Policy dispute emerges as U.S. faces setback in Syria

first_imgAug. 7 — With the aid of its Russian allies, Syrian government forces are making important military gains against the Islamic State group (IS) and U.S.-backed fighters in the area including Aleppo. The impending liberation of Syria’s largest city has prompted a faction in the Barack Obama administration to vigorously press for major U.S. air attacks against Syria.The faction made this clear in a blunt op-ed piece in the Aug. 3 New York Times titled “The Case for (Finally) Bombing Assad.” Bashar al-Assad is Syria’s president. One co-author of the piece is Dennis B. Ross who worked in the State Department under presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Obama.Alleged U.S. government plans to try to coordinate with Russia to jointly target the IS and the Nusra Front inside Syria are “opposed by many within the C.I.A., the State Department and the Pentagon,” according to Ross and his colleague at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Andrew. J. Tabler.The two op-ed authors are speaking for those who want to “punish the Syrian government … using drones and cruise missiles to hit the Syrian military’s airfields, bases and artillery position.” Their statement is only the most recent revelation of an internal debate in U.S. ruling circles going back years.Washington has taken desperate steps to reverse what the Aug. 6 Times headlined as “Military success in Syria gives Putin upper hand in U.S. proxy war.”Russian air support began only in September 2015. This followed four years of U.S.-C.I.A. training and arming of groups aiming to overthrow the government of Syria. These groups, often described as “rebels,” are really pro-imperialist reactionaries.Even the New York Times admits that Russia stepped in only “after a monthslong offensive by C.I.A.-backed rebel groups … sometimes [fighting] alongside soldiers of the Nusra Front … affiliated with Al-Qaeda” and noted that “for several years the C.I.A. has joined with the spy services of several Arab nations to arm and train the rebels at bases in Jordan and Qatar, with the Saudis bankrolling much of the operation.” (Aug. 6)Major gains in Syrian offensive to control AleppoBut the Syrian Army has reversed many earlier gains by the reactionaries with the help of Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon and Russian air support. A major offensive to control Aleppo has seen major gains, including control of areas along the Turkish border, used previously to supply the reactionaries.In the same article the Times notes that “the most pressing danger is that supply routes from Turkey which are essential to the C.I.A.-backed rebels could be severed.”In the battle for Aleppo, the Syrian Army has encircled eastern sections of the city held by reactionary forces. Intensive fighting is reported in desperate attempts by the besieged U.S.-backed forces to reopen their supply lines. According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation of Aug. 6, more than 500 fighters have been killed around Aleppo in one week.The debate within the Obama administration is over tactics, not goals. Both factions seek the overthrow of the government of Syria and its replacement with a colonial puppet regime. U.S. imperialism will try various ways to achieve its world domination — sometimes the bare fist, sometimes the velvet glove.The military option is always ready to be rolled out. On July 20 the Guardian newspaper reported that U.S. fighter bombers attacked the town of Manjib in Syria killing “at least 73 civilians” and possibly as many as 117. Many bodies were shredded and unidentifiable, but most of the casualties were women and children.U.S. ally Turkey has also allowed U.S. planes to resume bombing flights against Syria from the Incirlik air base in Turkey, which had been shut down immediately following the failed coup of July 15.Israel, another U.S. ally, also continues intervening against the Syrian government. The Times of Israel reported on Aug. 4 that the Israeli Air Force attacked a column of Hezbollah trucks in Syria heading for Damascus.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Remembering When The Grateful Dead Got “Busted Down On Bourbon Street” In 1970

first_img“Busted, down on Bourbon Street,Set up, like a bowlin’ pin, Knocked down, it gets to wearin’ thin, They just won’t let you be…”While New Orleans is generally known as a laid-back, easy-going city–with no open container laws and bars that never close–the city’s law enforcement has always been strict about certain things, including drugs. On January 31st, 1970, The Grateful Dead found this out the hard way when their hotel was raided and the entire band got arrested on drug charges. However, the experience would go on to influence the lyrics of “Truckin’“, one of the Dead’s most iconic songs.Following their performance at The Warehouse with openers Fleetwood Mac, the band and crew returned to their hotel rooms to find the police waiting for them. As Lenny Hart (Mickey Hart‘s father and the band’s then-manager) explained to Rolling Stone shortly after the 1970 arrest, “It was very peculiar, and it seems like they set them up. [The cops] were waiting when they got back from their concert. They had a warrant and had already searched the room when the band got back. Nothing was found on any of the people except stuff they had prescriptions for. Everything they claim to have found was in the room, they said. But nobody in the band knows where any of it came from. It wasn’t their stuff. The Grateful Dead are normally very cool and cautious.”Continued Lenny, “The cops made it extra heavy for us, too. They detained the band, handcuffed them all together and lined them up in front of the building for press photos. The cops were enjoying it, just getting their own thing on. They ended up having to spend eight hours in jail; even though the bail was ready right away, they hassled them that long.” All of the 19 people caught in the raid were booked for possession of some combination of marijuana, LSD, barbiturates, amphetamines, or other dangerous non-narcotic drugs. Mere possession in Louisiana then carried a penalty of 5 to 15 years in prison.Every member of the Dead except Pigpen and Tom Constanten (who left the band immediately after the New Orleans incident) was included in the bust, along with several members of their entourage and some local associates. An added bonus for the New Orleans police was the capture of Owsley Stanley, then a tech for the band as well as a well-known LSD producer; “King of Acid Arrested,” boasted the local newspapers.The bust did not come as too big of a surprise to the band. A few weeks earlier, their friends in the Jefferson Airplane had been raided while staying at the same New Orleans hotel for their own performance. Furthermore, when the Dead arrived in the Crescent City earlier that day, they were told they could face some issues, both at the airport (when they were given the name of an attorney in case something happened) and at the hotel before the show (when Jerry Garcia was warned by staff to stay clean as a raid was likely). This led many in the band to feel like they had been set up.In the audio below, Garcia talks about the incident and the band’s treatment by the police, saying “They had great fun with us, the southern cops. The had just what they wanted: hippies. Oh, boy.” Listen to the full segment via YouTube user Scott Free:As the 1970 Rolling Stone article explained,  “New Orleans police seem to fear that their good town will become the next Haight-Ashbury, and maybe they feel that way with some reason. The fact is, New Orleans is starting to burst out. Head shops and boutiques are springing up all over, and there’s a lot of long hair walking the streets.”After posting bail money, the Dead were almost out of funds. They added an extra show in New Orleans and persuaded Fleetwood Mac to stay for the additional performance as well. At the gig, a bucket was passed around the audience to collect some additional cash for legal expenses. Most of the charges from the New Orleans bust were eventually dropped, but the incident went on to make a lasting impact on Grateful Dead lore.Don’t miss The Daze Between Band featuring Eric Krasno (Soulive/Lettuce), Dave Schools (Widespread Panic), and Duane Trucks (Widespread Panic), w/ special guests John Medeski & Tom Hamilton at One Eyed Jacks (5/2) and Marcus King & DeShawn “D’Vibes” Alexander at The Howlin’ Wolf (5/3) in New Orleans during Jazz Fest. For more info click here, to purchase tickets click here for 5/2 and here for 5/3. For our full guide to Jazz Fest late nights, click here.last_img read more

Bulldogs Cross Country Results At EC Invite

first_imgThe Batesville High School Boys and Girls Cross Country Teams traveled to East Central High School Tuesday night for the East Central Cross Country Invite.The boys ran in the Division II race and came out victorious by double the points. Batesville scored 24 points followed by Greensburg taking 2nd with 48 points and Taylor 3rd with 62.Batesville was led in scoring by Caleb Moster and Conner Bell who took 2nd and 3rd places overall respectively. Caleb was less than 2 seconds behind the leader.  Also scoring for the boys were Brice Keeton who came in 5th, Clay Yeaton in 6th, and Alex Batta in 8th. Two other varsity Bulldogs won awards and they were Quinten Gowdy who came in 9th and Jackson Wooldridge who took 18th.The girls also were crowned the champions of the Division II race by almost 20 points. Batesville scored 31 points, followed by Greensburg’s 50 and Taylor’s 66. The girls also had their top 5 scoring runners in the top 10 and were led by Mary Poltrackplacing 3rd overall. She was followed by Maria Wessel, 5th, Emma Gausman, 6th, Audrey Weigel 8th and Sarah Poltrack 9th. The other two varsity runners also won awards placing 11th and 14th respectively. They were Madeleine Robben and Katie Baumer.The boys and girls teams remain undefeated on the season!There was also a JV race following the varsity race, although it wasn’t teamed scored the top ten received awards. Between the boys and the girls team, Batesville took 1/2 of the ribbons. The boys had 3, Elliott Main, 2nd, Josh Nobbe, 6th and Derek Nobbe, 10th. The girls claimed 7 of the top 10, led by Kylie Lehman who crossed the finish line 1st overall for the girls. She was followed by teammates Audrey Maupin, 2nd, Carley Fitzpatrick, 4th, Anna Kick, 6th, Bre Hartman, 8th, Heidi Shaw, 9th and Mary Catherine Barnett, 10th.The Dogs travel to Indianapolis on Saturday for the Ben Davis Invitational.Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Lisa Gausman.last_img read more