Tag Archives: Kuwait

Arabian Wars, American Folly: Summer 1990, Summer 2017……

Shuwaikh-school1 Me1 (2)Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2 Hiking

This Saudi, UAE, and now Trump frenzy and ratcheting up attacks on Qatar reminds me of Saddam Hussein and Kuwait in the summer of 1990. How he escalated his threats against his little neighbor, miscalculated the American reaction, and started an invasion and another foolish war.

Donald Trump is now openly giving the Saudi/UAE potentates the green light in the Persian Gulf. But suppose Trump’s new Arab allies (the ones he hated and despised before last January) screw up as I expect? As they have done in Yemen? I mean they could not even subdue a few tribes in Yemen. Suppose they get stuck in another classic quagmire?

Trump has been tweeting today in support of the Saudi-Emirati position. All based on what two princes in Saudi Aabia and the UAE had told him last month (according to him)!
No doubt Qatar has supported some Syrian Jihadis with money, but so have the Saudis and others in the Persian Gulf states. So has Turkey. So why focus on Qatar now? Is it pressure from Saudi-UAE funded lobbyists and Think Tanks in Washington? It can well be.
Will Donald Trump then send American fighting boys and girls to pull their royal nuts out of the fire?

In the end the United States is thousands of miles away, it is an interloper. The countries on the Gulf belong there, it is their native region. The USA can defend its allies and whatever interests it has in the region, but it cannot establish its own hegemony on the Persian Gulf. That would be a pipe dream. The era of old gunboat imperialism is (probably) over.

(Interestingly Kuwait, the old victim of Saddam Hussein’s media attack and brutal invasion, is trying to mediate this new crisis between Qatar and her larger neighbors).

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

The GCC Game of Musical Alliances: from the Gulf through Africa and Beyond………

Shuwaikh-school1 Me1 (2)Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2 Hiking christmasbellevue

Something strange has been going on recently among member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
They had their summit in Manama a couple of weeks ago, which ended with nothing spectacular to announce. The Salafis of the Persian-American Gulf and the usual Bahrain potentates (both fiercely Saudi proxies) have tried, again, to create some excitement about a possible “union” based on the European model. But it would be a union of ruling families, not based on the popular will, since Kuwait is the only GCC country that has free popular elections. But Kuwait has the misfortune of being stuck between three large and menacing neighboring countries: Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia (the country was invaded by both Iraq and Saudi Arabia in the last century).

The idea of a Gulf union was a no-go, and DOA at the summit: it was not even discussed publicly. Some others within the GCC saw it as a way to formalize a fearsome Saudi attempt at hegemony. They/we all know how the Saudi Kingdom was formed during the last century by swallowing smaller neighboring emirates in the Arabian Peninsula.

After the summit, Saudi King Salman visited every member country except for Oman. Certainly because Oman is the least likely member to follow Saudi policies and wishes. It is odd for the ruler of a member of GCC to start visiting other member states immediately after the summit ends. Why not meet them individually during the summit? They apparently want to send a message to other members and to some Arab counties.

Soon after all that, a Saudi delegation last week visited Ethiopia, a country with which Egypt has serious disputes over the Nile waters. The delegation also pointedly visited a new Ethiopian dam that Egypt claims seriously reduces its share of the Nile waters. That visit created an uproar within Arab media and social media.
But wait, that is not all, there is more (as the TV ads say)…..

Now there is an announcement that the foreign minister of Qatar is visiting, you guessed it, landlocked Ethiopia. Almost certainly just to bother the hell out of the Egyptians.

Both Saudi Arabia and Qatar (and Turkey as well) have just suffered an immense strategic defeat in Syria, when their Jihadist surrogates were forced out of the eastern part of Aleppo. Egypt has been moving towards siding with the Assad regime (and hence by association with Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and Russia) in the Syrian war. This has clearly angered some of the Gulf allies who either support the Jihadis in Syria or need to show that they do so for domestic political reasons.

That leaves out the UAE, the third major partner in the Saudi regional alliance. The UAE shares one very important thing with the current government of Egypt: they both hate and fear the Muslim Brotherhood. Meanwhile Qatar is practically a Muslim Brotherhood monarchy (and so close to the Turkish Islamist regime that they have agreed to have a Turkish military base in their country). The Saudis have warmed up to the Brotherhood recently because they are their allies in the Yemen War (through the corrupt Islah Party).
These are fascinating developments that are now unfolding in the Middle East.

As I said: wait, there will be more, and soon. The GCC states, especially Saudi Arabia, have been playing a game of “musical alliances’ in recent years. Since 2011 they have allied on and off with Jordan, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Eritrea, Djibouti, Mauritania, Sudan, and now Ethiopia, among others. A list of mainly countries with deep economic problems. And the game of Musical Alliances goes on.

As I said: but wait, there will be more, and soon………..
Cheers

M Haider Ghuloum

The Enemy Within? the Extremist Salafi Islamist Opposition Returns to Kuwait Politics……..

Shuwaikh-school1 Me1 (2)Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2 Hiking

Kuwait has the most free and open elections in all the Gulf GCC states. The others don’t really have any. She will have new parliamentary (National Assembly) elections in the last week of November. Much of the ultra-reactionary Islamic-Tribal alliance that boycotted the last election has given up and decided to run for office. That should be good news, but in this case it is truly bad news for the country, its social cohesion, and sectarian tranquility.

The Kuwaiti political opposition are a mix that is dominated by Salafis, Muslim Brothers, and reactionary tribal seekers of office. These have cleverly dominated the smaller Wahhabi-Liberal and pseudo-academic types who are nominally secular.

Last time the so-called Kuwaiti political opposition mustered a majority in parliament, their first act was to vote to convert the country into a Wahhabi-Salafi theocracy by instituting the Shari’a literally. Apparently their ideal of a democratic civil society. The proposal got a majority of votes: every member of that opposition group voted for it. Only the few urban members and the Shi’a members refused to support it. Luckily, the Emir thought correctly that it was a bad idea and refused to sign it. He vetoed it and saved the country from the ritual of beheading, crucifixion, public flogging, chopping hands, and other such Wahhabi-Salafi pleasures and pastimes that exist in a neighboring country.

Most of the opposition members had claimed they would not run again until the election laws were changed away from the new one-man-one-vote system, and until one of their leaders is released from prison. They made a lot of noise about ‘principles’ and about a ‘democracy’ that most of them never believed. Apparently four years on the outside have cured them. Basically they have surrendered and, in true Salafist fashion, betrayed their imprisoned ally Musallam Al Barrak.

The years of absence of any political influence and tribal pressures have caused most of them to announce they are running for the November 27 elections. That means that they will again apply pressures to move in the Wahhabi-Salafi direction. To interfere in the private social lives of people, and to start another book-burning episode. Some of them are already announcing their intention to try again to make the Shari’a the law of the land.

And to fan the flames of sectarian tensions that they introduced to the country. They will also start hounding the Shi’as and maybe the few Christians. Last time they were in parliament this Salafi-MB-Tribal alliance asked the government to start “monitoring” the Shi’a religious services. Meaning to spy and intimidate the minorities. Some, possibly many, of these members no doubt will get elected, and they will start making the country and society even duller that it is now.

We shall see soon enough how the post-Thanksgiving turkeys turn out. Certainly no better than the same turkeys looked last time around…..
Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

 

Freedom of Speech on the Gulf, Salafi Style……..

Shuwaikh-school1 Hiking Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2

قَالَتِ الْأَعْرَابُ آمَنَّا قُل لَّمْ تُؤْمِنُوا وَلَكِن قُولُوا أَسْلَمْنَا وَلَمَّا يَدْخُلِ الْإِيمَانُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ “
سورة الحجرات
(ديمقراطية)

Remember when I penned a post here in February on Internal Exile used by Arab regimes to punish those who displease them? I called it an Arabian Gulag here.
Yesterday I read a tweet from back home. Two Salafi leaders of the so-called political opposition were tweeting. They have been making noisy allegations for a couple of years about their “lack of freedom” of speech. Even as they insist that others should be denied the freedom of expression. Even as their goal is to establish a Wahhabi type of government: they almost did it in 2012 but it was vetoed by the Emir. Even as they praise serious violent repression in neighboring states.
What these two Salafist former parliamentarians were demanding in their tweets was that the government should ban another parliamentarian, one who is from another sect, from travel abroad. They said he might feel free to ‘speak freely’ outside the country, which they clearly think is a bad idea: he might criticize the dismal human rights situation in neighboring Gulf states.
@Altabtabie

What this Salafi former parliamentarian is saying in Arabic is that: “This D—- should be immediately banned from foreign travel so he will not use his being a member of the Assembly to besmirch the brothers in Saudi and Bahrain abroad….”
The other one, his comrade in Wahhabi Salafism, absolutely agrees with him. They are both asking the government (which they claim to oppose for allegedly restricting their freedom) to restrict someone else’s freedom of travel and speech. A kind of repression they always support when applied by regimes in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, but not at home.

Now I don’t know this man they are targeting, and I most likely disagree on at least some things he espouses (FYI: I disagree with almost everybody back home on the Gulf on most political, social and economic and any other subject or matter). But this falls within the usual pattern reflecting the fact that loud talk of freedom of speech by most Islamists, especially Salafis, is for media consumption, especially for foreign media. They do not believe in freedom of anything: speech, religion, expression, and even thought.

Long live freedom of speech, Wahhabi style, with a dash of Salafi hypocrisy.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

A Dummy’s Haiku Guide to Free Speech in the Gulf Region………..

Shuwaikh-school1 Hiking Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2

Haiku:
About Free Speech…
Can it be free at a price?………..
Tell our leaders…….

So what is this “free speech” that many constitutions claim to allow but few actually do? We covered that partly in the previous post. Now, in the Gulf and GCC states:

  • In Saudi Arabia, evidence shows that free speech is whatever the princes and their media say. It is also anything that does not contradict what the Wahhabi clerical establishment that is allied with the rulers say.
  • The Saudi religious establishment has a short and clear definition of free speech: their interpretation of the Holy Quran and the Hadith, and whatever the ruling princes say. The same applies to the Salafist movements that ape the Saudi system. Also to Al-Qaeda and the temporary Caliphate of ISIS (but without the reference to the princes) .
  • In Qatar, free speech is whatever does not criticize the rulers and insult the Muslim Brotherhood. That includes whatever is said by the official Al-Jazeera network. and by Al-Quds Al-Arabi and other oligarchy-owned media.
  • Bahrain probably has the broadest definition of Free Speech in the whole region. In Bahrain, first of all, Free speech is mainly anything that is not critical of any Saudi prince or any Saudi policy or any Saudi weekend alcohol-guzzling tourist. In addition, free speech is anything that does not criticize the sheikh (sorry, now king), his crown prince, the prime minister of 45 years, minister of interior, foreign minister (and his girth), minister of defense, minister of justice, or any of their other relatives (note: they all carry the same last name). Free speech is also anything that does not mention the imported foreign armed killer mercenaries from Jordan, Pakistan, Syria and other places.
  • In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), free speech is anything that does not criticize the ruling brothers. Free speech is also anything that does not mention the Muslim Brotherhood and anything that does not mention the imported foreign mercenaries led by former Blackwater executives (from Colombia, Australia, South Africa, etc) now fighting in Yemen.
  • Back in Kuwait, there is relatively more free speech than in any other Gulf state. Relatively speaking. For some time, a large sectarian tribal section of the self-styled opposition has tried to define free speech and hence restrict it. The dominant Wahhabi-ized tribal-Salafi-Muslim-Brotherhood strain of the opposition has its own odd definition of free speech. In their case Free Speech is whatever they want to say. Many of these admire either Al-Qaeda or ISIS or Nusra or a combination of the Salafi cutthroats that ravage the Middle East. Some probably actively support these groups. Free Speech to that strain is also whatever the Saudi princes and their Wahhabi clerics and their controlled media opine. Apparently free speech to this group is also remaining silent while the neighboring princes throw thousands of people in prison, both Sunni and Shi’a. Apparently free speech also requires a Wahhabi Saudi-style  Salafi state which the whole opposition members voted to impose and passed in 2012. It would have turned the country into a Taliban theocracy, but it was fortunately vetoed by the executive branch.
  • In Iran, free speech is whatever does not touch the theocracy or the powerful Supreme Leader or the powerful Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) negatively . Or contradicts publicly what the ‘mainstream’ clerics opine. You can probably get away with public criticism of Hassan Rouhani or Zarif, but that is it. Now remember: if you stand in the Middle of Tehran and sing “God Bless America“, that would NOT be considered free speech. But the same applies if you do it in Riyadh.
  • Fact is (usually I hate starting a sentence with “fact is”): in the whole Persian-American Gulf region, the only true absolutely Free Speech can probably be found on board the U.S Navy ships. And on some foreign military bases.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

How I Died and Lived again: from the Persian Gulf to the Pacific Northwest, P.S…….

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2

Over the years I have gone through several lives. That probably means I have one or two left to spare. The last experience, this past July, was a close one, or so I have been told.

I lost my life the first time during a hot Gulf summer (is there any other kind?) when I was a child. I fell into the warm motherly but turbulent waters of the Persian Gulf. I was leaning over the edge of the dhow, peering into the waters, probably trying to locate some fish, when I fell. A captain of the boat (which was associated with my father and uncles) dived after me and saved me. He must have been acquainted with CPR first aid techniques, or what passed for them at that time. They told me, as I recall, that his name was Khamees (Thursday).

There were a few other times. During my student days a Parisian Bread truck almost finished me off on a Berkeley (Calif.) street intersection some years later. The driver must have jumped a red light, or so I was told. I woke up in the hospital with no memory of the incident. But I lived to try another day. And I did. I left out when my head was almost bashed in, but apparently I survived that one too, didn’t I?

Back home on the Gulf, just after one of our wars, I got my first (and only) massive heart attack. The company driver got me to the emergency entrance of the Amiri Hospital just in time. That was some years ago. When I came to an Indian nurse was trying hard to beat some life into my heart. She succeeded.

That was when I got some advice on how to proceed. Some neighbors said that since I had worked with influential potentates (shaikhs) I should plead with some of them to apply their influence with the government to send me overseas for treatment. Others had done it, although I noted that most of those did not survive ‘the royal favor’. I toyed with the idea, and wisely decided instead to spend a month on the beaches and in the mountains of Cyprus. Maybe a reckless part of me thought death was not the worst thing that can happen to me, given the options offered by the neighbors.

I survived that one too, and later moved back to the American Pacific Coast, to the Northwest, where over time I had  a few stents inserted into my body even as I led an active life (hiking, biking, etc). Without the need to plead with any potentates.

Last month I almost did it again: I almost cashed in my chips outside Everett (Washington). Except that a Mr. Snyder and his wife (or girlfriend) caught me in time with some timely CPR first aid and a call to 911. The Snyders and the excellent Providence Hospital staff in Everett saved my life at a time when my family were anxiously looking for me at a nearby shopping mall. When they called my cell phone the hospital emergency staff answered, a terrifying surprise (or so I’d like to think). Apparently I had a seizure (or was it a stroke?). I remember nothing of that day or the next five days.

I have another MRI scheduled for next week. But I believe I am regaining my health and my energy. So, who knows: maybe a few more rounds………

There is an addendum to the above post:
P.S. (10/1/2015): A surgeon had done a biopsy on my brain on that day of my “incident” in July. He dug inside my skull and tested some brain tissue on that day, as I understand. He said the lump in my brain was NOT a tumor. Now he says the results of the last MRI show that it has vanished. Looks like good news. We shall see………….

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum   

 Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

Egypt and the Gulf: Myth of Egyptian Role in the Persian Gulf War…….

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2

“Egyptian President Abdul Fatah Al Sissi has reportedly launched a damage control operation to ensure that his country’s relations are not affected by the alleged audio recording suggesting that Egyptian officials close to him viewed Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries with disdain. The conversation between Al Sissi who was then minister of defence and two aides, released on Saturday, includes remarks that some Gulf countries were half states, that they had more money than they needed and that Egypt should adopt a strict policy of give-and-take with them. It also includes verbal personal abuse of the Emir of Qatar…………..”

More about the Sisi Tapes. Sisi and his aides said the Egyptians should be tougher with countries ‘we liberated or helped liberate’ from Iraq. This is a misconception (actually almost a lie) that Egyptians keep repeating and now they may believe it. The Kuwaiti and Gulf media are too polite or timid to deny it directly. Egypt was very helpful but it did not actually liberate, nor did any other Arab country or army liberate Kuwait. Nor were they capable then, nor are they capable now of liberating anyone. The sheer logistics would have paralyzed them. It is the “Piss-up in a Brewery” syndrome that I am fond of referring to occasionally here.

Don’t get me wrong. Egyptian was very helpful and Egyptian public opinion was overwhelmingly against the Iraqi invasion and occupation in 1990-91. That enabled the Mubarak regime to send forces. Egyptians, unlike Jordanians for example, were never admirers of Saddam Hussein. I was in Cairo right after the war, and public opinion seemed strongly supportive of their ‘participation’.

Kuwait was mainly liberated by the Americans (boys and girls and Christians and Jews and Muslims and Vegans and Agnostics, among others). With some help from other European allies, especially the British. The Arab contingents that were sent to Saudi Arabia were just for window-dressing: the Americans thought it would help with Arab public opinion.
Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Sisi Tapes: Sisterly Talk, Brotherly Gibberish……..

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2

“Egyptian President Abdul Fatah Al Sissi has reportedly launched a damage control operation to ensure that his country’s relations are not affected by the alleged audio recording suggesting that Egyptian officials close to him viewed Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries with disdain. The conversation between Al Sissi who was then minister of defence and two aides, released on Saturday, includes remarks that some Gulf countries were half states, that they had more money than they needed and that Egypt should adopt a strict policy of give-and-take with them. It also includes verbal personal abuse of the Emir of Qatar…………..”

“The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud received a telephone call today from Egyptian President Abdulfattah Al-Sisi. During the conversation, they reviewed bilateral relations between the two sisterly countries as well as the developments of situations at the regional and international arenas. The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques confirmed to the President the stand of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by the side of the government and people of Egypt, and that the Kingdom’s position towards Egypt’s stability and security is firm and never changes, adding that the ties binding the two sisterly countries are an example to be followed in the strategic relations and common cause. He also indicated that the relation between the Kingdom and Egypt is beyond any attempt to disrupt the distinguished and firm relations between them……….”

These Sisi Tapes have gone viral on Arab social media, even as most controlled Gulf GCC and Egyptian media ignore them. Al-Jazeera, being a Qatari network, was quick to publicize and publish the tapes. Among what Generalissimo Al Sisi and his top aides said according to the tapes:

– “these are ‘half-states’, or half-countries”

– “Some of their (GCC) rulers have more money than their countries have”

– “billions to dollars that to them (to the rulers) are like grains of rice, they have so much”.

– “Egypt will ask for payments of $10 billion each from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait”. In addition to deposits at the Egyptian Central Bank.

– “The billions of demanded payments will be deposited in the accounts of the Egyptian army“.

– Sisi said they should be tougher with these countries after “we helped ‘liberate’ them from Iraq”. This is a misconception (actually a lie) that Egyptians keep repeating and now they may believe it. It is true what Sisi and aides mentioned about Syria: that the Syrians who also sent a symbolic brigade were more aggressive in asking for money in 1991. They certainly were. I will have more on this later.

Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Gulf Creative Thinkers and Oligarchs Hail Field Marshal Al Sisi……..

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter   KuwaitCox2

Egyptian official daily Al Ahram quotes a Kuwait newspaper that Generalisimo Field Marshal El Presidente Al Sisi met in Cairo with a delegation of businessmen and “thinkers” from Kuwait.

Now I know we have some “thinkers” back home, but I never knew we had dedicated full-time, 24/7 thinkers who did nothing but think. And what better topic to think of than the greatness of Generalisimo Field Marshal El Presidente Al Sisi?

Mr. A. Al Babtain, a big businessman and president of Al Babtain Institute for “Creativity”, of course led the delegation of businessmen and, er, full-time “thinkers” who like to tag along with businessmen on travels to visit Al Sisi in Egypt.

He, Al the businessman, reportedly did not surprise Generalisimo Field Marshal El Presidente Al Sisi by telling him that the great trust the Egyptian people have shown Generalisimo Field Marshal El Presidente Al Sisi extends to the whole wide wonderful Arab world (although it may not sell in Peoria). That he is universally admired and loved, even if he can’t sing worth a lick. No opinion polls needed, no free and fair elections necessary.

In the spirit of meeting these “thinkers”, Al Sisi must also be thinking something like: “Wow, being president is neat. How else could I get to meet full-time 24/7 Gulf ‘thinkers’ and oligarchs in one meeting“.


Odd, though this Insitute of Creativity. I had thought “thinkers” only thought and never created anything besides thoughts (and maybe a couple of mundane regular everyday things that I should not mention here).

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Hypocrisy and Chutzpah on the Gulf: Sectarian Opposition Tokers of the GCC………

_9OJik4N_normal Sharqeya-Baneen-15    DennyCreek2

Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter   KuwaitCox2

“Bahrain witnessed mass pro-democracy protests against the royal family of King Hamad Al-Khalifa in February 2011 before authorities, backed by neighboring countries, crushed the uprising. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf neighbors sent troops into Bahrain in March, reinforcing a crackdown that led to accusations of serious human rights violations…………….”

The Bahrain uprising of 2011-14 and its suppression continue to create tensions among the GCC countries and around the Gulf region. Initially, only the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and to a lesser extent Qatar joined the Saudis in sending forces to crush the uprising in 2011. Kuwait, given her own recent experience of foreign invasion and occupation, declined that invitation. That has created a certain amount of tension between certain elements within the two countries.

A certain section of the population in Kuwait, mainly but not exclusively the Shi’as, sympathized with the Bahrain uprising, but the so-called main opposition forces sided firmly with the regime and with the Saudi intervention. By the end of 2011 support for regime or opposition in both Bahrain and Syria were firmly largely based on sectarian factors. This is probably not so surprising, given the strong tribal and Wahhabi and sectarian factors at work.

Now a Shi’a member of the Kuwait parliament has drawn the ire of the Bahrain authorities for making critical statements on the social media. The same assembly member was also reported to support the Syrian Al Assad regime even before the Wahhabis took over the Syrian opposition. Which makes him also somewhat hypocritical. He sparred briefly on Twitter with the corpulent foreign minister of Bahrain (another of the Al Khalifa), and this has displeased the Bahrain potentates. So they reportedly complained to the local authorities about this parliamentarian. The local authorities are making the right polite noises about respecting the brotherly and sisterly and neighborly state and by implication its brotherly and sisterly and neighborly little potentates.

So far, so good. Kuwait is one rare Gulf state were political debate and controversy have been usually a guaranteed part of public life since before independence. So far without much sisterly or brotherly or neighborly interference. But another interesting factor has been the position of the Kuwaiti ‘opposition’. What I would call the tribal Islamist Wahhabi-liberal opposition, because these three strains dominate and lead it.
They have been noisily demanding more rights of free speech in front of the world media, right? No, not so fast. Many of their more prominent members have always supported the repression in Bahrain and the absolute Saudi oligarchy. Now they have sprung again on social media to demand that the government crack down on those who criticize these foreign governments. (Some but not all of their influential members are also sympathizers and supporters of such humanitarian groups as Al-Nusra and ISIS and other assorted cutthroats in Iraq and Syria. But that is another issue).

Cheeky monkeys: they want the same government that they complain is stifling their own right of dissent to ban criticism of foreign governments, albeit sisterly and brotherly and neighborly governments. Can it be the tribal factor? Can it be the Wahhabi factor? Can it be the sectarian factor? Can it be all of the above? Yes, it can………….
It could be hypocrisy and chutzpah, probably on both sides, rolled in one joint and smoked with regional prejudice……….
Cheers
MHG

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com