Tag: Saudi Arabia

Join Jim and Greg for three good martinis! First, they credit NBC for actually reporting that a big reason for huge forest fires is poor government management and a refusal to diligently thin out forests to contain future fires. They’re also thrilled to see polling showing 80 percent of Saudis expecting normalization of relations with Israel and 71 percent expecting it whether the Palestinians pursue a peace deal or not. And they’re glad to see a majority of Americans approving the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett and a huge majority opposing court packing.

Join Jim and Greg as they applaud the normalization of relations between Israel and Bahrain and indications that Saudi Arabia may soon follow suit. They also discuss the premeditated shootings of two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies on Saturday and why Joe Biden condemns the shooting but not the people blocking the ambulances from reaching the hospitals and chanting that they hoped the deputies died. And Jim explains why the wildfires in the western U.S. are exposing the extreme policies of some Democrats and environmental activists.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Attorney General Barr Speaks Uncomfortable Truths: Terrorism


It is refreshing to have the head of federal law enforcement clearly speak uncomfortable truths that are politically indelicate. Our good friends, the Saudis, sent us a group of their best and brightest with pro-jihadist, anti-American feelings strong enough to overcome any discretion in their social media habits. At the same time, the killer acted without the clear support of the other students, and the Saudi government recalled all the questionable officers, to be dealt with in their own military justice system.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Targets of Another Saudi Taking Flight Training in America


So another young, educated, privileged Saudi man, here all nice and legal, has attempted to commit mass murder for terrorist reasons. Oh, the authorities are mouthing the usual cautions about letting the FBI get to the bottom of it, and you may believe they are diligently working to uncover or bury the truth as you will. But, the American people already have all the evidence needed to come to a reasonable conclusion. What we might not get is the fuller picture, the full target set. For that, let us turn to a parallel development.

In 1946, the United States establishing a School of the Americas, to fundamentally transform our hemisphere through the very long-term growth of professional militaries in Latin America. As the left recognized this program’s effectiveness, they organized to begin smearing our military and this program as a “School for Dictators.” The left lost this long fight, as the Colombian military became a real, capable, professional force instead of a goon squad trying to outdo communist thuggery, always a losing gambit.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Turkish Trick or Treat?


A young veteran reminded me of the truly ancient roots of conflict in the Middle East, pointing to lines we do not even see on the sand and soil. This prompted me to return to a summary sketch I laid aside months ago, after fleshing out an account of what we now call Iran. Then the House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution condemning the Ottoman Empire for committing the first genocide of the 20th Century…and 12 Republicans joined Rep. Ilhan Omar in opposing the resolution! What? Why? What follows is a single summary of the other three big players, historically, now known as Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

Iran and Egypt can point to the most ancient civilizations, as their progenitors were contemporary regional powers. The clash between them was captured in the ancient Hebrew texts, as the Jewish people were caught in the middle. Saudi Arabia comes next, with claims to punching far above their weight with armies fired by the fervor of a new faith, and more recently of being the secular and religious guardians of the faith. Finally, the Turks can claim to have been the most successful and latest power to rule the region for centuries after imposing final defeat on the (Christian) Eastern Roman empire.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Tale of 3 Press Conferences


POTUS DIMEFILIf you watch and listen to three sets of statements and answers by our current administration, you will get an interesting picture of our actual current policy. The first is by President Trump, answering a reporter’s off-topic question when he signed two executive orders on transparency in federal guidance and enforcement (a serious push back on the growth of an unaccountable fourth branch of government in the administrative state). The second is a Pentagon briefing on the deployment of Patriot Air Defense/Anti Missile units and two Air Force fighter squadrons to Saudi Arabia, in which both this action and comments on Syria are interesting. The third is a White House press corps briefing by Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin.

President Trump has laid out three possible courses of action in the longstanding conflict between Turkey and those Kurds living in eastern Turkey and across the border in Syria. As has been explained repeatedly elsewhere, these are not the same Kurds abandoned by George H.W. Bush and now supported in northern Iraq by President Trump. These are different groups with different politics.

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Daniel Silva has managed two very difficult things: he keeps producing page-turners you want to pick up as soon as they fly off the presses, and he has managed to avoid [Republican president’s name] Derangement Syndrome. Producing quality spy fiction, setting stories in (part of) the current international context, is a major accomplishment and a […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America enjoy watching some Democrats fret that Beto O’Rourke’s vow to take everyone’s AR-15 and AK-47 might convince voters that Democrats are after our guns. They also shudder as Iranian-funded and armed rebels in Yemen attack Saudi oil production facilities, leading to much higher tensions in the region. And they hammer the New York Times for publishing a new, salacious allegation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh while omitting the fact the alleged victim has no memory of the incident.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Saudi-Iranian Conflict Grows


Paul D. Miller is a Middle East expert paying close attention to the growing tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia. On Monday, he wrote a Twitter thread explaining the situation. Here it is in story form:

As you read all the hot takes about the attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure and the U.S.’s purported plans to respond, here are some things to keep in mind:

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After reading today about the drone strike yesterday on Saudi Arabia that halved its oil output, the first thing I thought of was the damage it could do to the US economy. The second was the consequences of the first for the president, a pillar of whose reelection argument is the performance of the US […]

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Do you have any relatives or associates who are Obama devotees, voted for Hillary and recently participated in the blue trickle? Are any of them posting on social media about “Trump’s heartless war for the Saudis in Yemen”? Well, then, I present you a reminder you can share with them about how U.S. involvement in […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. What the Hell Are We Doing in Yemen?


It’s easy to forget the ongoing war in Yemen. But a pair of news stories this week serves not only of a reminder of American involvement there but the foolishness in involving ourselves in yet another civil war.

The first story is the bombing of a school bus by Saudi warplanes that killed 29 children under the age of 15 in Saada Province. For what it’s worth (which isn’t much), the Saudis claim they didn’t intentionally target a bus full of children and that this was a “legitimate military operation.” Civil wars are usually full of atrocities, but this particular horror and the 29 dead children (and many others in this war) was made possible by generous assistance from the United States government and American taxpayers.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: My Crazy Plan to Deal With Iran


I’m not saying we’re there now, but we could soon find ourselves in a situation where some kind of military action starts to look like the only possibility to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. If we get to that point, assuming that we’ve not yet reached the point where they have a deployable nuclear missile, I’m suggesting a plan that is a little off the beaten path … a little outside the box. Okay, I’m tearing up the box, setting it on fire, and dancing around it naked in a forest clearing with the rest of the coven.

First, some context. Iran is unique in several ways that I think makes it possible to use tactics that would be a horrible mistake in any other part of the Middle East.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Saudis Recognize Israel’s Right to Exist


I couldn’t believe my ears — yes, my ears. I learned about this by phone from my Torah study partner in Israel. I had to search to find out more. Thanks to Ben Shapiro, I finally believe it. He quotes an article in the Atlantic where Prince Mohammed bin Salman says:

I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation. I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land…. we have religious concerns about the fate of the holy mosque in Jerusalem and about the rights of the Palestinian people. This is what we have. We don’t have any objection against any other people.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are pleasantly stunned to hear Saudi Arabia’s crown prince publicly state that Israel has a right to live in peace on its own land and wonder if things are truly changing in the Middle East or whether this is a temporary thaw in order to confront Iran. In the wake of the very public feud between Fox News host Laura Ingraham and gun control activist David Hogg, they also discuss how the rise of populism leads to political debates becoming a referendum on the people in the debate rather than the ideas involved in the debate. And they wonder why President Trump is spending so much time blasting Amazon and the rate it pays to mail packages, suspecting it might have something to do with another business venture headed by Jeff Bezos.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital: Now What?


The many opinions on Ricochet about Trump’s announcement to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital have been exasperating, delightful, and insightful. As in many of these discussions, a major change like this bodes danger, disaster, and mayhem. I felt compelled to create some perspective on the situation, as hourly the concerns and positions shift. I explain my thoughts on the effect of Trump’s action in seven points. See what you think

1. There never was a legitimate peace process. The Jews always had a presence in Israel, in spite of the Diaspora. Then in the 19th century, Jewish immigration began to increase; the Arabs in the region resented them and repeatedly attacked them, especially from the 1920s onward. The Arabs made sure that everyone knew they were not interested in negotiating anything and that their only intention was to destroy the Jews. There is nothing that any Arab or so-called Palestinian has said to change those facts in recent years. I see no reason these circumstances will change in the future.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Muslim Nations Organize to Fight Terrorism


You read the title correctly: Saudi Arabia has been working to develop a coalition to fight terrorism with 41 other Muslim countries. The new organization, originally discussed in December 2015, ran a full-page advertisement in the Wall Street Journal on Friday. They will have their first formal meeting as an organization, the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, today (Sunday).

The IMCTC announced their approach in May 2017 to understanding and fighting terrorism:

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Saudi King Arrests Opponents; Provincial DC Press Blames Trump


In a story as old as monarchy itself, Saudi King Salman is clearing the way for his chosen successor. The king’s favorite son and closest advisor, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has been given more and more royal duties through which he has advanced many economic and policy reforms. He’s trying to modernize the nation’s nearly medieval mindset, opening it to freer markets, religious tolerance, and even to the state of Israel.

On Saturday, the king sacked the powerful head of the Saudi national guard, who had opposed Crown Prince Mohammed. Salman then created a powerful new anticorruption committee and placed the crown prince in charge. Within hours, the committee arrested a slew of his opponents, some of the wealthiest men in Saudi Arabia.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Can the Saudis Lead the Middle East into the Future?


Slowly but surely, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is trying to bring the Saudis into the 21st century. It is happening in fits and starts, and there are still many signs that the country has a long way to go, but I am cautiously optimistic.

Just last Tuesday, the Crown Prince talked about moderating Saudi Arabia’s practice of radical Sunni Islam at an economic forum in Riyadh:

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Our Military Won’t Defeat Islamism


Does anyone think that Donald Trump’s military plans for Afghanistan and Iraq are going to make a significant difference regarding Islamist violence? Do you believe that “destroying ISIS” will have any significant impact on terrorism in the long term?

I don’t. And I’m concerned that we are deluding ourselves by pursuing these military strategies as a major goal. So what should we do?