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September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Bahrain’

The Obama Administration’s New 7 Pillars of Middle East ‘Wisdom’

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

See introduction, Obama policy, the second term: “”Second-Term Obama Agenda: Part 1: –  Why U.S. Policy Betrayed the Moderates.” These are the new (hopefully temporary):

White House’s Seven Pillars of Idiocy in the Middle East:

(NAMED AFTER LAWRENCE OF ARABIA’S VERSION)

One:  Other than aid and official government rhetoric, the United States is now neutral on the Israel-Palestinian conflict and, to put it more accurately, tilting toward the Palestinian side.    This does not mean disaster for Israel—and no Israeli official will say so in public–but it is a strategic reality. Part of the dynamic motivating this U.S. policy is that:

–The White House believes it can win over “moderate Islamists” in power as in Egypt, Sudan, Turkey, Tunisia, Bahrain, Iran, and Syria, among other countries. This would form a pro-U.S. bloc against al-Qaida and, secondarily the Iran-Syria bloc. Only al-Qaida cannot be won over; but the White House believes that even the Taliban, the Tehran rulers, Hezbollah, and Hamas might be convinced. (I’m not kidding and can prove it.)

–Rather than mobilize active opposition to Palestinian Authority diplomatic gains in Europe, the UN, the World Court, and international institutions, the Obama Administration is eitherleading exploiting, or bowing to these gains.

–This of course intensifies Western cultural surrender to anti-Israel positions. Here’s an example: The highly prestigious Foyle’s bookstore in London has closed its Israel section. If you know London, you know what an intellectual earthquake that is.

–The United States will not privately pressure or publicly criticize Palestinian Authority policies or statements, but will not hesitate to do so for Israel.   --The Palestinian Authority is not even held responsible for its total inability to deliver half the Palestinian forces, including Hamas and the Gaza Strip. Imagine a White House not thrilled to use the Egyptian coup regime to press and suppress Hamas! Their strategy would be to make a deal: Palestinian concessions to get a state in exchange for the capture of Gaza! Who has even thought of that! Of course the talks will not go anywhere because the Palestinians know that they have a strong hand and they will overplay it. But, the administration’s willingness to punish Israel to win public relations points and shore up the doomed U.S. alignment with Islamists had to be reckoned with.

The problem is by no means regarding U.S.-Israel relations alone, but it is with every Middle Eastern ally and with every potentially pro-U.S democratic opposition movement.

Second pillar: The system the White House seeks to impose on the Middle East appears to be revolutionary Islamism! If many objective Iranian, Turkish, Kurdish, Israeli, and Arab observers see this as self-evident, Islamists themselves view Western policy, however, as a sign of their own victory due to Allah’s backing plus Western fear and weakness.

Consider the bizarre situation in regard to Egypt. The last time, Egypt had to join the enemy  Soviet bloc and wage war on a  U.S. ally to be America’s enemy; now it can do so by joining American goals,  opposing terrorism and working too closely with U.S. allies and goals!  

Third pillar, conservative traditionalists, moderates, and liberals seem to be viewed by the U .S. government as enemies because only Muslim Brotherhood can stop al-Qaida by out-jihading them. Instead of applauding the army coup in Egypt—would that it had happened in Turkey and Tunisia!—the White House opposed it on the belief that the Egyptian masses were the most reactionary advocates of dictatorship and hate Christians, Jews, Shia Muslims, women, gays and of course Americans. That’s partly true but doesn’t mean we should want a the Muslim Brotherhood in power there.

Instead, there is no notion of realpolitik or national interests but this strange foreign policy philosophy. –Surrender is better because it avoids international friction, and especially for conflicts involving America. — The ridiculous notion that sharing power with anti–American radicals will bring internal stability. If you force the army to have a coalition with the Muslim Brotherhood or a predictably unstable two-state solution you will get immunity from civil conflict.

–The idea that betraying allies will make more people want to be allies.

These are the ideas that, remarkably, many pompous statesmen, much prized experts, brilliant academics, and totally ignorant (you’d be amazed how little many know despite their job titles) really believe in.

Bahrain to US: Stop Interference, Don’t Meet with Opposition

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

According to news reports in various Arab media, on Sunday, May 5, the cabinet of the island archipelago nation of Bahrain endorsed a parliamentary proposal to “stop interference by the U.S. envoy into the affairs of the kingdom.”

Bahrain, like most other Arab countries in the Middle East, has been experiencing political unrest, attributable to the wave of political revolution popularly known as the “Arab Spring.”  Minority citizens of this island nation have been clamoring for increased rights, especially the Shi’ite minority in this Sunni-dominated country. The ruling al-Khalifa family has aggressively and brutally responded to the incipient efforts at revolution.

The new legislation aimed at the United States is thought to have been motivated by one or both of two issues.

First, the U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain, Thomas Krajeski, has been meeting with members of the Shi’ite opposition. He meets with many different constituencies.  According to a Reuters report, the Cabinet members instructed the government to stop the U.S. ambassador from engaging in “repeated meetings with those who inspire sedition.”

Second, on April 19, the U.S. State Department issued a report highly critical of Bahrain’s response to its own Cherif Bissioni Commission, an internal commission which lambasted its handling of the Arab Spring uprisings within the country.  The U.S. stated that “the most serious human rights problems included citizens’ inability to change their government peacefully; arrest and detention of protesters on vague charges, in some cases leading to their torture in detention.”

The state department’s human rights report on Bahrain also found that forms of discrimination based on “gender, religion, nationality, and sect persisted, especially against the Shiite population.”

This report angered many Bahrainis.

Bahrain hosts the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, and is among the Persian Gulf countries, such as Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, that receive military equipment from the United States.

Secretary of State John Kerry was in Bahrain on April 30, during a swing through the Middle East. While there, Kerry met with Bahraini Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa.  No public statements were issued, but human rights issues were believed to have been part of the discussions.

The U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture was set to visit Bahrain in April to follow up on the Bissioni Commission report, but the visit was cancelled by the Al-khalifa regime last month.

On Monday, May 6, the U.S. Navy began exercises from its naval base in Bahrain with 41 other nations in the Persian Gulf.  These exercises will include anti-mine drills and search-and-seizure operations.  The U.S. led exercises are intended as a show of cooperation and force in response to an increasing maritime presence by Iran in the Gulf. The exercises are expected to continue until the end of May.

Bahrain is located in the Persian Gulf, with Saudia Arabia just to its west, and Iran 120 miles to its north, across the Gulf.

Bahrain Officially Labels Hezballah a Terrorist Organization

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

The tiny Gulf State of Bahrain on Tuesday, April 9, became the first Arab country to place the Arab terrorist group Hezballah (Party of Allah) on its state designated terrorist list.

It is not that Bahrain is concerned over Hezballah’s decades-long genocidal intentions against Israel. But as a radical Shia sect, Hezballah also plays a destabilizing role in the Arab world. The terrorist group receives financial support, weapons and military training from Iran.

The Lebanese Shiite movement based in Lebanon has allegedly been backing and training radical Shiite groups against Bahrain.  That appeared to be the main reason the group received the terrorism designation.  Although the majority of Bahrainis are Shia, the monarchy is Sunni.

“The measure is to protect Bahrain’s security and stability from Hezballah’s threats,” Bahraini MP Adil al-Asoumi told Al Arabiya. There is evidence that Hezbollah is instigating violence against the government in Bahrain, Asoumi added.

“When we were in Syrian refugee camps in Turkey, we met with defected Syrian soldiers. They told us that in the past years, the Syrian regime was conspiring against the people of Bahrain,” in coordination with Iran and Hezbollah, Abdulhalim Murad, deputy head of Bahrain’s Islamist al-Asala bloc said, according to Al Arabiya.

The United States, Canada and Israel have all had Hezballah on terrorism-designated lists for some time.  Such a designation means that the bank accounts of the organization can be frozen, and suspected members can be legally monitored.

During the Mubarak regime, Egypt considered Hezballah a terrorist organization, but in late December of last year the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Egyptian government announced it would pursue a “tight relationship” with the terrorist group.

An investigation into the deadly bombing in Burgas, Bulgaria last July, revealed that Hezballah was behind the violence that killed 5 Israelis and a Bulgarian bus driver.

In the wake of the Burgas bombing, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barrosso said the European Union would consider including Hezballah on its list of terrorist organizations.  The Israeli government and Shurat HaDin (the Israeli Law Center) had each attempted to convince the EU to make that designation.

However, on March 7, the EU announced it would not make the change, claiming it “did not yet have sufficient evidence of its activity in Europe” to place Hezballah on the EU terrorist organization list.  Presently, Holland is the only European country to officially sanction Hezballah as a terrorist entity.

Were the EU to follow suit behind the U.S., Canada, Holland and Bahrain, and place the terrorist organization on its list of official terrorist groups, it would likely have a serious impact on Hezballah’s financial footing, and therefore its ability to continue its global terrorism operations.

 

Dr. Mordechai Kedar: Iran’s Culture of Deception Marks its Policies

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Since the dawn of Islamic history, the conflict between the Shi’a and the Sunna has been the axis around which public and political conduct in both sides has turned . The Shi’a challenged the legitimacy of the rule of the Sunni Caliphs, and in places under Shi’a control the Sunnis challenged their right to rule. The struggle was for “the whole jackpot” and when the government seized a person and suspected that he belonged to the other side, his fate was usually death.

Over the years the Sunna and the Shi’a developed different religious systems: the Shi’ite Qur’an includes two chapters which establish the Shi’ite claim to rule, while the Sunnis claim that these chapters are a forgery. The Hadith (the oral tradition that describes the words of Muhammad and how he related to various matters) of the Shi’a side glorifies and elevates Ali bin Abi Talib, the founder of Shi’a, and his right as well as that of his descendants to rule, while the Sunni Hadith represents the Shi’a in a totally negative light. The Shi’a and the Sunna differ from each other in theology, religious law, in the names of men and women, in the calendar, in traditions and customs, etc. The differences are so marked that there are many Sunnis who see Shi’a as a sort of heresy, and the Shi’ites see the Sunnis in a similar light.

Due to the political conflict and religious differences, it was very dangerous for a Shi’ite to live in a Sunni environment, and therefore in order to survive, Shi’a permitted its faithful to engage in taqiyya- concealment in order to survive – one of whose components is khud’a - deception. According to the principles of taqiyya, a Shi’a is permitted to pretend to be a Sunni, to pray like a Sunni, and to act in accordance with the Sunni calendar, as long as in his heart he continues wilaya - fidelity to Shi’a and its leaders.

Thus the Shi’ites became accustomed over the generations to pretense, deception, lying, and among many of them this phenomenon has become almost innate. They learn it from their parents, from the environment and from their social tradition. Lying does not affect the physiology among many Shi’ites and as a result, police departments in many parts of the world know that it is very difficult to detect a lie among Shi’ites by using a polygraph.

Political Ramifications

The culture of Shi’ite deception has been evident in recent years in a concrete way. The first Iranian emissaries who came to Lebanon in 1980, approximately one year after the Iranian Revolution, were represented as educators, teachers and counselors whose mission was cultural and religious only, and therefore the government of Lebanon agreed to their presence and their activities.

Today, looking back, it is clear that this was when the Revolutionary Guard – an actual army – began penetrating into Lebanon, taking control of the Bekaa Valley and establishing training bases where the military strength of Hizb’Allah, a party that has a militia with tens of thousands of missiles, was consolidated. Today there are many in Lebanon who regret that they fell into the trap of Iranian deception.

The most obvious political consequence of the Shi’ite culture of deception is the convoluted and devious manner in which Iran has been conducting contacts with the West regarding the nuclear plan for almost twenty years. The Iranians have violated every commitment that they have undertaken, including their commitment to the I.A.E.A.

They removed all signs of illegal activity, lately they cleared away the remnants of experiments that they conducted in military bases in Parchin, and they still do not permit the U.N. inspectors to visit these bases. The long and complicated negotiations that the Iranians have been conducting with the West have one specific goal – to gain time in order to progress in their military nuclear program. Today this is clear, and Europeans and Americans who have pinned their hopes on negotiations with the Iranians now admit that they have fallen victims to the ongoing Iranian deception.

The Lie Will be Exposed in the End

Recently the conference of the Non-Aligned Movement was held in Teheran. This gathering in Iran of leaders from dozens of states was intended to portray Iran as a well-liked and accepted state and an inseparable part of a large and important group of states, contrary to the image of the “pariah state” that it has in the West. Photographs of the embraces, kisses and handshakes of Ahmadinejad with the leaders of states who came in pilgrimage to him are intended to portray him as an accepted and popular leader, both to the Iranian public and to the Western observer.

Egyptian Clerics: Take Down the Heathen Pyramids

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Frontpagemag.com cites several reports in the Arabic media, that prominent Muslim clerics have begun to call for the demolition of Egypt’s Great Pyramids, or, as Saudi Sheikh Ali bin Said al-Rabi‘I put it, those “symbols of paganism,” which Egypt’s Salafi party has long been planning to cover with wax.

According to Frontpagemag.com, Bahrain’s “Sheikh of Sunni Sheikhs” and the president of National Unity, Abd al-Latif al-Mahmoud, have urged Egypt’s President Muhammad Morsi to “destroy the Pyramids and accomplish what the Sahabi Amr bin al-As could not.”

`Amr ibn al-`As was an Arab military commander who is most noted for leading the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 640. A contemporary of Muhammad, and one of his companions, who rose quickly through the Muslim hierarchy following his conversion to Islam. He founded the Egyptian capital of Fustat, and built the Mosque of Amr ibn al-As at its center—the first mosque in Africa. Under his rule, many Egyptian antiquities were destroyed as relics of infidelity.

Now, argues Bahrain’s “Sheikh of Sunni Sheikhs,” thanks to modern technology, the pyramids can be destroyed. The only question is, he says, is whether the Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt is “pious” enough to finish the job.

Mordechai Kedar: Engulfed by Fear

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

The Persian Gulf suffers from severe geo-political disproportionality: on its eastern shore lies one large state, Iran, which operates methodically and consistently to implement its agenda, the goal of which is regional – if not wider – hegemony; while on its western shore lie no less than twelve Arab states: Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and the seven states of the United Emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharqah, and Umm al-Quwain. Each state has its own story: a family that dominates the leadership, a unique character, its own internal problems, and its own individual agenda, which differs from state to state. As long as Iraq was under the control of Saddam, it was a counterweight to Iran, and the states of the Gulf took shelter in the shadow of Iraq. They also paid protection money to Iraq in the form of partial funding of the Iraqi military efforts during the years of the war against Iran between 1980 and 1988. Since their establishment, the ultimate goal of the Gulf states was to survive among the giants, Iraq and Iran, and the Emirates kept their distance from Saudi Arabia. Recently the Iranian titan took control of the Iraqi titan.

The states of the Arabian Peninsula have been trying for years to create a mechanism that would result in a united agenda, mainly from a security point of view, and in light of the war between Iran and Iraq, they created the “Gulf Cooperation Council” (GCC) in May 1981. The main achievement of this Council was the establishment of a military force by the name of the “Peninsula Shield Force”, whose role is to defend its members from external attack. However, the Force was too weak and therefore unable to rescue Kuwait in 1990 from the Iraqi invasion. The most successful action of the Force was in March of 2011, when they became involved in the internal struggle in Bahrain to stabilize the minority Arab-Sunni rule over the majority Persian-Shi’ite population, which was rebelling against the regime under the influence of the “Arab Spring” and with the encouragement of Iran.

Since the regime of Saddam was overthrown in the year 2003, and since Iran has succeeded during the last year to bring Iraq into its sphere of influence, the Gulf states feel that the Iranian steamroller is approaching nearer and nearer to them, and the guillotine of the Ayatollahs is threatening the connection between the heads and shoulders of the sheikhs, princes and kings who live in the Arabian Peninsula. The states of the Peninsula feel that they are increasingly dependent on the United States and the West to guard their independence and their political and economic maneuverability, but the West seems tired and exhausted now, as a result of their failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, and its leadership – especially the current resident in the White House, who is heavily influenced by the approaching elections – lacks backbone and has no ability to stop the Iranians from galloping towards regional hegemony. The Gulf states know that if Iran invades Kuwait and conquers it, as Saddam did in August of 1990, the world will not send its armies to rescue Kuwait again, but will sacrifice it on the Iranian altar in hopes that the Ayatollahs will be satisfied with that. And any other country can expect the same treatment.

The inherent split among the states of the Arabian Peninsula has been exacerbated recently by the internal problems that are tearing Yemen from within: the conflict between the North and the South awakens the desire among the tribes of South Yemen to renew the independence that they lost 22 years ago, in the never-ending war between the Sana’a regime and the Hawthi’s in the district of Sa’da in the North and the activities of Al-Qaeda (and especially egregious was the terror attack that caused about a hundred fatalities among the soldiers of the army) against the central regime, weakening the domestic front of this state and threatening its integrity.

As a result, the geo-political situation in the Gulf in the recent period is that of total inequality: On one side is one unified state with a clear goal, possessing great power, and a willingness to use it without regard for the international community; and on the other side are 13 states – including Yemen – with various competing concerns, and with complex internal conflicts. In some of these states, large Shi’ite minorities exist which serve as effective Iranian-Shiite “Trojan Horse” within Arab-Sunni states. Adding to this already problematic situation is the complex history in the region: The Iranian takeover of three islands that belong to the Emirates back in the days of the Shah, but continues to be a focus of tension; the visit of Ahmadinejad to one of these islands about two months ago as a sign of Iranian sovereignty over them; Iranian naval maneuvers to close off the Strait of Hormuz; Iranian talk about the historical connection between Iran and Bahrain, which has a Persian-Shi’ite majority, and Iranian talk about the obligation of Bahrain to return to the Iranian bosom; Iranian complaints to Saudi Arabia about how it relates to its Shi’ite minority that resides in the area of the oil fields; and the provocative behavior of Iranians who make the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, arousing sectarian tension among the Sunnis.

Ron Prosor to UN Security Council on Eve of Yom Hazikaron: ‘Proud of My Extraordinary Nation’

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

In a sharply-worded and wide-ranging speech before the UN Security Council on Monday, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor said that the time has come “to sweep out the cobwebs of old illusions – and plant the seeds for a truly ‘open’ debate on the Middle East.”

Speaking at the ‘Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East,’ Prosor began by taking the UN body to task for losing ” any sense of proportion. Thousands are being killed in Syria, hundreds in Yemen, dozens in Iraq — and yet, this debate again repeatedly is focusing on the legitimate actions of the government of the only democracy in the Middle East.”

Still, he wanted to use opportunity to “address just a few of the myths that have become a permanent hindrance” to the discussion. Myths that “[i]n the barren deserts of the Middle East…find fertile ground to grow wild. Facts often remain buried in the sand. The myths forged in our region travel abroad – and can surprisingly find their way into these halls.”

He started by addressing the myth of ‘linkage’: that if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved, than so will all the other conflicts in the region. “The truth is that conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Bahrain, and many other parts of the Middle East have absolutely nothing to do with Israel.” Resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he added, “won’t stop the persecution of minorities across the region, end the subjugation of women, or heal the sectarian divides. Obsessing over Israel has not stopped Assad’s tanks from flattening entire communities…has not stopped the Iranian regime’s centrifuges from spinning.”

He then moved on to the myth of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, quoting the Deputy Head of the Red Cross Office in the area to dispute it as an outright falsehood. “There is not a single civilian good that cannot enter Gaza today,” Prosor said. “Yet, as aid flows into the area, missiles fly out. This is the crisis in Gaza.” Yet, he said, “The Security Council has not condemned a single rocket attack from Gaza.

“History’s lessons are clear,” he warned ominously, “today’s silence is tomorrow’s tragedy.”

Prosor then addressed the myth that has purportedly kept the Palestinians from the negotiating table – that settlements are the main obstacle to peace. He refuted this by citing Gaza, where all Israeli settlements had been uprooted, but which has become an anti-Israel terrorist mini-state. He then went on the attack, saying that the real obstacle to peace was the Palestinian ‘claim of return’, which is tantamount to denying Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. “You will never hear Palestinian leaders say ‘two states for two peoples’…the Palestinian leadership has never, ever said publicly that they will give up the so-called ‘claim of return’ – neither to the Palestinian people, nor to the Arab World, nor to the international community, or to anyone else.”

As to the myth being perpetuated in the Islamic Middle East that Israel is “judaizing Jerusalem”, he said that “[t]hese accusations come about 3,000 years too late. It’s like accusing the NBA of Americanizing basketball.”

True to Deputy Foreign Minister’s Danny Ayalon’s new stated policy, Prosor devoted some time to the issue of Jewish refugees:

“In all of the pages that the UN has written about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, in all of its reports and fact-finding commissions, and in all of the hours dedicated to debate about the Middle East, there is one great untold story. Or – to be more specific – there are more than 850,000 untold stories….

The pages that the UN has written about the Palestinian refugees could fill up soccer stadiums, but not a drop of ink has been spilled about the Jewish refugees. Out of over 1088 UN resolutions on the Middle East, you will not find a single syllable regarding the displacement of Jewish refugees. There have been more than 172 resolutions exclusively devoted to Palestinian refugees, but not one dedicated to Jewish refugees. The Palestinian refugees have their own UN agency, their own information program, and their own department within the United Nations. None exist for the Jewish refugees. The word ‘double-standard’ does not even begin to describe this gap….The time has come for the UN to end its complicity in trying to erase the stories of 850,000 people from history.”

He dismissed out of hand the final myth – “that peace can somehow be achieved between Israelis and Palestinians by bypassing direct negotiations,” saying that “History has shown that peace and negotiations are inseparable.”

Calling attention to the upcoming Yom HaZikaron and Yom Haatzma’ut holidays in Israel, he said, “We intentionally commemorate these two days one after another. As the Israeli people celebrate our independence, we carry the heavy weight of great suffering and sacrifice.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/ron-prosor-to-un-security-council-on-eve-of-yom-hazikaron-proud-of-my-extraordinary-nation/2012/04/24/

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