Military & Political Trends Of 2017 That Will Shape 2018

Via Southfront.org,
2017 presented the world with a number of crises, among which were the continued wars in the Middle Ease and the spread of terrorism, the humanitarian crises in Africa and Asia, the rising military tensions over North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs, and the militarization of both the South China Sea and eastern Europe. Throughout the past year regional and global powers have repeatedly been on the verge of open military conflict, any of which may yet still lead to large regional wars.
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In the Middle East the war on ISIS, the Iran nuclear deal, the crisis in Lebanon, and Israeli-Arab tensions took center stage.
By the end of the year, the self-proclaimed caliphate of ISIS had fully collapsed in both Syria and Iraq. Thanks to the efforts of the alliance between Syria, Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah, along with the Iraqi forces and the US-led coalition, this group was driven out from almost all of the areas it had held in the two countries. ISIS has lost control of such strategic locations as Mosul, al-Qaim, Raqqah, al-Tabqah, Deir Ezzor, al-Mayadin, al-Bukamal, as-Sukhna, Deir Hafer, Maskanah, and al-Resafa.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/30/2017.

UAE: Arabs ‘Won’t be Led by Ankara’ – As Retweet Further Divides Regional Relations

Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan faces off against UAE minster Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahayan in latest Twitter war.
This latest diplomatic spat between newly formed Turkey-Qatar-Iran alliance and the US-backed Saudi-UAE-Israel (tentatively with Egypt on board) axis power bloc – is indicative of where some of the regional fault lines are at present.
You can be sure that the US, Israel and Britain will work to exploit these differences in order to gain whatever economic and geopolitical advantage they can from the discord.
Reuters reports…
A senior UAE diplomat said Wednesday the Arab world would not be led by Turkey.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 28, 2017.

The Jerusalem Decision: From Creative Chaos to Effective Turmoil

Did Donald J. Trump have any idea about the impact his words would have across the world?!? Did he have any idea that the whole wide world, including the United Nations, would turn against him?
On Wednesday, 6 December 2017, in the White House’s Diplomatic Reception Room the President of the United States proceeded to make history, or, proceeded to leave his personal mark on the flow of world events as his words set a whole chain of global events in motion:
‘I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.’
In his preamble to this potentially explosive and arguably rather disconcerting statement, Trump explained that ‘[i]n 1995, [under Bill Clinton’s watch, that is] Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Act, urging the federal government to relocate the American embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize that that city – and so importantly – is Israel’s capital. This act passed Congress by an overwhelming bipartisan majority and was reaffirmed by a unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago.’ In this way, the 45th U. S. President showed himself to have been cut from a completely different cloth indeed, as he uttered words that neither Bill Clinton, nor George W. Bush or, more importantly perhaps, Barack Obama had dared speak.
Yes, Trump openly came out and made plain the deep love that dare not speak its name – in spite of the vehemently pro-Israel stance taken by the U. S. ever since the time of President Eisenhower (1953-61) and particularly, ever since the Six Day War (5-10 June 1967), in spite of the ceaseless activities of AIPAC and J Street, no previous incumbent had dared bestow a bona fide U. S. Embassy to Jerusalem as a physical token of the deep and ardent bonds between the New World and the Promised Land. Only, Donald J. Trump had the gall to ‘deliver,’ doing what Clinton had promised yet none of his successors had been able to realise . . . until now, that is.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 28, 2017.

SYRIA: Grand Mufti Hassoun Calls upon Christians to Stand in Solidarity with Al Quds

SANA: Grand Mufti of the Republic Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun stressed that Christians and Muslims all over the world should unite the ranks in face of those who usurped al-Quds (Jerusalem), calling upon the Christians across the world to stand against US President Donald Trump’s decision on recognizing al-Quds as the capital of the Israeli occupation.
In an interview with al-Mayadeen TV on Sunday, Hassoun clarified that the unjust decision of Trump doesn’t pay any attention to the international law and the international resolutions, indicating that the Palestinians have stood in the face of that decision, and today they are celebrating Christmas in defiance of the Zionist entity.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 26, 2017.

Palestinian Santas Clash With Israeli Forces On Christmas In Bethlehem

On Christmas Eve, Palestinians, many of them dressed as Santa Claus, staged a rally in the city of Bethlehem in the West Bank protesting against to the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Israeli forces used tear gas and stun grenades against the protesters near an Israeli military tower in Bethlehem – the ancient city widely acknowledged as the traditional birthplace of Jesus Christ.
Throughout Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the West Bank pilgrimage and tourism was noticeably down over the Christmas holiday season as protests and clashes over President Trump’s December 6th announcement continued, which also included plans to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem in order to reflect the change in status.
via Reuters
The AFP reported that even many locals have stayed away from centrally located Christmas celebrations at traditional gathering places this year due to the clashes:
On Bethlehem’s Manger Square, hundreds of Palestinians and tourists gathered in the cold near a huge nativity scene and Christmas tree to watch the annual scout parade. They took pictures as a marching band made its way through the square towards the Church of the Nativity, built over the spot where tradition says Mary gave birth to Jesus. The square usually throngs with tourists on Christmas Eve, but clashes between Palestinian protesters and the Israeli army in the past weeks have kept people away this year.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 25, 2017.

Iraqi Christmas Bells Ring Again in Liberated Mosul, Iraq

For many years now, Christians in Iraq have been living in constant fear of bomb attacks, murder and abduction – at the hands of both ISIS and al Qaeda, exacting brutal attacks on Christians, Yazidis, Shias and other religious minorities in Iraq. ISIS and al Qaeda have declared all Christians in the Middle East as ‘legitimate targets’ for violent attacks and execution. In addition to this, AP reported that since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, at least half of Iraq’s Christian population had fled the country to escape attacks by militants. For a long time now, there’s been little to feel hopeful about, until now.

One factor that has sustained terrorists enclaves in the region has been the fact that Saudi Arabian and GCC-backed Sunni wahhabi terrorists of ISIS and al Qaeda have managed to procure US weapons, as well as acquiring Israeli weapons in order to carry out organized criminal and terrorists activity.
Thanks to the hard-fought victories against ISIS on the ground by Iraqi Security Forces and the People’s Mobilization Units (PMU) aka the Hash’d Al-Shaabi, this Christmas has seen one of the first periods of respite in many years, whereby churches are being repaired and are opening again.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 25, 2017.

Nikki Haley Pranked By Russian Comedians: “Putin Absolutely Meddled In The Binomo Election!”

Do you know Binomo?’ the impersonator asked. ‘They have declared independence. They had elections, and we suppose Russians had its intervention.’
‘Yes, of course they did, absolutely,’ Haley confidently replied.
And with that US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley got punked by well-known Russian comedians and professional pranksters Vovan and Lexus (Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov) – sometimes called “The Jerky Boys of Russia” – who had previously phone pranked figures ranging from Elton John to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Rep. Maxine Waters to Senators Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain.
The duo reportedly phoned Haley’s office hours after the UN voted to condemn Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Thursday, pretending to be Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister of Poland, in what ended up being a 22-minute conversation.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 24, 2017.

America’s Collapsing Prestige

The Niki Haley moron appointed as US ambassador to the UN by Trump to destroy America’s reputation in the world is today sucking her thumb. All her threats to cut off US money to countries that voted against Trump’s illegal and unilateral action of establishing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital had no effect. The world gave Nikki and Trump the bird, voting 129 to 9 against the rogue governments of the US and Israel. The Chinese government referred to Trump’s effort to impose Israel’s will on international law as typical ‘American arrogance.’

This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on December 22, 2017.

In Victory For Trump, UN Imposes New North Korean Sanctions

One day after the UN humiliated Donald Trump, when 128 nations voted for a UN resolution demanding the US president revoke his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, on Friday Trump scored a significant victory at the same venue – his third of the day after signing off on the tax and stopgap bills – when the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions targeting North Korea’s economy after the latest launch of a ballistic missile last month that Kim Jong Un’s regime said shows it can now target the entire continental U. S.
The new restrictions are meant to slash North Korea’s imports of refined petroleum products, further restrict shipping and impose a 12-month deadline for expatriate North Korean workers to be sent home, according to Bloomberg. “Under the new sanctions, oil exports will be limited to their current level, which has already begun to result in shortages around the country,” the NY Times added. “Countries around the world will be ordered to expel North Korean workers, a key source of hard currency. Nations would also be urged to inspect all North Korean shipping and halt ship-to-ship transfers of fuel, which the North has used to evade sanctions.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 22, 2017.

“A Stunning Rebuke”: 128 Nations Support UN Call For Trump To Withdraw Jerusalem Decision

One day after Trump escalated his war of words with the UN, threatening to cut off foreign financial aid over today’s UN vote on the president’s decision to recognize Jerusalem the capital of Israel, the United Nations on Thursday delivered what has been dubbed a “stunning rebuke” of the US President’s Jerusalem decision, voting overwhelmingly to condemn the move and calling on the U. S. to withdraw the decision.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 21, 2017.

Austria: New Government To Resist “Islamization”

Authored by Soeren Kern via The Gatestone Institute,
A coalition between the anti-immigration Austrian People’s Party and the anti-establishment Austrian Freedom Party, which will be sworn into office on December 18, is poised to catapult Austria to the vanguard of Western Europe’s resistance to mass migration from the Muslim world. The massive demographic and religious shift underway in Austria, traditionally a Roman Catholic country, appears irreversible. Austria has also emerged as a major base for radical Islam. “We have a lot in common [with Israel]. I always say, if one defines the Judeo-Christian West, then Israel represents a kind of border. If Israel fails, Europe fails. And if Europe fails, Israel fails.” – Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of the Austrian Freedom Party. The anti-immigration Austrian People’s Party and the anti-establishment Austrian Freedom Party have reached a deal, creating a new coalition to govern Austria for the next five years. The ground-breaking political alliance, which will be sworn into office on December 18, is poised to catapult Austria to the vanguard of Western Europe’s resistance to mass migration from the Muslim world.
Chancellor-elect Sebastian Kurz, 31, who won Austria’s national election on October 15 after campaigning on a promise to halt illegal immigration, will govern with Heinz-Christian Strache, 48, the Freedom Party leader, who has warned that mass migration is “Islamizing” Austria. Under the agreement, Strache will become the vice-chancellor; the Freedom Party will also take control of the ministries of defense, interior and foreign affairs.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 18, 2017.

Abduct, Imprison, Repeat: Israel’s Brutal System of Occupation, False Imprisonment of Palestinians

By now, western audiences are familiar with shocking photos of horrific ‘routine’ torture which has taken place at various U. S. military bases and detention centers in places Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. Why many westerners will express outrage over these images and condemn such practices, few have been brave enough to acknowledge that Palestinians have endured similar or worse treatment inside Israeli prisons and ‘interrogation centres’ since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Moreover, the institutionalized racism which is pervasive throughout the Israeli government and society would normally trigger outrage in the international community, but for some reason (likely its relationship with the US).
How long will moral crusaders in the west remain gagged over Israel’s treatment of the native Palestinian population?
Simply put, the levels of systematic abuse by a thuggish Israeli security apparatus is shocking…

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 16, 2017.

COVER-UP: Court Seals Evidence of Israel’s Weapon Exports to Rwanda During Genocide

‘There is no terrible regime – Columbia, Guatemala, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile during the time of the colonels, Burma, Taiwan, Zaire, Liberia, Congo, Sierra Leone – there is not one that does not have a major military connection to Israel.’
– Jeff Halper, 2003
If the details in this court report were allowed to be made public, it would no doubt be extremely embarrassing to the state of Israel, who relies on maintaining the status of eternal ‘victim’ in order to side-step dozens of UN resolutions regarding its illegal land annexations and human rights abuses against the native Palestinian population who have been under violent Israeli military occupation for over 50 years.
Question: why have the Israeli Courts ruled to cover-up these important details about Israel own role in helping to facilitate a genocide in Africa?
Their answer: ‘The release of information would undermine state security and international relations.’
According to reports, Israel’s arms exports to Rwanda were in violation of international law.
Israel has also been caught numerous times before, including recently being exposed in a UN report after supplying Israeli weapons in the Sudan conflict, and again, with the US protecting the rogue state, Israel continues to act with impunity.
Similar reports have also emerged about Israeli arms and other Israeli military equipment.
And this is what US politicians continuously refer to as ‘the only democracy in the Middle East.’

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 16, 2017.

Buchanan Warns “Unlike Nixon, Trump Will Not Go Quietly”

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,
On Aug. 9, 1974, Richard Nixon bowed to the inevitability of impeachment and conviction by a Democratic Senate and resigned.
The prospect of such an end for Donald Trump has this city drooling. Yet, comparing Russiagate and Watergate, history is not likely to repeat itself.
First, the underlying crime in Watergate, a break-in to wiretap offices of the DNC, had been traced, within 48 hours, to the Committee to Re-Elect the President.
In Russiagate, the underlying crime – the ‘collusion’ of Trump’s campaign with the Kremlin to hack into the emails of the DNC – has, after 18 months of investigating, still not been established.
Campaign manager Paul Manafort has been indicted, but for financial crimes committed long before he enlisted with Trump.
Gen. Michael Flynn has pled guilty to lying about phone calls he made to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, but only after Trump had been elected and Flynn had been named national security adviser.
Flynn asked Kislyak for help in blocking or postponing a Security Council resolution denouncing Israel, and to tell Vladimir Putin not to go ballistic over President Obama’s expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 15, 2017.

Palestinian Protesters Attack US Embassy in Lebanon

The US Embassy in Lebanon went on lock-down today after demonstrators gathered outside on Sunday morning, as Pro-Palestinian protesters showed their outrage over U. S. President Donald Trump’s provocative decision to recognize illegally occupied Jerusalem as the Zionist entity’s capital city.

Evetns turned violent after protesters hurled projectiles at police, and also set fires to makeshift barricades erected on the street in front of the US Embassy secure compound, located north of Beirut, Lebanon.
Protesters also reportedly burned US, Israeli flags and an effigy of US President Donald Trump.
Later, angry protestors manged to pull down a portion of the front metal gates to the US Embassy.
Lebanese security forces deployed tear gas and water cannons to try and repel angry mobs.
Reuters reports:
‘Late on Saturday Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo urged the United States to abandon its decision and said the move would spur violence throughout the region.
Israel says that all of Jerusalem is its capital. Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 10, 2017.

Trump Walks A Tightrope with Mideast Peace Plan

Authored by Tom Luongo,
For months I’ve been telling you that the framework for a Middle East Peace Plan is in process.
Donald Trump dropped a nuclear bomb on the world the other day by announcing the U. S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, ending more than 50 years of virtue-signaling over what is, in fact, fact.
And right after that announcement Trump told the Saudi Arabians to end the blockade against Yemen. And in less then a day Israelis went from cheering Trump’s name to being confused.
I spent a long time on the phone with a Jewish friend of mine who couldn’t understand what this was about. Saying he couldn’t understand why Trump did this when the Saudis had already done so much.
And he should have known better.
What have the Saudis done to this point that should absolve them of having to do more to right their wrongs. Mohammed bin Salman’s purge and gangster-esque shakedown of his rivals withing the royal family are a good start.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 11, 2017.