The Crowded Skies Of Syria

Yes, Irene this is about that magical land commonly known as SYRIA.

A couple of years ago we had the people of Syria un an uprising against their leader, Assad…..this was during what the media likes to call “the Arab Spring”….that quickly morphed into an armed uprising of rebels groups in opposition to Assad…..then there was a report of the use of CWs by the government against the people and the US waded into the fray……then there is ISIS, that barbaric group that is fighting everyone.  This situation plowed along until Assad conned the Russians into joining the fight against the rebels…..and then there was a horrific plane bomb that kills mostly Russians and ISIS claimed responsibility…..now Russia is taking on rebels as well as ISIS….let’s not forget the Turks that have decided to join the fight but most of their foes are the Kurds……

Then this week ISIS strikes again…..they execute a Norwegin and a Chinese person…..now thanx to their actions ISIS will have a new foe to join in the fight…….looks like Carson’s screw up by mentioning the China was in Syria….may have been prophetic…….

Beijing has vowed to bring ISIS to justice after the group said it had executed two hostages, a Chinese and a Norwegian.

ISIS said it had killed the two men, identified as Chinese national Fan Jinghui and Norwegian citizen Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad in its English-language online magazine Dabiq.

President Xi Jinping “strongly condemned” ISIS for the killing of Fan, the first known Chinese national to be killed by the group, and the country’s foreign ministry said the Chinese government would “definitely hold the perpetrators accountable.”

But how to respond to Fan’s “cold-blooded and violent” death presents a dilemma for China, which has stayed on the sidelines in the fight against ISIS and has a long-held principle of noninterference in other countries’ affairs.

(cnn.com)

Kinda amazing since I had just read an article about China and the Middle East just before the news of the ISIS executions hit the wires……

Source: Is it time for China to step up its engagement in the Middle East? – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Soon there will be planes from US, Syria, Russia, Turkey, France, and whoever else wants to join in and now China may be the next to enter Syrian airspace…..

Damn!  That is gonna be one damn crowded airspace!

And all these planes makes the possibility of an accident causing an international incident rise 10 fold……

What could possibly go wrong?

2016: And Then There Is Foreign Policy

I believe that the next election, 2016, will be primarily a foreign policy election….I know I have said all this before……but all indications and events are sealing it in stone….

The US is facing ISIS, Russia, China and points too numerous to type here….my fingers get tired just thinking about how many countries I could name…..

Clinton will be a war hawk…..I do not care how much she tries to push back from the label….she will be what she is….a war hawk.  Bernie…I am not sure how he feels about the whole thing….I know he will be anti-war and that will defeat him with American voters…..O’Malley?  Who cares?

Now the GOP candidates……They all will be war hawks…..so if you are a voter who cares about foreign policy then any candidate will do….that is if your answer to every situation is war….

But let us talk about a couple of the more “popular” of the GOP dudes…..Bush and Carson….

Let’s begin with a “not too popular” Jeb Bush……

In a speech at The Citadel, Jeb Bush on Wednesday called for more ground troops to combat the “brutal savagery” of ISIL, and in the aftermath of last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, issued a clarion call for new American leadership abroad.

Speaking to more than 100 cadets inside Mark Clark Hall, Bush said that the U.S. and its NATO allies should not delay in taking further action to stop the spread of Islamic State across Iraq and Syria. “Militarily, we need to intensify our efforts in the air – and on the ground,” Bush said. “While air power is essential, it alone cannot bring the results we seek. The United States – in conjunction with our NATO allies and more Arab partners – will need to increase our presence on the ground.”

Bush cautioned that the scope of ground forces should be based on the recommendations of military generals and said that the bulk of them “need to come from local forces that we have built workable relationships with.”

(Politico)
That should remove any doubt about his intentions regarding war….but there is something I need to point out…..He said……”the scope of ground forces should be based on the recommendations of military generals…….”
That is an interesting thing to say when generals are making it clear what they think about more troops for the Middle East…..
Escalations of airstrikes against ISIS targets are so common as to be virtually trivial at this point, but Pentagon officials are expressing growing disquiet about the latest calls for dramatic escalation of the war, saying they don’t believe the political leadership has learned the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan.
They warn military gains quickly evaporate in the absence of political and diplomatic moves to sustain those gains, and see a similar expectation of a sweeping military victory without any real moves to sustain it coming up once again.
(Antiwar.com)
Seems generals are not on the same page as Bush….but that can be remedied….replace the generals with more “yes men”….
Shall we take a look at a on and off front runner for the GOP nomination….Ben Carson?
He has once again slipped behind Trump….time for him to make another platitude that will fire up his support…..but in the meantime some of his team have reservations about the candidate……

Ben Carson is finding it very difficult to get a grasp of foreign policy, according to at least one of the advisers that have been trying to explain it to him. “Nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East,” former CIA agent Duane R. Clarridge, who has been advising the candidate on terrorism and national security, tells the New York Times. Clarridge and top Carson adviser Armstrong Williams say they were frustrated by the candidate’s appearance on Fox News Sunday, where he failed to name the allies he would contact first for an anti-ISIS coalition.

Clarridge tells the Times that Carson’s claim during last week’s debate that the Chinese are in Syria appears to have come from a US intelligence source in Iraq who “overleaped.” After the unusually frank interview with the 83-year-old Clarridge appeared, a Carson campaign spokesman told Business Insider that it was an “affront to good journalistic practices” for the Times to “take advantage of an elderly gentleman,” adding that the candidate has more than a dozen foreign policy advisers and receives daily briefings. The Times countered that it was “Williams who recommended that we talk to Mr. Clarridge and described Mr. Clarridge as a ‘mentor’ to Mr. Carson on foreign policy.”

He has a dozen foreign policy advisers and gets daily briefings and he still cannot get it right……if I were a Carson supporter I would have concerns over his lack of knowledge about the single most important issue for 2016…..but then again….I am NOT a supporter.

A writer for the “American Conservative”, Daniel Larison,  has put it best……

The bigger problem that Carson’s struggles point to is that almost all of the Republican candidates are woefully unprepared and lacking in foreign policy experience, and the few that have some experience don’t have very much. Carson’s lack of preparation on foreign policy is the most obvious in the field, but most of his competitors have the same weakness. That is what happens when a party simultaneously equates hard-line rhetoric with “expertise” and dismisses foreign policy experience as unnecessary for its presidential candidates.

That leaves the Donald whose big idea is exactly what we are doing now…..”bomb the sh*t out of them”……what can I say…..when in doubt ……state the obvious!

Once again the American citizen is being herded into a rush to war…..the latest poll after the Paris attacks show that Americans support the use of US Troops by 65%…..this should feed the political rhetoric until the next attack….and that GOP rhetoric is starting to sound familiar…..think back 80 years.

What Happens When Idiots Are Elected?

Since his election to the US Senate from the state of Arkansas I have been anything but supportive of this moron…..I am speaking of Tom Cotton…..

This babbling buffoon came of the public eye because he took it upon himself to write a letter on the Iran nuke deal….and he even got more of his GOP butt buddies to go along with his break of esprit de corps……

All GOP d/bags love to use the Constitution as a political prop and then spend every waking hour trying to find ways to violate the document……Cotton is NO different!

Sen. Cotton has stolen Jeb’s thunder with his bill…….

 “I will fight to restore the Patriot Act’s metadata program to ensure we have the ability to connect the dots between known foreign terrorists and potential operatives here in the United States,” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), another White House contender, said in a speech at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday.

Jeb will have to find a new tagline to show his chops.

Do you like your privacy?  Kiss it good-bye if this mental midget gets his way….

The freshman senator runs roughshod over the Constitution after a horrific terror attack. Sound familiar?

Source: Tom Cotton’s repugnant Paris fear-mongering: Why his new surveillance legislation should have you outraged – Salon.com

It will be interesting to see how many on the Right that were upset at past attempts to infringe on our privacy will support his idiots lame attempt to look relevant…….

From Paris to Jerusalem; Terror is not disguised with religions ..it’s governments using religion

Another excellent piece by my friend, Nadia….her perspective is from someone who lives with occupation everyday…this is her thoughts on the Paris attacks…..

Nadia Issam Harhash

It coincided that I was in France on the eve of the attacks in Paris. A state of chaos erupted. Everyone stood frozen infront of the TV. A strange feeling of numbness occurred inside me. I couldn’t grasp my emotions. But one thing definitely popped in my head at the instant; “ the world is becoming palestine”. The whole situation seemed fogyish. For an instant I felt: “ is this a karma?” but as everyone started defending islam or accusing it as the responsible brain of the attacks, the clarity of the situation became obvious to my mind. Definitely not to the whole world.

Answering all those questions on Islam. Is it a religion that promotes violence? Is it Muslims that are violent or terrorists? The answer is a straight yes. But don’t Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism produce violent people and terrorists as well? The answer is also a straight yes…

View original post 845 more words

What’s the Evidence Mass Surveillance Works?

The Paris attacks and the subsequent raids that killed the so-called “mastermind” has brought up the whole scenario about surveillance once again…..the hot button issue in the digital age…..

Extreme measures will be put into effect as soon as possible…..there is even some talk about the possibility of closing borders in Europe…..there will be stricter countermeasures put into place….

But the question that should be asked and fully answered is….will these measures be effective?

Officials are again pointing to the need for mass surveillance to take down terrorists. Here’s what we know about how well it works.

Good question, right?

Source: What’s the Evidence Mass Surveillance Works? Not Much – ProPublica

In the battle against IS, where is the Arab coalition?

The coalition against ISIS keeps growing…..and many people that I have talked with because they know that I watch and write about the Middle East ask me the same question….almost daily.

Why has the Arab countries not stepped up?

An excellent question that would take me an entire book to explain accurately……that is why when I saw this piece while reading the news I found an easier way of answering the question without giving myself a migraine….

Arab countries claiming their opposition against the Islamic State have stood down in their battle against the self-proclaimed “Caliph Ibrahim,” creating a political void in the coalition.

Source: In the battle against IS, where is the Arab coalition? – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

The sectarian divide will have to come to a head if this situation will ever be resolved……