What Of The Middle East?

There is all kinds of news breaking almost daily….from the antics of some moronic actor to the sexual exploits of singer to rapes and misadventures to the president’s legal problems and in all that the Middle East continues to boil and ignite….

Since the MSM will not go there then I shall…..

What are the options for the US in the region….(this from a site Small Wars)…….

Before he resigned, former Defense Secretary James Mattis was reportedly working in conjunction with the Department of State to revise US policy in the Middle East.  Whatever vision Mr. Mattis had will have likely died when he left office – but he had the right idea in undertaking a review. Our strategic situation in the region has changed since the turn of the century, but our basic strategy has remained largely intact. That is not necessarily a good or bad thing, but it does suggest that a review of political-military strategy in the region is prudent.

Militarily, we maintain a series of major bases in Bahrain, Kuwait, Turkey, and Iraq with smaller support presence in Jordan, Qatar, and Israel. We have also maritime prepositioned equipment in Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean and maintain a forward deployed naval presence in the region headquartered in Bahrain. Diplomatically and militarily our strategic agreements are bilateral, as they are in the Pacific and the Indian Oceans. There is no NATO-like alliance in the region.

https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/americas-strategic-options-middle-east

Seriously! The US has been meddling in the affairs of the Middle East for 40 years (some say longer than that)…..the question then is…..have we learned anything in all that time?

With the surprise announcement of the withdrawal of U.S. forces in Syria, and to a lesser extent, the announcement of a drawdown of 7,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan, many interventionist critics who had tolerated Donald Trump’s ineffectual strikes against Assad and peace talks with the Taliban seem to have reached a boiling point. But even after Trump defended his position and said Iran “can do what they want there” in Syria, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton have undercut the clarity of what seemed like a presidential decree mandating a withdrawal.

The Trump administration’s policy in Syria seems to have reverted back to its normal state of political and strategic ambiguity. While the U.S. has begun to remove some assets from northern Syria, Bolton told Israeli officials that a full withdrawal will once again be conditions-based and Pompeo implied that such a withdrawal will be contingent on keeping a “coalition against Iran together.” The rapturous flood of criticism against the original decision from the media, the Washington commentariat, and the U.S. foreign policy establishment, followed by the resignation-in-protest of Defense Secretary James Mattis, seems to have softened Trump’s determination to withdraw.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/middle-east-watch/what-should-we-learn-40-years-us-intervention-middle-east-41542

From where I sit the answer to the question is ….not a damn thing! We keep going in and making things worse than before we showed up…..and for that reason Americans are starting to tire of all US adventurism…….

As is typical with many secretaries of state who deliver speeches in foreign lands, Pompeo’s remarks were full of the kinds of anecdotes and flowery rhetoric only a quintessential American exceptionalist could love. He talked about the United States as “ a force for good ” in the region, one willing and ready to stand by its partners during a time of crisis. 

Rosy words of American do-gooderism, however, don’t tell us much of anything about whether the United States has learned the hard lessons that it needs to learn in order to avoid another decade of being entrapped in the Middle Eastern quicksand. In fact, from Pompeo’s words, Washington is not only failing to learn and adapt, but is dangerously close to repeating the same poor judgment. The American foreign-policy apparatus, articulated throughout Secretary Pompeo’s trip to the region, has completely misdiagnosed why the Middle East is such a violent, hyper-competitive, and dysfunctional place

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/skeptics/americans-are-tired-middle-east-mayhem-41837

Nothing the government says bears out in reality……our interference only makes matters worse….time for the US to stay out of the region and let the people decide what is best for them not what is best for the US.

The US has few options anymore in the Middle East…….

The Trump Administration has expressed the intention to create a Sunni Arab alliance aimed at countering Iranian influence in the Middle East through the establishment of MESA, often referred to as the “Arab North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)[1].” Prospective MESA member states are Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Jordan, and Egypt. Such an alliance would constitute a unified bloc of U.S.-backed nations and theoretically indicate to the Iranian government that a new, highly coordinated effort to counter Iranian influence in the region is taking shape.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/01/08/options_for_the_us_middle_east_strategic_alliance_114084.html

Time to come home and leave the region to its own devices.

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Waiting For The Middle East Peace Plan

Our Dear Supreme Leader has put his son-in-law in charge of finding a peace deal for the Middle East…….and what about this dude makes him qualified for such a task? Well he is Jewish……(thinking….thinking)……that is about it.

After two years we are still waiting for this miraculous thing that has eluded all qualified people….a peace plan for the Middle East…..there have been many plans and none have come to fruition….why? Israel is a stumbling block….NO it is not the unarmed protesters that Israel kills daily…it is the attitude of the Israeli government and their search to erase the Palestinian bloodline from the region.

So what would a devout Jew actually bring to the table that would assure peace and civil rights for all concerned?

That my friends is a good goddamn question!

There are as many situations in the Middle East as there are grains of sand…..what is driving the situation in the Middle East?

Politics in the Middle East have long been as fluid as the sands which make up much of the region. From the crusades to colonialism to the present, many political players have vied for power and found at best only temporary success. Since the discovery of oil in the region in the early twentieth century, politics have become mixed with business; however, other considerations have more recently come into play such as extremism, revolution, and non-state actors. Couple these with the long-standing animosity between major regional powers such as Iran, Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia and the Middle East seems like a political powder keg waiting to explode. In addition, there has been almost constant intervention by foreign countries, most notably the United States. Together all these events have turned the politics of the region into one of the world’s most difficult jigsaw puzzles. Learn more about the most pivotal issues currently embroiling the region–although this is by no means an exhaustive list–as well as their root causes and possible solutions.

https://lawstreetmedia.com/issues/world/middle-east-politics-important-issues-region/

The Palestine-Israel situation is the most pressing for the novice “mover and shaker”….and some minor rumblings have leaked out……

Israel’s Channel 13 has leaked what it says are the contents of President Trump’s “deal of the century” peace plan for Israel and Palestine. The report would grant the Palestinians a state that encompasses 85%-90% of the occupied West Bank.

The plan would be for Israel to keep its settlements, though no longer expanding isolated outposts. Moreover, the plan would mandate Israel evacuate any outposts which are illegal under Israeli law. That’s a big deal, because Israel has recently changed its own laws to facilitate retroactively legalizing a lot of these outposts.

The Palestinian capital would be in East Jerusalem, and the Palestinians would be given “most of the Arab neighborhoods” there. Some areas would also be jointly run by Jordan and Palestine.

The White House is denying that this report is true at all, saying all speculation on the peace plan is inaccurate, and declining to offer any specifics. The US has long promised to make such a plan publicly available, but has yet to do so.

(antiwar.com)

FOX News (the Trump information network) on 10 February said that the Trump Peace Plan was finished and would be rolled out……

The Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan is finished and President Trump has been briefed on its contents, two senior administration officials told Fox News on Sunday.

The final draft of the administration’s “Deal of the Century” is 175 to 200 pages long — and fewer than five people have access to the complete document, sources told Fox News.

“The plan is done… [the president] is happy with the parameters of the deal,” a senior administration official said.

Officials said that the plan is unlikely to be released before upcoming Israeli elections on April 9. “We are not going to do anything that threatens Israel’s security,” a senior administration official said

(FOX News)

Wait! WE are postponing the release of the plan because of a foreign election, right? What part of that is not showing allegiance to a foreign power? And a Congresswoman gets in trouble for saying the truth…..you have lost all hope for a free democracy now….you morons!

There is an option being discussed to the two state solution….

There has been more talk recently from the Palestinians, Israelis and Jordanians about the option of a confederation as an alternative to the two-state solution in light of the political impasse reached between Ramallah and Tel Aviv. So what are the true positions of the three governments on this option, the chances of this being achieved on the ground, the official reactions of these countries, and public opinion on the matter?

Such a confederation aims to establish one state for two peoples after the Palestinian state is established on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967. This single state will have two capitals — Jerusalem for the Palestinians and Amman for the Jordanians — as well as a central judicial authority and joint armed forces led by the Jordanian monarch. It will also include a central council of ministers and parliament elected by both nations, while both will be allowed to move freely between the two areas.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190218-a-palestine-jordan-confederation-is-becoming-a-very-real-possibility/

Something to consider because the Israelis have NEVER been keen on the two state solution…..

Hispaniola: Caribbean Enigma

The violence that has plagued Haiti in the last month got me to thinking about the island nation….Haiti has been devastated by an earthquake…..the government (no matter who leads) is always hit with corruption……the people protest and the government reacts with violence and then it snowballs from there….it is a never ending cycle and the people of Haiti, the poorest in the region, always pay the price.

The so-called Core Group is made up of the head of UN Mission MINUJUSTH, Helen Meagher La Lime; and the UN ambassadors of Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, the European Union, the United States, and the Special Representative of the Organization of American States.

https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/02/1032441

They took note of the demands expressed by demonstrators on Thursday, aimed at a worsening economic crisis that has led to a drop in living standards, inflation at around 15 per cent, a growing national deficit, and allegations of corruption levelled at President Jovenel Moise, before he took office.

As I read about the situation in Haiti…this one tried to explain the return of violence…..

It began with demonstrations last summer in July and August, re-emerged in November and December, and exploded again in the first two weeks of February when hundreds of thousands marched in all the major cities of the country, from the capital of Port-au-Prince to the northern city of Cap-Haïtien.

The demonstrators demanded an investigation into what happened to billions of dollars of funds from Venezuela, an end to austerity measures and price increases for basic goods, and the resignation of Moïse and his prime minister, Jean-Henry Céant.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/06/why-has-haiti-risen-up-once-again-2/

This got the grey matter fired up……Haiti shares an island with the Dominican Republic…….

Half of the island speaks a form of French and the other half speaks Spanish……Haiti is dirt poor and unstable the Dominican Republic is fairly prosperous and stable……

I short video can explain it better than my words plus most had rather watch than read…..

It is amazing that there can be two so different nations just miles from each other…….and on the very same island.

The situation on the island is something that can keep us International Relations geeks busy looking for and then the explanations of how this development took place so close together without influencing one another. But research is what we do.

I will leave it there for “experts” in the region to offer their pronouncements…..I shall return to the Middle East where events are more predictable than on Hispaniola.

Why Not Paraguay?

The big news on the world stage is the mash up the US is having with Venezuela……there are many reasons but oil is probably the only reason.

First, let me ask…..are we still fighting a War on Terror? Is the money trail of the terror groups still one of the prongs of that war?

If so then why are we not paying closer attention to Paraguay?

Paraguay?

The U.S. Department of Justice last year designated Hezbollah, a Lebanese political party and militant group, as a transnational criminal organization, thanks to its long-standing and well-documented partnership with Latin American drug cartels. A focal point of Hezbollah operations in the Western Hemisphere is the Tri-Border Area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, a sanctuary for all sorts of organized crime. Numerous terrorism financing, money laundering, and drug trafficking cases in U.S. courts involve Hezbollah-aligned Lebanese nationals who operate there. Argentina and Brazil have shown an increased readiness to take action against Hezbollah, but Paraguay, the country where Hezbollah is most vulnerable to action, is the most reluctant to recognize the challenge.

Paraguay’s president, Mario Abdo Benítez, in power since last August, is under pressure to change that. Despite a promising start, his administration remains plagued by the same problems his predecessors could not overcome, and a reckoning is coming. This year, the Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental organization, will evaluate Paraguay to assess the effectiveness of Asunción’s anti-money laundering and counterterrorism finance systems, for which the task force sets global standards. Countries that do not measure up, such as Iran and North Korea, have to contend with cumbersome restrictions that inhibit trade and investment.

https://www.fdd.org/analysis/2019/02/14/paraguay-is-a-fiscal-paradise-for-terrorists/

This is a good thing…..the country is trying to break its association with terror groups……why is the US not more involved in this situation? (well not known to the public)

The president of Paraguay is doing what DC wants so he is in good standings…..as opposed to Venezuela.

Venezuela: Ocean Of Lies

Venezuela is still brewing and the MSM wants you to believe the lies spread by the Neocons and the Neo-liberal twats….

Venezuela Lies #1: The Venezuelan People Have No Food and the Shelves Are Bare

In these videos (here and here) on the ground in Caracas, Max Blumenthal exposed one of the lies about Venezuela that is constantly repeated, i.e. that the people have no food and the supermarket shelves are bare.

(read on….the lies snowball from here)

https://www.globalresearch.ca/8-venezuela-lies/5670534

The summit between our Beloved Leader and the Beloved Leader in North Korea has sucked all the energy out of the situation in Venezuela…..the US is still pretending to care about the people of the country and trying to sell the idea that Maduro (Tell me…does Trump’s buddy Calamari look like Maduro?) is driving the country to ruin.

The US Neocon-led strategy is increasingly clear: establish a ‘beach-head’ on the Colombian-Venezuelan (and Venezuelan-Brazilian) border under the guise of providing humanitarian aid. Use the aid to get Venezuelans on the border to welcome the US proxy forces to cross over. Set up political and military structures thereafter just inside the Venezuelan borders with Colombia and Brazil, from which to launch further similar efforts deeper into Venezuela. Repeat this province by province, step by step, penetrating Venezuela space until enough local units of the Venezuelan military change sides and convince one or more of the Venezuelan military hierarchy to join them. Establish a dual state and government within and along the border of the Venezuelan state this way. A breakaway State and dual power within the country. Make it appear, by manipulating the media, that the Venezuelan people are rising up against the Maduro government, when in fact it is US proxy forces invading and using opportunist local politicians, military, and others in the ‘conquered’ zones, as the media covers for their invasion.

The main ideological justification being used for the invasion and regime change is that the Maduro government has grossly mismanaged the Venezuelan economy and driven its people into poverty. With Democrats now joining Trump and Republicans in support of invasion, the liberal mainstream US media, as well as the rightwing alternative media, are both pushing the same line, to blunt US opposition to invasion and yet another war before the final military assault is launched. Somehow the democratic elections less than a year ago, which returned the Maduro government to power, did not represent the ‘will of the people’. Explanations how they did not are thin and unconvincing, moreover. Nor is any explanation given how US policies and actions have played the central role in destroying Venezuela’s currency and economy. And the financial measures used to destabilize the economy are especially opaque.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/05/financial-imperialism-the-case-of-venezuela/

The typical case is being made by Neocons…..similar to the case made to invade Iraq in 2003…..how long will the American people continue to support such crap?

With that said……

If you repeat your own lies enough—so goes the apocryphal Goebbels quote—you start to believe them yourself. For two decades, the Venezuelan opposition and its supporters in Washington have smeared Hugo Chávez and now his successor, Nicolás Maduro, as despotic strongmen kept in power solely through military force and paltry payouts to the poor. So it’s no surprise that they are once again underestimating both Chavismo and the resilience of its supporters today.

https://inthesetimes.com/article/21785/venezuela-guaido-maduro-lima-group-pence-trump-coup-chavista-opposition

Don’t believe the crap that the MSM passes off as fact…..in most cases they are just propagandist for the system….

Is Al-Qaeda A Friend?

Remember 9/11?

Most Americans do. The bastards that committed the atrocities on that day were members of the extremist group called al-Qaeda whose leader Osama bin Laden ordered the attacks.

We invaded Afghanistan on the pretext of hunting down the culprit and destroying the organization so they could never again be so brazen.

We took our eye off the target by the BS of Iraq and we invaded yet another country in 2003…..we finally found and executed Osama over a decade after he ordered the attacks of 9/11….but that aside he is dead and AQ is on their back foot right now and have been replaced by yet another extremist group named ISIS.

After about 5 years of constant war ISIS is on their back foot….not defeated just a bloody nose and a period of decline (for now)……

The US conned its allies into supporting the war on ISIS…..we groomed many “freedom loving” factions to do the fighting in the region (mostly Syria)……one of the groups that we “armed” either directly or through proxies was…….wait for it…….Al-Qaeda.

I have tried to focus my reader’s attention on the war against ISIS and the use of AQ as an ally…….https://lobotero.com/2017/07/26/where-oh-where-has-al-qaeda-gone/

More confusion comes out our “war” on ISIS……this time from old friends and new……https://lobotero.com/2015/03/02/israel-working-with-al-qaeda-lobelog/

I understand the Saudis supporting AQ for they share an extremist view of Islam….but not to the point of total support against ISIS (another extremist view)……

Less than two decades after the attacks of September 11, the U.S. government has now effectively allied with the Al Qaeda terrorist group it has long blamed for planning and executing those attacks, which still remain the worst terror attacks to have ever taken place on U.S. soil.  

Despite the U.S. having launched the war in Afghanistan, the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the years-long “War on Terror” as a means of allegedly countering Al Qaeda and its affiliates, the past year has revealed several instances in which Washington has been making “deals” with, protecting, and even (indirectly but knowingly) arming Al Qaeda operatives in countries like Yemen and Syria. The about-face has come as the U.S.’ interest in “counter-terrorism” throughout the Middle East has been superseded by regime-change policies targeting countries like Yemen, Syria and Iran.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has issued a letter demanding that President Donald Trump’s administration explain a recent report suggesting Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates transferred U.S. weapons to Al-Qaeda.

Warren’s letter came in response to an investigation by CNN, which uncovered reports earlier this month that Saudi Arabia and its ally, the UAE, have taken weapons provided by the U.S. and given them to fighters linked to the Sunni Muslim militant group Al-Qaeda and other organizations as part of a secret, shared initiative to defeat Zaidi Shiite Muslim rebels known as Ansar Allah or the Houthis in Yemen. The document was addressed to Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“If this report is true, it raises serious concerns that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other governments have violated their end user agreements with the United States by diverting American weapons to terrorists and other extremists without prior authorization from the United States,” Warren said, as reported Friday by CNN.

https://www.newsweek.com/elizabeth-warren-saudi-arabia-giving-us-weapons-al-qaeda-trump-administration-1341323

I am sorry but I cannot see why we would supply implements of destruction to a regime of wankers that will use them against us…….

I still do not trust the Saudis as far as I could toss their fat butts……plus I am not convinced that they did not know or support the terrorists on 9/11 after all most of them were Saudis…….but this is a good piece that ask an important question……

The BBC’s article merely reports what is accepted as common knowledge and documented fact regarding the inception of this now enduring, notorious and shape-shifting terrorist organization… that it was the initial creation of joint US-Saudi interests.

This fact would carry with it an ironic sting in 2001 when Al Qaeda, allegedly led by Bin Laden, struck the Pentagon in Washington and the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, killing nearly 3,000 people and precipitating now over 15 years of global war.

Without doubt, the US and Saudi Arabia created Al Qaeda, and many believe still control the terrorist organization citing that the immense material support it and its subsidiaries require along with the virtual impunity they enjoy as they operate worldwide could only be due to substantial and influential state sponsorship.

Many have postulated that because the 15 years of war following September 11, 2001 have benefited only a handful of special interests both in the US and Europe, as well as in the Persian Gulf, that it cannot be ruled out that these interests were also somehow involved in the attacks that justified this enduring war to begin with.

At least one center of power involved in Al Qaeda’s creation, has been called out by members of the United States government as having continued to support the terrorist organization, including on September 11, 2001. Riyadh.
https://journal-neo.org/2016/05/06/saudi-arabia-supported-al-qaeda-before-and-after-but-not-on-9-11/

This situation with AQ is disturbing…..as is the Saudis support for AQ with weapons and stuff……(keep in mind that the majority of the attackers on 9/11 were Saudis)…….

The US needs to keep an eye on AQ, ISIS, Syria and Saudis and their allies….I do not trust them and neither should the US regardless of what deals Supreme Leader Trump has made with MbS…..PERIOD!

A Pacific NATO

Closing Thought–07Mar19

I was watching an interview on MSNBC of Rep. Moulton (D-Mass) when Trump was in North Korea and he was asked how he would handle NK and its nukes and the pressure that China is exerting in the region…..he stated that he would set up a Pacific NATO to deal with the problem……

A Pacific NATO?

Really?

I got to checking if he was just spouting crap or if there was such a creature……

While Europe’s importance to the United States is declining, Asia figures to continue to grow in importance to the security and stability of the US.  The primary reason for this increasing focus on Asia is the incredible rise of Chinese power in recent decades.  Should China decide to pursue its ambitions in the region aggressively, it will force the US and its regional allies to react in concert with one another.  In fact, China poses a much greater threat to the US’ position in Asia than the Soviet Union ever did in Europe, given the fact that China’s potential economic and military power is much greater than the Soviet Union’s ever was.  Moreover, Asia is now the world’s leading economic center, so its stability has an influence on the rest of the world, much as Europe’s stability did a century ago.  With arms spending in Asia soaring, and with a number of dangerous flashpoints across the region, this stability is in serious jeopardy.

https://www.isa-world.com/news/

https://isnblog.ethz.ch/uncategorized/pacific-nato

Is a NATO like organization possible for the Pacific region?

John Mearsheimer argues: “There is already substantial evidence that countries like India, Japan, and Russia, as well as smaller powers like Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam, are worried about China’s ascendancy and are looking for ways to contain it. In the end, they will join an American-led balancing coalition to check China’s rise, much the way Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and eventually China, joined forces with the United States during the Cold War to contain the Soviet Union.”

This is at odds with most analyses which postulate that Asia is not ripe for a NATO style containment block against China. For instance, in summing up the conventional wisdom on the subject, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Stewart Patrick opined last summer that: “Despite its strategic ‘rebalancing’ toward Asia, the United States is unlikely to sponsor a collective defense organization for the Asia-Pacific, for at least three reasons: insufficient solidarity among diverse regional partners, fear of alienating China, and the perceived advantages of bilateral and ad-hoc security arrangements.”

https://thediplomat.com/2014/04/is-an-asian-nato-possible/

Let me add my two cents……

We already have an empire building organization with NATO….do we truly need another for the rest of the world to worry about?

Just another organization that can help the M-IC expand and grow even richer than they are now….and that would make the possibility of further conflicts more possible.

So NO! There is no need for another NATO!