In this Christmastime Celebration it may be time to pause and wonder what has happened to all of those Christian Syrian refugees? Compromising more than 10% of the Syrian Iraqi Arab population, why are there no Christians fleeing the wars? Two thousand years ago a similar extensional crisis was upon the Levant, with the threat to all infants under the age of two years, by Herod, who feared reports of a ‘new King’ being born. This threat necessitated the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt, to survive amongst the rump Isralite community there, until the threat had dissipated.
That today is the experience of thousands of Syrian and Iraqi Christians. They are either excluded from the normal refugee camps, either through fear – with a long history of massacres of Christians in the region – or through secular and Islamist prejudice. The Barnabas Fund ( a global Christian charity) asked Christian leaders in the Middle East if they knew of any Christians in refugee camps. One told us, “we did once have a couple who tried to live there, we had to get them out in the middle of the night when we heard people were planning to kill them.”
Many Christians fleeing the war in Syria live in half-built buildings or makeshift shelters, not dissimilar from the cold, damp conditions in which Jesus was born. Just as Herod’s slaughter of the innocents in Judea targeted a specific group, i.e. Jewish boys under two, so the Sunni inspired genocide in Syria specifically targets Christians and other non-Sunni Muslim minorities such as Yazidis and Allawite sect Shi’a.
Trump sees it as his mission to repair the social contract with the American public. He is focused domestically but events will nonetheless require Trump to look beyond the borders of the US. He is establishing a ‘professional’ Cabinet to facilitate that global engagement. Trump prizes business acumen, professionalism and a “killer” instinct in managing affairs.
The US Establishment has been quick to dismiss President Elect Donald Trump’s emerging Foreign Policy. The dearth of policy wonks, establishment bureaucrats, think tanks and foreign affairs pundits, reflects an emerging Trump Doctrine that is at variance with the norm. It is unsettling the establishment, and in particular the neo-con rump that has for two decades dominated the post Soviet foreign policy agenda of both the Democrat and Republican parties. Gone will be the overly academic U.S. foreign policy guidelines that have become too predictable and overwrought with diplomatic formality. If you wish to lift the edge of Trump’s developing Foreign Policy doctrine to peek beneath, then look no further than his key Cabinet choices and especially the musings of Trump’s key advisor Steve Bannon. Highbrow intellectualism can often be a handicap in this exercise. Trump is hiring pragmatic ‘doers’ not ‘dreamers & talkers’. With a Trump Cabinet, boasting people like Flynn and Mathis, the days of Obama’s ‘red lines’ and hollow threats will be a thing of the past.
The Washington establishment have been quick to dismiss President-elect Donald Trump’s foreign policy, with predictable knee-jerk increduality. The emerging Trump Doctrine however merits deeper exploration than knee-jerk displays of stricken disbelief. Contrary to popular consensus one of Trump’s greatest virtues is his unpredictability. He is fortunate that the United States’ strong geopolitical foundation gives it a wealth of Foreign Policy options.
Occasionally in Foreign Affairs we stumble upon a truly Machiavellian moment. I believe that we may be about to experience one such moment in 2017. Aloofness in international affairs is a geopolitical luxury, but the US has options not available to other Nation States. Trump does not fear nationalism but holds Progressive globalism as an anathema. Trump’s ‘real politik’ is steeped in nationalism.
It’s interesting to review what the new incoming U.S. Secretary of Defence has stated in the past, in order to get a idea of his mindset regarding warfare.
Obviously, it’s a departure from the usual bureaucratic speak we’ve become used to.
Here a a few of his more memorable quotes of the past:-
“The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event. That said, there are some assholes in the world that just need to be shot.”
“I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.”
“Find the enemy that wants to end this experiment (in American democracy) and kill every one of them until they’re so sick of the killing that they leave us and our freedoms intact.”
“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
“Now from a distance, I look back on what the Corps taught me: to think like men of action, and to act like men of thought!”
“There are some people who think you have to hate them in order to shoot them. I don’t think you do. It’s just business.”
“I’m going to plead with you, do not cross us. Because if you do, the survivors will write about what we do here for 10,000 years.”
Growing terrorist attacks, accelerating nuclear-weapon/ballistic-missile threats, and atrophying U.S. military capabilities – President-elect Donald Trump faces a dangerous, complex world.
#10 missile Squadron
To get a sense of just how dangerous that world is, consider this: Rogue states and even terrorists have or could soon have the ability to knock out the American electric grid, using a nuclear weapon detonated high above the United States.
According to 2008 testimony by members of the congressionally appointed EMP Commission, many months of outage caused by such an electromagnetic-pulse (EMP) attack would return life in our just-in-time economy to 18th-century conditions, without the benefits of the then-existing agrarian society – leading to the death of most Americans from starvation, disease, and societal collapse.
A number of ISIS fighters were killed after exchanging fire in the first direct clashes between Israel and the Islamic State on Sunday in the southern Golan Heights. In the incident, the Shuhada al-Yarmouk organization, which has pledged allegiance to ISIS, exchanged fire with Israeli forces. No soldiers were wounded.
Several mortar shells exploded following a brief exchange with the IDF’s Golani Brigade before Israeli air forces spotted a car armed with a heavy machine gun. The aerial vehicle bombed the car and it appeared as if its four occupants were killed.
A senior military officer said the car carrying the machine gun was several hundred meters from the border.