This took Trump what Ten Days?

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, in a phone call on Sunday with U.S. President Donald Trump, agreed to support safe zones in Syria and Yemen, a White House statement said.

Trump, during his presidential campaign last year, had called for Gulf states to pay for establishing safe zones to protect Syrian refugees.

A statement after the phone call said the two leaders agreed on the importance of strengthening joint efforts to fight the spread of Islamic State militants.

“The president requested and the King agreed to support safe zones in Syria and Yemen, as well as supporting other ideas to help the many refugees who are displaced by the ongoing conflicts,” the statement said.

This is what you get when you have a president & administration of action vs one of hashtags.

Via the Conservative Treehouse who notes:

This is a jaw-dropping exhibition of the scope of President Trump’s strategic leverage. Remember how Secretary of State Rex Tillerson refused to take the bait from Senator Marco Rubio regarding Saudi Arabia? Put this outcome in the dividend column.

I have an odd feeling the press and protesters will have very little to say about this.

Update: Short Answer Yes.

Can anyone tell me what the Obama Administration and their team of the smartest people in the world have been doing these last 2 years?

Update 2: Don Surber

President Trump and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman agreed on creating a safe zone for Muslim refugees within the Middle East, the New Indian Express (as well as Reuters and Bloomberg) reported.

Conservatives have long asked why America and Europe must take in refugees when their Arab Muslim neighbors have the money to help their fellow Muslims.

Trump is making it so.

I’m amazed that Surber doesn’t have an admin job yet.


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Today, a truce has been brokered in Syria that will hopefully turn the corner on the worst humanitarian crisis in modern history. With the country torn to pieces, refugees have been flooding into Europe and some parts of the Middle East, creating a dangerous situation for the entire region. America, under the leadership of President Obama, was not a part of the talks.

America, under the leadership of President Obama, didn’t deserve to be part of the talks.

Let’s take a quick look at recent history in Syria. It was a chain reaction of horrible mistakes. First, Obama drew his “red line” of chemical and biological weapons, claiming that if Bashar al Assad used them it would change the calculus for the United States to take action. Assad crossed the red line. Obama didn’t take action, letting the window of opportunity close before Russia stepped in.

Then, Obama went with the plan of arming and training Syrian rebels to take on Assad’s army. As many will recall, much of the support that Obama gave to enemies of Assad ended up being transferred to the Islamic State and other radical Islamic militants. They were supposed to be the force that drove back the Islamic State and got rid of Assad. Instead, they were neutered from the start by the poor plan before being obliterated by Russia, Iran, and Syria.

Finally, Obama attempted to negotiate peace while bickering with Russia over who would be involved. He tried to work through Turkey to get one done. His “smart power” policy would share the credit for cleaning up the mess he created. Instead, Turkey found a better partner in Russia and they got it done without him.

With 22 days before Obama is out of office, it’s fitting that he’s been excluded from cleaning up the mess that he created. As a parent, I’ve used with incredible efficiency the non-involvement tactic when the kids leave a mess behind. I draw their attention to the mess they made, then I proceed to clean it. When they offer to help, I tell them that I’ll take care of it because if they were concerned about the mess, they would have cleaned it up before. The guilt they feel as they watch their mess being cleaned has more of a lasting impact than making them clean it up themselves. Today, they clean up their messes before I see them.

Obama is being treated like a child by the international community because he’s acted like a foreign policy neophyte for eight years. He cannot take credit for fixing Syria and will get most of the blame for allowing the situation to explode. America is meant to be strong, to lead. Obama wanted to lead from behind. Instead, he’s being left behind. The result is a world that is much worse off today than when he became President.

The Roman ruins at Palmyra, Syria, before the self-proclaimed Islamic State took control

Syria was always one of my favorite places in the world—an amazing mix of ancient sites that even despots couldn’t destroy until now.

When I worked for Newsweek and ABC News in the Middle East in the 1970s and 1980s, I spent many days there.

It was difficult to report in the police state of President Hafez al-Assad, who ruled the country until his death in 2000. He was a bad guy—perhaps even worse than his son Bashar, who now heads the country.

Nevertheless, Syria, the country, was always a nice place to visit. Damascus is considered the longest continuously inhabited city in the world—founded more than 3,000 years ago.

When you go to the old market or souk, you travel along the road where St. Paul was converted. Yes, it’s that road to Damascus. Nearby is thought to be the grave of St. John the Baptist.

The souk is one of the most amazing in the Middle East. I bought my first Persian carpet there, along with numerous copper and brass tables, plates and tea services from “Cha Cha,” a Syrian trader who was a favorite of the foreign community. He even found an old Russian samovar that still has a special place in our home.

The Roman ruins at Palmyra are among the most beautiful in the Middle East, with more than 150,000 tourists visiting the site before the civil war.

Some Arabic dishes in Syria have a distinctly different taste, mainly from a special red pepper from Aleppo, the city now in ruins from the civil war.

I worked on a variety of stories in Syria—almost always under the watchful eye of government censors and secret police. The last one was more than 30 years ago—an investigation of Syria’s connection to the 1983 attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut that left 241 servicemen dead.

In 2011, I gave a speech in Beirut to a group of journalists. I argued that the civil war—only a few months old then—required U.S. boots on the ground. More important, journalists needed to document the atrocities of the Assad regime without any concern for objectivity, fairness and balance. Simply put, there were not two sides of the story—only the need to stop the brutality of government.

Two prominent journalists—one from The Washington Post and another from National Public Radio—disagreed with me. I hope they realize now how wrong they were to oppose the involvement of U.S. troops and the need to change from the neutral stance of journalists in covering the civil war.

In 2013 President Obama drew a line in the sand in Syria–a line that was quickly swept away by inaction.

Most people see the horror of what has happened in Syria as a result of the atrocities of the Assad regime and the self-proclaimed Islamic State. I’m glad I still have some good memories left.


Christopher Harper worked as a journalist for many years, including nearly a decade in the Middle East for Newsweek and ABC News. He teaches media law.

On the Lead with Jake Tapper Tuesday Jake talked about the situation in Aleppo and how its fate is pretty much sealed.

He rightly pointed out how awful it was, the implication being that we should (or should have) done something about it.

Forgetting for a moment that the name of the president is still a fellow named Obama and that it wasn’t all that many years ago in the days of the Soviet Union when the media repeatedly expressed the idea that the best way to deal with Russia was diplomacy without military confrontations, there is one overriding fact that matters more than anything else.

 

No Amount of sanctions of any type is going to stop the offensive in Aleppo. If Aleppo is to be saved it is going to involve Air Combat with the Syrian and Russian Air Forces to slow them up long enough for American Ground Troops to get there.

 

Furthermore the only way things are going to change in Syria is if we go in a-la Iraq, Take it over and stay two decades at least rather than cutting and running as we did under Obama.

Now one might debate if the ratio of the cost in cash and lives plus the risk of a military escalation with either Russia and/or Iran vs the benefit of a Syria pried from the Russians and Iranians, the Syrians not slaughtering their own people, putting an army on the flank of both Iraqi and Lebanese militants and the reviving of the flypaper strategy where instead of attacking vulnerable western targets ISIS sympathizers flock to Syria to confront and be destroyed by the best trained, best equipped and most deadly military in the entire history of history.

But none of that matters because of one simple fact.

Even if the conclusion was made that the cost benefit ratio to war justified it The American people do not have the will to fight.

This of course is due to the efforts of the left in the culture wars of the last 30 to 50 years (ironically supported by the soviets). Iraq was only possible because of the 9/11 attacks.

And it’s not like the left and the papers who are hitting Trump for trying make friends with the Russians were going to fight such a war themselves or even support such a war if proposed

Until such a time this changes, and such a change is at least a generation away, the best we can do is make noise to save face however both the Russians and the Syrians will recognize such noise for what it is.

by baldilocks

On Twitter, many people call on others to “do something” about the destruction and mass killing of civilians in Aleppo, Syria. By “doing something,” they mean something other than posting about it on Social Media. Likely, these are the same people that bashed our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, short of taking up arms and hightailing over there to fight on one side or the other—an action which was which was criticized both in the current US administration and the one preceding—what exactly should be done?

One wonders whether the do-something people were the same ones who were eulogizing mass murderer Fidel Castro as a freedom fighter a few weeks back.

Aleppo is how most of the real world operates. A New York Times headline calls it an example of “humanity melting down”—as if no group of humans has ever murdered another group of humans until this week. (Maybe they still believe OG Fake Newser Walter Duranty’s report on Ukraine from the 1930s.)

What it is: an example of true, unconstrained human nature. That nature is thusly described: fallen. When individuals allow their nature to be unconstrained, we see murder, etc. When nations allow their policies to be unconstrained, we see genocides.

And on a biblical note, with Russia and Iran being the main actors in this violent play, I can’t help but think of the Isaiah and Ezekiel prophesies about war in Syria—and the roles that Russia and Iran play in that war and in other wars destined to occur in the Last Days.

Could we be observing a prequel—a staging of sorts? Probably.

Side note: on my old blog, I had a commenter who criticized me for “fear-mongering” when I talked about Bible prophecy. My response was that if she didn’t believe the Bible, then I could not monger fear in her; and if she did believe the Bible, then she should know that there is no reason to be afraid.

Side note #2: Read about the Great Revolt—the fall and sacking of Jerusalem by the Roman Empire, 66-70 A.D. People who don’t read much history and who live in the USA, Canada, etc. are always shocked at how Hobbesian the rest of the world is and always has been.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter.

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baldilocks

putinby baldilocks

Jeffrey Pelt: Mr. Ambassador, you have nearly a hundred naval vessels operating in the North Atlantic right now. Your aircraft has dropped enough sonar buoys so that a man could walk from Greenland to Iceland to Scotland without getting his feet wet. Now, shall we dispense with the bull?

Ambassador Lysenko: You make your point as delicately as ever, Mr. Pelt.

Jeffrey Pelt: It would be well for your government to consider that having your ships and ours, your aircraft and ours, in such proximity… is inherently DANGEROUS. Wars have begun that way, Mr. Ambassador.

The Hunt for Red October

I’m old enough to remember when this report would have made my blood run cold.

A FLEET of Russian nuclear ships have been spotted steaming out of base – and it is heading for Britain.

Vladimir Putin‘s policy of gunboat diplomacy continued as a giant aircraft carrier and nuclear submarine were among eight vessels snapped sailing south past Norway yesterday.

The fearsome fleet is headed for Russia’s Mediterranean base in Tartus, Syria.

But first, the ships are set to pass through the English Channel in the latest act of sabre-rattling from Moscow.

Royal Navy warships are being readied to intercept the fleet which could pass within miles of the British coast.

Russia’s flagship aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was amongst the ships to depart from the Arctic port of Severomorsk on Saturday.

The 55,000-tonne colossus is travelling with the Pyotr Veliky battlecruiser, the Vice-Admiral Kulakov destroyer and large anti-submarine ships.

The convoy was caught on camera by Norwegian spy planes on Monday

The show of strength is the latest act of defiance from Moscow in the face of Western pressure over its bombing campaign in Syria.

Back when the War was Cold, I thought I knew who the enemy was. Now, however, it seems that the onion has endless layers waiting to be peeled back—to reveal the true nature of our enemies and our “friends.”

Too few care about this approaching feces storm. But I suspect that we will be made to care.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>>baldilocks

 

 

There is one thing about the Syrian refugee crisis that makes no sense.

We are hearing the left demand that the west to all it can to accept and resettle Syrians displaced by the current war.

What about the right to return?

I mean after all, these Syrians lived in Syria just four years ago. They must have had places to live, either that they rented or owned. They had attachments to the land that went back a very long way and the only reason why they no longer have those places is due to a war that has driven them out even though many if not most of them had no involvement in the war or took any sides.

Yet we don’t hear any kind to demand by our friend on the left that their land and homes remain theirs. They don’t insist that the eventual winning side in the syrian civil war give back said land. They do not insist that any attempt to deny them that right to return is an outrage.

Contrast that to the Palestinians.

You had a partition of a UN protectorate divided between arabs and jews and yet the Arabs decided to make war against the jews (with a lot of help from neighboring countries. They lost time and time again and the state of Israel grew because of it, but the same leftists who INSIST that Palestinians have a right to return to Israel because a grandfather or great grandfather once lived there and lost a war of extermination to the Jews.

Perhaps the refugees in Syria can somehow tempt Israel into the war, one Israel takes a single step into the Syrian Civil War then the Syrians now streaming into Europe and their descendants can be sure the banner of their rights to their old homes will be carried by every leftist in the world

Unexpectedly


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Louis Winthorp: He was wearing my Harvard tie. Can you believe it? My Harvard tie. Like, oh sure, he went to Harvard. If he’s being driven around in my car, he could actually be living in my house. Maybe he’s even taken my job. For all I know, right at this moment he could be fondling my fiancée.And Coleman – after years of service, this betrayal. I don’t understand it. There’s going to be retribution. Oh, he’s going to pay. The things that I…

Ophelia: Shut up, Louis. Taxis cost money, food costs money and rent costs money! Now, you want me to help you out, I expect a lot in return.

Trading Places 1983

As you are likely aware I’m a friend of Robert Stacy McCain and have actively promoted the Free Stacy movement lamenting the attempts of people like @fremfreq and their feminist Star Chamber at Twitter Safety to silence said Stacy McCain for fearlessly presenting both the facts of feminism and expressing opinions that would likely send students in the University of Pittsburgh into a catatonic state and I intend to continue to do so as much as possible.

 

Meanwhile Stacy McCain, far from being silenced continues to not only pound away at the people who have unfairly targeted him but continues to cover stories like the special snowflakes in Pittsburgh, the sentence first verdict afterwards mob at Yale, Notice a series of crimes, many against young women that our feminist friends have not found newsworthy,  While at the same time covering and BEING COVERED at CPAC.

This is because Unlike the Pittsburgh students that fell apart at the very presence of Milo Yiannopoulos, thus providing a handy list to employers everywhere of who not to hire upon graduation, Stacy McCain for all his recent trouble, understands that he’s a very lucky man.  He lives in the greatest country in the history of the world, he has a fine wife, six fine (and honorable) children and a pair of healthy grandchildren with likely more to come.

And that doesn’t even count his friends and his fans.

While annoyed by Twitter’s actions and taking steps to hold them accountable Stacy understands that this is a “first world” problem that people safe enough and rich enough not to have to worry about daily safety or their next meal can worry about, as opposed to the feminists who believe Stacy’s words are the most oppressive  and evil things a woman can find themselves confronted with.

However I strongly suspect these women might disagree:

According to Reuters, “scores” of young Bangladeshi women have been trafficked to Syria and forced into both domestic and sex work.

The news agency’s report cited a senior Bangladeshi official from the Rapid Action Battalion, an elite police agency, who claimed that his unit came across about 45 cases last year involving women who had been taken to the war-ravaged Middle Eastern country, tricked, exploited and, in some cases, raped and abused.

The difference between Stacy and his opponents is Stacy that while he will of course continue fighting his battle:

The #FreeStacy hashtag campaign continues. I had people ask me, basically, “What’s next?” To which I answered, basically, “We’ll see.” There are people more influential than me who are working behind the scenes to try to correct the situation. Some of these people are lawyers.

You can figure out what that means.

he will regularly report on these kind of outrages and be outraged, not only because it’s wrong, but because he appreciates how easily life’s fortune could have turned.

His Feminist friends will, as they have for all the various outrages committed by our islamic friends in both the Muslim world be silent, because when it comes right down to it.  It’s always been about them, and always will be.

Rather pathetic isn’t it?

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PM Jim Hacker:  Surely we should use the debate to promote peace harmony, good will?

Sir Humphrey Applegate:  Well it would be most unusual.  The UN is the accepted forum for the expression of international hatred

Yes Prime Minister  A Victory for Democracy 1986

On Morning Joe today the table lamented that 10% of the population of Syria has been slain since the start of the civil war in that country.

It was stated that this was the disgrace of the west.  I take issue with this statement.

The west did not start the war in Syria, until the Russians decided to go in strong the only people who were strongly involved in the Syrian war were Iranian backed groups.

Nobody is saying that this is the disgrace of the Middle East or the Disgrace of Africa, or the Disgrace of Asia.  Nobody is, for example, asking the Chinese to send tends of thousands of troops to the area to make it safe.  Why is it the disgrace of America and the west and not anyone else?

Unless the west or someone else is willing to conquer Syria and impose a peace, one will not take place until all of the sides are exhausted or all but one of the sides are defeated and some, even if it’s someone we hate, wins..   Is it the argument that we should do this?  And PLEASE don’t give me the fiction of the arab states doing this.  The are neither inclined nor willing to do so and never have been.

If one isn’t willing to conquer Syria, the only alternative is to send enough troops to create a defacto safe zone for refugees.  That will take tens of thousands of troops, American Troops.  In fairness this is likely the best possible solution, but given the cost in treasure and blood (because are troops will be a target the moment they show up) do we ask our citizens to do it, because frankly nobody else will.

 

These are all hard questions and both doing something and doing nothing comes at a cost, but unless you are willing to advocate for troops ready to fight, you have no business critiquing the west for not stopping the slaughter in Syria.

Or put simply, we know what the solution in Syria is, the question becomes , are we willing to pay the price to achieve it?  How many US lives is it worth?

None of these questions are easy but I’ll be damned if anyone is going to shame the west for not getting our own people killed for something that is not in our strategic interest.

Linked by Sarah Hoyt at Instapundit, thanks
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We are still getting this line from the White House:

“In the Syrian seeking refuge today, we should see the Jewish refugee of World War II,” Mr. Obama said. Some Jewish refugee children were turned away from the United States during the period and were later killed by the Nazis.

Mr. Obama is struggling to fashion a message that reassures Americans that he is serious about battling the threat of the Islamic State while also avoiding xenophobia and alarmism. Polls suggest that many Americans believe he is not taking the threat from the Islamic State seriously enough, particularly after the deadly shooting in San Bernardino. Support among Republicans for banning Muslims is high…

The ceremony came as 25 Republican governors have vowed to block the entry of Syrian refugees into their states, including some where large numbers of Syrians have settled in recent years. Mr. Obama has condemned such comments as contradicting American values. The governors made their vow after the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last month, and fears of terrorism have risen in the United States after the shooting this month in San Bernardino, Calif. But Mr. Obama said that such fears are unfounded

That’s the NYT drawing this comment from Robert Spencer:

How does he know that? Last February, the Islamic State boasted it would soon flood Europe with as many as 500,000 refugees. And the Lebanese Education Minister recently said that there were 20,000 jihadis among the refugees in camps in his country. Meanwhile, 80% of migrants who have recently come to Europe claiming to be fleeing the war in Syria aren’t really from Syria at all.

Meanwhile in England the spigot remains open:

Announcing that his target has been met, Cameron said: “Britain is doing its moral duty in terms of funding the refugees and the refugee camps. I made a promise that we would resettle a 1,000 Syrians by Christmas and I can confirm today that we have met our commitment. The charter flights that arrived yesterday at Stansted and Belfast mean that over a thousand have been settled, and another flight is coming today.

“The government has provided funding so that all these refugees get housing, healthcare, education, and I want to thank all the local authorities and all those who have worked so hard. I said that Britain would do its duty and with these 1,000 we’ve made a very good start.”

However Cameron isn’t saying much about this report:

DAVID Cameron was “warned radical Islamic groups including ISIS controlled refugee camps” from where Britain will fly in Syrian asylum seekers – BEFORE the Government began bringing in the first wave of 20,000, a shock new report claims.

The report talks about what’s going on in these camps and it’s not pretty

The AINA reported that in UN camps in Jordan, Islamist groups “have brought in similar violent Islamist practices” to those that the refugees had faced before they fled Syria.

These include coercion to join terror such as ISIS, and the buying and selling of women as sex slaves.

The AINA report quoted the director of a Christian relief agency working in Jordan as saying: “The Muslim gangs come as refugees, but they have their agendas.

“They’re like a mafia. People are even killed inside the camps, and the refugees are afraid to say if they saw somebody get killed. If you ask them, they’ll say, ‘I don’t know, I was asleep’.

While world leaders like Cameron & Obama continue to ignore this, in Sweden the People have decided to take matters in their own hands:

To get a gun permit in Sweden, you need to be at least 18 years old; law-abiding; well-behaved, and have a hunting license or be a member of an approved shooting club. In 2014, 11,000 people got a hunting license: 10% more than the year before. One out of five was a woman.

“There is also a high demand for alarm systems right now,” says a salesman at one of the security companies in an interview with Gatestone.

“It is largely due to the turbulence we are seeing around the country at the moment.” People have lost confidence in the State, he added. “The police will not come anymore. Truck drivers say that when they see a thief emptying the fuel tank of their trucks, they run out with a baseball bat. It is no use calling the police, but if you hit the thief, you can at least prevent him from stealing more diesel. Many homeowners say the same thing: they sleep with a baseball bat under the bed. But this is risky: the police can then say you have been prepared to use force, and that might backfire on you.”

When the Authorities won’t do the job the people end up doing it themselves

This is a very interesting read, because the whole of Europe is heading the same way as Sweden. Sweden is, so to speak, the future of Europe. And in this future, those who can afford it pay security companies – the rest gest license for firearms and forms vigilante groups.

and it’s not just Sweden, in Germany:

According to a report by Focus, following a 600% surge in sales over the past two months, Germany has run out of pepper spray, and the irritating substance can now only be purchased after weeks of waiting. Focus says that according to pepper spray manufacturers, “frightened Germans” have bought out all the available inventory. The alleged reason, according to the German publication: “die Flüchtlingskrise”, or the refugee crisis.

Focus goes on to say that in private, Germans are equipping themselves “massively.”

and Denmark:

The Danish police claim that they are “more pressed than ever,” mainly because of the terror threat and the migrant crisis. The rule of law is already undermined, as the police – as a result of being overburdened with handling Muslims – will no longer investigate thefts of less than 15,000 euros. Even if you call the police while the burglars are still to be seen inside your neighbour’s house, they will not come.

I wonder if Bernie Sanders will be holding this up as an example for us all?

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