Comedy Gold Power

Did she really say this [expletive deleted] with a straight face?

Clinton: US using “smart power” for Libya, Syria

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton defended the U.S. response to crises in Libya and Syria on Tuesday, saying the Obama administration is projecting “smart power” by refusing to act alone or with brute force to stop autocratic repression in the two countries.

. . .

Clinton said Libya was a study in the use of “strategic patience,” whereby the United States resisted the impulse for immediate intervention and instead helped to build support for the country’s nascent opposition, which the U.S. now recognizes as Libya’s legitimate government. She said the unprecedented NATO-Arab alliance protecting civilians on the ground was a key result of the tactics of smart power.

“This is exactly the kind of world that I want to see, where it’s not just the United States and everybody is standing on the sidelines while we bear the costs,” she said.

In Syria, Clinton said Washington had adopted a similar stance. The administration has imposed sanctions to protest a ruthless crackdown on reformers but has thus far resisted calls to make an explicit demand for President Bashar Assad to step down, something it did with Qaddafi.

Clinton said it would be a mistake for the administration to demand Assad’s ouster on its own because it wouldn’t be effective given Washington’s long-strained ties with Damascus and limited U.S. influence and trade with Syria.

See also:
U.S. taking “smart power” approach to Libya, Syria
Clinton: Libya, Syria show ‘smart power’ at work
Clinton: Libya, Syria show ‘smart power’ at work
Clinton: Libya, Syria show ‘smart power’ at work
Clinton: Libya, Syria show ‘smart power’ at work
‘Smart power’ at work, says Hillary Clinton
Clinton defends U.S. response on Syria
Clinton Passes Up Chance to Call on Assad to Step Down as Obama Remains Silent
A Conversation with Secretaries Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta

Let’s recap: for months now, we’ve been bombing the [expletive deleted] out of Libya, a country that isn’t a direct threat to U.S. national security, killing civilians, destroying infrastructure, and backing a “rebel” movement containing elements of al Qaeda. That’s “smart power” and “strategic patience”, check. Meanwhile, Bashar Assad in Syria, a dictator in a country with plenty of American blood on its hands and a huge threat to U.S. national security, is killing civilians on a daily basis, with a death toll totaling in the thousands, and we’re doing nothing, because our relationship with Syria is “strained”. That’s also “smart power”, as well as “protecting civilians”, check.

What manner of counterproductive, nonsensical bull[expletive deleted] foreign policy is that? Smart Power my ass!

/are you seriously telling me that we have to put up with these moronic clowns for another year and a half?

Advertisements

Can You Hack It?

Calling all hackers, do you pack what it takes?

NSA is looking for a few good hackers

The National Security Agency has a challenge for hackers who think they’re hot stuff: Prove it by working on the “hardest problems on Earth.”

Computer hacker skills are in great demand in the U.S. government to fight the cyberwars that pose a growing national security threat — and they are in short supply.

For that reason an alphabet soup of federal agencies — DOD, DHS, NASA, NSA — are descending on Las Vegas this week for Defcon, an annual hacker convention where the $150 entrance fee is cash only — no registration, no credit cards, no names taken. Attendance is expected to top 10,000.

The NSA is among the keen suitors. The spy agency plays offense and defense in the cyberwars. It conducts electronic eavesdropping on adversaries, and it protects U.S. computer networks that hold super-secret material — a prime target for America’s enemies.

See also:
NSA Wants to Hire Hackers at DefCon
US gov’t building hacker army for cyber war
U.S. government hankers for hackers
U.S. Federal Agencies Look to Hire Hackers at Defcon; Cyber Criminals Offer Services to the Public
US government agencies scouting for computer hackers: report
Federal Agencies to Recruit Hackers at Defcon
R u h4X0R? n33d @ jo8? NSA wants you (locked up in a cubicle, not a cell)
The NSA Wants More Hackers for Their ‘Collection of Geeks’
Welcome to the National Security Agency – NSA/CSS
National Security Agency
Defcon
DEF CON

Would you rather work for them or be hunted down by them? If you’re good enough, it probably pays pretty well and beats sitting in a prison cell.

/don’t forget to bring your white hat

The Dominoes Stop Here

The Saudi “Day of Rage” came up way short on the raging. At least for now, it doesn’t look like the Oil Ticks are in any danger of being overthrown or the West’s primary oil apple cart is in any danger of being upset.

Saudi Arabia ‘day of rage’ protest fizzles

A call for protests in Saudi Arabia that had been talked about for weeks drew only a small number of people Friday, allowing the kingdom to keep at bay the waves of political unrest that have battered the Arab world.

The “day of rage” fizzled in all but restive Eastern province, where the country’s minority Shiite Muslims have been holding demonstrations for weeks. Several hundred protesters turned out in the cities of Hofuf, Awwamiya and Qatif to demand the release of political prisoners, according to news service reports.

But no protests occurred in other major Saudi cities, said Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Turki. “You’ve seen the response of the Saudi people,” Turki said. “This is their response to the call for protest.”

See also:
‘Day of Rage’ a damp squib
Saudi Protests Draw Hundreds
Saudi Capital Calm On Day Protests Called
Saudi Arabia calm on planned ‘Day of Rage’
Saudi Arabia ‘Day of Rage’ begins quietly, markets watch protests closely
‘Day of Rage’ muted in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Police Presence Dampens ‘Day of Rage’
Saudi Arabia show of force stifles ‘day of rage’ protests
Saudi Arabian security forces quell ‘day of rage’ protests
Police presence damps Saudi ‘day of rage’
Strong police presence deters rallies in Saudi capital
Police flood Saudi capital
Saudi police block reform protests
Saudi Activists Fail to Gather Amid Heavy Police Presence
Saudi Arabia quashes planned pro-democracy protests
No threat seen to stability of Kingdom
Why Saudi Arabia is stable amid the Mideast unrest
Foreign Policy: Revolutions Won’t Hit Saudi Arabia

With the Saudis effectively keeping a lid on any protests and Gaddafi now routing and stomping the guts out of the “rebels” in Libya, while the West dithers, it seems as though the current wave of political unrest that has been sweeping the region for the last month or so has just about run it’s course for now. Realistically, there’s almost no more virgin territory left for the “days of rage” movement to keep spreading into.

/now it’s just a matter of watching where all the dust that’s already been kicked up finally settles

Tunisia Circling The Drain

First the government of Pakistan breaks down, then the Lebanese government, and today, Tunisia’s government. See a pattern here? These are all Muslim countries and the toppled governments were all friendly to the United States.

Tunisians drive leader from power in mass uprising

Protesters enraged over soaring unemployment and corruption drove Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from power Friday after 23 years of iron-fisted rule, an unprecedented popular uprising in a region dominated by strongmen who do not answer to their people.

Tunisians buoyant over Ben Ali’s ouster immediately worried, however, about what’s next: the caretaker leadership of the prime minister who took control, and the role of the army in the transition.

The upheaval took place after weeks of escalating unrest fueled partly by social media and cell phones, as thousands of demonstrators from all walks of life rejected Ben Ali’s promises of change and mobbed the capital of Tunis to demand his ouster in the country’s largest demonstrations in generations.

At least 23 people have been killed in the riots, according to the government, but opposition members put the death toll at more than three times that.

See also:
Tunisia: PM Takes Power Amid Deadly Riots
Exit Ben Ali – but can Tunisia change?
Tension Grips Tunisia’s Capital After Leader Flees
Tunisia in turmoil as President flees from the anger of the dispossessed
Tunisia: President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali forced out
Constitutional debate after Ben Ali
Arab activists hope Tunisia uprising brings change
Tunisia: a ‘wake-up call’ for Arab leaders
Patrick Cockburn: Troubles like these are brewing all over the Middle East
Al-Qaeda supports the events in Tunisia and Algeria
France did not prepare to welcome Tunisia’s Ben Ali: Foreign Ministry
Montreal eyes possible arrival of ex-Tunisian leader
Obama calls for free and fair Tunisia elections

That’s three governments in three Muslim countries in about as many weeks. How far will this trend spread and what government will be next to fall? It looks like we have a fast paced game of geopolitical dominoes going on here and it’s being played for keeps. And it could end up with Islamic interests being the eventual winners.

/it almost goes without saying that, chances are, the successor governments will be more hostile to the United States and Western interests