Sunday, August 26, 2012

West Mute Over Chemical Weapon Use in Bahrain

Bahraini regime uses toxic gasses against civilian opposition.

Voltaire Network
August 26, 2012


The Bahraini security forces have started spraying toxic gasses in areas where members of opposition groups reside and in those areas and districts which witness daily popular protests against the Al-Khalifa regime, reports said.

Several Bahraini news websites reported on Thursday that large groups of al-Khalifa forces attacked a large number of districts in the Bahraini cities and villages to suppress and arrest those who had attended the protest rallies against the ruling system.

They also sprayed toxic gasses at residential districts and people’s houses.

Earlier reports from the Arab country said that as protests continue in Bahrain, the police keep bombarding dissenters with tear gas, which local residents say is now getting both stronger and thicker. It’s not only affecting just protesters, either - tear gas is getting into people’s homes. For many, it’s now becoming part of everyday life.

Bahraini human rights groups have cried out against the widespread use of tear gas, which they say is being spread haphazardly in areas where the authorities believe protesters live, notably lower-income Shiite neighborhoods. Several cases of death by suffocation have been reported, including of people inside their homes.

Anti-government protesters have been holding peaceful demonstrations across Bahrain since mid-February 2011, calling for an end to the Al Khalifa dynasty’s over-40-year rule.

Violence against the defenseless people escalated after a Saudi-led conglomerate of police, security and military forces from the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) member states - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar - were dispatched to the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom on March 13, 2011, to help Manama crack down on peaceful protestors.

So far, tens of protesters have been killed, hundreds have gone missing and thousands of others have been injured.

Police clampdown on protesters continues daily. Authorities have tried to stop organized protests by opposition parties over the past month by refusing to license them and using tear gas on those who turn up.
The opposition coalition wants full powers for the elected parliament and a cabinet fully answerable to parliament.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Arab Monarchies: Relics of Barbarism

Webster G. Tarpley Ph.D.
Press TV
August 17, 2012

Recent months have provided the world with a grotesque spectacle of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the other reactionary Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf pretending to take the lead in the struggle for democracy and human rights in a number of countries, most recently Syria. 



 Image: The unelected, autocratic despotic monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). 

....

Now, there are numerous signs that a revolutionary upsurge may soon be on the agenda in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, with Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Oman possibly not far behind. The successful overthrow of the oppressive monarchies of these nations would be an event of world historical significance, and would represent a victory for world peace and a grievous defeat for the imperialist world domination of Washington and London.

The reactionary monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula on the shores of the Persian Gulf are all members of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which was formed to support Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war. Jordan and Morocco, the two Arab monarchies outside of the Persian Gulf, have been invited to join the GCC, which would make it a kind of self-defense league for endangered royals. The GCC has also talked of making a transition from regional bloc to confederation; Saudi Arabia advocates this idea, while the other monarchies fear being swallowed up.

The Arab monarchies that emerged under British auspices from the wreckage of the Ottoman Empire have always represented an anachronism, in sharp contradiction to the whole direction of modern history and human progress elsewhere in the world.

The last hundred years have seen a nearly uninterrupted catalog of monarchies which have become extinct. The Chinese Empire ended in 1911. At the end of World War I, monarchies were falling like bowling pins. This included the Habsburg Emperors of Austria-Hungary, the Romanoff Czars of Russia, and the Hohenzollern Emperors of Germany and Kings of Prussia. The Sultan or Caliph of the Ottoman Empire was also deposed. These were soon followed by the Spanish monarchy. The Japanese tried to create a new empire in Manchuria, but they were unsuccessful. At the end of World War II, additional monarchies became extinct in Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia. In July, 1952, King Farouk of Egypt was overthrown by Colonel Nasser and the Free Officers movement. The British had installed King Idris as Libyan ruler in 1951, but he was ousted by a military coup led by Colonel Qaddafi. The Hashemite rulers of Iraq were ousted in 1958 by the coup led by General Kasem. In the 1970s, Spain swam against the tide by restoring its royal house. But around the same time the Greek monarchy came to an end. The Islamic Revolution in Iran overthrew Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in February 1979.

Only in the Arab territories of the former Ottoman Empire could monarchy make a comeback, due largely to the influence of the British Empire, and then increasingly to the support of the United States. The current monarchy of the House of Saud emerged during World War I under the sponsorship of the British, who through Lawrence of Arabia had incited the Arabs of Hijaz to rebel against the Turkish Sultan. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the British tried to put Syria and Iraq under a monarchy of the House of Hashem, and the Hashemites hold the Jordanian Crown today.

Saudi Arabia is still an absolute monarchy. Few people in the West have any comprehension of what this means. Under the House of Saud, there are no guaranteed rights, no separation of powers, no checks and balances, no guarantee of due process. There is no written constitution. The monarch is considered to be the owner of the entire country and of all the people in it, over whom he exercises a theoretical - and sometimes grimly practical - power of life and death. Representative bodies are sometimes chosen or nominated, but they are purely consultative: they can offer advice the crown, but they have no power to block or implement any policy.

Absolute monarchy also prevails under the Thani family in Qatar, the home of the Al Jazeera propaganda channel. After World War II, Qatar was one of the poorest countries in the region, with a pearl industry in decline. The Thanis, like the Sauds, are members of the militant Wahhabite sect, and for a time they were in danger of being absorbed into the Saudi kingdom. The Thani royals were saved by the discovery of oil, and by their Exclusive Agreement with Great Britain. There is a tradition of coup d’état by disgruntled factions inside the royal family, and there may have been an attempt of this type in the spring of 2012.

Another absolute monarchy is that of the Sultanate of Oman, which is subjected to the rule of Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, who overthrow his own father in a palace coup in July 1973 and sent him to live out his days in Claridges Hotel in London. The Saids have been in power since 1744.

Bahrain, since 1783 under the rule of the Khalifa family, claims to be a constitutional monarchy, but the events of the last 18 months have shown that the monarchical power is practically totalitarian. Bahrain was a British protectorate until 1971. The Khalifas are Sunni Muslims in a majority Shiite country, and nevertheless they monopolize the most important posts in the government. Oil was discovered in Bahrain in 1932, before any of the other Arab states of the Persian Gulf, and oil production has been in decline. As a result, the standard of living here is lower than in the neighboring countries. The monarchy was saved from possible overthrow by a mass upsurge on March 14, 2011 thanks to the Peninsula Shield Force of Saudi and Emirati personnel which crushed the protest demonstrations. Demonstrators have been subjected to draconian jail sentences, while censorship and electronic surveillance remain the order of the day.

The United Arab Emirates, the old Trucial States, are a confederation of seven absolute mini-monarchies, of which the most important are Abu Dhabi under the Nahyans and Dubai under the Maktoum family. These were under British rule until 1971. Along with Qatar, the UAE has been at the forefront of attempts to destabilize Syria. The UAE also took the lead during the attack on Libya, and now hopes to play a prominent role in the looting of Libya’s oil wealth under the new regime.

Kuwait is ruled by the Sabah family, who were restored by US in the first Persian Gulf War. During that conflict, it was revealed that the Sabahs, like their monarchical colleagues, still practice household slavery, which the US under George H. W. Bush, was thus supporting. During the Iraq war, Kuwait was turned into a US garrison state. Kuwait has a parliament, but the government is appointed by the Sabahs. The opposition is pressing for full parliamentary democracy, while the Sabahs are trying to hold on to power by changing the voting law.

All of these monarchies fear their own populations. They therefore rely on the support of the United States and the British. In addition, they also cooperate closely with the Israeli Mossad.

The hedonistic Persian Gulf monarchs need to contemplate the sad fate of Louis Philippe II, the Duke of Orleans, in the French Revolution. Descended from the younger branch of the French royal House of Bourbon, he thought he could ride the tiger of revolutionary agitation and gain more power for himself. He called himself Philippe Egalité, and organized the 1789 storming of the Bastille which set off the revolution. He voted for the death sentence for his relative, Louis XVI. But in the end, the forces Philippe Egalité had unleashed turned against him, and he died on the guillotine in November 1793 at the height of the reign of terror which he had helped to unleash. The Persian Gulf monarchs pretending to support revolutions should take note.


To qualify as a real revolution, a political upheaval needs to create an important and lasting institutional change. This can be the overthrow of the monarchy, the ouster of a foreign colonial power, a land reform capable of breaking the power of latifundists, the abolition of slavery, or other achievements of the same magnitude. By this measure, the French, American, Russian, Chinese, Egyptian, and Iranian revolutions fulfill the necessary criteria.

By contrast, the events of the Arab Spring have so far fallen short. In Egypt in particular, it was clear that the seizure of power by the Army in the wake of Mubarak’s departure meant that a second revolution would be needed - just as the Russian Revolution of February 1917 was followed by the October Revolution of the same year. Whether Egypt gets a second revolution remains to be seen.

But the overthrow of the House of Saud, likely followed by the toppling of its satellites in Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates, would send positive shockwaves around the world. In addition to lifting an oppressive yoke from the populations involved, it would accelerate the transition from the unipolar world domination exercised by the Anglo-Americans after 1992, and would speed the transition towards world normalization on a multi-polar basis. Because imperialism would be significantly weakened by the fall of these kings, the future of national states would become brighter all over the planet.

WGT/JR

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Saudi Shame on Islamic World

Finian Cunningham
PressTV
August 17, 2012


Saudi Arabia
Image: Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz (C) is escorted by Turkish President Abdullah Gul (C-R) as Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati (L) walks alongside them during an extraordinary summit of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Mecca.
....




As the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) concludes its emergency summit in Mecca this week with the suspension of Syria, its member states should now consider amending the body’s name - to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation with United States Imperialism (OICUSI).

For the OIC stands as a violation of every principle it is supposed to represent. In calling for this conference with its flagrantly politicised agenda, Saudi Arabia emerges as the shame of the Islamic world.

Admittedly, the acronym OICUSI is a bit clunky, but it would be far more truthful than the present OIC. The 57-member organisation, founded in 1969, represents some two billion Muslims worldwide and is charged with “promoting solidarity among members and upholding peace and security”.

Far from promoting solidarity and peace, the OIC has shown itself to be a political instrument serving the geopolitical interests of Washington and its allies in the destruction of Syria and their designs for entrenching hegemonic control over the Middle East. That control is all about exploiting the resources of the region to enrich Western corporations and banks, paying off elite rulers and impoverishing the mass of people.

Of course the Syrian people want reform and more democracy. But they won’t achieve that so long as Saudi Arabia and the other Western proxies remain on their thrones of deception colluding with the foreign enemies of the people.



Just at the hour when the people of Syria are desperately in need of international solidarity and peace, the OIC delivers a kick in the teeth.

In this way, the OIC is following in the disgraceful footsteps of the 21-member Saudi-dominated Arab League, which suspended Syria last November.

These sanctions against Damascus are based on the entirely bogus claim fomented by Washington and the former colonial powers London and Paris that the conflict in Syria stems solely from repression and violence perpetrated by the government of President Bashar Al Assad against his people. This propaganda narrative turns reality completely on its head. The violence in Syria over the past 17 months has largely stemmed from armed groups that are supplied, directed and infiltrated by the Western powers in collusion with Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel.

The US-led axis is attempting to tear Syria apart by fuelling sectarian bloodshed between Sunni and Shia Muslims, and between Muslims, Christians, Druze and Kurds. The desecration of Islam is particularly vile. Mosques have been turned into sniper posts to fire on civilians, and whole villages have been massacred - the throats of children slit - by so-called Holy Warriors.

These jihadists, who have gravitated to Syria from Britain, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Iraq, among other countries, are directed by Washington, London and Paris in time-honoured fashion of these powers’ criminal involvement with Islamic fundamentalists under the catch-all nom de guerre of Al Qaeda. They are weaponised by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel; they are trained and based by Turkey and Jordan. And their brains are weaponised by Saudi Wahhabism, with all its intolerant pathological hatred to anyone who opposes its tyranny and Western objectives.

In the context of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, this conspiracy of terror and mass murder should be matter of diabolical shame for member states Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Jordan. These supposedly Islamic countries are colluding with the Western powers and their criminal Zionist proxy in the murder of Muslims and other Syrians in the service of imperialist domination of the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia in particular is seen as abusing its historic role as custodian of the holy Islamic centre of Mecca to further a despicable political agenda. By calling the extraordinary meeting of the OIC in Mecca - supposedly to discuss the violence in Syria - Saudi Arabia is covering its blood-soaked hands with a mantle of religious sanctity.

By contrast, Iran’s delegation to the OIC conference, headed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, stood out as upholding the principles of the organisation. Iran rightly pointed out the basic injustice that the Syrian government was not even invited to the Mecca conference to hear the charges being levelled against it, and to have the opportunity to defend itself against such charges. One shouldn’t be surprised by the absence of jurisprudence for Syria at the Saudi-orchestrated event. After all, thousands of ordinary Bahrainis are being dragged through military courts in Saudi-backed Bahrain solely on the basis of trumped up prosecutions with no right to defend themselves either.

Iran’s foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi noted at the beginning of the three-day conference: “Every country, especially OIC countries, must join hands to resolve this issue in such a way that will help the peace, security and stability in the region.”

He warned: “By suspending [Syria’s] membership, this does not mean you are moving towards resolving an issue. By this, you are erasing the issue.”

Unfortunately, Salehi’s sound advice was ignored. With typical Wahhabist attitude of no discussion, no explanation, the Saudi-hosted conference ended with the formal suspension of Syria from the OIC. The heavy-handed conclusion achieves what it was meant to: to not give Syria a fair hearing, to further isolate the country in the eyes of the world, to conceal the violent involvement of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and Jordan in the destruction of Syria, and to give political cover for their imperialist masters in the dismemberment of Syria.

The Mecca summit has all the signs of a tawdry show trial, shamefully under the banner of Islam, conducted, of all places, in the holy city. Current OIC chief is Turkish national Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu. He said the decision to suspend Syria sent “a strong message” to Damascus.

A statement issued at the end of the summit said participants had agreed on “the need to end immediately the acts of violence in Syria and to suspend that country from the OIC”.

The suspension was “also a message to the international community stating that the Muslim world backs a peaceful solution [in Syria], wants an end to the bloodshed and refuses to let the problem degenerate into a religious conflict and spill over into the wider region,” the OIC chief Ihsanoglu added.

Absolutely not true. First, if the OIC was serious about “ending immediately the acts of violence in Syria” then it would have suspended the memberships foremost of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and Turkey - the instigators of so-much bloodshed, terrorism and crimes against humanity in Syria that are inflaming the region.

Second, on the claim that “the Muslim world backs a peaceful solution in Syria”, it should be noted that the Geneva accord agreed by the UN Security Council at the end of June, which calls for an inclusive political dialogue in Syria, has been continually violated by the Western, Arab, Turk, Israeli backers of the Jihadist terror army assailing that country.

Indeed, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov says these parties have sabotaged the Geneva accord.

At the OIC summit, Saudi Arabia and Turkey in particular have arrogated the banner of the Muslim world, when in truth they are the unseemly standard bearers for imperialist butchery in the Middle East.

In this holy month of Ramadan, where faith, compassion and truth before God is supposed to be adhered to more than ever, the Saudi OIC conference is truly an abomination of all that is supposedly represented by “Islam/peace”.

FC/MA

Regarding Despotic Gulf Monarchies' Hypocrisy

Kings unpopular at home talk of reform in Syria: Ahmadinejad.

PressTV
August 16, 2012




Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he was surprised, during a recent summit in Saudi Arabia, to see the monarchs of certain countries speak of the need for reforms in Syria while their own rules were unpopular at home.

Referring to the recent meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Mecca, Ahmadinejad said “I was surprised in this summit [to see] that the kings of some countries were speaking against Syria while the majority of their own people do not want them [to rule].”

The Iranian president made the comment in a Wednesday meeting with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul on the sidelines of the OIC emergency meeting in Saudi Arabia.

During their meeting, Ahmadinejad underlined the inevitability of reforms but added, “I am of course waiting to see when these reforms will reach the other countries in the region.”

Killings and war cannot be employed to achieve reforms, the Iranian president pointed out.

Noting that all nations desire justice, freedom and respect, he emphasized that “no one can win by force,” and a government that comes to power by force cannot remain independent.

The Iranian chief executive further reiterated that the Islamic Republic is prepared to do whatever it can to establish a calm, humane and fair environment in Syria “so that people will no longer be killed and the situation will not get complicated.”

President Gul, for his part, underlined his country’s friendship with Iran and asserted that Turkey was pursuing its principles, including the the establishment of peace.

The two-day emergency meeting of the OIC members was held upon the request of Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz in Mecca to address major issues facing the Muslim world as well as the latest developments in the region.

MFB/HJL/MA

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bahraini protesters call for downfall of Al Khalifa regime

Bahraini protesters have held demonstration in the capital, Manama, demanding the downfall of the Al Khalifa regime in the country. 

PressTV
August 14, 2012

Bahraini protesters take part in a demonstration in solidarity with leading activist Nabeel Rajab in the village of Sitra, south of Manama, on June 7, 2012.

Image: (PressTV) Bahraini protesters take part in a demonstration in solidarity with leading activist Nabeel Rajab in the village of Sitra, south of Manama, on June 7, 2012.

The anti-regime rally was staged on Monday night following similar protests in several villages and towns across the country over the past days.

Bahraini government forces have used excessive force against the protesters since the beginning of demonstrations in February 2011.


According to the leading opposition party, al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, more than 1,400 prisoners are being kept as hostages in the regime’s jails.

The group has accused the Manama regime of responding to the demands of the people with killings, arrests and torture.

Meanwhile, Bahraini security forces arrested four protesters in the northern village of Tubli on Sunday. The Bahraini forces also attacked protesters during an anti-regime rally in the northeastern island of Sitra.

The police frequently use teargas canisters, rubber bullets, and sound grenades to disperse the protesters.

The demonstrators hold King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa responsible for the deaths of the protesters since the beginning of the revolution.

Scores of people have been killed and many others have been injured in the Saudi-backed crackdown on the peaceful protests in Bahrain.

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

AO/HJL


Monday, August 13, 2012

Bahraini security forces attack anti-regime protesters in Sitra


Bahraini security forces have attacked the protesters, holding an anti-regime demonstration in the northeastern island of Sitra. 


PressTV
August 13, 2012


View Larger Map

 The demonstrators took to the streets in Sitra on Sunday.

Meanwhile, protesters in Manama torched tires and blocked the roads near the Bahrain International Airport.
 

Bahrainis continue peaceful demonstrations against the ruling monarchy, despite the regime’s violent crackdown on the protests. The police frequently use teargas canisters, rubber bullets, and sound grenades to disperse the protesters.

The demonstrators hold King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa responsible for the deaths of the protesters during the uprising that began in February 2011.

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

HSN/HN

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bahrainis continue anti-regime protest in Boori village

PressTV
August 12, 2012



Bahraini protesters have once again taken to the streets in the village of Boori to demand democratic changes and downfall of the Al Khalifa regime.

The anti-regime protesters chanted slogans against the ruling regimes in both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and condemned the persecution of protesters.

The protesters also called for an end to Manama’s Saudi-backed crackdown on peaceful protests in the Persian Gulf island state.

Protesters blocked a road by torching tires in the village on Saturday.

On the same day, security forces attacked protesters in several villages, including Sitra, Dar Kulaib, and al-Malikiyah, wounding and arresting a number of demonstrators.

Anti-regime protests continue in Bahrain, despite the heavy-handed crackdown by the Western-backed monarchy.

Scores of people have been killed and many others injured or arrested in the campaign of suppression.

Since mid-February 2011, thousands of anti-government protesters have been staging regular demonstrations across the country, calling for the Al Khalifa family to relinquish power.

The anti-regime demonstrators hold King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa responsible for the deaths of the protesters during the popular uprising.

AO/HN

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Syrian envoy to Mauritania rejects Qatar’s offer to defect

Syrian Ambassador to Nouakchott Hamad Seed Albni has rejected an offer by Qatar’s Embassy in Mauritania to defect from the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in return for certain incentives. 

PressTV
August 11, 2012 


Map: Mauritania is in northwestern Africa. Syria's ambassador to the nation was approached by his Qatari counterpart in a bid to buy him off and further undermine the government of Syria. 
....

Qatar’s ambassador to Mauritania proposed his Syrian counterpart in Nouakchott a million dollars in cash, a monthly salary of 20,000 dollars for 20 years and permanent residence in Qatari capital of Doha, the Lebanese-based Al-Manar TV reported.

The Syrian ambassador refused the offer for his defection and said it was a “blatant interference” in Syria’s affairs.

Albni warned his Qatari counterpart against the repetition of such a move.

In an exclusive interview with Press TV in July, Syria’s Parliament Speaker Mohammed Jihad al-Laham criticized Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar for fueling the unrest in his country by supporting the insurgents fighting against the government.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the unrest.

SF/HJL/MA

Qatar's Doha Despots Blamed for Syrian Abductions

Victims of Qatari-funded & armed terrorism call on Doha for action.
 
IOGSD
August 11, 2012

A snapshot from a TV news showing two of the Lebanese hostages abducted in Syria on May 22
 
Image: (PressTV) A snapshot from a TV news showing two of the Lebanese hostages abducted in Syria on May 22.
 ....
  
Press TV has reported in their article, "Families of Lebanese abductees slam Qatar for kidnappings," that "the families of the 11 Lebanese pilgrims kidnapped in Syria have staged a sit-in in front of Qatar’s embassy in Beirut, declaring Doha responsible for the lives of the abductees." It also reported that, ""the 11 Lebanese pilgrims were returning from a pilgrimage in Iran when they were kidnapped by Syrian insurgents near Syria’s northern province of Aleppo on May 22." 
 
Qatar is openly arming and funding the terrorists inside Syria responsible for these kidnappings and many other atrocities. 
 
Reuters reported in their article, "Saudi, Qatar paying salaries to Syria rebels: diplomat," that the Gulf despots were literally paying militants to fight in Syria, and that NATO member Turkey was coordinating the logistics of the payments. Reuters also reported that Qatar openly called for arming terrorists in Syria in their article, "Qatar PM calls for arming Syrian rebels." 
 
The London Guardian would then report in, "Qatar crosses the Syrian Rubicon: £63m to buy weapons for the rebels," that Qatar was laundering money and weapons through Libyan terrorist groups - the same groups Qatar armed in the 2011 NATO war on Libya. 

Finally, weapons and cash being brought into Syria through Turkey, is openly being coordinated by the United States through the CIA, reported the New York Times in their article, "C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition." 

Clearly then Qatar is complicit in the violence and atrocities carried out by militants they are underwriting, and responsible for the innocent lives being jeopardized and lost. 
 
Terrorists operating in Syria are notorious for kidnapping, torturing, and mass murdering civilians and tourists alike, as detailed in Human Rights Watch's own report "Syria: Armed Opposition Groups Committing Abuses" (summary here). While HRW has reported these atrocities, it along with the Western media, has attempted to downplay, spin, and excuse them, allowing Western governments and their Gulf allies to continue supporting, funding, and arming the militants.  
 
The most recent kidnapping by militants in Syria involves 48 Iranian pilgrims in Damascus. Iran has also approached Qatar as well as Turkey in an attempt negotiate for their release. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Saudi's Women Olympians are for International PR Only

At home - Saudi domestic media ignores, while others scorn, own female athletes.

IOGSD
August 10, 2012

Editorial - I am no fan of the Olympics. I see it as a corporate-financier diversion expending vital resources that benefit mainly large corporations and provide only temporary windfalls for locals who would be better served if longer-term programs were invested in instead. The Olympics however can serve as a metric for many geopolitical trends and phenomenons.


Image: The bottom-line, not human rights, is the purpose of the Olympic Games - therefore superficial concessions on basic human rights can be made by states cooperating with the corporate-financier interests that dominate this Fortune 500 diversion.
....

It is the year 2012 - man has long since landed on the moon, there are trains speeding across China hovering on a cushion of magnetism, and the computational power of our handheld phones dwarfs that of institutional mainframes from years ago. Yet in the year 2012, Saudi Arabia has only just now allowed women (2 of them) to compete on its behalf at the Olympics.

How Saudi Arabia hasn't been banned  from the Olympics is a testament to the double standards of this faux-international faux-progressive global event. Indeed, Saudi Arabia, despite its medieval posture toward 50% of its population, has been freely allowed to participate in the games for decades.

South Africa was banned from the Olympics in 1964 because it refused to condemn apartheid. How is it then that Saudi Arabia, who prohibits women from driving, from voting in local elections (national elections do not exist in Saudi Arabia), segregates them to female-only cities, and until 2012, from even competing in the Olympics and presumably other international sporting events, is not banned?

Saudi Arabia plays nicely behind the scenes with the vast Western corporate-financier interests of Wall Street and London, it possesses vast oil wealth, and it is an integral lynchpin in Western geopolitical interests across the Muslim World, not just in the Middle East. This is why it is allowed to do what it wants to its own people via its draconian domestic policy, and people abroad via its terroristic foreign policy.

And while some might say that this year's inclusion of Saudi women at the Olympics is a sign of progress - I assure you it is not. It is crass propaganda for the sole consumption of gullible international opinion. That is because back at home, Saudi Arabia's female Olympians are either entirely ignored by the Saudi press, or are in fact berated, scorned, and mocked. Saudi Arabia's media, it should be known, is largely owned by the Saudi government, or in other words, the autocratic absolute monarchy that runs the nation.

That the media then is ignoring these athletes indicates that Saudi Arabia's "reforms" are utterly disingenuous - window dressing for an increasingly suspicious international public who has been barraged by Western and Gulf State-funded "Arab Spring" slogans for nearly 2 years and is left confounded over how the Gulf State despots themselves have remained unscathed.

While the Western media has decided to applaud the Saudi despots for their "historic" decision to allow women to participate in the 2012 Olympics, there is nothing "historic" about window-dressing PR stunts conducted in lieu of real reform. In 2012, the Olympics have left me with yet another reason to boycott and tune out this exercise in excess - accepting Saudi Arabia's disingenuous gesture, and calling it "progress."

Saudi Protesters Call for Prisoners’ Release

Press TV
August 10, 2012
 

Saudi protesters have staged a demonstration in the city of Taif, calling for the release of political prisoners in the kingdom.

People in Taif in the southwest of the country demonstrated on Thursday to express solidarity with political prisoners.

The protesters also demanded an end to rights violations in the monarchy.

Saudi Arabia has arrested scores of anti-government protesters since the beginning of the uprising in the country. Prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nemr Baqir al-Nemr is among the detainees.

Sheikh Nemr was injured and arrested by Saudi security forces of the Al Saud regime while driving from a farm to his house in Qatif on July 8.
Since February 2011, protesters have held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in the Kingdom's east, mainly in Qatif and Awamiyah.

The demonstrators called for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to widespread discrimination.

However, the demonstrations have turned into protests against the repressive Al Saud regime, especially since November 2011, when Saudi security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in the oil-rich region.

AGB/MA/AZ

Despite Huge Oil Revenues Saudi Standard of Living Amongst Lowest in World


"Saudis Life Quality Among Worst in World."
 
August 10, 2012 

File photo shows a Saudi family in the impoverished al-Sweadi district of Riyadh.
 
Saudi Arabia is among the countries with the worst living conditions according to the latest global rankings despite being the world’s biggest oil exporter.

An international website which ranks the states from the best to the worst in terms of living conditions has in its ranking placed Saudi Arabia in the 169th position among 190 states.

Only Iraq, Somali, Yemen, and Sudan rank lower than Saudi Arabia in the list.

Saudi media have sharply criticized the government over widespread poverty in the kingdom.

Last month, Saudi newspaper Okaz reported that sixty percent of the people in Saudi Arabia live below the poverty line.

Saudi journalist Khaled al-Harbi wrote in an article that while Saudi Arabia earns 1,500 billion riyals (around 400 billion dollars) a year, the average salary of an ordinary Saudi citizen is around 1,500 riyals (around 400 dollars) a month.

Saudi activists have criticized Riyadh for spending vast sums on buying arms from the West and not helping the millions living in poverty.

In 2010, Riyadh purchased over 60 billion dollars worth of weapons from the United States, which Washington lauded as the largest arms deal in history.

AGB/MA/AZ

....

Editor's Note: Saudi Arabia also finishes near dead-last in regards to women's rights (page 11, .pdf) - not based on contrived metrics or difficult to gauge "equality," but on basic rights denied such as being banned from driving, voting, etc.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

One-Sided Arab Spring Coverage

Russia Today
August 10, 2012



....

Editor's Note: Western media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, and the BBC are mentioned. Also complicit are Saudi Arabia's Al Arabiya and Qatar's Al Jazeera. 

Saudi Protesters Hold Anti-Regime Rallies in Qatif


August 10, 2012 
Saudi anti-regime protesters have once against held rallies in the city of Qatif in Eastern Province to protest against police crackdown on demonstrators. 
Chanting anti-Al Saud slogans, the protesters called for the release of prominent Shia cleric Nemr al-Nemr, who was injured and detained in the city in July, while on his way back home.

Al-Nemr’s arrest sparked massive protests, with angry demonstrators demanding his immediate release.According to Human Rights Watch, the Saudi regime “routinely represses expression critical of the government.”


The Shia cleric has been severely tortured by Saudi security forces in jail.

The Saudi protesters also expressed solidarity with anti-regime protesters in Bahrain, who have been brutally suppressed by the Saudi-backed forces of the Persian Gulf island state.

Since February 2011, protesters have held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in Saudi Arabia, mainly in Qatif and Awamiyah in Eastern Province, primarily calling for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, as well as an end to widespread discrimination.

However, the demonstrations have turned into protests against the repressive Al Saud regime, especially since November 2011 when Saudi security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in the province.

Similar demonstrations have also been held in Riyadh and the holy city of Medina over the past few weeks.


AO/HN/HJL

Arab Spring Turns to Possible Saudi Fall

Reactionary Feudal Monarchies of Gulf Increasingly Unstable - World Crisis Radio.

Webster G. Tarpley, Ph.D.
World Crisis Radio
August 10, 2012



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For the latest edition of Dr. Webster Tarpley's World Crisis Radio broadcast, visit Tarpley.net

Saudi Arabia Revolution May Ruin NATO's Syria Plans

Webster G. Tarpley, Ph.D.
PressTV - Tarpley.net
August 9, 2012


Introducing the Gulf State Despots: 10 Facts about Saudi Arabia

Astounding hypocrisy, self-censorship, and complicity by the West regarding one of the most regressive regimes on Earth.


Tony Cartalucci  
Land Destroyer Report
August 9, 2012

The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) comprises of 6 nations, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman. In principle, Kuwait and Bahrain are considered "constitutional monarchs," in practice, all 6 are despotic autocracies with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman overtly "absolute monarchs." Devoid of even a feigned semblance of representative governance, these regimes brutally repress not only their own subjects, but play active roles in repressing the people of other nations, both on their borders and well beyond them.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar are playing an active role in crushing dissent in neighboring Bahrain - an opaque uprising obscured by a lack of Western media coverage - apparently the result of Western press houses conveniently ignoring unrest targeting governments linked to Western interests, while intentionally subverting nations opposed to Western interests.

 
Image: A map of the GCC's members, a collection of interconnected absolute monarchies guilty of serial crimes against humanity both at home and abroad, for decades. We are now expected to believe this criminal collaboration is promoting "democracy" in both Libya and now Syria by sending in legions of armed sectarian militants, when not even a feigned semblance of democracy exists within their own borders. 

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Likewise, the collective efforts of the GCC's regimes have torn North Africa's nation of Libya apart, leaving it under the control of roving bands of NATO/GCC-armed and funded genocidal sectarian militants with the Tripoli government dominated by Western proxies. A similar operation is now underway in Syria, also fully funded, armed, and directed by the GCC and its Western minders.

The term "pro-democracy" has been disingenuously used to describe the militant legions that very "undemocratic" nations like Saudi Arabia and Qatar are underwriting. Clearly, even at face value, this is an untenable narrative. Under closer scrutiny, it unravels further, exposing a criminal, murderously violent, terroristic conspiracy of vast international proportions.

Of the GCC, perhaps the two most prominent members are Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with the House of Saud leading, and the Qataris playing a supporting role, mainly in terms of propaganda via state-owned Al Jazeera, by hosting "defectors," and hosting the regional headquarters of Western corporate-financier funded think-tanks like the Brookings Institution's Doha Centre.


Saudi Arabia: 10 Truths Self-Censored by the West's Media Houses 


 1. Saudi Arabia is so utterly autocratic it is literally named after the ruling dynasty, the House of Saud. Thus it is Arabia of the House of Saud, or "Saudi Arabia."

2. To this day, Saudi Arabia carries out barbaric executions against both criminals and political enemies, including victims accused of "sorcery and witchcraft" in the aptly named, "Chop-Chop Square" located in the capital of Riyadh where heads are literally chopped off by hooded swordsmen.

3. Women are banned from driving in Saudi Arabia, and most likely would also be banned from voting in national elections, if such a phenomenon even occurred - which it does not - as Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy and its leaders are determined by heredity, not even the feigned pretense of elections. There are local elections, however, in which woman are not permitted to vote (perhaps in 2015?).

4. Saudi Arabia has been and to this day is the primary underwriter of the notorious international terror organization, Al Qaeda. Created along with Saudi Arabia's long-time ally, the United States, money, weapons, and directives are laundered through the Saudis to maintain both plausible deniability for the Americans, and to maintain a degree of credibility for Al Qaeda's sectarian extremist foot-soldiers across the Muslim World.

5. Saudi Arabia maintains an extensive "re-education" program internationally to pervert the tenants of Islam as a means of keeping Al Qaeda's ranks full and fueling Wall Street and London's engineered "Clash of Civilizations."

6. Saudi Arabian corporate-financier interests (run by the royal family) are tied directly to Wall Street and London via conglomerations like the US-Saudi Arabian Business Council and representation upon the JP Morgan International Council (Khalid Al-Falih of Saudi Aramco, amongst the highest valued companies on Earth).

7. The alleged most notorious terrorist in modern history, Osama Bin Laden, was a creation of US-Saudi machinations, with the Bin Laden family to this day being a premier member of of both Saudi and Western elitist circles. The multi-billion dollar Saudi Binladin Group is an active member of the US-Saudi Arabian Business Council and plays a central role in deciding bilateral policy for the benefit of collective US-Saudi corporate-financier and corresponding geopolitical interests.

8. The autocratic House of Saud maintains Al Arabiya, along with a extensive list of unsavory investors from across the GCC and its sphere of influence, including Lebanon's Hariri faction. It is a propaganda outlet masquerading as an objective journalistic organization, working in tandem with state-owned Al Jazeera in Qatar. Occasionally admitted to be "state media" by the West, "state media" in Saudi Arabia actually means "Saud family-owned propaganda."

9. Saudi Arabia has played an active role in the violent destabilization of governments around the world, including most recently Libya and Syria. The use of sectarian-extremists indoctrinated at Saudi-funded faux-mosques and madrasas, armed and funded by Saudi cash, is the standard method of operation for these destabilizations.

10. Saudi Arabia's brutally repressive internal security apparatus is a creation of US advisers and operators. Its military, both covert and conventional, is also armed through astronomically large weapons sales (including a recent sale considered the largest in US history) by its Wall Street and London allies. The atrocities committed by the despotic Saud regime are directly facilitated by US advisers, operators, and arms. Saudi Arabia also hosts the US military, a sizable force until it was spread out amongst the orbiting despotic regimes of Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates.
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Of course, not everyone in Saudi Arabia is a barbaric, treasonous, meddling despot. This includes people all across Saudi Arabia's population of 28 million and even throughout its government. Many of these people have attempted to protest or reform the current state of the "kingdom," albeit very unsuccessfully.

This failure can be in part blamed on the vast, draconian police state created for the House of Saud despots by their Western sponsors as well as a Western media complicit in censoring crackdowns on protesters, most recently unfolding in the eastern city of Qatif, and a virtual media "black hole" in regards to covering anything, good or bad, regarding Saudi Arabia. 

The key to breaking this self-imposed Western media blockade is for the alternative media to conduct the research and cover developments themselves. This includes reaching out to activists and reformers within Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the other GCC autocracies and giving the people the platform denied to them by the corporate-funded Western media.


Image: The Fortune 500 has an array of faux-human rights organizations from North Africa to the Middle East, from Eastern Europe to East Asia - perhaps it is time for people to begin organizing themselves into independent institutions that truly defend human rights and freedom, while implementing an agenda of the majority. A possible "International Observatory for Gulf State Despotism" would seek to break the Western media's blockade on information regarding the GCC, serving as a clearinghouse for information on abuses, repression, and meddling both at home and abroad.
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If you are from the GCC region, please contact LD at cartalucci@gmail.com with any information, issues, corrections or concerns. There may be a possible "International Observatory for Gulf State Despotism" created specifically to give voices to the people under the rule of the GCC. Please exercise good judgement and caution - as these are real despots and have put many people to death for questioning their undisputed rule or opposing the progress of their medieval machinations.
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