Skin Or No Skin In A Game Called Syria

Bashar al-Assad is a geek with a lisp, a former optometrist and ELO fan. But we should also remember what he comes from. His father Hafez al-Assad used the suicide bomber to birth the modern era of international terrorism.

“Although incontrovertible proof is lacking, Western intelligence believes that the truck bombs used in the attack on the American Marine and French compounds in Beirut last October were rigged in the Bekaa Valley, which lies along the Syrian border. If so, the Syrians must have at least known that a terrorist operation was in the works, because they monitor the valley closely. Suspicion of Syrian involvement is further strengthened by a long history of violent underground activities in Lebanon by Assad’s agents. Redeployment of the Marines from land to sea would remove that particular target, but there are other places in the Middle East where terrorism can be used against Americans or American interests. In addition, Assad’s military forces, including his Soviet missiles, make him a serious local threat.”

Syria’s Assad: His Power And His Plan” | The New York Times | Stanley Reed | 02/18/1984

Also remember that the Assads are Ba’athists. Like Saddam Hussein, Ba’athists are fascists who model their party on the Nazis. They are as far from mainstream politics as a regime can get. They have nowhere else to go from how far they’ve already gone.

Continue reading “Skin Or No Skin In A Game Called Syria”

What Arms Race?

Congratulating Putin was not the most important thing said on a call President Trump made to Russian President Vladimir Putin:

“President Trump did not follow specific warnings from his national security advisers Tuesday when he congratulated Russian President Vladi­mir Putin on his reelection — including a section in his briefing materials in all-capital letters stating “DO NOT CONGRATULATE,” according to officials familiar with the call.”

Trump’s National Security Advisers Warned Him Not To Congratulate Putin. He Did It Anyway” | The Washington Post | Carol D. Leonnig, David Nakamura, Josh Dawsey | 03/20/2018

Rather, it was mentioning that he and Putin would meet soon to “discuss the arms race”:

Continue reading “What Arms Race?”

The DexFiles: Notes And Quotes On Trump’s White House Dysfunction

+ “Dear White House Aides: Save Yourselves. Save Us.” | Yahoo News | 5/18/2017

Leave the room as quietly as you can. Find a box. Go back to your office, pack up your things, leave the badge on the desk and go.”

Get out while you can is Matt Bai’s advice to White House staffers and aides who think working for President Trump is still worth it.

His response is quite devastating:

But maybe you’ve seen that terrific movie “Get Out,” about the dude who finds himself stuck in a house full of deranged predators he thought were his friends?

Yeah, I know this is hard to get your head around, but you’re the black guy.

Because every day you spend at the White House now, trying to keep this thing on the tracks, is a disservice to yourself, and ultimately to the rest of us.”

No way could a Trump White House have been a team of political, military, business, and academic all-stars brought together by a stable, visionary leader to address some of America’s most pressing problems.

Continue reading “The DexFiles: Notes And Quotes On Trump’s White House Dysfunction”

Syria Is A Black Box

Screenshot from 2017-04-14 13-05-30

Amid the killing, the horrors, and the tragedies in Syria, there’s also an ideological civil war among eleven players and even more agendas. In addition to exchanging bullets and bombs, in this war, every claim from one player is instantly challenged by another’s counter-claim.

We might have described Syria as an abyss or black hole had the civil war occurred during Hafez al-Assad’s regime. Under his son Bashar it’s a black box.

640px-Blackbox.svg

Continue reading “Syria Is A Black Box”

The (De)X Files 07/12/16: Bitcoin = Energy, Encrypted Facebook, Son Of Bin Laden, The Italian Job, Elites In Retreat …

4860854304_fcf94e2598_b

The (De)X Files is my weekly aggregate of a few stories, essays, articles, an academic paper here and there, and (ugh) “think pieces” (only the awesome ones) from as wide a net as I can cast across the web. (The net is exceptionally wide, thanks to Inoreader.)

My selections are of the important, the surprising, the troubling, the enlightening, the inspiring, the amusing, the sublime, and the offending, along with some commentary, analysis, speculation, and prediction.

On tap: Bitcoin = energy; encrypted Facebook; Son of Bin Laden; the Italian job; elites in retreat …

Continue reading “The (De)X Files 07/12/16: Bitcoin = Energy, Encrypted Facebook, Son Of Bin Laden, The Italian Job, Elites In Retreat …”

The (De)X Files 07/07/16: Mapping The Dark Web, Weaponized A.I., & Digital Bank Heists

9374745465_9dd24f40b2_b_EDIT

The (De)X Files is my (sorta) daily aggregate of a few stories, essays, articles, an academic paper here and there, and (ugh) “think pieces” (only the awesome ones) from as wide a net as I can cast across the web. (The net is exceptionally wide, thanks to Inoreader.)

My selections are of the important, the surprising, the troubling, the enlightening, the inspiring, the amusing, the sublime, and the offending, along with some commentary, analysis, speculation, and prediction.

Have a story to discuss? Tweet it to me at @thinkdeadly or email it to thinkdeadly1911@gmail.com.

On tap: mapping the dark web, those “damn emails,” weaponized A.I., Chilcot, digital bank heists, Arthur Ashe, China’s innovation economy, and fighting extremism …

Continue reading “The (De)X Files 07/07/16: Mapping The Dark Web, Weaponized A.I., & Digital Bank Heists”