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Friday, November 24, 2017

Truth Less Ridiculous


Fact Checking,

Ron Paul: "No, Washington Post, it’s simpler than that. The tragedy in Yemen is the result of foreign military intervention in the internal affairs of that country. It started with the “Arab Spring” which had all the fingerprints of State Department meddling, and it escalated with 2015’s unprovoked Saudi attack on the country to re-install Riyadh’s preferred leader. Thousands of innocent civilians have been killed and millions more are at risk as starvation and cholera rage."

Insightful walk through the Saudi system of governance, now going through convulsive changes, by Moon of Alabama: The Saudi response to the competition of the Iranian system is a move towards more authoritarian rule. This is hoped to allow for more agile policies and responses. But the move breaks the traditional ruling system. It removes the sensible impediments to impulsive foreign policies. It creates the conditions for its very failure.

Mohammed Bin Salman is using mercenaries because, according to the Mail, Saudi soldiers might balk at torturing powerful men like Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, whom they’ve been saluting their entire lives. According to the Mail, Talal, who is (or was, until recently) one of the richest men in the world, has also been hung upside down and beaten.

During Wednesday's independence day celebrations in Lebanon, Prime Minister Saad Hariri was bizarrely photographed in what appeared to be in a warm and enthusiastic handshake with Iran's ambassador to Lebanon, Mohammad Fathali, while greeting dignitaries less than 24 hours after his plane touched down in Beirut following his bizarre two week detention in Saudi Arabia. The photograph is receiving a lot of attention and circulation on Arab social media as ironically during his initial televised resignation speech from Riyadh he cited Iranian meddling and rising influence, even going so far as to suggest he could be assassinated in a nefarious Iranian plot. Yet now he appears surprisingly overjoyed standing in front of the Iranian ambassador.
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Godwin's law states that "as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches 1." Saudi Arabia's powerful, and controversial, 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - who in just a few months has made more local (and foreign) enemies than most of his predecessors accumulated over a lifetime, decided he does not need to wait that long, and in a glowing interview with the New York Times' Thomas Friedman, which touched on everything from the accommodations of the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton, to the recent power grab anti-corruption campaign, to Donald Trump, to the Saudi social and religious revolution, called the Supreme Leader of Iran “the new Hitler of the Middle East”... Ominously, Bin Salman said in May that the kingdom would make sure any future struggle between the two countries “is waged in Iran." Now that Israel is openly on the side of Saudi Arabia in the upcoming middle-east war, said Iran-based "struggle" may be imminent.

It says here that the road from Tehran to Beirut is open the whole way fro the first time in a long time. Well, it's good to finally have the road open, again. Who could be against that? Time to get all sides to lay down arms and engage in political process in Syria and Iraq.
"Following the victory of the Syrian army and its allies over the “Islamic State” group in the town of Albu Kamal in the northeast of the country, the road has been opened for the first time since the declaration of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 between Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut and become safe and non-hostile to the four capitals and their rulers... The United States established a new rule of engagement in the east of the Euphrates, informing the Russian forces that it will not accept any ground forces (the Syrian army and its allies) east of the Euphrates River and that it will bomb any target approaching the east of the river even if the objective of the ground forces is to pursue ISIS."

According to official documents more than 1,700 U.S. troops are currently in Syria. The publicly announced number is only 500. "Temporary" forces make the up the difference. (Overall U.S. troop numbers in the Middle East have increased by 33% over the last four month. The numbers doubled in Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE. No explanation has been given for these increases.)... New troops were added to the SDF during the last days when ISIS fighters escaped from the onslaught of Syrian and Iraq forces in Abu Kamal (aka Albu Kamla aka Bukamal). They fled northwards towards YPG/U.S. held areas. Like other ISIS fighters the U.S. helped to escape their deserved punishment these forces will be relabeled and reused... U.S. renamed the group into the "Syrian Democratic Forces" (SDF). Some Arab fighters from east Syrian tribes were added to it. These are mostly former foot-soldiers of ISIS who changed sides when the U.S. offered better pay. Other fighters were pressed into service. The people of the Syrian-Arab city Manbij, which is occupied by the YPG and U.S. forces, protested when the YPG started to violently conscript its youth... Nasrallah also said that the U.S. used electronic warfare measures to disable the radios of the attacking force. He said that it rescued fleeing ISIS troops. Nasrallah's accusations are consistent with reports from the ground... The U.S. has changed its rule of engagements and unofficially declared a no-fly zone for Russian and Syrian planes on the east side of the Euphrates. It says that it will attack any force that crosses the river to pursue ISIS. It is openly protecting its terrorists... A report in today's Washington Post is more specific. The fitting headline: U.S. moves toward open-ended presence in Syria after Islamic State is routed... No military handbook includes "presence" as a military mission. There are no rules for such an undefined task. The last time the U.S. used the term was in the early 1980s during the civil war in Lebanon. The task of U.S. troops stationed in Beirut was defined as showing military "presence"... 241 U.S. and 58 French soldiers died. U.S. military "presence" in Beirut ended... Baghdad is allied with Iran and Syria and it is pushing to regain control over all the border posts of Iraq, including those still held by the Kurds and used by the U.S forces. Several Iraqi militia who fought ISIS under Iraqi government command have announced their hostility to U.S. forces... The U.S. land supply route through Iraqi-Kurdish areas can thus be closed at any time... The mission of the 1,700+ U.S. troops in north-east Syria is undefined. Their supply routes are unsecured and can be blocked by its enemies at any time. The local population is largely hostile to them. All of the surrounding countries and entities have reasons to attain the end of any U.S. presence in the area as soon as possible. It would require a ground force that is at least ten-twenty times larger to secure the U.S. presence and its communication and supply routes... A recent speech at the Jewish Policy Center in Washington described The U.S. Military as a Zionist Organization. But like other such wish-wash, it fails to explain why unquestioned support for a colony of east-European racists in west Asia is of "American interest".

Nobody has claimed responsibility for this Egyptian mosque slaughter yet. Look for Israel to blame it on Palestinians. There were Sufis among the worshipers, regarded as "apostates" by Sunni hardliners. This is desperate, vengeful and harmful to everyone.
CAIRO (Reuters) - At least 115 people were killed on Friday when Islamist militants set off a bomb and opened fire on people attending prayers at a mosque in Egypt’s restive northern Sinai.

David Stockman was Reagan's OMB wunderkind. He knows, and he lays out the details here. It's only part-1, but it's a lot of coherent facts.
"The Senate Finance Committee tax bill is not supply side and it's not even a tax cut; it's a gimmick-ridden policy mongrel that smells to high heaven of political desperation and cynicism."

UK Parliament refuses to acknowledge that animals feel pain or emotion, which they have recognized under EU law since 2009. 
(They must be looking at American-style mass feedlot gulags with favor.)

What if they discovered a pain medicine that was as good as morphine and other opioids, but not addictive?
We've heard that sales pitch before. Dream-on. Impossible... Huh, you say what?
RU-1205 doesn't have a name yet, but is more effective than opium in multiple animal pain models, and not habituating. It has a completely novel mechanism of action. It's remarkably good against seizures, too. 
Prescription drug addiction is a huge cash-flow. Whoever invented this should fear for his life. Why is it even being discussed?
Oh, it's Russian... sigh, another attack on American business from Vladimir Putin.

Underwater kelp forest ecosystems are quickly disappearing worldwide, as the ocean warms, and humans eat things that eat long-spined sea urchins, the locusts of the deep..
“It’s like seeing a forest you once knew turn into a desert,” he says. “Not only do you lose all the trees, but all the smaller plants around them die, until there’s nothing left.”

We have lost the night. It is no more. Our bodies are sicker, fatter and weaker, and plants and animals are likewise confused.
Prof Kevin Gaston from the University of Exeter told BBC News that humans were "imposing abnormal light regimes on ourselves".
"Human vision relies on contrast, not the amount of light," he explained. "So by reducing contrast outdoors - avoiding glaring lamps - it is actually possible to have improved vision with less light.



Thanksgiving Morning Gardener

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