Middle East Peace and Trump’s New Art of the Deal by Larry Johnson

Trump's Middel East Peace Deal

Well, it looks like there is going to be an early Thanksgiving feast in Washington, DC, but instead of gobbling down Turkey as the featured protein, the main serving will be Crow. And there is a lot of Crow for Washington insiders and other Deep-Staters to wolf down in the aftermath of Trump’s stunning brokering of a Middle East Peace Deal that appears to put the threat of war between Jews and Arabs on the back burner.

Count me as one who might have to nibble at a Crow drumstick. I was skeptical two years ago that Trump’s May of 2018 move to put the US Embassy in Jerusalem and officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was smart strategically. I thought it was foolish, misguided and laden with hubris. But I did credit Trump for delivering on a promise that his predecessors–both Republican and Democrat–were loathe to fulfill.

Most of the global reaction was harsh and pessimistic. The UN General Assembly went ballistic with a torrent of condemnatory words:

The UN General Assembly held a rare emergency special session at the request of Arab and Muslim states, after Trump’s shock decision heightened tensions in the Middle East.

The resolution effectively called on the US to withdraw its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and was backed by the overwhelming majority of members.

A total of 128 countries voted for the resolution on December 21, 2017.

Just nine voted no: the US and Israel, plus Guatemala, Honduras, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo.

Thirty-five nations abstained, including Canada, Mexico and Australia, and 21 countries didn’t turn up for the vote.

Most of our allies were seized with similar bouts of angst and anger:

Theresa May reiterated the UK’s support for continued negotiation, saying that she wants the two countries to have the city as a “shared capital”.

She said: “We continue to support a two-state solution. We recognise the importance of Jerusalem.”

France’s Emmanuel Macron called on the White House to step back from the announcement, while Pope Francis defended the “status quo” of the city as he prayed that “wisdom and prudence prevail”.

Key allies in the region also chimed in with their displeasure:

Trump’s announcement drew criticism from international leaders at the time, with Jordan’s King Abdullah II warning that moving the U.S. Embassy “will undermine the efforts of the American administration to resume the peace process and fuel the feelings of Muslims and Christians,” the New York Times reported.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also expressed dismay at Trump’s decision, threatening to sever diplomatic ties with Israel should the U.S. recognize Jerusalem as the capital,

The biggest crow eater in the United States has to be Obama’s Secretary of State, John Kerry. As a prophet, he sucks:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who will leave office in two weeks’ time, warned on Friday of “an absolute explosion” in the Middle East should President-elect Donald Trump decide to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. . . .

Such a move could lead to violence flaring up in Israel, the West Bank and across the Middle East, and have a negative impact on relations between Israel, Egypt and Jordan, he said on Friday.

“You’d have an explosion,” he said in an interview with CBS. “You’d have an explosion – an absolute explosion in the region, not just in the West Bank and perhaps even in Israel itself, but throughout the region. The Arab world has enormous interest in the Haram al-Sharif, as it is called, the Temple Mount, the Dome [of the Rock], and it is a holy site for the Arab world.”

“And if all of a sudden Jerusalem is declared to be the location of our embassy, that has issues of sovereignty, issues of law that it would deem to be affected by that move and by the United States acquiescing in that move, and that would have profound impact on the readiness of Jordan and Egypt to be able to be as supportive and engaged with Israel as they are today,” he said.

I hope you’re sitting down. I have a shocking alert. John Kerry was wrong. Very wrong. One of Kerry’s acolytes, Ilan Goldberg, echoed his boss’s jeremiad but correctly identified Trump’s strategy:

The Trump administration seems to be counting on Arab states, especially Saudi Arabia, to force the Palestinians to accept its plan. The theory is that the Arab states have moved on from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and are more interested in fighting Iran.

So far, three Arab states have signed on to the Trump peace plan and it appears others are waiting in the wings. If that turns out to be the case and this maneuver succeeds in ultimately bringing about a two state solution for Israel and the Palestinians, it is a fair bet that Trump will have a well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize in hand. And this from a guy the Democrats dismiss as a buffoon and incompetent. If this is foolishness and fecklessness, I am ready for some more.

Trump also is right to assert that he has accomplished more in the Middle East for good in less than four years than Barack Obama and George Bush did in their combined 16 year reign of bumbling. Trump is like the fat kid who claimed he could play basketball and was derided by all the cool athletes. Yet, once he got on the court and had the ball in hand, he’s been sinking three pointers and making it look easy. Time will tell if this is real talent or a mere fluke. Meanwhile, honest men and women, regardless of political affiliation, should admit, Trump was right. What condiment makes Crow taste good?

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49 Responses to Middle East Peace and Trump’s New Art of the Deal by Larry Johnson

  1. turcopolier says:

    It is clear that the heat has gone away in the fabled “Arab Street” over the issue of Israel. If that were not so, the rulers would not have dared to do this. That being so … It will be very interesting to see how many people from these two countries go to Israel to visit holy sites like the al-Aqsa Mosque. There have not been many religious tourists from Egypt and Jordan. This is what the Israelis call pilgrims. Trump thinks that he can bring Saudi Arabia into such a deal? Good! Let’s see it. He thinks that Iran can be brought into such a deal? Wonderful! Let’s see it. He thinks the Palestinians will accept permanent helot status? Maybe so… But is that something we should relish? And what of Syria? What of Syria? Evidently Trump considered murdering President Assad two years ago. Is he going to abandon regime change now? is he going to abandon the policy of Pompeo and Jeffries? I suggest that security should be very tight on airline flights from Bahrein and the UAE.

  2. eakens says:

    I suspect this has less to do with peace and more to do with lining up a coalition against Iran. He’s signing peace deals at the white house the same day he not only threatens Iran for a make believe assassination plot against our South African Ambassador, but admits he wanted to assassinate Assad.
    He’s making a big mistake though if he thinks Iranians will behave and respond similarly to the Arabs, and they are certainly not North Koreans.
    He’s being frog marched into a war with Iran while his ego is being stroked under the guise of a Nobel peace prize.

  3. Artemesia says:

    Turcopolier wrote: “It will be very interesting to see how many people from these two countries go to Israel to visit holy sites like the al-Aqsa Mosque.”
    A tripart interfaith shrine, “Abraham House,” is to be built in Abu Dhabi: three buildings, representing Jews, Islam, Christian, built around a park but to be thought of as one — the new holy trinity.
    Is this supposed to deflate tensions over al-Aqsa?
    Is it the bone tossed to UAE — tourist dollars in exchange for throwing over Palestinians?
    Apostate that I am, I think the world would be a better place if we moved away from Abrahamism, especially as interpreted by Maimonides as expressing the ONE god that MUST be worshiped, with the right and even obligation to bring all others to that belief, and the corollary right to destroy all other ‘gods.’
    Perhaps my understanding is simplistic: from my perspective, “Choseness,” “Universalism,” and “Exceptionalism” are rooted in Abrahamism.
    Jews consider themselves to be “the seed of Abraham,” but Paul preached to the Galatians that “Jesus is the seed of Abraham,” introducing ‘supercessionism’ to the world; and in my Catholic upbringing, I was taught that “Catholic meant universal.”
    An insight (also perhaps simplistic) I took away from a visit to Iran over 10 years ago was that at their core, Persians are NOT Abrahamic, they are Zoroastrian — universal based on common humanity rather than ancestral or creedal ‘seed.’

  4. tjfxh says:

    What say about Alastair Crooke’s “Maintaining Pretence Over Reality: ‘Simply Put, the Iranians Outfoxed the U.S. Defence Systems’” at Strategic Culture Foundation?

  5. A.I.S. says:

    @ turcopolier:
    Excellent questions.
    My guess is that the acceptabtability for Helot status of Palestinians will depend on how much worse it is compared to the status of Palestinian equivalents elsewhere. Syria and Lebanon certainly look far less attractive. The other issue is the degree with which Arab elites can “reroute” Anti Israeli into Anti Iranian sentiments on the Arab street.
    Also, from my admittedly limited experience, Palestinians arent exactly homogenous, Gaza =! West Bank.
    If the Israelis are smart (and I think they are), they will continue to exploit Palestinian disunity by not having one helot status but several, with privileges to repress and boss around the lesser helots (perhaps even some less desireable Israelis) awarded to the higher helots.
    I think this will be fairly hard though. Various Historical, religion and cultural issues specific to the situation make it quite hard for Arabs to actually assimilate into Israeli society. There is also a lack of a unifying foe to unite against. If you look at relatively successfull integration/assimilations in history, jointly overcoming something that was thretening to both typically ranked pretty highly as a cause.

  6. Leith says:

    “I suggest that security should be very tight on airline flights from Bahrein and the UAE.”
    Bingo! I won’t be flying on Gulf Air or FlyDubai.

  7. J says:

    Some of the Evangelical Christian Pastors that include Paul Beagly are now in Apocalypse Watch Mode.
    1 Thessalonians 5:3
    For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

  8. semiconscious says:

    eakens –
    ‘He’s being frog marched into a war with Iran while his ego is being stroked under the guise of a Nobel peace prize…’
    nailed! thank you…

  9. Jack says:

    The neocons have been firmly ensconced in ME policy since Reagan. At least Trump made a little bit of lemonade. Nothing earth shattering IMO but moved the ball forward 10 yds and away from own goals under the so-called experts & strategists of the past decades.
    The TDS afflicted media couldn’t bear that some lemonade was made. Wolf Blitzer interviewing Jared Kushner was all about pandemic nothing about the implications or process to having couple gulf sheikhs recognize Israel. The fact is that these gulf sheikhs only paid lip service to the plight of the Palestinians in any case. This formalizes what was reality. The “Arab Street” have always been a manifestation of whatever were powerful manipulations. The manipulators have been coopted in the current lemonade making. In any case Bibi must be very pleased. He didn’t have to give up anything in his difficult domestic political predicament.

  10. Jack says:

    Support for Israel and its maximalist dreams has always been bipartisan.

  11. Serge says:

    The arabs simply do not care anymore, from Morocco to Oman. Their spirit totally broken by the “Arab spring”, youth disillusioned and jobless. The only dream left for most is to ape the western lifestyle. The others are fighting in wars. I can see one of two futures, a Clean Break:Securing the Realm-style one in which all of the arabs live life as helots under the thumb of a Greater Israel. This would bring relative economic prosperity to most of the helots.

  12. Yeah, Right says:

    I think I see the flaw in this article: …”If that turns out to be the case and this maneuver succeeds in ultimately bringing about a two state solution for Israel and the Palestinians,”…
    Surely you don’t believe that these maneuvers are intended to bring about a Palestinian state?
    The colonel has a much more realistic take on this: the intention is to co-opt the Arab states into forcing the Palestinians to accept permanent helot status. Not quite slaves but closes to it.
    There would be many ways to describe that, but I suspect “peace plan” would rank amongst the less accurate ones.

  13. Polish Janitor says:

    One running theme that I have been seeing from the former so-called neocon critics and ME wars opponents (Michael Scheuer comes to mind) is their uncontrollable exhilaration for any terrible so-called F.P. ‘success’ that the Trump admin achieves in the ME. I also remember when the Trump admin killed the Gen. Suleimani late last year the same people also touted it a national security success. This is shameful pattern. Just because Jared Kushner, Berkowitz (Kushner’s mini-me), David Friedman and the Zionist anti-American paid shills of Christians United For Israel et.al put Israel’s interest first does not make it a success for American interests abroad. Trump does not know two things about the ME. He just obeys orders from this outside ‘advisors’ when it comes to ME policy.
    It it exactly what it is. Israel normalized relations with the most notorious dictatorships and wants to implement Pegasus spying program and wide-scale surveillance (among other nefarious things) in UAE and Bahrain. How is that a success for America? America should stay out of these Israeli-first trouble making schemes and stay neutral or out of there.
    Let me tell you what a F.P. success is, OK? It would have been a huge success if America was able to lure Iran into its orbit to fend of the Chinese communists out of the region and out of our lives and have a stronger alliance with regards to its upcoming Cold War with China. It would have been successful for America to balance China out with Iran, India, Turkey and Afghanistan, and not let China to invest billions in Haifa port (close to U.S. military forces there) a major hub of its Belt and Road initiative and a huge blow to U.S. new Cold war effort against China.
    Think about it.
    Allow me to raise a few points: first of all , every single one of these brutal backward Arab dictatorships has had low key but crucial relations with Israel since the Cold War and they just made it open, Big deal! Second, this joyfulness for a hostile anti-american country is quite sad for two reasons: 1. that Larry touts it as a success for America, which is anything but a success for America. It is a success for Bibi and Trump’s evangelical/zionist sugar daddies to cough up some Benjamins for Trump’s campaign and his GOP/Likudniks. I guess nowadays our judgement is so clouded and inverted that MAGA and MIGA are considered inseparable. 2. The delusion that dems are bitterly angry and anti-Israel (because they are anti-Trump) and therefore it automatically becomes an issue of partisan support for Trump and whatever he does. This idea is so absurd that I won’t get into it. Dems were the first to congratulate Israel.
    I would like Larry to tell me what he thinks of H.R. 1697 Israel Anti-Boycot Act which punishes American citizens for practicing their god-given 2nd Amendment rights. or the 3.8 billion of aid, or the the gifting of Golan heights to Bibi? Are these big foreign policy success too?
    What the Arab-Israeli normalization means:
    *The U.S. wants out of the ME to focus on China, a wet dream that Israel favors especially post Cold War. It does not want secular, (semi) democratic sovereign states around it, and if anyone pays attention close enough they do whatever they can to prevent any kind of political reform and change of government to occur among Arab nations. Israelis are staunch supporters of Saudi, Bahraini, UAE, Jordanian, and Egyptian dictatorships in the MENA region. Israel will now be better positioned to roll-back any kind of grassroots reform in the ME with the help of their now openly pro-Israeli Arab rulers by directing policies to these backward rulers to divest from human development and political reform and instead invest more in security, tech, surveillance. This trend also explains Israeli constant opposition to the Iran Deal, which would have had further ramifications for political reform and accelerated weakening of Hardliners in Tehran and a better position for America to pivot to China with the help of a moderated Iran. Israel does not want a powerful democratic nation near its borders, and especially not in Iran. Just take a look at Israel’s neighbors and tell me how many of them are democratic and friendly with Israel and how does Israel behave when there are secular Arab democratic states around it?
    * There is a developing coalition of powerful states as a reaction to the Arab-Israeli normalization that observers call “the rejectionists”. They are, Turkey, Qatar, Pakistan (impending), Malaysia (impending), Iran, and EU (impending).
    * It is true that Iran has now a target on its back and if it were smart, it would try its best to develop some kind of alliance with the secular democratic humanists in EU to try to remove itself from isolation, save what is left of the Iran Deal, and try to isolate and condemn Israelis, Arab dictators and their cohorts internationally and through diplomacy back portraying them as illiberal and anti-democratic or similar things. Although I am not too hopeful that Iran is be able to do this for a number of obvious reasons.
    *This Arab-Israeli normalization is a MIGA (Make Israel Great Again) vision of very tightly controlled development for the MENA region and extremely’special’ attention has been given to the cyber tech development (call it surveillance) to control the ‘Arab Street’ from social revolt and the prevention of next rounds of Arab Springs, which again goes back to Israel’s long-standing regional doctrine of propping pro-U.S. and now pro-Israeli Arab dictatorships in the region.

  14. John Merryman says:

    In the end, it’s all just tribal superstition. Logically a spiritual absolute would be the essence of sentience, from which we rise, not an ideal of wisdom and judgement, from which we fell.
    The fact we are aware, than the myriad details of which we are aware.
    One of the reasons we can’t have a live and let live world is because everyone thinks their own vision should be universal, rather than unique.So the fundamentalists rule.
    The reason nature is so diverse and dense is because it isn’t a monoculture.
    Irrespective of our technology, we are still fairly primitive, in the grand scheme of things.

  15. different clue says:

    When I read that ” If you look at relatively successfull integration/assimilations in history, jointly overcoming something that was thretening to both typically ranked pretty highly as a cause.” I think that The Islamic Republic of Iran is what is being offered or used as that cause.
    If this all ends up in the longest run leading to today’s and tomorrow’s Israelis accepting the lesser Israel that Rabin ended up deciding would be necessary for a lesser-but-still-real Palestine to emerge as a real country resigned with both resigned enough to that outcome that they would tolerate eachother’s separate independence over the long term, then this will go somewhere good.
    But if the present and future Israelis believe this means that the total advantage is totally theirs to press, then present and future Palestinians will continue searching for ways to make their unhappiness felt. But that outcome would not be Trump’s fault. That outcome would be the majority-likudiform Israelis’ choice.

  16. Mathias Alexander says:

    To have a two state solution Israel will have to leave enough of Palestien without Jewish settlement for there to be room for another state. Their actions show that they have no intention of doing that.

  17. Matthew says:

    Larry: the problem with “outside in” strategy is that implies that if conditions are bad enough for the Palestinians, they will agree to any deal Trump can force down their throats. Instead, Palestinians have been offered terrible deals since 2000 (ie., a state that is never going to be a real state with permanent Israeli control over its borders, air space, and water tables)> the smarter plan is to acknowledge that the Zionists killed the Two-State Solution, and Palestinians might as well push this into an anti-Apartheid struggle. The gerontocracy that rules the PA will soon pass away. The younger generation of Palestinians are much more sophisticated.
    As a trial lawyer, I see this type of behavior all the time. If you offer someone essentially nothing, they lose nothing by rejecting it.
    The Arab dictators will not be around forever. And before Camp David, the Palestinians have suffered far worse than they are suffering now.


    For any kind of Peace in Palestine, Jerusalem must revert back to Muslim Sovereignty.
    It is all about who calls the shots there; just as it was 800 years ago.

  19. Artemesia says:

    Matthew: Your description of Trump’s strategy is no different from Vladimir Jabotinsky’s 1923 Iron Wall doctrine
    In short: “We Jews know that Arabs (Palestinians) will never, ever voluntarily give up hope of resisting Jewish demands, and Jews will never stop with Jewish demands: that all of Palestine become Jewish.
    Since ‘voluntary’ will not work, only force — an Iron Wall — will suffice.
    Jabotinsky defines “Iron Wall” as the enforcement capacity of an outside power:

    “we cannot promise anything to the Arabs of the Land of Israel or the Arab countries. Their voluntary agreement is out of the question. Hence those who hold that an agreement with the natives is an essential condition for Zionism can now say “no” and depart from Zionism. Zionist colonization, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population. This colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through. This is, in toto, our policy towards the Arabs. To formulate it any other way would only be hypocrisy.
    Not only must this be so, it is so whether we admit it or not. What does the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate mean for us? It is the fact that a disinterested power committed itself to create such security conditions that the local population would be deterred from interfering with our efforts.”

    Be aware that Benjamin Netanyahu’s father, Benzion, was Jabotinsky’s administrative assistant, then replacement, in New York; that Bibi is very much heir to the ideological fervor of Jabotinsky & of Benzion; and that Benzion and Benjamin laid out the blueprint for the GWOT at the Jerusalem Conference July 4, 1979
    Trump plays only a walk-on role in this carefully scripted 150 year old zionist drama.

  20. turcopolier says:

    To “Muslim Sovereignty?” No. It should be an international city.

  21. turcopolier says:

    “there isn’t a lot of difference between KSA and these fiefdoms of uae and bahrain..” A total crock. you obviously have never been to either of these places.


    Col. Lang:
    Who or what Legitimate Authority would administer such an International City?
    None has ever existed.

  23. Artemesia says:

    Jews can have Jerusalem if they return Washington, DC to full USA sovereignty.


    At one time, this was a war between European Jews and Muslim & Christian Arabs over land.
    It has not been so since 1967; we are in an analogous situation to the 12-th century AD.
    We are waiting for the next Salah Al Din.

  25. Jimmy_W says:

    There are some kinds of precedent for an “International City”. For example, the Vatican is an ostensibly neutral and supposedly-politically-independent entity. Singapore is another “international city”, though probably not “politically-independent”.
    Switzerland, though not a city, kind of shows the way for several different ethnicities and cultures to come together in a new political entity. (Though it emerged from independent cantons.)
    So yes, Jerusalem can be an International City. Israel may have to give it up, however.


    Per your examples, you are suggesting the creation of a sovereign city-state.
    Members of which religion would call the shots in that city?
    I do not believe either Muslims, or Jews, or Protestant Christians would accept such a thing; even conceptually.
    The Orthodox and Catholic Christians may accept it.

  27. turcopolier says:

    the Muslims seized the city from the Byzantines by force of arms. the Crusaders seized it back after 400 years and held it for a hundred years plus two ten year later tenancy by hudna. The British seized it from the Turks in 1918. The Israelis seized it in 1967. Salah al-Din? dream on.

  28. turcopolier says:

    Are you the real Babak? Surely you know that the UN Partition Resolution of 1947 made the Holy City a corpus separatum to be run by the UN. you said you are enamored of the UN. you don’t sound like it.


    Col. Lang:
    The world changes and the dream lives on.
    I am stating the way things are…that only war will free Al Quds.


    Col. Lang
    I do not love the UN, nor do I hate it.
    I just do not believe that the core religious issues of war over Al Quds can be settled in any other way.
    In any case, none of the antagonists will settle for an International City; a rational approach. But if people were rational, we would not have been in this state in Palestine in any case.
    Hudna is the most practical way forward – but WASPS and Jews will not accept it; in my opinion.

  31. different clue says:

    Babak Makkinejad,
    If an ISIS 2.0 arises and takes Al Quds by war and rules it according to its own belief in ISISlam, would that make Al Quds a free city?

  32. Offtrail says:

    Larry, the “Arab Street” is not involved in this. The UAE and Bahrain have hardly any Arabs. Of their combined population of 10.4 million, only two million are citizens. The others are guest workers.
    It’s doubtful that this represents a sea change in how the Arab public views Israel.
    We’ll see if MBS follows suit in Saudi Arabia. If he does he’s probably not long for the throne.

  33. turcopolier says:

    Having held a residency in Dubai, I can assure you that the expat worker population of the UAE and Bahrein is completely inert politically and only there for the money. It’s the locals who matter.


    different clue
    Such an event would widely be welcomed by Ummah; Al Quds having been freed from the clutches of infidels.
    There would be jubilation across the Muslim World and it will make ISIS a potent political & religious force.
    It will weaken Iran – marginally – and Turkey & Ikhwan materially – and thoroughly route the post-colonial regimes among Arabs.
    It is debatable if Jordan, Sudan, and Egypt would survive as their populations would flock to the banner of the modern-day Salah Al Din (during the Great Patriotic War, the memory of Marshall Kutozov was on the minds of many a Russian.)
    It would make Salafi Islam the dominant form of Islam for decades, if not centuries.
    But that is now all academic; just like Saddam Hussein who lacked the vision of conquering Saudi Arabia and was hoping to be left alone with Kuwait; ISIS lacked the vision to take its war to Israel – rather than the Shia and their affiliates. Her paymasters did not wish it to harm Israel, but Iran and the Shia.

  35. different clue says:

    Babak Makkinejad,
    So an ISIS 2.0 treating people the same way as ISIS 1.0 treated/treats people would be a welcome liberator in the eyes of the Muslim peoples? Interesting . . .
    I had always considered ISIS to have hidden engineers rather than paymasters. I had considered, and still suspect, ISIS to be largely a visible containment dome hiding a core
    of still-disgruntled Baathists and ex-Baathists . . . including the whole Baathist intelligence and secret police apparatus.
    If ISIS in fact had paymasters, who were those paymasters?

  36. Serge says:

    different clue,
    In Iraq, some sunni arab populations lived better lives under ISIS than they lived under Maliki’s government, and others clearly derived direct benefit from ISIS policies. And there was nothing antithetical or unislamic about the ISIS way of life to these people, ISIS laws are the exact same social policies that you would find in a gulf country or any other conservative islamic society. In 2014-2015 sunni Iraqis were flocking back to ISIS territory from government areas. The populations that formed the core of ISIS rule in Syria were always anti government smugglers who were themselves the core of certain cadres of the ISIS predecessor,the Islamic State of Iraq, in the 2000s. Baathist officers did form an important core of ISI and then ISIS, but their importance is often overstated. The core of ISIS are simply sunni veterans of the 2000s iraq war, of all stripes, not necessarily baathists. Saddam did however pave the way for all this with his Faith Campaign in the 90s.
    Regarding the paymasters comment, I have always stated this since 2014: ISIS is arguably the only independent faction in the whole iraq/syrian conflict. No state actor ever directly supported them, although there were many influential private citizens(from the gulf) that did, to reap the benefits of supporting jihad in the afterlife. Just like ISI in the 2000s or afghanistan before that. Some sides like the Turks abetted them when faced with the reality of kurdish supremacy, a case of the near/far enemy. But no direct support, although they certainly diverted/siphoned millions of obama’s indirect support to the rebels over periods of years.

  37. Babak makkinejad says:

    When asked “Why are you not fighting Israel?”, the captured jihadists in Syria often replied: “We were not ordered to do so.”
    I surmised that Shia were worse than Jew.
    One member of a captured ISIS team on a mission to Iran, said, during interrogation, “Why is Iran interfering with us getting ourselves slave girls?”

  38. English Outsider says:

    Looks like some nonsense cobbled together to keep the Evangelicals/Christian Zionist voters in hand for the next Presidential election. In the meantime a license for more slow motion ethnic cleansing one olive grove at a time.
    That it can be discussed as a serious proposition is disturbing.

  39. Serge says:

    It is not difficult to see why salafis would rather see the Jews in control of al Quds, than to see twelver self-flagellation rituals in the streets of the city and husseinyahs in the public squares(as you see them today in Damascus and Baghdad-cities considered bastions of sunnism from the salafi-nationalistic point of view that ISIS and other groups subscribe to).
    I would give short shrift to most televised interrogations of captured ISIS members. There are some good ones in the mix . But 95% are staged propaganda productions.

  40. turcopolier says:

    I will match your fantasy with another. We will raise an international army of crusaders to fight you OR the Jews for Jerusalem.


    Col. Lang:
    Israelis invaded Lebanon in 1982 and conquered that country.
    In 2020 they find themselves in a M.A.D. situation with Lebanon.
    And whom do you mean by “We”?
    Not the Catholic Church – no such Declaration of Crusade if forthcoming.
    The United States? She already owns that bear – she has conquered Palestine through her proxy forces, a.k.a. IDF.

  42. turcopolier says:

    You seem to have lost your sense of humor. I said it was a fantasy.

  43. wtofd says:

    Babak, UN sovereignty over the Old City. If Israel insists on control of the Jewish Quarter, so be it. Yes, I know this is a pipedream.

  44. Babak makkinejad says:

    Col. Lang
    Yes. You could be right.

  45. J says:

    I have wonder how this and any other ‘peace deal’ will play when Israel’s government decides to re-build the Temple of Solomon. That will really create a firestorm.
    Could that be the match that strikes the fire that 1st Thessalonians 5 is referring to peace and then sudden destruction in the Day of the Lord?
    Can you imagine the level of blood up the bridle of a horse spilled for 180 miles (the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs) spoken in Revelations 14:20.

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