Trump’s Jerusalem Gambit Recalls Harry Truman

By | 2017-06-02T18:30:05+00:00 December 10, 2017|
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When the United States recognized the Jewish state of Israel, it sent shockwaves throughout the international system. Donald Trump’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is as historic as Harry Truman’s move in 1948. In fact, the announcement last week is probably the most consequential foreign policy decision of the young Trump Administration.

Of course, there is significant opposition to the decision—not least because it was Trump who made it.

The United States effectively served as midwife to the modern state of Israel during the Truman Administration. President Truman’s decision to recognize Israel as an independent state was met with as much antipathy from American and Arab leaders 69 years ago as Trump’s decision to recognize the holy city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is meeting now.

Back in Truman’s time, Secretary of State George C. Marshall was so opposed to recognizing Israel that he threatened to vote for Truman’s Republican opponent in the upcoming election during a contentious cabinet meeting. Marshall was the man that Truman had called the “greatest living American” statesman.

Nevertheless, Truman held his own against the intractable Marshall.

The result Truman’s decision to recognize Israel was predictable—and predicted: Arab opinion turned against the United States. What few acknowledged at the time, however, was Arab opinion was already moving away from the West. Islamism was beginning to take root. Soviet Communism was expanding following the end of World War II. Nationalist movements were sprouting up across Africa and the Middle East in the vacuum that decolonization created.

Still, the idea that the Arab world abruptly and universally turned against the United States for the “crime” of recognizing Israel is an overstatement. From the early 1950s until 2003, a general balance of power in the Middle East favored the United States. America empowered secular Arab strongmen, Turkey, and Israel, which in turn maintained stability in the region and created a hedge against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. National and regional interests had a way of overcoming anti-Israeli prejudice.

Unbalanced Power
The case against recognizing Jerusalem as the proper capital of Israel is no different than the case against recognizing Israel itself. And the divisions appear similar, with the president making a decision against the advice of his top advisors. In this instance, National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster fills the Marshall role. McMaster follows a long line of Army strategists who favor a cold, textbook style view of balance-of-power politics. For McMaster, moving closer to Israel could undermine U.S. standing in the region even more than it has sunk since the devastating Iraq War. McMaster also fears that moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would encourage more Islamic extremism from jihadist groups such as al-Qaeda or the Islamic State, and empower Iran’s already-frightening bid for regional hegemony.

McMaster and other opponents of the president’s decision believe the United States should remain relatively neutral in the face of internal regional dynamics. America’s role should be to play Israel, the Sunni Arabs, and Iran against each other to create a stable balance-of-power. Generally, they’re right. But, they are wrong in understanding how to implement such a strategy.

President Obama believed distancing the United States from Israel, ignoring the rise of Islamist forces in the Arab Spring (even encouraging them, as he did in Egypt and Libya), and moving America closer to Iran could achieve a better sort of stability. On the contrary, Obama’s efforts further destabilized the region and pushed America farther away from everyone there.

The very idea that America could be somehow neutral in Mideast conflicts is bizarre. The moment the United States recognized Israel, it took sides. Our enemies have long memories: they are unlikely to forgive—much less forget—the fact that the United States is Israel’s chief patron in the region.

Risks and Rewards
President Trump is taking a different path from his predecessors. Instead of running away from Israel, he’s emulating Truman and moving America closer. In so doing, Trump is attempting to reinvigorate the old, American-led alliance with Israel and the Sunni Arab states.

What has the reaction been thus far? If anything, the Europeans are more incensed by the Trump Administration’s decision than any of the Arab powers appear to be. This merely confirms the suspicions of the Arab powers whereas it jolts Europeans who are used to doubletalk and hedging, apparently.

Iran, of course, is making diplomatic hay of this move—but that was to be expected. Russia, Iran’s primary benefactor, displayed its true colors when it opted to follow America’s lead and recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, rather than back Iran’s opposition to the decision.

As for the Arab powers, many of them are heartened by Trump’s move (even if they complain publicly about the decision—though, with the exception of Germany, their complaints have been relatively muted). The decision solidified American support for Israel and signaled to America’s Sunni Arab allies that the United States was neither abandoning them nor seeking to create a new balance-of-power that favored Iran (as Obama previously attempted). Whatever happens next, the United States is acting boldly to reassert the old alliance system that had previously kept nominal stability in the region until the quixotic Iraq War.

The bold gambit might end in failure, given how the region has changed since 2003. But the fact that the Trump Administration is all-in with Israel means we’re going to give this gambit everything we’ve got. If we lose, then nothing much has changed (since we’ve been losing the Middle East for 17 years).

If we win, though, the region would have a favorable balance that supports U.S. interests, and Israel—one America’s greatest allies—might enjoy a modicum of peace.

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About the Author:

Brandon J. Weichert
Brandon J. Weichert is a contributing editor to American Greatness. A former Republican congressional staffer and national security expert, he also runs "The Weichert Report" (www.theweichertreport.com), an online journal of geopolitics. He holds master's degree in statecraft and national security from the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. He is also an associate member of New College at Oxford University and holds a B.A. in political science from DePaul University. He is currently completing a book on national security space policy due out next year.
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187 Comments

  1. Altalena December 10, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    The Sunni need Israel on-side to prevent Shi’a Iran from becoming a regional hegemon. The idiots will blow off the usual bombs and Molotov cocktails (see Gothenburg, Sweden), but this is a gutsy and long-overdue move. Kudos to Trump, and props to Weichert for recounting the Truman story. He did indeed call Marshall “the Great One Of The Age”, but stood up to him on the Jewish state, as did Clark Clifford; Clifford and Marshall never spoke again afterwards.

    • D4x December 11, 2017 at 3:29 am

      Yes, but, Truman’s America did nothing to supply some weapons to the new State of Israel in 1948, even as a few Arabs invaded.
      EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini was more upset than Germany.
      And, Weichert missed Turkey’s Erdogan stepping into George Marshall’s shoes 🙂

      In the capacity of the Summit Chair of the [57-nation] Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
      and the President of the Republic of Turkey, I call upon the United States of America to withdraw from this step that will trigger the chaos in the region,
      and I call upon Israel to pursue policies that will contribute to peace and tranquility.
      Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN
      President of the Republic of Turkey
      http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/the-call-of-the-republic-of-turkey-the-summit-chair-of-the-organisation-of-islamic-cooperation-to-th

      [No, I do not read newspapers from Gambia. At the time I saw the news at liveuamap, that was the only hit, and not wasting time to find another source since it was only the text of his statement. Erdogan is now aligned with Iran, Nasrallah’s Hezbollah, and al-Qaeda – their GPS co-ordinates were in Yemen.]

      • Altalena December 11, 2017 at 6:11 am

        Truman had to deal not only with the “striped-pants boys” at Foggy Bottom, but with an openly anti-Semitic Secdef in Forrestal (who was on the verge of losing his mind). Bess Truman herself did not allow Jews into her house. Truman did plenty, IMO. As for Erdogan, he is a disease, and a continuing embarrassment to a country that was not so long ago dragged into the secularizing West by the late great Mustafa Kemal.

        And of course you do not read newspapers from Gambia.

        In fact, you read newspapers from THE Gambia. 😉

        • D4x December 11, 2017 at 11:08 am

          Took two hours sifting thru news at liveuamap. Scorcese could not edit this timeline montage:
          Sunday, 12 10 2017: 48°52′N 2°19′E Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris following the US decision on Jerusalem
          Paris, Île-de-France 48°52′N 2°19′E Israel’s Netanyahu says won’t take lectures from Turkey’s Erdogan. Netanyahu accuses Erdogan of helping ‘terrorists’ Israel’s Netanyahu says won’t take lectures from Turkey’s Erdogan. Paris, Île-de-France Paris, https://israelpalestine.liveuamap.com/en/2017/10-december-israels-netanyahu-says-wont-take-lectures-from
          12 10 2017: 30°2′N 31°14′E Sources say Palestinian President Abbas to arrive in Cairo tonight. The Trilateral meeting bringing together Sisi, King Abdullah and Abbas is taking place on Monday Cairo Governorate https://israelpalestine.liveuamap.com/en/2017/10-december-sources-say-palestinian-president-abbas-to-arrive

          Monday, 12 11 2017 10 AM EST: Nine hours ago: Putin in Ankara Turkey today for talks with Erdogan on Jerusalem, Syria, energy.
          Eight (8) hours ago – 59°26′N 24°45′E Estonian FM: Kurdistan Region is an important character in resolving all Iraq issues. Kesklinna, Harju maakond
          https://baltics.liveuamap.com/en/2017/11-december-estonian-fm-kurdistan-region-is-an-important
          Eight (8) hours ago – 48°52′N 2°19′E Israeli PM Netanyahu says Israeli intelligence has prevented dozens of attacks including in Europe Paris, Île-de-France
          Six (6) hours ago – 31°32′N 34°29′E Palestinian protests in West Bank and in the Gaza Strip have waned but US President Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital continues to draw condemnation Caracas, Venezuela News https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/47dcc36636d144cad9855941c1ec0546d470339aa9fa48a334fbe528874a129f.jpg

          Seven (7) hours ago: Putin in surprise visit to Russia’s airbase in Syria: TASS.
          Six (6) hours ago – 28°36′N 77°12′E Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj after Russia, India and China (RIC) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, in Delhi https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3fba7df527d5a78071d0b911a81f05d7693cf8d3b734628adb0e26ffc6cc1e2c.jpg https://russia.liveuamap.com/en/2017/11-december-russian-foreign-minister-sergey-lavrov-and-chinese
          Six (6) hours ago: OIR Spokesman: Iraqi Security Forces and Syrian Democratic Forces link-up at shared border yesterday [this is some photo: ISF, no Shi’a PMU militias; SDF wears desert camo w/ American flag; SDF = YPG Syria Kurds in SPD; YPG has deal with Russia, east of the Euphrates; ]
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dcb93b092e8e8e58c99ae6e5113a2c5d42f6f1e77c086a1a1203c8318d1f38c7.jpg
          Five (5) hours ago: Putin, on visit, orders Russian forces to start pulling out of Syria
          Four (4) hours ago: Putin and Assad at Hmeimim [Russia Flag] airbase Latakia Syria
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/864065f25a206f73bd5798ab80dd81bd7bae0468a452a52b2d0d76eae90f422c.jpg
          Two (2) hours ago: Russia’s Putin and Egypt’s Sisi discuss Middle East tensions in Cairo
          https://russia.liveuamap.com/en/2017/11-december-russias-putin-and-egypts-sisi-discuss-middle
          Two (2) hours ago – 30°2′N 31°14′E Sisi: I assured President Putin of the importance of maintaining the legal status of Jerusalem. Cairo Governorate
          Two (2) hours ago – 30°2′N 31°14′E Putin calls for Israeli-Palestinian talks to resume, including on Jerusalem. from Cairo
          Two (2) hours ago – 35°20′N 36°6′E Russian reconnaissance planes towards Idlib, Syria
          One (1) hour ago – 36°18′N 36°51′E [from Idlib] Turkish Artillery Shelling YPG [Kurd] Positions in Basufan and Beih Villages [in Afrin, Syria]

          Two (2) hours ago – 52°31′N 13°21′E German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemns the burning of Israeli flags and use of anti-Semitic slogans at pro-Palestine demonstrations in Berlin.”Not even [protests] over the status of Jerusalem, justify such actions,” she said, from Berlin
          Two (2) hours ago – 31°45′N 35°12′E Netanyahu says (from Jerusalem) he expects Europe to follow US on Jerusalem

          Two (2) hours ago – 33°50′N 35°29′E Big crowd starting to gather for Hezbollah protest in Dahiyeh against Trump’s Jerusalem decision. Chants of “We will not bow” and “death to America”. Jabal Lubnan https://israelpalestine.liveuamap.com/en/2017/11-december-big-crowd-starting-to-gather-for-hezbollah-protest
          Nasrallah: Hezbollah to focus on Jerusalem, best response to Trump would be third intifada. Jabal Lubnan https://israelpalestine.liveuamap.com/en/2017/11-december-nasrallah-hezbollah-to-focus-on-jerusalem-best

          That’s my news for today.
          Putin needs a Sauna, not a Turkish bath.
          Erdogan says the Kurds are terrorists, but not Hezbollah?
          Netanyahu in Paris two days after the Lebanon conference…
          Nice timing: Russia and China with India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj

          The Gambia Corrected. Yes, Truman did do plenty – McCullough’s bio Truman was McCullough’s best. Weichert needs the tutor in America and Israel since 1948, even though he did get the correct take-away. American Greatness is MIA on Trump’s foreign policy, when we need a platform that at least pays attention on a regular basis.
          Which is why I posted my Liveuamap stream here, instead of at Bridget’s post at PJM.

          Putin’s visit to Syria followed US announcement that we are in Syria indefinitely, and, he is now campaigning for re-election. Sunday, 12 10 2017, 5:00 PM (I think) 17 hours ago – 54°42′N 20°27′E Kaliningrad, Russia, impressive turnout at campain rally by opposition politician Alexey @Navalny: that’s a significant crowd Konigsberg, Kaliningradskaya oblast’#Russia https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c571e42e5a498a33519ccf2bc88c5fb123fad5d53c92d31df6bf06a745458e74.jpg
          https://russia.liveuamap.com/en/2017/10-december-kaliningrad-russia-impressive-turnout-at-campain

          No need for the NYT.

          • Altalena December 11, 2017 at 11:21 am

            Great stuff.

            Is tiny Estonia ahead of us on the Kurdistan question? It wouldn’t surprise me. Ahh, the Fenno-Ugrics… the booze is cheap in Estonia too, As for HST, my info came from the very biog, and a doozy it was indeed. Meanwhile, I would have assumed, given the history, that the anti-Putin turnout in Kalinigrad was largely non-ethnic-Russian… and I would have been wrong; despite the area’s history, it’s now almost 90% Russian. Remember: BLM… Baltic Lives Matter. 😉

          • D4x December 11, 2017 at 11:46 am

            Balticliveuamap also matters – lot of NATO activity – Croatia just deployed. SecTillerson was just at the NATO Ministerial – for all the foreign ministers, followed by same for OSCE in Vienna. State posts photos, and also photo albums for a multi-nation visit. Tillerson has much better chemistry with Finland FM (and everyone else, but Finland photo is where I expected them to start singing) than Turkey at the NATO meet; and very warm, close, with both Macron and FM LeDrian. Photos worth a thousand words. So are videos – one showing him seeing Lavrov for the first time for their bilateral showed old friends – and that video was more revealing than ‘just fine’ photo in the album:
            https://www.flickr.com/photos/statephotos/albums/72157667113694609
            Remember, the Kurds got screwed at 1919 Versailles, when the Baltics regained their independence. Better for Estonia to start the drumroll in Europe than the USA, and a message to Turkey. Especially because:11 28 – 12 01 2017 Tartu Estonia – 58°22′N 26°43′ETartu —NATO’s largest annual cyber exercise is underway. #CyberCoalition17 brings together 25 Allies and 3 partners to strengthen NATO’s cyber defense capabilities https://baltics.liveuamap.com/en/2017/30-november-tartu-natos-largest-annual-cyber-exercise-is
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e43ad8a5902691f8b4f84ef2a314d50a94062cc62dc6d3e7594374d068c1f008.jpg
            The USA can lead in quiet, not from behind, but we need proxies on diplomacy.. Who is going to disrespect Estonia in western media? It was the timing of Estonia on Kurds that caught my eye, while Putin is in Turkey, before Syria.

          • Altalena December 11, 2017 at 12:02 pm

            Ahh, Timo Soini. Up until a few days ago, my fave Euro-pol. But somewhat surprisingly, philo-Semitic Finland did not follow us on the Jerusalem embassy issue, and Soini (a Catholic in Finland, yet) issued a somewhat disappointing statement.

          • D4x December 12, 2017 at 12:58 am

            The newest twist in the bagel. It helped that I knew RIC was in Delhi today. May be something in the hands: https://twitter.com/MEAIndia/status/940162670522646528 All I did was google Jerusalem – the headline is not a schmear. What is NOT in the statement is a consistent change in 2017 versus 2016:

            http://www.deccanherald.com/content/647687/india-china-russia-refrain-seeking.html India, China and Russia refrain from seeking East Jerusalem as Palestine capital Anirban Bhaumik, DH News Service, New Delhi, Dec 12 2017, 12:38 IST […] External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj hosted her Russian and Chinese counterparts Sergey Lavrov and Wang Yi for the 15th annual meeting of the Russia-India-China (RIC) in New Delhi.

            The joint statement issued after the meeting called for “negotiations aimed at creating an independent, viable, territorially contiguous Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel within mutually agreed and internationally recognised borders”. It, however, did not have any reference to East Jerusalem.

            The last RIC joint statement issued after the 14th meeting of the foreign ministers of the three nations in Moscow in April 2016 had categorically called for East Jerusalem to be the capital of the future state of Palestine.

            The move by Russia, India and China to drop the reference to East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine came just days after US President Donald Trump formally recognised the ancient holy city as the capital of Israel.[…]

            https://www.buzzfeed.com/sahilrizwan/sushma-swagraj?utm_term=.mfONE2qB2#.rpx34yaKy
            11 Times Sushma Swaraj Proved That She’s The Most Badass Foreign Minister On The Internet Who ya gonna call? Posted on May 6, 2015, at 5:29 a.m.

            http://www.wikiwand.com/en/List_of_current_foreign_ministers in case you need a guide to current foreign ministers.

          • Altalena December 12, 2017 at 6:29 am

            Good stuff as always, my friend… a great way to start the morning. Progress is incremental, but palpable. Amazing (and depressing) that our ally in the subcontinent for so long was Pakistan rather than India, though the Nehrus were emphatically a disgusting lot.

          • D4x December 12, 2017 at 10:54 am

            12 12 2017 when 9:00AM EST was 2 hours ago – 33°43′N 73°2′E Pakistan views Palestine issue at par with Kashmir issue: Pakistan ArmyChief Islamabad,
            https://israelpalestine.liveuamap.com/en/2017/12-december-pakistan-views-palestine-issue-at-par-with-kashmir [I have no idea what that really means except as a broken record]

            8 hours ago – 28°36′N 77°12′E Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at an event in India on Monday said an inclusive political dialogue for peace in Afghanistan should include the Taliban and other regional countries New Delhi [THAT aligns with US policy. Heads exploding in Pakistan] https://afghanistan.liveuamap.com/en/2017/12-december-russian-foreign-minister-sergey-lavrov-at-an

            12 11 2017 13°7′N 80°15′E Twenty Afghanistan army lady officers underwent training with Indian Army in Chennai Tamil Nadu https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/69bb00802517d9a95de2201a430064ffb92cdf88d2cd53d5e3f5fc8021bc3c15.jpg https://afghanistan.liveuamap.com/en/2017/11-december-twenty-afghanistan-army-lady-officers-underwent [but, what about winter training? Ah, who cares, Bollywood livestreams!]

            12 11 2017 Afghanistan: Afghan, Indian army chiefs meet, discuss ties Kabul,
            https://afghanistan.liveuamap.com/en/2017/11-december-afghanistan-afghan-indian-army-chiefs-meet-discuss

            Lot of snow in Jammu Kashmir past 24 hours – Mughal Highway closed: avalanche – soldiers missing 12 12 2017 Uttarakhand Heavy snowfall at Kedarnath Dham and Chakrata south of Kashmir near LOC with ChinaTibet
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d97187c8962c0529f8389c866b4ec4416e3eec40d7afb006cab891c2ab2aee69.jpg :

          • Altalena December 12, 2017 at 11:02 am

            Gandhi should have SHUT HIS MOUTH and let the Brits leave on their own good time. What a horrible CF, all largely avoidable.

            To make things even more painful, Jammu and Kashmir are by all accounts easily India’s most breathtakingly beautiful states. So sad.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 10:17 am

            Kashmir should be an independent nation.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 10:21 am

            Perhaps so, but I wish it were that easy. And what of Jammu?

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 10:33 am

            They are the same. Kashmir is about the size of the UK. It was part of the Sikh Empire till the Anglo British wars when the British carved it out of that Empire.
            Kashmir as an independent nation would emerge as one of the most strategic nations in the world sharing borders with nuclear India. Pakistan and China. She would be similar to Switzerland in that regard and finally end the détente between Pakistan and India.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 10:39 am

            They are emphatically not the same; Kashmir is majority Muslim; Jammu is majority Hindu. It is all well and good to speak of an independent Kashmir, but I think Kashmiri Pandits might have *some* objection to it.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 10:59 am

            The region is the same Jammu/ Kashmir were part of the Sikh Empire. After independence Kashmir was cut again between India and Pakistan. Now even China lays claim to a part of Kashmir
            After the Babri masjid demolition Muslims purged Kashmiri Pundits out of Kashmir and the Nehrus you do not like are Kashmir Brahmins.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 11:05 am

            Let me know your actual interest in the matter and I will discuss it further with you.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 11:28 am

            I will discuss any matter from Europe to the US to world politics to Asia to the subcontinent to world history and discuss it without the wiki.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 11:39 am

            Since you say you are a Tamil, I believe that. If you go back through my posts, you will see what I say about the intelligence of South Indians (my north Indian clients actually agree).

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 11:45 am

            What if I said that I am a black woman from Mississippi? would that matter?
            How if I claim that I am an Oxford Graduate with royal Blood? would that matter?
            shouldn’t you judge me by the merits of my comment than the person I claim to be or am I wrong?

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 11:48 am

            It was a compliment. (Much more so than “Oxford Grad with royal blood” would be, for that matter). Read on.

            As for the black woman from Mississippi, she can talk with special knowledge about Mississippi. So too with you and Sri Lanka *or* India.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 12:14 pm

            I’ll be gracious about it. thanks. It simply was a bit sudden that you asked personal questions in the middle of a long chat. As for me I am more interested in the content of a person than his or her background. I am glad this is behind us so in the future we can debate issues without any of this coming in the way 🙂

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 12:22 pm

            LOL. It is helpful on the internet. If I am talking about Amritsar (or the Babri Masjid fiasco, or anything like that) with some other random East Coaster, chances are I know more about them than he or she does, but if I’m discussing them with an Indian, chances are her or she can educate ME as to nuances that don’t trickle out this far. ALL my Indian clients educate me.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 12:41 pm

            I understand . My angle is that most do not know my world and I allow for that while at the same time I know a lot about the Western world. That is due to my personal efforts and my family background. If I was to discuss the Renaissance or the Byzantine Empire or Meso America chances are most will not engage me for long. I take it as it is given to me, but I see your point.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 12:49 pm

            So… the big question…. will Tamil Nadu break away from greater India? 🙂

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 4:20 pm

            She should. If Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh became a nation it would be over 215 thousand square miles, 220 million. Massive natural resources including thorium, uranium, iron, coal, oil, strategic harbors, 3 crops per year and a Dravidian voice of languages in the UN.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 4:31 pm

            …and 900 miles from failed-state Pakistan.

            If only Jinnah wasn’t dying of TB at the time of partition. He would spin in his grave to see what his projected multiconfessional state has become.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 4:36 pm

            Independent “Dravidistan” as envisioned by Periyar Ramasamy would share a better relationship with Sri Lanka and both economies would rank high.
            The failures of Pakistan are more complex than given. Jinnah was right and so was Periyar Ramasamy

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 4:45 pm

            I am amazed Musharraf is still alive.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 5:09 pm

            Till you mentioned him I forgot all about him. I will discuss why Pakistan needed to be a nation but not now.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 1:01 pm

            I pretend to no great knowledge of Sri Lanka, though I do seem to remember Jayewardene referring to Indira and one of her sons (Rajiv?) as “the cow and her calf.” 🙂

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 4:16 pm

            Just to let you know NE states are equally breathtaking with the Himalayas in the background, thick forests in the valleys. Andhra Pradesh has her version of the Niagara falls

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 4:21 pm

            A client from a certain western state offered to take me back to India with him… a longtime dream of mine, but I can’t get away. 🙁

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 4:28 pm

            If you ever go pick the place and see it well. India is way too big and way too many things to see in one trip.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 4:36 pm

            Tell me about it. There are states in my own country I’ve never been to. 🙁

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 4:39 pm

            Traveled extensively in the US and still have not seen all I want to. Currently live in a nationally registered historic structure circa 1840 and was part of the Confederate Academy and was a triage center during the war. Occupied both by the Confederate & Union armies.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 4:46 pm

            Hope there’s good chicken tikka nearby… 🙂 We have to drive about 25 miles for it…

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 4:32 pm

            Do not forget Sri Lanka. it is a first world nation no inoculations needed and high standard of living. Paradise Island. Arthur C. Clark lived his life in Colombo. 96% literate for both genders. 76 years mortality for both genders. but not as many monuments as India.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 4:37 pm

            I can’t forget it; I’m old enough to remember when it was still Ceylon, and when the name was changed.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 4:43 pm

            If you get a chance Google “St Peters College” Colombo. I studied there as a kid and so did my father and uncles. My parents grew up under the British Empire and were subjects of it.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 4:47 pm

            I’m jealous. It looks like a resort.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 4:55 pm

            It truly is. Was also called Serendip where the English word “Serendipity” comes from (Pleasant surprise). Ancient Greece called her Taprobane, British wept when independence came. They did not want to leave. Many stayed and men like Arthur C. Clark lived and died there.
            Some monuments are the world’s largest of her kind. the Jetevaranama Dagoba is 93 million Bricks and is still the largest brick structure in the word. world oldest unbroken Buddhist nation. Asias oldest Democracy. Universal franchise the first for a non white nation. 10% of Asia’s elephants, densest forests in asia per cubic meter .Trincomalee one of the world’s largest natural harbors. 1 of only 2 ancient nations to have an unbroken written history of herself (2500 years). First hospital dedicated to man. A lot for such a small island

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 5:01 pm
          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 5:05 pm

            I will check it out. Each time I hit a site I get bumped out of the forum and have to find my way back.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 4:44 pm

            I had the same Catechism teacher who also taught my Father.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 4:56 pm

            Is there a Colombo Catechism? Translation of the Baltimore?

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 4:59 pm

            Catechism is what Catholic kids take; it is a class that teaches Christianity. St. Peters College is prestige’s private Catholic school built by the British. Often diplomats sons go there.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 5:05 pm

            On this side of the Pond, the Baltimore Catechism was de rigueur for my Catholic friends, when I was a kid.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 5:02 pm

            My dad was a Doctor. My uncle was one of the first non whites to graduate from Oxford back in 50’s. My grandfather was a Buddhist and a Pali Scholar. He owned 3 blocks in downtown Colombo. a mini forest surrounded by city. My best friends were Dutch. American and a Canadian student in my class.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 5:06 pm

            Sounds like an idyllic childhood. 🙂

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 5:27 pm

            Yes in St. Peter’s college. Like all childhoods I had my little problems I am sure same with you. Though life in a tropical island cannot be matched.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 10:15 am

            Read your comment. India right now is in the hands of the Hindu militant nationalists and are as virulent as Muslim radicals

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 10:20 am

            “This new learning amazes me, Sir Bedevere. Explain again how sheep’s bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes.”

            Have the facts escaped you that India is a democracy, and that Modi was voted in, and that our highest-earning (and perhaps least violent) demographic is… Hindu?

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 10:27 am

            Not the RSS. The Hindu militant Nationalists as seen in the BJP/RSS/Shiv Sena form the Trimurty of Hindu nationalism. The RSS has over 50 thousand camps with Kar Sevak (male volunteers) and “Durga Vahini” (female volunteers) who enforce mob rule using brute force, lynchings, forced conversions and intimidations. I can give examples if you want.
            India at 1.3 Billion. Representative Democracies are not meant for continent sized nations. Comparison African continent is 1.150 billion. the Americas are 1.1 billion. India is larger. to assume that people from the Argentina to Alaska can have a representative government by voting for one single leader should be considered preposterous. Same with Africa. That is what India has.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 10:35 am

            I see. Canada and the US and Australia should be run by… the military?

            How many Sikhs, Jews, Parsis, Muslims and Jains have the RSS killed lately?

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 10:55 am

            RSS targets Muslims. their Manifesto addresses Muslims in a manner that Nazi Germany addressed Jews. Sikhs are seldom manhandled but some are. Parsees are not and Jains are considered part of Hinduism.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 11:04 am

            Malayalee or Goan? Which are you? Or neither, but rather a Muslim?

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 11:22 am

            You first and I want details.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 11:38 am

            Jew, NY. Love Indian history and all aspects thereof. Have many Indian clients and friends. Got a Goan GP and a Sikh gastroenterologist.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 11:47 am

            Okay. Actually I would never have asked who you were if you did not do the same to me. I find that odd in a forum chat.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 11:50 am

            You found an Indiaphile in me. I am *interested.*

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 12:09 pm

            That is a massive world that changed Asia . I know it well. My grandfather was a Pali Scholar on my father’s side and estate owners on my mothers side.
            I guess I am an Indophile too but fascinated by Europe and Western civilization.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 12:15 pm

            Far more than half of it comes from India. The Durants and Mark Twain said as much.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 10:56 am

            Christians are heavily targeted and brutally in some cases.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 11:04 am

            Malayalee or Goan? Which are you? Or none of the above, but rather a Muslim?

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 11:22 am

            Would you stop this! you sound like an Indian and not a white guy. Are you Indian?

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 11:36 am

            Of course! A Jewish Indian from da Bronx. Jai Hind! 🙂

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 11:49 am

            No. Namaskaram or should it be Ayebovan 🙂

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 11:51 am

            🙂 I generally greet Indians with Namaste; Sikhs with “Sasikal”, or, more formally, “Sat Sri Akal.”

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 12:05 pm

            I understand That is the thing South India gets buried by N. India World knows Bollywood even though Tamil cinema rivals it in production, quality and age of studio. It also rivals Bollywood in region covered but few have heard of the Tamil cinema or South Indian cultures.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 12:10 pm

            Yes, but Southie movie stars have to have a *meesha* (I have one myself, btw). And isn’t one of the most famous ones fat?

            I like to watch spelling competitions, which might as well be called Tamil Nadu vs. Andhra Pradesh vs. Kerala vs. Karnataka. Fun to try to place the surnames.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 12:48 pm

            I see. Tamil Movies have had a major influence on all Indian movies especially when it comes to classical dance example Padmini Devi and Vijayanti Mala were both accomplished Bharatanatyam dancers. Both were also actresses. They influenced Indian choreography and help spread Hinduism’s oldest classical dance across India’s cinemas.
            I prefer 1960;s Tamil movies (seldom watch them) due to a more subtle way of singing. :Tamil language is easier to listen than Hindi and yes the fat content is high. Shame all Indian studios avoid the dark beauties and go for light complexion.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 12:57 pm

            OMG… there are Indian “matrimonial” sites that I’ve stumbled on, and the focus on skin tone (lots of stuff about “wheat-colored”) is just amazing to me, a head-shaker. Padma Lakshmi, who was called “blackie” as a kid, is one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 1:59 pm

            “Padma Lakshma” do you mean “Padmini Devi”?.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 2:38 pm

            With a face like that, she can be my Maharani any time. 🙂

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 3:04 pm

            We are talking about 2 different women and of 2 completely different times. if you want I have utubes of Padmini and one of both Padmini and Vijayanti doing a duet.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 3:17 pm

            To Jewish guys, most Indian women, especially the Southies, are gorgeous, which is just one reason why “Hinjew” marriages are so common these days.

            (Not Mayawati, of course). 🙂

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 3:29 pm

            I did not know about “Hinjew” marriages. Fascinating. I am not sure we are on the same page with these actresses so here are some youtubes of Vijayanti Mala solo, Padmini Devi vs Vijayanti Mala, and
            Padmini Devi solo in a Temple. all doing variations of Bharanatyam

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 3:34 pm

            Padmini Devi vs Vijayanti Mala. black and white Tamil Movie. It also comes in subtitles but that is blurred. This would be a classic collection of that dance in Indian cinema:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2QZeL69DiI

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 3:38 pm

            Vijayanti Mala solo. First part is in color . 2nd part is black and white and more traditional. you will like the first part.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 3:44 pm

            MARVELOUS!!

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 3:49 pm

            Great. Vijayanti Mala looks really pretty in the color part

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 3:41 pm

            Padmini Devi Solo in Temple and an intense sound and dance of Bharatanatyam. Tamil movie:

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 3:48 pm

            Stunning woman.

            What are the clarinet-like wind instruments called?

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 3:58 pm

            I do not know but as a kid I hated it during Tamil Weddings. the guy is a Tamil Actor named Shivaji. Never really liked him. Notice the theatrical white makeup on everyone?

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 4:08 pm

            Couldn’t figure out the drummer’s (*tabla player’s?*) makeup.

            Also, no meeshas. I guess that’s just for romantic leads?

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 4:25 pm

            He is setting the tempo for her to follow. Tabla and Myrthagam I believe. She is supposed to match the beat with a dance sequence.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 3:46 pm

            Finally Padmini Devi in a solo performing another variation of Bharatanatyam: Hope you like them.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 3:51 pm

            Wonderful stuff… why did the British government ever ban this? 🙁

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 3:55 pm

            Victorian age & Muslim orthodoxy in the 18th and 19th century suffocated Hinduism

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 4:07 pm

            🙁

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 3:06 pm

            Vijayanti was far more beautiful than Lakshmi

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 12:37 pm

            What a great compliment. I am genuinely flattered. 🙂

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 12:50 pm

            Guess it ended up being an off handed compliment

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 10:30 am

            RSS member assassinated the Mahatma. Hindu militarism goes back before independence. Chandra Bose and the Indian National Army along with the Japanese fought the British and the Indian army at the Burma/ India pass. It was one of the bloodiest battles of WW2. Chandra Bose met with Hitler. RSS Manifesto takes from N azi Germany .

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 10:31 am

            How many Jews have the Hindus killed?

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 10:36 am

            None. The RSS persecutes non Hindus and Low caste Hindus including Dalits.
            the Shiv Sena forces reconversions.
            Jews came to India as refugees after AD 72 and the actions of the Roman Empire. Most left for Israel

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 10:42 am

            Where are these supposedly horrid Hindu nationalists inflicting terrorism in the rest of the world?

            Dalits have the Mandal Commission, India’s more drastic version of affirmative action. I do seem to recall that India’s constitution was written by Ambedkar.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 10:52 am

            Media does not cover it and when they effect the lives of a billion even if that billion is primarily in one nation it should matter.
            Ambedkar was mainly known as the Dalit who helped other Dalit convert to Buddhism
            But attacks on those who convert today is met with force.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 11:00 am

            Did Ambedkar write the Indian constitution or not?

            Is Hinduism a triumphalist faith, not recognizing the validity other paths to the Almighty? Do they have missionaries out there converting the infidels, or terrorists out in the world killing them?

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 11:09 am

            Indian Constitution is probably the longest in the world. Louisiana’s constitution could be longer.
            Hinduism is an aggressive conversion faith that spread to South East Asia and the “Sanscritization” of South India was resisted by the Tamils 2000 years ago
            Today Hinduism converts across the globe.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 11:13 am

            Tamil Tigers were the only terrorist group to have an air force, navy and a lethal army whose cadres wore a necklace with a cyanide pill attached to it in case of capture
            they either invented or perfected the Suicide vest and were the only ones to kill 2 leaders of 2 nations (Ranasingha Premadasa of Sri Lanka and Rajiv Gandhi of India)
            they used Child soldiers and child suicide bombers. at the end of the war in 2009 they herded a population estimated to be close to 500 thousand men women and children between them and the Sri Lankan military.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 11:42 am

            The Tamil Tigers are actually said to be the world’s most effective terrorist group, given the murder of Rajiv Gandhi, though Indira’s Sikh bodyguards took out his odious mother.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 11:51 am

            They were ruthless and vicious and belong as part of the modern history of Hindu Tamil nationalism, Dravidian movement including Periyar Ramasamy and the Justice Party.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 11:54 am

            One of the best comment threads I’ve ever read was this one, following a Steve Sailer article about… yes, the intelligence of South Indians. Enjoy. Some of is depressing; some hilarious; all is enlightening:

            https://www.unz.com/isteve/why-are-south-indians-so-smart/

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 1:11 pm

            Read the article and he is right and wrong. South Indians, especially Tamils have a lot to be proud of. Tamil is the oldest major language in the world a claim supported by Google Tamils gave a lot to Hinduism including her oldest classical dance, Bharatanatyam, the iconic “Shiva Nataraja”, Chola Bronzes, some of Hinduism’s greatest Empires and a form of Hinduism lacking in the north. Tamil Temples are massive, some many times larger than the Vatican with their 1000 pillared halls. Tamil Architecture is unique and one of the great contributions to Hinduism, Asia’s and world architecture.
            South India was never ruled by New Delhi till the British Empire. As for beauty South Indians have far more refined features than most N. Indians. A dark skinned Tamil with emerald eyes is far more exotic than a fair skinned n. Indian.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 3:01 pm

            Seen it time and again. Padma is herself a Tamil. What more need one say? 🙂

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 3:08 pm

            Guess you got my post. We are talking about 2 completely different actresses, who look completely different to each other and of different times though both are Tamils

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 1:14 pm

            The Wealthiest Hindu Temples in the world are South Indian. Roman soldiers used to guard South Indian palaces, Roman colonies settled in South India . S Indian harbors were known across the world as in Ptolemy’s maps.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 3:00 pm

            I’m sure you know most of what’s in the book, but “Indian Summer”, by Alexa Von Tunzelmann, has a perfectly stunning opening paragraph which underscores how advanced India was well back in the day, with Europe far behind.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 3:11 pm

            I have a sizable collection of books on India, Asia, Europe. some on India are rare, some expensive but I do not have “Indian Summer”

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 3:15 pm

            Go to it, kid. 🙂 You will love it.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 3:20 pm

            Thanks :}

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 1:18 pm

            The only diamond mines till the 19th century are in South India. India’s most famous diamonds were products of South India. The Kohinoor that is part of the British crown came from :Golconda. South Indian Hindus were the first in the world to recognize the value of diamonds.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 2:58 pm

            I am guessing you may have seen this hilarious BBC show; if not, enjoy. Mr. “Everything Comes From India” was one of the funniest recurring characters:

            Beneath the humor, there was underlying truth, since so much really does come from India. (My own religion, which is younger than Hinduism, also has a priestly caste, originated in Asia, and has various sorts of food taboos). 🙂

            Btw, I always wondered if the doc who testified at OJ’s trial, whose marvelous name was Lakshmanan Satyavagiswaran, was a Tamil. I generally assume most long Indian surnames not ending in “inder” are South Indian, but it’s sometimes tough to parse them further.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 3:15 pm

            No I have not seen that show though I love BBC comedies from “Fawlty Towers”, “are you being served”, “Mrs. Bouquet” . Is that link to those shows? if so thanks.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 3:28 pm

            Very different; this is from “Goodness Gracious Me,” but as fate would have it, they did do a marvelous “Fawlty Towers” takeoff, in an Indian idiom, called “Fawlty Turrets”; I will post the link in a minute, gotta reboot.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 3:52 pm

            Great Thanks

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 3:36 pm

            See below. Here’s the link to “Fawlty Turrets.”

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 3:18 pm

            ” Lakshmanan Satyavagiswaran” could be Tamil. Tamil names usually end with an “m”. Sounds Telugu

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 3:23 pm

            We have a gal at the local pharmacy who descends from Andhra Pradesh; she didn’t know about Sriramulu giving his life for Telugu-speakers. Now she does, though. 🙂

          • D4x December 11, 2017 at 11:50 am

            Trade Kaliningrad for Crimea. That is what I would do.

          • Altalena December 11, 2017 at 11:54 am

            LOL. Crimea’s largely broke, though.

            Not that ti should matter, but the prettiest Russian gal I ever worked with was from Kaliningrad.

          • D4x December 12, 2017 at 10:09 am

            France was two days ahead of Estonia on the Kurds: 12 09 2017 48°51′N 2°20′E ‘French Foreign
            Minister said SDF supported by the International Coalition defeated IS, freed 40% of Syria and controlled 60% of the country’s oil resources.’
            https://kurds.liveuamap.com/en/2017/9-december-french-foreign-minister-said-sdf-supported-by

            Perhaps Estonia was speaking for the USA-led coalition, Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) , which has a lot of NATO member s, and the SDF. Today, 12 12 2017? Lot of news re: Kurds, in Syria,and Iraq. Two take-aways: 1) Listen to who calls who “terrorists”, because Erdogan calls PYD/YPG* – Syrian Kurds, “terrorists’, and 2) Pay attention to Water. Syria’s Kurdish cantons (they are not using Rojava anymore) are between where the Tigris and Euphrates enter Iraq and Syria. Raqqa is on the Euphrates. Turkey has been waging water wars against Syria and Iraq for a long time, and the civil war + ISIS has kept tri-lateral meets on water on hold since 2012. 10 2015 Water from the Euphrates and Tigris rivers is shared by Turkey Syria and Iraq [note Lake Assad in Syria, Taqba is has another American OIR airbase, is on two dams where the Euphrates turns into a river that loops and turns south to Raqqa, and eventually the border with Iraq’s Anbar]https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/62aff7e59e4dcda7c4d4ee786176a6a87d1246e563ba1140774717f00c969b5a.jpg 12 11 2017 Self Defense Forces HXP center opened in Tabqa for conscripts to SPD near Raqqa
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/37460146d2cb7d770419dd77b8f4a3c3fb1b66eb998e31586e3cdab84d645c05.jpg https://kurds.liveuamap.com/en/2017/11-december-self-defense-forces-hxp-center-opened-in-tabqa

            Five hours BEFORE that, 21 hours ago, Putin was still in Ankara: 39°55′N 32°51′E Russian President Putin: Cooperation with Turkey is important to resolve the Syrian crisis Putin: All Syrian territory has been liberated from terrorists Putin: Preparations are ongoing to hold the Syrian People’s Congress in Sochi.

            14 hours ago – 35°23′N 35°56′E Russia to withdraw 23
            warplanes, two Ka-52 helicopters, Russian military police, infantry, special forces, military engineeringand demining forces as well as a number of military personnel working in field hospitals in Syria Latakia Governorate https://kurds.liveuamap.com/en/2017/12-december-russia-to-withdraw-23-warplanes-two-ka52-helicopters

            13 hours ago – 41°0′N 28°52′E Colonel Riad al-Asaad announces a new tribal bloc amid the armed Syrian Opposition at a conference with 60 tribes to counter Kurdish and Shi’ite militia in Eastern Syria İstanbul#Syria#Kurds#Hezbollah https://kurds.liveuamap.com/en/2017/12-december-colonel-riad-alasaad-announces-a-new-tribal-bloc [WHO? (I have not followed Syrian civil war at all, just Kurds, and Hezbollah) Oct 13, 2017 ‘The people of Idlib wait for Turkey, their savior Speaking to Yeni Şafak daily, Colonel Riad al-Asaad, commander of the FSA, said that the
            residents of Idlib under Russian artillery fire regard Turkey as their savior.’ Lot more against PYD/YPG Syrian Kurds in SPD coalition with USA:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riad_al-Asaad%5D

            [Meanwhile, in Iraq] 7 hours ago – 34°54′N 44°39′EHashd al-Shaabi militia artillery shells Kurdish villages (Qalshan and Qom-palkan) near Khurmatu. Several families have been displaced.
            Saladin Governorate#Iraq#Kurds https://kurds.liveuamap.com/en/2017/12-december-hashd-alshaabi-militia-artillery-shells-kurdish 7 hours ago – 34°53′N 44°38′E Heavy fighting has broken out between Kurdish volunteer fighters and PMF forces in Tuz Khurmato. Security forces have declared state of emergency. Tuz Khurma, Saladin Governorate#Iraq#Kurds
            https://kurds.liveuamap.com/en/2017/12-december-heavy-fighting-has-broken-out-between-kurdish
            5 hours ago – 34°53′N 44°39′E PUK sources: Iraqi helicopters bomb Kurdish villages in the vicinity of the town of Tuzkurmato Saladin Governorate#Iraq#Kurds [10 miles to airbase FOB Bernstein on highway intersection Saladin to Kirkuk or Sulaymaniyah – this looks like Iraqi ethnic
            cleansing to force Kurds out] https://kurds.liveuamap.com/en/2017/12-december-puk-sources-iraqi-helicopters-bomb-kurdish-villages

            2 hours ago – 35°1′N 40°37′E 250 FSA fighters have reportedly defected to the SDF-led Manbij Military Council. The first group of 150 fighters from Deir ez-Zor had announced last month their defection to the SDF. Deir Ez-Zor Governorate#Syria#Kurds
            https://kurds.liveuamap.com/en/2017/12-december-250-fsa-fighters-have-reportedly-defected-to

            32 minutes ago – 52°31′N 13°22′E Germany extends training for Peshmerga for 2018
            Berlin, Berlin#Iraq#Germany#Kurds https://kurds.liveuamap.com/en/2017/12-december-germany-extends-training-for-peshmerga-for-2018

            The Kurds are linked to Erdogan’s credibility with ‘leading’ the OIC today against the Jerusalem announcement. He mostly has Hezbollah’s Nasrallah, Hamas, and Hekmatyar (butcher of Kabul, no longer Taliban).
            >>Albania is the only member of both NATO and the OIC. What will Albania do today?
            The Kurds are going to make EU members think hard about Israel – it’s difficult to explain how I see the linkage, but, Turkey and Iraq are going too far on the Kurds, and, what is happening in Syria is a very good distraction from Israel in the news this week. The PYD has built a state in northern Syria during a civil war, and ISIS occupation. They had elections last week. Will the remaining FSA split between joining SPD or Turkey’s puppet?

            *Syrian Kurd acronym guide:
            PYD is a political group.
            YPG is the military arm of PYD.
            YPJ is the women’s arm of YPG.
            HXP is a self-defence militia and has conscription.
            MFS is a YPG-allied Assyrian military group.
            [adding Assyrians are Christians in Syria and Iraq – and possibly tougher than the Kurds – they still want Nineveh, Iraq, as their homeland. Keep in mind Assad needs all Syriac Christians in his coalition]
            FOB Bernstein in Iraq – who comes up with these names?

          • Altalena December 12, 2017 at 10:22 am

            Ahh, Middle East acronyms/activist groups have a long and distinguished history:

            I have always been partial to the Kurds, in part because one hit on my Mom at a swimming pool in Turkey. These people emphatically have good taste! And they should have had their state going back to 1917, but I digress.

            Albania is wildly pro-US. Her Holocaust record is extraordinary, though underpublicized. Though it is a largely Muslim state, the real creed there is “Besa:”

            http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/exhibitions/besa/index.asp

    • D4x December 11, 2017 at 3:35 am

      Did you read Glick? She totally nailed it “Trump’s Bold Recognition of Jerusalem a Gamechanger”: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2017/12/10/trumps_bold_recognition_of_jerusalem_a_game-changer_135740.html

      • Altalena December 11, 2017 at 6:04 am

        The most optimistic column *Cassandra* Glick ever wrote. I read it largely because the dad of my daughter’s boyfriend e-mailed me the link. 🙂

    • Europa December 13, 2017 at 9:40 am

      What would unite Sunni and Shia Arab and Persians is Jerusalem.

  2. Brett baker December 10, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    The Arabs were buying our people off in 1948 already?

    • NASArefugee December 11, 2017 at 8:33 am

      No. In 1948 America was the world’s largest energy producer and OPEC would not come into existence for more than a decade. Believe it or not, the situation was less tactical than Weichert portrays; The reality is that there was considerable antisemitism in the State Department, who viewed Israel as a wild card with little potential benefit to the US..

      The US did not back Israel militarily until Nixon made the decision during the Yom Kippur War that Israel’s survival was critical to stability in the Middle East. When I was a visiting scientist in Israel in the early 1980’s, Israel still possessed few American arms — their Kefir fighter jets were modified French Mirage fighters, and their nuclear weapon program had been undertaken in close collaboration with South Africa, who supplied the Uranium and a remote test location.

      Contrary to popular lore, the US in no way supported nuclear weapons development in Israel (although individual Jewish scientists from the US did unquestionably make personal contributions); in fact, Germany made a more substantive contribution by building nuclear reactors in Israel for research, which Israel undertook at the Weizmann Institute and (principally) at the University of the Negev.

      The point is that the author is largely correct that after the initial Arab opposition to the United Nations’ recognition of Israel’s statehood (the “nakba”), there wasn’t much they did in practical terms — apart from periodically starting a war, Even the infamous Arab oil embargo in 1972 was orchestrated by the Soviet Union, who were more interested in disrupting Western economies than they were in destroying Israel.

  3. Europa December 11, 2017 at 7:12 am

    I am fairly certain Trump’s decision will lead to Terrorist bombings within America and the death of Americans. I hope their lives are worth it. I hope this does not lead to some war in the Middle East that requires more American lives.

    Oil was the only factor holding us to the Middle East. With shale that issue has been removed. Now the only thing holding us to that region is Israel.

    • Altalena December 11, 2017 at 11:23 am

      “Oil was the only factor holding us to the Middle East.”

      I think there may be a religious site or two there as well…

      • D4x December 11, 2017 at 11:57 am

        http://www.timesofisrael.com/should-israel-get-oil-out-of-vinegar-for-an-energy-revolution/ The Holy Land sits on the world’s second-largest deposits of oil shale. Advocates say its extraction will be safe and could transform the economy. Opponents say the environmental fallout could be disastrous By David Horovitz 8 September 2013, 3:06 pm
        All true – the greens won, but the oil shale is still there. Everyone knows this, especially KSA, China, Russia, India, and, if there is one thing I am certain of, so does TeamTrump, especially SecEnergy Rick “Defender of Jerusalem” Perry – his ties with Israel are deep, from 1980’s, when he was SecAg for Texas, which is Israel’s 4th largest trade partner.

        • Altalena December 11, 2017 at 12:05 pm

          If the Palis (and the Haredim) will just start to, like, Get With The Program, they’ll end up rich.

        • Europa December 12, 2017 at 7:06 am

          I read your article. Interesting. I have also read that Russia and China have large Shale deposits. My point is that shale delinked us from the Middle East. They in turn have found new markets for their conventional oil thereby lessening their link to us.

          • D4x December 12, 2017 at 11:13 am

            The Jerusalem ‘issue’ will be resolved at the UNSC.
            The USA does have other interests in the Middle East, especially commitment to freedom of navigation, combatting piracy – goes back to why we have a Navy in the U.S. Constitution.
            The Suez Canal, Red Sea, and Straits of Hormuz are chokepoints that still matter.

            Besides, our USN has not been able to have port visits to Turkey for a few years. Haifa, and Eilat on the Gulf of Aqaba, are safe for Americans.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 9:39 am

            The Suez Canal is out of our hands since Nasser nationalized it. There was a plot between France, England and Israel to get it back in 1956 but that failed.
            The Straits of Hormuz are in the hands of Iran. Piracy is a far bigger problem in the Indian ocean than in the Middle East where the largest sea trade routes exist.
            As for the UNSC and Jerusalem, Israel has a voice in the UN Security council through the US. The Arab world is aware of that. Chances are England, France and Russia will veto any proposal America makes in the SC support of making Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

          • D4x December 13, 2017 at 3:39 pm

            U.S. policy since 1776: Freedom of Navigation…https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e751883f4e98aba2fa70a80f3de3b3ed656b73b60e0e7f5ac039d4eb52e1c7c0.jpg SUEZ CANAL: The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) conducts a routine, scheduled transit through the Suez Canal. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Christopher A. Michaels) http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2016/12/06/your-navy-operating-forward-suez-canal-red-sea-gulf-of-oman/

            You can not see beyond today’s talking point headlines.
            Please do not reply. Waste of my time.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 8:33 pm

            Maybe I misunderstood you. As I understand it the Suez Canal is the property of Egypt. It is a transit point. What is our interest in it? Don’t you think Egypt can manage this canal?

          • D4x December 13, 2017 at 9:31 pm

            Europa: You seem to have no knowledge of American history, or Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution:
            https://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_A1Sec8.html
            October 13 was the 242nd birthday of the U.S. Navy, established in 1775, before the Declaration of Independence, or the U.S. Constitution: http://www.navy.mil/ah_online/NavyBirthday/

            If you can read maps, you can answer your own questions:
            https://news.usni.org/category/fleet-tracker
            An LCU exiting an LHD:
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f822cbb4f896f336d2d2bf9665ae85736e5e1f941ae19639ea2d5acc011ede6e.jpg
            If you troll me again, I shall flag and block you, which I prefer to not do, but, I was reviewing current carrier & MEU deployments anyway.

          • Europa December 14, 2017 at 7:56 am

            You seem to have a thorough knowledge of American history and I do not so I read your link. How do powers of Congress got to do with the Suez Canal, the Middle East and Israel?
            Maybe you are better at reading maps and understanding Geography than I do but you still fail to make it clear that outside of Israel we have little to do with the ME.

          • D4x December 14, 2017 at 10:52 am

            Europa Disqus profile: https://disqus.com/by/NSPD/ Europa
            NDSP has a flag = hate crime. NDSP flag explains Europa’s comments.

            All Europa comments flagged to moderator, and Disqus: Targeted harassment — posted or encouraged others to post harassing comments or hate speech targeting me, other individuals, or groups

          • Europa December 14, 2017 at 11:53 am

            So you are unable to answer my question? Internet censorship has made anyone right to center a villain. This is America D4x not the Russia and your kind of tactics do not work. Want to challenge me on that?

          • Europa December 14, 2017 at 12:00 pm

            Flagging you for this:

            “All Europa comments flagged to moderator, and Disqus: Targeted harassment — posted or encouraged others to post harassing comments or hate speech targeting me, other individuals, or groups”
            That is a lie. I never attacked you or anyone else. You may not like my comments but to deliberately spread a lie as I have quoted you is disgusting on your part.

      • Europa December 12, 2017 at 7:04 am

        If you are referring to Jerusalem or Mecca I agree but at different levels. Muslims may care more for Mecca than Christians care for Jerusalem.

        • Altalena December 12, 2017 at 7:14 am

          I seem to recall Jesus having been born in Bethlehem; I visited something called The Church Of The Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, which I believe may be of some significance to the Christian folk. I have even walked the Via Dolorosa, which seems to have some significance.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 8:18 am

            If you mean the “Christianness” of the Christian world it is far less so. Secularism and something called “The Frankfurt School of Marxism” has pushed the Church out of the Western world. Since the issue of Jerusalem is a religious issue religion is important. There are more devout Muslims in the Islamic world ready to give up their lives fighting for their cause over Jerusalem than there are Christians.
            As a Catholic I find Rome more personal to me than Jerusalem. Most of my “Christian” friends do not care either about Rome or Jerusalem.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 9:17 am

            The Frankfurt School was Marxist in orientation, but Christianity has taken other, far more devastating and direct hits. Secularism is often a result, not a cause.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 9:23 am

            The Frankfurt School of ‘cultural’ Marxism attacks culture. We lost on that ground. It was imported into the US after world war One and during the 1930’s by Eastern Europeans.
            ‘Cultural’ Marxism is the underpinning of our Left wing Professors. Its greatest expression probably was during the 1960’s when it help produce movements as far ranging from Feminism to the Counter culture movement, Gay movement to the Separation of Church and state. It became part of the Cold war.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 9:36 am

            Separation of church and state here goes back to the founding fathers. Left wing professors have been around since forever, and most students with common sense view them as Martians and do not take their preachments seriously. As for the Cold War, we won that one. Gays have also been around since forever; I lived through the “movement” (went to college in Greenwich Village in the mid-70s), and apart from gay groups taking most of the student club budget, wasn’t affected by it and didn’t find it particularly oppressive. If they are tolerant of my heterosexuality (they are), I return the favor. Marxism, cultural or otherwise, is a spent force on this side of the Pond, as our president is virtually synonymous with unashamed capitalism.

            Yes, our pop culture sucks, but, hey, it’s pop culture, it ain’t Caravaggio and Bernini.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 9:46 am

            Separation of Church and State are not in our Founding Documents
            The Stonewall Riots began the Gay movement
            The radicalization of our Colleges into far left ideology happened during the cold war.
            You may want to watch a youtube titled “Cultural Marxism Explained in 7 Minutes”

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 9:49 am

            Any idea why the US doesn’t have an established church?

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 9:52 am

            Because it says that Congress shall not establish one nor prohibit the free practice..that is not the separation of Church and state as demanded by the Left.
            The founding Fathers were church going Christians.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 9:57 am

            Adams and Jefferson believed in the Trinity, did they?

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 10:08 am

            Why would they believe in the Trinity? they were not Catholics unless it is another kind of “trinity”

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 10:13 am

            I see. All Protestants are… yes, non-Trinitarian, not just Jovos and LDS peeps.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 10:19 am

            I am a Catholic and believe in the Father Son and the Holy Ghost. I do not know any Protestant sects who do except possibly the Anglicans.
            and
            you are wrong about India today. As for Kashmir she should be an independent nation.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 10:29 am

            Martin Luther and John Calvin would be interested to hear of this. Calvin had Servetus burned at the stake for (among other things) denying the Trinity.

            As for India, she has a Muslim population of over 170 million. If the Indians are killing them off wholesale, it is news to me. Jews have had a presence in India for roughly 20 centuries and relations between the two groups have always been friendly or beyond; the, one blot, Mumbai synagogue bombing, was a Pakistani job.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 10:40 am

            Gujarat Pogrom of 2 thousand Muslims killed when Modi was chief Minister.
            Destruction of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya by 150 thousand Kar Sevaks
            Lynchings of anyone involved in Beef trade.
            185 million Muslims.
            The Vatican resisted the protestant movement and yes Catholic and protestant wars happened.
            Galileo and Copernicus had to recant what they knew or face Vatican action.
            Martin Luther had strong feelings against Jews.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 10:54 am

            790 Muslims dead; Modi was cleared of complicity.

            The ‘185 million Muslims” you mentioned, largely survived., as in 99.99+% of them.

            Meanwhile, you seem to overlook the massive Muslim genocide of Hindus over a course of **900 years**

            http://www.persecution.in/node/4187

            Of course there is residual bad feeling among the Hindus of India. But 185 million Muslims give the lie to the notion that the Hindus are murdering them en masse, or anything close.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 11:03 am

            Modi waited the allotted 2 days before calling in the national guard. During those 2 days RSS cadres using Voter rosters pin pointed their attacks.
            900 years of Hindu Muslim wars. both were equally powerful. I know in sufficient detail to explain Islam in the Subcontinent since the 7th century and all the major Hindu powers of that time.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 11:05 am

            You also need to understand Hindu Buddhist rivalry before Islam and during that time especially with South Indian Hindu Empires and kingdoms dealing with Buddhist Sri Lanka

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 10:41 am

            South Asia has over 550 million Muslims (Pakistan 190, Bangladesh 160 and India 185)

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 10:44 am

            Well, so much for this Hindutva fanatics wiping out non-Hindus stuff. 185 million Muslims kinda speaks for itself.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 10:47 am

            No is wiping out anyone But the Hindu militants do not give a flying hoot about :Democracy.
            BJP was voted in to power but the RSS assumed power. Both put Hinduism ahead of even India
            Hindutva (Hindu ness) Hindustan (Hindu land) Hindu Rashtra (HIndu world) comes first.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 10:58 am

            Are you from Kerala or Goa? Then you can speak to me about those places. Otherwise I have to question whether you are indeed a Catholic.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 11:16 am

            Do I question your credentials? This is meant to be a chat.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 11:16 am

            I am originally from Sri Lanka

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 10:50 am

            I forgot to mention the most violent expression of Hindu militantism and that is the Tamil Tigers and the Elam war of Sri Lanka which lasted almost 30 years.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 10:57 am

            Somehow I gather you are not a Catholic at all. Which is fine as far as it goes, but if you’re here to bash the Hindus under the premise of being a Christian, I have to kinda put the block on you, unless you’re from Kerala or Goa. Your call.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 11:20 am

            Roman Catholic. Same with parents .How about you since I passed your interrogation. Bash Hindus? I am also a Tamil with both Hindu and Buddhist ancestry
            please do not get cheeky with me;
            I can debate you on Western and South Asian history and culture
            I can take you on regarding US history and the civil war. I am not responsible for your shortcomings and I am not going to excuse my education.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 11:40 am

            Well, then, my hat is off to you. The Tamils are among the world’s intellectual elite. TYVM.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 11:53 am

            And also one of the most chauvinistic pains in the you know where. try growing up with a Tamil mother.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 11:55 am

            LOL. I’ve read some Tam-Brahm sites. Just like Jews.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 12:01 pm

            Friend of mine went to Kerala and on the way he had dinner with a Tamil Family. He thought they were having a verbal fight when they were simply debating some issue. Tamils and South Indians are more emotional than others. Food matches as well. Old British claim that food in India is ranked as hot (north India) hotter (South India)and hottest (Sri Lanka). I come from Ceylon.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 12:08 pm

            I prefer Punjabi cooking to South Indian dosas, though both are fine with me. No we are getting Nepalese places popping up around NY, though that seems to be Punjabi + Momos (dumplings). It’s all good.

            The “Northie” respect for “Southie” brains was first brought home to me a longtime Bengali client of mine; I have heard it umpteen times since.

            One thing that I find lovable in all Indian-descended folk, of whatever faith… they LOVE TO TALK. It’s marvelous.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 12:54 pm

            Yes we are chatterboxes. Some in my family could explain an idea starting in English, going into Sinhalese and ending in Tamil or a combination and still make complete sense. I cannot do that anymore.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 1:02 pm

            “Let him who is without Sinhalese cast the first stone” 🙂

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 9:24 am

            While the Islamic world either resisted “cultural Marxism” or it had little to do with that world.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 9:40 am

            They tried to secularize, often under the rubric of nationalism. It was generally a fail, though one encounters, at least in my neck of the woods, more than a few educated secular Muslims (often doctors and lawyers). Read:

            https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1303747914i/3947378._UY200_.jpg

            The passing of (Lebanese Shi’a by birth) Ajami was a great loss to the West and to civilization generally.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 9:48 am

            Islamic world avoided almost all the social upheavals that removed faith in our society where most of them took place in the 60s and only in some parts of America ( as in California & New York). It had a greater effect in the capitals of Western Europe than fly over country.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 9:51 am

            So you feel that fervent faith, even in the Islamic world, is a GOOD thing.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 10:11 am

            If you are going to defend Jerusalem it is.
            as for a “good thing” I do not think Cultural Marxism falls into that. Example. The current drug epidemic is linked to the 60’s drug culture. Right now the Opiate and Heroine epidemic is killing I believe around 100 thousand Americans so far

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 10:17 am

            Linked to it by whom?

            There is no such drug as “heroine”, and the opioid addiction phenomenon is said to affect a demographic very different from the hippie recreational drug users of the 60s. Woodstock wasn’t in West Virginia.

          • Europa December 13, 2017 at 10:44 am

            Legalization of Pot is led by that generation. Heroin is a drug. You should know that. Woodstock and the summer of love may have taken place in both ends of the nation but you still are missing the point.

          • Altalena December 13, 2017 at 11:02 am

            I know the era; I lived it. “Heroine” is a woman of valor. Drugs were around long before the sixties, and the people affected by the opioid “crisis” are by and large blue-collar folk, not spoiled hippie kids in the East Village, as in the 70s.

  4. URstandingwhere December 11, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Truman wasn’t a chronic liar.

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