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AUTHORITARIANISM AND DICTATORSHIP
#61
THREE QUESTIONS ON EGYPT : THREE RADICAL SCENARIOS AND ONE VIABLE OPTION

President Morsi has made many political miscalculations, but the opposition is divided and Egypt's deadlock persists.

Marwan Bishara is the senior political analyst at Al Jazeera.
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion...00626.html
Egypt's armed forces gave President Morsi an ultimatum to agree on a platform with rivals [Reuters]

How did Egypt descend into this dangerous political deadlock?

There are a number of reasons why Egypt has descended into this situation. First of all, the Muslim Brotherhood and its political wing, The Justice and Freedom Party, chose to govern alone without soliciting support from the wider political spectrum.

President Mohamed Morsi has made several major political miscalculations, including the pseudo-constitutional expansion of his presidential powers that was struck down by the supreme court; his establishment of a government made up mostly of Brotherhood members and their supporters; and lastly, his failure and that of the government to fulfill the minimum expectations that the people had for the revolution in 2011.

A second factor is the marginalisation of a whole cross-section of less-organised but equally popular groups such as seculars, liberals, leftists; and the alienation of women and youth from the decision-making process.

Despite attempts at dialogue between the president and the so-called coalition of major opposition forces or the National Salvation Front, mistrust and conflicting narratives about the aims of the revolution have eroded the relationship between these previous partners in the revolution to unseat Hosni Mubarak.

Third, the revolution failed to adequately deal with the old power centres and their business interests. In the process major sectors of the Egyptians who were associated with the old regime for pragmatic purposes were alienated, finding themselves out of the jobs, on the street and out of sync with the new Egypt.










Egyptian army issues 48-hour ultimatum


The lining up of the revolutionary forces and supporters of the old regime on the one side, versus the new president and his ruling party on the other, has worsened the problem and made it more difficult to ease tensions and redress grievances.

The failure of the various revolutionary forces - Islamists and secular, liberal and leftists, young and old, men and women - to form a collective transitional government, write up a new consensual constitution, and delineate a roadmap for transitioning to democracy meant that every major election or political decision became a source of friction between the two sides.

What's the state of play today?

Those opposing Brotherhood rule and calling for President Morsi's ousting (or for early elections) claim to lead a second revolution. On the other side, those supporting the president and the Brotherhood are accusing his detractors of crying foul and mounting a counter-revolution.

However, "new revolution" and "counter revolution" sound more like political slogans than representing the political reality of today's Egypt.

The demands for early elections by the ultra-religious Salafist Nour party, the second-largest bloc in the dissolved parliament, has further weakened the position of the Muslim Brotherhood. Likewise, the opposition forces have been exploited and compromised by the "reactionary forces" of the old regime who are trying to reverse the clock on the progress made over the two years under the banner of a second revolution.

Further complicating the situation is the recent intervention of the military. The armed forces made an implicit call asking both sides of the conflict to avoid escalating to violence, and later issued another more explicit ultimatum after the June 30 mass demonstrations calling for an end to the escalation within 48 hours. If this ultimatum is not fulfilled, the military has said it will intervene to end the violence and lead the country out of deadlock.

It remains to be seen how the new military pressure could affect the dangerous "clash of wills" between the ruling party and the opposition threatening civil disobedience. It's also unclear how the military is intending to interfere when Egyptians fill up the streets and public squares, and President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood show no sign of stepping down or aside.

Where is Egypt heading?

Egyptians speak of three dangerous, but to my mind unlikely, scenarios in the medium-term.




First scenario: the generals will use the credit they believe they earned by demonstrating that they are the true guardians of the nation - exemplified by when they walked out on former president Mubarak - to act more forcefully in political affairs in the future. However, any re-militarisation of the state following a return of the military and the imposition of new emergency laws to govern what seems to be ungovernable country following two years of revolution is unrealistic. It's not acceptable to the majority of Egyptians nor to the international community, especially among Egypt's supporters and creditors.

Second scenario: the Muslim Brotherhood will take radical action by either stepping down and out of politics, or claiming exceptional new authorities to rule in these exceptional times. President Morsi and the leadership of the Justice and Freedom Party attempt to hold onto power perhaps too narrowly, which has diminished their capacity to communicate better and more modestly. As a result, they seemed at a loss facing the mounting public pressures and at times in denial over the need to make serious initiatives, not mere gestures, towards their former partners in the revolution. Be that as it may, I don't think they are about to relinquish authority now after they enjoyed the taste of power.

Third scenario: the opposition, especially the part of which supported the old regime, will take over from the Muslim Brotherhood under the cover of the military intervention. Emboldened by the momentum of the streets to oust the president, it goes on to win future elections in coalition with anti-Islamist parties against a humiliated Brotherhood. This scenario not only makes unrealistic assumptions regarding the Muslim Brotherhood and its potent organisation, it also underestimates Egyptians' true desire for positive change going forward, not backward. Make no mistake, the Muslim Brotherhood is not going anywhere and would more likely enter into confrontations to defend its turf than surrender to the opposition or the lackies of the old regime.

However, considering that Brotherhood is far less likely to be able to rule alone, and the opposition wont be able to do the same, the only truly viable option - in the intermediate and long term, and one that fulfills the demands of the revolution - is the reversal of the logic that governed the political process over the last two years. It begins by having a true national dialogue among equals, i.e. among the political and civic groups representing the Egyptian people and their revolution over the identity, constitution and roadmap of a democratic Egypt. This would necessitate forming a representative forum for such dialogue, along with a transitional government, all of which would pave the way towards a sustainable model of power-sharing in a future Egypt. Alas, easier said than done.

Marwan Bishara is the senior political analyst of Al Jazeera English and the author of The Invisible Arab: The Promise and Peril of the Arab Revolution .

L'ETAT, C'EST NOUS : WHO WILL CONTROL THE EGYPTIAN STATE ?

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion...38208.html


The Egyptian army announced Egypt's first democratically elected president, Morsi, rule was over on July 3 [AFP]

History's greatest reset button has been hit.

After 887 days of protests, tear gas, tanks, camels, horses, tent cities, marches, birdshot, live ammunition, ultras, great music, torture, rape, disappointments, spears, knives, Facebook campaigns, undercover thugs, military detentions, men with scimitars, show trials, elections, referendums, annulments, arson, police brutality, negotiations, machinations, committees, strikes, street battles, foreign bailouts, extreme theatre, revolutionary graffiti, television drama, Leninist study circles, and Salafi sit-ins, Egypt's young revolutionaries have managed to do the near impossible: force the “nizzam” - the system - to restart a deeply flawed transition process in a manner which, at least at the surface, puts civilians in charge of a fraught transition process that was likely doomed the first time around the moment SCAF took control.

It was a warm but confusing evening on February 12, 2011, when I reached the rooftop restaurant of one of Zamalak's classic “boutique” hotels, having been pushed out of a Tahrir Square whose celebratory mood had already begun to sour, as Salafi activists stormed some of the stages where the revolution's heroic artists were about to perform and gangs of men began what has become the horrifically predictable ritual of hunting women in the crowd to rape. The mood at the restaurant was giddy but also quite naturally apprehensive, as almost two dozen of the main young activists of the January 25 revolution, along with some more senior activists, were discussing the most urgent question before them:

Should the protests continue and press the military even harder to force it to agree to a civilian-controlled transition, as occurred in Tunisia, or should the protesters acquiesce to a military-led transition and rely on the army's goodwill and their now clearly established people power to ensure stability during the coming months and give the Egyptian people time to recover after a breathless 18 days.

The situation truly was unprecedented. As if in some movie fantasy fight, the seemingly “98-pound weakling”- a youth-led Egyptian civil society- had managed to land a massive right hook against the heavyweight champ - the Egyptian military, one that knocked him to the ground and left him shaken and exposed. Another barrage of punches could potentially put him down for good. Should you move in and try to finish him off before he's had time to recover? Or would doing so expose you to the full fury of a cornered lion, now suddenly awakened and ready to attack without mercy to, quite literally, disarm the threat before him.

This was the choice facing the young, largely accidental revolutionaries (accidental in that hardly anyone imagined on January 25, 2011 that their protests would spark a history-altering revolution). No one at that meeting, and no Egyptian activist I've ever met, had any illusions about the authoritarian nature, strategic goals and intentions of the Egyptian military, which had ruled the country since 1952. Hundreds of thousands of protesters might have chanted “the people and the army are one hand,” but the Tahrir organisers, like so many Egyptians, knew better. They knew that the military was using them as much as they were using it; a marriage of convenience that allowed history to be made but could unravel at any moment.

With 40 per cent of the country living on $2 dollars per day or less and Egyptians already reeling from two and a half weeks of protests, a reluctant consensus seemed to be emerging that the masses of Egyptians couldn't hold out through the weeks of political chaos and economic standstill that would be necessary to force the army to agree to a civilian-led transition that they didn't broadly control. And so the the SCAF-led transition was put into place, with the hope early on that the army would realise that its interests were served by shepherding the quickest possible transition towards civilian rule.

Nothing left to lose





If the revolutionaries who have won two extraordinary victories in less than three years can find a way to keep the tens of millions of Egyptians who took to the streets to oust Morsi in the ring and on their side, they might just win the fight.

The last two and a half years have largely flowed more or less as one might have imagined once SCAF assumed control of the transition. The military's broad control of Egyptian politics for half a century, it's huge role in the economy - including in the transition to a neoliberal order that was supposed to weaken the grip of the old elites but broadly strengthened it, its highly authoritarian and patriarchal nature, and its guaranteed support from its major Western and Arab sponsors, all left it with little incentive or even ability to move the country along a path that would actually produce freedom, dignity, social justice, and an overall better life for most Egyptians.

The problem was, and remains, that the only way for the revolution to achieve its core goals would be literally to create a new state - a new set of power relations and institutions through which they flow that would profoundly redistribute social, economic and political power throughout Egyptian society. But to do this they would have to take on, and defeat, the military and the order it represented. As long as the military controls the political and economic process in Egypt, the vast majority of Egyptians will live well below their economic and political potential.

The honeymoon between the military and the revolutionaries was over not long after it began, as the military launched waves of assaults on and even massacres of demonstrators and activists, detaining thousands, most without civilian trials, even as the deep state began to shore up its political footing through the emerging constitutional, legislative and electoral process. In the summer and fall of 2011, spring and fall of 2012, revolutionary forces returned to the streets and battled the military, and ultimately the Brotherhood-regime, not with any hope of finishing the revolution, but to ensure it wasn't completely lost.

Natural allies, under the right conditions

The Muslim Brotherhood was well poised to become a major player in the post-Mubarak order, not merely because of its well-known history, popularity and organisational strength, but because during the previous generation its leaders had been, however, hesitantly, integrated into the economic elite, giving them enough stake in the system so that the movement could be counted on to play by the rules if and when they began to assume political power.

As highly patriarchal and authoritarian institutions, the military and the Brotherhood had the potential for significant cooperation, especially once the economic interests of the senior leadership moved towards those of the rest of the Egyptian elite (a process that began while leaders like now deposed President Morsi and Khaiter al-Shater were still in prison). Indeed, in hindsight the Brotherhood's purge of younger and more progressive members in the later 00's seems as much a clearing house of anyone who'd challenge this process of integration - the neoliberalisation of the Ikhwan - as an act of doctrinal purification.

The present situation, in which the military has deposed a Brotherhood President, was not inevitable. Had Morsi not done such an abysmal job as President, the military and the deep state it shepherds would have lived quite happily under a constitutional system that left its power and budgets largely outside the bounds of the emerging religiously-grounded political system, whose imposition of a conservative vision on society served the interests of the power elite as a whole much as the rise of social conservatism in the United States has served its economic elite quite well.

But the only way this could succeed would have been for Morsi's government to give enough other political forces a voice in the new system to enable them to feel they had a stake in its success. Morsi and the Brotherhood spectacularly failed in this task with their narrow focus on social issues, managerial incompetence and a Constitution that was sure to antagonise large segments of Egyptian society. But Morsi's failure was not entirely his fault. Despite the fact it was controlled by religious conservatives, the disbanding of the lower house of Parliament closed off the one institutional political space for Egyptians both to negotiate with, moderate and even push back against the new leadership, leaving nowhere for the normal push and pull of politics to transpire. And so the street became the only viable vehicle to assert opposition to the new order, a situation which inevitably reinforced a uniformly antagonistic relationship between the opposition and the President and his allies.

State of flux - has the military become the Makhzen?

As is the case in so many moments of revolutionary transformation, Egyptians have in many respects been stateless since Mubarak's departure. The military might have retained and even augmented its power under the post-Mubarak system, but the networks, institutions and conduits through which power long flowed through Egypt and governance was enacted have been disintegrating (evidenced in part by the increasing failure of the state to provide even the most basic services to citizens) without new ones replacing them. Unable to consolidate a new architecture and system, Morsi ultimately could only see himself as the embodiment and representative of the state, down to his very blood.


The only way the “rebellion” will complete its revolutionary transformation is if it fundamentally transforms the Egyptian economy and the deeply buried political networks that still control it. And the military will do whatever it can to prevent this from happening.

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For its part, the military clearly considers itself, if not coterminous with the Egyptian state, then the primary conduit through which the needs and desires of the people can be realised (thus it acted against Morsi because it “sensed—given their sharp vision—that the people sought their support.” Yet unlike 1952, the military is in no position to provide the ideological blueprint for a new state. Instead, its main strategy for maintaining the “legitimacy” that Morsi so quickly lost is to serve as the grand mediator of contending social and political forces that, left to their own devices, risked tearing Egypt apart.

In so defining its role the military has taken a page from the Arab world's deepest state, Moroccan monarchy and the Makhzen, the political and economic elite that surrounds, is managed by and serves it. It's a smart move, considering how much support the military has lost when it directly governed the country. By defining itself above partisan politics and economic interests, the King and Makhzen have been able to rule Morocco for centuries, weathering challenges that sent many other regimes to the historical dustbin and ensuring a level of entrenched political power and corruption that is the envy of most autocratic regimes. It's a record the Egyptian military would love to emulate.

The question is, will the Egyptian people accept the Makhzenification of the Egyptian military? The transitional leadership is dominated by figures like the Coptic Pope and the Sheikh al-Azhar, not to mention the interim President, Adly Mansour - the first person Mubarak appointed to the Supreme Constitutional Court - who were stalwarts of the old regime. As for the one revolutionary group within the leadership, the Tamarod movement represented by El Baradei, he and senior Tamarod leaders such as Mahmoud Badr have showered the military with praise in recent days, an attitude that has angered many revolutionary activists.

Yet it's hard to imagine Badr or any other leader of the “rebellion” actually believes in the good intention of the military or other remnants of the old order. So perhaps all this sweet talk is just that - saying whatever is necessary to get the military to reset the process in a manner that will allow the revolutionaries to play the role denied to them the first go-around. Perhaps it is Tamarod and the millions of other protesters in the streets of Egypt - apparently the largest revolutionary outpouring in human history - who are playing the military and the deep state, and not the other way around.

Who's playing whom will become clear in the coming months. The only way the “rebellion” will complete its revolutionary transformation is if it fundamentally transforms the Egyptian economy and the deeply buried political networks that still control it. And the military will do whatever it can to prevent this from happening.

There are two ways that such a transformation could occur. The first is that the renewed transition process creates a functioning political system in which, as has occurred in many post-authoritarian states in the last 20 years, democratically elected political leaders gradually drain power from once dominant militaries (Turkey and Latin America are the best examples of this process). The Egyptian military clearly understands this danger. It will thus be very interesting to see how it tries to manipulate the process to ensure its long-term independence and control over its economic empire against an emerging political elite that will at some point feel secure enough directly to challenge its prerogatives.

The danger here is that as the new system becomes more established, one-time idealists and rebels will become be coopted into the existing system before they have a chance to change it.

The other possibility is that the young revolutionaries behind January 25 and now June 30 decide that with tens of millions of people behind them (a very different situation than existed after the January 25 revolution, in which far fewer people actively took part), they can afford to go for the proverbial knock-out blow. Indeed, with the economy in tatters and the country on the precipice of unprecedented civil strife, the military is potentially in a far weaker position now than it was after Mubarak's departure.

Few would have imagined that Egyptians would turn on the venerable Muslim Brotherhood as quickly as they have. The military is arguably even more respected, but if revolutionary leaders-turned-politicians can find the right language to explain to ordinary Egyptians the military's role in denying them the “freedom, dignity and social justice” promised by the revolution the Egyptian people could demand the reining in of the military's political independence and economic power.

Here, while few Egyptians were will to entrust the governance of Egypt "to a bunch of twenty-somethings who've never had a job" (as many an older Egyptian expressed to me even as they thanked them for leading the revolution), the "adults" have made such a mess of the transition that people will likely be more willing to give the kids a real share of power this time round.

The question then becomes, how can the transitional leadership demand that a serious economic transformation in the interests of the mass of poor and working class Egyptians be part of the architecture of the new system, and how they will deal with the inevitable attempts by the military to prevent such a development? The Tamarod petition that relaunched the revolution hints at such an agenda, with its “rejection” of continued Egyptian “begging” for international loans, and “following in the footsteps of the USA,” whose neoliberal economic agenda has profoundly shaped the Egyptian economy for the last four decades.

Beware of technocrats

But its advocacy of a government of “technocrats” is quite naïve, as the job of technocrats, despite the connotation of the term, is precisely to enact highly ideological policies that inevitably benefit elites at the expense of the majority of people. Indeed, Egypt has a long and ruinous history of technocratic rule, from British colonialism to USAID and IMF, who have in the guise of a supposedly apolitical and scientific agenda ensured the ever greater concentration of wealth and power among a small elite and the marginalisation and immiseration of the mass of Egyptians.

In the end, there can be no technocratic transition. Tamarod is going to have to outline a specific political agenda that can achieve the goals of the revolution by curtailing the power of the military and economic elite that has governed Egypt for decades, and it's going to have to convince Egyptians both that this this agenda is realisable and worth returning back to the streets again and again to realise.

The Egyptian military stands in the way of revolution, and sooner or later the revolutionaries will again have to take it on directly.The question is: Who does the Egyptian state belong to, the military and the power elite, or the people? If the revolutionaries who have won two extraordinary victories in less than three years can find a way to keep the tens of millions of Egyptians who took to the streets to oust Morsi in the ring and on their side, they might just win the fight. But to do that they will need to develop and articulate the kind of progressive ideology that economic, political and religious elites around the world have spent decades doing everything in their power to delegitimise. It's a battle whose stakes involve us all.

Mark LeVine is professor of Middle Eastern history at UC Irvine and distinguished visiting professor at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University in Sweden and the author of the forthcoming book about the revolutions in the Arab world, The Five Year Old Who Toppled a Pharaoh. His book, Heavy Metal Islam, which focused on 'rock and resistance and the struggle for soul' in the evolving music scene of the Middle East and North Africa, was published in 2008.


































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#62
OPERATION DISRUPTION: LIBYA, SYRIA, EGYPT…

Zafar Bangash
http://www.crescent-online.net/2013/09/o...icles.html


Islamic Awakening movements (also described by some as the “Arab Spring”) are being subverted through a combination of brute force and vile propaganda. The subversion started in tiny Bahrain, moved to Libya and then engulfed Syria where it is still raging. Egypt has become its latest casualty.

Hopes aroused by the Islamic Awakening/Arab Spring in the Muslim East (aka the Middle East) have been dashed. Death and destruction have become common. Egypt provided the best hope where the Islamic movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood won successive elections to put their stamp of authority on the political map, yet this experiment in electoral democracy lies smoldering in the ruins of the burned out masjids and the smashed skulls and broken bones of thousands of people.

How could things go so terribly wrong so quickly? Even the limited loss of control by the West in Tunisia and Egypt was deemed unacceptable. The claw back started on the tiny island of Bahrain where the majority has been denied its fundamental rights. The US’s local agents — Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other sheikhdoms — were used to send troops and tanks to crush the people’s aspirations for freedom, rights and dignity. Libya was the next target and relatively easy. A massive fraud was perpetrated on the Libyan people by selling them the false promise of freedom. Since the overthrow and lynching of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, Libya has become a hellhole for the majority of its people. There is neither freedom nor dignity; heavily armed militias terrorize people. There is complete anarchy in Libya.

Puffed up by their “success” in Libya and assuming that they will have similar success in Syria, the West and its local agents went after the government of Bashar al-Asad. Again, the false promise of “freedom from tyranny” was touted as the objective of the mayhem unleashed in Syria. Another, more destructive ploy was also used: sectarianism. This plays on the emotions of ordinary Muslims that are easily aroused by negative propaganda. The Saudi regime has always been in the forefront of this campaign. With nothing to offer to Muslims in terms of ideology, system of governance or political thought, the Saudis can only spread fitnah in the Ummah. Unfortunately they have been quite successful in this, thanks to the thousands of preachers they have on their payroll worldwide. These mercenary mullahs are willing tools in the Saudis’ destructive propaganda. The Saudis claim they are fighting for the rights of “Sunnis” in Syria against the Alawites that are a breakaway faction of “Shi‘ism.”

Mercenaries from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Jordan, Lebanon, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Pakistan and a host of other countries have flooded into Syria to help liberate their “Sunni” brothers from “Shi‘i infidels.” The military coup in Egypt exposed this fraudulent claim. The Saudi regime was the first to congratulate the coup-makers against a democratically elected “Sunni” government. It has also given billions of dollars in aid to the mass murderers in uniform. Almost overnight, the Saudis’ claim to fighting for the rights of “Sunnis” was exposed. For informed Muslims, the Saudi claim was always nonsensical. After all, they have harbored the Tunisian fugitive from justice, General Zine el-Abidine since his ouster in January 2011. The Saudis never cared for the rights of Tunisia’s “Sunni” Muslims.

There are other troubling issues as well that have come to light. One is the background of General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Who is he? It is on public record that he was trained in the US and he had served as military attaché in Saudi Arabia. He cultivated close contacts with important players in the political and military circles in both countries. It is, however, his family background that raises serious questions. As Abu Dharr writes in his column in this edition of CI, al-Sisi’s mother is from Morocco and is of Jewish origin. Nothing wrong there; she had to give up her Moroccan citizenship and adopt Egyptian nationality to enable her son to join the Egyptian military academy. Even that is not a problem. But what explanation does General al-Sisi have for his mother’s maternal uncle who migrated to Israel and was a member of Ben Gurion’s political party for many years?

Based on this information and background, al-Sisi is not only a Zionist agent but is a Zionist Jew. He has a lot of explaining to do. In fact, al-Sisi is the new Lawrence of Arabia. It also shows how the enemies of Islam can so easily penetrate Muslim societies. Who facilitated al-Sisi’s elevation to head the Egyptian military and become defence minister of one of the most important countries in the Muslim East? What role did the Americans and Israelis play in this? We know that the Zionists have been lobbying on his behalf with the Americans not to cut off aid. There is little prospect of Washington doing any such thing because the coup in Egypt was coordinated with the Americans and the Zionists. It is essentially an American project to put Egypt back under the boots of imperialism and Zionism.

While Muslims have been fighting and killing each other in Libya, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan and many other places based on tribal and sectarian differences, their enemies have been quietly planting their agents in key positions in these societies. With al-Sisi’s exposure, we are forced to ask how many Zionist and imperialist agents have ensconced themselves in the ranks of the Syrian National Coalition?

Will Muslims now realize that imperialists and Zionists can never be their friends and that extreme caution is necessary in dealing with them? Further, the lessons of Egypt should be internalized not to fall for the false promises of freedom made by the West and its agents in the Muslim world. If Muslims refuse to learn from the tragedy of Egypt and do not abandon the destructive campaign of sectarianism, they will end up paying an even bigger price.

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#63
OBAMA's SAUDI VISIT – HOW AMERICA PLAYS WITH THE IRANIAN REGIME AND SAUDI MONARCHY

Adnan Khan
http://www.khilafah.eu/kmag/article/obam...i-monarchy

The USA, the world’s superpower, has been extremely busy in the first few months of 2014. The US initiated new plans and gave fuel to other plans to protect, maintain and expand America’s array of interests around the world. Whether it’s the upcoming presidential elections in Egypt, the Geneva 2 conference in Switzerland, rapprochement with Iran or the crisis in Ukraine, the US faces a delicate task as it attempts to deal with a number of emerging challenges in the Middle East.

It was in this context the White House announced on Monday February 3rd 2014 that US president Barak Obama will visit Saudi Arabia in late March 2014. This is Obama’s second trip to the country. His only other visit was in June 2009, when he stopped briefly in Saudi Arabia, on the eve of his speech in Cairo. White House spokesmen Jay Carney said at his briefing: “Saudi Arabia is a close partner of the United States, and we have a bilateral relationship that is broad and deep and covers a range of areas, and the president very much looks forward to the visit, where all of those areas will be discussed in his meetings…Whatever differences we may have do not alter the fact that this is a very important and close partnership.”

Most of the media were surprised at this sudden announcement, as Obama would be visiting Saudi within two months. This indicates that it was a sudden decision and has the hallmarks of something urgent. Three issues caused the US administration to organize this urgent meeting and these are Egypt, Syria and US-Iran rapprochement.

SAUDI’S SYRIAN TREACHERY

The uprising in Syria officially reached its 3 year anniversary in March 2014 and despite numerous attempts to derail the uprising of the Ummah of Syria, the US has failed to halt the flames of change in the country. Saudi Arabia has played a key role in diverting, altering and diluting the demand for real change by the Ummah in Syria.

Saudi Arabia has played a key role in the Western strategy of supporting specific groups over others in order to weaken the Islamic resistance against Basher al-Assad. Saudi played the role of financing and delivering arms to specific groups in order to weaken those calling for an independent Islamic state in Syria. Saudi Arabia’s role has been to provide arms to some rebels in order to create a relationship of dependency.

Whilst Saudi Arabia has its own aims of ensuring Iran is not strengthened through the outcome in Syria, both Iran and Saudi are in agreement that no Islamic alternative should emerge. Whilst Iran openly supports and aids the al-Assad regime, Saudi Arabia is strengthening the al-Assad regime by infiltrating and weakening the resistance against him. Prince Turki, the former Saudi intelligence chief and envoy to Washington, said in a recent interview in February 2014 that the mainstream opposition must be strengthened so that it could protect itself from, “these extremists who are coming from all over the place” to impose their own ideologies on Syria. As a result, Saudi has financed the large purchase of infantry weapons, such as Yugoslav-made recoilless guns and the M79 Osa anti-tank weapon, from Croatia via shipments shuttled through Jordan.

Saudi Arabia played a central role in arming and funding the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Syrian National Coalition and its military wing the Syrian Military Council (SMC). In addition, Saudi Arabia also helped organize the unification of roughly 50 rebel brigades into “Jaysh al- Islam,” under the leadership of Zahran Alloush, a commander whose father is a cleric based in the kingdom. Saudi Arabia is now the main country financing and arming the rebels.

This strategy has however failed to strengthen a moderate, Western friendly opposition. The FSA has more or less lost all credibility as it failed to govern effectively in areas that were under its control in the North of Syria. Many complained of their incompetence and corruption. The SMC was completely undermined when its headquarters in Northern Syria were raided and taken over by rebel fighters when its leader Salim Idris was in Turkey and has never returned. With the Geneva 2 talks failing in late January 2013, aligning US aims with Saudi money and actions is essential for the US if it’s to stop real change coming to Syria.

BROTHERS IN CRIME

Egypt has played a central role in the Middle East ever since the US emerged as the world’s superpower after WW2. Successive leaders from Nasser, to Sadat to Mubarak all protected US interests by subjugating their own people to a life of misery. For the US, Egypt’s role is to maintain the 1979 normalization treaty with Israel which ended state-to-state war between Israel and Egypt and thus established a permanent presence in the region for the Israelis. The Arab spring however challenged America’s architecture and as a result Washington decided to turn its back on Mubarak but the architecture Mubarak and his predecessors constructed remained untouched.

The army was forced to watch from the sidelines as the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) swept to victory and when Muhammed Morsi confirmed he would be respecting all prior treaties, the US set about strengthening his rule as he confirmed he would protect US interests.

With the economy on the brink of bankruptcy and with regular stand-offs on the streets of Cairo, throughout the rule of Morsi the domestic political scene was never stable and was worsened by the confusion brought about by the Morsi government over decision-making. The US needed domestic political stability in Egypt in order for the country to play a role in the region and Morsi failed at this and made matters worse the longer he remained in office. With the MB unable to protect US interests due to their inability to bring political stability to the country, the US changed the leadership of the country. Once the coup had taken place on 3 July 2013, Obama said: “The Egyptian armed forces should move quickly and responsibly to restore full power to a civilian government as soon as possible.” Obama approved of the coup by not condemning it, he even refused to call the overthrow of a democratic government a coup. Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed the return of the military regime as: “restoring democracy.”

Ever since Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took power, the US set about strengthening his rule. America’s massive financial assistance to the Field Marshal continues despite the technicality that “restoring democracy” occurred through an undemocratic, and very bloody, military coup against a democratically elected government. For the US, the fact that the rule of Field Marshal Sisi is built upon the arrests and detention of thousands of Egyptian children and upon the brutal killings of unarmed protesters is secondary.

Saudi Arabia’s role is to prop up the Sisi government and give it regional legitimacy. In the wake of the ouster of President Muhammed Morsi, Saudi Arabia moved to provide Egypt with $12 billion in financial assistance. Saudi, along with the the Gulf States deplored the fall of Hosni Mubarak in 2011. With the economy of Egypt in freefall from decades of incompetency from pro-US leaders, Egypt will need significant finance to stay afloat and once again it is Saudi Arabia that the US will be relying upon to protect US interests.

DIVIDED IN THEIR ‘UNITY’

The Saudi monarchy has been running wild ever since the US announced its normalization with Iran. As Iran’s ambitions in the region include dominating it and ensuring it remains the power in the region, Saudi Arabia has always viewed Iran as a threat and tensions between the two go back decades. Iran has tried to dominate the Persian Gulf – considered one of the most strategic locations in the world due to its oil and gas reserves. Saudi Arabia views this as a threat to its existence and has attempted to defend itself by supporting, arming and funding militant groups to fight and weaken the Iranian regime. Iran considers the oppression of all Shi’ah in the region an attack on Iran itself and as a result has utilized the large Shi’ah presence in the Eastern provinces of Saudi Arabia (where most of its oil fields are) to interfere in Saudi in order to weaken it. When the Arab spring arrived in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia instantly sent its forces to prop up the Sunni monarchy as it feared Iran would take advantage of the demands of the majority Shi’ah population to destabilize Bahrain which is linked by a causeway to Saudi Arabia.

It came as somewhat of a shock when pictures beamed around the world of Secretary of State John Kerry directly talking with the foreign minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif and agreeing on US-Iran ties. The Wall Street Journal reported at the announcement of Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia: Arab officials briefed on the coming summit, which was pulled together quickly in recent days, said it would be crucial to aligning American and Saudi policies as political change and sectarian strife continue to sweep the Mideast and North Africa. “This is about a deteriorating relationship” and declining trust, said a senior Arab official in describing the need for the summit. The Wall Street Journal also reported Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal: “What was surprising was that the talks that were going forward were kept from us.” The US needs Saudi Arabia in order to achieve its multitude of interests in the region and shoring up Saudi support is one of the key reasons the US president will be personally visiting Riyadh.

The Saudi monarchy was upset that America is now turning to Iran to achieve its interests in the region. The various anti-US statements by Saudi officials have been due to its astonishment that it no longer is the slave that will execute US interests as it has now chosen Saudi’s arch Persian neighbor, who is now a more attractive asset is subjugating the region. Whilst Saudi Arabia and Iran may have their own regional ambitions and view each other as enemies, they are both united in their slavery to the US. The Saudi monarchy is upset that it has been replaced by the Persian slave.

CONCLUSIONS

The Arab spring challenged the status quo in the Middle East and challenged America’s number one tool – agent rulers. The sudden announcement of Obama’s visit to the region also shows that the US fundamentally achieves its interests in the Middle East through agent rulers who serve the US rather than their own people. Whether it’s the Saudi Monarchy, Jordan’s king, Iraq’s fledging government or Iran’s clerics, all of them compete amongst each other to gain America’s favor and all fall over themselves to strengthen America’s plans. Saudi Arabia has used its historical links to the birth place of Islam to give itself some moral authority, even though in reality it is selective in its actions. Saudi Arabia turned the other way when the Muslims in Myanmar were being massacred, similarly Saudi Arabia did not move against the slaughter of the Ummah in the Central African Republic (CAR) despite possessing the capability to do so. Saudi Arabia like all the Muslim nations, has national interests, not Islamic interests and this is the lens through which it views the world.

What is significant to note is how America is exacerbating the divide between the Shia in Iran and the Salafists in Saudi. Both these regimes are only interested in serving America’s designs of dividing the Ummah along sectarian lines. America courts both regimes whilst ensuring a degree of tension remains between the two so she can manipulate the affairs of the region. What is required for the sincere sons of this Ummah is to realize how America in collusion with the clerics in Iran and the sheikhs in Saudia are fuelling the fitnah of division in the Ummah. Only an Islamic Khilafah built on the Islamic Aqeeda and not on any sectarian or nationalist line can bring true unity and challenge America’s designs in our lands. This is the call that needs to be raised in the Ummah today. This is the only call that can defeat America’s plans in the region.

The Saudi monarchy has for the moment survived the Arab spring. However both Mubarak and Gaddafi for long survived opposition against their rule and were able to hide their treachery, but in the end, it was just a matter of time before the Ummah united together and took their destiny into their own hands.
Reply
#64
WORLD WAR ONE SOWED THE SEEDS OF TODAYS MIDDLE EAST
http://www.hizb.org.uk/in-depth/world-wa...iddle-east

The present day misery of Gaza, Syria and Iraq began in that war

As most people know, 2014 is the centenary of the start of World War One. A few people in Britain have attempted rewriting history to present a justification for this war. They are those who generally supported the costly military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq in this present century. Others have embarked on a critical reflection about the horrors of a war that saw tens of millions killed and injured and question – looking at Gaza and Syria – whether the world has learnt any lessons at all.

It isn’t right to disrespect those who died in that war or their families’ recollections of individual acts of valor. But at the same time it isn’t wrong to disrespect the likes of Lloyd George, Kitchener, Curzon and Balfour who sent millions to die in a war that had little to do with ‘national security’; instead everything was to do with securing Britain’s position in Europe and interests across the world. The memories of the dead and injured are certainly not served by selective omission or rewriting of history.

So, it is worth reflecting on the legacies of this war that still resonates today. Namely that World War One shaped the chaos, oppression and conflict of the modern Middle East; and laid the seeds for the Zionist occupation of Palestine.

Sowing the seeds of misery – Sykes-Picot, Client-Regimes and the Abolition of the Caliphate

The modern Middle East is rife with wars, oppression and injustice. It is a series of nation states artificially constructed in the aftermath of World War One. They are ruled by client regimes, initially installed at that time, that serve themselves as well as a narrow elite and foreign interests – instead of serving the people of the region. These rulers are widely hated by the people they preside over. They use their armed forces for two main purposes. Firstly, to suppress their own populations – particularly when they see a flicker of political criticism or Islamic sentiments; and secondly to serve any Western military interests that are asked of them.

The most enduring of these client-regimes are the Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Saudi Arabia was conceived in Britain’s foreign office around a century ago and has since then squandered huge amounts of material wealth. Its ruling family has enjoyed close ties with Britain and the United States ever since. Jordan is a similar family business, installed by the British after World War One. Britain installed members of the same family, widely seen as traitors to Islam and Muslims, to rule Iraq and briefly Syria – only to see their dynasty toppled in these places by coups and counter-coups variously sponsored by the Britain and the US.

It is worth reflecting that people living under the Ottoman state – even in its era of decline – enjoyed more stable and less oppressive lives than people living in the Middle East over the past century. For several centuries prior to that, under the Caliphate, the region was the home of a great civilization that presented a unique society in which communities of different racial and religious backgrounds lived peacefully and in harmony.

In his 2009 essay, ‘Islam and its Discontents’, Brenden Clifford of the Bevin Society wrote:

Islam, one of the major cultures of the world, has been without a state to uphold its position in the world-order for close on 90 years. The Islamic state was destroyed by Britain in the course of the war, which it declared on Germany in 1914. It has been argued that the destruction of the Islamic state was one of the purposes for which Britain declared war on Germany. And the destruction of the Islamic state appears to me to be the ultimate cause of the condition of the world which the USA and Britain call the War on Terror.

He reminds the reader that:

‘A little over a century ago the German Kaiser paid a state visit to the Ottoman Empire, met the Sultan, and declared that a strong Muslim state was a necessary part of any stable order in the world’.

German policy as set out by Count Von Moltke (later a Field Marshal of the German state) in his Essays, Speeches, And Memoirs, 1893 (Vol 1, p272) argued that it was possible to regenerate the Ottoman Empire as such from Islamic roots.

The British fear the impact of this in relation to its colonies – in particular in India – so pursued a policy of expansion of their Empire from India to Egypt. Indeed, once the Ottomans did enter the war, declaring it to be a Jihad, Kitchener had real fears this call would spread to India, Egypt and Sudan.

But at the outset of the war, the Ottoman policy was neutrality. It was in no financial or political position to engage in a war. However, Britain refused to accept this position and refused to accept any overtures of alliance with it – and set about provocation of the Ottoman state, particularly through allying with a hostile Russia.

By 5th November 1914, Britain declared war, in conjunction with Russia, by alleging an Ottoman attack on Russia in the Black Sea. Clifford writes scathingly that it was ‘an allegation made so obscurely and furtively that there is reason to suspect that it was comparable to Hitler’s allegation of a Polish attack on Germany in September 1939’!

Failing to see the expected rapid collapse of the Ottoman defences, Britain found allies in the form of Sharif Hussein – the ancestor of the Jordanian dynasty and Ibn Saud – the founder of modern day Saudi Arabia.

In 1916, under the Sykes Picot accord, the British and French governments agreed to a division of the spoils of the Middle East between the two states, drawing ‘a line in the sand’ between Acre and Kirkuk – the British to take what was south of the line, and the French what was north of it.

After much wheeling, dealing and double crossing between the two, the regions of Syria and Lebanon fell to France, whilst Transjordan, Iraq and the Hejaz went to Britain. The original agreements were meant to share Palestine. Britain managed to secure a mandate over the region, but was later forced by America and France to share the newly discovered oil revenues from Mosul shortly after the war.

The events of the war and the subsequent ‘peace conferences’ afterwards not only carved up the Ottoman state, it precipitated a collapse internally, ending with the abolition of the Caliphate in 1924.

The following 90 years have seen wars between these artificially constructed states; repressive regimes tyrannising their people; the material wealth of the region haemorrhaging away from the people who had a right over it; and various periods of occupation.

From pre-Balfour Declaration to the Zionist Occupation of Palestine

Before World War One, British imperial strategists took account of the implications of potential scenarios within the Middle East. Addressing the 1907 Imperial Conference in London, Britain’s Prime Minister Henry Campbell Bannerman expressed these fears and called for a commission to look at the question of how to prevent the fall of their empire. The report recommended:

1) To promote disintegration, division and separation in the region.

2) To establish artificial political entities that would be under the authority of the imperialist countries.

3) To fight any kind of unity – whether intellectual, religious or historical – and taking practical measures to divide the region’s inhabitants.

4) To achieve this, it was proposed that a “buffer state” be established in Palestine, populated by a strong, foreign presence which would be hostile to its neighbors and friendly to European countries and their interests.

Retrospectively, this would appear to have become British Imperial policy from this time – prior to World War One – for several decades thereafter.

Within this context, Arthur Balfour’s letter to Lord Rothschild in 1917, expressing Britain’s support for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, becomes easy to understand.

There has been much debate over the years as to what extent the British government of the time really meant this expression of support.

Writing many years later, Sir Anthony Nutting believed that Balfour and others were complicit with the Zionist agenda to evict the Palestinian Arabs from the region – fitting very much with the pre-war policy recommendation to Bannerman to establish the ‘buffer state…populated by a strong, foreign presence’.

But other historians like Jonathan Schneer have viewed the promise to the Zionists as one of a complex series of bargaining moves that sought to variously ‘play’ Zionist Jews and the leaders of the Arab revolt, all in order to maintain British control over Palestine.

Schneer recognizes overlapping interests in that the Zionist movement wanted the Ottomans out of Palestine, whilst the British government wanted the Ottomans out of the whole Middle East – whilst conceding as little influence as possible to France.

His argument is that part of this bargaining process was that Balfour’s promise would tantalize American Jewry into lobbying for the United States to enter the war on Britain’s side against the Ottomans. Yet simultaneously, Britain was secretly negotiating a peace with the Ottomans, ready to ditch Balfour’s promise, in case they did not get support from the United States.

So in effect, at some stage or other between 1916 and 1918, Britain had offered Palestine to different interested parties at different times. As well as offering it to the Zionist lobby there was a dialogue to hand it to the Ottomans had Britain decided to settle for peace prior to American entry in the war. There had been a verbal promise to Sharif Hussein that it would be part of his territory, as well as having agreed to share with the French under the original terms of the Sykes Picot agreement.

According to historian James Barr the trust between the ‘allies’ of Britain, France and the Zionists was so poor – because of the feeling they had been made too many broken promises – that by 1945 the French were financing Zionist terrorists to attack British troops in Palestine (whilst British soldiers were helping to liberate France from the Nazis).

However, the client Arab regimes accepted humiliation and broken promises with servitude – and showed no real interest in defending or liberating Palestine. From the very first until today they have been the first line of support and defence for ‘Israel’.

One prime example was illustrated in Chaim Weizmann’s diary, where it is recorded that St John Philby, a former British intelligence officer and advisor to Ibn Saud, made a proposal that Ibn Saud should be offered a financial incentive of £20,000,000 in return for his support for a Zionist state. It seems the only reason this didn’t happen was because Weizmann didn’t want to proceed.

Conclusion

So much of the politics of today’s Middle East can be understood from the political intrigues surrounding World War One.

It is imperative that Muslims know the history of that disastrous era and learn real lessons from it in order to understand the neo-colonial games that are played today – that continue to wreak havoc over large parts of the world.

Selected Bibliography

Barr, J – A Line in the Sand  – 2011

Schneer, J – The Balfour Declaration – 2010

Clifford, B – Islam and its Discontents – 2009

Al-Rashid, M – A History of Saudi Arabia –  2010

Nutting, Anthony – Balfour and Palestine – A legacy of deceit – 1975

Weizmann, Chaim – The Letters and Papers of Chaim Weizmann – Vol II

Rotberg, Robert  – Israeli and Palestinian Narratives of Conflict: History’s Double Helix
Reply
#65
TUNISIA: THE ARAB WORLD's FULL FLEDGED DEMOCRACY?
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion...43214.html

Tunisia seems be have withstood the powerful storms raging around it, writes Ghannoushi [EPA]

The spoils of the Arab Spring have been divided among many. If the most obvious beneficiaries have been the old guard, Arab autocrats and their foreign allies, who have an equal interest in keeping the region firmly under their thumb, they have not been the only ones. Al-Qaeda's share of the spoils has been substantial.

It had watched helplessly from a dark distant corner as ordinary Arab men and women rose up to topple the corrupt despots who had crushed them for decades. As the mass popular movements of protest came to occupy the centre stage of history, its grandiose exhibitionist spectacles of violence and devastation looked more absurd than ever. Its claims about the impossibility of change except through bombs, bullets and blood rang hollower than empty drums. Never did al-Qaeda seem more isolated and less relevant.

A child of crisis and conflict, it could only flourish in climates of despair and despondency. So as the Arab spring turned into a winter of military coups, sectarianism and civil strife, al-Qaeda breathed a deep sigh of relief and emerged with renewed vigour out of its seclusion. Its credibility was restored and, vindicated, it confidently addressed the Arab public once more: "Did I not tell you so? Peaceful protests and ballot boxes are not for you! They are pointless. Violence can only be confronted with violence. It is the only way."

Ruins of the old order

The most powerful challenge to this seemingly consistent argument comes not from the Pentagon and its war fleets, but from a small country on the westernmost part of the Arab world. Tunisia, which had shown Arabs a way out of the prison of dictatorship through peaceful protest, is today demonstrating that on the ruins of the old order a democracy could be built.


Tunisia assembly approves new constitution
While the rest of the Arab Spring countries have slid either into chaos and civil strife - sectarian and ethnic - or back into the bleak and brutal era of military coups, Tunisia seems be have withstood the powerful storms raging around it. The country is currently preparing to elect a representative parliament on October 26 and a president a month later.

The road to these polls has not been an easy one, with numerous terrorist attempts and widespread social unrest. But thanks to a politics of power-sharing and compromise, Tunisia's democratic experiment was kept on track. When it won the October 2011 constituent assembly elections, Tunisia's Ennahdha called for a national unity government and moved to share power with moderate secularist parties within what came to be known as the Troika.

And when the country was plunged into crisis after the assassination of a member of the opposition, which coincided with the military coup in Egypt, Ennahdha gave priority to safeguarding the country's democratic transition over its own partisan interests. In a highly pragmatic move, it proceeded to cede power to a caretaker government to manage the country in the elections' run up, much to its bases discontent.

This realism and acute awareness of the complexity of transitional phases and the dangers presented by a hostile regional context have spared the country much blood and mayhem, helping to keep its transition to democracy firmly intact.

Art of compromise

Tunisia's Ennahdha seems to have learned much from two decades of repression at home and the failure of democratic transitions in neighbouring Algeria and Egypt. Through their years of exile in European capitals, its leaders appear to have discovered the complex business of politics, with its painstaking negotiations, necessary concessions and changing coalitions and alliances. They seem to have learnt the art of compromise and consensus, which may be the hallmark of the nascent Tunisian political model.

Tunisia is not out of the woods yet. Its democratic process is still under immense pressure. Geopolitics is not in its favour: Libya at its southern border in turmoil, with rampant anarchy, proliferating arms, and disintegrating state structures; Mali further down in the sub Sahara desert in the grip of terrorism, and its wider Arab environment plagued with rising instability.

Aside from security, the challenge facing Tunisians today is economic. Thanks to the spirit of consensus, Tunisians have taken substantial steps to laying down the institutional and legal foundation stones for their democracy. Chronic structural problems, political instability and widespread social protests have impeded progress on the economic front. But just as they have translated freedom, the first demand of the Jasmine Revolution, into a democratic constitution and free elections, they must turn dignity, its second rallying cry, into development, equal distribution of wealth among its regions and welfare for all its citizens.

Real stability

The first wave of democracy revolts may have ended in failure in much of the region, but reverting back to the old ways of "doing business" with the Arab world is unattainable. The clock will not turn back and "stability" can no longer be bought at the price of freedom. Real political stability in the region can only be built on a solid basis of democracy and respect for the popular will. The alternative is non-constructive chaos, neither freedom, nor stability.

Next week's legislative elections in Tunisia will draw a line under the post-revolution interim phase, transferring the country the transitional to the permanent. Should these polls be conducted successfully and the necessary political compromises be reached in their aftermath, Tunisia would emerge as the Arab world's first full fledged democracy.

This would not only have implications for its 11 million inhabitants, but would resonate around the whole region. It would offer a model of hope amidst the feverish voices of despair and nihilism competing over Arabs' allegiance, from military dictators and corrupt theocrats to militant anarchists. Tunisia would again chart a third path beyond fatalistic subordination to authoritarianism and the insanity of violent extremism.

Soumaya Ghannoushi is a British Tunisian writer and specialist in Middle East politics. Her articles have been published in the Guardian, the Independent, Corriere della Serra and Alquds.
Reply
#66
US-SAUDI BLITZ INTO YEMEN: NAKED AGGRESSION, ABSOLUTE DESPERATION
http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-saudi-bl...on/5439141


The “proxy war” model the US has been employing throughout the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and even in parts of Asia appears to have failed yet again, this time in the Persian Gulf state of Yemen.

Overcoming the US-Saudi backed regime in Yemen, and a coalition of sectarian extremists including Al Qaeda and its rebrand, the “Islamic State,” pro-Iranian Yemeni Houthi militias have turned the tide against American “soft power” and has necessitated a more direct military intervention. While US military forces themselves are not involved allegedly, Saudi warplanes and a possible ground force are.

Though Saudi Arabia claims “10 countries” have joined its coalition to intervene in Yemen, like the US invasion and occupation of Iraq hid behind a “coalition,” it is overwhelmingly a Saudi operation with “coalition partners” added in a vain attempt to generate diplomatic legitimacy.

The New York Times, even in the title of its report, “Saudi Arabia Begins Air Assault in Yemen,” seems not to notice these “10” other countries. It reports:

Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday night that it had launched a military campaign in Yemen, the beginning of what a Saudi official said was an offensive to restore a Yemeni government that had collapsed after rebel forces took control of large swaths of the country.

The air campaign began as the internal conflict in Yemen showed signs of degenerating into a proxy war between regional powers. The Saudi announcement came during a rare news conference in Washington by Adel al-Jubeir, the kingdom’s ambassador to the United States.

Proxy War Against Iran

Indeed, the conflict in Yemen is a proxy war. Not between Iran and Saudi Arabia per say, but between Iran and the United States, with the United States electing Saudi Arabia as its unfortunate stand-in.

Iran’s interest in Yemen serves as a direct result of the US-engineered “Arab Spring” and attempts to overturn the political order of North Africa and the Middle East to create a unified sectarian front against Iran for the purpose of a direct conflict with Tehran. The war raging in Syria is one part of this greater geopolitical conspiracy, aimed at overturning one of Iran’s most important regional allies, cutting the bridge between it and another important ally, Hezbollah in Lebanon.

And while Iran’s interest in Yemen is currently portrayed as yet another example of Iranian aggression, indicative of its inability to live in peace with its neighbors, US policymakers themselves have long ago already noted that Iran’s influence throughout the region, including backing armed groups, serves a solely defensive purpose, acknowledging the West and its regional allies’ attempts to encircle, subvert, and overturn Iran’s current political order.

The US-based RAND Corporation, which describes itself as “a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decision making through research and analysis,” produced a report in 2009 for the US Air Force titled, “Dangerous But Not Omnipotent : Exploring the Reach and Limitations of Iranian Power in the Middle East,” examining the structure and posture of Iran’s military, including its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and weapons both present, and possible future, it seeks to secure its borders and interests with against external aggression.

The report admits that:

Iran’s strategy is largely defensive, but with some offensive elements. Iran’s strategy of protecting the regime against internal threats, deterring aggression, safeguarding the homeland if aggression occurs, and extending influence is in large part a defensive one that also serves some aggressive tendencies when coupled with expressions of Iranian regional aspirations. It is in part a response to U.S. policy pronouncements and posture in the region, especially since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The Iranian leadership takes very seriously the threat of invasion given the open discussion in the United States of regime change, speeches defining Iran as part of the “axis of evil,” and efforts by U.S. forces to secure base access in states surrounding Iran.

Whatever imperative Saudi Arabia is attempting to cite in justifying its military aggression against Yemen, and whatever support the US is trying to give the Saudi regime rhetorically, diplomatically, or militarily, the legitimacy of this military operation crumbles before the words of the West’s own policymakers who admit Iran and its allies are simply reacting to a concerted campaign of encirclement, economic sanctions, covert military aggression, political subversion, and even terrorism aimed at establishing Western hegemony across the region at the expense of Iranian sovereignty.

Saudi Arabia’s Imperative Lacks Legitimacy

26Yemen-articleLargeThe unelected hereditary regime ruling over Saudi Arabia, a nation notorious for egregious human rights abuses, and a land utterly devoid of even a semblance of what is referred to as “human rights,” is now posing as arbiter of which government in neighboring Yemen is “legitimate” and which is not, to the extent of which it is prepared to use military force to restore the former over the latter.

The United States providing support for the Saudi regime is designed to lend legitimacy to what would otherwise be a difficult narrative to sell. However, the United States itself has suffered from an increasing deficit in its own legitimacy and moral authority.

Most ironic of all, US and Saudi-backed sectarian extremists, including Al Qaeda in Yemen, had served as proxy forces meant to keep Houthi militias in check by proxy so the need for a direct military intervention such as the one now unfolding would not be necessary. This means that Saudi Arabia and the US are intervening in Yemen only after the terrorists they were supporting were overwhelmed and the regime they were propping up collapsed.

In reality, Saudi Arabia’s and the United States’ rhetoric aside, a brutal regional regime meddled in Yemen and lost, and now the aspiring global hemegon sponsoring it from abroad has ordered it to intervene directly and clean up its mess.

Saudi Arabia’s Dangerous Gamble

The aerial assault on Yemen is meant to impress upon onlookers Saudi military might. A ground contingent might also attempt to quickly sweep in and panic Houthi fighters into folding. Barring a quick victory built on psychologically overwhelming Houthi fighters, Saudi Arabia risks enveloping itself in a conflict that could easily escape out from under the military machine the US has built for it.

It is too early to tell how the military operation will play out and how far the Saudis and their US sponsors will go to reassert themselves over Yemen. However, that the Houthis have outmatched combined US-Saudi proxy forces right on Riyadh’s doorstep indicates an operational capacity that may not only survive the current Saudi assault, but be strengthened by it.

Reports that Houthi fighters have employed captured Yemeni warplanes further bolsters this notion – revealing tactical, operational, and strategic sophistication that may well know how to weather whatever the Saudis have to throw at it, and come back stronger.

What may result is a conflict that spills over Yemen’s borders and into Saudi Arabia proper. Whatever dark secrets the Western media’s decades of self-censorship regarding the true sociopolitical nature of Saudi Arabia will become apparent when the people of the Arabian peninsula must choose to risk their lives fighting for a Western client regime, or take a piece of the peninsula for themselves.

Additionally, a transfer of resources and fighters arrayed under the flag of the so-called “Islamic State” and Al Qaeda from Syria to the Arabian Peninsula will further indicate that the US and its regional allies have been behind the chaos and atrocities carried out in the Levant for the past 4 years. Such revelations will only further undermine the moral imperative of the West and its regional allies, which in turn will further sabotage their efforts to rally support for an increasingly desperate battle they themselves conspired to start.

America’s Shrinking Legitimacy

It was just earlier this month when the United States reminded the world of Russia’s “invasion” of Crimea. Despite having destabilized Ukraine with a violent, armed insurrection in Kiev, for the purpose of expanding NATO deeper into Eastern Europe and further encircling Russia, the West insisted that Russia had and  still has no mandate to intervene in any way in neighboring Ukraine. Ukraine’s affairs, the United States insists, are the Ukrainians’ to determine. Clearly, the US meant this only in as far as Ukrainians determined things in ways that suited US interests.

This is ever more evident now in Yemen, where the Yemeni people are not being allowed to determine their own affairs. Everything up to and including military invasion has been reserved specifically to ensure that the people of Yemen do not determine things for themselves, clearly, because it does not suit US interests.

Such naked hypocrisy will be duly noted by the global public and across diplomatic circles. The West’s inability to maintain a cohesive narrative is a growing sign of weakness. Shareholders in the global enterprise the West is engaged in may see such weakness as a cause to divest – or at the very least – a cause to diversify toward other enterprises. Such enterprises may include Russia and China’s mulipolar world. The vanishing of Western global hegemony will be done in destructive conflict waged in desperation and spite.

Today, that desperation and spite befalls Yemen.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine“New Eastern Outlook”.
Reply
#67
TURKEY MOVES EAST AWAY FROM WESTERN ALLIES
https://crescent.icit-digital.org/articl...ern-allies


Developments in Syria have forced Turkey to move away from the policy of its Nato allies and closer to Russia against whom President Erdogan had committed numerous acts of aggression.


Regardless of what one may think of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s style of governance or his Ottomanesque ambitions to revive the Sultanate, it has become evident that he is a pragmatic politician when faced with fast-paced changes.

Sitting atop very powerful geopolitical fault lines Turkey has long figured as an important pawn in the greater Eurasian-Middle Eastern bloc — a critical key to the unlocking or exacerbating of conflicting hegemonic ambitions. Today Turkey is defiantly looking east, no longer slave to the attraction Western capitals may once have held over a tentatively occidental Turkish state. Ankara had to be wrestled into accepting that its future rests not in the hands of its Western patrons but in that of the rising axis of resistance, headed primarily by Iran and then Russia.



As Syria continues to regain control over more parts of its territory flushing Wahhabi-inspired militants out, Turkey had to execute a dramatic political shift or risk losing its head. Despite the dirty little geopolitical secret nobody wants to talk about for fear of exposing the Western regimes’ alliance with terrorism in the name of empire-building and balkanisation, Turkey is nevertheless the “one that got away” and quite literally unravelled America’s war dynamic in the Levant.

One must pay tribute to the foresight and political wisdom both Russia and Iran have demonstrated in forging an alliance that would not only reaffirm Syria’s sovereign territorial rights but anchor the people’s intrinsic right to resist tyranny whatever form it takes. A lot can be said of those who choose to stand upright when standing is in fact the most difficult thing to do.



Turkey appears to have learned that for all its imperfections and assumed weaknesses, the Levant had yet to abandon its right to live free under its skies. That, we would do well to remember, is the very dynamic that not only broke the military impetus of America’s empire but forced others to rethink their positions within the region.



Without a single shot being fired, without even a grand military standoff against regional rivals, Turkey opened its doors and allowed for change to manifest in favour of peace and against terror. For the first time since 2011, peace in the Muslim East is no longer a distant mirage but a distinct reality. It is being conceptualised by a new brand of politicians, under the premise of collaboration as opposed to military diktat.



And though many may still view such a changed paradigm as tentatively fragile, one must understand that those very dynamics that allowed for Syria and Iraq to withstand terror’s assault, as unleashed and crafted by the Western elite, are anchored in a political system that gravitates around such principles as liberation, sovereign empowerment, justice, and pluralism.



Here, one must look beyond Western-engineered political bias and realise that this pull toward the East is in fact a direct result of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. It was then that its people led by Imam Khomeini decided to opt out of the Western global agenda to reclaim their heritage and seek guidance from the divine source that is the only true guidance. Failing to appreciate the role played by Walayah Faqih (Governance of the Jurist), as put forward by the late Imam Khomeini, will only blind analysts to those realities on the ground that are decisively shaping the region’s future.



This is not to say that all Islamic movements in the Greater Muslim East will adopt Iran’s system of governance, only that Iran created space for other movements to define their political future away from the domination of imperialism, Zionism and globalism.



But back to Turkey! Turkey here really serves as a cautionary tale against Western diktat. If not for Erdogan’s insistence on serving his Western masters, Turkey would not have seen its borders breached by hordes of ferocious Wahhabi-inspired radicals. In fact, one could argue that Erdogan brought the mess he finds himself in upon his own head. He tried to play terror as an asymmetrical weapon of war against Syria in the name of territorial ambitions and profits ultimately allowing for radicals to infiltrate and corrupt Turkey’s socio-political fabric, thus weakening its seat of government.



Erdogan was in fact hijacked by his own greed. But reason and cold pragmatism have a way of waking up even the most stubborn of politicians. Erdogan is most definitely awake now. Turkey is facing several internal and external risks, which have prompted Ankara to change its policies toward the conflict in Syria and other regional issues.



“Turkey is prone to external intervention” and it is “vulnerable to colour revolution,” he told PressTV’s “Top 5” program. That realisation prompted Turkey to change not just its position but its political tone as well.



Ankara has now acknowledged it can no longer insist that Syrian President Bashar al-Asad must leave power as a precondition for peace talks. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said in comments to the press in Davos on January 20 that a settlement without President al-Asad was not realistic.

If not out of conviction, Turkey is nevertheless coming to terms with the new reality that the Axis of Resistance has manifested on the ground in opposition to Western-sponsored terrorism.



“A failed military coup to overthrow the Turkish government on July 15, 2016, its aftermath as well as recent [the] wave of terrorism taking place in the country have been effective in changing [the] minds of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his cabinet toward regional issues including the conflict in Syria,” said Duff.

With Turkey acutely aware that its national interests lie with Russia, Iran, and beyond that with China, the Muslim East of today looks a very different place indeed than a few months ago
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#68
DONALD OF ARABIA 
https://crescent.icit-digital.org/articl...-of-arabia

It was pathetic to see the self-appointed custodian of the Two Holy Masjids and self-declared leader of the Muslim world, King Salman ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz bow and salute the Muslim-hating Donald Trump as he disembarked from the plane in Riyadh on May 20. Trump’s wife Melania and daughter Ivanka were also there. No hijab, much less niqab that Saudi women are required to wear, for these ladies. Salman even shook hands with Melania.

Short of inviting him to lead the prayers in al-Masjid al-Haram in Makkah, the Najdi Bedouins did everything else to ingratiate themselves to their American master. Salman even conferred the King ‘Abd al-‘Aziz medal, the highest civilian award, on the foulmouthed, Muslim-hating Trump. It was indeed a “special” occasion and required special acts.

The dinosaurs from Dir‘iyah were beside themselves at seeing Trump. Here was the president of the most powerful country in the world gracing them with his presence even if he had openly insulted Islam and Muslims both during the election campaign and after becoming president. He had told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in March 2016, “I think Islam hates us.” And to make sure the message was understood, he tried to ban citizens of seven Muslim majority countries from entering the US.

Long used to such insults, the Saudis dubbed the visit historic and branded it with the title, “Together We Prevail.” How could there be any togetherness between the master and his slave?

Trump’s visit was a clear violation of the Prophet’s (pbuh) hadith that there cannot be two power centers in the Arabian Peninsula. Based on their erroneous and self-serving interpretations, Bani Saud prevent ordinary non-Muslims from entering Makkah and Madinah but offer red-carpet welcome to the warmonger Trump. This, however, is nothing new for the Najdi Bedouins. They have a long history of violating Qur’anic injunctions including renaming the Arabian Peninsula “Saudi” Arabia. This is shirk.

After two days of meetings — in reality receiving pledges of loyalty from the shaky Arabian and Muslim rulers — Trump went to Israel where America’s real masters reside, then to the Vatican before joining the NATO summit in Brussels and later attending the G7 meeting in Sicily, Italy. Saudi commentators — a dim-witted lot — could not conceal their glee at the honor Trump had bestowed on them by visiting. Here at last was an American president that would save the illegitimate regimes from extinction, although according to reports (New York Times, May 18), Trump was reluctant to travel. He was consumed by scandals that have swirled around his presidency.

There was another surreal moment when the Saudis inaugurated the “International Center against Terrorism and Extremism” in Riyadh to honor Trump. The prostitutes of Paris would have more credibility if they were to open a center for fighting immorality and vice!

The Saudis threw lavish parties including a concert in Riyadh at which the American singer Toby Keith, notorious for his songs in praise of whiskey and other alcoholic beverages (the Saudis did not mind, signs of progress, one supposes!) that clearly pleased Trump. During a bilateral meeting the aged King Salman asked for help against Iran and the Saudi war on Yemen. Trump and his minions, who had already launched their rhetorical missiles at Islamic Iran before the visit, and repeated their diatribe in the President’s speech to the assembled rulers on May 21.

One picture says more than a thousand words… US President Donald Trump receives the Order of ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Al Sa‘ud medal from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh on 5-20-2017. Previous recipients of the award include, among others, former US presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, British prime ministers Theresa May and David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Egyptian strongman Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, and former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf. Trump is the first US president to choose a Muslim-majority nation for his first stop abroad, and his aides have said the decision was meant to rebut notions that Trump is anti-Muslim.

During a visit to Riyadh on April 19, US Defense Secretary James Mattis had declared that the “United States wants to see a strong Saudi Arabia,” adding “there is disorder wherever Iran is present.” This was followed by the gruff Secretary of State Rex Tillerson making the scandalous allegation the same day that, “Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and is responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining US interests… A comprehensive Iran policy requires that we address all of the threats posed by Iran, and it is clear there are many.”

There was more nonsense from Trump who has a habit of making ludicrous allegations. Referring to Iran’s nuclear agreement with the P5+1 group of countries, Trump, during a meeting with visiting Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni on April 20, said, “It was a terrible agreement, it shouldn’t have been signed, it shouldn’t have been negotiated the way it was negotiated.” Perhaps he was not aware that officials in his own regime had only two days earlier formally certified Iran’s compliance with the deal.

The ill-informed Trump then blurted out something that would have embarrassed even the hardcore Washington elite. Iran, he said was not living up to its “spirit.” What? “They are not living up to the spirit of the agreement, I can tell you that.” Where did “spirit” come into the picture? Trump, however, thinks he can make things up as he goes along.

It is his terrorism charge against Islamic Iran that must be challenged. Washington is the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world. Groups like Da‘ish and al-Qaeda exist and flourish only because the US and its allies support them. If the US were serious about fighting terrorism, Trump would have told the Najdi Bedouins directly to stop providing ideological and material support to terrorists. Saudi Arabia is a terror factory. Islamic Iran, on the other hand, is one of the few countries in the world earnestly fighting terrorism whether in Syria or Iraq. In a world dominated by gangsters and mass murderers, truth, however, is the first casualty.

While in Riyadh, Trump also met the potentates of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). There could not have been a more graphic display of dinosaurs on parade: small heads with protruding bellies and all no doubt heading for extinction. They sought Trump’s assurances that the US would keep them on their shaky thrones.

On the final day of Trump’s visit (May 21), the Saudis assembled 55 heads of state from the Muslim world to pledge loyalty to the new American warlord. Iran and Syria were not invited and even if they were, their leaders would not have joined the gathering of puppets. This was the Saudis’ way of showing they were “leaders” of the Muslim world. Why, one is forced to ask, does an assembly of heads of 55 countries need external protection? The Arabian, Asian, and African potentates prostrated to the New York property tycoon now occupying the White House. They had found their true “god” (nastaghfir-allah).


…And another picture needs no words. President Trump, on the second leg of his first trip abroad, solemnly (if that’s possible for the brash president) placed a note in the ancient stones of Jerusalem’s Western (Wailing) Wall on 5-22-2017. The president’s wife and daughter did not cover their heads when the first family visited the holy land of Arabia, but the president donned a Jewish head covering when he visited the holy precincts in Jerusalem. One wonders where he made a prayer for help with troubles back in Washington, and if he exercised his bullying deal-making skills to extort any billions from the Israelis for help with infrastructure development at home; or did he get bullied?

Equally bizarre was the Saudis’ distribution of what they called the ‘Riyadh declaration’. They even claimed it had been debated and approved by the assembled heads of State. When and where did such debate take place? Many of the assembled heads were surprised to hear about the so-called declaration. They heard about it from the media. There were only two speeches at the assembly: the aged king welcoming Trump and the latter pontificating about fighting terrorism.

There was much handshaking and backslapping as they sang from the same hymnbook. They pledged to “fight terrorism” (no better way to describe hypocrisy) and “protect” American interests in the region so long as they are allowed to stay in power. How can they protect American interests if they cannot protect their own seat of power? There is talk of creating “the fantasy of an Arab NATO,” as Robert Fisk wrote in the Independent (May 18). He went on, “There will be dictators aplenty to greet him in Riyadh, corrupt autocrats and thugs and torturers and head choppers.”

The big question, however, is why Trump broke with long-standing tradition by landing in Saudi Arabia ahead of any of America’s neighbors? Obnoxious to the core, Trump is a businessman. He drives hard bargains. He did not come to Riyadh because he cares for the Gulf monarchs. Trump loathes them and would not even remember the names of any of the Saudi princes he met — they all look alike and in any case, there is an army of them with strange sounding names like “bin This” and “bin That” given Trump’s low mental aptitude.

Trump, however, had a different agenda. Before embarking on this trip, his regime had already signaled it would supply $100 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia; the actual agreement turned out to be $110 billion and would reach $350 billion in 10 years, according to Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. These are in addition to the $115 billion the Obama regime sold in his eight years in office. What use are these weapons to the Saudis whose incompetence is legendry? They are clearly meant for use against Muslims, whether in Syria or Yemen.

The Saudis asked Trump to bail them out in Yemen where the war they launched in March 2015 has gone disastrously wrong. Surrounded by warmongers, chances are Trump will oblige. He has already killed scores of innocent Yemenis including eight-year-old Nawwar al-‘Awlaqi, the daughter of Anwar al-‘Awlaqi. She was shot twice in the neck on January 30, 2017. Anwar, an American citizen, was murdered in August 2011 in Yemen by an American drone strike.

Trump came to Saudi Arabia with a twin agenda: to get the Arabian despots to purchase more weapons so that American weapon manufacturers can continue to rake in huge profits. After signing the arms deal, he blurted out, “Tremendous investments into the United States and our military community is very happy and we want to thank you.”

Second, he wants the Arabian rulers to pay for the infrastructure development of America that he promised during his election campaign. It would cost $1 trillion. He secured an immediate investment of $200 billion from the Saudis over four years. This amount will definitely increase over the years. Further, he will squeeze hundreds of billions of dollars in additional funds from the Emiratis, Qataris, and Kuwaitis. Trump is an extortionist; he knows how to squeeze money out of the illegitimate rulers in return for promises of protection.

The Arabian rulers cannot say no if they want to continue pontificating from their shaky thrones. It is a cruel (American) world.

IGNORANT MEN THREATEN MORE WARS 
https://crescent.icit-digital.org/articl...-more-wars

Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammad bin Salman has finally found a real daddy in Donald Trump. Despite their age difference — bin Salman is barely 31 and Trump is past 70 — they are both warmongering bullies. They are also narcissists insisting they never make mistakes. If things go wrong, it is someone else’s fault.

Ignorant men who wield great power are extremely dangerous. It is like handing a loaded gun to a monkey: it will either blow its own brains out or someone else’s. While Trump won an election of sorts in the US amid allegations of manipulation, in the Bedouin kingdom of bin Salman, calling for elections is a one-way ticket to the chopping bloc. He owes his position entirely to the fact that his father is king. And in the medieval Kingdom that claims its constitution is based on the Qur’an and the Prophet’s (pbuh) Sunnah, power passes from one brother to the next. What ayah of the Qur’an or what hadith sanctions this? With the older generation of Bani Saud shuffling to its grave, the new generation is jockeying for influence to grab power. The numerous wars bin Salman has launched — Syria, Iraq, Yemen, etc. — and the new ones he wants to launch against such regional powers as Islamic Iran are meant to burnish his credentials. Instead, they are likely to bring an end to the decrepit kingdom in the Arabian Peninsula. This, however, has not constrained the ill-informed and ill-mannered young prince from barging into dangerous territory.

He has issued public threats against Islamic Iran even while the latter calls for dialogue. On May 2, for instance, in a long and rambling interview with fawning panelists at Saudi-funded al-Arabiya TV channel and al-Akhbariya TV, bin Salman said, “We will not wait until the battle is in Saudi Arabia, but we will work so the battle is there in Iran.” And how will the warrior prince achieve this with the Saudis’ legendry incompetence? By unleashing the sectarian terrorists that are churned out of Saudi-funded madrasahs in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and as far afield as Malaysia and Indonesia.

The sectarian terrorists use different names: al-Qaeda, Da‘ish (ISIS/ISIL), Ahrar al-Sham, Jaysh al-Fath, Jaysh al-‘Adl and whatever other “Jaysh al-” label you want to use (fill in the blanks). Their minds poisoned by Wahhabi obscurantism, these terrorists have been unleashed in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and on the borders with Iran (Sistan-Baluchistan bordering the Pakistani province of Baluchistan). It is revealing that these terrorists have not fired a single shot against the Zionist occupiers of Palestine. Their wrath is reserved exclusively for Muslims. The reason is simple: for the Saudis, Zionist Jews are their “cousins” (Adel al-Jubeir, September 2015) while Shi‘i Muslims are kafirs and, therefore, deserve to die!

The warrior prince, however, knows the limits of the Saudis’ fighting prowess, or lack thereof. Despite his boast that the war in Yemen is all but won, he admits finishing off the other side will be costly. “Thousands of our troops can fall victims. There will be funerals in all Saudi cities.” So what does he propose to do to win the war? Starve the Yemenis, use Da‘ish and al-Qaeda terrorists and get US-Zionist help to fight Ansarallah fighters and force them to surrender.

The much-awaited surrender has not occurred in more than two years of Saudi bombing of Yemen. Instead, Ansarallah fighters have expanded their reach and taken the war into Saudi Arabia. In Tehran, meanwhile, bin Salman’s threat has evoked a strong reaction from Iran’s Defence Minister, General Hossein Dehghan. In an interview with the Arabic language television channel al-Manar on May 7, General Dehghan warned, “If the Saudis do anything ignorant, we will leave no area untouched except Makkah and Madinah.” He went on, “They [the Saudis] think they can do something because they have an air force,” in an apparent reference to Saudi attacks on Yemen where they have destroyed civilian infrastructure killing thousands of innocent Yemeni civilians. Iran, he warned, was capable of hitting every part of Saudi Arabia.

That explains why the ignorant prince has sought US-Israeli help in his provocative war with Iran. Since 2011, the Saudis have failed in their political and military objectives in Syria and Iraq and have had no success in Yemen despite bombing the dirt-poor country since March 2015. The imperialists and Zionists have also been involved in all these places.

But given the mindset of the two men — Trump and bin Salman — they will refuse to learn from history. In fact, they refuse to learn, period! If they dare unleash a war against Islamic Iran, the chances are, there will be no Saudi kingdom left. The Najdi Bedouins will be driven back to their tents in Dir‘iyah to drink polluted water and survive on camel milk and dates. The Muslim world will heave a collective sigh of relief when that happens.



EASIER  TO FORGIVE AN ENEMY THAN TO FORGIVE A FRIEND 
Abu Dharr
https://crescent.icit-digital.org/articl...e-a-friend



Newsrooms around the world are sifting and trickling the most important news item to hit their desks: the deep-state Donald’s political pilgrimage to Islam’s cradle — Arabia. Along with this comes the deal of the century: hundreds of billions of dollars that the Saudi regime will be forfeiting for weapons, weapons’ systems, and decades of maintenance expenses, which will essentially bankrupt the oil kingdom. The numbers tossed around are $100 billion to $300 billion over a period of ten years. This showboat display of numbers obscures the fact that the Saudi ruling class is on the verge of mortgaging the peninsula of Islam and its oil wealth to the busy businessman from the whitewashing White House.

In the meantime, news studios in Arabia are humming the propaganda line that they are embarking on this venture in the name of “self-defense” and “national security.” And who is a threat to their national security? Of course, Islamic Iran, not Zionist Israel! For the record, the Saudi presiding princes and their kings ever since they imposed family rule on Arabia over 80 years ago never declared war against Israel. In their twisted definitions of Islamic vocabulary Israel is “Ahl al-Kitab”! And Iran is “kafir”!

The acting has a fantastic cast. The president of the United States of America — the prime Israeli enabler — decides to make his first visit overseas to, of all places, Saudi Arabia — the same Saudi Arabia he berated during his presidential campaign. Let us recall his campaign kvetching about how the US is defending the Saudis on the cheap, “If the Saudis want protection they have to pay for it.” Well, now has come the time for them to cough up the dough.

Real-deal Trump is not going to Arabia to perform the Hajj. He is going there to empty current and future Saudi coffers. All this talk from Washington about Saudi Arabia being the leader of the Islamic world amounts to dressing up the Saudis in public opinion for their pawning of Arabia to Israel and America. The gatekeepers from America to Arabia are careful not to stimulate some rather uncomfortable public thoughts about this Saudi surrender to Zionist America — thoughts such as “the Saudis will never receive advanced weapons from the US such as the advanced F-35” or “an independent Saudi war industry infrastructure.” In other words, whatever the US is going to sell to the Saudi regime will be inferior to whatever the US offers and sells to the Israeli regime.

Mohammad bin Salman — the prince training to be king — was in Washington in April and let slip that his Kingdom will pump $200 billion into the American industrial and commercial infrastructure in the course of Trump’s four years. How will the Saudis come up with that type of money when their reserves have dwindled to survival level due to their war of aggression in Yemen and the financing of wars in Syria, Iraq, Libya, etc? The nitwits in the ruling family are floating the idea of auctioning off Aramco and privatizing other state entities. The Saudis in the past century went from rags to riches. Now they are turning the circle and going from riches to rags.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is ideologically impoverished and economically insolvent. The hordes of Wahhabi brutes indoctrinated by Saudi financed “madrasahs,” coming to fight their “jihad” in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and elsewhere are no longer a strategic asset or a political plus for the Saudi imperialist subcontractors. And the money (mis)managers of Saudi officialdom are quickly depleting their financial holdings. This year’s Saudi deficit is estimated to be around $90 billion. Religiously ruined and politically wrecked, the Saudis are now playing their last card: an alliance with their imperialist patron and Zionist godfather — Washington and Tel Aviv, respectively.

Bereft of iman these Arabian quislings are caught in the meshwork of mushriks: the more they feel threatened (threats that are kafir-defined) the more they need weapons; and the more they buy weapons the more they feel threatened!

The American military industrial complex feels very comfortable with Trump the fortune hunter, and Saudis the “take-it-all” suckers. The Saudi inferiors may even decide to hike up the price of Hajj and ‘Umrah to pay Uncle Sam and Cousin Isaac for their survival.

Imagine if all this money that the Saudi chiefs are shelling out to the imperialists and Zionists were spent fi sabilillah. Envisage what a world the Muslims would have if hundreds of billions of dollars went to a consolidation of the Muslim rank and file instead of their takfiri dogma, which has plunged the Muslim East in what appears to be wars without end. Visualize the millions of Muslim children, women, and men who are dying of hunger — the extended hands of Yemenis and Somalis who are begging for water and food to stay alive — and then look at the rulers in Riyadh perpetuating that tragedy while they bow to their lords in Tel Aviv and prostrate to their idols in America by gambling the wealth and resources to imperialist intruders and Israeli invaders.

If there were rulers in Arabia who owed their allegiance to Allah (swt) they would not have been dictated to by the Washington-London-Tel Aviv axis of evil. The financial empire they have would have been put to good use by summoning the scientists, researchers, and technologists from all over the world to come to the land of Islam and build an Islamic infrastructure. That would include military industries, nuclear technology, inter-continental ballistic missiles, satellites, etc. All the money the Saudis are going to hand over to their earthly lords will be spent toward no good cause. Had these Saudi officials embarked on such a course, they would have gained the respect of their people and other peoples everywhere — Muslims and non-Muslims. Instead, they are prolonging a contemporary systemic attempt at exterminating fellow Muslims in Yemen during Ramadan, during the sacred months (al-ashhur al-hurum), and throughout the year.

If the religio-political class in Arabia was confident of its Islam, it would have entered into dialogue with its Islamic neighbor in Iran and figured out for itself whether Iran is an enemy or a friend, leaving no room for Zionists and imperialists to tell them who and what Iran is. The Saudi officials have lost an opportunity to bring Muslims together when they had their soft power. Now the only thing they can do is summon their paid political punters to pay obeisance to the imperial lord.

In this confused “money has the last word” diplomacy, even Hamas is showing signs of giving in. Their decision makers are doing a “Fatah” in the Palestinian arena. What is now the difference between Hamas that wants to wheel and deal with the Zionists, and the Palestinian Authority that decided to do the same wheeling and dealing decades ago? Shuttling between Doha, Istanbul, and Tunisia has taken its toll on the rocking chair revolutionaries of Hamas.

In this pitch-dark political night in the Muslim East the only star that shines is the Islamic Republic of Iran. When virtually everyone is marching to the tune of the Washington-London-Tel Aviv ensemble, the Islamic will in Iran stands out.

Trump’s attempt to forge a “Jewish-Christian-Islamic” grand alliance will fail. You read it here first. It will fail because it is at odds with the course of history and it conflicts with the inevitability of justice. The accord of ruling classes in Tel Aviv, London, and Washington — along with Riyadh, Doha, and Ankara — is not to be confused with the unanimity of beleaguered Muslims whose day of salvation comports with the tide of time and the heave of history. [i]“And they said, ‘By Pharaoh’s grandeur, behold, it is we indeed who will prevail!’” (26:44).[/i]

SAUDI DEPUTY CROWN PRINCE MOHAMMED BIN SALMAN MOVES WITH TIMES
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/region/mena/...with-times

The young prince outlined his plans in a nearly 90-minute conversation at his office. Two years into his campaign as change agent in Saudi Arabia, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman appears to be gaining confidence and political clout to push his agenda of economic and social reform. The young prince outlined his plans in a nearly 90-minute conversation at his office here. Aides said it was his first lengthy on-the-record interview in months. He offered detailed explanations about foreign policy, plans to privatise oil giant Saudi Aramco, strategy for investment in domestic industry, and liberalisation of the entertainment sector despite opposition from some religious leaders.

Mohammed bin Salman explained that the crucial requirement for reform is public willingness to change a traditional society. "The most concerning thing is if the Saudi people are not convinced. If the Saudi people are convinced, the sky is the limit," he said, speaking through an interpreter.

Change seems increasingly desired in this young, restless country. A recent Saudi poll found that 85 per cent of the public, if forced to choose, would support the government rather than religious authorities on policy matters, said Abdullah Al Hokail, the head of the government's public opinion center. He added that 77 per cent of those surveyed supported the government's "Vision 2030" reform plan, and 82 per cent favoured music performances at public gatherings attended by men and women.

"MBS," as the deputy crown prince is known, said he is "very optimistic" about President Trump. He described Trump as "a president who will bring America back to the right track" after Barack Obama, whom Saudi officials mistrusted. "Trump has not yet completed 100 days and he has restored all the alliances of the US with its conventional allies."
There's less apparent political tension than a year ago, when many analysts saw a rivalry between Mohammed bin Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who is officially next in line for the throne but less prominent than his cousin. Whatever the succession proves to be, the deputy crown prince appears to be firmly in control of Saudi military strategy, foreign policy and economic planning.

The biggest economic change is the plan to privatise about 5 per cent of Saudi Aramco, which MBS said will take place next year. This public offering would probably raise hundreds of billions of dollars and be the largest such sale in financial history. The exact size of the offering will depend on financial-market demand and the availability of good options for investing the proceeds, he told me. The rationale for selling a share of the kingdom's oil treasure is to raise money to diversify the economy away from reliance on energy.

The entertainment industry is a proxy for the larger puzzle of how to unlock the Saudi economy. Changes have begun. A Japanese orchestra that included women performed onstage here this month, before a mixed audience of men and women. A Comic Con convention took place in Jeddah recently with young men and women dressing up as characters from 'Supernatural' and other favourites. Comedy clubs feature sketch comedians (but no female stand-up comics, yet).
"We want to change the culture," says Ahmed Al Khatib, a former investment banker who's chairman of the entertainment authority. His target is to create six public entertainment options every weekend for Saudis. But the larger goal, he said, is "spreading happiness" in what has sometimes been a somber country.

The instigator of this attempt to reimagine the kingdom is the 31-year-old deputy crown prince. With his brash demeanor, he's the opposite of the traditional Bedouin reserve of past Saudi leaders. Unlike so many Saudi princes, he wasn't educated in the West, which may have preserved the raw, combative energy that is part of his appeal for young Saudis.
Mohammed bin Salman is careful when he talks about religious issues. So far, he has treated the religious authorities as allies against radicalism rather than cultural adversaries. He argues that the kingdom's extreme religious conservatism is a relatively recent phenomenon in Saudi Arabia, born in reaction to the 1979 Iranian revolution and the seizure of the Makkah mosque by radicals later that year.

"I'm young. Seventy per cent of our citizens are young," he said. "We don't want to waste our lives in this whirlpool that we were in the past 30 years. We want to end this epoch now. We want, as the Saudi people, to enjoy the coming days, and concentrate on developing our society and developing ourselves as individuals and families, while retaining our religion and customs. We will not continue to be in the post-'79 era," he concluded. "That age is over."
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#69
BIN SALMAN’s RISE (AND ANTICIPATED FALL !)
https://crescent.icit-digital.org/articl...pated-fall

King Salman’s appointment of his son Mohammed bin Salman to replace Mohammed bin Nayef as crown prince on June 21 was widely expected. What was a de facto situation was given official cover. The king’s favorite son has been the public face of Saudi Arabia since Salman’s accession as king in January 2015. Not surprisingly, the sycophantic Saudi media went into a frenzy proclaiming the non-existent virtues of the young prince. Had the king appointed a camel as crown prince, the Saudi media would have found merit in that as well.

Extremely arrogant, Bin Salman is likely to cause more disasters to the Kingdom, which is already reeling from several (of his) policy failures. The war on Syria since 2011 is going nowhere; the Yemeni war launched by Bin Salman as defence minster was meant to bolster his credentials. Instead, it has exposed his incompetence as well as that of the Saudi armed forces despite massive superiority in weapons. If causing mass starvation and destruction of the poorest country in the Muslim East are the hallmarks of “success,” then Bin Salman can be considered to be extremely “successful.” This, however, is barbarism of the worst kind. And the father-son duo has compounded their woes by taking on tiny Qatar, almost blowing up the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

With such a record of failures, Bin Salman should have been fired. He wears his failures as a badge of honor. Besides, his father had already set his mind on making him the future king. There is speculation that Salman would abdicate in his son’s favor thereby ensuring a “smooth transition.” The Kingdom’s internal dynamics may not be so amenable.

The big question is: why now? Bin Salman’s numerous failures notwithstanding, the reason for his elevation can be found in US President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia (May 20–22, 2017). This was projected as the crowning achievement of the Kingdom, more specifically of Bin Salman who has cultivated close links with Trump as well as his Jewish-Zionist son-in-law Jared Kushner. That such friendship has come at a huge price — $350 billion to be forked out to the Americans over a 10-year period — is considered a small price.

Even the Israelis are elated at Bin Salman’s appointment. On June 22, Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz publicly called for inviting Bin Salman to Tel Aviv and sending Benjamin Netanyahu to Riyadh to establish diplomatic relations. This possibility cannot be discounted since the two regimes have already announced plans to establish economic relations. It would be a small step for full diplomatic ties.

These external props may not be sufficient to weather the internal storm that is bound to erupt once Salman is dead. Members of the Saudi clan are ruthlessly ambitious. Hitherto, they have deferred to the decisions of the elders — sons of ‘Abd al-‘Aziz — but this may not hold true for the next generation. In the official announcement, the royal decree said 31 out of 34 members of the Allegiance Council had endorsed Bin Salman’s appointment without explaining why Bin Nayef was removed as crown prince and interior minister. How can we be sure the Allegiance Council’s vote is accurately reflected? Besides, the army of Saudi royals would demand their share in the Kingdom’s spoils. Their fathers had played an equal if not greater role in propping up the Kingdom by maintaining clan solidarity.

Bin Salman’s uncles and thousands of cousins would raise the issue of his policy failures. If hitherto Bani Saud have maintained clan solidarity, it was precisely out of fear that everyone would lose if things fell apart. This argument cuts both ways. If Bin Salman’s policies pile up more disasters — and there is no reason to believe they will not given his failures so far — the other clan members will not remain silent. They will demand his removal before he destroys everything.

A possible scenario would be to push Bin Salman out as king but the question of succession will loom large. Given the stakes, everyone would maintain that he is most qualified to take over. Clan warfare is bound to erupt and it is safe to assume it would be a messy and ugly affair. Once the bloodletting and throat slitting ends, there may not be much left of the Bani-Saud clan. We can’t wait for that day!


BEDOUINS AT WAR !
https://crescent.icit-digital.org/articl...ins-at-war

The Saudi-Qatari spat is neither about Qatar supporting terrorism, nor about its support of the Muslim Brotherhood, or even its non-hostile relations with Iran. True, crude Bedouin mentality has a lot to do with the nasty brawl between Bani Saud and al-Thanis in Qatar, but a much bigger game is being played out. At the root lies Bani Saud’s demand that all regimes in the region submit to their diktat. Those falling out of line will face the Najdi Bedouins’ wrath.

The Najdi Bedouins may be living in air-conditioned palaces with marble-tiled floors and extravagant drapes today but at heart they remain Bedouins. Crudity is in their genes. After all, would a pig become a beautiful woman even if it were dressed in fancy clothes with massive amounts of lipstick splashed on it? It remains a pig: filthy and smelly.

Led by the brash Defence Minister Muhammad bin Salman, Bani Saud have declared war on tiny Qatar to bring it into line. Saudi client regimes — the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Egypt, Maldives (the archipelago of sinking islands!), Mauritania, and the joke government of Libya — were also forced to follow suit. When cash-strapped Tunisia demurred, Bani Saud threatened to cut off their bakhshish.

The Najdi Bedouins accuse the Qataris of supporting terrorism! It is like the prostitutes of Paris accusing the English Collective of Prostitutes of indulging in immorality. True, Qatar has been supporting and financing terrorists in Syria and Iraq but Bani Saud are no better; they are guilty of much bigger crimes.

All terrorist activities worldwide can be traced directly to Saudi Arabia. The Najdi Bedouins provide ideological support, funding, and weapons to the terrorists. The Saudis also fund madrasahs in such places as Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Indonesia churning out terrorists by the thousands.

It is not terrorism per se that Bani Saud object to; after all Saudi Arabia is a terror factory. Qatar’s real sin is that it has been supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, which the Saudis, Egyptians, and Emiratis have targeted. While the Najdi Bedouins consider all non-Wahhabis as “heretics” — the overwhelming majority of Sunnis have returned the compliment by declaring that the Wahhabis are not part of Ahl al-Sunnah wa-al-Jama‘ah (see the declaration of some 200 Sunni ‘ulama’ at the Islamic Conference in Grozny, Chechnya on August 25–27, 2016) — the Qataris are more tolerant of non-Wahhabis.

Further, Qatar refused to abide by the nonsensical “Riyadh Declaration” that the Saudis claimed Muslim rulers had “debated and agreed to” in Riyadh on May 22 during Donald Trump’s visit. No such debate ever took place, much less any of the assembled rulers agreeing to it. This so-called declaration was an act of war against Islamic Iran. Many rulers were surprised to learn about it from the media!

The Qataris see the Saudi move as an attempt at regime change. Saudi and UAE lobbyists are involved in a massive disinformation campaign against Qatar. Political commentator Pepe Escobar, writing in Sputnik (his article was reproduced in Information Clearing House on June 7, 2017) pointed out, a  trail of evidence points to a concerted strategy elaborated by the Israeli lobby (via the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, founded, among others, by nefarious casino schemer Sheldon Adelson, and very close to… Net-anyahu); US neocon/Ziocon/ neoliberalcon elements; and the UAE ambassador in Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba.

Leaked emails have shown how Otaiba — widely idolized in the Beltway because of his “largesse” — and the neocon Foundation for Defense of Democracies have discussed means of teaching Qatar a lesson for its support of Hamas, and overall non-confrontational policies towards Iran.  Otaiba also happens to be close to Jared Kushner — which would explain Trump’s reaction to the anti-Qatar blitzkrieg.”

Immediately after the Saudis’ anti-Qatar announcement, Trump resorted to his customary tweets saying his Riyadh policy was yielding results. He later tried to soften the message by inviting the various parties for a meeting at the White House to resolve the dispute. The Qatari ruler, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani saw this as a trap and refused to leave Doha fearing he would not be able to return. A Saudi puppet would instead be installed to replace him with the help of 10,000 US troops stationed at al-Udeid air base in Qatar.

File photograph of Qatar’s ruler, Shaykh Tamim ibn Hamad Al Thani, meeting with Turkey’s President Erdogan, right, in Doha. In the diplomatic doublespeak that normally attends the goings-on of heads of state belonging to the realpolitik school of international relations, analysts are saying that Turkey’s (Erdogan’s) decision to support Qatar with troops and food shipments is more pro-Qatari than anti-Saudi. Turkey set up a military base in Qatar, its first such installation in the Muslim East, as part of an agreement signed in 2014. The base, which has a capacity to accommodate up to 5,000 troops, was already hosting 200 Turkish soldiers when the falling-out between the erstwhile GCC members took place. Two days after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, and Bahrain severed diplomatic relations with Qatar for its alleged support of “terrorist organizations,” Turkey’s parliament ratified military deals allowing its troops to be deployed to its base there.

In the immediate aftermath of Saudi announcement on June 5 — an unfortunate choice of date since it coincided with the Zionist war of aggression exactly 50 years ago against Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in June 1967 — the Qataris worried about more than mere diplomatic isolation. Since Qatar receives most of its food shipments via Saudi Arabia, these were blocked. In a deft move, Turkey and Iran both announced that they were willing to help Qatar with its food and water imports. Both have sent plane-loads as well as ships delivering much needed food and water, The Qataris have also been seeking help from Russia. While initially remaining neutral, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan later made a crucial decision to side with Qatar. On June 7, the Turkish parliament passed a bill allowing deployment of up to 20,000 troops in Qatar. Two days later, Erdogan signed the bill into law. Turkey already has 600 troops stationed in Qatar. Whatever the size of the new deployment, it places Ankara squarely on the side of Doha and against Bani Saud.

Qatar’s shift toward the Russia-Iran-Turkey axis is what has aroused great anger in Riyadh. While the three — Russia, Iran, and Turkey — are not on the same page on all issues, there is convergence of thought on some matters. For instance, Russia and Iran are on one side of the Syria crisis while Turkey and Qatar are on the opposite side, but Qatar and Iran also share a common gas field in the Persian Gulf. One of the reasons for the war on Syria was related to the location of the gas pipeline to Europe going via Syria. The US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, however, wanted to install a puppet regime in Damascus first. The aim was, together with the Saudi-led drop in oil prices, to undermine Russia. The result has been immense bloodletting in Syria without the conspirators succeeding in their nefarious design.

Qatar is the world’s leading exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Given its tiny population (200,000 natives) and another two million expatriates, Qatar has amassed enormous wealth. This has enabled Doha to punch way above its weight in international affairs, much to the consternation of Bani Saud. Qatar’s refusal to join the US-Zionist-Saudi led anti-Iran crusade has further riled up Bani Saud.

When the Saudis first declared war on Qatar, there was panic in Doha. Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani announced that his government wanted to resolve the crisis through dialogue but Bani Saud wanted surrender, not talks. Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman issued a laundry list of demands including shutting down al-Jazeera, immediate end to support not only of the Muslim Brotherhood but also of Hamas, which the Saudis now consider a “terrorist” organization because it opposes Saudi ally Zionist Israel (Hamas leaders, please note!). Most importantly, the Saudis want the Qataris to terminate all relations with Tehran.

The panic in Doha eased somewhat when a number of countries among them Turkey, Iran, and Russia offered to help. On a visit to Paris on June 12, Qatari Foreign Minister Shaykh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told reporters, “Whatever relates to our foreign affairs… no one has the right to discuss.” While calling for “dialog based on clear foundations” over the anti-Qatar accusations, he expressed surprise at the move against his country. “It’s not about Iran or al-Jazeera,” he said. “We have no clue about the real reasons.”

Saudi Arabia and its short list of satellites decided to sever ties with Qatar and suspend air, sea, and land transport of all supplies, including food, which the tiny Gulf state almost wholly imports, in of all months, Rama?œn, when Muslims, especially those who are loudly trumpeting the Shari‘ah, are supposed to be in a giving spirit. Iran and Turkey offered to relieve the Qatari population of any shortages; Reza Nourani, head of the National Union of Iran’s Agricultural Products, indicated that it is possible for Iran to satisfy the country’s demand for agricultural products. By 6-12-2017, Iran had already exported up to 400 tons and over 50 containers of food per day, either by sea freight or air cargo.

Pakistan, a staunch Saudi ally — the country’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif flew to Jeddah on June 12 for talks with Saudi King Salman — did not cut relations with Qatar nor did it stop importation of LNG from the tiny gas-rich country. In a sensible move, the Pakistani parliament called for strict neutrality in the intra-Arab dispute. Instead, it urged the government to use its good offices to mediate between the warring parties. Pakistani Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Foreign Policy Advisor Sartaj Aziz, and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa also accompanied Sharif on his Saudi sojourn. What was the purpose? There is speculation that the Pakistani premier, already close to the Saudis, was looking for some more bakhshish. Whether the amount would be enough to “convince” him to ditch his Qatari friend Shaykh Tamim is debatable. Nawaz Sharif is not very articulate, or bright, so his role as a mediator is a non-starter.

Far from succeeding in their bullying tactics against adversaries, the Saudis may have shot themselves in the second foot as well. There appeared to be some backtracking on the artificial crisis when Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said in London on June 16 that his country did not want to harm the Qatari people and called Qatar an “ally.”

What brought about this change in tone even if not in policy? Several factors seem to have contributed to this. After the initial panic in Doha, the situation stabilized somewhat with support from a number of other countries. The US, too, on whose support Bani Saud are relying, went ahead on June 12 to announce a $12 billion sale of F-15 aircraft to Qatar. Further, the two countries’ navies also concluded joint naval drills in the Persian Gulf. Far from isolating Qatar, the Saudis had isolated themselves.

Their ill-conceived policy in Yemen while inflicting enormous suffering on the people there, is getting nowhere. And there is speculation that General Raheel Sharif, Pakistan’s former army chief who is heading the so-called Arab-Islamic NATO force, may resign. That would be the end of Bin Salman’s half-baked idea.

Whatever the end result of the Bani-Saud spat with Qatar, it is now almost certain that the Gulf Cooperation Council is dead. This is the direct result of Trump’s embrace of Bani Saud even if the latter paid him a huge sum of $110 billion (to go up to $350 billion in 10 years) as protection money. Bani Saud are digging far too many holes for themselves. They are about to fall into one of them and disappear forever. Many people, especially Muslims, would welcome such a development.


WHEN TWO QUARREL BOTH ARE IN THE WRONG 
https://crescent.icit-digital.org/articl...-the-wrong

In the past few weeks barrels of ink, tons of paper, high decibel rhetoric, and striking pictorial expositions have circulated and spread about the Qatar versus Saudi-Emirati-Bahraini-Egyptian shouting match. Calm down, will you! The Arabian rulers, true to their pre-Islamic pedigrees are displaying their verbal and theatrical skills on orders from their conductors. The Saudi performers began their big-brother posturing immediately after their chief, Donald Trump, boarded Air Force One in a direct flight, the first of its kind, from Riyadh to Tel Aviv. 

So far their rhetoric toward their erstwhile neighbor Qatar has switched from placing conditions on Doha, to issuing orders, and now all that has morphed into complaints. Always the slaves of imperial lords, not ‘ibadullah, these glib officials with gallabiyahs (desert negligees) inform us via their high-profile fixer in Washington (the ball-headed, brown-noser heir to Bandar, Yousef al-Otaiba), that all these stipulations and pressures placed by the Saudi cohorts on Qatar will be presented to Washington, “O lord Donald! Sami‘na wa ata‘na: We heard you and we obey.” Subsequently, as if on cue,the Qatari government brought out of retirement its previous foreign minister to pay homage to the imperialist god in Washington.

The Zionist Arabian officials ganged up on Qatar and initially demanded that Qatar abide by ten requests before even sitting at the negotiation table. These requests or demands were not made public. Then the baby-faced Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubair showed up in London to listen to his British counterpart Boris Johnson, the waswas (whisperer), after which al-Jubair said preparations are under way to make known those demands. 

From press reports this is what the Saudi lineup wants from Qatar:

1. Qatar should officially apologize in the person of its amir Shaykh Tamim ibn Óamad Al Thani to all the Gulf Cooperation Council members for the vilification aired by al-Jazeera TV. And then al-Jazeera should be taken off the air permanently and without delay.

2. Qatar has to sever all relations and stop all funding of the Egyptian al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin (the Muslim Brotherhood). All members of that organization residing in Qatar would have to leave. All direct and indirect financial assistance given by Qatar to that organization and its political and media apparatus would have to cease; especially those who are located in Istanbul and London.

3. Qatar has to shut down all networks, sites, and newspapers that it founded under numerous shells having company titles or names of persons operating outside the scope of Qatari officialdom. Included in this are some TV stations, and a list of other media operations.

4. Qatar has to break off political relations with Islamic Iran. Qatar has to require and orient its media setups to deal with the Islamic Republic as a state sponsor of terrorism in line with other Gulf-state “news” outlets, especially al-‘Arabiya (a Saudi mouthpiece) and Sky News (an Emirate newsmonger).

5. Qatar has to sever all ties to Hizbullah and Hamas as both are “terrorist organizations.” It seems, since then, there may have been some backpedaling concerning Hamas due to “the Egyptian national interest.”

6. Qatar is not allowed to harbor any dissidents from other Gulf states or to grant them Qatari citizenship. And if any enter Qatar they should be expelled back to their countries of origin. To appease the Saudis, the Qataris indeed extradited the Saudi dissident Muhammad al-‘Utaybi and his family back to Saudi Arabia a day before the Saudis opened their big guns on Qatar. Doha is also reported to have deported dissident Bahrainis back to Manama some time ago.

7. Qatar has to close down certain Doha-based research centers and institutions that it sponsors. The same applies to other centers and institutions located outside of Qatar.

8. Qatar must pledge not to follow policies that conflict with other Gulf regimes or may result in harm to those regimes.

9. Qatar has to refrain from any political alliances or military agreements with regional powers that are at odds with the strategic interests of the Gulf regimes. An obvious reference to both Turkey and Iran.

10. Qatar has to normalize rela-tions with the Egyptian authorities and terminate all media operations against Egypt.

As it appears from these sovereignty infringements Qatar either succumbs or resists. There doesn’t appear to be another way out of this quandary.

All of this brings us to the larger picture of Arabian drifting drudges who are at the beck and call of their imperialist god and American lord. This god/lord with its Zionist spirit is working on two fronts. Let us call them the northern front and the southern front. On the northern front the war is on to kill as many Muslims as possible. Hence, the war grinds on in Iraq and Syria — though that war is not winding down the way it was planned by the imperialist intellectuals and the Israeli elites. The active war in that northern theater is a bonanza for the military-industrial-banking complex. 

Now the southern front in its pre-war phase is to become an economic boost for the US and Israel; along with some other minor hangers on. The filthy rich Arabian buffoons have to be stirred into animosity to open their bank accounts for the businessman administration in Washington. And the first sting is what is unfolding before our very eyes in this spat between a trillion dollar Qatar on one side and multi-trillion dollar Arabian tent-states on the other. Quite good for beginners if you happen to be on the profit-making side of this issue. The Saudi pubescent princes cannot see it, but they have failed miserably in putting together their grand alliance against terrorism, which they have been working on for a couple of years now in obeisance to their chauvinistic commanders in Washington and their Talmudic partitions in Tel Aviv. They are huffing and puffing against Qatar and the only other countries to have severed relations with Qatar are Mauritania, Eritrea, the Comoros Islands, and the Yemeni posse of officials who claim to be the “legitimate rulers of Yemen,” now living in Saudi Arabia. Other regimes, such as Jordan and Djibouti, due to their beggar relationship with the flush royals in Arabia, downgraded their relations with Qatar.

This intra-Arabian tragi-comedy is still developing at a nerve-racking rapidity and roller-coaster velocity. This developing story one day, and deteriorating story another day is reminiscent of Arabians in their jahiliyah: chieftains, tribes, revenge, raids, and then settling a score. It is suggestive of the inability to speak to each other; to understand each other and to accommodate each other. An anecdote comes to mind: an Arabian goes to a shop to buy poison bait for a rat infestation at home. He is given poison bait made domestically. He objects and says he wants the best quality and the best must be imported from a foreign country. The clerk at the store tells him, “But when it comes to poison the locals are the most venomous and they make the most toxic bait you will ever find in any market!”

How noxious and toxic are these Saudis? They went to war with the poorest country in the Arabian Peninsula (Yemen) over two years ago with rockets and bombs, artillery fire and air, sea, and ground operations until we have today a Yemen that is ringing the alarm bells in humanitarian quarters because of Saudi war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

And at present the same Saudis are threatening the richest country in the Arabian Peninsula (per capita); what do they want to do? Will they be satisfied with a siege, a blockade, a boycott, an embargo, and imposed sanctions? As if these desert beasts cannot be satisfied unless they see starving babies, broken families, refugee populations, blood on hospital floors, in wedding halls, and in funeral ceremonies! The sky belongs to God, but the Saudi coalition wants to close down the skies over and around any country that seeks freedom, independence, and self-determination. If only a small portion of this Saudi vengeance and retribution was directed against the Zionist colonialists and racist imperialists, Israel would not have lasted this long. Qatar Airways cannot fly over practically all the countries around it! The only air space it has is over the Islamic Republic of Iran; while El-Al, the Israeli airline, flies without restrictions over Egypt and Jordan and other undisclosed Muslim countries. Any ventures, business enterprises, or institutions related to Qatar are axed in the Saudi gang of states while Israel has its chambers of commerce, its security contingents, and its intelligence operatives roaming freely throughout this Saudi sphere of influence: Dubai and Abu Dhabi stand out as prime and obvious examples. Bahrain has housed the Israelis for decades now. Israeli products, disguised as Jordanian, Moroccan, etc. are bought and sold everywhere the Saudi sphere of control happens to be.

In this bizarre Saudi realm of command it is kosher for Israelized Muslims to wage war against themselves. It is halal for Israelized Muslims to hate each other. It becomes permissible for Israelized Muslims to take possession of Makkah and Madinah and impose a quota on the Ummah to constrict the Hajj and constrain the ‘Umrah. In this Israelized Islam of Bani Saud a Palestinian who resists Zionism and defends his rights is called a terrorist. And the Israeli Zionists who steal a country and kill a population, in the vocabulary of Saudi Wahhabism, are “Ahl al-Kitab.”

Qatar is not an angel; it is not above suspicion. Qatar is as shamefaced as its counterparts in the GCC. Was it not Qatar that was one of the first Arabian nation-states to receive official Israelis years ago? Was it not Qatar’s ex-foreign minister who said that Hamas has given up on armed resistance? Was it not Qatar that drew the map of Palestine to include only the West Bank and Ghazzah? Didn’t the now extinct Shimon Peres visit Qatar? Didn’t Tzipi Livni visit Qatar also? Isn’t Qatar responsible for arming, financing, and offering logistical help to the organ-chewing and head decapitating mercenaries in Syria?

But no one should lose sight of the Saudi regime of high crimes and misdemeanors. We have to keep our eyes on the moving picture. Don’t get distracted by the branches. We have to pull out this problem from its roots. Those roots are Wahhabia Saudia and the Yahudi Saudi, “The Arabian Nomads are more severe in their kufr and in their nifaq…” (9:97).
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IS CIVIL WAR COMING TO SAUDI ARABIA?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EU_4kumlUQc
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