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28 January 2017


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Regarding the "anti-Muslim" bit one could argue there is certain continuity to what His Excellency Obama oversaw during his tenure:


"New US visa rules could also cause problems for Americans visiting Europe

Alan Yuhas in New York

Thursday 21 January 2016 18.00 GMT

Controversial anti-terror measure bars dual nationals of Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan from visa waiver program and European countries may take reciprocal steps

The Obama administration has tightened travel terms regarding Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan, under rules that will also make travel to the US harder for some Europeans.
The rules, which took effect on Thursday, create new visa requirements for dual nationals and anyone who has traveled to those countries in the last five years. Many Europeans enjoy visa-free travel to the US. Should they have dual citizenship or have traveled to Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan, they will require new permits.

The new rules, phased in under an anti-terrorism law passed in December, are designed to prevent people radicalized abroad from entering the US.

Iranian Americans have protested against the law, noting that it may require many of them to obtain visas because of Iran’s rules on citizenship and reciprocity provisions in the law.

Citizens of 38 countries, including the UK and France, can visit the US for up to 90 days without a visa – unless they are relevant dual nationals. The Department of Homeland Security said it will offer exemptions to the visa rule on a case-by-case basis, and listed potential exceptions for journalists, humanitarian workers, government officials and “legitimate business-related purposes”.

People who have listed dual nationality with one of the four countries will have their permits revoked, the DHS said. Some people have already been barred from entering the US. [...]"

Similar can be argued for border fences along the US-Mexican border. So yes, plenty of "cognitive dissonance" to be had once one looks past the meme that Mr Trump alone came up with those types of policy.


So Iran will buy russians planes.
Too much fun to come !


Driving on 405 north ( US' busiest freeway ) I just noticed/spotted a white BMW X5 SUV with Qatar licence plate. So comforting for our security

FB Ali

"Why Iran, but not Saudi Arabia?"

Anyone seeking a comprehensive answer to that, and associated, questions cannot do better than read (Col/Dr/Prof) Andrew Becevich's new book, America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History (published in 2016).

An introduction to the book was given by the author in a talk later that year, which (though about an hour long with the must-not-miss Q & A) is very worthwhile. It's at: http://tinyurl.com/z8epnq5

In my view, Andrew Bacevich is the top military historian and analyst in the US today.


With at least six senior appointees from Goldman Sachs, the chance of Trump taking on Big Finance is very small.


Yes indeed that's my argument as well, not only US can't and will not accept an foreign policy independent Iran, but also the old europe excepting Italy is having hard time seeing an independent Iran, i don't see that genie can be put or will go back in bottle. IMO JOCPA was a simple deal, Iran promised not to make a nuke but to continue it's research, in return, US promise to leave Iran's trade partners alone. I don't think US can get any other commitments from Iran in the region.


Yuge risk for Trump if someone with a KSA or Pakistan connection pulls something like Orlando or San Bernardino on his watch. He would have to own it.


This is a brilliant move. With one stroke of the pen the President has managed to get all the MSM to acknowledge Saudi Arabia was the birthplace of most of the 9/11 terrorists. They'll be repeating the rest of what TTG pointed out in a matter of days, if not hours.


Yeah because Obama or Bush before him followed the legal requirements of that plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty and allowed such individuals into the country to begin with we'll just have to impeach Trump after a terrorist attack.

The Twisted Genius


Not only did the majority of the 9/11 attackers come from Saudi Arabia, but the Orlando and San Bernardino shooters traveled to Saudi Arabia before their shooting sprees. Only a self-serving, narcissistic jackass could fail to make the connection.



So Trump's no longer Hitler but Czar Nicholas II? I wonder what historical figure he'll be next week.


"The Borg found it convenient to cozy up to the Saudis to further its goals, but why does Trump continue that coziness?"

Oh, there's all kinds of coziness going on now . . . "The New Arab–Israeli Alliance"

"The effect of all this is something no one would have predicted a couple of decades ago and only the most astute predicted even a couple of years ago—the Sunni Arab world, unofficially led by Saudi Arabia, is quietly forging a de facto alliance with Israel against Iran."


Erich Newhill

Fred, yes. Exactly. Then Trump will ask, "What do you think [People}? Should I add Saudis?" The answer will be a resounding "Yes!" - and so it shall be done. Inshallah.

People keep under-estimating Trump, to their detriment.

The Twisted Genius

Fred and Erich,

You could be right. Like I said, it's still early. However, I don't understand the foot dragging if that's the plan. If he named Saudi Arabia yesterday, that would be the center of the coverage today rather than on immigrant hardship stories.

Gordon Wilson

Heckuva job Brownie

Counseling Trump in the effort will be Stephen K. Bannon, the White House chief strategist whose influence inside the administration is expanding far beyond politics. In a separate presidential memo, Trump reorganized the National Security Council to, along with other changes, give Bannon a regular seat on the principals committee — the meetings of the most senior national security officials, including the secretaries of defense and state.

That memo also states that the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs will sit on the principals committee only when the issues to be discussed pertain to their “responsibilities and expertise.”

What could possibly go wrong?

Babak Makkinejad

In an ironic way, the Western Fortress operates along analogous lines as the former defunct Communist Block. Orders came out of Moscow with whom Romania, as an example, could trade.

A few weeks ago, Romanian was finally permitted to resume her decades-long commercial relationship with Iran.

My guess would be that approval came from Washington DC via Brussels.

Or how orders came from Moscow that henceforth there would be a wall between Aran, Nakhchevan, Armenia and Georgia on one side and Iran and Turkey on the other side.

That went on for 70 years until the collapse of USSR.

The same pattern was re-asserted during the Economic War against Iran by the Western Fortress.

What difference does it make if Moscow tells you who your friends are or Washington does?

Babak Makkinejad

Iran does not have the money to buy airplane outright. There is complex financing deal in which Iran, in effect, would be renting those airplanes.

The intermediary will suffer as well.

Babak Makkinejad

Trump and indeed the Western Fortress will no right off their vested interests in the Gulfies.

Trump has clearly indicated that he sees no upside to denigrating the Gulfies. And I agree that there is no margin for him there; after all, so many in US benefit from their relationship with Gulfies; it pays for private schools for the kids, the House in the Hamptons, the Met season tickets, the Mercedes Benz, the Call Girls, etc.

Erich Newhill

TTG, As you know, Saudis have to be handled more carefully. A lot of Saudi money floating around DC and elsewhere. Trump has to work public opinion in this case.

And it *is* complicated. Even my humble neighbor/buddy and I have done business more than once with Saudis re; Thoroughbred racing business/Saratoga; which I mention only to demonstrate how prevalent they are. They are awash in money. They're in a lot of businesses. Agreed that is early and maybe Trump is cucking out on this one. Maybe. We'll have to wait and see.

BTW, I agree with you re; the Iraqi interpreter, That sucks.

robt willmann

The "executive order" of 27 January, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, has been hiding out somewhere, and has not appeared with the other executive orders on the White House website, nor have I found it at the Internet site of the Department of Homeland (Internal) Security. The Los Angeles Times newspaper claims to have it, and maybe the White House gave it to the press--


It has caused finger-pointing at some airports in the U.S. after people with valid visas and green cards (legal permanent resident cards) have been blocked from entering, and has created confusion at airports in foreign countries.

Section 3(c) of the executive order blocks people, but you have to look at Title 8, U.S. Code, section 1187(a)(12) to find out, and also look where that part points to--


Section 3(c) of the order also uses the words alien, immigrant, and nonimmigrant. However, they each have a specific meaning in the immigration statute, and that section 3(c) might be a little fast and loose with those words.

Section 5 of the executive order suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.

The executive order as a whole basically dumps it all on retired Gen. John Kelly of DHS, and on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has not yet been confirmed by the senate.

Today, 28 January, brings more activity. A presidential "memorandum" -- as opposed to an executive order -- presents a Plan to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which is actually a plan asking for a preliminary draft of a plan to be done in 30 days--


Meanwhile, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump's National Security Advisor, has not been idle. Also presented today is another presidential memorandum, entitled, "Organization of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council"--


I am not familiar with the organizational charts and duties of those "councils", but the memo might cause a bureaucratic food fight.

(The website links to the White House press information pages may first display the "splash screen" of the whole website, and you might have to send it a second time, or get past the splash screen and go to the "briefing room" for "presidential actions".)

What is the difference between an executive order and a presidential memorandum, to the extent either one or both are even authorized? That would be a fun exercise for another time.


I don't think any Boeing planes will be delivered anytime soon. I am sure Iranian policy makers know this as well, Iran game with US is to show that US can't be trusted, and will keep it's promise and will not honor it's contracts. Iran believes this untrustworthiness will eventually divide the old europe , there are some evidence to that.

Babak Makkinejad

Freedom as understood * practiced West of the Diocletian Line is incompatible with Islam, in my opinion.

For example, the Call of Mua'azzan, calling the Faithful to God, is privileged speech of God which has no counter part anywhere in the world and abridges Freedom of Expression.

The same problematic afflicts Judaism - there is no Freedom there either.

In my view, it will take decades (likely centuries) of intellectual labor to develop theories of Freedom within an Islamic or Judaic milieu that, in some respects, could vaguely approximate that which obtains West of the Diocletian Line.

Such future theories, however, can never be reconciled to the Salafi, Hanbali, Deobandi and assorted others of that kind. It is an impossibility, in my opinion.

Babak Makkinejad

Nah, Europe will cling to US - they are nothing without US.

They cannot even comprehend the World without the secret or publicly available US analytical output; how could they even formulate independent policy?


The new administration may just be copying a list made by the old one.


"According to the draft copy of Trump's executive order, the countries whose citizens are barred entirely from entering the United States is based on a bill that Obama signed into law in December 2015."


But won't "righting this wrong" bring on the civil war that is so often spoke of here? Isn't this what Trump voters want?

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