The U.S. Must…!

I always like it when a think tank issues such dire ultimatums…..this time it is the Neocon think tank, the Heritage Foundation.

The headline of the their report on the US and the recent attack on Saudi territory…..”U.S. Must Lead Strong Multinational Response To Iran’s Extortion Strategy”…….

Now for the report that made the ultimatum possible…..

Iran has openly breached the limits on uranium enrichment set by the 2015 nuclear agreement, and is escalating pressure on European signatories of the agreement to shield it from U.S. sanctions—which were re-imposed after the U.S. withdrew from the nuclear deal in May 2018. Tehran is raising the stakes of its nuclear blackmail campaign every 60 days by ratcheting up its nuclear efforts to extort concessions from France, Germany, and the United Kingdom; drive a deeper wedge between the United States and its allies; and gain bargaining leverage for eventual negotiations with Washington on the nuclear issue.

Iran’s steadily escalating nuclear noncompliance has been accompanied by an intensifying campaign of maritime threats against gulf Arab oil exports. What Tehran wants is not only sanctions relief but unquestioned acceptance of its civilian nuclear program, which it has used in the past as a fig leaf to disguise its nuclear weapons program, and which it plans to use as a pretext for the future expansion of its uranium-enrichment activities.

https://www.heritage.org/middle-east/report/us-must-lead-strong-multinational-response-irans-extortion-strategy

They violated the agreement that Trump basically cancelled when he dropped out of the process……sanctions look like extortion as well…..

Diplomacy is always preferable that armed conflict….but some think that a bullying techniques will always work when they are the single most powerful country on the planet…..and yet that seems to never work  these days.

Heritage is one of those think tanks that will take a desired conclusion and set about making the facts fit the needed end…..to be honest most think tanks operate this way.

The U.S. MUST lead the response….why?

The Saudis have the best and most of US weaponry…they have the best training and the best war chest….so again….why must the US do anything?  Plus they bought the Israeli “Iron Dome” to protect against incoming missiles….that appears to be a absolute failure.

The US military is to be used to protect the homeland….and Saudi is NOT my homeland….is it yours?

Sorry but this recent attack could be turned into one helluva conspiracy theory.

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Sabra And Shatila

Closing Thought–17Sep19

I apologize for I intended to post this yesterday but a trip to the hospital for tests stopped the process of posting…..

The news out of the Middle East is that BiBi is running in a close election….we in the West could care less…..

I have tried to make my readers aware of this event that gets little attention in the Western media……https://lobotero.com/2018/09/18/sabra-and-shatila-a-remembrance/

This historical even took place in southern Lebanon……

Israel’s invasion began June 6, 1982. After much destruction, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which had defended the camps since its inception, agreed to leave Lebanon in August. They were given American assurances that civilians left behind would be protected. The president-elect of Lebanon, and the leader of the Phalange, was assassinated on September 14th. The Israeli army proceeded to invade and occupy West Beirut. 

Israeli troops surrounded the camps to prevent the refugees from leaving and allowed entry of the Phalange, a known enemy of the Palestinians. The Israelis fired flares throughout the night to light up the killing field – thus allowing the militiamen to see their way through the narrow alleys of the camps. The massacre went on for two days. As the bloodbath concluded, Israel supplied the bulldozers to dig mass graves. In 1983, Israel’s investigative Kahan Commission found that Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Defense Minister, bore “personal responsibility for the slaughter.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/remembering-sabra-shatila-massacre-35-years-170916101333726.html

It has been 37 years and the wounds are still open for this attack…this event should NEVER be forgotten….like the USS Liberty incident that is all but forgotten…..and the perpetrators have NEVER paid a price for the crimes.

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Lest We Forget!

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Iran Did It!

For months now there has been a back and forth between the Trump admin and Iran….we have had insults back and forth….ships commandeered…….then there is the Saudis whom have feared the Iranians for decades and in gturn have helped feed the misinformation that is spread like manure…..

To make matters worse there was an attack within Saudi Arabia……

Drones launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels attacked the world’s largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and another major oil field Saturday, sparking huge fires at a vulnerable chokepoint for global energy supplies, the AP reports. It remained unclear hours later whether anyone was injured at the Abqaiq oil processing facility and the Khurais oil field or what affect the assault would have on oil production. Rising smoke from the fires at the sites could be seen by satellites in space. The attack by the Iranian-backed Houthis in the war against a Saudi-led coalition comes after weeks of similar drone assaults on the kingdom’s oil infrastructure, but none of the earlier strikes appeared to have caused the same amount of damage.

The attack likely will heighten tensions further across the Persian Gulf amid an escalating crisis between the US and Iran over its unraveling nuclear deal with world powers. First word of the assault came in online videos of giant fires at the Abqaiq facility, some 205 miles northeast of the Saudi capital, Riyadh. Machine-gun fire could be heard in several clips alongside the day’s first Muslim call to prayers, suggesting security forces tried to bring down the drones just before dawn. The fires began after the sites were “targeted by drones,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency. It said an investigation was underway

Just as Trump blames everything domestically on Obama….his Boyz blame everything that happens internationally on Iran……

Forget Yemen. This was all Iran. That was the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s take Saturday after drone attacks struck Saudi Arabian oil facilities and choked half the country’s crude production, the Wall Street Journal reports. Pompeo tweeted that it was “an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.” It’s unclear why he thought it was Iran and not Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who claimed responsibility for the attack. But the Secretary of State accused Tehran of being “behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia” and said Iran will be “held accountable for its aggression.”

The two attacks Saturday on Saudi oil installations occurred about 500 miles from Yemen and highlighted Saudi’s weakness to drone strikes—a surprisingly cheap and effective means for Houthis to attack a more powerful enemy, the New York Times reports. The drones may have cost under $15,000 and posed a threat Saudis can’t counter, experts say. The Yemen war started in 2014 when Houthi rebels took over the nation’s capital and other territory, forcing the government into exile and drawing Arab nations (with some US support) into the conflict against the Houthis. Fallout in Yemen has become the world’s most devastating humanitarian crisis.

See what I mean?

Iran did it!

And that is how you build a case for armed intervention…..and in the mean time put a damper on the overtures that Trump had made for a meeting.

After months of saying he wants talks with Iran, President Trump said on Friday that he believes Iran’s leadership wants to have talks, and that he is trying to get them together for the UN General Assembly.

That may be overly optimistic, as Iran has long taken the same position, that talks are only possible if the US eases sanctions or returns to the P5+1 nuclear deal. Since it’s long been assumed that won’t happen, they’ve said the talks wouldn’t either.

Trump’s suggestion of a change may be based on hopeful statements from one of President Rouhani’s aides, who thought the firing of John Bolton this week meant the end of US “maximum pressure” strategy.

(antiwar.com)

Three simple words could end any chance of ending the tensions…..”Iran Did It!”

“Lego Ergo Scribo

Then There Is Iran

Ever since Trump came to the power seat in DC Iran has been on his lips. First it was the treaty for their nukes which he decided was bad for no other reason than it was an Obama policy….and then it was more sanctions and then the hard fighting words began in essence the attempt to bully.

Now Trump is open to a meeting at the UN with Iran and on cue the Neocons went batcrap crazy probably one reason Bolton lost his job….and now more news about Iran.

Bolton’s firing may signal willingness to offer concessions

Saying he believes that the US sanctions and pressure have put Iran in a very tough position, President Trump continued to suggest that talks could be held soon. Interestingly, reports also suggest he may be considering some concessions.

A $15 billion EU line of credit to Iran in return for oil sales, an effort to get them around near-term economic problems, seems the most likely immediate move, with Trump and Mike Pompeo both considering giving France permission to do it.

Iran has suggested they would only be open to talks in the event the US lifted sanctions on them. Incredibly, it does appear that this too is under consideration, as Trump is very hopeful for talks, and might actually be willing to do something to make that happen.

The clearest indication of this might be the sacking of John Bolton this week. Bolton was working openly against all of these concessions, and fighting against the Iran talks in general. Trump may have believed getting Bolton out of the way was a necessary first step.

(antiwar.com)

Seriously?

This is a repeat of the North Korean gambit.

Lots of tough talk and insults and then a simpler message of a willingness to meet and talk.

As we inch closer to an armed conflict military leaders have made it clear what they want…..

In an open letter, the former officers said President Donald Trump made it clear that “there is no broader strategy to his desire for military conflict with Iran” and warned that it was “past time for Congress to step in and stop Trump’s constitutionally unsupported march to war.” The letter was organized by retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton of the progressive group VoteVets and its nonprofit affiliate, the Vet Voice Foundation.

“A full-scale military conflict with Iran would be a huge and costly undertaking,” the letter reads. “It’s a lesson we’ve learned before as a nation, at great cost. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost us a lot in blood and treasure. We know that war with Iran would require hundreds of thousands of American service members to deploy and could result in even larger numbers of American casualties and injuries ― alongside an unknown number of civilian deaths.”

Yemen: More Confusion Within Confusion

The war on Yemen by the Saudis and the UAE have been raging for years…..causing much devastation and death as well as a huge humanitarian crisis.

Recently I read some good news, at least I thought it was, about the UAE’s position in this war…..

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) may have finally learned what Washington will not: that armed interventions with ambiguous aims, unreliable allies, and no exit strategy are doomed to disaster.

Such interventions will rapidly deplete a nation of its blood and treasure while yielding an abundance of dangerous second- and third-order consequences. That’s why, after four years of fighting, the UAE announced that it is withdrawing a significant percentage of its forces from Yemen. It will now pursue a “peace first” strategy as opposed to a “military first” strategy.

The narrative around the UAE’s withdrawal from Yemen has been carefully managed in the American media with the help of some sympathetic Washington-based think-tanks. The shift in policy has been cast as a “mission accomplished” moment for the UAE. But the UAE is getting out of Yemen not because it is winning—or has won—but because the country’s leadership understands they cannot win. 

Why the UAE Cut Their Losses and Pulled Out of Yemen

So twenty days later I read that UAE is still involved and killing civilians in Yemen…..

An estimated 20,000 fighters involved in the Saudi-led invasion of Yemen split in half earlier this month, with half backed by the UAE and a separatist movement, and the other half Saudi-backed forces loyal to the Hadi government.

That fighting has raged, but the Saudis and UAE had talked of working something out. Thursday suggests the chances of a deal are shrinking, with the UAE getting directly involved in the fighting, and launching airstrikes against Saudi-backed government forces.

The UAE confirmed its involvement in the airstrikes, saying it was engaged in self defense of its forces, as well as civilians threatened by “terrorist militias,” and insisting it was in keeping with international law.

Yemen’s President Hadi, however, is angry with the “blatant aerial bombardment,” and is calling for the UN Security Council to hold a session. Hadi also called on the Saudis to directly intervene militarily against the UAE.

Saudi officials haven’t addressed that possibility, but historic closeness to the UAE makes it unlikely. Still, this could mean a third war-within-a-war for Yemen.

(antiwar.com)

As my grandmother use to say…..”Clear as mud”…..

Only thing to say about Yemen is that there is nothing good to say about the war on Yemen…

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

ISIS–The Return

Now appearing in a geopolitical theater near you.

These days with the craziness around the issues for the 2020 election we do not hear so much about that almost defeated foe, ISIS.

But guess what?

They may not be slinking away into oblivion after all….

The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) is not defeated despite the loss of the territory it claimed as its so-called ‘Caliphate’ in Iraq and Syria. It is stronger today than its predecessor Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) was in 2011, when the U.S. withdrew from Iraq. AQI had around 700-1000 fighters then. ISIS had as many as 30,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria in August 2018 according to a Defense Intelligence Agency estimate. ISIS built from the small remnant left in 2011 an army large enough to recapture Fallujah, Mosul, and other cities in Iraq and dominate much of eastern Syria in only three years. It will recover much faster and to a much more dangerous level from the far larger force it still has today.

http://www.understandingwar.org/report/isiss-second-comeback-assessing-next-isis-insurgency

The Pentagon has issued a report that states that there is a major struggling dealing with a resurgent ISIS in the Middle East…..

Between April and June 2019, the Islamic State terror group “solidified its insurgent capabilities in Iraq and was resurging in Syria,” the Department of Defense Inspector General Quarterly Report says.

The report references significant changes in the region. In addition to the president’s sudden announcement of a drawdown of U.S. troops in Syria -– against the counsel of military advisers -– the report raises concerns that ISIS is gaining a renewed foothold in Iraq because U.S. personnel there were evacuated from diplomatic posts due to rising tensions with Iran. Experts told NBC News that as a result, that also has led to less surveillance of ISIS activity in Iraq.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/military/u-s-backed-forces-struggling-quell-isis-insurgency-syria-iraq-n1040186

While the media and the public chases the shiny objects that the government throws out there…ISIS is returning to prominence in the Middle East as well as around the world in regions like Afghanistan, South Asia, etc.

ISIS and al-Qaeda are rebuilding and should not be taken lightly….that happen before and we know how that ended don’t we?

The problem as I see it is that we are using tactics from 50 years ago….we need an upgrade……

I am in my second year of teaching a U.S. CT policy course to adult students ages 50-90. I have learned a few lessons from trying to explain our CT policies since the 1970s. The biggest lesson is that while administrations change the headline for our policy each time the other political party takes the helm; from “combating global terrorism” (Nixon and Republicans) to using a “law enforcement model” (Carter and Democrats), they really don’t change the underlying policy. Each administration since Richard Nixon has actually looked at the previous polices and kept the concepts they think are most important. The strategy only gets richer and more detailed. So, the U.S. counterterrorism policy hasn’t been re-written every 4 years anew; instead its been steadily evolving and trying to adapt to our enemies use of terror. That’s oversimplifying it for sure, but I want to get us to the current solutions.

https://news.clearancejobs.com/2019/08/08/the-future-of-countering-terrorism-ideas-not-bullets/

After 18+ years we are still reacting to the so-called jihad…..

While the media talks mindlessly about Greenland an old danger, no an old evil, is returning…..but why is it returning?

A report from the Pentagon inspector general found that President Donald Trump’s decision to rapidly pull troops out of Syria and divert attention from diplomacy in Iraq has inadvertently aided the Islamic State’s regrouping in Syria and Iraq.

The Department of Defense’s quarterly report to Congress on the effectiveness of the US Operation Inherent Resolve mission said that “ISIS continued its transition from a territory-holding force to an insurgency in Syria, and it intensified its insurgency in Iraq” — even though Trump said ISIS was defeated and the caliphate quashed, The Wall Street Journal reported.

https://www.businessinsider.com/pentagon-blames-trump-for-return-of-isis-syria-and-iraq-2019-8

Now that is a pro-war excuse…..but at least it can explain the new rise…….

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Yemen–What Was The Point?

We all mostly know about the conflict raging between the Saudis and their allies and the Houthi minority in Yemen.  In other words it is basically a North versus South Yemen……and the that would return the nation to 1962.

The northern portion of Yemen was ruled by imams until a pro-Egyptian military coup took place in 1962. The junta proclaimed the Yemen Arab Republic, and after a civil war in which Egypt’s Nasser and the USSR supported the revolutionaries and King Saud of Saudi Arabia and King Hussein of Jordan supported the royalists, the royalists were finally defeated in mid-1969.

The southern port of Aden, strategically located at the opening of the Red Sea, was colonized by Britain in 1839, and by 1937, with an expansion of its territory, it was known as the Aden Protectorate. In the 1960s the Nationalist Liberation Front (NLF) fought against British rule, which led to the establishment of the People’s Republic of Southern Yemen on Nov. 30, 1967. In 1979, under strong Soviet influence, the country became the only Marxist state in the Arab world.

The Republic of Yemen was established on May 22, 1990, when pro-Western Yemen and the Marxist Yemen Arab Republic merged after 300 years of separation to form the new nation. The poverty and decline in Soviet economic support in the south was an important incentive for the merger. The new president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, was elected by the parliaments of both countries.

And now it appears thanks to the involvement of the Saudis that the nation of Yemen may once again become two….the US backed conflict by the Saudis will once again divide Yemen into North and South Yemen…..back to the future?

Here we go again (shades of 1962)

Clashes in the port city of Aden between secessionists and loyalists of the internationally recognised president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, threaten to tip southern Yemen into a civil war within a civil war. Such a conflict would deepen what is already the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and make a national political settlement harder to achieve. In the past, half-measures helped de-escalate simmering tensions in the south; today’s circumstances require robust diplomatic intervention from the UN, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to avoid the worst and help forge a durable solution.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/gulf-and-arabian-peninsula/yemen/preventing-civil-war-within-civil-war-yemen

Image result for images of South Yemen

The Deeper Meaning in a Lost War

If Yemen splits (again) what was the last few decades all about?

Amazing no matter how much things change they stay the same.

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