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Member since: Thu Dec 30, 2004, 03:05 PM
Number of posts: 15,741

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US ties itself in legal knots to cover shifting rationale for Syria strikes


US government lawyers have invoked Iraq’s right to self-defence and the weakness of the Assad regime as twin justifications for US bombing in Syria, in a feat of legal acrobatics that may reopen questions over its right to intervene in the bitter civil war.

In a letter to the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, released near 24 hours after attacks began, US ambassador Samantha Power argued that the threat to Iraq from Islamic State, known as Isis or Isil, gave the US and its allies in the region an automatic right to attack on its behalf.

“Iraq has made clear that it is facing a serious threat of continuing attacks from Isil coming out of safe havens in Syria,” Power wrote.

“The government of Iraq has asked that the United States lead international efforts to strike Isil sites and military strongholds in Syria in order to end the continuing attacks on Iraq, to protect Iraqi citizens and ultimately to enable and arm Iraqi forces to perform their task of regaining control of the Iraqi borders.”


Prediction: Mission Accomplished" speech before the elections:)

No matter what the situation is on the ground.

Also, some reason why we have to take out Assad.... Likely with the help of ISIL.

ISIL Uses Chlorine Gas in Attack.


(IraqiNews.com) On Monday several Members of Parliament from Diwaniyah Province confirmed that ISIS killed over 300 soldiers using chlorine gas for the first time in Saqlawiyah, north of Fallujah.

Islamic Dawa party MP Ali al-Badri said, at a press conference at the parliament building in the presence of a number of deputies of Diwaniyah province and attended by IraqiNews.com that “the terrorist organization ISIS used chlorine gas for the first time in the region of Saqlawiyah after trapping more than 400 troops, resulting in the deaths of many of them due to suffocation while the terrorist gangs detonated car bombs within the brigade headquarters.”

Badri said, “We hold the full responsibility for the fate of the trapped soldiers to the Commanding General of the Armed Forces, Haider Abadi, and the security leaders, especially the Anbar Operations Chief, Lt. Gen. Rashid Flaih, because of the slow measures taken by the Air Force despite frequent appeals for rapid procedures to rescue the soldiers since several days ago.”

Badri added that the “Saqlawiyah crime is considered as the second Speicher Massacre,” stressing that “300 soldiers were killed in the attack.”

Guess this lends credence to the reports that it was the insurgents and not Assad who used chemical weapons in Syria.

EDIT: Point is, we don't know what's happening over there. Was it Assad using chemical weapons? or ISIL? Or the 'moderate' opposition? Who are the barbarians at the gate? The people's whose 'patriots' torture? The guys who use white phosphorus and depleted uranium? The country that beheads dozens every month? We are trapped in a cycle of violence.

FURTHER: Obama almost attacked Assad over the use of chemical weapons (still in dispute). We then armed the rebels to fight Assad. These rebels then turned into ISL, with the help of the Iraqi military that we trained. We are now going to arm a different set of these rebels to fight ISIL and Assad, in the hopes that will will be well in the end. It will not be. The solution is to force a coalition of SA, Assad, Iran, Israel, et al, it will be good for them.

In my view, we are one of the major problems, not the solution in the Middle East.

Poll: iphone 6 or 6 plus?

I was about to get the 6+, but after putting it in my hands, I'm leaning towards the 6....

100b invested in wind & solar produces more energy than oil.


Kepler Chevreux, a French investment bank, has produced a fascinating analysis that has dramatic implications for the global oil industry. The investment bank estimates that $100 billion invested in either wind energy or solar energy – and deployed as energy for light and commercial vehicles – will produce significantly more energy than that same $100 billion invested in oil.

The implications, needless to say, are dramatic. It would signal the end of Big Oil, and the demise of an industry that has dominated the global economy and geo-politics, for the last few decades. And the need for it to reshape its business model around renewables, as we discuss here.

“If we are right, the implications would be momentous,” writes Kepler Chevreux analyst Mark Lewis.

“It would mean that the oil industry faces the risk of stranded assets not only under a scenario of falling oil prices brought about by the structurally lower demand entailed by a future tightening of climate policy, but also under a scenario of rising oil prices brought about by increasingly constrained supply. “

Senator Bernie Sanders Votes No on War Funds


Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday voted against the United States training and arming Syrian rebels. Bernie said the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria “is a brutal and dangerous extremist organization which must be defeated, but this war cannot be won by the United States alone.”

“There needs to be a real international coalition led by the countries most threatened – Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey and Iran,” the senator said. “The worst thing that we can do now is allow ISIS to portray this struggle as East vs. West, as Muslim vs. Christian, as the Middle East vs. America. That is exactly what they want and that is exactly what we should not be giving them.”

I have to agree with Sanders. This is a great opportunity to force Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, Syria, et al, to come together.

Meet ‘the Elizabeth Warren Wing of the Democratic Party'


Suppose an insurgent movement with a sharp critique of Wall Street and a determination to end the Democratic Party's compromises on core economic issues was taking shape across the country. Suppose the candidates associated with this movement were winning tough primaries and developing the outlines of a fifty-state strategy that rejects the self-interested calculations of party elites. Would that count as big news? Not yet, perhaps, since most mainstream pundits are still obsessed with the wrangling over which extremes the Republican Party will embrace. But while GOP insiders were busy beating back their Tea Party wing, the progressive populist tendency within the Democratic Party was going from strength to strength.

This developing movement, now often referred to as "the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party" (a variation on the late Senator Paul Wellstone's declaration, "I'm from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party", is focused on many of the issues that Warren raised in her electrifying July speech at Netroots Nation, where she vowed to fight for wage hikes, fair trade, pay equity, affordable education, and ironclad protections for Social Security and Medicare. "This is a fight over economics, a fight over privilege, a fight over power," the Massachusetts senator said. "But deep down, it is a fight over values. These…are progressive values. These are America's values. And these are the values we are willing to fight for."

Democratic Party elites—who dream of a return to the triangulating days of Bill Clinton, perhaps with another Clinton in the White House—still resist this kind of values-based politics. But the party's base is yearning—and voting—for something bolder. Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent who, like his Massachusetts colleague, has been talked up as an alternative to Hillary Clinton in 2016, has taken an economic-populist message to every corner of the country—including the red states of the Deep South. "When you get outside the Beltway," Sanders notes, "and when you get outside political gossip and speculation, what you find is massive frustration and anger at both the political and economic establishment."

That sentiment has led to the rise of candidates like Bonnie Watson Coleman, a New Jersey legislator who won a hard-fought June primary with an economic-justice campaign that talked not about raising the minimum wage, but about the need for a living wage. Refusing to soft-pedal her determination to address "the gap between the wealthiest and [those] most in need," Coleman says "the equivocation of Democrats has created confusion for people. People need to know what their choices are and why."

DAY 7: War may make hundreds of thousands of young Syrians stateless (Reuters)

Some three million Syrians have left as refugees and 3.5 million are displaced within the country. More than half of Syrian refugees are children, but many families were unable to register them before fleeing abroad.

Some 51,000 Syrian babies have been born in exile. Three quarters of those born in Lebanon have not been registered and experts believe the proportion is similar in other countries hosting Syrian refugees.

“It should really alarm us that we have 77 percent of refugee births unregistered in one country, that we have nationality through the father only, that we have so many missing fathers,” Sen told Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Also at risk of statelessness are the 8,000 refugee children who are unaccompanied or separated from their families.


Like state sponsored child abuse.

In my view, we are the problem, not the solution in the middle east.

ISIL completely fabricated enemy by US: Former CIA contractor

PressTV... For what is worth:

"Former CIA contractor Steven Kelley says that the ISIL terrorist group is a completely fabricated enemy created and funded by the United States.

“This is a completely fabricated enemy,” he said in a phone interview with Press TV from Anaheim, California on Thursday.

“The funding is completely from the United States and its allies and for people to think that this enemy is something that needs to be attacked in Syria or Iraq is a farce because obviously this is something that we create it, we control and only now it has become inconvenient for us to attack this group as a legitimate enemy,” Kelley added."


Chelsea Manning breaks silence to criticise Obama's Isis strategy


Chelsea Manning, the US army soldier who worked as an intelligence analyst in Iraq before being arrested for passing state secrets to WikiLeaks, says the only way to defeat Isis is to allow the group to set up its own contained “failed ‘state’” where over time its fire would “die out on its own”.

Writing in the Guardian, Manning says her experience as an all-source analyst near Baghdad in 2009-10 leads her to doubt the strategy being followed by the Obama administration. She warns that the US-led mission to destroy the extremist group is destined to failure because it will merely feed a “cycle of outrage, recruitment, organizing and even more fighting that goes back decades”.

Even with the support of non-western forces, attacking Isis directly from the air or with special forces on the ground risks mission creep and the repeat of past errors. “I believe that Isis strategically feeds off the mistakes and vulnerabilities of the very democratic western states they decry,” she writes.

Presenting a radical alternative blueprint for how to deal with the extremist group, Manning argues that the best way to degrade Isis is to allow it to set up a failed “state” within a clearly demarcated territory. There, Isis would gradually become unpopular and unable to govern, she predicts, and the ideology of its leadership would be discredited in the region, potentially forever.
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