Tag Archives: Genocide

A Genuine Arab Spring Led by the Revolutionary Prince of Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre …….

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In America, the Middle East wars and rivalries are being waged along the Eastern Seaboard, from Washington to New York and on to Boston. Arab and other Mideast lobbyists, hired public relations firms, media opinionators, and paid think tanks are in full gear. The Saudis (and the UAE) get the lion’s share of it. And we see the results not only in Washington and New York power centers, but also in the media and social media.

Finally a new real Arab Spring is blooming in Saudi Arabia (according to the shoot-from-the-lips Tom Friedman of the N Y Times); the USA must throw its full support behind an invisible “Revolutionary Saudi Prince“, according to old hand Dennis Ross. More American accolades of this kind are being piled on the newish Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Bin Salman (affectionately and otherwise known as MBS) has certainly shaken the Saudi power structure. But he has achieved the following since his father acceded to power early in 2015:

  • Lost any hope of pushing back the expanding Iranian influence and of enabling his favorite Jihadis in Syria. He lost the Syrian war to Assad, Iran, Hezbollah, and their allies.
  • He screwed up the tense and balanced situation in Lebanon. The man whom Hezbollah (the Iranian mullah’s staunch ally) wanted became the Christian president of Lebanon. In exchange, a Saudi ally and business partner, Saad Hariri, was recalled from Paris to become prime minister. He reached an accommodation with the other Lebanese factions, including the largest party: Hezbollah. Prince MBS was upset and summoned him to Riyadh the day after he met a high Iranian official in Beirut. Riyadh, where Saad Hariri vanished into some sort of weird captivity (he is also a naturalized Saudi and French citizen).
  • Where is Hariri, asked Waldo (and most Lebanese)? Finally he surfaced in front of a Saudi television camera inside a Saudi TV station. He looked numb, confused, nervous as he read an odd declaration of (forced) resignation that could have only been written by the Saudis, with the usual atrocious Arabic grammar and terms. Even Donald Trump’s speechwriter can probably do better, in Arabic.
    It took an uproar in Lebanon, in France , and even in Washington and a visit by French president Macron for the Saudis to release the prime minister of Lebanon and let him fly to Paris and then to Lebanon. Quite a ride.
  • Well before that, prince MBS had started on his worst and longest foreign adventure (no, not the honeymoon nor the half-billion-dollar yacht nor the half-billion-dollar Da Vinci’a Salvator Mundi painting). As soon as he was appointed Defense Minister by his daddy in 2015, he started a fierce but predictably futile war on Yemen. That genocidal war has been waged for three years now, with active American and some British help, under both Obama and Trump. It is at a stalemate: the ragtag Houthi tribals ruling in Sanaa against the best Western weapons that money can buy, and it is a stalemate. Sort of like Afghanistan, but at a more disastrous cost to human life and infrastructure. A true genocidal war.
  • Next came Donald Trump’s poisonous saber-rattling Summit in Riyadh last may, followed by attempts to force a Saudi hegemony on other GCC countries. It started with an attempt to turn Qatar into a Bahrain-like Saudi satrapy. That attempt, a total boycott and blockade of Qatar, backfired spectacularly after Qatar managed to mobilize other countries to help, including Iran, Turkey, and some Western countries.

The Prince’s latest snafu was at home (but overtime it may turn out to be a smart power play). Overnight, many princes and other wealthy Saudi oligarchs were rounded up and locked up at the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton luxury hotel. The same hotel that hosted the Trump clan last May. Normal political activists and other unfortunates are usually thrown in more infamous prisons. But these captives, all high-ranked rival royals and other oligarchs, are used to a different lifestyle. Hence the Ritz-Carlton. No sign reading “Arbeit Macht Frei” over the door for them. Most of them were reportedly conditionally released into internal exile, after they acceded to the shake-up and parted with some of their ill-gotten wealth. They may also have signed some allegiance to the new ruler of the country.
If it lasts, MBS will be the first truly absolute ruler of the kingdom: all the others ruled by some degree of consensus within the inner circle of senior ruling family princes.

On the other hand he is being smart by moving towards some (non-political) freedoms for women. A smart and long-overdue move. Some early crumbs are being thrown to Western sensibilities: a promise to allow women to start driving cars sometime next summer. Maybe. Also opening sports stadiums to women: another good and needed move, no doubt. That should also make (seemingly) powerful women like Ivanka, Maureen, Mika, and maybe even Hillary happy and gushing in their praise. He seems to have gotten most of the major Wahhabi clerics to go along, at least those he had not preemptively jailed beforehand.

A revolution in the true royal fashion indeed…….

Cheers and Happy Saint Valentine’s Day, Al Capone……  

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Genocide in Southern Arabia: Proxy War, Schmoxy War………

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“The fighting in Yemen risked escalating still further as American defence officials said the USS Theodore Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier, was steaming towards Yemeni waters potentially to intercept suspected Iranian arms shipments to the Houthi rebels. Since last week, the Pentagon has been voicing alarm about a convoy of ships bound for Yemen from Iran, suspicious that its aim is to resupply the rebels as they fight pro-government forces to try to seize control of the country. The Roosevelt, already in the Arabian Sea, will join other US Navy assets already in the Gulf of Aden ………Already seen to be fighting a proxy war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Iran now risk a more direct confrontation………….”

How can they say Saudi Arabia is fighting a proxy war? Saudi warplanes and missiles raining death and destruction everyday on Yemenis. This is not a proxy war: it is a direct Saudi war against Yemen, with a lot of help from Western allies………

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

War on Yemen: Neither Shock Nor Awe, Allah Be Praised and Alhamdulillah……..

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“The US Navy has sent two warships to Yemeni waters to conduct ‘maritime security operations.’ However, Washington denies they have been sent to intercept an alleged Iranian naval convoy carrying weapons for Houthi anti-government forces. The Pentagon said in a statement on Monday that the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and its escort cruiser USS Normandy have transited from the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea on April 19. “Theodore Roosevelt and Normandy have joined other US forces conducting maritime security operations in the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb and the Southern Red Sea,” the statement reads………………”

They have called their air assault on Yemen Decisive Storm, a cheaper imitation of Desert Storm, what Americans usually call the Persian Gulf War. But this operation has been anything but decisive: early on I correctly called it Faltering Storm.

Don’t expect the Saudi King, or a gaggle of other Arab princes and potentates and kleptocrats in military garb to soon land on some battleship, with a huge sign behind them proclaiming: “Mission Accomplished. Alhamdulillah: Allah be Praised

There has been no Shock or Awe in the war on Yemen. What has happened was what was expected by anyone but the delusional attackers. It was always known that Yemen is no match for the best warplanes and missiles the West can manufacture and sell, nor for the best electronic and communications and tracking devices the West can sell. Almost nobody outside the delusional cities of Riyadh or Abu Dhabi or Doha expected the one-sided air war to achieve any goals, besides destruction of Yemen’s poor infrastructure. 

It has also been generally known that the attackers are no match for the Yemenis, Houthi and allies, on the ground. That the rugged land of Yemen could chew them up and spit them out. That is why they have been seeking paid mercenary forces from faraway poor places as cannon fodder.

It has been almost a month of bombing now, with the rich petro-princes throwing everything at the lightly armed Houthis and their allies. Whatever goal they had for their assault has not been achieved. The Houthis are as defiant as they were months ago, perhaps more now that their civilians have been murdered by the hundreds, perhaps by the thousands. The brotherly and sisterly attackers have no option now but to continue the bombing until some face-saving formula is offered or give up.

The Western powers are willing to resupply the weapons, provide more intelligence, send more warships, clamp more sanctions. All for a price. There is talk of American mid-air tankers feuling Saudi warplanes so that they can destroy more Yemeni homes faster. New ships are being sent to the Yemeni region, both American and Iranian. The USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, no less, seems ready to join the Saudi bombing of Yemen. Which would put Mr. Obama even more squarely on the side of aggression. The bombings are becoming more ferocious, more insistent, more desperate.

A long war of attrition of the kind that invaders usually don’t win.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

Erdogan and Ahmadinejad and Twentieth Century Genocide……..

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Their two countries were closer when they were both in power at the same time. The two great genocide deniers of the region. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran toyed with Holocaust denial although he did not go all the way: he probably did not really quite deny it. He just chose a stupid way to annoy the West and the Israelis. Caliph Erdogan of Turkey almost went all the way: refusing to admit the Armenian genocide even as he offered vague conciliatory comments. They were/are both deliberately dishonest.

In addition, Erdogan of the Turkish Islamist regime reportedly has thrown more journalists in prison than any other Middle East tyrant, and we have so many of them.

Of course there are others in the region who are worse. The Wahhabis and many Muslim Brotherhood types don’t deny the genocide but they explain and excuse it, even as their ilk continue it in Iraq and Syria and other places: as the implementation of God’s will, his/her wrath, against certain peoples.

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter