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02 February 2017

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FourthAndLong

I think the Colonel has nailed it.

Most likely someone has a "theory of destabilization" and "fear of what I'll do next" at work.

FB Ali

Col Lang,

Thank you. That is reassuring. The world badly needs a US foreign policy that is based on the interests of the people of the country, rather than one controlled by various interests (the military-industrial complex, the neocon lobby, the Israeli lobby, the Displaced Iranians lobby, Saudi money, etc).

However, that still leaves open the question of where Steve Bannon stands now. This issue arises because of his undoubted power, and influence over the President. As you know, his past views are being thrown about quite a lot these days by the MSM and other anti-Trumpers. They don't seem to jive with the foreign policy views of Donald Trump. Has Bannon modified his positions? And, if not, how much influence is he likely to have on the President's policies?

Another issue that is up in the air (at least in my mind, even though largely of academic interest to me) is the domestic policy that Trump is likely to follow. He has talked a lot about looking after the interests of common folk, yet his policies (deregulation of Wall Street, repeal of Obamacare, etc) seem unlikely to achieve that aim.

Sam Peralta

Just to show that the recent brouhaha around the "muslim ban" is all politics and not morality or ethics or even principles - a look back at the stalwarts of PCness and the resettlement of Vietnamese refugees.

http://www.worldtribune.com/flashback-jerry-brown-biden-and-other-dems-refused-to-accept-vietnamese-refugees

Babak Makkinejad

The "Displaced Iranian Lobby", in my opinion, had nothing to do with Trump's Executive Order banning entrance to US from 7 Muslim countries.

Trump declared Shia Islam to be anathema to US - that is how it is perceived. In that, he is in good company - EU shares that view.

Furthermore, the Fly-Over-America hates Iran and Islam - these are his core constituency that are now saying: "He is showing them..."

Furthermore, Sunni Islam stands by Trump; Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia - to name a few - have not taken a stand against this ban.

Specifically about Iran; the core state of Muslim civilization:

Trump has taken a position that he is against the Iranian people - a position that not even Bush II took; Bush II actually stated that US is friend of the Iranian people.

That is one thing.

The other thing is that those Iranians who were well disposed to USA (and Europe) are now taunted by the officials as well as supporters of the Iranian government and establishment: "they (US) do not even want you in their country.", or "They want slaves."

Lastly, this will not soften up Iranians, far from it. It is already resulting in "I told you so." being heard all over the political landscape. It adds to the cohesion of Iran as well as the Shia Crescent.

It certainly puts the re-election of Rouhani in doubt.

Jack

All

This may be off topic but it relates to the Trump electoral phenomenon now taking place in the Dutch elections. A fascinating article on the backlash in Holland of muslim immigration and the inability or unwillingness of many of these immigrants to assimilate into Dutch society.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4189856/Rabble-rouser-nail-EU-s-coffin.html

Keith Harbaugh
[Trump's] naiveté about Israel.
Colonel, how on earth can Trump be naïve about Israel? Trump has spent his life living in New York, has business interests throughout the world, including some Arab countries of the Middle East. He obviously is a shrewd (but not necessarily moral) operator. I think the chances of Trump having "naiveté about Israel" are absolutely zero.

You have made similar comments about Trump being "naïve about Israel" before.
Again, I think the totality of evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that
there is zero chance Trump is "naïve about Israel".

turcopolier

KH
I do not accept your premise. There are many people in the US who whatever their exposure to Israel or in this case the moneyed Zionists clique in New York who manage quite well to maintain their illusions concerning Israel as a country devoted to peace and justice for all rather than an example of rampant ethnic nationalism in the world. As a successful former clandestine case officer and commander of case officers I assure you that the creation and maintenance of delusions as to character is an easy thing if you work at the task, and the people we are talking about are devoted to the task. pl

Keith Harbaugh

Fascinating.
I totally respect your experience and experiences,
but still find it hard to believe that,
with the broad experience and connections Trump undisputedly has,
that he could not be acutely aware of the case against Israel.

But this is just a matter of my opinion, nothing more.
Perhaps future evidence will clarify the matter.

turcopolier

KH

"the case against Israel." People believe what they want to believe and objective evidence has little do with the process. Trump may be able to cling to a comfortable view of Israel that does not disturb his world view and environment. as you say it will be interesting to learn f that is true. pl

Keith Harbaugh

As to whom Trump is turning to for advice, the following is informative:

Trump May Turn to Arab Allies for Help With Israeli-Palestinian Relations
By PETER BAKER and MARK LANDLER
New York Times, 2017-02-10

...

Jared Kushner, the senior White House adviser whom Mr. Trump has assigned a major role in negotiations,
has been intrigued by this logic [of Israeli prime minister Netanyahu],
according to people who have spoken with him.
Mr. Kushner has grown close to Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador
and a close confidant of Mr. Netanyahu’s.
Mr. Trump and Mr. Kushner also had dinner at the White House on Thursday night with Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate, who is a key supporter of Mr. Netanyahu.

...

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