Requiem For Middle East Peace

Last week the US did what it has been doing for decades only this time they came out of the closet and proved that it had NO intention of settling the problems in the Middle East….problems that it helped create……problems that it feed for 70 years.

For years the US has been the harbinger of ill will towards the Palestinian people…..for years it has said that the only answer to the problems was that of a two state solution……and the if one knee jerk decision Fearless Fosdick has ended any hope of a peaceful solution.

Defying dire, worldwide warnings, President Trump on Wednesday broke with decades of US and international policy by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Trump declared that he was ending an approach that for decades has failed to advance the prospects for peace, per the AP. “I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” he said in a White House address, calling it “overdue” and in the best interests of the US. He said recognition acknowledged the “obvious”—that Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s government despite the disputed status that is one of the key elements in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “This is nothing more or less than the recognition of reality,” Trump said.

There are many questions that normal Americans will probably ask…..and there is some great answers to these questions….

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/trump-jerusalem-move-key-questions-answered-171206074533021.html

In policy terms, a central question is what President Trump recognised as Israel’s capital. Was it West Jerusalem, thereby leaving open the possibility that East Jerusalem would be the capital of a future state of Palestine? Was it present-day municipal Jerusalem within its unilaterally expanded borders, thereby essentially pre-empting the final status of the city? Or was it some third variant? His statement was not clear.

On the one hand, Trump specifically cited the Jerusalem Embassy Act as the basis of his decision, which refers to the “undivided” Jerusalem that Israel considers to be under its sovereignty. In justifying his decision, he mentioned locations not just within West Jerusalem (the parliament, Supreme Court, and prime minister’s residence) but also within the occupied Old City, including Al-Aqsa Mosque, without stating that he was or was not recognising Israeli sovereignty in the East.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/eastern-mediterranean/israelpalestine/counting-costs-us-recognition-jerusalem-israels-capital

The big question now is how this stupid decision will effect the Palestinian struggle?

https://972mag.com/is-jerusalem-forcing-a-new-direction-for-the-palestinian-struggle/131340/

The world has now got to take sup the slack….the US has left a gaping hole in the fabric of the planet……

https://shareblue.com/world-leaders-forced-to-hold-emergency-meeting-because-of-trump/#.WiwW87qQdpY.twitter

The plight of the Palestinian people is up to the world…..maybe now it will step up and do the right thing…..it has for too long bowed to the US….now te world needs to PUT UP OR SHUT UP!

 

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North Korea And Beyond

We  all know the machismo of Fearless Fosdick and his rhetoric aimed at North Korea and its leader……but has Li’l Kim had to say in the past couple of days……

War on the Korean Peninsula is now inevitable thanks to America’s “confrontational warmongering remarks,” North Korea warned late Wednesday. A statement from the country’s foreign ministry said the outbreak of war is an “established” fact and the only remaining question is when it will happen, Reuters reports. “We do not wish for a war but shall not hide from it, and should the US miscalculate our patience and light the fuse for a nuclear war, we will surely make the US dearly pay the consequences with our mighty nuclear force which we have consistently strengthened,” the statement said.

The statement also slammed US officials including CIA Director Mike Pompeo for “impudently criticizing our supreme leadership, which is the heart of our people.” The statement came as the “Vigilant Ace” military drills involving hundreds of American and South Korean aircraft continued, with a US B-1B supersonic bomber flying over the peninsula Wednesday, the AP reports. The South Korean military said the drill, in which the US bomber simulated land strikes, “displayed the allies’ strong intent and ability to punish North Korea when threatened by nuclear weapons and missiles.” (On Tuesday, a senior UN official visited North Korea for the first time since 2011.)

Everybody involved in this situation has blasted the other……everybody has the idea of what should be done…..and it looks like war could be inevitable….heavy hard words but what is wrong with the US and NK actually talking to each other?

Anyone who says talk is cheap hasn’t tried getting President Trump to talk with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong Un. Not even the specter of a war that could kill millions of people on the Korean peninsula, Japan and now even the continental United States seems sufficient to push the two leaders into negotiations. Both sides insist on unacceptable preconditions before they will even consider holding formal talks to reach a peaceful settlement.

Successful negotiations might end Washington’s economic sanctions and military preparations against North Korea, but Pyongyang demands that outcome before it even starts talks. Two weeks ago, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations, Han Tae Song, said, “As long as there is continuous hostile policy against my country by the U.S. and as long as there are continued war games at our doorstep, then there will not be negotiations.”

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/11/30/whats-wrong-with-talking-to-north-korea/

Talking is far better than bullets…..

The Russians have delivered a message from NK…….

With its nuclear and missile programs having advanced substantially over the past several months, North Korea is now ready for direct nuclear negotiations with the United States, according to a message delivered to US officials by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Details of the plan delivered from Lavrov to Rex Tillerson weren’t totally clear, though in recent weeks North Korea has suggested they envision Russia being involved in any such talks as well. Lavrov says North Korea’s main goal in the talks is security guarantees.

This is unsurprising, as North Korea’s foreign policy seems to be built more or less entirely on the notion that a US invasion could happen at any moment, and they’ve been very public about their nuclear program being designed to deter the US from launching a costly war.

There was no word out of the State Department on any US response to such talks. Though Tillerson has advocated diplomacy with North Korea, they’ve also suggested that any direct talks would require unilateral North Korean disarmament as a precondition.

(antiwar.com)

It appears that talk is cheap but what would the results be if there is no talks?

In a nuclear standoff with North Korea more than two decades ago—long before the reclusive government had atomic weapons that could threaten America—US officials planned for war. Declassified documents published Friday show the United States believed its military and South Korea’s forces would “undoubtedly win” a conflict on the divided Korean Peninsula, with the understanding it would cost many casualties. The Pentagon estimated at the time that if war broke with Korea, some 52,000 American service members would be killed or wounded in the first three months. South Korean military casualties would total 490,000 in that time. And the number of North Korean and civilian lives claimed would be enormous.

Today, with North Korea almost able to directly threaten the US mainland with nuclear strikes, the possibility of conflict looms as it had in 1994. Twenty-three years ago, the stakes were different, reports the AP. At that time, President Bill Clinton’s administration considered a cruise missile strike on a North Korean nuclear complex after it began defueling a reactor that could provide fissile material for bombs for the first time. Former President Jimmy Carter headed off a conflict, meeting with founding North Korean leader Kim Il Sung and helping seal an aid-for-disarmament agreement. The pact endured for nearly a decade, despite frequent disputes and periodic flare-ups on the peninsula. The AP has more.

Do we want a war or do we want a world that is safe from bullies and warmongers?

Do we talk or do we walk?

Will The Palestine Issue Be Solved?

This is a thorny question……the closest this issue came to a settlement was with Pres. Carter….who knows if he had been re-elected what this issue would be today….my thought is….settled!

Instead we have a Fearless Leader that could find Palestine on a map of Palestine….he will send his son-in-law to settle this once and for all…..(pause here for raucous laughter)…..another clueless twat to settle a complex issue….typical of a worthless presidency.

The US gives billions to Israel every year at is almost a given that they will get cash no matter what….but with all the violence (according to Israel is all the Palestinians fault)……did you know that Israel arrests children as young as 10 years of age?  And US cash helps fuel these acts of barbarity…..but that could change….

Children and teenagers are frequent victims of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. They face physical abuse by Israeli military forces and are shuffled through an unfair court system without access to legal counsel or even their parents.

The United States has long subsidized these abuses, giving billions of dollars in military aid to Israel every year. Now, a group of Democratic members of Congress is saying enough is enough.

Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., and nine co-sponsors on Tuesday introduced legislation that would require the U.S. State Department to certify every year that American military aid is not being used to fund the systematic abuse of Palestinian children.

https://theintercept.com/2017/11/14/congress-palestinian-children-israel-us-military-aid/

The UN has started to notice Israel’s actions against Palestinians……

According to Mondoweiss, the U.N. rapporteur didn’t hold back at a press conference. He demanded the international community be held accountable for Israel’s actions:

“At a press conference about his report, S. Michael Lynk, a Canadian professor of law and human rights expert, said it is time the international community reach into its ‘toolbox’ of enforcement mechanisms, so as to ‘raise the stakes’ against the occupation and change international ‘opinion’ of Israel. The country had been worried by the Goldstone Report in 2009 and is today worried by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), Lynk said; so if the international community took ‘unified actions on an escalating basis’ to declare the occupation illegal and demand Israel’s withdrawal, Israel would respond.”

Mondoweiss suggested Mr. Lynk was indirectly advocating for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that has started to take off in recent years.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/un-panel-sanctions-needed-against-israel-to-stop-ethnic-cleansing-of-palestine/5616477

But now Fearless Leader sends his butt boy to end the violence and bring about an end to the conflict….what a goddamn silly notion.

Why you ask?

First, Kushner is a clown with an expensive suit and second…. Israel does not want peace with the Palestinians…..

Former Secretary of State John Kerry believes that the Israeli government is not doing its part to foster peace with the Palestinians.

In recordings published earlier this week by Channel 10, an Israeli TV news station, Kerry celebrates the Palestinians for committing to a peaceful solution to the decades-long conflict.

“The Palestinians have done an extraordinary job of remaining committed to nonviolence,” Kerry says. “When the intifada took place [in 2015] they delivered non-violence in the West Bank.”

http://www.newsweek.com/israel-palestine-conflict-john-kerry-netanyahu-peace-716257

Then there is the fact that Israel NEVER wanted a sovereign state of Palestine……

How many Israeli settlers – or settlement houses – until a two-state solution is impossible? That’s the question we should be asking our politicians, who frequently refer to a “closing window of opportunity” for a Palestinian state in light of Israeli “facts on the ground”.

Speaking in Parliament recently, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson urged a halt to “the illegal settlements”; every time Israeli authorities “build new units”, he said, they “move us further from a two-state solution”, even if “they are not yet making it impossible to deliver the new map”.

http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/why-israel-does-not-want-sovereign-palestinian-state-339490166

This fight has been on-going for so long that many do not think that there will ever be a solution to this conflict…..

For the past 50 years, a United Nations Security Council resolution has helped to sustain Israel’s occupation of Palestine, analysts say.

Ghada Karmi, a British-Palestinian author and lecturer at Exeter University’s Institute of Arab and Islamic studies, says the central issue is that Israelis “never intended” to comply with UNSC Resolution 242, adopted on November 22, 1967.

“From the steady colonisation of the Palestinian area, you can see that there has been no attempt on the part of Israel to comply with any part of the resolution,” she said.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/11/state-solution-171119093352403.html

Of course here in the US as other countries….the news makes it out like all the problems and the violence is on the shoulders of the Palestinians…..that is wrong…..no one takes into account that homes are destroyed by Israel for made up reasons….as well as the theft of land, destruction of crops and constant raids on homes and businesses…..any American that suffered any of these violations would take to the streets as well….

I have offered up a solution to this problem…..since Israel has built a wall around the West Bank then declare this region Palestine……I wrote a piece for a site, Legationes, about this….

I had been playing with an idea that could possibly aid the Palestinian people and their search for a state of Palestine: this post is part of those thoughts.

Now that Benjamin Netanyahu has won his election and his true nature has been revealed, maybe it is time for a new plan for the Middle East. I have seen many proposals to settle the conundrum of the Israeli-Palestinians conflict.

https://legationes.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/let-the-wall-define-palestine/

This is not a perfect solution but one that could be the start….all it would need is international support.

Back to Fearless Leaders solution……

The US plan would call for a “Palestinian state” in the Gaza Strip and a few enclaves in the West Bank but key issues including the status of Jerusalem and the right of return for Palestinian refugees would be postponed.

So-called “final negotiations” would then be led by Saudi Arabia.

Kushner reportedly visited Saudi Arabia to brief Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman – commonly known as MBS – and to ask for Saudi help to pressure Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to accept the plan.

Earlier this month MBS summoned Abbas to Riyadh. According to Israeli media reports, the Saudi autocrat told the PA leader to accept the upcoming Trump peace plan or resign.

Unnamed Palestinian officials told Middle East Eye that MBS offered to nearly triple Saudi Arabia’s monthly payments to the PA to $20 million if Abbas accepts it.

So bribery is the key to this plan…..bribe Abbas to accept it and the Palestinian people are screwed yet again by the US….perfect plan from Trump.

I like my plan better!

Middle East–What’s Next?

ISIS and the “caliphate” are all but gone from the region…..with that one simple situation the question needs to be asked….what is next for the Middle East?

Will war continue?  Will a massive rebuilding program come into being?  Will there be a period of peace and semi-stability?

All good questions that have no answer as it is today……The problem with answers is Trump…..no one in the region knows exactly what to expect from our Fearless Leader……

Fresh polling data of Arab opinion in the Middle East on Donald Trump and US policy towards the region has shown that the majority of Arabs hold a negative view of the American president, even in places like Saudi Arabia where the government is friendly towards his administration.

More than half of respondents in this poll unveiled on 26 October by the Arab Center Washington DC – a non-profit that focuses on American-Arab relations – said Trump was anti-Muslim and that his administration has battered US credibility in the world.

The index, which surveyed eight Arab countries, found that 56 percent thought Trump was Islamophobic, and almost half of respondents said he was dangerous and intolerant. Only 38 percent said he was qualified to be president.

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/us-mideast-policy-oblivious-arab-opinion-experts-say-1602741947

Some in the region even think that he wants a new war after the ISIS fight is over…..

Does Donald Trump want a new Middle East war, pitting Saudi Arabia against Iran in a conflict that could lay waste to the world’s oil region and drag the United States into a conflict that would make the war in Iraq look like a minor skirmish? It sure looks like it.

In his September address to the United Nations, Trump took aim at the six-power accord that froze Iran’s nuclear program, calling it “one-sided” and “an embarrassment to the United States” and lambasting Iran, in typically over-the-top Trumpian rhetoric, as a “rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos.” A few weeks later, Trump unilaterally decertified the deal, threatening to kill it once and for all. Now, Saudi Arabia – Iran’s foremost regional adversary – has upped the ante, with a series of actions that have dramatically raised area tensions. And the Saudis, who run the world’s leading dictatorship, are doing it with the full encouragement of the White House.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/does-trump-want-a-new-middle-east-war-w511396

The mash-up with Iran could signal the next war in waiting…..Iran is being blamed for anything and everything that happens in the Middle East these days….

Islamic State is in fatal decline. The Middle East will soon enter a new era, post-Islamic State, dominated by the Saudi-Iranian power struggle. The struggle will, as it has as it ran alongside the fight against Islamic State, involve shifting Sunni and Shiite allegiances. But the fight is not about religion. Religion this time has more to do with complicating choices in political bedfellows and where proxies are recruited than dogma. For behind that Sunni-Shiite curtain, this is a classic geopolitical power struggle – for control of Iraq and Syria, and for expanding diplomatic and strategic reach throughout the region.

http://original.antiwar.com/Peter_Van_Buren/2017/10/30/next-middle-east-war-post-isis/

Israel is doing its part to make the bad guy out of Iran…..it has been planning this fight for 30 years maybe longer….Israel is using the US to help them spread global chaos…….war after war and if you look closely who is benefiting from the chaos….Israel.  And now it appears that Lebanon is on their radar and will use the Saudis to do their dirty work for them…..with US help.

It is time for this country to rein in the use of military force….we are fighting too many wars and swatting valuable money that society desperately needs…..

Four US soldiers died in Niger on October 4, and the president’s insensitive phone call to the widow of one has brought the subject of the military in every corner of the world back in the news.

The UN has 193 members. The US has over 240,000 troops in at least 172 of them, some of which are embroiled in what The New York Times describes as “forever wars”. How many people knew there was a contingent of more than 1,000 in Niger? Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader and thus the highest ranking Democrat, did not. Neither did Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican who serves on the Armed Forces Committee. Or, Senator Rand Paul who wants the post 9/11 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) to be reviewed.

http://original.antiwar.com/Arshad_Khan/2017/11/03/reining-ubiquitous-use-military-force/

America needs a time of peace and stability…..a time to heal from the war madness inflicting the country….

Thoughts?

Iraq Update

Hey there.  Does anyone remember Iraq?  That is our other war that we do not talk about anymore.  You would think that after a 13 year conflict that it would be more important.

ISIS (remember them?) seems to have been all but totally defeated in Iraq….word is there are isolated pocket of ISIS resistance left in the country…..mostly in the western desert.

Now the question is what’s next for Iraq?

With the recent fall of Raqqa, Dair ez-Zor and now al-Qaim, the military defeat of Islamic State (IS) is at hand. For strategists, it is thus timely to question whether the three years of war against this adversary have yielded strategic victory—and the answer is vague indeed.

The significant attrition experienced by IS in Mosul may have overwhelmed the idea of the caliphate. Rapid capitulation in Tal Afar and Hawijah suggests either a loss of morale or a change in strategy towards posturing for an insurgency. Evidence of the latter has been seen in Europe, where attacks by IS increased in frequency despite its losses of terrain and senior leadership in the Middle East and North Africa. The IS leadership may be purposefully choosing to transition to a global insurgency paradigm—akin to a Maoist latent/incipient phase of guerrilla warfare—leveraging an IS-affiliated diaspora across the globe. Alternatively, IS may be rejecting a territorially based identity that would understand defeat via this Westphalian norm. It must therefore be expected that the group will continue to inspire terrorist activities to create instability, progress global insurgency, and grow the virtual caliphate.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2017/11/08/the_war_in_iraq_tactical_success_strategic_ambiguity_112603.html

There is no way of knowing what will be next for Iraq….but now that the fighting is mostly done….Iran is moving to consolidate its power base in Iraq…..

Iran is consolidating military control in Kirkuk. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi appointed an Iranian-friendly commander, Lieutenant General Ali Fadhil Imran, to lead the newly created “Kirkuk Operations Command” on October 28, 2017. Imran is the former head of the Iranian-influenced 5th Iraqi Army (IA) Division, based in Diyala. Photos in Iraqi and Jordanian media and a Facebook page linked with Imran show him closely coordinating with Iranian proxy Badr Organization leader Hadi al Ameri in 2015. The 5th IA Division is a component of the Dijla Operations Command (DOC), which is responsible for security in Iraq’s Diyala Province along the Iraq-Iran border. Iran’s influence over the DOC’s leadership is a template for how the security structure in Kirkuk will likely evolve. Iran’s proxies have disproportionate influence over the DOC. A video published by Vice News in February 2015 shows the former head of the DOC Abdul Amir al Zaydi taking direct orders from Ameri. Imran will likely provide a durable conduit for Iran’s proxies to dominate Kirkuk’s security structure similar to their role in Diyala.

http://iswresearch.blogspot.com/2017/11/iran-solidifies-influence-in-kirkuk.html

Will this become a problem?

The US is already beating the war drum towards Iraq and yet the prudent decision would be to appoint a special envoy to go to the Kurds and act as a diplomatic buffer…..you would think right?

The United States has said there was no need to appoint a special envoy to resolve the crisis between Iraq and Kurdistan Region, saying that such a dispute could be resolved “internally”.

“We certainly heard about that idea to appoint a special envoy. We believe at this point that this is an issue that can be worked out internally, that it can be worked out between Baghdad and Erbil and don’t feel that it’s necessary to appoint some sort of United States envoy in some sort of new position to handle this,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, said in a press briefing late Tuesday.

https://www.iraqinews.com/baghdad-politics/u-s-no-need-special-envoy-iraq-kurdistan-crisis/

Not to worry…..the American military will be standing by to re-invade if necessary.

A special envoy would be the perfect answer to a tense situation.  But Fearless Leader has no time for diplomatic solutions to complex events…..too busy with all the “slap and tickle” stuff he can Tweet about.

While he is busy on Twitter Iran is slowly consolidating a power base in Iraq….maybe Fearless Leader should look up from his phone every now and then and see what is happening while he Twaddles away…..

The US In The Middle East

There is so much happening in the Middle East and all we Americans get as far as news goes is the slap and tickle crap by a bunch of perverts.

There is a lot of information here but well worth the time it will take to digest it.

On November 3, professor John Mearsheimer made a short and stunning presentation at “U.S. Foreign Policy in the Trump Era: Can Realism and Restraint Prevail?” conference held at George Washington University in Washington, DC. In the unipolar world after the collapse of the Soviet Union, he claimed, realists urged nonintervention and staying out of conflicts and countries that “really don’t matter much.” Unfortunately, American “crusaders” prevailed and pushed the US into a series of unnecessary quagmires across the greater Middle East.

Americans appear to agree. When presented with a list of expenditure categories, and polled about which should be the single top priority for budgetary cuts by Congress, “US military actions in the Middle East” was far and away their top choice. But most Americans probably have little idea how enormous those costs truly are.

AS a wonk for international relations and conflict management I need to cover something about our involvement in the region……that is besides fighting wars without end…..for 15 years the US has been involve in the Middle East as an invader….when it should be a mediator for a peaceful conclusion for all the craziness.

In the past the US has been a force for good but all that ended with the destruction of the Twin Towers….and this lack of diplomacy has made the US little more than a bystander to the events unfolding……

Without a diplomatic component to our policies then we are basically giving Russia the upper hand….

The U.S. is abdicating its role as a diplomatic powerbroker to Russia in Syria. The U.S. is ultimately empowering a political process driven by Russia that will not secure America’s strategic objectives in Syria. Those objectives include the Trump Administration’s focus on “neutralizing” Iran’s influence and “constraining its aggression” as well the lasting defeat of Salafi-Jihadists such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin held an informal meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Vietnam on November 11. The two leaders later released a joint statement that ostensibly reiterated their commitment to previous agreements on the Syrian Civil War, including bilateral military de-confliction, de-escalation zones, and a negotiated settlement through the UN Geneva Process. The statement nonetheless reinforces a number of persistent fallacies regarding the interests of Russia in Syria.
Some even seem to think that we have given Iran a free hand in the Middle East……

A large, bipartisan delegation of lawmakers warned the Trump administration on Tuesday that its regional policies are laying the groundwork for Iran to takeover Syria, according to a letter sent to the State Department that urged the administration to present Congress with a plan for combating the Islamic Republic’s foothold in the war torn country.

Nearly 50 members of Congress who recently returned from a trip to the Middle East warned Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that Syria is falling into Iran’s hands, a situation that has caused anxiety among Israeli leaders, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the WashingtonFree Beacon.

This part here is the neocons wanting to beat the war drums toward Iran…..and they are doing a good job with the help of the Saudis.
To the point that some say were have done Iran a favor in the Middle East…..

Kurdish aspirations for independence in Iraq faced the obstinate resistance of both regional and international actors which favoured the territorial integrity of Iraq. The rationale for their stance was that the independence of Kurdistan would undermine the stability of Iraq. 

Regardless of whether such predictions were right or wrong, Iraq’s one and only stable region has now been dragged into the persistent and endemic instability of the rest of the country. The political impasse that arose from both the intra-Kurdish conflict and Baghdad’s aggressive policy of controlling borders drove Iraqi Kurdistan swiftly into turbulence. The conditions in the Kurdish region are exacerbated by the newly imposed sanctions and negotiations over the 2018 Iraqi budget, which deepen the ongoing economic crisis.

The neocons are frothing at the bit over Iran and what it is doing in the Middle East…..the US has screwed up the Middle East for decades to come……and longer if the neocons get their war with Iran….since the election of Trump our status in the Middle East has dropped considerably…..
Many critiques of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy concern his open brinksmanship with enemies like North Korea or jarring antagonism of rivals like China and Iran. But much of the administration’s worst behavior concerns how it treats America’s friends.
The United States has long tried to aid and reassure its allies, helping them defend themselves and achieve their goals. America also brought its friends together, helping turn historic enemies like Germany and France or Japan and Korea into allies in their own right. The American track record is hardly perfect—as the Kurds, South Vietnamese, and others can attest. Yet such abandonment is the exception, not the rule, and the United States emerged as the leader of the free world in large part because its allies trusted it to do the right thing (if only, in a remark often attributed to Winston Churchill, after exhausting all the other alternatives). Whether it was to keep the Russians out of Europe during the Cold War, liberate Kuwait from Iraqi aggression, or build a robust global trading order, it was America that assembled coalitions, provided military muscle, and was there in the dark hours when our friends needed us most.
The US has NO standing in the Middle East other than the role of invader…..and it just keeps getting worse with every new situation that calls for diplomacy….some thing we do not have the capability of handling.
For instance…there has been a round of peace talks with Syria to include the government, some within the Free Syrian Army, some rebels and Russia….and where was the US with all this happening?

Russia’s multifaceted involvement in the Syrian war has now tipped the advantage decisively in favor of the government led by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Its well-considered system of local ceasefires and “reconciliations”—little more than glorified surrenders—between the regime and all manner of defeated members of the opposition has been fortified by a “de-escalation” regime, joined by Turkish, Iranian, and American junior partners in expanding perimeters throughout the country.

This effort is capped by a Russian-led diplomatic juggernaut in the Kazakh capital of Astana that is out-performing the moribund U.S.-led Geneva process. Russian President Vladimir Putin has defined Russian objectives clearly and resolutely, and marshaled inferior resources with skill and determination—much to the consternation of Washington.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/washington-relegated-to-bystander-status-in-syria-talks/

There is movement on a peace initiative and where is the US?  We have an incompetent president and even more incompetent Secretary of State sitting in Washington Tweeting and flapping his lips in the breeze and the rest of the world is making strives toward peace.

The Turkish, Iranian and Russian foreign ministers will meet this weekend in the southern province of Antalya, in preparation for a leaders’ summit on Nov. 22 in the Russian city of Sochi on efforts to cement a truce in Syria.

“There will be a trilateral summit in Sochi on Nov. 22. Ahead of this meeting, [all three countries’] high-ranking bureaucrats and experts will meet. Likewise, the foreign ministers of the three countries will meet in Antalya on the weekend,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said late on Nov. 16.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-iranian-russian-ministers-to-meet-in-antalya-for-syria-122574

The US is NO longer the messenger of peace and democracy….but rather a fool that makes policy at 140 characters and quickly becoming the laughing stock of the civilized world.

The people of the US need to have their voices heard….they need to make some noise to get the attention of the impotent a/holes in DC….what am I going on about?

On November 3, professor John Mearsheimer made a short and stunning presentation at “U.S. Foreign Policy in the Trump Era: Can Realism and Restraint Prevail?” conference held at George Washington University in Washington, DC. In the unipolar world after the collapse of the Soviet Union, he claimed, realists urged nonintervention and staying out of conflicts and countries that “really don’t matter much.” Unfortunately, American “crusaders” prevailed and pushed the US into a series of unnecessary quagmires across the greater Middle East.

Americans appear to agree. When presented with a list of expenditure categories, and polled about which should be the single top priority for budgetary cuts by Congress, “US military actions in the Middle East” was far and away their top choice. But most Americans probably have little idea how enormous those costs truly are.

http://original.antiwar.com/smith-grant/2017/11/15/poll-americans-cut-middle-east-war-spending/

Why not?  Fearless Leader has NO Middle East policy….nope….that would interfere with his damn golf game….

Time was when a mere statement from a secretary of state – let alone a US president – would have the phones jangling across the Middle East. The Reagans, Clintons, Bushes or Obamas of this world actually did have an effect on the region, albeit often malign, US leaders being poorly briefed and always in awe of Israel (not to mention its power to destroy political lives in Washington). But today, who is calling the shots across the old Ottoman Empire?

Well, just take a look at Putin and Assad and Erdogan and Sissi and Macron and Rouhani. These are the men who are currently holding the headlines, either declaring Isis dead or beaten or Syria “saved” or the Kurds “terrorists” or rescuing Prime Minister Saad Hariri from his hostage home in Saudi Arabia – although now we’ve all got to believe that he wasn’t detained and didn’t really intend to resign or did resign but doesn’t want to resign any more. And rather oddly, Mohamed bin Salman looks less and less influential, a Gulf Crown Prince whose attempts to destroy Yemen, Assad’s Syria, Qatar and Al Jazeera and even poor Lebanon look more and more like a child in a tantrum, throwing his toys around in an attempt to frighten the neighbours – including the one neighbour he will not fight, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/us-foreign-policy-middle-east-russia-syria-doesnt-exist-anymore-a8072056.html

Time for the American people to stand up and shout their wants to the clowns in DC……remain silent and watch even more quagmires pop up….and even more money wasted on the endless wars that we have grown accustom to in the past 16  years.

 Me?  I want these wars to end and the nation to get back to making this country great again……cannot do that from putting green.

Our Man In China

Trump scooted off the Korean Peninsula and is now in China….he was met with a lavish “hello” ceremony….lots of color, pomp and ceremony….all the things he likes because it is all about him coming to China…..

China pulled out all the stops for President Trump’s airport arrival in Beijing: honor guard, marching band, jumping children. The ceremony accompanying Trump’s arrival Wednesday afternoon was elaborate even by China’s lavish standards. Heads of state are usually given a low-key reception at the airport, with the real pomp and circumstance reserved for his or her arrival at the Great Hall of the People in the center of Beijing. As they exited Air Force One, Trump and first lady Melania Trump were met by Chinese and American dignitaries, soldiers standing stiffly at attention, a band playing martial music, and smartly attired children waving miniature Chinese and American flags while chanting, “Welcome, welcome.”

The president and first lady appeared pleased, smiling and accepting flower bouquets, with Trump at one point throwing his arms open and appearing to exclaim, “Wow,” the AP reports. During his two-day visit, Trump is expected to discuss issues including trade, the South China Sea, and North Korea with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Trump is expected to demand that China curtail its dealings with Pyongyang and expel North Korean workers. One uncertainty for Trump: whether he will be able to use Twitter in China, which has banned the social media platform.

OMG!  A day without Twitter!  What will he do?

China has become a major power in the world as well as the US number trading partner….what will Fearless Leader have to say to the Chinese that he has not already said?

After all his strong rhetoric about China and its trade policies his tune is a bit different when he is face to face with the Chinese…….

President Trump has previously expressed being “disappointed” at China for “taking advantage” of the US with “one-sided” trade, as well as called the country a “currency manipulator.” But speaking in Beijing on Thursday, he appeared to admire any clever exploitation of the US. “I don’t blame China,” he said in a speech to business leaders after a two-hour sit-down with President Xi Jinping. “After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country for benefit of their citizens? I give China great credit.” Instead of pointing the finger at his host nation, Trump blamed his own predecessors “for allowing this trade deficit to take place and to grow.” Trump also touted the “great chemistry” he says he shares with Xi and said he thinks the two countries will do “tremendous things,” per the Washington Post.

Trump said he mentioned the “chronic imbalance” of the nations’ trade status to Xi, and the leaders announced they’d worked out $250 billion in various trade deals, which China’s commerce minister called a “miracle,” per Reuters. Details weren’t offered, and CNN notes that many agreements were already in progress when Trump took office. Xi, for his part, was more “reserved,” per the Post, simply talking about a “new starting point” for the two nations and a “win-win” relationship while avoiding discussing his personal relationship with Trump. Trump and Xi didn’t field questions during their joint appearance; CNN notes that Trump’s three immediate predecessors in the White House had all convinced Chinese leaders on their own first state visits there to take questions. “It was at the Chinese insistence there were no questions today,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

To me that is the coward’s way out……one thing in the US and another when face to face with the Chinese….it is tacky at best.

Now on to Vietnam and meetings…….