Thursday, June 30, 2011

A rivalry between the US and its colony Saudi Arabia?


U.S.-Saudi rivalry intensifies
The quest for greater influence includes a tug of war over Jordan, just one example of the contest between the longtime allies split over the democracy uprisings sweeping the region.

Senior U.S. diplomats have been dropping by the royal palace in Amman almost every week this spring to convince Jordanian King Abdullah II that democratic reform is the best way to quell the protests against his rule.

But another powerful ally also has been lobbying Abdullah — and wants him to ignore the Americans.
Not much needs to be said about this, no more than that if Saudi Arabia was to pursue a foreign policy independent of US influence, it would do a lot more to harm US commitments in the region than supposedly ask another pro-US dictator not to make reforms.

Saudi Arabia's clumsy public relations apparatus is really pushing the story hard that there is some kind of friction between the United States and the US' most loyal colony. It is a little pathetic to watch.

Abbas moving forward with meaningless gesture in September


Abbas is really in a stalemate. The US has blocked forming a unity government with Hamas that could allow elections that Abbas could lose and retire. My guess is that would be Abbas' preference. The US blocked that though by threatening to cut US payments to the Palestinians. It blocked it because the US does not want there to be a dynamic political process in Palestine preferring instead for predictable uninspired leadership from its chosen leaders.

When a new Egypt emerges, we will see how it handles Gaza and the Palestinians. It is impossible to predict specific policies yet but it can have a huge impact there.

Until then, Abbas' objective is to seem as if he is being active while not being active.

The entire purpose of the peace process is to reconcile the fact that the United States does not think of itself as a colonial power with the fact that the United States is holding over 100 million Arabs in a US/Zionist colonial structure. How it works is that as long as there is a peace process, Americans tell themselves that the colonial dictatorships of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Kuwait and others are a temporary situation that will be resolved as soon as Israel and the Palestinians agree to a two state solution.

Valid Arab observations that during this supposed peace process, Israel has been expanding its control of the occupied territory and making it more to build a non-laughable Palestinian territory in the rest led the US to request that Israel stop expanding its occupation.

Israel's leadership, especially the right-wing of its political system does not have to lie. Israel is perfectly comfortable with the United States paying to constrain hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims in Israel's region indefinitely. Preferably forever. Israel never had an incentive to make any concessions just so US policymakers could continue with their fantasy that a resolution is imminent that will not require the current trillion dollar expenditures on Israel's behalf.

And that's where we are. Israel's leaders have said to the US: "Oh well. I guess you're going to have to subordinate the region for us forever."

US leaders do not have a response. The region is in a stalemate that will eventually be broken by countries in the region leaving the US/Zionist colonial structure. Egypt really may exit this year. Saudi Arabia would hopefully follow afterwards. Once the US/Zionist colonial structure collapses, Israel will no longer be viable and will negotiate a relatively graceful end to Zionism as we saw in Apartheid's end.

Until that time Abbas will be pretending to make progress without anything changing. More for the US than for anyone else. I've read that Barack Obama is clever regarding topics he cares about, which do not include foreign policy. On foreign policy he is happy to take whatever advice is offered that will not interfere with his domestic priorities.

When he said "sometimes our short term interests will not perfectly align with our long term vision", he left out that his short term interests are his long term vision. But he may really not realize this.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Turkey's border with Syria stabilizing while Turkey's internal political contest moves forward


I believe Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan is the most talented active politician in the world today. Which means that because he is from a medium sized country, I expect him to consistently outclass his opposition. I also do not expect him to make major foreign policy blunders. I feel like recent news confirms my expectations.

Erdogan wants to further amend Turkey's constitution to affirm civilian ascendency over the military that originally wrote the constitution in 1982. His AKP party fell slightly short of the majority it would need to make changes without support from other parties. One way or another Erdogan will work that out. I might have thought he would find allies from outside his party. Instead it seems that some of the seats awarded to opposition parties will revert to Erdogan's AKP because of invalid candidacies.
ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan faced a turbulent start of his third term as the main opposition party and Kurds said they will boycott parliament's swearing-in on Tuesday to protest bans on elected candidates.

Erdogan's AK Party, which has turned Turkey into one of the world's fastest-growing economies, comfortably won a June 12 vote in an outcome investors welcomed as an opportunity to build consensus around government plans to write a new constitution.

But the boycotts by the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) have cast a shadow over the vote's outcome and raised the possibility of massive by-elections.

The CHP won 135 seats in the 550-parliament, while the BDP won 36 seats. Taking CHP and BDP together, more than 30 percent of candidates elected will be boycotting the swearing-in.

"We will not take the oath unless the way is open for all our deputies to take the oath," CHP leader Kemal KiIlicdaroglu said, after a court rejected an appeal for the release of two of the party's candidates who were under detention without having been convicted.
I don't have much comment on Turkey's internal politics other than to wish Turkey well. This dispute will be resolved between people loyal to Turkey on both sides. The side with one of the world's greatest politicians has a big advantage in this conflict though.

What Turkey does not need is a military to military conflict with Syria, on Syrian territory, with Assad facing the end of his regime if he loses. I detected some hope last week on the part of US officials that the disturbances in Syria might be heading in that direction. Notably Hillary Clinton made comments about Syrian troops "near Turkey's border" as if that has some meaning.
Clinton said she has discussed the border situation with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu while President Barack Obama has done the same with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"And it just is very clear to us that unless the Syrian forces immediately end their attacks and their provocations that are not only now affecting their own citizens but endangering the potential border clashes, then we're going to see an escalation of conflict in the area," Clinton said.

"We are closely consulting with Turkey. But this is a very worrisome development by the Syrians," she said.
Clinton and Obama are not politicians in the league of Erdogan. Contrary the "fears" (are you sure those weren't hopes?) of Clinton and the Obama administration, sounds currently coming from Turkey sound as if there is an interest in de-escalating any situation rather than magnifying it.
ISTANBUL — The number of Syrian refugees taking shelter in tent cities in Turkey has decreased to 10,757 after several hundred people turned back home, Turkish officials said Tuesday.

"On June 27-28, 441 of those who had crossed to our country returned home of their own free will, while another 76 Syrian citizens were admitted in," the emergency situations agency of the prime minister's office said on its website.
Erdogan is not going to play Israel in 2006 or the United States in 2003 and try to invade a Muslim country. This will not happen quickly and he also will not allow a situation to remain that could in the future descend to that. At least I hope this to be the case. But in the case of Turkey I feel more confident than I would in most other cases.

Would Barack Obama accept an Islamist victory in Egypt?


"... and there will be times when our short term interests do not align perfectly with our long term vision of the region"

Barack Obama gave a long speech about the Middle East in May this year. Listening to that speech any moderately informed members of his audience left with no better understanding of US policy and supposed values than they had when before he started.

But a real test of US supposed values is approaching this year.

Barack Obama either believes the more than 80 million people of Egypt have a right to a government that is accountable to them and reflective of their own values, perceptions and sensibilities or he believes that it is more important for the 5.7 million Jewish people of Palestine to have a viable set-aside majority state.

Obama has been very clear until today that between the 80 million people of Egypt and the 5.7 Jewish people of Palestine, he chooses the Jewish people. As a person with African people and Muslims in his family, I do not really think it is hyperbole to say Barack Obama is the most spectacular Uncle Tom so far in world history.
Justin Webb: Do you regard President Mubarak as an authoritarian ruler?

President Obama: No, I tend not to use labels for folks. I haven't met him. I've spoken to him on the phone.

He has been a stalwart ally in many respects, to the United States. He has sustained peace with Israel, which is a very difficult thing to do in that region.

But he has never resorted to, you know, unnecessary demagoging of the issue, and has tried to maintain that relationship. So I think he has been a force for stability. And good in the region. Obviously, there have been criticisms of the manner in which politics operates in Egypt.
A question the Barack Obama administration faces now, before the elections, is how it would react to the people of Egypt electing a government that does not promise to be as accommodating to Israel as Mubarak was.

In Algeria, in Iran, in Iraq, in Lebanon, in the Palestinian territories the United States has a very consistent record of working to thwart popular election results in the Middle East that spans for Israel's entire history.

If the United States was to accept an Egyptian government of Egypt, rather than one accountable to the United States as Egypt is currently along with other members of the US/Zionist colonial structure - Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Kuwait and others - it would be a reversal in over 60 years of policy. It would be a reversal that would fit with the US' core founding values.

But it would be very uncharacteristic of the United States and of its leadership.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How Zionism will come to a close


This has always struck me as obvious but I guess I should spell it out explicitly. Zionism will end about the same way Apartheid ended. So it may be useful to take a look at how Apartheid ended.

There never were hostile conventional, and much less nuclear, forces in Africa capable of marching to Johannesburg or Cape Town and capturing the Apartheid state by force. If Apartheid had not capitulated, there would be no forces hostile forces in Africa capable of doing so even today.

What there was, was a situation where the resources available to sustain Apartheid were declining while those available to oppose it were increasing. Would there ever have come a point where there were more and better organized guns on the anti-Apartheid side than the pro-Apartheid side? Maybe in 100 years. That was the general direction or trend by the time Apartheid ended, but it was a trend that posed no threat of being reached in any near or medium term.

Long before anti-Apartheid forces actually got more bullets than pro-Apartheid forces, the anti-Apartheid forces would have had enough bullets to make the quality of life White South Africans enjoyed unsustainable.

That was the short and medium-term threat that resulted in White South Africans negotiating a relatively graceful end to their Apartheid project.

That is the short and medium-term threat that will result in Jewish Israelis negotiating a relatively graceful end to their Zionist project.

I write this because I often read claims that Israel's current conventional and nuclear weapons superiority over the other countries in its region make it invincible. Nobody cares about Israel's conventional or nuclear weapons. They don't play a role in the function that determines Israel's viability at all.

Anti-Zionist groups will not need more guns that Israel overall to reach the point that they can shoot Israeli passenger airplanes from the sky from their territory. Once that point has been reached, Israel will either have to clear the area of Palestinians, accept that they just are not able to use airplanes the way everyone else in the world can, or negotiate a graceful end to Zionism. Of course, they are going to choose the third option.

The example of shooting down airplanes is just one way that comes to mind that a hostile population with unmet demands can make it impossible for an oppressing population to enjoy a reasonable standard of living. It is really not even a good example, but it illustrates that given resources, which would be very available if the United States did not maintain a US/Zionist colonial structure to deny political power to the people of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Kuwait and others, there are a lot of ways the Palestinians could it just not worth it for Israel to maintain a necessarily majority Jewish state for its 5.7 million Jews.

This is not even a difficult state to reach. The United States has expended trillions of dollars directly and indirectly preventing the outcome of anti-Zionist forces having the resources necessary to fundamentally disrupt the quality of life of Jewish people in Palestine. If not for that, Zionism would not have lasted even as long as Apartheid did.

So what would happen, really before, but I'll say when Palestinian resistance organizations get even a significant chance of successfully being able to destroy an Israeli airliner with three hundred passengers on it?

Could Israel use its nuclear forces as a deterrent? Can Israel say to Egypt, to an accountable Republic of Arabia, Iran, Lebanon, Syria and/or Iraq that if anyone pays or otherwise helps equip the Palestinians with Chinese, Russian, Ukrainian or French-made anti-aircraft weapons, Israel will mount a nuclear response? Who would believe that threat? The threat just is not credible.

Let's say that despite their threat not being credible, Israel actually carried it out. Let's say Israel kills 10 million Muslims in retaliation for the three hundred Jewish passengers on that airplane. Would that save Israeli lives or cause more Israelis to die? When Israel uses a nuclear weapon on a civilian Arab or Muslim population, it has, at most, a few years left of existence, and it guarantees a huge number of Jewish deaths worldwide.

Nuclear weapons are of no use at all against the real short and medium-term threat against Israel, the threat that White South Africans capitulated to.

What about Israel's conventional weapons? Israel can threaten to occupy more territory to prevent the Palestinians from being armed. Except now Israel is fighting the war it lost in Lebanon in 2006 on more sides and against more and better financed opponents. The civilians it saves from attacks on airplanes it will lose in the form of soldiers carrying out any occupation of the hostile territories around it.

The cost of preventing the Palestinians from emerging as a force capable of disrupting the Jewish way of life in Palestine by conventional military methods ends up being at least almost as high, maybe higher, than the cost of the disruption itself.

The job of the US/Zionist colonial structure is not importantly to prevent anti-Zionist forces from reaching conventional or nuclear parity with Israel. The most important role of the colonial structure is to prevent the people of the colonies of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Kuwait and others from supporting the Palestinians just as the US citizens support the Jewish Israelis.

Once that structure breaks down, and it is coming apart now, the average person in what is now Saudi Arabia cares a lot more about the Palestinians than the average American does about the Israelis. The Palestinians will have an amount of resources available to them by the cooperation of a government of an independent Republic of Arabia that will be more than enough to impose high daily costs on Jewish Israelis if they choose.

The United States keeps more than 100 million people living under colonial subject dictatorships to prevent that from happening. Its tremendous expenditures in the region, ultimately including the costs of its occupations is for the service of preventing the outcome above. Barack Obama lies when he describes this process as the US' strategic objectives "not being perfectly aligned" with its supposed long term vision.

But when the US becomes unwilling or unable to perform the task of maintaining a US/Zionist colonial structure, a task that violently contradicts the US' founding core values, Zionism will end. It will not end because of a nuclear exchange or because of a defeat of its conventional forces - even though without the US/Zionist colonial structure adversaries of Zionism could, unlike in Southern Africa, very quickly achieve both nuclear and conventional parity with Israel.

Zionism will end because, like in South Africa, the writing will be on the wall, that even though Israel has legacy advantages, the trends will be pointing in a direction that Jewish Israelis will be better off living with a non-Jewish political majority than helplessly watching their adversaries become more and more able to disrupt their way of life.

Why the US is sanctioning Iran


There is not much happening of strategic importance regarding Iran. The story that the United States is introducing new sanctions wouldn't even be worthy of a post except that Iran is one of the countries that I'm committed to writing about regularly.

What the US is doing is forcing Iran to find alternatives to the US-led economic system. These alternatives, once developed, become available to any country that leaves the US/Zionist colonial structure and to the rest of the world as well. So Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Kuwait and others that are now pro-US colonial dictatorships will have an easier time once they achieve independence.

Russia, along with every country that is not dedicated to ensuring that 5.7 million Jewish people in Palestine have a political majority state, finds these sanctions an unnecessary annoyance.
The unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States against two Iranian companies have raised serious questions, said the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday.

The ministry said in a statement that the sanctions, imposed on Iran's national airline Iran Air and the country's major port operator Tidewater Middle East, had a negative effect on the authority of the UN Security Council and also had the potential to threaten Russian businesses working with these companies.
Barack Obama's hope that any significant amount of Iranians may decide they'd rather have the policies of the Shah or of the US' current colonial subjects in exchange for lifting these sanctions will not be reached even with far more onerous sanctions than we are seeing. Another hope that members of the current US colonial structure will be intimidated by these sanctions to remain under US control is a total waste of time. If there are elections, then sanctions or not the US-leaning parties are going to lose power. As long as there are no elections, then pro-US dictatorships will remain in power regardless of any example set against Iran.

The primary motivation of all of the sanctions against Iran are that since Iran is not a member of the US/Zionist colonial structure and therefore is a potential threat to Israel, the US would like it to be as poor as possible, under any possible pretext. If only to restrict the amount of resources Iran would be able to use to help Palestinian groups.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hey, but didn't the United States install a democracy in Iraq?


Every so often, I come across the refrain that the United States' behavior in Iraq demonstrates a commitment on the part of Americans to democracy. It's wrong, it's easy to deal with but I might as well respond to it somewhere in some detail.

The United States has one over-arching objective in the Middle East, to sustain Israel's strategic position for as long a term as possible. This is what Americans and westerners describe as "stability". The United States opposes local control over foreign policy for all people in the greater Middle East other than Jewish people in Palestine.

The United States, as late as July 2008, believed the US occupation of Iraq would improve Israel's security position.
Livni: We agreed to prepare a list including the needs of your security apparatuses to be able to enforce internal security, but you added a third party on the borders.

Rice: Let us not leave the issues and talk about potential threat. At this time there is no threat from the east because our forces are in Iraq and will stay there for a long time.

Saeb: For a very, very long time.
Israel's then prime minister Olmert in November 2006 believed the occupation of Iraq brought "stability" to the region.
Thank you very much. President -- this is nothing to take an edge to the very accurate analysis that you made with regard to these big issues. We in the Middle East have followed the American policy in Iraq for a long time, and we are very much impressed and encouraged by the stability which the great operation of America in Iraq brought to the Middle East. We pray and hope that this policy will be fully successful so that this stability which was created for all the moderate countries in the Middle East will continue.
For Americans and Israelis, "moderate countries" means members of the US/Zionist colonial structure. It means Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Kuwait and others that are accountable to the US rather than to their own people. Iraq was invaded so that Chalabi could join the other pro-US dictators of the US/Zionist colonial structure as unaccountable dictator. At tremendous expense to themselves, the people of Iraq thwarted this US objective and instead have created a government that is increasingly independent of the United States and that has potential to be fully independent relatively soon.

If and when Iraq becomes independent, it will not be considered a "moderate" country by people like Olmert or Barack Obama. Its policies will reflect the belief of the vast majority of its citizens that Israel is an historic injustice that should be corrected just as the injustice of Apartheid was corrected in Southern Africa.

The United States never intended, and if its efforts are successful still does not intend for Iraq to be an popularly accountable democracy. The George Bush in 2003 intended and Barack Obama today intends for Iraq, by one mechanism or another, to be unable to enact policies that threaten the viability of Israel. Their intention is that Iraq be a moderate country. Moderate like the other dictatorships of the US/Zionist colonial structure that the US was supporting at that time and is supporting now.

Egypt may turn down IMF loan


Egypt's loans from the IMF have always been looked at by the United States as a way to apply leverage over a post-Mubarak Egypt to continue Mubarak's policies and to deny a political role to potentially anti-Zionist factions in Egyptian politics such as the Muslim Brotherhood. I've never worried about these loans because they could only have a short-term effect, but once an accountable government takes hold in Egypt I've been completely confident that it would handle its relation with Israel's supporters much more firmly and deftly than Mubarak did. IMF loans or no.
Egypt has dropped plans to seek loans from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, Finance Minister Samir Radwan has said.

The move comes after the planned deficit in the 2011-12 budget was revised down from 11% to 8.6% of GDP, Mr Radwan told Reuters news agency.

An adviser told AFP news agency the decision had been partly a response to the "pressure of public opinion".
But I'm surprised and pleased to see Egypt's military council pre-emptively turning down these loans and any conditions the US would like to sneak in on the side for accepting them. What this says it that it is not just me, and it is not just the Muslim Brotherhood who do not believe Mubarak's relationship with Israel's supporters was healthy. There is now clearly a voice on the military council itself that already, even before elections, disagrees with the direction Mubarak was leading the country.

I've said before that I have no expectations of Egypt's military council. It is not accountable to the people of Egypt and it consists of figures selected by the Mubarak regime. An elected parliament, when it comes will not have those shortcomings and will mark the beginning of independent Egyptian policy.

I'm pleasantly surprised to see indications that the members of Egypt's military council are acting like, first and foremost, Egyptians. Even without the threat of losing re-election they are at least making small steps in the direction of independence from the US/Zionist colonial structure.

At times like this I become optimistic about Egypt's future.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Iraq agrees to shut down People's Mojahedin Organization Of Iran base, Camp Ashraf



Iraq is taking an important step toward independence. This may be the single most important thing Iraq can do in 2011 other than deny the US an extended military presence in their country.

TEHRAN — Iran and Iraq have formed a joint committee with the Red Cross to shut down Camp Ashraf in Iraq which houses thousands of outlawed Iranian opponents, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said on Saturday.

"The camp will be shut down by the end of this year," Talabani said on the sidelines of a counter-terrorism summit in Tehran, the official IRNA news agency reported.

"For this, a tripartite committee has been set up by Iraq, Iran and the International Red Cross to make decisions and follow up on necessary measures to shut down the camp of this terrorist group," IRNA quoted him as saying.


Like the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq and elections in Egypt, the closure of Camp Ashraf is an event promised in the future, and like the troop withdrawal and those elections, the US is surely working feverishly behind the scenes to prevent or delay this event. But the US' efforts in all three cases have a good chance of failing.

I'm looking forward to the future confirmation of this news. The US' open association with groups that it admits are terrorists, as long as those terrorists oppose countries or groups that pose some threat to Israel, is bad for all parties involved, including the United States.

Where Syria is headed now


In governments as unpopular as those of Egypt, Bahrain and Tunisia at the beginning of this year, it is possible for the mass of people to refuse to cooperate and render the country ungovernable until the government falls.

Libya and Syria are not nearly that unpopular. Both countries have governments that likely have a number of supporters nearly as great or even greater than the number of opponents. The capitals and most populous cities in those countries look nothing like Cairo and the opposition movements just do not have the support to do what the Egyptians did in Tahrir Square.

However earlier this year, some US diplomat seems to have gotten an idea: Let's call for whatever protests we can get and after that, regardless of their size or participation, let's fuel an armed rebellion. Whatever measures are taken against the armed rebellion, we'll describe as the regime putting down peaceful protests.

In Libya that process is well under way. Interestingly, I've seen claims that the rebellion's quick spread in Libya is evidence that Gaddafi is unpopular in the country. That is wrong. Armed rebellion spreads quickly in places with lax or compromised security forces. Period. Armed rebellion did not, and could not have spread at all, much less have spread quickly in Egypt. It did not spread in the 19th century British colonial holdings or the territories occupied by Nazi Germans or the territories held by the Soviet Union. They do not spread quickly today in the holdings of the US/Zionist colonial structure.

The speed with which the central Libyan government lost control of areas of the country indicates the Gaddafi, maybe wrongly, did not see armed rebellion as a threat worthy of devoting resources he easily could have to create a more repressive national security apparatus, such as the one in his eastern neighbor, Egypt.

But while the conflict in Libya hopefully will end in the compromise the US is actively opposing today before there is much more completely unnecessary loss of life, the situation in Syria has not developed to that point.

Syria is more likely to see a stalemate around where we are today, with the opposition unable to establish a base or pose any substantial military threat to Syria's control of any territory, and after a period of non-expansion of the revolt that is long enough that Syria's generals can report that they have stabilized the situation, Assad will begin to hold elections that will establish some legitimacy for some parts of his government.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s there was a large-scale transition away from dictatorships in Europe to governments that were more popularly accountable. These European states did not face the obstacle that the countries of the Middle East face - the United States has an active interest in opposing democracy in that region for the sake of Israel's viability for which there was no analogue in Europe.

But a parliament that gradually absorbs political power away from the dictator has shown to be the most graceful way to transition to popular accountability in government. If Assad wants both to remain in power and to prevent Syria from entering a phase like 2005 Iraq, then that process will have to begin even before the US/Israeli-planned and Saudi-financed revolt has been fully put down.

I expect that this alternative has more support in Syria than any of the alternatives and that US/Israeli/Saudi efforts to produce the situation of 2005 Iraq or to replicate Libya will fail.

The alternative to a graceful transition are just not compelling, and no amount of Saudi money can overcome the basic proposition that looking to Iraq and Libya are stronger arguments against fighting the regime than in favor of fighting it. Replicating the protests of Egypt can't work yet because Assad is not as unpopular or seen as personally corrupt as Mubarak and we have not seen good tangible results from Egypt yet.

If Egypt does, contrary to US efforts, create a government that is accountable to its people and that reflects the values, sympathies and sensibilities of the Egyptian, rather than the American people then that will provide a clear pathway for Syria to do the same. But we will not know how that turns out until the end of this year at the earliest.

But over the next five to ten years, I expect and hope to see at least Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt emerge outside of the US/Zionist Middle East colonial structure with governments that are formally accountable to their people the way Iran's is. The US will not consider any of them "moderate" and will have claim to criticize their implementations of democracy - while defending, just as they do now, clear brutal dictatorships in their colonies such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Once Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq are safely fully outside of the US/Zionist colonial structure, the key question will become how can a popularly accountable government be established in what we now call Saudi Arabia.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hillary Clinton pretends to back Saudi Arabia women's right-to-drive campaign


Saudi Arabia is a state that the United States has pledged to form a force of 35,000 specially trained forces to protect. It is a state that could not survive without the protection of the United States. It is a state that send US-built tanks to Bahrain to break up anti-government protests there and would use US-built tanks the same way to prevent its own people from gaining control of the state and establishing a government accountable to themselves rather than to Barack Obama.

But every once in a while US officials pretend to be upset that the Saudi government requires women to wear veils or does not allow them to drive.
Hillary Clinton has lent her support to women in Saudi Arabia protesting against the ban on female drivers, her first public comments on an issue complicating relations between Washington and Riyadh.

A day after the US state department said it was handling the issue through "quiet diplomacy" and not public pronouncements, Clinton praised the protesters, but stressed they were acting on their own behalf, not at the behest of outsiders such as herself.

"What these women are doing is brave and what they are seeking is right, but the effort belongs to them," said Clinton. "I am moved by it and I support them, but I want to underscore the fact that this is not coming from outside of their country. This is the women themselves, seeking to be recognised."

The protests have put the Obama administration, and Clinton in particular, in a difficult position. While she and many other top US officials personally oppose the Saudi ban on female drivers, the administration is increasingly reliant on Saudi authorities to provide stability and continuity in the Middle East and Gulf amid uprisings taking place across the Arab world.
Does Hillary Clinton want the Saudi government to allow women to drive? Then the same way her government "requests" that the country not build a nuclear industry, and requests that it isolate Hamas and requests that it oppose Hezbollah and requests that it fund anti-regime organizations in Syria and requests that Saudi Arabia not threaten Israel's military position in the region despite substantially more resources and a greater population, she can request that they allow women to drive.

The United States - Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the rest of the US political system - does not care about any of the over 26 million people of Saudi Arabia, men or women. 5.7 million Jewish people in Palestine have a state where with a reserved political majority. That would not be possible if Saudi Arabia had an accountable government, so the US works very hard to ensure that Saudi Arabia will permanently not have an accountable government.

This supposed driving issue pales in importance compared to the US' real agenda for the people of what we call Saudi Arabia.

A few things about Obama's May 2011 speech that he either knows or should know are lies


Another look at Barack Obama's May 2011 speech on the Middle East. I originally wanted to just look at the claim about preventing an arms race, but it is packed in closely with other statements that also deserve to be looked at.
Those shouts of human dignity are being heard across the region. And through the moral force of nonviolence, the people of the region have achieved more change in six months than terrorists have accomplished in decades.

Of course, change of this magnitude does not come easily. In our day and age -– a time of 24-hour news cycles and constant communication –- people expect the transformation of the region to be resolved in a matter of weeks. But it will be years before this story reaches its end. Along the way, there will be good days and there will bad days. In some places, change will be swift; in others, gradual. And as we’ve already seen, calls for change may give way, in some cases, to fierce contests for power.

The question before us is what role America will play as this story unfolds. For decades, the United States has pursued a set of core interests in the region: countering terrorism and stopping the spread of nuclear weapons; securing the free flow of commerce and safe-guarding the security of the region; standing up for Israel’s security and pursuing Arab-Israeli peace.

We will continue to do these things, with the firm belief that America’s interests are not hostile to people’s hopes; they’re essential to them. We believe that no one benefits from a nuclear arms race in the region, or al Qaeda’s brutal attacks. We believe people everywhere would see their economies crippled by a cut-off in energy supplies. As we did in the Gulf War, we will not tolerate aggression across borders, and we will keep our commitments to friends and partners.
"The people of the region have achieved more change in six months than terrorists have accomplished in decades". The people of the region didn't start opposing the US/Zionist colonial structure six months before May 2011. There was a cumulative movement that by the time of his speech and also this writing had, in Egypt and Tunisia removed Mubarak and Ben Ali from power but not put either government under civilian control or formally given accountability to the Egyptian or Tunisian people. There is an astounding amount of potential for change that has been unleashed at least in those two countries, but but little actual formal or effective change.

I'm hopeful, and I think a lot of people are hopeful that this potential can be realized. The United States is very clear that it stands against realizing any potential that Egypt, in line with the values and sympathies of the Egyptian people, would leave its current role as a defender of Zionism.
"Every morning, when I read the papers and see that Jordanian King Abdullah II is healthy and Mubarak is still alive, I know we've earned another day."

Radical Zionist, Arnon Zoffer


"But Mubarak has never resorted to, you know, unnecessary demagoging of the Israel issue, and has tried to maintain that relationship. So I think he has been a force for stability. And good in the region. Obviously, there have been criticisms of the manner in which politics operates in Egypt."

President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama

But it is a serious insult to say that change happened in those six months. It would still be an insult even if there had already been elections by then. A lot of work was done for a long time, against vigorous and brutal US/Israeli and Egyptian resistance to bring about Hosni Mubarak's removal from power.

Also whether Obama likes it or not, opposition to the US/Zionist colonial structure was not always peaceful. The decision on violence is to be made based on considerations of effectiveness and they should be made by the people working for freedom and equality, not opposing it. The United States, Israel or any other the parties that support the dictatorships over more than 100 million people so that about 5.7 million Jewish people in Palestine can have a guaranteed political majority state in that territory don't have valid input into that decision.

Barack Obama could have withheld US cooperation from Egypt in January 2010, and in doing so probably would have forced the regime from power with less loss of life than we actually saw. More importantly, Barack Obama can withhold US cooperation from all of the US colonies: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Kuwait and others right now. Right now Barack Obama can say that the US will not train and equip a 35,000 man force whose job is to maintain the Saudi regime which is not accountable to the the people of the country but instead is accountable to him.

If Barack Obama opposed the US/Zionist colonial structure then we would not need protests. We would not need people to set themselves on fire or demonstrations that stifle the economic and social life of the host countries and that are opposed by the regimes with various degrees of force. We don't need Nato in Libya to bring about democracy. Barack Obama can, right now, tell the dictator and people of Jordan and their relationship with the US will end if there are not elected officials controlling all aspects of policy in six months.

Barack Obama and the United States do not do that exactly because doing it would threaten Zionism, would make a political majority state for 5.7 million Jewish people in Palestine less viable. But because he does not do it, he is on the side of the dictators. He is what the people in Tahrir Square were protesting against.

"We will continue to do these things, with the firm belief that America’s interests are not hostile to people’s hopes; they’re essential to them." Just a pure lie. Barack Obama knows he is hostile to the idea of democracy for Saudi Arabia and he knows why. He knows that the US/Zionist colonial structure rules over more than 100 million Arabs most of whom do not believe Israel is a legitimate state rather than an historical injustice and who would have access to oil revenues that dwarf what Israel's 5.7 million Jewish people could spend to maintain military dominance over their region.

Statements like this by Obama, not only dishonest but insults to the intelligence of those in his audience who have even a fleeting understanding of the issues he's discussing seriously drain him of credibility. He is presenting himself as the most spectacular Uncle Tom in world history. It would be better just to be quiet than to do these things.

"We believe that no one benefits from a nuclear arms race in the region". This is a subtle lie by Obama. Israel started the nuclear arms race in the region. The US colonies, per orders from the United States, do not participate in the arms race Israel initiated. Obama justifies his sanctions against Iran, meaning US efforts to sabotage the entire economy of over 80 million Iranians as efforts to prevent an arms race. Obama knows that Iran's nuclear program does not threaten to trigger an arms race as long as the US/Zionist colonial structure is intact, as long as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Kuwait and others have governments that are not accountable to their people but instead to the US embassies and military bases on their territories.

The same leverage the US uses to prevent its colonies from responding to Israel's hundreds of active nuclear weapons it will continue to use to prevent its colonies from responding to another Muslim state reaching the legally permissible nuclear threshold that Japan, South Africa, Brazil, Canada, Germany and many other countries have reached.

Israel would not be viable and would relatively quickly go the way of Apartheid South Africa if even Saudi Arabia alone was to free itself of US colonial rule and instead was to be ruled by a democratically or popularly accountable Republic of Arabia. To the degree there ever could be an arms race in the region, it is perpetuated by Obama for the sake of maintaining a political majority state for 5.7 million Jewish people in Palestine.

Some lies were subtle, some were blatant, but Barack Obama is extraordinarily disappointing in the vigor with which he defends the US/Zionist colonial structure that he inherited from previous US presidents. It is true that if Israel's supporters in the United States thought there was any chance that he might take any other position, he could not be president. On the other hand, he is a worse president, a more strident opponent of political freedom for most people in the Middle East than even George Bush I.

And rather than lie, he could just say nothing. If you oppose the people of Egypt voting because they might elect the Muslim Brotherhood, if you oppose the people of what we call Saudi Arabia having a government that is accountable to them because it could prevent Israel from having a military that can defeat all others in its region and you don't want to admit it, you can just not give a speech on the subject. Barack Obama's position on Middle East issues reflects a real personal deficiency on his part.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What if Abbas dropped Fayyad? It would be a blow to the Palestinian Authority, but also to the US/Zionist colonial structure


Recently Hamas and Fatah of Palestine have agreed to a unity government of technocrats not affiliated with the current governments ruling all of Palestine pending new elections. Mahmoud Abbas is now going back on that agreement. Tony Karon is probably right that the entire exercise was, from the start, a naive and clumsy attempt by Abbas to pressure Israel to suspend construction in the West Bank.

Abbas always intended to pull back at the last minute, exactly by naming a candidate for Prime Minister who was famously unacceptable to Hamas contrary to the terms he claimed to agree to earlier. Barack Obama, with the firmness any right-wing Israeli politician would show the Palestinians, has called his bluff. There will be no concessions from Israel and Abbas still must cancel the unity agreement.

But what if Abbas called Obama's bluff and agreed to the terms Hamas and Fatah understood to be in place when the unity agreement was first announced? If an approved US/Zionist loyalist like Fayyad were to not retain the post of prime minister, the United States and Israel would carry out their threats to freeze payments to Abbas and the Palestinian Authority if it removes the US choice for Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad from power. An interesting question is what would happen then.

Important for that question is what would the dictatorships of the US colonies of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, Kuwait and others do. The US has ordered them to honor its freeze on the Palestinians, but their job is to put an Arab face on US/Zionist policies and there is no way to put an Arab face on a freeze on Palestinian funds on behalf of America and Israel's favorite Palestinian politician.

It would build a crisis immediately leading into the only decisive currently scheduled event in the Middle East - Egypt's elections - and if Palestine is an active issue when those elections are held, notwithstanding US efforts to delay them, that will tangibly damage the US/Zionist colonial structure, with reverberations that would be felt even beyond Egypt.

Egypt publicly participated in the US/Israeli siege on Gaza. It wasn't clear at the time the toll that was taking on his grip on power. A president that spineless and without substance on as clear an issue as putting Palestinians on a diet could not inspire fear in his own people.

The US would order its colonial subjects in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Kuwait and others to put all of Palestine on a diet. They have no choice but to say yes, just as Mubarak did. Like Mubarak, none of the members of the US/Zionist colonial structure are accountable to their people but rather to US officials in embassies and military bases on their territories and ultimately to Barack Obama. But in saying yes, they would lose a little more of the respect of their own people and their continued rule would become somewhat more unacceptable.

Abbas standing up to Barack Obama would bring the Middle East a little closer to puncturing the heart of the US/Zionist colonial structure that Israel depends on to remain a viable state. The image of Saudi leaders claiming that as Sunnis they have a duty to starve the Palestinians into accepting a US-educated and selected leader would bring us closer to the day that the people of decide that until there is a national commitment to a Republic of Arabia politically accountable to its citizens, they will not allow the state to function as usual.

After Egypt, when Saudi Arabia falls, the entire US/Zionist Middle East colonial structure will be broken. Barack Obama is counting on Abbas not putting the other stooge dictators into an embarrassing position. His gamble likely will pay off and Abbas will back down. Abbas would not be in his position if he was not naive, clumsy and pliable any more than Obama would himself.

But the structure is creaking today. Abbas even making the threat to unify the Palestinians, even if he does not carry it out is an indication that the job of being the Arab face of US/Zionist colonialism is becoming steadily more difficult. Like Egypt, it will be unexpected, but the structure can only collapse over time.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Assad's full speech


From the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA):

Peace be upon you, upon all those who are protecting this dear and precious homeland. Peace be upon the people, the army, the security forces and all those who have been working to insure the prevention of sedition; burying it in the detestable snake holes where it belongs. Peace be upon every mother who has lost a dear son, on every child who lost a father, on every family that lost a beloved one. Peace be upon the souls of our martyrs whose blood has grown into chrysanthemum in the spring and summer when the seasons of flowering and fruition have been replaced by seasons of conspiracy and killing. But even season of conspiracy gives flowers in Syria. They bloom into pride and impregnability.

Today, and through you, I address every Syrian citizen throughout the homeland. I wanted to speak to you directly in order to strengthen the interaction and spontaneity that have characterized our relationship for years. I wish I had the chance meet every Syrian citizen in person, but I am convinced that meeting some of you on any occasion makes me feel that I am reaching out to all of you.

...

...

...

Accomplishing security is our starting point; and the people are the most capable to be entrusted with maintaining security and protecting the homeland. I am saying this based on experience and reality, not out of courtesy. Those who protected the country through hard times, and those who protected it today are the people, the young people who confronted dangers, made initiatives and implemented things on the ground, forming popular committees and youth groups, making personal initiatives which kept the country’s name high and reflected its spirit and the pulse of its youth and people.

The power of the state is derived from the power of the people whose power is derived from their dignity, which in turn is derived from their freedom, which is again derived from the power of their state. So, let the people embrace the sate and let the army, the security personnel, the police and the people work hand in hand to prevent sedition, protect the homeland and ensure its supremacy.

Syria’s destiny is to face crises; but it is also its destiny to be proud, strong, resistant and victorious. Its destiny is to come out of crises stronger thanks to the solidarity and cohesion of its society, its deeply rooted values and the determination of its people who are endowed with intelligence, civilization and openness.

It is you who prevented the confusion between the greed and designs of superpowers, on the one hand, and people’s desire for reform and change on the other. It is you who protected the flower of youth from being sacrificed to the greed of international powers. It is you who prevented all attempts of sectarian sedition scrambling at the gates of the homeland and cut off the head of the snake before it could bite the Syrian body and kill it.

I say that as long as you enjoy this great spirit and this deep sense of identity, Syria is fine and safe.
Unlike Egypt, Tunisia and Bahrain, I have not seen protests in Syria on a scale that they would indicate that more Syrian oppose Assad in power than support him.

The armed opposition to Assad clearly has outside - meaning American, Israeli and Saudi - support, but Assad's regime has a large home-field advantage. It would be very difficult for Assad to be dislodged in the short or medium term.

Turkish officials are being quoted in Western news media making statements that could be worrying to Syria, but it is not clear if the quotes are being filtered fairly, it is not clear that Turkey would want to harm Syria and it is not clear that Turkey could harm Syria if it wanted to.

After the crisis dies down, Syria does have to address the anomaly that it is the dictatorship in the independence camp of the Middle East.

I hope elections are held in Egypt in September


Egypt is currently in a period of uncertainty. It would be miraculous for Egypt to attain independence with very little bloodshed and emerge with a government accountable to the people of Egypt rather than to the US White House and Congress. But until elections, we can't be sure that the United States won't make the right bribe or acquire the right embarrassing information or kill the right person so that Egypt reverts to complete colonial subordinate status as it had under Mubarak.

There is a tension. Egypt is not independent yet, but I hope we just make it to elections. Once elections are held, once it is established that the Egyptian people, through voting, are the ultimate judges of Egyptian policy, then it almost doesn't even matter who wins and when. For example, Egypt is still participating in Israel's siege on Gaza, still preventing concrete from entering that could be used to build shelter, still preventing exports that would help restore a functioning economy to Gaza.

People like Hosni Mubarak and Barack Obama would cooperate with Israel on those issues, but the people of Egypt, once they decide who rules their country are not likely to continue to tolerate it, regardless of what person takes the most votes. Once elections are held, and politicians now are concerned with reelection and potential politicians are beginning to speak to the people of the country, that is the point that Egypt will be free.

Of course, the United States and parties allied with the United States want to delay that moment, to keep the military junta in power, they say, for a few more months.

David Schenker of the Washington Institute explained [...] via e-mail today: “It’s politically difficult for a US administration to be out front promoting a delay in what hopefully will be the first free and fair Egyptian elections ever. Still, a delay would be positive, giving the liberal opposition time to organize, and essentially catch up to the Islamists.”
What if the Muslim Brotherhood is still better organized than their favorite candidates a few months after September? Well, thirty years later, a US president will say that Egypt's current dictatorship is good for the region.

Justin Webb: Do you regard President Mubarak as an authoritarian ruler?

Barack Obama: No, I tend not to use labels for folks. I haven't met him. I've spoken to him on the phone.

He has been a stalwart ally in many respects, to the United States. He has sustained peace with Israel, which is a very difficult thing to do in that region.

But he has never resorted to, you know, unnecessary demagoging of the issue, and has tried to maintain that relationship. So I think he has been a force for stability. And good in the region. Obviously, there have been criticisms of the manner in which politics operates in Egypt.


The United States is a colonial power, and when a colonial power asks to delay elections, after supporting Hosni Mubarak as a dictator for thirty years, it has no credibility.

The United States still has leverage over Egypt's dictatorship and it is working very hard to prevent Egypt from emerging as independent. What works in favor of elections is that I do not detect any party or faction in Egypt that believes it is good for the United States to set Egyptian policy, or to freeze out of politics organizations that could be hostile to Israel.

The United States has no philosophical or ideological argument for its positions that is persuasive in Egypt. All it has is money and ties built with the outgoing colonial dicatorship. The lesson of the last decade in the Middle East is that money alone is of declining value in producing policy outcomes. Because of this, I'm still optimistic that we will see elections in September. I could be wrong and I hope I am not.

Medvedev on Syria and UN resolutions


Russian President Dmitri Medvedev gave an interview with the Financial Times where he touched on Syria and the disturbances there.
FT: What about Syria?

DM: Syria is facing a very difficult choice. I feel sorry for president al-Assad who is in a very difficult situation now. We met when I visited Syria. President al-Assad has visited Russia several times during my political tenure. It seems to me that he wants political change in his country, he wants reforms. At the same time, he has been somewhat late to launch them, and this has caused casualties that could have been avoided and this is, to a large extent, on the head of those in power. At the same time, I realise that if the opposition resorts to force and opens fire on the police, any state has to take defensive measures. In this respect, he has a very hard choice to make. I have called him and told him personally that I counted very much that he would be consistent in his reforms, that the end of the state of emergency would be followed by normal elections and that there will be a dialogue with all political forces. It seems to me that he strives for this, but he is in a difficult situation at the same time. However, what I am not ready to support is a dead-ringer for Resolution 1973 on Libya, because I am firmly convinced that a good resolution was turned into a scrap of paper to cover up a pointless military operation. In any case, if my counterparts had asked me then to abstain at the least so that they could bombs various targets in Libya, I would have certainly issued different instructions to our diplomats in the United Nations.

However, we proceed from the premise that resolutions should be interpreted literally, rather than broadly. If the resolution mentions no-fly zones, there must be no-fly zones and nothing more. However, nobody flies there now save for NATO warplanes. Only they fly there and only they drop bombs there. OK, Qaddafi’s planes used to fly there, so at least there was an excuse there. This by no means changes my attitude to what he did and to the fact that I, together with the other G8 leaders, supported the joint declaration on Libya issued in Deauville recently. However, getting back to Syria, I would very much not like a Syrian resolution to be pulled off in a similar manner. For this reason, the Syrian resolution will not be like that. Russia shall use its right to veto it as a permanent UN Security Council member. However, other calls and statements on Syria, including those via UNSC, are possible.

FT: Thus, if the resolution does not threaten sanctions or military action, you would support it, would you?

DM: You know, unfortunately, my partners have learnt to interpret Security Council resolutions very broadly of late. I remember how things were under George W. Bush. There were no resolutions, nobody would ask for them, but there was the notorious military action in Iraq. However, the world has changed. Everybody knows that it is not the done thing to do that without a Security Council resolution. So, relevant resolutions appear and are interpreted in a broad manner, which is wrong. Therefore, I can tell you frankly that the resolution may state one thing but the resulting actions may be quite different. For instance, the resolution may state that we denounce violence, say, in Syria, and then it will be followed by air attacks. We will be told the resolution reads ‘denounce violence’, so some of the signatories have denounced the violence by dispatching a number of bombers. In any event, I do not want this to lie on my conscience.
We'll see what happens in Syria. It looks like there will not be a UN resolution though.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Gadhafi’s offer to hold elections rejected by Rebels, US


There's not much to say about this. It is amazing that there is a civil war in Libya today and that the US has at every turn increased the hostilities and prevented the situation from being resolved. I've said before that there is no way to present civil war as a humanitarian gesture. This one in Libya which serves no US strategic interest but is costing lives every day is just a pathetic example of poor US policy-making.
Speaking to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Col. Gadhafi’s son and onetime heir apparent Seif al-Islam Gadhafi said in an interview published Thursday that elections could be held within three months, with transparency guaranteed by the presence of international observers. Mr. Gadhafi said his father, who took power in a military coup in 1969, would be ready to step aside if he lost the election but would not go into exile.

“I have no doubt that the overwhelming majority of Libyans stand with my father and see the rebels as fanatical Islamist fundamentalists, terrorists stirred up from abroad,” Corriere quoted him as saying.

The rebel leadership in Benghazi, eastern Libya, immediately rejected the offer, stressing that the Gadhafi family would have no role in Libyan elections. That stance was echoed by Washington, with State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland saying, “It’s a little late for any proposals by Gadhafi and his circles for democratic change….It’s time for him to go.”

US refuses prisoner swap for last two hikers


This is going on in the background, there is not a lot of public information regarding either the two remaining American hikers captured in Iran or the apparently three remaining Iranian consular officials captured in Erbil in 2007.

If there ever was, by now there is not much strategic value at stake on either side. If it was up to me, all of the prisoners would be released immediately.

They'd seize oil fields to fund their ambitions


I recently happened upon a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), which is the statistical and analytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy, describing US estimates of oil revenues of OPEC states and illustrating fairly clearly why maintaining Israel as a Jewish state in a region where no non-Jewish state considers it any more legitimate than Africans considered the South African Apartheid state would not be viable without the US/Zionist colonial structure currently ruling Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Kuwait and others.

The colonies of Kuwait ($60 bn), Qatar ($37 bn), Saudi Arabia ($225 bn) and UAE ($67 bn) have combined oil revenues of over $350 billion per year. Israel's defense budget (reported to be the world's largest per capita), is under $20 billion per year. The United States has a commitment that Israel will be militarily dominant over any combination of states in its region, which means that the United States is committed to ensuring that the recipients of over 15 times Israel's defense budget are not accountable to their people.

George Bush has discussed the need to prevent oil revenues from reaching parties that would use it to threaten Israel.

"If Zarqawi and [Osama] bin Laden gain control of Iraq, they would create a new training ground for future terrorist attacks," Bush said. "They'd seize oil fields to fund their ambitions. They could recruit more terrorists by claiming a historic victory over the United States and our coalition."


The most spectacular Uncle Tom in world history, Barack Obama, snidely referenced this factor in his recent major address on the Middle East:

Not every country will follow our particular form of representative democracy, and there will be times when our short-term interests don’t align perfectly with our long-term vision for the region.


But the US/Zionist colonial structure is not a short term interest. Most people of what we call Saudi Arabia consider Zionist Israel an injustice. It may sound good in New York and Fort Lauderdale, but it is not a strong argument in Riyadh or Doha that to compensate Jews for the crimes of Nazi Germany, the Arab Muslims of Palestine should have been dispossessed and permanently exiled from the territory. Most of the populations of the Middle East, including the countries that are in the US/Zionist colonial structure likely will consider Zionist Israel an injustice forever.

If there was a Republic of Arabia that was accountable to the people it rules, given its resources it would relatively easily correct that injustice by making Zionist Israel a non-viable state. Eventually, as with South Africa, it would be forced to allow the refugees to return. Israel's status as a state reserved for a Jewish political majority would end the way South Africa's status as a state reserved for a White political majority ended decades ago.

The United States has an interest in maintaining this colonial structure that, instead of short-term, is just as "unshakeable" as Barack Obama describes the US' commitment to Israel's security itself. Barack Obama, as the United States' chief cheerleader, minimizes the US' interest in Middle East despotism but that doesn't change the fact that it is hundreds of millions of human beings that the United States is working to oppress for the sake of a majority Jewish state for fewer than six million people in Palestine.

The United States' "Civilian Presence" in Iraq


4 former Iraq ambassadors push for embassy funds

Four former U.S. ambassadors to Iraq urged top congressional leaders to back President Barack Obama's budget request of $5.2 billion for the embassy in Baghdad, the world's largest, as well as the costs of police training and some 5,000 security forces.

Pushing back against efforts in Congress to cut the funds, the four - John Negroponte, Zalmay Khalilzad, Ryan Crocker and Christopher Hill - wrote to House and Senate leaders last month that failing to fully fund the operation would jeopardize years of U.S. investments in Iraq.

"We, four former ambassadors to Iraq, believe that a robust embassy, providing a platform for other branches of the government, including the Office for Security Cooperation and the U.S. Agency for International Development, are essential to help guide Iraq to a sustainable and peaceful future," they wrote.

The money would cover operating costs for the embassy, a fortress-like compound the size of Vatican City; training for police as they shift to criminal and investigative work; and the expenses of a security force. The money also would cover satellite offices of the embassy around the country.


The United States intends to have continuing leverage over the Iraqi government, but given its failure to achieve preferred outcomes in Iraq's electoral system, it is a safe bet that US influence over Iraq, while not yet at zero, will continue its steady decline once Iraq announces its decision on US troops staying past the 2011 deadline.

Speaking of which, Ayad Allawi thought the Americans had successfully created a new position for him on an executive council where he would have some authority despite Maliki retaining the seat of prime minister. Turned out not to happen.

Last fall, after losing the premiership to Maliki in a post-election contest of back-room coalition building, Allawi stood aloof from the gritty politics of government formation, preferring to spend time in London and other foreign capitals in a sort of self-imposed exile reminiscent of Al Gore's bearded soul-searching following the 2000 elections. Allawi felt he had been robbed. A power-sharing agreement was supposed to give him a high-level post in Maliki's administration. Instead, Maliki had cherry-picked allies from Allawi's coalition, sidelined Allawi himself, and consolidated power.


I don't worry much about the independence of Iraq or Egypt. I have a firmer foundation for my position regarding Iraq because that country has already has held two elections and established that there are political forces there more than able to thwart US attempts to direct its policy.

Egypt will be a clearer case by the end of this year when elections will have either been held or postponed and if they have been held, results will have been released.

But in Iraq, the US is, as far as Iraqi policy is concerned, throwing away $5.2 billion dollars a year. It nearly goes without saying that if it was not for the US' commitment to and identification with Israel, the US could get far closer cooperation from Iraq for free than it will be able to get for more than $5.2 billion now.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A US "Damascus-based diplomat" speaks on the Syrian disturbances


Reuters has gotten a description of American efforts to overthrow the Assad regime.
"Despite everything they have done over the past few weeks -- killing, torture, mass arrests and raids -- the protests are continuing," said one Western diplomat. "This regime will fight to the death, but the only strategy they have is to kill people, and this is accelerating the crisis."

In its attempt to stamp out protests across the country of 23 million, the government has withdrawn most security forces from the suburbs of the capital, Damascus, diplomats say.

Yet each time the authorities go in hard to deal with one center of rebellion, other towns rise up.

Reliant on two elite units commanded by his brother Maher -- the 4th Armored Division and the Republican Guard -- as well as secret police and militia from his minority Alawite sect, President Assad is plainly overstretched.

"Our assessment is that the regime will fall," predicted the Damascus-based diplomat. "They have three to six months of actual military capabilities to sustain this, but they cannot keep a prolonged operation going indefinitely."

...

The international community, diplomats said, see a post-Assad era ideally facilitated by a military coup and several governments are encouraging Syrian generals to mutiny.

"We are isolating him and his family. We're addressing military leaders and cabinet members to rise up. We're encouraging the generals to rise up," the diplomat said.


"The key variable is the continuation of the momentum (of the revolt). We really believe there is no point of return."


My impression of the disturbances in Syria is that it is a program designed and planned by US personnel for the sake of Israel - one of whom is very possibly the anonymous diplomat of this report - and funded by the US colony of Saudi Arabia. The "several governments encouraging Syrian generals to mutiny" are certainly Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and other members of the US/Zionist colonial structure.

The US diplomatic corp is very loyal to Israel, but not very talented, and playing a very weak hand in the Middle East where the fundamental reality is that everybody in the region disagrees with their agenda.

The plan outlined by the diplomat - to keep Assad engaged in low intensity fighting for three to six months by which point Syria will supposedly run out of bullets (while hoping the Saudis will continue to be able to supply the opposition beyond that point) at which time currently less-well armed disloyal units of the Syrian army will be willing, due to foreign inducements, and able to defeat now better-equipped loyal units of the army - is nonsense, but we're not going to be able to see how stupid it was until six months have passed.

It is true that, unlike three or four years from now by which time Iraq will have expelled the US and will provide Iran with a secure ground path to Syria and through Syria to Lebanon, today there is at least a theoretical ability to prevent overt arms shipments from Iran from arriving. On the other hand, Syria has resources and the ability to use smuggling at least as effectively as the Saudis. Syria still has the home-field advantage in arms, not only in present stockpiles but in future acquisitions.

Is the opposition capable of building large stockpiles of arms in Syria without the Syrian government finding out? That is pretty difficult to do, but once Syria finds them, they become Syrian.

Most likely six months from now we'll find Syria still with a tremendous arms advantage over the opposition, no Syrian generals willing to fight losing battles against the loyal sections of the Syrian army, Saudi Arabia realizing this stupid plan the Americans asked them to finance didn't work and thousands of Syrians dead in this failed operation.

Like Libya though, we keep hearing this word "protests". Syria is supposedly putting down "protesters". Where are these "protests"? In tiny border towns, but not in Damascus are there supposedly sit ins in the parks and central squares? But no pictures? Think of a small town on the periphery of your country. Does a non-violent protest there even make sense?

Pictures are not substantially more difficult to distribute than oral reports. If you can give a reporter a face to face interview, you can show that reporter images that can be copied. If you can establish a communications link over distance to a reporter, you can transmit images over the same link.

If there are no pictures, then how do the reporters know they are protests? It is true that organized opposition to the regime is taking place and the US diplomat seems to refer to any opposition - armed or unarmed, violent or non-violent - as "protests", but most likely the "protests" are taking the form of armed attempts to clear an area of Syrian forces so that area could be used as Benghazi is in Libya.

The fact that western reporters cannot tell the difference between peaceful protest and armed rebellion is notable but not important on the ground in Syria.

Six months from now a Saudi agent, acting under American/Zionist instructions, will approach a Syrian gang, police unit or army unit and offer money to kill Syrian forces to force them out of the town. The leader of the Syrian group will say, "Umm, no. That is very very unlikely to result in clearing the town of Syrian forces and more likely to result in my death."

At that point the disturbances will be over.

A real popular Tahrir Square-style opposition is likely to form in Syria over the next ten years - based in Damascus, not funded by Saudi Arabia or planned by Washington and much more difficult to put down - unless Assad either cedes power by then or wins a contested election. But over the very short term, for the next 12 months, Assad is likely secure in power.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

US to train 35,000 troops to defend Saudi colony


... and there will be times when our short term interests do not align perfectly with our long term vision of the region.

- Barack Obama, May 2011

I didn't write about this when I first saw it because it really is not news. The United States, led by Barack Obama - the black-skinned Cecil Rhodes, is well known to support the Saudi regime because that regime, along with other colonies in Egypt, UAE, Jordan, Kuwait and others is necessary to ensure that Zionism does not fall the way Apartheid did.

But since Wednesdays is now "Saudi" Arabia day here at Middle East Reality, I might as well put this here in case I want to look for it later.

Obama admin quietly expanding defense ties with Saudis

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite their deepening political divide, the United States and Saudi Arabia are quietly expanding defense ties on a vast scale, led by a little-known project to develop an elite force to protect the kingdom's oil riches and future nuclear sites.

The U.S. also is in discussions with Saudi Arabia to create an air and missile defense system with far greater capability against the regional rival the Saudis fear most, Iran. And it is with Iran mainly in mind that the Saudis are pressing ahead with a historic $60 billion arms deal that will provide dozens of new U.S.-built F-15 combat aircraft likely to ensure Saudi air superiority over Iran for years.

Together these moves amount to a historic expansion of a 66-year-old relationship that is built on America's oil appetite, sustained by Saudi reliance on U.S. military reach and deepened by a shared worry about the threat of al-Qaida and the ambitions of Iran.

The quiet U.S. moves in Saudi Arabia form part of the backdrop to President Barack Obama's speech Thursday, which is intended to put his imprint on the enormous changes sweeping across the greater Middle East.

...

The special security force is expected to grow to at least 35,000 members, trained and equipped by U.S. personnel as part of a multiagency effort that includes staff from the Justice Department, Energy Department and Pentagon. It is overseen by the U.S. Central Command.

Saudi Arabia: The Arab face of the US/Zionist colonial structure


Of the members of the US/Zionist colonial structure: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, Kuwait and others whose colonial status is necessary for Zionist Israel to avoid the fate of Apartheid South Africa, possibly the most important and currently the most active in advancing the US/Zionist agenda is Saudi Arabia.

As of today there are four things Saudi Arabia is actively doing as part of its accepted responsibility to maintain the US/Zionist colonial structure: 1) supporting Barack Obama's vanity civil war in Libya, 2) enforcing Israel's interest in maintaining Palestinian leadership selected by Israel, 3) financing what it hopes may develop into a civil war in Syria, 4) directly propping up colonial leaderships in crisis in Yemen and Bahrain.

Barack Obama's vanity civil war in Libya

Libya in January 2011 was not a firm member of the US/Zionist colonial structure like Yemen, Bahrain, Egypt or Jordan, but it was not hostile as Syria, Lebanon, Gaza or Iran either. The US had and has no strategic interest in removing Gaddafi, who was freely trading with the West, from power but there is no way to remove him without significant loss of Libyan life and huge disruption of the normal functioning of society.

I have not seen a better explanation for Obama's eagerness to remove Gaddafi from power than that embarrassed over the fall of Mubarak, the US wanted to seem active and potent again. Seeming active and potent is a horrible rationale for policies that predictably would cause large numbers of people to lose their lives, but the US has no hopes of gaining any advantage greater than that from this episode.

Civil wars kill more people than government repression of protesters. If 15,000 lives have been lost in Libya since February, that is likely more than all of the government repressions of protesters elsewhere put together. The NATO Libyan intervention was not in any sense a humanitarian intervention. The intervention is more likely to have been US and European officials sacrificing Libyan lives to personally feel more virile.

Saudi Arabia, after consultations with US officials, organized Arab expressions of support for this sacrifice of Arab lives.

Palestinian leadership selected by Israel

The US threatens to freeze funding for the Palestinian authority if it does not meet certain conditions. One condition is that Salam Fayyad or someone like him remain in the position of Prime Minister. Part of this threat is that the US will convince Arab members of the US/Zionist colonial structure to participate in its boycott.

It is interesting to think of what would happen if the Palestinians tried to call this bluff. What Saudi King Abdullah does, what his job is and why he rules what we call Saudi Arabia and not a direct US or British governor, is that he puts an Arab face on US policies. The population under his rule would be greatly more likely to revolt against a direct US governorship. But it would be difficult to put an Arab face on openly freezing Palestinian funds on behalf of the United States.

Abdullah has frozen Saudi contributions to Hamas directly at the request of the US. Possibly he would rationalize participating in a US freeze against the Palestinian authority with reference to some Sunni/Shiite conflict which the Saudis have recently begun promoting, or he could repeat the same rationalization the US gives. More likely he would do it quietly.

Abbas is lobbying to keep Fayyad because he is convinced, probably rightly, that the Arab members of the US/Zionist colonial structure would follow US orders to freeze his funding if those orders were issued.

Civil war in Syria

There has never been a Syrian Tahrir Square, there have never been massive peaceful demonstrations in Demascus or Syria's major cities that demonstrated that a large majority of the population opposed the regime. (The same actually also holds for Libya.) What the Syrian protests had from almost the very beginning was forces organized and armed enough to conduct ambushes on the Syrian military.

The US Council on Foreign Relations' Ray Takeyh recently expressed hope that Saudi funds would result in a post-Assad regime in Syria that is oriented toward the West and against Iran. Saudi money has a very poor track record in electoral contests against anti-Western parties. It was useless in Iraq and in Palestine's 2006 elections. The Saudis were able to get a parliamentary majority in Lebanon because of Lebanon's skewed electoral system, but the anti-US/Zionist faction got substantially more popular votes even there.

It is very unlikely that the Syrian people will ever vote for parties that support the US/Zionist colonial structure, but an outcome that is more likely and strategically useful for the US and Israel would be for Syria to become embroiled in internal fighting as Iraq was in 2005, then to emerge, like Iraq, even if still opposed to the US/Zionist colonial structure, weakened and less able to actively oppose that structure.

Reports that Saudi funding is available to factions willing to prosecute a Syrian civil war are probably true.

Colonial leaderships in crisis in Yemen and Bahrain

Saudi Arabia is open in its efforts to ensure that other members of the US/Zionist colonial structure defeat oppositions that have demonstrated the ability to produce mass public peaceful demonstrations.

With Egypt possibly voting itself out of the US/Zionist colonial structure later this year, Saudi Arabia will be the most critical remaining member. The fall of Saudi Arabia will be no more predictable than Mubarak's fall was in December, but after it happens, governments accountable to their own people rather than to the people of the United States and Israel will be much more possible throughout the region.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mubarak's participation in the blockade helped Gaza reach 45% unemployment


UN: Unemployment Rate In Gaza Among World's Highest
(RTTNews) - The U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said in a report on Tuesday that the Palestinian territory of Gaza Strip has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, and blamed the situation on Israel's continued blockade of the territory.

The UNRWA said its studies had revealed that unemployment rate in Gaza stood at 45.2 per cent in late 2010, admitting that it was a slight improvement when compared to the 45.7 per cent rate posted during the same period in 2009.

But the report pointed out that Gaza's jobless rate in the second half of 2010 was higher than what was recorded in the first half of last year, when a temporary building boom boosted jobs. It also noted that real wages in the coastal strip have slumped by an estimated 34.5 per cent since Israel imposed the blockade four years ago.

"These are disturbing trends and the refugees, who make up two-thirds of Gaza's 1.5 million population, were the worst hit," UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said in a statement while releasing the report.

I've for a long time held Gaza as the perfect illustration of modern US/Zionist colonialism but I'm still struck by some statistics. I was struck when the rate of child malnourishment was released, but formal unemployment of near 50% shows how wide the economic damage is.

Of course Egypt's current military leadership has opened Rafah only to limited personal travel. It also seems to be restoring the flow of Egyptian gas to Israel under Mubarak's terms. This is not a good thing, it is not what an independent Egypt would do, but I have no expectations to see an independent Egypt until the political process has started, and so far I'm still optimistic that we will see that process start this year.

The most disappointing thing about the Barack Obama presidency is the degree to which he is an advocate and apologist for maintaining the US/Zionist colonial structure in countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Kuwait and others. For me personally, the single most disgusting aspect of Obama's advocacy for this US/Zionist colonial structure is his agreement and efforts to ensure that the people of Gaza should be starved for voting not to be part of that colonial structure.

As of today, just like the stooge dictators of the US colonies such as Mubarak or King Abdullah, Barack Obama is not a man worthy of respect. He is not a man whose hand I could shake. Fortunately what he represents, the idea that the US/Zionist colonial structure can and should subjugate hundreds of millions of people in the Middle East to prevent fewer than 6 million Jews in Palestine from enduring the fate of White South Africans, seems to be a declining phenomenon.

I'm fairly optimistic that despite the vigorous and pathetic efforts of people like Mubarak and Obama, the US/Zionist colonial structure will end during my lifetime.