Professor’s Class #2–King-Crane

After taking roll yesterday I discovered that 2 must have cut and run…..class now down to 12.

I touched on Sykes-Picot….handed out a map of what was done…..and discussed the agreement….I told them that the agreement stabbed the Arabs in the back after they had been promised the Middle East…..the students asked questions most of which we the standard for people that do not understand the situation…like was it all about the oil?  After a short pause I went straight to the American foreign policy event of this era….King-Crane Commission….

I began by asking the class if they had read the hand out I had given them…..source below…..

Source: The Middle East That Might Have Been – The Atlantic

We discussed what the King-Crane hoped to accomplish……basically….

The King–Crane Commission, officially called the 1919 Inter-Allied Commission on Mandates in Turkey, was an official investigation by the United States government concerning the disposition of non-Turkish areas within the former Ottoman Empire.   It was conducted to inform American policy about the region’s people and their desired future in regard to the previously decided partitioning of the Ottoman Empire and the League of Nations Mandate System. The Commission visited areas of Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, and Anatolia, surveyed local public opinion, and assessed its view on the best course of action for the region. The Commission was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson and comprised Henry Churchill King and Charles R. Crane. It began work in June 1919 and produced its report on 28 August 1919, though the report was not published until 1922.

The Commission’s work was undercut from the beginning by continuing and competing colonialist designs on the part of the United Kingdom and France, as indicated by their previous secret deals, their lack of a similar belief in public opinion as well as the commission’s late start, and encountered delays; the 1919 Paris Peace Conference had largely concluded the area’s future by the time the report was finished.

The King-Crane commission was “the first-ever survey of Arab public opinion” and the fact its results went largely unheeded……this from another hand out I had passed to the students…..

Source: Learn and talk about King–Crane Commission, 1919 in Mandatory Syria, 1919 in international relations, 1919 in the United States, Aftermath of World War I in Turkey

I was happily surprised at the interest the students showed for this subject….

My time ended too quickly and told the class that we would finish up the King-Crane section and talk about the Balfour Declaration on Friday…..

Here I gave them a short time to discuss current events if they so desire…..and I told them that it would not be on the test Monday…..all went well and the students seemed to be fired up over the ISIS thingy but that was expected…….I also told my students that if they would like to do some independent study on this region to let me know and I would give them a list of sources that will help them in their research……

Class dismissed

Keystone: Resurrecting The Dead

For a couple of years there was an amazing debate about the Keystone XL pipeline….you know the one… would carry Canadian oil from Northern Canada through the US to Houston for import to China and other points of call…

Toward the end of last year Obama put the screws to the Keystone project……

Just ahead of the president’s big speech on climate change, the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein breaks the news that President Obama will ask Secretary of State John Kerry to reject the Keystone XL pipeline if State finds the pipeline increases carbon emissions. It’s huge news that took environmentalists completely by surprise. They didn’t expect the president to address Keystone in his speech — he’s avoided discussing the pipeline at all since issuing an executive order to have State study the environmental impact some time ago.


With the announcement the peasants (environmentalists) danced…..a victory…..finally a victory!  Got another think coming…….

Now this brings me to NAFTA (North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement…..that worthless piece of crap that Clinton signed into law that has made so much inequality possible….. just what does this have to do with the Keystone?  You might query…….

News breaking today that Canada will take the US to court using NAFTA to re-start the project……

TransCanada could file a complaint against the U.S. if the Obama administration rejects its Keystone XL pipeline, thanks to a North American Free Trade Agreement provision that allows foreign firms to challenge the U.S. on decisions that threaten investments, President and CEO Russ Girling said. Observers say the company can make a strong argument against the U.S. under the international law. However, Shawn Howard, team lead for issues management and media relations at TransCanada, said the company is focusing its efforts on getting approval for the project instead of pursuing such a move.

If the court decides in Canada’s favor you may all thank Bill Clinton for giving them the ammunition to help destroy the environment of the US if there is a disaster……but they will not ….in the end it will be Obama’s fault….just like everything else happening in the country today…..

I thought that any celebrations was a bit premature…..and apparently I was right…..

2016: When Is Enough Enough?

Now that this is an official election year I will try to post at least one post a day on the progress of the election and its players……

It is the election year and I suspected that other candidates would appear from the woodwork…..we have a football team on the GOP side and battling progressives (although only one is a progressive the other is just Repub left) on the Dem side of the coin….but who else could be waiting to join the fanfare?

That one is easy….a Libertarian……yet another pretender to the throne……

In a move Gawker says will “[render] Rand Paul even more irrelevant,” former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson announced Wednesday he’s running for president. “I want to take this opportunity to announce my candidacy for president; I am hoping to get the Libertarian nomination,” Johnson told Fox Business Network’s Neil Cavuto, followed shortly afterward by a tweet that said, “Game on! America deserves another choice in #2016presidentialelections.” notes Johnson resigned his position earlier this week as head of Cannabis Sativa, which promotes legal cannabis products. He told Cavuto the biggest issue facing the US is “the $20 trillion debt we will have when Obama leaves office” and notes government today is “unwieldy” and “out of control.” “Hillary is a known quantity who’s not going to win all of those voters,” he tells the Washington Post. “And if Trump’s the Republican nominee … a large number of people will want an alternative.”

Johnson’s announcement, while a bit of a surprise this late in the game, isn’t a total shocker: Politico notes that in October he penned a blog post titled “Why I would run for President,” in which he took on both parties and ripped on Paul, noting, “in [Paul’s] quest to have one foot in the libertarian camp and the other in the establishment Republican museum, he has emerged with a vague mix of positions that is clearly not compelling.” “There is a price to be paid for selling out—and he is paying it,” Johnson added. The self-made millionaire also ran for the nation’s top spot in 2012, claiming about 1% of the total electorate, per Politico. “[My candidacy] was kind of a commitment from the last go-round that I made to a lot of people,” he tells the Post. “I’ll be the first one to say that I don’t think I did very well at all! But everyone else has said … that it was a very successful, very significant campaign for the party.”

To be fair…I want to let my readers know of all the “major” players in the 2016 election…..there is always an alternative to the 2 parties….all you have to do is look for them…..

Middle East: Ducks Line Up

The whole thing with the Saudis and their propensity to cut people’s heads off has started a whole series of events that could end badly for anyone not playing their game……the Middle East is lining up with an “Us” team and a “them” team….

On the “Them” side is Iran, Lebanon, Syria with Russia hiding in the shadows……

The “Us” team is expanding……..

Kuwait announced on Tuesday it has recalled its ambassador to Iran over attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions, making it the latest Arab ally of Saudi Arabia to line up behind the kingdom amid rising regional tensions following its execution of a leading Shiite cleric and opposition figure. Sudan and the tiny island kingdom of Bahrain said Monday they would sever ties with Iran, as Saudi Arabia did late Sunday. The United Arab Emirates announced it would downgrade ties to Tehran to the level of the charge d’affaires, while other nations issued statements criticizing Iran.

And it is growing…….

Qatar has become the latest country to back Saudi Arabia in its dispute with Iran, recalling its ambassador to Tehran on Wednesday in response to the attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions last weekend.

Jordan, Djibouti, and Turkey also expressed pro-Saudi positions on Wednesday after the embassy attacks in Iran that followed the execution of a renowned Shia leader in Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia.

The “Us” team consist of Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, Jordan, Djibouti and Turkey with the USA hiding in the shadows…….Iraq seems to be waiting after all they have enough problems without compounding their troubles (but they will weigh in eventually)…..

Take a gander at the map…..the lines are being drawn….whatever that may mean…..

While I was writing this post some disturbing news came out that could further complicate a complicated situation…

More Saudi-Iran trouble Thursday morning: Tehran accused the Saudi-led coalition battling Shiite rebels in Yemen of bombing its embassy there in an overnight airstrike. However, an AP reporter who reached the site just after the announcement by Iran’s state-run news agency said the embassy was still standing without any visible damage. No explanation yet for the discrepancy, but the accusation comes amid a dangerous rise in tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia in recent days following the kingdom’s execution of a Shiite cleric and attacks on Saudi diplomatic posts in Iran. Analysts had feared the dispute could boil over into the proxy wars between the two Mideast rivals in Yemen and in Syria.

Sanaa is held by Shiite rebels known as Houthis, who are targeted by an ongoing Saudi-led military campaign on behalf of Yemen’s internationally recognized government. Iran has offered support to the Houthis but denies actively supporting their war effort. Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran on Sunday after crowds of protesters attacked two of its diplomatic posts in Iran, which followed Saudi Arabia executing opposition Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr over the weekend. Meanwhile, Iran on Thursday banned the import of goods from Saudi Arabia over the tensions, according to a report by Iranian state television.

Like I said…..complicated!

incoherencing a moment …

Once again my friend has written a thought provoking post……she continues to write the most heart felt posts….learn what others are thinking and feeling….you will see that they are more like you than you think…..chuq


I tend to suppress my urge to write often. Sometimes it’s like binging. But inside this specific situation I think it is a must. I have been busy writing mostly in Arabic, because the topic I am addressing are strictly palestinian Arab related, where I find the need to talk in the mindset of the street within the topics that are stirring the Palestinian emotions. Issues that are not necessarily related to the Israeli military occupation even though all what is happening is the result of two things that cannot be excluded form one another: the Israel oppression and the corrupt Palestinian authority.

The Palestinians are finding themselves squeezed into this state of serious loss and despair. Young people are going out for free voluntarily deaths, and others are going to the dungeons of fanatic extremism within the growth of Da’esh that is definitely being fostered as a result. And…

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The Permanent War State

Sadly it appears as if we will be in a permanent state of war for a generation maybe more….having a life’s experience with the obscenity we lovingly call war I can tell you, my reader, that I fear for the future….if a constant state of war is what we have to look forward to in the future then……all is lost.

Okay before I get some mental midget trying to lecture me on national security I will save you the effort….I never said that I was completely against war or national defense….only that I have seen what it does to the human psyche and the body…..none of that is romantic or adventurous……

Since 9/11 the US has been on a war footing…..a condition that will last a lifetime or longer……

Yes, there are times when a nation must resort to the obscenities of armed conflict……but to do so in the name of profit is simply put….pathetic……

Money is raining down on the US military complex in the $1.15 trillion spending bill that was unveiled on Wednesday by various leaders of Congress. Of that portion, a good $572.7 billion is set aside for Pentagon expenditure. (These figures tend to be deceptive in themselves, given the notoriously unreliable accuracy of defence accounting.)

Source: The Permanent War State