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Monday, 22 May 2017

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Since our last "president" aided and abetted the Iranians, it is time for this current president to aid and abet the one Arab country that can fight them when the day comes. In the Middle East, aside from Israel, there are no honorable sides. As the late Huey Long once said, "The time has come for all good men to rise above principle". Deliver the weapons as soon as the check clears.

I see this as a return to the status quo ante. Prior to Obama and since President Truman's day US policy appears to have been to defend Saudi Arabia in return for a liberal supply of oil.
Of course now that the US approaches self sufficiency in oil, and the Saudis need some actual defence, Mr. Trump is in a position to get a better deal.

Obama didn't come away empty-handed. His policies helped moderate Iran, with which the US has had strained relations since our countries "bossed them around":

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1953_Iranian_coup_d%27%C3%A9tat

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-iran-presidential-election-results-20170520-story.html

Further, the "oodles of cash" the Iranians got was their own money that we had frozen. On the subject of getting nothing in return, previously a certain Saint Ronald Reagan, or at least his administration, actually sold weapons to Iran:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%80%93Contra_affair

Finally, Trump spoke only to the Sunni, which he might or might not know and which might or might not turn out to be wise. All our media are currently praising him for showing up without KFC mashed potatoes on his tie, keeping his fly zipped, and sticking to the teleprompter. There are a few malcontents pointing out that he bowed to accept a participation trophy in the form of a gangsta necklace, but you can't please everyone.

Bit puzzled- how has Iran moderated?

A dose of reality vis a vis Iran is most welcome, but frankly the Saudis are hardly much of an improvement - their involvement in fomenting Islamic terror has been pivotal, and unless Trump secured a genuine volte face they shouldn't get so much as a pea shooter.

A total stop to the export and funding of Wahabbist extremists would be the least of it.

Pat, you could read the Chicago Tribune story linked above, "Iran doubles down on moderate President Rouhani, who wins 2nd term by wide margin" for some ideas. If it matters the Trib is Chicago's more conservative major paper. The story is an AP copy and paste anyway.

Cuffleyburgers, you're right, but the US is so invested in playing at realpolitik with the Saudis nothing will change soon.

Bob,

"Iran doubles down on moderate President Rouhani, who wins 2nd term by wide margin"

***

This from NightWatch (John McCreary)

"Iranian politics are far too complex for this brief treatment. However, it is important to note that the Iranian sense of reform does not signify opposition to the Iranian theocracy. It does signify widespread support for a more relaxed interpretation and application of the restrictive rules of the theocracy."

"The strong urban turnout for Rouhani, however, means that the conservative people in the countryside risk underrepresentation in a reformist administration. The electoral system has no mechanism for correcting that imbalance. That is one of the guidance tasks of the conservative clerisy, headed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei."

"There is no reporting that the election outcome means that Iranians voted for a change in foreign policy. Foreign policy issues were not central to the election campaign."

***

I think Bob, you know how I regard the Saudis.

JK,

In no way would I imply Iran is now benign, only that it's not as hostile as a decade ago.

Bob, 'stick around, kid, you ain't seen nuttin' yet'!

It's a great strategy, enacted to perfection, entirely accidental, only possible in a democracy, and proposed by me ad nauseum over the last few years on this venerable organ of intercourse.

"Bait and bleed".

When confronted with two dangerous enemies, make them fight each other rather than you. And if they look like they might stop, help one side, then the other. Let the whole shitty Islamic war rake up and down the length and breadth of the ME, like it did in Korea. Let the West swap sides every 5 years - something a dictatorship could never do without a destabilizing loss of political capital. Imagine Putin now trying to say he supports the Arabs / Sunnis instead of the Iranians / Shia - he'd be lynched by his own henchmen driven by preservation of their business and political interests developed with Assad and the Mullahs over the decade of Putin's tenure! It's far easier to drain the swamp and refill it with fresh effluence in a democracy than a tyranny - at least something is on our side!

When, after a few decades or so, the Muslims are totally sicked out with death and destruction, maybe 1 in 3 a goner like the Wars of Religion in Europe, they might straighten up and fly right. And if not, well another few decades it is then.

SoD

SoD,

"And if not, well another few decades it is then."
Sounds about right.

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