Category Archives: Horn of Africa

Iranian Guns and Western Flowers for Africa ………………

        


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“When the investigators’ breakthrough came, it carried a surprise. The manufacturer was not one of Africa’s usual suspects. It was Iran. Iran has a well-developed military manufacturing sector, but has not exported its weapons in quantities rivaling those of the heavyweights in the global arms trade, including the United States, Russia, China and several European countries. But its export choices in this case were significant. While small-arms ammunition attracts less attention than strategic weapons or arms that have drawn international condemnation, like land mines and cluster bombs, it is a basic ingredient of organized violence, and is involved each year and at each war in uncountable deaths and crimes………… Iran’s role in providing arms to allies and to those who fight its enemies has long been broadly understood. Some of these practices were most recently reported in the transfer of Fajr-5 ground-to-ground rockets to Gaza. Its expanding footprint of small-arms ammunition exports has pushed questions about its roles in a shadowy ammunition trade high onto the list of research priorities for trafficking investigators. “If you had asked me not too long ago what Iran’s role in small-arms ammunition trafficking to Africa had been, I would have said, ‘Not much,’ ”………………”

This is news only because for the past two centuries the West, mainly Europe, has considered Africa as its own turf. The private market and testing ground for its weapons. I have no doubt of the results if you survey all the weapon exports into Africa, and which weapons have killed the most people. Western weapons probably have killed more Africans in the past quarter century than any other source of weapons in the past thousand years. European weapons have probably killed more Africans during the past two or three centuries than any other weapons from any other source have done for the past five thousand years. (No mention of slavery is needed, that was long ago). Western and more recently Russian and Chinese, and perhaps a few others.
Suddenly the NY Times and one of its writers throws in Darfour and Iran in one sentence. I doubt that they flew Iranian warplanes over Darfour. Almost all the killing weapons originated from outside the Middle East. I also doubt that much of the bullets or machetes used to massacre civilians were made anywhere in the Middle East. The killing fields from Rwanda to Liberia to Sierra Leone to the Congo and the rest of the African tragedies were nourished by weapons from the West (mainly) and then Russia and China and maybe a couple of other sources.
No doubt the Iranians supply some weapons to their allies in Africa, some of them unsavory repressive allies. No doubt these pale compared to the other sources I mentioned. No doubt many of the allies of Western powers in Africa are no sweethearts either. No doubt hypocrisy is not monopolized by one side.

Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com




No Business Like Oil Business: Burma as Libya or Sudan, Arabian Jeanne d’Arc, Maid of Hijaz….…….

   


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Remember the long ago old days, until a few weeks ago, when Myanmar (actually Burma) was on the “dreaded list”? Not as dreaded as the Cuban or Iranian or the Sudanese list, but dreaded nevertheless. Wait: did I add “Sudan” to the list? Isn’t that the Arab African country whose president has an arrest warrant for him since March 2009? An arrest warrant by the International CourtOfSomethingOrAnother. Yet he is selling oil as freely as, say, Saudi Arabia or Texas or Alaska. I need to research this some more, the legal aspects of it. The sale of oil and the import of weapons. Then the way he travels freely around the Middle East. You’d think Interpol, which is always eager to arrest Saudi dissidents and send them back home to be flogged and beheaded (Kashghari, et al), would act against al-Bashir as soon as his sorry arse lands in Cairo or Tehran or other places.
Back to Burma. Weren’t the ruling military junta accused of smuggling everything under the sun only a few weeks ago? Precious stones, rubies, drugs, possibly people including trafficking in “mothers”? And committing “small” genocides here and there? Doesn’t this sound a little like the Qaddafi deal with the West in Libya a couple of years before the Arab uprising? Would Tony Blair again show up and kiss the cheeks (both cheeks) of the junta leader? One difference: Libya did not have someone like Aung San Suu Kyi. That would be funny: a Libyan or Syrian or Egyptian Aung San Suu Kyi.
If there was some Arab woman like her, she can’t be a Muslim Brother. Would she be a Muslim Sister or a Muslim Mother? Maybe the next time some Saudi woman gets behind the wheels and drives a car the West would declare her an Arabian Jeanne d’Arc, Maid of Hijaz (sorry, Najdis). The Scandinavians would quickly give her a Nobel Prize for driving under duress for fifteen minutes. Some may claim that she would probably deserve it as much as that Yemeni lady, certainly as much as Arafat.

Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com


Iranian Faces and Egg: USS John Stennis, the Muslim Arab Pirates, about Hormuz……….

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Iran on Saturday welcomed the rescue of 13 Iranian sailors by a U.S. Navy ship, calling it a “humanitarian act……….. The sailors were on a fishing boat that had been hijacked by pirates in the Arabian Sea, near the Strait of Hormuz. According to the Navy, a helicopter from the destroyer USS Kidd spotted a suspect pirate boat alongside the Iranian vessel on Thursday. The destroyer is part of the USS John Stennis Strike Group, which moved into the Arabian Sea from the Persian Gulf last week………..

Somebody in Iran have egg on their faces today.
So the Iranian IRGC commanders and a couple of ayatollahs made a lot of the departure of the USS John Stennis from the Persian-American Gulf last week. Some of them warned the US navy ship not to return to the Gulf, or else.
Sure enough, the USS John Stennis Strike Group was not about to return anytime soon. Nobody knew it was on a divine mission for these same ayatollahs. It was destined to save a lot of Iranian sailors and fishermen from Somali pirates, from fellow Muslims (and full-fledged member of the Arab League although the Arab depots seem not to care about how many Somalis are killed or starve every year).
Apparently the Somali pirates have now expanded their theater of operations beyond the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden. They are now at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, threatening the petroleum waterway.

Cheers
mhg



m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

The Arab World’s Second Somalia, or is it Sudan?………

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The Arab World has one completely failed state: Somalia, which is not even identifiable as a state anymore (or Arab for that matter). It has one nearly failed states: Sudan which has staved off Somalization by giving the Southerners their freedom (unlike Abraham Lincoln). Then there is Yemen. As for Yemen? I believe it will become an unidentifiable state, like Somalia, possibly with the South regaining the independence it foolishly gave away in 1990 to join the tribal North. Northern Yemen is truly in danger of falling completely apart, American drones and Saudi war planes notwithstanding.

No, Libya is not likely to become a failed state. It may try to become a failed state during the next few years, many African states that were ruled by long-term despots have headed that way. But Libya is a potentially rich country with a relatively high degree of national identity. Besides, it is too close to Europe to be allowed to fail as a state: who is going to stop all them boats?
Cheers
mhg



m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com