Tuesday, August 27, 2013

In 2009, there were 1.711 million people in Damascus.

Wed, Aug 28, 2013, 01:00

Shops in Damascus are open, (click here) and traffic chokes the main thoroughfares. But, after more than two years of civil war, the mood is growing restive as Syria faces the prospect of a military strike by western powers.
Despite the bustle of daily life in those areas of the city not directly caught up in conflict, there is apprehension at what foreign intervention would look like. But also hope.
Western powers could attack within days to punish President Bashar al-Assad for a poison gas attack last week that killed hundreds of civilians, envoys from the US and its allies have told rebels fighting for his overthrow, according to sources who were present.

“The big fear is that they’ll make the same mistakes they made in Libya and Iraq. They’ll hit civilian targets, and then they’ll cry that it was by mistake, but we’ll get killed in the thousands,” said Ziyad, a man in his 50s.
Echoing local media reports, some residents said they expected the strike to begin later this week but not to last long....

Libya was already disarmed of any WMD. The USA does not want another Iraq. USA occupation doesn't solve anything. Nothing. Best examples are Iraq and Afghanistan. If anything the monies that comes with USA occupation increases corruption. If the USA is going to spread around money for the sake of Nation Building we don't have to occupy the country.

I don't trust Clapper. He needs to retire forever. The guy is problematic and I don't believe a word he has said or will ever say. I think he is a real 'Yes Man' and slime ball.

Actually, I thought Clapper was leaving, no? 

Dear god he is still there. What did we do to deserve this? I think Director of National Security and the NSA should be elected offices.

Photo credit: AP | National Intelligence Director James Clapper (click here) testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. The White House and key lawmakers are standing by Clapper despite his admission that he gave misleading statements to Congress on the how much the U.S. spies on its own. (April 18, 2013

Published: October 29, 2003
The director of a top American spy agency (click here) said Tuesday that he believed that material from Iraq's illicit weapons program had been transported into Syria and perhaps other countries as part of an effort by the Iraqis to disperse and destroy evidence immediately before the recent war.
The official, James R. Clapper Jr., a retired lieutenant general, said satellite imagery showing a heavy flow of traffic from Iraq into Syria, just before the American invasion in March, led him to believe that illicit weapons material ''unquestionably'' had been moved out of Iraq.
''I think people below the Saddam Hussein-and-his-sons level saw what was coming and decided the best thing to do was to destroy and disperse,'' General Clapper, who leads the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, said at a breakfast with reporters.
He said he was providing a personal assessment. But he said ''the obvious conclusion one draws'' was that there ''may have been people leaving the scene, fleeing Iraq, and unquestionably, I am sure, material.'' A spokesman for General Clapper's agency, David Burpee, said he could not provide further evidence to support the general's statement.

The USA doesn't have to take any actions with Syria. Quite frankly. There are so many stupid things that can go wrong.

Both the cruise missiles and ballistic missiles are new in mid-2013.

MOSCOW, May 12 (RIA Novosti) - Iran’s Navy (click here) will receive cruise missiles with a range of more than 300 kilometers, the director of Iran’s Defense Ministry’s Aerospace Organization said on Sunday.
“The new missiles will have “enhanced precision” and other “super advanced capabilities,” Brigadier General Mehdi Farahi was quoted by Press TV as saying.
In late April, Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi announced plans to unveil new ballistic and cruise missiles as well as other new military achievements within the next five months....

And there are those that wish something stupid would happen.

DUBAI | Thu Aug 8, 2013 4:11am EDT

(Reuters) - Iran has constructed a rocket-launching site (click here) that could be used for testing ballistic missiles, a report from a military intelligence publication said on Thursday.
Satellite imagery analyzed by Jane's Intelligence Review showed extensive construction over the last three years at a site of what Jane's says is a launch tower and pad, an area to prepare rockets for launch and an administration and support section.
The Islamic Republic has pursued ambitious goals to develop its space program in recent years. In January this year it demonstrated its missile delivery systems by launching a live monkey into space and returning it safely, officials said.
Western countries are concerned that long-range ballistic technology used to propel Iranian satellites into orbit could be put to delivering nuclear warheads....

Russia is evacuating their citizens out of Syria. They are also recognizing the dead Syrians. Russia doesn't appear to be posturing to move against The West. I hope they realize all Russia tried to do with Syria wasn't heeded. It wasn't Russia's fault Assad could not secure his weapons and/or use them. I am sure Russia tried to prevent such releases.

WASHINGTON, August 27 (RIA Novosti)

...More than 350 people died (click here) in the attack near Damascus last Wednesday, according to the Syrian opposition and the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders.
“We know that the regime maintains custody of the chemical weapons in Syria and uses the types of rockets that were used to deliver the chemical weapons… the opposition does not,” Carney said.
The government of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad has denied using chemical agents, and showed on state TV what it claimed was evidence of rebel groups using such weapons.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said Tuesday his country would use "all means available" to defend itself in case of a US strike, according to The Associated Press.
To allow a chemical attack to happen without a response “would be to invite further use of chemical weapons… and the consequences of that, given the volatility of the region… would be very serious indeed,” Carney said....

The Ghadir conducts coastal patrols inside the Persian Gulf. It's got a ~5 man crew, is 30 m long and has two 533mm torpedoes.

This is very sad. This is an American Treasure and it is burning.

The snow vaporized. It didn't run off. It went from solid to vapor with the benefit of being water to run into water supplies. That was throughout the country. I watched it happen. The snow became fog and when the thick fog lifted the ground was bare.

The fire is brilliant white after entering Yosemite. The reason for that is because of the beautiful trees with intact and full canopies. These are not the ancient trees dating back nearly 3000 years before the year of Christ. These are still aged trees. 

The winter of 2013 was among the driest on record for California, (click here) setting the stage for an active fire season. By August 26, the Rim Fire had made its way into the record books. At just 15 percent contained, the fire is now the 13th largest in California since records began in 1932. The fire is also threatening one of the United States’ greatest natural treasures: Yosemite National Park.

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite tracked the growth of the fire between August 23–26. The VIIRS day-night band is extremely sensitive to low light, making it possible to see the fire front from space at night. The brightest, most intense parts of the fire glow white, exceeding the brightness of the lights of Reno, Nevada, to the north. Pale gray smoke streams away from the fire, generally to the north....


The reservoirs in California are low. They didn't receive snow runoff this year.

The two reservoirs in Southern California are at historic levels and Millerton Lake is over it's historic level. 

It's bad. The water situation in California is stressed. 

As a point of interest, Pine Flat Lake is a manmade lake and it is nearly dry. It is near King's Canyon National Park. It is where the Sequoias live.

This is not what Yosemite is supposed to be remembered for or was never supposed to look like. This is criminal. Absolutely. It is robbing the future of our children from their heritage. (click here)

The USA federal government did nothing for decades to prevent what was predicted. It is criminal.

As of July 2013 North Carolina was 3rd highest in the nation in Unemployment. It was 48th in jobs.

Graham County has the highest rate of 15.9% (click here)

Graham County is a small rural area that would benefit from the growth of tourism. If they had investment opportunities the county could make things better for their citizens.

But, what Tourism in the USA would benefit most from is DISPOSABLE income. Graham County can build it, but, if there is no one to come, what difference does it make?


The opportunity is out of the box to start a business in Graham County, NC! (click here)

I mean for real now. Anyone for small business capital investment? Oh, silly me, the banks aren't lending. Swallowed by a whale, I hear.


Santeetlah Lake on US 129 at the foothills of the Smoky Mountains outside of Robbinsville, NC.  

Located in the heart of Graham County, this gem appeals to boaters, swimmers, fishermen, kayakers, canoers, campers, hikers, locals, and sightseers alike.  The tranquil waters calm the soul and gently lap your worries away.

This 2800 acre lake offers a multitude of water sports and 76 miles of shoreline. While the waters might feel a bit crisp to some (about 70 degrees Fahrenheit during my last August dip), for us this just adds to the fresh appeal.

Surrounded by National Forest, over 80% of the Lake Santeetlah shoreline is free from private development.  It is easy to find a secluded cove.

Just because

A fledgling osprey sits patiently in its nest on the waters of Langley Air Force Base, Va., as its mother prepares to fly off in search of food, July 22, 2013. Since 2001, the 1st Fighter Wing’s Bird/Wildlife Aircraft Strike Hazard Team has monitored and translocated several ospreys in an attempt to reduce the risk of bird strikes to aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jarad A. Denton/Released)

We are getting what our taxes pay for. Thank you.

New pesticide product labels will better protect and other pollinators:

Humans are largely responsible for recent climate change (click here)

Authored by the US EPA 

Over the past century,(click here) human activities have released large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The majority of greenhouse gases come from burning fossil fuels to produce energy, although deforestation, industrial processes, and some agricultural practices also emit gases into the atmosphere.

Greenhouse gases act like a blanket around Earth, trapping energy in the atmosphere and causing it to warm. This phenomenon is called the greenhouse effect and is natural and necessary to support life on Earth. However, the buildup of greenhouse gases can change Earth's climate and result in dangerous effects to human health and welfare and to ecosystems.
The choices we make today will affect the amount of greenhouse gases we put in the atmosphere in the near future and for years to come.

The result of President Obama's Frist Term is more than interesting.

Authored by the USDA.
Climate Change and Agriculture in the United States: Effects and Adaptation
Executive Summary
Key Messages
Increases of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2),rising temperatures, and altered precipitation patterns will affect agricultural productivity.Increases in temperature coupled with more variable precipitation will reduce productivity of crops, and these effects will outweigh the benefits of increasing carbon dioxide. Effects will vary among annual and perennial crops, and regions of the United States;however, all production systems will be affected to some degree by climate change. Agricultural systems depend upon reliable water sources, and the pattern and potential magnitude of precipitation changes is not well understood, thus adding considerable uncertainty to assessment efforts.
Page 33
The climate of the U.S. has changed during the last 100 years, and the rate of climate change has increased during the last several decades. A large number of observations and simulation experiments clearly show that this long-term change is distinct from the natural variability of climate that the U.S. has always experienced. In most areas of the United States, temperatures have increased. Precipitation changes have been more variable; while some regions have experienced increases, others have seen decreases. The growing season has become longer all across the U.S., and the number of frost days has decreased.

St. Louis Zoo is Number 2.

29 Unforgettable Zoos Everyone Should Visit 


The cost of the Climate Crisis is more than SuperStorms.

The Chicago area (click here) will broil today in near record-breaking heat that has prompted some schools to close for the day or cancel afternoon classes.
The high will climb into the middle 90s but the heat index -- how it feels -- could hit 103, according to the National Weather Service. The record high temperature for this date is 97 set in 1973.
The smothering air is expected to stay with us for the rest of the week, with no real relief until Labor Day when the highs will only be in the lower 80s, the weather service said....

Crime tends to escalate in the heat as well. This is the worst time in USA history when record number of guns should be on the street.

Our research reveals the 100 most dangerous cities in America with 25,000 or more people, based on the number of violent crimes per 1,000 residents. Violent crimes include murder, forcible rape, armed robbery, and aggravated assault. Data used for this research are 1) the number of violent crimes reported to the FBI to have occurred in each city, and 2) the population of each city.

What Detroit isn't in the Top Ten? (click here)

This index is really sad. Number one is East St. Louis, Illinois with a safety rating of 0 out of 100. 100 is the safest a city can be.

Number 100 is Sarasota, Florida with a rating of 3 of 100. I looked at their methodology and I am not convinced this is a reflection of reality. Depending on the statistical analysis crimes can be weighted to their severity and outcomes/lethality and impact on quality of life and then the incidence of the crime/long term economic impact of crime included to reflect HIGH RISK.

I don't know if I have ever seen an accurate depiction of a city or a neighborhood. In other words, every neighborhood has risk. That risk can be mitigated by insurance costs and quality of life. If crime happens too often the insurance costs in a neighborhood or city will increase. If crime is rampant the quality of life is effected and it is mostly noted in hospital admission statistics as related to the immediate and long term effects of crime on quality of life.

I don't believe raw data coming from the FBI is low in statistical error or at all complete. Sincerely, there is much more to "The Safe City" than simply an accounting sheet by law enforcement. There is crime not reported and is tampered with by politicians when it is reported. There are better ways to measure the safety of cities. Mostly, quality of life through economics of insurance costs and hospital statistics.

That method is longer to work and requires cultural anthropologists to sort though it.

Payment of life insurance due to crime would be an interesting place to start though along with insurance payments post crime. The incidence of insurance would also have to be realized to discover the statistical impact of that statistic though. Basically, are higher risk communities a place where people are insured? The fall back to accuracy would be hospital statistics. Quite possibly that is the better indicator to community safety. The exception there is some crimes aren't reflected in hospital incidence. The two components, insurance payments and hospital admissions would provide a picture of crime even when it wasn't reported to policing authorities.

Quality of life, not just sheer numbers.

Rank   City

The Top Ten

10        Inkster, MI
9 Newburgh, NY
8 St. Louis, MO
7 Atlantic City, NJ
6 Detroit, MI
5 Saginaw, MI
4 West Memphis, AR
3 Flint, MI
2 Camden, NJ
1 East St. Louis, IL

100      Sarasota, FL
99 Muskegon, MI
98 Melbourne, FL
97 Richmond, CA
96 Rocky Mount, NC
95 Lawrence, MA
94 Bridgeport, CT
93 Miami Beach, FL
92 Milwaukee, WI
91 Worcester, MA
90 Tulsa, OK

The Right Wing media extremists' mentor is a son of a communist.

by Thom Hartmann 

Two Santa Clauses or How The Republican Party Has Conned America for Thirty Years (click here)
This weekend, House Republican leader John Boehner played out the role of Jude Wanniski on NBC's "Meet The Press."
Odds are you've never heard of Jude, but without him Reagan never would have become a "successful" president, Republicans never would have taken control of the House or Senate, Bill Clinton never would have been impeached, and neither George Bush would have been president.
When Barry Goldwater went down to ignominious defeat in 1964, most Republicans felt doomed (among them the then-28-year-old Wanniski). Goldwater himself, although uncomfortable with the rising religious right within his own party and the calls for more intrusion in people's bedrooms, was a diehard fan of Herbert Hoover's economic worldview....

Jude Wanniski was a journalist. He passed away in 2005. He is the prophet to the Right Wing's extremism. Their pursuit of extremism began in the 1990's after President Bill Clinton took office. Mr. Wanniski's father was a communist. Just sayin'. It speaks to Gingrich and "The Contract with America."


The Tragedy of Rush Limbaugh's Low Information Voter Theory (click here) or Also Known as Tabloid Journalism

...But it was not until I came across a book written in 1986 that I became more familiar with a possibly less ethereal cause as to why Jude’s embrace of popular opinion became so antithetical to conservative orthodoxy.  It has a bearing on why it is so difficult for Republicans to adapt to the changing demographics of America – a hurdle that I see them correcting in the 2016 election, whether Limbaugh relinquishes his attachment to LVI or not.  The Republican Party has reached a stage of dissatisfaction where it may win in spite of Rush more than because of him. In a chapter of Sidney Blumenthal’s The Rise Of The Counter-Establishment this appears:...

It keeps getting hotter and the Republicans deny the science all the more.

UNISYS Water Vapor GOES East Satellite (click here for 12 hour loop)
August 27, 3013

The temperature in Bermuda is 81 Fahrenheit with an expected high of 84 today and there is a vortex that has settled directly over it.

Does anyone care about that phenomena that has existed since 2002 in the northern hemisphere? Nooo...they only care about selling Wall Street weapons of war.

They only care about the next opportunity to become a million-billionaire. Will Assad provide the uptick that will save Goldman's reputation as the hottest advise on Wall Street? 

Why is there a vortex that has settled over Bermuda? Good question. You see, the RESIDUAL coolness is not available so it provides a heat center that is consistent with a water vapor supply of tidal aerosol on a continual basis. The lack of residual coolness is exhibited in the fact Bermuda is expecting a high of 84 and a low of 75 Fahrenheit. That is ONLY a difference of 9 degrees Fahrenheit. That is nearly homogenous and as stable as a HEAT ISLAND literally can be.

The Bermuda Vortex of August 27, 2013. I find that fascinating as hell and have since I first began my observations since 2000.

Why not somewhere else? And why the water vapor? There is a burgeoning addition to the water vapor content of Earth at the south southwest border of that vortex and again at the north north west quarter of it. The southern accumulation is greater. How long has Earth been struggling with putting water vapor into the troposphere while humans dry out the planet? For at least over a decade now.

Why is that important, because the Western USA is on fire, that's why from a Climate Crisis induced drought. Are these two TROPOSPHERIC events related? You betcha. Earth is giving up it's forests (It's carbon sinks.) due to drought while at the same time there are human spilling greenhouse gases into the troposphere and the water vapor content is moving higher and higher in altitude while become noctilucent clouds of unknown content and volatility and the oceans give up aerosol sea water spray to replace the water vapor leaving the surface of Earth. You betcha they are related.

Noctilucent clouds reside in the Mesophere. Actually, they are in the Mesopause, which is the space between the Mesophere and the Thermosphere.

Thermospheric temperatures increase with altitude due to absorption of highly energetic solar radiation. Temperatures are highly dependent on solar activity, and can rise to 2,000 °C (3,630 °F).

In the mesosphere temperature decreases with increasing height. The upper boundary of the mesosphere is the mesopause, which can be the coldest naturally occurring place on Earth with temperatures below 130 K (−226 °F; −143 °C). The exact upper and lower boundaries of the mesosphere vary with latitude and with season.

I never thought it was wise to wager on what occurs in Earth's atmospheres. It is sort of like looking a gift horse in the mouth.

There is a man of peace in the USA White House and even that is not good enough.

This was quite sometime ago when the King of Saudi Arabia was still a Prince.

One has to realize how astounding this actually was considering the USA was in Iraq at the time and Saudi Arabia wasn't really interested in war so much as uniting the region in peace.

Much of what plagues the Middle East are ethnic differences. Bashar al Assad is Shi'ite. The then Prince Abdullah is Sunni. I love the guy, I think he was and still is one of the most progressive thinkers in the region.

When one looks to Saudi Arabia for it's treatment of women there is sincere respect and love for the ability, desires and careers of the women in Saudi Arabia. They even got their driver's licenses in recent years. And the interesting thing about Saudi Arabia, the home of the Great Mosques and Mecca, is that they honor their women and children within the traditions of Islam, not the oppression of Islam.

Saudi Arabia's social culture is not Westernized as was Egypt's social culture.

It is unfortunate Bashar Assad never followed the potential for improving relations with all the Arab Nations while ending his push into Lebanon and standing with Hezbollah. He never stepped away from the nonsense of religious mischief long enough to actually become a great Shi'ite political leader. It wasn't as though many nations didn't try. 

Saturday, 10 June, 2000, 19:45 GMT 20:45 
Analysis: Assad's Arab legacy (click here) 
By BBC News Online's Martin Asser  
Even though it had been expected for years, Hafez al-Assad's death still comes as a tremendous shock and it adds a major new element to the uncertainties which already dominate the Middle East...
...His death therefore leaves a huge gap, one which his son and probable successor - a relative political novice - can only fill with difficulty.
Hafez al-Assad's admirers say it was his cautious, uncompromising approach which saved Syria from the kind of ignominy imposed on some other Arab peoples in recent decades...

Evidently, Bashar is not his father.

...Under the late president, Syria has consistently punched above its weight in the international arena.

After the first swathe of pro-US Arab regimes made peace with Israel - Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinians - few other Arab capitals were prepared to consider full normalisation with Israel until Syria got back the territory it lost in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war...

And now the region has a tyrant unable to stop killing his own people.

This is King Abdullah of Jordan in 2009. They all tried and it never worked. Assad was always too angry, to willing to push his anger on neighboring nations and always seeking what was not his to seek. He was never interested in peace. He was interested in ethnic retribution. It is that which Iran falls short. Iraq's Shi'ites are smarter, better aware of themselves and more willing to end hate. The remainder of the Shi'ites in the region should seek the insight of al Sistani, not Nasrullah.
Bush ignored the intelligence regarding al Qaeda's presence in the USA and allowed the events of September 11th to unfold. It served his purpose and that of Cheney. It is that reality the American voter needs to keep in mind when they elect any President. Are they putting Wall Street in the White House or do they have a President that cares about them and their country.

I think the difference is obvious.

Any action by President Obama in regard to Syria is to sincerely bring about a peaceful solution while protecting allies. That is what the American people need to keep in mind. There won't be mission creep.

The chemical weapons in Syria are uncontrolled. Assad has stated that himself. He states the rebels are in control of the weapons. I'll take him at his word and realize there should be no LOOSE WMD. But, a forever war? Nah. 

I will say this much though, the career military staffing the war room are a problem. They want war as a solution. War is never a solution. Killing is never the answer. They should keep that in mind. It is the DOD and not the War Department.

Hell, Bush and Cheney would formulate a solution to global warming by reducing populations across the globe and call it a reduction in CO2 emissions and continue to drill for oil and gas. 

WAR PERVERTS!!!!!!!!!!!

The Peace Talks seeking a political solution needs to go forward.


Sources at a meeting between envoys and the Syrian National Coalition (click here) said Western powers told the Syrian opposition to expect a strike against President Bashar al-Assad's forces within days.
A source said opposition was told in clear terms that action to deter further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime could come as early as in the next few days.
The source, who was at yesterday's meeting in Istanbul, added that the opposition was also told that they should still prepare for peace talks at Geneva.
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said the US military is ready to act immediately should President Barack Obama order action against Syria over a chemical weapons attack....

Exactly. The UN is in Syria. They aren't going to be left without a friendly force nearby.

...In an interview with the BBC, he said: "We have moved assets in place to be able to fulfill and comply with whatever option the president wishes to take." 
Asked if the US military was ready to respond just "like that," Mr Hagel said: "We are ready to go, like that."
British Prime Minister David Cameron has said the country's parliament will be recalled on Thursday to discuss the UK’s response to "chemical weapons attacks" in Syria....

The UK's Parliament needs to be reasonable and give Cameron a sense of REALITY.

That report said Thursday. Today is Tuesday. And the USA media is stating THE ATTACKS will begin as soon as Friday. Sure. 

I can't stand the wait. I am sure it will be immediately and I don't want to miss a second of it. I have my letter of decent ready to go calling Obama another Bush as soon as he makes a wrongful advance. I am sure the war will send me scurrying to the War Competent GOP that has a Speaker that doesn't understand his job.

Why do I waste my time on the USA media? They are so predictable. War is necessary and as soon as the money starts flowing to Wall Street peace is on the way when we win. 


I thought this was interesting.

Syrian rebels have a headquarters in Egypt where the Muslim Brotherhood is having trouble coming to grips with the idea of democracy? Really?

I suppose those headquartered in Egypt are now headed to Syria where things are more stable. 

August 17, 2013 12:01 PM GMT 
By Vasudevan Sridharan

Growing unrest in Egypt (click here) has forced Syrian rebel leaders to flee the country and move their headquarters to Turkey.

The army-backed interim administration in Egypt has clamped down on the movement of senior figures of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), making it difficult for them to operate from Cairo.
Scores of rebel leaders have already left Egypt, Khaled Khoja, Turkish representative of the opposition bloc, told the Ankara-based Hürriyet Daily News.
"Many Syrian opposition figures are leaving Egypt, Mouaz al-Khatib, the former head of the Syrian National Coalition, has plans to settle in Turkey," said Khoja.....

Cameron has ended a vacation early and will speak with the Parliament this week.

Jordan is advocating a political solution. Cameron states he would seek a proportional response to the release of chemical weapons. Cameron wants to talk to the Parliament to cover himself. He has his problems. 

Syrian rebels claim receipt of major weapons shipment

in Beirut 
The Guardian

Rebel groups in Syria's (click here) north say they have received their largest shipment of weapons yet, in a fillip to an anti-government campaign that had stalled for many months. 
Leaders of militias supported by backers in Saudi Arabia and Qatar say several hundred tonnes of ammunition and a limited supply of light weapons were allowed across the Turkish border in the past three days, in what they said was the first large-scale re-supply since earlier this year.
The weapons are believed to have been sent by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and were warehoused in Turkey for many months. Senior rebel commanders contacted by the Guardian say they did not include anti-aircraft missiles, but several dozen anti-tank rockets were among them....

Assad is starting to sound like Saddam, "I will huff and puff and blow your house down." Right. 

AFP | Aug 27, 2013
DAMASCUS –– Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem (click here) vowed on Tuesday that his country will defend itself in case of any Western military strikes against it.
"We have two options: either to surrender, or to defend ourselves with the means at our disposal. The second choice is the best: we will defend ourselves," Muallem said in a televised news conference.
Muallem said that his country had defences that would "surprise" the world, and that any such action against it would serve the interests of Israel and Al-Qaeda.
"Syria is not an easy case. We have defences which will surprise others," he said.
"The war effort lead by the United States and their allies will serve the interests of Israel and secondly Al Nusra Front," an Al Qaeda-linked jihadist group in Syria, said Muallem.
He challenged Western states to present evidence that the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad had used chemical weapons.... 

The reason The West is in position is due to Iran. One has to keep in mind there is nothing Israel wants more than to confront Iran. The spin masters will seek to escalate the tensions everywhere just to find a footing of propaganda that will work. 

...Iran on Monday warned of “serious consequences” should Western powers intervene in Syria.
Iran's Foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi on Tuesday said the message was conveyed by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a meeting on Monday with UN political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman, who is in Tehran for talks that included Syria.
“The use of military means (against Syria) will have serious consequences not only for Syria but for the entire region,” Araqchi said, recounting conversations between Zarif and Feltman....

Assad has never been anyone's friend. The King of Saudi Arabia while he was Prince attempted many times to bring Assad into a greater understanding of peace in the region. It worked in a superficial way, but, Assad has always been a lone wolf. 

by Taylor Luck
Aug 26, 2013
Updated: Aug 26, 2013 | 23:30 
AMMAN — Activists and relief officials expressed concern (click here) on Monday over the fate of hundreds of survivors of alleged chemical weapon attacks in Syria stranded along the Jordanian-Syrian border.
Activists say hundreds of survivors remained stranded along the border for the fifth straight day on Monday after rising violence blocked off access routes into Jordan.
“Hundreds of families are arriving from the Damascus countryside each hour, but no-one is crossing through because of the bombings,” said Ahmad Al Saad, a Syrian activist with the Local Coordination Committees in the border town of Tal Shihab.
“If the international community does not intervene soon, those who survived the regime’s chemical weapons will soon die of hunger,” he warned
Syrian rebels confirmed that intensified bombing led by regime forces continued to close off access routes into Jordan on Monday, rendering refugee crossings all but “impossible”.
The UN Refugee Agency said it has received zero refugees from the Ghouta Sharqiyyeh or Ghouta Gharbiyyeh regions, where many escaped the “chemical weapon attacks”, raising concerns that ongoing violence is preventing survivors from reaching safety in Jordan....

Americans never stop to realize how many wars there are in the world at one time.


President Jacob Zuma (click here) has informed Parliament that 1 345 soldiers have been deployed to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the presidency said on Friday.

“Our soldiers are doing exceptionally well in the continent. We congratulate them and assure them of the support of their compatriots as they continue to contribute to the building of a better Africa, as a force for peace,” Zuma said in a statement.

“We are very proud of them and their contribution to African renewal and development.”

The deployment was from June 13, 2013 to March 31, 2014. The expected cost of the deployment was R402 800 000.

The soldiers would be part of a “force intervention brigade”, under the United Nations Monusco peacekeeping force.

Zuma arrived in Luanda, Angola, on Thursday for consultations with Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos and DRC President Joseph Kabila Kabange.

“The three heads of state are expected to discuss a range of issues relating to peace and stability in the region, particularly the current peace efforts in the DRC,” Zuma's spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement at the time... 

The UN has opened an investigation (click here) into reports that its troops killed two Congolese civilians during protests in the eastern city of Goma, amid fighting with rebels.
Eyewitnesses told the AFP news agency the two died on Saturday when a crowd tried to storm a UN base and said troops from Uruguay had opened fire.
Uruguay has denied the allegations and blamed the Congolese police.
A new UN intervention brigade is deploying to the area to tackle rebels.
UN troops last week shelled rebel positions just outside Goma.
There has been no official statement on how many people have died in the fighting....

UK government staff withdraw from DRC city of Goma (click here)
UN troops in the country have launched an offensive, shelling positions held by rebels near Goma.
The UN was responding to shelling from M23 rebels on Goma on Thursday, a spokesman said.
The Foreign Office said it would review the situation on Sunday.
A "small number" of staff were affected, it added.
It has also updated its travel advice, advising against all travel to some parts of the country.
UK Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds, tweeted: "Very concerned by reports of shelling in #Goma and upstart of violence. Vital that tensions are reduced quickly."... 

Kikwete says wants to mend Tanzania's 'shaken' Rwanda relations (click here)

Fumbuka Ng'Wanakilala
August2, 2013
DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said on Friday relations with Rwanda had soured because of his efforts to bring peace to neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.
In his monthly address to the nation, Kikwete said Tanzania nevertheless wanted to continue its historically positive relations with Rwanda while working to bring peace to Congo.
Tanzania leads a newly deployed U.N. intervention brigade in Congo's eastern region where M23 rebels, a group of mostly Tutsi fighters widely believed to be backed by Rwanda, have been fighting the Congolese army and other rebel groups...

In 2003, the USA rolled into Iraq, but, USA arms sales rolled into countries all over the world through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.

Bush didn't care about peace ANYWHERE in the world. All this mess only increases the ability to war, escalates the willingness to war and takes tensions where they don't belong for the sake of "Go, ahead, dare me." 

This report provides background data on U.S. arms sales agreements (click here) with and deliveries to its major purchasers during calendar years 2003-2010, made through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. In a series of data tables, it lists the total dollar values of U.S. government- to-government arms sales agreements with its top five purchasers, and the total dollar values of U.S. arms deliveries to those purchasers, in five specific regions of the world for three specific periods: 2003-2006, 2007-2010, and 2010 alone. In addition, the report provides data tables listing the total dollar values of U.S. government-to-government arms agreements with and deliveries to its top 10 purchasers worldwide for the periods 2003-2006, 2007-2010, and for 2010 alone.
This report is prepared in conjunction with CRS Report R42017, Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2003-2010, by Richard F. Grimmett. That annual report details both U.S. and foreign arms transfer activities globally and provides analysis of arms trade trends. The intent
here is to complement that elaborate worldwide treatment of the international arms trade by focusing exclusively on U.S. arms sales and deliveries, and providing the names of the major U.S. arms customers, by region, together with the total dollar values of their arms purchases or deliveries for the calendar years 2003-2006, 2007-2010, and 2010....

Of all the Democratic leaders that were Senators, President Obama was the only one that wanted peace anywhere. That is his first instinct. Clinton was a hawk and Kerry wanted to add capacity to the USA miltary during his 2004 campaign. The reason was to end the war in Iraq and leave. But, when one looks at the USA's increase in capacity it never ends anything, it only escalates it.

Kerry blasts Russia on arm sales to Syria (click here)
Cites threat to political settlement

By Steven Myers and Michael R. Gordon
June 1, 2013 WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday strongly criticized Russia’s pledge to send advanced antiaircraft weapons to Syria, saying that its actions threatened to disrupt efforts to negotiate a political settlement of the Syrian conflict and posed an unacceptable risk to Israel.
“Whether it’s an old contract or not, it has a profoundly negative impact on the balance of interests and the stability of the region, and it does put Israel at risk,” Kerry said at the State Department, making his most pointed statement yet about Russia’s arming of the government of President Bashar Assad.
Russia’s announcement last week that it would go ahead with the sale of S-300 missiles to Syria — and Assad’s boasts Thursday about the durability of his Russian weapons supply — have added a dangerous new dimension to the civil war, even as Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergey V. Lavrov, have worked to hold an international conference in hopes of finding a way to end the fighting....

The American media likes war. It gives them a lot to do, better ratings and more reason to bring fear and terror to the people. It is like a Steven King novel every moment of everyday.

The American people for two Presidential elections have elected a man that is a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. I think the American Press has forgotten that. He has removed all troops from Iraq and is ending the USA involvement in Afghanistan. The American people are not going to OPT for a new war in Syria.

President Obama has ignited Non-Proliferation talks and peace initiatives in Geneva as well as movement toward a peace treaty between Israel and Palestine. Where is the media these days? Oh, yeah, watching their journalists die on a battlefield the USA is not fighting, nor is it going to. Fine. I wish them well. They really need to park their butts in Geneva and argue to why the peace negotiations are not moving fast enough, because they sure as hell aren't going to lead this nation into war AGAIN. Obama ain't Bush, get over it.