In March 2005, Bush adviser Karen Hughes was named to a State Department post, Deputy Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy. In late September 2005 she traveled to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey to open a dialogue with important Muslim countries. Her task was to persuade them that Bush’s War on Terror was not a War against Islam.
On September 26, 2005, Hughes met with a small group of Egyptians who had studied in the U.S. She told them “it’s sometimes hard to talk about difficult issues,” but that “we’re open to ideas.”
Prominent Egyptians told Hughes that the U.S. can improve its image in the Middle East only by changing its policies, namely, that its policies on Iraq, Iran, Syria, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and what the U.S. said was inconsistent with its [favorable] treatment of repressive Arab governments. Continue reading
The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi drives home the consequences of the Trump administration’s refusal to champion democratic values around the globe.
The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi has shocked many in the United States, but it should not come as a surprise. Indeed, it is a logical outgrowth of the policies that the Saudi leadership has been pursuing for the past two years, and the support that it has found for its approach in the Trump White House and parts of the American establishment. Continue reading
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Arab foreign ministers to discuss creating MESA.
According to the State Department, Pompeo met Friday with the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council+2 group of nations. The department’s readout, provided by Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Heath Nauert stated: Continue reading
Cairenes are not modest about their beloved city. It is Umm al-Dunya, they say, the mother of the world. They also call it simply Masr, the Arabic term for Egypt, suggesting, of course, that there is really nothing worth noting in the vast country beyond their grand city on the Nile.
Fifty miles east of Cairo, a Chinese construction firm is giving the aged, crowded, increasingly decaying “mother of the world” a face-lift of sorts. China State Construction and Engineering Company (CSCEC) has broken ground on a new business and administrative district to the tune of $3 billion, mostly financed by Chinese banks. When completed by late 2019, according to projections, much of Egypt’s government will move to this new “capital.” Continue reading
At some point in the last 48 hours, the fallout from the Russian Il-20 plane disaster has evolved into hostile steps by Moscow against Israel, as reported by DEBKAfile.
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced on Friday, Sept. 28 that Russia had already handed over advanced S-300 missile defense systems to Syria. This was a day after Russian National Security Adviser Nikolai Patrushev met in Tehran with his counterpart Ali Shamkhani. A tradeoff was to have been offered at that meeting, whereby Israeli would call off its air strikes in Syria if Iran stopped sending arms to Hizballah via Syria. Israel was given to understand by Russian officials that this deal would be sealed at an early face-to-face between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Until then. the S-300s would be held in abeyance. However, as Lavrov indicated, either Israel was misled, or Moscow sharply changed course in the last 48 hours. Netanyahu responded to the Russian disclosure by calling the S-300 handover to Syria “irresponsible.”
A book that couldn’t be more highly recommended on this subject, which also pinpointed the source decades ago:
The shocking story of China’s strategy to use America’s drug addiction as a weapon against itself
Americans are exposing themselves to a chemical attack. This ongoing assault has killed more than 700,000 people since 2000. The weapon is illicit drug use, and Americans are killing themselves with it.
In addition to these overdose deaths, roughly 100,000 Americans have been killed in drug-related homicides. This epidemic of illegal drug use is costing the economy over $1 trillion per year and destroying the willpower of the millions of people who use these chemical weapons on themselves. Since 1 in 6 Americans under age 34 use illicit drugs on a monthly basis, America’s self-inflicted damage is going to get worse and worse.
If a foreign enemy wanted to undermine America from within, facilitating the flow of illicit drugs into the country would be an effective way to do it. The People’s Republic of China has adopted just such a strategy. Continue reading
- The possibility of a Turkish naval base on Cyprus does not bode well for the chances of a Cyprus reunification deal, particularly after the breakdown of the July 2017 peace talks, which were suspended when “Turkey had refused to relinquish its intervention rights on Cyprus or the presence of troops on the island.” Turkey has 30,000 soldiers stationed on Cyprus, the northern part of which it has illegally occupied since 1974.
- “If Greek-Turkish tensions escalate, the possibility of another ill-timed military provocation could escalate with them… Moreover, such a conflict might open up an even greater opportunity for Russian interference.” — Lawrence A. Franklin.
Turkey’s Naval Forces Command has “submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating that Turkey should establish a naval base in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” according to Turkey’s strongly pro-Erdogan daily, Yeni Safak, which recently endorsed the proposal for the base in an article entitled, “Why Turkey should establish a naval base in Northern Cyprus.” Continue reading
This Week’s Highlights:
- U.S. commanders are worried that if they had to head off a conflict with Russia, the most powerful military in the world could get stuck in a traffic jam, writes Michael Birnbaum for The Washington Post. The delays could enable Russia to seize NATO territory in the Baltics while U.S. Army planners were still filling out the 17 forms needed to cross Germany and into Poland.
- U.S. President Bill Clinton and his advisers naively challenged Russia’s security perimeter, not realizing that “each inch of eastward expansion was bound to increase Russian distrust of the West,” writes Professor Melvyn Leffler, quoting from Ben Steil’s new book. Steil, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, argues that whereas the architects of the Marshall Plan and NATO “acknowledged that a line was being drawn, and were willing to bear the necessary costs to defend it,” the Clinton administration “was denying the line’s existence.” Continue reading
Do you have the nagging sense that our empire is in decline?
If so, don’t be embarrassed by it. Historically speaking, we’re in very good company. Far larger and longer-lived empires than ours have come and gone over the millennia.
This was hit home for me on a recent trip. I scored a major “dad win” by taking my youngest daughter, Grace, to England for her 18th birthday (we live in Massachusetts, USA).
All on her own, Grace developed an abiding love of mythology at a very young age: Greek, Roman, Norse, Native American, Aztec…you name it. She’s read the Iliad four times, a different version each time, as each has the biases of the translator subtly woven throughout. Continue reading
Perhaps we have missed something: Like the possibility that the canyons of Wall Street are actually located on another planet several light years from earth!
Otherwise, how can you explain the equipoise of a stock market sitting at the tippy-top of a nine-year bubble expansion and confronted with the potential outbreak of World War Three?
Folks, like some alien abductors, the Deep State has taken the Donald hostage, and with ball-and-chain finality. Whatever pre-election predilection he had to challenge the Warfare State has apparently been completely liquidated. Continue reading
Russia’s central strategic problem is NATO. Russia must break the back of NATO. But how?
Step One, the Arab Spring: The best attack is always an indirect attack. So Russia began its attack on NATO hundreds of miles away, in the Arab world. Revolution is the perfect strategy for a country like Russia, which is rich in clandestine and criminal resources. (In Egypt’s revolution, for example, the first flags raised in protest were red. The green flags only came out afterward.) The Arab Spring revolutions were calculated to shake things up. Islamist and communist forces were initially linked, arm-in-arm. If they failed to get power, the resulting chaos would nonetheless serve other purposes. For example, the civil war in Syria presents a prime example. The Russians, who dominate the criminal underworld, created the transport net for moving millions of Muslim refugees to the heart of Europe. Russian air units carpet bombed Syrian cities and villages, driving hundreds of thousands out of their homes. Next, they salted the fleeing multitudes with military-age men trained as terrorists. Then Europe was hit by a new wave of terror. Continue reading
Americans like to think of their country as different from those run by military regimes. They are only fooling themselves. Ever since the federal government was converted into a national-security state after World War II (without a constitutional amendment authorizing the conversion), it has been the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA that have run the government, just like in countries governed by military dictatorships.
Oh sure, the façade is maintained — the façade that is ingrained in all of us in civics or government classes in high school and college: that the federal government is composed of three co-equal, independent branches that are in charge of the government.
But just a façade. It’s fake. It’s a lie. Continue reading
Vladimir Putin has drawn up this plan for the Sochi conference. He will put it before Binyamin Netanyahu when they meet on Monday, Jan. 29.
DEBKAfile reports that the Russian president has prepared a plan for Syria’s post-war future for presentation to the Syrian peace conference which begins on the same day at the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Moscow has taken into account 1,600 Syrian government and opposition participants. Some rebel groups have announced a boycott. DEBKAfile reports that the absentees are pro-Assad and pro-Iranian groups who are boycotting the event to reflect their masters’ objections to the Russian president’s plans. Unless he decides to back down at the last moment, those plans are substantially as follows:
The Russian President Vladimir Putin’s airplane made a surprise landing Monday. Dec. 11, at the Russian Hmeimim air base in Latakia and announced he had ordered Russian troops to start withdrawing from Syria. Continue reading
Tensions are rising between Egypt and Ethiopia over the latter’s Grand Renaissance Dam. Continue reading