Thursday, November 1, 2018

Meanwhile, in the Middle East, Diplomacy Moves Forward

If they were giving out awards for moral posturing Sen. Marco Rubio would be leading in the polls. He would be fast followed by other Congressional Republicans.
After all, the assumption that Saudi Arabia murdered journalist Jamal Khasoggi has sent them into paroxysms of self-righteousness. They want to punish the Saudis. They want to undo a longstanding and vital alliance with the kingdom. They want to stop all weapons sales to the kingdom. They take the word of a Turkish despot and are thinking that it might be better to side with Iran.
OK, not too many Congresspeople are talking about reconsidering our relationship with Iran. But, Secretary of Defense Mattis is… or hinted as much.
If one were to be more cynical than usual, one would suggest that the sound and fury about Saudi Arabia is being orchestrated by people who want America to go back into the Iran nuclear deal… and thus underwrite the ayatollahs instead of working to forge an alliance between Sunni Arab states and Israel. Because none dare call the Obama administration an appeaser of Neo-Nazis. We can’t have that.
In the meantime, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is not looking quite so invincible these days. Stories suggest that rivals are coming forth to replace him. And yet, on the other side, in the world of diplomatic alliances, things are looking very interesting indeed.
For instance, consider this tweet from White House advisor Jason Greenblatt:

FollowFollow @jdgreenblatt45


In the last few days we have seen our regional partners #Oman, #Bahrain, and the #UAE make statements and/or gestures signaling warmer ties with #Israel.  A more stable region leads to a stronger and more prosperous region.  It is good for all.

Naturally, the media is so consumed with tarring Donald Trump as an insensitive anti-Semite that it has missed this story.

Speaking of which, as a sidelight, in the realm of standing tall against anti-Semitism, we recall Barack Obama in February of 2015 commenting on an attack by Islamist terrorists on a Kosher deli in Paris:

It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.

If you think that that was a profile in courage you need to be examined.

In the meantime, Benny Avni reports in The New York Post about what’s been happening in the Middle East:

If Oman is an omen, then Arab nations of the Middle East are now on the verge of publicly accepting Israel as a legitimate neighbor — a phenomenal historic breakthrough by any measure.

Over the weekend, Oman’s sultan, Qaboos Bin Said, stunned the region by welcoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, to his palace in Muscat. He went even further and encouraged Israel to publicly report the visit. Omani TV beamed handshakes and smiles across the Arab world.

Such public theatrics fly in the face of decades of refusal by many Arab nations to even acknowledge Israel’s existence.

Netanyahu said the visit was in line with his policy of “deepening relations with the states of the region.”

Critics minimized the event’s significance: Tiny Oman, after all, is neither Sunni nor Shiite, and plays no significant role in regional power politics. But Israel’s minister of culture and sport, Miri Regev, visited another Gulf state just a few days later.

And Regev is a hardliner; at last summer’s Cannes film festival, she wore a long dress provocatively laced with an image of Israeli-controlled Jerusalem’s skyline. Yet this week she was photographed donning traditional Arab garb and signing the guest book at the world’s third-largest mosque in Abu Dhabi.

Dare we say that none of this would have happened with the explicit approval of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. After all, the United Arab Emirates are very closely allied with the Saudis.

And, while Marco Rubio et al. are militating for a cut off of arms sales to Saudi Arabia-- gesture which would greatly please Russia-- the kingdom has been buying advanced defense systems from Israel.

The Jerusalem Post reported:

Saudi Arabia and Israel held secret meetings which led to an estimated $250-million deal, including the transfer of Israeli espionage technologies to the kingdom, Israeli media reported on Sunday, citing an exclusive report by the United Arab Emirate news website Al-Khaleej.
Some of the spy systems, which are the most sophisticated systems Israel has ever sold to any Arab country, have already been transferred to Saudi Arabia and put into use after a Saudi technical team received training in operating them, the report added.
The exclusive report also revealed that the two countries exchanged strategic military information in the meetings, which were conducted in Washington and London through a European mediator.

And, Israel is also leading the charge against Saudi Arabia and America’s arch enemy Iran. The Times of Israel reported on a new computer virus that has attacked Iran’s computer infrastructure. And the Mossad just tipped Denmark off to a pending assassination attempt against an Iranian citizen on Danish soil.

Iranian infrastructure and strategic networks have come under attack in the last few days by a computer virus similar to Stuxnet but “more violent, more advanced and more sophisticated,” and Israeli officials are refusing to discuss what role, if any, they may have had in the operation, an Israeli TV report said Wednesday.

The report came hours after Israel said its Mossad intelligence agency had thwarted an Iranian murder plot in Denmark, and two days after Iran acknowledged that President Hassan Rouhani’s mobile phone had been bugged. It also follows a string of Israeli intelligence coups against Iran, including the extraction from Tehran in January by the Mossad of the contents of a vast archive documenting Iran’s nuclear weapons program, and the detailing by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the UN in September of other alleged Iranian nuclear and missile assets inside Iran, in Syria and in Lebanon.

Strangely enough, the level of outrage about Iranian assassination squads pales in comparison to the outrage expressed over the death of Jamal Khashoggi.

So, this information, generally ignored by the American media, gives us some perspective about what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Happy to be of service.


Dr. Irredeemable Dreg said...

Absent an Edward Said gull in the White House, it was all-but-inevitable that MENA would eventually succumb to reality. These are positive indications.

I'm wondering, though, if the transfer of "Zionist entity" espionage technology included the amazing robo-dolphins armed with killer arrows (as revealed by intrepid Gaza investigators) or the tiny, yet sophisticated European Bee-Eater birds fitted with exotic surveillance leg bands (as reported by the Turks). The lizard spies detected and reported by the Iranian military might be useful as well, as Iranian military experts claim that the reptiles attract "atomic waves". Say what you will about Islamists, but they are not easily fooled. Probably because, as explained by Dr Abdel-Baset al-Sayyed of Egypt, astronaut Neil Armstrong proved that gravity works differently in Mecca.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sam L. said...

Kashoggi: No body, no body parts in evidence. Have to make wild assumptions about him, which I won't. The media will do what it will.

Why does our Left love the "Palestinians" and hate the Israelis? I suppose it's because the Israelis ignore our Leftists, which they seem to hate as much or more as when TRUMP does something or says anything about them.

As we said in the AF, they are set and safety-wired to the pissed-off position.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.