Category Archives: Arab Counterrevoltion

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

American-Saudi Ties: Poisoning the Gulf, Trapping Washington………..

     
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Saudi Arabia is pursuing a combination of domestic and regional policies that risk destabilizing
the Persian Gulf and that risk undermining the United States interests there. Amid calls for political change, Saudi Arabia is failing to address pressing concerns about its political system and the need for political reform. Instead of responding favorably to calls for more political openness, the Kingdom is pursuing a risky domestic agenda, which ignores the social, economic, and political grievances that might fuel popular mobilization. Saudi Arabia’s military intervention into Bahrain has escalated sectarian tensions in the Gulf. The crackdown in Bahrain is not only provoking Iran and creating the conditions for a regional crisis, but it is also creating new opportunities for Iran to expand its sphere of influence. The United States has reasons to maintain a strong relationship with Saudi Arabia. It also has the leverage to encourage the Kingdom to refrain from escalating tensions in the Gulf and further inflaming sectarian anxieties………USIP

It is true: the al-Saud brothers, like the al-Khalifa clan, have used sectarian divisions effectively. They have created a poisonous atmosphere of divisions on the Gulf unseen in modern times. In that task they have had help from their Salafi followers. That is how despots and absolute tribal Arab monarchs stay in power, by dividing the people: Sunni vs. Shi’a, Muslim vs. Christian (not many Jews left in the region). They have even managed to carry their sectarian poison to Lebanon where there are actually Salafis allied with their man Saad Hariri around Tripoli. They are still trying disruptions in Iraq.
They are also trapping the United States into an odd position: there are many people now in the Gulf region who believe that the U.S government is behind the divisive sectarian campaign of the al-Saud and al-Khalifa.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Gulf Baltagiya to Train in the U.S. ……

     
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Last but not least, we would welcome a joint U.S.-GCC effort to fund and implement a training program in the United States for new recruits to the Bahraini police force and army………”

Also sprach self-promoted king of occupied Bahrain Hamad Bin Issa Bin Salman al-Khalifa. The piece was written for him by some slick PR firm in the West. It was appropriately published in the neoconservative Washington Times. It is not clear if the training in the United States will include his foreign thugs imported from as far away as Pakistan, Jordan, Syria, and other places.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

The Brave New Saudi-Israeli World of the West, Royal Red Eyes……..

     
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Saudi authorities have arrested over 160 peaceful dissidents in violation of international human rights law since February 2011, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch urged the interior minister, Prince Nayef bin Abd al-‘Aziz Al Sa’ud, to order the immediate release of peaceful dissidents, including Nadhir al-Majid, a writer and teacher arrested on April 17. 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, the US national security adviser who visited Riyadh on April 13, nor Robert Gates, US defense secretary who visited on April 6, publicly commented on the kingdom’s human rights violations………

Of course Western dignitaries will not bring up the issue of human rights violations and abuses in Riyadh. Already the aging al-Saud brothers have given Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton what is called the ‘red eye’ in the Gulf, in what the Saudis call the Persian-American Gulf. The red eye is our Gulf term for a serious scowl, where the eyebrows drop to somewhere between the nose and the shoe-polished dyed mustache of a potentate. Neither of these two leaders, nor their functionaries, would dare criticize the al-Saud brothers in public anymore. Now the new “third rail” of U.S politics consists of two: Israel and the al-Saud. Criticize the first at your own risk: every other politician will come after your hide. Criticize the second publicly and the aging despotic petroleum brothers will have a collective hissy fit, sending their septuagenarian offspring menacingly to China and Russia, threatening to replace American Kool-Aid with Tsigntao or Stoly.
Somehow, silently, by stealth, criticism of the al-Saud have become taboo in Western capitals. With all the Saudi abuses of human rights, much more flagrant than in Iran or Syria or Egypt under Mubarak, when was the last time anyone heard a US president or cabinet member, or a French president or a British prime minister publicly mention the issue? Silently and by stealth, even some members of Congress have added the al-Saud dynasty to the ‘third rail of politics. Soon the old king or one of his brothers will be invited to address a joint session of Congress. I suppose he can talk about the joys of absolute tribal monarchy. Or maybe he can spend his ten minutes on the joys of polygamy and how it can keep some senators out of those famous black books that can get them in trouble.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

The Only Brave Man in Riyadh: I Protest, Therefore I Am………….

     
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Officials of the General Investigations Department (al-mabahith al-‘amma), the domestic intelligence service, arrested al-Majid at his school in Khobar, in the Eastern Province. At the same time, mabahith officers searched his house in the presence of his wife and children, who said that officers confiscated al-Majid’s personal belongings. Al-Majid had written an article entitled “I Protest, Therefore I Am” on April 2,….. Several user groups on Facebook had called for protests on a Saudi Day of Anger on March 11, but a heavy security presence prevented demonstrations in all but the Eastern Province. In Riyadh, Khalid al-Juhani, a Saudi citizen, appeared to be the sole person to brave the security presence to speak to assembled journalists. In an interview with the BBC, al-Juhani described how he lost his fear and despite knowing he would be arrested wanted to experience the freedom of speaking his mind. Al-Juhani’s brother, Abdullah, told Human Rights Watch that mabahith officers arrested al-Juhani at his home later that day and that Interior Ministry officials told his family that he is being detained incommunicado in Riyadh’s ‘Ulaisha intelligence prison………..”

Al-Majid was brave, maybe the bravest in al-Khobar. But the bravest of all is Khaled al-Johany who stood alone in the middle of Riyadh and talked openly about his country being a big prison. Reports say that not another man joined him; such is the atmosphere of fear in Riyadh. Before the day ended, they had caught him: he was in a smaller prison within the big prison, and nobody has heard any news from or about him. In the kingdom without magic.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Rafdhi Prophets and Revolutionaries, State Department Wahhabis, Jesus and Lenin ………

     
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“Stick and stones may break my bones……
But words will never hurt me………”
An Americanism


When Mr. Feltman stops of in Riyadh to brief the al-Saudi brothers, he may be forced, out of politeness, to agree that there may also be an Iranian angle to the Fukushima disaster as well. In the new State Department spirit of accommodation, Feltman may go beyond the Shi’a Crescent and show off his new mastery of Wahhabi vernacular: he may start talking Rafdhis (or Rwafidh) with the aging al-Saud brothers. The Shi’a Crescent is a term King Abdul of Jordan, resplendent in his Captain Kirk space suit pajamas, coined a few years ago. It was in the spirit of George W Bush’s “Axis of Evil” sound bite. Surprising to King Abdul and his online-hip wife, it caught on.
But that Shi’a Crescent is passé, it doesn’t impress the Wahhabi brothers sitting on their vast lakes of petroleum keeping watch on their vast desert gulag. Hence, adoption of the immortal Wahhabi term, straight out of the bowels of Najd: Rafdhi (s), or Rwafidh (pl). No doubt Jeffrey Feltman grew up like most American kids, briefly believing, or pretending to believe, in that old untruth: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. But he is old enough to know better now. Besides, those words come with weapons and tear gas and electric prods and a whole horn of plenty that puts some teeth in the term “Rafdhi”. In fact the Rafdhis who are most of the people of Bahrain are now feeling all of the above.
FYI: Rafdhi is a Wahhabi term for a Shi’a, It comes from the Arabic word for “reject or refuse”. It refers to the Shi’a for refusing to accept some orthodoxy. It is a term used exclusively by Salafis and their ilk and mainly around the Gulf. It is supposed to be derogatory, but I don’t think it is. Anyone who rejects any orthodoxy anywhere should be proud, always. The Prophets Moses and Jesus and Mohammed were all against the orthodoxy, they were all Rafdhis (or Rwafidh). America’s Founding Fathers, Lenin, and Jean Paul Sartre were also Rafdhis. So were the people of Tunisia and Egypt and Libya this year, so are the people of Bahrain now. So are those Iranians and Saudis who are in prison for their beliefs. We should all be Rafdhis, better yet, we should all be Rwafidh.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Jeffrey Feltman of Manama and the West Bank and Beirut, Auld Lang Syne………

     
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A senior U.S. diplomat has traveled to Bahrain to meet with government officials and representatives from the civil society there, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Monday. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Jeff Feltman, who is in charge of Near Eastern affairs, visited Bahrain on Sunday and Monday, reaffirming the “long-standing commitment” of the United States to a “strong partnership” with Bahrain, Toner told reporters. “Reiterating U.S. support for Bahraini national reconciliation and dialogue, he concurred with the Bahraini leadership’s own embrace of the principles of reform and the respect for rule of law and coexistence,” he said. He said Feltman also discussed with Bahraini officials on regional developments, including U.S. concerns about “Iran’s exploitation” of the situation in the region. Toner said Feltman expressed U.S. appreciation for Bahrain’s cooperation on the issue of Libya…..…Xinhua News

This must have been Feltman’s fourth or fifth visit to Bahrain. All were failures, or maybe not. All his previous visits failed to muzzle the al-Khalifa dogs, or maybe they were not intended to muzzle them. Maybe Jeffrey believed the Saudi-Khalifa narrative that his old Hezbollah pals are involved. That would be enough to bring back memories of Beirut, Hariri, Saniora, Lord Gaga, and the al-Saud emissaries. Lazy Sunday afternoons with the boys, guzzling beer and watching the cluster bombs of 2006 over the south. Enough to make Feltman burst into tears of longing, possibly enough to burst into singing Auld Lang Syne, with the shaikh trying to keep up.
He expressed appreciation for the rulers of Bahrain for cooperation on the issue of Libya, and the Bahraini butchers no doubt expressed appreciation for the Obama administration support on the issue of defending the apartheid system in Bahrain. In this regard, Mr. Feltman may have said that he had seen all the video clips and news clips and photos of the Bahraini victims of torture and sectarian killings and the village raids and the West Bank style checkpoints, and has concluded that the mullahs in Iran bear great responsibility for all of the above. The shaikh (now king) of Bahrain may offer Feltman the Bahraini citizenship as a reward for his frequent visits, as well as a government house in a secure area inhabited by imported security officers from Pakistan and Jordan and Syria.
PS: I need to make a correction about the West Bank. Israeli occupation soldiers at checkpoints don’t normally administer beatings and kickings, and people don’t normally just disappear at their checkpoints. They also don’t have Saudi soldiers, as far as I know, not yet.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Saudi Plans for a Democratic Future in Egypt………..

     
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Realistically and constitutionally, a caretaker government does not have the right to formulate a new strategic policy that reverses the policy of the previous government. Political wisdom requires not adopting a policy……. In theory, and perhaps also in practice, there is a certain logic for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to adopt a long-term strategy towards Egypt, one aimed first at saving it from regression and perhaps deterioration during the transitional period; and secondly, enabling it to turn into a free market economy in a democratic environment……..

What kind of illogical logic is this? What kind of a constitutional expertise is this? The writer Raghida Dergham works for al-Hayat, the newspaper that is owned by Prince Khaled Bin Sultan al-Saud. That explains it all. And as for the absolute tribal serial-polygamous monarchs of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi guiding the new Egypt toward democracy, are you serious, I mean are you beeping serious? Then why can’t they establish democracy in the Arabian Peninsula (aka Saudi Arabia) or Qatar or the UAE? And why are they trying to kill the democracy movement in Bahrain (with cooperation from Mr. Obama and Mrs, Clinton)?
Cheers
mh
g

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Pictorial Orwellian Bahrain: Watermelon King, Wahhabi Masters……….

     
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His Majesty King Hamad Bin Issa al-Khalifa, (المفدى) for whom we would give our lives, expressed his happiness for the recovery of Bahrain and the return of life back to what it used to be. His majesty this would not have happened without the love of the ‘men’ of Bahrain and her sons of their ‘values’ and the teachings of their religion, adding that the future of Bahrain shall be blessful for everyone no doubt. All goodness comes from the unity of the people of Bahrain which is deep within their hearts……. All this occurred with the presence of his royal highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman al-Khalifa the prime minister……….Akhbar al-Khaleej

Their majesties must be out of their bigoted tribal polygamous heads. This guy is talking as if he is still the leader of an independent country, not a Saudi satrap. As if he is not head of a regime that is opposed by most of the people, that had to import mercenaries and foreign Wahhabi troops to put down protests. A truly watermelon state,  ديرة بطيخ as we say on my Gulf. And who would give their lives for this sorry excuse of a leader? The paid mercenaries imported from Pakistan and other parts?

         
Martyr                        Mercenaries             Murder                       
     
                                                                                  WTF
Tweets:
“Nabeelrajab. Bahrain hunger strikes spread amid crackdown at home and abroad gu.com/p/2zgd3/tw via @guardian #bahrain #bhn #feb14 #humanrights”

“Ppl of #bahrain are planning the biggest hunger strike starting tomorrow the 18th acc to this: hungerstrike4bh.tumblr.com/ #feb14”

“@Nabeelrajab: video:the ruins of Al-Sadiq Mosque April 17, bit.ly/gclZ5O In Salmabad / #Bahrain”
“Zainab Khawaja hospitalized on Sunday #Bahrain Activist on hunger strike.”

“I am in hunger strike asking freedom to all arrested people &to #Bahrain #KAS army must go out they are not welcome! #14FebRevolution #14Feb”

“Starting 2morrow the ppl of #Bahrain hold the ‘biggest open hunger strike in the world’ via @AmberLyon”

“Photo: He was writing condolences for others, just before he was killed…..RIP

“Mhamaad: Ministry of Health: 30 Doctors/nurses stopped from job and going through investigations and the num will increase #bahrain #feb14”

“SAIDYOUSIF S.YOUSIF MOHAMED: by ArabiaDeserta: #Bahrain Funeral of hasan jassim now who died under torture تشييع الشهيد جاسم حسن من كرزكان الان الذي قتل بالتعذيب….. RIP

“WavesNews Waves News: Security forces, supported by Saudi troops, attack a (Shi’a) M’aatam in Manama, destroy it, and write derogatory sectarian racist slogans on its walls fb.me/UGpWzTnV” />
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com