NATO Demo – Separate Euro & Arab Unified Forces Possible?

Editor’s Note – With Obama’s foreign policy failures came a great vacuum of leadership and the world took notice.

Apparently few now trust the US or rely on it despite recent NATO maneuvers including US forces in a show of strength for Putin and his resurgent military in Russia.

A convoy of U.S. troops driving through eastern Europe that opponents threatened to block has entered Czech territory.

The "Dragoon Ride" - The line of 4-year-olds clutched hands tightly in their matching, reflective yellow vests and stared open-mouthed at the hovering Chinook helicopters kicking up grit last week in the school parking lot. Shy teenage girls took pictures beside grinning American soldiers while Polish families clambered over a line of Stryker armored vehicles.
The “Dragoon Ride” – The line of 4-year-olds clutched hands tightly in their matching, reflective yellow vests and stared open-mouthed at the hovering Chinook helicopters kicking up grit last week in the school parking lot. Shy teenage girls took pictures beside grinning American soldiers while Polish families clambered over a line of Stryker armored vehicles.

The “Dragoon Ride” convoy started last week from Estonia and passed through Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, before entering the Czech Republic on a return journey to a German base.

The soldiers took part in the Atlantic Resolve exercise intended to demonstrate NATO’s readiness to defend its members.

The convoy got a warm welcome in Poland and the Baltics – NATO members worried that the conflict in Ukraine threatens their security. (Read more here at AP)

Now we are seeing the Sunni nations of the Middle East create an military force and there is call in Europe for a unified European Union force.

There is chaos in the region and they are acting to offset the massive Iranian threat, especially with its proxies in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.

First Europe, Now The Gulf’s Leaders Agree To Form United Arab Military Force

By Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge

Just a week after Jean-Claude ‘I am not a hawkish warmonger’ Juncker pressed for the creation of a Unified European Army to combat the ‘looming’ threat of their massive trade partner Russia; RT reports Arab leaders have agreed to form a joint military force from roughly 40,000 elite troops and backed by warplanes, warships and light armor at a Sharm el-Sheikh summit.

Middle East Power Military Chart

Egyptian President Abdel Sisi has announced a high-level panel will work out the structure and mechanism of the future force. The work is expected to take four months.

Europe’s got one…

The president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, who leads the EU’s executive arm, said an EU army would let the continent “react credibly to threats to peace in a member state or a neighbour of the EU”.

And now, as RT reports, The Gulf is getting one too…

Arab leaders have agreed to form a joint military force at a Sharm el-Sheikh summit, hosting Egyptian President Abdel Sisi has announced. The meeting was dominated by the situation in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia leads a bombing campaign against rebels.

“The Arab leaders have decided to agree on the principle of a joint Arab military force,” Sisi said Sunday as the summit wrapped up. The summit final communique called for “coordination, efforts and steps to establish an unified Arab force” to intervene in countries such as Yemen.

The Egyptian leader said a high-level panel will work out the structure and mechanism of the future force. The work is expected to take four months.

Earlier reports said the joint Arab military may be formed from roughly 40,000 elite troops and backed by warplanes, warships and light armor. There are however doubts that all 22 members of the Arab League would significantly contribute to it; the formations of the force could take months.

In a communique signed in the Egyptian resort city, the Arab countries also called on the West to form a new more comprehensive response to militancy, which is a thinly veiled reference to the desire by some Arab nations to see a new Western military intervention in Libya.

The country that was devastated after civil war and a NATO bombing campaign, which helped to oust strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, became a hotbed for Islamist radicals, including the terrorist organization Islamic State.

Not everyone is buying it as a possibility…

James Dorsey, a Middle East analyst with the Singapore-based S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said that despite support for a joint-Arab force, “it would still take months to create and then operate on an ad-hoc basis.

“I don’t think we will get an integrated command anytime soon, as no Arab leader would cede control of any part of their army anytime soon,” he said.

“Today we will have a formal declaration that would be negotiated every time during action.”

It appears The Endgame of this global game of Risk is fast approaching as one-by-one, geographically proximate nations join forces for [whatever] comes next.

“Netanyahu’s Moment” – The “Deal,” a “Chamberlain Moment?”

By SUA Staff

Come Tuesday, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel will give his much discussed speech to a joint session of Congress.

Netanyahu has already arrived in Washington, D. C. and the anticipation builds. No matter what side of the aisle you reside, this is a momentous time for the Middle East, and all western nations.

With rumors that a deal with Iran is almost complete, and many saying Obama is giving away the farm, Netanyahu’s speech may not be just another version of his many previous speeches he has given in recent times regarding Iran and its ambitions.

The rancor between supporters of the speech, and those who may not attend in defiance, in defense of Obama, has been nothing short of acrimonious.

Netanyahu Moment Rice Destructive

Susan Rice, Obama’s National Security Advisor, called his presence here for the speech “destructive” to relations between the U.S. and Israel but today on the Sunday talk shows, Secretary of State John Kerry was downplaying the rhetoric.

Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday tried to calm tensions with Israel before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s congressional address, yet insisted the Obama administration’s diplomatic record with Iran entitles the U.S. to “the benefit of the doubt” as negotiators work toward a long-term nuclear deal. On a mission to warn of the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran, the prime minister arrived in Washington for the speech the White House didn’t want him to give.

Kerry said in an interview broadcast before he arrived in Switzerland for talks with Iran’s foreign minister that Netanyahu was welcome to speak in the U.S. and that the administration did not want the event “turned into some great political football.”

That sentiment was a step back from some of the sharp rhetoric between the allies in recent weeks, and Kerry mentioned that he talked to Netanyahu as recently as Saturday. (Read more of “Netanyahu’s Moment” at AP here.)

Kerry is asking for “the benefit of the doubt” but we must remember how in the dark Obama kept Israel in the early secret talks with Iran in late 2013. The one nation most in the cross-hairs has had little to zero input on any deal and Netanyahu was correct to be somewhat indignant.

Neville Chamberlain brandishes the paper that he believed signified "peace for our time" on his return from Munich in 1938
Neville Chamberlain brandishes the paper that he believed signified “peace for our time” on his return from Munich in 1938

On Saturday, an unsubstantiated report was circulating in the Middle East and has gained international interest when it was revealed in a Kuwaiti media outlet that when the Israelis found out about the secret talks, they planned a raid on Iran that Obama stopped.

The Bethlehem-based news agency Ma’an has cited a Kuwaiti newspaper report Saturday, that US President Barack Obama thwarted an Israeli military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2014 by threatening to shoot down Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.

Following Obama’s threat, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was reportedly forced to abort the planned Iran attack.

According to Al-Jarida, the Netanyahu government took the decision to strike Iran some time in 2014 soon after Israel had discovered the United States and Iran had been involved in secret talks over Iran’s nuclear program and were about to sign an agreement in that regard behind Israel’s back. (Read more at Arutz Sheva.)

Regardless if VP Biden and many Democrats do not attend, expect a full room as the desire to see the speech is much greater than the political tactic the Democrats are saying and threatening.

IranNuclearMost of America loves and supports Israel, and support for the speech is much greater than the you might think if you listen to liberal talking heads and Obama sycophants and surrogates – Obama, no matter what people think, is pissed.

Of course the Palestinians and their supporters do not like the fact that Netanyahu is here, in fact they are already boycotting Israeli products but that was to be expected, they are supported by Iran. And the supporters are woefully ignorant on so many facets of history and facts to the point that they are actually supporting Iran by their rhetoric.

Netanyahu is jeopardizing Obama’s legacy goal of being the President who made “the deal” with Iran in their eyes, but history will record whether or not that legacy is a “Neville Chamberlain Moment” or not. We believe it is disastrous moment if Obama lands this farce of a deal.

Israel cannot buy a break, so maybe his speech will at least inform the ignorant, and sway the outcome of any deal. Bill Kristol has an interesting take on this that worthy of reading:

Netanyahu’s Moment

By William Kristol – The Weekly Standard

Sometimes a speech is just a speech. Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech about Iran policy on March 3 will not be his first address to Congress. It will make familiar, if important, arguments. One might assume that, like the vast majority of speeches, it would soon be overtaken by events in Israel and the United States and the world.iran-israel-nuclear-

But the Obama administration’s reaction to the Israeli prime minister’s appearance suggests Netanyahu’s is more than just another speech.

An administration that disdains the use of disproportionate force has been, to say the least, disproportionately forceful in its efforts to undermine Netanyahu’s message and discredit the messenger.

What is Obama so worried about? What is he, if we may put it indelicately, so scared of?

We can get a clue from the almost equally disproportionate reaction of Obama’s surrogates to Rudy Giuliani’s suggestion that Barack Obama doesn’t love his country. Why, really, should anyone care about Giuliani’s comment?

We have no crime of lèse majesté in this country. But Obama defenders did care. Did they suspect Giuliani had struck a nerve?

It seems he did. After days in which the entire media and most politicians, including many Republicans, hurried to condemn Giuliani and to assure everyone that Barack Obama loves our country as much as the next red-blooded American, a new poll from YouGov reports only 47 percent of respondents saying they think the president loves America, with a slight majority either thinking he does not (35 percent) or being unsure (17 percent).

By contrast, 58 percent think Rudy Giuliani loves America, and only 10 percent think not. As for themselves, 85 percent of respondents say they love America, and only 6 percent say they do not.

What does this have to do with Netanyahu? Agree with his policies or not, no one doubts he loves his country. In fact, he seems to like America a lot, too. One suspects that if asked, respondents to the YouGov poll might have judged Netanyahu more of an America-lover than Barack Obama. And they would in a sense have been right.

Giuliani Destroys Obama! "I Do Not Believe That The President Loves America"
Giuliani Destroys Obama! “I Do Not Believe That The President Loves America”

After all, Obama is not just a citizen of America. He’s a citizen of the world. And he’s a disbeliever in American exceptionalism in any sense stronger than the British believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks in Greek exceptionalism.

There’s nothing surprising about this.

Obama is very much in the mainstream of modern progressive thought in his embrace of cosmopolitanism and his distrust of nationalism. He’s not interested in riding a high horse equipped, as he would see it, with patriotic blinders or nationalist spurs.

Netanyahu, by contrast, is a patriot and a nationalist. He’s an Israeli patriot and nationalist. But he also appreciates the historic role and accomplishments of the great nation-states of the West. History—the history of the Jewish people, but not only the Jewish people—is always on his mind.

He is inspired by the example of Ze’ev Jabotinsky—and also of Winston Churchill. He appreciates the legacy of David Ben-Gurion—and also of Harry Truman.

When Netanyahu walks to the podium of the House of Representatives on March 3, he’ll undoubtedly have in mind an earlier speech given by a foreign leader to a joint meeting of Congress. On December 26, 1941, Winston Churchill addressed Congress, though in the smaller Senate Chamber rather than in the House, as so many members were out of town for Christmas break.

On the 26th of December, 1941, Winston Churchill became the first British Prime Minister to address a joint session of the American Congress.
On the 26th of December, 1941, Winston Churchill became the first British Prime Minister to address a joint session of the American Congress.

Churchill enjoyed the great advantage in December 1941 of having an American president who, after Pearl Harbor, was a clear and unambiguous ally in the war for the West. Netanyahu has no such advantage.

So it might be hard for him to say, as Churchill did, that here in Washington he had “found an Olympian fortitude which, far from being based upon complacency, is only the mask of an inflexible purpose and the proof of a sure, well-grounded confidence in the final outcome.”

But Netanyahu won’t be speaking only to the Obama administration, which has, after all, made clear its lack of interest in listening to Netanyahu and whose allies won’t be there to listen. He’ll be speaking to the American people.

So he can echo Churchill in appealing to them and warning that, in the struggle in which we’re engaged, “many disappointments and unpleasant surprises await us.”

He can echo Churchill in expressing confidence that the West, led by the United States, will prevail. And he can look forward to a time when an Israeli prime minister will be able to say what Churchill could say in December 1941:

“Lastly, if you will forgive me for saying it, to me the best tidings of all—the United States, united as never before, has drawn the sword for freedom and cast away the scabbard.”

President Obama has not, and will not, cast away the scabbard. Though Netanyahu will of course focus, as he should, on the details of a possible Iran agreement—the speech will be a moment that points beyond the particulars of an Iran deal. It will be a moment that could cause us to reflect on what kind of people we are, and, with new leadership, what kind of deeds we might once again be capable of.

As it will be a moment of vindication for Zionism, the cause to which he and his family have dedicated their lives. In past episodes of Jews’ being consigned by the world to their fate, they were powerless to fight. And so the world (and not a few Jews) became accustomed to Jews’ playing the role of victim. On March 3, something remarkable and historic will happen.

The prime minister of Israel, speaking on behalf of not only his country and millions of Jews, but on behalf of the West itself, will command the world’s attention as he declares his refusal to appease the enemies of Israel and the West. Both Jabotinsky and Churchill, both Ben-Gurion and Truman, would appreciate the moment.

Israel Foe Robert Malley Obama’s New MidEast Man

Editor’s Note – From the “Shake My Head” files, Obama and Kerry want Robert Malley to be the new Middle East man. However this is not really new, he appears to have been retained all along as their man, and this goes all the way back to the Clinton Administration.

Obama picked up that baton and is now twirling it. This goes back to the Rashid Khalidi/Bill Ayers Israel bashing party and the tape that has never surfaced even though the LA Times still has it. Look at the connections here as well.

Since he was first elected in 2008, and took the oath of office (twice the first time) at his inauguration in 2009, many have questioned Obama’s stance on Israel and attaining peace with the ‘Palestinians.’

At numerous points, much has pointed in the direction of his less than loyal stand towards Israel despite glowing, yet empty words of support for them.obama_netanyahu_getty_file_thumb_thumb[24]

There was the time early in his Presidency that showed open disdain for Israel and its leader, Benjamin Netanyahu.

This was followed up with massive pressure application on the Israelis for several years, especially regarding Iran and land arguments regarding the ‘Palestinians’.

In the most recent times, under John Kerry’s efforts as Secretary of State, the definition of insanity has been proven over and over.

Recent peace talks barely started before the predictable immediate implosion took place; John Kerry struck out again. Why? Because they simply do not have the best interests of the Israelis, our staunchest ally to date in the region at heart. Rather, this administration has been obviously behind all things ‘Palestinian’.

Now the proof is in! Who does Kerry and Obama want to be in charge of the Israeli/Palestinian peace process? They want Robert Malley. Who is Malley? Adam Kredo from the Washington Free Beacon writes the following:

An anti-Israel diplomat who was kicked off the 2008 Obama campaign after he was caught negotiating with the terror group Hamas is under consideration for a State Department advisory post, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.

Robert Malley, a longtime government insider who worked for former President Bill Clinton and advised then-Sen. Barack Obama, is said to be on Kerry’s shortlist for deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, according to reports and sources. He currently serves as the Middle East director of the International Crisis Group (ICG).

If tapped for the job, Malley would be in charge of the Israel-Palestinian peace process, according to Al Monitor.

Yes, that Robert Malley! Why not just come out and say it openly, Obama and Kerry simple deplore Netanyahu and the peace loving Israelis. In a quick summary, Robert Malley is:

Rabidly anti-Israel, Simon Malley was a confidante of the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat; an inveterate critic of “Western imperialism”; a supporter of various leftist revolutionary “liberation movements,” particularly the Palestinian cause; a beneficiary of Soviet funding; and a supporter of the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Samantha Powers (right) was asked to leave the Obama campaign for her anti-Israeli postitions and then Robert Malley stepped down for meeting with Hamas several times. Now, another anti-Israel Barack Obama advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski (left), is blasting the American Israel Jewish Public Affairs Committee for “McCarthyism.”
Samantha Powers (right) was asked to leave the Obama campaign for her anti-Israeli postitions and then Robert Malley [Center] stepped down for meeting with Hamas several times. Now, another anti-Israel Barack Obama advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski (left), is blasting the American Israel Jewish Public Affairs Committee for “McCarthyism.” [From The “Gateway Pundit” in 2008, click the image to read more.]
To further see why, please read the rest from DiscoverTheNetworks.org, “a guide to the political left”:

Robert Malley – Some History

  • Middle East and North Africa Program Director for the International Crisis Group
  • Formerly served as President Bill Clinton’s Special Assistant for Arab-Israeli Affairs
  • Son of Simon Malley, a key figure in the Egyptian Communist Party
  • Blamed Israel for the failed Camp David peace negotiations with Yasser Arafat in 2000
  • Has co-written a number of op-ed pieces with Hussein Agha, a former adviser to Arafat
  • Consistently condemns Israel, exonerates Palestinians, urges U.S. disengagement from Israel, and recommends that America reach out to negotiate with its traditional Arab enemies
  • Became foreign policy advisor to presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2007

Harvard-trained lawyer and Rhodes Scholar, Robert Malley is the Middle East and North Africa Program Director for the International Crisis Group (ICG), which receives funding from the Open Society Institute (whose founder, George Soros, serves on the ICG Board and Executive Committee).

In his capacity with ICG, Malley directs a number of analysts based in Amman, Cairo, Beirut, Tel Aviv, and Baghdad. These analysts report periodically on the political, social and economic factors which they believe have the potential to spark conflict in those regions, and they make policy recommendations in an effort to defuse such threats. Covering events from from Iran to Morocco, Malley’s team focuses most heavily on the Arab-Israeli conflict, the political and military developments in Iraq, and Islamist movements across the Middle East.

Prior to joining ICG, Malley served as President Bill Clinton’s Special Assistant for Arab-Israeli Affairs (1998-2001); National Security Advisor Sandy Berger’s Executive Assistant (1996-1998); and the National Security Council’s Director for Democracy, Human Rights, and Humanitarian Affairs (1994-1996).

In 2007, Malley — one of the most frequently quoted commentators on U.S. Middle East policy and Arab-Israeli strife — became a foreign policy advisor to Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Malley was raised in France by his mother — a native New Yorker named Barbara Silverstein — and his father, Simon Malley, a key figure in the Egyptian Communist Party. Rabidly anti-Israel, Simon Malley was a confidante of the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat; an inveterate critic of “Western imperialism”; a supporter of various leftist revolutionary “liberation movements,” particularly the Palestinian cause; a beneficiary of Soviet funding; and a supporter of the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.Netanyahu-Nasrallah-Obama

In a July 2001 op-ed (titled “Fictions About the Failure at Camp David”) which was published in the New York Times, Robert Malley (whose family, as noted above, had close ties to Yasser Arafat) alleged that Israeli — not Palestinian — inflexibility had caused the previous year’s Camp David peace talks (brokered by Bill Clinton) to fail. This was one of several controversial articles Malley has written — some he co-wrote with Hussein Agha, a former adviser to Arafat — blaming Israel and exonerating Arafat for that failure.

In their August 9, 2001 piece, “Camp David: The Tragedy of Errors,” Malley and Agha again dismissed claims that the Camp David talks had failed when “Ehud Barak’s unprecedented offer” was met with “Yasser Arafat’s uncompromising no.” They wrote that Barak had taken an unnecessarily hard-line approach in negotiating with Arafat. According to Malley and Agha, Arafat believed that Barak was intent on “either forcing him to swallow an unconscionable deal or mobilizing the world to isolate and weaken the Palestinians if they refused to yield.”

Malley’s identification of Israel as the cause of the Camp David failure has been widely embraced by Palestinian and Arab activists around the world, by Holocaust deniers like Norman Finkelstein, and by anti-Israel publications such as CounterpunchAccording to American Thinker news editor Ed Lasky, Malley “was also believed to be the chief source for an article [dated July 26, 2001] by Deborah Sontag that whitewashed Arafat’s role in the collapse of the peace process, an article that has been widely criticized as riddled with errors and bias.”_50363060_abbasnetanyahu

Malley’s account of the Camp David negotiations is entirely inconsistent with the recollections of the key figures who participated in those talks, most notably then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, U.S. President Bill Clinton, and U.S. Ambassador Dennis Ross (Clinton’s Middle East envoy).

According to Ross, the peace efforts failed for one reason only: because Arafat wanted them to fail. “[F]undamentally,” said Ross, “I do not believe he [Arafat] can end the conflict. We had one critical clause in this agreement, and that clause was, this is the end of the conflict. Arafat’s whole life has been governed by struggle and a cause … [F]or him to end the conflict is to end himself…. Barak was able to reposition Israel internationally. Israel was seen as having demonstrated unmistakably it wanted peace, and the reason it [peace] wasn’t … achievable was because Arafat wouldn’t accept.”

Over the years, Malley has penned numerous op-eds condemning Israel, exonerating Palestinians, urging the U.S. to disengage from Israel to some degree, and recommending that America reach out to negotiate with its traditional Arab enemies such as Syria, HezbollahHamas, and Muqtada al-SadrEd Lasky enumerates and summarizes some of these Malley writings as follows:

  • Playing Into Sharon’s Hands”: In this January 2002 piece, says Lasky, Malley “absolves Arafat of the responsibility to restrain terrorists and blames Israel for terrorism. He defends Arafat and hails him as ‘… the first Palestinian leader to recognize Israel, relinquish the objective of regaining all of historic Palestine and negotiate for a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 boundaries.’”
  • Rebuilding a Damaged Palestine”: This May 2002 article accuses Israel’s security operations of deliberately weakening Palestinian security forces (which themselves are replete with terrorists and thus make little or no effort to prevent terrorism), and calls for international forces to keep Israel in check.
  • Making the Best of Hamas’s Victory”: In this March 2006 piece, Malley recommends that nations worldwide establish relationships with, and send financial aid to, the Palestinians’ newly elected, Hamas-led government. Malley also alleges that Hamas’ policies and Israeli policies are essentially mirror images of one another. Writes Malley: “The Islamists (Hamas) ran on a campaign of effective government and promised to improve Palestinians’ lives; they cannot do that if the international community turns its back.” In Malley’s calculus, the Hamas victory was a manifestation of Palestinian “anger at years of humiliation and loss of self-respect because of Israeli settlement expansion, Arafat’s imprisonment, Israel’s incursions, Western lecturing and, most recently and tellingly, the threat of an aid cut off in the event of an Islamist success.” In addition, Malley counsels the U.S. not to “discourage third-party unofficial contacts with [Hamas] in an attempt to moderate it.”Hamas1
  • Avoiding Failure with Hamas”: This April 2006 article not only advocates international aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian government, but also suggests that a failure to extend such aid could trigger an environmental or public health crisis for Palestinians.
  • How to Curb the Tension in Gaza” (July 2006): Here, Malley and co-writer Gareth Evans condemn Israel for its military’s efforts (in 2006) to recover Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who had been kidnapped and held hostage by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. The authors classify Israel’s retaliatory actions as “collective punishment” that stands in “violation of international law.”
  • Forget Pelosi: What About Syria?”: In this April 2007 piece, Malley advocates U.S. and Israeli outreach to Syria, notwithstanding the latter’s close affiliations with Hezbollah, Hamas, and al Qaeda in Iraq. He further contends that it is both unreasonable and unrealistic for Israel or Western nations to demand that Syria sever its ties with the aforementioned organizations or with Iran. He suggests, moreover, that if Israel were to return the Golan Heights (which it captured in the 1967 Six Day War, and again in the 1973 Yom Kippur War — two conflicts sparked by Arab aggression) to Syrian control, Damascus would, as Lasky puts it, “somehow miraculously” pursue peace — “after they get all they want.”
  • Containing a Shiite Symbol of Hope”: This October 2006 article advocates U.S. engagement with the fiercely anti-American Muqtada al-Sadr, the radical Shiite leader of the Mahdi Army in Iraq.
  • Middle East Triangle”: Co-written with Hussein Agha, this January 2008 piece calls for Hamas and Fatah to end their bitter disputes and to join forces in an effort to derail what the authors view as Israel’s attempt to “perpetuate Palestinian geographic and political division.” Malley and Agha predict that such a strategy would prompt Hamas to: (a) abandon its longstanding quest to destroy Israel; and (b) encourage Palestinian AuthorityPresident Mahmoud Abbas (a leading member of Fatah) to negotiate for a lasting peace with Israel.
  • The U.S. Must Look to its Own Mideast Interests”: Co-written with Aaron David Miller, this September 2006 article urges the U.S. to engage with Syria and Hamas, rather than to “follow Israel’s lead.” Malley and Miller add: “A national unity government between Fatah and Hamas appears within reach, and the Europeans seem prepared to resume assistance to such a government once it takes shape. Should this happen, America shouldn’t stand in the way — regardless of whether Hamas recognizes Israel or formally renounces violence. Instead, the United States should see this as an opportunity to achieve what is achievable: a Palestinian cease-fire involving all armed organizations, a halt to all Israeli offensive military actions, and the resumption of normal economic life for the Palestinian government and people.”
  • A New Middle East”: In this September 2006 article, Malley contends that Hezbollah’s infamous attacks and kidnappings targeting Israelis (two months earlier) were motivated partly by that organization’s desire to liberate Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails, and partly by pressure from Hezbollah’s close allies, Syria and Iran.

Puppets3In July 2006 Malley criticized the U.S. for allegedly remaining “on the sidelines” and being a “no-show” in the overall effort to bring peace to the nations of the Middle East. Exhorting the Bush administration to change its policy of refusing to engage diplomatically with terrorists and their sponsoring states, Malley stated: “Today the U.S. does not talk to Iran, Syria, Hamas, the elected Palestinian government or Hizballah…. The result has been a policy with all the appeal of a moral principle and all the effectiveness of a tired harangue.”

In February 2004 Malley testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and recommended that the Arab-Israeli “Road Map for Peace” be abandoned because neither side had confidence that the other was bargaining in good faith. As Ed Lasky writes, “[Malley] advocated that a comprehensive settlement plan be imposed on the parties with the backing of the international community, including Arab and Moslem states. He anticipated that Israel would object with ‘cries of unfair treatment’ but counseled the plan be put in place regardless of such objections; he also suggested that waiting for a ‘reliable Palestinian partner’ was unnecessary.”

According to Lasky, Malley’s overarching political objectives include “a radical reshaping of decades of American foreign policy and a shredding of the role of morality in the formulation of American policy.” “These policies,” says Lasky, “would strengthen our enemies, empower dictatorships, and harm our allies.

One U.S. security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, states that Robert Malley “has expressed sympathy to Hamas and Hezbollah and [has] offered accounts of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that don’t jibe with the facts.”

On May 9, 2008, the Barack Obama presidential campaign was forced to sever its ties with Malley after the latter told the Times of London that he had been in regular contact with Hamas as part of his work for ICG.

On November 5, 2008, Middle East Newsline reported that Obama “had sent senior foreign policy adviser Robert Malley to Egypt and Syria over the last few weeks to outline the Democratic candidate’s policy on the Middle East.” The report added that Malley had “relayed a pledge from Obama that the United States would seek to enhance relations with Cairo as well as reconcile with Damascus.” “The tenor of the messages was that the Obama administration would take into greater account Egyptian and Syrian interests,” said an aide to Malley.

On February 18, 2014, it was announced that Malley was formally returning to the White House to serve as a senior director at the National Security Council, where he would be in charge of managing relations between the United States and its allies in the Persian Gulf.

Israel, Gaza – Rockets Fly, We Must Not Lose Focus on Iran

Editor’s Note – It sure is a “noisy” world of late. Each week we see the overwhelming information fly by, and just when we think it got busy, events ramp up by an order of magnitude. The blur cannot be allowed to take focus off of important events that seem to have taken a back seat, especially in the American Media.

As the world searches for the missing Malaysian flight 370, the 777 missing for almost a week; as Vladimir Putin appears to have won Crimea without a single bullet drawing blood outside of Kiev; as the IRS/Lois Lerner Scandal blooms, as Benghazi remains unsolved, and the carnage in Syria continues unabated, another Obama/Kerry foreign policy fiasco unfolds. John Kerry, how is that “framework” working out for all parties now?

This week, the Israelis captured a Panamanian flagged vessel, the Klos-C was shipping tons of Iranian arms to Gaza. On Monday, Netayahu revealed:

Israel Navy ships brought a commercial vessel found carrying powerful Iranian rockets to Eilat Port on Saturday evening. The IDF is to carry out a close inspection of the ship and study the weapons on board, which were destined for the Gaza Strip.
Israel Navy ships brought a commercial vessel found carrying powerful Iranian rockets to Eilat Port on Saturday evening.

Netanyahu unveiled the massive arsenal of weapons that Israeli Navy commandos seized aboard the arms ship Klos-C, which was intercepted in the Red Sea last week. The Israeli military announced on Sunday that it offloaded 40 M-302 missiles, 181 122-mm mortars and 400,000 7.62 caliber bullets from the containers aboard the ship. (From Algemeiner.)

Netanyahu even pockets a bullet from the capture:

While presenting to worldwide media outlets on Monday the weapons seized from an Iranian arms ship last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was filmed pocketing one of the estimated 400,000 bullets found on board, Israel’s Channel 2 reported.

Netanyahu intends to show the projectile to world leaders as evidence of the Islamic Republic’s active involvement in the arming of terrorist organizations, Channel 2 said. (Read the rest at Algemeiner.)

Then Palestinian Hamas terrorists in Gaza launched on Israel and Netanyahu promised retaliation:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday evening at a press conference in Jerusalem that Israel will respond “forcefully” to the barrage of at least 60 rockets that were fired at southern Israel earlier in the day, Israel’s Walla reported.

“If there won’t be quiet in the south, there will be noise in Gaza, and this is an understatement,” the prime minister promised. “We will not be deterred from harming those who try to harm us, and we will continue to respond forcefully against terrorists in the Gaza Strip.” (Read the rest here at Algemeiner.)

Not only did Israel respond with its own rockets, by a factor of less than one-third, they also prepared for a possible incursion:

IDF tanks fired into Gaza over the past several minutes, and have already eliminated two terror targets, in response to the barrage of rocket fire on Israel.  At least 60 rockets slammed into southern Israel on Wednesday, hitting several Jewish communities. (Read more at Arutz-Sheva.)

Peace in “Palestine,” not as long as there are people calling themselves “Palestinians!” Mr. Kerry – Middle East lesson number [XXX, too many to count], it is not going to work as long as there are “Palestinians.”

If the “Palestinians” disarmed today, peace would break out, if Israel disarmed, there would be no more Israel – funny how that works Mr. Kerry, Mr. Obama!

Rockets launched from Gaza Strip answered with Israeli airstrikes

By Batsheva Sobelman and Rushdi Abu Alouf – LA Times

JERUSALEM–In the heaviest barrage in more than a year, dozens of rockets were launched at southern Israel from the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, drawing condemnation from Israel’s political leadership and swift retaliation by its military.

At least 60 rockets and mortar shells were fired in rapid succession over a two-hour period. At least eight hit urban or open areas, according to Israel’s army, while several others were intercepted by Israel’s mobile air-defense system, Iron Dome.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

As the air raid sirens subsided, Israeli residents within about 25 miles of the border with Gaza were instructed to remain within running distance of bomb shelters and concrete-reinforced safe rooms.

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After launching aircraft to identify the source of fire, Israel’s military first responded with artillery and, according to an army statement, hit “two terrorist targets” in the southern and northern parts of the strip. Israeli airstrikes were also underway, targeting dozens of locations in the Gaza Strip, according to news media reports.

In Gaza, the military wing of Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the barrage. In a statement, the organization called it a response to the “crimes of the Zionist enemy in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip,” the latest of which, it said, was the killing of three of its operatives in an airstrike Tuesday.

Iranian Rockets found on board.
Iranian Rockets found on board.

According to Israel’s military, Tuesday’s airstrike targeted the militant squad after it fired a projectile at Israel.

Speaking in the Knesset on Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would not be deterred and would continue defending itself “against the terrorist organizations in Gaza.”

In a meeting between President Shimon Peres and visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron, both leaders addressed the flare-up.

“It’s a very severe attack,” said Peres, who urged the people of Gaza to choose: “It’s either peace or violence.” He cautioned the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip that they “can’t have it both ways.”

Cameron condemned the rocket attacks as targeting civilians indiscriminately, calling the strikes “barbaric.”

The attacks from Gaza illustrate Israel’s need for security and should make clear to Palestinians that “there is no violent route” to statehood, which can only be achieved by dialogue and “thorough agreement,” Cameron said.

During a special security consultation Wednesday evening, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said that if Israel had no calm, neither would Gaza “in such a way that will make Islamic Jihad terrorists regret their shooting.”

Yaalon said if Hamas couldn’t impose calm, Israel would do it.

Yaalon has ordered the crossings between Gaza and Israel closed pending further security assessments, with exceptions for humanitarian needs.

Wednesday’s rocket fire was the fiercest since Israel’s weeklong military campaign against Gaza in November 2012 that ended in an informal cease-fire.

A spokesman for Islamic Jihad in Gaza said the attack came in response to aggression “and does not mean the collapse of the cease-fire agreement.”

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the United States condemned the attacks from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

“We call for these terrorist attacks to cease immediately,” Psaki said. “Israel, like any nation, has a right to defend itself.”

Obama – Middle East Policy Secret Doc on Policy

Editor’s Note – Middle East Foreign Policy under Obama – the core goals have been under question for years, yet, its only now that we see why in factual terms. Researchers, writers, and political mavens have opined at length, especially folks like Representative Michelle Bachmann, Andrew C. McCarthy, Clare Lopez and others who were assailed for their analysis. Now we see why!

The Secret Document That Set Obama’s Middle East Policy

Posted By Barry Rubin – PJ Media

“We have to confront violent extremism in all of its forms.… America is not — and never will be — at war with Islam. We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security — because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women, and children. And it is my first duty as president to protect the American people.” –President Barack Obama, Cairo, June 2009

“The United States is now experiencing the beginning of its end, and is heading towards its demise….Resistance is the only solution. [Today the United States] is withdrawing from Iraq, defeated and wounded, and it is also on the verge of withdrawing from Afghanistan. [All] its warplanes, missiles and modern military technology were defeated by the will of the peoples, as long as [these peoples] insisted on resistance.” –Muslim Brotherhood leader Muhammad al-Badi, Cairo, September 2010

What did the president know and when did he know it? That’s a question made classical by the Watergate scandal. Now it is possible to trace precisely what Obama knew and when he knew it. And it proves that the installment of the Muslim Brotherhood in power was a conscious and deliberate strategy of the Obama Administration developed before the “Arab Spring” began.

In February 2011 the New York Times ran an extremely complimentary article on President Obama by Mark Landler, who some observers say is the biggest apologist for Obama on the newspaper. That’s quite an achievement. Landler praised Obama for having tremendous foresight, in effect, predicting the “Arab Spring.” According to Landler,

“President Obama ordered his advisers last August [2010] to produce a secret report on unrest in the Arab world, which concluded that without sweeping political changes, countries from Bahrain to Yemen were ripe for popular revolt, administration officials said Wednesday.”

Which advisors? The then counter-terrorism advisor and now designated CIA chief, John Brennan? National Security Council senior staffer Samantha Power? If it was done by Obama’s own staff, rather than State and Defense, it’s likely that these people or at least one of them was the key author.

So should U.S. policy help allies avoid such sweeping change by standing firm or by helping them make adjustments? No, explained the report, it should get on the side of history and wield a broom to do the sweeping. The article continued:

“Mr. Obama’s order, known as a Presidential Study Directive, identified likely flashpoints, most notably Egypt, and solicited proposals for how the administration could push for political change in countries with autocratic rulers who are also valuable allies of the United States, [emphasis added] these officials said.

“The 18-page classified report, they said, grapples with a problem that has bedeviled the White House’s approach toward Egypt and other countries in recent days: how to balance American strategic interests and the desire to avert broader instability against the democratic demands of the protesters.”

As I noted, the article was quite explicitly complimentary (and that’s an understatement) about how Obama knew what was likely to happen and was well prepared for it.

But that’s precisely the problem. It wasn’t trying to deal with change but was pushing for it; it wasn’t asserting U.S. interests but balancing them off against other factors. In the process, U.S. interests were forgotten.

If Landler was right then Obama did have a sense of what was going to happen and prepared for it. It cannot be said that he was caught unawares. This view would suggest, then, that he thought American strategic interests could be protected and broader instability avoided by overthrowing U.S. allies as fast as possible and by showing the oppositions that he was on their side. Presumably the paper pointed out the strength of Islamist forces and the Muslim Brotherhood factor and then discounted any dangers from this quarter. One could have imagined how other U.S. governments would have dealt with this situation. Here is my imagined passage from a high-level government document:

In light of the likelihood of sweeping political changes, with countries from Bahrain to Yemen ripe for popular revolt, U.S. policy should either help friendly governments retain control or encourage them to make reforms that would increase the scope of freedom in a way that would satisfy popular desires without endangering U.S. interests and long-term stability. In the event that the fall of any given regime seemed likely, U.S. policy should work both publicly and behind the scenes to try to ensure the triumph of moderate, pro-democratic forces that would be able to prevent the formation of radical Islamist dictatorships inimical to U.S. interests, regional peace, and the well-being of the local population. [Note: that is my reconstruction and NOT a quote from the document]

Such an approach would have been easy and in line with historic U.S. policy. We have every reason to believe that the State Department and the Defense Department favored such an approach.

But let’s look at precisely how the White House described the U.S. policy it wanted:

“…how the administration could push for political change in countries with autocratic rulers who are also valuable allies of the United States,”

In other words, a popular revolt was going to happen (I’ve seen the cables from the U.S. embassy in Tunisia that accurately predicted an upheaval) but would it succeed or fail? The Obama Administration concluded that the revolt should succeed and set out to help make sure that it did so. As for who won, it favored not just moderate Islamic forces–which hardly existed as such–but moderate Islamist forces, which didn’t exist at all.

Anyone who says that the United States did not have a lot of influence in these crises doesn’t know what they are talking about. Of course, the U.S. government didn’t control the outcome, its leverage was limited. But there’s a big difference between telling the Egyptian army to stay in control, dump Mubarak, and make a mild transition—and we, the United States, will back you—or telling them that Washington wanted the generals to stand aside, let Mubarak be overthrown, and have a thoroughgoing regime change, a fundamental transformation, to coin a phrase.

So the Obama Administration did not stand beside friendly regimes or help to manage a limited transition with more democracy and reforms. No, it actively pushed to bring down at least four governments—Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen.

It did not push for the overthrow of two anti-American regimes—Iran and Syria—but on the contrary was still striving for good relations with those two dictatorships. Equally, it did not push for the fall of radical anti-American governments in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. No, it only pushed for the fall of “valuable allies.” There was no increase in support for dissidents in Iran despite, as we will see in a moment, internal administration predictions of unrest there, too. As for Syria, strong administration support for the dictatorship there continued for months until it was clear that the regime was in serious trouble. It seems reasonable to say that the paper did not predict the Syrian civil war.

Want more evidence about the internal administration document? Here’s another article from the time which explains:

“The White House had been debating the likelihood of a domino effect since youth-driven revolts had toppled President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia, even though the American intelligence community and Israel’s intelligence services had estimated that the risk to President Mubarak was low — less than 20 percent, some officials said.

“According to senior officials who participated in Mr. Obama’s policy debates, the president took a different view. He made the point early on, a senior official said, that `this was a trend’ that could spread to other authoritarian governments in the region, including in Iran. By the end of the 18-day uprising, by a White House count, there were 38 meetings with the president about Egypt. Mr. Obama said that this was a chance to create an alternative to “the Al Qaeda narrative” of Western interference.”

Notice that while this suggests the debate began after the unrest started, full credit is given to Obama personally, not to U.S. intelligence agencies, for grasping the truth. This is like the appropriation by the White House of all the credit for getting Usama bin Ladin, sort of a cult of personality thing. We know for a fact that the State Department predicted significant problems arising in Tunisia (from the Wikileaks documents) and perhaps that is true for other countries as well. But if Obama wants to take personal credit for the new U.S. policy that means he also has to take personal blame for the damage it does.

Now I assume what I’m about to say isn’t going to be too popular but I’ll also bet that history will prove it correct: The revolution in Egypt was not inevitable and Obama’s position was a self-fulfilling prophecy. And judging from what happened at the time, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton agrees with me. The idea of an “alternative to `the al-Qaida narrative”‘of Western interference is straight Brennan. What Obama was really saying was: Ha! So al-Qaida claims we interfere to put reactionary pro-Western dictators in power just because they’re siding with us? We’ll show them that we can put popular Islamist dictators in power even though they are against us!

If I’m writing this somewhat facetiously I mean it very seriously.

And here’s more proof from the Washington Post in March 2011 which seems to report on the implementation of the White House paper’s recommendations:

“The administration is already taking steps to distinguish between various movements in the region that promote Islamic law in government. An internal assessment, ordered by the White House last month, identified large ideological differences between such movements as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and al-Qaeda that will guide the U.S. approach to the region.” That says it all, doesn’t it? The implication is that the U.S. government knew that the Brotherhood would take power and thought this was a good thing.

It continued:

“`If our policy can’t distinguish between al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, we won’t be able to adapt to this change,’” the senior administration official said. “`We’re also not going to allow ourselves to be driven by fear.”‘

Might that be then counterterrorism advisor and now CIA director John Brennan? I’d bet on it.

What did Obama and his advisors think would happen? Why that out of gratitude for America stopping its (alleged) bullying and imperialistic ways and getting on the (alleged) side of history the new regimes would be friendly. The Muslim Brotherhood in particular would conclude that America was not its enemy. You know, one Brotherhood leader would supposedly say to another, all of these years we thought the United States was against us but now we see that they are really our friends. Remember Obama’s Cairo speech? He really gets us!

More likely he’d be saying: We don’t understand precisely what the Americans are up to but they are obviously weak, cowardly, and in decline! In fact, that’s what they did say. Remember that President Jimmy Carter’s attempts to make friends with the new Islamist regime in Iran in 1979 fed a combination of Iranian suspicion and arrogance which led to the hostage crisis and Tehran daring to take on the United States single-handed. America, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini at the time, can’t do a damned thing against us.

Incidentally, everyone except the American public—which means people in the Middle East—knows that Obama cut the funding for real democratic groups. His Cairo speech was important not for the points so often discussed (Israel, for example) but because it heralded the age of political Islamism being dominant in the region. Indeed, Obama practically told those people that they should identify not as Arabs but as Muslims.

In broader terms, what does Obama’s behavior remind me of? President Jimmy Carter pushing Iran’s shah for human rights and other reforms in 1977 and then standing aloof as the revolution unrolled—and went increasingly in the direction of radical Islamists—in 1978.

As noted above, that didn’t work out too well.

Incidentally, the State Department quite visibly did not support Obama’s policy in 2011. It wanted to stand with its traditional clients in the threatened Arab governments, just as presumably there were many in the Defense Department who wanted to help the imperiled militaries with whom they had cooperated for years. And that, by the way, includes the Turkish army which was being visibly dismantled by the Islamist regime in Ankara.

While the State Department backed down on Egypt it drew the line on Bahrain. Yes, there is a very unfair system there in which a small Sunni minority dominates a large Shia majority and yes, too, some of the Shia opposition is moderate but the assessment was that a revolution would probably bring to power an Iranian satellite government.

But the idea that they’re going to be overthrown any way so let’s give them a push did not apply to Iran or Syria or Hamas-government Gaza or Hizballah-governed Lebanon and not at all to Islamist-governed Turkey.

It makes sense that this basic thinking also applied to Libya, where dictator Muammar al-Qadhafi was hardly a friend of the United States but had been on better behavior lately. As for Syria, the U.S. government indifference to who actually wins leadership of the new regime seems to carry over from the earlier crises.

Credit should be given to the U.S. government in two specific cases. Once the decision to overthrow Qadhafi was made, the result was a relatively favorable regime in Libya. That was a gain. The problem is that this same philosophy and the fragility of the regime helped produce the Benghazi incident. The other relatively positive situation was Iraq’s post-Saddam government, to which most of the credit goes to Obama’s predecessor but some to his administration. Still, Iraq seems to be sliding–in terms of its regional strategic stance, not domestically–closer toward Iran.

At any rate, the evidence both public and behind the scenes seems to indicate that the Obama Administration decided on two principles in early 2011.

First, let’s help overthrow our friends before someone else does so and somehow we will benefit from being on the right side.

Second, it doesn’t really matter too much who takes power because somehow they will be better than their predecessors, somehow we will be more popular with them, and somehow U.S. interests will be preserved.

Landler definitely thought he was making Obama look good. Instead, I think, he was really showing us that the bad thinking and disastrous policy was planned and purposeful.