The fluid and unfortunate civil war in Syria is becoming more complex almost daily. The insertion of Russian forces into the conflict augurs ill for any return to stability in the region and portends more suffering for the Syrian people. The Russians are intent on propping up the regime of Bashar Al Assad and protecting their only client in the Middle East. Their intervention is a clear signal that the Assad regime was in trouble. Despite their professions that they want to stop the advance of ISIS, one can be certain that they will also try to defeat other opposition forces that threaten the regime, particularly ones that may potentially be aligned with the United States. It is obvious that Putin knows that Obama is weak and he will take full advantage of this fact. Continue reading →
As the senate battle over the Iran nuclear deal heats up with the pro Israeli Democrat Charles Schumer coming out against it, our fearless leader is attempting to foist yet another fantasy on the American people. I have to ask, is he delusional, stupid or some kind of crypto Shi’i fifth columnist?
His latest statement, “The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy or some form of war – maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon. He went on to say that without a deal that a future president would have, “one option: another war in the Middle East.” Continue reading →
The deal on Iran’s nuclear program reached and announced on Bastille Day seems to be a bit of a mixed bag. The Obama administration is touting it as a win as it limits Iran’s ability, in theory at least, to develop nuclear weapons for the next ten years. Although it reduces its stockpiles of enriched uranium and mothballs its centrifuges the possibility for Iran to cheat on the deal exists. Would they do that? Various spokesmen have indicated that the inspection regime is tight enough to prevent cheating from happening. Continue reading →
The recent changes to the succession in Sa’udi Arabia instituted by King Salman bin Abdel Aziz have unleashed a flood of speculation as to why. The changes have according to the Sa’udi statements on the subject been endorsed by the Allegiance Council and given the way that consensus politics within the Kingdom work that is probably true.
The removal of Muqrin Bin Abdel Aziz from the line of succession strikes me as a bit surprising given the legitimacy that all of the sons of Abdel Aziz have enjoyed. If one has to guess and more often than not, that is the case in analyzing all matters to do with politics in the Kingdom, Muqrin was a protégé of the late King Abdullah and does not enjoy widespread support among the senior Princes. Continue reading →
The appointment of Muhammad bin Naif as deputy crown prince by the new King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdelaziz is the strongest signal possible that the family has come to a consensus on the transfer of power to the next generation. It has been widely speculated that there could be substantial infighting among the princes when the last of the sons of Abdelaziz were gone. This appointment confirms what I have said previously, that the family values its hold on power above everything else and that they would hang together. Continue reading →
The Grand Ayattollah Ali Khamenei continues to spew nonsense into the world’s airwaves. The following from the presstv website is yet the latest example of the fatuous remarks of the so called Miracle of God. Not only are the “Crusaders” in the Obama administration in bed with the Zionists but they are actually pulling the strings of the Islamic State itself!! Continue reading →
The current Pope, His Holiness Pope Francis is currently in Turkey where he has exhorted Muslims to renounce the Islamic state and those who he deems as extremists who are twisting religion to justify terror. One thing that he clearly does not understand is that in the view of many Muslims the actions of the Islamic State and others who undertake “martyrdom operations” are not terrorists. Rather they are engaged in legitimate struggle (jihad) on behalf of the faith and extending the faith. That this is the case is unequivocally spelled out in hadith literature. Continue reading →
Recently, representatives of the Islamic State issued a statement justifying the enslavement and sale of infidel women captured in war such as the Yazidis. Their rationale for this is that such an action is lawful under Shari’a.
The following citations are the basis for the position they are taking in respect of taking captives or other spoils of war. Continue reading →
The approval given by the Turkish parliament to allow Turkish troops to conduct military operations against the Islamic State should be seen as a complex and disingenuous policy.
Several political considerations will pull Turkey in different directions. Their support of the US led coalition will not be straightforward and will fall short of expectations in Washington. Continue reading →
The political and strategic ramifications of the remarks made yesterday by General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about the possibility of using US advisors in support of both Kurdish and Iraqi government forces to attack IS forces in Iraq have clearly not been thought through to their logical conclusion. Continue reading →