Category Archives: Middle East

The Professor, Syria, and cruise missiles

The Professor liked to walk up the two flights of stairs to his office and adjoining classroom. He had used the elevator for the last month but feeling stronger today he took the stairs. At the top, he had to stop for a few minutes to catch his breath. Certainly, didn’t want to walk into his class until he could say a hearty ‘good morning’ to his honors students.

The students were all seated and talking about the airstrike on a Syrian airport used in a sarin gas attack a few days ago when he entered.

“Well, I see you are all into current affairs. With a little luck and hard work some of you will be part of future discussions and planning that go deciding to use lethal action in support of national subjects.

“Let’s continue with the discussion. Edward, what is your take on the president’s decision?”

“After seeing the images of the gas attack victims, I don’t see how President Trump could continue with his predecessor’s example of non-involvement or leading from behind. Strong words were not going to prevent Assad from committing more atrocities that are clearly war crimes or crimes against humanity. Add to that the fact that Assad and the Russians signed an agreement that guaranteed Syrian stocks of poison gas would be destroyed and a few days ago Russian supplied planes dropped poison gas bombs on civilian targets. That signed agreement turned out to be false and some decisive action had to be taken. Obviously, both the Syrians and Russians knew about the poison gas attack and didn’t believe there would be an American military response. I fully support the cruise missile attack.”

Several hands went up, and the Professor said, “Who wants to present a different argument? Okay Carlos, the floor is yours.”

“I don’t believe the Trump national security team was thinking beyond the mechanics of the airstrike. What happens now? Do they know what the Russians or Syrians will do in response? I don’t think so. Putin is not likely to give up his warm-water sea port at Tartus. Getting an ice-free sea port for their war ships has been a Russian national security objective for a few centuries. He will take more chances to keep Tartus. After all, he believes he is Russia’s latest czar.”

“Whose wants to go next? Alice, you’re up.”

“I want to put this airstrike in a larger context. For eight years, America has perfected the use of words in place of actions. Our military has been severely underfunded. Our traditional allies don’t trust us to break out of our isolation. What’s worse, our enemies no longer respect us. We can be good at the use of diplomacy but without the resolve to use force when necessary, diplomacy is ineffective. North Korea, China, Russia, and Iran do not believe we have the will to use military force. The cruise missile strike last night has changed the rules. Our enemies must reconsider their aggressive actions and our allies can take heart that we now have competent leadership who will protect American national interests. Was it not noted that powerful Sunni Arab leaders came for a visit and went away with new hope for American backing against Iran? Do you not think those fearful of Russian and Chinese aggressive actions now have new hope that America will again be a force for peace?”

The Professor smiled at Alice’s comments then said, “Divide yourselves into two groups, one pro the cruise missile strike and one against. I’ll give you ten minutes to get organized for the team debate. I know from personal experience that people like us can’t function without fresh strong coffee. While you’re sorting yourselves into opposing groups, I’ll arrange for coffee and doughnuts.”

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Filed under Conservative views, foreign policy, Intelligence & Politics, Middle East, political solutions, Politics, Putin, Republicans, Sunni, trump

The Professor: Political Opposition or Domestic Enemies?

.So much was happening in the early days of the Trump Administration, the Professor thought, Teaching this class takes almost no preparation. The daily news provides more material than any teacher could produce on their own, and there are so many interpretations. This morning, Alison told me she had a question she wanted me to answer. She is one of the brightest students and should go far after she leaves here. Time to get started.

“Alison, you have a question for us this morning?”

“Yes, I’m concerned with the degree of violence in the anti-President Trump street demonstrations and the incredible opposition the Progressives are putting up against the most mundane of the Administration’s actions in the first month of the Trump Presidency. Everything the Republicans put forward is viciously attacked. First by spinning false messages to alarm the people and followed by using the traditional Senate processing of Presidential appointments to hinder actions of the new administration.  My concern is that this official opposition plus the widespread violent street protests are too closely coordinated to be the spontaneous actions of concerned citizens. I’ve read Saul Alinsky’s book, Rules for Radicals. His political blueprint fits what I see happening.  Am I reading too much conspiracy into what is happening?”

The Professor stopped his pacing and said, “That question shows you are learning how to think outside the traditional box. The basic belief of those who follow Alinsky is that the struggle to transform America into a socialist society under the direction of an elite group of Progressives is more important than protecting our nation or solving the economic problems we have. The Progressives were startled they lost the election. They expected to win big and continue with President Obama’s destruction of America’s military, economic, and moral leadership in the world. How else can you evaluate his eight years in office? Our military manpower is equal to what it was before WWII, the number of naval warships is well below what most strategists believe is necessary, our warplanes that are capable of actual combat missions depend upon finding spare parts from plane graveyards and museums. Our economic growth is stagnant and the real unemployment rate is well above ten percent. Double or triple that rate in our inner cities. We are no longer the major player in the Middle East or the Far East. Is that a record for any President to be proud of?

“Believers in the Alinsky plan do not abandon it simply because they lost an election. They will continue the fight to bring their brand of socialism to America by attacking the Trump Presidency at every point. Civil Service members of the Obama Administration who believe in Alinsky’s principles will try to remain embedded in the Trump Administration and conduct open and covert opposition to all his policies. I believe President Obama is and continues to be a firm believer in Alinsky’s ‘community organizer’ model to bring about social change.

“For example, take the current uproar over General Flynn’s resignation over his pre-inauguration talks with the Russians and his failure to fully brief the Vice President. This is all part of the Progressive spin to discredit the Trump Presidency by tying his victory to Russian intervention. The Progressives’ end game is to bring about impeachment proceedings against President Trump. Even some Republican Senators are supporting the Progressive agenda.

“Reportedly, this is all based upon highly classified documents some members of the Progressive media have seen that detail General Flynn’s conversations with the Russians. Ask yourself where such documents could have come from? Let’s assume the reports of such documents in the hands of the media unfriendly to the Trump Administration are true. Now where could have they come from? I submit they only could have come from loyal Progressive members of the Obama Administration who have remained embedded in the bureaucracy of one or more of the intelligence agencies. Leaking of these documents is a serious crime and the Sessions Justice Department must find and stop this illegal process. All men and women who are employed to serve the nation take the same oath that includes “protecting the Nation from all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Right now, I believe the greatest danger is from domestic enemies.

“The next class will be devoted to more discussion of Alison’s question. Remember, I am not saying President Trump’s policies should not be questioned by both the media and concerned citizens. Only that activities funded, organized and coordinated by the Progressives must not be allowed to break our laws and covertly attempt to overthrow a duly elected President.”

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Filed under Alinsky, Barry Kelly, Conservative views, Intelligence & Politics, Middle East, Obama, Progressives, Republicans, Russia

The Professor – Fundamentals of Trump’s Success

the-new-yorker-who-is-donald-trumpThe students trooped into their 11 o’clock political science honors class looking like they all needed at least a week of beach time. As they slouched into chairs around the conference table, the Professor said, “Well, I guess you didn’t get much sleep last night. I was up until well after 4:00 AM. The election was truly historic. I feel like a mantle of freedom and hope has settled over the land. Let’s talk about what happened. First, any questions?”

Alison raised her hand and the Professor nodded in her direction. “You told us two weeks ago that Donald Trump would win the election when all the polls were pointing clearly to Secretary Clinton. What was the reason you were so confident of a Republican victory?”

“First, I wasn’t talking about a Republican victory. The traditional Republican party is now part of history. It will never be the same. And for the nation, that is a good thing. Its time had passed. The victory I spoke about was only about the Trump movement. The Trump victory has given me a perfect ‘teaching moment.’ We are here to learn how to think about how humans govern themselves and that requires us to learn how to sift information.

“All of us were bombarded with polls, the analysis of pundits, party propaganda, government leaks, thousands of hacked emails from behind the scenes actions of the Democratic party and the Clinton campaign. Some of it was ugly, but it was all revealing and intriguing. Some of it was relevant, but mostly it was distracting. Many analysts thought the deluge of emails revealing the naked ambitions of Secretary Clinton trying to hide her efforts to balance her sworn duty as American’s Secretary of State with her drive to amass personal wealth and power would destroy her campaign.

“Instead of waiting anxiously for the next dump of emails that would dominate the news, journalists, commentators, analysts and political talking heads should have focused on the fundamentals. Instead, they couldn’t get past the day-by-day exposure of  the Democratic National Committee, debate stumbles, and Donald Trump’s off-message comments and his need to defend himself from every attack. All of this was exciting and made the grist for hundreds of TV comments, newspaper columns, attack ads and maps of shifting electoral votes state by state.

“The fundamentals I focused on were the dynamics of the primary process of both parties, the gradual metamorphosis of Donald Trump from a flamboyant TV star and successful billionaire real estate tycoon to a disciplined politician who could sound and look presidential and the gap between the governing elite of the Progressive Party and the needs and hopes of the people. My most important indicator was the disparity between the polls and the energetic masses of people who attended Trump rallies. If you listened carefully, you could hear the rumblings of a revolution in the heartland of America.

“How could you miss Mr. Trump’s success after success in the primary campaign? Remember when he carried every county in several states late in the primary campaign? He felt and listened to the message coming from the forgotten citizens of the ‘rust belt’, those hunting a job where none existed, the citizens who wondered how their leaders could ignore the flood of people and drugs pouring across our open borders, the silent suffering of America’s veterans, the chaos of the Middle East and the failure of trade, the decades of wage stagnation and the total lack of a foreign and economic policy to deal with the realities of terrorism and increasing debt.

“Donald Trump and his campaign leaders heard these cries for help and crafted their message to respond. No one else did. The only missing ingredient was finding the right messenger with sufficient political maturing to talk to the people instead of at them and the unbelievable energy required to take this fresh message throughout the land.  Donald Trump was the right messenger. In the future, if another messenger is required, I hope the people will find another Donald Trump.

“Your assignment is to predict who President-Elect Trump will select for his cabinet.”
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Filed under Barry Kelly, Clinton, Conservative views, Eight Decades of Insights, foreign policy, Intelligence & Politics, Middle East, Progressives, Republicans, Terrorism, trump

The Professor’s op-ed on the Middle East and the U.S.

In between honors classes one day, the Professor thought, “I just can’t stand it any longer. No one is telling the people the truth about the Middle East. Does the Obama Administration and the Clinton campaign think we are too dumb? Trump’s instincts are good, but he needs to bone up on the area. The Russians are not in the Middle East to fight ISIS and Putin is not about to make any deals that do not further his plan to hold a naval base on the Mediterranean and to be a major on the ground player in the oil patch. I just have to write an op-ed piece.”

He pulled his keyboard toward him, looked out over the bay, and began to write.

First, there are a couple of truths about our strategic past in the Middle East. Forget the lines and names drawn on maps of the Middle East. Think of the area divided between the Sunni Muslims and the Shia Muslims with the nation of Israel maintaining a stronghold in the midst of the struggle for dominance by the Shia and Sunnis. The Iranians are the leaders of the Shias and the Saudis, Arabs of the Gulf States and Egypt leading the Sunni opposition.

ISIS, al-Qaeda and their splinter groups are Sunni. The Obama-Clinton group has thrown American support to the Iranians, who want to use their new power to dominate the Middle East. President Obama always intended to follow the Shia/Iranian lead. That is why the abrupt pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq as soon as Obama came to power. The Iranians wanted the U.S. forces out of Iraq so that the Iraqi Shia could assume full control over the Iraqi military and economy and oust Sunnis from the military and government. (Remember, the Iraqi led Sunni government under Saddam Hussein fought a very bloody war against the Iranians.)

The Iraqi Shia government is now firmly allied with Iran. This is a government in name only. Iranians control all major moves in their drive to control a Shia empire of what is now Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. ISIS with all the terrible atrocities they have committed represented Sunni opposition to Iranian strategic goals. When they are destroyed, the strongest power on the ground will be Iran. When Mosel falls, it will be with the heavy involvement of Iranian weapons and ground forces. The Turks will stay within their territory and the only other viable fighting force, the Kurds, will be isolated with dreams of their own homeland shattered. With all of the talk from Washington about arming the Kurds, we never did. The Iranians and the Turks do not want the Kurds to be armed with modern weapons. All the arms we said were being sent to the Kurds went through the Baghdad Shia government that never sent them onward. The Obama Administration, of course, knew the Kurds would never receive the weapons. There is literally nothing the Iranians want that the Obama/Clinton group will not do their best to supply. Just look at the recent deal Obama made with Iran on their nuclear weapons program. While not called a treaty, that was what this deal is. Why take that route? Simply a way to avoid the need for Congressional ratification. We, the people, and Congress still have not seen all the pieces of this executive action.

On the Russian side, Putin is a modern day czar of Russia. His goal is to re-establish as much of the old Soviet Empire as possible. The weakness of the Obama presidency has given him a grand opening. For many centuries, Russian czars dreamed and planned to acquire a warm-water port for their navy. Without firing a shot or endangering Russian soldiers, he has acquired Tartus in Syria as a Russian warm-water port. That is now a fact. The fleet is there and weapons to defend it are in place. Putin will do what he must to support Assad. He is not in Syria to fight ISIS. Aleppo is the only evidence anyone should need. ISIS was not there but Syrian anti-Assad forces were. The city is now rubble as a result of Russian historic lack of concern for collateral deaths when their critical national interests are involved. Since Iran is the local protector and supporter of Assad and Syria, Putin will make any deal necessary with Iran to protect his naval base at Tartus and his new role in Middle Eastern oil. Obama’s plan for Iranian hegemony in the Middle East is on solid ground with both U.S. and Russia supporting Iran and the Shia Muslims.

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Filed under Afghanistan, Clinton, foreign policy, Intelligence & Politics, Iran, ISIS, Israel, Kurds, Middle East, Obama, Politics, Putin, Shiite, Sunni

INSIGHTS 274: National Security managers versus Donald Trump

 This week, 50 national security bureaucrats signed a document stating Donald Trump wasn’t fit to be Commander-in-Chief. Devastating? Not really!

National security specialists look at the world through a very murky lens. They are often wrong about their own specialty. In fact, some noteworthy national security advisors have missed what have been called the most important security issues of our times.

This whole class of self-designated security elitists have presided over the decline of American power and prestige. They lacked the courage and honor to stand up and be counted during the terrible Obama wartime decisions. They knew the military power of the United States was being systematically diminished. They knew about the fiasco over Benghazi and the failure of the leadership to even try to rescue the valiant men who died there. They knew the Obama infatuation with Iran was leading to a terrible deal that would reward the No. 1 terrorist sponsor in the world. They knew we should not have withdrawn all our forces from Iraq. They knew the Obama polices were failing to deal with Syria and the growth of ISIS. They knew Putin intends to reconstitute the Russian empire and that the Chinese were expanding their dominance in the China Sea. And they all stood quietly by, obeying orders from an administration they knew had a view of the world very far from reality.

Where were their petitions and outcries then? Why didn’t they resign in protest? To resign and protest in the face of a vindictive leader takes honor and courage. It seems these critical characteristics were missing. These men are not leaders. They are merely failed managers who valued their careers over the needs of the nation.


Donald Trump scares these timid managers. None of them would last in a Trump administration.

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Filed under Barry Kelly, Conservative views, Eight Decades of Insights, Intelligence & Politics, Iran, ISIS, Middle East, Obama, Putin, trump

INSIGHTS 273: Donald Trump and the politically correct world

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America faces several critical problems. The national debt; stagnant wages; a real unemployment rate of plus 12 percent; an administration that cannot be trusted to tell the people the truth; terrorism that has reached our shores and shows no signs of being defeated; cash payments of 400 million dollars to Iran in the form of ransom for hostages; territorial aggression on the part of Russia and China; class warfare in America; a crumbling infrastructure network of roads, bridges, airports and utility distribution systems; a military that has to salvage parts from museums and junk yards to keep ancient warplanes flying; military manpower approaching pre-World War II levels; a war against terrorism our commander-in-chief refuses to recognize or to develop a strategy to deny ISIS safe havens in the Middle East; anti-American regimes in Iran and North Korea whose main national objectives is to develop and use nuclear armed ballistic missiles against the homeland; a tax and regulation load that kills existing business and prevents new start-ups; health care for the people, especially our vets … the list could go on.

And what is playing endlessly on our news media? Certainly not anything from the above list. No, we have become a nation of petty politically correct issues. Not just from the liberal media but also from conservative news outlets. The polls swing on the impact of politically correct trivia and not on a discussion of important issues that threaten America. The tyranny of the novel “1984” has been replaced by the politically correct dominated modern world of 2016. The progressives of the Hillary Clinton party know they cannot win a debate on real issues so have skillfully made the election about the real or contrived statements attributed to Mr.  Donald Trump.

A few examples: The furor over Trump’s statements that some of the immigrants coming unopposed across the southern border were criminals, murders, and rapists. The PC spin is that Trump said all immigrants were criminals. Or his statement that Muslims should be temporarily banned from coming into the United States until they could be vetted. Sounds reasonable to me. But the PC version is that he is opposed to all Muslims entering the country. Or all nations in NATO should pay their required yearly proportion of their annual national budget. Reasonable, I think, but the PC spin version is Trump intends to withdraw from NATO. On the tax issue. Mr. Trump has said he would lower taxes on corporations and individuals. Not a bad idea. The PC spin version is that Trump’s tax plan will only benefit the richest Americans.

The Khan family dust-up. The Khans were recruited by the Progressives to attack Mr. Trump at the Democratic Convention over his stand on Muslims by doubting he ever read the Constitution and that he dishonored their son, an American soldier who was killed in Iraq. Again the motive of the PC spin was to attack Trump’s position on Muslim immigration. A long stretch, but the Progressives turned this into an attack on ‘Gold Star’ mothers when Mr. Trump unwisely questioned why Mrs. Khan had not spoken up at the DNC. His record shows Donald Trump is very pro veterans and military families. His stance on the Veteran’s Administration is far ahead of any past or present candidate.

Candidate Trump is not a politician. He often isn’t careful enough about what the progressive spin doctors can and will do with his imprecise words. The political world of dialogue about new thoughts and possible actions is very different from initial discussion of ideas and proposals in the world of commercial projects where the first mention of an idea is just the beginning of the negotiating process. In the high offices of government. Ideas are most often discussed, debated, and scrubbed before they see the light of day. Mr. Trump needs to recognize this difference and we need to reject the PC responses of the progressives and turn the debate to the real problems facing America. If not, four more years of the same. We need change before it is too late.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Barry Kelly, class warfare, Clinton, Conservative views, Convention, Eight Decades of Insights, Intelligence & Politics, Middle East, Progressives, Terrorism, trump

INSIGHTS 272 IRAQ: WHAT’S HAPPENING?

iraqAt best Iraq, is a small Shiite nation with a port on the Persian Gulf and with a rich heritage of Shiite sites and some oil fields. Its past history of being a Middle Eastern military power capable of challenging Iran is gone. Its military was largely made up of Sunni tribes and Kurds; it is now almost purely Shiite. The United States moved from being Iraq’s most powerful enemy to being its primary supporter.

As its enemy, America destroyed Hussein’s military and political infrastructure. As its supporter, we presided over Iraq’s demise and the rise of ISIS. The White House, the State Department and the Pentagon still call the area that Saddam Hussein controlled Iraq. But it no longer exists. It evaporated with the withdrawal of American presence years ago. When the Pentagon and the State Department speak of the progress of the Iraqi Army they support, they are talking about the Shiite Army under Baghdad control. Any success of the Iraqi army on the battlefield is dependent solely on American and Iranian forces.

The Iraqi Army could not take Fallujah and hold it without American and Iranian support. The same is true for Mosel. Iranian militias will continue to provide the Iraqi Army with thousands of Shiite ground troops. The only winner in what used to be Iraq will be Iran. When very weak but rich nations border powerful nations, they often end up being absorbed. The term Iraq may continue to refer to Baghdad and areas South, but it will most likely be a province of Iran. I believe the White House is totally prepared for Iran to absorb Iraq.

When America and its allies defeat ISIS, they must be careful not to let the entire area of Sunni Tribes and Kurds also be absorbed by Iran. You can draw up a scenario which shows an American led coalition victory over ISIS could end up adding territory, people and oil wealth to Iran. Neither the Kurds or the Sunnis, alone or together, can withstand Iran. Only U.S. forces can do that. Under this administration or a Clinton progressive follow on, American forces will not be deployed against Iran. The transformation strategy of the Obama era for the Middle East will have taken a giant step forward.

 

My latest novel, The Sub Rosa Manuscript, gives, I believe, a clear understandable account of the steady erosion of the personal and economic freedom we inherited from the sacrifices of those who went before us. It is now our turn to protect our inheritance by rejecting the empty promises of progressivism.

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Filed under Barry Kelly, Conservative views, Eight Decades of Insights, foreign policy, Intelligence & Politics, Iran, ISIS, Kurds, Middle East, Obama, oil, Shiite, Sunni