Syria: War And Peace

Let’s begin with the peace part….well it is not an actual peace agreement but rather a ceasefire…..there are lots of optimistic predictions about this turn and on the other hand there is a bunch of pessimism…..and I am one that sees this deal falling on its face (check out my post from earlier today)……

One reason I see it failing is that the ceasefire does not include ISIS or al-Nusra……as long as there is still bang bang going on what part of the deal is a cease fire?

Now the war part of the post……

Is Turkey included in this ceasefire?

If so then ….Houston we have a problem…….

After months of railing against the gains by the Kurdish YPG in northern Syria, Turkish army forces began shelling YPG targets in earnest this weekend, and pretty quickly escalated their involvement to begin attacking the Syrian military in northern Aleppo Province as well.

Turkish officials are talking up the possibility of escalating their involvement to include ground troops, and the Syrian government says it believes the first Turkish troops may already have arrived, as around 100 gunmen crossed the border at Azaz, and they believe some are Turkish military forces.

The sudden Turkish attacks come just days ahead of the start of a ceasefire in Syria, and the US and some European nations are urging Turkey to knock it off, though PM Ahmet Davutoglu insists Turkish strikes will continue as a “necessary response” to the Kurdish gains.

The US,  which has signed on to this ceasefire, what will be their position on these attacks?

As Turkish forces pounded both Syrian military targets and the Kurdish YPG, the US State Department has issued a statement calling for Turkey to de-escalate the situation and halt all future attacks, along with warning the Kurds not to seize any more territory.

And it’s unlikely to change any minds, with Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu telling German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the attacks are going to continue unconditionally, and that the attacks are a “necessary response” to the Kurdish aggression.

Davutoglu went on to insist that Turkey is launching the attacks in Syria for Europe’s sake, and that if the Kurds weren’t stopped hundreds of thousands of more refugees are going to be fleeing from the territory the Kurds are taking from ISIS and other Islamist groups.

Now think about this…..let’s say Syria takes exception to Turkey’s attacks and retaliates…….what would that do?

Turkey is an ally through NATO and the charter with NATO says the US will come to their defense….that would then mean that we have another war to fight.

This situation is becoming more and more volatile as the days go by…….and then the next question is….what will Russia do as an ally of Syria?  Then ask will that bring the two powers into conflict….if so… what degree?

But that is nothing to worry about I am sure that the Swimsuit issue is far more important……or that Kayne is in debt……

Who’s On First?

The big speculation this week will be the spin and the lip flapping that will come out on just who will be the next Supreme Court appointee…..and then of course will be the inevitable games played by those worthless, no spine Repubs in the Congress….they will play the game for as long as they can…..and their speaking points will be numerous and just as moronic as always…..

But all that aside….who will Obama pick to replace Scalia on the Court?

Who will make the list?

With the death of Antonin Scalia, the longest-serving justice on the Supreme Court, comes the inevitable question of who might succeed him on the bench. Some of the bigger names being floated, via USA Today and Roll Call:

  • Sri Srinivasan: The 48-year-old Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit judge tops both lists. He sailed unanimously through Senate confirmation in 2013, and he’d be the first Indian-American to sit on the high court.
  • Patricia Millett: The 52-year-old sits on the DC Circuit Court with Srinivasan, and has argued 32 cases before the Supreme Court.
  • Merrick Garland: Another DC Circuit Court justice; he’s moderate, and his name was brought up for the Supreme Court nomination that ultimately went to Elena Kagan. Possible down side: He’s 63, and a bit older than most potential nominees.
  • Amy Klobuchar: The 55-year-old Minnesota senator’s name is mentioned with an eye toward a contentious Senate that might be less likely to block one of their own.
  • Deval Patrick: The 59-year-old former Massachusetts governor spent time in the Justice Department, and is a close friend of President Obama.
  • Kamala Harris: California’s 51-year-old attorney general is seen as a rising Democratic star, and is currently running for Barbara Boxer’s Senate seat.

The rest of the list is here.

My guess would be either Klobuchar or Patrick…..Klobuchar knows the ins and outs of Congress and she was always a supporter of Obama’s policies……and then maybe Patrick….a good Dem and a minority……but the best bet would be Srinivasan….

We will not know until he makes his picks known…..who do you think will be the appointee?

Holy Crap! A Weekend To Remember!

My posting week begins and I thought I would be writing then attacked by lesser minds…..but while I was enjoying my couple of days the world got tilted a bit…..I knew that I would be posting on world affairs and some of the silly stuff around them….I was wrong and boy was I really wrong…….

First, SCOTUS associate has dropped dead……

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead Saturday at a resort outside of Marfa, Texas, KVIA reports. According to the San Antonio Express- News, the 79-year-old appears to have died from natural causes. Scalia was the longest-serving justice currently on the Supreme Court, having been nominated by Ronald Reagan in 1986. In a statement, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called Scalia “a man of God, a patriot, and an unwavering defender of the written Constitution and the Rule of Law.” “We mourn his passing, and we pray that his successor on the Supreme Court will take his place as a champion for the written Constitution and the Rule of Law,” CBS DFW quotes Abbott’s statement as saying.

Scalia spent Friday hunting quail at the Cibolo Creek Ranch and told friends before going to bed that he wasn’t feeling well, reports CNN. His body was found in his room after he didn’t show up for breakfast Saturday. In a statement, Chief Justice John Roberts called Scalia an “extraordinary individual” who was “admired and treasured by his colleagues.” The Chicago Tribune notes that the conservative judge’s “sharply worded dissents and caustic attacks on liberal notions were quoted widely, and they had an influence on a generation of young conservatives,” the paper states. Scalia’s death gives President Obama the chance to get his third nominee onto the Supreme Court, CBS News reports, though that might be tough in an election year.

I wish I could say something nice about the man…..thinking……at least he was not running for the GOP nomination…..

Speaking of the GOP……

Last night was yet another GOP debate and it was a good old fashion knock down and dragged out verbal assassination……

The affair started with our boy Donald tearing into Jeb and brother George…..

The boos were “ferocious,” notes the Week, and occurred more than once. Donald Trump’s immediate reaction to Jeb Bush’s explanation of his ISIS strategy was to declare, to boos, “Jeb is so wrong, Jeb is absolutely so wrong.” Trump’s response to the boos was to reference the “lobbyists” in the audience, and state that he had none. A question then went to Ted Cruz before the cameras turned back to Bush and Trump and the subject wound its way to 9/11 and what Trump asserted were George W. Bush’s national security failings.

“The World Trade Center came down during your brother’s reign. Remember that.” Bush swung back, saying he was “sick and tired of [Trump] going after my family. While Donald Trump was building a reality TV show, my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe.” More boos came as Trump responded, saying, “How did he keep us safe” when the World Trade Center came down? “I lost hundreds of friends.”

The nasty finger pointing just kept coming….and from all sides……

There were lots of boos, plenty of actual yelling, and no shortage of digs. Some standout lines, which happen to come courtesy of Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump:

  1. Bush: “I’m sick and tired of Barack Obama blaming my brother for all of the problems that he’s had. I’m sick and tired of [Donald Trump] going after my family. … While Donald Trump was building a reality TV show, my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe.”
  2. Trump: “The World Trade Center came down during your brother’s reign. Remember that. That’s not keeping us safe.” [Memorable line worth a mention: John Kasich then quips, “This is just nuts.”]
  3. Rubio: “Look, this is a disturbing pattern now. For a number of weeks Ted Cruz has just been telling lies. He lied about Ben Carson in Iowa. He lies about Planned Parenthood and marriage. And he makes things up.”
  4. Bush on Rubio and Cruz: “I feel like I have to get into my inner Chris Christie, and point out the reason why I should be president is listening to two senators talk about arcane amendments to bills that didn’t pass.”
  5. Bush on Trump: “But if you want to talk about weakness, you want to talk about weakness, it’s weak to disparaging women. It’s weak to disparage Hispanics. It’s weak to denigrate the disabled. And it’s really weak to call John McCain a loser because he was a POW.”
  6. Trump on Cruz: “You are the single biggest liar, you probably are worse than Jeb Bush. Nasty guy. Now I know why he doesn’t have one endorsement from any of his colleagues.”
  7. Rubio to Cruz: “I don’t know how he knows what I said on Univision. He doesn’t speak Spanish.” [ABC News notes Cruz then said, as Rubio kept talking, “Vato, si quieres dicelo ahora mismo, dicelo ahora en Español si quieres.” That’s: “Dude/Man if you want to tell them now, tell them now in Spanish, if you want.”]

These GOP debates are getting more moronic with each one passing….how could anyone with half a brain take any of the candidates seriously?  Just how long can infantile attacks be appealing?

The closest thing they have to a reasonable person is Kasich……and he is about as popular as a boil on your butt…….and that is just sad on so many levels……

And I thought that the weekend would be uneventful…..but was not eventful enough to make me give up my couple of days of down time…..

Other than that Mrs.  Lincoln,  how did you like the play?

Yes, We Have A Ceasefire!

………(He said laughing to himself)…….

The world has been in a tither trying to find a way to find a way to bring some sort of peace to Syria….and everyone has their ideas and others are just wanting it to continue because if there is a successful ceasefire then all their chest thumping will be for naught….

While we were celebrating whatever it is one celebrates, the big news is that the powers that be have come up with a ceasefire in Syria……

US and Russian officials are reporting that an agreement was reached today in Munich on an “ambitious” ceasefire plan for the Syrian Civil War, with a goal of ending all armed hostilities in the country within a week, excluding ISIS and Nusra Front territory.

The plan came in the wake of failed UN peace talks, which saw the rebels demanding an immediate end to all attacks against them, then showing up, then insisting they weren’t there for the peace talks, then after the UN declared a “pause” arguing the talks never really began in the first place.

Now ask yourself….how can it be a ceasefire when the main combatants are excluded?

My take is…..a great idea of principle….but will not in practice….too many holes in the agreement for it to actually work…..