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Interesting questions. December 22, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Ask yourself these questions: Who is more to blame for the fact that Boko Haram sent two eight-year old girls as human bombs into a Nigerian market last week? Who is more to blame for the bombing of the Coptic cathedral in Cairo last week? Is it Assad? Or is it the Saudis and their Salafism-for-export brand of Islamism? And why, then do the Americans consider the Saudi despots allies?

It’s Michael McDowell, who in the course of a column in the SBP critiques the US ambassador to the UN, Irish-born Samantha Power, for ignoring the role and support of successive US governments in the shambles that is the middle-east – a role that is likely under President Trump to continue, not least when she asked whether the Russians had any shame.

He notes that Power didn’t reference back to Iraq and WMDs. As McDowell notes that perhaps Power representing a different administration feels that that isn’t their direct responsibility. But he also notes that ‘Power has carefully avoided admitting American complicity and responsibility… in the current air war being conducted in Yemen by the Saudis, using US and British armaments against helpless civilians? Has American no shame in relation to the thousands killed in Gaza?’.

Good questions, not least because the stakes are no longer – even rhetorically – existential in a struggle between competing ideological systems as during the Cold War, but rather, and he’s noted this before, represent an alliance between the US and some of the most despotic regimes in the region(s).

And he further notes the US ‘cannot wash its hand of encouraging the Saudis and Quataris’ efforts to start the civil war in Syria… which happened on Obama’s watch’.

Nor is he ignorant of the problems in all this.

Bob Fisk’s journalism has been brave and truthful. He has no illusions about Putin, Assad, the Shia militias and the Iranians. Nor has he illusions about the US and its ‘unholy allies’.

But all the above are complicit to some degree. There are points where states could have exerted pressure to calm things, or not to destabilise further – not because one wants dictatorships to prosper but because the pre-existing situation was so chaotic that any further instability would merely be exacerbating that chaos. One does not have to be a supporter of Assad or his regime in the slightest to have the sense that given what had happened on the far side of the Iraq border with Syria in the preceding decade interventions were to be approached with utter caution.

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1. dublinstreams - December 22, 2016

who was responsible for waving the American miltary and CIA through our country for 8 years as AG and Minister 1999 – 2007 (full article http://michaelmcdowell.ie/the-time-has-come-to-speak-a-little-truth-to-power-to-samantha-power/)

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GW - December 22, 2016

Nice catch DS.

Just as I was marveling at agreeing with MM, you make it clear what a political opportunist the man is. He recognises that the future is Trumpist and he wants a piece.

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2. CL - December 22, 2016

“Aleppo will join the ranks of those events in world history that define modern evil, that stain our conscience decades later. Halabja, Rwanda, Srebrenica, and, now, Aleppo..”-Samantha Power
http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/14/middleeast/aleppo-samantha-power-speech/

“it is a gross exaggeration to compare what has happened in Aleppo to genocide in Rwanda in 1994 or the massacre in Srebrenica the following year.”-Patrick Cockburn
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/aleppo-crisis-syrian-war-bashar-al-assad-isis-more-propaganda-than-news-a7479901.html

Trump is under intense pressure from the neocon faction to continue the U.S role in the Middle East. But it may alter somewhat, given that what looks like a confrontational policy towards China may require detente with Russia.

“They seek to demonize Putin as the saboteur of democracy — someone who corrupted an American presidential election to bring about victory for a “useful idiot” whom Clinton called Putin’s “puppet.”

If the War Party can convert this “fake story” into the real story of 2016, then they can scuttle any Trump effort to attain the rapprochement with Russia that Trump promised to try to achieve.”
http://www.unz.com/pbuchanan/the-real-saboteurs-of-a-trump-foreign-policy/

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3. CL - December 22, 2016

“Donald Trump’s national security adviser has met with the leader of a far-right Austrian party founded by ex-Nazis after the Second World War.
Heinz-Christian Strache said in a Facebook post that the meeting with General Michael Flynn “and other high-ranking US politicians” took place at New York’s Trump Tower….
Mr Strache said: “The Freedom party is continuing to win political influence. A collaboration between the US and Russia is particularly important for a diplomatic settlement of the conflict in Syria and in the Crimea”.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-national-security-adviser-general-michael-flynn-austrian-far-right-leader-heinz-a7488326.html

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