sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Friday, June 9, 2017

Wrapping up the Week

Triumphant Qatar

Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani (who is sort of the Baghdad Bob of Qatar - you all remember Baghdad Bob from Gulf War 1 don't you?)  told the press in a defiant tone, "We have been isolated because we are successful and progressive. We are a platform for peace.”
"We are not ready to surrender (yet), and will never be ready to surrender, the independence of our foreign policy," he said. "We're not worried about a food shortage, we're fine. We can live forever like this, we are well prepared." 
The Gulf State quarantine of Qatar hasn't begun yet, so the propaganda spin sounds dramatic, defiant and triumphant. But it's a serious thing and internally, the UAE and Saudis are as serious as a heart attack about regime change. Expect more on this as it all unfolds. Unfortunately there won't be much news carried on American media because they are looking for something else to blame on President Trump now that the Russia story has crashed. More on that (below).

Al Jazeera shut down its website temporarily because it was fighting a massive cyber-attack. The source of the attack has not been disclosed.

News services have carried no updates on the Saudi ultimatum. The Kuwaiti mediation effort appears to have stalled. The UAE said it had no intention of replacing the Qatar government (publicly), but the confrontation is escalating. The Arab monarchies and Egypt might be expecting an internal backlash against the ruling al-Thani family.

A joint statement by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE identified 59 individuals and 12 organizations that are either based in Qatar or funded by Qatar and placed them on a "terror list. "

Most of the “terrorists” are not Qataris. The 18 Qataris on the list include businessmen, politicians and senior members of the ruling family including a former interior minister. The 24 Egyptians, most are Muslim Brotherhood members, are the largest single group. The rest are a smattering of Kuwaitis, Libyans, Jordanians, Bahrainis, one Saudi and one man from the UAE.

As for the organizations/institutions, five are based in Qatar; 6 in Bahrain and 1 in Libya.

News services reported that five senior leaders of the Palestinian organization Hamas left Qatar on the 8th. They include the former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. The men insisted they left of their own accord. One of the Hamas military leaders departed for Malaysia.

The list is significant as an expression of the people and organizations whom the four Arab states consider the most dangerous and threatening to regional stability. These people and organizations have been virtually untouchable until now. 

US Mainstream Media

The Comey hearing yesterday, billed as high drama, was only high drama to media sycophants. We learned that Director Comey did not like President Trump. Wow, that's a shocker. We know Comey, the man who was supposed to ferret out leaks was himself, a leaker, who did what he could to undermine the President. Who would have suspected THAT?

I have grandchildren under the age of 8 who can hold their mud better than the FBI director and seem to make more mature decisions. 

The war of the elite, smug, lying, nasty, progressive mainstream media against the American public and more particularly against President Trump will continue as they search for something else to lie about now that the disgraced former FBI director popped their Russia balloon.

Syria

The battle against ISIS continues as the Russians work to stabilize the Assad government. The place is still a mess, but not as bad of a mess as the safe zones appear to be holding.

A US military spokesman said on 8 June, “Today was the third set of kinetic strikes the US conducted in response to threats posed to Coalition forces operating out of Al Tanf. The Coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime or pro-regime forces. However, we remain ready to defend ourselves against any threat.”

US aircraft downed an armed drone, similar to the US Predator drone, that was supporting the pro-government forces. Pilots enjoy doing this because they get to paint a drone silhouette on the side of their cockpit.

The so-called garrison at Al Tanf consists of about 200 personnel, according to press reports. US air support and good tactical intelligence are essential to the survival of this group. Al Tanf is strategically located at the point where Syria, Jordan and Iraq meet. The Russians would like to see this intelligence collection site (aimed at them) removed...but it's not going anywhere.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

On 8 June, the Islamic State’s Amaq news agency reported, "Islamic State fighters killed two Chinese people they had been holding in Baluchistan Province, southwest Pakistan." The terrorists provided no reason for the murders, but my sense is that the Chinese didn't make the ransom demand.

On 9 June, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said, "We have taken note of relevant reports and we express our grave concern. We have been trying to rescue the two kidnapped hostages over the past days." 

Background: Armed men pretending to be policemen kidnapped the two language teachers in the provincial capital, Quetta, on 24 May. A third teacher managed to escape. 

This is the third pair of Chinese workers connected to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to be murdered in Pakistan in less than a year. Last November, two Chinese engineers were killed by unidentified assailants in Pasni District of Baluchistan. Last September, two Chinese engineers were killed in a roadside blast in Hub District of Baluchistan.

At some point, Pakistan’s inability to guarantee security for Chinese workers will prompt the Chinese to scale back their ambitious plans to economically annex Pakistan. The Chinese had grandiose plans for economic development in Afghanistan, but have scaled them back and moved slowly because of the chronic and worsening lack of security there.


17 comments:

  1. It seems a strange thing for the Chinese to seek to economically annex Pakistan, a basket case country in all ways. Do you think losing a few people here and there to the barbarians will deter them? They've got plenty to spare back home.

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    1. They've backed off Afghanistan, but they're far more economically committed to Pakistan, which they would like to have as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Central Kingdom. It's not so much about the numbers of people as it is the propensity for a lot more instability in Pakistan that concerns them. The Chinese were poised to dump billions more (that they got from the US) into Pakistan. My sense is that it will be diverted to Burma/Myanmar.

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  2. I got a chuckle out of the jet jockeys putting a done silhouette on their plane. If they had them back in my single days, I could have put vagina-hat silhouettes on my bedroom door. But given credit where it is due, the drone was much harder to knock down than any conquest I ever made.

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    1. I suggest that under their squadron logo they paint a fly swatter. You just never know. The battle flag of the submarine USS Barb had a train on it.

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    2. Drat. Not "had", has.

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    3. I like the fly swatter idea.

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  3. The only positive coming from Comey is throwing Loretta Lynch under the bus.

    Trump vs Deep State - draw. Next battle coming.

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    1. The disgraced Lynch was already speed-bumped as a troll and puppet of the Clinton machine.

      The mainstream media and the progs need to come up with another fake scandal to trumpet.

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  4. One wonders where these armed drones in Syria are coming from... And the proliferation of them doesn't bode well for a lot of countries in the region.

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    1. I don't know, but both Iran and Russia have them. So does Israel, but I can't see them throwing a cracker into that soup. We opened Pandora's box with the Reaper and who knows how exotic they're going to end up.

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  5. LL,

    With control of Pakistan, China blocks the soviets and is another block closer to a wall from sea to shining sea

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    1. Pakistan may not be worth the effort. They get the same thing from a geopolitical sense with Myanmar, who will sell out cheaper, they avoid the Muslim population and the Burmese are not as corrupt as the Pakis are.

      Pakistan and China have been allies for a long time (Paks got their first nuclear weapons from China) and I think that's going to continue, but 'occupying' Pakistan has a lot of baggage.

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    2. LL,

      With the buying of friends in Africa through investment in infrastructure, Pacific to the Atlantic through the Indian Ocean as opposed to the USA version

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    3. Pakistan won't be a problem as the "human rights" crusaders in the governments of China and Pakistan are a bit shy.

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  6. Great news cycle this week. Which begs the question, is Trump the wizard behind the middle east curtain?

    "America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests." - Henry Kissinge

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    1. We've certainly seen a remarkable change of situations in the Middle East since his election. ISIS is about to lose it's principal city as its territory on the Levant is almost all controlled by the US or local non-ISIS actors. Additionally the Arabs seem sincere about crushing the funding mechanism for terrorism within their own ranks. Iran is a separate problem.

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  7. Thanks for the world news update, seriously.

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