2017-04-09

US Airstrike on Syria

Stratfor:
The United States has opted to send a message to the Syrian government that it will not tolerate chemical weapons attacks. Washington launched approximately 50-70 precision-guided missiles April 6 at the Shayrat air base. The base, located southeast of Homs city, houses the two squadrons of Syria's Su-22 ground attack aircraft that carried out the April 4 attack in northern Syria — an attack that killed at least 88 civilians.
U.S. President Donald Trump said the targeted strikes were in the "vital national security interest" of the United States. He gave the statement at Mar-a-Lago, where he is meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson later said in a statement that Russia failed in its 2013 promise to dispose of the Syrian government's chemical weapons, saying that Moscow was either incompetent or complicit. Syrian state media responded to the U.S. strikes, called them an act of aggression. ...
Lee Smith at the Standard:

...That is, the Trump administration enforced the redline against the use of chemical weapons that the previous White House ignored. Further, by citing the possible "spread" of those unconventional arms, Trump was alluding to the organization that is the likeliest recipient of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal—Hezbollah, Iran's praetorian guard in the eastern Mediterranean. ...
Genevieve Casagrande at ISW:
The U.S strike against an Assad regime base in northern Syria on April 6, 2017 opened the door to a reorientation of American strategy in the Middle East. President Trump’s action could reset the terms of America’s confrontation of other hostile states, such as North Korea. President Trump may be shifting away from a narrow focus on the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) as the strategic priority in Syria and toward a new approach. It remains unclear whether he will take additional action against the Assad regime, but his statement after the strike appeared to signal an emerging anti-Assad policy. Responses from major international powers and key regional actors indicate that these parties perceive the strike represents a possible strategic inflection rather than an isolated incident. President Trump has the opportunity to exploit the effects of his limited action to pursue America’s strategic goals.
Regional actors responded as if a wider American reorientation against Assad is possible. Traditional U.S. partners in the region like Saudi Arabia and Jordan supported the strike. Turkey also praised the strike and called for additional U.S. action against the Assad regime. These reactions indicate that the strike created an opportunity for President Trump to repair America’s relationships with traditional partners, which had begun to reorient toward Russia or to act unilaterally in dangerous ways in the absence of American leadership. European states under Russian pressure also supported the strike ...

2017-04-02

World Today: 2017-04-02 Sunday

Russia:  Navalny-inspired protests more widespread than expected.  Economist:
And yet on March 26th, 17 years to the day after Mr Putin was first elected, tens of thousands of Russians took to the streets in nearly 100 cities to demonstrate against corruption, in the largest protests since 2012.The protests began in Vladivostok and rolled across the country to Moscow and St Petersburg, which saw the largest crowds. Riot police arrested more than 1,000 people in Moscow alone. ... The marches came in response to a call from Aleksei Navalny, an opposition leader and anti-corruption campaigner who wants to run for president next year. Despite the government’s crackdown on activism, Mr Navalny has doggedly continued publishing exposés of corruption on social networks and YouTube, and expanding his volunteer organisation. His latest target is Dmitry Medvedev, the prime minister.
Stratfor

There will be more demonstrations this weekend in Russia, following protests last week that were the largest in five years. As details emerge about the demonstrations and their organizers, a new picture of Russian discontent is materializing. Unsurprisingly, the Kremlin is choosing to respond with crackdowns rather than by addressing the underlying issues causing the dissent.  Last weekend's protests were organized by opposition heavyweight Alexei Navalny, who traveled through half a dozen Russian cities to promote his anti-corruption campaigns against Kremlin elites....

Both articles cite the broader geographic range of this year's protests as compared to previous years, the focus on corruption and economic issues, the role of social media, and the youth of the participants.

Africa / USA:  Security issues likely to dominate Africa relations under Trump.   Reed Kramer at AllAfrica:  'On 30 March, the Pentagon announced President Donald Trump's approval of revised combat rules for U.S. forces fighting the Al Queada-affiliated Al Shabaab in Somalia, reducing protections for civilians as the U.S. military launches an intensified assault in east Africa. Earlier this month, the White House announced a budget blueprint that includes a $54 billion rise in overall military spending, alongside deep cuts for the State Department and international assistance.'  Kramer also notes that White House National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster has chosen Rudolph Atallah to be the National Security Council's Senior Director for Africa.

Germany:  Government probes suspected Turkish spy network.  Patrick Poole at PJM reports that investigations into the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB) reveal Turkish intelligence activities through Turkish-controlled mosques in Germany.  German authorities have raided the homes of DTIB officials.

History:  US enters the Great War.  One hundred years ago, President Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war against Germany.

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2017-03-26

Socialism is a conspiracy of losers against achievers ...

... and so is anti-Semitism.

The fliers use Pew Research Center data in an attempt to validate the statement, including that while Jews make up 2 percent of the population in the United States that “44% of these Jewish Americans are in the top 1%.”

“Is the 1% straight, white men? Or is the 1% Jewish?” the flier questions.

2017-03-14

Obama's Legacy: Nuclear Iran

Emily Landau at Middle East Quarterly :
There is little doubt that Barack Obama deems the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) of July 2015 to be his crowning foreign policy achievement and an important pillar of his presidential legacy. To his mind, the deal is a shining nonproliferation success story achieved via peaceful diplomacy and an important catalyst to improving decades-long, moribund U.S.-Iranian relations.
But, Obama's assessment is wrong....
Read the rest at the link.

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2017-03-12

US Attorney Preet Bharara

Jonathan Spyer on the post-Daesh ME

Jonathan Spyer:
The Islamic State is on its way to ceasing to exist as an entity controlling significant territory.  This process is set to continue many months.  But IS, having lost tens of thousands of fighters and with the flow of new recruits drying up, facing enemies with complete control of the skies and vast superiority in numbers and equipment, has no means of reversing the trend.

In Assad’s war further west, meanwhile, the rebellion is in retreat and its eventual eclipse seems a near certainty.  The regime, with its Iranian, Russian and Hizballah allies, is currently seeking to reduce and destroy isolated rebel held enclaves in the midst of regime-held territory in western Syria.  Hence the attacks on  eastern Ghouta, and on Wa’er in the Homs area.  Once this is done, the pro-regime forces may well turn their attention to south west Syria, and eventually also to rebel-held Idleb province in the north.

The regime is also now engaging in the war against Islamic State.  Government forces  reached the Euphrates River this week, after sweeping through IS-held territory in the east Aleppo countryside.
As the direction of events becomes clear, so the possibility emerges of the Iran-led alliance achieving an overall victory in the Syria and Iraq wars...
  For more on what such an outcome might look like - and how it might be prevented - go to the link.

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"'The twilight of Saudi oil dominance has arrived."

Belmont Club:
Just as the US won the Cold War not because federal government agencies outwitted the Reds but because American society out-competed the Soviets, the frackers may have bankrupted the Sunni Jihad.  But in doing so the oil men have created a potential power vacuum even bigger than which resulted from the Arab Spring.  Technology often creates new power relationships which officials only belatedly respond to.  The consequences of American oil power have not yet been fully assimilated by the political system. Turmoil in the Kingdom and the Gulf might trigger a tragedy that would make events in Syria and Libya seem trivial by comparison. ...

Sarah Hoyt: Conservatives and Libertarians Come Out

Sarah Hoyt posts life in the liberal-controlled media culture:

We did such a dance to test both the reliability and discretion of the other before revealing ourselves that we might as well have developed a hanky code. [Blue for true blue Conservative, white for pure Libertarian, red for the blood of our heroes, brown for OWL (older, wiser libertarian), purple for squishy conservative, powder blue for Brad Torgersen. (The powder blue care bare, with the bleeding heart… and the flame thrower.)]
Conventions were nerve wracking because I watched myself ALL the TIME.  And you never knew how much you had to watch yourself.  Suddenly, out of the blue, at a World Fantasy the speaker, a well known SF/F writer went on about Dean Howard, our next president. The room erupted in applause, some people stood to clap, and I sat there, frozen, unable to actually fake it to that point but too shocked to even put a complaisant expression on my face.
This is one of the instances where I think if I didn’t give myself away I gave them the impression I was not very bright and therefore untrustworthy.  Another would be the letter exchange with a gentleman who went after my first Analog story.  Another instance would be that I actually could not help myself and defended Heinlein at all possible occasions.
They were never sure enough that I was a – dropped voice – conservative, but they were sure enough that my books had the strangest issues with distribution and marketing....

All this was justified, you see, because in the minds of the establishment and establishment hangers on, conservatives are creatures shown as “right wing” on movies and tv (none of whose writers would know a true conservative, much less a libertarian if one bit them in the fleshy part of the *ss [and libertarians might.]  They give conservatives (which again is everyone to the right of Lenin) informed attributes never found in the real creature: conservatives, in their crazy little heads, are people who are racist, sexist, homophobic, ultra-religious in a medieval fashion or a crazy-evangelical (there are some, but not many) one.
 Go to the link for more on "informed attributes".  I think that's one of the key points here, where "everybody knows" that group X are attribute Y without having any basis for "knowing" this in real-life experience.

Ahmed Daqamseh, 'the Amalek of today', released in Jordan

Arutz Sheva:
Ahmed Daqamseh, The Jordanian terrorist who murdered seven girls in the Naharayim attack and was released Sunday after serving his sentence of 20 years imprisonment stated after he returned home that he would "stay a soldier in the Jordanian armed forces," adding that "I went into jail as a soldier and now I consider myself and my sons soldiers in the armed forces." He was given a jubilant reception in the village where he lived after his return.
Meanwhile Yaffa Shoukroun, an Israeli seriously injured in Daqamseh's murderous attack, referred in an Arutz Sheva interview to the terrorist's release.
"I heard this morning about the release and I feel that they ruined our Purim celebrations," she said. "The Jordanian government did not coordinate with us the decision to release him," said an indignant Shoukroun. ...
 Read the rest at the link.

2017-02-22

Milo Yiannopoulos

Milo:  A young guy with an English accent, a Greek name, and a French handbag.  He looks like a gay version of Billy Idol.  For about 24 hours, he was going to be the keynote speaker at CPAC.

Here is Milo in his own words:



Sarah Hoyt:  If they take Milo down, you're next.
The charges against Milo are contrived from a) video editing and b) rumor and innuendo and c) pretending no one ever used the word “boy” to mean man, thereby meaning playboy is for 10 year olds and “playing with the big boys” means middle schoolers.
IF the attack on Milo were about, say how outrageous he got before the election (he’s been walking it back since.  I suspect he gets a little battle mad as I tend to.) I’d shrug and say “whatever”.  However this is a contrived and false attack and one that apparently came from the right but is teaching the left the way to take every one of us down.  You might not like Milo or his lifestyle, but you should not under any circumstances, applaud this means of taking him down.  And if you do, I hope you experience likewise and get to experience what you like so much.  There is a good chance you will.  They’ve tasted blood with Milo.  We’re next. ...

And idiotic socons are piling on, telling us that “Milo doesn’t belong on the right” and that his (rather effective, frankly) talks about his private life are “disgusting.”

Maybe they are, but if you’re going to kick out everyone who isn’t middle class US, blond, Southern Baptist, you’re never again going to hold power in this country.  Which is exactly what the left wants, and what you’re preparing.

Because NONE of you are clean. ...

Dystopic at The Declination:  Milo, lies and videotape.
Did Milo kiddy-diddle? No. No evidence of this has ever surfaced, so far as I am aware. There are no chat logs of him discussing how he wants to rape his 8 year old cousin, such as in the case of Sarah “Butts” Nyberg. There are no accusers coming forth to say that he molested them. There are no convictions, or even court cases. Nothing. So the insinuation that he, himself, is a pedophile has no basis in fact, no evidence whatsoever. The insinuation is a subtle lie.

Did Milo defend pedophiles? No. Evidence exists that he did the exact opposite. He has exposed multiple pedophiles in the past, including the aforementioned Nyberg. Salon, one of the publications attacking Milo for this supposed behavior, has published many articles defending pedophilia, calling it a sexual orientation (something Milo has absolutely never done). People like Meryl Streep have given standing ovations to convicted pedophiles, like Roman Polanski. Do you really think any of this is based on principle? That the media has suddenly developed a conscience when it comes to molesting children? ...

Did Milo defend the practice of pedophilia in any way? No. I’ve reviewed the unedited video [the video has since been taken down – can’t imagine why] and Milo’s response. In both, it is clearly and emphatically stated that he has no problem with the age of consent, and does not condone pedophilia. Yes, in the same video he is purported to be supporting this behavior, he denies supporting it.

So what did Milo do wrong?
Well, he did make a mistake. In fact, he made several mistakes. Again, let’s be honest here.
First off, he went into too much detail about something that, quite honestly, we don’t want to know about....

But let’s be crystal clear, because I suspect even my readers are divided on this issue: you have done or said something that can be used to assassinate your character.
Again, for clarity: you have said things that the press could assassinate your character with. I guarantee it. Every single person reading this right now has said something which the press could twist into a knife and plunge into your gut. All of you.
 Sundance at The Conservative Treehouse  Milo's existential threat:

Take this guy Milo out of the picture and replace him with any politically incorrect name you choose, and you’ll see the concerted effort to remove his influence is not about him, it’s about the underlying threat he represents.

Those who control the levers of the DC Swamp municipal system are determined to defeat the highly outlined objectives of a President Trump administration.  Milo is merely a concentric circle outlier of their real target.  The transparent objective here is to isolate, ridicule and marginalize Mr. Milo to create a door to the next circle.

Pass through the door that is Milo and proceed to the door that is Breitbart Media.  Deploy detonation devices….. open door.  Pass through the door that is Breitbart Media and proceed to the door that is Steve Bannon. Deploy same detonation devices (same approach)….

And when the UniParty GOPe want to utilize the useful tools of the religious right, they know just the right triggers to begin their onslaught.  Quick, to the bathroom drums…. the bizarre thing is how many people don’t realize the stagehands are the Marxist left greasing the skids to reinforce a hate narrative and steady the divisions.   Gays, like blacks, must remain on a very specific -and purposeful- political plantation.

Freedom by it’s very nature has a rather diverse set of potential allies.  The ability to reach those allies and rally them toward a standard of effectiveness is a threat to the order of those who deploy inequity and hopelessness as tools toward the more preferred strategy of ambivalence.

2017-02-21

They said, "Be our Nazis."

How do you explain self-proclaimed "liberals" and supposed "feminists" becoming eager apologists for radical Islam?  I don't think I can do any better than Dystopic at The Declination in this post on Cenobites.  Don't worry if you don't get all the Hellraiser references.

In the manosphere, the various hodgepodge collection of sites emphasizing a return to masculinity for men, I encountered a comment some years ago which stuck with me. In it, a man who had been banging a number of women lamented that every woman he encountered was a Cenobite, one of Clive Barker’s seekers of pain through pleasure. They would say “choke me until I pass out, hit me, spank me until I bleed, cut me…” They would demand ever-greater excesses, because they were unable to feel pleasure if it did not include pain. He didn’t care — all he wanted was to get laid, so he’d do whatever they asked of him — but he didn’t understand why women were this way, or why he could find so few who weren’t like this. He seemed to have a sense that things were not always this way. ...

As that commenter lamented, so I’ve seen first-hand. These SJWs, the radical feminists who spend their lives fighting the Patriarchy? They come to my clubs to be beaten senseless on crosses, chained to them by men dressed in uniforms very reminiscent of the Nazis. Yes, it’s a thing, as anybody who has ever been to a Goth club can attest. They demand to be tied up, burned, bruised, and battered. ...

I see it everywhere. I see women spurning “lesser” men, finding the most intimidating, scarred, barbaric thug on the dance floor and making out with him all night, and it hits me. I see barbaric men starting fights over stupid shit, and everybody drinking until they can’t see or walk straight, filing out of the club at 3AM to try and crawl their way home. This is our entire civilization right now. These people are in power, and are doing on a meta level exactly the same sort of thing I see from my DJ booth.

They scoured the world for the most barbaric and twisted belief systems they could possibly find, and said “come to our home. Beat us. Be our Nazis.” Islam, certainly, can do that well enough. It is more than willing. ... These RadFems don’t want less Patriarchy, they want more Patriarchy. They don’t want less Nazis, they want more Nazis. A civilization full of weak-minded fools has broken them, somehow. Deprived of any form of constructive masculinity, people have gone out to seek it among the barbarians. ...
 Now go read the whole thing at the link. 

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Sweden

Look at what's happening in Sweden.

President Trump's words were, of course, intentionally misunderstood by the media. But if you listen for yourself to what he said, it's clear what he is talking about: a wave of violent crime that has swept Germany, Sweden, Belgium, France, and other countries in Europe and elsewhere that have admitted large numbers of Muslim migrants.  And Trump is inviting us to "look at what's happening" and consider carefully.


Gateway Pundit has a roundup, with video. 

Gatestone Europe cites the case of Swedish cop Peter Springare, whose candid words on migrant crime got him in trouble with his higher-ups.
“Here we go; this is what I’ve handled from Monday-Friday this week: rape, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, rape-assault and rape, extortion, blackmail, assault, violence against police, threats to police, drug crime, drugs, crime, felony, attempted murder, Rape again, extortion again and ill-treatment.”
“Suspected perpetrators; Ali Mohammed, Mahmod, Mohammed, Mohammed Ali, again, again, again. Christopher… what, is it true? Yes, a Swedish name snuck in on the edges of a drug crime. Mohammed, Mahmod Ali, again and again.”
 Read the rest at the link. Want more video?  Here's a 60 Minutes segment where their own film crew was attacked:


And while the elites were chortling to themselves over Trumps non-existent reference to a non-existent terrorist attack, another wave of riots broke out in Sweden.

Having spent the entire new cycle trying to ignore the immigrant crisis facing Sweden, and pin the ignorant tail on Trump, both Dagbladet and Expressen reports riots breaking out in the highly immigrant concentrated Stockholdm borough of Rinkeby, Sweden with police firing warning shots as 100s of young people throw stones and burn cars.

During the evening hundreds of young people gathered in the center of Rinkeby, well known for its high concentration of immigrants and people with immigrant ancestry. ...
 Read the rest at Zero Hedge.