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

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Deuce returns from Moscow after lunch with Putin

Prior to Putin leaving  for discussions with Netanyahu, Deuce and Putin met for lunch to discuss matters on trade relations and had a frank sharing of views on the situation in the Middle East.

By mutual agreement no further statements will be made on the talks.


  1. :):):):)

    Please, though, did you talk of the world issue of transgender/all gender rest rooms ?

    What is the Russian attitude here ?

    1. No, but I highly recommend Cafe Pushkin for lunch:

      The Menu:

    2. The Chicken Kiev Caesar Salad was a work of art.

    3. followed by:

      Grilled sea-bass with roasted potatoes and vegetables

    4. I passed on dessert but had a chocolate hot drink, made at the table, that was amazing. A fine rich dark chocolate soup, simply called , Chocolate.

    5. And, how many pounds did you gain ?

      Be honest now....

      Marie Osmond is hope for us all.

    6. "A fine rich dark chocolate soup"

      Good Grief, that's worse than me and my Hershey bars.

    7. Close as I could find to a Russian Chocolate Soup recipe -

      BellaOnline's Chocolate Editor

      Chocolate Soup Recipe

      Heat up with chocolate soup. Soup no longer needs to be the first course. Finish your meal with dessert soup. This chocolate soup is thicker than a hot chocolate and thinner than a pudding. Enjoy this treat with homemade cinnamon breadsticks.

      Chocolate Soup Recipe
      Serves 4


      2 cups milk
      2 cups heavy whipping cream
      1/2 cup milk chocolate, chopped
      1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped
      1/2 cup Kahlua or other coffee flavored liqueur
      1 tsp. vanilla
      1 tbsp. flour


      1. Combine all the ingredients except flour in a medium to large sized sauce pan.
      2. Simmer on medium heat.
      3. Lower the heat once it starts to boil and constantly whisk for a few minutes.
      4. In a separate bowl add the flour with 1 tablespoon of the chocolate mixture and mix until flour is dissolved.
      5. Add this back to the remaining chocolate and continue whisking until it starts to thicken.
      6. Pour into bowls and serve warm.

  2. The Saudis are being ditched by the US in favor of the Iranians. Netanyahu is trying to curry favor with Russia as an insurance policy to continue the US military and political shelter afforded to Israel by the US.

    1. Israel sees that America under Obama is untrustworthy.


      A brutal, murderous regime that has no problems with use of excessive violence to get what it wants.

      Russia wants a warm water port in syria. PERIOD

      The funny thing?

      Iran will bite Russia on the ass sooner than later....

      Already happening in Syria..

      Putin and Iran deserve each other.

      Just wait for more islamic terror to strike Moscow....

    2. I think Netanyahu is waiting for the USA election returns.

      He's sick of Obama, as most people are, save Rufus.

      I think the US Embassy is headed for Jerusalem.

      Just take a look at the recent polls from California.

      Trump is going to be the Republican nominee.

      And, the next President.

    3. It's certainly strange.

      In Melania, we will have the first center fold woman as First Lady in our history....

      Which is fine with me.

      She certainly beats Pat Nixon, say, or Rosalynn Carter....

      And Trump's daughter has converted to Judaism....

      It's hard to get one's head around all this with Trump.

      Never Hillary !

      Pics of our new First Lady -;_ylt=A86.J7p0FhtX_AkAYFAPxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTByZDNzZTI1BGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMyBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw--?p=Melania+Trump&fr=yhs-itm-001&hspart=itm&hsimp=yhs-001


    4. Melania has more brains than Rosalynn or Pat, too.

      More brains than the both of them....

    5. .

      Trump is a flaming idiot.


    6. 17


      And you were elected dog catcher just when ????


    7. Oof: First poll of Indiana shows Trump leading by six, new poll of California shows Trump leading by 18

      Apr 22, 2016 2:01 PM by Allahpundit

      Hot Air

  3. .

    And speaking of Russia...

    Here's something sobering...

    Outnumbered, Outranged, and Outgunned: How Russia Defeats NATO

    When asked two weeks ago in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee whether the Army was “outranged” by any adversary, U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley said: “Yes … the ones in Europe, really Russia. We don’t like it, we don’t want it, but yes, technically [we are] outranged, outgunned on the ground.”

    Given Russia’s aggression in the Ukraine, this is sobering testimony. But is it accurate? Unfortunately, yes: Nearly two years of extensive wargaming and analysis shows that if Russia were to conduct a short-warning attack against the Baltic States, Moscow’s forces could roll to the outskirts of the Estonian capital of Tallinn and the Latvian capital of Riga in 36 to 60 hours. In such a scenario, the United States and its allies would not only be outranged and outgunned, but also outnumbered...

    The article goes on to provide details as to how NATO would be Outranged, Outgunned, and Outnumbered were Russia to suddenly atack the Balkans.

    As I said, sobering stuff and IMO proof of the misguided US policy of picking up the tab for European defense instead of forcing them to maintain viable defenses on their own. Admittedly, not an easy thing to do when you have 29 separate countries making up the UN.


    1. "...sobering stuff and IMO proof"

      Yeah, well that's YOUR opinion, in MY opinion 90 proof is NOT sobering stuff.


      ...making up the PU

    2. Q is 100 proof, don't sell him short....

    3. .

      At 2:44 am, its easy to hit the 9 instead of the 8 by mistake.


  4. How many countries in NATO, Quirk, Flaming Idiot ?

    How many in the EU ?


    1. piddle piddle piddle as my Aunt would have said...

      Maybe Quirk, Flamed Out Idiot, is thinking of Galaxies in the Galactic Confederation ?

      (Thank our lucky stars Quirk is not running for President, what with the women being the majority of voters......and we know how irresistible the old dog is before women on juries)

    2. Quirk's Mutt Ashtray For Sale

      $19.95 from PeeQ Industry

      (Item condition:

      “Pre owned. No chips or cracks. Please note. Thanks. Q.”)

    3. * Available for personal pick up at Q Towers, Detroit, Michigan. Packaging fee not included*

  5. Domestic "Q"Nit: Minnesota: Aborted -

    Minnesota Muslims spoke about planning jihad massacres in the U.S. for the Islamic State
    By Robert Spencer on Apr 22, 2016 11:44 am

    Minnesota Muslims spoke about planning jihad massacres in the U.S. for the Islamic State
    “But prosecutors said audio recordings obtained during the investigation show the defendants spoke multiple times about the possibility of attacks in the U.S. Among them, Omar spoke of establishing a route for fighters, Farah spoke of killing an FBI agent and another man who pleaded guilty talked about shooting a homemade rocket at an airplane. […]
    Read in browser »

    Jihad Watch

  6. Hillary:

    "Joining a gang is like joining a family"

  7. The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming!

    1. :):)

      How in the world did you remember that ??

    2. The Russians Are Coming For The Sheeple

      (Quart makes short cameo appearance as black sheep)

      (They'll be in Detroit, soon)

      (Impenetrable Border Wall Built)

      ("I'm here from an American TV station to interview you"

      "Certainly, my dear. My name is Quart")

      New Green Sign Put Up

      "Route 66"

      "They swarmed us like bandits. What could we do?"

      Well, it ain't funny, McGee....

    3. "Everybody to get from Street!"

  8. Want to fuck with Russia?

    Cheap oil....

    Extended Syrian, Ukrainian & other military adventures...

    All cost money...

    Something Russia is running out of...


  9. What is interesting is Deuce's support for Iran, Russia and the PA (PLO/Hamas)

    One wonders what an Iranian Firster/Russian Apologist/Palestinian Terrorist Supporter lives in the USA?

    1. I wonder if Deuce would find freedom in Russia or Iran )or any Palestinian lands) that he enjoys here?

  10. Russian air strikes kill over 1,000 civilians in Syria
    Russian air strikes in Syria have killed more civilians than ISIL fighters, results from monitoring groups indicate.

    But they have:

    Deuce ☂Fri Apr 22, 10:18:00 PM EDT
    The Chicken Kiev Caesar Salad was a work of art.

    I wonder if the civilians that Russia is murdering would have appreciated a last meal that rocked?

    Meanwhile, Russia's supported ALLY ASSAD fails to help his starving people

    Nearly 400,000 Syrians starving in besieged areas
    Deaths from malnutrition reported as three towns wait desperately for promised food aid to arrive from Damascus.

    I wonder, would those Syrians like to TRY A CHICKEN KEIV?

    Syrians being starved by Assad, who Russia is directly supporting...

    Deuce's comment: Grilled sea-bass with roasted potatoes and vegetables

    Priorities my good man, priorities....


  11. Due to a siege imposed by the Syrian government and the Lebanese Hezbollah group, an estimated 42,000 people in Madaya have little to no access to food, resulting in the deaths of at least 23 people by starvation so far, according to the charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

    Reports of widespread malnutrition have emerged, some of them suggesting that Madaya residents are resorting to eating grass and insects for survival.

    Hezbollah and Assad starving the syrians to death...


  12. HOW COOL IS THIS!!!!!

    At least 11 Iranian, Afghan fighters killed in Syria in recent days

    Tehran, 23 Apr - At least 11 persons who were members of either Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) or Iran’s regular army, killed in Syria in the recent days, have been buried in various Iranian cities.


  13. 150 ISIS fighters killed in cleansing battles of al-Karma District

    ( Anbar – The leadership of al-Hashed al-Shaabi in Anbar Province announced on Saturday, that 150 members of the so-called ISIS were killed during the cleansing battles of al-Karma District east of Fallujah.

    The commander of Karmat Fallujah brigade, Colonel Khamis Bahr Halbusi, said in a press statement followed by, “This morning the security forces carried out a military operation targeting ISIS gatherings in the areas of Subaihat, Albu Jassim and Albu Ouda in al-Karma District, killing 150 ISIS fighters, including Arabs and foreigners.”

    Halbusi added, “The joint forces are advancing in the remaining areas of al-Karma District backed by the international coalition aviation and Iraqi Army Aviation, in order to destroy ISIS strongholds, as well as cutting off their supply lines in Fallujah and Saqlawiyah.”

    150 Headcutters on the Wall

    1. Security forces liberate Albu Naim area in Heet, dozens of ISIS members killed

      ( Anbar – The leadership of al-Hashed al-Shaabi in Anbar Province announced on Saturday, that the security forces liberated an area in the district of Heet west of Ramadi, while pointed out to the killing of dozens of ISIS members during the operation.

      The intelligence officer in al-Hashed al-Shaabi in al-Somoud brigade, Nazim Aljughaifi said in a brief statement received by, “The joint security forces were able, at noon today, to liberate Albu Naim area west of Heet District from the ISIS control,” noting that, “The operation resulted in the killing of dozens of ISIS members.”

      Aljughaifi added, “The joint forces from the army, police and Anti-Terrorism Directorate are advancing in several axes to cleanse al-Doulab area in Heet District,” pointing out that, “The next few hours will witness the liberation of al-Doulab area, as well as raising the Iraqi flag over its buildings.”


    2. Awesome...

      150 isis savages killed...

      Image result for how many isis fighters are there
      In June 2014, ISIL had at least 4,000 fighters in Iraq, and the CIA estimated in September 2014 that it had 20,000–31,500 fighters in Iraq and Syria. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates that the force numbers around 80,000–100,000 total (up to 50,000 in Syria and 30,000 in Iraq).

      LOL 150....

  14. .

    How many countries in NATO, Quirk, Flaming Idiot ?

    How many in the EU ?

    NATO: 28 countries

    EU: 28 countries


  15. At present, NATO has 28 members. In 1949, there were 12 founding members of the Alliance: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States.

    28 member
    When European countries started to cooperate economically in 1951, only Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands participated. Over time, more and more countries decided to join. The union reached its current size of 28 member countries with the accession of Croatia on 1 July 2013.

    but wait

    Members of EU but not Nato seem to be: Austria, Cyprus, Finland, Ireland, Malta and Sweden.

    The EU's Common Defense Policy is now as much of a binding factor as NATO. For European defense, the EU countries are as good as NATO members, even if not pledged to help defend North America and Turkey.


    1. .

      And there are NATO members who are not in the EU, the US, Canada, Turkey, etc.


  16. .

    Low oil prices may hurt the Russian economy but it won't hurt defense spending unless Putin wants it to.

    Russia, like the US appears to be an oligarchy though it claims to be a representative republic; however, in reality Russia is a kleptocracy and it will be Putin and his small band of brothers in crime that will make the decisions.

    Interesting factoid though. Last year, Saudi Arabia outspent Russia by a wide margin (31%-58%) depending on whose numbers you use. In fact, Saudi Arabia spent more than all countries except the US and China last year. They must be getting scared. Before, they would simply suck off the US teat.


    1. Russia spends about 50 billion a year on defense.

      There is a finite amount of money they have.

      Of course, the Soviet people, opps my bad, the Russia people, will have to bear the brunt of Putin's spending..

      As long as there is vodka? the people will be fine.

      There is more to Putin's cash problems than defense spending...

      But it is wonderful to see the Kremlin is bleeding cash and that is good.

  17. Replies
    1. Now that's a credible source NOT

      A Note on Trump: We Are No Longer Entertained

      A Note About Our Coverage Of Donald Trump’s ‘Campaign’

      After watching and listening to Donald Trump since he announced his candidacy for president, we have decided we won’t report on Trump’s campaign as part of The Huffington Post’s political coverage. Instead, we will cover his campaign as part of our Entertainment section. Our reason is simple: Trump’s campaign is a sideshow. We won’t take the bait. If you are interested in what The Donald has to say, you’ll find it next to our stories on the Kardashians and The Bachelorette.

      Yeah who gives a fuck what Ariana Huffington thinks or says....

      Aint she the EX-gop'r who turned her husband GAY?

      Hell she wasn't even an American til 1990.....

  18. .

    Until Russia entered the fray in Syria, I had thought that our lack of progress there (despite all the efforts of the Rat Doctrine) was due to Obama administration ineptitude and incompetence. However, since Russia arrived, seeing the changes in US policy and the reports on who is funding who, I have bought into the conspiracy theory that though we claimed to be fighting ISIS we were actually just using them to try to take out Assad.

    Now, that Russia has entered the fight on Assad's side we seem more intent on trying to get a diplomatic agreement that will eventually see Assad gone. As for ISIS, daily body count reports aren't really that impressive given that ISIS influence has now spread to around a dozen countries and their numbers worldwide have increased multiple times over since 2014.


    1. Russia has spent most of it's military on NON-isis targets...

      Bombing USA backed rebels and such...

      ISIS is spreading across the Sunni world.

      Of course interesting game will be when ISIS starts in on Iran...

  19. Forget the "wimmins, and blacks, and latinos," This is why you may not ever see another Republican President in your lifetime:

    White College Educated Voters

    In 2012, Barack Obama performed 6 percentage points better among white voters with college degrees than those without them, up from a 5-point gap in 2008.

    Most prominent in suburbs and in swing states like Colorado, Minnesota and Virginia, this growing segment turns out to vote much more reliably than any other group, and Democrats have been on the upswing with these voters.

    In 2012, Obama carried 257 of the 673 majority-white counties where over a third of residents ages 25 and older hold at least a bachelor's degree. In 2000, Al Gore carried just 169 of these same counties.

    What Would It Take to Flip Red States Blue? 538

    1. Blacks will never vote for Hillary or Bernie like they did for their "brother" Obama.

      Now who is being racist here? BLACK America.

      AND while we are at it?

      Dont count Blacks and Latinos as a solid voting block.

      MANY a hispanic and black folk are NOT liberal.


      With more and more folks learning about Hillary and her Ms Sanger award for erasing black fetuses?

      Her support is slimming down...

  20. Strikes in Syria

    Attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 10 strikes in Syria:

    -- Near Abu Kamal, a strike struck an ISIL weapons factory.

    -- Near Al Hawl, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

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

    -- Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL checkpoint.

    -- Near Manbij, four strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL vehicles.

    -- Near Mar’a, a strike destroyed an ISIL staging area.

    -- Near Washiyah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Rocket artillery and bomber, fighter, ground-attack, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 20 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Baghdadi, eight strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, two ISIL weapons storage facilities, and three ISIL bed down locations and destroyed three ISIL bunkers and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Qaim, a strike struck an ISIL bomb-making facility.

    -- Near Beiji, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL bomb.

    -- Near Fallujah, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL-used bridge, an ISIL fighting position, two ISIL heavy machine guns, an ISIL bunker, and an ISIL tunnel system.

    -- Near Hit, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed four ISIL heavy machine guns and an ISIL recoilless rifle.

    -- Near Kirkuk, a strike destroyed an ISIL command and control node and an ISIL-used bridge.

    -- Near Mosul, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL weapons caches, an ISIL check point, two ISIL vehicles, and an ISIL bomb.

    -- Near Qayyarah, a strike destroyed two ISIL mortar systems.

    -- Near Tal Afar, a strike produced inconclusive results.


    1. Dunford: Narrative, Momentum in Anti-ISIL Fight Has Shifted to Iraqis

      By Jim Garamone DoD News,

      Defense Media Activity

      IRBIL, Iraq, April 22, 2016 — The narrative and the momentum in Iraq has definitely shifted from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to Iraq and its coalition allies, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said at the conclusion of his latest trip here.

      This was Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford’s fourth visit to the country since being named as DoD’s highest ranking military officer. When he came to Iraq in August last year, ISIL still controlled the plot and momentum in Iraq and Syria.

      In August, he said, “the narrative was that there was inevitability in ISIL’s success in Iraq, the confidence in Iraqi security forces was really low.”

      As recently as May 2015, the terror group was still grabbing ground from Iraq, Dunford told journalists traveling with him.

      The chairman said he now uses the negative reports from Iraq and Syria in August 2015 as the baseline of the efforts in the country.

      Not Unmindful of Challenges

      “I am not unmindful of the challenges, nor am I going to blow sunshine ... ,” he said, “but when I look at August and I look today there [are] a couple of things that are indisputable,” he said. “No. 1 is ISIL holds far less ground than they held last year. No. 2, we’ve had a significant impact on their resources.”

      A third change is the impact operations have had on ISIL’s senior leaders. And finally, “their freedom of movement has been severely limited,” the chairman said, and the number of foreign fighters that has been able to get in the country has been significantly cut.

      “Another thing that is indisputable is that Iraqi security forces have gone from ‘Hey, when are they going to start doing something?’ to now having secured Ramadi and most of Hit and they are moving out the Euphrates River Valley farther into Anbar province,” Dunford said.

      Advancing Up the Tigris

      Iraqi forces are also moving up the Tigris River Valley and are now just south of Makhmur and starting to establish positions “that will ultimately lead to operations against ISIL in Mosul,” he said.

      The trajectory is good for the Iraqi forces, Dunford said. Success breeds success, and Iraqi forces are having successes against the terror group. They are also applying pressure against the group across the country, he noted.

    2. Coalition forces in Iraq operate at the express request of the Iraqi government. “We’re filling in the gaps of the Iraqi security forces that are doing the fighting,” the chairman said. “We didn’t fight for them in Ramadi and we didn’t fight for them in Hit, and with two exceptions, we didn’t bleed for them. They have been bleeding themselves and conducting the operations.”

      And, Dunford said, he expects more progress. He met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi yesterday. “In terms of level of cooperation, and his willingness to accept our support and work with us, we have a partner in Baghdad,” he said.

      Abadi Reaches Out to Kurds

      Abadi not only accepted the forces the coalition has offered but also a U.S. increase in forces, Dunford said.

    3. And Assad murdered 21 in a market barrel bombing too!!!!

    4. “Frankly, we spoke last night about the need for cooperation with the Kurds and I was able to deliver a message today to President [of the Iraqi Kurdistan region] Masoud Barzani that Prime Minister Abadi would work with his folks to get a plan developed for Mosul right away, and that he would consult with Barzani soonest to ensure that all the stakeholders agreed upon the plan,” the chairman said.
      This is a significant change, and will help all the stakeholders in actions against ISIL, he added. “There are definitely challenges and Mosul is not going to be tomorrow,” Dunford said. “There are real political issues that need to be worked through in the coming weeks.”

      First, the chairman said, there has to be what Barzani called “a plan for the day after Mosul.” All players need to know what the plan is after Mosul is liberated, he said. Looming questions to be answered include determining who patrols the neighborhoods, who ensures people in the city of around 1 million are fed and who ensures ISIL doesn’t just go to ground inside the city, Dunford said.

      But it is more than that, the chairman added. “The Sunnis have to be enfranchised,” he said. “There’s got to be some accommodation for Kurdish interests with the government in Baghdad dominated by, obviously, the Shia.”

      That’s not news, Dunford said, it’s what has to happen “to get to a multi-sectarian unified Iraq.”

      Not all this has to happen before liberating Mosul, “but there has to be an agreed-upon grand vision as the detailed plan for Mosul is written,” he said.

    5. Sequence for Liberation

      The next step in the sequence is the continued generation of forces for the operation, the chairman said.

      Dunford stressed that the offensive against ISIL in Mosul has already started, even though Iraqi troops are not yet directly attacking the city.

      “It’s like tightening a noose,” he said. “We tighten the noose with positioning forces. We’re tightening it with strikes. We’re tightening it with targeted strikes against leadership and we’re stopping the flow of fighters between Iraq and Syria.”

      Under the best circumstances, the chairman said he expects to see Iraqi forces continue to move up the river toward Mosul and make their way into the city to secure it. “It will take time,” Dunford said. “This is incredibly difficult and complex. This is a million people in a complex urban terrain with a determined enemy who has had a long time to prepare. This is going to be a tough fight.”

      (Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)

      Difficult and Complex

    6. Let face reality.

      Iran and Assad have caused a Sunni radicalization.

      They, not the USA and Iraq war have done this deed.

      If not for the hundreds of thousands of Sunnis that have been butchered by Assad, Hezbollah and Iran? It would be a different situation.

      Now Quirk disagrees with the body count in Iraq, so be it, but no one can not agree that Iran has made Iraq a proxy shiite satellite, Maliki and his allied militias (Sadr and such) have done a huge payback on Saddam's sunni minority..

      SO the ISIS rise (radical sunni) is on the ascent.

      And it's spreading across the sunni controlled globe and leaking into enclaves in the west.

      Shits verses the Suns, with a side of violence for the west.

      But don't fret.

      islam is dying, and it' death spasms it will cause millions of each other and non-millions to die...

      From China to Russia, Paris to Newark, Jordan to Yemen, Londonstan to Ontario you aint seen anything yet....

      The sinai is insane, (with Hamas supporting ISIS)

      Yet it's going to be a hot time in the old town tonight...

    7. .

      You are right in saying I disagree with you on the basics.

      Iran and Assad have caused a Sunni radicalization.

      I disagree. The fountainhead of Islamic radicalism came in the early days of the 20th century with Saudi Wahhabism and the worldwide proselytizing effort on their radical Salafist philosophy. The growth of radical Islam really expanded in the 1980's. First, with Shia radicals in Iran after the Khamenei revolution.

      However, if you are talking Sunni radicalization it grew in Afghanistan in the 1980's and was the baby of a joint effort by the US, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. It started in the '80s and continued through the '90s only to explode after Bush's misadventures in Iraq after 2003. Al Qaeda didn’t even exist in Iraq until 2004. The ISIS you see today is merely the AQI of 2006 now expanded and after 5 or 6 name changes.

      To confuse Shia and Sunni radicalism as being related in any other sense than in its common beliefs in the basic radical interpretation of Islam that were being proselytized around the world by Saudi Arabia for the last 100 years is just silly.

      If not for the hundreds of thousands of Sunnis that have been butchered by Assad, Hezbollah and Iran? It would be a different situation.

      Obviously. But, you are thinking small ball. If you think Saudi Arabia gives a shit about civilian deaths Sunni or otherwise, look at Yemen. Syria is a sectarian clash between Sunni and Shia interests both of which are seeking regional hegemonic supremacy.

      Radical Islam is the genii in the bottle released by Saudi Arabia and they are still searching for ways to control it before it bites them in the ass.

      The sinai is insane, (with Hamas supporting ISIS)

      Nonsense. There is currently no bigger enemy of ISIS than Hamas.


    8. Your ability to gloss over the reality off Hamas's support for Isis in the sinai is amazing..

      But you are correct the ROOT of Islamic radical behavior is Arabia AND the SHiites

      I guess It all goes back to Mohamed if you wish to be accurate.

      But I hold my position still, Iraqi takeover by Iran and Assad's murder of hundreds of thousands are the current issue of the day

    9. "...who has had a long time to prepare."
      No shiite, Sherlock.

      Good Job, Obama!
      (This is incredibly difficult and complex. This is a million people in a complex urban terrain with a determined enemy who has had a long time to prepare.)

      Some time ago Rufus opined that the retaking of Mosul was right around the corner.

    10. .

      Your ability to gloss over the reality off Hamas's support for Isis in the sinai is amazing..

      I don't know why it would be. I periodically look at newspapers from various ME countries. Most of the Egyptian ones are either in Arabic or off limits to the US but there are a couple. And there is always Google or Bing.

      I have looked and the only place I can find the claims you put up here are in Israeli papers. There may be others but you haven't linked to any. I haven't seen it in any Egyptian papers or anyplace else. Maybe I've missed it.

      On the other hand, I have seen the reports about Hamas efforts to control other radical groups in Gaza including ISIS. I've seen the reports of the build up Hamas' draw back from the MB and their build up of security forces along the border with Egypt in order to control radical groups from getting into the Sinai. Now, this may be efforts to convince Egypt they can be a reliable partner in hopes of getting the crossing with Egypt opened up. I wouldn't deny it; however, I have yet to see (other than in Israeli papers) any reports that Hamas is helping or even favors ISIS. Why would they? ISIS is trying to get into Gaza and Hamas wants to keep them out.


    11. Yeah those LYING" Israeli newspapers..

      From the far left to the right and down the middle the reports are there.

      I'd say they'd know more than you or your other newspapers from London, New York or LA....

      Again your arrogant bias of knowing it all shows thru...

      israel is there.

      you have NEVER been


      here is an article from an American source...

      darn it...

      eat it...

      oh and this source quotes Israeli and Egyptian sources..

      yeah, what would they know when the Great Quirk says otherwise.

    13. Yeppers, those Israeli sources are best, when discussing Israel

      Israel's 'equality under law' doesn't apply to Palestinians

      Israel's pretention to be a country with a just legal system appears ridiculous in the face of the other justice system that applies to juveniles that are not Palestinian.

      Haaretz Editorial

      But for what is happening in Gaza or Egypt, Israeli reporting is not nearly as reliable.


    14. I guess It all goes back to Mohamed if you wish to be accurate.

      No, "O"rdure, you have to go back to Abraham.


    15. Iran and Assad have caused a Sunni radicalization.

      Complete hogwash.

      The monarchies of the Sunni are what has radicalized the Sunni.

    16. .

      yeah, what would they know when the Great Quirk says otherwise.

      Exactly the point I was making.



      The Algemeiner?

      From Wiki:

      The Algemeiner Journal is a New York-based newspaper, covering American and international Jewish and Israel-related news. CNBC called it “the fastest growing Jewish newspaper in the United States”[1] and former Senator Joseph Lieberman described the paper as an “independent truth telling advocate for the Jewish people and Israel”.[2] The Algemeiner’s Advisory Board is chaired by Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel.

      I am not denigrating the Algemeier Journal or any of the Israeli papers for that matter. But what they are reporting is coming from Israeli government sources and given the relationship between Israel and Hamas I find those reports suspect in the same way I would consider reports coming out of Iran about Saudi Arabia or vice versa suspect.

      Though skeptical I could be persuaded. The problem is all I have seen have been reports originating in Israel or sources reporting on reports originating in Israel. Hamas has denied the charges and though I have seen dozens of Israeli reports as to the connection, it has been
      a long time if ever that I have seen reports coming from anyplace else. Though admittedly, its hard getting any info directly out of Egypt off the web. On the other hand, I haven't seen the charges voiced in articles off RealClearWorld.



    17. You said it well...

      You trust Israel sources as much as Iran and Arabia..

      That tells me you are retarded potato head.


    18. .

      Sorry, WiO, we can't all be as credulous as you.


  21. But it is more than that, the chairman added. “The Sunnis have to be enfranchised,” he said. “There’s got to be some accommodation for Kurdish interests with the government in Baghdad dominated by, obviously, the Shia.”

    LOL Rufus, you are learning... That's progress

  22. .

    The Baghdad Follies

    Iraq, engaged in a brutal war against the Islamic State, faces myriad other problems, including a depleted treasury and a weakening dam in Mosul that if not repaired could flood a huge strip of territory and kill thousands. None of these problems can be effectively addressed given the failure of governance and societal cohesion that has now produced another political crisis.

    On Tuesday Salim al-Jubouri, the Parliament speaker, suspended Parliament, days after lawmakers voted to remove him and elected an interim replacement. The turmoil centers on political corruption and fiscal mismanagement, which have become major issues since oil prices collapsed in 2014, sharply reducing the country’s main revenue source as Iraq’s military battles ISIS.

    [Editorial comment: Russia is not the only one suffering from low oil prices.]

    In February, under pressure from the Shiite clergy and with support from America and Iran, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi proposed a cabinet overhaul that would remove appointees with political and sectarian connections and replace them with presumably less corruptible nonpolitical technocrats.
    After the list of technocrats was announced on March 31, Shiite political blocs, which dominate the government and fear the loss of patronage and influence, pushed back and forced Mr. Abadi to include more of their allies. Moktada al-Sadr, a radical Shiite Muslim cleric who once fought American troops and has refashioned himself as an anti-corruption reformer, is using the threat of street protests to demand more representation for technocrats and Mr. Abadi’s resignation. Parliament has postponed action on Mr. Abadi’s cabinet overhaul three times and this has led to moves to oust Mr. Jubouri as well.

    Mr. Abadi has been unable to repair the social divisions and sectarian tensions that former Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki fed by alienating Sunnis and Kurds, who are minorities in the majority Shiite nation. By refusing to consult other political leaders in advance, Mr. Abadi has failed to build the coalitions needed to support initiatives like the cabinet overhaul. Even the threat of the Mosul dam collapse went unaddressed until the Americans publicly warned of impending disaster. Only then did Baghdad name an Italian firm to make repairs.

    Such political dysfunction has been the one constant in Iraq since the American invasion in 2003. It has made some people rich and powerful, and has left millions of others without jobs, public services and hope of a better life. Now with the Islamic State holding significant territory in Iraq, including Mosul, the second-largest city, the government’s incompetence poses a regional threat.


    1. .


      The United States is working with Iraq to prepare for a major assault to retake Mosul, a necessary goal. But President Obama has done little to explain the expanding mission to the American people to win public support. There are now about 5,000 American forces in Iraq, despite Mr. Obama’s past pledges to withdraw all troops. On Monday, Pentagon officials said they were moving American military advisers closer to the front lines, giving Iraqis eight helicopters and providing $415 million to pay the salaries of Kurdish militias.

      American officials have been trying to persuade Iraqi leaders to calm the frictions and focus on the urgent Islamic State threat. Even as the Iraqis pursue military victory, they also need to create a plan to rebuild Mosul and allow Sunnis — who remained after the terrorist group forced Yazidis, Assyrians and other minorities to flee — more self-governance. But so far, the political chaos makes that impossible.

      It would be disastrous if Americans, Iraqis and their partners were to succeed in the military campaign against the Islamic State only to have the politicians in Baghdad squander another chance to build a better future. More than 13 years since Saddam Hussein’s overthrow, there’s less and less reason to be optimistic.


    2. It's all O'bozo's fault.

      I insist !

      And The Donald agrees with me....


      (I like Q's little symbol whatever it means)

  23. I have to admit to admiring Rufus his ability to be up beat in all dismal circumstances.

    Now he is posting about the need to plan for the post-liberation Mosul.

    Well ha ha.

    I put up a post the other day showing our side can't even train up a competent company of soldiers to liberate Mosul.

    The word of the day for Mosul is 'eventually'. Straight from our Commander in Chief O'bozo.

    I also came across the figure of around 75,000 ISIS fighters, but I thought that was just in Iraq. Seems it is in Iraq and Syria both.

    As to Hillary and polls, Reagan was back by about 30% and he won overwhelmingly.....

    She is not going to be President.

    I am urging Rufus to not go on a betting spree with regards to Hillary. He should pay what he currently owes to others first, and even then, he should not go on a betting spree regarding Hillary.

    Quirk is 'out to lunch' in contending all this crap started in the last century. It started 14 centuries ago.

    The oil money has allowed Saudi Arabia to play above its weight however.

    1. "Some time ago Rufus opined that the retaking of Mosul was right around the corner."


      And sometime before that he opined, and BET, that all of Iraq would be ISISFree by last 4th of July.

      He seems to have fallen back to his old ways of predicting his desires.

      This may be emotionally satisfying but is detached from the real world....

    2. Rufus is spot on though in insisting we need alternatives...

      It's very clear and understandable how the west got entangled with S.A.

      We invented the automobile, the airplane, the oil burning furnace.....

      Past time to go alternative, and tell them to f themselves.

  24. Let's have a link for that "Just around the corner" comment, shall we?

    1. Or, you can just say, "fuck me; I made it up."

    2. Oh come on, Rufus.

      You were counting the days till the glorious liberation of Mosul.

      Admit it.

      Now The Light Bringer has decided to put it off until, well, until 'eventually', whenever that is, presumably sometime after he leaves office, if then.

    3. Rufus is too drunk most of the time even remember what he says...

      except that he hates Israel, Jews and me and you

    4. Bob:

      Where is your database to confirm your allegation of Rufuses claim for the glorious liberation of Mosul?

      No database, no claim!
      (I'm keeping my database confidential pending my tell all book)

      "Rufus Claims for The Kenyan Gone Wrong"


  25. From a trusted Israeli source

    Netanyahu’s Loose Lips on Hamas Strategy Could Take a Toll on Israeli Security

    Despite an effective crackdown by Egypt, the group’s tunnel threat still counters the IDF’s combination of air power, precise intelligence and advanced technology – regardless of what Netanyahu might say.

    read more:

    There you have it, an Israeli source that reports that the Zionist governments of Israel "Wag the Dog" by attacking Gaza in the rrun-up to Israeli elections..

    Sweet, honest, reporting direct from Israel


    1. Haaretz is a pro-palestinian Israeli source, hardly "trusted" except by those that hate Israel,

      try again Sparkie.

      But there is a gem of truth to the story, Egypt is effective on the tunnels, since they drown them, regardless of who they kill....


      Killing the rats in the sewer, Egyptian style....

      Hey Rat, maybe we could get you to go down your hole and drown you?

    2. Warfarin causes rats to seek water.

  26. U.S. military announces killing 20 civilians in air strikes in Iraq and Syria

    ( The U.S. Central Command announced on Saturday the killing and wounding of 31 civilians during aerial strikes carried out by the U.S.-led international coalition against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria.

    Central Command said in a press statement obtained by, “20 civilians had been killed and 11 others were injured in air strikes against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria between the 10th of September, 2015 and the 2nd of February , 2016.”

    Colonel Patrick Ryder, the spokesperson for Central Command, told reporters: “There is no such thing as an intentional civilian casualty,” adding that, “We are attempting to avoid civilian casualties, but in these cases, unfortunately, we assess that it was likely that civilians had died.”

    “In this type of armed conflict, particularly with an enemy who hides among the civilian population, there are going to be, unfortunately, civilian casualties at times,” said Ryder.


    1. What America KILLED civilians!@!!!!!@@@!@!@!

      So it aint so Joe....

    2. Here's the escape hatch -

      “There is no such thing as an intentional civilian casualty”

    3. I think this is where the term "collateral damage" might come into play.

    4. The damn banks, those killers, as The Donald aptly described them, always ask me for collateral, the bastards. From their point of view this is damage control, the turds.

    5. The Donald is our only national figure yet to properly describe banks.

      That alone might be worthy of a vote.

    6. .

      Central Command said in a press statement obtained by, “20 civilians had been killed and 11 others were injured in air strikes against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria between the 10th of September, 2015 and the 2nd of February , 2016.”


      :o) :o)

      :o) :o) :o)

      It is amazing the chutzpah these guys have.

      What he means it that 20 have been killed that we have confirmed. And as we all know, we ain't in the business of confirming.

      Absolutely amazing.


  27. Question of the Day -

    Which direction do the terror tunnels run ?

    Towards Israel, or away from Israel ?

    First correct answer gets one of PeeQ's ash trays.


    If that's true it's amazing he lived as long as he did.

    The Rufus Solution to all this is to sell heroin at Wal-Green's.

    Added advantage:

    Jobs created for those hired to pick up the overdosed dead bodies off the city streets.

  29. Fox News poll has Trump ahead by 27% in California.

  30. Heard on Gutfeld -

    There was a movement to put Hillary, if elected, on Mr. Rushmore.

    But then they found there wasn't enough room left on Mt. Rushmore for two faces....


    (Get it, Rufus ?)


  31. Yeah those LYING" Israeli newspapers..

    From the far left to the right and down the middle the reports are there.

    I'd say they'd know more than you ...

    Yeppers, "O"rdure, they know more than you, they are there, in Israel, wile you have claimed to be in Ohio,.

    Oh so far from the reality of the situation.

  32. Care to make a prediction as to when Mosul will be 'liberated', General "Memorial Day" ?

    You have proven yourself to be totally incompetent on military matters with your earlier prediction - even more so than General "4th of July".

    So give it a go.

    This place can always use some additional knee slapping laughter.


    By the way, how's the work going on that super secret project you are working on with the CIA, NSA, and Defense off the coasts of Panama ?

    The one that is 'critical' to our national defense ?


    What a horse's arse and fraud you are, a truly disgusting clown !

    Cheers to all you others, and


  33. Bob:

    Where is your database to confirm your allegation of Rufuses claim for the glorious liberation of Mosul?

    No database, no claim!
    (I'm keeping my database confidential pending my tell all book of

    "Rufus Claims for The Kenyan Gone Wrong"

    1. Good idea Doug....a database such as that can be worth a lot of money....keep it 'in your back pocket'.......until 'the time is right'.....and then 'jump him like hunting ducks on an Idaho creek'....

      Poor Ruf will never recover....


    If we are going to have any hope of defeating the global jihad.

    Nonetheless, they still have a friend in Barack Obama, a man who has never hesitated to reach out in friendship to those who threaten the United States. Obama is trying to get Congress to reject the bill, and his solicitude for the Saudis is drawing criticism even from members of his own party. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) called on him to release the 28 pages: “If the president is going to meet with the Saudi Arabian leadership and the royal family, they think it would be appropriate that this document be released before the president makes that trip, so that they can talk about whatever issues are in that document.”

    The New York Daily News, normally a reliable Democratic Party organ, fumed: “If the President allows himself to get pushed around this way in front of the world, then he earns every bit of the anger being directed at him by the extended family of September 11.”

    Of course, all too many Republicans are just as much in the tank for the Saudis as the Democrats. CBS News reported on September 30, 2001, on George W. Bush’s watch, that “two dozen members of Osama bin Laden’s family were urgently evacuated from the United States in the first days following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, according to the Saudi ambassador to Washington.” If Hitler had had twenty-four relatives on U.S. soil on December 8, 1941, would FDR have urgently evacuated them to Berlin?

    1. In 1942, Franklin Delano Roosevelt not only wasn’t making sure that Hitler’s relatives were safely back home; he also wasn’t meeting with the F├╝hrer to discuss a German-U.S. alliance. It is long past time that the United States stop behaving like a weak client state of the House of Saud.

    2. .

      Think of our balance of payments. Saudi Arabia spends $85 billion per on weapons systems and other military gugaws. If we start having cuts like that in our arms sales, our balance of payments won't have a category called 'EXPORTS'.


    3. We'll be reduced to trying to make it peddling "Pee-Q Trays" overseas.....

      Make certain you got the international patent on them trays....


    American foreign policy in the middle east is incoherent and counter-productive to long-term US interests. We have the worst two possible choices for “allies’, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    Iran, Russia and Hamas would do us less damage.

    Why? Because of our “allies,” Saudi Arabia and Israel, the perma-victim.

    Wahhabism Saudi Arabia is the source of all radical Islamic ideology, and Israel perceives any secular “nationalist” Arab governments in the region to be a threat, hence they worked to depose the Baathist governments of Iraq, Syria and Libya -- preferring the resulting weak, unstable spawning grounds for terrorism and the killing machine it has become.

    Israel and Saudi. Two sides to the same coin.


  36. 24 APR

    Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official in charge of the Israeli settlements file in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, said the Israeli military and its “Civil Administration” have decided to illegally annex hundreds of Dunams of privately-owned Palestinian lands near Nablus and Ramallah.

    Daghlas said the lands belong to villagers of Jaloud, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and the villagers of al-Mogheer and Turmus Ayya, north of the central West Bank city of Ramallah.

    “The occupation forces issued the decision to steal hundreds of Dunams of land from Jaloud village, south of Nablus, in addition to the villages of Turmus Ayya and al-Mogheer, north of Ramallah”, Daghlas said, adding that, “The Israeli army said the decision comes out of so-called military considerations.”

    A significant segment of the hundreds of Dunams that Israel is illegally confiscating from Jaloud village, and from Tumors Ayya, will actually be used for paving a road linking Shilo illegal colony with an outpost east of it.

    The road that Israel intends to pave extends approximately six kilometers, allowing future illegal annexation of more Palestinian agricultural lands, under the pretext of security considerations, thus paving the way for more colonialist activities.

    Daghlas said that the Israeli decision comes while colonialist Israeli settlers are escalating their attacks against Palestinians, and land theft of Palestinian lands. He said the order even contradicts the previous military decision to void military annexation orders issued by the army in 1978, under order number (T/5/78), that targeted 1705 Dunams of lands owned by Jaloud villagers.

  37. Boulder Co. and Nablus as sister cities?

    FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2013 file photo, a Palestinian walks through snow on his way home in the West Bank city of Nablus. The Boulder, Colo., City Council was scheduled to vote Tuesday, April 19, 2016, on a formal sister-city relationship with Nablus on the West Bank. But proponents instead asked the city to name a mediator to work with them and opponents, saying they were surprised by the resistance they encountered despite their efforts to win over their critics. (AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh, File)
    FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2013 file photo, a Palestinian walks through snow on his way home in the West Bank city of Nablus.Essrea Cherin, president of the Boulder-Nablus Sister City Project, center, stands with fellow board members in front of the Boulder Municipal Building, before a city council meeting, in Boulder, Colo., Tuesday, April 19, 2016.
    By Dan Elliott, The Associated Press

    Posted Apr 20, 2016 at 9:53 AM
    Updated Apr 20, 2016 at 1:32 PM

    BOULDER, Colo. (AP) “ This peaceful university town is 7,000 miles from the violence of the Middle East, but a proposal to become sister cities with a Palestinian community has stirred such rancor that the City Council is trying to negotiate a truce among its own residents.

    The council decided Tuesday to hire a moderator and convene a citizen panel in hopes of settling differences between two sides arguing about whether Boulder should have a formal sister-city relationship with Nablus on the West Bank.

    Sister-city ties would help combat misunderstandings about Palestinians, said Essrea Cherin, president of the Boulder-Nablus Sister City Project, which is promoting the relationship. She said the entire Palestinian population is unfairly portrayed in the U.S. media as violent because of the actions of a few.

    But opponents told the council Tuesday night that Nablus, a city of about 130,000 residents that is a commercial and cultural center for Palestinians, was too closely linked with anti-Israel sentiment. Others have said formal ties would make it appear that Boulder was taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


  39. Kerry: Foreign Banks Free to Do Business With Iran
    Insists US Won’t Block International Firms Doing Business With Iran

    by Jason Ditz, April 22, 2016

    In comments today after another meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Secretary of State John Kerry said foreign banks should feel perfectly comfortable doing business with Iran after the implementation of the P5+1 nuclear deal, saying there had been “some confusion” but that the USS was committed to living up to it’s end of the pact.

    Iran has been pushing the US for such statements for weeks, noting that they’re having a hard time accessing their “unfrozen” assets. Several EU officials have also complained that the lack of clarity from the US was preventing them from making deals with Iran, and British officials confirmed that they couldn’t find a single major UK bank willing to go on a trade delegation to Iran.

    Kerry insists the administration is willing to further clarify any questions, but that international companies should not assume that the old rules remain in place, or that deals US companies would be banned from doing are forbidden to them.

    Questions are likely to remain irrespective of Kerry’s comments, as the State Department has repeatedly suggested such things, while the US Treasury Department has bragged about how much of the sanctions regime has remained in place.

  40. Until recently, the US relationship to Saudi Arabia has been one of those things that we’re not allowed to do anything about. There's death and taxes, and the US is joined at the hip to Saudi Arabia. There’s nothing to do.

    But the world has changed. We're at a discontinuity now, and nobody knows what's on the other side of the discontinuity. President Obama slams Saudi Arabia in an interview in the Atlantic. A big bipartisan group of senators is poised to pass legislation that would limit the sovereign immunity of the Saudi government from lawsuits over the 9/11 attacks. Here's Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, describing how the world has changed:

    'Very bluntly, they no longer have us in an energy straight jacket,' said Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, referring to growing domestic oil production that has made the United States less reliant on the Saudis. He added that the American government now knows more about Saudi Arabia’s historical funding of extremist groups and that 'Americans are also increasingly concerned about Saudi Arabia's human rights record.'

    And now, Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul have introduced a bipartisan bill that would place new conditions on US military aid to Saudi Arabia. Like so many Washington initiatives, the actual text of the bill is not revolutionary. It doesn't say you can't transfer weapons to Saudi Arabia anymore. It just adds a step to the existing notification process. The new step is the president has to certify that Saudi Arabia is acting to protect civilians from its military actions -- for example, in Yemen -- as it is required to do under international law and US law anyway -- and the president has to certify that Saudi Arabia is cooperating with the US against ISIS/Al Qaeda terrorism.

    What's revolutionary is that Murphy and Paul are formally challenging the taboo against publicly asking questions about the US military relationship to Saudi Arabia and inviting other senators to join them.


    Graduate students at New York University have overwhelmingly voted to boycott Israel in protest of its violation of Palestinian human rights.

    Exactly two-thirds of voting members of the graduate student union the Graduate Student Organizing Committee, or GSOC-UAW 2110, supported a referendum on Friday that calls for New York University and United Auto Workers International to withdraw their investments from Israeli state institutions and international corporations complicit in violations of Palestinian human and civil rights.

    At least 645 union members participated in the vote. An additional 57 percent of voting members pledged to uphold the academic boycott of Israel, refraining from participating in research and academic programs sponsored by institutions funded by the Israeli government.

    The union says this “was an unusually large membership turnout, a testament to union democracy.” It explained in a statement that the vote took place after a period of “vigorous debate and engagement with the union among wide layers of graduate workers.”

    “After months of mass mobilization and a four-day election, GSOC members have taken a clear stand for justice in Palestine,” explained Shafeka Hashash, a member of the union’s Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, caucus.

    “This historic endorsement of BDS by GSOC at NYU occurs in the wake of growing momentum for the movement across university campuses and labor unions nationwide,” she added.

    BDS is an international grassroots movement that uses peaceful economic means to pressure Israel into complying with international law and respecting Palestinian human rights. The campaign was called for by Palestinian civil society and by major trade unions in the occupied Palestinian territories.

    The Graduate Student Organizing Committee is a labor union representing more than 2,000 teaching assistants, adjunct instructors, research assistants and other graduate workers at New York University, or NYU. It is the first recognized graduate worker union at a private university in the U.S.

    1. The Pequod is back sailing the high seas....

    2. Robert Fulford: Where ISIL came from (and where it’s going next)

      Robert Fulford | April 22, 2016 9:42 AM ET
      More from Robert Fulford
      Abu Sayyaf gunmen stand in front of an ISIL flag. The group claimed allegiance in 2014.

      YouTube Abu Sayyaf gunmen stand in front of an ISIL flag. The group claimed allegiance in 2014.

      In June, 2014, Barack Obama dismissed the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as the terrorist equivalent of a junior varsity basketball team. He remarked that “If a j.v. team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” In other words, nothing there for Americans to worry about.

      A few weeks later, the junior varsity overran four Iraqi divisions and captured Mosul (pop. 2.5-million), Iraq’s second biggest city. It has since become clear that ISIL’s tentacles reach into Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Yemen, Afghanistan and Nigeria. Today the largest of its affiliated branch offices has settled in Surt, a port in eastern Libya.

      The leader and self-anointed caliph of ISIL, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has sent several lieutenants there to prepare for the possibility of a major change: if ISIL is forced to retreat from Syria, Surt will be its new headquarters.

      That last fact appears in ISIS: A History (Princeton University Press), by Fawaz A. Gerges. He’s an Indonesian-American professor at the London School of Economics, specializing in the Middle East. Writing with energy and clarity, and out of uncommonly extensive knowledge, he wants us to know how ISIL was born in the sectarian, corrupt, tyranny-ridden swamp of Middle East governance. It will not disappear, he believes, till that noxious swamp is drained.

      Baghdadi and the other Islamic State leaders are opportunists who capitalized on the power vacuum created by the weakening of governments. The Arab Spring, beginning in 2011, was a secular attempt to displace the dictators who traditionally controlled Arab countries. The Arab Spring shook the roots of the powerful and dissolved national institutions, from the military to the garbage collectors. With those elements hollowed out in the chaos that followed, ISIL moved in.

      In certain places, such as areas of Syria ravaged by civil war, ISIL established vital government services. Those in need, and able to avoid trouble with ISIL, were grateful, for at least a brief time. But, as Gerges says, “Beyond sound and fury and a cult of death,” this band of murderers has nothing positive to offer Arabs and Muslims.

    3. As a Sunni faction, ISIL drew strength from the centuries-old Sunni-Shia conflict. It often seems that Sunnis and Shias hate each other more than they hate the Americans, or even the Israelis. Sunnis claim Shias are heretics, a dagger aimed at the heart of the Islam, the villains responsible for the decline of Islamic civilization. Many Sunnis believe Shias can be blamed even for the loss in 1683 of the Battle of Vienna, when the Ottoman Empire came close to conquering Europe. Baghdadi holds a genocidal view of Shias: they should be seen as infidels who must either convert or be exterminated.

      Gerges believes the homicidal qualities of ISIL reflect the recent history of the region. He says that ISIL atrocities stem from the bitter inheritance of Baathist rule that tore apart Iraq’s social fabric, leaving wounds that still fester. Baghdadi surrounds himself with junior and senior officers of Saddam Hussein’s army and police, many of them former enforcers of Baathism’s brutal regime.

      In ideology, ISIL is a Salafi-jihad movement, part of a puritan fundamentalist tendency grounded in what its adherents consider authentic Islam. In conduct it follows sharia law and regards modernity with absolute hostility.

      For someone who spends his days studying the recurrent horrors of the Middle East, Gerges remains astonishingly optimistic. Although foreign recruits to ISIL continue to arrive, there are credible reports of fighters defecting from the organization. The Syria-bound flow of jihadists has partially dried up since the U.S. and Turkey have closed the Turkey-Syria border, which until recently provided a lifeline to ISIL.

      If it is defeated, ISIL could mutate into its original shape, an underground, paramilitary Salafi-jihadist organization.

      The optimism of Gerges reaches its height when he imagines what will come next. If ISIL or something like it is not to appear again, the Arab world will need an intellectual reformation. Mosque and state will have to be severed, so that religion can no longer swamp politics. Citizenship and the rule of law, rather than religious or ethnic affiliation, will be the basis of membership in the nation-state. Tolerance will be a foundation of religious and educational curricula.

      Various Arab intellectuals have made similar proposals, sometimes at the cost of their lives. Gerges doesn’t suggest how such radical change will be introduced by populations with no experience in developing modern ideas. Instead he leaves us with his belief that this complex generational change must be fought for, and eventually won, regardless of how long it takes. Recent history suggests it will be very long indeed.

      National Post