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There are more important points in here than can be summed up in four paragraphs.
Besides the public admissions of our government officials of Saudi support for ISIS and just about every other Sunni terrorist group excerpted below, the article goes through the math on ISIS means of support other than from outside governments. It doesn't add up.
What this article treads on a bit lightly though is that ISIS is advancing our government's agenda in Syria by destabilizing Assad. And Washington didn't seem too worried about ISIS's bad acts when they were only in Syria and not yet in Iraq.
Also, any handwringing in Washington about ISIS atrocities is hardly sincere while we still arm and protect Saudi, the most oppressive, religious extremist regime in the world.
–In a 2009 diplomatic memo made public by Wikileaks, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”
(On Thursday, in a hawkish speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Clinton, now the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, focused on her plan for military escalation, including a U.S. invasion of Syria to “impose no-fly zones” and secure what she called a “safe area.” But she added a brief and exasperated reference to the financial reality, saying: “once and for all, the Saudis, the Qataris and others need to stop their citizens from directly funding extremist organizations as well as the schools and mosques around the world that have set too many young people on a path to radicalization.”)
–Vice President Joe Biden’s remarkable admission at Harvard’s Kennedy School in October 2014 that “the Saudis, the emirates, etc. … were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war … they poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of military weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad – except the people who were being supplied were Al Nusra and Al Qaeda.”
–Finally, in a front-page article on Friday, the Times belatedly acknowledged the devastating DIA report, a mere six months after it was made public by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch. But even then, reporter Ian Fisher managed to leave out the most important part, which is that the Salafist stronghold that the Sunnis were seeking to establish is “exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition” – i.e. the West, the Gulf states, and Turkey – “want in order to isolate the Syrian regime.”
Links supporting article at original
Posted by yurbud | Sun Nov 22, 2015, 12:34 PM (5 replies)
A Moroccan author remembers growing up without religious extremism, and what changed that.
We must call to account the governments of the United States, France, Britain, Russia, Iran, and many others, who lent support and succor to tyrant after tyrant in the Middle East and North Africa, and whose interventions appear to create 10 terrorists for every one they kill.
We must call to account George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, whose disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003 and subsequent disbanding of the Iraqi army destabilized the entire region.
Wahhabi ideas have spread throughout the region not because they have any merit—but because they are well funded.
We must call to account the Saudi kings—Salman, Abdullah, and Fahd—whose funding of Wahhabi doctrine gave rise to the scourge of Islamic extremism.
When I was a child in Morocco, no clerics told me what to do, what to read or not read, what to believe, what to wear. And if they did, I was free not to listen. Faith was more than its conspicuous manifestations. But things began to change in the 1980s. It was the height of the Cold War and Arab tyrants saw an opportunity: They could hold on to power indefinitely by repressing the dissidents in their midst—most of them secular leftists—and by encouraging the religious right wing, with tacit or overt approval from the United States and other Western allies. Into the void created by the decimation of the Arab world’s secular left, the Wahhabis stepped in, with almost unlimited financial resources. Wahhabi ideas spread throughout the region not because they have any merit—they don’t—but because they were and remain well funded. We cannot defeat ISIS without defeating the Wahhabi theology that birthed it. And to do so would require spending as much effort and money in defending liberal ideas.
Posted by yurbud | Tue Nov 17, 2015, 04:13 PM (4 replies)
The real scandal is our bipartisan policy of using groups like ISIS, Al Qaeda, and any other religious extremists who dislike the same governments our government does.
ISIS didn't seem to move from our friends to enemies list until they started to bedevil Iraq as well as Syria.
Washington didn't seem to mind the religious extremist in Libya when they were after Khadaffi, but only only noticed they're bad guys when they killed our diplomats.
The same is true of our allies in Afghanistan. Our troops are rightly horrified that some of them practice child sex slavery, but our government doesn't care as long as they are on our side.
We should certainly find and punish (however you want to interpret that) whoever did this Paris attack, but the long term response should be to stop using these guys and telling our Gulf allies like the Saudis to stop funding, training, and directing them as well.
I won't hold my breath for that happening no matter which of the two parties enter the White House.
Posted by yurbud | Sat Nov 14, 2015, 03:41 PM (1 replies)
Ex-CIA director: White House ignored months of warnings about 9/11 to avoid leaving ‘paper trail’ of
Source: Raw Story
In an explosive revelation during an interview with Politico, the former CIA director during President George W. Bush’s administration claims his department informed White house officials over impending Al Qaeda attacks months before the president received the infamous “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” presidential briefing.
Beginning in May of 2001, Tenet and Black launched an initiative called “the Blue Sky paper” and pitched it to Bush’s national security team. The CIA called for a joint CIA and military campaign to end the Al Qaeda threat by “getting into the Afghan sanctuary, launching a paramilitary operation, creating a bridge with Uzbekistan.”
According to Tenet, the Bush administration said they wanted to back-burner the plan.
“And the word back,” claims Tenet, “‘was ‘we’re not quite ready to consider this. We don’t want the clock to start ticking,’” meaning they didn’t want a paper trail.
Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/2015/11/ex-cia-director-bush-ignored-months-of-warnings-about-911-to-avoid-leaving-paper-trail-of-culpability/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=rawstory
Why do Democrats leave it to Donald Trump to bring this stuff into the political debate?
Republicans will get away with calling Democrats wimps, and the only response will be the Hillary variety of "I like to kill people too!" instead of calling bullshit on Republicans as incompetent or worse.
Posted by yurbud | Fri Nov 13, 2015, 01:49 PM (73 replies)
Another reason to be glad this guy didn't run for president.
Joe, don't let the door hit your ass on the way out--or better yet, do.
As a senator from Delaware -- a corporate tax haven where the financial industry is one of the state’s largest employers -- Biden was one of the key proponents of the 2005 legislation that is now bearing down on students like Ryan. That bill effectively prevents the $150 billion worth of private student debt from being discharged, rescheduled or renegotiated as other debt can be in bankruptcy court.
Biden's efforts in 2005 were no anomaly. Though the vice president has long portrayed himself as a champion of the struggling middle class -- a man who famously commutes on Amtrak and mixes enthusiastically with blue-collar workers -- the Delaware lawmaker has played a consistent and pivotal role in the financial industry's four-decade campaign to make it harder for students to shield themselves and their families from creditors, according to an IBT review of bankruptcy legislation going back to the 1970s.
Biden's political fortunes rose in tandem with the financial industry's. At 29, he won the first of seven elections to the U.S. Senate, rising to chairman of the powerful Judiciary Committee, which vets bankruptcy legislation. On that committee, Biden helped lenders make it more difficult for Americans to reduce debt through bankruptcy -- a trend that experts say encouraged banks to loan more freely with less fear that courts could erase their customers’ repayment obligations. At the same time, with more debtors barred from bankruptcy protections, the average American’s debt load went up by two-thirds over the last 40 years. Today, there is more than $10,000 of personal debt for every person in the country, as compared to roughly $6,000 in the early 1970s.
That increase -- and its attendant interest payments -- have generated huge profits for a financial industry that delivered more than $1.9 million of campaign contributions to Biden over his career, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Posted by yurbud | Thu Oct 29, 2015, 01:18 PM (2 replies)
So I got this email from my union:
If you could ask Hillary Clinton one question, what would you ask?
We asked our endorsed candidate for the Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton, to meet with AFT members in the trenches to discuss public education—the issues, challenges and aspirations they are seeing and feeling in schools and communities right now—and have a conversation about what's needed to help our students thrive.
We will be bringing in AFT members from around the country to attend the event (on us!) and ask Hillary one question they have always wanted to ask. That could be you!
Would you like to join some of your colleagues in this conversation with Hillary Clinton?
Submit your question here for a chance to win.
Oddly, nobody asked me who I wanted my union to endorse, and I don't know what criteria they used to select Hillary, who will doubtless do exactly what Wall Street tells her to do on public education and everything else.
Therefore, this is the question I told them I would like to ask:
Will you stop Wall Street's efforts to privatize public education and dictate education policy for their own financial gain? If yes, what in your record would make us believe you would actually do so?
Posted by yurbud | Tue Oct 27, 2015, 03:26 PM (0 replies)
The privatized prison industry is an engine for political corruption and diverts taxpayer dollars into private profits.
Arguably, efforts to privatize K-12 public spending is having far more disastrous results, with hedge fund managers and billionaires dictating education policy instead of educators and academics.
These are not misguided philanthropists. They are wealthy individuals who see taxpayer dollars spent on education as rightfully belonging in their pockets and have said so at their business conferences.
Politicians love this movement because a company that profits from government contracts can funnel money into campaign donations and when the politician leaves office, they can get jobs with these donors as lobbyists, consultants, CEO's, and do-nothing board members, much like their relationship with defense contractors, Wall Street, and oil companies.
When was the last time you heard of a retiring congressman or senator going to work for teachers' union? Or any public employee union?
Teachers just want to make a decent middle class living and not be punished for wanting to teach kids.
The education reformers public education as a way to add to the billions of the already wealthy.
Frankly, any time a politician expresses any support for this agenda, that should be proof enough of corruption and that they are unworthy of our donations and votes.
For proof, see this recent report:
A stunning new report on the myriad ways that public charter school operators have squandered or stolen millions of taxpayer dollars and how government education officials have failed to track or report this burgeoning privatization scandal has been released by the Center for Media and Democracy, a nationwide investigative reporting group.
“For years, no reporters or citizens could readily examine where their federal tax dollars had been spent on charters, which have a higher failure rate than public schools and have been plagued by numerous fraud indictments of charter school operators,” said the introduction to the report, Charter School Black Hole: CMD Special Investigation Reveals Hugh Gaps in Public Info on Taxpayer Money Spent.
“Nearly 200 charters have closed in California, nearly one of every five that have opened,” CMD said, beginning its report on the state with the most charter schools, where one-fifth of U.S.’s charter students resiee. “Their failures have included stunning tales of financial fraud, skimming of retirement funds, and financial mismanagement, material violations of the law, massive debt, unsafe school conditions, lack of teacher credentials, fairlure to conduct backgroud checks, terrible academic performance and test results, and insufficient enrollment.”
CMD cites examples of failed California schools such as “Renew Virtual Academy #1” in San Joaquin, where “CEO Ellen Ringer hired her son, Deputy Executive Director of Business Services Christopher Walenta, at an annual salary of nearly $100,000 and paid other relatives without disclosing relationships.” He telecommuted from “his Lone Tree, Colorado home” for “two weeks each month” and received full benefits and expenses. Such nepotism is typical of the many instances where school founders turn charters into a quick ticket to enrichment despite their industry’s polished rhetoric of doing a better job to lift up underserved and inpoverished communities.
Posted by yurbud | Sun Oct 25, 2015, 01:14 PM (6 replies)
I want to thank this punk sociopath Shkreli for reminding me again that the very wealthy didn't necessarily get that way by working harder, being smarter or more creative, and certainly not more moral than the rest of us, much the way the morally and intellectually bankrupt inbred trust fund babies of the GOP have like Mitt, W, Jeb, Forbes, and most recently, Trump.
As Jim Hightower said of Baby Bush, Shkreli and these other entitled assholes were born on third base and think they hit a triple.
Turing Pharmaceutical founder Martin Shkreli appeared on Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria” Friday and declared that potential Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders — who publicly rejected a campaign donation from the disgraced CEO earlier this month — is “a demagogue” who’s “afraid of the issues.”
“I think I’d destroy him in a debate about pharmaceuticals,” said the man who’s spent weeks being repeatedly humiliated in every debate he’s participated in, be they about pharmaceuticals or otherwise. He later challenged “any other CEO in Big Pharma” to “a debate contest about science.”
Shkreli claimed that Sanders “doesn’t understand pharmaceuticals at all,” then boasted that while the Vermont senator “donated on my behalf” the $2,700 that the CEO tried to give to the Sanders campaign, he was willing to donate $50,000 to the same HIV/AIDS charity if they would take his money.
Host Maria Bartiromo asked Shkreli what it felt like “to be basically ostracized for this?” He replied that “I think you’d be surprised at the amount of support I’ve got — there’s a lot of people who support free markets.”
Posted by yurbud | Sun Oct 25, 2015, 11:24 AM (8 replies)
It had the exact opposite effect on me.
Particularly, his take on gridlock which seemed to echo Obama's "don't blame Republicans" shtick.
I doubt that Hillary's policies will be any different from Biden's would have been, but maybe she would be less like the wife of a wife beater who claims she fell down the stairs instead of got punched by her husband like Obama and apparently Biden prefer to do.
Posted by yurbud | Thu Oct 22, 2015, 02:43 PM (5 replies)
Jake Tapper stuns Jeb Bush: If your brother is blameless for 9/11 why is Hillary Clinton responsible
This is such an obvious question, and if Democratic politicians had any spine, they would have asked this a hell of a long time ago, and some variation of it well before Benghazi.
This one question and a couple of aggressive follow up ones, could drive a stake in the heart of any GOP claim to "tough" on defense, and should kill them as a party.
They are not tough on defense. They are "tough" on killing people in other countries to get what they're corporate masters want.
And if their masters are happy with how a country does business with them, why they will look the other way (or worse), just as they did with the Saudi government involvement in 9/11.
That Democrats in and running for political office don't pursue this shows it's just one other area where they don't want any daylight between themselves and the GOP.
But if they aren't on the right side when enough people aren't afraid to ask these questions out loud, they could end up with the GOP as a footnote in history.
TAPPER: Obviously Al Qaeda was responsible for the terrorist attack of 9/11, but how do you respond to critics who ask, if your brother and his administration bear no responsibility at all, how do you then make the jump that President Obama and Secretary Clinton are responsible for what happened at Benghazi?
JEB BUSH: Well I — the question on Benghazi which, is hopefully we’ll now finally get the truth to, is was the place secure? They had a responsibility, the Department of State, to have proper security. There were calls for security, it looks like they didn’t get it. And how was the response in the aftermath of the attack, was there a chance that these four American lives could have been saved? That’s what the investigation is about, it’s not a political issue. It’s not about the broad policy issue, is were we doing the job of protecting our embassies and our consulates and during the period, those hours after the attack started, could they have been saved?
TAPPER: Well that’s, that’s kind of proving the point of the critics I was just asking about, because you don’t want to have your brother bear responsibility for 9/11 and I understand that argument and Al Qaeda’s responsible, but why are the terrorists not the ones who are responsible for these attacks in Libya?
BUSH: They are, of course they are but — of course they are, but if the ambassador was asking for additional security and didn’t get it, that’s a proper point and if it’s proven that the security was adequate compared to other embassies, fine, we’ll move on.
Posted by yurbud | Wed Oct 21, 2015, 12:49 AM (10 replies)