Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Major Policy Shift On Saudi Relations and MbS

by Oui Wed Feb 17th, 2021 at 11:34:28 AM EST

Middle East policy back on the drawing table ... Trump's envoy Jared Kushner close friendship with MBS and family friend Bibi Netanyahu will be recalibrated ... in no diplomatic terms, the Biden team sanctions MBS on human rights issues.


'Saved his ass': Trump reportedly boasted he shielded MBS after Khashoggi murder | Times of Israel - Sept. 11, 2020 |

In upcoming book, journalist Bob Woodward says US president bragged about protecting Saudi crown prince from Congress after killing of critic in 2018

...
In an echo of the infamous 2018 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in which the US leader appeared to accept his denials of election meddling, Trump noted that Prince Mohammed denied involvement.

"He will always say that he didn't do it," Trump was quoted as telling Woodward.

"He says that to everybody, and frankly I'm happy that he says that. But he will say that to you, he will say that to Congress, and he will say that to everybody. He's never said he did it," Trump said.

As he has said publicly, Trump defended his stance by pointing to the major oil producer's purchases of US goods, including weapons.

"He says very strongly that he didn't do it," Trump was quoted as telling Woodward. "Bob, they spent $400 billion over a fairly short period of time."

Al Qaeda: Abdullah Hassan al-Asiri attempted to kill Saudi anti-terrorism chief Prince Mohammed bin Nayef - 2009

Biden's Victory Spells Trouble for Saudi Ruler | Wilson Center |

Trump helped the crown prince, or MBS as he is commonly called, to best his rivals for succession to the Saudi throne in June 2017. Plus, the President boosted his standing internationally by making Riyadh his first trip abroad after he entered the White House. It was Trump who bragged in an interview with Bob Woodward for his latest book, Rage that he had "saved his ass" from the ire of Congress after the CIA concluded MBS had indeed ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Trump called it a "rogue operation" and refused to implicate the crown or give Congress a formal U.S. assessment of responsibility for the brutal murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018.  Nor has Trump criticized MBS for locking up scores of Saudi activists, including women activists still held in prison for demanding the right to drive long before he decreed it himself.

Biden has already forewarned MBS of a 180-degree shift in the White House's attitude toward him and the Saudi kingdom. He issued a statement on the second anniversary of Khashoggi's death in which he promised, "to reassess our relationship with the kingdom, end U.S. support for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen and make sure America does not check its values at the door to sell arms or buy oil." He added, "I will defend the rights of activists, political dissidents, and journalists around the world to speak their minds freely without fear of persecution and violence. Jamal's death will not be in vain."

Salman Hit Squad Murdered Khashoggi [Update-5]

Saudi Billions to Remake Damaged Image - Propaganda

From my earlier post ...

US Breaking With 35 Years ME Policy | Oct. 2013 |

Obama and Kerry have broken with 35 year policy of doing Israel and Saudi's bidding in the Levant. The major shifts in the region are quite impressive. The US decision not to do a bombing raid on Syria was crucial. I have long advocated Iran would be a better long-term ally to the West than the House of Saud. The policy decisions of the last 60 days have opened this opportunity.

The Bush years and the decision to invade Iraq was the moment the bald eagle lost its feathers and the Saudi King was confronted with a Shia majority government as northern neighbour. Saudi Arabia changed policy and began overt funding and supplying arms to the Sunnis in Iraq. In Lebanon and Syria the Gulf states were already heavily involved with investments and meddling in domestic politics.

Wahhabi teachings in mosques intensified the Sunni/Shia divide to undermine the Assad regime. In Lebanon the House of Saud was split in support for Rafiq Hariri (King Fahd) and Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal (crown prince Abdullah).

Saudi King Abdullah: “… no other option but WAR” by Oui @BooMan in July 25, 2006

Dark Prince Bandar was sacked as US Ambassador in 2005, reasons unknown to me. He has made a come-back to lead the jihadists in the Syrian civil/sectarian war. Saudi Prince Bandar reportedly threatened Russia with terror activities during the Sochi games, so nothing new here to see by threatening the Levant and counter US policy.

Saudi Crown Prince Consolidates Power at Home While Preparing for More Conflict Abroad |Lawfare Blog - Nov. 17. 2017 |

One can only speculate what intelligence is known to President Biden and his NSC team about Saudi Arabia turmoil inside the Kingdom - House of Saud -  and the events happening across the Levant and in the Gulf region.

King Salman back at the Office ...

From the diaries ...

Salman Offered Candidate Trump Assassination Program on Iran | Nov. 13, 2018 |

Salman Building a New Alliance with Israel and US | Jan. 27, 2018 |

House of Saud - US Alliance Has Broken the Middle East | Apr. 10, 2018 |

UAE Hired US Mercenaries for Assassinations in Yemen | Dec. 25, 2018 |

Historic event ...

Makkah Siege of 1979 - Turning Point in Saudi Arabia

Display:

🇬🇧 🇺🇸 🇩🇪 🇫🇷 to meet in Paris

France hosts European-US talks on saving Iran nuclear deal

Time is in short supply ... Macron tells Al Arabya the regional allies of colonial Europe should be partner in any new deal with Iran ... must comprise ballistic missile development and Iran's terror activities.

In preparation Angela Merkel tells reporters Europe and the US are United and speak with one voice ...

Take your pick, the voice of a bully of past four years when the US shredded the JCPOA deal ... hopeless leadership.

by Oui on Thu Feb 18th, 2021 at 07:05:53 PM EST
Rouhani tells Merkel: Adding anything to nuclear deal 'impossible'

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says it would be "impossible" to modify the country's landmark nuclear agreement, emphasizing that the only way to save the deal is to lift the United States' "inhumane sanctions" on Iran.

Rouhani made the remarks in a phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday, hours after he restated Iran's long-held position that it does not seek to develop nuclear weapons or run a secretive nuclear program.

The president categorically dismissed the possibility of injecting new items into the already negotiated nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was struck on July 14, 2015 between Iran and six world powers - the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.

    "The JCPOA, as a document approved by the UN Security Council and a product of sustained efforts by Iran and six major countries in the world, has a clear framework and cannot be changed," Rouhani told Merkel, according to the president's office.
by Oui on Thu Feb 18th, 2021 at 07:07:59 PM EST
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by Oui on Thu Feb 18th, 2021 at 07:16:06 PM EST
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Ansarullah Urges Aggressors to Stop War on Yemen | Tasnim News - Feb. 9, 2021 |

Antony Blinken undoing last minute acts performed by rightwing radical Mike Pompeo ...

Scorched Earth Policy of Trump White House

by Oui on Thu Feb 18th, 2021 at 07:39:59 PM EST
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STFU until yr presidential run in `24!

by Oui on Mon Feb 22nd, 2021 at 01:30:01 PM EST
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The US presidency under Ronald Reagan used Saddam Hussein as ally for self interest. See visit by special US envoy Donald Rumsfeld. The CIA supported Iraq in their chemical warfare against the Islamic Republic of Iran ... a million Iranians were killed as a result.

A Dutchman Van Anraat was linked to chemical precursor deliveries to Saddam's evil regime.

Chemical Weapons and the Iraq-Iran War: A Case Study In Noncompliance

by Oui on Thu Feb 18th, 2021 at 08:38:21 PM EST
by Oui on Fri Feb 19th, 2021 at 01:05:18 PM EST

Iran renews call to lift sanctions after US says ready to restart nuclear talks | Times of Israel |

by Oui on Fri Feb 19th, 2021 at 01:14:49 PM EST
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by Oui on Fri Feb 19th, 2021 at 01:16:01 PM EST
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by Oui on Fri Feb 19th, 2021 at 10:32:33 PM EST
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Interviews Jake Sullivan and Antony Blinken stated priority is talks and diplomacy ... all parties are invited to conference initiated by France. This includes Russia, China and Iran.

Biden's National Security Adviser Slams Iran's 'Malign Behavior,' Says Nuclear Deal 'Critical Early Priority' | Haaretz - Jan. 30, 2021 |

In just a fortnight already an about Face bij Biden's top advisers ...

Sullivan on Iran deal: There is diplomatic pathway | CNN Amanpour |

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan talks about reviving the Iran deal ...

by Oui on Fri Feb 19th, 2021 at 10:36:04 PM EST
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Israel and the United States are its own worst enemy ... not its people, but its leaders and policy.

Iraq-Iran War 1980-1988
Iraq invasion 2003-present
Libya intervention 2011-present
Spillover into Sahel
Syria intervention 2011-present
Yemen bombings and hostilities

Neither Trump nor Clinton have seriously addressed U.S. policy for any of these five wars, and the Obama Administration has not publically stated its grand strategy for any conflict. For the first time in its national history, the United States may get through a Presidential campaign amidst multiple wars without seriously debating or discussing where any of its wars are going, or what their longer-term impact will be. [Source: CSIS]

Total deaths overall: 3 million

by Oui on Fri Feb 19th, 2021 at 06:34:49 PM EST
by Oui on Sat Feb 20th, 2021 at 06:29:02 PM EST
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Overexposure of Navalny and Tikhanovskaya.

Silence and complete lack of concern for human rights, suffering and starvation of children in Yemen.

An ad targeting world leaders, delivered on a big red bus

Some voice of concern and HOPE are hardly found ...

The "Hormuz Peace Endeavor" (HOPE), a plan to expand intra-regional cooperation

by Oui on Tue Feb 23rd, 2021 at 08:12:34 AM EST
by Oui on Tue Feb 23rd, 2021 at 08:16:36 AM EST
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by Oui on Tue Feb 23rd, 2021 at 01:47:42 PM EST
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Navalny: "I'm innocent, it's not me ..."

Is Aleksei Navalny a Liberal or a Nationalist? | The Atlantic - July 29, 2013 |

"Those of us who are here, we know and believe that there are also 'normal' people in the Caucasus -- not only those freaks who are in power. We know that there are girls there whose life's ambition is not about being wrapped up in a burqa and having 25 children, but about living a decent life like humans. There are young people who want to study and work -- and their ideal of life is not a Porsche Cayenne and a golden gun," he told a Stop Feeding the Caucasus rally in October 2011 (watch video of that speech here).

He also supported Russia in its war against Georgia in August 2008, using a derogatory term for Georgians in some of his blog posts and calling for all Georgians to be expelled from Russia. He has since apologized for using the racist epithet, but says he stands by the other positions he took at that time.

US President George W. Bush and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi, May 2005

He has at various times called for deporting illegal immigrants and introducing a visa regime for the countries of Central Asia.

Engelina Tareyeva, who worked with Navalny when he was a member of the liberal Yabloko party before he was expelled in 2007, has accused him of routinely using racial slurs and basing his relations with people on their ethnicity. "I consider Aleksei Navalny the most dangerous man in Russia," Tareyeva has written. "You don't have to be a genius to understand that the most horrific thing that could happen in our country would be the nationalists coming to power."

This was before Navalny became the poster boy for the West, Kremlin critics, NATO and the Atlantic Council. Earns him more bucks ...

Alexei Navalny: firebrand bidding for Russia's soul | The Guardian  - Aug. 11, 2013 |

by Oui on Wed Feb 24th, 2021 at 03:19:24 PM EST
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Russia: Aleksei Navalny becomes prisoner of conscience after arrest on arrival in Moscow | Amnesty - Jan. 17, 2021

Amnesty International revokes Kremlin critic Navalny's 'prisoner of conscience' status | Reuters |

Amnesty International no longer considers jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny a "prisoner of conscience" due to past comments he made that qualify as advocacy of hatred, the group said.

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"Some of these comments, which Navalny has not publicly denounced, reach the threshold of advocacy of hatred, and this is at odds with Amnesty's definition of a prisoner of conscience," it added.

Navalny, who has carved out a following campaigning against official corruption, has been criticised for past nationalist statements against illegal immigration and for attending an annual nationalist march several years ago.

In a 2007 video, he called for the deportation of migrants to prevent the rise of far-right violence. "We have a right to be (ethnic) Russians in Russia. And we'll defend that right," he said in the video.

by Oui on Wed Feb 24th, 2021 at 03:17:42 PM EST
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by Oui on Wed Feb 24th, 2021 at 09:07:38 PM EST
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Who are they fooling? Further delay to lift sanctions by placing new conditions ahead of sitting at the JCPOA table with partners.

Trump's legacy on withdrawal from JCPOA nuclear deal with UNSC partners plus Germany ...

Assassinations in 2020 ...

  • Iranian General Soleimani who partnered with Iraq and allies to defeat ISIS.

  • Sophisticated murder of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh by Israel, Iran's founder of nuclear science.

There is no hope for political reform led by Iranian moderates | Al Jazeera |

by Oui on Tue Feb 23rd, 2021 at 09:38:19 AM EST
by Oui on Tue Feb 23rd, 2021 at 06:42:18 PM EST
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by Oui on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 06:49:41 AM EST
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by Oui on Tue Feb 23rd, 2021 at 01:49:18 PM EST
The urgent agreement with IAEA this weekend buys time, but defies Iranian parliament after strict rules were enforced after the two blatant assassinations by the United States and Israel in 2020.

Iran lawmakers call for president's prosecution over IAEA deal | Al Jazeera |

Hardline Iranian lawmakers say an agreement reached recently between the government and the United Nations' nuclear watchdog is "illegal" and the president must be punished for it.

In a public vote on Monday, an overwhelming majority of lawmakers voted to send a report by the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission on the agreement reached with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the judiciary for review.

The report asserts that the deal struck on Sunday between the IAEA and the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) constitutes a "clear violation" of a law passed by Parliament in December.

As per the law, the government of President Hassan Rouhani must stop the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol, which gives broad authorities to IAEA inspectors, from today.

 
by Oui on Tue Feb 23rd, 2021 at 01:50:58 PM EST
by Oui on Tue Feb 23rd, 2021 at 01:52:08 PM EST
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by Oui on Tue Feb 23rd, 2021 at 02:36:40 PM EST

Iran Has Started Enriching Uranium Up to 20 Percent Purity, UN Watchdog Says

Don't need the IAEA or CIA or Mossad ...

Iran has broadcast it will backtrack on the JCPOA agreement as "partners" don't abide by their commitments since 2018!

Iran Moves to Increase Nuclear Enrichment After Top Scientist Killed | NY Times - Dec. 2, 2020 |

by Oui on Wed Feb 24th, 2021 at 12:09:45 PM EST
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by Oui on Wed Feb 24th, 2021 at 09:01:43 PM EST
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Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday that Tehran may enrich uranium up to 60% purity if the country needed it, state TV reported, adding that Tehran will never yield to the US pressure over the country's nuclear work. [Source: France24]
by Oui on Tue Feb 23rd, 2021 at 02:54:24 PM EST
by Oui on Tue Feb 23rd, 2021 at 02:55:34 PM EST
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by Oui on Tue Feb 23rd, 2021 at 06:40:55 PM EST
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by Oui on Tue Feb 23rd, 2021 at 11:57:58 PM EST
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French President Macron launched a protest through his Minister of Foreign Affairs ...

France summons Pakistan envoy over criticism of 'separatism' bill

Last fall ...

Pakistan summons French ambassador to condemn 'Islamophobic' campaign | Reuters - Oct. 26, 2020 |

by Oui on Tue Feb 23rd, 2021 at 05:26:38 PM EST
France's 'Islamo-leftism' row: Uproar over minister's probe into academic research

Minister orders probe into 'Islamo-leftism' in French academic research

Speaking in parliament, Frédérique Vidal announced that she had asked the National Centre for Scientific Research, CNRS, to conduct the probe.

The move comes against a background of accusations that academia is in the grip of 'Islamo-gauchisme' - an expression used by some French politicians and commentators to describe complicity between Islamists and those on the left whose definition of Islamophobia is far-reaching.

Speaking on French TV on Sunday, Vidal alluded to Islamo-leftism, which she said was "eating away" at society in general, and that the universities were not immune.

...
"I was asked about what is happening at universities, namely academics who say themselves that they are prevented from doing their research," the minister replied.

"University is not impermeable, it is subject to the same currents as wider society. The role of university is always to study them, to understand them, and to allow debate and argument...and to ensure that within universities and in the world of research, there is discussion."

From link ...

What is "Islamo-leftism"?

That's the whole point. This neologism was born from the pen of a political scientist, Pierre-André Taguieff, in 2002. In a column published on October 26, 2020 in Liberation, he explains the context in which he coined this term. At the time, he referred to "a de facto militant alliance between Islamist circles and extreme left circles, in the name of the Palestinian cause, erected as a new universal cause". The term was then taken up by essayists, journalists and politicians of all stripes, from Marine Le Pen, in 2012, to Bernard-Henri Lévy, a philosopher claiming to be left-wing, in 2008.

Further reading ...

Exposing the Demagogues | Martens Centre EU |

by Oui on Tue Feb 23rd, 2021 at 10:09:23 PM EST

Crown Prince Salman befriended US ME Envoy Jared Kushner and Israel PM Bibi Netanyahu ... and still many friends in Europe for the sake of contracts and investments.

New report to blame Saudi Crown Prince MBS for Khashoggi killing

The Biden administration will reveal a declassified report to the public that will reportedly prove Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's role in Jamal Khashoggi murder.

by Oui on Thu Feb 25th, 2021 at 07:16:57 PM EST
Business as usual for high value military contracts to the US, UK, France ...

What business is Dutch Queen Maxima representing by visiting and meeting Saudi  Prince Salman ...

Dutch Queen under fire for meeting with controversial Saudi crown prince | NL Times - July 1, 2019 |

Queen Maxima is facing criticism over a meeting she had with Mohammed bin Salman at the G20 summit in Osaka on Friday. The controversial crown prince of Saudi Arabia is accused of orchestrating the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October last year. Multiple Dutch parliamentarians criticized the meeting. UN rapporteur Agnes Callamard, who investigated the journalist's murder, called it "extraordinarily disappointing" that the Dutch Queen did not broach this topic. Prime Minister Mark Rutte is baffled by the commotion.

by Oui on Thu Feb 25th, 2021 at 07:17:46 PM EST
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Mark Rutte managing his conservative priorities of business above human rights. He loves the Tories and befriended Trump.

by Oui on Thu Feb 25th, 2021 at 07:18:31 PM EST
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by Oui on Thu Feb 25th, 2021 at 07:20:13 PM EST
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by Oui on Thu Feb 25th, 2021 at 07:22:04 PM EST
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by Oui on Thu Feb 25th, 2021 at 08:38:45 PM EST
by Oui on Thu Feb 25th, 2021 at 10:54:36 PM EST
by Oui on Thu Feb 25th, 2021 at 10:59:02 PM EST

Biden talks to Saudi king, stresses human rights and rule of law | JPost |

by Oui on Thu Feb 25th, 2021 at 11:06:34 PM EST
by Oui on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 12:58:52 AM EST
by Oui on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 01:02:59 AM EST
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by Oui on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 01:07:40 AM EST
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Pentagon: Sending A Message to Iran

By bombing facilities in Syria for recent missile strikes across Iraq?

Al Bukamal area near Deir Ez Zor has been bombed over the years by ISIS, Syria, Trump, Israel and now Biden.

Specifically, the strikes destroyed multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militant groups, including Kait'ib Hezbollah and Kait'ib Sayyid al Shuhada, according to Kirby. 

In the first military strike of his presidency, the commander-in-chief chose a target along the Syria-Iraq border that would count as payback for Iran having put U.S. personnel in harm's way but stop short of further escalating tension with Tehran. 

An administration official confirmed that the Biden team had selected the location of al Bukamal as part of a calibrated response meant to achieve three things: Send a signal to Iran that the new U.S. president would not tolerate rocket attacks that put U.S. personnel in harm's way; avoid angering U.S. partners in Iraq who need to keep good relations with both Tehran and Washington and avoid provoking Iran to retaliate further.

Two former Trump administration officials told CBS News that the al Bukamal area has been a target of scores of Israeli strikes in recent months because it is a transshipment point. Both officials approvingly acknowledged the selection of the location and noted it is a high density area for Shiite militias. In the words of one of those former officials, "it is easier to send messages there as we're less exposed."

by Oui on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 06:52:48 AM EST
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Israeli aggression on areas in Deir Ezzor and Albu Kamal in Syria: State media

by Oui on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 06:56:59 AM EST
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by Oui on Mon Mar 1st, 2021 at 11:33:52 AM EST
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by Oui on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 07:24:18 AM EST
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by Oui on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 08:10:11 AM EST

The culprits were militia in Iraq, Biden didn't want to offend Baghdad?

by Oui on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 08:12:54 AM EST
Nah, he wanted to "send a message to Iran". What that message was, is unclear. Maybe to make it clear that the new king is the same as the old king, and that USA really, really wants the conservatives to win the Iranian presidential elections this year.

It's almost like US foreign policy is all about projecting power and not wasting a thought on what to actually achieve with that power. And in the rare case there is a goal, the how part seems to be a list of targets to bomb.

by pelgus on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 08:57:14 AM EST
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I'm pretty sure it's never about sending a message to Iran. It's about sending a message to US client states and internal factions. Bombing Iran is like the "I see you" "I hear you" talk for Israel and Raython.
by generic on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 12:06:16 PM EST
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Why bomb the Syrian border at the entry to the Euphrates Valley used by Al Qaeda and the Islamic State to establish its terror headquarters in Raqqa?

The Syrian Panhandle of Oil Fields

Who Benefits from a U.S. Oil Deal in Northeast Syria?

... centered around the Syrian cities of Hasaka and Deir Ezzor, have naturally been a strategic target throughout the Syrian Civil War. And now, amidst rising concerns of complete American withdrawal among local Syrian Kurds, the United States has offered a glimmer of hope by establishing its continued interest in the region through a recent deal signed by Kurdish officials to oversee the local operations of Delta Crescent Energy, LLC., a new American oil company.

Looking forward, however, the deal is fraught with challenges, and the firmness of U.S. commitment to Syrian affairs remains unclear, particularly in the eyes of local people.

by Oui on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 04:35:29 PM EST
Al Bukamal border crossing defended by Shia militia

The Transformation of the Iraqi-Syrian Border: From a National to a Regional Frontier

Summary

Over the past nearly two decades, the presence of a variety of state and nonstate military and security forces has transformed the Syrian border district of Bukamal and the neighboring Iraqi district of Qa'im. Following the end of the self-proclaimed Islamic State's caliphate, Iranian-backed militias began to play a major role in the area, turning it into a flashpoint between Iran and its allies on the one side and the United States and Israel on the other. The strain of tensions and the threat of instability are liable to ensure that this heavily securitized part of the border will remain a magnet for conflict for years to come.

by Oui on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 04:51:04 PM EST
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Bukamal-al-Qaem Border-Crossing with Iraq

by Oui on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 04:53:02 PM EST
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Iran: Carter and Brzezinski Failed Regime Change

Beyond the Cabinet: Zbigniew Brzezinski's Expansion of the National Security Position - UNT Digital Library

World In Turmoil: Role of Brzezinski and Albright, Our Democrats | Aug. 2014 |

Coalition with Saudi Monarchy to combat the Soviets in Afghanistan ... the first legion of jihadists trained and supported with CIA supplied arms. A major, major miscalculation. The US and the world paid a heavy price for Sunni terrorists and after 9/11 the War of Terror by Bush/Cheney. A trained army of 40,000 extremists multiplied tenfold over the next two decades. Where are the terror states located?

by Oui on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 05:20:15 PM EST
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Trump Assassinated Soleimani who came to Baghdad for negotiations ...

Putin and Netanyahu agreement to limit attacks on Deir Ez-Zor governorate ...

Iranian forces form new groups to boost influence in east Syria | Al Monitor |

Is Russia exploiting Iranian weakness in east Syria?

    The biggest challenge facing the Iranian forces now is to maintain their cohesion in Deir ez-Zor and its countryside, as the violent suspected Israeli bombing that targeted their sites on Jan. 13 has pushed many members to flee their headquarters and military sites.
by Oui on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 07:00:54 PM EST
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Biden's decision to strike Iran's proxies is a good start | Brookings Institute |

by Oui on Sat Feb 27th, 2021 at 08:12:46 PM EST
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Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., who led efforts to repeal the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force, called on the Biden administration to brief Congress on the strike and justify why he did not first seek approval from the legislative branch.
by Oui on Sat Feb 27th, 2021 at 08:14:32 PM EST
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by Oui on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 07:13:40 PM EST

Saudi crown prince approved killing of Jamal Khashoggi, US report says | The Guardian |

Friday's release of the assessment was expected to be accompanied by further actions from the Biden administration, which are expected to be unveiled by the State Department.

Bloomberg reported that the administration has identified 76 Saudis who may be subject to sanctions under what it is calling its new "Khashoggi policy", which would impose visa restrictions on individuals who are believed to have acted on behalf of a foreign government and engaged in serious "extraterritorial counter-dissident activities". It is not clear whether Prince Mohammed will be on the list.

by Oui on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 08:16:28 PM EST

Most Arab news sources remain silent on report Khashoggi assassination and culpability of Crown Prince Mohammad bin-Salman ... Gulf News - Al Arabiya - The National ... only the foe Qatar has coverage on Al Jazeera.

Even for Erdogan's Turkey has limited coverage, a break with the recent past. Erdogan eased up to Israel and Arab allies as Iran seeks the alliance of Kurds for support in NE Syria, east of the Euphrates river.

Biden, Saudi king speak ahead of Khashoggi murder report

by Oui on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 08:18:15 PM EST
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by Oui on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 08:22:16 PM EST
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by Oui on Sat Feb 27th, 2021 at 01:40:07 PM EST
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by Oui on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 08:33:34 PM EST
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by Oui on Sat Feb 27th, 2021 at 05:28:37 PM EST
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by Oui on Sat Feb 27th, 2021 at 07:59:10 PM EST
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by Oui on Mon Mar 1st, 2021 at 05:25:05 PM EST
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"Democrats"  should read "Some Democrats". Or is he suggesting that Biden is not a Democrat?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Mar 1st, 2021 at 06:04:10 PM EST
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by Oui on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 08:56:45 PM EST
The Government of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Completely Rejects the Assessment in the Report Submitted to US' Congress Regarding Murder of Saudi Citizen Jamal Khashoggi | SPA |

by Oui on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 10:11:01 PM EST
Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Call With Saudi Minister of Defense His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman | FEB. 18, 2021 |

F**king military cooperation.  as usual ... Salman our ally, Iran our worst enemy for over 40 years ... Saudi Arabia and OPEC our partner for 80 years ... we don't get a voice in electing King Salman's successor.

by Oui on Fri Feb 26th, 2021 at 10:45:24 PM EST
by Oui on Sat Feb 27th, 2021 at 05:19:00 PM EST
by Oui on Sat Feb 27th, 2021 at 07:19:23 PM EST
by Oui on Sun Feb 28th, 2021 at 07:29:24 PM EST
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The Legislative Push for Equality in the Workplace - 1972

The Equality Act Expands on the 1964 Civil Rights Act

Further reading ...

The 11 Most Significant Presidents for LGBT Americans

by Oui on Sat Feb 27th, 2021 at 08:29:44 PM EST
by Oui on Sun Feb 28th, 2021 at 09:38:48 PM EST
by Oui on Sun Feb 28th, 2021 at 09:40:18 PM EST
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White House defends decision not to punish Saudi crown prince, says U.S. does not sanction foreign leaders | CNBC |

"We believe there is more effective ways to make sure this doesn't happen again and to also be able to leave room to work with the Saudis on areas where there is mutual agreement -- where there is national interests for the United States. That is what diplomacy looks like," Psaki told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union" when asked why the administration is punishing people under the crown prince but not him.

"That is what complicated global engagement looks like and we have made no secret and been clear we are going to hold them accountable on the global stage and with direct actions," added Psaki, who called Khashoggi's 2018 murder a "horrific crime."  

Ahh ... the Prince promised to abide by the laws of Joe Biden 😊

White House defends move not to sanction Saudi crown prince | The Guardian |

by Oui on Mon Mar 1st, 2021 at 10:54:02 AM EST
by Oui on Mon Mar 1st, 2021 at 10:16:12 PM EST
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Iran breaches uranium stockpile limit set by nuclear deal | AP - July 2, 2019 |

by Oui on Tue Mar 2nd, 2021 at 07:19:03 AM EST

Interview FM Zarif: Talks will begin once US, JCPOA signatories return to compliance

by Oui on Tue Mar 2nd, 2021 at 07:35:29 AM EST
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Iran's Zarif warns of countermeasures if IAEA governors issue anti-Iran resolution

by Oui on Tue Mar 2nd, 2021 at 07:42:19 AM EST
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Q : What's your response to public statements by Iran rejecting an informal P5+1 meeting?

A : Like its partners, France regrets Iran's announcement that it will not take part in an informal meeting with the other participants in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) and the United States. This comes at a time when Iran is accumulating JCPoA violations, among other things limiting the IAEA's verification capabilities.

We remain fully committed to working with our E3 partners, the other JCPoA participants and the United States to achieve a negotiated solution enabling Iran to once again comply with its nuclear commitments and enabling the United States to rejoin the 2015 agreement.

by Oui on Tue Mar 2nd, 2021 at 07:49:52 AM EST
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IAEA Grossi: Nuclear Safety and Nuclear Governance For the Next Generation

by Oui on Tue Mar 2nd, 2021 at 07:55:53 AM EST
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by Oui on Tue Mar 2nd, 2021 at 08:46:20 PM EST
In the meantime, French president Macron sets his own terms for the halted Iran nuclear deal.

President Macron and Mr Grossi agreed on the need for Iran to cooperate with the Agency in clarifying all outstanding safeguards matters and upholding its obligations.

by Oui on Tue Mar 2nd, 2021 at 08:47:31 PM EST
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by Oui on Wed Mar 3rd, 2021 at 09:00:24 PM EST
by Oui on Thu Mar 4th, 2021 at 12:55:27 PM EST
by Oui on Thu Mar 4th, 2021 at 07:49:24 PM EST
by Oui on Thu Mar 4th, 2021 at 07:57:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
GOP Blasts Biden's Pentagon Nominee for 'Incendiary,' 'Intemperate' Tweets | US News |

Some Democrats on the committee were quick to point out what they considered the hypocrisy of blaming Kahl for his posts without referencing the vitriol that often came from then-President Donald Trump's online presence - conduct that resulted in Twitter permanently banning him from the platform in January.

Not mentioning Trump's "lying, racist tweets," Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii said, "is pretty rich."

Kahl in response to Cotton apologized for what he considered "disrespectful" language.

In addition to criticism about his social media presence, Republicans on the dais also slammed Kahl's role in negotiating the 2015 Iran nuclear deal but struggled to find specific points of disagreement regarding the need to continue to contain Iran's malign activity in the Middle East.

by Oui on Thu Mar 4th, 2021 at 09:16:55 PM EST
by Oui on Fri Mar 5th, 2021 at 09:25:10 PM EST


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