I fear this is a complete and utter national security disaster in the making and I hope President Trump will adjust his thinking.
Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed even recently told CBS that the kingdom is “open to all initiatives for a political solution in Yemen.” That’s a long way from another CBS interview last year in which he compared Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
That pragmatism can be heard in how both Saudi Arabia and the UAE look at Syria. Since the start of the country’s war in 2011, it backed those trying to overthrow Assad.
….and Assad to protect the land of our enemy? Anyone who wants to assist Syria in protecting the Kurds is good with me, whether it is Russia, China, or Napoleon Bonaparte. I hope they all do great, we are 7,000 miles away!
„Anyone who wants to assist Syria in protecting the Kurds is good with me, whether it is Russia, China, or Napoleon Bonaparte. I hope they all do great, we are 7,000 miles away!“ Trump wrote on Twitter.
He defended his weekend order to vacate northeastern Syria and abandon the Kurds, saying that the US mission to defeat Islamic State in the region had been achieved „100 percent.“
Netanyahu built his foreign affairs and defense policy on two foundations: complete identification with Trump and escalating the conflict with Iran and its allies, with a series of attacks that have intensified in recent months, striking at a distance as far as Iraq. He believed, and marketed to the public, that Trump was attentive to his counsel and would take steps to bring down the Iranian regime. But to his great disappointment Trump broke off contact with him after the election and is brazenly acting to thaw relations with Iran.
If anything is left of the ‚defense alliance‘ between Washington and Israel, it’s on paper only
„China has been closely following the complex and sensitive situation in the Gulf region,“ Geng added. „Safeguarding peace and stability in the region is in the shared interests of the international community. China welcomes all proposals and diplomatic efforts conducive to deescalating the situation in the Gulf region. We would also like to stay in communication with all relevant parties.“
Russia offers to establish an organization with the participation of Russia, the US, EU states and other countries in order to resolve the issues in the Persian Gulf, Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed on Thursday during the plenary session of the Valdai Discussion Club.
5. In view of the heavy fighting, which was approaching close to the UNDOF headquarters at Camp Faouar and the mission’s positions in the central part of the area of separation, the Force Commander briefed both parties early in September on the Force’s plans to relocate its personnel and assets should the Nusra Front or other extremist fighters who posed a clear threat to the mission endanger the safety and security of the United Nations personnel. It should be noted here that from information posted on social media as well as in the course of its efforts to secure the release of the peacekeepers, the United Nations learned that its personnel had been taken and held by members of the Nusra Front. There were indications that the Nusra Front intended to detain additional UNDOF personnel and take from UNDOF more weapons and vehicles as opportunities arose. (…)
12. Crossing of the ceasefire line by civilians, primarily shepherds, was observed on an almost daily basis. On 24 October, United Nations observation post 73 observed 12 IDF soldiers who detained one civilian between the Alpha line and the Israeli technical fence south-east of the observation post and subsequently took him away. IDF informed UNDOF that they released the person within one hour at the same location. On 27 October, position 80 observed two IDF soldiers east of the technical fence returning from the direction of the Alpha line towards the technical fence. UNDOF observed IDF opening the technical fence gate and letting two individuals pass from the Bravo to the Alpha side. Following the evacuation of UNDOF personnel from position 85 on 28 August, UNDOF sporadically observed armed members of the opposition interacting with IDF across the ceasefire line in the vicinity of United Nations position 85.
UN troops monitoring the 1974 ceasefire between Israel and Syria have witnessed interactions between members of the Israeli Defence Forces and the Al Nusra Front who have taken over a large part of the Golan Heights.
Netanyahu’s general, implied statement on the Golan Heights draws from political ideas developed by various right-wing figures over the past year, who argue that the situation in Syria and the takeover of ISIS and other Al-Qaida-affiliated groups of large portions of the country may allow Israel to receive international recognition of 1981 the annexation of the Golan Heights.
Syria used to exist, but soon will no longer exist. The validity of the arrangements that defined the borders and the countries in the Middle East after World War I has expired, and the region can now expect many years of instability. In such a situation, Israel must reformulate its geostrategic interests – not only on the Syrian front – by looking far into the future, rather than deep into the past.
The fatal flaw in Netanyahu’s game plan was obvious to anyone who took Trump’s measure from the outset. It wrongly assumed that the U.S. president could be a stable and dependable partner in advancing Netanyahu’s game plan. It posited that Trump recognized the threat Iran poses to both Israel and the U.S. and that his utmost priority would be to quell it. It did not take into account Trump’s isolationist tendencies or that his only real priority is promoting himself.
At a speech at the UK’s Liberal Democrat party conference, leading EU Parliament member Guy Verhofstadt was met with thunderous applause after he proclaimed the end of the nation-state and declared the future will be based on the interactions of empires.
“In the world order of tomorrow, the world order of tomorrow is not a world order based on nation states or countries, it’s a world order that is based on Empires, China is not a nation, it’s a civilisation.
He would have nothing to gain — and every-thing to lose — by jumping into another Gulf quagmire, not least when it comes to his chances of re-election. He is in tune with the overwhelming majority of Americans horrified at the prospect of war with Iran in defence of the House of Saud. Opinion polls show huge majorities — among both Democrat and Republican voters — opposed to any such action. Evangelical Christians support war, because they believe it would make Israel safer. But they would vote for Trump come what may.
For Saudi Arabia, this spells disaster.
The bottom line is that this is a week of naked political horse trading that goes on behind closed doors. Journalists are not allowed to witness what takes place, which is why we’ve been looking at official IPCC photos here. This is what they permit us to see.
It’s only after the diplomats have haggled over this Summary – paragraph by paragraph – that the final version gets officially released at a press conference.
The world is then told that science has spoken. But what’s just happened has nothing to do with science. Scientific truth is not determined in the dead of night by UN-level negotiations. On what planet would such an approach make scientific sense?
But the bad news doesn’t stop there. There’s actually a step in the IPCC process in which the original, lengthy report gets amended so that it conforms to the politically-negotiated Summary. I am not making this up.
1. Kenton Clymer, The United States and Cambodia, 1969-2000: A Troubled Relationship(New York and London: Routledge, 2004)
2. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger discusses the Khmer Rouge regime with Thailand’s Foreign Minister Chatichai, November 26, 1975
Kissinger: “You should also tell the Cambodians that we will be friends with them. They are murderous thugs, but we won’t let that stand in our way. We are prepared to improve relations with them.”
3. Ford and Kissinger discuss Cambodia with Indonesia’s President Suharto, Jakarta, December 5, 1975
4. Former US National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, on China and the Khmer Rouge, 1979:
“I encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot. Pol Pot was an abomination. We could never support him, but China could.” According to Brzezinski, the USA “winked, semi-publicly” at Chinese and Thai aid to the Khmer Rouge.
There are allegations that the United States (U.S.) directly armed the Khmer Rouge during the Cambodian–Vietnamese War in order to weaken the influence of Vietnam and the Soviet Union in Southeast Asia. It is not disputed that the United States encouraged the government of China to provide military training and support for the Khmer Rouge and that the United States voted for the Khmer Rouge to remain the official representative of the country in the United Nations even after 1979 when the Khmer Rouge was mostly deposed by Vietnam and ruled just a small part of the country.
Additional alleged U.S. actions that benefited the Khmer Rouge range from tolerating Chinese and Thai aid to the organization (Henry Kissinger) to, according to Michael Haas, directly arming the Khmer Rouge. The U.S. government officially denies these claims, and Nate Thayer defended U.S. policy, arguing that little, if any, American aid actually reached the Khmer Rouge. However, it is not disputed that the U.S. voted for the Khmer Rouge, and later, for the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea (CGDK), which was dominated by the Khmer Rouge, to retain Cambodia’s United Nations (UN) seat until 1982 and 1991, respectively.
The meeting will start on Thursday 29 August with a discussion held jointly with the EU defence ministers. Countering hybrid and cyber threats is one of the priorities of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU.
German military experts have presented their first concrete plans for an EU naval operation in the Persian Gulf. According to the draft of two well connected government advisors and a Bundeswehr professor, warships should be cruising at the two entrances to the Strait of Hormuz. Supplementary warships should escort oil tankers through the strait with armed troops on board to ward off possible attacks – depending on the disposition to escalate.
“We must recognize that China is a growing power and increasingly assertive towards its place in the international order. But make no mistake: we will always defend Canadians and Canadian interests,” Trudeau said in a speech to the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations.
Mitch McConnell, the US Senate majority leader, wrote a strongly-worded op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, titled “We Stand With Hong Kong.” It comes as the city enters its 11th week of protest against the ill-fated extradition law, amid wider calls for democracy.
So what’s going on here? How do we explain this outlandish, perverse process?
Well Rajendra Pachauri, who chaired the IPCC for 13 years, said that its “main customer” was something called the UNFCCC. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele is an IPCC official who’s working very hard to become its new chairman. This is slide #26 from a presentation he gave a few years ago: The IPCC, he says, is “eager to continue serving the UNFCCC process.” What does that mean?
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an international treaty. If you’re the UN, and you’re trying to persuade nearly 200 different parties to act together, you need to start from somewhere. You need an established body of facts, a master document, a bible that everyone can use as a jumping-off point. IPCC reports, it turns out, serve that purpose.
In other words, the IPCC’s primary function is to enable a political instrument – a treaty between nation states. This is high octane politics.
But the new missiles are unlikely to be deployed to counter the treaty’s other nuclear power, Russia, which the United States has said for years was in violation of the accord. Instead, the first deployments are likely to be intended to counter China, which has amassed an imposing missile arsenal and is now seen as a much more formidable long-term strategic rival than Russia.
Global stocks fell sharply on Friday after Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on $300bn (£247.6bn) of Chinese goods in a rapid escalation of the trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.
The SCO is bound to significantly expand by 2020, with possible full membership for both Turkey and Iran. It will then feature all major players of Eurasia integration. Considering the current incandescence in the geopolitical chessboard, it’s hardly an accident a crucial protagonist in Bishkek was the ‘observer’ state Iran.
During a trilateral meeting between the national security advisers of Israel, the US and Russia in late June, Jerusalem and Washington demanded that Moscow ensure the withdrawal of Iran’s forces from Lebanon and Iraq, as well as from Syria, Channel 13 news reported Tuesday.
The demand was seen as a condition for US and Israeli support for a long-term arrangement to secure peace in war-ravaged Syria.
A diplomatic official told Haaretz that “this unprecedented meeting of two world powers with Israel, in Israel, underscores its global standing and sends a powerful message to the region, especially to our enemies. The meeting is a climax of many political steps, among them Netanyahu’s meetings with presidents Trump and Putin. These meetings created the opportunity for a historic meeting such as this, which will contribute a great deal to Israel’s security interests in the region.”
Mr. Bolton is a longtime Iran hawk who has supported the Mujahedeen Khalq, known as M.E.K. It is a fringe dissident group that calls for regime change in Iran. Mr. Bolton has said he has backed the controversial group for over a decade.
The sudden visit to New Delhi by the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif for a meeting on May 14 with the outgoing External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in the dying days of the Modi government underscores dramatically how much Tehran has been traumatised by the Indian decision under American pressure to summarily stop all imports of Iranian oil w.e.f May 2.
The United States has added Cuba, Libya and Syria to the nations it claims are deliberately seeking to obtain chemical or biological weapons.
The offer came during a visit to Saudi Arabia that was just one of several meetings Mr. Haftar had with foreign dignitaries in the weeks and days before he began the military campaign on April 4.
This visit, which occurred one day before the Saudi monarch departed for the annual Arab League summit in Tunis, marked the first meeting between Haftar and King Salman. While in the Saudi capital, Haftar also met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. With the Saudi king, the Libyan commander discussed the “latest developments” in Libya’s civil war that erupted in 2014. King Salman affirmed Riyadh’s “keenness for the security and stability of Libya.”
The 75-year-old Haftar, who has switched sides and loyalties in the course of a military career spanning half-a-century, has portrayed himself as the only man who can bring stability to Libya and crush the Islamists in the North African nation.
It’s a pitch that has won Haftar audiences with leaders in Paris, Rome, Moscow, Cairo, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. But analysts warn that the self-aggrandising military man is unlikely or unable to deliver on both fronts.
Conte told parliament that a Memorandum of Understanding to be signed with President Xi Jinping hooking Italy up to China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative “do not remotely put into doubt our euro-Atlantic alliance”.
In terms of proven gas reserves, Venezuela had 198.3 trillion cubic feet in 2017, according to the Ministry of Petroleum. The new proven reserves are distributed in 2.3 trillion cubic feet of the traditional areas of Maracaibo, Maturin, Barcelona, Cumana and Barinas, and 718.7 trillion that lie in the blocks of the Oil Belt.
National Security Adviser John Bolton will declare the election of right-wing firebrand Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil as a „positive sign“ for Latin America while denouncing Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua as a „Troika of Tyranny,“ according to excerpts seen by Axios of a speech he will give at 1 p.m. ET in Miami.