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Middle East: Russia Is Back With Vengeance

by Oui Mon Oct 14th, 2019 at 07:21:08 PM EST

Leading in "diplomacy" ... the Russian designed S-400 missile system.

Nearly half of Turks favor purchase of S-400 missiles: Survey | Hürriyet News |

Failure to reign in Idlib jihadists makes trouble for Turkey

Kurds announce deal with Damascus on troop deployment to confront Turkish offensive | Middle East Eye |

In the Middle East, Russia is back | Gulf News |

Among the presidents, prime ministers, kings and princes who have visited Moscow over the past year to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin are some of the United States' closest allies, who once might have been expected to devote their travel time to Washington.

There's a new power rising in the Middle East, and it needs to be wooed.

Continued below the fold ...

Three decades after the Soviet Union collapsed and the United States emerged as the undisputed superpower in the Middle East and North Africa, a resurgent Russia is back.

Apart from Syria, Russia has shown little inclination to wade into most of the region's myriad conflicts, such as the Yemen war, the Arab-Israeli peace process and the dispute between Qatar and its neighbors. But Putin has welcomed anyone who wants to visit, making Moscow a must-stop destination for leaders with a problem to solve.

It also positioned Putin at the nexus of the Middle East's overlapping conflicts, leveraging Russia's influence far beyond Syria's borders to include all the countries with a stake in the outcome of the war -- foes such as Israel and Iran, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Syria and Turkey.

Lebanon opens up to Russia

Lebanon came under intense U.S. pressure earlier this year to rebuff a $1 billion arms deal offered by Russia that would have ended a decades-old U.S. and Western monopoly on supplying aid to the Lebanese army, according to a Lebanese government official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the subject.

Late last month, however, Prime Minister Saad Hariri accepted a donation of "millions of Kalashnikov bullets" from Russia, which will be given to the internal security forces, his office said.

Russia, Iran Prevail - Syrian Rebellion Ends

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, President of Russian Federation, Witness Saudi-Russian Energy Partnership Event, Co-signing Cooperation Charter, Exchanging Agreements' Ceremonies

Riyadh, Oct 14, 2019, SPA -- The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin witnessed here today, the Saudi-Russian Energy Partnership Event, for co-signing of the cooperation charter and exchanging agreements between the governments of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Russian Federation, in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.

At the outset of the event, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Minister of Energy, delivered a speech, pointing out that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Russian Federation have started a new phase of cooperation and integration, in many development domains, aimed at achieving prosperity and progress, for both countries.

    "In the Saudi-Russian Joint Committee, we are working together to harmonize the ambitions and strategic objectives of the Kingdom Vision 2030 with the ambitions and objectives of the strategic development plans of Russia, and as a result of this, the Saudi-Russian high-level strategic cooperation agreement are to be exchanged here today."

    "We aim, through the agreements which will be exchanged to develop many economic and development fields, which include: petroleum industry, other energy sectors, scientific research, space, justice, health services, tax administration, mineral wealth, tourism, aviation industry, cultural cooperation, strengthen trade relations and other sectors, as the relevant government agencies, such as sovereign investment funds, state-owned enterprises and the private sector, in both countries, will contribute to the great effort, in this field."  

How BAE sold cyber-surveillance tools to Arab states

Black-Ops Mercenaries On the Internet
Khashoggi Murder: Turning a Blind Eye on Human Rights Abuse

Strong Russia-Saudi Ties Show Promise of New Heights Ahead of Putin's Visit to Riyadh | Sputnik News |

Russia and Saudi Arabia have come a long way in terms of boosting bilateral relations in the past few years, from joint investments and cooperation in the field of energy to cultural projects and easing visa policies.

During the visit ..., Moscow and Riyadh will be announcing new agreements worth over $2 billion, according to Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

History Behind

The Soviet Union was the first country to recognise the independent Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd, which was renamed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932.

Moscow established diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd in 1926, but these ties were severed in 1938 due to the Soviet Union's domestic problems and Saudi Arabia's change of policy in favour of closer cooperation with the West.

Soviet/Russian-Saudi diplomatic relations were restored in 1991 with Saudi Arabia recognising the Russian Federation as the legal successor of the Soviet Union.

Russian President Vladimir Putin made his first official visit to Saudi Arabia in February 2007, which was also the first visit by a Russian head of state to the Arabian Peninsula.


During his meeting with the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Saudi ministers, Dmitriev received the highest honour in Saudi Arabia, the King Abdulaziz Second-Class Order of Merit for his role in strengthening bilateral cooperation. This made the RDIF CEO the second Russian national after Putin to be awarded this honour.

Diaries and related reporting from Liz Sly (WaPo) ...

Trump Won't Let Go of Syria - Kills Scores of SAA
NY Times: Collusion Trump Transition Team with UAE/Israel
Salman Offered Candidate Trump Assassination Program on Iran

Trump preoccupied with impeachment hearings in the House ...

Russian shadow falls over Syria as Kurds open door for Assad | The Guardian |

With the US gone, the implications of their departure is beginning to sink in across the Middle East

he moment that changed the Middle East arrived with a sudden silence. Just before 7pm on Sunday, the internet was cut across north-eastern Syria where, for half an hour, the Kurds of the region had been digesting a news flash. The Syrian government was returning to two towns, Manbij and Kobane. The implication quickly sunk in.

The regional capital, Qamishli, soon emptied; streets that had bustled with minibuses and shoppers became eerie and still. With the internet down phones were no help and nor were officials who had vanished along with the traffic. Air seemed to be suddenly vacuumed from the city, and the few people still around knew exactly what it meant: this was the moment power changed hands. It was a time to be scared.

A black sky covered the road to the border, the sparkling white lights of Turkey to the left and the Syrian army somewhere in the darkness to the right. Usually diligent Kurdish checkpoint guards had left their posts, or were preoccupied. Lone speeding cars and belching lorries without headlamps rumbled through the night, perhaps the last to make the journey before the conquerors arrived.

A day later, the ramifications of the momentous week that preceded the Kurds allowing the Assad regime to retake the province is still sinking in, across Syria and far beyond in Riyadh, Baghdad, Cairo and the Gulf.

As if to celebrate the moment, Vladimir Putin arrived in Riyadh for a state visit on Monday, his first in 12 years, hosted by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who three weeks earlier had similarly felt the humiliation of abandonment by US allies.

After Iran launched an attack against the kingdom's oil production centres, the crown prince was expecting a US retaliation. None was forthcoming, and he felt abandoned by an ally that had sworn to protect Saudi interests. "Did you see what they [the US] did to us?" the crown prince asked Iraqi leaders in Riyadh a fortnight ago. "It was unbelievable."

From my diary @BooMan - NATO Partner Turkey Bombs Kurds in SE Near Iraq Border .

As ISIL attacks Kobane, Turkey and US mired in wider stalemate over Syria | Al Jazeera - Oct. 2014 |

The high-stakes game of chicken between the U.S. and Turkey over who should step in and save the Syrian town of Kobane from an imminent takeover by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has exposed a deep divide between the two NATO allies on critical elements of Syria's future, which analysts suspect may not be resolved until long after the Kurdish enclave falls.

Despite an uptick in strikes against insurgent targets descending on the town, the last and possibly best chance for saving Kobane might be to consider Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's renewed push for a no-fly zone in Syria along Turkey's border -- a long-running demand that would stem the flow of refugees and prevent the incursion of insurgents from ISIL who now control hundreds of miles of the notoriously porous Turkish borders with Syria and Iraq.

Ankara has been the most critical holdout from the U.S.-led coalition striking ISIL in Syria and Iraq -- a consequence of the coalition's refusal to target Turkey's foremost enemy in Syria, President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The Curious Role of Robert Ford [and Vicky Nuland] | NOW Lebanon - July 2011 |

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) - Est. Oct. 2015

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Oct 14th, 2019 at 10:46:59 PM EST
De facto borders of Western Kurdistan - Rojava - as of June 2015

Will the U.S. Abandon the Kurds of Syria Once ISIS is Destroyed? | Syria Comment - Oct. 2017 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Oct 14th, 2019 at 10:47:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Oct 14th, 2019 at 10:48:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Turkey offensive in Syria forces Russia into a balancing act | DW |

Russian President Vladimir Putin didn't openly condemn Turkey's Operation Peace Spring in the northeast of Syria -- but it is clear he is hardly happy about the offensive. According to a Kremlin statement, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke on the phone to Putin just before Turkey launched the offensive. Putin apparently "called on his Turkish partners to weigh its action with care, so as not to damage common efforts to regulate the Syrian crisis."

Russia's official line when it comes to Syria has been to push for the formation of a constitutional committee, which is seen as an important stepping stone in the peace process by the international community. The other repeated Russian refrain is the call for Syria's "territorial integrity" and sovereignty, which both Erdogan and Putin apparently emphasized on the phone as well.

To observers in Moscow, however, this operation is much worse for Russian interests than the Kremlin statement implies. Vyacheslav Matuzov, a Middle East expert and former diplomat, tells DW that "the Turkish military invasion is not in Russia's interest, because Russia believes that the Syrian government should be the housekeeper on the territory of Syria."

After all, Russian forces entered the war in 2015 to back Syrian President Bashar Assad's government, and Russian military support has essentially swung the conflict in the Syrian government's favor in recent years. On Sunday, Putin insisted that any forces that were not explicitly called on by Assad's government for assistance in the war are essentially illegitimate occupiers and should leave the country. He almost certainly meant US forces -- but probably Turkish forces as well. But Russian officials have also repeatedly called Turkish security concerns in their operation against Kurdish forces legitimate.

From the MENAT nations ...

President Erdoğan: World's inaction prompted Syria move | Hürriyet Daily News |
Trump sending Pence to Turkey to `pursue a ceasefire and negotiated settlement' | Times of Israel |
Putin visit to strengthen UAE-Russia relations | Gulf News |
Vladimir Putin in the United Emirates: Live updates of visit | The National - UAE |

More ...

F***ing Israelis Stirring Up Big Trouble [Update]
Challenging Russia with Swarming Suicide Drones in Syria

Related if you can stomach some Pravda propaganda ...

EU Hypocrisy Over Turkish Aggression in Syria

My diary many moons ago from across the pond ...

US Will Be Ousted by Saudi King Abdullah in Middle-East

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Oct 15th, 2019 at 10:29:41 AM EST
Levant (Lebanon-Syria-Iraq)

My diary of June 2018 - Trump to Pentagon: Hands Off Syria.

You're on your own, US tells Syrian rebels, as Assad goes on offensive | The Guardian |

The US has warned Syrian rebels in the south-west of the country they should not expect military support to help them resist a major government offensive. The message from Washington comes as Russian jets struck an opposition-held town on Sunday in the first air cover provided by Moscow to an expanding Syrian army offensive in the strategic area bordering Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

The US message sent to heads of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) said Washington wanted to make clear that "you should not base your decisions on the assumption or expectation of a military intervention by us".

The Syrian army began ramping up its assault last week in order to recapture the area.

A stark reminder of who the West supported in the saga to overthrow Bashar al Assad ...

    December 23, 2011: Two Al-Nusra suicide bombers attacked military intelligence facilities in the city of Damascus. This was Al-Nusra's first official attack (44 killed, 150+ injured).

Hillary Clinton remained silent by a double car bomb attack hitting civilians in Damascus
Beirut Bombing Iranian Embassy - The Hand of Saudi Prince Bandar?
Dutch Gov't Hard Facts and Lies/Propaganda about Syria

US envoy to Israel should be impeached as well ...

Congress should impeach David Friedman, too | Mondoweiss |

There is still no peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians ... the Syrian Golan Heights have been gifted to the Jewish State of Israel and PM Netanyahu tries his best to promise the settlers in occupied Palestine Israel will annex the Jordan Valley for "security reasons".

Perhaps the Arabs have enough of Western hypocrisy and promises kept for the Jewish State, but reneged on the authoritarian monarchies of the Arabian peninsula.

British lies to the Arabs in World War I
U.S. Conduct in the Middle East since World War II and the folly of Intervention | CATO Institute - 1991 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Oct 15th, 2019 at 11:17:23 AM EST
There is hope yet the impeachment turns out well for staunch Democrats ... how I have become to hate Nancy Pelosi, the conservative in power. An obstructionist of liberal and progressive values in the Democratic party. Just like Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and John Kerry. Anything progressive and green on offer?

The straw that broke the camel's back? | Jordan Times Op-Ed by James Zogby

I have never forgotten a political cartoon that appeared in the midst of the Watergate impeachment investigation. It caricatured the strange relationship evangelical Christians had with then President Richard Nixon, and speaks to me today of the way the current group of right-wing preachers are dealing with President Donald Trump.

The cartoon was made up of a series of eight separate boxes. Shown in the background of each box was Richard Nixon speaking on the phone. Pictured in the foreground of each box was the face of a prominent evangelical Christian preacher. In the first seven boxes, Nixon is shown ordering the bombing of Cambodia, the invasion of Laos, surveillance of political opponents, criticising welfare benefits for the poor, etc. In the first seven, the preacher in the foreground is shown saying "Praise the Lord, truly this is a man of God."

In the eighth and final box of the cartoon, Nixon is on the phone using the obscene and vulgar language that appeared in the White House tapes he had been forced to surrender to a Senate investigative committee. In this box, on hearing Nixon's foul language, the preacher, in the foreground, looks shocked and says, "Tsk, tsk, a moral lapse!"


But when the White House was forced to release Nixon's secretly recorded phone conversations and they revealed the president's penchant for "colorful language", that was, as we say, "the straw that broke the camel's back".

While the matter in question was Nixon's language, it opened the door to a deeper rupture that allowed right-wing Christians to join the growing chorus of Americans, Democrats and Republicans, alike, who recognised that Nixon had abused the office of the presidency and who now were calling for his impeachment.

There are interesting parallels to the relationship Nixon had with the religious right and the way that their contemporary counterparts have embraced President Donald Trump. They say they support him because he promised and delivered on much of their conservative social agenda.


This past week we witnessed the first crack in this support for "their president": Trump's decision to order US troops in Syria to stand down and allow for a Turkish invasion of northeastern Syria. While the Turks say their goal is to create a "safe corridor" that will allow them to forcibly resettle Syrian refugees who have entered Turkey, they are also targeting the US-allied Kurdish militias, whom Turkey refers to as "terrorists".

The response of the religious right has been outrage and condemnation, focused narrowly on their professed concern with the rights of Christians. Said one evangelical preacher, "Kurdish Christians (and others among the brave Kurds) have stood up for the United States and for freedom and human dignity... What they are now facing from Erdogan's authoritarian Turkey is horrifying beyond words." Another called on his followers to "pray for the Christians who the Kurds have been protecting. They could be annihilated." And Pat Robertson, notorious for his "end of days" prophecies, declared that President Trump was in danger "of losing the Mandate from Heaven".  

Just a reminder, by losing the Evangelicals, Trump risks losing rightwing talk radio ... and he WILL lose reelection November 2020.

Election 2020: Trump's impeachment strategy plays to his base

Another worry if Trump loses the Evangelicals, this is the Republican base Netanyahu counts on to keep rightwing extremists on board and annex the West Bank, destroying any chance for Palestinian independence.

Christian evangelicals harvest land in settlements Israel hopes to annex | Reuters |
Rise of Populism Based on Terror and Islamophobia
GOP, Increasingly Party of Corporate Elites, White Males, Evangelicals and Israel Lobby | Tikun Olam - April 2015 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Oct 15th, 2019 at 01:10:50 PM EST
An easy choice

Middle East expert Andrei Ontikov agrees that Russia would like to see the US out of the Syria conflict in the long term. Though Turkey and Russia also don't see eye to eye on Syria, Turkey is a much more comfortable negotiating partner than the US, he argues.

"If we [in Russia] have to choose between Turkey and the USA we choose Turkey. And we will make every effort to have the USA out of the Syrian territory," Ontikov tells DW. After all, he says there is a prospect of "constructive dialogue" on Syria with Turkey, while Russia "doesn't have that sort of dialogue with the Americans."

Russia moves to fill void left by US in northern Syria | AP News |

Russian troops patrol between Turkish and Syrian forces on border | The Guardian - 3 hrs ago |  

Russian units have begun patrolling territory separating Turkish-backed Syrian rebels from the Syrian army around the flashpoint town of Manbij in north-east Syria, in a clear sign that Moscow has become the de facto power broker in the region after the evacuation of US troops.

Oleg Blokhin, a Russian journalist usually attached to mercenaries in Syria, posted a video on social media on Tuesday from a deserted US military base in the village of al-Saadiya, near Manbij.

Meanwhile, the flag of the Syrian regime was raised above Manbij for the first time in years, Syrian state media reported, after Kurdish officials agreed a deal with their former opponents to protect both the contested town and nearby Kobani from a six-day-old Turkish assault.


Syrian troops sent north to 'confront' Turkey over incursion, says state media | The National UAE |
'Stab in the back': Kurdish forces decry US pullout from Syria | Al Jazeera |

My earlier diary ...

The Generals vs. the Commander-In-Chief

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Oct 15th, 2019 at 05:30:44 PM EST

I watched his interview on Sky ... just shocking, truly shocking! And Tom served so well under U.S. Command in Iraq and later in Helmand province. Look where Afghanistan is now! Thankfully Pakistan has successfully extricated itself as ally of the U.S. Coalition.

Related reading ...

The Counter Terror Coalitions: Cooperation with India and Pakistan | Rand - 2004 |
U.S-Pakistan Military Cooperation | CFR - June 2008 |

More ...

Pakistan Warming Up Ties with Iran
Nuclear Spy AQ Khan - CIA/America Refused Arrest

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Oct 16th, 2019 at 09:48:42 AM EST
The man at the top appears to have lost his mind | Ynet News Opinion |

Anyone in the Middle East with eyes in their head understands the man in charge in Washington has lost his mind.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quick to recognize the opportune moment, since just a little bit of pressure over the phone with U.S. President Donald Trump yielded an American withdrawal from northern Syria and the abandonment of the Kurdish Allies.

Erdogan quickly mobilized his forces and launched his operation, named "Peace Spring."  

While the Kurds are fleeing for their lives fearing a massacre, the name appeared suitable in this era where lies are truths and war is peace.

Along with their stated goal of removing the Kurds from their border, the Turkish government expressed their intention to create a "safe zone," an annexation of territory where some of the four million Syrian refugees currently in Turkey at a high cost to the economy can be re-settled.

Some may call the campaign "ethnic cleansing" while others may name it "an exchange of population" replacing the Kurds with Arabs.

The Kurdish fighters who are notoriously brave and capable have been fighting Islamic State for years and have suffered losses exceeding 10,000.

Joe Biden Promised to Bring Stability Across Syraq  (by Oui | Feb 14, 2016)

And link to Joe Biden's plan for federalization of Iraq, partitioning into Sunni, Shia and Kurdish regions. (2006}

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Oct 16th, 2019 at 07:51:15 PM EST
The YPG-PKK Connection

    The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (EUROPOL), the body charged with combating organised crime, assessed in 2016 that the PKK's fundraising in Europe had increased and the proceeds had been used "to fund the group's armed wing HPG (Hezen Parastina Gel, People's Defence Forces) as well as the group's counterpart in Syria, the PYD (Democratic Union Party), and its armed wing YPG (Yekineyen Parastina Gel, People's Protection Units)"

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Oct 16th, 2019 at 08:23:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Joe has already made most errors in judgement on foreign policy any US President could ever make.

From my diary - War Talk by Joe Biden In Turkey Ahead of Syria Conference.

Biden: PKK is terror group 'plain and simple,' threat to Turkey like ISIL | Hürriyet Daily News - Jan. 2016 |

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Jan. 23 that Washington recognized the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey was as much of a threat to Ankara as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), condemning it as "a terror group plain and simple."

ISIL "is not the only existential threat to the people of Turkey, the PKK is equally a threat and we are aware of that. The PKK has shown no desire or inclination to do that [live in peace]. It is a terrorist group plain and simple. And what they continue to do is absolutely outrageous," Biden said at a news conference after a meeting with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, adding that Ankara had to do whatever was needed to protect its people.

"We do agree with you that in terms of their actions Daesh [ISIL], PKK and (Al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate) al-Nusra... are simply terrorist groups," said Biden.

Biden said Turkey and the United States were coordinating ever more precisely on what is a "shared mission on the extermination of ISIL."  He praised Turkey for taking "very important steps to improve the security of its border" from ISIL militants.

Biden also said that the United States and Turkey were prepared for a military solution in Syria against ISIL if a political settlement was not possible.

Clash of Interest Over Northern Iraq Drives Turkish-Israeli Alliance to a Crossroads
By Mustafa Kibaroglu


Turkey and Israel enjoyed an almost perfect relationship throughout the 1990s that amazed their friends, yet bothered their rivals. The US war in Iraq revealed, however, that the two longstanding allies did indeed have contradictory objectives and concerns with respect to the future restructuring of Iraq. While Turkey fears the emergence of an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq, the same possibility seems favorable for Israel from its security standpoint, vis-à-vis threats posed by countries like Iran, Pakistan, and beyond. It appears that the "amazing alliance" is heading toward a crossroads. Such an eventuality may change the nature of the relationship from a "win-win" to a "lose-lose" situation unless proper steps are rapidly taken with a view toward rebuilding confidence on both sides.

Armitage: Criticizes U.S. Policy in Lebanon War; Israeli Strategy 'Inexplicable' | Tikun Olam |

    To make matters worse, America's failure to oppose Israel had created a dangerous precedent in the region.

    "We've been sending envoys to Turkey to try to keep them from invading Kurdistan, to try to prosecute the PKK, the Kurdish terrorists," Mr Armitage said.

    "And we're pleading with them and asking them not to do it. But now their answer to us is: 'Why did you hold Israel's coat?'

'Israel's Mossad intelligence agency had a role in Iraqi Kurdistan's independence referendum', says Erdogan

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Oct 16th, 2019 at 08:23:12 PM EST

Article | Times of Israel |

US President Donald Trump's newly announced withdrawal of nearly all US troops from northern Syria has cemented Russia's status as the predominant global military power actively engaged in the Middle East.

This week, Russian troops arrived at military bases in northern Syria that the American army had hastily left just days earlier, in what can be regarded as both a literal and figurative handover of regional hegemony.

Many officials in Jerusalem are deeply worried about being abandoned by their superpower ally, as the American decision to gradually disengage from this part of the world -- which started under former US president Barack Obama -- threatens to embolden Israel's enemies: Iran and its allies and proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and elsewhere.

UN must renew its arms embargo against Iran, Pompeo says in Israel | JPost |

The United Nations Security Council must renew its arms embargo against Iran when it expires next year, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said while in Israel, as he warned of a new Middle East arms race.

"Because of the flawed Iran deal, the UN arms embargo on Iran will expire in one year. Countries like Russia and China will be able to sell Iran sophisticated weapons," Pompeo tweeted prior to meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Friday. "The Iranian regime will be free to sell weapons to anyone. This will trigger a new arms race in the Middle East," he continued.

The Pompeo Netanyahu meeting lasted for two hours, after which the two men issued a few statements to the press. "It is always a joy to be with you Mr. Prime Minister. It is great to be back here in Israel. The remarkable close relationship between our two countries is as strong as it has ever been. President Trump of course said to send his regard to your as well," Pompeo said.

"We had a chance to talk this morning about all the challenges that the world faces and that Israel and the US face head on together as an important beacon of hope and democracy here in the Middle East," he said.

"The American people value this relationship. We talked about all the efforts we have made to push back against the threat not only to Israel but to the region and the world from the Islamic Republic of Iran," Pompeo said.

"We shared our ideas about how we can ensure Middle East stability together and how we would further our efforts to jointly combat all the challenges that the world confronts here in the Middle East," the Secretary of State explained.

Pompeo to 'Post': Israel has right to act in Syria, U.S. will stop Iran | JPost |
Pompeo and Netanyahu meet as the U.S. seeks to assure Israel focus stays on Iran "threat" | Ynet News |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 18th, 2019 at 06:54:22 PM EST
The man at the top appears to have lost his mind | Ynet News |

The Kurdish region in Syria and Iraq was the playground for Israel's Mossad. Trump is undermining the security of Israel. The terror groups of the Kurds in Syria are linked to the PKK and are outlawed in the US and Europe. PKK sympathizers in Europe have funded the armed resistance of HPG, PYD and YPG. See US Foreign Policy during the Bush administration - Richard Armitage - and Joe Biden in 2006 and 2016:

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on that Washington recognized the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey was as much of a threat to Ankara as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), condemning it as "a terror group plain and simple."

The Obama/Biden administration failed in the Syrian uprising where a coalition was build on jihadists and nation states Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Emirates and Qatar. Clinton's preference was to deal with Erdogan's Turkey and Qatar (Muslim Brotherhood). The Iran deal was another slap in the face of the Saudi monarchy after Obama failed to retaliate for the Ghouta gas attack in August 2013. No surprise a new bond was sought by the Gulf States - minus 'enemy' Qatar -  with Israel and the Republicans in Congress.

President Trump foolish campaign to embolden the rightwing regime of Netanyahu in Israel - Embassy in Jerusalem, settlement expansion, the Trump Heights of Syria and soon the annexation of the Jordan Valley - has led to anger in the Muslim world. Trump's lack of attention to the Persian Gulf and the attack on the Saudi oil facilities must have placed the Saudi monarchy on edge. No surprise Russia president Putin made a triumphant tour this week with visits to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. Appears Putin or someone in his entourage made a contribution of a few billions to Salman's Vision 2030 investment project on the border of the Red Sea.

My recent post @TikunOlam - Trump Abandons Syria and Kurds to Putin, Erdogan and Assad

Related reading, diary @BooMan posted July 2015 ...

NATO Partner Turkey Bombing Kurds in Iraq and Not ISIS

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 18th, 2019 at 07:09:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Of all persons from the Obama administration, she should just shut up! The damage she has wrought across MENAT is insurmountable. Friend of Turkey's Erdogan, CIA's John Brennan and Israel of Netanyahu. Samantha called out after the Rwanda genocide of 1994. However her predecessor Susan Rice had close ties to Rwanda dictator Paul Kagame. Samantha belongs to a group of three amigas with Hillary and Susan Rice.

Samantha Power, the Monster, and the Libyan Intervention by Frank Schnittger @ EuroTrib on March 28, 2011

Samantha is wedded to law professor Cass Sunstein who also played a role in Obama's White House.

Related reading ...

Obama, Sunstein, Vermeule and "Conspiracy Theories" by Real History Lisa @ EuroTrib on Jan. 17, 2010

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 19th, 2019 at 09:04:48 AM EST

Related reading ...

US Foreign Policy and CIA Masters
Brennan: A Lone Man's 'Righteous' Campaign

Brennan: "I admire Gina Haspel and I want her to stay as head of the CIA ..."

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 19th, 2019 at 09:26:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gabbard: Clinton 'personifies rot that has sickened Democratic party' | The Guardian |

Related reading ...

International Coalition to Defeat Democrats and Hillary in 2016

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 19th, 2019 at 02:41:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Oct 19th, 2019 at 06:38:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Those old diaries should be an embarrassment to those who wrote them and those who defended any of those hags.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Oct 19th, 2019 at 06:47:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pelosi in Jordan for Vital Discussions Amid Syria Crisis
Pelosi, along with the nine-member Congressional delegation, met with Jordan's King Abdullah II in the capital of Amman late Saturday for talks focusing on security and "regional stability," according to a statement from her office.
Jordan is a key U.S. ally in the region and has been greatly affected by the eight-year-long civil war in neighboring Syria. Jordanian officials say the kingdom hosts some 1 million Syrians who have fled the fighting.
More than 2 million registered Palestine refugees live in Jordan: bill Israel for the tour
Jordan's state news agency Petra.gov.jo said Abdullah stressed the importance of safeguarding Syria's territorial integrity and guarantees for the "safe and voluntary" return of refugees.
The Congressional delegation included Democrats Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, who is leading the impeachment probe into President Trump; Eliot Engel, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Bennie Thompson, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. There was one GOP member of the group, Rep. Mac Thornberry, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee. The U.S. Embassy in Amman said the delegation left Jordan early Sunday but gave no further details on where it was heading.
because quo or quid delivered?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Oct 21st, 2019 at 03:00:28 AM EST
Kind King Abdullah II of Jordan ... true friend and partner of the US in fight against extremist regime of Bashar Assad in Syria.

Supported the protests and provided facilities for US, British and French special forces to train rebels in camps just South of the border near Damascus.

Syria Expendable in Joint US-Israel ME Power Schemes  

About the Palestinians in Syria (Yarmouk camp), the Kingdom ruled out any Palestinians to enter Jordan during the civil war instigated, supported and prolonged by Western powers.

OMG - hard to believe, briefly watched interview on GPS with guests Stephan Hadley and Meghan O'Sullivan, explaining why US policy under Presidents GHW Bush and his son George was so much better. Stephan Hadley was theBush architect in 2006 to rid the ME of Bashar Assad. Under Bush/Clinton this operation was a costly failure. Perhaps mrs. Pelosi should just FTSU!

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Oct 21st, 2019 at 09:03:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Oct 25th, 2019 at 12:54:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama officials confess their sins on human rights at J Street | Mondoweiss |

This spirit is in sharp contrast to years in which Democrats waffled on these issues, and J Street helped them waffle.

In fact, the most interesting moments at the conference came when Democratic officials had human rights epiphanies, expressing regrets about what they had not done when they had power to oppose those violations.

Former Obama foreign policy guru Ben Rhodes said he regretted not doing more about the awful conditions in Gaza.

    I'm glad you [Mayor Pete Buttigieg] brought up Gaza. Obviously, when we were in government in the Obama administration, the security challenge is well known, the threat posed by Hamas- well established- the Iron Dome system- very important I think in protecting Israelis against rockets fired from Gaza. At the same time, I look back on regret at the intolerable humanitarian situation in Gaza. Really just horrific conditions that people are living under. As you kind of alluded to.

Let's reflect that Rhodes helped kill the Goldstone Report that criticized Israel for human rights crimes in 2008-2009 in Gaza, and formulated policy for an administration that expressed only mild criticisms of the Israeli blockade of the strip even as international bodies were telling us that conditions there are unlivable.

Tommy Vietor, a former Obama spokesman who now does a podcast with Rhodes, said that Obama was wrong to throw the country into the Yemen war in 2015. Vietor offered that confession in the midst of criticizing politicians and businessmen who visit Saudi Arabia and send the message that money is more important than values.

    I say this with considerable humility given that President Obama went to Saudi Arabia multiple times. He initially supported the civil war in Yemen, which was wrong and has proven to be a humanitarian disaster.

The most poignant confession of all came when NY City Councilman Brad Lander, a tiger for Israel in New York, apologized for not having been where he "should have been." as J Street's Jeremy Ben-Ami put it, on the Israel Palestine question.

Obama's War of Choice: Supporting the Saudi-led Air War in Yemen | CFR - Sept. 2015 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Oct 30th, 2019 at 08:41:58 PM EST
Not New York ... nor Hong Kong or London offering!

Not surprisingly, IPO to be launched inside the Kingdom .. no scrutiny. Just believe the reports/declarations of the Saudi oil reserves. 😇

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Nov 3rd, 2019 at 09:36:55 AM EST

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