Twenty years ago, on 7 August 1998, al-Qaeda blew up the U.S. Embassies on Kenya and Tanzania, massacring 200+ people, most of them in Kenya. This was al-Qaeda's entry into the world stage as a serious terrorist menace.
On this anniversary of al-Qaeda's assault on the U.S.'s East African Embassies, it is worth remembering that later investigation found al-Qaeda was enabled to do this by training #Iran provided to them.
#Saudi Arabia says #Canada's statement on the arrest of activists in the Kingdom is an unacceptable interference in its internal affairs, expels the Canadian ambassador and freezes all future trade. bbc.in/2vs6crl
"In her first public response to Saudi Arabia's actions, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Monday: 'Let me be very clear ... Canada will always stand up for human rights in Canada and around the world, and women's rights are human rights'." aljazeera.com/news/2018/08/s…
A column from me in The @NYPost: in Britain we saw the consequences of Labour's "pas d’ennemis à gauche" (no enemies on the Left) stance; if the Democrats don't start isolating their radicals there's no reason it can't go the same way. nyp.st/2LOdKi7
Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader "despite a massive smear campaign by Britain’s Zio-establishment", said David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. "It’s a really good ... when people are beginning to recognise Zionist power". thetimes.co.uk/article/former…
Not convinced this from Corbyn in The @Guardian will assuage the doubts. He doubles down on the changes Labour made to the IHRA definition of antisemitism; all about ensuring free speech (to criticise #Israel), you see. theguardian.com/commentisfree/…
More carefully written than usual but also still somewhat misleading: in both My Lai and Abu Ghraib, Hersh wrote of atrocities that the US military was already in the process of punishing. He just added sensationalism and used the events for political warfare to assist the enemy.
The @Independent chose to pressure Seymour Hersh in a manner last seen with the NKVD ...
In Dec. 1950, U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur requested that the authority for the use of tactical nuclear weapons be handed to him as battlefield commander. All indicators are he planned to use them in areas of North Korea and Red China. Truman refused and fired him in April 1951.
(It's not entirely clear what MacArthur proposed to hit with nuclear weapons in Korea and China: he did at some point publicly deny he ever intended their use. Other documents suggest he wanted to create a line of nuclear fallout to sever the Korean Peninsula from China.)
What MacArthur had got right, strategically, which Truman and the State Department had not, was that Communist China was not simply a satellite of the Soviet Union but its own entity, and an American attack on the Peking regime was not akin to an attack on the Soviets.
Our partner force in #Syria, the #SDF/#PKK is further formalizing its close relationship with the #Asad/#Iran system and mulling joint offensive operations against a #NATO member. So that's all going well. reut.rs/2LD074A
As @Reuters notes: our partner in #Syria, the #SDF/#PKK, a paragon of liberalism and Western values, "indefinitely postponed" the final stage of an election that was already a Soviet-style sham, excluding thousands of Arabs and run under conditions of suffocating autocracy.
Be interesting to see if the U.S. responds publicly to the #SDF/#PKK's suggestion it will help in #Asad-#Iran-#Russia's proposed campaign of mass-slaughter in Idlib and in joint attacks on NATO's #Turkey.
One highly doubts it; the PKK has literally got away with murder so far.
#Turkey should heed Pompeo and release Andrew Brunson. It's wrong; the case has been hopelessly tainted with politics. It's also self-defeating. Holding him hits on a raw nerve in the U.S. and makes achieving Ankara's own objectives more difficult.
Turkey's suggestion that Andrew Brunson is being held as a hostage to be traded for Fethullah Gulen has exacerbated what was already a politicized prosecution. It was an aggressively stupid thing to do: inter alia, strikes at a part of American politics that Trump cannot ignore.
Noam Chomsky making the case that Ho Chi Minh's North Vietnam and the Communist-ruled areas of South Vietnam have wonderful systems of village democracy alongside some admitted authoritarian unpleasantness.
Buckley's response that this is "utter nonsense" covers it quite well.
Even by Noam Chomsky's standards, this argument that Red China had forms of democracy that even America did not is incredible.
As William Buckley notes, concentration camps also developed forms of democracy among the prisoners; the idea such conditions are laudable is obscene.
This kind of thing gets a pass: a good word about life expectancy in Red China, or the hospitals in Castro's Cuba. Anyone who defended Franco or Pinochet by reference to their economic records would find a somewhat different reaction. So it goes.
The reboot of 'Firing Line' is not working: it was never conceived as an interview show but a contest of ideas; the new host lacks William F. Buckley's worldview, forensic approach to argument, and killer instinct when someone says something fatuous. warondrivel.com/firing-line-re…
This clip is a perfect illustration of what's wrong with the 'New Firing Line': it doesn't matter about the politics; the host allows Ocasio-Cortez a soft landing when she gets herself caught up in contradiction and exposes her ignorance. Buckley would never have allowed that.
Here's a clip from a 1971 'Firing Line' episode where William Buckley catches John Kerry making a silly point about the #Vietnam War. It's this kind of thing that the rebooted 'Firing Line' avoids, but which was central to the original.
Nelson Mandela, who died on 5 Dec. 2013, would have been 100-years-old today. He oversaw the transition from apartheid to majority rule in South Africa, gaining a near-saintly reputation. But his legacy, and that of his party, the African National Congress, is more complicated.
The Soviet Union before the Second World War had little knowledge of Africa. One of its few focuses was South Africa, the most developed state, and the #ANC from its foundations was tied up with the slavishly pro-Soviet #SACP and more directly with Soviet intelligence.
By the 1930s, the Soviets lost interest in revolution in Africa, though retained its #ANC assets. In the 1960s, the U.S.S.R. moved to try to win the Cold War in the Third World. It provided money and other support to the ANC, plus encouraging a virtual merger with the SACP.
17 July 1965: Pham Ngoc Thao was killed in prison in South Vietnam.
From 1962, Thao oversaw the Strategic Hamlet Program, designed to counter the Communists at the level it mattered: the local villages.
Problem: he was an agent of North Vietnam, so he sabotaged the program.
With the Strategic Hamlet Program, a classic COIN concept, Pham Ngoc Thao was supposed to separate the rural population of RVN from the Communist guerrillas. But Thao, a DRV agent, implemented it in a way that maximally alienated the population, opening space for the Communists.
The failure of South Vietnam's Strategic Hamlet Program (COIN) b/c of the Communist spy Pham Ngoc Thao helped set in motion downfall of Ngo Dinh Diem [one of the worst mistakes of the war] and the turn to more conventional tactics using ever-increasing numbers of US troops. #pt
16 July 1918: Tsar Nicholas II and the rest of the Imperial family, his wife and five children, including little Alexei who was in his father's arms, were murdered by the Bolsheviks, shot and stabbed in the basement of the house in Siberia where the Romanovs had been imprisoned.
The Bolshevik coup was eight-months-old when they massacred the Romanovs. The Whites were still resisting this new and worse form of despotism, but the outside intervention was half-hearted (see
#Putin's opening to this press conference suggests the takeover of southern #Syria by Asad/Iran is a model of U.S.-Russia cooperation that should be expanded, and flatters Trump that his summit with Kim [which Putin very much liked the look of] resolved the Korean Peninsula.
On #Ukraine, Putin hints broadly that the U.S. agrees with him that Kyiv's intransigence prevented Minsk's implementation, and then carefully lets it be known Trump brought up the election meddling, an assist to Trump politically, before of course dismissing it.
Trump frames engagement around U.S.-Russian co-operation in WW2, notes that unfortunate Cold War business, then says: "Our relationship has never been worse ... that changed as of about four hours ago." Says he is being politically brave to do what's right. Lambastes media + Dems
One test of seriousness for Guardian types and others now apparently converted to the reality of Russian subversion: What do they think of Phil Agee?
Many are old enough to have expressed views in real time. Do they now take those back and agree they were fooled?
The psychological barrier to forming a common front with the newly-converted Russia hawks on the Left is the suspicion that they are pressing a political campaign under the banner of national security, and once in office will revert to form.
Remember it's not just the Left's continual delusions about the Soviet Union and their checking out of the last 20+ years of the Cold War. Until the last few months of the Obama administration, working with #Russia was still being posited as a solution to many of the world's ills
Here we see Putin's cutout used as evidence against Romney for propaganda purposes, serving Russian interests and damaging America. People were talking about "open collusion" or "public collusion" today. I think we have another suspect.
If we were looking for other instances of public collusion with the Russians:
- Obama promised more "flexibility" to Putin after the election
- Kislyak was taken to browbeat Senators over the Iran deal
- Obama signed a military pact with the Russians to attack Asad's enemies
The point of recalling Obama's record with #Russia is not just whataboutism; it's a call for perspective. To be careful how much of politics is criminalized, and to note that this is being used as a political weapon by people who do not care about national security in any way.
"It's time to put the myth of 'separating Russia from Iran' to rest. The evidence shows that Russia and Iran are fast allies, and are more likely to remain so than to separate." Great piece by Shlomo Bolts. jpost.com/Opinion/The-my…
Down at the #TrumpProtest in Parliament Square. Lots of the placards are handed out by the Socialist Workers' Party, Stop the War, and Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA). There's plenty of sheer obscenity. And large pockets where the smell of cannabis is overwhelming. #TrumpUKVisit
The Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, @DawnButlerBrent, spoke at the #TrumpProtest in Parliament Square and managed to get the word "fuck" into her speech. So that was progressive and brave. #TrumpUKVisit
Fascinating: An archaeological dig in Huqoq, in Galilee in northern #Israel, has discovered the remains of a synagogue from 1,600 years ago; the mosaics tell of a thriving Jewish community and one that was beginning to be inflected with Christianity. timesofisrael.com/mind-blowing-1…
.@holland_tom writes about this: as Christianity is beginning, even after it converts the Emperor in Constantinople, its form is rather fluid with Judaism (a similar thing is later true with Islam). It takes some time to close this porous border and create two distinct faiths.
It was an iterative process, @holland_tom explains, the sealing of the border between Judaism and Christianity. Among other things, the collaboration between the Roman authorities and the rabbis refashioned Judaism into a "religion" in the form of a mirror to Christianity,
Michael Dempsey argues that after the pro-Asad forces roll over Deraa, Idlib is next, and then comes the east, against the U.S. partner, the #SDF/#PKK, unless the U.S. does some creative thinking and stays invested. <Some comments below> warontherocks.com/2018/07/what-d…
I am not sure that #Turkey will stand aside in Idlib. Dempsey is right that the Turks' presence is "limited" but as a military-political matter (calling it a "red line", coping with an influx of 2m refugees plus terrorists, space it gives to PKK) Ankara needs to hold its ground.
On the Asad Alliance side, yes, if Asad/Iran decide to attack #Idlib, Russia can do nothing and will join in. Even so, assuming Turkey does not fold, it's not clear the regime coalition has the capacity for this offensive. Perhaps it does, but that shouldn't be an assumption.
<Brief Thread> on some CIA reports as the #PKK insurgency was beginning in #Turkey.
HT @Ayei_Eloheichem, who found these materials. He covers Russia, Israel, terrorism, espionage, and more. Give him a #FF.
In August 1985, the CIA believed that the #PKK insurgency in #Turkey that had begun exactly a year before was all-but finished because of the internal divisions in the Kurdish population and the gangsterism of the PKK, plus no support from Iraqi Kurds. bit.ly/2uk88k3
Alternative view: what John Brennan, a notoriously political operative, is doing in this case, and has been doing by hinting at tranches of secret evidence, is the tactic of a con man: just take him at his word right now, and later he's got something great for you.
The McCarthy-sympathetic Right of the 1950s drew the line at accusations as irresponsible as this, and cast the purveyors of such lunacy, like the John Birch Society, into the political margins.
Oh I think they understand just fine. The EU has put its doctrines before the welfare of its own citizens; they are not concerned about a state that has sinned against the universe, in their view, by trying to leave. Therein is the hope.
This @Telegraph editorial expresses perfectly the reaction that at least some us who believe in the #Brexit project had to PM May's proposal on Friday: we have been defeated; nominal changes can't hide the de facto cancellation of the referendum result. telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2018/0…
"[May's proposal] is the sort of deal that, in his dreams, David Cameron might have obtained to stop us from leaving [the #EU] … But this is an opening bid…so more concessions are likely to come (especially given the Government’s record for giving the EU largely what it wants)"
"[PM May] conceded the EU’s view of the Irish question, a fatal move which has led almost inevitably to the current acceptance that we can no longer really leave, and must put up with a phantom version of the Brexit we voted for."