What Does ‘Milk Toast’ Mean?

When asked about what she would do to defeat ISIS, former governor of Alaska Sarah Palin said, “You have to quit being this mamby-pamby kind of milk toast…”

Dictionary.com states that a person who is “milk-toast” is an ineffectual, timid person.

According to Wikipedia, milk toast is a breakfast food consisting of toasted bread in warm milk, typically with sugar and butter. Other ingredients may be added. In the New England region of the US, it refers to toast that has been dipped in a milk-based white sauce. Milk toast was a popular food throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, states Wikipedia.

(Video: Right Wing Watch, Secular Talk)


Denmark May Send Fighter Jets To Syria

In the aftermath of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Denmark’s foreign minister said that their fighter jets should have the mandate to bomb positions in Syria.  Denmark Fighter jets saw action in Iraq earlier this year and will return next year, according to the Israeli publication Haaretz.

Denmark had contributed seven F-16 jets in 2014 to the U.S.-led coalition’s air strikes against ISIS and pulled them out in September, reportedly due to maintenance work and to let the crew rest.

“We must get the Danish F-16 fighter planes back as fast as possible. The government wishes that they return with a broader mandate, to make it possible to fight ISIS, wherever they may be – whether on one or the other side of the border to Syria,” Kristian Jensen told the newspaper Berlingske.

The US-led international coalition of 6o nations has been launching airstrikes against ISIS targets since August 2014, according to sputniknews.com.



Norway To Send Fighter Jets

Norwegian F16s will join NATO's efforts to help the Baltic countries patrol their airspace this summer. PHOTO: Luftforsvaret/Nils SkipnesNorwegian F-16 fighter jets may be called upon to aid in the bombing of ISIS targets in Syria,  writes newsinenglish.no.

As a member of NATO, Norway is obliged to answer calls for help from fellow NATO members, and France has now asked EU leaders for military assistance.

Norway is not a member of the EU but it is an active member of NATO, which operates on a principle of “one for all and all for one.” If one NATO member is attacked, as France was recently, member countries see it as an attack on the NATO alliance itself.

According to newsinenglish.no, the recent ISIS attacks in Paris have bothered Norwegians and unleashed an outpouring of support for France in Norway.

What Is The Situation With The Bombs In Turkey?

On Saturday, there were two bomb explosions at a “peace rally” in Ankara, the Turkish capital.

The number of killed varies in the news, but most outlets are reporting that “more than 100 people” died as a result of the blasts. Some news organizations call it the deadliest terror attack in Turkey’s history, others state it is the deadliest terror attack in recent history in Turkey.

Who organized the peace rally?

The BBC states that the pro-Kurdish HDP party organized Saturday’s rally. The Guardian writes that in addition to the HDP, pro-union and left-wing groups also took part.

Who is responsible for the bombing?

According to The Guardian, no group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing, and the Turkish government has denied any part in it.

To make things worse, as thousands later gathered near the scene to mourn, brief scuffles broke out as police used teargas to prevent people from laying flowers at the site of the attack.

The pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic party (HDP) said some members of its delegation sustained injuries from the police.

Witnesses and victims’ families felt that the government should have done more to protect the peace rally and that security should have been better. Mourners shouted anti-government slogans, and denounced Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as a “murderer” and a “thief”. Many blame his Justice and Development (AK) party for security failures at Saturday’s peace march.

According to the HDP, the number of people killed in the bombing stands at 128, all but eight of whom have been identified and their names published by the HDP’s crisis desk.

Security analysts have pointed out the similarities to a suicide bomb attack in the Turkish border town of Suruç that killed 33 Kurdish and Turkish activists in July, which the Turkish government blamed on ISIS.

According to The Guardian, the peace march was organized to call for an end to the escalating violence between the Turkish government and the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s party (PKK).

Saturday’s bomb attack in Ankara came three months after the breakdown of a mutual ceasefire between the Turkish government and the PKK. Hundreds of people have been killed in the escalating violence since then.

According to The Guardian, hours after the Ankara bombing, the PKK announced an expected unilateral ceasefire, in order to avoid acts that could obstruct a “fair and just election” on November 1st in Turkey.

On Saturday night, Turkish fighter jets launched airstrikes against PKK positions in Turkey and northern Iraq. The Kurds and the Kurdish PKK have been known for fighting against ISIS and other Islamic jihadists.

A statement by the general chief of staff said 49 militants were killed and shelters and gun positions were destroyed. Security operations were also reported from the predominantly Kurdish province of Diyarbakir.



Colin Powell Speaks With The Washington Ideas Forum

Atlantic Live

Former Secretary of State (for George W. Bush) Colin Powell spoke with the president and CEO of The Aspen Institute Walter Isaacson as part of the Washington Ideas Forum, co-hosted by the Institute and the Atlantic.

He discussed the Iran deal, Syria, ISIS, The Iraq War, immigration, and other things.

Powell generally agreed with the structure of the Iran deal, and said the U.S. should work within its parameters.  When discussing immigration, Powell said, “I think the American people have to understand we’re an immigrant nation,” he said, adding, “it is our history, it is our tradition…we have been built on the backs of immigrants.”

Powell also implored those in the audience to consider the positive impact of immigrant workers.


Activists Say Russia Bombs Different Groups

CBS states that Syrian anti-government activists said Russian warplanes carried out a third day of airstrikes Friday, possibly hitting targets held by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, for the first time.

Russia said its airstrikes in Syria will only intensify and could last four months, reports CBS News.

Moscow joined the Syrian civil war claiming it would target ISIS, yet many of the Russian airstrikes so far have hit areas well outside of ISIS control.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Russia conducted air raids on Qaryatain, a predominantly Christian town recently captured by ISIS, late Thursday night.

In northern Syria, Russian war planes have pounded groups linked to al Qaeda, but also so-called moderate rebels, who are supported by the U.S.

CBS states that a video posted on the Internet appears to show the aftermath of a Russian strike on American-backed opposition fighters.

Syria’s deadly civil war is now even more dangerous with both the U.S. and Russia launching airstrikes, but Russia is supporting Bashar al-Assad and the U.S. is supporting so-called moderate rebel groups.



Russia Wants To Fight ISIS: 3-Way War Consequences

Secular Talk

Russia is looking into furthering its military support of the leader of Syria, who is fighting ISIS.

These are the two main sides of the war – fundamentalist Jihadi rebels (such as ISIS) on one side, and Bashar al-Assad (the ruler of Syria) on the other.

The U.S. wants to support “moderate” rebels, who are supposedly against both Assad and ISIS, creating a 3-way war.

A 3-way war is an interesting concept.  How is this working out in real life?