Tag: Hezbollah

The Best Articles I Read in 2020

 

Here at the end of 2020, I’m trying to close up a number of tabs I have open on my browser. Many of them are articles, and of that number I’m certain several were suggested or linked to by fellow Ricochet members, mentioned in podcasts, or discovered through searches prompted by Ricochet discussions. I was originally going to say “The 10 Best Articles…”, but the list is more than ten articles and I’m sure I’m forgetting some additional ones that I read months ago…it’s been a long year.

For this post I loosely define “the best” articles as those that challenged my thinking on an issue, were educational, were unexpected or deservedly scandalous, courageously broke with prevailing current narratives, or discussed an important topic otherwise ignored or forgotten. I’m not going to say which characteristic applies to which article as I’m trying to keep this post relatively brief, and each article could form the foundation of a post and become fertile ground for discussion. Some of the articles were written in years prior to 2020, but I just got around to reading them this year and they were either prophetic or remain pertinent to current events. Grouped with some of the articles I have read, I’m also listing what I’m going to read next in regard to that topic. These will have “to be read” in parentheses next to them.

Lebanon? Wasn’t This About Iraq? A Brief Note to the Perplexed.

 

I thought it noteworthy that an unnamed Pentagon source claims that “an Army brigade” has been put on alert for Lebanon:

Around 5,200 American troops are based in Iraq to train Iraqi forces and help in the fight against Islamic State group militants. Defense officials who discussed the new troop movements spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a decision not yet announced by the Pentagon. A Pentagon official who was not authorized to be identified said the U.S. also had placed an Army brigade on alert to fly into Lebanon to protect the American Embassy. U.S. embassies also issued a security alert for Americans in Bahrain, Kuwait and Nigeria.

That would be a garbled way of saying that the 82nd Airborne has a “be prepared” order to respond to Iran’s oldest and most effective proxy, the original Hezbollah in Lebanon. Hezbollah actually runs the government and the military, such as it is, in Lebanon. They blew up a hotel/barracks full of Marines during President Reagan’s tenure. Naturally, the American embassy in Lebanon would be of particular concern now.

Christmas Present for Hezbollah? [UPDATE: 1 January 2020]

 

Secretary of State Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Esper announced on December 29 that F-15E Strike Eagles bombed several Khomenist Iranian regime proxy force sites in Iraq and Syria. This apparently followed repeated provocations, attacks on Iraqi government forces where there were also U.S. forces in the vicinity. Such attacks would be intended to push U.S. forces into more and more protective isolation or withdrawal from the region, ceding regional influence to the Iranian ayatollahs.

The airstrikes back the increasing campaign of economic and diplomatic pressure, which is squeezing the thugocracy as the population increasingly shows unrest and discontent with the regime.

Build “the Wall”

 
A section of the Wall near El Paso, TX, January 19, 2019. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Real walls matter, so long as they are observed and backed by effective enforcement of boundary rules. This is true for the most modest private property and for the most powerful nation. We have seen several encouraging developments in American national sovereignty and regional security in the past week or so. These developments ranged from at least a temporary green light for border wall construction, to an important power in the hemisphere declaring Hezbollah a terrorist group.

Former CIA Operative Unloads on Brennan and Politicized IC

 

For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had former CIA operative and leader of CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center’s WMD unit, author of the must-read and highly relevant 2009 book Beyond Repair: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and outspoken critic of the politicized leadership in America’s intelligence and national security apparatus, Charles Sam Faddis on to discuss among other things:

  • Why Faddis supports revoking John Brennan’s security clearance — and the bureaucratization and politicization of the leadership of the intelligence community versus the rank-and-file analysts and operatives in the field
  • Whether politics dominates over merit in the ranks of intelligence and the national security apparatus more broadly
  • What members of the national security establishment really mean when they talk about “protecting the institutions
  • Why President Trump has been deemed a threat to the power of the political leaders within the national security establishment in a qualitatively different way than any of his predecessors — and that’s a positive thing
  • What Faddis would do to reform intelligence
  • The poor state of America’s counterintelligence capabilities
  • The lessons of Iraq regarding U.S. intervention and the national interest
  • Whether America has the capability to use intelligence to engage in ideological warfare and bring down Iran’s Khomeinist regime
  • How China’s liquidation of our spy network reflects the problems plaguing America’s intelligence apparatus
  • The long-term dire ramifications of China’s OPM hack
  • The implications of China’s attempt to infiltrate Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office
  • The threat to the U.S. homeland of a collapsing Venezuela and Mexico, combined with drug cartels, organized crime groups and Hezbollah in our hemisphere
  • Faddis’ optimistic assessment of the Trump administration’s North Korea policy
  • Why China poses the greatest long-term threat to America of all, and our willful blindness towards it

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found, and download the episode directly here.

Michael Ledeen on the Potential Collapse of Iran’s Khomeinist Regime

 

For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had historian, Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, former Special Advisor to the Secretary of State and consultant to the National Security Council during the Reagan administration, author of 38 books and most pertinent to today, Iran expert, Michael Ledeen on the podcast to discuss among other things:

  • The impending collapse of the Khomeinist regime and what the U.S. can do to accelerate it
  • The false narrative about alternatives for Iran being either appeasement or war
  • The history of U.S. intelligence failures in Iran
  • How secular and liberal Iran’s dissidents actually are
  • Whether there is a wedge that can be exploited between Iran and Russia
  • What will become of Hezbollah if the Iranian regime collapses
  • The allegedly political witch hunt against Iran hawk and Israel supporter Larry Franklin as an illustration of historic anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in the foreign policy and national security establishment
  • Ledeen’s theory that Gen. Michael Flynn — with whom Ledeen co-authored the book, The Field of Fight — falsely pled guilty, and the real reason why Gen. Flynn was targeted in the first place

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found, download the episode directly here or read the transcript here.

Israel vs. Hezbollah/Syria/Iran–Just how bad are things getting in the Middle East? Lindsey Graham’s terrifying report.

Reason Magazine’s Jacob Sullum on whether we should give cops the power to detain without a warrant to stop gun crimes

The Middle East: Are Ominous Clouds Forming?

 

It’s no surprise that disruptive situations are developing in the Middle East; that seems to be the normal state of affairs. Lately I’ve noticed some situations that independently would barely raise eyebrows; collectively, however, I’m concerned that the area is heating up more than usual, and I believe these events will affect not only the region, but will have implications for the US.

It’s been widely reported that Qatar supports terrorism, but you may not be aware of the level of that support.

Russia Withdrawing from Syria. Your Move, Amreeka…

 

In a surprise move, Russia has announced that it will be withdrawing its troops from Syria. From the Guardian:

“I consider the objectives that have been set for the Defence Ministry to be generally accomplished,” Vladimir Putin announced matter-of-factly on Monday evening, announcing the imminent withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria.

Brothers of Israel, Part 2

 

The following occurred in 1 day:

Continued from Part 1: “You will not sleep on this trip.” Never have words been more true. Going to bed around 3am and waking at 5am takes it’s toll, but adrenaline is Gods way of getting you through it. “We sleep when we die“.

Member Post

 

I’ve seen this video before and it is making its way around my facebook feed again. It is a video of David Horowitz and an interaction he had with a Muslim student at UCSD in 2010. The student is a member of the campus MSA (Muslim Students Association). She is questioning him about a pamphlet […]

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Who Should We Send to Sing to Our Rebels in Syria?

 

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 08.06.44Well, goodness. Think anyone’s going to notice that? I hope not. It might make future allies a little uneasy about allying with us.

Russia has targeted Syrian rebel groups backed by the Central Intelligence Agency in a string of airstrikes running for days, leading the U.S. to conclude that it is an intentional effort by Moscow, American officials said.

The assessment, which is shared by commanders on the ground, has deepened U.S. anger at Moscow and sparked a debate within the administration over how the U.S. can come to the aid of its proxy forces without getting sucked deeper into a proxy war that President Barack Obama says he doesn’t want. The White House has so far been noncommittal about coming to the aid of CIA-backed rebels, wary of taking steps that could trigger a broader conflict.