72 Years And Counting

What got me to thinking about this issue was something I read about the lawmakers in Missouri……it seems that in that state it is illegal to boycott Israel…..

Missouri lawmakers on Thursday passed a bill to ban the state from doing business with companies that boycott Israel.

The Republican-led House approved the measure 95-40 on Thursday, the day before their Friday deadline to pass bills this year.

The bill is in response to the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement which aims to highlight Israel’s human rights abuses.

The movement promotes boycotts, divestment and sanctions of Israeli government-linked institutions and businesses in a non-violent campaign against the occupation of Palestinian territory and other abuses.

However Israel maintains that the campaign is anti-Semitic and seeks to destroy the country.

https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2020/5/14/missouri-lawmakers-pass-bill-against-boycotting-israel

My thought is….F*ck ’em! I have been boycotting Israel and Israeli products for decades and I refuse to let some sanctimonious ass wipes tell me that I cannot exercise my right of choice.

Seeks to destroy the country?

Hold on!

You mean like they are trying to do to Palestine?

Think not?

When Palestinians commemorate the Nakba – the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948 – they are not simply remembering a past event in which over 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homeland, over 400 villages and towns destroyed and thousands killed.  

They are also marking a continued Nakba (al-Nakba al-Mustimirrah in Arabic) – an ongoing process of erasure and ethnic cleansing which has seen Palestinians ghettoised, fragmented, killed and more.  

This year we will be marking 72 years of the Nakba and yet one word seems to be taking front and centre stage: annexation. Ever since the announcement of US President Donald Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ at the end of January this year, formal annexation of the occupied West Bank by Israel has been looming.  

https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/indepth/2020/5/15/remembering-72-years-of-the-nakba-as-annexation-looms

Israel has been trying to erase Palestine from the maps and have been killing, stealing and lying for 72 years to do just that.

Time for the West to cut the apron strings on Israel and let them stand or fall on their own……nowhere is anything Israeli in the best interests of the USA.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Iraq Gets A New Leader

After many months of confusion and chaos in the Iraqi government….they have a new PM, Mustafa al-Kadhimi……who is he?

Iraq’s new Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi took office after the country’s parliament approved a new government on Wednesday following nearly six months of political wrangling.

The parliament approved 15 ministers out of a prospective 22-seat cabinet in a vote of confidence. Five candidates were rejected while voting on two ministers was postponed, leaving seven ministries still empty, including the key oil and foreign affairs positions.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/mustafa-al-kadhimi-iraq-prime-minister-200507062954351.html

The PM comes to power while the nation and the world are fighting this pandemic…..the Iraqi economy is in freefall for several reasons…..

Former head of intelligence Mustafa al-Kadhimi has taken office as Iraq’s new prime minister.

He comes to power six months after mass protests against appalling social conditions, government corruption and the entire political setup forced the resignation of Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi. This was the first time since the 2003 US-led war that a government had been forced to resign due to popular pressure.

Al-Khadimi is Iraq’s third prime minister-designate assigned by President Barham Salih since Mahdi’s resignation. His two predecessors, Muhammad Tawfiq Allawi and Adnan al-Surf, both failed to win parliamentary support for their cabinets. Mahdi quit his post as caretaker prime minister at the beginning of March, the day after Allawi admitted defeat, leaving Iraq without a functioning interim government.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/05/08/iraq-j01.html

Of course the oil situation will prove more problematic that the virus…….

The problem for Iraq is simple but insoluble: it is running out of money as its oil revenues fall off a cliff, following the collapse in the oil price brought about by the cataclysmic economic impact of coronavirus. It derives 90 per cent of government revenues from the export of crude oil, but in April it earnt just $1.4bn when it needed $5bn to cover salaries, pensions and other state expenditure.

It cannot pay the 4.5 million people on the government payroll and another four million receiving a pension. This may not seem like exciting news compared to an uptick in Isis killings or the potential ravages of Covid-19, but it may prove more profoundly destabilising than either.

https://outline.com/aJwPNT

Without cash to pay the workers then labor unrest will make the government unstable again…..and then Iraq is caught between the US and Iran……

“This government came as a response to the social, economic and political crises our country is facing,” al-Kadhimi told lawmakers Thursday. “It is a government that will provide solutions, not add to the crises.”

Iraq is facing a coronavirus-fueled financial crisis, crumbling infrastructure battered by years of war and scant investment, ongoing political instability and the threat of a resurgent ISIS testing its beleaguered security forces.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/new-iraqi-leader-caught-between-iran-and-the-us/ar-BB13K7P5

Iraq is still just as messed up as it was before…..the longer the virus hangs on the more revenue will be lost from oil……the more loss will fuel civil unrest…..which will eventually bring down the government.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

On The Arabian Peninsula

So much is happening these days while the pandemic has our attention diverted to national stuff….the peninsula in the Middle East is heating up…..

Let’s begin with the UAE……they recently co-signed a demand against Qatar and they demanded that Qatar end all ties with terrorist organizations….

Numbers 3 and 4 are of interest…….

3) Sever ties to all “terrorist, sectarian and ideological organisations,” specifically the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIL, al-Qaeda, Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as the Nusra Front) and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Formally declare these entities as terror groups as per the list announced by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt, and concur with all future updates of this list.

4) Stop all means of funding for individuals, groups or organisations that have been designated as terrorists by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, US and other countries.

I bring up this because of the news I read…..after their demand for Qatar…..

The United Arab Emirates will be placed under a year-long observation by a global finance watchdog for failing to stem money laundering and terrorist financing. Abu Dhabi, says the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), is not doing enough and has been urged to take extra measures to avoid being included on an international watchlist.

“Generally, fundamental and major improvements are needed across the UAE in order to demonstrate that the system cannot be used for money laundering and terrorist financing,” said FATF in a report compiled after a 14-month investigation.

UAE failing to stem money laundering and terrorist financing, says watchdog 

Again Saudi Arabia forcing their neighbors to fall in-line with their desires……

Speaking of KSA…..mismanagement is driving the Kingdom to the point of bankruptcy….even with all the oil they are blowing it big time……and it all comes down to oil prices…..

On 6 March, the OPEC+ cartel failed to agree on a cut in oil production in the light of reduced demand due to the coronavirus pandemic affecting almost every country in the world. All of this came in the middle of a global financial crisis. Saudi Arabia proposed the cut, and OPEC members accepted it, but Russia, which is OPEC’s “+”, spearheaded the call to reject it.

“We have made this decision because no consensus has been found of how all the 24 countries should simultaneously react to the current situation,” Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters after the OPEC+ meeting in Vienna. “So as from April 1, we are starting to work without minding the quotas or reductions which were in place earlier, but this does not mean that each country would not monitor and analyse market developments.” Hours later, oil prices plummeted.

Mismanagement is driving Saudi Arabia towards bankruptcy

Speaking on oil prices……

Trump has told KSA that they need to cut their oil supply or lose  US funds….

In an April 2 phone call, Trump told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that unless the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) started cutting oil production, he would be powerless to stop lawmakers from passing legislation to withdraw U.S. troops from the kingdom, four sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The threat to upend a 75-year strategic alliance, which has not been previously reported, was central to the U.S. pressure campaign that led to a landmark global deal to slash oil supply as demand collapsed in the coronavirus pandemic – scoring a diplomatic victory for the White House.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/special-report-trump-told-saudis-cut-oil-supply-or-lose-us-military-support-sources/ar-BB13pCYe

What about this pandemic?

The world is on the cusp of a geopolitical reset. The global pandemic could well undermine international institutions, reinforce nationalism and spur de-globalization. But far-sighted leadership could also rekindle cooperation, glimmers of which appeared in the G-20’s offer of debt relief for some of the world’s poorest countries, a joint plea from more than 200 former national leaders for a more coordinated pandemic response and an unprecedented multinational pact to arrest the crash in oil markets.

The remarkable effort to address the turmoil in the oil markets will be critical to oil’s eventual balance — although the past two weeks have shown that its promised production cuts were too slow and insufficient in the face of oil demand’s plunge. The challenges and opportunities that the collapse in the oil market is pushing to the fore are perhaps just the first taste of Covid-19 induced geopolitical crises that world leaders and policy makers will need to grapple with in the coming months and years.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-04-29/covid-19-oil-collapse-is-geopolitical-reset-in-disguise

So much is happening on the Peninsula…..and so much is being overlooked by the MSM…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

News Tour Of The Middle East

I have neglected my area of expertise…… if it can be called that…… the Middle East….

There is always something happening in the Middle East……and these days the virus has changed nothing…

Middle East countries continue to report rising numbers of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus infection, known as Covid-19.

Countries in the Gulf have taken unprecedented measures, so have others in the Middle East. There have been border closures, travel restrictions, lockdowns and curfews.

Since Covid-19 was detected in the Chinese province of Hubei in January, it has spread to more than 100 countries, infecting over 1.4 million people and killing more than 82,000.

https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/coronavirus-in-the-middle-east-lockdowns-extended-across-the-region-1.995673

Moving past the covid-19 thing and onto the conflict between KSA, Bahrain and UAE with Qatar…..the nations have issued a ultimatum to Qatar…..

These are the list of demands that Qatar must adhere to….

1) Scale down diplomatic ties with Iran and close the Iranian diplomatic missions in Qatar, expel members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and cut off military and intelligence cooperation with Iran. Trade and commerce with Iran must comply with US and international sanctions in a manner that does not jeopardise the security of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

2) Immediately shut down the Turkish military base, which is currently under construction, and halt military cooperation with Turkey inside of Qatar.

3) Sever ties to all “terrorist, sectarian and ideological organisations,” specifically the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIL, al-Qaeda, Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as the Nusra Front) and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Formally declare these entities as terror groups as per the list announced by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt, and concur with all future updates of this list.

4) Stop all means of funding for individuals, groups or organisations that have been designated as terrorists by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, US and other countries.

5) Hand over “terrorist figures”, fugitives and wanted individuals from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain to their countries of origin. Freeze their assets, and provide any desired information about their residency, movements and finances.

6) Shut down Al Jazeera and its affiliate stations.

7) End interference in sovereign countries’ internal affairs. Stop granting citizenship to wanted nationals from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. Revoke Qatari citizenship for nationals where such citizenship violates those countries’ laws.

8) Pay reparations and compensation for loss of life and other financial losses caused by Qatar’s policies in recent years. The sum will be determined in coordination with Qatar.

9) Align Qatar’s military, political, social and economic policies with the other Gulf and Arab countries, as well as on economic matters, as per the 2014 agreement reached with Saudi Arabia.

10) Cease contact with the political opposition in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. Hand over files detailing Qatar’s prior contact with and support for opposition groups, and submit details of their personal information and the support Qatar has provided them.

11) Shut down all news outlets funded directly and indirectly by Qatar, including Arabi21, Rassd, Al Araby Al Jadeed, Mekameleen and Middle East Eye, etc.

12) Agree to all the demands within 10 days of list being submitted to Qatar, or the list will become invalid.

13) Consent to monthly compliance audits in the first year after agreeing to the demands, followed by quarterly audits in the second year, and annual audits in the following 10 years

If you would like to read more…..https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/06/arab-states-issue-list-demands-qatar-crisis-170623022133024.html

BTW this was issued 3 years ago and so far Qatar has told them to pound sand (no pun intended)…..

That situation is still a touchy one for the region…..

KSA and UAE have been bombing Yemen back into the pre-stone Age and now the UAE is trying to gain control of Sudan’s major port…..

Map of Sudan

Sudan’s transitional government is taking steps to hand over control of its principal seaport to a company owned by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a move that incensed port workers who say they will protest privatisation of the country’s national terminal.

Officials in Sudan, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Al Jazeera the government was in the process of securing a deal with UAE giant Dubai Ports World (DP World). The agreement would allow the logistics company to run the South Port Container Terminal at Port Sudan.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/uae-steps-gain-control-sudan-main-port-200423205443903.html

Why does the UAE need another port?

More to this move than some need for a port……what is this about?

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“lego ergo scribo”

Rid Ourselves Of The Saudi Anchor

I have been bitching about the US-Saudi relations for a long time…..these people are barbarous even the main ideology of Al-Qaeda and ISIS…..and I have written baout those people that think, like myself, that we should end this love fest with the Saudis…..https://lobotero.com/2020/04/08/the-us-saudi-love-fest/

Finally the Congress has seen just how worthless this love of the Saudis can be and how destructive it is to the region…..the Congress has done their part…….

A Repub from Louisiana has entered a bill……

A new bill was introduced by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) which, if passed, would remove all US troops from Saudi Arabia within 30 days. The resolution is related to the low price of oil, and the struggle for US companies, particularly in Louisiana, to compete.

The troop pullout is meant to punish the Saudis over failure to cut oil production. The bill also aims to impose tariffs on countries that are continuing to buy oil from Saudi Arabia, to try to make US oil more competitive.

This is the second anti-Saudi resolution introduced in the Senate related to oil prices, and while they seem unlikely to pass for now, they may reflect another round of frustration at Saudi policies running afoul of US interests.

The Cassidy bill does not cover US Patriot missiles or THAAD deployments in the region, and there is no date for the bill to be taken up, with the Senate out at least until April 20 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

(antiwar.com)

The Trump sycophants will do the bidding of the president and run interference on this issue…..

We will see but I do not think that this will have much legs…..too much money spent on Senators for this to go very far…..plus the White House seems to be in bed with the Saudis on pretty much everything.

Further Reading:

https://lobotero.com/2019/12/12/saudis-love-americans/

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“lego ergo scribo”

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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