Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Elliott Abrams, Will He Serve the Candidate He Allegedly Rejected?


If he gets the job... this may indicate something to us about Trump's plans for Iran

WASHINGTON — Elliott Abrams, a neoconservative who has long argued for an activist foreign policy that spreads American values around the world, was advising Republicans just last spring to “keep your distance” from Donald J. Trump and offering advice about what the party should do after the “Trump collapse.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Abrams is set to visit President Trump in the White House to determine whether there is a job for him in the new administration, as the State Department’s No. 2 official.

As part of the vetting process to see whether Mr. Abrams will serve as Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson’s deputy, his writings have been scrutinized in a White House suspicious of anyone who was not a Trump loyalist from the beginning.

But the advantage of picking Mr. Abrams is clear: He knows the inner workings of the department, he served under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and, like Mr. Trump, he is often a critic of the Washington foreign policy establishment. Of course, he is also a member of it.

It appears that selecting Mr. Abrams is not a done deal, with much probably riding on his conversation with a president whose campaign he urged others not to join. But some are already predicting that he will emerge as part of the Trump team.

“I think he’s pretty close to being named,” James Jay Carafano, a Heritage Foundation fellow who advised the Trump transition team on the State Department, said in an interview.

Mr. Abrams, 69, is described politely in foreign policy circles as a “controversial” figure, but that deeply understates the case.

He is remembered best for the days when he was an assistant secretary of state during the Reagan administration, and his conviction in 1991 on two misdemeanor counts of withholding information from Congress during the Iran-contra affair. He was later pardoned by President George Bush, and that moment has largely receded from memory — although if he is nominated, there is little question that Democrats will bring it up again.

Still, his selection would calm many at the State Department who worry that Mr. Tillerson, who has never served in government, is about to discover how running a large government bureaucracy full of dissenting opinions differs from running Exxon Mobil, where he was chief executive. Mr. Abrams knows the building well and, with a genial style and sharp views, knows how to navigate the national security bureaucracy.

His last stint in government was as deputy national security adviser during the George W. Bush administration. He often collaborated but sometimes feuded with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice over whether the Middle East peace process was, in fact, meaningful.

“The peace process was like Tinkerbell in that if we all just believe in it firmly enough, it really would survive,” he wrote in a book, “Tested by Zion,” about the Bush administration’s efforts.

In ordinary times, nominating Mr. Abrams would set off tremendous opposition, especially from the left. But Mr. Trump’s many promises during the campaign to upend decades of bipartisan foreign policy doctrine, as well as a series of phone calls and meetings in recent weeks that left allies feeling insulted, led many experts to applaud him as a man who could put the Trump administration on a more predictable path.  
“For the most part, I think he would be welcomed in the State Department,” said Dennis Ross, the senior Middle East adviser under President Barack Obama. “He’s seen as serious, responsible and knowledgeable.”

Mr. Abrams’s nomination would be the beginning of an important process to fill out the State Department’s top ranks. The Trump administration, as is common, asked nearly all of the Obama administration’s political appointees to leave their posts, including some seen as vital to the day-to-day management of far-flung operations.
From Earlier :Did Trump Really Pull The Trigger on Obama’s Raqqa Plan?


  1. Ain't gonna happen unless a few pro-Deep State Dems join the arepugs. Ron Paul said no.

  2. Every single president of the US has his own wars and crimes. Trump will probably be the same type of vampire.
    Time will tell.

  3. “The operation in Raqqa should be conducted with the right [groups] and not with terror organizations,” Çavuşoğlu said, adding that Saudi Arabia is on the same page as Turkey regarding the Raqqa offensive.


    DCP and Jubeir now "on board."


    All hands on deck. Especially with Egypt talking Exports by 2020 and self sufficiency by 2018

    Explains the Israeli urgency to do a Turkish deal as Northern Cypriot leader talks up the Turkish energy corridor rather than the Israeli- Greek pipeline.

    Is another story about the rumored secret negotiations on a floating Gaza port about to surface as Israeli moves in to Gaza?


    1. Report: Israel Conducting Talks With Hamas About Possible Floating Port for Gaza. Israel is conducting talks with Hamas about the possible construction of a floating port between Turkish Cyprus and the Gaza coast that would allow goods to be transferred the Palestinian coastal territory, the Jordanian daily Ad-Dustour reported Tuesday, quoting Western diplomatic sources. The report also noted an idea to expand Gazan territory into the Sinai Peninsula.

    2. Lebanon to Auction Energy Rights in Area Contested by Israel. The new bidders can apply Feb. 2 to March 31, Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil told reporters at his office in Beirut. The ministry will select license winners by Nov. 15, he said. “This is our natural and sovereign right,” Khalil said. “Israel has already made clear its position on its northern maritime delimitation,” he said. “The Government of Israel is committed to ensuring that its rights are protected on maritime areas in which Israel asserts sovereign rights or jurisdiction.”

    3. Russia sticking by the Kurds (and PKK?). US negotiating tactic as the long range bombing runs in Ezzor and Palmyra offensive ensue?

      UN delays talks again as US pushes Turkey and Russia acknowledges it is still apart with turkey on Syria?

      Interfax Russia, Turkey still differing on Syria but Ankara not emphasizing differences for now - Russian Foreign Ministry. Russia does not see PKK, Kurdish self-defense forces in Syria as terrorists - Foreign Ministry. Tu-22M3 aircraft destroy 34 terrorist sites in area of Syria's Deir ez-Zor - Russian Defense Ministry

      "Syrian President Bashar Assad has said that "defending" his country in a time of war was more important than any international tribunal that may be brought against his government later. "We all know that the United Nations institutions are not unbiased, they are biased because of the American influence and the French and British, mainly," he said. "We have to defend our country by every mean, and when we have to defend it by every mean, we don't care about this court, or any other international institution," Assad added."

      Interfax: Al-Assad believes that Kurdish issue in Syria should be decided by people of Syria - State Duma deputy

      Israeli and US push on Turkey is the moment of truth into the referendum (and ratings downgrades...)...

      ps Syria giving Russia priority in offshore

      Is Russia Anticipating another meteor into the Arctic conference after the muyltiyear rollout of air defense systems ringing major cities.

      08Feb17 - Interfax: S-400, S-300 missile operating crews destroy unidentified aerial objects
      27Jan17: Arctic – Territory of Dialogue Forum to be held in Arkhangelsk 29-30 March 2017
      17Jan17: "The unit of the Soyuz-U carrier rocket’s third stage planned for the launch of a Progress MS-05 transport cargo spaceship has been delivered to the Progress Rocket and Space Center for a check. The carrier rocket for the Soyuz MS-04 manned spacecraft is also in the Progress Rocket and Space Center. Works are under way on both carrier rockets to replace 11D55 third-stage engines [RD-0110 produced by the Voronezh Mechanical Factory] with similar engines of a different series," the Roscosmos press office said.
      09Jan17: The two luminous space rocks were filmed by dashboard cameras on January 3 and 4th in Arkhangelsk region, some 1,200 kilometers north of Moscow, according to local media.
      09Jan17: S-400 Triumf missiles to be deployed for air defense of Moscow, Central Industrial District this year
      25Dec16: Tupolev Tu-154 jetliner of the Russian Defence Ministry crashed into the Black Sea (Sochi)
      08Dec16: Several S-400 Triumf air defense missile systems were put on combat duty on Thursday to protect the air borders in northwestern Russia, spokesman for the Western Military District Igor Muginov said.
      06Dec16: meteorite that exploded above Russia’s southern Siberian republic of Khakassia Tuesday could be about 10-15 meters in diameter, a leading Russian space scientist told TASS
      05Dec16: New S-400 regiment missile set to be deployed in Moscow region
      05Dec16: Su-33 fighter jet crashes from Russia’s Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier

    4. https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201702081050478316-al-bab-russia-us/

      Russia supporting Kurds but also Turkish clearing operation. US simply cant let the Turks move Raqqa.

    5. I wonder if they downed the successor of the SR-71

    6. Falcon

    7. "We have to deter bad behavior in space and we have to deter conflict in space," the general emphasized, referring to China and Russia as potential trouble-makers. "We have to prevent that," Hyten said, "and the best way to prevent war is to be prepared for war. So the United States is going to do that, and we're going to make sure that everybody knows we're prepared for war."

      China Prepares forAnti-Satellite Missile Test - Washington Free Beacon

    8. Timely on US nuke force review

    9. Maj. Gen. John Rossi died on Sunday on the Redstone Arsenal installation. Wyche's statement says 55-year-old Rossi was the incoming commander of the installation and a native of Long Island, New York.Rossi was scheduled to take over on Tuesday as commander of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command and Army Forces Strategic Command.


    10. “I see hypersonics as weapons whose only plausibly logical use would be a niche role in a strategic first strike vs. Russia or China. So the nuclear standoff already exists, and this road is taking us closer to war,” physicist Mark Gubrud said by email.

      24Jan17 Interfax: Hypersonic weapons to emerge early next decade - Tactical Missiles Corp head

    11. 07Feb17 - Interfax Russia to test sea-based Zircon hypersonic missile for first time this spring - source

      Bird, Plane, Zircon?

    12. Us minuteman III launch hours ago

    13. Noe Pence is pushing a new day with Turkey on the accidental Russian airstrike? Assad forces coming in from the South in Al Bab and Turk backed rebels in the north with Turkey talking move on Raqqa.


      Violent clashes were reported between the Syrian army backed by the Lebanese Hezbollah group and the Turkish-backed rebels of the Euphrates Shield near al-Bab, as both parties were closing in on the IS stronghold in that city from different directions, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.


    14. A Russia message?

    15. I found an interesting article, what they tell reads plausible.

    16. Read up on David Axe.

    17. A day after the turkish troop kills and escalating US diplomacy offensive (alongside Raqqa or in defense of it?)

      Interfax: Ankara doesn't recognize Crimea's accession to Russia - Turkish Foreign Minister

      Haartez: Two Palestinians Said Killed in Attack on Tunnel Between Gaza and Egypt

      Haartez: Israel Watches Warily as Assad's Forces Retake Golan Border

      AA: The secretary of Iraqi Shiite militia Kataib Hezbollah (Hezbollah Brigades) has been killed according to Iraqi security source. Kataib Hizbollah is a part of Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization) militias

      Israel is openly pushing a united front against Iran and Hezbollah (into Netanyahu Trump meetup) - note the assassination of Hez militia in iraq days ago - which is evident in the urgency around Lebanon clearly increasing related to the Med basin (witness the escalation along the Egypt border, the return of Hamas (Qatar) exile to the strip and assassination campaign of Sinai generals, the move by Assad troops back on Golan border, leaks about the US no fly zone in the south, US pushing more deployments in Iraq and Syria peace talks being thwarted as UN pushes back deadlines. See above: leaked negotiation around Hamas and Israel and Sinai expansion plus port (Metrojet shoot-down notwithstanding or those Russian special forces deployments to train in Sinai months ago).

      Doubly curious is the NYT article about the Trump "strategy" to build a GCC/Israel coalition - which is of course something Israel has pushed for years, against the Iran axis from Afghanistan to Bahrain to Saudi to Syria. Of course Saudi openly denied the Israeli claim to be working with GCC partners years ago. So the Jared Kushner "plan" is actually Israel's Ya'alon's plan. And that makes the return of Shamoon to Saudi all the more notable. And as for those North African countries the alleged Tunisia moves (in Europe and assassinations noted alongside the Sinai kill campaign). See below

      30Jan17: Report: Hamas operative known as 'The Engineer' assassinated

    18. 30Nov16: A version of Shamoon, the destructive computer virus that four years ago crippled tens of thousands of computers at Middle Eastern energy companies, was used two weeks ago to attack computers in Saudi Arabia. The original Shamoon hackers left images of a burning U.S. flag on machines at Saudi Aramco and RasGas Co Ltd in 2012. Researchers said the Shamoon 2 hackers also left a calling card: a disturbing image of the body of three year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi, who drowned in the Mediterranean last year.

      22Oct16: Egyptian general who led counterterrorism in Sinai assassinated

      14Feb16: Ya'alon: Israelis Secretly Meeting With Officials From Gulf States. Israeli defense minister's speech at Munich security conference turned into confrontation with Saudi intelligence chief, who responded: Handshakes with Israelis never helped Palestinians. After Ya'alon claimed that Israel was carrying out secret contacts with Arab countries in the Persian Gulf, the Saudi prince took him to task saying that handshakes with Israelis have never helped the Palestinians. "I speak about the Gulf states and North African states too. Unfortunately they are not here to listen. For them, Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood are the enemy…. Iran is the bad guy for us and for the Sunni regimes. They are not shaking hands [with Israelis] in public, but we meet in closed rooms."

      08Sep12: Saudis said they would shoot down any Israeli planes that fly over its airspace on their way to or from Iran

      15Aug12: On Aug. 15, more than 55,000 Saudi Aramco employees stayed home from work to prepare for one of Islam’s holiest nights of the year — Lailat al Qadr, or the Night of Power — celebrating the revelation of the Koran to Muhammad.That morning, at 11:08, a person with privileged access to the Saudi state-owned oil company’s computers, unleashed a computer virus to initiate what is regarded as among the most destructive acts of computer sabotage on a company to date.

    19. “Hezbollah lives off money and advanced weaponry from Iran, so there need to be paralyzing sanctions on Hezbollah with a very credible threat of sanctions on Iran if it doesn’t stop doing this.” “We see a new and very close alliance on the question of Iran, something that has changed from the past U.S. administration,” Katz. To cut off the route linking Iran to Lebanon, Israel wants the U.S. to advocate for an accord in Syria that diminishes Iran’s future role.


    20. good morning all :)

      David Axe? Is this David Axelrod?

    21. I think he is mentioning about this David Axe, https://warisboring.com/@daxe Haven't read him yet, but going to do when I have the time to go trough all his stuff.

    22. okay thanks but am I reading about David Axe or reading his info? help

  4. agreed wrt Trump- time will tell.. I was amazed to read Abrams was being considered... at all!

  5. Anonymous: thanks for the links, going to read them presently