All Around The Horn

Inkwell Institute

East African Desk

When I mention the Horn of Africa I get some unusual looks….most Americans only know of the region from a movie night when they watched “Black Hawk Down”………It refers to the countries of Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia and the area around the mouth of the Red Sea…..Americans sent a bunch of troops into Somalia to try and head off the rise in militancy…….it was a disaster and we pack up and headed for home…only after many Americans had lost their lives…..

Recently the Somalia militants have attacked the presidential palace and a mini battle took place……..

Militants have stormed the presidential palace in Mogadishu, though the BBC reports that Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is not there today. A police official said the attack started when a car bomb exploded outside the presidential complex. Gunmen then entered the palace, their entry apparently made easier because many members of the military police were traveling with Mohamud. A firefight is still ongoing. The Islamic extremist group al-Shabab, which lost control of the Somalian capital in 2011, has vowed to step up attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

They were beaten off……since the military is a weak entity and the militants seem to always have the upper hand…..who could have put together a successful operation to thwart the militants attack?

U.S. military advisors have secretly operated in Somalia since around 2007 and Washington plans to deepen its security assistance to help the country fend off threats by Islamist militant group al Shabaab, U.S. officials said.

The comments are the first detailed public acknowledgement of a U.S. military presence in Somalia dating back since the U.S. administration of George W. Bush and add to other signs of a deepening U.S. commitment to Somalia’s government, which the Obama administration recognized last year.

The deployments, consisting of up to 120 troops on the ground, go beyond the Pentagon’s January announcement that it had sent a handful of advisors in October. That was seen at the time as the first assignment of U.S. troops to Somalia since 1993 when two U.S. helicopters were shot down and 18 American troops killed in the “Black Hawk Down” disaster.

Now I ask again…..who do you think would have the expertise to successfully thwart a militant operation?

The Two-State Solution Is Dead by Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett — Antiwar.com

Since 1967 the Us has been searching for a way to have peace in the Middle East….we have tried to make both sides of the argument happy……and because of that we have failed miserably….

The most popular solution is the two state one……we have been trying to push that since the beginning….but is it a doable solution?

 

The Two-State Solution Is Dead by Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett — Antiwar.com.

Iraq: It Will Come Out In The Wash

Inkwell Institute

Middle East Desk

Yes, Iraq is a bloody mess!  And as usual there is a wealth of people that have opinions on how to handle the situation…..people like the two media whores of Perry and Paul……the real problem is that neither have any idea of what it is like other than what they are told or read and as typical of those type of people they are like that puppy chasing a ball whenever it is tossed regardless of what it is doing at the time.  NO ONE should give either of these two any acknowledgement of authority on the subject.

When one studies international relations that deals with conflict management or conflict resolution……it deals mostly with situations that devolve into a shooting war and when it does in ,most cases it is too late for management and then the next step is to try and resolve the issue and that is going to take time and cost many lives in the process.

While watching the Middle East and the turmoil get deeper and deeper….I thought of the Reformation (yes, I look for a historical perspective in my writings on the Middle East)…….back in the 16th century many religious types started questioning the Papacy and the Church….this lead to Martin Luther and his famous list tacked to the door of a church….then others followed…Calvin, the Puritans, Henry VIII, the Huguenots to mention a few and these schisms lead to violence……Charles persecution of the Puritans, the 30 years War, all of which were sectarian violence…Christian against Christian….silly right?

Now fast forward to present day………sounds a lot like the Reformation when people fought over religion…in Iraq it is basically Sunni versus Shi’a…….not much different from Protestant versus Catholic of the 16th century……

My point is that maybe the Western world should step back and allow the Iraqis sort this out for themselves.  If the US gets involved it will be seen as us taking sides in a religious war and that cannot work well for us.

Iraq needs to work this out between the different factions…….that is the only way there will ever be stability in the country….without it then a dictator will return…..and we can start this play all over again.

Then there is ISIS or ISIL or IS which ever you prefer…….they are acting like they are together and capable of ruling the region….that is delusional…..why?  The Sunni tribes.  We needed them for the “surge’ to succeed and ISIS will need them for their “caliphate” to succeed.  Unfortunately the Sunni tribes will never allow ISIS to be the law of the land……True that the Iraqi government is in shambles and at best a joke……

America needs to keep our noses out of this situation……our intervention will help NO one but those corporate interests that are scalping the Iraqi economy……I mean think about it….have you heard of any plans to bomb Switzerland?  They are neutral, in case the geography eludes you.

Yep, we are probably looking at the division of Iraq into 3 separate states…..you know kinda like what Joe Biden suggested back in 2008 and was laughed at and call naive……Iraq needs to handle their own problems and not go screaming for help every time they are challenged from within…….this is a religious dispute and it should be handled by the players not the watchers……..it will come out in the wash and not a single additional American life has to be sacrificed.

But here is a prevailing opinion that Iraq should be allowed to break up……..and for good reason……Prof. JK Choksy…..Iraq is really three separate geographical regions, now contested by Kurds and Arabs ethnically, Arabic and Kurdish speakers linguistically, and Sunni and Shiite Muslims religiously. Ethnically Iraqis are approximately 75 percent Arabs, 20 percent Kurds, and 5 percent Turkmen and Assyrians. Religiously they are 65 percent Shiite Muslims, 30 percent Sunni Muslims, and 5 percent Christians and Mandeans. Monarchs and dictators held the tripartite configuration together for nine decades as modern Iraq. Without their iron fists enforcing coexistence, bloody fault lines are sundering the artificial nation back into its customary divisions.

Iraq’s current national boundaries arose from British action through a League of Nations mandate in 1920. It was also the British who, influenced by notions that Shiites were fanatical and uncultured, vested authority in the new nation’s Sunni minority. The colonial masters bequeathed rule to the Hashemite prince Faisal of Mecca and Istanbul, who had previously ruled for less than five months in Syria before being forced out by the French. Several attempted and one successful coups d’état, followed by another British occupation, quickly demonstrated how unstable Iraq really was.

History should have warned of the horrors to come when colonials are allowed to make the borders….for they set up the region for turmoil….it took almost 100 years but ….”you asked for it..you got it”.

Personally, No matter which decision the US makes…….and BTW, everyone needs to stop accusing the prez of inaction and for good reason…….the Middle East will change.

As the US debates its future in Iraq, all eyes are on President Obama—but where we should be looking is Capitol Hill. Yes, congressional leaders recently said Obama needed no new authorization for further military action in Iraq. “But they’re wrong,” writes Rachel Maddow in the Washington Post. The Founding Fathers gave “the responsibility for war and peace to the clamorous Congress.” The War Powers Act puts power in Obama’s hands for 60 days; after that, it’s up to lawmakers to decide whether to authorize additional troops.

The Constitution puts Congress in charge “so that decisions about war and peace would be made not on one person’s say-so but only after vigorous national debate,” and we need that debate on Iraq. There is a precedent here: A year and a half after the US departure from Vietnam, North Vietnam planned a new offensive, and President Ford sought $700 million “to stabilize the military situation.” Lawmakers’ views on the matter were clear: “Congress knew that it was in its power to say no, and it said no. There would be no second coming of America’s war in Vietnam.” Click for Maddow’s full piece.

Now what about ISIS……..eventually the Sunni tribes will take on ISIS and destroy it.  At present they are using the militants as a hammer against Maliki…..once they exact their revenge on Maliki for treating the Sunnis like crap….they will turn on ISIS and set them on the lamb.

One final question….how many Americans are we willing to throw at a problem that we CANNOT fix?

Battle Of The NeoCon Stars……..

We once had the Battle of the Network Stars and now we have the Battle of the Neo Cons…….and the later is the most humorous of the two……we have Rand Paul, Rick Perry and the most delusional of the neo cons, Dick Cheney all attacking each other over something that none of them understands beyond…they are right and everyone else is wrong…..a great foreign policy, right?

Iraq is a pile of manure and everyone has a plan for dealing with the situation…..let’s start with the Liar in Chief, Dick Cheney……most semi-intelligent people now realize that Rumsfeld, Bush, Rice and Cheney lied their fool heads off just so we could go to war with Iraq and even though there is few that believe anything this toad has to say he is still allowed to be some sort of expert interviewed by the MSM………….and his talking points are all the same…..

Invading Iraq was prudent.

George W. Bush waged the war successfully.

Barack Obama is responsible for the chaos in Iraq today.

America needs to wage war in at least three countries and spend more on the military.

Either he is the most delusional person I have ever covered or is an arrogant prick that is NEVER wrong……..my money is on the later.

Now we look at the duel being waged between Gov. Perry and Sen. Paul on foreign policy…….

We’ve got a few years yet before 2016, but two potential GOP candidates are already taking shots at each other in dueling foreign policy pieces. Texas Gov. Rick Perry got the party started with a Washington Post op-ed, in which he attacked Sen. Rand Paul for being “curiously blind” to the national security threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Paul, Perry argues in the piece, advocates doing “next to nothing” to confront the situation, whereas Perry would prefer to take action. That action, he writes, could include “intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance sharing” as well as airstrikes.

Paul took to Politico to offer a batch of what Slate calls “snappy insults” in return. If Paul is “blind” on ISIS, then Perry’s “new glasses haven’t altered his perception of the world, or allowed him to see it any more clearly,” Paul writes. He accuses Perry of getting his views so wrong that “I wonder if he’s even really read any of my policy papers.” The truth, he notes, is that the US is already involved in or considering the strategies Perry supports, and Paul has laid out a number of proposals himself. “If the governor continues to insist that these proposals mean I’m somehow ‘ignoring ISIS,’ I’ll make it my personal policy to ignore Rick Perry’s opinions.” Click for Perry’s piece, or for Paul’s piece.

The MSM sez that these two are practicing their foreign policy muscle ahead of the 2016 election…..to that I scoff!  neither of these men show me that they have any grip on the concept of international relations……it sounds like they are regurgitating talking points from the RNC.

Sorry, but unless you have a complete grasp on what the term “international relations” actually means then maybe they should shut the Hell up and go back to Obamacare lies……

Resolving Conflicts in Artificial States | Ivan Eland

Most of the world’s hot spot are what are called “artificial states….meaning they were created willy nilly without much regard to culture or ethnicity…….borders drawn on geopolitical reasons only……

With Iraq and Syria and now back to Ukraine….the question has been asked….how can we resolve these problems without violence?

Personally, I do not think it can be solved without violence…..this is an excellent piece on just such worries……an interesting read…try it…you’ll like it.

 

Resolving Conflicts in Artificial States | Ivan Eland.

Ukraine: “A Nasty Surprise”

Since my stay in the Army and having to participate in a war I have been fascinated with what causes war…..the conditions, the actions and the words…….so after Vietnam I returned to university and studied international relations…….now I read a lot and am always looking for a situation that could deteriorate into an armed conflict…..or a full scale war……..

Syria is smoldering…..Iraq is a flame and Gaza is waiting the next BIG attack……..and all the while the Ukraine/Russia confrontation is continuing….few are noticing because the media has them jerking off about some poor kids that need help……

The Ukraine thingy has been back and forth…in word and in actions….it seems that Ukraine has gotten the upper hand on the separatist….for now……and of course all the false bravado is just mind numbing but I read a piece that made me feel uncomfortable for the future of that conflict……

Having taken Slovyansk earlier this week, Ukrainian officials are increasingly bellicose about their ongoing civil war, demand unconditional, unilateral disarmament by the rebels before any future discussions.

“There will be no more unilateral ceasefires” by Ukrainian troops, announced Defense Minister Valeriy Heletey, while other officials promised a “nasty surprise” for any of the eastern rebels that continue to resist their takeover.

Since the takeover of Slovyansk, most of the rebels in Donetsk Oblast have moved into the city of Donetsk itself, and have been barricading themselves in pending a Ukrainian military invasion.

Defending the city is likely to be difficult, as the Ukrainian military is increasingly using not only airstrikes, but armored vehicles in its offensives. Donetsk and Luhansk remain the two major strongholds of the ethnic Russian rebels, who seek increased autonomy.

 

A nasty surprise?  That sounds like a threat to me…..but what type of threat and what would the “nasty surprise” consist of…..is it just chest thumping or could it be more to it than bravado?

Please tell what you think this could mean…….

Red Sun Rising? (Again)

I know my interests are usually in the Middle East……but I monitor all international situations and post on issues that I see could be a major incident in the making………and I found a good one that leaves many questions unanswered…….

I have out of school for too many years but I do not know how much of WW2 they actually teach these days…..before the start of WW2 Japan was moving militarily into China mainly for the natural resources that the island nation did not have…then once they had built up their stocks they expanded into more of China, then into SE Asia and the Dutch East Indies….their empire expanded and it became a major military power during WW2.

Then the US nuked them into submission and we took over the island…..we gave them a constitution and we limited their military….kinda like like the allies did to Germany at the end of WW1….but now there seems to be an attitude that Japan has had enough Western interference…….in a piece written by Jason Ditz……….

Reflecting the long-time ambition of the Abe Government, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe has announced a “reinterpretation” that effectively spells the end to nearly 70 years of constitutional ban on overseas warfare.

Abe has been outspoken in his desire to turn the Japanese Self-Defense Forces into a proper military, and has cited the “threat” of China in his new policy, while arguing the military buildup would mean the nation is paradoxically “less likely” to go to war.

Yet it seems centered on sending Japanese troops into overseas operations coordinated with the US and other allies, and to more aggressively join “peacekeeping” operations under the UN.

From the start of the Meiji Restoration, Japan’s military buildups have com primarily at the behest of overseas allies hoping to using them as a proxy. The nation fought only a brief war with China over Japan prior to the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, and in fairly short order Japan was fighting British rival Russia in a major war. By World War 1, Japan was sieging German possessions in China at Britain’s behest, before graduating to an aggressive military empire in the wake of that war.

After the massive destruction of World War 2 left much of Japan in ruins, the US sought to prevent them from rebuilding their military. The pacifist constitution served Japan quite well, as not only has the nation not gotten sucked into a single war since, but became a global economic powerhouse with the savings from ending their runaway military spending.

Though the US was the one that pushed the clause on Japan, for years the US has been fighting to get Japan to ditch the concept, and join as a “full partner” in America’s overseas adventures.

While in part this would return Japan to the status of military proxy for a larger power, as it was during the Anglo-Japanese era, America’s status as a massive exporter of military equipment is likely also part of the equation, as President Obama’s determination to increase exports abroad has had US diplomats urging re-militarization the world over.

Is Japan planning to do what Germany did in the 1930’s……..rearm and looking for a fight?

Might be a good idea to keep an eye on Japan….there is more going on there than meets the eye of the media……..

First Gulf War in 1991 was America’s opening Iraq mistake | WashingtonExaminer.com

The situation began in 1990 and has spiraled out of control ever since…….this press is an opinion from a conserv source….never thought I would see this in print…..read and understand……..

 

First Gulf War in 1991 was America’s opening Iraq mistake | WashingtonExaminer.com.

The First Iraq War Was Also Sold to the Public Based on a Pack of Lies | Common Dreams

I see that the news media has moved on from Iraq now they will fixate on the kids and immigration.  Sadly the world does now work that way…..Iraq will become a major sticking point for US foreign policy…….ignore at your peril…….

Today I am trying to help my readers know what is happening in Iraq….nothing that is happening is by happenstance……

I will be pressing articles on what has lead up to this moment in history….

 

The First Iraq War Was Also Sold to the Public Based on a Pack of Lies | Common Dreams.

The Western-Imposed Partition of the Middle East Is Dead | Common Dreams

I apologize f or today I will be pressing  several articles bout the history and the causes of the situation in Iraq…..I regret that I have no original insights for today….I am deep in research and need  a day to compile so of the info I have gleamed…..please read and i do hope that it extends your knowledge of the situation…….

Today I will give my readers a little history lesson…..there is a gap in Americans knowledge of what is happening and has happened in the Middle East….if you want to understand what is going on in Iraq then a refresher course would be advised……..

I know….what a bummer having to learn something this early in the week…….try it you may like it.

Present day Middle East is an arbitrarily drawn borders by Anglo at the end of WW1……the Allies cut up the old Ottoman Empire……only concerns were colonization and economic….there was NO consideration of old animosities or loyalties…..Because of this randomness the Middle East is dying as we know it today……..

I wrote about this situation earlier….in case my reader would like to check out what I wrote……..http://lobotero.com/2014/04/14/are-we-still-paying-for-sykes-picot/

Now others are seeing what I saw……..

 

The Western-Imposed Partition of the Middle East Is Dead | Common Dreams.