Category Archives: Middle East

UPDATED (1/16): NEW COLUMN: Should The U.S. Be The Globe’s Judge, Jury & Executioner?

Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Ron Paul, War

NEW COLUMN is: “Should The U.S. Be The Globe’s Judge, Jury & Executioner?” It’s currently on The Unz Review, WND and “The Ludwig von Mises Centre for Property & Freedom.”

An excerpt:

Qassim Soleimani, an Iranian major general, was assassinated by a U.S. drone air strike, at the Baghdad International Airport (BIAP). Soleimani was traveling with one Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Al-Muhandis was an Iraqi, born and bred. He was even elected to the Iraqi Parliament, in 2005, until the U.S. intervened. (Yes, we intervene in other nations’ elections.)

Iraq’s caretaker prime minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, was furious, denouncing “What happened [as] a political assassination.” Unanimously, Iraqi lawmakers “responded to the Soleimani assassination by passing a nonbinding resolution calling on the government to end foreign-troop presence in Iraq.”

Yes, it’s a complicated region. And America, sad to say, still doesn’t know Shia from Shinola.

The consensus in our country is that “Soleimani deserved to die.” That’s the party-line on Fox News—and beyond. It’s how assorted commentators on all networks prefaced their “positions” on the Jan. 3 killing of this Iraqi-born, Iranian general.

Even Tucker Carlson—the only mainstream hope for Old Right, anti-war, America-First columns like this one—framed the taking out of Soleimani as the killing of a bad guy by good guys:

“There are an awful lot of bad people in this world. We can’t kill them all, it’s not our job.”

However you finesse it, the premise of Tucker’s assertion is that the American government, and the smart set who live in symbiosis with it, gets to adjudicate who’s bad and who’s good in the world.

The debate is only ever over whether the U.S. government should or shouldn’t act on its divine rights as transnational judge, jury and executioner, never over what’s right and what’s wrong.

Stateside, the only inquiry permissible is a cost-benefit calculus. Will the assassination of Soleimani, a military official of a sovereign state, and an avid and effective slayer of Islamic State terrorists—pay strategic dividends for America in the long run?

This is crass pragmatism bereft of principle. It’s currently on display everywhere, even surfacing on BBC News, where a female analyst, an American, was deploying the childish “bad man” meme to outline America’s Disneyfied foreign policy.

This angels-and-demons production always starts with the prototypical evil dictator who was alleged to be messing with his noble people, until the avenging, angelic empire sent a drone to the rescue.

Again, even Tucker, whose antiwar credentials in recent years have been impeccable, conceded that this Soleimani guy probably needed killing, which is the same thing Iraqis old enough to remember America’s destruction of Iraq, circa 2003, would say about President George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld and Ms. Rice.

So, who’s right? Or, is blind patriotism predicated on accepting that it is up to the U.S. government and its ruling elites to determine who lives and who dies around the world? …

… READ The Rest. The complete column, “Should The U.S. Be The Globe’s Judge, Jury & Executioner?“, is currently on The Unz Review, WND and “The Ludwig von Mises Centre for Property & Freedom.”

UPDATED I (1/16):Mercer has written one of her best and most well balanced …” on Soleimani and US foreign policy.”

UPDATE II: 

“The reverend name is Ibrahim Naseir. His church in Aleppo was destroyed by NATO-sponsored fundamental Jihadists. The same terrorists who almost ethnically cleansed Syrian Christians from their towns and cities. General Soleimani crushed those Jihadists.”

Why President Trump Has Struggled To Interest Voters In Ending America’s Futile Wars

Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Middle East, War

“The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost most Americans nothing.” says The Economist. Relatively few Americans have been personally touched. “That is why they continue.”

For once, the left-liberal magazine credits President Trump for trying to bring an end to what are “unproductive conflicts” [to put it mildly].

… [the] country has been remarkably unscathed by two decades at war. Iraq and Afghanistan vets represent much less than 1% of the population. America lost eight times as many soldiers in Vietnam, in less than half the time, when its population was two-thirds the current size. The number of recent wounded is correspondingly modest and most have been looked after with immense skill and no expense spared, as is right. Otherwise, few Americans have been touched by the conflicts at all.
… the wars have been funded by debt. Most Americans have had little reason to think their country is even at war. And lucky them because war is hell. But this disconnect helps explain why the country’s civil-military relations are as distant as they are. It also helps explain how America came to be locked in such long and largely unproductive conflicts in the first place. Its voters started to reckon with the rights and wrongs of the Vietnam war—then demand accountability for it—only after they felt its sting. By contrast Donald Trump, who almost alone among national politicians decries the latest conflicts, has struggled to interest voters in them—or indeed end them.

Though mostly wrong on the details, the president raises an important question of the long wars. What have they achieved? After thanking Mr Butler and Mr Dwyer for their service on Veterans Day (a ritual neither wounded man greatly enjoys, incidentally), their well-wishers might want to ponder that.?

MORE.

* Image courtesy The Economist.

Turkey’s Erdogan: Now Here Is A True Evil Aggressor

Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, Middle East, War

“American leaders have been clueless about Recep Tayyip Erdogan. George W. Bush facilitated his becoming prime minister. Barack Obama proudly called him a friend. Donald Trump invited the invasion of Syria. The Department of Defense deludes itself into thinking the NATO ally of old one day will return. The State Department relies on its traditional instinct to appease”:

Warns Daniel Pipes:

Foreign policy poses the other great danger. Abducting dissident Turkish citizens, drilling in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, and invading a neighbor point to an arrogance that, given Erdogan’s isolated position, leaves him highly exposed. Some foreign misadventure – perhaps the Syrian one – could lead to his political demise as well as that of the AKP.

But why no mention of the massacre and ethnic cleansing of the Kurds? Come to think of it, Erdogan’s “foreign misadventures” are reminiscent of another super power. Hmmm.

Turkey ALREADY Has One Genocide Under Its Belt: The Armenians

Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, Individual Rights, Middle East, Nationhood

“Our partner” is how Presided Trump refers to Turkey. “A hell of a leader” is what he calls President Erdogan.

“This is an amazing outcome,” extolled the president. He was praising, what, exactly?:

This is an outcome — regardless of how the press would like to damp it down, this was something that they’ve been trying to get for 10 years. You would have lost millions and millions of lives. They couldn’t get it without a little rough love, as I called it. I just put out — they needed a little bit of that at the beginning. And then everybody said, “Wow, this is tougher than we thought.” When those guns start shooting, they tend to do things.

Does President Trump know the Turks have one genocide under their belt?

Oh, I forgot. In the interest of pacifying its Turkish allies, American officialdom has generally refused to implicate the Ottomans in the mass murder of up to 1.5 million Armenians, 100 years ago.

Armenians who had survived the 1915 Turkish genocide; their children and grandchildren have tacitly supported the Assad regime, as against the Turks.

Turkey is an execrable force in the region.

The images are of Armenians beheaded and burnt alive by Turkish soldiers, circa 1915.