Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Embrace Kurdistan; purge Turkey from NATO

Barack Obama famously said regarding Daesh (Islamic State), "if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant."  In fact, Daesh was created by former Iraqi army officers bent on regaining control of the country and they added Syria to their shopping list.  The Obama administration helped create the situation with respect to murderous Islamists by arming ones, e.g. Free Syrian Army and Syrian Revolutionary Front, which are rather incestuous with the al-Qaeda franchise, al-Nusra.  And a president should view current events through historical prisms not vicarious jockstraps, not to mention that Obama's hero was prosecuted for raping a woman in Colorado.

The news from Syria and Iraq has generated many articles regarding the bloodbaths in Palmyra, an ancient, historically valuable city, and the major city of Ramadi, close to Baghdad, with the Iraqi government punishing the refugees instead of assisting them in their time of need.  Now Daesh is advancing toward Habbaniya military base which will result in even more weapons being transferred from the Iraqi military to Daesh.

Iraq's security forces were not "driven from" Ramadi, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff said acidly in Brussels, they "drove out of Ramadi."

There is one common thread with these actions: Iraqi forces running away from the battles like little girls, running so fast that they leave the weapons the U.S. military gave them and continues to give them.  We saw this in Mosul one year ago, so this is definitely a regular habit.

"They were not outnumbered, but in fact they vastly outnumbered the opposing force, and yet they failed to fight. They withdrew from the site. And that says to me, and I think to most of us, that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight ISIL and defend themselves," said Defense Secretary Ash Carter.  But then he stated that the supply of training and equipment would continue, in the hope it would develop such a will.

Albert Einstein allegedly said that the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

The Kurds and Sunni tribesmen, "have the will to fight," added Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii. "They are on the ground begging, saying, 'please give us the heavy weapons, the arms, the ammunition that we need to be able to fight against ISIS.'  Instead, the Iraqi government is relying completely on this Iranian-backed Shia military."

"These Iraqi security forces have cut and run.  They cut and ran and dropped their weapons when they were faced with their first real battle with ISIS," she added.

In Ramadi, Shiite militias are attempting to retake the city, but that's too late for the people who were executed, women who were raped, and property stolen or destroyed by Daesh savages.

British General Tim Cross said that Iraq's military is blighted by poor leadership and a lack of cohesion.

More like a complete lack of cojones.

In contrast, the Kurds fought a bloody battle for Kobani and eventually won in a similar manner to other battles won because the heroic victors just wouldn't quit, e.g. Bastogne.  And they did it largely without U.S. weapons because the Obama administration believes that only the Iraqi army is deserving of military aid.  Female fighters played a major role in the victory, with some of them paying the ultimate price for their valor.  Residents have returned to Kobani only to find booby-traps left by Daesh and total devastation.

A map of the region will illustrate the situation.  Daesh has achieved one of its prime goals, that of creating a caliphate stretching across Iraq and Syria and controls 50% of Syria.

Jordan manages to defend its border even though its neighbors include both Syria and Iraq, while Daesh has been allowed to seize the last Syrian government-controlled border crossing between Syria and Iraq.  But Jordan and the Obama administration have somewhat different points of view regarding local Islamists.

"We are facing at least three different armed groups on the Syrian side," said Gen Tawfiq al-Tawalbeh, who until recently was head of Jordan's Public Security Directorate (PSD) and the man tasked by King Abdullah II to shore up the country's internal security.  "In the far west we face al-Nusra Front, then in the middle there is the Free Syrian Army, beyond that there are the soldiers of the Assad regime. So we face a lot of threats, a lot of challenges."

Note that he placed al-Nusra, the Free Syrian Army, and Assad's forces in the same camp.  He did not describe the Free Syrian Army as freedom fighters; he described them as "threats" and "challenges."

Also notice in the referenced BBC News article that the woman working at the Jordanian Public Security Directorate call center is wearing a uniform with no head covering of any kind.  The Jordanians appear to be the only ones who understand how to run an Islamic country.

"The fundamental issues in Iraq are not the threat of Daesh.  The most important threat to Iraq is the absence of political reconciliation," opined former US ambassador to Iraq and Syria, Ryan Crocker.  "There is clearly a drift towards division in Iraq.  People speak of a Jihadistan in the areas where Daesh is present, they talk about Kurdistan and they talk about a Shiistan.  Those are not yet facts but they could become facts if this course of events is not shifted.  So now is the time."

Crocker, like the combined Bush and Obama administrations, has his boots firmly planted in the past.  Shia and Sunni do not get along and never have gotten along.  And the other groups in Syria and Iraq -- Christian Assyrians, Christian Armenians, Kurds, non-mainstream Muslims, and other peoples who are not "people of the book," i.e. Muslims, Jews, and Christians, were only protected by the albeit brutal tactics of Bashar al-Assad.  Assad kept a lid on Syria's version of Pandora's box.  Saddam Hussein also kept a lid on things, but he murderously oppressed the Kurds because they pushed for autonomy, if not outright independence, the same reason Turkish President Erdogan oppresses them.

Of course, perhaps the emphasis on supporting the government of Iraq is that U.S. multinational corporations, especially ones which deal in oil and gas, have contracts with Iraq, even though much of the oil now goes to China, hardly our best friend in the world.  Using 2014 data, $815.8 billion has been allocated for the war in Iraq since 2003.

Daesh is indeed the worst threat in the region, with Yazidi and other girls being bought and sold in Daesh slave auctions:
After attacking a village, [Daesh] splits women from men and executes boys and men aged 14 and over.  The women and mothers are separated; girls are stripped naked, tested for virginity and examined for breast size and prettiness.  The youngest, and those considered the prettiest virgins fetch higher prices and are sent to Raqqa, the IS stronghold. 
There is a hierarchy: sheikhs get first choice, then emirs, then fighters.  They often take three or four girls each and keep them for a month or so, until they grow tired of a girl, when she goes back to market.  At slave auctions, buyers haggle fiercely, driving down prices by disparaging girls as flat-chested or unattractive. 
We heard about one girl who was traded 22 times, and another, who had escaped, told us that the sheikh who had captured her wrote his name on the back of her hand to show that she was his 'property.'

The girls are tortured and/or murdered for refusing to serve their new masters, with these actions justified by Daesh via its Questions and Answers on Taking Captives and Slaves and the Koran:
[Daesh members] commit rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution and other acts of extreme brutality.   We heard one case of a 20-year-old girl who was burned alive because she refused to perform an extreme sex act.

Turkey, which also shares a border with Syria and Iraq has chosen a clear path toward Sunni Islamism under Erdogan.  At first, Turkey looked the other way as Daesh recruits traveled to the killing fields, but now Erdogan is prosecuting people who were investigating his giving weapons to Daesh.  Erdogan claims that the trucks only contained aid, but the evidence proves otherwise.

"Who were those who tried to stop MIT trucks in Adana while we were trying to send humanitarian aid to Turkmens? ... Parallel judiciary and parallel security ... The prosecutor hops onto the truck and carries out a search.  You can't search an MIT truck, you have no authority," Erdogan buffaloed.

We cannot force Erdogan to give the Kurds autonomy, so let's just throw Turkey out of NATO.  Erdogan is taking advantage of NATO and the West via his personal agendas of maximizing his personal powerleveraging Turkish nationalism, and trumpeting political Islam, in stark contrast to what the founder of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, would have done.

The solution does not require a large number of U.S. boots on the ground.  Supply the Kurds with weapons and they will eliminate Daesh from their territory.  Yazidis and Kurds are ethnically the same, so the former will benefit from Kurdish independence.  Give them all the air support they need.  Separate the northern part of Iraq to create an independent Kurdistan.  The Bush and Obama administrations have been horribly wrong on this from the start.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Bimbos in White cross the Korean DMZ

The Bimbos in White, my term for a group of feminists led by Gloria Steinem echoing a group of truly brave women in Cuba, the Ladies in White, visited the DPRK over the past few days.  As is usual for communist apologists and groupies thereof, they only visited the capital city of Pyongyang, never venturing out to the labor camps where as many as 200,00 political prisoners are being held in deplorable conditions.  They found time to visit Potemkin villages deemed essential by Kim Jong-un and his flunkies, with the birthplace of the original DPRK dictator, Kim Il-sung, at the top of their agenda.

Before the trip, Steinem opined: "So it seems an obligation to point it out, especially since in my lifetime I have been told that the Soviet Union absolutely could not change without major bloodshed ... that the Berlin Wall would not fall as long as the Soviet Union existed."

In fact, that only happened because Gorbachev was the first Soviet leader to refuse to employ machine guns against his own people.  If Putin had been allowed to follow Andropov, the USSR would still be with us.

Steinem continued her rants with: "[wars and apartheid] have ended because people talked to each other."

Funny, I don't remember WWII ending because we talked to our misunderstood buddies, Adolf and Hideki.

The useful bimbos refused to criticize the DPRK's human rights abuses, and in response, Steinem, declared: "I'm so confident that once it is clear what we have experienced, these objections will go away."

The reality in North Korea is very different than in Steinem's fantasies.  Defecting is much more dangerous, and twice as expensive than before because Kim Jong-un has cracked down on people trying to leave the country.  Some families who left the DPRK on his father's birthday were ordered back to the country, though they are of course ignoring the order, with Kim sending thugs to bring them back by force to make an example of them.

Overseas workers have been ordered to hide rights abuses, with a special action guide noting: "Particularly, when a foreign reporter or human rights activists tries to take a picture or film you, take the camera, camcorder or cell phone from them and smash it ... Do not kill [them], but inflict a blow or fracture until the person's body is physically damaged."

Orphans and children are not forgotten in the Korean version of King Henry VIII's court.  It was earlier in Kim's reign, but nine North Korean orphans were forcibly brought back to the DPRK and executed.

I cannot wait to see the photos of Steinem's gang gathered around an anti-aircraft gun imitating their role model, Jane Fonda in North Vietnam.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Rocky Flats cover-up, Rocky Mountain Arsenal earthquakes, Ogallala-palooza, Colorado fracking docility, and Texas libertarian fracking hypocrisy

Rocky Flats, the now-closed Atomic Energy Commission / Department of Energy facility which manufactured plutonium triggers used at the Pantex plant in Amarillo, Texas in the assembly of nuclear weapons, was located about halfway between Denver and the foothills just west of the capital city.  It was raided by the FBI and Environmental Protection Agency at 9 a.m. on June 6, 1989 for its many environmental transgressions, the first and only government raid on a DOE nuclear-weapons facility.

  • of the two explosive fires, one in 1957 that had spewed unfiltered plutonium into the air and another in 1969,
  • of the 5,000 gallons of plutonium-contaminated oil that had leached into the soil between 1964 and 1967,
  • of the toxic materials such as beryllium and tritium that had leaked for years into the ground water,
  • of the lawsuits by neighbors that had forced the government in 1984 to buy a 6,550-acre buffer zone around Rocky Flats, and
  • that about 1.8 million people lived within 50 miles of the plant.

Plutonium particles were found throughout the Denver metro area from the two fires.  And 3000 pounds of plutonium remains missing, though it is unknown whether it escaped via fires, incompetent accounting, or other bungling.  As a point of reference, less than 15 pounds of plutonium was used in the relatively inefficient Fat Man bomb used on Nagasaki.

Signs at the plant warned, "Deadly force is authorized."  The plant even had its own surface-to-air missiles for destroying unfriendly aircraft.

Scott Surovchak, Rocky Flats legacy site manager for the Department of Energy, said of Operation Desert Glow, the most appropriately named mission in history, "It was a very choreographed raid."  If DOE higher-ups hadn't known beforehand about the raid, he said, "our guys would have met them with automatic weapons, and a lot of those agents would have ended up dead."

The notebooks of Dominic Sanchini, Rockwell's manager at Rocky Flats, were found with incriminating scribbles: "Environment becoming a big deal ... The EPA can destroy us ... Don't tell press ... Tie mind, mouth and asshole together," with the last referring to a discovery of ground-water contamination. "DOE doesn't follow the law," with the law in this case being the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Clean Water Act, and other environmental acts.

The grand jury created after the raid wanted to indict five Rockwell and three DOE managers, along with Rockwell and EG&G, for criminal environmental acts, but the DOJ hijacked their efforts and plea-bargained with Rockwell, allowing it to pay only an $18.5 million fine -- less than the government bonuses the plant operator received while operating the plant -- and no prosecution of any personnel.

Edith Holleman, the subcommittee of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology's general counsel, declared that this was like getting Al Capone for income-tax evasion instead of murder.

The DOJ sealed the grand jury's report.  George H.W. Bush passed the baton to Bill Clinton, with the grand jury attempting to persuade him to allow the report to be made public, but there was no difference between the Republican and Democratic administrations on this subject.

The DOJ prosecutors report noted: "If there is an 'on-going criminal enterprise' at Rocky Flats ... it is one that Congress has, in essence, approved."  Another report echoed that point: "Congress has exempted programs and projects from the very laws it has established to protect taxpayers, public health and safety and the environment. ... Therefore, Congress must share the blame for the deplorable conditions which now exist."

When the grand jury persisted in its efforts to reveal the story to the public, the DOJ officially informed the grand jurors they were under investigation for secrecy breaches.  Politicians and contractor management were given get-out-of-jail-free cards, but ordinary citizens who simply wanted the truth to see the light of day were dangerous and needed to be stopped.

Not surprisingly, many former Rocky Flats workers have severe health problems, especially lung ailments.  However, only workers with one of 22 types of cancer specified by the government and who worked at least 250 days at the plant between April 1, 1952 and Dec. 31, 1983 are eligible for federal compensation under a new designation of Rocky Flats workers as members of a "Special Exposure Cohort."  The government had the last laugh, as usual.

There is currently no public access to Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge which was created on the site because the extensive contamination is far from cleaned up, with the area remaining a Superfund site.

The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is a somewhat happier story, even though the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Complex is also a Superfund site, with not all of it open to the public.

The Rocky Mountain Arsenal was created just ten miles northeast of Denver in Commerce City to develop chemical weapons immediately after the start of WWII.  The owners of the farmland were given just a few weeks to move everything they owned, resulting in them losing almost everything.  After the war, the Arsenal's mission changed.  It manufactured the rocket fuel used to power Apollo flights, as well as formulating other noxious chemicals.  Corporations were invited to build facilities on the site, with Shell Oil developing pesticides and other chemicals.

The science of earthquakes was only dimly understood when, in 1961, a 12,000-foot well was drilled to dispose of chemicals the Arsenal no longer wanted.  In March 1962, the well was first used.  At first, the earthquakes which errupted shortly thereafter were dismissed as a coincidence, but it eventually became apparent that the chemicals had acted as a lubricant in rock faults, generating earthquakes strong enough to damage highway supports.  The most economically damaging earthquake in Colorado’s history occurred on August 9, 1967 near Commerce City.  Some researchers have postulated that the fault running directly beneath the Arsenal may be due for a 6.0 quake which could easily cause $10 billion worth of damage.

Much more recently, disposal of wastewater from oil and gas drilling in a Weld County well was halted because of earthquakes.  A Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission spokesman asserted, "We believe it is probably the first time" that seismic activity has been linked to wastewater disposal.

Note his use of the word "wastewater," because the Arsenal earthquakes were caused by chemicals, possibly organic and not water-based.  He should be careful working around oil and gas, given that his pants are on fire.

One of the things one learns in geology classes is that faults run under all mountain ranges -- that's how mountains grow -- and also under major river beds, as that is why those rivers run their particular course.  The New Madrid earthquake is perhaps the best known example of one in river beds, as it was centered just south of the junction of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers at the southern tip of Illinois.

Given the above, it is curious that Texas would disallow the banning of hydraulic fracking on a state-wide level.  Fracking involves the injection of fluids to release oil and gas which is unrecoverable by the usual methods.  Given that we do not know the locations of all faults in the ground -- we often discover new faults after earthquakes -- it is utterly irresponsible to allow it.

Not to mention the fact that fracking fluids contain chemicals which are making their way into aquifers which supply drinking water for many people.  California has discovered fracking chemicals in its rapidly diminishing groundwater.  And even if fracking did not result in chemicals left in the ground, the process is very water intensive, with each fracking well requiring up to 25 million liters (6.6 million gallons) of water.  Add to that the fact that 38% of global shale gas is located in regions of water stress and we have a water emergency.

Some people have pointed out that desalinating ocean water to solve California's drought problems would be expensive, but there is no other choice.  Its groundwater is fading fast and the other signatories of the Colorado River Compact are not going to yield their share of Colorado River water.

Many people believe that aquifers are quickly replenished by rainfall, but the truth is that aquifers in the northern half of the U.S. were filled when the glaciers retreated thousands of years.  The Ogallala Aquifer, which extends over eight states from North Dakota to Texas, is being depleted faster than it can be recharged by rain.  Groundwater depletion is occurring all over the country, even in the Chicago-Milwaukee area close to Lake Michigan.  The depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer is causing western Kansas to lose many of its perennial streams.

Drought is hastening groundwater depletion in the Texas panhandle, with the state being home to many Tea Party true believers.  In response, the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District has declared that water pumped in excess of the "allowable production rate" is illegal.

It's also peculiar that Texas would disallow fracking bans given its trumpeting of liberty and individual rights.  One would have thought that Texas would demand that individuals be able to choose for themselves whether fracking is allowed near them.

Give me liberty or give me death, but give me fracking in any case.

Colorado, on the other hand, is handling the fracking issue the old fashioned way, with lobbyists, corrupt politicians, and backroom deals.  Oil and gas companies illegally injected 9,173 gallons of diesel while fracking wells in Colorado, and 32,950 gallons nationwide, with Colorado ranking second to Texas (12,808 gallons) in total volume of diesel injected between 2010 and 2014.  A Longmont, Colorado judge found that the state's interest in developing oil and gas and Longmont's interest in banning drilling create an "irreconcilable conflict" in which state rules take precedence.

The irresistible force meets the immovable object, but the former wins because it has substantially more money and the ears of greedy politicians.  They must have paid attention to what happened with Rocky Flats.

"This [fracking] law ensures that Texas avoids a patchwork quilt of regulations that differ from region to region, differ from county to county or city to city," said Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

However, nowhere in the Texas Constitution does it mention the cookie-cutter Texans of whom Abbott dreams.

Most Texans portray themselves as hardy libertarians, so the Libertarian Party platform is relevant: "As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others."

Except when it involves fracking.  Texans must be channeling their inner Lenin, with oil being the opiate of the masses.

The Texas Nationalist Movement, when it's not consorting with Russian separatists in Ukraine, trumpets its belief that "controlling our own destiny" is a high priority and they "want a better life for ourselves and our children."

That's going to be rather difficult without clean water.

Some Coloradans and Texans have not yet realized that all-powerful corporations are just as bad as all-powerful governments, whether federal or state.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Samsung is more (Native) American than Apple

Anyone who has ever traveled through a Native American reservation knows how oppressive the poverty is there.  I have seen my share of little children who do not have even a slice of the advantages of the average millennial.  Schools in Minnesota would fit in anywhere in Central or South America in terms of disrepair.  The suicide rate on an average reservation is more than three times the national average, and up to ten times on some reservations.

Theresa M. Pouley, the chief judge of the Tulalip Tribal Court in Washington state and a member of the Indian Law and Order Commission, noted:
One-quarter of Indian children live in poverty, versus 13 percent in the United States.  They graduate high school at a rate 17 percent lower than the national average.  Their substance-abuse rates are higher.  They're twice as likely as any other race to die before the age of 24.  They have a 2.3 percent higher rate of exposure to trauma.  They have two times the rate of abuse and neglect.  Their experience with post-traumatic stress disorder rivals the rates of returning veterans from Afghanistan.

Byron Dorgan, a former Democratic senator from North Dakota who chaired the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, told of a 14-year-old girl named Avis Little Wind who hanged herself after lying in bed in a fetal position for 90 days.  Her death followed the suicides of her father and sister.  "She lay in bed for all that time, and nobody, not even her school, missed her.  Eventually she got out of bed and killed herself," Dorgan said.

South Dakota leads the nation in the percentage of Native Americans living below the poverty line, with more than 48% of the state’s 65,000 Native Americans living below the poverty threshold.

Contrast that to the trumpeting by the White House that Barack Obama has finally visited all 50 states, leaving South Dakota for the very last.  The White House neglected to mention that Richard Nixon did it in less than three years and George H.W. Bush completed it in one term.  It took Obama nearly 6 1/2 years.

The educational institution Obama visited, Lake Area Technical Institute, is similar to most community colleges in that its degrees prepare students for a blue collar future, one which is more resistant to outsourcing than the millions of computer-related jobs which have been sent to India and other countries, not to mention the millions of jobs which have been lost when multinational corporations replace American workers with foreigners brought in under H-1B visas, as recently happened at Disney and Southern California Edison.

Very few firms, let alone foreign ones, lose a moment's sleep over the lives of Native Americans, but Samsung and the National Environmental Education Foundation awarded the first-ever Schoolyard STEM Lab to the students and teachers of Nizhoni Elementary School in Shiprock, New Mexico (to see more of Samsung's philanthropy, read its press releases).

Samsung announced that it will invest 15.6 trillion won ($14.4 billion) in a new facility in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul., the biggest amount it has ever committed to a single plant.  The plant will be used to produce either DRAM memory chips or mobile processors.

Given that South Korea lies a short distance from China, the usual, cut-rate outsourcing location, it speaks volumes that Samsung is building a plant which will employ Koreans.  It is one of the top-two television manufacturers, along with LG which also operates plants in South Korea.  Samsung already has three large, logic fabrication plants in Giheung and Hwaseong, South Korea, and Austin, Texas.

There's no reason why U.S. companies couldn't build similar plants in the U.S., as South Korea is a relatively small country with its capital, Seoul, being the tenth most expensive city in the world in terms of living expenses (no U.S. city is in the top-ten).  Intel, the only company comparable to Samsung, has quite a few plants in the U.S., but still assembles and tests all of its CPUs and SSDs in China and other foreign locations.

In contrast to Samsung, Apple is the "stingiest" company with respect to charitable donations.  Before he died, the accumulated largesse of Saint Steve was $8.3 billion, but there is no public record of him donating a dime to charity.

"He saw the products he was making as a contribution to society," revealed Stacy Palmer, editor of The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Given the relatively small slice of people who buy Apple toys, it was more like a contribution to his world-class ego.

When Tim Cook took over as CEO, he only changed one thing.  He started donating to organizations which fight HIV/AIDS, with Bono's Product Red being the largest recipient, but given the fact that Cook is gay, this is hardly altruistic.

Apple builds the vast majority of its products in Chinese factories, but one major difference between it and Samsung is that Apple uses subcontractors to give it plausible deniability in the event of injuries.  And Apple has certainly taken advantage of that given that 14 workers jumped to their death from the roof of a Foxconn facility, with Foxconn being an Apple subcontractor.  Four more Chinese workers were killed in explosions and 137 workers of Apple supplier Wintek were injured.  And Apple continues to require workers to work excessive overtime, often unpaid.

Apple announced that it is building the new Mac Pro in the U.S., but it is responsible for less than 1% of its sales.  Not to mention that Saint Steve soothed fawning Apple groupies at a U.S. conference with a declaration of "We're all over this," referring to the many suicides.  However, the only thing that was "all over" was the blood of Apple workers.

It's probably a good thing Apple never opened plants on reservations.

Friday, April 24, 2015

An open letter to Secretary of State John Kerry: increase non-Muslim immigration, decrease it for Muslims, and recognize the Armenian Genocide

I'm sure you are well aware of the humanitarian nightmare that Daesh (Islamic State) has created in Syria and Iraq.  There are no simple solutions and even the less-bad ones are disturbing.  That said, there are multiple problems which can be solved with the same resolution.

The Somali community in Minneapolis is ground zero for Islamist recruiting, with many of them traveling to the Middle East to join al-Shabab or Daesh and then returning well-trained for local jihad.  Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of the Boston Marathon bombers, is a raving Islamist and should never have been allowed into the country (we can still fix that, by the way).  Islamists are calling for local jihad involving murders in the homeland in the U.S.Australia, Canada, GermanyDenmark, the Netherlands, France, and other countries, as well as providing slushies and sharia for the next generation of Islamists at Camp Jihad.

The Balkans have become notorious for exporting jihadists and mercenaries to the Middle East and other areas, with Kosovo, the country that liberals declared to be the first peaceful Islamic country, sending more of its citizens per capita to Daesh than any other Western country (Bosnia and Albania are #2 and #4, respectively).

There is the horrific situation with respect to Yazidis, especially girls and women who have been sexually enslaved by Daesh, with the main motivation of Daesh recruits being rape-tourism.  These girls may not be fully accepted back into their community, though the decree by Yazidi religious leader Baba Sheikh to welcome the girls back with open arms may mitigate some of the problems.  Assyrians have also been caught up in the kidnapping, murder, and enslavement, with some considering them to be at risk of extinction.  In Egypt, Coptic Christians who merely wanted to build a church to remember the ones murdered by Daesh in Libya were attacked by a Muslim mob intent on preventing the church from being built.

There is a mutual solution to the above.

Halt immigration for all Muslims until we have a reliable method with which to separate the murderous from the peaceful.  At the same time, open the immigration door wide for Yazidis, Coptics, Assyrians, Armenians, and other non-Muslims fleeing from Islamist terror.  This group of immigrants will be even more diverse than the Muslims we are allowing into the country today so we will not stagnate.

* * * * *

In 2009, I visited a museum in Altenburg, Germany.  In it was an exhibit on the Armenian Genocide, a subject of which I was only vaguely familiar.  The photos from the event, taken by German Army Lieutenant Armin T. Wegner who had been stationed in Syria and Mesopotamia during WWI, were gripping, depressing, and educational.  The photos depicted the horrors of the Ottoman Empire's slaughter of non-Muslims (see some of them here).  Wegner was so moved by his experiences that in 1933, he asked Adolf Hitler not to repeat history with the Jews.  Of course, Wegner was immediately arrested by the Gestapo.

Wegner was not the only witness.  An Iranian, Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh, wrote a diary concerning the "the mass murder and looting of Armenians."

"It's very hard to deny the destruction of the Armenians.  It's very hard to explain away the fact that in 1913 there were up to 2 million Armenians living in Turkey in their ancient homeland, and a few years later barely 10 percent of them were left," said Thomas de Waal, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the author of Great Catastrophe: Armenians And Turks In The Shadow Of Genocide.

The word "genocide" was coined by Raphael Lemkin in 1943 specifically in response to the Armenian Genocide, the Holodomor (Ukrainian Genocide), and the in-progress Holocaust.

German President Joachim Gauck, who lived under Nazi and then Soviet control for the first 50 years of his life, used the g-word just yesterday, even though Germany has many Turks who will be upset at his example.  He showed true grit investigating Stasi crimes heedless of Left Party leader Gesine Lötzsch calling him a "man of the past" who did not "set a path for the future," with Left Party ghouls being the inheritor of the communist DDR.

President Barack Obama will once again not recognize the Armenian Genocide for what it was, unlike Pope Francis who showed more courage (the Pope said that it was "the first genocide of the 20th century," but the actual first genocide of the 20th century was the creation of concentration camps by Lord Kitchener in 1900-02 during the Second Boer War), the European Parliament which renewed its language of 1987, and French President Francois Hollande who attended the memorial in person.  Armenia canonized the victims in what is likely the largest ceremony of its kind in history.

I can think of four reasons why your boss refuses to recognize the mass murder of Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks as genocide, even on the 100th anniversary of the event.

First, he could be pandering to Turks and Muslims in general, having made a political calculation that their votes outweigh those of Armenians.  In fact, there are more Armenians than Turks, but the number of Muslims far outweighs the number of Armenians.

Second, his campaign promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide could have been merely passive-aggressive politics.  This is believable especially given the way he did not discuss the creation of special rights for homosexuals, yet one of his first acts in office was to order the military to accept them regardless of the consequences.  Defense Secretary Robert Gates noted that the only time he saw "passion" in Obama was during his push to repeal "don't ask, don't tell."

Third, he might have been telling the truth during the early part of his campaign, but similar to how JFK learned that his much-touted "missile gap" was a myth well before entering the White House, Obama was informed that Turkey would not be cooperative in the Middle East with respect to NATO matters after an official genocide recognition.  However, Turkey is actively aiding Daesh (see The Last Days of Kobani: A Decisive Battle in the Fight against Islamic State and Video: Turkey "turns blind eye" to border-crossing jihadists), with Turkish President Erdogan believing himself to be the sultan of a reborn Ottoman Empire.  Congressman Bill Shuster blathered that an official recognition would risk alienating "one of our last allies in the region who is working hand in hand with U.S. soldiers and our allies to combat ISIS," but in truth, Turkey is vigorously sabotaging U.S. interests.  Turkey's refusal to allow Incirlik air base to be used to support the fight against Daesh is a clear violation of Article 5 of the NATO charter, leading to the obvious conclusion that Turkey should be ejected from NATO.

Or fourth, he might be overindulging pampered oil and gas executives who want a piece of the action in Azerbaijan, the country with the 20th largest proven oil reserves and 27th largest proven gas reserves.  Poor Armenia possesses zero proven reserves, even though it shares a border with both Azerbaijan and Turkey.  Azerbaijan, a close ally of Turkey, might be even more "antigenocide" than Turkey.  In 2012, an Azerbaijani officer, Ramil Safarov, savagely murdered an Armenian officer, Gurgen Markarian, in Hungary, but after Hungary sentenced him to a life sentence, it foolishly sent him to Azerbaijan which immediately pardoned him and paraded him around as a national hero.

One of the reasons Turkey has been able to deny its complicity in the atrocities is that, unlike Nazi Germany, it did not keep meticulous records.  Another reason is that the survivors, mostly children and females, were forcibly assimilated into Islamic society and given only the first two of the usual three choices for infidels: convert, be killed, or pay the jizya, a tax on non-Muslims.  Some of the descendants of those people are only now discovering their true roots (see One Hundred Years of Silence: Turks Slowly Take Stock of Armenian Genocide, Turkey's hidden Armenians search for stolen identity, and Turkey's "Hidden Armenians" Break Silence).

Turkish nationalists ruthlessly defend their position.  In 2007, Hrant Dink, a Armenian-Turkish journalist, was assassinated by Turkish nationalists for his writings on the Armenian Genocide.  Two years earlier, Dink had been convicted of "insulting Turkishness."  In his last article, he presaged his violent fate: "The memory of my computer is filled with angry, threatening lines sent by citizens from this sector."

Staying in the region, the Ottoman Empire's forced assimilation of non-Muslims explains much of the violence in the Balkans after the implosion of Yugoslavia.  Many people had converted to Islam, not because they wanted to, but because life would be much easier that way.  Not to mention the marriages of Turks and locals, forced or otherwise.  That's why we saw ethnically similar people of different religions fighting each other.  And it ties in to Syria and Iraq because many Armenians, Assyrians, and Yazidis moved to the area to escape the killing fields of the Ottoman Empire.

"Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" Hitler rhetorically asked in his Obersalzberg Speech as he launched the industrial-style genocide of European Jews, Slavs, and others with the invasion of Poland in 1939.

Certainly not the Obama administration.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

NATO, defend Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland

Some people openly worry of nuclear war, especially now that Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened the West, especially Ukraine, with nuclear weapons.

"I want to remind you that Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear nations.  This is a reality, not just words," Putin declared last August.  "We must always be ready to repel any aggression against Russia and (potential enemies) should be aware ... it is better not to come against Russia as regards a possible armed conflict."

Earlier in the year he mentioned a mythical land named New Russia (Новоро́ссия), referring to Eastern European countries which managed to break away from the Soviet Union and then Russia.  Most articles only include eastern Ukraine in New Russia, but a cursory examination of Russian history will reveal that Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were also a part of the Russian and Soviet empires.  The kingdom of Poland-Lithuania was a feared power in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s, but then Prussia, the Hapsburgs, and Russia divided it up, similar to what Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union did via the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939.

And now Putin is updating his nuclear threats to include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, all countries bordering Russia (Poland borders Kaliningrad).  After he annexes the aforementioned countries, he will raise his nuclear saber to forestall any counter-attack by NATO.

Russia warned that "the same conditions that existed in Ukraine and caused Russia to take action there" exist in the Baltic States and would not "[inject] troops and heavy weapons" into the region," but would favor "other tools."

Russia would "hope slowly to entice those Russian populations towards Russia without giving NATO a pretext to deploy troops."  Putin is already planting separatist seeds in order to sprout little green men in the area, given that Estonia and Latvia have 24-26% Russian populations, mainly in the east.

If NATO responds to Russian aggression, Moscow would consider it to be "a potential co-aggressor against Russian-speaking minorities in Baltic states."  This goes hand in hand with Putin's 2005 announcement: "First and foremost it is worth acknowledging that the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.  As for the Russian people, it became a genuine tragedy.  Tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory."

This is what Estonia President Toomas Ilves is worried about.  He is pleading for a permanent NATO force to be stationed in Estonia, though it is clear that NATO forces need to be stationed in all three Baltic States and Poland.

NATO and Russia have signed a number of agreements over the years, but the one many people mention is the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation.  Many people assert that this agreement forbids NATO from placing troops in permanent bases in countries bordering NATO.  Ignoring for the moment the fact that Russia has lied to us since the beginning, declaring that Russian troops in Ukraine are merely on vacation, and just recently asserted via its television stations that a ten-year-old girl was killed -- only there was no such event -- does the Founding Act actually prohibit troops in countries bordering Russia?

The relevant sections of the Founding Act are listed below:
  • NATO and Russia will seek the widest possible cooperation among participating States of the OSCE with the aim of creating in Europe a common space of security and stability, without dividing lines or spheres of influence limiting the sovereignty of any state.
  • [NATO and Russia will refrain] from the threat or use of force against each other as well as against any other state, its sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence in any manner inconsistent with the United Nations Charter and with the Declaration of Principles Guiding Relations Between Participating States contained in the Helsinki Final Act.
  • [NATO and Russia will] respect [the] sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all states and their inherent right to choose the means to ensure their own security, the inviolability of borders and peoples' right of self-determination as enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act and other OSCE documents.
  • Provisions of this Act do not provide NATO or Russia, in any way, with a right of veto over the actions of the other nor do they infringe upon or restrict the rights of NATO or Russia to independent decision-making and action. They cannot be used as a means to disadvantage the interests of other states.
  • The member States of NATO reiterate that they have no intention, no plan and no reason to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of new members, nor any need to change any aspect of NATO's nuclear posture or nuclear policy - and do not foresee any future need to do so. This subsumes the fact that NATO has decided that it has no intention, no plan, and no reason to establish nuclear weapon storage sites on the territory of those members, whether through the construction of new nuclear storage facilities or the adaptation of old nuclear storage facilities. Nuclear storage sites are understood to be facilities specifically designed for the stationing of nuclear weapons, and include all types of hardened above or below ground facilities (storage bunkers or vaults) designed for storing nuclear weapons.
  • The member States of NATO and Russia reaffirm that States Parties to the CFE Treaty should maintain only such military capabilities, individually or in conjunction with others, as are commensurate with individual or collective legitimate security needs, taking into account their international obligations, including the CFE Treaty.
  • In addition, in the negotiations on the adaptation of the CFE Treaty, the member States of NATO and Russia will, together with other States Parties, seek to strengthen stability by further developing measures to prevent any potentially threatening build-up of conventional forces in agreed regions of Europe, to include Central and Eastern Europe.
  • NATO reiterates that in the current and foreseeable security environment, the Alliance will carry out its collective defence and other missions by ensuring the necessary interoperability, integration, and capability for reinforcement rather than by additional permanent stationing of substantial combat forces.

Only the last three sections address a restriction on NATO with respect to establishing bases in countries bordering Russia.  However, Putin's murderous rampages in Georgia and Ukraine have already demonstrated "individual or collective legitimate security needs" on the part of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.  Russia's clear violations of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, which required Russia to respect Ukraine's borders in return for the denuclearization of the country, have invalidated any restrictions on NATO.  Not to mention that "substantial combat forces" is subject to interpretation, with a brigade falling short of that bar.

Sanctions will never force Putin into compliance, as he will simply ignore his country's slide into penury, but given that he enjoys boffing Alina Kabaeva, his retired, rhythmic gymnastics girlfriend with whom he just had a baby girl, we should notify him privately that, should he start a nuclear war, he, his girlfriend, his new daughter, his two daughters from his marriage to Lyudmila Putina, and the rest of his family will be the first to be converted into radioactive vapor.

But most importantly, we must prevent Putin from accomplishing a fait accompli by quickly annexing the Baltic States and then daring us to retake them by force.  We must establish permanent brigades in all three Baltic countries and Poland.  The issue of whether the troops are permanent or rotated in on a schedule is not important, but their equipment must be prepositioned.  If Putin foolishly decides to roll across the border, he will know that his attack on U.S. troops will be considered a declaration of war.

We should also remind Putin that the eastern portions of Estonia and Latvia are filled with ethnic Russians, people we won't take into consideration in terms of collateral damage in our counter-attack.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

First Daesh came for the Yazidis, then it came for the Assyrians

Daesh (a/k/a Islamic State, ISIS, ISIL, and IS) began its genocidal career with the Yazidis, an ancient people embracing a religion incorporating elements of Zoroastrianism, an ancient, monotheistic religion of Persia, Mithraism, a now extinct religion which originated in the Eastern Mediterranean, and Islam.  Most Yazidis speak Kurdish, an Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family.  Muslims consider Yazidis to be devil worshipers because they are neither Muslims nor "people of the book," with that book being the Bible.  Muslims consider Yazidis and all other members of obscure religions to be heretics and only useful as slaves or compost.

Daesh sexually enslaved hundreds, if not thousands of Yazidi girls as it moved into Syria and Iraq, driving some of them to suicide, and simply "killed any Yazidi they were unhappy with."

Now Daesh has found another group to torture.

Assyrians in the Middle East were historically centered in Mesopotamia -- northern Iraq, northeastern Syria, and southern Turkey -- with their language being Aramaic, the language of Jesus.  Hebrew is related to Aramaic.  Some Assyrians are relatively recent immigrants, having escaped the genocides of the Ottoman Empire which many people lump into the Armenian Genocide but actually consist of many individual genocides of Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, and other Christian groups.  Some scholars believe that 3.5 million Christians were murdered from 1913 to 1922 alone, with this number exceeding four million if the Hamidian and Adana massacres starting in the 1890s are included.  Yazidis and other non-Muslim minorities were also targeted by the Ottoman Empire.

Caught between Daesh and the many Syrian conflicts, many Assyrians have traveled to Lebanon for refuge.  Jordan was forced to close its borders to Syrian refugees after 1.3 million of them entered the country.

Syria's Assyrian community is now "at risk of extinction" at the bloody hands of Daesh.  The latest episode involves over 200 Assyrians being kidnapped and held for ransom.  19 of them were released in exchange for payment of an undisclosed sum, but given how poor these people are, the remainder may very well be butchered or sold into slavery, given the motivations of Daesh.

The world watched while millions of Jews, Slavs, POWs, and others were murdered in an industrial manner in the 1940s, but military technology was not advanced enough to rescue them. Now that we have stealth helicopters, night vision goggles, secure radio communications, soldiers trained to the point of perfection, and efficient weapons, we sit on our hands as another mob of zealots slaughters its way into the history books.

Karl Marx was wrong: history sometimes repeats in exactly the same tragic manner.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Fiction reference points

This post can be considered to be the extended footnotes for my fiction.  I consider my best story to be The demise and resurrection of North Korea.  I have added a character or two to it since I published it.

Swan song of the Moon has echoes of The U.S. versus the accelerated dragon with its dark view of China's Moon exploration plans which progressed with a moon rover, Jade Rabbit, rolling across the Moon's surface in December 2013.  China is planning to land another spacecraft on the Moon and bring back lunar soil in 2017.  Some news reports suggest China is currently planning for a manned Moon landing in 2025-2030, but I did not want to place my story that far in the future.  I actually wrote this story a few years ago and updated it.  One name, Veracious Tidings, was borrowed from another story.

The NATO-EU coup is a prequel to Finland is persuaded to join NATO.  I reused names from my other fiction -- Smegma Phallusconi, Byez Rubashka, and Mettle Snickersnee -- but only the last has continuity.  Charilaos Florakis was General Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece from 1972–1989.  Nikos Zachariadis was General Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece from 1931 to 1956 and a major player in the Greek Civil War.  Mehmed Reshad was the Ottoman Empire sultan in command during the bloodiest years, 1909-1918, of the genocides against Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, and other Christians, resulting in almost 1.5 million deaths.  Abdul Hamid was the sultan who preceeded Reshad, in command during the Hamidian massacres of the mid-1890s when two to three hundred thousand Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, and other Christians were slaughtered.  Lucre Buchanan's first name is a synonym for money.  Torygraph is slang for the Daily Telegraph, a newspaper which slavishly supports the Tories and Britain's version of Wall Street.  Inorbit was the best I could do with the last name of Hungary's prime minister, Viktor Orban.

As is typical for him, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan blathered: "The West's hypocrisy is obvious.  As Muslims, we've never taken part in terrorist massacres.  Behind these lie racism, hate speech and Islamophobia ... Games are being played with the Islamic world, we need to be aware of this."  Erdogan sided with the Charlie Hedbo murderers in Paris when he said: "French citizens carry out such a massacre, and Muslims pay the price.  That's very meaningful."  Many people believe that Barack Obama's politically motivated reaction to the Chapel Hill murders was precipitated by Erdogan.  Erdogan and Obama are far more concerned over the murders of three Muslims in the U.S. than the genocide of Yazidis and Assyrians in Syria and Iraq.  Don't ever say anything negative regarding Erdogan or you will end up in jail like the former Miss Turkey.

The Atlantic Magazine, generally one of the more liberal ones, published a surprisingly honest article regarding the reasons for Daesh's actions, What ISIS Really Wants.  To make a long story short, Daesh is interpreting the Koran literally.  Erdogan has a similar view and probably thinks of himself as the true caliph.

Turkey really is considering the purchase of Chinese missiles, with a NATO official in Brussels understating the case by stating that "It is premature at this stage to say whether Turkey's acquisition will be able to operate with the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System."  Greece really has become a friend to Russia, playing Russia and Europe against each other for its own purposes.  The part about Greece reducing the funding of its tax collection agency was the focus of a Deutsche Welle European Journal video piece a few years back, but European Journal appears to have bitten the dust.

Just as Vladimir Putin is leveraging Russians in Eastern Europe, Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban has granted ethnic Hungarians in surrounding countries, especially Slovakia, Hungarian citizenship.  He has hinted, though never actually proposed, the reattachment of the "lost territories" of Hungary which were separated from the Austro-Hungarian Empire after its loss in WWI.  Putin visited him in Budapest in February, just two days after the signing of the latest ceasefire, yet Orban stated: "Ukraine's territorial integrity was infringed.  In violation of international law, Russia has launched an action against Ukraine.  We need to support Ukraine in this matter."  Orban has criticized sanctions against Russia, though, so far, he has supported them.

Speaking of the farcical ceasefire in Ukraine, a bomb exploded in a rally in Kharkiv, killing three people and injuring at least ten.  Ukrainian forces cannot yet comply with the terms of the ceasefire, i.e. withdrawing its heavy weapons to specified lines, until the Russians stop shelling them.  Russian forces are gathering to the east of Mariupol in anticipation of the battle there to complete the contiguous land bridge from Mother Russia to Crimea.  And Lithuania is definitely worried about Putin turning his gaze to the Baltic States next and is reintroducing conscription.

Bulgaria's corruption is almost triple the EU average.  The corruption is so entrenched, Bulgaria's judicial system has failed to ever find a top political figure guilty of corruption.  Its citizens are so despondent over the situation that some of them have resorted to self-immolations as a form of protest, the same as is happening in Chinese-occupied Tibet.

Greece's debt is currently at 324 billion euros ($368 billion), with around 2/3 of that owned by the EU.  Greece's unemployment sits at 25%, with youth unemployment almost double that, and debt of 175% of GDP.  It is difficult to see how Greece can pull itself up by its bootstraps without being able to print its own money as the U.S. does.  That said, Greece's exit from the eurozone, often called Grexit, would be problematic to say the least.  Der Spiegel commented on the potential: "In order to prevent people from making a run on the banks, the country would have to temporarily introduce controls on money flows.  Transfers abroad would be banned, limits would be placed on withdrawals from automated teller machines and supplier contracts would be suspended.  It's possible that medicines and foreign food products would only be available on the black market and that they could be purchased exclusively with hard currencies."  Still, Iceland essentially went bankrupt in 2008 but is doing fairly well today, though there is a vast difference in the honesty levels of Greece and Iceland.

Operation Forget-me-not is what we should do for the Yazidi girls and women who have been kidnapped by Islamic State (a/k/a Daesh).  We should have rescued them as soon as they were taken, especially since they are now being sold in Islamic slave markets.  There are many online articles regarding the kidnapped Yazidi females, but readers can peruse some of the best ones here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

"The international community isn't investigating.  They don't believe such a large number of women have been kidnapped by IS," said minority expert Khidher Domle, with that number being around 3000.  He has been able to talk to several captive Yazidi females via mobile phones.  He verified that girls as young as nine have been sold as sexual slaves.

France24's Leela Jacinto blogged that rape-tourism is a prime reason why IS has specifically enslaved Yazidi girls, with most IS savages joining because it is their only chance to rape many girls, especially virgins.  She noted that the IS publication "The Revival of Slavery Before the Hour" ends with the authors pining for the good old days of slavery and includes the following justification: "The desertion of slavery has led to an increase in fahishah (adultery, fornication, etc.), because ... a man who cannot afford marriage to a free woman finds himself surrounded by temptation and sin ... many Muslim families who have hired maids to work at their homes [face this problem] whereas if [the maid] was his concubine, this relationship would be legal."

This was not the first time that Islamists targeted Yazidis.  In August 2007, al-Qaeda detonated four simultaneous car bombs, killing 796 and injuring 1562.  It was the second-worst terrorist act in history, with only the 9/11 attacks surpassing it.  The Yazidis did not release casualty breakdowns, but this was probably the largest death toll of children in the history of terrorism, exceeding even that of Beslan.  Yazidis are specifically targeted because they are not "Peoples of the Book," i.e. Jews and Christians.

Obama announced support for Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Syrian Revolutionary Front (SRF) -- FSA was the same group with which John McCain posed for photos -- but they are not rebels in the Western point of view.  The SRF allied itself with al-Nusra in the past because both have the goal of removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power, but al-Nusra is a franchise of al-Qaeda.  Both groups applauded U.S. bombing of Daesh, yet they decried bombing of al-Nusra.  Air strikes against Daesh were denounced by al-Nusra as "a war against Islam."  Many people are opposed to arming any Syrian groups because it is likely that their arms will end up in the hands of Daesh just like it was able to acquire stockpiles of weapons from the Iraqi army after its soldiers ran away like little girls.

There is a growing movement to kick Turkey out of NATO for its explicit support of Daesh (view France 24 video of Daesh recruits crossing the Turkey-Syria border).  Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his predecessors have fought with Kurdish groups for many years even though Kurds and Turkey are both Sunni.  Erdogan dislikes Syria's Assad because Erdogan is an Islamist Sunni and Assad is Alawite, a version of Shia, with Assad having the audacity to crack-down on Sunni "rebels" who threaten his hold on power.  Erdogan supports Daesh even though it has buried alive some of its victims, including women and children, as well as sexually enslaving hundreds of women and girls.  He has refused to allow the U.S. to use Incirlik air base to fight Daesh, even though it is by far the closest base.  Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the vehicle used in the latest car bombing came from Turkish territory.

Erdogan has not forgotten to pamper himself, having just unveiled his new presidential palace with 1,000 rooms, costing in excess of $615 million and built in a national forest, similar to how Russian President Vladimir Putin built a personal palace on the Black Sea.  Erdogan gave us a window into his soul when he ludicrously proclaimed that "Muslims discovered America in 1178, not Christopher Columbus."  He gave us another with his misogynist comment: "You cannot put women and men on an equal footing.  It is against nature."  He referred to a female journalist as a "shameless woman," telling her, "Know Your Place!"  He pines for the return of the Ottoman Empire, just as Putin pines for the return of the Soviet Union, with Assad stating that "he [Erdogan] personally thinks that he is the new sultan of the Ottomans and he can control the region as it was during the Ottoman Empire under a new umbrella.  In his heart he thinks he is a caliph."  There's a lot of that going around today.

Erdogan's war against Kurds is typical of his hypocrisy.  He declared in front of a Turkish audience in 2008 in Cologne, Germany: "I understand very well that you are against assimilation.  One cannot expect you to assimilate.  Assimilation is a crime against humanity."  Yet Turkish leaders have insisted for years that Kurds are not actually a separate people, called them instead "mountain Turks," prevented them from speaking Kurdish, and forced them to assimilate into Turkish society.

Erdogan and Obama are two peas in a pod.  In his first presidential campaign, the latter promised to recognize the Armenian Genocide in which almost two million Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, and other non-Muslims were annihilated by the Ottoman Empire starting in 1894 with the Hamidian and Adana Massacres, but then he failed to make good on his promise.  He had another chance with the Armenian Orphan Rug, woven by 400 Armenian orphan girls living in exile in Lebanon.  It was originally given to Calvin Coolidge in 1925, with his family donating it to the U.S. government in 1982.  Since then it has mostly been in storage.  It was scheduled to be displayed at the Smithsonian in 2013, but the Obama administration cancelled it for reasons of their own, but certainly having to do with the fact that Turkey denies that its ancestor, the Ottoman Empire, committed genocide.  The rug is now on display in the White House Visitor's Center, but it is mixed together with other foreign gifts to the White House in a display called "Thank You to the United States: Three Gifts to Presidents in Gratitude for American Generosity Abroad."

After a woman is raped in Islamic countries, she has little chance of marriage, with rape victims viewed as outcasts, even as prostitutes.  Obama could give these girls and women a second chance by opening the immigration door to non-Muslims, especially Yazidis and Christians (Coptics, Armenians, Assyrians, and others) who have been the victims of Islamists.  He should even things out by closing the door to any more immigrations by Muslims, as we have had too many instances of local jihad as it is.

The Russian President's last day in office is a sardonic, sometimes bawdy take on Putin's misadventures in Ukraine.  Byez Rubashka translates to "without shirt," paying homage to Putin's practice of posing for photos without wearing a shirt.  The president's floozie is modeled after Putin's rhythmic gymnastics girlfriend, Alina Kabayeva, with Gimnastka translating to "gymnast."  Putin really does have a $1+ billion palace on the Black Sea.  Boobs-R-Us refers to Femen, the feminist organization famous for displaying breasts as a political protest, with "boobs" having two meanings.  The juxtaposition of Rubashka and Boobs-R-Us removing their shirts is intentional.  Femen is originally from Ukraine, but is now based in Paris.  Ubistvo Lyubovnik translates to "murder lover."  Ciao Kakao is Russian, rhyming slang comparable to a 1950's song, "See you later, alligator," and cannot be taken literally.  Kakao is the Russian word for "cocoa," referring to the chocolate factory Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko owns.  Labia Likov's last name is pronounced "lick-off."  Onher Chappedbutt was the best I could do with the name of Anna Chapman, the Russian spy and outstanding sex partner who was deported in 2010.  Sneg translates to "snow" (then add "den").  All other names can be researched via an English dictionary.

Currently there are more than 800,000 Russians from Ukraine who have moved to cities in Russia because their house or neighborhood was bombed.  It is unknown if they will return, especially given the animosity which has developed between Ukrainians and Russian separatists.  And the separatists who have stayed are ridiculing, beating, kidnapping, and imprisoning people with different points of view, as was true in the Soviet Union they idolize.  Whether volunteer mercenaries or Russian regulars, troops with modern weaponry arrive via Russia on a regular basis.  Some separatists fear that that the Ukrainian army will impress them into service, just as Bolsheviks did during the Russian Revolution, but as usual, the separatists have it backwards.  Russian soldiers are being sent to Ukraine to fight, and if they are captured, Russia disavows all knowledge of their orders and declares them to be traitors, similar to what happened after the end of WWII when recently released Russian POWs were sent to the gulag after arrival back home for allegedly consorting with the enemy.

The murder of 333 children, parents, and teachers at Beslan was Russia's 9/11, just like the downing of MH17 via a Buk missile was the Netherlands' 9/11, with separatists not concerned that their side was responsible for the murder of 298 children, women, and men.  And just like George W. Bush who attempted to derail the 9/11 Commission because he knew it would accentuate his incompetence, Putin never supported an honest investigation of Beslan.  The mistakes made in Beslan ten years ago are many: ignoring warnings, allowing the savages to bribe their way through checkpoints, possibly allowing the pre-positioning of weapons in the school building, never securing the scene to prevent amateurs from triggering a bloodbath (there are photos on the Internet), and the lack of a coherent plan.  To this day it is unclear exactly what happened.  Another national screw-up was the Moscow Nord-Ost siege where many hostages died because Moscow planners failed to account for the highly toxic gas used to incapacitate the savages, with many hostages drowning in their vomit because no one was told to simply turn them onto their stomachs to allow them to vomit the poison out.  For further insights into the people of the Caucasus, search for "kavkaz" (or "Кавказ") on YouTube to find lots of videos of dancing at weddings, but also some videos (here's one) of wolves, pretty local women, and minarets interspersed with drawings of assault rifles and other military weapons.  Not surprisingly, the Islamic State has now declared the Islamic countries of the Caucasus, Chechnya, Ingushetia, and Dagestan, to be the location of their next Islamic war.

The West must draw a line and not one of Obama's amateur-hour red-lines.  If Putin wants a proxy war, we must give him one.  Supply Ukraine with missile-firing drones, hand-held anti-tank weapons, counter-battery radars, and other relevant weapon systems, and train Ukrainians how to use them effectively.  Perhaps we can assist Ukraine with increasing the production of Grad rockets.  We can bleed Russia dry by trading drone missiles for battle tanks and armored vehicles, not to mention eliminating its many Grad and Buk systems.  And we'd better have a plan ready in case Putin's green men appear in Estonia and Latvia.

Finland is persuaded to join NATO is my daydream of what a competent politician could do vis-à-vis Vladimir Putin's hints at annexing the portions of Eastern European countries with large Russian populations.  This story is a fictionalized version of The guerrilla solution to Vladimir Putin's threats to invade Finland if it joins NATO and Barack Obama's potential JFK moment, although Obama actually appears to be a deer frozen in the international headlights.  The story starts with a mention of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 which divided Eastern Europe between two ruthless dictators, Hitler and Stalin, and installed Trojan Horses in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in the form of large numbers of ethnic Russians.  Russian soldiers keep getting lost in Ukraine, so it's likely Putin has ideas about Finland too.  Herbert Hoover was given the credit he deserves for his many humanitarian missions around the world, starting during WWI and continuing past WWII.

Press conference regarding the Malvinas reconquest by Argentina is a possible outcome of an obvious gap in the UK's defense strategy.  For a number of years, Britain will not have any carriers capable of carrying fixed-wing aircraft and will only have one helicopter carrier starting at the end of 2014.  The window of opportunity will only last until the first of the new carriers is ready in 2017-18.  Argentina would never get another chance like this.  The time frame of the press conference is February 2015.  I got the idea for this story from the online comments of Brits who believe their country is the British Empire of old, even though Britain today is the land where Muslim men groom, rape, and share Sikh and other non-Muslim girls as young as 11 and police treat the victims as "stupid, naughty" girls.  The UK is the origin for a large number of ISIS killers.  And Birmingham is ground-zero for the Islamist Trojan Horse plot to surreptitiously convert public schools into madrasahs.

The demise and resurrection of North Korea is my hopeful vision of an implosion of North Korea.  Originally it was the main narrative of a larger story called The war of immiscible ideas which was presented in multiple chapters (TWOII was deleted).  Looking back with 20/20 hindsight, it is obvious that TWOII was a terrible name, though not nearly as bad as Saucy Mugwump.  I updated the narrative to reflect current events, added some characters, and improved the writing.  It all started with a BBC News story on South Korean women becoming military officers after the sinking of the Cheonan and other provocations by North Korea.  The concept of historical fiction came from B.R. Myers' book, The Cleanest Race, which noted that North Korea publishes sycophantic historical fiction regarding the life of Kim Il-sung, though I took it in a decidedly different direction.  I continued my research in Could an implosion of North Korea result in WWIII? which speculated on the events which would follow a collapse of the DPRK.

Originally, Bling Ka-ching was meant to be a rip-off of Jang Song-thaek, Kim Jong-un's uncle, but I made him a minor character, the mayor of Pyongyang, after he was executed.  Jang's real-life wife is Kim Kyong-hui who became Kim Tip-ple in the story.  She is reputed to be an alcoholic and in poor health.  The mayor and Aunt Kim are not related, though her snickering at dog food refers to the apocryphal story of him being eaten by dogs.  Yoo Tok-ki (whose name was created using the Korean word for rabbit) was the woman seen in a surreptitiously filmed North Korean video, with her frail body just about to give out.  The scenes involving orphans originated from stories in Radio Free Asia, the Telegraph, and PBS Frontline.  I obtained a point of view of China from a dissident, Bao Tong, via his Under House Arrest column.  Christian Talvela is, of course, my Jack Ryan, albeit with absolutely no explanation of his background.  This story just might be the longest blog post on the Internet.

The take-down of the labor camps was intentionally sparse because, for me, the immediate aftermath is the most interesting portion.  Also, I do not believe I could do justice to the dynamics of a raid along the lines of the one at Son Tay.  That said, it is fairly well accepted that prisoners in the labor camps would be executed during an implosion.  A UN report stated that guards "received orders to kill all prisoners in case of an armed conflict or revolution so as to destroy the primary evidence of the camps' existence."  The report "also explained that specific plans exist on how to implement the order and that drills were held on how to kill large numbers of prisoners in a short period of time."  Kim Il-sung was the creator of that strategy, as well as for Songbun, the DPRK's caste system, and the scheme where one's relatives suffer the same punishment as the accused.

From a project management point of view, the removal of Kim is critically essential.  He would need to be killed or at the very least, arrested and jailed, but Kim Jong-un has personal bodyguards in the Guard Command.  Soldiers from the 43rd Infantry Brigade recently fired on a vehicle carrying soldiers from the Guard Command, killing one of them.  As RFA noted, Kim "came unglued" and replaced the entire leadership of the Brigade.  It is likely that the Guards are pampered and therefore loyal to Kim, in contrast to the Brigade which is a special forces unit.  To eliminate Kim, one would need to penetrate the Guards.  Given the problems with the Brigade -- "Gunfights within the army show how lack of discipline has become a serious problem," said a source -- perhaps there is great resentment within the regular army for the special treatment of the Guard.  Or perhaps this was merely an incident of soldiers choosing to shoot rather than risk subsequent dereliction of duty charges if the vehicle had contained a lesser class of North Korean, similar to what happened in 2008 to when a South Korean female tourist walked over a forbidden line at the Mount Kumgang tourist resort.

China would not readily relinquish control of North Korea.  As I first mentioned in North Korea is China's useful idiot, China uses North Korea as a buffer zone against the West.  North Korea's rare earths deposits are essential to keeping China's industry humming.  China has done whatever it took to maintain the status quo in the DPRK, including deporting North Korean refugees back to almost certain death, as my posts In memory of nine North Korean orphans and China is murdering North Korean refugees noted.  And both China and Russia covet North Korea's ice-free port of Rajin.  A likely scenario, in a Chinese remake of Sherman's March to the Sea, is that Chinese armored forces blaze a trail east, with the people trapped north of Chinese forces possibly doomed to die of starvation while the armies danced.  U.S. and ROK forces intervening to prevent mass starvation could easily trigger a five-way war, including Russia trying to safeguard its railway to Rajin, given that China would not negotiate any line of demarcation and would demand that interlopers leave immediately.

The U.S. versus the accelerated dragon requires some knowledge of chess history on the part of the reader to be fully appreciated.  All character names were taken from famous chess players and the "accelerated dragon" from the title is a playing strategy.  The insects mentioned in the story actually exist and appear to be cousins of bed bugs.  Demand CS will kill them, but applying it properly and safely is crucial.

Bao Tong's commentaries, 'Mao And Deng Were The Same, And We Should Ditch Them' and Deng Xiaoping 'Opened The Floodgates' For Corruption, explained how China migrated from crazed communists to corrupt capitalists.  Another RFA editorial, The Only Thing Left For China Now is Revolution, by Wei Jingsheng, someone who served 18 years in Chinese prisons for "counterrevolutionary" activities, noted that China is essentially controlled by "26 hereditary family groups," in other words, China is no different than other oligarchies.  Last but not least is 'Everyone is Responsible For This Evil' which pointed out the evils of Mao's Red Guards who were instrumental in the millions murdered in the Cultural Revolution.  The photo on this last commentary is worth a thousand words, as it depicts a Chinese bride and groom dressed as Red Guards, suggesting that Red Guards are to China what Elvis is to the U.S.

The British Prime Minister's last day in office is fairly long and meanders through many current events and potential outcomes thereof.  It was triggered by comments from some of the survivors of the Utøya Island massacre in 2011 that they were planning to increase immigration for and give special rights to Muslims, heedless of what is happening in Britain with respect to local jihadists, in protest against the mass murder by the neo-Nazi fruitcake, Anders Behring Breivik (named Beavis, from Beavis and Butthead, in the story).  The names of the prime minister and other politicians were satirically designed, with the names of the two journalists borrowed from British and American literature.  Sweden, where headscarf fiction becomes reality was a follow-up post.  I would not write it again in its present form as it deals with too many issues.  Many people misunderstood my main point that throwing the baby out with the bathwater is not a recommended practice.

Europe has a serious problem with out-of-control Muslim men.  One Muslim man struck and killed a 22-year-old woman in Germany (see video here) after she came to the aid of two teenaged girls who were being harassed by a small group of Muslim men in a McDonald's restroom.  Germany has seen a proxy war erupt between Daesh supporters and ethnic Kurds, similar to the real war going on every day in Kobani and other places in the Middle East.  More than 1000 people have left France and possibly more have left the UK to join Daesh.  British Muslims have tried to take over schools in Birmingham and convert them into madrassahs.  Teenaged girls have been groomed for sex by Muslim men in Birmingham, Burton-upon-Trent, Manchester, Oxford, Rotherham, Telford, and many other cities throughout Britain because Muslims do not respect non-Muslim girls.  One British police officer said regarding "rape jihad": "There isn't a town, village or hamlet in which children are not being sexually exploited.  We should start from the assumption that children are being sexually exploited right the way across the country."

In Norway, a Norwegian-Pakistani imam, Fayed Sarased Ali Bukhari, seeks to establish a madrassah for 200 children in Grønland, a Muslim neighborhood in Oslo, and said: "If a person doesn't fast during Ramadan, he is mocking Islam.  And if the person is in a Muslim state, the authorities must behead him."  And an Islamic group demanded that the country cede territory for a sharia mini-state located only a five to ten minute walk from Oslo Central Station or a 9/11-style attack will commence:
We do not want to be a part of Norwegian society.  And we do not consider it necessary either to move away from Norway, because we were born and grew up here.  And Allah's earth belongs to everybody.  But let Grønland become ours.  Bar this city quarter and let us control it the way we wish to do it.  This is the best for both parts.  We do not wish to live together with dirty beasts like you.

Religious sex dolls is a one-off, disparaging religions and pretentious celebrities via bawdy humor.  It's more of an extended dirty joke.  Only people who pay attention to the American national soap opera will fully appreciate the humor.