The President: We Will Degrade, and Ultimately Destroy, ISIL
Sep10

The President: We Will Degrade, and Ultimately Destroy, ISIL

In a high-stakes prime-time address to the nation from the State Floor of the White House tonight, President Obama described the threat posed by the Islamic State terrorist group and laid out his much-awaited strategy for “degrading and ultimately destroying” ISIL. Predictably, it is a strategy that some will applaud, but many more will attack as being either too much or not enough to combat the ISIL threat. Even before his address...

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The Weak Sisters of Europe
Sep09

The Weak Sisters of Europe

Europe refuses to remember its history. Perhaps it’s because that might entail doing something to prevent history from repeating itself. The Russian “invasion” of Ukraine with the goal of the eastern Ukrainian states achieving independence and becoming part of a greater Russia is reminiscent of Hitler’s grab of the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia in 1938. Hitler’s pretext was that German speakers in the Sudetenland wanted to be part...

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Time for a Recalculation of the Political Calculus
Sep03

Time for a Recalculation of the Political Calculus

Chad Taylor, the little known Democrat who was his party’s nominee for Senator from Kansas, has officially withdrawn from the race. This leaves independent and former Democrat Greg Orman to challenge incumbent Pat Roberts. In many red states and most of the time this might not mean much but Orman is better funded than Taylor was and according to one recent poll actually leads Roberts in a head to head competition, which is what...

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(Updated with Reactions) Reports that  ISIS Has Killed Steven Sotloff
Sep03
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The Tone Deaf President
Sep03

The Tone Deaf President

I voted for him twice and must say he has terribly disappointed me. Of course, his opponents for the presidency were uninspiring and I believed Obama would do a better job. But in so many areas his indecisiveness has become painful for Americans and he certainly does not project an image of youthful vitality and strength. His ability to say the wrong thing, procrastinate, and do the wrong thing in his role as president are legion....

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(Update) The VA Scandal — A Postscript
Aug25

(Update) The VA Scandal — A Postscript

Update: Today, during his remarks at the American Legion’s 96th National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, President Obama is expected to announce 19 new executive actions that the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Defense (DoD) are taking to improve the mental health of service members, veterans and their families. According to DoD: Today’s announcement builds on the actions the Departments have taken in response to the...

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(Updated) The President and John Kerry on Foley’s Murder
Aug20

(Updated) The President and John Kerry on Foley’s Murder

Update: Apparently, the U.S. had attempted a rescue operation to free Foley and other American hostages held in Syria by ISIL. Sadly, the mission failed “because hostages were not present at the targeted location” Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement announcing the unsuccessful mission, “the U.S. government will not tolerate the abduction of its people and will work tirelessly to secure the safety of...

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Obama’s hard choices: Islamic State or just terrorists?
Aug20

Obama’s hard choices: Islamic State or just terrorists?

President Barack Obama will have to act more forcefully and quickly in both Iraq and Syria if he does decide to take the fight to the Islamic State to preempt a barbaric fortress of anti-Western terrorists. James Foley’s gruesome beheading underscores the urgency of unambiguous actions. First, he will have to clarify whether he sees IS as terrorism in new guise or a qualitatively different bid for statehood capable of undermining the...

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ISIS Releases Video of Execution, Alleges Victim is American Journalist James Foley
Aug19

ISIS Releases Video of Execution, Alleges Victim is American Journalist James Foley

A video released Tuesday by militant Islamic extremist group ISIS depicts the violent execution of a man alleged to be missing American journalist James Foley, who was kidnapped in Syria last year. Foley, 39, was taken while working for Agence France Presse. AFP has no comment at this time, AFP’s Chief Editor for North America told… ISIS Releases Video of Execution, Alleges Victim is American Journalist James...

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(Updates) Another ‘Oops’ for Perry
Aug19

(Updates) Another ‘Oops’ for Perry

Gov. Rick Perry’s booking photo, Aug. 19, 2014. Courtesy Travis County Sheriff’s Office Update II: Under a celebratory, almost victorious atmosphere, a defiant Texas governor Rick Perry arrived at the Travis County justice complex in Austin, Texas, this afternoon and spoke to a cheering crowd before entering the courthouse to be booked, fingerprinted and having his mug shot taken. Perry exited the booking room about 20...

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Iraqi and Kurdish Forces Backed By U.S. Air Power Recapture Mosul Dam
Aug18

Iraqi and Kurdish Forces Backed By U.S. Air Power Recapture Mosul Dam

Water flows down the Mosul Dam chute spillway May 14, 2003. The spillway was built with a “ski-jump” section to dissipate the energy of outflowing water. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Brendan Stephens The Mosul Dam in northern Iraq, the fourth largest in the Middle East, is an immensely strategic asset, resource and target, as it captures the flow of the Tigris River, providing flood control, water and electricity to Mosul’s 1.7...

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Report:  Michael Brown Autopsy Finds He Was Shot 6 Times, Twice in the Head
Aug18

Report: Michael Brown Autopsy Finds He Was Shot 6 Times, Twice in the Head

BREAKING NEWS: The New York Times is reporting that Michael Brown was shot six times, twice in the head and four times in the right arm and torso. An indepedent autopsy was performed by Dr. Michael Baden on the family’s behalf. One bullet entered the top of the skull. No bullets were fired into his back. That contradicts what Brown’s friend, Dorian Johnson, said. One of the bullets entered the top of Mr. Brown’s skull,...

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Uh, Guys? You might want to rethink that headline …
Aug17

Uh, Guys? You might want to rethink that headline …

I suppose that they are inured to it in Missouri. But this conjures an entirely inappropriate image to mind. click here for the original But allow me to make one thing perfectly clear … Besides, Watergaiety certainly seems in step with the zeitgeist. Courage. Nota Bene: It’s on the newspaper’s site, as well, but that link will expire soon. This is cross-posted from Mr Williams’ “lively” blog: his...

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Iraqi ambitions could upend Obama’s plans
Aug17

Iraqi ambitions could upend Obama’s plans

Under the “no American boots” plan, a very stable, cohesive and inclusive regime is required in Baghdad to fight like a military juggernaut on the ground under leadership consensual enough to dismantle the Islamic State. If this is the plan’s long haul backbone, the Islamic State is unlikely to be crushed definitively. At best, it may be contained and denied more territory. That means a heavily militarized IS would continue to exist...

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Islamic State: the primal war
Aug15

Islamic State: the primal war

With “Yes, we can” optimism, the Obama White House now expects Kurd, Sunni and Shia Iraqis to forget their centuries-old distrust to become its frontline soldiers in a primal war to restore the order of State entities imposed by the West over the Middle East a century ago. The self-proclaimed Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s Islamic State has already destroyed that order. It has erased the frontier between Syria and Iraq, in...

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Gaza: Let the UN help
Aug12

Gaza: Let the UN help

The shaky ceasefire in Gaza gives opportunity for limited accords on structuring a longer truce. The core need is for an honest partner to reach the first steps. The vital immediate step is establishment of an administrative, policing and monitoring structure to ensure that weapons and related materials do not enter Gaza at border crossings with Egypt or a planned new harbor. There is no honest partner whose credibility is accepted by...

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Have America’s Universities Lost Their Way?
Aug12

Have America’s Universities Lost Their Way?

Once upon a time the United States had the best educational system in the world, American universities as its crowning achievement. During that period, universities understood that their primary mission was education, with research as a secondary objective. Today, however, many of America’s largest universities have changed their paramount goal, with athletic pre-eminence in football and basketball now the central driving force...

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The Kurds, ISIL, and Iraq’s Icosahedron Triangle of Interests (L’Orient Le Jour, Lebanon)
Aug08

The Kurds, ISIL, and Iraq’s Icosahedron Triangle of Interests (L’Orient Le Jour, Lebanon)

Whose fighting who – and whose helping who, in the geopolitical maze called Iraq? L’Orient Le Jour columnist Christian Merville outlines the latest baffling wrinkle in the quagmire, suggesting that, despite the fact that they appear to be under attack by ISIL, the Kurdish Peshmerga, thought to be extremely close to the Americans, may in fact be cooperating with none other than that very same ISIL, aka/the Islamic State in...

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(Continued Updates) Air Operations in Iraq
Aug08

(Continued Updates) Air Operations in Iraq

For some background, scroll down to the end – Statement by Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby on Airstrikes in Iraq At approximately 6:45 a.m. EDT, the U.S. military conducted a targeted airstrike against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists. . Two F/A-18 aircraft dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on a mobile artillery piece near Erbil. ISIL was using this artillery to shell Kurdish forces...

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Prolonging the Gaza ceasefire
Aug06

Prolonging the Gaza ceasefire

High hopes rest on the two-day old Gaza ceasefire that might hold for its third and final day tomorrow as negotiators work in Cairo to find a pathway to prolonging it. But Hamas and other resistance fighters have not been sufficiently bloodied to make them sue for a longer ceasefire while more lasting peace is far out of sight. The blood of Gaza civilians has flowed more copiously than in past wars, not of the fighters who have...

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