Recently in Middle East Category

From the last headline:

Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired two rockets into Israel on Tuesday, wounding two people in an attack that was apparently timed to coincide with the signing of normalization agreements between Israel and two Arab countries at the White House.

The Palestinians are opposed to the agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, viewing them as a betrayal of their cause by the Arab countries, which agreed to recognize Israel without securing territorial concessions.

Heh - the "palestinians" just got marginalized back to the stone age. They were used to being a key player in the strife between Israel and the Arab world. That strife just evaporated and with it, their entire raison d'être.

They are getting squeezed out of the spotlight and do not like it. They have been playing the perpetually aggrieved and anti-Israel card since their founding in 1960's by the Russian KGB with Yasser Arafat as titular head. Arafat spent nine years in Moscow being trained at Patrice Lumumba University

From Jewish News Syndicate:

Palestinian Authority recalls Bahrain envoy following deal with Israel
The Palestinian Authority recalled its envoy to Manama after Bahrain and Israel announced a U.S.-brokered peace deal on Friday, undoing a decades-long policy not to establish ties with the Jewish state until a Palestinian state is created.

Bahrain followed the United Arab Emirates, which agreed last month to normalize ties with Israel.

“The UAE and Bahrain are contributing to Trump’s presidential campaign at the expense of the inalienable rights of the people of Palestine. The normalization race is not the answer to the achievement of Palestinian freedom and independence,” tweeted Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary-General Saeb Erekat. “It’s an affirmation to the Palestinian leadership and people, in Palestine and around the world, of their approval of normalizing Israel’s annexation of occupied Jerusalem and the reality of apartheid it has created in Palestine.”

They could have had lasting peace 20 years ago if they gave up their support of terrorism. Their people would be so much better off - culturally, economically, all ways.

Fifteen Minutes? From Andy

Bahrain is the second nation to agree to full diplomatic relations with Israel. From President Trump's twitter account:

Meanwhile, the media? Nothing but crickets...

Rapidly losing relevance - "palestine"

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They should have moved away from terrorism and pressed for peace years ago. Now, they are just a marginalized bitter failed plot of the KGB. From Israel National News:

Arab League rejects PA demand to condemn Israel-UAE deal
The Arab League on Wednesday failed to pass a resolution proposed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) which would have condemned the normalization deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Times of Israel reports.

“After a three-hour debate, some Arab countries refused to include [a] statement condemning [the UAE] for abandoning Arab decisions. Additionally, they struck out a clause which discussed the trilateral agreement” between the UAE, the US, and Israel, the PA representative to the Arab League, Muhannad al-Aklouk, was quoted as having told the Ma’an news agency.

Senior Arab League official Hussam Zaki said, “Discussion around this point was serious and comprehensive. But it did not lead to agreement over the resolution proposed by the Palestinians.”

Zaki said the PA representatives had insisted they would either accept a condemnation of the agreement or no statement on the issue at all.

“A number of amendments were proposed, and then counter-amendments…and we were at a point in which Palestinian demands had not been realized, and the Palestinians preferred it not to pass rather than have it pass in a manner which they believed to be inadequate,” Zaki said.

Heh - they have always been having these non-negotiable demands and have never gotten anything for them. Israel has bent over backwards giving them the Gaza strip and all sorts of concessions. They have not given anything back.

Now, it is Door. Ass. Bang.  /  So sad. Too bad.  /  Turn out the lights when you leave.

Nice to see the rest of the Arab world recognizing Israel as a good friend and business partner.

The who?

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A flea with pretensions of grandeur. An artificial "nation" of displaced Jordanians. From Breitbart:

Palestinians Threaten to Cut Ties After 3 Countries Announce Jerusalem Embassies
The Palestinian Authority warned on Sunday that it would cut ties with any country that opened its embassy in Jerusalem, after Serbia, Kosovo, and Malawi announced their intentions to open diplomatic missions in the Israeli capital.

“Palestine will sever its relations with any country that will move or open its embassy to Jerusalem,” senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said in a tweet.

Their window of reconciliation is closing rapidly. Their time to make peace with Israel is now. They need to think of their citizens - life for them would be so much better allied to the economic dynamo that is Israel. Give up the terror and embrace love.

A new commercial flight route

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This is huge. From OAN News:

White House Officials Make Historic Flight To UAE With Israeli Prime Minister
Trump administration and Israeli officials landed in the first ever direct commercial passenger flight to the United Arab Emirates from Israel. The two delegations took off from Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport early Monday in an Israeli commercial plane landing in Abu Dhabi.

This came just a couple weeks after the Trump administration’s historic UAE peace deal, which established open relations between Israel and the UAE.

“We hope that that this will start an even more historic journey for the Middle East and beyond,” stated White House senior advisor Jared Kushner. “I prayed yesterday at the (Western) Wall that Muslims and Arabs from throughout the world will be watching this flight, recognizing that we are all children of God, and that the future does not have to be pre-determined by the past.”

Kushner and security advisor Robert O’Brien made remarks upon landing in which they noted that they aim to lay the groundwork for the peace deal on this trip. This is part of Kushner’s greater tour of the Middle East with hopes to tie more countries into the peace deal.

A major victory by President Trump completely ignored by the mainstream media. We are seeing the formation of Peace in the Middle East happening before our very eyes. Anyone could have shown the leadership to do this. Only President Trump actually did it.

Press conference today

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Great little clip from today's presser with President Trump - Alicia Powe from Gateway Pundit asks a good question:

Got to love his comment about Biden not even knowing the names of the countries over there. Biden is trying to claim credit as part of his and Obambam's (spelling? - memory is fading) legacy.

The Beirut explosion

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Good article at Asia Times:

More questions than answers in ashes of Beirut
Lebanese President Michael Aoun has rejected any international probe into the Beirut explosion that has so far claimed 154 lives, injured hundreds of others and destroyed the dwellings of between 200,000 and 300,000 people. 

Despite growing protests in Lebanon, the authorities are blocking any serious investigation and don’t appear to be trying to do any on their own. Meanwhile, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah categorically denied that Hezbollah was storing any arms in Beirut’s port and has warned against any attempt to blame his group for the disaster. 

The Beirut Port Manager and Customs Chief have both been arrested, though it isn’t clear they are at fault. At least 16 others have been arrested so far. What we do know is that there were multiple warnings before the devastating blast.

In 2018, the Israeli military (IDF) publicly identified at least three locations stretching the short distance from Beirut’s docks to the outskirts of nearby Beirut airport where Hezbollah was reputedly building precision-guided missiles. The IDF published overhead photos of the locations and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking to the United Nations on December 17, 2018, raised alarm about the Hezbollah missile program.

Much more at the site - lots of links. Similar build-up in England and Germany a few years ago but they acted. Germany went so far as to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization.

Bringer of Peace

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What with all the strife and craziness at home and what with how the media does not give President Trump a break, events like this pass unnoticed:

And, of course, the Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded to President Trump in  3... 2... 1...
- - - crickets - - -

From Dilbert's creator Scott Adams:

Najaf is a city of over 1,000,000 in central Iraq - the center of Shi'a political power in Iraq.

6:30 minute video of the blast and some commentary:

And do not forget that in 2017 and 2018, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went before the United Nations.
From the August 28th, 2017 Chiang Rai Times:

Netanyahu tells UN Chief Iran Building Missile Production Sites in Syria and Lebanon
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres Monday that Iran is building sites to produce precision-guided missiles in Syria and Lebanon, with the aim of using them against Israel.

At the start of a meeting in Jerusalem, Netanyahu accused Iran of turning Syria into a “base of military entrenchment as part of its declared goal to eradicate Israel.”

“It is also building sites to produce precision-guided missiles towards that end, in both Syria and in Lebanon. This is something Israel cannot accept. This is something the UN should not accept,” Netanyahu said as the two spoke during a joint press conference.

And from the September 27, 2018 Jewish News Syndicate:

At UN, Netanyahu reveals hidden Iranian nuclear site, secret Lebanon missiles
In his address at the U.N. General Assembly’s 73rd session on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, visual in hand, revealed a hidden Iranian nuclear facility and secret missiles in Lebanon’s capital.

And the location:

“Hezbollah is using the innocent people of Beirut as human shields,” said Netanyahu, holding up a photo of a missile site beneath a soccer stadium. “Israel also knows what you are doing.”

The soccer field is very close to where the blast took place. And then, there is this warning from a few days ago:
From July 27th, 2020 - The Times of Israel:

Netanyahu: Hezbollah is playing with fire; any attack to be met with great force
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz issued warnings against Hezbollah and its backers in Iran after the terror group’s failed attempt to infiltrate Israel and attack IDF soldiers on the northern border earlier Monday.

The Israeli military said no IDF soldiers were injured during the border incident, which saw Israeli forces open fire at a number of fighters from the terror group that entered Israeli territory, according to the army. Hezbollah denied the clash took place, calling it “absolutely false.”

So, my guess is either a surgical strike for which the Mossad are well known or a simple workplace accident. My bet is on the latter as Israel respects innocent lives. They are death to terrorists but do not harm innocent civilians.

My bet is that Hezbollah was ramping up to something big and somebody accidentally dropped a wrench on the wrong piece of bangy stuff. Could not happen to a nicer group of people. As always, the best and the brightest.

Can't catch a break - Iran

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Iran has had three explosions of unknown origin in some of their sooper sekreet nuke factories. Nobody knows what happened...  Now this - from United With Israel

7 Iranian Ships Catch Fire, Burn
Seven ships have caught fire in the latest of a string of explosions in recent weeks in Iran.

At least seven ships have caught fire in the Port of Bushehr in southern Iran Wednesday afternoon, local news sites reported.

The Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant is located 17 kilometers southeast of the city of Bushehr, along the Persian Gulf.

The circumstances of the incident were not reported.

The incident is the latest in a string of explosions in Iran in recent weeks, including at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility.

Well dagnabbit - looks like 2020 is turning out just as bad for them as it is for us. Sure sucks to be them - wonder when they will come to their senses and stop being a state sponsor of terrorism.

Got a couple more - Syria

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Great news from military.com

Drone Strike Kills 2 al-Qaida Commanders in NW Syria
A drone strike in northwestern Syria on Sunday killed two senior commanders with an al-Qaida-linked group, opposition activists said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said the strike was believed to have been carried out by the U.S.-led coalition, which has been targeting extremists in Syria for years.

The drone strike hit a vehicle carrying the two commanders -- a Jordanian and a Yemeni -- in the northwestern province of Idlib, the last remaining rebel stronghold in war-torn Syria. Idlib is dominated by al-Qaida-linked militants, and is also home to 3 million civilians.

The Observatory said the men killed were with the al-Qaida-linked Horas al-Din group, Arabic for “Guardians of Religion.” Horas al-Din are hardcore al-Qaida elements who broke away from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the strongest insurgent group in the Idlib enclave.

And also:

In neighboring Lebanon, the Lebanese army said the military carried out an operation in the eastern town of Brital on Sunday liberating 23 people, including women and children, who were kidnapped two weeks ago.

Great news indeed. We do not need a large standing presence over there. We have the high ground - both morally and technologically. Bomb these mokes back into the 9th century where they come from.

Yesterday, President Trump got tired of the constant harrasment by the Iranian Navy ships targeting our Navy ships operating in international waters. Today, The Iranians responded. From Reuters:

Guards chief: U.S. warships will be destroyed if they threaten Iran in Gulf
Iran will destroy U.S. warships if its security is threatened in the Gulf, the head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards told state TV on Thursday, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump warned Tehran over “harassment” of U.S. vessels.

“I have ordered our naval forces to destroy any American terrorist force in the Persian Gulf that threatens security of Iran’s military or non-military ships,” Major General Hossein Salami said. “Security of the Persian Gulf is part of Iran’s strategic priorities.”

Pure bluster. I would love to see them try. They may get the first lick in but if they do, many of their assets will be chilling on the bottom of the Gulf for eternity.

Once they established the narrative that America is The Great Satan, it became unable for them to back down. Now, anything that America offers has to be bad and detrimental to the Iranian people, government and culture. The mullahs have painted themselves into a corner. From the New York Times:

Iran Leader Refuses US Help, Citing Virus Conspiracy Theory
Iran's supreme leader refused U.S. assistance Sunday to fight the new coronavirus, citing an unfounded conspiracy theory claiming the virus could be man-made by America.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's comments come as Iran faces crushing U.S. sanctions blocking the country from selling its crude oil and accessing international financial markets.

But while Iranian civilian officials in recent days have increasingly criticized those sanctions, 80-year-old Khamenei instead chose to traffic in the same conspiracy theory increasingly used by Chinese officials about the new virus to deflect blame for the pandemic.

“I do not know how real this accusation is but when it exists, who in their right mind would trust you to bring them medication?" Khamenei said. "Possibly your medicine is a way to spread the virus more.”

"In their right mind" indeed - the people like Khamenei are just plain stupid. They fail to realize that their polarizing politics has no exit strategy. There is no graceful way for them to exit and move to a narrative based on truth. One day, their people are going to learn the truth and they will be pissed off. Mountains will fall. Life in the ninth century was brutal and short and these mullahs seek to perpetuate it - keep their constituency uneducated and afraid so they can remain in power. Pitiful.

An interesting development - the Taliban

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A lot of times, someone starts out as a common street thug, gains some public notice and notoriety and they then become financially secure. When this happens, they become civilized and integrate into society. Look at most of your popular rappers - 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg or Jay Z to name just a few. They started out on the streets but are now multi-millionaires and as for integrating into society, they put out Christmas albums and Children's albums. Quite the shift from their roots.

Same thing seems to be happening in the Middle East with the Taliban. From the United States Department of State:

Next Steps Toward a U.S. Agreement with the Taliban
The United States and the Taliban have been engaged in extensive talks to facilitate a political settlement to end the war in Afghanistan, reduce United States and Allied Forces presence, and ensure that no terrorist group ever uses Afghan soil to threaten the United States or our allies.

In recent weeks, in consultation with the Government of National Unity, U.S. negotiators in Doha have come to an understanding with the Taliban on a significant and nationwide reduction in violence across Afghanistan. Upon a successful implementation of this understanding, signing of the U.S.-Taliban agreement is expected to move forward. We are preparing for the signing to take place on February 29. Intra-Afghan negotiations will start soon thereafter, and will build on this fundamental step to deliver a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire and the future political roadmap for Afghanistan. The only way to achieve a sustainable peace in Afghanistan is for Afghans to come together and agree on the way forward.

Challenges remain, but the progress made in Doha provides hope and represents a real opportunity. The United States calls on all Afghans to seize this moment.

The United States thanks the State of Qatar and all other allies and partners for their support of peace in Afghanistan.

This is a major seismic shift. The Taliban have arisen as the top dog in Afghanistan and we have gone to them and said essentially, rule Afghanistan peacefully and we will have your back. Allow for terrorism and we will wipe you off the face of this planet. Looks like the Taliban has matured and is amenable to this wisdom. Great news.

I was a bit too young to travel over there during the golden years of the 1960's - it was a hippie paradise back then. Maybe they will be open to tourism in a few years - gorgeous country from what I have seen.

Peace in the Middle East?

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Looks like there is a good chance of it - a good analysis from Don Surber:

Trump makes Palestine an offer too good to refuse
The experts in Washington told you killing General قاسم سلیمانی ignited World War 3. I told you it would bring peace. I trusted President Donald John Trump. They hate him. I got it right. They didn't.

Hate makes you stupid.

Killing قاسم سلیمانی jeopardized Iran's terrorism program which he headed. Today, President Trump followed through with a Middle East proposal that creates a Palestinian state, opens Temple Mount to all three Abrahamic religions, and invests $50 billion to create a million jobs for Palestinians.

A bit more and of course, the palestinian "leadership" do not want their sweet sweet money machine to be interrupted:

The Washington Examiner, "The plan was three years in the making and spearheaded by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

"Palestinians have presumptively rejected the proposal, with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas calling Trump a dog.

The plan is supported by both the majority and minority leaders (Netanyahu and Gantz) of Israel. Looks good. Now that Iran is no longer interested in sponsering terrorism, maybe the palestinians will wake up to reality. This is a sweeheart deal and if they do not go for it, it will be a cold day in hell before they are offered another deal like this.

Peace in the Middle East - baby steps

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Amazing bit of news from The Algemeiner:

Muslim World League Chief al-Issa Joins Holocaust Survivors in Historic Tribute at Auschwitz
The head of the one of the world’s largest Muslim organizations paid an unprecedented visit to the site of the Auschwitz extermination camp on Thursday, where he participated in remembrance prayers for the Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust.

Dr. Muhammad al-Issa — the secretary-general of the Mecca-based Muslim World League (MWL) — joined with survivors of the Holocaust in paying his respects at the camp as the world prepares for the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on Jan. 27.

20200124-alissaauschwitz.jpgMohammad al-Issa (center, with black robe), secretary-general
of the Muslim World League, visits Auschwitz, Jan. 23, 2020.
Photo: Reuters / Kacper Pempel.

“To be here, among the children of Holocaust survivors and members of the Jewish and Islamic communities, is both a sacred duty and a profound honor,” al-Issa said. “The unconscionable crimes to which we bear witness today are truly crimes against humanity. That is to say, a violation of us all, an affront to all of God’s children.”

Al-Issa has established the MWL as a leading Muslim partner for dialogue with Judaism and other faiths since he was appointed to take over the Saudi-backed organization in 2016.

In May 2018, al -Issa paid a public visit to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, where he strongly condemned Holocaust denial.

And in an extensive interview with The Algemeiner earlier that same year, he firmly rejected those who present the Islamic faith as a license to engage in sectarian persecution.

Doing so “negates the tradition of the Creator Almighty, who created His universe in such a way that it contains diversity and variety,” al-Issa said.

Dr. al-Issa is most definitley one of the good guys. Nice to see the pendulum swinging back to normalcy again.

The Algemeiner is based out of New York City and is one of the largest English language Jewish newspapers in the world.

About time - Saudi military

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From the Washington Examiner:

US to expel over a dozen Saudi trainees after review of Naval Air Station Pensacola shooting
The United States is poised to expel more than a dozen Saudi servicemen training at U.S. military installations following a review of last month's shooting at the naval air station in Pensacola, Florida.

According to CNN, the trainees are not accused of aiding the shooter, a 21-year-old Saudi Air Force second lieutenant who killed three American sailors and wounded several others, but are said to have connections to extremist movements. Sources told the outlet that some are also accused of possessing child pornography.

Last month, Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, a Saudi flight student, opened fire at the naval air station before he was killed by responding law enforcement officers.

Since then, about a dozen Saudi trainees at the base have been confined to their quarters while the FBI investigated the shooting as a possible terror attack and the Pentagon reviewed all Saudi military trainees in the country. The Navy also grounded around 300 Saudi military aviation students at three different bases as part of a "safety stand-down."

The Department of Justice is expected to declare that the shooting was an act of terrorism, a U.S. official told CNN. No co-conspirators have been charged.

Door. Ass. Bang. They are here at our convenience and if there is any reason to suspect that they are not loyal, send them back home.

About that Ukrainian air crash in Iran

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Posted about it yesterday. Shit just got real interesting - from The Last Refuge:

Iran Refuses to Hand Over Black Box From Fatal Boeing Crash Near Tehran – Nose of SAM Missile Discovered Near Crash Site…
In the aftermath of Ukraine Airlines Flight 752 exploding and crashing just north of Tehran airport, the Iranian government is refusing to turn-over the black box flight data recorders recovered from the crash site. Combined with the timing and location, their refusal is leading to increased speculation the flight may have accidentally been targeted by Iranian air-defense systems. The tragedy is being compounded by Iranian politics.

The Boeing 737-800 is a very dependable aircraft with three decades of service. This specific Ukraine aircraft was built in 2016 & just had a service inspection on January 6th. Immediately after the crash, Iranian officials stated the cause was “technical difficulties”, and after video surfaced showing the plane was on fire heading to the ground, Iran later stated the cause was one of the engines on fire. However, there was no distress call or report of issue, from very experienced Ukraine pilots to Tehran air-traffic control.

Lots of tweets and pictures of the found nose cone with photos of an un-deployed SAM.
Looks like the airplane was shot down.

As the losers rattle their small sabers

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It is all over for them - the clean fresh wind of Liberty is in the air. The head of the dinosaur does not know that the rest of its body is dead quite yet. From Reuters:

Multiple rockets fall in Green Zone, Baghdad, air base: Iraqi military
Several rockets fell on Saturday inside Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, its Jadriya neighborhood, and the Balad air base housing U.S. troops, the Iraqi military said, adding that there were no deaths.

“Several rockets targeting Celebration Square and the Jadriya area in Baghdad, and the Balad air base in Salahuddin province, with no loss of life. Further details to come,” the military said in a statement.

Is that the best they can do now? Sounds pretty impotent to me. Looks like terrorism and the state sponsorship thereof is falling out of favor for a while. 2020 is turning out to be a very good year on a lot of fronts.

I am so glad that this moron did not get into the White House - would have been a disaster. From RealClear Politics:

Trump: John Kerry Is Sabotaging Talks With Iran, Should Be Prosecuted For Violating Logan Act
During an impromptu press conference Thursday afternoon, President Trump addressed negotiations with Iran, saying "I'd like to see them call me." Trump also accused former Secretary of State John Kerry of telling the Iranians not to negotiate. Kerry led negotiations with Iran during the Obama administration that culminated in the nuclear deal that the Trump administration withdrew the U.S. from.

"John Kerry tells them not to call," Trump said. "But John Kerry violated the Logan Act. He's talking to Iran and has been, has many meetings and many phone calls. And he's telling them what to do."

And a bit more:

But John Kerry violated the Logan Act. He's talking to Iran and has been, has many meetings and many phone calls. And he's telling them what to do. That is a total violation of the Logan Act, because what they should be doing is--their economy is a mess ever since I took away the Iran deal. They have inflation that's the highest number I've ever heard. They are having riots every weekend and during the week even.

And what they should be doing is calling me up, sitting down. We can make a deal, fair deal. We just don't want them to have nuclear weapons, not too much to ask. And we would help put them back into great shape. They're in bad shape right now. I look forward to the day where we can actually help Iran. We're not looking to hurt Iran. I want them to be strong and great and have a great economy.

But they're listening to John Kerry, who violated a very important element of what he's supposed to be doing. He violated the Logan Act, plain and simple. He shouldn't be doing that. But they should call, and if they do, we're open to talking to them. We have no secrets. And they can be very, very strong financially. They have great potential, very much like North Korea.

That is it in a nutshell - Iran could be an economic powerhouse if it got rid of its theocratic tyrants and installed a democratic republic that rewarded hard work and fiscal responsibility. The citizens of Iran want this - there are demonstrations going on all the time. The ruling elites do not want anyone taking away their rice bowls so they are resisting.

Now that President Trump has shown that he can "Reach out and touch someone", the Iranian regieme might be a little more open to negotiation. And yes, the Logan Act has been on the books since 1799 - it is very much "a thing".

The people of Iran

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Sounds like they are sick and tired of living under theocratic tyrrany - from The Gateway Pundit:

Iranians Celebrate! Thank President Trump for Killing Soleimani Using Hashtag #TnxPOTUS4Soleimani
Iranians online are cheering the assassination of Iran Quds Force leader Major General Qassem Soleimani by a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad early Friday local time, with many thanking President Trump with a hashtag that reads: #TnxPOTUS4Soleimani. Many observers regarded Soleimani as the second most powerful person in Iran behind the Supreme Leader.

Lots of tweets at the site - I guess that Mr. Soleimani was not well liked by the citizenry of Iran.

One of the 280+ comments:

Obama: "You better not cross my red line or else."
Trump: "Hold my Diet Coke and watch this."

Heh - spot on.

Another example of Obama's "legacy" - from Breitbart:

Iranian Militia Leader Leading Iraq U.S. Embassy Raid Listed as Obama White House Guest
Iranian militia leader Hadi al-Amiri, one of several identified as leading an attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday, reportedly visited the White House in 2011 during the presidency of Barack Obama.

On Tuesday, a mob in Baghdad attacked the U.S. embassy in retaliation against last weekend’s U.S. airstrikes against the Iran-backed Shiite militia Kataib Hezbollah (KH), responsible for killing an American civilian contractor. KH is one of a number of pro-Iran militias that make up the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF/PMU), which legally became a wing of the Iraqi military after fighting the Sunni Islamic State terrorist group.

President Donald Trump has since accused Iran of having “orchestrated” the embassy attack and stated that the government would be “held fully responsible.”

Much more at the site - typical leftist tactic of using a mob of useful idiots to manufacture outrage and advance their narrative. Their problem is that President Trump and his advisers are on to these simple tricks. Like I said yesterday - I bet there is some fascinating munitions being readied right now. Ka Boom.

If the Iraqi government wants to be a player on the world stage, they need to learn how to sit at the adults table.

Today in three headlines

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A bunch of splody-dopes stormed the American Embassy in Iran - clickable links:

We have some very interesting precision guided munitions and I bet that a bunch of them are being readied right now. I am reminded of the quote attributed to Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto:

I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.

3... 2... 1... Ka Boom

Another public shooting - Navy base

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From Associated Press:

US digs into Saudi shooting suspect motive in Navy shooting
U.S. law enforcement officials were digging into the background of the suspected Florida Naval station shooter Friday, to determine the Saudi Air Force officer’s motive and whether it was connected to terrorism.

As questions swirled about the shooting, which left four people dead and multiple people wounded, officials identified the suspect as 2nd Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, an aviation officer in the Saudi Air Force. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

Alshamrani was attending the aviation school at the base, one of hundreds of international military members who are receiving training there. The shooter opened fire in a classroom building on Friday morning.

The U.S. has long had a robust training program for Saudis, providing assistance in the U.S. and in the Kingdom. And the Trump administration has sent several Patriot missile batters and hundreds of troops to Saudi Arabia this year in the wake of attacks on the kingdom that officials blame on Iran.

On Friday, President Donald Trump said he got a call from Saudi King Salman, who expressed “his sincere condolences” and sent sympathies to the families of those involved.

It will be interesting to see if King Salman starts prosecuting terrorists. The Saudis have been very lax so far but since oil prices are so low, they have more incentive to play nice.

The Kurds

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The Kurds in four headlines - clickable

Trump’s Betrayal of the Kurds May Be the Dumbest Move of His Presidency - October 10th, 2019

Obama Betrays the Kurds - Sept. 30th, 2014

Bush betrays the Kurds - October 19th, 2007

US abandoned us, say Kurds - Sept. 4th, 1996 - Bill Clinton's presidency

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. -- George Santayana

Put down any beverages you might be consuming. This is priceless. From the UK Sun:

JIHADI KARMA ISIS fighter killed by drone bomb he was operating after it ran low on battery and flew back
An ISIS terrorist blew himself up when the drone bomb he was operating ran low on battery — and flew back.

The idiotic killer was targeting allied forces after the Battle for Mosul in northern Iraq.

He had customised his weapon to carry plastic explosive and planned to detonate it by troops based in the city.

But his plan backfired because he had forgotten to sufficiently charge the device.

Civilian drones — as weaponised by ISIS — automatically 'boomerang' back to their point of launch when they start to run out of power.

They are programmed to return to prevent owners losing their machines.

And considering that he was probably one of the smart ones (they let him drive the drone after all), this lowered the overall IQ of their pool of fighters to somewhere around 60 or so. If it was even that high to begin with. Interbreeding will do that.

Good move - Israel

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From Associated Press:

Israel bars entry to outspoken US congresswomen
Israel said Thursday that it will bar two Democratic congresswomen from entering the country ahead of a planned visit over their support for a Palestinian-led boycott movement, a decision announced shortly after President Donald Trump tweeted that it would “show great weakness” to allow them in.

The move to bar Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota from visiting the close American ally appeared to be unprecedented, and marked a deep foray by Israel into America’s bitterly polarized politics. It is also a sharp escalation of Israel’s campaign against the international boycott movement.

In a statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is “open to critics and criticism,” except for those who advocate boycotts against it.

“Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar are leading activists in promoting the legislation of boycotts against Israel in the American Congress,” Netanyahu charged. He said their itinerary “revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel’s legitimacy.”

Bibi is doing the exact right thing. These two are just grandstanding - they are trying to promote a narrative while getting a nice trip on taxpayer dollars. Shut them down. Their hate and antisemitism have no place in this world.

From NBC News:

U.S. military has begun reestablishing air base inside Saudi Arabia
In June the U.S. military began moving equipment and hundreds of troops back to a military base in Saudi Arabia that the U.S. deserted more than 15 years ago, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the deployment.

Over the coming weeks the deployment to Prince Sultan Air Base, intended to counter the threat from Iran, will grow to include fighter jets and Patriot long-range missile defense systems, the officials said. The Patriots have already arrived at the base and should be operational in mid-July, while the aircraft are expected to arrive in August.

Several hundred U.S. service members are already on site preparing the facility south of Riyadh, which is controlled by the Royal Saudi Air Force, a number that will grown to more than 500 after the arrival of an air squadron.

Looks like the mullahs in Iran are going to be taken down a notch or three. Good. The Saudi's are our allies - they are not ideologically aligned with us but they perceive that there is a common enemy and are working with us to defeat it.

That earth-shattering Ka-Boom

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This will not end well for Iran - what were they thinking? From FOX News:

Iran's Revolutionary Guard seizes two UK-operated tankers in Strait of Hormuz
Iran seized two British-operated oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz Friday, marking a fresh escalation of tensions between Tehran and the West.

The U.K.-flagged Stena Impero, which has a crew of 23 aboard, “was approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters,” Stena Bulk, the shipping company that owns the vessel, said in a statement. "We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran."

Iran's Revolutionary Guard forces, in a statement on their website, say the ship was seized for "non-compliance with international maritime laws and regulations" and is being brought to an unnamed Iranian port, according to the Associated Press. Websites tracking the ship's path showed it turning sharply in the direction of Iran's Qeshm Island, instead of its intended destination of Saudi Arabia.

The Strait of Hormuz is 33 miles wide at its narrowest point. (54 km or 29 Nautical Miles) (one nautical mile = one minute (1/60th) of a degree of latitude)

It will be interesting to see the response. President Trump has forged very good relationships with England, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Israel and all of these nations are getting very tired of Iran's advancement of terrorism.

A bit of Arkancide in Egypt

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Works for the Clintons - no reason for other people not to do it too. From Breitbart:

Report: Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi ‘Collapses and Dies’ in Court
Ousted Egyptian president and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi collapsed and died in court during a trial on Monday, according to state television and members of his family.

The 67-year-old Morsi had just addressed the court, speaking from the glass cage he is kept in during sessions and warning that he had “many secrets” he could reveal, said a judicial official, per the Associated Press. A few minutes afterward, he collapsed, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the press.

State TV said Morsi died before he could be taken to the hospital.

Emphasis mine - wonder what they used...

Interesting background story - Iran

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Looks like they got taken by Russia - from Oil Price:

How Iran Was Swindled Out Of $3.2 Trillion
Underlying the one-year anniversary in mid-August of the signing of the ‘Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea’ is one of the greatest oil industry swindles in recent years. When representatives of the five Caspian littoral states meet on the 11th and 12th of August, Iran intends to seek some redress from Russia on Moscow’s manoeuvring last August. The Islamic Republic believes that it was robbed of its historical rights in the Caspian, conned out of a US$50 billion per year income, and left without Russia’s support against the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions.

Little of any apparent consequence was decided last August when the five Caspian littoral states – Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan – signed the ‘Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea’. The limited publicity that surrounded the signing stated only that the agreement stipulated that relations between the littoral states would be based on the broad principles of national sovereignty, territorial integrity, equality among members, and the non-use of threat of force.

It refrained from specifically going into details about share allocations in the Caspian Sea resource and talked only vaguely about giving the area ‘a special legal status’. However, a senior oil and gas industry source who works closely with Iran’s Petroleum Ministry told OilPrice.com that there was a secret second part to the deal that has proven explosive for the perennially fractious relations between the Caspian states.

At stake is the massive Caspian Sea hydrocarbons resources prize that has been fought over since the dissolution of the USSR in 1991 resulted in three additional partners – Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan - to the original partnership of Russia and Iran. Prior to the fracturing of the USSR into its constituent independent states, Iran and the USSR had struck the original agreement in 1921 to split all ‘fishing rights’ in the Caspian area 50-50. This was amended in 1924 to include ‘any and all resources recovered’, meaning in practical terms that all hydrocarbons resources would be shared equally between Russia and Iran. “Iran should have said back then that Russia should have shared its Caspian stake with the three former USSR states, but it [Iran] was content to wait for the official legal dispute to be settled,” underlined the Iran source.

A long and fascinating article. I bet that if Iran was not such a nasty actor sponsoring islamic terrorism all through the world, they would have a much larger voice at this table. I wonder if this will be used as a lever to get them to change their tactics.

Fun times - Iran this time

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From gCaptain:

U.S. Believes Iran Encouraged Tanker Attacks - U.S. Sources
U.S. officials believe Iran encouraged Houthi militants or Iraq-based Shi’ite militias to carry out Sunday’s attacks on four tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, two U.S. government sources said on Wednesday.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity and who are familiar with U.S. national security assessments, said they viewed the attacks as a serious provocation by Iran which posed a significant threat to shipping.

Iran rejects the allegation of Iranian involvement and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that “extremist individuals” in the U.S. government were pursuing dangerous policies. No one has claimed responsibility for the tanker attacks.

Of course they are going to deny everything - that is their modus. They never do anything overt but they are the primary source of funding for terrorism. They bankroll the so-called palestinians (actually nomadic Jordanians).

Fun times in Iraq - developing

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From the U.S. Department of State:

Iraq Travel Advisory
Do not travel to Iraq due to terrorism, kidnapping, and armed conflict.

U.S. citizens in Iraq are at high risk for violence and kidnapping. Numerous terrorist and insurgent groups are active in Iraq and regularly attack both Iraqi security forces and civilians. Anti-U.S. sectarian militias may also threaten U.S. citizens and Western companies throughout Iraq. Attacks by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) occur in many areas of the country, including Baghdad.

The U.S. government’s ability to provide routine and emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq is extremely limited. On May 15, 2019, the Department of State ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. Consulate in Erbil; normal visa services will be temporarily suspended at both posts. On October 18, 2018, the Department of State ordered the temporary suspension of operations at the U.S. Consulate General in Basrah. The American Citizens Services (ACS) Section at the U.S. Embassy Baghdad will continue to provide consular services to U.S. citizens in Basrah.

U.S. citizens should not travel through Iraq to Syria to engage in armed conflict, where they would face extreme personal risks (kidnapping, injury, or death) and legal risks (arrest, fines, and expulsion). The Kurdistan Regional Government stated that it will impose prison sentences of up to ten years on individuals who illegally cross the border. Additionally, fighting on behalf of, or supporting designated terrorist organizations, is a crime that can result in penalties, including prison time and large fines in the United States.

Shit's getting hot over there.

Interesting times - Iran

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Iran is the leading sponsor of islamic terrorism. Things are about to get interesting. From The Associated Press:

US sends carrier to Mideast, citing unspecific Iran threats
The U.S. is sending an aircraft carrier group to the Middle East ahead of schedule and warning that Iran and its proxy forces are showing “troubling and escalatory” indications of a possible attack on American forces in the region.

Exactly what prompted the action was unclear, but it marked a further step in sharply rising tensions between the Trump administration and the Islamic Republic.

National Security Adviser John Bolton said Sunday night the U.S. was deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the Middle East, intending to send a message that “unrelenting force” will meet any attack on American forces or allies.

“The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or regular Iranian forces,” he said.

It might be that the rest of the Arab world is fed up with the constant attacks..
This from The Associated Press, November 19, 2017:

Arab League delivers harsh criticism of Iran, little action
In a resolution long on criticism but short on concrete steps, Arab foreign ministers who met in Cairo Sunday delivered a tirade of criticism against Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah, saying Tehran was destabilizing the region.

They said they planned to “brief” the U.N. Security Council on Iran’s destabilizing policies in the region, particularly its support for Shiite rebels in Yemen, with a view to submit at a later stage an anti-Iran Arab resolution.

In what is perhaps the only concrete measure, the ministers said Arab telecommunications satellites would ban Iranian-financed television stations for what they said was their fomenting of sectarian and ethnic tensions and because they posed a threat to Arab security. It gave no details.

“We are not declaring war on Iran at this stage,” Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul-Gheit said. “We have not taken a decision to ask the Security Council to meet, but we are just briefing the council and maybe the next stage would be for us to meet and call for a Security Council meeting and submit a draft Arab resolution (against Iran).”

We are exporting a lot more oil and drinking their milkshake. They can no longer afford to continue as they have been - ignoring the global realpolitik and funding sectarian violence. Time to join the rest of us in the 21st century. Good!

The Palestinians - a history

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A fascinating look back at the origins of the Palestinian people in 1947 and their constant refusal of statehood. Their leaders are doing this to themselves and then crying to the general public that they are aggrieved.

From The Washington Free Beacon:

How the Palestinians Created Their Own Plight
It is easy to forget that, in 1947, when the United Nations recommended the creation of a Jewish state in Mandatory Palestine, the international body also recommended the creation of an Arab state—what would today be a national home for the Palestinians. The idea was to partition the land into two separate entities—in other words, a two-state solution. Indeed, in 1988, the Palestine National Council described the partition resolution as what "still provides those conditions of international legitimacy that ensure the right of the Palestinian Arab people to sovereignty." Yet at the time of the resolution, the Arabs—no one used the term "Palestinians" then—boycotted the U.N. Special Committee on Palestine, which the General Assembly empowered to make recommendations about the future government of the territory, rejecting both the partition and a single, binational state. Then the Arabs completely, and unambiguously, rejected the General Assembly's partition plan, believing that, once the British left Mandatory Palestine, they would defeat the Jews and control the entire area. Of course the Arabs failed, despite the help of several armies. The Jewish state of Israel, established in 1948, endured, and the Palestinian Arabs, who could have had their own state, remained stateless.

Since then, the Palestinians have repeatedly turned down offers of statehood. First, they did not seek the West Bank when Jordan controlled it from 1949 to 1967. Only when the land was back in Israeli control following the Six-Day War did the Palestinians again call it disputed. Twelve years later, Israel worked to offer the Palestinians autonomy, which would have been a major step toward full independence, to no avail. Then in 2000 and 2008, Israel offered the Palestinians control of virtually all of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with a capital in East Jerusalem. Each time the Palestinians rejected the offer, even waging a violent uprising against the Israelis following the failure in 2000. One would be hard-pressed to find another national independence movement, beyond the Palestinian one, that has turned down formal offers of statehood in the territory they claim. Indeed, the Palestinians have, time and again, set new standards for stubbornness.

And yet, despite this history, most of the world seems to blame Israel for the Palestinians' situation. Just look at the recent wave of articles and comments assailing the Jewish state that followed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's election victory earlier this month. Naturally, the New York Times led the charge, "reporting" that, with Netanyahu's reelection, Palestinian families see "no light at the end of the tunnel." In a front-page feature, the Times discusses how the Palestinians are despairing about the stalemate in the peace process. Importantly, the article notes that many Palestinians see the Palestinian Authority, or P.A., for the corrupt, ineffective regime that it is, and that at least some want to make peace with Israel.

Much more at the site - this is all a matter of the historical record. These are facts you can look up. Another fact is that Palestinian "leader" Yasser Arafat studied in Moscow for nine years before moving back to become their leader. His operation was bankrolled by the USSR, specifically the KGB, which feared a strong Israel and wanted to destabilize the region.

Mexico ISIS will build the wall

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Here is the money to build the wall - from the Syrian Arab News Agency:

Gold deal between United States and Daesh: Mission accomplished
A few days after reports from local sources in the Syrian al-Jazeera area about the gold deal between the United States and Daesh (ISIS) terrorist organization were published, new information emerged to confirm these reports.

Information suggest that the US occupation forces in the Syrian al-Jazeera area made a deal with Daesh terrorists, by which Washington gets tens of tons of gold that the terror organization had stolen in exchange for providing safe passage for the terrorists and their leaders from the areas in Deir Ezzor where they are located.

And a bit more:

The sources said that tens of tons that Daesh had been keeping in their last hotbed in al-Baghouz area in Deir Ezzor countryside have been handed to the Americans, adding up to other tons of gold that Americans have found in other hideouts for Daesh, making the total amount of gold taken by the Americans to the US around 50 tons, leaving only scraps for the SDF militias that serve them.

Recently, sources said that the area where Daesh leaders and members have barricaded themselves in contains around 40 tons of gold and tens of millions of dollars which had been stolen from various areas in Syria and Iraq by the terror organization.

Very interesting if true. I would want to see this story corroborated by several other news sources before I completely believe it but still...

Life in the "nation" of palestine

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Could not happen to a nicer bunch of 9th century bigots. Two stories from The Times of Israel:

Hamas arrests 5 suspects in raid on PA television offices in Gaza
Authorities in the Gaza Strip arrested five men on Saturday on suspicion that they trashed the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority’s television station in the territory a day earlier, the Hamas-run interior ministry said.

A bit more:

The Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation is funded by the West Bank-based PA, which has a longstanding dispute with the Hamas terror group, and the building houses offices for Palestine TV and the Voice of Palestine radio station.

During the raid, workers were assaulted and equipment destroyed, Wafa reported.

“At least five people broke into the building, broke the radio door and completely destroyed the main studio, including cameras, equipment, furniture and broadcasting equipment,” a staffer at the radio station said.

AFP correspondents at the scene found a number of video cameras and computers badly damaged, with chairs and doors destroyed

They have been given so much by Israel but all they know how to do is destroy. They smash what they do not understand and there is much that they do not understand. The $14million Gaza greenhouses in 2005 for example.

And the workplace accident - delightful:

Separately on Saturday evening, five people were injured in an explosion in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, the Hamas-run health ministry said.

Local media reported the blast emanated from the home of Mohammed Talal Al-Ajani, the Rafah Brigade commander of the Popular Resistance Committees, a Gaza terror group. The explosion, apparently triggered by explosives, was said to have caused a fire and damage to neighboring buildings.

So close to those white raisins of incredible purity. Golda Meir said it best:

"Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us."

So true. Islam needs a reformation. Christianity used to be a cruel religion but we saw the errors of our ways and reformed. They need to do the same thing. Well overdue.

Great find for Greece

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From Reuters:

Greece seizes big drugs haul from Syrian freighter sailing for Libya
Greece has seized drugs worth more than 100 million euros ($113 million) after intercepting a Syrian ship sailing for Libya, the coast guard said on Friday.

Officials found about six tonnes of processed cannabis and 3 million super-strength “Captagon” amphetamine pills hidden aboard the Syrian-flagged “Noka”, it said in a statement.

The freighter, with a crew of 11, was en route from the Syrian port of Latakia to Benghazi when it was intercepted by Greek authorities off the southeastern coast of Crete on Dec. 5.

The Noka was escorted to Heraklion port on the Greek island on Dec. 8, where the authorities unloaded its entire cargo.

The drugs were found under false floors in eight containers, hidden between layers of coffee, spices and wood shavings.

Reading between the lines a little bit, it sounds like the drugs were going to be used by the terrorists themselves and not for sale to raise money. The "processed canabis" could well be hasish from which we get our word Assassin and the Reuters article has this to say about the Captagon:

Captagon was said to be a fund-raising tool and stimulant for militants.

And

Scientists say Captagon is a super-boosted amphetamine with unique chemical complexities allowing it to induce potent psychoactive effects far more rapidly than amphetamines alone.

More on Captagon - sounds like nasty stuff and very popular in the Middle East.

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