Palestinians Welcome Israeli Settlers in East Jerusalem…….

_9OJik4N_normal Sharqeya-Baneen-15    DennyCreek2

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Israeli police guarded Jewish settlers as they moved into seven homes in a Palestinian neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Tuesday while stunned and angry Palestinians looked on, aware that there was little they could do. The homes in Silwan, which sits in the shadow of Jerusalem’s Old City, were purchased by Elad, a pro-settlement group that uses funds from Jewish supporters in the United States and elsewhere to buy properties in Palestinian districts……….”This is a government by the settlers for the settlers,” said Saeb Erekat, the Palestinians’ chief peace negotiator, calling the move an attempt to erase Palestinian identity…………..”

It says here the Palestinians were purchased by the Israeli pro-settler group. So, they were bought and paid for. That means someone in Jerusalem, some Arabs, got paid, and no doubt generously, for the properties. It is not the first time. They are selling these properties to the pro-settler groups. Unless I am missing something, some facts, here. It takes two to tango, no?

Okay, in this case maybe it takes at least two to tango.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Can the US Save Saudi and UAE Nuts in Yemen and Syria?………..

_9OJik4N_normal Sharqeya-Baneen-15    DennyCreek2

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“The United States condemns ongoing hostile and aggressive actions against the Yemeni government and political targets and calls for all parties to implement all aspects of the Peace and National Partnership agreement, in particular the turning over of all medium and heavy weapons to the State…….We commend and support President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s efforts as he leads Yemen in implementing the Peace and National Partnership Agreement that builds on the GCC Initiative and National Dialogue Conference Outcomes…… The United States remains firmly committed to supporting President Hadi and all Yemenis in this endeavor and to our enduring partnership with the Yemeni government to counter the shared threat from al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula…………”

Imagine this impossible and unlikely alternative statement: “The United States condemns ongoing hostile and aggressive actions against the Syrian government and political targets……….”

But then again, there is an issue of serious electoral legitimacy here, Arab style. And there is the issue of keeping the focus on AQAP terrorists. General President Hadi (I wouldn’t add Al Zombie this time) won his GCC-arranged election by 99.8% of the vote, beating fellow Generalisimo Field Marshal Al Sisi who could only eke out 97+% of the scant Egyptian vote. They both beat Herr Doctor Bashar Al Assad, who received barely 88%, a resounding defeat by the standards of Arab leaders, be they dynastic or military or both. Still, none of them could match the victory margin of Kim Jong-Un or of some of the kings that litter our region.

Of course more blood, much more blood, has been shed in the international butchery that we now call the Syrian civil war. Which may explain the lower margin of, er, ‘victory’ in Damascus.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Ancient Black Flag Revolutionaries: Abu Muslim of Khorasan and Marwan the Jackass………

_9OJik4N_normal Sharqeya-Baneen-15    DennyCreek2

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A bit of high school history here:
Why is no leader of this Wahhabi “Khorasan” group called Abu Muslim Al Khorasani? Given their penchant for noms de guerre starting with Abu and their use of Khorasan (a province in northeastern Persia/Iran)?
Abu Muslim Al Khorasani (also reportedly a nom de guerre) was the original man behind the original ‘black flag’. A Persian, he led the forces of the Abbasid, the original black flag revolution that overthrew the Umayyad dynasty which ruled from Damascus, in the eighth century (A.D.). The last Umayyad Caliph was named Marwan, he was nicknamed by some Al Homar (the Jackass) for obvious reasons.

After the Abbasids took power and started their dynasty, they started to eliminate their former allies and potential future rivals. They started by beheading the man who made their revolution possible, Abu Muslim Al Khorasani.


The Abbasids ruled for five centuries, often through Persian and Turkish surrogates and top ministers. The Abbasids were more cosmopolitan than their predecessors: they intermarried extensively with other ‘subjected’ peoples. They also shared administrative duties, unlike the extremely tribal Umayyads who kept power and influence within their own tribal kin.

The Abbasid rule was ended by the Mongols who sacked Baghdad and trampled the last Caliph, al-Must’asim, to death under their horses hoofs (reportedly after rolling him inside a nice Persian carpet).
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Battle for Yemen: Houthis vs. Muslim Brotherhood……….

_9OJik4N_normal Sharqeya-Baneen-15    DennyCreek2

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“In a harbinger of things to come, a UNICEF employee told me that the only way he could get supplies to Saada was by partnering with the Islah Charitable Society (ICS), a local aid agency tied to Yemen’s largest Islamist party. He complained that ICS was padding the books and inflating the numbers of people who had been displaced to gain resources for its wider evangelical work…… It was in ways like this that the Saleh regime manipulated the “sectarian” politics of Northern Yemen, seeking to ensure that the two groups were too distracted by each other to turn their attention elsewhere……….So, why think of this as sectarian war? The Houthi’s march on Sanaa in September cannot be easily glossed as “sectarian” just because they are Zaydi Shiites, and most (though not all) Islahis are Sunnis…………”

So the Islah are as corrupt as anyone else in power in Yemen, which makes sense. Islah means “reform” in Arabic, clearly a misnomer now. Very Orwellian use of language in this case, as in most cases in Arab politics.

The Houthis were the rustic country folks who did not have the slick region-wide organization like the Muslim Brotherhood (or the Persian Gulf Salafis) to support them. They could not have taken Sanaa so easily if the ret of Yemenis were not fed up with the Islah corruption and the impotent president General Ab Rabu Hadi Al Zombie, the former vice president of Mr. Saleh, who was given the job by the princes and potentates of Riyadh and Abu Dhabi and Doha. Of course the Yemeni scene is more complicated than that: AQAP and the Southern (Aden) independence movement complicate the mix.

These Gulf worthies and princes are now screaming their old tried and true tactic: they are crying “sectarian”. But then, nobody is as responsible as these same potentates for the current rabid sectarianism in our region.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Year of Chopping Heads: from Mosul to Oklahoma……

_9OJik4N_normal Sharqeya-Baneen-15    DennyCreek2

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Suddenly decapitating seems to be ‘in’ (at least in our region and in world media). It is certainly as ‘in’ as slowly and agonizingly, hit-or-miss, experimental injection of poison to death-row convicts in Oklahoma and other states. It is a toss-up which method is more cruel: you never know until you try both, personally. Beheading is probably more cruel; besides, it is happening more frequently. Especially now that the Wahhabi cutthroats (literally) of this Hollywood Caliphate are resurgent in Iraq and Syria.

The Caliphate unceremoniously mows down Yazidis and Shi’as and native non-Wahhabis into mass graves. But it reserves the more ceremonial beheading for Westerners. It is a tough choice: would you rather be mowed down as one more anonymous body among thousands or would you rather be murdered ceremoniously but painfully?
To keep up with the other Wahhabi Abus, the Saudis have also ramped up their beheading state machine. Reports claim they have accelerated the number of public beheadings, that it is close to 50 so far this year, give or take a couple.
Not to be outdone, the Algerian Salafis have gone back to their 1990s civil war practice of beheading hostages. Not to mention reports of the Philippines Abus, Abu Sayyaf (?) resorting to the endearing old practice.
Not to be outdone, some nutcase in Oklahoma just beheaded a co-worker. Oklahomaaaaaaa Okay? Oklahoma that has been worried about the Shari’a Law creeping into its statehouse and legislature and has been dabbling with laws to forestall it.

Odd, how they believe that chopping heads is the ‘Islamic’ way to execute someone. Just because they did it in the old days. What they overlook is that they had no other choice in those days. They did not have guns or hypodermic needles in the seventh century. Everybody chopped heads at that time, be they Muslims or Christians or Vegans. Even Henry VIII did it, even the French reveled in it for a mad brief period.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

ISIS Oil: About the Erdogan Trail………….

_9OJik4N_normal Sharqeya-Baneen-15    DennyCreek2

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“U.S.-led coalition warplanes bombed oil installations and other facilities in territory controlled by Islamic State militants in eastern Syria on Friday, taking aim for a second consecutive day at a key source of financing that has swelled the extremist group’s coffers, activists said. The strikes hit two oil areas in Deir el-Zour province a day after the United States and its Arab allies pummeled a dozen makeshift oil producing facilities in the same area near Syria’s border with Iraq. The raids aim to cripple one of the militants’ primary sources of cash — black market oil sales that the U.S. says generate up to $2 million a day…………”

It is well to hit the oil wells they have occupied in Syria (and Iraq). But there is a cheaper more efficient way to throttle their oil revenues: a bomb-less way. How do they sell the oil? To whom do they sell the oil? More important: by which route is that oil shipped?

That last question, the route, is the gorilla in the war room. Dealing with it requires some neighborly cooperation from one particular country.There is no sea outlet for the oil since the terrorists don’t control any ports or even any coastal regions. Their only route seems to be through NATO member Turkey. Across the border into Turkey and into the markets. Get Mr. Erdogan to shut the ISIS oil route, if he can. Get him to be less vague, less vague and tentative, about his ties to the Jihadis in Syria (and by extension in Iraq). 

Unless there is another route I am not aware of through which the Caliphate petroleum is shipped.

Then there is that other money route, the one we know that leads “north” into Syria and Iraq.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Obama’s Curious Syrian Blind Date with Assorted Cutthroats……….

_9OJik4N_normal Sharqeya-Baneen-15    DennyCreek2

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“Obama runs the risk of mission creep in Syria……. However, the key test will be for the US president. Having committed his forces to the fight, he needs to reflect on the lessons of past unsuccessful campaigns. Two-thirds of Americans support the US attack on Isis. But to retain that support, he must set clear goals and avoid the curse of mission creep………..”

That is normal, this mission creep: it goes with war, all wars. Going to war is not like giving a birthday party, as I tweeted yesterday. Much more unpredictable. It is almost like going out on a blind date: you can never be sure how things will turn out. That is why they called them ‘blind’.

In this case Mr. Obama is going on a double (nay multiple) blind date, along with a gaggle of princes and potentates. Whom he had to pressure and coerce to forcefully side against their wayward fellow Wahhabis of ISIS and Al Nusra and other assorted international cutthroats.

Just don’t get blindsided.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

After Freezing the Spring: Arab Regimes are Erasing its Symbols…..

_9OJik4N_normal Sharqeya-Baneen-15    DennyCreek2

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There is something bout history and monuments and revolutions that bothers Arab regimes, be they absolute tribal monarchies or militry dictatorships or Jihadi terrorists:

In 2011, the ruling family of Bahrain wasted no time in erasing Pearl (Lulu) Square, a landmark of the capital Manama and symbol of the popular uprising. In its place they created an ugly crossroad named after the imported forces that helped crush the protests.

Now Egyptian media report on a huge parking garage being erected in Tahrir Square, symbol of the Egyptian Uprising of 2011. That upriing was killed by the old regime feloul, the Egyptian army, Egyptian Wahhabi-liberals, and Persian Gulf oil money.

But what is new here? Saudi authorities have been for years destroying monuments to that older revolution that was led by Mohammed from Mecca and Madinah fifteen centuries ago. Historical structures and monuments of early Islam, especially in Mecca, have been gradually erased to be replaced by lucrative shopping malls and 7-star hotels. A truly royal land grab. And the ultimate counter-revolution, Arab style.

Of course this is not an aberration, there is a pattern. The Jihadis, the ultimate modern counter-revolutionaries, have been busy destroying other monuments to history from Iraq to Libya .

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

 
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

A Cultural Crime: Confusing Khorasan with Corazón……….

_9OJik4N_normal Sharqeya-Baneen-15    DennyCreek2

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Suddenly Khorasan is “the word” to throw around in American media. Yesterday I posted  briefly on Khorasan here.

What is irking is that most media types mispronounce it by pronouncing it as “Corazón“. It becomes more so as it is repeated over time. So please, por favor, s’il vous plait, bitte, pozhalste, arjook, khahesh mikonam, do not pronounce it as “heart“. Not this Wahhabi use of it. Not this ugly context and incarnation of this beautiful historical word Khorasan which has deep roots and great significance in Islamic, Persian, Arab, and Central Asian history.  Verstanden?
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Turkey and the Caliphate of IS: You Scratch my Back and……..

_9OJik4N_normal Sharqeya-Baneen-15    DennyCreek2

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“Turkey, however, did not join the 10 Arab countries that signed on to help build a coalition against IS at a meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, this past week, and has made it clear that it will not partake in military operations against IS. It is willing to provide humanitarian aid, and will in all likelihood offer clandestine support to U.S. efforts. The primary reason the Turks give for their reticence was their concern for the fate of 49 Turkish diplomatic and security personnel who were seized by IS when the group overran the Iraqi city of Mosul; they were released this past weekend. The hostage crisis was emblematic of all that has gone wrong for Turkey in Syria…………..”

Turkey bet on the Syrian rebels early on. In those heady early days of the Arab Uprisings of 2011, when they looked and sounded and smelled like an Arab Spring. Early on, the Turks started voicing support for the Syrian protests, then for the armed Syrian rebels. No doubt partly because they knew that a large portion of the protesters were Sunni fundamentalists of the kind Mr. Erdogan can be comfortable dealing with.

That was just before the nascent Syrian uprising was hijacked by Persian Gulf Wahhabi princes and their Salafi allies. Before it was bought with vast amounts of petroleum money flowing north from Saudi Arabia and Qatar and other places. Before it was quickly changed into a blatantly sectarian movement of hundreds of rival groups and gangs of Jihadis, quasi-Jihadis, and kidnappers fighting Assad and each other.
The Turkish government opened its borders to everyone who was heading into Syria to fight the Assad regime. Foreign volunteers from the Gulf, North Africa, and Europe flowed into Syria from the Turkish borders. As did weapons and money. If this Caliphate is selling Syrian (or Iraqi) oil, as some reports claim, then their only route for that would be through Turkey, with the cooperation of the authorities.
Meanwhile, the sources of volunteers and money for the Jihad were secure in their palaces in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Abu Dhabi. They were far away from the Syrian borders and hence felt shrapnel from the Syrian crisis, which they had converted into a sectarian civil war, would not touch them. They wanted to manage the Syrian war and shape its outcome to serve their interests even as starry eyed Western pundits waxed poetic about the war for democracy and freedom in Syria. Which is also what the Turks aimed for: to manage the Syrian war.

The Turks have been scratching the Jihadist backs for three years. Now ISIS have released the Turkish hostages from Mosul. No beheadings there, but then the Turkish hostages probably were all of the right religion and sect. Not surprising that the Turks are staying away from this new NATO campaign against the Caliphate, to the extent of refusing to “cooperate” with the air campaign.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

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