Jesus MalverdeJesus Malverde's Journal
Had a nice sukiyaki, ate soba for long life. Tomorrow start drinking sake and eat osecchi. Then off to visit the shrines. Somewhere in there some time at the clubs. May everyone have a great 2016
As a staunch backer of Syrian rebels seeking to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, Turkey recently dispatched tanks and soldiers to Iraq without Baghdads permission, ostensibly to protect Turkish forces training Iraqis fighting Islamic State militants.
While Ankara insists it remains committed to respecting a Westphalian foreign policy of respecting its neighbors' territorial integrity, recent actions indicate it has abandoned the decades-long protocol of non-interventionism.
"What we do in Syria, helping some militias trying to topple Assad, [and] what we are doing in Iraq, is quite an interventionist policy, based on values or, in certain cases, national interest," said Aydin Selcen, a retired Turkish diplomat who opened Turkey's first consulate in Iraqi Kurdistan.
"But traditionally, Turkish foreign policy was quite legalist and 'Westphalian' in nature," he added, citing the principle of international law that says every country has sovereignty over its territory and domestic affairs.
Barack Obamas repeated insistence that Bashar al-Assad must leave office and that there are moderate rebel groups in Syria capable of defeating him has in recent years provoked quiet dissent, and even overt opposition, among some of the most senior officers on the Pentagons Joint Staff. Their criticism has focused on what they see as the administrations fixation on Assads primary ally, Vladimir Putin. In their view, Obama is captive to Cold War thinking about Russia and China, and hasnt adjusted his stance on Syria to the fact both countries share Washingtons anxiety about the spread of terrorism in and beyond Syria; like Washington, they believe that Islamic State must be stopped.
The militarys resistance dates back to the summer of 2013, when a highly classified assessment, put together by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then led by General Martin Dempsey, forecast that the fall of the Assad regime would lead to chaos and, potentially, to Syrias takeover by jihadi extremists, much as was then happening in Libya. A former senior adviser to the Joint Chiefs told me that the document was an all-source appraisal, drawing on information from signals, satellite and human intelligence, and took a dim view of the Obama administrations insistence on continuing to finance and arm the so-called moderate rebel groups. By then, the CIA had been conspiring for more than a year with allies in the UK, Saudi Arabia and Qatar to ship guns and goods to be used for the overthrow of Assad from Libya, via Turkey, into Syria. The new intelligence estimate singled out Turkey as a major impediment to Obamas Syria policy. The document showed, the adviser said, that what was started as a covert US programme to arm and support the moderate rebels fighting Assad had been co-opted by Turkey, and had morphed into an across-the-board technical, arms and logistical programme for all of the opposition, including Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State. The so-called moderates had evaporated and the Free Syrian Army was a rump group stationed at an airbase in Turkey. The assessment was bleak: there was no viable moderate opposition to Assad, and the US was arming extremists.
Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, confirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership about the dire consequences of toppling Assad. The jihadists, he said, were in control of the opposition. Turkey wasnt doing enough to stop the smuggling of foreign fighters and weapons across the border. If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic, Flynn told me. We understood Isiss long-term strategy and its campaign plans, and we also discussed the fact that Turkey was looking the other way when it came to the growth of the Islamic State inside Syria. The DIAs reporting, he said, got enormous pushback from the Obama administration. I felt that they did not want to hear the truth.
Our policy of arming the opposition to Assad was unsuccessful and actually having a negative impact, the former JCS adviser said. The Joint Chiefs believed that Assad should not be replaced by fundamentalists. The administrations policy was contradictory. They wanted Assad to go but the opposition was dominated by extremists. So who was going to replace him? To say Assads got to go is fine, but if you follow that through therefore anyone is better. Its the anybody else is better issue that the JCS had with Obamas policy. The Joint Chiefs felt that a direct challenge to Obamas policy would have had a zero chance of success. So in the autumn of 2013 they decided to take steps against the extremists without going through political channels, by providing US intelligence to the militaries of other nations, on the understanding that it would be passed on to the Syrian army and used against the common enemy, Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State.
Source: Telegraph UK
Turkey's troubled south-eastern region has been plunged into some of its worst violence in years as an unprecedented military operation against Kurdish rebels shatters hopes for recent peace talks.
Tanks and armoured personnel carriers have been used in the latest operation, which began on Wednesday and which Turkish authorities claim has already seen 110 Kurdish rebels killed. At least five civilians and two Turkish soldiers have also died, according to an official speaking to AFP.
The Turkish army said it launched the clampdown against militants restore public order and would rout young Kurdish fighters engaged in battles with state force from urban areas.
In the largest operation of its kind since the collapse of the two-year ceasefire between the state and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) members, around 10,000 police and troops entered cities such as Cizre and Silopi in Sirnak province, south-eastern Turkey, as well as a neighbourhood in Kurdish-majority Diyarbakir.
Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/turkey/12058691/The-return-of-war-Turkeys-south-east-region-plunged-into-worst-violence-in-years.html
Bernie Sanders has gotten more individual donations than any other presidential candidate ever through the campaign's off-year topping President Barack Obama's mark of 2,209,636 donations through Dec. 31, 2011 his team announced following Saturday night's Democratic debate.
Sanders passed Obama's re-election total during the debate, his communications director Michael Briggs said.
The news comes just one day after the campaign raised over $1 million amid a major blowup over its role in accessing Hillary Clinton's campaign data, and just two days after the campaign said it brought in $3 million at the beginning of the week. While it has trailed Clinton's effort in fundraising overall, it has shown major muscle in the online and small-dollar fundraising department.
Sanders' average donation during the debate was under $25, said Briggs.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/12/sanders-campaign-passes-obama-fundraising-mark-217008
A planned kindergarten field trip to sit on Santas lap has evolved into a name-calling, less-than-jolly brouhaha and a parent walkout in a San Jose school district.
The uproar started when a parent questioned the annual Sartorette Elementary School trip to a cafe to see Santa and drink hot chocolate.
School officials suspended the outing, according to media reports, resulting in loud complaints from other parents who said the opinion of one mom shouldnt have superseded the wishes of others who supported the trip.
Parents on both sides of the debate spoke at a Thursday meeting of the Cambrian School District board meeting, but since the issue wasnt on the agenda, no action was taken.
Then on Friday, 20 to 30 parents pulled their kids out of school and marched them to the cafe-sitting Santa anyway, in defiance of what many saw as a skirmish in the war on Christmas.
In Safa al-Ahmads new documentary on the pitched battle for Yemen, which aired this week on Frontline, the Saudi Arabian filmmaker passes by countless posters declaringand a number of schoolchildren gleefully chantinga set of lines that may sound familiar to Americans who lived through the Iran hostage crisis:
God is great
Death to America
Death to Israel
God curse the Jews
Victory to Islam
The chilling slogan belongs to the Houthis, the enigmatic rebel group that has taken over the Yemeni capital Sanaa and other parts of the country, and ousted Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his government. But the echoes of Iran's revolutionary "Death to America" chant don't necessarily mean, as many have suggested, that the Houthis are a proxy force for Shia-led Iran in its battle with Sunni-led Saudi Arabia, which borders Yemen and has now launched air strikes against the Houthis.
The multi-front fight for Yemenwhich involves numerous other factions including al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and supporters of former President Ali Abdullah Salehis far more complicated than a straightforward sectarian proxy war, Ahmad says.
Animal-nutritionist John Goihl knows Minnesota farmers who feed the remains of dead baby pigs to hogs used for breeding in attempts to ward off infections of a deadly virus in offspring.
In Oklahoma, farm workers are mixing manure from swine sick with the disease, known as Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv), into the food of healthy animals to build their immunity.
In Kansas, farmers are spraying a mixture of hog manure containing the virus and water on the noses of pigs to create a "natural vaccine."
Across the Farm Belt, U.S. pork producers are doing whatever they can to shore up their herds' defenses against the virus that killed up to 8 million pigs, a tenth of the nation's herd, two years ago, and that farmers fear could return this winter.
Cannibal Pigs, how lovely. Modern industrial agriculture at it's best.
Source: SF Gate
Four years ago, a botched hemorrhoid surgery nearly killed Florence Kuhlmann, but some relief from the daily burden of her injuries came this week when an Alameda County jury awarded the retired San Jose police officer almost $80 million in damages.
The catastrophic chain of events started when Kuhlmann went into a Pleasanton hospital for routine hemorrhoid surgery on Jan. 27, 2012. Three days later, after experiencing severe pain, she discovered her bowel had been stapled shut against her rectal wall, closing off her intestine.
She was diagnosed with an occlusion, Kuhlmanns attorney, Nina Shapirshteyn, said Tuesday. Her bowel ruptured, causing a major infection and sepsis. She was really close to death.
It was later determined that the stapler used in the procedure was defective, and the company that manufactured it, Johnson and Johnson subsidiary Ethicon Endo-Surgery, recalled certain models of the device including the one used on Kuhlmann later that year, said Richard Alexander, another attorney for Kuhlmann.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Jury-awards-retired-Bay-Area-cop-80-million-for-6700633.php
Profile InformationName: Jesus Malverde
Current location: Japan
Member since: Fri May 17, 2013, 10:44 PM
Number of posts: 10,274
About Jesus MalverdeJesús Malverde, sometimes known as the generous bandit or angel of the poor is a folklore hero in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. One day we\'ll live free and no longer in fear. Fear of losing jobs, fear of being raided, your dogs shot, your children kidnapped by the state. Your land stolen, and maybe even your life lost. Fear no more, the times are a changing.
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