Biden loads his administration with Obama’s old warriors

 

They’re Baaackkk!

Career advisors are kind of like old soldiers — only they never fade away.

Last week I posted

Biden Snubs Erdogan, Refuses To Answer Phone Call In Rare NATO Cold Shoulder

and wondered how this would portend for our upcoming foreign policy since the so called Obama/Biden policy was such a smashing success.

Biden, however, has vowed to ‘stand up’ to Erdogan, and already it appears the Turkish president is being left out in the cold, as he’s being reportedly snubbed by the Biden camp. “With just seven days until Joe Biden assumes office, the US president-elect is yet to respond to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s offer of a phone call, an unusual snub for a powerful Nato ally,” Middle East Eye reports Thursday

 

Mustang put his fingers to the keyboard and gives us this –

Do any of these names sound familiar?  Wendy Sherman, brokered the Iran deal for Obama; Victoria Nuland, leading envoy to Europe and State Department spokesperson; Amanda Sloat, Obama’s expert in trans-Atlantic affairs and US-Turkey relations; Andrea Taylor, Obama’s advisor on Russia; Jon Finer, Biden’s former speech writer and advisor to the NSC under Barack Obama; Brett McGurk, Middle East Advisor for Bush, Obama, Trump; Sasha Baker, former advisor to Elizabeth Warren (known for her far left ideas); Elizabeth Cameron, Obama’s advisor in Global Health Security; Juan Gonzalez, Biden’s former Latin American advisor; and Sumona Guha, Obama’s advisor on Middle Eastern affairs.  

Well, they’re all back in Biden’s lineup because (a) Obama’s foreign policy was such a grand success, (b) because they need the work, and (c) because these unelected officials never, ever go away.  A few important posts remain unfilled so there is still room for Susan Rice, Jaimie Gorelick, and Samantha Power.

Reams of opinion-centered articles could be written about any of these people, but for now — let’s take a look at Brett McGurk, a man who served two Republican and one Democratic presidents.  He’s no light-weight.  He is well-educated and no doubt earmarked for wondrous things in the future.  He served three clerkships for notable jurists, including William Rehnquist.  He was an associate at Kirkland and Ellis as an appellate attorney, and he taught law courses at the University of Virginia School of Law.

 

Secretary Kerry Speaks With Deputy Assistant Secretary McGurk

 

According to his biography, McGurk “helped lead negotiations with Turkey to open Incirlik Airbase for counter-ISIL missions.”The phrase “helped lead” is honorific, of course.On international councils, the person who makes coffee is helping to lead.A coalitionist, by the way is a global community organizer.He was still working in this capacity under President Trump, whom McGurk said in 2017 had dramatically accelerated the US-led campaign against ISIL.McGurk is credited with “helping to organize Arab and Kurdish fighters” in defeating ISIS [Note 4].Within the Trump administration, he “led talks with Russia and Jordan” to establish a ceasefire zone in southwest Syria.Or, he drew a map of sorts and labeled it in the Cyrillic alphabet.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however, publicly credited McGurk for doing a great job in Baghdad.

In 2012, after his nomination to become the US Ambassador to Iraq, replacing James Jeffrey, a series of emails were leaked to the press that suggested McGurk was having an extra-marital affair with Wall Street Journal reporter Gina Chon.Critics (likely Democrats) claimed that his illicit affair called into question is ability to serve as a US Ambassador; those who supported him argued that it was merely a temporary lapse in judgment. McGurk and Chon subsequently married, but Chon was fired from WSJ, allegedly for sharing articles with McGurk before publication.

When President Trump announced the US troop withdrawal from Syria, McGurk resigned his post “in protest.”The highly publicized resignation prompted President Trump to wonder, “Who is this McGurk fellow?”Within a month, McGurk openly criticized the president’s decision in The Washington Post (and on Twitter) because it was “made without deliberation, consultation with allies and Congress, or an appreciation for the facts.”

Of course, Brett McGurk has never had to personally inform a mother or wife that her husband was killed in a non-declared war in the middle of a desert no one really cares about — so one might understand why he was angry at President Trump for daring to make a presidential decision without consulting him first.On the other side of this coin, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice offered her highest appreciation for McGurk’s skill as a professional diplomat.

More recently, McGurk served at NBC and MSNBC as a senior foreign affairs analyst and, in this capacity, regularly speaks to public audience about nation security strategy, war, diplomacy, and high-level decision-making.Of course, no one who responds to his obvious charm and charismatic personality seems to understand that war constitutes a failure in diplomacy — which brings one to wonder, which of those two is he MOST expert in?

McGurk’s nomination to serve Biden on the National Security Council was heralded in the press as sending a “strong signal to Turkey” — although no one on the NSC staff or at foggy bottom seem to know what Turkish President is likely to do.And, as our friend Bunkerville pointed out the other day, President-elect Biden refused to accept a phone call from Erdogan, and if not a diplomatic faux pas, it is at least culturally insulting.If Erdogan was looking for a signal, he received one — but the question remains, what will Erdogan do with the snub?

Mutual snubbing has been the norm between Biden and Erdogan since 2016, when then Vice President Biden made a trip to Turkey and was officially greeted by the deputy mayor of Ankara, rather than a high-ranking diplomat.Under the Trump administration, relations between the US and Turkey improved and many of the so-called flash-points of strained relations were put aside.Now they’re back with Biden assuming the presidency.According to Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon official and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, “The only thing holding the [US-Turkey] relationship together for the last several years has been Trump’s personal relationship with Erdogan.With Trump removed, Erdogan should be very worried.”

Americans should be worried, as well — particularly those who are tired of the Middle Eastern Wars of attrition.I don’t see U. S. Marines landing in Turkey to beat the heathen into compliance with Biden’s foreign policy, but there is a good possibility that the Middle Eastern sandbox will get deeper when Iran (whom Biden favors over Turkey) reaps the benefits of a decidedly leftist, poorly contrived foreign policy.And the man leading that charge will no doubt be Brett McGurk — who as one knows, is an “expert” in war and organizing armies.

Indeedy — the swamp is just fine and we can be doubly proud of our American voters; another good job.

Endnotes:

[1] The current senior advisory committee includes Ken Dubertein, Caroline Kennedy, William Delahunt, David Axelrod, Richard Berke, Sara Bianchi, Heather Campion, Torie Clarke, Manny Diaz, Joseph Kennedy III, Susan Molinari, Philip Sharp, Olympia Snowe, Elsie Stefanik, and Christine Todd Whitman.

[2] There are over 5,000 members of the CFR, including senior politicians, more than a dozen former secretaries of state, CIA directors, bankers, lawyers, and senior media personalities.Janet Napolitano is a member of the board, along with Fareed Zakaria.

[3] Today, Allen runs the Brooking Institute, a left-leaning think tank.

[4] One has to wonder how someone without any advanced military training is able to claim expertise in military strategy or tactics, so one suspects this credit is an undeserved laurel intended to improve the resume of a third deputy assistant to the under-secretary of (fill in the blank.)Quite often in government, the term “senior policy advisor,,” , etc., is a title with no clear delineation of responsibility.

 

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

The Kurds -The Dilemma and its Complicated History

 

Salient Facts about Kurdistan

by Mustang

The issue of US involvement with Kurdish fighters is complicated and involve far more than a presidential directive to withdraw.  Let’s review.

The Kurdish people have been around since the third millennium B.C.  We know this because the Kurds are mentioned in Sumerian clay tablets.  They have long populated portions of present-day Turkey, Syria, Iran, and Iraq.  They fought alongside the Roman Army in 360 A.D.

Kurdish YPG fighters

They have been demanding their own state since the 11th century.  History has not treated the Kurds kindly.  Turks, Iranians, Syrians, and Iraqis have murdered them, deported them, and resettled other ethnic groups in traditional Kurdish territories since the middle of the 19th century.

One consequence of this systematic suppression has been that the Kurds are more determined than ever to establish a state called Kurdistan.  Treaties promising them autonomy and self-determination have been made and broken since the 1920s.  Fifty years later, a new generation of Kurdish nationalists emerged: the Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK).

They initially embraced Marxist/Leninist ideology only to abandon it by the late 1970s.  In 2011, another group emerged … the People’s Defense Unit (also, YPG).  The United States regards both entities as foreign terrorist organizations.

To demonstrate how Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran have treated the Kurds, well over a million Kurds have been murdered or displaced since the end of the First World War.  Iraq has made a concerted effort to eradicate these people.  In one day in 1989, the Iraqi government killed 5,000 Kurdish civilians at Halabja by attacking them with nerve gas (see note 1).

The Kurdish rebellion in Iraq collapsed in 1991.  Iraqi troops recaptured most of the Kurdish areas and 1.5 million more Kurds abandoned their homes and fled to Turkish and Iranian border areas.  Twenty-thousand Kurds died during this evacuation.  The United Nations finally stepped in by passing a resolution to condemn the repression of Iraqi Kurds, but as far as anyone can tell, the UN’s somewhat belated resolution failed to restore life to any murdered Kurd.

Today, Kurds continue to occupy southeastern Turkey, northern Syria, northern Iraq, and northwestern Iran.  They refer to these areas as Northern Kurdistan, Western Kurdistan, Southern Kurdistan, and Eastern Kurdistan.  The truth is, there is no Kurdish territory.  The Kurds do not, nor have ever had —in the modern sense— a legally recognized state of their own.

Whether they like it or not, they live in Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran —much like the Basques live in Spain and France— and much like equally distinct ethnic minorities live throughout the United States.

Have the Kurds been US allies against ISIS?  In a fashion, yes —but they were not fighting for American ideals; they were fighting ISIS for their own purposes —with US aid— provided to the Kurds because it served the United States’ interests to provide it.  We must remember, however, that according to US law, the PKK and YPG are designated foreign terrorist organizations.  Remember too that despite actions taken by the US government, private American citizens have been prosecuted (and convicted) for supporting these Kurdish organizations.

Why has the United States designated the PKK and YPG terrorist organizations?  The answer is that the Kurdish insurgencies have opposed Turkey, a NATO ally, for over 30 years.  Irrespective of the policies of Turkish President Erdogan, Turkey remains an important strategic ally of the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.  Erdogan’s recent threats to adopt Russia as his new best friend would not serve the interests of the United States (or NATO).

In 2014, President Barack Obama brought the United States into the Kurd-Turk conflict by authorizing the transfer of arms and munitions to the Kurds.  He then (without congressional approval) complicated the matter further (in his opposition to Bashir Al-Assad) by involving the United States in a multi-layered war in Syria —one that involved not only Turkey and the Kurds, but Russia as well.

In effect, Obama’s intervention ended up benefitting both Syria and Russia.  Presidents Putin and Al-Assad must be having quite a laugh at our expense.  This was the mess left on Trump’s plate on his first day in the White House.

Of course, there were humanitarian reasons for arming the Kurds, but in doing so, it seems unlikely that anyone in the Department of State or Defense considered the likely consequences of such actions.  At the outset, the United States undermined its own anti-terrorism laws, alienated a NATO ally, bolstered Russia’s diplomatic credibility in the Middle East, pushed Turkey toward Iran, and encouraged Iranian support for ISIS.

Second, at no time did the United States seriously consider endorsing Kurdish autonomy.  The novella serves as a poignant reminder that our government’s incompetence in foreign relations is nothing short of astonishing.  While the blowhards in Washington seek to condemn President Trump for pulling out of Syria, he at least does have an exit strategy.

It is to exit a potentially disastrous (lose-lose) situation —one that does not serve the interests of the American people.  Americans are fed up with the Moslem world and their accompanying baggage.  The Middle East is not worth one drop of American blood —we finally have a president who realizes this.

When President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to withdraw US forces from Kurdish territory in Syria, Pentagon brass publicly complained that the President blindsided them.  Now if that is true, then these very senior three-and four-star officers should resign immediately.

They are either grossly incompetent, or they are pursuing an agenda that differs considerably from the foreign policy goals of the President of the United States.  Mr. Trump has consistently stated that he intends to disentangle the United States from military operations in Syria.  In fact, Mr. Trump wants US military forces completely out of the Middle East; he wants an end to the United States’ never-ending wars.

Note 1: Proof that Saddam Hussein not only had weapons of mass destruction, but also that he was willing to use them.

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

Other than that all is well in the swamp

For the best in conservative news and so much better than Trump click below

Obama to open the biggest American Mosque in U.S.

What more can I add? Read the full post by Shoebat and weep.

By Walid Shoebat

President Obama Next Week Will Open The Largest American Mosque In The World Built Here In The U.S. He Will Be Accompanied By Antichrist Erdogan Of Turkey And Together Will Enjoy The Sounds Of Allahu-Akbar.

America’s largest mosque complex, officially known as Turkish-American Culture and Civilization Center, was built with Turkish funding under the supervision of the Turkish religious foundation (Diyanet). The $100 million mega mosque in Lanham, Maryland, will soon be open for Muslim worshipers in the Washington, DC area, as their link shows: “Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdoğan and US President Barack Obama are expected to open the mosque.”

Erdogan’s newspaper Yeni Safak reports:

“The $100 million mega-mosque in Maryland, US will soon be open in the Washington, DC area, as Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to open the mosque during his official visit to the US between March 29 and April 2.”

I guess you can learn about your president’s next step towards building Islam in the U.S., not from your media, but from Erdogan’s official media Yeni Safak instead:

Read more Shoebat

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