« "On the Road to Samarra..." NY Times | Main | Open Thread - 11 July 2014 »

11 July 2014


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


"There has now been rocket fire out of Lebanon. This is Hizbullah fire."

Those were two duds fired into uninhabited ground. The IDF fired back once but later an IDF spokesman said that they do not think that these came from Hizbullah. There are several other small groups in south Lebanon that once in a while shoot some such rockets.

My best guess is that this wasn't Hizbullah. Nasrallah will see no need to intervene. He will, together with Iran, publicly blame the Sunni Arab states for not acting in solidarity for the Palestinians. When those point back Iran, Syria and Hizbullah will point out that the rockets Gaza is launching were made and delivered by them alone.

Meshal's idiotic move to back away from the "resistance" three years ago has come for a steep price that the people in Gaza will now have to pay.

If Hizbullah would want to intervene it would publicly announce it and then hit hard and precise.



time will reveal all. pl


How is Maliki still alive? What is his power base now? I was under the impression that the Shia religious authorities had withdrawn their support.

More pressingly, is there any credible alternative?



The neo-conservatives have reaped their whirlwind. The United States, egged on by war profiteers and Wall Street looters, is spreading chaos across the world. The Sunni after being hunted, killed and disenfranchised aren’t going to stop at Baghdad; Mecca is their true goal. Israel, being bombarded, will invade Gaza. Iranian troops will defend Shiite Iraq against the IS. Vietnam, Philippines, Japan and China are in territorial disputes.

After letting the hounds of war loose, neo-Nazis in Ukraine and the Jihadis in the Levant, there is no way to get them back under control. Peace, the rule of law and secure borders are the antithesis of the policy of the current rulers in Washington DC. There is no one to stop the wars. They will keep escalating until someone somewhere pushes the nuclear button.

This is not going to end well.


Secure borders?

Does anyone have any insight as to why the doors to the southern US border have intentionally been thrown open? What is the underlying intent of the policy?

Peter Hofmann

"'The ISF are capable of limited defensive actions. And in some areas they are capable of limited but not sustained counter attacks,” says Jim Dubik, a senior fellow of the Institute for the Study of War and, in 2007, the US lieutenant general in charge of overseeing the training and development of the ISF. “But what they are totally incapable of planning, preparing or conducting is a counter offensive of any kind against Isis that will push them back and retake territory from the insurgency.” So it was his training.



Like the chaos in the Middle East, the results of the neoliberal/neoconservative rule in Washington DC also include the following effects relative to America’s borders:

Immigrant labor is cheap and docile. Unions are busted.

Outsourcing and offshoring is easier.

Borders are one of the very few hassles in life still felt by multi-nationals. They will pay anyone anything to get rid of them.

Recent immigrants push for more immigration of left behind relatives.

Borders define a State. If the borders are porous by definition the State is weak.

The 21st Century is defined by the efforts to weaken and destroy States everywhere including the USA.

Abu Sinan

Iron Dome doesnt have to be swamped, it has a rather poor ability to stop the rockets that are coming in now.




Yes, following neoliberal market dogma, if you have free movement of capital and goods across borders, free movement of labor would be the next logical goal.

Making the state weak is the entire point of trade agreements such as TPP and the TransAtlantic Free Trade Agreement.

The state is increasingly viewed as a barrier to free trade. Hopefully, in Europe the overreach of the NSA and its various tech company handmaidens such as Google has killed the TAFTA.


AS: I think someone said "the Arabs" didn't like Palestinians. Please see https://twitter.com/MaxBlumenthal

I'm sure the Arab elite don't like Palestinians. My experience is Latin America has taught me that rich people generally despise the poor and weak. A universal pathology.


Zebari (along with all other Kurds in Ministry Posts) just got tossed out by Maliki.


And he has warned international airlines to cease and desist air service to Erbil.


A member of a small Sunni Islamist party has been arrested for the rocket attack.

"The source disclosed that Al-Jamaa was holding contacts with officials to secure the release of Atwe, was arrested by the Internal Security Forces in Al-Bire Hospital in the Bekaa Valley, where he was receiving treatment for severe burns he sustained after launching the rockets.
Read more: http://dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2014/Jul-12/263621-al-jamaa-member-behind-rockets-fired-at-israel.ashx#ixzz37CqiZV2Z
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)


poul poor me! wrong again. these Germans really are superior beings. pl


Hamas might have Syria- made M302 rockets that have a range of between 90 to 160 kilometers.


There were reports that the reactor at Dimona was shut down in 2012, due to concerns about potentialIranian missile attacks.


At the risk of posting above my pay grade on the question of open and closed borders, my very brief take was that the US had open borders and refugee status was easily gained so long as the USSR and its satellites had closed borders for those seeking refuge from there. Once things changed, the border issues changed, and the US has rather closed continental borders with Canada and Mexico from my memory in the 1950s and 1960s. In my neck of the world, Thessaloniki, Greece, this is a huge issue due to illegal immigration and refugees fleeing due to the ructions in the Middle East, economic conditions in much of Asia and the huge coastline, not to mention profiteering traffickers.

At one point over 30 years ago, I was an "illegal" denizen as a foreign student who had outstayed his visa. Times have changed.

I have had the opportunity to edit a journal devoted to border crossings in this Balkan area and several articles and three books on the complexities of this issue over the past ten or so years in this region. The complexities of the current migrations and their causes or solutions are something for others dissect. I will provide sources on request if Col. Lang will host them.


Look up Norbert Elias and John Scotson's book _The Established and the Outsiders_: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Established-Outsiders-Sociological-Community-association/dp/0803979495/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405120028&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Established+and+the+Outsiders


"Incapable of planning, preparing or conducting is a counter offensive of any kind..." Exactly how Israel and the neocons wanted it. A military that contractors could profit from but that was otherwise totally ineffective.

The beaver


IIRC what a Yemeni taxi driver once told me:
In the Arab world food-chain, Arabs from Yemen are the last group, Egypt in the middle, in between them the Maghreb and Iraq /Syria. At the top , the Saudis, then the other members of the GCC and then Jordanians next to Egypt. They don't consider the Omanis as Arabs. As far as the Lebanese and Palestinians are concerned, he could not place them.
When I asked about the Sudanese and African Arabs, he didn't know what to say.
You may be right about the poor and the weak.



I'ld like to add two links to this ME news roundup and discussion.

1st) Quote Reuters: Kurds seize Iraq oilfields...

... Kurdish forces seized two oilfields in northern Iraq and took over operations from a state-run oil company on Friday ... Kurdish forces took over production facilities at the Bai Hassan and Kirkuk oilfields near the city of Kirkuk ... The two oilfields have a combined production capacity of 450,000 barrels per day ...



2nd) Quote Al Monitor: Congress flexes muscles ahead of Iran deal

... Some 344 House members — almost 80% of the lower chamber — signed a letter to President Obama on Thursday, telling him he would be "wise" to listen to what lawmakers have to say if he wants them to lift sanctions on Iran as part of a nuclear deal. ...

Source: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/07/congress-iran-deal-deadline-demands.html

In my opinion these are expected developments, but I guess these developments will shape the curse of events in the ME for many days to come.



I'm a lifelong resident of Texas so I've seen the effects of cross border migration for a long, long time. It's a very easy problem to solve. Throw the employers who hire them in jail. Until that happens there is nothing the US can do to secure that border. It's too long and too desolate in too many places.

If we need some of that labor then let the employers bid to bring in what they need. I know a lot of illegals and I personally have a lot of sympathy for them. If I was living that kind of life down there and I saw a better opportunity I'd probably go for it also; however, they will tell you to a person if the jobs dry up then they will return.

I'll be waiting for the Republicans and tea-partiers to throw a couple employers in jail to make an example of them.


From the Givati Brigade Commander...

On the eve of a threatened ground invasion of Gaza, the commander of the Israeli army’s Givati Brigade has told his soldiers that they are engaged in a war to “wipe out” an “enemy who defames” God.

In a Hebrew language letter to his troops published by Israel’s NRG news website and laden with bibilical references, Colonel Ofer Winter writes, “History has chosen us to be the sharp edge of the bayonet of fighting the terrorist enemy ‘from Gaza’ which curses, defames and abuses the God of Israel’s battles.”

“We will act together forcefully and with resolve, with initiative and with deceptive tricks and aim for contact with the enemy. We will do everything to live up to the mission and wipe out the enemy and remove the threat from the Nation of Israel,” Winter’s letter adds.

In Hebrew, the phrase used for “Nation of Israel” refers specifically and only to Jews.

“In the name of the IDF [Israeli army] fighters and in particular, the fighters and commanders from the Brigade, make the phrase ‘For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you’ come true, and we shall answer: Amen,” he concludes.




"Throw the employers who hire them in jail." An excellent idea. SWMBO has her own idea of how to deal with the present Central American problem. she says we should occupy these countries and "sort them out." I have protested this idea but to no avail. pl



Ah, I forgot that designation is already in use. pl

Babak Makkinejad

Not sufficient.

In the United States as well as in UK there is a social class of human beings - in tens of millions - that are no longer required to do substantial useful work to physically survive.

Then the foreigners are brought in to do the work that natives no longer have any incentive to do.

You need to get rid of Disability - in US as well as in UK.

Here is a truthful and accurate review of the situation in UK:


Babak Makkinejad

US & EU wars in the Middle East have made the situation much worse.

As a first step, I would think that EU could dismantle her economic wars against Syria and Iran.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

August 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          
Blog powered by Typepad