•   
  •   
  •   

World Trump tried to reinvent Middle East policy, but the region is still a bottomless pit of woes

06:40  29 october  2020
06:40  29 october  2020 Source:   cnn.com

Fact-checking Trump's massively dishonest weekend: The President made at least 66 separate false or misleading claims in three days

  Fact-checking Trump's massively dishonest weekend: The President made at least 66 separate false or misleading claims in three days President Donald Trump's dishonesty is getting worse. © Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images US President Donald Trump gestures during a rally at Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport in Janesville, Wisconsin on October 17, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images) Trump has been reliably deceptive for his entire presidency, filling his speeches and tweets with lies and other false statements.

Aaron David Miller, a former Middle East negotiator under Republican and Democratic presidents Tamara Cofman Wittes of the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution said it was But the administration has said this before — Mr. Trump himself promised nine months ago that the

WASHINGTON — President Trump threw Middle East policy into turmoil on Monday with a series of conflicting signals after his vow to withdraw American forces from the region touched Exactly. And that would be a big, big problem for the United States, one they were trying to avoid — until Sunday.

All the world's a stage, Shakespeare wrote. But since President Donald Trump came to office, the rest of the world has become a sideshow to the noise and fury emanating from Washington.

a close up of a man with his mouth open: A Palestinian protester holds his sandal against a poster depicting US President Donald Trump during a demonstration against Trump's Middle East peace proposal in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, on February 3, 2020. © SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images A Palestinian protester holds his sandal against a poster depicting US President Donald Trump during a demonstration against Trump's Middle East peace proposal in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, on February 3, 2020.

The Middle East, once the focus of so much attention under previous US administrations, is no exception. Yes, there was the final offensive against ISIS in Syria and the killing of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the stillborn Lebanese revolution, the assassination of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, and the normalization of ties between Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Israel, all of which momentarily distracted Washington.

Debate transcript: Trump, Biden final presidential debate moderated by Kristen Welker

  Debate transcript: Trump, Biden final presidential debate moderated by Kristen Welker Here is the full transcript of the final presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, moderated by Kristen Welker in Nashville on Oct. 22, 2020. Headers have been added for ease of reading. © Mario Tama, Getty Images People are pictured watching the final debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at The Abbey in West Hollywood, California. [0:00] Welker: A very good evening to both of you. This debate will cover six major topics.

The problem is that Trump ’s anti-war rhetoric gives cover to his war-making administration. In Syria, his withdrawal has so far meant moving soldiers from one part That was a massive miscalculation. Later, the administration did participate in a diplomatic process in Geneva, but the condition for those talks

No doubt, these were focus-grouped by the best political consultants, but those are bold words coming from someone who spent almost half a century in the Circling back to coronavirus relief later in the night – and trying to make it about race – Welker blamed the president for the inaction of Congress.

There are wars in Syria, war in Yemen, war in Libya. There is low-level conflict in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, in Iraq, and between Israel and the Palestinians. Here in Lebanon there are rumors of war -- civil war or war with Israel, or both.

On one edge of the region, there is conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and on the other, rising tensions between Turkey and Greece in the eastern Mediterranean.

The glimmers of hope born in the Arab Spring are now all but forgotten, replaced by the gathering gloom of tyranny, rampant corruption, and hopelessness.

A pale horse stalks this region, laden down with weapons, saddled by economic collapse, hobbled by a pandemic. Forget human rights and democracy, once paid lip service by previous US administrations. Most people in the region are focused on survival.

Fighter jets fire flares, escort plane from airspace near Trump event in Arizona

  Fighter jets fire flares, escort plane from airspace near Trump event in Arizona U.S. fighter jets escorted a plane flying in restricted airspace near President Donald Trump's rally in Bullhead City, Arizona.The North American Aerospace Defense Command tweeted that it sent two F-16s to investigate "a general aviation aircraft that was not in communication" with air-traffic controllers as it neared Bullhead City.

Some hope that Trump 's unpredictability might be by design, to serve the purpose of confounding America's adversaries and putting them on Just a few days ago, Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria. There is no strategy for the Middle East , neither in Washington nor in Europe.

President Donald Trump appears to have made his choice in the awful dilemma posed by the coronavirus pandemic -- whether to destroy the nation's economic foundation in order to save lives.

What was breaking news is now barely news, eclipsed by a decaying superpower's messy meltdown.

In all fairness, Trump can't be wholly blamed for the catastrophic situation in the Middle East. He inherited a legacy of missteps, delusion and muddled thinking going back decades.

The Arab Spring -- as it was once optimistically called -- took the Obama administration by surprise. Washington fumbled in Egypt, first dithering over whether to drop the creaking regime of Hosni Mubarak, and then watching as the Muslim Brotherhood won Egypt's one and only democratic election in its 5,000-year history.

And when, a year later, a military coup d'état brought the officers back to power, Washington shrugged, and continues to shrug as President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's regime ruthlessly cracks down on even the most benign forms of dissent. The Egyptian president is, after all, Trump's "favorite dictator."

Nagorno-Karabakh talks planned amid Azerbaijan's offensive

  Nagorno-Karabakh talks planned amid Azerbaijan's offensive YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Azerbaijani forces pushed deeper into Nagorno-Karabakh on Friday as top diplomats from Armenia and Azerbaijan were scheduled to attend talks in Geneva intended to help broker an end to more than a month of heavy fighting over the separatist territory. Intense clashes were going on in the south of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia’s Defense Ministry said. The Azerbaijani military reported that areas in the Terter and Gubadli regions of Azerbaijan came under Armenian shelling.

On Friday we reported that President Trump spoke to workers at a Whirlpool factory in Clyde, Ohio, to tout his efforts to restore America’s manufacturing base. During the speech Trump also spoke about his work to reform prescription drug pricing by the pharmaceutical industry.

Declaring himself "your president of law and order," President Donald Trump vowed Monday to return order to American streets using the military if widespread violence isn't quelled, even as peaceful protesters just outside the White House gates were dispersed with tear gas

Similar dithering marked the response to the uprising in Syria prior to the age of Trump. The US, under President Barack Obama, gave just enough weapons to a hopelessly divided opposition to fight the regime of Bashar Al-Assad, but never enough to defeat it. Many of those weapons -- and fighters -- ended up with ISIS.

While Washington wrung its hands over Syria, Russia and Iran -- along with Hezbollah -- rushed in and shored up the government in Damascus.

a close up of an umbrella on a beach: A Syrian Defence Force (SDF) flag flies over the destroyed ISIL encampment on March 23, 2019 in Baghouz, Syria. © Chris McGrath/Getty Images A Syrian Defence Force (SDF) flag flies over the destroyed ISIL encampment on March 23, 2019 in Baghouz, Syria.

Yes, the Trump administration did finish the war against ISIS that Obama initiated, and then, in one of the most puzzling of this administration's dizzying policy gyrations, abandoned Washington's Kurdish Syrian allies in the autumn of 2019, stepping aside to let them be mauled by the Turkish army.

Trump careened around Syria, announcing the imminent withdrawal of US forces, then changing his mind, then again announcing their withdrawal and eventually deciding to keep them there so the US could control the oil.

Biden looks to restore, expand Obama administration policies

  Biden looks to restore, expand Obama administration policies Stop and reverse. Restore and expand. Joe Biden is promising to take the country on a very different path from what it has seen over the past four years under President Donald Trump, on issues ranging from the coronavirus and health care to the environment, education and more. The Democratic presidential nominee is promising to reverse Trump policy moves on things such as withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement and weakening protections against environmental pollution.While Trump wants to kill the Affordable Care Act, Biden is proposing to expand “Obamacare” by adding a public option to cover more Americans.

DONALD TRUMP has pointed out Joe Biden's embarrassing gaffe after the Democratic candidate said "we need to stop four more years of George". US President Donald Trump took to Twitter to address his adversary’s mistake after he seemed to forget the President’s name.

The region is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but is populated by ethnic Armenians. Baku considers the enclave to be illegally occupied by Armenia. In the last few days, reports of both military and civilian casualties have reached double figures.


Video: France recalls ambassador to Turkey over Erdogan's comments (CNN)

On Yemen, the US has continued to support the Saudi-led war against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. Despite the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi on the grounds of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul two years ago, Trump has only tightened his embrace of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Weapons sales top Washington's list of shared interests with Riyadh.

Ivanka Trump talking on a cell phone: US President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka unveils a plaque during the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018. © MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images US President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka unveils a plaque during the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018.

One often hears back-handed praise for Trump's approach to the region. Whether it's Saudi arms sales or Syria's oil, at least the occupant of the White House is honest about his motives, not wasting his breath wrapping US policy in the sanctimonious language of morality.

On Israel and the Palestinians, the Trump administration has abandoned the policy of its predecessors of at least paying lip service to even-handedness, and has wholeheartedly embraced the unyielding hard line of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, recognized Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan Heights and in general has barely offered even the weakest of rebukes to its Israeli friends.

What drivers said at Martinsville

  What drivers said at Martinsville Here is what drivers were talking about at Martinsville after the final race in the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Cup playoffs.Chase Elliott — Winner: “Oh, my gosh. This is the biggest win ever for us. I’m just so proud to be able to be backed into a corner like that and have to win tonight. I feel like that’s what we’ve been missing these past four or five years and perform when we don’t have a choice. And, to do that tonight; we couldn’t ask for a better night. This is unreal. This is just unbelievable. We’re going to Phoenix with a shot to win a championship and have a beautiful blue NAPA Camaro headed out there with a shot to win a title.

The Trump administration boasts the normalization of ties between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain as a major foreign policy accomplishment. Most of the unelected rulers of the Gulf states long ago lost interest in the Palestinian cause. Under Trump they, too, have discarded old rhetoric for realpolitik.

The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is now just a festering wound. It doesn't bleed, so it doesn't lead. And on it festers.

Remarkably, the Trump administration has avoided involvement in new military adventures. Rather, its weapon of choice has been sanctions -- against Iran, against Syria, against Hezbollah in Lebanon. But sanctions, as history has shown, are a blunt weapon that more often than not hurts the vulnerable more than those in power.

Iran has been the object of an ever more intense set of sanctions, aimed, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, at forcing Tehran to change its ways. The US tossed out the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the six-party Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). But like its approach to Obamacare, it wants to trash the JCPOA while offering nothing in its place but mounting pain.

The most charitable interpretation is that Washington's goal is to bring Iran to its knees. And although John Bolton is no longer with the administration, it's hard not to conclude that Pompeo and the other Iran hawks are pining for regime change. The consequences be damned.

Yet Iran is a country unlike all the others where the US has pursued regime change. It has a population of 80 million, more than three times that of Iraq when the US invaded in 2003. Its government has managed, since the overthrow of the Shah in 1978, to survive an eight-year war with Iraq and decades of mounting sanctions. Iran's leaders have proven capable of confronting the challenges posed by Washington, gaining ground every time the US stumbles.

Denver voters approve lifting pit bull ban after more than 30 years

  Denver voters approve lifting pit bull ban after more than 30 years Pit bull owners will now have to follow a set of rules to keep the breed in the city.In February, a city council vote to repeal the ban was vetoed by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump, Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan posing for the camera: Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump, Foreign Affairs Minister of Bahrain Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, and Foreign Affairs Minister of the United Arab Emirates Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan wave from the White House after the signing ceremony of the Abraham Accords on September 15, 2020 in Washington, DC. © Alex Wong/Getty Images Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump, Foreign Affairs Minister of Bahrain Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, and Foreign Affairs Minister of the United Arab Emirates Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan wave from the White House after the signing ceremony of the Abraham Accords on September 15, 2020 in Washington, DC.

The January 2020 US assassination of Soleimani, leader of the Quds Force, didn't reduce Iran's influence in Iraq, and hasn't changed the course of Tehran's involvement in Syria, Yemen, Iraq or Lebanon.

Washington is by some accounts preparing to pull its embassy out of Baghdad, unable to stop repeated rocket attacks by Iranian-backed Shia militias. Like the 1975 evacuation of the US embassy in Saigon, it's hard to spin this as anything but the calamitous culmination of a disastrous policy.

Perhaps the time has come for US policymakers to accept that the American empire is in sharp decline.

The US, by most accounts, expended trillions of dollars on wars and state-building since the start of the millennium, with little to show for it.

Exhausted and frustrated, Washington stands by as others step in, such as Russia and to a lesser extent China, while regional powers, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE, have asserted themselves.

US Middle East policy under the Trump administration has been a wild, careening ride of brinksmanship and blundering, of confused and contradictory priorities, of Twitter diplomacy and bluster.

The millions excluded from power continue to struggle against the odds to change the status quo, in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Egypt and elsewhere. Yet the dictators, despots and oligarchs don't give up easily and for the West, including the United States, the attitude now is: Better the devil you know.

Whoever wins the US presidential election, the occupant of the White House will be grasping the keys to a bottomless pit of woes in the Middle East.

Good luck.

Biden looks to restore, expand Obama administration policies .
Stop and reverse. Restore and expand. Joe Biden is promising to take the country on a very different path from what it has seen over the past four years under President Donald Trump, on issues ranging from the coronavirus and health care to the environment, education and more. The Democratic president-elect is promising to reverse Trump policy on things such as withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement and weakening protections against environmental pollution.While Trump wants to kill the Affordable Care Act, Biden is proposing to expand “Obamacare” by adding a public option to cover more Americans.

usr: 1
This is interesting!