Closing Thought–16Jun17

WWJD?

I grew up in the South and in those days racism was rampant and leading the way were the Southern Baptist and their use of the Old Testament to justify racism……so when I read a news report I was duly surprised…..

The Southern Baptist Convention has voted to condemn “alt-right” racism—along with every other kind of racism. The denomination, which is holding its annual convention in Phoenix, approved a resolution Wednesday to “denounce and repudiate” racism, “including alt-right white supremacy, as antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” NPR reports. The resolution followed the controversial rejection Tuesday of an earlier version that denounced the “retrograde ideologies, xenophobic biases and racial bigotries of the ‘alt-right’ that seek to subvert our government,” reports the AP. Resolutions committee chief Barrett Duke said the original version contained language that was too broad and inflammatory.

The measure passed almost unanimously among the 5,000 in attendance, reports the Arizona Republic. Duke apologized for the confusion about the earlier resolution. It wasn’t “because we don’t share your abhorrence of racism and especially the particularly vicious form of racism that has manifested itself in the alt-right movement,” he told the crowd. William D. McKissic, the African-American pastor who introduced the resolution, says he is pleased with the outcome, but the episode shows that problems will continue until the church denounces the biblical “Curse of Ham” once used to justify slavery. McKissic says he is encouraged by the outcry from Baptists of all races that followed the committee’s rejection of Tuesday’s resolution.

To say that I was surprised after reading this would be an understatement….if finding it an amazing turn…one for the better.

My day has come to an end…..I hope everyone has a good evening and I will look for you tomorrow……peace out…..chuq

Advertisements

Military Intelligence (Not The Oxymoron)

These days in the news and opinion blogs we see a lot about the CIA, NSA, etc…..has anyone asked…where did all this stuff begin?

Yep, another Professor’s Classroom…..

There have always been spies….those individuals that were employed to get info, vital info, on the enemy……but military intelligence came into its own during the years of World War One……

Near the beginning of the Revolutionary War, George Washington purportedly said, “The necessity of procuring good intelligence is apparent and need not be further urged.” Even in the 18th Century the importance of intelligence collection and analysis was understood. Today commanders often take for granted the fact that they will have robust intelligence assets and organizations to inform their decision making process, supporting them in ways Washington never could have envisioned. But as James L. Gilbert points out in his book, World War I and the Origins of U.S. Military Intelligence this was not always the case. George Washington who is often credited as the United States first great spymaster ran several spy rings during the revolutionary war including the famous Culper Ring.  The Culper Ring is credited, among other things with providing Washington early warning of British activity and helping identify a British spy working with Benedict Arnold. Washington’s intelligence collection abilities were so good that an unnamed British Intelligence Officer is often quoted as saying, ““Washington did not really outfight the British. He simply out-spied us.” It would take the U.S. Army almost 150 years to comply with George Washington’s urging and create a permanent Intelligence apparatus.

Source: World War I and the Origins of U.S. Military Intelligence | RealClearDefense

Now you know the “rest of the story”……..

Class dismissed!

Qatar: The Rest Of The Story

 By now if you are an IR geek then you are scratching your head about the situation in the Persian Gulf region……Qatar and Saudis are having a  moment of dispute…..Trump has weighed in on Saudis side and condemned the Qataris for their support of terrorism…..debate lines (for now) are being drawn…..

After his, Trump, scathing condemnation of Qatar abd then he authorizes a sell of weapons to the very same country……

Defense Secretary James Mattis and his Qatari counterpart, Defense Minister Khalid al-Attiyah have signed a $12 billion arms deal today in Washington, a move made particularly high-profile because of the ongoing blockade imposed on Qatar by its Gulf Arab neighbors.

The agreement is for the purchase of a number of F-15 fighter jets, a sale which the Pentagon says will ensure that Qatar has “state-of-the-art” defensive capabilities. Qatar is the richest nation on the planet in per-capital GDP, but a very small nation to be spending $12 billion on warplanes.

Over the past couple of decades, oil-rich Gulf Arab states have used some of their massive oil revenue to buy US warplanes as sort of prestige pieces to trot out during parades and the like. That tensions are rising between Qatar and the other nations, who have their own large fleets of US warplanes, but this purchase in a totally different context.

(antiwar.com)

So what is the rest of the story?

Ambassador from the United Arab Emirates suggested the US should move their base out of Qatar to “pressure” them. That, it seems, is not under serious consideration from the Pentagon.

So is it about the US base location?  Or about the support for terrorism?

Could it be more geopolitical than we are told?

The intra-Arab rift that has set Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt against Qatar is now in its second week. A feud that seemed to begin as a principled stand against Doha’s support for terrorism—one flash point was Qatar’s recent payment of nearly $1 billion to Iran and to Sunni extremists to liberate a hunting party held captive in Iraq— now appears to be something else.

The diplomatic crisis splitting the Gulf Cooperation Council isn’t really about Sunni extremism, or Qatar’s easy flirtation with Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. Thus it has nothing to do with the larger issues shaping American foreign policy and the role of our GCC allies in implementing it. No, it’s just Abu Dhabi waging political warfare against Doha with a specific goal in mind—to get the United States to move its military base from Qatar to the UAE.

Source: The Real Story Behind the Diplomatic Crisis With Qatar | The Weekly Standard

As an IR geek this is just too damn interesting to pass up.

The question now is….will this situation have a possible diplomatic solution?

If it does then the US may well not have anything to do with the solution…..the top US diplomat in Qatar has resigned because of the wonky Trump foreign policy.

Confrontation appears to be in the wind…will calmer heads prevail?

Phantom Of The Desert

Not to be confused with the “Lion of the Desert”….Omar Mukhtar….Libyan freedom fighter against the Italian occupation.

Omar al-Mukhtar (about ca. 1860-1931), national hero of Libya and member of the Senusy, a religious organization with administrative and military functions, led the anticolonial resistance in Cirenaica from 1923 to 1931, when he was captured by the Italians and condemned to death.

A short course on the recent history of Libya……
But the “Phantom of the Desert” is Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi…son of the disposed leader of Libya who died in 2011 at the hands of rebels (or so goes the common tale)….
Saif had been captured by a rebel group and imprisoned for the last 6 years….but all that has changed….

Seif al-Islam, the son and one-time heir apparent of late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, has been released after more than five years in detention, his captors said on Saturday. A statement by his captors, the Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Battalion, said Seif al-Islam was released on Friday, but gave no details on his whereabouts. Battalion officials reached by the AP at Zintan, a town south of the capital Tripoli where it is based, confirmed his release. They declined to disclose his whereabouts, citing concerns over his safety. His lawyer tells CNN: “He is free in a safe place in an undisclosed location in a Libyan city.”

They said his release was decided as part of a recent pardon issued by the Libyan parliament based in the country’s eastern region. The parliament in the city of Tobruk is part of one of three rival administrations in Libya, evidence of the chaos that has prevailed in the country since Gadhafi’s ouster and death. Gadhafi’s son was captured by the battalion’s fighters late in 2011, the year when a popular uprising toppled Gadhafi after more than 40 years in power. He was later killed. The uprising later plunged the oil-rich North African nation into a ruinous civil war in which Seif al-Islam led Gadhafi’s loyalist forces against the rebels.

I bring this all up because of the situation in Libya these days……there are 3 separate groups claiming to be the legit government of the country.  The country has broken down along old imperialistic lines…..

JPEG - 71.1 kb

An update on Saif……it appears that there may have been an attempt on his life after his release…..

As reported by RT, hundreds of people took to the streets in Ghat, on Saturday night, to celebrate the release of Saif Gaddafi after several years of detention.

The footage shows honking cars driving through the streets. Other Gaddafi supporters were seen waving the green flags of the ‘Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’, as has been seen frequently in parts of Libya since the fall of the state in 2011.

What hasn’t been widely reported in international media is the alleged assassination attempt that was carried out on Saif in May. It was reported by some Arab sources that Saif had ‘narrowly survived an assassination attempt by gunmen from local militias’.

There is no way of knowing if this assassination attempt was simply a rival militia or jihadist group acting entirely of its own accord or whether someone else was also behind the incident.

(RT is not a reliable source in my book…but for the sake of news I thought I would include their report….my personal opinion)

Saif could be a stabilizing factor, his politics suck, but Libya is tearing itself apart at the seams…..he could bring some order to the disorder,,,but first he will have to find a way to counter the CIA puppet in charge in Eastern Libya….Col. Haftar

Some group needs to sit down with Saif and see if there can be a workable solution….he could be part of the solution……this will not happen….but it should.