Archive | Editorial

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The Yemeni Civil War

Posted on 01 June 2011 by hashimilion

A few years ago study was published under the title ” Sustaining civil war – Yemen as a case study.” The study concluded that Yemen had been in a state of civil war since 1962. One of the main objectives of the study was to defuse the threat of civil war, which was and is still being used by the regime in order to avert all efforts at changing the country. Hence, Yemen will remain in a state of civil war, as long as the current regime remains in place.

Ali Saleh’s regime was built on the bodies of innocent, which has incited cvil wars for over 50 years. But today’s revolutionaries will end any future prospect for civil war.

Those that claim that Yemen is a stable country and that any change will ultimately lead to civil war fail to realise that Yemenis have nothing to lose. If violence does erupt, the regime will be the biggest loser. The regime’s threat of civil war is empty.

Today’s revolution calls for regime change and not civil war. It’s the best way out of the destruction caused by Ali Saleh and his sons.

This is a historic moment for Yemen, it is a great opportunity to build an inclusive political system, which was brought about by the revolution. The spectre of civil war in Yemen has all but ended.

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The Gulf Revolutions Are Underway

Posted on 19 May 2011 by hashimilion

Omanis recently took part in massive demonstrations in the northern city of Sohar and were knocking on the doors of Abu Dhabi. Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the last dictatorial powers in the region cannot ignore democracy. The people of the Gulf are fed up with the Gulf ruling elites and have awakened from their 40 year old slumber. It’s true that they’re not as poor as the Egyptians or Tunisians, but they are become increasingly more aware that a country’s wealth belong to the state and the state alone.

Some wikileaks documents suggest that peak oil production levels in the Gulf have already been met and that current supplies will only be sufficient for a couple more decades. These backward political regimes have lead to poor planning and corruption. The future for the youth is not so great.

Bahrain has given us a glimpse of what lies ahead in the future. Its oil reserves have diminished and its unable to change its fiscal policy or  turn itself into a modern state. For decades bahrainis have contributed towards the state but were denied any meaningful political representation by the ruling family. They were left with few options and hence took matters into their own hands. The Al Khalifa regime responded by using live ammunition and immediately unleashed their Pakistani mercenaries on the demonstrators. The regime had showed its true colours.

The regimes of both Saudi Arabia and UAE gave the Al Khalifa family unlimited moral support in crushing the protests by all means necessary. Both regimes tried to bribe their populations with financial incentives in order to stop the protests from spreading. The Saudi King Abdullah announced a 36 billion dollar spending program, which was promptly rejected by the protestors who felt insulted.

Saudi protestors chose the 11th of March as their day of rage, and openly called for overthrowing Al Saud’s regime. Had live ammunition been used on the protestors it would have catalysed protests in the Emirates. Thousands of UAE nationals are ignored by the oil rich states of Abu Dhabi and Dubai and live in modest conditions in the poor Northern Emirates. The majority are angry at the huge economic gap in wealth between the different federations  and at being excluded from participating in major policy decisions. Some are curious why large coastal lands were sold to foreign investors.

Also, a large number of stateless people live in both the Emirates and Saudi Arabia. They were born and brought up in the country of their grandfathers, yet find it perplexing that the regime’s friends nationalises Indians and westerners.

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Qatar and Saudi’s Catholic Marriage

Posted on 26 April 2011 by hashimilion

The political landscape in the Gulf has quickly changed since the outbreak of the Arab revolutions. These developments have lead to the collapse of old alliances and  changes in the geopolitical map. Friendships are no longer the same. Yesterday’s friend is now a bitter enemy, and yesterday’s enemy is now a friend.

The conditions today will lead to dramatic changes in the future, and will result in a new political alignment. There is an obvious psychological rift growing between the people and their governments.

In the past few weeks, there were signs of a political alliance between Qatar and Saudi Arabia with regards to the revolutions in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and protests in Syria. The Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, was given power to influence the Libyan revolution on behalf of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal on the other hand was given power to influence the Yemeni revolution, for some unknown reason.

The Gulf dictators are playing a central role in countering revolutions with the help and support of both the United States and Europe. The Abu Dhabi conference had participants from the UN Security Council and the Gulf Cooperation Council in order to discuss a post-Saleh Yemen. There were also extensive discussions regarding techniques that could be used to counter any possible revolution in the Gulf States.

Fear of change has lead to an alliance between Doha, Riyadh, and all the other GCC countries. The hostility between Doha and Damascus is a feature of this new geopolitical landscape.

The high level co-ordination between Riyadh and Doha aims to kill the Arab revolutions. This alliance should be countered by setting up a “democracy club”, which would isolate these Gulf dictatorships.

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Why Saudi Arabia Should Be Worried About Iran’s Next Move

Posted on 20 April 2011 by hashimilion

Protests in Qatif, Saudi Arabia

 

Iran warned Saudi Arabia on Monday of the dire consequences of Riyadh’s intervention in Bahrain.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s adviser for military affairs, Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, told journalists, “The presence and attitude of Saudi Arabia (in Bahrain) sets an incorrect precedence for similar future events, and Saudi Arabia should consider this fact that one day the very same event may recur in Saudi Arabia itself and Saudi Arabia may come under invasion for the very same excuse.”

A post-U.S. Iraq renders the Saudi kingdom vulnerable to a future Iranian invasion.

The remarks made by Safavi, who formerly served as commander of Iran’s elite military force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (1997-2007), constitute the first time Tehran has issued such a direct warning. The Saudis and the Iranians have had tense relations since the founding of the Islamic republic in 1979 and increasingly so since the U.S. invasion of Iraq toppled the Baathist regime, which led to a Shiite-dominated Iraqi state and the empowering of Iran. But never before has Iran issued a public statement about an invasion of the Saudi kingdom.

So, why is the Persian Shiite state engaging in such threats now? The Saudi move to intervene in neighboring Bahrain, where popular unrest was largely waged by the Shiite majority, threatened to topple a Sunni monarchy. Well aware of the implications, the Saudis embarked on their first long-term, overseas military deployment, sending in 1,500 troops to help Bahraini forces crush the Shiite opposition.

The Saudi move succeeded in quelling the unrest (for now at least), which placed Iran in a difficult position. Lacking the capability to physically aid their fellow Shia in the Persian Gulf, the Iranians were caught in an awkward situation. Iran had to do more than issue diplomatic statements and engineer protests against the Saudis and their allies.

Warning the Saudis that they too could be invaded on the same pretext that they used to go into Bahrain is definitely an escalation on the part of the Iranians. Since Iran making good on its threat is unlikely to happen anytime soon (given that the United States would not stand by and allow Iran to attack Saudi Arabia), this can be argued as yet another hollow threat. A more nuanced examination of the situation, however, suggests that Tehran is not just simply engaging in bellicose rhetoric.

Instead, Iran is trying to exploit Saudi fears. The Wahhabi kingdom fears instability (especially now when it is in the middle of a power transition at home and the region has been engulfed by popular turmoil). The clerical regime in Iran sees regional instability as a tool to advance its position in the Persian Gulf region.

Riyadh can never be certain that Tehran won’t ever attack but Iran would have to overcome many logistical difficulties to make good on its threat. The Saudis are also not exactly comfortable with the idea of overt military alignment with the United States. The last time the Saudis entered into such a relationship with the Americans was during the 1991 Gulf War and it lead to the rise of al Qaeda.

Put differently, any conflict involving Iran entails far more risks than rewards for the Saudis. Cognizant of the Saudi perceptions, the Iranian statement is designed as a signal to the Saudis that they should accept Iran as a player in the region or be prepared to deal with a very messy situation. The key problem for Saudi Arabia is that Tehran doesn’t have to actually resort to war to achieve its ends. But Riyadh’s efforts to counter Iran and its Arab Shiite allies are likely to create more problems for the Saudis because crackdowns are contributing to long-term instability in the region and causing agitation among the Shia, which Iran can use to its advantage.

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The Egyptian Revolution and The Gulf States

Posted on 11 February 2011 by hashimilion

It’s no longer a secret that an uprising in the Gulf States is a big possibility, especially since its people have always connected with the cultural and political movements, which emanated from Egypt,  the epicentre of the Arab world.

The current Islamic movement began in Egypt in the 1930s. Intellectuals from all over the Arab world flocked to Egypt in order to come into contact with the new leadership, its ideas and goals, which were later exported  to other parts of the world.

When the free officers revolution in 1952 had manny supports in the Gulf States to the extent that many participated in demonstrators against their authoritarian regimes.

Analysts are aware that the Egyptian revolution will have a major impact on the Arab world, specifically the Gulf States, whose people are anxiously waiting to see the results of this popular revolution.

The Egyptian revolution  has sent a clear message to the world, change is inevitable. No power in the world, no matter how strong it may be can stop the people from achieving their aspirtaions.

Mubarak’s delaying tactics won’t change the reality on the ground, especially since his status as the head of the regime has fallen. Mubarak’s departure signals the collapse of the regime.

The events of the 25th of January were a major historical turning point. Egyptians were liberated from fear. President Mubarak lost his confidence and legitimacy as direct result of the demonstrations.

What has been said about Mubarak’s regime also applies to the Gulf Shiekhdoms, who buy America’s loyalty in order to shore up their power base. These dictators have no other option but to introduce quick and substantial reforms. The changes that have started in Egypt won’t exclude anyone.

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Saudi Ideology and the Inevitability of Violence

Posted on 01 February 2011 by hashimilion

The growth of Saudi religious ideology is an indicator of instability in a country. As the religious ideology increases, armed conflict between the various segments of society becomes a big possibility.

There are two main observations concerning Saudi Wahabi religious influence:

Firstly, the presence and growth of saudi ideology will ultimately result in instability and eventually result in armed civil conflict. Yemen and Pakistan are prime examples.

This is due to the fact that Wahabism is intolerant to differing views which exist inside and out side of Islam. Everyone is considered an infidel excluding their followers.

Historically, Wahabism was used as a tool by regimes in order to intimidate and crush their opponents.

In the past Saudi Arabia was able to control and manipulate Wahabism, but a Wahabi insurgency against the Royal family from 2002-2008  clearly shows that this movement is uncontrollable.

Wahabi group activity is mostly accompanied by social disorder and violence. There are so many examples, which illustrate this point. Take Algeria in the late 1970s, which saw an insurgency that killed tens of thousands of innocent civilians. The primary cause of, which was Saudi Arabia’s investment in and propagation of Wahabism.

Morocco, a country which enjoys  a friendly relationship with the Saudi kings has also witnessed an explosion of Salafi movements and new Al Qaeda cells pop up every now and again because of Saudi money. These movements have grown out of control and regularly make violent threats to the Government in Morroco..

In short, Wahabism causes social instability and violence in the Arab and Islamic world.

A close examination of history teaches us that Saudi political influence usually leads to civil wars. Yemen, Pakistan and Iraq obvious examples.

In those countries, Saudi Wahabi ideology was exported in order to strengthen saudi influence. When Saudi Arabia’s influence declines (as is the case right now) Wahabism is used in retribution and ultimately leading to chaos and destruction. Wahabism is used as a tool  of death and not as tool for political penetration.

Wahabism was used in Iraq in order to reinforce Saudi foreign policy, whose goal was to sabotage the political process and not to build political influence. This resulted in civil war breaking out in the country, coupled with sectarian cleansing of central Iraq.

Those that use Wahabism as a tool to fight their opponents ultimately became its victims.

Wahabism was also used in Lebanon, in Nahr Al Barid against Hizbollah in order to strengthen and reaffirm Saudi influence.

It was also used in Gaza, with the financial and military backing of both Saudi Arabia and Egypt.  In the end, the Wahabis set up an Islamic State in Rafah!!! They took up arms against  Hamas and this ultimately lead to their downfall.

The Saudi Government continues to summon the Wahabis in other parts of the world, including Iran where it funds Jundullah as part of its regional conflict with Iran. Lets not forget Bandar Bin Sultan’s open threat to use Al Qaeda on Britian in February 2008, as the Guardian newspaper reported.

Secondly, many regimes are deluded into thinking that they can easily use Wahabism against their opponents. Part of Wahabism is subservient to authotarian regimes, regards them as legitimate rules and prohibits their attack, unless they openly commit kufr.

Yes, Wahabism is scary and attractive to those who have aspirations in using it, especially since its leaders can be easily deceived and manipulated into waging war, by using sectarianism to provoke the Wahabis.

Ali Abdullah Saleh frequently used this tactic. He unleashed the Wahabis and Al Qaeda on his opponents in the South and then unleashed them against his Zaidi opponents in the North. In the end Al Qaeda turned on him then it turned its attention to America. The Americans have regularly demanded that Ali Abdullah Saleh confront Al Qaeda, but this policy does not serve his interests. It also did not serve the interests of the rulers of Pakistan, when they violently confronted the extremist Wahabis in Waziristan and Swat Valley.

The same thing happened to the Sunni Arabs in Iraq, who are mostly followers of the Sunni Hanafi sect. They embraced Wahabism and Al Qaeda once they entered their country in order to strengthen their position after losing power. What happened next was a familiar story. The Wahabis waged war on everyone, the Americans, Shia, Kurds, Christians and their Sunni patrons, under the guise of the “Islamic State of Iraq”. The killing continues till this day.

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Saudi Police Crack Down on Jeddah Demonstrators

Posted on 29 January 2011 by hashimilion

Saudi Authorities have arrested tens of protesters on Friday after hundreds of people took part in a demonstration in one of Jeddah’s main commercial streets, Al Tahlia street.

The demonstators chanted anti government slogans and called for regime change after floods had destroyd the city for the second year running.

It is alleged that an angry women who had lost all her children in the floods had incited members of a mosque, which added extra imputus to the demonstration.

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Saudi Arabia: The Sanctuary for Tyrants

Posted on 20 January 2011 by hashimilion

The former Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali could not find a sanctuary other than Saudi Arabia.

He was rejected by his close friend Muammar Qaddafi and abandoned by the French (Sarkozy) who supported him for more than 22 years.

The number of countries that have refused to received Ben Ali is unknown, which reminds us of the events that took place when the Iranian tyrant was received by the late Egyptian tyrant Anwar Sadat.

Suddenly and out of know where Ben Ali’s plane lands in Jeddah. The Royal Court quickly releases a statement justifying Saudi Arabia’s action. It read as follows:

We understand that the People of Tunis are going through exceptional times right now and hope that security can be reistablished in this dear Arab and Islamic country. We also support any step that will bring benefit to the Tunisian people. The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has welcomed President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and his family to the Kingdom. The Saudi Government declares its full support for the people of Tunis and hope that all Tunisians come together in this very difficult time. God bless you.

Saudi Arabia has become a sanctuary for tyrants.

Ben Ali is not the first leader who has found himself  in exile and on the run before being embraced by the warm Arms of Saudi Arabia. Previous rulers include: Jaafar Numeiry before settling in Egypt, Siad Barre from Somalia, Idi Amin from Uganda, Nawaz Sharif from Pakistan and other little dictators.

What is the secret behind Saudi Arabia’s complex in hosting dictators whilst the world rejects them?

Is Saudi Arabia sympathizing with tyrants because of humanitarian reasons?

The Saudi Royal Court statement considered Ben Ali’s reception as a step that will have a positive effect on Tunisians.

The Saudi Royal family did not show any kindness or mercy when it abducted members of the Tunisian opposition movement, whilst they were preforming their pilgrimage and sent them to Ben Ali for execution.

The best way of showing solidarity with the people of Tunisia is to keep their former rulers on the run, like rats looking for a safe refuge, and far far away from the Arab world, just as Ben Ali had done to his opponents.

Ben Ali was and still is Saudi Arabia’s friend.

The Saudi Princes have always admired Ben Ali and the West because both fought Islamic fundamentalism!!!

In the early 1990s, the Wahabi Sahwa movement accused Prince Naif of following in the same footsteps as Ben Ali, and using the same techniques when suppressing opponents.

The Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif, adopted Ben Ali’s policies in the 1990s in what was regarded as the campaign to “sapping terrorism of its sources”.

Prince Naif used to spend most of his vacations in Tunisa and would be hosted by his friend Ben Ali. Naif’s brothers on the other hand prefer to spend their vacations in Morroco.

The Saudi dictators don’t believe that they are putting their kingdom at risk by receiving the tyrant Ben Ali, even though alot of Ben Ali’s friends are cutting off their ties with him.

Saudi Arabia is a despotic monarchy, which loathes revolutions, especially those that are directed at its friends or allies. The Saudi princes are not accustomed to welcoming any revolution or uprising.

The Al Saud family fear the spread of dissent and revolution fever amongst its happy population. The people’s of Arabia own the largest oil reserve in the world, yet 30% of the population lives under the poverty line (based on official statistics).

The people of Arabia have seen corruption that is unrivalled in the Arab world. The corruption of the Saudi princes exceeds that of the whole Arab World put together.

Saudi University graduates and youth are unemployed, and their levels are far greater than that of Tunis!

Based on these facts, the Al Saud tyrants have a right to be apprehensive towards the revolution taking place in Tunis.

The hearts of the muslim faithful long for Mecca but the Saudi Royal family want to turn it into a sanctuary for tyrants and criminals.

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