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dimanche, 15 juin 2014

‘Iraanse legerdivisie trekt Irak binnen voor strijd tegen Al-Qaeda/ISIS’

‘Iraanse legerdivisie trekt Irak binnen voor strijd tegen Al-Qaeda/ISIS’
 

Obama stuurt leger Irak mogelijk gevechtshelikopters, raketten en drones te sturen, maar geen grondtroepen

Koerdische leger neemt Kirkuk en olievelden Noord-Irak in

Rebellen Syrië juist bewapend door VS, getraind in Turkije


Troepen van ISIS in Irak, met linksonder –van één van hun websites- een kaartje met daarop de hele wereld onderworpen aan de zwarte islamitische Shariastrijders.

Volgens Israëlische inlichtingenspecialisten is een Iraanse legerdivisie gisteren de grens met Irak overgestoken om de strijd aan te binden met de aan Al-Qaeda verbonden islamitische terreurbeweging ISIS (Islamistische Staat van Irak en de Levant). President Obama overweegt om de in het nauw gedreven Iraakse premier Nuri al-Maliki gevechtshelikopters en meer lucht-grondraketten te sturen, en tevens om Amerikaanse drones in te zetten – iets wat volgens de Wall Street Journal in het geheim al is gebeurd (4). Het zou voor het eerst zijn dat Amerika en Iran samen tegen een vijand vechten.

De troepen van ISIS/Al-Qaeda zijn de hoofdstad Baghdad tot op 70 kilometer genaderd. Daarom arriveerde de Iraanse generaal Qassem Soleimani gisterenmiddag in Baghdad om de Shi’itische regering van al-Maliki te helpen het gedemoraliseerde en uiteengescheurde Iraakse leger weer op poten te krijgen.

Hoewel tienduizenden Soenitische strijders zich bij de zwarte vlag van ISIS hebben aangesloten, zijn ze nog niet sterk genoeg om Baghdad te veroveren. Dit geeft premier al-Maliki, president Obama en de Iraanse opperleider Ayatollah Khamenei de tijd om een tegenstrategie te bedenken.

VS en Iran samen tegen ISIS

Met het inzetten van een legerdivisie hoopt Khamenei de val van al-Maliki en Baghdad te voorkomen. Daarbij krijgt hij mogelijk voor het eerst de hulp van Obama, die serieus overweegt om het Iraakse leger te voorzien van drones, gevechtshelikopters en meer lucht-grondraketten. In maart werden er al zo’n 100 Hellfire raketten naar Irak gestuurd. Amerikaanse grondtroepen zullen vooralsnog niet worden ingezet, maar Obama overweegt wel om luchtaanvallen uit te voeren (3).

Bizar genoeg worden de aan Al-Nusra/Al-Qaeda verbonden rebellen in buurland Syrië juist door de VS gesteund. De regering Obama bewapent dus beide partijen in strijd tussen de Soenitische en Shi’itische moslims. (2)

Ondanks de ontkenningen van Obama worden de rebellen volgens een commandant wel degelijk bewapend door de VS, onder andere met anti-tankwapens. Tevens worden rebelleneenheden militair getraind in Turkije.

Koerden grote winnaars

De grote winnaar van de strijd tussen het Soenitische ISIS en de Shi’itische Iraakse regering is de semiautonome Koerdische republiek in het noorden van het land. Nu de 12e Iraakse legerdivisie die Kirkuk en de omringende olievelden verdedigde uit elkaar is geslagen, heeft het Koerdische Peshmerga leger er onmiddellijk de controle overgenomen. Hiermee is een oude droom van de Koerden, namelijk controle over de olie in het noorden van Irak, in vervulling gegaan.

Xander

(1) DEBKA
(2) Zero Hedge
(3) The Hill
(4) Wall Street Journal (via Infowars)

samedi, 07 juin 2014

Victorias electorales de Assad y Sisi ponen fin a la “primavera árabe”

sissi333x2048.jpgVictorias electorales de Assad y Sisi ponen fin a la “primavera árabe”

El analista israelí en temas árabes Avi Issacharoff escribió en el periódico Maariv que el perfil de Oriente Medio ha ido cambiando continuamente desde diciembre de 2010 y todos aquellos que han intentado realizar pronósticos han descubierto la dificultad de esta tarea.

Sin embargo, lo que está sucediendo en estos días, las victorias electorales del nuevo presidente egipcio, Abdel Fattah al Sisi, y del presidente sirio, Bashar al Assad, marcan el fin informal de la así llamada “Primavera Árabe”.

El periódico añade que aunque es todavía demasiado temprano para dar la despedida a las revoluciones y los revolucionarios en Oriente Medio, las dos elecciones –la egipcia que fue celebrada esta semana- y la siria -que tendrá lugar en los próximos días- han supuesto el cierre de una etapa, que estuvo caracterizada por la demanda de cambios, el caos y la inestabilidad.

En la actualidad, el desafío del terrorismo y de la falta de seguridad han llevado a que las poblaciones árabes están ya cansadas de revueltas y conflictos y busquen asegurar la estabilidad y el desarrollo.

En Egipto, el establishment político anterior ha vuelto al poder a través de Abdul Fattah al Sisi y busca destruir a los Hermanos Musulmanes, la cofradía que ha sacado provecho de las revoluciones y revueltas árabes en varios países. En Siria, Assad continuará siendo el jefe de estado aunque la guerra civil continúe durante un cierto tiempo más. La votación masiva de los sirios en Beirut es el reflejo de un cambio en la opinión pública siria que comprende que Assad es la garantía de la estabilidad futura y de la derrota definitiva del terrorismo que asola el país.

El periódico destaca también que estos acontecimientos tienen lugar en un momento en el que el Líbano busca un nuevo presidente que sustituya a Michel Suleiman y en el que se ha producido el acuerdo entre Hamas y Fatah para el establecimiento de un gobierno de unidad.

Las repercusiones de este último hecho no están claras para Israel, pero los actuales acontecimientos en Oriente Medio y el refuerzo en general del poder de los estados y gobiernos árabes pueden no ser favorables para los intereses israelíes.

Al-Manar

lundi, 02 juin 2014

Shia and Christian Unity under Hezbollah and FPM is Essential

Lebanon and Syria: Shia and Christian Unity under Hezbollah and FPM is Essential

Jibril Khoury and Lee Jay Walker

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

Gulf and Western powers easily sacrificed the Christians of Iraq and clearly the same powers care little about the Alawites, Christians and the Shia minority in Syria which face Takfiri persecution and daily massacres. It is therefore incumbent on General Michel Aoun and the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) to maintain a firm relationship with Hezbollah. The FPM is mainly supported by Christians while Hezbollah is a powerful force within the Shia community. If the FPM and Hezbollah are hoodwinked by outside forces which seek to cause divisions, then both communities will suffer in the long-term given the shifting sands being backed by Gulf powers throughout the Levant.

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The Coptic Christians in Egypt were sidelined because America only cares about Camp David and protecting Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey at all costs throughout the Middle East. When the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt began to focus on taking over the political apparatus and espoused sectarian thinking towards the minority Christian and Shia communities, then like usual Washington wasn’t concerned. Not surprisingly, while the Obama administration is worried about the fate of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, little is said about the brutal murders of Christians by supporters of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Indeed, while powerful Gulf nations are free to spread militant Salafi Islam throughout Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America and Southeast Asia; it is abundantly clear that not one single non-Muslim place of worship is allowed in Saudi Arabia and apostates face death. This reality highlights the demise of Christianity within major Western nations and that secular governments care little when it comes to religious freedom. Therefore, the Christians of Lebanon should realize that they will be abandoned abroad at the drop of a hat because just like their co-religionists in Syria they are expendable. After all, when al-Qaeda affiliates and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are involved in destroying Christian churches, kidnapping Christian bishops, cleansing Christians and other minorities like the Alawites and Shia; then this means little in America, France and the United Kingdom because Gulf nations are allowed to fund Takfiris and al-Qaeda affiliates openly. Of course, elites in Ankara, London, Paris and Washington are also involved in many terrorist and sectarian ratlines.

Aoun commented about the kidnap of two Christian bishops by FSA Islamists in Syria by stating that “These acts do not represent in any way a struggle for freedom, but rather terrorist acts committed by hate-filled, malicious terrorists who feed on the blood of innocents and the lives of civilians … while attempts to justify this terrorism under the pretext of seeking to oust the regime have become ridiculous and pathetic.”

The Christian Patriarch Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros al-Rahi of the Maronite Church in Lebanon and All the East ”…called for halting violence in Syria and starting a national dialogue to reach a peaceful solution to the crisis.,,”

“During an honoring celebration held by the Syrian and Lebanese community in Brasilia, al-Rahi appealed (to) the international community and the countries which support the war in Syria to stop supporting and financing murder operations and to halt arming terrorism and destabilizing a secure country and to sit (at a) dialogue table.”

Gulf and Western powers also want to weaken the Christians of Lebanon by sowing internal dissent and undermining the FPM because Aoun refuses to be bought. Similarly, the European Union is being forced to put more pressure on Hezbollah because of the whims of America, Israel and Saudi Arabia. This is based on utilizing anti-Hezbollah rhetoric throughout many media channels and by powerful think tanks espousing propaganda for their political backers. Therefore, the terrorist attack in Bulgaria appears to have been “a hatchet job” in order to lay the foundation of undermining Hezbollah.

Media agencies are powerful tools in the wrong hands therefore labeling Hezbollah to be sectarian and militant needs to be questioned. Hezbollah fighters in Syria are helping border communities against Takfiri fanatics and a plethora of Sunni sectarian forces which also have no qualms in killing Sunni Muslim clerics. In the last 12 months in Syria several Sunni Muslim clerics have been killed for either supporting the Syrian government or for seeking accommodation with other minority groups. Therefore, when Hezbollah helped to retake a border district between Lebanon and Syria the Christians once more began to rebuild their church which was defiled by Gulf and Western backed terrorists. However, the real reality on the ground is ignored because it doesn’t suit the agenda of powerful Gulf and Western nations.

In Syria it is Takfiri Islamists and a plethora of sectarian terrorist groups which are involved in beheading minorities, brutally killing captured Syrian soldiers, committing atrocities against civilians based on religious and political affiliation and setting off car bombs throughout this nation. Hezbollah, on the other hand, is fighting alongside the Syrian armed forces in parts of Syria irrespective if the soldiers are Alawite, Christian, Shia or Sunni. This isn’t surprising because Hezbollah supports the Palestinian cause and it is abundantly clear that the majority of Palestinians are Sunni Muslim. Therefore, the mass propaganda angle against Hezbollah is easily dismantled because this movement is resisting the hegemonic dreams of major Western powers, Gulf nations and the state of Israel.

Hezbollah Fighters .jpg

In 2006 Hezbollah under Hassan Nasrallah signed a very important memorandum with Aoun whereby powerful Shia and Christian forces would work together based on mutual interests. Of course, certain disagreements exist just like in all nations because this is the nature of politics and you also have a different confessional basis. Despite this, the memorandum highlighted that the old days were over whereby militants within both communities would move on in order to lay the foundation for a new Lebanon whereby fear is taken out of the equation.

Hezbollah and the FPM both gain mutually when it comes to maintaining the military of Hezbollah based on the notion of resistance, while Christians in the FPM gain politically within the power mechanisms of Lebanon because of the powerful support that Hezbollah gives. Issues related to different lifestyles, cultures and religious affiliation highlights the pragmatism of both Hezbollah and the FPM. Ironically, it is the ambitions of Aoun which may threaten the mutual alliance because he seeks to broaden his political church. Therefore, Hezbollah is adopting a patient stance in order to keep the alliance together while Aoun knows that he can’t afford to lose the special relationship because it will weaken his powerbase.

If Christians and the Shia focus on the reality of modern day Syria then clearly they will realize that in the eyes of Takfiris and the plethora of terrorist forces in this country, that both religious communities are deemed to be “infidels.” This reality is proven on the ground because many Christian churches and Shia mosques have been destroyed. At the same time, both faith communities face enormous persecution at the hands of al-Qaeda affiliates, Takfiris and the followers of Salafi Islam in Syria. If Gulf and Western backed terrorist and sectarian groups emerged victorious under the prevailing conditions in Syria then a bloodbath against the Alawites, Christians and Shia would ensue. Likewise, the Druze community would feel the full force of Salafi bigotry in Syria if the Syrian armed forces were defeated.

Indeed, a brutal civilizational struggle is underway in Lebanon and Syria whereby Gulf petrodollars seek to crush indigenous Sunni Islam because of their views on supporting mutual accommodation with all religious groups. This civilizational war can be felt in Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Pakistan, Tunisia, Somalia, Syria, and in other nations. Likewise, gradually the dark and sinister Salafi movement and Gulf petrodollars are spreading their evil tentacles to Indonesia, Malaysia and throughout Central Asia and the Caucasus region. Indeed, these sinister forces can be felt within European nations and in North America. Therefore, many Sufi shrines have been destroyed in Libya, Mali and Somalia while Sunni Muslim clerics have been killed in Syria.

Syria now is on the frontline in a civilizational war whereby moderate forces and religious diversity are being threatened by Gulf Islamist petrodollars which seek to crush moderation and religious pluralism. This brutal force is being backed and supported by America, France and the United Kingdom because of various factors despite laying the foundation for terrorist attacks at home. The recent brutal murder of Lee Rigby is evidence of this evil force which is being given a free hand to spread hatred and division. Also, it is clear that September 11, Benghazi and Madrid happened because of Gulf and Western powers supporting al-Qaeda and Islamist terrorism in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Libya. After all, blowback will always emerge and now in Egypt the same Muslim Brotherhood that America bankrolled and met frequently within powerful political institutions in Washington; is now the same Muslim Brotherhood which wants to castigate America. Despite this, the same dangerous game keeps on being played despite the reality of the outcome – after all, look at modern day Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Pakistan (self-induced).

The Levant is now being pulverized by sinister forces which are supporting sectarianism and terrorism. In recent months it is clear that elements within the FSA and various al-Qaeda affiliated groups are now intent on spreading terrorism in Lebanon. This follows on from the increasing reality of sectarian hatred which is being espoused by the same dark forces in Syria and which can be found throughout the Gulf region. Syria is now on the frontline and the enemies of this nation also desire to crush Hezbollah and to weaken the Christian position throughout the Levant. Therefore, it is incumbent that Syria survives and that the central state overcomes diabolical forces which support sedition; to enforce a brutal Sharia Islamic state based on Gulf Salafi Islam; to crush all religious minorities; and to enforce women into the shadows.

At the same time Hezbollah and the FPM must remain united because clearly many outside nations want to defeat these internal political forces by utilizing various dark means. It is clear that America, France, Israel, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Kingdom desire to control the region. These nations therefore will use any underhanded tactic at their disposal in order to weaken Iran, the Russian Federation and to crush all independent forces within the Middle East which refuse to bow down to Gulf and Western hegemony. This reality means that the only way to destroy Syria and movements like Hezbollah in Lebanon – even if the Christians of the Levant are crushed – is to spread sectarianism, sedition and terrorism while spreading hatred throughout the media and destroying the economic lifeline of Syria.

Clearly, this reality is being played out in Syria whereby the most brutal Takfiri terrorists in the world are bypassing international passport controls based on the deeds of powerful Gulf and Western nations. Military arms keep on flowing into the Levant because even a weakened Syria beset by terrorist problems like Iraq will be deemed a victory. Of course, the enemies of Syria smell blood and seek the demise of the government at all costs irrespective if this destroys the religious mosaic of this nation. Likewise, the anti-Hezbollah rhetoric is now witnessing a new challenge to its powerbase by spreading enormous propaganda, creeping terrorism in the Hezbollah heartland and by curtailing the funding of this movement. This reality means that it is essential for Hezbollah and the FPM to remain firm during such delicate times in order to prevent outside forces from dictating the future of Lebanon.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

samedi, 03 mai 2014

Le Mafiastan

RobertFisk460.jpg

Le Mafiastan

Jean-Paul Baquiast
Ex: http://www.europesolidaire.eu
 
Robert Fisk, dans le journal britannique The Independent, confirme ce que chacun devinait intuitivement. Le Moyen Orient est devenu non pas un califat islamique global, comme le craignaient certains, mais le califat global des mafias.

Il s'agit évidemment en premier lieu de mafias arabo-islamiques, mais ce n'est pas le combat pour Allah qui les motive en priorité. C'est le combat pour mettre la main sur les centaines de milliards de pétro-dollars payés sans hésiter par les Occidentaux aux Etats producteurs de pétrole. Ces dollars alimentent une corruption généralisée, sans frontières et sans idéologies, sauf la prise en mains par elle de toutes les structures sociales.

Un flot toujours renforcé de corruption et de trafics a englouti le Moyen-Orient, sans exceptions. Il n'est plus rien qui ne s'achète, tant par la violence des armes que par l'argent. Aucun pays n'est indemne. Aucune valeur ne résiste. Les Occidentaux, en premier lieu les Américains, sont évidemment les premiers responsables.

Non seulement ils achètent le pétrole sans compter et sans se préoccuper de ce que deviennent les pétro-dollars. Ceci d'autant plus qu'une partie de ceux-ci alimentent les commandes passées à leurs entreprises, lesquelles ne s'imposent que par mafias interposées. Combien d'argent mafieux a-t-il ainsi été versé pour la construction de tours comme la Burj-Dubai ? Que sera le budget maffieux consacré à la future tour de 1km de haut annoncée par l'Arabie saoudite?

 

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Les Occidentaux, Américains en tête, ont à l'origine, en déclenchant des guerres pour le contrôle du Moyen-Orient et de son pétrole, détruit sans hésiter les Etats et sociétés traditionnelles. L'Irak, l'Afghanistan, la Libye, indirectement la Syrie, ont été livrées à des seigneurs de la guerre. Ceux-ci avaient été initialement financés par l'Amérique, avant qu'ils ne prennent leur indépendance grâce aux comportements mafieux imités de ceux régnant dans certains pays d'Amérique latine et d'Europe.

Le Pakistan et sans doute aussi l'Égypte, avec leurs mafias militaires, prennent le même chemin. Ne parlons pas du cas bien connu des Etats du golfe Persique et de l'Arabie saoudite, qui par la corruption achètent une partie des pays européens. L'Arabie saoudite, on le sait, finance les Etats et les banlieues européennes, soit disant pour le plus grand bien de l'islamisation, mais aussi pour mettre la main, grâce à la corruption, sur ce qui demeure de richesses en Europe.

L'argent mafieux génère évidemment une partie du terrorisme. Les jeunes européens musulmans allant mener le djihad en Syrie, avant de revenir en Europe y reprendre ce grand jeu, sont financés, ainsi que leurs armements, par les profits dus à la drogue, aux enlèvements et trafics divers menés par les Etats de la région, ainsi que par des intérêts européens eux-mêmes mafieux.

Certains esprits optimistes, en Europe, se rassurent en pensant que tout cela aura une fin, dans quelques décennies, avec la fin du pétrole. Mais les mauvaises habitudes, une fois prises, demeurent. Aucun Etat, aucune administration se voulant répressive ne résiste aux bakchichs assortis de menaces. L'Europe, dans sa grande vertu, dénonce la corruption régnant en Russie. Au contact du mafiastan moyen-oriental, elle en prendra rapidement elle-même le chemin.

Que dirait Lawrence d'Arabie s'il revenait ? Les antiques rezzous feraient bien pâle figure devant les mafias modernes.

* Lire Robert Fisk The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

Jean Paul Baquiast

mercredi, 30 avril 2014

Bye Bye Bandar

bandar.jpg

Eric Draitser:

Bye Bye Bandar

The recent dismissal of Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan is a significant development in the region, but not one that signals a fundamental change. Although the sacking of the man long known as “Bandar Bush” represents the departure of an infamous regime figure with close ties to the US political elite, the House of Saud remains the unchallenged authority in one of Washington’s principal client states.

That being said, Bandar’s unceremonious exit could be a sign that certain policies of the Saudi monarchy, primarily the use of Wahhabi extremist networks to achieve political goals in Syria and beyond, could undergo a strategic shift. Additionally, this development might also be an indication that the nature of Riyadh’s relations with Washington could be changing, if only at least superficially and gradually.

Bandar, Syria, and the Geopolitical Chessboard

It is an open secret that Prince Bandar bin Sultan is the architect and principal manager of Saudi Arabia’s strategy in Syria, and to varying extents depending on who one asks, the central figure in Saudi Arabia’s geopolitical strategy in the Middle East more broadly. With his illustrious (infamous) resumé as Saudi Arabia’s top negotiator when it comes to the West and Saudi geopolitical strategy, it came as little surprise to many observers when in 2012 Bandar was appointed intelligence chief by the Saudi king, with the specific task of handling Riyadh’s destabilization and subversion of Syria.

Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi commentator with ties to the royal family noted at the time that, “There was a feeling that we needed stronger intelligence and Bandar has a history of this sort…We are witnessing the start of a new Middle East with the collapse of the Syrian President (Bashar al-Assad’s) regime. We are worried about Jordan and Lebanon.” Statements such as these merely confirm the widespread understanding that Bandar’s appointment signaled more than just a change of leadership, rather it was part of a broad initiative by the Saudis to use their intelligence apparatus as a means of influencing the development of the region and, in so doing, maintaining and strengthening Saudi dominance in the greater Middle East. Seen in this way, Bandar, and indeed the entire Saudi policy vis-à-vis Syria, can be understood as a move to consolidate Saudi power through destabilization.

In fact, for a time at least, it seemed that Bandar would be successful in the goal of toppling Assad and buttressing Saudi influence. The Israeli publication Haaretz published an article in July 2012, just a few weeks after Bandar’s appointment, in which the author explained that:

The main reason for his [Bandar’s] appointment now is that Saudi Arabia is preparing for the next stage in Syria, after President Bashar Assad leaves the political stage one way or another and Syria becomes a battleground for influence…Bandar is considered the CIA’s man in Riyadh…he’s known as a can-do person who makes quick decisions and doesn’t spare resources to achieve his objectives…Saudi commentators say Bandar was the one behind the decision to give money to the Syrian rebels, and even to buy weapons for them. They say the Saudi demand that Assad step down is part of Bandar’s strategy…The Saudi policy on Syria is being closely coordinated with the United States.

Essentially then, Bandar should be understood as the critical linchpin in Riyadh’s geopolitical and strategic posture throughout the region; at once the bridge between Riyadh and Washington, and the manager who “gets his hands dirty” with the hard work of organizing the arming and financing of the jihadis in Syria, many of whom were funneled into the country through the kingdom’s own Wahhabi networks. However, it is his coziness with US intelligence that makes his influence particularly significant considering the political distance the Obama administration has attempted to maintain from the destabilization campaign in Syria.

In this way, Bandar acted as a surrogate for Washington, dutifully carrying out policy in line with US interests while providing “plausible deniability” for the administration with regard to the subversion of Syria. As the Wall Street Journal reported, “They [Saudi officials] believed that Prince Bandar, a veteran of the diplomatic intrigues of Washington and the Arab world, could deliver what the CIA couldn’t: planeloads of money and arms, and, as one U.S. diplomat put it, wasta, Arabic for under-the-table clout.”

Bandar’s influence on the Syria issue did not stop with his management of the crisis and relations with the US. In fact, Bandar became the principal emissary for the House of Saud, the de facto voice of the king, attempting to influence all sides in the crisis and affect an outcome desirable to Riyadh. It is to this end that Bandar visited with Russian President Putin in summer of 2013, at the height of the US drumbeat for war on Syria, looking to coax Moscow into making a deal and abandoning its support for Syrian President Assad.

According to leaked documents from the meeting, Bandar reportedly offered cooperation with Russia on a number of critical issues, including the prevention of terrorism at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, in exchange for Russia’s acquiescence on the issue of Syria. The leaked report described the meeting as stormy, with Russian President Putin deeply outraged at the brazenness of Bandar’s threats, which he undoubtedly framed as “assurances.” Though the actual tenor and specifics of the meeting might be up for interpretation, what is clear is that Bandar failed to secure any significant change from Moscow regarding Syria. In fact, it could be argued that his bombastic style of realpolitik backfired, hardening Russia’s resolve and commitment to Assad.

Additionally, there was much speculation in the international press that Bandar was directly involved in funneling chemical weapons into the hands of jihadi fighters inside Syria, specifically that Bandar facilitated the exchange of sarin gas used in the chemical attack on Ghouta, a suburb of the Syrian capital of Damascus. The accounts of Bandar’s involvement, which came both from intelligence experts and Syrian rebels on the ground, coincide with the fact that it was the Saudis themselves, undoubtedly organized by Bandar, who initially brought the allegations of the use of sarin by Assad’s government. So, it would seem that, from the very beginning, Bandar’s strategy to topple the Assad regime involved the funneling of weapons, including chemical weapons, into the hands of Saudi-sponsored jihadis, and then using the attacks they themselves perpetrated to blame the government in Damascus. Bandar’s patrons and poker buddies in Langley were undoubtedly proud.

Today, nearly two years after Bandar was appointed intelligence chief and “Master of Ceremonies” for the assault on Syria, the Assad government is still in place, significantly more entrenched and stable than it was in 2012, and it is instead Bandar who has been removed. Despite his well laid plans and deep connections throughout the region, Bandar failed in his quest to overthrow Assad and destabilize Syria to the point of its conflagration. Perhaps more than anything else, it was this failure that lead to his ouster.

Riyadh’s Man in Washington, Washington’s Man in Riyadh

saudi_bush.JPGWhat makes Bandar such a key piece of the geopolitical puzzle is his intimate relations with the US political, diplomatic, and intelligence establishment. Having spent the majority of his career as the Saudi envoy to Washington, Bandar became an indispensible figure in the decades-old “special relationship” between the two countries. David Ottaway, author of The King’s Messenger: Prince Bandar bin Sultan and America’s Tangled Relationship with Saudi Arabia, noted in his important biography that Bandar dealt with “five US presidents, ten secretaries of state, eleven national security advisers, sixteen sessions of Congress, an obstreperous American media, and hundreds of greedy politicians…[he was] at once the king’s exclusive messenger and the White House’s errand boy.”

The above excerpt illustrates quite clearly the fact that Bandar was far more than a Saudi diplomat in the US. Rather, that he was a representative of the US-NATO-GCC imperial system, one who could maneuver seamlessly between the circles of power in Washington and in the Middle East, a man who represented more than simply his country, a man who spoke for, and dealt with, the political establishment in both countries. Bandar’s list of accomplishments alone demonstrates this quite clearly.

Bandar boasted an extensive resumé including the securing of AWACS aircraft for Riyadh over objections from Tel Aviv in the 1980s, the funneling of money and weapons, as well as the recruitment of fighters, to the mujahideen fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, funding the contras of Nicaragua, and financing to the tune of $10 million anti-communist politicians in Italy. Bandar is also credited with brokering the all-important deal regarding US basing rights in Saudi Arabia for the first Gulf War. His close relationship with George H.W. Bush, including the vast CIA network that Bush headed, was infamous. In fact, Bandar and George Bush (both elder and younger) were so close that the Prince earned himself the nickname “Bandar Bush”, a moniker he still holds today.

The fact that Bandar moved mostly seamlessly between administrations, always maintaining the all-important close ties necessary for a man in his position, shows him to be far more than a deft politician and diplomat. Rather, Bandar was a true representative of the military-industrial-imperial system of which the US is the dominant player and within which Saudi Arabia is comfortably situated. Bandar represented a bridge between different cogs within that system. It is for this reason that his dismissal is so significant. Not only does Bandar’s exit signal a change in Saudi policy in Syria, it is an indication that the one-dimensional relationship between Washington and Riyadh may be undergoing a critical shift.

One should be cautious however not to conflate Bandar’s departure with a departure from the alliance that has held for decades. Instead, one should see this as merely a geopolitical and strategic evolution with regard to Syria and, indeed, the whole region. As Saudi Arabia comes to terms with a failure of its policy in Syria, and it recognizes the changing nature of the region with a new, friendly government in Egypt, Riyadh is revamping its policy. In so doing, Bandar, a symbol of Saudi power for decades, became the sacrificial lamb.

Unfortunately, the power and money that Bandar faithfully represented for all these years remain. So too do the Wahhabi fighters and the ideology of extremism that Saudi Arabia exports as a means to further its political agenda. Until such time as these are delegitimized and dismantled, no individual’s exit from the stage, not even one as “larger than life” as Prince Bandar, will fundamentally change Saudi policy or the region.

Eric Draitser is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City, he is the founder of StopImperialism.org and OP-ed columnist for RT, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook

dimanche, 27 avril 2014

Islamist Fifth Column in Gaza based on Gulf and Western Strings: Egypt and Syria

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Islamist Fifth Column in Gaza based on Gulf and Western Strings: Egypt and Syria

Boutros Hussein and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

If individuals want to see the dead end path of radical Takfiri Islam then look no further than the mantra of hatred and discord in Gaza because this estranged reality says everything about the international reality of this brand of Islam. Takfiri Islamism cares little about issues related to national identity therefore killing fellow nationals is part of the course alongside destroying respective civilizations. This reality means that nations like America, France, Israel, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom, can pull the strings by manipulating various agendas. The upshot of this is that “international jihadists” can be manipulated in the short term while “internal jihadists” become a fifth column and this can be seen in Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria.

In Egypt and Syria both internal militant Islamists view killing fellow Egyptians and Syrians with glee because in their schizophrenic world view they are serving Takfiri and Muslim Brotherhood indoctrination. It would have been unthinkable in the past that Palestinians would desire jihad against Egypt and Syria rather than being focused on the Palestinian issue. However, the petrodollars of the Gulf and the spread of militant Salafi ideology have altered the religious and political landscape.

Of course, militant Islamists in Gaza are not powerful enough to change events on the ground in either Egypt or Syria. Despite this, it is clear that Islamists in Gaza can cause mayhem in the Sinai region and in Syria based on supplying arms and partaking in terrorism. Similarly, if Islamists don’t abide by the tune then new pied pipers will emerge in order to sow the seeds of more division. Alas, in modern day Syria various Takfiri Islamist terrorist groups in 2014 are now butchering each other and this reality is replicated in Afghanistan and in other nations where this virus is let loose.

Gulf petrodollars are sowing the seeds of crushing indigenous Sunni Islam, creating destabilization, spreading sectarianism, empowering terrorism and targeting non-Muslim minorities. America, France, Israel, Turkey and the United Kingdom are “riding this Islamist ticket” in order to destabilize nations they want to crush. Of course, Afghanistan was the springboard in the 1980s and early 1990s but the evolution and spread of Salafism is much more potent in the modern world.

In Libya the power of NATO was needed in order to bomb from the skies and of course covert operatives were involved on the ground whereby they were allies of various militias and al-Qaeda affiliated groups. Similarly, in Syria it is clear that al-Qaeda affiliates, various terrorist groups and Salafi ideologues are working hand-in-hand with Gulf and NATO powers. Therefore, in Libya and Syria it is mainly fellow Arabs alongside international jihadists who are doing the bidding of America, France, Israel, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Colonel Gaddafi in Libya never envisaged that fellow Libyans would openly work hand-in-hand with NATO forces and that international jihadists would deem him to be an apostate. Yet, Libya was crushed based on the manipulation of internal discontent which was manipulated by outside nations, the role of NATO and Gulf powers – and the third trinity, the role of international jihadists and Salafi preachers which incite hatred. Syria is witnessing the same trinity despite events on the ground being very different based on the persistence of the armed forces of Syria and because of other important factors.

It is interesting to note that while mayhem and chaos abounds in many nations because of the so-called “Arab Spring,” which really should be named the “Western and Gulf ticket;” the nations of Israel and Saudi Arabia have emerged unscathed. Also, while international jihadists and internal militants in Syria are busy fighting and killing in the name of Allah; it is apparent that they aren’t concerned about Israel in the south and NATO Turkey in the north. Indeed, on several occasions Israel bombed Syria and this mustered no real mass demonstrations nor created political convulsions within the Middle East. Likewise, it is noticeable that al-Qaeda affiliate groups are notably strong in northern Syria whereby they can utilize the terrain of NATO Turkey and the supply lines for military arms.

In a video speech which was played to militants in Gaza the Islamist Sheikh Ahmad Oweida is inciting hatred towards Syria. He reportedly states “the time is for blood and destruction. The time is for invasions. The time is for battles.” Other comments in the video and during the demonstration in Gaza are aimed at Egypt and Syria. Suddenly, the role of NATO and Israel appears a very distant second and clearly for power brokers in the Gulf and West then this is a remarkable achievement. After all, it implies that militant Islam can be used like “a Trojan horse” in order to cause internal destabilization. Therefore, when the times are right international jihadists can do the bidding of Gulf and Western powers.

Oweida stated about Egypt that the “spear of Islam in the chest of despicable secularism….You are our hope that Shariah returns to what it was before.”

The Investigative Project on Terrorism reports that “Posters on jihadist bulletin boards have suggested that now was the time for jihadists to go to Egypt to exact revenge against the Egyptian military.”

“It is no longer possible to turn a blind eye to the obvious fact that they [secularists and the idolatrous disbelievers] are hostile to Islam and they wage war against it and they hate it,” Abdullah Muhammad Mahmoud of the jihadi group Dawa’at al-Haq Foundation for Studies and Research wrote in a jihad forum, the Long War Journal reported. “If jihad isn’t declared today to defend the religion, then when will it be declared?!” He continued: “Will Muslims wait until they are prevented from praying in mosques?! Will they wait until the beard becomes a charge that is punishable by imprisonment?! Will they wait until their sons enter prisons in the tens of thousands to be tortured and spend tens of years of their lives in their depths?!”

“O Muslims of Egypt, if you don’t do jihad today, then only blame yourselves tomorrow.”

Egypt is much more complex because while Gulf and Western powers are all anti-Syrian government the same doesn’t apply to this nation. Therefore, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations (apart from Qatar which is pro-Muslim Brotherhood and terrorism) are supporting Egypt financially and in other ways because they fear losing their internal powerbases. Indeed, Saudi Arabia even turned against the pro-Muslim Brotherhood agenda of the Obama administration which resulted in a rare clash between Riyadh and Washington. However, the issue of spreading Salafism is a real problem for Egypt and other nations like Tunisia. Therefore, Gulf petrodollars need to cease when it comes to spreading Islamist ideology. In other words,  indigenous Muslim clerics need to tend to spiritual matters. Issues related to the Muslim Brotherhood also need to be resolved because this Islamist movement desires to enforce its ideology on all the people of Egypt.

Al Ahram Weekly reported during a pivotal period last year that: “Mohamed Gomaa, a specialist on Palestinian affairs at Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, says that while the “organic relationship” between Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood has long been common knowledge, Hamas is taking a risk by parading those ties in Al-Qassam Brigades’ marches through Gaza. There are, Gomaa says, differences within Hamas over how to respond to developments in Egypt. Some within the movement urge restraint and the avoidance of any rhetoric that might be viewed as provocative by the Egyptian army. The appearance of Al-Qassam convoy, he argues, suggests that such voices are losing out to the zealously pro-Muslim Brotherhood contingent.”

“The Hamas government viewed Sinai as its backyard,” says Gomaa, “a safe corridor for arms and other strategic needs. This is why the movement supported strikes against Egypt’s security forces in Sinai. It explains why so many Palestinian elements were discovered to have taken part in operations against the army.”

The Syrian government meanwhile is currently fighting for its survival because of the unholy trinity being used against this nation. Likewise, Egypt faces internal political convulsions and a terrorist threat within the Sinai region and in other parts of the country.

Libya succumbed to the trinity and clearly Syria faces the same combination of forces despite the internal situations being very different. After all, Libya was just “abandoned to the wolves” but several powerful nations have stood by Syria despite their support being insufficient compared to what the enemies of Syria are doing. In other words,  if powerful Gulf and Western powers collectively decide on destabilization then clearly nations in North Africa and the Middle East are very vulnerable. The one saving grace for Egypt is that most Gulf nations oppose the administration of Obama when it comes to this nation. However, Syria is not so lucky because this nation faces outside manipulation and a brutal trinity which refuses to let go.

Gaza Islamists openly celebrate killing Syrians and inciting hatred towards this secular nation. At no point do they show the same willingness to die against Israel or against NATO Turkey. Likewise, Palestinian Takfiri jihadists are involved in spreading terrorism and mayhem in the Sinai region and more recently the Shia in Lebanon are being targeted by the same forces that have abandoned the Palestinian cause. Therefore, Islamist Salafi schizophrenia is a great tool for America, France, Israel, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom in the short-term providing the above nations all share the same vision.

Islamists are now whipping up hatred in Gaza aimed mainly at Syria but also against Egypt. The Long War Journal reported last year: “the marketplace of jihad opened in Syria, the youth of Islam rose from every direction to fight” against the Assad regime. The narrator similarly boasted that “convoys of mujahideen” from Gaza have gone to Syria to fight and that some have died while there.”

In other words, militant Islam is a convenient tool to be manipulated by outside forces which desire to alter the political and military landscape. Of course, if Afghanistan and Libya are viewed in the long-term – just like the destabilization of Iraq and the self-destructive policies of Pakistan – then the long term is very different unless you support failed states, terrorism, sectarianism, putting women in the shadows and crushing religious and cultural diversity.

Gaza Islamists are only one piece in a very complex jigsaw. However, if they can forsake their homeland while killing fellow Muslims and Arabs – alongside persecuting religious minorities and becoming embroiled in anti-Shia policies in Syria; then this highlights the new force being backed within Gulf and Western circles. Indeed, outside nations don’t need boots on the ground like in Afghanistan and Iraq. Instead, the trinity can do everything from a distance and if extra support is needed then powerful ratlines will be increased alongside more Salafi indoctrination.

http://www.investigativeproject.org/4126/egypt-warns-hamas-over-jihadi-threats

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/News/3904/17/Sinai—no-longer-a-proxy-battle.aspx

www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2013/09/salafi_jihadists_hol.php#ixzz2eMcmf0z9 

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

vendredi, 18 avril 2014

Syrie/Ukraine/OTAN : analyse géopolitique

Syrie/Ukraine/OTAN : analyse géopolitique Entretien avec Robert Steuckers

Merci au "Cercle des Volontaires" de Belgique:

http://www.cercledesvolontaires.fr/2014/04/18/syrie-ukrai...

 

Dans le cadre d’un sujet de mémoire d’une étudiante à Bruxelles, Robert Steuckers nous délivre une brillante analyse historique et géopolitique sur la Syrie et l’Ukraine.

Il est revenu sur les révolutions tunisienne et égyptienne ainsi que sur les tentatives de déstabilisation de ces pays. L’Algérie, dont le régime militaire socialiste tente de résister, est sans doute la prochaine tentative de déstabilisation en Afrique du Nord. La Syrie reste une particularité dans ce qu’on appelle le « printemps arabe » et Robert Steuckers expose le rôle de l’armée et du régime baassiste dans le fonctionnement du pays. Nous apprenons aussi que le cas de la Syrie et de la Crimée sont liés historiquement,  ce depuis le XIXe siècle, l’enjeu principal étant le contrôle de la Méditerranée orientale.

L’instrumentalisation d’un islam « radical » par le courant wahhabite dans le Caucase est aussi traité dans cet entretien, mais aussi le rôle que devait jouer l’Union Européenne dans la conférence de Genève II, ainsi que les réformes qui s’imposent dans le cadre des nominations des membres permanents du Conseil de Sécurité de l’ONU.

Ce brillant exposé de Robert Steuckers nous permet de disséquer les enjeux qui se déroulent dans le bassin méditerranéen oriental et le Moyen-Orient.

Pour rappel, Robert Steuckers est une grande figure de ce qu’on appelle la « Nouvelle Droite », ancien membre du mouvement GRECE et fondateur du mouvement « Synergies européennes ».

A diffuser très largement.
E.I.Anass

lundi, 07 avril 2014

Nieuwe wet Saudi Arabië: Alle niet-moslims zijn terroristen

Nieuwe wet Saudi Arabië: Alle niet-moslims zijn terroristen

Twijfelen aan islam als terreurdaad bestempeld


De Saudische koning Abdullah duldt geen enkele tegenspraak.

Saudi Arabië heeft een aantal nieuwe wetten ingevoerd waarmee ‘atheïsten’ - in de islamitische wereld alle niet-moslims- automatisch als terroristen worden beschouwd. Hetzelfde geldt voor alle vormen van politieke tegenstand, inclusief deelnemers aan demonstraties.

De nieuwe wetten werden opgesteld vanwege het groeiende aantal Saudi’s dat terugkeert uit de burgeroorlog in Syrië, en dat de monarchie omver zou willen werpen. Koning Abdullah vaardigde daarom ‘Koninklijk Decreet 44’ uit, waarmee deelname aan ‘vijandelijkheden’ buiten het koninkrijk bestraft kan worden met een gevangenisstraf van 3 tot 20 jaar.

Ook het aantal groepen dat als terreurorganisatie wordt gekenmerkt, werd uitgebreid. Net als in Egypte werd de Moslim Broederschap in deze lijst opgenomen.

Twijfel aan islam = terreurdaad

In artikel 1 van de nieuwe regels wordt terrorisme omschreven als ‘het aanhangen van de atheïstische gedachte in iedere vorm, of het betwijfelen van de fundamenten van de islamitische religie waar het land op is gebaseerd.’ Buiten de islam zijn in Saudi Arabië alle andere religies verboden.

Joe Stork, vicedirecteur van Human Rights Watch afdeling Midden Oosten en Noord Afrika, wees erop dat de Saudische autoriteiten nog nooit kritiek op hun beleid hebben geaccepteerd, maar dat de nieuwe wetten nu bijna iedere vorm van kritiek of onafhankelijk denken als een terreurdaad bestempen.

Human Rights Watch probeert meestal tevergeefs om gevangen zittende Saudiërs vrij te krijgen. Twee mannen verloren onlangs hun beroepzaak, en zullen respectievelijk 3 maanden en 5 jaar de cel in moeten vanwege hun kritiek op de Saudische autoriteiten.

Xander

(1) Independent

Deepening division in the “Sunni” Arab world

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Deepening division in the “Sunni” Arab world

The incidents preceding and following the Saudi government’s decision to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist” organization are symptomatic of the growing division within the “Sunni” Arab world—a ‘world’ that is pitted against the “Shia” world is, ironically, a house divided against itself and suffering from a certain ‘security’ paranoia. Not only does this decision show the Saudi government’s fear of an internal uprising after the fashion of “Arab Spring” against their authoritarian rule, but also reflects a broader geo-political rivalry between two groups within the “Sunni” Arab world, one being led by Saudi Arabia and the other by Qatar, with both trying to establish supremacy in the Arab world. The decision of the Saudi government was, within few days, seconded by UAE—another dictatorial government in the Gulf region. Significantly, the decision was preceded by both governments’ along with Bahrain’s decision to withdraw their ambassadors from Qatar on the basis of the latter’s official support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Saudi Arabia`s decision to brand the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization should not have come as a surprise to anyone, given the conservative kingdom`s paranoia about not just movements that stand for human rights and democracy, but even the Islamic groups or movements that believe in democracy. The Brotherhood may have its own agenda, and its charter may have aims that sound anachronistic, but of this party, founded by Hassan al-Banna, has been relying on the electoral process and constitutional means to achieve power rather than resorting to ‘violent’ or ‘terror’ related activities as contended by the Saudi authorities. Yet Riyadh welcomed the army coup that ousted the Brotherhood`s elected government headed by Mohammad Morsi. However, Saudi ban should not be seen in isolation from the kingdom`s larger concerns in the Middle East, especially the rise of movements that have an agenda the monarchy has no reason to view with favour. The truth is that Saudi Arabia has been very unhappy with the turn which the Arab Spring has taken and has realized belatedly that its Syria policy has already started to backfire, with serious potential to have a spillover effect within Saudia itself. The ban includes in its sweep four other groups as well. A hitherto unknown Saudi chapter of Hezbollah, a Shia militia in northern Yemen and two `jihadi` groups in Syria: the Al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant. These two groups have been involved in combat not only with the Syrian army but also with various militant factions. Like the US, Saudi Arabia, too, has realized quite late that some of the major groups it had been backing were no more a necessary asset in an anti-Iran front and that they would pose a threat to the kingdom itself if the battle turned inwards. This division between the Saudi backed anti-Assad—anti-Shia groups and the Saudi government is symptomatic of the larger division that has already started to permeate the “Sunni” world.

Aside from officially banning the organization, the Saudi government has also been actively trying to insulate itself from its social and literary effects on its society by banning a number of books from school libraries including works by Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian writer who was the leading intellectual of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and 1960s. The decision by the Saudi authorities to ban Qtub’s works undoubtedly reflects tensions in the Kingdom regarding the Muslim Brotherhood which historically has had a strong presence in Saudi Arabia, and is known to have played a critical role in establishing important Saudi religious institutions such as the Muslim World League (MWL) and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), both dedicated to the global expansion of Saudi “Wahabbi” style Islam, and which continue to have close relationships with the global Muslim Brotherhood network—enough for the Saudi government to harbour its negative consequences against the authoritarian power structure that remains intact to the exclusion of people of Saudia. So scared is Saudi Arabia of Qatar’s support for Muslim Brotherhood that last year it passed a law deeming any act that endangers or “undermines” national security as possible terrorism, which potentially could carry the death sentence.

The fear of losing power in the wake of a possible popular eruption is not, however, restricted to Saudia alone. The Saudi decision was immediately seconded by UAE—another dictatorial state. As for Qatar, its strategy of embracing the Muslim Brotherhood and putting itself at the cutting edge of change elsewhere in the region as well as its soft diplomacy contain risks for Saudi government’s geo-strategic interests closely tied to its objective of establishing “Sunni” supremacy in the Middle East under its own unchallenged leadership. The Persian Gulf petro-powers Saudi Arabia and Qatar are engaged in a struggle for ideological and geopolitical supremacy in the Sunni Islamic world. Both nations have been actively involved in the so-called Arab Spring revolutionary movements that have erupted throughout the Middle East since the spring of 2011, but differ in their sociopolitical views of how to manage the inevitable transition that is taking place in the region while maintaining the status quo within their respective monarchies. High on the list of differences between the two countries are, as such, their diametrically opposed views on the Muslim Brotherhood, which has become a flashpoint between the two states.

While the royal families of both Saudi Arabia and Qatar have sought to buffer themselves by lavish social spending, Saudi Arabia has opted for maintenance of the status quo where possible and limited engagement with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Syria, towards which it does harbour deep-seated distrust. Qatar, which has thrown its full support behind the Muslim Brotherhood, also funds the popular Al-Jazeera media network that is referred to as the mouthpiece of the Brotherhood, in Egypt and, to a lesser extent, in Tunisia; while Al-Arabiya, although based in the UAE, was founded by and is funded by Saudi Arabia. These news channels are also in direct competition with one another and support the policies of their protectors. The stakes are increased because each organization is very popular within the region and can influence the hearts and minds of millions of people across entire MENA.

In Syria both countries have been extensively funding selective groups among the so-called “rebels.” Qatar was, unless its sudden withdrawal from active involvement in Syria after the change of leadership, the leading arms supplier to insurgents Syria, with 85 plane loads of weapons flown – apparently under CIA auspices and with Turkish oversight – from Doha to Ankara and from there, trucked into Syria and distributed among rebel factions. Saudi Arabia was a distant second with only 37 planeloads. However, by 2014, these figures have already started to shuffle with Saudi Arabia agreeing to supply heavy weapons to the “rebels” and also pushing some its allies, such as Pakistan, into the geo-political games in the Middle East. According to a February 2014 report of The Wall Street Journal, Saudi government has agreed to provide the (only selected groups after imposition of an on other) of opposition for the first time the Chinese man-portable air defense systems, or Manpads, and antitank guided missiles as well to achieve two main goals, i.e., countering the army as well as Qatari backed “rebel” groups.

The power tussle in the “Sunni” Arab world has divided that very ‘world’ against itself, what to speak of eliminating the Shia “world.” The point to consider here, which deserves due attention to understand geo-political games in the Middle East, is that there are more than one dimensions of the on-going conflict. It seems to be an oversimplification to simply describe it in terms of Sunni-Shia rivalry; there is also an on-going rivalry between certain Sunni states for gaining geo-political advantages, which is deepening with each passing day. 

Salman Rafi Sheikh, research-analyst of International Relations and Pakistan’s foreign and domestic affairs, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

dimanche, 06 avril 2014

De la rivalité entre l’Arabie saoudite et le Qatar

qatar14.jpg

Bernhard TOMASCHITZ:

De la rivalité entre l’Arabie saoudite et le Qatar

Cette rivalité dans la région du Golfe Persique a pour objet l’influence à gagner dans le monde arabe

Depuis le début de ce mois de mars 2014, une fracture divise nettement le “Conseil de Coopération des Etats du Golfe”: l’Arabie saoudite, Bahrein et les Emirats Arabes Unis ont rappelé leurs ambassadeurs en poste au Qatar. Le motif officiel et apparent de cette rupture est dû au soutien que le Qatar apporte aux Frères Musulmans dans la région. Mais il y a plus: Ryad voit d’un très mauvais oeil ce petit émirat du Qatar qui tente de devenir une puissance régionale, alors qu’il n’a qu’une superficie de 11.000 km2 et n’a que 1,7 million d’habitants (dont seulement 250.000 Qataris). Le “New York Times” écrit: “Ce sont surtout les monarques saoudiens qui manifestent leur mauvaise humeur depuis des années parce que le petit Qatar se donne les allures d’un poids lourd. Il utilise ses immenses richesses et la chaîne Al-Jazeera, qui lui appartient, pour asseoir sa puissance dans la région”.

En effet, le petit émirat du Golfe ne passe plus inaperçu sur la scène internationale. En mai 2011, Doha parvient à intercéder en faveur d’un processus de paix au Darfour, réunissant autour de la table de négociations le gouvernement soudanais et les insurgés. En mai 2008 déjà, le Qatar avait oeuvré pour débloquer la situation au Liban et pour permettre que se tiennent des élections présidentielles. Ensuite, Doha favorise les processus de pacification dans les conflits civils qui ravagent le Yémen ou la Somalie et offre ses services diplomatiques pour calmer le jeu dans le conflit frontalier qui oppose l’Ethiopie à l’Erythrée. Dans la guerre civiles syrienne, le Qatar soutient une partie des rebelles islamistes opposés au régime baathiste de Bachar El-Assad.

Le déploiement de la puissance diplomatique qatarie a été rendu possible par trois facteurs, selon l’analyste russe Roman Kot, lié au centre d’études “Strategic Culture Foundation”. D’abord 1), le Qatar table sur ses exportations de gaz naturel qui ont quintuplé depuis le début des années 1990. En 2011, selon les rapports de la CIA, le Qatar était le deuxième fournisseur de gaz naturel dans le monde, avec une capacité de 113,7 milliards de m3. Le Cheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani peut voir l’avenir avec confiance: ses réserves de gaz s’élèvent à 25,2 billions de m3, ce qui le place au rang trois dans le monde.

q2_deb5d11-300x225.jpgEnsuite 2) la chaîne Al Jazeera, d’après Kot, permet de déployer un instrument très performant pour diffuser une propagande appuyant systématiquement, dans tout le monde arabe, la politique étrangère poursuivie par Doha. En effet, Al Jazeera est considérée “comme un gros calibre dans la guerre de l’information qui a précédé et accompagné les printemps arabes”. Enfin 3) le Qatar abrite deux bases américaines et se réjouit d’être ainsi un partenaire important des Etats-Unis. [NDT: La  présence de ces bases rend le territoire qatari inviolable].

Roman Kot décrit la politique extérieure du Qatar comme “un nouveau modèle d’expansion, par lequel une orientation générale pro-occidentale fusionne avec un traditionalisme rigoriste ce qui a pour résultat que les puissances occidentales et surtout les Etats-Unis font désormais confiance à des groupes fondamentalistes voire à des organisations terroristes [soutenues par l’argent qatari]”. Le Qatar représente donc un mixte idéologique alliant l’islam wahhabite au panarabisme, ce qui lui confère un “potentiel agressif”.

Mais lorsque le Qatar perçoit un avantage géostratégique différent de ceux des Occidentaux, il n’hésite pas à agir contre les intérêts directs de Washington. Exemple: en 2011, les Qataris ont certes apporté leur soutien aux attaques aériennes occidentales contre la Libye, afin de provoquer en bout de course la chute de Khadafi. Ce soutien à l’agression occidentale contre la Libye n’a toutefois pas empêché Doha de soutenir les Frères Musulmans et d’autres mouvements islamistes analogues dans les pays arabes en crise ou dans la guerre civile syrienne. Le journaliste américain Anthony Shadid, aujourd’hui décédé et détenteur du Prix Pulitzer, écrivait fin 2011: “Contrairement à l’Arabie saoudite et aux Emirats Arabes Unis, le Qatar entretient des liens étroits avec les Frères Musulmans et leurs émanations en Libye, en Syrie et en Egypte”.

Le conflit larvé qui vient d’éclater début mars 2014 au sein du “Conseil de Coopération du Golfe” a pour motif principal la rivalité qui oppose Saoudiens et Qataris dans leur volonté de gagner en influence en Egypte. Le Qatar a soutenu le Président Mohammed Morsi, renversé en juillet 2013, à coups de milliards de dollars. L’Arabie saoudite et les EAU tentent aujourd’hui de soutenir le régime militaire du Caire, également à coups de milliards de dollars.

Le Qatar, par suite, tente d’inverser la vapeur et de torpiller les visées saoudiennes. Le “Washington Post” écrit à ce propos: “Au cours des huit derniers mois, le Qatar a accueilli un nombre croissant d’islamistes égyptiens contraints à l’exil et leur a permis d’utiliser Al Jazeera comme porte-voix pour lancer leur rhétorique hostile au régime militaire égyptien, ce qui a rendu furieux celui-ci et ses alliés du Golfe”. La rivalité entre les deux Etats islamistes rigoristes de la péninsule arabique a fait que l’Arabie soudite soutient dorénavant un régime séculier au Caire!

A tout cela s’ajoute que les deux protagonistes de ce nouveau conflit cultivent des opinions divergentes quant à l’Iran. Tandis que Doha perçoit l’Iran comme une menace gérable, les Saoudiens le perçoivent comme un danger existentiel. Cela mène Washington à une position inconfortable. Le “New York Times” l’explique: “...les tensions internes (au Golfe) amèneront Washington dans une position toujours plus difficile quand il s’agira de calmer les gouvernement nerveux d’Arabie Saoudite et des EAU pour qu’ils ne sabotent pas les négociations entamées par les Etats-Unis avec Téhéran sur le programme nucléaire iranien”. Qui plus est, l’incident diplomatique imprévu qu’est le retrait des ambassadeurs en poste à Doha n’autorise plus l’espoir de coordonner les efforts contradictoires des uns et des autres, notamment quand il s’agit de renforcer les rebelles syriens. Voilà encore un “projet occidental” qui ne pourra plus se concrétiser.

Bernhard TOMASCHITZ.

(article paru dans “zur Zeit”, Vienne, n°12/2014, http://www.zurzeit.at ).

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

Egypt Vs. The Muslim Brotherhood – Preventing the Next Syria

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Egypt Vs. The Muslim Brotherhood – Preventing the Next Syria

The sentencing of over 500 Muslim Brotherhood members to death in Cairo – many in absentia – for their role in the attack, torture, and murder of an Egyptian policeman is the culmination of an all encompassing security crackdown across Egypt. The move has created a chilling effect that has left the otherwise violent mobs of the Muslim Brotherhood silent and the streets they generally terrorize, peaceful and empty.

The move by the Egyptian courts has attracted the predictable condemnation of the US State Department. The Washington Post’s article, “Egyptian court sentences 529 people to death,” quoted US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf as claiming the US was “deeply concerned,” and “shocked.” She also claimed that the move “defied logic.”

The move was, however, exceptionally logical.

While the US continues to feign support for the government in Cairo, it was fully behind the so-called “Arab Spring,” the Muslim Brotherhood-led regime of Mohamed Morsi that came to power in its wake, its mobs in the streets, and the networks of NGOs inside Egypt supporting and defending their activities.

How Egypt Got Here 

Egypt’s current turmoil is a direct result of the 2011 so-called “Arab Spring.” While nations like Libya lie in ruins with the “revolution” a “success” and the Libyan people now subjugated by pro-Western proxies, and Syria as it continues to fight on in a costly 3 year conflict that has cost tens of thousands of lives, Egypt has taken a different path.

When violent mobs began inching Egypt toward violence of Libyan and Syrian proportions, the Egyptian military, who has been the primary brokers of power in Egypt for decades, bent with the winds of change. Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power and the military tolerated the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood itself into power. However, before they did so, they laid the groundwork for its eventual undoing.

The military leadership bid its time patiently, waiting for the right moment to unseat the Brotherhood and swiftly shatter its networks politically and militarily. It was a masterstroke that has so far saved Egypt from the same fate suffered by other nations still burning in the chaos unleashed by the “Arab Spring.”

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Resurrection 

The Muslim Brotherhood is a faux-theocratic sectarian extremist movement – a regional movement that transcends national borders. It is guilty sowing decades of violent discord not only in Egypt, but across the Arab World and it has remained a serious threat to secular, nationalist states from Algeria to Syria and back again. It is the factor of chaos of choice by the West and its regional collaborators, who generously fund it, arm it, and provide it with a steady stream of political recognition.

Today, the Western press decries Egyptian and Syrian efforts to curb these sectarian extremists, particularly in Syria where the government was accused of having “massacred” armed Brotherhood militants in Hama in 1982. The constitutions of secular Arab nations across Northern Africa and the Middle East, including the rewritten Syrian Constitution, have attempted to exclude sectarian political parties, especially those with “regional” affiliations to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda affiliated political movements from ever coming into power.

And while specter of sectarian extremists taking power in Egypt or Syria may seem like an imminent threat to Western (including Israeli) interests – it in reality is a tremendous boon.

Despite a long campaign of feigned anti-American, anti-Israeli propaganda during the Egyptian presidential run-up, the Muslim Brotherhood had joined US, European, and Israeli calls for “international” intervention in Syria. Egypt had also broken off diplomatic relations with Syria in an attempt to further isolate the nation – however these ties wererestored almost immediately after Morsi was finally ousted from power.

The Syrian Connection 

To understand the Muslim Brotherhood’s designs in Egypt, one must first understand the Brotherhood’s role in the West’s proxy war against Syria. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Syrian affiliates have been funneling weapons, cash, and foreign fighters into Syria to fight Wall Street, London, Riyadh, Doha, and Tel Aviv’s proxy war since 2011. The Brotherhood had prepared for this role since at least as early as 2007.

In Reuters ‘May 6, 2012 article titled, “Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood rise from the ashes,” it stated:

“Working quietly, the Brotherhood has been financing Free Syrian Army defectors based in Turkey and channeling money and supplies to Syria, reviving their base among small Sunni farmers and middle class Syrians, opposition sources say.”

The Muslim Brotherhood was nearing extinction in Syria before the latest unrest, and while Reuters categorically fails in its report to explain the “how” behind the Brotherhood’s resurrection, it was revealed in a 2007 New Yorker article titled, “The Redirection” by Seymour Hersh.

The Brotherhood was being directly backed by the US and Israel who were funneling support through the Saudis so as to not compromise the “credibility” of the so-called “Islamic” movement. Hersh revealed that members of the Lebanese Saad Hariri clique, then led by Fouad Siniora, had been the go-between for US planners and the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.

Hersh reports the Lebanese Hariri faction had met Dick Cheney in Washington and relayed personally the importance of using the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria in any move against the ruling government:

“[Walid] Jumblatt then told me that he had met with Vice-President Cheney in Washington last fall to discuss, among other issues, the possibility of undermining Assad. He and his colleagues advised Cheney that, if the United States does try to move against Syria, members of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood would be “the ones to talk to,” Jumblatt said.”

The article would continue by explaining how already in 2007, US and Saudi backing had begun benefiting the Brotherhood:

“There is evidence that the Administration’s redirection strategy has already benefitted the Brotherhood. The Syrian National Salvation Front is a coalition of opposition groups whose principal members are a faction led by Abdul Halim Khaddam, a former Syrian Vice-President who defected in 2005, and the Brotherhood. A former high-ranking C.I.A. officer told me, “The Americans have provided both political and financial support. The Saudis are taking the lead with financial support, but there is American involvement.” He said that Khaddam, who now lives in Paris, was getting money from Saudi Arabia, with the knowledge of the White House. (In 2005, a delegation of the Front’s members met with officials from the National Security Council, according to press reports.) A former White House official told me that the Saudis had provided members of the Front with travel documents.
Jumblatt said he understood that the issue was a sensitive one for the White House. “I told Cheney that some people in the Arab world, mainly the Egyptians”—whose moderate Sunni leadership has been fighting the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood for decades—“won’t like it if the United States helps the Brotherhood. But if you don’t take on Syria we will be face to face in Lebanon with Hezbollah in a long fight, and one we might not win.”

Syria’s Chaos is a Warning of Egypt’s Possible Future 

While the US decries the recent court decision in Cairo – sentencing over 500 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to death – claiming the move “defies logic,” considering what the Brotherhood laid the groundwork for in Syria, the Egyptian government has made a very logical move.  Appeasement, accommodation, and leniency were already tried both in Libya and Syria.

One must consider Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi and his release of prisoners hailing from Al Qaeda’s Libyan franchise, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) in 2008. Among them was Abdel-Hakim Belhaj who upon his release would simply return to the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, raise an army of Western-armed terrorists, and go on to overthrow Qaddafi, decimate the nation, and plunge Libya into a sectarian bloodbath that is still raging to this day.

The same destabilization, step-by-step that was carried out in 2011 in Syria and Libya is now being carried out in Egypt and once again through sectarian extremist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood. Legions of terrorists are waiting in Egypt’s Sinai region for the Brotherhood to lay the groundwork in Egypt’s population centers so that they can be infiltrated and destroyed, just as has been done in Syria and Libya.  And behind it all is the West, desperately trying to dislodge the Egyptian military from power with a combination of unpalatable carrots and broken sticks.

The West has often expressed its desire to see the Egyptian military cut down to size, and removed entirely as a political power broker, just as has been done in Turkey. This is best articulated by Saudi Arabia’s Al Monitor, a clearinghouse for Western political spin, in its article, “Egypt’s Second Revolution a Blow to Turkey,” which states (emphasis added):

The Egyptian army considers Turkey’s Justice and Development Party to be a political rival and an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood. Moreover, the Egyptian military establishment views the Turkish model of limiting the power of Turkey’s military establishment by means of an alliance with Washington as a model that threatens the presence and interests of the Egyptian army.

Other US foreign policy think tanks and editorial columns are awash with comparisons between Egypt and Turkey and how Egypt can be transformed through the elimination of its politically influential military into a proxy state more like Turkey – a NATO member permanently bent to the will of Wall Street, London, and the European Union.

While the West attempts to portray the Egyptian government as “brutal,” it is clear the West’s designs for Egypt are nothing short of absolute brutality – the same absolute brutality that has left Libya and Syria’s cities in ruins, tens of thousands dead, and millions more either maimed, displaced, or otherwise affected by strife that has now lasted over 3 years in both nations.

The Egyptian military’s lightning fast moves to shatter the Muslim Brotherhood’s networks has for now thwarted a foreign-driven, armed, and dangerous attempt to subvert Egypt’s stability. It is a model that had Syria or Libya followed, tens of thousands of lives could have been spared, and the lives of millions more left unscathed by years of bloodshed and war.

For those who understand geopolitical developments with little hindsight and absolutely no foresight, condemning Egypt’s moves are easy. For those that remember Libya, see Syria, and can foresee Egypt with its larger population joining them in protracted armed conflict – today’s seemingly “brutal” efforts to stem the Muslim Brotherhood and the conspiracy they are playing a willful role in, are reasonable steps to prevent a much more brutal and tragic future.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.

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”.

lundi, 24 mars 2014

Lavrov alerte les Algériens et met en garde les Tunisiens

Lavrov alerte les Algériens et met en garde les Tunisiens

Ex: http://www.tunisie-secret.com

La Russie hausse le ton. On ne touchera pas à l'Algérie, avertit Sergueï Lavrov, ministre des Affaires étrangères de la Russie, qui, soit-dit en passant, a été accueilli à Tunis avec le drapeau Serbe, une bourde de la diplomatie tunisienne qui ne sait plus faire la différence entre un drapeau russe et un drapeau serbe. La conspiration contre l’Algérie n’est plus un secret pour personne. Tout est prêt pour déstabiliser ce pays coincé entre une Tunisie sous mandat islamo-atlantiste, un Maroc sous influence israélienne, et une Libye en voie d’afghanisation. A Tunis, les cinq conditions sont réunies pour mener à bien ce plan anti-algérien : la base militaire américaine qui se trouve à un vol d’oiseau des frontières algériennes, le siège de Freedom House qui est la pépinière des cybers-collabos, les rats palestiniens du Hamas qui ont creusé des dizaines de tunnels aux frontières tuniso-algériennes, la mini armée de djihadistes tunisiens, algériens, libyens et tchétchènes disséminés en Tunisie, et les cellules dormantes d’Al-Qaïda. TS.


Lavrov alerte les Algériens et met en garde les Tunisiens
En visite éclair en Tunisie, il y a quelques jours, le ministre russe des Affaires étrangères, Sergueï Lavrov, a soutenu lors de sa visite, il y a quelques jours à Tunis, que des «parties étrangères» veulent mettre l'Algérie à feu et à sang à travers la commercialisation d'un printemps algérien. Sans les nommer, le diplomate russe a ajouté que ces mêmes parties «ont ouvert plusieurs fronts près des frontières algériennes depuis la Libye, la Tunisie et le Mali». Etant des alliés traditionnels, M.Lavrov a notamment réitéré le soutien de son pays à l'Algérie. Le chef de la diplomatie russe a dévoilé, lors de son passage en Tunisie, que l'Algérie est devenue la cible des instigateurs et autres fomenteurs qui insistent pour y écrire le dernier épisode d'un supposé printemps arabe. Aussi, a-t-il mis en garde les autorités algériennes contre les instigateurs de ce qu'on appelle «printemps arabe».

Le ministre russe des AE incrimine directement ceux qui ont été à l'origine des bouleversements provoqués délibérément en Tunisie, en Libye et au Mali, d'où parvient la plus grande menace contre l'Algérie. Il estime que les conspirateurs du nouvel ordre mondial établissent leurs plans à base d'une politique d'influence en misant sur les minorités populaires et les réseaux terroristes.

Cependant, cette menace soulignée par Moscou n'est pas nouvelle pour les services de renseignements algériens, pas une menace qu'ignorent les services de renseignements algériens. Soumis à une très forte pression depuis le début de la guerre civile en Libye, les forces de sécurité algériennes ont misé sur leur expérience acquise sur le terrain de la lutte antiterroriste. En un temps relativement court, des milliers d'informations et de témoignages de première main ont été analysés et recoupés par les services du DRS engagés dans une course contre la montre contre tous genres de menaces, notamment des groupuscules criminels nés à l'ombre d'une crise libyenne qui aura servi de catalyseur au mouvement jihadiste. Un mouvement relativisé et parfois banalisé par l'ensemble des parties entrées en guerre contre le régime d'El Gueddafi, dont la France, la Grande-Bretagne et les USA. Dans leur banque de renseignements les services de sécurité ont réussi à identifier des réseaux nouvellement constitués composés de Marocains et de Libyens.

L'arrestation de plusieurs agents du Mossad en Algérie en est la preuve tangible. Ne jugeant pas nécessaire de dévoiler le véritable scénario programmé contre l'Algérie, des sources très au fait du contexte confient que l'Algérie constitue «un terreau fertile» pour les grands appétits occidentaux. Le rapport du département d'Etat américain sur les droits de l'homme qui épingle paradoxalement l'Algérie et l'analyse du Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) de l'Académie militaire de West Point qui a mis sous la loupe tout ce qui se passe dans le sud de l'Algérie, prétextant que cette région névralgique de l'économie du pays, serait l'épicentre d'un éclatement populaire à cause de la marginalisation des minorités, ne peuvent être considérés que comme une introduction aux véritables visées des Occidentaux.

Une perception initiatrice de ce qui se prépare. «L'Algérie est-elle dans le collimateur des USA?» s'interrogeait L'Expression dans l'une de ses précédentes éditions! La réponse a été révélée dans les colonnes du Los Angeles Times. Le journal rapporte que «des troupes de forces spéciales américaines se sont installées en Tunisie». Cette présence dont nous avons fait foi, mais démentie par les autorités tunisiennes est justifiée, souligne le même organe de presse par le fait «d'entretenir les forces militaires tunisiennes en matière de lutte contre le terrorisme».

Les marines dont le nombre serait d'une cinquantaine ont pris position au sud de la Tunisie à un vol d'oiseau des frontières algériennes depuis le mois de janvier 2014. «Un avion de type hélicoptère s'y est installé aussi», précise encore le Los Angeles Times. Ce n'est que l'aspect visible de l'iceberg et de l'énorme stratégie de guerre annoncée contre l'Algérie.

En effet, depuis la fin de l'année précédente, des informations vérifiées font état d'une forte présence d'agents des services de renseignement américains et d'agents de l'Africom dans le Sud tunisien. Jalouse de sa souveraineté, l'Algérie avait agi en un temps record pour libérer plus de 600 otages tout en sécurisant le périmètre. L'Unité spéciale appelée à mener l'opération avait impressionné le monde entier par son professionnalisme! Même si les USA prétextent leur mobilisation en Afrique pour une coordination de lutte contre le terrorisme et pour préserver leurs intérêts, il est tout de même difficile de ne pas croire que les USA n'ont pas un intérêt pour une partie de l'Algérie dont les réserves de gaz de schiste, de gaz conventionnel et d'autres minéraux comme l'uranium. Des clans complaisants sont déjà sur le terrain pour la mise en marche de la locomotive de déstabilisation.

L’Expression algérien, du 12 mars 2014. 

dimanche, 23 mars 2014

« Printemps algérien » en vue, une catastrophe pour la France ?

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«Printemps algérien» en vue, une catastrophe pour la France?

par Gabriel Robin
Ex: http://www.bvoltaire.fr
 
Si un conflit civil grave émergeait outre-Méditerranée, on peut sans peine imaginer que de nombreux Algériens fuiraient leur pays pour tenter de s’installer en France.

Abdelaziz Bouteflika brigue un quatrième mandat consécutif de président algérien. Âgé de 77 ans, l’homme est usé, une véritable momie qui ne se déplace plus qu’en fauteuil roulant suite à un accident vasculaire cérébral en 2013. Il bénéficie de l’appui des deux principaux partis politiques algériens, le FLN historique (Front de libération national) et le RND (Rassemblement national démocratique, représentant la majorité au Sénat). Cette oligarchie gérontocratique, dans laquelle les richesses et le pouvoir sont détenus par une caste dirigeante et consanguine, semble secouée à son tour par les convulsions qui ont agité son voisin tunisien et, bien sûr, l’Égypte. L’Algérie n’est pas une dictature au sens propre, la presse bénéficie d’une liberté relative, mais il s’agit bien d’un régime autoritaire.

L’Algérie a, pour l’instant, été « épargnée » par les mouvements des « printemps arabes ». Le directeur de la campagne d’Abdelaziz Bouteflika, le Premier ministre Abelmalek Sellal, déclarait même que « le printemps arabe est un moustique. Nous avons pu fermer la porte pour qu’il n’entre pas » ; alors que, dans le même temps, des affrontements communautaires opposaient ethnies berbères et arabes dans la ville de Ghardaïa, provoquant le décès de trois personnes. La situation est donc particulièrement tendue, et on peut avancer, sans trop se mouiller, que la configuration présente peut conduire à des troubles majeurs, voire à des conflits violents. Trois partis politiques ont d’ailleurs appelé à boycotter l’élection présidentielle et à manifester, estimant que celle-ci est une parodie d’élection libre.

Ces événements concernent au plus haut point la France : en effet, notre pays est historiquement lié à l’Algérie et nombre de personnes légalement françaises possèdent la double nationalité algérienne ou de la famille toujours « au pays ». Si un conflit civil grave émergeait outre-Méditerranée, on peut sans peine imaginer que de nombreux Algériens fuiraient leur pays pour tenter de s’installer en France. Chaque année, des milliers de ressortissants algériens souhaitent entrer en France et obtenir des « papiers » français. Mais avec une déstabilisation politique, le phénomène n’irait qu’en s’intensifiant lourdement. Nous nous retrouverions alors confrontés à un véritable exode, avec une arrivée massive de réfugiés politiques et de clandestins opportunistes, ainsi qu’une multiplication des mariages gris ou blancs.

Disons le tout net, la France n’est pas en mesure d’accueillir un nouveau flux d’immigration maghrébine, quand nous ne parvenons déjà pas à correctement intégrer ou assimiler ceux qui se trouvent ici. Nous avons pourtant toutes les raisons de craindre que le gouvernement ne sera pas capable de l’empêcher. Tant pour des raisons idéologiques que pratiques.

Pour les Français, un « printemps algérien » serait catastrophique…

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

Algérie : ça va mal finir

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Algérie : ça va mal finir

Tout le monde ne parle que de la crise Ukraine-Russie, mais il faut se pencher sur ce qui se passe en Algérie. On critique beaucoup M. Poutine, figure emblématique du tyran pour un Occident auto satisfait, mais on semble négliger le régime algérien, ubuesque, incompétent, oligarchique. Avec lequel pourtant la France entretient les meilleures relations, à la limite de la servilité, n’osant pas émettre contre lui la moindre critique (1).

Le 17 avril, le président Bouteflika, 77 ans, rendu impotent par un AVC, se présente pour un 4e mandat, après 15 ans de pouvoir. Évidemment, il ne pourra pas gouverner, mais il est la marionnette d’un clan, ou plutôt de plusieurs. L’Algérie danse sur une poudrière. Le 15 avril, une manifestation a eu lieu à Alger, avec le mouvement ”Barakat” (”Ça suffit !”), dénonçant une mascarade électorale. Dans le même temps, éclataient à Ghardaïa, à 600 km au sud de la capitale, des affrontements interethniques très violents. Ils opposaient les Mozabites (Berbères) et les Châambas (Arabes). Il y eut plus de 100 blessés graves et des pillages ou incendies de commerces et de maisons berbères. Ce n’est qu’un début.  L’Algérie se dirige vers une très grave crise.

Une nouvelle guerre civile couve, avec trois types d’antagonisme : 1) Islamistes contre laïcs ; 2) Berbères contre Arabes ; 3) luttes de pouvoir au sein de l’appareil d’État, impliquant le FLN, le RND et l’Armée. Depuis son indépendance, l’Algérie, qui aurait pu être la Californie de l’Afrique du Nord, est un pays de malheur. En dépit de ses ressources primaires pétro-gazières qui sont techniquement gérées par des Occidentaux et qui amènent à l’Algérie la majorité de ses devises, ce pays n’a su développer aucun secteur économique national performant. Le chômage y est endémique, la pauvreté persistante, la bureaucratie pachydermique. À l’inverse des pays d’Asie. Il y a donc bien un problème intrinsèque à ces populations. 

 Tout le monde le sait et le murmure mais personne n’ose le dire : du temps de la présence française, les populations d’Algérie vivaient bien mieux qu’aujourd’hui. D’ailleurs, l’importance de l’immigration des Algériens en France témoigne de leur fuite hors de leur propre pays pour venir vivre chez l’ancienne puissance coloniale. C’est à la fois une schizophrénie (ils restent nationalistes algériens tout en détestant le régime de leur pays) et un terrible aveu d’impuissance.

En Algérie, ça va éclater. Une guerre civile, extrêmement compliquée (comme dans tous les pays arabo-musulmans et de l’arc proche-oriental), se prépare. La raison profonde en est une instabilité psycho-ethnique de ces populations, incapables de vivre dans l’harmonie. L’islam ne fait qu’aggraver les choses. La même chose se remarque en Amérique du Sud, zone d’intenses mélanges  ethniques : mais elle est géopolitiquement décentrée, donc  de bien moindre importance que le Maghreb et le Proche Orient.

Pour ne rien arranger, la Libye voisine sombre dans le chaos : effondrement de la production pétrolière, délitement de l’État, éclatement du pays en zones néo-tribales, montée des affrontements, installation de bases armées islamistes. Bravo à ceux qui ont aidé à renverser le régime de Kadhafi. Quant à la Tunisie, les suites du ”printemps arabe”, véritable duperie, s’annoncent sous de très mauvaises augures. (2)

La prédiction que l’on peut faire, c’est que l’Algérie présente de grands risques de s’embraser, encore plus violemment que dans les années 90. Avec, à ses portes la Tunisie et la Libye, elles aussi menacées d’incendie. Et, partout en embuscade, l’islamisme. Pour la France, qui comporte de très nombreuses communautés originaires de l’Algérie et du Maghreb, la nouvelle est inquiétante et les conséquences peuvent être gravissimes. 

Notes:

(1) Deux causes : la mauvaise conscience coloniale de la repentance, fabriquée par les idéologies de gauche, et la présence en France de populations d’origine algérienne qu’il faut ménager.

(2) Pour l’instant, à part le Maroc et les monarchies du Golfe (qui sont toutes des autocraties héréditaires), tous les pays arabo-musulmans, Algérie, Tunisie, Libye, Égypte, Syrie, Liban, Irak sont dans une situation explosive. À l’échelle du monde, 80 % des pays où l’islam est majoritaire ou très présent connaissent un état endémique d’instabilité pouvant dégénérer à tout moment. 

lundi, 17 mars 2014

UN says Libya is Fueling Wars: Gulf and Western Powers Should be Held Accountable

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UN says Libya is Fueling Wars: Gulf and Western Powers Should be Held Accountable

Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

European Union powers and America are currently lambasting the Russian Federation over actions taken in Crimea while people are dying daily in Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Syria – and other nations – based on the destabilization policies of major Gulf and Western powers (Pakistan destabilized itself). Serbians and Africans of course are sent to criminal courts while the nations that have killed in the millions based on destabilization policies literally get away with murder. Even the United Nations can’t cover-up the mess of America, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Therefore, Libya is free of Colonel Gaddafi but to hell with the collapse of the nation state just like in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Reuters reports: “U.N. experts say Libya has become a primary source of illicit weapons, including shoulder-fired missiles, which have been trafficked to at least 14 countries and are fueling conflicts on several continents, Rwanda’s U.N. envoy said on Monday.”

However, does the report go deep enough? After all, it is clear that Gulf and Western powers have utilized Libya in order to send military arms to various terrorist and sectarian forces against the government of Syria. Indeed, NATO Turkey along the border with Syria is a Takfiri and al-Qaeda paradise while weapons pour in via Libya and other sources. Of course, Gulf and Western covert operatives continue to play their part in helping various terrorist and sectarian forces in Syria. Therefore, while Libya may be at the centerpiece of the UN report it is clear that other sinister forces are also at play.

Eugene Gasana, chairperson of the findings by the United Nations Security Council’s Libya sanctions committee, says “The panel noted that the control of non-state armed actors over the majority of stockpiles in Libya as well as ineffective border control systems remained primary obstacles to countering proliferation and that Libya had become a primary source of illicit weapons, including MANPADs.”

“The panel furthermore noted that investigations relating to transfers to 14 countries reflected a highly diversified range of trafficking dynamics; and that trafficking from Libya was fueling conflict and insecurity – including terrorism – on several continents.”

In other words, powerful Gulf and Western powers have enabled various terrorist and anti-government forces to flourish in at least 14 nations based on their destabilization policies in Libya. Therefore, vast numbers of people have perished because of the policies of America, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Kingdom. These nations not only helped to destroy Libya whereby various militias cleansed black Africans and slaughtered individuals deemed to be pro-Gaddafi; but the same nations also used ratlines in Croatia, Kosovo (Albanian led Kosovo) and in Libya (and other nations) in order to destabilize Syria.

If the Russian Federation is serious about standing up to nations that are meddling throughout the world; then why not use several UN findings to charge past and current leaders in major Gulf and Western nations? Of course, this may sound idealistic but until powerful nations are held accountable for the deaths of untold numbers then nothing will change. In other words, after Syria it will be another nation – and then after the next nation, it will be another nation.

The pattern is now abundantly clear and this applies to collective chaos; destabilization; the reduction in the rights of women; religious minorities fleeing; terrorism; and often sectarianism.  In modern day Kosovo it is clear that Orthodox Christians can’t travel freely without armed protection; in Iraq this nation is a failed state whereby sectarianism and terrorism is an ongoing nightmare; Afghanistan is in turmoil and women have been put into the shadows; Libya is now a land based on various militias and increasingly religious minorities are being attacked and alienated; while Syria is now a free area for Takfiri terrorists, al-Qaeda groups and barbaric sectarian forces.

All the above means that vast numbers of people have been killed because of Gulf and Western meddling – Turkey and Pakistan are also involved when it comes to Syria and Afghanistan respectively. Indeed, Turkey, Gulf and Western powers have now started the second destabilization of Iraq based on destabilizing Syria and Lebanon is now extremely fragile. However, where are the war crimes against the usual players that utilize the mass media, slick private propaganda marketing agencies, so-called humanitarian agencies, manipulating the United Nations – and other sinister means that are available.

Gaddafi was brutally killed and his death sums up the inhumanity of nations that will use any means available to them. It matters not if people agreed with Gaddafi or not. Yet his death said much about what would happen to Libya based on the brutality unleashed against him. In time, the same chaos  would ultimately be unleashed throughout Libya whereby law is rendered redundant. Many years later and not only is Libya a failed state but now according to the UN it is a nation that is being manipulated in order to fund international conflicts. This is a million miles away from the mantra of democracy after the demise of Gaddafi.

Business Insider reports: “The administration has said that the previously hidden CIA operation in Benghazi involved finding, repurchasing and destroying heavy weaponry looted from Libyan government arsenals, but in October we reported evidence indicating that U.S. agents — particularly murdered ambassador Chris Stevens — were at least aware of heavy weapons moving from Libya to jihadist Syrian rebels.” 

“There have been several possible SA-7 spottings in Syria dating as far back as early summer 2012, and there are indications that at least some of Gaddafi’s 20,000 portable heat-seeking missiles were shipped before now.”

On Sept. 6 a Libyan ship carrying 400 tons of weapons for Syrian rebels docked in southern Turkey. The ship’s captain was “a Libyan from Benghazi” who worked for the new Libyan government. The man who organized that shipment, Tripoli Military Council head Abdelhakim Belhadj, worked directly with Stevens during the Libyan revolution.”

The above applies to 2012 and clearly since this period many deals are being done in shadows. Of course, the UN is fully aware of this but nothing is being done to hold nations accountable for their destabilization policies. Similarly, international criminal courts are just a witch-hunt against nations outside of the loop and to be held against individuals fighting on the wrong side. Therefore, vast numbers of people are dying every day in countless conflicts because of the collective policies of powerful Gulf and Western powers – alongside the respective deeds of Pakistan and Turkey.

http://www.businessinsider.com/obama-admin-admits-to-covertly-sending-heavy-weapons-to-syrian-rebels-2012-12#ixzz2vg72D8Rl

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/10/us-libya-crisis-un-idUSBREA291OV20140310

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

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

vendredi, 14 mars 2014

Lavia mediterranea

samedi, 08 mars 2014

Interview with Ruben Rosiers

Ruben Rosiers (27) is a Belgian citizen and activist of the "European Solidarity Front for Syria". Roseris studied Public Relations and works for a Flamish company.

"We support Syria!"

Interview with Ruben Rosiers

Ex: http://manuelochsenreiter.com

Ruben Rosiers (27) is a Belgian citizen and activist of the "European Solidarity Front for Syria". Rosiers studied Public Relations and works for a Flemish company.

Mr. Rosiers, you just came back from your trip to Syria on behalf of the “European Solidarity Front for Syria” (ESFS). Your organization was criticized in the past for supporting the “Syrian regime” by the mainstream media. What is the ESFS doing?

Rosiers: The ESFS are volunteers from whole Europe. We support the Syrians in their war to keep their independence, unity and sovereignty and against the western backed terrorism.

How do you “support the Syrians”?

Rosiers: In Europe we inform the public about the reality on the Syrian battleground. We are present in all the European countries; organize demonstrations together with the Syrians here. We cooperate with some alternative media as well. We also collect money to provide humanitarian help in Syria. As we are a pure independent volunteer organization we can guarantee that 100 percent of the donated money really arrives in Syria. We don´t have any bureaucratic infrastructure.

Your trip to Syria had the character of a “fact finding mission”...

Rosiers: Indeed.

One would say: “fact finding is not the job of volunteers but of journalists and politicians.”

Rosiers: This is not so wrong. But neither European journalists nor politicians do their job in a proper way. Of course there are exceptions. But generally, the information policy in whole Europe is a disaster. That makes the work of the ESFS so important!

What facts did you find in Syria?

Rosiers: I had many meetings in the capital Damascus; I spoke to politicians, clerics, soldiers, journalists and civilians. I had the opportunity to visit the Palestinian Yarmouk Camp in Damascus; I was in the city of Al-Nabk – where the people celebrated the Syrian Arab Army which liberated them from the terrorist gangs. I also visited the city Latakia.

You were in the Yarmouk camp? European mainstream media report it is besieged by the Syrian Army...

Rosiers: And here we are. I don´t think that any European mainstream journalist who writes such stories was recently there. The Yarmouk camp is like a little city in the city. Terrorist gangs were occupying parts of the camp, the Syrian government supported the Palestinian armed groups fighting against the terrorist forces. There is no “siege”. You can enter and leave the camp in the safe areas – and safety means always: controlled by the government and loyal Palestinian militias like the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). In the terrorist controlled areas the situation is really dangerous. Terrorist snipers shoot at everybody crossing the streets, a large part of the population left already the terrorist controlled sectors of the camp. By the way: We had also to leave the camp very quick again because of hostile sniper activities. The vast majority people in the camp stand with the Syrian government by the way – there is no doubt in that.

European media report about starvation in the camp...

Rosiers: The problem is that the terrorists tried to isolate the parts of the camps they controlled. The Syrian government provides food and medical help, but this is dangerous. Terrorist snipers shoot at them as well.

Ruben Rosiers and minister Ali Haidar (right)

Ruben Rosiers and minister Ali Haidar (right)

You met the Minister of State for National Reconciliation Affairs in Damascus. What did you talk about with Mr. Ali Haidar?

Rosiers: Mr. Haidar has maybe one of the most challenging jobs in Syria. National reconciliation is as important as difficult. His own son was killed by terrorist gangs in 2012. Mr. Haidar coordinates reconciliation talks between the different factions in Syria to find a peaceful solution. By the way, Mr. Haidar is not a Baath party member, he is oppositional himself. His SSNP party was banned for many years in Syria before it was legalized again. He knows about what he is talking. We discussed the reconciliation process, the next solidarity mission of the ESFS, the current political situation and the desire of the Syrian people for fast ending of the war. He also talked about the many kidnapped people and I had the chance to meet people who were looking for their kidnapped family members. You know that in Syria the terrorists even consider you a legal target if you are a postman? They consider you a “collaborator of the regime” and just kill, torture or kidnap you…

In Western media Ali Haidar doesn´t play any role...

Rosiers: Because he cooperates with the real opposition inside Syria and not with the foreign backed terrorists who destroy the country. This is a huge difference. Ali Haidar excludes extremists from the talks – this is why Western politics and media don´t give him any publicity.

In Al-Nabk you visited an Army celebration...

Rosiers: The people of Al-Nabk were celebrating the liberation of their city.

Mainstream media claim that those celebrations are propaganda acts by the Syrian government. They claim: The Syrians are forced to participate at those rallies.

Rosiers: Nobody was “forced” to participate. This was pure happiness that the horrible times of the terrorist control are over. The people wanted to thank the army that liberated Al-Nabk. Important to notice is that during the occupation of parts of the city by FSA and Al-Nusra, the residents of Al-Nabk didn’t flee but organized themselves to fight against the terrorists. Not a single person left the city! Nice detail, the majority of the city is Sunni Muslim - so there goes another myth the western media wants to keep alive…

You were also delivering a speech – what about?

Celebration in Al-Nabk: Liberation of the city

Celebration in Al-Nabk: Liberation of the city

Rosiers: This was really a spontaneous thing: I asked if I can give a message of solidarity – and some seconds later I spoke into the microphone. I told the Syrians that they shouldn´t confuse the European governments with the European peoples. I told the Syrians that we are with them despite of the wrong politics of our governments. The people were very happy about this unexpected message of solidarity.

Some critics claim that you are an “agent of the Syrian government” and that you are paid for the “solidarity”...

Manuel Ochsenreiter and Ruben Rosiers during a geopolitical conference in Bielefeld (2013)

Manuel Ochsenreiter and Ruben Rosiers during a geopolitical conference in Bielefeld (2013)

Rosiers: This is complete nonsense. Nobody pays us. We are a volunteer organization. My trip was paid completely by myself. Those rumors are spread to harm our credibility. And do you really think I would risk my life for some green paper in my pocket? Maybe this is hard to understand for capitalist and materialist people, but I just fight for what I believe in. Just like all the volunteers of the ESFS. If the Syrian government would ever offer me one dollar I would stop supporting them. They should use their money just to help the Syrian people!

If somebody wants to show solidarity with Syria and support the ESFS is it enough to press the “like”-button on Facebook?

Rosiers: This is a good start! But of course we are happy about any activist. As I said: We are all volunteers. We do our solidarity work because we really believe in our aims and not because we get paid or supported by state institutions or any NGOs. We are happy about every new volunteer in our rows! So please donate money, join our Facebook page, join our manifestations, spread the message and make the ESFS grow every day! Long live Syria!

Contact:

European Solidarity Front for Syria on Facebook

European Solidarity Front for Syria

jeudi, 06 mars 2014

De la guerre civile en Irak

irak-soldat-explosion-at.jpg

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 ).

mardi, 04 mars 2014

Europäische Dschihadisten in Syrien!

1700.jpg

Europäische Dschihadisten in Syrien!

Eine Folge der europäischen Einmischung?

von Prof. Dr. Albert A. Stahel, Institut für Strategische Studien, Wädenswil

Ex: http://www.zeit-fragen.ch

Gemäss europäischer Nachrichtendienste reisen immer mehr junge Moslems aus Europa nach Syrien und beteiligen sich am Krieg der Dschihadisten (Jabhat Nusra und Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS)) gegen das Assad-Regime. Gemäss offizieller Informationen aus London kämpfen bereits mehrere hundert Moslems aus Grossbritannien im syrischen Bürgerkrieg. Die Organisation, die in Grossbritannien junge Moslems für diesen Krieg anwirbt, nennt sich «the Lions of Britain».1 Vermutet wird, dass die Finsbury Park Mosque in London dabei eine aktive Rolle spielt. Die Rekruten fliegen anschliessend in die Türkei und infiltrieren von dort aus auf dem Landweg Syrien. Zahlenmässig übertrifft dieser Zustrom die Anzahl Dschihadisten, die früher nach Afghanistan und den Irak reisten. Dutzende von ihnen sollen bereits im syrischen Bürgerkrieg getötet worden sein.


Aus Frankreich sollen 700 junge Moslems nach Syrien gereist sein; sie kämpfen dort auf der Seite der Dschihadisten. Im Dezember 2013 erreichten insgesamt 2 000 Moslems aus dem westlichen Europa Syrien. Letzten Monat erklärte James R. Clapper Jr., der Chef der US-Nachrichtendienste, bei einer Anhörung vor dem Kongress, dass zum gegenwärtigen Zeitpunkt 7 000 fremde Kämpfer aus 50 Staaten im Krieg der syrischen Dschihadisten kämpfen würden.2


Scotland Yard beurteilt die Rückkehr dieser kampferprobten Kämpfer als eine Bedrohung für die Sicherheit Europas. 2013 wurden in Grossbritannien 24 «syrische Heimkehrer» verhaftet. Im Januar 2014 wurden bereits 24 Heimkehrer in Gewahrsam genommen. Das Counterterrorism Command von Scotland Yard befürchtet, dass diese Heimkehrer auf Grund ihrer Radikalisierung in Syrien für Anschläge in Grossbritannien rekrutiert werden könnten.
Durch die Parteinahme für die Gegner des Assad-Regimes und die Einmischung in den syrischen Bürgerkrieg haben sowohl Grossbritannien als auch Frankreich eine Büchse der Pandora geöffnet, ohne die Folgen ihrer Politik zu bedenken. Damit fördern sie möglicherweise die terroristische Bedrohung ihrer Staaten.    •

1    Witte, G.: Europeans are flocking to the war in Syria. What happens when they come home? In: Washington Post vom 30. Januar 2014
2    Witte, G.

Quelle: www.strategische-studien.com vom 17.2.2014

lundi, 03 mars 2014

The Partitioning of Iraq

iraq-partition.gif

The Partitioning of Iraq: Will the Country Remain on the Map?

Anton VESELOV

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

 
Recently news from Iraq has all but disappeared from the reports of world news agencies. As if on command, the largest Western media outlets have begun to strictly measure out coverage of events in this country. The multistage Iraqi scheme, which has required colossal expenses and huge casualties, is failing, and the situation is threatening to go completely out of control and progress in an entirely different direction than that which was scripted.

The occupation of Iraq in 2003 and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the Ba’ath party marked the beginning of massive repressions of those who had held more or less significant posts in the previous regime. However, soon minor functionaries began to be subject to persecution, and then ordinary citizens, mostly from among Sunnites. The ruling Shiite bloc of Nouri al-Maliki has conducted an openly discriminatory policy toward Sunnites throughout the years of its governance. More than once the state bureaucracy, the armed forces, the police and intelligence agencies have been purged of people who confess Sunni Islam. All attempts by various political forces, including on the parliamentary level, to start a dialog for the purpose of national harmony have been left unanswered by the authorities, and peaceful demonstrations all end the same way: with crackdowns and numerous casualties. Purges, raids and «preventative arrests» took on such proportions that a backlash was inevitable.

Over 9,000 people were killed in Iraq in 2013, and over 1000 in January 2014 alone. Propagandistic attempts to blame everything on the machinations of outside forces and hosts of foreign al-Qaeda insurgents are no longer working: it is becoming obvious that the country is in the grip of a civil war. It is becoming increasingly more violent and is sweeping over more and more regions of the country, increasing casualties and limiting possibilities to choose a future. 

Iraq is experiencing a very dramatic period in its history, when the disintegration of the country could become a reality at any moment. Iraqi Kurdistan is already essentially no longer under Baghdad's control and is self-sufficient, with almost all of the agencies, symbols and attributes of an independent state. The situation with regard to security in the provinces of Baghdad, Salah ad-Din, Ninawa, Diyala and several others is extremely tense; the armed conflicts and terrorist attacks which take place each month number in the triple digits. The situation has become most acute in the country's largest province by area, al-Anbar. Since December of last year fierce battles have been being fought there between the government forces, which in Iraq are called the «Shiite Militia of al-Maliki» and local Sunnite tribes who have despaired of gaining equal rights through peaceful means. 

On December 28, commando and army forces conducted yet another operation to wipe out the tent camps of protesters by force. Casualties were numerous. The next day a member of parliament from the al-Anbar province who tried to act as a mediator in negotiations with Baghdad was arrested, despite his parliamentary immunity; the legislator received gunshot wounds when his house was stormed, and his brother and four bodyguards were killed. Local sheikhs issued a call to arms. Support arrived from other provinces to aid their brothers in faith. A day later the army and police had been driven from many districts and the armed opposition had taken control of almost all of the al-Anbar province, including the provincial capital Ramadi and the large city of Fallujah, which in Iraq is glorified as «the stronghold of the spirit and the symbol of resistance» - American troops were only able to enter the city a year and a half after their «declaration of victory», having lost over 400 men in battle.

Despite the arrival of reinforcements (according to some reports, another 90,000 troops and policemen were deployed to the province), the many attempts by government forces, commando troops and the police to enter the cities did not meet with success, and in mid-January a siege began: the suburbs are completely blocked off, and residential neighborhoods are coming under intensive fire from artillery, tanks and helicopters. There have been numerous civilian casualties, but those who attempt to leave the battle zone cannot do so, as the bridges on the main highways which connect the cities with neighboring provinces have been blown up, and the back roads have been blocked by the army under the pretext of «preventing the spread of terrorism». The province is on the brink of a humanitarian disaster; On February 6 the head of the UN Mission in Iraq, Nikolai Mladenov, stated that international funds have started sending urgent deliveries of essential commodities to al-Anbar (the first delivery is to be enough for 45,000 people). On February 9 Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq appealed to the European Union to immediately send humanitarian aid to al-Anbar… 

On April 30 there are to be parliamentary elections in Iraq, after which there will probably be some changes. The country has come to a dead end. The parliament is dysfunctional; many members do not participate in sessions as a sign of protest against the government's policies, and the lack of a quorum makes it impossible to make decisions. The draft of the country's 2014 budget has not yet been discussed, and many other important bills are in limbo as well. A huge number of vitally important projects which have not been confirmed and have not received funding remain on paper, while the giant revenues from oil and gas go into accounts opened in the U.S. 

Many in Iraq have a good idea of where this money goes after that; that is why the Ministry of Finance's refusal to observe a law passed in 2013 which was to increase the amount allocated to provincial budgets for oil extracted there from $1 to $5 per barrel for 2014 caused a storm of protest among local authorities. Governors and provincial councils started actively developing coordinated measures for influencing the government. Judging by official statements, provincial leaders are determined and intend to get the draft budget for 2014 revised by any means available. 

On January 11 in al-Diwaniyah, al-Qadisiyyah province, the «Middle Euphrates Convention» was convened with the participation of the governors of five provinces; the convention demanded «the fair distribution of revenues in proportion to the population». On January 25 in Basra, the capital of Iraq's oil extraction, a conference was held with the participation of official representatives of eight oil and gas producing provinces, as well as the parliament's petroleum committee. The next day the governor of Basra, Majid al-Nasrawi, announced that he had filed suit against the Ministry of Finance for its violation of the 2013 law. It is worth noting that the Basra provincial council gave official permission to hold meetings and demonstrations condemning the actions of the country's government and urged everyone to work toward securing «the lawful rights of the residents of the province, which has the richest resources in the country but is at the bottom of the list with regard to prosperity».

According to many analysts, the personal authority, influence and political weight of Nouri al-Maliki and the State of Law Coalition he leads have dropped noticeably. Accusations of authoritarianism, wholesale corruption, inability to maintain security even in the center of the capital (the average number of terrorist attacks with human casualties in Baghdad has grown over the past three years from 70 to 110 per week), and a lack of desire to seek compromise, along with unceasing attempts to physically eliminate his opponents, all seriously reduce Nouri al-Maliki's chances to occupy the post of prime minister and supreme commander in chief for a third time.

Iraqi leaders over the past 10 years have behaved like favored minions. Many former functionaries of the «new democratic government» have already found refuge in prestigious areas of London, starting with the first Minister of Defense, Hazim al-Shaalan (who was once accused of stealing one and a half billion dollars in just the first year in his post). Many current officials have also foresightedly acquired real estate there. According to data from the parliamentary anti-corruption committee, the amount of money embezzled from the treasury and sent abroad is approaching 200 billion dollars.

Foreseeing developments which could be dangerous for them, the current authorities are seriously concerned about preserving the status quo (this is called «continuity of reforms») in order to prevent power from shifting into the hands of their opponents. Recently feverish attempts have been being made to get out of the crisis, including by generating rather unexpected initiatives.

For example, in Baghdad they have officially began talking about redrawing the administrative map of the country, increasing the number of provinces from 18 to 30. Their willingness to do this is supported by a number of official statements, one of which (dated January 21, on the formation of 4 new provinces) was unexpected even for the residents of the municipal district of Fallujah itself, to say nothing of the leadership of the al-Anbar province. The cunning of the idea of fragmentation is that it simultaneously accomplishes several aims, namely:

- dismembering «rebellious» provinces with mostly Sunnite populations while at the same time attempting to bring representatives of the tribes which have joined the Sahwa («Awakening») movement to power; in particular, it has already been decided to turn a number of municipal districts in the provinces of al-Anbar, Salah ad-Din and Ninawa into provinces;

- knocking some of the trumps out of the hands of the leaders of Iraqi Kurdistan by turning 4-5 municipal districts into separate provinces, which would lead to a reduction in the territory and population of the current autonomous region and a diminishing of its weight and influence on the country's political arena. And this regards not only the disputed territories in the provinces of Wasit, Diyala, Ninawa and Kirkuk, but also the «traditionally Kurdish» Dohuk and as-Sulaymaniyyah;

- changing the overall alignment of forces in the country by putting loyal people into the leadership of the newly formed provinces. At the municipal elections in 2013 the ruling coalition lost gubernatorial posts even in such strategically important provinces as Baghdad and Basra, retaining fewer than half of the gubernatorial seats, and that with restrictions.

However, considering the weakness of the state machinery and the growing centrifugal tendencies of the local authorities, the process could get out of control, and the repartitioning of territories could bring about the opposite effect, causing entire regions to split off and create autonomous regions (following the example of Kurdistan). For example, the governor of the Ninawa province has already stated that if practical steps are taken to split municipal districts off from the province as has been announced, all efforts will be made to turn the province into an autonomous territory. This statement received widespread support, including from the oil-rich South. In the provinces of Basra and Maysan there have already been demonstrations in support of giving the status of provinces to several municipal districts, including those located in oil-producing regions, with the subsequent formation of a «Southern Confederacy» on the model of Kurdistan.

Today practically all the conditions have been created for the transformation of Iraq into a federative state with dozens of provinces grouped into 3-4 autonomous territories (tentatively Shiite, Kurdish and Sunnite ones) on the basis of tribal connections, religious affinity and economic interests, with severe restriction of the powers of the Center.

Outwardly such a program seems difficult to implement; in order to legislatively formalize such decisions there will need to be parliamentary conciliatory commissions, committees, secondary legislation, etc., to say nothing of amendments to the country's constitution. However, if one looks at the matter more attentively, the thought arises that perhaps that is the common interest of the key players who are influencing developments.

The West, headed by the United States, as well as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and obviously Israel, have an interest in keeping Iraq from ever again rising to the position of a powerful regional state; they need it to remain a manageable supplier of high-quality petroleum with minimal costs for extraction and export, and also to serve as a bargaining chip in resolving problems of another order.

Most likely the future state structure of Iraq and the country's fate are being decided now not in Baghdad, but in back room negotiations between «very interested parties»... There have been many examples in the history of the Middle East where states appeared or disappeared from the political map during a game of bridge, and the borders between them were drawn with an ordinary ruler. In spite of all the technological achievements of the past decades, in geopolitics and geo-economics little has changed since then.

_________________________________ 

* The Sahwa movement was created by the U.S. in the beginning of the occupation by paying off tribal sheikhs in exchange for their non-resistance. Many Iraqis to this day see the members of Sahwa as traitors and collaborators, and they are one of the main targets of armed attacks.