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And a look at what Biden has to look forward to in the Middle East:

Trump's breakthroughs in Middle East complicate Biden's pledge to rejoin Iran deal
The diplomatic breakthroughs U.S. officials fashioned between several major Arab nations and Israel over the past year have represented perhaps the greatest foreign policy triumph of the Trump administration.

But big questions now face the so-called Abraham Accords and how they will fare under the incoming Biden administration, whose much-anticipated pursuit of renewed nuclear diplomacy with Iran risks striking at the very logic of the historic agreements.

The accords were made possible by an unprecedented Trump administration push to pressure Arab and Israeli leaders to put aside long-standing disputes over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in favor of unifying against their common enemy in Iran.

U.S. diplomats, including President Trump’s son-in-law and Middle East adviser Jared Kushner, elevated the push for normalization deals after Mr. Trump’s 2018 withdrawal from the Obama-era international nuclear deal with Iran — a move that outraged U.S. allies in Europe but was celebrated by Iran’s major rivals in the region, most notably Saudi Arabia.

The incoming Biden administration, which has praised the Abraham Accords but also sharply criticized Mr. Trump’s Iran policies, is now carefully weighing its options on how to proceed.

“I think we’re going to have a Biden administration that’s eager to rejoin the [Iran nuclear deal], but also sensitive to the fact that the Middle East is now speaking with one voice on the dangers of Iran, and of the fact that there is a big possibility to build on the success of the Abraham Accords,” said Jonathan Schanzer, a Middle East scholar with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

It’s a possibility President-elect Joseph R. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris have openly expressed optimism about, even as they signal a desire to keep a focus on the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Palestinians’ insistence on a viable, independent state.

“It is good to see others in the Middle East recognizing Israel and even welcoming it as a partner,” the Biden-Harris campaign said back in September. “[Our] administration will build on these steps, challenge other nations to keep pace, and work to leverage these growing ties into progress toward a two-state solution and a more stable, peaceful region.”

The campaign weighed in even as the first major breakthroughs of the Abraham Accords were making global headlines, after officials of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain formally agreed to normalize relations with Israel — the first such move by an Arab state in a quarter century.

The accords, named after the prophet recognized by both Judaism and Islam, were subsequently expanded to include diplomatic deals by Israel with Morocco and Sudan.

Saudi Arabia, the wealthiest and most powerful of the Gulf Arab nations, has yet to follow suit. But there are indications that the issue is being closely considered in Riyadh, and there is consensus that the agreements mark a genuine milestone: the first public acknowledgements of Israel by Arab nations since Egypt and Jordan broke from the reset of the Middle East and established diplomatic ties with Israel in 1979 and 1994, respectively.

Undermining the consensus

But the U.S.-brokered deals also have drawn sharp criticism, most notably from Iran, Turkey and Palestinian leaders, who argue that they undermine a long-standing Arab consensus that regional recognition of Israel should be granted only in exchange for Israeli agreement to give the Palestinians their own state.

The accords, the Palestinians argue, have only emboldened the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accelerate the annexation of Palestinian-claimed areas of the West Bank, putting in doubt Palestinian hopes for an independent state in the disputed territory.

Critics also claim the Trump administration resorted to costly quid pro quo deals to win UAE, Sudanese and Moroccan buy-in for the accords — specifically by agreeing to the sale of F-35 fighter jets to the UAE, the removal of Sudan from Washington’s list of state sponsors of terrorism, and the recognition of Morocco’s disputed sovereignty claims to broad areas of the Western Sahara.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has sought to downplay the horse-trading involved in pushing the deals through, although he has acknowledged the accords have been the result of “a complex set of discussions” with “lots of things taking place.”

“But make no mistake about it, whether it’s Moroccans or the Sudanese or the Bahrainis or the Emiratis,” Mr. Pompeo said in a recent interview with Bloomberg News, “whoever it is that made this decision,” they did so because “it’s in the best interest of their country.”

“I’ll give you the Emiratis as a good example,” the secretary of state added. “Their decision to normalize their relationship with Israel allowed us to begin to develop a security relationship with them that is different. So we are now going to sell them high-end American equipment to permit them to defend themselves. Those are things that can happen.”

It’s not clear whether the Biden administration will embrace a similarly transactional approach. Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro, who served as an adviser to the Biden campaign, recently told Axios that he believes Mr. Biden will “push” the Abraham Accords forward and “try to get other Arab states to do the same thing.”

A source familiar with transition talks between the Biden and Trump administrations said this week that that assessment is accurate, but the level of energy with which the new administration will deepen and expand the initiative is in question. Mr. Kushner has reportedly briefed Jake Sullivan, Mr. Biden’s pick for national security adviser.

The Biden team has yet to name a specific official to manage the Abraham Accords file and is likely to push for the removal of all career National Security Council officials who worked on the file under Mr. Trump, the source said. That includes Army Gen. Miguel Correa, who has played a key behind-the-scenes role and whose name has been floated as someone the Biden team may want to keep on board.

First steps

Brian Katulis, a senior fellow with the left-leaning Center for American Progress think tank, said the first step for the Biden administration should be a close study of Mr. Trump’s deals and what the U.S. has promised the Arab states that have signed on.

“This means reviewing the proposed sale of F-35s to the UAE, the policy statement made on the Western Sahara, and the decision to rescind Sudan’s designation as state sponsor of terrorism,” Mr. Katulis said. “This policy review should be conducted as part of a broader assessment to inform a new U.S. strategy to stabilize the Middle East and support an improvement in the overall security situation.”

The review, he added, “should be conducted in close consultation with key regional security partners.”

Although it is “a step forward,” Mr. Katulis said, “the Trump administration does not deserve much credit” for forging the Abraham Accords. He said the normalization deals “are more reflective of shifting regional dynamics that have been underway for years.”

A staunch Trump critic, Mr. Katulis also maintains that the outgoing administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign toward Iran has increased the chances of a wider Middle East war. The incoming administration, he said, “should work to de-escalate tensions in the region and look for a realistic path towards a new deal on nuclear issues and other regional security challenges involving Iran.”

Others say the Biden team faces some tough choices.

“Imagine President-elect Biden standing before two doors that represent the Middle Eastern quandary he faces,” Atlantic Council President Frederick Kempe wrote in a recent op-ed published by CNBC. “Which he chooses will color his administration and have a historic impact on the world’s most boobytrapped region.

“One door is marked ‘Return to Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal.’ The other is labelled ‘Build Upon Trump’s Abraham Accords,’” wrote Mr. Kempe. “The wiser course would be to move slowly, cautiously and with trepidation toward the Iran door, recognizing how much has changed in the Middle East in the four years since President Obama left office.”

Mr. Schanzer agreed. The Abraham Accords, he said, mark “an acknowledgement that the Arab nations need Israel as the region’s foremost military and technological power to counter Iran.”

“In this shift was a recognition that the Palestinian issue was no longer a national priority for countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and the others,” Mr. Schanzer said. “They were no longer going to prioritize the Palestinian issue over their national interests.

“By prioritizing the interests of the peripheral Arab states over Palestinian demands, the Trump administration achieved success beyond anyone’s expectations,” he said.

“There is the possibility now,” Mr. Schanzer added, “for the Biden administration to return to peacemaking between the Palestinians and the Israelis, using the Abraham Accords as leverage.”
@Rancid, let me know when you want to debate and discuss instead of mock. You’re normally better than that, I’d hate to have to add you to my “don’t waste your time on” list.
Doug64 wrote:my “don’t waste your time on”

God forbid!!!! :lol:

Biden will have his hands full with an economy that is on very thin ice.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Republican candidate Donald Trump promised he would eliminate the nation’s debt in eight years. However this simply proved to be one of trump's bigger lies. When trump took office in January 2017, the national debt stood at $19.9 trillion. In October 2020, the national debt reached a new high of $27 trillion. That's an increase of almost 36% in less than four years. Donald quickly applied his usual losing business strategy by cutting taxes for his billionaire buddies and borrowing trillions upon trillions. Now his billionaire buddies have so much money they don't know what to do with it aside from dumping it into a vastly over valued stock market while the [email protected] folks have all they can do to feed and house themselves. "Discretionary" income is increasingly becoming a fading memory for non billionaires. This will lead to more layoffs which lead to even lower discretionary income which will lead to more layoffs ….. etc.

But, no worries …… America is great again. Thanks for the massive fuck up trump.

And for the Republican Party going forward, here's this from the Washington Times morning edition. It'll be interesting to see which Trump flaw is stronger, his ego or his thirst for revenge, because if he does form a separate party that will be a massive gift to Democrats. Unless he follows the model of the New York Conservative Party, which he might:

    Republican Party dominated by Trump’s version of conservatism

    Former President Donald Trump is out of the White House, but Trumpism still dominates the Republican Party.

    His stricter tack on trade and immigration and his America First agenda now stand as the gold standard for Republican candidates, GOP officials say.

    The path for the out-of-power Republican Party, they say, is not a return to the traditional GOP establishment but instead a doubling down on Mr. Trump’s version of conservatism.

    “We don’t want a McCain or a Romney that is not going to push back. We tried that and we lost miserably,” said Jonathan Martin, the chairman of the Republican Party in Lee County, Florida.

    Mr. Trump’s hold on Republican voters also makes his talk of forming a third party — what he’s reportedly calling the Patriot Party — a real threat to the GOP if he is serious.

    Rick Manning, president of the conservative Americans for Limited Government, said a Trump exodus would hollow out the GOP.

    “They would have big donors. They just wouldn’t have any people,” Mr. Manning said.

    Mr. Trump remade the Republican Party by bringing in blue-collar voters who traditionally sided with Democrats and rural or working-class voters who previously stayed on the political sidelines, an electorate he dubbed “forgotten Americans.”

    The party’s Never Trump wing, however, is prepared to jettison Mr. Trump’s agenda and his supporters.

    Former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, an establishment Republican who sparred often with Mr. Trump, said the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol underscored the ill effects of Mr. Trump’s leadership.

    He said the pro-Trump mob’s violent attack on Congress should be a wake-up call for the party.

    “If it accelerates the move from Trumpism, then that’s good for Republicans. We’ve got to get back to principles that have animated the party for generations,” said Mr. Flake, who attended President Biden’s inauguration.

    He is a minority voice in the party.

    Recent polls show Mr. Trump’s job approval rating from Republican voters remained strong after the deadly Jan. 6 attack and his subsequent House impeachment for inciting the riot. Nearly 9 in 10 Republicans gave Mr. Trump a thumbs up, according to a recent NBC News survey.

    Michael Whatley, chairman of the North Carolina GOP, said the party needs to turn “Trump voters” into Republican Party voters.

    “We need to make sure they stay with us,” he said.

    Republican Party officials said they plan to emphasize two key issues: election integrity and Big Tech censorship.

    The party also must build upon the America First platform that incorporates traditional conservative values, GOP officials said.

    “Republicans are strongly supportive of an American First agenda. We support law enforcement. We support national security. We support tax cuts. We support life. We support the Second Amendment. None of that changes,” Mr. Whatley said.
Doug64 wrote:
And a look at what Biden has to look forward to in the Middle East:

Washington Times is a Right wing rag.

So what's going on in that piece is happy, happy talk defending what Trump did, and frowny, frowny talk about the prospects are getting back to sanity.

It's BS.

Which isn't to say it's entirely wrong, good political spin always has a grain of truth. That is that this will be tough for Biden. But maybe not in the way you think...

"Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has called on United States President-elect, Joe Biden, to return to the 2015 nuclear deal and lift sanctions imposed on Tehran by Donald Trump's administration.
Speaking at a televised cabinet meeting Wednesday, Rouhani said the ball was "in the US court now."
"If Washington returns to Iran's 2015 nuclear deal, we will also fully respect our commitments under the pact"
https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/20/middleea ... index.html

That's a surprise to me, I knew they needed the deal, but I thought they would play hard to get, angling to sweeten the pot. Second day, and Biden has a deal on the table that would improve relations with Iran, and give him a little more leverage in the region.

That's when the tough part happens. It will be a while before Iran stops being pissed, and gets willing to cooperate with us in the region. We'll also have to respect their interests, which hasn't happened much in the past.

But the ME is usually a nightmare to negotiate, so that's not actually new.

There's lots more to talk about, how low oil prices will impact regional dynamics, and how we will deal ourselves back into the game. But all that comes later, if it happens at all.

I just wanted to point out that the situation is not the way the Washington Times describes it.
I'm sooo glad the inauguration ceremony was not attacked by any more maniacal, suicidal extremists. Extremists should be locked up and caned till they can't sit for days.

I look forward to seeing the enactment of the American Rescue plan that Biden has developed.

I will happily roll up my sleeve for a needle prick tomorrow if the chance was given to me. But I will wait my turn. My parents will get the vaccine soon so I am happy for them. I will be less worried about them.
MistyTiger wrote:I'm sooo glad the inauguration ceremony was not attacked by any more maniacal, suicidal extremists. Extremists should be locked up and caned till they can't sit for days.

No, the maniacal extremists were in Seattle and Portland. I eagerly await the condemnation and calls for the National Guard to be sent in from everyone on the Left that have come around to the long-held Republican opposition to rioting--especially the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress:

'We want revenge': Leftists protest Biden, vandalize Oregon Dem headquarters
Far-left protesters rioted in several Western U.S. cities just hours after President Biden’s inauguration, railing against the new president while burning flags, smashing windows and tagging buildings with Antifa symbols and anti-Biden slogans.

In Portland, Oregon, they vandalizing the Democratic Party headquarters.

Antifa and Black Lives Matter militants marched through Denver, Seattle and Portland on Wednesday night chanting “f—k President Biden.” Portland protesters carried a banner reading, “We don’t want Biden. We want revenge for police murders.”

The rampages undercut Democratic claims that racial justice riots during the summer were a rebuke of President Trump.

“These far-left activists are not pro-Biden or pro-establishment,” said Betsy Brantner Smith, an executive with the National Police Association. “You won’t get a more establishment guy in the White House than Joe Biden, and they are angry.

“This is Antifa saying, ‘We are ungovernable,’” she said.

Cities across the country were on high alert Wednesday, fearing pro-Trump militias would riot against Mr. Biden on Inauguration Day. State legislatures canceled sessions, and governors took unprecedented security measures to protect state capitols.

Those fears were unfounded, and the pro-Trump riots never materialized.

With Antifa and other far-left groups putting the Biden administration on notice that they are here to stay, Ms. Smith said the new administration must forcefully condemn the violence.

“The best thing Joe Biden can do is step up to the podium and say that he supports law enforcement and abhors violence and he is going to make sure law enforcement has the resources they need,” she said.

Mr. Biden took criticism from Republicans for his tepid condemnations of the protest violence over the summer.

In Portland on Wednesday and Thursday, 15 people ages 20 to 44 were arrested. They face charges including assaulting a public safety officer, carrying a concealed weapon and rioting, the Portland Police Bureau said in a statement.

One person was arrested for trying to steal a police officer’s bicycle, the police said.

About 150 protesters gathered downtown and marched to the Oregon Democratic Party headquarters. Once there, they broke windows and vandalized the building with graffiti. People moved dumpsters and lit the contents of one on fire, the police bureau said in a statement.

Protesters spray-painted an anarchist “A” on the building, an Antifa symbol.

The Democratic Party of Oregon said it was “frustrated and disappointed” about the damage.

“We’re thankful that none of our staff were in the building at the time,” the party said in a statement. “This is not the first time our building has been vandalized during the past year — none of the prior incidents have deterred us from our important work to elect Democrats up and down the ballot, and this one will be no different.”

Later that night, protesters vandalized the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, chanting “Abolish ICE” and tagging the building with graffiti.

In Seattle, about 100 demonstrators marched to a federal courthouse, where some broke windows and vandalized the property. They set an American flag on fire outside the federal immigration court.

They also severely damaged the historic site of the first Starbucks.

The Seattle crowd decried Mr. Biden’s election, chanting “F—k Trump, f—k Biden too, they don’t give a f—k about you,” showed video posted on social media.

A woman named Anna told The Seattle Times that she was disgusted by Mr. Biden’s calls for unity.

“Calling for unity with people who actively want to harm people is disgusting,” she said.

The Seattle Police Department arrested three people in the mayhem.

Protesters also burned a U.S. flag outside the Colorado State Capitol in Denver.

Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican, said the carnage proves the far-left rioters don’t have a political goal.

“They weren’t doing it last summer because Donald Trump was president. They are doing it because they hate America,” he said in an interview with Fox News.

Some conservatives challenged Democrats to speak out against the left-wing violence.

Civil rights lawyer Leo Terrell accused “Democrats and left-wingers” of a double standard over their reaction to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol versus Wednesday’s riots.

“I’m looking for the outrage. Where’s all the outrage from the left regarding what’s going on now? I don’t understand it,” the Los Angeles-based lawyer said on Fox News.

Mr. Terrell, a supporter of Mr. Trump, said there was a “passiveness [on] the rioting that’s going on in the Northwest.”

At her Thursday press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, again condemned the pro-Trump mob that descended on the Capitol. She raised concerns about trauma to lawmakers and staffers over the attack that led to five deaths, including that of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.

Mrs. Pelosi said the attack justified the House vote to impeach Mr. Trump. She said people should forget neither that “people died here on Jan. 6” nor “the attempt to undermine our election, to undermine our democracy, to dishonor our Constitution.”

She made no mention of Wednesday’s violence by left-wing perpetrators, some of whom carried weapons including knives, Molotov cocktails, rocks and batons.

Protest violence spurred by the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody has resulted in an estimated $1billion to $2 billion in property damage and nearly 30 deaths, among them federal Officer David Patrick Underwood in Oakland and retired St. Louis Police Capt. David Dorn.
Also, another fine example of the "unity" Mr. Biden has called for:

Seth Rogen dubs Sen. Ted Cruz a fascist in profane tweet. Cruz issues measured response that further triggers the liberal actor.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) took actor Seth Rogen to task Wednesday night after the liberal actor branded the GOP lawmaker a "white supremacist fascist."

Rogen's profane tweet came in response to Cruz's criticism of President Joe Biden, who formally rejoined the Paris climate accord via executive order on his first day in office.

What are the details of the exchange?

Cruz shared a news article Wednesday night about Biden's order, and captioned it, "By rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, President Biden indicates he's more interested in the views of the citizens of Paris than in the jobs of the citizens of Pittsburgh. This agreement will do little to affect the climate and will harm the livelihoods of Americans."

Rogen, who apparently took issue with Cruz's sentiments, responded, "F*** off you fascist."

Cruz shared a screenshot of Rogen's profane response, and captioned it, "Charming, civil, educated response. ⁦@Sethrogen⁩ If you're a rich, angry Hollywood celebrity, today's Dems are the party for you. If you're blue-collar, if you're a union member, if you work in energy or manufacturing...not so much. #JobsMatter[.]"

Not to be outdone, Rogen fired back with another profane remark.

"Haha get f***ed fascist. Go encourage a white supremacist insurrection again you f***ing clown," he spat, and then, in a separate tweet, took aim at Cruz once more.

In what appeared to be a nod to a 2016 incident during the 2016 GOP primary when former President Donald Trump mocked Cruz's wife, Rogen added, "If you're a white supremacist fascist who doesn't find it offensive when someone calls your wife ugly, Ted Cruz is the exact motherf***** for you."

As an apparent afterthought, Rogen added. "Also I'm in four unions."
Doug64 wrote:No, the maniacal extremists were in Seattle and Portland.

Um …… the presidential transfer took place in Washington D.C. …………… you know, the same city where Fat Donald ordered his mob to destroy the U.S. Capital because Mike "The Pussy" chose to respect the U.S. Constitution rather than the Fat Guy.

There is also strong evidence on the internet ( :lol: ) that Fat Donald was constipated on 1/6/21 :eek: .
MistyTiger wrote:@Doug64 I was referring to the inauguration, not the George Floyd protests. The inauguration was peaceful. You should stay on topic, mister.

The inauguration was peaceful in the capital, but not in Portland or Seattle. Note the first line of the article: "Far-left protesters rioted in several Western U.S. cities just hours after President Biden’s inauguration, railing against the new president while burning flags, smashing windows and tagging buildings with Antifa symbols and anti-Biden slogans." The protests were targeting Biden as much as anything else. So on the day of the inauguration the only anti-Biden violence came from the Left. I still haven't heard of any real condemnation of the violence or calls for its suppression from Democrats or the MSM(D).
Not all Amerinds are happy about Biden's attacks on the oil industry, and some of them actually live in the US:

Native America tribe torches Biden admin over oil, drilling order: 'A direct attack on our economy, sovereignty'
A federally recognized Native American tribe is demanding President Joe Biden's administration immediately rescind or amend a new policy that temporarily suspends new oil and natural gas leases and drilling permits on federal land.

The Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, which is located in Utah, blasted acting U.S. Interior Secretary Scott de la Vega for issuing the two-month moratorium, claiming the order violates the tribe's sovereignty.

The Biden administration's action is particularly personal for the Ute Indian Tribe because they produce a significant amount of oil.

From Reuters:

    The tribe produces about 45,000 barrels of crude oil per day in the Uintah basin, along with about 900 million cubic feet per day of natural gas, according to a document it filed with the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 2017.

"The Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation respectfully requests that you immediately amend Order No. 3395 to provide an exception for energy permits and approvals on Indian lands. The Ute Indian Tribe and other energy producing tribes rely on energy development to fund our governments and provide services to our members," Luke Duncan, chairman of the Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee in Utah, wrote in a letter to de la Vega.

The letter continued, "Your order is a direct attack on our economy, sovereignty, and our right to self-determination. Indian lands are not federal public lands. Any action on our lands and interests can only be taken after effective tribal consultation."

"Order No. 3395 violates the United States treaty and trust responsibilities to the Ute Indian Tribe and violates important principles of tribal sovereignty and self-determination. Your order was also issued in violation (of) our government-to-government relationship. Executive Order No. 13175 on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, and Interior's own Policy on Consultation with Tribal Governments," the letter added.

"The order must be withdrawn or amended to comply with Federal law and policies. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. We look forward from hearing from you," Duncan concluded.

The Interior Department defended the order, explaining on Thursday that it "does not impact existing ongoing operations under valid leases."
They do have a point. It is not really anyone’s land but theirs.


Do you now support indigenous sovereignty over the land we call the USA?

Also, do you now support indigenous communities that want to end oil and gas extraction or pipelines on their land?
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