Category Archives: Middle East

UPDATED (11/13): Apparently It’s The Saudi-Israeli-American Axis Of Angels

Iran, Islam, Israel, Middle East, War

In Saudi Arabia, a new, more dangerous regime is consolidating regional power, plotting to destabilize Lebanon and blame Iran. Almost overnight has the kingdom shifted from rule by family/dynasty to a more authoritarian style of one-man rule.

Yemenis have dared defend themselves meekly against the Saudi-US coalition of obliteration. So Saudis are now threatening war with/on Iran. Meanwhile, Israel is urging its diplomats to push for international support for the Saudi assaults against Yemen’s Houthi. (Yes, I read the Hebrew.)

The Kushner-Trump Administration will likely appreciate Israel’s attempts at an international, diplomatic putsch. Trump has already endorsed the Saudi crackdown to ostensibly “neutralize Iran.” The president now stands with the Clintons and the Bushes along the Saudi-Israeli-American Axis Of Angels, as far as foreign policy goes.  But not everyone in the Old Right, America-First, anti-dumb-wars camp IS THAT PLEASED.

UPDATE (11/13):

NEW COLUMN. Niger: Finally, A War John McCain Doesn’t Love

Africa, Foreign Policy, Iran, John McCain, Middle East, War

NEW COLUMN. No war makes Johnny a sad boy. But finally, “Niger: A War John McCain Doesn’t Love.” It’s on the Mises Wire, standing for Austrian Economics, Freedom and peace. An excerpt:

News first broke about America’s Niger misadventure on October 4. “The real news here is that the US has forces in Niger, where they’re conducting covert operations,” this writer tweeted out. “Hashtag America First.”

Official media ignored the ambush of the American Special Forces, until the story gained anti-Trump traction. No word came from John McCain. Three weeks hence, the senator from Arizona is making history. McCain, who has never encountered a war he wasn’t eager to prosecute, is questioning the folly in Niger.

The senator from Arizona can run but can’t hide from the pollution he has left along his political path. Republicans wisely rejected war in Kosovo; McCain jettisoned party loyalty to call for bombs from above and “more boots on the ground.” At the prospects of war with Iran, McCain burst into song, “Bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb-bomb-Iran.” The possibility still makes this war ghoul smile. Before that, McCain promised a 100-year war in Iraq.

Senator McCain’s jingoism has encompassed Syria, Georgia, Mali, Nigeria, and China. Where the US could not effect regime change, as it did fecklessly in Afghanistan and Libya—McCain would typically call to side with an imagined local “friend of America” against an imagined “foe of America.” McCain has many imaginary friends.

Where his target country was beyond US bullying (Russia), the idea of the resumption of a cold war was an option McCain liked. He is currently fulminating over a slight delay in sanctions against Russia. When all efforts to tame the world militarily fail, McCain is partial to the idea of UN troops acting as his surrogates, say in Sudan.

No war makes Johnny a sad boy. But now he’s considering a subpoena over Niger.

GLOBAL CENTRALIZER

Playing out in Niger are the permanently entrenched, unchanging, American foreign-policy interests. Keen observers will detect a familiar pattern. Once again, the American bias everywhere is toward a powerful, overweening central state. This conceit has put our forces on a collision course with the tribal interests America toils to tame. …

… READ THE REST. The complete column is “Niger: Finally, A War John McCain Doesn’t Love.” It’s on the Mises Wire.

 

 

NEW COLUMN (UPDATE @7/23): Truman Would Have Agreed With Trump On The CIA In Syria

Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, History, Middle East, Russia, The State

“Truman Would Have Agreed With Trump On The CIA In Syria” is the current column, now on Townhall.com. An excerpt:

Said the president: “For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and, at times, a policy-making arm of the Government. … [T]his quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue.”

This dire warning about the propensity of the Central Intelligence Agency to go rogue came from Harry S. Truman.

Truman’s call to “limit the CIA role to intelligence” was published in December 22, 1963, by the Washington Post (WaPo). The same newspaper is now decrying Presidents Trump’s decision to “end the CIA’s covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad, a move long sought by Russia, according to U.S. officials.”

The move is a good one. The WaPo threw Russia into the reportorial mix purely to sully President Trump (and due to the intellectual deficiencies of correspondents incapable of teasing apart policy from political intrigue).

The 33rd U.S. president, a Democrat before the great deformation of that party, was first to issue the warning against the agency he had established. Not only was the newly founded intelligence arm of President Truman mutating into “a policy-making arm of government,” but it was “a subverting influence in the affairs of other people,” he cautioned.

In 1963, Truman was meditating on restoring the monster he had created “to its original assignment” of intelligence gathering in the raw. The CIA’s sole purpose was to keep the president apprised of information unfiltered, un-politicized.

In 2017, Trump is dealing with a genie too powerful to beat back into the bottle: a mutated swamp creature.

So, is this a screeching U-turn in Trump’s foreign policy? Who know, but in Syria, at least, President Trump is inching closer to delivering on a campaign promise. …

… READ THE REST. “Truman Would Have Agreed With Trump On The CIA In Syria” is now on Townhall.com.

For those who missed the latest column, first on American Thinker; the Mercer Column can be read on Townhall.com, the Unz Review, a little later on Daily Caller, Liberty Conservative, and others. And it’s always posted eventually on IlanaMercer.com.

UPDATE I (Facebook):  “What a superb angle, Ilana! Invoking Truman’s warning about ‘The Company’ is brilliant,” writes author Bill Scott.

UPDATE II (7/23):
John McCain:

The CIA Has Become A Policy-Making Arm Of Government, Warned Harry Truman

Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, Government, Intelligence, Middle East, Russia

“President Trump has decided to end the CIA’s covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad,” declared the Washington Post. The paper quickly went on to qualify that this was “a move long sought by Russia” [and, for this reason, suspect] Its source? The usual anon “U.S. officials.”

Limiting the role of the CIA was also something Harry Truman sought (hat tip to Myron Pauli) and expressed in the same newspaper now condemning Trump for scaling back the CIA’s covert operations in Syria:

The Washington Post
December 22, 1963 – page A11

Harry Truman Writes:
Limit CIA Role
To Intelligence

By Harry S Truman
Copyright, 1963, by Harry S Truman


INDEPENDENCE, MO., Dec. 21 — I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency—CIA. At least, I would like to submit here the original reason why I thought it necessary to organize this Agency during my Administration, what I expected it to do and how it was to operate as an arm of the President.
I think it is fairly obvious that by and large a President’s performance in office is as effective as the information he has and the information he gets. That is to say, that assuming the President himself possesses a knowledge of our history, a sensitive understanding of our institutions, and an insight into the needs and aspirations of the people, he needs to have available to him the most accurate and up-to-the-minute information on what is going on everywhere in the world, and particularly of the trends and developments in all the danger spots in the contest between East and West. This is an immense task and requires a special kind of an intelligence facility.
Of course, every President has available to him all the information gathered by the many intelligence agencies already in existence. The Departments of State, Defense, Commerce, Interior and others are constantly engaged in extensive information gathering and have done excellent work.
But their collective information reached the President all too frequently in conflicting conclusions. At times, the intelligence reports tended to be slanted to conform to established positions of a given department. This becomes confusing and what’s worse, such intelligence is of little use to a President in reaching the right decisions.
Therefore, I decided to set up a special organization charged with the collection of all intelligence reports from every available source, and to have those reports reach me as President without department “treatment” or interpretations.
I wanted and needed the information in its “natural raw” state and in as comprehensive a volume as it was practical for me to make full use of it. But the most important thing about this move was to guard against the chance of intelligence being used to influence or to lead the President into unwise decisions—and I thought it was necessary that the President do his own thinking and evaluating.
Since the responsibility for decision making was his—then he had to be sure that no information is kept from him for whatever reason at the discretion of any one department or agency, or that unpleasant facts be kept from him. There are always those who would want to shield a President from bad news or misjudgments to spare him from being “upset.”
For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.
Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue—and a subject for cold war enemy propaganda.
With all the nonsense put out by Communist propaganda about “Yankee imperialism,” “exploitive capitalism,” “war-mongering,” “monopolists,” in their name-calling assault on the West, the last thing we needed was for the CIA to be seized upon as something akin to a subverting influence in the affairs of other people.
I well knew the first temporary director of the CIA, Adm. Souers, and the later permanent directors of the CIA, Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg and Allen Dulles. These were men of the highest character, patriotism and integrity—and I assume this is true of all those who continue in charge.
But there are now some searching questions that need to be answered. I, therefore, would like to see the CIA be restored to its original assignment as the intelligence arm of the President, and that whatever else it can properly perform in that special field—and that its operational duties be terminated or properly used elsewhere.
We have grown up as a nation, respected for our free institutions and for our ability to maintain a free and open society. There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historic position and I feel that we need to correct it.

No wonder The Swamp hates POTUS. Trump wants to downsize National Security Council & CIA & seek peace in Syria.

Bravo! Delivering on a campaign promise, #POTUSTrump ‘ends covert CIA program to arm anti-Assad rebels in Syria.’