IS/ISIS/ISIL/QSIS/Daesh-related links 2014.8.20-9

my_timeline_like_for_weeks_now…plus a few observations as tweeted. I’m sure I missed a few good pieces (possibly while I was busy yesterday, for instance). Please feel free to link anything interesting or useful in the comments.

  1. RT @BlogsofWar: RT @DefenseOne: Gen. John Allen: Destroy the Islamic State Now | 19:18:52, 2014-08-20
  2. Hof’s proposal for Syria – relate to Allen’s re ISIS? RT @michaeldweiss @nadabakos @blakehounshell This: in reply to michaeldweiss 19:35:07, 2014-08-20
  3. [The Brian Fishman piece:] RT @PaulSzoldra: This is a really great analysis. “Don’t bullshit the American people about Iraq, Syria, and ISIL” 23:52:28, 2014-08-20
  4. RT @NoahCRothman: That ISIS guy who promised to raise Islamic flag over the White House? He’s dead 12:57:41, 2014-08-21
  5. RT @hxhassan: Dempsey says Isil will be defeated when it’s rejected by the Sunnis from Damascus to Baghdad. 13:01:25, 2014-08-21
  6. RT @hxhassan: Dempsey says he thinks Isil’s momentum has been disrupted. It was the momentum behind their successes. It’ll be contained & defeated 13:01:44, 2014-08-21
  7. RT @Joyce_Karam: Interesting times: #Hezbollah condemns #ISIS‘ beheading of US citizen James Foley. 19:33:17, 2014-08-21
  8. RT @javierespinosa2: Killing of #JamesFoley “contradicts sharia,angers Allah,Prophet & believers”,statement of jihadi Al-Tartusi & other syrian clerics #Syria 19:41:29, 2014-08-21
  9. RT @wk344407: Very interesting: “Why Islamic State has no sympathy for Hamas” – #ISIS #Iraq #Syria 22:19:16, 2014-08-21
  10. RT @csdickey: Obama Readies for War on ISIS via @elilake 22:34:07, 2014-08-21
  11. RT @abuliberali: A timely reminder by @BklynMiddleton that Assad is every bit as evil as ISIS & the enemy of my enemy isn’t my friend: 08:13:29, 2014-08-22
  12. RT @hxhassan: Read: The Re-Baathification of Iraq 09:57:41, 2014-08-22
  13. RT @wk344407: Must-read piece from @akhedery: “Assad’s genocidal regime – perhaps the single greatest root cause of #ISIS‘s rise” 10:10:55, 2014-08-22
  14. New: Rod Spared. For Now. #monetization_2 13:14:04, 2014-08-22
  15. RT @hxhassan: The ISIS Within by @haningdr 21:15:25, 2014-08-22
  16. RT @cmagill: If you’re having a bad day remember somewhere an NSA analyst is trying to write an algorithm that can detect ‘IS(IS)’ but not the word ‘is’ 12:55:49, 2014-08-23
  17. RT @csdickey: How a Real Air War Could Demolish ISIS via @thedailybeast 12:59:12, 2014-08-23
  18. RT @RekkaKroenen: (1/2) Elite British and US special forces troops are forming a hunter killer unit called Task Force Black – its orders: “Smash the 13:04:40, 2014-08-23
  19. RT @RekkaKroenen: (2/2) Islamic State.”
    #Iraq #Syria 13:04:54, 2014-08-23
  20. #prt “Iraqi special forces unit called the Apostles” 13:08:49, 2014-08-23
  21. RT @ChemiShalev: US ‘set to launch air strikes’ on senior Isis terror chiefs in Syria 21:55:16, 2014-08-23
  22. RT @hxhassan: My latest for The Guardian (print) about responses to Isis and how a regional realignment is taking place 23:48:17, 2014-08-23
  23. Janet Daly: ISIS psychotic, not Islamic vs @tufailelif:
    Jihadism a problem within Islam 08:11:02, 2014-08-24
  24. RT @Joyce_Karam: Fred Hof: #Assad shares goal with #ISIS caliph, can not fight it. #Syria 09:21:45, 2014-08-25
  25. RT @ABC: US Special Ops. sources describe ISIS as an “incredible” fighting force: 12:39:35, 2014-08-25
  26. RT @vonFalkenhorst: Leftist army abolisher and right-wing keeper of neutrality call 4 support for christians fighting IS cc @20committee 14:50:25, 2014-08-25
  27. RT @Doranimated: .@MaxBoot makes sense about ISIS | 14:55:55, 2014-08-25
  28. RT @osint_org: Meet ‘QSIS’: A new twist in what to call the extremist group rampaging in Iraq and Syria 09:07:10, 2014-08-26
  29. RT @DenisonBe: Great @monkeycageblog post by @Prof_BearB on why American diplomacy appears to be failing 19:48:05, 2014-08-26
  30. RT @zaidbenjamin: #Qatar | Qradawai: The declaration of Caliphate is meaningless. Today’s caliphate is a federal or confederal between the muslim countries. 21:51:52, 2014-08-26
  31. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the Theory and Practice of Jihad h/t (kinda indirectly) to @aelkus 23:56:05, 2014-08-26
  32. Goldilocks vs Baghdadi: Why would the U.S. want to be ISIS’s ‘Far Enemy’?@selectedwisdom 09:28:18, 2014-08-27
  33. RT @brianfishman: Good piece on ISIL military strength by @mikeknightsiraq in @ctcwp Sentinel: 10:36:16, 2014-08-27
  34. “Douglas MacArthur McCain” 12:36:50, 2014-08-27
  35. RT @oomarGCC: Attacking the Islamic State IS attacking Assad very insightful piece by @Ibishblog via @_Wamik 23:35:14, 2014-08-27
  36. RT @DavidLauter: U.S. public opinion shifting on American role, notably more support for active involvement new @pewresearch finds, 12:36:45, 2014-08-28
  37. RT @abuliberali: Fantastic report on the Iran-backed Shi’a militias that are the real military of the rump Shi’a Iraqi state: 14:03:48, 2014-08-28
  38. RT @hopisen: New motto: Speak softly but ask regional actors to agree on the possible future use of an appropriately sized stick. 14:05:43, 2014-08-28
  39. RT @haaretzcom: Israel-Gaza war was only a distraction from real Mideast agenda: Threat of Islamic State 23:00:13, 2014-08-28
  41. #pt that said… RT @londil Let’s Keep ISIS in Perspective « in reply to londil 00:32:17, 2014-08-29
  42. RT @hxhassan: Islamist gains in Syria alarm some Assad allies via @reuters 09:11:13, 2014-08-29
  43. RT @rmslim: By far this is one of z best, if not z best analysis, of unfolding devepts in the Arab region penned by Yezid Sayigh 09:52:10, 2014-08-29

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TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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