At the end of the day, it appeared that Saudi is politically less stable than Lebanon, something that has hardly ever been the case in modern history, let alone at a time when one would assume it is Lebanon that is about to be plunged into new chaos, not the formerly predictable Wahhabi regime. This is a very good analysis of both the Saudi Arabia and Lebanon actions in the past few days. As is all too often the case in the Middle East, the US has its fingerprints all over it. The authors present some possible outcomes.(1 comment)

The Neos heads are going to explode (we can only hope). The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is hosting its 25th annual meeting in Vietnam this week. President Trump and President Putin are scheduled to attend. The “leaked” story of the day is that the two of them actually plan to meet face to face and discuss some mutual issues, like North Korea. Imagine how the Neos feel to find out that we might resolve an issue with diplomatic relations instead of at the point of a gun.(1 comment)

Senator Joe McCarthy was correct that our federal government was overrun with active Communists. His tactics of indentifying them offended even his anti-communist supporters. Eventually, his detractors used these tactics to destroy his message. How ironic in 2017 that the liberals who denounced McCarthy’s tactics actually learned from them and are adopting them today.(1 comment)

The sanctions war against Russia all lead back to the coup in the Ukraine. The EU and the US spent billions to topple the government and install NATO weaponry on Russia’s borders. Russia called foul and we countered with sanctions to punish Russia’s economy. Russia has done well in spite of the sanctions, but the battle against those who would stand up to the EU and the US goes on.(1 comment)

Both the neo cons and neo libs are the war party as we all know. If it was only about ideology, they might be excused. Opinions vary and we can all debate the pros and cons. Sadly for those of us who pay the taxes that fund their shenanigans, it’s rarely about ideology. It’s either about making lots of money off of our military industrial complex, or about doing the bidding of our handlers like Israel or Saudi Arabia. Turkey decided to buy a better air defense system for far less money. Nato has promised “consequences”. No one is questioning Turkey spending their own money in a prudent manner. The complaint is that it isn’t a US system and it comes from the evil Russians. This will be interesting to watch as it develops.(1 comment)

Sloppy work on the part of the Mueller team, but I doubt that anyone will really care. This has always been about trying to turn Manafort into a “snitch” and to punish those who might try to stand up to the deep state. The author of this article makes a good point. They suggest that if meddling in the Ukraine is a crime then what haven’t John McCain and Victoria Nuland been indicted yet.(1 comment)

Yesterday we got the huge announcement – Paul Manafort was indicted. For those of us who have been paying attention, we recognize that this isn’t really about Paul Manafort. There are two dynamics going on here, and none of them are good for the rest of us. The deep state hates us and our representative Donald Trump. They tried their best to get him to lose both the nomination and the election and now they continue to do their best to cause us to stop supporting him. So far they’ve failed miserably. Manafort was the target of the deep state, with their thinking they can get Manafort to lie about Trump in order to escape legal punishment. We’ll see how that works. It’s interesting to see what they are charging Manafort with. He was hired to look out for the interests of the democratically-elected president of Ukrain. Today’s post is a reminder of how the US orchestrated a coup in the Ukraine. For those who don’t remember, the US spent over $5 BILLION on this coup to replace the democratically-elected leader with what turned out to be actual Nazis! Folks use the term a lot, but these guys really are! What was the former President’s crime? He was friendly to Russia. Of course our “good friend” John McCain was on the ground in the Ukraine, touting the evils of the Russians. The Russians responded to this coup to protect Crimea, and they whole series of sanctions that continue to this day started. The Neo goal was to get Ukraine both into the EU and NATO and put western weaponry on the border of Russia.(1 comment)

Diplomacy kept the Cold War from ever going nuclear. With the fall of the Soviet Union, our diplomacy changed from the State Department to the Department of Defense. Brute force became the strategy and the tactic. Our two largest “competitors” on the world stage, China and Russia have taken different roads in their path to becoming a challenger to the US’s sole superpower status. China is doing it primarily with economic methods, building alliances throughout the world. Russia has worked it primarily through protecting its homeland. The Soviet Union experienced 26.6 to 40 MILLION casualties during WWII, so defending their borders is very understandable. The “hatred” of Russia by the US isn’t understandable, yet with 7000 nuclear warheads, we can’t push too hard. You’d think that real diplomacy would be a good start. Perhaps chastising them for something that they don’t do and we do isn’t too smart.(1 comment)

The Taliban in Afghanistan has many things in common with the Kurds in the region. Countries (to include the US) have “used” them to check Iran’s influence over Iran. Like the Kurds, the relationship hasn’t always worked out well. After the Soviets were defeated in Afghanistan the country was left in social and economic distress. 1.5 million dead, millions of refugees and a huge political vacuum. Afghanistan’s warlords attempted to fill the gap. The Taliban, made up of orphans who never knew Afghanistan, but schooled in Pakistan filled the gap. They brought law and order to a country that sorely needed it. Pakistan supported them, as did the US Clinton administration. This was a switch for us, as previously our support for the mujahideen to defeat the Soviet Union created al-Qaeda. Although we Americans aren’t famous for identifying distinctions between different cultures, there are more than one group of the Taliban, with the Afghanistan Taliban and the Pakistan Taliban being two of the more notorious different groups. The important lesson for us is that the Taliban and al-Qaeda are not the same groups. The Afghanistan Taliban are an extreme religious group that is very internally focused on Afghanistan. We share a common enemy with the Taliban in al-Qaeda. Perhaps we can agree to leave them alone. (2 comments)

The US policy towards the NATO countries has always been contentious. During the height of the Cold War our economic policy often seemed to hurt Europe as long as it hurt the Soviet Union. The threat of the Soviet Union allowed us to get away with the policy. With the fall of the Soviet Union, Europe was able to get a stable, cheaper low of oil and natural gas from Russia. It was a win for both Europe and Russia. Germany’s economic growth in the past 25 years can be attributed to this. With the Neos wanting to start a cold war with Russia, we keep on trying to punish Russia economically. Our sanctions against them really haven’t worked, so we are doubling down. Our latest round of sanctions are also against Europe, telling them they can’t trade with Russia. We’ve offered to sell them natural gas from the US to make up for it, but it is much more expensive for them, having to go by ship instead of by pipeline. The NATO countries are kicking back. They don’t see Russia in the same way we do, and don’t want to pay for a potentially less stable source of supply. It’s bad enough that we’ve alienated most of the Middle East countries. How does it serve our interests to alienate Europe?(0 comment)