Tag Archives: Chess

A New Persian Gulf War? A Message from Marcus Licinius Crassus to Donald Trump……..

Shuwaikh-school1 Me1 (2)Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2 Hiking

“The Saudis have been bombing the Houthi rebels and ravaging their country, Yemen, for two years. Are the Saudis entitled to immunity from retaliation in wars that they start? Where is the evidence Iran had a role in the Red Sea attack on the Saudi ship? And why would President Trump make this war his war? As for the Iranian missile test, a 2015 U.N. resolution “called upon” Iran not to test nuclear-capable missiles. It did not forbid Iran from testing conventional missiles, which Tehran insists this was. Is the United States making new demands on Iran not written into the nuclear treaty or international law—to provoke a confrontation? Did Flynn coordinate with our allies about this warning of possible military action against Iran? Is NATO obligated to join any action we might take?………..”
Also sprach Pat Buchanan, now older and even wiser.

Mr. Trump is a Manhattan businessman and a showman. Which means he has mastered the arts of showmanship and bluffing (and bullying).
His nonsensical campaign promise to ‘Make America Great Again‘ was absurd, as if America is Egypt or Peru. But it was bought by enough of the desperate industrial working classes, and much of the campaign-money-donating upper classes, to get him into the White House. Even as he lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes.

His promise of America First looks set to be set on fire by his new adventurism in the Persian Gulf region. Possibly egged on by some of the same Arab and Jewish regional allies he detests so much. He has surrounded himself by a few former military men and civilian hawks who have a chip on their collective shoulders regarding the Middle East, especially Iran. They think they can win the wars of choice that Bush and Obama squandered.

Now they have made Donald Trump into a George W Bush on steroids. But a new military conflict in the Persian Gulf will last much longer than the hawks and chickenhawks think. Remember the Iran-Iraq war? It was started by Iraq as a blitzkrieg victory, but it lasted eight years and ended up destroying Iraq. This latest war in Afghanistan has lasted 16 years, so far. The latest Iraq war started in 2003, Syria is in its seventh year.

A lesson for Mr. Trump from ancient Roman history, if he and his new generals care to read. Read the story of the Roman consul and general Marcus Licinius Crassus, a friend of Julius Caesar. He collected a huge army of many invincible Roman legions to invade ancient Persia more than two thousand years ago. Another unprovoked war. Crassus and his Roman legions vanished somewhere in the Iranian Plateau, never to be seen or heard from again.
Lesson? Wars of choice half-way across the world are not a good investment (as you, Mr. Trump and your class would say).
Mr. Trump, there are no direct American national interests threatened by the Iranians. They have not broken the Nuclear Deal with the world powers. They have not attacked Americans or America’s regional allies, yet. So, tone down the bluffing.

Mr. Trump, you are used to playing the cheap game of Casino poker, but the mullahs play the more enduring game of Chess. A game their country invented when your ancestors were still lurking in the caves and forests of Central Europe.
So, call back the dogs of war, get them out of your White House. Don’t throw good money after bad in the Middle East. Save a few more trillions of dollars and many lives on both sides.

M. Haider Ghuloum

Nuclear Delay in Vienna: Read My Lips, No New Sanctions……….

Happy gobblegobble, Charlie Brown……

Read My Lips, No New Sanctions…………” Rouhani? Khamenei? Me?

So, it is to be more jaw-jaw and no new sanctions. Remember that war that was among the options of the mantra of “all options are on the table“? It never was, not seriously.

As it happened, the deadline was extended until next July. That is not necessarily good, especially since Benyamin Netnayahu welcomed it as he waits for the newly-elected U.S. Knesset Congress in January to screw things up. But it is better than posturing and making noises about an unlikely war that few outside Israel and a couple of absolute Arab monarchies and the Islamic Caliphate of ISIS want.

The downside of all that is that we will have to hear more weekly (even daily) whining from Mr. Netanyahu about the imminence of an Iranian nuclear bomb. The one he and some American war pedlars have been predicting for twenty years. An alleged bomb which apparently can destroy only the Jewish people in Tel Aviv and the settlements but miraculously spare all those Muslims/Christians and Holy places in Jerusalem or Nazareth or Hebron.

There is a world dichotomy about these serious but not-very-credible claims. American media usually eats up whatever he dishes out, been doing it for twenty years. After all, he is a celebrity (as in Bibi!). European media is mostly skeptical about him, to put it nicely and politely. Muslim and Arab public opinion is overwhelmingly hostile to whatever he claims, with the exception of some pockets in and around the Persian Gulf royal palaces and possibly the harem rooms of the Wahhabi Caliphate of ISIS.

The game of chess goes on. The coming year should be interesting times, as some Chinese are alleged to have said. And not only in Washington………
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum