Saturday, September 23, 2017

Syrian Christians Look To Assad Regime For Protection From Jihadis

Via comment by Average Joe on “I support Assad because he's the defender of Midd...

 AP Photo


Al-Monitordelivers one of the most sobering assessments of the bloody mess in Syria to date, as author Edward Dark returns to his hometown of Aleppo for a look at the plight of the dwindling Christian community, and finds them turning to dictator Bashar al-Assad for protection from the jihadis fighting to overthrow him. 

The Syrian Christian community has always been an under-reported element of the civil war. Assad was inflicting gruesome horrors upon his citizens long before he uncorked his first tank of chemical weapons, taking him across a humanitarian “red line” that the world could not ignore, in part because that red line was meant as an excuse for ignoring atrocities the civilized world is not supposed to tolerate. Once the WMD forbidden zone was entered, it was no longer possible to overlook the lesser evils. The Syrian rebellion, on the other hand, began as the heroes in the Western world’s favored narrative of resistance against tyranny, only to be revealed as a jihadi jungle in which effective “moderate” forces that could be safely armed from the arsenal of democracy were hard to find.  No one enjoys choosing sides in a conflict between villains and monsters.

Caught in the crossfire from Day One were Syria’s Christians, a minority Assad went to some lengths to protect. Dark interviewed a Christian community leader in Aleppo named Abu Fadi, and he was blunt about the situation his community faces: “There is no question at all about whom we support: the government, of course. It is the only force protecting us from the jihadists and extremists.”

Abu Fadi explained that resistance to the Assad regime was founded upon solid complaints at first, featuring protests against corruption and calls for reform, but the Christians soon concluded it was really about extremists seeking to take power for themselves, no matter how much damage they inflicted upon the country.  “They soon showed their true faces, the religious extremism they were hiding. Anyone who took up arms against the state is wrong,” he declared.

He denied the notion that all the trouble is coming from foreign infiltrators such as al-Qaeda and ISIS, noting that local rebel units have also destroyed Christian homes and churches, and not just as collateral damage from shots fired at government forces. “They want to get rid of us, drive us from our lands that we have inhabited for centuries,” he asserted. “They have destroyed churches. Look at Kassab and Maaloula, do you need further proof?”

He’s referring to two towns where Syrian rebels drove out Christian populations. Kassab’s Armenian Christians say Turkish troops stood by and watched while Islamist rebels overran the town. Maaloula was reduced to rubble in the struggle between rebels who made a point of desecrating its historic churches, and Syrian government forces who presented their recapture of the city as evidence of Assad’s determination to protect religious minorities.

Unable to form their own effective militia units, as the Assyrian Christians have done, Aleppo’s Christians see enlisting with the Syrian military as their only option for self-defense. They appear acutely aware of how the outside world views them for throwing in with Assad. Dark’s narrative of Aleppo mentions that regime troops have been accused of looting towns they liberate from jihadist forces, but this is considered merely “annoying” compared to what rebel forces are prone to do when occupying Christian areas. The people he spoke with said they felt as if the very existence of their community was threatened, in a way no one could recall from before the rebellion began. They have memories of oppression, reminiscing darkly about times when it was extremely unwise to speak out against the government, but there is a difference between oppression and annihilation.

Latest WikiLeaks release shows how the CIA uses computer code to hide the origins of its hacking attacks and 'disguise them as Russian or Chinese activity'

Via comment by Average Joe on Sharyl Attkisson explains what we are up against

 WikiLeaks, founded by Julian Assange (pictured), claims its Vault 7 files come from the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence

It says: 'This would permit a forensic attribution double game, for example by pretending that the spoken language of the malware creator was not American English, but Chinese. WikiLeaks has published hundreds more files today which it claims show the CIA went to great lengths to disguise its own hacking attacks and point the finger at Russia, China, North Korea and Iran.

The 676 files released today are part of WikiLeaks' Vault 7 tranche of files and they claim to give an insight into the CIA's Marble software, which can forensically disguise viruses, trojans and hacking attacks. 

WikiLeaks says the source code suggests Marble has test examples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi (the Iranian language). 

More @ Daily Mail

Take Em Down NOLA Wants to Increase taxes on white-owned businesses and eliminate homestead exemptions for white-owned property

Via Bill


Anarchists and racists are nested in New Orleans. Two posters and an email produced from a records request to Mitch Landrieu show the extreme attitudes of the allies of Mitch – and in particular, the Take Em Down NOLA gang – in destroying New Orleans history.

The first flyer is for “Sites of Resistance” and features pictures from the integration era in New Orleans, but it also shows a sign supporting the removal of the Andrew Jackson monument in Jackson Square.  These “Sites of Resistance” appear to go on from September through April at the Small Center which is part of Tulane University’s School of Architecture. Also depicted is a sign calling for the boycott of shopping on Canal Street.  It’s scary that any department or facility of Tulane would support a group or movement like this.

More @ The Hay Ride

Clashing polls muddy Alabama Senate race

Public polls give Roy Moore a comfortable lead in the Alabama Senate GOP runoff. But private polls commissioned by allies of Sen. Luther Strange show Tuesday’s election is much closer — within the margin of error.

The disparity between the two sets of polls is no small matter: The private polling helped persuade the White House to go all in for the appointed senator, including President Donald Trump's rally for him Friday night in Huntsville.

What explains the different numbers? To begin with, polling off-year special elections is difficult: Fewer voters turn out, and enthusiasm among even a small segment of the electorate can swing a race. Add the fact that it’s a primary runoff, taking place six weeks after the initial vote, and it’s an even smaller universe of voters who will be participating.

More @ Politico

Franco Harris on how ‘Mean Joe’ Greene and Jack Lambert would have handled Kaepernick tantrum

NFL Hall of Famer Franco Harris says his colleagues back in the day would not have tolerated a football player disrespecting the national anthem the way unemployed quarterback Colin Kaepernick has.

The former Pittsburgh Steelers superstar said his teammates and coach would have confronted Kaepernick about his unpatriotic temper tantrum and nipped it in the bud.

“We had two of the meanest guys in football who I think would’ve dealt with it that way, and that would’ve been Joe Greene and Jack Lambert,” Harris told Mediaite.

A Thousand Points of Truth

Via Val

A Thousand Points of Truth

Author V. P. Hughes paints a more realistic, intimate and human portrait of Col. John Singleton Mosby based upon thousands of newspaper articles from over seven hundred publications dating from 1862 through 1916. These articles contain countless firsthand testimonies about Mosby by friends, enemies, scholars and Mosby himself.

The Long Night Ahead

Facebook just declared war against "disruptive" information.  In addition to hundreds of new human censors, they are training AI censors capable of identifying and deleting 'unacceptable' information found in the discussions of all two billion members in real time. This development highlights what the real danger posed by a socially networked world actually is.

The REAL danger facing a world interconnected by social networking isn't disruption.  As we have seen on numerous occasions, the danger posed by disruptive information and events is fleeting.

Disruption, although potentially painful in the short term, doesn't last, nor is it truly damaging over the long term. In fact, the true danger posed by an internetworked world is just the opposite of disruption. 

DHS to 21 States: Russian Hacking Attempted but ‘Unsuccessful’

Via Billy

The Department of Homeland Security notified 21 states Friday that Russian hackers attempted unsuccessfully to interfere with their voting systems in the 2016 election.

DHS reported that no votes were changed by Russian hacking, Reuters reports. DHS refused to disclose which state governments it approached, but Wisconsin officials made it known that they were among the group.

Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Michael Haas said that he was informed that "Russian government cyber actors" targeted his state's voter registration systems.

Russian hackers "scanned internet-connected election infrastructure likely seeking specific vulnerabilities such as access to voter registration databases, but the attempt to exploit vulnerabilities was unsuccessful," Haas said.

Oregon Dems Push Phony Precedent To Block Ninth Circuit Court Nominee

Via Billy

Oregon's two Democratic senators are blocking one of President Trump's judicial nominees with claims that a "longstanding" state tradition mandating that nominees be chosen from their "judicial selection committee" was violated, but the tradition they cite has never applied to picks for the U.S. Circuit Court, according to records viewed by the Washington Free Beacon.

Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley alerted the White House that they would be blocking the nomination of Oregon native Ryan Bounds for a seat on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Bounds is currently serving as assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

White Nationalist Groups Are Splitting Over Gay Inclusion

Via Nancy

(Image: Jared Rodriguez / Lauren Walker / Truthout)

With the recent blowback from Charlottesville, the churning wheel of fascist infighting has once again kicked off, exposing a number of fault lines within white nationalist groups in the US.

One major fault line has emerged over homosexuality: While fascist and white nationalist movements have historically condemned queerness, many in the self-described "alt-right" wanted to dash this image, acknowledging that the social mood had shifted on gay issues and that they had a number of homosexual members in their ranks.

Over the summer months, as white nationalists and fascists who rallied under the banner of the "alt-right" were repudiated by their more mainstream counterparts at places like Rebel Media, a final rupture began to take place between those who decided to include gay fascists in their ranks and leaders who determined this to be the hill they wanted to die on.

More @ Truth Out

Kimmel Coordinated With Schumer For Months to Oppose GOP Efforts to Repeal Obamacare

Via Billy
... 'Cause he ain't got enough money to pay ....

Late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) have coordinated behind the scenes for months to oppose Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare.

Kimmel, whose son was born with a congenital heart disease, has been an outspoken critic of the Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare because he believes that the most recent Republican efforts to replace Obamacare don't protect people with pre-existing conditions like his son, the Daily Beast reported.

The "Jimmy Kimmel Live" host has performed multiple monologues in the past week decrying the bill proposed by Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (La.) to repeal and replace Obamacare.

3/22/1975 - A VNAF UH-1 Huey gunship lands on highway 7 in Sông Ba area to evacuate refugees to Tuy Hòa.

Via Donald Nguyen
 Image may contain: 2 people, outdoor and water
Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting, child, shoes and outdoor
 Image may contain: 1 person, smiling
Image may contain: 3 people, people sitting
 The patch on the boy's shoulder is a Ranger one and the uniform looks like the same I bought before evacuation and which all five of my daughters have worn.  

Age: 13; Sex: Boy; Occupation: VC hunter