Timely encore: Middle East politics explained in six short paragraphs

On Twitter, I’ve been bombarded by Trumpettes who claim Hillary Clinton did something dastardly and evil in the Middle East when she was Secretary of State, or maybe as U.S. Senator from New York, or maybe as First Lady of Arkansas (tough to remember exactly when, apparently).

These accusers point to some mess in Syria, or Libya, or Saudi Arabia, or East Gotchastan, which they claim was a total mess advocated solely by Clinton who then mustered the Pentagon and State Department to “go to undeclared and illegal war” by going over the head of the President of the United States and Jesus, and personally directing war crimes. In each case, the accusers point out that the Middle East was a calm backwater before Mrs. Clinton, with 100 years of peace broken up only by her perfidy.

It would be amusing, were it not so that many of these people are not Trumpbots posting from Lithuania. Some people believe those stories. They don’t know. They do NOT know. They have so little clue about what really goes on in the world.

Their answer attempts demonstrate they don’t anything about conflict in the Middle East.

Fortunately, a concerned Londoner provided a thorough primer on who is who in the Middle East, who are our friends and enemies, in only six short paragraphs.

Seven paragraphs, if one counts the cheery close.

Letter to the editor of a London newspaper (trying to track that down), explaining who is who and who is whose enemy, in the Middle East.

Letter to the editor of the Financial Times of London, explaining who is who and who is whose enemy, in the Middle East. August 22, 2013, captured by Randy Prine

A woman named Randy Prine (@RandyPrine) Tweeted this photo, and said:

THIS is why we Voted for an analytical and not ‘shoot from the hip’ McCain or ‘How can I make money’ Romney.

Most of the ObamaH8ers I run into can be stopped on almost all Middle East issues simply by asking them whether the group they rant at, at that moment, is Sunni or Shiite.  For some odd reason, they never know.

Text of the letter [which may be behind a paywall, though you might be able to get free with registration] (links added here, for your convenience):

From Mr. K N Al-Sabah.


Iran is backing Assad. Gulf states are against Assad!

Assad is against Muslim Brotherhood. Muslim Brotherhood and Obama are against General Sisi.

But Gulf states are pro-Sisi! Which means they are against Muslim Brotherhood!

Iran is pro-Hamas, but Hamas is backing Muslim Brotherhood!

Obama is backing Muslim Brotherhood, yet Hamas is against the US!

Gulf states are pro-US. But Turkey is with Gulf states against Assad; yet Turkey is pro-Muslim Brotherhood against General Sisi.  And General Sisi is being backed by the Gulf states!

Welcome to the Middle East and have a nice day.

K N Al-Sabah
London EC4, UK

That clears up a lot, doesn’t it?

Would another perspective help?

A fellow named Richard Alan Jones posted a similar piece on Facebook. In response to an earlier post, qhite a few people pointed ultimately to Jones’s work.

Richard Alan Jones on Middle East politics

More Richard Alan Jones on Middle East Politics

Politics, and especially relations between nations, in the Middle East are messy, on a good day.  Hillary Clinton didn’t start any war in the Middle East, but instead worked to keep the U.S. out of war, holding to that grand old piece of advice that one of the classic blunders a nation may make is getting involved in a land war in Asia, or Asia Minor or Near Asia in this case.

Hillary Clinton tried to fix it. Anyone who tells you otherwise is scheming, and not to be trusted.

Update, June 7, 2017:

Randy Prine’s original Tweet:


If you’re still baffled about the “land war in Asia” advice, here it is from the film horse’s mouth, almost verbatim from William Goldman’s brilliant novel, The Princess Bride.


Yes, this is mostly an encore post. Fighting ignorance requires patience.

Yes, this is mostly an encore post. Fighting ignorance requires patience.




4 Responses to Timely encore: Middle East politics explained in six short paragraphs

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    On election night 2016:


  2. cheekos says:

    Remember the Trumpkins–the three evil ones in a trance, who babble incoherent asininities endlessly.


  3. cheekos says:

    Ed, there was no 100 years of peace in the Middle East, ever since a British Colonel and a French diplomat drew maps–France gets the Levant (remember ISIL), the Western Mediterranean and Britain got the further western area, where oil had ben recently found.

    Fast forward, in 2003, Bush 43 broke the fragile Balance of Power between secular Iraq and Shia Iran. Once “W” ousted Saddam, the Shia’s returned from self-exile in Iran to run the Iraqi government. That sure made a lot of friends in the Region.

    Rummy fired everyone who ran the country (engineers, utilities, hospitals, etc) and he disbanded the Army, but sent them home without severance, but WITH their weapons and a knowledge of where the weapons depots were, around the nation.

    ISIS has had great military leadership, since much of it came from Saddam’s Army. The new Iraqi Army was run by incompetent, untrained friends of the Shia government. The Sunnis joined with those fired from Saddam’s army, forming al-Qaeda in Arabia (or Iraq), which broke-up with al-Qaeda, and became ISIS. All that was between 2003 and 2014.

    Oh, perhaps the reason why President Obama did not go after Syrian President Bashar Assad was because the British discovered that the Sarin found in Syria, a few years ago, was that that specific formula was not in the Syrian inventory. Some believe that the specific formula was one which Turkey trained Syrian rebels to make. By the way, there are no moderate rebels in Syria.

    Remember that that map drawn up by those two powers–Britain and France–after WWI–just disregarded religious, sectarian, ethnic, or racial differences in the Middle East Lebanon should rightfully be part of Syria, Iraq should be three countries (top-to-bottom), and ancestors of the Kurdish people have lived in that area for 3,000 years, maybe longer.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Trumpettes & Trumpbots – love the names! It is complicated in the Middle East to put it simply. It seems peace in the Middle East is an oxymoron. Keep up the good work on Twitter!

    Liked by 1 person

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