ISIS Coalition SITREP #57

I would like to say that the credible info coming out of the Middle East is slim at best….when there is little good news the media has a tendency to move to greener pastures…..News from Sony….news on Cuba… on attack in Pakistan….all this is stifling all other news……reports coming out of the Middle East are few….but we will carry on…….

Item 1–Cannot bomb what you cannot find……

Large numbers of airstrikes were launched by US and allied warplanes in the first nine days of the air war against ISIS in Syria. The number of strikes dropped in October, dropped again in November, and are now almost entirely halted.

The problem is lack of targets. There was little intelligence on ISIS territory in eastern Syria, and what few obvious stationary targets there were got destroyed early on.

Once again it all comes down to intel….and we have NONE!

Item 2–The Kurds have broken the siege of Sinjar Mountain in northwest Iraq………

Iraqi Kurdish officials have reported that the Peshmerga, backed by US warplanes, have seized control over Mount Sinjar again, opening a corridor between the Yazidi territory and Kurdistan.

WAIT!  Was not the people trapped on the mountain as a pretext for the return of US Troops?  I thought we4 had solved the problem some 3-4 months ago.  And why were not these “thousands” trapped not making news like the previous people trapped?

Item 3–Drone usage have been the subject of much debate and now the CIA report tells the tale……

Wikileaks on Thursday has made public a never-before-seen internal review conducted by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency that looked at the agency’s drone and targeted assassination programs in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere.

The agency’s own analysis, conducted in 2009, found that its clandestine drone and assassination program was likely to produce counterproductive outcomes, including strengthening the very “extremist groups” it was allegedly designed to destroy.

Here’s a link to the document, titled Best Practices in Counterinsurgency: Making High-Value Targeting Operations an Effective Counterinsurgency Toolocument (pdf).

I do not expect much media coverage of this….why>  Does not fit the paradigm that DC is pushing.

Item 4–Iraqi troops retake the city of Baiji………

Iraq made a big deal of retaking the city of Baiji a little over a month ago, but lost the city back to ISIS without putting up much resistance, as they ordered troops to flee the city and reinforce at the nearby Baiji Refinery.

Iraqi officials had presented the retaking of Baiji as proof that they had shifted momentum against ISIS. The loss of the city suggests that the momentum shift was nowhere near as significant as advertised.

My thought is that thr Kurds and Iraqis are having amazing successes…..kinda cool since the A-10 Warthogs are now deployed in Iraq for close combat support….if I were a betting person I would say the new found success is thanx to the soon to be retired ‘Hog.

Item 5–Any success, a ultimate success, will have to include the Sunni tribes…..

Washington: The US plan to save Iraq from the advances of the so-called Islamic State was in trouble even before it was conceived – years before its unveiling in September, the marauding fundamentalists had systematically eliminated hundreds of the Iraqi tribal warriors who Washington believed would take up arms against the new threat posed by IS.

It says a lot about IS – which campaigns as a force that will “save” Sunnis – that in girding its loins for war with the Shiite-led government in Baghdad, it first set about murdering an entire leadership layer in its own community.

No one took much notice. But Craig Whiteside was counting. A veteran of the Iraq war and now a professor at the US Naval War College, Whiteside has identified 1345  members of the Awakening or Sahwa movement – Sunni tribesmen who fought against al-Qaeda – who have been executed, in what he bills as the most successful assassination campaign since the Viet Cong’s attack on the Diem regime in 1959-60.

There cannot be a final victory against ISIS without the tribes of al-Anbar….time for the US to get serious about their plan or go home.

Item 6–Finally there may be some good news…at least for the Obama group……….

the Pentagon’s top officer says US air strikes have killed several high-ranking military leaders of IS in Iraq.

The Kurdish offensive against IS forces besieging Mount Sinjar began early on Wednesday with the most intensive round of air strikes yet by US and coalition forces – 45 in all.

“The Wall Street Journal” cited U.S. officials as saying that U.S. military air strikes had killed three top leaders: Abd al-Basit, head of IS military operations in Iraq; Haji Mutazz, a deputy to the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi; and Radwin Talib, the group’s self-styled governor in Mosul, Iraq.

Be cautious with this news…I remember an Afghan leader that was reported killed at least 3 times……plus this will be only, if true, a minor setback….there are others capable and willing to step up to replace their “leaders”…..

Thanx for your time and attention……I will return Monday….next week will be a short week and will return after the Xmas holiday.

Turn The Page!

The Evidence That North Korea Hacked Sony Is Flimsy | WIRED

I have not written much on the whole Sony vs North Korea thing because I do not see it as a problem….first, Sony did NOTHING for safety sake….they pulled the movie to avoid any possible lawsuits…..second, it was a STUPID idea……and third, this just sounds like some massive propaganda ploy.

Read this piece and then tell me what you think……


The Evidence That North Korea Hacked Sony Is Flimsy | WIRED.

No Fool Like An Old Fool

Some much drama in the world….how about a little humor on a Friday?

How many times have you heard that old saying…..usually uttered after some story about some old fart that did something that some do not approve of….probably something they consider immoral or whatever……

Then there are times when the old saying does have some validity……and this is just such a situation…..

An 84-year-old New Yorker’s date with two 17-year-old twin sisters ended with the senior citizen tied up and robbed, according to police.

The New York Times reports that Paul Aronson met up with 17-year-old Shaina Foster last month through, a sugar daddy site that bills itself as a place “where beautiful, successful people fuel mutually beneficial relationships,” according to the Times.

After a first date, Shaina brought her twin sister Shalaine along to the second. The trio dined at an “expensive restaurant” and then Aronson invited them back to his apartment for a drink, court documents said.

That’s when Shaina told authorities things got out of hand.

“He asked to do things I wasn’t going to do,” she told Detective Darryl Ng. “He is ugly, old and disgusting. I tied him up. I took his money and left. He was starting to creep me out.”

The reason I re-tell that story is because of a report I read along those lines……

Newser) – The winners of “Darwin Awards” die in a stunning variety of stupid ways, but the great majority of those killed trying to clean chimneys with grenades, ride in shopping trolleys hitched to trains, and so forth have one thing in common: They’re men. A tongue-in-cheek study in the British Medical Journal calls this proof of “male idiot theory,” noting that out of 318 verified cases from the last 20 years, 282 Darwin Awards were awarded to males and just 36 to women. That gives men a “highly statistically significant” 88.7% of the awards for those “who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it.” Men who accidentally castrate themselves are also eligible for Darwins.

The finding “supports the hypothesis that men are idiots and idiots do stupid things,” the study’s four male authors write, explaining that men are more likely to take idiotic risks, sometimes when drunk or showing off—or often both, as in the case of three Cambodian men who played a form of Russian roulette by taking turns to stamp on a landmine until it exploded, killing all three of them. One author explains that “idiotic risks are defined as senseless risks, where the apparent payoff is negligible or non existent, and the outcome is often extremely negative and often final,” the Telegraph reports. The authors say they plan to further explore “male idiot theory” in “a semi-naturalistic Christmas party setting.”

Let’s be honest….we men can do and say some incredibly stupid stuff……and my fave “what were you thinking moment” was when a terrorist sent a later bomb….it was returned for lack of sufficient postage and the would be bomber open the letter and killed himself…..DON’T GET TOO MUCH STUPIDER THAN THAT!

Thoughts?  Come on ladies let them fly!

Free To Believe Or Not

One of the fundamental rights we have as Americans is the right to our religious beliefs or the freedom to have none at all.  But the world, which according to some, is becoming more and more democratic…..meaning that the population has more freedoms than it has in the past….but does that mean their religious preferences are respected?

Then I read an article that had me surprised…..Reuters reported…..

Amid a global decline in religious belief, some governments are stepping up efforts to portray atheists and secularists as a danger to society and even as terrorists, according to a report issued on Wednesday.

The study, by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), pointed to “hate campaigns” launched by public figures against those who renounce the dominant or state religion in Muslim nations like Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Egypt.

It said “the overwhelming majority of countries fail to respect the rights of atheists and freethinkers” as set out in U.N. treaties, adding that 13 states, all of them Muslim, had made apostasy or blasphemy against religion a capital offense.

In some countries – like Russia, where communist ideology has been replaced by Orthodox Christianity which dominated before the 1917 Bolshevik revolution – any public expression of atheist views can be equated with blasphemy and criminalized.

The “Freedom of Thought Report”, which is published annually on International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10, said the past year had been marked by a surge in the number of officials and political leaders agitating against non-religious people “in terms that would normally be associated with hate speech”.

None of which is all that surprising…….

That brings me to my state, the lovely state of Mississippi…….years ago I was inclined to run for the state senate…..but since I was a Gnostic I was considered an atheist and was not allowed to participate in the election…..apparently most do not know what a Gnostic is…..(I could go into a diatribe but ….use Google and save me some time….basically because few will give a crap)……..sadly Mississippi is not alone………

If you’re an atheist living in Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Texas, you’re technically not allowed to hold public office. Those states have articles in their constitutions requiring public officials to believe in God—in fact, in Maryland, even jurors and witnesses are technically required to believe in God—and now nonbelievers are trying to get rid of such rules, even though they are rarely invoked. “If it was on the books that Jews couldn’t hold public office, or that African-Americans or women couldn’t vote, that would be a no-brainer. You’d have politicians falling all over themselves to try to get it repealed,” the chairman of the Openly Secular coalition tells the New York Times. “Even if it was still unenforceable, it would still be disgraceful and be removed.”

Article VI of the US Constitution says no “religious test” should be required for federal office, and in 1961, the Supreme Court ruled that states may not have a “religious test” for public office. Yet the bans remain in those seven states, and activists say they’re unconstitutional. So far, though, no politician has made it a goal to get rid of them. Openly Secular plans to lobby legislators in those states (plus Pennsylvania, which has ambiguous wording about religion in its Constitution) to dump the bans—if they can find legislators open to the idea. The latest notable time a ban was enforced was 1992, when an atheist was denied a position as a notary public in South Carolina; he won the case when it went to the state Supreme Court.

Of course these are the same a/holes that always talk about the sanctity of the Constitution but have No problem depriving others of the rights to believe as they see fit……..

So tell me where the democratic part is with all this?  Where is the freedom to believe or not?  I am weary of so-called “constitutionalists” that are all about the Constitution as the “law of the land”….but only when it confirms their limited knowledge of what the document is really about.

Time for a convention to make things crystal clear.  Are you with me?


Does GOP Have A Plan For 2016?

2016 is quickly approaching…….it is never too early to speculate on what the GOP will be doing for that election….Hell the MSM does it daily… why not IST?

There has been lots of talk of what will be most important to the GOP…..will it try to reach out to women….or Hispanics or even African-Americans?  My guess is no to all those……what they will focus on will be something trivial that they can use for mileage and slogans……….

Juan Cole has stated what he thinks will be their emphasis……..

1.  With a few noble exceptions like Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Republican Party spokesmen, Republican politicians, and Republican media like Fox Cable News, defended torture.  This defense was mounted from so many directions by so many Republicans that it now seems indisputable that the party stands for the principle of rectal hydration.  Since torture is illegal in American law, presumably they want to repeal the 5th and 8th amendments to the constitution.

2.  The Republican Party stands for the principle that elections should be stolen by the rich who pay the most for them.  The new bill multiplies permitted donations by a factor of ten.

3.  The GOP wants the US taxpayer to be made to bail out risky, casino-like “derivatives.”  After the 2008 crash, caused by some corrupt Wall Street financiers stealing our money, Congress had removed FDIC protection from the riskier derivatives.  The GOP, plotting in smoke filled rooms far from the light,  just put the taxpayer right back in the sights the next time the bankers need a bailout.  The provision was actually written by CitiBank, which won’t get my business.  They think, much better to gamble with the taxpayers’ money; they would, but why would GOP lawmakers agree to be their ventriloquist’s dummy?

4.  The bill blocks aid to the Palestine authority if it becomes a member of UN agencies without Israeli permission.  Palestine has been recognized as a non-member observer state at the UN, and is gradually joining key committees.  It likely will sign the Rome Statute, join the International Criminal Court, and sue Israel for war crimes.  But in the fantasyland of Congress, none of this may be allowed to happen.  The PA has other sources of money than the US, and all this provision does is further weaken the ability of the US to do effective diplomacy.

5.  This fall, most Republicans ran on putting troops back into Iraq and getting even more deeply involved in the Syrian civil war than the US already is.  This is a plank in their platform that leads to sanguinary wars.

Cole is a pretty sharp individual… what do you think the GOP will be thumping their chest over for 2016?