Category Archives: Middle East

Syrians, Kurdish, Turkish Realignment: Regional Conflicts Require Regional Solutions

America, Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, Middle East, Military, War

The Syrian, Kurdish, Turkish realignment is not “a moment of geopolitical whiplash.” But rather, a return—we hope—to regional politics in the Middle East.

America thinks that it must and can be a decisive force for good in the Middle East. However, the region’s players march to their own drumbeat. Always have.

in fact, the move had been in the works for more than a year. Fearing U.S. abandonment, the Kurds opened a back channel to the Syrian government and the Russians in 2018, and those talks ramped up significantly in recent weeks, American, Kurdish and Russian officials told The Associated Press.

[Via AP]

In Empires of the Sand: The Struggle for Mastery in the Middle East 1789-1923, Efraim and Inari Karsh marshal prodigious scholarship to show that, “Twentieth-century Middle Eastern history is essentially the culmination of long-standing indigenous trends, passions, and patterns of behavior rather than an externally imposed dictate.” The trend continues.

Keep it regional. The Kurds are safest aligning with regional power players against Turkey.

* Image courtesy of VOA.

UPDATED (10/9/019): Tucker On Withdrawing Troops From Syria

Foreign Policy, Middle East, Nationhood, War

Tucker Carson gets it mostly right. He’s wrong about who the Kurds are as a people; they are just about the only inspiring, proper nation in the region. But Tucker inches closer to the truth regarding the need for the Kurds to align with Syria (or, hint-hint, other regional powers).

There is no longer a mission in Syria, says Tucker. ISIS no longer controls major cities in Syria, which remains a dangerous place for Americans. Yet in Washington they declare it immoral and tantamount to a betrayal to leave Syria, because of the Kurds, about whom the cable cretins know nothing.

Republicans like Ben Sass, Pat Toomey, Mitch and Mitt united with the left—and with professorial neocons like David Frum, Lindsey Graham, and Nikki Haley (who were all especially apoplectic)—to hammer home the message: American troops belong in Syria in perpetuity.

Tucker: You’d think withdrawing troops from Syria would be celebrated

UPDATE (10/9/019):

As I wrote in “Masada On Mount Sinjar,” in 2014, “The Kurds have been loyal to Israel and vice versa. Unlike the US, Israel has long since been vested in an independent Kurdistan.” Let Israelis pick up the slack in their neighborhood. We’re effing tired.

Lebanese have Had It With Syrian Refugees

IMMIGRATION, Lebanon, Media, Middle East, Nationhood, UN

When in doubt, malign them as “nativists”: The reference here is to those Lebanese who’re not keen on having a disruptive number of refugees flood their already fractious and divided communities.

Those doing the labeling and libeling are the virtuous media. In this case, The Economist, according to which there are an estimated 1m-1.5m Syrian refugees in Lebanon (so, it’s not like the Lebanese have not been welcoming).

Lebanon has more refugees relative to its population than any other country. (Half of Mexico could settle in the United States and Lebanon would still come first.)

In fact, by 2015, the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon reached “about a quarter of the population,” whereupon “the government told the United Nations to stop registering new asylum cases.” Wise, for you don’t wish to encourage the parasitic, self-perpetuating refugee industry.

“Politicians are stoking anti-refugee sentiment in Lebanon”:

… Over the past few months the Lebanese government has deported hundreds of them and tightened restrictions on those who remain. Politicians have blamed them for a raft of economic problems. Spurred on by incendiary reports in the press, vigilantes have attacked camps and harassed Syrians in the streets. …

… the recent campaign [against refugees] is more intense. The charge has been led by the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), a Maronite Christian party that rules in alliance with Hizbullah, a Shia militia-cum-party. Gebran Bassil, the foreign minister and son-in-law of President Michel Aoun, alarmed many when he tweeted about the positive “genetic” qualities of Lebanese in June amid a crackdown on foreign labour. …

Bassil has been called the Trump of Lebanon.

… According to Lebanon’s main intelligence agency, more than 170,000 refugees have already returned since the end of 2017, either on their own or with the help of the agency’s “voluntary return” scheme, which buses ostensibly consenting refugees back to Syria. In April Lebanon’s top defence council issued orders to start deporting Syrians who cross into Lebanon illegally. Hundreds of Syrians, including army defectors, have since been deported without due process, according to aid groups. “This is a red line that has been crossed,” says Ghida Frangieh, a lawyer with Legal Agenda, a local advocacy group.

One thing is crystal clear: Syria is a war zone, so the plight of refugees from that country is not exaggerated. The plight of Syrian refugees highlights the flimsy case for asylum mounted by Central Americans swamping America’s south-west border. Yet their cases are hyped without investigation by moron media.

the influx into  Officials say refugees strain roads, hospitals, schools and electricity and water supplies, while crowding Lebanese out of jobs. They suspect that many Syrians cross the border just for the handouts, and that aid workers are exaggerating the crisis to justify their jobs. …

… Syrians do compete with Lebanese for low-skilled jobs.

… MORE: “Politicians are stoking anti-refugee sentiment in Lebanon”

* The image is of members of the Maronite Free Patriotic Movement Of Lebanon.

Is Delay In Rare Removal Of Illegal Aliens Due To Jarvanka’s Agenda?

Donald Trump, Family, Homeland Security, IMMIGRATION, Middle East

The president has delayed the deportation of a small group of illegal immigrants.

These illegal aliens have had due process of law and are now, like millions more, in violation of U.S. law. President Trump is delaying enforcement of the law for the Democrats.

One tongue-in-cheek question is why deportation, suddenly, when the administration’s default position has been to give illegals safe passage and facilitate their stay in the U.S.A. Trump is deporting fewer immigrants than Obama.

The other is why the delay. The president says the reason for the delay in the rare removal of this targeted group of illegal migrants is

… to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border. If not, Deportations start!

Via The New York Times:

Immigration agents had been planning to sweep into several immigrant communities in 10 major cities — including Miami, Los Angeles, Baltimore and Chicago — beginning on Sunday. Officials said on Friday that they had targeted about 2,000 families in a show of force intended to demonstrate their strict enforcement of immigration laws. Children of immigrants — some of whom were born in the United States — had faced the prospect of being forcibly separated from their undocumented parents.

Mark Morgan, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, had announced this month that his agency would begin the raids at some point in the future. But on Monday, Mr. Trump revealed on Twitter that they would start the following week, claiming that officials would deport millions of people and sending panic through cities across the country.

My guess is that this is not the real reason.

The president delayed this rare deportation event likely because Ivanka kicked up a fuss. After all, the declaration of deportation coincided with toy-boy Jared Kushner’s introduction of his “Marshall Plan” for the Middle East—“the most ambitious and comprehensive international effort for the Palestinian people to date,” Jared calls his Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. That’s when Jared’s not claiming he has outlined “the “opportunity of the century” for the feuding sides. What a modest bloke is our Jared.

This was Trump’s time to keep campaign promises to Ivanka and Jared, not to the Deplorables.