Tag: Saudi Arabia

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?

We must take a more aggressive approach to defeating political Islam. Let me explain my thinking.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. 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.

After offering an alternative explanation for why some graduates walked out of Vice President Mike Pence’s commencement speech at Notre Dame, Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud President Trump’s speech imploring Middle East leaders to do their part to stamp out terrorists. They also grimace as polling shows either Democrat running for governor in Virginia winning the general election by double digits. And they wonder what the Secret Service was thinking when they gave the green light to the elaborate sword dance in Saudi Arabia involving President Trump and members of his cabinet.

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Trump said or implied the following theological & political points in Riyadh yesterday: God chooses life. He condemns the souls of those who murder innocents. We are happy to work with people of all faiths who accept the above principle. Leaders are responsible to and for their people. America will defend its citizens. We will not […]

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First a brief refresher on events in the region from last year: While Saudi Arabia has long meddled in Yemen and focused on combatting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh lost sight of developments in Yemen while focusing on other regional fights… It was not that Saudi Arabia was not paying attention to Yemen, […]

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Navy Commander Patrick Dunn was killed at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. His widow Stephanie Ross DeSimone and her now fatherless minor daughter, Alexandra DeSimone, are the first Americans to sue Saudi Arabia. Stephanie was two months pregnant when her husband was killed. You can see the full 54-page lawsuit here. Preview Open

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This may not be politically correct, but I think this bill is ridiculous and don’t blame Obama if he doesn’t sign it. Overwhelmingly passed by both houses, it’s a bill only lawyers will love. Only wealthy, big law firms can afford to take a case like this on contingency, and it will drag through the […]

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Anyone who can’t figure out to whom the headline of this post is directed has been under a rock, in a basement, for the last 8 years. After reading on Townhall that the President could veto the bill allowing 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia—on 9/11, it makes my brain and heart weep. I can’t […]

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Download them here–still redacted, but gives some sense of what the connections were between high-ranking Saudis and the nineteen hijackers. I don’t see a smoking gun here, but there do appear to be some relationships that are sketchy. Tell me what you think.  Preview Open

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. 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.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Iranian Animation Shows Massive Missile Attack on Saudi Arabia

 

A group in Iran has uploaded an animation showing the destruction of Riyadh, oil fields, and military installations across Saudi Arabia. Originally posted on the Internet over the weekend, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) translated the video created by Fatemh a’Zahra. The animation group claimed it is in response “to the hallucinations and empty threats of the Saud clan” and that “the arm of vengeance of the Islamic world will emerge from the sleeve of the Yemenis.”

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Shaking Hands with the Saudis

 

Saudi-Arabi-Executions-001d204362628David Sussman’s attempt to decode the rumors about Israel and Saudi Arabia’s back-channel diplomacy has me thinking about the problem of the Saudis more generally.

Here are some questions I’d like to ask our prospective Commander-in-Chief.

The Saudis’ execution of the Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr was a typical human-rights outrage from a regime that may fairly be described as an ISIS that has made it:

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Israel and Saudi Arabia’s back channel diplomacy Preview Open

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Recently, there has been an outbreak cluster of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. Saudi officials have gone so far as to shut the doors of some hospitals to contain MERS; recent headlines suggest they are making progress at getting it under control. Now, this year’s Hajj pilgrimmage to Mecca is […]

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(This will be my first post on Ricochet. I’ve been lurking for a few months at least, and finally decided to join.)   Preview Open

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Between a Rock and a Saud Place

 

Few international relationships are more susceptible to criticism than that between the United States and Saudi Arabia. One is the leader of the free world. The other is antithetical to even the most basic human rights, let alone religious freedom or gender equality. Saudi Arabia is the most influential Sharia state in existence, a mantle recently challenged by its Shia semblable, Iran.

The Saudi regime has successfully played a highly cynical game since at least the beginnings of the Cold War. After decades of conquest, Ibn Saud unified the modern (the word goes down hard) nation-state of Saudi Arabia in 1932. As stewards of the hijaz and rulers of one of the most conservative populaces in the world, it was incumbent on the Saudis to show their bona fides as good Wahabists. In the ensuing decades, they entrenched a medieval legal system and permeated all aspects of civil society with fundamentalist apparatchiks of the state.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Why Are We Backing the Saudi Campaign in Yemen?

 

yemen-airstrikesTwo weeks ago, I ventured a prediction:

Anyway, how do I bet what little I have left on “Saudis screw this up big time within two weeks? I’ll bet it all. I need the money.

The prediction was correct–that was an easy one–but I regret the insensate tone, not least because this is now yet another humanitarian catastrophe. UN estimates suggest 100,000 people have been displaced. It’s easy to dismiss Yemen as a perennially benighted hellhole, but kids who were born in Yemen have committed no other crime:

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Michelle Obama, Saudi Arabia, and the Making of Political Dynasties

 

shutterstock_113392198Yesterday, Aaron Miller started a conversation about Michelle Obama’s decision to not bow to customs in Saudi Arabia. Before that, the illustrious Jon Gabriel expressed a desire to see my take on the issue (taking second place behind another editor, since this was a conversation shared with a few). Being fair, or honestly wanting to mull over exactly how I would approach this topic here, I did write about the manliness of Mrs. Obama elsewhere first.

Yes, that was a correct choice for a couple reasons. First, Mr. Miller brought up quite a few questions, but the last ones he posed — “Did the President learn something from his critics? Why cater to foreign customs then and not now? Or are the President’s concerns irrelevant to his wife’s behavior?” — seem particularly important to my generally strategic mind. There was a significant change in the behavior of the president this time around in Saudi Arabia: no bowing. The clothing choice of Mrs. Obama was only part of the “big deal” on this trip, and was quickly observed by a journalist I know. Dustin Hoyt, host of “America Our Way” on Vigilant Liberty Radio was quick to observe something very important about not only the lack of head scarf:

However, with her choosing not to AND shaking the King’s hand, she showed some serious spine for America. It was great.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Is Biden the Punchline — or Is America?

 

Joe Biden is a punch line.

Our Vice President is more famous for his foolish pronouncements than he is for being second in command of the world’s greatest superpower. It has gotten so bad that a mere mention of his name provokes laughter, as late-night comics (and Clint Eastwood) can attest.