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Old 12-04-2017, 09:48 PM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is online now
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Kushner's Play to Bring Peace to the Middle East

There's a whole bunch of insidious goings-ons in the Middle East, probably due to Salman and Kushner striking a deal where the US would back Sunni Islam against Shia, in exchange for help securing Israel.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Q...lomatic_crisis
http://lawfareblog.com/saudi-power-p...ckwaves-abroad
https://www.politico.com/story/2017/...iolence-279735
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/04/o...aleh-dead.html

Any predictions?

Personally, I'm feeling like Kushner is actually doing a better job of bringing about mass deaths and war than Trump is with North Korea.

In the latter, it's just a couple of blowhards (with nukes) yelling empty threats at one another, so they they can both show off to their people that they're the strong one. Both have probably realized by this point that nothing is going to happen beyond that (I hope).

But in the former, we've got a silent tidal wave that's gathering and heading towards Iran, and pretty well the only two choices that seems to leave Iran and their allies with is to give in and allow peace to come to the region (until people stop paying attention) or go for a pre-emptive strike.

Anyone feeling like I'm misreading the winds?

Last edited by Sage Rat; 12-04-2017 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 12-04-2017, 09:56 PM
Ibn Warraq Ibn Warraq is offline
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But in the former, we've got a silent tidal wave that's gathering and heading towards Iran, and pretty well the only two choices that seems to leave Iran and their allies with is to give in and allow peace to come to the region (until people stop paying attention) or go for a pre-emptive strike.

Anyone feeling like I'm misreading the winds?
(bolding mine)

Are you saying you think Iran is going to launch an attack on the US, Saudi Arabia, or Israel?

If so, yes I think you're misreading the winds.

Khameinei is a lot of things, but stupid isn't one of them.
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Old 12-04-2017, 10:13 PM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is online now
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Originally Posted by Ibn Warraq View Post
(bolding mine)

Are you saying you think Iran is going to launch an attack on the US, Saudi Arabia, or Israel?

If so, yes I think you're misreading the winds.

Khameinei is a lot of things, but stupid isn't one of them.
To-date, terrorism against the West has been pretty half-hearted (except 9/11). I could see a more organized, militarily planned version where the attackers aren't just trying to get themselves killed, but actually go in and start causing major issues.

And while they probably can't bring the nukes to bear unless someone tries to invade them, there are other targets in the area. The American populace is probably pretty apathetic to Iraq and anything that happens there. The Kurds don't have any fans in the area, and could probably be rounded up and murdered en masse pretty safely, if Iran thinks that Trump won't send troops in and instead will pull the rest of everyone back.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 12-04-2017 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 12-04-2017, 10:39 PM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is online now
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Kushner's Play to Bring Peace to the Middle East

By all that's holy, I thought you were going to say he'd handed costumes and props to a group of stage actors rehearsing the Oh-The-Futility-Of-War lines he'd written.
  #5  
Old 12-05-2017, 12:51 AM
ExTank ExTank is offline
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The Kurds don't have any fans in the area, and could probably be rounded up and murdered en masse pretty safely, if Iran thinks that Trump won't send troops in and instead will pull the rest of everyone back.
The Kurds have been pretty stalwart allies in the region; as such, I'd like to say there's no way the U.S. would leave them flapping in the wind should some Sunni/Shia regime decide "they have to go," in a Final Solution kind of way.

However...
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:37 AM
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Kushner and this administraion seem to approach peace in the Middle East as something that happens after the war is over, if this is their priority:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...=.ef5a3dfa5337
"Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, said Sunday that Trump is “close” to making a decision on Jerusalem but is “still looking at a lot of facts.” Israel captured the eastern part of the city from Jordan in 1967 in the Six-Day War, later annexing it in a move considered illegal by the United Nations.
Palestinian officials have warned that recognition of the city as Israel’s capital will end U.S.-brokered peace efforts, which they have already complained appear biased toward Israel. Calling it Israel’s “undivided” capital would mark an even more dramatic step, effectively recognizing Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem."
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:53 AM
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This could, and probably will, backfire spectacularly. It also is pretty indicative of how utterly weak the State Department is at the moment - it's almost as though it doesn't exist. Typical of Trump's "I've got the smartest people" mentality. Trump probably looks at this as no big deal because he's fixated on Iran. Even implying that Jerusalem is an exclusively Jewish center of power could end up giving Iran more political influence in the region. And let's not forget that Russia would love nothing more than to see this happen. This is just one example that leads me to conclude that when the Trumpster fire is finally out of office - whenever that is - the US is going to be a significantly weaker country...but we'll still have nukes.

Last edited by asahi; 12-05-2017 at 04:54 AM.
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:57 AM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is online now
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The Kurds have been pretty stalwart allies in the region; as such, I'd like to say there's no way the U.S. would leave them flapping in the wind should some Sunni/Shia regime decide "they have to go," in a Final Solution kind of way.
Yeah, but a lot of people can die in a short amount of time with modern technology.

I suspect that the recent Wall Street Journal article about "aides" using Melania to communicate with Trump, circumventing Kelly and the NSC, was actually about Kushner. He's been personally working this whole deal between Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the US President, without involving the State Department, the NSC, the DoD, or anyone else.

I'm not confident that the DoD has been kept apprised of all of this, so it could be that our troops are completely in the wrong place to respond in any useful way for some weeks or months if Iran decides to start taking hostages and going on a blood crusade.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 12-05-2017 at 05:00 AM.
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Old 12-05-2017, 05:02 AM
asahi asahi is offline
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The Kurds have been pretty stalwart allies in the region; as such, I'd like to say there's no way the U.S. would leave them flapping in the wind should some Sunni/Shia regime decide "they have to go," in a Final Solution kind of way.

However...
The Kurds have been valuable in being a stable part of Iraq and also in helping the US eliminate ISIS in Iraq. But I don't think this administration appreciates their significance at all
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Old 12-05-2017, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by ExTank View Post
The Kurds have been pretty stalwart allies in the region; as such, I'd like to say there's no way the U.S. would leave them flapping in the wind should some Sunni/Shia regime decide "they have to go," in a Final Solution kind of way.

However...
Maybe it's just stupid fantasy, but I've thought the U.S. should push for a strong independent Kurdistan, possibly taking land from Turkey and Iran as well as Iraq. This could be a powerful counterweight to the Russia-Syria-Shia axis.

OK, maybe forcing Turkey and Iran to cede territory would be impossible, but even an autonomous Kurdistan in northern Iraq, supported by the West, would be a good step.

Septimus' pipe-dream? Or major missed opportunity?
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Old 12-05-2017, 07:26 AM
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In a sane world America and Iran would be friends.

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The Kurds have been pretty stalwart allies in the region; as such, I'd like to say there's no way the U.S. would leave them flapping in the wind should some Sunni/Shia regime decide "they have to go," in a Final Solution kind of way.
Rojava is a libertarian socialist society. After their usefulness against ISIS has ended, I expect the West or its allies will try to destroy or subvert them for that reason alone. Hopefully those poor bastards are planning for that.

Here's a bonus Rojava meme.
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Old 12-05-2017, 07:45 AM
ExTank ExTank is offline
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Maybe it's just stupid fantasy, but I've thought the U.S. should push for a strong independent Kurdistan, possibly taking land from Turkey and Iran as well as Iraq. This could be a powerful counterweight to the Russia-Syria-Shia axis.

OK, maybe forcing Turkey and Iran to cede territory would be impossible, but even an autonomous Kurdistan in northern Iraq, supported by the West, would be a good step.

Septimus' pipe-dream? Or major missed opportunity?
Well, there is a (semi?) autonomous Kurdish enclave in Iraq.

The Kurds are hardly the Choir Boys some people make them out to be. Their military forces are, generally speaking, heads-and-shoulders above their other ME contemporaries.

Plus, they seem to have no beef with Israel; indeed, there is somewhat cordial political, military, and financial relations with each other.
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Old 12-05-2017, 07:57 AM
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... was actually about Kushner. He's been personally working this whole deal between Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the US President, without involving the State Department, the NSC, the DoD, or anyone else.
I think it much likelier Kushner is the one being worked.
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Old 12-05-2017, 08:03 AM
AK84 AK84 is offline
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Well, there is a (semi?) autonomous Kurdish enclave in Iraq.

The Kurds are hardly the Choir Boys some people make them out to be. Their military forces are, generally speaking, heads-and-shoulders above their other ME contemporaries.

Plus, they seem to have no beef with Israel; indeed, there is somewhat cordial political, military, and financial relations with each other.

They set new records in running away from ISIS. Oh they did better, with US Airpower supporting them.

But, with an unopposed USAF supporting us, me and a couple of my cycling buddies could take over most cities on the planet. Amed with sharp sticks and fruit knife.
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Old 12-05-2017, 08:22 AM
Fotheringay-Phipps Fotheringay-Phipps is offline
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But in the former, we've got a silent tidal wave that's gathering and heading towards Iran, and pretty well the only two choices that seems to leave Iran and their allies with is to give in and allow peace to come to the region (until people stop paying attention) or go for a pre-emptive strike.
What is the meaning of this?

Are you saying that having "peace come to the region" is itself a provocation of Iran? So that anyone who tries to bring peace to the region is therefore guilty of provoking Iran and responsible for "bringing about mass deaths and war"?

This seems pretty novel, and certainly at odds with the position of all US administrations since the onset of this conflict.

But perhaps I've misunderstood you.
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:50 AM
puddleglum puddleglum is offline
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Maybe it's just stupid fantasy, but I've thought the U.S. should push for a strong independent Kurdistan, possibly taking land from Turkey and Iran as well as Iraq. This could be a powerful counterweight to the Russia-Syria-Shia axis.

OK, maybe forcing Turkey and Iran to cede territory would be impossible, but even an autonomous Kurdistan in northern Iraq, supported by the West, would be a good step.

Septimus' pipe-dream? Or major missed opportunity?
The problem with this is that Turkey and Iran would immediately attack since an independent Kurdistan would lead the Kurdish within their borders to rebel. An independent Kurdistan would be a great idea but can only happen with the permission of Turkey and Iran and there is no foreseeable way to get them to agree.
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:51 AM
ExTank ExTank is offline
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They set new records in running away from ISIS. Oh they did better, with US Airpower supporting them.

But, with an unopposed USAF supporting us, me and a couple of my cycling buddies could take over most cities on the planet. Amed with sharp sticks and fruit knife.
Thanks for sharing that; my info about the Kurdish forces is obviously behind the times.
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:26 PM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is online now
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What is the meaning of this?

Are you saying that having "peace come to the region" is itself a provocation of Iran? So that anyone who tries to bring peace to the region is therefore guilty of provoking Iran and responsible for "bringing about mass deaths and war"?
I'll admit to being somewhat vague on the long-term aims of pretty much everyone in the Middle East and I am trying to catch up in a hurry (posting this thread is one method of trying to solicit more information).

My current understanding would be that Iran has a pretty solid defense set in and can make it more costly for anyone to invade them than is worth it.

On the other hand, that's still principally talking about a 1:1 war. If all of Sunni decided to unite against Iran, they could probably be taken out or forced to start changing their behavior and beliefs. However, Iran has done a good job of keeping the rest of the Middle East disunited and in conflict, so that they're all too busy to really focus on Iran and Iran can influence more power in the region than they would be able to otherwise.

Long term, I think that they are hoping to be able to slowly convert the region to Shia and extend their power base. They may already be succeeding at getting Turkey to move onto their side.

So long as the rest of the Middle East is disunited, Iran has a long-term strategy to win. If it becomes united, then suddenly they've lost for good. So either they will need to accept the loss (which people don't like to do - particularly not when nothing bad has actually happened to them), or they'll rapidly act to prevent unity from happening, using whatever means they can think of.

Quote:
This seems pretty novel, and certainly at odds with the position of all US administrations since the onset of this conflict.

But perhaps I've misunderstood you.
All of what I said above aside, since I really don't know the state of affairs, I do know that an outright Holy War between two factions (e.g., the 30 Years War) can be quite bloody. ISIS may have seemed bad, but ultimately I think they were largely limited to rifles, rocket launchers, etc. so far as their weaponry was concerned. If we start talking about nation states duking it out, then that would be a far more bloody affair than ISIS ever was.

Similarly, I've heard that a cause of WWI was that Otto Von Bismarck was such a good negotiator and the power of Germany was such that he was able to keep the peace between a large number of factions across Europe who hated each other, for many decades. Once he died and his successors failed to continue to follow his footsteps, you ended up with an assassination of a minor figure triggering the greatest war known to history until that time. The US has now been playing the part of Otto Von Bismarck in the Middle East for several decades, and we're stepping back from that role.

And, as I have noted, there's a pretty straightforward strategy for Iran to follow that isn't full out war in the Middle East. They can simply go in and start killing the Kurds or amping up global terrorism by several factors and they can be relatively confident that the ninnies in the USA will force the US to call off the deal to provide aid that allowed Israel and the Saudi factions to join up. If they're just as happy to kill Kurds, Americans, and etc., and it gets them their way, then why not do so?

Last edited by Sage Rat; 12-05-2017 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:46 PM
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Actually, I might suggest that we're not only stepping back from our role in keeping the peace, but instead actually going in and prodding the hornet's nest.
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:56 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is online now
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Personally, I'm feeling like Kushner is actually doing a better job of bringing about mass deaths and war than Trump is with North Korea.

In the latter, it's just a couple of blowhards (with nukes) yelling empty threats at one another, so they they can both show off to their people that they're the strong one. Both have probably realized by this point that nothing is going to happen beyond that (I hope).
I am not nearly so sanguine that the personal animus being exchanged between the human circus peanut currently occupying the White House four days a week and the Cabbage Patch Doll running the autocratic regime in North Korea are not going to contrive to goad one another into open warfare. Trump, in particular, seemed dedidated to undermining any efforts toward a diplomatic solution and Kim can’t and won’t back down for fear of being seen as weak by his inner circle. And Trump is on record repeatedly as advocating both direct use and proliferation of nuclear weapons outside of a deterrence or propotional response scenario. But hey, we had fair warning: ”Nuclear is just, the power, the devastation, is very important to me.”

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Maybe it's just stupid fantasy, but I've thought the U.S. should push for a strong independent Kurdistan, possibly taking land from Turkey and Iran as well as Iraq. This could be a powerful counterweight to the Russia-Syria-Shia axis.

OK, maybe forcing Turkey and Iran to cede territory would be impossible, but even an autonomous Kurdistan in northern Iraq, supported by the West, would be a good step.

Septimus' pipe-dream? Or major missed opportunity?
This sounds like another in a progression of dangerously ill-conceived interventions in Middle East politics in which the United States, acting with unilateral authority, decides to “build a reality” that nobody affected will be okay with, resulting in bloodshed and warfare on a massive scale and the ultimate devastation of the very people it is intended to protect. A far better step would be to apply diplomatic pressure for Iran and Turkey (and Iraq and Syria) to recognize autonomous governance for Kurdish regions and moving toward an indpendent state. Of course, this will be neither easy nor result in a quick change that the Trump adminstation can claim credit for; in fact, it would probably take a concerted diplomatic effort over a couple of decades just as the Palestine National Authority did, and will still not fully resolve long-standing ethnic conflicts in the region. But trying to force these nations to ceding territory, and then expending the money and personnel to assure security for a hypothecial Kurdistan in perpetuity is fully assured to result in blowback and open conflict, and harm other diplomatic efforts with both nations by the US and allies who may even object to this particular plan.

Also, while the Kurdish people may be stalwart allies of the United States, it is to their credit that they still have patience to hold that faith after they were encouraged to rise up in revolt both in the mid-‘Seventies and in 1991 after the Gulf War, only to find themselves eventually abandoned by the US to their fates when it became inconvenient to back them.

Is history not required reading at Harvard, or do they just give you an automatic pass if your daddy bought your way in?

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Old 12-05-2017, 03:05 PM
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Is history not required reading at Harvard, or do they just give you an automatic pass if your daddy bought your way in?

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What's history compared to flattery by a Saudi Prince?
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  #22  
Old 12-05-2017, 10:04 PM
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Well, it looks like Trump gave the Israeli's what they wanted, for them to agree to whatever deal it is that Kushner cooked up between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Apparently, Friday is scheduled to be a day of death by Hamas. I guess we'll see what all else happens over the few weeks.

It's been reasonably clear to me for a few weeks now that Kushner was arranging something. I have to imagine that Iran noticed if I did. I don't know if that has given them sufficient time to decide how to respond and to put everything into place for it.
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:53 PM
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There's a whole bunch of insidious goings-ons in the Middle East
Goodness! Has someone alerted the media?
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:57 AM
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Well, it looks like Trump gave the Israeli's what they wanted,
Who says it's what Israelis want?

Sure, we'd like it if the world recognized the fact that Jerusalem is our capital. After all, it's been the seat of the Israeli government since 1950 - and arguably, since circa 1000 BC - and the world's refusal to notice this is another one of those snubs and annoyances we regularly have to deal with as a country.

But Jesus, not now, and not like this. We want international recognition, not just U.S. recognition, and the world hates Trump so much that it'll probably push actual acceptance back decades. If Obama had suggested it we'd be overjoyed, but Obama don't live here no more. Instead, what we get is an empty gesture that could destabilize a very fragile situation. This could very well lead to a new intifada and missile attacks on Tel Aviv; at best, we'll still see some horrific violence.

So while no Jewish Israeli politician will speak out against Trump's declaration (who wants to be labeled anti-Jerusalem?), I haven't seen many coming out in favor of it, either. All Trump will have done is get Israelis and Palestinians killed for no real gain.
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:21 AM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is online now
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Who says it's what Israelis want?
Israel released a bunch of information to Vanity Affair a couple of weeks ago, about their side of things on the laptop bomb intel that Trump leaked to Kislyak in the Oval Office. The general message of the article read to me as, "You may be offering us goods, but either you're an idiot or in bed with Russia, so if you want us to bite, you're going to have to do something to make us go against our better judgement."

I presumed that this was what Trump had agreed to offer them, to make them bite. Though it could well be that he's just doing it because he thinks it's what they want, incorrectly.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 12-06-2017 at 05:22 AM.
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:40 AM
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Maybe it's Jared Kushner's Hanukkah present, but I suspect that far right evangelical Christian nut jobs are playing a role in this one. There are some really scary Christian radicals that have wanted a war with Islam for years. In past administrations - even conservative ones - they would have been given a seat at the far end of the table and largely ignored. But one of the reasons that Christian radicals are so into Trump is that he doesn't ignore them. They give him the praise that his narcissistic soul seeks, and in return he gives them more influence. And these are some really terrifying people, and they're probably just as antisemitic as Muslims, if not more so. But right now Muslims are in their cross hairs. In the minds of these people, though, once they crush Islam, they'll take Jerusalem in the name of Christ.
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:05 AM
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.....and arguably, since circa 1000 BC -.
Well if you go by that then you’ll have to vacate the premises I am afraid. Time to give it back to its original owners, the Jesubites.

Anyone have their addresses handy?
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:17 AM
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Well if you go by that then you’ll have to vacate the premises I am afraid. Time to give it back to its original owners, the Jesubites.

Anyone have their addresses handy?
That's probably us, too.
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:19 AM
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the Jesubites.
I've just had a brilliant idea for a Christian-themed snack food...

As for Jerusalem, it's a win-win for Trump - it supposedly makes the Israelis happy, it pisses off Muslims and it's yet another distraction from the ongoing clusterfuck in the White House and the investigation into it.
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:49 AM
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Maybe it's Jared Kushner's Hanukkah present, but I suspect that far right evangelical Christian nut jobs are playing a role in this one. There are some really scary Christian radicals that have wanted a war with Islam for years. In past administrations - even conservative ones - they would have been given a seat at the far end of the table and largely ignored. But one of the reasons that Christian radicals are so into Trump is that he doesn't ignore them. They give him the praise that his narcissistic soul seeks, and in return he gives them more influence. And these are some really terrifying people, and they're probably just as antisemitic as Muslims, if not more so. But right now Muslims are in their cross hairs. In the minds of these people, though, once they crush Islam, they'll take Jerusalem in the name of Christ.
Yeah, what could be more exciting for the American Christian evangelicals than a destructive conflict in the ME between the Jews and the Muslims?
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Old 12-06-2017, 07:42 AM
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That's probably us, too.
........and Palestinians as well.
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:17 AM
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Maybe it's Jared Kushner's Hanukkah present, but I suspect that far right evangelical Christian nut jobs are playing a role in this one.
I heard it mentioned on the TV news this morning that it was one of Trump's campaign promises. I don't recall him making that one, but it does sound like something he'd promise without having looked into the ramifications.

I sincerely think that the reason he did this, and did it now, is because he's feeling heat from the Mueller investigation and is trying to throw sand in everyone's eyes.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:14 AM
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I sincerely think that the reason he did this, and did it now, is because he's feeling heat from the Mueller investigation and is trying to throw sand in everyone's eyes.
Also, this is the day that TIME Magazine announces Person Of The Year.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:22 AM
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
Time's Persons of the Year are the Silence Breakers, those who have spoken out against sexual abuse. Not an abuser.
Uh, yeah. So imagine he's a dick who wants to make sure he gets publicity today; what would he do, and when would he do it? No, not to get another shot at the cover; to get headlines and attention by influencing events -- on the day when he knew someone else was going to get named as the biggest influence on events.
  #36  
Old 12-06-2017, 10:36 AM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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Picture a stubby little finger hovering over a red button ...
  #37  
Old 12-06-2017, 12:25 PM
asahi asahi is offline
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If this goes down the way I think it might, then he's basically setting the region on fire. What's ironic is that up until now, Saudi Arabia and a few of the other Arab states in the region were actually quietly warming up to the idea of cooperation with the US (and even Israel) in containing Iran. Trump would be handing Iran a major victory, and it would put pressure on Saudi Arabia to condemn the United States and Israel. This would also cause an even worse deterioration of relations between the US and Turkey, which could conceivably end NATO as we know it. America could become a regional pariah; Russia a hero. As someone else said on another thread, it's almost as if this is Vladimir Putin's game plan.
  #38  
Old 12-06-2017, 12:37 PM
cmkeller cmkeller is offline
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AK84:

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Time to give it back to its original owners, the Jesubites.
David legitimately BOUGHT that land from the Jebusites. (Well, at least the Temple Mount.)
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  #39  
Old 12-06-2017, 12:51 PM
Smitty Smitty is offline
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Originally Posted by CurtC View Post
I heard it mentioned on the TV news this morning that it was one of Trump's campaign promises. I don't recall him making that one, but it does sound like something he'd promise without having looked into the ramifications.
Just like Clinton, Bush II, and Obama did.

http://dailycaller.com/2017/12/06/fl...-to-jerusalem/
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  #40  
Old 12-06-2017, 12:57 PM
Defensive Indifference Defensive Indifference is online now
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I'm woefully underinformed about the complex issues at play here, so excuse me if this is a dumb post.

I gather that almost no one thinks it's a good idea for Trump to make this announcement, and there seems to be little benefit to the US in doing so at this time. Pretty much everyone AFAICT is saying this will just cause an uptick in conflict. I'm pretty sure this is the intent. My assumption is that Trump is trying to provoke an escalation that he can use as a reason to go to war and/or to further his anti-Muslim agenda in the US. "See? See? They're terrorists, and we have to prevent all immigration from Muslim countries. And, by the way, we're going to begin carpet bombing in five minutes." GWB had some coherent, if disastrously wrongheaded and mendacious, reasons for invading Iraq. Trump seems to be motivated purely by anti-Muslim animus and a childish understanding of "strength" in leadership.

Maybe we can see both the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula go up in flames at the same time. As Trump might say, "I don't know. We'll see. I think you'll see something happening very soon."

Last edited by Defensive Indifference; 12-06-2017 at 12:58 PM.
  #41  
Old 12-06-2017, 12:59 PM
Fotheringay-Phipps Fotheringay-Phipps is offline
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Interesting thing is that Kushner is said to be particularly tight with the rising power-behind-the-throne #2 guy in Saudi Arabia. You wonder how that's playing out behind the scenes.
  #42  
Old 12-06-2017, 01:36 PM
asahi asahi is offline
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Originally Posted by Smitty View Post
Just like Clinton, Bush II, and Obama did.

http://dailycaller.com/2017/12/06/fl...-to-jerusalem/
I don't consider myself an expert on Israel-Palestine or the peace process but I think the difference is that previous presidents acknowledged the complex issues involved (and there are many) of the post-1967 peace efforts and tried to reach a 2-state solution. People can debate how realistic a 2-state outcome is, but what had been achieved to varying degrees since at least the 1990s is a bit of pragmatism and a relative state of calm. Yes, there have been intifadas but they've eventually been resolved. What Trump is doing - and I think this is as much at the urging of the Christian right as Zionists - is to take an unambiguous stand in rejecting America's role as a political broker in the region. Now they could have simply said, we're not sending any more money to Israel, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, etc. - you guys work this out. But that's not what has happened. The US has, it would seem, taken Israel's side not only against the Palestinians, but in its relations with all of Israel's Middle Eastern neighbors. These aren't just any neighbors either. They provide logistical support to the United States global military machine, among other things.
  #43  
Old 12-06-2017, 01:39 PM
asahi asahi is offline
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Originally Posted by Fotheringay-Phipps View Post
Interesting thing is that Kushner is said to be particularly tight with the rising power-behind-the-throne #2 guy in Saudi Arabia. You wonder how that's playing out behind the scenes.
My first thought is that Salman must be seething. He's at war with Houthis to his south, but worse than that, he has to be worried about the eastern provinces in his own country. And he can't just forget about Al Qaida either. Life for the average Saudi has become much harder since about 2013-14 when oil prices fell. It's already combustible.
  #44  
Old 12-06-2017, 01:55 PM
PastTense PastTense is online now
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Originally Posted by Bayard View Post
I gather that almost no one thinks it's a good idea for Trump to make this announcement, and there seems to be little benefit to the US in doing so at this time. Pretty much everyone AFAICT is saying this will just cause an uptick in conflict. I'm pretty sure this is the intent. My assumption is that Trump is trying to provoke an escalation that he can use as a reason to go to war and/or to further his anti-Muslim agenda in the US.
The reason Trump is doing this is obvious: domestic political reasons. American Jews have been strongly associated with the Democratic party for a long time. Trump and other Republicans feel that automatically rubber-stamping the positions of the Israeli government will cause American Jews to switch to the Republican party (compared to the slightly more even-handed approach of the Democrats and previous Republican administrations).

While this is certainly a provocation to Arabs, the Israeli government has made so many provocations to Arabs that it is hard to see that this will cause an increase in violence when these other provocations didn't.

The "Plan to Bring Peace to the Middle East" is a joke; nothing will change without a major change in the Israeli government (and probably a change in the Palestinian and other Arab leadership as well).
  #45  
Old 12-06-2017, 02:38 PM
voltaire voltaire is offline
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Originally Posted by asahi View Post
If this goes down the way I think it might, then he's basically setting the region on fire. What's ironic is that up until now, Saudi Arabia and a few of the other Arab states in the region were actually quietly warming up to the idea of cooperation with the US (and even Israel) in containing Iran. Trump would be handing Iran a major victory, and it would put pressure on Saudi Arabia to condemn the United States and Israel.
Why would the U.S. recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel cause S.A. to condemn Israel? Israel isn't changing anything, they've claimed it as their capital all along. Relations between S.A. and Israel have been steadily improving and look to remain that way with each vehemently opposed to Iran.

Quote:
This would also cause an even worse deterioration of relations between the US and Turkey, which could conceivably end NATO as we know it. America could become a regional pariah; Russia a hero. As someone else said on another thread, it's almost as if this is Vladimir Putin's game plan.
It would be hard for relations between the U.S. and Turkey to deteriorate any further and still remain allies within NATO. I doubt recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital would even factor in. Turkey has already been cozying up to Russia and Iran and completed the purchase of advanced Russian air-defense systems. There were also the recent revelations that Erdogan/Turkey was helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions.

Last edited by voltaire; 12-06-2017 at 02:41 PM.
  #46  
Old 12-06-2017, 03:14 PM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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Originally Posted by voltaire View Post
It would be hard for relations between the U.S. and Turkey to deteriorate any further and still remain allies within NATO. I doubt recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital would even factor in. Turkey has already been cozying up to Russia and Iran and completed the purchase of advanced Russian air-defense systems. There were also the recent revelations that Erdogan/Turkey was helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions.
The move does eliminate the traditional US claim to be an "honest broker" for the region, and that will have indirect consequences aplenty.
  #47  
Old 12-06-2017, 03:23 PM
elucidator elucidator is online now
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Makes me wonder if Kushner's plan for the opioid epidemic was to install Oxycontin vending machines in high schools.
  #48  
Old 12-06-2017, 03:28 PM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asahi View Post
I don't consider myself an expert on Israel-Palestine or the peace process but I think the difference is that previous presidents acknowledged the complex issues involved (and there are many) of the post-1967 peace efforts and tried to reach a 2-state solution. People can debate how realistic a 2-state outcome is, but what had been achieved to varying degrees since at least the 1990s is a bit of pragmatism and a relative state of calm. Yes, there have been intifadas but they've eventually been resolved. What Trump is doing - and I think this is as much at the urging of the Christian right as Zionists - is to take an unambiguous stand in rejecting America's role as a political broker in the region. Now they could have simply said, we're not sending any more money to Israel, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, etc. - you guys work this out. But that's not what has happened. The US has, it would seem, taken Israel's side not only against the Palestinians, but in its relations with all of Israel's Middle Eastern neighbors. These aren't just any neighbors either. They provide logistical support to the United States global military machine, among other things.
Yeah, if he was just moving the embassy, I don't know that it would be quite the same issue. The fact that they're obviously supporting Israel and that Kushner is obviously besties with Salman is going to be seen as a genuine threat, not just a symbolic gesture.
  #49  
Old 12-06-2017, 03:47 PM
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After this success, Trump will be sending his son-in-law to Pakistan to deal with the conflict in Kashmir - that will be known as the Hindu-Kushner.

I get that the US recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capitol and moving the US embassy there from Tel Aviv will inflame tension, but what I don't understand "why" Trump wants to do this - what is in it for him (because, he has demonstrated that is his primary motivator)?
  #50  
Old 12-06-2017, 03:52 PM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is online now
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Originally Posted by snowthx View Post
I get that the US recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capitol and moving the US embassy there from Tel Aviv will inflame tension, but what I don't understand "why" Trump wants to do this - what is in it for him (because, he has demonstrated that is his primary motivator)?
Well his son-in-law and daughter are Jewish.

And this recently released article with a bunch of information about why Israel is hesitant about helping Trump: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017...ump-intel-slip
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