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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

David Brooks, "The Politics of Clan: The Adventures of Jared Kushner": Things Get Unglued at the White House

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "The Politics of Clan: The Adventures of Jared Kushner," David Brooks relates to the controversy surrounding Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who, according to Brooks, has "been thrust into roles he’s not ready for," and whose background "has ill prepared him for national government." Brooks writes:

"... Kushner has made some boneheaded blunders in the White House. He reportedly pushed for the firing of F.B.I. Director James Comey even though anybody with a blip of experience could have told you this move would backfire horribly. He’s allowed his feud with Steve Bannon to turn into a public soap opera.

We don’t know everything about his meetings with the Russians, but we know that they, like so much other clan-like behavior, went against the formal system. We also know that they betray rookie naïveté on several levels — apparently trusting the Russians not to betray him, apparently not understanding that these conversations would be surveyed by the American intelligence services, possibly not understanding how alarming they would look to outsiders."

Hey, David, it's a heck of a lot simpler than all this. Jared is only 36 years old. Think of yourself when you were 36: Were you sufficiently mature to advise the president of the United States? I sure as hell wasn't (not that anyone ever asked). On the other hand, today, when you turn 50 and finally have your wits about you, you're headed for the glue factory. Does it make sense? No way! As W.C. Fields once said:

"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people."

Sic transit gloria mundi...

Monday, May 29, 2017

Charles Blow, "Donald Trump: The Gateway Degenerate": Closer to Home, What About Linda Sarsour?

Don't get me wrong - I believe that Donald Trump is not qualified to be president. I don't hate the man. I "merely" believe that he suffers from a severe narcissistic personality disorder that interferes with his decision making. His fingers should be nowhere near the launch buttons of America's nuclear arsenal.

Now back to business: In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Donald Trump: The Gateway Degenerate," Charles Blow writes:

"This is all an outgrowth of Trump’s degradation of common decency. Trump was the gateway candidate. When Republicans allowed themselves to accept and support him in spite of his glaring flaws and his life lived in opposition to the values they once professed and insisted upon, they moved themselves into another moral realm in which literally nothing was beyond the pale.

It is a sort of by-any-means-necessary, no-sin-is-too-grave, all-facts-are-fungible space in the moral universe where the rules of basic human decency warp.

The moment that they allowed themselves to vote for a man who bragged on tape about assaulting women, appeared in at least two pornos, and once joked about dating his own daughter, they surrendered the mantle of morality."

Got it! The Republicans have a monopoly on immorality ... or is there more to the story?

On Friday, Linda Sarsour is to be the commencement speaker at the City University of New York School of Public Health. Despite heated protests, CUNY chancellor, James B. Milliken, is defending her appearance as a matter of free speech:

"The decision to invite Ms. Sarsour was made by the School of Public Health. The commencement speakers are selected at the college level. The School of Public Health made a decision to focus on women leaders for its commencement this year and invited Ms. Sarsour because of her involvement in public health issues in New York City and her position as a leader on women’s issues, including her role as co-chair of the recent Women’s March in Washington. Ms. Sarsour has been recognized by President Obama at the White House as a 'Champion of Change' and was recently named one of Time magazine’s 100 leaders and Fortune magazine’s 50 global leaders.

CUNY’s administration, its Board of Trustees and political leaders are being asked to overrule the college and cancel Ms. Sarsour’s speech because critics object to things she has reportedly said or written. While one might disagree with the School of Public Health’s decision to invite Ms. Sarsour to speak at commencement, that difference of opinion provides no basis for action now. Taking action because critics object to the content of speech would conflict with the First Amendment and the principles of academic freedom."

Fascinating! But perhaps you recall that Sarsour tweeted in 2011:

"Brigitte Gabriel= Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Shes asking 4 an a$$ whippin. I wish I could take their vaginas away - they dont deserve to be women."

Yup, Sarsour, according to Obama, is a "Champion of Change" who would take away the vaginas of women who disagree with her (indeed, removing vaginas certainly results in "Change"). And a woman who would remove vaginas is now the commencement speaker at a school of public health. That makes perfect sense in today's world.

Sorry, it's not just the Republicans who have monopolized immorality. Rather, we live in an age of intolerance. Moreover, as regards the title of Blow's op-ed, I have a serious issue as to whether he should be labeling the jackass man who holds the highest office in the United States a "degenerate." A little respect for the office, Charles!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Maureen Dowd, "Trump’s Hand-to-Hand Combat": Welcome to Donaldland!

In her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Trump’s Hand-to-Hand Combat," Maureen Dowd concludes:

"Donald Trump is not a tough guy. He’s a faux tough guy. That is not even in the American tradition. All of our famously tough icons, on screen and in life, were able to exude strength without using brute force. And they did it while standing up for people, not smacking them down."

Not a tough guy? A faux tough guy? Heck, Maureen, you must never have seen the video of Trump bodyslamming Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania XXIII. Presidents don't come any realer or tougher than Donald.

Concerning brute force, do you remember how Trump was going to build a wall to keep foreigners out of the US? Instead, we have armed Turkish presidential guards kicking the sh*t out of American citizens legally exercising their First Amendment rights, then flying away scot-free, owing to diplomatic immunity.

What has become of the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave? Answer: Welcome to Donaldland!

Diana Buttu, "Why the Palestinian Authority Should Be Shuttered": A Call to Rehabilitate Hamas

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."

- Winston Churchill

The New York Times today published an op-ed entitled "Why the Palestinian Authority Should Be Shuttered" by Diana Buttu, who asserted in a 2012 Harvard lecture that Qassam rockets fired from Gaza at Israeli civilians "don't have explosive heads" (yeah, right). She also claimed at that same lecture that "between the period of 1997 until the year 2000, there wasn't a single Israeli who died of a suicide bombing inside Israel," yet, when confronted with the 1997 Café Apropo bombing, Butto resorted to another lie: "All of the people you are talking about were settlers." In fact, one of the women was from Tel Aviv, one from Herzliya, and one from Neve Monosson. (To learn more about Butto's prevarication at the Harvard lecture, have a gander at CAMERA's article "Diana Buttu is at it Again, Harvard Edition.") But back now to Butto's op-ed, which is no less "imaginative" than her Harvard talk. Butto begins by questioning "whether the Palestinian Authority plays any positive role or is simply a tool of control for Israel and the international community," and declares that "it’s time for the authority to go." Buttu continues:

"[Palestinian Authority] security forces do not provide a normal police service to Palestinians, but instead aid the Israeli Army in maintaining the occupation and Israel’s ever-expanding settlements.

. . . .

The raison d’être of the Palestinian Authority today is not to liberate Palestine; it is to keep Palestinians silent and quash dissent while Israel steals land, demolishes Palestinian homes, and builds and expands settlements."

Ah yes, the "ever-expanding" settlements. However, as observed in a December 29, 2016 Washington Post editorial entitled "On Israel, we’re right back where Obama started" (my emphasis in red):

"In fact, the two-state solution remains entirely viable, as even the settlement statistics cited by Mr. Kerry demonstrate. The administration asserts that the Jewish population in the West Bank has increased by 100,000 since 2009 — but by Mr. Kerry’s account, 80 percent of that growth was in areas Israel would likely annex in any settlement. In eight years, 20,000 people have been added to communities in territory likely to become part of Palestine — an area where 2.75 million Arabs now live. That growth of about 3 percent per annum, the product of a restraint for which Mr. Netanyahu received no White House credit, means that the Jewish population outside Israel’s West Bank fence may have decreased as a percentage of the overall population even as Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry have made it the focal point of U.S. policy."

Similarly, Rick Richman wrote in a December 28, 2016 Commentary article entitled "It’s Not the Settlements, Stupid":

"The figure of 100,000 sounds significant until you realize that 80 percent of it has been in the settlement blocs 'everyone knows' Israel will retain in any conceivable peace agreement. The 20,000 person increase east of the separation barrier, established to stop the wave of Palestinian mass murders against Israelis, translates into less than one percent of the population in the disputed territories, over a period of eight years."

Buttu also fails to take into account what was acknowledged by Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat: Israeli settlements have been built on only some 1.1% of the West Bank. Additionally, she does not make mention of past Israeli evacuations of Sinai and Gaza, other than to assert that Israel maintains "overall control" of the Gaza Strip. Needless to say, Buttu avoids mention of Israel's evacuation of Gaza in 2005 and fails to observe that Gaza shares a border with Egypt.

And then there is the "small matter" of Hamas. Buttu writes:

"To remove this noose that has been choking Palestinians, the authority must be replaced with the sort of community-based decision making that predated the body’s establishment. And we must reform our main political body, the Palestine Liberation Organization, which Mr. Abbas also heads, to make it more representative of the Palestinian people and their political parties, including Hamas. Hamas has long indicated that it wants to be part of the P.L.O., and its revised charter, recently released in Doha, Qatar, affirms this aspiration."

Ah yes, the "new" Hamas, whose 2017 charter reads in relevant part:

14. The Zionist project is a racist, aggressive, colonial and expansionist project based on seizing the properties of others; it is hostile to the Palestinian people and to their aspiration for freedom, liberation, return and self-determination. The Israeli entity is the plaything of the Zionist project and its base of aggression.

15. The Zionist project does not target the Palestinian people alone; it is the enemy of the Arab and Islamic Ummah posing a grave threat to its security and interests. It is also hostile to the Ummah’s aspirations for unity, renaissance and liberation and has been the major source of its troubles. The Zionist project also poses a danger to international security and peace and to mankind and its interests and stability.

. . . .

19. There shall be no recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist entity. Whatever has befallen the land of Palestine in terms of occupation, settlement building, judaisation or changes to its features or falsification of facts is illegitimate. Rights never lapse.

20. Hamas believes that no part of the land of Palestine shall be compromised or conceded, irrespective of the causes, the circumstances and the pressures and no matter how long the occupation lasts. Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea.

Rehabilitate Hamas, which earlier this week executed three men accused of killing one of its senior commanders - the executions were partially streamed live via Facebook? I don't think so.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Mohammad Javad Zarif,"‘Beautiful Military Equipment’ Can’t Buy Middle East Peace": Quintessential Horse Manure

In a guest New York Times op-ed entitled "‘Beautiful Military Equipment’ Can’t Buy Middle East Peace," Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif begins:

"As President Trump was being feted in the palaces of the Saudi royal family after concluding a historic arms deal, Iranians were celebrating the outcome of a hard-fought election. The vote manifested the determination of Iran’s electorate to continue on the path of moderation and constructive engagement based on mutual respect that brought the world the nuclear deal in 2015."

Ah yes, "moderation and constructive engagement based on mutual respect" from a nation that savagely persecutes Baha'is, Kurds, Sunni Muslims and Christians, regularly threatens Israel with annihilation, hangs gay men, stones to death women accused of adultery, and executes more persons per capita each year than any other country in the world. And if that isn't enough to cause your hair to stand on end, consider President Rouhani's statement earlier this week to an Iranian cabinet meeting:

"The remarks by the enemies of the Iranian nation against Iran's missile power are out of ignorance. We need missiles and the enemy should know that we make everything we need and we don’t pay an iota of attention to your words."

More? As reported by Reuters yesterday in an article entitled "Iran says it has built third underground ballistic missile factory" by Parisa Hafezi:

"'Iran's third underground factory has been built by the Guards in recent years ... We will continue to further develop our missile capabilities forcefully,' Fars quoted Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Guard’s airspace division, as saying."

Still more? In a Foreign Policy article entitled "Are the U.S. and Iran on a Collision Course in Syria?" published on Wednesday, Dan De Luce and Paul McLeary informed us:

"Iran has grown alarmed over the growing presence of U.S. special operations forces in southern Syria, and the progress of Syrian Kurdish and Arab troops on the battlefield. Iran is keen to secure a corridor linking Tehran and Baghdad to Syria and Lebanon, and Tehran state-run media have claimed the U.S. forces are in the border area to block any supply routes for Iran.

In response, Tehran has deployed thousands of Afghan and Iraqi Shiite fighters, and in recent weeks has sent 3,000 Lebanese Hezbollah troops to the southeastern region between al-Tanf and Deir Ezzor, according to reports from Fars news agency, affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The Hezbollah troops were sent to the al-Tanf area 'to prepare the Syrian army and its allies for thwarting the US plots in the region and establish security at the Palmyra-Baghdad road,' Fars wrote, just hours before the U.S. air raid [against a Hezbollah convoy approaching the al-Tanf base used by the US to train militias fighting ISIS]. They could also serve as a blocking force to keep U.S.-backed fighters from moving north out of al-Tanf."

Bottom line: Only Obama and Kerry could ever place their faith in Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Tanya Weiz, "A Terrorist’s Teenage Target": A Few Words About the Hamas Suicide Bomber

In a guest New York Times op-ed entitled "A Terrorist’s Teenage Target" published after the heinous terrorist bombing in Manchester, Tanya Weiz writes of the 2001 Dolphinarium discoteque attack in Tel Aviv:

"Tanya [a friend with the same name] and I got into the line on the left-hand side of the door; Oksana and Liana went to the right so we could all get in faster. Then, at 11:44 p.m., a Hamas suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance to the club.

Everything went mute. To this day, I don’t know if I lost consciousness. All I know is that I had flown some distance in the air, and everywhere I looked there were dead bodies. It seemed that every single person in that line had been murdered except for me. Liana died on the spot. A total of 21 people were killed, 16 of them were teenagers."

I believe a few words about the Hamas suicide bomber, Saeed Hotari, are in order. Jamal Halaby wrote in a June 4, 2001 Guardian article entitled "Bomber went to West Bank for a better life":

"The suicide bomber was an observant Muslim who moved to the West Bank two years ago in search for a better job, his father said yesterday.

Saeed Hotari, 22, one of nine children from a poor Palestinian family living in Jordan, is believed to be the man who killed himself and 19 Israeli teenagers in a Tel Aviv disco on Friday. This has not yet been confirmed officially.

'I am very happy and proud of what my son did and I hope all the men of Palestine and Jordan would do the same,' Hassan Hotari said yesterday, with tears in his eyes.

At the entrance of a narrow street leading to hi[s] home in Zarqa, a predominantly Palestinian city 17 miles north-east of the capital, Amman, signs directed people to the home of 'martyr Saeed Hotari'."

Saeed Hotari a "martyr"? His father proud of this killer of teenagers? Why am I not surprised?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

David Brooks, "The Alienated Mind": Can We Swat Donald Away à la Melania?

"All hope abandon, ye who enter here."

― Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy

Yeah, we're f**ked.

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "The Alienated Mind," David Brooks concludes:

"Impeached or not, it’s hard to see how Trump recovers as an effective governing force. Now is the moment for a new establishment to organize, to address the spirit of alienation that gave rise to Trump, but which transcends him."

David is right: Trump cannot recover as an effective governing force, any more than he can recover from his narcissistic personality disorder. But that being the case, how do you convince him to quietly abandon the Oval Office for the good of the country?

Can you swat him away, as did Melania on the Ben Gurion tarmac? I don't think so.

A "new establishment" that transcends the Donald? Brooks fails to grasp that it was the spirit of alienation that also gave rise to Obama, who embittered White Americans throughout the Rust Belt, thereby bringing Trump to power.

Get used to it, we've entered an age of darkness, rudeness, intolerance and alienation, which is not going anywhere anytime soon.

New York Times Editorial, "President Trump’s Mideast Contradictions": Rouhani a "Moderate"?

In an editorial entitled "President Trump’s Mideast Contradictions," The New York Times observes with respect to Trump's initial stopover in Saudi Arabia on his first overseas trip:

"The Saudi human rights record is no better than Iran’s."

The Times is correct in this regard: Iran stones to death women accused of adultery and hangs gay men, while Saudi Arabia lashes and imprisons women who have been gang-raped and beheads persons accused of witchcraft. However, having established that Saudi Arabia is no better than Iran concerning human rights, the Times editorial goes on to lavish praise upon Iran's recently re-elected president:

"Even as Mr. Trump reaffirmed America’s partnership with the conservative Saudi royals, Iranians were re-electing a moderate, Hassan Rouhani, as president and reaffirming their interest in engagement with the West."

Ah yes, Rouhani the "moderate." Who cares if Iran, under Rouhani's leadership, executes more persons per capita than any other country in the world? Moreover, as reported by Iran's Fars News Agency in December 2015:

"Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday ordered Defense Minister General Hossein Dehqan to enhance and accelerate development of the country's missile capability in response to the United States' new sanctions against Tehran's defense program.

President Rouhani noted the United States' "hostile policies and illegal and illegitimate meddling against Iran's right to develop its defensive power", and ordered the defense minister to accelerate production of various types of missiles needed by the Iranian Armed Forces more powerfully.

'As the United States seems to plan to include the names of new individuals and firms in its previous list of cruel sanctions in line with its hostile policies and illegitimate and illegal meddling in the Islamic Republic of Iran's right to reinvigorate its defense power, the program for the production of the Armed Forces' needed missiles is required to continue more speedily and seriously,' President Rouhani's written order to the Defense Minister read.

President Rouhani's decree came in reaction to the US Treasury Department's announcement that it is preparing sanctions on two Iran-linked networks helping develop the missile program.

The presidential decree also required the defense ministry to think of new missile production programs at a much wider scale in case Washington continues its sanctions policy against Iran's defense industries."

Have you any doubt as to whom those missiles will be directed against? Rouhani declared in 2013, "The Zionist regime is a wound that has sat on the body of the Muslim world for years and needs to be removed."

 And as reported by Iran's Fars News Agency in August 2015:

"'We will purchase weapons from wherever we deem necessary and we are not waiting for anyone's permission; if we deem necessary we will sell our weapons and we will do this without paying attention to any resolution,' President Rouhani said, addressing a ceremony held to commemorate the National Defense Industry Day in Iran on Saturday." 

Or stated otherwise, Iran will continue to import whatever arms systems they desire and freely transfer them to Hezbollah and Hamas for use against Israel.

Seeking a more nuanced approach to Iran, the Times editorial concludes:

"Mr. Trump’s determination to forge an anti-Iran alliance with the Sunni Arab states and isolate Iran could drift into military confrontation. The nuclear agreement negotiated between Iran and the United States could unravel, causing a split with America’s European allies. These are consequences that Mr. Trump, in his enthusiasm for Saudi Arabia, seems to have thought little about."

Apparently unbeknownst to the author of this editorial, such a confrontation already occurred last week in southern Syria, when US warplanes attacked an Iranian-commanded Hezbollah convoy which was approaching US, British and Jordanian special forces. Also apparently unbeknownst to the author of this editorial with respect to Obama's sacrosanct unsigned nuclear deal, a "moderate" Rouhani informed Iran's Supreme Cultural Revolution Council in 2004:

"While we were talking with the Europeans in Tehran, we were installing equipment in parts of the facility in Isfahan. . . . in fact, by creating a calm environment, we were able to complete the work in Isfahan. Today, we can convert yellowcake into UF4 and UF6, and this is a very important matter."

Bottom line, with "moderates" like Rouhani, who needs "radicals"?

Friday, May 19, 2017

Michael Doran, "A Trump Doctrine for the Middle East?": A Must Read

You will recall that on Wednesday, I wrote:

"Currently, unbeknownst to most Americans, US, British and Jordanian special forces are on a collision course with Iranian-commanded Hezbollah troops in southern Syria, who are seeking to extend Khamenei's suzerainty over Syria's borders with Jordan and Israel, all with Russian approval."

Well, we have now seen the first confrontation between the two opposing sides, although limited in nature. US warplanes attacked an approaching Hezbollah convoy, and destroyed several vehicles and one tank. Now we must wait and see if the warning is heeded. Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov labeled the air strikes "completely unacceptable."

Separately, I can't remember the last time I enjoyed reading a New York Times op-ed; however, Mr. Michael Doran's "A Trump Doctrine for the Middle East?" is an exception to the rule. It is a must read for anyone interested in the Middle East.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Margaret Sullivan, "Trump’s wish to jail reporters is more than possible. Ask his international friends.":

In a Washington Post article entitled "Trump’s wish to jail reporters is more than possible. Ask his international friends.," Margaret Sullivan writes that "President Trump warmly welcomed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the White House." She continues:

"New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet told me he found appalling Trump’s suggestion [to jail journalists] (which surfaced in a leaked memo from former FBI director James B. Comey), but not entirely surprising.

'He doesn’t understand our role. He wants ‘Fox & Friends’ coverage instead,' Baquet said.

Trump’s embrace of Erdogan — who may be the leading jailer of journalists in the world — should come as no surprise."

But hey, didn't President Obama declare Erdogan to be one of his five best overseas friends?

And as reported in a May 20, 2013 WaPo article entitled "Justice Department’s scrutiny of Fox News reporter James Rosen in leak case draws fire" by Ann E. Marimow, wasn't it Obama's Justice Department that "investigated the newsgathering activities of a Fox News reporter as a potential crime in a probe of classified leaks"?

Don't get me wrong: Trump, a poster boy narcissist, is entirely unqualified to serve as president of the United States; however, Obama's conduct paved the way for this buffoon.

David Brooks, "When the World Is Led by a Child": Giving Trump Too Much Credit

With every passing day, the Middle East becomes more of a powder keg. Currently, unbeknownst to most Americans, US, British and Jordanian special forces are on a collision course with Iranian-commanded Hezbollah troops in southern Syria, who are seeking to extend Khamenei's suzerainty over Syria's borders with Jordan and Israel, all with Russian approval. Who blinks first? Let's wait and see.

Meanwhile, Assad is operating a crematorium, built north of Damascus beside Sednaya prison, in order to dispose of thousands of bodies of executed detainees. As reported by Karen DeYoung in a Washington Post article entitled "U.S. says Syria built crematorium to handle mass prisoner killings":

"Accusations of mass murder and incinerated bodies, evoking the Holocaust, contrasted with last week’s Washington visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. They were pictured shaking hands and broadly smiling with President Trump before an Oval Office meeting in which discussions centered on Syria."

A Trump meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak at this juncture? Hard to fathom. As declared by acting US assistant secretary of state Stuart Jones, "We believe that the building of a crematorium is an effort to cover up the extent of mass murders taking place in Sednaya prison." Jones went on to say, "These atrocities have been carried out seemingly with the unconditional support from Russia and Iran."

Worse still, we are now learning that Trump divulged to Lavrov and Kislyak highly classified information, provided by Israeli intelligence, concerning an ISIS plot to blow up a US-bound passenger plane, by means of a laptop laden with explosives. This, in turn, has jeopardized the life of the Israeli spy embedded in ISIS, who provided the data.

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "When the World Is Led by a Child," David Brooks responds to Trump's leak of intelligence secrets by observing:

"We’ve got this perverse situation in which the vast analytic powers of the entire world are being spent trying to understand a guy whose thoughts are often just six fireflies beeping randomly in a jar."

Six? That's about five too many.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

New York Times Editorial, "A Syrian Plan Worth a Look": Who Cares If Iranian Forces Are Placed on the Border With Israel

In an editorial entitled "A Syrian Plan Worth a Look," The New York Times declares that "the Trump administration would be derelict if it did not give serious consideration to a plan for a cease-fire and safe zones [in Syria] brokered by Russia, with the backing of Turkey and Iran." The editorial goes on to say:

"The plan would allow displaced or embattled Syrians to relocate to the designated safe areas, still held by rebels unaffiliated with the Islamic State, and enable aid deliveries to some 4.5 million people at risk. It also calls for all parties to fight jihadists like the Islamic State and the Qaeda-linked group once known as the Nusra Front."

Nowhere in this editorial is there any mention of Israel, but why should there be? After all, the plan provides for Iranian troops on the Syrian border with Israel in the Golan Heights.

Excuse me, but isn't it Iran that regularly calls for the annihilation of Israel?

And how wonderful that the plan "also calls for all parties to fight jihadists," but is the Assad regime, which continues to drop sarin gas on its own people, any better than these other monsters?

Who writes this drivel for the Times?