All posts by Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Dr. Mohammed Haider Ghuloum: trained as an economist, been called a few other names…..
الشرقية للبنين- المتنبي- ثانوية الشويخ

A Pledge of Heil Hamad? A Dangerous Game on my Gulf…………..

     
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Manama, April 19 (BNA) — It was a simple message a group of Bahraini’s wanted to send across to the masses- “reflect their loyalty to the leadership.” In what started last week as signing an allegiance pledge and Loyalty swords campaign is now turned into a movement of masses from all spectrums, turning up in numbers signing their initials supporting the wise leadership. Books were opened at the National Stadium in Isa Town for citizens to show allegiance to the Kingdom and its leaders…………..

I have read reports that the emir’s (sorry king’s) half-witted son Nasser is behind this drive. He is head of some kind of military or security unit(s). They say the Saudis prefer him to the crown prince Salman, probably on account of his half-wittedness (or is it half-wittiness). So they are starting to force all Bahrainis to sign the pledge of allegiance to this traitorous despotic family who could not control the people with imported mercenaries and had to import Saudi troops to occupy their country. Why not let the people vote on this Mothercare King?
It is going to be like this: no pledge to the despot no job no food no medicine no education. It is like in the days of the Ba’ath in Iraq when people had to join the party to advance: but in Iraq people still got treated and educated if they did not join. In Nazi Germany people had to join the party to advance. This is not to compare the ruling family of Bahrain to Germans, even the Nazis who had some warped perverted ideas of nationalism. The al-Khalifa have no such nationalist ideas, not even warped ones. They are in it for themselves, pure and simple. No different from the al-Saud next door or the less significant al-Nahayan.
This whole thing is like a farce, this family and the other I mentioned. Yet they are playing a dangerous game, probably pushed by their Saudi masters. A dangerous farce played with two absolute ruling clans who have some really dangerous Western weapons at their disposal. They could push our region into another war that would certainly drag in the United States and the West. Is that what these funny ruling tribal polygamous clans, the al-Saud and the al-Nahayan, have in mind? Or are they just pawns of someone else who is moving the pieces? Opinions on my Gulf differ.
(Have you ever heard of King Mothercare?)
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

On Suicide Among Arabs and Iranians………..

     
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Countries and U.S. states that rank near the top in happiness also rank near the top in suicides rates, U.S. and British researchers suggest……Canada, the United States, Iceland, Ireland and Switzerland each indicate relatively high levels of happiness levels, but also high suicide rates. Nevertheless, the researchers note that because of variation in cultures and suicide-reporting conventions, the findings are only suggestive. Comparing happiness and suicide rates across U.S. states presents an advantage because cultural background, national institutions, language and religion are relatively constant nationwide……..UPI News

We in the Middle East, both Arabs and Iranians, do not have high suicide rates. In fact we have very low rates, possibly the lowest in the world. The rates did spike last December and January (starting with Tunisia). The reason is not that people in our region are happy. It is not Islamic fatwas against suicide either (the al-Qaeda Salafi types do it for the perks and extra benefits they expect to get on the ‘other side’). No, these are not the reasons for our low suicide rates. It is that the malcontents, the angry ones, don’t get a chance to commit suicide. Long before they reach that level of despair, Arabs and Iranians are either killed or tortured or imprisoned by their regimes. Or forced into exile, where they are no longer part of the local statistics.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Gulf Cat that Got Clinton’s Tongue………….

     
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Allies of Saudi Arabia have not publicly protested these serious and systematic violations. The European Union foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said on April 18 that she had been “very pleased” with her two-day visit to Riyadh and made no public comments about the political prisoners. Neither Tom Donilon nor Robert Gates publicly commented on the kingdom’s human rights violations. “The EU’s silence on the brazen arrest of a peaceful dissident on the first day of its chief foreign policy representative’s visit looks like a pat on the back for an authoritarian state,” said Christoph Wilcke, senior Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Silence when more than 160 peaceful dissidents are locked up should not be an option for Brussels or Washington.”………. In 2009, Saudi Arabia acceded to the Arab Charter for Human Rights, which guarantees in article 32 the right to freedom of opinion and expression. The kingdom is one of few countries that have not yet signed the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. “As the list of Saudi political prisoners grows longer, the silence of the US and the EU becomes more deafening,”…..”

Susan Rice today brazenly, and rightly, condemned human rights abuses in Syria and Libya and a few other Middle East countries. She waxed indignant. What was most noticeable were the countries she did not mention. Two of these countries are the worst abusers of human rights now: Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Even as Rice was speaking, these two regimes were rounding up people in both countries and torturing them in Bahrain. Not only do they suppress freedoms and dissent, they also practice a form of apartheid discrimination, in the Saudi case against anybody of a different sect or faith, in the Bahrain case against the majority of the people (a la South Africa). Rice did not say boo about them. Nor did Secretary Clinton recently when she lambasted other governments this week. The Saudi pussycat has got all their tongue. No profiles of courage when elected American and European officials are terrified of offending offensive tribal absolute serial-polygamous monarchs.
I knew that deep bow Mr. Obama made in from of King Abdullah in 2009 was the beginning of something.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Saudi Pussycat that Got Clinton’s Tongue………….

     
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Allies of Saudi Arabia have not publicly protested these serious and systematic violations. The European Union foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said on April 18 that she had been “very pleased” with her two-day visit to Riyadh and made no public comments about the political prisoners. Neither Tom Donilon nor Robert Gates publicly commented on the kingdom’s human rights violations. “The EU’s silence on the brazen arrest of a peaceful dissident on the first day of its chief foreign policy representative’s visit looks like a pat on the back for an authoritarian state,” said Christoph Wilcke, senior Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Silence when more than 160 peaceful dissidents are locked up should not be an option for Brussels or Washington.”………. In 2009, Saudi Arabia acceded to the Arab Charter for Human Rights, which guarantees in article 32 the right to freedom of opinion and expression. The kingdom is one of few countries that have not yet signed the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. “As the list of Saudi political prisoners grows longer, the silence of the US and the EU becomes more deafening,”…..”

Susan Rice today brazenly, and rightly, condemned human rights abuses in Syria and Libya and a few other Middle East countries. She waxed indignant. What was most noticeable were the countries she did not mention. Two of these countries are the worst abusers of human rights now: Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Even as Rice was speaking, these two regimes were rounding up people in both countries and torturing them in Bahrain. Not only do they suppress freedoms and dissent, they also practice a form of apartheid discrimination, in the Saudi case against anybody of a different sect or faith, in the Bahrain case against the majority of the people (a la South Africa). Rice did not say boo about them. Nor did Secretary Clinton recently when she lambasted other governments this week. The Saudi pussycat has got all their tongue. No profiles of courage when elected American and European officials are terrified of offending offensive tribal absolute serial-polygamous monarchs.
I knew that deep bow Mr. Obama made in from of King Abdullah in 2009 was the beginning of something.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Is the New Arab Dawn an Illusion?………….

     
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The Arab Summit in Baghdad was canceled by the Saudis. The Arab League, the Club of Despots, claimed that unrest in the region requires a postponement. The truth is that the Saudis said that either the venue be moved from Baghdad or it be postponed. They did not want to be presided over by a Kurd (Iraqi president Talibani) and an Arab Shi’a (Iraqi prime minister al-Maliki). They got their wish.
The odd thing is that in this age of Arab revolutions against despotism and in favor of freedom the most despotic Arabs decide Arab League policy. A couple of absolute monarchs, actually one, have decided that the summit be moved or postponed. Saudi Arabia had to give the nod for NATO to intervene in Libya and to keep out in Yemen and to not say a word about the repression and its invasion of Bahrain. It may have a hand in what happens next in Yemen and Libya, and maybe even Syria, and it sure is trying to influence the course of the yet-unfinished Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions. The most undemocratic Arab regime is still calling the shots for the Arab world.
A new Arab dawn? It sure doesn’t look like it from where I am sitting at the window, watching my best friend obey a call of nature on the side of my rain-soaked lawn.
And that is when I decided to stop typing before I stepped deeper into it.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

La Marseillaise: A Love Song for Shaikh Khalifa………..

     
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                          My BFF                        Shaikh Khalifa of YouTube
This is a love song to Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman, prime minister of Bahrain for forty years. The title on the reel says ”Khalifa, the Crown on the head of every Bahraini”. I don’t think he composed the music, even he can’t be that bad. But the lyrics, well, he may have. Nobody else could. Here is a sample:
 
He who filled all eyes with good deeds, he whose generosity……
You are our honor O Shaikh, You are the symbol and meaning…….
We love you big time………”

Okay, not exactly as rousing as Piaff singing La Marseillaise.
Cheers
mhg




m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Health in Occupied Bahrain: Obamacare and Saudicare ………….

     
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“Vengeance is mine……..” Shaikh Khalifa Al-Khalifa

At least 32 doctors, including surgeons, physicians, paediatricians and obstetricians, have been arrested and detained by Bahrain’s police in the last month in a campaign of intimidation that runs directly counter to the Geneva Convention guaranteeing medical care to people wounded in conflict. Doctors around the world have expressed their shock and outrage.
One doctor, an intensive care specialist, was held after she was photographed weeping over a dead protester. Another was arrested in the theatre room while operating on a patient…… Many of the doctors, aged from 33 to 65, have been “disappeared” – held incommunicado or at undisclosed locations. Their families do not know where they are. Nurses, paramedics and ambulance staff have also been detained. Emails between a Bahraini surgeon and a British colleague, seen by The Independent, describe in vivid detail the threat facing medical staff as they struggle to treat victims of the violence. They provide a glimpse of the terror and exhaustion suffered by the doctors and medical staff. Bahraini government forces backed by Saudi Arabian troops have cracked down hard on demonstrators since the unrest began on 15 February – and the harshness of their response has now been extended to those treating the injured…………The Independent

Okay, time for some medical care discourse. Americans get Obamacare, which they supported but then they opposed and may not be sure about now, depending on which television ad or sound bite they hear last. Bahrainis are now getting Saudi-care or Wahhabi-care in their hospitals and clinics, especially in the intensive care units (ICUs) and operations rooms. It is focused on patients already under treatment and especially on the doctors and nurses who treat them. These doctors and nurses end up becoming patients under the tender care of the regime and its Saudi masters, but what would happen to those who would treat them?
Even as they taste the hellish facts of Saudi Wahhabicare, the people of Bahrain are also getting a good taste of Obamacare and Clintoncare, Middle East style (or just Persian-American Gulf style). The Bahrain version of Obamacare translates into Obama-don’t-care. In more colorful language, if I were the sort that would us colorful language (which I am not), it would be called “you are on your own, boys and girls, sogofuck yourselves”.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Emirates Try Baby for Adultery, Shaikh Warns Girls about Fathers…….

     
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A 14-YEAR-OLD Arab schoolgirl who has been detained in the United Arab Emirates on a charge of adultery will appear in court later this month. “The trial will start in spite of the age ceiling set for trials on sexual related crimes by the UAE law,” said the daily newspaper Gulf News today. “The law states that the minimum age of suspects in crimes related to sex must be 15 years. Such cases should be conducted in special juvenile courts. Otherwise, suspects are considered victims rather than suspects,” the daily quoted a “law expert” as saying. On April 5, Gulf News said police in the emirate of Ajman had arrested the teenager after she met up with her boyfriend on the roof of her family home. She has since been forced to undergo a gynaecological examination which “confirmed she was still a virgin”, the unnamed girl’s father was quoted as saying………

It is a sure sign of a somewhat fuckedup society when a 14 year old girl is tried for “adultery”, even though she is a virgin according to medical examination. It is also a bigger sign when a top Saudi cleric and televangelist (M. Alarefe) blames some young girls because their fathers sexually abused them. Then he suggests that girls and fathers should never be left alone. He issued something like a television fatwa that says fathers should be suspect with their own daughters. Now what kind of a fucked up pious society is this? The same al-Arefe had earlier described why and how a husband should beat up his wife.
And I had thought these things only happened in ‘certain’ parts of Texas and Oklahoma. Some of these judges and clerics in my Gulf are worse than those in parts of Texas and Oklahoma! I forgot to mention Belgium, which used to be, may still be, notorious for pedophilia rings.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

About Those Arab Revolutions……….

     
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The unfolding Arab scene reads like this:


  • Libya is now effectively divided and may remain so for the near future. The US administration does not want to get involved in another ground war in the Middle East now. Certainly not as the 2012 campaign starts this summer. The Europeans do not have what it takes to do the job alone: Libya is not exactly Cote d’Ivoire. The US may still be forced to intervene if the rebels in Benghazi face serious trouble.

  • Yemen most likely, nay almost certainly, will end up divided back into two states, the way it used to be before 1990. That was the year the socialists of South Yemen decided to merge with the regime of Ali Saleh in one Yemeni state.

  • Syria is now the most important unknown variable in the regional equation. It is the prize. It is allied with Iran, but the Saudis have their own partisans among the Salafi fundamentalists who are part of the protesters, as well as among the former Ba’athist henchmen now in exile. The Syrian uprising is like the Egyptian one, it seems to be a broad mix of Islamist fundamentalists and secularists, of rightists and leftists. A weakened Assad may survive; at least it looks like it early today. But the jury is still out for Syria.

  • Bahrain will remain under the apartheid system enforced by Saudi troops (many more than the 1,500 they claim). The al-Saud show no inclination to pull their forces out any time soon, if ever. The al-Khalifa clan are too terrified of their own people after what they did to feel safe without the Saudi protection. The fear for Bahrain is that the situation is untenable: the Bahrain people and the Saudi-alKhalifa side have no basis for agreement. No political solution is possible now. The despotic side, with the Saudi gun now at it back, will not accept even a return to the phony parliament. Maybe in the longer run, after some dramatic events. I expect that as the oppression continues, we will see more confrontation. People will eventually do what they have to do to get their rights. Ergo: it will become harder for regime agents to stage midnight raids and daytime pogroms into the Shi’a villages. More Saudi troops will come in, more blood. Saudis in turn will be bloodied as they transform the peaceful Bahrainis into desperate fighters. The al-Saud and al-Khalifa will blame the Iranians, the Iranians will blame the West, the West will have no one but itself to blame for allowing the absolute Wahhabi monarchs to take control. The USA will be caught in the middle of a popular uprising and a nasty Wahhabi campaign to eradicate it. Who will win? It is possible that eventually the charismatically-challenged prime minister will be forced out by the Saudis as they lose more troops, and the idiotic king Hamad Bin Issa may be forced to abdicate in favor of his son Crown Prince Salman, who is not nearly half as idiotic as his father.
    A good solution for Bahrain: get rid of both Hamad and the extremely disliked uncle Khalifa, make the Crown Prince a constitutional monarch, have Saudis pull out to confront their own troubles with their people, hopefully. As for the Emiratis, they can help by carrying the Saudis’ luggage for them on the way out, just as they did on the way in. But there will be hell between now and then.
  • The UAE rulers may throw a wrench into all this by deciding to make use of their massive arsenal of weapons rusting in desert warehouses. As I keep telling you, they are the second biggest importers of weapons in the whole world, and are aspiring to become the first biggest importers of weapons in the whole world. They may just get fed up watching those billions of dollars worth of weapons rusting unused. The al-Nahyan brothers may just decide to storm across my Gulf and invade Iran. Then the US administration will truly have the mother of all Middle East problems on its hands.

Cheers
mhg




m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Salafis for a Gulf Confederacy of Dunces…….

     
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These days there are more examples of trashy Salafi analysis making a case for a GCC Gulf confederation under the control of the al-Saud brothers. There are other examples, most of them by the same writer whom I have linked here. He is almost obsessive-compulsive about it, the way Salafis are usually obsessive-compulsive about bodily functions.
There have been several others pieces, mainly from writers and a couple of academics who are more like fifth columnists in the smaller Gulf states. The analysis is shallow, the logic nonexistent, the writing at near high-school level, possibly even worse than my own writings in this blog. I never had much faith in most of our writers and so-called ‘opinion’ makers in the Gulf. These days whatever little faith I had has almost gone with the wind. Gulf media, especially in my hometown, has truly gone downhill in recent years. Saudi media, especially the offshore ones like Asharq Alawsat and Alhayat, I must admit, is better produced than some others and more slick, but it delivers merely the same trash in nicer packaging. A pig with lipstick still smells like a pig. And some of the writers tend to be better. They spend more money on it, but the smell seeps through the nice packaging. Don’t bother to read them, just take my word for it!
Not surprisingly the rump Bahrain “parliament”, after the resignation and/or arrest of representatives of most of the people of Bahrain, voted to approve a confederation with the al-Saud brothers. That so-called parliament, the ‘elected’ half, is composed of Salafis and fundamentalists and palace retainers who owe their seats not to the people but to the al-Khalifa clan. They won their seats to offset the vote of the majority of the people through gerrymandering and rigging the results. They are truly grateful to the al-Khalifa clan who ‘appointed’ them to this fake parliament, and to the al-Saud brothers who will keep them in office. In fact, I have no doubt they got their order for this vote from Riyadh, via the al-Khalifa viceroy.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com