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
More recently, Trump and Graham have battled over foreign policy after Graham tweeted that the administration’s decision not to retaliate militarily to Iran’s downing of an American drone “was clearly seen by the Iranian regime as a sign of weakness.”
Trump bristled, insisting, “No Lindsey, it was a sign of strength that some people just don’t understand!”
He later mocked Graham’s support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, asking reporters “how did going into Iraq work out?”
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.
Netanyahu focused on Iran during his remarks at the Thursday ceremony on Mount. Herzl in Jerusalem.
“Iran threatens to wipe us off the map. It says explicitly: ‘Israel will disappear.’ It has tried to attack us repeatedly; therefore, we must stand ready to defend ourselves against danger,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu made the comments at a holiday toast with workers in his office, during which he relayed that he just had a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Erdogan said on Thursday Ankara will send the 3.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey to Europe if European countries label the country’s military incursion in Syria as an occupation.
„We will open the gates and send 3.6 million refugees your way,“ Erdogan said in speech to lawmakers from his AK Party.
Trump’s call for ending U.S. military involvement in the Middle East and bringing the troops home was a feature of his presidential campaign, but it flies in the face of many decades of bipartisan American policy, even as the Trump administration and its immediate predecessor have tried to give additional attention to what they see as long-term security threats elsewhere, including from China and Russia.
„From the first day I entered the political arena, I made it clear that I did not want to fight these endless, senseless wars—especially those that don’t benefit the United States,“ Trump said.
The president said Turkey had committed to protecting civilians and religious minorities, and that the country would be responsible for imprisoned ISIS fighters and ensuring the terrorist group „does not reconstitute in any way, shape, or form.“
Trump suggested that Republican predecessor George W. Bush, whose military invaded Iraq based on bad intelligence, was responsible for entangling the United States in a regional quagmire that has resulted in more 50,000 American casualties since 2001.
‚We went to war under a false & now disproven premise, WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. There were NONE! Now we are slowly & carefully bringing our great soldiers & military home. Our focus is on the BIG PICTURE! THE USA IS GREATER THAN EVER BEFORE!‘ he proclaimed.
Trump said that religious clashes in the Middle East will never be resolved by an American military presence.
Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan continued their exchange of views on Syrian problems, including in the context of the agreements reached in September in Ankara during the meeting of the leaders of the guarantor states in the Astana process. In light of the plans announced by Turkey to conduct a military operation in northeastern Syria, Vladimir Putin urged his Turkish partners to carefully consider the situation so as not to damage the overall efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis.
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Current turmoil in both Iraq and Syria led the discussion in a meeting on Wednesday between Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Masoud Barzani and French Consul General in Erbil Olivier Decottignies.
Turkey launched a planned military operation in northeastern Syria on Wednesday aimed at flushing out a Syrian militia backed by the United States, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrote on Twitter.
Mr. Erdogan said the operation aimed to “prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border,” but provided no other information about whether Turkish ground troops had entered Syria or how far in they would go.
The US should never have been there in the first place (though reading Hillary Clinton’s late-night response to Trump it is clearer than ever that the world dodged more than a bullet when she failed to win the presidency).
The Kurdish people should have never placed their fate in the hands of a far off and thoroughly unreliable US “ally” which has picked them up only to put them back on the shelf so many times before. Syrian Kurds belong to Syria and it is with their Syrian neighbours and government that the SDF should have been in alliance.
President Trump has indicated that he will fulfill one of his central campaign promises – to get the US out of the endless wars in the Middle East and elsewhere. He has directed US troops to begin withdrawing from parts of northeast Syria in advance of an expected Turkish incursion into the region. Neocons screech that this will mean a comeback for ISIS and that abandoning the Kurds is treachery. They want to continue the “successful” Obama policy of eight years.
As of today, American troops have been engaged in Afghanistan for 18 years—America’s longest war ever. This means today’s recruits may be sent to fight in a war that started before they were even born, and many of those currently deployed are likely too young to remember the events of 9/11.
There’s no question we were justified in responding to those attacks, and the men and women who have been sent to Afghanistan have served honorably. But our continued involvement in the region does not serve American interests and only works to destabilize the region further. After nearly two decades of fighting, thousands of lives lost, and trillions of taxpayer dollars spent, it is past time to bring our troops home.
The decision, which was announced by the White House on Sunday night, caught senior officials in Israel’s security and diplomatic ranks by complete surprise.
Several sources also said that the American decision was also not seriously discussed, and possibly even wasn’t discussed at all, during Sunday’s security cabinet meeting, which focused on Iran and the Palestinian arena.
The president lamented that the most difficult aspect of his job is writing letters to the families of soldiers killed overseas. He described writing to families of soldiers killed by mines or snipers, calling it „devastating.“
„We’re willing to do what we have to do, but there has to be an endgame,“ he said. „And if you stay, it’s going to be the same thing. Eventually you’re going to have to leave.“
“The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so. They have been fighting Turkey for decades. I held off this fight for … almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home,” Trump tweeted.
“WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN,” the president added.
It requires more than bringing ground troops home from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. American war-making will persist so long as the United States continues to seek military dominance across the globe. Dominance, assumed to ensure peace, in fact guarantees war. To get serious about stopping endless war, American leaders must do what they most resist: end America’s commitment to armed supremacy and embrace a world of pluralism and peace.
“We can take Syrians from tent, container cities and settle them in here, with U.S., coalition powers, Russia and Iran,” he said.
Turkey currently hosts some 3.6 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world. Ankara has so far spent $40 billion for the refugees, according to official figures.
He elaborated that no „fancy“ systems are needed for this and that the quite simple and battle-proven Russian Pantsir S1 (NATO reporting name SA-22 Greyhound) systems with dual 2A38M 30 millimetre automatic cannons equipped with infrared direction finders would do the trick. Russia has been successfully using Pantsirs to repel frequent massive drone attacks on its Hmeymim base in Syria carried out by local militant groups.
Al-Shabab launched a „daring raid on the US military base“, the group said in a statement.
„After breaching the perimeters of the heavily fortified base, the mujahideen [holy warriors] stormed the military complex, engaging the crusaders in an intense firefight.“
Two years to the month from when the idea was first floated publicly, the Pentagon on Wednesday inaugurated its new Defense Security Cooperation University, with the aim of creating a workforce able to more quickly move security assistance for allies and partners.
At an event opening the new university location, located roughly a mile from the Pentagon, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy John Rood, Defense Security Cooperation Agency head Lt. Gen. Charles Hooper and Cara Abercrombie, the new president of the university, all praised the opening of the office as a new start for the Pentagon’s security assistance mission.
Chirac was barely a year into his second presidential term when he was faced with the biggest diplomatic challenge of his career as then US president George W. Bush attempted to build a “coalition of the willing” against Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq.
The French leader was resolutely unwilling to join the coalition, emerging as a formidable voice of opposition against a military invasion. His Gallic “non” frayed France’s relations with the US and Britain, but it also won him legions of admirers at home and abroad.
Mr. Ashkenazi and Meir Dagan, who was the head of the Israeli intelligence service, the Mossad, at the time, would later say that this was an attempt at “stealing a war,” Ms. Dayan reported, because in their view such an order required a decision of the full cabinet, not the smaller group in the meeting, who were then known as the forum of seven.
Both Mr. Ashkenazi, who is now retired, and Mr. Dagan, who stepped down after the meeting, have become vocal critics of plans for a unilateral Israeli attack on Iran, and of Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Barak’s aggressive approach.
Diskin’s remarks followed a furore over comments made on Wednesday by Israel’s serving military chief, Benny Gantz, which starkly contrasted with Netanyahu’s rhetoric on Iran. Gantz said he did not believe the Iranian leadership was prepared to „go the extra mile“ to acquire nuclear weapons because it was „composed of very rational people“ who understood the consequences.
The Israeli military chief described the Iranian government as “rational” in interviews published Wednesday and said he did not believe it would build a nuclear bomb, appearing to put some distance between himself and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
“I believe he would be making an enormous mistake, and I don’t think he will want to go the extra mile,” the chief of staff of the Israeli Defense Force, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, told the left-leaning newspaper Haaretz, referring to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Gun believes that because there was no specific UN authority to attack Iraq, ‘in theory’ Bush and Blair could be put on trial for waging an aggressive war (the charge at Nuremberg). ‘That is the only consolation I have… A lot of people would welcome that. It would show that there isn’t a double standard. It would show that when our politicians break the law they are held accountable.’ There is no chance of such a war crimes trial. Gun, the conscience–stricken spy, will almost certainly remain the only British official charged with anything to do with the war in Iraq.
“Every time your local city council member, your state representative, your member of Congress tells you there’s not enough money to make sure we have clean water, there’s not enough money to have quality health care for all … there’s just not enough money to make sure our kids have the tools they need to get the best education possible,” that’s the cost of current foreign policy, said Gabbard, who is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
In the 18 years since Sept. 11, 2001, taxpayers have spent $6 trillion for the War on Terror, she said. The bill continues to go up at a rate of $4 billion a month for the war in Afghanistan.
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.
As Barbara Lee presciently warned her colleagues before she cast her lone dissenting vote in 2001, we have “become the evil we deplore.” But these wars have not been accompanied by fearsome military parades (not yet) or speeches about conquering the world. Instead they have been politically justified by “information warfare” to demonize enemies and fabricate crises, and then waged in a “disguised, quiet, media free” way, to hide their cost in human blood from the American public and the world.
After 16 years of war, about 6 million violent deaths, 6 countries utterly destroyed and many more destabilized, it is urgent that the American public come to terms with the true human cost of our country’s wars and how we have been manipulated and misled into turning a blind eye to them – before they go on even longer, destroy more countries, further undermine the rule of international law and kill millions more of our fellow human beings.
Written in the frenzied, emotional days after 9/11, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force was intended to give President Bush the ability to retaliate against whoever orchestrated the attacks. But more than 12 years later, this sentence remains the primary legal justification for nearly every covert operation around the world. Here’s how it came to be, and what it’s since come to mean.
As we observe another anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack that shattered American life 18 years ago, its full impact is still unfolding. Those who planned it succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. The airborne assaults that took nearly 3,000 lives on that day may now be seen as the most diabolically successful terror attack in history. That attack not only wreaked carnage at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in rural Pennsylvania. It wound up dragging the United States into an endless state of war that has drained our treasury, poisoned our politics, created waves of new terrorism, and made us the enemy of millions around the world.
During a separate interview on NBC, Pompeo noted Camp David’s history in peace negotiations, “sometimes with some pretty bad actors.”
“The president ultimately made the decision that … if we could get commitments and then put in place a verification regime that would give us confidence that we could observe that those commitments were being honored, that … it was a useful effort to try and get all of those parties in one place so that we could have serious conversations.”
(19. Mai 2009)
Of 30 rifle magazines recently taken from insurgents’ corpses, at least 17 contained cartridges, or rounds, identical to ammunition the United States had provided to Afghan government forces, according to an examination of ammunition markings by The New York Times and interviews with American officers and arms dealers.