Yemen: Battleground

This is my 8000th post……I really need to get a life beyond the keyboard….LOL

My regular readers understand that I watch the Middle East religiously looking for problems that could blow up into a major problem….especially for the US foreign policy…….this weekend while you were grilling or shopping of just plain goofing of a situation is rising with the conflict now going on in Yemen…….

We have been told by the media that there is an Arab coalition that has taken it upon itself to intervene in the civil unrest in Yemen because of the rise of the Shi’a minority, the Houthi, are on the rise and being very successful.  The rest of the governing authorities in the surrounding countries are Sunni and as we have been told that is a mixture of oil and water……

But what is all this hatred and mistrust between the two sects of Islam?

Sunni Muslims regard themselves as the orthodox and traditionalist branch of Islam.

The word Sunni comes from “Ahl al-Sunna”, the people of the tradition. The tradition in this case refers to practices based on precedent or reports of the actions of the Prophet Muhammad and those close to him.

Sunnis venerate all the prophets mentioned in the Koran, but particularly Muhammad as the final prophet. All subsequent Muslim leaders are seen as temporal figures.

In early Islamic history the Shia were a political faction – literally “Shiat Ali” or the party of Ali.

The Shia claimed the right of Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad, and his descendants to lead the Islamic community.

Ali was killed as a result of intrigues, violence and civil wars which marred his caliphate. His sons, Hassan and Hussein, were denied what they thought was their legitimate right of accession to caliphate. Hassan is believed to have been poisoned by Muawiyah, the first caliph (leader of Muslims) of the Umayyad dynasty.

His brother, Hussein, was killed on the battlefield along with members of his family, after being invited by supporters to Kufa (the seat of caliphate of Ali) where they promised to swear allegiance to him.

These events gave rise to the Shia concept of martyrdom and the rituals of grieving.

There is a distinctive messianic element to the faith and Shia have a hierarchy of clerics who practice independent and ongoing interpretation of Islamic texts.

There you have a very basic explanation of the differences in the two sects and both want  and claim leadership of ALL Muslims.  The history is much complicated than this simple explanation…..but it is a basic knowledge of the conflict….

I offer this small example for a good reason……..

Capping off weekend negotiations at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, the Arab League has agreed in principle to create a combined military strike force, which officials saying is aimed squarely at Iran.

The force will be combined from Sunni Arab nations, and the current aim, admittedly preliminary, is for a force of 40,000 troops backed by warplanes to be created within the next four months.

The elephant in the room in all of this is Yemen, as surely the Saudi-led invasion of Yemen would be just the sort of thing this force is designed for, though Saudi officials are still talking up a comparatively quick victory in Yemen, and predicting the war will be over before this force gets off the ground.

Let’s say the Saudis and allies decided to invade Yemen to go after the Houthis…..will Iran, as the major influence of Shi’a, stand by and let an invasion go unanswered?  There is already concern with the influence of Iran is having in Syria and Iraq.

Can this situation be settled peacefully or will the whole of the Middle East become a battleground between two warring sects of the same religion?

This could very well be the opening of Pandora’s Box that we were warned of in Greek mythology.

 

Train The Syrian Rebels……Then What?

All the canker sores in the Congress think that the answer to the problems in Syrian is the training of the rebels so they can effectively take on Assad and his troops…….they have the problem of trying to sort out which group of rebels will be the best and most effective…….(be honest….they have NO idea which ones to train)……but let’s say that they come up with a proper algorithm to pick the most deserving of the rebellious Syrians and we set about train them in the proper use of weapons and military tactics……eventually we turn them lose on the Syrian countryside to do battle with the Assad forces……what is the US position once the training is over and we have a full blown war going on?

I am so glad that you asked that one simple question..,……

During a Senate hearing when asked but the Syrian situation…..Gen. Austin let the truth be known…….

Testifying at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today, Centcom commander Gen. Lloyd Austin warned that while the US had decided to go ahead with creating and training a new rebel force in Syria, they as yet have no plans to actually support those rebels after they’re trained and returned to Syria.

Gen. Austin said it was expected the rebels would need help with logistics, intelligence and air support, but that there was no policy in place to provide any of those things yet.

So basically the US will do what it did in Afghanistan in the 80’s…….we will train you but then you are on your own…….

It is a constant amazement to me the depth of the stupidity of our foreign policy…..I cannot blame it all on Obama…..we have been international morons for decades…..only it has gotten much worse in the last 20 years…….and Americans keep show surprise when our foreign policy blows up in our faces……spend less time on Reality TV and more learning about the world and your surprises will be lessened.

Israel: US Greatest Ally

HA! HA!  If you believe that then I have a bridge I want to sell…..CHEAP!

I hear this rubbish every time I publish something about Israel……it is the trolls in them that cannot let anything derogatory about Israel go…..

The biggest lie is that Israel is a democracy…….an election does not make one a democracy…..then the second biggest lie is that Israel is our best ally……Israel spins a lot of time trying to undermine any policies that the US tries to follow if Israel is not the sole beneficiary…….

Take for instance the latest attempts to find a settlement of the Iranian nuke issue……Israel is taking every chance to undermine these negotiations……..even to the point of spying on the US……..Israel spied on the world powers’ nuclear talks with Iran and was using the obtained information to urge the US lawmakers’ opposition against a nuclear deal with Tehran, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

That is the most recent attempts to undermine which goes as far back as the 1980’s in Lebanon…….now since BiBi has made it clear (as clear as anything in politics can be) that there will be NO 2 state solution…….the Us is thinking about ways to make BiBi pay for his insolence……The Hill offered up some suggestion on how to make Israel pay attention……….

1. Clog the arms pipeline. Even though Congress will appropriate more military aid for Israel in this year’s budget, there is a myriad of ways in which the Defense and State Departments can delay, if not completely suspend, the signing of contracts and the actual delivery of weapons.

2. Report on Israel’s violations of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). Under the AECA, countries receiving U.S. military aid can only use weapons for legitimate self-defense and internal security. Israel killed more than 2,200 Palestinians — the vast majority of whom were civilians — last summer, oftentimes with U.S. weapons such as F-16 fighter jets and Hellfire missiles. The Obama administration should send a report to Congress documenting these human rights abuses and suspend future deliveries of specific weapons systems as outlined in the AECA.

3. Sanction Israel under the “Leahy Law.” Under the Leahy Law, specific units of militaries which commit human rights abuses are ineligible to receive U.S. training and weapons. In addition, individuals who commit human rights abuses are denied U.S. visas. While there is some evidence that high-ranking Israeli military officials have recently been denied U.S. visas, the State Department’s reporting on the implementation of Leahy Law sanctions is opaque. More extensive and public sanctioning of Israel under this law is warranted.

4. Declare Israeli settlements a national emergency. Under the National Emergencies Act, the president has broad and unilateral powers to declare an emergency in response to a foreign policy crisis. By designating Israeli settlements as an emergency, the Obama administration could regulate, or even prohibit, any transaction in foreign exchange that will directly or indirectly contribute to the expansion of Israeli settlements.

5. Shut down “charitable” funding of Israeli settlements. Dozens of organizations currently recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as 501(c)(3) nonprofits funnel tens of millions of dollars to Israeli settlements every year. There is nothing charitable about dispossessing Palestinians from their land. IRS guidelines do not allow for the funding of illegal activities, which Israeli settlements are according to U.S. policy and international law.

I agree with everyone of the proposals.  After more than six years of offering Israel more and more carrots only to be repeatedly snubbed, it is long overdue for the Obama administration to brandish the proverbial stick.

Time for the US to do the right thing…..but I am being naive…..of course we will do NOTHING to punish our greatest ally for it would cost votes and we know that that is more important than justice, right?

The media will do whatever is asked of them to prevent Israel from facing any punishment for their lies and actions……if you think the media is not part of this paradigm then ask any American to tell you something about Palestinians…….their answers will be……..hate Israel….terrorists……and that will be the total extent of their “knowledge”……because that is ALL they get from the media……and no one has asked why do they hate Israel?

Is America Truly Prepared?

Inkwell Institute

It has been awhile since I posted something by the Inkwell Institute……world events have been changing so rapidly that it did not leave enough time for my research and analysis…..hopefully that can change and I can once again go back to finding the problems that we as a country need to be focused on in these days of conflict.

For almost 15 years the US has been engaged in all out war…..we can quibble what to term the actions taken…..but war is war….matters not how we cut it.

After the attacks of 9/11 we have decided that we should meet the ‘enemy’ on their ground not ours…….in essence we will go after them wherever they hide……..after two major wars and countless lesser ones……….the military is being called on to do more and more

ISIS has become a threat and we have jumped on them with both feet while eyeing the problems in Libya and Yemen and the rise of ISIS there.  Then we get word that Boko Haram in Nigeria has allied itself with ISIS and the US feels it must respond……

From the Marine Times…….

Marines could play an important role in containing — if not defeating — Boko Haram, according to a new study published just days after the radical organization announced its allegiance to the Islamic State group.

The study was commissioned by U.S. Naval Forces Africa, and was conducted by the CNA Corporation. It proposes ways to defeat Boko Haram within the confines of what its authors describe as a complicated relationship between Washington and Nigeria.

The strategy proposed by CNA to combat the group includes the short-term goal of working with Nigeria’s neighbors to contain Boko Haram, all the while advocating for a “whole of governance” or counter insurgency approach to eventually dismantle it.

Yet another country for US troops to operate within…..there is Somalia, Ukraine, most of Eastern Europe and now ass deep in Nigeria….US forces are being spread a bit then for an all volunteer force.

What shall we term this expansion of military force?  National security?  American exceptionalism?  Hubris?  Surely there is a term that describes this intrusion into other countries matters.

How long can we be expected to keep this push up?

Now ask yourself……who does this intrusion actually benefit?

Is it the American homeland?  Or is it possibly the special interests within the Pentagon and White House?

If this exercise continues, and I believe it will, how long before the all volunteer military starts losing more people than it can recruit?  The more conflicts we are involved in the more demand on troops to carry out the policies.  When that occurs how long will it be before the propaganda machine (read media)  starts making the positive case for a re-reinstatement of the draft?

You think it is a silly idea?  Keep in mind that we now have combat ready troops in every continent of the globe…..if there were the 1950’s the world would see this as a form of imperialism in a bid to control the world……so what changed that makes all this acceptable?

The American people are asleep and shall awaken only when something monumental occurs………like a return of the DRAFT!

Yemen: Where Will It End?

Yemen has been a bloody mess for decades…….and now that the Saudis have decided to intervene it will become even more bloody…….the reports are that the airstrikes are not the only action in the plan….the Saudis claim to have 150,000 troops massed on the border with Yemen awaiting orders…….

All this seems like a neighborhood conflict…..some want to define it as a sectarian rift between the Sunni and the Shi’a…….what are the chances that this could go beyond just a religious slap fight?

Egypt seems to be siding with the Saudis in this action……..

Saudi and Egyptian warships deployed Friday to the Bab al-Mandab strait off Yemen to secure the strategic sea passage, Egyptian military officials said, as a Saudi-led coalition widened its strikes on the second day of an air campaign against Shiite rebels and their allies, aiming to pave the way for possible ground operations.

A top priority after the air campaign has weakened the rebels is for coalition troops -likely Egyptians – to move into the southern port city of Aden, a main stronghold of supporters of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who was forced to leave the country as the rebels and their allies moved on the city, Yemeni and Egyptian military officials said. Hadi arrived in Egypt Friday, where Arab leaders will be meeting to discuss the crisis.

Could this expand beyond the few players we have today?

Pakistan is considering a request from Saudi Arabia for troops to send to Yemen, the foreign office said on Thursday.

“We have been contacted by Saudi Arabia,” said spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam in response to a question about whether Pakistan would send troops. “The matter is being examined.”

Pandora’s Box is opening slowly but continuously……….

Jordanian air force fighter jets are participating in the Saudi- led operation with its Arab allies against Houthi fighters in Yemen, a Jordanian official source said on Thursday.

“This is in line with supporting legitimacy in Yemen and its security and stability … Yemen and the Gulf’s security is a high strategic interest (for Jordan),” an official Jordanian source told Reuters.

A joint statement by the five Gulf Arab countries said Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar had decided to act to protect Yemen against what they called aggression by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia.

All this sounds a bit ominous don’t you think?  But what about the old US of A?

The White House has confirmed today that they are in contact with the Saudi Arabian government, and coordinating with them on the ongoing attack and pending invasion of Yemen.

The scope of US involvement in the war is still being fleshed out, but for now, President Obama has authorized the Pentagon to provide “logistical and intelligence support” to the Saudis, according to National Security Council officials.

This situation does not look as if it will end in a good way…….the one point that few are focusing on……Iran.  How will they react to the attacks on fellow Shi’as?

THE US will most likely lose in this conflict…..in some way we will be held accountable.

 

The 47 Republican Samurai – FPIF

Has anyone heard the story of the 47 Ronin?  It is a Japanese legend of dedication, loyalty and revenge……47 samurai lost their lord in a palace coup and they decided that they could not let this affront go…..they waited and then attacked the opposition lords castle and exacted revenge by cutting off his head……they then turned themselves in and faced their punishment……

The story made me think of another 47 people that are motivated by revenge……US Senate……

 

The 47 Republican Samurai – FPIF.

ISIS Coalition SITREP #80

I do this so my readers do not have to……..if there is something they need to know…..they will.

Good day……the events in the Middle East especially in Iraq are slowing down…..airstrikes continue but the assault on Tikrit has slowed due to heavy resistance…….

Item 1–ISIS is making in-roads around the world……..

Top US officials are expressing concerns that ISIS is putting efforts in to organizing its Libyan allies, and are making serious inroads in the nation.

an Islamist faction in Derna pledged loyalty to ISIS, and began calling itself ISIS, which allowed it to attract a large number of new recruits, and expand into several other cities.

The extent of the relationship between ISIS and its affiliate has been a matter of a lot of speculation, but US officials say several ISIS leaders are known to have traveled to Libya to advise this affiliate and help them organize.

My worry is that it may not be as substantial as reported….it could be just another ttempt to use force…….

Item 2–Yemen is becoming yet another hot bed for ISIS expansion……..

In Yemen there is little history of sectarian strife. The two main sects, Shia Zaidi and Sunni Shafi, have traditionally been seen as moderate with minimal differences.

But this changed when the Houthis, followers of an obscure Shia tradition who are accused of serving Iranian interests in Yemen, stormed the capital, Sana’a, in September, forcing President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee to the southern port city of Aden.

Their advance had a galvanising effect in the country’s Sunni-dominated south, where al-Qaida is particularly strong and the jihadis of Islamic State are just starting to secure a toehold.

Another suspect report……not saying it is not so just that it may not be of less importance than the reports…..

Item 3–The battle for Tikrit while aimed at the forces of ISIS have brought about even more sectarian problems……..

Reuters) – Two Iraqi local officials and a police officer accused Shi’ite paramilitary forces on Saturday of burning and looting homes in the town of al-Dour after capturing the area during a military campaign to oust Islamic State fighters.

A spokesman for the armed faction, Kataib Hezbollah, denied the allegations, while a security commander in the area also said there had been no incident in al-Dour.

The Shi’ite paramilitary forces have been hailed as heroes by fellow Shi’ites, but accused by the Sunni minority of punishing Sunnis with extrajudicial killings and by driving ordinary people from their homes for failing to resist Islamic State.

Item 4–ISIS is getting a foothold in Libya……It is working hard on the Arabian Peninsula…..and then there is the team up with Nigeria’s Boko Haram….it is growing daily and the strategy is not changing …….this is not the way to end tyranny.

Item 5–US airstrikes have joined in with the battle for Tikrit….the problem is that the Iraqis have slowed their advance…….

the Pentagon was originally on the outside looking in at the Iraqi attempted to retake the city of Tikrit from ISIS, Iraq having been told they could use US or Iranian forces and chose Iranian help, now it seems they will have both.

Pentagon officials are insisting the airstrikes are not going to be tacitly supporting the Shi’ite militias or Iranian forces involved in the offensive, even though they obviously are because they’re on the same side of the same battle, suggesting the US still isn’t coming to grips with being in a war with Iran as an ally.

Item 6–The Shi’a militias are re-thinking their involvement in the battle for Tikrit….

A fourth militia said they will remain involved in the offensive, but also threatened to attack members of the US-led coalition while fighting ISIS, suggesting they might begin using anti-aircraft weaponry against the US warplanes.

Some of the militias are complaining that they had the battle for Tikrit almost won on their own, and that the US is just coming in at the last minute to try to hog all the glory.

The end of another week…..and as usual NOTHING is clear and on schedule……this is gonna be a long war…..

Thanx for your time and attention…….

Turn The Page!