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 on: March 04, 2015, 09:56:31 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
There are some nominations on the Tribal forum by Lonely Dog

 on: March 04, 2015, 09:03:29 AM 
Started by captainccs - Last post by Crafty_Dog

Iraqi Campaign to Drive ISIS From Tikrit Reveals Tensions With U.S.


BAGHDAD — Tensions between Iraq and the United States over how to battle the Islamic State broke into the open on Tuesday, as Iraqi officials declared that they would fight on their own timetable with or without American help, and as United States warplanes conspicuously sat out the biggest Iraqi counteroffensive yet amid concerns over Iran’s prominent role.

On Monday, Iraq launched a politically sensitive operation to oust Islamic State militants from Tikrit, the birthplace of Saddam Hussein, without seeking American approval, officials said. Even as Iraq was taking a first step into a bigger battle to oust the Islamic State from the northern city of Mosul, it was also signaling that its alliance with the United States might be more fraught than officials had let on.

American officials, for their part, voiced unease with the prominent role of Iran and its allied Shiite militias in the Tikrit operation. Shiite militia leaders said that their fighters made up more than two-thirds of the pro-government force of 30,000, and that the Iranian spymaster Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani was helping to lead from near the front lines.

Alongside them were advisers and troops from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, operating artillery, rocket launchers and surveillance drones, according to American officials, who said that the Iranian forces’ participation in the assault in Iraq’s Sunni heartland could inflame the sectarian divide that the Islamic State has exploited.

The operation comes against the backdrop of Iraqi irritation with American officials after they declared that the assault against the Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, would begin in April and then backpedaled, saying Iraqi forces would not be ready until fall, if then.

Ali al-Alaa, a close aide to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, expressed frustration with what he described as a sluggish American pace and pessimistic American estimates of how long it would take to drive the Islamic State from Mosul and the western province of Anbar.

“The Americans continue procrastinating about the time it will take to liberate the country,” he said in an interview. “Iraq will liberate Mosul and Anbar without them.”

Abbas al-Moussawi, the spokesman for Mr. Abadi’s predecessor and rival, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, said that there was “a crisis of trust” between the Americans and the Iraqis, and that “if they will not resolve this problem, we’ll have a big problem in Mosul.”

Still, the United States-led coalition continued to bombard Islamic State militants in other parts of Iraq. And a spokesman for the Defense Ministry, Gen. Tahseen al-Sheikhly, insisted in an interview that Iraq’s military cooperation with the United States was in fine shape, adding that American officials regularly participated in joint operation meetings in Baghdad that include representatives of Shiite militias.

American and Iraqi officials alike said that the Iraqis had not asked for American help in Tikrit, but some Iraqi officials suggested that was because they knew it would not be forthcoming. And while both sides said that the Americans had been warned of the operation, the defense spokesman, General Sheikhly, said that the “zero hour” — the start time of the assault — was known only to Mr. Abadi.
Continue reading the main story
Continue reading the main story

“We still welcome the international alliance’s support,” said Mr. Alaa, the prime minister’s aide. “But if they won’t be supporting us, we have no problem.”

How has ISIS, a 21st-century terrorist organization with a retrograde religious philosophy, spread from Iraq to Syria, Libya and beyond?
Video by Quynhanh Do on Publish Date December 13, 2014.

But progress appeared slow in the push against Tikrit on Tuesday, with no breakthrough in the Iraqi coalition’s efforts to enter the city. Iraqi military officials said they had reached the outskirts of Al Dour, just south of the city, and were advancing slowly after freeing 13 police officers held there by the Islamic State.

Mohammad al-Turkomani, a leader in the militias known as the “popular mobilization” forces, said that with American participation in Tikrit, “we would have moved twice as fast.”

Since the Islamic State swept into Iraq in June, Iran and the United States, longtime enemies that both support the Iraqi government, have maintained an uneasy de facto alliance against the group, with the United States-led coalition unleashing airstrikes, and Shiite militias aligned with Iran fighting alongside army and Kurdish forces on the ground. There have also been growing reports of Iranian forces’ directly joining the fight within Iraq.

The Americans’ discomfort has grown as Mr. Abadi’s government has been unable to mobilize significant Sunni forces to join the fight, something that American officials consider crucial to breaking the Islamic State’s hold on many heavily Sunni areas.

For their part, Iraqi officials increasingly complain that American support has not been as robust as Iran’s. Many Iraqis resent what they see as American squeamishness about the militias, which by all accounts have been crucial to holding back the Islamic State after regular army units fled its assault.

“Americans consider us a militia that does not represent the government, while we are defending the country and helping the government,” said Mueen al-Kadhimy, a leader in the Badr Organization, a prominent militia. “We are the people of Iraq.”

The Tikrit offensive could prove to be a first step toward driving back the Islamic State, or it could deepen longstanding sectarian and political divides that the militants have exploited to win support from some Iraqi Sunnis and acquiescence from others. The group has also used brutal intimidation tactics against Sunnis who reject it or support the government in Baghdad.

But at the same time, Shiite militias have been accused of reprisals against the Sunni population, many of whom regard them with suspicion and fear.

The Tikrit operation is the Iraqis’ first attempt to seize the area since June, when Islamic State militants massacred more than 1,000 Iraqi Shiite soldiers as they fled a nearby military base, Camp Speicher. There have been fears that Shiite militia members from the same areas many of the soldiers hailed from could take revenge on local Sunnis if they enter Tikrit, and some militia leaders have openly called the assault a revenge operation.

“There’s a risk there,” said one senior American military official, expressing concern that the Iraqi operations might not pay sufficient attention to the risks of civilian casualties from indiscriminate artillery and rocket fire.

But the American official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing battle, acknowledged that if the Iraqis and their Iranian advisers maintained strict controls on their targeting and the operation resulted in “fewer ISIS fighters and chasing them from Tikrit, that’s not unhelpful.”

 on: March 04, 2015, 08:19:04 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
The Clinton Rules
Foreign donors and private email show how Bill and Hillary work.
March 3, 2015 7:29 p.m. ET

Hillary Clinton hasn’t even begun her expected presidential candidacy, but already Americans are being reminded of the political entertainment they can expect. To wit, the normal rules of government ethics and transparency apply to everyone except Bill and Hillary.

Last week we learned that the Clinton Foundation had accepted donations from foreign governments despite having made a public display of not doing so. The Family Clinton had agreed not to accept such donations while Mrs. Clinton was serving as Secretary of State, with rare exceptions approved by State’s ethics shop.

But, lo, the foundation quietly began accepting such gifts from the likes of Qatar and Algeria after she left the State Department—though everyone in the world knew she was likely to run for President in 2016. The foundation didn’t announce the donations, which our Journal colleagues discovered in a search of the foundation’s online data base.

Then Monday the New York Times reported that Mrs. Clinton used a personal email account for official business as Secretary of State, despite a federal transparency law that requires officials to maintain emails on government servers. A former long-time litigation director at the National Archives & Records Administration told the paper he could “recall no instance” when a high-ranking official had solely used a personal email address for government business.

Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill says this is no big deal because Team Clinton is following “the letter and the spirit of rules” and has turned over to State some 55,000 emails in response to a formal request. Put another way, Mrs. Clinton is controlling which emails are divulged, and everyone should trust her judgment. We doubt Congress’s Benghazi investigators will be reassured. You also have to wonder about the judgment of America’s top diplomat exposing her official business on personal email to cyber hacking from China or Iran.

The real story here is that none of this is a surprise. This is how the Clintons roll. They’re a political version of the old Peanuts cartoon character who was always surrounded by a cloud of dirt. Ethical shortcuts and controversies are standard operating procedure. A brief 1990s roll call: The Riadys, Johnny Chung, Travelgate, the vanishing Rose billing records, a killing in cattle futures, the Marc Rich pardon.

The Clintons and Democrats want Americans to forget all of that. But as the email and foundation discoveries show, the Clintons haven’t changed. They still think they can do what they please and get away with it.

Popular on WSJ

 on: March 04, 2015, 07:53:00 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: March 04, 2015, 07:47:05 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by ccp
"A Clinton spokesman, Nick Merrill, told the newspaper that Clinton complied with the letter and spirit of the law because her advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails to decide which ones to turn over to the State Department after the agency asked for them."

Here we go again.   More sleaze.

 on: March 04, 2015, 07:07:23 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by ccp
This fix for this is to start accelerating our burning of fossil fuels and especially coal to warm the Earth back up.

 on: March 03, 2015, 10:23:20 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
The Maunder Minimum (also known as the prolonged sunspot minimum) is the name used for the period roughly spanning 1645 to 1715 when sunspots became exceedingly rare, as noted by solar observers of the time.

Like the Dalton Minimum and Spörer Minimum, the Maunder Minimum coincided with a period of lower-than-average global temperatures.

During one 30-year period within the Maunder Minimum, astronomers observed only about 50 sunspots, as opposed to a more typical 40,000-50,000 spots. (Source)
Climatologist John Casey, a former space shuttle engineer and NASA consultant, thinks that last year’s winter, described by USA Today as “one of the snowiest, coldest, most miserable on record” is going to be a regular occurrence over the coming decades.

Casey asserts that there is mounting evidence that the Earth is getting cooler due to a decline in solar activity. He warns in his latest book, Dark Winter that a major alteration of global climate has already started and that at a minimum it is likely to last 30 years.

Casey predicts food shortages and civil unrest caused by those shortages due largely to governments not preparing for the issues that colder weather will bring. he also predicts that wickedly bitter winter temperatures will see demand for electricity and heating outstrip the supply.

Casey isn’t alone in his thinking. Russian climate expert and astrophysicist Habibullo Abdussamatov goes one step further and states that we are at the very beginning of a new ice age.

Dr. Abdussamatov points out that Earth has experienced such occurrences five times over the last 1,000 years, and that:

“A global freeze will come about regardless of whether or not industrialized countries put a cap on their greenhouse gas emissions. The common view of Man’s industrial activity is a deciding factor in global warming has emerged from a misinterpretation of cause and effect.” (source)

Don Easterbrook, a climate scientist based at Western Washington University predicted exactly what Casey is saying as far back as 2008. in his paper ‘Evidence for Predicting Global Cooling for the Next Three Decades’ he states:

Despite no global warming in 10 years and recording setting cold in 2007-2008, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climatic Change (IPCC) and computer modelers who believe that CO2 is the cause of global warming still predict the Earth is in store for catastrophic warming in this century. IPCC computer models have predicted global warming of 1° F per decade, and 5-6° C (10-11° F) by 2100 which would cause global catastrophe with ramifications for human life, natural habitat, energy, water resources, and food production. All of this is predicated on the assumption that global warming is caused by increasing atmospheric CO2 and that CO2 will continue to rise rapidly.

The list of climate scientists that are moving into the global cooling camp is growing, many of them base their views on past climate records and history suggests a link between diminished solar activity and bitterly cold winters, as well as cooler summers, in the northern hemisphere.

“My opinion is that we are heading into a Maunder Minimum,” said Mark Giampapa, a solar physicist at the National Solar Observatory (NSO) in Tucson, Arizona. “I’m seeing a continuation in the decline of the sunspots’ mean magnetic field strengths and a weakening of the polar magnetic fields and subsurface flows.”
David Hathaway of NASA’s Marshall Solar Physics Center explains:

“We’re at the sunspot maximum of Cycle 24. It’s the smallest sunspot cycle in 100 years and the third in a trend of diminishing sunspot cycles. So, Cycle 25 could likely be smaller than Cycle 24.”

A NASA Science News report of January 2013 details the science behind the sunspot-climate connection and it well worth reading. It should be remembered that since the report was written Solar cycle 24 has been proven to be not the smallest cycle in 50 years, but the smallest for more than 100 years. The last one with sunspot numbers this low was 1906, solar cycle 14.

“Indeed, the sun could be on the threshold of a mini-Maunder event right now. Ongoing Solar Cycle 24 [the current short term 11 year cycle] is the weakest in more than 50 years. Moreover, there is (controversial) evidence of a long-term weakening trend in the magnetic field strength of sunspots. Matt Penn and William Livingston of the National Solar Observatory predict that by the time Solar Cycle 25 arrives, magnetic fields on the sun will be so weak that few if any sunspots will be formed. Independent lines of research involving helioseismology and surface polar fields tend to support their conclusion.”

Livingston and Penn are solar astronomers With the NSO (National Solar Observatory) in Tuscon, Arizona. They use a measurement known as Zeeman splitting to gather data on sunspots. They discovered in 1990, that the number of sunspots is dropping and that once the magnetic field drops below 1500 Gauss , that no sunspots will form. (A Gauss is a magnetic field measurement. The Gauss of the Earth is less than one). If the decline continues at its present rate they estimate that the Sun will be spot free by 2016.

If these scientists are correct, we are heading into a period of bitterly cold winters and much cooler summers. Imagine year after year of ‘polar vortex’ winters that start early, finish late and deliver unprecedented cold across the country. Cool wet summers will affect food production, as will floods from the melting snow when spring finally arrives.

Read more:
NASA Admits That Winters are Going to Get Colder…Much Colder -
The Maunder Minimum (also known as the prolonged sunspot minimum) is the name used for the period roughly spanning 1645 to 1715 when sunspots...
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 on: March 03, 2015, 08:22:26 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: March 03, 2015, 08:21:56 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

Also see  In asking for her notes they may be overreaching a bit, but overall it looks like the pressure is building.

 on: March 03, 2015, 07:50:34 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

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