The Middle East is Changing

So, Iranian forces in Syria attacked Israeli targets and Israel, naturally, responded – a big thing and important in itself, but this struck me:

Bahrain has backed Israel’s right to “defend itself”, following dozens of Israeli airstrikes on Iranian military targets in Syria overnight.

Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid al-Khalifa said on Thursday that it backed Tel Aviv’s military response to attempted Iranian missile strikes on an Israeli army base, early Thursday morning, in the occupied Golan Heights.

“As long as Iran has breached the status quo in the region and invaded countries with its forces and missiles, so any state in the region, including Israel, is entitled to defend itself by destroying sources of danger,” the minister, whose country is a close ally of Saudi Arabia, said on his official Twitter account…

Bahrain is a tiny country and is allied with Saudi Arabia mostly for protection against Iran. So, no surprise that Bahrain would be pleased to see Iran harmed, but it is massively surprising that an official of the Bahrain government would publicly declare Israel – which, officially in most Muslim countries, doesn’t even exist – has a right to self-defense. This is a sea-change in Arab attitudes.

What I think has really broken the log-jam here is the fact that Trump pretty much dropped the Palestinian issue like a bad habit. As long as our actions in the Middle East were always tied to a theory that we had to remain somewhat neutral in the Arab-Israeli conflict – and thus had to pretend that the Palestinian leadership was a key element – we were tied to a false idea, and thus couldn’t really move. Trump moved; now, everyone is moving. Its been a couple decades since anyone in the Arab world really gave a darn about the Palestinians and while no one would object to a permanent peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians, everyone with any sense at all knows the Palestinian leadership has staked out an impossible position (return to the 1967 border, return of “refugees” to Israel and, of course, still rhetoric about marching on Tel Aviv one day), and so there’s no chance of it right now. So, let’s move on until the Palestinian leadership changes.

And as people are able to move on – as people no longer have to pretend that a few fanatics in Gaza have to be appeased in order to do anything – the political realities which have existed at least since the Iranian revolution are rising to the surface…and are being dealt with. I’m not saying they are being dealt with properly – there’s a lot of confusion and an outsider like me really can’t judge all that well – but they are being dealt with. Saudi Arabia is determined to check Iran (wise move, Saudi Arabia) and in that effort, ignoring a powerful Israel which is also determined to check Iran would be foolish. I think we’re still a ways away from an Israeli Embassy in Riyadh…but I don’t think that far away. The times, they are a-changing…and it is Trump, the Agent of Change on Steroids, who is making it happen.

24 thoughts on “The Middle East is Changing

  1. Cluster May 11, 2018 / 4:23 pm

    THANK GOD !!

    A group of 16 Republican senators are sending Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a serious message Friday: It is time to work full weeks, confirm the president’s nominees and stop wasting precious time while Republicans hold both chambers of Congress and the White House.

    Working full weeks?? What a concept.

    Slow walking everything has become a Washington DC past time. They’re not paid by their performance after all.

  2. Cluster May 11, 2018 / 4:27 pm

    We know this for sure about Democrats following Maxine Waters embarrassing stint on the House floor.

    1. Democrats oppose tax cuts
    2. Democrats do not celebrate the release of hostages
    3. Democrats do not like making America great again

    That’s a hell of a platform for one of our major political parties.

  3. Cluster May 12, 2018 / 10:16 am

    The IDW could be a conservatives best friend:

    It’s been interesting to watch and read the many critics of Bari Weiss’s instantly controversial piece on the leaders of the so-called Intellectual Dark Web. Rarely have more people more contemptuously missed the point. Rarely have more people inadvertently confirmed the need for a movement of intellectual free-thinkers…

    • Retired Spook May 12, 2018 / 11:42 am

      Excellent, especially the Dave Ruben video at the end. It reminded me of a conversation I had a while back. I had been shooting baskets with a guy at the Y for over a year, often three times a week, and the subject of politics had never come up. One day out of the blue he asked what side of the political spectrum I fell on. Without hesitation I said, “the non-authoritarian side.” He laughed, said he wasn’t surprised and that he shared my view. Now we discuss politics when we shoot baskets. On the rare occasions that we disagree on something, it’s an honest debate, and we’ve each caused the other to re-examine his views on various issues, but the one thing we agree on that is not debatable is that we have the right to disagree without fear of ridicule, persecution or prosecution. I think it illustrates an excellent way to put Leftists on the defensive by simply asking them whether they fall on the authoritarian or non-authoritarian side of the political spectrum. Worst case scenario, they have to stop and think why they believe what they believe and be prepared to defend it. It won’t work with everyone because many are conditioned to simply resort to name calling as a defense mechanism, but it could also be an excellent way to start an honest discussion.

      • Amazona May 12, 2018 / 12:10 pm

        Spook, that is an excellent way to not only describe a political position but to ask others about theirs. I’m going to start using that. It is quite compatible with my ongoing war against Identity Politics, where a political position is staked out based on who else occupies that territory, not on an objective belief in how best to govern the country. Or why.

      • Retired Spook May 12, 2018 / 2:06 pm

        I doubt that one in a hundred Progressives would describe him/herself as “authoritarian,” and yet, in reality, the only way their policies can be put into effect is by propaganda, subterfuge or force.

      • Amazona May 12, 2018 / 11:41 pm

        And propaganda is deceit, manipulating people with lies.

  4. jdge1 May 12, 2018 / 4:56 pm

    So now Senator McCain has stated in his book that he’s sorry he picked Palin as his running mate when running for President and instead wishes he picked Joe Liberman. As much as Obama damaged the US in more ways than I would write in a few short paragraphs, if McCain won and applied his brand of politics as President, I could easily envision where today we’d likely have a much larger Democrat presence in both houses of congress, if not the Presidency too. Governor Palin was the spark that kept the conservative base energized, especially the Tea Party conservatives, during McCain’s run. Without Palin, McCain’s campaign would have doubled over in agonizing pain and lost by hail storm. In spite of serving with distinction to McCain’s candidacy, she was never afforded by respect… by McCain’s own people. Though she was repeatedly mocked by the opposition as well, she fought back against them admirably.

    Had McCain picked Liberman, who was actually chastised by his own party after his stints running for both the Presidency and later as running mate to Gore, he would have lost significant number of constituents to both side of the political spectrum. How sad he’s too blind to see it and would instead run Palin over with a bus by such remarks to bolster himself in his own mind. Sad place to be indeed. It really doesn’t matter what your personal thoughts of Palin are, she deserves far more respect than that. I will not miss McCain in the slightest when he’s no longer “serving” our country his own self-interest.

    • Amazona May 12, 2018 / 11:40 pm

      So now McCain is on a Blame Tour, where it’s not really his fault he lost? Making these comments about Palin shows McCain to be a petty man. There’s really nothing to like or respect about him, at least not in the last forty years or so.

  5. Cluster May 13, 2018 / 8:26 am

    WOW, they are actually starting to attack Mike Pence now:

    “He is a titanic … and I mean Titanic fraud. We’ve listened to this guy for many, many years in this country on his moral high horse.”

    – GOP Strategist Steve Schmidt

    This is an ill advised strategy but I hope they keep at it. In fact I hope Michael Avanatti keeps appearing on liberal media. If there is one thing America hates, it’s a smug, condescending attorney and Avanatti is the epitome of the slimy lawyer we all love to hate.

    Re: McCain – he is a petty, dishonorable man. McCain would always abandon conservatism and his constituents if it meant a favorable appearance in the liberal media or an invite to a shwnaky DC cocktail party. John McCain is all about John McCain.

    • Retired Spook May 13, 2018 / 9:09 am

      What’s deliciously ironic is that the leaders of the Democrat Party, who get up every morning wondering how they can screw America today, have selected a porn star as their new mascot. Avanatti is just icing on the cake.

      • M. Noonan May 13, 2018 / 1:50 pm

        They are still convinced of certain victory in November…I’m starting to think it’ll be a replay of 1934…where the Democrats, in FDR’s first term, picked up 9 House and 9 Senate seats. I do see the GOP winning just like that – and keep in mind that it really was the 1934 mid-terms followed by FDR’s 1936 win that cemented the Democrats in power for the next 45 years. I could be wrong, of course…but all the stars seem to be aligning in Trump’s favor right now.

      • Amazona May 13, 2018 / 3:24 pm

        I think they are telegraphing an awareness of their inability to turn the tide against Trump. Why else would they be shifting their attacks to Pence? Someone might argue that they have done enough damage to Trump and it is time to move down the hierarchy to take out all of them, one at a time, but I don’t think that is the case. Trump’s approval ratings keep climbing as his successes mount up, and nothing they have done has been able to damage him. Pence as a target is odd, though—it almost sends the message they have given up on the whole impeachment thing, as if they want to get support for it with the public beyond the media fools they should be touting Pence as a great alternative. “Get rid of the orange monster to get a good guy” or even “a less bad guy” might be an argument. But “get rid of the orange monster to get a horrifying awful guy who is just as bad” just doesn’t seem to sound like a good strategy.

        As for Pence being on a moral high horse, when compared to Dems a supermarket pony that runs on quarters would be a high horse by comparison. But keep it up, Dems—keep squealing that people with standards and morals are your enemies. Keep telling people that they should align themselves with Mad Max and that creepy kid, and not with an upright guy who loves his wife, loves his family, and goes to church. Keep telling people it made more sense to hand over many billions of dollars to America-hating terrorist-supporting Iran, even knowing that they were lying to us, than it makes to have a president who tells Iran to shape up or ship out, we ain’t putting up with that crap any more.

        As for going back and voting for Obama, that would be like objecting to a guy who is 90% awful by voting for someone who is 100% awful, and saying the numerical advantage of more Republicans in Congress isn’t important.

    • M. Noonan May 13, 2018 / 1:48 pm

      I’ve long had my problems with McCain…but his insult to Palin about regretting picking her was the last straw. Yeah, I’m sorry he’s dying and I do pray for his cure or holy death…but on the level of politics, he’s nothing but sh** to me, now. I honestly wish I could go back in time to 2008 and vote for Obama.

  6. Amazona May 13, 2018 / 12:05 pm

    You are right. These days the faces of the Democrat Party are Stormy Daniels, David Hogg and Maxine Waters. The images are of screeching females dressed as female genitalia, faces distorted by hatred as they screech into cameras, and endless parades of screeching people carrying hate-fueled signs.

    • Cluster May 13, 2018 / 1:38 pm

      I am beginning to think that way to. The Democrats have nothing but complaints. They offer NOTHING positive for the American people or our country.

  7. Cluster May 14, 2018 / 8:46 am

    It’s time now to destroy Michael Avanetti – Alinsky style (make the other side live up to their own standards)

    Those who have worked with Avenatti describe an individual obsessed with fame and willing to use unethical methods to win a case.

    “He honestly believes he can get up and say or do anything he wants and there’s no repercussions — largely there’s not,” said one individual who has worked with Avenatti in the past.

    “I know this guy; he doesn’t care about anybody but himself. He loves the attention. It’s his whole lifestyle.”

    I think 2018 will be the year that Trump haters are buried under the weight of Trump’s success’s and it wont end well for people like George Will, Maxine Waters, Joe Scarborough and Michael Avanetti. In fact as the Trump success’s add up, they become more shrill and less relevant.

      • Amazona May 14, 2018 / 1:51 pm

        I love the “pimp” comment. I think Trump’s bluntness is encouraging others to speak more bluntly as well.

    • Amazona May 14, 2018 / 12:09 pm

      That is what makes this all so entertaining—–on one side you have the squealing, screeching hysterics working from a basis of toxic hatred and unrestrained emotion, and on the other you have an increasingly long list of successes that shows every indication of continuing to grow. On one side you have a constant flow of images of ugly, distorted faces howling hatred and rage, and on the other a bunch of normal, nice people like Mike Pence, just doing their jobs and loving their families and going to church. On one side you have people focused on death, not just focused on it but focused on actually killing people—-tiny helpless people, torn apart so they can be parted out like Buicks, depressed older people who are being told they just need to die and get out of the way, pretty much anyone the Left thinks is inconvenient. But on the other you have people who value life and the inherent rights and dignity of human beings including the very very young and the very old.

      The contrasts get more vivid every day, and the more successes mount up on the Right the more frantic and strident the Left becomes.

      A California state senator recently actually promoted a bill that would minimize the celebrations of Washington and Lincoln and create a new holiday (new in our country, a oldie in the USSR) of a National Worker’s Day. The always-thin disguises of absolute Leftism are being abandoned as the Left gets more and more confident of its hold over America.

  8. Cluster May 14, 2018 / 9:17 am

    Just today – the US Embassy opens in Jerusalem and NK begins denuclearization.

    Two long standing American goals that no other President even came close to accomplishing.

  9. Amazona May 14, 2018 / 1:50 pm

    OT, but a promising step in the right direction. (emphasis mine)

    In a May 4 response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, the agency revealed that it is now “processing the August 2 memo to determine if it can release additional portions that have not already been filed publicly.” The Justice Department had previously refused to acknowledge that any such “scope” documents exist.

  10. Retired Spook May 14, 2018 / 3:40 pm

    Also OT, but still unbelievable!

    • Cluster May 14, 2018 / 6:38 pm

      I think we need to make the word “confiscation” synonymous with the Democrat Party.

      Trump is what happens when the American people hire a President as opposed to when the Establishment elects one.

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