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Today's Headlines
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Page 2: WoT Background
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Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 4: Opinion
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Page 6: Politix
9 21:38 Herb McCoy [258]
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1 00:27 g(r)omgoru [133]
-Obits-
Tunisia's ousted president Ben Ali dies in Saudi exile: lawyer
[DAWN] Tunisia's ousted autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali died in exile in Soddy Arabia
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face...
on Thursday, days after a free presidential election in his homeland, his family lawyer said.

"Ben Ali just died in Saudi Arabia," the lawyer, Mounir Ben Salha, told Rooters by phone.

Ben Ali fled Tunisia in January 2011 as his compatriots rose up against his oppressive rule in a revolution that inspired other Arab Spring uprisings abroad and led to a democratic transition at home.

On Sunday, Tunisians voted in an election that featured candidates from across the political spectrum, sending two political outsiders through to a second round vote unthinkable during Ben Ali's own era of power.

However,
the hip bone's connected to the leg bone...
while Tunisians have enjoyed a much smoother march to democracy than citizens of the other Arab states that also rose up in 2011, many of them are economically worse off than they were under Ben Ali.

While almost all the candidates in Sunday's election were vocal champions of the revolution, one of them, Abir Moussi, campaigned as a supporter of Ben Ali's ousted government, receiving 4 per cent of the votes.

A former security chief, Ben Ali had run Tunisia for 23 years, taking power when, as prime minister in 1987, he declared president-for-life Habib Bourguiba medically unfit to rule.

Posted by: Fred || 09/20/2019 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [78 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring


Afghanistan
Security Report On Polling Centers Sparks Backlash
[ToloNews] According to the election commission, 675 centers face high-security threats and another 907 centers are under medium threats.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Thursday said that 431 polling centers are to remain closed on the day of elections in some insecure regions of the country. 5373 is The total of centers considered.

The polling centers that will remain closed are spread across the country:
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: trailing wife || 09/20/2019 00:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [102 views] Top|| File under: Taliban


US State Dept: Funds Withheld Because of Corruption
[ToloNews] US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released a statement on Thursday with some teeth.

The opening line reads: "Afghan government institutions and leaders must be transparent and accountable to the Afghan people. We stand against those who exploit their positions of power and influence to deprive the Afghan people of the benefits of foreign assistance."

Then Pompeo goes on to say that the US will be withdrawing $100 million from a planned infrastructure program, withholding $60 million in planned assistance funds, and by the end of the calendar year the US will no longer pay for Afghanistan’s Monitoring and Evaluation Committee.

Pompeo is direct about his reasons: "Due to identified Afghan government corruption and financial mismanagement, the US government is returning approximately $100 million to the US Treasury that was intended for a large energy infrastructure project," which involved "transmission infrastructure" between Ghazni and Kandahar and Kajaki and Kandahar.

Significantly, Pompeo says the US will fulfill its commitment to the project, but it will have to use an "off-budget" mechanism, given "the Afghan government’s inability to transparently manage US Government resources."

The withholding of $60 million is due to a "lack of transparency surrounding procurement decisions" by the National Procurement Authority, which is "a great cause for concern." This may not come as surprise to many Afghans, who, in the midst of a nationwide power outage, read US Ambassador John Bass’ September 18 tweet (which was reported on by Afghan media) :

"Hearing reports the National Procurement Authority won’t authorize fuel purchases for the power plant providing the only electricity in Kabul‐even while the US & Resolute Support [US/NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A collection of multinational and multilingual and multicultural armed forces, all of differing capabilities, working toward a common goal by pulling in different directions...
military mission] help Afghan cops enable repairs to transmission lines. Could this be true?"

Then, The Monitoring and Evaluation Committee lost its funding because it is "incapable of being a partner in the international effort to build a better future for the Afghan people."

And a final pledge: "The American taxpayers and the Afghan people can count on the United States to act when we see assistance funds misused."
Posted by: trailing wife || 09/20/2019 00:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [230 views] Top|| File under:

#1  A lot of people have already got rich from American largesse without oversight since the Obama years. Good move to reduce involvement in Afghanistan, forcing them to man up and clean their own house.

Most of the pro-democracy contenders in Afghanistan are not the virtuous altruists fighting for a State free from the taliban, or against islamic madness. For them 'self-determination' and 'democracy' are just the jargon of a proposed paradise of corrupt bureaucracy and sycophancy to the highest bidder, against the interests of the common citizen, who shall continue to be screwed.

These are people who wish to become a lot like the Indian state, ravagers of their own land. They plan to build a state where they can legally exploit the masses - pimping out their own people to mega-corporations, living off the exchequer and tying up generations of Afghans in a bureaucratic net of servitude. They'll gladly sell out to the Chinese if America ever does stabilize them. They'll send a prize asshole to the UN table and pretend to be a nation, while the common man in Afghanistan will imagine his new democratic state mostly in his own mind.



Posted by: Dron66046 || 09/20/2019 4:54 Comments || Top||

#2  Much like Europeans, all they want to do is take, take, take. They don't want us there, we don't want to be there, where's the disconnect? Get out. Bases closed, troops home. No benefit to us whatsoever.
Posted by: Herb McCoy || 09/20/2019 7:10 Comments || Top||

#3  re #1....in other words Democrats.
Posted by: AlanC || 09/20/2019 7:21 Comments || Top||

#4  From the title I thought this was about Puerto Rico.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 09/20/2019 8:04 Comments || Top||

#5  P2K, I don't think the State Department controls funds to Puerto Rico.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 09/20/2019 11:58 Comments || Top||


Africa North
Libya's Tabu tribe rejects settlement offer by UAE on Murzuq massacre
[Libya Observer] The Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar reported that the Tabu rustics in Libya have rejected a financial offer from the UAE in exchange for closing the file of the aerial bombing of Murzuq town, which resulted in the killing of scores of civilians last August.

The UAE's offer, which was rejected by the Tabu, was part of a five-item agreement presented to them in Abu Dhabi, in the presence of Haftar's front man, Ahmed al-Mismari, according to the newspaper.

The agreement required the Tabu to recognize Haftar's leadership and to withdraw the international lawsuit filed for the investigation of the August massacre carried out by Haftar drones.
Posted by: Fred || 09/20/2019 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [121 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring


UN and ICRC Chiefs call for ceasefire in Libya's Tripoli
[Libya Observer] The Secretary General of the United Nations
...the Oyster Bay money pit...
António Guterres
...Portuguese politician and diplomat, ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations. Previously, he was the UN High Commissioner for Refugees between 2005 and 2015. He was the Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002 and was the Secretary-General of the Socialist Party from 1992 to 2002. He served as President of the Socialist International from 1999 to 2005. In both a 2012 and 2014 poll, the Portuguese public ranked him as the best Prime Minister of the previous 30 years...
and the Head of the International Committee of the Red Thingy (ICRC) Peter Maurer appealed Wednesday for a halt to bombings in Tripoli
...a confusing city, one end of which is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn...
, Libya, saying it is enduring untold suffering and destruction from a hail of bombs and shells.

They both called on all parties in Tripoli conflict to refrain from using wide-impact explosive weapons in populated areas, adding that parties to conflict should recognize that they cannot fight in populated areas in the way they would in open battlefields.

They also said that international humanitarian law absolutely prohibits directing attacks against civilians or civilian objects, indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks, indiscriminate weapons, and using civilians as human shields.

Their statement stresses that Tripoli has been the epicenter since April of a bloody offensive by Khalifa Haftar
...Self-proclaimed Field Marshal, served in the Libyan army under Muammar Qadaffy, and took part in the coup that brought Qadaffy to power in 1969. He became a prisoner of war in Chad in 1987. While held prisoner, he and his fellow officers formed a group hoping to overthrow Qadaffy, so it's kind of hard to describe him as a Qadaffy holdover. He was released around 1990 in a deal with the United States government and spent nearly two decades in the United States, gaining US citizenship. In 1993, while living in the United States, he was convicted in absentia of crimes against the Jamahiriya and sentenced to death. Haftar held a senior position in the anti-Qadaffy forces in the 2011 Libyan Civil War. In 2014 he was commander of the Libyan Army when the General National Congress (GNC) refused to give up power in accordance with its term of office. Haftar launched a campaign against the GNC and its Islamic fundamentalist allies. His campaign allowed elections to take place to replace the GNC, but then developed into a civil war. Guess you can't win them all...
against Libya's "UN-recognized Government of National Accord", adding that the World Health Organization estimates that more than 1,000 people have been killed in the fighting, which has displaced about 120,000 people.
Posted by: Fred || 09/20/2019 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [144 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring

#1  People not involved in the fighting calling for a cease fire? I'm sure that will work.
Posted by: SteveS || 09/20/2019 11:55 Comments || Top||

#2  Either side can get a ceasefire if they want. It's called surrender.
Posted by: jpal || 09/20/2019 13:05 Comments || Top||


Arabia
UAE follows Saudi Arabia in joining coalition to protect Gulf navigation after oil attacks, Iraq will not
[Rudaw] The United Arab Emirates (UAE) joined the US-led coalition to protect Persian Gulf navigation, just one day after Soddy Arabia
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face...
joined the alliance aimed at protecting maritime interests amid heightened tensions with Iran.

The UAE said on Thursday that it would join the coalition, officially named the International Maritime Security Construct, to guarantee the security of oil shipments in the region in order to maintain the global economy.

"UAE will be part of the US-led coalition to protect the navigation of oil shipments," said Salim al-Zuubi, the Director of the Security Cooperation Department at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement. "UAE and the coalition both aim to provide protection for the oil movement in the region in order to sustain the global economy."

Iraq will not join US-led Gulf navigation coalition after call with Iranian foreign minister

[Rudaw] The Iraqi foreign ministry front man says Iraq will not join any coalition to protect the Gulf navigation on Thursday.

The US is currently trying to get regional states to join the International Maritime Security Construct, which it formed in August following heightened tensions with Iran
...a theocratic Shiite state divided among the Medes, the Persians, and the (Arab) Elamites. Formerly a fairly civilized nation ruled by a Shah, it became a victim of Islamic revolution in 1979. The nation is today noted for spontaneously taking over other countries' embassies, maintaining whorehouses run by clergymen, involvement in international drug trafficking, and financing sock puppet militias to extend the regime's influence. The word Iran is a cognate form of Aryan, the abbreviation IRGC is a cognate form of Stürmabteilung (or SA), the term Supreme Guide is a cognate form of either Shah or Führer or maybe both, and they hate Jews Zionists Jews. Their economy is based on the production of oil and vitriol...
in the Persian Gulf. The front man Ahmed Sahaaf said that Iraq has no intention to join any coalition and rejects possibly Israeli participation in the alliance after the Jewish state expressed interest in joining.

"Iraq will not be part of any coalition which aims to provide protection for Gulf navigation," Sahaaf told Rudaw English. "Iraq also refuses any Israeli participation in any coalition to protect Gulf navigation."

Sahaaf also said that the protection of the Persian Gulf is the "responsibility of the surrounding countries."

Iraq’s declaration of not joining the US-led coalition follows a call the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs received from its Iranian counterpart on Thursday, in which both sides agreed to maintain the security in the region and develop the positive relations between the two countries.

Iran yields considerable influence in Iraq. Iran is one of Iraq’s main energy providers, and Iraq has had to get exemptions from US sanctions on Iran to continue receiving energy from the Islamic Theocratic Republic.

Iran also backs the powerful Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), also known as Hashd al-Shaabi, in Iraq. The militias, which were formed to fight ISIS
...embracing their inner Islamic Brute...
, now have some of their leaders in the Iraqi parliament. The head of the Fatih Coalition in the parliament and PMF leader Hadi al-Ameri fought with Iran in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, for example.

There were a series of attacks on oil vessels in the Persian Gulf in May and June this year, creating fears for the freedom of navigation in the strategic waterway of the Strait of Hormuz, prompting the US to start the coalition in August.

The situation prompted the US to start its maritime security coalition in the Gulf. So far, the UK, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE have joined. Saudi Arabia and the UAE joined shortly after Saturday;s attacks on the oil installations.
Posted by: trailing wife || 09/20/2019 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [265 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

#1  maybe its time for rethinking that Iraqi exemption for Iranian oil......
Posted by: USN, Ret. || 09/20/2019 8:05 Comments || Top||

#2  and not defending Iraqi ships
Posted by: Frank G || 09/20/2019 9:20 Comments || Top||

#3  Today Iran is jumpy and guilty as hell but I see no evidence of anything major brewing from the US or Saudis.
Posted by: 3dc || 09/20/2019 10:06 Comments || Top||

#4  Hopefully, neither do the Iranians, 3dc.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 09/20/2019 10:44 Comments || Top||

#5  Don't want to ensure freedom of navigation, you're ships aren't allowed in ports owned by the countries that do.
Posted by: Rob Crawford || 09/20/2019 12:46 Comments || Top||


Yemen’s Houthi forces vow to launch attacks on Dubai, Abu Dhabi
[ALMASDARNEWS] The rebels from the Ansarallah movement (Iran's Houthi sock puppets
...a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as the Believing Youth. Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi is said to be the spiritual leader of the group and most of the military leaders are his relatives. The legitimate Yemeni government has accused the them of having ties to the Iranian government. Honest they did. The group has managed to gain control over all of Saada Governorate and parts of Amran, Al Jawf and Hajjah Governorates. Its slogan is God is Great, Death to America™, Death to Israel, a curse on the Jews They like shooting off... ummm... missiles that they would have us believe they make at home in their basements. On the plus side, they did murder Ali Abdullah Saleh, which was the only way the country was ever going to be rid of him...
s), who seized power in northern Yemen
...an area of the Arabian Peninsula sometimes mistaken for a country. It is populated by more antagonistic tribes and factions than you can keep track of...
, threatened on Wednesday to attack the largest UAE cities, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, after a massive dronezap oil facilities in Soddy Arabia
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face...
"We are announcing for the first time that there are dozens of sites in our list of targets in the United Arab Emirates, including in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, which could be attacked at any suitable time," Houthi forces front man Gen. Yahya Saria said in a statement broadcast by Al Jazeera channel.

Last Saturday, Saudi Arabia was forced to shut down two Saudi Aramco oil facilities, namely Abqaiq and Khurais, after a drone attack claimed by the Houthis. The incident led to a cut in oil production totalling 5.7 million barrels per day ‐ about half of Saudi Arabia’s daily oil output.

Although the responsibility was claimed by the Houthis, the United States has put the blame on Iran. Tehran has refuted the accusations, but Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
...Iran's moderate president, which he is, relative to his predecessor, which doesn't mean he's anything but a puppet of the nearest holy man...
said that the attack was "nothing but a warning" against those who started the war in Yemen.

Posted by: Fred || 09/20/2019 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [90 views] Top|| File under: Houthis


Pompeo downplays failure of US patriot missiles in Saudi Arabia
It really helps if you turn them on beforehand, guys. To be fair, the Syrians have the same problem with their S-300 system, a gift from their fraternal friends, the USSR Russia.
[ALMASDARNEWS] Missile defense systems all over the world sometimes fail to demonstrate the intended result, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said, when asked by a news hound why Saudi troops, armed with US-made Patriot missile defense systems, failed to repel the recent drone attack on the kingdom’s oil facilities.

"We’ve seen air defense systems all around the world have mixed success," the Department of State press service quoted Pompeo as saying upon his arrival to Jeddah. "Some of the finest in the world don’t always pick things up. We want to work to make sure that infrastructure and resources are put in place such that attacks like this would be less successful than this one appears to have been."

The US top diplomat lashed at rumors that the attack on Saudi Aramco oil facilities was a result of US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program.

The facilities of the Saudi Aramco oil company in the east of Soddy Arabia
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face...
were attacked by ten drones in the early hours of September 14. In particular, the world’s biggest oil refinery near the city of Abqaiq and a refinery near Khurais, where Saudi’s second largest oil field is located, came under the attack. The attacks sparked fires at 13 facilities.

Yemen
...an area of the Arabian Peninsula sometimes mistaken for a country. It is populated by more antagonistic tribes and factions than you can keep track of...
i Iran's Houthi sock puppets
...a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as the Believing Youth. Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi is said to be the spiritual leader of the group and most of the military leaders are his relatives. The legitimate Yemeni government has accused the them of having ties to the Iranian government. Honest they did. The group has managed to gain control over all of Saada Governorate and parts of Amran, Al Jawf and Hajjah Governorates. Its slogan is God is Great, Death to America™, Death to Israel, a curse on the Jews They like shooting off... ummm... missiles that they would have us believe they make at home in their basements. On the plus side, they did murder Ali Abdullah Saleh, which was the only way the country was ever going to be rid of him...
rebels from the Ansar Allah movement grabbed credit for the incident. Washington claimed that the Iranian government had played a role in the attack. Tehran strongly dismissed those accusations as baseless.

Posted by: Fred || 09/20/2019 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [174 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Saudi Arabia

#1  The infamous last SCUD strike that took out a NG unit in the First Gulf War occurred when the Patriot battery was beyond its reset limit. The Patriot system was designed to take out aircraft not missiles but an initiative by someone in the Senate funded the program. It was basically the first mark 1 fielding of the system in the anti-missile role with software that hadn't been 'proofed'.

Like the Periwinkle Master said, doesn't help if you don't turn it on.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 09/20/2019 8:02 Comments || Top||

#2  It all depends... Against low-flying drones some of the old Soviet Sam-6/ZSU-23 "Shrilka" systems would probably do just as well and for far less $$$s. Using a Patriot at a drone is like killing flies by firing silver dollars at it out of a shotgun.
Posted by: magpie || 09/20/2019 13:50 Comments || Top||


Economy
Oil prices edge up after turbulent week as Saudi Arabia reassures on output
[DAWN] Oil prices edged higher in Asian trade on Thursday after days of turbulence, with markets soothed by Saudi Arabia’s pledge to restore full production by end-September at facilities knocked out in drone and missile attacks last weekend.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 rose 24 cents to $63.84 a barrel by 0634 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was up 21 cents to $58.32 a barrel.

The steadying of nerves came after Saudi Arabia set out the timeline to resume full operations, and also said it had managed to restore supplies to customers at levels prior to the attacks by drawing from its oil inventories.

Brent prices had jumped 14.6% on Monday, the contract’s biggest one-day percentage gain since at least 1988.

Posted by: Fred || 09/20/2019 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [86 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Saudi Arabia


Home Front: Culture Wars
UNC-Duke program too positive on Islam, Trump officials say
[IsraelTimes] The Trump administration is threatening to cut funding for a Middle East studies program run by the University of North Carolina and Duke University, arguing that it’s misusing a federal grant to advance "ideological priorities" and unfairly promote "the positive aspects of Islam" but not Christianity or Judaism.

An August 29 letter from the US Education Department ordered the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies to revise its offerings by September 22 or risk losing future funding from a federal grant that’s awarded to dozens of universities to support foreign language instruction. The consortium received $235,000 from the grant last year, according to Education Department data.

Officials at Duke and at UNC-Chapel Hill, which houses the consortium, declined to comment. The Education Department declined to say if it’s examining similar programs at other schools.

Academic freedom advocates say the government could be setting a dangerous precedent if it injects politics into funding decisions. Some said they had never heard of the Education Department asserting control over such minute details of a program’s offerings.

"Is the government now going to judge funding programs based on the opinions of instructors or the approach of each course?" says Henry Reichman, chairman of a committee on academic freedom for the American Association of University Professors. "The odor of right wing political correctness that comes through this definitely could have a chilling effect."

More than a dozen universities receive National Resource Center grants for their Middle East programs, including Columbia, Georgetown, Yale and the University of Texas. The Duke-UNC consortium was founded in 2005 and first received the grant nearly a decade ago.
Posted by: trailing wife || 09/20/2019 09:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [151 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Thank G*d somebody finally doing something.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 09/20/2019 11:30 Comments || Top||

#2  judge funding programs based on the opinions of instructors or the approach of each course

Damn right it should. Even the employability of the academics as instructors and administrators should be judged from their ideological leanings.

A State is obligated to not only de-fund an institution that preaches against it, but to regulate curriculum to acceptable standards of liberality within the confines of morality and loyalty to the nation.
Posted by: Dron66046 || 09/20/2019 12:53 Comments || Top||

#3  Opening sentence says the Trump administration is threatening to do something. What are the odds the actually do?
Posted by: jpal || 09/20/2019 12:59 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Politix
Trump Administration Planning to ‘End Catch and Release at the Southwest Border'
[EpochTimes] President Donald Trump and a top immigration official said the administration is working on ending so-called "catch and release" at the southern border of the United States, with the goal of shutting it down by early October.

Mark Morgan, commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, told reporters late on Sept. 18 that the administration is "confident that in a couple of weeks we’re going to be able to end catch and release at the southwest border."

He said it will be possible through a "network of initiatives and policies by this administration that’s really been supported by several different entities within" the Department of Homeland Security, including his agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

"There will be no more catch and release. Nobody coming into the country ... And that’s without the Democrats," Trump told reporters.

"It would’ve been easier, we could’ve done it the other way, but because it won’t be done through legislation and what we’re doing from Mexico, we won’t have catch within two weeks, we’ll be free of catch and release, releasing people."

Morgan said a new interim final rule would be coming out following the Supreme Court blocking a nationwide injunction from a federal judge.
Posted by: Glotle Anginelet8973 || 09/20/2019 06:26 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [166 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Catch & shoot in the fuckin' head works for me.
Posted by: Raj || 09/20/2019 11:32 Comments || Top||

#2  Why is it always planning to do instead of just did?
Posted by: jpal || 09/20/2019 13:20 Comments || Top||

#3  ...maybe because now they think they've put enough judges on the bench to end the lawfare against America?
Posted by: Procopius2k || 09/20/2019 15:57 Comments || Top||


Home Front: WoT
US military presenting range of options to Trump on Iran
[IsraelTimes] Investigators still trying to determine if Tehran behind attacks on Saudi oil; Lawmaker urges president to go to Congress as strikes could lead to ’a medium to large-scale war’.
Posted by: trailing wife || 09/20/2019 00:37 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [296 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

#1  Oh boy, thousands of dead American soldiers and a trillion dollar bill which we get to pay.

How's this in the best interest of the American people again?
Posted by: Herb McCoy || 09/20/2019 6:59 Comments || Top||

#2  I see no reason why the US has to hit Iran right now. They didn't hit us. I know they have in the past and so we have sanctions but currently, if the Saudis wanna smack Iran, they can. Doesn't need our help.
Posted by: Silentbrick || 09/20/2019 7:21 Comments || Top||

#3  um. What happened to NYC when they stopped "broken windows" policing?
Posted by: Betty Peacock9670 || 09/20/2019 7:40 Comments || Top||

#4  They are obviously expecting some sort of attack. Destroy the evil SOB's wen they are NOT expecting it. Say nothing, admit nothing, smile and be polite.
Posted by: Besoeker || 09/20/2019 7:44 Comments || Top||

#5  It's like a spoiled child, escalating tantrum to get attention. We got them in a no win situation and they're trying everything but invade another sovereign country to get us to back off. Meanwhile the Euros have nothing but throw themselves at the feet of the Mullahs because they've sold their souls to the devil*. I like how the masks are coming off.

* how are those 'work arounds' doing for you?
Posted by: Procopius2k || 09/20/2019 8:10 Comments || Top||

#6  There would seem to be some good arguments for inaction. On the one hand, they initiated an attack which under past circumstances would have had global repercussions, seemingly with the intent to equally initiate armed conflict.

Further, this is costing the Chi-coms nearly $100 Million per day while not really upsetting our national markets so there is a dual benefit to our inaction.

As I think Glenn Reynolds observed, the value of the Damocletian sword is that it hangs, not that it falls. Their economy is on the ropes, the ayatollah is older than dirt, what's the rush?
Posted by: Cesare || 09/20/2019 9:18 Comments || Top||

#7  Trump just announced "maximum sanctions" on Iran's National Bank, cutting off funds
Posted by: Frank G || 09/20/2019 11:05 Comments || Top||

#8  Some people can be coerced by the threat of military strikes and some can't.
Bombing to Win: Air Power and Coercion in War(1986) by Robert Pape argued that once coercion loses most of its effect when the bombs fall because the other side thinks "So what more can you do to me?"

But more importantly: some regimes just can't be seen to back down. Losing a war usually causes the ruling faction to be replaced. In many nations they do this more or less gracefully because they know that in a decade or so they will be back on top again. In some regimes feel that there is no tomorrow and they have every incentive to fight to the last.

Can the Ayatollahs be coerced, and if so to what extent?
Posted by: magpie || 09/20/2019 11:29 Comments || Top||

#9  See also "The Limits of Air Power"
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 09/20/2019 11:32 Comments || Top||

#10  Now, the air option assumes you aren't going the Curtis LeMay Option....cause after that, they no longer exist and well, it doesn't matter what the vapors think because Vapors Don't Shoot Back.
Posted by: Silentbrick || 09/20/2019 12:05 Comments || Top||

#11  They've been at war with us for 40 years, Herb. We didn't start it, and our failure to end it means more death and misery around the globe.

You're neither a pacifist not an isolationist -- you're a quisling.
Posted by: Rob Crawford || 09/20/2019 12:45 Comments || Top||

#12  president to go to Congress

That'd be portrayed as a Trumpian Trick to delay the long-awaited, much anticipated impeachment.
Posted by: Bobby || 09/20/2019 16:14 Comments || Top||


#14  Were they at war with us in 1979 when we engineered the overthrow of the Shah?

We weren't at war with the Germans until they bombed Pearl Harbor.
Posted by: SteveS || 09/20/2019 22:07 Comments || Top||

#15  Carter - a pusillanimous puke(like someone we know) engineered that. No America-First agent, either, like you.
Posted by: Frank G || 09/20/2019 22:30 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Imran expresses Pakistan's resolve to stand with Saudi Arabia
[TWITTER]
So the Holy Islamic H-Bomb is still on the table?

Posted by: Fred || 09/20/2019 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [86 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan


International-UN-NGOs
Iran suspended from world judo federation over Israel boycott policy
[IsraelTimes] After Iranian athlete was coerced into throwing matches to avoid facing Israeli, and then defected, Islamic Republic banned from all judo competitions and activities
Posted by: trailing wife || 09/20/2019 00:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [83 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

#1  Don't want their asses kicked on the world stage?
Posted by: Skidmark || 09/20/2019 14:59 Comments || Top||


Iraq
Iraq not in talks with Russia over potential purchase of S-400
[ALMASDARNEWS] Moscow and Baghdad at the moment are not in talks over the possibility of Iraq’s purchasing Russia’s air defense systems S-400 Triumf, Iraqi ambassador in Moscow Haidar Mansour Hadi told a news conference on the platform of the international discussion club Valdai on Thursday.

"We are not holding such talks. Not a single hint at that," Hadi said, adding that he has been asked this question at each public event.

During his visit to Moscow in February 2018 Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari noted that Baghdad was closely studying the possibility of purchasing the S-400. In the middle of May, the Iraqi ambassador stated that Baghdad had made up its mind to purchase the S-400 from Russia.

Posted by: Fred || 09/20/2019 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [98 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iraq


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Armenia to open embassy in Israel
[IsraelTimes] The Foreign Ministry issues a statement welcoming the Armenian government’s decision to open an embassy in Israel.

"This decision reflects the significant progress in our diplomatic relations over the past year."

"The opening of the embassy is a new and important chapter in bilateral relations and we are confident that this will further strengthen the friendship between the two peoples and enhance cooperation between the states in all areas."
Posted by: trailing wife || 09/20/2019 00:37 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [131 views] Top|| File under:

#1  That's gonna piss Yippy off
Posted by: Frank G || 09/20/2019 9:24 Comments || Top||

#2  Happened to be looking at this mere moments ago: Family Keepsakes [of Midwestern Armenian-Americans] Saved from Genocide
Posted by: Sheba Omoger6231 || 09/20/2019 10:31 Comments || Top||

#3  That's gonna piss Yippy off

The Sublime Porta(potty)?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 09/20/2019 10:45 Comments || Top||


Netanyahu urges rival Gantz to form unity government with him
[DAWN] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Thursday on his main rival, former general Benny Gantz, to join him in a broad, governing coalition after Israel's election ended with no clear winner.

A spokeswoman for Gantz, leader of the centrist Blue and White party, had no immediate response to the surprise offer from Netanyahu, head of the right-wing Likud party.

The change of strategy reflected Netanyahu's weakened position after he failed again in Tuesday's election, which followed an inconclusive ballot in April, to secure a parliamentary majority.

"During the election campaign, I called for the establishment of a right-wing government but to my regret, the election results show that this is impossible," Netanyahu said.

"Benny, we must set up a broad unity government, as soon as today. The nation expects us, both of us, to demonstrate responsibility and that we pursue cooperation."

On Wednesday, Gantz said he hoped for a "good, desirable unity government". But he has also ruled out forming one with a Netanyahu-led Likud, citing looming corruption charges against the prime minister. Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing.

All right-wing, religious parties finish signing pledge of allegiance to Netanyahu in effort to foil secular unity government

[IsraelTimes] The leaders of all the parties in the right-wing religious bloc have signed a document pledging to recommend Benjamin Netanyahu as the next prime minister and vowing to enter a coalition only as a single unit, as the premier called on Blue and White chief Benny Gantz to join a “unity government” that includes those parties.

Gantz during the election spoke of his interest in forming a “secular unity government” ostensibly void of the Haredi parties Shas and United Torah Judaism as well as the more hardline members of the Yamina party.

Posted by: Fred || 09/20/2019 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [116 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I strongly suspect that Gantz is an idiot who doesn't understands that his new environment is not, even remotely, like his old one.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 09/20/2019 0:48 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
US-sanctioned Lebanese bank tied to Hezbollah self-liquidates
[IsraelTimes] Leb’s Central Bank announces it had agreed to the self-liquidation request it received from a bank hit by US sanctions last month over ties with Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah.

"Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh announced today he approved the request made by Jammal Trust Bank SAL," the Lebanese state-run National News Agency reports.

On August 29, Washington slapped heavy financial sanctions on JTB, which was accused of acting as a key financial institution for Hezbollah.

The US Treasury said the bank was used for enabling several of the Shiite holy warrior group’s financial activities, "including sending payments to families of jacket wallahs."

The news agency quotes Salameh as stressing that the value of the bank’s assets and of its contribution to the national deposit guarantee body were sufficient "in principle" to pay back all deposits and fulfill obligations.

Iran-backed Hezbollah has been a US-designated terrorist group since 1997 and fights alongside the regime of Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Leveler of Latakia...
in the neighboring country’s civil war.

It is Tehran’s most potent proxy on the regional scene and also wields significant influence in Lebanese politics.

One of a handful of Shiite-owned Lebanese banks, JTB had specialized in micro-credit in remote areas of the country’s Shiite-majority south, which is also Hezbollah’s heartland.
Posted by: trailing wife || 09/20/2019 00:37 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [160 views] Top|| File under: Hezbollah


US-backed SDC demands Syrian gov’t recognize their autonomy in northern Syria
[ALMASDARNEWS] The Syrian government recently sent a letter to the United Nations
...a lucrative dumping ground for the relatives of dictators and party hacks...
Security-General criticizing the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as a "separatist terrorist militia" that is destabilizing the country.

The letter accused the Syrian Democratic Forces of working with the U.S. and Israel to undermine the government , while "committing crimes for the International Coalition against the Syrian people," accusing the SDF of now "kidnapping, torturing, killing and displacing civilians."

However,
alcohol has never solved anybody's problems. But then, neither has milk...
in response to the government’s letter, the co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council (political wing of the SDF), Ilham Ahmed, told Asharq al-Awsat that Damascus’ accusations were baseless and false, adding that they are attempting to please The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...Qatar's satrapy in Asia Minor...
with these claims.

"This approach will not serve the political solution and the grinding of the peace processor‐threatening with wars and battles to impose control over the entirety of Syrian territory only prolongs the conflict," she said.

Ahmed said the Syrian Democratic Council is relentlessly working to reopen talks with Damascus in order to reach a political settlement.

The SDF co-chair also demanded that the Syrian government recognize the autonomous administration in northern and eastern Syria.

"We have consistently indicated through our statements, and we have repeatedly called on the Syrian government to begin engaging in a comprehensive political process to resolve the Syrian crisis, recognize the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria," the co-chair said.

Posted by: Fred || 09/20/2019 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [135 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria


US continues to arm Syrian Kurds despite Turkey’s objections
[ALMASDARNEWS] The U.S. military is still arming the Syrian Kurds in northeastern Syria, despite the Ottoman Turkish regime’s objections and demands that they discontinue their support for the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Citing a U.S. defense official on Wednesday, the AFP News Agency reported that the American military was still providing weapons and military equipment to the Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria.

According to the AFP report, the weapons and military equipment are being supplied to the Syrian Democratic Forces so that they can continue their fight against the Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that they were al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're really very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear western pols talk they're not really Moslems....
(ISIS
...embracing their inner Islamic Brute...
/ISIS/IS/ISIS).

"We continue to provide very tailored arms and vehicles to the SDF" for use against IS, said Chris Maier, the director of the working group on the fight against the jihadists at the Department of Defense.

"We’re very transparent about what those supplies are," Maier said, adding "We provide monthly to The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...just another cheapjack Moslem dictatorship, brought to you by the Moslem Brüderbund...
a report of what those arms and vehicles are."

Earlier this week, local sources in the al-Hasakah Governorate reported that a U.S. military convoy consisting of 150 supply vehicles entered the northeastern Syria city of al-Malikiyah.

These reports come just a week after the U.S. and Ottoman Turkish armed forces implemented a safe zone in northern Syria; they have already begun joint patrols.

Posted by: Fred || 09/20/2019 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [227 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Sublime Porta is outraged?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru PB || 09/20/2019 7:42 Comments || Top||

#2  fuck turkey
Posted by: chris || 09/20/2019 9:49 Comments || Top||

#3  ^Not if you intend to eat it afterwards - ask Ayatollah Khomeini.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 09/20/2019 10:51 Comments || Top||


Iranian FM warns US or Saudi attack would trigger 'all-out war'
What would an Israeli attack trigger?
[DAWN] Iran's foreign minister has said a military strike on Iran
...a theocratic Shiite state divided among the Medes, the Persians, and the (Arab) Elamites. Formerly a fairly civilized nation ruled by a Shah, it became a victim of Islamic revolution in 1979. The nation is today noted for spontaneously taking over other countries' embassies, maintaining whorehouses run by clergymen, involvement in international drug trafficking, and financing sock puppet militias to extend the regime's influence. The word Iran is a cognate form of Aryan, the abbreviation IRGC is a cognate form of Stürmabteilung (or SA), the term Supreme Guide is a cognate form of either Shah or Führer or maybe both, and they hate Jews Zionists Jews. Their economy is based on the production of oil and vitriol...
would trigger "all-out war", as the United States and its Gulf allies accuse Iran of being behind attacks on Saudi oil facilities.

Asked about the consequence of "an American or Saudi military strike on Iran" in an interview with CNN aired on Thursday, Mohammad Javad Zarif responded: "An all-out war."

"We don't want war, we don't want to engage in a military confrontation," he said, warning it would lead to "a lot of casualties".

"But we won't blink to defend our territory," he added.

Yemen
...an area of the Arabian Peninsula sometimes mistaken for a country. It is populated by more antagonistic tribes and factions than you can keep track of...
's Iran-backed Iran's Houthi sock puppets
...a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as the Believing Youth. Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi is said to be the spiritual leader of the group and most of the military leaders are his relatives. The legitimate Yemeni government has accused the them of having ties to the Iranian government. Honest they did. The group has managed to gain control over all of Saada Governorate and parts of Amran, Al Jawf and Hajjah Governorates. Its slogan is God is Great, Death to America™, Death to Israel, a curse on the Jews They like shooting off... ummm... missiles that they would have us believe they make at home in their basements. On the plus side, they did murder Ali Abdullah Saleh, which was the only way the country was ever going to be rid of him...
s
have grabbed credit for Saturday's strikes on Saudi oil infrastructures, but the US says it has concluded the attack involved cruise missiles from Iran and amounts to "an act of war".

Soddy Arabia
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face...
, which has been bogged down in a five-year war in neighbouring Yemen, has said Iran "unquestionably sponsored" the attacks and the weapons used in them were Iranian-made, but has not directly blamed its regional rival.

"They're making that up," said Zarif.

Posted by: Fred || 09/20/2019 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [105 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran


Pompeo favours 'peaceful resolution' to crisis after Saudi attack
[DAWN] The US wants a peaceful solution to the crisis sparked by attacks on Saudi oil facilities, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday, after Iran
...a theocratic Shiite state divided among the Medes, the Persians, and the (Arab) Elamites. Formerly a fairly civilized nation ruled by a Shah, it became a victim of Islamic revolution in 1979. The nation is today noted for spontaneously taking over other countries' embassies, maintaining whorehouses run by clergymen, involvement in international drug trafficking, and financing sock puppet militias to extend the regime's influence. The word Iran is a cognate form of Aryan, the abbreviation IRGC is a cognate form of Stürmabteilung (or SA), the term Supreme Guide is a cognate form of either Shah or Führer or maybe both, and they hate Jews Zionists Jews. Their economy is based on the production of oil and vitriol...
raised the prospect of "all-out war".

Pompeo has blamed Iran for the dramatic weekend assault on two facilities, condemning an "act of war" which knocked out half the kingdom's oil production.

The rhetoric has raised the risk of an unpredictable escalation in a tinderbox region where Soddy Arabia
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face...
and Iran are locked in a decades-old struggle for dominance.

After meeting with allies in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, Pompeo said there was an "enormous consensus in the region" that Iran carried out the attacks, despite its denials.

But he said the US was intent on finding a way out of the confrontation.

"We'd like a peaceful resolution. I think we've demonstrated that," he told news hounds. "I hope the Islamic Theocratic Republic of Iran sees it the same way."

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier warned any US or Saudi military strike on Iran could cause "all-out war".

"We don't want war, we don't want to engage in a military confrontation," he told CNN in an interview aired Thursday.

"But we won't blink to defend our territory."

Posted by: Fred || 09/20/2019 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [102 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran


China: $400 billion line of credit to Iran becomes active.
[Twitter]

One Twitter comment from a doubter: " China has a $14 trillion GDP and $45 trillions debt..."

Posted by: 3dc || 09/20/2019 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [210 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

#1  China is propping up Iran. This is supposed to improve Iran's oil infrastructure. Iran is one of the few countries that has sufficient internal oil field and refinery equipment manufacturing shops which means they do not have to worry about embargos on oil sector equipment manufactured outside of Iran. Sanctions on equipment has crippled Venezuela's oil production and refining capabilities but will not harm Iran.

Therefore, that oil sector revitalization revenue will go into the Iranian economy.

Another note, while most oil producing countries around the world have up to 60 years of oil reserves, Iran is the only one that has 100 years of oil reserves.

However, their currency valuation is like Venezuela's, extremely crippled.
Posted by: Phaick Uneretle6310 || 09/20/2019 0:56 Comments || Top||

#2  Iranian currency is displayed at an exchange shop in Tehran, August 1, 2019.
The Islamic Republic President Hassan Rouhani has submitted a bill to Majles (Parliament) proposing the elimination of four zeros from the Iranian national currency rial. Based on the bill, Iran's national currency will be changed from rials to toman, and each toman would be equal to 10,000 rials. On August 6, Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), Abdolnaser Hemmati, maintained that dropping four zeros from the national currency will have no impact on inflation rate adding that the CBI is ready to implement the plan.
Posted by: Chereting Pelosi1889 || 09/20/2019 9:44 Comments || Top||

#3  Now, that would be a GREAT drone strike.
Where does it land?
Posted by: Skidmark || 09/20/2019 20:59 Comments || Top||



Who's in the News
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