Alan M. Dershowitz: Obama: Don't Destroy the Peace Process by Turning it Over to the U.N.
Obama must realize that no lasting peace can be achieved in the remaining months of his presidency: there are a multitude of complex and contentious issues — most notably the status of Jerusalem, the rights of so-called Palestinian refugees, and the situation in Gaza — that must be thoroughly addressed in order to achieve a lasting peace. Our next president will undoubtedly have to wade into the Israeli-Palestinian peace process again. The new administration — with the agreement of the Senate — should have full latitude to do what it deems most appropriate. It should not be stuck with parameters bequeathed to it by a President desperate to secure a short-term foreign policy "victory" that in the long term will make a resolution of the conflict more difficult to achieve.
If Obama feels that he must intrude in an effort to break the logjam before he leaves office, he should suggest that the current Israeli government offer proposals similar to those offered in 2000- 2001 and 2008 and that this time the Palestinian leadership should accept them in face-to face negotiations. But he should take no action (or inaction) that invites U.N. involvement in the peace process — involvement that would guarantee failure for any future president's efforts to encourage a negotiated peace.
We should hear the views of both candidates on whether the U.S. should support or veto a Security Council resolution that would tie their hands were they to be elected president. It is not too late to stop President Obama from destroying any realistic prospects for peace.
Vic Rosenthal: How not to stabilize the Middle East
My very first blog post almost exactly 10 years ago was about the just-released Iraq Study Group Report, co-authored by Lee Hamilton and James Baker. What struck me about it was how it asserted that the way to solve the problems of the Middle East in general and the impasse facing the US in Iraq in particular was to achieve a “comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts,” by direct American involvement. It seemed to me a thunderous non-sequitur. What did Israel have to do with the ambitions of the various players in Iraq?Caroline Glick: Netanyahu’s critical foreign tour
The commission recommended that the US “engage” with Syria and Iran, who were arming and encouraging the insurgencies that were killing Iraqis and Americans. The US, it said, should use carrots as well as sticks to persuade them to stop trying to destabilize Iraq and instead become part of an international “support group” for that suffering country. And one of the major carrots was Israel.
Syria was key to the plan. Baker and Hamilton (and their then little-known associate Ben Rhodes, now a top Obama advisor) believed that if Israel would cede the Golan Heights to Syria, Syria would cooperate in enforcing the toothless UNSC resolution 1701, which called for an end to arming Hezbollah, with which Israel had just fought a vicious little war. Syria could also be convinced, they said, to stop trying to subvert the government of Lebanon, whose officials – including President Rafik Hariri – it had been systematically murdering. Syria would also help convince Hamas to recognize Israel’s right to exist (!) and to unite with the Palestinian Authority, which would rule a unified ‘Palestine’ in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. At long last, the Israeli-Arab conflict would be over, and at the same time the grateful Arabs and Iranians would allow the US to exit Iraq with honor.
The plan failed to take into account several things, including Israel’s instinct for self-preservation, Palestinian rejectionism, Iranian expansionism, the rise of Da’esh, the increased insecurity of the conservative Sunni nations over Iran’s nuclear program, the implosion of Syria, and Russia’s aggressive move into the region.
Nevertheless, the Barack Obama Administration adopted a modified version of the plan.
This then brings us to Netanyahu’s upcoming trips. Each state that he will visit has something to offer Israel in expanding its intelligence, cyberwarfare and economic capabilities. Australia, a major Western economy, is moving toward China as America has become less engaged in the Pacific. Israel has an acute interest in using Australia as a platform for expanding its ties to China and other Asian countries, both because of the economic advantages such ties convey and due to China’s strategic importance to Russia.
As for Singapore, Israel effectively built the Singaporean military in the 1960s and 1970s. The country remains extremely supportive of Israel. Like Australia, Singapore has close ties to China.
It has technological and other capabilities that can be extremely advantageous for Israel today.
Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are critically important to Israel today. Their strategic proximity to Iran, and their ties to Russia, along with their ethnic composition and their natural resources make securing good relations with both critical to Israel’s ability to advance and security its strategic interests in every sphere.
Israel has tremendous assets to offer each of the four countries that Netanyahu will visit. These assets must be deployed wisely to ensure that Israel gains as much as possible from his trip and from its future ties with all of them.
Given the dramatic changes in the global power balance, and their implications for Israel, Netanyahu’s decision to fly to visit these four countries just after the US elections tells us that he gets it. At a time of regional and global turbulence and uncertainty, in the context of swiftly multiplying threats, this is no small matter. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: Back into Bed with Hamas
This has become predictable. Given two minutes of breath, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas resorts to the old tactic of courting Hamas as a way of hiding from the disaffection of his own Fatah faction. The overtures towards Hamas are a smokescreen for what many Palestinians are beginning to perceive as the beginning of a revolt against Abbas.Obama and Palestinian Unity
Last week, Abbas held a surprise meeting in Qatar with Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Mashaal. The meeting reportedly considered ways of ending the longstanding dispute between Fatah and Hamas and achieving "national reconciliation."
Abbas aides said the meeting also dealt with the possibility of forming a Palestinian "national unity" government and holding long-overdue presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The unexpected meeting was held under the auspices of the rulers of Qatar, a country that has long been the Number One sponsor of the Muslim Brotherhood organization, of which Hamas is an offshoot.
The surprising nature of the meeting between Abbas and the Hamas leaders makes sense: for one thing, the two sides had, prior to the encounter, denied that it would take place.
This is not the first such try at Palestinian unity. A Fatah-Hamas accord helped destroy Secretary of State John Kerry’s attempt to broker peace in 2014. But the seriousness of this latest attempt was demonstrated by the presence in Qatar of the heads of the two Hamas factions — Haniyeh, who runs Gaza and Meshal, who runs the political operation outside of the strip.International Law Expert Amb. Alan Baker: US, Israel Should Dissociate, Withhold Membership Dues From Palestinian-Manipulated UNESCO
It’s likely that Abbas is hoping to rope them into some kind of agreement that will present a united front to the world in advance of the PA’s next attempt to gain statehood or a condemnation of Israel at the UN this fall. Seen in that context, the unity efforts are not just more pointless Palestinian posturing but a clear strategy aimed at providing a false veneer that President Obama can use to justify a betrayal of the Jewish state. If Obama uses the period after the presidential election to launch a parting shot at Israel before his term expires he needs to be able to pretend that the Palestinians are ready for peace. But this unity effort is the opposite of peace.
Though the administration’s illusions about Abbas remain, the United States government still rightly labels Hamas as a terrorist group. If Washington were serious about peace it would be demanding that Abbas renounce any effort at unity with Hamas unless it changed its character and embraced peace. The unity meeting ought to ensure that the U.S. continues to oppose any effort by the PA to avoid direct peace talks with Israel. The fact that it may instead be used to help the president undermine Israel’s diplomatic position and further isolating it in a way that the next administration may not be able to reverse further demonstrates the bankruptcy of Obama’s approach to the Middle East.
The US, Israel and other countries that did not support recent United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) resolutions that enhance the Islamic character of Jerusalem and deny Jewish and Christian ties to the city’s holy sites should dissociate from the world cultural body and withhold all membership dues, an international law expert declared on Sunday.StandWithUs+: UNESCO and the Palestinian Bullies
In an article titled “UNESCO’s Regrettable Self-Assisted Suicide,” Alan Baker — a former Israeli ambassador to Canada and current director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs — slammed UNESCO’s Executive Board and World Heritage Committee for being “manipulated” by the Palestinian leadership and Arab states into adopting the resolutions, “thereby attempting to re-write and corrupt accepted and proven history.”
Equally disturbing, Baker wrote, was the fact that the resolutions in question “were generated out of a blatant and deliberate lack of bona fides and in dire disregard of the purposes and functions of UNESCO.”
Indeed, he added, “UNESCO has acted beyond the powers [ultra-vires] of its own constitution and has permitted itself to be taken hostage by elements intent on achieving a political end.”
Enough of the bullying from the Palestinian Authority and other Arab nations in international bodies. These organizations were not created to promote racist xenophobic agendas, yet that is exactly what the PA and other UNESCO member states have used them for.
Isi Leibler: Will Obama betray Israel?
Throughout his eight years in the White House, U.S. President Barak Obama has insisted that he "has Israel's back." The reality is that his appalling foreign policy has been geared toward the creation of "daylight" between the U.S. and Israel.John Bolton: Cracks in the International Criminal Court
To this end, Obama reneged on the long-standing bipartisan policy that the U.S. would never be a party to forcing Israel into reverting to the 1949 armistice lines. That policy was reflected in the carefully drafted U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, unanimously adopted on Nov. 22, 1967, which intimated that Israel would never be expected to revert to indefensible borders. The armistice lines imposed at the end of the War of Independence were never considered formal borders. They left Israel only 9 miles wide at its narrowest point and were described by then-Foreign Minister Abba Eban as the "Auschwitz borders."
In explaining the language of U.N. Resolution 242, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Arthur Goldberg was specific. To achieve "secure and recognized boundaries" there would be a necessity for both parties to make "territorial adjustments in their peace settlement, encompassing less than a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the occupied territories, inasmuch as Israel's prior frontiers had proved to be notably insecure." It was also clearly understood that withdrawals would only take place in the context of an overall peace settlement.
In September 1968, President Lyndon Johnson stated that "it is clear … that a return to the situation of June 4, 1967, will not bring peace. There must be secure and there must be recognized borders."
The U.S. removed its signature from the Rome Statute in 2002, and even Barack Obama never re-signed, knowing that Senate ratification was impossible-Americans up to the president himself remain at risk of ICC prosecution if U.S. personnel are alleged to commit offenses on a member state's territory.Will ICC look to Indict Israelis to Burnish "Global Court" Credentials?
Russia, China and India are the most prominent among nearly 70 other nations that have not become members, although something called 'Palestine' has joined. This is hardly the trajectory of a viable international institution...
The Rome Statute's actual danger is less the court than its prosecutor, which, as Americans understand the separation of powers, is not a judicial function but an executive one. Next to the power to wage war, prosecutorial authority is the most-potent, most-feared responsibility in any executive's arsenal.
In the case of the ICC, its ability to prosecute democratically elected officials and their military commanders for allegations of war crimes or crimes against humanity could undercut the most fundamental responsibility of any government, the power of self-defense. This power, lodged in the ICC's prosecutor, is what Africans are really protesting, and also why the U.S. will not join the ICC in the imaginable future...
No wonder the ICC is well on the way to becoming yet another embarrassment like the International Court of Justice or the U.N. Human Rights Council."
On October 31, 2016, President of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi presented the annual report of the ICC to the UN General Assembly. Her presentation came in the wake of successive announcements in October of intent to withdraw from the Court by Burundi, South Africa, and Gambia.Obama Administration Ties Successor’s Hands at UN Human Rights Council
In response to persistent criticism that the ICC has unfairly targeted Africa countries, the President of the ICC and member states speaking in support of the Court emphasized that the ICC is conducting investigations all over the world - including a preliminary examination of Israel's actions during the 2014 Gaza War.
In the words of the ICC President: "In total, there are currently ten situations under investigation by the Court... The Prosecutor is also conducting nine other preliminary examinations on different continents...
In 1998, the ICC was created by countries and with the support of civil society from all continents to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes by whomever committed... In order to bring perpetrators of crimes to justice and protect victims across the world equally, it is essential that support for the Court remains strong and States' participation in the Rome Statute is maintained and enlarged."
Member states also emphasized the ICC's preliminary examinations as an indication of its "global court" status.
The Obama administration has sought, and achieved, re-election to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) — a disgraced organization that does little except protect dictators and criticize Israel.Incoming UNHRC less stacked against Israel than outgoing one
President George W. Bush refused to participate in the council, but President Barack Obama decided to join it, on the theory that American involvement would improve it. Instead, U.S. involvement in the UNHRC has simply legitimized an organization that ought to be replaced.
Last Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry heralded America’s re-election to a three year term, claiming: “U.S. engagement has helped transform the Council into a more balanced and credible organization and has helped focus the global spotlight on grave violations and abuses of human rights around the world.” He is being credited with pointing out that the UNHRC has an “excessive and biased focus on Israel.”
That is not a “bug” in the UNHRC, but a feature of its design, which allows Muslim states — many with shocking human rights records — to dominate, via the African and Asian voting blocs. The countries elected along with the U.S. include China, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia, with some of the world’s worst human rights records.
Of all the UN organizations, the one officials in Jerusalem love to hate the most is the UN Human Rights Council.Israel to build new settler homes in Shiloh, despite US objections
And with good cause. This council, which always seems to include such human rights stalwarts as Saudi Arabia, China, Bangladesh, Egypt and Cuba, is traditionally stacked against Israel, and routinely condemns it.
Indeed, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu likes to point out, the UNHRC has passed more resolutions condemning Israel than against all other countries of the world combined – and it is not even close.
“What about the joke called the UN Human Rights Council, which each year condemns Israel more than all the countries of the world combined,” Netanyahu said just a month ago at his annual address to the UN General Assembly.
But with the election of nine new countries to the 47-member body last week, Israel’s position on the council improved somewhat. Five other countries were elected for another three-year term.
Israel intends to move ahead with plans to construct 98 new homes in the West Bank settlement of Shiloh, despite harsh United States objections to the plan.Israel trying to block Palestinians from Interpol
On Monday the state informed the High Court of Justice it awaited final bureaucratic approval to develop the site within six months as a relocation option for the 40 families from the Amona outpost.
It, therefore, asked the HCJ to delay by seven months the mandated December 25 demolition of the outpost.
Alternatively, the state said, it was also pursuing the option of using the abandoned property law, so that it could relocate the outpost to land adjacent to the community’s current location.
Washington has rebuked Israel for both plans, but the State Department issued a particularly sharp statement in which it said the Shiloh project was tantamount to the creation of a new settlement, something Israel had promised the US it would not do.
Jerusalem is trying to thwart an attempt by the Palestinian Authority to join the international police force, Interpol, fearing that it would leak sensitive information to Palestinian terror groups, Israeli officials said.Sorry, but Jordan is not a friend
The Palestinians want their request to join Interpol to come to a vote during the organization’s annual general assembly next week.
In a bid to foil the move, Israeli diplomats have been lobbying member countries, while Israel Police representatives have been speaking with their Interpol peers.
Israel fears that sensitive information could be leaked to terrorists if the Palestinians join the organization, an official in Jerusalem told The Times of Israel, without giving further details.
As a policy, Israel generally attempts to block the Palestinians from joining international organizations, which would give them de facto recognition as a state.
The recent United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) decision to deny Jews any connection to the Temple Mount was no coincidence. The ill-considered decision came about under the full and continuous support, and at the initiation of, the king of Jordan.Stabbing attack by female Palestinian thwarted at Cave of the Patriarchs
This is no longer a secret. The UNESCO move came barely three weeks after the king spoke at the UN promising doom to Israel because he alleges Israel is unfair to the Palestinians.
This well-calculated and very sophisticated harassment from Jordan’s king, however, was not a mere reaction to anything Israel has done – in fact, as an academic and close observer of Arab affairs, I have seen it as Jordan’s policy for years.
For example, with regard to the current and vicious wave of knife attacks that was launched from the Temple Mount, an official Israel statement was published by Arutz Sheva that confirmed Jordan’s government was an instigator by both actions and verbal incitement, and let’s not forget that the Temple Mount is run fully by the Jordanian king’s own office.
Further, recently Israel expelled Jordan’s state news agency’s reporter, Modar S. al-Momani, for Jerusalem for being a security risk. It turns out the man was not only a reporter but also a senior Jordanian Wakf official – he even bragged about it after he was expelled. Official documents proving this have been posted on Facebook.
Israeli security forces thwarted a potential stabbing by a female Palestinian planning an attack at the Cave of the Patriarchs on Tuesday morning.Israeli coach threatened ahead of Egypt soccer match
Border Police officers at the revered West Bank site found two knives in the woman's possession during searches of her bag after she aroused their suspicion. Following her detainment for security searches, the suspect was then arrested.
According to initial investigations, the Palestinian woman planned to carry out a stabbing attack at the holy site.
The Palestinian woman was transferred to security services for further interrogation.
The Egyptian Football Association is reportedly upping security prior to its November 13 FIFA qualifier match against Ghana due to threats and planned attacks against Israelis.IDF arrests PA gunman’s brother, revokes family’s work permits
The Ghana national football team is currently coached by Israeli national and former Chelsea coach Avram Grant.
According to Egyptian sources, the soccer association has received threatening messages from soccer fans and has uncovered a plan to attack Grant while he is in Egypt.
One such message stated that "Israelis are not welcome in our country."
A member of the association revealed that a group of angry fans has been collecting information on where Grant will be staying and traveling during his visit to Egypt.
The brother of a Palestinian security services officer who shot at a group of Israeli soldiers, wounding three, at a checkpoint outside Ramallah Monday, was arrested in the northern West Bank as part of a series of early-morning raids Tuesday, the army said.PA forces raided home of Palestinian cop before attack, father says
In addition, Israeli soldiers revoked the work permits belonging to family members of the gunman, Muhammad Turkman, at the family’s home in Qabatiya, south of Jenin, the Israel Defense Forces said.
On Monday evening, Turkman approached the Focus checkpoint, near Ramallah, and opened fire with an AK-47 assault rifle at the troops stationed there. One soldier was seriously wounded in the attack — his condition was later upgraded to “moderate” — while two others sustained light injuries from shrapnel, according to medical authorities.
In Turkman’s home village of Qabatiya, small-scale clashes broke out between local residents and Israeli forces during the early Tuesday morning raid to arrest the gunman’s brother, who was identified by official Palestinian Authority media as Muhannad Turkman, 23.
Photos of the scene, posted on social media, showed rocks and cinderblocks scattered along the road in the Palestinian village, as well as a fire raging in the middle of the street.
Palestinian security Monday night raided the family home of a Palestinian police officer hours before he opened fire on IDF soldiers in the West Bank, according to testimony from the attacker’s father.Hamas Calls for More Attacks by PA Security Personnel
Muhammad Turkman, 25, wounded three soldiers with an AK-47 assault rifle on Tuesday at the Focus checkpoint, near Ramallah. One soldier was seriously hurt in the attack — his condition was later upgraded to “moderate” — while two others sustained light injuries from shrapnel, according to medical authorities.
Hours earlier, security forces burst into his family’s home in the West Bank village of Qabatiya, near Jenin, and confiscated weapons, Turkman’s parents told the Palestinian news site Quds Net on Tuesday.
However, it is not clear if security forces raided the home to prevent an attack, or if the raid itself prompted Turkman to carry out the shooting.
In a separate interview with the Arab Israeli radio station A-shams, Turkman’s father, Abdul Khaleq, said his mother had called their son after the raid, and suggested this prompted him to carry out the attack.
Hamas “welcomed” an attack by a Palestinian police officer on Monday that injured three Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint near Ramallah, and called on Palestinian security personnel to carry out more attacks.UAE Court Jails Seven for Hezbollah Links
“We welcome the heroic operation carried out by the martyr officer Muhammad Turkman,” the terror group said it a statement. “We consider [the attack] a strong message in the face of Israeli crimes.”
While Hamas usually praises attacks against Israelis — whether civilians or soldiers — the terror group went a step further on Monday by specifically calling for more members of the Palestinian security forces to “join the Palestinian intifada.”
The gunman was named as Muhammad Turkman, a police officer from Qabatiya, by both the official Palestinian Authority news outlet al-Hayat al-Jadida and Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the Defense Ministry’s coordinator of government activities in the territories.
According to the PA outlet’s report, Turkman served in a “special forces unit.”
A top Emirati court on Monday sentenced seven people to up to life in prison after convicting them of forming a cell linked to Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah movement, state media said.Cancel F-35 Deal with Turkey
One Emirati national and two Lebanese men were given life sentences, while an Iraqi and another Lebanese man were jailed 15 years each, according to state news agency WAM.
An Egyptian woman and another Emirati man were each jailed for 10 years, it said.
The charges included “passing classified information about a governmental department to Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorist (group) and for the benefit of a foreign country,” WAM said.
The defendants were also accused of passing information about “oil production in one of the emirates as well as maps of oil and gas fields,” it said.
They were also charged with “forming and managing an international group belonging to the (Hezbollah) party without a license from the government,” it added.
In 1972, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger visited Tehran and promised the Shah “a blank check” for military arms. Iran soon became the only country besides the United States to fly the F-14, which was, at the time, the top U.S. fighter jet.U.S. 5th Fleet Commander: Multiple Iranian Arms Shipments to Yemen Intercepted in Past Year
Within just a couple years, however, Iran was in the throes of revolution and Islamist dictatorship. Whereas once Iranian officials chatted with their American counterparts at embassy functions and even state dinners, now Iranian officials held American diplomats hostage and sponsored terrorism abroad. Iran may have become an implacable foe of the United States but, for the first few years of the Islamic Republic’s existence, it nevertheless had America’s top aircraft technology at its disposal.
Fast-forward to the present day. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the U.S. military’s next-generation platform. For diplomatic reasons more than necessity, the manufacture of many of its parts was outsourced to NATO members. On the plus side, this became a jobs program for many NATO members and encouraged them to place orders that, in theory, lessened the price for manufacture. On the negative side, however, there is the sharing of the technology.
Historically, that would not have been a problem with NATO members, all of whom from a defense perspective at least read from the same page. Today, however, there is the problem of Turkey, which participated in the construction of some less sensitive parts and seeks to buy the entire platform. It has just announced that it will take delivery of the first batch of F-35As in 2018 with another order to follow.
American and coalition forces have intercepted five Iranian arms shipments to Houthi rebels in Yemen since April 2015, the commander of the United States Fifth Fleet said last week.Iran detains activists after visit to ancient Persian king’s tomb
Vice Admiral Kevin Donegan said that the weaponry included thousands of AK-47 automatic rifles, anti-tank missiles, and sniper rifles, CNN reported on Saturday.
The U.S. Navy determined that the shipments originated in Iran based on GPS data retrieved from the ships and information gleaned from questioning their crews. The crews were largely comprised of unemployed fishermen who were hired for a single shipment, Donegan said.
“One of the shipments had been validated by the United Nations as being an illegal weapons shipment,” Agence France-Presse reported, citing Donegan.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi dismissed Donegan’s charges as “false claims.” However, in October, a senior Iranian diplomat told Reuters that there was a “sharp surge in Iran’s help to the Houthis in Yemen,” which Reuters explained was in reference “to weapons, training and money.”
“The nuclear deal gave Iran an upper hand in its rivalry with Saudi Arabia, but it needs to be preserved,” the diplomat added.
Iranian authorities have detained several organizers of an annual pilgrimage marking the birth of the pre-Islamic King Cyrus the Great that turned into a mass protest against the restrictive policies of the Tehran government.David Singer: Obama’s Islamic State Policy Uncorks Shiite Genie in Iraq
Fars province prosecutor Ali Salehi said Monday the activists were detained over “norm-breaking and anti-values” slogans that were chanted during the gathering last week, Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency reported. Salehi did not elaborate on the number of detainees.
According to social media posts, the thousands attending the gathering at the tomb of Cyrus demanded freedom of thought from the Islamic government.
“Iran is our country, Cyrus is our father,” and “Freedom of thought impossible with the mullahs,” protesters can be heard chanting in video clips uploaded online.
Other videos from the rally showed Iranians shouting: “Clerical rule is synonymous with only tyranny, only war,” and “No Gaza, no Lebanon, my life for Iran.”
In other parts of Iraq retaken from Islamic State – such as Fallujah and Ramadi – there have been allegations of Shia fighters mistreating Sunni civilians.
Iraq is fast becoming a tinderbox containing different elements and interests that could set Iraq ablaze – should Islamic State eventually be defeated in Mosul.
Obama’s decision to commence the attack on Mosul appears to have been made without any real thought to the possible involvement of the PMU and Turkey.
Why Obama thought it that urgent to commence the battle for Mosul at this late stage of his Presidency is a question that will be increasingly asked over the coming week – especially by Clinton and Trump.