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

Saturday, February 13, 2016

"Perhaps the (US) Advisors should stop stepping on the same rake”

World Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:05am EST

Syrian army edges towards Islamic State bastion, jets hit rebel towns

Syrian army edges towards Islamic State bastion, jets hit rebel towns

Syrian government forces were poised to advance into the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa province and allied Russian jets kept up air strikes on rebel-held towns north of Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Saturday.

An advance into Raqqa would re-establish a Syrian government foothold in the province for the first time since 2014 and may be aimed at pre-empting any move by Saudi Arabia to send ground forces to fight Islamic State militants in Syria.

Russia is pressing ahead with its four-month-old air campaign in support of President Bashar al-Assad ahead of "a cessation of hostilities" agreed by major powers on Friday. The agreement is due to come into effect in a week.

The Syrian army announced the capture of more ground in the northern Aleppo area, where its advances backed by allied Lebanese Hezbollah and Iranian fighters have cut the main rebel supply route from Turkey into opposition-held parts of Aleppo.

If its forces retake Aleppo and seal the Turkish border, Damascus would deal a crushing blow to the insurgents who were on the march until Russia intervened last September, shoring up Assad’s rule and paving the way to the current advances.

The cessation of hostilities agreement falls short of a formal ceasefire, since it was not signed by the warring parties - the government and rebels seeking to topple Assad in the five-year-long war that has killed 250,000 people.

Russia has said it will keep bombing Islamic State and the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, which in many areas of western Syria fights government forces in close proximity to insurgents deemed moderates by Western states. 

Helped by Russian air power, the Syrian army and its allies have been pursuing offensives on crucial front lines of western Syria, while also attacking Islamic State further east.

The Observatory said government troops were just a few kilometres (miles) from the provincial borders of Raqqa after making a rapid advance eastwards along a desert highway in the last few days from Ithriya. The Syrian army could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Syrian government has not had a major foothold in Raqqa province since Islamic State insurgents captured Tabqa air base in 2014. “ hey are on the provincial borders of Raqqa," Observatory director Rami Abdulrahman told Reuters.

The ultra-hardline Islamic State, whose main aim is to expand its “ aliphate" rather than toppling Assad and reforming Syria, is being targeted in separate campaigns by a U.S.-led alliance and the Syrian government with Russian air support.

U.S.-allied Kurdish forces are also fighting Islamic State in Raqqa. Last year, they advanced into Raqqa province from the northeast, capturing an Islamic State-held town at the border with Turkey.

Gulf states that want Assad gone from power have said they would be willing to send in troops as part of any U.S.-led ground attack against Islamic State. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Friday he expected Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to send commandos to help recapture Raqqa.

In what may have been a response to those remarks, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Saturday there was no need to scare anyone with a ground operation in Syria.

The Syrian government has said that any foreign forces in the country without its consent will be fought.


Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, said in an interview published on Saturday that Russia's military interventions will not help Assad stay in power. "There will be no Bashar al-Assad in the future," he told a German newspaper.
The complex, multi-sided civil war in Syria, raging since 2011, has drawn in most regional and global powers, producing the world’s worst humanitarian emergency and attracting jihadist recruits from around the world.

A U.S. State Department spokesman said on Friday Assad was “ eluded" if he thought there is a military solution to the war. 

Two Syrian rebel commanders told Reuters on Friday insurgents had been sent “ xcellent quantities" of Grad rockets with a range of 20 km (12 miles) by foreign backers in recent days to help confront the Russian-backed offensive in Aleppo.

Foreign opponents of Assad including Saudi Arabia and Turkey have been supplying vetted rebel groups with weapons via a Turkey-based operations centre.

Some of these groups have received military training overseen by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. The vetted groups have been a regular target of the Russian air strikes. 

Russian warplanes carried out at least 12 raids on rebel-held towns north of Aleppo overnight Friday-Saturday, the Observatory said.

The army said late on Friday it had captured three areas to the northwest of Aleppo - advances confirmed by the Observatory.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls called on Russia on Saturday to stop bombing civilians in Syria, saying this was crucial for achieving peace in the country.

"France respects Russia and its interests ... But we know that to find the path to peace again, the Russian bombing of civilians has to stop,” Valls said in a speech at a security conference in Munich.

Russia has denied targeting civilians. Medvedev said on Saturday it was simply not true.

“There is no evidence of our bombing civilians, even though everyone is accusing us of this," Medvedev told a security conference in Munich, moments after French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Russian bombing of civilians must stop.

"Russia is not trying to achieve some secret goals in Syria. We are simply trying to protect our national interests,” he said, adding that Moscow wanted to prevent Islamist militants getting to Russia

(Additional reporting by Shadia Nasralla in Munich and Denis Dyomkin in Moscow; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Mark Heinrich)


  1. Why Are Neocons So Desperate To Rescue al-Qaeda in Syria?

    Daniel McAdams, February 12, 2016

    Reading Dennis Ross and David Ignatius is a good reminder that the neocons live in a different world than the rest of us.

    They do not conform their analysis to reality, but rather they conform reality to their view of the world. Where most people would be encouraged to read that Aleppo in Syria was about to be liberated from its 3.5 year occupation by al-Qaeda’s Syrian franchise, the neocons see a disaster.

    On the brink of al-Qaeda’s defeat in Aleppo, the Washington Post‘s Ignatius is furious that, “President Obama won’t approve military tactics that could actually shift the balance.” Yes, he wants to shift the balance toward al-Qaeda because like the other neocons he is so invested in the idea of regime change in Syria that he would even prefer turning the country into another Libya than to see government forces defeat his jihadist insurgents. Failing to “shift the balance” toward al-Qaeda fighters in Aleppo only brings “greater misery for the Syrian people,” in the world of Ignatius.

    Ignatius’s Washington Post, which has never seen a potential war it did not want to see turned into an actual war, thinks it a tragedy that the Syrian army’s advance on al-Qaeda occupied Aleppo has “cut off all vital routes of supply from Turkey to the rebel-held areas of the city.” Those would be Turkish supplies in support of al-Qaeda and ISIS rebels, but the Post is too deceptive to mention that fact.

    It is as dishonest an inversion of reality as anything printed in Pravda of old.


    In the same vein as Ignatius, former Bush/Clinton/Obama Administration Middle East “expert” Dennis Ross writes to tell us, “what Putin is really up to in Syria.” In the above-linked article, The Los Angeles Times does not reveal that Ross is hardly an objective observer of the situation. As one of the founders of AIPAC’s Washington Institute for Near East Policy – and a current counselor to that organization – Ross strongly supports AIPAC’s position in favor of regime change in Syria and Israel’s active role in assisting jihadist rebels from al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front in their efforts to overthrow the Assad government.

    So what does regime change neocon Dennis Ross want us to believe is happening in Syria? The Russians, he asserts, are playing a dirty game by stepping up their bombing campaign against ISIS, al-Qaeda, and affiliated rebels instead of pushing for a ceasefire. How funny that when the US/Turk/Saudi/Israeli-back jihadists were on the verge of taking over all of Syria not that long ago there was no talk from neocon quarters about a ceasefire or a negotiated political solution. Only now that al-Qaeda’s stronghold in Aleppo is on the verge of liberation by government forces are the neocons screaming that diplomacy should be given a chance.

    Russian operations are “designed to strengthen the Assad regime and weaken the non-Islamic State Sunni opposition in different parts of the country,” writes Ross. He doesn’t mention that particularly when it comes to Aleppo, the “non-Islamic State Sunni opposition” means al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front and affiliated forces.

    By relentlessly bombing Islamic State and other jihadist groups seeking to introduce Sharia law into secular Syria, “Putin is…undercutting our aim of isolating Islamic State and having Sunnis lead the fight against it.” Read that again. By attacking ISIS he is preventing the US from isolating ISIS. Doublespeak.


  3. {...}

    What is Putin really up to in the world of Dennis Ross? He is not sincere about defeating Islamist extremism in Syria or even helping Assad’s forces win the war. No, Putin “aims to demonstrate that Russia, and not America, is the main power broker in the region and increasingly elsewhere.” Ah yes, the old argument about Russian expansionism. Baltic invasion, restoration of the USSR. All the neocon tripe.

    Ah, but here is where Ross plants his seed, whispers in the Administration’s neocon power brokers’ ears:

    “Certainly, were Russia’s costs to increase, Putin might look for a way out.”

    Hmm, now we see what he’s getting at:

    …it is time we make it clear to the Russians that unless they impose a cease-fire on Assad and Hezbollah and insist that humanitarian corridors are open, we will have no choice but to act with our partners to create a haven in Syria – for refugees and for the organization of the Syrian opposition.

    In other words, tell Russia if you do not stop fighting al-Qaeda and its affiliates in Syria we will face-off in a WWIII-threatening stance to establish a “jihadistan” in part of Syria from where the hundredth or so version of a rebel fighting force can be re-assembled.

    Ross’s plan is not for the weak of heart. ” [W]e cannot threaten to create a haven without following through if Putin refused to alter his course,” he writes. Meaning of course that we must be willing to actually go through with WWIII if Putin does not blink, back down, and pull out of Syria just as Russia’s intervention is meeting its objective. Surrender when on the verge of victory in Syria or face a nuclear war with the United States.

    No one ever accused the neocons of thinking small. But with much of the Middle East a smoldering ruin due to the disastrous interventions they lied us into, no one should count out even their most insane-sounding plan being seriously considered somewhere in Washington.

    Daniel McAdams is director of the The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity. Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.


    AIPAC’s comprehensive news feed is updated regularly with articles, memos and feature stories.

    The AIPAC Policy Conference is the largest gathering of the pro-Israel movement. Thousands from all 50 states come to participate in “three of the most important days affecting Israel's future."

    AIPAC empowers pro-Israel activists across all ages, religions and races to be politically engaged and build relationships with members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to promote the U.S.-Israel relationship.

    AIPAC works with Democrats and Republicans in Congress to ensure Israel receives vital security assistance each year.

    The AIPAC Fellows Program selects elite, highly motivated, recent college graduates to help build the organization’s base of committed pro-Israel advocates.

  5. Defense Digest - January 2016
    January 29, 2016

    1. Lockheed Martin Starts Assembling First Israeli F-35 Fighter Jet
    2. Director of U.S. Missile Defense Agency Calls for Closer Cooperation with Israel
    3. Israel to Upgrade Boeing F-15I Fleet
    4. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to Provide Israeli “ReWalk” System for Paralyzed Veterans
    5. Lockheed Martin Begins Installing New Systems on Israeli Military Transport Planes
    6. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Reaffirms Commitment to Israel’s Security

    Defense Digest - December 2015
    December 15, 2015
    1. Arrow-3 Missile Defense System Tested Successfully
    2. NDAA Includes Key Pro-Israel Provisions
    3. United States, Israel Conduct Joint Training Exercise
    4. U.S. Engine Manufacturer Signs Israeli Military Contract
    5. Northrop Grumman Delivers Fuselage for First Israeli F-35 Aircraft

    Defense Digest- October 2015
    October 30, 2015
    1. U.S. Military Chief Visits Israel, Pledges Closer U.S.-Israel Cooperation
    2. Sec. Carter Pledges to Boost Israel's Qualitative Military Edge
    3. Lockheed Martin, Israel Collaborate on Science-Oriented Preschool
    4. Israel Develops Ultrasound Technology to Detect Cracks in F-16 Wings
    5. United States, Israel Hold Joint Air Force Drill

    Defense Digest- September 2015
    September 30, 2015
    1. Israel Upgrades F-16s to Address Increased Missile Threats
    2. United States, Israel Cooperate on Wheelchairs for Veterans
    3. Israeli Start-Up Wins U.S. Air Force Contract
    4. United States, Israel Conduct Naval Exercise
    5. U.S. Navy Purchases Israeli-Developed Therapy System


    1. You asked for a list of what Israel does for us and you have provided it...

      Now you are pissy about how much Israel does...

      Damed if you do, damed if you don't.

    2. I asked what they did that they didn’t get paid for.

    3. The corruption is obvious and odious.


  6. Defense Digest- October 2015
    October 30, 2015
    1. U.S. Military Chief Visits Israel, Pledges Closer U.S.-Israel Cooperation
    2. Sec. Carter Pledges to Boost Israel's Qualitative Military Edge
    3. Lockheed Martin, Israel Collaborate on Science-Oriented Preschool
    4. Israel Develops Ultrasound Technology to Detect Cracks in F-16 Wings
    5. United States, Israel Hold Joint Air Force Drill

    Defense Digest- September 2015
    September 30, 2015
    1. Israel Upgrades F-16s to Address Increased Missile Threats
    2. United States, Israel Cooperate on Wheelchairs for Veterans
    3. Israeli Start-Up Wins U.S. Air Force Contract
    4. United States, Israel Conduct Naval Exercise
    5. U.S. Navy Purchases Israeli-Developed Therapy System

    Defense Digest - August 2015
    August 17, 2015
    1. Israel Forms First F-35 Squadron
    2. U.S. Secretary of Defense Visits Israel, Praises Bilateral Relationship
    3. Iron Dome to Engage UAV Threats
    4. United States, Israel Conduct Naval Exercise
    5. First Joint U.S.-Israel F-35 Helmet Mounted Display System Delivered

    Defense Digest- April 2015
    April 17, 2015
    1. U.S., Israel Conduct Successful Test of David's Sling Missile Defense System
    2. U.S. Marines Award $73 million Contract to Israel's Elbit Systems
    3. Israeli Ministry of Defense Increases Production of Merkava 4 Tanks and Namer APCs
    4. U.S. Army Approves Purchase of Israeli Surveillance Balloon
    5. Senior IDF Officers Visit USS Theodore Roosevelt in Italy

    Defense Digest - March 2015
    March 16, 2015
    Israel Signs Contract to Increase F-35 Order
    Israel Aerospace Industries Delivers First Replacement Wing for US Air Force Jet
    Israeli Paratroopers Train Make First Jump from U.S.- developed Aircraft
    Military Unit in Israel Employs Autistic Soldiers for Decoding Pictures

    Defense Digest - January 2015
    January 28, 2015
    U.S. Navy F-18s to Receive U.S.- Israel Developed Litening Targeting Pod
    David's Sling Will Be Able to Intercept Warheads over Enemy Territory
    Israeli F-35 Jets to Be Operational in 2019
    Outgoing IDF Chief Benny Gantz Visits Washington, D.C.
    USS New York Hosts U.S., Israeli Leaders

  7. Who benefits from the Neocon US wars in the ME?

    Who benefits from ISIS?

    Who benefits from the destruction of Syria?

  8. Perhaps we should all stop stepping on the same rake.

  9. The Pentagon and its national security state pals are consuming more than $750 billion dollars annually, or two-thirds of the government’s discretionary spending.

  10. MUNICH — The Latest on the security conference in Munich (all times local):

    2:05 p.m.

    Russia's foreign minister says that all sides in Syria's civil war are violating humanitarian law and that President Bashar Assad shouldn't be demonized.

    Sergey Lavrov said a security conference in Munich Saturday that the majority of civilians under siege in Syria are being besieged by the opposition. He said that human rights groups and the U.N. "recognize that everyone on the ground is doing something which is wrong from the point of view of humanitarian law."

    He added: "My point is you should not demonize Assad. You shouldn't demonize anyone except terrorism in Syria."

    Lavrov also said that it's possible to make "a breakthrough, a first step" now in delivering humanitarian aid but "sustainable delivery" of supplies can be secured only during a political process.

  11. $750 billion; That is $15 billion per state. How much infrastructure would that buy for 50 states? How many good paying US jobs?

  12. As the collective moslem world degenerates into chaos and anarchy that old arab saying comes to mind "who benefits from it"

    The entire civilized world that's who..

    Islam is dying.

    Like a fever it has spikes and spasms...

    The arab world is but a small part of the equation.

    To blame others for the self inflicted injuries is childish...


    1. There was nothing self inflicted about Iraq, Libya and Syria. It was planned.

  13. There is ample evidence that the Israeli have produced "False Flag" operations in the past

    The Lavon ffair

    Israeli agents working in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including a United States diplomatic facility, and left evidence behind implicating Egyptian Muslims as the culprits. The ruse would have worked, had not one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to capture and identify one of the bombers, which in turn led to the round up of an Israeli spy ring.

    Would the Israeli attempt "False Flag" operations in the United States?

    We better ask Pollard, aye.

  14. Putting it in perspective:

    Total funding for Pennsylvania state highways and bridges is set to decrease roughly $66 million, to $4.76 billion, including a $131 million cut to highway and safety improvement programs, which is to be offset by funding from other restrictive sources. However, the budget also calls for an increase of $42 million to highway maintenance.

  15. Michael Collins Piper

    Those who believe that Israel is behind the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria—hiding behind a “false flag” designed to implicate the Syrian government—have very good reason to believe in such a scenario.

    In fact, as my book, Final Judgment, which documents the role of Israel’s Mossad in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, first pointed out at far back as 1994, the use of “false flags” by Israel’s Mossad to cover up its role in worldwide assassination conspiracies and other criminal activity had been utilized time and again: “Arabs,” “radical Muslims,” “the Mafia,” “right-wing extremists,” and even environmentalists, among others, have repeatedly taken the fall for crimes committed by the Mossad or carried out under its coordination.

    1. A shadowy “right wing” group known as “Direct Action” was accused of the attack on Goldenberg’s Deli in Paris on August 9, 1982. Six people died and 22 were injured. The leader of “Direct Action” was one Jean-Marc Rouillan who had been operating in the Mediterranean under the cover name of “Sebas” and who had been repeatedly linked to the Mossad. All references to Rouillan’s Mossad links were deleted from the official reports issued at the time.

      However, the Algerian national news service—which had ties to French intelligence—blamed the Mossad for Rouillan’s activities. Angry French intelligence officers were believed to have leaked this information to the Algerians. Several top French security officials quit in protest over this cover-up of Mossad complicity in Rouillan’s crimes. However, other Mossad false flag operations also took place on French soil.

      • On October 3, 1980, a synagogue on Copernicus Street was bombed in Paris. Four bystanders were killed. Nine were injured. A worldwide media frenzy followed the incident. Reports held that “right wing extremists” were responsible. Yet, all of the “right wing extremists” who were questioned were released. In the upper echelons of French intelligence, the finger of suspicion was pointed at the Mossad.

      • On April 6, 1979, the same Mossad terror unit suspected of the Copernicus carnage blew up the heavily guarded plant of CNIM industries in southeast France, where a consortium of French firms was building a nuclear reactor for Iraq. The Mossad salted the site of the bomb blast with “clues” followed up with anonymous phone calls to police suggesting the sabotage was the work of an environmentalist group.

    2. One of Israel’s most outrageous “false flag” operations involved a wild propaganda story aimed at discrediting Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi—one of Israel’s favorite enemies. In the early months of the administration of President Ronald Reagan, the American media began heavily promoting a story that a “Libyan hit squad” was in the United States for the express purpose of assassinating Reagan. This inflamed public sentiment against Libya and there were repeated calls for blood.

      Suddenly, however, the “hit squad” stories vanished. In fact, it was ultimately discovered that the source of the story was one Manucher Ghorbanifar, a former Iranian SAVAK (secret police) agent with close ties to the Mossad. Even The Washington Post acknowledged that the CIA itself believed that Ghorbanifar was a liar who “had made up the hit-squad story in order to cause problems for one of Israel’s enemies.”

      The Los Angeles Times itself had already blown the whistle on Israel’s scare stories. “Israeli intelligence, not the Reagan administration,” reported the Times, “was a major source of some of the most dramatic published reports about a Libyan assassination team allegedly sent to kill President Reagan and other top U.S. officials . . . Israel, which informed sources said has ‘wanted an excuse to go in and bash Libya for a long time,’ may be trying to build American public support for a strike against [Qaddafi], these sources said.”

      In other words, Israel had promoted the former SAVAK agent to Washington as a reliable source. In fact, he was a Mossad disinformation operative waving a “false flag” to mislead America. This was yet another Israeli scheme to blame Libya for its own misdeeds, this time using one “false flag” (Iran’s SAVAK) to lay the blame on another “false flag” (Libya).


    3. On top of the list, the attack on the USS Liberty.

      It is not to great a stretch to think that the machete attack in Ohio, at a restaurant owned by a Christian Arab refugee from Israel, could not have been another in the long list of "False Flag" events engineered by the Israeli government.

    4. Well is well documented that the radical Zionists killed Jewish refugees from Europe, even before the NAZI were committing genocide at Auschwitz.

      On Nov. 25, 1940, a boat carrying Jewish refugees from Nazi Europe, the “Patra,” exploded and sank off the coast of Palestine killing 252 people.

      The Zionist “Haganah” claimed the passengers committed suicide to protest British refusal to let them land. Years later, it admitted that rather than let the passengers go to Mauritius, it blew up the vessel for its propaganda value.

      “Sometimes it is necessary to sacrifice the few in order to save the many,” Moshe Sharett, a former Israeli Prime Minister said at memorial service in 1958.

    5. Jack,

      you are back at the bottom of the pile...

      So yesterday..

      How's your wheelchair?


    6. You can't argue with historic truths, "O"rdure.

      They dispose of the Zionist myths, every time.

  16. Pork Rinds for YahwehSat Feb 13, 08:45:00 AM EST

    As the Zionist world degenerates into chaos and anarchy that old arab saying comes to mind "who benefits from it"

    The entire civilized world that's who..

    Iseael is dying.

    Like a fever it has spikes and spasms...

    The arab world is but a small part of the equation.

    To blame others for the self inflicted injuries is childish...


    1. Rat, "O"rdure, nothing but a fiction that keeps you fixated.

  17. From the files of "Dont ya hate when that happens"

    Female Palestinian terrorist stabbed Palestinian man by mistake
    DEBKAfile February 13, 2016, 2:11 PM (IDT)
    A Palestinian woman tried to knife an IDF soldier at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron Saturday. As the soldiers pushed her off with knife in hand, she fell against a Palestinian man and stabbed him by mistake, before the soldiers shot her dead. The man was moderately injured.


    1. .


      On October 13, an Israeli man stabbed a fellow Jew by mistake, as he believed he was an Arab. The incident took place near Haifa. Upon learning that he had made a mistake, the attacker tried to flee the scene, but was apprehended and questioned by police.

      The injured party suffered several stab wounds to his back and was taken to the hospital, though his injuries were not described as life threatening.

      In another incident, an Eritrean migrant worker, Mila Abtum, was shot by a security guard on Sunday and subsequently kicked by an angry Israeli crowd that believed he had been the gunman at a shooting at a Beersheba bus stop. Some Israeli media described the attack as a lynching.

      Gee, maybe the two sides should start wearing different colored badges, kind of like the Crips and the Bloods, in order to prevent these kind of mistakes. I know it sounds like a strange idea for Israel; yet, a similar idea has been posed in the Knesset that would require members of NGO's that support Palestinian rights to wear badges in certain venues.


    2. "It is not to great a stretch to think that the machete attack in Ohio, at a restaurant owned by a Christian Arab refugee from Israel, could not have been another in the long list of "False Flag" events engineered by the Israeli government."

      r bullshitter


      It is too great a stretch to think that the machete attack in Ohio, at a restaurant owned by a Christian Arab refugee from Israel, could have been another in a long list of "False Flag" events engineered by the Israeli government.

    3. Quirk congrats on the two incidents for your side.

      But the sad truth?

      Hamas's rockets hit their own folks 10% of the time..

      match that....

    4. .

      You got me on that one. Everyone over there is dumb as a stump.


  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. .

    Obviously, Ross and Ignatius, in their solutions, merely offer us a glimpse of the neocon wet dream. However, much of their view on Russia's role in Syria is correct. Even if there was a formal cease fire in Syria, Russia and Assad would keep pushing for every last mile of territory they could capture right up to the time (and maybe a little beyond?) the cease fire is set to take place. And both Russia and Assad have proved that the lives of ordinary citizens are secondary to keeping the regime afloat.

    That being said, both Ross and Ignatius ignore the fact that we do the same thing. There would be no 'ceasefire' (or pseudo ceasefire) called for if the coalition side wasn't losing and Russia wouldn't have delayed the start date if they hadn't been winning.

    However, the difference is that Russia actually has a national interest in the fight, one they openly admit, while the US does not. The US message that we must destroy the village to save it rings hollow.


  20. Wake Up Obama - More Insanity is on the way:

    MUNICH — Turkey will supply ground forces to an anti-Islamic State coalition in Syria and will allow Saudi Arabian strike missions against the militants from its air bases, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview published Saturday.

    The Saudis have already visited the Turkish base at Incirlik, where U.S. warplanes are launching attacks against the Islamic State, in preparation for the new deployment, Cavusoglu told the pro-government Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak after speaking at an international security conference here.

    Turkey’s commitment comes after Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates said they would supply Special Forces troops as part of a force under the U.S.-led coalition. Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter appealed to coalition partners this week in Brussels to provide more resources. U.S. Special Operations forces are already operating in Syria.

    Cavusoglu emphasized that no strategy for joint ground operations has yet been presented to the coalition. “If we have such a strategy, then Turkey and Saudi Arabia may launch an operation from the land,” he said. Referring to criticism that Turkey has been “unwilling” to join the fight against the Islamic State, he said his government has been “pushing for more tangible suggestions.”

  21. Obama needs to get his ass in the office and suspend Turkey from Nato by executive order and let the order be challenged in court. Then let the Russians do what they must if Saudi or Turkish aircraft attack Russian forces in Syria.

  22. Deuce ☂Sat Feb 13, 08:26:00 AM EST

    There was nothing self inflicted about Iraq, Libya and Syria. It was planned.

    Correct. There is a controlling mind behind all this chaos.

    The Mind of Allah...


    The "Q" Nit of the Day goes to, as expected, 'Machete Mo of O-hi O' -

    Jihad Watch

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

    Ohio: Machete-wielding Muslim injures multiple patrons at restaurant owned by pro-Israel Arab Christian

    February 12, 2016 9:12 am By Robert Spencer 59 Comments

    The owner is an “outspoken Christian” from Israel. “Inside the restaurant, guests are greeted by…a small Israeli flag.” Yet “Columbus police Sgt. Rich Weiner said ‘right now there’s nothing that leads us to believe that this is anything but a random attack.'” Nonsense. If Rich Weiner were as knowledgeable about Islam and jihad as he (and all others like him) should be, he would know exactly what this was — especially since Mohammad Barry later lunged at police with his machete and a knife. Israel, Arab Christians, police — three prime targets of the jihad.....

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

    1. Pork Rinds for YahwehSat Feb 13, 11:58:00 AM EST

      ... restaurant owned by pro-Israel Arab Christian

      Hany Baransi, the owner of the Nazareth Restaurant, is an Arab Christian Israeli citizen, who is a refugee from the apartheid regime in power there.

      Let us not deal in half truths Idaho Bob.

    2. I see rat is impersonating me again,

      It was "Pork Rinds for Allah" back in the day...


    3. Pork Rinds for YahwehSat Feb 13, 02:56:00 PM EST

      An admission then that Yahweh and Allah are one and the same.

    4. Wow...

      who would ever have dreamed.

  24. Strikes in Syria

    Attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted three strikes in Syria:

    -- Near Abu Kamal, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

    -- Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike cratered road ISIL uses.

    -- Near Raqqah, a strike destroyed an ISIL crane.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 17 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

    -- Near Baghdadi, a strike destroyed four ISIL rocket rails.

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

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

    -- Near Habbaniyah, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL front-end loader.

    -- Near Makhmur, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions.

    -- Near Mosul, five strikes struck three ISIL tactical units and destroyed 11 ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL excavator and an ISIL vehicle.

    -- Near Ramadi, four strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, destroying four ISIL staging areas and an ISIL bed down location and suppressing an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Sinjar, two strikes destroyed eight ISIL fighting positions.

    1. how many civilians have we killed today?

      do you care?

      Or do you only care when it's the israelis/jews doing the bombing?


    2. You Israeli have killed two more children, "O"rdure.

      Two Palestinian children were shot dead by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank this past week as a United Nations human rights investigator called on Israel to investigate its excessive use of force against Palestinians.

    3. Cool...

      But what are the specific facts Jack "The killer of kids" Hawkins..

      Were they the 8 and 9 year olds like you shot or where they actually fighting teenagers who in the eyes of the criminal courts would consider them adults..

      Since you did not or would not provide any links to back uno your slander? I googled it..

      On Tuesday, 16-year-old Omar Yousef Madi al-Jawabreh was slain by a bullet when Israeli soldiers fired on youths who were throwing stones at the invading forces in Arroub refugee camp near Hebron.

      Another boy, 14-year-old Haitham Saada, died after he was hit by two bullets fired by soldiers near the entrance to Halhoul village, also near Hebron.

      The army said that the boy was preparing to throw a Molotov cocktail at soldiers when he was killed.

      So one, a 16 year old, (how big? 6 foot? 200 pounds?) was assaulting IDF troops with rocks, which do kill...

      The other? 14 years old throwing firebombs...


      Good shooting to the IDF...

      Good lying to Jack

      Try again master distorter.....

      Its really funny to see how you must lie and distort to try to slander Jews and Israel. All when America, Russia, Turkey, Iran, Assad and Hezbollah are slaughtering 100's of actual innocent children a week for doing NOTHING....

      You prove my point over and over.


    4. Then what I write is good for you then, "O"rdure.

      You should be paying homage, if you are correct.

      But you're not, are you.

    5. and this comes from a site that hates Israel LOL


    6. Because those Israeli should not be there.
      Their presence is a war crime, and the deaths that the Israeli presence provokes, those are further crimes of the Israeli government.

      Deaths that are perpetrated during a crime, are a crime.
      The thief has no right of self defense against their victim, when the thief is confronted by the victim.

  25. So now the French, the Russians, the Iranians, Hezbollah, Syrians, Americans, Iraqi shia militias and soon Arabian sunni arabs will all be killing palestinians and sunnis...


    who would ever have dreamed.

    1. Entire play and dance all choreographed by the dirty war profiteering American corporations, according to some.

      Islam itself certainly has nothing to do with it.

  26. Worthy of note:

    destroyed in Iraq/Syria:

    an ISIL bed down location

    an ISIL front-end loader

    an ISIL excavator

    an ISIL vehicle

    among other items.

    Is this really worth the aviation fuel ?

    Maryland is going to allow felons to vote.

    Jack's chance to vote has arrived.

    (if he is allowed to leave Phoenix)

    1. ,

      The daily reports are kind of an embarrassment. Taking out bed down locations, denying territory, and cratering roads, doesn't sound all that impressive; but, when you get to reporting on further 'taking out' a piece of 'coalition' equipment that was previously taken out by ISIS or just broke down even though it's considered 'inoperable', it sure sounds like half the stuff is filler especially if they are using JDAMS at $25k a pop.

      Better to stick to the broad brush announcements when we take a city or are preparing to take a city.


  27. If This Iraqi Dam Collapses Half A Million People Could Die

    An employee works at strengthening the Mosul Dam on the Tigris River, north of the Iraqi city of Mosul, on February 1, 2016. (Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images)

    By Loveday Morris February 13 at 5:00 AM 

    BAGHDAD — If breached, it could unleash a 180-foot-high wave down the Tigris River basin and drown more than half a million people, with floodwaters reaching as far as the Iraqi capital, about 280 miles to the south.

    The collapse of Mosul Dam would be catastrophic for Iraq.

    The dam has been called the most dangerous in the world for the past decade. But recent assessments by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say it is at “significantly higher risk” of failing than previously thought.

    The dam’s structural problems became evident as soon as the reservoir behind it was filled in 1985. It is built on layers of clay and gypsum, a soft mineral that dissolves when it comes into contact with water, and the dam immediately began seeping. Since then, around 100,000 tons of grouting have been poured into the structure to prevent it from collapsing.

    However, even this stopgap measure has been disrupted by the Islamic State, which briefly seized the dam in the summer of 2014. The militants still hold the nearby city of Mosul, their de facto capital in Iraq. Political wrangling and a financial crisis in Iraq are also complicating repair work.

    Employees at the Mosul dam in northern Iraq, February 3, 2016. The Islamic State briefly seized the dam in the summer of 2014. (Azad Lashkari/Reuters)

    [Islamic State offensive in northern Iraq shows group’s resilience]

    The hydroelectric dam almost certainly has an “unprecedented level of untreated voids” in its foundation, according to the Army Corps of Engineers’ Jan. 30 report, which was made public this week when it was submitted to the Iraqi parliament. The monitoring team has identified “significant signs of distress,” it added.

    When the Islamic State took control of the dam, a rigid daily routine of pouring grout into the structure to stop it from collapsing was missed for six weeks, while logistical issues have plagued the process ever since.

    Meanwhile, a government decision to deprive Islamic State-held Mosul of electricity by blocking the flow of water put additional pressure on the dam as water levels rose.....

    They should have asked the Israelis for some engineering advice.


    1. Growing instability concerns due to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) previous control of the dam and poor security led the Iraq government to award a US$2 billion contract to an Italian company, Trevi, in December 2015. The contract covers repairs to the dam and the Italian government plans to send 450 additional troops to provide security at the dam site.

  28. .

    Israel's Unprecedented Geopolitical Strength

    It may seem counterintuitive, or even downright strange, but Israel's geopolitical position is probably stronger now than at any time in the country's history. This is likely to continue at least in the short-to-medium term, but looming long-term challenges should give some pause to Israel's current leaders. They should recall that even way back in the 1960s, then-Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol sardonically referred to Israel as "Shimshon der nebekhdiker," or "poor little Samson."

    It is therefore rich with irony that it is undisputed among Republican presidential candidates that President Barack Obama has "thrown Israel under the bus," while Hillary Clinton promises "no daylight" between the United States and Israel, instead of advocating policies that would strongly encourage Israel to ameliorate the Palestinians' untenable situation. It is, moreover, ironic that Bernie Sanders, who once spent a year on a kibbutz as a young man, prefers to avoid the issue entirely...

    So how can one claim Israel's position is stronger than ever?

    Israelis are stuck in the insecure mindsets of 1948 and 1967, despite the region's dramatic changes. Though the word "Israel" still elicits anger from most Arabs, such passion no longer poses a threat to Israel's existence for the following reasons:

    -- Israel is now an integral part of the regional status quo...

    -- The most important Sunni countries in the region actually see Israel as a de facto ally...

    -- It is more than likely that Iran, if it ever truly was an existential threat, will recede as one in the coming years...

    -- Widespread regional turmoil makes Israel a secondary issue...

    -- Israel's economic prowess is unprecedented...

    It is solely Israel's insistence on holding onto the territories it occupied in 1967 that prevents most of these elements from being publicly acknowledged and undeniable. Israel, because of its own experiences and those of the Jewish people, is stuck in a mindset that was forged in the 1940s, but that is out of kilter with the current era. Of course, it is still in a dangerous neighborhood, but most of its neighbors are now anxious to be friends. How long will Israel refuse to take notice of that and accept its rightful place in the region?


    1. But Quirk, Jack claims Israel is dying...



    2. Jack has said no such thing, "O"rdure.
      You are, once again, projecting.

  29. Anbar Operations dismantle 300 IEDs east of Ramadi

    ( Anbar – The commander of Anbar Operations Ismail Mahalawi announced on Saturday the dismantling of 300 improvised explosive devices east of Ramadi.

    Mahalawi said in a brief statement followed by, “The engineering security forces managed to dismantle 300 improvised explosive devices in al-Sijariya, al-Juwaiba, Husaibah and the main road between al-Khalidiya and Ramadi.”

    Mahalawi added, “The engineering security forces continue to dismantle the IEDs and bombs emplaced by ISIS in houses and roads.”

    300 IEDs

    1. This is interesting:

      Iraqi Security forces prepare to storm Heet and Kabisa Districts

      ( Anbar – The leadership of Anbar police announced on Saturday, that the security forces will storm Heet and Kabisa Districts west of Ramadi (110 km west of Baghdad) to cleanse them from the so-called ISIS, while emphasized that the security forces is working to create safe corridors for the civilians to exit the areas.

      The spokesman of the 14th Emergency Regiment in Anbar police Lt. Saud Harb al-Obeidi said in a statement obtained by, “The security forces mobilized its troops including the army, police and emergency regiments backed by the tribal fighters in the axes of Heet and Kabisa (70 km west of Anbar) in preparation to storm the districts and cleanse them from ISIS fighters.”

      Obeidi added, “The security forces deployed its military equipment in Heet and Kabisa including armors and tanks in preparation to destruct ISIS defense lines and their headquarters,” pointing out that, “The security forces will work to create safe corridors for the exit of civilians to keep them away from the combat zones.”

      Imminent Hit on Hit

  30. I noticed up thread that "O"rdure has claimed that Yahweh and Allah are two words that mean the same thing.

    Synonyms. I will have to remember that ...

    Yahweh = Allah

    hat tip: "O"rdure.