Tag Archives: GOP

The Fast and Furious Iterations of Steve Bannon…..

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“Steve Bannon is stepping down as executive chairman of Breitbart News. NYT’s Jeremy Peters reports his exit was forced by financial patron Rebekah Mercer amid the backlash from President Trump following Bannon’s comments in Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury…….”

A new iteration for Steve Bannon:
Out of the White House…
Back to Breitbart….
Out of Breitbart….
A new iteration coming soon, no doubt. I wouldn’t be (too) surprised if Mr. Bannon lengthens his beard, flies into Istanbul, hires a car and heads for the Syrian border……
Or, he can join the other side by flying into Damascus or Beirut…..
How about Iran? I doubt that he would enjoy the (not very) Islamic ambience of Tehran…

It is tempting to say: “Steve, we hardly knew ye“, but I suspect you’re not fading away yet…..

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

D-Day At Camp David: a Stable Genius, a Gaggle of the Worst, a Suicidal Teddy Roosevelt…….

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Donald Trump made another of his usual daily headlines this weekend. The headlines read: Trump, Defending His Sanity, Says He’s a ‘Very Stable Genius’.

A president of the United States needing to assert that he is “a very stable” genius. Meaning: he is not as unstable nor as stupid as the rest of the world believes him to be…..
He might be a genius in his own right. After all, as a newcomer he did defeat that other Democratic female genius, the former wonder woman of politics. What is at issue is the term “stable”.

Richard Nixon once famously declared to a Sam Donaldson question: “I am Not a Crook“, months before he was forced to resign.

Even Warren G. Harding, wherever he is now, is probably shocked at all this.

Abe Lincoln can’t believe how such a gaggle of aspiring Social Darwinist jungle-dweller quasi-Nazis have taken over “his” party. How the worst and least bright have floated to the top of “his” party in recent years, just in time to manipulate their new extremely insecure leader.

The no-nonsense Teddy Roosevelt, rightly known as a true patriot, would look at all this going on with “his” party, and very likely end up having his name headlined in a murder-suicide crime case. Dying twice is the same as dying once, he would argue.

Dwight Eisenhower? Ike would start planning a new D-Day for this weekend. Target? Camp David (as he named the presidential retreat), the new Normandie (or Normandy, if you prefer)…..

Stay tuned: unfortunately there’s more. The fun has just begun, I’m afraid…..

Cheers
M. Haider Ghuloum

Presidential Name-Calling: Sticks and Stones from Washington to Pyongyang…..

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“Sticks and Stones may break my bones
But words will never hurt me…”
      Untrue children’s rhyme


Epithets and insults have been memorable these past two years. From the US presidential campaign to the post-election rallies to the UN General Assembly speeches. Almost all of them dished out by Donald Trump:

Look at That Face (Trump mocking Carly Fiorina)!

Little Rubio (Trumo mocking Marco, who famously   confided to the media that Trump has a small, er, hand)!

Lying Ted (Trump describing Sentor Ted Cruz)!

Low Energy (Trump about Jeb Bush? Ben Carson)!

Crooked Hillary (Trump for Clinton)!

Rocket Man (Trump about Kim Jong Un)!

Now the Iranians have picked up the term “rogue”, a favorite epithet used by US politicians against other nations. Trump and Rouhani traded “rogue” name-calling at the UN General Assembly this week.

But the top prize, the Oscar, the Nobel of epithets goes to an alleged North Korean Twitter source: “Impotent threats by international shouting magnate Donald Trump are dismissed, as the twitchings of a Dog licking its flea-riddled scrotum.”

That trumped Trump, and probably stumped him as well.

Cheers
M Haider Ghuloum

Before the Dark Forces Took Over America: Those Were the Days……..

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Sometimes, reading and listening to the media and to people, many people both here and abroad, it seems like Dark Forces have taken over America. People talk wistfully of the era of Obama, Bush, and Clinton. Yes, the era of George W Bush is also missed now as part of a Golden Age, and that is an accurate assessment given what has come after Barack Obama. Who would have thunk it way back in 2008?

That is because the Dark Forces have now completed their takeover of America, at least for now. In this dangerous bleak Year of Our, Your, and Their Lord of 2017. Only the federal courts and the media stand between them and wrecking the system so carefully crafted by the Founding Fathers of the United States. The legislature, those who are to consent and advise, have gone spineless. A combination of malevolent lawmakers in the Congress, tunnel-visioned corporate types running the executive branch, and an ignorant uninterested president are leading America to some kind of brink. (Did I leave out single-issue-focused voters?) Widening domestic class warfare and likely more permanent wars abroad, mainly new wars in the Middle East. Even as they claim to be trying to make America great again.

In that spirit, it is appropriate to listen to an old but good song that expresses the spirit of these dark times. It is sung by Mary Hopkins, and is titled Those Were the Days…….

A sad song, now even more bigly sad….

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

An Illegal Martian in America: the Party of Russia vs the Party of China…….

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A Martian who has just arrived in the United States (either a legal or an illegal alien) would think American politics are divided into two major parties:

  • The Party of Russia. We are told across much of the media to believe that the Republican Party (GOP) is the Party of Putin and Russia (with all the unpleasant accoutrements: Gulag, KGB, other extremely un-American behavior like guzzling Vodka and eating Pirozhky). Suddenly the Democrats, big losers of this election year, have developed a strange zeal for fending off a Russian quasi-Bolshevik takeover of the USA.
  • The Party of China (Chi-Com, PLA, Robber Oligarchs, Generals snapping up US real estate, industrial espionage, job-stealers, unfair Trade Surplus, Cyber Espionage, North Korea, etc). That would be the Democrat Party, and not only by default.

To complicate matters, many people in the Middle East, and in the wider Islamic world have a different view on this. They also have their own notion about US politics. Many, nay actually most people in the region, believe that both major American political parties are the Party of Israel. Or, more precisely, the Party of Likud right-wingers.
Cheers

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.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

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Fatwa on Donald Trump and the Republican Dilemma of Arab Princes………

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It is no secret that most Arab princes and potentates would prefer a Republican administration in Washington. That is based on long-standing oil and other mutual business relations as well as on the warlike statements of Republican politicians toward Iran, Lebanon, and others. Most of them believe a Republican would have attacked Iran years ago, something the Saudis openly urged as the Wikileaks cables exposed, although George W Bush declined to do so. On several Middle East issues, they take the same stand as the Israeli Likud rather than the Obama administration.

Yet Mr. Trump presents them with a dilemma in the aftermath of the recent Wahhabi terrorist attack in San Bernardino. Actually even before that attack. You see, they don’t realize that he is unlikely to win the GOP nomination, and if he did he will not win the presidency. Americans have never elected to the presidency a gambling boss with a big mouth who is openly bigoted. Not in the past hundred fifty years anyway. And they are not about to do so now. So the princes worry about his Muslim-baiting and Nazi-like proposals on how to treat Muslims in the United States.

The potentates have not heard of my tweeted Fatwa that by March or April Mr. Trump will be back in the trash-bin of history or on reality TV (both, since he needs the money).  They actually believe he has a chance of winning, and therefore they can’t afford to antagonize him. Hence their official silence from Riyadh to Doha and Abu Dhabi toward his outrageous, politically-motivated, public uttering against their faith.

Of course no U.S. president would do what Trump is proposing, nor would he in the prohibitively unlikely event that he is elected. But going public with such proposals eggs on many people into more violent Islamophobia, especially many Republican voters of the historic know-nothing inclination. In other words the Trump bullhorn makes those so inclined ever more hateful.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

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The Final Word on the Lausanne Nuclear Deal……..

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“But at the end of the day, Iran is a scientifically-advanced country with good cash-flow and, if it is willing to pay the price, it can develop a nuclear weapon. Absent some program of national-scale lobotomization, there is nothing the international community can do about this. The negotiators have implicitly admitted this by focusing on limiting Iran’s breakout time to one year rather than on denying the capability altogether. But nobody can explain why one year is a magical period of time, versus, say, six months or five years. This is because there is no reason………… But it is more a symbol of the fight over Iran policy than the core of the issue. At heart, this is a fight over what to do about Iran’s challenge to U.S. leadership in the Middle East and the threat that Iranian geopolitical ambitions pose to U.S. allies, particularly Israel and Saudi Arabia…………”

Verstehen sie?

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

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