The High Cost of American Hubris

Hubris?

Yep……From the Greek word of the same spelling, the concept of overweaning pride, or expectations that far exceed the scope of one’s being.

The perfect word to describe the US policies for the Middle East.

Americans have paid a very high price for the Establishment’s imperial ambitions, a price passing a breaking point in blood and money, a problem that must be addressed with realism and humility, explains Natylie Baldwin.

Although renowned political scientist John Mearsheimer does not consider himself to be an isolationist – a term which has acquired a negative connotation since WWII – his definition is illuminating as much for clarifying what the term does not mean as for what it does.

In America Unhinged, Mearsheimer writes: “Isolationism rests on the assumption that no region of the world outside of the Western Hemisphere is of vital strategic importance to the United States. Isolationists do not argue that America has no interests in the wider world, just that they are not important enough to justify deploying military force to defend them. They are fully in favor of engaging with the rest of the world economically as well as diplomatically, but they view all foreign wars as unnecessary.”

Source: The High Cost of American Hubris – Consortiumnews

This election is the height of hubris….at least from the rhetoric coming from the mouths of candidates…..the only realistic thing either candidate has said lately is…..”good evening” at the opening of the speech.

The Middle East:  A Historical “What If” Saga

Today is my doctor’s day….I will be in and out all day…..so the posts may be a bit short and sporadic……I do apologize……

The class I teach my students were fascinated when I taught them about the post-WW1 Middle East and the King-Crane Commission from the US…..most have never been taught anything about this attempt by the US to make a difference in the Middle East following the war……

Unfortunately the effort was not very successful…..but it was a valiant attempt…..something that still rings hollow in the region these days…..

Nearly a century ago, two Americans led a quixotic mission to get the region’s borders right.

Source: The Middle East That Might Have Been – The Atlantic

I feel that it is sad that this event is all but ignored…..I feel that students could have a better grasp on the situation today if they knew more about the history of the crisis we now face….

It is possible that if this mission had been more successful then we might have a different situation in the Middle East today…..

Like I said…..a historical “what if”…..

I am sure that some mental midget will try and link this to the refugee crisis or some other noise from the Right and their conspiracy dorks…..this was an attempt to influence the region without the use of bombs or war…..I know that is a novel idea for some……..

In Case You Are Not Sure

There is so much crap being fed to the American people during this election cycle…..and most of it has to do with Iran…..all the chest thumping by mentally challenged primates is not telling the whole truth….but then they are paid by another country to NOT tell the truth…… just do as they are told……

The Iran nuke deal that was all the news a few months ago has once again made the news and at the same time has GOP candidates spreading their manure like good field workers they are……

In case you have not been exposed to the facts of the deal then let me enlighten you a wee bit…..

Of course some will not trust the report……they are paid and paid well to dispute the findings……

“Assad Must GO!”

Remember those days?

Nothing better than a good slogan to lull the people into a false sense of hope….slogans make the world a safer place (that is sarcasm)……..

I can remember Obama, Boehner, Graham, et al were all on the same page at the beginning of this situation.  The civil in Syria has raged on for over 4 years now and what has been accomplished?  Assad still in power.  Country divided and destroyed.  People fleeing the violence and causing a humanitarian nightmare.  Billions of dollars wasted on trying to accomplish one simple end….Assad must go!

I recall when a few people called on the world to attempt tot all this death and destruction by using diplomacy….of course they were scoffed and mostly laugh at because they were what some call….”head in sand” people.

But after four years of a basic stalemate there are some people asking the question…..why not try some form of diplomacy to end this situation?

The Prez of Germany or whatever her title is…..has mentioned that maybe some peace talks should be considered……

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that President Bashar al-Assad should be involved in any Syrian peace talks amid pressure from the rising number of refugees from Syria.

Merkel made the comment on Thursday after a European Union summit on the asylum seeker crisis.

“We have to speak with many actors; this includes Assad, but others as well,” Merkel said. “Not only with the United States of America, Russia, but with important regional partners, Iran, and Sunni countries such as Saudi Arabia.”

Has the refugee problem forced governments to look past their past demands?

The US, as you would expect, is not on-board with a settlement….especially one made by Russia……

For the past several months, there have been reports that the US is increasingly coming on board with Russian calls for a “unity government” made up of the current Syrian government and secular rebels to fight against ISIS. It was therefore unsurprising that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov brought the matter up again in comments today.

The US has let such comments come and go several times, but today angrily rejected the report, saying that America’s position on Syria, and its opposition to Russia’s involvement in the fight against ISIS, remain wholly unchanged.

It could be that Western governments are warming up to the notion that Assad could be part of a government after all.

The latest round of comments from Western officials could be summed up as “Bashar Assad has to go, but,” with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a former Assad ally turned outspoken Assad opponent, saying that the “process” by which Assad is eventually removed from power could give Assad a role, even though “nobody envisages a future” where he isn’t gone eventually.

Openly the US is still defiant toward Syria and Russia……

In an interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa, Kerry said he had told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov the United States was worried by Moscow’s military backing for Assad in Syria’s civil war, now in its fifth year.

“These actions could provoke a further escalation of the conflict and lead to the loss of more innocent lives, increasing the flow of refugees and risking a confrontation with the anti-ISIS (Islamic State) coalition operating in Syria,” Kerry said.

Kerry’s comments are what I would expect from a SecState…..but what is being said behind the doors of meetings around the world?

Why would I be suspect of what is being said?

Our plan for fighting the “bad guys” is inadequate and basically a failure…..even our so-called ISIS War Czar sees it……

The official announcement isn’t expected for some time, but State Department officials are confirming that retired Gen. John Allen, who has held the position of ISIS War Czar for the last year, will resign in November because of his growing frustration with the White House’s policies.

Officials said that Gen. Allen had been pushing the White House to escalate the war on numerous levels, in particularly on the Turkish call to establish a “safe zone” out of northern Syria and the deployment of more ground troops to pick targets for airstrikes.

Again…I ask….what is really being talked about behind closed doors?

Apparently something not at all what we hear in the media….to answer the question…….

In an interview on Syrian state media today, top Syrian government adviser Bouthaina Shaaban claimed that there is a “tacit agreement” between the US and Russia on coming to some sort of agreeing on the ongoing civil war, and that some sort of negotiated settlement could happen soon.

But of course the Pentagon crapped on the idea of a deal…….

If that wasn’t confusing enough, Pentagon officials are now talking up the idea that there are “overlaps” of interest between the US and Russia on Syria, suggesting the two sides could work together. They also, however, talked up the need for a “transition” to a new pro-US government.

After all the death and destruction…a poll was taken of the few Syrians left in the country…….

Syrians are overwhelmingly opposed to the division of the country and believe a political solution is still possible, according to a new poll.

In spite of the continuing carnage and a spiralling refugee crisis, the survey by ORB International said that 64 percent of Syrians believed that a political solution was still possible “despite the differences that exist between the Syrians”.

The survey also revealed that 70 percent of Syrians were opposed to the division of the country, with only the Kurds being divided on the issue, split evenly 48 percent in favour and against.

The poll, which surveyed a cross section of 1,365 people across all of Syria’s 14 governorates – including areas controlled by IS – also suggested that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was slightly more popular among ordinary Syrians that any of the opposition groups – though no one was ranked as having a net positive influence.

– See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/new-poll-suggests-syrians-believe-civil-war-resolvable-despite-social-strife-1647775093#sthash.nubeGJAH.dpuf

Odd thing is the Kurds have weighed in to the debate on Assad…….an interesting turn……
While I was in the process of writing this piece another situation developed…..
But they seem to be getting flexible on that matter suddenly, with British Premier David Cameron now reportedly in favor of keeping Assad in power for the sake of forming a “unity government,” which is the exact same Russian plan that the US and Britain have been repudiating for months
What has happened to last year’s mantra?  Assad Must Go!
At what point does the world realize that may not be the answer?
Now I return to a question I have asked time and time again……..Should Assad go or should he stay?

Beyond Partisan Bickering: Key Questions About U.S. Strategy in Syria

Syria!  Now here is a subject that will keep the average person scratching his/her head for an eternity.

I spend a lot of time researching conflicts and their management and solution…..the one that has me working overtime is the situation in Syria.  It is a fascinating event.  Most reports are conflicting, chaotic and confusing…..and that is on the good days.

Source: Beyond Partisan Bickering: Key Questions About U.S. Strategy in Syria | Center for Strategic and International Studies

Everyone has an opinion on Syria and what to do….the problem is few are willing to go on Congressional record with those solutions and opinion…..

Politics………. a game played by fools!

What’s Next For AIPAC?

Now that the Iranian nuke deal is facing all the challenges that can possibly be found by those whores in Congress at the behest of their Sugar Daddy, AIPAC…….games on top of games will be played by those wanting to kill the deal and move to a more aggressive footing….neocons will not go quietly into the night…..they must do as they are told.

After the announcement of the deal AIPAC went batcrap crazy throwing money at those in Congress that could kill the deal…..hoping to head off the deal at the proverbial pass….they crapped out hard.  The deal will go through……is it possible that AIPAC has lost its pull?

Source: AIPAC Spent Millions of Dollars to Defeat the Iran Deal. Instead, It May Have Destroyed Itself. | The Nation

Yep, AIPAC is licking its wounds but believe me when I say that they are far from finished with their opposition to the deal.

Source: Next Hurdle for Iran Deal: AIPAC’s Plan B (Endorsed by Post) « LobeLog

Never count the GOP out…..they will play games for as long as it takes…..and they are good at it……once they lick their wounds they will be back and verbal as ever……

Implementing the Iran Nuclear Agreement

Since I refuse to post on the Pope and his visit….I think I will resurrect a subject from the recent past……the Iran Nuke Deal!

Last month the big “end of days” scenario was the Iran nuke deal…..this month it is refugees and the dude in the white robe….what it will be next month is just tiring imagining the prospects….but let us talk about that damn deal that so many are having a stroke over…..at least last month.

President Obama has a win on the foreign policy front…..he negotiated a nuke deal with Iran and he won a veto proof vote count and in the later days he got the filibuster proof vote count….I guess some will say that he has his win-win scenario……

But do not count the Repubs out….they will find a way to cause trouble for the deal ….I mean they have to….Israel has paid good money to them for their opposition and they, Israel, will expect some form of progress for the cash……

Do not count on them rolling over…..they tried to sue over Obamacare…..why not try the same tactic for the nuke deal?

My point is that it is an election year and the GOP needs all the friends it can muster…..the opposition to the deal may be far from over….

But let us say that all goes well with the nuke deal….next will come the implementation of the deal……and how will we accomplish that?

As attention turns to implementing the Iran nuclear agreement, questions remain regarding future inspections, Iran’s legacy technical capacity, and what the United States should do to ensure Iran stays off the nuclear path.

Source: Implementing the Iran Nuclear Agreement | Center for American Progress

Once the agreement is a done deal there will be setbacks……and there will be antics and games played before and during the implementation…..

Source: Now Comes the Hard Part on Iran « LobeLog

I know that many hate the word diplomacy…….but if we can control nukes without going to another protracted war then I say……why not?