(Reuters) Exclusive: Dispute flares among U.S. officials over Trump administration Iran arms control report. Quoting The report’s publication follows the administration’s formal designation on Monday of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Iran’s elite paramilitary and foreign espionage unit, as a foreign terrorist organization. The case that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism has the … Continue reading Dispute among U.S. officials; IRG Terror Designate? Trump administration Iran arms control report
This will not be an attempt to interpret Trump’s statement, except to note that “watch” is a passive activity. Even presidents who have communicated in the most direct manner have seldom accurately predicted the implications of their own statements. The influence of senior Republicans is growing. But whatever the intended future is, it is subject … Continue reading Trump wants U.S. military in Iraq to ‘watch Iran’: CBS interview
A basic rule of propaganda: When the propagandist has monopoly of the media, when there is only one message, people will tend to believe that message. This is because critical thinking takes mental energy, requiring mental rebellion against the imposed order. It takes less energy to go with the flow. But even when monopoly control of … Continue reading Moqtada al-Sadr wins Iraq Elections
(CNN) Kurds vote overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Iraq. and (Reuters) BRIEF-Fitch says Kurdish referendum shows persistent Iraqi political risk. The vote is the basis of a potential revolt, determined by geography associated with ethnography, differing from a revolution, which is based on general discontent. The prediction is that this will go hot. Kurdish … Continue reading The Kurd Referendum; Implications for U.S. Policy
A continuation of Plan to Defeat ISIS, Part 2, this is prompted by (Reuters) Exclusive: U.S. weighs deploying up to 1,000 ‘reserve’ troops for IS fight, which suggests a new military strategy is in the offing. The most famous quotation of Carl von Clausewitz is “War is a mere continuation of policy by other means.” … Continue reading Plan to Defeat ISIS Part 3; 1000 Troops to Kuwait; New Doctrine
Reuters: Baghdad’s bloody protests mark resumption of Shi’ite power struggle. This is tagged as “analysis”, which is good, because it can be analyzed differently. The piece asserts that Iran regards Nouri al-Maliki as their loyal ally, while pushing Muqtada al-Sadr to the periphery. This assumes much more certainty about the power structure of Iran than … Continue reading Iraq’s Shi’ite Power Struggle
Yahoo: Hope, and fear, as US Gulf allies look to Trump. Their lamp-rubbing will be rewarded. The sole reason for U.S. disengagement in Yemen has been the incidence of “accidental” Saudi airstrikes with large civilian casualties. Saudi explanations did not convince U.S. strike planners. So, rather than behave like the Russians, who, some think, acted … Continue reading Trump Target: Yemen
So named is the front page link to the CNN article, Iraqi battle for Mosul prompts fears of more sectarian violence. If this were the only reason for a civil war, it might be sufficient. But such a civil war would tend to be contained within the the territories of contention. There is another issue, … Continue reading Is Iraq Headed for Another Civil War?
CNN. Carter’s statement of the situation is doubtless accurate. He has reliable observers, and no inclination to bias. But “will to fight” sounds like description of a virtue. In places and times, it is. The phrase risks mislabeling Iraqi soldiering as a moral issue. It distracts from our issues, which are U.S. interests. If one … Continue reading Ash Carter says the Iraqis Have “…’no will to fight’ in Ramadi”…Patton’s Response
They talked by phone. Quoting, “…the main motive of the phone call was extending condolences to the Russian head of state for the recent suicide bombing in Grozny.” I don’t think so. If, in your liberal arts education, you have been taught the use of Occam’s Razor, and the pitfall of conspiracy-theory psychosis, you may … Continue reading Putin & Erdoğan have a chat…about what?