Category Archives: Arab League

Trapped and Eyeless in Gaza: Hamas and Mossad, Arabs and the Memory of Badr and an Earlier Ramadan……


Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter “The Egyptian cease-fire proposal that was published Monday night took most members of the diplomatic-security cabinet by complete surprise. Economy Minister Naftali Bennett heard about it in a television studio moments before going on air. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman heard about it on the radio. A senior Israeli official said Lieberman knew that talks were being held with the Egyptians, but had no idea a proposal was being finalized. Upon hearing the news, he realized that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who were running the talks, had left him out of the loop………………”

Modern Arab legend has it that the Israelis were instrumental in the rise of Hamas. The somewhat credible story is that way back in the days when the PLO, Fatah, PFLP and all the other secular Palestinian acronyms were bugging Israel, the Israelis thought of encouraging some rivals to distract them. That the Mossad helped the growth of what the Palestinians call ‘Islamic resistance’. It was a classic example of the old ‘divide and rule’. The rest is history, allegedly, but in fact credibly. It is not clear how aware the ‘Islamists’ were of the alleged Israeli role on their behalf.

Now back to the current. No wonder Hamas leaders were unhappy, nay fundamentally pissed. No wonder they rejected a deal they did not know any details of. Of course Hamas may now be somewhat trapped, more trapped than Benyamin Netanyahu, since both are not sure what to do next. In some ways Hamas’s task is easier: it mostly reacts. All it has been doing so far has been to duck the air raids and missiles, occasionally firing a few rockets that apparently do little serious harm. In other words, they only respond to Israeli action, which puts them in a weak position.

Netanyahu is also trapped: his biggest problem now is what to do next if Hamas continues to reject the deal he made privately with Al Sisi (and perhaps with the knowledge of Abu Mazen whose legal tenure in office also expired long ago)?

As for the people of Gaza, they are even more painfully trapped than either Hamas or Israel, screwed by almost all sides, to put it crudely. As usual they pay the terrible price of this new brutal Israeli assault, which was claimed to be a reaction to Hamas actions in which the people of Gaza have no input. The last Palestinian elections were so long ago, that was when Hamas won. But we don’t know how new elections will turn out in both Gaza and the West Bank. Provided they are free and fair elections.

As for the other Arab regimes they are as usual divided and impotent. They all mouth some vague verbal support for ‘Gaza’, but some of the potentates are no doubt praying fervently this Ramadan for an outright Israeli victory. (They would be praying silently, with the history of the Battle of Badr in mind during an earlier Ramadan). They have done it before, they will do it again.

Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

What is an Arab Worth? One Gaza Headline Worth a Thousand Words……


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Breaking News! One Israeli soldier wounded near Gaza ……..

This was an Al Mayadeen TV tweeted headline this morning (about 30 minutes ago): Breaking News! One Israeli soldier wounded near Gaza ……..

This headline about sums up the whole current situation of the Arab peoples: futility, impotence, low relative worth (compared to an Israeli, for example).

One Israeli soldier may have been wounded near Gaza. Yes, there is some hope now. It will probably be picked up by others as well and headlined as……. what? A glimmer of hope? A straw? Need I say more?

I will: there has been no Arab uprisings, no Arab revolutions, nothing has changed. Mubarak rules Egypt disguised as Al Sisi, Assad rules Damascus disguised as Assad, undisguised Al Saud princes rule through petro-money far beyond their own captive peoples, Saddam Hussein rules Mosul now disguised as someone else, otherwise impotent Arab potentates still lord it over their miserable fiefdoms.

Change will not come through movements sponsored by petroleum media like Aljazeera and Alarabiya. Change will only come when actual brick and marble palaces are literally stormed, when generals and field marshals are sent to……. wherever the hell they deserve to be sent to.

Otherwise the current exchange rate of one Israeli for two thousand Arabs will continue and get worse.

Cheers

Mohammed  Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

The Case for Splitting the Arab States: Wahhabistan and Huthistan and Rafidhistan……….


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Much has been written and said in the past ten years about the potential for splitting Iraq. The argument is mainly that the sects and ethnic groups cannot reach a deal to remain together peacefully within the British-created borders of Iraq. The Kurds want to split away, they are just waiting for when the moment is right (to quote the famous TV ad). The Sunni southwest region is in many ways more like northern Saudi Arabia than Iraq, at least in a tribal sense. There has also been talk of a split of Syria into Alawi, Sunni, and Wahhabi parts (perhaps a Kurdish one as well). We can extend that to some other Arab states; why only Syria and Iraq and Sudan (as happened a couple of years ago) or Somalia (which is bound to happen)? Let us explore a few other cases:

  • Saudi Arabia: King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud invaded and annexed several regions to his own Nejdi kingdom in the 20th century. His kingdom can now be divided into three states. The Nejd area will form a Wahhabistan which will keep the current name of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (if they don’t like Wahhabistan). The Hijaz will form another state where they all speak the same dialect of Arabic and say things like ‘ya shaikh’ and ‘ikhtishi’ and ‘koweyiss’ (meaning ‘good’). The smallest state will be along the coast of the Persian-American Gulf, where most of the Shi’as live. The southern part will join the next state on my list in northern Yemen.
  • Yemen: the northern most part of Yemen will annex the southern regions that had been usurped by Saudi King Abdulaziz in 1930s. It will be renamed Huthistan. The central part, the rest of the old Yemen will become “Yemen”. Southern Yemen which lost its independence in 1990 to become part of Yemen will regain its freedom and will be renamed the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen Southern Arabia.
  • Bahrain: Shi’as and some others have been in protest mode for more than three years, seeking equality in politics and economics. The Al Khalifa rulers and their tribal and Salafi allies are determined to deny them that right. So why not divide Bahrain into two mini parts: Manama and Muharraq to become one country (perhaps forming one new Saudi province), and the rest, including the neglected villages and townships could become another state of its own. This Shi’a part could be called the Rafidhi State and join the GCC as such. Or maybe it can join the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the eighth emirate. Okay, maybe I will send a text message to the shaikh, sorry king, suggesting it (with a copy forwarded to the Saudi king since it will be his decision to make).
  • Libya: is already divided into at least two parts: let us keep it that way.
  • Morocco: no change, except that the king will have to give up the Sahrawi region.
  • Egypt: Egypt has had nearly the same borders for thousands of years, the only Arab country to have this distinction. There are no major tribes or tribal divisions, although there are now deep religious divisions. So Egypt will probably remain the same: bored to death under a boring military ruler presiding over the same old bureaucracy, but united. The Sinai will remain a wild violent outpost and the south a place of violent clashes among the clans over women and cattle and religion.
  • UAE: the Abu Dhabi shaikhs have got the rest of them by the balls. Only Dubai is rich enough to draw the line.
  • Qatar: maybe it will join Turkey as a new Ottoman outpost.

(The Arab League will them change from a league or 20 some despots to a League of Forty Thieves. And I am almost serious about this, almost).

Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Life Terms: from Algiers to Cairo and Damascus and on to Pakalingding……….

      


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Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika appeared set to win re-election for another five years on Friday after a vote opponents dismissed as a stage-managed fraud to keep the ailing leader in power. Sitting a wheelchair, Bouteflika cast his vote on Thursday in a rare public appearance since suffering a stroke last year that has raised doubts about whether, after 15 years in power, he is fit enough to govern the North African oil state. Official results were scheduled to be released later on Friday by the interior ministry, but Bouteflika’s allies on Thursday were already claiming a landslide victory……………………”

 

So, it has been three plus years on since the Arab uprisings started in Tunisia in December of 2010 and spread eastward. Let us look at the situation now:

  • In Algeria, president Bouteflika (father of teflika, wtf that be) ‘wins’ a fourth or fifth term of presidency today. At this rate he will be in power when he becomes eligible for a place in the Egyptian Museum at Cairo or in a basement corner of the Louvre where the mummies are kept.
  • Abd Rabbuh Hadi bin Zombie of Yemen won 98% of the vote last time in an election that the GCC potentates declared was clean and free and democratic. He may be getting ready to run again, unless a U.S. drone mistakes him for an Al Aqaeda zombie. Meanwhile the allegedly deposed Ali Abdallah Saleh is not far from the center of power, very likely plotting something or another.
  • Egypt is getting ready to “elect”, by the usual landslide, Generalisimo Field Marshal Sisi bin Mubarak Al Saud. Interim non-leader Adly Mansour Al Zombie will vanish; he will go back into the vast caverns of Mr. Mubarak’s everlasting bureaucracy.
  • Bashar Al Assad will apparently ‘win’ another term later this year in Syria. Before you start guffawing think of this: given the sorry state of the opposition Jihadis and the divisive fear they have sown inside Syria he actually might win an election by a plurality (probably not by a majority). Quite a feat given the bloody mess his country is in.
  • Nouri Al Maliki of Iraq may win yet another term as prime minister, unfortunately. That depends on parliamentary election results and how the leaders of the various factions and the Kurds feel. Ayad Allawi will again be the favorite candidate of the Baathists and the neighboring Arab potentates. But as I have fawtad years ago: he will never become prime minister of Iraq.
  • A gaggle of Lebanese right-wing generals and warlords are fighting for the ceremonial presidency of that country. What is at stake? The figurehead president gets to name a couple of minor cabinet members and he gets a fat Saudi check to help him pick sides. 
  • On the Gulf. The would-be tribal liberators and bearers of democracy to Syria hold tight to absolute power at home, with a little help from their oligarch friends. From Riyadh to Abu Dhabi and Manama, they cling to every morsel of power. Even the unloved prime minister of Bahrain who has been in power for some 42 years. One of my suspect sources tells me he has vowed to leave office the old fashioned way: feet first and straight to Boot Hill
  • No need to go over the besotted Sudan, whose president of some 27 years in power is usually wanted by some international criminal court or another but is traveling across the Middle East quite freely. 
  • Then there are the other two bulwarks of the Arab League, Mauretania and Somalia. Frankly I have no idea WTF is going on over there. I assume each of these two countries has a president or a wazir or sublime port or someone like that who rules or pretends to. 
  • I forgot about the Comoros, but maybe next year, after I pay a visit to Moroni. 
  • On the bright side, there are rumors that Gambia may be the next country to join the Arab League and the Gulf GCC. They would need a Saudi invitation for both (even the French would need a Saudi invitation for that). Which has me wondering what is happening in Banjul or even in Pakalinding nowadays. 

Leaders in Retirement from France to America to Libya to Outer Space: So Where is Ahmadinejad?………

      


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So whatever happened to Iran’s former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Where is the favorite bête noire of the Western world for the past decade? The favorite son of New York City every late September? He has gone awfully and uncharacteristically quiet. Almost like any former U.S. president, with the exception of Clinton. We mostly know where former leaders are in the West (not necessarily where they should be) and what they are doing (or trying to do):


  • Write s book or two (memoirs to make a lot of money and explain their lousy policies.



  • Give speeches and lectures (mainly to make a lot of money).



  • Start some institute (to stay out of trouble, like Clinton).



  • Appear a lot on TV (like Clinton).



  • Appear a lot on media wherever someone interviews you (like Clinton.



  • Have a lot of fun, and I mean fun (like Clinton).



  • Start work on a (Walter Mitty?) presidential library. All US presidents do that since it is funded by the public and through donations.



  • In France former presidents don’t have time to waste on libraries. They must quickly start collecting lawyers for the upcoming inevitable investigations and possible trials for financial corruption. From accepting cash bribes to accepting diamonds from West African dictators.This has always been the case after de Gaulle.


  • Russia hasn’t had a former president for almost two decades. So we don’t really know what happens to them. Wait, I know: they become prime minister and are recycled again through the merry-go-round.



  • Start collecting money quickly by working as adviser for foreign potentates and unsavory dictators as well as working as a lobbyist for corporations. Tony Blair of Britain is the only one that fits this bill so far: Churchill and Wilson and Thatcher would not think of it, the fools.



  • In Lebanon, nobody gives a f-ck what a former president says or does. Come to think of it, in Lebanon nobody gives a f-ck what a current president says or does.



  • In Syria and Egypt and Algeria and Libya and other Arab countries there is no such thing as a former president. If they don’t kill him quickly, they put him on trial for real or (mostly) trumped up charges. They end up hanging him or keeping him in prison for life. Probably serves them right in most cases.



  • Retire to the French or Italian Riviera (usually former kings are entitled to do that).



  • Host a talk show?



  • Die quickly.


Mr. Ahmadinejad has done none of the above, yet. He may start teaching at the university again. I did read somewhere that he is pushing a new college (no, not for Holocaust Studies and Verification). Then there is the Iranian Space Program and the promise to send a human into space within the next two years. He has expressed a desire to think about it.
Too bad no Arab country has a manned space program. I wish they all did, the whole Arab League from Syria down to Riyadh and through Somalia: imagine the possibilities. One can dream…
……..

Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com


Arab Joke du Jour: Chutzpah! Arab League Blasts “Failed” UN…………

      


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“Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi Sunday backed Saudi Arabia’s rejection of a seat on the UN Security Council, saying the diplomatic body had failed in its responsibility towards the Arab world. Arabi told reporters that Saudi Arabia was right to object to the Security Council’s management methods and the fact that it failed in its responsibility to secure international peace, “which it is not doing at all.” He said Arab states, including Palestine and Syria, were the worst affected by the Security Council’s weakness in the last six decades. His remarks come a day after Arab nations urged Saudi Arabia to reverse its decision to reject a seat on the 15-nation Security Council. Arab ambassadors to the UN said it was crucial for Saudi Arabia to represent the Arab and Muslim world on the council “at this important and historical stage, specifically for the Middle East region.”…………….”


Talk about chutzpah: the Egyptian secretary general of the useless, ineffective, Saudi-owned Arab League calls the UN a “failure”.
It
is almost funny, almost, this stance by Nabil al-Arabi, the Arab League’s top ineffective bureaucrat, a man effectively in the pay of the Al Saud princes.  He says the UN “had failed in its responsibility towards the Arab world”. As if the corrupt putrid Arab League of Absolute Kings, Princes, and other Despots and its bureaucracy are a glittering success.
Truly a case of the kettle and the pot.
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com



Syrian Fallout: Saudi Tantrum over the Security Council………

      


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“Saudi Arabia on Friday rejected its freshly-acquired seat on the U.N. Security Council, saying the 15-member body is incapable of resolving world conflicts such as the Syrian civil war. The move came just hours after the kingdom was elected as one of the Council’s 10 nonpermanent members. In a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, the Foreign Ministry said the Council has failed in its duties toward Syria. This, the ministry said, enabled Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime to perpetrate the killings of its people, including with chemical weapons, without facing any punishment. The kingdom, which has backed the Syrian rebels in their struggle to topple Assad, has in the past criticized the international community for failing to halt the civil war in Syria…………..”

This is a surprising and uncharacteristic public royal tantrum. Something has pissed off the Saudi princes. Or maybe now Prince Bandar has unbridled control over foreign policy. Earlier, they canceled their annual speech at the UN General Assembly meeting, not that anybody actually listens to it beside the flunkies. Now they refuse to take a seat at the Security Council.
It could be the frustration from the setbacks to their allies and proxies in Syria and Lebanon. It certainly can’t be the Security Council’s failure to react to their own invasion and continuing repression of Bahrain. It could be the failure of Mr. Obama to wage war in Syria and possibly Iran (all options still being on the table and all that). It could be the prospect of resolving the Iranian nuclear “issue” peacefully.
There is another possible angle here. A Security Council member will have to vote on issues, or abstain. Even abstention is a form of voting. Maybe the Saudis are going back to their old foreign policy mode of avoiding confrontation on sensitive issues.
The Saudis want no part of the Security Council until it is reformed to their liking. Which reminds me of the League of Arab States (Arab League), apparently now under Saudi financial control and quite reformed, thank you very much……….
And no, I would not be so crass as to suggest it is a form of royal PMS……….

Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Competing Arab Capitals: from Repression to Tear Gas to Proxy War to Starvation to Compensating Towers………

         


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“On behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Naif delivered a message conveying the challenges facing the region in terms of development and humanitarian issues. The realization of security in the region necessitates an integrated and all-encompassing vision to enable this area to deal with the rising problems and to boost religious, educational and social institutions and security organs. King Abdullah called for the enhancement of joint Arab security cooperation and coordination, adding that Saudi Arabia has supported all Arab, regional and international efforts in combating crimes, notably terrorism. It has also contributed to maintaining international peace and security, he said. Secretary-General of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers Mohammed Ali Kuman said the late Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif played a key role in boosting the council and enhancing Arab security cooperation……………….”

This is one issue that all Arab regimes, be they absolute monarchies, dictatorships, or elected schmucks agree one. The security issue (code word for repression) is the one issue that they meet on smoothly and agree on. The meetings of the ministers of interior, the men in charge of police, mercenaries, prisons, torture, interrogation, executions, and the like always reach agreement. I suspect if the Arab states ever unite, the best start would be to unite their ministries of interior. United Arab repression as a first step toward everything else. Come to think of it: once there is united repression, there will be no need for anything else. Even the lousy Arab League can be renamed the League of Arab Police States (which it almost is), or some other Conan-Doyle kind of name. Then they might want to move the headquarters from Cairo to Riyadh, where the atmosphere is more amenable, more conducive to repression. In that case Riyadh will become the capital of the United Arab Ministry of Interior without missing a beat: it already is the capital of Arab repression. Don’t get me wrong, there will be plenty of titles for other Arab capitals:


  • The Arab Ministry of Proxy War and Destruction can me moved to Damascus.
  •  The Arab Ministry of Tear Gas can be moved to Mamana (Bahrain).
  • The Arab Ministry of Sectarian Confusion can be moved to Baghdad.
  • The Arab Ministry of Political Confusion can be moved to Cairo.
  • The Arab Ministry of Being on the Verge of Something can be in Beirut.
  • The Arab Ministry of WHoGivesAFuck can be moved to Khartoum (Sudan).
  • The Arab Ministry of Ignored Starvation can be moved to Mogadishu (Somalia).
  • The Arab Ministry of Compensating Phallic Tall Towers can be moved to Abu Dhabi.
  • There is more for the rest of them………….

Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com




Shimon Peres Blows a Shofar: Calls on Free Democratic Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and UAE and Qatar to Liberate Syria…………

         


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“The free world “cannot stand by when a massacre is carried out by the Syrian president against his own people and his own children. It breaks all our hearts,” the Zionist leader said, who launched the 16-day April attack on Lebanon in 1996 when he was a prime minister. Saying “the intervention of Western forces would be perceived as foreign interference,” Peres proposed the best option to end the conflict in Syria “might be achieved by empowering the Arab League, of which Syria is a member, to intervene.” “The Arab League can and should form a provisional government in Syria to stop the massacre, to prevent Syria from falling to pieces,” Peres advised the 754-member European Parliament!! “The United Nations should support the Arab League to build an Arab force in blue helmets,” he said…………………”

Also sprach that old warrior, Shimon Peres. Essentially blowing the shofar for the Arab despots to take up arms against their fellow Arab despot. That should be exciting. The Saudi National Guard, fresh from their defeat by the Huthis in Yemen, and Bahrain’s imported Pakistani and Jordanian mercenaries, and the UAE mercenaries imported from Colombia and Australia and the Qatari fishes from my Gulf. I doubt he meant Egypt or Libya or Tunisia or Yemen which haven’t stabilized yet. Being composed of international mercenaries, they ought to get their ‘blue helmets’ free from the UN. We could call it the Twelfth Crusade, undertaken by the democratic free illusory world of the absolute tribal oligarchs of the GCC to free Damascus from Baathist rule. Yet he ought to know better, Perez, he has defeated enough of his stronger neighbors to know better.
If I were rude and crude I’d say “it takes a thief to catch a thief”, except that the Al-Assad are amateurs in thievery and corruption compared to these would-be prince liberators of Syria.

Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com




Palindromic Arab League Schedules a Gaza Meeting Soon, Sublime Porte Promises Self-Control………….

   


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                                Neck of the woods

My Cairo source reports that the Arab League has decided to declare that self-control is the best approach to the Gaza attacks. My source tells me that the Shaikh of Al-Azhar and former Mubarak crony, Ahmed Al-Tayeb, has consulted with the palindromic Saudi Mufti Shaikh Al Al Shaikh who consulted with palindromic Prince Saud Al Faisal Al Saud who informed him of the desires of the palindromic Sublime Porte of Riyadh to show restraint.
I have been told that the Arab League is divided between two strains, two parties if you will: the party of “let me at him, oh please let me at him (and her)” AND the party of “hold me back before I do something I’ll regret early tomorrow morning when I look at her face.
Asked

about the meeting next Saturday, a League official responded: “Saturday? I thought they favored Monday. By Monday we will know exactly what happened. We might even know what will happen. Hopefully. Besides, what is the rush? Both Gaza and Israel, er, the Zionist Entity, will still be there.
Someon
e was even overheard opining that Hamas will now know exactly where to spend the new Qatari money promised last week. Unlike the PA Ramallah authorities who are so befuddled that they prefer to spread the brotherly and sisterly aid money among various bank accounts.

Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com