The Deep State and the Middle East

Interesting that the Americans will show this but not give out the name of the dog who was injured. I would have thought there’s lots to learn from the way the attack took place, but maybe not. If there is any overall lesson here is that the US remains engaged in the Middle East.

We amateurs in foreign policy nevertheless love to keep an eye on the world. I am a former student of Machiavelli and Hobbes, even taught them at one time in my career, so I’m in there with the best of them, like Greg Sheridan. So following from the killing of the leader of ISIS, we are again asked to listen to the words of the Deep State as reflected in Sheridan’s column today: Trump’s Mid-East retreat raises the threat of war. These are the words that appear in the middle of the page in the paper:

Trump often threatens Iran but it has become clear there are almost no circumstances in which Trump would act against it.

You could say the same about Obama, except for him you would have to remove the word “almost”, and then add the billions in cash flown in to get the Iranians to slow, not stop, their acquisition of nuclear weapons. So Greg, what’s the plan? What should America do, given all of this:

Iran has built huge conventional forces inside Lebanon through its proxy Hezbollah, which now has 150,000 missiles trained on Israel. Iran has huge influence in Yemen….

The threat of a serious war between ­Israel and Iran is growing. Even [Don’t you mean especially?] Trump would not stand outside a war which threatened Israel’s life.

It is possible that reducing US influence in the Middle East could needlessly lead to a huge Middle East war, which America would have to join.

Weakness is provocative.

It is all a worry, but what makes me worry more than anything else is the thought of a Democrat in the White House in 2021. Which side are you on, Greg, which side are you on?

And here is the Fox News report.

LET ME NOW ADD THIS: Trump’s Withdrawal from Syria Is a Foreign Policy Masterstroke. This is how the article begins:

In one deft move that doesn’t put a single American life at risk, President Trump achieved a regional solution to ISIS, undermined Iran’s capacity for foreign aggression, and disentangled the United States from an alliance of convenience that threatened to create major diplomatic headaches down the road.

Contrary to claims that withdrawing American special forces from Northern Syria will enable ISIS to resurrect itself, for instance, the arrangement with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan merely shifts responsibility for the few remaining ISIS fighters onto Turkey.

The successful operation to take out ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi only makes it even less likely that the terrorist group will reemerge.

As was once not said by Zhou Enlai [the modern spelling, apparently] about the French Revolution, “it’s too soon to tell”. As for the counter-factual, that we will never know outside of a parallel universe.

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17 Responses to The Deep State and the Middle East

  1. mh

    Greg Sheridan 😆

    Is this a gee up?

  2. MPH

    What is more memorable and draws more attention? Naming the dog, or classifying the name of the dog so it ‘leaks’? I don’t think I’ve ever seen such mastery of communication psychology in my (admittedly few) decades on this earth.

  3. Judge Dredd

    What should America do, given all of this?
    Nothing, they should do absolutely nothing. Anything else wouldn’t be America first. Stop sending American men to die in foreign wars is a great outcome.

  4. Karabar

    Al Bagdaddy had n interesting life.
    May 2010 takes control of Isis
    Dec 2012 Arrested in Iraq
    Nov 2014 Killed in an air raid on a convoy
    May 2015 Lost control of Isis
    Oct 2015 Narrowly escaped death in Anbar Province
    June 2016 Killed in Raqqa
    Oct 2016 At death’s door after poisoning by an assassin.
    May 2017 Russia claims to have killed him
    July 2017 Suleiman reports that Al is REALLY dead this time.

  5. Kurt

    Weakness is provocative.

    War is peace.
    Freedom is slavery.
    Ignorance is strength.

    Particularly interesting seeing as endless ME wars literally saw the return of open air slave markets. You couldn’t make it up.

  6. Judge Dredd

    Karabar, good point. The guy has had more lives than a cat. I really don’t have any faith in the report of his death this time. It just sounds like another neoclown news story about an arch nemesis that keeps getting away. A child could come up with a better story.

  7. New Chum

    This is in the blog archives at
    October 29, 2019
    Our media ignore, but Mullahs don’t: US assembling a devastating strike force in the Middle East
    The United States is openly deploying the weapons necessary to launch a devastating attack on Iran, should the need arise More

  8. Chris M

    It’s not so clear when this Baghdadi raid happened… was it weeks or months ago? The appearance of the truck and activities of the people on site plus shallowness of crators suggests it wasn’t filmed the next day and that excavation equipment may have been used to flatten it further. And when were the Google Earth sat photos updated because it seems to have been leveled some time ago?

    Do we get to see a pic of his head being rolled out of the copter into the sea at least? Or is that being held over for later. Maybe they are still using it for soccer…

  9. Fat Tony

    I am a former student of Machiavelli and Hobbes, even taught them at one time in my career,

    Bloody hell, Steve – just how old are you????

  10. Confuses Old Misfit

    Heard the bitch’s name is “Conan”

  11. Clam Chowdah

    Yep. Conan. Do try and keep up, Kates.

  12. notafan

    Isla mic state, so called, has lost its leader but the world has had Isla mic terrorism for as long as it has had is lam so don’t expect that will go away.

    Doesn’t mean the world should not be getting rid of the latest iteration of the Caliph as they pop up.

  13. classical_hero

    President Trump is at war with Iran, he’s instead fighting it on a different battlefield, being the economic battlefield. Eventually the rulers will be forced out because the economy is so bad. That’s exactly how the Cold War was won.

  14. Iampeter

    If there is any overall lesson here is that the US remains engaged in the Middle East.

    Yes which means that the Syrian foreign policy blunder didn’t even achieve it’s supposed goal. A completely pointless exercise that gave every villain involved what they wanted and America got nothing out of it.

  15. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    I’d just like to note that the brave bloke who went undercover and led the US to al-Baghdadi was a Kurd.

  16. PB

    Pimping war with Iran again? Kates (or whatever the actual spelling is), as usual.

  17. areff

    It’s not so clear when this Baghdadi raid happened… was it weeks or months ago?

    At Trump’s presser he said he sent out his “teaser” tweet (‘something big has happened’) when the mission was completed but the troops had not returned to the “port”. The full announcement came when they were out and safe. On that basis we can believe was indeed as described

    As to why they won’t release the dog’s name, could it be because it’s ‘Hillary’?

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