Thursday, April 12, 2018

Thursday's Theatrics

Even more absurd than yesterday:

The top story is......

Ryan will retire, scattering hopes of GOP for 2018

I'm told it is anightmare scenario for the GOP, and “it seems clear now that the fight is to hold the Senate and a huge moment of truth.”

Here is some truth: there are 25 Democratic seats up for grabs and only 7 Republican seats -- and they should flip Florida in the fall. There are also a handful of Midwest and Rocky Mountain Democrat senators that are endangered. I guess the narrative writers are getting greedy in their efforts to destroy the president.

The above-the-fold feature is:

Dershowitz has Trump’s ear with criticism of Mueller

The Trump whisperer, in an interview with the Globe Wednesday, would not divulge what was discussed over dinner Tuesday evening. But it’s a good bet the subject of Trump’s unhappiness with the special counsel probe came up.

Israel did not, as the subheading suggested, and I'm told "Trump is increasingly isolated" -- just like Israel.

Marathon memorials won’t be done in time for Monday’s race, but they’re in the works

That peeked out before the (flip), and that event was exposed as a crisis drill gone live with private contractors piggybacking on it and possibly planting a real bomb.

Why is the government investigating early decision at elite colleges?

Experts befuddled about what message the Trump administration is sending.

Join the crowd.

Could Mount Ida College have stayed open?

A growing number of state officials are looking into the deal

Under Don Sweeney, Bruins reemerged as an NHL power

Shouldn't that be back in the $ports section?


My National lead:

Bill to protect special counsel is headed for a vote

I don't know what the Deep State has on the senators, but remember a few years back the CIA was caught spying on them while they were investigating torture?

Group led by former attorney general sues to keep citizenship question off US Census

That was paired with the previous link as the Globe starts peddling the agenda.

Trump Signs Bill Amid Momentum to Crack Down on Sex Trafficking

Yeah, and I noticed he didn't get a lot of credit from the women, but I suppose that was to be expected

Related: "The founders of and five others at the classified site have been indicted on federal charges in what authorities say was a scheme to facilitate prostitution by running ads for sexual services and hiding their revenues. An indictment unsealed Monday alleges that on some occasions had helped customers edit their ads so they would stay within legal limits while still encouraging commercial sex. Website founders Michael Lacey and James Larkin are charged with facilitating prostitution and money laundering. Authorities also have seized and its affiliated websites. They are already facing state money laundering charges in California. Larry Kazan, who represents Lacey, didn’t return a call seeking comment. There is no listing for Larkin’s attorney."

Also see: allegedly made millions in prostitution ads; site founders indicted

Couple of nice looking dirty old men, huh?

School board rejects state’s plan to arm staff members

Federal lawsuit seeks to block Kentucky’s new abortion law

On witness stand, accuser calls Bill Cosby a ‘serial rapist’

Some trials get every day coverage; others are a one-off. It's almost as if the $upremaci$t Jew pre$$ is racist.

Scientists tie sluggish Atlantic Ocean circulation to heat waves, changes in fisheries

Senate Republicans express concerns about Trump’s choice to lead Veterans Affairs

It's getting to the point where he could nominate God himself (or herself, if you prefer) and they would be against it.

Fiscal hawk Ryan leaves behind growing deficits and a changed GOP

Yes, yes, a failed VP candidate and a failed Speaker who is getting out of the kitchen when the heat is on, according to the Washington ComPost -- and the Bo$ton Globe.

FBI raid targeted records on Trump ‘Access Hollywood’ tape

OMFG, Mueller has gone all Lewinsky because he has nothing!

Meanwhile, Trump has sent Ezra Cohen-Watnick over to the DoJ to keep an eye on things as the Globe suppresses the treasonous Obama administration “unmasking” of transition officials after the Obama administration submitted a phony political opposition research dossier to get a warrant to begin spying on the opposing party's presidential candidate beginning in the summer of 2016. 

That scandal must be kept quiet because it is much worse than Nixon hiring some associates to be plumbers and dirty tricksters; Obama used the apparatus of government to do it. Nixon only used the apparatus to try to (unsuccessfully) cover it up.


My printed World lead didn't make the website?

U.S. and North Korea in ‘detailed’ talks on Trump-Kim meeting, South says

That was to the bottom left of my printed lead.

Archbishop denies in Australian court knowledge of pedophile

Dream Ireland vacation turns tragic as horse-drawn carriage plunges into ravine

Poland cancels award for author accused of anti-Semitism

This is becoming a joke.

Military Plane Crashes in Algeria, Killing at Least 257

Nothing funny about that, and the plane was "Russian-built." 

I wonder how long the pre$$ will stick with it. Another day before it's flushed down the memory hole like the recent crashes in Russia, Iran, and Nepal?

Pope admits he made ‘grave errors’ in Chile sex abuse case

Too late. Tell it to the archbishop of Australia, pervert.

‘It is like we have regressed 100 years’

It's no joke, but you gotta laugh:

"Acts of violent anti-Semitism dropped by 9 percent, but study blames the surge on ‘‘the constant rise of the extreme right, a heated anti-Zionist discourse in the left, accompanied by harsh antisemitic expressions, and radical Islamism.’’ 

So actual anti-Semitism against Jews went down, and yet the Israeli university is telling us there was a surge and trotted out the usual suspects. 

They then go after British Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, a fierce critic of Israel, saying ‘‘his followers and supporters openly share on social media some of the most malevolent Holocaust denial and international Jewish banking conspiracies reminiscent of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.’’

Okay, they are throwing everything and the kitchen sink out there so somebody struck a nerve close to the truth. They must really be worried about their image, too, I mean, with Gaza and all. Funny how those protocols are supposed to be fake, and yet everything in them has basically come to pass.

‘‘There has been an increase in open, unashamed, and explicit hatred directed against Jews. The Jew as exploiter, the Jew as killer, the Jew as banker,’’ the president of the European Jewish Congress, Moshe Kantor, was quoted as saying.‘‘The result is of a Jewish community in many places around the world living in fear.’’

Yup, the same old narrative of endless victimhood.

I think I can speak for the vast majority of the rest of the world when I say we are tired of the endless whining.

Btw, that is the end of my printed world news (no FAIR!), and did you notice some things missing? 

I did. No report from Gaza today, nor is the Skripal incident anywhere to be seen. 

How about that, huh?


Chappaquiddick and the circle of complicity

Ted Kennedy stayed a senator, and she asks if the "#MeToo era would have changed that? It’s hard to tell. Because of #MeToo, scores of powerful men have lost jobs and reputations. Because of #MeToo, Bill Clinton’s legacy seems more tainted now than when he left office. President Trump’s supporters aren’t bothered by the Stormy Daniels scandal. Of course, no one died in those cases. If a Chappaquiddick-like event happened today, it’s hard to imagine anyone, including a Kennedy, being able to elude serious political fallout. Social media and Fox News would see to that. But the film forces us to face the lies and coverup....."

The evidence would seem to indicate he wasn't even in the car (but to admit it would have been seen as cowardly and it would have ended his career), and it has been out there for a long time.

Can democracy survive global capitalism?

It's been dead and buried for a while now with a corporate governance headstone. Where you been?

He says "when the economy deserts the people, eventually people rebel, and when politics fails to serve working people, the far right fills the vacuum," and that's how you get Trump.


From Zuckerberg, one more pointless apology

More of those coming up.


Tom Ashbrook’s apology not accepted

Errant mailings by state tax department expose private data of 6,100 people

Oh, the "state’s beleaguered Department of Revenue — already reeling this year after failing to deliver timely child-support payments and a data breach of sensitive businesses tax information — announced Wednesday that the personal information of thousands of people who pay child support was inadvertently sent to companies that do not employ them.

Oh, the beleaguered state department!

They didn't mention the placing of friends on the payroll (is it because Baker yelled at 'em?).

Officials in the administration of Governor Charlie Baker said the faulty mailings mean the private data — including Social Security numbers — of about 6,100 people who owe child support were sent to the wrong addresses.

Nathalie Dailida, a spokeswoman for the department, said the errant mailings were the result of a coding error by Accenture, the company that designed and developed the state’s $91.8 million child-support system, COMETS HD. The system, which went live at the beginning of the year, has been connected to other problems.

“Accenture takes data security very seriously and takes responsibility for these coding errors within the COMETS HD system,” said spokeswoman Deirdre Blackwood. “We are working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue to resolve the situation and we will provide credit monitoring service for all affected individuals.”

The system is the result of a contract signed in 2012, before Baker took office. The federal government is paying for about two-thirds of it....."

Do you know what is Accenture?

See: Defense Intelligence Agency Solutions for Intelligence Financial Management 

And they f***ed it up, huh?

So how much more money we gotta shell out to 'em?

No bail for Fitchburg couple after daughter dies

Shana Pedroso appeared in Fitchburg District Court Wednesday.

She was at the Pink concert?


House budget calls for State Police oversight and rebuffs Baker’s Medicaid plan

They will be cutting that back all year long as the budget process in this state is a farce.

Mass. ACLU sues Trump administration, citing ‘bait and switch’ immigration policy

I'm not falling for it.

Some key facts about Mount Ida College

Mark Zuckerberg couldn’t stop mentioning his Harvard dorm room during Facebook testimony

New England news in brief

Lawyer for man accused of killing grandparents, mom, and caretaker cites mental illness

Helicopter flights will test natural radiation levels over Boston Marathon route

Don't worry, I'll be running in the opposite direction and far away.

Winchester library stabbing suspect was diagnosed with schizophrenia, lawyer says

The victim was Jewish!

Who is rapper Meek Mill and why is Robert Kraft visiting him in prison?

Who cares?


Zuckerberg’s second day of testimony is more tense than first day

He repeated the same apology he gave to the Senate a day earlier, and it's hard for me to believe it could get any worse. Must be why the Globe hid it.

Hey Facebook users, want online privacy? Put your money where your mouth is

Pay for privacy? 

It's supposed to be a constitutional right!


The design of the Winthrop Square tower just got more dramatic

Boston approves zoning for marijuana businesses

Big deal.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution gets $35m to explore deep reaches

Johnson & Johnson and talc mining company ordered to pay $80 million

I wouldn't powder up just yet.

Aluminum prices soar as US sanctions kick in

It's Russian aluminum? 

Don't build a plane out of it!

Security officer sues after firing for dragging passenger from United flight

You hear a dog barking?

Chicago Tribune editorial staff will begin unionization effort

That's absurd!

Incubator aims to invest in its biotech tenants, too

Mulvaney defends his leadership of consumer watchdog

They never asked about the aides earning hefty salaries?

Boehner morphs from marijuana foe to supporter

Just so you know, John, it doesn't go with booze like the cigarettes did.

Fed in March discussed ‘slightly steeper’ future rate hikes

Banks and technology stocks fall; oil rises to 3-year high

That's the only place I saw anything about Syria, and Saudi Arabia said it intercepted missiles fired by rebels in Yemen (yeah, sure they did, because overstating the capability of the missile defense system is a tradition dating back to the 1991 Gulf War).


"Trump promises forceful response to Syria attack" by Peter Baker New York Times   April 09, 2018

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Monday suggested that Syria’s patrons in Russia and Iran may also be responsible and seemed to imply that he would take action of some sort to punish them as well.

Please don't, Mr. President. Blow the whistle on the whole false flag fraud.

“If it’s Russia, if it’s Syria, if it’s Iran, if it’s all of them together, we’ll figure it out and we’ll know the answers quite soon,” he said. “So we’re looking at that very strongly and very seriously.”

Asked if President Vladimir Putin of Russia, with whom Trump has sought to forge a friendship, bears responsibility, the president said: “He may and if he does it’s going to be very tough, very tough. Everybody’s going to pay a price. He will, everybody will.”

You, too. It will be the end of your presidency.

The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting Monday to discuss the Syria attack but Russia, as a permanent member, holds a veto that could block any action by the world body.

Like the United States consistently vetoes and covers for Israel, the most recent example (one not at all mentioned in the Jewi$h War Pre$$) being the resolution presented by Kuwait to investigate Israeli assassinations in Gaza (let's face it, that is what snipers shooting unarmed protesters is).

Nikki Haley, the American ambassador to the UN, said, ‘‘the United States is determined to see that the monster who dropped chemical weapons on the Syrian people held to account.’’ Haley didn’t identify the ‘‘monster’’ but her sharp words appeared aimed at Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Unless they are part of the EUSraeli empire. Then it's ignored.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the international watchdog on chemical weapons, said it has opened an investigation of the suspected poison attack.

And I will tell you what they will find.

As international condemnation grew over the poison attack, Syria and its main ally, Russia, blamed Israel for airstrikes on a Syrian air base early Monday that reportedly killed 14 people, including four Iranian fighters.

The timing of the airstrikes in central Homs province, hours after Trump said there would be ‘‘a big price to pay’’ for the chemical weapons attack, raised questions about whether Israel was acting alone or as a proxy for the United States.

Israel did not comment on Monday’s missile strike. It typically does not comment on its airstrikes in Syria, which have been numerous in Syria’s civil war.

The White House is feeling pressure from allies to act on the chemical attack. President Emmanuel Macron, who spoke Sunday with Trump by telephone, has repeatedly declared that the use of chemical weapons by Syria’s government would be a red line and pledged to strike weapons sites connected to such attacks.

Then let him do it. 

Remember what happened the last time France made war on Russia?

After the phone call, the White House said “both leaders strongly condemned” the attack and agreed that the Assad government “must be held accountable.” They vowed to “coordinate a strong, joint response.”

The challenge for Trump’s Middle East policy came on a day when he was already facing a transition in his foreign policy team as his new national security adviser, John Bolton, arrived for his first day on the job and the president hosted the nation’s senior military leaders for dinner at the White House.

Yeah, what coinkydink timing, huh?

Bolton sat behind Trump during the Cabinet meeting but made no comment while reporters were in the room.

National security and military officers met Monday to discuss options, but defense officials would not say what specific military actions are on the table.

Mattis, speaking with reporters Monday, sounded a muted tone.

“The first thing we have to look at is why are chemical weapons still being used at all when Russia was the framework guarantor of removing all the chemical weapons,” Mattis said as he hosted the visiting emir of Qatar at the Pentagon. “And so, working with our allies and partners from NATO to Qatar and elsewhere, we are going to address this issue.”

Either they were not or it was the U.S.-backed terrorists who have been caught on numerous occasions staging these kind of events.

Asked if he would rule out airstrikes against Assad’s government, Mattis said, “I don’t rule out anything right now.”

Two Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyers are located in the Sixth Fleet’s area of operations in the Mediterranean Sea and would be able to get within striking range within hours to days.

When Trump ordered the retaliatory strike against Syria for a chemical weapons attack at almost the exact same time last year, it was carried out by two destroyers firing 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Al Shayrat airfield, the suspected source of the chemical attack.

I am having that old deja-vu feeling, yeah.

The strike targeted fighter jets, hardened aircraft shelters, radar equipment, ammunition bunkers, and sites for storing fuel and defense systems.

The chemical attack in the suburb of Douma over the weekend killed at least 49 people and raised the temperature of an already simmering relationship between the United States and Russia. Putin has troops in Syria propping up Assad’s government.

NYT tells me he is propping up Assad -- unlike the U.S. and its puppet rulers in places like Afghanistan.

Russia has rejected the conclusion that Syria’s military was behind the chemical attack, asserting that it was staged by militants to falsely blame the government and justify a US strike against Assad’s regime.

Yeah, we have seen this rerun more than once in the last 15 years.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters in Moscow that despite Trump’s comments last week that he wanted to withdraw US troops from Syria, the United States was actually seeking to entrench itself in the country.

“The US is taking steps not to leave as President Trump said, and leave Syria for others, but to establish a foothold there for a very long time,” Lavrov said.

Trump dismissed the Russian and Syrian denials. “They’re saying they’re not” responsible, “but to me there’s not much of a doubt,” he told reporters.

Trump said that Syria was not allowing any independent inspection of the attack site. “If they’re innocent, why aren’t they allowing people to go in and prove” it, he asked.

OMG, he's an ass! 

You would think after his lawyer's records were seized he would not have such a fascist mindset, and the Russian and Syrian teams have already visited the site and found nothing and the OPCW is on the way, too.

Of course, he could ask the same about Israel, but doesn't. Haven't heard a bleat from either the administration or Congre$$ on that matter. Either that, or it hasn't been reported in my pre$$.


"US and Russia are defiant ahead of possible military action against Syria" by Eileen Sullivan and Michael D. Shear New York Times  April 11, 2018

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump put Syria and Russia on notice Wednesday morning in a Twitter post, promising that missiles fired at Syria “will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!'” and telling the Kremlin that it should not partner with a “Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!” After the threat, the president said in a separate tweet that relations between the United States and Russia are worse than ever.

The president appeared to be reacting to reports Tuesday that the Russian ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander Zasypkin, warned the United States and its allies that any missiles fired at Syria would be shot down. He made those comments in an interview with Al Manar Television.

Trump’s early morning comments were remarkable in that he is, in a way, telegraphing the United States’ response to a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria, which is something he had previously criticized other leaders for doing. Trump has said publicly that sharing military plans could give enemies information they could use to their advantage.

I really have to give the guy credit for walking the tightrope as long as he has. Granted, he hasn't rolled back the empire and he has expanded some current operations; however, he hasn't started a new war yet.

Anyhow, the above paragraph and the phrases I color-coded are key. Trump looks like a hypocrite, but what he is doing is giving them fair warning so that whatever military action is taken, the damage will be as minimal as possible. 

Don't get me wrong, it will still be bad, but if he hadn't telegraphed the whole thing the relevant parties wouldn't have time to prepare. Now they do, and maybe a few red meat missiles will once again satisfy the neo-con psychopaths constantly screaming in his ear.

With U.S. strike intentions so clearly forecast by Trump, the Syrian government has moved key aircraft to the Russian base near Latakia and is taking pains to secure important weapons systems, military analysts said.

Pentagon officials said that even if Syrian warplanes manage to elude a U.S.-led strike campaign, the United States and its allies can still seek to so damage Syrian airfields — across the country — that it would hamper Assad’s ability to use them to launch future chemical weapons attacks.

They end that paragraph as if Assad used them no question, and the point of the upcoming attack is to basically ground Syria's air force?

That kind of damage, though, would require a sustained campaign — likely over a number of days. It was unclear whether the United States, France and other allies involved have made a decision to extend a bombing campaign beyond one night.

So there will be one night one-off like last time then and that's it?

But the president’s subsequent tweet struck a different tone. After he warned Russia what it would be up against in Syria, Trump lamented that relations between the two countries were worse than during the Cold War, a decades-long geopolitical and ideological rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union when both were armed for, and prepared for, nuclear war.

Does he know what we would be up against?

Btw, look at him reflexively react with his anti-interventionist instincts! He can't help himself, and that is a good thing!

Russia has blamed the suspected chemical attacks on the Syrian opposition forces. On Wednesday, Maria Zakharova, the Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, said that if the U.S. missiles were so smart then they should hit “terrorists” and not government targets. She also suggested in a posting on Facebook that the missile attack might destroy evidence of the use of chemical weapons.

Trump has been critical of Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, for supporting the Syrian regime, led by Bashar Assad, believed to be behind the suspected chemical weapons attack on April 7 that has left dozens dead.

You can believe something that isn't true.

The attack on Saturday in the Damascus suburb of Douma has not been confirmed to be the result of a chemical weapon.

Look how long it took the NYT to admit that!

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Wednesday that the United States is still assessing the intelligence on the suspected chemical attack, but that military planning was proceeding.

Like I'm going to believe it?

“We stand ready to provide military options if they’re appropriate, as the president determined,” he said.

The World Health Organization said Wednesday that there were reports of about 500 people in the Damascus suburb of Douma who have symptoms similar to people exposed to toxic chemicals. It said about 70 people had died while taking shelter in basements and 43 of them had signs of being exposed to “highly toxic chemicals.”


Trump’s comments about poor relations with Russia echoed what the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said recently in response to the wave of diplomatic expulsions of Russians from the United States and other countries, according to a Reuters report. The expulsions were a coordinated response to the poisoning in Britain of a former Russian spy and his daughter. Since then, analysts have said the Balkans could become a battleground for a new Cold War.


Where the hell did that come from?

The tough talk on Russia, when it comes to Syria, is a strikingly different tone for Trump, who has long pushed for improved relations with the Kremlin. Recently, Trump praised Putin for his re-election and even invited him to the White House.

Later on Wednesday morning, Trump clarified his assessment of the poor relations with Russia in another tweet, blaming the decline in Washington-Moscow ties on the ongoing investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.

Russia has been a dominant theme during Trump’s entire presidency, particularly with the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russia’s election interference.

The president repeated his frustrations about the ongoing inquiry, which he said was led by Democrats or others who worked for former President Barack Obama.

Earlier this week, the FBI raided the offices and hotel room of Trump’s personal attorney, Michael D. Cohen, enraging the president, who called it an “attack on our country in a true sense.” Trump, however, has not used similarly strong language about Russia’s election activities which started as early as 2014.

When it comes Syria, however, Trump has blamed Putin for supporting the Syrian regime. Trump called the suspected chemical attack a “barbaric act” and suggested Putin bears some responsibility. “He may, and if he does, it’s going to be very tough, very tough,” Trump said on Monday. “Everybody’s going to pay a price. He will, everybody will.”

After Trump’s series of tweets Wednesday morning, Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said, “We don’t participate in Twitter diplomacy. We advocate serious approaches.” Peskov’s comments were reported by the Interfax news agency.

My printed paper ended the story there.

While he has not set a public withdrawal deadline for U.S. forces in Syria the way Obama did for other combat zones, just last week Trump set a private one that quickly became public when he told military commanders that ideally he wanted to pull troops out of Syria within a few months.

Obama set deadlines for Afghanistan and Iraq, and yet we are still there. This is where Trump can separate himself and win the hearts and minds of the American people. He can follow through on the false promises of his predecessors.

While Trump’s tweet did not disclose the exact date and time of a U.S. missile strike, Assad’s allies are lining up to back the Syrian regime.

The top adviser to Iran’s supreme leader said Wednesday that Tehran would support Damascus against any foreign aggression, Iran’s state television reported.

“Iran backs Syria in its fight against America and the Zionist regime,” Ali Akbar Velayati, the supreme leader’s adviser, told state television during a visit to eastern Ghouta in Syria. Iranian officials call Israel “the Zionist regime.” Velayati said of the United States, “Their habit is to threaten constantly and the only thing they know how to do is bombing, haven’t Syria and Iran been bombed before?”

That sure does seem to be the case, and why is it a problem to call a spade a spade?


Also see:

"Trump’s dangerous ‘Twitter Doctrine’ in Syria" April 11, 2018

Twin failures of leadership in Washington have contributed to the current crisis. Congress has not approved military action against Bashar al-Assad’s military, so the president has no constitutional authority to wage it. (Asked by the Obama White House to approve military action against Syria in 2013 after a chemical weapons attack, Congress refused.) Nor has the current White House articulated a larger Syrian strategy or how an attack now would fit into it.

I expect the Globe to be on the front lines in arguing against any military action then. They are saying it would be illegal and thus a war crime.

Americans should demand both immediately.

We have been for years, where ya' been? 

Finally catching up?

Going to war without a plan for a conflict and its aftermath is the height of folly — a lesson that the United States should have learned by now. That’s all the more concerning as President Trump takes a hard swing at the world’s most active hornets’ nest, where a civil war is winding down and another far more dangerous regional conflict looms large.

Oh, they have a plan. Problem is wars never go according to plan.

The proximate cause of the threatened US strike — a chemical attack that killed more than 40 civilians in Douma, a suburb of Damascus — is under investigation. Russian officials and the Syrian Red Crescent at the scene say they found no evidence that chemical weapons were used, despite claims by rebel groups and Western governments that chlorine gas was responsible for the deaths.

I'm just wondering how the lying, war-promoting, jump-to-conclusions, rush to judgment pre$$ is going to get out of this.

The World Health Organization has yet to confirm the use of chemical weapons, though it estimated that 500 people in Douma went to health facilities with symptoms consistent with toxic exposure last weekend. Douma is at least the sixth alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria since the New Year.

Honestly, the WHO has been completely discredited.

Deterrence has a value, especially around the use of chemical weapons. Syria, Russia, and North Korea have all used them in the past two years alone. It is clear that the costs of using them are outweighed by whatever perverse reputational gains are accrued by flouting international law.

Israel has also used them, and they regularly flout international law, so what gives?

At another time, in another place, the issue of weapons of mass destruction would be treated differently. But the past holds a forceful thumb on the scale of the present: The new White House national security advisor, John Bolton, was one of the architects of the Iraq War, launched on the false assertion that a Middle Eastern despot had a large and growing arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. The chaos the Iraq War unleashed in the region, including the birth of the Islamic State in American detention camps, continues to metastasize with horrific consequences.

Wasn't the Globe editorial staff for the war? 

Even if it wasn't, they and their ilk front-paged the Bush war lies and are just as guilty.

What the United States lacks in regional credibility, it makes up for in logistics. There are more than enough ships in the region for Trump to deliver a powerful punch against any of the players in the conflict at the time and place of his choosing.

Remember Bush saying Shock and Awe will be at a time and place of our choosing?

But those strikes won’t make much of a difference: So Washington faces a paradox of its own making. Limited strikes may make future threats of force less credible. But a sustained campaign targeting a range of Syrian military assets runs the serious risk of escalation with Moscow, a nuclear power. This risk stems from two places — the potential Russian casualties and the loss of Russian prestige. After all, what good is an alliance with a strong power if it can’t protect the weaker partner?

But war with Russia is only one of the nightmare scenarios that Trump risks triggering after years of low-level involvement in the Syrian implosion. No wonder the president told his senior advisors that he wanted to pull US troops out of Syria entirely. “Let the other people take care of it now,” Trump said at the end of March.

They seem to be endorsing his withdrawal policy, don't they?

A day after the Douma attack, Israel launched an air strike on a Syrian air base, which reportedly killed more than a dozen, including several Iranian military personnel. Iranian officials announced that they would retaliate. Israel doesn’t comment on its operations in Syria, so it is unclear whether the strike was related to the purported chemical weapons attack.

How could it be? 

And if Israel was carried it out as some sort of humanitarian operation, its laughable in the face of what they are doing in Gaza.

Whether it was or not, tensions between Tel Aviv and Tehran couldn’t be higher as they wage their own war within war. As the Syrian conflict has ground on, Iran has extended its regional networks of militias from its own territory to the Mediterranean, forming the rickety land bridge it has long sought. That’s led the Israelis to conduct more than 100 air strikes against Iranian targets in Syria. Those operations are not without risks — an Israeli F-16 fighter jet was shot down by Syrian air defenses in February, the first downed Israeli plane in decades.

Yeah, that's the real reason for all this. Iran must be blocked because it is what Israel demands.


Looming over all this, a May 12 deadline is fast approaching to decide the fate of the Iran nuclear deal, with hawks like Bolton and others in the Trump administration pushing for abandoning it.

The risks of full-on regional war in the Middle East have always appeared dangerous and distant. That’s no longer theoretical. It fact, it might be well under way.

Uh, has been since 2003 when Bush invaded Babylon. Duh!


They tell me that "Syria is at the center of an international power struggle among Russia, Turkey, Iran, Israel, and the United States," and THAT'S PROPHECYThat is ARMAGEDDON!

You know, once is an error, twice is..... WTF? 

Why hide it?

I'm still going to be hopeful about North Korea and Iran, but I am worried about him invading Panama.