Tag Archives: Foreign Policy

Trump State Department: Apes Taking Over the Zoo……..

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“A handful of senior U.S. diplomats are resigning their posts during President Donald Trump’s first week on the job, creating more high-level openings that the new president must fill. State Department Undersecretary for Management Patrick F. Kennedy, a career foreign service officer, planned to retire effective Friday, the State Department said. He was joined by two assistant secretaries, Joyce Barr and Michele Bond, who both resigned Wednesday. Gentry Smith, who directs the Office of Foreign Missions, was also departing.………..”

These are the men and women who keep the State Department bureaucracy functioning every day. Sort of like the wardens or curators do at a zoo. What was that common saying about the wardens quitting after the apes take over the zoo?……..
M. Haider Ghuloum

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.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

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Hezbollah’s Mysterious Eager Talkative Whistleblower Commanders………

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“Around a kitchen table in Beirut’s southern suburbs, a midlevel Hezbollah commander moved empty coffee cups and a plastic water bottle around a cell phone, demonstrating how his men repelled an assault by what he said were Islamic State fighters along Lebanon’s border with Syria……..Sporting a neatly trimmed beard, weathered face, and thick khaki cargo pants, this commander, now in his 40s, first fought for Hezbollah during the group’s operations against Israel, when small teams of fighters carried out clandestine cross-border raids. The current war he’s fighting, against rebels trying to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, is much different………. But just as Hezbollah has changed the Syrian war, the conflict has also changed Hezbollah. The organization has become much larger, and its fighters have received the training that only involvement in a long conflict can provide. But at the same time, in some ways, the party is becoming unwieldy and more vulnerable to corruption and infiltration………..”

It says: Around a kitchen table in Beirut’s southern suburbs“: a cute American touch. Around a kitchen table in the suburbs where Hezbollah is alleged to be entrenched. There have  been several of these anonymous Hezbollah blabbermouths in recent months, all eager to let it all pour out for some Western reporter who often can’t understand Arabic and can’t tell a Lebanese accent from a proverbial hole in the ground.

This Abu Ali: a cute local ethnic touch picking that name, no doubt a ‘nickname’ suggested by some amenable ‘locals’. Somehow it reminds me of Tom Friedman’s favorite Arab cab driver. Abdo in Cairo, Abed in Beirut, Abul Abed in humorless Amman (and maybe Abboudi in Baghdad and Abu Dong in Beijing).

I wonder if he was truly a forties-something Hezbollah ‘commander’ or just a pretender. I can’t imagine the Party allowing its commanders to talk openly to Western media about sensitive issues. Not even seasoned commanders. They probably suspect that some Western correspondents are Mossad agents. This ‘commander’ could be a March 14 minion, he could be Mossad, he could be a cross-dressing actress for that matter. He could be some clever Lebanese scammer doing it for the money. I am not sure, but there have been so many of these improbable blabbing ‘commanders’ of Hezbollah in Western newspapers that I take each and every one with a grain of salt. To be polite. Unless Hezbollah sent to them to implant certain ideas.

And these whistleblowers seem to only talk to Western media correspondents, mainly those hostile to Hezbollah.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter