A pair of routine looking press releases dropped last night from the White House Press Secretary.
Identical save for the persons President Trump spoke to, in context of recent events these two simple communiques are nothing short of revelatory. The first release covers a conversation with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates.
The second and nearly identical release concerns a conversation on the same day with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.
Naturally leftist clowns on Twitter see the flash of the lure and take the hook, line, and sinker. The problem with paying attention to only what lies directly in front of you is that you become blinkered, divorced from wider context and obsessed with the most obvious morsel thrown to you. This is in essence the fundamental flaw of the majority of people of all political persuasions you meet online. What many now recognize as Trump Derangement Syndrome has roots in this obsession- if you spend your time hate-watching the President, everything he does is offensive to your sensibilities. These people are unwitting cheerleaders for a diversion.
Focusing on the surface appearances, our fine friends here have found themselves hoodwinked. How terrible the President is, he just copies and pasted these releases. How stupid America looks now. This position becomes utterly myopic and laughable when we consider with whom President Trump was talking.
"Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan is the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. He is seen as being the driving force behind the UAE's activist foreign policy and is the leader of a campaign against Arab Islamist movements."
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia fired their top generals last night in a move spearheaded by the new reformist Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. According to professor of Arab politics Mahjoob Zweiri, while many see a link between the Saudi reshuffle and the war in Yemen, the move signals changes to come within the kingdom's internal politics. As reported in Al Jazeera:
"This development tells us one thing: the new king is coming sooner rather than later. It seems that he's setting the platform for his son to rule - we've witnessed serious changes to the economy, attempts to fight corruption and so on,"
Zweiri is undoubtedly correct on the succession plans being set out, but the war in Yemen is absolutely part of this reshuffle. If it was not, then there would be little reason for President Trump to speak with both the Supreme Commander of the UAE armed forces and the Saudi Defense Minister on the same day. Something is developing- and it's happening right now.
All this comes hot on the heels of leaked audio which confirmed news reports from two weeks ago that Russian contractors had tested the United States military- and paid the price. As Russia happily uses mercenaries in lieu of committing politically costly ground troops, the timeline is becoming clearer by the day. According to the leaked audio:
"So one squadron f--- lost 200 people ... right away, another one lost 10 people ... and I don't know about the third squadron, but it got torn up pretty badly, too ... So three squadrons took a beating ... The Yankees attacked ... first, they blasted the f--- out of us by artillery, and then they took four helicopters up and pushed us in a f--- merry-go-round with heavy caliber machine guns ... They were all shelling the holy f--- out of it, and our guys didn't have anything besides the assault rifles ... nothing at all, not even mentioning shoulder-fired SAMs or anything like that ... So they tore us to pieces for sure, put us through hell, and the Yankees knew for sure that the Russians were coming, that it was us, f--- Russians ... Our guys were going to commandeer an oil refinery, and the Yankees were holding it ... We got our f--- asses beat rough.... There was no foot soldiers [on the American side]; they simply f--- our convoy with artillery."
This corroborates the initial battle reports released on the 16th of February. Apparently, the squadrons referred to are the T-55 and T-72 tanks that are utilized by both Syrian forces and the Russian mercenaries. The US-led coalition responded with "AC-130 gunships, F-15s, F-22s, Army Apache helicopter gunships, and Marine Corps artillery," according to Lucas Tomlinson, a Fox News reporter.
U.S. counter-attack in Syria included Air Force AC-130 gunships, F-15s, F-22s, Army Apache helicopter gunships and Marine Corps artillery killing 100 Russian and Assad-backed fighters in 3-hour battle beginning around midnight last night.— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) February 8, 2018
"First of all, the bombers attacked, and then they cleaned up using Apaches," a Cossack paramilitary leader told Reuters.
The Russians know now -for the first time in Putin's long political career- that the US is no longer a walkover. Without a single infantryman, the United States Marine Corps and the USAF inflicted around 300 Russian dead for no losses. For some reason, this hasn't hit the front pages of every newspaper in America. Perhaps due to the ongoing gun control chatter and the conveniently timed announcement of President Trump's re-election campaign, there aren't column inches to spare for this minor engagement.
President Trump has co-ordinated with the Crown Princes as key regional allies. To what end? Perhaps the Syria engagement is coming to a close, but more likely the troublesome Yemen conflict is in overtime at last. Working with the Gulf Cooperation Council instead of leading from behind indicates that -unlike Barack Obama's disastrous tenure- the Trump administration does not treat the Middle Eastern governments like children. We know that the GCC has quite staggering numbers of high-quality infantry. We know that in excess of $100bn of military arms were sold to the Saudis last year from the USA alone- including precision arms and warships.
What can you say to that? Maybe we're wrong and the President is an idiot who releases copypasted press releases regarding his conversations with two of the most powerful men in the world- or, just maybe, President Trump is an astute man with great advisors working with regional allies on a strategy to reshape the Middle East for decades to come.