Tag Archives: palestine

Brothers in Arms – Saudis and Israelis

On July 10th  2017  the U.K. High  Court rejected a bid by  the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) that ‘Britain’s multi-billion-pound arms sales to Saudi Arabia should be halted because they were being used in Yemen in violation of international humanitarian law. ‘

The British  High  Court judges claimed that the Saudis had “sought positively to address concerns about International Humanitarian Law”…..”Saudi Arabia has been, and remains, genuinely committed to compliance with International Humanitarian Law; and there was no ‘real risk’ that there might be ‘serious violations’ of International Humanitarian Law (in its various manifestations) such that UK arm sales to Saudi Arabia should be suspended or cancelled,” the court said. “

One wonders whether judges can be indicted for perjury? Those judges would have known  full  well  that  their legal  judgement  was a total  and outright lie. The Saudis have in  fact  done everything possible to  exacerbate the suffering  of the Yemen population over the past two years,  with  massive starvation and typhoid outbreaks the consequence of  Saudi bombing of civilian  infrastructure and a blockade of aid and food to Yemen (using British  and U.S. aircraft  ordinance, guidance and coordination) .

One might put this ruling alongside the  eagerness of the U.K. to   continue to  pour millions into  the Israeli  military, which  has for the past 60  years engaged in  a war of not-so- slow motion genocide of the Palestinian  people, for whom  it has  legal  responsibilty as the occupying entity . One has only to  read John Pilger’s account  of the horrendous ordeal  of the Palestinian  people, to be shamed  by  our complicity in  Israeli  war crimes. What  do  these two  delightful  pariah  states have in  common?-  firstly an overweaning desire for  expansion and power; secondly the destruction of the Iranian state,  and thirdly the use of religion to  justify  their  expansionist  goals; with  the Saudis using  their  Wahhabist dogma  to  promote sectarian violence against those who  do  not subscribe to  their bizarre version of  the muslim faith,  while the Zionists use the Jewish  religion as a weapon  against  all  those who  defy  their expansionist  policies and  appropriation of other people’s lands.   As the Boycott,  Divestment Sanctions  (BDS) movement gathers steam  against  the  Israeli  entity, having at least some friends  Israel  can  rely on, may prove rather useful…

It is no  wonder then that  the long-standing secret  alliance between the Saudis and Israel  is now becoming visible, as  political  and moral  pressure  continues to  escalate against  both of them. The Saudi ‘princes’ have continued to  publicly preach  their opposition to  Israeli  occupation of Palestinian  lands , whilst  clandestinely supporting Israel. As the article in Investigaction notes: With some exceptions, support for the Palestinian cause in the Arab world is overwhelming. And regimes like Saudi Arabia have happily betrayed the Palestinian cause over and over again because they are aware that key to their survival is subservience to the United States, and that an alliance with Israel may boost their regional hegemony prospects. But because their legitimacy to rule is incredibly thin to say the least, royals and officials need to keep pretending in public that they are defending and fighting for the Palestinians.

As the economic and military  power of Iran continues to grow,  (despite the best efforts of most of the Western world; with sanctions and  attempted coups and assassinations and wars), the  anti-Iran hysteria within  the ruling classes in these two  regimes continues to  escalate. For the Saudis,  Iran , a largely Shi-ite theocracy ( i.e.  decidely more democratic than  the Saudis,  but  with brutal  political  oversight by  its religious governing bodies) is  a complete anathema to  Saudi Wahhabist  Sunni  ideology,  which holds that all  non-Sunni  muslims are in  fact not muslim  at  all.  In addition  Iran’s rapid development of an internal  arms industry (particularly in  missile development) totally unreliant on  Western imports, along with an economic  structure largely  independent  from  the West ( largely as a result of Western  sanctions based on  fraudulent claims of its  development of nuclear weapons) has allowed it to pursue a totally independent foreign policy line-  unlike the Saudis who  remain completely reliant on  U.K.  and U.S.  weaponry  and therefore required to  be  largely compliant  to U.S.  and U.K military   and political  objectives in  the Middle East.

For the Israelis,  Iran  remains the one  major threat   to its goals of a larger and all-powerful  Israel;  the Middle East  country with the largest  military (courtesy  of the United States)  and  a nuclear arsenal . Iran continues to  support fund and train  Hezbollah  in Lebanon,  and to some degree Hamas  in  the Occupied Territories of Palestine itself. Both Hezbollah,  with its devastating victory over the Israeli  Army in  Lebanon in 2006, and to  a smaller degree Hamas, with its ongoing resistance to  Israel’s brutal military incursions into  the West  Bank, have been  a thorn in  the side of Israeli  expansionism, and hence have been deemed ‘terrorist  organisations’  by the West.  Hezbollah  has again  played a significant role  against  Al Qaeda (Al Nusra) and ISIS ( funded and armed by  the Saudis and to  some degree by  Turkey, Qatar   and Israel in  the Syrian  war, with coordination and logistics provided by  British and United States intelligence agencies).  And while Israel  knows that  Iran is not going to  acquire nuclear weapons,  it is fearful  of the increasingly advanced home-grown missile technology  that Iran  posseses which now poses a significant deterrant to Israeli  expansion.

Thus  Israel  and  the Saudi  regimes; both rapidly becoming pariah states,  have  increasingly cosied up to each other, (just  as Israel  did with  apartheid South  Africa in  the 1960s) with Israel  providing overt  support to  the Saudi  war  in Yemen,  along with the British and Americans,  on the premise that somehow/somewhere  the Iranians must  be supporting the Yemenese Houthi forces there.  This most un-holy of alliances will  inevitably be the undoing of both  regimes…


Links

https://www.caat.org.uk/campaigns/stop-arming-saudi/judicial-review

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-saudi-arms-idUKKBN19V0YR

http://johnpilger.com/articles/palestine-is-still-the-issue

http://wolvestuc.org.uk/index.php/local-campaigns/wolves-palestine-solidarity/256-wolverhampton-link-to-arms-exports-to-israel

Yemen: The War That Isn’t Happening Even as It’s Happening

Israel and Saudi Arabia: a match made in heaven (or in Washington)

 

 

Yemen: The War That Isn’t Happening Even as It’s Happening

Saudi Arabia: the Useful Idiots

As Christopher Davidson makes clear in his 2016 book ‘The Shadow Wars’; the extremist ideology of wahhabism – an ‘offshoot’ of Islam, is deeply imbedded in the Saudi regime. That sectarian brutal regime could not have come to power and retained  its military domination over the Arabian peninsula, without the unconditonal support of first the British and latterly the United States. Their Wahhabist dogma states that all who don’t believe in their version of Islam are heretics and should be forcibly converted or put to death.

This dogma is the foundation of Al Qaeda and ISIS ; and these groups, along with fanatical wahhabist ideology promoted  in many Saudi  funded  Sunni mosques around the world, has been actively promoted by those in power in Riyadh since they were effectively installed by the British in the First World War to counter the Turkish Ottoman Empire’s reach..

As Davidson meticulously notes in his book, the support of the British and then the Americans for this fanatical regime, has never wavered; even after the 9/11 terror attack and now the genocide occuring in Yemen. The ongoing U.S. and British support for wahhabist terror to further Western agendas can be taken as a given.

As Human Rights Watch notes (2017) Saudi Arabia does not tolerate public worship by adherents of religions other than Islam and systematically discriminates against Muslim religious minorities, notably Twelver Shia and Ismailis, including in public education, the justice system, religious freedom, and employment. Government-affiliated religious authorities continued to disparage Shia Islam in public statements and documents.

And now we see a Saudi  attempt to completely eliminate any Shia  influence within the  ‘kingdom’  in  their ongoing brutal  crackdown  of the minority Shia population in Awamiya  on the Arabian peninsula.

Because of the huge amounts of money flowing from the Saudis into Washington and other Western ‘think-tanks’ ( ie propaganda outlets) , both Western media mainstream media and the Washington and London ‘intelligence’ communities are largely  uncritical of this despotic regime and its outpourings of hatred and violence to any Muslims and other Middle Eastern religions who do not espouse their Wahhabist ideology. As long as the Wahhabists remain useful in the cause of eliminating any threats to Israel, countering an independent Iran  or eliminating other Middle Eastern states critical of the United States or the United Kingdom- then that is all good!- regardless of the loss of lives or the devastation left behind…The destruction of the Shi-ite state of Iran is a priority of both the Saudis, Israel, as well as the U.S. and U.K. The re-appropriation of Iranian assets and oil by Western interests is looked upon longingly.

Saudi Arabia funds many wahhabist sect mosques throughout the Western world; whose aim is to preach hate and sectarian discord and promote the killing of others who do not accept their extremist views. Given that this sectarian dialogue is visible open and blatant, how is it that those western mosques have not been closed and the Saudi funnelling of money towards Wahhabists has not been blocked?

Or is this ‘minor’ irritant of localised terrorism and hate in Western states ‘worth it’, when the majority of the mosques’ gullible and disenfranchised indoctrinated young adherents can be shunted off to the Middle East with the assistance of Western intelligence agencies, so that Shi-ite or non secular non U.S. aligned states can be destroyed?

We have reached a rather surrealist situation where the previously hidden long term ‘agreement’ to divide the Middle East according to their respective spheres of influence between Israel and Saudi Arabia has now become completely visible, and now means that ISIS has needed to apologise to Israel for their unintended attack on Israeli ‘Defence’ forces. For many Arabs this apology is a clear signal of the betrayal by the Saudis of the Palestinians and their 60 year brutal occupation of Palestine by Israel military forces. Taken in conjunction with their genocidal war against the impoverished Yemen people by massive Saudi military forces, and with the total support of the U.K. and U.S., Saudi credibility has reached an all time low amongst Arab populations across the Middle East.

Once can only hope that the end of the brutal ‘reign’ of the House of Saud is nigh.


Links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabism

https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2017/country-chapters/saudi-arabia

https://off-guardian.org/2015/12/10/saudi-arabia-leads-the-jihadist-nations-u-s-assists-them/

https://www.sott.net/article/308121-Investigating-Saudi-Arabias-sponsorship-of-Turkish-politics-terrorism-and-the-frenzied-conflict-in-Syria

http://intpolicydigest.org/2015/11/29/why-isis-exists-the-double-game/

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alastair-crooke/isis-wahhabism-saudi-arabia_b_5717157.html You Can’t Understand ISIS If You Don’t Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia

Shadow Wars-The Secret Struggle for the Middle East, Christopher Davidson 2016

https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/christopher-davidson-ian-sinclair/christopher-davidson-interview-what-is-role-of-west-in-middle-e

http://thesaker.is/who-are-the-sunnis-a-lamentation/

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line

http://www.unz.com/pcockburn/war-with-iran-seems-likely-as-trump-cosies-up-with-saudi-arabia/


Postcript  Links

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201705201053811797-abu-trump-al-amriki/

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/manchester-attack-salman-abedi-salafi-jihadism-wahhabism-isis-al-qaeda-islam-muslim-suicide-bombing-a7754301.html

Patriotism: The Refuge of Scoundrels

The blog heading is one of Mark Twain’s quotes. But here is  a much  better one from Mr Clemens.

Man is the only Patriot. He sets himself apart in his own country, under his own flag, and sneers at the other nations, and keeps multitudinous uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people’s countries, and keep them from grabbing slices of his. And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood of his hands and works for “the universal brotherhood of man”- with his mouth.
– “The Lowest Animal”- Mark Twain

Today, in my little part of the world; it is once again  Anzac Day, originally  commemorated to  mark  the bloody  failure  of the  British  Empire’s coordinated attack on Turkish  positions in the Dardanelles at  Gallipoli   in World War One, but now, ( supposedly) it ‘acknowledges the sacrifice of all those who have died in warfare, and the contribution and suffering of all those who have served.” Strangely however  this commemoration of all  who  have died in  wars is marked by   artillery salutes, marching uniformed men and much  fanfare about  this country’s patriotism. We are encouraged to  believe that Anzac Day now promotes a sense of unity, perhaps more effectively than any other day on the national calendar. People whose politics, beliefs and aspirations are widely different can nevertheless share a genuine sorrow at the loss of so many lives in war, and a real respect for those who have endured warfare on behalf of the country we live in. (New Zealand Government).

I for one,  am  appalled  that  the majority consensus in New Zealand appears to  be that  ‘plucky little New Zealand’  became a real  country  with its own  identity, and not just  a member of the British  Empire, by  maiming and killing its way through  a series of foreign “adventures”.  The one possible exception to this catastrophic jingoistic litany of murder and mayhem, is New Zealand’s very  real  contribution to  the war  against  Nazi Germany and  Japan  during the Second World War, when  a New Zealand invasion by  the Japanese Imperial Army was a high  probability at  one point.

Every  other war  we have fought, we have fought at  the behest  of others-  from  the genocide inflicted on the Boers during the Boer Wars as part of the British  Imperial  Army’s need to maintain  control of South African assets, the First  World War’s bizarre clash of European monarchies , the  staggering level  of genocide  inflicted on Koreans  by  the “Allies’ (including New Zealand naval  bombardment  of civilian areas) during the Korean War, our implicit involvement in American  genocide in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, our explicit connection to  rendering of Afghan suspects to   U.S. torture centres in Afghanistan, and our ongoing  complicity in the Five Eyes  intelligence project,  which  currently serves American  and U.K. interests in  promoting terrorism  around the world and destroying  human rights.

All in all,  it is not a record I for one am proud of.  Our ongoing subservience to  the  paranoid and psychopathic American  war machine and its  business interests, serves no-one’s interests  on this planet, other than  a few  crazed right wing  American  idealogues and the military/industrial  complex.

I was proud of my country  when our prime minister of the time, Norman Kirk, sent frigates to  Muroroa Atoll  in the south Pacific,  to protest  the French  destroying that island with nuclear bombs and contaminating the environment for thousands of miles.  I was proud when  our prime minister of the day,  David Lange, announced we would henceforth  be a nuclear-free nation, and even a little proud when prime minister Helen Clark refused to send   significant ground troops to Iraq  to  support the American  invasion there.  But we have sunk to new lows since those times, in obsequiously following our U.S.  masters into Iraq once more, to   fight a stupendously foolish  war  in Afghanistan,  and to  mouth support for America’s duplicitous  ‘war on terror’   while  unconditionally  supporting the key  centres of terror in the world; Saudi Arabia and Turkey,  along with support for the 60  year  old  brutal  Israeli  occupation of Palestine .

Despite successive  New Zealand governments’ posturings that  we are now a sovereign nation  because of Anzac Day, when are we truly going to be a proud and  independent nation  who  stands in truth  for peace and international justice?

 

 

Oily Euphemisms and Weasel Words

The courageous ex U.N Special  Rapporteur for Palestine, Richard Falk once again notes  the slick cynicism of those in positions of power in the West  and East who  clothe   the evils of Israeli occupation of Palestine  in  what Richard Falk  beautifully describes as “oily eupehemisms”, but which  in  my homeland we would simply call  “weasel  words”: i.e. cloaking evil  in nice words to  ensure  our privileged place is not compromised.

The  murder, theft, torture   and terror that  Palestinians have had to  ensure at  the hands of an occupation  government that has been  wholeheartedly supported  in their  70 years of genocide by  every  Western government, has been  completely unfettered . However just  as with apartheid South Africa, and  the wholehearted Western  support for   a “good”  white government “battling the darkies”; the reality of the despotism  of  this  undisputed pure and simple   rascism, is finally hitting home to  many in  the West.

Now that the tide is slowing turning, and Western populations are progressively becoming to  realise the enormity of these  human  rights violations  by  “poor little Israel”, we have increasing numbers of those governments now cynically attempting  to  divert the tide of public opinion by recognising   Palestine as an independent state. In its current  geographical  boundaries , which  have  been progressively sliced  and walled away by  the Israeli  occupation every  year, Palestine  is a completely nonviable state entity.

Because of the actions of  the Israeli military  and their government  over  this 70  years of depredation,  a single state solution is now the only answer. A single state where all  its occupants have equal  rights, where lands stolen over the past 70  years are restored, where  Palestinians forcibly  exiled have full  right of return and full  compensation from  those who  have destroyed their livelihoods, homes, orchards  and family members.

Maybe then the oily euphemisms can  be replaced with truth  and honesty.

Postscript

Here, we  have  a most wonderful  example ( were it not so  appalling and disgusting) commentary from  an Israeli apologist supreme, a David P Goldman  who argues , with such  authencity, that  all  those Gazan  women and children murdered by Israeli  soldiers in  their last onslaught  against the ghetto of Gaza, did so because Hamas  forced them to  stand up  and be bombed shot and strafed . Oh those Palestinians brought it on themselves didn’t they  Mr Goldman?

Read the account of “Jerusalem Day ” this year from  Electronic Intifada or see the resulting “Death to  Arabs” march  by  Israeli  children

And for those who  may  doubt the  barbarism of the Israeli  ongoing assault on Palestine and its tiny Gaza enclave-it may be useful  to  read the  testimonials of Israeli  soldiers in their recent  “Protective Edge” or “Stalwart Cliff” assault on Gaza here  at  Breaking the Silence

And, let us never forget, there are many  Jewish  voices internationally  resisting the Zionist  agenda of subjugation of occupied peoples- particularly the Jewish Voices for Peace movement

And a further piece of evidence of the  now desperate  responses from  those attempting to shore up  the  sordid reputation of the Israeli  occupation forces, from  the Israeli  newspaper Haaretz, noting among other points that:  A new website is publicizing the identities of pro-Palestinian student activists to prevent them from getting jobs after they graduate from college. But the website is keeping its own backers’ identity a secret. “It is your duty to ensure that today’s radicals are not tomorrow’s employees,” a female narrator intones in a slick video posted to the website’s YouTube account. Called Canary Mission, the site has posted profiles of dozens of students and recent graduates, alongside those of well-known activists like Omar Barghouti, founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement…..