“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, May 28, 2016

Trump and Clinton Have Something in Common: Neither is Fit to be President


Why The Young Turks, and their viewers, love Bernie Sanders

“A lot of you know the Young Turks?” asked Sanders, referring to the online news empire Uygur launched in 2002. The cheers gave him his answer. “We live in a world where the corporate media, people who own our country, give us their definition of reality. What Cenk and a few other people are trying to do is give us a different perspective on reality; the reality facing the middle class, working people.”

Uygur was beaming, but he had to race up the freeway to his Culver City studio. The Young Turks, which has grown in surges since before the dawn of YouTube, has become something akin to the state network of the “political revolution.” Its hosts run from the merely Sanders-philiac, like Uygur, to the Sanders-obsessed, like comedian Jimmy Dore. Sanders was scheduled to give the Young Turks his second interview Friday in just two months.

“In the old days, TV had a lot of power, but that’s shifting now,” Uygur said in an interview at TYT’s Culver City headquarters, a former bar that’s home to two fully outfitted studios, a shelf of awards and an iguana mascot — Mayaguana — who just showed up one day. “So we’d better figure out how to use that power for the issues we care about, because cable TV is worse than propaganda. It’s marketing for the rich and powerful.”

Sanders’s campaign for president has sent progressives in search of friendlier media, especially since he fell prohibitively behind Hillary Clinton in the delegate hunt. Formerly reliable sources of news and analysis, like MSNBC, began to look like Clinton PR; comic anchors from Trevor Noah to Samantha Bee to John Oliver have mocked the Sanders voters who can’t see that he’s losing.

Cenk Uygur, center, of the Young Turks, departs after speaking at a Bernie Sanders rally at Santa Monica High School this month. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)
“PolitiFact looked into the charges of rigging in Nevada and found no clear evidence the state party hijacked the process,” said Oliver last week, “and you can disagree with that, as I’m sure Bernie supporters in the comment section will.”
That’s not a message Sanders diehards want to hear. The search for analysis of how the candidate can still win has built a massive Reddit group, turned freelance columnist H.A. Goodman into a viral hitmaker (typical column: “Bernie Sanders Will Become Democratic Nominee Even If Clinton Leads in Delegates”), and boosted the Young Turks.

“MSNBC and CNN are horrible,” said Afton Tarin, 30, a photographer who attended the Anaheim rally. “Cenk is really big on making sure he explains what the media is saying, and explains the reality it’s not covering. I’m seeing these events from the same perspective. Nevada’s a good example. MSNBC said we were throwing chairs. I watched every video — nobody threw a chair. And Cenk was honest about that.”

“The Young Turks,” hosted by Uygur, is the flagship program of the YouTube channel of the same name. Like the rest of the channel’s coverage (sports, comedy, movies), the program looks like any other TV show — two hosts riff on a subject as images and punny titles flash behind them. Uygur’s co-hosts often end up as straight men as the founder, clad in a blazer over an open-collar shirt or branded TYT T-shirt, marvels at the stupidity of the media and the establishment.
Since the start of 2015, and accelerating with the campaign, TYT has more than doubled its YouTube shares (to more than 4 million), tripled its Facebook likes (to more than 1 million), and grown its subscriber base by 75 percent, including many paid subscribers.

Nearly 3 million people subscribe to TYT’s YouTube channel; for comparison, 1.4 million subscribe to CNN, and 100,000 subscribe to the millennial-focused and consciously hip Fusion. At Sanders’s California rallies, TYT personalities risk being mobbed by fans. On Sunday, as he tried to cover a Sanders speech in Irvine, Jimmy Dore was spotted by dozens of fans who turned and shouted his catchphrase — “Don’t freak out!” So many of them rushed him for photos that the event’s security had to shoo them away.

“It’s hard to get any work done,” said Dore, not exactly crestfallen.
Uygur himself sidestepped the crowd by speaking from the stage. “Do you trust the establishment media?” he asked a booing crowd in Anaheim. “Do you think they’ve treated Bernie Sanders fairly?”

When the boos subsided, he offered a theory of why Sanders couldn’t get fair coverage: “corporate media” and its advertisers.

“This cycle alone, they are going to put $4 billion into political ads,” he said. “You think TV wants to change that? They look at Bernie Sanders and say, ‘Whoa, that guy’s gonna rock the boat.’ We look at Bernie Sanders and say: ‘Damn right he is!’ ”

For a while, as documented in a warts-and-all film called “Mad As Hell,” Uygur tried to infiltrate that system. He began his punditry career as a Rush Limbaugh Republican. After the impeachment of Bill Clinton, he switched sides and built a cult reputation as a liberal talker who was as loud and fearless as right-wingers — with a home-brewed talk show network. By the end of the George W. Bush administration, he was guest-hosting on MSNBC, shuttling between Los Angeles and New York for a dream job.

“I made $70,000 in the 1990s, when I was a corporate lawyer,” said Uygur. “I didn’t see that salary again until I was on MSNBC.”

In 2011, Uygur was finally offered a show of his own — a weekend slot for $1 million. He had wanted a weekday slot. TYT fans had even campaigned for it, as if Uygur were a candidate for office. When Uyghur turned it down, he told viewers that he’d made a moral stand against the network sidelining him because he criticized the Obama administration from the left.

“If I take the money, and I get a reduced role, and I just do whatever I do with it — maybe I rise up in the ranks again — what’s the point?” he asked.

TYT moved to Al Gore’s Current TV, then (after Current’s acquisition by Al Jazeera) back to total independence. By taking Sanders’s campaign seriously, it has given his voters the shocking, comforting image of confident pundits, talking on a screen, about how Sanders can actually win.

The next question is how it can cover the news when he doesn’t win. The night of New York’s primary, which Clinton won easily, Uygur’s role in TYT live coverage was to look ahead — in the world of a likely Clinton victory. “I got a lot of flack for that,” he said.
Uygur is aware, more than most Sanders supporters, of how wrenching a defeat could be. Some progressives, who will have seen a political insurgency almost overthrow the leadership of the Democratic Party, will wonder why they should stick around. “Jimmy’s almost ‘Bernie or Bust’ already,” he said. Uygur was not.

“I’ve defended the Clintons longer than I’ve been a liberal, but I don’t have any nostalgia for that,” he said. “I know what I’ll be getting — the same thing I’m getting my whole life. Screwed, but in a reliable way. But that saying, stick with the devil you know? This is the one time it’s true. The devil I know is the establishment, and I’m gonna beat that devil. It’s a matter of time. Trump is a maniac.”

In a month, people who discovered the show during the primary might be looking to the Young Turks for debate or analysis of whether they could possibly vote for Clinton. Until then, as Sanders camps out in California and works toward a historic win, Uygur will be besieged by true believers. One of them pounced as he left the Sanders rally in Anaheim.

“Can you come speak at our convention?” asked Patrick Kelly, 69, a Teamster.
“You’ve got to run for office, man!”

Uygur laughed, like he’d heard it before. “No way,” he said. He kept heading toward the door, to make the hour drive back to Culver City, and host the Young Turks.


  1. In Bernie's favor is that he is not a mob boss, like Hillary, though he might become one if given the power. Most socialists do....current example being the bus driver boss of Venezuela, and Chavez before him.

    Hillary Clinton - Career Criminal

    Jonathon F. Keiler

  2. The Democratic Primary is over. Clinton only needs 74 more delegates, and she's polling way ahead in Puerto Rico, New Jersey, and California (and, one would assume, NM.)

    Life is simple, now. Hillary Clinton, or Trump, will be President. Pick one.

    1. Trump.

      Never vote for a career criminal.

      And, she's not way ahead in California.

    2. The Reuters Interactive Poll has the non-college graduate whites (approx. 33% of the vote) supporting Trump by 18.3%, for a net gain of +6% of the Total Vote.

      College Graduates and above (37% of the total vote,) however, are picking Hillary by 13.3%. This gives her a net gain in this group of about 4.9% of the Total Vote.

      And, then comes the Non-white vote (30% of the total.) Reuters shows Hillary "netting out" 52% with Blacks, Latinos, and Am. Indians, for a Total pick-up of 16.3% of Total.

      With these numbers, it's Hillary +15.2 for the win.

      Is Hillary really winning by 15 points? Probably not. But, it's as believable a set of numbers as a poll showing the white non-college cohort voting 25% above their normal level, and white college educated (the most reliable voter group on the planet) voting 20 Below their usual percentage.

      Reuters Interactive

    3. Hillary's ahead by about 8% in California according to RCP.

      I define 'way ahead' to mean double digits.


    4. And, as believable as thinking the non-white cohort will be down to 20% of the vote, rather than the 30-31%, predicted.

    5. I was wrong above.....

      Entering Final Primary Stretch, Clinton And Sanders Fight For A California Win

      John Locher/AP

      California wasn't supposed to be close. In early polling, Hillary Clinton had a commanding lead, but that lead has all but vanished. A new survey from the Public Policy Institute of California has Clinton in a virtual tie with Bernie Sanders among Democratic primary likely voters — 46 percent support Clinton while 44 percent support Sanders....

    6. RCP Rolling polls have Clinton up over Trump nationally by a mighty 1%, 43.8% to 42.8%.

      And this may not factor in yet the hit from the State Department's IG Report on her criminality.

      How come Hillary etal. refused to cooperate with this investigation when she's said she would cooperate with inquiries ?

      I don't get it.

      Could it be she's guilty as hell and is trying to cover her dirty criminal arse ?

    7. She should just start taking the 5th, and drinking 5ths too.

      She's screwed.

  3. The Japanese Were Trying To Make An Atomic Bomb, Too

    (and were closer than you know)

    Robert K. Wilcox

    The article mentions that the Japanese may have test fired one in Korea towards the end of the war....which was news to me....but the Russians rushed into Korea and we don't know for certain. The captured Japanese scientists in Korea were taken by the Russians....

  4. Clinton vs. Trump - The Worst Choice Ever !

    Robert Morrison

  5. .

    Those people who put those lists together of the goofy things politicians say must be licking their chops at the thought they may have Trump arounf for a while.

    On Fox and Friends last week, Trump lamented Sanders "didn't pick up on the emails, which I think was a big mistake."

    "I'm going to pick up bigly."


    1. Also, yesterday: There is no drought in California.

    2. The Donald does everything bigly.

      What else can he say ?

      Sounds perfectly appropriate and understandable to me.

      I hope he continues to pick up bigly on BillyGoat's sex crimes too, and Hillary's enabling of same.

      And bigly on the Clinton Foundation with its corruption and crime, and all their other crap.

  6. The device that eavesdrops on the voices in your head: Mind-reaching machine could soon turn your secret thoughts into speech

    want reproduce speech from brain recordings in real-time

    Goal is to help those affected by motor disease such as Lou Gehrig's

    Such a novel device would communicate people's intended thoughts via an electronic speaker or writing device, the say

    By Ellie Zolfagharifard For

    Published: 16:15 EST, 27 May 2016 | Updated: 11:38 EST, 28 May 2016

    A mind-reaching machine that can translate thoughts into speech is coming closer to reality.

    The research has been ongoing for several years, and recently, scientists successfully managed to playback a word that someone is thinking by monitoring their brain activity.

    While there remains a long way to go, they say this could help victims of stroke and others with speech paralysis to communicate with their loved ones....


    Other uses for such a device come to mind....

    1. Put one on Hillary and The Donald and see what they're really thinking, for instance....

      All the politicians should be required to wear them....

  7. For those who think the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was shameful:

    5 Days before the bombs were dropped, the US showered the cities with over 5 million leaflets warning civilians of the impending attack. An American controlled radio station in Saipan broadcasted similar warnings every 15 minutes for 5 days. Following Little Boy dropping on Hiroshima, even more leaflets were dropped. 3 days later, Fat Man dropped on Nagasaki.

    Did the Japanese drop leaflets over Pearl prior to that bombing? No.

    If a reliable source informed you that soon your house would blow up, would you vacate the premises? Dumb question.

    Some here like to denigrate and vilify the US at every opportunity.

    1. Like some dumb shit that never got beyond what he "learned" in the Sixties.

      ...and Obama learned 20 years later.

      Blame America First

    2. "To try and force the Japanese government to surrender (and nobody in 1945 knew if the plan would even work) by making it watch mass casualties of innocents, and then to hold the nation hostage to future serial attacks on defenseless cities with the promise of more bombs to come, speaks to a cruelty previously unseen."


    3. Actually, leaflets were dropped, the day after Nagasaki was bombed.

      No leaflets were dropped on either Hiroshima or Nagasaki before they were nuked. The first Truman Library has the first draft, that was never dropped. The second one was the second draft, and was dropped, but only after the bombs were used.

      The leaflets dropped over Japan were more psyops than “trying to save lives”.

      Fire bombing in Europe and Japan was just what it looked like. The ultimate military deed to terrorize civilian populations to succumb and end the war. The technology improved with the nuclear weapons.

    4. LeMay leaflets were dropped on many cities before the A-bomb, however.

    5. War is shameful. Soldiers are those forced to fight them. They are political victims. So called “warriors” are those that love it and paid mercenaries are the scum of the earth.

      I have seen all of it, the politician’s shit wars, the soldiers lied to and dragged into hell, gungho mother fuckers and lifers that call themselves warrior, and the ex shit bird scumbags, pumped up psychopaths who are mercenaries and pollute the bars and brothels of Central America.

      The dead are all gone and for what? The veteran with half a face of stretched scar tissue and no legs wheeling himself around a Costco, blowing through a straw.

      All for who? All for what?

    6. LeMay leaflets were dropped on many cities before the A-bomb, however.

      You are correct but not to save lives. Psyops was something we borrowed from the Germans who were terrorizing English cities.

      A good read: see Jacques Ellul

  8. Hispanic voter registration spikes

    The Hate America Crowd has already given the country away.

    Good job, boys and girls.

  9. Visit California's Central Valley to see the future of what once was a great country.

    ...or read Victor Davis Hanson.

    He's still living part-time in the shithole that once was a beautiful family farm.

  10. Deceptive Headline, Deuce.

    Then again, it is laudatory of the "Young Turk." so that fits, at least.

  11. Baghdad Operations announces killing 110 terrorists north of Karma, 2030 people evacuated

    ( Baghdad – On Saturday, Baghdad Operations Command announced, that 100 terrorists were killed and 2030 people were evacuated from the northern axis of Karma, while pointed out to the destruction of 39 hideouts belonging to the enemy.

    The command said in a statement obtained by, “The security forces in the northern axis of Karma, Albu Shajal axis, al-Lahib, Jesr al-Tofaha axis, backed by al-Hashd al-Shaabi, tribal fighters, al-Hashd al-Ashaeri, Army Aviation, Iraqi Air Force, international coalition aviation and artillery, managed in the past 24 hours to kill 110 terrorists and wound 20 others, as well as destroying 18 vehicles, including one booby-trapped vehicle.”

    The statement added, “The operations also resulted in seizing an exclusive belt and materials, in addition to dismantling 535 improvised explosive devices and 20 houses,” pointing out that, “Three laboratories, two bulldozers and 39 hideouts were also destroyed during the operations.”

    “The army’s 6th brigade and 14th infantry brigade evacuated 2030 people through safe havens,” the statement continued.


  12. subotaibahadur •
    "Gun Control" as pushed by the Left, and Leftist foreign policy differ only in degree. Both are based on the central concept that an individual or a nation defending itself from a criminal aggressor is inherently worse than the criminal aggression. And that both nations and individuals should leave the use of force to the Leftist elites who by their nature are above mere humans. The nations and individuals who are destroyed by this doctrine are of no account compared to ensuring that the Leftists are supreme.

    My home state has open carry and fairly easy concealed carry laws. We have a "make my day" law. I wish my country had the equivalents.

    1. "The 2nd Amendment isn't about shooting deer, it's about shooting tyrants"

      Judge Napolitano

    2. Just reminding what it was really about.

  13. Strikes in Syria

    Attack and fighter aircraft conducted six strikes in Syria:

    -- Near Raqqah, a strike struck an ISIL vehicle bomb factory.

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

    -- Near Manbij, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL-used cave.

    -- Near Mar’a, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed seven ISIL fighting positions.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 28 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

    -- Near Baghdadi, two strikes destroyed an ISIL bunker and an ISIL vehicle.

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

    -- Near Fallujah, four strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL vehicles and an ISIL tunnel entrance.

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

    -- Near Hit, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun.

    -- Near Kisik, two strikes suppressed two separate ISIL mortar positions.

    -- Near Mosul, eight strikes struck six separate ISIL tactical units, damaged an ISIL staging area, suppressed an ISIL rocket position, and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL assembly areas, six ISIL supply caches, an ISIL command and control node and an ISIL vehicle bomb.

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

    -- Near Sinjar, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and suppressed an ISIL rocket position and an ISIL mortar position.

    -- Near Tal Afar, four strikes struck three separate ISIL headquarters and an ISIL weapons storage facility.

    1. WASHINGTON, May 27, 2016 — Iraqi security forces operations backed by the U.S.-led coalition are progressing toward liberating the key Iraqi city of Fallujah from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant control and killed the city’s ISIL commander, Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren told Pentagon reporters today.

      Briefing from Baghdad by teleconference, Warren said Iraqi forces have cleared Karmah, 10 miles northeast of Fallujah, but have not yet entered the city of about 50,000 Iraqi residents.

      Protecting Civilians

      “The Iraqi government has been clear that protecting these civilians is their priority,” he said. To communicate with Fallujah’s residents, coalition aircraft dropped leaflets telling those who cannot leave the city to affix white sheets on their rooftops to mark their locations, Warren said.

      The Iraqi army is working on evacuation routes for Fallujah residents, while the Anbar provincial government has set up camps for the displaced people, he added.

      The combined operation includes thousands of forces -- the Iraqi army and federal police, Sunni tribal fighters and the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service, in addition to Iraq's popular mobilization forces that are taking part outside the city, Warren said.

      Coalition airstrikes from Taqqadum with some artillery fire are also supporting the operation to retake Fallujah, the colonel said, but he added it’s still early in the fight, “so it's unclear how long this battle will last.”

      ISIL fighters have performed in one of two ways the past the last several months, Warren said. “In Ramadi, we encountered an enemy that chose to stand and fight,” he explained. “More recently in Hit and in Rutbah, ISIL hid behind women and children before throwing down their weapons and running away. In both cases, they lost.”

      Warren said a local newspaper reported ISIL leadership arrested some of its fighters who had fled from Rutbah and executed them by cooking them to death in bakery ovens.

    2. Cooked them in bakery ovens....bakery ovens, acid vats, cages dropped into water....those a-holes know all the tricks, and seem to enjoy it too.

  14. Yes, Hillary Was An Enabler


    Donald Trump reneged on his intention to debate Senator Bernie Sanders on Friday in a brief statement on his website.

    “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher,” the statement read.

    The statement came to light shortly after Traction and Scale CEO Richie Hecker volunteered to offer the $10 million the GOP nominee had wanted to be donated to charity as a condition of debating Sanders.

    Anyone expecting change from Trump will be disappointed.

    1. Damn, and I was looking forward to that, and 10 million $ left that could have gone to charity.

  16. War Crimes of Imperial Japan: A Lesson In Moral Equivalence for Mr. Obama

  17. Boycotts sometimes work -

    Target market cap now down $10.5 billion in wake of boycott - 5/28/16
    Letting men into women's bathrooms continues to cost the mega-retailer. More

    American Thinker headline

  18. I cannot think of one member of Congress that I would want any of my family to go to war for, not one president or judge, not one Baptist minister or Catholic priest, not IBM, Exxon or any billionaire , not a single country in the Middle East or income idiotic venture against China or Russia.


    Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
    He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored
    He has loosed the fateful lightening of His terrible swift sword
    His truth is marching on

    Glory, glory, Hallelujah
    Glory, glory, Hallelujah
    Glory, glory, Hallelujah
    His truth is marching on

    He has sounded for the trumpet that shall never call retreat
    He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat
    Oh, be swift, my soul to answer Him, be jubilant, my feet
    Our God is marching on

    Glory, glory, Hallelujah
    Glory, glory, Hallelujah
    Glory, glory, Hallelujah
    His truth is marching on

    In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea
    With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me
    As He died to make men holy let us die to make men free
    While God is marching on

    Glory, glory, Hallelujah
    Glory, glory, Hallelujah
    Glory, glory, Hallelujah
    His truth is marching on

    Glory, glory, Hallelujah
    Glory, glory, Hallelujah
    Glory, glory, Hallelujah
    His truth is marching on



    After you mother fucker, after you.

  19. World war II was worth it, and our Civil War.

    World War II was an absolute necessity, and in my mind our Civil War too.

    In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea
    With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me
    As He died to make men holy let us die to make men free

    Beautiful lines.

    1. The Confederacy, if it had survived, might well have fought on the side of the Germans.

  20. While ISIS is getting squeezed in Fallujah ISIS is expanding towards Azaz in Syria.

    Reminds of a toothpaste tube.

    1. You will have to educate us on how the Civil War was worth it and what possible US interests were served my the mass slaughter of WWI.

      While you in rapture over:

      In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea
      With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me
      As He died to make men holy let us die to make men free

      It has the ring of jihad and holy warriors to me.

    2. I didn't say WWI was worth it.

      The Civil War was worth it because it ended slavery. So you disagree.

      If you don't think WWII was worth it for the defense of our country and the freedom and humanity of so many millions of others then again we disagree.

      Fox News just reported that the assault on Fallujah may be 'delayed'....too many civilians at risk....

      Who said this ? -

      [Israel’s] security advantage means cooperation with moderate nations…our partners could gain very nice inputs. And there’s also the economic sphere. I am convinced that one day, we’ll have embassies in Riyadh, in Kuwait, in the Gulf States and other places. The combination of our initiative, technology and knowledge with their tremendous financial reserves can together change the world.

      Answer in this link -

    3. Both Japan and Germany were working on nuclear weapons, and would have used them. On us, sooner or later. So I think it worth it preventing that catastrophe.

      Oddly, Der Fuhrer though didn't seem to think that highly of the idea, having formed the opinion that 'Jewish science' was at the root of them. But even so he would have 'come around' eventually.

  21. One day after photographs of US Green Berets wearing patches of the Syrian Kurdish YPG on their uniforms surfaced, and after Pentagon officials insisted it was totally routine and not a big deal, the self-same Pentagon officials now say the Green Berets have ordered them to end the “unacceptable” behavior of wearing those self-same patches.

    NATO-member Turkey, as Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu issued a statement blasting the “two-faced” US for wearing YPG patches, saying the US troops might as well also wear the patches of ISIS and al-Qaeda when they operate in northern Syria.

    1. That's what the perfidious Turks would say, the swines.

    2. Remember, you're talkin about Mevlut Cavusoglu, boy!

  22. Regarding Deuce's comments about leaflets and bombing upstream about 6 pm:

    I just read an excellent essay regarding such at:

    Host seems to be right, and I stand corrected. Peace out.

  23. U.S. commander warns that Iraqi forces may face resistance in key urban fight

    Smoke rises from Islamic State positions at the front line as Iraqi government forces fight the extremist group for Fallujah on Saturday. (Khalid Mohammed/AP)

    By Missy Ryan and Mustafa Salim May 28 at 4:36 PM 

    BAGHDAD — Iraqi forces’ ability to deal a swift blow to the Islamic State in the city of Fallujah could be slowed by local support for militants, the U.S. commander in Iraq said, suggesting a key battle may be a longer, tougher fight than Iraqi leaders are predicting.

    Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, who commands U.S. and allied forces in Iraq, said it was too soon to know how the battle within Fallujah would unfold. But he struck a more cautious note than Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and other senior officials have in rallying Iraqis around what they say will be a rapid, decisive campaign in the besieged city.

    “We really haven’t fought a battle like this,” MacFarland said in an interview this past week. The general said that the western city is home to some of Iraq’s “early adopters” of the Islamic State’s radical cause and that others have been indoctrinated. “You could have a fairly large percentage of a fairly large city that’s hostile to us,” he said.

    While Iraqi police and army forces, fighting alongside Shiite militias and Sunni tribesmen, have secured areas surrounding Fallujah since the operation was launched nearly a week ago, Abadi has not yet given the order to storm the city....