Category Archives: Uncategorized

Strait of Hormuz: a Visit to an Island for Lease, Liberation of Iran……

    

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Tehran on Monday warned Arab states in the Gulf that things could become “very complicated” if they do not act cautiously over a simmering islands dispute between Iran and the United Arab Emirates. Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi made the declaration to Iran’s ISNA news agency on the eve of talks in Doha between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states over three tiny islands in the Gulf and claimed by both Iran and the UAE. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad infuriated the UAE by visiting one of them, Abu Musa, on April 11 and asserting in a speech that historical records proved “the Persian Gulf is Persian,” as state media called his trip a purely “domestic issue.”…………


“Sheikh Abdullah said the islands were in a “pivotal area”, crucial to the passage of oil. The UAE wants to find a solution to the conflict, but Iran’s behaviour “might bring serious complications and implications”, he said. “We have to have a clear agenda, a deadline for these negotiations.” If necessary the parties should seek international arbitration or go to the International Court of Justice, Sheikh Abdullah said. “But we cannot keep this matter going on for ever.” The Foreign Minister added: “It is with regret that a Muslim and neighbour country with civilisation and traditions behaves in such a manner. It is supposed to behave rationally, not to project its internal concerns abroad. In this case the consequences can be dangerous.”………”

I had thought there was an old agreement between Iran and one of the Emirates (Sharjah), allegedly brokered by Britain which had controlled the island, to share the oil and gas around Abu Moussa. I need to research this, but I thought there was some agreement regulating supervision as well (I can be wrong, but I doubt it).
 
More Seriously: There are rumors swirling around me that Abu Dhabi wants to lease at least one of the islands to a foreign power as a military naval base. The rumors have it that since the Canadians pulled out of their base, the UAE has had major foreign bases for only the United States, Britain, and France. In addition to some possible facilities to smaller powers like Bosnia and Monaco and the Maldives. Apparently the rulers of Abu Dhabi feel that they need more foreign bases (on the assumption that “the more the merrier“). The rumor says they wish to release an island to the Sultan of Bruni to use as a naval base to protect the Strait of Hormuz from Iranian incursions. The idea is that Western bases and Bruni bases will protect the Gulf from such ‘external’ threats as Iran poses. Bruni-ian and Western soldiers are known to be always eager to defend their national territorial waters in the Persian-American Gulf against outside incursions from faraway foreign places like Iran.
Another rumor, quickly discounted by yours truly, is that the potentates plan to settle their new foreign mercenary brigade formed by Blackwater executives from among Colombians gang veterans, disgruntled white South Africans, rare teetotaler Australians, Mexican drug cartel graduates, and other such Arab nationalists.
The Iranians, remembering Iraq in 2003, may worry that the mercenaries and/or Bruni forces will use the island as a base for launching an invasion of their country with the intention of liberating it. Stay tuned.
I still don’t know wtf Ahmadinejad was doing visiting that island at this time. It is not like he is running for office again; he can’t. Maybe he knows.

Cheers
mhg



m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

America, Asses of Evil, and Bush’s Old Saudi Policy Guru……

    

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The primary issue is mistrust. American and Western politicians continuously reiterate their mistrust of Tehran but seem not to understand that this mistrust is mutual. Iran has profound reasons to distrust the West. The United States and the Britain orchestrated the 1953 coup that removed Iran’s democratically elected prime minister, Mohammed Mossadegh, and installed a dictator, supporting him for a quarter century. Following the Iranian revolution, the West unilaterally withdrew from its contractual commitments and left Iran with billions of dollars of unfinished industrial and nuclear projects. In 1980, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded Iran, sparking an economically ruinous eight-year war in which Iraq used chemical weapons against Iran, and 300,000 Iranians lost their lives. The United States and the West supported the aggressor in that conflict. In 1988, the U.S. Navy shot down an Iranian civilian jetliner, killing 290 innocent civilians, including 66 children…………. During Mohammad Khatami’s presidency, Iran was among the first countries to condemn the 9/11 terrorists attacks and cooperate with the United States in the “war on terror,” leading to the removal of the Taliban and al Qaeda from Afghanistan in 2001. In return, the United States rewarded Iran by designating it a member of the “axis of evil.”………….

He is right, of course. This litany of Iranian grievances against the West is long, and likely will get longer before it is over (WTF it is that will be over). It is much longer than any grievances the US government can present against the Iranians, in terms of life, fortune, and national humiliation.
That was an odd behavior after September 11 in 2001. A bunch of Saudi and other Salafi terrorists, funded by Saudi princes and Salafi Wahhabi sympathizers around the Gulf, attacked the United States, the Iranians showed sympathy for the United States and cooperated with the US in Afghanistan against the Taliban and their al-Qaeda terrorist guests. So the Bush administration quickly returns the favor by labeling Iran part of this “axis of evil” and moves closer to the Saudi princes. That odd policy must have been engineered by that old foreign policy guru of the Bushes, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan al-Saud.

Cheers
mhg



m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Religious Stupidity on the Gulf: Allah’s Self-Appointed Agents, a Fifth Column of Intolerance……..

    

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The 1961 Press and Publications Law in Kuwait stipulates that blasphemy is a crime punishable by a prison sentence that ranges from a few months to several years. Following more stringent laws in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the Kuwaiti Parliament just approved provisionally–pending a second vote–the death penalty for those who defame God, or the Prophet and his wives. Apparently, ”[t]he move to stiffen penalties for religious crimes came after authorities last month arrested a Shiite tweeter for allegedly cursing the Prophet Mohammed, his wife and some companions.” It also comes in response to increasing incidents of sectarian graffiti on mosques throughout Kuwait since the 2011 Arab uprisings as well as to growing calls to execute Hamza Kashgari in neighboring Saudi Arabia. Some Shi`i Parliament members also demanded the same penalty for those who curse any of the sect’s twelve revered Imams, but to no avail. The background to all this is in part the growing sectarian tension in Kuwait, and in the region. One potential ray of hope: the vote was not unanimous, though maybe for the wrong reasons…………


They are
changing the normally open tolerant society of Kuwait into a smaller Wahhabi tribal version of the most intolerant society in the world, Saudi Arabia. In that they are acting as a religious, cultural, and probably political Wahhabi fifth column.
The Salafis and their Muslim Brother and tribal allies (their allies in this particular case in the sense of both being intolerant pro-Wahhabis) seem to think that God needs their protection from libel by mere humans. They took it upon themselves to claim representation of Allah, because that gives them some power over others. Assuming the others are naive enough to concede that these opportunistic pretenders do in fact represent the interests of Allah (unfortunately some of them are naive enough, others are just too afraid). These extremist opportunists represent their own interests and those of outsiders (they look upon the Saudi palace Mufti as their guide). It seems to be working for now.
There may soon be a death sentence imposed not only for libeling Allah, but for criticizing historical figures that have been dead for fifteen centuries. That ought to kill any serious research in religious history and theology in my hometown, if there ever was any. There will be a death sentence for libeling God and some very dead gentlemen (and maybe ladies), unless some authority decides to put a stop to this travesty of religion and justice and freedom of expression, this march toward Wahhabism.

Cheers
mhg



m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Kingdom of Segregation: Extremism in the Eye of the Beholder…….

    

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Saudi Arabia has jailed a hard-line cleric who once called for demolishing the Grand Mosque in Mecca and rebuilding it to prevent mixing between the sexes at Islam’s holiest site, local media reports say. The news website Aleqt.com said Yousuf Ahmad was sentenced to five years in prison for “disobedience” to the ultraconservative kingdom’s rulers and “incitement” against them. The kingdom arrested Ahmad last July after he called for the release of political prisoners, media reports said. Some reports said he was arrested after posting a YouTube video in which he criticized King Abdullah and top Saudi officials for the practice of detention without trial. Authorities also slapped a five-year travel ban on Ahmad and fined him the equivalent of thousands of dollars. Ahmed has appealed the ruling, according to the Agence France-Presse news agency. The New York-based rights watchdog Human Rights Watch says thousands of p
eople receive unfair trials or face arbitrary detention in Saudi Arabia………….

He was an extremist who wanted to end co-ed hajj, separate men from women in Mecca, but certainly that is not why he was arrested. His proposal for splitting the hajj was done two or three years ago. He is in prison because he criticized the Saudi theocracy and the alliance of the Princes and the muftis.
He had to be truly on the extreme to be more extremist than the official Saudi palace Mufti Shaikh Al Al Al Shaikh who a couple of weeks ago called for the demolition of all churches (and synagogues if any) in the Persian Gulf region.
He also sentences sorcerers, magicians, and witches and anyone who deals with them to execution by beheading. He also sentences anyone who fornicates with the jinn to stoning (imagine the astronaut who used to fool around with Barbara Eden in the old days would be stoned to death).
Extremism in the Kingdom of Segregation is relative, and this shaikh Yousuf Ahmad is entitled to express his opinion as much as the Mufti is entitled to express the opinions of the princes in their palaces.
Cheers
mhg



m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

A New Old Iranian Claim on Strait of Hormuz Passage…………

    

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The U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise, which is heading for the Persian Gulf, will have to answer the questions of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) at the “Sepah station” to obtain permission to enter the sea, the Persian service of the Fars News Agency reported on Saturday. According to the report, the IRGC Naval Force is tasked with monitoring the movement of foreign vessels in the Persian Gulf and all the vessels which want to pass through the Strait of Hormuz must report to the “Sepah station” on the sea. The USS Enterprise set sail on its final voyage on March 12, heading for the Persian Gulf. The U.S. oldest active-duty warship will be on standby in case of conflict with Iran, CNN reported. “Enterprise is as ready and capable as she has ever been throughout her 50 years,” Capt. William C. Hamilton, the ship’s commanding officer, said in a statement. The carrier, which holds a crew of over 4,000, has taken part in several wars. It will be deployed in the Persian Gulf together with other warships, forming a carrier strike group………… Mehr News (Iranian semi-official)

Some Iranian officials made that same bizarre claim once before, last year, about the USS John Stennis, then wisely withdrew it. I expect this withdrawal will be repeated, given the firepower of the US carrier strike force. Given that Iranian officials often make personal  ad hoc statements about policy. Adding to this, Iranian president Ahmadinejad for the first time yesterday visited one of the islands that Iran controls in the Gulf near the Strait. This is an unusual move considering he never bothered to do so since he came to power. Iran has had forces on the islands since 1971, but its ownership is disputed by the United Arab Emirates whose government was not amused by Ahmadinejad’s visit.
Cheers
mhg



m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Friends of Syria Meet in Tunisia, Decline to “Liberate” Syria…….

   

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The Saudi delegation withdrew from the “Friends of the Syrian People” meeting in Tunis over what it saw as the gathering’s “inactivity”, Al Arabiya reported. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal left the meeting after saying in a speech that focusing on humanitarian aid to Syria was “not enough.” “There is no other means but transferring power either voluntarily or by force. Is it justice to offer aid and leave the Syrians to the killing machine? ” he said. Faisal said that the Syrian regime has lost legitimacy and turned into an occupation-like authority. “My country will not take part in an action that will not lead to the quick protection of the Syrians,” he said………

The Saudi prince also added that if the Assad regime does not fall soon, his king will order the National Guard, commanded by his son Met’eb, to cross the border with heavy armor in support of the Syrian people. Just like they helped the Bahraini people last year, he added. King Abdullah of Jordan, on hearing of this, immediately texted the prince “Which border are you talking about? Last time you guys crossed our border, you never left the Hijaz, annexed Mecca and Madina and then your king stole our custodial job.”
On an almost more serious note: I can’t wait to see Prince Khaled bin Sultan, the losing hero of the battle for Yemen, defeated by the ‘primitive’ Huthis, lead a blitzkrieg across the Syrian border. Only which border would he cross? The Jordanian or the Iraqi or the Israeli? Either one it should be fun, especially without American forces to back him up (the French and British don’t count without support from American forces, if you remember history).

Cheers
mhg



m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com