Thursday, October 27, 2011

More on the Middle East!

Bahrain: Nailing the Lie in Washington’s Rhetoric on "The Arab Spring"
By Finian Cunningham
Global Research, November 10, 2011
US ally Bahrain continued its crackdown against popular calls for democratic rights with the illegal arrest and detention this week of prominent journalist and commentator Jaffar Al Alawy.
To date, nearly 100 journalists, poets, bloggers and media figures have been targeted for detention by the Persian Gulf oil kingdom since pro-democracy protests erupted there last February, according to the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights.
The detainees have claimed gross ill-treatment and torture while in custody – independently verified by several international human rights groups. Two respected media figures, Zakariya Al Aushayri and Karim Fakhrawi, have died during detention, their bodies showing undeniable signs of brutality.
In the latest arrest, Al Alawy was hauled into prison after security forces smashed their way into his home without a warrant. Well-known for his radio and television appearances, he is also a published poet, who has been mildly critical of the US-backed Al Khalifa regime.
Ironically, the arrest of Al Alawy followed only hours after US secretary of state Hillary Clinton claimed in a major speech in Washington that the Bahraini government “has recognized the need for dialogue, reconciliation, and concrete reforms. And they have committed to provide access to human rights groups, to allow peaceful protest”.
The detention and torture of nearly 100 media figures in Bahrain is hardly a sign of “allowing peaceful protest”.
Clinton’s speech on US policy and the Arab Spring was spellbinding in its hypocrisy and sophistry. She glorified the US-backed illegal war to overthrow Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and denounced Syria for its “brutal” crackdown on protests. Syrian President Bashar Al Asad, warned Clinton, “must step down; and until he does, America and the international community will continue to increase pressure on him and his brutal regime”.
There were no such bristling sanctions for Washington’s ally in Bahrain, where the US Fifth Fleet is based. Indeed, the US government recently signed a military arms deal worth $53 million with the Al Khalifa monarchy.
Yet on many counts, Bahrain’s human rights violations put it way out in front for urgent international sanctions against its rulers. In Syria, the death toll from violence is estimated at 3,500. But perhaps a third of this total are casualties among the state forces which are combating in some cases an armed insurrection supplied by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel (with obviously US oversight).
By contrast in Bahrain, protesters are unarmed and have invariably conducted peaceful demonstrations of civic disobedience. Proportionate to their populations, Bahrain’s death toll of civilians is easily comparable to that of Syria’s. Furthermore, the persecution of dissenting public voices is equivalent to 3,660 journalists being detained; the figure for the detention of all protesters since February rising to 55,000.
Among those hauled into Bahraini prisons, tortured and sentenced are doctors and nurses who did nothing more than treat civilians injured by American-equipped and Saudi-backed state forces. The proportionate figure for these medics subjected to crimes against humanity amounts to over 3,300. On so many measures therefore, Bahrain is a clear case of outrageous human rights violations and atrocities that deserves urgent international intervention. But Washington is not only tolerating these crimes, it is actively supporting them while doing its rhetorical best to conceal.
The British and Canadian governments are also complicit in this US hypocrisy and twisted manipulation of international law. The former is another major supplier of military weapons that can have no other purpose than internal repression; meanwhile Ottawa maintains a stoic silence over the illegal detention, torture and sentencing of Canadian citizen Naser Al Raas. Al Raas was arrested while trying to leave Bahrain after visiting his family and fiancée during March.
He was tortured during illegal detention in the notorious Ministry of Interior headquarters in the capital, Manama. Al Raas told Global Research that he believes the reason why he is now facing a five-year sentence for allegedly participating in “illegal public protests” was because he happened to be held in a cell adjacent to the journalist Karim Kakhrawi. During the 12 days that Fakhrawi was tortured to death, Al Raas heard the screams from his companion prisoner, whose identity he later found out. And he can recall the horrible moment when the screams suddenly stopped. For this reason, Al Raas believes the Bahraini regime wants to suppress his potential testimony to a damning state killing.
Helping the Bahraini regime do its dirty work are the governments of the US, Britain and Canada, which otherwise take every opportunity to moralise, sanction and militarily attack any state that they happen to disprove of.
In her speech at the National Democratic Institute in Washington, Clinton said: “Americans believe that the desire for dignity and self-determination is universal—and we do try to act on that belief around the world. Americans have fought and died for these ideals. And when freedom gains ground anywhere, Americans are inspired.”
In fending off criticism of “inconsistent” US policy on the Arab Spring, Clinton let the cat out of the bag when she referred to “close allies” Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and the need to “a secure supply of energy”. She added pointedly: “There will be times when not all our interests align... that is just reality.”
Other realities could be mentioned for why the US and its allies are participating in arresting and torturing citizens calling for democracy in Bahrain – such as the fear that the long-overdue franchise for the Shia majority in the Persian Gulf state would boost Iran’s regional role and give the Islamic Republic a degree of respite from Washington’s recently cranked-up campaign to lynch the government in Tehran.
But the bottom-line and truly remarkable reality that Clinton did not mention – which Bahrain clearly demonstrates – is this: Washington stands implacably against democratic progress in the Middle East. Its highly selective invocation of democratic rights and freedoms is nothing but a cynical, self-serving lie.
Finian Cunningham is Global Research’s Middle East and East Africa correspondent:
The Left’s Worst Crime in the Middle East
The left's worst crime in the Middle East is its craven love for tyranny, for grand empires built on race and religion
Daniel Greenfield
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
The left’s worst crime in the Middle East has been its support for the region’s Arab-Muslim majority at the expense of its minorities. It has supported the majority’s terrorism, atrocities, ethnic cleansing and repression of the region’s minorities. Very rarely has it raised a voice in their support, and when it has done so, it was in muted tones completely different from their vigorous defenses of the nationalism of the Arab Muslim majority.
The left is obsessed with the Arab Spring, which rewards the ambitions of Arabist and Islamist activists at the expense of Coptic, African and other minorities. It is dementedly fixated on statehood for the Arab Muslims of Israel, (better known by their local
Palestinian brand), but has little to say about the Kurds in Turkey or the Azeri in Iran. The million Jewish refugees and the vanishing Christians of the region never come up in conversation. They certainly don’t get their own protest rallies or flotillas.
The Africans of Sudan could have used a flotilla, or an entire UN organization dedicated to their welfare, which the Arab Muslims who had failed to wipe out the region’s Jewish minority are the beneficiaries of. But they had to make do with third tier aid.
Unlike the Arab nationalists and Islamists of Libya, the French, English and American air force did not come to their rescue. It came to the rescue of the Libyans who showed their gratitude in the time honored way of the Arab majority by massacring the African minority. All under the beaming smiles of the selective humanitarians of the left. But what’s a little genocide between friends?
The left embraced Pan-Arabism, a race based nationalism, in line with the Soviet Union’s expansionist foreign policy
The left embraced Pan-Arabism, a race based nationalism, in line with the Soviet Union’s expansionist foreign policy. Pan-Arabism’s socialism made it easy for the left to ignore its overt racism along with the admiration of many of its leading lights for Nazi Germany. The same left which refused to see the Gulags and the ethnic cleansing under the red flag, turned an equally blind eye to the contradiction of condemning Zionism for its ethnic basis, while supporting Pan-Arabism, which was ethnically based.
Under Zionism, Israel retained a sizable Arab minority. The Pan-Arabists however drove their Jews out with mob violence, political repression, prisons and public executions
Under Zionism, Israel retained a sizable Arab minority. The Pan-Arabists however drove their Jews out with mob violence, political repression, prisons and public executions. The left’s criticisms of Zionism are rendered moot by their own support for Pan-Arabism, and their own longstanding hostility to Jewish national identity, insisting that socialism demands that Jews assimilate into the dominant race, whether in Russia or Western Europe. In the Middle East and North Africa, Arabization has led to repression of non-Arab minorities and the destruction of other cultures through the insistence on unity through race.
As the sun of Pan-Arabism sets, the left has turned its attention to Pan-Islamism with equal enthusiasm. While Pan-Arabism allowed Christian Arabs some representation, Pan-Islamism excludes based on religion. Having endorsed a racial tyranny, the left has fallen so low that it now champions majority theocracies.
The left’s fledgling support for Kurdish nationalism has faded as Turkey has gone from a secular ally of the Western powers, to an Islamist tyranny dreaming of empire. This perverse twist of affairs has the left abandoning the national struggles of an oppressed people when their rulers align themselves more closely with the bigoted regional majority.
The War on Iraq, which the left hated, removed a tyrant aligned with the region’s Sunni majority and the Libyan campaign, which the left supported, removed a tyrant who had deviated too far from the positions of that majority. So too in Egypt, where Mubarak’s excessive tolerance for minorities, led the left to endorse the Pan-Arabist and Pan-Islamist calls for his overthrow. And in Tunisia, where a government tolerant of minorities has been replaced by the Islamists.
The left rises in support of racial and theocratic rule
The pattern repeats itself over and over again as the left rises in support of racial and theocratic rule. And for all the left’s critiques of American and European foreign policy, its own foreign policy which endorses racial and theocratic rule and works to bring it about is a true crime and blot on the region.
It is no coincidence that the one country in the region that the left hates above all else, is neither Arab nor Muslim. Just as it is no coincidence that the Arab Spring replaces regimes tolerant of minorities with Islamists and Arabists. The left’s true regional agenda is the racist agenda of its Arab members. The Arab Socialists and the Islamists who have defined its regional positions have turned the left into a vehicle for their racial and theocratic agendas.
It is the left which is racist. It is the left which backs theocracies and always supports the majority’s oppression of the minority
For the left to shout racism when American troops empower the Kurds in Iraq, or when Israeli soldiers stand watch over tiny strips of land where the region’s oldest and most frequently oppressed minority finds shelter is the height of hypocrisy. It is the left which is racist. It is the left which backs theocracies and always supports the majority’s oppression of the minority.
The idiots in their Keffiyahs eager to give everyone a lesson on the Middle East think the Assyrians vanished in ancient times, have no idea who the Circassians are, or the Arab Gypsies, think the Zoroastrians are a traveling circus, and couldn’t begin to tell you anything about the Druze, the Bahai or the Ahmadis—except that American foreign policy or Israel are probably to blame.
In the meantime they proudly wear a garment associated with the Pan-Arabists and their rejection of Turkish reforms—while stupidly believing that it’s all-purpose garments of revolution. But why should they care that they’re endorsing a romanticized neo-feudalism that led to mass murder and the rise of a theocratic reactionary movement disguised as nationalism. Or that these movements have inevitably led to the repression of minorities and the ethnic cleansing and attempted genocide of the region’s native inhabitants by their Arab Muslim conquerors.
The left relies on the intellectual laziness of its followers not to notice that the nationalism they support is the nationalism of medieval conquerors and the resurgence of their colonial descendants. The only two nations with any historical roots in the region are Israel and Persia. In North Africa, where the Arab Spring has burned fiercest, the left is cheering the resurgence of an Arab Pretoria, racist regimes turning into even more racist theocracies run by the great-great-grands of the men who invaded the region and destroyed much of its history and culture.
The Arab Spring, with its purges of Coptic Christians and Africans, its outpouring of hostility toward Jews, is as perverse as if the left had suddenly decided that Africa needed proper Boer rule. It’s the senseless behavior of racist idiots and totalitarian hypocrites who think that if they call you a “racist” first then they win the argument.
The left has endorsed Arab and Islamic rule over the Middle East, which means that it is in absolutely no position to criticize anyone or anything. It will talk your ear off about Gaza or Fallujah, but it won’t have anything to say about Turkish chemical weapons raids into Kurdish areas of Iraq. The tens of thousands of political prisoners in Turkish jails, some there for no other crime than the use of the Kurdish language, don’t exist for the left. Erdogan’s casual threat to ethnically cleanse the Armenians again doesn’t stir their interest.
It is no secret that the left is totalitarian and that it is attracted to totalitarian movements. But few have been willing to say it openly and clearly when it comes to its politics in the Middle East.
The left’s worst crime in the Middle East is its craven love for tyranny, for grand empires built on race and religion
The left picked Pan-Islamists over secularists in Iran and Turkey. It picked racialist fascists in Egypt, Iraq and Syria—and their local Palestinian militias. It backed Islamist and Arabist revolts again in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. And after backing every totalitarian majoritarian regime that wasn’t too closely aligned to the United States—their one great enemy is the region’s only democratic state.
The left’s worst crime in the Middle East is its craven love for tyranny, for grand empires built on race and religion, over the national and political rights of the minority. These Apartheid states are all they care about. Their greatest effort has been set not on resolving the stateless problems of the Kurdish minority, on the national borders of Armenia or ending the Turkish occupation and settlement of Cyprus—but on adding yet another Arab-Muslim state to the region.
Palestine, the cynical project of Pan-Arabist and Pan-Islamist thugs, is the great obsession of the left. Because if there’s one thing that the Middle East doesn’t have enough of, it’s totalitarian regimes built on Arab and Islamist identity. And the one thing it has too much of is democratic state with a non-Arab and non-Muslim minority. And that one thing is what they are committed to destroying.
Israel and the Jews
By Dr. Laurie Roth
September 30, 2011
One of the largest and most deadly international conspiracies of our time is the presentation and promotion of the ‘big bad wolf’ Israel and the ‘poor little victims’ Palestine and Islam. The last few weeks we have seen the Arab league, representing radical Islam, Hamas and Fatah, both with radical and terrorist pasts, pushing for the creation of a Palestinian state. Hamas and Fatah along with the Arab league want to seize more land from Israel, including East Jerusalem.
Hamas and Fatah say in their charters and Government structure that Israel doesn’t have the right to exist along side them and calls for the death of the Jews and destruction of Israel. Even with this vicious, anti Semitic and unequal playing field, the UN, international community, Hillary and Obama demand a Palestinian state. This is like a bunch of 13 year old rape victims working out a peaceful settlement with serial killer Ted Bundy.
Now, even though there was a small reprieve and Obama didn’t give the UN the vote for a Palestinian state, (obviously, a desperate strategy to win back the liberal Jewish vote he is losing) Hillary is pushing hard behind the scenes condemning the building of homes in east Jerusalem. Representing anti Semitic Obama and herself, they are expressing disappointment over the settlements, which they say increase tensions between Palestine and Israel. Even the lying choice of their words is most revealing. Israelis are building ‘settlements’ not
‘neighborhoods’ on their own sovereign land.
Thank God Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has found the continued courage to confront the UN, Hillary and the rest of the world with the truth. Building settlements in Gilo is not a remote outpost or settlement. It is a neighborhood in the very heart of Jerusalem, 5 minutes drive from the center of town.
Palestinians have claimed for ages that Jerusalem is their capital and they want the West Bank obtained by Israel in the 1967 war. The truth is far more deadly. Islamic radicals that control Palestine and the surrounding Arab countries want only one thing, the death of the Jews and destruction of Israel.
How much more must Israel give away? They already live on a land area the size of a postage stamp compared to all the Arab/Islamic countries surrounding them. The bottom line is that all the countries surrounding Israel, including the wanna be country, Palestine, hate the Jews and preach jihad and death to them in all their mosques and schools.
Other than the ‘boring already’ hatred of the Islamic nations wanting to destroy the Jews, there is something else I can’t help but notice as well. Israel and the Jews started with little or nothing in 1948, many families were still healing from the Holocaust of WWII. Yet, even with their humble beginning, they have turned their country into one of the wealthiest and most productive countries in the world. Their military might, inventions and continued achievements amaze the world.
Can we say……a sea of endless anti Semitism and jealousy perhaps?
The UN is being used as nothing but an extension arm of the nazi party. They want international controls, hiding behind the environment, health and rights, while promoting nothing but controls, anti Semitism and sharia law.
It is high time the U.S. stop wasting the billions we waste on the UN and support our best alley in the Middle East again, Israel. It is time in 2012 to vote out this anti Semitic, Islamic President out of the White House and vote in a real patriot and friend of the country and our alleys.
The Importance of the Middle East
By Gwynne Dyer
26 October 2010
The media in the Middle East carry a lot of Middle Eastern stories, of course, but why do most of the other media in the world do the same? Asian media strike a better balance, but Western media, and any other media that basically follow the American news agenda, focus obsessively on the region. Between a third and a half of all foreign news stories in the Western print and broadcast media are usually about the Middle East.
Like fish that never notice the medium they swim in, people tend not to remark upon this familiar aspect of their media environment. I didn’t really become aware of it myself until I flew into Canada a few years ago, got a copy of the Globe and Mail, “Canada’s National Newspaper,” and found that every single story on the two pages of foreign news it offers was about the Middle East.
Eight or nine stories, about Iran and Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine, oil and refugees and Iraq. Canada has troops in Afghanistan, so maybe that one is understandable, but there was no big war on, no vast crisis, just business as usual. Yet all the stories that might have been there about Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia had been crowded out by Middle Eastern stories. I doubt that anybody at the paper even noticed how weird that was.
This is a phenomenon that cries out for an explanation, and it’s not easy to find a credible one. It’s certainly not oil, which is the lazy explanation. Oil is quite important in the global economy, and the Middle East has a large share of the market and an even bigger share of the reserves. But it’s been 37 years since the oil-rich Arab states once refused to sell their oil, and they couldn’t do that again.
Not WOULDN’T; it’s not a question of trust. COULDN’T, because it would cause far too much disruption in their own economies. The 1973 oil embargo took place at a time when most of the major Arab oil-exporting countries had populations two or three times smaller than they are now, and when their people did not live in full-fledged consumer societies.
It’s different now. The cash flow from oil exports pays not just for imported cars and plasma-screen TVs, but for the very food that the local people eat: most Arab oil-exporting states import half or more of the food they consume. They also have huge investments in the Western economies that an oil embargo would hurt. Another oil embargo isn’t going to happen, and stories about oil belong on the business pages.
Well, then, how about the fact that the United States has invaded two Middle Eastern countries in the past ten years, and still has troops in both of them? Does that explain the obsessive focus on the Middle East?
No, because the obsession was there before the invasions. In fact, the causation is probably the other way round: the exaggerated importance with which Americans already viewed the Middle East was almost certainly a contributory factor in the Bush administration’s decisions to invade Afghanistan and Iraq.
The main factor in the Afghan decision, of course, was the foolish belief that invading Afghanistan would somehow help to suppress anti-American terrorism rather than stimulate more of it. Almost nobody in Washington seemed aware that they were falling into a trap laid for them by Osama bin Laden. The invasion of Iraq had more complex and even less rational motives, but was equally driven by the mistaken belief that this was a very important place.
The greater Middle East contains about ten percent of the world’s population. The Arab world at its heart is only five percent. The whole region accounts for only three percent of the global economy, and produces almost nothing of interest to the rest of the world except oil. So why does it dominate the international news agenda?
The Europeans play a role in this, because the media in the former imperial powers take a greater interest in their former colonies than in other countries of equal importance. But the American media really set the agenda, and their fascination with the Middle East requires a different explanation.
A large part of it is driven by the deep emotional investment in Israel that many Americans have. Israel is not viewed as just another foreign country, to be weighed by its strategic and economic importance. It is seen as a special place, almost an American protectorate, and its foreign policy agenda (which is all about the Middle East) largely sets the US media agenda.
The other big factor is the lasting American obsession with Iran, which is as great as the obsession with Cuba. Both countries have successfully defied the United States, and that has been neither forgiven nor forgotten.
Combine the love for Israel and the hatred of Iran, and you have an explanation for the American media’s obsession with the entire Middle Eastern region. Most media elsewhere, especially in the West, just follow suit. It’s a huge distortion that leads to the neglect of much important news about the rest of the world, but at least the Middle East gives good value for money. The news it generates is unfailingly interesting.