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Carter War Planning With Saudi and Gulf Defense Ministers, Obama Mending Fences

Next Cold War Roundup 4/20/16

It’s war season in the Middle East. Syrian opposition “rebels” declared a new war on the Syrian government and sources claim they will pull out of the Geneva peace talks.  Sec. Defense Carter and Pres. Obama are in Saudi Arabia meeting with military leaders of the Gulf States. The goverment in Iraq is in the process of collapsing.  Taliban has launched their spring offensive in Afghanistan.

War Planning With Saudis and Gulf States

_ It’s war season in the Middle East. Both Pres. Obama and Sec. Defense Carter are in Saudi Arabia right now. Carter had a meeting with the Saudi defense minister and will attend a summit with Gulf States defense ministers tomorrow. Saudi media reported that Carter and Salman discussed “the Iranian interference in the regional affairs, and combating terrorism.” Al Masdar is reporting that the Saudi defense minister also met with Israeli PM Netanyahu in Aqaba, Jordan, along with Jordanian Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Mash’al Mohammed Zein.

_ Carter and the Saudis discussed “mutual security interests, including checking Iranian destabilizing activities in the region and countering violent extremism from groups like ISIL,” according to a statement released by the Pentagon.

_ President Obama is visiting King Salman of Saudi Arabia, reportedly to mend fences and “hoping to ease tensions with Riyadh and intensify the fight against jihadists.”  AFP reports that his focus will be on ending the wars in Syria and Yemen. There are “facts on the ground” that indicate the opposite is probably true of Syria. Obama was met at the airport by the governor of Riyadh and his arrival was not broadcast on Saudi state news channel.

War in Syria Escalating

_ Moon of Alabama analysis says the “Obama administration has obviously decided to restart the war in Syria.”

_ Free Syrian Army and Ahrar al-Sham declared a new war against the government of Syria. “Senior opposition figures […] said pressure is growing for a speedy decision to leave talks” in Geneva “with no sign of progress towards discussion of a political transition sought by President Bashar al-Assad’s opponents.” The same “Assad must go” demands are being used to restart a war that has been in a ceasefire for more than a month and has provided relief to many Syrians. This is confirmation that analysts who said the ceasefire was used by the opposition, on the brink of collapse beforehand, to regroup and relaunch their war.

_ A top general in Syria, General Suheil al-Hassan of the Tiger forces, has been redeployed in an apparent emergency return to the Palmyra area after moving to the Aleppo area in recent weeks. ISIS “conducted a major offensive inside Deir Ezzor city” and took “the al-Sina’ah district and Industrial Center from government troops.” ISIS also “stormed a rebel stronghold in northern Aleppo.”

Taliban Spring Offensive in Afghanistan

_ A week into Taliban’s “spring offensive” in which they threatened large scale attacks, a morning rush hour suicide bombing in a busy neighborhood near the Ministry of Defense resulted in the death of at least 28 people with hundreds more injured. “A suicide attacker detonated a vehicle and gunmen stormed the area, reports say. Officials say the gunfight is now over and the area has been cleared.” There was a prolonged gunfight following the explosion which was used to gain access to the area.  A police officer told AP the explosives were extremely intense, shattered windows a mile away, and caused him to lose both vision and hearing for 20 minutes after the detonation.

Iraq

_ Iraq Goverment Collapse Likely

 Successful Coup in Brazil Would Put Goldman Sachs Exec in Key Government Role

_ Greenwald et al, from Brazil:  After Vote to Remove Brazil’s President, Key Opposition Figure Holds Meetings in Washington.  Dilma’s replacement, if she is tried in the Senate, will be VP Michel Temer from the opposition party.  “Temer recently made it known that one of the leading candidates to head his economic team would be the chairman of Goldman Sachs in Brazil, Paulo Leme.”

“[Monday] — the day after the impeachment vote — Sen. Aloysio Nunes of the PSDB will be in Washington to undertake three days of meetings with various U.S. officials as well as with lobbyists and assorted influence-peddlers close to Clinton and other leading political figures.”

_ Nunes has been “heavily implicated in corruption allegations,” will play a key role in the impeachment trial in the Senate and Nunes has “repeatedly advocated that Brazil once again move closer to an alliance with the U.S. and U.K.” (a pro-business, pro-US position that can’t win in a popular vote), Brazil is currently a key member of the BRICS countries, works closely with China.

Avaaz Humanitarian Interventionist No-Fly FlimFlam

_ Activist Organization Avaaz Duping Progressives into Wars using misleading “humanitarian” and “no-fly zone” rhetoric. They advocated and ran a petition for a “no-fly zone” in Libya and even though that turned out to be regime change operation all along, and has resulted in disaster for all Libyans and a nearly failed state, and even though the US and allies have been agitating and arming proxies for regime change in Syria as well, Avaaaz is now following the same path with a Syria “no-fly zone” petition and campaign.  Avaaz was created and launched by MoveOn.org Civic Action and Res Publica and a significant amount of its initial funding came from George Soros and his Open Society Foundations, often involved in “color revolutions” with and end goal of overthrowing governments.

Vote Here sign. Photo by Tobias Carroll on Flickr.
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Joanne Leon

Joanne Leon

Joanne is a blogger with focus on issues of war and peace, a mom, engineer, software developer and amateur photographer.