Thursday, December 7, 2017


Our Iraqi 'allies' in the fight against the daeshi headchoppers appear a bit miffed about the Trumpanzee's latest foreign policy disaster.

Both official Baghdad politicians and Qudsforce-backed militias are threatening US interests in Iraq.  The US embassy is probably well fortified.  But the 5200 GIs in Iraq are not.  And they now all are being targeted by the very people they have been helping to get rid of the jihadis.  Go figure that.  How could anybody have known that might happen just because the idiot in the oval office decided to move an embassy (irony alert!).  Their blood is on his hands.  Same for the troops in Syria and Afghanistan.   Tell me again why we are still there?

You have to wonder also how the Wahhabi imams in the land of Saud are going to take this.  Will the crown prince drop his unofficial alliance with Tel Aviv?  If not, will he survive?


  1. Trump et al are betting that the rest of the muslim world does not take Jerusalem as seriously as the zionists. I expect they are wrong, but it might take a while to show itself.

    1. Ael -

      That is a bad bet. Common sense and a wider view on history would have told them the odds say otherwise. Iran's Revolutionary Guard Special Forces are named after Jerusalem. And they are in both Iraq and Syria with local militias that have easy access to US troops.

      Why not take the view of the United Nations and every country in the world that Jerusalem is an international city and does not belong as either an Israeli capitol or a Palestinian capitol?

  2. Why we're "still there"? Hubris. Sunk costs. Domestic political cowardice. The Washington Rules.

    My suspicion is that this won't really result in a massive uptick in anti-U.S. violence. We've poisoned that well pretty thoroughly over the past 60-odd years; anybody capable of being insanely pissed off at this hasn't been paying attention.

    That said, I think it will make things incrementally more difficult for U.S.-Arab State relations. Even the nastiest Arab despots need SOME kind of popular buy-in, and this is a pretty big, obvious, in-your-face "fuck you" to the non-Jewish parts of the Middle East.

    But like I said in the coda to my post below; to me it's worse than a crime, it's a mistake, and a bone-stupid mistake. There's no upside to it. The Israelis aren't going to love us any more than they do now (and in case everyone else has forgotten Pollard and the U.S.S. Liberty, I haven't; the Israelis aren't our buddies. They use us to their advantage, as is the prerogative of any sovereign power...) and it's a poke in the eye to the Arab's who will find any excuse to hate on Israel and the U.S.

    This is just weapons-grade dumb.

  3. Trump basically took a look at the Middle East and decided it wasn't burning enough, so he reached for some petrol.

    1. Haidar -

      I am worried about gasoline being thrown by the Israeli right-wing nutsos. There are many there, former cohorts of Meir Kahane and the JDL and later the Kach party. Both are right wing extremist groups, Kach was designated as a terrorist group. But members of that organization never faced charges and are active today in Israeli politics. They often go to the Temple Mount and deliberately provoke Palestinian reaction. Their have been threats by some of them about dynamiting the Aqsa Mosque. Trump just gave them encouragement. Let us hope that Israeli security services have them under close surveillance.

  4. I'll add this, too.

    Krugman has a rant today about the "media problem". We were speaking of Ranger Jim in the previous post and he likes to rant about this, too...only the problem is that his take (that the mainstream news media is distracting the public with bread and circus "fake news") is far off the mark of the real problem, which Krugman lays out plainly.

    Which is, that 1) U.S. politics is characterized by two main elements; one group of moderately populist but largely corporatist centerists ("Democrats" and their alles) and another group of utterly insane, radical reactionary lunatics pining for theocracy, plutocracy, oligrachy, or some combination of all three ("Republicans"), and 2) the latter group is willing ti do whatever it takes, including just lie repeatedly, openly, and brazenly, to get their way.

    But the "mainstream media" can't report this. There has to be some sort of fake equivalency even if it means taking a wildly radical statement by some mainstream Republican figure ("We're cutting taxes on the middle class!" "The reason that the estate tax only hits the superrich is because unlike the proles they don't spend all their money on booze and hookers!" We're marching towards a terrific peace plan for the Middle East") and then desperately hunting up some fringe left-wing nutball with zero influence in Democratic circles who says something equally ridiculous.

    So one reason that the U.S. is still farkling about militarily in the Middle East is that a blood-drunk lunatic like Krauthammer, or a repeatedly-and-viciously-proved-wrong warmonger like Bloody Bill Kristol, are accorded the same - or more - respect as someone who has been correct all along on this nonsense like Andy Bachevich. The newspeople simply cannot report stuff Dick Cheney says as it should be reported; "Serial liar and arguable war criminal Cheney says a bunch of already-proven-nonsensical stuff about Iraq."

    And not surprisingly, the mostly-low-nformation American public reaches the conclusion that "both sides are equally right/wrong".

  5. FDC -

    Some other things you will not see or hear in the mainstream media:

    Britain, France, Germany, Sweden and Italy have called Washington's decision to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem "unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region."

    Nine of eleven former US Ambassadors to Israel disagree with Trump's decision.

    The move was widely condemned by the the United Nations.

    1. Call me cynical...but I can't think of much of anything that will be "helpful" for peace in the Middle East. At one point I thought that an Israeli Dunkirk -'evacuating every Israeli off the beaches to a New Israel in the former state of Nevada - might help. But between the fallout from Iraq and Syria and the new Schismatic War between Saudi-led Sunni and Iran-led Shia Islam I'm fairly sure that troubled region will continued to be troubled.

      I think the only hope is for a Muslim Enlightenment; a general rejection of religion in social and political life of the sort that allowed the post-Christian West to get past the Wars of Religion. I'm not particularly hopeful, mind.

      So, again, it's not that this idiot move has such massive downsides. It's just that it breaks the Hippocratic Oath of geopolitics; "First, do no harm." It is such a simple, avoidable self-inflicted wound. All the Trumpkins had to do was...nothing! And, for no better reason than to suck up to Bibi and give his Christopathic groupies a woody Orange Foolius goes a does this.

      As Bugs Bunny would say; what a maroon! What an im-bessel!

    2. FDC -

      The Enlightenment that you hope for should also extend to the Fundamentalist theocracies of many Christians, Hebrews, Buddhists and Hindus.

    3. Yes, absolutely. One of the many appalling things that characterize the modern GOP is its enthusiasm for "Christian" theocracy.The BJP is giving Hinduism the opportunity to be as horrible as the monotheistic faiths. And the Sri Lankan Buddhists are a murderous bunch of bastards as ever were.

      Theocracy - whatever the God(s) involved - may possibly be the worst system of governance ever devised.

    4. I have a plan for peace in the Levante, and it's rested on two assumptions:

      (1) A settlement of the border issue according to the UN resolutions (borders of 1966) would deescalate as long as Israel stays conventionally superior and has 2nd strike nuke capability.

      (2) The U.S. UNSC veto is the only thing preventing such a solution.

      Essentially, I would remind the world that Israel's occupation of foreign territory has been illegal for decades and is no more tolerable than Iraq's occupation of Kuwait was.
      POTUS could give them six months time to withdraw without blowing up what they leave behind. Any attempt to lobby in the U.S. against this policy or any major destruction of settler homes would lead to sanctions. POTUS should signal seriousness by recognising Israel as nuclear power, which triggers a law that cuts military aid to Israel immediately.

      Sanctions in case of non-compliance would be a traffic and trade embargo excluding only medical supplies and food imports by Israel. Sanctions would be limited to 6 months, and all veto powers would signal the intention to renew again and again until the UN resolutions about withdrawal are met and verified by the UN.

      A UN blue helmet mission would be set up to observe on the Golan heights.
      Egypt would be pressured (to reclaim Gaza strip and pacify it) by threatening a quick end to military aid (it should be phased out with minus 10 percent points p.a. anyway).

      See? No need for negotiations with more or less crazy Mid Easterners - only with other great powers. The peace initiative would even save billions of dollars to taxpayers.

      So, who's gonna call me antisemitic first? ;-)

    5. Nope. Unless "pro-Semitic" means "let's put modern Israelis in the position of the residents of the 12th Century Kingdom of Jerusalem".

      Sadly, however, I don't see any U.S. government being willing to drop their unqualified support of the maximal Israeli position that this move symbolizes.

      This is a sensible plan and, like all sensible plans for Israel, will be an anathema to the unreasonable men on both sides who prefer their dreams of total victory

  6. So, will this move by Mr. TinyHands blow up the evolving Bromance between Israel and Saudi Arabia? Or will MbS be forever known at the prince who gave away Jerusalem?

  7. Ael -

    The media seems too focused on MbS and the Leonardo daVinci painting to care. But Iran and Hezbollah are castigating MbS. But we should never forget that 15 Saudis and two Emiratis made up the great majority of the 9/11 op.

  8. Sven -

    Not me. I like the plan. But I don't see it happening in this country for decades, or maybe not even then. Perhaps Europe should take the lead? Or China?

    1. There's hardly any way around the U.S. UNSC veto in this plan. One could invoke some ancient and obscure rule that allows a bypass on a hung UNSC, but that wouldn't change that POTUS could send the USN to do blockade running.

      So in the end I maintain my diagnosis that the U.S. UNSC veto is the key problem sustainer. The plan might fail if some other veto power issues a veto, of course.

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