Tag Archives: POTUS

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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Phony Arab Fear of the Iran Nuclear Deal: Catharsis and Kumbaya at Camp David………

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“The Obama administration is scrambling for reassurances it can present this month at a Camp David summit meeting to persuade Arab allies that the United States has their backs, despite a pending nuclear deal with Iran. Officials at the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department have been meeting to discuss everything from joint training missions for American and Arab militaries to additional weapons sales to a loose defense pact that could signal that the United States would back those allies if they come under attack from Iran. Over mahi-mahi at the Pentagon two weeks ago, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter polled a select group of Middle East experts for advice on how the administration could placate Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, all of which fear the nuclear deal, according to several attendees………………..”

First (of all): it is not an “Arab” fear of the nuclear deal. Ask most Arabs from Baghdad through Amman to Algiers and Tetouan, ask 250 million of them and they will not express any fear of this deal. Arabs have lived with a nuclear and aggressive Israel for decades without expressing any fear of it either.

Second: a part of the small minority of all Arab who live on the Persian-American Gulf express disapproval of the nuclear deal (not counting the majority of the population who are South Asian expat laborers). Many of them don’t know its details and look at it from a sectarian view and in some cases whatever their government propaganda tell them.

Third: the rulers of the GCC Gulf states are not afraid of the “nuclear” deal either. They are worried about expanding Iranian influence in Iraq and Syria and Lebanon, and potentially in Yemen. A legitimate worry. Only about three of them (only about three regimes) are also afraid of lifting the Western blockade from the Iranian people which will strengthen their economy.

Fourth: These three (or four) regimes are pretending to be afraid of a nuclear deal only as a bargaining chip: the same position as Benyamin Netanyahu takes. The last time Iran attacked a neighbor was almost three hundred years ago. When was the last time Iran was attacked by a neighbor? In 1980, by Baathist Iraq with active help from others in the neighborhood. The Baathists used WMD in that war.

Fifth: the mullahs don’t directly attack a neighbor, unlike Baathist Iraq (attacked Iran and Kuwait), unlike Saudi Arabia (attacked Yemen at least three times: 1930s, 2009, 2015 and attacked Kuwait once in 1920). Even so, the Persian-American Gulf is clogged with powerful Western navies that can deter any conventional attack.

Sixth: Even if we ‘buy’ the claims about Iran’s nuclear program. When was the last time a country used nuclear weapons in ts own neighborhood? Is there a regime so stupid as to contemplate doing that, across its border? Are there regimes audacious enough to use it as an excuse to keep an economic blockade on a neighbor?

No doubt Mr. Obama knows all this, or he should know it when he sits down with his guests. Which also makes one wonder: why not also invite Netanyahu to Camp David, since he claims the same worries and concerns? Then Mr. Obama can have his catharsis with both. It should be fun: Likudniks and antisemitic Wahhabis singing Kumbaya at the camp. 

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

Israel Invites a Swedish Minister to Stay Away……..

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“A high-ranking government official revealed on Saturday that Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom canceled her trip to Israel after she was notified that she would have to bring her own security personnel and that her trip would not be considered an official state visit. The very public breakdown in relations between Sweden and Israel began after Sweden officially recognized Palestine as a state in October……………”

It is no secret that there is no love lost between Mr. Netanyahu and almost all (West) European leaders. Almost without exception. That also goes for his top ministers. That is also true about his relationship with the Obama administration which usually bends backwards to please his lobby of groupies in the Congress. That would also be true if a Republican is ever again elected to the U.S. presidency, even if it is the historically-challenged Louie Gohmert. Even if it is the extremist Las Vegas gambling tycoon the Likudist Sheldon Adelson.

Odd for leaders of countries that are strong and consistent supporters of Israel. It must be some personality issue, no?

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

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New Age Heroes: Financial Opportunists, Lobbyists, and Rogue Crusaders………

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“Haym Salomon funded not only the Revolutionary War but several leading politicians, yet passed on claiming huge debts. On January 6, 1785, Haym Salomon, the Polish-born immigrant to colonial New York who is revered in American history as the financier of the Revolutionary War, died. He was all of 44 years old — and he was bankrupt………….”

They have a picture of a 10 cent U.S. stamp from 1975 calling Haym (Haim) Salomon a “financial hero”. It says somewhere that he ran a “brokerage business” as well, but apparently he had nothing to do with Salomon Brothers firm that came later. Mr. Salomon died bankrupt, but only because he lived in a different era.

Speaking of financial heroes, I fully expect the new U.S. Congress (both houses) to start creating new “financial” heroes. I expect some top lobbyists to be named, as well as CEOs of Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase and Mr. Blankfein of Goldman Sachs. For their role in the crash of 2008 that required government funds to bail all these geniuses out. The Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson of Las Vegas gambling, financial godfather of the New New Republican Party, will surely be on the list. Not to ignore some other likely candidates: famous anti-tax, anti-affordable universal healthcare, anti-affordable higher education, and anti-welfare ‘crusaders’.

The New New Democrats, led by you-know-who-she-is, should they win the White House in 2016, will likely not only follow the same path, but revert to their old habit of appointing top bankers as top financial officers of the U.S. government.
As for myself, I would suggest an economist like Paul Krugman or even Robert Reich for treasury secretary. But that would limit the New New Democrat president to one term. Unless she or he is impeached and convicted first by an uncharacteristically outraged Congress.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

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Caca Del Pollo Diplomacy: Chickenshit as New Codename for Netanyahu?………

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Chickenshit? What took you so long, lame duck?…………..
Ever since Barack Obama became U.S. president Mr. Netanyahu (his groupies in America prefer Bibi!) has been going out of its way to disrespect him, in his own house. Which means disrespecting the office of the president and disrespecting the United States.

There is a pattern: whenever there is a high level American-Israeli meeting or visit, there is an announcement of new settlements in the West Bank or Jerusalem, or the expansion of existing settlements. It is like flicking a middle finger in Mr. Obama’s face even as he provides support to Israel. It is probably not racist, probably not, although he never did it to Bush. Nicolas Sarkozy, who can hardly be called anti-Israel or antisemitic, once dismissed him as a ‘liar’ into an open microphone.

Adding insult to injury, Netanyahu reportedly has had the habit of doing much of his American diplomacy with Congressional and Senate members, mainly Republicans. They would deal, nay connive, directly with a leader of a foreign country to undermine official American foreign policy.
Mr. Netanyahu is a petty hack and political hustler, for all this strange mix of  American groupies who seem to consider him some kind of Guru Noir. He has managed to patch together a cabinet of the extreme right, with strong support from Jewish Wahhabis and settlers. In other words, he has no other choice if he wants to remain in power.
Chickenshit? Probably yes, almost certainly yes. But it is worth it to him. As someone in the U.S. Congress might say these days: those who are not chickenshit finish last come November. In Israeli power struggles, and every other November in the USA.
Chickenshit? Hell yeah, why not………

A great succinct American term. I have been trying accurate Arabic and Persian and French and German translations for it. Spanish sounds the most plausible and most exotic for now: caca del pollo.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Mr. Obama’s New Syrian Alibi: a Pig With Lipstick………

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Mr. Obama has now got his Arab alibi. He has got the Arab, actually GCC, cosmetics he thinks he needs to expand the war into Syria:

  • The rulers of tiny Bahrain, which need foreign mercenaries and Saudi troops to keep their own rebellious people at bay and repressed, are allegedly bombing the Hollywood Caliphate of ISIS.
  • The United Arab Emirates, a country so full of foreign military bases it looks like Persian Gulf Swiss cheese, is also doing likewise. No news yet if their Blackwater-modeled mercenary army of Colombians and Australians and other foreigners will be involved.
  • Ditto for the rulers of Qatar, who don’t have enough troops to fill two World Cup stadiums in 2022. Let alone wage war on anybody.
  • Apparently Saudi Arabia is also involved, somehow although it is not clear how and in what capacity are the oily slippery princes involved.

So, Mr. Obama has got his “Arab” alibi, his GCC fig leaf, although we all know the ‘real’ war will be American, with some French huffing and puffing. But at what price this GCC alibi? He must have promised a deeper American involvement in Syria, well beyond attacking the Wahhabi Jihadist cutthroats of ISIS. He must have promised something beyond ISIS and Al Qaeda: something like a repeat of NATO’s Libyan adventure in 2011. The results of which we are now enjoying from Tripoli to Benghazi. The temptation and the push by the Wahhabi camp for Mr. Obama to get deeper into the Syrian “civil war” will be strong.

Yes, there is something about cosmetics nagging at the back of my mind. I recall what Mr. Obama famously said during the 2008 campaign for president. Something about “a pig with lipstick is still a pig. Even if we call it a coalition.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Mr. Obama’s ISIS Speech: Ottomanesque Caliph Al Samarrai to Request Equal Time……..

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President Obama is expected to go on television (and other media) Wednesday to explain his strategy for dealing with the Wahhabi Islamic State of ISIS (he calls it ISIL). He will explain what he has in mind (most of it) to the American people, to the world, and to the terrorist Jihadis of ISIS. Including one Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi who has appointed himself the Caliph (follower or heir of the Prophet) of the Islamic State. In its more modern incarnation, any Caliphate would not be anything like the those of the early one: Abu Bakr (the First), Omar (the First), Othman, or Ali. He would probably be more like something between one of the mad early Ottoman sultans and Kim Jong-Un (there goes my never-planned trip to Pyongyang down the drain). He has also decided to attach Al Husseini Al Quraishi to his nom de guerre, but don’t let it fool you: his real name is Ibrahim Al Samarrai.
This Al Samarrai dude (a k a Abu Bakr the Second) has his own plans for later this week. My incredible ISIS source claims that the Caliph plans to respond to Mr. Obama within hours at most. She claims he will demand equal time from the major networks in order to refute Mr. Obama’s speech point by point. Sort of like Republicans do every time and every Saturday. She swears the 
Hollywood-ish Caliph will not insist on responding to all Obama’s Saturday radio (and video) addresses, claiming he has better things to do.

In the unlikely event that the networks refuse his request, he plans to file a complaint with the FCC and whatever other appropriate authorities he might think of.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Spineless in Gaza: One Barbaric Kidnapping of a Prisoner of War, Thousands of Civilized Killings………


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“The Obama administration on Friday condemned “outrageous” violations of an internationally brokered Gaza cease-fire by Palestinian militants and called the apparent abduction of an Israeli soldier a “barbaric” action. The strong reaction came as top Israeli officials questioned the effort to forge the truce, accusing the U.S. and the United Nations of being naive in assuming the radical Hamas movement would adhere with its terms. The officials also blamed the Gulf state of Qatar for not forcing the militants to comply……………”

Watched a CNN news program (too) early this morning. The topic was Gaza. The guest-pundits agreed that the “kidnapping” of an Israeli soldier was a “game-changer”. The media here loves to use terms like “game-changer” or “red-line”. The guest-pundits agreed the “kidnapping” of one Israeli soldier during battle would shift world opinion about the massacres and destruction visited by Israelis on the people of Gaza. I wondered what shell these pundits live in, that they are so insulated from the world outside Washington and New York as to presume they speak for it.

The capture of one soldier presumably in battle was called “a barbaric act” in an Orwellian twist by a spineless White House that has been silent on thousands of Palestinians killed and wounded, tens of thousands made homeless by Israeli bombs. Are we talking about a new “master race” here? In the U.S. media and especially in the once-hallowed halls of Congress, this may be the case. Nay, as far as Congress is concerned this IS the case.

Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Sticks and Stones: the Brilliant Red Senator and the Russian Thug………..


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“Sticks and stones may break my bones
But words will never hurt me………”
(senatorial nursery rhyme)

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), was asked by the moderator of “Meet the Press” what Obama should have done about Ukraine-Russia dispute.

His reply? “He didn’t call Putin the thug that he is………..

He seemed truly offended that the President of the United States, POTUS himself, Leader of the Free World, wouldn’t call the leader of the Russian Federation “a thug”.

Brilliant……….

Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com