“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."

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Trump Signals a US Policy Favoring Stability in the Middle East Over Chaos and Regime Change

Trump’s Syria Shift Begins as Son Meets Opposition Figure in Paris

Kassis Is Part of 'Pro-Russia' Opposition Block in Syria

Since the election, there have been talks of President-elect Donald Trump dramatically shifting US policy in Syria, moving away from supporting the rebels to focusing on fighting ISIS, with the expectation that he will align more closely to the Russian government in joint strikes on ISIS.
That appears to be happening already, with Donald Trump Jr. attending a Paris meeting with Randa Kassis, a Syrian opposition figure who has supported Russian intervention and has supported the idea of a peaceful political transition including the Assad government’s leadership.
Kassis was part of the early Syrian National Council rebel faction, but left in 2012. She participated in the Geneva peace talks earlier this year at the invitation of the Russian government, and is considered part of the “patriotic opposition” in the country, which is generally opposed to the Islamist factions.
That Kassis has been favorable to Russia and vice versa has meant by and large the Obama Administration and its allies want nothing to do with her group. That Trump is already having his family attending meetings portends a change away from supporting the war and toward supporting a political transition.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz


  1. Thousands Flee Into ISIS Territory as Shi’ite Militias Advance in Northwest Iraq

    Many Seen Heading Into Syria
    by Jason Ditz, November 23, 2016

    With Shi’ite militias continuing to advance toward the Iraqi city of Tal Afar, west of Mosul, the civilian population of Tal Afar are starting to flee by the thousands, and as had been repeatedly feared by aid groups, the civilians are mostly fleeing into other ISIS-held territory further west along the border with Syria.

    This has been a recurring problem in the Iraqi invasion of ISIS cities, as the Shi’ite militias carry out bloody purges of the local population, and many find themselves fleeing. Unwelcome in territory held by the Shi’ite government, they are stuck fleeing into the ever-shrinking territory of ISIS for lack of anywhere else to go.

    Provincial MP Nuraldin Qablan urged Kurdish officials to open their territory to fleeing civilians, but so far that appears unlikely. The thousands of families aren’t totally clear where they are going to end up, and many seem to be heading into neighboring Syria.

    Whatever the case, staying in Tal Afar isn’t an option, with the militias bragging about being close to having totally surrounded the area to block supplies to ISIS. Those same militias have tortured and killed large numbers of civilians in the sieges in cities like Fallujah, and despite repeated assurances from the government, there is no sign they are going to actually stop.

    Iraq, Syria, Libya....all need partition.

  2. Hillary for Secretary of State.

    We need more Chaos and Regime Change!

    ...for the Children.

    1. She helped knock the sand castle over. Surely she's the gal that can put it back together again !

      It will still need abuilding when she gets out of prison, I bet.

  3. Mark Fuckerberg:

    1. Them Fuckerbergs is all the same.

      Here's what I noticed:

      Note the lying advertisers to the right of his status update?

      Yup, I noticed the lying advertisers. All the same, them lying advertisers.

      Worse than the Fuckerbergs.

  4. Happy Thanksgiving, Bar Mates !

    November 24, 2016
    Giving Thanks: Donald Trump’s Top Ten
    By G. Murphy Donovan

    And Thank You, Donald Trump, for giving us a Thanksgiving without a President-Elect Clinton !

  5. Replies
    1. Eh ?

      What in the world are you mumbling about, Ash ?

    2. Ash overfloweth with moral turpentine, nevertheless Happy Thanksgiving, you turkey.

    3. Advice concerning how to talk with Ash at Thanksgiving -

      Be That Obnoxious Conservative Uncle At Thanksgiving

  6. ISIS sucks, they have brutally slaughtered about 50,000 men, women and kids...

    That being said?

    Assad, Hezbollah and Iran have slaughtered over 800,000 and made homeless 10 million.

    And of course the numbers of sunni's murdered in Iraq? COUNTLESS. IN THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS.

    Hard to wrap your brain around the depths of violence the shiites and sunnis do to one another, let alone christians, kurds, jews, druze and such...

    The solution is easy, ethnic separation. Sunnis go to Sunni lands, Shiites go to Shiite lands. None go to the west.

  7. The solution is easy, ethnic separation. Sunnis go to Sunni lands, Shiites go to Shiite lands. None go to the west.

    You compressed and expressed my struggling thoughts exactly, WiO.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

  8. What we got here is a lack of moral turpentine -

    November 24, 2016
    The Pathological Intolerance of the Left
    By Patricia McCarthy

    A New Mexico CEO, Mathew Blanchfield, appeared on Tucker Carlson's show Wednesday night to defend the letter he posted on his website, 1st in SEO in New Mexico, telling his clients who voted for or support Donald Trump to take their business elsewhere. In his letter, he calls Trump "racist, sexist, fascist." He asked his clients to respond and confirm "where you stand politically. If you are a Republican or support Trump, we will no longer serve you." He wrote that he had a moral obligation then, on the Carlson program, decried Trump's "lack of moral turpitude" for allegedly taking the mainstream press to task over its biased reporting throughout the campaign. Not only does he not know the meaning of the word "fascist," he does not know the meaning of the word "turpitude." He thinks he is really, really smart but he is not. And unfortunately for him, Carlson is smart.

    Carlson attempted to point out his exclusivity, his intolerance, but Blanchfield wasn't having any of it. He is imprudently proud of himself and his own moral superiority. Never mind those people who lost their businesses because they would not bake a cake for, provide flowers for, or photograph gay weddings, even though they had served those clients respectfully for years. Mr. Blanchfield was most likely on board in condemning those people because he is so inclusive and compassionate.

    Then there is the Penzey Spice Co. of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Anyone who cooks knows this brand. Mr. Penzey has also told any and all of his customers that his company no longer wants the business of Trump supporters. His Facebook post (read the whole thing) is as illiberal as Blanchfield's. He suggests Trump voters "redeem" themselves by donating to the ACLU or the Southern Poverty Law Center, one of the most radically intolerant leftist organizations in America, a group that specializes in viciously savaging anyone on their radar whose politics they do not like.

    Of course, CNN's Chistianne Amanpour weighed in with a speech to The Committee to Protect Journalists, those privileged but beleaguered victims of bias and violence. She bemoaned Trump's tweet about the media inciting protestors. Trump was right of course but Amanpour was overwrought. She fears journalists like her are going to be "put in cages." Like most of her colleagues in the mainstream media, they cannot abide the fact that all their calculated propaganda employed to defeat Trump failed. She is seething with rage that "The winning candidate did a savvy end run around us and used it to go straight to the people." Wow. A candidate for President spoke directly to the people and won.

    The horror.

    1. She rails against "fake news sites." Those would be the ones with which she and her fellow journos disagree. That would be any site with conservative views reporting or commenting on the issues the left considers settled and beyond debate. It is Amanpour and her ilk that broadcast fake news, like "Hillary will win in a landslide." Every word out of their mouths is propaganda meant to sway public opinion. That is how stupid they think American citizens are. So stupid that we do not see them for exactly what they are: elitist snobs who believe it is their job to dictate to us how to think, act, speak, and vote.

      Someone these past few days noted that Hillary lost because she was more concerned about which bathrooms people can use than with the economy or the middle class that has been eviscerated by eight years of Obama policies, regulations, and the ACA. Too true, but the Democrats still do not get it. So wedded to identity/group politics they are about to make Keith Ellison head of the DNC. Ellison is a confirmed anti-Semite, anti-Israel, pro-Hamas pal of Louis Farrakhan. The Dems actually think they have to go harder left!

      The electoral map proved that the Democrat brand prevails, with a few exceptions, only on the coasts, and only in the north of the east coast. The infuriated left in California wants to secede. The state with the largest welfare dependent population, the most illegal immigrants, the highest taxed residents, thinks it can survive outside of the republic. Who are these people and where did they study econ 101 let alone the Constitution? Wherever they went to school, those basics were not taught. Mr. Blanchfield and Mr. Penzey know exactly nothing about the how the world works, or about history and its lessons. Ms. Amanpour certainly should, as she has been an international correspondent for many years but she, too, has been so marinated in the primordial ooze of globalist leftism and the belief in her own intellectual primacy that she is absolutely contemptuous of the American people who voted for Trump, for a change in direction.

      CNN's Carol Costello, when confronted with a millennial conservative who uttered the words "traditional values" said, "I don't know what that means." Therein lies the problem. These people who decide what is news and how it will be reported, and assume their power in deciding who will be elected have no values beyond their political ideology, which is to overturn anything and everything that reeks of traditional values. Blanchfield, Penzey and Amanpour will of course be celebrated by their peers for their "courageous stand" against Trump and his basket of deplorables. They don't own bakeries, florist shops or pizza parlors that can be shuttered merely be exercising their freedom of religion.

      Anyone who makes the left this apoplectic has got to be good for the country. Trump just may be the man to right this ship. These leftists are already scrambling for the lifeboats.


      I had the pleasure of watching this nitwit make a fool of himself.

      And, he did indeed compliment the Donald for having 'a lack of moral turpitude'.