From deep inside the foundations of our Republic's capital city
He put this wild python on his shoulders? If that's true, he's a dork. Mine is only 11 feet but I handle her with the respect and caution one uses around a loaded gun. 24 years on, I'm doing something right. --Snakesmommy
Yup, he clearly had little or no experience removing wild animals. And the guard didn't even work at the hotel where this happened. He really should have just called for help and left it at that.
TSB: I heard his friends call him "The Pied Viper" The snake I mean. gwb
A whole lot of Darwin awards happening here!
James: That reminds me. Isn't this that time of the year when TSB treats us all to his 10 top predictions for 2014? or will it be the top 5 unbelievable diplomatic meltdowns in history? You just never know! gwb
TSB: Don't worry about a top diplomatic story of 2013 post. Enjoy the holidays because Juan Cole did the blogpost on David Kirkpatrick's article in NYT telling us what actually happened in Benghazi. http://www.juancole.com/2013/12/benghazi-correspondent-demolishes.htmlNow I feel like an idiot for lapping up all that Foxnews stuff about Benghazi. gwb
James: I haven't done 'top 10' lists before, but that's an idea. Such as: "I predict there will be silly speculation about imminent terrorist attacks based on extrapolation from an incident of vandalism at a California power transformers" [actual news story this weekend]. Let me see what I can whip up. GWB: That NYT story on Benghazi left me puzzled because it doesn't live up to its headline. The story says a small and eccentric militia group (Obeida Ibn al Jarra) instigated the attack, while, at the same time, local media were carrying reports about the YouTube-inspired mobs at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. Okay. But if the Benghazi attack was planned and organized, involved only a small number of attackers - by "small" I mean dozens not hundreds - and used paramilitary weapons and tactics (all of which is unlike anything that happened in Cairo), how does that substantiate the headline that 'it was a mob of video-enraged Libyans and not AQ-connected militias' that did it? I don't think it does.Also, the story tries to make a distinction between those Libyan militias that were supported by NATO in the civil war against Qaddafi, and those that are connected to al-Qaeda. But the groups overlap; really, all the militias benefited from NATO, and most of them had at least some AQ connections. For example, one of the largest militia components came from the pre-civil war "Libyan Islamic Fighting Group" which was affiliated with al-Qaeda according to AQ's own public announcements. http://www.start.umd.edu/start/data_collections/tops/terrorist_organization_profile.asp?id=4400http://www.ctc.usma.edu/posts/assessing-al-qaidas-presence-in-the-new-libyaThe LIFG morphed into the Abu Salim Martyr's Brigade, which was an ally of the Ansar al-Sharia Brigade, which in turn was one of the elements, and maybe the largest one, carrying out the Benghazi attack. I'm sure that the Benghazi attack was a local initiative and not part of some larger AQ strategy. (Actually, I think the attack was connected to the election that happened in Libya the next day, in which Ansar al-Sharia squared off against our own U.S.-allied February 17 Militia.) However, there is no way anyone can disassociate the attackers from militias that have AQ affiliations, since most of them do.
TSB: The top ten lists are GWB's, good idea just can't claim it. On Libya you've got me curious about the "which Ansar al-Sharia squared off against our own U.S.-allied February 17 Militia" angle. What are your thoughts?On the story above it is rumored the python was actually in Bali on vacation due to fly back to Florida the next day.
James: The Benghazi attack (or attacks, over several hours) involved Ansar al-Sharia and some other anti-U.S. parties fighting not just Americans but also *our* Libyans, the Feb 17 Martyr's Brigade, which provided security for us in Benghazi in the absence of a stable government police force. Feb 17 supported the Libyan national transitional government and it's leader, Prime Minister Mahmoud Jabril, as did the USG. Other militias accused Feb 17 of being in the USG's pocket. Jabril was defeated in a runoff election held by the Libyan assembly on September 12, 2012, which meant that we would lose the use of Feb 17, since other militias, ones hostile to the USG, would now replace it as the de facto police force in Benghazi. That threat was conveyed to Ambassador Stevens during his meeting with the Benghazi security council just before the election, and it was reported in the last cable he sent to Washington: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/10/08/exclusive-libya-cable-detailed-threats.htmlThe attack against our facilities on the night of September 11, in my opinion, might/could/maybe have been as much an attack on our local allies and defenders as on the Americans there. The pro- and anti-US militias were mutually hostile, political tensions were especially high the night before the election, and violence was erupting between them all the time anyway. I can easily imagine a few hotheaded anti-Feb 17 militiamen going after our facility that night without orders. Possibly their leaders then saw it as a matter of 'in for a penny, in for a pound,' and decided to go after Feb 17 in a bigger way with more force later than night. The main attack on our Benghazi annex, which occurred 5-6 hours after the fighting began, was a prepared ambush with zeroed-in mortars which the attackers fired only *after* our local allies arrived in a large convoy to evacuate the surviving Americans. It's hard to disentangle the attacker's motives, but very possibly they were using the Americans as bait for an attack on their local enemies. Anyway, I think the role of the February 17 Brigade, and the consequence of Jabril losing the run-off election, are under-appreciated aspects of the whole sad event.
TSB: Monday humor for neanderthals, whigs and eco tourists! gwbhttp://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-12-30/presenting-definition-irony
James: That was good on the python being on vacation. I'll bet they never checked the airport..I still am hoping he comes back and nabs a Yorkie. gwb
Well GWB: It did happen outside a five star hotel, perhaps he worked for the UN. If I were that snake I'd be careful flying back into the States, there was a "snakes on the Plane" incident a couple of years ago on a flight to Amarillo. Only detail released was the passengers all had new cowboy boots on when they deplaned.TSB: I could go with your thoughts on this one. Attacking your opponents main support (the US)would be an excellent tactic. I do though believe there is AQ connection, it would make a great two birds with one stone.
GWB: I guess it is some cold comfort for those arctic researchers to find out there is now a record-breaking amount of ice at the poles. They and the polar bears ought to be happy.James: Here's my plan - send the pythons on the next arctic eco-tourism ship. They're cold-blooded - right? - so it shouldn't hurt them, but the low temperature might make them all lethargic and harmless. Problem solved, plus the climatic change scientists will have something to amuse themselves while they wait for icebreakers or the spring thaw.
TSB: Fukashima radiation is a BIG deal. Lots of dead canaries in this coal mine. Thankfully the government is able to stonewall the public on anything that might not poll well. gwbhttp://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2013-12-30/seals-sea-lions-polar-bears-bald-eagles-sea-stars-turtles-king-and-sockeye-sa
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