Sunday, September 25, 2016
Matthew Continetti spells out the absurdity of President Obama's UN speech.
War drums over Syria: So this is what smarter foreign policy looks like. Brought to you by Hillary, Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood (aka Huma)
The US accused Russia on Sunday of supporting “barbarism” over the bombing of the Syrian city of Aleppo as the west stepped up diplomatic pressure on Moscow.
Accusing Russia of supporting a Syrian regime offensive that has derailed a ceasefire agreement negotiated between Washington and Moscow, Samantha Power, US ambassador to the UN, said Russian and Syrian forces were “laying waste to what is left of an iconic Middle Eastern city”.
ON THIS TOPIC
- West slams Russian actions in Syria
- Kerry’s search for Syria peace tested
- Assad forces unleash new assault on Aleppo
- US admits to impasse over Syria fighting
IN MIDDLE EAST & NORTH AFRICA
In a blistering speech to an emergency UN Security Council meeting, Ms Power said: “Instead of pursuing peace, Russia and Assad make war.”
While Moscow was likely to argue that it was pursuing terrorists in Syria, she said that “Russia is espousing fiction”. “What Russia is sponsoring and doing is not counterterrorism; it is barbarism,” she added.
In theory, the US and Russia are still working to see if there is a way to revive the ceasefire plan announced two weeks ago — John Kerry, US secretary of state, has called for military aircraft to be barred from flying over contested areas. However, the fierce exchanges at the UN underlined the collapsing space for diplomacy.
Vitaly Churkin, the Russian ambassador to the UN, said that the US had little influence over the rebel groups that it was backing in Syria. “Bringing a peace is almost an impossible task now,” he said.
The speech by Ms Power came as Europe and the US ramped up diplomatic pressure on Russia, accusing Moscow of supporting the Syrian regime’s offensive on Aleppo .
Sunday’s urgent meeting was held at the request of the UK, the US and France as fighting continued to rage around Aleppo and the rebel-held east of the city suffered a new bombardment, the latest in a spiral of violence that has left the planned ceasefire in tatters. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that at least 26 people had died in the new round of regime airstrikes on the city on Sunday.
Jean-Marc Ayrault, France’s foreign minister, told the meeting that Russia and Iran, which also backs the Syrian regime, would be accomplices to war crimes if they did not press President Bashar al-Assad to stop the violence.
He said the Syrian government “has clearly made the choice of a military escalation”.
“I am calling on Russia and Iran to pull themselves together and show responsibility, by putting a stop to this strategy,” Mr Ayrault said. “If not, Russia and Iran will be accomplices in war crimes committed in Aleppo.”
Foreign ministers from the US, the UK, France, Italy and Germany — along with the EU’s foreign policy chief — have accused Russia of violating a ceasefire intended to halt the fighting.
Moscow’s support for attacks carried out by Mr Assad’s forces “blatantly contradicts Russia’s claim that it supports a diplomatic resolution”, the US and European ministers said in a joint statement on Sunday. “The burden is on Russia to prove it is willing and able to take extraordinary steps to salvage diplomatic efforts.”
Mr Churkin told the security council that peace in Syria was “almost an impossible task now”.
More than 200 civilians have died in three days of near-constant shelling that has pounded rebel-held districts, according to medical professionals in the area. Aleppo — the biggest strategic and political prize of the conflict — is divided between regime forces on the west and rebels in the east, where a quarter of a million people are trapped under a government siege.
“We have exhausted all the options of civilian protection — we’ve even dug hospitals underground and in caves, as if we are living in the Middle Ages,” said Raed al-Saleh, head of the rescue group in Aleppo known as the “White Helmets”.
Aleppo residents say the latest bombing has even damaged these underground clinics, with what they call “bunker-busting” weapons.
Several hospitals have also been destroyed in strikes that have caused so much destruction that many roads and districts have been blocked by debris as aid workers struggle to reach people trapped under rubble. Medical workers said rescuers have had to walk on foot for several kilometres to reach bomb sites — and back out again with wounded survivors.
The ceasefire was brokered earlier this month by Moscow and Washington, which backs Syria’s opposition. But it collapsed last Monday, just seven days after it began, derailing a multi-step deal meant to allow for the delivery of humanitarian aid, pave the way for political talks and initiate US-Russian military co-operation against jihadi forces in the country.
Russia and Mr Assad now appear determined to break a years-long stalemate and try to take Aleppo. If the regime succeeds, the offensive could be a turning point of the war — the city is the opposition’s last urban stronghold, and without it, they fear their uprising will fade into a rural insurgency ignored by the outside world.
Rebel groups said efforts by western powers to pressure Russia to help implement the ceasefire is worthless, arguing that Moscow could no longer be seen as a legitimate international broker of the deal.
“The negotiations process based on the current system is no longer meaningful in the wake of the bombing and killing and destruction that needs to stop completely,” rebel factions from northern Syria said in a joint statement. “We do not accept the Russian side as a party to oversee negotiations given that it is the regime’s partner in its crimes against our people.”
The warring sides were locked in fierce battles on Aleppo’s main supply routes on the northern and southern outskirts of the city at the weekend as regime forces tried to strengthen their blockade.
Activists and medical workers shared pictures on social media of clinics crammed so full of victims that they had been laid out for treatment along bloodied hallways. One of the most uploaded was a haunting photograph of their rescuers uncovering a woman and her two children buried alive in the rubble.
However, Damascus appears emboldened despite the international condemnation of the devastation in Aleppo.
“Our belief in victory is even greater now that the Syrian Arab Army is making great strides in its war against terrorism, with the support of the true friends of the Syrian people, notably the Russian Federation, Iran and the Lebanese national resistance,” Walid al-Moualem, the foreign minister, told the UN General Assembly on Saturday.
But even with Moscow’s help, Mr Assad’s forces will struggle to take the city. Rebels have for years dug fortifications and underground tunnels, meaning any ground invasion is likely to be long and costly.
Obama's Colossal Email Lie Final Test for Tarnished MSM. Where's the Left's seriousness of the crime slogan now? A timeline that says it all.
Tomorrow night we’ll see the much-awaited matchup one-on-one “debate” between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Her staff is working with the debate commission to erase height and stamina advantages of her opponent. They asked that the debate be by seated opponents which was refused as was their effort to allow her to stand on a hidden stool. Her podium will be lowered though so when the camera sweeps from candidate to candidate viewers might not notice he is considerably taller than she.
Outside of the debate hall in Charlotte, North Carolina, another drama is taking place. Apparently "Black Lives Matters" needs a translation: To most of the rioters it means New Free Nikes Matter. As the first child in the family and the daughter of a small businessman who grew up in a working class community, I’m with John Schindler who tweeted this week, “Like Pier Pasolini, I am always on the side of the police, unless proven otherwise. Class matters. Order matters, Criminal filth does not.”
The media airbrush the mayhem, if not actually inciting it by biased coverage. They did it in the Trayvon Martin case as American Thinker’s Jack Cashill detailed this past Friday.
In Charlotte they have regularly referred to the thugs as “protestors” and failed to fully publicize how awful their behavior has been. Here are some examples you won’t see on your news programs: Rioters attacked an elderly homeless man and beat a helpless man in parking garage and pulled off and stole his pants to further humiliate him.
Reports are in of stealing and looting on a significantly large scale, hijacking cars and trucks and terrifying their occupants, blocking streets and threatening to spread the mayhem outside the city limits. BLM would in a lawful society be subject to criminal racketeering and conspiracy charges, Instead, Attorney General Loretta Lynch defended the demonstrators as people exercising their constitutional rights to peaceful protest to create change. “We hear your voices and we feel your pain."
It’s unsurprising that the attorney general is not acting as she should. We just learned this week through late released documents of Hillary Clinton’s emails that the president who had asserted he first learned of her illegal use of a private unsecured email server int he newspapers had himself sent her mail on it using a pseudonym. It shows how unserious they all are about national security and the rule of law. We also learned this week that the FBI had granted immunity to five of Hillary’s closest aides. Or, as the Mark Twain of Twitter, Iowahawk, David Burge, said: “Breaking: FBI gives Clinton immunity in Clinton investigation”. Add this to the unprecedented and grossly improper meeting between Lynch and Bill Clinton before FBI head Comey announced his decision, we know the fix was in from the outset.
You have no Department of Justice. You have no FBI.
What of the local police? In Los Angeles cops have been told to run away from armed suspects. In Charlotte, as in the prior cases of race riots in recent years, the DOJ has sent in troops which in the past stirred up the crowds, interfered with standard police operations and did what they could to keep the embers lit, innocent men prosecuted on no basis and moving us closer and closer to federal control of local policing -- by the most lawless of lawmen,
It’s not only the government behind this immiseration of our poorest communities for presumed political advantage, It is the Democratic party’s money bags, billionaire George Soros, who has contributed millions to Hillary and her party, who wants open borders and a recasting of the USA into his insane version of it.
…here’s a solitary man at the financial center of the Ferguson protest movement. No, it’s not victim Michael Brown or Officer Darren Wilson. It’s not even the Rev. Al Sharpton, despite his ubiquitous campaign on TV and the streets.
Rather, it’s liberal billionaire George Soros, who has built a business empire that dominates across the ocean in Europe while forging a political machine powered by nonprofit foundations that impacts American politics and policy, not unlike what he did with MoveOn.org.
Mr. Soros spurred the Ferguson protest movement through years of funding and mobilizing groups across the U.S., according to interviews with key players and financial records reviewed by The Washington Times.
In all, Mr. Soros gave at least $33 million in one year to support already-established groups that emboldened the grass-roots, on-the-ground activists in Ferguson, according to the most recent tax filings of his nonprofit Open Society Foundations.
The financial tether from Mr. Soros to the activist groups gave rise to a combustible protest movement that transformed a one-day criminal event in Missouri into a 24-hour-a-day national cause celebre.
Organizers and protestors were bussed in there as they have been in Charlotte -- where police say 70% of the people arrested were from out of state.
It always takes time to sort out conflicting reports about incidents such as the death of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte but the fact is that he was shot by a black policeman when he refused to drop his gun. He had a gun, not a book in his hand when he was shot, a gun which police reported on Saturday had his fingerprints on it. There was PCP in his car and he had a prior string of arrests -- at least one for shooting at police in 2005.
This has followed the usual pattern -- the “honor student”, “family man” “hands up don’t shoot”, false witness narratives all evaporated in the light of day. And yet the press keeps showing the video his wife took in which she shouts repeatedly he had no gun and (she was going to sue if he was killed in the fray).
In the meantime, local homes and businesses have been destroyed, one black protestor murdered another in cold blood and Soros and his anointed candidate keep doing well by doing evil.
It’s hard to fight such a well-funded propaganda effort with facts, but let me try with the help of Zero Hedge:
What is most disturbing is that behind the pent up rage and thuggish violence, dressed up in the socially-acceptable package of "black lives matter" is the reality that white violence is the last thing blacks should be "protesting."
Milo Yiannopoulos details even more from the statistical evidence in this short but compelling video:
The big lies propagated by Soros on whose shoulders Hillary stands continues on. She’s part of what Tom Lipscomb characterizes as a gangster regime doing everything it can to expand its reach.
Do these developments sound familiar to those aware of modern world history? They do to my friend Alex Bensky, who notes that if we criticize Obama we are charged with “evil motives”. We have a government which is suppressing the opposition by every means possible, (including misusing supposedly neutral agencies like the IRS, FBI, and DoJ), makes corporate profits depend on (corrupted by cash) government approval, not market-based competition, and now gives “support for and approval of mob intimidation and violence to advance political ends.”
At any rate, journalists are probably too busy this Sunday to bother with such questions today. They are already drafting their copy of how splendidly -- ”strong” is likely to be their descriptor of choice if she doesn’t collapse at her mini podium -- Hillary performed in the debate taking place tomorrow night.
More proof the Left has a knack for lying, cheating and self enrichment. These are the people in power now. How many times has he been to the WH?
By James Covert
September 24, 2016 | 2:26am
Facebook insists it’s no big deal that it inflated numbers on viewership of its video ads — but some advertisers aren’t buying it.
Mark Zuckerberg’s social-networking giant apologized Friday as it admitted that, for the past two years, it has overestimated the amount of time users spent watching video ads by as much as 60 to 80 percent.
Specifically, Facebook said it had only included video views of 3 seconds or longer when calculating the average length of a video views it showed to advertisers, leaving out shorter times that would have brought down the averages.
The “discrepancy,” as Facebook called it, distorted its numbers to its advantage as the company ramped up a fierce battle with Google’s YouTube division for video ads — the most lucrative segment of internet advertising.
Facebook claimed the screwup didn’t affect its “billing” because technically its ad rates are based on the number of clicks a video ad gets rather than how long users linger over it.
Nevertheless, metrics on average viewing time are prominently circulated to advertisers. Don’t be surprised if, in the near term, existing advertisers demand reimbursement, and if prospective advertisers hesitate over launching fresh, high-dollar campaigns, experts said.
“Advertisers will be demanding compensation, and I’ll bet they get it,” said Mitchell Reichgut, chief executive of New York ad firm Jun Group.
Facebook initially disclosed the problem on an obscure Web page for advertisers several weeks ago.
“They tried to bury it in a blog,” Reichgut said. “That’s not how you announce something of this magnitude.”
On Thursday, the issue blew up when the Wall Street Journal reported (paywall) that advertisers including Publicis Group were asking questions, forcing Facebook to come clean.
The incident raises fresh concerns about Facebook’s “walled garden” policy with publishers and advertisers, which is notoriously stingy when it comes to data sharing and has spurred calls for greater third-party monitoring.
Moat, a New York firm that specializes in monitoring Web-page views and whose clients include Facebook, said its measurements of Facebook activity were accurate.
“The metric miscalculation reported by Facebook was independent of Moat,” the company said in a statement.
Facebook shares on Friday lost 1.6 percent to close at $127.96. Wall Street analysts with buy ratings on the stock downplayed the news.
“In our view, this looks like a story in search of a controversy,” wrote Cowen & Co. analyst John Blackledge, reiterating an outperform rating on the shares.
Wells Fargo’s Peter Stabler, who has an outperform rating on Facebook, added, “We haven’t encountered analysis that has dwelled on ‘average view time’ ” in measuring ad campaigns.
Still, some prospective advertisers may get cold feet, said Ryan Urban, CEO of Bounce Exchange, a New York web analytics firm.