Notations On Our World: Briefly On #Iraq, #Syria, #Lebanon, #Burma & The US Election Scene

On the Front Lines in Sinjar:  Source (The Daily Beast) 

As we went to press today, we are reviewing reports from the fronts lines on the battle launched by the Syrian Kurds to retake Sinjar.    Reports we have reviewed from various sources on the ground note that some 7500 fighters backed by US-Led Air strikes are leading the charges against Daesh (also referred to as IS/ISIL/etc. in the West)  Fighters. 

The significance of this battle cannot be overstated.   If the Kurds can break the siege, it will set the stage for the eventual liberation of Mosul that has been under Daesh for over a year.     This is as Daesh has suffered a few tactical setbacks inside Syria as well.    The face of this woman that the Daily Beast's Wladimir van Wilgenburg captured,  it underscores the challenges before these brave souls.

Beyond The battlegrounds of Syria and Iraq, there is another "proxy war" that is on-going as well.  As we went to press today, we just received reports on a twin bombing at the Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut.  As we have noted in our "Notations", Lebanon is at the frontline of the battle against Daesh because of Hezbollah's involvement.   Lebanon also does not have a government--as such, Hezbollah is the defacto Government and the fact that suicide bombers have been able to penetrate as they have as Hezbollah fighters are dying is a signficant development.

There is also the Political battles.   One of the highlights of the past 24 hours we've been assessing here at #Outsiders has been the game changing election in #Burma (also referred to as #Myanmar).  Our founder has never been fond of the name change and he noted that he made it a point of congratulating one of the winners of the candidates of the National League for Democracy.  What is significant is that the Head of the Army and the President have come out to concede defeat.  We will be on the "Prowl" on this transition process over the ensuing weeks.

Since we're also focused on political battles, the US Presidential Campaign is continuing.   Our team has been assessing the aftermath of the latest GOP debate and it appears that the front runners (Dr. Carson and Mr. Trump) continue to be on track.    There Media though is "hot and heavy" investigating inconsistencies and updates on all campaigns as all the campaigns are on the daily "Virtual Stump" to tout their achievement.      One interesting election coming up is going to be Louisiana whereby it will be interesting if a Democrat in fact can replace Bobby Jindal who has touted his own achievement in the face of the unpopularity he has faced.     Here is a sampling of the "mainstream media" assessments for reference:

1) Time Magazine
Why the Republican Debate Didn't End the Party's Crisis
Tuesday night’s presidential debate failed to produce a clear winner, suggesting the road to a GOP nominee is going to be a wild and unpredictable one

2) Red State

Cruz, Rubio, and Fox Business For the Win
Fox Business gave the debate all the other networks should have given, including the first Fox News debate. It was not flashy. But it was substantive. It was not just that the candidates had more time or that there were less candidates. The moderators did a good job of drawing out policy differences without intentionally setting up fights. They just happened naturally.

Bill Shine, Roger Ailes, and Fox should be really, really proud of Fox Business.

Cruz really won tonight. He had just a stellar performance. Every word was memorable. Every line was precisely delivered. His defense of his tax plan was solid. His use of Rubio supported sugar subsidies as a way to both defend Rubio on defense spending while throwing Rubio under the bus was first class debate strategy.

3) Washington Post

— More than the previous three debates, last night’s showdown in the Badger State highlighted the very real rifts that exist within the Republican coalition, from foreign policy to fiscal policy. “There were no clear winners, at least not so much as in the earlier debates, in part because there were strong moments for many of the candidates, as one after another grabbed for the spotlight,” the Post’s chief correspondent, Dan Balz, files from Milwaukee. “It’s not likely that what happened will dramatically change the current shape of the race. But in highlighting the deeper differences in the party [especially on immigration], the evening’s discussions provided a helpful roadmap to the issues that will help determine the eventual nominee.” and this on Veterans Day Eve:

The fourth GOP debate is more about the party’s path than personal attacks
The event spotlighted differences over immigration, fighting the Islamic State and other intractable issues.
By Philip Rucker and Ed O'Keefe  •  Read more »

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