Tuesday, February 19, 2019

What Next in North Syria?

The Daesh so-called caliphate in northern Syria has been reduced from an area the size of Britain down to a tiny tent city.  Perhaps they will be completey eradicated by the time this is posted.  Or maybe not, as the remnants are hiding behind civilian hostages, women and children.  So the SDF held up ops to keep from harming those human shields.

The Kurds of Syria have been battling against the Daeshi terrorists of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi since early 2014.  Even before that in 2012 they fought against al Qaeda in the Battle of Serê Kaniyê‎ (AKA Ras al-Ayn).  Their Democratic Union Party or PYD got its start back in 2003.  Their military arm, the YPG, evolved later from the Kurdish youth in the northeast who had banded together in 2004 for protection.  Those early Kudish militias eventually turned into the YPG and  What is their goal for the future?  Moron-Don is now backtracking on pulling completely out of Syria, probably based on pushback by Senator Graham.  Or maybe by Netanyahu?

But the PYD and YPG never wanted an independent Rojava.  They and the SDF continue to negotiate with Assad and Putin for limited autonomy within Assad’s Syria (which is aggravating Trump’s Secretary of State and Tea-Partier-in-Chief Mike PomPom).  Those in the SDF wanting to negotiate with Assad include not only the Kurds but also the Christian Assyrians (AKA Syriacs)
and various Arab tribes in the north, and even a few Syrian Turcomen.  Some have split off though.  One of the original Arab tribal plankowners in the SDF, Liwa Thuwwar al-Raqqa a former FSA unit, had already left the fold in May of last year. 
There are, or will be, others.  Assad is putting on a charm campaign and making promises with many of the tribes and groupings other than the PYD, even as he negotiates.  Erdogan is undoubtedly sending Turcomen kinsmen to the Seljuk Brigade to sweet talk them into defecting from the SDF.
So what is the new strategy of the SDF for the next stage, now that the geographical control and practical presence of the so-called caliphate have been ended or will end shortly?  A spokesman of the SDF’s General Military Council, at the end of its regular meeting held on the 17th of February in al-Hasakah, mentioned the following:

·         1]  Eliminate the secret military organization of IS sleeper cells through accurate military and security campaigns.

·         2] Dry up the social, intellectual and economic ground on which IS depends for the continuity of its existence.

      3] Find a solution through dialogue with the Syrian Government within the framework of a unified Syria, taking into account the specificity of SDF and the constitutional recognition of the Autonomous Administration of North and East of Syria.

·         4] Solve problems with the Turkish state through dialogue and mutual respect.  At the same time, keep in full readiness to protect our areas in the event of any aggression and welcome the establishment of a buffer zone under international supervision in order to establish security and peace on our northern border.

·         5]  Liberate Afrin and return its original inhabitants to their homes and stop the processes of demographic change.

My comments below:

The most critical goal above is the second item.  You have to eliminate the reasons that have allowed Daeshis to proliferate.  Hard to do!  Iraq blew it, plus both we and Hamid Karzai blew that chance in Afghanistan.  Doorkickers (see the first bullet) are not enough to solve the problem by itself.

Regarding the third item, I have no doubt that the SDF and Assad can come to an agreement.  Assad needs them.  But the guy is pretty slick.  So they will have to watch out that he does not promise them one of those infamous Wimpy Sandwiches, where the meat has a fishhook and line attached.  Assad has done that previously - yanking out the meat of the deal after it was signed by the opposing faction and leaving nothing but bread or bun - or probably a pita pocket bread in his case.

The fourth and fifth items are incompatible.  Erdogan has already turned Afrin into a mini-province of Turkey, in actuality if not in name.  The Turkish TSK invaded Afrin a year ago during its Operation Olive Branch (talk about 'doublespeak', Erdogan could give lessons to George Orwell's Big Brother character).  The only way to accomplish the fifth item is via Russian influence on Erdogan.  Even then he will not go gracefully unless he gets guarantees from Assad and Putin that his ethnic cleansing of the Kurds from Afrin is allowed to stand.  Erdo will want Afrin to remain Arabized and Turcomanized even if the SAA is given the opportunity to defeat FSA elements there.

What of the other Turkish inroads into Syria?  I understand that the SDF may not give a rat’s a$$ about Idlib.  But they and Assad’s SAA certainly need to liberate the al-Bab/Jarabulus/Azaz triangle between Afrin and Kobani.  That is the area that the Turks annexed during Operation Euphrates Shield three years ago.  As in Afrin, Erdogan has turned the cities in that area into “Little Ankaras”.

UPDATE:   In Turkish-occupied Afrin and the al-Bab/Jarabulus/Azaz triangle the ongoing ten-month long insurgency by the YPG and other groups appears to be expanding now that the Daesh in the NE are shrinking.  And undoubtedly will increase more once the last caliphate bastion in Baghouz completely collapses.   The insurgency tactics include "IED attacks, roadside ambushes, kidnappings and executions broadcast to internal and external audiences through social media to disrupt Turkish-backed rule while signalling their tenacity and reach."   The insurgent organizations are the YPG itself, and Hêzên Rizgariya Efrînê (HRE) or Afrin Liberation Forces, and Ghadab al-Zaytoun (GaZ) or Wrath of Olives,.   There are other anti-Turkish and anti-TFSA (Turkish controlled FSA) groups. However,  those groups such as the Afrin Hawks and others are probably false flag operations by Turkish intelligence or by their jihadi proxies, since they target civilians with indiscriminate bombings.  They have been publicly disavowed by the Kurds and the YPG has rejected involvement in those bombings of public places.

yellow=YPG, blue=GaZ, green=HRE
From late March through the end of January 2019 the YPG, GaZ, and HRE claimed responsibility for 220 attacks on Turkish occupiers and Turkish-controlled-jihadis.  The attacks by HRE just started in November as the YPG attacks appeared to be ramping down; so speculation is that they (HRE) are a front group for the YPG.  Possibly true as HRE is using ATGMs, sniper rifles, and other weapons thought to be in the YPG arsenal.  Incident map and figures from Alexander McKeever.

There is also speculation that GaZ is a YPG front group.  Perhaps so?  However GaZ uses tactics like kidnappings and assassinations.  Not just of Turkish and jihadi occupiers but also of collaborators.  In my opinion they act more in line with a black ops group similar to the KGB's 13th Directorate or the CIA's Special Activities Division.  They could be a special forces unit of the YPG like YAT Anti-Terror Units which were reportedly trained by the CIA and US SOF?  Or they could be an armed wing of the Turkish MLKP Marxist-Leninist Party.  Or a special branch of the Afrin Asayish Police Force.  Or one of the Arab NDF militias in Afrin - note that many of the GaZ attacks (blue) are in the alBab/Jarabulus/Azaz triangle where there is a larger Arab population than in Afrin.  Perhaps a combination or merger of all or some of those groups.  Or even a branch of one of Assad's many Syrian Government intel & security agencies.  Interesting that the Director of Syria's Mukhabarat, Mohammed Dib Zaytoun, has a name that is akin to Ghadab al-Zaytoun.  But that is much too obvious I would think.  Unless Assad is sending Erdogan a message.


The United Nations Mission to Syria has finally gotten off their butt and is now reporting on the war crimes committed by the Turkish controlled jihadis in Afrin.  Specifically mentioned are the following:  Ahrar Sham, Liwa al-Amjad, Failaq Sham , the Nuxba army, Sharqiya army, Shamiya front and Nur al-Din Zangi (AKA Zinki).  All of these armed groups are headchoppers and some are, or were, liver-eaters and child killers.  As bad as the Daeshis.  Some consider them worse, as at least the Daeshis followed Sharia law, while these groups are now completely lawless and practice rape, robbery, ransom, torture, and murder.   

Probably took the UN so long to sit on this because of pressure from Turkey.  And even now they just 'suggest' that these groups are controlled by Turkey.  And they make no mention of Erdogan's ethnic cleansing in Afrin.



  1. The wild card in this deck is the degree to which there will be (or won't be) a Shiite-Sunni War of Religion.

    The strongest selling point for the IS' nutzoid Sunni eliminationist program was the pounding the Sunni tribes took from the Baghdad and Damascus governments. Throw in some Saudi Wahhabi cash spread through the Sunni tribes in the desert portions of western Iraq and eastern Syria...and you got some pretty toxic sectarian divisions that don't seem to be resolving. The degree to which any of these political settlements are possible seems to depend a lot on whether or not the sectarian divide becomes wider, both geographically and socially.

    1. There is a Shia-Sunni war of religion currently going on in the Yemen.

      In Iraq, with a predominantly Shia government and close ties to Iran, relations are also good with Sunni neighbors. The Saudis, Qataris, and Emiratis all exchange Ambassadors with Iraq. The majority of Iraqis are Arab, so apparently ethnicity now trumps religion in that little corner of the ME. The Saudis have been emphasizing the close historical, ethnic, tribal, linguistic, cultural and geographic ties they have with Iraq. That despite their religious differences.

      In Syria, the Emiratis have now forsworn their former funding of Syrian jihadis. They have just recently re-opened their embassy in Damascus. In the past the Emiratis, along with the Saudis, Turks, and Qataris, were the biggest backers of Wahhabist head-choppers and liver-eaters in Syria. The Emiratis are now also endorsing the re-entrance of Syria into the Arab League. Suspicions are that the Emiratis are playing kissy-face with Assad and bringing him back into the Arab League because they want to dilute Turkish and Iranian influence (both non-Arab States). Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, and Tunisia would also welcome Syria's return to the League. The Saudis and Qataris are still holding out on League re-entry. Probably at the bidding of Moron-Don. But there were reports in November that the Saudis and Syrians were working through back channels towards reconciliation.

    2. The war in north Syria was never a war of religion on the part of the Kurds. But religion was the reason for the nutzo Daeshis and al-Qaeda militants who attacked the Kurds. But that was because they considered Kurds atheists, which by the way is still punishable by death in Saudi Arabia. So maybe that was a religious war also. And I note that the UN relegates atheists with religious groups in the Genocide Convention.

      As for the Turkish genocide against the Kurds, that is pure ethnic hate and not a religious genocide like they had with the Christian Armenians and Assyrians 100 years ago. Turks call them 'donkeys' and 'mountain n!ggahs'. Or 'mountain Turks' when they want to be diplomatic. They get enraged at hearing Kurdish language spoken, or Kurdish music, or even the word 'Kurd' or 'Kurdish'.

  2. I get the sense that the Middle East is in flux right now. The imposition of sectarian rule in Iraq made the possibility of an Islamic Thirty Years’ War seem very possible for a while, but those tensions seem to have cooled somewhat outside of Yemen...tho the Saudi-Iranian Cold War is infused with them. But I’d be kidding if I said I was confident that a religious war was completely off the table.

    The Turkish government seems determined to push their Kurdish policies to the brink of ethnic cleansing, if not beyond. I have no idea what short of that will satisfy Ankara. It’s just a dire situation.

  3. They have been killing each other over religion for much longer than the West's piddly little Thirty Years' War.

    I think they are fast getting worn out by it. Much of the Saudi animus against Iran is ethnic. Yes, there is Wahhab hatred of the Twelvers, but also much of it is 'Damned Persian Dogs! How dare they consider themselves our equal; how dare they surpass us in technology; how dare they aspire to a position of leadership in the Middle East; how dare they not follow our oil export policy!' And there has been charm offensives by Iran's President Rouhani towards the Gulf States. Did not work in 2013 and again in 2017 when he tried it. But he said just last Sunday that: "Iran is ready to work with regional states to preserve security in the Middle East. We want to establish brotherly ties with all countries of the region..." It will not work with the Saudis, but may soften up Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE. Oman has had close and cordial relations with Iran going back 2500 years when they were a satrapy of Cyrus II.

    The Turks have already passed that brink in Afrin and in some cities of their own in southeast Anatolia. And they tried it in 2014 in Kobane when they supported the ISIS attacks on that city.

  4. No idea what will happen.

    All I know is that I'm very skeptical that the US can competently provide a positive influence; and that absent some clear and incontrovertible need, we should not spend our blood and treasure there.

  5. Andy -

    Moron-Don was going to pull the US out. But then he got his head shaped by Senator Graham, Bolton, and Netanyahu. So is now leaving 200 US troops there. But my understanding is that only a small percentage of those will be in north Syria with the Kurds and SDF. The bulk will be at al-Tanf in east-central Syria to help block the Tehran-Damascus Highway as a favor to the State of Israel.

    1. Oooops! Make that 400 US troops. He changed his mind again this AM.

  6. That’s some weird micromanaging. Who the hell needs to know if there’s about the equivalent of a short battalion as opposed to two companies? Why even bother to make the announcement? The newsies and the public have no clue what either number means...hell, without context, neither do I.

    1. Last minute diddling. Probably by the mustache-of-idiocy.

      These are a pittance compared to the 5000+(?)troops and 7000 contractors in Iraq, which does not count the sailors in 5th Fleet, and Airmen at fields in various Gulf States. How many does that add up to?

      Or the 8,000+ and support in Afghanistan.

      Or the many SOF dets (and support) in various African States, the Philippines, and elsewhere.

  7. I’m pleased for the Kurds, who don’t deserve to be tossed in the pile of local allies we’ve screwed over (hi, Nungs!) but the apparent capriciousness is kind of baffling. What can four companies do that two couldn’t? They will almost certainly be spread out in small advisory and liason teams, and you’d think that pure numbers wouldn’t be very critical one way or the other; three U.S. advisors killed in a Turkish artillery raid are no less a tripwire than six, no?

    To me this emphasizes the randomness of U.S. “Middle East policy”. The Trumpkins are bad at it, but only by degree and not nature. A lot seems to derive from all those GIs you listed. Since so many of these places are full of Joe and Molly, the policies seem to be driven by “what can we accomplish with explosions?” rather than “what would be the most useful things we could accomplish?” It’s the old “when the tool you have is a hammer...” problem.

    Mind you, I think the Trumpkins add a special sauce of willful ignorance to the arrogant aggression the GOP foreign policy people like Bolton have been bringing since Dubya.

    What’s frustrating to me is that there still doesn’t appear to be a lefty alternative. While I never bought the “Hilary the Hawk” narrative her foreign policy platform never seemed more than a warmed-over version of “liberal intervention”, and Bernie never really seemed interested in foreign affairs and still doesn’t. It’s that whole “Washington Rules” problem Andy Bacevich complains about all the time.

  8. Don't be pleased for the Kurds. They would be better off without Trump and Bolton forking over their destiny. I believe they, the Kurds, are still negotiating with Assad, or perhaps through Russian intermediaries. Their leadership has always said that 'whoever rules in Damascus, rules Syria', or words to that effect. They realize that in the long term they are toast if they try to shed off Damascus entirely.

    Which is undoubtedly why Moron-Don got talked into reversing his decision to leave by the neocons. They do not want the Kurds or their Arab and Assyrian allies to make a deal with Assad. Or with Putin, or even worse to their thinking with Iran's IRGC. Although when asked by the press about why he reversed his decision, Donny claims he did not reverse anything. The man seems to believe his own bullsh*t.

    Reporter: 'Mr President, why are you wearing a blue tie today?'

    Moron-Don: 'I'm not wearing a blue tie'

  9. It’s still better for the YPG to be negotiating with Assad and Putin with their GI hostages in place than without. If for no other reason than they can use the Yanquis as a chip. No credit to us;I’d just as soon the Kurds get whatever leverage they can. They’re gonna need it. They have a lot of enemies, and few allies, among which I would not count the U.S. Were just the latest Great Power to farkle about their home patch...

  10. Well, if there's one thing the military is good at, it's managing BOG limits (Boots On Ground). In practice it will mean a greater role for "other government agencies" and the movement of capabilities right over the border, but still close by.

    It will be interesting to see how this is managed - or rather hear rumint how it's managed as the details would obviously be classified.

    1. There supposedly will be another 1000 boots from other coalition countries.

      Hopefully Eric Prince and his like will NOT get a piece of this action.

    2. And Russia wants to deploy their MP's to patrol the proposed 'buffer zone'. Might be a good idea if set up right. Joint US/Russian/SDF patrols maybe? Russian MP's are already in Manbij and the Shabha region.

  11. Couple of Turks in Afrin Province of Syria making the Grey Wolf sign. The license plates on their car shows a province code of '82'. But Turkey only has 81 provinces? And it is not just a couple of Turkish jamokes doing this there is another image out there with a couple of Turkish Parliamentarians showing off their 82 (Afrin?) and 83 (al Bab?) license plates. Wishful thinking probably. I doubt Pootie will let them permanently expropriate 4,200 sq km of Syrian territory and incorporate them into Erdogan's new Ottoman Empire.




  12. Offtopic:

    A Republican professional diplomat got fed up with lying moron's BS and called it out to his face, explaining facts (and thus how ignorant the lying moron is):
    The cameraman made a mistake moving back to Trump; I saw the scene recorded from a different angle, and that laughter when rump says he disagrees came from the Chinese representative, to his face. The same Chinese who previously agreed with Lightizer.

    1. https://twitter.com/economics/status/1099357290791022593
      Here's that other perspective.

      I like to think that this is a crack in the wall.

  13. Sven -

    The Secretary of State has also publicly contradicted Moron-Don. But of course PomPom denies it is a contrsdiction when challenged by reporters.

  14. The Orange Fool is consistent; he has neither knowledge of nor interest in the mechanics of international relations, whether they are dimlomatic, trade, or military. He wants personal profit and public adulation. Period.

    Hence this PRC deal. The Chinese bought him by giving him a victory tweet and possibly by some Trump Tower slush.

    Keep watching the auto tariff negotiations with the EU. Unlike the PRC the German chancellor can’t order purchase of US soybeans, so there’s no payoff there. Will Trump work a grift? Or will he start a trade war just because he CAN’T..?

    1. I see you read Krugman. ;-)

      I'm awaiting Juncker's way of dealing with Trump.

    2. Regarding Moron-Don's foreign policy, your "Dim-lomatic" comment says it all.

  15. Speaking of foreign policy, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has resigned. His reasons he said were because of internal political infighting over foreign policy:

    “We first have to remove our foreign policy from the issue of party and factional fighting,” Zarif said.

    “The deadly poison for foreign policy is for foreign policy to become an issue of party and factional fighting.”

    He will be missed. He is the one that negotiated JCPOA with Kerry. For which the hardliners in Tehran hate him for. American educated, Wikipedia says he has an M.A. in International Relations from San Francisco State University, and a PhD from the University of Denver in international law and policy. It is a shame that our Secretaries of State are typically politicians and not schooled in the finer points of diplomacy.


    His leaving (if approved by Rouhani and the Iranian Parliament) will make the hardliners bolder.

    1. President Rouhani has rejected Zarif's resignation. The question is, does that rejection have the blessing of the Supreme Leader?

  16. And now India and Pakistan have exchanged airstrikes as Donnie and Kimmie share a love hotel in Hanoi. Do we live in interesting times, or what..?

  17. Which, when you think about it, points up the three great 20th Century geopolitical failures of US south Asian policy. Given the possibilities, the short-term shortsighted thinking that produced the Iranian revolution, the military’s role in Pakistan, and the monarchical and religious fuckery of Saudi Arabia should really be considered right up there with the great diplomatic and political failures of history.

    Doing nothing in all three places would probably have produced better outcomes - for the locals, the region, and even the US - than doing what the US did. I know that my country hasn’t exactly been the wiliest coyote in the cartoon. But...sweet Marie. That’s a pretty impressive run of stupidity.

    1. That's nothing compared to the stupidity of joining a world war three years into it, when even half wits were supposed to understand how pointless and what a giant mess and meat-grinder it was. I'm still amazed that Americans don't understand what a colossal irrational fuck-up joining WWI was.

    2. Because the counterfactual - all the parties to the stalemate on the Western Front reach the point of exhausted futility and negotiate a peace that spares Germany the vindictiveness of Versailles and thus the road to WW2) is so difficult to envision. Hell, I agree that the US had no business getting invloved and even I have a hard time figuring out how France settles for a negotiated peace after the appalling deaths that doesn't somehow make the middle of the 20th Century fraught. Better than the historical one, perhaps, but, still...

      In the case of south Asia, though, it's not the gravity but the persistence. The notion that empowering boneheaded autocrats would somehow end well even in the medium-term seems foolish even to half-wits there, too...and yet somehow something - anti-Communism, access to petroleum, Great Power farkling - seemed more important that thinking real hard about the possibility that helping these people wreck the joint might not be such a good idea.

  18. Well...it looks like the Indo-Pakistani border is going back to the usual-shelling-and-small-arms-fire hate, so hopefully both parties are backing away.

    Of course, so did Commandant Bone Spurs’ lover. So there’s that...

  19. As more details emerge about the Hanoi Hilton debacle they just keep hammering on what an utter maroon the DOPUS is.

    Apparently the offer Mr. Art of the Deal made was the same one the Norks have been rejecting since Clinton; nukes for sanctions. This hadn’t worked before and even prizewinning idiots like Bolton and Pompeo told Orange Foolius that. Supposedly the Chump kept waving his love letters around claiming that THIS time it’d work. Well...duh.

    Which drives home how bad the combed-over dimwit is at this governmenting stuff. If he were an honest fool aware of his own limitations we’d all be better off, at least in terms of him getting better advice and listening to it. Unfortunately, he’s the worst kind of fool, the kind who thinks he’s a real shrewdie whose brilliant ideas are mocked not because they’re actually foolish nonsense, but because they’re too shrewd for the rest of humanity to grasp.


    1. The great dealmaker meme is all bunkum. Never made a good deal in his life except with Daddy.

      Now he is trying to soften it by claiming "Sometimes you have to walk". But from what I have seen it was the North Koreans that walked.

      And some (newsweek among others) are blaming Bolton for the collapse of talks. Sounds plausible. But I have to wonder of that is a WH strawman to take the heat of Trump's image as the artist of the Deal?

    2. BoneSpurs and Bomb-Em Bolton were trying to play good-cop bad-cop. Kim and company were a bit too wily for the bozos.

  20. Added an update, see above, regarding insurgency going on against Turkish occupiers in Afrin. An average of 22 insurgent attacks per month has been going on there since late March of last year.

  21. Added a second update, see above, regarding the United Nations Syrian Mission reporting on war crimes in Afrin by Turkish proxies. What that UN report does not mention is the indiscriminate firing of Turkish artillery into civilian areas.

  22. It is hard to tell exactly who was zoomin’ who, since both of the principals are such brassfaced and fluent liars. What was a trifle embarrassing if you’re a Yank not utterly drunk on Republican kool-ade was the U.S. State Department having to confirm that the Nork summary of Trump’s offer was correct and that the White House version was a lie.

    I think that Bolton would be happy if millions suffered so he could take credit for “regime change”; I don’t think the Mustache of Idiocy suddenly grew either a brain or a heart - this isn’t Oz. But I also think he knows what happens to people that the tangerine shitgibbon associates with him “losing”, and had NSC staff hammering his ear that the Norks weren’t going to do this “deal”. Same w Pompeo, and they tried to get their moron boss not to try and fail.

    But, as I’ve did before, the DOPUS is the worst kind of boss; bone-stupid but convinced he’s the smartest guy in the room. Trump swallowed the Nork bullshit whole and went convinced he was right and everybody else was wrong. And that worked the way it does 99.4% of the time.

    1. Moron-Don claims he pulled out of the meeting. But most sane journalists and pundits are not sure whether it was T or KJU that shut down the powwow. One thing we do know is that Moron-Don's hot air and bullcrap is not going to get him a deal. His lethargic attitude towards studying and understanding the underlying issues are the root of his problem. His hostile smarter-than-thou attitude towards his daily intelligence briefing doomed this US/NorKo Summit before it started. That and his dependence on advice by Bolton and other chickenhawks.

      The post-meet finger pointing by Bolton is not helpful. Ditto for comments by NorKo's Vice Foreign Minister and Tiger Lady Choe Son-hui. Although I do agree with her comments last year when she criticized Bolton and Pence by for their advocacy of the Libya model of denuclearization. She called Pence a 'dummy':

      "As a person involved in the U.S. affairs, I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks gushing out from the mouth of the U.S. vice-president.

      If he is vice-president of "single superpower" as is in name, it will be proper for him to know even a little bit about the current state of global affairs and to sense to a certain degree the trends in dialogue and the climate of détente.

      We could surmise more than enough what a political dummy he is as he is trying to compare the DPRK, a nuclear weapon state, to Libya that had simply installed a few items of equipment and fiddled around with them."

  23. Yes, and Libya (and Iraq) were cautionary tales for survival-oriented anti-Western dictators. If you don’t have nukes - or, even less forgivable - you have them or the potential to get them and give them up then the Yankees own your ass. And Iran was the tell that the GOP will screw you if you try and make a deal with a Democrat.

    It’s all fairly depressing...tho the brutal future (that I will, with luck, be too dead to live thru) that our willful disregard of climate change is going to gift us helps put this in perspective. In fifty years we’ll probably be begging to have these as our worst geopolitical problems.

  24. And now I'm watching with a sort of appalled fascination as damn near the whole body of the lower house of the U.S. Congress tries to pretend that suggesting that the U.S. government has been more or less in the pocket of the State of Israel since Eisenhower put the hammer to Operation Kadesh in 1956 is somehow tantamount to TREASON!!!!

    Seriously, folks? I mean, I get that you have to pretend this isn't a thing. But how the hell do you pretend to get arsed up about it? Just hit the bell like you know you're getting pushed or pulled to and move on. Getting spun up just makes you look like not just self-justifying but like a chump who's high on their own supply.