“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 06, 2016

Russian-Backed Syrian Forces Press Aleppo, Refugees Fleeing: Centcom - Aleppo not an immediate concern for the U.S. military, since the opposition group defenders were battling the Assad regime and not ISIS.


Aleppo is about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the Turkish border, and Ankara enjoys wide influence in northern Syria. Most of the rebels' supplies flow across the Turkish border.

Russia has stepped up its airstrikes in areas close to the frontier, and opposition activists in the area say the warplanes have targeted trucks from Turkey in recent weeks.

As the fighting intensifies, thousands of people are fleeing toward the Turkish border. If the government forces surround the city, it could lead to a siege that would isolate tens of thousands of civilians and eventually force the surrender of rebels hold up inside. (ags)

Syria: The Mother of all Battles for Aleppo is Joined

Aided by a massive Russian bombing campaign and Hizbullah and Iranian (or likely actually Afghan) reinforcements, the Syrian Arab Army has broken out of the siege imposed on West Aleppo by rebel forces toward the north, and now seems positioned to besiege East Aleppo, which is under rebel control. The Lebanese newspaper al-Nahar reports on the situation based on a range of Arabic wire services.

In early October, the shoe had been on the other foot, and rebels had cut the Damascus-Aleppo road to the south, depriving regime-held West Aleppo of food and supplies, so that it could have fallen to the Free Syrian Army. Russian aerial bombardment and government troops along with auxiliaries like Hizbullah took back control of the road and allowed deliveries to West Aleppo.

But the western enclave was still besieged from the north, as were two Shiite villages, Nubl and Zahra.

In the past couple of days, the army and its paramilitary allies, especially Hizbullah, relieved Nubl and Zahra. They had been under siege by al-Qaeda (the Nusra Front) since 2012 and only survived via airdrops of food. Had they fallen, hyper-Sunni al-Qaeda would likely have committed bloodthirsty reprisals against the Shiites there, who are said to have organized pro-regime local militias.
Then on Thursday the Syrian Arab Army took Mayer and Kafr Naya, putting the army and its allies in a position to cut off the roads north of Aleppo to Turkey and so put east Aleppo under effective siege. 

Al-Nahar alleges that US military supplies have flowed to the rebels consistently during this fighting, but the small and medium weapons (including T.O.W. anti-tank weaponry) were insufficient in the face of 200 Russia air raids in a matter of hours.

It also quotes a source alleging that the Jerusalem (Quds) Brigade of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) was absolutely central to the new government advance and that its leader, Qasem Soleimani, is on the battlefield.  Al-Nahar also reported that IRGC Brigadier General Mohsen Qajarian was killed north of Aleppo during the fighting.

Steffan de Mistoura suspended the Geneva peace talks in the face of the Russian bombing campaign and advances on the battlefield. It is alleged that the latter were in part made possible because the Russians tricked the US into pressuring Turkey and Saudi Arabia to halt temporarily resupply of the Aleppo rebels while the talks were going on.

I talked a couple years ago to a journalist who had been in Aleppo, embedded with the rebels, and he told me that the rebel forces ran low on supplies every day, but that there appeared miraculously every morning shipments of ammunition. The implication was that they were being resupplied from Turkey, and very efficiently so. That resupply is now in danger.

Rebel forces in east Aleppo, mostly locals and mostly Free Syrian Army rather than Saudi-backed Salafi Jihadis, are now in danger of falling to a regime reconquest of Syria’s largest city. This could be horrible in its reprisals and torture, and thousands of Syrians are already fleeing north to Turkey, but the border there is closed and they are willy nilly camped in the wilderness. 
At the same time, the Kurdish YPG militia has seen an opportunity to unite its Kobane enclave with Afrin to the west, north of Aleppo, and it is also moving into the area above the city, which will reinforce a blockade of rebel-held east Aleppo.

The intrepid Liz Sly at WaPo, among our more experienced and insightful Middle East war correspondents, thinks that the battle of Aleppo could, if the regime wins it, be a turning point in the civil war. The regime could win it all.

Syria’s population was only 22 million before the war, of whom a good 4 million are now outside the country, leaving 18 million. Greater Aleppo before the war had 4 million people. It may still be about that, since people have come in from the insecure countryside. That would be 22 percent of the remaining in-country population. The regime probably has 5 million under its control in Greater Damascus, another couple million in Homs and Hama, and nearly 2 million in Latakia province (which it has completely secured in the past month). That’s 13 of the 18 million, nearly three quarters of the in-country population. It is hard to see how, thereafter, Idlib (1.5 million) and Deraa (1 million) hold out (the regime has already struck into central Deraa in the past couple weeks).

The US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries appear now to have a choice of acquiescing in a Russian fait accompli in restoring Syrian regime control to much of the country, or of attempting to greatly increase rebel capabilities. The latter want anti-aircraft manpads, which the US has so far declined to supply. Liz Sly seems to think that in any case that the supply routes are being cut, and the battle will be over before such materiel can reach the FSA units, even if the US changes its mind about supplying it.

These dramatic events may have impelled the Saudis to talk about sending troops to fight Daesh (ISIL, ISIS), which controls areas east and southeast of Aleppo. The presence of Saudi troops on Syrians soil might at least give Riyadh some say in the post-war settlement and prove an impediment to a mere restoration of the status quo ante. This scenario strikes me as far-fetched and desperate; the Saudi infantry is not known for boldness.

On the other hand, given the massacres committed by the regime and its mass murder of POWs, and recent indiscriminate Russian air strikes on civilian areas, I just find it difficult to believe that it can be restored to power in any straightforward way. Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to have a Chechnya strategy in mind, with Bashar al-Assad playing Ramzan Kadyrov, the secular Chechen strong man ruling Chechnya as a comprador for Moscow after Putin crushed the Muslim fundamentalist second Chechen uprising in the early zeroes.
But Syria is bigger and more complex than Chechnya, and aside from al-Qaeda and perhaps some Gulf donors, outsiders recognized it as Russian province.
The Resistance could go underground and go on fighting, using covert tactics and terrorism, as happened in Sunni areas of Iraq during the prime ministership of Nouri al-Maliki.

The Fat Lady hasn’t sung yet, by a long shot.
—— Related video


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  3. Tens of thousands of Syrians sought refuge in Turkey on Saturday, while those who have already made the crossing waited and worried about the fate of their families on the other side of the border.

    The border gate at Oncupinar, near the southern city of Kilis, was closed, but that did not stop dozens of Syrians from queuing to beg Turkish authorities to allow in their relatives from the other side.

    Syrians are feeling an intensifying Russian assault around the city of Aleppo, and aid workers said on Friday it could soon fall under a full government siege.

    Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said 15,000 people fleeing Aleppo had arrived at Turkey's border, but some media reports put that number significantly higher.

    Sitting in his car with his four children right inside the Turkish side of the border, 43-year-old Ahmet Sadul was hoping to get back into Syria so he could find his relatives. A native of Syria's Azaz, he now lives in Kilis.

    "Now there are thousands of people from Azaz all waiting on the other side. They escaped from Russians. I want to go and take my relatives. They are bombing Syrians all the time."

    "Many people have left Aleppo. But still there are many civilians there. If Russia is successful, we are all dead."

    Russia's intervention with air strikes to help longtime ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has tipped the war in Damascus' favor, reversing gains rebels made last year.

    Turkey, which has taken in more than 2.5 million refugees fleeing the Syrian war, wants Assad out and says only his removal can bring long-term peace.

    Ankara has had an open-door policy to refugees since the start of the civil war, although some of the borders do get shut at times for security or other reasons. Oncupinar has been officially shut since March due to security concerns, although authorities occasionally open it to take in refugees.

    Abdulkerim Hannura, a 32-year-old customs police officer who works on the Syrian side of the border, said Russian warplanes had been bombing Syrian villages for 15 days.

    "People are coming to the border and want to cross into Syria with the hope that they can sneak their relatives back into Turkey," he said.

    "We are trying to save our relatives, our families."

    (Writing by David Dolan Editing by Jeremy Gaunt) REUTERS

  4. The head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard said on Saturday Saudi Arabia lacked the courage to go through with a plan to send ground troops to Syria, and warned they would be wiped out if they went in.

    Mohammad Ali Jafari's blunt words on the Fars news agency were Iran's first official reaction to a statement from its regional rival Saudi Arabia this week that it was ready to join ground operations in Syria if a U.S.-led military alliance decided to start them.

    "(The Saudis) have made such a claim but I don't think they are brave enough to do so ... Even if they send troops, they would be definitely defeated ... it would be suicide,” Jafari was quoted as saying.

    Iran has already sent forces to Syria to back its ally President Bashar al-Assad in his country's five-year-old civil war. Washington and its allies have backed rebels fighting Assad and say he must eventually step down.

    (Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by Andrew Heavens) REUTERS

    1. Saudi Arabia, is losing THE WAR THEY STARTED in Yemen.

      It is laughable that they would invade Syria. The Russians were invited into Syria by the Syrian government.

      Obama and Clinton foolishly got the US involved, picking “winners” and “moderates” amongst the Syrians rebellion.

      The ass stabbing Turks saw an opportunity to gain territory and advantage on the cheap.

      The Syrian government did what any government would do and fought the rebellion, asking for assistance from Russia.

      It is none of the business of the US government.

    2. The “moderates” were always mercenaries paid and supplied by the US, Saudis and Emirates. The Turks were all about killing Kurds. It has blown up in their face. There is no US interest in this fight.

    3. This is going to be the beginning of the end of the House of Saud and the Kurds will get their own country.

      Repeat: There is no US interest in this fight.

  5. Four Turkish soldiers have reportedly been wounded in clashes with Kurds in Diyarbakır, the largest city in the Kurdish southeastern part of the country.

    The Turkish troops battling the Kurdish fighters are using artillery and armor as the firefight continues, Ria Novosti reports. The Turkish Army has cordoned off the area of the clash, which is taking place in the historic Sur neighborhood.

    Diyarbakır is the unofficial capital of the Turkish Kurds and has seen a number of clashes since Ankara launched a crackdown on them in December. Security troops are enforcing a curfew in the city and other large settlements in the southeast.

    Turkish military reported killing over 750 Kurdish fighters from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), considered a terrorist organization by Ankara. The PKK has been waging a guerrilla war on Turkey for decades, seeking autonomy for the Kurdish areas.

    The military crackdown was criticized by international rights organizations as a form of collective punishment of the Kurds. In the Sura neighborhood alone, some 50,000 people have reportedly fled the violence, leaving just 20,000 still in their homes.

    1. The PKK is on the US list of terrorist organizations, it is the equivalent of Hams and Hezbollah, from the US perspective




    9Frederic C. Hof is a Neocon propagandist to get the US involved in a war with Syria. Think not? Read this:

    For over four years, an article of faith for senior Western politicians has been that there is no military solution to the crisis in Syria.

    Properly translated this mantric assertion, still being chanted in 2016, would read as follows: “We in the West will not lift a finger militarily to stop, complicate, or mitigate mass murder in Syria so long as the perpetrators are Bashar al-Assad and his external enablers: Iran and Russia. Therefore someone ought to resolve this odious crisis diplomatically.”

    The suspension of peace talks in Geneva now forces political elites in the West to confront openly that which many already knew privately: There is a military solution, and Russia is trying unashamedly to achieve it.

    U.N. Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura suspended the Geneva talks until February 25 for one reason: Russia had taken full advantage of a peace conference it had helped organize to escalate its military campaign against nationalist rebels in northwestern Syria—a predominantly air campaign that was adding significantly to the horrific death toll of Syrian civilians.

    Just as de Mistura himself emphasized to the Security Council on January 18 that the protection of Syrian civilians in combat operations is neither a precondition nor a confidence-building measure, but rather an indicator of seriousness or the lack thereof in a diplomatic process, so the opposition delegation at Geneva arrived prepared to discuss cease-fire terms in spite of the ongoing carnage. But de Mistura himself saw the uselessness of trying to plunge forward in the face of Russian military escalation.

    Reacting to de Mistura's decision to suspend the talks, Secretary of State John Kerry said, "The continued assault by Syrian regime forces—enabled by Russian airstrikes—against opposition-held areas, as well as regime and allied militias’ continued besiegement of hundreds of thousands of civilians, have clearly signaled the intention to seek a military solution rather than enable a political one." This is potentially important.

    Although Kerry’s statement does not acknowledge that the military solution actually exists, it does imply understanding of a key point. Moscow has used its "co-convener" status of the Vienna peace process (which mandated the Geneva conference) as a cover to distract and occupy Washington and the West while pursuing its political-military objective: Neutralizing the armed nationalist opposition in order to create for the West—for Washington in particular—the horror of a binary choice between Bashar the Barrel Bomber and Baghdadi the False Caliph.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken the measure of the West and has decided that he can pull this off with impunity. There is no guarantee that he can. But the tut-tutting of Western politicians about the mistake Putin is making and the quagmire that awaits him impresses the Russian dictator not in the least.

    He has been schooled by an ever-widening gap between Western (especially American) word and deed in Syria. He has noticed that for all of the verbiage about human suffering, mass homicide, terrified refugees, red lines and people stepping aside, the West has protected not a single Syrian inside Syria from his regrettable client.


    1. {...}


      ...President Barack Obama may well leave office before the horrific choice lands in the Oval Office. As was the case in the last century when American presidents attempted to look the other way when governments elected to slaughter their own citizens, the president can fall back on a solid wall of public and congressional disinclination toward involvement in someone else's problem. Presidential leadership has always been the key variable in saving lives and catalyzing requisite political changes.

      Saving innocent lives is not, however, a universal motivator. So put humanitarian considerations aside: What happens in Syria does not stay in Syria. The gap in Syrian policy between U.S. words and deeds surely has not imposed limits on Vladimir Putin's dangerous and destabilizing behavior in Europe. And if his current offensive in Syria sends yet more waves of refugees in the direction of Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Western Europe, we should not expect Russia's leader to lose sleep.

      Obama may not be the only one hoping to leave office before the piper is paid. Russia may be dying, but Putin's nationalist show of military aggression may buy him a few years in the saddle. Still, it is extraordinarily dangerous. It is a threat to the peace.

      Syrian rebels—including some reportedly armed and trained by the United States—are defenseless against Russian air attacks. If diplomacy is to have a chance—if a military solution is to be avoided—leaving them defenseless is the wrong medicine.

      Obama is now making moves in Europe that recognize the threat posed by Russia: moves from which his successor will benefit. Perhaps—if for no other reasons than to save lives, give diplomacy a chance and curb Russian impunity—he will move in Syria as well.

    2. The insanity of the Neocons never rests,

  7. Here is what Hof wrote in Politico last August 2015:

    ...Having failed miserably as a prophet in 2011 does not deter me from predicting the following: Obama will bequeath to his successor a problem of gargantuan dimensions if he does not change policy course now. Left to the joint ministrations of Assad and the Islamic State, Syria will continue to hemorrhage terrified, hungry and hurt human beings in all directions while terrorists from around the globe feast on the carcass of an utterly ruined state. Western Europe now reaps a whirlwind of desperate and displaced humanity it thought would be limited to Syria’s immediate neighborhood.
    My failure to predict the extent of Syria’s fall was, in large measure, a failure to understand the home team. In August 2011, Barack Obama said Assad should step aside. Believing the president’s words guaranteed decisive follow-up, I told a congressional committee in December 2011 that the regime was a dead man walking. When the president issued his red-line warning, I fearlessly predicted (as a newly private citizen) that crossing the line would bring the Assad regime a debilitating body blow. I still do not understand how such a gap between word and deed could have been permitted. It is an error that transcends Syria.
    I want the president to change course, but I fear that Syrians—Syrians who want a civilized republic in which citizenship and consent of the governed dominate—are on their own. I’ve been so wrong so many times. One more time would be great. It would mean saving thousands of innocent lives. It would mean real support for courageous Syrian civil society activists who represent the essence of a revolution against brutality, corruption, sectarianism and unaccountability. It would mean the reclamation of American honor. It would mean preserving my near-perfect record of getting things wrong. It would be a godsend.

    Read more:


    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has found itself increasingly backed into a corner by Russian bombing in Syria that its diplomacy has so far appeared powerless to stop.

    Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Friday that he has been in continuous contact with the Russians and that the next few days will determine "whether or not people are serious" about a cease-fire, humanitarian access to areas besieged by fighting and the revival of peace talks suspended this week.

    In the meantime, he said, while "civilians, including women and children, [are] being killed in large numbers" and humanitarian access remains denied, the bombing is "not going to stop just by whining about it."

    Earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said publicly that his government saw no reason to stop the airstrikes, which Russia says are targeting "terrorist" groups, including those fighting with the Syrian opposition against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

    Vitaly Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, said Friday that accusations that Russia is targeting civilians and opposition forces were in "bad taste."

    "They'd better put the blame on those who back terrorists," Churkin said as he entered a Security Council closed-door meeting on Syria.

    State Department spokesman John Kirby characterized U.S. efforts to stop the bombing as "assertive diplomacy . . . trying to avert further bloodshed, not escalate the tensions, not make it worse."

    "I recognize that people can argue it's not going fast enough or we're not going far enough," Kirby said. "We're all frustrated by the situation there. But we also need to be mindful of the ultimate goal here, which is an end to the conflict and not an exacerbation of it."

    The State Department, he said, is "working very, very hard" to ensure that all parties that agreed to a U.N. resolution mandating a cease-fire and peace talks "meet their obligations . . . and that includes Russia."

    Kerry, speaking earlier at a news conference with visiting Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, indicated that Russia is not the only party at fault.

    "Russia has indicated to me very directly they are prepared to do a cease-fire," Kerry said. "The Iranians confirmed . . . they will support a cease-fire now. We now have to have . . . all the other parties come to the table and acknowledge that they, too, are prepared to do that. And as of this moment, we don't have that full acknowledgment."

    Kerry is due to meet with Lavrov late next week in Munich, where the 20 members of the International Syria Support Group, including Russia and Assad backer Iran, will hold their fourth meeting to try to forge a cease-fire and a political transition in Syria.

  9. ...
    Still, it is extraordinarily dangerous. It is a threat to the peace.

    There is/was no peace.

    The Syrians will be able to secure their Turkish border, cutting the logistic trail that the Islamic State needs to flourish.

    We now can see that the Kurds most definitely are allied with Assad, in Syria and across the border in Turkey.
    If a person is supportive of the Kurds, they should support Assad.

    Good news is flowing from Syria, even if the refugees are not.


    1. If government forces are able to successfully encircle the city and hold it, and control the province around it, “the war is essentially over,” said one of the senior defense officials.


    2. Northwest of the city, Syrian government forces cut off a major rebel supply route, leading some fighters to abandon the frontline, particularly members of the al Nusra Front, al Qaeda’s Syria arm. The remaining fighters are getting ready for the battle of their lives against Syrian army forces, who hope the fall of Aleppo will be the death knell for rebels seeking Assad’s downfall.


    Recent disclosures show media mogul and controversial Israel supporter Haim Saban is pouring millions of dollars into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.

    Haim Saban and his wife Cheryl together contributed $5 million to the Hillary Clinton Super PAC—Priorities USA Action—between 2015 and 2016 alone, according to disclosures available on, affiliated with the Center for Responsive Politics.

    While the contributions are not surprising from long-time Clinton-backers, $3 million of them notably poured in after the presidential hopeful authored a letter to Haim Saban in July of 2015, seeking advice on "how we can work together” to defeat the growing movement to Boycott, Divest from, and Sanction (BDS) Israel.

    In the note, Clinton touted her record of defending Israel “at every turn,” including her obstruction of efforts to hold Israel accountable for war crimes. “I have opposed dozens of anti-Israel resolutions at the UN, the Human Rights Council, and other International organizations,” she wrote.

    “I condemned the biased Goldstone Report, making it clear that Israel must be allowed to defend itself like any other country,” Clinton continued, referencing a United Nations fact-finding mission into Israel’s December 2008 to January 2009 military assault on Gaza that killed more than 1,400 Palestinians.


    1. For a quick example of the perversity of contemporary publishing, consider Hillary Rodham Clinton's recent book deal: an $8 million advance payment from Simon & Schuster for her memoirs.
      Simon & Schuster, is a subsidiary in Viacom/CBS' media empire, which includes MTV and Paramount Pictures.
      As a celebrity, she has drawing power not only at the ballot box but also in the bookstore--or so book executives hope. To get her on their side of the aisle, they do what they know how to do best, give her lots of money.

      The head of Viacom/CBS is Leslie Moonves, who just happens to be the nephew of David Ben-Gurion.


    2. The next advance she received from Simon& Schuster ...

      The closest thing we have to an official estimate of Clinton's advance comes from industry rumors, reported directly by the New York Post and, more obliquely, by outlets like the Boston Globe. The figure that's floating out there? $14 million. That number hasn't been confirmed by Clinton or the publisher, but it doesn't seem completely out of line with reality. Clinton got $8 million for her previous book, Living History.

      $22 million in advances from the Zionists to Mrs Clinton.


    3. ... the total book sales at somewhere around 350,000. Even if all of those books sold for the full hardcover price of $35, that's only $12,250,000 in total income. Which, we remind you, is less than $14 million.

      The news isn't all bad for the publisher. It is making an investment in Clinton that could pay off if, say, she runs for president and wins.

      ‘Hard Choices’ is a good example of why publishers don’t disclose advances


    4. It is making an investment in Clinton that could pay off if, say, she runs for president and wins.

      Not really a Hard Choice for Leslie Moonves to make, was it?

  11. The Neocons get The GOP as a given.


    Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon, has died at the age of 85.

    Mitchell died in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Thursday, on the eve of the 45th anniversary of the lunar landing, Nasa said. The Palm Beach Post reported that he died at a hospice centre after a brief illness.

    On his only space flight, Mitchell joined Apollo 14 commander Alan Shephard Jr, the first American in space, in the lunar module Antares when it landed on 5 Feb 5 1971.

    Their mission was to deploy scientific instruments and perform a communications test, as well as photograph the lunar surface and any deep-space phenomena, Nasa said.


  13. Libertarian Party candidate: Bernie Sanders vs. Donald Trump would be our 2016 dream

    Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson thinks Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump could be his ticket to having a significant effect on the 2016 race.

    "If the Libertarian candidate for president ever — ever! — has a chance of getting elected or getting prominence on the national stage to actually profess what is to be a Libertarian, it would be Bernie Sanders vs. Donald Trump," Johnson told Business Insider in a recent interview.

    "I mean, that would be the Libertarian wet dream," he quipped of the scenario.

    Johnson ran for president as a Republican in 2012 before changing teams and running as the Libertarian Party's nominee. He dropped by Business Insider's office at the end of last month to pitch his second campaign for the White House.

    "I don't want to be tilting at windmills, right? There are better things to do," Johnson said. "But in this case, I think that at the end of the day, I will end up being the voice of reason in all of this."


    1. But Johnson argued that either of the top-two Democratic presidential candidates — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — would contrast well with a Libertarian contender if real-estate mogul Donald Trump were the Republican nominee.

      "None of this may transpire, right. But if Trump is the nominee, and if Hillary is the nominee — and I think there is certainty about Hillary, unless there's an assassination, and I'm not wishing that upon her — I think people are going to look to: 'Well, what is the other choice?'" he predicted.

      "Keep in mind, too, that the biggest political affiliation in the United States is independent," he added. "Well, who is the third party? Well, the Libertarians are the third party. The Libertarians are going to be on the ballot in all 50 states."

      Johnson also said he was suing to get into the general-election debates, which are typically one-on-one matchups between the Republican and Democratic candidates.

      He said a prominent constitutional lawyer, Bruce Fein, had already filed a lawsuit against the Commission on Presidential Debates based on "the notion that they are a business and that they collude with one another to exclude everyone else."

      Johnson added: "Our contention is that if you're on the ballot on enough states to be mathematically elected, then shouldn't you be included in the presidential debates?"

  14. Centcom Spokesman: Counter-ISIL Momentum Attracts New Tribal Forces

    WASHINGTON, February 5, 2016 — For Iraqis in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, success against the terrorist group is attracting local tribal forces to their ranks, a U.S. Central Command spokesman said today.

    Air Force Col. Patrick Ryder briefed the Pentagon press corps by telephone from MacDill Air Force Base in Florida about several small operations that are playing a role in the counter-ISIL fight in Iraq and Syria.

    Over the past few months the coalition has enabled small joint Iraqi operations in provinces such as Anbar, Kirkuk, Diyala and Ninawa.

    “As momentum against ISIL builds we're seeing local tribal resistance forces throughout these provinces joining with [Iraqi security forces] and [Kurdish security forces] to combat the terrorist group and push them out … and the coalition is enabling these joint operations,” Ryder said.

    Critical Operations

    Carrying out these critical joint operations are indigenous ground forces made up of, for example, Iraqi forces that include fighters from the counterterrorism service and federal police, Kurdish forces like the Peshmerga, and tribal forces that include Sunnis, Turkmen and others fighting ISIL, Ryder said.

    One joint operation begun earlier this week between Beiji and Mosul involved a combination of Iraqi forces, Ninawa tribal fighters and support from the Peshmerga, all enabled by coalition air strikes, he said.

    The operation liberated a couple of villages and killed a large number of enemy fighters, Ryder said, adding that it was an example of momentum seen in the Tigris River Valley that has developed from other successful operations in Beiji.

    Another success is the deleterious effect on ISIL of several layers of pressure applied against them at the strategic, operational and tactical levels, he said.

    Persistent Swarm

    “When you combine these operations with other larger operations we're enabling, such as the Syrian Democratic Forces, operations in northern Syria from the Tishreen Dam to Hasakah, or [Iraqi] operations in Ramadi, you can see that operationally ISIL is under significant pressure,” Ryder said.

    Added to that are strategic layers of pressure from strikes against their logistics centers, command-and-control centers, financial centers, leadership, supply line and methods of making money, he said, “and you can see that ISIL has to contend with several layers of pressure being applied to them simultaneously across Iraq and Syria, like a persistent swarm.”

    Ryder added, “The overall effect on ISIL is that the terror group is weakening operationally and tactically in Iraq and Syria.”

    But Ryder noted that military operations aren’t the only focus of coalition train-and-advise efforts.

    Sense of Normalcy

    “Retaking key population centers is not the end of an operations,” he said, “it's the beginning and the prelude to the requirement by indigenous forces to provide security, basic services and the return to a sense of normalcy for local civilians.”

    Ryder said coalition members are focused on building Iraq's combat power through the Building Partner Capacity program to help Iraqis acquire the added military capability they need to continue fighting ISIL.

    “In line with holding or taking territory, we also focus on building Iraq's capacity to secure newly liberated areas, which is why you see us training federal police,” he added.

    The coalition has trained nearly 18,000 Iraqi forces, which include about 2,000 federal police already trained or in training, Ryder said.


  15. Strikes in Syria

    Attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted two strikes in Syria:

    -- Near Ayn Isa, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle and four ISIL buildings.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 14 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Habbaniyah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Mosul, five strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL assembly areas, three ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle, and eight ISIL command and control nodes.

    -- Near Qayyarah, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL assembly area.

    -- Near Ramadi, three strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed five ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL heavy machine guns, an ISIL recoilless rifle, and an ISIL fuel transporter, six ISIL weapons caches, an ISIL command and control node, an ISIL front end loader, and an ISIL vehicle borne bomb facility.

    -- Near Sinjar, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.

  16. PKK: We are ready to participate in liberation of Mosul

    ( Sulaymaniyah – On Saturday the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) revealed its readiness to participate in the liberation operation of Mosul, while indicated to the necessity of its participation in this operation to back up the security and Peshmerga forces.

    The party’s Spokesman in Sinjar District Akeed Kelari said in a press statement followed by, “The PKK forces are preparing to participate in the liberation operations of Mosul, and will fight the battle of Mosul starting from Tal Afar, Makhmour and Kirkuk areas,” adding that, “We are ready to coordinate with all the forces that participate in the liberation of Mosul.”

    Kelari also pointed out, “Our participation in the liberation of Mosul is very important,” indicating that, “The Iraqi forces and Peshmerga forces cannot liberate Mosul on their own.”

    Picture of PKK Girls

    1. We were only a year off the timeline, amigo, but still ... right as rain.


    2. .


      In fact, as the fate of Aleppo hangs in the balance, these events have – as no other perhaps since the beginning of the war – highlighted the connections between the Syrian tragedy and the strategic weakening of Europe and the west in general. This spillover effect is something Moscow has not only paid close attention to, but also in effect fuelled. The spread of instability fits perfectly with Russia’s goal of seeking dominance by exploiting the hesitations and contradictions of those it identifies as adversaries.

      Aleppo will define much of what happens next. A defeat for Syrian opposition forces would further empower Isis in the myth that it is the sole defender of Sunni Muslims – as it terrorises the population under its control. There are many tragic ironies here, not least that western strategy against Isis has officially depended on building up local Syrian opposition ground forces so that they might one day push the jihadi insurgency out of its stronghold in Raqqa. If the very people that were meant to be counted on to do that job as foot soldiers now end up surrounded and crushed in Aleppo, who will the west turn to? Russia has all along claimed it was fighting Isis – but in Aleppo it is helping to destroy those Syrian groups that have in the past proved to be efficient against Isis.

      If there were ever any doubts about Russia’s objectives in Syria, events around Aleppo will surely have cleared them.

      Vladimir Putin has duplicated in Syria the strategy he applied to Chechnya: full military onslaught on populated areas so rebels are destroyed or forced out...


    3. .

      A US alliance with the PKK? Problematic on a number of levels.


    4. The supply lines running through Aleppo have to be closed, before the Syrian Army can clear Raqqa.

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

    1. The al-Qeada operatives that Israel would prefer governing Syria are losing.

      It is a great day.

    2. al-Qeada operatives are one the run, maybe they will find sanctuary in Israel, as they have in the past.

      Bibi giving solace to al-Qeada terrorists in an Israeli hospital

    3. Jack you were always a checkers player in a world of chess.

      Your binary thought process on complicated issues, like the middle east, is like listening to a 4 year describe particle physics.


    4. The Persians invented chess, "O"rdure.

      I'm just watching the game unfold.
      Got lots of popcorn.

    5. The Persians did, and they funded the REBUILDING of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem...

      Know the story well...

      You remember JERUSALEM....

      The Temple Mount?

      Jewish property eternally.

    6. Jack, are you saying you are now an Iranian?

      Finally we learn of where you come from.

    7. Your inability to read the English language is again raising its head, "O"rdure.

      I just said the Persians invented chess, and I am watching the game unfold.
      With plenty of popcorn.

      The "Jews" that returned from Babylon to Palestine, they were turned by Nebuchadnezzar.
      They being the most prominent citizens of Judah: professionals, priests, craftsmen, and the wealthy. Turned to the "Dark Side", they were. Easily "bought off".


  18. The southern half of Lebanon is now secured from the Israeli air force, by the Russian S-400 air defense system.
    The blow back from the Israeli & Saudi sponsored "Civil War", not quite what Bibi expected.

    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?

    by - Carolina Landsmann
    read more:

    This is what is known as LOSING, "O"rdue.
    Not body counts but loss of strategic security.
    Loss of the ability to project power.
    Loss of security on the home front.

    House wives slaughtered in their kitchens ... the same feeling of insecurity the Palestinians have known for fifty years, it's now coming home to roost in the homes of the colonizers.

    Where the hell is the security you promised?

    1. The southern half of Lebanon is now secured from the Israeli air force, by the Russian S-400 air defense system.
      The blow back from the Israeli & Saudi sponsored "Civil War", not quite what Bibi expected.

      Really? What promises has Russia made to Lebanon that no one else knows about?

      Do you really think Russia will defend Southern Lebanon from an IDF Retaliation for another Hezbollah act of war?

      Jack "I murder civilians for cash" Hawkins says:
      This is what is known as LOSING, "O"rdue.
      Not body counts but loss of strategic security.
      Loss of the ability to project power.
      Loss of security on the home front.

      You jump to conclusions not in evidence too often. I'd say the wounding of 5000 and the killing of 2000 Hezbollah aint making them stronger, in fact there are higher and higher desertion rates and failure to report.

      Hezbollah Fighters Are Fed Up With Fighting Syria’s War
      The Assad regime in Damascus has depended on Lebanon’s Army of God to shore up its weakened troops. But now many Lebanese fighters are refusing to serve.
      BEKAA VALLEY, Lebanon — They joined to fight Israel in Lebanon, but after multiple combat tours in the Syrian cities of Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, and around Damascus, Hezbollah reservists tell The Daily Beast that they are no longer willing to die in Syria’s unending, bloody civil war.

      No Hezbollah has been beaten up...

      Nasrallah Admits Weakened Hezbollah No Match for Israel

      In remarkable interview with Syrian state TV, Hezbollah chief says his group can't take on Israel alone, as it struggles on multiple fronts.

      As for your out of context post:

      House wives slaughtered in their kitchens ... the same feeling of insecurity the Palestinians have known for fifty years, it's now coming home to roost in the homes of the colonizers.
      Where the hell is the security you promised?

      The Palestinians have been murdering innocent Israelis, Americans and others in Israel (and around the world) for decades. The current round? Still is a horrible savage like behavior, by your friends. But it is really anything new? No.

      As for the feeling of insecurity felt by the Fakistinians? They fear their leaders after all it's those who start the stupid losing wars time and time again.

      As for your accusation that Israel is nothing but a colony?

      Whether you approve or not? Israel is the Jewish Nation State.

      It IS...

      Now tell us WHY you are not a colonizer yourself? (albeit with NO historic ties to the lands you squat on)

    2. BTW the good news? The palestinians are feeling real insecurity by the russians, iranians, syrians, hezbollah and the shite iraqis that are mass murdering them...

      Camp after camp of arabs that call themselves "palestinians" in syria and lebanon have been starved and bombed by their bother arabs.... Gaza's death toll is TINY compared to Assad's barrel bombs and Russian bombers and Iranian non-aimed artillery...

      yeah the roosters are coming home to roost

      That's why another 70,000 arabs are newly minted refugees huddled to get into turkey...


      Karma is a bitch...

    3. Hezbollah was never an offensive threat to Israel, "O"rdure.
      Now their defensive capabilities are enhanced, by the S-400 air defense systems placed in Syria.

      The Russians will appreciate what Hezbollah has done, fighting the their common enemy, the Islamic terrorists sponsored by Israel and Saudi Arabia.

      The ability of Israel to project air power over Lebanon and into Syria, is gone.

      Just because Hezbollah spokesmen say something, does not make it true.
      Or do you now consider Hezbollah to be truthful, a reliable source of data?

    4. As for being a colonizer, the Apache are citizens of the US, part of our society, our cultural fabric.
      The same cannot be said for the Israeli and the people they dispossessed.
      People that you radical Israeli deny even exist, as a people.

      The wheels are falling off your analogy wagon, "O"rdure.

    5. Jack "I am a self confessed war criminal" Hawkins says:

      Jack HawkinsSat Feb 06, 03:08:00 PM EST
      Hezbollah was never an offensive threat to Israel, "O"rdure.
      Now their defensive capabilities are enhanced, by the S-400 air defense systems placed in Syria.

      1. Hezbollah kidnaps and murders Israels. It starts wars. It murders Israel's civilians.

      Describe it any way you wish.

      As for THIER defensive capabilities being enhanced by Russian s-400?

      Please provide any Russian statement that declares Hezbollah under the direct protection of Russia in any circumstances in Lebanon is and when Hezbollah attacks Israel.

      Bet you you can't

    6. Jack "I sell weapons to the mexicans" Hawkins says:

      The Russians will appreciate what Hezbollah has done, fighting the their common enemy, the Islamic terrorists sponsored by Israel and Saudi Arabia.


      Once again your lack of knowledge of the Russians is telling..

    7. Not at all, "O"rdure.
      I understand that the Russians are as self-serving as the Israeli.
      I also understand that they wish to expand their influence and damage the Saudi-Israeli-Egyptian alliance.
      What better way to 'turn' the Egyptians but by downing a few Israel F16's over flying Lebanon?

      It would give pause to the Saudi, as well.
      While boosting the Russian influence with the Arabic 'Man on the street'.

      It would be a propaganda coup, for the Russians

    8. And yet they haven't.

      The only PLANES downed over Lebanon?

      Were Russian MIGS by Israel.


  19. Jack "off" Hawkins says: The ability of Israel to project air power over Lebanon and into Syria, is gone.


    Can you PROVE that?

    Syrian media claimed the Israel Air Force targeted at least seven Hezbollah targets in Lebanon’s Qalamoun region late on Saturday.


    This is AFTER the Russians installed their s-400's


    1. Jack "the killer" Hawkins says: Jack HawkinsSat Feb 06, 03:10:00 PM EST
      As for being a colonizer, the Apache are citizens of the US, part of our society, our cultural fabric.

      Are you now claiming you are an Apache???

      Which is it Iranian or Apache?

    2. Sorry Jack, Jews are the 1st peoples of Jerusalem, hebron, bethlehem, Galilee, Judea and Samaria..

      Live it, learn it, hate it if you must?

      But it aint going anywhere...

      Now the fakistinains? they will not exist in 100 years.

    3. The Russians announce on 25 Nov2015 that they will deploy the S-400.
      They were not there in December, dimwit.

      It was Israel's "last Chance", their window of opportunity has been closed.

      Dateline 23 Dec2015

      Moscow deployed the S-400, an advanced air defense system with surface-to-air missiles, at the end of last month after Turkey shot down a Russian jet that violated the airspace of the NATO country. The system was reported to be installed in the coastal Latakia Province at Bassel al-Assad International Airport, which also serves as a base for Russian and Syrian regime forces.

      According to the Institute for the Study of War, Russia’s S-400 system has a range of up to 250 miles and the capability to track and target aircraft at multiple bases in the region. The think tank noted on Monday that two of those bases have a U.S. presence: Incirlik Airbase in Turkey, and the Al-Shaheed Muwaff­aq Salti Airbase in Jordan.

      “The S-400 SAM system is capable of contesting most of the airspace over Syria, southern Turkey, northern Jordan, a significant portion of Israel, as well as all of Lebanon and Cyprus,” the institute said.

      No reports of Israel airstrikes since then, are there?

    4. The Israeli had their "Window of Opportunity" and they took it.

      But now ... we'll just have to wait and see how many pawns Bibi is willing to put at risk.

      How does the S-400 deployed to Syria enhance Israeli security?

      It does not

    5. "O"rdure, go back to your ESL class, your reading comprehension is deplorable.
      Get a tuition refund.

    6. Jack "I kill civilians" Hawkins, I am an American, now you? Many here have said your English skills are lacking and that all things point to you being a arab middle easterner.

    7. Jack: How does the S-400 deployed to Syria enhance Israeli security?

      SO now you start your normal wiggle wiggle wiggle process...

      You make an unprovable statement and when challenged? You modify it...



    8. Read the thread, "O"rdure.
      It starts with this ...

      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?

      by - Carolina Landsmann
      read more:

      The meme has not changed, at all...
      Go get your refund, the ESL teacher cheated you.
      Or you are a dimwit, one or the other

  20. Yeah, Rat, we were a bit optimistic on the timeline, but we understood who had to win.

    I don't understand how anyone with even a passing acquaintance with History, and/or Economics, could have thought, for a minute, that the headcutters could (would be allowed to) take Iraq.

    1. the headcutters are growing and changing locations..

      it's like squshing jello.

    2. I don't bother your comments;

      don't attach your idiocy to mine.

    3. The Islamic State is now the richest terrorist organization in the world, said UN Secretary Ban ki-moon in a lecture in London Friday. The group, which in June 2014 first localized itself in Iraq and Syria, now has 34 “official provinces” in 21 countries with 50 affiliates. This number is likely to grow in 2016, he warned.
      Ban said U.N member states should prepare for an increase in attacks by ISIS affiliates from countries such as the Philippines, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Libya and Nigeria, posing an “unprecedented threat” by traveling to their targeted destinations. "The recent expansion of the ISIL sphere of influence across west and North Africa, the Middle East and south and Southeast Asia demonstrates the speed and scale at which the gravity of the threat has evolved in just 18 months.”

    4. .

      By the time we got to Iraq, ISIS had reached its apogee there.

      There was no way they could conquer Kurdistan, not with Kurds from 4 countries opposed to them. It is very unlikely they could have taken Baghdad and the south. The Iraqi government forces might not be much but they would also have been facing the Shia militias and it is unlikely Iran would have let it happen.


  21. Jack, remember this one?

    Hezbollah was never an offensive threat to Israel, "O"rdure.
    Now their defensive capabilities are enhanced, by the S-400 air defense systems placed in Syria.


    Wiggle wiggle wiggle

    1. 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?

      by - Carolina Landsmann
      read more:

    2. You are either being intentionally obtuse, "O"rdure, or you are a dimwit.

      The choice is for the reader to make.

      Personally, I know you are dimwit. You've proven it, time and again.

    3. Ah, so when you are caught distorting and posting out of context you reach for insults and slander.

      Jack, you have claimed many things here at the blog.

      We all know the truth, we KNOW who you actually are.

      We are no longer afraid of your threats, stalking and illegal behaviors.

      You are a nothing.

    4. Here is some fun news.

      Nearly 100,000 Palestinians have fled Syria to Europe and are living in harsh conditions, Ziad al-Aloul, head of the Palestinian Forum in Europe, revealed on Sunday.

      Aloul told the Al-Resalah online newspaper that some 500,000 Palestinians have fled their homes in Palestinian refugee camps in Syria.

      Only 200,000 of them have remained inside Syria, while the rest have found shelter in a number of Arab countries.

      He also revealed that about 1,000 Palestinians have drowned in the sea while they were on their way to Europe, and that 100 of them were still missing.

      Now aint that a kick in the shorts...

    5. .

      If you consider the subject of refugees being created and dying a kick in the pants.


    6. He is a scumbag of the first order.

      Too stupid and dishonest to answer why the Palestinians are refugees in the first place.

      He has all the human empathy of a Funktionshäftling.

      Get lost kapo.


    7. That you were once afraid of words written on a blog, "O"rdure, is telling.

      That you are no longer afraid ... a lie.

  22. Anbar tribal fighters repulse ISIS attack north of Ramadi

    ( Anbar – On Saturday the Commander of Anbar tribal fighters Tariq Yusuf al-Asal announced the participation of Anbar tribal fighters in the repulse of ISIS attack on the northern axis of Ramadi.

    Asal said in a brief statement obtained by, “The 4th and 2nd regiments of Anbar tribal fighters under the command of Colonel Moayed al-Hamishi and Lieutenant Colonel Odai al-Delimi joined the army forces to repulse ISIS attack on the northern axis of Ramadi.”

    “The army forces and tribal fighters managed to kill dozens of ISIS members during the attack and inflicted heavy human and material losses on them.”



    1. The news gets better and better... The Israeli, ever more disheartened.

      As evidence right here, at the Elephant Bar


    2. As evidenced right here, at the Elephant Bar

    3. Sure, 70,000 arabs homeless by the russians on the turkey border, 100,000 palestinians homeless by the syrians and iranians (and their proxies)

      The popcorn is buttered.

    4. And 4 million Arab Palestinians living under military occupation in Palestine/Israel

      There is lots of popcorn.
      More than enough to go around


  23. It will not be long and our little "O"rdure will once again libel Rocco Wachman.

    He's libeled that Jewish cowboy in the past, for reasons known only to "O"rdure and his G-d.


    1. But Zionist will do what they must, to garner a "win", even kill Jewish refugees.

      Zionists murder civilians, Jewish refugees in a False Flag operation

      On Nov. 25, 1940, a boat carrying Jewish refugees from Nazi Europe,
      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.

      So it is of little wonder that a Zionist would knowingly libel a Jew, in the United States.


    2. The only question is why "O"rdure would libel an innocent.


    3. What was the propaganda value to libeling Rocco Wachman?

    4. Ah Jack back to your old tricks...

      SO I guess I must go back to mine...


  24. Watch Live - Republican Debate 2016 from New Hampshire

    ps. Would you consider adding CC to your blogroll?

  25. Iraqi warplanes destruct six ISIS headquarters in two provinces

    ( Baghdad – Media officials with the Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday the destruction of a workshop for booby-trapping vehicles and manufacturing explosives as well as six headquarters belonging to ISIS during an aerial bombardment in Salahuddin and Anbar provinces.

    The officials said in a statement received by, “Based on intelligence by the National Security Agency, Iraqi Sukhoi warplanes destructed a laboratory for booby-trapping vehicles and manufacturing explosives in the outskirts of al-Siniyah,” noting that, “Most of the ISIS dead were of foreign nationalities.”

    The statement also added, “The warplanes destroyed two headquarters and a store of weapons as well as a workshop for booby-trapping vehicles in the area of Abu Shajal, in addition to a gathering of terrorists west of Makshifa and four ISIS headquarters in Albu Assaf in Ramadi.”

    Iraqi Warplanes

  26. Yep the arab occupied middle east is falling apart.

    Next ? Iran.

    1. No, I'd be on Israel going up n flames, first.

      All the elements are there, it's a tinderbox.

  27. The Arabstinians don't deserve a state.

    The only goal of it would be to kill other human beings.


    1. Then they are Israelis, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

      One State or Two, there are no other options.

      It really is doubtful that those 'new' Israelis will be voting Likud?
      Look to South Africa for an illustrative lesson in the One State solution


    2. Or watch those settlement burn.

      That will be the start of the payback for the Israeli killing a Palestinian child every three days, on average. The settlers are already not safe in their kitchens, in the middle of the day.

      Those Palestinian folks have been radicalized by the "Occupation", no doubt about it.

  28. While Sodastream is now trading at $13.21.

    The market value of that company has been decimated by the Boycott Divest Sanction movement.

    The stock was trading at $72.82 when it was first targeted.
    The US consumers are shunning the company's products.
    Products which are pretty good, competitive to be sure, but sales are expected to decline another 19% in 2016.

    The Israeli are in for a tough economic period, as the EU and US will refuse to allow product manufactured in the Occupied Territories to be labeled "Made in Israel".

    It has the Israeli business community shitting bricks.

    1. But that the Government of
      Israel objects to the "Truth in Labeling" it is another example of how the Zionist confirm that those Occupied Territories are, in their judgement, part of Israel.

      Their past labeling of the products manufactured there, another proof of their 'control'.

  29. Only in your world, Stalker.

    I'll tell you what pisses me off - American and Western women piss me off.

    What pampered worthless crappers....

    They never complain nor protest about the true oppression of women in the Arab/Moslem world.

    A women there is 50& of a human being. In Saudi they can't go outside with some minder. Can't drive.

    Where's the outrage ?

    On campus ? Among the finger clicking co-eds ?


    What a joke.

    At least in France they got Brigette Bardot.

    But here ?

    In USA ?


    I can think of only one......

    Pam Geller, bless her to heaven, that good woman.

    American women ought to hang their heads in total shame.

    1. a woman is 50% of a human being

      All Arabstine would be is another hating woman, oppressing, missile launching, apartheid (no Jew or Christian will ever set foot in our lands) militant bent on Jewish genocide piece of shit state.

      Why bother ?

    2. You reading the "Old Testament" again?

    3. Go away, moron.

      Stalk Quirk, or Ash.

    4. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, those other fellas do not post the mindless crap that you do, so there is no need to refute them.

      As I've written before, if you do not want the responses, do not post here at the Elephant Bar. If you continue to post drivel, you will continue to be rebuked.

    5. How do you have so much time to post, when I'd think you'd be spending all your time on your super secret defense project off the coasts of Panama ?

      That's what I don't understand, how you defend our country and post here as well.

      You are indeed a man of such incredible energy !


      People don't call you 'the crapper' for no reason at all.


    6. You do not understand most things, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

      There is no one to blame for that, but yourself.

  30. Missed the debate, but the talking heads are saying that Rubio had his 'Dan Quayle' night, which doesn't sound so good.

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

  32. Trump Triumphant

    A strong night for the governors, but a good night for the frontrunner.

    11:18 PM, Feb 06, 2016 | By Jonathan V. Last

    Manchester, N.H.

    The big media story from the debate will be Marco Rubio’s confrontation with Chris Christie. But the larger picture might be about how well Donald Trump did.

    Trump was relatively reserved. He wasn't bombastic. Or erratic. He was—by Trumpian standards—presidential? Okay, let's not get crazy. Trump wasn't able to stay in check for the full three hours—he couldn't help himself from lashing out at Cruz in his closing statement. And where candidates often lash out at the media when they get in trouble in a debate, Trump attacked the audience. The move was classic pro-wrestling—like Vince McMahon baiting the crowd. And it was so crazy that it kind of worked.

    But here's the thing: Trump had, easily, his worst moment in any of the debates so far. Jeb Bush gutted him on eminent domain. Trump has never lost an exchange so decisively. Yet Trump wound up skating past that defeat.

    Partly it was the dynamics of the debate that favored Trump. Aside from eminent domain, Bush focused on Rubio and Christie looked like he was on a kamikaze mission to destroy the Florida senator. Nobody else even glanced Trump's way.

    And in spots, Trump was pretty good. His full-throated law-and-order defense of the police is likely to play well with Republican voters. When he talked about James Foley he—again, by Trumpian standards—was somber and serious.

    Yet what really made Trump the winner is this: He entered the debate with a commanding lead in the New Hampshire polls and his only worry was a surging Rubio. Rubio got stopped cold—but by a guy who's polling at 5 percent here. The second-place slot got more muddled by the debate, not less. And that's good news for the front-runner.

    The net effect of tonight's debate will probably be to preserve—or even extend—Trump's position on Tuesday night.

    Seems like a fair analysis.

    Carly Fiorina should have had a place on the stage, though.


    1. Carly Fiorina should have had a place on the stage, though.

      That she did not after beating many of those who were on stage in Iowa, well ...
      It is illustrative of the GOP's "War on Women".

      The Republicans as misogynists, like you, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

    2. You love Islam. rat's ass.

      In Ialam women can't run away, like your 'wife' did, fleeing from you to Central America soon as she 'dropped the kid' here in USA, Dead Beat Dad.

      That girl had a real head on her shoulders.

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. February 6, 2016

    Fun with numbers: The real story behind the unemployment report

    By Rick Moran

    On the surface, the January jobs numbers appear to be "not bad." There were 151,000 jobs created, and the official unemployment rate dropped below 5%.

    But the story inside the numbers is really, really awful. The Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates job creation and loss using two different measurements: the Current Population Survey and "Establishment" data from the Current Employment Statistics. Usually, the two measurements are roughly the same.

    But how do you explain this, BLS?

    Consider these BLS numbers based on household data. In January, there were 25,328,000 "foreign born" workers employed, a one-month drop of 98,000.

    In January, there were 123,710,000 "native born" men and women employed, a one-month drop of 567,000.

    Analysts note that there are several ways to count jobs created and lost but the losses shown among men and women, foreign born and immigrants, is significant, said a congressional expert, who told Secrets, "Maybe big thing this month is just the decline in number of native born workers drops over half million in a month?"

    That means that the actual number of jobs created was about 650,000. What kind of jobs were they? Zero Hedge Blog refers to the "Waiter and Bartender Recovery" – an apt way to describe the fact that 70% of those jobs are minimum-wage positions.

    Marketwatch thinks the numbers are "fishy":

    1. Manufacturing mojo?

      By virtually all accounts, U.S. manufacturers are struggling to grow amid a decline in exports and a big drop in demand among energy producers. Yet the industry supposedly added 29,000 new jobs in January to mark the biggest gain in 14 months.

      Believable? Many economists are skeptical. And even if the job increases are real, some predict hiring will slow again next month. After all, manufacturers only added 33,000 jobs all of 2015.

      White-collar woes

      Businesses and professional firms that employ white-collar workers added only 9,000 jobs last month, the smallest gain in more than two years.

      Quite a comedown for a segment of the economy that has led the way in job creation during the recovery. These jobs increased by an average of 52,000 a month in 2015.

      The poor performance can be blamed on a sharp decline in temp jobs after the end of the holiday season — they fell 25,000 last month. But it was still a surprisingly weak number that will raise eyebrows if it persists.

      Retailer rebound

      Retailers didn’t add as many workers as expected for the holiday season. No surprise. Sales at most traditional retailers such as Macy’s M, -1.18% have been surprisingly soft as consumers save up or seek better deals online.

      So how to explain a whopping 58,000 gain in January that led all industries? That was the biggest gain in almost four years. Even more surprising, department stores added the most new jobs in the retail sector: 15,000. The last time they hired that many people was at the end of 2013.

      Every so often a monthly employment report is full of so many irregularities that it pays to discount the report. This might be one of those times.

      We've commented several times over the years about the BLS cooking the books on jobs. James Pethokoukis lists some other stats that tell far more of the real story about the employment picture than the bare-bones numbers highlighted by the media:

      Not everything was great: job gains far short of 185,000 expectations (though averaging 231,000 the past three months), U-6 unemployment-underemployment rate unchanged at 9.9%, long-term unemployment worsened, labor force participation and employment rate still way below pre-recession levels, wages gains short of what you would expect to see in a full-throttle economy. Particularly vexing for Barclays was job weakness in the service sector.

      In other words, the job situation in America still sucks, and the president is blowing smoke by touting the numbers as good news.

      The only really good thing about the economy right now is gas under $2 and that's thanks to our frackers, and no thanks to O'bozo or the Democrat Party.

  35. Carly didn't make the cut. The Republicans stuck with the previously worked out and agreed upon formula for participating in the debate.

    If a special place had been made for Carly someone else would have been pissed.

    Judge Jeanine is on !

    Cheers !

    It's called being gender neutral, which is all the rage these days.

    If women keep this up they may find their pretty asses drafted one of these days.

    1. Carly didn't make the cut. The Republicans stuck with the previously worked out and agreed upon formula for participating in the debate.

      If a special place had been made for Carly someone else would have been pissed.

      It's called being gender neutral, which is all the rage these days.

      If women keep this up they may find their pretty asses drafted one of these days.

      Judge Jeanine is on !

      Cheers !

    2. Th GOP put their losers on the stage.

      Their "Formula" discriminatd against the woman who had beat most of the men up there.

      Th GOP is waging a "War on Women", amply illustrated by keeping the only woman in their midst off the stage.

  36. As for Bernie, it turns out there’s a reason he has been vague about just which kibbutz he lived on as a young man before his more obvious anti-Israeli bent (he wanted to deny Israel weapons before the Yom Kippur War, for example) was patent. It was a Stalinist kibbutz that took its cues about Zionism from Moscow, whose ultimate aim was the end of Israel:

    “Bernie Sanders wasn't there because he liked Israel. Hashomer Hatzair did not like Israel. It ultimately wanted to destroy it. He was there because he was far left. Perhaps even further left than he has admitted.”

    February 7, 2016

    You Cannot Support Israel’s Existence (and Ours) and Vote Democratic This Election

    By Clarice Feldman

    The Iowa Democratic caucus which I’ve already described as akin to the Marxist Zimbabwe Farmers-workers confabs is over, and it appears -- as Mark Steyn ably notes -- “almost certain” that Hillary Clinton did not win it...........

    Heh, if you don't see the humor in Bernie having lost through fraud by that old fraud Hillary, why, you don't have a sense of humor.

    This election cycle is best we've had in a long time as far as human interest, humor, political farce, and, alas, destiny is concerned.

    Old Bernie, well, young Bernie then, was on a commie Soviet kibbutz in Israel. It figures.

    What an asshole.

    His first wife left him after three months living in a maple sugar shack and him doing zero.

    Another woman with a brain.....


    1. And the GOP winner stole the Iowa caucuses, by lying about Dr Carson, as well.

      The only way to beat the boys in Washington DC ...

  37. Actually, I just learned from Judge Jeanine, it was ABC News that axed Carly, not the Republicans.

    ABC News judged she didn't make their list.

    ABC News is now know as the Anybody But Carly network.

    1. And the RNC let them do it, when the girl was beating their boys.

      But when MSNBC beat up on the boys, the RNC yanked the debate from NBC and gave it to Mr Murdock.

      The Republicans "War on Women" is amply illustrated by their actions, if not their words.

    2. Not even a nice try, not even a cigarette butt for that one, bullshitter.

      Quit looking under the park benches, try over by the urinals, you might find yourself a fitting soggy cigar there.

      Need a light ?

    3. So, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, now you parraet the Party line and think Ms Carly did not deserve to be on the stage.

      You certainly are without a spine.