Posts Tagged West Bank

Were you wondering why Obama visited a Buddhist Temple and received a berachah (lehavdil) from a Buddhist monk?

Obama at Buddist Temple.

Were you wondering why Obama visited a Buddhist Temple on his current trip to Thailand and Myanmar?  And why he lightheartedly accepted a berachah (lehavdil) from the Buddhist monk?  Read on and find out the real reason!

Even while on a strategically important visit to Asia, Obama must simultaneously deal with tactical matters in the Middle East, and the Buddhist Temple visit is part of that.

Here is a “scorecard,” recently sent us by Intemperate Correspondent, who blogs at JihadBrief, so you can sort out all the “players” and know who’s team they’re on.  He writes:

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Iran and “Lebanon” (overrun by Hezbollah) are supporters of Assad.

Hamas backs the rebels in Syria, because the rebels are infiltrated by Islamist ideologues.

Today the Lebanese PM repeats:  He will do nothing to support Hamas, denying he ever even thought of calling on parliament to make any such statement of support.  He is under pressure from Hezbollah, funded by Iran, to be an enemy of Hamas.

Our “ally” Qatar, where we have a huge military base, openly backs Hamas, because it is a way of being against Assad, Iran/Imadinnerjacket, and Hezbollah.]

The trip the Lebanese PM made to Gaza must have been okay with US;   it showed the Hamas willing to shoot rockets under cover of the visit.  They also took shots during the Egyptian PM visit.

Both Qatar and Egypt then gave the green light, unspoken, to Israel and the US.  They made clear they would give nothing but lip service.  Both continue to get billions a year from the US.

Hezbollah is being very quiet.  So is the West Bank.

The Syrian rebels are infiltrated by Islamist ideologues.  The Libyan rebels had less of these Islamists, but enough.  Libya had more black African mercenaries working for Gadaffi, who have mostly gone to northern Mali.  They are a crazed and evil group that has joined with the Boka Haram [Learning Forbidden], and are destroying Mali.  Other nuts driven recently out of Nigeria are also heading to Mali.

We need a more controllable and visible force in Mali, beyond the special forces now there.  They have killed and maimed many people already —  for things like card playing, hair cutting, dancing, or wearing wrong clothing.

They have leveled ancient art and architecture through Timbuktu and the north.

Salafists, now emboldened in Egypt, are stating they were behind prompting the Taliban to destroy the ancient Buddha statues in Afghanistan, and they are now calling for the leveling of the Sphinx and pyramids of Egypt!

While to us the Brotherhood might be nuts, I think to Morsi’s Brotherhood, the Salafists appear nuts.  At least since Morsi found out he actually has to govern a huge nation, a nation that has not yet taught it’s school bus drivers to stop at rail crossings, and that has come to need the American subsidy to survive economically.

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Well, that’s the analysis recently arrived from “Intemperate Correspondent,” which leads me to see Obama’s Buddhist Berachah in a new light:

At a Buddhist Temple, Obama can kill three birds with one stone:  He can cement relations with strategic allies in the Far East;  send a clear stick-signal to the crazies like the Egyptian Salafists and their brutish heroes in Mali;  and send a carrot-signal to their oppositional Morsi, whom Obama would like to put in orbit around the USA. Read the rest of this entry »

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Understanding Middle East Security

Most folks who watch the news don’t have a clear understanding of military tactics, nor of the geography of the West Bank.  They know Israel is a small country, overshadowed by the Golan Heights, but they don’t understand how particular hills and valleys in the West Bank convey safety or the lack thereof, nor what that implies for negotiations over borders.  This video, despite the histrionic tone of its overbearing announcer, is actually educational.

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Shopping in the West Bank

Gush Etzion SupermarketThe “West Bank” was given this name by Jordan when Jordan conquered and annexed it in 1948.  Only the US and the UK recognized the annexation.

Israel conquered the West Bank from Jordan in 1967, and thereafter administered it, pending a peace treaty with Jordan.

But Jordan relinquished its claim to the West Bank in 1988, stripped the residents of their Jordanian citizenship, and ceded its claim to the PLO.

The Jewish population of the West Bank is 500,000.  Depending on which Arab agency is asked, the Arab population of the West Bank is between 1.5 and 2.5 million.  So the ratio of Arabs to Jews is somewhere between 3 to 1 and 5 to 1.

The rightful sovereignty of the West Bank is disputed.  Those residents who want to kill or evict all the Jews call this area “Palestinian Territories” or “Occupied Territories” or “Palestine”, imagining themselves to be descendants of the Biblical Philistines and thus the land’s rightful owners.  Those residents who want to evict all the Arabs, or at least retain Jewish sovereignty there, call the area by its post-Joshua Biblical names “Judea and Samaria.”

Thus “West Bank” is useful as a neutral geographical place name.

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