Iraqi Alibi: One American Sectarian View of the ISIS Rampage……..

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“The Hezbollah-ization of Iraq’s military and security forces has been overseen by the IRGC-QF, another U.S.-designated terrorist entity, which is headed by Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, a man personally sanctioned by the Treasury Department for his role in propping up Bashar al Assad’s mass murderous regime in Syria. In Iraq and Syria the enemy of our enemy is not our friend, he is our enemy, too………. Another one of Suleimani’s major proxies, the Badr Corps, is headed by Hadi al-Amiri, who happens to be Iraq’s former minister of transport, in which capacity he was accused by the U.S. government of helping to fly Iranian weapons and personnel into Syria……………….”

The title of this article reads like a concocted alibi for expected failure against ISIS in Iraq. And we’ve all had the apparently mistaken belief that ISIS sprang from Al-Qaeda which sprang from Saudi money and Wahhabi ideology and volunteers! Now we have beens set straight: the Iranian mullahs are behind ISIS. Disguised as Wahhabi Jihadis.

Mr. Netanyahu doesn’t dabble much in Muslim sectarianism, otherwise I would have suspected him of being behind this article. The best of Saudi royal media couldn’t have written anything more sectarian than this piece. It almost reads as if written by a Hariri pro-Saudi (Lebanon’s March 14) journalist for NOW Lebanon, or by some American neoconservative hawk from one of their many well-funded think tanks. Making the case for yet another Western war in our region (hence the netanyahu angle)………..

This is not to deny some of the basic facts in the article. The Iraqi militias are nasty ombres. The Iranian are active and scheming in Iraq, as is almost everybody else that I can think of outside Monaco. I am not sure about the Hezbollah angle: this sounds like a “Lebanese” partisan insertion. Don’t they say that “all is fair in war and love“? Everybody seems to believe that, even if they profess not to.

But then the Iranians, and some others in the neighborhood, have been stung from Iraq in the past, invaded and attacked with WMD. The Western powers, some of whom supplied the WMD or its ingredients to the Baathists, did not seem to object to either at the time………..
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

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Seeking the Caliphate: Advice to Wayward Journalists and Concubines…….

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Kenji Goto of Japan was beheaded today, as seemed inevitable if the ISIS Caliphate did not receive the freed Sajida Al Rishawi. It is becoming gradually, and painfully, obvious that two types of travelers, fellow travelers, now head into harm’s way at their own risk. They should know the potential consequences by now. These two are:

  • Foreign journalists who seek information or a scoop or glory in harm’s way. They should know by now that these Wahhabi cutthroats go by identity and have no respect for non-combatants. A foreign journalist is the same to them as a foreign soldier. Just stop doing it, and if you do go in, be ready to bear the consequences. If I go there I fully expect to get beheaded, why shouldn’t these foreign journalists expect the same? Just don’t do it.
  • Foreign women who seek their glory in warming the beds of the cutthroats. They should by now know the consequences: if you get in, you are in for the long haul.
  • If you want to report on human tragedy there are many other places that need world attention more than Iraq and Syria. Go to North Africa, or the Sahel, or Yemen, or Pakistan: seek your resurrection and glory elsewhere. Just stay the hell out of Syria and Iraq. Ditto if you are a European woman who wants to shack up with Jihadists. 

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

The ISIS Caliphate, Holy Super Bowl, and a Cabal Called NFL………

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

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Suddenly the Caliphate of ISIS has disappeared from the headlines all across the United States. It is like some giant hand has pulled a giant switch toward “off” before the weekend. From cable TV to the major networks to printed media. Even online: the headlines are no more about ISIS or Kenji Goto. Even Benyamin Netanyahu and his not-very-diplomatic sleeper mole deep inside the U.S. Congress have been pushed back.
Back in Mosul and Raqqa the pious Jihadi upper echelon huddle over maps and headlines trying to figure it out. What has sucked the air, media air, from the Caliphate? At least in America, Reagan’s city on a hill they dream of sacking, they are below the radar now. Abu Bakr al-Samarrai and his Wahhabi and Chechen and European aides point the finger at a small point on the map. A place they, and most other people on earth, have never heard of: Phoenix.
What is this holy Super Bowl that now pre-occupies America? Is it like the funny little bowls their priests dip their fingers in during their Satanic rites? Is it like their other holy shopping seasons? Christmas? Black Friday? And who are these Seahawks and Patriots and Goodell? And what are New England and Seattle? What about Deflategate and Las Vegas odds? What about this new mantra I hear:”I’m just here so I won’t get fined, boss“? What do these strange words mean?
One young man, a graduate of another faraway place called Tempe, whispers in the ear of the Caliph. He nods, strokes his beard, looks thoughtful and summarizes it:
I see. It is a temporary deliberate madness created by a powerful cabal called the N.F.L. They aim to get the people to spend more money buying things they would be embarrassed to wear for the rest of the year. To create the illusion of common interests and equality. And to divert attention away from the glories of the Caliphate. Let’s us wait until after Sunday. Meanwhile, we should all watch this Super Bowl tomorrow. I root for Seattle, WTF that be……..“.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

Of Saudi Palace Coup Reforms and LOL and MDR………

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

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Remember the days a couple of years ago, way back then, when the late Saudi King Abdullah announced an Allegiance (Al-Bae’a) Commission to regulate succession to the throne? Remember the fanfare? How it was cheered as shifting the kingdom toward a ‘civil society’ where ‘institutions’ are supreme?

Remember when Saudi media trumpeted this as a great wise decision? Remember when Western media dutifully echoed all that? Remember when some American columnists, especially in the Washington Post, waxed enthusiastic about King Abdullah’s “reforms”? When a whole media cottage industry about “Saudi reforms” grew in Western punditry (and among some Arab columnists)? Remember when the king almost immediately ignored it completely and appointed whoever he wanted?
Now the new King Salman has also ignored it completely, and will continue to do so.

No doubt they will soon start talking about the new “reforms” of the new king. In Riyadh and Washington.
Vive la réforme et MDR! That means LOL……….

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

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The New Ottomans: Thursday Night Massacre in Riyadh……..

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“”Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud issued a royal order today, relieving Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, Chief of General Intelligence, of his post,” the official Saudi Press Agency said……. A separate decree said Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a nephew of Abdullah, was removed from his posts as Secretary General of the National Security Council and adviser to the king. Two sons of the late monarch were also fired: Prince Mishaal, the governor of Mecca region, and Prince Turki, who governed the capital Riyadh, according to the decrees broadcast on Saudi television………..”

Maybe Salman is not as demented as the Saudi Wahhabi opposition in exile (Mujtahidd, etc) have been claiming. He seems to be doing the right things that a normal wily Saudi king would do when he ascends the throne.
Gone are the days of obsequiousness to the reigning king (Abdullah). Here are the days of obsequiousness to the new reigning king Salman. He has been quick to execute his palace coup. He started early, possibly even before Abdullah was buried but probably after his death, with the chief of the Royal Court of Abdullah. Al-Tuwaijri was sacked as were some others. Today, Thursday, a whole bunch of other princes have been disposed of in one day, many of them the sons of King Abdullah. They had been promoted by Abdullah and quickly deposed by Salman. Prince Muqrin is still the crown prince, and he has appointed Prince Mohammed Bin nayef as crown prince to the crown prince, third in succession. But for how long? He does control the Interior Ministry: security, secret police, religious police, prisons, etc, etc.

All this ruthless plotting and counter-plotting would do justice to an Ottoman royal court. It shows you: there was little if any brotherly love in the Byzantine palaces of Riyadh. There is even less now.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

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Saudi Arabia: Family Feuds and New Byzantine Arrangements………

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

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Family feuds have been a hallmark of the Saudi royal family, just as they have been of other ruling dynasties of the Gulf countries. In the 1960s, King Saud was deposed by a palace coup engineered by his ambitious brother Faisal. In the 1970s, King Faisal was killed by one of his nephews, who blamed Faisal for the death of his father in the early 1960s. Lately, as the senior princes get older and older, the rivalries have intensified among the various branches, bellies and thighs, on who will be positioned to ascend the throne among the next generation.

In the past two years, Prince Met’eb, son of King Abdullah, and Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef came into focus as the two main rivals among the next generation. Both made several trips to Washington, although Arab comments have indicated that Washington might prefer the more experienced and more “security-minded” Mohammed Bin Nayef.
The recent death of Saudi king Abdullah was immediately followed by a coup, another palace coup. Or maybe the coup was started even before the king passed away.
As soon as Salman was sworn as king, he got rid of the top palace courtiers of Abdullah. He appointed Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef, the interior minister, as a second crown prince. A Crown Prince to the crown prince. He also appointed his own son as defense minister.

The Saudi royals, by nature easily amenable to Byzantine arrangements, may have started a new Byzantine tradition: a crown prince to the crown prince. If inter-family feuds escalate and rivalries intensify, they might start appointing another layer or two of “crown princes”. A crown prince to the crown prince of the crown prince? That is also possible. But will it work for long? Will it avoid an inevitable palace explosion?………..
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

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On Hezbollah, Israel, and Arab Hopes for War………

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

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Some Arab media on the Gulf and their ‘attached analysts’ often taunt Hezbollah when Israel attacks in Syria or Lebanon and does not get a response. The same controlled media and the same ‘attached analysts‘ are also quick to blame Hezbollah for recklessness when it responds to Israeli attacks, as they did this week. But that is politics.

Some of them are no doubt disappointed and dismayed that none of the skirmishes and little wars between Hezbollah and the IDF ever lead to a larger war. Their hope is that it might somehow lead to the eradication of the Lebanese Party which is close to the mullahs in Iran. I have seen some of them salivate ‘audibly’ at the prospect of an israeli all-out war in Lebanon, and that includes oligarchs as well as Salafi Islamists. Perhaps they think of how the 1982 Israeli invasion led to the expulsion of Arafat and the PLO from Lebanon. There have been sporadic unconfirmed but credible reports that some of them have lobbied for direct American action in Lebanon as well. Of that I also have no doubt.

But we know, most of us, that wars often turn out different from the expected. The Israeli invasion and occupation of 1982 lead to the rise of Hezbollah, a much fiercer foe than the PLO groups ever were. They prefer to forget that the invasion of Iraq led to the rise of AQI and ISIS, and that the Arab Wahhabi interference in the Syrian uprising led to the rise of the murderous Caliphate. That earlier the interference during the 1980s in Afghanistan led to the rise of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

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An American Sniper in the Mirror……….

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

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Saw the film American Sniper last Sunday. A powerful film, as many Clint Eastwood films tend to be. No matter what you think of the underlying politics, no matter what your stance on the Iraq war.

Most of the Arabs in the film were not really Arabs, they spoke with thick accents and certainly ignored the distinct Iraqi dialect. There were also some small mistakes in the location of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in Baghdad. At one point they seemed to consider Sadr City as a possible hotbed for Al Qaeda, which is absurd given that its residents are overwhelmingly Shi’a, who are the main targets of AQI terrorists.

I had no problem with the portrayal of the AQI terrorists as bloodthirsty killers, including the gruesome “killing with a drill” part. They were and they are.

Oh, and like Exodus: Gods and Kings, it will not be seen in most Arab or Muslim countries, if in any.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

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The Grim Jordanian Luck of Kenji Goto………

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

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Kenji Goto, the Japanese being held hostage by ISIS is lucky in one respect. The other hostage whose release is being negotiated now is a Jordanian air force pilot from a prominent (humorless) Jordanian tribe. My unreliable Jordanian source reports that there has been a lot of pressure from his clan for a deal to get him out through a deal with the terrorists. She added something roughly to the effect that: “Nobody in Jordan gives a rat’s ass about Kenji Goto. They want Mu’ath…“, only more colorful.
If Mu’ath is still alive. If not, then Kenji Goto’s luck, and Sajida Al Rishawi’s luck, may run out…….

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

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Iranians Worry about Pro-Likud U.S. Senate, Seek a More Active Europe……….

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“The European Union (EU) can play more active role in the negotiations between Iran and the world powers over Iran’s nuclear issue, Press TV reported on Tuesday quoting Iran’s foreign minister as saying. In a meeting with his Portugese counterpart Rui Machete in Tehran on Monday, Mohammad-Javad Zarif hailed what he termed as “positive” the European countries’ current approach to oppose the imposition of any new sanctions against Tehran and trying out diplomacy………….”

The Iranians are apparently just trying to get some help from Europe. They can see that the U.S. Knesset Congress/Senate is trying to create the conditions for failed negotiations. They see that the legislators are setting the U.S. up for being dragged into an Israeli war against another Muslim country. They know that the Europeans, like almost everybody else outside the USA,  are skeptic about Netanyahu and the Israeli stance. They are trying to get the Europeans to be a bit more forceful on this issue.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

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Multidisciplinary: Middle East, North Africa, Gulf, GCC, World, Cosmos…..