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Netanyahu Will Meet with Putin - World Cup Semi-finals

by Oui Fri Jul 6th, 2018 at 09:16:59 AM EST

Thanking Putin for the Trump presidency ...

Netanyahu, Putin pencil meeting next week in Russia | Ynet News |

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next Wednesday, the same day on which the semifinals of the World Cup are played in Moscow.

The meeting will be the second between the two leaders within two months, with their last tête-à-tête taking place on May 9.

Just over a week ago, it was reported that Putin had invited the Israeli premier to his country to watch the final game of the World Cup in mid July, but Netanyahu had not made a decision at the time. The invitation was also extended to other world leaders, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Lines of communication between Netanyahu and Putin have experienced significant activity in recent years, with the two leaders holding a series of meetings in a bid to avoid an accidental clash between Russian and Israeli forces in Syria where the Kremlin is propping up Jerusalem's foe President Bashar Assad.

Continued below he fold ...

In a telephone call at the end of last month, Putin agreed to strengthen coordination on Syria with Netanyahu, according to a Kremlin statement.

They discussed joint efforts to ensure security in the area of the Syrian-Israeli border, the Kremlin said, with Putin seeking Israeli approval to return Assad's forces back to the southern border on condition that no Iranian forces or Hezbollah terrorists remain in the area.

Israel lays down red lines for postwar relations with Syria | Times of Israel |

Thanking Putin for the Trump presidency ...

US Senators in Moscow Seek to Be 'Advesaries, Not Enemies' | The Moscow Times |

Six U.S. senators and a congresswoman are in Moscow this week ahead of a summit between presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Finland later this month.

Russian media outlets have presented the visit as a coup for the Kremlin, which has shrugged off sanctions and allegations of electoral meddling.

On Tuesday, the U.S. lawmakers met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and members of the State Duma and the Federation Council.

Russian media reported early Tuesday that the U.S. delegation, which is headed by Republican Senator Richard Shelby, had asked to keep the State Duma meeting closed for the press. (The U.S. Embassy did not respond to a request for comment.)

"[The topics were] Syria, Ukraine and Russia's meddling in the U.S. election," the head of the Duma's financial markets committee Anatoly Aksakov told Interfax. "[Duma Speaker Vyacheslav] Volodin said the claims of election meddling were absurd."

He added Volodin had said the accusations were "undignified"and "belittled" those who made them.

Lavrov said he hoped the visit would be a step toward "restoring relations," Interfax reported.

The point was echoed by Shelby. Russia and the U.S. "can be adversaries, as in sport or business, but not enemies," he was cited as saying by the state-run TASS news agency.

[Source: Moscow Times is a publication owned by Dutchman Derek Sauer]

Thanking Putin for the Trump presidency ...

Israel Has A New Poster Boy: Lindsey Graham

Excellent analysis, this sums it up: The US and its coalition confronted and defeated ISIS in the Levant region. Talks with Kurds in Northern Iraq and with President Erdogan of Turkey. Lindsey, he's the man to go to now that John McCain s on his death bed. Well done Bibi Netanyahu, a new poster child for IsraelFirst! foreign policy in the Middle East. A proud moment for the parents of Lindsey. Preposterous.

Northern Syria: A photo-op of John McCain with jihadist cut-throats

Can Lindsey Graham save US foreign policy in the Middle East? | Jerusalem Post |

As ISIS is defeated, the US continues to work with Kurdish allies in Iraq and anti-ISIS fighters in Syria while balancing relationships with Ankara and Baghdad.

Influential US Senator Lindsey Graham is on a tour of the Middle East, visiting Turkey, eastern Syria and Iraq in recent days, as he seeks to shore up US relationships. Graham, who met with US partners in eastern Syria and with Kurdish autonomous region's prime minister in Iraq, is well placed to stabilize US policy in the region. The South Caroline Senator, who is outspoken on US foreign policy and a supporter of a strong national defense, has had a close, but sometimes frayed, relationship with US President Donald Trump.

A former Air Force officer, he has served in the Senate since 2003 and chairs a subcommittees dealing with the Department of State, army personnel and crime and terrorism. The Senator, an outspoken supporter of Israel, was last in the region when he was in Jerusalem for the opening of the US Embassy in May.

He is well placed to play a key role in US relationships with Iraq, Turkey and the Syrian Democratic Forces in eastern Syria. In Turkey Graham and Senator Jeanne Shaheen of Vermont, met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, becoming the highest level US delegation to meet the Turkish president since he won re-election as president in June.

Erdogan has secured sweeping new presidential powers but his relations with the US have frayed due to numerous controversies. Several US Senators, including Shaheen, have sought to block F-35 sales to Turkey partly because Ankara is growing closer to Russia. Graham and Shaheen discussed Turkey's detention of US pastor Andrew Burnson.

Clinton supremacy and defeat ... being out of touch with parts of the constituency - the Democratic base and progressives.

RI Democrats In Power Not So Progressive

Martin Longman writing in The Washington Monthly

The Report the Senate Didn't Want You to See

Russia's naval bases in Sevastopol and Novorossisk on the Black Sea, not quite similar to US East coast ...

Analysts: Black Sea port in Ukraine still key to Russia's naval interests
The Future of the Russian Black Sea Fleet's Bases: Novorossiysk Versus Sevastopol

A report on Crimea, the heartbeat of Russia - a history. President Putin serves the self-interest of Russia and its people (perception as a politician) ...

Crimea: The Last Crusade by Orlando Figes - review and | Chicago Tribune - March 2014 |

As Putin made a point of saying in his speech, the Crimea is the place from which Russia took its Christianity. According to medieval chronicles, it was in Chersonesus, the ancient Greek colonial city on the southwestern coast of the Crimea, just outside Sevastopol, that another Vladimir, the Grand Prince of Kiev, was baptized in 988, thereby bringing Christianity to Kievan Rus', the loose confederation of Slavic principalities from which Russia derives its religious and national identity.

The Crimea was ruled by the Turks and Tatar tribes for 500 years. But after its annexation by the Russian Empress Catherine the Great, in 1783, it was re-Christianized by the Russians. Most of the Tatars were forced out and replaced by Russian settlers and other Eastern Christians: Greeks, Armenians, Bulgarians. Ancient Tatar towns like Bakhchisarai were downgraded, while new towns like Sevastopol, the Black Sea naval base, were built in the neoclassical style. Russian churches replaced mosques. And there was an intense focus on the discovery of ancient Christian archaeological remains -- Byzantine ruins, ascetic cave-churches and monasteries -- to make a claim for the Crimea as a sacred site, the cradle of Russian Christianity.

Catherine envisaged the Crimea as Russia's southern paradise, a pleasure-garden where the fruits of her enlightened Christian rule could be enjoyed and exhibited to the world beyond the Black Sea. She liked to call the peninsula by its Greek name, Taurida, in preference to Crimea (Krym), its Tatar name: She thought it linked Russia to the Hellenic civilization of Byzantium.

The empress gave land to Russia's nobles to establish magnificent estates along the mountainous southern coast, a coastline to rival the Amalfi in beauty; their classical buildings, Mediterranean gardens and vineyards were supposed to be the carriers of a new Christian civilization in this previously heathen land. It was from this time that the Crimea became firmly established as the Russian elite's favorite holiday resort -- a preference continued by millions of Soviet tourists in the 20th century.

The Crimea was the fault line separating Russia from the Muslim world, the religious division on which the Russian Empire grew. From Sevastopol the Black Sea Fleet could impose the czar's will on the Ottoman Empire, ensuring Russia's control of the straits into the Mediterranean. Controlling the Black Sea was strategically critical to the Russians' domination of Ukraine and the Caucasus.

Related reading ...

Let Our Fame Be Great: Journeys Among the Defiant People of the Caucasus

More on Russia’s successful FIFA World Cup 2018 …

Global Community Gathers in Russia

Only get involved when your have the authority and knowledge on matters of foreign policy ... fear can cause paranoia. Mike Flynn has unlimited knowledge from the theater on the Islamic State, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and US policy using proxies for regime change.

Never let your personal life become part of virtual reality on the Internet.  

Putting a Face (Mine) to the Risks Posed by GOP Games on Mueller Investigation

I only came to be convinced slowly about Russia's role in the attack and I have been skeptical of the Steele dossier from the day it was published. That said, I obviously do not like Donald Trump -- though I'm no Hillary fan, either. But my decision to share information with the FBI had nothing to do with my dislike for Donald Trump. It had to do with the serious damage that someone else I believed to be involved in the Russian attack -- someone I had been friendly with -- was doing to innocent people, almost all of those people totally uninvolved in American politics.

This investigation is not, primarily, an investigation into Donald Trump. It's an investigation into people who attacked the United States. It's time Republicans started acting like that matters.

On Thursday night, I reached out to the Special Counsel's Office to inquire whether I could post this without damaging the investigation. After sharing the specific language from the passages I felt might pose the biggest concern, last night at 10:15, I was informed they, "take no position" on my posting it.  

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jul 6th, 2018 at 02:26:13 PM EST
Speaking of a "Grand Bargain" involving Jared Kushner and Vladimir Putin??

I guess Marcy Wheeler has lost it on this one, perhaps tunnel vision has clouded her senses. Using Adam Entous from Murdock's WSJ to substantiate your own story? Bad! My linked post @BooMan about Adam Entous was made in this diary with over 100 comments added ...

World's Nr. 1 Despot Running Amok and Unchecked

Of course a scammer like the Trump and his people are looking for a bargain ... especially to those who were on his team during the campaign. Trump is very loyal to his close allies. To his most loyal friends, Trump has already delivered through Jared Kushner: Israel - Jerusalem - anti-Palestine. See my previous diaries on this theme.

The Text about Flynn Wasn't the Substantial Role in the Russian Attack -- It Just Linked the Grand Bargain to It

Having spoken to a number of journalists about my post revealing I spoke with the FBI about someone on Russia-related matters, I want to clarify something about my deliberately oblique post. The text I received just over 14 hours after polls closed -- reporting that Flynn had been tasked to speak with "Team Al-Assad" within 48 hours -- was not directly related to the "significant role" this person played in the Russian attack on the US, at least as far as I have been able to understand.

On the contrary, this text is something I've puzzled over ever since, because -- as the substance of the text came to be corroborated by both Jared Kushner and Mike Flynn -- I couldn't understand how he had learned of it so quickly.

The "significant role" I believe this person had in the Russian attack on the US is at least facially entirely separate from the subject of the text, though I do find it really telling that someone I believed had been and was subsequently involved in the attack on the US was in the loop on the foreign policy payoff so quickly.

All that said, it and some related comments inform why I have argued, since May 2017, that the "Russia" story is actually as much about Jared's "Peace" "Plan" as it is about payoff to Russia in the form of sanctions relief.

As I explained, I included the text in the oblique post because of reports that seem to confirm we're closing in on the deal that Trump turned to implementing just hours after the election.

Here's another example, a follow-up from Adam Entous on an earlier report on Donald Trump's New World Order. He describes how Mohammed bin Zayed told an American shortly before the election -- that is, shortly before this text was sent to me -- that Vladimir Putin might be willing to make a deal on Syria in exchange for sanctions relief.

    During a private meeting shortly before the November, 2016, election, Mohammed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, floated to a longtime American interlocutor what sounded, at the time, like an unlikely grand bargain. The Emirati leader told the American that Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, might be interested in resolving the conflict in Syria in exchange for the lifting of sanctions imposed in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine.

    Current and former U.S. officials said that bin Zayed, known as M.B.Z., was not the only leader in the region who favored rapprochement between the former Cold War adversaries. While America's closest allies in Europe viewed with a sense of dread Trump's interest in partnering with Putin, three countries that enjoyed unparallelled influence with the incoming Administration--Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the U.A.E.--privately embraced the goal. Officials from the three countries have repeatedly encouraged their American counterparts to consider ending the Ukraine-related sanctions in return for Putin's help in removing Iranian forces from Syria.

Abu Dhabi crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed termed "a longtime American interlocutor"? Get real, come on. Betting on the wrong horse here. Abu Dhabi has been a neocon forward base for American military power in the region. See the move of Halliburton HQ, the affair of Dubai Sea Terminals, the relocation of XE and Erik Prince, and the early hiring of top notch former US Generals like McChrystal to equip and train Abu Dhabi mercenaries now fighting an ugly war in Yemen with all corresponding war crimes [2016].

Yemeni Nobel laureate: Saudi Arabia, UAE occupy Yemen | Al Jazeera |

Ever since Russia's Putin started the military intervention in Syria in September 2015, the Geneva talks ended. Talking a peace plan for Syria are Turkey, Russia and Iran - see Astana agreement. My most recent diary on the civil war in Syria ...

Russia, Iran Prevail - Syrian Rebellion Ends

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jul 15th, 2018 at 05:34:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Policy Series: The Trump Administration and the Middle East

Surprising Continuities

If President Trump made Middle East policy based solely upon his rhetoric in the 2016 campaign, we would be seeing a substantially different American approach to the region. His constant focus on the terrorist threat and his promises of a new plan to confront ISIS would have led one to believe that a major departure on the counter-terrorism front was in the offing. His anti-Muslim statements and the role in the campaign played by retired General Michael Flynn, whose extreme views on the nature of the threat from the region were well advertised, seemed to indicate a much more confrontational policy.

His promise to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, the dropping of support for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians from the Republican Party platform, and his tweet in December 2016, after America failed to veto a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity, that Israel should "stay strong" and await his coming to office, signaled a move away from past presidents' efforts to negotiate Arab-Israeli peace. Trump's categorization of the JCPOA as a "disaster" and "the worst deal ever negotiated" signaled an immediate change in Iran policy.

In fact, none of that happened. The administration's conduct of the war against ISIS basically followed the template established by the Obama Administration: reliance on local allies, significant American air support, a relatively small number of American combat forces on the ground to assist, and a reluctance to expand the scope of American goals to include confronting the Assad regime.

Obama did not fight the Islamic State, used them as a proxy to overthrow Bashar al Assad.

For a Syria plan, listen to Mike Flynn | NY Post |
Clinton's 21st Century Statecraft and the Land of the Two Rivers by Oui on Aug 23rd, 2014
US Administrations' Failure to Distinguish Strands of Islam by Oui on Sep 15th, 2012  

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jul 6th, 2018 at 03:04:56 PM EST

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