Open Thread – 7 September 2016

Autumn 2012  pl

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122 Responses to Open Thread – 7 September 2016

  1. Walter says:

    Driving to work this morning and NPR reporting Syrian regime dropped chlorine bombs twice on Aleppo.

  2. turcopolier says:

    IMO the chlorine barrel bomb thing is yet another version of the East Ghouta sarin attack propaganda meme. pl

  3. Castellio says:

    For those who haven’t read it yet, this may be of some interest:
    His first paragraph: “We normally think of colonizers as large countries, and the colonized as smaller and weaker nations. But this is not always the case. Colonization does not require occupation. It merely requires the subjugation of the colonized. With ambition, superior information and calculation, and the right mindset, smaller nations can (and have in the past) colonized and dominated larger and nominally more powerful countries.”

  4. turcopolier says:

    I continue to think that Trump/Clinton/Kaine/Pence should all have comprehensive physical and psychological exams at somewhere neutral like the Mayo Clinic. pl

  5. Eric Newhill says:

    Sir, Absolutely. Did you catch this clip of Hillary over the past weekend in Cincinnati? The coughing is getting worse – and this was when she first came out on stage, fresh. If she does this during the debates, she’s in trouble.
    Not being a completely heartless person, I kind of feel sorry for her. One possibility is that she is postponing a medical procedure that would leave her unable to speak for a while, but that should be done. OTOH, if that is the case, she is doing the republic a disservice to attempt to achieve her personal goals.

  6. Will says:

    good, an open thread. a little history and etymology. Jarablus=Europos. In classical Latin the J was pronounced as a y. And some semitic languages lost the p sound, as seen in Butrus=Petros (Peter) or Boulos=Paulus (Paul).
    “Carchemish (/kɑːrˈkɛm.ɪʃ/ US dict: kär-kĕm´ĭsh), also spelled Karkemish (Hittite: Karkamiš;[1] Turkish: Karkamış; Greek: Εὔρωπος; Latin: Europus), was an important ancient capital in the northern part of the region of Syria. At times during its history the city was independent, but it was also part of the Mitanni, Hittite and Neo-Assyrian Empires. Today it is on the frontier between Turkey and Syria.
    It was the location of an important battle between the Babylonians and Egyptians, mentioned in the Bible (Jer. 46:2). Modern neighbouring cities are Karkamış in Turkey and Jarabulus in Syria (also Djerablus, Jerablus, Jarablos, Jarâblos) [5]; the original form of the modern toponym seems to have been Djerabis or Jerabis, likely derived from Europos, the ancient name of the Hellenistic-Roman settlement.”
    The Assyrians had liberated the Egyptians from the 25th Nubian dynasty and had a good relationship w/ Assyria. So, they made a long journey to try to help them, though unsuccessful. On their way there, they had a little fracas in Palestine. This is the basis for “Armageddon.”
    The Assyrians spoke Aramaic. The Babylonians spoke a congnate language, Akkadian. But Aramaic had become the lingua franca of the Middle East. Jesus spoke Aramaic. The Persians had retained Aramaic from the Babylonians as the administrative language of their empire and spread it far and wide. Aramaic is still spoken in some Christian villages in Syria. At least one was recently in the custody of the head-choppers. “On 14 April 2014, with the help of Hezbollah, the Syrian Army once more took control of Ma’loula. ”
    Syriac is a related language to Aramaic and is used in liturgy of some of the Eastern Churches and spoken by the Assyrian Christians.
    There are some that maintain that Levantine language (the language of Lebanon, Syria, and the autochthonous Palestinians) has as strong a connection to Aramaic as to Arabic.
    The Maronite monks in the 16th Century printed the first Arabic Christian texts but transcribed them in Syriac. The Ottomans/Osmanlis had forbidden the printing of Arabic b/c as a holy language it should only be scripted by human hands. Eventually, the Monks were able to set up an Arabic printing press. And to all those that conceptualize a war b/n Yahweh and Allah. The Arab Christians use the term Allah for God also. By definition, there is only one Supreme Being- guess he/she can have different aspects. Interesting that Cardinal Nasrallah Butros Sfeir was the Maronite Patriarch at the same time that Sayed Hassan Nasrallah was the leader of the Lebanese Shia. Both names incorporate the name “Allah.”
    The Syriac script has much progeny- Hebrew script, Arabic script, Hindu script, and even Mongolian script.
    In discussing Arabic and Aramaic, guess one should always mention the controversy whether the 72 virgins of paradise is a linguistic misunderstanding of a Syriac hymn.

  7. MRW says:

    Think Britain.

  8. LeaNder says: does not conserve the historical traces of I noticed. I wish could check on how exactly East Asia surfaced on his Foreign Policy in his 2008 election. Unfortunately/Predictably? it has been erased on …*/
    Does anyone recall having taken a look at the time no matter in which camp.

  9. David says:

    A disservice to the republic from a Clinton is certainly not unprecedented.
    Personally, I think both Clinton and Trump are doing the country an enormous disservice by running for President.
    This s a truly depressing election cycle.

  10. MRW says:

    You’re not alone. Vanessa Beeley is turning out to be one of the only independent journalists reporting from Syria whose observations I trust.
    ‘White Helmets’: New Breed of Mercenaries and Propagandists, Disguised as ‘Humanitarians’ in Syria by Vanessa Beeley, September 1, 2016
    In this article, Beeley references Rick Sterling’s excellent 2015 article Seven Steps of Highly Effective Manipulators—White Helmets, Avaaz, Nicholas Kristof and Syria No Fly Zone. Sterling traces the propaganda flow and names names. He exposes that ultra-lefty (supposedly) organization AVAAZ, the one that inundates inboxes with petitions and requests for donations on a variety of humanitarian causes. Sterling says their spin-off is for hire, and explains how. AVAAZ was co-founded by, which Soros funds. AVAAZ issues have captured the imagination of many politically active and equally ignorant campus groups.
    “b” of Moon of Alabama (and SST commenter) is onto the White Helmets. He has been writing about them for some time.
    These two articles show that your opinion that its just more propaganda is more concrete than that. It’s fact.
    For those interested, here’s another article to read. I did watch the video. I also downloaded it. I want to preserve it to show my younger relatives when their bobble-headed mouths parrot the crap they hear on teevee or read on Facebook about Syria. This article quotes some of the more salient moments from that video, but I found the video moving nonetheless and worth watching.
    “Must see video: US Peace Council returns from Syria, a country fighting ‘invasion by the most powerful country in the world’ —The campaign to confuse the American people has been intense, but one thing is sure, Syria is fighting an invasion, not a civil war.”

  11. jonst says:

    Did anybody see Mika interviewing Sen Corker this AM? Fascinating viewing.

  12. MRW says:

    As Jihadis lose in Aleppo, stories of ‘barrel bombs’ and ‘chlorine gas’ appear as if on cue

  13. Joe100 says:

    I found the video and written assessment compelling. More detailed incident observations and a consistent framework to place them in compared with some earlier speculation on HRC’s health.
    If this is accurate, I wonder if HRC will come up with some reason to duck the debates..
    If anyone in the SST community has substantial Parkinson’s disease knowledge, I would be curious what their take is on this speculation.

  14. Matthew says:

    Oh, my. We just won’t stop insulting the Russians’ intelligence.
    See “
    Money quote:
    “The proposal calls for a cease-fire in civil war fighting throughout the country, including in and around the besieged city of Aleppo, and the safe, sustained delivery of humanitarian assistance. Once the truce is in place for a specified time period, the Syrian air force is to be officially grounded. Then the United States and Russia are to initiate a joint air campaign against counterterrorism targets.”

  15. The Beaver says:

    Thank you Will
    On one of the fora that I go to, there were some dual nationals from the US who keep telling us that Palestine is a new word and that it didn’t exist before. Someone, who is Lebanese, told them that the letter “p” does not exist in the Arabic language and that’s why Frank Lund and his employer, the Ministry of Information in TVL are in error.
    I guess the Hasbara crowd don’t know Arabic that much ( thus makes one wonder how MEMRI can translate Arabic for whomever is willing to pay) them)

  16. Haralambos says:

    Thank you for this. You have provided much background for me to digest.

  17. MRW says:

    I think it’s great. It has the country energized and polarized, even if it’s negative. I think we will see this reflected in the number of Americans who tune into the debates, which I predict will be unprecedented. And that is a good thing.
    There’s always a lot of gnashing of teeth when someone breaks a mold. And it ought to give somnambulant American intellectuals and poobahs pause about their certainty about the future. (Neoliberal economics and Global Warming being two searing examples.) The future cannot be determined on the probability distributions of the past. Uncertainty reigns during disruptive times, and this is one of those times. We cannot estimate what will happen; we do not have any basis to know because it’s not known yet. There is no calculable probability in disruptive times and those who claim it are fools. (Probability gives you a basis to estimate chances, risks, but this is only possible during stable times—or when the results of the variables are measurable, like a deck of cards—and we ain’t in one.)

  18. Peter says:

    Pure comedy

  19. LeeG says:

    Any significance to Saudi Arabia’s ban on Iranians from participating in the hajj?

  20. Castellio says:

    Where is there made a clear representation of the “linguistic misunderstanding of a Syriac hymn.”

  21. Imagine says:

    Kamikaze Mercedes takes out BMW said to be of Putin’s favorite driver, RIP:
    Millenium Report alleges it was done on purpose:
    As this was done by the car crossing a busy undivided highway, it would require split-second coordinated timing to pick out the exact right target, plus a suicidal driver. Very difficult shot, and probably many easier ways to make a statement.
    So I suspect it’s more likely that this was a freak random accident.
    But I don’t know the craft. What do you think?

  22. Allen Thomson says:

    Any comments on the latest tranche of Snowdenalia?
    I think it’s unfortunate that it concentrates on NSA activities that seem to be doing useful service against the Islamists. Probably not much that, at least in the abstract, they didn’t already know, but reminding them of it can’t help.
    And, does anyone recognize the city in the satellite picture in the article? The date, time and shadow angles suggest that it’s in the AfPak area.

  23. turcopolier says:

    I did. Her behavior reminded me of a not too smart college girl throwing a fit because the boys won’t accept her opinions. pl

  24. turcopolier says:

    jonst et al
    If you enjowyed Mika tis AM I just watched the neocon asshole Chuck Todd and his equally asshole like pal Max Boot assert on the deck of USS Intrepid, an Essex Class carrier, that Russia has not changed n a thousand years and that they must be punished for collecting SIGINT in the US because this was supposedly a violation of “the rules.” What rules? Do we not collect against Russia and everyone else. McCaffery and Jack Jacobs tried to slow this neocon avalanche down but without much success, after all, they work at MSNBC. Someone suggested t me that neocon hostility to Russia has something to do with Tsarist pograms. It sounded plausible in this display. pl

  25. Norbert M Salamon says:

    An interesting note on Zerohedge:
    “Clinton Foundation Is Charity Fraud Of Epic Proportions”, Analyst Charges In Stunning Takedown at:
    reading the intro is enough to whet one’s iterest

  26. pmr9 says:

    It appears that whatever is driving British policy towards the Syrian conflict is powerful enough to override our most fundamental national interests.
    Since the Brexit vote it has become clear that the core members of the EU, led by Germany, are determined to make an example of the UK, to discourage other countries where eurosceptic parties are gaining ground. We may be facing an economic war something like what Britain imposed on De Valera’s Ireland between 1932 and 1938.
    The obvious course of action for the UK is to seek closer trade relations with Russia and, through Russia, with the Chinese-led One Belt One Road project that will link Europe with Asia via high-speed freight rail.
    Until recently it seemed that Theresa May’s government was making tentative moves in this direction. However, the British press is now reporting ( that the Foreign Secretary has reversed his earlier cordial stance towards Russia and that “The change of tone comes after Theresa May met Mr Putin at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou and rebuffed his overtures for a thawing in trade relations, specifically due to the situation in Syria.”
    I’m not sure what has caused this reversal, though I’d guess that it has something to do with the overt and covert money flows from Saudi arms deals. However the UK government cannot go on much longer with the fiction that a painless exit from the EU is possible, and that new alliances are not needed. As David Habakkuk has noted, Middle England is not convinced by the demonization of Putin.

  27. Matthew says:

    LeeG: Considering how careless the Saudis are with pilgrims’ lives, that is actually good news for Iranian families.

  28. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think for very many devout people in Iran, who live for participating in Haj – itself the opportunity of a life time – this is a huge deal; that they may not survive or live long enough to be able to go once they are allowed to go again.
    Politically, it serves to further separate Iran from the Sunni Arab World – something that very many other Iranians actually quite welcome (probably not as many as those who wish to make the pilgrimage).
    It is mostly a storm in a tea cup, in my opinion.

  29. Babak Makkinejad says:

    There is more to this which might be of interest to you:
    Judaism and the Koran; Biblical and Talmudic backgrounds of the Koran and its commentaries by Abraham Isaac Katsh.
    The rhetorical style of the Quran and its organization is reminiscent of Catholic Books of Prayers.

  30. Tyler says:

    “Someone suggested t me that neocon hostility to Russia has something to do with Tsarist pograms.”
    Yes, the (((neocons))) never forget. There’s also the not so small fact that the (((Communists))) were kicked out of power in Russia.

  31. Tyler says:

    I’m no expert in Parkinson’s but my guess is she’s got myxedema.

  32. Les says:

    Am I the only one expecting the ironically named Israeli Defence Forces to hit Hisbollah, once the US Election is underway?

  33. Sam Peralta says:

    There seems to be more information on the Clinton Foundation as charity fraud by this fella Charles Ortel.
    I am sure however all the Hillary supporters will say everyone does this, nothing here, move on.

  34. Serge says:

    I have seen both a zoomed in, and not, version of Hillary Clinton And the Glass of Water. All versions I have seen clearly appear to show an incredible amount of phlegm being spat into the water, verging on vomit. Are these manipulated images??? I cannot get straight answers from people

  35. Allen Thompson,
    I read that Intercept article and felt an enormous sense of pride. I thought, “Hell yes! We are that good.” That is what I want the NSA to do, not collect all our (US citizens’) digital information and work to weaken our encryption. What I do wish the NSA would do is vigorously and continuously disrupt the steady stream of jihadist propaganda and communications. Whatever resources and talent the NSA is wasting diddling with our information should be put into effectively silencing the jihadists. If anything right now needs a “we choose to go to the moon” attitude and effort is this.
    And speaking of the NSA, I took the time to download and examine the Equation Group auction files that were released by hackers a few weeks ago. Equation Group is just a code name that the Kaspersky Group came up with for the NSA. The files contained working hacking tools to access a wide variety of routers, switches and firewalls used throughout the world. Others have tested the actual tools and found that they work. Cisco quickly developed work arounds for the exposed 0-day exploits. What was shocking was that these 0-day vulnerabilities and exploits have been around since at least 2013. The NSA knew this and did not tell Cisco and other manufacturers. What this tells me is that the NSA, and probably CyberCOM as well, is solely focused on the offensive and doesn’t give a flying fig about defending us, our information and our digital infrastructure.
    Some say the stolen hacking tools were taken from an NSA staging server out in the wild. Someone hacked the staging server and took the files either before the NSA could remove them or after the NSA mistakenly left them there. The files I’ve examined do not strike me as what would be used on a staging server. They strike me as a training bundle used to train NSA network operators in the use of these tools. The instructions are detailed enough that a shaved ape could follow them. I could imagine this bundle being used by trainees on a simulation network isolated from the internet. If this was the case, the NSA has or had at least another Snowden in their midst.

  36. The Beaver says:

    The Chihuahua, Saudi FM just visited the UK and he may have influence the cabinet, especially Boris who is really a flip-flopper. After all the UK is happy to help out in Yemen -on the ground ( as per the link I posted a couple of days ago on one of the thread on Yemen)as well as selling $B of arms

  37. Will says:

    Since Hizbollah has missles that can hit the ammonia plant in Tel Aviv, they may be enough to deter the Israelis. It has been ten years since 2006.

  38. BraveNewWorld says:

    The politicians may call for it but like Iran I expect the Military to refuse again. What burning reason does Israel have to go after Hezbollah? Is Hezbollah doing any thing to Israel? Israel barely managed a draw in the last war an Hezbollah is much better armed and much more savy this time.
    Besides starting a war in the middle of an election would be disastrous for Israel, The last thing Israel wants is US voters being reminded every day that Israel is trying yet again to drag them into a military conflict. Being on the news has not been good for Israelis popularity in the US over the last decade.
    Besides to pull it off they would have to get Putin’s approval. At least if they think air support is important in a modern military conflict. And Putin isn’t going to green light any non-sense that would have Hezbollah & Iran march out of Syria in the middle of a war.

  39. Doug Colwell says:

    The hostility due to pogroms is plausible to me as well. Further hostility could be from western oligarchs disappointed by a lack of access to Russian resource wealth. Putin maneuvered nationalist oligarchs into power, leaving the westerners in the cold.

  40. robt willmann says:

    That car collision was an intriguing event. In broad open daylight. Such a thing is difficult to decipher from the outside. It would seem obvious that Putin would not be in the car at that time. If it is true that his favorite driver was killed, that pulls in consideration of sinister possibilities. One can remember the provocative statement of former CIA deputy director and acting director Michael Morrell in an interview with Charlie Rose on television recently in which he advocated that Russians and Iranians should be made to “pay a price” for their actions in Syria:
    “Rose: “We make them pay the price by killing Russians?”
    Morell: “Yeah.”
    Rose: “And killing Iranians?”
    Morell: “Yes … You don’t tell the world about it. … But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.”
    Although a correlation is not necessarily causation, people should think carefully before considering a nasty game like that. As a person who was a long-time employee at the NSA and Russian linguist told me, the Russians do not fool around if someone wants to be cute thinking that a little violence will intimidate those in Moscow.

  41. jld says:

    This is strangely self contradicting:

    this is a huge deal;
    mostly a storm in a tea cup,

  42. MRW says:

    She’s become so fucking tedious I can’t watch her anymore.

  43. Pundita says:

    This looks to me like Erdogan double-crossed Putin. If this fear is confirmed what to say except never underestimate a cornered rat.
    Russia “Gravely Concerned” About Turkish Advance in Syria
    01:21 – 08.09.2016 (updated 01:22 08.09.2016)
    The Foreign Ministry of Russia on Wednesday expressed “grave concern” regarding the movement of Turkish troops and Ankara-backed Syrian opposition groups on Syrian territory, emphasizing that the actions have not been approved by the legitimate Syrian government or the UN Security Council.
    The Russian Foreign Ministry has stated that the Turkish incursion undermines the “sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.”
    The Russian Foreign Ministry has stated that Turkish actions “could further complicate an already challenging military and political situation in Syria and negatively affect international efforts to devise a settlement platform that would ensure a more sustainable ceasefire, uninterrupted humanitarian access and would provide a solid foundation for conciliation and overcoming the crisis in this country.
    “Russia calls on Ankara to put these objectives above immediate military and tactical aims and refrain from steps that could further destabilise the Syrian Arab Republic.” Turkey launched its “Euphrates Shield” operation on August 24 in Syria. It has so far resulted in the seizure of a 56-mile corridor within Syria near the Turkish border, between the cities of Azaz and Jarabulus. Turkey plans further expansion of the zone.
    According to political analyst Alexander Mercouris, who spoke on Wednesday to Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear host Brian Becker, Turkey is attempting to create a safe zone in northeastern Syria to serve as a base for jihadi groups supported by Washington and Ankara. The US has supplied Turkey with military hardware to carry out the operation. Mercouris observed that Russia and the US have radically different views on the future of Syria.

  44. Chris Chuba says:

    A Borg says, take out Assad to preserve functioning Government in Syria
    I am posting this because I thought it was a clever attack and had some useful information. He paints a picture in Syria where govt. held areas have deteriorated into disjointed territories held by warlords who are only nominally loyal to the govt. That there is widespread smuggling of arms and oil with ISIS and frequent fighting erupts between warlords. He argues for a quick decapitation of the govt is needed in order to restore good governance (I spit up my coffee on that leap of logic).
    To me the points of value are the following …
    1. This sounds like a good description of rebel held territory rather than govt held territory. I’ve often wondered why rebel groups fight each other in the face of a powerful govt attack. Now I realize that they still have to compete for resources.
    2. He goes into such great detail, he appears authoritative in a similar manner as a Michael Weiss would. I don’t buy into his argument because I have seen the govt hold elections and continue civil service functions, so I believe he is exaggerating. I am certain that some anarchy, must have set in after 4 years of war, sanctions, and being cut off from your oil assets.
    The Regime Media
    I thought that this was a clever way to summarize my feelings towards the western MSM today.
    “ask yourself if US mainstream media was state-run would its coverage of it be any different from what it is now? …On the foreign policy side the media is more or less sweeping the Saudi war in Yemen under the rug …On Syria the mainstream offers constant barrage of propaganda for expansion of the regime change adventure …the ‘mainstream media’ will not fail to all line up on just one side of the issue — the one which happens to be propagated by the Washington elites…
    [The author goes on to ponder why this is so]
    Partly I think it’s also down to the kind of people such outfits attract and down to sheer human laziness. Regurgitating regime propaganda is not only better for ones career and economic well-being. It’s also far less work than creating hard-hitting dissent.”
    So this is what I’ll call them, the regime media. I never really warmed up to the term ‘lame stream media’.

  45. LeaNder says:

    thanks, MRW, not least for the video link.
    Are you sure Vanessa Beeley is reporting from Syria. Nevertheless interesting article.
    In my case, admittedly, my associations to Pat’s “chlorine barrel bomb thing” wouldn’t go further then: “humanitarian” precision tools versus “non-humanitarian” ones, plus chlorine usage being banned in “the West”.

  46. rjj says:

    1. accuracy/reliability of The Independent — compared with, say, the NYT???
    2. has The Boris been given a peek at his dossier and had an eppur si muove moment?

  47. turcopolier says:

    They would already have done so if they had any ability to deal with the massed guided missile and artillery rocket fir capabilities of Hizbullah. That will not change because of the US election. pl

  48. MRW says:

    Beeley couldn’t appear in that video because she was back in Syria, as one of the speakers said.

  49. Harry says:

    There are plenty of people in Russia who might want to send putin a message.

  50. LeaNder says:

    David, “truly depressing” might be close beyond chosen terms to the only thing I could think of: absurd theater. Were I American, I might have chosen something similar maybe. 😉
    On the other hand what came after the no-doubt inspiring Change-memes chosen by the Obama campaign?
    Admittedly, I wondered concerning recent events in China if the Obama admin’s arrogance (coupled with following the leader’s desires) somewhat helped to produce imagery for TV audiences. Never mind tiny goose steps into the supposed change direction. There was something to show, after all.

  51. Ulenspiegel says:

    “Since the Brexit vote it has become clear that the core members of the EU, led by Germany, are determined to make an example of the UK, to discourage other countries where eurosceptic parties are gaining ground.”
    That is partly correct. However, UK is doing more than the EU-27. By insisting to regulate the immigration from the EU-27 they kill themselves some possible deals that are important for the UK.
    “We may be facing an economic war something like what Britain imposed on De Valera’s Ireland between 1932 and 1938.”
    No. UK’s most important export products are services, the market was the EU. Without free movement of labour – again, this is a UK decision- there will not be a free access to the EU market.
    The EU position is quite claer. If UK wants a deal like Norway, they have to accept the limitations of this deal.

  52. turcopolier says:

    How many is “plenty?” pl

  53. LeaNder says:

    I’ll watch it, just not now. Been postponing matters for too long. I am aware we share one focus on matters. …

  54. Edward Amame says:

    I’m no expert either, but my guess is Trump’s got foot in mouth disease.

  55. The Beaver says:

    A few weeks ago I mentioned Hayder al-Khoei after the Chilcot report. Today he has written an article on post_Sistani Iraq and the future of Shia Islam:
    Once Sistani passes away, there will certainly be a period of uncertainty in Najaf and the wider Shia world, but this will not become a vacuum that any outside power can fill or exploit. The transition from Sistani to the next leading Grand Ayatollah may take weeks, months, or years. Unlike the Catholic Church, where cardinals meet at the Vatican to cast secret ballots until the next Pope is elected, the process in Najaf is much more fluid, vague, and includes both top-down and bottom-up pressures.

  56. The Beaver says:

    Circus at the Roosevelt Hotel in ten days:
    Will HRC or The Donald attend ?
    Surprisingly no KSA representative has lined up yet – may be the chihuahua will be present or Otaiba is the new go-to-guy.

  57. Edward Amame says:

    Norbert M Salamon
    Here’s some background on this so-called “stunning takedown,” conceived by leaders in the birther movement, WorldNetDaily founder Joseph Farah his senior staff writer Jerome Corsi:
    There’s more on WND here:
    Charity Navigator is an American independent charity watchdog organization that evaluates charitable organizations in the United States. It gives the Clinton Foundation a 94.74 rating out of 100, four out of four stars.

  58. Edward Amame says:

    Sam Peralta
    I’ll point out to you what I pointed out to an earlier poster. This so-called “stunning takedown” is brought to us by two leaders in the birther movement, Joseph Farah, founder and chief executive officer of WorldNetDaily and WND staff writer Jerome Corsi. See here:
    Here’s info on WorldNetDaily:
    Here’s more on Corsi from Wiki:
    Charity Navigator is an American independent charity watchdog organization that evaluates charitable organizations in the U.S. It gives the Clinton Foundation a four out of four star rating, 94.74 out of 100.

  59. Will says:

    yep, they would love to invade Lebanon again. Respond to the ‘terrorists’ thru the backdoor of the Golan Heights and Bekaa valey. Employ some carpet bombing, but they would be careful to use pointy headed rather than barrel bombs. This would greatly assist the Syrian headchoppers as they draw off Hizbullah from Aleppo province. At the end, they would annex the other half of the Golan heights and join it with the rest of their annexation. But as the Col. said too much missile deterrence. Apparently the Iron Dome may not work that well against a massive blitz.

  60. LondonBob says:

    You must give the new administration time, the ship of state turns very slowly, if at all. Mrs May and Bojo have made some important steps.
    Johnson will also have to take on the arms dealers, spies, bought-and-paid-for ex-ambassadors, tame journalists, private security moguls, compliant academics, bogus think tanks and louche public relations men operating out of lavish Mayfair offices who collectively comprise the morally abject Saudi lobby.
    Thus far, I have been staggered by Johnson’s courage. He has angered the Saudis and the Gulf states on two crucial issues.
    At the end of July, within weeks of taking office, he formally repudiated Philip Hammond’s false and deceitful claim that Britain had carried out an assessment which had cleared the Saudis of breaching international humanitarian law.
    In fact, no such assessment existed. At Johnson’s direction, the junior foreign office minister, Tobias Ellwood, stated this on the record on 21 July. This foreign office admission was a warning to the Saudis that, under Boris Johnson, Britain is no longer prepared to jeopardise its own integrity on behalf of Saudi Arabia.
    His next move was yet more important. He reopened formal diplomatic relations with Iran, which is regarded by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States as the existential enemy.
    So British policy on Yemen is starting to move. It is deeply impressive that Boris Johnson has acted so fast. However, he still has a very long way to go.

  61. LondonBob says:

    The single market in services exists only in name, besides one doesn’t need to be a member of the single market in order to have access.
    Hopefully freedom of movement will be a red line. It is a redundant policy, a leftover of long discredited marxist ideology that will be swept away by the rest of the European electorate in due course anyway.
    Remember Britain runs a large trade deficit with the EU, so it is us who have the upper hand.

  62. LeaNder says:

    Interesting. From “Hamas activist Muhammad Abu Wardeh” to “Christoph Luxenburg” published Jan 12, 2002.
    According to German Wikipedia the anonymous scholar seems to be affiliated with the Research Center on Religion in Saarbrücken, although not linked. I am vaguely familiar with with the institution. On the other hand, I would need expert advise on his thesis. Not sure if I have time for that. 😉

  63. Matthew says:

    Just how much more of this will Europe take? See
    Two questions for the next President:
    1. How many immigrants does America “need”? (this is distinct from interest groups arguing for immigration for its own sake.)
    2. How much longer will Europe accept American-led sanctions that essentially require them to cut ties to Russia and Iran and at very little cost to the USA?

  64. Castellio says:

    I was aware of the conversation around the translation from the Syriac of the Camel/Cable through the Eye of the Needle, but not of this. Thanks.

  65. Castellio says:

    Not nearly as many as who would defend him with their lives.

  66. Amir says:

    A huge deal for some. A storm in a tea cup, for others.

  67. jonst says:

    watching these assholes around *anything*, or *anyone* military is a revolting experience for me. Its like watching Kerry that time he got dressed up as a duck hunter in Iowa or some such place. You knew, by his every move, his every word, that he was out of place. That he was clueless–perhaps enthusiastic–but clueless. Like I am on a fishing boat. One look at me you know I don’t belong there. That is way these assholes come across around anything military, at least to me.
    And as far as the policy aspects of this….this raising of the specter of new Cold War, done so lightly, so self assured, so ignorant of history, and ignorant the dangers of stroking this stuff is something to behold for this old man, who lived through one. They don’t have a clue what the stakes can be, living in a new ‘hot’ Cold War. Yet there is no one, seemingly, capable of really heading off this train wreck. These things, once conjured up, have a way of staying around and taking on life of their own.

  68. Castellio says:

    It wasn’t that long ago that the Neocons loved Russia (past pogroms be damned). I also remember the Carlyle Group and George Bush Senior negotiating for the control of Russian energy reserves, and all was good in the world. It was only when the state moved to seek some kind of appropriate return on natural resources and the criminal class led by Khodorovsky were reigned in that the tables were turned.
    In one way Khodorovsky in Russia was no different than Apple in Ireland: why pay taxes if you don’t have to? And if the government is weak (as is Ireland, and as was Yeltin’s Russia) you can even get the government to agree to your free loading habits. But don’t expect the rules to be waived forever.
    Khodorovsky was a bi-national with Israel. After the American led re-organization of the Russian economy I think it was 8 of the 9 leading oligarchs were bi-nationals with Israel, all of whom were connected with Neocon sponsors.
    In any case, you can call Putin’s new oligarchs “nationalist” if you like, and see the problem that way.

  69. Amir says:

    Approximately 200.000 Iranians travel to Mecca in (Omreh & Vadjeb) Hadj. I heard from a friend that on average the trip costs 30.000 $. This ban will deprive the House of Saud from $, to buy more goodies for the Liver Eating Wahabi Salafi Jihadi Headchoppers

  70. Amir says:

    I found an additional source, to my friends’ personal experiences:

  71. LeaNder says:

    thanks, TB, I don’t recall having paid attention to his foreign policy speech. …
    Only recall it as it surfaced on his campaign site. I was subscribed to it for a while, but unsubscribed pretty fast again. Interesting to see it in this context though. …

  72. Laura says:

    I don’t personally know a lot of military folks…the geography of So Cal is against me there…but I would like to know from those of you who are long-term or career military: What did you think of the C-in-C Forum last night? As soldiers…how did the answers sound to you?

  73. Sam Peralta says:

    What does Charles Ortel have to do with the folks you mention? He’s the one who is trying to match the Clinton Foundation tax and regulatory filings with the filings from the donors and finding discrepancies.

  74. Edward Amame says:

    Sam Peralta
    You didn’t follow the links. Please see:
    Ortel’s in the employ of the publisher of the WorldNetDaily (conspiricist, birther website) and the main guy responsible for Swift Boating Kerry back in 2004.
    Ortel’s also a birther, and one of the author/researchers responsible of a birther book that claims Obama has been captured by the Muslim Brotherhood.
    Slinging poo is Ortel’s stock in trade.

  75. Babak Makkinejad says:

    EU would fall in line with US policies; without US they have no chance of playing any role in the World History – and they are all imbued with the ancient Greek idea that one only has lived for the duration of time during which one has strived with gods.

  76. Babak Makkinejad says:

    nah, Israelis are supreme realists.
    They set their sights high on getting US to bomb Iran but failing that, they fall into a comfortable position of precluding any strategic understanding with Iran and, at the same time, they accomplished the alienation of EU from Iran for the foreseeable future.
    Bibi was channeling Nixon.

  77. Muzaffar Ali says:

    Shock NBC Poll: Trump (55%) Leads Hillary (36%) By 19% With Veterans & Military Voters | 9.7.2016

  78. jld says:

    That seem a pretty “romantic” view of the EU leadership, yes they will fall in line with the US policies but mostly because they are sold out to the same “special interests” that drive US policies.
    The European elites caring for “World History”? Today?
    Did you smoke or eat something suspicious recently?

  79. Matthew says:

    BM: I just finished a course on the Greek and Persian Wars. The Greeks always managed to find themselves on both sides of that conflict!

  80. LG says:

    South Asian Shia are particular targets of the mutawwas and their scary niqaabed female versions during pilgrimages -especially in Medina and outside jannatul baqi. They take away our prayer books and throw them away. So we tended to hang behind the groups from Iran and Lebanon whom these guys didn’t dare approach. Now they will harass us with greater impunity.
    Sir, this is a question to both you and Babak..what do you think happened with ghazanfar roqnabadi last year. Was it murder? Was he alone the target and others just collateral damage?

  81. LeeG says:

    Don’t forget the Crazy 88’s from Kill Bill

  82. Kooshy says:

    As long as they can get free security paid by US tax payers, they will fall in line. And US is willing to print and pay his way to keep the Russians away from Atlantic/Mediterranean waters. Russia can’t become a serious power without a serious unintrupted continually available sea access to atlantic and Indian oceans.

  83. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The Platonic Academy flourished most strongly in Ionia, among the Greek subjects of the Great King. In time, one would have hoped, the Academy could have spread East and South – extending the reach of the Greek Rationalism to lands East of the Dardanelles.
    Alas, it was not to be, due to the demise of the Great King.
    A second chance occurred after the closure of the Academy Eastern Roman Empire; the refugee scholars setup shop in Western Iran – the ancient Gondishapur college comes to mind.
    That ended with the demise of the Mu’tazila; the Life of Reason was never again to raise its head in the lands of Islam – except marginally among a few Shia Scholars who were themselves despised by other Shia.

  84. Amir says:
    Affection of the respiratory tract:
    They are mostly easily treatable causes such as sinusitis, reflux, post-nasal drip, allergic reaction, … except if one has a tumor of some kind in larynx, pharynx or in the lung, which would require a more extensive treatment. This category would be mostly productive (meaning flem producing).
    Destruction of the respiratory tract due to chronic inflammation and infection is less likely as she is a non-smoker and COPD is not likely nor is bronchiectasis.
    Pleural cough:
    TB and cervical rib are not likely
    Fungal or protozoal cysts are also not likely
    Cancer or any type of inflammation (e.g. rheumatological disease) with pleural involvement might be a possibility and this cough would be dry as is the case with H.C.
    Disturbed pulmonary circuit:
    This is mostly a dry cough.
    Congenital heart disease would be excluded in H.C. due to age and the late onset.
    Myocardial insufficiency is a possibility and is in case of beginning stages of heart failure treatable. H.C. does not seem to have advanced heart failure, judging by her stamina to do strenuous activity during her campaign.
    Sometimes this condition would be more productive and will require more extensive intervention: if there is a sudden valvular insufficiency due to necrosis of part of the heart muscle due to an infarct or endocarditis. The latter is not really likely in H.C. as she has excellent medical care and the former also would only occurs if she would have had a major heart attack, which seems unlikely.
    Sub-diaphragmatic irritation:
    Any abdominal process that irritates the diaphragm such as abdominal abscess, gallbladder infection, perforated viscus or any medical devices that might have been inserted. Gastrointestinal cancer and or gynecological cancer with metastasis would also be a possibility. Considering the risk profile of her husband, cervical cancer would be a candidate but less likely to be advanced in her case as she has excellent preventive care.
    Mediastinal cough:
    Intra-thoracic goiter (surgically treatable) and thoracic aneurysm (to be treated if too large as intervention has a certain risk and just for the treatment of a cough surgery is probably an excessive option)
    Damage to the vagal nerve or laryngeal nerve when operating on the two above structures might cause chronic cough as well. A thoracic surgery would require her to be hospitalized for at least a week and would need extensive rehabilitation afterwards. Thyroid surgery for benign or malignant conditions on the other hand will not be a very extensive intervention in hands of an experience surgeon.
    Any other mediastinal tumor might also cause cough via increased pressure on the recurrent laryngeal
    , vagal and diaphragmatic nerves but these are extremely rare.
    External auditory canal irritation:
    Mostly in children and easily treatable.
    Direct irritation of the medullary center:
    Meningitis, brain abscess and TB are out of the question.
    A brain tumor or metastatic from a different primary or stroke with damage of the nucleus of the 5th nerve and or the swallowing mechanism with chronic aspiration would certainly be in the running for the top spot in her case, considering the previous discussion about the asymmetry of her face.
    She does not seem to have a croupy type of cough:
    Irritation of the sub-glottis area, laryngeal paralysis or vocal cod injury (due to tumor for example Bill has increased the risk of transmission of HPV) and recurrent laryngeal nerve injury (thyroid surgery) can cause this.
    The cough would be loud, flat and toneless. The barking hysterical cough can also be in the running for the top spot as simple dryness of the throat can cause reflex cough, which is helped by drinking water (as she is doing).
    On the other hand the characteristic clanging, brassy cough of tracheal obstruction, also called ( )gander cough seems reasonable but I am not a laryngologist to exactly place these types of cough.

  85. Castellio says:

    Why do you neglect Alexandria and the Platonic schools there, which proved so important in the formation of Christian thought?

  86. crf says:

    Is it a shock? I assume most vets are male, and Trump leads with males. See this CNN poll.
    For males:
    Trump- 52%
    Clinton- 32%

  87. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Ah, all those languages have alphabets.
    The bit about the 72 Virgins long intrigued me, but here’s my personal hunch: Astrology shaped much of the world view of the Bronze Age, when all these alphabets originated — probably along the ancient metal routes of the Near East. Temples were built, and scribes had a need to write things, originally for counting, but also for recording the movements of the stars.
    However, they’d have known, even in 3000 BC, that due to precession, the constellations slowly change position in the sky; and curiously, 72 years would equal one degree of precession (IOW, each constellation moves about one degree each 72 years). Assuming the “Virgin” under discussion was the constellation that we call Virgo, then ’72 Virgins’ works out to ’72 years in which Virgo was the constellation of the Spring Equinox’.
    Writing seems to have been viewed as magical, and the early ‘grammatica’ [i.e., ‘the scratcher men’] probably made fairly eccentric, individual notations as an aide to memory — making symbols idiosyncratically; thereby disguising the valuable, secret knowledge they recorded so that it would be almost impossible for outsiders to interpret. These were a different sort of writer than your far-more-ancient (by about 2000 years) Sumerian scribe whose pictographs needed to be consistent and understood by everyone; in contrast, the grammatica wrote for a quite different purpose. There seems to be a long history of writing as being viewed as a kind of witchcraft; the power of the written word was feared, as it could record curses.
    If the ‘grammatica’ recorded knowledge that was involved processes critical to forging metals, then that knowledge was too valuable to share. The Hittites probably managed to keep the knowledge of iron technology within a priesthood for over 1,000 years; secrecy was of utmost importance, lest your enemies make metal harder than your own.
    Originally, numerology and writing seem to have been intricately linked.
    72, and variations on 7, and on 12, creep up repeatedly.
    Numbers were regarded as holding mystical power.
    So were combinations of letter-numbers, as in YHWH, in which each letter is given a numeral, and then the total is added together to form a special, hidden meaning. (See also: tetragrammaton)

  88. LeaNder says:

    Thanks, MRW, important document.

  89. LeaNder says:

    Thanks, Will, this was an interesting historical-meditative-meandering, if I may, more simple: excursion.
    While, I surely wondered about the 72 virgins meme and did take a closer look at the time, I now wonder if the last paragraph was ironic. Not sure if I had the same impression on first sight.
    Anyway, your comments lead me here:
    And sure enough, Saarbrücken surfaces as one of the centers

  90. b says:

    Pat gets noticed …
    Sid Blumenthal in an email to Hillary Clinton, March 30 2011
    “Pat Lang argues for intensified bombing. …”

  91. turcopolier says:

    Yup. We have been over this before. I thought that Libya would be easy and worth the effort in getting rid of Qathafy. it did not occur to me that we would simply walk away from the stabilization needed once his ridiculous regime was gone. Libya is a country with a lot of available assets, a small population nearly all of which is along the coastal road and near the sea. Sid asked me the question and I gave him my opinion. pl

  92. LeaNder says:

    Originally, numerology and writing seem to have been intricately linked.
    Do I get into a trap here?
    It feels that might have been a basic thesis of my favorite math teacher. I feel a little bad I never went to see him after the exam, admittedly my core reason was to find out if he had snitched after I sought his advise, when I had this new pretty incapable teacher and more precisely concerning her “correction” of a test, resulting in failed marks. …
    A classmate, willing to join me, told me two of his kids had killed themselves. My question felt so meaningless after. And we didn’t go. I wish I had in spite of it all.

  93. LeaNder says:

    Maybe we should include another member of the SST community here? TTG?
    PB updated us on matters none of you could have known at the time. Or should we assume both of you have crystal balls? Supposing PB was not leading us astray but opening our perception horizons.

  94. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Christian fanatics destroyed the Life of Reason in Alexandria.

  95. Matthew says:

    Col: Was there really no chance to replace Qathafy with his mostly Westernized son? Wasn’t the Emir of Qatar replaced with his son?
    Not suggesting this was feasible, just whether it was discussed.

  96. LeaNder says:

    Ok, I got into a trap, just somewhere else.
    Admittedly I never managed to wrap my head around “Bob”, in this case the icon. Much less around what led me there.
    Anyway, are you trying to tell me, I should get a more friendly relation to Twitter?

  97. Ulenspiegel says:

    “The single market in services exists only in name, besides one doesn’t need to be a member of the single market in order to have access.”
    UK needs access, I do nowhere claim that you need to be a member. The price for this access is free movement of labour.
    “that will be swept away by the rest of the European electorate in due course anyway.”
    “Remember Britain runs a large trade deficit with the EU, so it is us who have the upper hand.”
    Again nonsense. The RELATVE losses in case of WTO model are much higher on the UK side and this of course determines the bargain power. You should think a little bit deeper.

  98. LeaNder says:

    Pat, I’ll look at this. I have a two fainting experiences, not related to the “very suspicious events” offered.
    One concerning my sister in what felt to me in hindsight a very oxygen deficient environment. I looked back at the moment others noticed and…
    I once fainted in the bathtub knocking myself out seriously. I lost consciousness till a friend found me. All I wanted after was to sleep… to leave out the specific circumstances. A while ago my mother offered this to me: It may not make to much sense to bath too hot. Which indeed I did, getting used to temperature and then heating up.

  99. Eric Newhill says:

    Skewed poll samples apparently are only a scientific reality when Clinton is losing. When Trump is impacted by bad technique (as he has been all along based on % of democrats v republicans in the samples), there is no such thing and anyone who thinks a representative matters is just plain out of their mind crazy, of course.

  100. Tyler says:

    Think of the invasion from the MENA to Europe.

  101. Tyler says:

    We get it. You’re very mad over there.

  102. Tyler says:

    Still unable to separate the information from the source I see.
    This is the desperate flailing of a hooked fish.

  103. Henshaw says:

    Life in the Kingdom is getting more difficult- especially if you are a foreign worker
    Given the numbers of these workers, and the contribution their remittances make to the economy of their home countries, it will be interesting to see how the home countries of these workers put pressure on SA to cough up.
    It would be expected that the Saudi Government would be trying to protect its domestic priorities from the impact of low oil prices, so the foreign workers would be the first to go. With no price respite in sight, the pressure is clearly growing, and it will be interesting to see what Salman & co. cut next.

  104. georgeg says:

    Have some free time today and made the mistake of checking the network news as well as cable news. The frenzy over Trump’s comment about Putin is beyond belief.
    Putin apparently is the devil reincarnate. How can we exist in a global geopolitical world if our only stance is to demonize leadership which based on my observations and detailed readings has been trying to find a positive partnership role with us. The “borgs” have truly taken over…..

  105. georgeg says:

    Colonel, his “ridiculous regime” pales compared to present day conditions. Was it any different than our Gulf allies?…..

  106. turcopolier says:

    Qathafy’s antic behavior had persisted for a long time and was very destructive in many places in Africa, Chad for example where he tried to invade the country and failed. He also was the major sponsor of Sergeant Doe’s evil regime in Liberia. The situation in Libya would not have degenerated to what it is now if the US and NATO had nor abandoned the place to its fate after his removal. Have you ever seen me defend the nature of the Gulf states or our relationship to them? You have not and you will not. In their own ways they are as bad as Qadhafy was. pl

  107. Laguerre says:

    “there were some dual nationals from the US who keep telling us that Palestine is a new word and that it didn’t exist before.”
    Palestine is a very ancient name, older than the Hebrew invasion. It occurs as Peleset in the 13th century BC.
    “Someone, who is Lebanese, told them that the letter “p” does not exist in the Arabic language”
    That is true. The Arabic version of Palestine is Filastin. But it is all the same name.
    There are plenty of Arabic-speaking Jews for MEMRI to employ. Yemenis, Iraqis, and Moroccans, for example. Even if your average Ashkenazi Israeli doesn’t want to see Arabs or speak Arabic.

  108. Laguerre says:

    I think there have also been cases of Saudi nationals not getting paid. That is much more grave. What else is going to keep the average Hijazi, or Asiri, loyal to Riyadh other than the sinecure job, and the reliable pay-check at the end of the month? If those salaries are not paid, there’s a very real danger of separatism and dissent. The Saudi ground troops are hardly fighting very hard to keep the Houthis out of Najran.

  109. turcopolier says:

    “The Saudi ground troops are hardly fighting very hard to keep the Houthis out of Najran” You should not assume that the Saudis can “keep the Houthis out of Najran.” pl

  110. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I recall his antic in 1980 – if memory does not fail me – whereby Libyan students on government scholarship were instructed by him to go and take over the Libyan Embassy in those countries.
    You had graduate students in Agronomy, in Engineering etc. going to Washington DC – interrupting their course work – for that.

  111. jeremy C says:
    New Russia-US agreement just announced.
    Ceasefire starting Sunday night or Monday. After a short period, a joint counter-terrorism effort by R+US will begin vs Nusra and IS. Aid into Aleppo and “demilitarized” routes into and out of Aleppo.
    Why now? What does Russia want from this now?
    The US hand in Syria is very weak. Its Kurdish allies are suffering, it can’t trust Turkey, and R+6 has taken back Aleppo siege and advanced elsewhere.
    So, why now and to what end? And why is Russia seemingly not willing to force a major collapse of rebel\jihadi forces? Or is the latter a foregone conclusion already?
    Is Russia trying to rope the US into an anti-terrorist campaign against Nusra and ISIS to (1) preclude the US from bombing the Syrian government forces, and to (2) de facto sever the CIA-backed rebels from Nusra and to thus render them useless?
    Also, what is the end game for Russia? And how does this deal bridge to that endgame.
    Still unanswered questions.

  112. Fred says:

    Review the tab marked “Libya”.

  113. Thomas says:

    “Why now? What does Russia want from this now?”
    I am looking to see if this is a final diplomatic test to the Administration to see whether they are rejoining reality in dealing with global concerns or continuing the course to the abyss and taking everyone else with them. If the latter then expect major moves in the coming week.

  114. Castellio says:

    Well, you, I and Edward Gibson might think so, although many millions of others wouldn’t agree. But that wasn’t really my drift: I sense an on-going hostility to everything Egyptian in your thoughts, both ancient, Medieval and Modern. Mind you, I sense an aversion to most things Arab as well. If I’m right, why is that?
    Or have you answered in your comment above: “That ended with the demise of the Mu’tazila; the Life of Reason was never again to raise its head in the lands of Islam – except marginally among a few Shia Scholars who were themselves despised by other Shia.” If so, that’s a very general and extensive condemnation.

  115. Allen Thomson says:

    And, does anyone recognize the city in the satellite picture in the article? The date, time and shadow angles suggest that it’s in the AfPak area.
    After considerable hunting, an acquaintance with knowledge of the area found it: Zaranj, Afghanistan: 30.959 N, 61.861 E. The satellite that took the picture, USA-129, was passing by on a N -> S pass to the WSW at a slant range of ca 350 km.

  116. The Beaver says:

    Next time your site is attacked, you will know who has facilitated it:

  117. Fred says:

    You learn something new here every day.

  118. Imagine says:

    one source alleges chlorine tanks are routinely stored on Syrian rooftops for water purification purposes; therefore any serious attack may result in bursting/release of gas. Unable to verify whether reasonable or nonsense.

  119. Castellio says:

    Did I actually write Gibson, not Gibbon? Apologies.

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