What Is Up With Middle East Policy?

I was trained in the diplomacy and conflict management in college and I then went to work in the Middle East as an analyst….after living in the region for 6 years I have learned that there is always more to the policies than what we see, read or hear…..

First where are the troops stationed in the Middle East?

The US has between 60,000 and 70,000 troops in the Middle East, according to the US Central Command, and has announced plans to deploy thousands of additional troops to the region amid the heightened tensions.

This map shows where US soldiers are deployed in the Middle East and Afghanistan, as well as some of the major bases they are stationed at in the region.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2020/01/military-presence-middle-east-afghanistan-200113120612249.html

I understood Bush’s policies and that of Obama as well….neither was a policy that I thought would succeed….then Trump was elected and the policy became obfuscated and in coherent…..

Donald Trump’s decision to kill Qassim Suleimani, the most influential figure in Iran other than the Ayatollah Khamenei, will increase the terrorist threat to the United States and the global community. Suleimani’s death has already provoked widespread outrage in Iraq and Iran among the Shiia populations. Prior to the killing, Iraqi leaders were campaigning against Iran’s military presence in their country. Now, the Iraqi Parliament has called for the removal of the U.S. military presence. The decision has created more tactical and terrorist opportunities for the Islamic State as the United States has decided to cease operations against the Islamic State.

Trump’s decision has undermined fundamental U.S. decisions in every way, particularly the need to forestall terrorist threats; protect friends and allies; and prevent Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The Trump administration has enhanced Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to improve relations with Iraq and Iran; caused controversy and even dissent within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; and further exposed the instability and ignorance of Trump’s national security team. Since the decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord, the European co-signers of that agreement along with Russia and China, have questioned the wisdom of Washington’s international actions.

The Incoherence of U.S. Policy in the Middle East

I see no continuity in our Middle East policy…..chaos and knee jerk decisions seem to be the rule of the day.

I fear that this approach will just make the region more dangerous and solve no problems.

Where did it all begin?

Well with World War One and the Sykes-Picot…..but beyond that where did the whirlwind we have today get its fuel?

In the long history of imperial folly and recklessness, nothing compares to U.S. policy in the Persian Gulf. Yes, the British shouldn’t have invaded Afghanistan in 1838, and, yes, JFK shouldn’t have backed the overthrow of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem in November 1963. If they had thought things through more carefully, one wouldn’t have lost an entire army in the retreat from Kabul while the other wouldn’t have stumbled into a dozen-year-long quagmire that would leave the US military depleted and demoralized – not to mention killing more than a million or more Vietnamese.

But those were momentary miscalculations compared to the slow-motion disaster in the gulf. For nearly half a century, every US president – liberal, conservative, or whatever – has pumped up a regional arms race that has set the stage for ever more destructive wars. The death and destruction have been incalculable. Yet not once throughout the long sorry saga have Americans paused for even a moment to consider where it was all going.

Who Created the Persian Gulf Tinderbox?

Where will it all end?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Sanctions For Iraq

We know that Trump’s favorite tool is economic sanctions…..easy to install and have very little effect…..that sums up his presidency.

I bring up sanctions because it seems to be the next step in the battle with Iraq.

Yes I said Iraq.

Recently the Iraqi government passed a non-binding solution to have US troops leave the country.

The Trump administration has started drafting sanctions against Iraq over its push to expel US troops from the nation, a White House official who requested anonymity confirmed to Business Insider on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump first threatened economic penalties over the weekend after the Iraqi parliament passed a nonbinding resolution to urge the US military to leave, a rebuke of the lethal drone strike that targeted a top Iranian general in Baghdad late Thursday. Along with Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, an Iraqi militia official was also killed in the escalation.

The Washington Post reported late Monday that senior administration officials had initiated preliminary talks on the potential sanctions, which the US has not yet decided to move forward with.

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/trump-administration-preparing-economic-sanctions-against-iraq-military-withdrawal-iran-2020-1-1028801079

Sanctions and now the idea of cutting military aid to Iraq……

In addition to bankrupting Iraq by seizing the entirety of their oil revenue account, the Trump Administration is now also threatening to cut military aid to Iraq, if the Iraqi government formally asks the US to leave.

The US State Department and Pentagon have discussed the matter, with the State Department working on cutting all $250 million from the 2020 military aid budget already approved, and asking the budget office to cut $100 million from the 2021 request.

While US officials insist they have no intention of leaving Iraq, the continued threats to punish Iraq with sanctions and cuts suggest that they are taking seriously the possibility that Iraq will actually order them out, and that the US may not be able to just ignore it.

While $250 million in aid is substantial, it is likely well down Iraq’s priority list with the oil revenue account containing 90% of Iraq’s annual budget. Iraqi officials haven’t indicated what their intentions are since the threats began, but parliament already voted 170-0 to expel all foreign troops, US included, as soon as possible.

(antiwar.com)

What will all this chest thumping do with ISIS waiting in the shadows?

https://lobotero.com/2020/01/10/isis-in-the-shadows-2/

Now Iraq is worried about a total economic co;;apse if sanctions and such go into effect….

Iraqi officials are warning that they would face almost immediate economic collapse if President Trump follows through on sanctions against them for asking US troops to leave. Iraq’s parliament voted on January 5, 170-0, to order the government to expel all foreign troops.

President Trump has threatened massive sanctions against Iraq, and more recently, suggestions are that the US would freeze Iraq’s bank account at the New York Federal Reserve, where all of Iraq’s oil revenues go.

Which is also 90 percent of Iraq’s budget. Iraqi officials have confirmed “threatening calls” from the US over the troops, insisting that they have no intention of leaving Iraq just because Iraq is asking.

The collapse of their entire economy, while still theoretical at this point, isn’t a healthy thing to have hanging over Iraq going forward. Siemens CEO Joe Kaesar warned he believes that “putting sanctions on something just because you don’t get your will is maybe also not always helpful.

Siemens has a $15 billion electricity development contract for Iraq. While they say they don’t intend to scale back the project, there is a risk for them, like everyone else, that the US will just take all of Iraq’s money and leave them unable to pay.

(antiwar.com)

So just to retaliate Trump will econ0mically ruin a country like Iraq…..someone that is suppose to be a “friend”…..someone who is a “partner” in the war on ISIS……

Sorry do not see the logic in all this ignorance.

A country swimming in oil and yet it could face economic collapse…..funny but that would be because the oil belongs to corporations and not the Iraqis……if problems then a case for nationalization of the oil could be waiting for a test run.  And that would mean more war….after all oil is why we are there in the first place.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Soleimani–The Rest Of The Story

By now everyone has heard the news . the attack that killed a high ranking Iranian general …if you have not then just go back under your rock and wait for the end to come.

But like all things in the Trump White House…..it has been reported that the general was in Iraq to deliver a message from Iran on the peace proposal with the Saudis…..

the US assassinated top Iranian Gen. Qassam Soleimani in a drone strike at Baghdad International Airport. His arrival was actually part of ongoing diplomatic efforts, according to Iraqi PM Adel Abdul-Mahdi.

Soleimani’s visit was related to well-documented Saudi attempts at diplomacy to ease tensions with Iran. The Saudis had dispatched a message of peace to Iran, with Iraq acting as an intermediary. Soleimani was coming to Iraq to deliver the Iranian government’s reply.

The US assassination, then, undercut the peace effort to an enormous level. Iraq was keen to facilitate peace between its two neighbors, hopefully to calm down US threats against Iran. Instead, the US undercut the entire process.

It’s not clear this totally ends the Saudi effort for peace, though it may be difficult for Iran to safely get messengers into Baghdad in the near future, with the US rather openly threatening more assassinations. Since peace overtures were the Saudi “plan B” after the US didn’t attack Iran, they may no longer bother, given the rapidly escalating military tensions.

(antiwar.com)

I have seen nothing in the MSM about this “peace message”….why?

The Iranians and the Saudis have been at each other’s throat for centuries….and the possibility of a peace deal that could lessen this animosities would be a big deal in international relations circles….but not so much in Trumpian circles.

Who did this assassination benefit?  Not Iraq…..not Saudis….not Iran….then who?

Them only nation that comes to mind  is Israel. 

How ling has Israel been predicting the rise of Iran?

Peace between Saudis and Iranians would not benefit Isreal’s constant claim of victimhood.

Yossi Cohen, head of Israel’s Mossad, spoke openly about assassinating Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, the head of the elite Quds Force in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

“He knows very well that his assassination is not impossible,” Cohen said in an interview. Soleimani had boasted that the Israel’s tried to assassinate him in 2006 and failed.

“With all due respect to his bluster,” Cohen said, “he hasn’t necessarily committed the mistake yet that would place him on the prestigious list of Mossad’s assassination targets.”

After Mossad Targeted Soleimani, Trump Pulled the Trigger

Nothing about this death, this assassination, will bode well…..yes we took out a “bad guy” while we allow other “bad guys” to go unchallenged…..

This action, the death of Soleimani, is not something that will make the US safer regardless what the liars in the WH would have you believe.

Don’t Underestimate Iran’s Ability to Fight a Bloody War

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Middle East Hole

NOTE: I wrote this draft before the attack that killed the al-Quds general in Iraq.

These conclusions may prove to be a moot point.

The US started digging a hole for itself in the Middle East in 2003…..and there seems to be no way to stop digging the hole…..any hope that an end was insight was dashed at every turn….

America’s post–Cold War journey in the Middle East looked a lot more promising at first than it does today. Blessed with a stronger geopolitical position than its successors, the George H. W. Bush administration was also less prone to magical thinking. The administration brought discipline to the challenge of mobilizing the Desert Storm coalition—and to resisting the temptation to pursue fleeing Iraqi forces to Baghdad and overthrow Saddam Hussein. Secretary of State James Baker masterfully orchestrated the Madrid peace conference between Arabs and Israelis, but kept his expectations in check, careful not to overpromise what might come of the long slog of negotiations.

Bill Clinton built on that foundation, with painstaking progress throughout the 1990s but a debilitating setback at the Camp David Summit in 2000. George W. Bush’s modest successes, such as persuading Muammar Qaddafi’s Libya to abandon terrorism and a rudimentary nuclear program, were overwhelmed by the massive failure of the Iraq War in 2003. That tragically unnecessary conflict laid bare the deep and violent fissures of Iraq, opened the playing field for Iranian ambitions, and unsettled Arab partners already drowning in their domestic dysfunctions. The War on Terror crowded out other priorities. To the extent that the administration tried to press other concerns—about the political and economic stagnation on which terrorists fed, for example—the debacle in Iraq and our own War on Terror abuses made us unpersuasive messengers.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/12/end-magical-thinking-middle-east/602953/

Let’s say that the US does find a way to end its involvement in the Middle East…..what then?

It was 5 August 1990, just days after Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had invaded and conquered all of Kuwait, and US President George H.W. Bush could not have been clearer as he spoke from the South Lawn at the White House: ‘This will not stand, this aggression against Kuwait.’ Over the next six months, Bush proved to be a man of his word, as the United States sent half a million soldiers to the Middle East and led an international coalition that liberated Kuwait.

Three decades later, a very different American president embraced a very different US policy. In the wake of abandoning its Kurdish partners in Syria who had fought valiantly in defeating Islamic State terrorists, the US stood by as Iranian drones and missiles attacked Saudi Arabian oil installations, temporarily taking half of its capacity offline.

Welcome to the post-American Middle East. To be fair, the phrase is something of an exaggeration, as the US hasn’t withdrawn from the region. In fact, it has recently sent additional troops to deter and, if necessary, help defend Saudi Arabia from future Iranian attacks and possibly respond directly to them. But there’s no getting around the fundamental truth that the US has reduced both its presence and role in a region that it has dominated for nearly half a century/

The post-American Middle East

Recently at the NATO meetings the French made several comments about the US and the Middle East…..

with all due respect to the French defense minister, her analysis is both backwards and tone-deaf. She rightly mentions France’s (and America’s) role in fueling the Syrian Civil War, but totally ignores the indescribable damage that has ensued. The human cost alone of that conflict has been staggering, yet nothing has been achieved aside from the rise of the Islamic State and other radical Sunni groups.

Parly also has the audacity to decry Iranian influence in the Middle East. Yet she glossed over the fact that that influence in Syria and Yemen, over its Shia Muslim friends, was directly proportional to the pressure being placed on those Shia groups by Sunni forces, which were backed by Western military might. In other words, Iran only became heavily involved in Syria after the West decided to foment a civil war and attempt to topple the Assad regime.

Likewise did the chaos in Syria resulted in Assad inviting Russia to enter the region.

If France Wants the Middle East, Let Them Have It

France does not want the Middle East….they have had bad history there and why would anyone embrace them as a leader in the region?

As I wrote earlier……this is mostly a moot point now that the US has decided to escalate by adding more troops and using drones to kill opposing generals……https://lobotero.com/2020/01/03/big-news-in-the-middle-east/

All we can do is wait and see what form the retaliation will take….

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Should We Go Or Should We Stay?

The death ofm the Iranian general has had a flurry of statements and Tweets (mostly by Trump)….plus the SecState Pompeo on every Sunday news channel to regurgitate a pathetic clarification of what the attacks were all about and what we should do……

The usual chest thumping by Trump and the warhawks…..but the big news was the vote in the Iraqi Parliament…..

Iraq’s Parliament, the Council of Representatives (CoR), passed a non-binding resolution to cancel the request for military aid from the government of Iraq to the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition. The resolution does not require a U.S. withdrawal, which only the Prime Minister can order by rescinding the Status of Forces Agreement with the U.S. It is unclear whether caretaker Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mehdi has the authority to do so. The CoR resolution sets political conditions to justify subsequent Iranian proxy attacks on U.S. forces and installations, however. Nationalist Shi’a Cleric Muqtada al Sadr also called for the mobilization of new “resistance” groups to support such attacks.
 
Iraq’s parliament passed a non-binding resolution rejecting the presence of U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. 172 members of the Iraqi Council of Representatives (CoR) convened on Sunday, January 5 in an “extraordinary session” to discuss the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian IRGC Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi Popular Mobilization Committee Deputy Chief and Kata’ib Hezbollah commander Abu Mehdi al-Muhandis on January 3, 2020. Kurdish political parties boycotted the session, as did many Sunni political parties. Caretaker Prime Minister (PM) Adel Abdul Mehdi submitted the resolution. It passed with 170 votes.
 
The resolution does not require an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces. The CoR’s resolution asks the Government of Iraq (GoI) to cancel the 2014 military aid request from the GoI to coalition forces. The resolution does not explicitly ask the GoI to revoke the State of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the U.S. and Iraq. It does, however, say the GoI “must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, airspace or water for any reason.” It also calls on the Iraqi government to establish a timetable for the withdrawal of all foreign troops. The CoR cannot itself cancel the 2014 request for coalition support or the SOFA, which requires executive action from the PM. It is unclear if PM Mehdi has the legal authority to do so given his status as a caretaker PM. Mehdi resigned on November 29, 2019 during mass protests.
 
Nationalist Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr may participate in attacks on US forces and installations. The leader of Sadr’s Toward Reform bloc issued a statement to the CoR on Sadr’s behalf that included demands for an even greater response. In addition to withdrawing from U.S. security agreements, Sadr called for the immediate closure of the “Embassy of American Evil in Iraq,” the closure of U.S. bases in the country, the “humiliating expulsion” of U.S. troops, the “criminalization” of any communication with the U.S. government, and the boycott of American products. In a tweet following the session, Sadr condemned the CoR resolution as insufficient and called on “the Iraqi resistance factions in particular and the factions outside of Iraq for an immediate meeting to announce the formation of “international resistance groups.”
 
Implications: This resolution renders the maintenance of a U.S. or coalition military presence in Iraq politically difficult but does not yet legally require a U.S. withdrawal. However, it solidifies the Iranian narrative of a U.S. “occupation” of Iraq and sets political conditions to justify subsequent attacks on U.S. forces across the Middle East. These escalations will likely come not only from Iran’s direct proxy militias, but also from a pan-Shi’a resistance movement that Muqtada al-Sadr is now attempting to generate. The Iraqi Security Forces have up until this point depended on coalition military support to sustain pressure on the Islamic State (ISIS). Any withdrawal of coalition forces from Iraq offers ISIS increased freedom of movement and improves conditions for ISIS to reconstitute itself inside of Iraq and Syria.
Iraq wants the US to leave and yet we say “no way”…….what part of that is anything but an authoritarian approach to the situation?
 
That said let’s return to SecState Pompeo and his performance on the Sunday talk shows…..

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hit the Sunday talk-show circuit and blamed the entire Iran crisis on former President Obama, USA Today reports. “We’re trying to correct for what was the Obama administration’s appeasement of Iran,” Pompeo said on ABC News’ This Week, after President Trump ordered the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, sparking protests in Iran and threats of retaliation. “This is a regime that has been acting against America for an awfully long time. And we are suffering from eight years of neglect and we’re trying to push it back. We’re trying to contain them.” Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, he referred to the current conflict as a “war,” saying “this war kicked off” when Obama and the European Union signed its nuclear deal with Iran. For more:

  • ‘BS’: “This is BS from Pompeo,” tweeted former Obama adviser Ben Rhodes. “This isn’t a ‘both sides argue’ issue, it’s about facts: Iran was complying with deal that rolled back nuke program and there were 0 rocket attacks on US interests in Iraq during that time. Trump pulled out and Iran resumed nuke program and rocket attacks.”
  • ‘Endless war’: “I really worry that the actions the president took will get us into what he calls another ‘endless war’ in the Middle East,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) on This Week, per the Washington Post. “He promised we wouldn’t have that. And I think we’re closer to that now because of his actions.”
  • ‘Act of war’: “Let’s not mince words: the assassination of Qasem Soleimani was an act of war undertaken without Congressional authorization,” write Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Barbara Lee (D-Texas) in a statement, per KSTP. “…We in Congress must exercise our Constitutional duty—and do everything in our power to stop another disastrous war.”
  • In his defense: Trump “is not saying, ‘Congress, I need 100,000 American troops to invade Iran.’ That’s why all this talk about war powers and congressional authority is so silly,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) on CBS’s Face the Nation, per the Sun-Sentinel. “The president’s not talking about invading Iran. He’s talking about responding to anything Iran may do in the future.”
  • More Pompeo: “Endless wars are the direct result of weakness,” Pompeo said on Fox News Sunday, per RealClearPolitics. “And President Trump will never let that happen. We’re going to get it right.”

So much spin…like the attack will prevent a war……Trump will never let our wars become endless……two examples of manure spreading.

Sorry but targeting cultural sites is targeting civilians….is they what them US has come to?  If so then we are no better than some of the “terrorists” we are supposedly fighting.

All this chaos is looking like “amateur hour” foreign policy.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is That The Smell Of War?

Just last weekend the US sent a drone to kill the general of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard……but it was not intended to start a war…..at least that is the statement from Trump….

In the wake of Thursday night’s assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the Pentagon offered a legal justification by claiming there was an “imminent” attack being plotted at the time.

That’s the go-to excuse for US airstrikes, but it is conspicuous that in all that’s been said on the high-profile assassination, the Pentagon is absolutely refusing to offer any details on what that threat actually was.

That’s not insignificant, to the extent that the US is going to try to argue a legal pretext for an act of war launched outside of a Congressional authorization. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was similarly light on details, but claimed it would have “put dozens if not hundreds of American lives at risk.”

There are details sorely lacking in all of this, and evidence as well. Sen. McConnell (R-KY) suggested some Senators might get a classified debriefing next week, but that still leaves the public in the dark as the attack risks starting a war.

The lack of specificity leaves open room for speculation. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was eager to get in on this, claiming Soleimani was plotting a coup in Iraq at the time. He similarly offered no evidence, and given Iran’s close ties to the Iraqi government, it seems highly unlikely.

Adding to doubts about the imminent threat is the Department of Homeland Security, which even after the attack claims there is no domestic threat at all. While New York officials say they are bracing for an attack, the signs point to there being no intelligence at all

(antiwar.com)

The action was taken to stop a war?

Then why a large deployment of troops?

Iran is threatening a “harsh retaliation” after the attack, and the US intends to deploy another 3,500 troops to Iraq and the surrounding area in anticipation of this escalating further. Iran says retaliation will be at a time of their choice.

The timing of the 3,500 more troops arriving is unclear, though they’ll likely mostly arrive in Kuwait. This plans are in addition to 750 sent earlier this week, and 4,000 announced at the time.

This caps off a shockingly escalatory week that has left the US on the brink of war with Iran and, realistically, with Iraq as well. On last Friday, a series of rockets hit an Iraqi base, killing a US contractor. The US blamed an Iraqi militia, and on Sunday attacked five of the militia’s bases, killing 25. The militia responded with protests at the US Embassy, which the US blamed on Iran, and by Thursday had escalated that to killing Gen. Soleimani when he arrived at the Iraqi airport.

(antiwar.com)

Analysts have said this attack was an act of war, and the US rushing troops to the region shows that they are expecting retaliation.

I would like to see the intel for myself…..I am suspicious of the timing of this action only because of something said in the past by Trump……

Does a threat constitute a de-escalation?

Trump has now announced, via Twitter, that the US has singled out 52 Iranian sites, which he says represents the 52 hostages from the 1979-80 hostage situation, that the US will attack if Iran strikes “any Americans, or American assets.”

Trump was vague on what he intended to attack, saying they were “important to Iran & the Iranian culture.” It is noted that deliberate attacks on cultural heritage sites is illegal under international law.

Trump’s announcement is likely mostly about Iranian Gen. Gholamali Abuhamzeh saying there are 35 US targets in the region, and Trump wanting to have even more targets. It makes sense that more Iranian targets would exist, the US threats centering on Iran.

Iran is in a difficult position on potential retaliation, given the high-profile nature of the US attack, and Soleimani’s importance within Iran’s military. The US and Iran have hit each other in small ways for years, with bigger attacks deterred by the threat of equally damaging retaliation.

Avoiding full war is always an Iranian priority, but the US attack throws their deterrence into doubt. If Iran does not work something out, or carry out a commensurate measure, the risk would be that the US believes they can carry out attacks of this level with impunity.

(antiwar.com)

I have criticized our president and his lack of knowledge of international situations….like the time in a phone interview when asked about al-Quds he told them about the Kurds.

But it is not just him, them president, that is clueless internationally…..the VP is just as f*cking ignorant….

Vice President Mike Pence defended President Donald Trump’s decision to authorize a drone strike that killed Iran’s top intelligence commander, Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani, in a series of tweets that pushed a conspiracy theory that ties the Sept. 11, 2001 attack to Iran even though there is no proof to make that connection.

In a series of tweets, Pence called Soleimani “an evil man who was responsible for killings thousands of Americans.” The vice president went on to say that Soleimani “assisted in the clandestine travel to Afghanistan of 10 of the 12 terrorists who carried out the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.” It is far from clear how Pence made that conclusion that is not supported by what is publicly known about both Soleimani and those who carried out the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/01/pence-falsely-links-soleimani-9-11-attacks-justify-assassination.html

I have called Trump’s foreign policy knee jerk and chaotic…..and things like these are why I do so.,,,,the Big 4, Trump, Pence, Pompeo and Esper, are a clueless batch that is leading our foreign policy….it will come to NO good mark my words.

Just a thought.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Freya Stark

Sunday and my break from the dismal news of the week…..if I cannot entertain then I need to educate.

I have been given my readers a look at the women that helped mold the modern Middle East after World War One….

First was Gertrude Bell then Jane Digby…..

https://lobotero.com/2019/12/21/gertrude-bell-2/

https://lobotero.com/2019/12/28/jane-digby/

The third and final woman is that of Freya Stark…..

Raised in Italy and England by liberal-minded parents, Freya Stark already spoke several languages as a child. Riding and mountaineering were part of her education, and with her mother and grandmother as role models she developed into an unconventional woman who was as at home in elegant salons as she was able to deal with poverty and physical exertion.

In spite of her delicate and sickly constitution, Freya Stark was tough and tenacious. In 1912 she began her studies in history at Bedford College in London, but broke them off with the onset of the First World War, when she left for Bologna to work as a nurse.

She had problems with self-esteem, feeling awkward and unattractive because she had to wear clothes tailored by her mother. Later in life, when she had her own money, she was known for her elegant and extravagant clothes/outfits.

Her engagement to a physician from Bologna was short-lived. Shocked, Freya moved to London, where for a time she worked as a censor of international correspondence – good preparation for her later collaboration with the Ministry of Information in London where she would be employed as an expert on the Middle East during the Second World War.

https://www.fembio.org/english/biography.php/woman/biography/freya-stark/

To help my readers learn about this fascinating women I found a couple of short videos……

This one is longer but a good look at the life of an interesting woman……

And finally……

Women made a difference in the Middle East as the First World War ended….for the good or the bad…they made a difference….something that cannot be said about the US which pretended that they were solidly behind the idea of self-determination for all people.

I hope this short series helped my reader learn about the courage and the fortitude of these women.

Class Dismissed!

“lego ergo scribo”