Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thursday's Blitz

(like music to the ears

"Belgium tightens security after failed Brussels bombing" by Raf Casert and Lori Hinnant Associated Press  June 21, 2017

BRUSSELS — The weapons are increasingly ordinary — rented vehicles, nails and canisters, store-bought knives. A series of small-scale attacks has left Europeans trying to balance their desire not to give in to extremism with a persistent anxiety that it could strike at any time.

Even though a nail bomb didn’t fully go off in Brussels Central Station late Tuesday and failed to hit dozens of commuters close by, it didn’t stop fear going up a further notch.

Don't you know there is a war on?

Isn't Brussels the capital of NATO?

And across Western Europe where the summer tourism season is about to start, the challenge is how to deal with it without having a big impact on daily life.

‘‘We have to see in what kind of society we want to live in,’’ said Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon. ‘‘Today it is train stations. Tomorrow all subway stations and the day after all city halls. Will we have to arm, protect, control all that? Is that the type of society we want,’’ he asked.

More like is that the kind of society are we going to get, and if the ma$$ media keeps pushing this propaganda narrative full of lies that are accepted by all authority, yeah, it will be a total police state. Almost there anyway. Maybe these are providing the finishing touches.

Still, for Wednesday at least, more security was the way to go. 

Thanks to all these staged and scripted crisis drills going live, the false flag frame-ups and hoaxes, and whatever else in in their chest of psyop tools.

‘‘Extra security measures have been decided for the coming hours and days,’’ said Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel after a 36-year-old Moroccan national shouting ‘‘Allahu akbar’’ set a bomb among commuters. The bomb didn’t detonate in full and a soldier shot the man dead.

You know, the Allabu ahkahar or whatever is pure giveaway, sorry.

Those measures come on top of ones that have been in place under the second highest level of terror alert since twin bomb attacks killed 32 people in Brussels in March last year.

Then someone broke into the crime lab and stole all the evidence? 

Must have been a GLADIO operation (Europeans will know what I mean).

In sweltering heat, fans lined up early for security checks as they attended the first of two concerts by the band Coldplay at the 50,000-seater King Baudouin Stadium on Wednesday night, with the concerts becoming another test of police security and public mettle.

It's all -- ALL -- staged theater!

In Paris, a day after a man with a bomb-rigged car tried to attack gendarmes on the Champs-Elysees, the iconic shopping avenue was filled with French and foreign visitors.

The succession of attacks in western European capitals like London, Paris, and Brussels has become so numbing that Paris criminology professor Alain Bauer is comparing it to living in London during World War II when German planes would relentlessly bomb the city in what became known as the Blitz.

‘‘The question that was asked was not to know whether there would be bombings, but how to endure them, resist against them, stand up against them with the idea that at the end, they would win,’’ Bauer said of Londoners during the Blitz.

Even though attacks like the November 2015 series in Paris that killed 130 have not returned, a different way to spread terror has come.

‘‘We have gone from hyperterrorism or gigaterrorism to lumpenterrorism, low-intensity terrorism of proximity, with few victims but with a strong media amplification,’’ Bauer said.

There you go. You run the numbers and you are more likely to have a banker scam you or 

‘‘A failed attack, a successful attack, an attack that has one victim or one that has 100, has the same media coverage,’’ securing success for the attackers, Bauer said.

OMG! The "terrorists" have been reduced to this after the spectacular grandeur of 9/11. How pathetic.

Still, people are starting to adapt to the attacks.

By tuning all this out like me?

Remy Bonnaffe had just walked away from the timetable board at Brussels Central Station late Tuesday when he heard a loud bang and saw a flame. He took time to take a photo, thinking it could be useful to warn other commuters on Twitter about further delays. 

Oh, no. I'm not.

It's another fake, folks. 

Coming at you one after another, every damn day now!!!!!!!

‘‘With all these events happening, at least for myself I have been thinking a lot ‘what would I do if I would be in a situation like this’,’’ he said in an interview with The Associated Press. ‘‘There were a couple of things I was really thinking about doing, like looking for cover and finding the nearest exit and things like that.’’ 

But let make stop and take a picture with my phone! Jiminy Crickets!!

It is a kind of way of life that Prime Minister Michel says more and more people have to adapt to. ‘‘In three years we have been confronted with several attacks or attempts and we say the zero risk does not exist.’’

I have. I no longer go to mall shopping centers or into cities.



"British Prime Minister Theresa May suggested she was willing to soften her approach to leaving the European Union as businesses generally welcomed the prime minister’s softer rhetoric, while calling for her to provide more detail....."

As predicted here before the election.

Also see:

JPMorgan Chase expanding in Dublin after Brexit

British media report that Prince Philip has been admitted to a hospital

He wants to be a genocidal virus upon reincarnation so live, damn you, live! I wonder how much children's blood they are pumping into those old coots to keep 'em alive.

"French terrorism threat lets Macron keep broad police powers" by Gregory Viscusi Bloomberg News  June 21, 2017

France has lived under emergency law for 20 months now, and human-rights groups are warning that President Emmanuel Macron is using the threat of terrorism as an excuse to make the special powers permanent.

That's the first play in the playbook going back to the first tyrant in the first village.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has confirmed he wants to give police enhanced powers to order searches and house arrests, arguing the terror threat isn’t about to fade any time soon. With the French government due to announce on Thursday which elements of the emergency rules will be written into the regular legal code, rights groups are calling foul.

When are the French going to get off their asses about this?

Emergency rule was imposed by then-President Francois Hollande in November 2015 after a series of terror attacks in and around Paris by Islamic State militants left 130 dead. It was due to expire in July 2016 after the European soccer championships in France, but was extended after a truck driver who may also have been inspired by Islamic State plowed into a crowd in Nice on July 14 murdering 86.

I get tired of finding past links to these cited pieces of psyop propaganda. All meant to trigger a reaction in you and supply the narrative for the agenda.

France received a reminder of the ongoing threat they face on Monday when a man who was on a terror watch list rammed a car into a police van on the Champs Elysees in central Paris. No police were injured, and the man was killed when his vehicle caught fire.

Yeah, how you like getting jerked around over there? 

In neighboring Belgium, soldiers shot a suspected assailant after a minor explosion at the central train station in Brussels caused mass panic but didn’t injure anyone.

The state of emergency allows the police to impose wiretaps, put people under house arrest, carry out home and computer searches, ban public gatherings, and close places of worship without first seeking approval from a judge. It will also update French law to give authorities more access to airline passenger records, a measure approved by the European parliament in 2016 but still to be transcribed into national law in some member states.

One of the first steps taken by Macron’s government after his May election was to extend emergency rule until November, saying the government needed time to update the regular legal code to keep the French safe. Philippe, in an interview Tuesday with BFM TV, confirmed that almost all the main elements of emergency law would become part of the legal code. He said there would be judicial review but was unclear about at what stage a judge’s approval would be necessary. 

Why did you guys bother to get rid of the Germans then?

‘‘The French want us to tell them the truth, which is that we are going to live for a long time with a high terrorist risk,’’ Philippe said. ‘‘The issue is how we organize to live with this risk, and make it disappear. We can’t stay forever under emergency rule, we have to leave, but we have to do it so that in leaving emergency rule certain extremely rare but serious situations can be dealt with using legal instruments.’’ 


It's supposed to be all about our freedoms, blah, blah, and here the government is taking them away!

As a candidate, Macron several times said France couldn’t remain under a constant state of emergency.

Philippe and other members of Macron’s government have given assurances that the new powers would be limited to terrorism suspects. Shortly after emergency rule was declared in 2015, police in western France used it to detain and search people who had participated in protests against the proposed construction of an airport near Nantes. 

We were told that 16 years ago and now they are handing out parking tickets while collecting all the data from the cameras.

‘‘With the sole aim of preventing acts of terrorism, this proposed law will allow a real equilibrium between the necessary security of our citizens and the protection of our individual liberties,’’ Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said in an interview in Le Figaro published Wednesday, adding that 690 French people remain with Islamic State in Syria, about a third of them women and children.

‘‘The threat remains very high,’’ he said.


Good thing none of the fear affected the air $how:

"Boeing Co. secured twice as much in order value at the Paris Air Show as rival Airbus SE, marking the US plane maker’s first victory in five years at the aviation industry’s annual showcase. Boeing won orders and expressions of interest for about 370 planes worth as much as $52 billion in the three days through Wednesday, getting a boost from demand for the Max 10, the biggest version of its 737 workhorse. Airbus, which posted a tally of 229 airliners valued at about $25 billion, dismissed the setback and said it was focusing on meeting delivery targets to make up for production snags rather than seeking new purchasers."

UPDATEWhipped cream dispenser explodes, killing French Instagram fitness model

It IS being investigated as an ACT of TERROR!!

"Romania’s Government Falls Amid a Party Power Struggle" New York Times   June 22, 2017

Romania’s most powerful political party ousted its own prime minister Wednesday, throwing the country, which witnessed giant anticorruption protests this year, into new political turmoil.

The governing party, the Social Democrats, has been embroiled in an internecine feud, one that now threatens the fragile political stability of the country.

The center-left party won a comfortable victory in December and formed a coalition government. But it angered many Romanians when it proposed legislation that would have essentially pardoned officials imprisoned for bribery and raised the financial threshold above which official misconduct is punishable by prison. The proposals ignited the largest protests in the country since the fall of Communism in 1989.

See: Romanian Revolution

Meanwhile, the party has been split by a power struggle between the prime minister, Sorin Grindeanu, and the party’s leader, Liviu Dragnea. Dragnea cannot serve as prime minister because of a conviction for vote fraud, but he is widely considered the power behind the scenes.

Last week, most of Grindeanu’s Cabinet resigned, and Grindeanu was expelled from the party, after Dragnea withdrew his support for the prime minister. But Grindeanu hung on, hoping to stay in power.

On Wednesday morning, Parliament passed a resolution of no confidence in Grindeanu’s government by a vote of 241-10. Opposition parties abstained from the vote. The vote automatically brought down the government.


Is it because they are not on board as a southern front and flank re: Russia?



"NATO fighter jets buzz plane carrying Russia’s defense minister" by Ivan Nechepurenko New York Times   June 22, 2017

MOSCOW — NATO denied acting aggressively or knowing that the defense minister was on board.

The confrontation was the latest of many over the Baltics, a heavily militarized area where Russian and NATO jets regularly jostle. The high-altitude encounter raised new fears about the possibility of an aerial conflict — whether intentional or accidental — during a time of particularly high tensions between Moscow and the West. 

Depends on your perspective. I'm sure in certain quarters it raised a lot of hope.

The Russian defense minister, Sergey K. Shoigu, was flying to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad when the face-off with the NATO jet occurred, Russian media reported.

NATO planes “attempted to escort” the plane carrying Shoigu over the Baltic Sea, according to an account by the Russian news agency Tass, which had a reporter on board at the time.

“One of the NATO planes tried to approach the defense minister’s aircraft, but a Russian Su-27 fighter jet inserted itself in the middle and tilted its wings from side to side to show its weapons,” the agency reported. “The F-16 then flew away.”

He blinked!

A video of the faceoff, published by the Russian news channel Zvezda, showed one fighter jet pushing another away from the minister’s plane.

In a statement, NATO said it had acted appropriately.

“NATO can confirm that three Russian aircraft, including two fighters, were tracked over the Baltic Sea earlier today,” it said. “As the aircraft did not identify themselves or respond to air traffic control, NATO fighter jets scrambled to identify them, according to standard procedures. NATO has no information as to who was on board.”

I believe NATO about as much as I believe the U.S. government, and that is to say not at all.

Asked whether the Russian pilots had provoked the encounter, NATO said: “We assess the Russian pilots’ behavior as safe and professional.”

Meaning NATO was in the wrong.

The encounter occurred against the backdrop of a military buildup in the Baltics. The Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, which became independent after the breakup of the Soviet Union, joined NATO in 2004 and, along with Poland, are at the front lines of what some critics have called a Cold War-style chill.

Last fall, Russia deployed nuclear-capable ballistic missiles to Kaliningrad, between Lithuania and Poland, and the United States and its NATO allies have stepped up military exercises and deployed troops in the region.

We can all see what is coming.

Shoigu, after landing in Kaliningrad, where he met with Russian military commanders, accused the West of endangering global security.

“Some countries are seeking to use military force as a tool to achieve geopolitical goals, apart from political, informational, and economic pressure,” Shoigu said, alluding to the Western sanctions imposed against Russia after its 2014 operations in Ukraine. “These unjustified actions of our Western colleagues lead to the destruction of the security system in the world,” he added. “It increases mutual distrust and forces us to respond.”


Look who they just picked up as an ally:

"China’s Trump honeymoon could be nearing end" by Steven Lee Myers New York Times   June 21, 2017

BEIJING — Beijing must now confront the prospect of a stormier relationship ahead — not just over North Korea but also tougher stands on trade, currency and the South China Sea that President Trump set aside as he sought President Xi Jinping’s help with Pyongyang.

Oh, man!

“While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out,” Trump wrote on Twitter this week, before a high-level meeting of Chinese and US officials Wednesday in Washington, signaling a harder line.


What a jerk! 

Is that what the J. stands for? 

After they just approved Ivanka's trademarks, too!

Trump did not detail what might follow that conclusion, but the options on the table with North Korea — including more coercive sanctions that could target Chinese companies trading with the country, a military buildup and even the use of force — are all deeply objectionable to Beijing.  

Now THAT strikes me as WEIRD given yesterday's reporting:

"When a senior US official visits North Korea, it is usually taken as a sign that tensions between the adversaries are easing somewhat. That is particularly true when the official brings home a newly freed American captive, but analysts said anger over Pyongyang’s “awful, torturous mistreatment” of their son would dim, if not scuttle, any prospect of a less antagonistic relationship in the near future. Other analysts said that however horrific the case might be, the Trump administration was unlikely to let it upset the momentum toward dialogue it has built. They stopped short of announcing fresh sanctions in response. Warmbier’s death comes at a delicate time in international diplomacy surrounding North Korea. Senior Chinese and American officials are due to meet in Washington this week, and US officials planned to press their counterparts to do more to rein in Pyongyang’s nuclear pursuits. China, North Korea’s main ally, is a strong advocate for negotiations, and Warmbier’s death seemed unlikely to change that. At a daily news briefing in Beijing, a Foreign Ministry spokesman called the death “really a tragedy” but stopped short of reprimanding North Korea. Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing, said that China would not punish North Korea over a human rights issue. “What makes China take steps is a missile or nuclear test, not the death of an American student,” he said..... "

We go from not wanting to upset dialogue to I'm done talking to you in 24 hours. 

What changed?

At the same time, Trump had previously suggested he was holding off on getting tough on China’s trade policies in return for Xi’s help with reining in North Korea, often engaging in public flattery of the leader. Now, Xi and his colleagues in Beijing must ask — again — whether Trump is serious about the threats he made on the campaign trail.

I guess it is whatever mood he finds himself in. He very well may be mentally deranged.

The prospect of a rockier relationship is particularly sensitive now as Xi prepares to preside over the Communist Party’s 19th National Party Congress in the fall. While Xi’s reelection to a second five-year term as president is not in doubt, he is said to want to use the gathering to consolidate his authority and reshuffle the leadership, and he does not want any foreign crises to be distractions.

“What Trump is saying is, I don’t need you on North Korea now, and therefore maybe we should have it out on these other issues, like trade,” said John Delury, an expert on China and the Koreas at Yonsei University in Seoul.

The official response from China was fairly muted, though strained.

I respect them for that. You certainly don't see that here at this blog.

“I have to say that the crux of the Korean Peninsula problem and the focal point of the conflict is not China,” a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Geng Shuang, said at a briefing Wednesday.

The statement by Trump, although couched in appreciative words for Xi, surprised and annoyed analysts in Beijing. China had taken significant steps to tighten trade with the North, they said, and the United States had, as always, not given sanctions enough time to take effect.

And I have to tell you, it takes a heck of a lot to annoy them, so if you do.... check the bottom of your shoes, will ya'?


Look at that, Trump with fist up!! 

Know what the Boxer rebellion was, Don?! 

While in China's neighborhood:

"Philippine rebels escape from school after hostages freed" AP  June 22, 2017

KIDAPAWAN, Philippines — Muslim rebels fled after freeing dozens of hostages from a school in a southern Philippine village on Wednesday and were being pursued by army troops, as a daylong crisis eased in in the volatile region, officials said.

Gunmen from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters prepared to attack troop outposts but were repelled by government forces early Wednesday, prompting them to seize villagers as human shields in Malagakit village in North Cotabato province, military officials said.

At least four rebels were killed and two government militiamen were wounded in the fighting, which caused nearly 1,000 villagers in Malagakit and two nearby villages to flee to safety, the officials said.

The retreating gunmen, estimated by the military and police to number from 200 to 300, later occupied a Malagakit grade school building, where they sporadically traded shots with troops up to nightfall, said local army spokesman Captain Arvin Encinas.

During a lull, 31 people, including a dozen children, were allowed to dash to freedom to escape from the school.


The U.S. troop presence on the island in an effort to combat ISIS is nothing more than prepositioning and troop movements during WWIII.


Back to the main battlefront:

"Kushner begins first solo Mideast trip with meetings with Israelis, Palestinians" by Josef Federman Associated Press  June 21, 2017

JERUSALEM — President Trump’s son-in-law and chief Middle East adviser, Jared Kushner, made his first solo visit Wednesday to the region, holding separate meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in an attempt to restart long-dormant peace talks.

Gee, first the tech job and now this.

There was no immediate word on the meetings, which are aimed at laying the groundwork for a resumption of negotiations for the first time in three years.

The Trump administration faces the same obstacles that have doomed previous attempts by a string of Republican and Democratic administrations: deep disagreements over key issues such as borders, dueling claims to Jerusalem and the fate of millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

But Kushner enjoys some advantages that could allow him to make at least some progress. Trump made a successful visit to the region last month and appears to have forged a good working relationship with both sides.

The new atmosphere of goodwill, along with concerns of potentially provoking the unpredictable president, could give Trump leverage in extracting concessions from the sides.

Kushner, whose family has a long relationship with Netanyahu, met with the Israeli leader in Jerusalem before heading to the West Bank city of Ramallah for a late-night meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Netanyahu’s office released a short video showing Kushner, along with envoy Jason Greenblatt and US Ambassador David Friedman, arriving at the Israeli premier’s office in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu warmly greeted Kushner with a smile and hug. ‘‘This is an opportunity to pursue our common goals of security, prosperity and peace,’’ Netanyahu said.

‘‘The president sends his best regards and it’s an honor to be here with you,’’ Kushner said.

Reporters were barred from covering the meetings and did not have an opportunity to ask Kushner questions.

What they were allowed to cover:

"Robert Kraft’s journey through Israel continues, with the New England Patriots owner meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In a video posted Tuesday to Netanyahu’s official Twitter page, the two appear onstage together at an event, with the prime minister tossing a football into the audience at one point. Netanyahu also spent a portion of the event likening his approach to peace policy to the pre-game preparations of NFL players. “You seek peace, but you’ve got to be strong,” he told the room full of former players. “If you’re not strong, you’ll never get peace, and if you’re not strong, you’ll be in war and turmoil. And the worst thing is, you lose. “I’m sure that when you prepare for your games, you don’t say, ‘Well, do I need to be strong, fast, nimble?’ Is that a question? No. Your game is not different from ours. The only difference is, if we lose, the consequences are immutable.” The event was part of the NFL’s “Touchdown in Israel II” tour, designed to expand the league’s global reach. Along with Kraft, 18 NFL Hall of Famers made the trip, including Joe Montana, Jim Brown, and Chris Carter."

Also seeIn Mexico, Edelman and Amendola mug with a surly looking feline

Oy vey

How much tax loot he costs us?

Trump has tasked Kushner with the ambitious goal of laying the groundwork for what he calls the ‘‘ultimate deal’’ — but deep divisions remain, clouding chances of a significant breakthrough in one of the longest Mideast crises.

This month marked the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Six Day War — a seminal event in which Israel captured the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

The White House appeared to play down expectations for a breakthrough ahead of the visit, saying that ‘‘forging a historic peace agreement will take time’’ and that Kushner and Greenblatt will likely make ‘‘many visits’’ to the region.

Israel is happy with the status quo. They keep expanding.

For now, the United States is expected to pressure each side to make goodwill gestures in hopes of improving the overall climate.

That means putting pressure on Israel to restrain its construction of settlements on occupied lands sought by the Palestinians. It also could mean working with Israel to take new steps to help improve the struggling Palestinian economy, such as easing restrictions to allow more development of West Bank lands.

At a security conference on Tuesday, Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon spoke of the need for economic cooperation and said he was open to promoting Palestinian development as long as it does not threaten Israeli security.

‘‘I personally believe that the most important thing between people is mutual trust,’’ Kahlon said. ‘‘The Palestinians can hear me say no and refuse some requests, but whenever daily life can be improved, I am there.’’

That is why they just cut the power in Gaza.

The Palestinians, meanwhile, will come under pressure to halt what Israel sees as incitement to violence in their official media, speeches, and social media.

Israel has also demanded that the Palestinians stop making welfare payments to families of militants who are either imprisoned or were killed while committing attacks on Israelis. Israel says the so-called ‘‘Martyrs’ Fund’’ provides an incentive for Palestinian violence.

Even before Kushner’s meetings began, there were signs of trouble.

On the eve of his arrival, Israel broke ground on a new West Bank settlement for residents of an illegally built outpost that was dismantled in February under orders from the Supreme Court. 

Don't take it personally, they do that to all administrations. Just letting you know who is really in charge, and it was nothing but smiles and hugs.

Netanyahu had vowed to compensate the residents of Amona with the new settlement, built on a nearby site in the northern West Bank.

‘‘The people of Amona really appreciate his efforts and the efforts from his office in fulfilling this commitment that started to come alive to create this new community,’’ said Avichai Boaron, a spokesman for the settlers.

The move has infuriated the Palestinians, who say all settlements are illegal obstacles to peace. The international community also widely opposes the settlements.

Israel doesn't have to obey international law, or have you not been paying attention?

‘‘This is the way Netanyahu is meeting Trump’s envoys,’’ said Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian official. ‘‘The real question here is will the administration of Trump tell Israel that it is enough and they have to stop immediately all settlement activities, or they will accept this Israeli provocation?’’

After arriving early Wednesday, Kushner paid a condolence visit to the grieving family of a young female Israeli police officer who was killed by Palestinian attackers last weekend in Jerusalem. Kushner said Trump asked him to personally convey the condolences of the American people. 

And for Israel's Palestinian victims?

Thousands attended Hadas Malka’s funeral on Saturday night. Netanyahu visited her grieving family on Sunday and called the 23-year-old woman ‘‘everybody’s daughter and everybody’s hero.’’ He also criticized Abbas for not condemning the attack.

The US Embassy said the visit was private and gave no further details.


That's odd; my printed paper had a photo of him sitting across from Abass.

"Saudi Arabia Rewrites Succession as King Replaces Heir With Son, 31" New York Times  June 22, 2017

BEIRUT — King Salman of Saudi Arabia promoted his 31-year-old son, Mohammed bin Salman, to be next in line to the throne Wednesday, further empowering an ambitious leader who has upended the ruling family at a time of deep Saudi involvement in conflicts across the Middle East.

He was essentially running things anyway, so.... not really news. Just official.

The king’s decision to remove the previous crown prince, Mohammed bin Nayef, 57, capped more than two years of changes that have erased decades of royal custom and reordered the power structure inside the kingdom, a close US ally. And it came as Saudi Arabia was already grappling with low oil prices, and intensifying hostilities both with Iran and in its own circle of Sunni Arab states.

Yeah, and the price is again falling.

In sweeping aside Mohammed bin Nayef in favor of his son, the king marginalized a large cadre of older princes, many with foreign educations and decades of government experience that the younger prince lacks.

Mohammed bin Salman’s swift rise and growing influence had already rankled other princes who accused him of undermining Mohammed bin Nayef. But such complaints are likely to remain private in a ruling family that prizes stability above all else.

“A lot of people are happy that a younger generation is coming to power, but those who are upset are the older generation, no doubt about it, who are not used to this kind of dramatic change,” said Joseph A. Kechichian, a senior fellow at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies. “Even if people are uncomfortable, at the end of the day this is a monarchical decision, and people will either have to accept the new arrangement or they will essentially have to keep their mouths shut.”

His supporters praise him as working hard to fulfill a hopeful vision for the kingdom’s future. His critics fear that his inexperience has embroiled Saudi Arabia in costly problems.



"The warm ties forged between Riyadh and Washington under the Trump administration may have helped accelerate Mohammed bin Salman’s ascension as crown prince. The newly minted crown prince also raised eyebrows when he ruled out any chance of dialogue with Iran. In remarks aired on Saudi TV in May, Mohammed bin Salman framed the tensions with Iran in sectarian terms, saying it is Iran’s goal “to control the Islamic world” and to spread its Shiite doctrine. He also vowed to take “the battle” to Iran...." 

All smiles, 'eh? 

As for taking the battle to them.....

See: Trump's First Foreign Trip

Also see: Residue of Trump's Trip

"ISIS Is Said to Destroy Historic al-Nuri Mosque in Mosul" by Falih Hassan and Tim Arango New York Times  June 22, 2017

BAGHDAD — The Islamic State on Wednesday night destroyed Mosul’s centuries-old al-Nuri Grand Mosque and its distinctive leaning minaret, one of Iraq’s most famous landmarks, according to the Iraqi and US militaries.

That brings tears to my eyes. 

Something else altogether is happening here, and it is the destruction of a culture (jwho benefits?). The mosque stood for centuries of sectarianism, was protected by Hussein in a Kurdish area. All respected it. And now, with USraeli-backed ISIS in the area the place gets destroyed?

Shortly after the military’s report, the terrorist group used its news agency to claim that the mosque had actually been destroyed by an American airstrike. 

That's what I saw on BBC, too, and who knows? Probably true, U.S. has done it before, but since when is the terrorists news agency given credit?

Col. Ryan Dillon, a US military spokesman in Baghdad, said that the coalition had confirmed, through drone surveillance footage, that the mosque had been destroyed. “We don’t know how,” said Dillon, who added that the coalition was investigating.

‘‘We did not conduct strikes in that area at that time,’’ Dillon told the Associated Press. 

Is there anyone out there that believes what says the Pentagon?

Shortly afterward, the US Central Command issued a statement bluntly accusing the Islamic State of destroying the mosque. Major General Joseph Martin, the US commander for the operation, said in the statement, “This is a crime against the people of Mosul and all of Iraq, and is an example of why this brutal organization must be annihilated.”

All this double-talk coming from these cretinous creeps.

The mosque is where the Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ascended a pulpit in 2014 and announced declared a caliphate after his fighters took control of Mosul and swept through other areas of northern Iraq and Syria.

The destruction of the mosque and minaret — which are pictured on Iraq’s 10,000-dinar bank note — is another blow to the city’s rich cultural heritage and its plethora of ancient sites that have been damaged or destroyed during three years of Islamic State rule.

Remember the Golden Dome?

I remember something about an antichrist and his seven-year reign that would destroy Babylon, and I think Bush. From Sept 2001 to Nov 2008, right? He's come and gone and you never knew it, and we had Obama and now Trump to continue his work.

Throughout the territory it controls, the Islamic State has routinely used mosques for battlefield purposes. Mosque minarets have been used as sniper nests, with prayer halls turned into bomb-making factories and courtyards used to store the group’s weapons.

Yeah, we had to bomb them.

The battle for control of Mosul, which has raged for months, was closing in on the part of the Old City where al-Nuri mosque is. Capturing the mosque would have provided an important symbolic moment for the Iraqi security forces, who have taken heavy casualties in day after day of urban street battles and ambushes by the Islamic State.

The mosque was built by Nur al-Din Mahmoud Zangi, a ruler who in the 12th century unified Arab forces against crusaders from Europe.

Islamic State fighters initially attempted to destroy the minaret in July 2014. The militants said the structure contradicted their fundamentalist interpretation of Islam, but Mosul residents converged on the area and formed a human chain to protect it. Militants demolished dozens of historic and archeological sites in and around Mosul, saying they promoted idolatry.

And yet now it has been destroyed. At least that sadness was filled with some hope. Allah bless them.

Progress to take over the Old City has been slow as the last Islamic State militants are holed up with an estimated 100,000 civilians according to the United Nations.

Earlier this month Mosul residents reported fighters began sealing off the area around the mosque. Residents said Islamic State fighters ordered families living in the area to evacuate in preparation for a final stand.

The fight to retake Mosul was launched more than eight months ago and has displaced more than 850,000 people. While Iraqi forces have experienced periods of swift gains, combat inside the city has been grueling and deadly for both Iraqi forces and civilians....

At least the food has gotten better.


"How war brought cholera and polio back to the Middle East" by Louisa Loveluck Washington Post  June 22, 2017

BEIRUT — As war ravages public health systems in Yemen and Syria, doctors are treating epidemics and diseases they once thought were things of the past.

In Yemen, it is cholera, a bacterial disease spreading so fast, about 160,000 people have been fallen sick since April.

In Syria, it is polio, almost two decades after government efforts to eradicate the illness were hailed as a textbook example of a good practice. 

Iraqis once had the best standard of living in the region. That was pre-1991. 

Thank you, Obummer!

Yemen’s health network has virtually collapsed during a two-year war that has left more than 10,000 people dead and displaced millions more. Around half of the country’s medical facilities have been closed or destroyed, mostly by Saudi-led airstrikes, and despite aid agencies’ best efforts, only 30 percent of required medical supplies are being imported into the country.

Against that backdrop, the World Health Organization said this week that its doctors were witnessing cholera on an ‘‘unprecedented scale.’’ If left untreated, the illness causes fatal dehydration. The UN has recorded 166,976 suspected cases since mid-April. By Tuesday, the death toll had risen to at least 1,146.

Still hasn't topped Haiti.

Cholera is not difficult to treat. Nor does it travel fast when water is clean and conditions sanitary.

But Yemen’s crumbling economy — another byproduct of war — has halted the salaries of public servants, meaning that garbage collection has become irregular, and more than eight million people now lack access to safe drinking water. 

I'm seeing war crimes.

Those conditions have created ‘‘a perfect storm for disaster,’’ according to Mansour Rageh, the chief economist for the Beirut-based Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies.

‘‘Everything has knock-on consequences. The economy is in turmoil so civil servants don’t get their salaries. Civil servants don’t get their salaries so the waste doesn’t get cleared. Then cholera spreads, and Yemen doesn’t have the means to treat it. It’s a disaster,’’ he said.

Much of Syria’s health system has also been crippled by war. In areas controlled by armed groups opposing President Bashar Assad’s government, hospitals and clinics have been bombed systematically.

Terrorists hiding there.

Hundreds of medical workers have also been killed, mostly by pro-government forces. Earlier this year, the Lancet medical journal described Syria as ‘‘the most dangerous place on Earth for healthcare providers.’’

If you say so, WaPo war pre$$.

Diseases have often spread along conflict lines as aid agencies struggle to consistently deliver vaccinations and other lifesaving medical services to millions of Syrians living in areas controlled by the opposition or Islamic State.

The World Health Organization said this week that it had confirmed 15 new cases of polio, including a child who may have caught the disease in the Islamic State-held capital of Raqqa.

‘‘We are very worried, because obviously if there is already one case of polio of a kid that is paralyzed it’s already an outbreak. We know for example that for one kid that is paralyzed there are almost 200 asymptomatic so it means that virus circulating, so it is very serious,’’ WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said at a UN briefing on Tuesday.

United Nations aid trucks are being prepared to ship polio vaccine into Deir al-Zour province, where US-led coalition airstrikes have surged in recent months as Washington and Tehran-backed forces race to capture the area from the Islamic State.

So Iran is an ally now?

But health experts say the damage is already done. A disease might be contained in one area but still pop up in another.

The Syrian American Medical Society, a nonprofit, said this week that the vaccination gap has also caused measles to spread.

In the rebel-held south, dozens of cases have been detected, even among children who had been vaccinated.

Meaning the vaccine is likely where they got it. Good Lord!!!

This whole thing looks like slow, silent genocide being delivered by those espousing help. Who do you think brought them the wars, or does nothing to stop them?

For civilians across Yemen and Syria, displacement and hunger have also accelerated the spread of disease.

‘‘Malnutrition and cholera are interconnected. Weakened and hungry people are more likely to contract cholera and cholera is more likely to flourish in places where malnutrition exists,’’ Jamie McGoldrick, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, said last month.

‘‘We’re looking at a disaster,’’ said Natalie Roberts, the head of emergency operations for Doctors Without Borders France.....

What, one meal not enough?


I need to go take mine soon.

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