Lion of the Blogosphere

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

I am not that excited about the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, which is consistent with me not being that excited about the killing of Osama bin Laden many years ago. I didn’t give Obama any praise for that, and I don’t give Trump any praise now. (On the other hand, I wouldn’t laud al-Baghdadi as an “austere religious leader” like the Washington Post did.)

Today the NY Times has an analysis (that’s really more of an op-ed posing as an objective analysis, like the fake-news NY Times often does) which says:

The death of the Islamic State’s leader in a daring nighttime raid vindicated the value of three traditional American strengths: robust alliances, faith in intelligence agencies and the projection of military power around the world.

But President Trump has regularly derided the first two. And even as he claimed a significant national security victory on Sunday, the outcome of the raid did little to quell doubts about the wisdom of his push to reduce the United States military presence in Syria at a time when terrorist threats continue to develop in the region.

Although I disagree with calling an op-ed an analysis, I can’t help but feel that we’ve heard a lot of bullshit from Trump and his supporters during the last few weeks. Trump said we had to remove troops from Syria because it was time to stop fighting “endless wars,” but apparently the troops are still there and we just won a victory in the endless war, a victory that Trump is all too happy to brag about. It looks more and more like the “withdrawal” fiasco was about Trump being too chicken to stand up to Erdogan, and then Trump retconning the betrayal of our Kurdish allies as a strategy to withdraw from “endless wars.” Of course the retcon is bullshit because no troops are being withdrawn from the Middle East, they are just being moved around, either to Syrian oil fields (where it sounds like they will be in harm’s way) or to Saudi Arabia.

* * *

To Trump’s credit, unlike Obama who worried about the proper way to bury Osama bin Laden, Trump mocked and insulted Baghdadi, sending the right message to his followers.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 28, 2019 at 1:29 PM

Posted in International

97 Responses

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  1. It’s not about being chicken. It’s about him thinking that US troops being in a position where they’re “standing up” against the will of a regional power is not a thing that should be happening. Anti-interventionism isn’t just about numbers and troop placements. In its most crucial form, it’s about not getting involved in cases where regional powers want to do the job instead.

    IHTG

    October 28, 2019 at 1:44 PM

  2. I never read Bakr stuff, but I was an avid reader of Al Qaeda (Inspire) and Isis (Roma and Dabiq) reviews. And it was extremely interesting and a very sophisticated conceptual space. The only journalist who tried to get 10% of this thinking is Graeme Wood. There were also beautiful poetry from the Isis fighters widows and the New Yorker had a very touching article about this.

    Even if average muslim IQ is 85, fighters and family were probably around 100, and among them were some verbally gifted people who were able to harness a 1300 yo culture wich is totalitarian : mind, spirit, body, soul and heart.

    Trump was very effective I destroying the jihadi allure by presenting them as losers. He did it again. Even Wood wrote Bakr was a bloody hairball in a pile of rubble (it also a reference to the last calif alleged death in 1258 by the hand of Hulagu Khan, there is also another death story told by Marco Polo).

    Bruno

    October 28, 2019 at 2:40 PM

    • “presenting them as losers”

      I agree this is the essence of how to beat these groups. I recall the War Nerd commenting on this a while ago. Jihadis are mostly young men who want to be badass. This seems to be the same profile as USMC enlistees. The message that defeats them is “If you go jihadi, you’ll swiftly die like a bitch.”

      This has to counter the appeal that ISIS had when it seemed to be winning. “Go jihadi, earn respect, find purpose and moral clarity, get up to 4 submissive wives, eventually either become a leader or die a hero’s death, get your 72 houri.”

      The world is increasingly incapable of meeting the needs and desires of these young men, so all we really seem able to do is provide enough fear that ISIS is even worse, so that inertia and laziness take hold and they stay at home playing video games.

      Wency

      October 29, 2019 at 10:57 AM

      • Thank you for using the word “houri” and not the totally incorrect translation of “virgins.”

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 29, 2019 at 11:11 AM

      • Aren’t houris supposed to be virgins?

        gothamette

        October 31, 2019 at 12:08 PM

      • Houris are non-human creatures that are rewards to the faithful in Paradise. Their exact nature is debated by Islamic “scholars.”

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 31, 2019 at 2:48 PM

    • I like jihad propaganda as well. Very interesting perspectives.

      redarmyvodka

      October 30, 2019 at 4:48 AM

    • Props on knowing about Hulagu Khan. People in the middle east still tremble at his name. The Mongols especially Hulagu utterly destroyed the eastern Islamic world.

      redarmyvodka

      October 30, 2019 at 5:50 AM

    • Bruno wrote: “Trump was very effective in destroying the jihadi allure by presenting them as losers”

      They are losers. What the hell is the matter with you, reading Al Qaeda magazines and talking about “beautiful poetry from the Isis fighters widows”. They are barbarians!

      Rosenmops

      October 31, 2019 at 5:21 PM

  3. He was austere enough to wear a Rolex or Omega watch and not one of the fancier brands.

    Anthony

    October 28, 2019 at 2:42 PM

  4. Trump is clearly winning the PR war over the Syria move. And it’s becoming increasingly clear over time that he’s also winning on the substance of it.

    Andrew E.

    October 28, 2019 at 3:17 PM

    • The ONLY time Trump has any good PR is when he bombs something in Syria.

      So yeah, if we have to bomb the country to hell in order to boost Trump’s support to enable him to get his anti-immigration policy passed, I’m all for it! Problem is, Trump isn’t all for it.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      October 28, 2019 at 3:21 PM

      • By good PR I don’t mean the press is praising him. I mean he’s forced the fake media and the Dems to push hard for forever wars. By winning the PR I mean that he’s winning the politics of it.

        Andrew E.

        October 28, 2019 at 3:32 PM

  5. I’d like to hear an argument that ISIS is more dangerous to ordinary Americans than Chuck Schumer is.

    Department 11

    October 28, 2019 at 3:49 PM

    • Chuck Schumer is a very NY-centric politician. He is probably very happy that 9-11 happened, because it brought a burgeoning of expensive real estate and investment into NYC. In fact, post-911 is more desirable than pre-911 when it comes to NYC.

      Ok, what, who's this again?

      October 29, 2019 at 11:34 AM

      • No state was happier about 9-11 than Maryland and Virginia. The so-called “War on Terror” has enriched the Beltway, especially Fairfax County, like gangbusters.

        njguy73

        October 30, 2019 at 12:03 PM

  6. But you are not getting the nature of this psy-op.

    First, Trump says he will pull out of Syria. Everyone goes ballistic over “cut and run” and the “betrayal” of the Kurds, revealing their true nature and real biases.

    Then, a spec-op is green-lighted to take out the head of ISIS, which Trump announces with great fanfare while trashing the dead.

    The media is now caught on the horns of a dilemma. Do they catch Trump in a lie, by asking how we have forces in the area still operating even though he is trying to pull out? Do they try and trash him on backing out on his campaign promises? Do they praise the action and reveal to everyone that they are war-mongers, showing their hand even more?

    Instead, they write about defending intelligence agencies and alliances. This is a trap. If Baghradi is not dead, then it is the fault of the intelligence agencies and alliances for lying to Trump. If Baghradi is dead, then that strengthens Trump’s hand in leaving Syria, since it proves that ISIS was defeated.

    Quite brilliant…the maneuvers in this shadow war.

    map

    October 28, 2019 at 4:00 PM

    • This is sheer nonsense, as usual.

      The pull-out endangered the OP. Trump would’ve had a lot more enthusiasm and support if he had killed Baghdadi, declared victory, and then decided to pull out.

      Trump is not playing 256D chess. He’s a braying buffoon.

      Vince

      October 29, 2019 at 2:05 PM

      • “The pull-out endangered the OP. Trump would’ve had a lot more enthusiasm and support if he had killed Baghdadi, declared victory, and then decided to pull out.

        “Trump is not playing 256D chess. He’s a braying buffoon.”

        I totally agree with that

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 29, 2019 at 2:40 PM

      • They were independent events that just happened to coincide. Both the pullout and the OP were the right thing to do. But it would have been easy to pass on the OP given that failure would given his enemies an opening regarding the pullout. But he went ahead with the OP anyway, risking failure, because, like the pullout, it was the right thing to do.

        Andrew E.

        October 29, 2019 at 3:58 PM

      • Why would the pull-out endanger the OP? Special Forces don’t require a regular Army presence to run their operations. The pull-out led to complacency on the part of ISIS which led to decapitating ISIS. The pull-out had no bearing on the outcome of the mission, other then as a neat distraction, whether it was planned or accidental.

        “Trump would’ve had a lot more enthusiasm and support if he had killed Baghdadi, declared victory, and then decided to pull out.”

        Actually, he wouldn’t. The New York Times would write the same article:

        “The death of the Islamic State’s leader in a daring nighttime raid vindicated the value of three traditional American strengths: robust alliances, faith in intelligence agencies and the projection of military power around the world.

        But President Trump has regularly derided the first two. And even as he claimed a significant national security victory on Sunday, the outcome of the raid did little to quell doubts about the wisdom of his push to reduce the United States military presence in Syria at a time when terrorist threats continue to develop in the region.”

        Notice how this article fits the same story line, no matter which policy position came first. If he killed Babagdadwadi and then pulled out, the NYT would write the same thing.

        map

        October 29, 2019 at 4:16 PM

      • Except of course, if the idea was to lure ISIS into a false sense of security. Knowing the history of Kayla Mueller and many others, I can’t think of a better end for these sub – human pieces of shit. If you want to minimize the horror of what these animals do because “fuck trump”, I can only pray for you, and thank God that I don’t have the opportunity to do to you what I think should be done!

        Dave Liggett

        October 29, 2019 at 11:28 PM

      • This is true.

        It really was stupid to announce a pullout and then kill the terrorist.

        Really really stupid.

        gothamette

        October 30, 2019 at 10:01 AM

      • @Dave Liggett,

        You really have come to the wrong blog to accuse people of “Fuck Trumpism” and going easy on Muzz terrorists. That’s really stupid.

        About Kayla Mueller, I feel terribly sorry for her but I feel much more sorry for the Yazidi girls Bakr raped who you don’t seem to care much about. They didn’t choose their fate. Mueller did.

        Mueller was a professional do-gooder who swanned around war zones expecting the world to be Prescott, AZ. She spent time in the West Bank working for the Pals, lecturing the Israelis about how horrible they were. I’ve met quite a few of these people and they’re nauseating. Funny how they had a habit of going to Tel Aviv on weekends and getting shitfaced. Then they’d go back to the West Bank and play Lady Bountiful.

        Of course I know you’ll say that I’m implying she deserved what she got. No. But facts are facts. Nice little white girls should stay out of war zones. They are bound to get very very killed.

        gothamette

        October 30, 2019 at 9:09 PM

      • “They were independent events that just happened to coincide.”

        Probably but putting off the pullout after the hit would have been politically adroit.

        gothamette

        October 30, 2019 at 9:10 PM

  7. I agree Trump was right to mock and ridicule the terrorist.

    I’m also not terribly exultant about it as I would have been from 2001-2006.

    But it’s a good thing he’s dead. Rest in pieces.

    gothamette

    October 28, 2019 at 4:33 PM

    • It’s funny how meh the reaction to killing this guy is. Same deal with OBL.

      It’s all show biz in a way. You have to catch the wave.

      The wave is now Joker. Joker is everywhere – I’m waiting for your review. No spoilers pleaaahhhzzz.

      gothamette

      October 29, 2019 at 9:30 AM

  8. OT: Beta Male Suicide

    USA Today, 10/28/19 – Former Boston College student charged in suicide death of boyfriend, echoing Michelle Carter case

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/10/28/former-boston-college-student-charged-suicide-death-boyfriend/2484454001/

    Echoing the high-profile Michelle Carter case, state prosecutors in Massachusetts brought an involuntary manslaughter charge Monday against a former Boston College student who they allege pressured her boyfriend to kill himself through relentless abuse.

    Inyoung You, 21, of South Korea, was charged in connection with the May 20 suicide death of her boyfriend, 22-year-old Alexander Urtula, of Cedar Grove, New Jersey. Urtula, also a Boston College student, jumped from the top of a parking garage at a Boston hotel on the morning of his graduation. His girlfriend of 18 months watched, prosecutors said.

    Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said the couple exchanged 75,000 text messages in the two months leading up to Urtula’s death. She said 47,000 were sent from You to Urtula including perhaps “thousands” urging him to kill himself…

    “Many of the messages clearly display the power dynamic in the relationship where Ms. You made demands and threats with the understanding that she had complete control over Mr. Urtula, both mentally and emotionally,” Rollins said…

    Rollins said You’s abuse was physical, verbal and psychological. She said You was aware of Urtula’s “spiraling depression and suicidal thoughts brought on by her abuse – yet she persisted, continuing to encourage him to take his own life.” Her texts, according to prosecutors, included repeated abusive remarks for Urtula to “go kill himself” to “go die” and that she, his family and the world would be better off without him…

    Rollins said You was tracking Urtula’s location on the morning of his suicide, “as she frequently did,” on her phone. She said You went to the parking garage and was present when Urtula jumped to his death…

    “Abuse became more frequent and more powerful and more demeaning in the days and hours leading up to Mr. Urtula’s untimely death,” Rollins said.”…

    E. Rekshun

    October 28, 2019 at 5:41 PM

    • I tweeted about this.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      October 28, 2019 at 10:50 PM

      • One message every two minutes, not a lot. Do you get antisemitic responses at a similar rate?

        My 2¢

        October 28, 2019 at 11:45 PM

  9. Lion, you were predicting doom and gloom over Trump’s Syria stance, but it seems to be working.

    America staying out of other countries business is forcing other nations to step up and solve their own regional problems. This is something that would have to happen anyway as American power declines. And potential belligerents like the Kurds will hopefully no longer factor in the possibility of an American intervention into their own strategic thinking, meaning that they will be forced to take a more realistic assessment of themselves and what is possible from the start.

    prolier than thou

    October 28, 2019 at 6:43 PM

  10. Smoking terrorists is never a bad thing.

    destructure

    October 28, 2019 at 7:11 PM

    • Exactly.

      Rosenmops

      October 31, 2019 at 5:24 PM

  11. > we had to remove troops from Syria because it was time to stop fighting “endless wars,” but apparently the troops are still there and we just won a victory in the endless war, a victory that Trump is all too happy to brag about.

    Americans can strike globally and kill people as needed without running imperialist boondoggle occupations.

    The Whitehaven Raids, the Barbary Wars, the Doolittle raids: These are the American way of war. We can show up and kill people right quick. What we are absolutely horrible at is pretending to be British imperialists and occupying places for many years.

    bobbybobbob

    October 28, 2019 at 11:21 PM

  12. It all depends on the differential equations that describe ISIS. It may feel good, but is this act of terror (both sides are inducing terror on each other) amplifying Islamic State or attenuating it?

    My 2¢

    October 28, 2019 at 11:38 PM

  13. His name indeed sounds a lot cooler than Osbama Bin Backden. It’s like a Medieval Islamic theologian or philosopher/scientist.

    Ok, what, who's this again?

    October 29, 2019 at 9:02 AM

  14. The killing of a high value foreign terrorist is a good thing, yet I find myself not caring.

    I think it’s because I’m so red-pilled that I find the domestic terrorists among us (and that rule us) far more hateful and threatening.

    And also because I roll my eyes when conservatives say our troops fight for freedom or democracy. Yeah, they fight for freedom of greedy globalists, illegal cheap labor, feminist skanks, LGBTQs, media whores, angry NAMs, porno-addicted youth, etc.

    America doesn’t have a Mayberry or Ward and June Cleaver any more.

    fakeemail

    October 29, 2019 at 10:44 AM

    • Are you patriotic or profit-minded? Proles are patriotic, NAMs are not, and politicians are only profit minded.

      Ok, what, who's this again?

      October 29, 2019 at 11:38 AM

    • After a time, we’ve come to realize that we share many of the same enemies. They see the same rot we do, and they’re more sensitive to it so they saw it sooner; it irritated them before it irritated us. They were bothered by men and women going to church dances; we didn’t fully grasp the problem until our enemies started trying to chop our sons’ dicks off. Maybe they were too sensitive; maybe we were too blind.

      Let’s not forget: they’re not our friends, and I don’t expect they ever will be. But I’d be happy to call a truce, if such a thing could be done.

      Wency

      October 29, 2019 at 1:16 PM

      • Who are you talking about?

        Hermes

        October 29, 2019 at 3:11 PM

      • @Hermes
        I suppose Islamic fundamentalists generally, or maybe those who think like Qutb more specifically.

        Wency

        October 29, 2019 at 3:59 PM

    • America is a sick and disgusting country especially since the 2000s.

      You can thank Dubya the worst president in US history for that one.

      Lion dislikes Trump but likes Dubya. Talk about being crazy/dumb.

      redarmyvodka

      October 30, 2019 at 4:07 AM

  15. There won’t be anything this big again unless or until Ayman al-Zawahiri gets nailed.

    The War on Terror has been remarkably effective at killing anyone dumb enough to make a video or take on a title; politically I don’t see how the underlying situation gets better so long as central governments in the region are weak, and paradoxically U.S. policy is committed to destabilizing those areas that disgorge the most violent anti-American terrorist groups.

    Richard

    October 29, 2019 at 11:35 AM

    • Is he still living?

      He always has a nice set of Islamic books in the background, whenever he speaks ill of Meriprolestan from a video!

      Ok, what, who's this again?

      October 29, 2019 at 1:21 PM

    • ” don’t see how the underlying situation gets better so long as central governments in the region are weak, and paradoxically U.S. policy is committed to destabilizing those areas that disgorge the most violent anti-American terrorist groups.”

      Really thats the problem with the establishment consensus foreign policy. They want to stay in Syria to tweek the Russians and Assad, when it’s clear at this point that Assad has already won the civil war. We’re trying to keep things stirred up by arming Kurds to fight Turks (our “allies”) and Syrians. To what end? How does that benefit the US? What’s our interest in chaos?

      That’s why Trump’s right to pull out and the people who want us to stay are totally incoherent as to the Why.

      Mike Street Station

      November 2, 2019 at 9:39 AM

  16. The Muslim world will eventually learn that this terror shit isn’t worth the candle, and that they should coalesce around a legitimate leader like Erdogan.

    I hope not to be here when that happens.

    gothamette

    October 29, 2019 at 1:36 PM

    • Erdogan and the rest are coalescing around Putin as we speak.

      My 2¢

      October 29, 2019 at 2:47 PM

      • Putin’s not going to become the leader of the Islamic world.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 29, 2019 at 2:50 PM

      • Russia has the highest proportion of the population that identifies with Islam among Great Powers: about 15%, with both Sunnis and Shias well represented. It might take a leadership role in the Islamic World in one or two generations. I suspect this is the main reason explaining Russia pretending to be a very conservative country.

        My 2¢

        October 29, 2019 at 5:31 PM

      • I know. I just read the tea leaves.

        gothamette

        October 29, 2019 at 6:30 PM

      • America wasn’t going to become the leader of the Islamic world, either. But Hussein was still our boy for 25 years. Iran was one of our biggest allies until the Islamic revolution overthrew the Shah with Soviet support. And they’ve been allied against us ever since. Which suggests how disastrous Trump’s withdrawal might turn out to be.

        destructure

        October 29, 2019 at 11:40 PM

      • The Putin thing is just bizzaro. Some fool was trying to tell me that evangelicals love Putin, blah, blah, want to follow him, blah, blah. Huh? Where I live, I cannot take a step in any direction without bumping into an evangelical, none of whom ever gave Putin a second thought if they even gave him a first thought. Why do people ascribe so much to Putin? I just don’t see it.

        Alice

        October 30, 2019 at 12:24 AM

      • @destructure

        Oh no, some Middle Eastern gov’ts might not like us. How disastrous.

        Lowe

        October 30, 2019 at 10:14 AM

      • “Evangelical” has become synonymous in the liberal mind with “wrong-thinking person.” I saw one liberal refer to Neil Gorsuch, whom IIRC was raised Episcopal, later attended a Catholic church, and has never said much if anything publicly about his religious beliefs, as a “bible-thumping evangelical.”

        Hermes

        October 30, 2019 at 2:49 PM

      • @Alice Liberals never cared about Putin until he passed some anti-gay legislation. Then he became their enemy #1. They assume evangelicals love him but they don’t think of him one way or another.

        Jay Fink

        October 30, 2019 at 2:58 PM

      • Evangelicals love Trump because he gave them two Supreme Court justices who they they think will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, but we will see if it really pans out that way. I don’t think that Kavanaugh is going to swing that way, but I could be wrong.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 30, 2019 at 3:01 PM

      • Liberals also got pissed that Russia stopped letting LGBTXYZ adopt children in Russia (Dima Yakovlev Law). Many people could not understand why Russia responded this way to Magnitsky Act. I understood it very well. I personally knew a judge Roland Amundson (MN Court of Appeals) who with his partner adopted four little boys (aged something like 4-7) in Kamchatka (those who played Risk should know where it is). He served 3.5 years for unrelated crime after that and eventually died in 2017. “We don’t need any more prisons in this state” – that is what he said in the interview after he was released from prison. How funny!

        My 2¢

        October 30, 2019 at 3:55 PM

      • Lowe — When have I said anything about muslims liking us? I couldn’t care less whether they like us or not. But they have the oil our allies need. Russia also has oil our allies need. If Russia and muslims align then where are our allies going to get oil? That’s not in our interests.
        **
        I’m sure you’ve been reading some non-msm sites that have been pushing for us to get out at all costs. And they’re probably cheering Trump’s withdrawal. But you shouldn’t go along with them just because you think they’re on your side. They might be compromised. Or they might just be wrong. Regardless, these alternative sites are just as much of a bubble / echo chamber as the mainstream. And they’re all sponsored by people and groups with agendas. They may not be as much on your side as you think.

        destructure

        October 30, 2019 at 4:44 PM

      • Fink — I remember precisely when the “left” turned on Putin. I was lying in my room and the news came on T.V. The talking heads were really going after him. I could tell it was personal from the way they were foaming at the mouth. They were furious that Putin had gone after the oligarchs. Apparently, the media moguls didn’t like seeing their crooked friends locked up. The stuff about homos is something they came up with later to get the lemmings riled up against an administration they don’t like. That and to cover up the real reason they don’t like him.

        destructure

        October 30, 2019 at 5:38 PM

      • @destructure

        Withholding oil? I literally do not care if Erdogan and Putin roll tanks into Europe and conquer it. Those countries put people in jail for saying bad words. It’s a joke you care what happens to them.

        Lowe

        October 30, 2019 at 8:46 PM

      • “It’s a joke you care what happens to them.”

        It’s foolish that you don’t. Our national security depends in no small part on our allies.

        destructure

        October 31, 2019 at 5:23 AM

      • @ destructure

        European nations defend our national security… that’s rich. Is that before or after they come home from the nude beach? Europeans are as capable of defending Americans as the frog is capable of defending the eagle.

        Who knows, it might do them some good for Erdogan and Putin to conquer them. Too bad that’s impossible, because those dudes can barely afford to keep control of their own states, much less launch an offensive on Europe. In so many words, NATO is obsolete, like your worldview.

        Lowe

        October 31, 2019 at 1:21 PM

      • Lowe — I finally remembered you. You’re that guy from a couple of years ago who got bent out of shape when I said prostitution should be illegal. You cried about men who couldn’t get laid unless they used prostitutes. Then adamantly denied you were talking about yourself. You left shortly afterwards. But now you come back to insult and argue with me. You must have really been butt hurt over that. That’s awesome. 🙂

        destructure

        October 31, 2019 at 6:30 PM

      • @ destructure

        That may have been over a year ago, but probably not 2. I stop posting after every few months I try it, after Lion eats some of my comments. LotB censoring me is the one thing on this board that makes me truly upset.

        Fact is, you are a bully who pretends he has moral backing. You’re all right with denying obese, ugly, or emotionally crippled men access to sex, and denying prostitutes the income as well. I have never visited a prostitute, but I can empathize with men who do.

        I can also empathize with all the foreigners you want to crush under foot on your gay quest to protect our allies, or whatever other pompous excuse you have. It’s really just big-man talk all the way down with you.

        Lowe

        October 31, 2019 at 9:55 PM

      • “You’re all right with denying obese, ugly, or emotionally crippled men access to sex, and denying prostitutes the income as well.”

        No one is entitled to sex just because they have a pulse. And the only thing prostitution supports is sexual abuse, drug addiction and disease. There’s nothing moral about perpetuating those. Yet you try to hide behind some sob story about guys who can’t get laid. Sad!

        “I can also empathize with all the foreigners you want to crush under foot on your gay quest to protect our allies”

        Hang on. You “literally do not care if Erdogan and Putin roll tanks into Europe and conquer it.” But now you “empathize with all the foreigners”? There’s something odd about you.

        destructure

        October 31, 2019 at 11:07 PM

      • The Constitution says that gay people have a Constitutional right gay sex with each other and even marry each other!

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 31, 2019 at 11:09 PM

      • Putin has a fair amount of support in certain sectors of the online right but I’ve never met anyone who has expressed sympathy for Putin in real-life (and again, I’m in a county where roughly 100% of the white population voted for Trump, with a large percentage of evangelicals).

        I notice that most people struggle with shades of gray and don’t understand how a regime can be “sort of democratic”, how there are key distinctions between Putin’s Russia, Stalin’s USSR, and Xi’s China. “Putin is anti-democratic and therefore bad” seems to be a very common belief among typical conservative voters.

        Real-world evangelicals strike me as largely ambivalent towards Trump, especially the women (who outnumber the men), seeing him as, at best, the lesser of two evils. Trump is much more popular among proles who are only loosely attached to religion; think “Christmas and Easter Christians” as opposed to people who pray and read the Bible daily.

        There are certain loud evangelical leaders who have made their alliance with Trump known, but in my experience they don’t think they speak for the majority.

        Wency

        November 1, 2019 at 12:44 PM

      • @destructure

        Legalizing prostitution doesn’t have to do with entitlement. You want to deny consenting adults the opportunity to have sex, under certain circumstances. You don’t have a moral leg to stand on, especially considering we don’t prosecute people for adultery or sodomy any more. Even things like bigamy seem to be on the way back. Holding onto this one thing is petty, not righteous.

        Yes, I am capable of empathizing with people without falling prey to the fantasy that I am a Tom Clancy novel hero who can preemptively strike at the bad guys, for great justice. I have been awake for the last 20 years of American foreign policy, awake enough to see how much of a disaster your way of thinking is. I would not support sending a single US soldier to intervene, even if Putin did invade Europe (which he will not, clearly).

        Lowe

        November 1, 2019 at 11:42 PM

      • “The Constitution says that gay people have a Constitutional right gay sex with each other and even marry each other!”

        I’m told by the MSM that is the intent of the Founders.

        Mike Street Station

        November 2, 2019 at 9:45 AM

    • Erdogan is going to be the new sultan.

      redarmyvodka

      October 30, 2019 at 4:46 AM

      • He isn’t quite yet.

        gothamette

        October 30, 2019 at 9:58 AM

      • He aspires to be but the Turkish economy is a wreck and you’d have to be insane to invest there with him in power. The place is going to collapse in crisis at some point.

        bobbybobbob

        October 30, 2019 at 4:39 PM

      • ” The place is going to collapse in crisis at some point.”

        Lebanon already has. California is collapsing.

        Is this a trend?

        gothamette

        October 30, 2019 at 9:25 PM

      • I never said Putin was going to become the leader of the Muslim world, and I’m not going to respond to such nonsense. I said what I said. Eventually the Muslim world is going to realize that terrorism gets them nowhere and they will coalesce around a legitimate leader LIKE Erdogan. Not Erdogan himself.

        jeez. This is like the way it used to be in the Usenet newsgroups. The favorite phrase then was “learn to read.”

        How about them Nats?

        gothamette

        October 31, 2019 at 12:13 PM

    • Ha! Somehow tribalistic Arabs, Persians, Turks, Pakistanis, Eastern Asiatic Islamics and any other non-arab Musulmans are all the same people.

      Yeah, Erdogan will unite these people under one banner of Islam!

      Ok, what, who's this again?

      October 30, 2019 at 10:56 AM

      • I didn’t say that.

        gothamette

        October 30, 2019 at 9:03 PM

  17. Nikki Haley reads your blog and denounces your false aspersions!

    Richard

    October 29, 2019 at 10:08 PM

  18. So, it is confirmed that Epstein’s death was homicide.

    My 2c

    October 30, 2019 at 10:46 PM

    • No, that has NOT been confirmed.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      October 31, 2019 at 12:21 AM

      • Epstein’s family hired a forensic pathologist to perform an autopsy. On October 30, 2019, a report was released stating that Epstein’s neck injuries were much more consistent with homicidal strangulation than suicide

        +

        The sleeping guards + the broken cameras.

        —> i would guess 90% chances it was a murder. But it’s not certainty. We don’t know how often guards sleep there and how many cameras are usually broken.

        —-> and the investigation around Epstein powerful friends was not enhanced as you said it but rather made more difficult by his death, wich was the mobile alleged by conspirationists

        Bruno

        October 31, 2019 at 4:11 AM

      • Sounds like the bullshit of an 85-year-old geezer on Fox News. Other medical pathologists say those injuries are consistent with suicide.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 31, 2019 at 7:39 AM

      • The chief medical examiner of the City of New York and the chairman of the House Select Committee on Assassinations’ Forensic Pathology Panel says it was the homicide. Do you have any reasons to disagree?

        My 2c

        October 31, 2019 at 7:38 AM

      • Dr. Barbara Sampson, the city’s chief medical examiner, strongly disputed Dr. Baden’s allegations, adding that the injuries he pointed to “can be seen in suicides and homicides.”

        Epstein’s former roommate, the “hulking” guido, said he tried to kill himself.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 31, 2019 at 7:40 AM

      • “Epstein’s former roommate, the ‘hulking’ guido, said he tried to kill himself.”

        Don’t you mean “cellmate”? I don’t think a crooked cop facing the death penalty on murder and drug charges is the most credible source.

        destructure

        October 31, 2019 at 2:10 PM

      • “crooked cop facing the death penalty on murder and drug charges” vs. 85-year-old geezer paid for by Epstein’s massively-rich next-of-kin

        Who do you trust?

        I think I will trust the official medical examiner who says it’s suicide.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 31, 2019 at 2:53 PM

      • These officials say one thing in public and different in private. Unless I knew her personally and talked to her in private, I would trust a 85 year old independent expert instead. Just like I would trust what James Watson at 91 is saying about the link of intelligence to DNA etc. Genius brains age very well. My father was very sharp in his 80’s. Michael Baden said something about certain type of injury never happening in those that commit suicide by hanging. Can you disprove it based on published scientific literature?

        My 2¢

        October 31, 2019 at 4:12 PM

      • I don’t have time or interest to prove or disprove anything related to this. Why don’t you provide proof?

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 31, 2019 at 5:05 PM

      • “Who do you trust?”

        Between the crooked cop, former medical examiner and current medical examiner… none of them. It’s not about trust but evidence. There’s no way for the medical examiner to know whether Epstein’s death was murder or suicide unless there’s conclusive medical evidence one way or the other. In the absence of such evidence it would be ruled a suicide by default. That doesn’t mean it was a suicide. What it means is that the medical examiner’s ruling doesn’t prove anything. This is purely hypothetical, but let’s suppose an FBI investigation uncovers evidence that he was murdered. The medical examiner would then change the cause of death to murder even though the medical evidence hasn’t changed at all.

        Many of Epstein’s clients were very rich and politically powerful people. And someone used that power the last time Epstein was charged to get him a sweetheart plea deal and non-prosecution agreement which halted the investigation and sealed the indictment. Clearly, there was some serious corruption going on to keep this from being investigated. And now he dies with the cameras turned off and guards asleep while he was supposed to be under suicide watch. And you don’t think that sounds suspicious? Sure you do. New York was one of the places Epstein was trafficking minors to rich and politically powerful people. This needs to be investigated by an agency outside of New York.

        destructure

        October 31, 2019 at 6:02 PM

  19. The purpose for intervening in Syria was primarily to counter Assad, and only secondarily to counter ISIS. Assad is part of an anti-American alliance- “the League of Dictators” (North Korea, Russia, Belarus, Syria, Zimbabwe, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, North Yemen, Serbia, and sometimes China, Armenia, Nicaragua, and a scattering of former Soviet proxies in Africa and Central Asia, and formerly Iraq, Ukraine, and Libya) who band together to try to undermine NATO interests. For a while, particularly after the Iraq War and with the Arab Spring, Ukraine revolution, and reversal of the Pink Tide in Latin America this alliance seemed to be dwindling and the West’s triumph inevitable. But in our success we became complacent. Obama failed to topple Assad. Sensing weakness, Russian aggression returned, strengthening its proxies and engaging in highly ambitious and often innovative types of warfare.

    Due to a combination of Fukayama-style naivete and wishful thinking, Obama forgot the rules of great power politics and made what is one of the most crippling and damaging foreign policy errors in American history by refusing to take the Russia threat seriously. Russia, he believed, was a cornered hollowed out rump state that only needed to be left alone to collapse. As long as he didn’t start another major Iraq-style war, Obama believed, he would go down history as the great liberal philosopher president. Gender, LGBTQ, race, and identity politics nonsense took the center stage, even in the military and intel agencies. And politicizing your defense establishment is a recipe for disaster.

    At first, Russia’s efforts were realpolitik. Some weapons to Ukrainian rebels here, a little aid to the Taliban there. But after seeing the chaos caused by immigration in Europe and identifying the dissatisfaction across the world with Western-driven pc culture, Russia’s foreign policy developed an ideological direction. Putin presented Russia as a bastion of conservative traditional Christianity pitted against a corrupt and decadent West. For many Westerners, Russia today appears as a savior and they are willing to listen to what Putin says, to our collective peril. The American “Deep State” (ie defense establishment) and Neocon strategy are what pose the greatest existential threats to Russia. By making “Neocon” and “Deep State” loaded terms in American discourse, Russia effectively turned America against its own interests and institutions. It was a move of unparalleled strategic genius. Now we are adrift and defenseless, like a punctured raft in the ocean surrounded by sharks.

    The near future looks chaotic with some promising indicators. Russia is as stagnant and hollowed out as ever while China is facing significant economic headwinds. Either might well collapse. But if America is to regain its status as the undisputed world superpower it needs to undertake some significant repairs to its sociopolitical fabric. We need to abandon all vestiges of pc/liberal ideology, particularly in our government agencies, and reinstill our defense establish with a sense of ruthless realpolitik. The Trump and Bernie demographics need to be brought back into the fold- probably with a combo of universal basic income (the current welfare system is unsustainable anyway) and closing tax loopholes for American companies and the ultra-wealthy. And our immigration system needs to be overhauled. Our country exists to serve its citizens, not provide a gateway for the third world to flood in. Deport most illegals and allow only the highly educated and culturally compatible to come in.

    Anglo14

    October 31, 2019 at 12:10 PM

    • @ Anglo

      The League of Dictators? Do they meet in a secret base inside a volcano?

      Putin and Boris Badenov are not the reason American elites are stupid and disliked. They did that all on their own. We are also not in an existential crisis, like a person in a punctured life raft. What’s going to happen? Is that next Tweet from the Russian Bear going to do us in? Oh no.

      Reading rhetoric like this, and destructure’s comments about national security, allies, etc, I find myself looking forward to the oncoming Hispanic majority. Perhaps it will mean the end of having to listen to white people saying gay shit like this.

      Lowe

      October 31, 2019 at 3:22 PM

      • If it squawks like a troll…

        Anglo14

        October 31, 2019 at 8:32 PM

    • I am pretty sure the insanity is temporary here, just like it was temporary in Russia.

      My 2¢

      November 1, 2019 at 6:04 PM

    • @ Anglo

      Good analysis. I can tell you put real effort and thought into that post. I disagree profoundly though America is in a rough patch for many reasons but chief among them is the USA’s excessive overseas commitments. America was historically isolationist as well as anti-European for much of its existence and even pro-Russian/Chinese for the first half of the 20th century. The idea of a so called “west” is a very recent creation. One whose prosperity/strength was largely dependent on countering the Soviet Union and world communism. Without that boogieman to unite against it was going to fall apart sooner or later. The 2000s are when most of the problems began for the US empire both at home and abroad with mounting failures prompting major change. However I’d argue PC culture is an inherent flaw in the bourgeois democratic system which grants rights. Once you set that precedent it’s only a matter of time until every criminal, minority, degenerate, woman, illegal, and grievance group demands their so called “rights”.

      redarmyvodka

      November 4, 2019 at 3:57 AM

      • Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I agree our overseas commitments are expensive and draining. But they don’t need to be. By building up proxy powers (Japan and possibly India in East Asia to counter China, the Visegrad Group in Eastern Europe to counter Russia, the GCC and preferably Turkey if we can rope back in Erdogan in the Mid East to balance out Iran) we can save cost and boost the effectiveness of our power projection. Trump’s push to get NATO members to pay their commitments is a wise one. Advance military tech and build up our asymmetric capabilities, particularly in AI, missile defense, and cyber rather than increasingly obsolete and exorbitantly expensive aircraft carries, jets, ground troops, and IED-proof vehicles.

        The US does have an interest in maintaining an active presence in the world. It wasn’t cheap to build our network of allies, but maintaining them reaps vast economic and geopolitical dividends. We do not want a multi-polar world to emerge and upset this balance. But the disadvantage of maintaining this system is we have to play a constant game of whack-a-mole of neutralizing upstart rivals. War is a constant, just as it was for all past superpowers and need to make peace with that fact. While its true we were historically isolationist, today the realities have changed. We are an empire, and we need to maintain our empire.

        We definitely need to replace PC ideology and identity politics with something else- perhaps “ordered liberty” that opposes both mafia-style autocracies and democratic mob rule. After all we were historically a republic, not a democracy, and a republican system is far more stable and sustainable.

        Anglo14

        November 4, 2019 at 3:01 PM


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