“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."

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Neocons, Liberals and Globalists succeeded in 15 years of warfare at a cost of $5 Trillion and have accomplished nothing but death, misery and destruction


Do the Tragedies of Syria Signal the End of Arab Revolutions?


Just as the catastrophic Anglo-American invasion of Iraq brought an end to epic Western military adventures in the Middle East, so the tragedy of Syria ensures that there will be no more Arab revolutions. And it’s taken just 13 bloodsoaked years – from 2003 to 2016 – to realign political power. Russia and Iran and the Shia Muslims of the region are now deciding its future; Bashar al-Assad cannot claim victory – but he is winning.

“Aleppo must be taken quickly – before Mosul falls,” a Syrian brigadier announced to me with a wan smile in the country’s army headquarters in Damascus. And it did, scarcely a month later. There were – and still are – little Aleppos all over Syria in which the government and its armed “jihadi” opponents are playing “good guy” and “bad guy”, depending on who is besieging whom. When the Sunni militias end their siege of little Shia towns like Faour, the civilians flock to government lines. It’s reported as a slightly incomprehensible local dispute.

But when the regime’s forces storm into eastern Aleppo, it’s deplored around the world as a war crime. I’ve grown tired of repeating that, yes, war crimes are committed on both sides, and Bashar’s forces are no squeaky clean military cadets – although these days, we have to remember that 42 Royal Marine Commandos were not that squeaky clean in Afghanistan. But the story of Aleppo is still being re-threaded into old loops, the brave but largely “jihadi” defenders disguised as nondescript “rebels”, their opponents compared to Milosevic’s Serb killers or Saddam’s gas-bomb pilots.

All this will soon end. Russia realised that Obama and the weeping liberals of Europe were bluffing about the overthrow of Bashar – who, unlike Putin’s Ukrainian ally in Kiev, did not run away – and backed his army. The Economist made fun of Syrian soldiers because they supposedly couldn’t march in step when Moscow staged a military parade at its Syrian air base. But you don’t have to march like the Wehrmacht to win battles. The Syrian Arab Army – its real name, which is increasingly used, I notice, by the usual mountebanks who pose as “experts” on the satellite channels – boasts that it has fought simultaneously on 80 fronts against Isis, Nusrah and a clutch of other “jihadi” armies (and Free Syrian Army men who changed sides). Which, given the infractions and bulges in front lines, is probably true, but perhaps not a military record to be proud of. It’s one thing to recapture Palmyra from Isis, quite another to lose it to Isis again in the middle of the battle for eastern Aleppo.

Syrian soldiers have a lot of time for their Hezbollah militia allies – who used to turn up on the battlefield better armed than the Syrians themselves – but are less enamoured of the Iranian “advisors” who supposedly know so much about open warfare. I have been present when an Iranian officer called a Syrian general “stupid” – in this case, the Iranian was probably right – but Syrian officers are far more battle-trained and experienced than the Revolutionary Guard from Tehran who have sustained – along with their Afghan and Iraqi Shia allies – far more casualties than they believed possible.

So after almost five years of battle, the Syrian army is still in action. The Nusrah and Isis forces surrounding the government sector of the eastern Syrian city of Deir ez-Zour will almost certainly be its next target — after the retaking of Palmyra, but long before the Isis capital of Raqqa, which will probably be retaken by Washington’s Kurdish allies. And it is the Syrian army which will most likely have to rebuild the new Syria when the war eventually ends. It will certainly decide the future of the country.

That doesn’t mean the overthrow of Bashar. Neither among his official opponents nor his mortal jihadi enemies nor the corrupt and corrupted political opposition in Turkey is there anyone who can challenge him on the ground. Even if they were successful, you can be sure that the same prisons and dungeons in Syria would be in operation within 24 hours to lock up and torture the “new” opposition to a “new” regime. Besides, Vladimir Putin has suffered enough humiliation after Isis’s second success in Palmyra – after the Russians staged a victory concert of peace in the Roman city only a few months ago. He is not going to permit the defenestration of Bashar al-Assad.

Oddly, Western leaders remain stupefyingly unaware of the nature of the real struggle in Syria, and even which warlords they should support. Take the impotent François Hollande, who chose to tell the United Nations in September that Russia and Iran must compel Assad to make peace, because they would otherwise, along with the regime, “bear the responsibility for the division and chaos in Syria”. All well and good. Yet only two months earlier, the same Hollande was demanding “effective action” against the Islamist Nusrah front – among the defenders of Aleppo, although most of us decided not to tell our readers this – on the grounds that Isis was in retreat and Nusrah stood to take advantage of this. “That is beyond dispute,” Hollande pompously remarked of Isis’s “retreat”. That was before the retaking of Palmyra by the same ISIS brigands.

But perhaps Hollande and his European allies – and Washington – are so besotted with their own weak and flawed policies towards Syria (always supposing they can decide what these are), that they do not realise how power moves across battlefields. Instead of whinnying on about Russian brutality and mixing this in with Iranian cruelty and Hezbollah mendacity, they should be taking a close look at the mostly Sunni Muslim Syrian army which has been fighting, from the very start, against its mostly Sunni Muslim “jihadi” enemies. They have always regarded Nusrah – our “allies” in eastern Aleppo, since they are paid by our Gulf chums and armed by us — to be more dangerous than Isis. The Syrian army are right. Here, at least, Hollande must surely agree with their conclusion.

Yet the power of illusion matters more to us. If the West can’t retake Mosul from Isis, they could hardly have stopped the Syrians retaking eastern Aleppo. But they could easily encourage the Western media to concentrate on the beastly Russians in Aleppo rather than the fearful casualties inflicted on America’s allies in Mosul. The reporting on Aleppo these past weeks has sounded much like the accounts of British war correspondents in the First World War. And the Russians could encourage their own tame media to concentrate on the victory at Aleppo rather than defeat at Palmyra. As for Mosul, it’s mysteriously vanished from our news. I wonder why?

And how many died in Palmyra? And, for that matter, how many were really captive in eastern Aleppo? Was it really 250,000? Or was it 100,000? I came across a news report a few weeks ago which gave two overall statistics for fatalities in the entire Syrian war: 400,000; then, a few paragraphs later, 500,000 Well, which is it? I’m always reminded of the Nazi bombing of Rotterdam in 1940 when the Allies announced that 30,000 civilians had been killed. For years, this was the authentic figure. Then after the war, it turned out that the real figure – though terrible enough — was only around 900, 33 times less than the official version. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it, what Syria’s statistics really are?

And if we can’t get those right, what are we doing interfering in the Syrian war? Not that it matters. Russia is back in the Middle East. Iran is securing its political semi-circle of Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus-Beirut. And if the Gulf Arabs – or the Americans – want to reinvolve themselves, they can chat to Putin. Or to Assad.


  1. Does anyone in the Neocon Establishment have a clue on what they have done?

  2. The entire area in the Middle East is a stinking shit hole, a sink for money, lives, security and sanity.

    Leave them alone. Get out, stay out.

  3. “I think it’s politics more than anything else,” says former House of Representatives Member Ron Raul (R-TX) regarding calls for an investigation of purported hacking by the Russian government influencing the United States presidential election. Interviewed Wednesday on Fox Business, Paul continues that, even if Russia did what is alleged, Paul does not think it “made any difference.”

    Paul — providing perspective on the matter — notes that the US government is interfering with elections around the world “all the time.” Paul also suggests reviewing the history of US government involvement in foreign countries, including “how many countries we invaded, how many people we have killed in order to have our guy in.” Looking to this history, Paul concludes, “we don’t have much room for condemning anybody else.”

  4. December 26, 2016
    How Iran actually lost in Aleppo
    By Heshmat Alavi

    Is this the end?

    The turn of events does not spell the end of the Syrian opposition. The opposition controls large swathes of Syria, with areas over ten times larger than Aleppo and millions of residents. Idlib Province has at a three million strong population; the western coast of the Euphrates in the Turkish border, recently liberated by the Free Syrian Army from Daesh (ISIS/ISIL); large portions of Deraa Province neighboring Jordan; a strategically important section in the north in Latakia Province on the Turkish border; large portions of areas in the Damascus vicinity and large portions in the Aleppo vicinity.

    In contrast to Western mainstream media reporting, the Syrian opposition enjoys the capability to rise once again....

    Lesson learned in Syria

    For 16 years America has failed to adopt a correct policy in the Middle East despite having huge opportunities to make significant changes. The 2003 war literally gift-wrapped Iraq to Iran, parallel to the highly flawed mentality of preferring Shiite fundamentalism to Sunni fundamentalism. This allowed Iran take full advantage of such failures and resulting voids.

    Aleppo will be a short-lived success story for Iran. The tides are changing across the globe and Iran will no longer enjoy opportunities from West rapprochement. Understanding this very well, this is exactly why Tehran has resorted to such atrocities and sought to massacre all in Aleppo.

    In contrast to how the U.S. handed Iraq in a silver plate to Iran, Russia never entered the Syria mayhem to hand it over to Iran. The roots of Aleppo remain in the hearts of all Syrians. As world powers, especially the U.S. and Russia review their future objectives, Iran will be the first and ultimate party to suffer....

    1. In Syria at least, the USA is one of the more minor sinners, unless one considers it a major sin to walk away from announced 'red lines' and fail to set up safe zones when that option was open.

  5. Looking like George Michael was another victim of heroin.

    I'd never heard of the guy. Not country/western.


    He will be missed.

    From Day One he called O'bozo 'a smart alek'.....

    cocky, arrogant, conceited, brash, swaggering, egotistical, cocksure, overconfident, swollen-headed......

    in other words, full of shit.

    First columnist to get O'bozo exactly right.

    1. MOVING ON

      Thomas Sowell looks back at quarter century of writing syndicated commentary
      Published: 4 hours ago

      author-image THOMAS SOWELL


      Even the best things come to an end. After enjoying a quarter of a century of writing this column for Creators Syndicate, I have decided to stop. Age 86 is well past the usual retirement age, so the question is not why I am quitting, but why I kept at it so long.

      It was very fulfilling to be able to share my thoughts on the events unfolding around us, and to receive feedback from readers across the country – even if it was impossible to answer them all.

      Being old-fashioned, I liked to know what the facts were before writing. That required not only a lot of research, it also required keeping up with what was being said in the media.

      During a stay in Yosemite National Park last May, taking photos with a couple of my buddies, there were four consecutive days without seeing a newspaper or a television news program – and it felt wonderful. With the political news being so awful this year, it felt especially wonderful.

      This made me decide to spend less time following politics and more time on my photography, adding more pictures to my website (

      Looking back over the years, as old-timers are apt to do, I see huge changes, both for the better and for the worse.

      In material things, there has been almost unbelievable progress. Most Americans did not have refrigerators back in 1930, when I was born. Television was little more than an experiment, and such things as air-conditioning or air travel were only for the very rich.

      My own family did not have electricity or hot running water in my early childhood, which was not unusual for blacks in the South in those days.

      It is hard to convey to today’s generation the fear that the paralyzing disease of polio inspired, until vaccines put an abrupt end to its long reign of terror in the 1950s.

      Most people living in officially defined poverty in the 21st century have things like cable television, microwave ovens and air-conditioning. Most Americans did not have such things, as late as the 1980s. People whom the intelligentsia continue to call the “have-nots” today have things that the “haves” did not have, just a generation ago.

    2. In some other ways, however, there have been some serious retrogressions over the years. Politics, and especially citizens’ trust in their government, has gone way downhill.

      Back in 1962, President John F. Kennedy, a man narrowly elected just two years earlier, came on television to tell the nation that he was taking us to the brink of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, because the Soviets had secretly built bases for nuclear missiles in Cuba, just 90 miles from America.

      Most of us did not question what he did. He was president of the United States, and he knew things the rest of us couldn’t know – and that was good enough for us. Fortunately, the Soviets backed down. But could any president today do anything like that and have the American people behind him?

      Years of lying presidents – Democrat Lyndon Johnson and Republican Richard Nixon, especially – destroyed not only their own credibility, but the credibility which the office itself once conferred. The loss of that credibility was a loss to the country, not just to the people holding that office in later years.

      With all the advances of blacks over the years, nothing so brought home to me the social degeneration in black ghettos like a visit to a Harlem high school some years ago.

      When I looked out the window at the park across the street, I mentioned that, as a child, I used to walk my dog in that park. Looks of horror came over the students’ faces, at the thought of a kid going into the hell hole that park had become in their time.

      When I have mentioned sleeping out on a fire escape in Harlem during hot summer nights, before most people could afford air-conditioning, young people have looked at me like I was a man from Mars. But blacks and whites alike had been sleeping out on fire escapes in New York since the 19th century. They did not have to contend with gunshots flying around during the night.

      We cannot return to the past, even if we wanted to, but let us hope that we can learn something from the past to make for a better present and future.

      Goodbye and good luck to all.


    3. Good Fortune in all things to you too, Mr. Sowell.

      You will be missed out this way.

  7. George Ciccariello-Maher, a professor at Drexel U in Philly, calls for the genocide of the white race.

    Georgey looks like a whitey to me, though it's hard to tell for sure.

    About that ‘white genocide’ tweet by a Drexel professor



    tweeted Jorge/George/whoever in the spirit of the antichrist.

    O, America !

    Pray for our children.

    1. More on the white genocide advocating 'professor' -

      The university now is on the spot. Will it allow the professor to continue teaching after expressing a desire to murder his Caucasian students? Is that a forgivable offense? What about safe spaces for the Caucasians on campus?

      The hysterical language used by campus snowflakes to demonize those who fail to use brand-new pronouns demanded by sexually confused young people now applies to the left. Drexel will be judged by how it handles a murderous ideologue on its faculty, and we are watching.

      December 26, 2016
      Professor that wished for ‘white genocide’ faces a firestorm after American Thinker Christmas Day scoop
      By Thomas Lifson

    2. How many whitey scalps does one have to turn in at the final exam to assure one an 'A' ?

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Barron is hardly out of knee pants and he's already shredding folks in wood chippers - at least over at National Review -

      December 26, 2016
      National Review compares Barron and Eric Trump to Uday and Qusay
      By James Lewis

      Apparently Kevin Williamson at National Review has jumped over that deadly lemming cliff, along with millions of Trump-maddened New York liberals.

      Williamson writes in NRO that:

      "My own view is that Donald and Ivanka and Uday and Qusay are genuinely bad human beings and that the American public has made a grave error in entrusting its highest office to this cast of American Psycho extras. That a major political party was captured by these cretins suggests that its members are not worthy of the blessings of this republic..."

      ​Apparently NR editors didn't read this piece, or worse, they read it and approved it.

      That high-pitched grinding sound you hear is William F. Buckley drilling his way out of the grave to keep his beloved National Review from being kidnapped by a hysterical mob of establishment cons.

      Uday and Qusay Hussein infamously dropped screaming human beings into industrial plastic shredders to kill them. Either Mr. Williamson is ignorant of that fact, or he has secret information about Barron and Eric Trump and Ivanka that we are not privy to. If so, I would like to ask Mr. Williamson and his neglectful editors to provide the evidence to the world. I am looking forward to Mr. Williamson's next NR column, which will no doubt show us the cellphone pics.

      It may be time for mass hara-kiri at the National Review, for descending into blithering idiocy on Christmas 2016.

      Mr. Williamson wrote this NR column to argue for a return to civility in politics... and, in his next breath, committed what Jonah Goldberg has called "argumentum ad Hitleram."

      As a fan of Buckley's magazine, I'm shocked and saddened.

      Tell me it ain't so, please!

  9. Don't send you kids to Drexel, drop your subscription to National Review....

  10. .

    Does anyone in the Neocon Establishment have a clue on what they have done?

    It's a mixed bag. You have true ideologues like Graham, McCain, and King who will never be convinced anything we've done is wrong, this even as in McCain's case where he has been publicly humiliated many times for his views and actions. These are mirrored on the Dems side by people like Rice and Powers who ardently push their R2P agenda. And you have Obama who, as with the majority of other issues, supports it reluctantly but still does support it.

    You have others in D.C. who support the actions because their states and constituents, and more importantly their jobs, depend on the money generated by the MIC. Also, you have guys like Chuck Schumer, Steve Israel, Ted Cruz, and Mario Cuomo who are willing to sacrifice US interest for others nation's interests.

    You also have the media that supports these corrupt policies.

    And finally you have the US public, conditioned by years of this stuff, apparently unaffected (personally) by the insanity, who view all of this stuff as spectators rooting for a mediocre sports team. Rooting for their team to win but not getting all that upset when they lose which they do often.

    What all these people fail to realize is the opportunity costs they suffer from the madness, the trillions of dollars lost for no productive good that could have been used to advance science and medicine, save lives here and around the world, build, repair, and replace antique and disintegrating water systems, roads, energy grid, and transportation systems that currently make the US look like a third world country when compared with other states that have constantly been repairing and upgrading theirs.

    So the neocons and the liberal hawks will continue along fat dumb and happy despite the death counts that grow daily as an effect of our actions in places like Yemen, Iraq/Syria, and Libya, and despite the rising costs generously donated by the American people. They will be supported by the majority of the sheeple who don't realize the extent of what they are losing, who, given there is no draft, feel they really don't have any shit in the game, and by those silly fools who argue for R2P or 'save the women' or any number of other mindless memes not realizing that whenever the US decides to intervene it always results in the displacement and/or deaths of the most vulnerable sectors of the population. The sheeple will continue supporting their team hoping that sometime in the not too distant future their team will finally get a win.


    1. You obviously haven't left Detroit in thirty years.

      I've been all over the interstate system in the USA, north and south and middle, and it isn't 'third world'.

      It is 'first world'

      It's the best there is.


      And glad to see you, Schmee, are now on record as saying what you've always hinted at:

      that 'saving the a mindless meme'....that 'saving the women' is an argument of silly fools....

      I knew Don Quixote, and let me tell you Quirky, you ain't no Don Quixote....nor are you of the stuff that made William Wallace, ancestor of my wife....his genes still flowing in her blood....she KNOWS a man when she sees one and has been with me 35 years....because I adore, protect, and serve her....

      Your betters, in a better time, thought much differently than you, whose only allegiance is to the gossip in Ye Olde Mafia Barber Shoppe:

      The code of chivalry

      As the pope's warriors, knights were bound by a code of honor, the code of chivalry. Each knight had to swear that he would defend the weak, the poor, widows, orphans, and the oppressed. He was to be courteous, especially to women; brave; loyal to his leaders; and concerned about the welfare of his subordinates, or those of lesser rank and position. Quoted by Grant Uden, in A Dictionary of Chivalry, the knight's code of conduct was fixed in a knightly prayer carved in stone at the cathedral of Chartres in France, one that expresses the chivalric ideal:

      Most Holy Lord, Almighty Father … thou who hast permitted on earth the use of the sword to repress the malice [evil] of the wicked and defend justice … cause thy servant here before thee, by disposing [turning] his heart to goodness, never to use this sword or another to injure anyone unjustly; but let him use it always to defend the just and right.

      Similarly, in the late nineteenth century, French scholar Léon Gautier listed, in his book Chivalry, what he called the Decalogue (or Ten Commandments) that governed the conduct of a knight under the code of chivalry:

      Unswerving belief in the church and obedience to her teachings
      Willingness to defend the church

      Respect and pity for the weak and steadfastness in defending them
      Love of country

      Refusal to retreat before the enemy

      Unceasing and merciless war against the infidel

      Strict obedience to the feudal overlord, so long as those duties did not conflict with duty to God
      Loyalty to truth and to the pledged word

      Generosity in giving

      Championship of the right and the good, in every place and at all times, against the forces of evil

      To generations of readers, knighthood and chivalry became almost synonymous with, or identical to, respect for and devotion to women, through epic poems and novels such as Sir Walter Scott's The Talisman (1825). The following passage from Scott's novel, in which a Scottish Crusader named Kenneth is addressing a Saracen (Muslim), is typical of the chivalric attitude toward women:

      Saracen, replied the Crusader, thou speakest like one who never saw a woman worthy the affection of a soldier. Believe me, couldst thou look upon those of Europe, to whom, after Heaven, we of the order of knighthood vow fealty [faithfulness] and devotion, thou wouldst loathe for ever the poor sensual slaves who form thy harem [the women of a Muslim household]. The beauty of our fair ones gives point to our spears, and edge to our swords; their words are our law; and as soon will a lamp shed luster [a glow of light] when unkindled [the fire is put out], as a knight distinguish himself by feats of arms, having no mistress of his affection.


    2. .

      I've been all over the interstate system in the USA, north and south and middle, and it isn't 'third world'.

      It is 'first world'

      It's the best there is...

      Maybe 30 or 40 years ago. Maybe.

      You sound like Rufus on this subject. And as usual your comment is ridiculous and your logic faulty. You compare the US road system to itself and say that it is just fine, the best in the world. Anyone who has done some traveling knows better. Have you ever visited Hong Kong, Singapore, or China? How about Switzerland or the UAE? Of course not, yet, these are rated the top five countries in terms of infrastructure by the World Economic Forum. The US is rated 16.

      Investment in roads is important. I've seen figures were the average commute in the US is around 50 minutes. Bad roads not only lengthen our commute they can destroy our vehicles. The costs of bad roads cost average citizens billions each year.

      The US may have the second longest interstate system in the world after China but that doesn't say shit about its condition. And the WEF survey accounts for more than just roads.
      It also considers bridges, man-made waterways, sewer systems, railroads, etc, and on all of these the US comes up short. We've got sewer systems that are in some cases well over a century old. Water systems that leak, wasting money and creating other problems. Over Christmas, we had an area east of us, a 4 square mile residential area, where people were ordered out of their houses due to the danger of sinkholes caused by what is thought to be a leaking water main 45 feet below the surface.

      Our railroads are for shit. You seen many high speed bullet trains lately. Our grid is porous even after recent upgrades. You remember that 8 lane bridge that collapsed around Minneapolis, well, there are thousands of them rusting out like that around the country. Then there were those faulty levee that broke during Katrina.

      Perhaps, the road system here is the 'best in the world' in Bob-world, but for most people who don't live out in the boondocks and whose daily commute doesn't consist of a circular route from home to Wayne's barn to the casino and then home again the problems are obvious.


      Infrastructure is an investment that is required in any modern economy. That is a truth y

    3. .

      And glad to see you, Schmee, are now on record as saying what you've always hinted at:

      that 'saving the a mindless meme'....that 'saving the women' is an argument of silly fools....

      I apologize if I have only hinted at it in the past. I shall try to do better. In the context we have discussed this subject before, you are a clueless, mindless, silly fool.

      You are also a friggin hypocrite and/or a cruel bastard who is willing to burn the village in order to save it, who doesn't consider the ramifications of the actions he proposes, who could give a shit about the troops we send over there to 'save the women', who actually thinks that 'saving the women' is not the last friggin thing on the minds of those troops when they are sent there, who is selective about 'which women we save' and when, and differentiates between whether they are simply being slaughtered or are refugees fleeing in order to avoid being slaughtered, a man who considers a fool named Quixote a man who should be admired, a man who bases his world view on romance literature of the past, a nitwit who thinks that most knights of the middle ages actually lived by the rules of chivalry they swore by instead of diddling or ravaging every chick they came upon, in other words, a flaming fool not of this world.