Closing Thought–06Jun17

Today is the 73rd anniversary to the “Longest Day”……D-Day….Operation Overload……the the allies invaded mainland Europe to fight and end WW2.
D-Day at 73

During World War II (1939-1945), the Battle of Normandy, which lasted from June 1944 to August 1944, resulted in the Allied liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control. Codenamed Operation Overlord, the battle began on June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day, when some 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France’s Normandy region. The invasion was one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history and required extensive planning. Prior to D-Day, the Allies conducted a large-scale deception campaign designed to mislead the Germans about the intended invasion target. By late August 1944, all of northern France had been liberated, and by the following spring the Allies had defeated the Germans. The Normandy landings have been called the beginning of the end of war in Europe.

Source: D-Day – World War II –

You would think the History Channel would commemorate the day… would be wrong…..However the American Heroes Channel takes a shot at it in the evening hours….

This day should be remembered for its accomplishments and its tragedy……the generation that fought this war is slowly disappearing…..will their stories?

Spies Like Us

A funny movie from the 80’s…..Ackroyd and Chase…..but intel gathering is not a funny business…..dangerous and unpredictable……and NO one looks like Sean Connery or Roger Moore.

But when I was younger I was thrilled by spy novels…Ian Fleming, LeCarre, et al……but my fave in those days were the pulp novels written by Edward S. Aarons whose character Sam Durell was always fighting bad guys and chasing beautiful women….

Then when I joined the Army I volunteered for Military Intelligence….thus began my career of an analyst…..

As you can tell Spies have always fascinated me….so I ask…who were the 10 most famous spies?

In and out of wartime, spies play an essential role in information gathering for their nations (and, on occasion, as double-spies for other nations). The spies listed here are the most famous in history.

Source: Top 10 Famous Spies – Listverse

History can be fun and it is always informative and educational.

Would An Arab NATO Stabilize The Mideast?

A question that is being asked…I was one of the first to point out the absurdity of this idea…….to answer the question….NO it will not make the ME more stable.

Read my thoughts for yourself…….

Source: A Middle East NATO? – In Saner Thought

Source: New Plan–A Middle East NATO – In Saner Thought

During last week’s Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, President Donald Trump and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud strongly condemned Iranian support for terrorist groups and militants throughout the Middle East.

“From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region,” Trump said. “Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran, deny it funding for terrorism, and pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and righteous government they deserve.”

“The Iranian regime,” King Salman charged, “has spearheaded terrorism since [Ayatollah Ruhollah] Khomenei’s revolution [of 1979].”

Source: Would an Arab NATO Help Stabilize the Mideast — or Inflame Iran? | The Cipher Brief

Funny that the Saudis are laying blame on the Iranians…..just ask how many of the 9/11 attackers were Saudis…..ask who exports the most extreme brand of Islam?

All that aside…..why do they need a new organization?

I ask this because there is already an Arab League with a charter and a provision to fight so-called terrorism……

Source: The Arab League Charter (Pact of the League of Arab States)

Now read Article 6 of the charter……it would do nicely with a bit of tweaking and this whole ME NATO would not be necessary.

Ask yourself who will benefit most out of this new organization?

This is an exercise in futility…..a waste of time, money and resources……

Someone needs to step up and point to the silliness of this new deal……but has anyone in the Trump admin have the balls to point all this out?

No way…they are all ball-less.

This whole thing was nothing more than theatrics….just an appearance of doing something without doing anything.

After only about a week of its formation the “Arab NATO” is falling apart…….

Six Arab nations cut diplomatic ties to Qatar early Monday, further deepening a rift among Gulf Arab nations over that country’s support for Islamist groups. Bahrain and Saudi Arabia first made the move, followed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Yemen, and Libya, reports the BBC. The nations were withdrawing their diplomatic staffs and cutting air and sea traffic to the peninsular country, per the AP. It wasn’t immediately clear how that would affect Qatar Airways, one of the region’s major long-haul carriers. Bahrain blamed Qatar’s “media incitement, support for armed terrorist activities and funding linked to Iranian groups to carry out sabotage and spreading chaos in Bahrain” for its decision. Other countries issued similar statements.

Qatar is home to the sprawling al-Udeid Air Base, where the US military’s Central Command and some 10,000 American troops are based. It wasn’t clear if the decision would affect American military operations. Qatar has strongly denied it funds extremist groups, though it remains a key financial patron of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Western officials also have accused Qatar of allowing or even encouraging funding of Sunni extremists like al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria.

Further reading in this development…….

Source: In wake of Trump visit, Saudi-led Sunni bloc already splintering

Source: Gulf diplomatic crisis: Qatar’s reaction in full | Qatar News | Al Jazeera

Why is this happening?

Source: Qatar diplomatic crisis – what you need to know | World news | The Guardian

I believe the original question has been answered and it took less than a month for this idea to go to pieces….

I put this post in my drafts because I wanted to see if the news changed in a month or so…..proved to be a wise choice.

And the drama just keeps giving…….

The decision by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and other Arab nations to sever ties with Qatar on Monday reflects a long-standing dispute between Qatar and its regional neighbors. In fact, a similar fallout happened in 2014, but Monday’s events mark a “severe escalation” that could eventually alter the balance of power in the region, per an analysis at the BBC. Nations aren’t just pulling diplomats, they’re cutting off land, sea, and air travel, and Qatar relies heavily on imports for its survival. Here’s what’s happening:

  • Terror accusations: The official Saudi press accused Qatar of supporting “terrorist and sectarian groups” such as ISIS, al-Qaeda, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood. Qatar denies supporting militant groups and says there’s no “legitimate justification” for the moves.
  • More broadly: “The feud—the most serious in decades among some the region’s most key Western allies—has been simmering for years as Qatar increasingly flexed its political muscle across the region, including backing the Muslim Brotherhood,” per the Washington Post. The Saudis also accuse Qatar of backing its arch-rival, Iran.
  • Bogus article? Two weeks ago, a Qatari news report quoted Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad as criticizing Saudi Arabia and praising Iran, among other things. Qatar later claimed its news websites had been hacked, but the article seems to have been a factor leading to Monday’s actions, reports the Atlantic.
  • Trump’s visit: Another factor could be President Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, notes the New York Times. Generally, analysts think the Saudis feel more emboldened under Trump, with one analyst saying the “moves reflected a ‘bullishness’ prompted by the Trump administration’s stances—on the confrontation with Iran and on a willingness to look the other way on human rights violations.”
  • US military: Qatar is home to the Al Udeid Air Base, where 11,000 US personnel are stationed and from which attacks on ISIS targets are launched, notes the AP. Trouble with the base could complicate US military strategy, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has offered to mediate.
  • Big shift? The base, however, may no longer be enough to keep Qatar in the US’ good graces, writes David Roberts at the BBC. Other Gulf states might offer to replace it. “The argument to President Trump may be compelling: with US help, Qatar might be persuaded to evict Hamas leadership from Doha and genuinely cut back on funding Islamist groups. It seems that the time of Qatar’s individualistic foreign policy may be up.”

You can bet that Russia is watching this play out…..

The Middle East may be a lot of things…..but boring is NOT one of them!

Remembering The Great Muhammad Ali

Last year this month Mohammad Ali died…it is fitting that we look back on the life of this famous American…..

On how Muhammad Ali’s death started a debate on anti-blackness within the Muslim community.

It came as a shock to all of us. A man who seemed invincible could not defeat his own mortality. He was known to be suffering from poor health, but it was no less of a blow. And for many Muslim communities around the world, his death was a particularly scathing event.

Muhammad Ali died on June 3 last year, only a few days before the month of Ramadan began, a holy month within the Islamic calendar observed through fasting, prayer and charity. Ali chose to live his life according to Islam, and he left this world as the holiest month of his religion began. His funeral was a global event full of traditional Islamic rites, so much so that his spiritual adviser and imam, Zaid Shakur was reported to have said at the time that “Muhammad planned all this … and he planned for it to be a teaching moment”.

Source: Remembering the great Muhammad Ali as a black Muslim | Racism | Al Jazeera

The United States Of Insanity

There is so much taking place at one time here in the US….most of it is just plain absurd.  But since the 1980’s this country has been on a downhill spiral…..most of us thought that the insanity of the 1990’s was as worse as it could get….but we were sadly mistaken.

And then the election of 2016 came around the the  insanity got quicker and more harsh.  And then the vote happened and the craziness came to a head like a big juicy boil…….

Since the ascent to power of US President Donald Trump, two discussion topics have become increasingly popular: whether or not the man is insane and whether or not it’s appropriate to talk about whether or not the man is insane.

While many psychiatrists, mental health workers and media figures have abided by the idea that it is unethical to publicly debate the head of state’s mental soundness, others view the taboo as reckless.

In an interview with The Independent, for example, Yale University’s Dr Bandy Lee cited Trump’s “taunting of North Korea” and spontaneous bombing of Syria as indications that his “instability, unpredictability and impulsivity … point to dangerousness due to mental impairment.”

Source: The United States of insanity | Trump | Al Jazeera

Many Americans are waiting for the nightmare to be over….others think that they are living some absurd reality show…..and others think Hell has arrived.

A Long Day’s Journey Into Night

“He appears mad to a few because the majority is infected with the same disease”

“What is more insane than to vent on senseless things the anger that is felt towards men?”

“Insanity is contagious”

Does insanity have its limits?

God, I hope so!