Tag Archives: Russia

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

 

A Banana Republic? USA as Portrayed by Some Americans and One Israeli Hustler…….

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“President-elect Donald Trump will be a good friend to Israel and hopefully the two countries can work together to dismantle the international nuclear agreement with Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview Sunday. While the two countries are close allies, relations were sometimes tense between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama because of their vastly different world views on the Iran deal and other issues………”

There is something eerily Banana Republic-ish about the way the USA is being portrayed in the media these days. As portrayed by US media, some US politicians, and also by foreign hustlers like Benyamin Netanyahu of Israel.

American media and many among the political classes talk of Russians influencing the 2016 presidential election. Hacking the DNC and RNC and somehow influencing the election results (no explanation yet as to how hacking leads to influencing). A lengthy investigation is pending.

Enter Benyamin Netanyahu, the super-opportunistic right-wing prime minister of Israel. He is publicly and loudly offering to “help” the president-elect Donald trump handle the cancellation of the Iran Nuclear Deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,or JCPOA). An agreement signed on by Iran and the Rest of the World, including the UN and European Union. Mr. Netanyahu knows a thing or two about breaking treaties and agreements (you can ask Barack Obama, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Nicolas Sarkozy, and many other world leaders and international bureaucrats about that).

Thus Netanyahu is setting the stage for what he has wanted for years now: to get America embroiled in another endless Muslim war. A war of choice that is not related to American homeland defense. Yet another of what some critics have been calling stupid wars in Muslim lands.

To complicate matters, reports have announced yesterday (Sunday) an agreement between Iran and Boeing to purchase jetliners for US$ 16.7 billion. Unless Sheldon Adelson and John Bolton can replace the Iranian order with their own. No matter, the US Congress of both houses and both parties is beholden, and often forgets national interests when it comes to campaign money……….
Cheers

M Haider Ghuloum

France Ships Vladivostok to Egypt: How the Saudis Financed Gamal Abdel Nasser….

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There was once a huge French-made naval vessel: a huge helicopter carrier of the Mistral class. It was ordered from France by Russia in 2011, but with Russia producing a large portion of it.
Then the Ukraine crisis occurred and the West initiated a boycott of Russia. France under pressure decided not to deliver the Mistral, to be named The Vladivostok, to Russia as scheduled in late 2015.

It had a bit of a problem finding a home, a paying home, meaning somebody to pay for it more than Euro 1.2 billion.
It looks like now the Saudis (and very likely their Emirati rivals) have paid for it to be sent to Egypt. Who else, since the Egyptian economy is in no position to buy rice.
So the princes and potentates on the Gulf have financed a new Egyptian battleship named after their toughest historic rival, the secular leftist strongman who sought to overthrow their regime. Another irony of modern Arab history…..

But who will Egypt be fighting in the near future in the Mediterranean or Red Sea that it keeps buying so many weapons with Gulf money (or plentiful Gulf “rice” according to Al Sisi)?


Cheers
M Haider Ghuloum

The Strange Turkish Russian Iranian Syrian Oil and Pistachio Deals with DAESH…….

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When news seeped out about ISIS/DAESH selling and exporting oil over a year ago, I suspected a Turkish connection, even though Western and Saudi/Qatari media claimed there were deals between ISIS and the Assad regime. After all, the weapons, volunteers, and possibly much of the money for the Jihadis in Syria flowed through the long Turkish border. And ISIS/DAESH controls areas along the border.  And there have been credible reports of cooperation between Turkish military and intelligence and the Jihadists in Syria. These days, when a terrorist or accomplices escape from a European country, they head for Turkey: that is the trailhead to lands controlled by ISIS.
Now the Russians have come out and said it openly, with claims of documentation. Iranian media have also carried and seemed to support the Russia claim.
The Turks could not be original, so what did they do? A day or two later they made their own claim of Russian-ISIS oil deals. I didn’t know Russian needed Syrian or Iraqi oil.
Wait, there is more. To make matters more entertaining, there are now reports on the social media of Turkish claims that Iranians also made oil deals with ISIS/DAESH. Tit-for-tat, since the Iranians seemed to support the earlier Russian claims. I didn’t know that the Iranians also needed Syrian or Iraqi oil. I had thought they spent the past few years trying to sell more of their own oil, not buy foreign oil from their Wahhabi enemies.
What next? Turkish claims of Iranian deals to buy Aleppo pistachios from ISIS? Iranian claims of Saudi oil deals with ISIS? Qatari claims that the Bahrain regime imports some of its nasty interrogators from ISIS? Oh, wait……….
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

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The Empire of Qatar to Invade Syria and Iraq: O’ Gulliver, O’ Lilliput……..

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“Qatar, a major supporter of rebels in Syria’s civil war, suggested it could intervene militarily following Russia’s intervention in support of President Bashar al-Assad but said it still preferred a political solution to the crisis. The comments by Qatar’s foreign minister, made in a CNN interview on Wednesday, drew a swift reply from Assad’s government with a senior official warning that Damascus would respond harshly to such “direct aggression”……….”

Last month, as the Russian air campaign over the terrorist Islamic State of ISIS escalated the Qatari government threatened to intervene militarily. Yes, militarily. Now Qatar has a population of about 2 million, 90% of whom are temporary foreign laborers, mostly from from south Asian countries. Which means its citizens are about, what, a quarter of a million?
A few years ago, when the father of the current Emir ruled Qatar, some Qatari officials threatened military intervention in Iraq, if the domestic political power was not altered. At that time the citizen population of Qatar was almost certainly less than 200 thousand people.
It is true, Qatar has huge monetary reserves, and its ruling family and their tribal allies can and do buy the best Western weapons. But a statelet of a quarter of a million people intervening in Syria or Iraq? They’d need a nuclear arsenal, which their money can’t buy. It is best to stick to buying exclusive French and British hotels and real estate, and a few soccer clubs. And bribing international football/soccer FIFA officials.

An absolute tribal Wahhabi regime claiming to seek freedom for the Syrian people? Just leave Syria and Iraq to the grown-ups, will you?

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

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Syrian War: the Advantage of Gospodin Putin, Poisonous Straws for the West………

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Almost everybody who is anybody is involved in Syria now. Plus a few nobodies. The Western powers have been ‘in’ Syria since long before they started their tepid bombing of the terrorists of ISIS (DAESH, ISIL). Some Republican senators have also crossed the Turkish border into Syria for photo-ops, Western trained fighters have crossed from Turkey and Jordan, before handing their weapons to ISIS or Jabhat Al Nusra (I called them Jabhat Al Qaeda three years ago) and defecting to one or another Wahhabi Jihadist groups. Now we also have Jaish Al-Fath, whose name translates correctly into Army of Islamic Conquest, which some Westerners seem to pin their dwindling Syrian hopes on. A poisonous straw to cling to.

The Arab oil potentates of course entered Syria from the beginning in 2011, with money, weapons, and Wahhabi jihadists from the Persian Gulf states and now from across the globe. That is how the early Syrian protests were quickly taken over by the Islamist jihadists. The West commenced its own bombing campaign after the fall of Mosul and other towns in Iraq and the consequent piling up of mass sectarian and religious atrocities in Iraq and Syria.
But the Western bombing campaign has been “measured”, a polite way of saying it was half-assed (which is how I would describe it if I were rude and crude, which I’m not). It is seemingly aimed only at preventing the expansion of ISIS (DAESH), perhaps rolling it back in Iraq. But the goal in Syria seems to be to keep the status quo: for if ISIS is pushed back in Syria, only Assad and his foreign allies would gain. Or, worse, the Al Qaeda allies and offshoots among the various Jaish Al or Jabhat Al or Ansar Al. Keeping the status quo in a civil war and in a multi-faceted international proxy war is nearly impossible. Hence the tepid air campaign that failed to alter the situation on the ground in Syria. Until a few days ago, when Russia decided to upend this strategy which Mr. Putin probably sees as either wimpy or sly.
Now Gospodin Tovarish Putin has decided to join everybody else and also interfere into the Syrian War, but in his case more decisively and with some authority. He has the luxury of knowing who he supports and who he opposes. He wants to defeat the Syrian opposition, most of whom are genocidal Jihadists with many Russian Chechens among them. He wants a victory for the Assad regime and its allies, if he can get one.


Unlike the Western powers, his campaign is straightforward and focused because it does not seek to mollify rich Arab allies, oligarchs whom he needs to mollify with an indecisive and week air campaign. And unlike Mr. Obama, Mr. Putin has a tame Doma (house or parliament) that does not pounce on every move he makes.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
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m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

New Folly of Charlie Wilson and his Mistress: from the Stinger to the TOW………..

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In the 1980s the Reagan Administration decided to supply the Afghan Mujahideen with ground-to-air Stinger missiles with which to shoot down Soviet (Russian) helicopters/aircraft. Years later Hollywood gave “credit” for that policy, and presumably for the fall of Afghanistan to the Jihadists, to a Texas Congressman named Charlie Wilson and his influential Texan mistress (and to Tom Hanks).

The film Charlie Wilson’s War was made just a few years after the terrorist attacks of September 2001, but Hollywood has its own tunnel vision and did not see the irony lurking somewhere in the background of that story. Or, most likely, it was seen as inconvenient to paying suburban movie-goers to bring out the connection that was screaming out of the large screen. After all, that Stinger policy may have contributed to the eventual Soviet withdrawal and handing Afghanistan to a bunch of Islamist terrorists.
The civil war that ensued between the Mujahideen factions and Islamist tribal warlords destroyed more of Afghanistan than the Russian incursion/occupation. It culminated in the takeover of the Taliban and their Arab Wahhabi (Al Qaeda) paymasters. We all know the rest: the switching off the lights all over Afghanistan, terrorist attacks in Africa, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, other places, then in the USA, Europe, and Asia.


That was the Stinger. Now the Russians and Iranians are in Syria, in the air and on the ground. Just as the Saudis and their partners are in Yemen, in the air and on the ground. Now the TOW is being supplied to what are called “moderate” Syrian rebels. And I had thought all moderate Syrian rebels resided in Europe and North America by now. The American TOW is being supplied to counter a possible Russian-Syrian (and possibly Iranian) assault on the strongholds of the Jihadis in northern Syria. If this new weapon works, the likely beneficiaries will be the Jihadis of ISIS and Al-Nusra allies. It is almost certainly too late to revive the old moderate Syrian opposition in-country: the Wahhabi princes and petroleum potentates saw to that three years ago. With crucial Turkish cooperation by Caliph Erdogan, of course.
No doubt the Saudi, Qatari, and Emirati potentates are footing the massive bill.

But does history repeat itself? Can it be repeated? I know that mistakes can and are repeated, and too often.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
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New Umayyad Dilemma: From Russia to Syria with Love and Bombs?……….

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We have been ranting for almost four years here that the foreign Arabs have subverted the early Syrian uprising and contributed to turning it into a religious and sectarian bloodbath. That especially includes some Arab governments: Wahhabi regimes like Saudi Arabia and Qatar and other non-Wahhabi Persian Gulf governments that bowed to Salafi and Muslim Brotherhood pressure.
So Western powers and Persian Gulf potentates kept picking successive new leaders of Syrian “rebels”. These leaders kept failing, as expected here on these posts. Their early followers usually ended up joining the Wahhabi Jihadist cutthroats with their Western weapons.

The Turkish government was happy to help the growth of the Jihad in Syria (and Iraq) by expediting the flow of foreign weapons, money, volunteers, and accommodating women (harems). Now we have ISIS (DAESH) and Al-Nusra Front (Al Qaeda franchise) and Army of Islamic Conquest (Jaish Al Fath), among others as the only credible opposition in Syria.


So, the choice now is: serious negotiations with the Al Assad regime or the continued Jihad. Make no mistake about it: the Syrian struggle is now completely a “Jihad” to establish an Islamist Caliphate in Damascus. Except it will not be like the Umayyads who joined Islam out of political necessity after Mohammed (the original one) conquered Mecca. They will be true blue puritans: more doctrinaire, more corrupt, and less open than the early Islamic state.
Many foreign powers and regimes and forces are involved in Syria, from Americans to Europeans to small Arab states to Iran and Lebanon. So, why not Russians? Especially if they are sanctioned by Damascus? After all, the Russian Chechen Jihadis are among the leaders of the Jihadist side in Syria and Moscow does not look forward to their possible return home.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

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What Next? Putin too has Asperger’s……..

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Vladimir Poutine serait-il atteint du syndrome d’Asperger, une forme d’autisme qui l’oblige à exercer un “contrôle maximum” de lui-même lorsqu’il traverse une crise? C’est ce que pointe du doigt un rapport du Pentagone rédigé en 2008 et publié ce jeudi. En étudiant les expressions et les mouvements du visage du président russe dans des vidéos, des experts militaires ont conclu que le développement neurologique de Poutine avait été perturbé dans son enfance……………”

According to the U.S. Defense Department…….
Which should go some way in improving relations in these early stages of this new Cold War that almost everybody on all sides seems eager to have continue and develop. Not that Asperger’s is anything that reflects a human shortcoming. It is just a human condition, like many others. I know, or I should know.
Could it have been a vaccination that did it? Will Putin’s case become an issue in the 2016 election caucuses and primaries now? Will some brilliant scientific candidate for president wonder aloud if Putin is responsible for “spreading” Asperger’s (High Functioning Autism, Autism Spectrum) in the U.S? …………..
Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

Russia: an Economic Barbarossa? Une Grande Armee économique?……….

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Russia Reels” screams the headline in the Huffington Post. With similar headlines in other media. An old headline that goes back to another world…….
You’d think we were back to Barbarossa and June 22, 1941. But perhaps with expectations of different results this time…...

Or perhaps a financial version of La Grande Armee of Napoleon, an economic assault. Which might have better luck, better results this time around, given the interdependence of the world economies.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com