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   Charles Krauthammer’s Oct. 23, 2015 column¹ is responsible for this diversion.

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   In it he referred to

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“[Russia is] consolidating a rump state…

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“Shoring up a rump Alawite² state secures Russia’s naval and air bases in the eastern Mediterranean.”

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For more on the second definition of “rump” use the DOOR.

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   [MORE]

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   This use caught be by surprise. First, however a brief word about he political context. Russia is helping Bashar al-Assad (dictator of Syria) in the small part of Syria still under his control to fight U. S.-supported rebels who are fighting ISIS. Got it? Few do from Prsesident Obama–with his mind on other things–on down. Now Assad is beholden to Putin, and so on…

   Now here’s definition 2 of rump–a definition that’s new to me.

   rump [n.] (2) – a small or unimportant something originally larger. [example from Oxford Online Dictionary: “Once the profitable enterprises have been sold  the unprofitable rump will be left.”]

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   One thing to note: “Rump” is a noun here. Krauthammer uses, or adapts, it as an adjective. I’ve seen no other use of it that way. But it surely fits what he wants to say. And, somehow, it seems especially appropriate for the head of what’s left of Syria.

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   ¹ Charles Krauthammer is a columnist who writes for The Washington Post and is a commentator for Fox News.

   ² About 12% (until recently and I doubt if anyone know the true figure now) of Syria’s population are members of the Shia-Islamic sect that exists several middle-eastern countries, but especially long the Mediterrean coast of Syria.