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samedi, 05 avril 2014

Obama tells Saudi Arabia that US values Riyadh

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Obama tells Saudi Arabia that US values Riyadh: Sharia law and Exporting Hatred

Ramazan Khalidov and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Ex: http://www.moderntokyotimes.com

If you want to visit a nation state that supports apartheid law to the absolute, then welcome to Saudi Arabia. Yes, in the land of Saudi Arabia not one single Buddhist temple, Christian church, Hindu temple, and other non-Muslim faiths, are tolerated. However, while America, France, the United Kingdom, and other Western states, support multi-cultural values at home; they don’t mind doing business with a nation that bans all non-Muslim faiths, supports apartheid Islamic Sharia laws and child marriage to the tilt.

Of course, Saudi Arabia is not alone in supporting apartheid Islamic Sharia law but to make matters worse, this nation is exporting terrorism, Islamist Salafi indoctrination and funding educational institutions that sprout hatred. Despite this, with the West being in self-destruct mode then Gulf petrodollars are allowed to spread indoctrination and a fifth column in many societies. Therefore, Saudi Arabia spends vast sums on spreading Salafi Islam and buying powerful Western institutions with money in order to make up a false history.  This blatant hypocrisy is tolerated because of the power of energy and the ineptness of major Christian churches and international politicians that are too silent.

In the twenty first century, just like in the late seventh century, apostates in the land of Arabia face death. Meanwhile, in nations like Saudi Arabia and Somalia, if non-Muslim males desire to marry a Muslim female based on “genuine love,” then this may lead to either prison or death. However, white anti-racists, the trendy left and rampant capitalists don’t appear to worry too much about this – in other words, Islamic Sharia law states are allowed to treat non-Muslims with utter contempt when it comes to law.

Can you imagine what would happen if one modern European nation introduced a law whereby Muslim males faced prison or death for marrying non-Muslims? Yes, this would be on the news night and day but of course the West is intent on silencing all critics of this reality by playing the “Islamophobia card.” Strange, because in Somalia the al-Shabaab is beheading all apostates to Christianity that they can find. In other words, this isn’t a phobia because it is a reality in many parts of the world irrespective if by terrorist forces or by state institutions like Saudi Arabia.

Discrimination is a reality in all nations, of course the degrees will vary, but in nation states that support Islamic Sharia law then non-Muslims and minority Muslim sects are deemed second-class citizens based on law. Indeed, when certain nations support killing apostates then obviously the term second-class citizen is too polite. After all, Islamic Sharia law is saying that non-Muslim males are subhuman and worthy of killing based on a legal code that maintains power mechanisms in order enforce dhimmitude and conversions based on fear.

Not all nations enforce the draconian reality of Islamic Sharia law to the full – after all stoning to death for adultery, killing apostates, allowing little girls to marry old men, and so forth, isn’t progressive.  Therefore, some Muslim majority nations adopt Islamic Sharia piecemeal in order to appease clerics at home, while trying to transform society at the same time. Leaders like Ataturk, Nasser and many others have tried to transform society based on modernism. However, with Gulf petrodollars fueling radical Islamic conservatism then even Turkey is under threat. This counter-Islamist revolution is threatening progressive forces in Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Turkey, and other nations – and shockingly, major Western powers are often siding with the Saudi Arabia and Gulf agenda against secular forces in nations like Syria.

Internationally you have many convulsions whereby Muslims face enormous discrimination along with Christians in Myanmar (Burma). It should be remembered that more Christians in Myanmar have been killed over many decades because of central forces in Myanmar fighting the mainly Christian ethnic groups of the Karen, Shan, and Chin. Despite this, some radical Buddhists in Myanmar are singling out Muslims based on the eradication and persecution of Buddhists in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh and in Southern Thailand. In other words, Buddhist radicals fear the Saudi Arabian and Gulf venture of funding forces that seek to eradicate non-Muslims and minority Shia Muslims in the long run. Despite this, militant Buddhists in Myanmar must not follow the Islamic Sharia law mode of thinking by replicating this with equal laws based on anti-Muslim discrimination.

However, while Myanmar may be an anomaly it is clear that Saudi Arabia and other Sharia Islamic law states that support apartheid laws are numerous. Internally, this is a huge threat to non-Muslims, women that seek equal rights and minority Muslim sects that suffer from open discrimination. However, externally Saudi Arabia and other nations like Qatar and Pakistan are openly exporting terrorist and Takfiri Islamist forces to an array of different nations. In other words, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Qatar, and a few others, are dangerous because they are undermining many nation states alongside destroying indigenous Islam in Libya, Indonesia, Syria and in other nations like Bangladesh.

President Obama and other American presidents before him have all sold their collective souls by turning a blind eye to the brutal reality of Saudi Arabia. Of course, other leading Western nations have done the same and in Japan this reality also persists. Yet it is clear that Saudi Arabia and Gulf petrodollars are spreading a dangerous ideology far and wide therefore silence is tainting democracy and multi cultural values at home.

It is time to put real pressure on Saudi Arabia for supporting apartheid laws and exporting radical Salafi Islam. At the same time, it is time to differentiate between the indigenous Islam of Syria and the Levant – progressive Islam in Indonesia – the Alevis and so forth. Indeed, it is progressive Muslim forces that are on the frontline of Gulf petrodollars that seek to crush all moderate forces within “the diverse Muslim world.” Therefore, radical Takfiris are destroying Sufi shrines, Shia mosques, Ahmadiyya mosques, killing indigenous Sunni Muslim clerics in Syria and espousing hatred towards Alawites – and other brutal realities. If this Islam is lost then all hope of co-existence will disappear and wider gulfs will emerge internationally. This reality needs to be acknowledged and then tackled but currently America and other major Western nations are siding with the forces of Gulf petrodollars. Until this ends, then nothing will change therefore a new order needs to emerge in order to break the chains. If not, then democratic nations are sowing the seeds of more hatred, destabilization, and growing sectarianism, based on the whims of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf powers.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

vendredi, 04 avril 2014

Barack Obama and Saudi Arabia: Behind the Scenes of the Visit

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Barack Obama and Saudi Arabia: Behind the Scenes of the Visit

Igor PANKRATENKO |

Ex: http://www.strategic-culture.org

 
The conversation between the U.S. president and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia did not last very long. The ninety-year-old king walks with the help of a walker; during his meeting with Obama, a respirator was standing by for the monarch in the next room. However, besides the king, the two highest-ranking representatives of the dynasty also took part in the negotiations - Crown Prince Salman and the foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, whose words are sufficient for the making of any decisions in the Kingdom.

Even a brief list of the main points of the agenda speaks of the importance of the meeting: relations with Tehran, changes in the approaches to the civil war and foreign intervention in Syria, future policy with regard to Cairo and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, joint actions in Lebanon, «anti-terrorism» operations in Yemen, the situation in the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), and, finally, the question of questions: joint plans with regard to diversifying supplies of energy resources to NATO member countries and agreeing on actions for lowering gas and oil prices.

The official commentary on the visit boils down to assurances of the inviolability of the strategic alliance between America and Arabia. In terms of bilateral sales volumes (52 billion for the first three quarters of 2013), the Saudis are among the top ten most important trade partners of the U.S. Military cooperation between Riyadh and Washington under the 338 contracts currently in force is worth 96.8 billion dollars. The U.S. military contingent has been withdrawn from the Kingdom, but American instructor and «consultant» missions continue active operation, especially in the security field, in close cooperation with the Saudi Ministry of Internal Affairs, intelligence and anti-terrorism divisions, conducting joint operations in Yemen. Finally, almost 74,000 Saudi students are studying in the U.S.; these are the future executives, whose talent pool, ideology and value systems are established in America.

With such a level of cooperation and intertwinement of capital (U.S. companies have around 400 joint projects with the Saudi dynasty in the Kingdom with a total volume of approximately $44 billion), there is no question of any serious disagreements between the American establishment and the Saudis. It is more accurate to speak of disagreements between the ruling dynasty and the Obama administration. But here during the visit a serious shift took place, and satisfaction literally oozes between the lines of the official commentaries on the negotiations.

The parties are to maintain the volumes of military and technical cooperation and increase coordination of military intervention in Yemen, the situation in which is a key factor for the security of Saudi Arabia and at the same time a threat to the ruling dynasty. Washington also approved the monarchy's actions in «subduing» Qatar; the mass repressions in Bahrain which, according to the Saudis, is now the front line in resisting Shiite expansion into the countries of the Persian Gulf; and the expansion of Saudi presence in Lebanon for the same «anti-Shiite» (read: anti-Iran) purposes. 

However, these are questions of a mostly tactical nature. The strategy of joint actions is defined in the questions of Egypt, Syria and oil. Each of them is significant not only for the Middle East, but for the rest of the world as well.

American-Saudi disagreements with regard to Egypt came to the surface last year, and the reason for them, according to the official American explanation, was  Obama's non-acceptance of the overthrow of Muhammad Morsi in a military coup. Like most American explanations, this one has little in common with reality. It is well known that on the day of the coup both Morsi and the Egyptian military spent several hours in telephone negotiations with Riyadh and Washington (the same thing happened, incidentally, in Qatar during the dynastic reshuffle), only after which did the military began to take key objects in Cairo, Port Said and Alexandria under its control. Yes, one of the first to congratulate new acting president of Egypt Adli Mansur was King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia. However, the U.S., although it sent no congratulations, also reported a day later that it was prepared to give the new Egyptian leadership «all possible support».

Differences between Washington and Riyadh on the Egyptian question arose from the scale of the repressions which the Egyptian military leaders, who had undergone training in U.S. academies, rained down on the Muslim Brotherhood. Washington was counting on the participation of the Brotherhood in a coalition government and using the organization's capabilities in its other geopolitical configurations, for example, in Turkey or Syria. But Cairo and Riyadh did not plan on leaving such loopholes for their political opponents, preferring to «pull the weed out roots and all», including the recent death sentences pronounced against over five hundred Brotherhood members. 

During Obama's recent visit, the «misunderstandings» on Egypt were resolved. Riyadh promised that the repressions would be scaled down and that the further development of Egypt would follow the path of «building democratic institutions and reforming the economy in accordance with market demands», for which the Saudis, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have already allocated over 15 billion dollars in aid and loans, and they recently signed an agreement with the Egyptian military leadership on 40 billion dollars for a long-term housing construction program.

The topic of Syria dominated the negotiations between Obama and Abdullah, as here the greatest number of disagreements had accumulated with regard to how to overthrow al-Asad. However, it seems that the main disagreements have now been resolved.  

For the most part, the Saudis only wanted one thing from the U.S. with regard to Syria: approval for supplying the rebels with heavy weaponry, including anti-tank systems and MANPADs. Riyadh believes that expanding the list of deliverables will create the main condition for victory over al-Asad. Indeed, changing the balance of power in favor of the rebels will make it possible to solve the two main problems at once. First, military successes achieved by the «secular opposition» with a new level of armament will seriously weaken the position of the radical Islamists, with whom the «secular» rebels are now fighting just as zealously as with the government troops. Second, those same military successes will enable the rebels to finally establish themselves in one of the regions bordering on Turkey and create a support base for the «new democratic government of Syria» there. This «government», naturally, will be recognized by many countries, and it will be able to obtain any kind of armaments on a legal basis, as it were. But the main thing is that it will be able to just as «legally» create a «no-fly zone» over the territory it controls before an attack on Damascus by the coalition of rebels and «foreign volunteers». 

Official sources report that during the negotiations with King Abdullah, President Obama only rejected the idea of direct U.S. military strikes against Syria.  Obama considered everything else, including the delivery of MANPADs to the rebels, to be possible. White House representatives do not speak plainly about this; they begin to prevaricate, but the question can essentially be considered resolved. After the negotiations, it is clear that this summer Riyadh and Washington, in partnership with other «friends of Syria», will once again try to use weapons to «close the issue» of al-Asad and of the Syrian Arab Republic in its current form…

As a result of Obama's visit to Saudi Arabia there is news for Russia as well. The time when Washington and Riyadh agreed, albeit grudgingly, to Russia's participation in the Middle Eastern process, with Moscow having the indefinite status of «cosponsor of peaceful regulation», has ended, and it ended after the Crimean referendum and the reunification of Crimea and Russia. All regional-level issues discussed in the Royal Garden in Riyadh were discussed as if Russia was no longer a factor in the region, and Moscow was a hindrance which must be removed from the region once and for all. As for the question of Saudi participation in the fight to lower prices on energy resources and the Gulf monarchies substituting their oil and gas for the volume Russia now provides to other strategic partners of the U.S., it was decided to consider that separately. Essentially, the Saudis have given their consent on this. The question will be worked out on the level of informal expert groups, which will be the ones who propose a plan for this fight to lower prices. Russia has approximately a year to develop and implement countermeasures in the field of energy strategy. Later, when the informal agreements are formalized in plans and protocols, Russia could end up in a defensive position, which is clearly worse…

Why Obama paid a visit to Riyadh?

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Why Obama paid a visit to Riyadh?

The deterioration of the situation in Ukraine made substantial changes in the agenda of talks of U.S. President Obama with Saudi leadership in Riyadh on March 28 this year. The main subject of the discussion included the situation around Ukraine, possible joint steps to decrease energy prices, in order to weaken Russia’s economy, promotion of Iran’s moving to a more pro-Western position, to weaken Tehran’s cooperation with Moscow, and only then about Syria and the situation in the GCC. Obama’s support of the coup in Ukraine and the tough American opposition towards Russia in Ukrainian affairs, led to Washington developing the idea of urgent mobilization of the resources of its rich Arab allies – to oppose Moscow. This is because it turned out that the U.S. and its allies in NATO and the EU had no financial or political leverage, for exerting pressure on Russia.

That is why the White House’s decision, urgently to revive its relations with those major Arab partners, with whom they have not been good recently, seems logical. The more so that, although Riyadh and Washington had differences in the approaches to some international and regional issues, the two countries reduced neither their energy nor military cooperation, as well as intelligence interaction was not stopped in the war being conducted by the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against Iran and Syria. In addition, the White House decided to try to form a united front with the leading country in the Arab world against Moscow, and to neutralize Tehran at the same time.

As it became known, in the course of the conversation, Obama suggested that the ruling Saudi dynasty “take vengeance” on Russia for Crimea, by making strikes on three fronts. In Syria, in order to take it out of the orbit of influence of Moscow and Tehran, and to put the whole Levant under the U.S. and Saudi control. To provide financial assistance to the new government in Kiev, in order to make Ukraine an outpost of anti-Russian activities in Eastern Europe. To decrease oil and gas prices significantly, which would be a serious blow to Russia’s state treasury, and to achieve substantial reductions in the consumption of Russian oil and gas by the West.

Washington is well aware that Obama cannot act in any of these areas without Riyadh, especially in terms of using the “energy weapon” against Moscow. In exchange, Obama offered to “give a free hand” to the KSA in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. The more so, that Riyadh has been granted the right to build a special relationship with Egypt, after the overthrow of Mursi’s government. In general, the U.S. and the West have turned a blind eye to the harsh crushing of the protests of Shiites in Bahrain and the Eastern Province of the KSA. The Saudis received the right to carry out an operation to “subdue” Qatar and to defeat the Muslim Brotherhood. Moreover, the White House has admitted Riyadh to work on the question that is the most important issue for it and Israel, i.e., the Israeli-Palestinian settlement, by giving the Saudis a “green light” to work with Jordan, which now has a special role in the new scheme to settle the Palestinian issue.

However, the rulers of the KSA want much more, and above all, they want Assad’s regime to be destroyed, and American help in order to stop the growing influence of Iran, as well as to form a “Shiite Arc” in the region. Only then can Riyadh recover from the strongly shaken position of the kingdom in the Islamic world. And the overthrow of Assad and capturing Damascus by the pro-Saudi Islamist opposition in Damascus are the only things that can strengthen the position of Saudi Arabia as a leader among the Arab states. This would allow the implementation of its plans for further regional expansion – from establishing a Jordanian-Palestinian federation to the formation of an anti-Shiite league from the Arabian Peninsula to India.

In addition, the Saudis have their own logic here – since Syria can play a key role in supplying Qatari gas to Europe. In 2009-2011, Damascus was the main obstacle to the implementation of a project for the construction of a pipeline from Qatar’s North Field to the EU, which would have allowed a strike at “Gazprom”, via a sharp increase in supplies of cheap Qatari gas to Europe. For various reasons, Damascus did not consent to laying of a gas pipeline through its territory from Qatar to Turkey and the Mediterranean coast of the SAR for further transit to the EU. Thus, while B. Assad stays in power, the construction of the gas pipeline from Qatar to the Mediterranean coast of Syria is impossible. Energy experts calculated back in 2009-2010, that if Sunnis came to power in Syria, instead of the Alawite regime of Bashar Assad, the gas pipeline ‘Qatar – Saudi Arabia – Jordan – Syria – Turkey’ would be built in two years. This would result in huge financial losses for Russia, whose gas cannot compete with Qatari gas, due to the extremely low cost of the latter. Hence, Saudi Arabia is trying to subdue Qatar, through a conflict within the GCC, in order to cut off another option – the construction of a gas pipeline from Iran (South Pars) through Iraq and Syria, which could be a joint project with Russia. Doha would play only a secondary, supporting role, being dependent on Tehran.

Therefore, in Obama’s negotiations with the Saudi rulers, the latter sought U.S. consent to a large increase in the comprehensive assistance provided to Syrian rebels. In particular, to supply heavy weapons and man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS), which would reduce to naught the superiority of the Syrian government forces in terms of firepower, and its complete superiority in the air, and thereby change the military balance in favor of “the anti-Assad opposition”. After that, it would be possible to act under the tested scheme: the creation of no-fly zones near Turkish and Jordanian borders, turning this area into a stronghold of militants, supplying arms and sending large mercenary forces there and the organization of a march on Damascus. In this case, according to the logic of the Saudis, Iran would be forced to move to a strategic defense, which would satisfy Riyadh at this stage, before the next move – arranging a coalition aimed at stifling the Islamic regime in Tehran. Obama asked the Saudis to give $15 billion, in return for all that, in order to support current Ukrainian authorities, explaining that the KSA would be compensated for these financial costs and a temporary drop in oil prices later, by the energy “isolation” of Russia and Iran.

The more so, that there was a precedent for this, when President Reagan and Saudi King caused a sharp decline in oil prices by the dumping of Saudi oil on the world market in the mid-1980s, because Soviet troops were sent into Afghanistan, which ultimately led to the disintegration of the Soviet Union, because of the subsequent economic problems. Today, a much smaller decrease in oil prices – from the current $107 per barrel to around 80-85 dollars – would be enough to make Russia suffer huge financial and economic damages. This would allow the U.S. president not only to get revenge for Crimea, but also to undermine significantly the economy of the Russian Federation, which would be followed by negative domestic political consequences for the current Russian government.

Earlier, American billionaire George Soros said that the U.S. strategic oil reserves are more than twice larger than the required level, and the sale of a part of these reserves would allow exerting pressure on Russia. That is, the blows would hit Moscow from two directions – from the United States and from the Persian Gulf. However, later on, the U.S. Secretary of Energy denied this possibility.

However, there is the question: Did the U.S. President manage to agree with Saudi Arabia to increase oil supplies to the world market to bring down prices? Does the KSA have a possibility to offer significant volumes of oil on the world market, for example up to 3-4 million b/d?

The fact is that the price of $110 per barrel is just the thing that Saudi Arabia needs, because the leadership of the kingdom has extensive socio-economic obligations. And if the standard of living of the Saudis decreases somewhat, due to the fall in oil prices and due to the fall of oil income, the country would be very much at risk to fall into the situation of the “Arab Spring”, like it was the case in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt. And the Saudis are afraid of a repetition of the Arab revolutions. Apparently, the Saudis are not going to offer additional oil on the market in order to bring down the price, just due to the hatred of the United States for the Russian Federation – as this is not profitable for them at all. They could agree on other things, including Qatari gas, Syria and Iran. In addition, the available production capacity of the KSA is not engaged now. This is about 4 million barrels per day. However, it would be impossible to do this quickly. It could take up to one month to increase the production. This is about as much as Iran produced at one time. However, now Iran is going to increase its production, due to lifting a part of the sanctions, and the Saudis are likely not to increase, but to reduce their production to keep oil prices high. And the prices will remain within the range they have been for quite a long time already. They will be in the range from 100 to 110, as this is the most comfortable range for both consumers and producers. Many countries, especially those that can influence the prices, via some manipulations with supply, are extremely interested in having high level of prices. Socio-economic programs are carried out in Venezuela at a price level of about $120 per barrel. In Iran, this figure is 110, and the same in Saudi Arabia. Thus, no one is interested in bringing down prices.

As for Iran, only one thing is clear for the time being: President Barack Obama has reassured Saudi King Abdullah that he would not agree to a “bad deal” with Iran on the nuclear issue. That is, Riyadh did not get what it wanted even on the Iranian issue. After the two leaders discussed their “tactical disagreements”, they both agreed that their strategic interests coincide, said an administration official. The statement of the White House on the results of the two-hour talks reads that Obama reaffirmed the importance for Washington of strong ties with the world’s largest oil exporter. At the same time, the administration official said that the parties had no time to discuss the situation with human rights in Saudi Arabia during their negotiations. In addition, a trusted source in the U.S. State Department said that Washington and Riyadh also discussed the conflict in Syria. According to him, the two countries carried out good joint work aimed at reaching a political transition period, and the support of moderate factions of the Syrian opposition. As for a possible supply of man-portable air defense systems to opposition militants, an informed source in Washington said that the U.S. still was concerned regarding the provision of such weapons to the rebels. However, there is information that Obama’s administration is considering the possibility of lifting the ban on the supply of MANPADS to the Syrian opposition. According to this source, the recent successes of the Syrian Army against the opposition forces may force the U.S. president to change his point of view.

Apparently, Obama and King Abdullah failed to reach clear and specific agreements on all issues on the agenda. There are differences, and the financial and economic interests are more important to Saudi Arabia than helping Washington in implementing its “revenge” on Russia for Crimea. Riyadh is well aware that Moscow and its partners on energy matters have things with which to respond to Saudi Arabia if the kingdom is blindly led on a string by the White House. And it is aware even more that Moscow has levers of political influence in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. The U.S., in turn, is not ready to resume its confrontation with Iran, especially when Tehran is fulfilling agreements to freeze its nuclear uranium enrichment program. In addition, Washington cannot work actively on Syrian affairs now, in the conditions of ongoing tensions in Ukraine. In addition, the chemical arsenal of the SAR has been half destroyed. And, apparently, Obama saw for himself during his, albeit short, stay in the kingdom that great changes are coming there, associated with the upcoming replacement of the current elderly generation of rulers by another one, which might be accompanied by unpredictable internal perturbation in the KSA. Hence, there is almost complete absence of victorious statements about the “historical” success of the U.S. President’s visit to Saudi Arabia.

Alexander Orlov, political scientist, expert in Oriental Studies, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

vendredi, 21 mars 2014

L'Arabie Saoudite fait interdire 50 prénoms

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L'Arabie Saoudite fait interdire 50 prénoms

Auteur : brujitaf.fr 
Ex: http://www.zejournal.mobi

L'Arabie Saoudite vient de publier une liste de 50 prénoms qui seront désormais interdits dans le royaume car jugés "blasphématoires" ou "inappropriés".

Cette liste diffusée par le ministère de l'Intérieur répertorie des prénoms assez répandus dans le pays, aussi bien d'origine étrangère comme Alice ou Lauren ou plus locale mais jugés inadéquats.

Ainsi, Amir (prince), Malika (reine), Benyamin (en référence au Premier Ministre israélien Netanyahou) ou encore Jibril (Gabriel, l'archange) ne sont plus en odeur de sainteté dans le royaume wahhabite.

La liste des 50 prénoms bannis:

Malaak, Abdoul Aati, Abdoul Naser, Abdoul Musleh, Nabi, Nabiyya, Amir, Sumuw, Al Mamlaka, Malika, Mamlaka, Tabarak, Nardin, Maya, Linda, Randa, Basmala, Taline, Aram, Narij, Rital, Alice, Sandy, Rama, Maline, Elaine, Inar, Maliktina, Lareen, Kibrial, Lauren, Benyamin, Naris, Yara, Sitav, Loland, Tilaj, Barrah, Abdoul Nabi, Abdoul Rasoul, Jibril, Abdul Mu'in, Abrar, Iman, Bayan, Basil, Wirilam.

- Source : brujitaf.fr

lundi, 17 mars 2014

Iraq Blames Qatar and Saudi Arabia for Terrorism

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Iraq Blames Qatar and Saudi Arabia for Terrorism: Re-run of Afghanistan and Pakistan

Salma Sribi and Michiyo Tanabe

Modern Tokyo Times

Prime Minister Nouri Maliki of Iraq denounces Qatar and Saudi Arabia for supporting terrorism and sectarianism against Iraq. Maliki made it abundantly clear that Qatar and Saudi Arabia are involved in the destabilization of Iraq based on Gulf petrodollars, their geopolitical ambitions, sectarian factors and other negative realities. Of course, this highlights the sham of Saudi Arabia that often claims it is fighting terrorism but in reality this nation turns this clock on and off when it suits the elites in Riyadh.

Indeed, the only real fear for Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states is to keep internal terrorism at bay. Therefore, exporting terrorism and spreading sectarianism is the mantra. Of course, major Western powers also conveniently use terrorism and sectarianism when the time suits. This reality applies to fighting on the same side in Afghanistan (1980s/1990s); Bosnia; Libya and currently in Syria. However, it is Gulf petrodollars, Salafi ideology, exporting militancy and funding sectarian ventures based on the intrigues of feudal kingdoms, where all the barbaric synergy comes together.

Maliki spoke frankly to France 24 about Qatar and Saudi Arabia supporting the brutal terrorist and sectarian insurgency in Iraq. Maliki says: I accuse them of inciting and encouraging the terrorist movements. I accuse them of supporting them politically and in the media, of supporting them with money and by buying weapons for them…I accuse them of leading an open war against the Iraqi government.”

Lee Jay Walker at Modern Tokyo Times says: “This reality is like a re-run because in Afghanistan it is clear that Pakistan is involved in many murky terrorist and sectarian dealings against this nation. In other words, the allies of America and the United Kingdom are the same nations assisting terrorism against governments and nations they are meant to be supporting. Of course, this equally entails that many British and American soldiers have been killed and maimed because of the collective intrigues of so called allies. Despite this, what is the comeback against Pakistan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia?”

President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan is saying the same with regards to Pakistan destabilizing his country. The New York Times reports “Mr. Karzai charged that elements of the Pakistani government were still supporting Islamic militants, as they had in the past, and that if such sources of terrorism were not defeated, Afghans and international soldiers would continue to die.”

The above was stated in 2006 yet in 2011 Karzai made it clear that nothing had changed. In the Washington Post they quote Karzai saying: “Pakistan has pursued a double game toward Afghanistan, and using terrorism as a means continues.” Of course, in 2014 this same opinion is held by many in Afghanistan but at no time is Pakistan worried about becoming a pariah – just like Qatar and Saudi Arabia don’t have to worry. Therefore, what is going on in the corridors of power in Washington and London?

While Maliki was accusing Qatar and Saudi Arabia yet another barbaric terrorist attack killed over 30 Iraqi nationals. The latest terrorist attack took place at a checkpoint in Hilla. Like usual, Sunni Islamic jihadists attacked Hilla because this area is predominantly Shia and Takfiri hatred towards this community knows no boundaries.

France 24 reports: Maliki went on to say that not only did Saudi Arabia support terrorism in countries such as Iraq and Syria, but around the world.”

Lee Jay Walker says: “Afghanistan and Iraq are paying a heavy price because of the respective intrigues of Qatar, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. India knows full well that being the largest democracy in the world doesn’t appear to resonate in London and Washington. After all, for decades Pakistan is exporting terrorism to Kashmir and many brutal terrorist attacks in India can be traced back to Pakistan. Yet, despite this reality, and the obvious connection linking Pakistan with many terrorist and sectarian factions in Afghanistan, this still doesn’t prevent America and the United Kingdom from supporting Pakistan in the field of economic and military support. Indeed, it appears that just like American and British soldiers are expendable to political elites in Washington and London; the same can clearly be said about Pakistan soldiers being killed based on the intrigues of Pakistan.”

In 2013 just below 9,000 people were killed in Iraq because of sectarian and terrorist forces. This figure is the highest since 2007 and says much about the bankruptcy of President Obama in America. Indeed, France 24 should be asking why France is involving itself along with Turkey against the government of Syria. After all, like Maliki says about Qatar and Saudi Arabia: “They are attacking Iraq through Syria, and in a direct way.”

Until Gulf and Western powers are held accountable then sadly the destabilization of nations will continue whereby terrorism is a useful tool. Obviously, this reality is being ignored by the United Nations therefore the same methodology will continue to be utilized by the same Gulf and Western powers – along with Turkey and Pakistan that continue to switch the terrorist clock on.

Lee Jay Walker gave guidance to both writers

http://www.france24.com/en/20140308-france24-exclusive-interview-iraq-maliki/

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-26501610

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/13/world/asia/13afghan.html?_r=0

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

jeudi, 06 mars 2014

De la guerre civile en Irak

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Bernhard Tomaschitz:

De la guerre civile en Irak

L’année 2014 sera terrible pour l’Irak

Comme en Syrie, l’Arabie saoudite attise le conflit

Près de onze années se sont écoulées depuis l’agression délibérée, contraire aux principes du droit des gens, que les Etats-Unis ont perpétrée contre l’Irak en 2003. Aujourd’hui, ce malheureux pays risque bien de sombrer dans le chaos et l’anarchie. Les combattants de l’ISIL (“Pour un Etat islamique en Irak et au Levant”), une organisation terroriste qui, dit-on, serait étroitement liée à Al Qaeda, ont pris le contrôle de vastes portions de la province occidentale d’Al-Anbar. Les attentats ponctuent chaque journée qui passe. Pourtant le premier ministre irakien Nuri al-Maliki reste serein. Il a confiance en ses troupes: “Nous vaincrons Al Qaeda”, affirme-t-il.

A Washington, on analyse la situation avec un oeil plus réaliste. Les Etats-Unis livrent des armes légères à l’armée irakienne, dans l’espoir qu’avec cet arsenal réduit cette armée, théoriquement alliée, va pouvoir à terme empêcher qu’un territoire assez vaste et cohérent de l’Irak et de la Syrie soit soustrait à l’influence des islamistes. Mais ce qu’il faut surtout rappeler c’est que des voix se font entendre à Washington qui critiquent le retrait des troupes américaines en 2011 et réclament dès lors un nouvel engagement combattant dans le pays ravagé par la guerre civile. Récemment donc deux sénateurs influents, John McCain et Lindsey Graham, ont déclaré: “Que les choses soient claires: la position du gouvernement, qui voulait aller dans le sens du gouvernement irakien et ne voulait pas maintenir les forces armées américaines au-delà de l’année 2011, était manifestement erronée”. Al-Maliki voit les choses autrement, bien sûr, et défend sa décision d’hier de faire partir le plus vite possible les soldats américains.

Al-Maliki n’est toutefois par entièrement innocent: il est partiellement coupable de la détérioration de la situation. Chef du gouvernement, il appartient à la majorité chiite de la population, que le régime de Saddam Hussein avait réduit à l’insignifiance politique. Al-Maliki s’est ensuite efforcé de marginaliser les sunnites. Par voie de conséquence, la loyauté de ces derniers envers le nouvel Etat irakien post-baathiste, pour autant qu’elle ait jamais existé, s’est évanouie comme neige au soleil. Cette disparition de toute loyauté sunnite a favorisé le développement de groupes comme Al Qaeda ou l’ISIL.

La politique actuelle d’Al-Maliki vise à amener les Américains à livrer davantage d’armes. Il a transmis à Washington une liste d’armements jugés nécessaires pour chasser les islamistes de la province d’Al-Anbar. Pourtant les armes arrivent depuis assez longtemps. En décembre 2013, le “New York Times” rapportait qu’une cargaison de 75 missiles anti-chars Hellfire était arrivée en Irak. Ensuite, le Pentagone s’est déclaré prêt à livrer en 2014 au gouvernement de Bagdad des chasseurs F-16, des hélicoptères Apache et, surtout, des dizaines de drones d’observation. Mais les experts militaires cités par le “New York Times” sont très sceptiques: même dotés de ces armements sophistiqués, ils doutent que l’armée irakienne soit capable de vaincre les insurgés sunnites.

Le ministre irakien des affaires étrangères, Hoshyar Zebar, quant à lui, a avoué qu’une intervention américaine directe, par le biais de drones, était de plus en plus envisageable “depuis quelques mois”. Si le conflit gagne en intensité, l’engagement de troupes américaines n’est pas une option à exclure, même si Kerry affirme encore aujourd’hui que “les godillots des GI’s” ne fouleront plus le sol irakien.

Cependant, il faut bien constater que les islamistes irakiens ne seraient pas aussi forts, comme leurs homologues syriens d’ailleurs, s’ils ne bénéficiaient pas d’un soutien massif des Saoudiens. Le royaume wahhabite du désert arabique joue effectivement un rôle clef dans ces conflits d’Irak et de Syrie. On sait qu’il est riche de sa rente pétrolière, que sa religion d’Etat est le wahhabisme, forme la plus rigide de l’islam, qu’il soutient partout dans le monde les tenants de ce rigorisme. Le 4 janvier 2014, l’agence iranienne de presse “Fars News Agency” écrivait: “Tandis que la Turquie a fermé de large portions de sa frontière aux terroristes et tandis que la Jordanie songe à restreindre le droit d’entrer et de circuler sur son territoire aux ressortissants saoudiens qui cherchent à entrer en Irak via le royaume hachémite de Jordanie, les frontières de l’Irak en plein désert sont à peine contrôlées par les militaires irakiens et les pistes de ce désert constituent dès lors les voies de pénétration pour le soutien logistique et militaire que l’Arabie saoudite apporte aux terroristes syriens”.

La question se pose quant au rôle douteux que joue ce grand allié des Etats-Unis au Proche Orient —le deuxième après Israël— souligne Andreï Akoulov du centre d’études stratégiques russe “Strategic Culture Foundation”: “L’Arabie saoudite constitue la principale menace pour la paix au Proche Orient. Les guerres régionales et les conflits religieux dans cette région du monde sont financées et armées par Ryad”. La tragédie syrienne, pour l’expert russe, est une “conséquence directe” de l’immixtion saoudienne, appuyée par les Etats-Unis. L’Irak, dès lors, devra faire face à “une nouvelle vague d’attentats à la bombe”, parce que les Saoudiens tentent de créer un équilibre régional à leur seul profit et au détriment de l’Iran.

L’Arabie saoudite est en mesure de pratiquer cette politique belligène tout simplement parce que celle-ci est la suite logique des guerres fomentées et déclenchées par les bellicistes néo-conservateurs qui ont tenu le haut du pavé à Washington sous la présidence de George W. Bush. Un autre expert russe, actif dans la même fondation, Nikolaï Bobkin, souligne la responsabilité des Etats-Unis dans l’éclosion du conflit. En effet, les interventions américaines, en Afghanistan d’abord, en Irak ensuite, “ont bouleversé l’équilibre fragile des forces et enclenché un processus de concurrence entre Iraniens et Saoudiens pour la maîtrise du Proche Orient”.

Une question cruciale demeure cependant ouverte: pendant combien de temps les Etats-Unis miseront-ils encore sur un allié qui contrecarre leurs intérêts au Proche Orient, bien plus intensément que ne le firent jamais les Iraniens? Voilà sans doute pourquoi, à court ou moyen terme, on voit se profiler un rapprochement entre Washington et Téhéran.

Bernhard TOMASCHITZ.

(article paru dans “zur Zeit”, Vienne, n°4/2014; http://www.zurzeit.at ).

dimanche, 23 février 2014

Lebanonization Strategy

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Israel and Saudi Arabia’s Priorities in Syria. Covert Militarism and the “Lebanonization Strategy”

Ex: http://www.globalresearch.ca

Current developments both inside and outside of Syria have shown that the primary sponsors of the extremist-dominated insurgency – namely, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Israel and Turkey – aren’t quite ready to throw in the towel.

One may be forgiven for thinking the Obama administration had decided to abandon the policy of regime change following the failed attempt to incite intervention, through the chemical weapons casus belli in August. But the harsh reality remains that the above mentioned alliance is indeed continuing its covert military support of the insurgency, in one form or another, in the full knowledge the vast majority of rebels are religious fundamentalists with a sectarian agenda, and vehemently opposed to any form of democracy or political pluralism.

 Primarily, the continued support is a product of the American Empires’ overarching strategy of Full Spectrum Dominance over resource-rich and strategically placed regions of the globe, via subversion, economic and military aggression; a policy imposed to varying degrees upon any state unwilling to accept full US subordination. This aggressive US stance is by no means exclusive to periods of heightened tension or crises; it is a permanent one, brought forward to its violent climax purely through Machiavellian opportunism. In Syria’s case, the Arab uprisings provided the United States and its allies the perfect opening to set in motion the subversive plans they had been working on since at least 2006. The possibility of removing an opposing government that refuses to abide by American/Israeli diktat was simply too good a chance to be missed. Accordingly, and from a very early stage, the US made attempts to facilitate and support the violent elements in Syria, while its media arms were busy conflating them with localised legitimate protesters.

Since the US took the typically reckless decision to support, widen and exacerbate the militant elements, the policy has been an abject failure. Clearly, from the tone espoused by Western diplomats and propagandists, and the oft-repeated slogan of “Assad’s days are numbered”, they expected swift regime change. These desires were largely based on American hubris and the hope that the Libya No Fly Zone scenario would gain traction in the UN security council.

Contrary to such desires, Russia and China’s anger regarding NATO’s destruction of Libya and Gaddafi’s assassination, meant that any similar resolutions put forward on Syria would face immediate veto. In turn this has proven to be a turning point in the modern relationship between the permanent members of the security council, the full ramifications of which are yet to materialise. Moreover, it proved to be a turning point in the Syrian crisis itself; knowing Russia and China would block any attempts to give NATO its second outing as Al Qaeda’s airforce, the US once again chose the policy of further covert militarism, drastically increasing funds and weapons deliveries to the rebels – parallel to the sectarian incitement campaigns espoused by Salafi-Wahhabi clerics across the Gulf – in the hope they could overturn the Syrian army through terrorism and a brutal sectarian war of attrition.

As a consequence of the failure to remove Assad or destroy the Syrian government and its apparatus, the Obama administration, reluctant and politically incapable of engaging in overt acts of aggression, is employing a realpolitik strategy; using primarily covert militarism to appease the desires of NeoConservative hawks in Congress, and its more zealous regional influences emanating from Riyadh and Tel Aviv, while avoiding the possibility of being dragged into another overt military intervention.

In turn, this double-edged strategy feeds the false public perception of the American Empire, which the pseudo-pragmatists and neoliberal propagandists are so eager to uphold and is so fundamental to US Empire-building; that of an inherently altruistic force, acting as global arbiter, grudgingly subverting, invading, bombing, and intervening in sovereign nations affairs for the good of all mankind. As long as this false perception is upheld, the sharp-edge to the grotesque charade of US realpolitik – that of covert militarism and state-sponsored terrorism – continues unabated. Clearly, the US Empire is in no rush to end the bloodshed in Syria, its priorities, as they have been since the start of 2011, are to remove, or at least severely disable and weaken the Syrian government and state, regardless of the consequences to the civilian population.

By using its control of state-funding, the arms flow, and therefore the strength and capabilities of the insurgency as a whole, the Obama administration has employed futile carrot and stick tactics in attempts to pressure the Syrian government during the current negotiations phase into acceding to US demands and giving up its sovereignty – with both the US-led alliance, and Syria and its international allies, primarily Russia and Iran, in the full knowledge the rebels lack both the domestic support, and manpower necessary, to oust Assad or defeat the Syrian army alone. Recent reports allude to the stick of US Democracy having its most recent outing in the form of “new”  and improved weapons supplies to the rebels, allegedly including MANPADS. This comes immediately off the back of the designed-to-fail Geneva “peace” talks and can be interpreted as a direct result of Washington’s failure to enforce their objectives: the stick is an endless supply of state-sponsored terrorism, the carrot is turning off the tap.

Whether the “new” arms shipments actually increase the rebels ability to inflict damage on the Syrian government remains to be seen, and is highly improbable at this stage as the Syrian army moves into the Qalamoun mountains to liberate the rebel-held town of Yabroud, in turn securing vital transit and logistical routes from Lebanon. The likely outcome of an increased arms flow to the rebels in the south, as evidenced at every interval of US-instigated militarization, will be a repeat of the same devastating results: more civilian displacement, adding to the already critical refugee crisis; more rebel destruction of civilian infrastructure, adding to further food and utility shortages; and many more lives lost.

“Lebanonization” a substitute for regime change?

As is proving to be the case, if the United States and its allies are incapable of removing the Syrian government via proxy forces without an increasingly unpopular Western military intervention, and Assad’s position and domestic support remain steadfast, then a Lebanonization strategy may well be the substitute “optimal scenario” the US and its allies are now working toward.

 Encouraging, exacerbating, and inciting division between Arabs has been the long-term strategy for the Zionist establishment since the colonialists first usurped Palestinian land in 1948 – with specific effort made toward fomenting conflict along sectarian lines. The strategy of division is directed toward any Arab state or government that refuses to abide by Zionist demands. Israeli strategist Oded Yinon’s now infamous “A strategy for Israel in the 1980′s” – dubbed the Yinon Plan – provides perhaps the clearest account of Israel’s intentions toward its Arab neighbours:

The total disintegration of Lebanon into five regional local governments is the precedent for the entire Arab world … The dissolution of Syria, and later Iraq, into districts of ethnic and religious minorities following the example of Lebanon is Israel’s main long-range objective on the Eastern front. The present military weakening of these states is the short-range objective. Syria will disintegrate into several states along the lines of its ethnic and religious structure … As a result, there will be a Shi’ite Alawi state, the district of Aleppo will be a Sunni state, and the district of Damascus another state which is hostile to the northern one. The Druze – even those of the Golan – should forma state in Hauran and in northern Jordan … the oil-rich but very divided and internally strife-ridden Iraq is certainly a candidate to fill Israel’s goals … Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation … will hasten the achievement of the supreme goal, namely breaking up Iraq into elements like Syria and Lebanon.

When viewed in this context, it can be no coincidence that US Secretary of State John Kerry is desperately pursuing a fait accompli with the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Contrary to the sickening media portrayal of the US as impartial peacebroker, Kerry’s eagerness to pursue a “deal” at this moment in time is a direct result of the Syrian conflict, and the divisions within the resistance camp it has created. The US and Israel are now attempting to force through an Israeli-oriented “peace deal” with the corrupt PA that will inevitably be both a failure, and against the Palestinians interests. Staunch allies of Palestinian resistance, currently bogged down fighting Al Qaeda ideologues in Syria and defusing car-bombs bound for Dahiyeh, are in no position to support the Palestinians against Israel in their hour of need, the US and Israel fully grasp the importance of isolating genuine Palestinian resistance from the few Arab states and actors it receives support. In his latest speech, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah reminded his listeners of this very crucial issue:

“the US Administration is seeking, along with the Zionist Administration to put an end to the Palestinian cause, and it considers that this is the best time for that because the Arab and Islamic worlds are absent today, and every country is occupied with its own problems.”

In a similar fashion, the US has used the Syrian conflict as a lever against Iran in the nuclear negotiations, Washington’s longstanding attempts to pacify and subordinate an independent Iran has undoubtedly played a major role in US policy on Syria – perhaps the defining role. Consequently, both the Palestinian and Iranian conflicts with Israel and the United States are now, as they have always been intended to some extent in US calculations, inextricably linked to resolving the Syrian crisis.

True to form, Israel’s evident glee at the destruction in Syria and overt preference for the removal of Assad and the Syrian government, with the devastation that would entail, has proven at times hard for them to conceal. Furthering the point, just one of many examples of Israeli-rebel collusion came in a recent report from the National (falsely portraying the rebels Israel is “reaching out” to as ostensibly “moderate”) which relayed that hundreds of rebels have received treatment in Israeli hospitals and been sent back into Syria with up to a $1000 in cash. Israel have made further efforts to consolidate contacts with the rebels in the south, regardless of the level of fundamentalism, and cooperated with rebel factions during the Israeli bombings on Latakia and Damascus.

 In a feeble attempt to whitewash this collusion, Israeli propagandists are busily spreading the misinformation that Israel is facilitating the Druze community in the south of Syria; yet the Druze community are firmly allied with the Syrian government. In reality, Israeli attempts to cultivate relations with the communities and rebels in the south should be correctly viewed as attempts to create enforced “safe-zones” around the occupied Golan Heights, in furtherance of the Zionists land-grabbing expansionist aspirations. Accordingly, Israel’s fraudulent neutrality is completely exposed by their collusion with the rebels to meet their own interests, and overt acts of aggression against the Syrian army.

There are many other indications that allude to prominent factions of the US alliance being preferable of, and encouraging an outcome of division, most notably Israel, but simple logic determines that Saudi Arabia, Israel’s most vital strategic partner in the region, and the actor from within the US alliance that possesses the most material influence and political will to support fundamentalists and terrorism, would also approve of the disintegration of the Syrian state, primarily viewing it as a blow to “Shi’a expansion”. The Saudi and Gulf fixation on sectarian themes, to mask what are essentially politically oriented conflicts, is also intentionally built to intensify the strategy of division in multi-ethnic, religiously plural societies – as evidenced in virtually every country fundamentalist Gulf proxies have been unleashed upon, most recently in Libya.

Yet even the Saudi’s have limits to their own capabilities and decisions, ultimately they rely on the military largesse and protection of the United States, and will therefore reign in the terrorist networks if push comes to shove. Hence, the recent Saudi attempts to dissociate from Al Qaeda and the various extremists fighting in Syria can be seen as largely cosmetic and for public consumption. In reality, the Saudi leadership see Al Qaeda and its extremist confrères as malleable proxies of no real threat to themselves, while constituting a critical component of Saudi foreign policy and covert aggression.

 Of far higher importance to both Israel and Saudi Arabia’s confluent interests in the region, which in turn play a critical role in US calculations, are the very states the fundamentalist proxies are currently being sponsored to wage war upon; namely, Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah. The disintegration of the resistance axis is the utmost priority for the states that drive US policy in the Middle East, the supposed “threat” faced by militant fundamentalist ideologues, originally created, and intermittently sponsored by the US and its allies, is merely an afterthought.

 The US Empire, in its efforts to contain, and therefore dominate and control such a strategic and resource-rich region, is more than content to allow its reactionary and sectarian clients to incite the conflict necessary to subvert, fracture and divide the inevitable power a unified Middle East could claim: if only their progressive aspirations and unity were not repeatedly “set back” by Zionist occupation and manufactured antagonism.

Phil Greaves is a UK based writer on UK/US Foreign Policy, with a focus on the Arab World, post WWII. http://notthemsmdotcom.wordpress.com/

vendredi, 14 février 2014

La farce de Montreux

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Bernhard Tomaschitz:

La farce de Montreux

 

Conférence pour la paix en Syrie: les Etats-Unis et l’Arabie saoudite ne veulent pas la fin de la guerre civile

 

A Montreux, en Suisse, la “communauté internationale” (ou ce qui en tient lieu...) tente de trouver une paix acceptable qui mettrait fin à la guerre civile qui fait rage depuis trois ans en Syrie et qui a détruit le pays. Ce que l’on met en scène sur les bords du Lac Léman n’est rien d’autre qu’une farce. Dès le départ, ni les puissances occidentales, surtout les Etats-Unis, qui soutiennent les rebelles dits “modérés”, ni l’Arabie saoudite, qui protège les combattants radicaux islamistes, n’ont intérêt à conduire des négociations sérieuses.

 

Ainsi, le ministre américain des affaires étrangères, John Kerry, exige, en méconnaissant ainsi la situation réelle dans le pays, que le Président syrien Bechar El-Assad renonce au pouvoir. D’après Kerry, il serait impensable que l’homme “qui a oppirmé son peuple de manière si brutale” puisse encore continuer à diriger la Syrie. Et comme par miracle, juste avant que ne commencent les négociations de Genève II, les médias ont diffusé des images prouvant soi-disant les massacres d’opposants au régime, perpétrés par les forces de sécurité loyalistes syriennes. Quant à la puissance régionale que constitue l’Iran, elle a d’abord été invitée, puis, sous pression américaine, “dés-invitée” par le secrétaire général de l’ONU, Ban Ki-Moon. Le ministre russe des affaires étrangères, Sergueï Lavrov définit cette exclusion de l’Iran comme “une faute impardonnable”.

 

De cette façon, les deux alliés, inégaux entre eux que sont les Etats-Unis et l’Arabie saoudite, ont constitué une sorte d’Axe dirigé directement contre l’Iran. En effet, les deux Etats poursuivent —pour des motifs certes divergents— un but commun, celui de contenir et d’encercler l’Iran. L’élément-clef de cette stratégie américano-saoudienne est de briser un maillon fort de “l’arc chiite”, espace géographique en forme de croissant qui part de l’Iran, s’étend à l’Irak et à la Syrie pour aboutir finalement aux zones contrôlées par le Hizbollah au Liban. Pour faire tomber Assad, Washington accepte délibérément que l’Arabie saoudite soutienne les combattants djihadistes de Syrie.

 

Nikolaï Bobkin, qui appartient à la “Strategic Culture Foundation”, une boîte à penser russe, met bien la situation en évidence: “Ryad ne met plus de gants quand il s’agit de faire face aux initiatives internationales pour contrôler le programme nucléaire iranien. Les Saoudiens prônent sans fard le changement de régime en Syrie et ne cessent plus de verser des fonds pour armer l’opposition syrienne. Le royaume d’Arabie saoudite entretient des liens avec les adversaires les plus rabiques de Bechar El-Assad et est ainsi le principal soutien du terrorisme en Syrie”. A juste titre, Bobkin pose la question: l’Arabie saoudite ne mériterait-elle pas de subir les mêmes sanctions que l’Iran?

 

L’Occident laisse faire le royaume islamo-fondamentaliste saoudien —dont la religion d’Etat est le wahhabisme (une secte sunnite)— qui peut ainsi intervenir non seulement en Syrie mais aussi dans l’Irak voisin. Ce laxisme est facile à comprendre: les Saoudiens, disposant à profusion de pétrodollars, sont de bons clients, surtout pour acheter du matériel militaire. Bobkin poursuit son raisonnement: rien que pour cette raison, la famille royale saoudienne peut demeurer sûre que “Washington et ses alliés européens continueront à fermer les yeux, quoi que fasse l’Arabie saoudite dans la région”.

 

Fin 2011, Washington et Ryad ont signé un accord d’achat de matériels militaires pour une somme de 60 milliards de dollars. Bobkin démontre que, grâce à cet accord, les Saoudiens peuvent prendre sous leur aile protectrice les Etats qui leur sont loyaux dans la région, en soutenant financièrement leur programme d’armement: “Par exemple, l’Arabie saoudite a promis aux militaires libanais de financer à raison de trois millions de dollars un achat d’armes en France”. Les forces libanaises seront alors en mesure d’agir efficacement contre le Hizbollah, bien armé par l’Iran. Les membres de cette milice chiite libanaise se battent en Syrie aux côtés des troupes d’Assad.

 

Pourtant l’Arabie saoudite ne constitue pas un sujet de conversation dans les milieux influents aux Etats-Unis. On se contente d’y réclamer un “changement de régime” à Damas et d’exercer à cette fin une pression constante sur le Président Obama. Elliott Abrams, conseiller de l’ex-Président George W. Bush, rappelle à Obama, dans une contribution au “Weekly Standard”, que le premier président afro-américain des Etats-Unis avait, il y a deux ans et demi, réclamé la chute d’Assad. Ensuite, Abrams dresse une longue liste de “péchés” commis par le gouvernement syrien. Celui-ci serait un “régime ennemi”, lié à l’Iran et au Hizbollah, qui opprimerait brutalement toute opinion divergente émise dans le pays. L’idéologue néo-conservateur utilise ensuite l’arme propagandiste de l’exagération en affirmant tout de go que le régime de Damas “a du sang américain sur les mains”, parce qu’il y a une dizaine d’années, il aurait favorisé le transit de djihadistes vers l’Irak, où ces derniers auraient tué des Américains. Abrams est aveugle quelque part: il refuse de voir que le régime d’Assad excite la haine des islamistes parce qu’il est séculier et laïque. Abrams ne constate pas cet état de choses, pourtant évident: il se borne à faire feu de tous bois pour attiser la haine anti-syrienne.

 

Genève II n’apportera donc aucun résultat. L’invitation de représentants de la “Syrian National Coalition” (SNC), regroupement d’opposants à Assad, n’y changera rien. Cette SNC n’est rien d’autre qu’un spectre inconsistant qui donne l’illusion qu’existerait une opposition pro-occidentale. Car il ne faut pas se voiler la face: la plupart des rebelles sont des islamistes, dont beaucoup cultivent des liens à peine dissimulés avec le réseau Al-Qaeda. Le “Washington Post” commentait les préparatifs à Genève II comme suit: “L’incapacité de la coalition lui a coûté la sympathie de la plupart des Syriens normaux et de la majorité des groupes rebelles armés. Pour cette raison, on ne sait pas très bien qui cette coalition représente, ce qui pose problème si elle a l’intention de participer aux négociations”.

 

Bernhard TOMASCHITZ.

(article paru dans “zur Zeit”, Vienne, n°5/2014, http://www.zurzeit.at ).

vendredi, 07 février 2014

Saudi Arabia buys the West

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Vladimir Odintsov

Saudi Arabia buys the West

Ex: http://journal-neo.org

The relationship between Saudi Arabia and the west, primarily the United States, has always been a critical component of the Saudi political policy. However, the recent changes to the strategy undertaken by Washington and its various European allies to resolve both the Syrian crisis and the Iranian nuclear program have forced Riyadh to amend its foreign policy priorities and to alter any further co-operation with the western countries.

These policy changes that Washington and its main ally, London, have undertaken in the Middle East are being called no less than a “betrayal and a deceitful attitude towards Riyadh” by representatives of the Saudi Arabian royal family. Such claims were particularly applied toThe Telegraph newspaper by the Saudi ambassador in London, prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin AbdulAziz Al Saud and it has been stated that from now on, Riyadh “will not be idly standing by”. His advisor Nawaf Obaid has, meanwhile, accused America and the west of “being dishonest with Saudi Arabia” and announced that the Saudis will be adopting a new “defence doctrine” to accomplish their foreign policy goals and that “our strategic posture is moving from reactive to proactive”, that is, they will be taking an active position in terms of their foreign policy.

Saudi Arabia’s refusal to strategically partner with the United States was also voiced to a host of foreign media at the end of 2013 by the head of the Saudi Intelligence Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who claimed that a “decisive shift” was occurring in Saudi Arabian foreign policy. He has stated that the Saudi monarchy will now cease to focus on Washington, who has been “ignoring Riyadh interests”.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy has certainly never been public. This is primarily because the leaders of this kingdom have never had to be accountable before their own people with regards to their plans and policies. This is why Riyadh’s plans on the foreign arena were always hidden behind a veil of secrecy and only in certain circumstances did well-known foreign players become privy to this knowledge through “confidential talks” with Saudi diplomats. Even then, this information was less of a “revelation” and was instead clearly well-placed information that was disseminated in a skilled manner through the “confidential talks” to reinforce certain Saudi manoeuvres or to implement certain secret monarchy plans. This is why the information pertaining to Riyadh’s shifting political focus that “accidentally” ended up in the hands of a host of western news agencies, primarily The Wall Street Journal,The Telegraph, Reuters, The New York Times and others at the end of last year was really an expertly-executed informational campaign aimed at warning Washington and London that they their risk losing their main ally in the Arab world, Saudi Arabia. It’s not hard to guess that Prince Bandar bin Sultan could have been the one behind this campaign, as he is in charge of not only the national intelligence but virtually all of the kingdom’s foreign policy.

This “informational leak” was quickly followed by Riyadh’s “demonstration of strength” in the form of financial flirting with various Arab countries as well as those in the Middle Eastern region (in particular Lebanon, Egypt and others) and their readiness to fully replace the United States as a source of funding for their military and technical modernization programs as well as a source of foreign weapons, a task that would instead be relegated to a “trusted Saudi Arabian ally”. This political game undertaken by Riyadh began to actively attract leaders of other nations, those who also felt “offended by Washington”. Or, simply put, those who, like Saudi Arabia, have become outcasts within the new American policies. In this environment, the Saudi’s first choice fell to the French president François Hollande, who was eager to play along to the Riyadh tune during a time when his ratings were falling catastrophically low among the French population.

This led to François Hollande visiting Riyadh at the end of 2013 where the Saudi Arabian king allocated a $3 billion grant to fund the Lebanese Army on the condition that weapons will be purchased in France. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia also stated that it is ready to spend over $50 billion on the further foreign policy rapprochement with France, which is based on their common views with respect to the situation in Syria and Iran.

This led to a severely negative reaction in the United States, where this grant approval was seen as a public insult of the American position on Iran and Syria, a position that is contrary to the Saudi policies surrounding these countries. The United States believes that Riyadh intends to create a new axis with Paris after having met the rather soft, from the Saudi point of view, platform undertaken by Washington with respect to their Middle Eastern policies. The foundation of this new axis will be involving Paris in billion dollar operations relating to the regions’ weapons and military equipment, something France cannot refuse. At the forefront of the French-Saudi political alliance is the Saudi oil money which has caught the interest of the deeply troubled French economy. The French have already signed a $1.5 billion contract agreeing to modernize the Saudi navy, which has led François Hollande to undertake three additional visits to Saudi Arabia.

Although the French and Saudi Arabian foreign policy is fairly close on issues surrounding Syria, Lebanon and Iran, there are serious disagreements regarding Egypt with respect to the role that the Muslim Brotherhood should have in the country and in the region as a whole. These disagreements could undermine the burgeoning “axis of good” in the future, however, Riyadh can presently count on their “valuable ally, uncompromising with respect to Assad” on Syrian issues.

Washington is not only worried about losing Saudi Arabia as the sole client for American weapons, but is also concerned about the hit to the United States’ reputation as the provider of aid to Lebanon to help strengthen their military power. After all, the financial support being provided to Lebanon seems to be a lot more generous from Saudi Arabia than it is from the U.S.

The United States’ foreign policy image with respect to Syria is also suffering due to France’s growing activity in establishing contacts with the Syrian opposition with the aid of the Saudis. While François Hollande was having talks with Riyadh’s protégé and head of the national coalition for Syrian opposition Ahmad Dzharba, Washington’s highest politicians did not once attempt to make these types of contact themselves.

France’s growing efforts to anchor in the Persian Gulf and the Saudi attempts to define partners who would help resolve pressing regional issues (Syria, Iran and others) without involving the United States has led to serious concerns in Washington. The American plan to control the process of transforming the gulf monarchies (Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf) into an economic, military and political bloc are now under serious threat. This could also mean that various U.S. projects would grind to a halt, such as the creation of the unified integrated ABM system in the Persian Gulf, the launching of the new co-ordination mechanism – a Council of the Defence Ministers of the U.S. and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, and even the creation of a unified military and political bloc of the gulf monarchies.

This has forced the hand of U.S. State Secretary John Kerry, who travelled to Saudi Arabia with a short visit at the beginning of January of this year. Although the main topic of conversation was the issue of reconciling the Middle East, behind closed doors there were also talks of other issues that have cast a shadow over Saudi-American relations (military-technical co-operation and their disagreements on Iranian and Syrian policies). The Saudis once again linked resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict with how the situation will be developing with regards to the regional problems that are central to Saudi interests.

Within these circumstances, the United States’ position on these issues will be a defining characteristic that will determine the further particulars of the Saudi co-operation with the Americans. Experts also note that Saudi Arabia will not be able to agree that the Arab countries should recognize the Jewish character of the Israeli state, a point which is being advanced by the Americans and John Kerry himself.

In a word, the “boiling Middle East” is a fitting name for the region as the intrigues here seem to be perpetually growing. They are followed by new informational provocation, which in turn prepares a foothold for the possible upcoming deterioration of the military-political situation in the region. One example of this is the new recent claim by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper regarding the possibility that Syria has the manufacturing capabilities to produce not just chemical, but biological weapons which will, once again, give the U.S. a reason to send a military operation to Damascus, something of particular interest to Riyadh who is ready to pay any amount of their oil money to achieve their goals.

However, let’s not forget that the times are changing and the world is changing with them. New calls for military action, even those that are financed well and generously funded by the Wahhabi monarchy, will not only fail to generate an income for the puppeteers in Washington and Riyadh, but will instead hasten their political downfall. 

Vladimir Odintsov is a political commentator exclusively for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook.

samedi, 01 février 2014

La guerre des Saoud contre la Syrie

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La guerre des Saoud contre la Syrie

 

Tout observateur du conflit syrien désireux de connaître de plus près la rébellion anti-régime aura quelque peine à s’y retrouver en raison de l’inflation des groupes armés que l’on estime aujourd’hui à plus d’un millier. La guerre fratricide dans laquelle sont plongées les principales milices djihadistes depuis le début de l’année accentue la confusion notamment sur le rôle et l’évolution d’Al Qaïda dans le conflit. Pourtant, au-delà de leurs rivalités économiques et territoriales, une même idéologie et une même stratégie les unissent et les relient à un acteur clé de la guerre de Syrie : le royaume d’Arabie saoudite.

Le wahhabisme syrien avant la guerre

Le courant religieux fondé il y a quelques 250 ans par le prédicateur extrémiste Muhammad Ben Abdel Wahhab dans le Najd en Arabie saoudite, n’est pas un phénomène de mode soudainement apparu en Syrie à la faveur du printemps arabe. Le wahhabisme dispose en effet d’une base sociale solide entretenue depuis plusieurs années par les Syriens qui vivent en Arabie saoudite et dans les autres théocraties de la péninsule arabique. En Syrie, les émigrés du Golfe sont singulièrement appelés « les Saoudiens » car à leur retour au pays, on les confond avec les vrais Saoudiens. La plupart de ces émigrés reviennent en effet imprégnés du puritanisme rituel, vestimentaire, familial et sociétal qui caractérise les royaumes wahhabites (1).

Mais le wahhabisme syrien est aussi le fait de prédicateurs salafistes chassés par le régime de Damas et accueillis par les royaumes du Golfe. Malgré la distance et la répression, ces salafistes exilés sont parvenus à entretenir des réseaux d’influence dans leurs régions et leurs tribus d’origine.

La multiplication des chaînes satellitaires émettant depuis les pays wahhabites a renforcé en Syrie la popularité de certains exilés syriens reconvertis dans le « télé-coranisme ». Le plus emblématique d’entre eux est sans doute Adnane Arour. Exilé en Arabie saoudite, celui que l’on surnomme le cheikh de la discorde (fitna), anime plusieurs émissions sur Wessal TV et Safa TV où il a popularisé les harangues anti-chiites et anti-alaouites notamment celle où il appelle à « passer les alaouites au hachoir et à jeter leur chair aux chiens ». Dans la région de Hama dont il est originaire, Arour a gardé une influence significative au point que son nom était loué dès les premières manifestations anti-régime de 2011.

D’un point de vue historique et territorial, la wahhabisation rampante de la Syrie s’est d’abord imposée dans les populations rurales échappant au sunnisme institutionnel syrien d’orientation hanafite réputé tolérant. Suite au virage libéral emprunté par le parti Baas en 2005, le wahhabisme a connu un nouvel essor dans les banlieues misérables des métropoles syriennes ou les villes de seconde zone comme Douma ou Darayya ravivant le spectre de la discorde inter-communautaire.

De nombreux Syriens qui se sont enrichis en Arabie saoudite lancèrent des campagnes caritatives dans leur pays d’origine, accroissant ainsi leur influence parmi les Syriens défavorisés. Chaque carence de l’Etat était aussitôt comblée par des réseaux de bienfaisance liés à d’ambitieux cheikhs exilés. L’un des plus connus s’appelle Mohammad Sourour Zayn Al Abidin. Il est le chef de file d’un courant prosélyte à mi-chemin entre le mouvement des Frères musulmans syriens et le wahhabisme (2).

Le moment venu, les Syriens du Golfe sont devenus les principaux sponsors privés du djihad en Syrie, aussitôt assistés dans leur « mission sacrée » par des riches donateurs saoudiens mais aussi koweïtiens, bahreïniens ou encore jordaniens, pour la plupart, d’obédience wahhabite (3).

Malgré le calme tout relatif qui faisait la renommée du régime sécuritaire de Damas avant les troubles et la guerre que nous connaissons depuis trois ans, le pays a connu plusieurs cas d’échauffourées et de provocations à caractère confessionnel. (4) Une alaouite originaire de la ville majoritairement sunnite de Tall Kalakh dans le gouvernorat de Homs m’a parlé de tentatives de pogromes anti-alaouites plus d’un an avant les premières manifestations démocratiques de mars 2011. D’autres Syriens m’ont confirmé l’installation durant la décennie précédente, d’un climat délétère sur fond de rancœurs communautaires dans les quartiers pauvres de Damas et dans certains villages d’Idlib.

Les autorités syriennes ont préféré étouffer ce type d’incidents pour éviter la contagion.

En mars 2011, les slogans hostiles aux chiites, au Hezbollah et à l’Iran scandés aux portes de la mosquée Abou Baqr As Saddiq à Jableh sur la côte syrienne ont rapidement cédé la place aux appels à la guerre contre les minorités. Alors que les Syriens manifestaient contre l’injustice, la tyrannie, la corruption et la pauvreté, certaines forces conservatrices tentaient délibérément de détourner la colère populaire vers des cibles innocentes dont le seul crime était d’exister. Ainsi, avant même que les troupes d’Al Qaïda ne tirent leur premier coup de feu en Syrie, les prédicateurs wahhabites étaient déjà à la manœuvre.

La wahhabisation de la rébellion syrienne

Si à l’aube de l’insurrection syrienne, au milieu de l’écrasante majorité des combattants de confession sunnite, on pouvait croiser quelques rebelles druzes, chrétiens, chiites et alaouites, sous la pression des agitateurs et des généreux donateurs du Golfe, la rébellion va rapidement s’homogénéiser sur le plan confessionnel et se radicaliser, contraignant les quelques combattants issus des minorités à se démobiliser et à s’exiler.

Dans leur propagande, les groupes rebelles syriens reprennent à leur compte les insultes anti-chiites en vogue au royaume des Saoud. Les chiites mais aussi les alaouites, les ismaéliens et les druzes seront systématiquement accusés par la rébellion d’être des mécréants (kouffar), des négateurs (rafidha), des zoroastriens (majous), des transgresseurs (tawaghit, pluriel de taghout), des polythéistes, des adorateurs d’icônes, de pierres ou de tombes (mouchrikines), des satanistes, des crypto-iraniens, des envahisseurs perses, des safavides ou encore des crypto-juifs (5).

Parallèlement, des bataillons aux connotations confessionnelles vont se former à l’intérieur même de l’Armée syrienne libre : bataillons Muawiya, Yazid, Abou Ubayda Jarrah, Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn Kathir, la brigade turkmène « Yavuz Sultan Selim » du nom du sultan-calife ottoman qui, au XVIe siècle, massacra alévis, alaouites et chiites…

Parmi ces groupes d’insurgés à connotation confessionnelle, il y a la fameuse Brigade Farouk, véritable épine dorsale de l’Armée syrienne libre. Aucun média occidental ne s’est même interrogé sur le sens du mot Farouk. (6) Il s’agissait pourtant du surnom du calife Omar Ibn Khattab, considéré comme un usurpateur par les chiites.

Nul ne peut oublier Khalid al Hamad, l’homme qui éviscéra un soldat de l’armée gouvernementale avant de crier en portant à sa bouche le cœur et le foie de sa victime : « Oh, héros ! massacrez les Alaouites et découpez leurs cœurs pour les manger ! ». Mais se souvient-on que cet individu n’était ni membre d’Al Qaïda, ni un simple milicien mais un commandant de la célèbre brigade Al Farouk affiliée à l’Armée syrienne libre (ASL) soi-disant modérée et aujourd’hui dirigée par Salim Idriss.

Le prédicateur Andan Arour qui appelle au meurtre de masse lors de ses apparitions télévisées fait lui aussi partie de l’Armée syrienne libre (ASL) et non pas de la rébellion dite « extrémiste ».

Ces quelques exemples montrent que la présentation de l’Armée syrienne libre (ASL) en tant que rébellion démocratique, laïque et plurielle était un pur produit marketing à destination de l’opinion publique occidentale.

De nos jours, nos médias présentent le Front islamique (FI), la principale coalition djihadiste qui fédère près de 80.000 combattants comme une possible alternative à Al Qaïda. Le leader du Front islamique s’appelle Zahran Alloush. Il est le fils de Mohammad Alloush, un prédicateur syrien ultraconservateur exilé en Arabie saoudite. Zahran Alloush a beau résister contre les deux succursales syriennes d’Al Qaïda, à savoir Al Nosra et l’Etat islamique de l’Irak et du Levant (EIIL) alias Daech, il développe la même rhétorique sectaire que ses concurrents. Dans une allocution prononcée devant le château omeyyade Qasr al Hayr al Charqi près d’Al Sukhna en juillet 2013, voici ce que Zahran Alloush déclarait urbi et orbi :

« Les fils des Omeyyades sont revenus au pays du Levant malgré vous. Les moudjahidines du Levant vont laver la souillure des Rafidhas , pour purifier le Levant à jamais… Les Chiites demeureront à jamais soumis et humiliés comme ils l’ont toujours été tout au long de l’histoire. Et l’Islam a toujours détruit leur Etat… La dynastie des Omeyyades a toujours détruit leur Etat ». (7)

Début octobre 2013, quatre groupes djihadistes regroupant plusieurs milliers de combattants indépendants d’Al Qaïda annoncent la création dans l’Est syrien de l’Armée de la sunna et de la communauté (Jaych al Sunna wal Jama’a). Non seulement, cette nouvelle coalition arbore un nom confessionnel clairement anti-chiite mais, en plus, elle accuse leurs ennemis d’être des safavides, un nom désignant une dynastie chiite qui régna sur l’Iran de 1501 à 1736. Par ailleurs, la nouvelle armée confessionnelle proclame sa volonté de combattre les « sectes » jusqu’au jour du jugement dernier. (8)

Par conséquent, il serait illusoire de considérer la rébellion de groupes armés contre à Al Qaïda comme un gage de respectabilité et de tolérance. En effet, tous les mouvements rebelles actifs en Syrie pratiquent le takfir, c’est-à-dire la guerre contre la « mécréance », dans un premier temps contre les courants de l’Islam qu’ils considèrent comme hérétiques et les non-croyants, ensuite contre les minorités chrétiennes et enfin contre les sunnites.

La distinction faite par les médias occidentaux entre rebelles et djihadistes est donc abusive. Entre Al Qaïda, le Front islamique et l’Armée syrienne libre, c’est en quelque sorte bonnet blanc et blanc bonnet.

Le Royaume wahhabite à l’assaut de la forteresse syrienne

En trois ans de conflit en Syrie, le régime des Saoud ne s’est pas contenté d’exporter son idéologie. Dès le début de la crise, Riyad se profile en effet comme la force d’avant-garde de la guerre contre le régime syrien. Il se fait remarquer en devenant le premier pays au monde à rompre ses relations diplomatiques avec Damas.

Lorsque l’insurrection armée éclate en Syrie, le Royaume wahhabite cherche immédiatement à en prendre le contrôle. Il charge ses agents locaux de canaliser les ressources financières, logistiques et militaires vers les groupes insurgés les plus fiables.

Au Liban, en Turquie et surtout en Jordanie, les services de renseignements saoudiens organisent des camps d’entraînement pour les rebelles syriens.

Au pays du Cèdre, l’Arabie saoudite mobilise le Courant du futur des Hariri, une puissante famille libano-saoudienne politiquement inféodée à la dynastie wahhabite ainsi que les cellules terroristes présentes dans le Nord du pays. Les groupes terroristes du Nord-Liban constituent la force de réserve traditionnelle du régime de Riyad dans sa guerre contre le Hezbollah, parti solidement implanté dans la population chiite du Sud du Liban.

Au début du « printemps syrien » (mars 2011), ce même Nord-Liban a logiquement servi à l’Arabie saoudite de base d’attaque contre la Syrie. Des mercenaires pro-saoudiens de toutes origines, mais au départ syriens, ont afflué vers les province de Homs et de Damas à partir du territoire libanais.

Le chef des opérations anti-syriennes n’est autre que le prince Bandar Ben Sultan, secrétaire général du Conseil national de sécurité saoudien. Le prince est par ailleurs surnommé « Bandar Bush » en raison de ses étroites liaisons avec l’ex-président étasunien. Coutumier des opérations secrètes, le prince Bandar a fait de l’élimination du président syrien une question personnelle. Il lui arrive de débarquer en personne à Tripoli, la capitale du Nord-Liban, pour encourager, en monnaies sonnantes et trébuchantes, les volontaires pour le djihad anti-chiite, anti-Hezbollah et anti-syrien (9). Parfois, il charge ses meilleurs agents, comme le député haririste Okab Sakr, d’assurer la logistique. Selon une enquête du journal Time, Okab Sakr se trouvait fin août 2013 à Antioche, la ville turque servant de base-arrière aux djihadistes anti-syriens du Front nord pour équiper en armes légères plusieurs unités de l’Armée syrienne libre (ASL) basées à Idlib et à Homs. (10)

Le 25 février 2013, le New York Times a révélé que des armes issues de stocks secrets de l’armée croate ont été achetées par l’Arabie saoudite et acheminées aux rebelles syriens via la Jordanie. Il était question de « multiples avions chargés d’armes » et d’un « nombre inconnu de munitions ». (11)

Le 17 juin 2013, citant des diplomates du Golfe, l’agence Reuters annonce la fourniture aux rebelles syriens par l’Arabie saoudite de missiles anti-aériens achetés en France et en Belgique. La dépêche précise que le transport de ses armes aurait été financé par la France. (12)

Au Liban, en Turquie ou en Jordanie, l’Arabie saoudite avançait ses pions à mesure que les autres sponsors de la rébellion, à savoir le régime d’Ankara et l’émir du Qatar, levaient le pied. Désormais, la Syrie était victime d’une guerre saoudienne, une guerre d’invasion et de conquête de la Syrie par l’Arabie saoudite.

Les légions saoudiennes déferlent sur la Syrie

Voyant que les Etats-Unis rechignaient à envoyer des troupes pour combattre le régime de Damas suite à l’attaque chimique survenue le 21 août 2013, le régime de Riyad a décidé de mettre les bouchées doubles en augmentant de manière significative le budget militaire et le nombre de mercenaires saoudiens pour la guerre contre la Syrie. Parallèlement, plusieurs centaines de Saoudiens, soldats d’active ou réservistes, ont gagné la Syrie pour renforcer les groupes terroristes les plus radicaux comme Al Nosra ou Daech.

Ces dernières semaines, le journal libanais As-Safir et les médias officiels syriens ont constaté cette implication accrue de la monarchie wahhabite, indiquant que plusieurs hauts gradés de l’armée saoudienne dont un colonel ont été capturés par l’armée syrienne à Alep tandis qu’un général major de l’armée saoudienne nommé Adel Nayef Al-Shoummari avait été tué dans une attaque kamikaze à Deir Attiyeh. Les médias syriens ont publié sa photo en uniforme de l’armée saoudienne. Al Shoummari serait le fils du chef des officiers de la Garde royale saoudienne. Une autre personnalité saoudienne, Moutaleq el-Moutlaq, fils du général saoudien Abdallah Moutlaq Soudairi a lui aussi été tué à Alep. À sa mort, les autorités saoudiennes ont tenté de se dissocier de son engagement en Syrie en prétendant qu’il s’était rendu dans ce pays en guerre par échapper à la justice. Le journal As-Safir note cependant que l’oncle paternel de Moutlaq al-Moutlaq, se trouve lui aussi en Syrie dans les rangs de groupes dihadistes. (13)

Parmi les milliers de Saoudiens actuellement présent en Syrie, on compte également des cheikhs influents comme Abdullah Al Mohaisany. Dans une vidéo postée sur Youtube, on le voit arme à la main, chanter des louanges au Front Al Nosra et à l’Etat islamique d’Irak et du Levant (EILL), les deux branches d’Al Qaïda en Syrie et maudire les chiites et les alaouites (14).

L’inertie des services secrets saoudiens face aux départs de personnalités publiques comme Al Mohaisany pose question. Au début du conflit, les autorités saoudiennes semblaient vouloir tenir leurs citoyens à l’écart de la guerre de Syrie. En septembre 2012, plusieurs oulémas appartenant à un organe religieux gouvernemental avaient même déconseillé à leurs ressortissants d’aller se battre en Syrie. (15) Aujourd’hui, Riyad semble au contraire prêcher avec véhémence la guerre totale dans ce pays.

Fin novembre 2013, l’armée arabe syrienne a annoncé avoir capturé pas moins de 80 combattants saoudiens à Deir Attiyeh durant la bataille de Qalamoune.

Le 15 janvier 2014, l’ambassadeur syrien aux Nations Unies M. Bachar Jaafari a déclaré que 15% des combattants étrangers en Syrie étaient Saoudiens. Dans ses deux derniers discours, la président syrien Bachar el Assad a souligné la menace du wahhabisme sur l’Islam et sur le monde. Et d’ajouter : « (…) tout le monde doit contribuer à la lutte contre le wahhabisme et à son éradication. » Le président syrien confirmait ainsi que la guerre de Syrie est devenue une guerre de l’Arabie saoudite contre la Syrie.

Conclusion

Lorsque l’on parle du rôle de l’Arabie saoudite dans la guerre de Syrie, par ignorance ou à dessein, les analystes occidentaux restent souvent vagues, se limitant à répéter des généralités sur les rivalités entre l’Iran et la dynastie des Saoud.

Si les médias occidentaux principalement français, sont avares de critiques envers les monarchies du Golfe, ils sont carrément muets sur l’obsession des Saoud à vouloir confessionnaliser à tous prix un conflit qui est éminemment politique, géostratégique et idéologique. Il est vrai que « nos » experts pointent le discours confessionnel et l’extrémisme de la rébellion, mais ils en parlent comme une conséquence et non comme la principale cause du conflit et de sa pérennisation.

Or, les forces du régime ont toujours mis en avant la solidarité interconfessionnelle et l’unité de la patrie au centre de leur combat, (ce que les médias mainstream se gardent de mentionner, faisant passer les forces loyalistes pour les membres d’une seule communauté) tandis que les groupes armés cultivaient leur différence et leur pureté par rapport aux communautés jugées déviantes puis par rapport à l’ensemble de la population.

Là où ces milices fanatiques ont pris le pouvoir, le chaos et la terreur se sont installés. Dans les zones dites « libérées », le jeu dangereux de la surenchère anti-chiite et anti-alaouite entretenu par les canaux de propagande saoudiens s’est rapidement mué en campagne d’extermination de tout ce qui est non sunnite d’abord et de tous ce qui est différent ensuite.
C’est le phénomène que nous observons aujourd’hui, avec la liquidation de plus d’un millier de djihadistes en deux semaines de guerre entre factions rivales se revendiquant de la même confession et de la même pratique théologique.

En trois ans de crise et de guerre en Syrie, la stratégie saoudienne est passée du « soft power » et de la wahhabisation rampante à la guerre directe.

Les Saoud ont commencé par saboter toute perspective de réforme, de démocratisation et de réconciliation en Syrie. Ils ont ensuite poussé les Syriens à s’entre-tuer en dressant face aux forces loyalistes des groupes armés créés de toutes pièces à leur image. Voyant leur projet de renversement de régime échouer, ils ont décidé de tenter le tout pour le tout, quitte à réduire la Syrie en poussière avec l’aide d’Al Qaïda.

Comme le régime théocratique de Riyad est en guerre contre Al Qaïda sur le plan domestique, certains experts occidentaux doutent encore du soutien de Riyad aux terroristes en Syrie. Or, la manipulation par les services saoudiens de groupes affiliés à Al Qaïda comme l’EIIL ou Al Nosra est non seulement une constante de la politique étrangère saoudienne mais en plus, les milices du Front islamique (FI) et de l’Armée syrienne libre (ASL) que l’Arabie saoudite soutient officiellement ont une idéologie et une rhétorique quasi identiques à celles d’Al Qaïda.

Ainsi, du chef de l’espionnage saoudien Bandar Ben Sultan au leader suprême d’Al Qaïda Ayman al Zawahiri, de l’émir d’Al Nosra Abu Mohammad Al Joulani au commandant de l’Armée syrienne libre Salim Idriss, de l’émir de Daech Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi au commandant du Front islamique (FI) Zahran Alloush, ils prônent tous le même discours, les mêmes méthodes et les mêmes objectifs en Syrie.

Le terrorisme de ces bandes armées et de leur sponsor saoudien ne laisse guère d’autre choix à la Syrie souveraine que de résister ou de disparaître.

Nous sommes décidément encore bien loin de la paix.

Bahar Kimyongür

18 janvier 2014

Notes

(1) J’ai constaté ce phénomène de wahhabisation des moeurs durant mes multiples voyages en Syrie entre 1998 et 2005. Il a été observé par Alper Birdal et Yigit Günay auteurs du livre critique sur les printemps arabes (Arap Bahari Aldatmacasi, Ed. Yazilama, 2012). L’opposant syrien Haytham Manna a lui aussi rendu compte de la wahhabisation progressive de la Syrie durant une conférence donnée à Bruxelles le 3 novembre 2013.

(2) Mohammad Sourour Zayn Al Abidin vit actuellement en Jordanie.

(3) Selon un article paru le 12 novembre dans le New York Times et signé Ben Hubbard, douze Koweïtiens dont un certain Ghanim Al Mteiri agiraient ouvertement dans le transport de fonds pour le djihad en Syrie. Des imams vivant en Europe ont également impliqués dans le trafic d’armes international vers la Syrie comme l’imam syrien exilé en Suède Haytham Rahmeh.

(4) A Qamechli, dans le Nord-est de la Syrie, des troubles inter-ethniques sanglants survenus en 2004 entre supporters de football arabes et kurdes.

(5) La légende veut que ce soit un juif converti à l’Islam du nom d’Abdullah Ibn Saba qui serait le fondateur du chiisme. Certaines sources sunnites font d’Ibn Saba un agent juif provocateur ayant eu pour mission de détruire l’Islam de l’intérieur. Mais à ce jour, les autorités chiites réfutent jusqu’à l’existence même de ce personnage et accusent les auteurs de ce “mythe” de vouloir discréditer leur foi.

(6) Farouk signifie celui qui distingue le Bien du Mal.

(7) Voir :lien

(8) Voir : lien

(9) Pour plus de détails sur Bandar Ben Sultan, cf. Bahar Kimyongür, Syriana, La conquête continue, Ed. Investig’Action et Couleur Livres, Charleroi, 2012

(10) Time, Syria’s Secular and Islamist Rebels : Who Are the Saudis and the Qataris Arming ?, 18 septembre 2012,

(11) The New York Times, Saudis Step Up Help for Rebels in Syria With Croatian Arms, 25 février 2013

(12) Reuters, Saudi supplying missiles to Syria rebels : Gulf source, 17 juin 2013

(13) As Safir, Saudi Jihadis Flow into Syria, 5 décembre 2012

(14) Voir : lien
.
La chanson reprise par le cheikh saoudien range dans le même panier les chiites et l’Amérique, ce qui est un contre-sens. Le royaume dont il est citoyen est non seulement un protectorat étasunien mais en plus, Washington est l’un des principaux soutiens du djihad en Syrie.

(15) Reuters, Saudi steers citizens away from Syrian « jihad », 12 septembre 2012

mardi, 28 janvier 2014

France – Arabie saoudite: liaison dangereuse

Arabie-Saoudite-roi-Abdallah.jpg

Aymeric Chauprade
 
inv

France – Arabie saoudite: liaison dangereuse

Ex: http://www.toutsaufsarkozy.com

inv

Au moment où les États-Unis et la Russie démontrent qu’une sortie de crise pacifique est possible à propos de l’Iran, Paris choisit de s’aligner sur les positions bellicistes de l’Arabie saoudite face à la Syrie et l’Iran.


Comment expliquer que la France qui, du général de Gaulle jusqu’à Jacques Chirac, avait maintenu séculairement notre tradition d’équilibre en politique étrangère, puisse aujourd’hui autant s’en écarter ?


L’Arabie saoudite est certes le premier producteur et exportateur de pétrole mais elle est, avant tout, le cœur « nucléaire » d’un islam rigoriste, conquérant et même terroriste. Longtemps allié des États-Unis aux côtés d’Israël pour détruire les régimes arabes modernisateurs, le royaume wahhabite est, partout dans le monde, la source première de la radicalisation de l’islam. Tant que l’État profond saoudien et ses services secrets séviront, aucun islam apaisé ne pourra l’emporter dans le monde musulman, aucune tradition locale ne pourra tempérer le Coran et aucune paix véritable ne sera possible entre le monde islamique et les autres civilisations. L’État saoudien est responsable de l’implosion syrienne et des 130 000 morts qui en résultent, des décapitations de chrétiens par les hordes salafistes, comme il est sans doute derrière l’attentat de Volgograd en Russie.


Est-ce donc avec ce pays qui coupe des mains d’enfants, réprime physiquement les homosexuels et réduit les femmes et les travailleurs immigrés à l’esclavage, que le « pays des droits de l’homme » entend refonder sa politique arabe au Moyen-Orient? J’ai toujours défendu la realpolitik et je ne ne suis pas un partisan de l’idéalisme en politique étrangère, mais il y a des limites au cynisme et au « court-termisme ». Or, avec l’Arabie saoudite, nous, Français, entrons en contradiction avec ce que nous sommes !


Nous avons, au minimum, 6 millions de musulmans qui vivent sur le territoire français, dont l’immense majorité est sunnite. Voulons-nous que l’enchevêtrement économique de la France et de l’Arabie saoudite favorise la radicalisation des Français musulmans ? On ne peut pas faire la guerre contre le fondamentalisme islamique, soutenu par l’Arabie saoudite et le Qatar, au Mali et jusqu’en Centrafrique, et prétendre, en même temps, faire de Riyad notre meilleur allié au Moyen-Orient. Notre politique étrangère ne peut s’asseoir sur ce paradoxe intenable alors que bien d’autres choix sont possibles, à commencer par un retour en Iran, un pays bien plus prometteur sur le plan économique et humain.


L’Iran a autant de pétrole (2e réserve mondiale) et bien plus de gaz (2e réserve mondiale) que l’Arabie saoudite ; c’est surtout un État multimillénaire solide qui se réformera quand l’Arabie saoudite, wahhabite dans ses fondements, ne pourra le faire. Avec la Russie, l’Iran est sans doute l’allié stratégique et énergétique naturel de l’Europe, sur le continent eurasiatique où la Chine de demain pèsera lourd.


Les États-Unis sont en train de se dégager en douceur de l’alliance avec l’Arabie saoudite et ce n’est pas un hasard si, au même moment, des voix (Congrès, justice) s’élèvent à Washington pour réexaminer les liens troubles entre Al-Qaïda et l’Arabie saoudite à propos du 11 septembre. Il n’est pas impossible que les Américains « gardent au chaud » quelques révélations qui pourraient s’avérer bien embarrassantes pour la France lorsque celle-ci se sera enfoncée plus profondément et imprudemment encore dans l’alliance saoudienne…

dimanche, 26 janvier 2014

Hoe een aanslag in Sochi het Midden Oosten in brand kan steken

sochi_2014_mountains.jpg

Hoe een aanslag in Sochi het Midden Oosten in brand kan steken

Ex: http://xandernieuws.punt.nl

'Aanslag' bij het Olympisch Stadion in Sochi. Bedenk dat er tijdens de O.S. in Londen en het WK-Vrouwenvoetbal in Berlijn vergelijkbare plaatjes verschenen. Toen gebeurde er gelukkig niets.

Achter de berichten in de reguliere media over mogelijke aanslagen door islamitische terroristen op de Olympische Winterspelen in het Russische Sochi gaat een veel groter en belangrijker geopolitiek steekspel schuil, waarbij de kans dat dit plotseling uitmondt in een nieuwe, massale oorlog in het Midden Oosten veel groter is dan door de meeste mensen wordt gedacht.

'Echte' of 'false-flag' aanslag

Diverse inlichtingendiensten houden serieus rekening mee met een aanslag op de Olympische Winterspelen in Sochi. Dit zou zowel een 'echte' aanslag als een 'false-flag' aanslag kunnen zijn, waarbij het bewust de andere kant op kijken door de autoriteiten en daardoor terroristen vrij baan geven, ook als 'false-flag' kan worden aangemerkt.

Een aanslag tijdens Sochi hoeft niet eens van het kaliber '9/11' te zijn om te worden opgevat als een aanslag op de hele wereld, en niet enkel op Rusland. De gevolgen van zo'n aanslag zouden daarom minstens zo verstrekkend kunnen zijn als na 9/11, en in het slechtste geval zelfs kunnen uitlopen op een nieuwe Wereldoorlog.

De Russische president Vladimir Putin, die na de recente aanslagen in Volgograd woedend zwoer het islamitische terrorisme in zijn land totaal te vernietigen, zal een aanslag in Sochi kunnen aangrijpen om daar de onverkorte steun van het Russische volk voor te krijgen, en waarschijnlijk ook van veel andere landen.

Saudiërs dreigen impliciet met aanslagen

In de aanloop naar de Winterspelen gebeurde er iets heel belangrijks. Prins Bandar bin Sultan, de minister van Inlichtingen van Saudi Arabië, bezocht in augustus vorig jaar Putin, en gaf hem de boodschap dat zijn land weliswaar geen terreuraanvallen op Sochi zal steunen, maar dat de Saudi's wel in staat zijn om onder bepaalde voorwaarden de plannen van terroristen te stoppen.

Dit was niets anders dan indirecte chantage. De Saudi's zijn namelijk mordicus tegen de Russische steun voor de Syrische president Bashar Assad, en hoopten met het impliciete dreigement eventuele geplande terreuraanslagen op Sochi niet te zullen stoppen, Putin zover te krijgen zijn politieke en militaire steun voor Assad op te geven.

Aan de ene kant zal Putin bepaald niet blij zijn geweest met het Saudische dreigement. Aan de andere kant biedt het hem een uitstekende gelegenheid en een perfect alibi om een eventuele aanslag tijdens Sochi ten volle uit te buiten, om zo de strategische positie van Rusland in het Midden Oosten fors te versterken.

Arabische Lente door Westen gepland

Zoals we al vaak hebben schreven is Syrië van groot strategisch belang voor Rusland. Het Westen probeert onder leiding van president Obama het regime Assad ten val te brengen, zodat er net als destijds in Egypte een Moslim-Broederschapregering kan worden opgezet. De wereld heeft tegelijkertijd kunnen zien hoe de doelbewust door het Witte Huis veroorzaakte Arabische Lente diverse moslimlanden in chaos heeft gestort, iets dat Putin in Syrië ten koste van alles wil voorkomen, omdat hij dan een belangrijke bondgenoot kwijtraakt.

Dat de Arabische Lente geen spontane volksopstand was, maar ruim van tevoren door het Westen was gepland, bleek onder andere uit een gelekte email van 1300 woorden, die op 8 juni 2008 door de voormalige Britse ambassadeur in Libië aan premier Tony Blair werd verzonden. Hierin werd reeds het later uitgevoerde plan besproken om de Libische leider Muammar Gadaffi af te zetten, en te vervangen door een islamistisch marionettenregime.

Na het verwijderen en laten vermoorden van Gadaffi werd het Amerikaanse consulaat in Benghazi gebruikt als CIA-basis voor het doorsluizen van grote hoeveelheden wapens naar de Syrische rebellen. Dat was de reden dat de regering Obama weigerde toe te geven dat de aanval op het consulaat op 9/11/13, waarbij onder andere de Amerikaanse ambassadeur om het leven kwam, een terreuraanslag was, die hoogstwaarschijnlijk door de Russen werd gesteund.

Net geen Derde Wereldoorlog in september 2013

Wat eveneens niet in het nieuws kwam, was dat de wereld in september 2013 slechts op een haartje na aan de Derde Wereldoorlog is ontsnapt. Destijds hebben we uitgebreid bericht over de toen zeker lijkende Amerikaanse aanval op Syrië, en ook over de grote Russische vloot die naar het oosten van de Middellandse Zee werd gestuurd. Later bleek uit betrouwbare bronnen dat Putin zijn vloot tussen de Amerikaanse vloot en Syrië posteerde, en letterlijk dreigde alles wat op Syrië zou afvliegen neer te schieten. Hierop besloot Obama om de Amerikaanse vloot terug te trekken en de aanval af te blazen.

Daarnaast speelt ook de invloedrijke terreurgroep ISIS (Al-Qaeda op het Arabische Schiereiland) een steeds grotere rol. Putin weet dat ISIS door het Westen wordt gesteund, en nieuwe aanvallen op het regime van Assad voorbereidt. De VS laat dit doelbewust gebeuren en heeft bij monde van minister John Kerry aangekondigd niet militair te zullen optreden tegen ISIS.

Russisch ingrijpen in Midden Oosten?

Het Saudische dreigement aan het adres van Moskou kan daarom voor Putin een uitgelezen, misschien zelfs wel onweerstaanbare mogelijkheid zijn om in het geval van een aanslag de Saudiërs, en daardoor ook het Westen en specifiek Obama, de schuld te geven. Obama zal in de ogen van de wereld opnieuw zwak en besluiteloos overkomen, niet bereid om daadwerkelijk op te treden tegen islamitische terroristen.

Putin is een erkende meester in het inspelen op en uitbuiten van geopolitieke veranderingen, en zal bij een aanslag -'echt' of 'false-flag'- dan ook geen enkele moeite hebben zich te presenteren als de enige sterke wereldleider die bereid en in staat is het kwaadaardige islamisme te bestrijden. Het strategische overwicht dat Rusland door ingrijpen in het Midden Oosten zou kunnen bereiken, zou wel eens te aanlokkelijk kunnen zijn voor Putin om aan zich voorbij te laten gaan.

Hoe dat ingrijpen eruit zal zien, is giswerk. Komt er een Russische interventie in Syrië? Een aanval (al dan niet met of via Iran) op Saudi Arabië en/of Israël? Bij een eventuele escalatie in Syrië kan namelijk ook Israël betrokken raken, dat zoals bekend stilzwijgend met Saudi Arabië samenwerkt. Beide landen hebben namelijk het eveneens door Rusland gesteunde Iran, tevens bondgenoot van Assad, als aartsvijand.

Schaakspel Oost - West

Terrorisme is niets anders dan een tactiek die door alle belangrijke wereldspelers wordt aangewend, of dat nu door directe steun met wapens is, of indirect door terreurgroepen ongehinderd hun gang te laten gaan. Achter een eventuele aanslag in Sochi zal dan ook veel meer dan enkel een groepje islamistische fanatici zitten. Zij zullen slechts pionnen zijn in het geopolitieke schaakspel, dat Oost en West ook na de val van de communisme tegen elkaar zijn blijven spelen.

2014 buitengewoon kritiek

Een schaakspel, dat steeds gevaarlijker wordt. Mede gezien de spanningen in en rond Syrië, Iran, Libanon (Hezbollah), Egypte en Israël / de Palestijnen heeft het er namelijk veel van weg dat we in 2014 een buitengewoon kritieke fase ingaan. De kaarten in het Midden Oosten zullen mogelijk al binnenkort opnieuw worden geschud. Daarbij zal er niet veel voor nodig zijn om de huidige, toch al zeer ontvlambare situatie te laten exploderen in een grote regionale oorlog, die misschien wel een op een nieuwe Wereldoorlog kan uitlopen.

Xander

(1) Northeast Intelligence Network

Zie ook o.a.:

19-01: 'Putin dreigt met kernbom op Mekka'
18-01: Atlantische Raad:
Buitengewone crisis nodig om Nieuwe Wereld Orde te redden

12-01: Cauldron (1): Midden Oosten op rand van profetische explosie

2013:
26-11: Zwakke Obama brengt Derde Wereldoorlog dichterbij
14-09: Inlichtingen-insider: Mogelijk alsnog oorlog tegen Syrië door enorme false-flag aanslag
06-09: VS, Rusland en China bereid tot oorlog over Syrië om controle over gas en olie
06-09: Senator Graham waarschuwt voor aanslag met kernbom
31-08: 'Binnenkort mega false-flag om publiek van oorlog te overtuigen'
27-08: Inlichtingen insider: Derde Wereldoorlog begint in Syrië
21-06: DHS-insider (vervolg): Deze herfst chaos in VS en oorlog met Syrië
11-06: DHS-insider: Obama start totalitaire internetcensuur en wereldoorlog

dimanche, 19 janvier 2014

Complicated situation around Iran and the KSA

 

Complicated situation around Iran and the KSA

The situation around Iran continues to be quite difficult, despite significant progress in the normalization of relations between the West and Iran and the achievement of an interim agreement on the Iranian nuclear program in Geneva on November 24 at a working meeting of the “six” international negotiators and a Tehran delegation. President Rouhani failed to gain the immediate trust of the USA and its allies with his major changes to the accents of Iran’s foreign policy, although the process proceeded in the right direction relatively quickly.

The fact is that much of the negative role, being played in Washington, comes from the Republicans and other conservative forces sitting in the US Congress. First, they approved a list of 19 individuals and entities that fell under sanctions for involvement in Iran’s nuclear program, which forced the Iranian delegation to leave the conference room in Geneva on December 13, since the interim agreement of November 24 provides for the non-imposition of any additional sanctions against Tehran. Then, a group of senators prepared a list of new sanctions against Iran in late December, if negotiations on the nuclear issue reached a deadlock. In response, Iranian parliamentarians prepared their list of appropriate measures that could be applied in case the U.S. toughened its position and the negotiations were derailed. Although it is clear that President Obama himself is interested in the successful completion of the Geneva process, since this would contribute to significant freezing of the Iranian nuclear program, the normalization of relations with Tehran, and allow Washington to continue on a course aimed at reformatting its policy in the Middle East, which started in October 2013.

That is when the U.S. Administration finally realized the fatality of placing its stakes on supporting those forces in the Arab world that assisted radical Islam, extremism and even terrorism, by financing and providing military assistance to organizations and groups affiliated with al-Qaeda or currents even more radical in their ideologies. Their goal is to transform the Arab world into a radical Wahhabi Caliphate. Moreover, it was only this example of a bloody war in Syria that made American strategists realize this fact, and they started developing new approaches to their policy in the region. This explains the change of attitude towards Iran, which can become a real counterweight to the aggressive policy of Saudi Arabia, even more so, since the oil dependence of the U.S. economy has been substantially reduced after the “shale revolution”, and the importance of the Wahhabi Kingdom has decreased as well, in terms of the world’s energy supplies.

At the same time, American and European companies are interested in participating in the modernization of the Iranian economy and the development of large oil and gas projects that were frozen because of the sanctions. In addition, Iran is a very large market, given its 70 million people and solvency thanks to vast oil and gas resources of this country. Their development, especially the South Pars Gas Field, will require tens of billions in investments and the latest technologies, including for the creation of facilities for liquefying gas for export. Iran’s power industry, industrial sector, telecommunications, and transport infrastructure have huge investment opportunities. In other words, this is a very tasty area for Western business, which is much more promising than the economies of the GCC countries, where labor resources are limited.

Thus, Saudi Arabia became nervous as it realized that its place as the main strategic ally of the USA in the Persian Gulf might soon be taken over by Iran. The more so, knowing that Tehran played this role in the 1970s under the Shah’s regime. Moreover, if one considers Iran’s powerful armed forces, which will surely be modernized, one can understand what Riyadh is afraid of – a complete change in the regional balance of forces, where Saudi Arabia will fall into the shadows of Iran and Iraq.

Nevertheless, instead of making steps towards Tehran, the stubborn and conservative aging leaders of the KSA started, simply saying, to “play dirty tricks” through the development of an entire network of anti-Iran intrigues. At first, the Saudis tried to push Israel into joint strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Then, when this idea had failed, Riyadh decided to put together an anti-Iran military bloc by transforming the GCC from an economic and political union of Arabian monarchies into a military alliance. At the last summit of the organization in December in Kuwait, the Saudis put forward a proposal to create a sort of a “Gulf” NATO to deter Iran. Although, as it is well known, Iran never attacked its neighbors during its modern history after the Khomeini Revolution, but only fought to repel the aggression of Iraq, started in 1980 at the instigation of Saudi Arabia, the GCC countries and the United States.

So far other members of the Council – with the exception of Bahrain, whose royal regime entirely depends on Saudi bayonets (Saudi troops were brought to the island in February 2011 to suppress actions of the Shiite majority population) – are reacting coolly to all this. Only a kind of military command was established, but there are no common armed forces. Moreover, small Arab principalities of the Gulf will hardly wish to worsen their relations with Iran, at the time when this country is coming out of Western isolation.

Moreover, Riyadh revived talks of a regional missile defense system called “ParsPRO” to repel possible missile and air strikes on the GCC from Iran. Its components, based on the purchase of the “Patriot” systems, would be placed virtually everywhere – from Kuwait to Qatar and the UAE. At that, they planned to spend up to $20 billion for just the first phase. Moreover, this was done despite the fact that in early December, the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited four Gulf countries and put forward a number of interesting initiatives to strengthen stability and security in the Gulf, which received positive feedback from Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and Oman.

In any case, we can be sure that Tehran can overcome the remaining difficulties in the coming period and make a leap forward, despite the machinations of Saudi Arabia and the pressure of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington. Russia understands this, and is getting ready to expand its cooperation with Iran – a country that is a friend of the Russian Federation. It is no mere chance that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made an official visit to Tehran in mid-December, and that the capital of Iran hosted a meeting of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation.

Viktor Titov, PhD in History, a political observer on the Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook.

mercredi, 15 janvier 2014

France and Saudi Arabia: The Union of “Misfits”

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France and Saudi Arabia: The Union of “Misfits”

While the international community summarizes the achievements of the year 2013, exerting even further efforts in reducing the risk of the armed violence spread in the Middle East (especially in Syria , as well as through the settlement of the Iranian nuclear program stand-off) , the head of the Elysee Palace decided to put a rather peculiar final chord to his political activities of the last year.

He chose not to bother himself with peaceful initiatives, especially with those that could improve the social life of the French residents, which those residents have been waiting for since the day of his inauguration. That’s a funny fact if we are to take into consideration that the siting French President represents the socialist party, which by definition should be close to the day-to-day problems of the ordinary working people. And the people decided to pay the President with the same disrespect they’ve been treated with, this fact was established by the poll conducted in late December 2013 by BFM-TV-RMC. This poll showed that Francois Holland was supported by 2% of the French population, which means that the rest 98 % didn’t show any trust for him. The results despite the “devotion to democratic principles” Francois Holland has named as his top priority were banned by Elysee Palace.

Francois Hollande decided to end the year 2013 with a trip to Saudi Arabia , thereby securing the alliance of the two»» nations “rejected” by the United State and a number of other countries. These two have ultimately failed to understand the causes and the significance of the events that occurred at the end of the year in the Middle East therefore they were not able to adapt to the new reality . Another reason for becoming “misfits” is the eagerness the Elysee Palace and Riyadh has shown in staging the chemical provocations in Damascus along with the massive support these countries have shown to the Syrian militants , allowing the spread of Wahhabi ideas not across the Midlle East alone, but in France itself .

According to many political analysts, Hollande has today become the most loyal ally of Saudi Arabia in its attempts to strengthen the so-called ” Sunni arc ” in the fight against Shiite Iran and Syria. The key role in this fight is place by Lebanon and “Hezbollah”. Currently, “the misfits” share a number of foreign policy goals. It’s the tough position the two take on the Syrian issue and the idea of Bashar Assad’s toppling. It’s the views they share on the Iranian nuclear programme, in an effort to reduce the influence Iran enjoys in the region . The blind support Elysee Palace has been showing to Riyadh, can be explained, to some extent , by the famous generosity of the Saudi royal family members and the most generous of them all the head of Saudi intelligence services – Prince Bandar bin Sultan. Foreign politicians can expect substantial cash donations and diamond offerings if they are to support the Saudis and their Wahhabism. It allows Riyadh to manipulate Washington and Paris at their own will.

So, on 29 and 30 December Hollande flew to Saudi Arabia to take a good care of the military industry people that had brought him to power in the first place. On this trip he was accompanied by four of ministers and a group of 30 entrepreneurs.

The main goal of this trip – to secure bilateral strategic cooperation, to sign contracts for supplying the Sunni forces in Lebanon with even more firearms. The same very forces that have been fighting back to back with the Syrian armed opposition in a bloody war against the regular troops that defend their own country, against Syrian officials. Another goal of Hollande’s trip is to establish a close partnership in the intelligence field.

During the negotiations Saudi Arabia consented to allocate $ 3 billion to buy French weapons that would end up in the hands of the Lebanese Army. It is noteworthy that this financial “aid” amounts for two military budgets of Lebanon , that is a former French colony, just like Syria. However, this military aid to Beirut provided by Riyadh and Elysee Palace , aimed primarily at fighting the Lebanese “Hezbollah” will be of little to no help to the international efforts of reducing the regional tension, it wouldn’t be of any use either in promoting the authority of the Lebanese “sponsors” in Lebanon itself and in the Middle East in general.

It’s not that “Hezbollah” is on the side of the common enemy of Paris and Riyadh – President Bashar al-Assad . This new supplies will only further enhance the struggle between Sunnis and Shiites. The region itself will be militarized even further at the expense of the French arms and Saudi money. The ultimate goal of such a generous “gift” is to spread the Wahhabi ideas in Lebanon, which has not fully recovered from a 15 years long civil war . After all, today in the Sunni areas of Lebanon — the largest cities of the country – Tripoli and Sidon are facing a rise of Islamist rhetoric and Al Qaeda is gaining followers there on a daily basis, writes the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akbar.

However , in addition to this transaction , the leaders of France and Saudi Arabia discussed other aspects of bilateral military cooperation, clearly not designed to administer affairs of peace and actively prepare for a regional war . This is primarily a contract for 4 billion euros to modernize the French missiles Crotale ground -to-air with the French firm Thales. Negotiations on this issue for a long time been blocked due to lack of consent on the part of the Saudi elite, but this particular visit to the CSA became a new impetus to this cooperation , especially since the main competitors of French manufacturers in this issue – the U.S. – has somewhat cooled to Saudis .

As for the cooperation of the intelligence services of the two countries and the exchange of “mutual interest to intelligence information ,” France is planing to sell Riyadh the same type of a spy satellite that was sold by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space in the United Arab Emirates last summer. With this “tool” Saudi Arabia will be able to improve significantly the “effectiveness” of its intelligence services and monitor the activities of the armed forces of the enemy in the region. French ship and machine builders (DCNS, Thales and MBDA) received an order to strengthen the kingdom’s submarine fleet, to modernize the Saudi Navy frigates that would on par with Saudi petrodollars be protecting and promoting the Wahhabi values. France has also got a contract to equip the National Guard of the kingdom, as for the project of constructing 16 nuclear reactors on the Saudi soil, this part of the deal is still being negotiated.

Francois Hollande has stated in Riyadh that Saudi Arabia was a “leading partner of France in the Middle East” with a trade turnover of 8 billion euros in 2013, 3 of which is a share of French exports. The “holiday trip” can bring the French military-industrial people, as some experts believe, a hefty income of 250 billion euros over the next 7-10 years.

However, according to a number of experts, a considerable flow of French arms to Lebanon at the expense of the Saudi royal family can not be regarded as nothing else than a direct intervention of Paris and Riyadh in the affairs of this state, despite the publicly declared position of Francois Hollande and his foreign minister — Fabius that “France seeks to ensure the regional stability and security”. The Saudi efforts at fueling the regional conflicts in Iraq and Syria , and now being “allocated” to Lebanon .

Meanwhile, Damascus believes that if regional and Western states will stop providing the financial and military aid to the armed and terrorist groups that operate in Syria and in the neighboring countries, the violence in the region, will ultimately cease, giving way to the assembly of the “Geneva-2” international conference, said Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riad Haddad to NEO.

Vladimir Odintsov, political commentator and special contributor to the  online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

 

 

lundi, 13 janvier 2014

Hezbollah is a stabilizing factor in the Levant unlike Saudi Arabia and Qatar

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Hezbollah is a stabilizing factor in the Levant unlike Saudi Arabia and Qatar

Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times - http://www.moderntokyotimes.com

Gulf and Western intrigues in the Levant are collectively creating chaos and spreading sectarianism. In Lebanon the Hezbollah movement is trying to contain these dark forces by maintaining strong relations with powerful Christian leaders like Michel Aoun. At the same time Hezbollah is supporting the rich religious mosaic in Syria. Therefore, while Gulf and Western powers alongside Turkey have tried to crush the secular government in Syria; it is clear that the Russian Federation, Iran, and Hezbollah, are not for changing.

The Syrian armed forces are multi-religious in line with the nation of Syria and clearly the only sectarian angle belongs to the enemies of this nation. Indeed, Syria took in vast numbers of Sunni Muslims fleeing Palestine and Iraq. Therefore, when outside nations were meddling throughout the region the nation of Syria was open to all refugees irrespective of religious affiliation. This reality meant that Christians fleeing Iraq, after the destabilization of this nation, fled to Syria in order to escape sectarianism and terrorism. Sadly, the intrigues of Gulf and Western powers now means that vast numbers of Syrians from all faiths are fleeing the destruction which follows in the wake of outside meddling.

Sunni Takfiri fanatics and militant Salafists are entering Syria from many nations and clearly NATO Turkey is an open conduit for the vilest of jihadists to be found on this planet. After all, the so-called Islamic jihad in Syria is just based on terrorism, sectarianism, beheading, destroying the economy and doing the bidding of outside forces. Note, so-called Islamic jihadists are not fighting NATO Turkey in the north or Israel in the south; instead, they are going to Syria to slaughter and indoctrinate. In other words, Islamic jihadists are not only “blind pawns” based on being funded by wealthy Gulf states but these hypocrites are also the enemies of the Levant because they desire to sow wars based on sectarianism.

Once more, the governments of America and the United Kingdom have helped to cleanse Christians just like they did in Iraq and Kosovo. Indeed, President Obama of America even supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt despite this movement being anti-Christian and anti-secular.  However, the masses in Egypt woke up to the dark threat of the Muslim Brotherhood and similarly the armed forces of Syria refuse to abandon their homeland.

In Syria the forces of Hezbollah are fighting for the richness of the Levant despite the mass propaganda being espoused in the media towards this movement. After all, when Sunni Takfiri Islamists take control of mainly Alawite and Christian villages then both communities flee. The same happens when the brutal Free Syrian Army (FSA) enters either mixed areas or villages belonging to various minorities. Yet, when Hezbollah assists the armed forces of Syria, then this movement only engages itself in fighting various sectarian and terrorist forces.

Hezbollah is not interested in enforcing their faith on anyone. On the contrary, it is clear that Hezbollah supports the mainly Sunni Palestinians, just like this movement is working closely with powerful Christian forces in Lebanon under the leadership of Michel Aoun. Indeed, the modern day movement of Hezbollah resembles many aspects of the secular government of Syria and this applies to supporting the religious and ethnic mosaic of the Levant. This reality highlights the clear sham of sectarianism being thrown at Hezbollah and the government of Syria.

However, in the opposite direction you have the brutal sectarianism of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which are supporting many militant Salafi and Takfiri movements in various nations. Of course, in Syria both feudal Gulf powers are supporting terrorism and sectarianism openly. Also, Gulf petrodollars are doing much in the shadows throughout the world based on spreading an ideology based on supremacy and hatred. Like usual, Western powers care zilch about the Christian faith because in Saudi Arabia not one single Christian church is allowed and apostates face death.

Saudi Arabia is now trying to spread dissent in Lebanon by funding the armed forces of this nation. Despite this, many powerful regional religious leaders fully understand the evil deeds being done throughout the Levant based on the intrigues of Gulf and Western powers. Therefore, Hezbollah will continue to fight against outside nations who seek to alter the indigenous dynamics of the Levant.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

samedi, 11 janvier 2014

Volgograd and the Conquest of Eurasia

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Volgograd and the Conquest of Eurasia: Has the House of Saud seen its Stalingrad?

 

The events in Volgograd are part of a much larger body of events and a multi-faceted struggle that has been going on for decades as part of a cold war after the Cold War—the post-Cold War cold war, if you please—that was a result of two predominately Eurocentric world wars. When George Orwell wrote his book 1984 and talked about a perpetual war between the fictional entities of Oceania and Eurasia, he may have had a general idea about the current events that are going on in mind or he may have just been thinking of the struggle between the Soviet Union and, surrounded by two great oceans, the United States of America.

So what does Volgograd have to do with the dizzying notion presented? Firstly, it is not schizophrenic to tie the events in Volgograd to either the conflict in the North Caucasus and to the fighting in Syria or to tie Syria to the decades of fighting in the post-Soviet North Caucasus. The fighting in Syria and the North Caucuses are part of a broader struggle for the mastery over Eurasia. The conflicts in the Middle East are part of this very grand narrative, which to many seems to be so far from the reality of day to day life.

 “Bandar Bush” goes to Mother Russia

For the purposes of supporting such an assertion we will have to start with the not-so-secret visit of a shadowy Saudi regime official to Moscow. Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the infamous Saudi terrorist kingpin and former House of Saud envoy to Washington turned intelligence guru, last visited the Russian Federation in early-December 2013. Bandar bin Sultan was sent by King Abdullah to solicit the Russian government into abandoning the Syrians. The goal of Prince Bandar was to make a deal with the Kremlin to let Damascus be overtaken by the Saudi-supported brigades that were besieging the Syrian government forces from Syria’s countryside and border regions since 2011. Bandar met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the two held closed-door discussions about both Syria and Iran at Putin’s official residence in Novo-Ogaryovo.

The last meeting that Bandar had with Putin was a few months earlier in July 2013. That meeting was also held in Russia. The July talks between Prince Bandar and President Putin also included Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the Security Council of the Russian Federation. One would also imagine that discussion about the Iranians increased with each visit too, as Bandar certainly tried to get the Russians on bad terms with their Iranian allies.

After Bandar’s first meeting with President Putin, it was widely reported that the House of Saud wanted to buy Russia off. Agence France-Presse and Reuters both cited the unnamed diplomats of the Arab petro-monarchies, their March 14 lackeys in Lebanon, and their Syrian opposition puppets as saying that Saudi Arabia offered to sign a lucrative arms contract with Moscow and give the Kremlin a guarantee that the Arab petro-sheikdoms would not threaten the Russian gas market in Europe or use Syria for a gas pipeline to Europe.

Russia knew better than to do business with the House of Saud. It had been offered a lucrative arms deal by the Saudi regime much earlier, in 2008, to make some backdoor compromises at the expense of Iran. After the compromises were made by Moscow the House of Saud put the deal on ice. If the media leaks in AFP and Reuters were not tactics or lies in the first place aimed at creating tensions between the Syrian and Russian governments, the purportedly extravagant bribes to betray Syria were wasted on the ears of Russian officials.

The House of Saud and the undemocratic club of Arab petro-monarchies that form the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have always talked large about money. The actions of these self portrayed lords of the Arabia Peninsula have almost never matched their words and promises. To anyone who deals with them, the House of Saud and company are known for habitually making grand promises that they will never keep, especially when it comes to money. Even when money is delivered, the full amount committed is never given and much of it is stolen by their corrupt partners and cronies. Whether it is the unfulfilled 2008 arms contract with Russia that was facilitated with the involvement of Iraqi former CIA asset Iyad Allawi or the overabundant commitments of financial and logistical aid to the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples that never materialized, the Arab petro-sheikhdoms have never done more than talk grandly and then get their propagandists to write articles about their generosity and splendor. Underneath all the grandeur and sparkles there has always been bankruptcy, insecurity, and emptiness.

A week after the first meeting with Bandar, the Kremlin responded to the media buzz about the attempted bribe by Saudi Arabia. Yury Ushakov, one of Putin’s top aides and the former Russian ambassador to the US, categorically rejected the notion that any deal was accepted or even entertained by the Kremlin. Ushakov avowed that not even bilateral cooperation was discussed between the Saudis and Russia. According to the Kremlin official, the talks between Bandar and Putin were simply about the policies of Moscow and Riyadh on Syria and the second international peace conference being planned about Syria in Geneva, Switzerland.

More Leaks: Fighting Fire with Fire?

If his objective was to get the Russians to abandon Syria, Prince Bandar left both meetings in Russia empty-handed. Nevertheless, his visit left a trail of unverifiable reports and speculation. Discretion is always needed when analyzing these accounts which are part of the information war about Syria being waged on all sides by the media. The planted story from the Saudi side about trying to buy the Russians was not the only account of what took place in the Russian-Saudi talks. There was also a purported diplomatic leak which most likely surfaced as a counter-move to the planted story about Bandar’s proposal. This leak elaborated even further on the meeting between Bandar and Putin. Threats were made according to the second leak that was published in Arabic by the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir on August 21, 2013.

According to the Lebanese newspaper, not only did Prince Bandar tell the Russians during their first July meeting that the regimes of the GCC would not threaten the Russian gas monopoly in Europe, but he made promises to the Russians that they could keep their naval facility on the Mediterranean coast of Syria and that he would give the House of Saud’s guarantee to protect the 2014 Winter Olympics being held in the North Caucasian resort city of Sochi, on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, from the Chechen separatist militias under Saudi control. If Moscow cooperated with Riyadh and Washington against Damascus, the leak discloses that Bandar also stated that the same Chechen militants fighting inside Syria to topple the Syrian government would not be given a role in Syria’s political future.

When the Russians refused to betray their Syrian allies, Prince Bandar then threatened Russia with the cancellation of the second planned peace conference in Geneva and with the unleashing of the military option against the Syrians the leak imparts.

This leak, which presents a veiled Saudi threat about the intended attacks on the Winter Olympics in Sochi, led to a frenzy of speculations internationally until the end of August 2013, amid the high tensions arising from the US threats to attack Syria and the threats coming from Iran to intervene on the side of their Syrians allies against the United States. Originating from the same politically affiliated media circle in Lebanon, reports about Russian military preparations to attack Saudi Arabia in response to a war against Syria began to circulate from the newspaper Al-Ahed also, further fueling the chain of speculations.

A House of Saud Spin on the Neo-Con “Redirection”

Seymour Hersh wrote in 2007 that after the 2006 defeat of Israel in Lebanon that the US government had a new strategy called the “redirection.” According to Hersh, the “redirection” had “brought the United States closer to an open confrontation with Iran and, in parts of the region, propelled it into a widening sectarian conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.” With the cooperation of Saudi Arabia and all the same players that helped launch Osama bin Ladin’s career in Afghanistan, the US government took “part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria.” The most important thing to note is what Hersh says next: “A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.”

A new House of Saud spin on the “redirection” has begun. If there is anything the House of Saud knows well, it is rounding up fanatics as tools at the service of Saudi Arabia’s patrons in Washington. They did it in Afghanistan, they did it Bosnia, they have done it in Russia’s North Caucasus, they did it in Libya, and they are doing it in both Lebanon and Syria. It does not take the British newspaper The Independent to publish an article titled “Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis” for the well-informed to realize this.

The terrorist bombings in Lebanon mark a new phase of the conflict in Syria, which is aimed at forcing Hezbollah to retreat from Syria by fighting in a civil war on its home turf. The attacks are part of the “redirection.” The House of Saud has accented this new phase through its ties to the terrorist attacks on the Iranian Embassy in Beirut on November 19, 2013. The attacks were carried out by individuals linked to the notorious Ahmed Al-Assir who waged a reckless battle against the Lebanese military from the Lebanese city of Sidon as part of an effort to ignite a sectarian civil war in Lebanon.

Al-Assir’s rise, however, was politically and logistically aided by the House of Saud and its shameless Hariri clients in Lebanon. He is also part of the same “redirection” policy and current that brought Fatah Al-Islam to Lebanon. This is why it is no surprise to see Hariri’s Future Party flag flying alongside Al-Qaeda flags in Lebanon. After Al-Assir’s failed attempt to start a sectarian Lebanese civil war, he went into hiding and it was even alleged that he was taken in by one of the GCC embassies.

In regard to the House of Saud’s roles in the bombings in Lebanon, Hezbollah would confirm that the attack on the Iranian Embassy in Beirut was linked to the House of Saud. Hezbollah’s leadership would report that the Abdullah Izzam Brigade, which is affiliated to Al-Qaeda and tied to the bombings, is directly linked to the intelligence services of Saudi Arabia.

Moreover, the Saudi agent, Majed Al-Majed, responsible for the attack would be apprehended by Lebanese security forces in late-December 2013. He had entered Lebanon after working with Al-Nusra in Syria. Fars News Agency, an Iranian media outlet, would report on January 2, 2014 that unnamed Lebanese sources had also confirmed that they had discovered that the attack was linked to Prince Bandar.

Wrath of the House of Saud Unleashed?

A lot changed between the first and second meetings that Prince Bandar and Vladimir Putin had, respectively in July 2013 and December 2013. The House of Saud expected its US patron to get the Pentagon involved in a conventional bombing campaign against Syria in the month of September. It is more than likely that Riyadh was in the dark about the nature of secret negotiations that the US and Iran were holding through the backchannel of Oman in the backdrop of what appeared to be an escalation towards open war.

Bandar’s threat to reassess the House of Saud’s ties with Washington is probably a direct result of the US government keeping the House of Saud in the dark about using Syria as a means of negotiating with the Iranian government. US officials may have instigated the House of Saud to intensify its offensive against Syria to catalyze the Iranians into making a deal to avoid an attack on Syria and a regional war. Moreover, not only did the situation between the US and Iran change, Russia would eventually sign an important energy contract for Syrian natural gas in the Mediterranean Sea. The House of Saud has been undermined heavily in multiple ways and it is beginning to assess its own expendability.

If one scratches deep enough, they will find that the same ilk that attacked the Iranian Embassy in Beirut also attacked the Russian Embassy in Damascus. Both terrorist attacks were gifts to Iran and Russia, which served as reprisals for the Iranian and Russian roles in protecting Syria from regime change and a destructive war. It should, however, be discerned if the House of Saud is genuinely lashing out at Iran and Russia or if it being manipulated to further the goals of Washington in the US negotiations with Tehran, Moscow, and Damascus.

In the same manner, the House of Saud wants to generously reward Hezbollah too for its role in protecting Syria by crippling Hezbollah domestically in Lebanon. Riyadh may possibly not want a full scale war in Lebanon like the Israelis do, but it does want to neutralize and eliminate Hezbollah from the Lebanese landscape. In this regard, Saudi Arabia has earnestly been scheming to recruit Lebanon’s President Michel Suleiman and the Lebanese military against Hezbollah and its supporters.

The Saud grant of three billion dollars to the Lebanese Armed Forces is not only blood money being given to Lebanon as a means of exonerating Saudi Arabia for its role in the terrorist bombings that have gripped the Lebanese Republic since 2013, the Saudi money is also aimed at wishfully restructuring the Lebanese military as a means of using it to neutralize Hezbollah. In line with the House of Saud’s efforts, pledges from the United Arab Emirates and reports that NATO countries are also planning on donating money and arms to the Lebanese military started.

In addition to the terrorists bombings in Lebanon and the attack on the Russian Embassy in Damascus, Russia has also been attacked. Since the Syrian conflict intensified there has been a flaring of tensions in Russia’s North Caucasus and a breakout of terrorist attacks. Russian Muslim clerics, known for their views on co-existence between Russia’s Christian and Muslim communities and anti-separatist views, have been murdered. The bombings in Volgograd are just the most recent cases and an expansion into the Volga of what is happening in the North Caucasus, but they come disturbingly close to the start of the Winter Olympics that Prince Bandar was saying would be “protected” if Moscow betrayed Syria.

Can the House of Saud Stand on its Own Feet?

It is a widely believed that you will find the US and Israelis pulling a lot of the strings if you look behind the dealings of the House of Saud. That view is being somewhat challenged now. Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the UK, threatened that Saudi Arabia will go it alone against Syria and Iran in a December 2013 article. The letter, like the Saudi rejection of their UN Security Council seat, was airing the House of Saud’s rage against the realists running US foreign policy.

In this same context, it should also be noted for those that think that Saudi Arabia has zero freedom of action that Israeli leaders have stressed for many years that Tel Aviv needs to cooperate secretly with Saudi Arabia to manipulate the US against Iran. This is epitomized by the words of Israeli Brigadier-General Oded Tira: “We must clandestinely cooperate with Saudi Arabia so that it also persuades the US to strike Iran.”

Along similar lines, some may point out that together the House of Saud and Israel got France to delay an interim nuclear agreement between the Iranians and the P5+1 in Geneva. The House of Saud rewarded Paris through lucrative deals, which includes making sure that the grant it gives to the Lebanese military is spent on French military hardware. Saad Hariri, the main Saudi client in Lebanon, even met Francois Hollande and French officials in Saudi Arabia in context of the deal. Appeasing the House of Saud and Israel, French President Hollande has replicated France’s stonewalling of the P5+1 interim nuclear deal with Iran by trying to spoil the second Syria peace conference in Geneva by saying that there can be no political solution inside Syria if President Bashar Al-Assad stays in power.

Again, however, it has to be asked, is enraging Saudi Arabia part of a US strategy to make the Saudis exert maximum pressure on Tehran, Moscow, and Damascus so that the United States can optimize its gains in negotiations? After all, it did turn out that the US was in league with France in Geneva and that the US used the French stonewalling of an agreement with Iran to make additional demands from the Iranians during the negotiations. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov revealed that the US negotiation team had actually circulated a draft agreement that had been amended in response to France’s demands before Iran and the other world powers even had a chance to study them. The draft by the US team was passed around, in Foreign Minister Lavrov’s own words, “literally at the last moment, when we were about to leave Geneva.”

Instead of debating on the level of independence that the House of Saud possesses, it is important to ask if Saudi Arabia can act on its own and to what degree can the House of Saud act as an independent actor. This looks like a far easier question to answer. It is highly unlikely that Saudi Arabia can act on its own in most instances or even remain an intact state. This is why Israeli strategists very clearly state that Saudi Arabia is destined to fall apart. “The entire Arabian Peninsula is a natural candidate for dissolution due to internal and external pressures, and the matter is inevitable especially in Saudi Arabia,” the Israeli Yinon Plan deems. Strategists in Washington are also aware of this and this is also why they have replicated models of a fragmented Saudi Arabia. This gives rise to another important question: if they US assess that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not a sustainable entity, will it use it until it burns out like a flame? Is this what is happening and is Saudi Arabia being sacrificed or setup to take the blame as the “fall guy” by the United States?

 Who is Hiding Behind the House of Saud?

Looking back at Lebanon, the messages from international media outlets via their headlines is that the bombings in Lebanon highlight or reflect a power struggle between the House of Saud and Tehran in Lebanon and the rest of the region. Saying nothing about the major roles of the US, Israel, and their European allies, these misleading reports by the likes of journalists like Anne Barnard casually blame everything in Syria and Lebanon on a rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, erasing the entire history behind what has happened and casually sweeping all the interests behind the conflict(s) under the rug. This is dishonest and painting a twisted Orientalist narrative.

The outlets trying to make it sound like all the Middle East’s problems are gravitating around some sort of Iranian and Saudi rivalry might as well write that “the Saudis and Iranians are the sources behind the Israeli occupation of Palestine, the sources behind the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq that crippled the most advanced Arab country, the ones that are blockading medication from reaching Gaza due to their rivalry, the ones who enforced a no-fly zone over Libya, the ones that are launching killer drone attacks on Yemen, and the ones that are responsible for the billions of dollars that disappeared from the Iraqi Treasury in 2003 after Washington and London invaded that country and controlled its finances.” These outlets and reports are tacitly washing the hands of  actors like Washington, Tel Aviv, Paris, and London clean of blood by trying to construct a series of false narratives that either blame everything on a regional rivalry between Tehran and Riyadh or the premise that the Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims are fighting an eternal war that they are biologically programmed to wage against one another.

Arabs and Iranians and Shias and Sunnis are tacitly painted as un-human creatures that cannot be understood and savages to audiences. The New York Times even dishonestly implies that the Sunni Muslims and Shiite Muslims in Lebanon are killing one another in tit-for-tat attacks. It sneakily implies that Hezbollah and its Lebanese rivals are assassinating one another. Bernard, its reporter in Lebanon who was mentioned earlier, along with another colleague write:

In what have been seen as tit-for-tat attacks, car bombs have targeted Hezbollah-dominated neighborhoods in the southern suburbs of Beirut and Sunni mosques in the northern city of Tripoli.

On Friday, a powerful car bomb killed Mohamad B. Chatah, a former Lebanese finance minister who was a major figure in the Future bloc, a political group that is Hezbollah’s main Sunni rival.

The New York Times is cunningly trying to make its readers think that Hezbollah was responsible for the bombing as part of a Shiite-Sunni sectarian conflict by concluding with an explanation that the slain former Lebanese finance minister belonged to “Hezbollah’s main Sunni rival” after saying that the bombings in Lebanon “have been seen as tit-for-tat attacks” between the areas that support Hezbollah and “Sunni mosques” in Tripoli

The US and Israel wish that a Shiite-Sunni sectarian conflict was occurring in Lebanon and the rest of the Middle East. They have been working for this. It has been them that have been manipulating Saudi Arabia to instigate sectarianism. The US and Israel have been prodding the House of Saud—which does not represent the Sunni Muslims, let alone the people of Saudi Arabia which are under its occupation—against Iran, all the while trying to conceal and justify the conflict being instigated as some sort of “natural” rivalry between Shiites and Sunnis that is being played out across the Middle East. 

It has been assessed with high confidence by outsiders concerned by the House of Saud’s inner dealings that Prince Bandar is one of the three Al-Saud princes managing Saudi Arabia’s security and foreign policy; the other two being Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the Saudi deputy foreign minister and one of King Abdullah’s point men on Syria due to his ties to Syria from his maternal side, and Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the interior minister. All three of them are tied to the United States more than any of their predecessors. Prince Bandar himself has a long history of working closely with the United States, which explains the endearing moniker of “Bandar Bush” that he is widely called by. “Chemical Bandar” can be added to the list too, because of the reports about his ties to the Syrian chemical weapon attacks in Ghouta.

As a US client, Saudi Arabia is a source of instability because it has been conditioned hence by Washington. Fighting the terrorist and extremist threat is now being used by the US as a point of convergence with Iran, which coincidently has authored the World Against Violence and Extremism (WAVE) motion at the United Nations. In reality, the author of the regional problems and instability has been Washington itself. In a masterstroke, the realists now at the helm of foreign policy are pushing American-Iranian rapprochement on the basis of what Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former national security advisor of the US, said would be based on Tehran and Washington working together to secure Iran’s “volatile regional environment.” “Any eventual reconciliation [between the US and Iranian governments] should be based on the recognition of a mutual strategic interest in stabilizing what currently is a very volatile regional environment for Iran,” he explains. The point should not be lost either that Brzezinski is the man who worked with the Saudis to arm the Afghan Mujahedeen against the Soviets after he organized an intelligence operation to fool the Soviets into militarily entering Afghanistan in the first place.

The House of Saud did not work alone in Afghanistan during the Cold War either. It was rigorously backed by Washington. The United States was even more involved in the fighting. It is the same in Syria. If the diplomatic leak is to be believed about the meeting between Bandar and Putin, it is of merit to note that “Bandar Bush” told Putin that any “Saudi-Russian understanding” would also be part of an “American-Russian understanding.”

Has the “Redirection” Seen its Stalingrad?

Volgograd was called Stalingrad for a part of Soviet history, in honour of the Republic of Georgia’s most famous son and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. It was Volgograd, back then called Stalingrad, where the Germans were stopped and the tide of war in Europe was turned against Hitler and his Axis allies in Europe. The Battle of Stalingrad was where the Nazis were defeated and it was in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe where the bulk of the fighting against the Germans was conducted. Nor is it any exaggeration to credit the Soviets—Russian, Kazakh, Uzbek, Tajik, Tartar, Georgian, Armenian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Chechen, and all—for doing most of the fighting to defeat the Germans in the Second World War.

Judging by the bellicose 2013 New Years Eve speech of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the terrorist attacks in Volgograd will be the start of another Battle of Stalingrad of some sorts and the launch of another Russian “war on terror.” Many of the terrorists that Russia will go after are in Syria and supported by the House of Saud.

The opponents of the Resistance Bloc that Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and the Palestinian resistance groups form have called the battlefields in Syria the Stalingrad of Iran and its regional allies. Syria has been a Stalingrad of some sorts too, but not for the Resistance Bloc. The alliance formed by the US, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and Israel has begun to unravel in its efforts to enforce regime change in Syria. The last few years have marked the beginning of a humiliating defeat for those funding extremism, separatism, and terrorism against countries like Russia, China, Iran, and Syria as a means of preventing Eurasian cohesion. Another front of this same battle is being politically waged by the US and the EU in the Ukraine in a move to prevent the Ukrainians from integrating with Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan.

Volgograd and the Conquest of Eurasia

While speculation has been entertained with warning in this text, most of what has been explained has not been speculative. The House of Saud has had a role in destabilizing the Russian Federation and organizing terrorist attacks inside Russia. Support or oppose the separatist movements in the North Caucasus, the point is that they have been opportunistically aided and used by the House of Saud and Washington. Despite the authenticity of the narrative about Bandar’s threats against Russia, Volgograd is about Syria and Syria is about Volgograd. Both are events taking place as part of the same struggle. The US has been trying to encroach into Syria as a means of targeting Russia and encroaching deeper in the heart of Eurasia.

When George Orwell wrote 1984 he saw the world divided into several entities at constant or “eternal” war with one another. His fictitious superstates police language, use total surveillance, and utterly manipulate mass communication to indoctrinate and deceive their peoples. Roughly speaking, Orwell’s Oceania is formed by the US and its formal and informal territories in the Western Hemisphere, which the Monroe Doctrine has essentially declared are US colonies, confederated with Britain and the settler colonies-cum-dominions of the former British Empire (Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa). The Orwellian concept of Eurasia is an amalgamation of the Soviet Union with continental Europe. The entity of Eastasia on the other hand is formed around China. Southeast Asia, India, and the parts of Africa that do not fall under the influence of Oceanic South Africa are disputed territory that is constantly fought for. Although not specifically mentioned, it can be extrapolated that Southwest Asia, where Syria is located, or parts of it are probably part of this fictional disputed territory, which includes North Africa.

If we try to fit Orwellian terms onto the present set of global relations, we can say that Oceania has made its moves against Eurasia/Eastasia for control of disputed territory (in the Middle East and North Africa).

1984 is not just a novel, it is a warning from the farseeing Orwell. Nonetheless, never did he imagine that his Eurasia would make cause with or include Eastasia through a core triple alliance and coalition comprised of Russia, China, and Iran. Eurasia will finish, in one way or another, what Oceania has started. All the while, as the House of Saud and the other rulers of the Arab petro-sheikhdoms continue to compete with one another in building fancy towers, the Sword of Damocles is getting heavier over their heads.

 

mercredi, 08 janvier 2014

Double attentat à Volgograd : une première analyse

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Double attentat à Volgograd : une première analyse (VineyardOfTheSaker)

 

Le double attentat qui vient de se produire à Volgograd (ex-Stalingrad) constitue sans conteste une escalade dans la guerre larvée mais constante qui a opposé les insurgés wahhabites non seulement au Kremlin, mais aussi à toutes les autorités musulmanes traditionnelles en Russie. Avant d’examiner ce que ces dernières attaques pourraient signifier pour la Russie en général et pour les imminents Jeux Olympiques de Sotchi, il serait utile de revenir sur quelques faits essentiels.

La Tchétchénie

Tout d’abord, ce serait une erreur de croire que tout acte terroriste « islamiste » commis en Russie devrait impliquer des Tchétchènes. La réalité est que la Tchétchénie a non seulement été pacifiée, mais elle est même paisible. Le dirigeant tchétchène Ramzan Kadyrov a littéralement réalisé un miracle en transformant le « trou noir » tchétchène ravagé par la guerre en une république prospère et *véritablement* paisible. Le fait que ce miracle ait été soit passé sous silence, soit ridiculisé par les « experts » anglo-sionistes, qui avaient tous déclaré devant les caméras que l’insurrection tchétchène ne serait jamais vaincue, est compréhensible : admettre ce succès serait tout simplement politiquement impensable. Pourtant, le fait que Ramzan Kadyrov, le jeune homme qui avait toute l’apparence extérieure d’un voyou tchétchène moyen, se soit avéré être un leader politique extrêmement capable et sage est indéniable, et même si aucune « guerre contre le terrorisme » n’est jamais vraiment tout à fait « gagnée », il serait juste de dire que, au moins pour le moment, le phénomène terroriste tchétchène a été ramené à près de zéro. Malheureusement, si l’avenir s’annonce très prometteur pour la Tchétchénie, les choses sont infiniment pires dans le Daghestan voisin.

La Tchétchénie et le Caucase

Le Daghestan

La Tchétchénie et le Daghestan sont voisins, mais ils pourraient difficilement être plus différents. En premier lieu, la Tchétchénie est principalement habitée par des Tchétchènes, alors qu’il n’existe pas vraiment de « Daghestanais » : plus d’une douzaine de groupes ethniques différents vivent côte à côte au Daghestan. En fait, le Daghestan est la plus diversifiée de toutes les républiques russes, dans laquelle aucun groupe ne peut constituer une majorité. Cet aspect est absolument crucial parce que le fait qu’il n’y ait pas de groupe ethnique dominant signifie qu’il ne peut pas y avoir de « Kadyrov » Daghestanais. Deuxièmement, l’économie du Daghestan est dirigée par des élites très corrompues qui luttent les uns contre les autres et contre leurs clans respectifs. En termes pratiques, cela signifie que la « recette » utilisée en Tchétchénie (donner à un leader tchétchène local un niveau maximal d’autonomie et d’autorité) serait un désastre pour le Daghestan. La bonne « solution » pour le Daghestan impliquerait probablement une intervention très énergique du Centre Fédéral et une destruction de l’actuel système de clan basé sur l’ethnie – ce que personne au Kremlin ne serait empressé d’entreprendre.

Cependant, pour le moment, le Daghestan est le repaire du terrorisme wahhabite. On pourrait dire que le cancer wahhabite qui avait d’abord contaminé la Tchétchénie s’est répandu au Daghestan pendant qu’il était détruit en Tchétchénie. L’extrême pauvreté du Daghestan, combinée aux millions de dollars fournis par les Saoudiens à leurs alliés et agents, leur a rendu extrêmement aisée la tâche de commercialiser leur marque de wahhabisme au Daghestan et de recruter des agents locaux d’influence et des terroristes, ce qu’ils ont entrepris avec beaucoup de succès.

Les terroristes du Daghestan ont bien tiré les leçons de la Tchétchénie, et ils n’essaient jamais de contrôler de territoire ou de créer une sorte de mini-État wahhabite au Daghestan : bien au contraire, jour après jour, les forces de sécurité affrontent les terroristes Daghestanais, ce qui se termine à chaque fois pour eux par la capture ou la mort (surtout la mort). La raison en est évidente : les terroristes du Daghestan sont faibles et ils ne peuvent même pas s’en prendre aux policiers locaux. Mais ils sont juste assez forts pour attacher des explosifs sur un jeune homme ou une jeune femme et les envoyer se faire sauter dans une station de bus ou de train.

Les Wahhabites dans le reste de la Russie

Il serait également erroné de supposer que tout le terrorisme wahhabite en Russie doit provenir du Daghestan ou même du Caucase. Les Wahhabites (soutenus par l’Arabie Saoudite) recrutent littéralement partout – du sud de la Russie à Saint-Pétersbourg et du Tatarstan à Moscou. En conséquence, dans certains cas, des Russes ethniques étaient impliqués dans des actes terroristes wahhabites. Ainsi, la réalité est la suivante : le terrorisme wahhabite en Russie n’est pas un problème régional ou un problème ethnique, c’est un problème idéologique. C’est pourquoi il ne faut pas tirer hâtivement de conclusions ni présumer quoi que ce soit au sujet de qui pourrait être derrière les derniers attentats. Ça pourrait littéralement être n’importe qui.

De Volgograd à Sotchi ?

Volgograd a été le théâtre de plusieurs attentats terroristes dernièrement, et les attaques des 29 et 30 décembre 2013 ne sont que les plus récentes dans une longue série d’événements. Pourquoi Volgograd ?

Sud de la Russie
(cliquez pour agrandir la carte)

Eh bien, Volgograd est – avec Rostov-sur-le-Don et Krasnodar – l’une des principales villes du sud de la Russie et elle est assez proche du Daghestan pour qu’il soit assez facile pour les wahhabites Daghestanais (en supposant qu’ils soient impliqués) d’organiser une attaque terroriste dans cette ville. En fait, Volgograd est à peu près à la même distance du Daghestan que Sotchi. Ce n’est pas une pensée agréable.

Un autre facteur qui pourrait avoir joué un rôle dans la décision des terroristes de frapper à Volgograd est que la plupart des efforts russes de lutte contre le terrorisme sont actuellement concentrés à l’intérieur et autour de Sotchi. Une des règles de base de la lutte contre le terrorisme est qu’il y a toujours plus de cibles potentielles à protéger que de ressources pour les protéger. Même si Volgograd avait été complètement bouclée, les terroristes auraient pu choisir Astrakhan, Elista, Stavropol ou n’importe quelle autre ville. Je pense que la sécurité locale et fédérale est principalement axée sur la protection de l’infrastructure olympique et que par conséquent, Volgograd était plus vulnérable que d’habitude.

Que savons-nous jusqu’à présent ?

Plusieurs d’entre vous m’ont écrit (par courriel ou dans la section commentaires de mon blog) pour me demander si je pensais que ces dernières attaques étaient la conséquence des récentes menaces saoudiennes [d’attaques contre les J.O. de Sotchi si la Russie continue à soutenir la Syrie]. Honnêtement, je ne sais pas, c’est beaucoup trop tôt pour le dire. Les Russes travaillent vite et les médias russes rapportent que le kamikaze qui s’est fait exploser dans la gare hier a été identifié comme Pavel Pechenkin.

Pavel Pechenkin

Pour autant que je sache, cela n’a pas été officiellement confirmé et des analyses ADN sont encore en cours. Néanmoins, si c’était vrai, cela désignerait comme responsables un groupe de Russes ethniques qui inclurait Dimitri Sokolov, qui a récemment été tué par les forces de sécurité. D’origine russe, il a vécu au Daghestan et a rejoint un groupe terroriste dans la ville de Makhatchkala. Cependant, il est intéressant de noter que son contact avec le milieu wahhabite n’a pas commencé au Daghestan, mais dans une mosquée de Moscou où il s’était inscrit à des cours d’Arabe. Sokolov était le mari de Naida Asiialova, une kamikaze qui s’est fait exploser dans un autobus bondé à Volgograd au mois d’Octobre de cette année. Pechenkin, Sokolov et Asiialova faisaient apparemment tous partie de la même cellule terroriste qui, bien que basée au Daghestan, incluait des Russes ethniques.

D. Sokolov et N. Asiialova

Ce groupe était très bien connu des services de sécurité russes, et les parents de Sokolov et Pechenkin ont tous deux fait des déclarations désespérées via les médias russes, suppliant leurs enfants de ne commettre aucun acte de violence et de renoncer à leur vie de terroriste. Bien qu’ils aient certainement eu des complices, Sokolov et Pechenkin constituaient clairement l’image de ce groupe aux yeux du public, et autant que je sache, il n’y a plus de membres importants de cette cellule en cavale. Jusqu’à présent, et c’est une analyse très préliminaire, il n’y a pas d’« empreintes saoudiennes » sur ces attaques. Elles semblent être ce que les Américains appellent un cas de « terreur d’origine intérieure » et s’il y a un lien Saoudien, c’est à travers le financement massif des mosquées wahhabites en Russie (et dans le monde entier).

Options internes russes

Comme l’a écrit H. L. Mencken, « Pour chaque problème complexe, il y a une réponse qui est claire, simple et mauvaise ». Dans ce cas, cette solution simple est de fermer toutes les mosquées ayant des liens avec les wahhabites en Russie, et certains individus simples d’esprit ont déjà exprimé leur désir de voir cela se produire. Une telle « solution » pose de nombreux problèmes :

1) Ce serait tout simplement illégal. La Russie est (enfin !) plus ou moins devenue un Etat de droit où la loi règne, ou, du moins, la Russie est-elle en bonne voie pour devenir un tel pays. Ce qui est certain, c’est que la grande majorité des Russes veulent que leur pays devienne un pays normal, civilisé, où le respect des lois est au cœur de la vie politique. Fermer des mosquées serait tout simplement illégal. Pour quelles raisons devraient-elles être fermées, d’ailleurs ? Pour « soupçon de wahhabisme » ? Il n’y a pas de tel crime en droit russe. Pour recevoir de l’argent de l’étranger ? Ce n’est pas illégal non plus. Pour être liées à des réseaux terroristes ? Oui, ce serait illégal, mais c’est aussi très difficile à prouver et il n’y a aucun moyen pour que le FSB (Service fédéral de sécurité) ou le Comité d’enquête puissent faire accepter de telles accusations par une cour de justice contre la plupart de ces mosquées. L’idée directrice est la suivante : Poutine n’est pas un dictateur et il ne peut pas agir en dehors du cadre de la loi russe, et du reste il ne le souhaiterait aucunement.

2) Ce serait immoral. J’ai vécu pendant de nombreuses années littéralement juste à côté d’une grande mosquée entièrement financée par les Saoudiens, et à ma connaissance, non seulement cette mosquée n’a jamais rien eu à voir avec le terrorisme, mais les personnes qui fréquentaient cette mosquée n’ont même pas été impliqués dans le moindre cas de petite délinquance. Dieu sait que je hais l’idéologie wahhabite de toute mon âme et de tout mon cœur, mais je ne peux pas dire que la plupart des wahhabites soient de mauvaises personnes, ou qu’ils soient liés au terrorisme. Ils ne sont pas et ne doivent pas être des boucs émissaires pour les actions d’autres personnes. Je suis tout à fait favorable à la destruction physique de chaque terroriste wahhabite sur la planète, mais tant qu’ils ne prennent pas les armes et ne se mettent pas à assassiner et mutiler les êtres humains, les disciples d’Ibn Taymiyya et de Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab ne doivent pas être forcés à payer pour les actions des autres.

3) Ce serait contre-productif. L’avantage de laisser les mosquées wahhabites libres d’agir est qu’elles constituent pour les forces de sécurité une cible parfaite pour infiltrer et surveiller les terroristes. Fermez ces mosquées et vous les pousserez dans la clandestinité et il pourrait être beaucoup plus difficile de les infiltrer. En fait, ces mosquées wahhabites peuvent même être utilisées comme des appâts pour attirer, identifier et arrêter les terroristes locaux.

Non, la meilleure façon de faire face à la propagande et au terrorisme financés par l’Arabie Saoudite est de soutenir les organisations islamiques et chefs religieux traditionnels anti-wahhabites. Il y a beaucoup de musulmans bien éduqués et instruits en Russie, y compris un bon nombre d’imams renommés, qui peuvent mener la lutte idéologique et spirituelle contre les wahhabites et les dénoncer pour ce qu’ils sont. Ce que l’Etat russe devrait faire est a) protéger physiquement ces gens b) les écouter et prendre en considération leur évaluation de la situation c) expliquer à la population non musulmane que ce sont des alliés essentiels dans la lutte contre le terrorisme wahhabite.

Que faire si on trouve des indices inculpant l’Arabie Saoudite ?

C’est un grand « si » ! Mais supposons, pour la commodité du raisonnement, que les Russes trouvent de quelconques « empreintes » saoudiennes dans ces attaques, ou dans des attaques à venir au cours des Jeux olympiques de Sotchi, et considérons différentes réponses russes :

1) Une frappe de représailles ouverte contre l’Arabie saoudite :

En termes purement militaires, cela ne poserait aucun problème. Les Russes pourraient frapper avec des bombardiers, des missiles de croisière sous-marins, des missiles balistiques… Tout ce qu’on veut. Les Etats-Unis exprimeraient certainement toute leur indignation, mais le CENTCOM ne pourrait rien y faire parce que le but initial du CENTCOM était d’empêcher une invasion soviétique de l’Iran, et pas de défendre les Saoudiens contre une frappe de représailles russe. Le problème de cette option est qu’elle serait illégale selon le droit international et c’est quelque chose que la Russie ne veut pas.

Si la Russie décidait d’accuser publiquement et officiellement l’Arabie saoudite d’attaques terroristes contre la Russie, elle devrait aller au Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU ou à la Cour internationale de justice et porter l’affaire sur le terrain légal.

2) Déposer une plainte officielle à la Cour internationale de justice et essayer d’obtenir un vote du Conseil de sécurité condamnant l’Arabie Saoudite :

En fait, c’est une option excellente parce qu’elle mettrait les Saoudiens dans une position politique très embarrassante. Selon le libellé de la résolution, les États-Unis s’abstiendraient ou y opposeraient leur veto, car peu importe l’ampleur des problèmes qu’il y a eu entre les deux pays récemment, les États-Unis et l’Arabie Saoudite sont toujours des alliés stratégiques. Pourtant, une telle plainte officielle par la Russie contre le régime saoudien mettrait encore plus d’embarras sur les visages des singes médiévaux au pouvoir à Riyad. Personnellement, cette option me plairait beaucoup, mais ce ne serait pas dans le style de Poutine – il préfère un genre de diplomatie beaucoup plus discret.

3) Une frappe de représailles secrète contre l’Arabie saoudite :

Cette option est également tout à fait réalisable pour le Kremlin, non seulement parce qu’il pourrait utiliser les capacités russes pour frapper un ou deux princes saoudiens, mais parce qu’il pourrait facilement sous-traiter ce travail à une force alliée. Le problème, c’est que même si c’est une frappe de représailles, ce serait toujours un acte de terrorisme. Jusqu’à présent, le seul cas que je connaisse où les Russes ont assassiné quelqu’un, c’est quand ils ont tué le terroriste notoire Ibn al-Khattab : les services spéciaux russes ont intercepté une lettre de Khattab et l’ont imprégnée d’un poison spécial qui serait sans danger pour quiconque sauf Khattab (une méthode beaucoup plus efficace et sophistiquée que l’accusation stupide selon laquelle ils utiliseraient du polonium pour tuer quelqu’un). Mais dans ce cas, les Russes ont admis leur rôle et ont même fait des déclarations plus ou moins officielles donnant les détails de l’opération. Bien que cet assassinat ait été mené en utilisant des méthodes secrètes, ce n’était pas véritablement une opération secrète car les Russes ont admis d’eux-mêmes qu’ils en étaient responsables. Khattab était une telle raclure que personne de sain d’esprit n’a exprimé de problèmes à l’égard de cette opération : ce fut l’une de ces affaires très rares, où le bon et le méchant sont clairement désignés, et où presque tout le monde convient que la personne tuée l’a vraiment cherché et que justice a été faite. Mais c’est une exception. Beaucoup trop de soi-disant « opérations secrètes » ne sont qu’un pieux euphémisme pour désigner des (contre-)attaques terroristes c’est à dire quelque chose qu’un pays civilisé ne devrait pas faire.

4) Quoi d’autre ? Viser le long terme

Dans la lutte contre le terrorisme, il est absolument vital de rester exemplaire sur le plan de la morale : il faut faire tout son possible pour dénier à l’ennemi le statut de « combattant pour la liberté ». Pour ce faire, il faut absolument garder ses mains aussi propres que possible et il ne faut s’engager que dans des actions qui, si elles étaient découvertes et révélées au public, nous feraient paraître honorables. Le concept de Dick Cheney selon lequel « maintenant on ne prend plus de gants » ne fait que traduire son manque de sophistication. On peut dire la même chose du « déni plausible » (plausible deniability) de la CIA. Le résultat de cette auto-illusion est que les Etats-Unis sont haïs et méprisés dans le monde entier, et que littéralement, il n’y a pas d’action trop vile, trop lâche ou trop stupide pour être considérée par quiconque comme ne pouvant pas être une opération secrète des États-Unis : tout le monde les sait capables de tout, même des choses les plus basses. Est-ce que la Russie veut vraiment devenir le « prochain méchant » (encore une fois !) ?

Personnellement, je pense qu’il est crucial pour un pays civilisé que sa politique officielle, annoncée et publique soit en harmonie avec ce qu’il fait dans les coulisses. Il n’y a rien d’intrinsèquement mauvais dans les opérations secrètes tant qu’elles sont conduites de manière à ce que ceux qui les ont ordonnées puissent paraître raisonnables et honorables si l’opération est découverte et révélée au public. La Russie ne peut pas constamment parler du rôle absolument crucial qui doit être joué par le droit international dans les relations internationales, puis aller joyeusement violer des règles de base du droit international. Pour cette raison, toute utilisation de la force (ouverte ou secrète) par la Russie devra être fondée sur les principes suivants :

1) Toutes les autres options non-violentes auront déjà été tentées, ou seront impossibles à mettre en œuvre.

2) L’utilisation de la force sera proportionnelle à l’attaque qui l’a déclenchée.

3) Tous les efforts seront faits pour éviter des victimes innocentes.

Cela semble être d’un optimisme béat ? Eh bien, ce n’est pas le cas !

Des décennies d’utilisation de la force de manière tout à fait irresponsable et imprudente par les Etats-Unis, les Israéliens, les Européens et les Soviétiques nous ont complètement désensibilisés à l’immoralité fondamentale de la violence. Elevés pour la plupart avec les films de John Wayne et les présidences de Ronald Reagan, nous avons perdu le dégoût de l’homme civilisé pour la laideur et l’immoralité de la violence. Pire encore, nous sommes tellement conditionnés par des décennies de reportages spéciaux de CNN venant du Pentagone et montrant le dernier « briefing » d’une intervention militaire américaine que nous oublions qu’agir impulsivement et « tirer à tout va » est une façon très inefficace de faire face à un problème.

Pour traiter un problème comme le terrorisme, il est toujours préférable de planifier sur le long terme. De ce point de vue, je dirais que le régime saoudien est un problème suffisamment important pour mériter d’être considéré comme une menace inhérente à la sécurité nationale de la Russie, et cela implique en retour que parvenir à un changement de régime au Royaume d’Arabie Saoudite devrait être une stratégie de sécurité nationale de la Russie. Cependant, cet objectif doit être poursuivi uniquement ou, du moins, principalement par des moyens légaux tels que, par exemple, armer les Iraniens et les Syriens qui, à leur tour, armeront le Hezbollah. Cet objectif peut également être atteint en isolant l’Arabie saoudite sur la scène internationale par le biais de « consultations » avec les alliés et les nations amies. En outre, la Russie devrait chercher à élargir son rôle et son influence dans le monde musulman et dans le monde arabe afin de contrebalancer l’influence actuelle des Saoudiens et des autres monarchies du Golfe.

À court terme, le public russe doit être prévenu ouvertement que le terrorisme ne peut être éradiqué, que c’est là un rêve chimérique concocté par des politiciens malhonnêtes. Mais si aucun pays ou gouvernement ne peut vraiment éradiquer le terrorisme, on peut apprendre à vivre avec. Après tout, le nombre réel des victimes du terrorisme est extrêmement faible, bien moins que, par exemple, celui des accidents de la route. La vraie puissance du terrorisme réside dans l’effet psychologique qu’il a non pas sur ses victimes directes, mais sur ceux qui en sont témoins. Dès que le grand public aura accepté l’idée que même si les attaques terroristes peuvent être réduites à un minimum, il sera toujours possible que certains attentats aient lieu, le terrorisme perdra sa force réelle. Soit le terrorisme est accepté comme une réalité de la vie, soit une nation pourra être tirée dans une spirale sans fin de mesures futiles de lutte contre le terrorisme qui sont beaucoup plus néfastes que le terrorisme qui les déclenche.

Est-ce que la Russie veut vraiment devenir un état fasciste terrifié et paranoïaque comme les États-Unis ? Ou préfère-t-elle accepter le fait que le terrorisme ne sera jamais « vaincu » et continuer à vivre le mieux possible dans un monde toujours dangereux ?

Les hommes politiques russes débattent déjà vivement de la question de l’annulation du moratoire actuel sur la peine de mort : Nikolaï Pligin, député du parti « Russie unie » et chef du Comité du droit constitutionnel de la Douma, a déclaré qu’ « aucun des groupes sociaux ne sera victime de discrimination, aucune activité spéciale ne sera réalisée contre un groupe spécifique : toutes les activités seront menées uniquement d’après les normes constitutionnelles et conformément aux lois en vigueur », tandis que Ramzan Kadyrov a exhorté le Parlement à « augmenter infiniment la peine non seulement pour ceux qui commettent des actes terroristes, mais aussi pour ceux qui partagent les idées des terroristes, répandent leur idéologie et les entraînent. Je suis absolument certain que nous ne pourrons pas faire face à ce mal en jouant la démocratie et l’humanité. »

Eh bien, au moins tous les deux sont d’accord sur le fait que le bon endroit pour discuter de cette question et décider quelles politiques il faut adopter est le Parlement. Je m’attends à ce que la Douma s’exprime d’une seule voix et accorde au Kremlin à peu près n’importe quelle loi qu’il voudra faire passer, donc la vraie décision sera entre les mains de Poutine. Je suis personnellement convaincu que son choix sera de se conformer très strictement à la lettre et à l’esprit de la législation nationale russe et du droit international et qu’il n’y aura pas de sur-réaction de la Russie.

Le Saqr

Article original publié sur VineyardSaker.blogspot.com

Traduction réalisée par AxeDeLaResistance.com

dimanche, 05 janvier 2014

US and UK are implementing a pro-Saudi and Gulf agenda: Balkans to Afghanistan

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US and UK are implementing a pro-Saudi and Gulf agenda: Balkans to Afghanistan

Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker

http://moderntokyotimes.com

Irrespective if people support the Syrian government or are against the political leaders of this nation, it is abundantly clear that past interventions lead to chaos and failed states. Either political elites in Gulf nations, America, France, Turkey and the United Kingdom enjoy mass instability and cleansing religious minorities; or the agenda is to create weak failed states in order to protect the feudal monarchies of the Gulf and Israel. If not, then nothing makes sense and this also applies to Western nations being anti-Christian in the Middle East and in other parts of the world.

It is known that the most powerful religious leader in Saudi Arabia desires that all Christian churches are to be destroyed throughout the region. Of course, with Qatar and Saudi Arabia supporting Sunni Salafi fanatics and terrorists against the government of Syria; then this could be part of the anti-Christian crusade installed by feudal monarchs and religious elites in Saudi Arabia.

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Asheikh from Saudi Arabia stated that it was “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.” This distinguished Islamist cleric who is a close friend of the ruling elites in Saudi Arabia, voiced this opinion to the visiting delegation from Kuwait. It appears that he wants Kuwait to follow the anti-Christian and anti-non-Muslim religious line of Saudi Arabia which refuses to allow one single Buddhist temple, Christian church, Hindu temple and so forth. Therefore, when one militant fanatic desires to burn the Koran (something that Islamists do all the time during their terrorist attacks and destroying Shia mosques)in America the American administration and mass media speaks out; however, having strong relations with Islamist states which hate all other religions is obviously not a concern.

It is clear that Egypt under Gamal Abdel Nasser was a threat to the elites throughout the Gulf and in major Western nations. Likewise, Saddam Hussein was an ally of the Sunni Gulf dominated monarchies and powerful Western nations during the Iran-Iraq war. Yet the Kuwait question destroyed this unity. Of course, when Saddam Hussein was busy killing the Shia in Iraq and fighting against Iran then this was welcomed. Likewise, when Kurds were gassed in Iraq then this also could be brushed under the carpet. However, to enter a feudal undemocratic state called Kuwait was something else. Therefore, a well orchestrated media campaign was paid to increase many lies about the nation of Kuwait and with regards to many alleged massacres which later turned out to be clear fabrications. Despite this, the United States and United Kingdom will protect anti-Christian Gulf monarchies to the hilt because of energy factors, geopolitics and other important areas.

Over forty years ago the usual nations intervened in Afghanistan by supporting the most “year zero Islamists” on the face of the planet. Not only did America, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and other nations, support Islamist sectarians and terrorists – but they even gave military training, assistance and helped to co-ordinate future terrorist groups. Osama bin Laden was once a friendly ally of major Gulf nations, America, Pakistan and the United Kingdom. Of course, September 11 brought this home to America but for the people of Afghanistan, North-Western Pakistan and India ruled Kashmir; then Islamist militancy is continuing to destroy all forms of moderation and helping to cleanse religious minorities. Women also have bore a terrible price and while Islamists may ban alcohol it is clear that selling and taking heroin isn’t deemed un-Islamic. Therefore, you now have a major drug problem in Afghanistan and Pakistan but despite all the chaos it is now the turn to destroy multi-religious and secular Syria.

Even while Afghanistan continues to burn in a spiral of Islamist hatred, enormous indoctrination, forcing women into the shadows and being unable to crush Taliban forces; the next venture had begun against Iraq. The Kuwait debacle highlighted the reality that while approximately 3 to 4 million black Africans were killed in Sudan based on the policies of Arabization and Islamization; then this could be tolerated, but invading a wealthy Gulf state was a different matter. Simply put, just like in East Timor whereby approximately one third of the population was killed by central forces in Indonesia – it is apparent that Christians (Sudan and East Timor) and Animists (Sudan) just don’t count because the US and UK kept on supplying weapons to Indonesia. America also welcomed the introduction of Islamic Sharia law in Sudan under the leadership of President Jaafar Nimeiri in 1983 just like Washington helped this legal framework to take power in Afghanistan, Iraq and most recently Libya.

Clearly, the anti-Muslim rhetoric aimed at America doesn’t hold much weight apart from opposing moderate forces in the Muslim world based on the objectives of Saudi Arabia and other major Gulf nations.  Therefore, the only forces to suffer at the hands of America’s foreign policy in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Cyprus (invasion by Turkey), Kosovo, Libya, Iraq and now in Syria – are Christians, secular forces and mainstream Islam which became attacked by Sunni Islamic jihadists, Salafi militants and a plethora of terrorist groups. These Islamist groups think nothing about killing Shia Muslims, minority Muslim groups like the Alawites, Sunni Muslim clerics who support religious diversity and non-Muslims. In this sense, the political elites in Washington and London have installed compliant Muslim dominated governments in Bosnia and Kosovo – while doing nothing when Orthodox Christians were cleansed by Turkey after this nation invaded Northern Cyprus. Meanwhile, secular forces within the state institutions of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya have all been vanquished by the implementation of Islamic Sharia law once ruling elites were overthrown in the three above nations. Given this reality, it appears that because they always side with conservative and reactionary Islamist forces. The upshot being that approximately 50% of Christians fled Iraq and vast numbers of Christians have fled Kosovo; this happened on the watch of America and the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, in Egypt the Coptic Christians are now facing a growing Islamist menace but once more America and the United Kingdom keep on supplying more funds to the Muslim Brotherhood led government.

In Kosovo the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was implicated in killing people for organs and other massacres. Similarly, in Syria you have video evidence of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and various Islamist groups teaching children to behead Syrian soldiers, cutting open Syrian soldiers and eating organs, killing Sunni Muslim clerics which support the government and a host of other brutal deeds including beheading many Alawites and Shia Muslims. Yet, it appears that all the above – and kidnapping Christian bishops – means zilch to America, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Kingdom. After all, the more massacres are committed by the FSA and various Islamist terrorist groups then the more they obtain funds in order to destroy Syria. It must be stated that Syria, just like Egypt under Nasser, is a proud and free nation which refuses to bow down to international domination. Therefore, the secular government of Syria is deemed to be a threat to Western powers, Gulf powers and treacherous Turkey because these collective forces saw an opportunity to destroy the last major secular and independent nation in the Arabic speaking world.

Libya in the post-Gaddafi period is nothing more than a failed state whereby various militias control parts of the country. Recent terrorist attacks in Algeria, Mali and Niger all have a connection linking the failed state of Libya. At the same time the CIA, MI6 and other security intelligence networks have been involved in sending military arms to terrorists in Syria via Bosnia, Libya, Croatia, Kosovo and other routes. Note, that the US and UK all supported anti-Serb forces in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo; meanwhile, the ruling elites in Libya now rely on London and Washington for economic support.

In another Modern Tokyo Times article about Libya it was stated that “The ‘bomb democracy’ Western and Gulf policy in Libya brought about the massacres of black Africans, killing of Gaddafi loyalists and created a “new society” based on disorder which is currently ongoing. Indeed, the chaos which is engulfing Libya is now destabilizing Northern Mali and creating problems for Tunisia. This destabilization is based on vast quantities of military hardware being available and more dangerously the Salafi ideology is spreading because of money from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.”

“Turning back to Libya and Northern Mali then currently Salafist organizations are intent on destroying all Islamic thought patterns outside of their “blinkered monoculture,” which thrives on hatred and fear. Indeed, in Syria video evidence survives which makes it clear that the Western and Islamist “marriage of convenience” is now spreading this dangerous ideology within this country. Therefore, mainstream Islam and religious minorities have much to fear in Syria. However, like usual political leaders in London, Paris and Washington will support any form of barbarity providing it meets their geopolitical ambitions.”

The nation of Syria welcomed the fleeing Palestinians and took in over one million refugees from Iraq irrespective if the refugees were Christian, Sunni Muslim, Shia Muslim or whatever. Syria is a multi-religious nation and secular based. Also, it is abundantly clear that no evidence can be provided which shows massacres by the government of Syria before outside nations sponsored sectarianism, terrorism and sedition against this nation. Therefore, the armed forces of Syria are doing their upmost to protect the people of Syria and preserve the independence of this nation. After all, which side is kidnapping Christian bishops, kidnapping UN personnel, killing Sunni Muslim clerics, beheading Alawites, butchering the Shia, murdering journalists and so forth? Despite this, major Western and Gulf powers alongside Turkey are intent on destroying the fabric of Syrian society and these nations care little about creating another failed state – after all, look at the track record of Afghanistan, Kosovo, Libya and Iraq.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

jeudi, 02 janvier 2014

Nouvel agencement explosif au Proche-Orient

saudi-israel-alliance.jpg

Bernhard TOMASCHITZ:

Nouvel agencement explosif au Proche-Orient

 

Après les accords conclus avec l’Iran, Israël veut les torpiller et coopérer avec les Saoudiens, désireux, eux aussi, d’acquérir un armement nucléaire

 

L’Iran, les cinq puissances disposant d’un veto à l’ONU plus l’Allemagne ont conclu un accord. Téhéran promet, notamment, de limiter sa capacité à enrichir l’uranium à 5% et autorise le contrôle de son programme nucléaire par les instances internationales. Jusqu’en novembre 2014, prévoit un plan complémentaire, le conflit né hier du programme nucléaire iranien doit être définitivement résolu par un nouvel accord, plus complet.

 

Jusqu’à ce moment-là, il faudra compter, sur la scène internationale, avec des manoeuvres de sabotage perpétrées par Israël, qui entend bien ôter à l’Iran tout droit à un usage civil et pacifique de l’énergie nucléaire. Le Premier Ministre israélien Benjamin Netanyahou a d’ailleurs considéré que les accords signés à Genève fin novembre 2013 constituaient une “erreur historique” qui “rendait le monde plus dangereux”. Netanyahou peut compter sur l’appui des “faucons” du Congrès américain. Le Président de la Chambre des représentants, le Républicain John Boehner a exprimé publiquement son avis: l’accord signé “est une étape habile et remarquable franchie avec succès par l’Iran pour contourner les sanctions internationales”, sauf si, bien sûr “le gouvernement Obama parvient à démonter le programme nucléaire iranien dans son ensemble”.

 

A tout cela s’ajoutent des initiatives comme celle de Ileana Ros-Lehtinen qui obtiennent des appuis dans les deux Chambres du Congrès. Cette Républicaine de Floride, de concert avec le Démocrate Ted Deutch, a suggéré un projet de loi sur “le partenariat stratégique entre les Etats-Unis et Israël”. Dans ce projet —également déposé au Sénat— Israël devrait être posé comme “l’allié principal” des Etats-Unis. Il implique bien évidemment que la coopération entre les deux puissances soit dorénavant encore plus étroite, surtout dans le domaine militaire. Avant que toute décision soit prise ou que tout vote ait lieu, le rôle des multiples lobbies pro-israéliens sera déterminant, surtout celui de l’AIPAC. Dans le passé, l’AIPAC a financé généreusement les campagnes électorales des démocrates et des républicains pro-israéliens. D’après le journaliste Timothy Alexander Guzman, John McCain a reçu 750.368 dollars, Carl Levin 366.378 dollars, Robert Menendez 21.135 dollars et Ileana Ros-Lehtinen 141.507 dollars. Par l’effet de ces subsides, acoordés principalement aux “chrétiens sionistes”, on achète tout bonnement une influence politique sur les membres du Congrès; cet état de choses assure le succès du lobby pro-israélien. Cette situation, qui perdure, a été méticuleusement analysée, il y a quelques années, par John Mearsheim et Stephen Walt dans un livre entièrement consacré à ce formidable lobby toujours favorable à l’Etat d’Israël. On y lit: “Le principal pilier qui rend ce lobby si efficace est l’influence qu’il exerce sur le Congrès américain, où Israël se voit pratiquement immunisé de toute critique. C’est d’autant plus remarquable que le Congrès, en règle générale, n’hésite jamais à aborder des questions épineuses. Qu’il s’agisse de l’avortement, des mesures anti-discriminantes, des soins de santé ou de l’Etat-providence, on peut être sûr que de telles questions suscitent toujours de vifs débats sur la colline du Capitole. Mais dès qu’il est question d’Israël, toutes les critiques potentielles se taisent et il n’y a quasiment aucun débat”.

 

Israël, pour sa part, vient d’ouvrir un nouveau front: l’Etat hébreu entame une coopération étroite avec l’Arabie Saoudite. Nous avons affaire là à deux partenaires potentiels, dont les divergences apparentes ne sauraient être plus flagrantes: d’une part, nous avons un Etat d’idéologie sioniste, d’autre part, un royaume dont la religion d’Etat est le wahhabisme, la version la plus fondamentaliste de l’islam qui, de srucroît, vise à s’exporter dans le monde entier. Mais les deux puissances ressentent la présence d’une menace commune, celle que représente la bombe potentielle de l’Iran. Ryad et Tel Aviv resserrent les rangs devant le danger iranien et chiite. Israël veut empêcher que s’évanouisse son statut de seule puissance nucléaire au Proche Orient, tandis que l’Arabie Saoudite craint que son influence en tant que puissance régionale dans le Golfe Persique soit perdue.

 

Le 17 novembre 2013, le journal britannique “Sunday Times” écrivait qu’Israël et l’Arabie Saoudite avaient concocté un plan secret pour coordonner une attaque commune contre l’Iran. Le journal anglais basait ses affirmations sur des sources diplomatiques et ajoutait que les deux pays étaient convenus d’une stratégie: l’Arabie Saoudite acceptait qu’Israël utilise son espace aérien et qu’en cas d’attaque israélienne elle coopèrerait dans la mise en oeuvre de drones, d’hélicoptères de secours et d’avions-citernes. Ensuite, les services secrets israéliens, le Mossad, prépareraient, de concert avec des responsables saoudiens, des mesures à prendre après la signature des accords nucléaires avec l’Iran. “Après la signature des accords à Genève, l’option militaire revient à l’ordre du jour. Les Saoudiens sont furieux et prêts à donner toute l’aide voulue aux Israéliens”, écrit le “Sunday Times” en citant les propos d’un collaborateur des services secrets. Qui plus est, l’Arabie Saoudite craint que le rapprochement entre les Etats-Unis et l’Iran provoquera une mutation fondamentale dans la donne géopolitique au Proche Orient et que les alliés anciens des Etats-Unis tomberont rapidement en disgrâce. Pourtant un changement de cap immédiat de la part des Etats-Unis, qui serait favorable à Téhéran, n’est pas plausible, bien que Washington, effectivement, semble à la recherche de nouveaux alliés plus fiables dans la région. Le soutien permanent que les Saoudiens apportent aux djihadistes du monde entier grâce à la plus-value colossale de leur pétrole, va désormais à l’encontre des intérêts américains. Dans la cas de la Syrie, une étude du “think tank” britannique “Royal United Services Institute” écrit: “Ces éléments [djihadistes] reçoivent l’appui de l’Arabie Saoudite et du Qatar et joueront indubitablement un rôle en Syrie après la chute d’Assad”.

 

Pour faire face à tous impondérables, Ryad veut acheter des armes nucléaires au Pakistan, pays qui est entré dans le club des puissances atomiques en 1998. Le royaume wahhabite possède déjà les systèmes porteurs et les rampes de lancement nécessaires. Amos Yadlin, ancien chef des services secrets israéliens, déclarait, il y a quelques semaines lors d’une conférence tenue en Suède: “Si l’Iran en vient à posséder la bombe, les Saoudiens n’attendraient pas un mois. Ils ont déjà payé la bombe, ils iront au Pakistan pour aller chercher ce dont ils ont besoin”. Mais, contrairement à la bombe iranienne, le programme nucléaire saoudien ne suscite aucune critique ni aux Etats-Unis ni en Israël.

 

Bernhard TOMASCHITZ.

(article paru dans “zur Zeit”, Vienne, http://www.zurzeit.at , n°49/2013).

Neocons Push Israeli-Saudi Alliance

Neocons Push Israeli-Saudi Alliance

by Robert PARRY

Ex: http://www.a-w-i-p.com

Exclusive: Early U.S. presidents warned against the dangers of “entangling alliances,” prescient advice that the neocons want President Obama to ignore amid demands from Israel and Saudi Arabia that America tie itself up in the endless and bloody sectarian conflicts of the Middle East, reports Robert Parry.

American neocons are rallying to the new Israeli-Saudi alliance by demanding that President Barack Obama engage more aggressively against the two countries’ foes in the Middle East, thus “bolstering Israeli and Saudi confidence,” as the Washington Post’s deputy editorial-page editor Jackson Diehl declared.

For years, the Washington Post has served as Official Washington’s neocon flagship, bristling in support of every hawkish demand for U.S. intervention in the Mideast, most notably assembling a flotilla of misguided consensus in support of President George W. Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq and then pounding any American skeptics who dared emerge over the horizon.

Diehl’s column on Monday [10/28/13] represented an extension of the neocons’ knee-jerk support of Israeli interests to those of the Saudi monarchy, Israel’s new secret friend. Diehl hoisted the banner of this odd-couple alliance in excoriating President Obama for letting down these two “allies” as they maneuver to crush what’s known as the Shiite crescent extending from Iran through Iraq and Syria to the Hezbollah strongholds in Lebanon.

In sync with the regional interests of Saudi Arabia and Israel, Diehl argued that the United States should toughen up its military posture in the Middle East with the goal of “reshaping conditions on the ground,” specifically going after Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria and damaging the new Iranian government of President Hassan Rouhani, or in Diehl’s words, “weakening Assad [and] degrading Iranian strength.”

Diehl added, “That work could be done without deploying U.S. troops, but it would be hard, expensive and require a lot of presidential attention.” Presumably, Diehl wants the U.S. military to launch those cruise missiles that were poised to “degrade” Assad’s regime in late August, and he hopes the U.S. diplomatic corps will rebuff Iran’s overtures for a diplomatic settlement over its nuclear program.

Like other neocons, Diehl takes Obama to task for giving peace a chance – by accepting Assad’s surrender of Syria’s chemical weapons, by seeking a negotiated settlement to the Syrian civil war (with Assad agreeing to send representatives to Geneva although the fractious Saudi-backed Syrian rebels and their jihadist allies still balk), by working with Iran on a deal that would swap tighter international controls over Iran’s nuclear program for sanctions relief, and by pressing for meaningful talks between Israel and Palestine toward a two-state solution.

Diehl deems this diplomatic offensive a series of “foreign policy fantasies,” the title of his Washington Post op-ed. By pushing diplomacy over confrontation, Obama has, in Diehl’s view, “driven a wedge between the United States and some of its closest allies [leaving] U.S. allies in the region – Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Turkey – marooned in a scary new world where their vital interests are no longer under U.S. protection.

“Israel and Saudi Arabia worry that Obama will strike a deal with Iran that frees it from sanctions without entirely extirpating its capacity to enrich uranium — leaving it with the potential to produce nuclear weapons. But more fundamentally, they and their neighbors are dismayed that the United States appears to have opted out of the regional power struggle between Iran and its proxies and Israel and the Arab states aligned with the United States.

“It is the prospect of waging this regional version of the Cold War without significant U.S. support that has prompted Saudi leaders to hint at a rupture with Washington — and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to talk more publicly than ever about Israel’s willingness to act alone.”

Fighting for Others

Diehl — like virtually all his compatriots in the mainstream U.S. news media — leaves out the detail that Israeli already possesses one of the most sophisticated though undeclared nuclear arsenals in the world, while U.S. intelligence agencies still conclude that Iran is not working on even a single nuclear bomb.

Diehl also doesn’t bother to explain exactly why the American people should continue to expend vast amounts of money, prestige and blood to take sides in these interminable and often incomprehensible conflicts in the Middle East. The neocons simply behave as if every American should understand why a Shiite-dominated regime is so much more objectionable than a Sunni one; why an absolute monarchy like Saudi Arabia is preferable to a limited democracy like Iran; and why Israel has some fundamental right to possess East Jerusalem and other Palestinian lands.

For many Americans, it’s perhaps even harder to understand why the likes of Jackson Diehl and his boss, editorial-page editor Fred Hiatt, continue to reign over the Washington Post’s editorial section more than a decade after they helped guide the American people into the disastrous war in Iraq.

Not only has there been no accountability for their journalistic errors, including reporting Saddam Hussein’s alleged possession of WMDs as “flat fact” when it was no fact at all, but also none for the ugly character assassination against war critics, such as former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson whose wife, CIA officer Valerie Plame, saw her career destroyed when the Bush administration exposed her identity on the Post’s op-ed pages and Hiatt then kept up a years-long campaign to destroy Wilson’s reputation. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Why WPost’s Hiatt Should Be Fired.”]

Beyond no accountability at the Post, there appear to have been no lessons learned. Hiatt, Diehl and the other neocons simply continue to place the policy desires of Israel, in particular, and now its new buddy, Saudi Arabia, above the foreign policy of the U.S. government and above the interests of the American people.

In the early years of the Republic, Presidents George Washington and John Adams warned against the dangers of “entangling alliances” that could draw the United States into faraway and expensive conflicts that would drain the Treasury and create unnecessary enemies. In his Farewell Address, Washington saw the risk of foreign influence coming not only from adversaries but from allies who would seek to twist American domestic opinion in their favor.

Washington warned: “The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.”

Those early warnings seem particularly prescient today regarding the Middle East, given the extensive and expensive efforts by Israel and Saudi Arabia to win favor in Official Washington through lobbying, propaganda and financial favors doled out to many influential Americans.

While Israel’s skills at lobbying and propaganda are renowned, Saudi Arabia also can throw its weight around through its ownership of American debt, its ability to manipulate oil prices and its stakes in major U.S. corporations, including in the powerful Wall Street financial sector.

Now that these two longtime rivals, Israel and Saudi Arabia, have formed a behind-the-scenes alliance – joining together on key regional issues such as countering Iranian influence, subverting the Assad regime in Syria, and backing the military coup in Egypt – the Obama administration finds itself confronting an imposing phalanx of political and economic clout.

The ease with which neocons like Jackson Diehl lift up the banner of this new combination of Israeli-Saudi interests is a telling sign of the two countries’ impressive geopolitical muscle. [For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Israeli-Saudi Alliance Slips into View.”]
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Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth' are also available there. Or go to Amazon.com
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Article published here: Consortiumnews.com. Image: © N/A
URL: http://www.a-w-i-p.com/index.php/2013/11/18/neocons-push-israeli-saudi-alliance

mercredi, 01 janvier 2014

Alliance of six-pointed star and the crescent: aims and prospects

Alliance of six-pointed star and the crescent: aims and prospects

Experts have long said that behind all the visible and highly mobile alliances of Middle Eastern states there are more stable and active associations of “interests” that do not fit into conventional political logic, but in fact work perfectly.

Such an alliance has resulted from a well-hidden, but well seen for attentive observers “working union” of two seemingly long warring states – Israel and Saudi Arabia. They seem to be divided by everything – religion, the Arab-Israeli conflict, geography, etc. However, as it turns out, there are things that have become stronger in the current historical context and determined the very deep rapprochement between these countries and the coordination of their actions on many fronts. Those who do not believe this, should read the Israeli media on December 9, which reported that the head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, as part of the Geneva negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme in November 2013, met with many heads of Israeli intelligence to develop a line of containment of Iran “by all possible means”.

This rapprochement or drift of Israel and KSA towards each other has long been noted by analysts, after the 1979 Khomeini Revolution in Tehran. Since then, the two countries clearly began rendering each other all sorts of services, which has been predicated by the advent, as the result of this revolution, of a common enemy – Iran (anti-Israeli and anti-Vahabist at the same time), as well as the presence of the general “boss” – and strategic ally – the U.S.A.

It all began with the establishment of secret cooperation between the two ministries of internal affairs on issues of interest to both sides concerning the fight against terrorism and extremism. Both Tel Aviv and Riyadh have in this matter considerable and largely similar experience, and not always successful. Israel had successfully established and developed in the mid-1980s, the Islamist movement Hamas in the Palestinian Territories, originally aimed to fight with the national movement of Palestinians PLO and its main secular component Fatah. However later, Israel was forced to deal with its already as a dangerous opponent and Iranian ally, whom Tehran skilfully won over to its side, having snatched the card out of Massad’s hands.

To somehow temporarily solve this problem, which caused much trouble to the Israeli authorities and brought dozens of terrorist acts, they had to make a political decision to withdraw their troops in 2005 from Gaza, unilaterally, to “lock” there the Islamic radicals who went out of control (their ranks were preliminarily essentially reduced by using drones). In fact, Hamas members were immediately legitimized, by giving them opportunity, with the consent of the U.S. ally, assisted by the British security services (such as Alistair Kroc who played an important role In Afghanistan), to participate in the 2006 parliamentary elections, and even win them, which led to the splitting off of the Gaza Strip from the West Bank of Jordan. (Later, after the “Arab Spring”, it turned out that this was most likely the “set piece”, which allowed the U.S. and Israel to check the possibility of driving the Islamists to power by legal means and to establish proper control over them. This experiment, again, as it was shown by further developments in Egypt in 2011 to 2012, was not entirely successful).
The same game was played by the Saudi rulers a little before that, upon suggestion of their American patrons, who had grown the Mujahedeen in order to combat the “Soviet Occupation” of Afghanistan. These, just like the Hamas, turned to be ungrateful to their “parents” and partly regenerated into the Taliban, and partly into a well-known al-Qaeda movement, which declared the Saudi monarchy, to be its worst enemy, and performed a number of high-profile terrorist attacks on Saudi territory in 2003 and 2005.

It is clear that these radical movements, similar in their ideology and hostility towards their “parents”, according to analysts, has forced both countries to find ways to neutralize any consequence of their own actions as threats and challenges, and this, in turn, led to the “natural” alliance of security services of the two countries.

It is clear that, as noted above, behind the joint opposition of Israel and Saudi Arabia to the external challenges and threats, there is a common task to deter Shiite Iran, whose strengthening is perceived by both sides as an existential threat. That is where the similarity lies of the not always successful experiences of the Israelis and the Saudis in growing “controlled” radical Islamic Sunni which, after the “Arab Spring” in late 2010, it was decided to place at the service of both States. This was done both to prevent the development of explosive processes in the Arab world on the scenario disadvantageous to Riyadh (victory of secular democratic movements) and Tel Aviv (preservation of strong states along the borders of Israel), and to fight a common Shia enemy. While the Saudis were saturating – initially with the Qataris and other Sunni monarchies of the Gulf, the Salafi jihadists with money and arms to fight Gaddafi and then Bashar al-Assad, the Israelis were treating them in their hospitals. According to the Israeli press itself, in Israel only during the period of events in Syria more than 3,500 militants have been treated. Have they crept there themselves through the minefields in the Golan Heights? Hardly! This means that the channels to deliver them to Israel from the battlefields in Syrian territory were organized and prepared in advance, most likely through Sunni areas in northern Lebanon.

There are many other facts about the coordination between Israel and Gulf monarchies in aiding the fighters. Syria has been repeatedly targeted by Israeli air strikes, which suspiciously coincided with the offensive operations of the Syrian armed opposition to Damascus. Something prevents us from taking seriously the Israeli version that the attacks on Syrian territory were aimed at preventing the delivery of Syrian arms to the Hezbollah. There are again strange coincidences in simultaneity of actions of Israeli and Syrian armed opposition against Assad’s forces.

Ultimately, these actions, whoever guided and inspired them, led to one fact – sharply increasing the degree of Shia-Sunni conflict in the Middle East, and the “contribution” of Iran in this confrontation does not seem to be decisive, as it is stated by Air Riyadh. As for the “accountability” of Islamic radicals grown together by the Israelis and Saudis, here there are even more doubts than in the contribution of Tehran into the fanning of the sectarian fires in the region.

It is clear that the Israeli-Saudi coordination is not limited to the battlefield. According to the experts, this is being developed on the political front as well. Furthermore, after concluding of the Geneva Agreement on the November 24 of this year, after negotiations in the format of “five plus one” and Iran on the parameters of the Iranian nuclear activities during the transition period, the Israeli-Saudi coordination, according to experts, has acquired another dimension. It has ceased to take into account, it seems, to the fullest extent the interests of its American “boss”. Washington now desperately needs a break to restart its economy, to reset its military and political machine for the confrontation with Beijing, quickly growing in strength. However, for this manoeuver, it is necessary to get out of the Middle East swamp, where, admittedly, the U.S. has become bogged down through its own fault.

It seems that Tel Aviv and Riyadh are in no hurry to give the US a helping hand. Israel is strongly inhibiting Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, launched in August of this year and sponsored by the United States – thus preventing the attainment of a mutually acceptable peace agreement with the Palestinians. While Riyadh, as world media states, continues to form new groups to overthrow the regime of Bashar al-Assad (now called the “Islamic Front”) for allegedly fighting both against the Syrian regime and Al- Qaeda. This naturally weakens the joint efforts of Moscow and Washington aimed at the upcoming conference on Syria in Montreux, which should start on January 22, 2014. In parallel, Israel and KSA seem to be using all their considerable lobbying power to torpedo the possibility of an agreement on the final settlement of the Iranian nuclear programme through the Europeans (primarily the French), as well as their friends in the U.S. Congress. These efforts are already affecting the toughening of the positions of Washington and the Europeans in the negotiations with the Iranians, which is leading to a sharp reaction from Tehran.

In September of this year, Washington had the courage to resist the pressure of its Middle Eastern allies, “aimed” at the endless confrontation with Iran, to defend its own national interests, which, incidentally, coincided with the interests of most of the world, and as a result, it saw success in both the Syrian and Iranian directions. Does the White House have this courage now?

Pogos Anastasov, political scientist, orientalist, exclusively for the New Eastern Outlook online magazine.

mardi, 31 décembre 2013

Saudi Oil: Who Needs It?

SaudiArabiaOil.jpg

Pogos Anastasov

Ex: http://journal-neo.org

Saudi Oil: Who Needs It?

But these times same as the time of the oil embargo imposed by OPEC in 1973 at the KSA’s initiative to exert pressure on Western countries and make them change their policy regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict are long gone. Nowadays, neither OPEC nor Saudi Arabia can have a decisive influence on the international oil markets and the oil prices although Saudi Aramco, which is competing with Russia for first place in global oil production, produces up to 10.1 million barrels per day. In the last 40 years, the international market has seen the emergence of new players – Angola, Mexico, Venezuela and, most recently, the USA. American companies have not just reactivated old oil wells but also introduced to the market (only to the domestic market for now) a relatively new product – shale gas, the price for which, according to Saudi experts’ report published in the Saudi Gazette on 18 December of this year, has now dropped in North America from 13 dollars per million British thermal units (BTU) in 2008 to 4.29 dollars per million BTU in 2013.

As a result, their dependence on oil imports, due to which they have previously had to interfere in Middle Eastern matters, started to decrease drastically. According to the predictions of the International Energy Agency, by 2020 the USA will have become the world’s oil production leader leaving behind both Saudi Arabia and Russia. At approximately the same time (2018-2022), the United States will achieve energy independence, and by 2030 (according to a pessimistic forecast – by 2035) it will have turned into a net energy exporter. Even now, hydrocarbon supplies from the countries of the Persian Gulf to the USA do not exceed 10% of the overall oil production in the region, claims Daniel Yergin, head of Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA). In other words, Washington is not so much dependent on this region strategically as in the previous decades and, in fact, is even capable to reduce this dependence to zero in the coming years. Anyway, this dependence does not play a crucial role for the USA from now on, hence the US margin for political manoeuvre is increasing, which the USA has already demonstrated this year by the attempts to enter into a new configuration of its relations with Iran.

But Saudi Arabia is a different matter. Its margin for manoeuvre is shrinking. 90% of Riyadh’s revenue depends on oil and its price. The main consumers of Saudi hydrocarbons are now not the USA (it consumes 12% of the oil produced in the KSA), but China (more than 40 million tonnes a year out of about 250 million tonnes produced in the KSA), India and Southeast Asian countries. Moreover, this rapidly developing region is buying more and more oil from the Gulf countries.

Despite its strenuous attempts to develop the non-raw materials sector (petrochemistry, the production of aluminium, titanium and other metals), experts are positive that in the coming decades the KSA will not be able to significantly get rid of its oil dependence. And all indicators show that the country’s position in the energy sphere will be only getting worse and its capability to affect the policy of the leading Western countries will be reducing. This is caused by objective factors.

The fact is that, in the last 30 years, the KSA’s population has increased four-fold – from 5 to 20 million people (according to the 2010 census), and inclusive of foreign workers – to 28 million people, although unofficial estimates suggest the figure of 35 million people (if you also include illegal immigrants, against whom the Saudi authorities are now fighting tooth and nail). The country’s internal consumption of petroleum products has increased accordingly. It now constitutes 28% of the total volume of oil production, which virtually has not changed. If no decisive measures are undertaken, then by 2030 the country will be consuming nearly all of its oil. This means the KSA’s death since the country does not have any other significant sources of revenue, apart from oil. And they are unlikely to appear considering the complete closure by 2016 of the majority of the agricultural projects (grain, poultry farming) generating exports because of the depletion of water sources.

So how can these acute problems be solved? There are some solutions, both economic and political.

Probably, there will be a need for painful internal reforms in the economy. As Western experts point out, it is absolutely necessary to gradually refuse from subsidising the oil and electricity prices, which have remained unchanged for the last thirty years. In the KSA, a litre of petrol costs 15 cents – and that is an important factor for political stability. But this over-the-top cheapness encourages people’s wastefulness, who are used to driving huge off-road vehicles and having their air conditioners switched on 24 hours a day. It is clear that they cannot carry on living like that and that one day they will have to reject this economic model.

In the energy sector, they will have to start using nuclear power and as soon as possible make a decision on the construction of a complex of nuclear plants. The KSA has already been talking of the need to build 16 nuclear power units for two years but of no avail. There is still no sign of specialists, there are no contracts signed with foreign companies, although the negotiations with a Japanese-French consortium are in their advanced phase. But everyone knows that building a nuclear power plant takes between 6 and 12 years, which means that there is very little time left for the implementation of the projects.

The implementation of the widely touted solar energy projects has just started, and it is not clear whether they will play a significant role in energy production considering the technological problems associated with the adjustment of solar panels to Saudi Arabia’s hard climatic conditions – sand storms, sharp fluctuations of temperature etc. It is unlikely that solar stations will be able to significantly replace oil in the country’s economy.

Gasification of the country is a promising matter. Natural gas reserves, including in gas and condensate fields, are enormous in the KSA. But the implementation of such a major project will require large investments and, again, time, which is running out inexorably.

With regard to the foreign policy changes which could help the KSA to cope with the complex economic problems brewing up in the country, the voice of reason says that for Riyadh it will be good, first of all, to shift from the costly foreign policy of recent years and the ambitious projects of supporting the Arab “revolutions” on the basis of the export of home-grown ideology, which have already failed the leadership of Qatar; to withdraw from the exhausting and expensive confrontation with Iran (the support for the opposition in Syria alone costs billions); to search for compromise agreements with Tehran on the issues of security in the Persian Gulf instead of creating military-political blocs which have questionable goals (it is in its framework that it is planning to establish a single regional missile defence matching American systems) and which are not finding support among the neighbouring countries either.

Such agreements with the involvement of the great Powers may result in the creation in the Gulf region – in the case of the successful solution of the Iranian nuclear programme problem and settlement of the Syria crisis – of a collective security system similar to the one which has existed and quite successfully operated for nearly 40 years in Europe. In the event of such geopolitical choice (it is obvious that it needs to be supported by Iran as well), the KSA can get support from the world’s leading economies interested in ensuring stability in this rather sensitive region.

Pogos Anastasov, political analyst, orientalist, exclusively for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook.

vendredi, 27 décembre 2013

Made in Saudi Arabia: Salafist Radicalism in Africa

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Made in Saudi Arabia: Salafist Radicalism in Africa

Wayne MADSEN

Ex: http://www.strategic-culture.org

 

Hardline Islamist radicalism, nurtured by Saudi Arabia’s vast oil wealth, is spreading through Africa at a rapid pace. Radical Salafist and Wahhabist groups with names like Boko Haram, Seleka, and Uamsho, unheard of a decade ago, are massacring Christians during church assemblies, razing Christian villages, and assassinating moderate Islamic clerics. Of course, this Saudi-made mayhem is a godsend for the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), which can point to the spread of «Al Qaeda»-linked terrorism to Africa as a reason to increase America’s military presence on the continent and add armed muscle behind Uncle Sam’s quest for Africa’s oil, natural gas, and mineral resources…

While U.S. leaders like President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and others continue to kowtow to Saudi Arabia’s misogynist princelings, including the head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York has ruled that families of the victims of the 9/11 attack can sue the government of Saudi Arabia for providing material support to the hijackers. In 2005, a federal judge dismissed plaintiff claims against Saudi Arabia ruling that Saudi Arabia enjoyed immunity from such claims pursuant to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. That decision has not been overturned by the federal appellate court.

The court ruling came shortly after former Florida Senator Bob Graham, the chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence at the time of the 9/11 attack, once again called for the declassification of 28 pages of the 800-page «Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001,» issued by the Senate and House intelligence oversight committees in 2002. The blacked out 28 pages lays responsibility for the worst terrorist attack on American soil on the doorstep of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, particularly Prince Bandar and his Washington embassy. 

Prince Bandar and his wife paid the San Diego handler of two of the hijackers, Osama Bassnan, through an account at Riggs Bank in Washington. There are now bipartisan calls in Congress for the 28 pages to be declassified. However, the Saudis, who have close ties with the Bush oligarchy and the Israelis, can use their clout to suppress the «smoking gun» U.S. intelligence evidence against them.

It also behooves the American «deep state» to allow the Saudis to continue their support for terrorism because it gives the U.S. military and intelligence community as casus belli for continued military intervention in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.

Saudi Wahhabist fingerprints are being found more and more behind the coordinated activities of anti-Christian and anti-Western Salafist groups in Africa. The Nigerian Salafist group Boko Haram, which has attacked Christian villages and moderate Islamic mosques throughout Nigeria and slaughtered Christian and moderate Muslim men, women, and children, made common cause with another Salafist group in Mali, Ansar Dine, in attacking moderate Tuaregs who took over control of northern Mali after a military coup deposed the country’s civilian leadership. Boko Haram, Ansar Dine, and Al Qaeda in the Maghreb began systematically destroying ancient UNESCO-protected shrines of Sufi Muslim saints in Timbuktu and other Malian cities. Ansar Dine pronounced the shrines «haram» of forbidden, according to Salafist dogma.

Boko Haram has also appeared on the scene in the Central African Republic where Muslim Seleka guerrillas helped topple the government of President Francois Bozize and installed one of their own, Michel Djotodia in power in a country where Muslims make up only 15 percent of the population. No sooner had Djotodia and Seleka cemented their hold on the government in the capital of Bangui, Seleka guerrillas began attacking Christians throughout the country, pillaging their villages. Bozize loyalists organized «anti-Balaka,» which means «anti-machete» because many of the Seleka Salafists wield machetes in killing Christians, including women and children. The arrival of 2000 French troops in Bangui did little to assuage the fears of the Christian majority in the country. The Saudis are also fond of blades in carrying out murder. The Saudi government’s preferred execution method for convicted criminals is a sword to the back of the neck on Riyadh’s infamous Deera Square, also known as «Chop Chop Square.»

Attracted by the nation’s oil boom, a large influx of Muslims from abroad have migrated to Angola to work in the oil infrastructure. When, at the end of November of this year Angolan authorities issued requirements for hastily-built mosques to comply with the country’s building registration laws, Salafist interests spread the rumor that Angola was banning Islam and indiscriminately closing mosques. The Angolan government denied the charge. 

The Angolan government announcement may have been too little and too late for the Angolan and other passengers, as well as six crew, aboard Mozambique Airlines flight TM470, which crashed in Namibia while en route from Maputo, Mozambique to Luanda, the Angolan capital. Investigators concluded that the Embraer 190’s captain, Herminio dos Santos Fernandes, tampered with the plane’s autopilot to deliberately crash the plane into the ground. However, investigators failed to consider that many Salafists decided to declare war on Angola after the false rumors were disseminated that Angola had «banned Islam.» 

The lessons of EgyptAir 990, which crashed in 1999 en route from the New York to Cairo, should have been germane. The captain of the EgyptAir Boeing 767 was said to have deliberately crashed his plane into the Atlantic in an act of suicide terrorism, killing all 217 people aboard. But many believe the plane had been tampered with and was used as a dry-run for the 9/11 attack two years later. The plane’s co-pilot, Gameel Al-Batouti was said to have commandeered the controls of the plane to commit suicide and mass murder in the same manner that Mozambique Airlines’s Captain Fernandes was said to have done with his aircraft en route to Luanda.

However, with the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, several members of Congress, and a federal judge all pointing to Saudi Arabia as the culprit behind the aviation terrorism of 9/11, a Saudi hand cannot be ruled out being involved in either the EgyptAir 990 or Mozambique Airlines 470 «suicide crashes.»

In Zanzibar, the Saudi-supported Salafists have taken a different tack. Saudi-financed local clerics have formed Uamsho, which has called for acid attacks on foreign tourists such as that committed against two 18-year old British female teachers last August. Uamsho, which is Swahili for «Awakening,» has also claimed credit for brutal acid attacks on Christian and moderate Muslim clerics. 

Saudi-backed Salafists have also attacked Christians in other parts of Africa, particularly in Egypt, Kenya, and Ethiopia. Bandar, the Saudi intelligence chief, reportedly warned Russia that Saudi Arabia would not hesitate to set loose Chechen and other Salafists on the Winter Olympiad in Sochi if Russia did not cut ioff aid to Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria. Saudi handicraft was also seen in Salafist bombings of St. Theresa's Catholic Church, outside of Abuja, Nigeria; Our Lady of Salvation Catholic Church in Baghdad; and Saints Church in Alexandria, Egypt. In the case of the Alexandria bombing, Israeli intelligence was also fingered with the Saudis in the attack, an insidious alliance that legitimate researchers of the 9/11 attack have become all-too-familiar with. 

Saudi Arabia cannot escape responsibility for attacks on Christians, moderate Muslims, Shi’as, Ahmaddiyas, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, and others around the world. One of Saudi King Abdullah’s cabinet advisers in the Salafist Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdulaziz ibn Abdullah Aal al-Sheikh. The «holy man» urged his followers to blow up churches outside of Saudi Arabia. President Obama and his top officials, including CIA director John Brennan, have gone to great lengths to appease Saudi terrorism. If the United States truly wants to put a dent in international terrorism, especially in Africa, a couple of well-placed U.S. cruise missile strikes on a few Saudi palaces in Riyadh and Jeddah ought to do the trick.

samedi, 21 décembre 2013

Gewelddadig optreden Saoedi-Arabië leidt tot exodus arbeidsmigranten

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http://www.trouw.nl/tr/nl/

Gewelddadig optreden Saoedi-Arabië leidt tot exodus arbeidsmigranten

Saoedi-Arabië probeert met harde hand de grote groep arbeidsmigranten uit het land te verwijderen. Dat leidde vorige week tot gevechten met Afrikaanse en migranten en vandaag tot gewelddadige protesten bij de Saoedische ambassade in Ethiopië.

Woedende Ethiopiërs wilden bij de ambassade verhaal halen voor de manier waarop de Arabische machthebbers hun landgenoten behandelen. Saoedi-Arabië heeft arbeidsmigranten opgeroepen het land te verlaten, maar niet iedereen wil hier aan gehoor geven. Vorig weekend verschansten honderden Afrikaanse migranten zich in een arme buitenwijk van Riyad. Veiligheidstroepen vielen de wijk binnen en traden weinig zachtzinnig op. Zo was in een video te zien hoe een Ethiopiër zijn huis uit werd gesleept en in elkaar werd geslagen. Bij de rellen vielen twee doden en ruim zeventig gewonden.

Met het offensief tegen arbeidsmigranten wil Saoedi-Arabië de eigen bevolking meer kans op werk geven. Het land baadt weliswaar in weelde, maar dat geldt niet voor de 12,5 procent werklozen. De machthebbers in Riyad startten daarom ruim zeven maanden geleden met een amnestieperiode waarin illegalen de kans kregen vrijwillig te vertrekken of hun papieren in orde te maken.

Een miljoen arbeidsmigranten pakten hierop hun koffers en vertrokken. Nu de amnestieperiode voorbij is, wil Riyad met een arrestatiecampagne de resterende illegale migranten uit het land verwijderen. De afgelopen week zijn er bij klopjachten tienduizenden Afrikanen en Aziaten opgepakt. Meer dan 14.000 arbeidsmigranten zijn ondertussen teruggestuurd, waaronder 5.000 Ethiopiërs.

Saoedi-Arabië leunt traditioneel zwaar op buitenlandse werknemers. Op een bevolking van 29 miljoen telt het land 9 miljoen buitenlanders die voornamelijk actief zijn in de olie-industrie, maar ook als hulp in de huishouding. De omstandigheden waarin deze arbeiders uit Pakistan, Bangladesh, Filippijnen, Somalië en Ethiopië moeten werken zijn vaak erbarmelijk. Mensenrechtenorganisaties spreken zelfs van moderne slavernij.

Deels heeft dat te maken met het zogeheten sponsorsysteem, waarbij werkgevers garant staan voor hun werknemer zodat zij een werkvisum kunnen krijgen. Daardoor zijn de arbeidsmigranten volledig afhankelijk van hun werkgever. Geregeld moeten buitenlandse werknemers hun paspoort inleveren, krijgen zij een te karig loon en moeten levensgevaarlijk werk verrichten.

Deze praktijken zijn niet uniek voor Saoedi-Arabië. Twee maanden terug nog sloeg Human Rights Watch alarm over de Nepalese arbeiders in Katar dat zich voorbereid op het Wereldkampioenschap voetbal. De omstandigheden daar zijn zo slecht dat er elke dag wel iemand overlijdt.

dimanche, 15 décembre 2013

Israel es el único aliado fiel que le queda a Arabia Saudí

Ex: http://www.elespiadigital.com

Israel es el único aliado serio que le queda a Arabia Saudí, señala el periódico Al Akhbar. Los saudíes creen que ellos están apostando por un caballo que ganará la carrera, pero Israel se enfrenta, en realidad, a una crisis estratégica. En definitiva, es posible afirmar que Israel se sirve de Arabia Saudí para obtener más territorios en Cisjordania, expandir más los asentamientos y seguir adelante con la judaización de Jerusalén.

Sin embargo, Tel Aviv no tiene nada que ofrecer a Arabia Saudí en contrapartida. El reino está, pues, en vías de suicidarse.

Un despertar saudí de esta realidad es siempre posible, pero el tiempo es muy limitado. Tal hecho sería prácticamente un milagro, señala el periódico.

Por otro lado, medios israelíes han subrayado recientemente la existencia de contactos entre Israel y Arabia Saudí, que comparten un cierto número de intereses en la región frente a la “aproximación irano-estadounidense”.

Yediot Aharonot considera que estos contactos han alcanzado su punto álgido porque ambos países temen el programa nuclear de Irán y están interesados en luchar contra Hezbolá en Siria.

Arabia Saudí no abandonará a sus protegidos en Siria debido a EEUU y todavía posee medios para proseguir esta guerra, señalan analistas israelíes.

Los medios israelís creen que existe una oportunidad histórica para que Israel se alíe con Arabia Saudí.

Los “enemigos comunes” y los intereses económicos llevarán a ambos a alcanzar esta alianza, señalaron dichos medios.