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

Field Marshal Shaikh Buffoon of Bahrain……….

     
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“If you have no shame, then do what you want” Good Arab Saying

Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) Commander-in-Chief Marshal Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa confirmed in an interview published today in the Kuwaiti newspaper “Al Rai”, that the BDF, Ministry of Interior (MOI), and the National Guard system was able to restore safety and security in the Kingdom through stopping those who attempted to overthrow the regime and establish a state within the clerical rule of Iran that follows Welyat Al Faqeeh ” ’ the mandate of the jurist’. Marshal Khalifa bin Ahmed refused labeling the groups involved in the recent events as reform callers, describing them as traitors an saboteurs that led Bahrain into chaos and disorder. Pointing out that the Seven Associations were carrying out the guidance lines from Iran that drew the acts of sabotage and barbarism in the Kingdom. The Commander in Chief explained that upon declaring a state of national safety a number of involved heads in the killing and agitation were arrested, along with the group of terrorists who threatened the civil peace and attacked public and private property to undertake the legal necessary procedures…….

Field Marshal (no less) Shaikh Khalifa Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa of Bahrain. This Field Marshal, the Rommel of Bahrain, had to call in Saudi forces in order to put down a demonstration or two. Or maybe the invaders just came in on their own. If I were in his place, I would be ashamed. If I were in his place, I would keep away from the media for a while, having to import foreign occupation forces to subdue my people. Before that they had imported foreign mercenaries to subdue the people, bypassing the Field Marshal.
The title of Field Marshal is normally given, in normal countries, only to generals who have fought and won battles. Like Bernard Montgomery of Britain and Erwin Rommel of Germany. Normal countries don’t bestow such honors on buffoons like Shaikh Khalifa Al Khalifa, just for being born.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Shaikhs and Bins: the Rapidly Evolving UAE Police State……..

     
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The United Arab Emirates has been cracking down on any whiff of dissent. This week, the regime took over the Teachers Union and appointed its own agents on the board because they had advocated for democracy. They have not yet been charged of being Iranian agents but stay tuned. A week or two earlier they dissolved the independent human rights organization for the same reason. Several advocates of free speech and democracy have been arrested and are still in prison. Some of the latter have been charged with insulting the ruler of Abu Dhabi (president of UAE) Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan and his crown prince Shaikh Mohammed Bin Zayed al-Nahayan and the ruler of Dubai Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum. I am not sure how they insulted these tribal absolute shaikhs, maybe they stuck their tongues out at their ubiquitous pictures.
The al-Nahayan, rulers of Abu Dhabi who run the whole UAE (the other shaikhs are just for show), are apparently worried about unrest. This is odd for two reasons:

Why are they worried I: The overwhelming majority of the UAE are temporary imported foreign workers and housemaids who are rotated every few years and have no interest in the internal politics of the country. They probably form around 85% of the population. Maybe the al-Nahayan can imiose masters of Apartheid the al-Khalifa in Bahrain and naturalize these millions of Asians to offset the politically demanding natives.

Why are they worried II: The UAE is the second biggest importer of weapons in the whole wide wonderful world. They are a bigger importer than Israel and Saudi Arabia. They are buying weapons faster than they can rust in their desert warehouses: they are clearly striving to become the first biggest importer of weapons in the whole wide world. Since they obviously have no intention of invading either Saudi Arabia or Iran, and they seem to think they can always buy Oman, the only reason for these weapons is to keep their people under control. I mean their native people since the Asian housemaids who form a majority of the people are not likely to start a revolution. So with all these weapons in the desert warehouses, what is there to worry about?

I still think
their best bet is to find an Iranian connection, create one if they must. If the hapless al-Khalifa could do it in Bahrain and sell it to Robert Gates and Hillary Clinton, the al-Nahayan should be able to do even better if only because they have more money. Or maybe they can blame it on the devil.
More on this later.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Post Bin Laden: Will al-Qaeda Come in From the Cold?………….

     
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Bin Laden’s radical politics continued to hold sway with some Saudi youth as Al Qaeda carried out attacks in the desert kingdom mainly in 2003. With an internal crackdown against Al Qaeda, Saudi fighters headed to Iraq to battle the US military and Iraq’s Shiite-led government through 2007. Only after concerted pressure from the Americans, did the Saudi royal family make a serious effort to try to stop the migration of young Saudi radicals to Iraq..…….

Will al-Qaeda mutate again now that Bin Laden is dead? Will it come in from the cold?
I have never believed that al-Qaeda terrorists, good Salafi sons of the Wahhabi nest, had ever completely cut the cord with the mother. There were a couple of publicized operations inside the Arabian Peninsula, many arrests, trials, re-education camps. Yet the emphasis has always been on ‘misguided’ sons who will return to the bosom. Re-education programs were set up exclusively for these Salafi ‘misguided ones’: by contrast, a ‘misguided’ Shi’a would probably have his head chopped off. Then there was the important money angle: that may explain the reluctance of the terrorists to perform significant operations in the Saudi kingdom. Why blow up decent Wahhabi folks in the ‘mother country’ when there is ample supply of Shi’a heretics next door in Iraq? Why kill the cash cow (or cash she-camel naqah)?

There is no doubt that al-Qaeda will undergo some more changes now that its leader, its main link to the moneyed part of the Arab world, is dead. We may be about to find out how far these changes will go before this year is over. Despite the public ‘animosity’ between al-Qaeda and the al-Saud dynasty, the Saudi regime has kept close and warm relations with the regional supporters of Bin Laden, the Salafis and their various organizations (e.g. Islamic Heritage Societies). Some of them act as outright Saudi agents in the Gulf states, pushing for yet closer ties with Riyadh, pushing for Saudi hegemony. This is partly tribal, but largely political and ideological and, dare I say it, financial.
The Salafi Wahhabis were spawned in Saudi Arabia and have never really strayed too far from their roots. The Saudis know they have a reliably fierce potential ally in their intensifying struggle not only against the ‘rival’ theocracy in Iran but also against the inevitable winds of Arab change and revolution. Al-Qaeda recruits have shown their ferocity in the terrorist campaigns inside Iraq, almost certainly financed by Saudis and other patrons in the Persian-American Gulf. For some years the Saudis tried to tie Iran to al-Qaeda, especially in Iraq, the same way as Dick Cheney tried to tie Iraq (under Saddam Hussein) to al-Qaeda. This was largely based on the proximity of Iran to Afghanistan and that some Bin Laden family members fled after 2001 to Iran. Saudis tried, improbably, to tie the Iranian mullahs to the terrorist acts committed in Iraq against the Shi’as by Saudis and other foreign Salafi Arabs. But that was then, a spin tailored to the Iraqi and American markets of that time.

Now there may be a new twist: a new, yet old, al-Qaeda that is truly allied with the Saudi regime, this time openly. The prodigal Wahhabis returning to the bosom of the mother: the absolute tribal monarchy from which they never strayed too far. They can be used in the coming battle: to intensify terrorist acts in Iraq (and possibly Iran), and they can be used against Hezbollah and Amal in Lebanon (something already started by the Saudi-financed Hariri group). It is an alliance that fits this new sectarian Sunni-Shi’a cold/hot war provoked by the al-Saud in order to divide our unstable region and help keep their shaky throne. This closer alliance is an idea that has no doubt crossed the minds of the al-Saud princes in the past, and they may be putting it to work now. They already have strong ties and alliances to al-Qaeda affiliates and sympathizers like the Salafis of the Islamic Heritage Societies and other groups in the Gulf. They have kept somewhat warm relations with the Taliban (Saudis and the UAE were the only Arab regimes that recognized their rule in Afghanistan before 9/11). Is it a coincidence that his year alone the Saudis have reportedly released hundreds, maybe thousands, of former al-Qaeda terrorists? Are they setting things up for a new alliance, post-Bin Laden? That would be a smart move for them to make, especially now that the more reactionary Prince Nayef is gaining ascendancy.
Cheers
mhg




m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

A Bin Laden Doomsday Tape, Renewable Chicks of Paradise………

     
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“When doomsday rears her ugly head again
And even though you voted that awful man
i’ll never refuse your hand
on any given doomsday or the one and only doomsday
Not in all my wildest dreams it never once was seen
that doomsday might fall anywhere near a Tuesday……”
Elvis Perkins

A doomsday tape made by Osama Bin Laden was poised to be released Monday by his Al Qaeda disciples. U.S. officials feared the recording would be akin to a voice from the grave calling for a do-or-die jihad against the West, a final order of a terrorist madman. Just a day after U.S. Navy SEALs raided Bin Laden’s luxury hideout in Pakistan and snuffed him out, media outlets were weighing whether to air a tape that could boost his legacy as a martyr. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer said he was getting bombarded with Twitter messages from viewers pleading with the network not to air Bin Laden’s propaganda. Blitzer’s colleague Anderson Cooper said he sided with those who had no desire to hear from a hater. “Bin Laden a mass murderer who should never be heard from again,” Cooper said Monday……….”

The media is doing its best to fuck up the aftermath of Bin Laden’s death. All this nonsense about a ‘doomsday’ tape that will somehow set the world aflame is pure horse apples. Al-Qaeda terrorists have wanted to set the world aflame for a couple of decades and have mostly failed. What makes these press pundits think that one more tape will inspire the terrorist Salafis to make that one extra push toward the rivers of wine and renewable chicks of paradise? I say release the tape, if it exists, for it will come out anyway sooner rather than later. Unless it has a shot of Osama and Ayman belting out Auld Lang Syne.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Arab Press Freedom: Same Old, Same Old……….

     
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Freedom of the Press rankings (Freedom House):
I have my doubts about some of these rankings: for example I think Lebanon (109) has more press freedom than several countries that are listed above it. I am also not sure why the US (22) and UK (29) are ranked lower than some European countries. France is ranked 42. Bahrain (159) has no independent press anymore, and should now be at a lower level than Saudi Arabia (178) or Iran (188), closer to Libya. Saudi Arabia (178) should be lower after now because they just passed decrees and regulations that make a mockery of any concept of press freedom:

Finland (1)- Norway(2)-Sweden(3)……
Israel (62)
Lebanon (109)- Turkey (113)- Kuwait (127)- Algeria (138)
Jordan (142)- Egypt (147)- Qatar (148) – Iraq (151)
As for the rest of the Arab states? The less said the better.

Frankly, I am not sure wtf these rankings mean. In many Arab states the press knows a red line when it sees one and would not cross it. It is called censorship by silent intimidation. How do these rankings account for that?
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Politics on My Gulf: On Being Royally Anally Retentive ………

     
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Her Highness Shaikha Moza grandmother of His Majesty, for whom we sacrifice our lives may god keep and save him, mother of the late his Highness Shaikh Issa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa and His Highness ‘Prince’ Khalifa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa and the late prince Mohammed Bin Salman Al-Khalifa, has passed away.” Tweet by Nabeel al-Homar, Bahrain regime spokesman.

RIP for the lady: she is not guilty for the crimes of her son and her grandson.

But WTF? Now Bahrain shaikhs are all called ‘princes’. First the emir Shaikh Hamad promoted himself unilaterally to a ‘king’, although there is nothing kingly or royal or regal about him. Then all the shaikhs are calling themselves princes. No more frogs in Bahrain, but who kissed all the al-Khalifa to turn them into princes (and princesses)? Can it be the al-Saud? It has to be: the al-Khalifa are even starting to wear the shmagh ghetra, a telltale Saudi headgear, in summer now. Bahraini rulers and their retainers among the elite are going Saudi, and they can’t seem to do it fast enough. Saudi, or rather al-Saud, are chic in occupied Bahrain. Which makes me wonder if any Frenchmen started to wear small mustaches in Nazi-occupied Paris so long ago.
The Bahrainis of the “right inclination”, political or otherwise, may find other ways to ape their new Wahhabi masters. They can start frequenting the places where all the things that are banned in the Kingdom without Magic are available. Don’t let your imagination run wild, not too wild. You can get flogged in public in Riyadh for singing in public, even an innocent thing like a Salafi carol (a la Fa La La…….). That is if you are a male. As for a singing female, you can probably get flogged anywhere on both shores of my Gulf. Iranian mullahs can be almost as anally retentive about these things are the Wahhbai shaikhs: almost so, but not quite.
In occupied Bahrain, they can do as the uninvited Saudi visitors do. That may become even more necessary as the true Saudis take their business elsewhere: they will be more welcome now in economically depressed Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Hopefully not as part of an occupation army.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Hamas and Bin Laden……………

     
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Al-Qaeda and other Salafis never cared about the Palestine issue, at least not publicly. Salafis are too obsessed with killing “the infidel” and with worshipping living, well-paying, kings to worry about the thorniest problem of our region. During the 2006 Israeli attack on Lebanon, al-Qaeda and other Salafis joined the absolute tribal Arab monarchs in siding, nearly openly, with the Israelis against the Lebanese.
Now Hamas, a somewhat milder, even gentler, fundamentalist organization, never a friend of al-Qaeda, comes out condemning the killing of the Salafi master terrorist and mass murderer. They sure know how to shoot themselves in the foot.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Israeli Warplanes in Iraq: Iranian Paranoia? Iraqi Rumors? Saudi Hopes?………

     
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Iranian media report that Israeli jet fighters have conducted drills at an American military base in Iraq in preparation for an attack on Iran. Press TV quotes a source close to prominent Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sader’s group that a considerable number of Israeli warplanes were seen at the al-Asad base in Iraq. The aircraft reportedly included F-15, F-16, F-18, F-22, and KC-10 jet fighters. The warplanes allegedly carried out their week-long exercises at night. The drills were reportedly aimed at preparing to strike Iran’s air defense systems, disrupt Iran’s radars and attack targets deep inside Iran. Iraqi officials had not been notified of the exercises, which were conducted in collaboration with the US military. The United States operates several bases in Iraq whose future status is not clear yet and the Baghdad government is not involved in any of the military deployments taking place there.

I personally doubt all this: not only will it be futile, but it may divert attention back to the Palestine-Israeli issue and those ever expanding settlements. Yet it is tempting to dismiss all this as Iraqi rumors feeding Iranian paranoia. But one must remember: it is often at times when all seem to be quite that such attacks occur. From Operation Barbarossa to Pearl Harbor to the Ozirak attack to September 11, this has been the pattern (not always, but often).
Meanwhile, the Israelis are being their characteristic selves about this issue, the Iranians worry, and the rulers of Saudi Arabia are probably praying again (for such an attack to happen). I was going to add the shaikhs of UAE and Bahrain, but then I remembered that they don’t count anymore.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com