“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."

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Neocon Militarists Jolted in New Hampshire

Did Bashar al-Assad win New Hampshire? Trump & Sanders Mideast Policies

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders won big in New Hampshire on Tuesday. Caution is in order, since that state is demographically not very much like the rest of the United States, and both candidates are Northeasterners with advantages there. US journalism dreams of a presidential election campaign for 3 years of every four, then when they finally get their wish and there is an electoral contest, they are in an amazing hurry to declare it over after the first primary.

So what foreign policies did the good people of New Hampshire vote for? Trump has been called a populist, but on foreign trade I would argue that he is a throwback to mercantilism, desiring to use the power of the state to gain trade advantages. Sanders is a Social Democrat on the Scandinavian model, who sees himself as in the FDR tradition. Let’s look at some major issues and contrast the billionaire bully and the New New Dealer.


Trump :
In a way, Tuesday night was a good night for Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad.
On Syria, Trump opposes overthrowing al-Assad, on the grounds that we can’t know what would take his place, and it might be worse (say, Daesh/ ISIL).
He also appears sanguine to let Vladimir Putin handle Syria. He said last November that he would cooperate with Putin in defeating Daesh (ISIL, ISIS). (The Obama administration may be in the process at the moment of coming around to this few and making its peace with a Russia-dominated Syria if that means the end of the civil war and of the refugee crisis.)
Trump’s campaign issued a statement thanking Putin for his own praise of Trump and saying:
“I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other towards defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect.” 
Trump has a sharp critique of China and US trade policies with China, which he accuses of stealing American jobs. But he appears to feel that the US and Russia are more complementary economically and is not as threatened by Moscow.
His creepy relationship with Putin puts me in mind of 19th century German Chancellor Bismarck’s secret treaties with the Tsars.

Sanders does not exactly agree with Trump about al-Assad, but he comes close. Sanders warns that an abrupt overthrow of the current Baath regime in Damascus could be destabilizing and says that Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) must be the priority. He takes a long view on moving al-Assad out:
“Yes, we could get rid of Saddam Hussein, but that destabilized the entire region. Yes, we could get rid of Qaddafi, a terrible dictator, but that created a vacuum for ISIS. Yes, we could get rid of Assad tomorrow, but that would create another political vacuum that would benefit ISIS.
So I think yeah, regime change is easy, getting rid of dictators is easy, but before you do that you’ve got to think about what happens the day after. And in my view what we need to do is put together broad coalitions to understand that we’re not going to have a political vacuum filled by terrorists, that in fact we are going to move steadily and maybe slowly toward democratic societies. In terms of Assad, [he’s] a terrible dictator, but I think in Syria the primary focus now must be destroying ISIS and working over the years to get rid of Assad. That’s the secondary issue.” 


Like the other GOP candidates, Trump opposes the UN Security Council deal with Iran on limiting its nuclear program to civilian purposes. But at least early in his campaign, he differed from his rivals in that he would not pledge to simply tear it up. Rather, he said, he would rigorously enforce it:
“I’ve heard a lot of people say, “We’re going to rip up the deal.” It’s very tough to do [that] … Because I’m a deal person. And when I make deals … I will police that deal. You know, I’ve taken over some bad contracts. I buy contracts where people screwed up, and they have bad contracts. But I’m really good at looking at a contract and finding things within a contract that, even if they’re bad, I would police that contract so tough that they don’t have a chance. … And the problem is, by the time I got in there, they will have already received the $150 billion.” 
Aside from bargaining harder with Iran, Trump does not say how his policy would be different from the present one. He doesn’t appear to have suggested using military force against it and his main knock on Tehran is that they got a better deal from Obama than they should have.

Sanders supports the Iran deal onto which President Obama signed, though he said it did not achieve everything he would like. His main reaction was to say that war should be the very last option. If Iran cheats on the deal, he says, he’ll respond with new sanctions first.


Trump doesn’t seem to have that much to say about Iraq proper. He has complained about Bush’s Iraq War and said he would have fired the former president (though his claims to have strongly opposed that war at the time appear exaggerated). He complains that Bush gave Iraq away to Iran, but does not have any practical suggestions in the aftermath.

With regard to Daesh, Trump says he would bomb the oil fields in the terrorist organization’s control. The Pentagon is already pursuing that strategy, which is more complicated than it sounds. Trump’s notion that oil wealth fuels Daesh is incorrect, since it has a long history and has thrived even when it did not have such resources.

Like Trump, Sanders does not seem to have an Iraq policy per se, though he really was opposed to the 2003 US invasion and occupation of that country.
With regard to Daesh, Sanders is reluctant for the US military to get directly involved in the region again.

Instead, he hopes a local coalition of Sunni Arab powers will form a coalition to take on Daesh. He put the onus on Saudi Arabia:
“Now if this is such a crisis to the region—Saudis have a big air force, you know. They have a lot of F-16s, why aren’t they involved? Why isn’t Kuwait involved?… We went to war to put the Kuwaiti government back. Where are they? Where are the billionaires in Qatar? If these guys in the region think that ISIS is such a great threat, they gotta put some skin in the game.” 
Saudi Arabia has in fact done almost nothing against Daesh. Its efforts are being put into fighting a tribal rebellion in Yemen and into overthrowing Bashar al-Assad in Syria (a goal Sanders thinks should be much postponed). 

Sanders has also sometimes talked about Jordan taking the lead, but that is ridiculous. Jordan is a small country of 6 million and can’t be deploying major military force in Iraq or Syria. It has engaged in some bombing raids alongside the US and that’s about all you can expect.

So both of these anti-Establishment candidates are relatively non-interverntionist. They are sanguine about Bashar al-Assad remaining in power. With regard to the Iran deal, both have said they would honor and police it, though Sanders endorses it while Trump denounces it. They differ on Daesh in Iraq, though both oppose a big new US infantry and army force in the region. Trump wants to bomb its oil fields and take away its petroleum. Sanders wants to have Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other Sunni regional powers form a coalition and take care of Daesh for the US. Neither plan is in the least practical.

One from the right, the other from the left, both Trump and Sanders can be seen on Middle East foreign policy as reactions against the Neoconservative militarism of the Bush era, which Obama has only partially rolled up. The actual Neoconservatives are clustered around JEB!, and Sheldon Adelson is backing Rubio. Neither showed well last night.
Related video added by Juan Cole:


  1. What New Hampshire Tells Us

    You will hear pundits analyze the New Hampshire primaries and conclude that the political “extremes” are now gaining in American politics – that the Democrats have moved to the left and the Republicans have moved to the right, and the “center” will not hold.

    Baloney. The truth is that the putative “center” – where the Democratic Leadership Council and Bill Clinton’s “triangulation” of the 1990s found refuge, where George W. Bush and his corporate buddies and neoconservative advisers held sway, and where Barack Obama’s Treasury Department granted Wall Street banks huge bailouts but didn’t rescue desperate homeowners – did a job on the rest of America, and is now facing a reckoning.

    The “extremes” are not gaining ground. The anti-establishment ground forces of the American people are gaining. Some are so fed up they’re following an authoritarian bigot. Others, more wisely, are signing up for a “political revolution” to take back America from the moneyed interests.

    That’s the real choice ahead.

    Robert Reich

  2. Two powerful backers of Hillary Clinton attracted headlines—and outrage—this weekend when they uttered sweeping statements under the banner of “feminism,” calling on young women to back the former Secretary of State’s presidential bid.

    Madeleine Albright, the first woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of Sate, introduced Clinton in New Hampshire on Saturday by declaring, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!”

    In the days following, many have scrutinized the hawkish track record of Albright, who also served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. In just one example, Albright told “60 Minutes” in 1996 that half a million children who died as a result of U.S. sanctions against Iraq were “worth” the price.

    “Albright has a hell of a lot of nerve telling young women who may be very concerned about Clinton’s support for virtually all U.S. wars of recent years that they should vote for her because she’s a woman,” Phyllis Bennis, senior fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, told AlterNet.

    Meanwhile, speaking with HBO’s “Real Time” host Bill Maher on Friday, feminist icon Gloria Steinem claimed that young women are backing presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in order to meet guys. Women get “more activist as they grow older,” she said. “And when you’re younger, you think: ‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie.’” Steinem later apologized for the comment on her Facebook page, writing that she “misspoke.”

    Nonetheless, the statement rightfully provoked rebuke, including from some who grew up respecting Steinem. “The good news is that more and more of us are ready to change the whole system, and fewer and fewer are willing to believe that imperial feminism is the best we can do,” declared Philadelphia-based writer Sarah Gray.

    These recent controversial comments stem from a broader campaign strategy, with Clinton leveraging high-profile (and often white and wealthy) self-avowed feminists to bolster her campaign. Among them is Lena Dunham, the creator of the hit series “Girls,” who has sought to bolster support for Clinton among young women.

    Feminists should unequivocally declare that Clinton’s policies of war and empire that kill, wound and traumatize women around the world are not compatible with feminism. Of course we defend any woman, including Clinton, against sexism. But that defense must not lead to reflexive embrace of an entire platform, nor claims that elite politicians like Clinton somehow have a monopoly on feminism.

    As Rania Masri, an activist and professor at the American University of Beirut, put it in an interview with AlterNet, “Feminism demands a critique of U.S. policies, both domestically and internationally. It demands a critique of all wars and all hegemonies and of all structures of oppression.”


    2. [...}

      Clinton’s foreign policy, however, falls in line with policies of war and empire. As a U.S. senator for New York, Clinton cast one of the most influential votes in favor of the 2003 Iraq war, signaling to other Democrats to back the invasion. She has since acknowledged this decision was a mistake, but her actions indicate she has learned nothing.

      Under the Obama administration, Clinton consistently represented the pro-war wing, advocating military aggression and escalation from Iraq and Libya to Afghanistan and Ukraine. She was hesitant on the Iran deal, and during her campaign, declared her unbreakable bond with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In her memoir Hard Choices, Clinton took credit for the military pivot to the Asia-Pacific, which continues to escalate military buildup and aggression region-wide to hedge against China.

      Meanwhile, on the campaign trail, Clinton has been conspicuously silent about close U.S. ally Saudi Arabia’s brutal military assault on Yemen, now into its tenth month. She has said nothing about ethnic cleansing and war crimes perpetuated by Israel, while vowing to donors to crush the Palestinian human rights movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).

      Foreign Policy in Focus columnist Conn Hallinan recently took on the grim task of attempting to tally those killed in foreign policy disasters related to Clinton. According to some calculations, the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq killed over one million people due to war-related causes. Nearly a quarter million Afghans have died since the 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, and millions more have been forced to flee their homes and become refugees.

      In June 2014, I spoke with Yanar Mohammed of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, who warned against further U.S. military intervention in the country. “These wars are against women,” Mohammed said, “and women are becoming the first victims.”


  3. A real bad night for The GOP Likuds Force and the Neocon Israeli - Firsters

  4. Hillary’s foreign policy is the policy of her donors. Hillary’s largest campaign donor is Haim Saban, who describes himself as "a one-issue guy, and that issue is Israel."

    Hillary is so sycophantic to the far right hawks in Israel. In other words, she is so pro-Israel that Israelis view her as dangerous to the entire region.

    Robert Kagan is an uber-neocon on the level of Bill Kristol. He's the husband of Victoria Nuland, Hillary's "diplomat" who said "F*** the EU" on a recorded conversation. Kagain is the founder of PNAC, Project for the New American Century. It should terrify everyone to know that he supports Hillary. Here is his view on her foreign policy: “I feel comfortable with her on foreign policy,” Mr. Kagan said, adding that the next step after Mr. Obama’s more realist approach “could theoretically be whatever Hillary brings to the table” if elected president. “If she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue,” he added, “it’s something that might have been called neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that; they are going to call it something else.”

  5. Let them all take a knee-haj to give Netanyahu a blow job.

  6. You won’t be hearing so much about their first foreign trip will be to Israel.

  7. They better be going to Detroit, Flint and the thousands of towns and communities wrecked by Wall Street, Free Traders and The Empire Builders.

  8. I guess the Jesus freaks in South Carolina will try to resurrect him.

  9. You had to love Sanders’ fund raiser speech.

    Hillary’s sudden claim of getting money out of politics and regulating Wall Street: Say what?

  10. Hillary Clinton's campaign is holding fundraisers in Mexico this Wednesday, just one day after the New Hampshire primary. Clinton is not attending the events, and offshore fundraising efforts aren't rare for presidential candidates, but the players involved have direct connections to Walmart, where Clinton served as board member from 1986-1992.


    Over the past year and a half, the United States and other military coalition members have launched nearly 10,000 strikes in Iraq and Syria.

    Zooming out, the United States military has spent nearly the entire 21st century engaged in an amorphous war on terrorism, in which the whole world is a potential battlefield, from Yemen to Somalia to the now-expanding war in Afghanistan. Lurking beneath the surface of the seemingly endless series of military campaigns is the contradictory U.S. historical legacy of direct support for some of the very extremist combatants the war on terror is allegedly predicated on fighting.

    A recent in-depth investigation published in Harper’s by journalist Andrew Cockburn finds that the U.S. is “teaming up with Al Qaeda, again, ”suggesting that this sinister legacy is alive and well and raising disturbing questions about the logic underlying over 15 years of continuous war.

    Cockburn is not the first to point out the United States' role in fueling extremism, and some prominent voices are even openly calling for the U.S. to embrace Al Qaeda. But what his account does offer is a devastating illustration of the historical symmetries, from Afghanistan in the 1980s to Syria in the 21st century, underlying what he calls the U.S. government’s “cold-blooded” calculations.

    Cockburn writes:

    In the wake of 9/11, the story of U.S. support for militant Islamists against the Soviets became something of a touchy subject. Former CIA and intelligence officials like to suggest that the agency simply played the roles of financier and quartermaster. In this version of events, the dirty work — the actual management of the campaign and the dealings with rebel groups — was left to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). It was Pakistan’s fault that at least 70 percent of total U.S. aid went to the fundamentalists, even if the CIA demanded audited accounts on a regular basis.


  12. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday that the United States' refusal to label the PYD as terrorists, while applying that label to the PKK was unacceptable.

    "If you're putting one of them on your terror list, and ignoring the other, that's naive to say the least - and unacceptable," Cavusoglu said while on an official visit to Hungary.

    Turkey fears that the advances by Syrian Kurds against Islamic State on its 900-km (560-mile) border with Syria will fuel separatist ambitions among its own Kurds.

    It has been conducting a violent crackdown on the PKK in the southeast, with hundred of militants, security force members and civilians killed as the military tries to force the PKK out of towns and cities across the region.


    1. Syrian Kurds announced on Saturday that they would open their first foreign office in Moscow, with a ceremony to be held on Wednesday in a ceremony to be attended by Russian foreign ministry officials as well as representatives from several other countries, according to Abdulsalam Ali, the Syrian Kurdish envoy in Moscow.

      “Our ambition is to rally support behind our Kurdish enclave in Syria through this office,” said Ali, according to Rudaw. He is also a member of the Democratic Unity Party (PYD), the main political organization in Syria’s Kurdish administrated areas.

      The choice of Moscow and not Washington or Western Europe is telling.
      ... Turkey’s enmity toward US cooperation with Syrian Kurdish fighters against Islamic State, is causing tensions in American- Turkish relations, US officials said in a report in The Wall Street Journal on Monday.

      The tensions flared in public when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced to reporters on Friday a visit by Brett McGurk, the United States’ new envoy to the coalition against Islamic State, to Kurdish forces in northern Syria.

      “He visits Kobani at the time of the Geneva talks and is awarded a plaque by a so-called YPG general.

      How can we trust [you]?” Erdogan said, according to Today’s Zaman.

      “Am I your ally or are the ‘terrorists’ in Kobani?” Erdogan added.

    2. The YPG and the PYD are one and the same

  13. Hezbollah and the PKK/YPG, both groups our 'allies' call terrorists, but the people on the front line fighting the Islamic State ...

    While both Israel and Turkey traffic in and profit from the Islamic State's oil trade.
    There by aiding and abetting the true terrorists in the region.

    As the President of the United States stated on 20SEP2001

    Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.
    Guess the Israeli and Turks and the US Congress failed to get the message.

    The Republican controlled Congress still has not provided the President with an Authorization to Use Military Force against the Islamic State.

    Who's side are the Republicans on?

    "I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts." ~John Locke

  14. Meanwhile,

    Security forces liberate Husaibah area, kill dozens of ISIS fighters east of Ramadi

    ( Anbar – On Tuesday, Khalidiya Council in Anbar Province announced the liberation of Husaibah area east of Ramadi (110 km west of Baghdad), while indicated to the death of dozens of the so-called ISIS members and pointed out that the security forces opened the road linking between Ramadi and Khalidiya.

    The head of Khalidiya District Council Ali Dawood said in a brief statement followed by, “This morning the joint security forces liberated Husaibah area (17 km east of Ramadi) from the control of ISIS after fierce battles, while managed to kill dozens of ISIS members.”

    Dawood added, “The security forces are currently working to remove the improvised explosive devices from the streets, as well as dismantling the booby-trapped houses in the area,” pointing out that, “The security forces opened the road linking between Khalidiya and the center of Ramadi.”


    1. Volunteer forces kill 14 ISIS elements, foil attack southeast of Thurthar

      ( al-Anbar – Saraya al-Jihad militia belonging to the paramilitary al-Hashed al-Sha’bi force announced on Tuesday the killing of 14 ISIS elements as well as the seizure of an armored vehicle during clashes with ISIS southeast Thurthar.

      The militia said in a press statement received by, that it had “repelled an attack by ISIS terrorist gangs in the vicinity southeast of Thurthar during their attempt to approach the first defensive line,” adding that, “The Saraya managed to kill 14 terrorists and seize a booby-trapped armored vehicle before detonating it by the terrorists.”


  15. Asian rebels in Aleppo, Western blind spot


    Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Secretary of State John Kerry often refer to rebel jihadi groups in Syria as the “Syrian opposition.”

    However, as German intelligence pointed out, over 95% of the fighters in Syria are foreign and not Syrian. Moreover, many are not even Arabs, but increasingly Asian.

    Over the past few years, Asian fighters from Central Asia, China, as well as Russia have burrowed themselves in northern Syria around Aleppo and Idlib, with the majority from Uzbekistan.

    Known as the ‘Aleppo Uzbeks’, various Uzbek groups such as Katibat al Taqhid wal Jihad (KTJ) and Imam Bukhari Jamaat (IBJ) have aligned with Al Nusra.[1] Estimates of Central Asian fighters in groups such as Jaish al-Muhajireen wal Ansar — which includes Chechens, Uzbeks and Tajiks and first appeared in Syria in 2012 — are around 1,500 in Aleppo.[2] They too merged with Al Nusra.

    Overall estimates of Central Asian fighters with Al Nusra and Islamic State (IS) are around 5,000, with additional Chinese Uyghur fighters estimated around 1,000 based in Idlib. According to the director of Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Rami Abdul Rahman, there are also more than 2,000 fighters from Chechnya, Dagestan and other Caucasus regions operating with Al Nusra, and “they are concentrated in Idlib, Aleppo, and Latakia provinces”— where Russia is targeting its airstrikes.

    Indeed, a September meeting at Chatham House revealed how “the perceived jihadist threat to Russia is a major factor in Kremlin’s policy-making” to intervene militarily in Syria. Russia also fears these jihadists returning home, as well as attacking Russian interests and citizens abroad.[3]

    This threat is increasingly shared by Asian states.

  16. Is it any wonder that Putin decided to put an end to the NATO/Neocon terrorist incubation project in Syria?

    1. LOL

      Putin has his own moslem problem...

      Syria is but a tip of the iceberg

      Remember Chechnya, Georgia? LOL

      You aint seen anything yet.


  17. The Israeli have killed another child in Palestine.

    A fifteen year old boy, shot and killed in the Occupied Territory of Palestine.

    The Israeli military occupation continues to radicalize the Palestinian youth on the West Bank.

    1. Palestinian throwing rocks at Israeli vehicles was shot and killed by the IDF near Al-Arroub, in the Hebron area on Wednesday.

      The incident began when an IDF unit spotted a group of Palestinians hurling rocks at Israeli traffic on Route 60. Soldiers fired live
      rounds, aiming at the legs of suspects, and striking one of them, an army spokeswoman said.

      Palestinian reports later said the youth died of his injuries.

      It's a shame that the IDF did not just and automatic machine gun and on purpose kill many more, then they would be morally just like the USA, Russia, Syria and Iran.

    2. Jack says: "to radicalize the Palestinian youth on the West Bank"

      Dead terrorists cannot radicalize they only decompose.

      The fact is that Russia has it right. America has it right.

      Kill the beasts.


      Just like you used to do Jack...

    3. BTW jack LOVE how you describe a rock throwing criminal as a "child"...

    4. In America Jack, if a gang of folks were throwing rocks at passing cars?

      That's considered attempted murder.


    5. And if the car was trapped?

      PERFECTLY Legal to shoot to kill to defend yourself.

      Got to LOVE America. Home of the brave and concealed carry.

  18. The Battle of Aleppo (Arabic: معركة حلب‎) is an ongoing military confrontation in Aleppo, the largest city in Syria, between the Free Syrian Army, Islamic Front, People's Defence Units and Sunni militants against the Syrian government, Hezbollah and Shiite militants.[15] The battle began on 19 July 2012 as a part of the Syrian Civil War.[70] The battle's scale and importance led combatants to name it the "mother of battles".[71] The battle has been marked by the Syrian army's indiscriminate use of barrel bombs dropped from helicopters, killing thousands of people.

    The Syrians, Russians, Iranians, Hezbollah have killed another 100 children in Syria.

    The military occupation continues to radicalize the arab Sunni youth in the Syria

  19. Juan Cole? Really? Who will you be quoting next, Mother Jones?

    Hillary got her frumpy ass handed to her by Sanders, who, I assume, if elected, will plant magic money trees everywhere.

  20. I’ll quote anyone that is not full of shit.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. LOL

      Now that is funny...

      Do you say that with a crooked smile or what?

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

    4. Deuce has said many times that the Civil War was not worth it, that the blacks should have been left to languish in slavery, and that Lincoln was a War Criminal and a sexual pervert who got jollies thinking on the white dead bodies of young men.

      This odd view is shared by perhaps 300 other people in entirety of the USA.

      And he possesses the delete button....

    5. No stupid, I said that all the countries in the Americas ended slavery by the 1870s without a war with the exception of the US under Lincoln. I also said that the going price of a slave in the US was about $1000 and that Lincoln could have bought all the slaves, freed them and would have saved half of what the US spent on the war.

      Lincoln, a paragon of virtue, had 700,000 Americans slaughtered and over a million wounded. He ethnically cleansed Indians and used scorched earth policies in the South. In his wife’s absence he had some army officers sleep with him in his bed and exchanged love letters to other men.

      I speculated that he was a closet homosexual that had to assert his manhood.

      I can cite examples and references but your continued practiced stupidity convinces me that it is not with the effort.

      I delete your comments that I deem loathsome.

    6. Be honest Deuce, your tolerance for loathsome from me or bob is exceptionally low...


  21. 20 ISIS fighters killed in coalition bombardment in central Mosul

    ( Nineveh – An informed source announced on Wednesday, that 20 members of the so-called ISIS were killed in an aerial bombardment targeted their headquarters in central Mosul (405 km north of Baghdad).

    The source said in a brief statement received by, “The international coalition aviation bombarded, before noon today, headquarters belonging to ISIS near Salam Hospital in al-Wahda neighbourhood in central Mosul, killing 20 ISIS fighters.”

    The source, who asked to remain anonymous, added, “The bombardment also destroyed five vehicles belonging to the ISIS.”


    1. Did 'Baghdad Bob' finally land that job with the Shia Government ?

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

    1. heh heh, the views of our host as presented by the b00bie in Idaho - AM Thinker's the boss dontcha know?

  23. Bad news for our two Generals, General Rufus and General ratass --

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

    U.S. official: Mosul will “certainly” not be retaken from the Islamic State this year

    February 9, 2016 7:32 pm By Robert Spencer 21 Comments

    Originally, the Pentagon planned to retake Mosul from the Islamic State by the summer of 2015. Then it was by the fall. Now it will be 2017 at the earliest. But remember: the Islamic State is losing! “This caution reflects in part an acknowledgment that Islamic State’s control over Mosul may not be as fragile as the U.S. military initially believed.” Apparently the Pentagon has stopped believing its own falsified reports.

    (there may have given up on following Iraqi News, too - I.B.)

    Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart

    “U.S. Official Ratchets Down Expectations On Retaking Mosul,” by Damian Paletta, Wall Street Journal, February 9, 2016:

    …Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the Senate Armed Services Committee the situation in parts of Iraq is too unstable for the U.S. and Iraqi forces to conduct such a mission….

    In January 2015, Gen. Lloyd Austin, head of the military’s Central Command, told The Wall Street Journal the U.S. and Iraq had begun preparations to retake Mosul, one of Iraq’s largest cities and one that is pivotal to controlling the country’s north, by that summer.

    By the following month, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Pentagon had begun to temper expectations, aiming to retake the city perhaps by the fall of 2015, because of concerns that the Iraqi army needed more training. The Pentagon wanted to weaken Islamic State’s grip on Mosul, perhaps by bombarding the area with airstrikes, before Iraqi ground forces went in….

    Overall, he added, “Mosul will be a complex operation, and so I’m not as optimistic…It’s a large city. I’m not as optimistic that we’ll be able to turn that in the near term. In my view, certainly not this year.”This caution reflects in part an acknowledgment that Islamic State’s control over Mosul may not be as fragile as the U.S. military initially believed. In deferring a campaign to retake it, the Pentagon could be handing the military strategy off to the next White House.



  24. If anyone ever gets around to 'liberating' (whatever that means) Mosul, it wouldn't be O'bozo, or Hillary, certainly not the Marxist/Leninist/whackjob from Vermont, 'Unca Bernie of the Free Stuff' Sanders.

    It will be The Trump or some other Republican.

    At this point it's a decent question as to whether it is even a good idea.

    We need Quirk's Human Suffering Calculating Machine to cough out some numbers so we have something real to go by...

    1. .

      Sure, why not? The only Americans involved will be 30,000 feet above the fray. And there are only a couple people here who really give a flying fuck about the people down below.


    2. I'm for sticking with Quirk's Human Suffering Calculator.....if it indicates bombs away, then, as far as I'm concerned, bombs away it is.....the best we can do for everyone.....if it says hold fire, hold fire it is....

      I don't like the idea of doing things on a hunch, and a hymn, and a hope....

      I just await the numbers....

    3. Just as long as Quirk sets the calculations out to 1400 years or so...

  25. SOUTHWEST ASIA, February 10, 2016 — U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

    Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

    Strikes in Syria

    Fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted two strikes in Syria:

    -- Near Mar’a, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.

    -- Near Raqqah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted 18 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Baghdadi, a strike destroyed an ISIL supply cache.

    -- Near Huwayjah, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb and two ISIL vehicles.

    -- Near Habbaniyah, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit.

    -- Near Haditha, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

    -- Near Kirkuk, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

    -- Near Mosul, five strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed 15 ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL checkpoint.

    -- Near Ramadi, four strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL heavy machine gun position, an ISIL vehicle bomb facility and cratered an ISIL-used road.

    -- Near Sinjar, three strikes destroyed three ISIL fighting positions and suppressed two separate ISIL mortar positions.


    1. How many civilians did we kill today?

      How many more moslems have we radicalized today?

      Interesting that you are so persistant about posting the daily kill tally, but when Israel was killing headcounters 3 miles off their border you stand if you lived there you'd JOIN the Headcutters called Hamas....

      When ISIS in America comes to your local mall and shoots up 100 people will you have the same attitude about no timeline?

    2. It seems we are not longer targeting 'bed down positions', for whatever reason.

    3. I can imagine some officer in 'targeting' saying 'the computer indicates it isn't worth it'.

      As the janitor, sweeping up the shredded paper, mumbles to himself, 'shit they've been putting straw dummies in those bed down positions for months'.....

    4. If a mall is attacked, the situation in Syria and Iraq will not be a cause.

      There were no US troops in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan or Pakistan and the US was attacked. The Israelis have troops all over Occupied Palestine and the Israeli people are asking

      Forget peace, Netanyahu, 
what about our security?

      Instead of castigating him because there is no peace, something that he never promised, we should be asking the prime minister: Where the hell is the security you promised?

    5. And yet Americans are attacked all over the world

      What is this place you call "Occupied Palestine"? I have never heard of it.

      Could you show us on a map (produced by a main line company)?

    6. About Jews being attacked all over the world by arabs?

      We are learning. We are shooting those who attack us to death.. :)

      And so is Russia and the USA killing those who have attacked us....

      Now the funny thing?

      Hezbollah and Iran, who have attacked us??? Are killing others who have attacked us...

      POPCORNS ready...

  26. I think the Iraqis will probably take Mosul sometime in the late Summer, or Fall; but, whether that timeline is close, or wildly out of sync, doesn't really matter. They'll do it when they do it.

    The fact is, they do seem to be getting their act together, a little, and are pushing the headcutters around some, and out of a few areas in the South.

    Since we don't have any troops tied down in pitched battles, taking casualties, the timeline doesn't really matter, does it?

    1. Might as well be 200 years from now, in that case, or, never.

      The timeline doesn't really matter.

      The sneaking suspicious arises that O'bozo really doesn't care about 'winning', however that might be described at this last date, but just needs to be seen as 'doing something', for domestic consumption.

    2. The people elected by the "Purple Fingers of Freedom" will decide when their forces take Mosul

      The US has not been invited to supply ground troops for that operation.

      Would you have US invade Iraq, again.

  27. Obama's proposed 2017 Budget is 21.5% of GDP. For comparison, Reagan's average budget was 21.6% of GDP.

    Jared Bernstein

  28. I admit to having lots more sympathy to what is happening to the Christians in Nigeria than to what's going on in Syria, the Christians there and a few others excepted.

    The refugees we should be taking are the Christian refugees, who are truly facing genocide.

  29. Dueling Headlines:

    "Nujaifi: It is too early to talk about Mosul Battle

    Operation to retake Mosul has already started, says US envoy

    both articles say basically the same thing -

    ( The U.S. envoy to the international coalition Brett Magrec, said on Wednesday, that the liberation operation of Mosul has started, already, while noted that the international coalition is holding consultations to coordinate with the Peshmerga forces as well as Sunni forces as part of the preparations to attack ISIS inside Mosul.

    Magrec said in a press statement obtained by, “The coalition will work this year to accelerate the raids against [ISIS] in order to achieve more progress,” noting that, “The coalition will focus on retaking Mosul in its operations.”

    He added, “The operation is a major challenge, especially because about one million people live in Mosul,” pointing out that, “The coalition forces is holding consultations to coordinate with Peshmerga as well as Sunni forces as part of the preparations to attack ISIS inside Mosul during the operation liberation that the coalition has already started.”

    We be bombing, planning, and consulting. They'll do ground invasion when they're ready.

    bombing and planning

  30. The Great black writer, thinker, and shake down artist Ta-Nehesi Coates joins Deuce and endorses Sanders, though the great black writer is a little pissed that The Bernie refuses to pledge to reparations for slavery.


    Black ‘Intellectual’ Ta-Nehesi Coates Endorses Bernie Sanders [VIDEO]

    Chuck Ross


    1:10 PM 02/10/2016

    Prominent black “intellectual” Ta-Nehesi Coates said on Wednesday that he will vote for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton.

    Coates’ support comes as something of a surprise given that he recently criticized Sanders for not supporting reparations for slavery, a topic near and dear to the writer’s heart. The author of the book “Between the World and Me” won a MacArthur “genius” grant for an Atlantic essay on the issue....

    1. (Coates has about as much 'intellect' as Ash, though he is a lot sneakier)

  31. Carly is out.

    It's probably time for Ben to get out too, much as I hate to it.

  32. February 10, 2016

    Sanders may have won 22% more votes than Hillary, but Hillary gets more delegates

    By Thomas Lifson

    Hey, Sanders kids, relax. The fix is in.

    Politico reports the delegate count arising out of the New Hampshire vote.

    Among the 712 superdelegates, Hillary had a 45-to-1 margin a few months ago, in the 80% the Associated Press was able to reach to survey.

    1. Once again, you are stone cold ignorant of the facts. The press is reporting the earned delegates as well as the super delegates which were pledged to Clinton before the races. The super delegates are non-binding and will go to the candidate that gets the most earned delegates.

      The press as always distorts the facts to suit their agenda.

  33. Carson: I would be open to being Trump's Vice President.

    1. Kasich would be the better choice.
      He has a real knowledge of how the government works.

    2. Carson could, conceivably, bring as much as 25% of the black vote. If he did, it might be game, set, match.

      Razor Thin

    3. Of course, if the Dems nominate Sanders, it won't matter, anyway. No one has ever been elected President on the platform of "raising taxes."

    4. Carson knows how to remove half of rat's brain.

      Alas, he also knows how to cause rat to survive the operation.

  34. Jack HawkinsWed Feb 10, 07:03:00 PM EST
    If a mall is attacked, the situation in Syria and Iraq will not be a cause.

    And how would you know, unless you are directing those terrorists?


    1. Historical precedent, "O"rdure.

    2. So you are directing moslem terrorists in America?
      AND you have done it before?

    3. Jack HawkinsWed Feb 10, 07:36:00 PM EST

      Historical precedent, "O"rude.

      Jack, I KNOW you have a learning disability, but please refer to my "handle" What is "Occupation" or if that is too difficult for you "WIO".

      Simply continuing to slur and slander me with who knows what nonsense will cause me to continue to tell the world about your lies, distortions, crimes and of course your threats.

    4. Jack claims he is directing a super secret national defense project in concert with NSA, Defense, CIA off the coasts of Panama.

      He always seems to be here, not there, though.

      Jack is a multitasker, he can bullshit on several fronts all at once.

    5. Historical precedent, "O"rdure, is what you used to predict the attack ...
      Unless you are a terrorist commander ...

      Or a Mossad agent planning a "False Flag" attack upon the US.

      The Mossad is well known for using false flags, for which is the historical precedent


    6. for which there is historical precedent

      Could use "Occupation is a War Crime"
      But I like "O"rdure, more ... it is the most descriptively accurate.

    7. Quirk had rat diagnosed with something other than a learning disorder. It was something quite complex, and I confess went 'beyond me' a bit, but it certainly sounded like a dire diagnosis.


    8. "O""rdure, it is the answer to your question.

      I will not repeatedly ask your question, but I will repeatedly provide an answer to it.


    9. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson who told us he was morally justified to be a thief by saying that the loot was owed him, by the people or institution he ripped off.

    10. I like 'jack is a Dead Beat Dad lying ass hole' for you, Jack.

      It is the most descriptively accurate.

    11. That was what my lawyer said, in a way, jack is a Dead Beat Dad lying ass hole, when he said it was both legal, moral, and astute.

      So, bwabwabwabwahahahahaha to you, jiadbdlah.

    12. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson exhibiting a failure to responsibility for his own actions, while holding others to a Standard he cannot hold himself to.

      “Attack the evil that is within yourself, rather than attacking the evil that is in others.”
      ― Confucius

    13. This lawyer had been the District Judge, and also had an engineering degree, so I took his words as high compliment.

      His copy of Plato was exactly like mine, same issue, by the way.

      I commented on it to him one day.

      It was a copy of 'The Republic' which I'm certain you have never read, jiadbdlah.


    14. Stealing from the bank was your responsibility, not his.
      Are you saying he was an accomplice in your fraud?

      Better call Saul!


    15. Idaho gets D- grade in 2012 State Integrity Investigation
      Why Idaho ranked 41st of 50 states

      Indeed, Idaho's lack of financial disclosure and "revolving-door" laws leaves its state government vulnerable. Even though most public officials here may be honest, hard-working and dedicated to doing the right thing, without disclosure requirements, there's no way to know for sure.

      And so Idaho, a state of almost 1.6 million residents, does not tally lofty scores in the State Integrity Investigation conducted by the Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International. In fact, Idaho ranks 41st among the 50 states for accountability, with a numerical grade of 61and a letter grade just short of failing: D-.


      So, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson you hired a ex-Judge who was as corrupt as you?

      Seems to be the standard, in Idaho.


    16. Idaho is poised to see yet another prison scandal. In the wake of a 2013 investigation, which revealed the Corrections Corporation of America had falsified documents to cover up thousands of hours of understaffing at the Idaho Correctional Center, CCA agreed to pay a $1 million settlement and slink away from Idaho's failed private prison experiment.

      Now, it's the Idaho Department of Correction that is under fire and, later this month, the department will be brought to federal court to face allegations that it "continued to destroy, falsify and otherwise alter medical records" of inmates inside the state of Idaho's prison complex. Furthermore, officials are being accused of a systematic "cover-up," including manipulation of court-ordered oversight of mental health care at the prison.

      Idaho, where State officials lie and cheat, as a matter of course


    17. Corrupt Judge William Adams

      Posted in the Idaho Falls Forum

      He ignores a child's outcry of abuse on the ground that it is frivolous to believe a child even though the child is completely credible and corroborated. Actually, he attacks the parent and her lawyer trying to protect the child. Why? The child abuser is his personal lawyer. He is thoroughly dishonest and corrupt


    18. There is something rotten in Idaho,...
      This seems to be a terrible conflict of interest to this writer, and I would hope that in light of the recent report which thew Idaho Prosecutor did his best to suppress, that there would be some type of investigation. But in Idaho that is doubtful.

      Former Canyon County Prosecutor who was finally arrested and charged with Grand Theft for embezzling 300 grand, recently had his charges dropped to misuse of county funds, a misdemeanor .

      Then we have former Idaho Senator Mcee who stole a car, Felony Grand Theft, which was later dismissed because the Prosecutor said McGee did not have the requisite 'intent'.

      Yes, It is doubtful the corrupt practices in Idaho will stop, but one can always hope for someone with integrity to come along and do the job.


    19. Burgess was recruited in the mid-eighties by the Idaho, U.S. Marshalls Office and the Maricopa County, Arizona, D.E.A. operatives. This is a stark and dark insight into “government” betrayal and vengeance upon one of their own confidential informants, who has been left to the brutal vindictiveness of drug-corrupted Arizona and Idaho officials, police and deputies.

      This is a documented narrative, revealing specific personalities within Arizona and Idaho government and the present de-evolution of “their” secret, politically organized, criminal networks.

      All named are part of an Interstate R.I.C.O. operations to wrongfully impoverish, politically destroy, and socially defame Cheryl Kay Burgess, based upon her Confidential Informant status for Lt. Ryer of the Maricopa (Arizona) D.E.A. and the U.S. Marshal’s Office, Idaho.

      1. Judge Gary Haman -- Kootenai County District Court, Criminal Conspiracy, Obstruction of Justice, Official Oppression, Conspiracy to Criminally alter transcripts, aiding and abetting in Bankruptcy Fraud ---

      (Gary Haman immediately retired upon learning of this investigation and expose’)

      2. Daniel English - Kootenai Clerk of Courts -- Clerical Misprision, Criminal Conspiracy, Obstruction of Justice, Official Oppression, Misappropriation of Funds ---

      3. William Rush - Kootenai Court Reporter -- Criminally Altering Court Transcripts, Criminal Conspiracy, Obstruction of Justice, Official Oppression -- Rush would not have done this of his own volition, unless undue influence had not been exerted by judge Gary Haman (above) ---

      4. Attorney Stephen Fender -- Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Criminal Conspiracy, Filing altered and false documents, Vexatious lititgation, Bankruptcy Fraud ---

      5. Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department -- Misfeasance in Office, Obstruction of Justice, Oppression --

      6. John & Karen Corcoran, Coeur d’Alane -- real estate agents -- Filing false documents, Criminal Conspiracy with their attorney, Fender in Land Fraud, Unlawful Conveyance, Obstructing Justice, Bankruptcy Fraud ---

      7. Attorney David Eash -- Violation of Rules of Ethics, Knowing of, and refusing to report criminal activities within the Kootenai Court, Abandonment of Client, Fraud, Malpractice;

  35. 2 Deputies Killed In Shopping Center Shootout; Suspect Also Dead

    ABINGDON, Md. (WJZ) — Two Harford County sheriff’s deputies are shot and killed at a busy shopping center in Abingdon. The gunman is also dead. It all unfolded inside the Panera in Abingdon.

    WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren with the latest on the chaotic scene.

    It’s been a traumatic day for the people of Harford County. Those sheriff’s deputies had 46 years of experience serving the community between them.

    The suspect is 67-year-old David Evans. He had an open warrant in Harford County on a civil matter, and in Florida for assaulting a police officer.

  36. France to shut down up to 160 mosques used as terror centers
    February 10, 2016

    The French are raiding mosques and not liking what they are finding. Will we get more from our politicians than sound bites? More

    American Thinker

    G o o o d Idea !

    The Constitution is not a suicide pact.

  37. Christie, the Republican suicide bomb, blew up Rubio, but got himself as well.

    He's out.

    Hillary needs to run to the left of The Bern, as a Maoist.

    It's been too long since we've seen Mao jackets on our streets, and wire rimmed glasses on 'the kids'.

    1. What this country needs is a 'Great Leap Forward' and more concentration camps and summary executions for anti-social behavior !!

  38. The US Senate has voted unanimously to toughen sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear program, human rights record and cyber activities.


    'It will be much more effective if we can get the international community to support us,' said Senator Ben Cardin, the panel's top Democrat. He drew parallels to US sanctions that became multilateral regimes against Iran and South Africa.

    1. Kim just bumped off another of his Generals.

      It's tough being a General in North Korea.

    2. The Generals ought to get together and bump off Kim, but they never seem able to get their act together. everyone being terrified of everyone else.

  39. 2 brigades of Iraqi army arrive in Makhmour to liberate Mosul

    ( Nineveh – The Provincial Council of Nineveh announced on Wednesday the arrival of two brigades of the army’s 15th division in the headquarters of Nineveh Operations south of Mosul, while expected the arrival of other forces in the coming days to prepare for the liberation operation of Mosul.

    The head of the security committee in Nineveh Council Mohammed al-Bayati said in a statement followed by, “Two brigades of the army’s 15th division arrived in Nineveh Operations headquarters in Makhmour area in preparation to begin the liberation operation of the city of Mosul.”

    Bayati added, “The coming days will witness the arrival of more brigades and regiments to complete the preparations of the liberation operation to retake Mosul from ISIS.”


  40. Conditions have not been good in Syria for a long time, but they have perhaps not previously been this desperately bad. Averting a humanitarian disaster seems to depend on breaking a siege that the Syrian government, with Russian backing, seems in no hurry to end before the start of March – while severed supply lines for Syrian rebels have put opposition forces in danger of being choked off.

  41. .

    The Republic, Plato's homage to the Indian caste system slightly truncated for simplicity and made up of an elitist ruling class, the military, and the worker bees, in effect, everyone else.

    Of course, Plato wasn't the only one to look fondly on India's system. After the British Raj took power in India in the 18th century, they exploited the caste system as a means of social control. And we know how great British control was for India.


  42. Breaking: Kurds liberate Menagh Airbase in Aleppo

    ALEPPO (KDN) – Local sources on the ground claim that Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces captured Menagh Airbase in Aleppo province earlier today. YGP sources were not immediately available for comments. The reports have to be confirmed yet.

    Menagh Air Base (or Minnigh airport, Minakh Air Base ) was a Syrian Air Force installation located 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) south of Azaz, Aleppo Governorate, Syria.

    The air base became a major target of the armed opposition in the Syrian civil war’s Battle of Aleppo. The air base was under siege by opposition forces from August 2012 until it fell to the militants of al-Nusra Front on 6 August 2013.


    1. The predominately Kurdish “People’s Protection Units” (YPG) have captured several villages in northern Aleppo these past few days, pushing their way to the outskirts of the strategic Mennagh Military Airport near the Turkish border-city of ‘Azaz. On Monday morning, the YPG – alongside Jaysh Al-Thuwwar – imposed full control over the villages of Kafr Antoun and Muraniz after a violent battle with the Islamist rebels of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham (largest rebel/Islamist group), the Free Syrian Army (FSA), and Jabhat Al-(Levantine Front). In addition to capturing the aforementioned villages, the YPG and their allies seized the Al-Ajjar Camp near Mennagh Airbase on Monday; this resulted in another large-scale retreat for the Islamist rebels. With the YPG and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) capturing several villages in northern Aleppo, tensions between the Islamist rebel factions have begun to develop, as they blame each other for their subsequent losses. | Al-Masdar News


  43. This French Philosopher Is The Only One Who Can Explain The Donald Trump Phenomenon

    An interesting story, market media manipulation techniques from Trump's time with the WWE

    Barthes is best known for his work in semiotics, the study of signs and symbols. But he wasn’t limited to lengthy, esoteric treatises. Rather, Barthes published much of his work in short, accessible pieces breaking down elements of popular culture. The New York Times described Barthes as the godfather of the TV recap.

    His most famous essay, published in his 1957 book Mythologies, focuses on professional wrestling. Could an essay about professional wrestling hold the key to understanding Trump’s appeal? It’s worth noting that, before he was a presidential candidate, Trump was an active participant in the WWE. In 2013, Trump was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

    I did not even know Trump had been part of Vince McMahon's WWE.

    1. The Youtube video is entertaining and kind of 'enlightening', viewed with the insights gleaned from the article.

  44. Did you know that you can create short urls with BCVC and get cash from every click on your shortened links.