(Part 2) (I enjoyed seeing Paul cite an FDL article!)

The U.S. needs to withdraw militarily from the Middle East. I’ve made this argument over the course of several years. I think that the projection of American power comes at great environmental and human cost. I think we prop up regimes that are bad for the region, including the Saudis, the Bahrainis, now the Egyptian military, and others. I think this antagonistic relationship with Iran has been counterproductive on so many levels, from the perspective of the energy, but also from human rights and from suffering in the region, almost constant war.

-Toby C. Jones, associate professor of history at Rutgers University and author of Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia

I couldn’t agree more with Toby…!

Now, it’s always refreshing to see a MSM outlet shine some sort of light on our perfidy…

New analysis of rocket used in Syria chemical attack undercuts U.S. claims

A team of security and arms experts, meeting this week in Washington to discuss the matter, has concluded that the range of the rocket that delivered sarin in the largest attack that night was too short for the device to have been fired from the Syrian government positions where the Obama administration insists they originated.

However, b @ MOA takes McClatchy to task…

Missile Experts: White House Made False Claims Over Syrian WMD Use

…The short version of this whole story is this: The scientific facts are clear and the White House version of the WMD story is definitely false. These facts are not new but where known when the White House claims were made. Obama (and Kerry) deliberately lied about the WMD attack in Syria to wage an open war against the Syrian government and people. Threatened with a possible conflict with the Russian fleet and a possible impeachment Obama caved in. But he has not yet given up on his aim of regime change and of destroying Syria and its people.

It is time for Congress to investigate who prepared, on who’s order, the false claims about chemical weapon use in Syria and to draw consequences.

Speaking of the White House… White House releases summary of six-month Iran nuclear plan

I must say, despite the obvious Neocon Bias, I concur…

Obama has ‘No Sense’ of Military Strategy

A top British defense adviser has called President Barack Obama “chronically incapable” of implementing a successful military strategy in Syria and Afghanistan, and has “no sense of what he wants to do in the world.”

Sir Hew Strachan, a member of the United Kingdom’s Chief of the Defense Staff’s Strategic Advisory Panel, told The Daily Beast Wednesday that Obama’s handling of the Syrian crisis was “crazy” and, as the publication put it, perhaps “the most egregious example of a fundamental collapse in military planning that began in the aftermath of 9/11.”

“If anything it’s gone backwards instead of forwards. Obama seems to be almost chronically incapable of doing this,” Strachan said. “[Former President George W.] Bush may have had totally fanciful political objectives in terms of trying to fight a global War on Terror, which was inherently astrategic, but at least he had a clear sense of what he wanted to do in the world.

Obama has no sense of what he wants to do in the world,” he added.

*ouch*

Here’s another great look-see at our misbegotten FP…

To be sure, Kerry is truly tone-deaf… Geneva-2 to establish Syria’s transitional governing body: Kerry

Moving along to Egypt’s recent referendum…

Turnout in Egypt’s 2014 referendum 11.3%, says NGO

The Arab Observatory for Rights and Freedoms published its report on the turnout in Egypt’s 2014 constitutional referendum based on attendance sheets in polling stations and the documentation by local and international observers. The turnout reached an average of 11.3% in all governorates. In 2012, the turnout was approximately 32.9%.

Doesn’t sound like a pluralistic turn out to me…! Needless to say…

Unfreezing US aid to Egypt will be a positive step: Army spokesman

Military spokesman Ahmed Ali expressed his content with a soon to be implemented decision by the United to States to resume economic aid to Egypt.

In a phone interview with private-owned TV channel Al-Hayez, Ali said that “unfreezing the aid is a positive step.”

“It reflects more understanding as to what’s happening in Egypt and also a respect to the army’s role in protecting the will of the people,” he said.

He added that the relationship between the Egyptian and American army is a historic one that will not “fade away because of a dispute.”

According to media reports, the US Congress’ new spending bill would restore more than $1.5 billion in military and economic aid to Egypt, which had been largely cut off amid concerns over Egypt’s democratic transition and mounting violence following the ouster of Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi.

The new bill is expected to pass on Friday.

The decision comes as Egypt wraps up the second and final day of voting on a newly-amended constitution on Wednesday.

The new constitution, if approved, will replace the Islamist-drafted 2012 charter.

According to the post-June 30 political roadmap, a successful referendum will be followed by parliamentary and presidential elections within the next six months.

As Xinhua reported…

News Analysis: Referendum results steer Egypt’s future roadmap

The initial results of the referendum on Egypt’s new constitution showed that over 90 percent of voters said “yes” for the military-backed charter that is meant to replace the one drafted and approved in late 2012 under ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood group.

The overwhelming approval of the new constitution may urge the country’s army chief and Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to run for president as “a popular demand,” said political experts.

Since Morsi’s removal, Islamists have been holding anti- government protests, denouncing Morsi’s ouster as “a military coup ” and the constitutional referendum as “illegitimate.”

“The sweeping ‘yes’ vote would surely be a greater motive for General Sisi to run for president,” said Mohamed Kamal, a political science professor at Cairo University.

The professor told Xinhua that Sisi might have been reluctant or uncertain about the amount of popular support for the post- Morsi future roadmap, “but now the picture has become clear.”

“It is not only about the people’s approval of the articles of the new constitution but it also reflects their support for Sisi and the military-outlined future roadmap,” he explained.

Let’s be sure here, the Neo/Ziocons want a dictatorship…Legitimizing an Undemocratic Process in Egypt

Btw, Bibi haz a sad…

Israel PM slams EU ‘hypocrisy’ on settlements

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the European Union Thursday for calling in ambassadors over plans for some 1,800 new homes for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank.

Netanyahu’s angry remarks come hot on the heels of a public spat between his defence minister and US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is energetically pushing Israel and the Palestinians toward a framework for a peace agreement.

“This is hypocritical. The EU calls our ambassadors in because of the construction of a few houses? When did the EU call in the Palestinian ambassadors about incitement that calls for Israel’s destruction?” Netanyahu asked foreign correspondents at his annual new year reception.

“It’s time to stop this hypocrisy,” he said. “This imbalance… doesn’t advance peace, I think it pushes peace further away.”

Here’s what has Bibi, and our Neo/Ziocons, all in a snit…

EU poised to suspend some sanctions on Iran

…Wendy Sherman, U.S. undersecretary of state, briefed members of Congress on Thursday and the administration provided them with a document outlining the technical aspects of implementing the first step of the deal.

“Our view remains that it is not the right time and it is not useful and it could be very destructive to the process to put legislation in place,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Several Republicans were unfazed by the administration’s repeated argument against new sanctions while the first step is implemented and a final deal is negotiated during the next six months.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said he was more disturbed than ever after the briefing.

“The end game being contemplated is not even in the ballpark of what I would consider an end game.” Graham said. “The highly enriched uranium … it can be left in Iran.”

Graham said he worries that the sanctions that have been put in place against Iran are falling apart.

“The number of countries sending delegations to Iran to inquire about business opportunities is growing by the day,” Graham said. “Clearly, the sanctions are beginning to fall apart.”

Oh my, we can’t have that now…!

Meanwhile, the Palestinians have rejected Kerry’s ‘Framework’ even…

Palestinian Authority official criticizes peace talks under Kerry

A senior Palestinian Authority official said Thursday that U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry has slowed peace talks by emphasizing Israeli concerns and security issues in the Jordan Valley of the West Bank.

The United States and Israel seem determined to discuss Israel as a Jewish state and security arrangements before anything else, Nabil Shaath, a senior member of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, told journalists at his Ramallah office.

Shaath, an aide to Abbas who is not a peace talks negotiator, said negotiations should deal with borders.

“When we agree on borders, we will discuss security arrangements on these borders,” he said, adding that Israel and the U.S. seem to have bought into an approach of “Let’s discuss security arrangements first, then we will discuss borders.”

Shaath said that if “the narrative” continued there was no chance for a peace agreement any time soon.

“No Palestinian leader in his right mind would accept any of this,” he said.

Bibi even doubled down… Netanyahu on Palestinian ‘right of return’: There is no room for maneuver

In wrapping up, here’s some seriously jacked-up, Judeo-Xianist Hasbara, on steriods…

Terra, Terra, Terra…! *gah*