Monday PM ~ thefrontpagecover

~ Featuring ~
Talking Turkey With Trump
National Security Desk  
A Drug Cartel Just Defeated 
The Mexican Military In Battle 
By John Daniel Davidson
{ } ~ The southwest U.S. border might be quieter now than it was this spring at the height of the migrant crisis, but south of the Rio Grande the Mexican state is disintegrating... Last Thursday in the city of Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state, a battle erupted between government forces and drug cartel gunmen after the Mexican military captured two sons of jailed drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. The elder son, Ivan, was quickly freed by his men, who overpowered government forces and secured his release. Ivan then launched an all-out siege of the entire city in an effort to free his younger brother, Ovidio. The ensuing scene could have been mistaken for Syria or Yemen. Footage posted on social media Thursday showed burning vehicles spewing black smoke, heavily armed gunmen blocking roads, dead bodies strewn in the streets, and residents fleeing for cover amid high-caliber gunfire. Armed with military-grade weapons and driving custom-built armored vehicles, cartel henchmen targeted security forces throughout Culiacan, launching more than one dozen separate attacks on Mexican security forces. They captured and held hostage eight soldiers, then kidnapped their families. Amid the fighting, an unknown number of inmates escaped from a nearby prison. At least eight people were killed and more than a dozen were injured. The eight-hour battle ended when government forces, outgunned and surrounded, without reinforcements or a way to retreat, received an order directly from Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to release their prisoner and surrender. Lopez Obrador later defended this decision, insisting that his security strategy is working and saying, “Many people were at risk and it was decided to protect people’s lives. I agreed with that, because we don’t do massacres, that’s over.”...  
Do Not Trade with a China 
that Lies, Cheats, and Steals
by Gordon G. Chang
{ } ~ "This won't revolutionize the U.S.-China relationship or the terms of trade between us, but it shows that the two countries can work together on an important issue,"... said Clete Willems of Akin Gump to Bloomberg, referring to President Trump's "phase one deal" announced October 11. "Learning to do so is critical to avoid a broad deterioration of all aspects of our relationship, which is not in anyone's long-term interest." Despite what Willems said, it now is in the long-term interest of the United States to walk away from trade deals with the People's Republic of China. Why? Four reasons: First, communist China has never accepted the notion of comparative advantage, which underpins the global trading system. Yes, the mercantilist Chinese believe we should buy their products, but they, the masters of non-tariff barriers and other forms of predation, have worked hard to keep foreign goods out of their market. How can America trade with a state that does not believe in the benefits of trade? Second, Communist China has in fact never honored a trade deal with the US. Beijing, over the course of decades, has systemically violated both its World Trade Organization obligations and its obligations to America in various bilateral agreements. Third, China's economic system is incompatible with America's. Xi Jinping, the Chinese ruler, has in recent years been forcibly marching the country backwards, the "great regression" as it is now called. He has, with ruthless determination, been closing off the Chinese market to foreigners with, among other things, highly discriminatory rule enforcement and the enactment of prejudicial laws and regulations. He has at the same time been recombining already large state enterprises back into formal monopolies, reversing the partial privatization of earlier years by increasing state ownership of state enterprises, having the state take control of private companies, shoveling more state subsidies to favored state market participants, and pursuing development through dubious industrial policies such as his infamous Made in China 2025 initiative to dominate 11 crucial technology sectors. Fourth, it is especially difficult to trade with a thief, especially when the thief views commercial contact as an opportunity to steal more. Xi's China has continued to criminally take U.S. intellectual property to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars a year. This crime is essential to the achievement of the extraordinarily ambitious Made in China 2025 initiative... 
North Korea Sees Little Reason 
To Rein In Missile Program
By John Grady
{ } ~ Since the regime in Pyongyang doesn’t see any reason to rein in its nuclear weapons program or to put the brakes on its ballistic missile technology efforts... North Korea possibly poses “the most pressing national security issue we face,” a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Thursday. “Tearing up the Iranian nuclear agreement sends a signal” to North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un that the United States might not live up to its part of any future arrangement with Pyongyang, Sen. Chris Coons, (D-Del.) said while speaking at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. He said Kim and others in North Korea’s leadership are well aware of “the Libya model,” where Muammar Gaddafi, former leader of the nation, voluntarily ended his nuclear weapons program. A few years later was killed in a coup that toppled his regime and sent his country into years of civil war. “Why would he choose to give up nuclear weapons” and risk his regime’s existence, Coons asked rhetorically. Apparently, nothing is holding Kim back from resuming nuclear testing now. In the same way, North Korea continued ballistic missile testing following the two summit meetings with the United States, Coons said. Adding to the tension is the most recent test, of a sea-based missile raising the threat of quick, surprise attack to South Korea and Japan to a higher level Ukraine’s post-nuclear experience, Coons said, provides Kim with another example of the dangers he could face if he turned over his nuclear stockpile for disposal. Kyiv turned over nuclear weapons the Soviet Union left behind after its collapse. “Now it is a smaller nation and under assault by Russia,” Coons said...
Turkey's Web of Islamist and Terror Support 
Only Magnifies India's Kashmir Challenge
by Abha Shankar
{ } ~ India joined world leaders earlier this month in slamming Turkey's military attack into northern Syria. "We are deeply concerned at the unilateral military offensive by Turkey in north-east Syria," said an Oct. 10 Ministry of External Affairs press release... "Turkey's action can undermine stability in the region and the fight against terrorism." Turkey launched a major  military offensive Oct. 9 against Syrian Kurdish fighters considered by Ankara to be terrorists soon after President Trump announced the withdrawal of American troops from the region. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to a ceasefire Thursday following a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence in Ankara that is contingent on a Kurdish withdrawal from a 20-mile swath of land near Turkey's border. But despite the ceasefire, news reports said that air and artillery attacks from the Turkish side continued to target fighters and civilian areas. India's unusual criticism of Turkey on a global forum is a tit-for-tat response to Ankara's denunciation last month of India's move ending autonomy for the Himalayan Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir, widely known as Kashmir. The Kashmiri people are "besieged and eight million people are still stuck in Kashmir, they cannot get out," Erdogan said during a speech at the United Nations. "It is imperative to solve this problem through dialogue and the basis of justice and equality instead of conflict." Erdogan did not limit his condemnation to India. He also called Israel the cause of "injustice" in the Middle East and vowed Turkey "will continue to stand by the oppressed people of Palestine as she has always done." But Erdogan is in no position to cast a stone. Under the leadership of his Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP), Turkey has become notorious for its support of the international Muslim Brotherhood headquartered in Egypt, and Hamas, the Brotherhood's terrorist offshoot in the Palestinian territories... 
dinky/liar-Warren Threatens Israel
 ‘Everything Is On the Table’
by Adam Kredo 
{ } ~ Senator Elizabeth dinky/liar-Warren (D., Mass.) took a hard line on Israel Saturday saying "everything is on the table" in imposing a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict... "It is the official policy of the United States of America to support a two-state solution, and if Israel is moving in the opposite direction, then everything is on the table," dinky/liar-Warren said during a press availability with reporters Saturday. In a formulation more commonly deployed by previous presidents in threatening the use of force against America’s enemies, dinky/liar-Warren repeated the phrase but did not clarify precisely what pressure—military or otherwise—might be brought to bear. "Right now, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he is going to take Israel in a direction of increasing settlements, but that does not move us in the direction of a two-state solution," dinky/liar-Warren was quoted  as saying. dinky/liar-Warren's remarks come as the left wing of the Democratic Party has increasingly embraced boycotts of the Jewish state. Her remarks are likely to raise eyebrows in the Jewish and pro-Israel communities, which, while largely Democratic, continue to favor the U.S. alliance with the region's only democracy. U.S. support for Israel has historically been a bipartisan issue. The aid the United States sends to Israel is largely used to bolster the country's defense systems and is reciprocal in nature, meaning the technology developed is shared with and often employed by America...  America she is not presidential material. 
U.S. Sanctions Spur Dramatic 
Decline of European Imports from Iran
by Saeed Ghasseminejad
{ } ~ In the first six months of 2019, the value of European Union imports from Iran decreased by 94 percent in comparison with the same period in 2018, according to Eurostat... The oil trade has suffered the most: In 2019, EU countries have not imported any oil from Iran. These figures indicate that European companies are complying with U.S. sanctions despite efforts by European governments to establish an  alternate payment system aimed at circumventing them. In the first half of 2018, EU countries imported 6.1 billion euros in goods from Iran, but in 2019, the number plummeted to 384 million euros. Purchases by the EU’s top five importer countries in the first half of 2018 – Italy, Spain, France, Greece, and the Netherlands – all fell sharply. Italy and Spain reduced their imports from Iran by 95 and 97 percent, respectively. Still, they remained in the top five importers for the first half of  2019, joined by Germany, Belgium, and Romania. A few countries – Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania, and Denmark – increased their imports in the first half of 2019, but the extent of their trade with Iran is negligible. The countries which imported the most were Romania and Bulgaria, which imported only 22 million and 19 million euros worth of goods, respectively. Meanwhile, the EU’s data for the first half of 2019 show a 54 percent decrease in exports to Iran compared to 2018’s first half, from 4.6 billion euros to 2.1 billion euros. The staggering decline of trade is primarily the result of U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, the lifeblood of the country’s economy. In 2018, EU countries imported 8.2 billion euros of crude oil from Iran, constituting 88 percent of the EU’s total imports from Iran that year...
Talking Turkey With Trump
National Security Desk:  “President [Donald] Trump declared Thursday ‘a great day for civilization’ as Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced terms of a cease-fire agreement that would end violence between Turkey and Kurds in Syria, following a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara,” reports Fox News.

But, the Associated Press reports, “Fighting continued Friday in and around a northeast Syrian border town at the center of the fight between Turkey and Kurdish forces, despite a U.S.-brokered cease-fire that went into effect overnight.” Yet the ceasefire lasts for all of five days — long enough for the Kurds to evacuate “or else” — and there was only fighting because Trump allowed it in the first place.

Sen. rino-Mitt Romney (R-NeverTrump) declared Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds “a bloodstain on the annals of American history.” He accused Trump of caving to Turkey. “Are we so weak and inept diplomatically that Turkey forced the hand of the United States of America? Turkey!?”

Given how this has all played out so far, the on-its-face analysis is that Trump botched this one badly, just as rino-Romney and countless others have said. But is that all there is to it?

There are a lot more U.S. troops moving around the Middle East than the relative handful Trump pulled from northeastern Syria. In fact, at the same time we were withdrawing those advisers, the Pentagon was moving 3,000 more American troops to Saudi Arabia. And we’ve increased our overall military presence in the Middle East by 14,000 troops since May.

So what’s going on? Well, Iran is the elephant in the room these days. With Trump’s withdrawal from Barack scumbag/liar-nObama’s foolish nuke deal followed by increased sanctions, Tehran is behaving as a cornered and wounded animal.

Why did Trump downplay the Saudis’ cold-blooded murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi? Because Saudi Arabia is a key piece on the Middle East chess board.

Why did Trump seemingly give a tyrant like Erdogan everything he wanted? Because Turkey is a (shaky) NATO ally and is currently home to dozens of American nuclear weapons, as well as U.S. military personnel at a couple of air bases. Trump has to prevent Ankara from going to Iran or Russia for any more help and alliance than it already is.

Why did Trump abandon the Kurds? Because brutal Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has clearly won that nation’s civil war, and the more he solidifies power — including now allying with the Kurds who were just a few years ago trying to oust him — “the less he’s going to need Russian or Iranian support,” argues Stephen Walt, a Harvard scholar.

In short, it’s not exactly like the Middle East has ever  been a peaceful or America-friendly region. Trump’s tactics — and especially his appalling rhetoric — are as far from the status quo as you can get. Plenty of knowledgable and upright people disagree with his moves, but that doesn’t mean they’re impetuous or indefensible moves. At the same time, whatever Trump’s future chess moves are, we’re left to hope that they play out in a way that is beneficial to the U.S. And that’s not very clear at the moment.   ~The Patriot Post  

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of Tea Party Command Center to add comments!

Join Tea Party Command Center