Archive | January 12th, 2016

On Ghada Ageel’s edited ISRAHELL APARTHEID IN PALESTINE

NOVANEWS

 by Dr: Richard Falk

(Prefatory Note: Ghada Ageel’s expertly edited Israeli Apartheid in Palestine: Hard Laws and Harder Experiences has just been published by the University of Albert Press. It is an important contribution to Palestinian studies with an especially welcome linking of activism, scholarly analysis, and experiential narrative, each a vital perspective represented by excellent chapter writers. Publishing information can be found at the following:

http://www.uap.ualberta.ca/titles/415-9781772120820-apartheid-in-palestine

I publish below my foreword to the volume as a further indication of why I encourage all those with an interest in this subject-matter to obtain the book]

 

Foreword (by Richard Falk)

From many points of view, the struggle between Jews and Arabs over historic Palestine that has gone on for almost a century, is at a critical juncture. For more than twenty years most hopes for a peaceful resolution of the conflict depended on a diplomatic framework agreed upon in Oslo and solemnized by the infamous 1993 White House handshake between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat with a smiling Bill Clinton standing tall between these embattled leaders. More than a year has elapsed since the end of expectations that Oslo diplomacy is the solution given the collapse in April 2014 of the American attempt to induce the parties to negotiate directly that Secretary of John Kerry had dramatically declared to be ‘the last chance’ to realize the two-state solution.

This Oslo framework was so one-sided from the outset as to seem structurally incapable of ever producing a fair outcome, given the bisecting of Occupied Palestine, splitting the West Bank from Gaza, entrusting partisan United States with the honest broker role, failing even to affirm a Palestinian right of self-determination, and the exclusion of international law from the negotiations. This latter may have been most damaging bias of all, allowing the Israelis to continue their unlawful land grabbing encroachment on post-1967 Palestine (expanding settlements; building the separation barrier, and constructing a network of settler only roads) , with the U.S. using its geopolitical muscle to insulate Israel from any adverse consequences through the years.

So with Oslo in shambles, new tendencies on both sides are becoming evident.

Israeli internal politics that have been drifting further and further to the right, and seems on the verge of producing a consensus favoring a unilaterally imposed solution that will leave the Palestinians squeezed either into barren bantustans on the West Bank or incorporated into an Israeli one-state solution in which the best that they can hope for is to be treated decently as second-class citizens in a self-proclaimed Israeli ethnocracy. Beyond this, even these diminished democratic elements in the Israeli reality would be threatened by the prospects of a Palestinian majority, leading many prominent Israelis to throw their democratic pretensions under the bus of ethnic privilege. The Knesset signaled the adoption of such an approach when it elected Reuven Rivlin as President of Israel, a fierce advocate of a single Israeli state encompassing the entirety of Palestine. To be sure, liberal minded Israeli Zionists, among them Amos Oz, are worried by these developments, warning that however belatedly, Israel’s only hope for real peace is to accept

a viable Palestinian sovereign state on its borders, but it seems as if such concerns are politically irrelevant voices in the wilderness.

On the Palestinian side the relevant discussions are more in the realm of aspirations, pinning hopes on a renewed cycle of intensifying resistance by an array of nonviolent tactics and bolstered by a growing global solidarity movement that follows the tactics and guidance of Palestinian civil society leaders. If such an assessment is correct it represents something quite new, shifting the locus of expectations from the level of governments to that of people and popular mobilization. In these respects, the formal governmental actors have become marginalized, with the Palestinian Authority compromised due to its partially collaborative and dependent relationship with Israel and the United States and Hamas limited in its capacity to provide international leadership, although its leaders have repeatedly expressed their readiness for long-term peaceful coexistence with Israel. The question is whether such a globally based and populist Palestinian national movement can exert sufficient pressure on the Israeli established order to force a recalculation of interests in Tel Aviv, a process comparable to what occurred so dramatically in South Africa two decades ago, a drastic change by the governing white elite that was signaled there by the utterly surprising release from prison of Nelson Mandela, up until then alleged to be South Africa’s number one terrorist.

There are other post-Oslo developments of relevance as well. The European governments have been breaking ranks by announcing in different ways their recognition of Palestinian statehood and the desirability of admitting Palestine to full membership in the United Nations. Such steps, although entirely symbolic and likely unable to alter policies, are challenges to the notion that only the United States can speak to the conflict. These European initiatives contain some ambiguities, as well, because they still seem yoked to some variant of the Oslo two-state mantra, and even seem to call for resumed

direct negotiations. I can only ask ‘to what end?’ given past futility and Israel’s

undisguised moves toward imposing a unilaterally satisfying outcome without worrying as to whether the Palestinians like it or not. The Palestinian Authority has taken these steps in a different direction by urging the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution requiring Israeli withdrawal to 1967 borders by November 2016.

It is with these various considerations in mind that Ghada Ageel’s edited volume should be positively received as a timely and welcome addition to the vast literature addressing various facets of the Israel-Palestine unfolding reality. Its most striking feature is how well calibrated the various chapters that compose the whole are to this latest phase of struggle as depicted above. The book is built around the central organizing principle that there are three vital perspectives that enable an understanding and appreciation of both the suffering endured in the past by the Palestinian people and their moral, political, and legal entitlements when contemplating the future.

By distinguishing between those Palestinians whose life story is dominated by the traumatizing experience of a lost homeland, those whose engagement with the Palestinian struggle for justice is a matter of core political identity, and those who are scholars and activists that seek to interpret the conflict from the academic perspectives of international law and international relations Ageel has woven for readers a rich fabric of understanding. This understanding focuses on dispossession and displacement as the essential outcome of the nakba of 1948, the catastrophe that drove as many as 800,000 Palestinians from their cherished homeland, a story long at the core of the Palestinian experience, but only recently told to non-Palestinians in a persuasive manner as the Israeli Holocaust narrative of victimization had dominated public spheres of perception. The activists and scholars represented in this book are not neutral purveyors of knowledge, but individuals of diverse backgrounds who believe that peace will come to these two people if and only if justice is rendered by reference to Palestinian rights, which have been denied and encroached upon for so long.

What is worth noticing about this way of framing inquiry is that it gives scant attention to the conventional empowerment strategies of either armed struggle or diplomacy. The section reporting the lived memories of Palestinians are moving narratives about the past that give existential credibility to what it meant to uproot the Palestinian people, especially those from villages, from their homes and communities.

The section devoted to the tactics, strategies, and engagement of activists seeks to discern effective tactics to challenge an untenable status quo that the organized international community lacks the will and capability to overcome even though the whole tragedy of Palestine can be traced to colonialist policies (the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations Mandate) after World War I and the attempted imposed UN partition plan after World War II.

The final section on morality, politics, and law reinforces the cries of anguish of the Palestinian witnesses and validates the work of the activists by providing well-documented and reasoned support for the main Palestinian grievances. Together, then, this volume without saying so directly speaks percetively to the new realities of the Palestinian national struggle.

There is no attempt made by editor or contributors to assess the current stage of Zionist thinking and that of the Israeli leadership. In one respect Ari Shavit’s book of two years ago, My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel makes the best case for Israeli behavior, acknowledging the cruelty and violence of Palestinian dispossession, and its ugly sequels, but strains to justify everything done to the Palestinian people as ‘necessary,’ part of an ‘us’ or ‘them’ either/or reality. This kind of Israeli thinking is prevalent in several forms, being especially split on whether an Israeli imposed solution should seek to be humane in its treatment of the subjugated Palestinians or will need to continue to rely on an iron fist approach. If one puts aside propaganda disseminated for external consumption, Israel’s present conception of peace is preoccupied with fears, security requirements, and territorial ambitions, leaving no room for any serious attention given to Palestinian rights or what might make peace sustainable and just for both peoples.

In the end, I commend Ghada Ageel for so bravely sharing her own story while guiding us on a comprehensive journey that takes us up to the present historical moment. We cannot read these various contributions, each excellent on its own, without being both moved and instructed. What we come away with is a sense of both the victimization and empowering agency of the Palestinians as apeople, with less interest and expectations associated with either the formal leadership representing Palestine in diplomatic venues or the relevance of either governmental diplomacy or the UN to move the conflict toward an acceptable outcome at this time.

Of course, if we are to hopeful in line with the vision encapsulated in this volume, then we need to get beyond the conventional thinking of political realism. This kind of thinking is bound to be defeatist at this time given the disparity in military capabilities and the degree to which Israel’s hard power seems to be calling the shots. Yet in the period since 1945 this kind of realism has consistently produced failed policies and surprising outcomes. From the great victory of Gandhi’s India over the British Empire to the unlikely defeat of the United States in the Vietnam War, almost all struggles involving political destiny of a country have been eventually won by the side that perseveres and gains control of world public opinion by winning the legitimacy struggle involving justice, law, and morality. There is little doubt that since the Lebanon War of 2006 the Palestinians have been winning this legitimacy struggle as a result of the intensely negative perceptions throughout the world in reaction to the merciless military operations carried out by Israel in Gaza in 2008-09, 2012, and 2014, as well as the 2010 attack on the Turkish led flotilla of humanitarian ships seeking to break the blockade of Gaza that has been punishing the entrapped civilian population for years.

In effect, quietly yet powerfully, Ghada Ageel and her band of collaborators, are telling us to reimagine the Palestinian national struggle, and even to relate to it in an effective and knowledgeable manner. This book gives us the pedagogic and activist tools we need to participate meaningfully and usefully in the greatest of all unresolved colonial era struggles. It should be of interest to anyone concerned with overcoming oppression, seeking justice, and exploring the outer limits of nonviolent struggle by a brave people who have

endured generations of collective suffering.

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How Zionism Helped Create Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

NOVANEWS
Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr
How Zionism Helped Create Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The covert alliance between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Zionist entity of Israel should be no surprise to any student of British imperialism.

The problem is the study of British imperialism has very few students. Indeed, one can peruse any undergraduate or post-graduate British university prospectus and rarely find a module in a Politics degree on the British Empire let alone a dedicated degree or Masters degree. Of course if the European led imperialist carnage in the four years between 1914 – 1918 tickles your cerebral cells then it’s not too difficult to find an appropriate institution to teach this subject, but if you would like to delve into how and why the British Empire waged war on mankind for almost four hundred years you’re practically on your own in this endeavour. One must admit, that from the British establishment’s perspective, this is a formidable and remarkable achievement.

In late 2014, according to the American journal, “Foreign Affairs”, the Saudi petroleum Minister, Ali al-Naimi is reported to have said “His Majesty King Abdullah has always been a model for good relations between Saudi Arabia and other states and the Jewish state is no exception.” Recently, Abdullah’s successor, King Salman expressed similar concerns to those of Israel’s to the growing agreement between the United States and Iran over the latter’s nuclear programme. This led some to report that Israel and KSA presented a “united front” in their opposition to the nuclear deal. This was not the first time the Zionists and Saudis have found themselves in the same corner in dealing with a perceived common foe. In North Yemen in the 1960’s, the Saudis were financing a British imperialist led mercenary army campaign against revolutionary republicans who had assumed authority after overthrowing the authoritarian, Imam. Gamal Abdul-Nasser’s Egypt militarily backed the republicans, while the British induced the Saudis to finance and arm the remaining remnants of the Imam’s supporters. Furthermore, the British organised the Israelis to drop arms for the British proxies in North Yemen, 14 times. The British, in effect, militarily but covertly, brought the Zionists and Saudis together in 1960’s North Yemen against their common foe.

However, one must go back to the 1920’s to fully appreciate the origins of this informal and indirect alliance between Saudi Arabia and the Zionist entity. The defeat of the Ottoman Empire by British imperialism in World War One, left three distinct authorities in the Arabian peninsula: Sharif of Hijaz: Hussain bin Ali of Hijaz (in the west), Ibn Rashid of Ha’il (in the north) and Emir Ibn Saud of Najd (in the east) and his religiously fanatical followers, the Wahhabis.

Ibn Saud had entered the war early in January 1915 on the side of the British, but was quickly defeated and his British handler, William Shakespear was killed by the Ottoman Empire’s ally Ibn Rashid. This defeat greatly hampered Ibn Saud’s utility to the Empire and left him militarily hamstrung for a year.[1] The Sharif contributed the most to the Ottoman Empire’s defeat by switching allegiances and leading the so-called ‘Arab Revolt’ in June 1916 which removed the Turkish presence from Arabia. He was convinced to totally alter his position because the British had strongly led him to believe, via correspondence with Henry McMahon, the British High Commissioner in Egypt, that a unified Arab country from Gaza to the Persian Gulf will be established with the defeat of the Turks. The letters exchanged between Sharif Hussain and Henry McMahon are known as the McMahon-Hussain Correspondence.

Understandably, the Sharif as soon as the war ended wanted to hold the British to their war time promises, or what he perceived to be their war time promises, as expressed in the aforementioned correspondence. The British, on the other hand, wanted the Sharif to accept the Empire’s new reality which was a division of the Arab world between them and the French (Sykes-Picot agreement) and the implementation of the Balfour Declaration, which guaranteed ‘a national for the Jewish people’ in Palestine by colonisation with European Jews. This new reality was contained in the British written, Anglo-Hijaz Treaty, which the Sharif was profoundly averse to signing.[2] After all, the revolt of 1916 against the Turks was dubbed the ‘Arab Revolt’ not the ‘Hijazi Revolt’.

Actually, the Sharif let it be known that he will never sell out Palestine to the Empire’s Balfour Declaration; he will never acquiescence to the establishment of Zionism in Palestine or accept the new random borders drawn across Arabia by British and French imperialists. For their part the British began referring to him as an ‘obstructionist’, a ‘nuisance’ and of having a ‘recalcitrant’ attitude.

The British let it be known to the Sharif that they were prepared to take drastic measures to bring about his approval of the new reality regardless of the service that he had rendered them during the War. After the Cairo Conference in March 1921, where the new Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill met with all the British operatives in the Middle East, T.E. Lawrence (i.e. of Arabia) was dispatched to meet the Sharif to bribe and bully him to accept Britain’s Zionist colonial project in Palestine. Initially, Lawrence and the Empire offered 80,000 rupees.[3] The Sharif rejected it outright. Lawrence then offered him an annual payment of £100,000.[4] The Sharif refused to compromise and sell Palestine to British Zionism.

When financial bribery failed to persuade the Sharif, Lawrence threatened him with an Ibn Saud takeover. Lawrence claimed that “politically and militarily, the survival of Hijaz as a viable independent Hashemite kingdom was wholly dependent on the political will of Britain, who had the means to protect and maintain his rule in the region.” [5] In between negotiating with the Sharif, Lawrence made the time to visit other leaders in the Arabian peninsula and informed them that they if they don’t tow the British line and avoid entering into an alliance with the Sharif, the Empire will unleash Ibn Saud and his Wahhabis who after all is at Britain’s ‘beck and call’.[6]

Simultaneously, after the Conference, Churchill travelled to Jerusalem and met with the Sharif’s son, Abdullah, who had been made the ruler, “Emir”, of a new territory called “Transjordan.” Churchill informed Abdullah that he should persuade “his father to accept the Palestine mandate and sign a treaty to such effect,” if not “the British would unleash Ibn Saud against Hijaz.”[7] In the meantime the British were planning to unleash Ibn Saud on the ruler of Ha’il, Ibn Rashid.

Ibn Rashid had rejected all overtures from the British Empire made to him via Ibn Saud, to be another of its puppets.[8] More so, Ibn Rashid expanded his territory north to the new mandated Palestinian border as well as to the borders of Iraq in the summer of 1920. The British became concerned that an alliance maybe brewing between Ibn Rashid who controlled the northern part of the peninsula and the Sharif who controlled the western part. More so, the Empire wanted the land routes between the Palestinian ports on the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf under the rule of a friendly party. At the Cairo Conference, Churchill agreed with an imperial officer, Sir Percy Cox that “Ibn Saud should be ‘given the opportunity to occupy Hail.’”[9] By the end of 1920, the British were showering Ibn Saud with “a monthly ‘grant’ of £10,000 in gold, on top of his monthly subsidy. He also received abundant arms supplies, totalling more than 10,000 rifles, in addition to the critical siege and four field guns” with British-Indian instructors.[10] Finally, in September 1921, the British unleashed Ibn Saud on Ha’il which officially surrendered in November 1921. It was after this victory the British bestowed a new title on Ibn Saud. He was no longer to be “Emir of Najd and Chief of its Tribes” but “Sultan of Najd and its Dependencies”. Ha’il had dissolved into a dependency of the Empire’s Sultan of Najd.

If the Empire thought that the Sharif, with Ibn Saud now on his border and armed to the teeth by the British, would finally become more amenable to the division of Arabia and the British Zionist colonial project in Palestine they were short lived. A new round of talks between Abdulla’s son, acting on behalf of his father in Transjordan and the Empire resulted in a draft treaty accepting Zionism. When it was delivered to the Sharif with an accompanying letter from his son requesting that he “accept reality”, he didn’t even bother to read the treaty and instead composed a draft treaty himself rejecting the new divisions of Arabia as well as the Balfour Declaration and sent it to London to be ratified![11]

Ever since 1919 the British had gradually decreased Hussain’s subsidy to the extent that by the early 1920’s they had suspended it, while at the same time continued subsidising Ibn Saud right through the early 1920’s.[12] After a further three rounds of negotiations in Amman and London, it dawned on the Empire that Hussain will never relinquish Palestine to Great Britain’s Zionist project or accept the new divisions in Arab lands.[13]In March 1923, the British informed Ibn Saud that it will cease his subsidy but not without awarding him an advance ‘grant’ of £50,000 upfront, which amounted to a year’s subsidy.[14]

In March 1924, a year after the British awarded the ‘grant’ to Ibn Saud, the Empire announced that it had terminated all discussions with Sharif Hussain to reach an agreement.[15] Within weeks the forces of Ibn Saud and his Wahhabi followers began to administer what the British foreign secretary, Lord Curzon called the “final kick” to Sharif Hussain and attacked Hijazi territory.[16] By September 1924, Ibn Saud had overrun the summer capital of Sharif Hussain, Ta’if. The Empire then wrote to Sharif’s sons, who had been awarded kingdoms in Iraq and Transjordan not to provide any assistance to their besieged father or in diplomatic terms they were informed “to give no countenance to interference in the Hedjaz”.[17] In Ta’if, Ibn Saud’s Wahhabis committed their customary massacres, slaughtering women and children as well as going into mosques and killing traditional Islamic scholars.[18] They captured the holiest place in Islam, Mecca, in mid-October 1924. Sharif Hussain was forced to abdicate and went to exile to the Hijazi port of Akaba. He was replaced as monarch by his son Ali who made Jeddah his governmental base. As Ibn Saud moved to lay siege to the rest of Hijaz, the British found the time to begin incorporating the northern Hijazi port of Akaba into Transjordan. Fearing that Sharif Hussain may use Akaba as a base to rally Arabs against the Empire’s Ibn Saud, the Empire let it be known that in no uncertain terms that he must leave Akaba or Ibn Saud will attack the port. For his part, Sharif Hussain responded that he had, “never acknowledged the mandates on Arab countries and still protest against the British Government which has made Palestine a national home for the Jews.”[19]

Sharif Hussain was forced out of Akaba, a port he had liberated from the Ottoman Empire during the ‘Arab Revolt’, on the 18th June 1925 on HMS Cornflower.

Ibn Saud had begun his siege of Jeddah in January 1925 and the city finally surrendered in December 1925 bringing to an end over 1000 years of rule by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s descendants. The British officially recognised Ibn Saud as the new King of Hijaz in February 1926 with other European powers following suit within weeks. The new unified Wahhabi state was rebranded by the Empire in 1932 as the “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” (KSA). A certain George Rendel, an officer working at the Middle East desk at the Foreign Office in London, claimed credit for the new name.

On the propaganda level, the British served the Wahhabi takeover of Hijaz on three fronts. Firstly, they portrayed and argued that Ibn Saud’s invasion of Hijaz was motivated by religious fanaticism rather than by British imperialism’s geo-political considerations.[20] This deception is propounded to this day, most recently in Adam Curtis’s acclaimed BBC “Bitter Lake” documentary, whereby he states that the “fierce intolerant vision of wahhabism” drove the “beduins” to create Saudi Arabia.[21] Secondly, the British portrayed Ibn Saud’s Wahhabi fanatics as a benign and misunderstood force who only wanted to bring Islam back to its purest form.[22] To this day, these Islamist jihadis are portrayed in the most benign manner when their armed insurrections is supported by Britain and the West such as 1980’s Afghanistan or in today’s Syria, where they are referred to in the western media as “moderate rebels.” Thirdly, British historians portray Ibn Saud as an independent force and not as a British instrument used to horn away anyone perceived to be surplus to imperial requirements. For example, Professor Eugene Rogan’s recent study on the history on Arabs claims that “Ibn Saud had no interest in fighting” the Ottoman Empire. This is far from accurate as Ibn Saud joined the war in 1915. He further disingenuously claims that Ibn Saud was only interested in advancing “his own objectives” which fortuitously always dovetailed with those of the British Empire.[23]

In conclusion, one of the most overlooked aspects of the Balfour Declaration is the British Empire’s commitment to “use their best endeavours to facilitate” the creation of “a national home for the Jewish people”. Obviously, many nations in the world today were created by the Empire but what makes Saudi Arabia’s borders distinctive is that its northern and north-eastern borders are the product of the Empire facilitating the creation of Israel. At the very least the dissolution of the two Arab sheikhdoms of Ha’il and Hijaz by Ibn Saud’s Wahhabis is based in their leaders’ rejection to facilitate the British Empire’s Zionist project in Palestine.

Therefore, it is very clear that the British Empire’s drive to impose Zionism in Palestine is embedded in the geographical DNA of contemporary Saudi Arabia. There is further irony in the fact that the two holiest sites in Islam are today governed by the Saudi clan and Wahhabi teachings because the Empire was laying the foundations for Zionism in Palestine in the 1920s. Contemporaneously, it is no surprise that both Israel and Saudi Arabia are keen in militarily intervening on the side of “moderate rebels” i.e. jihadis, in the current war on Syria, a country which covertly and overtly rejects the Zionist colonisation of Palestine.

As the United States, the ‘successor’ to the British Empire in defending western interests in the Middle East, is perceived to be growing more hesitant in engaging militarily in the Middle East, there is an inevitability that the two nations rooted in the Empire’s Balfour Declaration, Israel and Saudi Arabia, would develop a more overt alliance to defend their common interests.

By: Nu’man Abd al-Wahid
This article first appeared on Mondoweiss on January 7.

Notes

[1] Gary Troeller, “The Birth of Saudi Arabia” (London: Frank Cass, 1976) pg.91.

[2] Askar H. al-Enazy, “ The Creation of Saudi Arabia: Ibn Saud and British Imperial Policy, 1914-1927” (London: Routledge, 2010), pg. 105-106.

[3] ibid., pg. 109.

[4] ibid., pg.111.

[5] ibid.

[6] ibid.

[7] ibid., pg 107.

[8] ibid., pg. 45-46 and pg.101-102.

[9] ibid., pg.104.

[10] ibid.

[11] ibid., pg. 113.

[12] ibid., pg.110 and Troeller, op. cit., pg.166.

[13] al-Enazy op cit., pg.112-125.

[14] al-Enazy, op. cit., pg.120.

[15] ibid., pg.129.

[16] ibid., pg. 106 and Troeller op. cit., 152.

[17] al-Enazy, op. cit., pg. 136 and Troeller op. cit., pg.219.

[18] David Howarth, “The Desert King: The Life of Ibn Saud” (London: Quartet Books, 1980), pg. 133 and Randall Baker, “King Husain and the Kingdom of Hejaz” (Cambridge: The Oleander Press, 1979), pg.201-202.

[19] Quoted in al-Enazy op. cit., pg. 144.

[20] ibid., pg. 138 and Troeller op. cit., pg. 216.

[21]In the original full length BBC iPlayer version this segment begins towards the end at 2 hrs 12 minutes 24 seconds.

[22] al-Enazy op. cit., pg. 153.

[23] Eugene Rogan, “The Arabs: A History”, (London: Penguin Books, 2009), pg.220.

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Saudi Arabia severs ties with Iran

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Image result for SAUDI IRAN FLAG
by CP

According to breaking news, the Saudis, in the tradition of the Rufus T. Firefly school of foreign policy, servered ties with Iran after protesters in Tehran appear to have set fire to the Saudi embassy in riots over the execution of the Saudi Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

While charges and verdict against al-Nimr probably were trumped-up, and the execution probably a deliberate Saudi provocation, it was stupid in the extreme for the Iranians to not have guarded that building better. In fact, what better to remind the US of unpeleasant common history with Iran? How dumb can one be?

Immediately, this incident will be water on the mills of those who want to kill at least the implementation of the US-Iran deal that they were unable to stop. Perhaps the leak about US surveillance of Israel influencing US lawmakers and subverting Obama administration policy towards Iran has to be seen in this light.

After the incident, the Saudis, of all people, accuse Iran of supporting terrorism. These nasty Iranians. Clearly, the Saudis would never stoop so low. At the same time, US lawmakers, ‘under the influence’, try to move the goalposts and make Iranian missiles an issue, which never were part of the deal between the US and Iran, in an attempt to create an obstacle to the implementation of the deal. IMO these two – support of terrorism and the missiles – will be two dominant memes/themes in the new effort to stall implementation of the implemenation of the deal.

More, off the top of my head:

  • This reeks of a gut impulse on the part of the Saudis. The less than convincing performance of late by the Saudi leadership team King Salman & Prince “Reckless”Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud doesn’t suggest much of a plan.
  • This is in any case an obstacle for any negotiations over Syria.
  • The Saudis will continue their commitment in Yemen.
  • Fighting in Yemen may get worse and the Iranians may feel compelled under domestic pressure to, eventually, fulfill the Saudi fiction prophecy and support the Houthis for real.
  • It makes it more likely that the Saudis will support Jihadi groups in Syria with money, arms and training.
  • This is likely to increase cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Turkey – together the two biggest outside sponsors of Jihadi groups in Syria.
  • This will probably increase Saudi support for Sunni groups in Iraq, including ISIS.
  • The Israelis have recently, somewhat, restored links between with Turkey, under the spectre of the ‘phantom Shia menace’.
  • i.e. there is a clear Saudi-Turkish-Israeli anti-Shia Iran axis emerging.
  • The Saudis probably will use the ‘phantom Shia menace’ to justify further and increased repression of the Shia in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi logic likely goes like this: When you treat Shia like dogs, and they inexplicably resent that, that can only be because of Iranian scheming.
  • There is some risk for open war between Saudi-Arabia and Iran.
  • The Saudis or Turks, by their record, are capable of trying to ‘engineer’ some ambiguous incident in order to draw the US in. There are enough US vessels (or installations, like the US HQ in Bahrain) in the area for something like that.
  • The US are exposed to something like that.
  • It was a wise move by the Obama Whitehouse to reject a proposal to forge a common defense treaty of the Gulf nations with the United States. The idea must have been to insulate the US precisely from such volatile tempers and developments.
  • Given the speculative nature of oil pricing, this is likely to increase the price of oil on the markets. While that would benefit Iran, and Russia, it would benefit Saudi Arabia more (given their greater market share). This is a very secondary aspect.

Share thoughts and post new developments as they emerge.

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Jihadis now integral part in US designs for Syria

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by CP

Image result for CIA CARTOON

 

Yesterday, our esteemed FB Ali commented on the US plans for Syria:

„In Syria [the US] plan was to use the non-IS jihadis against IS by promising them a part in the post-Assad Syrian regime. That is the reason why Kerry is promoting a political transition there to get Assad out, hand over Syria to these jihadis with a bunch of old Syrian politicians being the external face of the regime (mainly for pacifying public opinion back home). Saudi Arabia and Qatar have provided the necessary assurances that the US will have nothing to fear from this new Syrian government, and that it will follow the plan.

The US will provide more arms to this ‘new Syrian army’ (ie, the non-IS jihadis) and hope that, with the Kurds and Western air support, it’ll knock IS out (or at least push it out of Syria).

This plan has been stymied by the Russian intervention, and the rejuvenated Syrian army’s successful offensive against the jihadis. Kerry is still pushing the political plan, but Russia will never agree to anything that hands Syria over to these jihadis. The outcome is, therefore, likely to be decided on the battlefield, where it currently seems the R+6 will succeed.

For Iraq the West’s plan appears to be to split it into three portions: a Kurdish entity, a Sunni one, and a Shia rump. The first part of the plan has been put into effect. The Kurdish peshmerga, supported by US airpower and SF, captured Sinjar. Additional SF have now been sent to support the Kurdish peshmerga. The Turks have moved troops near Mosul to support the coming Kurdish attack on the city. This expanded Kurdish region will be one entity in the new Iraq.(The Kurds would never attack Mosul or any other non-Kurdish areas unless they had solid assurances that they could keep their gains).

It was because of this plan that the US’s air campaign in Iraq was so devoid of results (often because planes weren’t cleared to attack targets). Large-scale air attacks with their attendant civilian casualties would have alienated the local Sunni population of Anbar. That is also the reason why IS’s oil operations weren’t attacked until Putin shamed Obama into it; even then special steps were taken to avoid Sunni casualties. The hope was (is) to revive the old Sahwa (Sons of Iraq) movement (a Sunni force friendly towards the US) and let it take over Anbar and other Sunni areas of Iraq to form the Sunni entity.“

~~ * ~~

FB Ali’s very helpful analysis is an excellent basis for futher inquiry. For instance it sheds light on the reasoning behind the accusation that Assad is allied with IS. Lies and omissions have putpose – misdirection.

♦ Conflating Assad with IS

Just like Assad is regularly accused of colluding with IS by only going after “moderate rebels”, Russia is now regularly accused of not really fighting IS, but bombing “moderate Rebels” instead. Assad is also accused of “buying oil from IS” (formerly his own oil, seized by ISIS, and sold back to him at an inflated price, due to the embargo for lack of a choice – elsewhere one does call that sort of deal notcollusion but extortion). Trifles, I know.

The accusation of complicity conflates IS (Assad’s deadly enemy, which have routinely massacred his troops, given the opportunity) – the only Jihadis everybody can agree on opposing – with Assad – the secuarist everybody already agrees on opposing anyway – and marks them as one target, lest the disgust over IS leads to undesired sympathy for Assad and lest enthusiasm for regime change falters. The objective is to nip in the bud the the insight that one would have to choose between Assad or IS, or that Assad is a lesser evil.

Indications of that insight emerging were already visible in Hollande’s rather reasonable second thoughts after IS’ Paris massacre. These localised outbreaks of common sense forced Kerry into hurried emergency diplomacy, specifically aimed on excluding Iran and Russia from the anti-Syria coalition sometimes also fighting IS, and to prevent France from breaking out of the Washington straightjac ket consensus on Syria. For the US and their nominal regional allies preventing that from happening was imperative.

♦ Breaking the “Shia Crescend”

Key to understanding how Syria has become what it is today is that the Obama administration early on decided to “not do stupid shit“, like occupying countries such as Iraq. By itself, laudably prudent. Alas, one must not make the mistake of assuming, based on that, a lack for appetite for destructionintervention. Interventions would of course take place, the sly and smart ‘soft power’ way (neatly branded and twittered), and if force was needed, it would come through deputised local proxies, balanced from offshore ‘led from behind  – in the case of Syria, through Turkey, the Gulfies, and to a lesser extent, Israel.

Taking on Syria was probably concocted in DC as an “assurance” to the Israelis and the Gulfie monarchs to help them over their hysteria over the Iran deal. Normalisation with Iran perhaps, but only if it is ‘defanged’ and it’s greater influence (handed to Iran by the destruction of Iraq by the hapless hands of the Bushmen) curtailed.

Israelis, Gulfies or Turks have made demands for US guarantees, quietly firmly in pursuit of their own goals: Turkish neo-ottoman irredentism or Erdogan’s brand of Islamic pan-Turkism. With the Saudis and the Gulfies Wahhabi chauvinism and the goal of Sunni hegemony to the Mediterranean. With the Israelis it’s about the Golan, and of course, about getting back at their nemesis Hezbollah. It’s hard to not notice the impatience and independence shown by the Turks (especially in their attempts to  draw the US into Syria) and the Saudis (their unannounced aggression against Yemen). These also indications that ‘leading from behind’ didn’t suffice to reassure these “special needs” proxies. It also calls into question the ability of the US to effectively exercise leadership over these trigger happy “allies”.

It also suggests that there are, as of yet unrealised, plans for a finish in Lebanon and against Hezbollah (pitting, presumably, the victors of Syria – and/or Israel – against Lebanon’s majority group represented by Hezbollah, the Shia).

Continue reading “Jihadis now integral part in US designs for Syria (by CP)” »

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Some thoughts on Paris, Article 5 and jihadism

NOVANEWS

By: Turcopolier Typepad

 

Image result for NATO LOGO

I offer some thoughts on the situation:

– The NATO Treaty is US law.  If the French invoke Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty we must accept that appeal and go to war alongside them.  If we do not, then NATO is finished.  If our response to the Article 5 request requires American ground troops, so be it.  Fish or cut bait.

– The politics of 2016 has reduced the statements of the various candidates to gibberish in which they spout slogans at each other seeking the attention of the Borg and the ignorant.  An example would be the statement just now made to Jake Tapper by Jeb Bush that the Syrian government is as much a threat to Syrian Christians as is the Islamic state and the other Sunni jihadis.  Of course, anyone who knows anything about Syria knows that the large Christian population views the Syrian government as their sole protectors from the jihadis.  Jeb or el-jebe as he is sometimes known in the Latino world also “thinks”  that a US no-fly zone in Syria as a grand idea.  IS does not have an air force so such a no-fly zone would be intended to prevent Syria air force and  Russian air force intrusion.  This would mean war with Russia.  Where does he get such “thoughts?”  He gets them from the same neocons who were his dumb-dumb brother’s advisers and who seduced and lied us all into invading Iraq as part of their grand scheme to reduce the countries of the ME to chaos.

– Obama is in Turkey conferring with Erdogan, the Saudi king and the emir of Qatar. as to how to combat IS.  This is a joke!  All of these are sponsors of IS and the other Sunni jihadi movements.  Senator Lindsey Graham just told Tapper that we (the US) should lead an army of Arabs and THE TURKS into the fight.  Of course, Graham is a wholly owned property of Izrul.  Whatever mind “he” has in regard to the ME was carefully sculpted by them while writing upon the tabula rasa that was his brain before they began their work.   But even “he” should know that Erdogan’s Turkey is an ally of IS and will never, never participate in a serious move against IS.  Actually, Kemalist Turkey is dead and will probably not be seen again.

– At least one (probably three) of the Paris attackers probably entered Europe as part of the migrant flow that passed  through Erdogan’s Turkey.  One man was registered by the Greeks government on Leros and then was again registered in a Croatian refugee shelter.  The really operative part of this tale is that this or these people traveled through Turkey unmolested by the Turkish police and security services.  I once lived in Turkey and even then these services were ubiquitous and aggressive.  So, IMO Erdogan has passed these people through and sent them on their mission.  Just look at his face as he walks around at Antalya.  That is the cat who has eaten the canary.

– People who think that the US homeland is not threatened by a Paris type event are wrong.  We have large resident populations who are disaffected and subject to jihadi recruitment.  Such an attack does not require many strikers.  We have tough police but the possibility of jihadi success is always there.  Our borders are long and not really secure.  IMO the Canadian border is even more insecure than that with Mexico.  There are a lot of places in northern New England and New York state where you can easily walk across the border between border entry points and then be picked up by someone waiting for you.  The US is saturated with firearms and the materials with which to make explosives.   The pattern in Paris was evidently local French and Belgian national jihadis born of Muslim immigrants combined with reinforcements sent in as stiffening for the home team.   This is a viable model for attacks in the US.  A question for me is why the attackers carried their travel documents into the attacks.  Was this a search for recognition? That could be.

– What would my strategy be if I were emperor of the world?

* Europe must put back up its border controls.

* Erdogan’s program for a Muslim invasion by inundation of Europe must be ended.  Send them back to their home countries.

* Accept the idea that in a UN supervised election Assad may win.  Hilary Mann Leveritt pointed out yesterday that in an election a couple of years ago that included the Syrian refugee diaspora, Assad won.  The Borgist TV anchor nearly had apoplexy.

* Defeat and destroy IS in Syria and Iraq.  To do this we must accept the cooperation of all who wish fight IS and any other jihadis.  That would include Russia, Hizbullah and Iran.

Posted in Middle East, USA, Syria, TurkeyComments Off on Some thoughts on Paris, Article 5 and jihadism

Jihadi Apocalypse (A War Game) Turn 1

NOVANEWS

KitchenerSmOpt

By: Turcopolier Typepad

At popular request we will have a war game on the subject of the downfall of the current weller of jihadists in the context of the seemingly never ending sine curves of Sunni revivalism over the centuries.

The game will be played in turns- probably three, but, who knows…  An initial scenario and crowdsourced comments will be followed after a bit by another scenario, one that has been affected by the crowdsourcing, etc.

I will be the judge of the value of individual comments and of the extent to which any or all comments will affect the next game turn scenario.

Game time will begin 2 November, 2015 and the first move will extend in Game Time to 1 February, 2016.  Following moves will extend through periods of Game Time to be announced with the new turn.

Turn One Scenario:

Syria -The R+6 coalition of (Russia+SAA+Iran+Hizbullah+YPG Kurds+progovernment sectarian militias+Palestinian militias continues its offensives all over NW Syria, South of Damascus and in the rebel held suburbs of Damascus.

Turkey – Erdogan’s crypto Islamist party regained control of the parliamentary political process in November.  In spite of that, outrage has grown in Turkey against obvious ant-Kurdish government military and police action and Erdogan’s attempts to subvert the Kemalist secular constitution.  Turkey maintains a supposedly neutral posture in the islamist war against secularism in Syria while continuing to facilitate islamist supply and reinforcements through Turkish territory.  US/Turkish problems over Turkish bombing of the YPG Kurds (US allies) and their USSF advisers has continued and a possible withdrawal of permission for US use of the base at Incirlik looms.

Iraq –  The Abadi government’s cooperation with Russia and Iran continues to increase.

Israel – Coordination of activities with Russia continues but occasional Israeli air attacks in Syria against Hizbullah targets has created additional tension with Russia.

Iran – Participation in the R+6 coalition continues to grow in both Syria and Iraq as well as in Russia’s diplomatic efforts with regard to Syria.

Gulfies -SA and friends in the Gulf continue to support jihadi enemies of secularism in Syria and Iraq.

US – America continues to support anti-Western forces in Syria and Iraq.  US Army Green Berets are inserted into the territory controlled by the YPK Kurds to assist them in various ways.

Russia – Continues to press its diplomatic effort seeking to craft a peace that does not hand over Syria to jihadis.  at the same time Russia continues to reinforce both its air and ground expeditionary forces in Syria.

Ukraine – The Kiev government continues to attempt to regain territory in the east.

Afghanistan – Government control continues to be contested heavily by Taliban forces.

World Economy – Oil and Gas prices around the world remain “soft.”

China – ???????

Comments in the game that are just meaningless or silly will not be posted or considered.

The question posed – What will happen between 2 November, 2015 and 1 February 2016?  Real World comments in this turn will close on 5 November, 2015.

Syrias-Civil-War-1

Situation as of 1 February, 2016 (game time):

The R+6 coalition of forces has expanded its area of control and operations:

– The siege of Aleppo has been lifted by a successful advance of R+6 forces on the Axis of Advance – Jisr ash-Shugur/Idlib/Aleppo (Axis Green).  Priority of Russian fire support and CAS has been a mainstay of advance on this axis.  MRLS and tube artillery greatly facilitated the advance.  A Russian motorized rifle brigade is the backbone of advance on this axis. along with SAA, IRGC, Hizbullah and ethnic and sectarian militias  The advance was coordinated with an offensive of R+6 forces NE to SW from the Aleppo government perimeter on Axis Red.  The jaws of the encirclement met NE of Idlib in a classickesselschlacht.   Unicorn/jihadi casualties were  heavy in the kesselbattle.  There were defections among the jihadis and many fleeing toward the Turkish border.  A pursuit to the border closed the rebel held northern entrance to Aleppo.  The city is now besieged by R+6 forces.  The government of Syria has offered amnesty to FSA members in Aleppo and there have been many surrenders thus far.

– A large redoubt zone now exists from the Lebanese border on the south to the Turkish border north of Latakia and extending inland (east) to Homs/Hama.  (Phase Line Blue)  The north-south M5 highway is in government control as far the M4/M5 junction east of Idlib.   A Russian Motorized Rifle Brigade is operating in this area east of the coastal mountains as reinforcement to SAA and militia forces present there.  There was heavy fighting around Homs and Hama.  R+6 casualties were numerous but acceptable with hospitals in Damascus providing second echelon medical care.

– Russian personnel strength in Syria now is 20,000 organized in a provisional Motorized Rifle Division (-), a regiment of the 7th Guards Airborne Division, artillery units, headquarters, base support troops and two RuAF Regiments.  The Russians have reached the limits of their available naval sea lift and air lift for reinforcement and supply.  They are now seeking to negotiate commercial sea and airlift on a charter basis from several maritime powers.  It is expected that if further lift can be arranged the Russians may further augment their forces in Syria and/or Iraq.

– In January a combined Russian/SAA airmobile operation reinforced Kuweires air base SE of Aleppo.  This was followed by link-up with R+6  troops from the forces that relieved Aleppo.   RuAF units have moved onto the base and are conducting operations from there as well as the coastal bases.

– YPG guerillas crossed the Euphrates in an attempt to move west to link-up with R+6 forces coming north from Kuweires AB.  This effort has been blocked by  repeated Turkish air strikes on the YPG Kurds.  Seven US Army Green Berets embedded with the Kurds have been killed by Turkish air thus far.

– Turkey is seeking to limit USAF use of Incirlik AB while at the same time themselves flying missions against the YPG Kurds and their American advisers from the same base.  The Obama Administration has been accused in European media of using American soldiers as human shields to limit Turkish action against the Kurds.  To this charge they have no answer.

– Iran has 2,000 troops in the fight and Lebanese Hizbullah maintains a similar number on the Lebanese/Syrian mountain border country as well as 500 men with the R+6 forces around Aleppo.

– The Gulf countries continue to support jihadi groups in Syria and Iraq.

– The Gulfie war against the Houthi/Zeidi people of Yemen continues to flounder.  Saudi air continues to kill large numbers of civilians in what amounts to a Douhet style application of terror bombing.   On the ground the Saudis and other Gulfie forces cannot “move” the tribal guerrillas and have suffered heavy losses in the Yemeni mountains east of Sanaa and in Najran Province, Saudi Arabia.  There is considerable unrest in Riyadh among member of the royal family.

– China ??????

– Israel ?????

Game time is now 1 February, 2016.  Instruction – Forecast events in this scenario worldwide through 1 June, 2016 (game time).  Comments will close for Turn 2 on Sunday, 8 November, 2016. (real time)

Sergei-Lavrov_2591128b

Situation as of 2 June 2016 (Game Time)

– Combat Situation.  R+6 forces have largely defeated SNC (Unreconstructed FSA Unicorns + mostly non IS jihadi Sunnis who have not fled to Turkey and thence to Europe).

In northern Syria.  The main line of contact with SNC forces is north and east of Aleppo.

SNC held parts of Aleppo are besieged by R+6.  The Syrian government has called on FSA unicorns in Aleppo to surrender under an offer of amnesty and integration into R+6 forces in their own units under government supervision.  There have been a lot of defections from FSA in the context of an ever shrinking perimeter in Aleppo. Russian advisers have done an adequate job of teaching rattenkrieg combat in cities techniques to their allies.  There have been several building collapses along the line of contact within the city as R+6 “mouseholes” its way through walls connecting adjoining buildings to reach streets that can be covered by fire from within.  The Syrian government has called on the SNC to allow civilians to leave the city.  The government has also appealed to migrants now in Turkey and in Europe to return to pacified areas after screening for jihadi allegiance.

R+6 forces have moved to positions close to the Turkish border.  The border is not sealed everywhere but enough Russian and SAG air (both fixed wing and helicopter) as well as  artillery is positioned on re-captured airfields and other fire bases to make border crossings to and from Turkey extremely difficult.  Pockets of SNC forces remain throughout the north.  These are being attacked as forces are available.

In the Damascus/Homs/Hama/Idlib zone (Phase Line Blue) R+6 forces (including “rallied” FSA unicorns) have pushed to the east of the M-5 main north/south highway but have not gone more than 20 kilometers east of the road.  A Russian Motorized Rifle Regiment is still present with the R+6 forces east of Phase Line Blue.

RuAf strikes have continued south of Damascus without interference from Israel.  R+6 allies are slowly pushing SNC forces south and SW toward the Golan and Jordan.  A lack of Jordanian support for SNC forces is causing problems for the SNC in this sector.  Fighting in the SE Damascus suburbs and south of Damascus appears to be an economy of force play by R+6 so that greater force can be massed in the north and center of the country.

YPG forces and their US Green Beret advisers were driven back east across the Euphrates River by Turkish air strikes.  In response Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missiles were positioned in fire bases and on defended airfields north and NE of Aleppo where they cover the YPG Kurds.  As a result Turkish air attacks on the YPG Kurds have ended.

– Turkey has demanded that the US stop flying CAS for the YPG Kurds or face denial of the use of Incirlik air base.

– The Russians have obtained contract charter sea lift from China and Cuba.  Ships hired have begun delivering tonnage to Latakia and Tartous from Black Sea ports as well as Chinese and Iranian manufactured materiel.  Many of the contracts for sea lift have been done on a credit basis in return for promises of development and business advantages in Syria and Iraq post war.  The Russian build-up in Syria appears to continue.

– Russia has begun delivering materiel to their Hizbullah allies at border crossing points on the Mediterranean border north of Tripoli, Lebanon.  RuAF air superiority fighters are patrolling the border area and S-400 missiles are at Tartous.  IAF fighters have attempted to intercept shipments south of the Lebanese border.

– Israeli/Palestinian violence in the West Bank continues to grow.

– In Riyadh a Saud family majlis ash-shura (consultative assembly) is in session to consider the adequacy of the country’s present governance.  There  are many calls for King Salman’s abdication.

– In Iraq IS still holds most of Anbar Province including Ramadi.

– Negotiations seeking an end to the war continue in Vienna.

Requirement:  Forecast developments in this scenario from 2 June, 2016 to 1 November, 2016 (Game Time).  Comments on Turn 3 will close Tuesday night, 10, November, 2015 (Real Time)

Posted in Middle East, SyriaComments Off on Jihadi Apocalypse (A War Game) Turn 1

The Russians, the Shia, et al against the Saudi sponsored jihadis

NOVANEWS

Embedded image permalink

“Dozens of conservative Saudi Arabian clerics have called for Arab and Muslim countries to “give all moral, material, political and military” support to what they term a jihad, or holy war, against Syria’s government and its Iranian and Russian backers.

Although the clerics who signed the online statement are not affiliated with the government, their strong sectarian and anti-Christian language reflects a growing anger among many Saudis over Russian and Iranian involvement in Syria’s civil war.

Russia last September started air strikes against Syrian opposition targets. The Kremlin, a staunch supporter of the ruling Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, says it wants to weaken the militant group known as the Islamic State. Saudi Arabia, along with Turkey and other Gulf states, has supported rebels trying to unseat the Assad regime and has denounced the Russian attacks. The clerics’ statement portrayed the Russian bombardments as part of an Orthodox Christian crusade.

“The holy warriors of Syria are defending the whole Islamic nation. Trust them and support them … because if they are defeated, God forbid, it will be the turn of one Sunni country after another,” the statement said.”  news.vice.com

—————–

So… The Saudi ulema  are declaring the war in Syria, and presumably in Iraq as well to be a Sunni jihad  against the Shia, Alawis, Yazidis and the “crusaders.”  Fine, that clarifies the situation.  BTW, to claim that the ulema and the Saudi government and royal family are separate entities is disingenuous in the extreme.  These parts of Saudi society are so tightly tied together that there are few real differences within this tri-partite amalgam.

Lavrov has now indicated some willingness to consider a request from the government of Iraq for assistance.  This raises the possibility of an anti-jihadi war waged across Arabia.  Would this be a bad thing?

In the present moment Russian ground forces are appearing on the battlefield in NW Syria.  Their air force is already there.  I continue to expect to see a Russian ground combat force built for the Syrian theater mission.  The Western media are trying to make something of association of the word “volunteer” with these ground forces.  This description is probably useful within Russia to avoid political resistance to the idea of sending conscripts abroad.

 

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The Future Of Saudi Arabia – Really?

NOVANEWS
By Walrus

A cartoon by Peter Brookes, published by The Times on November 28, 2015, compares Saudi executions to beheadings carried out by the Daesh Takfiri terrorists.

“…. the only rulers that the Saudis have known is the Saudi royal family. The country is divided along tribal, religious, gender and ethnic lines as a result of the regime’s “divide and conquer” policy and practice. The country is held together only by sheer force under the Saudi ruling family absolute rule.

The Saudi population, especially the younger people, are growing restless because they see what is happening in the world through social media of which they are among the highest users – that’s the only means they have to communicate. So the situation inside the country is also very fragile and the foreign policy conducted by the current regime is very perilous.

One can only hope that some of the more visionary and enlightened male and female royals will prevail in terms of replacing the current very outdated thinking regarding the population’s growing needs and expectations. The Saudi people are directly affected by the root causes of the Arab Spring – which is irreversible, will continue and more likely will spill over to the Gulf States. It is only a matter of time because the Gulf States are ruled by oligarchies who maintain control through bribery and the sword.”  Tavares

++++++

Dr. Ali Alyami appears to me a denizen of Washington think tanks focussed on Saudi Arabia. He has been interviewed on the subject of the future of Saudi Arabia, as he sees it, and it has been published on Linked In.

I lack the experience to evaluate his beliefs and I thought SST might be the appropriate forum for some commentary from older and wiser heads. Are Dr. Alyami’s thoughts a revelation or is this old news? Is this what Washington would like to believe or a reasonably truthful picture of what is going on? Are there valuable insights in this interview?

How might our own interests be affected if Saudi Arabia implodes?

The Future Of Saudi Arabia.

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The Syria War is all about Saudi Arabia

NOVANEWS

1Pilgrims
“Saudi Arabia has said Iran must accept the removal of President Bashar al-Assad as part of any solution to the conflict in Syria.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir made the remarks as talks among international foreign ministers on the crisis get under way in Vienna.

Iran is for the first time taking part in such talks, which will also include Russia and Turkey.

Russia and Iran both support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

They have both recently stepped up their military role in the conflict.

The US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab nations have long insisted Mr Assad cannot play any long-term role in Syria’s future.

Mr Jubeir told the BBC that there was “no doubt” Mr Assad had to go. “He will go either through a political process or he will be removed by force,” he said.”  BBC

————–

‘Adil Jubair, now sitting in the Saudi FM’s chair has made it clear.  SA wants to defeat Iran and Shiism in Syria so that its long term project of re-Sunnifying the Levant can be fulfilled.

The Obama Administration meekly follows that line so as to please its real masters in the region.  Can one doubt that these are Israel and Saudi Arabia?

At Vienna the US is busy testing Russian and Iranian willingness to surrender Syria to the Israelis and SA.  My guess is that this will be a saddening experience for Kerry, and yet another frustrated hope for a Nobel.  Ah, well he might still get it for the Iran nuclear deal.

Word from the field indicates that pro-government forces have cleared the LOC to Aleppo.  Irony of ironies, a Palestinian militia unit is said to have participated in this operation.

Posted in Saudi Arabia, SyriaComments Off on The Syria War is all about Saudi Arabia

Public Misled Again About the Manufactured Sunni vs. Shia Muslim Split

NOVANEWS
Posted by  
In this thought provoking, 22 minute program, Chuck Carlson and Tom Compton of We Hold These Truthspresent a more logical explanation than Fox News’ and Donald Trump’s endless tirades about a rift between Sunni and Shia Muslims. It is just not so, as we have experienced in long association with friends from both branches of Islam who coexist peacefully. This program includes a discussion about the Wahhabi sect, and how it is used, not as a practicing religion, but largely as population control mechanism by the secular, sometimes hard drinking, dope dealing, mega-billionaire royalty of Saudi Arabia. There it reigns terror on non-royal, Saudi citizens, and, even guests.  For openers, both Wahhabi and ISIS sects behead for punishment, but no other Islamic sect does!  The two articles referenced in the podcast are:: The Wall Street Skew of the Saudi/Iranian Rift” and “The US Warmakers’ Divide and Conquer Strategies in the Middle East.”

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