Showing posts from June, 2013

Bahraini democracy

“A lower criminal court in Bahrain, headed by a member of the ruling family, has sentenced a 17-year-old boy to a year in jail for insulting the Gulf island's king on Twitter.”

Morsi: first elected civil President?

Morsi boasts to be the “first elected civil President”, but he is the first to hide away at the Presidential Guard Headquarters on the first anniversaryof his election.

Zbigniew Brzezinski: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, their Western allies orchestrated Syria crisis

Zbigniew Brzezinski, former US national security adviser: “In late 2011 there are outbreaks in Syria produced by a drought and abetted by two well-known autocracies in the Middle East: Qatar and Saudi Arabia.”

Hamad Bin Khalifa of Qatar: a reformist?

“Other reasons may have prompted Hamad to resign. Now 61, he has long championed reform elsewhere in the Arab world, to the point of generously funding revolutions in Libya and Syria. But he stood out ever less comfortably for failing to practise at home what he preachedabroad.”So he abdicated in order to apply what he had preached? The transfer of power from an unelected ruler (father) to another unelected ruler (son) is really viewed as a reform?!

Moving the US Fifth Fleet Headquarters from Bahrain to Qatar, Kuwait or Oman?

“The Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain is the most US importantmaritime base in the Middle East but senior officers have become complacent about its future, Commander Richard McDaniel asserts.
"Surprisingly, military leaders have no 'Plan B' if strategic access in Bahrain is jeopardized," McDaniel wrote, in a paper published by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. "Because of a strong desire to support the government of Bahrain, losing critical access is not currently being considered, and strategic basing alternatives are not being developed."

The author proposes the United States investigate alternatives in the Qatari capital Doha, where a large port is under construction, and in Shuabia, Kuwait, as well as ports inOman.”

This is the “rule”: host a Western military/naval base, and your regime will be immune !

When UN prize winners commend Bahrain

“2013 UN Public Service Forum prize winners told Bahrain News Agency, on the sidelines of the awards ceremony held today, the Kingdom of Bahrain granted them, through hosting the Form, an unprecedented opportunity to exchange experiences with delegations from 97 countries participated in the Forum, and hailed the organizational level that spanned four days.” I wonder: did they also hail Bahrain’s “respect” for human rights?

Systematic torture in UAE

“United Arab Emirates(UAE) state security officers have subjected detainees to systematic mistreatment, including torture, say hand-written letters from detainees smuggled out of jails, Alkarama, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch said today. The groups obtained 22 statements written by some of the 94 people on trial for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government. The mistreatment described in the letters is consistent with other allegations of torture at UAE state security facilities, and indicates that torture is a systematic practice at these facilities.”

Kuwaitis send "democracy" to Syria

“At a traditional evening meeting known as a "diwaniya", Kuwaiti men drop banknotes into a box, opening a campaign to arm up to 12,000 anti-government fighters in Syria. A new Mercedes is parked outside to be auctioned off for cash

The men at the diwaniya said one large Kuwaiti family planned to equip 28 mujahideen in Syria, estimating the cost at 700 dinars per fighter. Smaller families sponsor two or three, while a member of one of Kuwait's powerful merchant families donated 250,000 dinars.”

Morsi and Erdogan

Notice how both Morsi and Erdogan follow the same “strategy”: if you can’t convince them, confuse them.
Erdogan focuses on playing with people’s sentiments, while Morsi in yesterday’s protracted speech resorted to a wide-scale cynicism, and at times “wooing”. Both of them don’t offer concrete or convincing arguments.
On the other hand, Morsi and Erdogan use the same intimidating or challenging language. They almost wage a “war” against their “opponents”. Morsi even threatened to “chop fingers” !
At the end, they both deal with the opposition as their enemies, and not as their partners in the country’s political life.

Meet the new Qatari Minister of Economy and Commerce

“The director-general of Qatar-basedal Jazeerasatellite news network has resigned to take up a post in the newly reshuffled government, the station said on Wednesday. Ahmed bin Jassim al-Thani said in a statement posted on the station's website that he was leaving the network "to serve my country," without indicating which government post he was taking.” He was appointed as the new Minister of Economy and Commerce.

"Syrian National Council" and Qatar

This is hilarious: the so-called “Syrian National Council”, which supposedly seeks “freedom” and “democracy” in Syria, congratulated the Emir of Qatar for transferring power to his son (from one unelected ruler to another unelected one): “The Syrian National Council, a prominent opposition group, congratulated Qatar on what it described as a "pioneering and unprecedentedstep that gives the Arab Spring an additional big boost."”

Transition of power in Qatar

Notice how the Qatari & co. media is amplifying the event in Qatar. It depicts the abdication of Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani as: a “historic” event, an “unprecedented” event, etc. A commentator even went to the extent of saying that what happened is the “utmost democracy”. Other commentators take pleasure in praising the “smooth transition of power” (why wouldn’t it be smooth when it goes from father to son and Qataris have no say?).
However, the above-mentioned media wants the viewer to focus only on the act of abdication. Needless to say, this is all done in order to divert attention from the core issue: no democracy exists in Qatar. So it’s not very surprising.
What is appalling, however, is that the British Foreign Secretary Hague described it - on Twitter - as a “historic day for Qatar”. How would the Foreign Secretary of a democratic country praise Al Thani family rule in Qatar? How would he commend the absence of democracy? He supports “democracy” in Syria, but dictatorship in…

No remorse for destruction of Palestinian villages

"Former IDF commander, brigadier general of the Givati Brigade and Israeli ambassador to Tanzania, Yitzhak Pundak, expressed no remorse about the destruction of Palestinian villages in 1948, declaring it a necessity in order to establish the State of Israel. Speaking on Israeli army radio, Pundak asserted that he sleeps with a clear conscience, 'otherwise the number of Arabs in Israel would have been a million more than their number now'."

Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah resigns

The newly appointed Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah submitted his resignation due to "lack of jurisdiction and power", at a time the PA itself has neither jurisdiction nor power. Stop wasting time; dissolve the PA, and let Israel - the occupying Power - bear its duties and responsibilities under international law.

Hate crimes against Palestinians, no compensation

“Two days after unidentified assailants slashed the tires of 28 cars and daubed hate slogans on homes in the Israeli Arab village ofAbu Ghosh, the victims of the attacks - believed to have been carried out by Jewish extremists - voiced dismay that they are ineligible for compensation from the state. One of the families targeted by the "price tag" attack lamented that all four of the cars in its possession have been vandalized, including a luxury jeep. The cost to repair the latter vehicle could amount to NIS 5,000 per tire… According to jurists, this decision deems the victims of such crimes ineligible for compensation from the state. While those who possess comprehensive insurance may be reimbursed, most of the families and individuals targeted must cover the costs themselves.”

UN: Israel tortures detained Palestinian children

“A United Nations human rights body accused Israeli forces on Thursday of mistreating Palestinian children, including by torturing those in custody and using others as human shields.”

Red Cross denies reports of chemicals in Syria

“A statement to this effect came today from Robert Mardini, ICRC’s Head of Operations for the Near and Middle East, as he spoke to Russian journalists at a Moscow conference, organized by the Red Cross and the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Mr. Mardini said the Red Cross had no hard evidence that could prove either party in the conflict had used chemical weapons against their enemies.

He added ICRC volunteers had access to almost every Syrian region and vowed the Red Cross would raise this issue, should any proof of a chemical war emerge.”

European Parliament resolution on Turkey

P7_TA-PROV(2013)0277 Situation in Turkey European Parliament resolution of 13 June 2013 on the situation in Turkey (2013/2664(RSP))
The European Parliament, –    having regard to its previous resolutions, in particular that of 18 April 2013 on the 2012 progress report on Turkey[1], –    having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, –    having regard to the Negotiating Framework for Turkey of 3 October 2005, –    having regard to Council Decision 2008/157/EC of 18 February 2008 on the principles, priorities and conditions contained in the Accession Partnership with the Republic of Turkey[2] (‘the Accession Partnership’), as well as to the previous Council decisions on the Accession Partnership of 2001, 2003 and 2006, –    having regard to Rule 110(2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure, A.  whereas in the early hours of Friday, 31 May 2013 the Turkish police used excessive violence in an effort to disperse a group of demonstrators, who had been protesting for weeks ag…

Russia and UNDOF

The UN rejected Russia’s offer to replace Austrian troops in the Syrian Golan Heights by Russian ones because Russia is a Permanent Member of the Security Council. The Disengagement Agreement and its Protocol between Syria and Israel do not allow for the participation of Permanent Members of the Security Council in UNDOF.

Meanwhile, Philippines is considering to withdraw its troops from the Golan.

An-Naksa 46th anniversary

Chronology of events:
An-Naksa, the Debacle, also known as June 1967 War or the Six Day War. On the morning of Monday, June 5, 1967, Israeli military aircraft raided the Egyptian airfields, destroying the bulk of the Egyptian air force.
Ground attacks started immediately thereafter on the Jordanian and Syrian fronts, bound to Egypt with military common defense pacts. The Israeli Air Force (IAF) ravaged the Sinai Peninsula with almost no fight - Egyptian units deprived of air cover. By Friday June 9, IAF stood on the East Bank of Suez Canal, captured the Golan Heights and the rest of the Palestinian territories (Jerusalem, West Bank, and Gaza Strip). 
Since the start of the occupation, Israeli policies and practices under various governments - in a striking challenge to international law and UN Security Council resolutions - have been characterized by:
- confiscation of land; - construction of settlements; - crushing Palestinian resistance movements - politically and militarily; - violation o…