Deja Vu All Over Again?

There are reports that President Obama is moving closer to arming the Syrian rebels.  Thus far we have provided only non-lethal aid.  The problem is that there aren’t really any secular rebels who have a shot at replacing Assad.  The most successful and powerful rebel groups are all Islamist, with some now pledging loyalty to Al Qaeda.

We are damned if we do and damned if we don’t in Syria.  Awful as Assad is, the viable alternatives seem as bad or worse.

Remember how we helped the Taliban fight the Russians in Afghanistan?  That didn’t turn out too well for us.

The GOP is setting up the Prez to fail whatever he does.  They are all over him for not taking immediate action in response to reports of use of sarin.  But if Syria falls into the hands of radical Islamists, they’ll curse him for that too, as they regularly do for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.  And some of the potential leaders in Syria would make Mohammed Morsi look like Thomas Jefferson.

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Make Way for Hillary

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he won’t run for the Dem nomination in 2016 if Hillary does.

I’d like to see Cuomo run against Chris Christie.  It would be like the best ever episode of The Sopranos.

I’ve disliked Hillary since 1967, not going to stop now.  Of course, I’m not going to vote for Rand Paul either…

Your Tax Dollars at Work

The NYT reports today* that for more than ten years, the CIA has dropped off monthly bags of cash to Hamid Karzai’s office in Kabul.  We’re talking tens of millions of dollars.  That’s a lot of silk capes and lambskin hats, people.

Asked about the story, Jay Carney at the White House had no comment, so I’ll take that as an “abso-fucking-lutely.”  It really is time to get the hell out of Afghanistan.

*  “With Bags of Cash, CIA Seeks Influence in Afghanistan,” Matthew Rosenberg

Ya Think?

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor now thinks maybe that whole Bush v. Gore thing (in which she voted to end the Florida recount and make Bush president) maybe wasn’t such a good idea after all:

“Maybe the court should have said, ‘We’re not going to take it, goodbye.’  Obviously the court did reach a decision and thought it had to reach a decision.  It turned out the election authorities in Florida hadn’t done a real good job there and kind of messed it up. And probably the Supreme Court added to the problem at the end of the day.”

Misha Surfaces

The mysterious “Misha” who has been accused to radicalizing Tamerlan Tsernaev has surfaced.   He is a 39-year-old American of Armenian and Ukrainian descent, Mikhail Allakhverdov, who converted to Islam and knew Tamerlan in 2009 in Massachusetts.  He now lives in Rhode Island with his American girlfriend and his parents.

While he admits to knowing Tamerlan, he denies having anything to do with turning him into a radical, and says that he has been cooperating with the FBI.

Is This What Set Tamerlan Off?

Tamerlan Tsarnaev won the New England Golden Gloves heavy-weight boxing championship two years in a row.  But because he wasn’t a citizen, just a legal resident, he wasn’t allowed to compete in the national tournament.

There seem to be conflicting reports whether Tamerlan gave up boxing when he fell under the influence of the radical Islamist “Misha,” or whether he got involved with Misha after he gave up boxing because he couldn’t compete at the national level.