published Tuesday, February 7th, 2012


about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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blackwater48 said...


This past Saturday, a U.N. resolution calling for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to step down was rejected by both Russia and China. The pro-democracy movement (arab spring) which overran such established regimes as Libya and Egypt, blossomed nearly a year ago in Syria. Assad's response to Syrians demonstrating for more democracy was the killing of 6,000 Syrian men, women, and children.

Russia is busy selling guns to Syria and also recently announced a $550 million sale of combat jets. Russian is skating on thin diplomatic ice in the Middle East, however, since the original resolution originated with the Arab League.

Secretary of State Clinton addressed Syria's future on Sunday. We will work to seek regional and national sanctions against Syria and strenghten the ones we have. They will be implemented to the fullest to dry up the sources of funding and the arms shipments that are keeping the regime's war machine going.

China's veto is more subtle. When the U.N. voted to intervene in Libya, China only abstained. They did not veto. It's like a senator voting 'present' on a bill he wants to see enacted but can't publicly support. China now believes the U.N. went too far in aiding the over throw of Khadaffi.

Besides, China does not want to dwell diplomatically on such divisive issues as pro-democracy, regime change, and human rights violations. Might get some people talking...

While China states that it's ultimate goal is to avoid casualties of innocent civilians, it also looks forward to restoring normal order in Syria.

Bottom line, the U.N. vote has guaranteed that the blood shed will continue to flow unabated and the fighting may even intensify.

February 7, 2012 at 1:16 a.m.

YEAH, BOY, it's really "blossoming" in Egypt and Lybia. More like a fungus.

Out with oppressive regimes and in with Muslim lunatics. No winning in that region.

Assad is a pig and a butcher, what will follow will be no better.

The U.N is a worthless body. Just a big dung pile.

I suppose Assad's behavior is Israel's fault? Israel, the only sane country in the middle east.

February 7, 2012 at 1:45 a.m.
fairmon said...

The Muslim brotherhood has orchestrated the Arab spring to it's advantage with the help of the U.S. and other naive governments.This and future generations will not see peace or democracy in the middle east. It may never be seen but U.S. involvement can lead to a bankrupt but politically correct U.S. The U.S still pretends to be the world's wealthiest country and largest lender instead of a country of declining wealth and the world's largest debtor. To know the future and what will happen in the middle east study revelations.

February 7, 2012 at 5:14 a.m.
dude_abides said...

"We" will be blaming the President before 9:00.

February 7, 2012 at 7:08 a.m.
davisss13 said...

Israel, the only sane country in the middle east.

Not even close. Likud are as insane as GOPers in this country.

February 7, 2012 at 7:30 a.m.
News_Junkie said...

Here's a good article that explains many of the international tensions affecting the turmoil in Syria:

February 7, 2012 at 7:41 a.m.
davisss13 said...

To know the future and what will happen in the middle east study revelations.

This is why rightwingers scare the hell out of me now. They gladly march us into Armageddon singing 'the saints go marching in'.

Anyone who uses prophecy in foreign policy is certifiably insane and unfit to hold office at any level.

February 7, 2012 at 8 a.m.
News_Junkie said...

Here's a link to an article discussing nine different possible outcomes to the current unrest in Syria, as well as the author's assessment of the likelihood of each actually occurring:

February 7, 2012 at 8:18 a.m.
MTJohn said...

harp3339 said...To know the future and what will happen in the middle east study revelations.

To know the future and what will happen with international relationships, study Genesis 3:1-7. We are not created that way, but humans live as selfish, self-serving creatures. International strife is the consequence of our shared commitment to live for ourselves rather than living in love, as our Creator intended.

February 7, 2012 at 8:20 a.m.
mymy said...

Anything to take the attention off of the Carter like hostage situation in Egypt as a result of The One's bad foreign policy. So here we are! We need a strong President not the Wimp that we have now. Carter to Reagan, Obama to any Republican!

February 7, 2012 at 8:41 a.m.
davisss13 said...

mymy, so the Bush doctrine of bringing democracy to the Middle East had nothing to do with it, even if it was obvious a majority of the voters favored the Muslim Brotherhood?

That's Republican accountability and personal responsibility for you. Non-existent.

Hey, here's an idea... maybe your next presidential candidate can make alliances with the Muslim Brotherhood before the election and trade them advanced weaponry like Tow and Tomahawk missiles for the hostages, you know... like Ronald Reagan did with the Ayatollah of Iran and his followers?

February 7, 2012 at 8:57 a.m.
caddy said...

Well Said MTjohn

February 7, 2012 at 9:12 a.m.
timbo said...

This is simple. Our choices here are a blood thirsty dictator and blood thirsty religious fanatics.

Arm both sides and let them kill each other to their hearts content. If the Israelis want to get in on it, fine. It will just be solved quicker.

What can we lose, there is no oil in Syria.

Maybe we should let the Israelis borrow a neutron bomb.

February 7, 2012 at 9:28 a.m.
LOL said...

Based upon Clay's usual anti-Republican cartoons, I can only assume that he's suggesting that Assad is a Republican. Nicely done Clay.

February 7, 2012 at 11:03 a.m.
News_Junkie said...

mymy said... We need a strong President not the Wimp that we have now

Obama took care of bin Laden and virtually all of the top leadership of al Queda. That is a hell of a lot more than George W. Bush was able in both of his two terms as President.

February 7, 2012 at 11:04 a.m.
LOL said...

News_Junkie is exactly right. Obama personally orchestrated the death of bin Laden while Bush made no attempt to find him, much less to kill him. I sleep much better at night knowing that bin Laden is dead. I've even canceled my ADT service and leave my doors unlocked at night. Well done Mr. President!

February 7, 2012 at 11:27 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

I suppose it is nice to see Bennett off his normal topic but this does not look like much of an effort.

A still life like this is some of his most uninspired work. The only thing worse is when he does a still life of a sign or a piece of paper spelling out his message.

February 7, 2012 at 11:34 a.m.
mymy said...

News_Junkie said...

"Obama took care of bin Laden and virtually all of the top leadership of al Queda. That is a hell of a lot more than George W. Bush was able in both of his two terms as President."

O gets credit for making the decision which was probably more political than anything else, but not something I will think about in the voting booth.

It is Half-Time in America. Which way is this country going? Are we going to be Greece (the O way) or get back to the principals that made this country great? There is plenty of blame to go around on both sides. Each person has to make that choice. I’m not hopeful this country can be saved. Society/government is broken on all levels and rotten to the core. How do you reverse that? There is not enough money in the world that can be thrown at it to change it. It has to be in the heart/head of man and his choices.

So, the daily arguments are getting us nowhere. We are all in the same boat when push comes to shove. Will we sink or swim is the question?

February 7, 2012 at 1:16 p.m.
pmcauley said...

Good call dude @ 0708. You nailed it!

February 7, 2012 at 1:17 p.m.
MTJohn said...

LOL said...Based upon Clay's usual anti-Republican cartoons, I can only assume that he's suggesting that Assad is a Republican. Nicely done Clay

I don't think that is the message that Clay is trying to communicate. But, it you want to go in that direction, it would probably be more correct to suggest that, given the opportunity, some republicans would like to govern like Assad.

February 7, 2012 at 1:58 p.m.
MTJohn said...

mymy said...It is Half-Time in America. Which way is this country going? Are we going to be Greece (the O way) or get back to the principals that made this country great?

Just what are the principals that made this country great - please be specific? And, what makes you think that any of the current R candidates have either the intention or the capacity to take the country in that direction - again, please be specific?

February 7, 2012 at 2:01 p.m.

The only thing BO is capable of orchestrating is a meal at a fast food place. The killing of Bin Laden was the result of the cumulative effort of many, many people over a long period time. He gave the go ahead, which is his duty to do as President. He has no insight or vision. His foreign policy is as aimless as his economic policy. The middle east is far worse now that hard line Muslim morons have taken over.

February 7, 2012 at 2:19 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Mymy said: “We need a strong President.”

Well, I guess this leaves Mr. Rmoney out of the picture. . . Oops, sorry. I guess the "o" is suppose to come before the "m" in Romney. But, then, again the Rmoney spelling is a good fit.

February 7, 2012 at 2:28 p.m.

News_Junkie said .Obama took care of bin Laden

You really need to check out the facts on this. It has been proven by many including the director of the Dept. of Defense, that the US had no clue of Bin Laden's location until they received a call from the Pakistani DR. that not only gave them his location but also got his DNA. What was his thanks for this? He is in Pakistan awaiting trial for treason and is more than likely facing a death sentence.

February 7, 2012 at 8:04 p.m.
News_Junkie said...


Your comments are irrelevant to the point that I was trying to make, which is Obama is still a strong leader.

I never claimed that Obama was solely responsible for the intelligence needed to track down bin Laden. But he was the one who made the final decision to go order the mission. That was a courageous act, because if it had failed, the Republicans would never let him forget about it.

But instead of giving Obama credit for the mission's success, the Republicans tried to give the credit to W., even though there is no direct link to W. in the chain of events that lead to the asassination of bin Laden. That shameless act definitively proves how morally corrupt and thoroughly despicable the Republicans are. There is no moral justification for that act by the Republicans; it is pettiness to a degree that I can't ever recall seeing before. They should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

February 7, 2012 at 8:17 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Interesting article in The Guardian:

“Bashar Al-Assad was advised that the "American psyche can be easily manipulated" when he was preparing for a television interview with ABC's Barbara Walters in December, according to leaked emails reported to have come from within the Syrian regime.

In an insight into the contempt shown for international public opinion by those advising the Syrian leader, one of his media aides suggested, "the American audience doesn't really care about reforms. They won't understand it and they are not interested to do so."

Sheherazad Jaafari, a Syrian press attache based in New York, listed points for Assad to consider in preparing for the high-profile interview and urged him to quash "the idea" of violence being perpetrated by the regime against the Syrian people. . .

. . . Jaafari advised mentioning "the huge economical and political transformation" in Syria in the past 11 years, and said Assad should acknowledge mistakes made at the beginning of the uprising. "American psyche can be easily manipulated when they hear that there are 'mistakes' done and now we are 'fixing it'."

Comparison should be made with the way US police dealt with protests against Wall Street. In the US, she wrote, "there are courses and schools that specialises in teaching police men and officers how to torture criminals and 'outlaws'.... We can use Abu Ghraib in Iraq as an example."

February 7, 2012 at 8:29 p.m.
dude_abides said...

Rmoney. I love it.

February 7, 2012 at 8:52 p.m.
acerigger said...

Yeah but,mountainlaurel,Syrians don't have the "right to peacefully assemble and ask for redress of grievances like us Americans.Just look at how the authorities are coddling the #Occupiers. If they would use real ammo instead of "less lethal rounds",tear gas,mace,pepper spray,&tasers,we could be just like Syria and make those flea-baggers get a bath and a job!

February 7, 2012 at 9 p.m.
acerigger said...

BTW,why don't we get to comment on the TFP editorial "Court-martial ordered in appalling WikiLeaks espionage case"?

I might have something to say about their assertions.

Does that qualify as a type of censorship

February 7, 2012 at 9:07 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Acerigger said: "Syrians don't have the "right to peacefully assemble and ask for redress of grievances like us Americans."

Seems like a nightmare to me. Some residents believe they are under "genocidal attack."

“Residents inside the besieged city of Homs claim they are under "genocidal attack" from a Syrian regime apparently deaf to international opinion and determined to "bomb, starve and shoot" them into submission.

On Tuesday night the city was under massive continuous bombardment, witnesses told the Guardian, with rockets raining down from the sky every few minutes, and helicopters and fighter planes circling overhead. They said Syrian army tanks had encircled opposition-held suburbs, in preparation for what they feared was a final, deadly ground assault.

"The regime didn't expect us to continue our struggle against them," activist Karam Abu Rabea said via Skype. "They didn't think we would persist. So now it is using its last card. It is the genocide card."

Rabea described the humanitarian situation as appalling. He said the regime was deliberately attempting to starve families trapped in rebel-controlled districts. Army snipers had been positioned on the main roads, he added, and were able to mow down anyone who moved on smaller, intersecting side roads. No one could escape, he said. Two journalists – Salah Murjan and Khalid Abu Salah, documenting the horrors of Homs – were shot by snipers.

Rabea said: "There is no food allowed to get inside neighbourhoods opposing the regime. Especially bread. We don't have any bread. They are targeting the vital installations of the city: bakeries, the hospital, mosques. Some of the bakeries were shut by force. The regime cut off internet and phones on Monday. I have a satellite set, which is why I can speak to you. The Assad regime is trying to destroy Homs completely."

February 7, 2012 at 9:24 p.m.
News_Junkie said...

I think that the Syrian uprising isn't getting the press coverage that it merits. Its international implications dwarf those of the conflict that we recently saw in Libya. My only explanation as to why it has garnered so little attention is because it is such a morass that there are no readily apparent solutions that are acceptable to the widespread international community.

The situation there could get very messy. Few internal fights within a single country are fraught with so many diverse international implications as this one.

February 7, 2012 at 10:37 p.m.
News_Junkie said...

Here is a link to an article by CNN (that was released in the past hour) regarding the international efforts relating to the uprising in Syria. The article provides a lot of useful information regarding many of the thorny issues that are effectively precluding any international intervention:

February 7, 2012 at 11:05 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Thanks for the links, News_Junkie. And you're right. It is getting messy in many ways:

“The German government called in Syria’s ambassador after security officials in Berlin arrested two men suspected of spying for Syrian intelligence on groups critical of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

“We will signal unambiguously to Syrian officials that any apparent activity against the Syrian opposition in Germany is in no way tolerable and a violation of the law,” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told reporters in Berlin today as he announced the diplomatic protest. . .

. . . The two detained are “strongly suspected of carefully observing the Syrian opposition in Germany for a Syrian intelligence agency for years,” Germany’s Federal Prosecutor said in a statement. Other suspects, whose apartments were searched, were accused of providing assistance, it said.

The arrests come three days after Russia and China vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution backing an Arab League plan for a transfer of power in Syria. Escalating unrest directed at Assad’s government has killed more than 5,400 people in the country since March, according to the UN.”


February 7, 2012 at 11:55 p.m.
acerigger said...

Hey,watch for the Gov.response to the G-20 conference in Chicago this month.You're gonna see a whole lotta "hippies"get a lesson in "Free Speech",Right to Assemble,&Petition of Grievances",blah,blah!(by this I mean,their asses kicked!)

At least we know we're free!

February 8, 2012 at 1:08 a.m.
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