[ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] General 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... and the Libya National Army (LNA) is edging ever closer to a military victory in the civil war even as world powers push the warring parties towards peace.
Haftar, the 76-year-old leader who has vowed to remove the bully boy militias from power and unify the war-torn country, played a masterstroke in blocking off oil production last week. In one stroke, he cut off the main source of revenue to his enemies in the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Fred ||
01/25/2020 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Sublime Porte
He's supported by Russia. His opponents supported by Qatar & Turkey.
[PJ] - Without much fanfare one of the most dramatic changes in modern history occurred. Britain left the European Union. Boris Johnson tweeted, "the Withdrawal Agreement has received Royal Assent and is now law. We will leave the EU on January 31st".
A similar resolution has eluded America. Yet while the US Senate is preparing to begin what will probably be a failed impeachment trial of Donald Trump, the old global world continues to be shaken by unforeseen developments. China's lunar new year -- its most festive occasion -- was ruined by the outbreak of a new coronavirus, 2019-nCoV. A quarantine zone has encloses more than 10 cities and a population the size of Canada.
But its impact was global. Canada already teetering on the edge of an economic slowdown "would face a major test if the disease spreads into the North American country, economists said." Skynews described how a virus that may have started in a local wild animal fresh meat market in central China's Wuhan spread around the world.
...It was an example of 'No Borders' but not in a good way. The pathogen got on a plane abetted by a delay in acknowledgement. "The Chinese government failed to act quickly enough to curb the spread of the Wuhan virus, risking further outbreaks," Guan Yi, the Director of the State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the University of Hong Kong told the Asia Times. The Chinese government's own data, hosted on Wikipedia, confirms this. It shows how at the beginning the numbers were small, the infection still all in one place. After a week it blew up.
This illustrates how giant totalitarian governments like China's can be at a disadvantage in dealing with emergent events. What it gains in ruthless response cannot always make up for lost response time caused by the official denial of embarrassing facts. That explains why establishments are often surprised by events like Brexit and Hillary Clinton's shock loss. They are unexpected because they were not in the 5 year plan. They arrive like a bolt from the blue.
When the unexpected happens the official Narrative often increases the reaction time of the system. While events are slow moving there may be no penalty but in the fast moving global world threats like the coronavirus may hit the public even before institutions admit it exists. The old model of globalization has paradoxically both speeded up the rate at which events occur and slowed the rate at which behemoth transnational institutions can respond.
...Even the mighty Chinese state has conceded it has to surrender some control to achieve results. The Washington Post reports on Beijing's new openness:
Just 10 days after a pneumonia-like illness was first reported among people who attended a seafood market in Wuhan, China, scientists released the genetic sequence of the coronavirus that sickened them. That precious bit of data, freely available to any researcher who wanted to study it, unleashed a massive collaborative effort to understand the mysterious new pathogen that has been rapidly spreading in China and beyond.
The genome was posted on a Friday night on an open-access repository for genetic information. By Saturday morning, Andrew Mesecar, a professor in cancer structural biology at Purdue University, had redirected his laboratory to start analyzing the DNA sequence, which bore a striking resemblance to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the 2002 viral outbreak that sickened more than 8,000 people and killed nearly 800. Scientists at the federal Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Montana asked a company to turn the information from a string of letters on a computer screen into actual DNA they could study in lab dishes.
At unprecedented speed, scientists are starting experiments, sharing data and revealing the secrets of the pathogen ‐ a race that is made possible by new scientific tools and cultural norms in the face of a public health emergency.
"The pace is unmatched," said Karla Satchell, a professor of microbiology-immunology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "This is really new. Lots of people [in science] still try to hide what they’re doing, don’t want to talk about what they’re doing, and everybody out there is like: This is the case where we don’t worry about egos, we don’t worry about who’s first, we just care about solving the problem. The information flow has been really fast."
The obvious question is how the Chines had the complete DNA sequence in 10 days - please spare me the story of a virus jumping from snakes to bats to humans.
The National Biosafety Laboratory, Wuhan (NBL4) has 2 cellular biosafety labs, 1 small-sized animal lab, 1 medium-sized animal lab, and 1 culture (virus) collection & use lab. Meanwhile, it is equipped with 4 double door leaf sterilizers, 1 sewage treatment unit, 14 ventilation and air conditioning systems as well as high efficiency filtration systems, 4 chemical showers, and 1 life support system to guarantee its safe operation.
It possesses complete level 4 biosafety protection facilities, management and personnel system, and has the comprehensive abilities to conduct level 4 detection, isolation and identification, pathogenic characteristic analysis, research on infection and pathogenic mechanisms, and the verification of antiviral drugs and vaccines on harmful virus, etc. It has been approved by the National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China to conduct pathogenic activities
Based on current evidence, Wuhan novel coronavirus presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild. Those who have died in Wuhan appear to have had pre-existing health conditions.
The UK is now one of the first countries outside China to have a prototype specific laboratory test for this new disease. Healthcare professionals who are contacted by a patient with symptoms following travel to Wuhan have been advised to submit samples to PHE for testing. Individuals should be treated in isolation
[Real Clear Politics] The funny part is, it’s not a punch line. In their opening impeachment argument before the Senate, Democrats claim they believe in a "fundamental principle that Americans should decide American elections."
The 63 million Americans whose votes they are trying to invalidate don’t believe them.
Democrats lost an election in 2016. Rather than gracefully accept defeat, they decided to become the worst sore losers in history. Three years after President Donald Trump was sworn in, they still are incapable of calling his election legitimate.
The Democrats accuse him of soliciting Ukraine to "bolster the perceived legitimacy of his presidency."
"Perceived"? Democrats need a long overdue lesson in reality: Donald Trump is your duly elected president. No amount of clamoring about "Russia" can ever change that.
Yet that won’t stop them from trying. During the first four hours laying out their case, Democrats mentioned "Russia" 102 times. It’s as if we never had a special counsel, whose team of former Clinton Foundation attorneys and future MSNBC contributors scoured the earth looking for "collusion" for two years and never found it. It’s as if countless other congressional investigations that found "no evidence that any votes were changed" in 2016, never happened. It’s as if we are stuck in the Obama-Biden years, and Ukraine is still waiting for tank-busting Javelins, while Russia exercises its "flexibility" in Crimea.
It’s as if millions of Americans never told Washington we were sick and tired of its corrupt ways and raised our voices loudly and clearly on Nov. 8, 2016.
[RedState] I’m surprised the Times ran this article, but I guess allowing one contrasting opinion in the mix puts them in stopped clock being right twice a day territory.
Josh Blackman, a constitutional law professor from South Texas College of Law (in Houston), has penned a piece in the Times that isn’t “pro-Trump,” but does manage to lay out the obvious case for why the Democrat push for impeachment is so dangerous.
The way things look, President Trump will almost certainly not be removed from office. The precedents set by the articles of impeachment, however, will endure far longer. And regrettably, the House of Representatives has transformed presidential impeachment from a constitutional parachute — an emergency measure to save the Republic in free-fall — into a parliamentary vote of “no confidence.”
The House seeks to expel Mr. Trump because he acted “for his personal political benefit rather than for a legitimate policy purpose.” Mr. Trump’s lawyers responded, “elected officials almost always consider the effect that their conduct might have on the next election.” The president’s lawyers are right. And that behavior does not amount to an abuse of power.
It's hard to understand slang like Peach-Mint. I wish these were written to be more accessible to a general audience.
Posted by: Herb McCoy ||
01/25/2020 2:25 Comments ||
Everyone with his head on straight - VDH, Dershowitz, Turkey, Andy McCarthy - could see this coming. Every single one of these men predicted this outcome.
To Pelousey, Schifferbrains, Schumer, et al: You f---ing idiots. You can't mix politics - fighting out policy disputes in the electoral sphere and in legislative bodies-- with criminal investigations by the FBI. And heaven help you, and us, if you mix politics and "counter-intelligence" investigations.
That way lies Beria-style vendettas (check), star chambers (check), domestic spying by the CIA (check), and all sorts of chicanery and mischief involving unscrupulous foreign intelligence agents and their agendas which may or may not have anything to do with what's best for our Republic (check, check and triple-check).
We are Through the Looking Glass now. Insanity reigns.
To be crystal clear: there is nothing inherently wrong, criminal, or destructive about a president pursuing his foreign policy as he sees fit-- Democratic POTUS, Republican POTUS, Sanders-POTUS or Bloomberg-POTUS: that's what elections are for.
We can disagree about whether it's wiser, nobler, more effective etc to A) "have more flexibility" about providing our most advanced missile defense systems to a major adversary's neighbor, or B) to do the opposite and pursue a policy of confrontation.
If POTUS-A pursues policy A, that's his prerogative, and ditto for POTUS-B and policy B. The proper way for us as a democratic polity to determine which of these policies to pursue is through the legislative and electoral spheres: debates in Congress, and presidential elections:
If you don't like the foreign policies of Jimmy Carter, vote for Ronald Reagan. If you don't like Bush and the neo-conservative agenda, vote for an unknown "community organizer" who promises to scrap all that.
And if you think OrangeMan is Genghis Mussolini for exiting the Climate Change agreement and for suggesting that maybe we need to find a rapprochement with Russia, then have at it: tell the good folk why these policies will bring about the Apocalypse, and persuade those good people to vote for your guy/gal/trans-specimen next November.
THAT'S POLITICS. That's fine, normal, healthy.
But for god's sake, don't use the criminal law to turn a political dispute into a Queen of Hearts-style absurdist trial.
That will only result in our national politics becoming the equivalent of one of Obama's Kampus Kangaroo Courts for college boys accused of rape by disgruntled hookup partners.
That's a disgrace, a futile and absurd show aimed at demonstrating virtue by destroying respect for logic, criminal procedure, due process, and rule of law.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.