Refugees as an instrument of international blackmail

Having mismanaged its relationship with Turkey for decades, including paying a “subsidy” of billions of Euros to that country to persuade it to stop allowing Syrian and other “refugees” to flood into Europe, that continent is once again learning (the hard way) the lesson taught so well by Rudyard Kipling:  “If once you have paid him the Dane-geld, you never get rid of the Dane“. Reuters reports: Over a dozen migrant boats landed on Greece’s Lesbos island within minutes of each other on Thursday in the first such mass arrival from neighboring Turkey in three years, officials said, prompting Greece to summon Turkey’s ambassador.

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Doofus Of The Day #1,051

Today’s award goes to actor Alec Baldwin for this tweet about the death by suicide, while in prison, of Jeffrey Epstein: He shares the award with Ron Perlman, Brian Koppelman, Dave Bautista, George Takei, and probably others in the Hollywood kafeeklatsch, all of whom also inferred a Russian hand of some sort in Epstein’s death. I agree that Epstein’s suicide was, and remains, highly suspicious, with enough grounds for doubt as to what happened to keep us guessing for years to come . . . but Russia?  Really?  I’d have thought there’s nothing Russia would have liked more than to have Epstein’s “little black book” (and video

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Early warning signs that Mexico may follow Venezuela’s example?

American Thinker notes two worrying developments in Mexico. We try to stay in touch with Mexico.  This week, we saw a couple of articles that should worry the Mexican middle class. First, Presidente López-Obrador is making investors a bit weary, according to Richard Castillo via Pulse News Mexico: Fear does not ride on a burro; it flies at the speed of sound! And spreading fear of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) economic policies seems to be the leading reason that Mexico’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has slumped markedly to the point of reaching a minimal growth of 0.1 percent for the

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“Refugees” as a weapon of international blackmail

It seems Turkey is again wielding the “weapon” of unleashing Middle Eastern “refugees” against Europe if it doesn’t get what it wants. Turkey has threatened to re-open the floodgates of mass migration to Europe unless Turkish nationals are granted visa-free travel to the European Union. The EU agreed to visa liberalization in a March 2016 EU-Turkey migrant deal in which Ankara pledged to stem the flow of migrants to Europe. European officials insist that while Turkey has reduced the flow of migrants, it has not yet met all of the requirements for visa liberalization. Moreover, EU foreign ministers on July 15

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Corruption in Afghanistan costs US taxpayers – again

The Afghan Air Force has had to acquire be given (at US expense) four used Lockheed Hercules transports – because the planes it was originally given (also at US expense), while more suitable for its needs, were sidelined by rampant corruption within its ranks, and among Afghan politicians. In 2012 Afghanistan announced that it would cancel the contract to buy and use 20 C-27A transports. The official reason was the inability of the Italian maintenance firm to keep the aircraft operational. The unofficial reason was the unwillingness of the Italians to pay as much in bribes as the Afghan officials were demanding. Over half a billion

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Did Israel bomb Iranian targets in Iraq?

News reports in Israel and from an Arab news source suggest that they did. Israel has expanded its operations against Iranian targets to Iraq, where Air Force jets have struck twice in ten days, a report said Tuesday morning. . . . Asharq Al-Awsat, an Arabic-language newspaper published in London, cited Western diplomatic sources as saying an Israeli F-35 plane was behind a July 19 strike on a rocket depot in a Shiite militia base north of Baghdad. The Saudi-based al-Arabiya network reported at the time that members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps and Hezbollah had been killed in the strike. It said

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It pays to be a Palestinian terrorist

When I worked as a prison chaplain, I came across more than one Palestinian terrorist behind bars.  They usually received a check each month, deposited into their prison commissary accounts, from “their family in Palestine”.  We all knew this was from the Palestinian government.  It was routine. Strategy Page discusses what it calls this “pay-for-slay” terrorism, and its consequences for Palestine. In the West bank the Palestinian Fatah government accuses Hamas of being unable to control all its Gaza factions and make it possible to form a unified Palestinian government. That is an accurate assessment but it ignores the fact the Fatah is

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Analyzing America’s future, and our place in it

Let me begin by saying that in my sixty-something years on the planet, I’ve seen and done a lot – far more than most people, relatively speaking.  (I’ve written about some of my experiences on this blog from time to time.)  That wasn’t of my choice;  it was forced on me by an accident of birth (location and time) and a series of circumstances far beyond my control.  I wish I hadn’t experienced many of those things/places/people, but nobody asked me for my input!  I learned a great deal the hard way, and learned also that the same issues very often result in the same

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What to do with hard-core terrorist prisoners?

That problem is rearing its head in the Middle East right now – but it’s likely to impact many countries, sooner or later.  Strategy Page reports: In northeast Syria the U.S. backed SDF (Kurdish led Syrian Defense Forces rebels) have a growing problem with ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) wives (and their children) that ISIL had ordered to surrender as SDF captured the last ISIL controlled territory in eastern Syria (Deir Ezzor province). The mass surrenders began at the end of 2018 and by April the SDF had 63,000 of these refugees. Since then that has grown to

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Failed states, and how they got that way

About ten days ago, I wrote about the “failed states” of central America, and why they can’t rein in illegal immigration from their people – because they’re not capable of governing themselves effectively.  Now Strategy Page writes about failed states around the world, and how they got that way. Why do some parts of the world seem to defy efforts to achieve any degree of unity and peace? Not just for years or decades but for generations and as long as anyone can remember. The worst of these nations (like Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya and Somalia) seem to actively avoid peace, prosperity and

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