“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."

Friday, June 23, 2017

If Islam Can't Control Islam, Why Does The West Believe It Can?

Isis may be leaderless and facing defeat in Mosul, but the jihadis will fight on

Terror group has always been able to take root and grow out of chaos and war – and will continue to wreak havoc around the world

The Independent Online
Iraqi government forces have suffered heavy casualties in the battle to retake Mosul Getty
The blowing up by Isis of the al-Nuri mosque in Mosul marks a decisive defeat for the caliphate declared by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the same mosque three years ago. Isis will continue fighting as a guerrilla force, but it will be the end of a state once the size of Great Britain and fielding a military force more powerful than many members of the United Nations. Presumably Isis decided to destroy the ancient mosque and its famous minaret, a symbol of Mosul, to prevent the Iraqi security forces triumphantly raising the Iraqi flag over a place so closely associated with Isis.

The end of the short-lived caliphate will be underscored if the self-declared caliph is himself dead, killed by a Russian airstrike near Raqqa some three weeks ago. Oleg Syromolotov, the Russian deputy foreign minister, repeated today a claim made last week but with greater certainty, saying that fresh information showed that there was “a high degree of probability” that Baghdadi was dead, killed after a meeting he was attending was targeted by Russian aircraft.

Isis is losing its last and most important urban centres. Hundreds of its fighters still hold parts of the Old City of Mosul, where the narrow alleyways and close-packed housing are ideal terrain for its swiftly moving snipers and suicide bombers. But all the east side of Mosul, which is divided in two by the Tigris river, is now in the hands of the Iraqi government, as is most of the west side of the city apart from a small embattled enclave.

It has been an epic siege. The assault on Mosul started on 17 October last year when Iraqi ground forces, supported by the massive air power of the US-led coalition, began the operation. Iraqi and US generals expected heavy fighting on the outskirts of Mosul, but looked forward to a much quicker advance once its outer defences were breached. This had been the pattern when government forces recaptured Ramadi and Fallujah in Anbar province west of Baghdad in earlier offensives. Exactly the opposite happened: Isis adopted different and more effective tactics based on the fluid defence of built-up areas. Instead of defending fixed points to the last man, its snipers, mortar teams and suicide bombers driving vehicles packed with explosives kept moving their positions so they could not easily be located and destroyed by aircraft and artillery.

It took three months for Iraqi forces to capture the eastern part of the city and they were to find the battle even tougher in the west. By 29 March, they had lost 774 dead and 4,600 wounded since October according to a senior US officer. Some 3,500 Isis fighters are reported to have been killed in and around the city between October and May. The government casualties are even more serious than they appear because Iraqi battle-worthy combat troops are limited in number, being mainly concentrated in the counter-terrorism services (Golden Division), federal police and the emergency response division. The soldiers used to occupy captured territory are of far more dubious quality, often belonging to Shia militias or Hashd al-Shaabi.

At the start of the siege the UN reckoned that there were about 1.5 million civilians in Mosul and there are reported to be 100,000 still trapped in the Isis-held Old City. They are forbidden to leave by Isis whose gunmen shoot anybody trying to escape. Some 231 civilians were executed by Isis in recent weeks as they tried to go, according to the UN. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees said separately that since the offensive started in October some 606,000 people have been displaced from Mosul, of whom 190,000 have returned. The level of destruction in west Mosul, going by aerial photographs, looks very high – as do civilian casualties because there is no way of separating Isis fighters from civilians who are living in the same houses.

In pictures: Mosul offensive

Isis will have suffered a serious political and military defeat in Mosul, though fierce street fighting in the Old City could go on for months. But Isis will have held out against superior forces backed by the devastating firepower of planes overhead for over seven months, far longer than anybody expected. Furthermore, the group has withdrawn many of its veteran fighters and administrative personnel who can seek sanctuary in rural areas in Iraq and Syria which Isis still holds. The movement is famous for its cruelty and fanaticism, but it also has a high level of military experience and expertise. It will have foreseen inevitable defeat in Mosul and also in Raqqa, its de facto Syrian capital, and withdrawn forces to long-held strongholds in places like Hawaija, west of Kirkuk and in territory in Syria east of Deir Ezzor on the Euphrates and around Mayadeen.
Isis began to lose the war when, confident that its great victories in Iraq and Syria in 2014 had been divinely inspired, it declared war on the world. As a result it has a long list of enemies who are now closing in on it. In the second half of 2014, it turned on the Kurds in Iraq and Syria, thereby provoking US military intervention against Isis in both countries. Sunni states like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which once tolerated or covertly aided Salafi-jihadis, became more cautious.

Though Baghdadi may be dead and surviving Isis forces are being driven into smaller and smaller enclaves in Iraq and Syria, the group will fight on. It can activate cells and sympathisers all over the world to commit high-profile atrocities guaranteed to dominate news agendas. Celebrations over Isis’s defeat may be interrupted and apparently contradicted by its continuing ability to wreak havoc.
Isis may also draw solace from the growing divisions among its enemies, whose loose collaboration was previously underpinned by fear of the jihadis. As that fear diminishes, there is growing friction between the US and Russia, the US and Iran, Syrian Kurds and Turkey, and, further afield, the confrontation between Qatar, on one side, and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, on the other. Isis has always been able to take root and grow from chaos and war. 


  1. What's the big deal about ISIS? They are just the JV team riding around in beat up Toyota pick ups.

    1. Mr Obama, the worse President, with regards to his personal veracity, ever.

    2. Where did the get all those pick up trucks ? Some quite new.

      I read somewhere it was through Jordan.

      And who supplies the explosives and munitions ?

      I know some were captured from US/Iraqi but this has gone on a long time now.

  2. Even if The Donald colluded with the Russkies it wouldn't be a crime. There is no statute against it.

    See interview with Alan Dershowitz:

    1. So why are we having an investigation, a witch hunt ?

      Dershowitz seems to feel though that Mueller will come back with some report basically exonerating The Donald.

    2. Though he admits Mueller's stacking the investigating crew with Clinton donors looks very bad, indeed.

      One even worked for the Clinton Foundation.

      One possible reason: to ward off allegations that an exoneration was not politically motivated.

  3. OPINION: Trump’s bluff: Perfectly legal

    ....What President Trump did was no different from what prosecutors, defense attorneys, policemen, FBI agents and others do every day in an effort to elicit truthful testimony from mendacious witnesses. But in today’s hyper-partisan climate, those out to get President Trump will concoct “crimes” out of the most innocent behavior. This really illustrates how far things have gone in partisan efforts to criminalize political differences.

    This must stop, because it is endangering democracy. The idea of turning every controversial action into a crime is more typical of tyrannies than countries committed to the rule of law. The exploitation of open-ended statutes invites tyrants to selectively prosecute their political enemies. What partisan zealots are trying to do to Donald Trump is more reminiscent of Putin, Erdogan, Castro and Chavez, than it is of our legal system.....

  4. I wonder if it couldn't be said that FDR 'colluded' with England's Churchill to get elected in '40 and '44?

    They were quite chummy in those days.

  5. Freighter Was On Autopilot When It Hit U.S. Destroyer...

    USS Fitzgerald did not detect container ship....DRUDGE

    1. Amazing. I spent three years, from 1967-1970, using a strategy of measuring minute changes in the modulation of a high frequency radio transmission, reflected off the ionosphere and we could detect the smallest Russian missile launch three minutes after launch from a distance of 6000 kilometers. We did this with thirty men from a sheep pasture in Germany using $2,000,000 worth of equipment.

      The US Navy in 2017 in a billion dollars ship, touted to "o incorporate shaping techniques to cut down radar cross-section to reduce their detectability. The destroyer class is regarded by defense experts as the most capable and survivable ocean surface combatant.

      can't detect an incoming container ship coming in at 20 knots from 3 kilometers.

      We had an expression " Sleep tight tonight, your US Air Force is awake." The Us Navy LGBTQ Brigade Is Too Busy Boning Each Other...

  6. Heh !

    ICYMI: Former Gov’t Contractor Sues James Comey, Alleges Cover Up On Over 20 Million Americans Illegally Unmasked
    MATT VESPAPosted at 5:11 pm on June 23, 2017

    Circa News has been covering the alleged abuses of the intelligence community against Americans. They noted how the unmasking protocol for intercepts collected by the National Security Agency changed under the Obama administration, supposedly to better catch terrorists prepping for lone wolf attacks, could open Americans up to political espionage. Then, they wrote about how the FBI may have illegally shared spy data on Americans with unauthorized parties who did not have clearance to view such information. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) wrote a ten-page ruling listing hundreds of privacy violations committed by the FBI when gathering information during the tenure of then-FBI Director James Comey. Now, a former NSA contractor has filed a lawsuit against James Comey, allegedly a covering up the illegal methods that are being used to monitor Americans and violate their constitutional privacy rights. Once again, John Solomon and Sara Carter were on the case.

    SEE ALSO: Jane Sanders lawyers up over college financing investigation

    The contractor Dennis Montgomery reportedly took multiple hard drives containing 600 million classified documents to prove how the intelligence community is violating Americans’ privacy. He was granted immunity, but the FBI never followed through. The FBI has documentation of them taking possession of the hard drives. Montgomery alleges that over 20 million Americans’ identities were illegally unmasked:

    ICYMI: Former gov't contractor sues James Comey, alleges cover up on over 20 million Americans illegally unmasked

    A former U.S. intelligence contractor tells Circa he walked away with more than 600 million classified documents on 47 hard drives from the National Security Agency and the CIA, a haul potentially larger than Edward Snowden’s now infamous breach.

    And now he is suing former FBI Director James Comey and other government figures, alleging the bureau has covered up evidence he provided them showing widespread spying on Americans that violated civil liberties.

    The suit, filed late Monday night [June 12] by Dennis Montgomery, was assigned to the same federal judge who has already ruled that some of the NSA’s collection of data on Americans violates the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, setting up an intriguing legal proceeding in the nation’s capital this summer.


    Montgomery alleges that more than 20 million American identities were illegally unmasked – credit reports, emails, phone conversations and Internet traffic, were some of the items the NSA and CIA collected.

    He said he returned the hard drives to the FBI, a fact confirmed in government documents reviewed by Circa.
    As Congress wallows in Russian collusion hysteria, maybe they should also put these under the microscope since a) its more grounded in reality; and b) there appears to be an actual paper trail.

  7. The Pubs on a Senate committee are going after Loretta Lynch. Next up to bat....Hillary.

    1. Senate announces probe of Loretta Lynch behavior in 2016 election

      By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times - Friday, June 23, 2017

      The Senate Judiciary Committee has opened a probe into former Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s efforts to shape the FBI’s investigation into 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, the committee’s chairman announced Friday.

      In a letter to Ms. Lynch, the committee asks her to detail the depths of her involvement in the FBI’s investigation, including whether she ever assured Clinton confidantes that the probe wouldn’t “push too deeply into the matter.”

      Fired FBI Director James B. Comey has said publicly that Ms. Lynch tried to shape the way he talked about the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s emails, and he also hinted at other behavior “which I cannot talk about yet” that made him worried about Ms. Lynch’s ability to make impartial decisions.

      Mr. Comey said that was one reason why he took it upon himself to buck Justice Department tradition and reveal his findings about Mrs. Clinton last year.

      The probe into Ms. Lynch comes as the Judiciary Committee is already looking at President Trump’s firing of Mr. Comey.

      Sen. Charles E. Grassley, chairman of the committee, said the investigation is bipartisan. The letter to Ms. Lynch is signed by ranking Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and also by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Sheldon Whitehouse, the chairman and ranking member of the key investigative subcommittee.

  8. June 23, 2017
    Dems begin to panic as Trump set to transform federal judiciary
    By Thomas Lifson

    While Democrats obsess over the Russia hacking fantasy and Robert Mueller as Trump's Javert, President Trump, the Federalist Society, and Senator Chuck Grassley are on the way to making the federal judiciary great again. The Huffington Post noticed and is worried:

    Trump is unbelievably well-positioned to fill up federal courts with lifetime judges. He inherited a whopping 108 court vacancies when he became president – double the number of vacancies President Barack Obama inherited when he took office.

    The reason Trump gets to fill so many seats is partly because Obama was slow to fill court vacancies early in his tenure. But the main reason is Republicans' years-long strategy of denying votes to Obama's court picks. They refused to recommend judicial nominees, filibustered others, used procedural rules to drag out the confirmation process and, by Obama's final year, blocked nominees they had recommended just to prevent him from filling more seats.

    Yep: Sometimes the Stupid Party actually does its job. Elections have consequences, and when voters handed control of the Senate to the GOP, Senator Grassley – the very opposite of a showboater – did his job as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee with skill. Now he is poised to capitalize on that control, using the Dems' "Reid Rule" that abolished the filibuster for judicial nominations, and will supplement it with another reform that will prevent Dems from obstructing appointments to the Circuit Courts of Appeals:

    [Senator Grassley] is under pressure from conservatives to do away with the committee's "blue slip" rule, which requires both senators from a nominee's home state to turn in blue slips of paper in order for the nominee to get a hearing.

    Senators are typically involved in the judicial selection process, so it's rare for them not to turn in a blue slip for a nominee from their home state. But if Trump is nominating judges based on what The Federalist Society recommends, for example, blue slips allow Democrats in the Senate to block those nominations indefinitely if they are appointed to courts in their home states.

    Grassley has suggested he may not require blue slips for circuit court nominees, but he hasn't been definitive. Given the intra-party pressure he's under, he may just be trying to appease conservatives by saying as much. Such a change would mean that circuit court nominees from states with one or two Democratic senators could get a hearing and a vote without the support of those senators. But that change could come back to bite Republicans down the road, when they're back in the minority and want to use that tool.

    1. The era of protecting Senate traditions that enable the minority to stymie the majority is over. Democrats killed it. Virtually no one on the right has any faith that Democrats will let such rules stand in their way when they are in the majority. Harry Reid proved that for all time. It is his lasting legacy that he has transformed the Senate from the "saucer that cools the coffee" into something a lot more like the House of Representatives.

      The left adores judges who believe that their job is to make society better by interpreting laws in new and creative ways. Once leftists discovered they could make up stuff like the "penumbra" of the Constitution and that judges could pretend their policy choices were required by law, despite no direct wording to that effect, the door was open to impose the Progressive Agenda without all the messiness of approving legislation in Congress, where the people have a voice.

      That undemocratic – indeed, anti-democratic – approach to governing, wherein the elite discusses theories in academic journals, and then activist judges impose those theories as law, is popular among the cultural elite, because they believe themselves to be something like philosopher-kings, entitled to rule others by their superior wisdom. Their cultural preferences, such as same-sex marriage, gain the authority of law thereby.

      Restoring a judiciary that believes its job is to interpret, not make up, the law is a reform that cannot happen fast enough.

      Hat tip: Legal Insurrection

  9. June 24, 2017
    Afghanistan: Just walk away
    By David Archibald

    Our involvement in Afghanistan is untenable because the country is untenable. No matter what is done, Afghanistan will fail because of its galloping population growth.

    When the U.S. became involved in 2001, the country had a population of 20.5 million. Now it is 34.4 million, up nearly 70 percent. In the intervening 16 years, the U.S. spent about one trillion dollars and 2,000 lives in stabilizing Afghanistan. All the stability and free food provided just created a perfect breeding environment for the natives.

    The population growth rate has settled at 3.0 percent per annum. At that rate, in another 16 years, there will be 55.2 million Afghans, most of whom will need imported grain to keep body and soul together. The Afghani proclivity to breed will only be curbed by starvation. That will happen at some stage because, even if we wanted to underwrite that population expansion, getting the necessary quantity of food into the country will become more and more difficult. Perhaps that situation is beginning now. The U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization has reported that 8.4 million Afghans are in an acute food insecurity crisis.

    GRAPH OF POPULATION GROWTH: (the only time they lost population was during the Russia occupation)

    The Afghan government budget is $8 to $10 billion per annum, of which it raises about $2 billion. The balance is mostly provided by the U.S. taxpayer. That is also untenable in the long term.

    To put all this into context, let's revisit the recent history of Afghanistan, back to 2008. In the presidential campaign of that year, Barack Obama characterized Iraq as the "bad war" and Afghanistan as the "good war." It was easy to predict that President Obama would not direct a withdrawal because of what he had said in the 2008 campaign. And that meant that the can was kicked down the road for another eight years.

    The withdrawal from Afghanistan will be physically difficult, because everyone knows that the place will collapse as soon as the U.S. leaves, and security for the last servicemen out will be problematic. In fact, it may have to be a fighting retreat. There is another major complication looming in that our next major war is likely to be with China, which will initiate proceedings with the maximum disruption and stress on the U.S. command structure. The airbase at Bagram is only 400 miles from the Chinese border. It and other bases with U.S. troops are likely to be bombed at the outset of a war. Not only are our outposts in Afghanistan a waste, but they will make us more vulnerable in a war we need to win.

    Afghanistan will go back to being a hellhole run by the Taliban, who will go back to plotting attacks on us. But that is easily dealt with by the Trump policy of banning types of unpleasant people from entering the country. At least that is something that the president has tried to do so far. It will become imperative.

    David Archibald is the author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare.

    1. We should have never sent those Stinger missiles.

    2. Why not just employ the Merkel Model and invite the Excess Afghans to the USA?

    3. Prior to the Soviet invasion, Afghanistan was a far nicer place, but without the Stingers it would never have become the Hellhole it is now.


    NBC Trumps CNN in this six minute video.

    “Are You Proud Megyn Kelly?” references her work at Fox vs the effluent at NBC.

  11. Record-breaking sniper kills ISIS fighter 2.2 miles away

    A sniper with Canada’s elite special forces in Iraq recently broke the world record for longest confirmed kill shot in military history.

    The shot traveled an astonishing 3,540 meters, or about 2.2 miles, before reaching its target – killing an ISIS insurgent in Iraq sometime in the past month, according to a report by The Globe and Mail.

    The feat shattered the previous record by more than half a mile and required the bullet to travel approximately 10 seconds before reaching its target.

    From 2.2 miles away, the sniper had to actually factor in the curvature of the Earth when taking aim, not to mention a swirling wind and elevation difference given the shooter was in a high-rise building.

    The shooter was using the McMillan TAC50-C rifle like the one shown in the headline photo of this article.

    The Globe and Mail reports a “military insider,” speaking of the shot, said, “This is an incredible feat. It is a world record that might never be equaled.”