Smart Diplomacy Comes Home To Roost

Remember when Obama was all about shoving long time U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak under the bus? Well, apparently, he and his State Department didn’t think through the consequences very well. Or, if they did, they’re really dumb or naive or both.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood names Khairat al-Shater as presidential candidate

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood announced on Saturday it will field its deputy chairman, Khairat al-Shater, as a candidate in the upcoming presidential election.

The Brotherhood’s supreme guide, Mohammed Badie, announced Shater’s nomination in a news conference and read out a brief statement from Shater, who was not present.

“After it was decided to field my name in the presidential elections, I can only accept the decision of the Brotherhood. I will therefore resign from my position as deputy chairman,” Shater’s statement said.

The Brotherhood’s political arm, the Justice and Freedom Party (JFP), also announced the decision on its Facebook page on Saturday.

See also:
Egypt Brotherhood candidate stirs unease
Egypt’s Brotherhood candidate stirs unease, even on Facebook
Revolution’s Spearhead?
Egypt Brotherhood candidate: sharia is main goal
Egypt Brotherhood candidate says sharia is main goal
Muslim Brotherhood candidate alters Egypt’s election race
Why the U.S. May Be Secretly Cheering a Muslim Brotherhood Run For Egypt’s Presidency
Muslim Brotherhood Finally Takes it a Step Too Far
Brotherhood defends Al-Shater’s nomination, Abdullah Al-Asha’al backs him
Profile: Egypt’s Khairat al-Shater
Egypt’s “Engineer”: A Look Under the Hood
Egypt candidate: Muslim Brotherhood’s Khairat al-Shater
Khairat El-Shater
Justice and Freedom Party
Freedom and Justice Party (Egypt)

Seriously, what informed person in their right mind didn’t see this coming? The Muslim Brotherhood already controls a majority in the Egyptian parliament and now they’re going for the political jugular to solidify their power. If they’re successful, it won’t bode well for Christians, women, or relations with Israel and the United States and it certainly won’t resemble anything close to what the West calls democracy.

/was this impending ugliness the change the feckless, Utopian Obama Foreign Policy Clown Posse was hoping for?

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Mooky Rubs The U.S. Nose In The Iranian Victory In Iraq

After almost a decade in Iraq, after losing thousands of soldiers and spending hundreds of billions of dollars, the United States’ request to maintain even a minimal troop presence in Iraq after the end of 2011 was categorically rejected, in the end, effectively vetoed by close Iranian ally and long time U.S. nemesis, with plenty of U.S. blood on his hands, Muqtada al-Sadr. We got kicked out by Mooky, how absolutely humiliating is that?

Iraq’s Sadr calls for full US withdrawal

Head of Iraq’s Sadr movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, has called for the complete withdrawal of all American troops from the country by the end of the year.

Speaking in the holy city of Najaf on Wednesday, the cleric rejected any form of US presence in the country, as Washington and Baghdad are discussing keeping a limited number of US troops as military trainers in Iraq.

Sadr said the presence of US military trainers in Iraq beyond the Dec. 31 deadline is an ”organized occupation”.

He also dismissed any negotiation with the US before the full withdrawal of all foreign soldiers and the payment of compensation to the families of Iraqis killed by US troops.

Washington has been pressing Baghdad to agree to keep thousands of its troops beyond the 2011 deadline. It also wants the remaining troops to be granted immunity from prosecution.

See also:
Sadr rejects presence of US Military trainers in Iraq
Sadr bloc warns over keeping US military
Iraq’s move to revoke immunity for troops adds to US problems
After Nearly Nine Years of War and Occupation, America to Withdraw All Troops From Iraq
The U.S. Withdrawal from Iraq
U.S. role in Iraq comes to unsatisfying end
Timid leadership on US forces by Iraq’s politicians
As U.S.-Iraq troop talks faltered, Obama didn’t pick up the phone
With troops pulling out at year’s end, close U.S. Embassy in Iraq for diplomats’ safety
Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory
Risk Key US Gen calls Iraq pullout ‘disaster’
Overheard on CNN.com: Iraq not ours to ‘win’
Soldiers, Pundits Debate Whether Iraq War Was Worth It

If anyone tries to tell you that the U.S. pullout from Iraq, without a trace, after begging to stay and being curtly rebuffed, isn’t a huge victory for Iran, they’re either naive, confused, or lying. Iran will dominate Iraq, economically, militarily, politically, and socially after we’re gone. The majority of Iraq’s government is already aligned with Iran.

Does anyone seriously believe that a U.S. embassy, with less than 200 troops, has any chance of checking Iran’s influence in Iraq? Hell, we’ll be lucky if our embassy isn’t overrun. Iraq could very well become another Iranian satellite state, like Lebanon. And hey, you thought taking military action against Iran’s nuclear program was already difficult at best? Try it without any leverage over or military footprint in Iraq.

/Obama’s Iran/Iraq policy, “not with a bang, but a whimper”

Calling A Spade A Spade

Outgoing Joint Chiefs chairman Mike Mullen finally said, in public, what everybody already knows, Pakistan is the enemy, not our ally.

Mullen Blames Pakistan Intelligence for Attack

The top U.S. military officer on Thursday accused Pakistan’s powerful intelligence agency of backing extremists in planning and executing the assault on the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan last week and a truck bomb attack that wounded 77 American soldiers days earlier.

In his last congressional testimony before he retires next week, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, insisted that the Haqqani insurgent network “acts as a veritable arm” of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, undermining the uneasy U.S.-Pakistan relationship forged in the terror fight and endangering American troops in the nearly 10-year-old war in Afghanistan.

See also:
Mullen says Pakistani spies are tied to U.S. Embassy raid
Panetta, Mullen hammer Pakistan over Haqqani network
Mullen Accuses Pakistan’s Intel Service of Aiding Attack on Embassy in Kabul
Mullen, Panetta slam Pakistan over attacks
Mullen blames Pakistan intelligence for attack
Mullen Accuses Pakistan Of Exporting Violence To Afghanistan
Mike Mullen: Pakistan is ‘exporting’ terror
Cell phones link Pakistan to U.S. embassy attack
U.S.-Pakistan Ties Plunge to New Low After Mullen’s Testimony
Mullen’s comments about Pakistan are baseless: Mukhtar
Pakistan fires back at Mike Mullen
Pakistan’s Army Head Blasts Mullen Comments as ‘Baseless’
Pakistan army chief denies US claims of complicity with militants, calls charges ‘unfortunate’
Pakistan Outraged Over Admiral Mullen’s Accusations of Terror Link
Pakistan says US risks ‘losing an ally’
Pakistan warns U.S.: “You will lose an ally”
Is Pakistan America’s Ally?

Pakistan can deny, protest, and be outraged by the truth all they want. The evidence is overwhelming that the ISI aids and harbors terrorists that are constantly attacking, wounding, and killing U.S. forces in the region. There’s enough smoking guns to fill a National Guard armory. Need more proof that the ISI cooperates closely with terrorists? Just remember where and under what circumstances Osama bin Laden was found, ’nuff said. Pakistan is threatening to cease being our ally? Well, with allies like Pakistan, who needs enemies?

/by the way, the attack on the U.S. Embassy was a blatant act of war, the road to victory in Afghanistan clearly winds through Pakistan, do we want to win or tuck tail like the Soviets?

Not Good For A Secular Turkey

If you thought Turkey was already an unreliable NATO ally, this won’t help.

Turkey: Military chiefs resign en masse

The chief of the Turkish armed forces, Isik Kosaner, has resigned along with the army, navy and air force heads.

They were furious about the arrest of senior officers, accused of plotting, shortly before a round of military promotions.

A series of meetings between General Kosaner and PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan failed to resolve their differences.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul moved quickly to appoint General Necdet Ozel as the new army chief.

Gen Ozel is widely expected to be swiftly elevated to chief of the general staff in place of Gen Kosaner. Tradition dictates that only the head of the army can take over the top job.

There has been a history of tension between the secularist military and the governing AK party, with the two sides engaged in a war of words for the past two years over allegations that parts of the military had been plotting a coup.

See also:
In Turkey, top military figures apparently resign en masse
Turkey’s military has at last stood aside
Turkey’s top generals resign in apparent rift with Erdogan government
Turkey’s military chiefs of staff resign
Turkish military’s chiefs of staff step down
Turkey’s top military leaders resign in protest of staff arrestsTurkey’s resignations, a sign of military decline
Turkey’s military chiefs quit ahead of key meeting
How Turkey’s military upheaval will affect NATO
Turkey’s reset
Analysis: Turkish government strengthens control on military
Government prepares for major overhaul of Turkish military
A Prime Minister’s Push Reshapes Turkish Politics

Traditionally, in Turkey, the military has served as check on Islamist forces and a key to maintaining a secular government.

/obviously, this development represents a substantial consolidation of power in the hands of Erdogan’s Islamist AK party and a big blow to the future of secularism in Turkey

Impasse On The Ivory Coast

Here we have another example of where an election was held and the loser refuses to give up power peacefully.

African Presidents Urge Gbagbo to Resign

Three African heads of state are in Abidjan, on behalf of West African regional bloc ECOWAS, to urge incumbent Ivorian president, Laurent Gbagbo, to step down and bring a peaceful end to a violent, month-long, political power struggle.

It has now been a month since Ivory Coast’s November 28 presidential runoff that was meant to mark an end to more than a decade of internal division in the post-conflict country, but has instead led to a tense political showdown that the United Nations says has killed more than 170 people.

The presidents of Benin, Sierra Leone and Cape Verde are set to meet with incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, in Abidjan Tuesday to deliver an ECOWAS ultimatum: Gbagbo can step down peacefully or face removal by force.

. . .

The United Nations and much of the international community say challenger Alassane Ouattara won the presidential election.

. . .

Original electoral commission results said Ouattara won the poll with 54 percent of votes. The constitutional court, led by a Gbagbo ally, then annulled 10 percent of ballots as fraudulent and proclaimed Gbagbo the winner with 51 percent of votes.

. . .

ECOWAS has threatened a military intervention if Gbagbo refuses to step down, but some analysts doubt whether West African nations have the operational capability, manpower or political will for such an effort and worry that any attempt at a forceful removal could trigger open conflict.

Gbagbo has warned any attempt to remove him by force could reignite civil war.

See also:
African leaders meet with Gbagbo to deal with Ivory Coast crisis
Three West African presidents try to convince incumbent Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo to step down
African Leaders Visit Ivory Coast to Pressure President Gbagbo to Quit
Ecowas pressures Gbagbo to step down, as refugees flee to Liberia
Ivory Coast’s incumbent president locked in crucial negotiations
Gbagbo defiant at African ultimatum
Ivory Coast Leader Insists He is Rightful President
News Analysis: Cote d’Ivoire at crossroads of war and peace
UN convoy attacked in Ivory Coast
UN says crowd attacked peacekeepers in Ivory Coast
Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)
Cote d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire

Judging by the mutually exclusive stances of the two sides, it sure doesn’t look like there’s going to be a peaceful transition of power here.

/I hope I’m wrong, but I predict there will be blood

Our Friends The Pakistanis

Once again, Pakistan proves that they are far from being a trustworthy ally.

CIA chief in Pakistan flees after suspected ISI exposure

The Islamabad station chief of the Central Intelligence Agency hastily departed from Pakistan on Thursday after his cover was blown through a suspected deliberate leak by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence.

Jonathan Banks was identified as the head of the CIA’s Pakistan office, in a lawsuit filed against the United States’ secretive spy agency by a resident of North Waziristan. The resident, Kareem Khan, was said to have filed the case against the CIA and Mr. Banks for their role in organising drone strikes that killed his son and brother.

The legal case brought by Mr. Khan called for murder charges to be brought against Mr. Banks and the CIA, and also reportedly said they should be executed for their crimes. Mr. Khan’s lawyer was quoted by the Guardian saying he had obtained Mr. Banks’ name from Pakistani journalists.

While Pakistan was quick to deny any involvement in leaking Mr. Banks’ name, U.S. officials were quoted as saying that since he had been identified publicly Mr. Banks “had received a number of death threats,” and they “strongly suspected” that the ISI had a hand in the leak.

See also:
CIA’s Pakistan chief removed
CIA Station Chief, His Cover Blown, Departs Pakistan
Cover Blown: CIA Station Chief in Pakistan Removed From Country
Pakistan Denies Outing US Spy
CIA Withdraws Pakistan Mission Chief
Pakistani spy agency denies it unmasked CIA chief
CIA Pulls Chief Spy From Pakistan
Top U.S. spy pulled from Pakistan after terror threats

Pakistan denies involvement in the leak? Oh, I see, it must have just been a lucky guess that just happened to correctly name the CIA station chief in Islamabad. Seriously, this is the thanks we get for pouring billions of dollars in annual aid down this rat hole? I’ve asked it before and I’ll ask it again, which side is Pakistan really on?

/they’re either with us or against us and, as far as I can tell, Pakistan is against us

Lady Al Qaeda Goes To Jail, Pakistan Seethes

Remember boys and girls, Pakistan is our ally.

Pakistani Woman Sentenced for Attacks on U.S. Troops

A suspected al-Qaeda agent was sentenced yesterday to more than eight decades in U.S. prison for the July 2008 attempted killings of U.S. troops, Agence France-Presse reported. At the time of the MIT-educated neuroscientist’s arrest, she was reportedly in possession of instructions for making a radiological “dirty bomb” (see GSN, Feb. 4).

Pakistani-born Aafia Siddiqui was convicted in U.S. federal court in February for the attempted shootings of several U.S. soldiers and FBI agents interrogating her in an Afghan police station. The 38-year-old mother of three was charged with seizing a serviceman’s rifle and opening fire while yelling “death to America,” though no one was struck by the bullets. Siddiqui took a bullet to the stomach before she was restrained.

. . .

Among her possessions at the time of her 2008 arrest in Afghanistan were documents referring to a “mass casualty attack” on New York City and containers filled with sodium cyanide, the Associated Press reported (Tom Hays, Associated Press/Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept. 24).

So, she was an al Qaeda operative who tried to kill American soldiers while screaming “death to America” and had in her possession plans and materials for a dirty bomb attack on New York City. You’d think our close ally Pakistan would be glad and grateful that this terrorist scum menace is off the streets for the next 86 years, right? Well, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Pakistan angry over terror conviction in US

The country’s leaders were quick to show their outrage at the sentence handed down to a Pakistani woman convicted of attacking U.S. agents, as were opposition politicians. By the time weekly prayers rolled round, protesters were battling police and the Pakistani Taliban had offered its support.

The sentencing of Aafia Siddique to 86 years in an American jail left enemies and political opponents reading from the same script Friday, riding a wave of anger on behalf of a woman widely believed to be an innocent victim of a vengeful, post 9/11 American justice system.

See also:
Judge Gives Pakistani Woman 86 Years in Attack
Pakistan neuroscientist given 86 years for shooting at US agents
Pakistani Scientist Sentenced To 86 Years For Trying To Kill US Agents
Pakistani scientist gets 86 years for shooting
‘Lady al Qaeda’ sentenced to 86 years in prison
Pakistani scientist ‘Lady Al Qaeda’ sentenced to 86 years in prison for trying to kill U.S. soldiers
Pakistani scientist gets 86 years for attempted murder
Protests erupt over Dr Aafia’s conviction
Aafia’s sentence sparks protests in twin cities
Pakistanis Protest NY Court Ruling on Female Scientist
U.S. Sentence for Pakistani Ignites Anger and Protests
Pakistanis Protest Scientist’s Sentencing In U.S.
Country erupts over Dr Aafia verdict
Rallies slam US court sentence against Aafia
APWA strongly condemns Aafia’s sentence
Nisar asks MPs to stage walkout over Aafia’s conviction
Pakistani foreign minister ‘disappointed’ over scientist’s sentence
Govt chalks out strategy for Aafia’s repatriation
Legal efforts to seek reprieve for Aafia initiated
Aafia Siddiqui

Every year, we give Pakistan billions in humanitarian and military aid and this is the hatred and scorn we get in return.

/make you wonder which side Pakistan is really on, doesn’t it?