized the obnoxious appropriation of Jewish history by claiming that Muslim migrants are just like the Jews fleeing the Holocaust, lectures Jews that Muslim threats to kill all the Jews are “not like the Holocaust.”

      The left insists that Jews have no right to their own history. Like Bethlehem and Jerusalem, it belongs to the Muslims. The Holocaust may not be invoked to protest the Muslim murder of Jews, but must instead be invoked to enable the Muslim murder of Jews by bringing millions of supremacist bigots who think that the Holocaust was one of the best things that ever happened to Europe and the United States.

      The ADL’s anti-Semitic poll ratings for Muslim refugee countries are 92% for Iraq and 87% for Libya. Those numbers somehow manage to be even worse than those of Saudi Arabia which only scores 74%.

      The final act of one people replacing another is genocide. Just ask Herod or Mohammed, whose final deathbed wish was that Jews and Christians should be purged from Arabia. Or ask the latest pundit explaining why Jews can’t live near Bethlehem, but Muslims must be brought to live in New York.

      Muslims are not the new Jews. And the idea that Muslims have replaced the Jews and are entitled to appropriate their land and history for their own use is not only anti-Semitic, it’s genocidal.
      Tags: Jews, Left, Muslims

      About Daniel Greenfield

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

  14. It was downright anti-semitic and genocidal for the Palestinians to move up to St. Petersburg, and kick those poor Jews out of their houses, and off their farms.

    Oh, wait . . . . . .

  15. ( Kirkuk – An informed source within the paramilitary Peshmerga force announced on Friday, that 61 ISIS elements had been killed during violent clashes and air strikes by the international coalition northwest of Kirkuk.

    The source said in a statement received by, “This morning, Peshmerga forces foiled a massive attack by ISIS on the villages of Kura and Kaba in the district of al-Dabs (45 km northwest of Kirkuk), resulting in the death of 11 elements of the organization, while 50 others have been killed in an aerial bombing by the international coalition.”


    1. “Peace Brigades” foil attack by “ISIS” west of Samarra

      ( Salahuddin – On Thursday, a security source in Salahuddin province stated that “Peace Brigades” had managed to foil an attack by ISIS west of Samarra.

      The source said in a statement obtained by, “Peace Brigades repelled an attack by ISIS west of Samarra (40 km south of Tikrit,” adding that, “The Peace Brigades had inflicted heavy losses upon ISIS.”

      Noteworthy, Iraq witnesses an extraordinary security situation with the continued military operations to expel ISIS from the areas under their control.

      More Iraqinews

  16. .

    United Nations Security Council Approves Syria Peace Plan

    by Abigail Williams and Richie Duchon

    The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Friday endorsing a Syrian peace process that includes a cease-fire and peace talks, but does not address the fate of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

    "This council is sending a clear message to all concerned that the time is now to stop the killing in Syria and lay the groundwork for a government that the long suffering people of that battled land can support," Secretary of State John Kerry, who presided over the Security Council meeting, said.

    The unanimous vote is the second strong showing of unity from the Security Council in as many days. On Thursday the group voted unanimously in favor of plans to squeeze ISIS' money-making schemes, including sales of illicit oil and antiquities, human trafficking and shakedowns.

    The Syrian peace process resolution calls for U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to convene representatives from the Syrian government and opposition forces to begin "formal negotiations on a political transition process on an urgent basis."

    The resolution calls for the talks to begin in January, with a goal of establishing "credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance" within six months and free and fair elections by mid-2017.

    The hundreds of thousands of refugees who have fled Syria since the start of the civil war would be allowed to vote in elections, according to the resolution.

    The plan calls for a cease-fire to begin "on an urgent basis" in order to facilitate peace talks and, ultimately, a political solution.

    The cease-fire does not bar offensive or defensive attacks against groups in Syria that commit "terrorist acts," including the Islamic State and al-Nusra Front.

    The road map does not address what role Syrian President Bashar Assad would play — or not — in the talks or in a transitional government.

    Speaking to Eurovision in Damsacus this week, Assad flouted outside discussion of his future. "This is a Syrian issue, whether it's Obama or the United States or Europe or any country, we don't care about it," Assad said. "To say that that he's leaving now or leaving in six months or six years, it's not their business, very simply."

    Foreign ministers from 17 countries met on and off for more than five hours to overcome divisions on the text.

    The resolution stresses the peace process will be "Syrian-led and Syrian-owned."

    "The Syrian people will decide the future of Syria," the resolution states.

    Secretary General Ban Ki-moon applauded the unanimous vote, but also highlighted the obstacles, which he said included the ongoing indiscriminate use of weapons on civilians and unsafe access for humanitarian aid and medical convoys.

    "Tens of thousands of people in besieged areas have been forced to live on grass and weeds," Ban said. "This is outrageous."


  17. " on grass and weeds," "

    Didn't Coloradians' just get that right! ?


    1. Your sense of humor betrays your young lack of sincerity and your regression to the teenage or preteen level.

      Can't you find some comic books around to giggle over ?

    2. Pot and shunk are bad for the growing brain, and the full grwown brain too.

      Many studies confirm this fact.

      The SAT scores will soon be dropping in Washington State and Cororado.

      The crime rates have already risen in Colorado.