Arab Nursery Rhyme Transition to Democracy: Mary Mary Quite Contrary…….

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KuwaitCox2 
Mary, Mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockleshells
And pretty maids all in a row.

“Deputy spokesperson of the United States State Department Marie Harf said in a press briefing on Monday that Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is leading the country’s democratic transition, despite recent criticism by the US of Egypt’s human rights record and the US holding some of its aid to Egypt pending democratic reform……….”

Also sprach U.S. State Department spokesperson Marie Harf. But in fairness what else can the lady say?
Transition to democracy is a gentrified term to use now for Arab dictatorships and absolute tribal family rule. Generalisimo Field Marshal Al Sisi is transitioning Egypt to democracy, hence he is still part of an axis of goodness, almost certified by Good Housekeeping. In the process he has overthrown a freely-elected president, the man who promoted him to defense minister, and thrown him in prison with a dozen or so trumped up charges. In the process his security forces and his soldiers have massacred a few thousand civilian protesters, the largest such massacre in modern Egyptian history. In the process his security have arrested and thrown in prison tens of thousands of people who disagree with him. In the process he has got himself “elected” against a hapless tool, with more than 97% of the vote (in a very low turnout election). In the process his courts have sentenced almost two thousand protesters to death, and the toll keeps rising.
By the same standards we can also argue that the Al Saud absolute tribal princes are transitioning the Arabian peninsula toward democracy. We can also say that the vile absolute tribal rulers of Bahrain are transitioning the captive island of imported mercenaries and teargas toward democracy. We could have said the same about Mu’ammar Gaddafi and we can say it abut Bashar Al Assad. Etc , etc, etc………
Ten, twenty, thirty years from now, they will still be transitioning their peoples toward democracy. With a lot of help from their soldiers and their security gents and in some cases their imported mercenaries.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Faith of MENA: Return of the Ikhwan under a Chubby Caliph……..

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KuwaitCox2 “Wahhab was forced to flee from Medina, and in a more rural inland area – in the Nejd- he was adopted by the Saud family. With a combination of camel riding warrior power and Wahhabi religious zeal, the Saud regime spread across Arabia. In 1802 an army of 12,000 Wahhabi warriors attacked the Shia in the city of Karbala, slaying 4,000 of the city’s inhabitants and smashing Shia holy sites. In 1803 they attacked Mecca and, aware of the slaughter in Kabala, the Meccans opened their town to Saud rule. Against images, the Wahhabi warriors smashed opulent graves, and they forbade smoking. After taking power in Medina they smashed grave-sites again, including the tomb of the Prophet Mohammed. In 1813, the Ottoman sultan sent expeditions against Wahhabism. The defeated head of the Saud family was taken in a cage to Istanbul and beheaded……….”

Ikhwan is an Arabic word that means “brothers”. Ikhwan is now used in Arabic to refer to the Muslim Brotherhood. For many decades, the term Ikhwan when used in Egypt referred exclusively to the Muslim Brotherhood. Outside Egypt also the term was used in recent decades, at least since the 1950s, to refer to the Muslim Brotherhood. The other older original “Ikhwan” are dead. Or are they?

The original ‘Ikhwan’ were quite different. They did not grow in the cosmopolitan atmosphere of old Cairo. They sprouted in the Arabian desert of what is now called Saudi Arabia. They were the zealous Wahhabi militias allied to King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud. They helped him conquer his homeland of Nejd, then conquer Al-Ahsaa (Eastern Arabia), Hijaz (Mecca and Madinah), and large chunks of northern Yemen. They also made a stab at conquering Kuwait which was under British protection, hence a no-no.

Eventually things fell apart for them. Ibn Saud was getting used to mingling with “civilized” Westerners, like the British who provided him with financial aid for some time. He realized, or was told, that the Wahabi zealots, his Ikhwan, his brothers, were outdated. They had served their purpose in helping him expand his Nejdi emirate to include most of the Arabian Peninsula. It was time to make deals with the British and eventually with the Americans. The Ikhwan’s usefulness had ended, and it was time for them to disappear.

Fast forward to the Caliphate in Syria and Iraq. The ideology of ISIS is similar to the Saudi Ikhwan, in spite of such modern trappings as the Omega watch on the fat wrist of the funny chubby Caliph and the Hello-Kitty pink box shown in the media. Like other Salafis and zealous Wahhabis of our time, they are not averse to using modern technology, especially means of transportation and tools of communication. They are still into blowing up and destroying monuments of Islam and other faiths, but they have learned to appreciate the joys of You-Tube and network news.

Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

UAE Pivoting: Brothers Karamazov to the Shores of Tripoli……..

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“From the Halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli
We fight our country’s battles
In the air, on land, and sea………”
USMC Hymn

“Egypt and the United Arab Emirates were responsible for carrying out two series of air strikes in the past week on armed Islamist factions in Tripoli, Libya, US officials said on Monday. The officials said the two Arab countries used aircraft based in Egypt. Earlier the New York Times reported that the two US allies acted without consulting Washington………..”

If you have a choice between believing Egyptian (and UAE) officials and American officials, whom would you believe? I’d take my chances with U.S. officials, since they are subject to public and media scrutiny (er, ahem, not that they would lie even if they could get away with it). Besides, Egyptian officials are notorious serial liars, possibly the lying-est in the history of the Middle East.

But the United Arab Emirates flexing military muscle in the MENA region (with help from their little man in Egypt)? The private fiefdom of the Bin Zayed Al Nahayan brothers? As someone who is rude and crude (which I am not) would exclaim: the UnitedFuckingEmirates? The funny country that is 87% composed of imported temporary foreigner laborers and reportedly relies on a Blackwater-advised foreign mercenary force of Colombians and White South Africans and Australians and others to keep order? That is a shocker.

The Al Nahayan brothers are pivoting from the Persian Gulf toward North Africa now. They helped mess up Bahrain by joining the Al Saud invasion to crush the popular uprising and prevent the liberation of Bahrain in 2011. They joined up with French pop-philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy and John McCain and NATO bombers to help liberate Libya in the same year. They helped muddy the waters in Syria in 2011 and convert a popular uprising into a Wahhabi-financed and armed Jihadi terrorist campaign. There are some reports of a sisterly role for the brothers in the rise of ISIS and its Caliphate in Iraq and Syria and back to Iraq.
What Mr. Vladimir Putin should worry about now is if the brothers decide to pivot to the Ukraine and maybe seek to liberate the Crimea. Mr. Obama may have to worry about the brothers Al Nahayan pivoting toward the far east, thus complicating his own efforts at pivoting toward the arms of his Chinese business partners and Kim-Jong Un.

Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

The Hollywood Caliphate of ISIS: Illusions of Sectarian Harmony in Iraq……..

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Masked terrorists attacked and killed worshipers in a (Sunni) mosque in Iraq last week. This reminded people of the brief but ugly sectarian civil war in 2006-08. The sectarian war that has resumed now with the mass killings of many non-Wahhabis by the terrorists of ISIS in Al-Anbar and other provinces. Even the Mubarak-appointed shaikh of Al-Azhar in Cairo, who did not bat an eyelash when ISIS were killing so many others, protested this “sectarian” attack.

My own guess is that the attack probably was not “sectarian” but that it was intended to provoke more sectarian hatred. That the perpetrators were almost certainly not “Shi’a” militias, but Wahhabi Salafis seeking to further muddy the waters. The rule of thumb in these terror incidents is to look for whoever benefits from them politically, and that should be obvious in this case.

The same arguments that were so publicized to explain the political and security troubles in Iraq in recent years will be used again after Haider Al-Abadi forms his government. If he is allowed to form his government. In fact the “sectarian” argument will be used again by former Baathists and their foreign Arab backers before he forms his government; I’d say starting next week. Ultra sectarians using the “sectarian” argument against others. Western governments frustrated with the whole Arab sectarian war will grasp this argument as the cause and root of all their troubles in Iraq. They will press Al Abadi to compromise by handing over ‘meaningful’ portfolios to the former Baathists. He, like Al Maliki, like any other Iraqi leader with the same sense and the same insecurities, will refuse to hand over the Defense or Security portfolios to former Baathists. Back to square one.

The root cause of Iraq’s current troubles is two-folded. It is a combination of domestic sectarian mistrust and foreign Arab meddling. The domestic Iraqi issue may take care of itself if outsiders would stop meddling and feeding the sectarian insecurities. Some of the Arab neighbors of Iraq, the Saudi princes and and Qatari and Emirati potentates who financed Wahhabi terrorism in Iraq long before they opened the Syrian front, have not accepted the regime change that was brought by the Western invasion of 2003. Their intolerant ideology, money, and volunteers are what gave birth to ISIS and its absurd Hollywood-style Caliphate.

Cheer

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

The Wahhabi Caliphate and Saddam Hussein………

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“Jihadists targeting minorities are “worse than Saddam”, a Kurdish commander says, standing near a sand barrier at a front line in north Iraq, the militants’ black flag fluttering in the distance…………..”

This is true: of course these Wahhabi cutthroats are worse than Saddam. Saddam was methodical: he targeted anyone who opposed his rule, but he did not care about their religion. He did not seek to convert anyone to whatever faith he believed in (if any). His beef with his opponents was political, not religious.
Ironically, many current officers of ISIS (ISIL? WTF?) reportedly served under Saddam in the military and security services. Outgoing prime minister Al Maliki even hinted that some of his own officers who had been formerly with the Baathist army has helped the fall of Mosul by abandoning their units. But then Al Maliki may have been trying to exonerate his government from the mess.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Globalized Thieves of London………

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“UAE risk map calls Oxford Street, Soho and Piccadilly districts ‘dangerous’ after recent attacks but police insist crime has fallen. Scotland Yard insisted on Wednesday that there was “absolutely nowhere” in London that should be avoided after the United Arab Emirates advised its citizens against visiting certain “hazardous” and “less secure” parts of the city centre, including some of its most popular tourist destinations.……….. Using Google maps, areas identified as dangerous under the UAE guidance were Marble Arch tube station, running north to Edgware Road and beyond the Metropole Hotel, as well as an area including Piccadilly, Bond Street, Soho, Leicester Square, Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road……………“

Bustling West London has been a notorious place for robbing Arab and Middle East tourists. Especially for Gulfies who are seen as rich (not all are) and hence easy prey. London is the only Western capital I was ever robbed in: in fact it is the only city anywhere I was ever robbed in, and I have been to many cities and towns around the world. Mainly pickpockets and credit card fraud in my case: they see the name and bingo, easy prey. Not anymore, that was two decades ago.

Of course this does not mean the thieves are necessarily ‘English’, very likely not. I also get funny emails offering to share millions with me, mostly from London, but the offered easy money is usually Nigerian. Thievery, like its corporatist sister, has been globalized.

Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Humorless Jordan Sponsors a New Humorless Front in the Syrian War……

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Assafir from Lebanon reports that the Syrian Army has struck the Al Nusra Front and other Wahhabi brigades east of Damascus. The daily sees this as a warning signal by Damascus in view of increased talk of rebels opening a new southern front against the regime. This long-promised southern front of the Wahhabi rebels is based in Jordan, where the flow of Arab (Saudi, possibly other) money and Western training has been reported for about a year now. King Abdul of the humorless Kingdom of Jordan continues to steadfastly deny any involvement in the Syrian civil war or that his country hosts any terrorist Wahhabi militias targeting Syria. As far as I can see, his nose isn’t getting any longer, nor are his pants on fire, not yet.

Apparently the Qatari foreign minister has recently returned from Tahran empty-handed as far as the Syrian war is concerned. The little Wahhabi emirate, like its bigger Wahhabi Saudi sister, supports Arab and foreign Jihadists who seek to overthrow Bashar Al-Assad and replace him with a theocracy.

Captive Women of the Caliphate of Mosul……

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Iraqi minister for human rights Mohammed Al Sudani claims that the Mosul Caliphate have recently killed about 420 Yazidi citizens. He also said they are holding more than 690 young Yazidi and Shi’a women under ‘rough conditions’, and that they are subjected to physical and psychological torture. He added that the militias also hold 75 Shi’a women from Sanjar.

No report yet of how many Sunni or Christian women the Wahhabis have abducted. It should be noted that when it comes to women, especially young women, the terrorists are equal opportunity kidnappers. Like the princes who gave the their start, they can find a cleric to issue any fatwa permitting any kind of depravity.

The story continues. The AP also reported tow weeks ago that ISIS fighters have taken hundreds of Yazidi women in Iraq as war booty, concubines (i.e. potential sex slaves). Other recent reports note that the Wahhabi terrorist group is working to lure young women and girls from the West to come to Syria and Iraq for the purpose of “sex jihad”. This may be a sort of rehearsal for when the Wahhabi cutthroats go to Paradise, as they expect, and partake of the unlimited virgin huris. If they ever make it there.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Nile Chutzpah: Cairo Regime advises USA on Official Violence……

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“Egypt on Tuesday urged U.S. authorities to exercise restraint in dealing with racially charged demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri – echoing language Washington used to caution Egypt as it cracked down on Islamist protesters last year. It is unusual for Egypt to criticize such a major donor, and it was not immediately clear why the government would have taken such a step. Ties between Washington and Cairo were strained after Egyptian security forces killed hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters following the army’s ousting of freely elected President Mohamed Mursi in July 2013………..”

The regime of Generalisimo Self-Appointed Field Marshal Al Sisi Bin Coup Al Dictator regularly rails against ‘intrusion’ of NGOs, like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Now it thinks it sees an opportunity to strike back at the Obama administration (and maybe the US Senate). Regime media (owned and controlled) is full of smug comments about how the USA cannot advice others on the Ferguson affair and human rights. That is, when they are not railing against some imaginary joint plot between the U.S. administration and the Muslim Brotherhood whose freely-elected regime was overthrown by Generalisimo Al Sisi. That coup of last summer was pushed for by an alliance of Egypt’s Wahhabi liberals and Mubarak veterans (feloul) and it was financed by Persian Gulf princes and potentates, mainly from Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Kuwait Parliament: Going from Dumb to Dumber?……..

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“Kuwaiti lawmakers have announced proposals to withdraw passports from any Kuwaiti citizen who harms their country’s reputation abroad. According to Gulf News, Nabeel Al Fadhel, member of the parliament said “We would like also the health minister to suspend the right for treatment trips abroad for any patients or their relatives who misbehaves abroad. The situation has gone beyond the point of resentment among Europeans who are now calling for the expulsion of all Arabs.” MP Abdul Hameed Dashti said he would call for a debate on the issue of Kuwaiti acts abroad that affect their country’s reputation………….”

Pretty dumb, if this is taken seriously, but what should we expect? Actually perhaps getting dumber if they take this proposal seriously and act upon it. Still, probably not as dumb as when the tribal and Islamist Wahhabi opposition controlled it in 2012, and voted to convert the country into a Wahhabi theocracy, but the Emir used his veto power to block them.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

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