“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, January 02, 2017

The Bush and Blair Created Disaster of Iraq - The Killing Continues

ISIS Will Lose the Battle of Mosul, But Not Much Will Remain

Patrick Cockburn

Winners and losers are beginning to emerge in the wars that have engulfed the wider Middle East since the US and UK invaded Iraq in 2003. The most striking signs of this are the sieges of east Aleppo in Syria and Mosul in Iraq, which have much in common though they were given vastly different coverage by the Western media. In both cities, Salafi-jihadi Sunni Arab insurgents were defending their last big urban strongholds against the Iraqi Army, in the case of Mosul, and the Syrian Army, in the case of east Aleppo.

The capture of east Aleppo means that President Bashar al-Assad has essentially won the war and will stay in power. The Syrian security forces advanced and the armed resistance collapsed more swiftly than had been expected. Some 8,000 to 10,000 rebel fighters, pounded by artillery and air strikes and divided among themselves, were unable to stage a last stand in the ruins of the enclave, as happened in Homs three years ago, and is happening in Mosul now.

But what gives the rebel defeat in east Aleppo its crucial significance is not so much the battle itself, but the failure of their foreign backers – Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar – to come to their aid. Ever since 2011, the advance and retreat of government and rebel forces in Syria has been decided by the quantity of arms, ammunition and money they could extract from their outside backers. President Assad always looked to Russia, Iran and Shia paramilitaries from Lebanon and Iraq.

The decisive moment in the Syrian war came in September 2015 when the Russian air force intervened on President Assad’s side. The US did not like it, but they were not prepared to oppose it militarily. Russia may not be a global superpower, but it is seen as a superpower in the Middle East. Come the assault on east Aleppo, the rebels’ old allies in Ankara, Riyadh and Doha proved incapable or unwilling to raise the stakes unless backed by the US.

If the rebels’ traditional allies did not help them when they still held east Aleppo, it is unlikely that they will do so after they have lost it. This does not mean that the US is the fading power in the Middle East as Mr Obama’s critics claim, but the White House has been very careful not to be dragged into a war in Syria to serve somebody else’s agenda. Getting the US to overthrow Assad was at the heart of the Syrian opposition’s policy since 2011, when they believed they could orchestrate regime change in Damascus along the lines of what had just happened in Tripoli with the overthrow and killing of Muammar Gaddafi.

US policy is more proactive than it is given credit for. Obama gave priority to defeating Isis and it is unlikely that Donald Trump will change this. Isis is proving a tough opponent in Iraq and Syria and in December was able to recapture Palmyra, which the Syrian Army, strongly backed by Russia, had taken amid self-congratulatory celebrations in March. An important event that did not happen in 2016 was the defeat of Isis, whose continuing ability to set the political agenda was bloodily demonstrated when a stolen lorry mowed down people at a Christmas fair in Berlin on 18 December.

A more substantive sign of Isis’s strength is the ferocity and skill with which it has fought for Mosul. The Iraqi army and Kurdish offensive started on 17 October, and Mosul city was reached on 3 November. Since then progress has been slow and at the cost of heavy casualties. The Iraqi security forces, including the Shia paramilitaries, lost 2,000 dead in November according to the UN. Isis is using hundreds of suicide bombers, snipers and mortar teams to slow their enemy’s advance, which has so far only taken 40 per cent of east Mosul. Some of the battalions in the elite 10,000-strong “Golden Division” are reported to have suffered 50 per cent losses.
In the longer term, the Iraqi government will probably take Mosul, though by then it may not look much different from east Aleppo. One of the few items in Trump’s foreign policy that was made clear in the campaign was that there will be total priority given to eliminating Isis. This will have important consequences for the region: the great Sunni Arab revolt in Syria and Iraq aiming at regime change, which seemed to come close to success several times between 2011 and 2014, is faltering and is likely to go down to defeat. Assad and the Shia-dominated government in Baghdad are going to survive.

Russia was a big gainer in 2016 as other powers began to view it, perhaps to an exaggerated extent, as a superpower reborn. President Putin is demonised by Western governments and media, but this is a backhanded recognition of his global influence. At the same time, the US had suffered no great defeat and is repairing relations with Iran. Obama’s goals may have been modest, but, unlike those of George W Bush, they were attainable.

Syria has become the battlefield in which confrontations and rivalries that had little to do with Syria are fought out. This is why the war became so intractable. Iran has come out ahead because the Shia alliance it leads is winning in Iraq and Syria. It may look more powerful than it really is because the US destroyed the Taliban in 2001 and Saddam in 2003, the two Sunni powers that had previously hedged Iran in to the east and west. It will soon see if its more positive relationship with the US will be reversed by a Trump administration.

The Arab Spring of 2011 saw revolution, but also counter-revolution: Saudi Arabia and Qatar, followed by the oil-rich Sunni monarchies of the Gulf, sought to take over the leadership of the Arab world that had once been dominated by Egypt, Iraq and Syria. The Gulf states have proved incapable of fulfilling their new role and their various initiatives have produced or exacerbated calamitous wars in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen.

Saudi Arabia’s more proactive and aggressive policies since King Salman succeeded to the throne in January 2015 have generally ended in frustration. Saudi intervention in Yemen has not ended a stalemated war and air strikes have brought the country to the verge of famine.

The biggest loser of all in 2016, aside from the Syrian and Iraqi people, has been Turkey. It helped stoke the war in Syria only to find that the main beneficiaries were the Syrian Kurds, whose political and military leadership was drawn from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that has been fighting a guerrilla war in Turkey since 1984. The country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is devoting his greatest efforts to thwarting the creation of a de facto Kurdish state in northern Syria, and the displacement of Assad has become a side issue.

Erdogan is creating a more authoritarian state as he tightens his grip on state institutions and media in the wake of the failed military coup of 15 July. He justifies his actions as reactions to crises, such as the Turkish Kurd insurgency, that are in large part his own creation. Isis, whose volunteers were once allowed to cross the Turkish-Syrian border with little trouble, are now creeping back to carry out suicide bombings in Turkey.

Donald Trump may try to change existing US policy in the Middle East, but not if he wants to carry out his domestic agenda. On the other hand, the Middle East is the region of perpetual crises which sucks in outside powers whether they like it or not. What the last five years have shown is that violence bred in the Middle East cannot be contained, and it impacts on the rest of the world in the shape of desperate migrants seeking new homes or savage terrorist attacks


  1. Bush and Blair should face the same kind of rope they chose for Saddam.

  2. I assume that there is no taking of ISIS prisoners.

  3. This thing is nowhere close to being wrapped up.

  4. Watch the entire France 24 video and tell us how well the campaign against ISIS is going.

    1. The French Camera Crew has some tough bark on them.

  5. And I thought 'the rat doctrine' had it all wrapped up.


    Trump blasts Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel for record-setting 762 homicides and 4,331 shooting victims in 2016 and says he 'must ask for Federal help' if he can't fix Windy City

    One of the most violent years in Chicago history ended with a sobering tally: 762 homicides, the most in two decades in the city

    'Chicago murder rate is record setting – 4,331 shooting victims with 762 murders in 2016,' Donald Trump tweeted on Monday

    'If Mayor [Rahm Emanuel] can't do it he must ask for Federal help!'

    Emanuel and Trump met December 7 in New York City but reportedly talked about illegal-immigrant 'dreamers,' not gun violence

    The nation's third largest city also saw 1,100 more shooting incidents last year than it did in 2015
    The increase in homicides compared to 2015, when 485 were reported, is the largest spike in 60 years

    Read more:

    1. Anyone remember O'bozo mentioning the yearly slaughter in Chicago ?

      I don't.

  7. In the East, life is cheap - a million here, a million there, what's the dif ?

    China starts 2017 engulfed by smog, issues pollution alerts

    Associated Press Associated PressJanuary 2, 2017
    View photos

    A pedestrian wearing a mask looks back while passing by a slogan that reads: "If you want to go out, please take a public bus" in Beijing Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. Beijing and other cities across northern and central China were shrouded in thick smog Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, prompting authorities to delay dozens of flights and close highways. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

    BEIJING (AP) — Beijing and other cities across northern and central China were shrouded in thick smog Monday, prompting authorities to delay dozens of flights and close highways.

    The Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau extended an "orange alert" for heavy air pollution for three more days. Beijing's smog had initially been forecast to lift by Monday.

    The "orange alert" is the third level, preceding a "red alert," in China's four-tiered warning system. On Sunday, 25 cities in China issued "red alerts" for smog, which triggers orders to close factories, schools and construction sites.

    Air pollution readings in northern Chinese cities were many times above the World Health Organization-designated safe level of 25 micrograms per cubic meter of PM 2.5, the tiny, toxic particles that damage lung tissue. The readings exceeded 400 by Monday afternoon in several cities in the northern province of Hebei.
    Expressways in Shijiazhuang, Hebei's capital, and more than a half-dozen other cities there were temporarily closed, according to notices posted on the official microblog of the province's traffic police.
    In the central city of Zhengzhou, authorities ordered students from kindergarten through high school to stay home on Tuesday because of the smog.

    More than 300 flights out of the northern city of Tianjin were canceled Sunday due to poor visibility.
    Authorities have deployed teams of inspectors to check on polluting factories, reports said.

    China has long faced some of the worst air pollution in the world, blamed on its reliance of coal for energy and factory production, as well as a surplus of older, less efficient cars on its roads.

    Researchers at Germany's Max Planck institute have estimated that smog has led to 1.4 million premature deaths per year in China, while the nonprofit group Berkeley Earth in California has had a higher figure, 1.6 million.

    1. On a nice sunny day one can see the pollution from China in Seattle, Washington.

    2. On a nice quiet day one can hear the gunfire from Chicago, too.

  8. The World would be a better place with 1 billion people, max.

    1. .

      As long as you are one of the 1 billion?


    2. Naw, we whittle it down via attrition and birth control.

      Fat chance.

      The Earth will die covered with people and their shit.

    3. For now, we got Snow in San Fran, thanks to Global Climate Change.

    4. .

      Here it was 46 and sunny. A nice spring day. Soon the trees will be budding.


    5. At 52 minutes the Echo is discussed - what, how and when it sends info to the cloud.

    6. The trees are all thinking of you, Quirk.

      Who wouldn't desire to burst into bloom with such thoughts ?

  9. Think of the power they could wield if Lindsey Graham and Obama had a biracial, homosexual affair.

    ...or better yet, a threesome with McCain.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Facebook Dead:

    Dad wonders why viewers didn’t react sooner when his daughter died on Facebook Live

  12. Strange Fruit:

    British singer agrees to perform at Trump inauguration on one condition

  13. Syrian rebel groups say they are suspending participation in the preparations for peace talks planned by Russia and Turkey for later this month.


    On the one side, Syrian government forces, allied militias and the Russian military.
    On the other, the FSA plus several other groups.


    IS and JFS and the groups affiliated to them are not part of the agreement, according to the Syrian army.

  14. "Russia was a big gainer in 2016 as other powers began to view it, perhaps to an exaggerated extent, as a superpower reborn. President Putin is demonised by Western governments and media, but this is a backhanded recognition of his global influence. At the same time, the US had suffered no great defeat and is repairing relations with Iran. Obama’s goals may have been modest, but, unlike those of George W Bush, they were attainable."

    Pure BS from the burning cock.

    Obama's failures in the ME are legendary.

  15. The US Army Chief of Staff General Shinseki was right when he famously predicted in 2003 that the United States would need “several hundred thousand” post-Iraq war US troops to control an Iraq with a population of 40 million. In Syria, devastated and with a population of 25 million, several hundred thousand troops will be required to control the country post-war.


    All things considered, Putin should change his Syrian strategy ASAP before he turns his Syrian victory into an Iranian victory and Russian loss, making him look like a fool.

    There is one person who holds the key to that winning end-game for Putin in Syria and that person is President-Elect Donald J. Trump. Trump will defy convention, and prove that “The friend (Iran) of my friend (Russia) is still my enemy.”

    Victorious in Syria

  16. .

    The GOP's Idea of 'Draining the Swamp'

    House Republicans vote to rein in independent ethics office

    Defying the wishes of their top leaders, House Republicans voted behind closed doors Monday night to rein the independent ethics office created eight years ago in the wake of a series of embarrassing congressional scandals.

    The 119-tp-74 vote during a GOP conference meeting means that the House rules package expected to be adopted Tuesday, the first day of the 115th Congress, would rename the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) to the Office of Congressional Complaint Review and place it under the oversight of the House Ethics Committee.

    The OCE was created in 2008 to address concerns that the Ethics Committee had been too timid in pursuing allegations of wrongdoing by House members. Under the current House ethics regime, the OCE is empowered to release a public report of its findings even if the Ethics Committee chooses not to take further action against a member.

    The move to place the OCE under the Ethics Committee’s aegis stands to please many lawmakers who have been wary of having their dirty laundry aired by the independent entity, but some Republicans feared that rolling back a high-profile ethical reform would send a negative message as the GOP assumes unified control in Washington. President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to “drain the swamp” and has proposed a series of his own ethics reforms.

    House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) opposed the amendment to the House rules package, speaking out against it in the Monday evening conference meeting, according to two people in the room.

    But the measure’s sponsor, Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), said in a statement that it “builds upon and strengthens” the current arrangement and that it improves the due process rights for the House members under investigation and witnesses interviewed in the course of OCE probes...


    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. A Course on Cursing
      (Dreamstime image: Vadymvdrobot) by DANIEL FOSTER January 2, 2017 4:00 AM @DANFOSTERN

      Nobody gives a sh*t about “f*ck” any more, but the taboos against epithets directed at certain protected groups grow stronger by the minute. In In Praise of Profanity, Michael Adams argues plausibly that the threshold for what counts as profane (or obscene, or vulgar, all related but not synonymous concepts) is vague and radically context-dependent. I can write “douche bag” out, for instance, and the editors of National Review can’t do anything about it.

      The fact that this is a book review about dirty words provides plenty of evidence that I mean “douche bag” in the indecent sense, to be sure — but that evidence is circumstantial. And, besides, I took out a little extra insurance by using a space between “douche” and “bag,” even though no less a paragon of decorum than Microsoft’s autocorrect algorithm would have fully recognized the term as a compound word.

      Recommended by Homography is one way to slip cusswords into polite political periodicals. Euphemism is another. But whether we make “Jesus Christ” into “Cheese and Rice,” or obscure the odd vowel in “f*ck” or “sh*t,” there’s something a little silly going on. Nobody’s thrown off the scent by these little acts of censorship, just as nobody was fooled by my “douche” move above. Euphemisms are, in Adams’s words, like a “see-through fig leaf.” But that doesn’t mean that function always trumps form when it comes to profane words. Benjamin Bergen, head of the Language and Cognition Laboratory at UC San Diego and author of What the F, spends a good deal of time showing how the material facts about bad words — the way they look and sound, the syntactic and grammatical rules they make and break, the little parts of the brain they light up on the MRI — tell us a lot....

      Read more at:

  17. VIDEO footage has emerged of the prime suspect in the Istanbul nightclub terror attack after he slaughtered 39 New Year’s Eve partygoers.


    The IS-linked Aamaq News Agency said the attack was carried out by a “heroic soldier of the caliphate” who attacked the nightclub “where Christians were celebrating their pagan feast.”


    The lone American survivor of the bloodbath has revealed he managed to survive by playing dead.

  18. For high q Quirk -



  19. Sidelong pickerel smile Sandra Smith is on smile on the Tube....please go away and stay away Megyn

  20. Idaho Elevator Report: Trump Tower: NYC: Ex-Gov. Perdue Leads In Critical Agriculture Secretary Race

  21. Assange To Hannity: Source For WikiLeaks Was Not Russian Government

    Posted By Ian Schwartz
    On Date January 2, 2017

  22. Van Jones: Muslim Brotherhood-linked Rep. Keith Ellison is future of Democratic Party


    Ellison has spoken at a convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Yet ISNA has actually admitted its ties to Hamas, which styles itself the Palestinian arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Justice Department actually classified ISNA among entities “who are and/or were members of the US Muslim Brotherhood.”

    It gets worse. In 2008, Ellison accepted $13,350 from the Muslim American Society (MAS) to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca. The Muslim American Society is a Muslim Brotherhood organization: “In recent years, the U.S. Brotherhood operated under the name Muslim American Society, according to documents and interviews. One of the nation’s major Islamic groups, it was incorporated in Illinois in 1993 after a contentious debate among Brotherhood members.” That’s from the Chicago Tribune in 2004, in an article that is now carried on the Muslim Brotherhood’s English-language website, Ikhwanweb.

    Also, the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) raised large amounts of for Ellison’s first campaign, and he has spoken at numerous CAIR events. Yet CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department. CAIR officials have repeatedly refusedtodenounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups.

    This is today’s Democratic Party.

    “Van Jones Says Muslim Keith Ellison Is Future of the Democratic Party,” by Tyler O’Neil, PJ Media, January 1, 2017:

    1. On CNN, liberal activist Anthony Kapel “Van” Jones said that “the Clinton days are over” in the Democratic Party, and pointed to two emerging leaders as the future of a more progressive political party focused on identity politics. Naturally, he chose two racial minority members of Congress — and the extremely controversial first Muslim congressman.

      “You have to understand, I think that the Clinton days are over,” Jones told CNN’s Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “This idea that we’re going to be this moderate party … those days are over.” Jones called for a new generation of Democrat leadership, touting California Attorney General Kamala Harris (an anti-free speech activist) and Representative Keith Ellison, the first Muslim member of Congress and a candidate for the Democratic National Committee chairmanship.

      “I think that Keith Ellison is very important because he is somebody who represents the progressive wing of the party,” Jones declared. “On thing that happened, when Hillary Clinton had a chance to make a VP pick, she didn’t pick someone from the progressive wing, which made it much harder to heal the wounds with the [Bernie] Sanders and Elizabeth Warren wing. Keith Ellison represents that wing very, very well.”

      Keith Ellison also represents a long-term threat to the Democratic Party’s success as well. Ellison has ties to the Nation of Islam (which he later denounced), has received contributions from members of the radical front group the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), attacked Vice President Dick Cheney’s actions as “the very definition of totalitarianism, authoritarianism and dictatorship,” and compared the Bush administration’s reaction to the September 11 attacks to Hitler’s use of the Reichstag fire.

      In 2009, Ellison met with Mohammed al-Hanooti, whom FBI documents identify as a top U.S. fundraiser for the terror organization Hamas. They met at a campaign event for Virginia House of Delegates candidate Esam Omeish, who had previously called for Palestinians to follow “the jihad way” against Israel.

      Last month, the Anti-Defamation League — no conservative organization — declared Ellison “disqualified” from becoming DNC chairman based on remarks the congressman made about Israel in a 2010 speech. The group argued that Ellison’s remarks about Israel suggested anti-Semitism, an unfortunate trend among Muslims worldwide, and one in keeping with Ellison’s old praise for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, whom the congressman himself later denounced as anti-Semitic.

      Indeed, Democrat lawyer Alan Dershowitz has threatened to leave the Democratic Party should the DNC elect Ellison as its chairman. “If they appoint Keith Ellison to be chairman of the Democratic Party, I will resign my membership to the Democratic Party after 50 years of being a loyal Democrat,” Dershowitz declared on Fox Business last Friday….

    2. Ellison ?

      The kiss of death for the Democrat Party.

  23. "Q"Nit of the Day: The Old Home Country

    Hundreds Riot In Poland After Muslim Migrants Kill Polish Man

    By Laura Loomer - on January 2, 2017

    All across Europe, people are starting to experience the consequences of Muslim migration. Droves of migrants are pouring across European borders, transforming European culture through their refusal to assimilate.

    On Sunday, riots erupted in Elk, Poland on New Years Eve after a group of Muslim migrants stabbed a young Polish man to death.

    The man allegedly threw a firecracker inside a Kebab restaurant, promoting the migrants to chase him down and stab him.

    Kebab Prince before it was burned down

    Following the young man’s death, hundreds of locals ambushed the restaurant, throwing firecrackers and stones at the windows, eventually setting the building on fire.

    It was reported that angry protesters sprayed anti-migrant graffiti on a kebab shop, which read: “F*** Islam and f*** ISIS.

    The migrant attackers were later found and arrested.

    “More than 250 rioters SMASH kebab shop after ‘group of Arab men stab young local to death”

    EXPRESS, January 2, 2017

    A STAGGERING 300 rioters stormed the streets in a peaceful suburban town after a group of Arab men allegedly stabbed a lone local to death near a kebab restaurant, according to reports.

    The rioters descended on the town of Elk, Poland, after a group of Arab – reportedly of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia descent – chased a young man out of a restaurant in the town and repeatedly stabbed him.

    The man, known only as Daniel, was stabbed last Saturday around 11pm local time, got into a brawl with four other men after reports suggest he threw a firecracker inside a Kebab diner.

    The Arab suspects immediately ran out of the restaurant in a flurry and chased the 21-year-old male until they got hold of him and stabbed him twice in the chest.

    Coming soon to Hamtramck, Michigan....

  24. My friend Uncle Ed out at the Casino, who has been over there, may have the right idea:

    "Just let them all kill one another"

    BOMBSHELL: Leaked Audio of John Kerry Reveals President Obama Intentionally Allowed Rise of ISIS

    By Pamela Geller - on January 2, 2017

    Long article, sad tale.

    To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
    To the last syllable of recorded time,
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.

    Macbeth | Act 5, Scene 5

    1. Hope everyone here reads that.

      I could never get the picture of those armed assholes driving around in their Toyotas in plain sight, broad daylight.

      Modest goal, indeed, Mr. Burning Cock.

  25. No coverage on Drudge, many papers of Turkey nightclub attack.

    "Brave soldier of the Caliphate attacking Christians celebrating Christmas"

    ...many Muslims too, actually.

    1. ...just thirty nine people in a nightclub. Scores more wounded.

      Business as usual.

    2. Dog calmly leaves the scene as shots fired.

    3. Allahu Akbar !

  26. .

    From the WaPo...

    House Republicans back off gutting ethics watchdog after backlash from Trump

    House Republicans back off gutting ethics watchdog after backlash from Trump

    Point to Trump.

    The House GOP moved to withdraw changes made a day earlier to official rules that would rein in the Office of Congressional Ethics after a tweet from President-elect Donald Trump slammed Republicans for voting behind closed doors to curtail the powers of an independent ethics office.
    The House GOP moved to withdraw changes made a day earlier to official rules that would rein in the Office of Congressional Ethics after a tweet from President-elect Donald Trump slammed Republicans for voting behind closed doors to curtail the powers of an independent ethics office.

    1. .

      That wasn't me putting up the duplication, Farmer Bob, so don't even think of commenting.

      It was some kind of technical glich, or as WWII pilots used to say, 'a gremlin'.


    2. Should be TWO points to Trump, nitwit.

  27. .

    Ford cancels $1.6 investment to Mexico.

    Point 2 to Trump.

    (IF he is able to follow through on the other offsetting legislation he has promised, tax and regulation reform, or some other means to offset the increased costs especially on low-margin products like small cars. Otherwise, global companies will over time become less competitive which could result in even more jobs lost.

    Of course, if his tweets could convince the public to pay a little more for 'American made' products that would be great. Chances of that happening? The Magic 8 Ball says, "No chance in hell".)


    1. The mighty and powerful TWEET.

    2. .

      I am starting to be convinced.


    3. Me too. It's a great alternative to press conferences full of gotcha questions.

  28. .

    Government Officials say Russian hackers not involved in East Coast utility computer malware.

    The WaPo puts out another article explaining how they got the story so wrong by jumping the gun based on information from unnamed 'government officials'.

    Having read their explanation, I am thoroughly convinced that it was some nefarious unnamed government 'official' who screwed up and pawned off false information on the WaPo and that the WaPo was deceived and that they did not rush to print the story to

    - get a scoop, and
    - help justify their overzealous and credulous initial reporting Russian hacking of the DNC and the e-mails.



  29. .

    For anyone credulous enough to automatically accept ANYTHING being told to them by their government

    From the NYT...

    Nixon Tried to Spoil Vietnam Peace Talks to Win 1968 Election


    Newly discovered notes by an aide to Richard M. Nixon appear to confirm suspicions that, while running for president, he was directly involved in persuading South Vietnam to resist a peace deal.

    Richard M. Nixon told an aide that they should find a way to secretly “monkey wrench” peace talks in Vietnam in the waning days of the 1968 campaign for fear that progress toward ending the war would hurt his chances for the presidency, according to newly discovered notes.

    In a telephone conversation with H. R. Haldeman, who would go on to become White House chief of staff, Nixon gave instructions that a friendly intermediary should keep “working on” South Vietnamese leaders to persuade them not to agree to a deal before the election, according to the notes, taken by Mr. Haldeman.

    The Nixon campaign’s clandestine effort to thwart President Lyndon B. Johnson’s peace initiative that fall has long been a source of controversy and scholarship. Ample evidence has emerged documenting the involvement of Nixon’s campaign. But Mr. Haldeman’s notes appear to confirm longstanding suspicions that Nixon himself was directly involved, despite his later denials...

    They are all dicks.

    Johnson lied us into the Vietnam War. Nixon tried to assure it kept going. All politicians have agendas and the public rarely knows exactly what they are. Its true of all (95%?) of politicians and not just in this country. In 2014, Bibi withheld information on the 3 Israeli youths murdered by Palestinian terrorists for 3 weeks in order to crackdown on hundreds of Hamas officials in the West Bank and to build the public's war fever during the build up to the 2014 Gaza war. Look at GWB and the Iraq war. Look at Obama and Libya.

    They are all the same.


  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Haldeman and Erlichman, two of America's finest dicks !

      I see them in my mind, there in the other world, twisting, twisting slowly in the wind.....

    2. Who is the guy that found Christ in prison.

    3. Why was Christ in prison?

    4. I don't know but the guy that found him there was that short stubby little character whose name I can't recall.

  31. Over the holiday weekend, the Nixon biographer John Aloysius Farrell (who has sometimes written about the 37th president in this space) delivered what might be called a historical bombshell. Using notes from H.R. Haldeman, Nixon’s chief of staff, he reported that despite years of insistence it was not true, Nixon had in fact used back channels to kill peace negotiations to end the Vietnam War on the eve of the 1968 presidential election, in order to give himself a leg up in that race. Farrell writes:

    But Nixon had a pipeline to Saigon, where the South Vietnamese president, Nguyen Van Thieu, feared that Johnson would sell him out. If Thieu would stall the talks, Nixon could portray Johnson’s actions as a cheap political trick.

    The conduit was Anna Chennault, a Republican doyenne and Nixon fund-raiser, and a member of the pro-nationalist China lobby, with connections across Asia.

  32. In his second term, Trump could be worse than Nixon.

    1. In his second term, Trump could be far worse than Nixon.

      But not worse than Quirk.

  33. Turkish officials have not commented on the details of the investigation. But government spokesman Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday that the authorities were close to fully identifying the gunman, after gathering fingerprints and information on his appearance, and had detained eight other people.


    Kurtulmus made no reference to the Islamic State claim of responsibility on Monday but said it was clear Turkey's military operations in Syria had annoyed terrorist groups and those behind them.


    Several witnesses who spoke to Reuters also said there had been small explosions during the attack.

  34. Nour, a housewife in Damascus, says the latest joke in the Syrian capital is also a prayer of sorts: "May the gold you hold become water."


    Some four million people in Damascus have suffered from acute water shortages for more than a week after springs outside the Syrian capital were targeted, the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement on December 29.


    The Syrian government and rebel forces are trading blame for the water shortages.
    Rebels claim the government destroyed the water pumping station in the Wadi Barada valley, one of the last remaining rebel-held pockets of Damascus.

    1. It's silly to pray that your gold become water.

      They should be praying for rain.

    2. They should be turning lead into gold and buying the water.

  35. Or buying stock in defense industries.

  36. A California prison official has said cult killer Charles Manson is alive, following reports that he was hospitalised.


    California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Terry Thornton did not say whether the leader of the notorious Manson family had been hospitalised.

    1. He's the Manson Family Man now having had a couple of kids by different wives in prison.

      Claimed to have a kid with Adkins, who he named Zezozose Zadfrack Glutz.

      But Susie claimed it wasn't his, and her folks renamed him.

    2. More sons, including Valentine Michael Manson, son of mother Mary.

    3. Pictures of Manson kids, his Manson Girls Squeaky Fromm...

    4. Z Z Glutz....nice germanic punk name.

      Wonder if he carved a swastika on the kid's forehead ?

      This is why 'comfort visits' or whatever they're called shouldn't be allowed in prison.

      Or only if one has had a vasectomy....and the woman's had her tubes tied to make double certain.

      I don't think Charlie would last a week on the outside. Some patriotic black would put a bullet through his swastika. I think he's in something amounting to solitary. If he were in the general prison population he'd have been long gone by now and the taxpayers would catch a break.

  37. Fuckers done gave this country away.

    Check out the video:

  38. Current Membership of the Human Rights Council, 1 January - 31 December 2017


    Albania 2017
    Bangladesh 2017
    Belgium 2018
    Bolivia (Plurinational State of) 2017
    Botswana 2017
    Brazil 2019
    Burundi 2018
    China 2019
    Congo 2017
    Cรดte d’Ivoire 2018
    Croatia 2019
    Cuba 2019
    Ecuador 2018
    El Salvador 2017
    Ethiopia 2018
    Georgia 2018
    Germany 2018
    Ghana 2017
    Hungary 2019
    India 2017
    Indonesia 2017
    Iraq 2019
    Japan 2019
    Kenya 2018
    Kyrgyzstan 2018
    Latvia 2017
    Mongolia 2018
    Netherlands 2017
    Nigeria 2017
    Panama 2018
    Paraguay 2017
    Philippines 2018
    Portugal 2017
    Qatar 2017
    Republic of Korea 2018
    Rwanda 2019
    Saudi Arabia 2019
    Slovenia 2018
    South Africa 2019
    Switzerland 2018
    Togo 2018
    Tunisia 2019
    United Arab Emirates 2018
    United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 2019
    United States of America 2019
    Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) 2018

  39. New Year's Car-be-cue in France

    FRANCE BURNING: Officials ‘HIDE’ arson jihad stats as 1,000 cars set alight in sinister torching
    By Pamela Geller - on January 3, 2017

    THE French government has been accused of hiding their inability to control the country’s sinister New Year’s Eve torching tradition as the interior ministry claimed the night passed “without any major incident” – but almost 1,000 cars were set on fire and destroyed.....

    Car-be-cue always a fun time for the moslems.

    In France, much of the dog days of summer is given over to the entertaining practice, too.

  40. Fun, fun, fun all across Europe -

    1,000 Muslim Men Attack Police, CHANT 'ALLAHU AKBAR', Set Germany’s Oldest Church
    Alight on New Year’s Eve -

    1. I won't bore you with the goings on in Sweden over New Year''ve heard it all before.

    2. NEW YEAR'S HORROR: Austria, Germany, France plagued by Muslim violence and sex
      attacks during NYE celebration -

      ** Italy: Muslim sets fire to Nativity scene -

    3. O well, here's Sweden -

      Sweden War Zone: Muslim mobs hurl grenade at police & send explosives into crowds