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The mess in Syria

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 11:38 am - June 19, 2017.
Filed under: National Security,War On Terror,World War III

U.S. Shoots Down Syrian Aircraft for First Time.

The U.S. military on Sunday shot down a Syrian Air Force fighter jet that bombed local forces aligned with the Americans in the fight against Islamic State militants…

According to a statement from the Pentagon, pro-Syrian regime forces attacked the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces-held town of Ja’Din, south of Tabqah in northern Syria, wounding a number of SDF fighters and driving the SDF from the town.

Coalition aircraft conducted a show of force and stopped the initial pro-regime advance toward the town, the Pentagon said…

A few hours later, the Syrian SU-22 dropped bombs near SDF fighters and, “in collective self-defense of coalition-partnered forces,” was immediately shot down by a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet, the Pentagon said.

“The coalition’s mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” the Pentagon said, using an abbreviation for the Islamic State group. “The coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime, Russian or pro-regime forces partnered with them…”

And that’s what doesn’t make sense. ISIS and the so-called “moderate, democratic” opposition to the Syrian government are much the same people. There is a flow of people, weapons and training between them.

Just as no one can “have their cake and eat it, too”, the U.S. must choose between defeating Syria’s Assad regime and defeating ISIS. To attempt both, is to stick with a losing position.

UPDATE: Krauthammer tries to explain it. According to him:

  • ISIS is doomed – will be gone within 6-12 months.
  • Russia, Iran and Syria are working to “inherit” northern Iraq for Iran (the new Persian Empire), and likewise to have all of Syria in the hands of Assad-Russia-Iran-Shiites.
  • Meanwhile, the U.S. is working to defeat all that; especially to have a de facto division of Syria along ethnic lines, in which the western half of Syria will be Sunni-dominated and Saudi-friendly. (And northern Iraq, ??? Not sure.)

It still sounds hokey to me, with too much danger of an accidental war with Russia. But I wanted to acknowledge that the side favoring U.S. involvement in Syria might have a strategy in mind.

We’ve been hearing a long time that energy pipelines (especially liquid natural gas) might be involved in all this. Pipelines to Europe, that need to run through Syria. The Russia-Iran version would tend to make Europe more dependent on them, while the U.S.-Saudi version would do the reverse (or preserve Europe’s dependence on the U.S. and Saudi Arabia).

The mess in the UK

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 11:24 am - June 19, 2017.
Filed under: Politics abroad,Religion Of Peace,War On Terror

As you’ve probably heard, a UK man assaulted pedestrians with a vehicle last night.

What’s new and different is that, instead of the usual Muslim trying to kill infidels, he was an infidel trying to kill Muslims. Needless to say, his murderous actions were wrong and I condemn them.

What amazes me is that this sort of thing hasn’t happened sooner. European and UK authorities have chronically failed to protect their citizens from Islamic terrorists, prompting citizens to take matters into their own hands. It’s amazing that it took this long for one of their citizens to do so.

As an aside, I’m slightly puzzled by whether this attack should be called “terrorist”. In deciding what to call combatants, I have always used the following matrix:

  • Uniformed soldiers attacking uniformed soldiers: Honorable combatants.
  • Uniformed soldiers attacking civilians: War criminals.
  • Civilians attacking uniformed soldiers: Irregular / guerilla forces.
  • Civilians attacking civilians: Terrorists.

The underlying premise is that a war is going on. Islamic terrorists are called terrorists, in part because they are engaged in a war (against the infidels and/or to establish the supremacy of Islam). Or, as they call it, “jihad”.

If we call this UK guy a terrorist, we implicitly acknowledge that the UK (among others) is in a war with Islam and this particular combatant is on “our” side, however wrongly he goes about it. Do we not? Rather than do that, I’m inclined to just call this UK guy a lunatic mass murderer.

Feel free to let me know your thoughts. Again, due to the failure of UK and European authorities to protect their citizens from Islamic terrorists, a case could be made that the guy is a combatant in an ongoing war with Islam – albeit a degenerate combatant; a civilian attacking civilians – thus a terrorist.

So that’s what I’m stuck on…whether to call him a terrorist or a mass murderer?

Obama Systematically Dismantled Anti-Terrorism Efforts

Whose side was he on?

The Obama administration “systematically disbanded” law enforcement investigative units across the federal government focused on disrupting Iranian, Syrian, and Venezuelan terrorism financing networks out of concern the work could cause friction with Iranian officials and scuttle the nuclear deal with Iran, according to a former U.S. official who spent decades dismantling terrorist financial networks.

David Asher, who previously served as an adviser to Gen. John Allen at the Defense and State Departments, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee Thursday that top officials across several key law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the Obama administration “systematically disbanded” law enforcement activities targeting the terrorism financing operations of Iran, Hezbollah, and Venezuela in the lead-up to and during the nuclear negotiations with Tehran.

So let me get this straight. You on the left have your panties in a wad because President Trump might possibly (there is no evidence) have colluded with Russia to help win an election. But you couldn’t care less that the previous president clearly put the strategic interests of a hostile terrorist state ahead of the interests of the United States, systematically dismantled our Intelligence Community’s efforts to investigate and disable the terror-financing activities of that hostile terrorist state, and … oh by the way… delivered billions of American taxpayer dollar to that hostile terror state.

Care to explain?

Tough Love Versus Kumbayah

Posted by V the K at 9:21 am - June 5, 2017.
Filed under: War On Terror

J.J. at AoSHQ had some interesting stuff this morning. I’m just going to swipe it and highlight the best parts.

Tarique Ghaffur (Assistant Commissioner at Scotland Yard when the 7/7 bombings took place) proposed last weekend, (that) we need to round up the terror watch list, all 3,000 of them, and intern the lot. And secondly, we need to lock down the 650 jihadis we allowed to return to the UK or get them out. If they went to Saudi or Syria to train, they can go back there. And their passport and right to British nationality hits the incinerator on their way out. I know all the arguments against internment-the camps become universities for terror, it will alienate other Muslims and help radicalise extremist sympathizers. And a few weeks ago I’d probably have said that tipped the balance. But we are way beyond that now.
Our security services clearly cannot cope in monitoring all the threats out there against us so it’s time we took the most obvious ones off the streets. If we breed more homegrown terror, we incarcerate or deport. A or B.

Spengler, aka David P. Goldman, over at PJ Media has a similar brainwave:

The way to win the war is to frighten the larger community of Muslims who passively support terror by action or inaction-frighten them so badly that they will inform on family members. Frightening the larger Muslim population in the West does not require a great deal of effort: a few thousand deportations would do.

A little tough love would do a lot more to reduce terrorist attack than all the “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” Kumba Yah horse dung the left is pushing. Still, I would favor deportations over internment camps. As we’ve seen with Club Gitmo, they tend to be portrayed in the media as worse than Birkenau, while in reality being four-star resorts for terrorists complete with soccer fields, halal food, and Qurans delivered with white gloves so they are not soiled by the dirty hands of infidels. (The media, once again, being helpful to the cause of Global Jihad.)  Besides, I have a strong aversion to imprisoning people who haven’t violated laws. You could use the same logic to deny people their right to bear arms (as Britain has).

Deporting people who have actually trained in jihad or supported jihad would have a strong deterrent effect; just like “stop and frisk” had a strong deterrent effect in NYC before liberals stopped it because virtue signaling.

JJ continues.

My feeling is that Islam is a totalitarian political movement that seeks the subjugation of humanity, or its destruction in the attempt. It is not compatible with a modern, civilized society. Unfortunately, it’s more modern (chronologically-speaking) twin, Leftism/Statism/Socialism has the same goals, minus the pseudo-religious trappings, and has definitely formed an alliance of convenience with the former.

He’s right about that. If every ISIS dispatch ended with “Hey Hey! Ho Ho! Western Civ has got to go!” they would barely be distinguishable from a course syllabus at Evergreen State. The main difference between Islamic Supremacists and progressives is that the latter have a pretty fuzzy notion of their endgame: a Global Socialist Utopia that will Work This Time because the Right People (them) Will Be In Charge; whereas the former have a much more specific vision of a Global Caliphate ruled under the iron fist of Islam

But another thing the reason terror won’t stop is because it’s working. The terrorists are achieving their goals of getting the West to kneel to Islam. When pools and recreational facilities are separated by sex to appease Muslims, that is a concession to the terrorists. When schools in the United States teach Islamic propaganda and get children to recite verses from the Quran (but ban all expression of Christian faith), the Islamic Supremacists are winning.  When laws are passed banning criticism of Islam and the Quran, that is a huge victory for Islamic Supremacy. When media companies ban the image of Mohammed, that is a concession to terrorists.

When the free countries of the world attack the only real democracy in the Middle East and give billions of dollars in aid to its enemies, that is an enormous victory for terrorism.

Terrorism is working. And as long as it keeps working, we will have more of it.

By the way, the NeverTrumper Conspiracy Theorists are blaming the terrorist attack on… Russia.

Anything to avoid saying ‘Muslim’

The first step to solving a problem for real, is: Naming it honestly.

As Mark Steyn points out (hat tip V), our leftie-globalist-academic Superiors want us to believe that “sowing division” is what’s wrong with the endless stream of mass murders by Muslim terrorists. Because the desirable opposite is “unity”, led by those same Superiors.

Thus, they subtly equate their critics with Muslim terrorists. If, say, you’re a free-market populist who rejects the elite consensus, you’re as bad as a Muslim mass murderer. Because you’re also “sowing division”.

It’s similar to how the Left represents “hate speech” (i.e., criticism or rejection of the Left) as a form of violence, unprotected by the First Amendment. Under such insane terms, the Left is allowed to attack you with physical violence because they are only protecting themselves from the “violence” that you were about to think, or say.

Re: the London attacks, British media says they were done by “men of Mediterranean coloring”. It has a courtroom precision to it, which is nice, but also don’t say Muslim.

London’s Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, did at least call them “cowardly terrorists”. And Prime Minister Theresa May slammed the “evil ideology of Islamist extremism” – but then went back to calling for “unity”, plus Internet censorship. As opposed to, say, deporting the UK’s known Muslim radicals and improved vetting of Muslim immigrants, or better enforcement of the UK’s existing laws against inciting violence.

It’s beyond question that the murderers were doing it for Allah. One can only hope that the good people of the UK will wake up.

More Obama-NSA abuses

Yet another story that should be all over the media, but I haven’t seen it much. (If you have, let me know.)

Why wouldn’t it be covered? I find that it reflects great discredit on the Establishment (both political parties, Deep State and Controlled Media). As I started to say yesterday, they have ways to decide what you’re going to hear about. For as long as they can, they will bury stories that don’t fit their agenda.

To review some background:

  • Under the 4th Amendment, the government isn’t supposed to spy on U.S. people without a court-ordered warrant.
  • “The FISA Court” is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 “to oversee requests for surveillance warrants against foreign spies inside the United States by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies.” (Wiki)
    Note, foreign.
  • But FISA Court hearings are secret and only the government and the court judge are present, like a kangaroo court. The adversarial system is abandoned.
  • As such, FISA tends to be very lenient to the government. Over time, they have created a secret body of law that gives the government sweeping powers to do domestic warrantless surveillance under an alleged “special needs exception” to the 4th Amendment.
    • One example – In 2013, Edward Snowden leaked a FISA order that requires phone companies to provide a daily, ongoing feed of everyone’s phone call data to the NSA. Super invasive!
  • Even so, FISA isn’t toothless and doesn’t approve everything – as you shall see. They need to preserve respectability, at least in their own eyes.
  • FISA judges are appointed solely by the Chief Justice of the United States. In this regard, Establishment Republicans control the FISA court.

That’s just background. Now for the news, as reported by John Solomon and Sara Carter at Circa.com.

Under President Obama, the NSA secretly conducted years of surveillance and searches on Americans that not even the secret, super-lenient FISA Court would approve.

The National Security Agency under former President Barack Obama routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall, according to once top-secret documents that chronicle some of the most serious constitutional abuses to date by the U.S. intelligence community…

The Obama administration self-disclosed the problems at a closed-door hearing Oct. 26 before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that set off alarm…

The normally supportive court censured administration officials, saying the failure to disclose the extent of the violations earlier amounted to an “institutional lack of candor” and that the improper searches constituted a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue,” according to a recently unsealed court document dated April 26, 2017.

The admitted violations undercut one of the primary defenses that the intelligence community and Obama officials have used in recent weeks to justify their snooping into incidental NSA intercepts about Americans.

Circa has reported that there was a three-fold increase in NSA data searches about Americans and a rise in the unmasking of U.S. person’s identities in intelligence reports after Obama loosened the privacy rules in 2011.

Officials like former National Security Adviser Susan Rice have argued their activities were legal under the so-called minimization rule changes Obama made, and that the intelligence agencies were strictly monitored to avoid abuses.

The intelligence court and the NSA’s own internal watchdog found that not to be true…

The American Civil Liberties Union said the newly disclosed violations are some of the most serious to ever be documented and strongly call into question the U.S. intelligence community’s ability to police itself…

RTWT. Naturally, the NSA is scrambling to reassure people that it has fixed the problem. Riiiiiiiight. And Susan Rice didn’t lie and none of the surveillance data was ever misused against Obama opponents or improperly unmasked. Riiiiiiiight.

To people who understand civil liberties and limited government, all this is a huge deal that shows how far out of control the U.S. “intelligence community” (Deep State) has gotten. Chris Farrell at Judicial Watch compares it to President Lincoln’s suspension of habeus corpus during the U.S. Civil War.

Where is the Special Counsel on this?

Or the media coverage? Bush’s NSA did some illegal surveillance in the 2000s – and in 2005, was duly slammed by The New York Times. A large kerfuffle. “But that was then.” It served the interests of someone powerful – someone in deep alliance with, or control of, The New York Times – to weaken Bush. Not so much with Obama, eh?

See the FISA Court’s declassified order spanking the Obama administration, here. By the way, note how large sections of the relevant law and dockets are blacked out, showing how the FISA system has created secret law that the citizens aren’t supposed to know about. That’s horrible.

Also from Circa: Comey’s FBI was neck deep in the abuses.

The FBI has illegally shared raw intelligence about Americans with unauthorized third parties and violated other constitutional privacy protections, according to newly declassified government documents that undercut the bureau’s public assurances…

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Posted by V the K at 8:34 am - May 25, 2017.
Filed under: War On Terror

On a related note: A dimbulb California Dhimmicrat congresswoman says terror attacks are because Mohammedans “feel isolated.” (It’s always about feelings with those dingbats.)

Trump on terrorist Losers

After expressing solidarity with the Manchester bombing victims, he said:

So many young, beautiful, innocent people, living and enjoying their lives, murdered by evil losers in life. I won’t call them monsters, because they would like that term. They would think that’s a great name. I will call them, from now on, losers, because that’s what they are, they’re losers. And we’ll have more of them. But they’re losers, just remember that.

This is what I’ve spent these last few days talking about in my trip overseas. Our society can have no tolerance for this continuation of bloodshed. We cannot stand a moment longer for the slaughter of innocent people. And, in today’s attack, it was mostly innocent children. The terrorists and extremists, and those who give them aid and comfort, must be driven out from our society forever. This wicked ideology must be obliterated, and I mean completely obliterated.

Emphasis in President Trump’s delivery. I find this interesting on several levels.

First, calling them “losers” is a Trumpism. He’s spent his life focused on the issue of winning vs. losing in business, and he speaks colloquially and from his heart. Translators (into other languages) may have to footnote the expression or come up with some local idiom that would strike us as odd (if we heard it translated back).

Second, it’s an Americanism. Trump is a throwback to a time when most Americans were focused on winning vs. losing. As General Patton said in a bygone era, “Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time.” This was before the Left programmed us to look down on winners and give everyone a participation trophy.

Third, it’s true. These terrorists are losers. They can’t think of anything better to do with the wonderful gift of life, than to try to ruin it for others. In addition to being evil, vicious, nihilistic, malicious, etc., they’re indescribably stupid. As such, only the stupidest of women should want to have sexual intercourse with them. They lack evolutionary fitness.

Fourth, it’s something new. I mean, I’ve called these Islamist terrorists “losers” before – but to hear the President of the United States do it, seems new. (If President Obama did it, please let me know in the comments. A search for “obama calls terrorists losers” turns up only Trump doing it.) It expresses a (rightful) depth of contempt for the terrorists that Obama probably never had. I also doubt that Obama ever talked about “completely obliterating” them.

Fifth, it’s strangely persuasive. Killing terrorists in wars, policing and effective border control all do have a place in the War on Terror. But, to really end terrorism, we will need to thrust a moral and social frame upon the terrorists that makes them seem “obviously” contemptible, or even ridiculous. So that, even to an America-hating leftist or a Muslim who may feel oppressed, being a suicide bomber no longer carries any status or moral authority or cachet. “Ugh, what a bunch of losers” is such a frame – and has the virtue, again, of being true.

Sixth and not least: Trump is saying it in the Middle East, to the faces of Palestinians (and earlier, Saudis). Kudos, Mr. President!

Seventh, the Usual Suspects hate it – you know, Whoopi Goldberg, The View, the leftie newspapers saying it makes light of things and doesn’t show enough seriousness – so you know that Trump must be on the right track.

UPDATE: Scott Adams seems to agree.

What kinds of people join the Losers [terrorists]? Mostly young males. And you know what brand young males do not want on them? Right: Losers.

If you call them monsters, they like it. If you call them ISIS or ISIL they put it on a flag and wave it around. If you call them non-Muslim, it just rolls off their backs because they have Korans and stuff. Almost any other “brand” you can imagine is either inert or beneficial to Loser recruitment.

Loser is different. No one joins the Loser movement. Try at home, with your family or friends, to concoct a more effective brand poisoning than Loser. You probably can’t.

UPDATE: Just to give credit where it’s due: in 2015, there was a push from the Obama administration to refer to the ISIS as “Daesh”. That, too, was a brand-poisoning exercise. Maybe not a great one. In Arabic, the letters are an acronym of ISIS’ name and evoke the Arabic words for “one who crushes and tramples” others, and “one who sows discord”. Perhaps our words “sociopath” or “fascist” are dynamic equivalents? Daesh is derogatory enough to make ISIS want to cut your tongue out. So, it’s a good shot. But 1) it evokes nothing in English, 2) it doesn’t get to the heart of the matter: these jihadists are losers.

UPDATE: Sean L gets into the spirit of the thing:

Perhaps we need to start using phrases that carry the same level of contempt in the Arabic world as “loser” does over here. How about “pig penises”?

Trump and Saudi Arabia

Probably more than any other country, Saudi Arabia has “hacked our democracy”. I keep meaning to write a post on their ownership share of U.S. media, and why they would be on board with a “Trump is a Russian agent!” narrative.

During the election, Trump rightly criticized Hillary for taking money from the world’s worst country for women and gays. And he had a nasty Twitter exchange with a Saudi prince.

What a difference a year makes. First, the new US-Saudi arms deal:

According to a statement just issued by the White House, Trump “has just completed largest single arms deal in US history, negotiating a package totaling more than $109.7 billion” which will boost Saudi Arabia’s defense capabilities, bolstering equipment and services in the face of extreme terrorist groups and Iran. The White House added that the deal will create defense jobs while also reaffirming America’s commitment to Saudi Arabia…

According to estimates cited by The Independent, including restocking and future commitments over the next ten years, the deal could balloon to $350 billion worth of arms…

I’m not at all sure this is good news.

  • How is it different from what any pet of the Deep State would have done? (Obama, Hillary, Jeb Bush, Lindsay McCain?) I don’t know.
  • Does it boost U.S. jobs as much as Trump says? I don’t know.
  • I know it will help Saudi Arabia to conquer its neighbor Yemen and gain control of its oil reserves. (Not necessarily good.)
  • Does it put U.S. defense technology in the hands of people who hate us? Probably.
  • Does it mean that Saudi-controlled elements of U.S. media will ease their war on Trump? I don’t know.

I do know that Trump’s speech in Riyadh was epic. As Bruce Bawer puts it:

It was gag-inducing to hear him praise the “magnificent kingdom” of Saudi Arabia, “the splendor of your country,” “the grandeur of this remarkable place,” and so on…But then something happened…

…he began mixing the ethereal praise with realistic businessman-type talk about the value of international partnership…[and] underscored the fact that in order for such a partnership to work, something would have to change. And it would have to change a lot. The Islamic world, he insisted, had to turn into a place where young Muslims could grow up “innocent of hatred.”

And then he spelled out the results of that hatred, presenting first a roll call of some of the “barbaric attacks” on America – 9/11, Boston, San Bernardino, Orlando – and then a list of other places (“Europe, Africa, South America, India, Russia, China, and Australia”) where that hatred has manifested itself.

However delicately he worked his way around to it, it was nothing less than an accusation.

No, he didn’t explicitly charge Muslim leaders with funding terrorism – but he told them, in no uncertain terms, that they needed to cut off funds to terrorists…And, yes, he spoke of “Islamic” (not “Islamist” or “radical Islamic”) terror. And he made it clear he wasn’t just talking about terrorism – he was talking about Islam itself. He condemned “the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews, and the slaughter of Christians.”

Kudos, Mr. President!

Full video here (scroll down). Short excerpts here and here. Full text here. Addressing Saudi princes, telling them to their faces, “Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death…Drive them out of this Earth!”

CIA vs. WikiLeaks: It’s Awn

Of course the fight between them was already on; I’ll get to that in a moment.

President Trump’s CIA director, Mike Pompeo:

CIA Director Mike Pompeo, in his first speech since taking over the agency, lambasted WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange — calling the group a “non-state hostile intelligence service” that is often abetted by “state actors like Russia.”

Speaking Thursday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Pompeo called Assange a “fraud,” someone with no “moral compass” and a “narcissist who has created nothing of value.”

He asserted that Assange and former National Security Agency staffer and famed leaker Edward Snowden “seek to use that information to make a name for themselves” and they “care nothing about the lives they put at risk or the damage they cause to national security.”

Asked why he would focus on WikiLeaks rather than other issues, Pompeo said he felt it was vital to inform the American people about the threat they pose.

There’s more. RTWT.

Some of Pompeo’s claims are absurd, and others are all too real. First, the absurd: That Snowden did it to make a name for himself.

The guy is almost a prisoner – in Russia, of all places. If he comes back to the U.S., he faces trial. Snowden agrees that he should face trial, and says that he will do so – when he is allowed to mount a public-interest defense (presenting his side of it, that he acted in the public interest when he revealed masses of NSA classified info). But I digress. The point is: Snowden has given up so much to reveal what he revealed, that saying he did it for the fame is ridiculous.

Similar thoughts would apply to Assange, who is almost a prisoner in Ecuador’s embassy in London. While no one is ever perfect, both of these men have acted from their ideals. In denying that so crudely, Pompeo counts on his audience to be stupid.

As to what’s real in Pompeo’s speech: There is no question that both Snowden’s revelations and WikiLeaks make the job of U.S. intelligence agencies much harder. That has to be a bad thing, in many respects. The question is whether, in some other respects, it might also be a good thing?

What has been revealed, first by Snowden and more recently by WikiLeaks Vault 7, is: massive surveillance programs whereby U.S. intelligence agencies spy not only on enemies, but on allies and on ordinary Americans. Really unconstitutional programs and capabilities. So unconstitutional and invasive that they destroy U.S. moral authority and make us understandably hated by the rest of the world.

Until recently, Pompeo’s boss, President Trump, was pro-WikiLeaks (see here – Trump literally said “I love WikiLeaks!”). And against excessive surveillance, such as the Obama administration’s surveillance on Trump before, during and after the 2016 election. Likewise with Pompeo himself. But their love for WikiLeaks was before the Vault 7 revelations and more to come, which could be ugly enough to destroy the CIA as an institution.

In the past, I’ve blogged on my ambivalence about Snowden (example, see here). But, in the last year, I’ve come more to his side; glad that he and Assange did what they do. The more so because of news headlines in the last 5 months: I believe that some leaders of the U.S. intelligence community have tried to damage (if not overthrow) a duly elected President, with a campaign of “intelligence leaks” that are so empty and misleading as to be lies-in-effect. That would be a separate issue. But one that proves the said leaders’ bad faith and anti-constitutional intentions.

In short, we’re at a sad juncture where several issues point to the same conclusion: the U.S. intelligence community is way out of control and in great need of investigation and cleanup.

As always, feel free to disagree or state your view, in the comments. (As always, I’m looking for “agreeable disagreement” and exchange; don’t expect me to come instantly to your viewpoint.)

More conspiracy theories become fact – partly, sort of

On April 8, Cernovich Media claimed that National Security Advisor “H. R. McMaster [is] Manipulating Intelligence Reports to Trump, Wants 150,000 Ground Soldiers in Syria”.

Today, Eli Lake at Bloomberg confirms that McMaster wants to send up to 50,000 ground troops to Syria. And “has been quietly pressing his colleagues to question the underlying assumptions of a draft war plan against the Islamic State that would maintain only a light U.S. ground troop presence in Syria…to facilitate a better interagency process to develop Trump’s new strategy to defeat [ISIS].”

The real news is that Trump has said no to McMaster – at least for the time being. Kudos to those GP commenters who advised me, more or less, that Trump is his own man and wouldn’ t automatically go with McMaster.

As to the rest: it sounds like Cernovich dropped the nuances and exaggerated what was left, but still got much of the essence. And ahead of Bloomberg. Here’s a similar example, this one with Judge Napolitano.

In March, Napolitano claimed that, in spying on Trump, Obama went around U.S. laws that would restrict such spying by having a British intelligence agency access the U.S. NSA surveillance databases, then pass along findings. Obama and the British denied it vehemently.

Today, CNN confirms that “British intelligence passed Trump associates’ communications with Russians on to US counterparts.” CNN suggests that the British did the surveilling themselves, a difference from Napolitano’s story. Still, the British did it under intelligence-sharing agreements and to me, it sounds like Napolitano was in the ballpark.

The real news is that CNN still has no substantive Russian collusion to report against Trump.

Syria: Whom do you trust?

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 11:45 am - April 12, 2017.
Filed under: National Security,War On Terror,World War III

As former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter has put it:

…chemical attacks had been occurring inside Syria on a regular basis… International investigations of these attacks produced mixed results, with…the majority being attributed to anti-regime fighters, in particular those affiliated with Al Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda affiliate.

Some sort of chemical event took place in Khan Sheikhoun; what is very much in question is who is responsible…

A critical piece of information that has largely escaped the reporting in the mainstream media is that Khan Sheikhoun is ground zero for the Islamic jihadists who have been at the center of the anti-Assad movement…

The Russian Ministry of Defense has claimed that Liwa al-Aqsa [anti-Assad jihadists] was using facilities in and around Khan Sheikhoun to manufacture crude chemical shells and landmines…

Al Nusra has a long history of manufacturing and employing crude chemical weapons; the 2013 chemical attack on Ghouta made use of low-grade Sarin nerve agent locally synthesized, while attacks in and around Aleppo in 2016 made use of a chlorine/white phosphorous blend.

If…the building bombed in Khan Sheikhoun on the morning of April 4, 2017 was producing and/or storing chemical weapons, the probability that viable agent and other toxic contaminants were dispersed into the surrounding neighborhood, and further disseminated by the prevailing wind, is high.

Emphasis added. Although the article is at PuffHo and written by a sex offender (teenage girls), it’s a detailed article and worth reading in full.

So, there’s that. The whole thing could have been an accident, when a Syrian government jet did a conventional attack on a facility where the rebels were storing their own, illegal, home-grown(?) chemical weapons.

On the other hand, we have Defense Secretary Mattis stating, “The Syrian regime attacked its own people with chemical weapons. I have personally reviewed the intelligence and there is no doubt the Syrian regime is responsible for the decision to attack and for the attack itself.”

Fifteen years ago, deciding whether to believe the U.S. defense secretary would have been easy: Just believe him! But, disturbingly, Mattis’ briefing gave almost no supporting details – for a story which makes little sense on its surface.

And a lot has changed, in the last 15 years. We now know to a certainty that the U.S. intelligence agencies get things wrong or even mislead on purpose.

  • Most recently, the proverbial “17 intelligence agencies” supported highly doubtful claims of Russian election hacking.
  • Also, they leaked surveillance information in an effort to stoke fires of McCarthyism (hysteria) against a newly-elected President – who, it seemed at the time, wouldn’t go along with the agencies’ desire to attack Syria.

As such, I’m not comforted to know that Mattis “personally reviewed the intelligence” (a fancy way of saying just that he read the agency reports). I remain a skeptic of the official story. As always, feel free to disagree or to tell me what I missed, in the comments.

As to the larger picture: Trump says, “We’re not going into Syria.” But… Spicer is comparing Assad to Hitler and Nikki Haley is still talking Syria regime change. As is McCain. Yuck.

UPDATE: Zero Hedge lists more reasons to question the official story, including:

  • Evidence that it was anhydrous ammonia or chlorine, not sarin. Supposedly, the “first responders” handled the victims without gloves, which should have killed them (if it was sarin).
  • A statement from Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), claiming that local U.S. Army officers in Syria agree with the accidental-release theory (mainly faulting the rebels).

The Tyranny of Fake News

I was advised to google “Syria hoax footage” and see what comes up. A lot comes up. For one thing, here’s video from November 2016 of Syrian “White Helmets” (a pro-rebel group; thus pro-Islamist) carefully STAGING a scene of man whose legs were supposedly crushed in a government attack.

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They all scream on cue, at about 0:22. Afterward, the man – that is, the actor – looks cheerful and takes a photo with his fellow actors. Click here and scroll down to see.

CNN lately has been hitting the “Won’t somebody PLEEEZ think of the children??!” button extra hard, with its clips of Bana, an adorable, wide-eyed Syrian 7-year old who pleads for the freedom to play and go to school.

Here, CNN throws Bana into the face of a rather sensible Congressperson, starting around 1:50.

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It turns out, of course, that each of Bana’s performances and Tweets are scripted and staged by her politically-motivated mother.

Note to CNN: A seven-year old isn’t a U.S. foreign policy expert. Her opinion, even if unscripted, would still be Fake News in the sense that it simply isn’t news. And oh yeah, if we did invade Syria (or bomb it further), it would become even harder for Bana to play or go to school. Tell her that.

The U.S. Intelligence and foreign policy bureaucrats (Deep State) wanted Hillary because, for some reason or other, they want a war in Syria at the least; if not a full-on war with Russia. Along with a few billionaires – like Carlos Slim (New York Times) and Jeff Bezos (Washington Post) and Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild (Economist magazine) and some others (Time-Warner / CNN) – the Deep State controls the proverbial Controlled Media, which spews War propaganda on command.

That’s reality. That is the world we live in: A tyranny in which relatively non-accountable, secretive bureaucrats manipulate the media – and have the media, in turn, manipulate us with FAKE NEWS.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that the recent Syria chemical attack was a hoax or a false flag. But it means that we’re right to wonder. We’re right to ask our leaders for caution. We’re right to question “the narrative.”


Guess what else? We just got a little more information on how it could have been the murdered DNC-insider Seth Rich, and not the Russians, who hacked/leaked the DNC emails in the 2016 election.

“The consensus of 17 intelligence agencies is that the Russians did it!!1!” was always a shaky story. For one thing, the DNC didn’t even allow the FBI in to look at the alleged crime scene for a couple of weeks after it happened.

Its investigation hampered, the FBI then relied mostly on a report of Russian hacking from CrowdStrike, a Democrat-funded company. And CrowdStrike’s report/story has been more or less debunked. The other 16 agencies then relied on the FBI. I say, phooey. This isn’t the first time the proverbial “17 intelligence agencies!” have gotten it wrong – or even tried to deceive us.

UPDATE: On further reflection, the GatewayPundit link above (after “Guess what else?”) is a NothingBurger. As such, I apologize for having brought up that link.

Nonetheless, Julian Assange of Wikileaks has strongly denied Russian involvement in the DNC leaks (try here) and implied that Seth Rich was his source (try here). That continues to be my hypothesis.

UPDATE: On the other side of the spectrum, Cernovich goes on a limb, claims that McMaster has been lying to Trump in an effort to get 150,000 boots on the ground in Syria. If true: it’s a bad moment for America. And if false: it’s a bad moment for Cernovich – who has been shaky on some things, and astoundingly right on some other things.

My evolution on the topic of “war”

Just speaking for myself. After 9-11, I supported the war in Afghanistan because:

  • Killing al Qaeda terrorists seemed like a good idea, and the Taliban was harboring them.
  • It was only one war.
  • It was legal. (Congress authorized it. As did the United Nations, explicitly.)

A couple years later, I supported the Iraq war because:

  • Killing al Qaeda terrorists seemed like a good idea, and Saddam had begun to harbor some who had just fled from Afghanistan, like Zarqawi.
  • Whether or not Saddam Hussein had ready-to-go WMD, getting him and his thugs off the world stage seemed like a good idea.
  • It was only a second war.
  • It was legal. (Congress authorized it. As did the United Nations, more or less.)

By 2008, both wars seemed almost to be won. Their endings were in sight. But then a strange thing happened.

America elected a feckless socialist (Barack Obama) as President. He promised indeed to end the above two wars. But he didn’t. He messed up our winning positions; meaning the wars dragged on.

Even worse, he started more wars. All were illegal (not authorized beforehand by Congress). All were disastrous.

  • His (and Hillary’s) Libya war destabilized all of northern Africa and eventually drowned Europe in “migrants”.
  • His Ukraine coup (and the war/tensions that followed) was an unprecedented and deliberate rattling of the Russian bear’s cage, re-opening the Cold War that had been won in the 1980s and settled in the 1990s.
  • His Syria war fueled the rise of ISIS in Iraq. (Since ISIS and the Syrian rebels overlap quite a bit, aid to the Syrian rebels quickly becomes ‘de facto’ aid to ISIS.)
  • His Saudi friends’ war in Yemen is no help to anyone.

For the first time in U.S. history, we were at war every single day of someone’s 8-year presidency. And his preferred successor (Hillary Clinton) wanted to extend those wars. The U.S. has “achieved” an Orwellian state of Continuous War. That’s bad.

Ever read Thucydides? Athens – the progressive, open, commercial-democratic society of that era – failed. Basically, she over-extended herself in too many wars. She couldn’t afford them – whether financially, militarily, politically or morally. I don’t think we can, either.

Sometimes it’s better to retreat and retrench, and patriotic to advocate for it. If you catch me striking a different tone on our wars than I did 5-10 years ago, that’s why.

We should shore up our borders and defenses, our infrastructure, our industry, our national finances, our energy independence, and our commitment to liberty, here at home. We can probably still keep our commitments to Europe, Japan, Korea and Israel (which means I’m no isolationist). But, apart from the historical commitments just mentioned, we should accept a multi-polar world order and NOT look for wars to get into.

In my opinion. Please feel free to criticize or to state yours, in the comments.

Lindsey Graham is insane

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In the clip above: Senator Lindsey Graham (R – SC) takes the position that we should now fight ISIS plus every major faction in Syria at the same time plus the Russians if they should dare to oppose us, with ground troops and “advisers” to do nation-building in Syria, which somehow isn’t nation-building because it’s letting the “Syrians take care of Assad”, and all of which is directly needed to protect “the homeland” because it would have prevented 9-11 (a strike over here by Saudi terrorists) if only we had done it 16 years ago in Afghanistan. Also, it will save us money.

Even the intelligent Tucker Carlson can’t make sense of it.

Graham’s tone is so deadpan – so authentically uncaring about the lives involved, whether U.S. troops or Syrian locals or even U.S. taxpayers – that it gave me the creeps, once my head stopped spinning.

At the end of the clip, Carlson notes that articles in the Democrat-leaning New York Times and Washington Post have declared that anyone who would OPPOSE the U.S. bombing the brown people of Syria is somehow a “white nationalist”. Anyone who would oppose the Establishment’s new war plans is somehow – did you see this coming? – “racist, anti-Semitic and sexist”.

Do you need more evidence that, by now in 2017, America is in the grip of a war-mongering, out-of-control Deep State? Which opposed Trump fiercely – until a few days ago, when apparently he caved? And that what we have been calling “the mainstream/liberal media” and “the party Establishments” all this time are really the Deep State’s servants?

Syria smells like a hoax

…or more precisely, like a False Flag attack to stampede President Trump into attacking Syria (and indirectly Russia) rather than ISIS. Here’s why. Please note:

  • I’m NOT claiming that it *is* a hoax or a false flag. Only saying why it might be, on present information. Why we should want everyone to take a deep breath and slow down.
  • For brevity, I’ll say Deep State to mean “the consensus of the U.S. intelligence agencies” or “the permanent bureaucracy of the U.S. intelligence community”.
  • For brevity, I’ll say Controlled Media to mean “the mainstream media, largely controlled by Deep State and certain billionaires”.

Now for the reasons.

  1. Syria’s dictator Assad has nothing to gain by chemical attacks on his own people. He gains no strategic territory. He does not intimidate his opponents, nor kill many of them, nor destroy much of their equipment. He only unites the world against him. It does not help him win.

    Even if Assad is the New Hitler testing the nerve of the West: History shows that megalomaniacs always test their opponents’ nerve by going for a worthwhile objective, a genuine win. For example: Hitler in 1936 re-militarized the Rhineland; Saddam in 1990 seized Kuwait and its rich oil fields. Nothing like that, here.

  2. Until recently, Deep State claimed that Assad had absolutely NO chemical weapons. Here’s a Rewind reel to refresh your memory.

    Of course the Deep State could have been wrong (whether mistaken or deceptive), when its politicians and Controlled Media said those things. The point is: They were said. The sudden reversal requires explanation and accounting. Which, so far, has not been given.

  3. ISIS and the Syrian rebels (they’re much the same people, on adjoining territory) do have chemical weapons. Even Foreign Policy magazine says so.
  4. ISIS and the Syrian rebels, and the Deep State factions which back them, do gain by a false-flag attack that gets President Trump to bomb Assad – instead of moving to “eliminate” ISIS, as he was promising.
  5. Suddenly, it’s The Children. Normally, the Controlled Media will avoid showing pictures of maimed children. The exception is when they’re out to whip people up toward some specific end – like, say, a war. This time, they’ve been showing the dead kids (whom we all pity) a great deal.

    Yesterday, I watched both Nikki Haley’s speech to the U.N., and President Trump’s statement to the nation. Both were high on emotion and very short on facts, evidence or logic. That’s a giant red flag.

  6. Deep State and Controlled Media have hoaxed us before. Some would bring up the Iraq War and WMD, as an example. I wouldn’t, but that’s a long story. It doesn’t matter, because we have other examples.

    Are you old enough to remember Nariyah? She got us into the first Gulf War with her tearful tale of Iraqi soldiers ripping babies from incubators – and it was fake, fake, fake.

  7. We’ve had reports in the not-too-distant past, that Deep State was planning false-flag chemical attacks in Syria. Click on this one, allegedly from the Daily Mail. So, the idea isn’t all that far-fetched.
  8. The wrong people are praising Trump’s response of bombing Syria.
  9. When known, Deep State-backed war-mongers like Hillary Clinton, John “Landslide” McCain, and the Saudis approve of your attack on some country, it’s a good time to think twice.

I’m open to solid evidence that Assad did the attack. But if it’s a hoax: then it’s a pity that it has worked; Trump is bombing Syria. After months of failed and ridiculous “Trump is a Russian spy!!1!” innuendo, have the Deep State and Controlled Media found a different way to manipulate him into doing their wars?

Trump’s emotional statement, yesterday, was all-too genuine and sincere. Pictures of dead kids are, it seems, a way to corner him into changing policy and doing your bidding.

I think we should still be going after ISIS. Given that ISIS is largely a creation of the Saudis and certain U.S. Deep State factions, it makes perfect sense to me that the latter – and their minions in the Controlled Media and both U.S. political parties – would be so determined to either knock Trump out of office, or yank him over to their preferred policy of war on Syria/Assad/Russia (largely ignoring ISIS).

Springtime for Assad and Syria

Posted by V the K at 8:25 am - April 7, 2017.
Filed under: War On Terror

Sean L requested a “hot take” on PDT’s decision to launch missile strikes against military targets in Syria. I think I have, like, four.

1. Well, so much for the idea that Trump is a prawn of Vladimir Putin; what with the bombing and calling for the ouster of Putin’s buddy Assad. And on that topic…

2. When has removing a strongman in the Middle East ever made anything better? You would think we had learned what happened after toppling Saddam, Qadaffi, the Shah…

3. BTW, what is it about going to war in the Middle East that US presidents just can’t resist? The last five presidents have all launched or continued military adventures in the Middle East. Maybe it was important when our European allies needed the oil. But we can pretty much fulfill our oil requirements from other sources. If France and Germany want to go to war in the Middle East so *they* can has oil, then let them do it. Oh, right, they can’t. Honestly, the Middle East is a snake pit. If we were smart, we’d quarantine the entire region and let them work out their differences while we watched from the sidelines.

4. The left should have to contort themselves like a Cirque du SoGay acrobat to explain why missile strikes were brilliant foreign policy when Hillary suggested them, but Trump is a warmongering buffoon for carrying them out. I think the explanation will be along the lines of, “Shut up, racist.”

Anyway, Sean L might find Scott Adams take more interesting than mine. He wonders if Assad was really the one behind the gas attacks. He makes some interesting points.

“Let Them In,” They Said

Posted by V the K at 8:29 am - March 9, 2017.
Filed under: Religion Of Peace,War On Terror

Democrat Senators Chuck Schumer and Dippy Blond Seat-Warmer Kirsten Gillibrand went to the wall — with assistance from a Democrat Mayor and a leftist middle-school teacher — to help a Mohammedan child rapist gain entry to the United States.

When Tanveer Hussain and Abid Khan weren’t allowed into the United States, they blamed President Trump. So did the media outlets that covered the story. The controversial Democrat mayor of Saranac Lake reached out to fellow New York party members Senator Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. They leaned on the local embassy and Hussain and Khan were waved through.

“Still a country that welcomes athletes from across the globe,” Senator Schumer’s statement read. The statement, shared on Hussain’s Facebook page, declared, “So proud of the town of Saranac Lake for their efforts and their open hearts.”

Later Hussain’s brother would explain one difference between Saranac Lake and Kashmir. “In Kashmir, we have a tradition of showing love to children,” he said. Kashmir’s idea of showing love to children was very different than that of Saranac Lake. Tanveer Hussain would be charged with molesting a 12-year-old girl who was a student at the school.

At the time, Chuck and Kirstie were keen to “stand up to Donald Trump” by getting unvetted Mohammedans into the country. I guess they really showed him. Too bad it led to a little girl getting raped, though. Although apparently, many of the people who worked to bring the child molester into the country think it was a small price to pay for their virtue-signaling. Besides, rape is only wrong when it’s committed by white, upper-middle class college students, or so it would seem.

Not only that, but one of the “refugees” that somehow got through Obama’s “thorough vetting process” (“It takes over a year, you guys. We ask them lots and lots of times if they’re terrorists.”)  turns out to be an ISIS-affiliated terrorist. (“Oopsie!”)

Federal lawmakers are investigating how a former Iraqi insurgent fighter was able to lie about his identity and still get through America’s ‘extreme’ vetting process.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to find out why the terror suspect’s pending arrest was allegedly spiked just over a week before the election. [Oh, I think we can guess why – V]

U.S. officials said earlier this week that nearly a third of the FBI’S 1,000 ongoing domestic terrorism investigations involve those admitted to the U.S. as refugees.

Remember when Barack Obama characterized the refugees he was swarming into the country as “widows and orphans?” That was a lie to placate you while he ushered in terrorists and child rapists.

In perhaps the most glaring example of Iraqi terrorists getting into the U.S, two Iraqi refugees living in Bowling Green, Ky., were convicted in 2013 of plotting to help Al Qaeda. The men were also hit with additional charges after their fingerprints matched ones found on IEDs used in Iraq to kill U.S. soldiers

Wait, I thought that never happened and Kellyanne Conway made it up. That’s what the media said, anyway.

War of Words

Posted by V the K at 12:37 pm - September 19, 2016.
Filed under: War On Terror

Jihadists are setting off bombs in American cities and shooting up gay discos and Christmas parties. The Obama Adminisitration describes this as “a narrative fight, a narratives battle.”

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He did not explain how a narrative battle with Islamic terrorists is distinct from a rap battle or whether it was more or less dangerous than getting served in a dance contest.

A “battle of narratives?” Seriously? Is the Obama Regime going to begin recruiting novelists to fight back against ISIS with unexpected plot twists and a surprising backstory?

“Battle of Narratives,” Good Lord.

Our country is being led by people convinced that the rejection of reality is the highest form of intellect; “Intellectuals Yet Idiots,” indeed.

 

Saddy McSadface Versus Terrorist Mohammedism

Posted by V the K at 7:38 pm - March 23, 2016.
Filed under: War On Terror

You may have heard in this; in the former Great Britain, there has been a contest to name the latest addition to Her Majesty’s fleet. In a land that once gave us the HMS Indomitable, HMS Indefatigable, and HMS Dreadnought, the leading contender for the name of this ship is HMS Boaty McBoatface. A neat summary of Brittania’s decline from a global power to a trivia question. Running an empire is hard work; living in a fantasy children’s book is easy.

The West similarly takes a children’s book approach to acts of mass violence and terror committed in the name of the Prophet Mohammed. AOSHQ has been on something of a tear on this subject, noting that rather than strength and resolve, the response of the West to terror attacks is to draw sad-faced cartoon characters and trend dippy hashtags. (#BringBackOurBrussels) To an enemy that relishes our tears, this show of weakness is just extra credit to a successful attack.

See how sad you made us, terrorists? Stop making us sad!

Make-believe is how children respond to things they can’t deal with; like when they can’t deal with seeing the words “Trump 2016” scrawled in chalk on the sidewalk at a university. It’s not the way adults ought to respond to terror attacks. An adult response would be to honestly and without prejudice assess the causes of the attack and determine a means to halt further attacks; even if it meant hurting the feelings of people who share a common religious belief with those who carried out the attack and even… yes… even if it involved the brutal and punitive application of military force against those who ordered, supported, or logistically facilitated the attacks. Instead, our delusional leadership thinks providing billions of dollars to the leading promoters of Islamist terror in the world is a good move, and then goes to watch a baseball gang with other sponsors of terror.

Maudlin cartoons and hashtags gets you nowhere. There is an appropriate time to indulge in whimsy; but it is a poor response to murderous barbarians.