The US/Saudi Love Fest

For decades we have massaged the genitals of the Saudi royal family and after all the BS it is time for the US to break up with its bromance partner.

They have killed more by beheading than ISIS….they have crapped on women for centuries….they are the embodiment of the beliefs that AQ holds dear…..and the have killed American citizens with NO recourse.

Again time to throw these heathens under the bus.

Our worship the the royals is what is wrong with our foreign policy…..

The U.S.-Saudi relationship is one of the chief examples of what is wrong with our foreign policy today. Not only are they an increasingly repressive authoritarian state and one of the worst governments in the world, but they don’t even provide the U.S. with any meaningful strategic advantages. The distorting influence of the lobbyists that they pay for has allowed them to escape most of the consequences of their reckless foreign policy over the last decade, but the next administration needs to make clear that the time for impunity and indulgence is over. Maintaining this relationship is not worth the increasing costs to the U.S., and trying to cater to Riyadh has kept the U.S. involved in a monstrous and indefensible war in Yemen for the last five years. The U.S. owes Saudi Arabia nothing, and the Saudi government has never been our ally. Whatever value the relationship with the Saudis may have had forty or fifty years ago has greatly diminished, and at this point they are a liability to U.S. interests and an obstacle to reorienting our foreign policy away from the Middle East. If we want to extricate U.S. forces from the region and disentangle ourselves from the region’s conflicts, the relationship with Saudi Arabia as it exists today will have to go.

The Time to End the Noxious Saudi Relationship Is Now

The Saudis recently dumped oil onto the markets…..it illustrates that the time for the US to kick these barbarians to the curb…..

It was only a short time ago when Mohammed Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s young crown prince, was assembling world leaders at conferences in the Saudi desert and impressing global investors with grandiose plans of economic and social modernization. Next month will mark the third anniversary of MBS’s PR tour around Hollywood, Washington, D.C., and New York, pressing the flesh with titans of industry like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Disney’s Bob Iger—and convincing lawmakers on Capitol Hill that Saudi Arabia under his tutelage was a country brimming with opportunity.

Much has changed in a few years. The Saudi crown prince is no longer categorized as a widely-hailed reformer of the Middle East, but as a thick-headed, rash, and impatient young autocrat whose tenure is filled to the brim with an endless list of poor decisions. MBS’s latest gamble, which involved dumping more Saudi crude into the global market to coerce Russia into returning to the negotiating table on pricing and output quotas, has caused significant strain for American shale oil companies

https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2020/03/its-time-us-and-saudi-arabia-break/164034/

Time to dumped these drags on our society….and we need to do it NOW!

While the broader American economy grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, the energy sector is in freefall. Oil prices have plummeted nearly 60 percent in just a month. Benchmark prices now hover at just $22 per barrel, a level at which American energy companies will hemorrhage cash. But the virus alone is not responsible for the carnage in the energy markets. Much of the blame lies at the feet of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, who recently launched a price war that may cripple one of America’s most innovative industries.

For the last several years, Saudi Arabia and Russia have cooperated to hold down oil production and bolster global crude prices. Earlier this month, with demand softening as a result of the coronavirus, the Russians hesitated to agree to further cuts.

https://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2020/03/30/after_oil_crisis_lets_re-evaluate_ties_to_saudi_arabia_487885.html

As the reader can see that I am NOT alone when I call for the US to rid itself of the Saudi anchor around the neck of our foreign policy……they, the Saudis, are almost as bad for our foreign policy as the Israel relationship…..

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“lego ergo scribo”

Middle East Round-up

In these dark days of the virus we get very little info about our wars that have been raging for decades….and that is where I come in……I will try to keep my readers as up to date as I can on the info about our ME wars.

The virus is major news and yet the neocons are still worried about the actions of Iran…..

Defense Secretary Mark Esper is looking at extending the deployment of a reaction force sent to the Middle East to counter Iran’s militia network, according to three sources and documents provided to The Daily Beast.

The 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division arrived in the Mideast in January after Iranian-backed militias attacked the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. The roughly 3,000 paratroopers operate as an immediate reaction force, built to deploy on short notice to global hotspots.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/pentagon-may-keep-paratroopers-mideast-191344294.html

Still a war of words on just what the policy is in the Middle East these days…….

Initially announced weeks ago, the US withdrawal of troops from western Iraq and concentration in the east looks more and more like preparation for another confrontation with neighboring Iran. Recent reports suggest that is one policy being advocated.

On Friday, reports suggested that the Pentagon had been ordered, by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to start planning to wipe out certain Iraqi militias which they believe are Iranian proxies. Officials say the administration is increasingly divided on the plan.

Lt. Gen. Robert White was very averse to this idea, saying it would require the US bring in thousands of more troops, and divert from existing missions. He also warned it risks starting a war with Iran, which at least some of the proponents consider very much the point.

US Repositions Troops in Iraq, Preparing for Fight Against Iran

US keeps reporting that the militias are planning a “sneak attack”….

All the reports of some in the Trump Administration pushing for attacks on “Iranian proxies” in Iraq seem to be coming to a head, with President Trump claiming Wednesday that Iran is “planning a sneak attack” in Iraq, and threatening to make them pay a “very heavy price.

This is, of course, exactly the sort of thing the US would claim if they are going forward with plans to attack the Iraqi militias (or even Iran itself), as they could claim to be preempting what Iran is planning. The planned attacks in Iraq are advocated by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and opposed by US generals in Iraq, who believe it would provoke a bigger war and require more troops than the US has in the country.

Since the US is constantly needling those militias, and presenting them as Iranians, it is only a matter of time before another one fires a few rockets which the administration can present as an Iranian “sneak attack” and then escalate it into a war. This already almost happened once this year, and officials seem to never really dial back the rhetoric so much as temporarily step away from the war to revisit it a few months later.

President Trump was previously said to be averse to attacking Iran during the coronavirus outbreak because it would harm public opinion. The US was also talking this week of easing sanctions on Iran for the sake of combating the pandemic. This would make zero sense as a time for Iran to attack, but convincing Trump such an attack is coming would be a way to sell him on the plans to attack the militias.

(antiwar.com)

This is the breakdown of the action in Iraq for the last month……

At least 128 people were killed, and 180 were wounded in Iraq during March. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, protests tapered off dramatically, reducing the reported violence significantly. However, the number of Coalition troop casualties surged. During February, at least 187 people were killed, and 558 were wounded.

Of the recent casualties, 25 civilians, 17 security members, and 54 militants were killed. Another 33 civilians and 45 security personnel were wounded. At least three protesters were killed, and 85 were wounded before quarantines were in effect. One mass grave was found, but the number of people in it was not released.

Four U.S. and one British servicemembers were killed in combat-related incidents. Twelve servicemembers were also wounded; their nationalities were not reported. Another three more American servicemembers were wounded in artillery fire. Also, a United States soldier died in a non-combat incident on March 30, that is believed unrelated to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the conflict between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in northern Iraq, two Turkish soldiers were killed and two were wounded. At least 21 guerrillas were killed.

(antiwar.com)

We have been exposed to a lot of news about Syria…..most of it is from Neocon pundits that have a stake in the wars in that country….but what do the Syrian people think…….

Suppose a respectable opinion poll found that most Syrians are in favour of Bashar al-Assad remaining as president, would that not be major news? Especially as the finding would go against the dominant narrative about the Syrian crisis, and the media considers the unexpected more newsworthy than the obvious.

Alas, not in every case. When coverage of an unfolding drama ceases to be fair and turns into a propaganda weapon, inconvenient facts get suppressed. So it is with the results of a recent YouGov Siraj poll on Syria commissioned by The Doha Debates, funded by the Qatar Foundation. Qatar’s royal family has taken one of the most hawkish lines against Assad – the emir has just called for Arab troops to intervene – so it was good that The Doha Debates published the poll on its website. The pity is that it was ignored by almost all media outlets in every western country whose government has called for Assad to go.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jan/17/syrians-support-assad-western-propaganda

A breakdown on how the virus is effecting the Middle East and conflict…..https://themuslimtimes.info/2020/04/05/what-impact-is-covid-19-having-on-middle-east-conflicts/\

The barbarous group ISIS has been defeated but the virus has many worried that it could assist them in making a come back….

The military is concerned that the Islamic State terrorist group could rebound amid an unfolding humanitarian crisis in northeastern Syria, as local officials sound the alarm about a lack of resources to deal with a coronavirus outbreak.

In order to help prevent a crisis, the international coalition to defeat the militant group has begun sending basic medical equipment and other supplies to the Syrian Democratic Forces guarding thousands of ISIS prisoners, two senior coalition staff officers who work directly on this issue told POLITICO.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/02/us-military-fears-isis-resurgance-coronavirus-pandemic-162046

Just a few stories that I thought would give a good picture at what was happening in the Middle Est while most of us are otherwise distracted.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Venezuela–WTF?

This post is the 15,000th post I have put on IST! (Damn my fingers are tired…LOL)

Covid-19 is screaming around the globe and the preparations and responses have been pathetic at best…..and yet with all that to deal with Donald the Orange has decided to flex his muscle against Venezuela…..first just a couple of days ago The Trump team put a bounty on the leader of Venezuela…..https://lobotero.com/2020/03/30/venezuela-the-bounty/

We have a naval operation is being carried off along the waters off the coast of Venezuela……

President Trump announced Wednesday that Navy ships are being moved toward Venezuela as his administration beefs up counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean following a US drug indictment against Nicolás Maduro, the AP reports. The president’s announcement was a break from the daily White House press briefing to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, which has left much of the country in lock-down and which the government warns could cause 100,000 to 240,000 deaths. “The Venezuelan people continue to suffer tremendously due to Maduro and his criminal control over the country, and drug traffickers are seizing on this lawlessness,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said after the president’s announcement.

The mission involves sending additional Navy warships, surveillance aircraft, and special forces teams to nearly double the US counter-narcotics capacity in the Western Hemisphere, with forces operating both in the Caribbean and eastern Pacific. Esper said the mission would be supported by 22 partner nations. The enhanced mission has been months in the making but has taken on greater urgency following last week’s indictment of Maduro, Venezuela’s embattled socialist leader, and members of his inner circle and military. They are accused of leading a narcoterrorist conspiracy responsible for smuggling up to 250 metric tons of cocaine a year into the US, about half of it by sea.
Really?
 
Sorry but I think that a concentration on handling the virus is far more important than a desire for regime change.
 
I Read, I Write, You Know
 
“lego ergo scribo”

Venezuela–The Bounty

While you were watching the news and trying to decide what to do with all the pandemic stuff flying around in your head…..Trump has decided it is the time to retry for a change in Venezuela…..

Here we (the US) go again with that damn silly thing called “regime” change”….or the attempt at it……

The US has placed a bounty of $15 million on the leader of Venezuela….a leader that was elected by the people of Venezuela……but a bounty?

In a major escalation of US regime change efforts in Venezuela, the US Department of Justice announced Thursday that it is charging Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and other government officials with “narco-terrorism.” The DOJ placed a $15 million bounty on Maduro’s head, offering that money for any information that leads to his arrest, and the DEA put up a wanted poster on its website.

The allegation from the DOJ is that Maduro and his circle have worked with Colombia’s FARC group to traffic cocaine to the US, or use “cocaine as a weapon against America” as the indictment puts it. What this looks like is just another attempt at regime change in Venezuela while the world is dealing with a global pandemic.

US Puts $15 Million Bounty on Nicolas Maduro

Really?  Trump and the Neocon stooges want that guy Guido (I know that is not his name) to be the leader that they can manipulate…..but what about the people of Venezuela?

The latest poll out of Venezuela, from early March, shows that US-backed Juan Guaido is not considered the nation’s present by hardly anybody in the country. With a 3% margin of error, only 3% identified Guaido as president.

After over a year of the US harping on about him being the legitimate president. 71% of Venezuelans identified President Maduro as the president. He’s the one who won the last election, and this comes despite the US having just put a $15 million bounty on him.

23.7 percent also said that no one was really president at this point, again well ahead of Guaido. Even people saying “I don’t know” were 2.2%, putting them neck and neck with Guaido. Clearly, he doesn’t have deep support in this poll.

A second question asked who they had more confidence in, and 60.7% declared they don’t have confidence in either. Maduro was just over 25% and Guaido was only 3.8%, suggesting even if given a choice very few have much faith in Guaido.

(antiwar.com)

Since the US with the help of the CIA could not stir them people up enough for them to lead the charge to change leaders…….we are resorting to monetary blackmail with a bounty…….hoping that people are struggling enough to want the cash instead of the their freedom.

But how well has other “bounties” worked out for the US?

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/05/the-economics-of-terrorist-bounties/393461/

The US always uses some vague concept to overthrow a legitimate world leader….a subject that I have covered before on IST……

https://lobotero.com/2019/02/13/regime-change-crappy-record/

https://lobotero.com/2020/02/26/its-that-regime-change-thing-again/

Further Reading:

https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/more-things-change-more-they-stay-same

Our policies never learn from the mistakes of the past.

Only a petty small immature d/bag would use a pandemic to settle bruised feelings…..but then that is why we have Donald of Orange….to illustrate just how pathetic and disgusting a leader can be.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Iraq–17 Years Of Chaos

My writings on foreign policy have suffered while I try to help my readers come to grips with this virus thing……but I still read my international news daily……

Our second longest war started with chaos and has done little to change that diagnosis.

We went to Iraq to help the people achieve democracy……that is the government’s story and they are sticking to it.

Actually that is one of the biggest lies….but Hell what’s new?

It all started with a take down of Saddam….then it fell into chaos that lead to the creation and the fight with ISIS….then they were all but defeated and the people started protesting the treatment of the government……and 17 years later Americans are still dying.

Let’s look at those 17 long years…..

Last week saw the seventeenth anniversary of the ill-fated US-led invasion of Iraq that led to the reported deaths of millions of Iraqis, the destruction of much of the country’s infrastructure, and the establishment of an unstable democratic system.

Iraq’s political system has been fraught with instability and has incubated almost two decades of corruption leading to several protest movements and the rise of violent Islamist militant groups, including many Shia militias who operate as part of the state security apparatus.

The Islamic State group was also born out of the sectarianism and violence that has been emblematic of the Iraqi political process since 2003, which has seen a succession of weak governments and a legislature divided along sectarian quotas.

Today’s protest movement – ongoing since October of last year – has aimed to disrupt the cycle of corrupt political appointments, nepotism, and political actors who are beholden to both Iran and the United States.

https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/indepth/2020/3/23/iraq-still-in-chaos-17-years-after-us-invasion

But what has been learned from this adventure?

One man’s look that originally supported the war…..

“Man’s real treasure is the treasure of his mistakes, piled up stone by stone through thousands of years,” according to Jose Ortega y Gasset, the great Spanish philosopher of the early twentieth century. For to remember the past in all its searing complexity is what separates us from the apes, Ortega goes on. By that logic, the Iraq War, which started seventeen years ago this month, should constitute among the crown jewels of knowledge and insight in American foreign policy circles.

What lessons do I take away from my support of the Iraq War?

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/middle-east-watch/9-lessons-iraq-war-134567

But did the government learn from these things? 

My thought is NO!

We learned nothing from Vietnam and I feel we have learned nothing from our Iraq misadventure.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Nukes Make A Comeback

I realize that virus news is on everybody’s minds and lips these days….but sadly there are other situations and issues that this country must face as well.

Not long ago our president decided not to honor our commitments that we agree to in the INF treaty of the 1980s……so apparently the nuclear arms race is once again heating up.

But to give my reader a little background…..plus some of the history behind the Treaty……..https://lobotero.com/2018/10/30/the-inf-in-the-rear-view-mirror/

https://lobotero.com/2020/03/16/what-happened-to-the-arms-race/

Now the Pentagon has taken up the baton for bigger and better nukes…..

The Trump administration’s proposal to begin work on a new nuclear warhead program to modernize the nation’s aging stockpile is expected to be hotly contested.

For fiscal year 2021, President Donald Trump requested $28.9 billion for the Pentagon’s nuclear enterprise. He requested an additional $15.6 billion for efforts by the National Nuclear Security Administration, which manages the stockpile, including $53 million for NNSA work on a new warhead, dubbed the W93.

The Pentagon’s budget blueprint includes $480 million for work on the weapon system over the future years defense program, with $32 million slated for 2021.

https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2020/3/17/political-battle-brewing-over-new-nuclear-program

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

A Virus WTF!

After watching our fearless leader drag his feet on a response to the virus and his false and misleading statements he has gone so far to offer to help North Korea fight the virus.

Yes you heard that right….Trump offers to help Kim with the virus.

President Trump wrote a letter to North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, praising him for his efforts to protect the country from coronavirus, and offering US help in combating any outbreak. North Korea confirmed the letter but didn’t say what they’d done beyond that.

Administration officials also confirmed the letter, saying it was in keeping with Trump’s effort to engage world leaders on the coronavirus and offer US assistance if they needed it. Such offers did not, it seems, apply to Iran, where US officials declared that coronavirus “wouldn’t save them.”

How seriously the coronavirus has hit North Korea is the subject of some speculation, though the nation has denied any huge outbreaks. If they did have an outbreak, however, it’s not clear they’d have access to the equipment to treat many patients.

North Korea’s main interest would be getting some sanctions eased, and that might be done in the name of humanitarian aid for the virus.

(antiwar.com)

Do not get me wrong I am NOT against helping others wit thus thing….but not before you have done everything possible for the people that put him in office.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”