Trump Keeps Campaign Promise; Dozens Killed

Ken AshfordMiddle East, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

… and the United States loses its status as an honest broker of Mideast Peace. That’s what happens when the US Embassy got moved to Jerusalem, a political move that is more symbolic (in its support for Israel) than practical: ZEITOUN, Gaza Strip — Israeli soldiers on Monday killed 41 Palestinians demonstrating along the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip … Read More

Trump Recognizes Jerusalem As Capital Of Israel

Ken AshfordForeign Affairs, Godstuff, Middle East, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Trump’s speech in a nutshell: “Today we finally acknowledge the obvious: That Jerusalem is Israel’s capital,” Trump said. “This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.” This is the actual presidential proclamation on Jerusalem. PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP’S PROCLAMATION ON JERUSALEM AS THE … Read More

Russian Plane Crash In Egypt

Ken AshfordLibya, Middle East, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

A Russian charter plane crashed over the weekend on the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.  All 224 aboard the Airbus jetliner were killed, with company executives ruling out technical or human error only to be upbraided by aviation officials who called such assertions premature. The Metrojet flight full of mostly Russian vacationers, bound for St. Petersburg from the Egyptian resort of … Read More

The Onion Sums Up The Situation in Syria Pretty Well

Ken AshfordMiddle East1 Comment

So, What’s It Going To Be? Aug 28, 2013 By Bashar Al-Assad Well, here we are. It’s been two years of fighting, over 100,000 people are dead, there are no signs of this war ending, and a week ago I used chemical weapons on my own people. If you don’t do anything about it, thousands of Syrians are going to … Read More


Ken AshfordMiddle East, Obama OppositionLeave a Comment

President Obama has been taking a lot of hits on the right for not having visited Israel (despite the fact that he did visit Israel during the 2008 campaign).  "Anti-semite!" they cried.  And so on.  Even Romney raised it during the 2012 presidential campaign. I was never sure what the fuss was about.  Reagan never visited Israel.  Bush Sr. didn't either. … Read More

GOP Gets Its Scapegoat

Ken AshfordMiddle EastLeave a Comment

Susan Rice is now the latest victim of the baying hyenas in the modern Republican Party: U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice withdrew her name from the list of candidates for secretary of state Thursday afternoon, ending a weeks-long fight with Republicans over statements she made on television talk shows shortly after the attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. … Read More

Worse Than Watergate Even If We Don’t Know The Facts

Ken AshfordMiddle EastLeave a Comment

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has no idea what happened in Benghazi but he does know that it’s worse than Watergate and the Iran-Contra scandal times 10. Here’s King from a Washington Times article published on Wednesday: “I believe that it’s a lot bigger than Watergate, and if you link Watergate and Iran-Contra together and multiply it times maybe 10 or so, you’re going to … Read More

The Benghazi-gate Thing

Ken AshfordMiddle East, Obama OppositionLeave a Comment

It's not that I haven't been paying attention.  I really have.  But I still don't get what the hell Susan Rice did wrong. As UN Ambassador, she went on television to answer questions about Benghazi.  Of course, being UN Ambassador, she wasn't exactly at the forefront of the intelligence gathering apparatus, so she relied on information told to her by the … Read More

Breaking: Israel-Hamas Agree To Cease Fire

Ken AshfordBreaking News, Middle EastLeave a Comment

Israel and Hamas have agreed to a cease-fire, the Egyptian foreign minister said Wednesday, ending eight days of fighting that killed more than 140 Palestinians and five Israelis. The cease-fire is set to start at 9 p.m. Cairo time (2 p.m. ET), Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr announced in a news conference alongside visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary … Read More

Scandal Envy

Ken AshfordMiddle EastLeave a Comment

I outsource to Paul Waldman at The American Prospect, because he nails it oh so rightly: If you're looking at the Republican harumphing over Benghazi and asking yourself, "Why are we supposed to be so mad about this again?" you're not alone. Let's review: There was an attack on our consulate that killed four Americans, including our ambassador. Amid confusing … Read More

Cartoon Nails It

Ken AshfordElection 2012, Libya, Middle East1 Comment

Boy, if this Oliphant political cartoon doesn't accurately describe Romney's desparation over the past few days, nothing does: These past few days, Romney has been playing to the crowd that was so outraged by a mosque bgeing built at Ground Zero (by the way, I've been there — you can't see any mosque — it's blocks away).  And he thinks this … Read More

Romney Condemns The Movie That The U.S. Consulate Criticized, After Which Romney Condemned For The Criticism

Ken AshfordElection 2012, Middle East, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

And now Romney's campaign is desperately circulating talking points to supporters, to try to deal with the fallout from his crass statements. Expect all of these to immediately start spouting from the right wing media and blogs:Romney Camp Tries to Manage Fallout From Libya Response. From the "Questions and Answers" section: Questions & Answers: Don't you think it was appropriate … Read More

The Attacks On U.S. Ambassador

Ken AshfordElection 2012, Foreign Affairs, Middle East, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

Well, it's ugly no doubt.  As you probably know by now, families are in mourning, and the diplomatic corps is dealing with the tragedy of four Americans — including the U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens — being killed in the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.  It is the first time a U.S. ambassador has been killed in 33 years. Obviously, there … Read More