country:yémen

  • Malgré la #guerre au #Yémen, la #France continue de former l’armée saoudienne

    Les autorités françaises restent totalement mobilisées au côté du régime saoudien dans sa guerre au Yémen, malgré des efforts permanents pour dissimuler les conditions concrètes d’un soutien qui se manifeste au-delà des seules ventes d’armes. Revue de détail de ce jeu trouble.

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/100219/malgre-la-guerre-au-yemen-la-france-continue-de-former-l-armee-saoudienne

    #armement #commerce_d'armes #Arabie_Saoudite #conflit


  • CNN l’admet : L’Arabie saoudite fournit des armes américaines à Al-Qaïda au Yémen
    https://www.crashdebug.fr/international/15628-cnn-l-admet-l-arabie-saoudite-fournit-des-armes-americaines-a-al-qa

    Aujourd’hui, même CNN admet que la coalition dirigée par les Saoudiens soutient les terroristes d’Al-Qaïda au Yémen. L’objectif : obtenir leur soutien dans le conflit en cours.

    La coalition dirigée par les Saoudiens a fourni des armes de fabrication américaine à des combattants liés à Al-Qaïda, des milices salafistes et d’autres factions participant à l’intervention au Yémen, en violation de leurs accords avec les États-Unis, selon une enquête de CNN.

    « Les armes ont également fait leur chemin entre les mains des rebelles soutenus par l’Iran qui luttent contre la coalition pour le contrôle du pays, exposant à Téhéran certaines technologies militaires américaines sensibles et mettant potentiellement en danger la vie des troupes américaines dans d’autres zones de conflit, a (...)

    #En_vedette #Actualités_internationales #Actualités_Internationales


  • Blanchiment : L’UE va ajouter l’Arabie saoudite à sa liste noire, selon le FT
    https://www.latribune.fr/depeches/reuters/KCN1PX0ER/blanchiment-l-ue-va-ajouter-l-arabie-saoudite-a-sa-liste-noire-selon-le-ft

    (Reuters) - La Commission européenne va ajouter l’Arabie saoudite et le Panama sur la liste des pays qui représentent un danger pour l’Union européenne du fait de leur laxisme dans la lutte contre le blanchiment d’argent et contre le financement du terrorisme, rapporte vendredi le Financial Times.

    L’Allemagne, la France et la Grande-Bretagne ont fait part de leur réticence à l’égard de cette décision, précise le journal, citant des représentants de l’UE.

    Cette liste, basée en grande partie sur les critères du Groupe d’action financière (Gafi) qui a été créé par le G7 pour combattre le blanchiment d’argent, comporte actuellement 16 pays dont l’Iran, l’Irak, la Syrie, l’Afghanistan et le Yémen, va être élargie à plus de 20 pays.

    Deux sources ont déclaré à Reuters le mois dernier que Bruxelles avait ajouté l’Arabie saoudite à un projet de mise à jour de cette liste des pays à risque, en rapport avec les nouvelles règles mises en place en 2017 par la Commission en matière de lutte contre le blanchiment d’argent et contre le financement du terrorisme.

    (Shubham Kalia à Bangalore ; Jean Terzian pour le service français)


  • L’Allemagne bloque l’exportation du missile Meteor de MBDA vers l’Arabie Saoudite
    https://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/l-allemagne-bloque-l-exportation-du-missile-meteor-de-mbda-vers-l-arabie-s


    Le missile air-air longue portée Meteor est opérationnel depuis décembre sur les Eurofighter.
    Crédits : MBDA

    Berlin bloque les licences d’exportation de matériels allemands intégrés sur le missile air-air longue portée Meteor, vers l’Arabie Saoudite. Les Allemands fabriquent notamment le système de propulsion et les charges militaires.

    Les temps sont durs pour MBDA... Le missilier européen est l’un des groupes de défense, qui joue le plus le jeu de la coopération européenne mais, revers de la médaille, il devient finalement très (trop ?) vulnérable aux aléas politiques des pays où il confie de la charge de travail. Après les déconvenues en Egypte avec l’interdiction des Etats-Unis d’exporter de certains composants du missile de croisière Scalp vers Le Caire (réglementation ITAR) aujourd’hui en voie de résolution, MBDA doit faire face à une nouvelle interdiction d’exportation d’un de ses missiles.

    Cette fois-ci, c’est au tour de Berlin de bloquer les licences d’exportation de matériels allemands intégrés sur le missile air-air longue portée Meteor, vers l’Arabie Saoudite. Contacté par La Tribune, MBDA n’a pas souhaité commenter. Ryad souhaiterait armer ses futurs Typhoon proposés par Londres avec des missiles air-air Meteor. Ce missile, qui est opérationnel depuis décembre sur les Typhoon, a pour principale mission de détruire ou de neutraliser des cibles aériennes à longue distance. Un missile qui ne devrait pas être utilisé dans le cadre du conflit au Yémen. Cette décision de Berlin va sans douter sérieusement agacer Londres. Le Royaume d’Arabie saoudite et MBDA avaient déjà signé en 2014 un premier contrat d’exportation du missile d’un montant estimé à 1 milliard de dollars.

    Des matériels « #German_free » ?
    A l’image de la volonté des industriels français de développer des matériels #ITAR_Free pour éviter les interdictions américaines, certains d’entre eux se posent désormais la question de développer des matériels sans équipement allemand. Pour autant, les équipements allemands du Meteor, qui sont au cœur même du missile, peuvent être très difficilement dupliqu[és]. Car il s’agit du système de propulsion (Bayern Chemie) et de la charge militaire (TDW) ainsi qu’à, un degré moindre, du système de mesures inertielles (Northrop Grumman LITEF GmbH). Bayern-Chemie et TDW sont des filiales de MBDA en Allemagne.

    L’Allemagne complique sérieusement les programmes en coopération, surtout dans le cadre du SCAF (Système de combat aérien du futur) et du MGCS (Main ground combat system ou char du futur), deux projets franco-allemands de très grande envergure. Déjà le missile Meteor est l’un des programmes européens les plus emblématiques de l’industrie de défense avec la mise en place d’une coopération qui rassemble six pays. C’est également une réussite. Car le Meteor a des performances nettement supérieures à celles des missiles actuellement en service ou des missiles air-air à statoréacteur susceptibles d’être mis en œuvre à l’horizon 2020.

    • Coïncidence…

      Exportations d’armes : « La France doit prendre en compte l’Allemagne » (Thomas Gassilloud, LREM)
      https://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/exportation-d-armes-la-france-doit-prendre-en-compte-l-allemagne-thomas-ga


      "La France est prête à dire dans le cadre de l’exportation des programmes MGCS ou SCAF, qu’il faut prendre en compte les intérêts et avis de l’Allemagne", a déclaré le député du Rhône Thomas Gassilloud (LREM).
      Crédits : Thomas Gassilloud

      Dans une interview accordée à La Tribune, le député du Rhône Thomas Gassilloud (LREM) appelle la France à prendre en compte « les intérêts et les avis » de l’Allemagne sur le char franco-allemand du futur (Main Ground Combat System) et sur les exportations d’armes. Il appelle l’Allemagne à s’assumer elle même pour se défendre et ne plus compter exclusivement sur l’OTAN.

      La Tribune : Une petite délégation de parlementaires français (1), à laquelle vous avez participé, a rencontré en Allemagne des députés de la commission de défense du Bundestag et des hauts responsables de la défense. En tant que rapporteur du budget de l’armée de terre, avez-vous le sentiment que le programme du futur char franco-allemand est « blindé » ?
      […]
      Deuxième enjeu important, l’harmonisation de la politique d’exportation des armes entre Berlin et Paris, qui est un point divergent entre les deux pays. Avez-vous le sentiment lors de votre visite à Berlin que des points de convergences peuvent être atteints ?
      Parler de la question de l’exportation est effectivement fondamental avant de se lancer dans des programmes en commun. Développer et fabriquer un programme à deux veut clairement dire que chaque pays n’est plus en mesure de produire de manière autonome cet équipement sauf à dupliquer les chaines d’assemblage, les approvisionnements... Ce qui serait absolument sous-optimal. Il faut donc effectivement harmoniser les conditions d’exportation pour qu’il n’y ait pas de blocage et donc des malentendus entre les deux pays. C’est un point qu’il faut traiter rapidement. Les programmes MGCS et SCAF peuvent être des programmes accélérateurs pour aboutir à une convergence entre la France et l’Allemagne

      Faut-il moderniser le traité Debré-Schmidt ?
      Le Traité d’Aix-la-Chapelle, qui doit être ratifié, prévoit déjà les grandes lignes...

      ... Mais il n’y a rien de concret et ni de précis dans le nouveau Traité sur ce point ?
      Il y a déjà un cadre global. Une des pistes est de parvenir à un Traité Debré/Schmidt 2.0, qui vise à clarifier les conditions d’export entre les deux pays, avec potentiellement un organe consultatif de gouvernance commun. Cet organisme pourrait émettre des avis sur les licences d’exportation à accorder ou pas. Ce qui aurait permis par exemple d’éviter récemment le cas saoudien où un pays de manière unilatérale [a décrété] un embargo. Je ne pense pas qu’on aura un rapprochement immédiat des doctrines d’export entre la France et l’Allemagne mais on peut au moins se doter d’un organe de gouvernance commun. Chacun faisant un pas vers l’autre, on peut arriver à cheminer vers quelque chose de plus acceptable.

      Estimez-vous que la France soit prête à brader un pan de sa souveraineté sur les questions d’exportation ?
      Non. En revanche, la France est prête à dire dans le cadre de l’exportation des programmes MGCS ou SCAF, qu’il faut prendre en compte les intérêts et avis de l’Allemagne. C’est l’une des conditions pour être plus forts ensemble mais, en aucun cas, c’est un renoncement. Il faut que les deux pays déterminent en amont les conditions sur lesquelles ils peuvent exporter. En matière d’exportation, l’Allemagne est souvent soumise à des aléas politiques car les partis majoritaires en Allemagne ont des visions assez différentes sur ce dossier. Il y a des risques d’une moins grande prévisibilité des décisions en fonction des équilibres politiques en Allemagne. En France, un certain consensus a été établi car chacun se rend bien compte que les exportations sont une condition de notre souveraineté, mais bien entendu qu’il faut fortement les encadrer.

    • Un «  organisme commun  » serait certainement moins dépendant des «  équilibres politiques  » en Allemagne où quelques partis qui comptent persistent à être sensibles à une certaine réprobation publique des ventes d’armes à n’importe qui, contrairement à la France où (presque) tout le monde trouve que c’est bon pour son PIB, son emploi, etc. Et, accessoirement, sans doute plus sensible aux amicales sollicitations du lobby militaro-industriel.


  • The Evolution of #coffee #culture
    https://hackernoon.com/the-evolution-of-coffee-culture-2f412b555313?source=rss----3a8144eabfe3-

    Whether sprinkled with sugar and cream, flavored with caramel or hazelnut, or just a plan black cup of Joe, coffee is one of the most popular beverages all over the world. It is so beloved, in fact, that many cultures claim responsibility for the first brew. But there’s more to it than just being smooth liquid gold — the culture of coffee is just as permeating as the drink itself.In the 17th century, brought on by the East India Trading Company, the first known coffee shop was opened in the Netherlands sparking the beginning of European coffee culture. Though the first recorded instance of drinkable coffee was found in 15th century Yemen, early global trade quickly made coffee not only a powerful commodity, but a powerful political statement as well. Surrounding the events of America’s (...)

    #coffee-culture-evolution #infographics #coffee-culture


  • Israel just admitted arming anti-Assad Syrian rebels. Big mistake - Middle East News
    Haaretz.com - Daniel J. Levy Jan 30, 2019 5:03 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/.premium-israel-just-admitted-arming-anti-assad-syrian-rebels-big-mistake-1

    In his final days as the Israel Defense Forces’ Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot confirmed, on the record, that Israel had directly supported anti-Assad Syrian rebel factions in the Golan Heights by arming them.

    This revelation marks a direct break from Israel’s previous media policy on such matters. Until now, Israel has insisted it has only provided humanitarian aid to civilians (through field hospitals on the Golan Heights and in permanent healthcare facilities in northern Israel), and has consistently denied or refused to comment on any other assistance.

    In short, none other than Israel’s most (until recently) senior serving soldier has admitted that up until his statement, his country’s officially stated position on the Syrian civil war was built on the lie of non-intervention.

    As uncomfortable as this may initially seem, though, it is unsurprising. Israel has a long history of conducting unconventional warfare. That form of combat is defined by the U.S. government’s National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 as “activities conducted to enable a resistance movement or insurgency to coerce, disrupt or overthrow an occupying power or government by operating through or with an underground, auxiliary or guerrilla force in a denied area” in the pursuit of various security-related strategic objectives.

    While the United States and Iran are both practitioners of unconventional warfare par excellence, they primarily tend to do so with obvious and longer-term strategic allies, i.e. the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance fighters in Afghanistan, and various Shia militias in post-2003 Iraq.

    In contrast, Israel has always shown a remarkable willingness to form short-term tactical partnerships with forces and entities explicitly hostile to its very existence, as long as that alliance is able to offer some kind of security-related benefits.

    The best example of this is Israel’s decision to arm Tehran during the Iran-Iraq War, despite the Islamic Republic of Iran’s strong anti-Zionist rhetoric and foreign policy. During the 1980s, Iraq remained Jerusalem’s primary conventional (and arguably existential) military threat. Aiding Tehran to continue fighting an attritional war against Baghdad reduced the risk the latter posed against Israel.

    Similarly, throughout the civil war in Yemen in the 1960s, Israel covertly supported the royalist Houthi forces fighting Egyptian-backed republicans. Given Egypt’s very heavy military footprint in Yemen at the time (as many as a third of all Egyptian troops were deployed to the country during this period), Israelis reasoned that this military attrition would undermine their fighting capacity closer to home, which was arguably proven by Egypt’s lacklustre performance in the Six Day War.

    Although technically not unconventional warfare, Israel long and openly backed the South Lebanon Army, giving it years of experience in arming, training, and mentoring a partner indigenous force.

    More recently, though, Israel’s policy of supporting certain anti-Assad rebel groups remains consistent with past precedents of with whom and why it engages in unconventional warfare. Israel’s most pressing strategic concern and potential threat in Syria is an Iranian encroachment onto its northern border, either directly, or through an experienced and dangerous proxy such as Hezbollah, key to the Assad regime’s survival.

    For a number of reasons, Israel committing troops to overt large-scale operations in Syria to prevent this is simply unfeasible. To this end, identifying and subsequently supporting a local partner capable of helping Israel achieve this strategic goal is far more sensible, and realistic.

    Open source details of Israel’s project to support anti-Assad rebel groups are sparse, and have been since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war.

    Reports of this first arose towards the end of 2014, and one described how United Nations officials had witnessed Syrian rebels transferring injured patients to Israel, as well as “IDF soldiers on the Israeli side handing over two boxes to armed Syrian opposition members on the Syrian side.” The same report also stated that UN observers said they saw “two IDF soldiers on the eastern side of the border fence opening the gate and letting two people enter Israel.”

    Since then, a steady stream of similar reports continued to detail Israeli contacts with the Syrian rebels, with the best being written and researched by Elizabeth Tsurkov. In February, 2014 she wrote an outstanding feature for War On The Rocks, where she identified Liwaa’ Fursan al-Jolan and Firqat Ahrar Nawa as two groups benefiting from Israeli support, named Iyad Moro as “Israel’s contact person in Beit Jann,” and stated that weaponry, munitions, and cash were Israel’s main form of military aid.

    She also describes how Israel has supported its allied groups in fighting local affiliates of Islamic State with drone strikes and high-precision missile attacks, strongly suggesting, in my view, the presence of embedded Israeli liaison officers of some kind.

    A 2017 report published by the United Nations describes how IDF personnel were observed passing supplies over the Syrian border to unidentified armed individuals approaching them with convoys of mules, and although Israel claims that these engagements were humanitarian in nature, this fails to explain the presence of weaponry amongst the unidentified individuals receiving supplies from them.

    Writing for Foreign Policy in September 2018, Tsurkov again detailed how Israel was supporting the Syrian rebel factions, stating that material support came in the form of “assault rifles, machine guns, mortar launchers and transport vehicles,” which were delivered “through three gates connecting the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights to Syria - the same crossings Israel used to deliver humanitarian aid to residents of southern Syria suffering from years of civil war.” She also dates this support to have begun way back in 2013.

    The one part of Israel’s involvement in the Syrian Civil War which has been enthusiastically publicised, though, has been its ongoing humanitarian operations in the Golan. Dubbed “Operation Good Neighbor,” this was established in June 2016, and its stated aim is to “provide humanitarian aid to as many people as possible while maintaining Israel’s policy of non-involvement in the conflict.”

    Quite clearly, this is - at least in parts - a lie, as even since before its official commencement, Israel was seemingly engaging with and supporting various anti-Assad factions.

    Although Operation Good Neighbor patently did undertake significant humanitarian efforts in southern Syria for desperate Syrian civilians (including providing free medical treatment, infrastructure support, and civilian aid such as food and fuel), it has long been my personal belief that it was primarily a smokescreen for Israel’s covert unconventional warfare efforts in the country.

    Although it may be argued that deniability was initially necessary to protect Israel’s Syrian beneficiaries who could not be seen to be working with Jerusalem for any number of reasons (such as the likely detrimental impact this would have on their local reputation if not lives), this does not justify Israel’s outright lying on the subject. Instead, it could have mimicked the altogether more sensible approach of the British government towards United Kingdom Special Forces, which is simply to restate their position of not commenting, confirming, or denying any potentially relevant information or assertions.

    Israel is generous in its provision of humanitarian aid to the less fortunate, but I find it impossible to believe that its efforts in Syria were primarily guided by altruism when a strategic objective as important as preventing Iran and its proxies gaining a toehold on its northern border was at stake.

    Its timing is interesting and telling as well. Operation Good Neighbor was formally put in place just months after the Assad regime began its Russian-backed counter-offensive against the rebel factions, and ceased when the rebels were pushed out of southern Syria in September 2018.

    But it’s not as if that September there were no longer civilians who could benefit from Israeli humanitarian aid, but an absence of partners to whom Israel could feasibly directly dispatch arms and other supplies. Although Israel did participate in the rescue of a number of White Helmets, this was done in a relatively passive manner (allowing their convoy to drive to Jordan through Israeli territory), and also artfully avoided escalating any kind of conflict with the Assad’s forces and associated foreign allies.

    Popular opinion - both in Israel and amongst Diaspora Jews - was loud and clear about the ethical necessity of protecting Syrian civilians (especially from historically-resonant gas attacks). But it’s unlikely this pressure swung Israel to intervene in Syria. Israel already had a strong interest in keeping Iran and its proxies out southern Syria, and that would have remained the case, irrespective of gas attacks against civilians.

    Although Israel has gone to great lengths to conceal its efforts at unconventional warfare within the Syrian civil war, it need not have. Its activities are consistent with its previous efforts at promoting strategic objectives through sometimes unlikely, if not counter-intuitive, regional partners.

    Perhaps the reason why Eisenkot admitted that this support was taking place was because he knew that it could not be concealed forever, not least since the fall of the smokescreen provided by Operation Good Neighbor. But the manner in which Israel operated may have longer-term consequences.

    Israel is unlikely to change how it operates in the future, but may very well find future potential tactical partners less than willing to cooperate with it. In both southern Lebanon and now Syria, Israel’s former partners have found themselves exposed to dangers borne out of collaboration, and seemingly abandoned.

    With that kind of history and record, it is likely that unless they find themselves in desperate straits, future potential partners will think twice before accepting support from, and working with, Israel.

    For years, Israel has religiously adhered to the official party line that the country’s policy was non-intervention, and this has now been exposed as a lie. Such a loss of public credibility may significantly inhibit its abilities to conduct influence operations in the future.

    Daniel J. Levy is a graduate of the Universities of Leeds and Oxford, where his academic research focused on Iranian proxies in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine. He lives in the UK and is the Founding Director of The Ortakoy Security Group. Twitter: @danielhalevy

    #IsraelSyrie


  • En plein conflit au Yémen, la France cherche à vendre des navires de guerre à l’Arabie saoudite
    31 janvier 2019 Par Thomas Clerget et Eva Thiébaud

    Depuis l’affaire Khashoggi, le gouvernement français paraît gêné dans ses déclarations publiques ; mais en coulisses, cela ne l’empêche pas de continuer à faire le forcing pour vendre au régime saoudien des armes susceptibles de servir dans la guerre au Yémen.

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/310119/en-plein-conflit-au-yemen-la-france-cherche-vendre-des-navires-de-guerre-l
    #ArabieSaoudite #Yemen #armements


  • ’Fake news’ filter NewsGuard grilled for having links to PR firm that peddled Saudi propaganda — RT World News
    https://www.rt.com/news/450035-saudi-arabia-newsguard-pr-investor

    A new app claiming to serve as a bulwark against “disinformation” by adding “trust rankings” to news websites has links to a PR firm that received nearly $15 million to push pro-Saudi spin in US media, Breitbart reports.

    NewsGuard and its shady advisory board – consisting of truth-lovers such as Tom Ridge, the first-ever homeland security chief, and former CIA director Michael Hayden – came under scrutiny after Microsoft announced that the app would be built into its mobile browsers. A closer examination of the company’s publicly listed investors, however, has revealed new reasons to be suspicious of this self-declared crusader against propaganda. As Breitbart discovered, NewsGuard’s third-largest investor, Publicis Groupe, owns a PR firm that has repeatedly airbrushed Saudi Arabia.

    (...)
    Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Riyadh enlisted Qorvis Group, a Publicis subsidiary, in the hope of countering accusations that the kingdom turned a blind eye to – or even promoted – terrorism. Between March and September 2002, the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia reportedly paid Qorvis $14.7 million to run a PR blitz targeting American media consumers. As part of the campaign, Qorvis employed a litany of dubious tactics, including running pro-Saudi ads under the name of an activist group, Alliance for Peace and Justice. Tellingly, the FBI raided the company’s offices in 2004, after Qorvis was suspected of running afoul of foreign lobbying laws.

    Between 2010 and 2015, Qorvis is believed to have received millions of dollars to continue to whitewash the kingdom’s image in the United States. The accelerated airbrushing came just as the Saudis launched its devastating war against Yemen. In fact, Qorvis created an entire website – operationrenewalofhope.com – to promote the Saudi-led war in Yemen, according to the Intercept.

    #tic_arabes et cela mérite un #gorafi d’honneur pour l’#arabie_saoudite



  • De Djibouti au Yémen, les rivages rouges, par Juan Branco (Les blogs du Diplo, 28 janvier 2019)
    https://blog.mondediplo.net/de-djibouti-au-yemen-les-rivages-rouges

    Alors que la guerre fait rage au Yémen, Djibouti vit au rythme des stratégies militaires étrangères et des passages de migrants qui tentent de gagner coûte que coûte la péninsule arabique. Dans un environnement hostile, le grand jeu économique et tactique des grandes puissances s’ajoute au chaos yéménite.

    • Difficile au premier abord d’en vouloir à l’observateur étranger de son indifférence face à ce qui ressemble à une mise à jour du septième cercle de l’enfer. Tous les acteurs au conflit, à commencer par la France, par le truchement de son ambassade à Djibouti, font leur possible pour éviter une quelconque couverture journalistique.


  • The Real Wall Isn’t at the Border. It’s everywhere, and we’re fighting against the wrong one.

    President Trump wants $5.7 billion to build a wall at the southern border of the United States. Nancy Pelosi thinks a wall is “immoral.” The fight over these slats or barriers or bricks shut down the government for more than a month and may do so again if Mr. Trump isn’t satisfied with the way negotiations unfold over the next three weeks.

    But let’s be clear: This is a disagreement about symbolism, not policy. Liberals object less to aggressive border security than to the wall’s xenophobic imagery, while the administration openly revels in its political incorrectness. And when this particular episode is over, we’ll still have been fighting about the wrong thing. It’s true that immigrants will keep trying to cross into the United States and that global migration will almost certainly increase in the coming years as climate change makes parts of the planet uninhabitable. But technology and globalization are complicating the idea of what a border is and where it stands.

    Not long from now, it won’t make sense to think of the border as a line, a wall or even any kind of imposing vertical structure. Tearing down, or refusing to fund, border walls won’t get anyone very far in the broader pursuit of global justice. The borders of the future won’t be as easy to spot, build or demolish as the wall that Mr. Trump is proposing. That’s because they aren’t just going up around countries — they’re going up around us. And they’re taking away our freedom.

    In “The Jungle,” a play about a refugee camp in Calais, France, a Kurdish smuggler named Ali explains that his profession is not responsible for the large numbers of migrants making the dangerous journeys to Europe by sea. “Once, I was the only way a man could ever dream of arriving on your shore,” the smuggler says. But today, migrants can plan out the journeys using their phones. “It is not about this border. It’s the border in here,” Ali says, pointing to his head — “and that is gone, now.”

    President Trump is obsessed with his border wall because technology has freed us from the walls in our heads.

    For people with means and passports, it’s easy to plot exotic itineraries in a flash and book flights with just a glance at a screen. Social feeds are an endless stream of old faces in new places: a carefree colleague feeding elephants in Thailand; a smug college classmate on a “babymoon” in Tahiti; that awful ex hanging off a cliff in Switzerland; a friend’s parents enjoying retirement in New Zealand.

    Likewise, a young person in Sana, Yemen, or Guatemala City might see a sister in Toronto, a neighbor in Phoenix, an aunt in London or a teacher in Berlin, and think that he, too, could start anew. Foreign places are real. Another country is possible.

    If you zoom out enough in Google Earth, you’ll see the lines between nations begin to disappear. Eventually, you’ll be left staring at a unified blue planet. You might even experience a hint of what astronauts have called the “overview effect”: the sense that we are all on “Spaceship Earth,” together. “From space I saw Earth — indescribably beautiful with the scars of national boundaries gone,” recalled Muhammed Faris, a Syrian astronaut, after his 1987 mission to space. In 2012, Mr. Faris fled war-torn Syria for Turkey.

    One’s freedom of movement used to be largely determined by one’s citizenship, national origin and finances. That’s still the case — but increasingly, people are being categorized not just by the color of their passports or their ability to pay for tickets but also by where they’ve been and what they’ve said in the past.
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    This is what is happening on that front already:

    A 2017 executive order barred people from seven countries, including five with Muslim majorities, from entering the country. An older rule put in place during the Obama administration compelled anyone who’d even just visited seven blacklisted nations to obtain additional clearance before traveling to the United States. Even as the Trump administration’s policy has met with legal challenges, it means that the barrier to entering the United States, for many, begins with their data and passport stamps, and is thousands of miles away from this country.

    The Trump administration would also like to make it harder for immigrants who’ve received public assistance to obtain citizenship or permanent residence by redefining what it means to be a “public charge.” If the administration succeeds, it will have moved the border into immigrants’ living rooms, schools and hospital beds.

    The walls of the future go beyond one administration’s policies, though. They are growing up all around us, being built by global technology companies that allow for constant surveillance, data harvesting and the alarming collection of biometric information. In 2017, the United States announced it would be storing the social media profiles of immigrants in their permanent file, ostensibly to prevent Twitter-happy terrorists from slipping in. For years, Customs and Border Protection agents have asked travelers about their social media, too.

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation has said these practices can “chill and deter the free speech and association of immigrants to the United States, as well as the U.S. persons who communicate with them.” In other words, it’s no longer enough to have been born in the right place, at the right time, to the right parents. The trail of bread crumbs you leave could limit your movements.

    It’s possible to get a glimpse of where a digital border might lead from China. Look at its continuing experiment with social-credit scoring, where a slip of the tongue or an unpaid debt could one day jeopardize someone’s ability to board a train or apply for a job. When your keystrokes and text messages become embedded in your legal identity, you create a wall around yourself without meaning to.

    The Berkeley political theorist Wendy Brown diagnoses the tendency to throw up walls as a classic symptom of a nation-state’s looming impotence in the face of globalization — the flashy sports car of what she calls a “waning sovereignty.” In a recent interview for The Nation, Professor Brown told me that walls fulfill a desire for greater sovereign control in times when the concept of “bounded territory itself is in crisis.” They are signifiers of a “loss of a national ‘we’ and national control — all the things we’ve seen erupt in a huge way.”

    Walls are a response to deep existential anxiety, and even if the walls come down, or fail to be built in brick and stone, the world will guarantee us little in the way of freedom, fairness or equality. It makes more sense to think of modern borders as overlapping and concentric circles that change size, shape and texture depending on who — or what — is trying to pass through.
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    It’s far too easy to imagine a situation where our freedom of movement still depends entirely on what has happened to us in the past and what kind of information we’re willing to give up in return. Consider the expedited screening process of the Global Entry Program for traveling to the United States. It’s a shortcut — reserved for people who can get it — that doesn’t do away with borders. It just makes them easier to cross, and therefore less visible.

    That serves the modern nation-state very well. Because in the end, what are borders supposed to protect us from? The answer used to be other states, empires or sovereigns. But today, relatively few land borders exist to physically fend off a neighboring power, and countries even cooperate to police the borders they share. Modern borders exist to control something else: the movement of people. They control us.

    Those are the walls we should be fighting over.


    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/26/opinion/sunday/border-wall-immigration-trump.html#click=https://t.co/BWNDIXplPK
    #mobile_borders #frontières_mobiles #ligne #ligne_frontalière #frontières #ubiquité


  • Lettre ouverte à Macron à propos des violences policères
    https://grenoble.indymedia.org/2019-01-17-Lettre-ouverte-a-Macron-a-propos

    Je partage cette belle lettre ouverte à Macron sur les violences policières. A partager sans modération. Anne-Marie Chartier 2 place Beaumarchais 38130 Echirolles le 16-1-2019 (Maître de Conférence à la retraite Université de Grenoble) A MR MACRON Pdt de la République Objet : La violence d’Etatest organisée audegré le plus haut. Monsieur le Président de la République Dans votre lettre aux français publiée dans le Monde du 15-1-19, vous dites « n’accepter aucune forme de violence (...)

    #Articles

    / Répression / Contrôle social, Révoltes / Luttes sociales, #Soupe_politicienne, #Autres_infos

    #Répression_/_Contrôle_social #Révoltes_/_Luttes_sociales

    • Anne-Marie Chartier le 16-1-2019 (Maître de Conférence à la retraite Université de Grenoble) A MR MACRON Pdt de la République
      Objet : La violence d’Etat est organisée au degré le plus haut.

      Monsieur le Président de la République

      Dans votre lettre aux français publiée dans le Monde du 15-1-19, vous dites « n’accepter aucune forme de violence ».Affirmation paradoxale car vous pratiquez, sans scrupule, à la suite de vos prédécesseurs, la violence d’Etat au plus haut degré,dans tous les domaines, social, militaire, et de la répression. Et vous vous inclinez devant la violence économique des sociétés, telle par exemple, Ford-Blanquefort qui met au chômage 850 salariés, au nom de la rentabilité et de la compétitivité.

      – 1)Vous avez désertifié quantité de petites villes et des campagnes,en supprimant leurs tribunaux, leurs hôpitaux et maternités,les écoles, les Postes, les lignes de chemin de fer locales….sous prétexte de concentrer les moyens financiers, dans un pays où vous prêchez pourtant la décentralisation comme vos aînés….Cette désertification exclut un grand nombre de citoyens de l’accès à ces services, contrairement à ce que vous dites dans votre lettre. Plus personne ne peut croire à la vérité des mots employéspar ceux qui vous ont précédé, et par vous.

      Il n’est plus possible également de s’adresser normalement aux services publics administratifs de la Préfecture, de la Sécurité sociale, des Allocations familiales, des impôts….pour obtenir le moindre renseignement, la moindre aide. Votre gouvernement a pour politique de détruire progressivement les services publics utiles à la population sous le vocable de « réorganisation » et de « modernisme ». Encore des mots dont nous avons appris qu’ils ne cachent que des spoliations au profit des…..holdings.

      Ceci relève d’une violence sociale planifiée contre les citoyens.

      – 2)En tant que chef d’Etat,vous avez engagé la France, directement ou indirectement, dans des guerres les plus destructrices au Mali, au Tchad… au Yémen, en y envoyant l’armée française ou en vendant des armes, entre autres à l’Arabie Saoudite. Or ce pays est le principal propagateur d’une idéologie salafiste intégriste, celle-là même de « L’Etat Islamique », et celle des jeunes « fichés S » qui parfois passent à l’acte. Alors que vous prétendez combattre cette idéologie. Pensez-vous que les citoyens et les jeunes soient incapables d’établir le double ou triple jeu de votre gouvernement ?

      La ministre des Armées, Florence Parly, sous votre direction, a annoncé en septembre 2018 que la France se dotait de drones armés qui permettront « d’allier en permanence la surveillance, l’endurance dans la discrétion, et la capacité de frappe…. », lesquels nécessitent des pilotes qui, à distance,pratiquent des « assassinats ciblés ». Ainsi c’est l’Etat qui décide de se faire justice contre des individus qui n’ont pas été jugés : c’est le droit de tuer sans jugement. Il serait plus que nécessaire de qualifier les actes de ces individus.. Pensez-vous que la jeunesse n’ait pas intégré cette morale éhontée ?

      Ces faits ne sont autres qu’une terrible violence qui détruit peu à peu la République, la justice et toute éthique.

      – 3)La France est le seul pays qui, en Europe, dans des opérations de répression, utilise, en plus des grenades lacrymogènes, des nouveaux lances ballesLDB 40 de longue portée ou GL06-NL, et des grenades GLI-F4. Ce sont ces armes de guerrequi sont responsables des nombreuses blessures recensées chaque week-end depuis novembre 2018 contre les Gilets jaunes (GJ) et la population qui se trouve dans la rue (pertes des yeux, mains arrachées, mâchoires détruites, membres cassés…...) et qui montrent que la police a l’ordre de tirer surtout vers la haut du corps !Ces armes ont été développées dans la deuxième moitié des années 2000 et expérimentées contre les zadistes de Notre Dame des Landes. L’Inspection générale de la Police nationale (IGPN) décrit les grenadesexplosives GLI-F4en ces termes : « …elles comprennent des dispositifs à effet de souffle produit par une substance explosive ou déflagrante et sont susceptibles de mutiler ou de blesser mortellement un individu ».

      C’est donc l’Etat, par l’intermédiaire de son ministre de la défense et de ses préfets, qui arme la police et qui, en d’autres termes, ordonne de tuer des opposants. Par un effet de projection, il a été écrit que les GJ montaient à Paris pour tuer… C’est un pur mensonge.

      Le Monde diplomatique de janvier 2019 (p 13) rappelle les paroles d‘un haut responsable de la police qui confiait « C’est nous, l’institution, qui fixons le niveau de violence de départ. Plus la nôtre est haute, plus celle des manifestants l’est aussi » Il est assez clair que c’est vous qui ordonnez à l’appareil policier le niveau de violence désirée pour asseoir votre politique générale et vos projets de société. Quitte, si cela ne marche pas, à en appeler, pourquoi pas, à l’armée ?? N’y avez-vous pas pensé comme feu le Général de Gaulle en 1968 ?

      La demande faite aux médias de se taire sur les exactions que vous commandez, et de vous exonérer d’être le premier facteur de violence est une évidence. Les contre-vérités répandues dans certains médias (particulièrement dans BFM-TV) sur la violence primitive des Gilets Jaunes, alors que celle-ci n’est qu’une violence en réponse, en dit long sur le mépris que vous avez vis-à-vis de « vos gueux » pour reprendre l’expression d’un gilet jaune de Bourges.

      A propos des mensonges, il en est un qui m’a fait bondir dans votre lettre. Et j’en finirai là. Vous dites que l’impôt sur le revenu, parfois lourd, réduit les inégalités L’Impôt sur le revenu dans sa forme moderne, voulu par les radicaux pour avoir un effet redistributif, et crée en 1914, a eu comme objectif de faire face à la dette publique, et de trouver de nouvelles recettes pour la guerre. Les services publics sont nés bien après, sous l’effet du danger communiste de l’après deuxième guerre mondiale. Il n’a actuellement pas diminué les inégalités sociales. Cessez de penser que les GJ aient des illusions à ce sujet.

      La répression, que vous voulez sévère, ne fait qu’accentuer la colère, et accroît la certitude que la justice, la liberté humaine, la réflexion intelligente pour le mieux-être pour tous, appartiennent à des espaces à créer contre tous les oligarques anciens et modernes, et contre vous et les vôtres.

      Mes salutations républicaines. AM Chartier


  • [Revision] « Tell Me How This Ends » | Harper’s Magazine
    https://harpers.org/archive/2019/02/american-involvement-in-syria

    Dans cet article très USA-centré, le récit des premiers temps de la guerre en #Syrie par l’ancien ambassadeur US à Damas. (J’ai grasseyé certains passages. Le récit US passe égaleemnt sous silence la présence à Hama de l’ambassadeur français et de quelques invités...) L’histoire de ce conflit commence petit à petit à s’écrire...

    The vulnerable regimes in early 2011 were in the American camp, a coincidence that the Syrian president, Bashar al-­Assad, interpreted as proof that the Arab Spring was a repudiation of American tutelage. As Russia’s and Iran’s only Arab ally, he foresaw no challenge to his throne. An omen in the unlikely guise of an incident at an open-­air market in the old city of Damascus, in February 2011, should have changed his mind. One policeman ordered a motorist to stop at an intersection, while another officer told him to drive on. “The poor guy got conflicting instructions, and did what I would have done and stopped,” recalled the US ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, who had only just arrived in the country. The second policeman dragged the driver out of his car and thrashed him. “A crowd gathered, and all of a sudden it took off,” Ford said. “No violence, but it was big enough that the interior minister himself went down to the market and told people to go home.” Ford reported to Washington, “This is the first big demonstration that we know of. And it tells us that this tinder is dry.”

    The next month, the security police astride the Jordanian border in the dusty southern town of Daraa ignited the tinder by torturing children who had scrawled anti-­Assad graffiti on walls. Their families, proud Sunni tribespeople, appealed for justice, then called for reform of the regime, and finally demanded its removal. Rallies swelled by the day. Ford cabled Washington that the government was using live ammunition to quell the demonstrations. He noted that the protesters were not entirely peaceful: “There was a little bit of violence from the demonstrators in Daraa. They burned the Syriatel office.” (Syriatel is the cell phone company of Rami Makhlouf, Assad’s cousin, who epitomized for many Syrians the ruling elite’s corruption.) “And they burned a court building, but they didn’t kill anybody.” Funerals of protesters produced more demonstrations and thus more funerals. The Obama Administration, though, was preoccupied with Egypt, where Hosni Mubarak had resigned in February, and with the NATO bombing campaign in Libya to support the Libyan insurgents who would depose and murder Muammar Qaddafi in October.

    Ambassador Ford detected a turn in the Syrian uprising that would define part of its character: “The first really serious violence on the opposition side was up on the coast around Baniyas, where a bus was stopped and soldiers were hauled off the bus. If you were Alawite, you were shot. If you were Sunni, they let you go.” At demonstrations, some activists chanted the slogan, “Alawites to the grave, and Christians to Beirut.” A sectarian element wanted to remove Assad, not because he was a dictator but because he belonged to the Alawite minority sect that Sunni fundamentalists regard as heretical. Washington neglected to factor that into its early calculations.

    Phil Gordon, the assistant secretary of state for European affairs before becoming Obama’s White House coordinator for the Middle East, told me, “I think the initial attitude in Syria was seen through that prism of what was happening in the other countries, which was, in fact, leaders—the public rising up against their leaders and in some cases actually getting rid of them, and in Tunisia, and Yemen, and Libya, with our help.”

    Ambassador Ford said he counseled Syria’s activists to remain non­violent and urged both sides to negotiate. Demonstrations became weekly events, starting after Friday’s noon prayer as men left the mosques, and spreading north to Homs and Hama. Ford and some embassy staffers, including the military attaché, drove to Hama, with government permission, one Thursday evening in July. To his surprise, Ford said, “We were welcomed like heroes by the opposition people. We had a simple message—no violence. There were no burned buildings. There was a general strike going on, and the opposition people had control of the streets. They had all kinds of checkpoints. Largely, the government had pulled out.”

    Bassam Barabandi, a diplomat who defected in Washington to establish a Syrian exile organization, People Demand Change, thought that Ford had made two errors: his appearance in Hama raised hopes for direct intervention that was not forthcoming, and he was accompanied by a military attaché. “So, at that time, the big question for Damascus wasn’t Ford,” Barabandi told me in his spartan Washington office. “It was the military attaché. Why did this guy go with Ford?” The Syrian regime had a long-standing fear of American intelligence interference, dating to the CIA-­assisted overthrow in 1949 of the elected parliamentary government and several attempted coups d’état afterward. The presence in Hama of an ambassador with his military attaché allowed the Assad regime to paint its opponents as pawns of a hostile foreign power.


  • Iran’s Tiny Navy Is Trying to Revive the Persian Empire - Bloomberg
    Opinion by Jim Stavridis

    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-01-10/iran-s-tiny-navy-is-trying-to-revive-the-persian-empire


    A cheap alternative to aircraft carriers.
    Photographer: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

    The West sees Tehran as a regional player. Iranians see themselves as a global power.

    On the campaign trail in 2007, Senator John McCain sang a parody to the tune of the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann”: “Bomb, bomb, bomb … bomb, bomb Iran.” That sentiment resonates in the Donald Trump administration, and it’s understandable. The Iranians continue to push their influence throughout the Middle East: using proxies to threaten U.S. allies; supporting Bashar al-Assad in Syria; fueling the war in Yemen through support for Houthi rebels; and seeking to destabilize Iraq and gain further influence in Lebanon.

    Now we face a new twist to Iranian expansionism that demonstrates both Tehran’s ambition and its growing ties to Russia: the Iranian navy announced it will undertake a five-month deployment to the western Atlantic. While it’s unclear how many ships will be involved, Tehran says the flotilla will include a newly built destroyer, the Sahand. Some vessels are expected dock in Venezuela, one of the few countries in the Western Hemisphere that would welcome them.


  • Yémen : spectaculaire et meurtrière attaque de drone contre l’armée loyaliste
    https://www.france24.com/fr/20190110-yemen-rebelles-houthis-attaque-meurtriere-spectaculaire-drone-arm

    Un drone lancé, jeudi, par des rebelles houthis visant des soldats de l’armée loyaliste a fait six morts et 12 blessés. Un « coup dur aux efforts de l’ONU pour résoudre la crise », estime le ministre yéménite de l’Information.

    On ne sait pas encore quels sont les militaires, de haut rang ou non, qui ont été tués dans une attaque qui ne manquera pas d’intéresser au plus haut point beaucoup de militaires, les Israéliens en particulier... Personne ne le note mais, pour une fois, ce n’est pas un drone US qui cogne sur un mariage...

    #yemen #drone


  • Le silence gênant de la France face aux crimes de guerre et tortures perpétrés par les Emirats arabes unis
    https://www.bastamag.net/Le-silence-genant-de-la-France-face-aux-crimes-de-guerre-et-tortures-perpe

    Tabassés, électrocutés, pendus par les pieds, violés : ils sont des centaines à avoir disparu dans des centres de détention du sud-Yémen. Ces « prisons secrètes », dénoncées depuis 2016 par des ONG, sont contrôlées par les Émirats arabes unis (EAU), un allié militaire de la France. Le 21 novembre dernier, le président Macron recevait le Prince héritier d’Abu Dhabi à Paris pour témoigner de « la force du partenariat et de liens historiques unissant la France et les EAU ». Un partenariat basé sur des liens (...)

    #Décrypter

    / A la une, #Guerres_et_résolution_des_conflits, #Droits_fondamentaux, #Enquêtes


  • U.S. says suspected USS Cole bombing planner killed in Yemen strike | Reuters
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-yemen-military-idUSKCN1P00LL

    Jamal al-Badawi, wanted by the United States for his suspected role in the attack on the USS Cole 18 years ago, was killed in a precision strike in Yemen on Jan. 1, U.S. Central Command said on Sunday.

    Badawi was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2003 over his role in the October 2000 deadly bombing of the _USS Col_e, a Navy guided-missile destroyer. He escaped from prison in Yemen twice, once in 2003 and again in 2006.
    […]
    It is the latest blow to Yemen’s al Qaeda branch, known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has lost key leaders in U.S strikes in recent years. In 2018, U.S. officials said they believed that Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, once one of the world’s most feared bombmakers, had been killed.


  • Israël réclame 250 milliards aux Arabes pour l’expulsion des Juifs - JForum
    https://www.jforum.fr/israel-reclame-250-milliards-aux-arabes-pour-lexpulsion-des-juifs.html

    Israël se prépare à demander une indemnisation d’un montant total de 250 milliards de dollars à sept pays arabes et à l’Iran pour les biens et avoirs laissés par les Juifs qui ont été forcés de fuir ces pays, à la suite de la création de l’État d’Israël.

    “Le temps est venu de corriger l’injustice historique des pogroms (contre les Juifs) dans sept pays arabes et en Iran, et de restaurer, pour des centaines de milliers de Juifs qui ont perdu leurs biens, ce qui leur revient légitimement”, a déclaré samedi le ministre israélien de l’Égalité sociale, Gila Gamliel, qui coordonne le traitement de la question par le gouvernement israélien, a déclaré samedi.

    Selon les chiffres cités samedi soir par le journal israélien Hadashot, les demandes d’indemnisation des deux premiers des huit pays concernés sont en cours de finalisation, Israël devant demander 35 milliards de dollars d’indemnisation pour la perte d’actifs juifs de Tunisie et 15 milliards de dollars à la Libye.

    Au total, le reportage télévisé a déclaré qu’Israël chercherait plus de 250 milliards de dollars auprès de ces deux pays, ainsi que du Maroc, de l’Irak, de la Syrie, de l’Egypte, du Yémen et de l’Iran.

    #israël #sans_vergogne

    • Israël réclame 250 milliards $ d’indemnisations aux Etats arabes !
      7 يناير، 2019
      https://algeriepress.com/israel-reclame-250-milliards-dindemnisations-aux-etats-arabes

      Des médias israéliens ont encore une fois rouvert le dossier des biens laissés par des Juifs dans un certain nombre de pays arabes qu’ils ont quittés pour la Palestine occupée.

      Ainsi, les Juifs réclament des indemnisations et envisagent même d’employer cette donne, provocante à l’endroit des Etats arabes-, lors des discussions prévues prochainement avec l’Etat de la Palestine.

      En effet, une télévision israélienne a annoncé dans un reportage que l’Etat hébreu a avancé pour la première fois une estimation officielle des biens laissés par des Juifs dans des pays arabes évaluée à 250 milliards de dollars, bien que la même chaîne n’a pas indiqué le montant de ces biens prétendus en Algérie.

      Un membre du parlement israélien (La Knesset) avait estimé, lui, que les biens laissés par les Juifs en Algérie s’élevaient à plus de 2 milliards de dollars, suggérant ainsi d’utiliser la carte des Juifs d’Algérie pour mettre la pression sur le gouvernement algérien afin de se montrer moins hostile vis-à-vis d’Israël et de cesser ses aides accordées aux résistants palestiniens. (...)



  • The roundabout revolutions

    The history of these banal, utilitarian instruments of traffic management has become entangled with that of political uprising, #Eyal_Weizman argues in his latest book

    This project started with a photograph. It was one of the most arresting images depicting the May 1980 #Gwangju uprising, recognised now as the first step in the eventual overthrow of the military dictatorship in South Korea. The photograph (above) depicts a large crowd of people occupying a roundabout in the city center. Atop a disused fountain in the middle of the roundabout a few protestors have unfurled a South Korean flag. The roundabout organised the protest in concentric circles, a geometric order that exposed the crowd to itself, helping a political collective in becoming.

    It had an uncanny resonance with events that had just unfolded: in the previous year a series of popular uprisings spread through Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, #Oman, Yemen, Libya, and Syria. These events shared with Gwangju not only the historical circumstances – they too were popular protests against military dictatorships – but, remarkably, an urban-architectural setting: many of them similarly erupted on roundabouts in downtown areas. The history of these roundabouts is entangled with the revolutions that rose from them.

    The photograph of the roundabout—now the symbol of the “liberated republic” – was taken by #Na_Kyung-taek from the roof of the occupied Provincial Hall, looking toward Geumnam-ro, only a few hours before the fall of the “#Gwangju_Republic”. In the early morning hours of the following day, the Gwangju uprising was overwhelmed by military force employing tanks and other armed vehicles. The last stand took place at the roundabout.

    The scene immediately resonates with the well-known photographs of people gathering in #Tahrir_Square in early 2011. Taken from different high-rise buildings around the square, a distinct feature in these images is the traffic circle visible by the way it organises bodies and objects in space. These images became the symbol of the revolution that led to the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 – an event described by urban historian Nezar AlSayyad as “Cairo’s roundabout revolution”. But the Gwangju photograph also connects to images of other roundabouts that erupted in dissent in fast succession throughout the Middle East. Before Tahrir, as Jonathan Liu noted in his essay Roundabouts and Revolutions, it was the main roundabout in the capital of Tunisia – subsequently renamed Place du 14 Janvier 2011 after the date on which President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was forced to flee the country. Thousands of protesters gathered at the roundabout in Tunis and filled the city’s main boulevard.

    A main roundabout in Bahrain’s capital Manama erupted in protests shortly after the overthrow of Mubarak in Egypt. Its central traffic island became the site of popular protests against the government and the first decisive act of military repression: the protests were violently broken up and the roundabout itself destroyed and replaced with a traffic intersection. In solidarity with the Tahrir protests, the roundabouts in the small al-Manara Square in Ramallah and the immense Azadi Square in Tehran also filled with protesters. These events, too, were violently suppressed.

    The roundabouts in Tehran and Ramallah had also been the scenes of previous revolts. In 2009 the Azadi roundabout in Iran’s capital was the site of the main protests of the Green Movement contesting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reelection. Hamid Dabashi, a literature professor at Columbia University and one of the most outspoken public intellectuals on these revolutions, claims that the Green Movement was inspirational for the subsequent revolutionary wave in the Arab world. In Palestine, revolt was a permanent consequence of life under occupation, and the al-Manara roundabout was a frequent site of clashes between Palestinian youth and the Israeli military. The sequence of roundabout revolutions evolved as acts of imitation, each building on its predecessor, each helping propel the next.

    Roundabouts were of course not only exhilarating sites of protest and experiments in popular democracy, but moreover they were places where people gathered and risked their life. The Gwangju uprising is, thus, the first of the roundabout revolutions. Liu wrote: “In all these cases, the symbolism is almost jokingly obvious: what better place to stage a revolution, after all, then one built for turning around?” What better way to show solidarity across national borders than to stage protests in analogous places?

    Why roundabouts? After all, they are banal, utilitarian instruments of traffic management, certainly not prone to induce revolutionary feeling. Other kinds of sites – squares, boulevards, favelas, refugee camps – have served throughout history as the setting for political protest and revolt. Each alignment of a roundabout and a revolution has a specific context and diverse causes, but the curious repetition of this phenomenon might give rise to several speculations. Urban roundabouts are the intersection points of large axes, which also puts them at the start or end of processions.

    Occupying a roundabout demonstrates the power of tactical acupuncture: it blocks off all routes going in and out. Congestion moves outward like a wave, flowing down avenues and streets through large parts of the city. By pressuring a single pivotal point within a networked infrastructure, an entire city can be put under siege (a contemporary contradistinction to the medieval technique of surrounding the entire perimeter of a city wall). Unlike public squares, which are designed as sites for people to gather (therefore not interrupting the flow of vehicular traffic) and are usually monitored and policed, roundabout islands are designed to keep people away. The continuous flow of traffic around them creates a wall of speeding vehicles that prohibits access. While providing open spaces (in some cities the only available open spaces) these islands are meant to be seen but not used.

    Another possible explanation is their symbolic power: they often contain monuments that represent the existing regime. The roundabouts of recent revolutions had emblematic names – Place du 7 Novembre 1987, the date the previous regime took power in Tunisia; “Liberty” (Azadi), referring to the 1979 Iranian Revolution; or “Liberation” (Tahrir), referring to the 1952 revolutions in Egypt. Roundabout islands often had statues, both figurative and abstract, representing the symbolic order of regimes. Leaders might have wished to believe that circular movement around their monuments was akin to a form of worship or consent. While roundabouts exercise a centripetal force, pulling protestors into the city center, the police seek to generate movement in the opposite direction, out and away from the center, and to break a collective into controllable individuals that can be handled and dispersed.

    The most common of all centrifugal forces of urban disorganisation during protests is tear gas, a formless cloud that drifts through space to disperse crowds. From Gwangju to Cairo, Manama to Ramallah, hundreds of tear-gas canisters were used largely exceeding permitted levels in an attempt to evict protesters from public spaces. The bodily sensation of the gas forms part of the affective dimension of the roundabout revolution. When tear gas is inhaled, the pain is abrupt, sharp, and isolating. The eyes shut involuntary, generating a sense of disorientation and disempowerment.

    Protestors have found ways to mitigate the toxic effects of this weapon. Online advice is shared between activists from Palestine through Cairo to Ferguson. The best protection is offered by proper gas masks. Improvised masks made of mineral water bottles cut in half and equipped with a filter of wet towels also work, according to online manuals. Some activists wear swim goggles and place wet bandanas or kaffiyehs over their mouths. To mitigate some of the adverse effects, these improvised filters can be soaked in water, lemon juice, vinegar, toothpaste, or wrapped around an onion. When nothing else is at hand, breathe the air from inside your shirt and run upwind onto higher ground. When you have a chance, blow your nose, rinse your mouth, cough, and spit.


    https://www.iconeye.com/opinion/comment/item/12093-the-roundabout-revolutions
    #révolution #résistance #giratoire #carrefour #rond-point #routes #infrastructure_routière #soulèvement_politique #Corée_du_Sud #printemps_arabe #Egypte #Tunisie #Bahreïni #Yémen #Libye #Syrie #Tahrir

    Du coup : #gilets_jaunes ?

    @albertocampiphoto & @philippe_de_jonckheere

    This project started with a photograph. It was one of the most arresting images depicting the May 1980 #Gwangju uprising, recognised now as the first step in the eventual overthrow of the military dictatorship in South Korea. The photograph (above) depicts a large crowd of people occupying a roundabout in the city center. Atop a disused fountain in the middle of the roundabout a few protestors have unfurled a South Korean flag. The roundabout organised the protest in concentric circles, a geometric order that exposed the crowd to itself, helping a political collective in becoming.

    –-> le pouvoir d’une #photographie...

    signalé par @isskein

    ping @reka


  • AP Investigation : Food aid stolen as #Yemen starves
    https://apnews.com/bcf4e7595b554029bcd372cb129c49ab

    Associated Press : l’aide alimentaire du PAM est détournée par TOUTES les parties en conflit (RIEN en français côté #MSM)

    The problem of lost and stolen aid is common in Taiz and other areas controlled by Yemen’s internationally recognized government, which is supported by the Saudi-led military coalition. It is even more widespread in territories controlled by the Houthi rebels, (...)

    Réaction du PAM ( massivement rapportée par les MSM francophones), menace d’interruption de l’aide à l’appui :

    Au Yémen, le PAM accuse les rebelles houthis de détourner l’aide humanitaire
    https://www.france24.com/fr/video/20190102-yemen-rebelles-houthis-accuses-detourner-laide-humanitaire

    Aucune réaction ni menace du PAM vis-à-vis des mercenaires de l’#Arabie_saoudite

    #ONU


  • Netflix pulled an episode of “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” in Saudi Arabia after the kingdom complained
    https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/01/netflix-pulled-an-episode-of-patriot-act-with-hasan-minhaj-in-saudi-arab

    Netflix pulled an episode of “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” from its streaming service in Saudi Arabia after receiving a complaint from the kingdom. The removal was first reported by the Financial Times. The episode, titled “Saudi Arabia,” centers around the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and criticizes Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. The Crown Prince has been implicated in the planning of Khashoggi’s murder by the Central Intelligence (...)

    #Netflix #censure


  • The U.S. put a Yemeni warlord on a terrorist list. One of its close allies is still arming him. - The Washington Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/the-us-put-a-yemeni-warlord-on-a-terrorist-list-one-of-its-close-allies-is-still-arming-him/2018/12/28/f3c4fb5b-f366-4570-b27b-75a3ed0f0f52_story.html

    TAIZ, Yemen — In 2017, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on a powerful Yemeni Islamist warlord, accusing him of being a “prominent military instructor” and fundraiser for #al-Qaeda who had also at one point “served with” the Islamic State and financed its forces.

    But Abu al-Abbas is not on the run. He is not even in hiding.

    By his own admission, Abbas continues to receive millions of dollars in weapons and financial support for his fighters from one of Washington’s closest Middle East allies, the United Arab Emirates [..]

    #émirats_arabes_unis#modérés#etats-unis


  • On the Front Line of the Saudi War in Yemen: Child Soldiers From Darfur - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/28/world/africa/saudi-sudan-yemen-child-fighters.html

    At any time for nearly four years as many as 14,000 Sudanese militiamen have been fighting in Yemen in tandem with the local militia aligned with the Saudis, according to several Sudanese fighters who have returned and Sudanese lawmakers who are attempting to track it. Hundreds, at least, have died there.

    Almost all the Sudanese fighters appear to come from the battle-scarred and impoverished region of Darfur, where some 300,000 people were killed and 1.2 million displaced during a dozen years of conflict over diminishing arable land and other scarce resources.

    Most belong to the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, a tribal militia previously known as the Janjaweed. They were blamed for the systematic rape of women and girls, indiscriminate killing and other war crimes during Darfur’s conflict, and veterans involved in those horrors are now leading their deployment to Yemen — albeit in a more formal and structured campaign.

    Some families are so eager for the money that they bribe militia officers to let their sons go fight. Many are ages 14 to 17. In interviews, five fighters who have returned from Yemen and another about to depart said that children made up at least 20 percent of their units. Two said children were more than 40 percent.

    To keep a safe distance from the battle lines, their Saudi or Emirati overseers commanded the Sudanese fighters almost exclusively by remote control, directing them to attack or retreat through radio headsets and GPS systems provided to the Sudanese officers in charge of each unit, the fighters all said.

    #yémen #darfour #arabie_saoudite #enfants_soldats


  • On the Front Line of the Saudi War in Yemen: Child Soldiers From Darfur - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/28/world/africa/saudi-sudan-yemen-child-fighters.html

    The civil war in Darfur robbed Hager Shomo Ahmed of almost any hope. Raiders had stolen his family’s cattle, and a dozen years of bloodshed had left his parents destitute.

    Then, around the end of 2016, Saudi Arabia offered a lifeline: The kingdom would pay as much as $10,000 if Hager joined its forces fighting 1,200 miles away in Yemen.

    Hager, 14 at the time, could not find Yemen on a map, and his mother was appalled. He had survived one horrific civil war — how could his parents toss him into another? But the family overruled her.

    “Families know that the only way their lives will change is if their sons join the war and bring them back money,” Hager said in an interview last week in the capital, Khartoum, a few days after his 16th birthday.

    #Arabie_saoudite #Enfants_soldats #Yémen#modérés