Cannibals Love To Have You For Dinner

I love this saying from one of my colleagues in the National Security field about the Middle East:

If you aren’t invited for dinner, you’re likely on the menu!

Oh how true it is. 

It reminds me of a mother-in-law joke my father used to tell about this guy telling his friend:

Yeah, we had my mother-in-law for dinner. And boy was she good!

Anyway, no one can tell a joke like he did. 

Last thing you want to be is on the menu. 😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Who Is Occupying Whom?

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Who Is Occupying Whom?

  • Palestine was never a state, nor one ever administered by Palestinians.
  • Israel is not occupying any foreign sovereign’s land, so it cannot legally be considered an occupier.
  • There was never any partition plan accepted by the Arabs or implemented, so Israel is not occupying anything.
  • It is Israel that has continuously opened itself to the Arabs as citizens and settlers, while the Arab countries have rejected their own Arab brethren and exiled their Jews.

I hope you read this article and understand the lies and propaganda that is being spread about “the occupation.”

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal adapted from Wikimedia Commons)

I Watch With Terror The Rockets Fly

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “I Watch With Terror The Rockets Fly.”

I watch with terror the rockets fly.
The plumes of white smoke in the sky.
Randomly, randomly where will they fall.
A car, a home, a factory, a kindergarten.
The shrapnel penetrating the flesh of its victims.
The rockets do not know the difference,
Between military and civilian, men and women, children and old.

Please pray for the peace and security for Israel. 😉


(Source Photo: Reposted here in video by Israel Foreign Affairs Ministry)

Government Shutdown or Middle East Peace

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, called Government Shutdown or Middle East Peace.”

“It is day 19 of this p-r-o-l-o-n-g-e-d Federal Government Shutdown. Having plenty of time on my hands today, I am debating which is actually easier to solve–the government shutdown or peace in the Middle East.”


We may have to wait for the Messiah for both of these to be peaceful resolved. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A Failed Presidency?

national-debt

Every day we are reminded about the dysfunctional state of our national affairs.

The dictum of the Hippocratic Oath of” first do no harm” that medical students are taught is the very minimum expectation, but has even this been met?

The Promise vs. The Delivery

1) Promised reset with Russia – Delivered a resurgent Russia in Ukraine, Syria, the Baltics, cybersecurity, and more.

2) Promised red lines in Syria – Delivered more than 5-year and counting deadly civil war with chemical weapons, more than 500,000 dead, and millions wounded, displaced, and fleeing as refugees.

3) Promised end of war in Iraq and Afghanistan – Delivered continued troops and war in both with not an end in sight. 

4) Promised good deal with a moderating Iran – Delivered bad deal with continued aggressive Iran violating the agreement and on the path to reaching nuclear weapons.

5) Promised easing of ties with an opening of Cuba – Delivered one-sided deal and a continued hard-line communist Cuba abusing political opponents and human rights.

6) Promised defeat of ISIS terrorism – Delivered continued ISIS global terror (and it’s not workplace violence).

7) Promised closing of GITMO – Delivered GIMTO still open for business with dozens of dangerous terrorists. 

8) Promised a more unified America – Delivered a more divisive nation with raging inner city violence and civilian and police shootings.

9) Promised Obamacare affordable health insurance – Delivered unsustainable double digit premium growth and pending repeal and replacement.

10) Promised Dodd-Frank improved accountability financial reform – Delivered burdensome highly-regulated financial system stifling banking and lending leading to either significant scale back or complete repeal and replacement. 

11) Promised peace in the Middle East–Delivered a barrage of missiles, terror tunnels, shootings, stabbings, vehicular attacks, and arson for our friend and ally, Israel.

12) Promised government transparency to the American people – Delivered obscurity to the “media echo chamber” and devastating political email scandal and Benghazi fiasco. 

13) Promised fiscal and budgetary responsibility via Sequestration – Delivered a doubling of the national debt in 8 years to 20 trillion dollars! 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal via USA Today)

Is Blame A Leadership Quality

Blame

One of the most important qualities of a leader is responsibility and accountability–as they typically say, “the buck stops here.”

So why do we have so much of this:

1. “Blames his guards [the U.S. Secret Service] for closing White House Tours


2. “Blames [former U.K. prime minister] David Cameron for Libya Descending into a ‘Sh** Show‘”


3. “Says GOP is to Blame for Rise of Donald Trump


4. “Blames [former House Speaker] Boehner for Ongoing Government Shutdown


5. “Blames Democrats for Midterm Losses


6. “Shifting Blame for Bergdahl Trade to [former Defense Secretary] Hagel


7. Blames “Detaining Terrorists at GITMO Helps ISIS [recruit terrorists]


8. “Blames media for losing war against ISIS


9. “Blames U.S. for Gun Violence in Mexico

10. “Blaming [former HHS Secretary] Sebelius” for botched Obamacare rollout


11. “Blames ‘bad apple’ insurers for cancelled [Obamacare] coverage

12. “Blames his Low Approval Numbers on Racism


13. “Blames China…for not playing fair [as competitors]


14. “[Russian President] Putin largely to blame for Syrian crisis” 


15. “Blame Middle East Turmoil on [Israeli Prime Minister] Netanyahu


16. “Blames Christians from Holding Back America from Doing ‘Big Things


17. “Blames Founding Fathers’ ‘structural’ design of Congress for gridlock


18. “Blames the rich–big banks, big oil, big hedge funds…[and] recklessness of Wall Street” for economic crisis


19. “Blames [former President] Bush for Economy While Standing Next To Him


20. “Blames the Messenger” for “legitimate criticism


21. “Blames Everyone but Himself for Failed Economic Policies


Do you think that there is probably a lot more blame to go around? 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Wild Trees)

Indians And Palestinians

American Indian

September 4, 1886, Geronimo, the last American Indian warrior surrenders to the United States and later after some time in prison, Geronimo converts and becomes a successful farmer. 

November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly votes 33-13 in favor of a partition from what was land prior under the control of Britain leading to the establishment of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948 at which time the surrounding Arab nations attacked and were defeated, and this replayed many times in 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982 and subsequent Intifadas.

Recently, I had a conversation with a lady who is a Lacota Indian and who happens to be a proud supporter of the State of Israel.

This is what she told me: 

“The Indians and Palestinians have a lot in common in that we both have to share land.”

But, what is different is that we [American Indians] don’t act like some [extremist] Palestinians teaching endless cycles of hatred and violence.

We don’t go around knifing people, throwing stones, shooting, or blowing people up.”

I had understood many people think this, but I had never heard anyone actually come out and say it–let alone a Native American Indian. 

Even now-a-days, I think we must admit that American Indians live in a challenging state in this country and certainly they deserve more and their standard of living should be vastly improved, but at the same time, they manage to live with all the immigrants that came to the United States from all over the world, and they do this in peace.  

Perhaps, in Israel, where there is tacit agreement towards an even better scenario–a two-state solution–with the real potential of peace, prosperity, and security for both Jews and Palestinians–the cycle of hatred and violence can end and should end. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Maryland GovPics) 

A Volcano Of Our Own Making

Volcano Erupting

So I saw this cool volcano making kit in the store. 

Kids typically do this cool experiment where they make a mock volcano erupt and the hot lava spills out in all directions and makes a big stinkin’ mess. 

But when I saw this volcano game kit, I couldn’t help connect this with all the real-world mess going on today with the endless and increasingly savage terrorism we are witnessing from brutal acts of terror to full blown religious civil wars, Arab Spring, and building of Caliphates across the region. 

Now we have religiously-inspired murders and maimings of millions of people with countless more displaced and refugees streaming across Europe.

The problem here though is that this is caused by crazy adults, and not playful and learning children. 

Most recently today, I watched a video of ISIS killing a bound prisoner (see starting in video link at 1:55) by rolling over him with a tank {extremely brutal and gory}.

The unbelievable savagery taking place with knifings, shootings, stonings, suicide bombings, beheadings, burnings, crucifixions, abductions, enslavement, gang rape, and more.

This is the Middle East today erupting and the adults are playing politics, personal and religious biases, and sick gamesmanship with millions of people’s lives.

Unfortunately, what happens over there tends to come here in the West…and this eruption is a doing of our own head-in-the-sand making. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Terrorism Knows No Boundaries

Stabbing

Another stabbing in Jerusalem–right in the back of the head!


So far 18 terror stabbings in Israel in less than 10 days.


You never know when it’s coming until the blade sears through the air and into the head, neck, chest, or back of the victim.


In an apartment, at a shopping center, riding a bus, on the way to prayer–no one is safe!


Today, one 13-year old boy is in critical condition after being stabbed nearly a dozen times while riding his bicycle in Jerusalem.


The stabbing attacks are coming on top of shootings, stonings, bombings, molotov cocktails, and vehicular hit and runs.


The call for a third Intifada to terrorize and kill Jews in Israel is underway.


This on top of last year’s Gaza War when thousands of rockets where fired targeting Israeli cities and critical infrastructure as well as terror tunnels coming under the border to murder and abduct Israelis.


But Israel is not alone in fighting a wave of global terror–it is engulfing the Middle East and farther–from Libya to Syria, Yemen to Turkey, Iraq to Afghanistan–and hundreds of thousands of refugees are streaming to Europe.


Bombing of markets, weddings, funerals, houses of worship, and even peace rallies.


Chemical weapons, beheadings, hacking off limbs, crucifixions, burning victims alive, abductions of women and children, slavery, and gang rape, are now virtually accepted items in the International news, and on a daily basis. 


Next in the mix–maybe some suitcase or missile-tipped nukes delivered by impassioned Jihadists?


For now, we are watching from our perch of safety and security here and in Europe, but what when what we witness happening “over there” eventually comes over here…


Have we become so used to and callous to all the terrorism that we barely even blink an eye anymore when we read, hear, or see it?


While terrorism knows no physical boundaries, perhaps with an ever-increasing tempo of sickeningly outrageous and barbaric terrorist acts, it knows no boundaries to our soul anymore either.  😉


(Source Photo: Facebook via Documenting Anti-Semitism)

Russia Seems To Have A Strategy, Why Don’t We?

Bomb Pop

Russia upends the U.S. and NATO once again, now carrying out a third day of a devastating bombing campaign that shows no sign of letting up in Syria. 


Russia is leapfrogging us to pursue their goals of keeping dictator Bashar Al Assad, tightening up on a renewed cozy relationship with Iran and Iraq–in what is the prime oil basin of the world–and reestablishing their place on the world stage as a superpower (apparently, Crimea wasn’t the end, but just the beginning), and at the same time killing U.S.-backed Syrian rebels


But what about our efforts…


Well, we’ve had “dismal results” after dilly dallying around in Syria for the better part of its 4 1/2 year civil war that’s killed over 250,000 people and created 5 million refuges streaming across the Middle East and Europe, and we keep having to “rethink” our strategy there. 


At the same time, as to our war to defeat the terrorist ISIS caliphate–who vows to smuggle nukes into America and plans a “religious cleansing” of hundreds of millions–uh, they continue to grow!


What about our more than 10 year investment in Iraq–where we spent over $2 trillion and in which almost 37,000 of our service members were either killed or wounded?  –Iraq is now cooperating with…Russia!


How about Iran–for whom we went to the mat with a controversial deal to relieve their sanctions and provide them hundreds of billions of dollars to funnel into their economy as well as global terror? –Iran is allying themselves with Russia (and Hezbollah), deepening their foray into Syria, and continue their threats to annihilate Israel and chants of death to America!


Then to hear yesterday that not only don’t we have a strategy as has been the reframe for months, but that we are not going to play chess or get into a proxy war in the Middle East with Russia…well gee, the world game of strategy and brinksmanship is not going to stop for us. 


Just because we don’t have a (good) strategy and don’t want to play global chess anymore doesn’t mean Russia, Iran, China, and others aren’t going to forge ahead with their dangerous strategies and gains. 


We are a wealthy, mighty, and innovative nation–surely, we have a strategy in this country of over 319,000,000 people, somewhere. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)