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They're All "Heroes" -- No Matter What Laws they Enforce

freedominourtime - Tue, 03/07/2017 - 22:27

Actually, it was a righteous rebellion, not a mere "riot."

Given the rarity of the surname, it is likely that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is related to deputy federal marshal Edward Gorsuch, who was killed an in violent episode that left the nation shocked and terrified, and was an overture to a long and bloody military conflict. 
Deputy Marshal Gorsuch was 57 years old at the time he received his commission, and was killed on the second day of his service. The US Marshals Service deputized him on September 10, 1851 to enforce a warrant issued under the Fugitive Slave Law to recover two human beings Gorsuch claimed as his property. He and Marshal Henry H. Kline, along with several other deputies, had the “law” on their side when they traveled to Christiana, Pennsylvania, bearing a warrant that authorized them to abduct four men who had freed themselves – and to conscript any white citizen they encountered to serve as accomplices in that act.
William Parker Late in the evening of September 10, the kidnappers, who included at least two of Gorsuch’s sons, surrounded a two-story fieldstone home owned by William Parker, a 29-year-old farmer and militia organizer who had escaped from slavery nine years earlier. Operatives of the Underground Railroad had warned Parker of the impending raid. 
Gorsuch imperiously demanded the surrender of his former captives. When no answer came from inside the home, the marshals invaded the domicile – and were promptly driven out by the occupants, one of whom wielded a pitchfork. 
Standing in the front yard of the home, the marshals read the warrants to Parker, who looked down on them contemptuously from a second-floor window.
“I don’t care about your warrant, your demands, or your government,” Parker replied. “You can burn us, but you can’t take us. Before I give up, you will see my ashes scattered on the earth.”
“I want my property, and I shall have it,” bellowed Gorsuch, pretending as if words scribbled by a functionary on a piece of paper gave him title of ownership over other human beings. Realizing that such a claim would avail nothing with Parker, Gorsuch appealed to biblical passages enjoining servants to obey their masters. 
Parker, who apparently knew the Bible better than Gorsuch, replied by citing New Testament verses teaching the equality of all human beings before God. 
“Where do you see it in Scripture that a man should traffic in his brother’s blood?” Parker demanded of the deputy marshal. 
“Do you call a n*gger my brother?” Gorsuch exclaimed.
“Yes, I do,” Parker defiantly replied. 
The situation congealed into a standoff that lasted until daybreak. Shortly after dawn, Parker’s wife used a horn to summon help from Parker’s militia, who arrived bearing whatever weapons they could muster. The alarm also brought two local Quakers named Elijah Lewis, a shopkeeper, and Castner Hanway, a local miller. Both of these white men were well-known for their sympathies toward escaped slaves. 
Relieved by the arrival of two white men, Marshal Kline waved his warrant in their face and told them that they were required to assist in the recovery of Gorsuch’s “property.” Once again, this demand was in harmony with what the federal government called the “law” – and when Lewis and Hanway replied that they would have no part in an abduction they were told that they were committing a federal “crime.”
Surrounded, outnumbered, hungry, and humiliated, Deputy Marshal Gorsuch lost what remained of his composure.
“I have come a long way and I want my breakfast,” he snarled at Parker. “I’ll have my property, or I’ll breakfast in hell.”
Dickinson Gorsuch “Go back to Maryland, old man,” one of the black militiamen taunted Gorsuch.
“Father, will you take all this from a n*gger?” asked his twenty-year-old son, Dickinson, who was part of the posse. 
Parker snapped at Dickinson to keep a civil tongue, or he’d knock his teeth down his throat. Dickinson’s reply to Parker was issued by way of his revolver, inspiring a rejoinder delivered from a shotgun wielded by one of Parker’s associates. Dickinson fell, but he would survive.

The posse opened fire on the home, but was very quickly swarmed by the militia. Gorsuch’s other son, Joshua, was beaten bloody, but escaped, along with the rest of their raiding party-- save one. The Deputy Marshal himself proved to be the only fatality. 
It’s quite likely that several of Gorsuch’s accomplices in the attempted abduction would also have been killed, if not for the intervention of Lewis and Hanway, the two abolitionists they had threatened with arrest. Adamantly opposed to slavery but determined to save lives where possible, the two Quarters, at some substantial personal risk, dragged several wounded men to safety. 
Within hours, tidings of the “Christiana Riot” had been dispatched throughout the country by way of telegraph, and a militarized task force composed of constables, federal marshals, and U.S. marines was deployed to comb the countryside in search of alleged co-conspirators.
"Tragedy at Christiana": Yes, it was called a "tragedy."
“They spread out across the autumn countryside, forcing their way into the homes of blacks and whites alike, threatening anyone who was thought to have anything to do with the Underground Railroad, arresting scores of men on suspicion, with little concern for constitutional niceties,” recalls Fergus M. Bordewich in his book Bound for Canaan. “As one eyewitness put it, `blacks were hunted like partridges.’” 
Parker, knowing that he and his friends faced summary execution if the joint federal-state task force found them, gathered the fugitive slaves in his protection and took them, by way of the underground, to Rochester, New York, and he eventually emigrated to Canada. 
In the U.S., where the Fugitive Slave Act had effectively nationalized the practice of chattel slavery, Parker was wanted for murder and “treason” for defending the right to self-ownership. In Canada, he and other black refugees could vote, own property, and enjoy due process protections on equal terms with Canadians of any other ethnic background.  
Acting on the assumption that the blacks who repelled Gorsuch and his posse at Christiana were acting under the pernicious influence of white seditionists, the administration of Millard Fillmore arranged the indictment of 38 people for “levying war against the United States.” 
This would have been the largest treason trial in American history, and the prosecution intended that it would put down the growing rebellion against the Fugitive Slave Law.
Resistance to that act was widespread in the northern states, several of which enacted “personal liberty laws” that nullified enforcement of the federal measure within their respective jurisdictions. This development prompted southern defenders of slavery – who just a few years later would invoke the heritage of 1776 to justify secession – to condemn as traitors those who undermined the sacred and imperishable Union. They had an ally in arch-unionist Massachusetts Senator Daniel Webster. 

“If men get together and combine, and resolve that they will oppose a law of the government, not in any one case, but in all cases; if they resolve to resist the law, whoever may be attempted to be made subject of it, and carry that purpose into effect, by refusing the application of the law in any one case, either by force of arms or force of numbers – that, sir, is treason,” bloviated Webster in a speech shortly before the trial.
The indictment against the Christiana defendants asserted that they “did traitorously assemble and combine against the United States” for the purpose of preventing “by means of intimidation and violence the execution of the said laws of the United States.” 
In December 1851, Hanway became the first to stand trial. His role in the events at Christiana was peripheral, but “the federal government felt that it had to convict a white man to avenge Gorsuch’s death in the eyes of Southerners,” explains Bordewich. That ambition was thwarted when the jury took all of fifteen minutes to acquit the pacifistic miller of all charges. The Fillmore administration made a desultory effort to prosecute other defendants during its final year. 
After Franklin Pierce assumed office in March 1853, he dismissed the case – but not the effort to enforce the Fugitive Slave Law. In 1854, Pierce deployed 1,600 troops to Boston in order to take into custody a man named Anthony Burns, who had escaped bondage in Virginia. Local abolitionists had liberated Burns from the custody of Deputy US Marshal James Batchelder, who was killed in the line of duty by citizens acting in the righteous defense of the life of an innocent man.
The names of both James Batchelder and Edward Gorsuch are inscribed on the honor (if that word applies) roll of US law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.  On September 11, 2015, Gorsuch received a heartfelt tribute from a fellow law enforcement officer. 

“Sir, on today[,] the 164th anniversary of your death[,] I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice to our Country,” wrote an anonymous member of the US Border Patrol in the “reflections” section of the Officer Down Memorial Page, which is devoted to “Remembering All of Law Enforcement’s Heroes.” 
All law enforcement officers, we are insistently told, are “heroes,” even when enforcing government edicts that are morally unsupportable. Members of that fraternity of state-licensed violence regard the detestable likes of Batchelder and Gorsuch as their kin, as well they should.

This week's Freedom Zealot Podcast also examines the Christiana Rebellion:

Be sure to visit the Libertarian Institute.

Dum spiro, pugno!

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Manbij Dead Lock: Russia, Turkey, U.S. Hold "Surprise" Military Talks

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Tue, 03/07/2017 - 09:48
Some media outlets are reporting these talks as "surprise talks" That's just silly. Given what has been occurring in Manbij as of late a meeting seemed absolutely necessary. 
I will relink the posts covering this very tense and dangerous situation at the bottom- 

The latest via Bloomberg:
 The top military officials from Russia, Turkey and the U.S. met on Tuesday in a bid to defuse escalating tensions outside a strategic Syrian town.

The meeting follows Turkish threats to attack the northern town of Manbij, which is controlled by Kurdish groups seen by the U.S. as key allies in the fight against Islamic State. The U.S.-led coalition said on Saturday that it had deployed troops outside the town to “deter aggression,” a day after Russia announced that Syrian government forces would be stationed near Manbij.

U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford, Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Turkey’s Chief of the General Staff Hulusi Akar are discussing “joint issues related to regional security, including Syria and Iraq,” in the southern Turkish city of Antalya, the Turkish military said in a statement on its website.
Joseph Dunford, left, Hulusi Akar, center, and Valery Gerasimov, March 7.
Source: Turkish Military Pool Photo via AP Photos

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said his country seeks a “trilateral mechanism” to clear the area of “terrorist groups.” In Manbij, “the U.S. is raising a flag, Russia is raising a flag nearby, things have turned into a flag competition,” Yildirim said in an interview with ATV television late Monday.
Erdogan, Putin

The mounting strains around Manbij have emerged as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan prepares to visit Moscow on Thursday accompanied by his defense minister for talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Russia has taken the diplomatic lead in seeking to resolve the war in Syria after its military intervention in 2015 succeeded in bolstering President Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey sent troops across the border into Syria in August, backing Free Syrian Army rebels in battles against Islamic State. The army has also clashed with Kurdish groups that the government in Ankara regards as terrorist organizations with links to separatists in Turkey, and which took control of Manbij after expelling Islamic State from the town just before the Turkish incursion.
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Turkey has sought the support of the U.S., its NATO ally, to lead a ground offensive against Islamic State’s main Syrian stronghold of Raqqa that would advance through areas controlled by Kurdish fighters, a Turkish official said last week. The U.S. views the Kurds as an essential element of the battle against the radical Sunni group that’s waged a global campaign of terrorist attacks from its self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq.

The U.S. has moved 500 soldiers to the outskirts of Manbij, according to Ilnur Cevik, chief adviser to Erdogan. The U.S.-led coalition “has taken this deliberate action to reassure coalition members and partner forces, deter aggression and keep the focus on defeating ISIS,” spokesman Col. John Dorrian said on Twitter.
The US acknowledged they moved 500 additional troops yesterday- check re-linked posts at bottom
There’s a high risk of a Turkish assault on Manbij, said Anton Lavrov, an independent Russian military expert who follows the Syrian conflict closely. That could provoke a bigger crisis as “both the U.S. and Russia want to maintain the status quo and keep the Kurds in control of the territory they hold.”

The U.S. deployment was “a clear signal to the Turks not to go down that road,” said Abdsalam Ali, a Syrian Kurdish representative in Moscow. The Kurds are hopeful that Turkey “will be forced to stand down,” he said.
The Kurdish thugs should stand down- But like their Israeli allies they think annexing territory is their right- They will applaud when Israel takes Golan completely, that will suit them just fine... It will see them that much closer to their allies.

Related posts- If unfamiliar start at the bottom with the oldest post and work up:
US Sends 500 Additional Troops Into Manbij to “Send ISIS a Message”?Manbij: NATO's Fracturing Point, US Troops Parade In Armored ConvoysManbij Conjuncture- Russia Makes a DealNATO Fracturing at Manbij? US Reinforces Manbij to Defend From Turkish Attack??US Commander Votel in Northern Syria Meeting With PKK/YPGWhy Does Turkey’s Capture of Syria’s Al Bab Matter?
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US Sends 500 Additional Troops Into Manbij to “Send ISIS a Message”?

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Mon, 03/06/2017 - 18:45
The first article linked directly below is not humour! Though it's contention is absurd.
Clearly the media is opting to spin the overtly confrontational position taken by the US, in support of their Kurdish terrorists, against Turkey, a NATO ally.  This silly spin was mentioned in the first post from today. Manbij: NATO's Fracturing Point, US Troops Parade In Armored Convoys

The media is always managing perceptions- It’s job 1.
During times of war the media is working over time to control your thinking. As Mika Brzezinski states, does their work,"our job", of "actually controlling what the people think"

-The media spins to prevent you from thinking about the US betraying their NATO ally of decades.
-The media does not want you to think about how it is the US is walking alongside the PKK aka YPG. Known and recognized terrorists for decades.
 - And hey, how about the presence of  an additional 500 US boots on the ground in Manbij, Syria?  An invasion and occupation by the US is also glossed over 
 - Instead you are being distracted with ‘sending ISIS a message’- That’s ridiculous!

United States troops are officially on the ground in war-torn Syria to help in the fight against the Islamic State.

That’s bad news for ISIS.

The U.S. has deployed 500 troops, many of them highly skilled special operators, to Syria to “deter aggression and keep focus of defeating ISIS.”

The American convoys were spotted rolling through the outskirts of the Syrian city of Manbij, near the village of Yalanli.
The American flags made it so no one could mistake who the convoy belonged to.

Be safe and give ISIS hell, boys.Farcical presentation.

France 24 is reporting with a bit more reality
The Pentagon said Monday it has sent additional US troops into northern Syria in a show of strength aimed at deterring rival powers from targeting each other instead of the Islamic State group.

"We have brought in some additional forces to be able to do this reassurance and deterrence mission," Davis said, without giving numbers.

Reassure the PKK/YPG who have annexed Syrian territory with the assistance of the US and ISIS while deterring Turkey a nation that entered Syrian territory in order to clear their border of US backed terrorists YPG/PKK.

The United States is backing a Kurdish-Arab alliance (an arab veneer) called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to fight IS, and these fighters pushed the jihadists from Manbij last year. Around the same time, (Actually months after Manbij was passed to Kurds & the US didn't keep their word regarding their retreat. And about 6 weeks after the US backed coup in Turkey) Turkey crossed into northern Syria and joined the anti-IS fight, while also working to keep in check the Kurdish fighters, which it views as terrorists."This is obviously a really complicated situation, Davis said."We have made visible actions in deploying US forces as part of the coalition in and around Manbij to reassure and deter -- that's to deter parties from attacking any other parties other than ISIS itself."Visible to who? Turkey? Seems so since the US is embedded with the PKK/YPG
Reassuring to who? It seems it would be the Kurds since the US is right there with them
Deterring who? Obviously Turkey. 

Since Turkey has made very clear they expect the US to keep their word and have the Kurds retreat... And the US does not want Turkey to go to Manbij.. because the US wants their Kurdish proxy terrorist pals to permanently annex &  occupy Syria with an eye to attacking Turkey once the US gets their safe zone on!

 Flashback: Why Does Turkey’s Capture of Syria’s Al Bab Matter?

 Flashback: NATO Fracturing at Manbij? US Reinforces Manbij to Defend From Turkish Attack?? 
  There had been no indication from Erdogan that the Turkish forces inside Syria want to rest on their laurels with the taking of Al Bab.
“The US does not want Turkey to march on Manbij,” said Stein.
It's not that complicated really. It all began in earnest in 2002- When the US invaded Iraq. This invasion set the wheels in motion for the remake of the middle east/north african region

You know it's all just the "birth pangs of a new middle east" 

Who say's women can't kill as well as men?
Condoleeza Rice 2006
RICE: What we're seeing here, in a sense, is the growing -- the birth pangs of a new Middle East. 

RICE: And whatever we do, we have to be certain that we are pushing forward to the new Middle East, not going back to the old one.
The remake, er birth pangs,  I've discussed here for years.  
What complicates this situation is the multitude of lies to cover up for that which is actually occurring.
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Manbij: NATO's Fracturing Point, US Troops Parade In Armored Convoys

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Mon, 03/06/2017 - 10:11
Flashback to the post from last week:

NATO Fracturing at Manbij? US Reinforces Manbij to Defend From Turkish Attack??

Was I was really the only blogger to have caught the reports of the US being present in Manbij? Obviously signalling flagrant US backstabbing of a NATO ally, Turkey.... As has been posited here for so very long now..

Reiterating the simplistic synopsis:
Necessary background since most people still believe Turkey & the US are lovers. They aren't. Turkey is the betrayed party in the tryst the US is having with Kurdish terrorists. Though Turkey has tried to win back US affection. The US has repelled Turkey in favour of it's new love... (simplistic breakdown) 
Manbij, specifically:
Manbij is a problem, from way back, for Turkey. It's also a source of acrimony between Turkey and the US. Along with the coupThe discord between the US & Turkey over the PKK presence at Manbij has been covered repeatedly here at the blog. Some mentions were relinked in last weeks posting on this topic

RT reporting after Rudaw broke the news- Rudaw has seen at least one of it's reporters abused by the PKK/YPG

American soldiers have been spotted traveling in an armored convoy near the Syrian city of Manbij, with a US spokesman calling it a “deliberate action” aimed at ensuring Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) is defeated.
Oh that is funny! Was the US spokesman going for humour? It was a deliberate action having nothing to do with IS.

The video was filmed amid sporadic exchanges of fire between the Kurdish-affiliated Manbij Military Council (MMC) and Turkish troops in areas west of Manbij. Rudaw Twitter
 Rudaw English @RudawEnglish
Amid clashes with Turkish-backed forces, Manbij Military Council published video reportedly of US forces arriving north of Manbij on Friday. 4:44 AM - 4 Mar 2017
Clearly a message to Turkey

The US-led coalition in Syria confirmed the presence of American forces around Manbij on Saturday, after the MMC published one of the first video accounts of US forces in northern Syria on social media.

The US is sending a clear undeniable message to Turkey- We are allied with the PKK terrorists!
 Nothing new in that message to me or to the Turkish leadership.

Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield in August, both to clear IS from areas near the Turkey-Syria border, and to prevent Kurds from extending their control in the region. To achieve the objectives, Ankara wants to capture both Raqqa and Manbij to create a 5,000 sq km “safe zone” in northern Syria. However, Ankara said on Sunday that it would not oppose the Syrian Army over control of Manbij. “We do not consider the scenario under which the Syrian Army would enter Manbij, as [a] negative one. The Kurdish self-defense units are leaving the city. The Syrian land must belong to the Syrians,” Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said, according to Sputnik.
Don't miss a truly excellent but difficult interview from Tim Kelly @ Our Interesting Times

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Tim Kelly (OIT) Interviews George Webb: DynCorp Harvest: Killing is Good Business

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Sun, 03/05/2017 - 17:51
I like Tim Kelly. He does very interesting, fairly in depth interviews, considering the time constraints everyone of us deals with."Our Interesting Times" will be perma- linked in the sidebar. 

 Just got to hear this interview today and it is a MUST LISTEN interview, the perfect partner to the post covering the fallacious concept of safe zones as anything having to do with safety. 
 It's not an easy interview- but it's better to understand the reality of warfare as a business model. Including the creation of safe zones to exploit, cannibalize and profit from misery intentionally forced on humanity via the capitalist war model.

If you missed it?   Safe Zones an Inducement to Increase Human Misery
After you listen to this interview you will have a better understanding of exactly why it was I made the statement below, in the post relinked above!

"So called 'safe zones' are created for this specific reason, to up the misery level for civilians. There is nothing humanitarian or "safe" about them-  They will not stem the refugee flow- A simply absurd claim.The authors cite incident after incident- Known outcomes- same every time. Which suggests quite clearly this is the desired outcome- no matter what nonsensical assertions made.
 This is how the drug/organ/human trafficking is expanded exponentially- This feeds the black markets. The black budgets and covert ops- Only a moron, habitual liar or complete psychopath would extol the virtue of 'safe zones' as anything but inducements to increase human misery"

Tim Kelly & George Webb

 George Webb returns to Our Interesting Times to discuss his open-source investigation DynCorp Harvest: Killing is Good Business. We discuss evidence of a global human trafficking and organ harvesting network hiding under the cover of various humanitarian, military and national security operations
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Who Orchestrated the White Helmets "Tribute" Pop Up Performance?

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Fri, 03/03/2017 - 19:00
What party "orchestrated" the performance? Who requested this take place? How did this come about? Which persons or agencies (alphabet and otherwise) made the arrangements for these musicians and singers to  appear and actually spread war propaganda in favour of these drug addicted murdering, rapists, beheaders, organ eating killers? 

Thankfully there were a few persons present who are actually in touch with reality


A pop-up music concert in New York’s Grand Central station, promoting the work of the Oscar-winning Syrian “humanitarian” group White Helmets, was disrupted by anti-war protesters. While a full orchestra and choir, some wearing white helmets, pounded out Beethoven’s Ode to Joy against the backdrop of Grand Central Station in Manhattan on Friday, about a dozen anti-war activists protested the group’s presence.
Anti-war activists disrupt #WhiteHelmets pop-up concert at Grand Central, accusing them of war propaganda— Alexander Rubinstein (@AlexR_DC) March 3, 2017Standing among the orchestra, anti-war activists held aloft signs that read “White Helmets are US Propaganda,”“No US bases in Syria,” and “This is US war agenda.”
Anti-war activists unfurled a giant banner at the #WhiteHelmets pop-up concert at Grand Central reading: "U.S.A. OUT OF EVERYWHERE"— Alexander Rubinstein (@AlexR_DC) March 3, 2017Several activists carried a massive white banner with red lettering stating “US out of Everywhere,” and as the orchestra stopped playing, video shows activists chanting “US out of Syria.”

Speaking of controlling the narrative ? Let's get a dose of reality regarding so called "safe zones"

Safe Zones an Inducement to Increase Human Misery
The pathetic Oscar award for so called "white helmets' must not have been quite enough-  After the Nobel fail

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Safe Zones an Inducement to Increase Human Misery

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Thu, 03/02/2017 - 20:07
Lengthy but worth reading.. Or it wouldn't be here

Inspired by the vileness of Votel and far too many evil psychopaths: Syria safe zones ‘a viable concept’ top US military commander says

Washington Post Feb 23/17
Yu-Ming Liou (@YuMingLiou) is a PhD Candidate in international relations at Georgetown University.
 Megan A. Stewart (@Megan_A_Stewart) is an Assistant Professor of International Security at American University’s School of International Service and a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Virginia. Trump’s plan for Syria safe zones could put civilians at even more risk
 Sean Spicer said Tuesday that “safe havens” in Syria are “at the top of the president’s foreign policy agenda.” Indeed, President Trump has advocated the establishment of “safe zones” within Syria since his campaign. There are many obvious problems with such a policy. It would probably require buy-in from Russia, Turkey and possibly the Syrian government, all of whom have raised objections. Beyond these diplomatic challenges, their establishment may violate the United Nations charter.
Jan 25/17:Updated! Trump to Order Plan for Syria "Safe Zones": Document
Jan 31/17: Trumps Syrian Safe Zones: Trouble for Turkey & Syria / Undermining Astana Agreement
Establishing and protecting safe zones is likely to be enormously expensive, particularly if it involves ground forces. Despite Trump’s claims that the Saudis and other oil-rich Gulf states will foot the bill, they have made no commitments to do so. Given the fragmentation of territorial control in Syria, it is unclear where the Trump administration intends to establish these safe zones. Regardless of where they are established, the fragmented and fluid lines of control will likely make it difficult to prevent infiltration by armed groups, including the Islamic State. (PKK/YPG and others)I didn't believe Trump's claim that the Saudis and others would pay... this was hyperbole designed to appeal to the audience. Saudi finances are in a mess. I took Trumps claim to mean the US would funnel money through the GCC to obfuscate their involvement

I've added PKK/YPG because they are one and the same terrorist group. No matter the rebrand.
Additionally PKK looms large in this study, as you will find out.

Our recently published research raises another disturbing possibility: the establishment of safe zones for refugees in one part of Syria could make civilian victimization by rebel groups, such as the Islamic State,(PKK/YPG) even worse in other areas of the country. When rebel groups have access to some form of territorial sanctuary from rival forces (whether in the form of safe zones or foreign bases), they kill many more civilians on average than rebels without external sanctuaries. Both safe zones and foreign bases have similar effects on rebel groups: They provide a place free from government or rival forces where rebels can recuperate, recruit and train fighters, use as a staging ground for military operations, propagandize and expand their resource base. In short, safe zones increase the rebel groups’ lethality.In short safe zones increase rebel groups lethality- The authors of this piece cite many previous instances of exactly this occuring- therefore it is not an unknown for the Trump administration.

At the same time, safe zones or foreign bases often effectively sever the connection between the rebel groups and the civilians they claim to be fighting for. Rebels no longer have to compete with the government to win civilian “hearts and minds” to survive and fight. Rather than protecting civilians, they prey on them (even when those civilians make up their theoretical base of support). Rebels with external sanctuary become, as economist Mancur Olson coined them, “roving bandits”: able to simply take what they need by force from civilians and return to their protected safe zone or sanctuary.So called 'safe zones' are created for this specific reason, to up the misery level for civilians. There is nothing humanitarian or "safe" about them-  They will not stem the refugee flow- A simply absurd claim.
The authors cite incident after incident- Known outcomes- same every time. Which suggests quite clearly this is the desired outcome- no matter what nonsensical assertions made.
 This is how the drug/organ/human trafficking is expanded exponentially- This feeds the black markets. The black budgets and covert ops- Only a moron, habitual liar or complete psychopath would extol the virtue of 'safe zones' as anything but inducements to increase human misery. I'll cite the previous incidents all together as the ending for this post.

"The results of our statistical analysis show that rebel groups with only external territorial control (e.g., safe zones, foreign bases, or refugee camps) — an increasingly realistic scenario in Syria as both the Islamic State and non-Islamic State rebels continue to lose territory in contested zones to government forces backed by Russian air power — kill, on average, twice as many civilians as those that control territory within the theater of conflict and lack access to sanctuary."Rebels groups in safe zones kill on average twice as many civilians as those that control territory within the conflict theatre with no access to sanctuary- think about that!!!
 "Should a similar safe zone (as in Iraq) be established in Syria, particularly near Islamic State (PKK/YPG) territory, it would be all too easy for a rebel group such as the Islamic State to take advantage of this new sanctuary. The Islamic State (PKK/YPG) will not be flying planes over the territory to be shot down, nor does it rely on conventional ground forces. Even if ground troops were the solution, the Pentagon estimated in 2016 that securing safe zones would take between 15,000 to 30,000 troops, perhaps inviting a ground war between the United States and the Islamic State — precisely what the Islamic State wants." Precisely what the US and company want also- The authors exclude that point. I don't.
Notice the authors of this study it it would be all too easy for A rebel group- any rebel group, not just ISIS- ANY rebel group? Al Sham, PKK/YPG /ISIS all of them

Recall my saying I would list the previous safe zone/sanctuary atrocities? 

The authors of the study mention two groups neither of who were in a designated safe zone as is being bandied about by Trump and before that Obama- but they operated outside of the theatre of conflict.
" The Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were primarily based outside the theater of conflict (in Ethiopia and India, respectively) there were periods characterized by high civilian victimization and predation" Now here is where we get to the "safe zones" designated by UN/ NATO/US/France etc.,

What party established the 'humanitarian safe zones' at Srebrenica? The UN
 "Attempts at establishing humanitarian safe zones have failed, sometimes with terrible consequences, as in the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica. More civilians could be put at risk by safe zones purportedly established to protect them" The UN established that zone, allegedly, to protect civilians- While aspects of what went on their have been massaged for political reasoning- People were not protected- Civilians died. Because it was more or less a battle ground- I'll give this over to Saker 

France administered a 'safe zone" in Rwanda -  How very humanitarian that was!
 "The French government’s administration of a Rwandan “safe zone” in 1994 should serve as a clear and terrifying reminder: members of the interahamwe, the perpetrators behind the Rwandan genocide, used these zones to continue the genocide"
And finally we get to that 'safe zone' established in Iraq:
Safe for who? Safe for the PKK to grow in strength and attack Turkey, so that Turkey could be kept on a short NATO leash- As the PKK grew in the protected strength of the US NFZ they were trained by Israel and the US for the role they are now playing in reshaping the region under many labels- PKK/YPG/TAK- an alphabet soup terror group created by alphabet agencies

My theory, years old,  has not waivered from that of the PKK and co being a functioning 'stay behind' irregular militia-  

March 07/17 update: I finally found the post where it was very first posited that the PKK is a stay behind army- coddled by NATO- the safe zone which  served to strengthen the PKK further bolsters my contention November 2014: Kurd/ISIS Symbiosis & the Impending Destruction of Turkey

My hypothesis  from 2.5 years ago, which includes a small checklist : 

" In reality the PKK appears to have always functioned as a stay behind army. 

A NATO stay behind army.  Always at the ready to keep Turkey in check."
Back to the Safe Zones article
The Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) is another rebel group that benefited directly from a safe zone created in a foreign territory. The northern Iraq no-fly zone was established in March 1991 to protect Iraqi Kurds from Saddam Hussein and was unrelated to the Turkey-PKK conflict. The safe zone created a de facto independent Iraqi Kurdistan, providing sanctuary to the PKK. With no government forces on the ground, the PKK quickly established bases in Iraqi Kurdistan that it used to launch a widespread campaign of attacks on civilian and government targets in Turkey. Our research leveraged this quasi-natural experiment to test the effect of the implementation of the no-fly zone on the PKK’s victimization of civilians. We found that PKK civilian casualties — as well as the number of attacks on civilians — spiked dramatically after the 1991 establishment of the northern Iraq NFZ. Using data from the Global Terrorism Database, we found that in 1990 the PKK committed fewer than 50 attacks on unarmed targets. In 1992, the PKK committed more than 150 attacks on unarmed targets. This dramatic increase subsided only after a major Turkish counterinsurgency offensive culminating in an invasion of Iraqi Kurdistan in 1995.
 Are safe zones really a solution for Syria-  
Or  are they the guarantors of dissolution? And I'm talkin' both meanings
  1. the closing down or dismissal of an assembly, partnership, or official body.
  2. debauched living; dissipation.
 Safe Zones aren't safe for anyone, anywhere
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Manbij Conjuncture- Russia Makes a Deal

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Thu, 03/02/2017 - 08:28
US-backed Kurdish forces agree to hand over key area to Syrian government

I do not believe the PKK/YPG made this deal to protect civilians.  It’s far more likely the airstrikes that occured on Monday and the casualties they took fighting were the impetus for the deal.. Perhaps the Kurdish terror clan isn’t such an effective fighting force  when the US hasn’t dropped a pile of bombs (softening) on the locale first?
 I also question the claims of the Kurds flying the flags  ONLY as a ruse entirely- It is well known US, British special forces operate amongst the PKK/YPG. Along with mercenaries..
A US-backed military council in Manbij said on Thursday it will hand over areas west of the flashpoint town to Syrian government troops, after an agreement brokered by Russia, as armoured personnel carriers flying the US flag were seen moving into areas north of the town.
The reports came after sustained clashes between the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Turkey-backed Free Syria Army rebels.Following news of the deal between the SDF - mainly made up of the US-backed Democractic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing the Peoples' Protection Units (YPG) - and the Syrian government, Turkey's foreign minister threatened further military action."If the YPG does not vacate Manbij we will strike," Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters on Thursday morning. “We don’t want the US to continue cooperating with a terrorist organisation that targets us,” he went on. “The US has to immediately rectify its error. Conducting such operations with the YPG is putting Syria’s future at risk.“This is not US soil. Why would we come head-to-head with US soldiers?”Looking for more context for above quotes..

It was not immediately clear whether the military vehicles flying the US flag were US troops, or SDF forces using the US flag to prevent attacks by Turkey-backed forces.ABD Ordusu Münbiç'te ➤— CNN Türk (@cnnturk) March 2, 2017The SDF has caused controversy in the past by flying the US flag over their positions to deter attacks by Turkish forces.The reported troop movements came as the Manbij Military Council, which is part of the SDF, reached an agreement with Russia to leave the defence of areas west of the town to Syrian government troops.The SDF announced that that the agreement to leave the defence of areas west of Manbij to the Syrian army had been reached in hopes of protecting civilians.BREAKING: Manbij MC reaches agreement w/ Russia to transfer areas of W. #Manbij to gov. forces - @KomNewsCom— Conflict News (@Conflicts) March 2, 2017Clashes had broken out on Wednesday between Turkish-backed rebels from the Free Syria Army (FSA) and members of the largely Kurdish SDF. The fighting broke out just west of the strategic northern town of Manbij, close to the Turkish border.Manbij villages will be handed to Syria government in coming days - local official
A road sign that shows the direction to Manbij city is seen in the northern Syrian town of al-Bab, Syria March 1, 2017. Picture taken March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi 

Villages controlled by the Manbij Military Council will be handed to the Syrian government in the coming days under a deal agreed with Russia, an official from the council said on Thursday. 

 This area has been in flux for a couple of days now.. 
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NATO Fracturing at Manbij? US Reinforces Manbij to Defend From Turkish Attack??

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Wed, 03/01/2017 - 10:32
Necessary background since most people still believe Turkey & theUS are lovers. They aren't. Turkey is the betrayed party in the tryst the US is having with Kurdish terrorists. Though Turkey has tried to win back US affection. The US has repelled Turkey in favour of it's new love... (simplistic breakdown) 

Last week Turkey cleared ISIS out of Al- Bab.


By all accounts it was a tough fight. Despite non credible claims of some type of deal being made between Turkey and ISIS... I saw that mentioned in alternative circles but the claims had no sourcing
Dozens of Turkish soldiers were killed supporting Syrian rebels in the fight for Al Bab as the extremists put up fierce resistance, including the use of suicide bombers.The move had two goals- Clear out ISIS from the border and prevent the joining of the PKK cantons in northern Syria
“The objective of the Turkish intervention in northern Syria is to prevent the joining of the Kurdish cantons of Afrin and Kobani,” said Balanche.
Afterwards information from Turkey indicated they were moving on Manbij:
 There had been no indication from Erdogan that the Turkish forces inside Syria want to rest on their laurels with the taking of Al Bab.“The US does not want Turkey to march on Manbij,” said Stein.
No they don't.  The US does not want Turkey to march on Manbij. 

Manbij is a problem, from way back, for Turkey. It's also a source of acrimony between Turkey and the US. Along with the coup

The US had made a promise to Turkey that their PKK/YPG terrorists would clear out once they rid the place of ISIS.. But the US had their fingers crossed behind their back and were speaking with forked tongues... because they were NEVER going to ask/make the PKK/YPG terrorists to leave, since, they did not want them to leave - Remaking the region, folks! 
 Been talkin’ this talk for years now.  The US made the promise never intending to keep it because they were plotting the coup and didn't plan on it failing
The Manbij broken promise has been covered here many times, if you are unaware please read:

1-August 16/16 Turkey: US to Keep Manbij Promise? 3 Step Road Map: Assad Stays. Cooperating with Iran & More
Çavusoglu said: "The U.S. and the President Barack Obama personally promised that PYD members in the SDF would be withdrawn to the east of the Euphrates River. Now the U.S. must keep its promise, and we expect them to. We are maintaining our communications regarding this matter."Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu reminded U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday that he had personally made a promise to withdraw the Syrian PKK affiliate Democratic Union Party's (PYD) armed People's Protection Units (YPG) to the east of the Euphrates once the Manbij operation finished. He said he and Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag will pay an official visit to the U.S. to convey a new document including evidence of Gülen's involvement in the recent coup attempt. 2-August 25/16:Turkey's Move On Syria- Why now? Broken Promises, Coup Fall out, US Elections & Chemical Weapons Meme, Again!

3-November 6/16: Whose Timeline Will Win In Raqqa....

Covered yesterday

Raqqa Revisit- Turkey's Syria Border Wall More then Half Complete

Let’s see how sacrosanct the NATO alliance really is?If the latest news out of Manbij is any reliable indicator the NATO alliance is not sacrosanct and is as fractured as I’d suspected for some time now- I will keep an eye on the situation and update when I can.

Two reports from this morning (afternoon in Syria and Turkey)

Sputnik: US Sets Up Military Base in Syrian Manbij to 'Defend It From Turkish Attack'

It's an unnamed source- usually I stay away from this, but, the reporting fits with what I know and have written about. It makes sense in the big picture.
"The US is "taking all necessary measures" to defend the Syrian city of Manbij in the Aleppo Governorate, 30 kilometers west of the Euphrates, which is currently under control of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), from an attack by the Turkish Armed Forces and fighters from the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the SDF representative told Sputnik Turkiye.

In particular, he said, US servicemen have set up a military base in the city and are sending an additional contingent there. They are also deploying heavy weaponry and armored vehicles to the area.The SDF representative further noted that US servicemen will be holding talks with representatives from Turkey and added that the US intends to increase its contingent in Manbij, sending heavy weaponry and tanks there in order to shore up the city's defenses.Just two days after their meeting with Votel, the US set up a military base in the city to be able to defend it from an attack by Turkish armed forces. The US flag was flown above the base"Flashback:  Feb 24/17 US Commander Votel in Northern Syria Meeting With PKK/YPGThe top US military commander for the Middle East made a secret trip to northern Syria on Friday to meet a US-backed alliance fighting the Islamic State (IS) group, the group's spokesman said.In an online statement, SDF spokesman Talal Sello said Votel "visited areas under our (PKK/YPG) control today (Friday) and met with several SDF commanders".
"The results were positive. We discussed the developments in the Euphrates Rage campaign and shared military matters."He described the meeting as "confirmation of US support for our forces". Sputnik article continued...
Flying the flag, he said, is a message, a warning to Turkey that the city is under the defense of the US.-Is it? 
-Or are the Kurdish forces employing some type of psychological operation?
-Or is it in fact true and we're looking at preparations for safe zones in Syria?
 The US servicemen will also take part in round-the-clock surveillance and patrols in the west and the north of the city to be able to prevent any possible attack.
In addition, he said, armored vehicles under the US flag have been deployed in the north of the city. US servicemen have been also deployed to its western areas. On Tuesday they sent more tanks and armored vehicles to Manbij and promised that the city will also be under the defense of the US-led coalition forces. There are reports of clashes between Turkish backed rebels & PKK/YPG near Manbij today:

 Is Turkey testing the waters?  

Or are the PKK/YPG completely fabricating the attack? 

Anything is possible at this time

ANF- kurdish source?

Making the claims of ISIS being involved highly suspicious and very convenient for spin purposes...
Turkish army and gang groups acting under their command have attacked the villages of Gorhîko, Holash and Xalîde, 29 km southwest of Manbij Wednesday afternoon. Manbij Military Council fighters gave an immediate response to the aggression, resulting in clashes which are ongoing.

Simultaneously with this attack, ISIS gangs launched an aggression on the villages of Mesterîhe and Cedîde 20 km southwest of Manbij. Clashes that erupted upon the retaliation of Manbij Military Council fighters are ongoing. Reports from the ground suggest that many ISIS members were killed during the fighting and bodies of 5 were seized by Manbij Military Council fighters.Why would the Kurds seize the dead bodies of ISIS fighters?? Doesn't make sense. Unless they did it so the deceased could not be identified by Turkey's men?

 Morning Star online
 TURKISH proxy forces clashed with Kurdish militia near Manbij in Syria yesterday after Ankara confirmed the northern town in Aleppo province was its next target.
Additional breaking news:
The Turkish-backed forces were reported to be making quick progress through villages to the west of Manbij.
BREAKING: Turkish backed forces reach outskirts of Arima (west of #Manbij) after taking Tal Turin and Al-Qarah from SDF - @QalaatAlMudiq— Conflict News (@Conflicts) March 1, 2017
 Tough to figure out what is actually occurring- I'll update when possible. Meanwhile if anyone notices any relevant info please leave it in the comment section? Thanks! 

UPDATING: Approx 5:00 pm EST


Abdullah Ağar, an anti-terrorism expert and former Turkish special forces operative..
 "The fact that the US keeps sending troops, heavy weapons and armored vehicles to Manbij and establishes military bases in the region clearly indicates that there’s a serious crisis in US-Turkish relations. The US actions aimed at strengthening the YPG positions leave Ankara little room for doubt. Turkey is well aware that sooner or later it will have to enter a direct confrontation with the YPG because it (YPG) poses a mid- to long-term threat to the future, security and the unitary structure of the Turkish state" 2-Russia Ceases Bombing US Allies in Syria After Deconfliction Call - Coalition The US is very conciliatory- Russia bombed SDF/PKK/YPG thinking they were ISIS and the US is saying - it's on them! Operation Inherent Resolve commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend"Yesterday we had some Russian aircraft and regime aircraft bomb some villages that, I believe, they thought were held by ISIS [Daesh], yet they were actually — on the ground were some of our Syrian Arab Coalition forces," he said.So Russia bombed ISIS but it was really the Kurds- So KurdIShIS then?
The US called and the bombing stopped.
US forces were about four or five kilometers (2.5-3 miles) away when they observed the incident and contacted their Russian counterparts."We used that mechanism, and it worked," Townsend said. However, there were some casualties among the Syrian Arab Coalition, the commander added.The airstrikes took place in a village near al-Bab, 9-12 miles from Manbij where Syrian Arab Coalition fighters were on the ground.3-Russia and Syria denied bombing "coalition partners" yesterday. But admit being contacted in as a cautionary measure

The Russian military in Syria had been contacted by their American counterparts, who "expressed concern" that Russian and Syrian aircraft could "carry out an unintended strike" at positions of Washington-backed fighters during an anti-terrorist operation, the Russian ministry said.
"To avoid any incidents, the US representative has provided (present tense) exact coordinates of the US-backed opposition forces in the region to a Russian officer," the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday, adding that the information was "taken into account" by the Russian military.So the US has now provided Russia/Syria with the coordinates - but the strikes being reported occurred yesterday
My question is since when is the US so understanding about Russian or Syrian airstrikes? Townsend acknowledges that Russia and Syria may have thought the Kurds were ISIS.  Russia and Syria deny bombing "coalition partners" (easy enough when you think you're bombing ISIS)

Past 24 hours:
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Teaching Kids to Trust the Police is Child Abuse

freedominourtime - Wed, 03/01/2017 - 00:57

Somebody who would do this to a child should be horsewhipped, at the very least.

Integral to the American concept of liberty is the right to hold the state at bay, which is why children are never too young to be taught to regard government employees with suspicion and defensive hostility. Some conscientious parents in Northampton, Massachusetts acted on that principle by demanding an end to a program intended to habituate public school inmates to the presence of police officers. 
The local police department, acting on an initiative that originated with the International Association of Chiefs of Police, had dispatched officers to the local elementary school each week for an event called “High-Five Friday,” in which officers would exchange friendly greetings with cops who in practically any other context would treat such physical contact as a felonious assault on an officer. Police Chief Jody Kasper explains that she thought “it was a great way to start building relationships with young kids.”
That program was “paused” following complaints from a handful of parents who believe that it is the better part of wisdom to teach their children to avoid contact with the police, rather than seeking it out. In announcing the decision on his Facebook page, the department mentioned that “children of color, undocumented immigrant children or other children who may have had negative encounters with law enforcement” had expressed concerns about the program, which cued up the predictable reactions from the punitive populist faction. 
“Why don’t you toughen up out there in Northampton, all right?” eructated Bill O’Reilly, offering the jocular suggestion – at least, I think he was kidding – that the principal and the school board should be arrested. Minor-league talk radio personality Charlie Brennan insisted that “this is why Donald Trump’s gonna get re-elected – stories like this.” 
A contributor to The New American magazine who serves as that publication’s liaison to the white nationalist subculture snarked that “there’s no more `safe space’ for law-abiding citizens than when the police occupy part of it,” and insisted that no true American could possibly object to having an armed, costumed stranger clothed in “qualified immunity” breathing down his neck. 

“It’s entirely understandable, for instance, that a child hailing from a Third World nation with corrupt police may feel apprehension at the sight of the men in blue,” he patriot-splained. “But not that long ago people would have understood the proper response: You take the student aside and gently explain that the police visiting his school are there as friends.”
“Some might also wonder about the parenting evident here,” he continued in the style of a Soviet commissar tutoring parents about their duty to raise children in the fear and admonition of the state and its human emissaries. “If your child has some irrational cop phobia, do you try and educate and change his mind? Or should you moan and groan and change all of society to accommodate irrationality?” 
The “Caucasian leftists” and “minority” parents who complained about the police outreach program embody the “snowflake spirit of the age,” concludes the TNA contributor, whose otherwise barren rhetorical pantry is well-stocked with clichés. To be fair, this story does expose a rather shocking failure on the part of parents in the community – that is, those who accepted the program with bovine docility, rather than expressing skepticism about it. If it is “irrational” for parents to teach their children to be leery of police officers, why do police officers and prosecutors cultivate that attitude within their own children? 
Every parent whose children have been sentenced to attend the Regime’s mind-laundry should review the advice offered by Professor James Duane of Regent University Law School in his slender and indispensable book, You Have the Right to Remain Innocent
Over the past several years, Professor Duane has made hundreds of presentations, each of which begins with an invitation to any audience members whose parents were police officers or prosecutors to ask what advice they had been given by their parents. 
“Every time this happens, without exception, [I’ve been told] the same thing: `Years ago, my parents explained to me that if I were ever approached by a law enforcement officer, I was to call them immediately, and they made sure that I would never agree to talk to the police.’ Not once have I ever met the child of a member of law enforcement who had been told anything different.” 
Several news accounts mention the fact that among those who objected to the Northampton police outreach program included “children who may have had negative encounters with law enforcement.”
“Wow, only in grammar school, and they already have a sour relationship with police,” sneers the above-quoted commentator. “Their futures are bright.” 
It is surpassingly easy for children to find themselves detained, shackled, or otherwise abused by police as a result of entirely trivial misconduct. Witness the case of Michael Davis, a five-year-old from California who was arrested, cuffed, and hauled away to jail for “battery on an officer” after he pushed away the hand of an officer who had touched him without consent and kicked the assailant in his knee in an act of righteous self-defense. 
This was a case involving a delicate snowflake who filed a complaint after his feelings were hurt– none other than Lt. Frank Gordo, who lodged a complaint against the mother of his victim, accusing her of “discriminating” against him by taking the story to the media. 
Incidents of this kind are becoming commonplace. Two years ago a misbehaving third-grader in Covington, Kentucky had his arms shackled behind his back at the elbows for fifteen minutes by a sheriff’s deputy. The eight-year-old supposedly attempted to elbow the deputy after going to the bathroom. 
“You don’t get to swing at me like that,” the heroic tax-feeder lectured his captive. “You can do what we’ve asked you to do, or you can suffer the consequences.” 
In 2014, deputies in Greene County, Virginia handcuffed a four-year-old who had been disruptive in class and briefly detained him at the sheriff’s office. The sheriff insists that the deputy “did what he had to do” and claims that the mother was “appreciative of the way he handled the situation,” which if true would be utterly horrifying.  
Until recently, school resource officers in Texas would routinely treat student misbehavior as misdemeanor criminal offenses, issuing citations that could lead to fines and jail time. School officials in Syracuse, Utah have warned that students who are found at the high school during release-time religious instruction would be issued trespassing citations that, once again, can lead to fines and even jail time. The amalgamation of public education and law enforcement has created countless variations on the theme of criminalizing what had once been treated as minor disciplinary matters.
While police can cause problems for students who misbehave, their presence in schools can be even more dangerous to youngsters who are obedient and conscientious. Professor Duane urges parents to teach their school-age children that “you cannot listen to your conscience when faced by a police officer and think I have nothing to hide.” 
Police are trained to lie as an investigative tactic, and rewarded when their lies prove to be instrumental in obtaining convictions. Innocent and well-intentioned children who somehow find themselves on the receiving end of police attention are “sometimes the most likely to be unfairly influenced by deceptive police interrogation tactics, because they tragically assume that, somehow, `truth and justice will prevail’ later even if they falsely admit their guilt,” Duane emphasizes. “You cannot safely trust a single thing police officers say when they are trying to get you to answer their questions…. Even if you are innocent, the police will do whatever it takes to get you to talk if they think you might be guilty.” 
No better illustration of that reality can be found than the case of Idaho Falls resident Chris Tapp, who has spent twenty years in prison for a murder he did not commit. The only evidence against Tapp was a patently false confession extracted from him through the efforts of IFPD Sergeant (and future Idaho Falls mayor) Jared Fuhriman. 
Fuhriman had been a DARE instructor and resource officer at Tapp’s junior high school. Desperate to clear the case, and left without any good leads after DNA evidence had cleared the three young men considered suspects – including Tapp – Fuhriman used his supposed friendship with his victim to lure him into lengthy interrogation sessions that mutated into something akin to psychological torture. Eventually Fuhriman convinced Tapp that unless he confessed to some role in the murder, he would inevitably be sent to the electric chair. 

“Christopher would just keep saying, `Fuhriman is my friend, mom – he wouldn’t put my life in jeopardy, he wouldn’t lead me astray,” his mother, Vera Tapp, told me in a telephone interview. “He was just such a `good old boy’ with Christopher…. You can see it in the videos – `Oh, Christopher, we’re friends, we’re buddies,’ you know, laughing and joking around. And that’s just what he did when [Tapp] was in junior high. He [was] learning people’s trust and how to manipulate people. And that’s what he did – he manipulated Christopher.”
It is a screaming pity that Christopher Tapp wasn’t given the advice that police and prosecutors offer to their own children: Do not, under any circumstances, talk to a law enforcement officer, beyond demanding access to your parents and, if possible, an attorney. 
Given that police and prosecutors tell their own children not to trust law enforcement officers, why shouldn’t parents employed in the productive sector do likewise?

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, acting on an invitation from the late Justice Scalia, insists that the Second Amendment doesn't protect the right of Mundanes to possess "weapons of war." If it didn't, that amendment would be worse than useless, as I explain in this week's Freedom Zealot Podcast:

Be sure to check out the Libertarian Institute -- and share it with your liberty-minded friends.

Dum spiro, pugno!

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Donald Trump's Major Policy Shift Regarding Undocumented Immigrants??

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Tue, 02/28/2017 - 19:07
If the reporting is true this is quite a big change in Trump's policy.. And promises The Telegraph:Donald Trump 'suggests he could grant legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants in major policy shift' Donald Trump signing an executive order Donald Trump has suggested he could grant legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants who have not committed serious crimes in what would be a major policy shift. Throughout his campaign and first five weeks in office, Mr Trump had been unwavering in his hardline stance on illegal immigrants. However, he reportedly said on Tuesday night: “The time is right for an immigration bill as long as there is compromise on both sides.” Such a move would be a dramatic turnaroundUnder President Barack Obama, undocumented immigrants were only to be deported if convicted of a serious crime. Mr Trump's proposal would apparently stop short of granting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, but would give them legal status to remain in the US.
The White House did not dispute the reports of Mr Trump's compromise statement.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy White House press secretary, said, according to the New York Times: “The president has been very clear in his process that the immigration system is broken and needs massive reform, and he’s made clear that he’s open to having conversations about that moving forward.I'll keep an eye on this.. 

Don't Miss lots of news packed in one post:
Raqqa Revisit- Turkey's Syria Border Wall More then Half Complete
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Raqqa Revisit- Turkey's Syria Border Wall More then Half Complete

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Tue, 02/28/2017 - 19:00
 3 R's: Rounding Up Related Reports

 I'll relink previous posts regarding the border wall construction below this latest news report

DW: Turkey's wall more then half done
Turkey has erected 290 kilometers (180 miles) of a planned 511-kilometer (317 miles) "security wall" along its border with war-torn Syria, local media reported on Sunday, quoting the head of the body building the structure. The wall is made from portable concrete blocks each weighing seven tons. The blocks are 2-meters thick (6.5-foot) at the base and 3-meters (10-foot) high, topped by a meter of razor wire. Along the entire wall roads are being built for military patrols and watch towers are being erected. "The wall is a further indication that the Turkish government is determined to stop people, including refugees, coming through," said Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International's Turkey researcher.Good for Turkey! It's their border and their nation.
 Turkey has taken in more than three million Syrian refugees.Amnesty International-  Go Away! Just another No Good Organization
Sometimes neighbours need fences and many times nations need secure borders! 
Wish Canada would seal up it's leaky borders... Rather then having the RCMP assisting persons hightailing into Canada from the US.  Under the claim of persecution by the Trump administration- all illusory.


August 2016 - Turkey's Border Wall With Syria

November 2016 - Turkey: No US Cooperation on Safe Zone/Border Wall Construction Continues & Raqqa 

"U.S. officials have said they hope to start an offensive against Islamic State in Raqqa within weeks, and have said that the SDF will play a big role"The recent news regarding Raqqa and Turkey reads like posts from 2016. From above and below-

October 30/2016: The US & Israel's Taking of Raqqa Impeded by Intermeddlers
Turkey said they’ll clear Raqqa with their own military and boots on the ground- Turkey does have a very large military but the US has to agree the Kurds stay away. However, the US INSISTS  the PKK/YPG/TAK and company be involved in taking Raqqa from ISIS. It is this insistence on the part of the US that tells us the truth of the agenda- The US wants the PKK terrorist group and it's friendlies to take Raqqa.Turkey’s offer to assist in Raqqa still  hinges on PKK not participating in the move.
Nothing has changed. The US is still insisting it’s terror besties continue on with the plan to take Raqqa- Turkey has pretty much made the same offer as last year. Dump the Kurds and we’ll help with Raqqa

Daily Sabah-Turkey offers US alternative Raqqa plans sans YPG
Let’s see how sacrosanct the NATO alliance really is?
Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday reiterated that Raqqa could be cleared of Daesh's presence if Ankara and the U.S.-led coalition reached a deal. Speaking in the southeastern province of Gaziantep, Erdogan said, "If we come to terms with coalition forces, we will be able to cleanse Raqqa of Daesh as well."Gee the coalition shouldn’t have a problem getting rid of ISIS, should they?
The YPG, under the guise of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), has been on its way to Raqqa. According to sources close to the YPG, which Ankara considers a terrorist group, it was only kilometers away from Raqqa, the Syrian city on the northeast bank of the Euphrates River.The Obama administration supported the PKK-affiliated YPG, and despite Ankara's ultimatums and stern warnings, the U.S. did not abstain from further solidifying relations with the terrorist group. However, whether the Trump administration continues this backing is still a question. A major policy shift in Washington in favor of Ankara could be a game changer on the ground.

According to reports, Akar told his counterpart that ground forces were vital to retake Raqqa. Though Turkey will not get directly involved in an operation to liberate Raqqa from Daesh, it will provide tactical support, as confirmed by Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Saturday.Ankara has claimed that several thousand FSA fighters were ready to engage Daesh to liberate Raqqa. The FSA has been effective in Operation Euphrates Shield, which began in late last August to improve security, support coalition forces and eliminate the terror threat along Turkey's southern borders.

If Washington decides to go with Ankara's plan to liberate Raqqa, it will need to convince the YPG to let FSA troops, in cooperation with the Turkish military, pass through Tal Abyad to Raqqa. The U.S. may have to cut off its ammunition and weapons supply to the terrorist group.The US will not take the offer because they are going to move ahead on those ‘safe’ zones aka no fly zones to aid in the annexing of Syrian territory, permanently.

March 01/2017: Turkey warns US against partnering with PYD for Raqqa offensive
President Erdogan said that Turkey was coordinating with Russia and the U.S.-led coalition, regarding its possible involvement in the Raqqa operation, while making clear that the country would not accept any involvement of the PKK-affiliated Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG), in the operation.Speaking at a weekly parliamentary meeting, AK Party Chairman and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim echoed the president's remarks, and confirmed that discussions with the U.S., coalition forces and Russia, on a joint Raqqa operation, were ongoing.
Erdogan Putin Meeting Moscow March 9-10
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in Moscow March 9-10, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “I confirm. Negotiations [between Putin and Erdogan] have been planned,” Peskov told journalists.
Reports of a planned Putin-Erdogan meeting emerged earlier in the Turkish media. The Turkish leader will take part in the Turkey-Russia High Level Cooperation Council.
Both leaders met earlier in October 2016 in Istanbul, where they discussed restoring trade, the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, and cooperation in Syria.
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La La Land Starring Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Mon, 02/27/2017 - 18:50

I forced myself to watch the Beatty/Dunaway presentation. There was no mistake made. Beatty and Dunaway were reveling in their joke, on the audience, who are all in La La Land. A state of unreality

 What is La La Land?

La La Land is a very loaded term. It has a number of meanings. A reference to Hollywood. The physical locale. 
 La La Land can be a state of mind - One that is out of touch with reality, choosing instead to focus on fantasies and frivolity. Like the theatre of the Oscars?  La La Land is a place that one needs to break free of in order to be real. To live real.

Addressed to some degree in the post from earlier today: And the Oscar goes to..... The Greatest Unconscious Carrier of Propaganda!

You only need watch the first 40 seconds of the video below to see Dunaway & Beatty in action 

 My take on this?

Beatty & Dunaway as Trump & Clinton. Both of whom emulated Bonnie and Clyde. Both in a dramatic production- Beatty & Dunaway in a movie. Clyde and Bonnie, er I mean, Trump and Clinton in an election campaign.

Not Beatty and Dunaway- It's Trump and Clinton
1st: Beatty and Dunaway as Trump and Clinton

They are both around the right age to represent Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton
Beatty slightly older then Dunaway. As Trump is slightly older then Clinton.
Dunaway is wearing white-  ( Democratic women in the House are planning to wear white in honor of women's suffrage-Hillary Clinton wore all-white pantsuits during big moments in her presidential campaign)

2nd:  Emulating Bonnie & Clyde- Another level of the psyop


Bonnie and Clyde were shamelessly promoted by the media of the day, who distracted the impoverished, depression era, masses with enthralling tales of the star crossed lovers employing a Robin Hood type trope - "In essence, a thief or other kind of criminal, usually of the gentleman kind, who targets people who probably deserve it in order to help the downtrodden"

Robbing banks during the depression must have went over well with the inhabitants of LaLaLand-  So enamored of Bonnie and Clyde ,the masses didn't demand justice for all the bank foreclosures enabled by the government of the day. A great distraction.

Who Were Bonnie and Clyde?
The Real Bonnie and ClydeIt was during the Great Depression that Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow went on their two-year crime spree (1932-1934). The general attitude in the United States was against government and Bonnie and Clyde used that to their advantage. With an image closer to Robin Hood rather than mass murderers, Bonnie and Clyde captured the imagination of the nation. Certainly Trump and Clinton have captivated (held hostage) the nation and much of the planet. Both running  two of the most divisive election campaigns I’ve ever seen. Any way you look at Trump and Clinton both were/are presenting themselves as modern day hero/heroine. Trump will allegedly tame the elites/corporations/big business: Make American Great AgainAnd, Hillary?  Ms Social Justice- She will lift the poor, she will stop repression and save a whole pile of victims- She’ll break the glass ceiling- She will Make America Great Again too. Just in a feel good social justice warrior kind of way.  And the inhabitants of La La Land bought the performances of the two candidates.
Not the Real Bonnie and Clyde
Because the real joke is supposed to be on the masses the winning loser had to be La La Land.. Because La La Land is the state of mind most people exist in. And the joke is on them!

In other words Dunaway and Beatty as Clinton and Trump are reveling in the fact they pulled one over on all the inhabitants of La La Land- When Faye Dunaway left the Oscars she was asked about the ‘mistake’- She said talk to Warren. This was Clinton/Dunaway tossing  responsibilty for the bad joke on Trump/ Beatty. Though Fay Dunaway/Clinton was the person who gave us the punchline. Beatty/Trump was equally guilty.

And the masses seeing this as anything but theatre are truly imprisoned in the La La Land of their own making. This was not a flub. Not a mistake. It was a an eye wink, an insiders joke, at the expense of all the inhabitants of LaLaLand
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And the Oscar goes to..... The Greatest Unconscious Carrier of Propaganda!

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Mon, 02/27/2017 - 10:03
Propaganda won the night. In every way imaginable. Sweeping not just the awarded (e)motion pictures but the very ceremony itself. Typical

 As the father of modern propaganda, Edward Bernays wrote:  

    “The American motion picture is the greatest unconscious carrier of propaganda in the world to-day. It is a great distributor for ideas and opinions.  The motion picture can standardize the ideas and habits of a nation.” (Bernays 1928)      

Judging by the news today the Asche Experiment was being fully employed also!  If you didn't read this previous post: Asch Conformity Experiment & How the Trump Effect Will be Good For Muslims

 The Asche Experiment in Practice: Toronto Star: “Oscar’s Shocking End to A Politically Charged Night”

" While Hollywood vented its anger against Donald Trump Sunday, it gave La La Land a lot of Oscars — but as it turned out, not the biggest prize, after the biggest mistake in Academy Awards history"
All of Hollywood against Trump? The "shocking end" of show "mistake"- OH MY! 

 The jokes on you if you don't see the entire presentation and awards as perception management or propaganda.  The ritualistic Oscar ceremony is itself theatre (play or other activity or presentation considered in terms of its dramatic quality) equal to the movies they purport to recognize with such prestige (conjuring trick : illusion)
What should come as no surprise to readers here is that the White Helmet terrorist documentary won an Oscar as did a movie from an Iranian fellow. I've written about the White Helmet terrorists on multiple occasions. Those prior posts will be relinked at the bottom- Let's read what was said about the Foreign Language film winner

"The most pointedly political award of the night was Best Foreign Language Film Oscar to Iran’s Asghar Farhadi, for his moral drama The Salesman. There had been speculation Academy voters would use this category to hit back at Trump’s travel ban, and it appears they did just that"A foreign language film that no one is going to see.  Was it a good film? Who cares! The award was purely political. Purely manipulative. Iran is now in your subconscious and that is not a coincidence since Hollywood is part and parcel of the military industrial complex and Iran is a target.

Syria and Iran
Iran and Syria

Two US Military targets placed into your mind by the (e)motion picture/military industrial complex.

Syria/White Helmets and Trump:

Falling into War with Iran:

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White Helmet Oscar Attendance Lies & Drama- Blame Trump/Blame Assad

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Sat, 02/25/2017 - 18:26
 More twists and turns then a Hitchcock thriller! And every bit of it as improbable as any other Hollywood  production The latest? Blame Assad! Scroll down for the latest lie
Just last week I reported here that the two terrorists from White Helmets had gotten their visas to attend the Oscar show/manipulation.

Saturday February 18/2017 "White Helmet" Terrorists Get Visa for Oscars. Trumping the Travel Ban
The White Helmets going to the Oscars is perfect!- Their theatrics and production is pure Hollywood- So why not an Oscar nomination?
Two Syrian rescue workers said they plan to travel to next week's Oscar ceremony, where their documentary "The White Helmets" is nominated for an award, after weeks of uncertainty caused by US President Donald Trump's travel ban. Raed Saleh, the leader of the White Helmets, and cinematographer Khaled Khatib have both obtained visas to travel to the US for the 26 February Academy Award ceremony in Los Angeles, producer Joanna Natasegara said. "They both have valid visas.Earlier today Hubby mentioned the White Helmets were going to be unable to attend because they were busy... Priorities, ya know.

 February 25/2017- Syria's White Helmets rescuers will not attend Oscars due to regime attacks
  Rescue workers from Syria's White Helmets group - the subject of an Oscar-nominated documentary - will not attend this weekend's Academy Awards ceremony because of intensified regime bombing, their leader said on Saturday (Feb 25)."I am not going because of our workload due to intensified regime strikes on the provinces of Damascus, Daraa and Homs," Raed Saleh told AFP."There are many things that have to be done on the ground, such as managing operations and providing emergency vehicles," he said.Oh so dedicated- to killing and terror

In their own words..
Saleh and fellow White Helmet member Khaled Khatib had been set to attend Sunday's ceremony in Hollywood, where The White Helmets is shortlisted for best short documentary. Istanbul-based Khatib, who shot much of the footage, also confirmed that he would not attend the ceremony, despite obtaining an American visa.

"I won't travel to OSCAR due to intensity of work, our priority is helping our people," he tweeted in English on Saturday.
I get US visa but I haven't traveled to U.S At all and I won't travel to OSCAR due to intensity of work, our priority is helping our people.— Khaled Khatib (@995Khaled) February 25, 2017

The white helmets documentary produced by @netflix was nominated for oscar!! I'm so proud to have filmed this film and for this nomination.— Khaled Khatib (@995Khaled) January 24, 2017"I was going to leave on Tuesday, but there was too much work because of the bombing," Khatib told AFP by telephone. "I'm also working on producing another film about the White Helmets that has to be ready in two weeks. I will not go." The two rescuers had feared they could be barred from attending the ceremony because of US President Donald Trump's late January executive order imposing a 90-day entry ban for citizens of seven Muslim majority countries, including Syria. The ban has since been lifted by a US federal court, and on Feb 18 the pair received their visas. As I'd reported last weekend- see top of the post!

The ban was lifted the terror pair got their visas but decided not to go-

But the media, as Mika Brzezinski states, does their work,"our job", of "actually controlling what the people think"

 And, I quote..
 "He is trying to undermine the media and trying to make up his own facts," she said about Trump. "And it could be that while unemployment and the economy worsens, he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think." "And that, that is our job," she noted, referring to the media.
Below you can read the media doing their job and controlling what you think. 
Despite the truth. 
Despite reality. 
Despite the facts.  
Enjoy your thought control- Thanks Mika B!

According to internal Trump administration correspondence seen by The Associated Press, the Department of Homeland Security has decided at the last minute to block Khaled Khateeb from traveling to Los Angeles for the Oscars. Internal Trump administration correspondence? Defined how? A napkin with scribble on it from the Whitehouse? 
Khateeb was scheduled to arrive Saturday in Los Angeles on a Turkish Airlines flight departing from Istanbul. But his plans have been upended after U.S. officials reported finding "derogatory information" regarding Khateeb. Derogatory information is a broad category that can include anything from terror connections to passport irregularities. Asked for comment, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, Gillian Christensen, said, "A valid travel document is required for travel to the United States."I'll requote Khateeb/Khatib- And take note of the FACT that TIME incorrectly spelled the name of the individual- Undoubtedly, intentionally. Cause TIME didn't /couldn't read the twitter feed of Mr Khatib?
I get US visa but I haven't traveled to U.S At all and I won't travel to OSCAR due to intensity of work, our priority is helping our people.— Khaled Khatib (@995Khaled) February 25, 2017

The white helmets documentary produced by @netflix was nominated for oscar!! I'm so proud to have filmed this film and for this nomination.— Khaled Khatib (@995Khaled) January 24, 2017

But wait......the latest lie/drama swirling around the TERRORIST White Helmets is both Assad and Trump are to blame!!! Trump = Assad ?

 The White Helmets cinematographer Khaled Khatib was coming to the Oscars. Syria canceled his passport

 The statement went on to say that Khatib had been due to attend, but “was not able to travel to the Oscars due to his passport being cancelled by the Syrian regime, despite having been issued a US visa specifically to attend the awards ceremony.”
Initially the terrorists weren't going to be allowed into the US because of the Trump travel ban, but, then they were issued visas- Then the drama switched to the Trump administration internal documents- Jumping to Assad's fault.

Lies, lies, lies... I expect this is a build up anticipation for, perhaps, George Clooney accepting the award on behalf of the terrorists while engaging in some type of dramatic speechifying- Mr Clooney is an actor, after all.

Don't Miss!Asch Conformity Experiment & How the Trump Effect Will be Good For Muslims Enjoy the manipulation if you so choose.
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Asch Conformity Experiment & How the Trump Effect Will be Good For Muslims

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Sat, 02/25/2017 - 16:14

Before we get to the report regarding the Trump effect changing perceptions, ponder this..
Asch Conformity Experiment

Aim: Solomon Asch (1951) conducted an experiment to investigate the extent to which social pressure from a majority group could affect a person to conform.
Results: Asch measured the number of times each participant conformed to the majority view.  On average, about one third (32%) of the participants who were placed in this situation went along and conformed with the clearly incorrect majority on the critical trials.

Over the 12 critical trials about 75% of participants conformed at least once, and 25% of participant never conformed. In the control group, with no pressure to conform to confederates, less than 1% of participants gave the wrong answer.

Conclusion: Why did the participants conform so readily?  When they were interviewed after the experiment, most of them said that they did not really believe their conforming answers, but had gone along with the group for fear of being ridiculed or thought "peculiar".  A few of them said that they really did believe the group's answers were correct.

Apparently, people conform for two main reasons: because they want to fit in with the group (normative influence) and because they believe the group is better informed than they are (informational influence).  For the moment I would like the readers here to consider the results of the Asch experiments when thinking about the presentation of Trump via the always perception managing media?

Trump is consistently presented negatively via the media- He hates Muslims. He’s bad to women. He burns ants with the magnifying glass- what ever! Couple that with the presentation of the majority disapproving of Trump  again this majority disapproval picture comes via the media- In the form of protests : Madonna and the Pussy HatsTrump “banned” Muslims. Or simple news coverage of Trump statements:  Trump shouldn't meet  Royals because of his crude comments. Or Trump and Sweden.

The Equation: the process of equating one thing with another. 

Trump is bad + Majority disapproves = You must conform with those that disapprove because they are allegedly the enlightened majority or you too will be "Donald Trump" (subject to ridicule)

Consider the Asch Conformity Experiments, the always negative, ridiculing presentation of Trump via the main stream mind control machine when you read the report about how the Trump effect is changing perceptions regarding Muslims..

Engineering a revolution in opinion towards Muslims- From terrorists to victims.
No value judgment here- Consider the employment of conformity with the changing opinion

Could the Trump effect end up being good for US Muslims?Effect: a change that is a result or consequence of an action or other cause.
Data and public opinion polls conducted by Shibley Telhami — a non-resident senior fellow at Brookings and the Anwar Sadat professor for peace and development at the University of Maryland — show significant improvement in how US Muslims and their religion are viewed in the Trump era.

The change and improved attitudes constitute a backlash to the increasing Islamophobia that has accompanied Trump’s ascendancy to the White House. Telhami described to Arab News what is happening as a “parallel trend” to the shootings, vandalism and other kinds of hate crimes that have targeted the community.

However, this spike in criminal acts against minorities could tip the balance, and is driving a “heartening parallel trend,” said Telhami. “Trump has also empowered a majority of Americans on the other side of the equation to show solidarity with the Muslim community.” Almost 1,000 participants rallied in New York in solidarity with Muslims last weekend.

Telhami referenced “four polls over the past year” that his center has conducted, which show that “Americans’ views on Islam and Muslims have become more favorable incrementally. Every single poll showed a positive change of around 12 percentage points. We are almost now at pre-9/11 numbers.”

The polls show that attitudes toward Muslims jumped from 53 percent favorable in November 2015 to 70 percent in October 2016. Attitudes toward Islam also “saw improvement from 37 percent in November 2015 to 49 percent in October 2016, reaching the highest favorable level since 9/11.”

Telhami said: “This is a revolution (in the perception of Muslims) taking place in America,” one where “Islam and Muslims are being integrated into the American identity as part of who they are.” The rise in Islamophobia has also prompted more active engagement from the community in US politics, whether it is running for public office or taking part in political and media discourse.

While Telhami stressed that it will “be hard to know which one of the two trends (Islamophobia or revolution) will win out because it is a function of politics,” he saw the trajectory of US values as one that would ultimately favor the embrace of Muslims.
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US Commander Votel in Northern Syria Meeting With PKK/YPG

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Fri, 02/24/2017 - 18:59
I don't bother with the bogus SDF label whatsoever!

Votel is in northern Syria, meeting with PKK/YPG,  when "ISIS" targets Turks in Syria's al Bab, immediately after Turkey claims success

The top US military commander for the Middle East made a secret trip to northern Syria on Friday to meet a US-backed alliance fighting the Islamic State (IS) group, the group's spokesman said. General Joseph Votel, who heads US Central Command (Centcom), met with leaders from the Syrian Democratic Forces (PKK/YPG) in the first such trip under the new US administration. In an online statement, SDF spokesman Talal Sello said Votel "visited areas under our (PKK/YPG) control today (Friday) and met with several SDF commanders". "The results were positive. We discussed the developments in the Euphrates Rage campaign and shared military matters."He described the meeting as "confirmation of US support for our forces".An SDF source told AFP the visit lasted four hours. Votel made a similar trip to Syria in May 2016, meeting with SDF commanders as well as US military advisers working alongside them. 
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Car Bombs (2) Kills Dozens Near al- Bab: A Response to the Capture?

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Fri, 02/24/2017 - 08:45
Make that 2 car bombs- Update at the bottom

In yesterday's post addressing the news of al- Bab's capture,  Why Does Turkey’s Capture of Syria’s Al Bab Matter? I inquired about the possible US response to this capture

" Credible reports indicate ISIS has been evicted from Al Bab by Turkish soldiers and the rebels they back.  Turkey began Operation Euphrates Shield with the intent to  block the  PKK/YPG Kurds from joining their cantons.. They have succeeded so far.  If they move towards Manbij what will the US do? How will they react?"

Even going so far as to leave a comment wondering how the US will respond
PennyFebruary 23, 2017 at 4:36 PMWasn't going to do another post, but, this had to be mentioned- It will be interesting to see how the Trump administration responds to this.Were today's car bombings the response? Coming just one day after the capture. One day!
If so the US and company are displeased that Turkish backed rebels and troops have taken al-Bab. Who did the bombings target?

from DWCar bomb kills dozens near Syrian town of al-Bab A car bomb killed as many as 60 people and wounded dozens more Friday in northwestern Syria, Turkish state media and activist groups said. The attack killed between 53 and 60 people in Sousian village, according to activist groups Aleppo Media Center and the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The groups said ISIS militants were believed to be behind the attack.  Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reported that 60 people were killed and at least 100 others wounded, adding that the car bomb targeted a security building for the Free Syrian Army, an association of rebel groups fighting ISIS. Dozens of injured Syrians are being treated at a hospital across the border in the Turkish town of Kilis, Anadolu said.
Thirty-three of those killed in the blast have been identified, said Barry Abdullatif, founder of media activist group al-Bab City Coordination. There were multiple reports Thursday that Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army rebels had pushed ISIS out of the area, specifically from the key town of al-Bab along the Turkey-Syria border. Sousian village is a few miles from al-Bab. Al-Bab is ISIS' last significant holdout north of the terror group's de facto capital of Raqqa in Syria.
A still image taken from a video posted on social media uploaded on Feb. 24, 2017, shows people inspecting the damage at a site of an Islamic State car bomb explosion, said to be in Sousian village near al-Bab, Syria. TIMEAl Jaz- Suicide bomber targets checkpoint outside key city after it was captured by Turkish-backed rebels a day earlier.

  Turkish-backed forces made advances into the town earlier this month. The town's remaining jihadist-held areas thus came under siege as the Syrian army had approached al-Bab from the south, cutting off militant retreat routes.

Turkish/ Syrian tag teaming was discussed in this previous post:
What's At Stake In Battle For Al-Bab? Turkish/Syrian Cooperation  Info taken from two sources:  "The Aleppo-Manbij road, to the south of al-Bab, may function as the border between the Syrian Army and Euphrates Shield forces: al-Bab, Bizaa and Qabasin will be occupied by Turkey and Turkish-backed rebels, while the Syrian army will be satisfied with Tadif ""After liberating Tadif, the Syrian army will not enter al-Bab. The Syrian military agreed with Turkey on a demarcation line with pro-Turkish forces (the Turkish army and pro-Turkish militant groups).“As a result of the advance, the Syrian government forces have reached a demarcation line with the Free Syrian Army’s units as it had been agreed with the Turkish side.” I would call today's suicide bombings the Trump administration response 

Update regarding 2nd Car Bomb 

10:35 am EST

Two car bomb attacks near the northern Syrian town of al Bab have killed at least 68 people.
The second car bomb left at least eight dead in Sousian, according to Syrian opposition activists. Mohammed al Tawil, a leading Syrian opposition fighter, told the Associated Press: "These people have suffered a lot." "They have been waiting for this moment [to return home]."Sputnik- Second Explosion in One Day Occurs Near Al-Bab Amid Turkish-Led Op Victory
A second explosion on Friday occurred near the Syrian city of al-Bab as Turkey-led forces established full control of the city.
Should we expect car bombings this week end in Turkey?
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Why Does Turkey’s Capture of Syria’s Al Bab Matter?

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 19:34
Turkish Backed Rebel in Al babCredible reports indicate ISIS has been evicted from Al Bab by Turkish soldiers and the rebels they back.  Turkey began Operation Euphrates Shield with the intent to  block the  PKK/YPG Kurds from joining their cantons.. They have succeeded so far.  If they move towards Manbij what will the US do? How will they react? Recall the US promise to Turkey regarding Kurdish withdrawal from Manbij? I do. It was a promise the US had no intention of keeping. What about Raqqa?

Jordan Times

 The Syrian town of Al Bab was for three years a key extremist stronghold in northern Syria, whose capture Ankara hopes will give Turkey greater influence over the postwar shape of the country.

The town, whose name means “The Gate”, had an estimated prewar population of some 100,000 but was the target of an over three-month assault by Turkey and allied rebel forces which met with fierce resistance.

On Thursday, pro-Ankara rebels said they had fully captured the city while Turkey said near complete control had been imposed, with lingering extremists still needing to be flushed out.
Why was Al Bab key for the extremists?

According to Fabrice Balanche, visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, it became a stronghold of Daesh, home to many foreign extremists and their families and on a crucial position on the road east to the extremists’ de-facto capital of Raqqa.

“It was a base for Daesh to launch offensives against the Syrian army and rebels in Raqqa province,” he told AFP. What does Al Bab mean for Turkey?

Dozens of Turkish soldiers were killed supporting Syrian rebels in the fight for Al Bab as the extremists put up fierce resistance, including the use of suicide bombers.I read numbers for Turkish soldiers nearing 70 dead. Unsure of the numbers for rebels- Can anyone assist?
Turkey’s offensive inside Syria began in lightning fashion with the capture of Jarabulus from Daesh on the first day of the operation on August 24 but stalled considerably in the fight for Al Bab.

Yet Ankara persisted, insisting that Al Bab operation would be pressed to the end.Turkey has a huge interest in eliminating Daesh which killed dozens inside the country in terror attacks in 2016.But crucially, it also wants to prevent Syrian Kurdish forces — who Ankara sees as a terror group — linking up their “cantons” of Jazira and Kobani to the east with Afrin to the West.

The area north of Al Bab controlled by pro-Turkish forces creates a crucial buffer between the cantons controlled by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) that could give Ankara critical postwar access into northern Syria.

“The objective of the Turkish intervention in northern Syria is to prevent the joining of the Kurdish cantons of Afrin and Kobani,” said Balanche.

Stein said Turkey had succeeded in the original stated aims of its “Euphrates Shield” campaign inside Syria.“Turkish forces have forced ISIS [Daesh] from the border and cut the overland route between the two Kurdish cantons.”
What next for Turkey?

Yet there had been no indication from Erdogan that the Turkish forces inside Syria want to rest on their laurels with the taking of Al Bab.

The president has indicated they want to move east to Manbij, where Kurdish-dominated forces ousted Daesh last year, and made very clear to Washington that Ankara does not expect to find Kurdish militia in the town.

“The US does not want Turkey to march on Manbij,” said Stein.

“I’m not sure Turkey really wants to march on Manbij but they want everyone to think they will, so they can extract concessions,” he added.

Then Turkey has said it has Raqqa in its sights, with Defence Minister Fikri Isik saying Ankara is prepared to join an international coalition to take the Daesh fiefdom but only if the Kurdish militia are not involved.

“The battle of Al Bab should prove the efficiency of the Turkish army and its allies to the United States, so that they do not use the Kurds of the PYD as their main ally in the Raqqa offensive,” said Balanche.
From Earlier:
Gilad Atzom: Identity Politics and the Tyranny of Political Correctness
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Gilad Atzom: Identity Politics and the Tyranny of Political Correctness

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Thu, 02/23/2017 - 18:40
hatip Gallier2

gallier2February 22, 2017 at 8:37 AMHi,
Gilad Atzmon video at E&R about identity politics. Enjoy.

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