The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

What will Tony Badran do after Joe Biden’s comments, slew of bad global press against Gulf support for extremists

Originally posted on The Mideastwire Blog:

I won’t soon forget how Tony and so many on the extreme right bizarrely defend violent sunni extremists now well associated with some of our best allies in the mideast. It really is worthy of a PhD: I know they do it because they think Iran, Assad and Hizbullah are the most dangerous vis-a-vis US and Israeli interests, but when that axis manifestly takes a back seat as a direct threat to US and now Israeli interests, you would think they could take the gas off the pedal a bit and shift their focus a bit. But this kind of ideological hangup is what has long spoiled their otherwise rigorous approach.

Its too bad.

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Written by nickbiddlenoe

October 7, 2014 at 3:13 am

Posted in Uncategorized

What will Tony Badran do after Joe Biden’s comments, slew of bad global press against Gulf support for extremists

I won’t soon forget how Tony and so many on the extreme right bizarrely defend violent sunni extremists now well associated with some of our best allies in the mideast. It really is worthy of a PhD: I know they do it because they think Iran, Assad and Hizbullah are the most dangerous vis-a-vis US and Israeli interests, but when that axis manifestly takes a back seat as a direct threat to US and now Israeli interests, you would think they could take the gas off the pedal a bit and shift their focus a bit. But this kind of ideological hangup is what has long spoiled their otherwise rigorous approach.

Its too bad.

Written by nickbiddlenoe

October 5, 2014 at 4:21 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Joe Biden: Our Allies in Mideast Supplied tons of Cash to Terrorists

Pretty incredible.

Here it is:

BIDEN: “The Turks were great friends – and I have the greatest relationship with Erdogan, which I just spent a lot of time with – the Saudis, the Emiratis, etc. What were they doing? They were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad except that the people who were being supplied were Al Nusra and Al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world. Now you think I’m exaggerating – take a look. Where did all of this go? So now what’s happening? All of a sudden everybody’s awakened because this outfit called ISIL which was Al Qaeda in Iraq, which when they were essentially thrown out of Iraq, found open space in territory in eastern Syria, work with Al Nusra who we declared a terrorist group early on and we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them.

Written by nickbiddlenoe

October 4, 2014 at 4:41 am

Posted in Uncategorized

The conventional wisdom about the “moderation” of Lebanon’s sunnis and Tunisian society will be severely tested in coming period

Both countries have elites and popular bases which will tell you over and over again about the essential moderation of their societies. This extremely hopeful pronouncement – tunisians make up a large segment of the radical fighters in iraq and syria and Lebanon has a long history of extremism all around – will likely be severely tested in the coming period as this columnist predicts below. That’s what happens when you militerize the region after all, as those advocating a “controlled collapse” of the syrian regime have now discovered. Translated from Mideastwire.com

***************

On October 1, Denise Attallah Haddad wrote the following report in the independent, leftist As-Safir daily: “Is ISIL really preparing for a major war against Lebanon…? And does Lebanon possess the necessary means to defend its borders, security and sovereignty all the way to shielding its socioeconomic stability? Are we living strapped to explosive ticking bombs that are ticking away? A Lebanese political sources says: “unless we find a quick way to cut the wires of this bomb, the country will blow up and no one will be safe from the shrapnel of this devastating explosion.”

“The source re-expressed his fears over a dramatic development that might affect Lebanon and its people in the few upcoming weeks. “If we do survive our shaky economic situation and the repercussions of the social pressure that is nearing the extent of an explosion for several reasons, then the leaked information concerning ISIL and its plans as well as the actions of the countries and their wars against ISIL are not reassuring. On the contrary, all the leaks indicate the need for finding quick ways out for the little crises with which we are keeping busy in order to confront the major plot that is being implemented and that is prone to expand. The compromises at this point are warranted not for one another’s sake but for the sake of the country’s stability and protection.

“When explaining the reasons for concern and fear, the source said: “Who can tell us what the armed men are preparing in the barren areas? Logic indicates that they are bracing to launch a violent attack against Lebanon. They will not remain hostages to the security grip. They will work on breaking free one way or another. This will only occur through a new confrontation with the army.”

“According to the same politician: “The armed groups are proving every day that they have plans and that they know what they want. The division of the Lebanese is growing and their differences over everything, including the army and its actions, are growing deeper. They are encouraging sedition and we, knowingly or unknowingly, are helping in achieving their will and desires.”

“He added: “We cannot rely indefinitely on the openness and moderation of the Lebanese nor can we rely on the theories indicating that, at the end of the day, people hate radicalism. Tunisia, one of the most open and moderate countries, announced that it has re-gained control over 210 mosques that were under the control of groups affiliated to a radical Jihadist movement and closed 29 mosques in the past few months. Tunisia also announced that it has banned 9,000 Tunisian men from traveling because they were planning to fight with the radical groups in Iraq and Syria. In light of all this, how will our situation be knowing that we are in direct contact and at the heart of the fighting arenas both on the geographical and political levels?”

“In paradox, the political source is equally worried about the armed groups and the “project of the countries that are fighting them. Now that these countries have cornered the armed groups in Iraq and in Syria…, higher numbers of these radical fighters will likely be heading to the Lebanese borders and gathering along the borders where they will be barricading themselves and getting ready.” He added: “Is this what some countries really want? Do they really want to confront ISIL and their likes on the Lebanese lands? Do they want to lure the Lebanese parties into taking part in this war? Are they aware of the cost of that on this country? Will this country even remain one? Or is this exactly what they want?” The same political source concluded by saying: “We are locked in a feverish race with time. Either we break the freeze and proceed towards a joint Lebanese settlement to shield our country, or we will be eaten gradually in succession or concomitantly. There’s no difference between a white ox and a black one.”

Written by nickbiddlenoe

October 1, 2014 at 6:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Hizbullah said to use drones with air-to-ground missles

This is just another indication of how ill-conceived the US redline is against arming the LAF: not only did ISIS loot such a wide array of US equipment, not only does the LAF have a great end-use control record, but hizbullah has far greater capabilities.

I suppose it is the first time we see these weapons used. I remember when one academic laughed at my assertion in a conference that Hizbullah likely had such capabilities and could also target specific buildings in Israel. I guess he’s not laughing anymore.

http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/216125

Written by nickbiddlenoe

September 22, 2014 at 10:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Another attempt to humanize Nusrah Front as more moderate than ISIS

I just don’t get it – do the NYT and others understand what they are doing when they strive so hard to make Nusra front seem ok?

“…While the Nusra Front does not openly call for attacks on the West, it remains loyal to Mr. Zawahri, whose clout among jihadists has waned with the rise of the Islamic State…”

Just google and you will find nice headlines like:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/29/al-qaida-syria-nusra-front-intelligence-threat

Al-Qaida faction in Syria contemplating US attack, intelligence officials warn

Senate hears Nusra Front has ‘aspirations for attacks on the homeland’ amid concern over civil war’s terrorism implications

– I am sure a few minutes of checking arabic sources or even MEMRI will yield the “open call” that the reporter didn’t check for apparently.

 

 

Written by nickbiddlenoe

September 22, 2014 at 1:29 am

Posted in Uncategorized

15,000 boots on the ground already…. in Jordan

We are looking more and more like we are going to step into a huge mess in syria and make things worse…. especially since there seems to be little strategic planning and little consideration of how Resistance Axis actors will react….

Very shortsighted and ill considered… plus it seems there already are plenty of boots on the ground, according to this report
“This proposed operational framework is related to the Syrian wing of ISIL’s forces and requires, out of strategic and defensive caution, the deployment of military forces along the Jordanian-Syrian border to protect Jordan… In parallel, the paperwork required by the relatively “long residence” of more than 15,000 American Special Forces on the Jordanian border with Syria was completed, including the provision of food, water and logistic support. These forces might be deployed on the border near Daraa, in light of Jordanian fears of seeing the extremist fighters “fleeing” to Jordan if they are cornered around Daraa, Deir Ezzor and Raqqa…”

Written by nickbiddlenoe

September 20, 2014 at 12:12 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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