Catching Up

‘She reports, we decide she’s hot’

Well, we’ve been a bit British heavy this week, no apologies, for two reasons, it has been an important week there, and you all kept reading. But some other stuff has been going on, so let’s play a bit of catch-up. First and least important Meghan Kelly had her debut on NBC, I didn’t watch but it sounds like her interview with Putin didn’t go well. Imagine that! Why is it here, I needed a picture for the post, most of the rest don’t lend themselves to that. Too bad, back in Obama’s first term, when she was working hard on being a reporter, she was a good one.

Qatar got itself isolated from its neighbors for its support of Iran, Russia, and terrorism. Ace had the best write up I saw.

First of all, though there’s some recent news which seems to be sparking this — leaked documents showing cooperation between the UAE and Israel, leaked documents showing Qatar cozying up to Russia — in fact, those are just shots being fired in an information operation war that has been going on for years. Those are not the cause of the tensions, just the recent signs that the Gulf States are no longer willing to paper over its problems with Qatar.

Although states like Saudi Arabia are frequently charged with inciting terrorism or permitting their citizens to fund terrorism, they are, at least officially, anti-terrorist-uprising/anti-Islamist-takeover, if only for reasons of self-preservation. States that align against destablilization by Islamists are Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Bahrain, and Kuwait.

And Egypt, which was briefly given to the Islamists, gift-wrapped by Barack Obama.

Also Jordan, a fairly friendly country, and also, kind of secretly, Israel. The Gulf States do not openly brag about their cooperation with Israel, and Israel keeps it quiet so as not to embarrass them, but Israel is a quiet secret partner against the Islamists.

Meanwhile, there’s a pro-Islamist slate of powers in the region: the once secular, now Islamist Turkey, the Mohammad Brotherhood (not an official power, but can’t say Obama didn’t try), and… Qatar, which openly supports Islamist movements itself, and propagandizes for them through its Al Jazeera network.

Meanwhile, not only is Qatar funding and fueling Sunni Islamist movements, but they’re also cozying up to Obama’s favorite country Iran, against which most of the Sunni Muslim world is allied.

You can expect to hear more pro-Qatar propaganda from the usual sources, Anti- Saudi too, of course.


Connected maybe, or maybe not, there was a terrorist attack in Tehran this week. At the shrine to Khomeini, and at the the parliament. You remember Khomeini, of course, he was the terrorist that with Carter’s help toppled the Shah, leading to the hostage crisis, that destroyed Carter’s presidency and helped give us Reagan. From Powerline.

What seems surprising is that ISIS (or some other terrorist group) was able to carry out successful attacks in the heart of the ayatollahs’ police state. As the Post notes, security forces are deployed at prominent sites, and Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard Corps maintains a vast network of informants and allies around the country.

The security forces apparently weren’t up to the job. The attackers reportedly entered the parliament building through the main entrance. Their siege lasted more than an hour. Moreover, according to the New York Times, one attacker left the building an hour into the siege, “ran around shooting on Tehran’s streets,” and then returned.

Perhaps the regime has become complacent given its success in taming the population. Perhaps it’s just extremely difficult to prevent these kinds of attacks even in a police state.

The regime, which must be hugely embarrassed, has responded, predictably, by blaming the U.S. and the Saudis. The Revolutionary Guard stated:

The public opinion of the world, especially Iran, recognizes this terrorist attack — which took place a week after a joint meeting of the U.S. president and the head of one of the region’s backward governments, which constantly supports fundamentalist terrorists — as very significant.

Taking a rather different line, and displaying characteristic indifference to human life, Ayatollah Khamenei characterized the attack as the setting off “firecrackers.”

Best part of the response was President Trump’s statement:

We grieve and pray for the innocent victims of the terrorist attacks in Iran, and for the Iranian people, who are going through such challenging times. We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote.

Perfect.


Former director (and current weasel) James Comey testified before the Senate this week. Seems like he might have told something resembling the truth (for a change). In any case, he more or less confirmed what Trump has been saying, and destroyed any number of fake news stories. I tried to watch, but got bored, and went back to British election news. Which is still continuing to rumble about, where it’ll come out, I doubt anybody really knows. Maybe we’ll find out next week, the Brexit negotiations start soon, so they have to get a move on. [Added] I just heard (on Sky) that her joint chiefs of staff, a couple of young American style advisors have resigned. If I got it right, these are the two fools who wrote that insane manifesto.

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About NEO
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8 Responses to Catching Up

  1. As somebody who grew in the Middle East with family directly affected by the current Qatar crisis, I would strongly suggest to take everything you hear about that issue with a huge pinch of salt. Quite simply, it is far too complex for western media to to truly understand, and they will almost always get it wrong. Believe me, this situation has VERY little to do with Islamic terrorism of any kind – it is pure realpolitic, plain and simple. Sorry to be super vague, but I won’t go into detail because 1) for a number of reasons, I try to stay away from Middle Eastern affairs on the blogosphere and 2) I can’t pretend to have much authority to talk about this issue – the only people who can really are the GCC leaders!

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      I believe you. That’s why it’s tossed in to a catch up blog. I know just enough to know I don’t know enough. I suspected a huge dose of Realpolitik involved, and probably wouldn’t have mentioned it at all if we didn’t have an air base in Qatar.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. the unit says:

    Duh. Realpolitik, yeah ok. Seems I read years ago the Emir and family are Sunni and all or most of the people are Shia. Haven’t looked up today. Could have it backwards, but touchy situation for their elite always. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Yep, like PM says, there are a lot of crosscurrents, and likely riptides. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pay attention but a bit of caution doesn’t hurt. The term goes back to Bismarck, not Kissinger, by the way.

      Like

      • the unit says:

        Realpoliticnic practical caution…”speak softly, and carry a big stick.” 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Always a good rule, I think. Very advisable here, where we don’t have a real side, although Saudi and Egypt tend to be friendlier, with us, not necessarily others. The Brits, in my experience, dislike the Saudis much as we do the Iranians. A good place to mostly mind our own business.

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          Yep, minding our own business. Like using Dial and wishing everybody did. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: The Weekly Headlines – Br Andrew's Muses

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