Category Archives: Israel

Donald Trump and the Pussycats: from Washington to Jerusalem……

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Everybody has been following the debates, arguments, and food fights between Donald Trump and “others”. From his Republican rivals to the Pope to the Bush family to the Clintons and former Mexican leaders/oligarchs. He certainly does not back down from a fight, he usually doubles down. In the process, he calls his detractors and rivals some choice words (some of them well-deserved).
Tsk, tsk: politics were supposed to be served discreetly, like a slow Borgia poison, not so bluntly as a broadsword or Roman gladius.

Can you imagine Senator Mitch McConnell, majority leader, saying of a President Trump what he has been saying of President Obama for seven years? Trump would almost certainly call him what he exactly thinks of him: a pussy from Kentucky at best.

Can you imagine Israel’s Benyamin Netanyahu coming to a joint session of the U.S. Congress in order to openly sabotage American foreign policy as he did last year? A right-wing foreign leader? A President Trump would openly call for his deportation, adding the “pussy” and “liar” epithets as well.

Can you imagine a President Trump bowing down to some tribal autocratic  kleptocratic prince? Or walking around holding his hand as Bush did in Crawford?

Can you imagine him politely, too politely, deferring to a foreign leader, be they Chinese or Russian or Middle Eastern?

This is not to endorse him or overlook the tools of bigotry he has been conveniently using against easy targets like Muslims, refugees, and desperate Latin workers that his own businesses probably hire. Cheap shots he takes, but that has become one tool of American politics these days.

As for the nonsense he utters about Obamacare and the Iran Nuclear Deal, it is just political posturing. The horse has already left the barn on these issues, as all Republican candidates know but pretend not to know.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

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Breaking News: OBama, Britain, and Canadian Likud Insist on a Nuclear-Armed Middle East………

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“Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, thanked the US secretary of state, John Kerry, for blocking an Egyptian-led drive on a possible Middle East nuclear arms ban at a United Nations conference, an Israeli official said on Saturday. It was a rare message of thanks from Netanyahu, who has repeatedly accused President Barack Obama of undermining Israel’s security by attempting to reach a nuclear deal with Iran. A month-long review conference on the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) ended in failure on Friday, over disagreements on the issue of a Middle East atomic weapons ban. Washington blamed the failure on Egypt, which in turn blamed the US, British and Canadian delegations………….”

So the Obama administration got together with the right-wing British government and the Likudnik Canadian petro-regime to block an attempt to ban nuclear weapons in the Middle East.

So what was all the fuss and threats and economic blockade against Iran about then? I had though they were about stemming the expansion of nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Apparently not.
And why would Benyamin netanyahu thank these three amigos for blocking that? And how do you spell hypocrisy in various languages of white folks?

    

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
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Hungry Militias: Who is Backing Whom in the Middle East and Across the World………

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“The letter accused rebels and forces loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh of “targeting anything that moves in the city of Aden, preventing medical teams and volunteers from reaching the injured and killing humanitarian agents.” Forces supporting President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, backed by airstrikes, battled Houthi fighters, who took control of the port, Yemeni officials said. The clashes are the latest in Yemen’s months of violence, which exploded before Hadi’s ouster from Yemen by the Iranian-backed Houthis………..”

(FYI: there are no forces supporting Hadi. Not even the Saudis. Only Hadi supports Hadi. Those fighting around Aden against Houthis-Saleh are fighters of Southern Independence or AQAP).

Media here in the United States have a way of describing certain Arab or Muslim political entities or groups by their perceived affiliations. Especially political or military groups that they dislike or disapprove of. For example, any Middle East group deemed friendly with the Iranian regime is described as Iranian-backed (or Iranian-supported) w.x.y.z, and I can almost read or hear a disapproving sniffle. I never read a description like Saudi-backed (or Saudi-supported) q.w.e.r.t.y. No mention of Saudi-backed or Qatari-backed or Turkish-backed Nusra Front. So, I have suggested a list of other potential backed-by list, just to even the playing field (or is it the killing field?):

  • Iranian-backed Iraqi Shi’a Militias; Iranian-backed Houthi Zaidi Shi’as; Iranian-backed Hezbollah; Iranian-backed Hamas; Iranian-backed Assad; Iranian-backed anyone who is not Saudi-backed; Iranian-backed Texas used-car Dealer Wannabe Assassin Arbabsiar (LOL);
  • Saudi-backed Wahhabis; Saudi-backed Hariri; Saudi-backed Hadi (actually nobody-backed Hadi); Saudi-funded Jihadis; Senegal-backed Saudis; French-backed Saudis; Saudi-Qatari-Turkish-backed Nusra Front; Saudi-Ignored AQAP in Yemen; Saudi-backed Likud;
  • Qatari-backed Ikhwan; Qatari-backed Hamas; Qatari-backed Jihadis; Qatari-funded FIFA officials; Emirati-backed Sisi; Emirati-backed Clinton Foundation; Saudi-backed Bush Library;
  • Turkish-backed Nusra Front; Salafi-backed Caliphate; American-backed FSA; American-backed Jihadis in Syria; British-backed Bahrain Rulers; 
  • Republican-backed Netanyahu; Netanyahu-backed GOP; Adelson-backed contenders; Caliphate-backed Naftali Bennett; PLO-backed Ayelet Shaked;
  • We can also extend this to other, er, interests: Honey-Baked Ham (something I wouldn’t eat); Chinese-style Beijing Duck and Chicken Kung-Pao; English-style Fish and Chips; Ballpark-style Hot Dogs; Arab-Style Fried Sheep Brain; Serbian-Style Fried Sheep Balls (a k a: fried sheep cojonesبيض غنم)……………

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
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Hezbollah: Lebanese Shepherd Dog Beats Back IDF, LOL…….

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“The Israeli occupation army violated the Lebanese border eastern Kfar Shuba and attempted to capture a shepherd, according to Al-Manar reporter. The Zionist trial failed as the shepherd’s dog attacked the occupation soldiers…………”

This is the story according to Hezbollah network. It is also not the first time there have been reports of Israeli soldiers attempting to kidnap Lebanese shepherds along the border. It is not clear why they would want to kidnap a shepherd: maybe a built-in suspicion from the days before they were forced (by Hezbollah) to withdraw from South Lebanon. This is an annual event according to Lebanese media. Almost a tradition now.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
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Obama Will OK Iran Nuclear Deal Review by Netanyahu………..

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“Obama Will OK Congress Iran Deal Review. On Friday, President Obama called a bill which would allow Congress to review the terms of an Iran nuclear deal a “reasonable compromise” and said he planned to sign the bill. He said he feels it will not derail talks with Iran, though Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Senator Bob Corker and leading Democrat Ben Cardin have been tasked with making sure that the bill is not laced with “poison pills,” or amendments that might kill the Iran agreement…………..”

I, we all know (at least in the Middle East) that it will not be truly the US Congress that will really review and judge the Iran nuclear deal. It will almost certainly be the real boss who will effectively do so: Benyamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel and Supreme Leader of the U.S. Congress (both houses, both parties).

Eventually, to approve the deal, Obama will have to go around the Congress. Otherwise, no deal: congress is bent on either tightening the blockade of Iran or waging another major war of choice against another Muslim country in the Middle East.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
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Nuclear Talks: Bibi Bond, KGBibi, Lebanon or Yemen…….

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“Soon after the U.S. and other major powers entered negotiations last year to curtail Iran’s nuclear program, senior White House officials learned Israel was spying on the closed-door talks. The spying operation was part of a broader campaign by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to penetrate the negotiations and then help build a case against the emerging terms of the deal, current and former U.S. officials said. In addition to eavesdropping, Israel acquired information from confidential U.S. briefings, informants and diplomatic contacts in Europe, the officials said .The espionage didn’t upset the White House as much as Israel’s sharing of inside information with U.S. lawmakers and others………………”

The famous tail spying on the famous dog the better to be able to wag it. So Netanyahu got some trusted Americans to spy for him. He also got some trusted ‘European officials’ (yes, there are some) to help, could be French, could be others. Interesting: a foreign leader gets American and possibly European bureaucrats and/or diplomats to spy for him on other U.S. diplomats in order to use the information with the Congress to derail American diplomatic talks. Might as well have the Mossad or that Las Vegas gambling tycoon as part of the US delegation. Or, maybe worse, have a former Republican congressional aide as part of the delegation. They used to shoot these people, didn’t they? Interesting to see how members of the Senate and Congress react (probably McCain advising Obama to get over his tantrum, please)

It is almost like being in a more peaceful version of a milder Yemen (or Lebanon): different political fighting factions, some of them allied with foreign powers. Except here is no real fighting. Just a push for war.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Netanyahu King of Israel: the Arab Dilemma of Theodor Herzl……..

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Netanyahu won by throwing under the bus the remnants of the anemic and failed ‘Peace Process’. No two-state solution now, unless he backtracks again. So, no Palestinian State means One State for Jews and Arabs? At least not for the next two to four years. In doing so, he may have thrown part of Israel under the bus as well. Few world leader take him seriously or believe him now, outside the US Congress and the Republican Party. The “wolf” warning could have been a little bit more credible if the boy doing the crying had been a different one.

That leaves two eventual options:

(1) A democratic option: everybody votes, which is the case in Israel now. Which also means the Palestinians in the West Bank get their first truly free vote. The Israeli right does not like this, the idea of Arabs voting “in droves” as Netanyahu complained on election day. The Israeli Arabs were given the vote at a time when the center-left (Labor) dominated Israeli politics, with what they could salvage from the ruins of their old European ideals. Had the Likud and the extreme right-wing been in power in 1948, the Arabs probably would not have gotten the vote. Even now the right (Lieberman) has tried to keep them away from the Knesset (an Israeli version of the claimed voter suppression in some American states). To be fair, Arabs don’t also get to vote in most Arab countries, but then the princes and potentates and generals don’t claim to be democratic, not convincingly. When they do, nobody believes them anyway.

(2) a moderate version of the untenable South African option, pre-Mandela. Which means Arab townships surrounded by concrete walls. We already see the beginnings of that now. Two unequal states in one country: unless they get the vote. The Israeli right wants to keep the West Bank but keep its voters away from the polls, and the Israeli center-left would probably want universal voting rights. If they get the vote, and in such large numbers, what would that do to the original Zionist visionary idea of Theodor Herzl

There are other options which some hard-nosed Israelis might prefer. A Jordanian option, back to pre-1967 state when Amman ruled the West Bank and Egypt ruled Gaza (forget Gaza for now, it is a different entity). But Likud does not win elections by uprooting Jewish settlements and displacing settlers and new immigrants, its reliable political base.

So, a dilemma. Best left for some future date to resolve. Easier politically for now.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
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Middle East Democracy: Between Bibi and Sisi and the King of Kleptocracia………..

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  • Al Sisi (Egypt): Al won almost 98% of the vote in a very weak turnout. He had a weak opponent who should have boycotted the “election”. Not that he needed it: the generalissimo was already in power before the vote. He even promoted himself to Field Marshal before the election.
  • Bibi Netanyahu: he is struggling now to keep his job. In spite of the stunt he arranged with the U.S. Congress and the circus in Washington. He is behind by 2-4 seats. Might manage to hang on if he can kiss enough extremist little party arses (even more extreme than he is). Somebody did that in Germany decades ago and became chancellor.
  • Bashar Al Assad: he got 88% of the vote in a very imperfect not-exactly-free election (I am being polite here) at wartime. Oddly, he very likely even won a majority of the Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. Which makes me wonder: who were they escaping when they crossed the border?
  • AbdRabuh Hadi (Bin Zombie of Yemen): a favorite of the GCC potentates, the general won an “amazing” 99.8% of the vote and he had no opponent (so who did the 0.2% vote for?).
  • Hassan Rouhani (Iran): won barely above 50% of the vote.
  • Generic King WhatIsHisFace (of Kleptocracia): 100+%, always.
  • Shaikh Khalifa Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of Bahrain: he has been 43 years in office, beats the late Gadhafi and closing in on Queen Victoria. 100+%.
  • Mahmoud Abbas (PLO): Lingering in office until death do them part.
  • Actually Iraq may shape up as a good experiment in parliamentary democracy. If they can shake off sectarian and ethnic conflicts. The prime minister has changed twice in peaceful elections, even though the Jihadi terrorists are waging war. Most Arabs don’t like to admit this, but it is the case.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Nuclear Prince: Saudi Ambassador to Israel and AIPAC……..

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“‘If Iran has ability to enrich uranium… we’ll want the same,’ former head of Saudi intelligence says, warning a nuclear deal with Iran could spur nuclear proliferation in Gulf. Any terms that world powers grant Iran under a nuclear deal will be sought by Saudi Arabia and other countries, risking wider proliferation of atomic technology, a senior Saudi prince warned on Monday in a BBC interview. “I’ve always said whatever comes out of these talks, we will want the same,” said Prince Turki al-Faisal, who has previously served as head of Saudi intelligence and Riyadh’s ambassador to Washington and London but is no longer a government official……………”

Sounds fair enough: everybody has the right to peaceful (and safe) nuclear energy. As long as they stick to Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) rules to ensure peaceful use, as the Iranians claim they are doing. The problem is: the Saudis need to close a few of their ubiquitous Shari’a colleges and expand the sciences. Re-educate all these Wahhabi clerics-in-the-making to become scientists. That takes time, maybe a generation or two before they are nuclear-ready. Or they can take the usual easy way: offer many millions and buy a few foreign scientists.

Prince Turki al-Faisal al Saud has become the de facto Saudi ambassador to Israel, and to AIPAC. Saying and doing things the other, more official princes can’t say or do publicly, especially about the ‘nuclear’ issue. A ‘good cop, bad cop‘ number for the Wahhabi faithful. So, maybe he will also one day ask for the “same thing” that Israel is believed to have (although Israel has never signed the NPT). Like about 100+ reported nuclear warheads, ready to go. Just to protect the Islamic Holy Sites from who knows what……..

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                         Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
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The New American Jihadist Movement: Over There ……..

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“In 2006, when the Times published a piece revealing that the government, in the name of fighting terrorism, had collected the private financial information of Americans who had nothing to do with terrorism, Cotton, then an Army lieutenant stationed in Baghdad, sent a letter to the newspaper, saying that the editors should be put “behind bars.” ………… In 2012, he was elected to the House, where one of his first acts was to call for an amendment to a sanctions bill that would impose penalties not only on those who broke the law but also on their relatives, including their “great-grandkids,” “to the third degree of sanguinity.” The amendment failed—as the Washington Post pointed out, it was blatantly unconstitutional—but Cotton didn’t have much time for regret, because he had already decided to run for the Senate against Mark Pryor, the two-term Democratic incumbent, with the backing of the Tea Party Express…………..”

He said: “impose penalties not only on those who broke the law but also on their relatives, including their “great-grandkids,” “to the third degree of sanguinity.” But then he was a brash young man at the time. A brash middle-aged but powerful man can be even more dangerous.

The various American wars in the Middle East and in Muslim lands have created a whole cottage industry of people and institutions that profit from warmongering and guilt by association. And the prospects are promising for more. Never been more promising.

They have had their eyes set on an Iran war, Mother of all Middle East wars. Even the Bush (43) chickenhawks would not take the plunge: shows you how far the Republicans (and a few Democrats) have gone. Imagine how long it could last and how much it would cost and how high some defense company shares can go. And how higher that would raise the barrier along the Jordan River, even higher, one of the goals that are not articulated.

Oh, and about “the letter” to Iran meant to scuttle the nuclear negotiations and possibly provoke a new Middle East war. Juan Cole reports that Tom Cotton received over $700, 000 for his senate campaign from the right-wing Emergency Committee for Israel, another group of well-funded and frustrated but hopeful chickenhawks. Principles, even those of warmongering, don’t come cheap. But then most Republicans and many Democrats in Washington already know that.

It is a new American Jihadist movement. Just like the terrorist Caliphate of ISIS, it seeks to dominate here and to impose its will and that of its donors ‘over there’. Through continued political war here, and continued military campaigns ‘over there’.  That requires a lot of money.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com