Archive for October 6, 2017

Trump on Cuba: ‘Communism Is the Past, Freedom Is the Future’

October 6, 2017

Trump on Cuba: ‘Communism Is the Past, Freedom Is the Future’, Washington Free Beacon, October 6, 2017

 

President Donald Trump slammed Cuba’s communist government on Friday, saying that “communism is the past” and “freedom is the future.”

Trump spoke at the White House at a gathering for Hispanic heritage, where he said the United States hopes for freedom in the entire Western hemisphere, including Cuba and Venezuela.

“As I announced before a wonderful crowd in Little Havana earlier this year, we will not lift sanctions on the Cuban regime until it delivers full political freedom for the Cuban people,” Trump said. “The same failed communist ideology that has brought oppression to Cuba has brought nothing but suffering and misery everywhere and everyplace it has been anywhere in the world.”

“Communism is the past; freedom is the future,” Trump said to applause from the audience.

Trump then turned to Venezuela, saying its socialist government is responsible for the South American country’s turmoil.

“We also stand with the people of Venezuela who are suffering under the ruthless socialism of the Maduro regime,” Trump said. “We reject socialist oppression and we call for the restoration of democracy and freedom for the citizens of Venezuela.”

The crowd in the White House cheered loudly during Trump’s remarks.

France’s Islamic WWIII

October 6, 2017

France’s Islamic WWIII, FrontPage Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, October 6, 2017

(Please see also, What Is America’s National Identity?  It is not, and must not become, multiculturalism, which rejects national identity. — DM)

Demographics dictate that France’s terror problem will only keep growing. And the French authorities understand this. That’s why its governments increasingly talk about Islamic terrorism as a lasting threat.

Our War on Terror has squandered endless blood and treasure while avoiding the root cause. Western nations deploy massive armies to root out small terror networks while allying with their Gulf backers. Soldiers patrol major cities waiting for a terrorist or several terrorists to attack. Meanwhile the mosques that indoctrinate them to hate and kill non-Muslims are also protected by those same soldiers.

That’s not how you win a war. It’s how you lose everything.

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Interior Minister Gerard Collomb made it official. France is “in a state of war”.

It’s not just rhetoric. Bombs turn up in a posh Parisian suburb. Two young women are butchered at a train station. And it’s just another week of an Islamic World War III being fought in France.

From the November attacks in 2015 that killed 130 people and wounded another 400+, to the Bastille Day truck ramming attack last year that killed 86 and wounded 458, the war is real.

French casualties in France are worse than in Afghanistan. The French lost 70 people to Islamic terrorist attacks in Afghanistan. And 239 to Islamic terrorist attacks in France.

The French losses in Afghanistan were suffered in over a decade of deployment in one of the most dangerous Islamic areas in the world. The French losses in France were suffered in less than two years.

There’s something very wrong when Afghanistan is safer than Paris.

10,000 French soldiers were deployed in the streets of their own country in Operation Sentinelle after the Charlie Hebdo – Kosher supermarket attacks in 2015. Thousands of French soldiers are still patrolling, guarding and shooting in French cities which have become more dangerous than Afghanistan.

Operation Sentinelle has deployed twice as many French soldiers to France as to Afghanistan. And French casualties in the Islamic war at home have been far higher that they were in Afghanistan.

When the French intervened to stop the Islamist takeover of Mali, they suffered a handful of losses. The 4,000 French soldiers came away from Operation Serval with 9 casualties and Operation Barkhane amounted to 5 dead. The Gulf War? Another 9 dead. It’s a lot safer to be a French soldier fighting Al Qaeda in a Muslim country than a Parisian civilian going to a concert in his or her own city.

French casualties in the struggle with Islamic terror in just the last two years are approaching the 300 casualties of the Korean War.

France is at war. That’s why there are soldiers in the streets.

Its new anti-terrorism bill creates a permanent state of emergency. Suspected extremists can be placed under “administrative detention” in their own homes and neighborhoods under police surveillance and remote monitoring.

Pop-up checkpoints can appear in public spaces that are designated as “security zones” where anyone can be stopped and searched. Mosques can be shut down for six months. Public gatherings can be banned. Warrantless searches can be conducted within miles of potential targets.

The Interior Ministry will have police state powers. And it will be able to wield quite a few of them without having to go through the formality of asking judges nicely for permission.

Some of these measures should be familiar. France is the new Israel.

France’s Interior Minister called the anti-terrorism bill, a “lasting response to a lasting threat”. The choice of words recognizes that Islamic terrorism is here to stay.

The “State of War” is permanent. And France has no plans for winning the war. Instead it’s trying to get better at playing defense. And that’s what most Western domestic counterterrorism efforts amount to.

France is just taking the lead because it has the biggest problem.

The British put soldiers on the streets after the Manchester Arena bombing. The Italians and the Belgians began deploying soldiers in cities around the same time that the French did.

When an illegal alien Muslim terrorist due to be deported murdered two young women in Marseille while shouting, “Allahu Akbar”, French soldiers opened fire. The 24-year-old who shot the terrorist was a reserve member of a regiment of combat engineers in the French Foreign Legion.

The French Foreign Legion isn’t off fighting in a foreign desert somewhere. It’s fighting in France.

French soldiers are told to loudly announce, “Stop or I Shoot”. And then open fire. And that’s what he did. And French soldiers are being forced to learn the phrase and expect to come under attack.

In February, French soldiers were attacked by a Muslim terrorist outside the Louvre. The Egyptian Jihadist shouted, “Allahu Akbar” and came after them with a machete. One soldier from the 1st Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes was wounded. The attacker was shot down.

The 1st Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes had been deployed to Afghanistan and Mali. Now they were at the Louvre. You don’t need to be Napoleon to know that counts as a major retreat.

A month later, a Muslim terrorist shouted “I am here to die in the name of Allah” while holding a female air force soldier hostage at Orly Airport.

He got his wish courtesy of her fellow soldiers.

In August, six soldiers from the 35th Infantry Regiment were hit by a BMW driven by a Muslim terrorist. Members of a regiment which had been deployed in Afghanistan were sent to a military hospital after an attack in the wealthy Levallois-Perret suburb of Paris. A year earlier, soldiers from the 5th Infantry Regiment had been hit by a Tunisian shouting, “Allahu Akbar” while they were guarding a mosque.

France has entered its longest state of emergency since the Algerian War. The 2015 attacks saw its first state of emergency since 1961. But where is France supposed to withdraw from this time? Paris?

It was one thing to abandon the beleaguered Algerian Christians and Jews to Muslim terror. And to abandon them a second time when they fled to France only to face persecution by their old Islamic neighbors who had tagged along and settled down in Marseille. But can France abandon the French?

The issue once again is colonialism. But the new colonists are Algerians, Tunisians and other Islamic imperialists who have settled in France and wave the black flag of the Jihad over their no-go zone settlements in French cities. And they have made it abundantly clear that they will not stop there.

Last year, former Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that, “Every day attacks are foiled… as we speak.”

And it’s no wonder. Thousands of Muslim settlers left France to fight in Syria and Iraq. Valls was looking at 15,000 potential threats domestically. France has one of the largest Muslim populations in Europe. We don’t know exactly how many millions of Muslim settlers live in France. But we can measure their growth by the expansion of the terror threat. Islamic terrorism is, despite the spin, reducible to Islam.

There is no Islamic terrorism without Islam. As Islam expands, so does Islamic terrorism.

France is in the middle of a civil war. The civil war is based on religious differences. As the religious divide between the Islamic colonists and the militantly secular French government increases, the violence will worsen. The outcome of the war will determine whether France will be a secular republic or an Islamic state. The Jihadists have a plan for winning the war.  The French authorities don’t.

And what goes for France also goes for Western Europe. And for the West.

The French combination of social appeasement and police state enforcement isn’t working. The same model ultimately fails wherever it’s applied. Breaking up terror cells and stopping attacks is far better than the alternative, but the scale of the problem will always continue increasing because of demographic growth and a globalized terror infrastructure.

Demographics dictate that France’s terror problem will only keep growing. And the French authorities understand this. That’s why its governments increasingly talk about Islamic terrorism as a lasting threat.

Our War on Terror has squandered endless blood and treasure while avoiding the root cause. Western nations deploy massive armies to root out small terror networks while allying with their Gulf backers. Soldiers patrol major cities waiting for a terrorist or several terrorists to attack. Meanwhile the mosques that indoctrinate them to hate and kill non-Muslims are also protected by those same soldiers.

That’s not how you win a war. It’s how you lose everything.

What Is America’s National Identity?

October 6, 2017

What Is America’s National Identity? American ThinkerRabbi Aryeh Spero, October 6, 2017

Transnationalists determined to weaken and denude America know their route to victory lies in condemning the Judeo-Christian ethic which has provided America with its identity and life breath; and those at war with Judeo-Christianism know that in bringing down America the Judeo-Christian outlook will have lost its most vital fortress.

The Judeo-Christian ethos is an American treasure, a morality, to be defended and preserved, a gift and legacy to pass on to future generations.

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Many were elated and approved of President Trump’s July speech in Warsaw, Poland acknowledging the central role Western civilization plays in defining who we are and what we believe. Our freedom and survival depend on defending it, he said. Beyond that, he celebrated Western civilization as something extraordinary: “What we’ve inherited from our ancestors has never existed to this extent before.”

A vocal few, popular in left-wing opinion circles, condemned Mr. Trump’s remarks as an affront to multiculturalism, labeling his linkage of us with Western civilization, and our pride in it, as “tribalism, white nationalism, and racism”, claiming that references to Western civilization and ancestors are code words for the above-mentioned vices. For some, even the broad term “Western civilization” is offensive and prejudicial since, as with all definitions, it necessarily conveys something distinctive and thus circumscribed.

The question we should answer is: does a country or nation need an identity, a unique identity with salient features that distinguish it from other countries and nations? In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville gave a resounding affirmation to the need for a specific identity. He wrote that a corporate entity remains what it is as long as it operates by the principles upon which it was founded. When it changes those principles, it becomes something entirely different, and the success it had, based on its original formula, becomes uncertain and imperiled. It atrophies and declines. He spoke not against periodic tinkering but warned against fundamental transformation.

According to the wise and prescient de Tocqueville, we define an entity by its original principles and the values that created its success. These are the seeds that animate it and supply its people with special spirit. What, then, is America’s identity?

Some say it lies in our Constitution and Bill of Rights, which delineate the liberties that enshrine our peoplehood and, on a functional level, make possible a daily life open to achievement, aspirations, and human potential. Our way of life and the blessings that have come to us depend on everyone living within this Constitutional framework and by precluding its replacement or abridgement with another set of laws claiming to be a “higher morality” or temporarily more important, or by enacting waivers or special accommodation in the name of multiculturalism.

There are those today wishing to sideline the Constitution and our historic way of life by invalidating the men, and thus the ideas, behind it. Using charges of racism as the singular and only important lens in which to judge a person’s value, they nullify the totality, the overwhelming contributions, and extraordinary sacrifices of great men and women of a different era. Meanwhile, they grant themselves unassailable superiority and rigid final judgment simply because of their claims to victimhood or for espousing one of the many isms in today’s pantheon for self-righteous virtue signaling. A nation’s historic identity is being replaced by identity politics, culminating frequently in automatic indictment of historical figures simply because their race or moral values are now out of fashion.

There are those in America wishing to define us strictly as a nation of tolerance and inclusivity, this deification resulting often, as in Europe, in tolerating the intolerable and including everyone and everything to the point of endangering those in society not ensconced within rarified and protective gates. They think the best identity is no identity. But this vacuum and void, as witnessed in Europe, allows for other assertive or aggressive identities and mores to creep within and replace, zone by zone; for surely, strong and energized identities will replace the mushy identity of No Identity.

Though tolerance is a laudable theme, it is found elsewhere and is not an exclusive element of Americanism. The President was correct in underscoring the importance of Western civilization and how it connects and ties America and Europe. But America moved Western civilization beyond its previous European contours. It fashioned something more grand, a majestic idea, something that not only preceded the Constitution, but from the time of Plymouth Rock distinguished America from other Western polities, unfolding into the American civilization. It is the Judeo-Christian ethos.

Though its roots began in a religious and idealistic outlook, this ethos shortly developed into a civic attitude and philosophy, shaping the themes and civic perspective that were America’s foundation and key to our freedom and prosperity. It supplies a set of moral and philosophic principles regarding economic, social, personal, and political life. Among its distinguishing features are: personal responsibility, liberty, seeing man as an individual, a work ethic, rights from God, meritocracy, rights to property and how one makes his living, and freedom of religion and conscience. Together with these principles were the uniquely American ideals of fair play, rugged individualism, innovation, volunteerism, speaking one’s mind, and demarcating between right and wrong.

America is much more than a land mass between the Atlantic and the Pacific. It is more than just a country. It is a nation; a nation with an exceptional identity born in a transcendent idea. The Judeo-Christian ethos made us singular among the nations.

The civic Judeo-Christian ethos does not demand adherence to the details of religion or to a particular form of worship or religious creed, nor loyalty to a particular religion. The ethos is open to all, just as is Western civilization. That its founders and ancestors were mostly white is not a structural roadblock to all sharing in its outlook, except in the mind of racialists eager to impute racism in anything distinctive or weaponize against those with whom they disagree.

Transnationalists determined to weaken and denude America know their route to victory lies in condemning the Judeo-Christian ethic which has provided America with its identity and life breath; and those at war with Judeo-Christianism know that in bringing down America the Judeo-Christian outlook will have lost its most vital fortress.

The Judeo-Christian ethos is an American treasure, a morality, to be defended and preserved, a gift and legacy to pass on to future generations.

Palestinian “Reconciliation”: Hamas Free to Fight but Now Abbas Accountable

October 6, 2017

by Bassam Tawil

Source: Palestinian “Reconciliation”: Hamas Free to Fight but Now Abbas Accountable

  • Abbas’s new partnership with Hamas means that from this moment on, the Palestinian Authority (PA) president should be held responsible for everything that takes place inside the Gaza Strip.
  • Until now, Abbas was rightly absolved of any responsibility for what was happening in the Gaza Strip. He has been able to argue that because he is not there, he is not responsible if Hamas has tunnels and is building up its weaponry and firing rockets at Israel. Now, the jig is up.
  • Why shouldn’t Hamas accept a deal that allows it to retain its security control over the Gaza Strip while Abbas’s government is busy collecting garbage, paying salaries to civil servants and footing the bill for water and electricity?
  • Failing to hold the Palestinian Authority government — and Abbas — responsible means endorsing the Hezbollah model, where the Lebanese government is impotent and the real power is wielded by the Shiite terror group, Hezbollah.

Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority (PA) government is on its way back to managing civilian affairs in the Gaza Strip. Hamas, meanwhile, says it will remain in control of security and will not lay down its weapons or dismantle its security forces and militias.

Abbas’s new partnership with Hamas — the product of Egyptian mediation efforts between the two parties — means that from this moment on, the Palestinian Authority president should now be held responsible for everything that takes place inside the Gaza Strip.

Abbas and his PA government should now be held accountable, among other things, for the fate of two Israeli civilians and the remains of IDF soldiers being held in the Gaza Strip by Hamas.

Now that the Palestinian Authority has reached a deal with Hamas, President Mahmoud Abbas should be held accountable for what goes on in Gaza. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Abbas should also now be held responsible for any rockets that are fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel. Abbas cannot have it both ways. He cannot use the new partnership with Hamas to project himself as the legitimate president of all Palestinians, including those living in the Gaza Strip, but at the same time argue that he does not have “control on the ground.” He cannot have his prime minister and government managing the day-to-day affairs of the Gaza Strip while at the same time claim that he cannot do anything about Hamas’s security forces and militia.

Until now, Abbas was rightly absolved of any responsibility for what was happening in the Gaza Strip. Hamas expelled him and his Palestinian Authority from the Gaza Strip in 2007, and since then he has been able to argue that because he is not there, he is not responsible if Hamas has tunnels and is building up its weaponry and firing rockets at Israel. Fair enough.

Now, the jig is up. Abbas can no longer avoid responsibility for anything that happens inside the Gaza Strip. He demanded that Hamas dismantle its shadow government and allow the Palestinian Authority to assume its responsibilities as the sovereign power in the Gaza Strip. Hamas was clever enough to grab the opportunity. Hamas complied with his demand and cordially invited Abbas and his government back into the Gaza Strip.

What motivated Hamas? Love for Abbas? Love for Egypt? No, Hamas complied with Abbas’s demand because doing so furthered its own interests. Why shouldn’t Hamas go for any agreement that does not require it to make any meaningful concessions? Why shouldn’t Hamas accept a deal that allows it to retain its security control over the Gaza Strip while Abbas’s government is busy collecting garbage, paying salaries to civil servants and footing the bill for water and electricity?

Abbas knows that Hamas will not lay down its weapons or dismantle its security forces and armed wing, Ezaddin Al-Qassam, despite the “reconciliation” agreement and the presence of the Palestinian Authority government in the Gaza Strip.

Abbas nevertheless decided to proceed with the new “reconciliation” agreement to assert his status as the legitimate president of all Palestinians. He also went with the agreement to thwart any deal between Hamas and his arch-rival, Mohammed Dahlan. Abbas is prepared to do just about anything to prevent Dahlan, who, based the United Arab Emirates, sees himself as a potential successor to Abbas, from returning to the Palestinian political arena. The situation continues to cause Abbas sleepless nights.

Now that Abbas’s government is back in the Gaza Strip, Israel and the rest of the world are entitled to hold him fully responsible for what takes place there.

Abbas’s government is either the sovereign power in the Gaza Strip, or it is not. If Hamas is not going to hand over security control of the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority government, then the whole “reconciliation” deal is nothing but a joke. Such an arrangement would turn Abbas into the mayor of the Gaza Strip, while Hamas remains the de facto ruler and sovereign authority there.

This is what is actually happening: Hamas wants to endorse the Hezbollah model in the Gaza Strip. Hamas wants Abbas to deal with the dirt of civilian affairs while it continues to dig out dirt for more terror tunnels.

If Abbas reached a bad deal with Hamas, that is his problem. It should not be the problem of Israel. It would be a mistake to return to the pre-2007 era, when both Abbas and his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, were sitting in the Gaza Strip while Hamas and other terror groups were firing rockets and missiles at Israel. Back then, both Abbas and Arafat were unable to stop the terror attacks against Israel even though the Palestinian Authority security forces were in charge.

Enough is enough. From now on, any government sitting in the Gaza Strip should be held fully accountable for what happens there. Failing to hold the Palestinian Authority government — and Abbas — responsible means endorsing the Hezbollah model, where the Lebanese government is impotent and the real power is wielded by the Shiite terror group, Hezbollah.

The Lebanese government should be held responsible for everything that happens inside that country. The Lebanese government, as the sovereign power, should be held accountable for what Hezbollah does. This is the precisely the policy that needs to be adopted now with Abbas. Israel should demand that he and his government return the bodies of the IDF soldiers. Israel should demand that he return also two Israelis held inside the Gaza Strip. Israel should demand that Abbas and his government stop building tunnels that are to be used to attack Israel.

If Abbas responds that although his government is back in the Gaza Strip he has no control over security matters, he should be called out for the bluff of the “reconciliation” deal. The PA president ought to be informed: If you are not in control and your government is not really in charge, then get out of Gaza and stop playing the role of legitimate president of the Palestinian people; you are really nothing but a puppet dangled by the leaders of Hamas.

Bassam Tawil is a Muslim based in the Middle East.

Special Operations Warrior Foundation aids the US forces at the tip of the spear

October 6, 2017

Special Operations Warrior Foundation aids the US forces at the tip of the spear, Jihad Watch

(This video seems appropriate:

— DM)

 

As evidenced by the tragedy Wednesday in Niger, America’s Special Operations Forces remain at the tip of the spear in this long war. Our Special Operators are serving in high-risk areas of hostility such as Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Niger and over 70 other countries around the world every day.

It takes a special kind of “quiet professional” to meet the exacting standards of America’s Special Operations Forces. As this trans-generational war continues, Special Operations Forces will be facing new challenges all too frequently. In fact, there has never been a greater need for Special Operations Forces than right now. Special Operations will continue to be the force of choice, time and time again.

For the past 37 years the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) has been dedicated to honoring the sacrifice of Special Operations Personnel who lose their lives in the line of duty or are severely wounded and hospitalized as a result of wounds sustained in combat. And for the 11th consecutive year, SOWF continues to this while maintaining a 4-Star Charity Navigator rating.

Mission Statement:

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation ensures full financial assistance for a post-secondary degree from an accredited two or four-year college, university, technical, or trade school; and offers family and educational counseling, including in-home tutoring, to the surviving children of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps special operations personnel who lose their lives in the line of duty.

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation also provides immediate financial assistance to severely wounded and hospitalized special operations personnel.

SOWF ensures full college scholarships to the surviving children of Special Operators who die in the line of duty – to any fully accredited college or university in the nation. Financial assistance includes tuition, room and board, books, fees, computers, transportation and miscellaneous expenses.

Additionally, SOWF provides ongoing support and academic counseling to make sure every student has the opportunity to do well in school. SOWF offers professional tutoring – at no cost – to all students from kindergarten through college graduation.

The Foundation also provides immediate financial assistance to severely wounded Special Operators to allow their families to be with them in the hospital and to offset expenses associated with their injuries. SOWF delivers a $5,000 check to the wounded Special Operator’s bedside immediately following arrival in a U.S. military hospital. We also provide an iPad so that the Special Operator can keep in touch with their comrades and family.

Please consider supporting our Special Operations Forces by donating to this exceptional organization today.

China’s North Korea conundrum

October 6, 2017

China’s North Korea conundrum, The Hindu, October 6, 2017

(We dance around in a ring and suppose,
But the secret sits in the middle and knows. — Robert Frost. — DM)

A file photo of a missile during a military parade in Pyongyang. | Photo Credit: AP

With tensions between the U.S. and North Korea running high and relations between Beijing and Pyongyang at a historic low, questions are being raised about how China might respond in the event of a regime collapse. The scene along the China-North Korea border in the wild mountains of northeast Asia provides some clues.

Despite a dearth of traffic and trade, construction crews are at work on a six-lane highway to the border outside the small Chinese city of Ji’an along the Tumen River, a corridor that could facilitate the rapid movement of tanks and troops.

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Questions are being raised about how it will respond to a regime collapse

Securing North Korea’s missile launchers and nuclear, chemical and biological weapons sites would likely be a chief priority for China in the event of a major crisis involving its communist neighbor, analysts say, although Beijing so far is keeping mum on any plans.

Despite China’s official silence, its People’s Liberation Army likely has a “vast array” of contingency plans involving military options, said Dean Cheng, an Asia security expert at the Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington.

The PLA and paramilitary People’s Armed Police could also be deployed to deal with refugees and possible civil unrest, he said.

What’s less clear is whether and under what conditions China would commit troops as an occupying force should North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s regime fall apart, Mr. Cheng said. “We can hypothesise that they might, but, as the observation goes, those who know don’t say and those who say probably don’t know,” he said.

With tensions between the U.S. and North Korea running high and relations between Beijing and Pyongyang at a historic low, questions are being raised about how China might respond in the event of a regime collapse. The scene along the China-North Korea border in the wild mountains of northeast Asia provides some clues.

Despite a dearth of traffic and trade, construction crews are at work on a six-lane highway to the border outside the small Chinese city of Ji’an along the Tumen River, a corridor that could facilitate the rapid movement of tanks and troops.

Strategic choice

Guard posts, barbed wire-topped fences and checkpoints manned by armed paramilitary troops mark the frontier along the border signs of concern about potentially violent border crossers or even more serious security threats.

China’s unwillingness to discuss its plans is likely a strategic choice by the notoriously secretive PLA, but potentially threatens unintended consequences were a major crisis to emerge, experts say. Asked about Chinese preparations for a North Korean crisis, defense ministry spokesman Col. Wu Qian offered assurance but no details at a monthly news briefing on Thursday.

Saudi King asks Putin to help contain Iranian threat, accepts Russian gains in Syria

October 6, 2017

Source: Saudi King asks Putin to help contain Iranian threat, accepts Russian gains in Syria – DEBKAfile

President Donald Trump’s best Middle East friend and ally, Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, arrived in Moscow Thursday Oct. 5 for a three-day state visit, a week before the President unveils his new Iran policy.

This policy, to be announced on Oct. 12 will, according to DEBKAfile’s sources,  introduce new sanctions against Iran’s hard-line Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), while refraining from taking the United States out of the nuclear pact (JCPOA).
He is expected to extend this pact on Oct. 15 for another 90 days, by certifying that Iran is in compliance with the terms of the accord it signed with six world powers in 2015.

In his comments on Wednesday, Oct. 4, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson indicated that the pact was not the most important aspect of the administration’s Iran policy, when he said: “The JCPOA represents only a small part of the issues we have to address with Iran.”

The 82-year old Saudi king, and his powerful son, Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman, are now persuaded that even in the capacity of President Trump’s senior ally in the Sunni Arab camp he created during his Riyadh visit last April, Riyadh is not precluded from developing relations with the most powerful player in the region, Vladimir Putin.
As far as Riyadh is concerned, Iran’s nuclear program is not much of a problem – the Saudis have long accepted its inevitability. They are far more concerned by the failure of Trump’s Iran policies, new or old, to stop Syria and Iraq from running downhill into the wrong hands.
They see Iran, far from pulling out of the two war-torn countries, deepening its military grip. The Saudis feel they are left out in the cold by proactive Russian-Iranian-Hizballah military cooperation in Syria and control of the Syrian-Iraqi border. This military pact has been strengthened by Turkey, to form a relationship that was celebrated Wednesday by President Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Tehran, accompanied by Turkish Chief of Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar.

For even minimal influence over Syria’s fortunes, the Saudis realize they must open doors to the Kremlin. They also understand that Putin alone has the clout to make Tehran limit its backing for the Yemeni Houthi insurgency, which a Saudi-led coalition is fighting.

Indeed, Russian influence weighed in recently behind Tehran’s decision to withhold from Houthi forces the high-precision ballistic missiles they demanded for wreaking serious damage to Saudi cities.
King Salman arrived in Moscow with four instruments of persuasion in his pocket:

  1. A pact with Saudi Arabia, the acknowledged leader of the Sunni Arab world, would be another feather in the cap for Vladimir Putin when he campaigns for re-election as president next March, as the Russian leader who restored his country’s military power in the Middle East.
  2. Coordination with Riyadh on oil and gas prices and supplies will also be an achievement the Russian ruler can hardly resist, after their first successful foray in manipulating the market together. Last year, the Saudis were able to persuade 10 members of the OPEC oil cartel to cut back on oil quotas so as to boost prices. The rising prices gave Putin the bootstraps for pulling the Russian economy out of a hole.
  3. Salman arrived in Moscow with a huge delegation of business executives, economic leaders and potential investors seeking information on opportunities in Russia.
  4. The king will also show an interest in large-scale arms purchases from Russia – another bonanza for Putin – thereby breaking the US-European military industries’ virtual monopoly of the Saudi market.

In July 2015, when the friendship between the then Crown Prince Salman and President Putin blossomed, Riyadh pumped $10 billion of investments into the Russian economy.

However, two months later, President Putin ordered the massive expansion of Russian military intervention in Syria to rescue Bashar Assad’s rule, although it is anathema to Riyadh. He has never budged from this goal.

This goes to show that even lavish Saudi petrodollars have a limited impact on Putin’s strategic designs for the Middle East. And so Salman can’t be sure even in three days of talks to sway the Russian leader from his path.