North Korea, Iran, and the Militarization of the United States

President Donald Trump’s tweet last week after the UN Security Council voted to put new sanctions on North Korea held within it loads of information that should have alarmed both the President’s most dedicated followers as well as most Americans. Here it is again:

While the UN Security Council vote was important, the idea that more sanctions would cause North Korea to simply just roll over is pure fantasy.

At the same time as the UN Security Council vote North Korea’s “Number Two” headed to Iran for ten days to strengthen ties between the two countries.  These ties have been covert for years, but now with official sanctions having been increased, Iran’s backing to the North Korean regime becomes key in allowing the nuclear progress to continue at an increased pace.

Furthermore, as long as the world believes Iran is abiding with the Nuclear Deal then cash will continue to flow into Iran.  These investments by Russia and China are no doubt now being channeled back into North Korea for nuclear weapons development.

A Soft Coup in the US by the Generals?

With the take over of Gen. Kelly as White House Chief of Staff and the growing influence of Generals McMaster and Mattis, the alt-right has been abuzz with the rumors of a soft coup. No matter the exact terminology, there is a growing sense that all the President has is his Twitter feed.

Anytime there is military personel involved with the day to day running of the government, especially when war is on the horizon, the chances for direct conflict can and will increase.

While Trump has ratcheted up his rhetoric against North Korea, the real question on why he has allowed Generals who have either bent over backwards to support the Iranian nuclear deal or at least have been complacent with the Persian expansion to continue to strengthen their control over America’s foreign policy.

By not tackling the growing partnership with Iran, the US has forfeited their ability to shut down the orth Korean threat in a peaceful manner.  The world’s money is pouring into Iran and thus enabling Kim Jong Un to move beyond theatrics.

General McMaster, the head of the NSC has not only been one of the biggest supporters of the Iranian nuclear deal, he has cleared the NSC of any opposition to that deal. By creating an atmosphere where Iran gets a free ride and thus empowers a situation where North Korea can trigger a nuclear war is not only negligent, but downright dangerous. The current situation has lead to a militarization of the American government in both day to day thinking and actual action.

The following Tweets from Trump hold an ominous tone:

The world has every right to be nervous. Afterall the Executive branch is being run by three generals and they have not only choked off President Trump’s closest friends, but have left him with only a Twitter feed to vent.

Buckle your seat belt, the World is about to get very rocky!

GEN. MATTIS IS COMING: Palestine or Israel?

As far as Israel’s relations with the US generally and the Pentagon specifically are concerned, moving the US embassy to Jerusalem is of secondary importance.

On Friday, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis will visit Israel as part of a tour of the region that will bring him to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Djibouti. The declared purpose of Mattis’s trip is to “reaffirm key US military alliances, engage with strategic partners in the Middle East and Africa, and discuss cooperative efforts to counter destabilizing activities and defeat extremist terror organizations.”

Ahead of his visit, Mattis should spend some time considering the hunger strike being carried out by the Palestinian terrorists imprisoned by Israel. A serious consideration of the strike will tell him more about the nature of the Palestinian conflict with Israel than a hundred “expert” briefings.

There are several important things for Mattis to consider in relation to the strike.

The first thing he needs to note is that all of the terrorists on strike are members of the Fatah terrorist group.

This fact should signal to General Mattis that Fatah is not a normal political party. In fact, it is a terrorist organization that has a political party.

The second thing Mattis needs to consider about the strike is that it is supported by the international Left.

To understand why, Mattis needs to recognize the Fatah tautology.

But first, a bit of background.

The terrorists’ strike is the brainchild of convicted mass murderer, Fatah leader and darling of the international Left, Marwan Barghouti.

Barghouti is serving five life sentences in prison for murdering five Israelis. Israeli authorities believe Barghouti was directly responsible for 37 murders, but were only able to convict him on five counts.

Barghouti’s role in the killings goes far beyond the terrorist attacks he directly ordered.

From 2000 until his arrest in 2002, Barghouti was the commander and mastermind of the Palestinian terror war that began in September 2000 after Fatah leader Yasser Arafat rejected Palestinian statehood at Camp David.

In other words, hundreds of Israelis are dead today because of Barghouti.

But for the Left, none of this matters. For the Left, Barghouti is a hero.

The Left insists Barghouti is a moderate and a peacemaker and that Israel should release him and let him take over Fatah and the PLO from octogenarian Mahmoud Abbas.

They insist this because of the Fatah tautology.

According to the tautology, Fatah is “moderate” and “pro-peace.” Barghouti is a leader of Fatah. Therefore Barghouti is moderate and pro-peace.

Since Fatah is “moderate” and “pro-peace,” it isn’t a terrorist organization. And since it isn’t a terrorist organization, its terrorists are moderate peace-activists.

So despite the protests of irritating Israeli terrorism victims, and the verdict of the court, Barghouti isn’t a terrorist and none of the terrorists he commanded are terrorists.

None of them are terrorists because they are members of Fatah. And Fatah is a moderate, pro-peace party. So they are moderate peace activists.

Under this tautological reasoning, it makes sense for the US to give nearly a billion dollars a year in aid to the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority. It makes sense for the Pentagon to train Palestinian “security forces” who double as Fatah terrorists. It makes sense for the US to turn a blind eye to the fact that the PA spends more than $300 million, or more than 7% of its donor-financed budget, to pay salaries to terrorists in Israeli prisons and their families.

After all, the Palestinians can’t be incentivizing terrorism.

They’re from Fatah and Fatah is a moderate peace party.

The Fatah tautology is what informed The New York Times’ decision to publish an op-ed by Barghouti in its Sunday edition in support of the prisoners’ strike.

Not surprisingly, Barghouti slandered Israel repeatedly in his essay.

Also not surprisingly, in its tagline the Times described Barghouti as a “Palestinian leader and parliamentarian.”

It would be bad enough if this circular reasoning was relegated to the fever swamps of the Left.

But it isn’t.

Numbered among Fatah’s most fervent supporters are Mattis and his fellow generals at the US Military’s Central Command.

Mattis arrives in Israel with a public record replete with anti-Israel statements that indicate he swallowed the Fatah tautology hook, line and sinker.

In 2013, shortly after retiring from his post as Centcom commander, General Mattis resonated Barghouti and his leftist supporters when he blamed Israel for the absence of peace.

Speaking at the Aspen Institute Mattis said that the US must make the establishment of a state run by Fatah terrorists – on land Israel controls, that it requires for its national security and that it has sovereign rights to – a key US goal.

In his words, “We’ve got to find a way to make the twostate solution that Democrat and Republican administrations have supported. We’ve got to get there, and the chances for its starting are starting to ebb because of the settlements and where they’re at, they’re going to make it impossible to maintain the two-state option.”

Also echoing Barghouti’s libels, Mattis said that if Israel continues to allow Jews to live where they have rights to live and property rights to build then it will become an “apartheid” state.

Mattis is reputedly a very smart, well-read man. And yet, his claims show that despite his intelligence, he has a stunning lack of intellectual curiosity about Israel and the Palestinians and their positions in the wider Middle East.

Lest we give in to the temptation to believe that Mattis’s ignorant, tautological thinking was simply a function of his service in the Obama administration, during his Senate confirmation hearings as President Donald Trump’s nominee to serve as Defense Secretary, Mattis doubled down.

When asked point blank to name Israel’s capital, Mattis refused to acknowledge that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Instead, he stunned lawmakers when he proclaimed that Tel Aviv is the capital of the Jewish state.

Mattis’s hostile view of Israel and the Palestinians isn’t surprising. And the reason it isn’t surprising isn’t because Mattis is a member in good standing of the lunatic Left. He’s not.

Mattis’s ignorance is understandable because he hails from the US Military’s Central Command. The Pentagon’s area command responsible for the Middle East has one debilitating problem. It is a problem that guarantees that Centcom officers will fail to understand the Middle East and fail to win America’s wars in the region.

Centcom’s problem is that it deliberately does not include Israel.

As far as Centcom is concerned, Israel is not part of the Middle East. Israel is in Europe.

Centcom officers speak only to Arabs. And their Arab counterparts insist that Israel is the problem.

Rather than critically analyze this claim, Centcom officers internalize it.

Rather than notice and get irritated by the fact that due to their Arab colleagues’ antisemitism the US is forced to pretend that Israel is located on a completely different continent, Mattis and his underlings adopted their reason-bereft prejudice.

Rather than rebel against their inability to communicate directly with their Israeli counterparts and insist that they be permitted to bring the US’s closest ally in the Middle East into their regional plans and analyses, Centcom officers have embraced the irrational and strategically catastrophic view that the main source of instability in the Middle East are the Israeli communities located beyond the 1949 armistice lines.

Mattis’s visit will take him to Jerusalem, rather than Tel Aviv. No doubt Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will mention that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and express his enthusiastic support for moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

But as far as Israel’s relations with the US generally and the Pentagon specifically are concerned, moving the US embassy to Jerusalem is of secondary importance.

The most important contribution Israel can make to the US war against “extremist terrorism” and to the Trump administration’s efforts to “reaffirm key military alliances,” is for Netanyahu to insist that the Trump administration stop accepting the bigoted dictates of the Arabs. He must insist that Israel be integrated into Centcom. Only when the American officers responsible for determining US policies in the Middle East recognize that Israel is part of the Middle East will they have the cognitive capacity to understand the realities of the region. And the first reality that will become clear to them is that despite the Fatah tautology, Fatah is a terrorist organization, and an extremist one at that.

Originally Published in the Jerusalem Post under the title: Gen Mattis and the Fatah tautology  

War Drums: Russia Threatens Ukraine Over Provocations on the Crimean Border

It has been reported that Moscow directly threatened Ukraine with missile attacks if the Ukrainian government goes through with its planned missile test on the Crimean border. Unnamed sources in Ukraine have told local Ukrainian newspapers that they received a letter from Russia’s Defense Ministry effectively threatening Ukraine with a direct military response if Ukraine goes through with its planned missile test.

Ukraine has denied it plans on testing any missiles near Russia. However, Russia is clear that it stands ready to not only shoot down the missiles, but retaliate against Ukraine directly. When asked if Russia really will retaliate Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “The Kremlin would like Ukraine to refrain from violating international law and creating unsafe conditions for international flights over Russia.”

Is This For Real?

If the Russian aviation watchdog Rosaviatsia can be believed then yes, there is set to be a Ukrainian missile test after Dec. 1st. Rosaviatsia insists that Ukraine had unilaterally decided in violation of all international treaties to hold missile launches in Russia’s sovereign airspace near Crimea, in the area of civil and government planes’ routes, on December 1-2. If this goes through then expect Putin to finally go through with his plans to take a large chunk of eastern Ukraine as well as pick off targets with his S-300 and S-400 he placed there.

The Romney Factor

The assumption was that Donald Trump would be amicable to Russian interests. Yet, we see that his courtship of Mitt Romney and General Mattis means just the opposite.  Putin knows he may very well have been thrown off by betting on an easy relationship with the Donald.  He now seems to be on the move just in case he gets a far tougher hand than he thought after January 20th.

So, if the Ukrainians decide to go ahead with the test, buckle up, because Eastern Europe will be headed to war.