Closing Thought–05Jan18

This is 2018….and the year of the spy…..we have investigations going on about the Russian intel project that may have influenced an election or at least had some willing Americans working for them during the election.

The US just busted some Russian spies about 5 years ago…they were normal individuals with jobs, families and spy craft…..how does Russia go about recruiting people to work with them……

Good question with a pretty good answer…..

Are you of Russian descent?

The Senate committee probing alleged Russian interference in the U.S. political system has deemed anyone “of Russian nationality or Russian descent” relevant to its investigation, according to a document obtained by TYT.

In an email dated December 19, 2017, April Doss—who serves as senior minority counsel on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI)—defined the scope of the committee’s inquiry as anyone a subject “knows or has reason to believe [is] of Russian nationality or descent.” The senior majority counsel for the SSCI, Vanessa Le, was cc’d on the emails.

https://tytnetwork.com/2017/12/27/anyone-of-russian-descent-now-targeted-in-senate-investigation/

The babbling Right has said the Congressional investigations is a witch hunt….after reading this story I have to agree….that is if the story is accurate…..

Sorry I digress….back to the meat of the post….how does Russia recruit their operatives?

This is the first of a three-part series based on never-before-published training manuals for the KGB, the Soviet intelligence organization that Vladimir Putin served as an operative, and that shaped his view of the world. Its veterans still make up an important part of now-Russian President Vladimir Putin’s power base. All were trained in the same dark arts, and these primers in tradecraft are essential to an understanding of the way they think and the way they operate.

U.S. intelligence operatives understand this only too well. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told CNN earlier this month Putin is “a great case officer,” suggesting he “knows how to handle an asset, and that’s what he’s doing with the president”—that is, the president of the United States.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-kgb-papers-how-putin-learned-his-spycraft-part-1

Recruiting spies is an art form……and the Russians have become artist in its execution…..

A new year and we are off to the races…..shall we enjoy the time together…..TTFN…..chuq

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Iran Is Fascinating

Over the New Year holiday the people of Iran started protesting…..now please do not think that it was pro-democracy protests…..it is more about the economy and the way the government is supporting adventurism aboard…the protesters think that money should be spent at home not aboard…..

The riots in early 2000’s ware not the same as the ones these days…these are lead by the working class not the middle class as before…….

In a world that is not short of conflict and crises, attention is now focused on the nationwide protests which have been rattling Iran’s clerical leadership for the past week. The protests have been compared to the last outburst of popular anger in 2009, when mainly middle-class protestors took to the streets of the capital Tehran to challenge the fraudulent victory of the populist candidate, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in the presidential election.

Those demonstrations were crushed with brutal force, which allowed the clerical leadership and its security establishment to pursue a ruinous economic policy at home while expanding the country’s influence abroad, from Iraq to Syria.

https://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/iran-s-protests-stem-from-working-class-grievance-over-price-hikes-and-a-lack-of-sanctions-relief-1.692554

The middle class is sitting this protest out…….

Yasaman was too young to join her siblings and parents as they took part in the 2009 unrest that last threatened to disrupt the regime in Iran. Now they’re aghast at her participation in the protests that are currently rattling the country. But that disapproval didn’t stop the 21-year-old as she surveyed the scene in front of the gates of Tehran University on Tuesday afternoon, the sixth day of the demonstrations.

It’s easy to understand why Iranians would oppose their 37-year-old clerical regime, a religious autocracy characterized by corruption, mismanagement, and political and social repression. Lately that list of grievances has included risky and expensive adventures abroad. The Trump administration and some Iranians in the diaspora have wholeheartedly embraced a week of anti-government protests that mostly began in small towns and cities and have since spread across the entire country.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/borzoudaragahi/irans-middle-class-is-sitting-out-the-protests

There as many opinions as there are blogs…..I just want to give my readers as much info as I can for their education…..

Starting Dec. 28, 2017, Iran has witnessed anti-government protests in several cities and towns. The character and the demands of the demonstrations have varied greatly and seem to have already evolved over the course of a few days. From the beginning, Iranian government officials have stated that people have a right to demonstrate, but that acts of sabotage and violence would be dealt with forcefully.

The first few protests focused mainly on economic issues. Demonstrations were peaceful and marched down streets chanting slogans. These initial protests seemed to occur without major incidents. From there, some of the marches become more militant and aggressive, with garbage cans and police cars set ablaze. By the night of Dec. 31, 2017, protests took on the form of armed attacks on government buildings and police stations. By Jan. 3, hundreds had been arrested and 21 people have been killed.

https://www.liberationnews.org/what-to-make-of-irans-demonstrations/

Trump took to Twitter and Tweeted his support for the demonstrators…..I think that is a bad idea….he should say nothing and watch the protests….why?  America’s approval could be the kiss of death for the demonstrators…..any involvement by the US and it will get ugly quick.

President Rouhani seemed to offer a small amount of approval but what else could he do?

Manifold reasons lie behind Iran’s ongoing protests, but the immediate trigger appears to be widespread disgruntlement over the country’s economic performance, especially cuts in President Hassan Rouhani’s new budget. Neither a revolution nor a political movement, the crisis is an explosion of the Iranian people’s pent-up frustrations over economic and political stagnation.

Beyond a struggle between state and society – or a standoff between security forces and political figures on the one hand, and young, working-class, unemployed citizens on the other – the demonstrations are putting on full display the fault lines that also divide Iran’s political establishment.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/gulf-and-arabian-peninsula/iran/how-irans-president-rouhani-can-turn-crisis-opportunity

This situation needs to be given a wide berth and let the Iranian people decide when it is time…..unfortunately we have a d/bag in the White House that cannot resist trying to look important and in doing so  may well condemn any possibility of success for the Iranian people.

Corruption And The Election

Now with the news that is flowing out of the pens of pundits one might think that this is an op-ed about the election of 2016…..well as much as I would like to write about that election this post is about the election of 1824 not 2016…..

You guessed it!  I am going to bore you with some early American history…..(you knew it was going to be that when you started reading, right?)

The 1824 presidential election marked the final collapse of the Republican-Federalist political framework. For the first time no candidate ran as a Federalist, while five significant candidates competed as Democratic-Republicans. Clearly, no party system functioned in 1824. The official candidate of the Democratic-Republicans to replace Monroe was William H. Crawford, the secretary of the treasury. A caucus of Republicans in Congress had selected him, but this backing by party insiders turned out to be a liability as other candidates called for a more open process for selecting candidates.

http://www.ushistory.org/us/23d.asp

The Palestine Question

I have written about the Palestinian/Israeli situation for years…..I have even given my idea on a way from them to establish a separate state…..the protests by Palestinians have been going on for 20+ years although there has been friction between the two people since 1919 and the end of World War One. (more info about posts c an be learned using the “Search” feature)

A new round of all out disobedience has begun with Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem…..this situation opens up a whole new line of thought about the two states…..

What does Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel mean for the future of Palestine and the Palestinians, and what does it reveal about US policy? Al-Shabaka policy analysts examine these questions and recommend ways for Palestinian civil society and leaders to safeguard Palestinian rights in the face of such a setback.

Nur Arafeh argues that Trump’s announcement cements Israel’s apartheid regime and “Judaization” policies in Jerusalem, and calls for the PA to end coordination with Israel and nullify the Oslo Accords. Dana El Kurd makes the case that the US move creates two opposing legal frameworks for Jerusalem, one that follows international law and one that bends to Israeli interests. “[Trump’s declaration] sets a precedent for greater legal recognition in the future,” she writes. “Palestinians should consider new ways of resisting Israeli colonization.” Munir Nuseibah reasons that the development confirms the US as a biased mediator. “The only positive outcome is that it ends the illusion that the ‘peace process’ is legitimate,” he writes.

https://al-shabaka.org/roundtables/trump-jerusalem-future-palestine/

That was the opinions of analysts in the region……

Some in the West are saying that with Trump’s announcement that the idea of a one state solution was once again on the table….

Jerusalem was an Arab and Muslim city for close to 1300 years. Like other parts of Palestine, it was a harmonious mosaic. But, though there was always a Christian and Jewish presence — both of people and of monuments — it was predominantly a Muslim city.

This was violently disrupted twice: first in the year 1099, from which for a period of 88 years the city was occupied by the Crusaders, and then again in 1948 when the newly created Jewish State took the city and made Jerusalem its own. When the State of Israel took the western part of the city in 1948, in violation of a United Nations Resolution, it destroyed its Arab and Muslim character and then declared it as the capital city of the Jewish people.

http://www.mintpressnews.com/one-state-solution-with-equal-rights-is-the-only-answer-to-trumps-jerusalem-declaration/235569/

More on the one state solution……

Donald Trump’s rash declaration of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital does not, of course, deserve thanks. How could it, when it in effect amounts to American complicity in supporting Israeli war crimes of illegal occupation? But one inadvertent positive outcome from the US President’s blundering is that it renews the alternative concept of a One-State solution.

Ironically, Trump’s outrageous bias towards the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu slams a nail into the coffin of the Two-State solution.

The charade of Washington acting as a neutral broker between Israelis and Palestinians is finally dead and buried with Trump’s clumsy intervention.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/12/18/one-state-solution-back-agenda-for-palestine.html

Personally I say NO to the one state solution…..there has been a Palestine for over a thousand years and there should be for a thousand more.

The announcement by Trump gave the Saudis an opportunity to try and placate the Palestinians by proposing an alternative to Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine……

It was once a small rural village, noted for its fields of olive trees and spectacular views, overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem to the south-west and the Jordan Valley to the east.

But now Abu Dis is a name spoken by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as a potential capital of a future Palestinian state, as reported in the New York Times on 3 December.

This small East Jerusalem suburb was flung into the spotlight a few days later by Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States would recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/abu-dis-talked-of-as-capital-palestinian-state-east-jerusalem-israel-58487833

Seriously?

Jerusalem has always been the capital of Palestine and will always be the capital…..why does the US kiss the ass of Israel at every turn?

This is a situation that can only be solved by the two people involved….not as oppressor and oppressed but as equals.