Mark Greenberg
Life-long Progressive Who Got Woke

Putin Ain’t Colludin’

There is a confusing report in The Times that IDF officials are concerned that US withdrawal of $300 million of financial support from UNRWA may, in fact, strengthen the hand of Hamas in Gaza.

No one knows more about this situation than officials in the IDF.

However, most average Americans who do not pay much attention to incendiary kites floating above valuable agricultural assets across the Gaza frontier or who do not have a clue that there are two different murderous Palestinian factions in Gaza and the West Bank demand one simple thing: they are sick and tired of sending their tax dollars to people who profess to hate them, hate the Israelis, have shown zero interest in reaching any peace agreement that doesn’t include elimination of the State of Israel, and uses their tax dollars to compensate families that murder Jews.

It isn’t really all that complicated. It is a massive gift of money which requires nothing in return and it has been going on for generations, tolerated by Presidents from both American political parties. No one had the temerity to defy the UN and just stop the payments. Not Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Bush, Clinton, Bush or Obama. Even if “their hearts were in the right places”, the payments surely should have been reassessed following the “Battle of Gaza” in 2007 when Hamas assumed totalitarian control over the Gaza Strip. Though Sunni in practice, their lust to remain in power, their loss of funding from Sunni sources has compelled them to turn to Shi’a forces for funding and weaponry with Iran, naturally, becoming their primary benefactor.

Along comes the President with the orange face, the worst comb-over ever seen, who pisses people off every day on Twitter, who the Democrats can’t wait to impeach, and he just says…STOP! UNRWA is a sham, like so much that happens under the auspices of the United Nations, some of its officials are actually connected to Hamas, its schools teach hatred and anti-Semitism, their facilities are often used to shelter weapons, human shields are used to protect them from Israeli retaliation when rockets are fired from their facilities, and no other group of “refugees” on this planet are accorded this special status. American taxpayers will no longer pick up the check.


If Qatar wants to make up the difference, if Iran wants to use some of the cash provided by Obama as part of the JCPOA agreement, if the EU wants to fill in the gap, if the Russians want greater access to the Mediterranean with their Syrian buddies, maybe the Chinese would like to build some grand Spratley Island-like facility there: GO FOR IT!

Just be sure to use whatever concrete you create to build housing for your people rather than tunnels for your sappers to try to infiltrate the border. And if you want to fly kites, you may want to give them to your kids without incendiary devices attached because kite flying is actually a fairly normal youthful pursuit throughout most of the world. And maybe you could get one of your new benefactors to help build you some waste processing systems, so you don’t have to befoul what could be the beautiful beaches you possess or systems that actually generate dependable sources of power for your people, so you don’t have to blame the Jews for the fact that you waste – year in and year out – the enormous amount of money given to you to wreak havoc, to purposefully keep your people underdeveloped and resentful because that is how you maintain your grip on power. Like those you emulate in Lebanon and Tehran.

The one small fly in the ointment, of course, is that none of this is possible without money. Hizballah cannot survive without the largesse it receives from Iran. Iran could not survive without preserving the JCPOA and ensuring that economic sanctions were lifted so it could conduct business with the EU, Russia, and China.

Oh, goodness here comes that orange-faced bastard again.

He blows up the JCPOA and reimposes sanctions on Iran. Businesses in the EU, Russia, and China can choose to conduct commerce with the US or Iran, but not both. Iran will be precluded from using the international banking system that is effectively controlled by the US. In November, sanctions will be imposed against purchases of Iranian oil; there was a hope that some exceptional purchases might be permitted, but it now appears that the US sees little reason to offer flexibility given its own energy resources and the anti-government protests that have shaken the autocracy.


The Russians are already under sanctions because of their seizure of Crimea, the unrest in Ukraine, the election meddling in the US and the use of the WMD’s against political opponents in the UK. Their pipeline deal with Germany is receiving harsh criticism and their agreement to sell S-400 anti-aircraft batteries to Turkey, a NATO member, is causing an uproar. If Putin violates the US sanctions on Iran which he will be sorely tempted to do given their essential assistance in Syria, he will be confronting The Orange One most dangerously.

There seems to be clear evidence, despite half-hearted assurances from the Russians to both the Israelis and Americans, that the Iranians are becoming more firmly entrenched in Syria. This does not seem to be sitting well domestically, as President Rouhani is being openly confronted by the public and legislators for his lack of attention to the economy, the rial hit a record low against the dollar today, and the IRGC seems to be in greater control over the country’s finances and foreign policy than its elected leaders.

Satellite imagery suggests that a surface-to-surface missile facility nearly identical to that in Parchin is nearly complete near Banyas. It is midway between the central Russian airbase outside Latakia and their Mediterranean naval station in Tartus. The missile facility is protected by S-400 anti-aircraft batteries which the Russians would not have deployed had they not intended to provide Russian security to the facility. So, Israel is reluctant to attack the plant because it will place them in direct confrontation with Russia.


So, Putin – who supposedly arranged to place The Orange One in office – has lied to Trump and lied to Netanyahu. Not only did he have Sergey Lavrov communicate to the Americans and Israelis that it would be “absolutely unrealistic” to expel Iran from Syria, it was never in their interests to do so. Dead IRGC soldiers and Hizballah fighters are far more palatable at home than Russian boys, and that fact trumps all others.

Oh, sure, they will look the other way when the IAF hits a convoy bound for Lebanon or hits a weapons hanger at this airport or that. But they have drawn a line in the sand at this Banyas missile facility.

Similarly, there has been much noise out of Washington lately warning the Russians and Syrians that there better not be not any sign of chemical weapons use when they proceed against the rebels in Idlib. The Russians are claiming – in advance – that they have knowledge that the rebels intend to use chemicals to frame the Russians and Syrians. But it is quite unusual for Washington to issue an alarm well in advance of any operational activity – they must be in possession of actionable intelligence that chemicals will be deployed.

Despite all the chaff about “Russian Collusion” that Democrats here pray before bed is true, the only provable Russian collusion is among the Iranian hegemonists and their paid proxies and the murderous ophthalmologist who remains in power in Damascus because the Russians must hold Tartus and Khmeimim Air Base at any moral cost.

About the Author
Professionally, Mark Greenberg comes out of the world of New York Media. He was a member of the management team that started MTV. He turned down a job at ESPN to move to Austin to raise his family of four boys in a more rational atmosphere. He was also a member of the bicoastal media elite that he critiques on a regular basis.
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