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  • Originally posted by Benz View Post
    So, even though Trump et al claim to have responded to multiple imminent threats to American embassies, they failed to advise any embassy staff of said threats.

    If so, isn't such behavior significantly worse than what the Republicans roasted Hillary Clinton about regarding Benghazi?

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/13/polit...ded/index.html
    I think many have discredited Trump's 4 embassy claim. Iran sponsors and supports attacks against US facilities in the ME. Suleimani likely directly authorized several. As I understand, in the WH brief on Iran given to House members, no mention of a immediate threat to embassies was mentioned.
    So no warning went out because State has no info on credible threats. Just a Trump creation.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Arthur Dailey View Post
      Eric Margolis' contrarian viewpoint on the latest occurrences in the Middle East:

      https://ericmargolis.com/2020/01/how-the-us-runs-iraq/
      Just read that the US threatened Iraq that if they expel US forces, they will be denied access to their oil revenues, which is kept at the NY Fed account. Sounds familiar to the Ukraine quid pro quo.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by hackerhare View Post

        Just read that the US threatened Iraq that if they expel US forces, they will be denied access to their oil revenues, which is kept at the NY Fed account. Sounds familiar to the Ukraine quid pro quo.
        There is always quid pro quo in international relations. It was illegal/impeachable etc with Ukraine because Trump did it for personal gain.
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        Comment


        • Trump's four embassy debacle isn't helping him convince moderates of the need to act. Notes here.
          https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...ehF?li=BBnbcA1
          Tehran is in financial crisis yet still supports a broad range of foreign influences designed to extend its influence in the ME (like Syria) or at least disrupt others (Yemen). It's huge sponsorship of Hezbollah means it dictates much of what's happening in Lebenon (a mess) or Syria (bigger mess). While I don't believe the Sunni's should be given free reign with the ME, Iran's influence is well beyond what it can support financially and outside Shia majorities. The US and Israel should make them pay double for that influence. Continue the sanctions until Iran agrees to stop funding and supplying Hezzbollah and Yemeni rebels well outside their country. With the current threat to the regime inside Iran, they cannot afford to maintain al these positions much longer, make it more permanent.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by pudubny View Post
            Trump's four embassy debacle isn't helping him convince moderates of the need to act. Notes here.
            https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...ehF?li=BBnbcA1
            Tehran is in financial crisis yet still supports a broad range of foreign influences designed to extend its influence in the ME (like Syria) or at least disrupt others (Yemen). It's huge sponsorship of Hezbollah means it dictates much of what's happening in Lebenon (a mess) or Syria (bigger mess). While I don't believe the Sunni's should be given free reign with the ME, Iran's influence is well beyond what it can support financially and outside Shia majorities. The US and Israel should make them pay double for that influence. Continue the sanctions until Iran agrees to stop funding and supplying Hezzbollah and Yemeni rebels well outside their country. With the current threat to the regime inside Iran, they cannot afford to maintain al these positions much longer, make it more permanent.
            "Tehran is in financial crisis"...Saudi Arabia isn't....almost all 911 terrorists were Saudi..ahem.....Saudi killed US personnel at naval station last year......makes one wonder.....well I suppose Saudi having the 3rd largest defence budget in the world (USA ,China,Saudi)....and USA being the largest arms supplier might get Saudi a pass on terror funding....dunno...could be a connection
            Last edited by par345; Jan 14, 2020, 09:51 AM.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by par345 View Post

              "Tehran is in financial crisis"...Saudi Arabia isn't....almost all 911 terrorists were Saudi..ahem.....Saudi killed US personnel at naval station last year......makes one wonder.....well I suppose Saudi having the 3rd largest defence budget in the world (USA ,Russia,Saudi)....and USA being the largest arms supplier might get Saudi a pass on terror funding....dunno...could be a connection
              As my post says I don't think Sunnis should be given free reign in the ME but 3 big problems, Hezzbollah, Syria and Yemen are being funded heavily from Iran. And as I've stated before, there are bad actors in Saudi but I'm not convinced the gov't is funding terrorism.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by pudubny View Post

                As my post says I don't think Sunnis should be given free reign in the ME but 3 big problems, Hezzbollah, Syria and Yemen are being funded heavily from Iran. And as I've stated before, there are bad actors in Saudi but I'm not convinced the gov't is funding terrorism.
                I suppose you are also convinced independent Saudi actors do as they wish without MBS approval.....ie: Khashoggi

                Comment


                • Originally posted by par345 View Post

                  I suppose you are also convinced independent Saudi actors do as they wish without MBS approval.....ie: Khashoggi
                  No, I think Khashoggi was decided inside the MBS circle but it wasn't terrorism. We know some wealthy people inside SA supported and funded Al-Queada to some extent. Perhaps even some members of the Royal family but not central to the ruling members. Al-quaeda, specifically OBL spoke of his hatred for the Saudi ruling family multiple times. The family would have seen and did see Al Queada as a threat. Their are many strong factions influential in Saudi, fundamentalist clerics, various branches of the Royal family with different goals and moderates who want to see it as less than a theocracy. It's a complex mix of values, not a unified singular purposed country. The Royal family has to make compromises with the clerics or their hegemony would be threatened. The clerics tolerate the Royal family because they have been granted great power and authority over everyday life in the Kingdom.
                  It's similar to when the US accused Saddam of working with Al -Queada. As Saddam said, "why would I help a group of fanatics who want to overthrow me".

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by pudubny View Post

                    No, I think Khashoggi was decided inside the MBS circle but it wasn't terrorism. We know some wealthy people inside SA supported and funded Al-Queada to some extent. Perhaps even some members of the Royal family but not central to the ruling members.

                    So "No" but yes to sponsored terrorism......killing Khashoggi "wasn't terrorism"...........you can rethink that one if you wish


                    Al-quaeda, specifically OBL spoke of his hatred for the Saudi ruling family multiple times. The family would have seen and did see Al Queada as a threat. Their are many strong factions influential in Saudi, fundamentalist clerics, various branches of the Royal family with different goals and moderates who want to see it as less than a theocracy. It's a complex mix of values, not a unified singular purposed country. The Royal family has to make compromises with the clerics or their hegemony would be threatened.The clerics tolerate the Royal family because they have been granted great power and authority over everyday life in the Kingdom.

                    So "No" but yes again

                    .
                    It's similar to when the US accused Saddam of working with Al -Queada. As Saddam said, "why would I help a group of fanatics who want to overthrow me".
                    No it's not









                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by pudubny View Post

                      As my post says I don't think Sunnis should be given free reign in the ME but 3 big problems, Hezzbollah, Syria and Yemen are being funded heavily from Iran. And as I've stated before, there are bad actors in Saudi but I'm not convinced the gov't is funding terrorism.
                      No, but they fund Wahhabism, around the world. And Wahhabism is the most 'conservative/radical' form of Islamic thought. Wahhabist Imams are the ones most likely to be tied to 'terrorist' thought.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by par345 View Post

                        No it's not








                        Killing Khassogi was murder of a polictifal dissident. I don't know of many murders of political dissidents have been classified as "terrorism" in the past.
                        Having citizens who support terrorist organizations is not the same as state sponsored terrorism.
                        The Salafi philosophy is to spread conservative Islam for the most part. Inside of that you will have two factions. Those who believe in convincing hearts and minds and those who believe by any means necessary as quickly as possible. I believe Saudi has attempted to crack down on the radicals who would support "any means necessary" but many of them are no longer in Saudi. I don't know how Saudi would go about imprisoning every citizen who supported radical Islamic expansion, a regime like that would suddenly look very much like Saddam's. But like many countries in the ME, it's not simple. You can suppose that the Saud Royal family should be removed but that doesn't mean it's all peaches and cream when it's replaced. Highly unlikely.
                        But the idea that radical Islam is State sponsored by the Saudi gov't doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Yes, some citizens have certainly supported it and I'm sure some still do but from what I've read, MBS has cracked down on many of those factions. They support conservative Salafi values and the spread of Islam through those means. Just a note on many Saudi terrorists you mentioned, almost to a man those Saudi terrorists hated the Saud regime when any kind of background on them can be determined. I for one cannot think of a radical Sunni group who has not called for the overthrow of the Saud family. ISIS, Al-Queada and the radical arm of the Muslim Brotherhood have all called for the end of the Saud Monarchy. Why would they support such groups? Hezzbollah as well but they are Shia.
                        If you think the current Saudi gov't support terrorism, fine. What is the evidence of such actual gov't involvement?

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by pudubny View Post

                          You can suppose that the Saud Royal family should be removed but that doesn't mean it's all peaches and cream when it's replaced. Highly unlikely.
                          But the idea that radical Islam is State sponsored by the Saudi gov't doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Yes, some citizens have certainly supported it and I'm sure some still do but from what I've read, MBS has cracked down on many of those factions. They support conservative Salafi values and the spread of Islam through those means.
                          Which leads to an examination of the Saud dynasty.

                          A good place to get a start on the tensions in that area is to watch the epic Lawrence of Arabia.

                          The Hashemites were the Sharifs of Mecca. They actively supported the British in WWI.
                          The Sauds had previously been driven out of much of Arabia and maintained a foothold. They too aligned with the British but provided little practical assistance.

                          After the war members of the Hashemite dynasty were 'awarded' the monarchies of Jordan, Syria and Iraq. The French militarily expelled them from Syria. They remained the monarchs in Iraq until a military coup deposed and killed most of the royal family in the late 1950s. They remain the monarchs in Jordan, perhaps the most 'westernized'/moderate of the Arab states.

                          The Sauds gained control of Mecca through a military invasion in 1925. With that they control the Hajj. Control over that provides a great deal of prestige and money. Until that time the Sauds and their followers were the only practitioners of Wahhabism. In 1929 the Sauds defeated their remaining Bedouin adversaries through the assistance of the RAF. Oil was not discovered in the Arabian Peninsula until 1938, so until that time for the British/west it was little more than a 'backwater'.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by pudubny View Post

                            Killing Khassogi was murder of a polictifal dissident. I don't know of many murders of political dissidents have been classified as "terrorism" in the past.
                            Having citizens who support terrorist organizations is not the same as state sponsored terrorism.
                            The Salafi philosophy is to spread conservative Islam for the most part. Inside of that you will have two factions. Those who believe in convincing hearts and minds and those who believe by any means necessary as quickly as possible. I believe Saudi has attempted to crack down on the radicals who would support "any means necessary" but many of them are no longer in Saudi. I don't know how Saudi would go about imprisoning every citizen who supported radical Islamic expansion, a regime like that would suddenly look very much like Saddam's. But like many countries in the ME, it's not simple. You can suppose that the Saud Royal family should be removed but that doesn't mean it's all peaches and cream when it's replaced. Highly unlikely.
                            But the idea that radical Islam is State sponsored by the Saudi gov't doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Yes, some citizens have certainly supported it and I'm sure some still do but from what I've read, MBS has cracked down on many of those factions. They support conservative Salafi values and the spread of Islam through those means. Just a note on many Saudi terrorists you mentioned, almost to a man those Saudi terrorists hated the Saud regime when any kind of background on them can be determined. I for one cannot think of a radical Sunni group who has not called for the overthrow of the Saud family. ISIS, Al-Queada and the radical arm of the Muslim Brotherhood have all called for the end of the Saud Monarchy. Why would they support such groups? Hezzbollah as well but they are Shia.
                            If you think the current Saudi gov't support terrorism, fine. What is the evidence of such actual gov't involvement?
                            I have no intention of chasing around your personal opinions on the subject.The evidence is out there for whomever wishes to look.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Arthur Dailey View Post

                              Which leads to an examination of the Saud dynasty.

                              A good place to get a start on the tensions in that area is to watch the epic Lawrence of Arabia.

                              The Hashemites were the Sharifs of Mecca. They actively supported the British in WWI.
                              The Sauds had previously been driven out of much of Arabia and maintained a foothold. They too aligned with the British but provided little practical assistance.

                              After the war members of the Hashemite dynasty were 'awarded' the monarchies of Jordan, Syria and Iraq. The French militarily expelled them from Syria. They remained the monarchs in Iraq until a military coup deposed and killed most of the royal family in the late 1950s. They remain the monarchs in Jordan, perhaps the most 'westernized'/moderate of the Arab states.

                              The Sauds gained control of Mecca through a military invasion in 1925. With that they control the Hajj. Control over that provides a great deal of prestige and money. Until that time the Sauds and their followers were the only practitioners of Wahhabism. In 1929 the Sauds defeated their remaining Bedouin adversaries through the assistance of the RAF. Oil was not discovered in the Arabian Peninsula until 1938, so until that time for the British/west it was little more than a 'backwater'.
                              I am pretty familiar with the history of the ME. The Sykes -Picot agreement, fall of the Ottoman's, rise of the Kingdoms and the Belfour declaration. I've seen Lawrence of Arabia and I've visited those countries on more than one occasion.
                              In general the western ideals of gov't are not going to work in the ME. Jordan, UAE and perhaps a couple of other small enclaves will present reason for optimism. But what most strive for is simply stability and balance. Saudi has worked hard to minimize the faces of instability and adjusted to the new realities in many ways. While far from perfect, some positions the current regime has taken were unimaginable just 20 years ago. It's positions on Israel, Hamas, Lebanon, Syria have all been rather moderate. Initially they didn't support the Syrian civil war but when it became apparent that Assad had lost all legitimacy they changed tact. They see themselves as a balance against Iran's desire to become a ME superpower. To that end Iran has asserted control over Hezzbollah, supported Assad even today when he has shown a complete inability to lead, support rebel factions which create instability in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Bahrain. Proxy wars and terrorists attacks have become Iran's modus operandi. I think Saudi is willing to concede that Iraq wants to be a Shia nation. They don't want Iran de facto controlling it and will show sympathies to the Sunni minorities which in a large part are close to its borders.
                              In general the Saud family has a polarizing history and I'm aware of that. But I think the last two regimes have improved. The killing of Khassogi was a terrible act. But with all the ME regimes, especially the monarchies you are going to get good and bad, sometimes on the same day. I think MBS is making some good decisions and some bad but overall I like the direction it's moving in terms of foreign policy, domestic policy and ME leadership. Not perfect but improving. Again, I have not said everything they are doing is positive but overall I am encouraged by the direction.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by pudubny View Post

                                I am pretty familiar with the history of the ME. The Sykes -Picot agreement, fall of the Ottoman's, rise of the Kingdoms and the Belfour declaration. I've seen Lawrence of Arabia and I've visited those countries on more than one occasion.
                                However a great many, particularly Americans have little to no knowledge of the history of this area.
                                Hence their willingness to believe blatant 'fake news'.

                                Reading the comments section of IMDB often leaves one shaking their head. For instance regarding the movie Lawrence of Arabia, someone posted (paraphrasing) 'Why make such a fuss and such a long movie about someone that most people have never heard of'.

                                Comment


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