Author Topic: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR  (Read 396294 times)

Crafty_Dog

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GPF: Another close call for US and Turkey
« Reply #1400 on: October 11, 2023, 07:41:41 AM »
October 11, 2023
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Another Close Call for the US and Turkey in Syria
With conflicting interests, the NATO allies are bound to get in each other’s way.
By: Caroline D. Rose

The U.S. and Turkish militaries experienced another close call in northeastern Syria last Thursday, when U.S. ground forces stationed at the Hasakah military base detected a Turkish unmanned aerial vehicle conducting strikes less than half a mile away. While U.S. defense officials have said American commanders made countless calls to Turkish military leaders to notify them of the U.S. presence in the area and warn against further encroachment, Turkish officials reportedly didn’t pick up. The U.S. then used an F-16 fighter jet to shoot down the Turkish drone.

The NATO allies had another near clash last November, when Turkey launched airstrikes on a Kurdish base used by U.S. forces in northeastern Syria. But last week’s incident was the first time the U.S. shot down an aircraft from one of its allies in the war-torn country. Washington and Ankara have indicated that the incident could have been a result of mechanical failure and miscommunication, rather than intentional targeting, and have issued statements characterizing it as a “regrettable incident.” However, it indicates the continued risks of accidental escalation between U.S. and Turkish forces as they pursue different objectives in Syria.

Territorial Control in Syria | October 2023
(click to enlarge)

Conflicting Interests

Despite being NATO allies and wanting to see more stability in the Middle East, the U.S. and Turkey have different interests in Syria, specifically when it comes to the country’s northeast region and the status of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. Turkey believes the SDF and the Syria-based People’s Protection Units (YPG) are indistinguishable from the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Ankara designates as a terrorist organization and has been fighting since the mid-1980s. However, the U.S.-led coalition in Syria, called the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, has been coordinating, training and advising SDF fighters as part of their efforts to stomp out the Islamic State group in the country.

Though Turkey has launched repeated airstrikes and raids against Kurdish targets in Iraq and Syria since 2019 under Operation Claw, a PKK suicide bombing outside the Ministry of Interior in Ankara convinced Turkish officials to double down on their military campaign. Since then, Turkey has carried out a string of raids and arrests against suspected PKK members across the country. It has also carried out strikes on over 22 suspected PKK targets in northern Iraq (including caves, military headquarters, depots and warehouses) and at least 18 targets in northeastern Syria (including civilian infrastructure). Turkish authorities have focused on the Syrian part of the retaliation after concluding that the two attackers in Ankara originally came from Syria, a claim Kurdish officials have denied.

Accidental or Strategic?

Shortly after the Ankara attack, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan issued a statement giving a heads-up not only to Kurdish militants operating in Iraq and Syria but also to allies like the United States. Fidan said all Kurdish facilities were “legitimate targets” and warned “third parties” to steer clear. The Turkish drone spotted near U.S. forces last week was likely not intentionally targeting them. Still, Turkish forces were pushing the envelope, probably to gauge how many Kurdish targets they could strike outside of deconfliction protocols with the United States.

U.S. forces drew the line at threats to their own safety, rather than the safety of their SDF partners. Years of Turkish strikes on the SDF have frustrated the U.S.-led coalition for damaging the group’s operational capabilities, causing setbacks in the coalition’s mission to destroy Islamic State. But the U.S. has stopped short of blocking or responding to Turkish strikes directly, preferring to rely on back-channel diplomacy to discourage ground offensives and encroachment into coalition areas of operation. The recent drone downing is no different, demonstrating to Turkish forces – as well as other actors operating in the area like Iran-backed militias, Russian forces and the Assad regime – that if they mess with U.S. operations, U.S. forces will defend themselves.

Following the incident, the Pentagon announced that U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke directly with his Turkish counterpart, Yasar Guler, about better coordinating deconfliction protocols. The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs, Gen. Charles Q. Brown, followed suit with a phone call to Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Metin Gurak about how to improve safety procedures in northeastern Syria. And while Turkey issued a statement affirming that this incident has not affected operations against Kurdish militants, its Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that escalation was not Turkey’s intent and that it was taking steps to improve deconfliction protocols.

With divergent goals, partners and operations, however, the U.S. and Turkey are likely to have more run-ins – some that may be costlier than a downed drone. With the Turks ramping up strikes against some of Washington's key partners in the region, the NATO allies are locked in a dangerous diplomatic and military dance, where communication is more important than ever.

Crafty_Dog

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The FA POV
« Reply #1401 on: October 11, 2023, 10:27:00 AM »


https://www.foreignaffairs.com/middle-east/israel-hamas-end-americas-exit-strategy-suzanne-maloney?utm_medium=newsletters&utm_source=fatoday&utm_campaign=The%20End%20of%20America%E2%80%99s%20Exit%20Strategy%20in%20the%20Middle%20East&utm_content=20231011&utm_term=FA%20Today%20-%20112017

The End of America’s Exit Strategy in the Middle East
Hamas’s Assault—and Iran’s Role in It—Lays Bare Washington’s Illusions
By Suzanne Maloney
October 10, 2023
An Israeli soldier in Sderot, Israel, October 2023
An Israeli soldier in Sderot, Israel, October 2023
Ronen Zvulun / Reuters
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The shocking Hamas assault on Israel has precipitated a beginning and an end for the Middle East. What has begun, almost inexorably, is the next war—one that will be bloody, costly, and agonizingly unpredictable in its course and outcome. What has ended, for anyone who cares to admit it, is the illusion that the United States can extricate itself from a region that has dominated the American national security agenda for the past half century.

One can hardly blame the Biden administration for trying to do just that. Twenty years of fighting terrorists, along with failed nation building in Afghanistan and Iraq, took a terrible toll on American society and politics and drained the U.S. budget. Having inherited the messy fallout from the Trump administration’s erratic approach to the region, President Joe Biden recognized that U.S. entanglements in the Middle East distracted from more urgent challenges posed by the rising great power of China and the recalcitrant fading power of Russia.

The White House devised a creative exit strategy, attempting to broker a new balance of power in the Middle East that would allow Washington to downsize its presence and attention while also ensuring that Beijing did not fill the void. A historic bid to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia promised to formally align Washington’s two most important regional partners against their common foe, Iran, and anchor the Saudis beyond the perimeter of China’s strategic orbit.

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In tandem with this effort, the administration also sought to ease tensions with Iran, the most dangerous adversary the United States faces in the Middle East. Having tried and failed to resuscitate the 2015 nuclear deal with its elaborate web of restrictions and oversight of Iran’s nuclear program, Washington embraced a Plan B of payoffs and informal understandings. The hope was that, in exchange for modest economic rewards, Tehran could be persuaded to slow down its work on its nuclear programs and step back from its provocations around the region. Stage one came in September, with a deal that freed five unjustly detained Americans from Iranian prisons and gave Tehran access to $6 billion in previously frozen oil revenues. Both sides were poised for follow-on talks in Oman, with the wheels of diplomacy greased by record-level Iranian oil exports, made possible by Washington’s averting its gaze instead of enforcing its own sanctions.

As ambitious policy gambits go, this one had a lot to recommend it—in particular, the genuine confluence of interests among Israeli and Saudi leaders that has already generated tangible momentum toward more public-facing bilateral cooperation on security and economic matters. Had it succeeded, a new alignment among two of the region’s major players might have had a truly transformative impact on the security and economic environment in the broader Middle East.

WHAT WENT WRONG?
Unfortunately, that promise may have been its undoing. Biden’s attempt at a quick getaway from the Middle East had one fatal flaw: it wildly misperceived the incentives for Iran, the most disruptive actor on the stage. It was never plausible that informal understandings and a dribble of sanctions relief would be sufficient to pacify the Islamic Republic and its proxies, who have a keen and time-tested appreciation for the utility of escalation in advancing their strategic and economic interests. Iranian leaders had every incentive to try to block an Israeli-Saudi breakthrough, particularly one that would have extended American security guarantees to Riyadh and allowed the Saudis to develop a civilian nuclear energy program.

At this time, it is not known whether Iran had any specific role in the carnage in Israel. Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Tehran was directly involved in planning the assault, citing unnamed senior members of Hamas and Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group. That report has not been confirmed by Israeli or U.S. officials, who have only gone so far as to suggest that Iran was “broadly complicit,” in the words of Jon Finer, the deputy national security adviser. At the very least, the operation “bore hallmarks of Iranian support,” as a report in The Washington Post put it, citing former and current senior Israeli and U.S. officials. And even if the Islamic Republic did not pull the trigger, its hands are hardly clean. Iran has funded, trained, and equipped Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups and has coordinated closely on strategy, as well as operations—especially during the past decade. It is inconceivable that Hamas undertook an attack of this magnitude and complexity without some foreknowledge and affirmative support from Iran’s leadership. And now Iranian officials and media are exulting in the brutality unleashed on Israeli civilians and embracing the expectation that the Hamas offensive will bring about Israel’s demise.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR TEHRAN?
At first glance, Iran’s posture might appear paradoxical. After all, with the Biden administration proffering economic incentives for cooperation, it might seem unwise for Iran to incite an eruption between the Israelis and the Palestinians that will no doubt scuttle any possibility of a thaw between Washington and Tehran. Since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, however, the Islamic Republic has used escalation as a policy tool of choice. When the regime is under pressure, the revolutionary playbook calls for a counterattack to unnerve its adversaries and achieve a tactical advantage. And the war in Gaza advances the long-cherished goal of the Islamic Republic’s leadership to cripple its most formidable regional foe. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has never wavered in his feverish antagonism toward Israel and the United States. He and those around him are profoundly convinced of American immorality, greed, and wickedness; they revile Israel and clamor for its destruction, as part of the ultimate triumph of the Islamic world over what they see as a declining West and an illegitimate “Zionist entity.”

In addition, in the Biden administration’s entreaties and conciliation, Tehran smelled weakness—Washington’s desperation to shed its 9/11-era baggage, even if the price was high. Domestic turmoil in both the United States and Israel likely also whet the appetites of Iranian leaders, who have long been convinced that the West was decaying from within. For this reason, Tehran has been committing more strongly to its relationships with China and Russia. Those links are primarily driven by opportunism and a shared resentment of Washington. But for Iran, there is a domestic political element as well: as more moderate segments of the Iranian elite have been pushed to the sidelines, the regime’s economic and diplomatic orientation has shifted to the East, as its power brokers no longer see the West as a preferable or even a viable source of economic and diplomatic opportunities. Closer bonds among China, Iran, and Russia have encouraged a more aggressive Iranian posture, since a crisis in the Middle East that distracts Washington and European capitals will produce some strategic and economic benefits for Moscow and Beijing.

Finally, the prospect of a public Israeli-Saudi entente surely provided an additional accelerant to Iran, as it would have shifted the regional balance firmly back in Washington’s favor. In a speech he delivered just days before the Hamas attack, Khamenei warned that “the firm view of the Islamic Republic is that the governments that are gambling on normalizing relations with the Zionist regime will suffer losses. Defeat awaits them. They are making a mistake.”

WHERE DOES IT GO FROM HERE?
As the Israeli ground campaign in Gaza gets underway, it is highly unlikely that the conflict will stay there; the only question is the scope and speed of the war’s expansion. For now, the Israelis are focused on the immediate threat and are disinclined to widen the conflict. But the choice may not be theirs. Hezbollah, Iran’s most important ally, has already taken part in an exchange of fire on Israel’s northern border, in which at least four of the group’s fighters died. For Hezbollah, the temptation to follow the shock of Hamas’s success by opening a second front will be high. But Hezbollah’s leaders have acknowledged that they failed to anticipate the heavy toll of their 2006 war with Israel, which left the group intact but also severely eroded its capabilities. They may be more circumspect this time around. Tehran also has an interest in keeping Hezbollah whole, as insurance against a potential future Israeli strike on the Iranian nuclear program.

For now, therefore, although the threat of a wider war remains real, that outcome is hardly inevitable. The Iranian government has made an art of avoiding direct conflict with Israel, and it suits Tehran’s purposes, as well as those of its regional proxies and patrons in Moscow, to light the fire but stand back from the flames. Some in Israel may advocate for hitting Iranian targets, if only to send a signal, but the country’s security forces have their hands full now, and senior officials seem determined to stay focused on the fight at hand. Most likely, as the conflict evolves, Israel will at some point hit Iranian assets in Syria, but not in Iran itself. To date, Tehran has absorbed such strikes in Syria without feeling the need to retaliate directly.

As oil markets react to the return of a Middle East risk premium, Tehran may be tempted to resume its attacks and harassment of shipping vessels in the Persian Gulf. U.S. General C. Q. Brown, the newly confirmed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was right to warn Tehran to stay on the sidelines and “not to get involved.” But his choice of words unfortunately suggests a failure to appreciate that the Iranians are already deeply, inextricably involved.

For the Biden administration, it is long past time to shed the mindset that shaped prior diplomacy toward Iran: a conviction that the Islamic Republic could be persuaded to accept pragmatic compromises that served its country’s interests. Once upon a time, that may have been credible. But the Iranian regime has reverted to its foundational premise: a determination to upend the regional order by any means necessary. Washington should dispense with the illusions of a truce with Iran’s theocratic oligarchs.

On every other geopolitical challenge, Biden’s position has evolved considerably from the Obama-era approach. Only U.S. policy toward Iran remains mired in the outdated assumptions of a decade ago. In the current environment, American diplomatic engagement with Iranian officials in Gulf capitals will not produce durable restraint on Tehran’s part. Washington needs to deploy the same tough-minded realism toward Iran that has informed recent U.S. policy on Russia and China: building coalitions of the willing to ratchet up pressure and cripple Iran’s transnational terror network; reinstating meaningful enforcement of U.S. sanctions on the Iranian economy; and conveying clearly—through diplomacy, force posture, and actions to preempt or respond to Iranian provocations—that the United States is prepared to deter Iran’s regional aggression and nuclear advances. The Middle East has a way of forcing itself to the top of every president’s agenda; in the aftermath of this devastating attack, the White House must rise to the challenge.

DougMacG

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Geopolitical humor? Russia says Israeli air strikes violate international law
« Reply #1402 on: October 13, 2023, 05:53:32 AM »
https://www.reuters.com/world/russia-says-israels-air-strikes-syria-violate-international-law-2023-10-12/

Violates another country's sovereignty.

Reuters?  With a straight face? I thought the link would be Babylon Bee.

Chutzpah?  Projection?

From the article :  "they could provoke an armed escalation throughout the region. That must never be allowed to happen," the ministry said."

I wonder if Reuters or tourists for that matter have visited Kiev or Donbas lately.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2023, 05:59:17 AM by DougMacG »

Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR
« Reply #1403 on: October 13, 2023, 06:02:05 AM »
Not a Reuters fan, but in fairness reporting that the Russians said this seems like , , , reporting.

DougMacG

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Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR
« Reply #1404 on: October 13, 2023, 06:31:15 AM »
Fair enough but some journalists might find and report an opposing view for balance.  The irony is left for the reader to figure out as the spew of propaganda goes unchallenged.

They didn't even add, 'those airstrips were allegedly used to launch those attacks on Israel.

Which airstrips (civilian neighborhoods) in Kiev were used to launch attacks on Russia.  The irony, criminal hypocrisy, deserves pointing out. It Is part of the story (in my view) .

I wonder if they ever reported a Trump position on election issues without adding "baseless accusations" to the "report" .

Wow, an example of that was easy to find:
https://www.reuters.com/legal/trump-asks-court-dismiss-federal-2020-election-subversion-case-filing-2023-10-05/

"... meetings where Trump allegedly urged the Justice Department to investigate baseless claims of voter fraud"

"Baseless" is not even attributed to a source.  This was not an opinion piece, it is "news reporting". 

Advancing an agenda is all they know.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2023, 07:11:50 AM by DougMacG »

Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR
« Reply #1405 on: October 13, 2023, 06:44:25 AM »
And that would be an example of why I am not a fan of Reuters!

Body-by-Guinness

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Body-by-Guinness

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Hamas Atrocity Videos
« Reply #1408 on: October 20, 2023, 12:37:11 AM »

Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR
« Reply #1409 on: October 20, 2023, 06:12:33 AM »
I don't understand how to use Twitter/X at all, but I am not seeing anything when I click on that link.

Body-by-Guinness

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Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR
« Reply #1410 on: October 20, 2023, 12:42:40 PM »
I don't understand how to use Twitter/X at all, but I am not seeing anything when I click on that link.

Hmm, opens in a browser for me. Anyone else?

Body-by-Guinness

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Israel Hits 100 Hamas Targets
« Reply #1411 on: October 20, 2023, 12:45:49 PM »
Per the NY Post:

https://nypost.com/2023/10/20/israeli-fighter-jets-hit-over-100-hamas-targets-in-gaza/?utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=nypost&utm_source=twitter

And this is said to be video thereof. Note the secondary explosions, indicative of some other sort of explosive being in the target building, though I suppose it could be a double tap, too.

https://x.com/TheMossadIL/status/1715260643949818240?s=20


Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR
« Reply #1413 on: October 20, 2023, 02:00:40 PM »

Good content, better for the Israel thread.

Body-by-Guinness

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The Arab/Islamic View is not Monolithic
« Reply #1414 on: October 20, 2023, 03:36:21 PM »
In view of Crafty’s Twitter/X issues, I’m posting both the content and the URL:

Hussain Abdul-Hussain
@hahussain
Nothing gets under my skin more than identity politics. It puts people in boxes, and assumes that their thoughts, stances, and behavior should fit their box.
Since October 7, many Arabs and Muslims have been behaving as if they are one monolithic bloc with one opinion. Some of them, like French soccer player Karim Benzema, enjoys such identification and was quick to take an anti #Israel stance. Others, such as Egyptian player Mo Salah, dragged his feet and was anathematized for betraying the tribe. He circulated a video that showed him regretting loss of all human life, which was interpreted like he was also regretting Israeli deaths (imagine! the horror!). He’s still taking heat despite his video.
Arabs and Muslims only expect Arab and Muslim players to protest Israel. A player whose name is Antoine Griezmann or Gianluigi Donurama is not expected to take a stance. If he does, he’ll be praised for “seeing the truth.”
Rumors had it that 35 civil servants with the Biden admin were planning to resign to protest Biden’s policy on Israel. In Lebanon, a BBC reporter of 27 years presumably resigned to protest her organization's supposed bias.
With this tribal behavior, Arabs and Muslims self-profile, setting themselves apart as a cross national community whose members do no assimilate in their respective countries but rather share one single supranational opinion.
As a Muslim-born Arab, I know that the Arabs and Muslims are not a monolithic bloc. My inbox is jammed with those who share my dissenting voice but are too scared to speak out.
It is imperative that Arabs and Muslims tell the world that they are not a monolithic bloc, that they come in all shapes, sizes and opinions, that they are not a cult but a dynamic community with different opinions, tastes and patriotic loyalties. What Arabs and Muslims proudly share and celebrate is heritage, but this has no relevance to their opinions or political stances. Like everybody else, they use their commonality (language or faith) to debate, not act like one fascist cult.


https://x.com/hahussain/status/1715376159486017612?s=20

ccp

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Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR
« Reply #1415 on: October 20, 2023, 03:50:49 PM »
" My inbox is jammed with those who share my dissenting voice but are too scared to speak out. "

freedom of speech

But we need more like him to have courage to speak out.

https://www.fdd.org/team/hussain-abdul-hussain/





Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR
« Reply #1416 on: October 20, 2023, 05:19:23 PM »
"In view of Crafty’s Twitter/X issues, I’m posting both the content and the URL:"

Thank you.

Please note the exitence of these threads

https://firehydrantoffreedom.com/index.php?topic=778.350


1
Politics & Religion / Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!)
« by Crafty_Dog on February 09, 2006, 12:56:47 PM »
http://michellemalkin.com/archives/004455.htm
2
Politics & Religion / Islam, theocratic politics, & political freedom
« by Crafty_Dog on October 14, 2006, 12:12:32 PM »
......  Hamid  Dr. Tawfik Hamid, an Egyptian physician, Islamic scholar and former  extremist, is the author of  ............  announced that  Americans must choose: Convert to Islam or continue to receive acts of  terror.  Al- ............  was reiterating a fundamental concept of Salafi Islamic teaching,  the fountainhead of extremist  ............  in  Sahih Al-Buchary, a central book of Salafi Islamic teaching. This hadith, or  fundamental concept,  ............  hadith, early Muslims used the sword to spread Islam  throughout the world. The same hadith inspires  ............  Islamic terror  including this summer's thwarted London  ............  leaders must recognize the  powerful role of the Islamic religious principle of jihad, Islam's belief   ............ . Similarly, the cancerous teachings of  Salafi Islam could become insignificant if the majority of  ............ , however, the vast majority of Muslims, Islamic organizations  and Islamic scholars have not  ............  Osama bin Laden and  not a single fatwa by top Islamic scholars or organizations to consider bin   ............  with their purses enable terrorism's spread.  If Islamic scholars and organizations in America  ............  should consider  Muslims to be moderates, and Islam a peaceful faith, only if, in English and  in  ............ .  To conquer the metastases of extremist Islam, however, words may be the most  potent weapons.  ............ .  Addressing the theological wellsprings of Islamic terrorist motivation is  essential if America  ............  talk about the  religious underpinnings of Islamic violence. Otherwise Islamic teaching will   ......

3
Politics & Religion / Islam in China
« by G M on July 09, 2008, 11:11:48 AM »

4
Politics & Religion / Articulating our cause/strategy against Islamic Fascism
« by HUSS on July 29, 2008, 10:34:57 PM »
......  avoid terms such as "jihad," "jihadist," "Islamist," "mujahideen," and "caliphate" when  ............  use of the words or phrases 'jihadist', 'jihad', 'Islamo-fascism', 'caliphate', 'Islamist', or 'Islamic  ............  is precisely the goal of groups that support Islamist doctrine. Not surprisingly, Islamist groups  ............  have long considered the words ["jihadist" and "Islamist"] as slurs," and "those who embrace jihad  ............ , executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Michigan. Walid argues that  ............  such as Hizballah (Party of God) or any number of Islamic Jihads in the world.  Parts of the Detroit  ............  regularly reports on Detroit and Dearborn-area Islamic community news and related world events of  ............  often are reprinted on CAIR's web site and other Islamic web sites. His articles include a report  ............  a CAIR "public outreach campaign about Islam and the prophet Muhammad," and a glowing report  ............  Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini (Islamic Center of America). The Detroit Times regularly  ............  commentary titled "Obama, McCain should condemn Islamophobia."  The Detroit Free Press reports that  ............  is an associate imam... was the first Nation of Islam temple in the country ever built, according to  ............ ," and which has a portrait of the Nation of Islam's former Supreme Minister, Elijah Muhammad. Yet  ............  he speaks at this Nation of Islam-supporting mosque and attends speeches by Louis  ............  the DHS/NCTC terror lexicon efforts are other Islamist organizations, such as: fellow HLF trial  ............  co-conspirator Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) - whose 2007  ............  included individuals who have called for an Islamic caliphate in the United States and other  ............ ) - that has lobbied to remove Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hizballah from U.S. terrorist group  ............  it defended Osama Bin Laden.  CAIR and other such Islamist organizations have a vested interest in  ............  an open and honest discussion regarding the Islamist ideology that provides the basis for Jihadist  ............  the real problem in fighting a war of ideas with Islamists.  But to address this strategic war of ideas,  ......

5
Politics & Religion / Islam in Europe and pre-emptive dhimmitude
« by Crafty_Dog on October 14, 2006, 12:10:59 PM »

6
Politics & Religion / Islam in America (and pre-emptive dhimmitude)
« by Crafty_Dog on October 14, 2006, 12:11:54 PM »
Establishing this thread:

7
Politics & Religion / Legal Issues in the War w Islamic Fascism, Epidemic, Quarantine, and Doxxing
« by Crafty_Dog on July 09, 2007, 09:53:06 AM »

8
Politics & Religion / Islam in Arabic/Islamic Countries:
« by Crafty_Dog on October 13, 2006, 07:34:48 PM »
...... , the campus erupted in protest. "Pakistan is an Islamic country, and our institutions must reflect that, ............  master's degree student and secretary-general of Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba ( I.J.T.), the biggest student  ............  formation of these departments is an attack on Islam and a betrayal of Pakistan. They should not be  ............  who aim to turn the country into an Islamic state. As the hard-line demands intensify,  ............  of "training the young generation according to Islam so they can play a role in Pakistan's social and  ............  of the P.U. staff association and a professor of Islamic studies. "When a national political party  ............  politics after graduation go on to join Jamaat-e-Islami or other fundamentalist political groups. Some  ......

9
Politics & Religion / Islam/Jihadis vs. Airplanes
« by Crafty_Dog on May 22, 2016, 02:41:44 PM »

10
Politics & Religion / Islam - Education, Rebuttals and Counter-Terror
« by Lloyd De Jongh on September 09, 2016, 02:03:00 PM »
...... . Need I say it's terribly PC, and with regards to Islamic terror the general consensus ranges from " ............  and come up short, want to know more about Islam, its political aims, its ideology and common  ............ , I know more about the doctrine and history of Islam than they do, and every other Muslim I have ( ......

11
Politics & Religion / Islam in Asia & Africa
« by Crafty_Dog on March 14, 2007, 12:14:36 PM »

12
Politics & Religion / Islam in Australia & SE Asia
« by G M on October 25, 2006, 06:41:58 PM »
......  blamed immodestly dressed women who don't wear Islamic headdress for being preyed on by men and  ............  Hage-Ali - who does not wear a hijab - said the Islamic headdress was not a "tool" worn to prevent rape  ............  or add to a person's moral standards", while Islamic Council of Victoria spokesman Waleed Ali said  ......

13
Politics & Religion / Islam in North Africa, Mali, the Magreb, the Sahel
« by Crafty_Dog on February 20, 2007, 10:27:27 AM »
......  came from across the border in Algeria, where an Islamic terrorist organization has vowed to unite  ............  Islamic groups across North Africa. Counterterrorism  ............  officials and a Tunisian attorney working with Islamists charged with terrorist activities.   They say  ............  by switching its name to Al Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb, claiming that the Qaeda leader, Osama  ............ . was created in 1998 as an offshoot of the Armed Islamic Group, which along with other Islamist  ............  canceled elections in early 1992 because an Islamist party was poised to win.  In 2003, a G.S.P.C.  ............  his teeth in the 1990s as a member of the Armed Islamic Group’s feared Ahoual or “horror” company,  ............  intelligence authorities found messages sent by Islamic militants to Osama bin Laden, according to  ............ .  Moroccan police officers raiding suspected Islamic militant cells last summer also found documents  ............  a union between the G.S.P.C. and the Islamic Combatant Group in Morocco, the Islamic  ............  when Tunisia announced that it had killed 12 Islamic extremists and captured 15 of them. Officials  ............  Tunisian attorney who defends many young Tunisian Islamists, more than 600 young Tunisian Islamists have  ............  countries, because its rigid repression of Islam has created a well of resentment among religious  ......

14
Politics & Religion / The Pope's Engagement with Islam and other religions
« by Crafty_Dog on December 04, 2006, 02:11:57 AM »
......  fresh from his own "engagement" with contemporary Islam at Regensburg, should come to Turkey, which has  ............ -Zawahiri, believe that coupling their ideology to Islamic suicide bombers--in New York, London or Baghdad- ............  and the classically liberal idea, which radical Islam wants to blow up. Just as John Paul championed  ............  minorities--indeed all minorities--across the Islamic world. Starting in Turkey.  Arriving in Ankara,  ............  One might say the pope's counteroffensive--in the Islamic world and in the West--is overdue. One might  ............ : The Church at the End of the Millennium"). It is Islamic belief, Cardinal Ratzinger said, that "the  ............ . The Christian religion has abdicated."  Militant Islam is on the march, literally, with enormous moral  ............  are feared by many as a threat equal to Islamic extremists, and unfit to participate in our  ............  competition with the ideas of radical Islam. This won't end with the battle for Baghdad. Will  ............  agnosticism defend the West against militant Islam? With what? In Europe, its intellectuals can  ............  Benedict XVI's evident intention is to engage the Islamic world, particularly its religious and political  ............  achieving an acceptable modus vivendi with global Islam.  How many divisions does this pope have? Good  ......

« Last Edit: October 20, 2023, 05:24:57 PM by Crafty_Dog »

DougMacG

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Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR
« Reply #1417 on: October 21, 2023, 06:13:08 AM »
"How can you tell it was a Palestinian hospital?"

"Well, there was this enormous secondary explosion."
-----------------------------------------------------

To clear up any moral confusion, who would Hitler be rooting for right now?

----------------------------------------------------

Biden: "Who in God's name needs a weapon with 100 rounds in the chamber?"   

Jews?

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2023/10/the-week-in-pictures-insurrection-manque-edition.php
« Last Edit: October 24, 2023, 08:56:34 AM by DougMacG »


DougMacG

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WSJ: Hamas Fighters Trained in Iran Before Oct. 7 Attacks
« Reply #1419 on: October 26, 2023, 08:11:54 AM »

Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR
« Reply #1420 on: October 26, 2023, 01:38:17 PM »
The Iran thread would be better for this.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR
« Reply #1421 on: October 27, 2023, 10:31:55 AM »
Doling out retribution: On Thursday, the Israel Defense Forces announced that it had killed Hamas's head of intelligence, Shadi Barud, in a targeted airstrike. Barud was said to have planned and orchestrated Hamas's murderous attack on innocent Israelis. Three other Hamas military leaders were also killed in targeted strikes. Meanwhile, the U.S. military conducted airstrikes in eastern Syria, targeting Iranian weapons depots and ammo storage facilities in response to 19 attacks leveled against American military personnel in Iraq and Syria. It's a needed shot across the bow after Team Biden's red line.

Body-by-Guinness

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Why They Fight
« Reply #1422 on: October 30, 2023, 06:49:57 PM »


Crafty_Dog

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Trump understood this
« Reply #1424 on: November 04, 2023, 07:44:22 AM »


America Can’t Afford to Alienate Its Undemocratic Allies
The leaders of Egypt and Saudi Arabia are far from perfect. The alternatives would be much worse.
By Robert D. Kaplan
Nov. 3, 2023 2:08 pm ET

After spending years criticizing Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Biden administration is coming to realize that the U.S. needs those Arab leaders.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to Cairo soon after Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel. He asked Mr. Sisi to open Gaza’s southern border at Rafah so that trapped American citizens and other foreign nationals could get out and humanitarian aid could get in. Mr. Sisi has now obliged him. Mr. Blinken, as well as President Biden, has asked MBS, as the Saudi crown prince is known, to keep the door open to a security and diplomatic pact among Saudi Arabia, Israel and the U.S. Indications are that MBS remains open to an eventual rapprochement with Israel.

Neither Mr. Sisi nor MBS seemed especially happy to meet Mr. Blinken. The crown prince reportedly kept him waiting for hours, and Mr. Sisi weirdly criticized the secretary of state for emphasizing his Jewish background in remarks about the Hamas attacks. Both leaders were sidelined for years by the Biden administration’s push for an alliance of democracies, which Egypt and Saudi Arabia clearly aren’t and may never be.

Given the practical alternatives, the U.S. is lucky to have Mr. Sisi and MBS leading their respective countries at this terrifying juncture in history. Mr. Sisi came to power almost a decade ago after the Islamist-inspired chaos of the Arab Spring. As well-placed Egyptians explained to me, had the Iranian military had a leader like Mr. Sisi in 1979, there might not have been an Islamic revolution. He is about to enter his second decade in power on a downward trajectory, as poverty intensifies and many Egyptians find his regime’s human-rights violations intolerable.

Still, as Henry Kissinger wrote in 1957, statesmen have to combine “what is considered just with what is considered possible.” And what is possible in Egypt now isn’t a highly imperfect experiment with democracy that again unleashes the Islamic genie, but a hard, secular-spirited ruler with whom the U.S. might be able to do business. The Egyptian-Israeli security relationship has been active and intense under Mr. Sisi. You couldn’t ask for a better behind-the-scenes relationship: For 44 years, Egypt has proved that peace with Israel is sustainable, however fraught it is at the moment.

Mr. Sisi’s present truculence stems from his fears that Islamists in Egypt will react violently to Palestinian deaths. That, again, is the democratic dilemma, since elections would mean ceding considerable power to the sector of society that the coming weeks of combat are likely to enrage. Egypt isn’t a middle-class society but a proletarian one, which produced the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1920s. The country surely needs to evolve politically beyond the Nasserite pharaohs of whom Mr. Sisi is only the most recent. But the U.S. should be careful what it wishes for in Egypt, especially now.

As for MBS, we can’t ignore that any plausible alternative to his rule would be far worse. The Islamists are the only organized force of any note in Saudi Arabia beyond the extended royal family. Any successor government to the al-Sauds would be an “Islamist populist regime,” writes David Rundell, an Oxford-educated Arabist who has spent his professional life in the Arabian Peninsula.

MBS has moved closer to Israel than any Arab leader since Anwar Sadat. Mohammad al Issa, the MBS-supported Saudi general secretary of the Muslim World League in Riyadh, related to me in 2022 his experience visiting Auschwitz. “Whatever you read about Auschwitz and the Holocaust,” he said, “is not equal to the emotional experience of actually being there. . . . The experience of coming face-to-face with Nazi bestiality and brutality cannot be imagined.” Clearly, a sea change among the ruling elite of the Saudi Kingdom regarding Israel has taken place under MBS—even if it will be severely strained in the coming weeks.

The Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers caught MBS off guard, as they did Mr. Sisi. Even a ruthless dictator has to be wary of his own population. MBS can’t go forward with peace negotiations with Israel until a new chapter begins in the Middle East. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be helpful in many ways behind the scenes, especially regarding aid to a post-Hamas government in Gaza City.

Israel has only ever made peace with Arab autocrats: Egypt’s Sadat, King Hussein of Jordan, and the signatories to the Abraham Accords. Any new Middle Eastern democracy is likely to be a weak, multiparty bouillabaisse with extremists who hold veto power. An autocrat can simply fire those who don’t go along with his policies. Dark days lie immediately ahead for Israel and the U.S. in the Middle East. Now is the time to cut Arab allies some democratic slack. This also includes Mohamed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates, the architect of the Abraham Accords, another dictator under populist pressures.

Democracy around the world is America’s spiritual grand strategy. Like all grand strategies, it requires constant bending and adjustment, which is what the present circumstances demand.

Mr. Kaplan holds a chair in geopolitics at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and is author of “The Loom of Time: Between Empire and Anarchy, from the Mediterranean to China.”

ccp

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Dersh: bomb Iran's nuc sites
« Reply #1425 on: November 04, 2023, 10:00:37 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_q9gkrkPTes

At first, I hesitated with this concept, but now I am more inclined to agree.


DougMacG

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Re: Dersh: bomb Iran's nuc sites
« Reply #1426 on: November 04, 2023, 10:48:52 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_q9gkrkPTes

At first, I hesitated with this concept, but now I am more inclined to agree.

Played tennis this am with my Dem friends, a couple of them Jewish.  Very nice to see people universally up in arms about this, anti the so called cease fire and outraged by what's happening on the campuses, one of them a Harvard grad, as disgusted as we are about what's tolerated, what's taught and what's encouraged there.  And statements made by certain politicians, I called it the Hamas wing of the Democratic Party, got a chuckle out of that and admission of truth.

Too bad it took atrocities like these but it's a nice feeling to be on the same page about something. 

Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR
« Reply #1427 on: November 07, 2023, 09:54:49 AM »

Marc Denny
5h
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Shared with Public
As usual, some perceptive analysis from Walter Russell Mead:

=======================

Iran Might Have Miscalculated in Gaza
It had an interest in dividing Israel from Arab states. So far that hasn’t happened.
Walter Russell Mead
By Walter Russell Mead
Nov. 6, 2023 5:47 pm ET

Journal Editorial Report: Pressure mounts on the Jewish state to 'pause.' Images: AP/Getty Images Composite: Mark Kelly

Most news and commentary describes the war in Gaza as the latest brutal episode in the conflict between Israelis and Arabs. That is one dimension, but from the perspective of world-power politics, it isn’t the most important. What really matters in the Middle East is the battle between Iran, increasingly backed by Russia and China, and the loose and uneasy group of anti-Iranian powers that includes Israel and the American-backed Arab states.

There is much about the Gaza war that we still don’t know: how long it will last, what the death toll will be, how many hostages can be rescued or returned, and how successful Israel will be in its declared objective of destroying Hamas.

But so far, from a global perspective, the most important fact is that Iran isn’t getting what it wanted from the war. Iran’s objective in arming, training and encouraging Hamas wasn’t solely to cause Israel pain. The real goal was to disrupt the gradual deepening of the strategic ties between Israel and its most important Arab neighbors.

The picture has been clear for some time to those not hypnotized by the condescending Iran apologists who lulled a generation of credulous Democratic foreign-policy officials into seeing Tehran as a possible American partner. Iran’s rulers, believing that controlling the Middle East’s energy resources and religious sites would make the country a world power, want to establish themselves as the dominant force in the region.

Sunni Arabs have long viewed Iran as a religious rival and a security threat. More recently, as Iran’s march to hegemony left a trail of ruined countries and bloody corpses, suspicion solidified into terror and loathing. Tehran’s support for Bashar al-Assad in Syria is responsible for many times more deaths and refugees than all the Israeli-Palestinian wars combined. Iran’s support for Hezbollah converted once-prosperous Lebanon into a poverty-stricken Iranian satellite. Tehran’s allies keep Iraq in a state of miserable unrest while Iranian support for Houthi forces in Yemen drove one of the greatest humanitarian disasters of our time.

We don’t yet know how closely Iran was involved in the planning and timing of last month’s attacks, but it’s clearer what the mullahs hoped the attacks would accomplish. At one level, Iran wanted to remind everyone how savage and powerful the country and its proxies have become. Terror serves Iranian state interests.

Beyond that, Tehran hoped to disrupt the emerging anti-Iran bloc in the Middle East. The idea was that Hamas’s dramatic attacks would electrify public opinion in the region against Israel, the U.S. and the Arab rulers willing to work with them. This, Tehran hoped, would drive a wedge between the Arabs and Israelis as Arab rulers sought to placate their angry publics by abandoning any plans to work closely with Israel.

So far, this plan has failed. Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have all signaled that they intend, once the storm has passed, to go on working with Jerusalem for a safer, more stable Middle East. Worse from Iran’s point of view, the Arabs are committing to a revived form of Palestinian governance that can exclude Iran’s proxies from both the West Bank and Gaza.

This isn’t because the conservative Arab states love Israel or the U.S. It is because their survival requires checking Tehran.

This isn’t only about deterring Iranian aggression. It is about building a regional environment in which their countries can flourish. Arab leaders may not care for Western-style democracy, but they need to develop their economies. With populations and expectations rising, and with the long-term future of fossil fuels uncertain, the Gulf states need to do more than pump oil out of the ground.

Instead of dividing Israel from the Arab states, the Hamas attacks reminded sensible people across the Middle East how important it is to hold Iran in check. The Gulf states need stability, and Iran and its murderous proxies are mortal threats to the economic future that Arab rulers want and their people need.

The real question in the Middle East these days isn’t what Israel or Hamas will do next. It is whether Team Biden has finally awakened from its enchanted sleep. Does the White House understand that the Israeli-Palestinian problem, while real and consequential, pales before Iran’s unappeasable drive for power as the region’s leading cause of war and unrest? Has it learned that every penny that goes to the mullahs feeds their ambitions?

If so, better days are coming for a region that could use some hope. If not, the insane ambitions of a brutal regime will produce more horrors in years to come

Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR
« Reply #1428 on: November 07, 2023, 11:36:48 AM »
second

Meeting in Syria. Senior members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Lebanese militant group Hezbollah held a meeting in the Syrian city of Abu Kamal, according to a report from opposition war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. They reportedly discussed support for an umbrella group of Iran-backed militias called the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, as well as Hamas’ fight in Gaza.

Crafty_Dog

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GPF: Iraq-Iran energy deal payments
« Reply #1429 on: November 20, 2023, 04:03:40 PM »
Iraq's plan. Iraq will trade crude oil for Iranian gas in order to settle long-standing payment problems, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said. Iraq has been unable to make payments on its outstanding debt to Iran due to U.S. sanctions against Tehran, which reportedly slashed its gas deliveries to Iraq by more than half beginning in July. According to al-Sudani, Tehran is willing to resume gas exports in exchange for crude.

Crafty_Dog

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GPF: An Arab prof on Arab FUBARs over the years
« Reply #1430 on: December 06, 2023, 07:39:59 AM »


Arab Strategic Miscalculations
Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel is the latest in a long line of strategic blunders.

By Hilal Khashan -December 5, 2023Open as PDF
Countries of all stripes – whether developed or underdeveloped, democratic or authoritarian – have been known to commit strategic military miscalculations. The U.S., for example, won decisive wars against developed countries such as Germany and Japan, but blundered in wars against much lesser powers like Vietnam in the 1970s and Iraq and Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks.

Strategic military miscalculation usually results in the collapse of authoritarian regimes. The decision of Argentina’s military junta to invade the Falkland Islands in 1982 led to its defeat in the war against Britain and the fall of Gen. Leopoldo Galtieri’s regime. Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 led to a military disaster for the Iraqi army following Operation Desert Storm, paving the way for the 2003 U.S. invasion of the country and the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime. Successful countries eventually accept the need to revamp their political systems, initiate democratic reforms and champion world peace. It took Germany, whose army fought exceptionally well operationally and tactically, two world wars to metamorphose. It took Japan’s disastrous defeat precipitated by the Pearl Harbor attack to convince Tokyo to change. Under U.S. direction, the two countries transformed into full-fledged democracies.

Since the turn of the 20th century, political leaders, heads of state and political movements in the Arab world have also shown a propensity for massive miscalculation. Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack is a prime example, but it was precipitated by several other cases that have shaped the region since World War I.

Hamas’ Miscalculation

Hamas’ rationale for last month’s attack stemmed from its conviction that Israel, with U.S. backing and Arab acquiescence, intended to eliminate any possibility of Palestinian statehood. By taking Israeli hostages, it also intended to secure the release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails, knowing that Israel has in the past been willing to conduct prisoner swaps. (In 2011, Israel released more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners to secure the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier detained by Hamas for more than five years.) However, Hamas failed to consider the likelihood that Israel’s war Cabinet would launch an unprecedented air and ground campaign following its attack, the scale of which recalled the genocidal horrors ingrained in Israel’s collective consciousness.

Gaza-Israel in the Middle East
(click to enlarge)

Hamas expected Israel to plead for negotiations to secure the freedom of some 240 Israeli captives. Images from Gaza on Oct. 7 showed Hamas guerrillas ecstatic about the possibility of a massive prisoner swap. But Israel instead unleashed a withering military campaign. Moreover, Hamas did not inform Iran and its regional allies in advance about its plans. It assumed Hezbollah would join the fighting from southern Lebanon and that Iraqi militias in Syria would engage Israel from the Golan Heights. Hezbollah’s unenthusiastic involvement in the war has cost it far more casualties than Israel and did not relieve even the slightest pressure on embattled Hamas. Hamas was left stunned by its allies’ tepid response, having previously believed its attack would transform the Middle East and pave the path toward establishing a Palestinian state. An extraordinary summit of Arab and Islamic countries held last month in Saudi Arabia resulted only in generic statements of support for the Palestinians and demands for the immediate cessation of hostilities. Hamas counted on the outbreak of a third intifada, but Israel’s preemptive raids against West Bank activists ruled out this possibility as well.

Arab Revolt in 1916

Hamas’ deadly miscalculation wasn’t unprecedented. The 20th century is rife with episodes of poor decision-making by Arab leaders, beginning with the anti-Ottoman Arab Revolt in 1916. The British feared that Ottoman Sultan Mehmed V’s declaration of jihad in November 1914 against Great Britain, France and Russia (the so-called Triple Entente) would dissuade Indian Muslims from fighting against the Central powers – which included, in addition to the Ottoman Empire, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria. The British high commissioner in Egypt, Henry McMahon, tried to convince the emir of Mecca, Sharif Hussein bin Ali, to declare jihad on the Ottoman Empire in exchange for creating an Arab Kingdom in West Asia. In June 1916, Hussein launched the Arab Revolt, unaware that Britain and France had already signed five months earlier the Sykes-Picot agreement, which gave administration over Iraq and Palestine to London and over Syria and Lebanon to Paris. The British also promised the emir of Najd, Ibn Saud, to include Hejaz in his rapidly expanding emirate.

McMahon clarified to Hussein that the Arab kingdom would not include Palestine. Hussein’s son, Faisal, who was proclaimed king of Syria in 1920, had communicated with the president of the Zionist Organization, Chaim Weizmann, and accepted the Balfour Declaration, which promised to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine. He later rescinded this agreement due to Arab opposition. Faisal also heeded the recommendation of the U.S.-sponsored King-Crane Commission, which called for autonomy of mainly Christian Mount Lebanon.

Despite Sharif Hussein’s concessions, the interests of Britain and France prevailed against those of the Hashemites. Nevertheless, in partial fulfillment of their promise to them, Winston Churchill, then secretary of state for the colonies, declared Faisal king of Iraq in 1921 and his brother, Abdullah I, emir of Transjordan. However, Britain found working with Ibn Saud in Arabia more practical. The British allowed Ibn Saud to extend his territorial authority to Hejaz, provided he did not impinge on Britain’s sphere of influence in the Persian Gulf emirates, Transjordan and Iraq.

1948 Blunder

The Arab summits over the Palestine issue in 1946 in Egypt and Syria did not refer to military intervention in Palestine. They primarily rejected the recommendations of the Anglo-American Commission, which called for creating two states in Palestine, one Jewish and another Arab. They also promised to provide Palestinians with financial aid. Even the Egyptian secretary-general of the Arab League, Abd al-Rahman Azzam, totally opposed the war and advocated negotiations with the Zionist movement. Prominent politician Sidqi Pasha told Egypt’s Senate that the army was unfit for war and would lose if it took on the Haganah, a Zionist military organization that represented the Jews before Israel’s establishment.

King Farouk made the surprise decision to invade Palestine in 1948 against the recommendation of the Egyptian army and Cabinet – despite Prime Minister Mahmud Nuqrashi Pasha’s belief that the Palestine question was not a matter of vital national interest, and the Cabinet’s vote against committing the military to war. The army’s chief of staff did not believe the troops could go to war, let alone win, in part because the army deemed more than 80 percent of military-age Egyptians unfit for military service due to rampant hepatitis, schistosomiasis, malnutrition and illiteracy.

In the first communique broadcasted by the coup plotters on July 23, 1952, Anwar Sadat claimed that bribable officials in the defunct regime had purchased defective weapons, including artillery that exploded when firing during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, leading to the defeat of the Egyptian army. However, investigations after the fall of the monarchy concluded that three artillery units exploded during loading due to poor training, not malfunctioning.

Egypt lost the war due in part to the lack of coordination with the Iraqi army and Jordan’s Arab Legion, the best-trained and most efficient army during the war, and in part to militarily unfit Egyptian troops, the absence of a war strategy and low morale. Farouk was determined to prevent the Hashemites in Iraq and Jordan from becoming the most significant royal power in the Middle East. At the same time, the Hashemites hoped to blunt Farouk’s ambition, especially since he entertained the idea of resurrecting the Islamic caliphate, which was disbanded in 1924 by Turkey’s Kemal Ataturk, and declaring Cairo its capital city. The Hashemites had achievable objectives, while Farouk had visions of grandeur.

Suez and the Straits of Tiran

Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser made a grave mistake when he nationalized the Suez Canal in 1956. His decision led three months later to the outbreak of the Suez War, which saw Britain, France and Israel declare war on Egypt, resulting in a disastrous military defeat for Cairo.

At the time of the canal’s nationalization, just 12 years remained of the original 99-year Anglo-French concession. Yet, the material losses that resulted from its nationalization, such as the seizure of Egyptian assets in European banks and the compensation paid to foreign shareholders, far exceeded the proceeds of nationalization. At the same time, the war and sanctions precipitated the beginning of the collapse of the Egyptian currency. Thousands of Egyptian soldiers and civilians were killed, and most of the hardware that Nasser had procured from former Czechoslovakia was destroyed. The war also destroyed modern European-style cities built by the British and French along the Suez Canal, such as Port Said, Port Fouad and Ismailia, and displaced hundreds of thousands of Egyptians. Furthermore, the U.N. General Assembly established the United Nations Emergency Force to patrol the border with Israel, stationed in the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip and Sharm el-Sheikh, allowing Israeli ships to cross the Straits of Tiran to the Red Sea for the first time since King Farouk banned them in 1950. Nasser’s reversion to the status quo ante in 1967 triggered the Six-Day War.

Egypt’s military was defeated, but diplomatically the war was a success. U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower coerced the tripartite alliance to pull out of Egypt, and Nasser’s prestige as the champion of Arab nationalism soared. During the interwar period leading to the 1967 war, Nasser bragged about building the most potent armed forces in the eastern Mediterranean. However, his Arab critics ridiculed him for allowing Israeli shipping through the Straits of Tiran. Over time this issue soured Nasser’s image, and he waited for an opportunity to undo it.

His chance came in May 1967. The Soviet Union warned Nasser about an Israeli military buildup near the Golan Heights in preparation for invading Syria. It was a false alarm, but even after discovering this, Nasser sent his army to Sinai in a spectacular military parade without intending to go to war. He also decided to block Israeli shipping from the Gulf of Aqaba into the Red Sea. Israel considered Nasser’s action as a casus belli and decided to complete the unfinished 1948 war.

The operational problems that plagued the Egyptian military in the 1948 and 1956 wars were still apparent in 1967. The Egyptian armed forces were unprepared for war, given their poor and politicized leadership and insufficient training. Moreover, Nasser assumed that the U.S. would resort to secret diplomacy to defuse the crisis. In 1960, during the union years between Egypt and Syria, Nasser sent his army to Sinai to relieve the pressure on the Syrian army after a major confrontation in the Golan Heights. Eisenhower used his leverage with Israel to restore quiet along the northern armistice line. But in 1967, President Lyndon Johnson’s administration, fed up with Nasser’s anti-American rhetoric, gave Israel the green light to launch the war. Israeli forces swept to victory against Egypt, Syria and Jordan. The political mood in Washington had changed, and Nasser’s failure to understand it caused a geopolitical earthquake that is still reverberating throughout the region.

Iraq’s Invasion of Kuwait

Iraq won the 1980-88 war with Iran but emerged economically battered from it. To cover the cost of the war, Iraq had borrowed billions of dollars from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. Unlike the Saudis and Emiratis, who wrote off Iraqi debt, Kuwait insisted that Saddam Hussein repay the $14 billion that Iraq owed. Iraq accused Kuwait of exceeding its oil production quota to lower crude oil prices, an untenable situation for Iraq, whose oil revenues were insufficient to cover the salaries of the bureaucracy and the large standing army. Baghdad also accused Kuwait of stealing Iraqi oil from the Rumaila oil field through slant drilling.

Saddam did not comprehend the complexity of international relations. He had spent years in prison and had not completed his college education. The only non-Arab capitals he had visited were Moscow and Paris. He did not grasp that Iraq, a country carved out by Britain in 1921, could not erase Kuwait, another country created by the British. Saddam based his decision to invade Kuwait on a cursory conversation with April Glaspie, then U.S. ambassador to Iraq, who told him that the U.S. had no policy on intra-Arab relations, which he understood to mean that the U.S. would only verbally condemn the invasion of Kuwait. He believed that invading Kuwait before the impending collapse of the Soviet Union would spare him the wrath of the U.S., unaware that the bipolar international system that shielded Third World countries already had ceased to exist.

Saddam’s reckless decision to invade Kuwait decimated the Iraqi army. A multinational military coalition intervened to reinstate Kuwait’s independence, and Iraq was subjected to severe sanctions, marking the end of its status as a rising regional power. In 2003, the U.S. invaded Iraq and toppled Saddam’s regime, enabling Iran to creep in and dominate the country.

Misunderstanding How the World Works

Arab leaders, engrossed in a distorted worldview, tend to see the world through the prism of their domestic politics, often failing to comprehend the complexity of international relations. Arabs in high office are autocrats who do not answer to anybody else, driving them to make fateful decisions. Many Arab leaders live in echo chambers, making decisions premised on faulty assumptions, inattentive to how their antagonists might respond. The consequences have played out time and again, including today in Gaza.

TAGSArabsEgyptIraqIsraelMiddle EastPalestinian Territories
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Hilal Khashan
https://geopoliticalfutures.com/author/hkhashan/

Hilal Khashan is a Professor of political science at the American University of Beirut. He is a respected author and analyst of Middle Eastern affairs. He is the author of six books, including Hizbullah: A Mission to Nowhere. (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2019.) He is currently writing a book titled Saudi Arabia: The Dilemma of Political Reform and the Illusion of Economic Development. He is also the author of more than 110 articles that appeared in journals such as Orbis, The Journal of Conflict Resolution, The Brown Journal of World Affairs, Middle East Quarterly, Third World Quarterly, Israel Affairs, Journal of Religion and Society, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, and The British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies.

ccp

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This does not worry my at all
« Reply #1431 on: December 10, 2023, 10:34:38 AM »



Crafty_Dog

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George Friedman: US and Iranian Intentions.
« Reply #1434 on: January 29, 2024, 05:09:43 AM »
January 28, 2024
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U.S. and Iranian Intentions
By: George Friedman
Three U.S. servicemen were killed during a drone attack last night on a military base in Jordan, located near the Syrian border. President Joe Biden has blamed Iran-backed militias, who have engaged in tit-for-tat strikes on U.S. forces for months but until today had been careful not to escalate too dramatically.

To understand how this plays out, we need to understand the respective imperatives and motivations of the U.S. and Iran.

The U.S. has been interested in the Middle East for some time, of course, and has been more or less actively deployed there since Operation Desert Storm, the goal of which was to prevent Iraq from attacking its neighbors and thus taking control of the area’s oil supply. Iraq is no longer the threat it once was, but it is very much in Iran’s sphere of influence. More recently, Washington has been focused on subnational movements that could destabilize the region. Put simply, the U.S. position in the Middle East is the same it has been since the 1950s: to maintain the flow of oil and to minimize violence by blocking countries and movements deemed hostile to U.S. interests. Thus, U.S. forces and allies are scattered throughout the region.

Much of Iran’s recent activity runs counter to that position. Nearly two weeks ago, Iran fired missiles at targets in northwestern Syria, Iraqi Kurdistan and southwestern Pakistan ostensibly in response to a terrorist attack in the Iranian city of Kerman. Tehran is also supporting Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who are using Iranian-supplied weapons and intelligence to attack oil tankers and other vessels in the Red Sea and nearby waterways. For the past few weeks, the U.S. and certain allies have been fighting a naval war against Houthis.

The U.S. goal, then, is to make sure its allies are not overthrown or destabilized – which requires supporting strategic forces. Iran’s goal is to undermine the U.S. position and become the most powerful force in the region – which requires a U.S. withdrawal. It is not enough that the U.S. withdraw from the region; Iran must be seen as driving them out. Secondarily, it needs to be seen as the leader of the fight against Israel through its mostly Shia proxies forces and thereby demonstrate the weakness of Sunni actors.

If the U.S. is forced out, then Iran is in a position to impose power on the Suez Canal and possibly further. If Iran is broken, the U.S. will dominate the region. Iran has the weaker military and is far less influential, and it seems to have determined that striking the U.S. with what power it has will cause the U.S. to eventually leave. But the stakes are different. The U.S. will survive if it “loses.” Iran’s very future is at risk.

The U.S. must attack Iranian targets of note if it wants to show it is prepared to fight – and win. Iran will have to counter similarly. If executed, the conflict will feature missile and air power to minimize casualties. Iran will use ground forces along with its drones, and the U.S. will try to destroy drone factories and storage areas. Tehran will attempt a short but very intense campaign to discourage U.S. allies from joining the fray.

If the United States must engage in a high intensity war against Iran, then it will be less able to supply Ukraine with needed support. We should therefore watch for possible Russian involvement because it will give Moscow an opportunity to become more effective than it has been.

Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: Three Dead Americans
« Reply #1435 on: January 29, 2024, 07:33:24 AM »
Biden, Iran and Three Dead Americans
The Commander in Chief’s weak response to attacks puts his Presidency at risk.
By The Editorial Board
Updated Jan. 28, 2024 5:39 pm ET

It was bound to happen eventually, as President Biden was warned repeatedly. A drone or missile launched by Iran’s militia proxies would elude U.S. defenses and kill American soldiers. That’s what happened Sunday as three Americans were killed and 25 wounded at a U.S. base in Jordan near the Syrian border. The question now is what will the Commander in Chief do about it?

Mr. Biden issued a statement Sunday that “America’s heart is heavy” at the death of patriots who are the “best of our nation.” That sentiment is nice, and no doubt sincere, but at this point it is inadequate and infuriating.

The sorry truth is that these casualties are the result of the President’s policy choices. Mr. Biden has tolerated more than 150 Iranian proxy attacks on U.S. forces in the Middle East since October. Only occasionally has he or the Administration registered more than rhetorical displeasure by retaliating militarily, and only then with limited airstrikes.

The President refused to change course even after U.S. troops suffered traumatic brain injuries. A Christmas Day proxy attack in Iraq left a U.S. Army pilot in a coma. Last week, more than a month later, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Garrett Illerbrunn was finally “sitting up in the chair for the first time for most of the day,” and “alert with both eyes opened and following,” his family’s medical blog says.

Mr. Biden vowed Sunday to “hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner our choosing,” though that stock line rings increasingly hollow. He has no choice now other than to approve strikes in retaliation, but targeting the responsible militia is insufficient. Mr. Biden and the Pentagon are playing Mideast Whac-a-Mole.

Everyone knows that the real orchestrator of these attacks is Iran. But the President has put his anxieties about upsetting Iran and risking escalation above his duty to defend U.S. soldiers abroad. It would have been more honest (if a sign of weakness) to withdraw American troops from the region, rather than consign them to catching Iranian drones for months.

The irony of Mr. Biden’s strategy—avoid escalation with Iran above all else—is that he’ll now have to strike back harder than if he had responded with devastating force the first time U.S. forces were hit, and every time since.

That probably includes hitting Iranian military or commercial assets. There are certainly risks of escalation from doing so. But Iran and its proxies are already escalating, and they have no incentive to stop unless they know their own forces are at risk. Here’s one idea: Put the Iranian spy ship that has been prowling the Red Sea on the ocean floor.

The alternative is a growing American body count. Iran’s clients in Yemen are continuing to fire at U.S. warships in the Red Sea while holding a vital shipping lane hostage. U.S. destroyers have managed to intercept Houthi volleys in a testament to American weapons technology and military professionalism. But eventually a drone or missile could elude U.S. defenses and sink a U.S. warship.

One thing to watch is whether the Administration will react to this attack by putting more pressure on Israel to stop its campaign against Hamas. This would validate the claim of the militias that they are merely targeting the U.S. because it supports Israel. And it would tell Iran that its militia drone and missile campaign has succeeded in easing pressure on Hamas. But it is how this Administration thinks.

***
Mr. Biden has spent months fretting about a broader regional war without confronting the reality that the U.S. is already in one. The result is that U.S. deterrence has collapsed in the region, and Americans are dying. Mr. Biden’s repeated displays of weakness are inviting more attacks. In the 1970s, Iran helped to ruin Jimmy Carter’s Presidency by seizing hostages. Mr. Biden should worry that it will also take down his Presidency if he won’t respond with enough force that the mullahs get the message.

Body-by-Guinness

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China & Red Sea Shipping: Heads they Win, Tails they Win Too
« Reply #1436 on: February 08, 2024, 03:44:27 PM »

The reason Beijing seems so relaxed about the crisis is obvious: this is a situation in which China wins either way. Either the threat continues but shipping is safer for Chinese vessels than for others, in which case sailing under the protection of the red and gold flag may become a coveted competitive advantage, or Beijing finally tells Iran to knock it off, in which case China becomes the de facto go-to security provider in the Middle East. Both outcomes would be geopolitical coups. No wonder China is willing to accept a little short-term economic pain as the situation plays out.

– Nathan Levine

https://www.samizdata.net/2024/02/samizdata-quote-of-the-day-either-way-china-wins/

Body-by-Guinness

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Middle East Comm Lines Cut
« Reply #1437 on: February 26, 2024, 08:55:44 AM »
Haven't seen anything about this in the MSM--mayhaps 'cause it underlines the feckless impotence of a certain doddering chief exec--but if so this is a big deal on several fronts: it throttles data exchange in an area with huge, critical commodities and markets and bodes what future assymetric warfare may entail, to name two:

https://www.jpost.com/middle-east/article-788888

Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR
« Reply #1438 on: February 26, 2024, 09:29:44 AM »
Good work spotting this! 

IMO this is a very BFD, not only in its own right, but for the meme of it.  Lots of serious players are going to seriously game concept out in the minds now.

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Body-by-Guinness

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While SoS Kerry Informed Iraq of 200 Israeli Covert Acts in Syria
« Reply #1440 on: March 16, 2024, 06:32:27 PM »

Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR
« Reply #1441 on: March 16, 2024, 07:18:33 PM »
To be noted is that this article is from 2021.

Kerry is a treasonous fukk.

Body-by-Guinness

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Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR
« Reply #1442 on: March 16, 2024, 08:17:10 PM »
To be noted is that this article is from 2021.

Kerry is a treasonous fukk.

Missed that. I’ll have to see if I can find it in my feed and figure why it got reposted today.


Body-by-Guinness

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The Oct. 7 US Policy Striptease
« Reply #1444 on: May 30, 2024, 02:17:03 PM »
Clearly I’m a masochist as I record episodes of PBS’s Frontline to then watch at my leisure, mostly so I have a handle on what the “Progressive” regime wants me to think. Yesterday I watched a recorded episode purporting to unravel the Israel/Hamas war. A prominent, concluding element involved the Abraham Accords that Trump engineered, with the message we were supposed to walk away with being those Accords utterly subverted the Palestinian (with that term being a construct used for propaganda purposes) cause to the point all Accord players could ignore them, thus inspiring Oct. 7, an operation meant to put Palestinian concerns back on the map.

Seemed too trite and convenient a thesis to take seriously. Lo and behold I am perusing my feeds today and this “striptease” piece shows up. I suspect this is precisely what is happening: feigning surprise that some think the Abraham Accords are responsible for Oct. 7, pretending to mull this perspective, and then using the supposed deliberations as a springboard to alter the US policy course, with the MSM playing along with this piece of kabuki theater. Certainly indicates what they think of our critical faculties: 

The Big Story

In a 2016 article for Tablet, “Obama’s Syria Policy Striptease,” Tony Badran laid out the “striptease” messaging genre adopted by the Obama echo chamber to retail White House Syria policy to a skeptical American public. In the policy “striptease,” Tony wrote:

Hand-picked experts offer fresh policy advice to the president. The authors demonstrate their independence by criticizing the supposed current policy and propose a new course of action. Within weeks, the new course of action is acknowledged as policy, thus flattering the importance of the experts. Only, what the experts suggested was already the policy—and what they were “criticizing”—was the fan that the messaging campaign had manufactured to obscure, for a time, what the White House was actually doing in Syria.

The striptease came to mind this morning when we read, in Jewish Insider, that Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) had made an appearance last week on the Twitch stream of the self-proclaimed “Marxist-Leninist” Hasan Piker. On the stream, AOC said she agreed “10,000%” with Piker’s assertion that Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, and the Abraham Accords were to blame for the Oct. 7 attacks. This story, far from demonstrating that AOC is dangerously close to supposedly “radical” Marxist elements of the left—Piker once declared that “America deserved 9/11” and has hosted a Houthi militant on his stream—instead illustrates the way that the Obama-Biden echo chamber has evolved over the past eight years. Namely, rather than operating purely through such D.C. swamp creatures as Jeffrey Goldberg, it has incorporated allegedly independent “communists” and “radicals” like Piker into the heart of the party’s messaging apparatus.

We’ve written before about the split between the Biden White House’s fake public policy in the Middle East and its real, secret policy. The fake policy is both a deep commitment to Washington’s traditional partners in the Middle East, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, and a desire to continue the positive steps toward “regional integration” taken by the Trump administration during the Abraham Accords—albeit without the Trump administration’s allegedly destructive indifference to the Palestinian question. The real policy is that the administration wants to destroy the Abraham Accords, which it correctly perceives as a repudiation of the Obama-Biden policy of realignment toward Iran. Rather than doing this openly—the Abraham Accords were, after all, widely acknowledged as a resounding diplomatic success—the administration is attempting to do it stealthily, by weaving Abraham Accords-sounding language, such as Israeli-Saudi “normalization,” into its own policy framework, which inverts the Trump framework by putting the Palestinian issue front and center.

Since the Oct. 7 attack, we have seen a chorus of seemingly independent voices on the left assert a “critique” of the Biden administration’s fake policy that is in fact a justification for the actual policy, which nonetheless goes unacknowledged. On Oct. 9, for instance, The Intercept declared that Hamas’ attack represented a “total failure of the Biden administration’s Middle East policy”—which, it asserted, was centered on an “expansion of the Abraham Accords” and an expectation that “the Palestinians would simply resign themselves to a slow death.” On Oct. 20, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft—helmed by leading Iran propagandist Trita Parsi and funded by George Soros and Iranian-born Francis Najafi—again pinned the violence on the Biden administration’s decision to “continue Trump’s normalization efforts” between the Israelis and the Sunni Arab states. In December, Sarah Leah Whitson of Democracy for the Arab World Now, the pro-Qatari, Muslim Brotherhood think tank cozy with the Biden State Department, penned an op-ed in Time Magazine excoriating the Biden White House for supporting and expanding the Abraham Accords, which allegedly “emboldened successive Israeli governments to further ignore Palestinian rights.”

In reality, of course, the Biden policy these critics are describing is entirely mythical; the administration was so hostile to the Abraham Accords that it forbade its officials from uttering the phrase, with sometimes comic results. At the same time, the policy they present as a supposedly radical alternative is a fair description of the administration’s real policy. That policy is to emphasize, time and again, that agreements between the Israelis and Sunni Arab states—now downgraded from “peace deals” to “normalization agreements”—are “not a substitute for Israeli-Palestinian peace,” as then State Department spokesman Ned Price put it in 2021. The latest culmination of this policy is the White House’s attempt to use Saudi-Israeli normalization as leverage to force Israel to preserve Hamas in Gaza and commit to recognizing a Palestinian state.

This inside-outside game, in which the administration leaves the articulation of its real policy to “outside” “critics” of its fake policy, explains why the White House—and the Democratic Party more generally—often appears to be irrationally caving to pressure from its “left flank,” which, critics rightly point out, represents an insignificant share of the American electorate. We’re not saying that Piker is receiving instructions from the White House—although, given the revelations that the administration was pushing its talking points to the New York Times Pitchbot X account and an Arab amateur porn star, we wouldn’t be shocked if he was. What we’re saying is that the administration cannot articulate its own position, and so it leaves the task to outside “critics,” which is what gives the public the misleading impression that the left-wing tail is wagging the White House dog.