Category Archives: Middle East

UPDATED (4/5/018): THE GOOD NEWS: Islamic State Has Collapsed. Of Course, There’s Also Bad, But Predictable, News …

Ann Coulter, Foreign Policy, Middle East, Military, Terrorism, War

America’s Saudi bosom buddies are displeased, and are objecting loudly to President Trump’s promise to withdraw from Syria. This, against the spectacular news that “Islamic State has collapsed.”

The Economist explains:

FOR a moment it looked as though Syria’s seven-year war, which has killed more than 400,000 people and contributed to the largest refugee crisis in recent history, might be winding down. As 2017 drew to a close, the so-called caliphate of Islamic State (IS) had disintegrated. The forces of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, and the rebels fighting to dethrone him had largely stopped killing each other. Russia, which had intervened to save Mr Assad, said its mission was “basically accomplished” and had promised to bring its troops home.

The bad news is that with “the collapse of IS,” a “scramble for territory [has] ensued” between competing powers:

Turkey has sent troops over its border to battle Kurdish forces. Americans have killed Russians. And long-standing tensions between Iran and Israel have flared.

The collapse of IS has also widened fissures among the foreign powers jostling for a say in Syria’s future. In January America’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, said American troops would remain in Kurdish-held parts of Syria until IS no longer posed a threat, and a political solution to the war had been found. This infuriated Turkey, a NATO ally, which considers some of America’s Kurdish partners, the YPG, to be terrorists. Days after Mr Tillerson’s announcement, the Turkish army assaulted Afrin, a YPG-controlled pocket of territory in north-western Syria. There are no American forces in Afrin, but Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has threatened to march on Manbij, a town which does have them. This heightens the risk of direct clashes between two NATO powers and their proxies. America’s vow to stay in Syria has also angered Russia, which backed Turkey’s operation in Afrin. Seeking to test America’s commitment to its campaign, the Kremlin may have ordered Russian mercenaries to attack an American-supported base in the east—an attack that left scores of Russians dead.

“Oh what a tangled web we weave.”

MORE: “Why the war in Syria is hotting up.”

UPDATE (4/5/018):

UPDATED: Not Russia, But American Ally Turkey Is ‘The World’s Biggest Jailer Of Journalists,’ Frequently For LIFE

Foreign Policy, Free Speech, Journalism, Media, Middle East, Russia, War

If you’re getting your news from the American media, you probably don’t know that Turkey, so far an American ally, headed by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is massacring “Kurdish insurgents in Syria’s Afrin province.”

Turkish troops are capturing Kurdish villages, and killing members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). Lots of civilians, no doubt, are perishing. Except that Turkish journalists are forbidden to report about their government’s atrocities ongoing.

When “Turkey’s army claims to have ‘neutralized’ over 2,000 YPG fighters in Afrin without killing a single civilian,” that’s what goes to press. “Not a single mainstream media outlet has question[s] the figures.”

Why?

Because “Turkey is the world’s biggest jailer of journalists, with over 100 currently behind bars.” (“Muzzling the Media No one in Turkey dares report accurately on the war in Syria,” The Economist, Mar 1st, 2018.)

On February 16th a court sentenced six media workers, including a prominent novelist, to life in prison without parole on trumped-up charges of involvement in an abortive coup in 2016. … The internet is no longer a safe space for dissent. In the past month more than 800 people have been detained for protesting against the war on social media.

MORE.

UPDATE: Trump turning on the Kurds to pacify the Turks. Us “moving to repair relations with Turkey, endangering ties with Kurdish allies.”

UPDATED (4/5/018): Jews Must Never Forget Trump For Remembering Our Unforgettable Jerusalem

Christianity, Donald Trump, Hebrew Testament, History, Islam, Israel, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Middle East, Private Property, Religion

NEW COLUMN: “Jews Must Never Forget Trump For Remembering Our Unforgettable Jerusalem” is the new column, now on Townhall.com.

An excerpt:

…. A quick quiz: What does “unoccupied” or “liberated” Palestinian land look like? Answer: Like Gaza.

Gaza serves as a sufficiently strong precedent against the folly of ceding territory to Islam. (With the exception of the long-suffering Kurds, what Muslim nation has recently made good on territory gained or on self-determination won?)

Gaza was “returned” to the Palestinians, who promptly destroyed the hothouses Israelis had built there, and planted in the ground Qassam rocket launchers, instead. Gaza now hothouses Hamasniks. In all, granting statehood to their nihilistic neighbors has been pretty thankless for Israelis.

But what of Palestinian families who’ve resided in The City for generations? This the libertarian must address.

The question of generational attachment to place and title in property is simple to solve if intentions are good.

Of course Palestinians should retain their properties.

An historical, national Jewish right to the city of Jerusalem does not extinguish the property rights of individual Arab homesteaders acquired over the years.

Muslims residing in East Jerusalem must just learn to extend to their Jewish neighbors the courtesy their Muslim brethren receive from their Jewish neighbors, in Israel proper.

In other words, allow Jews to live in peace. Or, just live.

Faith and the facts of history notwithstanding, Jerusalem undivided as the capital of the Jewish State is what Christians should be praying for if they value celebrating future Easter Holy Weeks in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, located in Jerusalem’s Old City.

The current pontiff is not Pope Benedict, who was—still is—a brave and brilliant scholar.

Pope Francis is likely more familiar with Quranic verses than with Psalms 137:5, in which the exiled Jews likened forgetting Jerusalem to forgetting the function of one’s right hand. (Literally translated, it is a vow: “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.”)

That was in 607 BC (Before Christ), and we Jews have still not forgotten. …

… READ THE REST. THE Complete column, Jews Must Never Forget Trump For Remembering Our Unforgettable Jerusalem,” is now on Townhall.com.

Pope:

UPDATED (2/4/018): It’s Been A While Since Foreign Policy Has Been So Perilous On So Many Fronts

Foreign Policy, Middle East, Neoconservatism, Russia, War

Scanning the front page of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity should make all sane people gloomy. The neoconservatives are in charge and no one is the wiser. Certainly in foreign policy, there has been a speedy reversion to the neoconservative mean.

A smattering of headlines:

* “US Troops Arrive in Israel to Practice for Potential War With Hezbollah.” WTF!

*Mattis Threatens Military Action Over Syria Gas Attack Claims, Then Admits ‘No Evidence‘”

*Breaking: US-Backed Free Syrian Army Group Shoots Down Russian Jet, Kills Pilot

*Rex Tillerson: Neocon.”

Doesn’t look like President Trump has surrounded himself with the best people to optimize his original America First promise. Neoconservatives are indisputably the worst. In my book, The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed, you will find recommendations for the excellent people we could have had in place, down to the military.

UPDATE (2/4/018):

Follow the money: Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD): Kurt Volker of the aptly named McCain Institute is speaking on Fox New charmingly about what’s essentially a nuclear arms race. So you know: US Missile Defense system has failed recently.