Two close US allies, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, traveled to Moscow on Thursday and Friday (March 9-10), to press very different cases relating to Syria before Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Netanyahu chose to tackle the Russian leader on Iran, although he was recently welcomed at the White House as a close friend of US President Donald Trump and leader of a country strongly supported by the United States. He is regarded by the administration as the only Israeli politician capable of taking Israel through to a breakthrough in ties with the Arab world and a deal with the Palestinians. Whether this support will survive the personal attacks on Netanyahu and the investigations conducted against him remains to be seen.
Erdogan’s case is quite different...the Turkish president lost much of his value as a useful partner when US generals awarded the Turkish army’s operations against ISIS in northern Syria a low grade, specifically its prolonged four-month siege on Al-Bab.
After this change of partners, the Americans embarked on a build up of the SDF’s weaponry. The Russians quickly followed suit. Erdogan was incensed. He tried arguing that the YPG was a terrorist group, a branch of the Turkish Kurdish PKK, and US-Russian backing would bring about the rise of an independent Kurdish state in northern Syria next door to Turkey.
Erdogan’ traveled to Moscow for a last attempt to persuade the Russian president to at least promise to prevent Kurdish self-rule. Although Putin lavishly praised their deal for jointly brokering a ceasefire in Syria and a peace conference, the Turkish president’s journey was wasted. He was fobbed off by Putin whose first priority at this time is to keep in step with the Trump administration’s head-spinning decision for direct military intervention in Syria – rather than look after Turkish interests.
Saturday, Kremlin sources confirmed: “The Russian-Turkish talks resulted in almost nothing.” They disclosed that the Turkish leader’s main concern was the Manbij standoff in northern Syria.
A day earlier, the Israeli prime minister may not have fared much better when he taxed the Russian president with security concerns about the entrenchment of Iranian and Hizballah forces in southern Syria ominously close to the Israel border. Putin greeted him with affection, but made it clear that his overriding concern was coordinating with Trump’s new initiatives in Syria and Israel’s security concerns were a side show. He advised the Israeli leader to look at the big strategic picture now unfolding in the war-torn country.
Netanyahu appears to have indicated to Putin that, for want of any other options, Israel would consider a direct attack on he Iranian and Hizballah forces in Syria. The Russian President listened but did not comment. Judging from the past, the prime minister would almost certainly bid for a green light from Washington before going through with such a plan – unless, of course, Netanyahu decides that the IDF can go it alone.
While the world continues to decipher, or digest, the new Trump presidency, important changes are afoot within the grand strategic triangle that lies between Russia, Iran and China
Away from the current chaos in the United States, major developments are progressing, with Iran, Russia and China coordinating on a series of significant moves crucial for the future of the Eurasian continent.
With a population of more than five billion people, constituting about two-thirds of the Earth's population, the future of humanity passes through this immense area. Signaling a major change from a unipolar world order based on Europe and the United States to a multipolar world steered by China, Russia and Iran, these Eurasian states are carving out a leading role in the development of the vast continent. As part of the challenges faced by these leading multipolar countries, the disruptive events originating in the post-WWII Euro-Atlantic world order will need to be tackled.
Looking at major projects within the Eurasian continent, one thing that stands out is the role of China, Russia and Iran in different areas under their influence. The One Belt, One Road project proposed by Beijing (investments of around one trillion dollars over the next ten years); the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) advanced by Moscow to integrate the former Soviet republics of Central Asia; and Iran's role in Middle East aiming to bring stability and prosperity to the region - all are central to Eurasian development. Of course, being multipolar, all these projects fully converge, requiring concerted and joint development for the overall success of the Eurasian continent.
In this sense, the areas of greatest turmoil include areas that fall under the sphere of influence of these leading Eurasian states. The main concentrations of upheaval can be easily identified in the Middle East and North Africa, not to mention the area of the Persian Gulf, where Saudi Arabia's criminal war against Yemen has now continued unabated for the past 24 months.
One should not rule out a future change in direction in Europe as a direct result of failed policies that for too long have genuflected before American interests at the expense of the interests of European citizens. It is not accidental that many parties considered populist and nationalist have every intention of turning to the East and pursuing cooperation that for too long has been denied by the stupidity of Western elites.
China, Russia and Iran appear to have every intention of accelerating the project of global cooperation and show no intention of shutting the doors to new players from outside Eurasia, especially in an increasingly globalized and interconnected world. Just take a look at the links of the People's Republic of China with the development projects in South America to understand how the scope of these projects aim to include all nations without exception. This is the foundation on which the new multipolar world order is based, and sooner or later the American and European elites will understand this. The dilemma for Western elites lies in their diminished role in the future international order: no longer will the US and Europe be the lone protagonists but actors who are part of an international cast. The unipolar international order is running out of time and the old world order is in crisis. Will Europeans and Americans be able to accept a role as co-protagonists, or will they reject inevitable historical change, condemning themselves in the process to oblivion?
Iran announces mass production of domestic main battle tank, which looks like Russian T-90MS (VIDEO)
Tehran kicked off the mass production of a main battle tank called Karrar at a ceremony attended by Iran’s defense minister. The tank appears to have a design similar to Russia’s T-90MS.
Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan praised Iran’s new tank at the Sunday event, the Iranian media reported.
“The tank can compete with the most advanced tanks in the world in the three main areas of power, precision and mobility, as well as maintenance and durability in the battleground,” the minister said, as cited by Fars news agency.
Dehqan said the Karrar has advanced features like an electro-optical fire control system, a laser rangefinder, and a ballistic computer. It can also fire guided missiles.
The tank, first announced by Tehran in February of last year, has been touted as being as good as Russia’s T-90 MBT.
“The defense industry designed and built the battle tank from scratch. If not better, it’s still as deadly as the Russian T-90,” Dehqan said at the time.
While talk of a comprehensive Arab - Israeli peace agreement seems never ending, newly elected President Trump has described securing such an agreement as the “ultimate deal.” However there is ample reason why no deal has been struck, and why likely it will remain beyond reach.
The most important factor in reaching an agreement is both sides must want peace. However in this conflict, indisputable evidence shows only one side actually wants genuine peace and co-existence. A sober look at the facts reveals the Arab “Palestinians” have no interest in peace. In order to draw reasoned conclusions it’s also essential to separate fact from fiction.
The Arab Palestinians are in a different category than the rest of the Arab world, which consists of 22 sovereign Middle Eastern nations. They do not have the distinction of being a sovereign nation, which they feel they are entitled to. However, shouldn’t we first understand who they are, as well as their motives?
They are a mix of Jordanians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Syrian, Sudanese etc. who settled within the area known as the British Mandate of Palestine. This land encompassed 43,000 square miles and was promised to the Jews as a national homeland in the 1917 Balfour Declaration. Yet, in 1922 the British turned over 75% of it to create the nation of Transjordan, (today’s Jordan). This left roughly 25% or 11,000 square miles of land to be dealt with.
In 1947 the British decided to leave the area and turned the issue over to the United Nations, which by a 72% majority voted to partition two separate states, one Jewish and one Arab. However, the surrounding Arab nations rejected the vote and attacked the new Jewish state one day after its independence, intending to destroy it. This is all indisputable fact.
Regional leadership directed local Arabs living in the area to relocate temporarily, while the armies of the surrounding countries carried out their plan to destroy the UN partitioned Jewish state. Thinking they would soon be able to return and grab a huge windfall, the majority of Arabs chose to leave.
However, their destructive aspirations failed, and the tiny nation of Israel not only was reborn, it remains and flourishes.
One can only lament how different history might have been if the Arab nations chose to accept the UN partition vote. Yet they chose war and have never taken responsibility for their action. What’s worse is the nations of the world have never required it of them.
American intelligence agencies have growing evidence that the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist group maintains a network of sleeper cells in the United States, according to a new report.
Though Hezbollah has not conducted a major attack on U.S. soil, the group could decide to strike key American sites should U.S.-Iran relations deteriorate substantially, according to the Investigative Project on Terrorism.
“Preparations to combat Islamist terrorism broadly should strongly consider the nuanced and growing Hezbollah threat to U.S. national security,” the report concludes.
Hezbollah or “the Party of God” is based in southern Lebanon and has long served as Iran’s way of Islamizing a formerly Christian country while also stoking the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and periodically launching rockets into northern Israel.
But the organization has other enemies besides Israel and should not be viewed within the narrow scope of the Arab-Israel conflict.
In fact, the Shiite terror group has been building its presence in South America since the late 1980s and was able to make inroads on the North American continent during the Obama years, terror analysts say.
The problem is not new but it is reaching a point where a major terrorist event on U.S. soil is more possible, said John Guandolo, a former FBI counter-terrorism specialist who now operates a private consulting business at Understanding the Threat.
He says there is now a sizable Hezbollah presence in the U.S.
Today, as the result of the 100-year-long progressive project, we live under a new system of government. The constitutional republic has been replaced by the administrative state. The administrative state cannot be found anywhere in the Constitution. In fact, the progressives designed it to get around the checks and balances and safeguards of the Constitution. Consequently, it has grown until it dominates every aspect of American life.
The administrative state is, or at least has been until this election, beyond the reach of the voters. Corruption and folly and waste practically define the Departments of Education and Energy, the EPA, and the rest of the vast realm of the bureaucrats. Yet the administrative state grows with each passing year. The bureaucrats are insulated from the voters. Enormous scandals that even the ever complicit press cannot ignore do not result in prison time or even firings.
If the American voters are no longer sovereign, who is?
The new sovereign is the deep state. The administrative state answers to the deep state. Some of the members of the deep state are high up in the bureaucracy. Some members even hold elective office. Many members are not at any particular time even employed by the government. Together, they run the show as the people who run for office come and go.
Donald Trump's election has driven this reality out from the shadows and into the light of day. The deep state and its administrative apparatus are in open revolt against Trump, making it perfectly clear to everyone that the actual regime no longer considers itself obliged to work for the constitutionally elected government. Instead, the real regime has arrogated to itself the power to accept or not to accept the results of an election.
The permanent regime the progressives built was thrilled by Obama's election; it rejects the election of Donald Trump. It will go to any lengths to obstruct him and to bring him down.
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