Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sunday morning headlines

AnnAlthouse links to an article on Calexit: what would an independent California look like? and cite several novels which postulate this ( Heinlein's Friday postulates a libertarian California, but I suspect things have changed).

More probably, it would become Mexico 2.0: Neither PaxMafiosa nor Rule of Law.

And the Althouse article includes this factoid:

" If you take California out of the popular vote equation, then Trump wins the rest of the country by 1.4 million votes. And if California voted like every other Democratic state — where Clinton averaged 53.5% wins — Clinton and Trump end up in a virtual popular vote tie.

Maybe Jill picked the wrong state to check for voter irregularities...

The Diplomad laughs at the Russian hack:

Just days ago, as noted, the heads of our intel agencies declined to send briefers to Congress to provide the intel on Russian hacking of the elections. Leaked reports indicated that the FBI and CIA were at logger-heads over the issue of Russian hacking. Now, suddenly, unanimity. Right.
in the meanwhile, Powerline (right wing) notes: Russia has been hacking the US gov't for years, since a major hack in 2014, but nobody worried about it until Hillary lost?

 Hillary and the DNC emails were hacked or stolen by whisleblowers, who passed it on to Wikileaks instead of the WaPost, as was done when Nixon was pulling dirty tricks.

this says more about today's Washington Post than it does about the Russians. Or maybe not: the Watergate break in was originally a local story, and as the Rolling stone fauxrape article shows, their local reporters are still able to burst the bubble of the meme of the day.


Michael Totten writes about Aleppo: The massacres of Assad are not new, but all the attention on ISIS lets him get away with it.

The ethnic groups in Syria have been fighting each other for 4000 years, and are still at it.

If the Assad regime were to fall instead of Aleppo, the war wouldn’t end. Everyone left standing would still have to battle it out. Lord only knows what would happen or how long that would last. It would depend in part on whether or not “the international community,” such as it is, felt motivated enough to do anything to prevent the worst factions from seizing power. In the worst-case scenario, the entire country could become a Sunni Islamist terrorist state, which is why so many people are rooting for an Assad victory even though he is a monster.
AlJ suggests Russia might be a key player in a political settlement.

So right now, Assad is winning, and Iran is helping him.

This is bad news: the Mullahs are crazy and dangerous and would spread terror all over the place, (but on the other hand, they love money enough that one doubts they would start a nuclear war and get vaporized. This might not be true for ISIS).

history suggests letting Iran win might be the least worst scenerio.

StrategyPage has a long essay on Iran vs Arabs Lots of history there that is rarely discussed in the press, maybe because it is a "MEGO" article. I mean, who can keep track of all those wars?

He writes it goes back to the 1200 year old blood feud on who should run Islam,

So yes, there is very much another Sunni-Shia war going on and Iraq, Syria and Yemen are right in the middle of it as are all the Persian Gulf states that control so much of the world oil supply. Much to the distress of the Arabs Iran moves slowly, deliberately and usually wins when their scheme reaches a climax. Arabs have been on the wrong end of this before and do not approach the situation with nearly as much self-confidence. Most outsiders don’t appreciate all this but these ancient animosities, rivalries and conflicts 

If all of these things are related, it could be summarized in one word: Russia.

But a closer look suggests Russia might be meddling because there is incompetence and laxity in American leadership.

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