Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Is the Republican Party looking a gift horse in the mouth?

The Republican Party is facing a crisis.  It has a candidate who is likely to win the nomination and could very well win the Presidential election.  Yet they are doing their very best to see a repeat of the past two presidential cycles – nominating uninspiring candidates who have no chance of winning.  The RNC would rather have a Democratic president than support a reformer who would change the corrupt political structure of Washington.  And they ignore the will of the people who are desperate to see that change happen.

You have to understand the psyche of people in power.  Their prime motivation is to keep themselves in power.  They pay lip service to voters, but do their utmost to entrench themselves.  It is true for both parties.  All are happy with gerrymandered districts.  All are happy with playing the game of favoring companies or unions with beneficial  legislation in exchange for campaign contributions that makes their seats safe.  And it’s not just elected officials.  It is the press who enjoy the prestige of getting the interviews outsiders can’t get.  Playing footsy with the power structure has its rewards, even if they have to ignore stories like John Edwards, and his mistress and love child during the 2008 nomination process.  It took the National Enquirer to break that story, not the NY Times or the LA Times.

Donald Trump has caught the imagination of not only conservative Republicans, but the country as a whole.  When was the last time 25% of African Americans favored a Republican candidate?  The RNC has never had an action plan to do that.  Yet it is happening. The RNC is staring victory in the face but aiming for defeat.  Its godchild Jeb Bush is facing a 7% polling number, a quarter of Trump's.  He has tons of campaign money but it’s not working.  He has loser painted all over his face.  He is another McCain and Romney, and he will suffer the same fate.

Even worse, if the RNC purges Trump from the party and loses the election, there will be a new third party.  They haven’t factored that in, but it will happen.   

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Control of southern entrance to the Red Sea the next Mid-East flashpoint

The Israeli intelligence blog Debka File reports that pro-Iranian Houthi troops have taken over control of the strategic straits (Bab el-Mandeb) at the southern entrance to the Red Sea.  Possession of this choke point threatens all commercial and military maritime traffic from the oil rich nations bound for the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean.   
Control of the Red Sea Bab el-Mandeb Straits passed Tuesday, March 31 to pro-Iranian Yemeni forces when the Yemeni Army’s 117th Brigade loyal to the former Yemeni President Ali Saleh handed positions guarding the waterway to two Houthi commando battalions trained by Iranian Revolutionary Guards. This is revealed by debkafile’s military and intelligence sources.

The article goes on to say Iran is sending naval forces to the Straits to reinforce and protect the Houthis from an anticipated Egyptian/Saudi effort to dislodge them.  This could provide the first direct military confrontation between the Saudis and Iran, who up to now has operated only through surrogates. 

On another front, the same article states unknown aircraft (possibly Egyptian or Israeli) attacked a weapons depot in southwest Libya that held Iranian supplied munitions destined for Hamas in Gaza.

In another development Tuesday involving Iran’s spreading tentacles, debkafile’s military sources reveal that unidentified aircraft bombed Burak, a small military base in the Fezzan province of southwestern Libya, which serves Iran as a transit store for arms purchased in Sudan for the Palestinian Hamas. The weapons, which recently reached the Libyan base through Chad, were destroyed.
At the heart of all this mess is Iran.  Yet the US continues to treat them as a friendly nation in the nuclear talks.  The administration exhibits a willful blindness to Iran’s aggression.   It will come back to haunt us.