“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, January 24, 2016

The Axis of Weasel - Turkey - Israel - Saudi Arabia and The Hub of The Wheel: The US Government and the CIA

Saudi Arabia, the CIA and the arming of Syrian rebels

US support for Syrian rebels is the latest chapter in its relationship with Saudi Arabia 

Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir  and US Secretary of State John Kerry: there has been a decades-long relationship between the spy services of Saudi Arabia and the United States. Photograph: Jacquelyn Martin/AFP/Getty Images
Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir and US Secretary of State John Kerry: there has been a decades-long relationship between the spy services of Saudi Arabia and the United States. Photograph: Jacquelyn Martin/AFP/Getty Images
When President Barack Obama secretly authorised the Central Intelligence Agency to begin arming Syria’s embattled rebels in 2013, the spy agency knew it would have a willing partner to help pay for the covert operation. It was the same partner the CIA has relied on for decades for money and discretion in far-off conflicts: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Since then, the CIA and its Saudi counterpart have maintained an unusual arrangement for the rebel-training mission, which the Americans have code-named Timber Sycamore. Under the deal, current and former administration officials said, the Saudis contribute both weapons and large sums of money, and the CIA takes the lead in training the rebels on AK-47 assault rifles and tank-destroying missiles.
The support for the Syrian rebels is only the latest chapter in the decades-long relationship between the spy services of Saudi Arabia and the United States, an alliance that has endured through the Iran-Contra scandal, support for the mujahideen against the Soviets in Afghanistan and proxy fights in Africa. Sometimes, as in Syria, the two countries have worked in concert. In others, Saudi Arabia has simply written cheques underwriting US covert activities.
The joint arming and training programme, which other Middle East nations contribute money to, continues as America’s relations with Saudi Arabia – and the kingdom’s place in the region – are in flux. The old ties of cheap oil and geopolitics that have long bound the countries together have loosened as America’s dependence on foreign oil declines and the Obama administration tiptoes towards a diplomatic rapprochement with Iran
And yet the alliance persists, kept afloat on a sea of Saudi money and a recognition of mutual self-interest. In addition to Saudi Arabia’s vast oil reserves and role as the spiritual anchor of the Sunni Muslim world, the long intelligence relationship helps explain why the US has been reluctant to openly criticise Saudi Arabia for its human rights abuses, its treatment of women and its support for the extreme strain of Islam, Wahhabism, that has inspired many of the very terrorist groups the US is fighting. 
The Obama administration did not publicly condemn Saudi Arabia’s public beheading this month of a dissident Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who had challenged the royal family.

Direct financial support

Although the Saudis have been public about their help arming rebel groups in Syria, the extent of their partnership with the CIA’s covert action campaign and their direct financial support had not been disclosed. Details were pieced together in interviews with a half-dozen current and former US officials and sources from several Persian Gulf countries. Most spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss the programme.
From the moment the CIA operation was started, Saudi money supported it. “They understand that they have to have us, and we understand that we have to have them,” said Mike Rogers, the former Republican congressman from Michigan who was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee when the CIA operation began. Rogers declined to discuss details of the classified programme.
US officials have not disclosed the amount of the Saudi contribution, which is by far the largest from another nation to the programme to arm the rebels against President Bashar al-Assad’s military. But estimates have put the total cost of the arming and training effort at several billion dollars.
The White House has embraced the covert financing from Saudi Arabia – and from QatarJordan and Turkey – at a time when Obama has pushed gulf nations to take a greater security role in the region. Spokesmen for both the CIA and the Saudi embassy in Washington declined to comment. When Obama signed off on arming the rebels in the spring of 2013, it was partly to try to gain control of the apparent free-for-all in the region. The Qataris and the Saudis had been funnelling weapons into Syria for more than a year. The Qataris had even smuggled in shipments of Chinese-made FN-6 shoulder-fired missiles over the border from Turkey.
The Saudi efforts were led by the flamboyant Prince Bandar bin Sultan, at the time the intelligence chief, who directed Saudi spies to buy thousands of AK-47s and millions of rounds of ammunition in Eastern Europe for the Syrian rebels. The CIA helped arrange some of the arms purchases for the Saudis, including a large deal in Croatia in 2012.

Cash and weapons

By the summer of 2012, a freewheeling feel had taken hold along Turkey’s border with Syria as the gulf nations funnelled cash and weapons to rebel groups – even some that US officials were concerned had ties to radical groups such as al-Qaeda. 
The CIA was mostly on the sidelines during this period, authorised by the White House under the Timber Sycamore training programme to deliver nonlethal aid to the rebels but not weapons. In late 2012, according to two former senior US officials, David H Petraeus, then the CIA director, delivered a stern lecture to intelligence officials of several gulf nations at a meeting near the Dead Sea in Jordan. He chastised them for sending arms into Syria without coordinating with one another or with CIA officers in Jordan and Turkey.
Months later, Obama gave his approval for the CIA to begin directly arming and training the rebels from a base in Jordan, amending the Timber Sycamore programme to allow lethal assistance. Under the new arrangement, the CIA took the lead in training, while Saudi Arabia’s intelligence agency, the General Intelligence Directorate, provided money and weapons, including TOW anti-tank missiles.
The Qataris have also helped finance the training and allowed a Qatari base to be used as an additional training location. But US officials said Saudi Arabia was by far the largest contributor to the operation. 
While the Saudis have financed previous CIA missions with no strings attached, the money for Syria comes with expectations, current and former officials said. “They want a seat at the table, and a say in what the agenda of the table is going to be,” said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst and now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution
The CIA training programme is separate from another programme to arm Syrian rebels, one the Pentagon ran that has since ended. That programme was designed to train rebels to combat Islamic State fighters in Syria, unlike the CIA’s programme, which focuses on rebel groups fighting the Syrian military.

Supporting terror

While the intelligence alliance is central to the Syria fight and has been important in the war against al-Qaeda, a constant irritant in US-Saudi relations is just how much Saudi citizens continue to support terrorist groups, analysts said. 
“The more that the argument becomes, ‘We need them as a counterterrorism partner,’ the less persuasive it is,” said William McCants, a former state department counterterrorism adviser and the author of a book on Islamic State. “If this is purely a conversation about counterterrorism cooperation, and if the Saudis are a big part of the problem in creating terrorism in the first place, then how persuasive of an argument is it?”
In the near term, the alliance remains solid, strengthened by a bond between spy masters. Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the Saudi interior minister who took over the effort to arm the Syrian rebels from Prince Bandar, has known the CIA director, John O Brennan, from the time Brennan was the agency’s Riyadh station chief in the 1990s. Former colleagues say the two men remain close, and Prince Mohammed has won friends in Washington with his aggressive moves to dismantle terrorist groups like al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
The job Brennan once held in Riyadh is, more than the ambassador’s, the true locus of US power in the kingdom. Former diplomats recall that the most important discussions always flowed through the CIA station chief. Current and former intelligence officials say there is a benefit to this communication channel: the Saudis are far more responsive to US criticism when it is done in private, and this secret channel has done more to steer Saudi behaviour toward America’s interests than any public chastising could have.
The roots of the relationship run deep. In the late 1970s, the Saudis organised what was known as the “Safari Club” – a coalition of nations including MoroccoEgypt and France – that ran covert operations around Africa at a time when Congress had clipped the CIA’s wings over years of abuses.
“And so the kingdom, with these countries, helped in some way, I believe, to keep the world safe at a time when the United States was not able to do that,” Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former head of Saudi intelligence, recalled in a speech at Georgetown University in 2002.
In the 1980s, the Saudis helped finance CIA operations in Angola, where the United States backed rebels against the Soviet-allied government. While the Saudis were staunchly anticommunist, Riyadh’s primary incentive seemed to be to solidify its CIA ties. “They were buying good will,” recalled one former senior intelligence officer who was involved in the operation.
In perhaps the most consequential episode, the Saudis helped arm the mujahideen rebels to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan. The US committed hundreds of millions of dollars each year to the mission, and the Saudis matched it, dollar for dollar.
The money flowed through a CIA-run Swiss bank account. In the book Charlie Wilson’s War, the journalist George Crile III describes how the CIA arranged for the account to earn no interest, in keeping with the Islamic ban on usury. In 1984, when the Reagan administration sought help with its secret plan to sell arms to Iran to finance the Contra rebels in Nicaragua, Robert C McFarlane, the national security adviser, met with Prince Bandar, who was the Saudi ambassador to Washington at the time. The White House made it clear that the Saudis would “gain a considerable amount of  favour” by cooperating, McFarlane later recalled.
Prince Bandar pledged $1 million a month to help fund the Contras, in recognition of the administration’s past support to the Saudis. The contributions continued after Congress cut off funding to the Contras. By the end, the Saudis had contributed $32 million, paid through a Cayman Islands bank account.
When the Iran-Contra scandal broke, and questions arose about the Saudi role, the kingdom kept its secrets. Prince Bandar refused to cooperate with the investigation led by Lawrence E Walsh, the independent counsel. In a letter, the prince declined to testify, explaining that his country’s “confidences and commitments, like our friendship, are given not just for the moment but the long run”. – New York Times


  1. The Saudis saw letting the US in on their arms scheme as both a rubber stamp for continuing the program, and as a way to oblige the US to let them be involved in the final settlement talks on the Syrian War, and back Sunni Islamist factions.

    The TOW anti-tank missiles and Chinese anti-aircraft missiles that ended up in the control of various rebel factions, including ISIS and other Islamists, were provided by and large through the CIA program, and sourced and paid for by the Saudis.

    Let the trials begin.

  2. The latest New Hampshire Democratic primary poll indicates not only a current reality in that state, but an underlying and far more important national trend, a trend exhibited in N.H. that has bearing more broadly throughout the country, and that shows U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders already well on the road toward locking up the Democratic nomination, barring any future game-changing disclosures about one or both candidates, which are always possibilities in any political contest, and can never be ruled out. The same poll also shows Sanders performing more strongly against any Republican than Hillary Clinton would. This is not the way things looked to most prognosticators back on April 30th when Sanders started his campaign.


  4. Washington DC deserves nothing less than a wrecking ball.

  5. Voting for Bernie Sanders is paramount.

    We need to clean out the House and Senate.

    We need public financing.

    Defense and CIA need to have their budgets gutted, their missions redefined and a citizen army built up for defense, not empire.

    Mind our own business and restore the middle class with massive domestic non-defense infrastructure projects.

  6. I couldn't read it all. It's just nucking futs.

  7. Ron Paul blasted neocons for espousing a “failed ideology” of foreign policy in his syndicated column Monday.

    In a damning critique of what is still the Republican line on Iran, the former congressman characterized neocons as fear-mongering, trigger-happy hawks who would rather launch pre-emptive war than allow nonviolent diplomatic efforts to succeed. Their “greatest fear,” he writes, “is for peace to break out.”

    Conservative pols and pundits have been working themselves into a tizzy, trying to spin recent developments in the U.S.-Iran relationship into a narrative of American folly and weakness. Never mind that those developments include the release of four political prisoners, as well as a brief altercation with the U.S. Navy, which ended — much to some conservatives’ consternation — without violence.

    Conversely, Paul, the onetime Republican presidential candidate and father of current GOP hopeful (and debate no-show) Rand, praised what he described as the triumph of diplomacy thanks to both the efforts of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, as well as their counterparts in Tehran.

    Neocons have been touting an aggressive, interventionist strategy with Iran for decades because, he writes, they have “well-paid jobs [that] are dependent on conflict, sanctions, and pre-emptive war.” This past week’s events have dealt them a “harsh blow.”

    Paul writes:

    Proven wrong, however, we should not expect the neocons to apologize or even pause to reflect on their failed ideology. Instead, they will continue to call for new sanctions on any pretext. They even found a way to complain about the release of the US sailors – they should have never been confronted in the first place even if they were in Iranian waters.

    And they even found a way to complain about the return of the four Iranian-Americans to their families and loved ones – the US should have never negotiated with the Iranians to coordinate the release of prisoners, they grumbled. It was a show of weakness to negotiate! Tell that to the families on both sides who can now enjoy the company of their loved ones once again!

    I have often said that the neocons’ greatest fear is for peace to break out. Their well-paid jobs are dependent on conflict, sanctions, and pre-emptive war. They grow wealthy on conflict, which only drains our economy. Let’s hope that this new opening with Iran will allow many other productive Americans to grow wealthy through trade and business ties. Let’s hope many new productive jobs will be created on both sides. Peace is prosperous!

    Bring on the trials

  8. The Neocons and the Israeli Lobby will never stop trying to destroy US/Iranian normalization. Israel fears Iran for their talent and economic challenge to them.

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

    2. Israel supports the Islamic State, as do the Saudis and the Neocons in the US Congress.
      The GOP controlled US Congress will not authorize the use of force against the Islamic State because they are supporters of the Islamic State.

      Their actions speak louder than their words.

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

    4. Iran and Syria created ISIS by the genocide of Sunni Iraqis and Syrians.

      360,000 syrians, 550,000 iraqis dead... (oh, and about 12,000 palestinians too) Not to mention the tens of millions of real refugees created.

      You stand with mass murderers...


      How typical...

    5. .

      Iran and Syria created ISIS by the genocide of Sunni Iraqis and Syrians.1/

      1/ From Chapter Seventeen of

      WiO's Alternate History of the World, the Universe, and Everything


    6. Israel does not support Israel, the USA does.

      Or the Israeli would not be asking for more support, from US.

    7. Quirk, you should try to learn and think...

      Try reading some actual news reports about Iran and Iraq and the militias...

      You may learn something..

      I doubt it, but you might.

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

  9. They're certainly authoritarians in Texas

    Texas eighth-grader suspended for rescuing classmate during asthma attack

    Kid took action instead of waiting on an e-mail reply from the nurse ... Good on him.

  10. ISIS executes its suicide bombers’ recruiter in Kirkuk

    ( Kirkuk – On Sunday, a local source in Kirkuk revealed, that the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has executed its prominent leader who was responsible for recruiting suicide bombers on charges of treason in southwestern Kirkuk.

    The source said in a statement followed by, “Today, ISIS executed its prominent leader who was responsible for recruiting suicide bombers, as well as Arab and foreign militants on charges of treason in the center of Hawija (55 km southwestern Kirkuk),” pointing out that, “The ISIS had arrested the prominent recruiter in Nineveh Province.”

    The source added, “The ISIS leader was a former Major General in the Iraqi army.”

    It's Hard Being a Headcutter Out Here

    1. I don't know how much of this stuff is really true, but it makes Fun Reading. :)

  11. Replies
    1. .


      You need to go full screen to really appreciate it.

      Good stuff.


    2. Tina Fey makes a way better Sarah Palin than does Sarah Palin!

  12. Really glad to see WiO back.

    By the way, Judge Jeanine seems to be for Trump, though she hasn't come out and said so far as I know.

    When and if she does I expect The Quart will call this wonderful woman, and excellent legal mind "a fascist".

    Quart needs his mouth washed out with soap.

    1. Throwing the 'f' word around like The Quart has been doing puts him right among those co-ed finger clickers on our college campuses.

      He sound be ashamed of himself but of course he's had many chances, and never is...

    2. should be ashamed of himself

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

  13. .

    Why would I care who Judge Jeanine endorses.

    For that matter, who the hell is Judge Jeanine?


    1. .

      Sounds like one of those reality show types who pedal their soap-opera trial shows at 3:00 in the afternoon.


    2. I didn't say you would care, oaf, just that you'd call her a 'fascist'.

      Your tongue has been really loose lately with that sort of shit.

    3. Boobie probably is one of those 10%ers who think she is a Supreme.

    4. .

      Why would I call her a fascist? I know nothing about her.

      I'll leave the bigoted generalizations to you and your ilk.


    5. .

      That last was obviously meant for Mr. Razor.


  14. .

    And speaking of which, I hope you didn't miss this from a few streams back Mr. Razor.


    Your razor is called "Q's" Bullshitting Shaver.

    If you had any common sense you'd easily see that O'bozo pulled the troops out, against the advice of the Generals, and Iraq collapsed because of it.

    Once again, you offer up proof of your troubled mind. You can’t seem to hold a thought; you can’t take an argument to its logical conclusion; you can’t help but jump from subject to subject like a kitten chasing a catnip ball. You jump from a discussion on whether Clinton will be indicted before the election to the subject of Occam’s Razor to the collapse of Iraq with no transition, no logical segue or progression, simply one non-sequitur followed by another. The only purpose apparently is to get away from the arguments you have just lost and the only result is to introduce another subject on which you are hopelessly mistaken.

    On the subject of the loss of Iraq, I have pointed out how wrong you are on numerous occasions. The fact that you bring up your silly position again would indicate that you continue to exhibit the short-term memory problems you have become known for here; that, or you are suffering from the ‘stabbed in the back’ syndrome so evident in the neocons, international interventionists, and other right wing English majors as they try to explain away their past mistakes, a process that only guarantees they will continue attempting to make those same mistakes in the future.

    I won’t repeat the reasons you are wrong on the causes for the fall of Iraq. I’ve done it numerous times before. You don’t think. You emote. In your defensiveness, you would ignore them anyway and in your infirmity you would likely forget them in a day or so. I will simply leave you with this article from The Atlantic which outlines the case I made though in far more measured terms than I would use for you.

    Read it or not. I fear you are hopeless and I despair of ever bringing you into the light especially given your age and obvious deficiencies.


  15. .


    Iran and Syria created ISIS by the genocide of Sunni Iraqis and Syrians.

    My response:


    To which WiO replies:

    Quirk, you should try to learn and think...

    Try reading some actual news reports about Iran and Iraq and the militias...

    Actual news reports?


    Don't you really mean articles by Caroline Glick in the JP, or stories from the 'Myths and Facts' section of the Jewish Virtual Library, or perhaps, AIPAC's daily talking points memo.

    Come on, WiO, you have been brainwashed. It is you who actually should be doing some reading.


    1. .

      Al Queda was born in the 1980's when OBL went to Afghanistan to join the mujahedeen fight against the Russians. It was the Saudi Arabian, Pakistani, and US intelligence services that supported them and provided financial backing. It was Saudi Arabia and Wahabbism that provided the radical philosophic basis for the movement and led to the Salafist jihadis.

      Fatah al-Islam existed in Syria and was loosely connected to al-Queda but it was a minor player. Al Queda didn't exist in Iraq at all until 2004 when Al-Zarqawi opened up AQI in response to the vacuum created by Bush's Iraq invasion.


      The US military says it has a letter from al-Zarqawi to OBL suggesting a plan to create a civil war between Sunni and Shia. Whether the letter actually exists is less important than the fact that Sunni al Queda did start launching attacks against the Shia minority in Iraq. The sectarian fighting continued and escalated through 2005-2007 and al Queda controlled territory the size of the state of New Jersey. It was only in late 2007 that the US got out the checkbook and convinced Sunni Sheiks in Anbar to fight back against al Queda control.

      AQI was beaten back, but it still kept up the fighting in Iraq. With the start of the civil war in Syria, AQI expanded their and changed their name to ISIL. They found plenty of recruits there amongst the many Iraqi refugees including Baathist officers who moved their because of Bush's war in Iraq. As the organization rebounded and grew in Syria, they moved back into Iraq in force under al Baghdadi. First, they called themselves ISIS and as the conquered land and their pretensions grew they eventually began calling themselves the IS.

      ISIS creation began in the 1980's in Afghanistan. The progression is clear. It is a Salafist jihadi terrorist organization. It had it's roots in al Queda. It is a Sunni group.

      Saudi Arabia was the fountainhead of this group, providing financial support and the spiritual foundation. The US and Pakistan were the abettors that also helped it to grow.

      Iran and the Shia militias in Iraq may be bad boys too but they had nothing to do with the birth of ISIS.


    2. Obama created ISIS in Iraq by taking the troops out too soon.

      He took the lid off.

      Sunni home boys, lead by the old Saddam officers, who were all fired by Maliki.

      It's probably true too that the Army shouldn't have been disbanded, but that is a little more complex issue.

      After the Surge there was quiet for considerable while.

      I realize Quirk the Finger Clicker has trouble with 1 + 1 = 2.

      Don't believe me ?

      Try Gary Kasparov.

    3. Taking the longer views it was probably a mistake to try to make one country of that hell hole.

      Clinton, Kerry, Bush, Deuce, Rufus, Bob...they all voted for it.

      Quirk can claim he voted for the Buddhists, or whomever.....which is to say, he punted.

    4. (Quirk can never find a real living politician up to his high standards and sticks his nose in the air muttering they're all dicks and walks away with his dog)

    5. And don't forget - Deuce is on record as having said we must defeat ISIS.

      We don' hear much of that anymore.

      The attention is all now on how we must let Bernie take all our money and give to someone else that didn't earn it.

      How The Bern is going to deal with ISIS is anyone's guess.

      The Dems don't discuss such things in their debates.

    6. .

      The people calling for war always have an excuse when their little kinetic tantrums go to hell.

      They live for the blame game. "We did everything right but in the end victory was snatched away by those who stabbed us in the back."

      In Vietnam, they still piss and whine about how we were winning and would have won but for the hippies and the anti-war groups; and in the end even the American people let us down.

      In Iraq, it is people got tired of war or Obama took the troops out too soon.

      Whiny little shits who can't admit the mistakes they make and in not doing so guarantee that if they ever get the chance again they will likely repeat those same mistakes. Always the Monday morning quarterbacks, they offer up an endless litany of what-ifs that can't be proved, pulling troops out too soon, anti-war groups, but never "Hell, we fucked up." Trying to save face they merely prove themselves the fool.

      But their sheeple are always there willing to shout ooray.



    7. Obama took the troops out too soon.

      This wasn't Monday morning quarterbacking.

      Any fool could see it coming.

      The Generals told him and told him....

      The idea is quite simple.

      If you go in stay as long as necessary.

      How long in Japan ?

      How long in Europe ?

      Or, don't go in.

      Everybody here voted for it, except get a pass.....of a type at least....

    8. Votes based upon lies told by GW Bush and Dick "Chicken Hawk" Cheney are invalid once the lies are exposed Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

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

  16. The latest Fox News Poll has The Donald up by a whopping 11% over Cruz in Iowa.

    And in New Hampshire by something way over 20%.

    Supersalesmanship that Q can only dream of.....

    1. January 25, 2016

      The Voters’ Trump Love Affair Explained in Terms Even Beltway Pundits Can Understand

      By Selwyn Duke

      And this is what Trump does so masterfully. When he repeats his slogan “Make America Great Again,” says we’re going to “win” under his administration or speaks of building a border wall and getting “Mexico to pay for it,” it’s silly to wonder why it resonates despite the lack of detail. He’s marketing, not doing R&D; he’s not trying to appeal mainly to the intellect, but the emotions. And you do this with the slogan, not by reciting the list of ingredients. Again, this isn’t a commentary on the validity of his recipe, only on the principles of effective campaigning.

      Having said this, if a candidate is the real McCoy, he’ll also have a quality product with a list of ingredients (again, a policy-position webpage) for the discriminating shopper. But if he’s smart he’ll understand that most people are impulse buyers with relatively short memories and recognize the importance of branding himself. Coca-Cola has “Coke is it!” Nike “Just do it!” and Barack Obama had “Yes, we can!” (no, he couldn’t — but it worked). Now, can you think of a GOP candidate other than Trump identifiable by way of a catchy and popular slogan? And it’s no coincidence that “Make America Great Again” was also Reagan’s slogan in 1980.

      Of course, stating the obvious, to connect with people emotionally you must capitalize on something appealing to them emotionally. Trump’s bold nationalism does this. What do the others offer? Jeb Bush is associated with saying that illegal migration is “an act of love” and John Kasich with “Think about the [illegals’] families, c’mon, folks!” which might appeal to illegal migrants if they could speak English. And none of the others will even support suspending Muslim immigration — despite deep and widespread fear of Muslim terrorism — which certainly will appeal to Da’esh (ISIS).

      It’s as if Trump is courting Lady America with wine, roses and his alpha-male persona, while the Establishment candidates are lead-tongued nerds promising a tent with NSA surveillance, a bowl of soup and squatters on a burnt-out lawn.

      None of this makes Trump a 'fascist', it just makes him a good salesman.

      Who knows what he will do ?

      He doesn't know himself, is the best guess.

      Wing it, presumably.

      He doesn't, thankfully, seem to have any over riding ideological axe to grind, like Bernie.

      That is where the trouble comes....from thinking reality can be manipulated by following some, in Bernie's case, 19th Century ideological mumbo-jumbo.

  17. Harry's RazorMon Jan 25, 01:31:00 AM EST
    And don't forget - Deuce is on record as having said we must defeat ISIS.

    We don' hear much of that anymore.

    The attention is all now on how we must let Bernie take all our money and give to someone else that didn't earn it.

    How The Bern is going to deal with ISIS is anyone's guess.

    The Dems don’t discuss such things in their debates.

    Read the article above fool. If you want to get serious about eliminating ISIS, start with quit supporting them. Dump Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Go through the US security state with a poleax.

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

  18. The Russians have upended the absurdity of the war against ISIS. Washington DC, London, Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Ryad, Paris have all been the sponsors of all the progenitors of ISIS.

    There would be no ISIS without Saudi Arabia, Israel and their sponsors in the US government. It is as obvious as the fool looking back at you when you shave or brush your teeth.

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

  19. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump possibly, slightly, represent the beginning of the end of the total corruption in Washington. If either wins and capitulate as completely as Obama did, it will get far worse in the next round.

    I knew Obama would fail and reported so on this blog when I saw how impressed he was when they sat him down for the first time on those big leather seats in Air Farce One and he said, “This is nice. The corruption took less than a week.

    I would have been more impressed if he told them to take the ridiculous royal waste of money and dump it. We would have known he was serious about change instead of serious about bumper stickers.

  20. Heh heh heh

    I tune into Fox and they got on that clown Dennis Kucinach as a commentator.

    From what political dumpster they pulled him I have no idea.

    He's baling water for Hillary.

    Rambles on about the presumption of innocence....

    F#@king Democrats....

  21. Hey Harry "Bob" Razor why can't you log in?

    You go on and on about Obama pulling the troops out too soon yet when presented with the idea of sending the troops back in you say no. Is your inability to recognize your own hypocrisy related to the first question I asked? I believe so.

    1. The American people, Ash, the American people ain't gonna support it, you know that.

      The opportunity dun passed.

      How about when Hillary gets indicted we get a Fauxcohantes/Biden ticket ? What say you ?

      Biden drinks way too much to be President, even more than Grant, but he's got 8 years sitting on his ass as VP, and Fauxco has female genitalia.

      What say you ? Is that a winning ticket, or what ?

    2. What the Fuck are you babbling about now? Drunk again it appears.

      You claim to remembering all kinds of various posts made in the past yet you can never link to them and you can't even remember your login and password. What's up with that?

    3. Why wouldn't the American people accept more troops back in Iraq if they believed, as you do, that it would solve our problems there? The thing is the American people aren't as .....ummm .... misguided as you.

    4. His standard 'excuse' is that his computer has crashed and he needs to get a new one.

      Bet he still thinks "Judge Judy" is on the Supreme Court.

    5. This time around he has a new computer but he can only login on his old machine because the poor dear doesn't know his own login and password. Maybe his daughter will make a visit some day and fix things up for the poor helpless guy.


      Report: 10% of college graduates think Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court

  22. How the Obama economy overcame Republican sabotage

    As Barack Obama marks his seventh year in office, the resurgent American economy is posing a major problem for his Republican detractors. After years of denouncing the president's supposed "out of control spending," "job-crushing taxes," and "job-killing Obamacare," the pathetic GOP claim that Obama "made the economy worse" can't pass the laugh test. After all, the unemployment rate has been cut in half during his tenure as the private sector added jobs for a record 70 straight months. New jobless claims have dropped to their lowest level since 2007 while workers' ability to voluntarily switch jobs has increased. Even with its recent buffeting from China and the plummeting price of oil, the Dow Jones has doubled. All the while, the annual budget deficit has been slashed by two-thirds and inflation-adjusted federal spending has been lower than the day Barack Obama first took the oath of office.

    In response, conservatives can only resort to doing what they always do: Give credit to someone else and declare that Ronald Reagan would have done better. New House Speaker Paul Ryan comically "argued that the Federal Reserve's policies pushed the recovery," despite having opposed them at every turn. Meanwhile, Powerline's John Hinderaker, previously best known for his 2005 assertion that President Bush was "a man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius," like "a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time," protested:

    1. So don't let anyone fool you about the economy of the last seven years. Barack Obama was set up for success, as he took office on the heels of a sharp economic downturn that had a limited, specific cause. The economy should have come roaring back as it did under Ronald Reagan, only if anything even more so, since the government errors that gave rise to the 2008 financial collapse were relatively easy to correct. Instead, the Democrats' left-wing policies inhibited economic growth and produced the worst recovery of modern times.

      Ryan and Hinderaker aren't merely wrong about the worst economic cataclysm to befall the United States since the Great Depression, but on the tools that were available to recover from it. Reagan massively increased federal spending even as state and local governments did the same. Meanwhile, Paul Volcker's Fed slashed interest rates to jumpstart the economy. Even as GDP was contracting by almost 10 percent as he was inaugurated, President Obama could avail himself of neither: Interest rates were already near zero and draconian spending cuts by states and localities created a drag that exceeded the size of his $800 billion stimulus.

      Oh, and one other thing. From literally the night he was sworn in, Obama's Republican opponents engaged in an unprecedented campaign of sabotage designed to derail the economic recovery and his presidency. They didn't just oppose the stimulus (more than 40 percent of which was comprised of tax cuts), but the Fed's quantitative easing program and the White House's auto bailout which saved Detroit—and millions of jobs—as well. Not content to rest there, Republican leaders threatened to trigger a default by the United States by refusing to raise the debt ceiling, something they had routinely done 17 times for Reagan and seven more for George W. Bush.

    2. Where do you come up with such horse shit ?

    3. The Stimulus

      When President Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, there were two things his White House did not know. First, the economy he inherited from George W. Bush was in far worse condition than anyone realized. "Output in the third and fourth quarters fell by 3.7% and 8.9%, respectively, not at 0.5% and 3.8% as believed at the time," The Economist reported in August 2011. "Employment was also falling much faster than estimated .... In January, total employment was already 1m workers below the level shown in the official data."

    4. But what Team Obama also didn't know is that Republicans were secretly planning total opposition to what would become the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)—and just about everything else he would propose. As author Robert Draper documented in 2012, a gathering of GOP leaders on the night of Obama's inauguration resolved to "challenge them on every single bill and challenge them on every single campaign." By early February 2009, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol was publicly counseling Republicans to stonewall the Obama stimulus, just as they had done to Bill Clinton's healthcare law in 1993. Days later, the stimulus passed with just three Republican votes in the Senate and zero in the House.

      On January 6, 2009, New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winner Paul Krugman presciently predicted what would come to pass politically:

      I see the following scenario: a weak stimulus plan, perhaps even weaker than what we're talking about now, is crafted to win those extra GOP votes. The plan limits the rise in unemployment, but things are still pretty bad, with the rate peaking at something like 9 percent and coming down only slowly. And then Mitch McConnell says "See, government spending doesn't work."

      Krugman was certainly right about the politics—and the perception—of the ARRA. The media largely swallowed the output of the GOP myth-making machine that declared that "Obama made the economy worse" and his stimulus program "did not create a single job." As recently as February 2014, GOP White House hopeful and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio declared:

      If you recall five years ago, the notion was that if the government spent all this money—that, by the way, was borrowed—that somehow the economy would begin to grow and create jobs. Well, of course, it clearly failed.

      Not according to the overwhelming consensus of economists, including the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). At its peak in 2010, CBO concluded, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act added up to 3.3 million jobs, cut unemployment by as much as 1.8 percent and boosted GDP by up to 4.1 percent. (It's also worth pointing out that the CBO repeatedly confirmed that aid to the states and purchases by the federal government delivers the biggest bang for the buck, while upper-income tax cuts provide the least.) As the Washington Post reported in June 2012, the House Budget Committee heard testimony from CBO chief Douglas Elmendorf and demanded his answer to a simple question: Did the $787 billion Obama stimulus work? Unfortunately for Republican propagandists, Elmendorf clearly refuted Mitt Romney's claim that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was "the largest one-time careless expenditure of government money in American history."

    5. Under questioning from skeptical Republicans, the director of the nonpartisan (and widely respected) Congressional Budget Office was emphatic about the value of the 2009 stimulus. And, he said, the vast majority of economists agree.

      In a survey conducted by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, 80 percent of economic experts agreed that, because of the stimulus, the U.S. unemployment rate was lower at the end of 2010 than it would have been otherwise.

      "Only 4 percent disagreed or strongly disagreed," CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf told the House Budget Committee. "That," he added, "is a distinct minority."

      And as previously noted, you don't have to take CBO's word for it:

      Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former CBO director who later served as an economic adviser to John McCain in 2008, agreed with his successor. "The argument that the stimulus had zero impact and we shouldn't have done it is intellectually dishonest or wrong," he explained in August 2011. "If you throw a trillion dollars at the economy it has an impact, and we needed to do something." (That "something", by the way, was over 40 percent tax cuts, making the Obama stimulus the largest two-year tax cut in American history.) Mark Zandi, also an adviser to McCain's 2008 campaign, was adamant on the positive role of the stimulus. Federal intervention, he and Princeton economist Alan Blinder argued in August 2010, literally saved the United States from a second Great Depression. In "How the Great Recession Was Brought to an End," Blinder and Zandi's models confirmed the impact of the Obama recovery program and concluded that "laissez faire was not an option."

    6. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former CBO director who later served as an economic adviser to John McCain in 2008, agreed with his successor. "The argument that the stimulus had zero impact and we shouldn't have done it is intellectually dishonest or wrong," he explained in August 2011. "If you throw a trillion dollars at the economy it has an impact, and we needed to do something." (That "something", by the way, was over 40 percent tax cuts, making the Obama stimulus the largest two-year tax cut in American history.) Mark Zandi, also an adviser to McCain's 2008 campaign, was adamant on the positive role of the stimulus. Federal intervention, he and Princeton economist Alan Blinder argued in August 2010, literally saved the United States from a second Great Depression. In "How the Great Recession Was Brought to an End," Blinder and Zandi's models confirmed the impact of the Obama recovery program and concluded that "laissez faire was not an option."
      "We find that its effects on real GDP, jobs, and inflation are huge, and probably averted what could have been called Great Depression 2.0," Blinder and Zandi concluded of federal intervention to save the economy. "For example, we estimate that, without the government's response, GDP in 2010 would be about 11.5% lower, payroll employment would be less by some 8½ million jobs, and the nation would now be experiencing deflation."

      The Rescue of the American Auto Industry

      The stimulus wasn't the only federal intervention that helped stave off economic disaster. Another was the rescue of the American auto industry. Started by . . . . . .

      How the Obama Economy Overcame Republican Sabotage - or, WTF Do You Want?

  23. Poor Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, he offers nothing inn rebuttal, and just will not go away.

    He is an intellectual cripple, as well as a thief and draft dodger.

    Wish he go get some professional help at his local mental health clinic.

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


  24. Likud minister accuses Netanyahu of serving foreign tycoons

    A cabinet debate over whether the Uber taxi service should be available in Israel Sunday turned into a lengthy and fierce fight between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Transportation Minister Israel Katz.

    Netanyahu has been sparring for months on internal Likud issues with Katz, who heads the party’s secretariat, which is in charge of the party’s finances.

    The prime minister met at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week with Travis Kalanick, the founder and CEO of Uber, an application that allows consumers to order drivers via their smartphones.

    Uber does, in fact, operate in Israel, and has been offering services in Tel Aviv since August 2014 and in Jerusalem since May 2015, but only as an application for ordering regular taxi cabs, similar to Israel’s homegrown taxi app Gett.

    The disruptive service that has made Uber famous around the world, called UberX, lets regular car-owners sign up to be drivers, even without having taxi licenses or training. Israeli regulations ban paying non-certified drivers for rides.

    When Netanyahu told Katz about his meeting and suggested using Uber to expand competition among taxi services, Katz said he did not need to be lectured about creating competition, because he did so among airlines, ports, and trains. The transportation minister said there were problems with applying Uber’s business model to Israel, including security concerns.

    “What would happen if an unidentified driver from the Shuafat refugee camp picks up a passenger and kidnaps him, and who will compensate people who paid for taxi licenses who will lose business?”
    Katz asked. Uber says it screens its drivers for criminal records and driving violations.

    Katz then attacked Netanyahu, who is closely associated with Sheldon Adelson and other foreign millionaires.

    “My job is not to worry about foreign tycoons but to serve Israeli citizens,”
    Katz said.

    Netanyahu defended himself by saying that he barely knew Kalanick.


    2. Glad you read Jpost...

      tell us when Iran gets UBER.... Or Gaza..


  25. Carter: US to send 101st Airborne Division to Iraq

    ( Baghdad – The U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced, that the United States would send the 101st Airborne Division to Iraq in order to join the Iraqi forces in its war against ISIS.

    The U.S. Secretary of Defense said in a statement obtained by, “The primary objective of the mission, estimated to involve about 1,800 US troops from the 101st Airborne Division, will be to force ISIS out of their two power centers in Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria.”

    Carter added, “We need to destroy them in those two places and I’d like to get on with that as soon as possible.”

    Noteworthy, 101st Airborne Division is also known as ‘The Screaming Eagles’ and it is armed with 300 helicopters, including thee battalions of Apache attack helicopters.


  26. Ash you moron, don't you recall we were running for President/VP together ?

    We had agreed on the entire program only I wanted to

    Support Israel
    Support the Kurds
    Make nice with Sisi

    You don't recall ?

    We both agreed it wasn't worth going back into Iraq.

    I'd also take in Christian refugees from the genocide
    No Moslem refugees
    The Jordanian monarchy is worth some consideration
    Let the Russians fool with Syria

    Ask Deuce what he would do. He's the guy that said we must defeat ISIS in Iraq.

    Ask Rufus, he loves to put up running battle totals every day.

    Ask Quirk. I tried to one day and after three or four dense paragraphs of pure QBS all one could see was it was mostly do as Obama is doing....

    Now print this out, put it by your bedstand, for use as you need, and don't bug me about it again.

    Thank you.

    (if we can aid in some way in dividing Iraq formally up into three we ought to do that)

    I think marijuana must have ruined some of your memory skills, Ash.

    1. You don't recall our political partnership Ash ?

      You really don't ?

      You got to quit it with the skunk.

  27. Ash, knowing now you can vote in USA, would you vote for the criminal Hillary ?

    Rufus is on record as saying he might.

    He's the only one, other than rat, who has most likely had his voting privileges taken from him....rat might if he could, having so much in common with the criminal Hillary...

    What about you ?

    1. I've got no desire to see Hillary as POTUS. We shall see who is on the ballot when the time comes before I choose. Maybe Bloomberg will setup up as a 3rd party candidate. I guess Nadar isn't an option. Back in the day when GW Bush was running for re-election Nadar had the best Iraq policy of them all, by a mile.

  28. Dead Beat Dad used to brag about how he led a hit squad in Central America.

    He is now working on a super secret project with the Defense Department, the CIA, the NSA off the coasts of Panama.

    How he finds the time to post here is a big mystery.

    He used to have a cattle ranch too, though he really didn't.

    He goes bowling for recreation, when his mom lets him out of the house.

    1. Everyone here has said he has psychological 'issues'.

      Quirk's diagnosis was the best, the most complete.

      Some simply said 'he's crazy', which may be enough - short, simple, true.

  29. My friend Uncle Ed out at the Casino - he's a former Marine, been over there - his son too - is of the opinion, and has convinced me, it's not a bad situation to watch them all kill one another.

    The idea that the suns and shits in Iraq are going to be living together in peace and multi-culturalism is not something likely to happen....therefore we should give up on that.....helping somehow in an effort to create three countries out of the mess Obama has made is something else again...

  30. Fox was just showing the lines of people standing in the snow in Iowa waiting to hear The Donald.

    Jeez, blocks and blocks....snaking around for blocks...

    The Donald is going to win Iowa.

    Just use your eyes....

    1. The Donald went to church again yesterday.

      He's taking the cross.

      And a page out of Putin's Playbook...

    2. This going to a caucus seems to me a little nuts.....but it's quaint....with the Democrats you actually have to publically declare your choice, which doesn't seem right...with the Pubs you just vote, secret ballot....according to what I've read....

      Who is their right mind would want to go to a caucus and have to sit through someone like Rufus babbling ?

      A definite assault on our human rights....

  31. O'bozo has been a disaster for everyone, but no group more so than American blacks.

    By keeping the open borders policy, even increasing it, he's harmed black employment opportunities.

    And racial relations are worse.

    He was perfectly positioned to improve racial relations, but no, he went the other way.

    Think how much better an accomplished sane man like Ben Carson would have handled all this.

    And, what a role model, too!

  32. EDUCATION: Missouri professor who called for 'muscle' to remove reporter charged with assault... Drudge

    "The mills of the gods grind slowly, but exceedingly fine."

    Ernest Hemingway

    I can't imagine an Iowan Democrat Party caucus.

    Hours of being micro aggressed by co-ed finger clickers....

    My god, it sounds like torture.

  33. Clinton's Former Mistress: 'If I die by committing suicide, don't believe it'...Drudge

    Being pro-active.

    And, what's the deal with Billygoat and his trips to Orgy Island on the big yacht ?

    Orgy Island, where the girls are underage.......