Make up your own caption for this oddity!
The Four Things We Know About How Civil Wars End (and What This Tells Us About Syria)
The Obama Administration continues to insist that it would like to see a diplomatic solution to the civil war in Syria. But this desire flies in the face of everything we’ve learned about how civil wars have ended over the last 70+ years. Here are four things that President Obama should keep in mind as he considers the feasibility of pushing for a negotiated settlement in Syria.
- Civil wars don’t end quickly. The average length of civil wars since 1945 have been about 10 years. This suggests that the civil war in Syria is in its early stages, and not in the later stages that tend to encourage combatants to negotiate a settlement.
- The greater the number of factions, the longer a civil war tends to last. Syria’s civil war is being fought between the Assad government and at least 13 major rebel groups whose alliances are relatively fluid. This suggests that Syria’s civil war is likely to last longer than the average civil war.
- Most civil wars end in decisive military victories, not negotiated settlements. Of these wars governments have won about 40% of the time, rebels about 35% of the time. The remainder tend to end in negotiated settlements. This suggests that the civil war in Syria will not end in a negotiated settlement but will rather end on the battlefield.
- Finally, the civil wars that end in successfully negotiated settlements tend to have two things in common. First, they tend to divide political power amongst the combatants based on their position on the battlefield. This means that any negotiated settlement in Syria will need to include both the Assad regime and the Islamists, neither of whom is particularly interested in working with the other. Second, successful settlements all enjoy the help of a third party willing to ensure the safety of combatants as they demobilize. This means that even if all sides eventually agree to negotiate (i.e., due to a military stalemate or increasingly heavy costs), it’s unlikely that any country or the U.N. will be willing to send the peacekeepers necessary to help implement the peace. The likelihood of a successful negotiated settlement in Syria? Probably close to zero.
Taken from Political Violence at a Glance.
“As Obamacare is being implemented, Americans can’t afford to pay for it. We can’t even sign up for it on the impossibly cumbersome websites, but the IRS will fine us for not doing so anyway! Obama gave his pals, and Congress gave themselves, tickets off this train wreck via waivers. Cruz and Lee fought for us to get the same relief the big guys got. The media and disloyal politicians turned on them and, divided, we lost. Now we little guys are stuck on this train, which will soon collide with hardship and real-world economics that don’t pencil out. Friends, by the time the electoral stars align for this hoped-for GOP hat trick the country will be out billions, if not trillions, more of our tax dollars and will have already begged D.C. to relieve us of this corporatist nightmare even if it means a socialized single-payer system. And once there, do you think we’ll ever go back and strip this “entitlement”? Unarguable history proves otherwise.
The only credible plan of action was to do everything in our power to delay the implementation of Obamacare – defund it, postpone it, whatever – while at the same time work to elect a majority to repeal it. That is what Cruz and Lee and those Tea Party aligned House Members were doing. There was no other credible alternative plan to seize the constitutionally appropriate opportunity to legislatively close the purse strings to stop the juggernaut of full socialized medicine.” –Sarah Palin
No emergency for use of federal funds to Detroit. No Katrina. No Sandy–only decades of fiscal irresponsibility, corruption, mismanagement
Detroits $320 Million Federal Aid Package
Read it all HERE.
The War for Nigeria
A bloody insurgency tears at the fabric of Africa’s most populous nation.
The ticket taker, who worked at Kano’s bus station, had his back to the blast. Before he heard it, it knocked him to the ground, and flame licked his head. He lay facedown, dazed, his ears ringing, blood streaming from a shrapnel wound in his leg, but still he knew instinctively what had happened: There was a bomb in the car.
The driver of the Volkswagen had acted strangely. After pulling into the dirt lot of the station, he and the man in the passenger seat had been approached by touts—ticket salesmen who compete for fares—and had told them, “We don’t know where we’re going.” But when the ticket taker went up to the car, the driver said, “We already bought tickets.” Not thinking much of it, the ticket taker walked away.
As his ears stopped ringing, the screaming grew louder. He got up, and through the thickening black smoke he saw people staggering away from the buses. Burning bodies hung from what had been their windows. Moments before, they had been sleek, new 60-seaters waiting to head to points south. Now they were a pyre, like some awful ancient ritual offering. On the ground around him the ticket taker saw the corpses and remains of passengers, of the touts, his colleagues, the women who sold boiled cassava and roasted fish from plastic tubs carried on their heads. Friends he saw every day were now “separate people parts,” as he put it to me.
Read it all HERE.
Top Ten Things Overheard from the Obamacare Website Design
10. “Are you sure we can’t just program it in Fortran?
9. “Don’t worry; I hired a professional Hollywood script supervisor to help fix the java script.”
8. “My computer crashed; buy me a new one.”
7. “We’re making great progress. …Oh, I thought you were talking about Candy Crush. No, there is no way this website will be ready on time.
6. “What browsers does it need to work in? Because so far it’s only working in Netscape.”
5. “What’s HTML? Is it anything like NSFW?”
4. “Aren’t eventually they’re going to catch on that we’re embezzling hundreds of millions to make a $2 million website? Oh yeah; government.”
3. “This website should be able to handle millions of people as long as they each wait their turn.”
2. “The first page loaded; I guess it’s ready.”
And the number one thing overheard from the Obamacare website design…