Thursday, January 3, 2019

Sand And Death

Cutting Losses,

Trump maintains his stance on withdrawal from Syria. Thanks Eleni.
The US president said: "Syria was lost long ago. It was lost long ago. We’re not talking about vast wealth. We’re talking about sand and death. I’m getting out, we’re getting out of Syria. Look, we don’t want Syria."
He added: "The Kurds, our partners are selling oil to Iran. I'm not thrilled about that, I'm not happy about it at all."
However, Mr Trump said he did want to "protect" US-backed Kurdish fighters in the country as Washington draws down its 2,000 troops, which would happen "over a period of time".
Eleni also sends this story, saying that Trump is disappointed with Sheldon Adelson's delivery of House votes in midterm elections, and is moving away from Adelson and Israel-firsters, and toward the votes. I think this is not enough explanation. Trump is doing things he wanted to do all along, but could not do before. Something gave him ore power to act last month, some level of protection, I think. This is not the kind of thing that gets published, but I think the hidden deep state faction that Trump fronts for ("rationalists") got a stronger position, somehow, allowing him to make moves the Neocons hate. I have to wonder how important the mounting evidence of vast Clinton-network crimes is. There is just so much documentation of the huge scale of bribery, sex with minors, and even the murder of Seth Rich after that office party...
A lot of people are scratching their heads over Trump’s recent moves distancing himself from Israel. He announced that he was pulling troops from Syria, thereby nettling Israel’s friends who counted on him to take on Iran in Syria. Iran, Iran, Iran, say Chuck Schumer, Lindsey Graham, and Bret Stephens. Trump overrode John Bolton, his neoconservative national security adviser, in announcing the withdrawal. Jonathan Tobin writes that Trump just gave the finger to his Jewish voters.
Then Trump held a briefing in Iraq the night after Christmas and complained about all the money we give Israel, exaggerating the sum to $4.5 billion a year.
I think there’s a simple explanation for Trump’s shift. He was counting on his biggest donor, Sheldon Adelson, to deliver the House to him in the midterm elections; and Adelson failed, bigtime. Donald Trump is sore about that.
Remember that in the runup to the election last spring, the transactional president did his part: He tore up the Iran deal and moved the embassy to Jerusalem and installed Adelson’s friend John Bolton as national security adviser– after declining to do all these actions in his first year in office, he saved them for the election year.
What did Trump get for those moves? Bupkus. Yes Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam gave upwards of $87 million to the Republican congressional effort, including some $50 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund. More than half that money came in last May, just as the embassy was opened. All to save the House.
And what was the result? The Democrats picked up 40 seats in the House...
Donald Trump is a shrewd man, and he has surely concluded what any gamer would, that Sheldon Adelson’s millions didn’t have the impact in 2018 that they did in 2016, when they helped deliver the White House.  

Along the lines of offsetting-penalties-with-team-Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, Trump's lawyer, says Julian Assange should not be prosecuted. (Who benefits?)

More neocons-on-display... Martin Armstrong was a top Republican economic adviser, screening candidates for the 2000 election, but one candidate was different, not to actually be tested on economic prowess at all. He would have babysitters. Armstrong could be one, if he chose. He didn't. George W. Bush was the idiot-son candidate. Cheney and Rumsfeld, a team since Jerry Ford years, were the real power team. Armstrong works this into a review of the Cheney-in-office bio, Vice, which he recommends.
The movie correctly portrays Donald Rumsfeld as his co-conspirator. Just the day before 911 on September 10th, the Inspector General reported that $2.3 trillion was missing from the Defense Department accounting. Rumsfeld stated before Congress an investigation was necessary. The next day, the plane that struck the Pentagon hit the precise room where all those records were stored.  

Free actors in Iraq and Syria now can make decisions to edge out the USAF.
As the United States is reportedly "slowing things down" on Trump's announced full troop withdrawal, Syria's President Assad is apparently speeding things up in terms of reasserting sovereign control over all parts of the country, as he's long promised to "liberate every inch" of natural Syria.
On Sunday Assad took the controversial step of authorizing Iraqi forces to attack terror targets inside Syria at will, according to state-run SANA "without waiting for permission from authorities in Damascus" while the two allies coordinate action against remaining ISIS pockets in the country's east.

Moon of Alabama says Syria is "Country of the Year"
George Galloway is right:
George Galloway @georgegalloway - 11:46 utc - 31 Dec 2018
The defeat of the imperialist armies and their head-chopping auxiliaries in the alphabet soup of Islamist extremism by the Syrian Arab Army and its allies was the most significant event of the year or any year since the US defeat in Vietnam. It will change the world.

World Food Program, Bribed By Saudis, Threatens Yemenis With More Famine
The United Nation's World Food Program is supposed to relief populations in urgent need of food supplies. It is not supposed to be a partisan organization. But in the war on Yemen it has now taken one side of the conflict and is threatening the other side with starvation.

​Israel completes seawall around Gaza, violating Oslo accords, and completing the noose of siege around the open air prison, where it periodically strafes, bombs and ​murders the rightful heirs of Palestine.

Mediterranean gas-pipeline-war update. So far, Turkey can block things if it does not get a cut of the profits and gas flowing through Cyprus. Turkstream, from Russia, is a fait accompli. (Israel has got Greece in it's clutches, but does not control Turkey.)

Chinese robot-rover joins Pink Floyd on the dark side of the moon. (Baby, it's cold out there!)

China and Taiwan don't agree to disagree. They disagree. It's ok, for now.

Corbyn won't get cornered. He's been bullied for so long that it just doesn't work, neither carrot, nor stick.
Jeremy Corbyn will defy calls to change course on the party’s Brexit policy ahead of parliament’s vote on the deal, insisting that the government should secure a new deal with the EU if MPs reject Theresa May’s agreement...
“What we will do is vote against having no deal, we’ll vote against Theresa May’s deal; at that point she should go back to Brussels and say, ‘This is not acceptable to Britain’ and renegotiate a customs union, form a customs union with the European Union to secure trade,” he said.  

​I thought the Yellow Vests had no "leaders".
One of the leaders of the "yellow vest" anti-government demonstrations, Eric Drouet, was detained by French police and placed in custody on Wednesday for organising a central Paris protest without declaring it, according to a source at the prosecutors office.
Drouet -- who already faces a trial for carrying a weapon -- was held while heading for the Champs-Elysees, according to a police source.


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