August 17, 2012 · 8:30 am
TALKING OUT OF BOTH SIDES OF OUR MOUTH
U.S. CONCERNS AND THE MIDDLE EAST
WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
Pictures of the Syrian Army’s air fleet always feature Russian Mi-25 Hinds. Russia has been supplying helicopters to Syria for years and continues to do so. Back in June, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed concern to the Russians that they were shipping gun ships to the Assad regime in Syria.
Did her complain stop them? No.
Herein is a strange little story and a big contradiction.
The United States continues to develop and maintain lucrative contracts with Rosoboronexport, a Russian arms firm that has the main role in supplying the Assad government with the arms to repress the rebels fighting the central government. What make this story particularly interesting is that Rosoboronexport is not a private business. Far from it, the company is a state corporation. Since 2007, the organization has been the single state intermediary agency for arms shipments. The records of arms shipments made it clear that the port of Oktyabrsk in Southern Ukraine has been sending ship loads of armaments straight to Syria.
Get ready for an amazing and straight little twist in this tale. The US government is currently committed to a $375 million deal with Rosoboronexport for the purchase of 21 Mi-17 helicopters to be used by the Afghan Air Force. The latest transactions with the Russian company were made on November 3, 2011.
This particular contract didn’t go unnoticed. A letter from both Republican and democrat senators to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta demanded a cancellation of the contracts. Pentagon Under-Secretary James Miller rejected the senator’s letter, saying the helicopter acquisition was critical for the Afghan’s security.
Doing business with the country propping up Syria is critical? With millions of Americans out of work, we can’t built a comparable helicopter in America? Even if it is easier to train pilots on a Russian system, can this investment of American dollars be justified in today’s economy while we scream about Syrian atrocities created by this exact helicopter? Something’s definitely wrong with this picture.
By the way Rosoboronexport still sells weapons to Iran.
Back in 1982, Jack Lemon and Sissy Spacek made a movie entitled Missing, based on a true story. A conservative business man goes to South America looking for his missing son, a left-wing journalist. The America ambassador expresses concern but the country has been in a revolution and no one is sure about what is happening. The punch line is that the CIA pulled off the revolution and killed Lemon’s movie son. The boy had been in a morgue while the American government lied to Lemon. Costa-Gravas (the director) left the audience wrung out as they realize the duplicity of the American system.
Are we getting the flim-flam treatment from government leaders? Afraid so. And we wonder why Israel doesn’t trust America’s dealings with Iran? Straight talk doesn’t often come for Washington because the conversation has traveled such a convoluted path under the table.
Why don’t we have more leverage with Russia? Might hurt business.
Question: This blog surprise you? What are you going to do about the problem?
Filed under Faith, History, middle east, Near Death Experiences, Peace, Prayer, Stories, World
Tagged as America, Arab, Christianity, death, Devotion, Faith, iran, Iraq, Islam, Isreal, Jerusalem, Jesus, Jews, Muslims, politics, suffering, Syria
March 5, 2012 · 6:50 am
UNDATE ON JORDAN
In a recent blog, I noted that King Abdullah had missed the target by 10 feet in some of his recent remarks he made about the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Jordanian miscalculations are not a new experience. The Soviet Union had urged King Hussein, Abdullah’s father, to join the attack on Israel during theYom Kippur War, promising him full military support. The result was that Jordan lost the West bank, their portion of Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount. A miscalculation indeed!
In his statements a few weeks back, Abdullah blamed Israel for the failure of peace talks without mentioning that the Palestinians had pulled out, gone to the United Nations, and sought independent recognition for statehood. Of course, the Palestinian ploy has gone nowhere.
I felt it might be helpful to note how the situation in Jordan appears to be developing subsequently. Once again, King Abdullah may have, at the least, a portion of his head in the sand. The larger issue is his personal concern for his government’s survival. With the Arab spring breaking out across the Middle East, Jordan is not exempted. In America, springtime seems to be coming a bit early this year. I’ve got a hunch that Abdullah may be concerned about unexpected tulips springing up in his own front yard.
A revolution in Jordan might roll in like a spring tornado.
The truth is that Palestinians are discriminated against in Jordan. King Hussein ran Yassar Arafat and his followers our of Jordan and into Lebanon because they became a threat to the country’s solidarity. In public statements Abdullah has called on Jordanians to end class divisions that “have marginalized Palestinians citizens of the Hashemite Kingdom.” Unfortunately, the public statements don’t fit his private practice. Two former senior Jordanian officials have said Abdullah’s actual policy has been to sustain discrimination. One of the Wikileaks expose’s was statements from former prime minister Tahir Masri as well as one of Abdullah’s former senior adviser’s, Adnan Abu Odeh. They confirmed Abdullah’s discrimination policy.
Even though Abdullah’s wife is from a Palestinian refugee family, his discriminatory policies extended to withdrawing passports from Palestinians. Human Rights Watch Middle East Director Sarah Lean Whitson commented, “Jordan is playing politics with the basic rights of thousands of its citizens.” Additional issues and problems currently exist in Jordan.
Today the Palestinians constitute a majority in Jordan. In spite of his public comments, King Abdullah has private worries. The Palestinian population could turn on him and knock his government into the stream flowing through the Arab spring. The truth is that Jordan’s Palestinians are fed up with him. Ant-Israeli rhetoric won’t heal the discontents of dispossessed people. He gets no exemptions from his problems by attacking Israel. King Abdullah has best keep his eyes on his backyard and make sure the gate stays locked. I bet he keep his personal body guards on high alert.
Stand by! The news from Ammon could heat up this spring!
Do you believe Jordan could experience an Arab upraising against the King and the Hashemite Kingdom like Egypt and other Arab countries have experienced? Would King Abdullah survive?
Filed under Faith, Forgivness, History, Stories
Tagged as America, Arab, Christianity, iran, Iraq, Islam, Isreal, Jerusalem, Jesus, Jews, Jordan, King Abdullah, middle east, Muslim, suffering, Syria
January 23, 2012 · 8:02 am
UPDATE! UPDATE! BARBIE GETS THE BOOT IN IRAN!
Citizens alert! Barbie’s passport has been cancelled in Tehran!
You think I’m kidding? The police have closed dozens of toy shops for selling the Barbie doll in Iranian stories. In a society where woman must wear head carves and men and women can’t swim together, Barbie’s swim suit and miniskirt collection have done her in. Branded a “Trojan Horse” by a government agency, Barbie is now considered a spy, smuggling in Western harmful trends like makeup or what they consider to be revealing clothes. Importing other Western toys has also been discouraged. Can you dig that?
Could this be the beginning of the fulfillment of John 24:7, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of sufferings.”?
Well, does it strike you that the Islamists and Mullahs might be a tad over the top in Iran? Maybe, it isn’t quite time to take out earthquake insurance. Pushing that little bit of nonsense to the back burner, there is a trickle of good news filtering out of Tehran. It appears in their confrontation with America the current regime has blinked first.
In contrast to the warning that a return of American warships to the Persian gulf would bring a dangerous response, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corp. now says it considers a return of American military ships to be a routine activity. Further, Iran is backing away from the threat to close the Strait of Hormuz. The oil-market squeeze and the shortage of American dollars (created by U.S. policy) has whacked the Iranian currency, knocking it to its lowest level ever against the dollar. The leaders of Iran (whoever they may really be) appear to be re-thinking their situation.
Barbie’s still in trouble, but a real crisis may have been averted.
While much of Iran’s political situation remains an enigma, it also remains difficult to discern who actually is in control of the country. Certainly, the mullahs sit at the top, but there’s tension up and down the political ladder. The Revolutionary Guard appears to have viewpoints that don’t always line up with Prime Minister Ahmadinejad. We also know the country was recently rocked by citizen’s political riots. There are good signs that there remains considerable unrest in the country inspite of politically bellicose statements to the media.
Here’s the point.
An intelligence expert on Iran believes “Iran is deterred now from crossing the Rubicon and developing nuclear weapons.” While there’s no way to discover if this is true, it’s certain a sign of hope.
It appears a better verse for today might be Jeremiah 31:17, “There is hope for your future, says the Lord.” Buck up, Barbie. Tomorrow may prove to be a better day.