The American Kafir

2011/11/21

‘Occupy Wall Street’ – Reactions and Support in the Arab and Muslim World

Source Link: MEMRI

‘Occupy Wall Street’ – Reactions and Support in the Arab and Muslim World, Part IX: Hizb-e-Islami Chief Gulbuddin Hekmatyar: Occupy Wall Street Movement Inspired by Afghan Jihad; ‘The Uprising in Europe and the United States is the Effect of Afghan Jihad on International Level’

The following report is a complimentary offering from MEMRI’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM).

Subscription information is available at http://subscriptions.memri.org/content/en/member_registr_jttm.htm

To view MEMRI’s ‘Occupy Wall Street’ – Reactions and Support in the Arab and Muslim World page, visit http://www.memri.org/subject/en/866.htm

In a message on Eid al-Adha, Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) chief Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has said that this year’s uprisings in the Middle Eastern countries and the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests in Europe and the U.S. are inspired by the Afghan jihad.  Eid al-Adha, the feast of sacrifice, was celebrated from November 7 to 9 in South Asian countries.  Following is the message, as translated from the Pashtu-language Pakistani daily Wrazpanra Wahdat:[1]

“The Successful Resistance of Mujahideen has Eliminated the Liar U.S.’s Grandeur; It has Also Sensitized Nations on Uprising and Rebellion against the Puppet Governments in Their Colonized Countries”

“In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful

“And he who puts his trust in Allah – He is sufficient for him. Verily, Allah will accomplish His purpose. For everything has Allah appointed a measure. (Al-Talaq: 3)

“Dear countrymen, brothers and sisters,

“Assalam-o-Alaikum! [Peace be upon you]

“I congratulate you on the occasion of Eid al-Adha. I pray before Allah Almighty to get our country free from the clutches of others and save our innocent and suppressed nation from the ongoing painful situation of fighting and insecurity; to bestow us with the honor of celebrating the next Eids in an independent Afghanistan, with green banner of Islam flying high in every nook and corner of the country, with all the occupying force having pulled out from the country, with wars having ended permanently and a pious government whose officials are real Muslims, God fearing and merciful, in power.

“Brothers and sisters,

“Taking opportunity of this occasion, I have some reservations on key issues in the country.

“*All praise belongs to Allah. The resistance of Muslim mujahideen against the Crusade forces are about to enter the final phase of success. The American invaders are facing defeat and are in a situation to withdraw.

“The rude NATO military forces have realized their defeat and see themselves unable to continue and win the war. Some of them have unilaterally decided to pull out their troops from Afghanistan next year, while the others also feel themselves forced to take such a decision and follow them.

“*The Afghan war has got the Western countries to face with political, collective, economic, and such other big problems which they are unable to resolve. On the one hand they are facing severe economic crisis, while on the other hand they are facing serious opposition against the continuation of war.

“It is difficult for them to continue the war in Afghanistan amidst growing opposition and massive protests [by the Occupy Wall Street movement], opposing capitalist system in United States, Britain, Spain and France.”

“Mosques Also Played a Big Role in the Uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Libya; The Effects of [Sermons on] Fridays were Also Very Prominent…; Like Tunisia, People will Also Support an Islamic Party in Egypt”

“*The successful resistance of mujahideen has eliminated the liar U.S.’s grandeur. It has also sensitized nations on uprising and rebellion against the puppet governments in their colonized countries. They have also toppled the mean and merciless dictators like Hosni Mubarak and Zainul Abedin and reignited the courage of rebellion and uprising in their nations.

“We can say with full confidence that the latest spring in Africa and the Arab world and the uprising in Europe and the United States is the effect of Afghan jihad on international level and all these revolutions have gotten inspiration from our momin [faithful] mujahideen and their historic resistance.

“The leaders of Egypt, Libya and Tunisia admit that the Afghan jihad and mujahideen have a great role in these uprisings, and it has created the growing feeling of jihad and resistance among their nations. Mosques also played a big role in the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, and Libya. The effects of [sermons on] Fridays were also very prominent.

“The figures that are committed to Islamic slogans are already shining in the ranks of the protesters. We can say with confidence that like Tunisia, people will also support an Islamic party in Egypt. The power will fall into the hands of mujahideen in Libya and pro-West would be kicked out from the scene. They can only do something only under the wings of foreign forces’ aircraft.”

“This Spring [in the Middle East] is the Spring of the Revival of the Glory and Greatness of the Muslim Ummah”

“Besides this, their effects in the incidents will not be equal to any things. You can see in Afghanistan that all the country-selling groups, communists, pro-West groups, nation-selling nationalists, cruel infidels, Shura-e-Nizar [group opposed Hizb-e-Islami and the Taliban], and pro-Shi’ite groups are afraid of the NATO forces’ withdrawal and emphasis that these forces should further stay and continue their active military presence and war until an unspecified date.

“*Collective movements are like the wind which emerges from an area, spread to a wide distance, move slowly here, gain speed a few furlongs away, cause rains in the next areas, result in snowfall and hails in another and become storm and hit everything… The effect of Afghan jihad is similar to that.

“*Hope that this sacred spring of uprising will push the old and most dangerous enemy of Islam and humanity to meet with the same fate faced by the former Soviet Union. This spring is the spring of the revival of the glory and greatness of the Muslim Ummah.”

Endnotes:
[1] Wrazpanra Wahdat

2011/11/11

Richmond, CA Mayor Gayle McLaughlin Stands With OWS of Richmond, CA But Not The Veterans on Veterans Day

I was reading this article on The Blaze and came to the point of the article where it stated the Mayor Gayle McLaughlin stated “I am a strong supporter of Veterans for Peace and Iraq Vets Against the War.”. As soon as I saw the names of the two groups I knew I read and heard of them before. Sure enough I went out to Discover the Networks and found who these two groups really are, following the article from The Blaze, you can read about these two groups supported by the good Mayor from Richmond, CA for yourself. Walt

Calif. Mayor Chooses Occupy Rally Over Veterans Day Memorial

The mayor of Richmond, Calif. plans to skip her city’s Veterans Day memorial events to attend an Occupy rally, a choice that’s prompting anger and criticism.

Mayor Gayle McLaughlin will miss a Veterans Day salute Friday in favor of an Occupy Richmond “public speak out,” the San Jose Mercury News reported.

McLaughlin defended her decision, telling the newspaper that the city is not sponsoring the Veterans Day event, and the rally she will attend will honor Scott Olsen, the Iraq war veteran injured at an Occupy Oakland rally last month. Richmond and Oakland, both in the San Francisco Bay Area, are about 12 miles apart.

“I choose to honor our veterans, not only on Veteran’s Day, but daily, by supporting an end to military warfare to prevent further fighting and dying in needless wars,” she said in an email. “I am a strong supporter of Veterans for Peace and Iraq Vets Against the War.”

McLaughlin, a member of the Green Party elected to a second term last year, has been supportive of the Occupy Wall Street movement since its inception. In a message on her website dated Nov. 6, she said since it “burst onto the scene, calling for an end to corporate domination all over the globe…[w]e, in Richmond, are part of this movement and have everything to gain from it.”

Continue reading the rest of the article at The Blaze

Who are Iraq Veterans Against The War (IVAG)?

P.O. Box 8296
Philadelphia, PA
19101
Phone :215-241-7123
Email :
ivaw@ivaw.org
URL: Website

  • Anti-Iraq War organization composed of military personnel
  • Runs counter-recruitment program in U.S. schools
  • Claims that the Iraq War was “based on lies and deception”

Founded in July 2004, Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) seeks “to give a voice to the large number of active duty service people and veterans who are against this war, but are under various pressures to remain silent.” The organization “supports all those resisting the war, including Conscientious Objectors and others facing military prosecution for their refusal to fight.” It calls for “immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces in Iraq”; “reparations for the pillaging and destruction of Iraq so that ordinary Iraqi people can control their own lives and future”; and “full benefits, adequate healthcare (including mental health), and other supports for returning servicemen and women.”

As a result of its invasion of Iraq, says IVAW, The U.S. has lost credibility to much of the world as the defender of liberty and freedom, and our national identity is eroding. … We need to regain the respect and faith of the global community. This begins by withdrawing our troops from Iraq and helping the Iraqi people rebuild their country and society.”

IVAW membership is open only to men and women who have served in the U.S. Military since September 11, 2001. This includes all recent veterans and active-duty personnel from all branches of military service, National Guard members, and reservists. IVAW currently has members in 32 states, Washington, D.C., Canada, and on numerous bases overseas, including Iraq. These members “educate the public about the realities of the Iraq war by speaking in communities and to the media about their experiences.” They also participate in IVAW’s anti-recruitment campaign in American high schools and colleges, where they seek to discourage young people from enlisting in the armed services.

IVAW spreads its anti-war, anti-military message via the following organizational projects:

(a) Project for New American Values: In conjunction with the UPRISE Counter-Recruitment tour, IVAW members traveled throughout the Northeast and Midwest in the Fall of 2006, sponsoring concerts with anti-war themes.

(b) Truth in Recruiting: “Veteran’s [sic] stories of conflict are a powerful tool that can be used to prevent others from entering into the military without a full understanding of their actions.” Activities in this program include: “Opt-out campaigns, organizing against JROTC programs, protesting at recruiting stations, and providing information about alternatives to the military.”

(c) Veteran Gulf Reconstruction Project:As veterans, we saw first-hand how diverting billions [of dollars] for an endless occupation in Iraq is responsible for the shameful lack of aid for reconstruction in the communities that survived Hurricanes Katrina and Rita here at home. If we can build bases in the desert for war, we can rebuild cities in the U.S. for justice.”

(d) Coalitions and Movement Building: IVAW identifies its “most important partner” as Veterans for Peace. It also claims to have “very close relationships” with Military Families Speak Out, Gold Star Families for Peace, and Vietnam Veterans Against the War. “With these partners,” says IVAW, “we support the Bring Them Home Now! Campaign.” Moreover, IVAW is a steering committee member of the United for Peace and Justice anti-war coalition led by Leslie Cagan, a longtime committed socialist who aligns her politics with those of Fidel Castro‘s Communist Cuba.

IVAW lists 10 major reasons why it opposes the war in Iraq:

1) The Iraq war is based on lies and deception: “The Bush Administration planned for an attack against Iraq before September 11th, 2001. They used the false pretense of an imminent nuclear, chemical and biological weapons threat to deceive Congress into rationalizing this unnecessary conflict.”

2) The Iraq war violates international law: “The United States assaulted and occupied Iraq without the consent of the UN Security Council. In doing so they violated the same body of laws they accused Iraq of breaching.”

3) Corporate profiteering is driving the war in Iraq: “From privately contracted soldiers and linguists to no-bid reconstruction contracts and multinational oil negotiations, those who benefit the most in this conflict are those who suffer the least.”

4) Overwhelming civilian casualties are a daily occurrence in Iraq: “[L]arge-scale civilian death is both a direct and indirect result of United States aggression in Iraq. Even the most conservative estimates of Iraqi civilian deaths number over 100,000. Currently over 100 civilians die every day in Baghdad alone.”

5) Soldiers have the right to refuse illegal war.

6) Service members are facing serious health consequences due to our Government’s negligence: “Combat stress, exhaustion, and bearing witness to the horrors of war contribute to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder … Additionally, depleted uranium, Lariam, insufficient body armor and infectious diseases are just a few of the health risks which accompany an immorally planned and incompetently executed war.”

7) The war in Iraq is tearing our families apart: “The use of stop-loss on active duty troops and the unnecessarily lengthy and repeat active tours by Guard and Reserve troops place enough strain on our military families, even without being forced to sacrifice their loved ones for this ongoing political experiment in the Middle East.”

8 ) The Iraq war is robbing us of funding [that is] sorely needed here at home: “$5.8 billion per month is spent on a war which could have aided the victims of Hurricane Katrina, [or] gone to impoverished schools, the construction of hospitals and health care systems, tax cut initiatives, and a host of domestic programs that have all been gutted in the wake of the war in Iraq.”

9) The military uses racism and discrimination as tools: “In order to recruit for the Iraq War, the most vulnerable minority and social groups in the United States are preyed upon to be used as cannon fodder. Once inside the military, they are subject to racism, sexism including harassment and assault, homophobia, and religious intolerance. When at war, the troops are taught to dehumanize the people of Iraq as an enemy with intolerance and racist epithets.”

10) Today’s youth face aggressive recruitment tactics that don’t tell the whole story: “Popular perception of the military as an ‘all-volunteer force’ hides the fact that our future troops are aggressively recruited from our lowest income neighborhoods. Economically conscripted, the poor and socially vulnerable young are bought with the lies of discipline, education and civilian job training to carry out the wishes of powerful political individuals who are far from war’s true horror.”

The co-founders of IVAW include Michael Hoffman (a former Lance Corporal with the Marines); Kelly Dougherty (who served as a Military Police Sergeant in Iraq); Alex Ryabov (a former Corporal with the Marines); Jimmy Massey (a career Staff Sergeant and Recruiter in the Marine Corps); Isaiah Pallos (a former Marine Sergeant); Diana Morrison (who served in Iraq as a Military Policewoman); and Tim Goodrich (whose military unit saw action in Afghanistan and Iraq).

Resources

Obama’s War Policies Worse than Bush’s, Anti-War Activist Says
By Josiah Ryan
March 20, 2009

Winter-Soldier Again
By Mackubin Thomas Owens
March 31, 2008

Tales of Winter Soldier II
By Katie O’Malley
March 16, 2008

LA Times Cover-Up?
By Scott Swett
March 13, 2008

Newly Discovered Army Reports Discredit “Winter Soldier” Claims
By Scott Swett
February 25, 2008

Iraq Veterans Attempt ‘Winter Soldier’ Reenactment
By Ronald Winter
February 12, 2008

Who Hates Americans?
By Ishmael Vera
October 15, 2007

Who are Veterans For Peace (VFP)?

438 North Skinker
St. Louis, MO
63130
Phone :314-725-6005
URL: Website

  • In the 1980s, supported the Marxist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua
  • Opposes U.S. embargo of Cuba
  • Seeks “to protect our civil liberties threatened by the ‘Patriot Act’ and other repressive legislation”

Veterans For Peace (VFP) was founded July 8, 1985 in Maine as “a non-profit 501(c)3 educational and humanitarian organization dedicated to the abolishment of war.” Its Statement of Purpose reads, “We, having dutifully served our nation do hereby affirm our greater responsibility to serve the cause of world peace and justice.” VFP’s avowed policy is “to restrain our [U.S.] government” from foreign wars, “to end the arms race and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons,” and “to abolish war as an instrument of international policy.”

The founders of VFP are Jerry Genesio (who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, 1956-62), his wife Judy Genesio, the Reverend Willard Bickett (U.S. Army, World War II), Doug Rawlings (U.S. Army, Vietnam) and Ken Perkins (U.S. Navy, Korea). They created VFP, says the organization’s website, because they “were disturbed by the militancy of the United States and its violent intervention in the affairs of other nations.”

VFP’s first action to gain publicity came in 1986 when it had its members stage a 30-day vigil at the Boston Commons calling for an end to U.S.-sponsored violence in Central America. At the time, President Ronald Reagan was opposing the Castro-supported, Soviet-supported, Marxist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua (where it ruled from 1979-1990).  The VFP blamed American support of the Contras, an indigenous anti-Marxist force, for the Sandinista violence.  Its members were invited onto the Phil Donahue program to share these views with the larger public.

In 1987 VFP sent members on a “Fact-Finding” tour of Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, leading to a 38-page report — highly critical of American policy — which it presented to members of Congress. As an outgrowth of that mission, VFP stepped up its efforts to help Nicaraguans — sending water-purification experts and truckloads of food, medicine, and toys to that impoverished country. The following year, VFP joined Soviet veterans in signing a joint statement “calling for an end to war” in Nicaragua.

In 1989 VFP received an invitation from the Sandinista government “to serve as Official Observers during the February 1990 Nicaraguan elections.” The Sandinistas lost the election, after which VFP immediately ended all assistance to Nicaragua.

In 1990 VFP sent representatives to the 45th Anniversary of World War II Victory Day in the Soviet Union. VFP that year was given a permanent NGO seat at the United Nations. Throughout 1991, VFP chapters and members organized university teach-ins, town meetings, panel discussions, and Congressional postcard / call-in campaigns to voice opposition to the Gulf War.

In the post-Gulf War years, VFP was sympathetic to the plight of the Iraqi people, whose hardships it blamed on American policies rather than on the actions of Saddam Hussein. In 2000, VFP aided Saddam, providing assistance by way of water-treatment facilities to remedy a water-contamination problem that the group attributed to American-led sanctions against the Iraqi government.

In 2001, VFP co-sponsored, along with the International Action Center, a “Korean War Tribunal” in New York — a political show trial designed to voice anti-American propaganda for the consumption of the world’s leftist media. In 2002, Korean War veteran and VFP member Wilson “Woody” Powell (who in 2004 would be named the Executive Director of VFP’s St. Louis headquarters) “visit[ed] [the] Kokan-ri massacre site in Korea, and [made] an apology to the massacre’s sole survivor.”

In 2003, VFP, working in conjunction with Military Families Speak Out, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and others, launched the Bring Them Home Now campaign. In November of that same year, a VFP contingent entered Iraq on a fact-finding mission under the guidance of Global Exchange.

At a 2003 International ANSWER-sponsored anti-war rally in San Francisco, local VFP leader and guest speaker Jim Long recalled a rally he had attended in Cuba, where, he said, “Castro was loved by his people, in contrast to President Bush, who had to be protected from protestors in a ‘quasi-military’ operation. … It’s hard for me to determine where the police state is and where the free state is.” VFP has endorsed Project USA/Cuba-InfoMed, which seeks to “increase awareness about health achievements in Cuba and the impact of U.S. policies on the health of the Cuban people,” and “to build opposition to the U.S. embargo of Cuba.”

Strongly opposed to Operation Iraqi Freedom, VFP members conduct public forums, meet with elected representatives, and participate in marches to express their views. VFP also seeks “to protect our civil liberties threatened by the ‘Patriot Act’ and other repressive legislation.”

The current President of Veterans for Peace is David Cline, a decorated, disabled veteran of the Vietnam War, who is also the National Coordinator of Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

VFP is a member organization of the Win Without WarUnited for Peace and JusticeAbolition 2000, and After Downing Street anti-war coalitions.

In 2007 the VFP website posted “An Open Letter to Latino and Latina students and all leaders of immigrant rights organizations,” in support of the so-called DREAM Act, which was intended to allow illegal aliens to attend college at the reduced tuition rates normally reserved for in-state legal residents. Said the letter:

“Many [students] came to the United States as children and have finished their high school education. Now, because they lack legal documents, they face an uncertain future that may deny them the opportunity to attend college or find a decent job. The DREAM Act offers them a light at the end of an otherwise dark and uncertain road. I see students on fasts, in marches, lobbying elected officials, all in the name of the DREAM Act’s passage. But BEWARE. Be very careful. Because our honorable youth with their dreams and wishes to serve their new country are being tricked and manipulated in an immoral and criminal way.

“Why do I say this? Simply put, the DREAM Act proposes two years of college as a pathway to permanent residency but it also includes a second option linked to the so-called war on terror – ‘two years of military service.’ Our young people may not see that this is a covert draft in which thousands of youth from Latino families will be sent to Iraq or some other war torn nation where they will have to surrender their moral values and become a war criminal or perhaps return home in black bags on their way to a tomb drenched with their parents’ tears.

“How many of our youth can afford college? How many will be able to take the educational option? Unfortunately very few because the existing system locks out the children of working families with high tuition and inflated admissions criteria. Most will be forced to take the military option to get their green card. But what good is a green card to a dead person? What good is a green card to a young person severely wounded in mind and body?”

Resources

Newly Discovered Army Reports Discredit “Winter Soldier” Claims
By Scott Swett
February 25, 2008

US Anti-War Campaigners to Protest US Base in Korea
By Patrick Goodenough
September 19, 2006

2011/11/04

Arab Spring or Islamist Surge?

Source Article Link: National Interest

Arab Spring or Islamist Surge?

By Benny Morris

Rioting in Tunisia and Egypt in early 2011 unleashed a tidal wave of unrest across the Arab world that was soon designated the “Arab Spring.” Enthusiasts in the West hailed a new birth of freedom for a giant slice of humanity that has been living in despotic darkness for centuries. But historians in fifty or a hundred years may well point to the 1979 events in Teheran—the Islamist revolution that toppled the Shah—as the real trigger of this so-called “spring” (which is looking more and more like a deep, forbidding winter). And the Islamist Hamas victory in the Palestinian general elections of 2006 and that organization’s armed takeover of the Gaza Strip the following year probably signified further milestones on the same path.
For, if nothing else, the past weeks’ developments have driven home one message: That the main result of the “Arab Spring” will be—at least in the short and medium terms, and, I fear, in the long-term as well—an accelerated Islamization of the Arab world. In the Mashreq—the eastern Arab lands, including Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iraq—the jury may still be out (though recent events in Palestine and Jordan are not encouraging). But in the Maghreb—the western Arab lands, from Egypt to the Atlantic coast—the direction of development is crystal clear.

In Tunisia the Islamist al-Nahda (Ennahda) Party won a clear victory in the country’s first free elections, winning some 90 out of 217 seats in the special assembly which in the coming months is to chart the country’s political future. Speculation about whether the party is genuinely “moderate” Islamist—as its leader, Rachid Ghannouchi, insists—or fundamentally intent on imposing sharia religious law over Tunisia through a process of creeping Islamisation a la the Gaza Strip and Turkey is immaterial. The Islamists won, hands down and against all initial expectations—and in a country that was thought to be the most secular and “Western” in the Arab world. Freedom of thought and religious freedom are not exactly foundations of Islamist thinking, and whether Tunisian “democracy” will survive this election is anyone’s guess.

To the east, in the tribal wreckage that is Libya, the Islamist factions appear to be the major force emerging from the demise of the Qaddafi regime. In the coming weeks and months we are likely to see movement toward elections that will hammer down another Islamist victory.

And much the same appears to be emerging from the far more significant upheaval in Libya’s eastern neighbor, Egypt, with its 90 million inhabitants—the deomographic, cultural and political center of the Arab world and its weather vane. The recent crackdown, by a Muslim mob and then the ruling military, against Coptic Christian demonstrators (protesting the destruction of a church) was only, I fear, a taste of things to come. All opinion polls predict that the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood—which has long sought the imposition of strict sharia law and Israel’s destruction—will emerge from next month’s parliamentary elections as the country’s strongest political party, perhaps even with an outright majority. An Islamist may well win the presidential elections that are scheduled to follow, if the army allows them to go forward.

And the Sinai Peninsula bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip has become, following Mubarak’s fall, a lawless, Islamist-dominated territory. Egyptian writ runs (barely) only in the northeastern (El Arish-Rafah) and southeastern (Sharm a-Sheikh) fringes. The peninsula’s interior is in the grip of Islamists and bedouin gunmen and smugglers and has become a major staging post for Iranian arms smuggling into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

For months now the Egyptian natural gas pipeline to Israel (and Jordan) has been cut, the military unable to prevent continued incidents of Islamist-beduin sabotage. The severance of the gas export—in effect, a continuing Egyptian violation of an international commercial agreement—has meant that Israel has had to dole out hundreds of millions of additional dollars for liquid fuel to run its electricity grid.

And last week witnessed a further, violent aftereffect of the “Arab Spring”—three Grad rockets (advanced Katyushas), launched from the Gaza Strip, landed 20-25 miles away in open fields outside the central Israeli cities of Ashdod and Rehovot. There were no casualties and air force jets hit what Israel called “terrorist” targets in the strip in retaliation (apparently also causing no casualties).

But the direction is clear. After the Israel-Hamas prisoner exchange, the region may be heading toward increased violence. If so, such violence would be part and parcel of the unfolding Islamisation of the region—both in terms of the anti-Zionist Islamist ethos and attendant concrete developments on the ground, one of which is the giant arms smuggling operations that have followed the downfall of Gaddafi. Thus, the “Arab Spring” has brought both Islamization and chaos (and the Islamization will only benefit from this transitional chaos). Ordinary smugglers have collaborated with Islamists to plunder Qaddafi’s armories, and the Middle East’s clandestine arms bazaars are awash with Grads and relatively sophisticated shoulder-held anti-aircraft missiles. Israeli intelligence says that many of these weapons have recently made their way into the Gaza Strip via the Sinai Peninsula. One anti-aircraft missile was fired at an Israeli helicopter in a recent skirmish on the Sinai-Israel border.

All these developments suggest an accelerating trend in the Middle East that is far different rom what many Western idealists anticipated when they coined the term “Arab Spring.” It’s a trend that could severely alter Muslim-Western relations across the board.

Benny Morris is a professor of history in the Middle East Studies Department of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. His most recent book is One State, Two States: Resolving the Israel/Palestine Conflict (Yale University Press, 2009).


Links:
[1] http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250&username=nationalinterest
[2] http://nationalinterest.org/profile/benny-morris

2011/11/02

Iran Joins With Occupy Wall Street

H/T Internet Haganah

Quote From The Muslim Brotherhood of America in a handbook found by the FBI during the Holy Land Foundation vs USA Trial.

“The process of settlement in America is a Civilization-Jihadist process with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

The banner URL of wallstreetfall.com notwithstanding, the site is actually located at

Name: wsfall.com
Address: 216.238.144.12

It’s especially nice of the Basij to go out of their way to let us know this is an officially sanctioned site

2011/11/01

Official list of Occupy Wall Street’s supporters, sponsors and sympathizers

Many of us have been hearing this person or group is part of the Occupy Wall Street below is an article and list created by Zombie at PJ Media. Click here to read the entire article

H/T The Blaze

Official list of Occupy Wall Street’s supporters, sponsors and sympathizers

Written by Zombie

The Occupy Wall Street movement has received so much media coverage in recent weeks that it’s nearly impossible to keep abreast of all the developments. So many endorsements and criticisms coming from all directions enter the news cycle in such rapid succession that even the most dedicated news junkies may have missed out on many of the pronouncements. Supporters and detractors of OWS both might find it useful to have a handy all-inclusive list of who has endorsed or embraced the protest.

To satisfy that demand, we hereby present a list of groups, organizations, individuals and entities that have expressed their support for, sponsorship of, or sympathy for the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Note: All entries on this list are real and verified. Below each entry you will find a series of source links documenting the support for OWS. We have striven in almost all cases to reference either first-hand statements by the groups or individuals themselves, hosted on their own Web sites; or videos of the people in question voicing their support for OWS at various Occupations; or news reports from reliable mainstream networks; or articles by publications or organizations sympathetic to the Occupy movement; or indisputable evidence, whatever the source. As a result, it cannot be claimed that these statements of support were made up or distorted by detractors of the Occupy movement.

Click here to read the entire article

The 99%: Official list of Occupy Wall Street’s supporters, sponsors and sympathizers


Communist Party USA

      Sources:

Communist Party USA, OWS speech, The Daily Caller


American Nazi Party

      Sources:

Media Matters, American Nazi Party, White Honor, Sunshine State News


Ayatollah Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran

      Sources:

The Guardian, Tehran Times, CBS News


Barack Obama

      Sources:

ABC News, CBS News, ForexTV, NBC New York


The government of North Korea

      Sources:

Korean Central News Agency (North Korean state-controlled news outlet), The Marxist-Leninist, Wall Street Journal, Times of India


Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam

      Sources:

video statement (starting at 8:28), Black in America, Weasel Zippers, Philadelphia Weekly


Revolutionary Communist Party

      Sources:

Revolutionary Communist Party, Revolution newspaper, in-person appearance


David Duke

      Sources:

Talking Points Memo, video statement, davidduke.com


Joe Biden

      Sources:

Talking Points Memo, video statement, Mother Jones


Hugo Chavez

      Sources:

Mother Jones, Reuters, Examiner.com


Revolutionary Guards of Iran

      Sources:

Associated Press, FARS News Agency, UPI


Black Panthers (original)

      Sources:

in-person appearance, Occupy Oakland, Oakland Tribune


Socialist Party USA

      Sources:

Socialist Party USA, IndyMedia, The Daily Caller


US Border Guard

      Sources:

White Reference, www.usborderguard.com, Gateway Pundit, Just Another Day blog


Industrial Workers of the World

      Sources:

IWW web site, iww.org, in-person appearances


CAIR

      Sources:

in-person appearance, Washington Post, CAIR, CAIR New York


Nancy Pelosi

      Sources:

Talking Points Memo, video statement, ABC News, The Weekly Standard


Communist Party of China

      Sources:

People’s Daily (Communist Party organ), Reuters, chinataiwan.org, The Telegraph


Hezbollah

      Sources:

almoqawama.org, almoqawama.org (2), almoqawama.org (3), wikipedia


9/11Truth.org

      Sources:

911truth.org (1), 911truth.org (2), 911truth.org (3)


International Bolshevik Tendency

      Sources:

bolshevik.org, Wire Magazine


Anonymous

      Sources:

Adbusters, The Guardian, video statement


White Revolution

      Source:

whiterevolution.com


International Socialist Organization

      Sources:

Socialist Worker, socialistworker.org, in-person appearance


PressTV (Iranian government outlet)

      Sources:

PressTV, wikipedia


Marxist Student Union

      Sources:

Marxist Student Union, Big Government, marxiststudentunion.blogspot.com


Freedom Road Socialist Organization

      Sources:

FightBack News, fightbacknews.org


ANSWER

      Sources:

ANSWER press release, ANSWER web site, Xinhua


Party for Socialism and Liberation

      Sources:

Liberation News (1), pslweb.org, The Daily Free Press, Liberation News (2)

2011/10/28

PDF Copy of Flier Found at Occupy Phoenix Ponders: ‘When Should You Shoot A Cop?’ Also Bulletin Issued by Arizona Counter-Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC)

This is the same group Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi are endorsing. This is the same Barack Obama who asked about the Republicans who would not accept his second stimulus plan disguised as another “Jobs Bill” and made this statement “Are they against putting teachers and police officers and firefighters back on the job?” Now who really is against the Police????????? W

H/T The Blaze

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View this document on Scribd

2011/10/26

Organizer Behind “Occupy Wall Street” Has History of Anti-Jewish Writing

Source Article Link: Commentary Magazine

Organizer Behind “Occupy Wall Street” Has History of Anti-Jewish Writing

Written By Alana Goodman

It isn’t just a few crackpots engaging in anti-Semitism incidents at the Occupy Wall Street protests. Apparently, the main organizer behind the movement – Adbusters editor Kalle Lasn – has a history of anti-Jewish writing.

Back in 2004, he wrote a highly controversial Adbusters article entitled “Why Won’t Anyone Say They Are Jewish?” which peddled some of the more feverish theories about American Jews, neoconservatism, and the Bush administration (emphasis added):

Drawing attention to the Jewishness of the neocons is a tricky game. Anyone who does so can count on automatically being smeared as an anti-Semite. …

Here at Adbusters, we decided to tackle the issue head on and came up with a carefully researched list of who appear to be the 50 most influential neocons in the U.S. (see above). Deciding exactly who is a neocon is difficult since some neocons reject the term while others embrace it. Some shape policy from within the White House, while others are more peripheral, exacting influence indirectly as journalists, academics and think tank policy wonks. What they all share is the view that the U.S. is a benevolent hyper power that must protect itself by reshaping the rest of the world into its morally superior image. And half of them are Jewish.

The “Jew Watch” list sparked an understandable wave of outrage across Canada and the U.S. But Lasn was unfazed. He wrote in defense:

Is it not just as valid to comment on the Jewishness of the neocons as it is to point out that the majority of them are male or white or wealthy or from the Western world or have studied at a particular university? If half the neocons were Palestinians, would the U.S. have invaded Iraq?

This wasn’t the only time Adbusters’ was hit with charges of anti-Semitism. In 2009, the magazine published a photomontage comparing the Gaza Strip to the Warsaw Ghetto. This sparked a legal dispute between the magazine and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, which reportedly owned the Warsaw photos used by Adbusters.

But Lasn also has defenders, including David Duke, who published this sympathetic essay by Jeff Gates on his website:

Kalle Lasn​, founding editor of Adbusters, is a graphic artist who eventually awoke to the harm he was doing as an advertising executive. An Estonian, he saw firsthand how the Soviets exerted virtual control by manipulating the mental environment. In March 2004, Lasn published an article in Adbusters pointing out that, whereas less than two percent of Americans are Jewish, 26 of the top 50 neoconservatives advocating war in Iraq are Jewish (52 percent).

He titled the article: “Why Won’t Anyone Say They’re Jewish?” By ADL standards, that meant he was an “anti-Semite”—just for asking the question. What’s since been confirmed is that the bulk of those who fixed the intelligence around that predetermined goal were either Jewish or assets developed by operatives who were Jewish.

That’s not to say the Occupy Wall Street movement itself is anti-Semitic. But if the top organizer behind the Tea Party turned out to have published a blacklist of American Jews he claimed had dual loyalty to the U.S. and Israel, the backlash from the media would be massive. And if the top leader of the Tea Party fought a legal battle with the U.S. Holocaust Museum over an offensive collage he made using Warsaw Ghetto photos, politicians certainly wouldn’t be lining up to support the movement.

Related Article: @ Discover The Networks

Who is KALLE LASN?

  • Co-founder of the Adbusters Media Foundation
  • Derides “the dog-eat-dog world of capitalism” as “a destructive system”
  • Condemns American consumerism
  • Catalyst of the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011

See also:  Adbusters Media Foundation

Born in Estonia in 1942, Kalle Lasn spent his early childhood years in a German refugee camp and then relocated with his family to Australia. From 1965-70 Lasn lived in Japan, where he founded a market research company and worked in the advertising industry. In 1970 he moved to Vancouver and spent the next two decades producing documentaries for PBS and Canada’s National Film Board.

In 1990 Lasn lent his support to an environmentalist group that was engaged in an anti-timber industry campaign. When the CBC and other television stations refused to sell advertising airtime to that organization, Lasn and his allies started Adbusters magazine which, according to journalist Kenneth Rapoza, once featured George Soros on its editorial board. (Aides to Soros said in October 2011 that Soros had never before heard of Adbusters, and Soros himself declined comment.) Soon after launching Adbusters, Lasn and wilderness cinematographer Bill Schmalz co-founded the Adbusters Media Foundation (AMF).

Denouncing American consumerism as an “ecologically unsustainable” and “psychologically corrosive” phenomenon, Lasn derides “the dog-eat-dog world of capitalism” as “a destructive system” that has caused “a terrible degradation of our mental environment.” In his 2000 book Culture Jam: How to Reverse America’s Suicidal Consumer Bingeand Why We Must, Lasn wrote: “The aggregate level of American life fulfillment peaked in 1957, and with a couple of brief exceptions, it’s been downhill from there.” According to Lasn, “at least 75 percent” of the U.S. population is “caught in a consumer trance,” having been “brainwashed” into “believ[ing] in the American Dream.”

The dangers of consumerism, says Lasn, have profound “environmental, psychological, and political consequences” not only domestically, but internationally. Asserting that “every single purchase that you make has some kind of an impact on the planet,” he complains that “we, the rich 1 billion on the planet, are now consuming 86 percent of all the goods in the global marketplace, leaving a lousy 14 percent for the rest of the 5 billion people on the planet.” The worldwide resentment that is allegedly bred by this “overconsumption in the rich countries,” Lasn concludes, “is one of the root causes of terrorism.”

Lasn and AMF strive to combat consumerism through such initiatives as “Buy Nothing Day” and the “simplicity movement,” which encourage people who have been “stung by consumer culture” to drop their obsession with money and material possessions.

Warning that anthropogenic “climate change” poses a worldwide ecological threat, Lasn says that “overconsumption is in some sense the mother of all our environmental problems.” Specifically, he derides the automobile—because of its greenhouse-gas emissions—as “arguably the most destructive product we humans have ever produced.” To counteract the environmental damage allegedly caused by such emissions, Lasn recommends “not just a carbon tax, but a global across-the-board pricing system” in which cars would cost “around $100,000” apiece, and “a tankful of gas, $250.” Moreover, Lasn calls for the imposition of a 1 percent “Robin Hood Tax” (i.e., taking from the “rich” and giving to the “poor”) on most goods and services worldwide, with the aim of using its generated revenues to fund social-welfare programs.

Lasn refers to advertising professionals, whom he holds in contempt because of their commitment to perpetuating consumerism, as “the cool-makers and the cool-breakers” who “more than any other profession … have the power to change the world.” He hopes to promote “a mental/environmental movement that will wipe the advertising industry out as we know it.”

In 2004 Lasn wrote a controversial Adbusters article entitled “Why Won’t Anyone Say They Are Jewish?”—criticizing America’s most influential neoconservatives for their “view that the U.S. is a benevolent hyper power that must protect itself by reshaping the rest of the world into its morally superior image,” and noting that “half of them are Jewish.”

Describing himself as someone who has “been a student of revolution all my life,” Lasn says that in the summer of 2011 he and his fellow Adbusters staffers—especially senior editor Micah White­—were “inspired” by the popular revolution that had recently occurred in Tunisia. Moreover, they “thought that America,” whose economy was in crisis, “was [also] ripe for this type of [mass] rage.” According to Lasn, Americans’ anger stemmed chiefly from Wall Street financial speculators’ violation of the “sense of fairness Americans have always believed in.”

Lasn was also confident that young Americans’ “despondency” over such concerns as “climate change,” “corruption in Washington,” and the “decline” of their country, greatly increased the likelihood that the U.S. might experience “a Tahrir moment” of sorts. (The reference was to Cairo’s Tahrir Square, a focal point of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution.) Emboldened further by “that sort of anarchy cred” which the civil disobedience/“hacktivism” group Anonymous had been demonstrating in recent times, Lasn and his Adbusters associates held brainstorming sessions on how they themselves might effect “some kind of a soft regime change” to diminish the political influence of “finances,” “lobbyists,” and “corporations.”

In an effort to “catalyze” a protest movement against those forces, Lasn and Adbusters “put feelers out on our [Internet] forums” suggesting a mass demonstration in the hub of New York City’s financial district. Thus was born the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, whose first public rally was held on September 17, 2011. After some OWS demonstrators subsequently became involved in conflicts with police officers, Lasn said that “police brutality actually helps the movement” by drawing media attention.

While Lasn concedes that every popular movement faces the “danger” that its idealistic leaders may eventually “turn into monsters,” he nonetheless believes “it’s very important for us to win, and [to] worry about how badly we behave later—right now we need to pull the current monster down.”

Lasn is an open admirer of Marxists like Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, anarchist David Graeber, and post-anarchist Saul Newman.

2011/10/21

An Open Letter to the ‘Good Liberal’ Who Ignores Occupy Wall Street’s Jew Hatred

Source Article Link: Pajamas Media

An Open Letter to the ‘Good Liberal’ Who Ignores Occupy Wall Street’s Jew Hatred

Written by Phyllis Chesler

Dear Good Liberal People Who Are Unconcerned With Occupy Wall Street’s Naked Anti-Semitism,

I am writing to you about a “contagious” and dangerous plague of “hatred” that threatens the survival of the Jews, the Jewish state, and of all civilization.

Even if you are not Jewish, even if you do not support Israel, you should see Gloria Greenfield’s Unmasked: Judeophobia. This film directly concerns you. It is the visual antidote to this false hatred, which visually through the internet, in films, in the media, emblazoned on t-shirts and signs at every rally (no matter the topic) scapegoats Jews for the world’s every sorrow. The Big Lies against the Jewish people — really, blood libels — are perpetrated and paid for by the very people who are committing the most horrifying crimes against their own people and humanity as a whole.

I’m with Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, whose words open this compelling and important film: afraid. For example, I have been told that very few Jews went uptown to confront the three day hate-fest against Israel which went on at Columbia in preparation for Israel Apartheid week. However, many New York City Jews and human rights activists of all ages are visiting or helping the Occupy Wall Street activists in Zucotti Park, perhaps an idealistic group which has unfortunately and increasingly been inundated with the hardcore Marxists who often display anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish slogans.

Wiesel never expected to see the return of anti-Semitism in his lifetime — and with such a vengeance. Both Israel and America represent civilization at its imperfect but democratic best; both are universally “hated.” As such “hatred” escalates and “globalizes,” it invariably leads to pogroms, massacres, embassy and airplane hijackings, which in turn, are viewed as justified acts of “self-defense” against capitalist and colonial bloodsuckers, child killers, mass rapists, and racists.

Greenfield’s film carefully, patiently, artfully exposes and stands against this surreal increase in Jew-hatred (“Judeophobia”), and explains why it is a threat to Western civilization.
Unmasked presents 50 of the most sober, principled thinkers of our time – I am honored and humbled to be among them – all of whom understand that it is crucial to tell the truth about the massive misinformation campaign against the Jews and the West, and that we must do so with courage and boldness. We — and the filmmaker who is also the producer of The Case for Israel – believe that it is late, but never too late to do so. True, the demonization of Jews, Israel, and America has gone viral. Human mobs are “surging” across Israel’s borders and are “occupying” public spaces around the world in jihadic-like fashion.

Greenfield’s experts also understand that Jews are being blamed for the exact crimes committed by the Arabs and “Palestinians” against their own people and against the Jewish state.

Click Here To Read The Entire Article At Pajamas Media

2011/10/20

The Bigotry anti-Semitic Occupy USA

Filed under: anti-Semitism, Liberal, Liberal Violence, Obama, Progressives, Protests — Tags: — - @ 5:30 pm

History can teach us about preventing its Evil past from repeating itself. Yet again, we have individuals blaming the Jews for all the worldly problems, these are the same people Obama and Pelosi are standing with…W

2011/10/18

Israelis worried by anti-Semitic flavor of ‘Occupy Wall St.’ protests

Filed under: anti-Semitism, Israel, Jews, Obama, Protests — - @ 7:00 pm

Source Article Link: Israel Today

Israelis worried by anti-Semitic flavor of ‘Occupy Wall St.’ protests

Written by Ryan Jones

A growing number of Israelis and foreign Jewish groups are expressing concern over the anti-Semitic flavor of some of the “Occupy Wall St.” economic protests in the US.

From the 13th century expulsion of Englands Jews to the 19th century Russian pogroms to the Nazi Holocaust, sour economic conditions have historically formed the backdrop of rising anti-Semitism.

Last week, We Reported on a lone Protestor at the Wall Street sit-in Who Insisted That America’s Economic woes Could all Be traced back to ‘the’ Jews. ‘

Since then that message has been picked up by others at “Occupy Wall St.” demontrations around the country.

In Los Angeles, California, Protestor Patricia McAllister, Who Identified Herself as an employee of the Los Angeles Unified School District (We Can Only Hope She is not an Educator), Had this to say :

“I think that the Zionist Jews, who are running these big banks and our Federal Reserve, which is not run by the federal government … they need to be run out of this country.”

On the American Nazi Party website, leader Rocky Suhayda voiced support for “Occupy Wall St.” and asked

“Who hold the wealth and power in this country? The Judeo-Capitalists. Who is therefore the # 1 enemy who makes this filth happen? The Judeo-Capitalists.”

One of people reportedly responsible for organizing the “Occupy Wall St.” Protests, Adbusters editor Kalle Lasn, has a history of perpetuating Conspiracy Theories That say the ‘Jews control America’s Foreign policies .

Back in New York, Another Protestor Insisted that

“a small Ethnic group Constitutes Almost all of the hedge fund Managers and Bankers on Wall St. They are all Jewish. There is a Conspiracy in this country WHERE ‘Jews control the media, finances … They Have pooled their money together in order to take control of America. “

He was kind enough to warn Russia to avoid similarly being destroyed by what in America has become a “conspiracy everyone is afraid to talk about.”

The Emergency Committee for Israel, a Jewish-run Republican Organization, released a video highlighting These and Other anti-Semitic Incidents at the “Occupy St wall.” events, and urging President Barack Obama to take a firm stand against such hateful rhetoric.

Israel’s Yediot Ahronot newspaper called the anti-Semitic outbursts “hard to watch,” and an Israeli commenter said, “It’s just like pre-World War II Nazi Germany. You think blood libels can’t happen in America?”

It has been pointed out by many media commentators that the openly anti-Semitic remain but a small portion of those participating in the Occupy Wall St. Movement. However, others have noted that Nazi anti-Semitism started out as a fringe phenomenon in Germany before eventually defining that nation’s domestic agenda in the 1940s.

More than the few Occupy Wall St. anti-Semites themselves, it is the lack of a clear and firm repudiation of their hateful rhetoric by the mainstream American media and political leaders that has a growing number of Israelis and Jews on edge.

2011/10/16

Syrian operations against regime opponents in the USA

Source Link: Internet Haganah

Syrian operations against regime opponents in the USA

A grand jury in Alexandria, VA, has returned a 6 count indictment against Mohamad Anas Haitham Soueid. (PDF Copy Below The Article)

Highlights of the indictment:

  • USA alleges Soueid is a Syrian intelligence officer.
  • It is clear from the indictment that there were others in the US who were actively assisting Soueid in his work.
  • Soueid & Co. infiltrated at least one anti-regime group in the USA and acquired what amounts to their membership list.
  • Soueid & Co. conducted surveillance of anti-regime demonstrations with the aim of identifying participants and provided all such data collected to the Syrian intelligence apparatus.
  • At all times Soueid acted under the direction of and maintained contact with ranking Syrian intelligence officials, not to mention at least one individual at the Washington, DC embassy.

The indictment is not without its humorous moments, such as this:

There is also a rather less funny element to the charges against Soueid, namely his purchase of a handgun and three boxes of ammo.

It’s not unreasonable to suspect that individual anti-regime activists in the USA were to be assassinated. Note that Soueid returned from Damascus on/about July 6, 2011, and purchased the firearm on 11 July, 2011. Of particular interest were Syrians who had filed suit against a Syrian government official not named in the indictment, but likely Ambassador Imad Moustapha:

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2011/10/12

Leftists Claim Fire Bombs

Source Article Link: Spiegel
H/T Internet Haganah

Leftists Claim Fire Bombs

Police Foil Attack on Berlin’s Central Station

Photo Gallery: Fire Bombs Found in Berlin Train Tunnel
DAPD
Police safely removed several fire bombs found in a tunnel near Berlin’s main train station on Monday. The foiled attack came after a fire set along the line between the capital and Hamburg Deutsch caused major disruption to rail traffic.

German police foiled a planned arson attack on Berlin’s main railway station on Monday and said a statement by left-wing extremists claiming responsibility Seemed authentic.

Explosives experts removed seven petrol bombs equipped with detonators that time had been found by a railway worker in a tunnel leading into the station.

The discovery followed in arson attack on signaling equipment along a rail line in the state of Brandenburg, Which surrounds the Deutsch capital, at around 4 pm The cable fire caused severe delays to local trains and to the mainline service between Berlin and Hamburg, railway operator German railway said.

Thousands of commuters and travelers were affected by delays and cancellations as a result of the attack in Brandenburg and the discovery of the devices in Berlin.

A statement calling itself left-wing group claimed responsibility for the Hekla fire bombs in Berlin online. The group condemned the army’s mission in Afghanistan Deutsch and Demanded the release of imprisoned U.S. soldier Bradley Manning , accused by the U.S. military of having leaked information to Wikileaks.

Possible Connection to May Arson

Police said they were not familiar with Hekla, Which is also the name of an Islenska volcano. There is a possible link with a similar arson attack that caused severe disruption to local train services in Berlin’s May The name of an Islenska volcano which therefore featured in the statement of responsibility issued after the May attack, local newspaper Tagesspiegel reported.

Police said railway passengers would not have been in danger if the bombs had gone off in Berlin on Monday, although the resulting damage to signaling equipment would have caused major problems.

German railway said it will take until Tuesday morning to repair the damaged line in Brandenburg between the stations of Brieselang and Finkenkrug. Delays of up to threequarters of an hour were likely for trips between Berlin and Hamburg until Wednesday because trains have to be rerouted, they said.

Berlin has also seen to increase in arson attacks on cars this year.

Left-Wing Extremism RSS

Related articles, background features and opinions about this topic.

2011/10/05

Another Anti-Semitic Bigot From The Progressive Left

Filed under: anti-Semitism, Liberal, Liberal Violence, Progressives, Protests — - @ 6:29 pm

Glenn Beck has the article here- Disgusting anti-Semitism on Wall Street

 

2011/04/01

Uprisings in Syria

Filed under: Muslim Brotherhood, National Security, Obama, Protests, Syria — - @ 2:44 pm

Source: Stratfor

Analyst Reva Bhalla explains the factors behind the Syrian president’s apparent confidence as the regime prepares for a more forceful crackdown.

Editor’s Note: Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology. Therefore, STRATFOR cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

While protests in Syria are increasing in size and scope, the Syrian regime does not appear to be taking chances by parsing out political reforms that could further embolden the opposition. Instead, the Syrian regime is more likely to resort to more forceful crackdowns, which is likely to highlight the growing contradictions in U.S. public diplomacy in the region.

Syrian President Bashar al Assad delivered a speech to parliament on Wednesday in which he was expected to announce a number of political reforms including the lifting of the state of emergency, which has been in place since 1963. Instead, Bashar al Assad largely avoided talk of reforms. He said that security and stability needs to come first. He also built on a narrative that foreign elements were exploiting the grievances of the Syrian people and trying to break the country apart.

The minority Alawite regime in Syria faces immense socioeconomic challenges as well as demographic challenges but there are a number of reasons why the Syrian president appears to be so confident. Protesters in Daraa have come under heavy pressure by Syrian security forces and continue to come out in large numbers. Protests have also spread beyond Daraa to cities like Damascus, Latakia, Homs, Hama and Kamishli, but the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, which is the main opposition group in the country, has not put its full weight behind the demonstrations and probably for good reason. The Muslim Brotherhood remembers well the 1982 massacre at Hama which devastated the movement and essentially razed that city to the ground. The Brotherhood is likely looking for assurances from the West that they’re going to receive protection as the crackdowns intensify.

But there’s really no guarantee that the Syrian opposition is going to get those assurances. The U.S. administration has been very careful to distinguish between the humanitarian military intervention in Libya and the situation in Syria, arguing that the level of repression in Syria hasn’t escalated to a point that would require military intervention. The U.S. really has no strategic interest in getting involved in Syria in the first place. Syria would be a much more complicated military affair. The prospects for success would be low and the downfall of the al Assad regime is also not a scenario that the Israelis want to see. The al Assad regime remains hostile to Israel but the virtue in that regime from the Israeli point of view lies in its predictability. The Israelis don’t want to see situation developed in which Syrian Islamists could create the political space in which to influence Syrian foreign policy.

To help ensure that it’s not going to get the Libya treatment, the Syrian regime is likely looking to Turkey for some assistance. Turkey, which has become much more assertive in the region and has stepped up its mediation efforts in Syria, does not want to see another crisis flare up on its border. While encouraging reforms in Syria, the Turks have also likely played a key role in getting the Syrians to clamp down on Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad activity in the Palestinian territories recently. While the Turks will be encouraging the al Assad regime to make reforms at the right time, they could play key role in quietly sustaining external support for the Syrian regime. Syria’s crisis is far from over and the protests could continue to escalate especially now that the al Assad regime has made clear it’s not willing to go down that slippery slope of offering concessions to the opposition. The Syrian security and intelligence apparatus remains a formidable force and remains fairly unified in its approach to dealing with the uprising. What we’ll see in the coming days is whether those crackdowns will actually have the regime’s desired effect.

2011/03/30

Saudi Arabia, U.S.: Plan To Overthrow Syrian Regime Published

Filed under: Corruption, National Security, Obama, Protests, Saudi Arabia, Syria — - @ 12:10 pm

Source Stratfor

A highly detailed plan to overthrow the Syrian regime has been attributed to former Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States Bandar bin Sultan in collaboration with the former U.S. ambassador in Lebanon, Jeffrey Feltman, Champress reported March 30. The plan, drawn up in 2008 and with a budget of $2 billion depended on the exploitation of Syrian’s ‘desire of freedom’ and to end corruption though a full-scale revolution. The plan details a method of protest involving ‘shouters’ who gather at the center of a circle and begin chanting. If no one challenges the shouters, the ‘hidden people’ should begin to assault them, giving the media “an excellent picture.” In addition, the plans acknowledges the need to form a council of businessmen, ministers and security chiefs to be recognized by the United States, France, Britain, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

2011/03/25

Update on Protests in the Middle East

Filed under: Bahrain, Jordon, National Security, Obama, Protests, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen — - @ 9:42 pm

Source Link: Stratfor

Related Special Topic Page

SALAH MALKAWI/Getty Images Jordanian anti-government protesters clash with security forces March 25 in Amman

Syrian protests have spread and grown in size, increasing the regime’s vulnerability and creating an opportunity for Iran to rebuild its leverage in Damascus. Splits within the opposition have slowed any potential progress in Yemen’s negotiations over an exit for President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Jordan’s youth protest movement has declared its intent to form a tent city in a main square while the Islamist opposition continues to resist entering into negotiations with the regime and is holding out for greater concessions. The state of unrest in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain remains mostly unchanged from last Friday, but Gulf Cooperation Council forces are unlikely to leave Bahrain until both Riyadh and Manama feel the threat of Iranian destabilization has passed.

Syria

Tens of thousands of demonstrators rallied around the central al-Omari mosque in the southwestern city of Daraa on March 25, the scene of Syria’s largest and most violent protests to date since regional unrest spread to the country. Army and police had reportedly pulled back from the city center after Syrian President Bashar al Assad in a televised speech March 24 called on security forces to avoid using live ammunition, but gunfire was still reported in and around Daraa during Friday protests. Some 20 protesters were reportedly killed in the nearby town of Sanamein, according to Al Jazeera.

The protesters in Daraa, a Sunni stronghold in the country, are hardening their anti-regime stance, now chanting slogans against Maher al Assad, the president’s brother and head of the elite Republican Guard, whose forces have led the crackdown in the city. Protests spread northward as well on March 25, with demonstrations reported in the capital of Damascus, where three people were reportedly killed by security forces, the nearby town of Tel, the city of Homs, the coastal city of Latakia, the northeastern Kurdish city of Wamishli and the city of Hama, the site of the 1982 massacre against the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (MB). The protests in these areas were relatively small, however, numbering in the hundreds. But the Syrian security apparatus appears to be struggling in its efforts to intimidate protesters into keeping off the streets. The steadily growing protests in Daraa and the spread of demonstrations to other locations increase the potential for the Syrian MB to become more heavily involved in the uprising.

The ongoing demonstrations in Syria provide an opportunity for Iran to rebuild its leverage in Damascus through offering assistance in crushing the opposition. There are growing indications that Iran is deploying Hezbollah operatives to Syria from the Lebanese village of Dayr al Asaher to assist in the crackdowns.

Meanwhile, the Syrian regime appears to be in search of distractions to its domestic crisis, pointing blame at Jordan and the United States for allegedly fueling the protests. A renewed Israeli military campaign in the Gaza Strip could also prove to be a useful distraction for the al Assad government as it resorts to more violent tactics against protesters at home. Damascus remains wary of the precedent set in Libya, where Western coalition forces have mounted a military campaign in the name of protecting protesters from an extraordinarily violent crackdown.

Yemen

A series of high-profile defections from the regime of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh earlier in the week effectively split the country’s army and tribal landscape in two. In spite of this, the situation in Yemen was far calmer than expected March 25 after Friday prayers. The streets remain packed as Saudi-mediated negotiations continue between the various opposition factions and the Saleh government, but the opposition said it had postponed a planned march to the presidential palace until April 1.

Saleh appears to have resigned himself to the fact that he will be making an early political departure, but he remains intent on making as dignified an exit as possible. He benefits in this regard from the multitude of splits within the opposition movement, which has thus far been unable to work out the details of a post-Saleh regime. Saleh is resisting the complete dismantling of his regime, trying to protect his 22 closest relatives who dominate the security, political and business apparatuses in the country. Hamid al-Ahmar, leader of the main opposition Islah party and the Hashid tribal confederation, is meanwhile trying to position himself to take over the next government. However, he faces considerable opposition from rival Baqil tribesmen as well as many in the south, who resent the al-Ahmar family for seizing their land during the Yemeni civil war. The southerners are meanwhile counting on Yaseen Saeed Noman, the former prime minister of now-defunct South Yemen, to counterbalance the northerners.

Concerns have also been raised that Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, commander of Yemen’s northwestern military division and 1st Armored Division who defected early in the week, is looking to assert military rule, though al-Ahmar so far claims that is not his intent. Negotiations are under way over a compromise that would reportedly lead to the resignations of Saleh and al-Ahmar as well as the creation of a transitional council representing Yemen’s various interest groups until elections can be held, but so far the talks have not led to any breakthroughs. Sorting out the details of such an arrangement through Yemen’s fractured political landscape will be an enormous challenge for Saudi mediators, especially with the Saleh family so deeply entrenched in the regime, tribal tensions simmering and the potential for more serious clashes between rival security forces looming.

Jordan

Though protests have been occurring regularly in Jordan since January, there has been a noticeable escalation of tensions in recent days between demonstrators and government supporters as well as security forces. The main reason for this is that youth protesters are trying to create a tent city of their own in downtown Amman, similar to what was seen in main squares in Cairo, Manama and Sanaa. A pro-democracy protest group originally known as the Jordanian Youth Movement has rechristened itself the “March 24 Youth” and declared March 24 that they would not leave Gamal Abdel Nasser Square, aka Interior Ministry Circle, until their demands are met. They have called for the immediate resignations of newly appointed Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit and General Intelligence Directorate head Lt. Gen. Muhammad al-Raqqad as well as the dissolution of parliament. Like the Al Wefaq movement in Bahrain, they are not pushing for the overthrow of the monarchy but do want significant political reforms that would weaken the power of King Abdullah II.

The Jordanian government responded with force to the attempted establishment of a permanent encampment in the square. It likely learned from the Egyptian, Bahraini and Yemeni examples that allowing a large tent city to materialize would eventually either lead to a violent episode that would only inflame the situation or would allow the protests to take on a life of their own. Roughly 400 government supporters, likely paid by Amman, attacked the 1,500-2,000 demonstrators in the square on both March 24 and March 25, throwing stones at them. Security forces allowed the clashes to go on for a while before using water cannons to disperse the groups on March 25, and authorities reportedly even clashed with the anti-government protesters themselves. According to reports, one person has been killed and more than 100 have been injured.

The role of the Islamist opposition in the Jordanian unrest remains unknown, and they do not appear to have been involved in the clashes of the past two days. Al-Bakhit accused them of responsibility for the clashes late March 25, adding that they had received help from elements living in Egypt and Syria. It is more likely, however, that the Jordanian MB’s political wing, the Islamic Action Front (IAF), is following the Egyptian MB’s example, allowing youth protest groups to take the lead in demonstrations while it moves toward negotiations on the sidelines with the regime. Thus far the IAF has resisted an invitation from the king to take part in the newly created National Dialogue Committee, however.

Jordan, like Bahrain, is a key regional ally of the United States, which is why U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates traveled to Amman on March 25 to meet with King Abdullah II. U.S. Central Command chief Gen. James Mattis was also in attendance, one day after the Bahraini crown prince held meetings of his own with the Jordanian monarch. There have been no reports as to what may have been discussed in either of these meetings, but Washington is likely trying to reassure Amman that it will stand by the regime, while simultaneously urging it to speed up the pace of reforms so as to stave off continued unrest. A reported shooting at the home of a Jordanian member of parliament March 25, which did not result in any injuries, has raised concerns that other elements are trying to dramatically escalate tensions in the country.

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain

Though Shiite demonstrators took to the streets in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province once again this Friday to call for prisoner releases and the withdrawal of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) forces from Bahrain, the demonstrations were again relatively small in comparison to what has been seen elsewhere in the region. Demonstrators numbering in the hundreds marched in at least two villages, Rabiae and Awamiya, near the city of Qatif, and there were no reported clashes between riot police and protesters. This does not mean, however, that security is not extremely tight throughout the kingdom at the moment, particularly in Shiite areas in the east, where Saudi human rights activists allege more than 100 demonstrators have been arrested over the past week in Safwa, Qatif and al-Ahsa.

Across the causeway in Bahrain, the situation has cooled considerably since the March 16 crackdown by GCC forces. But Riyadh is still concerned about the potential for protests to re-escalate in Bahrain. A state of emergency declared March 15 has prohibited public gatherings, but Friday prayers bring people out into the streets regardless. Moreover, some online activists had called for another “Day of Rage” in the country March 25, with plans for demonstrations in nine locations. Though security forces did use tear gas on one group of protesters and one person was reportedly killed, the Day of Rage largely fizzled. Tight security was one reason: Fighter jets and police helicopters patrolled the skies on Friday as security forces erected several checkpoints on major highways to search people’s cars. But a more significant factor was the lack of support for the demonstrations by the largest Shiite opposition group, Al Wefaq. Al Wefaq’s spiritual leader, Sheikh Isa Qassim, did perform the Friday prayers March 25 in the village of Diraz, reportedly drawing more than 1,000 people. But while he reiterated the people’s determination to continue demonstrating until their demands have been met, he again declined to escalate the situation by calling for the overthrow of the regime.

While the extent of Iranian involvement in the Bahraini protests remains unknown, the al-Khalifa regime has noticeably increased its rhetoric over the past week, alleging that Tehran is directing the demonstrations. This has occurred despite the situation’s having calmed significantly since the leaders of the hard-line Shiite Coalition for a Republic, which is believed to have close links with Tehran and has advocated the total overthrow of the regime, were detained March 17. Until the al-Khalifas, as well as the Saudis, feel that there is not a threat of Iranian destabilization, they will be unlikely to call for the withdrawal of the GCC troops that are helping to provide security in Bahrain.

2011/03/23

Libyan Diplomatic Missions as Terror Hubs

Filed under: CIA, Jihad, Libya, National Security, Obama, Protests, Radical Islam, Terrorism — - @ 11:25 am

Source Link: Stratfor

Click on image below to watch video:

Vice President of Intelligence Fred Burton discusses the diplomatic targets that intelligence agencies are watching in their efforts to disrupt terrorist plots.

Editor’s Note: Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology. Therefore, STRATFOR cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

While the world is focused on the war in Libya, intelligence agencies like the CIA and MI6 are focused on Libyan diplomatic missions around the globe in an effort to disrupt terror plots.

Libya has a long history of using their diplomatic missions as a hub for terrorist-related activity. Intelligence agencies around the globe will be focusing on three specific targets for the surveillance teams. The first is missions or the diplomatic facility. The second would be known or suspected intelligence officers. And the third would be diplomatic pouches.

The first target for the surveillance team would be the official diplomatic mission, embassy, consulate or front company where some sort of clandestine action could be taking place. The focus of the surveillance team would be the individuals that are suspected intelligence officers of the Libyan government as well as people that may be walking into the embassy or front company. The surveillance team would maintain a log with photographs or video of the individuals, and an effort will be made to identify who these individuals are through in-country investigations.

The second target set would be the Libyan diplomatic officers, with a laser focus on the suspected intelligence officers or known intelligence officers. You’re going to have surveillance of individuals that are meeting with these individuals that spin off into various webs of activity, and there is going to be an ongoing effort to identify who those people are that are meeting with the Libyan intelligence officers. The purpose of this surveillance activity is to create an umbrella, a quick read of activity to indicate whether or not there is some sort of terror plot in the works.

The third target set for the surveillance team would be Libyan diplomatic pouches. This is something that we learn through investigation of other terror plots: that the Libyans would utilize the diplomatic pouch to facilitate the transport of weapons, explosives, identity documents to third countries in an effort to carry out any kind of an attack. The interesting aspect of diplomatic pouches are that nations cannot search them, they don’t get x-rayed, they’re not opened, so you literally have no idea what’s in the diplomatic pouch. These items are escorted by diplomatic couriers that also have immunity.

Evidence has shown based on past specific acts of terrorism that I’ve personally investigated that Gadhafi uses his diplomatic missions as a center of gravity for terrorism activity, and it’s also going to be a concern for what other surrogate groups he could be reaching out to to facilitate acts of terrorism all around the world.

2011/03/22

Libya: EU Seeks Common Approach With AU

Filed under: African Union, European Union, Libya, Obama, Protests, United Nations — - @ 11:42 am

I hate being an armchair quarterback but why wasn’t this done before they started shelling? The Libya protests were well under way  for weeks before the shelling. W

Source Link: Stratfor

European Union representatives will take part in a meeting March 25 called by the African Union in Addis Ababa on forming a joint approach to resolving the situation in Libya, according to a senior adviser to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, AFP reported March 22. The adviser, Nick Westcott, said there is much common ground between the two groups and that they hope to build on the mutual desire to end the fighting and reach an inclusive political process.

2011/03/21

Yemen in Crisis: A Special Report

Filed under: Arab Nations, National Security, Protests, Yemen — - @ 2:05 pm

Source Link:Stratfor

AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images Yemeni anti-government protesters face off March 13 with security forces and regime loyalists in Sanaa

A crisis in Yemen is rapidly escalating. A standoff centered on the presidential palace is taking place between security forces in the capital city of Sanaa while embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh continues to resist stepping down, claiming that the “majority of Yemeni people” support him. While a Western-led military intervention in Libya is dominating the headlines, the crisis in Yemen and its implications for Persian Gulf stability is of greater strategic consequence. Saudi Arabia is already facing the threat of an Iranian destabilization campaign in eastern Arabia and has deployed forces to Bahrain in an effort to prevent Shiite unrest from spreading. With a second front now threatening the Saudi underbelly, the situation in Yemen is becoming one that the Saudis can no longer leave on the backburner.

The turning point in Yemen occurred March 18 after Friday prayers, when tens of thousands of protestors in the streets calling for Saleh’s ouster came under a heavy crackdown that reportedly left some 46 people dead and hundreds wounded. It is unclear whether the shootings were ordered by Saleh himself, orchestrated by a member of the Yemeni defense establishment to facilitate Saleh’s political exit or simply provoked by tensions in the streets, but it does not really matter. Scores of defections from the ruling party, the prominent Hashid tribe in the north and military old guard followed the March 18 events, both putting Saleh at risk of being removed in a coup and putting the already deeply fractious country at risk of a civil war.

The Army Splits

But the situation in Yemen is also not a replica of the crisis in Egypt, which was not so much a revolution as it was a very carefully managed succession by the country’s armed forces. In Egypt, the armed forces maintained their independence from the unpopular Mubarak regime, thereby providing the armed forces with the unity in command and effort in using the street demonstrations to quietly oust Mubarak. In Yemen, a tribal society at its core, Saleh insured himself by stacking the security apparatus with members of his family and Sanhan tribal village. For example:

  • Gen. Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, the president’s son, is the commander of the Republican Guard and Yemeni special operations forces. The president originally had planned to have his son succeed him.
  • Gen. Yahya Mohamed Abdullah Saleh, commander of the Central Security Forces and Counterterrorism Unit, is Saleh’s nephew.
  • Col. Tareq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, commander of the Presidential Guard, is Saleh’s nephew.
  • Col. Ammar Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, commander of the National Security Bureau, is Saleh’s nephew.
  • Brig. Gen. Mohamed Saleh al-Ahmar, commander of the air force, is Saleh’s half-brother.
  • Brig. Gen. Ali Saleh al-Ahmar, chief of staff of the general command, is Saleh’s half-brother.
  • Brig. Gen. Mehdi Makwala, commander of the southern military zone in Aden, is a Hashid tribesman from Saleh’s village, Sanhan.
  • Brig. Gen. Mohammed Ali Mohsen, commander of the Eastern Military Zone in Hadramawt, is a Hashid tribesman from Sanhan.

However, Saleh cannot rely on the support of all of his relatives. The biggest threat to Saleh within the military apparatus comes from Brig. Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, Saleh’s half brother, commander of the first armored brigade and commander of the northwestern military zone. Mohsen is an influential member of Yemen’s old guard and initiated a fresh wave of defections when he announced March 21 that he is joining the people’s revolution and deployed an armored formation to protect the protestors. Armored vehicles under Mohsen’s command are now reportedly surrounding the presidential palace, where Republican Guard units under the command of Saleh’s son, Ahmed, have already taken up defensive positions. The potential for clashes between pro and now anti-Saleh security forces is escalating.

Ali Mohsen may be positioning himself for Saleh’s political exit, but he is unlikely to be a welcome replacement from the U.S. point of view. Ali Mohsen is considered a veteran of the Islamist old guard, who earned its claim to fame during the 1994 civil war, when Saleh relied on Islamists to defeat the more secular and formerly Marxist south. The infusion of jihadists and jihadist sympathizers throughout the Yemeni security apparatus — a critical factor that has compounded counterterrorism efforts in the country — is a product of the Ali Mohsen legacy.

Following Mohsen’s defection and a crisis meeting among senior Yemen defense officials March 21, Yemeni Defense Minister Maj. Gen. Mohammad Nasser Ali asserted that the army would continue to stand behind Saleh and thwart any attempted coups threatening Saleh’s legitimacy. The Yemeni defense minister does not speak for the entire army, however, particularly those forces under the command of Mohsen deploying in the capital city.

Tribal Opportunism

If the army is the first pillar underpinning Saleh’s regime, the second pillar is the tribe. Yemen, much like Libya, is divided among tribal lines, particularly in the north of the country. Though Saleh understands the power of the tribe and has made a concerted effort to maintain his tribal alliances, his biggest threat within Yemen’s tribal landscape comes from Sheikh Hamid al-Ahmar, one of the sons to the late Abdullah bin Hussein al-Ahmar, who ruled the Hashid confederation as the most powerful tribal chieftain in the country. Hamid is a wealthy businessman and a leader of the conservative Islah party that leads the Joint Meetings Party (JMP) opposition coalition. He has obvious political aspirations to become the next leader of Yemen and sees the current uprising as his chance to bring Saleh down. In fact, the first wave of resignations from within the ruling General People’s Congress (GPC) party could be traced back to the al-Ahmar family tree, as relatives and allies were called on to raise the pressure against Saleh.

Still, there are significant arrestors to Hamid’s political rise. The al-Ahmars, while powerful and wealthy, do not speak for the entire Hashid confederation. Many members of both the Hashid and Bakil tribes have said as much publicly. Tribal sheikhs within the Bakil are especially wary of seeing an archrival Hashid leader assume control of Sanaa. In short, Saleh and his remaining loyalists still have some room to maneuver in playing tribal loyalties off each other to preserve his regime, but that room is narrowing.

The Saudi Vote

Yemeni Foreign Minister Dr. Abu-Bakr al-Qirbi is reportedly en route to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to deliver a “Presidential Letter” to the Saudi Monarch. In this letter, Saleh is likely asking for Saudi support for his regime, making the case that his downfall will lead to a fracturing of the country and greater instability for the Arabian Peninsula overall. Saudi support for Saleh is nowhere near assured, however.

Yemen has long had to contend with the fact that Saudi Arabia has the money, influence and tribal links to directly shape Yemeni politics according to its interests. The Saudis view Yemen as a subordinate power on the heel of the Arabian Peninsula, one that (if partitioned in a civil war) could potentially provide Riyadh with direct access to the Arabian Sea, but that if left to fragment, could also spread instability into the Saudi kingdom. The Saudis have thus relied primarily on their tribal links in the country to maintain influence and keep a lid on unrest, thereby keeping the central government in Sanaa weak and dependent on Riyadh for most of its policies.

Given Saudi Arabia’s heavy influence in Yemen, the Saudi view on the situation in Yemen serves as a vital indicator of Saleh’s staying power. More specifically, defections or pledges of support by Yemeni tribal leaders on the Saudi payroll can provide clues on the current Saudi mood toward Yemen. The al-Ahmar family, for example, has extremely close ties to the Saudi royals, and Hamid al-Ahmar has made a point in his recent interviews to praise the Saudis and highlight that he has been traveling between Saudi Arabia and Yemen in recent weeks. At the same time, a number of other prominent tribes close to the Saudis continue to stand by Saleh. Throughout much of Yemen’s crisis, the Saudis did not show signs of abandoning Saleh, but they were not fully backing him, either.

This is likely a reflection of internal Saudi differences as well as limited Saudi resources to deal effectively with Yemen at this point in time. The three Saudi royals who deal most closely with Yemen affairs are King Abdullah, Crown Prince Sultan and Interior Minister and second deputy prime minister Prince Naif. Prince Naif and Crown Prince Sultan have had a very rocky relationship with Saleh and would most likely be amenable to his ouster, while King Abdullah (whose clan rivals the Sudeiri clan, to which Crown Prince Sultan and Prince Naif both belong) has maintained a closer relationship with the Yemeni president. The three often disagree on various facets of Saudi Arabia’s policy toward Yemen. At the same time, the Saudi government has its hands full in dealing with Iran, preventing it from devoting considerable attention to Yemen’s political crisis. Using Bahrain as a flashpoint for sectarian unrest, Iran has been fueling a destabilization campaign throughout eastern Arabia designed to undermine its U.S.-allied Sunni Arab rivals.

Yemen, while ranking much lower on a strategic level than Bahrain, Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, also is not immune to Iran’s agenda. In the northern Yemeni province of Saada, the Yemeni state has struggled to suppress a rebellion by al-Houthis of the Zaydi sect, considered an offshoot of Shiite Islam and heretical by Wahhabi standards. Riyadh fears al-Houthi unrest in Yemen’s north will stir unrest in Saudi Arabia’s southern provinces of Najran and Jizan, which are home to the Ismailis (also an offshoot of Shiite Islam). Ismaili unrest in the south could then embolden Shia in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province, who have already been carrying out demonstrations against the Saudi monarchy with Iranian backing.

 

When Saudi Arabia deployed troops in the al-Houthi-Ismaili borderland between Yemen and Saudi Arabia in late 2009, STRATFOR picked up indications that the al-Houthis were receiving some support from Iran, albeit nothing that was considered a game-changer in the rebellion. With unrest spreading throughout eastern Arabia and the Yemeni state falling into a deepening political crisis, the Saudis now have to worry about Iran exploiting a second front through Yemen to threaten the Saudi underbelly. This is in addition to all the other “usual” security issues afflicting Yemen, most notably the threat posed by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which uses Yemen as a staging ground for attempts at more strategic attacks in the Saudi kingdom.

With distractions mounting in the region and Saleh still counting on a large network of familial and tribal ties to hold on to power, Saudi Arabia does not appear to have formed a coherent policy on its southern neighbor. This likely explains quiet complaints by Yemeni officials that they have been getting mixed signals from the Saudi kingdom in dealing with the current crisis. Now that the situation in Yemen has reached a tipping point, the Saudis will have to make a call on Yemen. Both Mohsen and the Al Ahmar family have a close relationship with the Saudis. The Saudi plan for Yemen is still likely being worked out, but any contingency involving a prominent political space for an Islamist like Mohsen is cause for concern for countries like the United States. Though speculation has arisen over a possible Saudi military intervention in Yemen, the likelihood of such a scenario is low. The Saudi royals are unlikely to fend for Saleh at this stage, and even if they did, they would face enormous difficulty in maintaining lines of supply to its southern neighbor to quell swelling unrest in the country when the army and tribal landscape are already split.

Yemen may border Saudi Arabia, but the geography of this part of the Arabian Peninsula poses logistical challenges far greater than what exists between eastern Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Even if Riyadh decided it wanted to deploy its armed forces to protect Saleh, it would not be as simple as sending troops across a causeway into Sanaa.

Saleh in a Regional Context

Saleh is no doubt a political victim of the current wave of Middle East unrest and faces tougher days ahead in trying to maintain control. But he also finds himself in a very different situation from than Mubarak’s Egypt or Ben Ali’s Tunisia. Both Egypt and Tunisia had institutions, most critically the armed forces, able to stand apart from their unpopular leaders and sacrifice them at the appropriate time. Though Mubarak and Ben Ali had built patronage networks throughout the countries’ ruling parties and business sectors, their family names were not entrenched in the security apparatus, as is Saleh’s.

In some ways, Saleh’s case is more akin to that of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who presides over a tribal society split along an east-west axis like Yemen’s north-south axis. Though Yemen is more advanced politically and institutionally than Libya, both Gadhafi and Saleh have insulated their regimes by deliberately preventing the development of alternative bases of power, relying mostly on complex tribal alliances and militaries commanded by nepotism to rule. Such regimes take decades to build and an iron fist to maintain, making the removal of a single leader typically more trouble than it is worth. Though the system has worked for more than three decades for Saleh, the president’s carefully managed support network is now rapidly eroding. Saudi Arabia is now being force to make a tough call on the future of Yemen at a time when Riyadh cannot afford another crisis in the Persian Gulf region.

Tensions Grow Between Yemeni Army, Security Forces

Filed under: Protests, Yemen — - @ 11:42 am

Source Link: Stratfor

March 21, 2011 | 1437 GMT

GAMAL NOMAN/AFP/Getty Images A Yemeni BTR-60 wheeled armored personnel carrier at a military checkpoint in Sanaa on March 21

The potential for a clash between army and security forces in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa is escalating. According to Al Jazeera, Republican Guard troops have been deployed and are taking up defensive positions around the presidential palace. At the same time, an armored formation under an opposing commander is reportedly being deployed to the presidential palace.

The Republican Guard is Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s first and last defense. The Republican Guard forces are commanded by Saleh’s closest son, Ahmed, who also commands Yemen’s special operations forces.

The tanks deploying to the palace are doing so under the command of Brig. Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, the president’s half-brother as well as commander of the northwestern military zone and 1st Armored Division in position on the outskirts of Sanaa. Al-Ahmar defected March 21 and deployed his forces to protect Yemeni protesters against security forces loyal to Saleh. A string of old guard members loyal to al-Ahmar then defected.

Amid the escalating tensions, Saleh, who relies principally on his loyalists and closest relatives who dominate Yemen’s security apparatus, still refuses to step down. He delivered a speech March 21 saying he is “patient” and has the support of the majority of the Yemeni people. The statement is likely to embolden the protesters, who are already reinvigorated by the growing support they have received from al-Ahmar’s military allies, defectors from the ruling party and Hashid tribesmen loyal to Sheikh Hamid al-Ahmar, who views the current uprising as his chance to assume political leadership over Yemen.

A showdown between rival security forces is developing in Sanaa. STRATFOR will continue monitoring the situation closely.

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