naturalfeature:persian gulf

  • 116th Congress: #TweetYourThobe, Rashida Tlaib wears Palestinian thobe at swearing in - INSIDER
    https://www.thisisinsider.com/116th-congress-tweetyourthobe-rashida-tlaib-wears-palestinian-thobe-a

    Democratic members of the House of Representatives takes their oath on the opening day of the 116th Congress as the Democrats take the majority from the GOP, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. On the top row are, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., left, and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., middle row, Rep. Joe Morelle, D-N.Y., left, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and on the bottom row, Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., the first Native American woman elected to Congress. They are joined by children and family members, a tradition on the first day of the new session. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Women are tweeting images of their thobes — traditional Palestinian dresses adorned with elaborate embroidery — inspired by freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib.
    Rep. Tlaib, who was elected in November to represent the 13th District in Michigan, was sworn into the 116th Congress on Thursday.
    The congresswoman is one of the first two Muslim-American women elected to Congress, and during her swearing-in Rep. Tlaib wore a thobe.
    The #TweetYourThobe movement was started by Palestinian-American novelist Susan Muaddi Darraj, The New York Times reported, as a way to show support for Tlaib.

    #palestine


  • Saudi Arabia Declares War on America’s Muslim Congresswomen – Foreign Policy
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/12/11/saudi-arabia-declares-war-on-americas-muslim-congresswomen

    The rise of politicians like El-Sayed, Omar, and Tlaib also undermines a core argument advanced by dictators in the Middle East: that their people are not ready for democracy. “People would not have access to power in their countries but they would if they leave; this destroys the argument by Sisi or bin Salman,” El-Sayed said, referring to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. “What’s ironic is there is no way I would aspire to be in leadership in Egypt, the place of my fathers.”

    American allies in the region also fear that the Democratic Party’s new Arab leaders will advocate for political change in their countries. Having spent millions of dollars for public relations campaigns in Western capitals, the Persian Gulf countries feel threatened by any policymakers with an independent interest in and knowledge of the region. They have thus framed these officials’ principled objections to regional violations of human rights and democratic norms as matters of personal bias. One commentator, who is known to echo government talking points and is frequently retweeted by government officials, recently spread the rumor that Omar is a descendent of a “Houthi Yemeni” to undermine her attacks on the Saudi-led war on Yemen.

    The most common attack online by the Saudi-led bloc on the Muslim-American Democrats has been to label them as members of the Muslim Brotherhood, or more generally as ikhwanji, an extremist catch-all term. These attacks started long before this year’s elections. In 2014, the UAE even announced a terror list that included the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for its alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood.

    The attacks attempting to tie Omar and Tlaib to the Muslim Brotherhood started in earnest after CAIR publicly welcomed their election to Congress. One UAE-based academic, Najat al-Saeed, criticized Arabic media for celebrating the two Muslim women’s victories at the midterms, and pointed to CAIR’s support for them as evidence of their ties to the Brotherhood.


  • Rasmus Elling à propos des Iraniens arabes du Khuzestan :
    https://twitter.com/rasmuselling/status/1044129573355614208

    There is a widespread misconception that Iranian Arabs of #Khuzestan are Sunni, not Shiite. This pops up in some international media coverage whenever there is unrest like the recent #Ahvaz terror attack. But its also prevalent among Iranians, both inside and outside #Iran.

    In fact, even the Iranian state sometimes get it wrong. In Dec 2013 an MP complained to Ministry of Education that a high school book depicted #Khuzestan as Sunni.
    http://www.khouznews.ir/fa/news/53076/اشتباه-فاحش-آموزش-و-پرورش-در-معرفی-مناطق-سنی-نشین-کشور-خوزستان-سراسر-شیعه-

    I believe there are several reasons. First, some confuse with communities of Arab-speakers outside Khuzestan, some of whom are Sunni (incl. along Persian Gulf littoral south of Bushehr). Second, general ignorance about the roughly 1 million Arabs of Khuzestan: some seem to believe that “Arab” equals “Sunni” (despite the fact that neighbouring Iraq has Shiite majority). Finally, there is the tendency, since the early 00s, to conflate ethnic with sectarian strife. We automatically assume inter-communal violence is a question of Shia/Sunni. This is further exacerbated by concerted efforts by media and activists associated with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States to promote the idea that young Arabs in Khuzestan are “converting” to Sunnism. This is a political ploy and we only have scant anecdotal evidence that a few Arabs may have done this. The vast majority are staunch Shiites and have been Shiites for centuries and are regularly hailed by Shiite clergy in Iran as such.


  • Russia detects missile launches from French frigate off Syria’s coast in Mediterranean — RT World News
    https://www.rt.com/news/438676-french-frigate-mediterranean-missiles


    © French Navy

    Russian airspace control systems registered missile launches from a French frigate in the Mediterranean on Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.
    The French Navy’s newest frigate, FS Auvergne, fired rockets at around 8pm GMT on Monday, the Russian military said. “Airspace control has recorded rocket launches from the French frigate ’Auvergne,’” the ministry’s statement read. The ’Auvergne’ is deployed in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Syria.

    Paris denied “any involvement in [the] attack,” a French army spokesman said, as cited by AFP.

    It is a ’European multi-purpose frigate’ (FREMM) which entered the service of the French Navy in February this year. Prior to its official commissioning, the Aquitaine-class warship underwent deployment across the globe, including the Mediterranean Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf, the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

    The launch was detected at around the same time that air traffic controllers at Khmeimim Airbase “lost contact” with a military Il-20 aircraft during an attack by Israeli F-16 fighters on Latakia. Some 14 people were on board the plane at the time of the disappearance. A search and rescue mission is underway.

    The IDF has refused to comment on the report. Despite the fact that Israel rarely acknowledges striking specific targets inside Syria, earlier this month the IDF admitted hitting at least 202 “Iranian targets” in the country.

    As tensions over Idlib rise, Turkey and Russia on Monday agreed to establish a “demilitarized zone” between militants and government troops as part of an effort to clear the remaining jihadists from Syria.


  • Hacking a Prince, an Emir and a Journalist to Impress a Client - The New York Times

    With Israel help

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/31/world/middleeast/hacking-united-arab-emirates-nso-group.html?imp_id=299442091&action=click&m

    The lawsuits also shed new light on the political intrigues involving Israel and the Persian Gulf monarchies, which have increasingly turned to hacking as a favorite weapon against one another.
    Image
    The NSO Group’s actions are now at the heart of the twin lawsuits accusing the company of actively participating in illegal spying.CreditDaniella Cheslow/Associated Press
    The U.A.E. does not recognize Israel, but the two appear to have a growing behind-the-scenes alliance. Because Israel deems the spyware a weapon, the lawsuits note, the NSO Group and its affiliates could have sold it to the Emirates only with approval by the Israeli Defense Ministry.

    Leaked emails submitted in the lawsuits show that the U.A.E. signed a contract to license the company’s surveillance software as early as August 2013.
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    A year and a half later, a British affiliate of the NSO Group asked its Emirati client to provide a sixth payment of $3 million under the original contract, suggesting a total licensing fee of at least $18 million over that period.

    An update the next year was sold through a different affiliate, based in Cyprus, at a cost of $11 million in four installments, according to leaked invoices.

    Tensions between the U.A.E. and its neighbor Qatar reached a boil in 2013 over a struggle for power in Egypt. Qatar had allied itself with the Egyptian Islamist movement that won the elections after the Arab Spring. Then the U.A.E. backed a military takeover that cast the Islamists into prison instead.

    In the escalating feud, each side accused the other of cyberespionage. Hackers broke into the email accounts of two outspoken opponents of Qatar — the Emirati ambassador to Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba, and an American Republican fund-raiser who does business with the U.A.E., Elliott Broidy. Mr. Broidy has filed a separate lawsuit accusing Qatar and its Washington lobbyists of conspiring to steal and leak his emails.

    Other hackers briefly took over the website of the Qatari news service to post a false report of an embarrassing speech by the emir to damage him, and later leaked Qatari emails exposing awkward details of Qatari negotiations over the release of a royal hunting party kidnapped in Iraq. Allies of Qatar blamed the Emiratis.

    The leaked emails disclosed in the new lawsuits may also have been stolen through hacking. Lawyers involved said the documents were provided by a Qatari journalist who did not disclose how he had obtained them.

    The messages show that the Emiratis were seeking to intercept the phone calls of the emir of Qatar as early as 2014.
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    But the Emirati target list also included Saudi Arabia. In the email discussions about updating the NSO Group’s technology, the Emiratis asked to intercept the phone calls of a Saudi prince, Mutaib bin Abdullah, who was considered at the time to be a possible contender for the throne.

    The Emiratis have been active promoters of Prince Mutaib’s younger rival, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Last year, the crown prince removed Prince Mutaib from his role as minister of the national guard and ordered his temporary detention in connection with corruption allegations.

    In a telephone interview, Prince Mutaib expressed surprise that the Emiratis had attempted to record his calls.

    “They don’t need to hack my phone,” he said. “I will tell them what I am doing.”

    According to the emails, the Emiratis also asked to intercept the phone calls of Saad Hariri, who is now prime minister of Lebanon.

    Mr. Hariri has sometimes been accused of failing to push back hard enough against Hezbollah, the powerful Lebanese movement backed by Iran. Last year, the U.A.E.’s Saudi ally, Crown Prince Mohammed, temporarily detained Mr. Harari in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, and forced him to announce his resignation as prime minister. (He later rescinded the announcement, and he remains prime minister.)

    Mr. Alkhamis, who resigned in 2014 as the editor of the London-based newspaper Al Arab, called the surveillance of his phone calls “very strange” but not unexpected, since he had published “sensitive” articles about Persian Gulf politics.

    The U.A.E.’s use of the NSO Group’s spyware was first reported in 2016. Ahmed Mansoor, an Emirati human rights advocate, noticed suspicious text messages and exposed an attempt to hack his Apple iPhone. The U.A.E. arrested him on apparently unrelated charges the next year and he remains in jail.


  • Iran says it has full control of Gulf, U.S. Navy does not belong there | Reuters
    https://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFKCN1LC0NJ

    Iran has full control of the Gulf and the U.S. Navy does not belong there, the head of the navy of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, General Alireza Tangsiri, was quoted by Tasnim news agency as saying on Monday.

    Tehran has suggested it could take military action in the Gulf to block other countries’ oil exports in retaliation for U.S. sanctions intended to halt its sales of crude. Washington maintains a fleet in the Gulf that protects oil shipping routes.

    Tangsiri said Iran had full control of the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz that leads into it. Closing the strait would be the most direct way of blocking shipping.

    We can ensure the security of the Persian Gulf and there is no need for the presence of aliens like the U.S. and the countries whose home is not in here,” he said in the quote, which appeared in English translation on Tasnim.


  • Iran’s Tanker Fleet Gives Oil-Export Lifeline as Sanctions Loom - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-24/iran-s-tanker-fleet-gives-oil-export-lifeline-as-sanctions-loom


    An Iranian tanker docking at Kharg Island
    Photographer: Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images

    Iran’s own fleet of tankers may provide a lifeline for its crude and condensate exports that’ll be slashed as U.S. sanctions against the Persian Gulf nation take hold.

    As Iran’s customers give in to mounting U.S. pressure, shipments from the OPEC member may drop to under 1 million barrels a day by mid-2019, down from a daily 2.5 million this year, according to industry consultant FGE. Still, the Middle East nation’s cargoes to China in the past few weeks show how changing vessel ownership and contract terms may help it sustain flows to buyers.


  • Egypt: The White House and the Strongman - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/27/sunday-review/obama-egypt-coup-trump.html

    President Trump boasts that he has reversed American policies across the Middle East. Where his predecessor hoped to win hearts and minds, Mr. Trump champions the axiom that brute force is the only response to extremism — whether in Iran, Syria, Yemen or the Palestinian territories. He has embraced the hawks of the region, in Israel and the Persian Gulf, as his chief guides and allies.

    But in many ways, this hard-line approach began to take hold under President Barack Obama, when those same regional allies backed the 2013 military ouster of Egypt’s first elected president, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    That coup was a watershed moment for the region, snuffing out dreams of democracy while emboldening both autocrats and jihadists. And American policy pivoted, too, empowering those inside the administration “who say you just have to crush these guys,” said Andrew Miller, who oversaw Egypt for the National Security Council under Mr. Obama, and who is now with the Project on Middle East Democracy. Some of the coup’s most vocal American advocates went on to top roles in the Trump administration, including Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Michael Flynn, Mr. Trump’s first national security adviser.
    Image
    In July 2013, supporters of the ousted Mr. Morsi protested in Cairo against the killing of 50 demonstrators a day before. A much bigger massacre came in August.CreditNarciso Contreras for The New York Times
    I was The New York Times Cairo bureau chief at the time of the coup, and I returned to the events years later in part to better understand Washington’s role. I learned that the Obama administration’s support for the Arab Spring uprisings had been hobbled from the start by internal disagreements over the same issues that now define Trump policy — about the nature of the threat from political Islam, about fidelity to autocratic allies like the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, and about the difficulty of achieving democratic change in Egypt and the region.


  • Trump’s War of Words With Iran Shines Spotlight on Vital Oil Route
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-23/trump-war-of-words-with-iran-shines-spotlight-on-vital-oil-route

    Comment acheminer le pétrole du Moyen-Orient en se passant du #détroit_d'Ormuz

    The war of words between U.S. President Donald Trump and his counterpart in Iran over oil exports and sanctions is shining a spotlight on the narrow, twisting conduit for about 30 percent of the world’s seaborne-traded crude.

    The Middle East’s biggest oil exporters rely on the #Strait_of_Hormuz, the passage linking the Persian Gulf with global waterways, for the vast majority of their crude shipments — some 17.5 million barrels a day.

    Should a regional conflict block that bottleneck, three of the largest Gulf Arab crude producers have pipeline networks that would potentially enable them to export as much as 4.1 million barrels via alternative outlets, according to Bloomberg calculations. Even so, this amount of oil, if sent by pipeline, would be less than a quarter of the total that typically sails on tankers through Hormuz.


  • Comment and Discussion | U.S. Naval Institute
    https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2018-05/comment-and-discussion

    Au courrier des lecteurs des USNI Proceedings, cette contribution d’un Captain réserviste en retraite, sous le titre Iran owns the Gray Zone.

    (après avoir rappelé l’incident du HSV Swift en octobre 2016…

    I predict that the next attack is one that Commander Gilmore doesn’t elaborate too much about (see his footnotes), and that’s the Iranian Sadegh-1 “drones” flying near our carriers and in their air traffic patterns. According to CNN, twice in August 2017 the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) in the Persian Gulf encountered drones flying “within 1,000 ft.” Since that event, crudely made drones with improvised explosive devices on them were used in an attack on the Russian air base at Khmeimim in Syria. The Russians were able to neutralize them either by electronic or kinetic means, but the precedent is there.

    It’s time for a different type of plane guard around the carrier. In addition to the plane guard, a “drone CAP” helo should be ready to intercept and down any drone flying too close to the carrier, either kinetically or with a Drone- Defender or similar type of device. We should not wait for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to collide with an F/A-18 in the pattern or hit an aircraft on the deck. The apparent lack of defense against the UAV is something the Iranians or their proxies will exploit.


  • The Rise and Fall Of the Watusi - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/1964/02/23/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-watusi.html
    En 1964 le New York Times publie un article sur l’extermination imminente des Tutsi. C’est raconté comme une fatalité qui ne laisse pas de choix aux pauvres nègres victimes de forces plus grandes qu’eux. Dans cette optique il s’agit du destion inexorable du peuple des Tutsi arrivant à la fin de son règne sur le peuple des Hutu qui revendique ses droits. L’article contient quelques informations intéressantes déformées par la vison colonialiste de l’époque.

    ELSPETH HUXLEYFEB. 23, 1964

    FROM the miniature Republic of Rwanda in central Africa comes word of the daily slaughter of a thousand people, the possible extermin­ation of a quarter of a million men, women and children, in what has been called the bloodiest tragedy since Hitler turned on the Jews. The victims are those tall, proud and graceful warrior­aristocrats, the Tutsi, sometimes known as the Watusi.* They are being killed

    *According to the orthography of the Bantu language, “Tutsi” is the singular and “Watutsi” the plural form of the word. For the sake of simplicity. I prefer to follow the style used in United Nations reports and use “Tutsi” for both singular and plural.

    Who are the Tutsi and why is such a ghastly fate overtaking them? Is it simply African tribalism run riot, or are outside influences at work ? Can nothing be done?

    The king‐in‐exile of Rwanda, Mwamni (Monarch) Kigeri V, who has fled to the Congo, is the 41st in line of suc­cession. Every Tutsi can recite the names of his 40 predecessors but the Tutsi cannot say how many centuries ago their ancestors settled in these tumbled hills, deep valleys and vol­canic mountains separating the great

    Nor is it known just where they came from—Ethiopia perhaps; before that, possibly Asia. They are cattle folk, allied in race to such nomadic peo­ples as the Somali, Gatlla, Fulani and Masai. Driving their cattle before them, they found this remote pocket of cen­tral Africa, 1,000 miles from the In­dian Ocean. It was occupied by a race of Negro cultivators called the Hutu, who had themselves displaced the ab­original pygmy hunters, the Twa (or Batwa). First the Tutsi conquered and then ruled the Hutu. much as a ??r‐man ruling class conquered and settled

    In the latest census, the Tutsi con­stitute about 15 per cent of Rwanda’s population of between 2.5 and 3 mil­lion. Apart from a handful of Twa, the rest are Hutu. (The same figures are true of the tiny neighboring king­dom of Burundi.)

    For at least four centuries the Tutsi have kept intact their racial type by inbreeding. Once seen, these elongated men are never forgotten. Their small, narrow heads perched on top of slim and spindly bodies remind one of some of Henry Moore’s sculptures. Their average height, though well above the general norm, is no more than 5 feet 9 inches, but individuals reach more than 7 feet. The former king, Charles III Rudahagwa, was 6 feet 9 inches, and a famous dancer and high jumper—so famous his portrait was printed on the banknotes—measured 7 feet 5 inches.

    THIS height, prized as a badge of racial purity, the Tutsi accentuated by training upward tufts of fuzzy hair shaped like crescent moons. Their leaps, bounds and whirling dances delighted tourists, as their courtesy and polished manners impressed them.

    Through the centuries, Tutsi feudal­ism survived with only minor changes. At its center was the Mwami, believed to be descended from the god of lightning, whose three children fell from heaven onto a hilltop and begat the two royal clans from which the Mwami and his queen were always chosen. Not only had the Mwami rights of life and death over his subjects but, in theory, he owned all the cattle. too — magnificent, long‐horned cattle far superior to the weedy native African bovines. Once a year, these were ceremonially presented to the Mwami in all their glory — horns sand‐polished, coats rubbed with butter, foreheads hung with beads, each beast attended by a youth in bark‐cloth robes who spoke to it softly and caught its dung on a woven straw mat.

    “Rwanda has three pillars.” ran a Tutsi saying: “God, cows and soldiers.” The cows the Mwami distributed among his subchiefs, and they down the line to lesser fry, leaving no adult Tutsi male without cows.

    Indeed, the Tutsi cannot live with­out cattle, for milk and salted butter are their staple food. (Milk is con­sumed in curds; the butter, hot and perfumed by the bark of a certain tree.) To eat foods grown in soil, though often done, is thought vaguely shame­ful, something to be carried out in private.

    THE kingdom was divided into dis­tricts and each had not one governor, but two: a land chief (umunyabutaka) and a cattle chief (umuuyamukenke). The jealousy that nearly always held these two potentates apart prompted them to spy on each other to the Mwami, who was thus able to keep his barons from threatening his own au­thority.

    Below these governors spread a net­work of hill chiefs, and under them again the heads of families. Tribute — milk and butter from the lordly Tutsi, and

    Just as, in medieval Europe, every nobleman sent his son to the king’s court to learn the arts of war, love and civil­ity, so in Rwanda and Burundi did every Tutsi father send his sons to the Mwami’s court for instruction in the use of weapons, in lore and tradition, in dancing and poetry and the art of conversation, in manly sports and in the practice of the most prized Tutsi virtue —self‐control. Ill‐temper and the least display of emotion are thought shameful and vul­gar. The ideal Tutsi male is at all times polite, dignified, amiable, sparing of idle words and a trifle supercilious.

    THESE youths, gathered in the royal compound, were formed into companies which, in turn, formed the army. Each youth owed to his company commander an allegiance which continued all his life. In turn, the commander took the youth, and subsequently the man, under his protection. Every Tutsi could appeal from his hill chief to his army com­mander, who was bound to support him in lawsuits or other troubles. (During battle, no commander could step backward, lest . his army re­treat; at no time could the

    The Hutu were both bound and protected by a system known as buhake, a form of vassalage. A Hutu wanting to enter into this relationship would present a jug of beer to a Tutsi and say: “I ask you for milk. Make me rich. Be my father, and I will be your child.” If the Tutsi agreed, he gave the applicant a cow, or several cows. This sealed the bargain­

    The Hutu then looked to his lord for protection and for such help as contributions to­ward the bride‐price he must proffer for a wife. In return, the Hutu helped from time to time in the work of his pro­tector’s household, brought oc­casional jugs of beer and held himself available for service

    The densely populated king­doms of the Tutsi lay squarely in the path of Arab slavers who for centuries pillaged throughout the central Afri­can highlands, dispatching by the hundreds of thou­sands yoked and helpless hu­man beings to the slave mar­kets of Zanzibar and the Persian Gulf. Here the explor­er Livingstone wrote despair­ingly in his diaries of coffles (caravans) of tormented cap­tives, of burnt villages, slaugh­tered children, raped women and ruined crops. But these little kingdoms, each about the size of Maryland, escaped. The disciplined, courageous Tutsi spearmen kept the Arabs out, and the Hutu safe. Feudalism worked both ways.

    Some Hutu grew rich, and even married their patrons’ daughters. Sexual morality was strict. A girl who became pregnant before marriage was either killed outright or aban­doned on an island in the mid­dle of Lake Kivu to perish, unless rescued by a man of a despised and primitive Congo tribe, to be kept as a beast of burden with no rights.

    SINCE the Tutsi never tilled the soil, their demands for labor were light. Hutu duties included attendance on the lord during his travels; carry­ing messages; helping to re­pair the master’s compound; guarding his cows. The reia­tionsiiip could be ended at any time by either party. A patron had no right to hold an unwilling “client” in his service.

    It has been said that serf­dom in Europe was destroyed by the invention of the horse

    UNTIL the First World War the kingdoms were part of German East Africa. Then Bel­gium took them over, under the name of Ruanda‐Urundi, as a trust territory, first for the League of Nations, then under the U. N. Although the Belgian educational system, based on Roman Catholic mis­sions, was conservative in out­look, and Belgian adminis­trators made no calculated attempt to undo Tutsi feudal­ism, Western ideas inevitably crept in. So did Western eco­nomic notions through the in­troduction of coffee cultiva­tion, which opened to the Hutu a road to independence, by­passing the Tutsi cattle‐based economy. And Belgian authori­ty over Tutsi notables, even over the sacred Mwami him­self, inevitably damaged their prestige. The Belgians even de­posed one obstructive Mwami. About ten years ago, the Belgians tried to persuade the Tutsi to let some of the Hutu into their complex structure of government. In Burundi, the Tutsi ruling caste realized its cuanger just in time and agreed to share some of its powers with the Hutu majority. But in Rwanda, until the day the system toppled, no Hutu was appointed by the Tatsi over­lords to a chief’s position. A tight, rigid, exclusive Tutsi aristocracy continued to rule the land.

    The Hutu grew increasingly

    WHEN order was restored, there were reckoned to be 21,­000 Tutsi refugees in Burundi, 14,000 in Tanganyika, 40,000 in Uganda and 60,000 in the Kivu province of the Con­go. The Red Cross did its best to cope in camps improvised by local governments.

    Back in Rwanda, municipal elections were held for the first time—and swept the Hutu into power. The Parmehutu —Parti d’Emancipation des Hu­tus—founded only in October 1959, emerged on top, formed a coalition government, and after some delays proclaimed a republic, to which the Bel­gians, unwilling to face a colonial war, gave recognition in terms of internal self‐gov­ernment.

    In 1962, the U.N. proclaimed Belgium’s trusteeship at an end, and, that same year, a general election held under U.N. supervision confirmed the Hutu triumph. With full in­dependence, a new chapter be­gan — the Hutu chapter.

    Rwanda and Burundi split. Burundi has the only large city, Usumbura (population: 50,000), as its capital. With a mixed Tutsi‐Hutu govern­ment, it maintains an uneasy peace. It remains a kingdom, with a Tutsi monarch. Every­one knows and likes the jovial Mwami, Mwambutsa IV, whose height is normal, whose rule

    As its President, Rwanda chose Grégoire Kayibanda, a 39‐year‐old Roman Catholic seminarist who, on the verge of ordination, chose politics in­stead. Locally educated by the Dominicans, he is a protégé of the Archbishop of Rwanda whose letter helped spark the first Hutu uprising. Faithful to his priestly training, he shuns the fleshpots, drives a Volkswagen instead of the Rolls or Mercedes generally favored by an African head of state and, suspicious of the lure of wicked cities, lives on a hilltop outside the town of Kigali, said to be the smallest capital city in the world, with some 7,000 inhabitants, a sin­gle paved street, no hotels, no telephone and a more or less permanent curfew.

    Mr. Kayibanda’s Christian and political duties, as he sees them, have fused into an im­placable resolve to destroy for­ever the last shreds of Tutsi power—if necessary by obliter­ating the entire Tutsi race. Last fall, Rwanda still held between 200,000 and 250,000 Tutsi, reinforced by refugees drifting back from the camps, full of bitterness and humilia­tion. In December, they were joined by bands of Tutsi spear­men from Burundi, who with the courage of despair, and outnumbered 10 to 1, attacked the Hutu. Many believe they were egged on by Mwami Ki­geri V, who since 1959 had been fanning Tutsi racial prideand calling for revenue.

    THE result of the attacks was to revive all the cumula­tive hatred of the Tutsi for past injustices. The winds of anti‐colonialism sweeping Af­rica do not distinguish be­tween white and black colo­nialists. The Hutu launched a ruthless war of extermina­tion that is still going on. Tut­si villages are stormed and their inhabitants clubbed or hacked to death, burned alive or herded into crocodile‐infest­ed rivers.

    What will become of the Tutsi? One urgent need is out­side help for the Urundi Gov­ernment in resettling the masses of refugees who have fled to its territory. Urundi’s mixed political set‐up is rea­sonably democratic, if not al­ways peaceful (witness the assassination of the Crown Prince by a political opponent

    In a sense the Tutsi have brought their tragic fate on themselves. They are paying now the bitter price of ostrich­ism, a stubborn refusal to move with the times. The Bourbons of Africa, they are meeting the Bourbon destiny—to be obliterated by the people they have ruled and patron­ized.

    The old relationship could survive no longer in a world, as E. M. Forster has described it, of “telegrams and anger;” a world of bogus democracy turning into one‐party states, of overheated U.N. assemblies, of press reports and dema­gogues, a world where (as in the neighboring Congo) a for­mer Minister of Education leads bands of tribesmen armed with arrows to mutilate women missionaries.

    THE elegant and long‐legged Tutsi with their dances and their epic poetry, their lyre­horned cattle and superb bas­ketwork and code of seemly behavior, had dwindled into tourist fodder. The fate of all species, institutions or individ­uais who will not, or cannot. adapt caught up with them. Those who will not bend must break.

    For the essence of the situ­ation in an Africa increasingly

    NOW, not just the white men have gone, or are going; far more importantly, the eld­ers and their authority, the whole chain of command from ancestral spirits, through the chief and his council to the obedient youth are being swept away. This hierarchy is being replaced by the “young men,” the untried, unsettled, uncer­tain, angry and confused gen­eration who, with a thin ve­neer of ill‐digested Western education, for the first time in Africa’s long history have taken over power from their fathers.

    It is a major revolution in­deed, whose first results are only just beginning to show up and whose outcome cannot be seen. There is only one safe prediction: that it will be vio­lent, unpredictable, bloody and cruel, as it is proving for the doomed Tutsi of Rwanda.

    #Ruanda #Burundi #histoire #Tutsi #Congo


  • Decades in the making: The Iranian drone program | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

    https://thebulletin.org/decades-making-iranian-drone-program11185

    This summer, Iran’s drone program became the latest component of the country’s defense sector to make headlines. In August, an unarmed Iranian drone reportedly came within 100 feet of an American fighter jet in the Persian Gulf. Earlier in the summer, the United States downed two Iranian drones, which it said, were flying in close proximity to US-backed ground forces in Syria. In June, Pakistan too stated it had shot down an Iranian drone flying in its airspace.

    These incidents put the Iranian drone program on Western observers’ radars as a new potential threat associated with the Islamic Republic. But Iran’s drone program actually started decades ago and serves a number of military and civil purposes. As Tehran deploys its drones more regularly, for more purposes and in more locations, policy-makers will have to understand the program’s nature, scope, strengths, and limitations if they want to effectively respond to it.

    #drones #iran #syrie #israël #bombardement


  • Bahrain’s Biggest Oil Find Since 1932 Dwarfs Reserves - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-01/bahrain-says-its-biggest-oil-find-since-1932-dwarfs-reserves

    • Kingdom currently has two fields, one shared with Saudi Arabia
     • New undersea deposit lies off Gulf nation’s western coast

    Bahrain, the smallest energy producer in the Persian Gulf, discovered its biggest oil field since it started producing crude in 1932, according to the country’s official news agency.

    The shale oil and natural gas discovered in a deposit off the island state’s west coast “ is understood to dwarf Bahrain’s current reserves, ”Bahrain News Agency reported, without giving figures. U.S. consultants DeGolyer & MacNaughton Corp. evaluated the field, and Bahrain plans to provide additional details on Wednesday about the reservoir’s “size and extraction viability,” BNA reported.
    […]
    Bahrain discovered the offshore Khaleej Al Bahrain Basin as it seeks to expand output capacity at its wholly owned Bahrain Field to 100,000 barrels a day by the end of the decade. The country is pumping about 45,000 barrels of oil a day from its Bahrain Field, and it shares income from a deposit with Saudi Arabia that produces about 300,000 barrels a day, according to figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

    • Bahrain Seeks Big Oil’s Help to Develop New Shale Discovery - Bloomberg
      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-04/bahrain-seeks-big-oil-help-to-develop-its-new-shale-discovery

      The amount of oil and gas that can be recovered from hard-to-reach pockets in shale rocks under the sea is uncertain, and development is potentially an expensive proposition. Halliburton Co. will drill two wells this year in the offshore Khaleej Al Bahrain Basin to appraise how much of the oil contained underground is actually recoverable.

      Only a fraction of the 80-plus billion barrels is likely to be recoverable,” Tom Quinn, senior analyst for Middle East upstream at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd., said by email. “The oil will also be technically challenging and potentially high cost to develop,” while Bahrain’s previous oil contracts offered meager returns for international oil companies, he said.
      […]

      Elsewhere in the Middle East, differences between estimated shale resources and the amounts that are exploitable can be great. Oman’s Rub Al-Khali Basin area contains an estimated 24 billion barrels of oil, but only 1.2 billion barrels are “technically recoverable,” according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Jordan’s Wadi Sirhan Basin resource holds about 4 billion barrels, and just 100 million can be extracted, according to the EIA. Both deposits are onshore.

      In addition Bahrain’s sole wholly owned field, the country shares income from a separate deposit with Saudi Arabia that produced 153,500 barrels a day in 2016, according to the International Energy Agency. The government needs oil at $118 a barrel, almost twice the current price, to balance this year’s budget.

      The newly discovered field should provide support for Bahrain’s “very strained fiscal situation,” said John Sfakianakis, director of economic research at the Gulf Research Center in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. “It will provide additional cushion, depending on when the stream of oil comes into play and the price of oil at that point.

    • Bahrain Shale Find Puts Oil Market on Notice

      The Global Oil Market Is About to Be Upended - Bloomberg
      https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-04-10/the-global-oil-market-is-about-to-be-upended

      Bahrain discovered the first oil on the Arab side of the Gulf in 1932. It took a long time for the small island to find anything of similar significance, but its recent announcement of an enormous shale oil resource under its shallow waters should not be underestimated: Commercial offshore shale oil production would be a first for the worldwide industry.

      Perhaps more significant is that this discovery has the potential to boost Middle East output, while raising the odds that shale oil production outside the U.S. and Canada finally takes off. The Middle East has the advantages of good geology, existing petroleum infrastructure, and a lack of environmental or community opposition.


  • Kaczynski’s comments on McVeigh
    http://www.3-3-3.org/docs/Kaczynski%27s+comments%20on%20McVeigh.htm
    La psychologie d’un terroriste étatsunien décrite par un autre terroriste étatsunien

    The following is from Appendix B, pages 398 - 402 of the book American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh & the Oklahoma city bombing by Lou Michel and Dan Herbeck.
    On April 25, 2000, convicted Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski sent a letter to the authors of this book detailing his impressions of Timothy McVeigh. Its text---eleven pages in the handwritten original---is reproduced here in full.

    I should begin by noting that the validity of my comments about McVeigh is limited by the fact that I didn’t know him terribly well. We were often put in the outdoor rec yard together in separate wire-mesh cages, but I always spent most of the rec period running in a small oval, because of the restricted area of the cages and consequently I had only about 15 or 20 minutes of each rec period for talking with other inmates. Also, I was at first reluctant to become friendly with McVeigh because I thought (correctly) that any friendly relations between McVeigh and me would be reported to the media and I also thought (incorrectly, it seems) that such reports would lose me many supporters. But my reluctance very soon passed away: When you’re confined with other people under the conditions that exist on this range of cells, you develop a sense of solidarity with them regardless of any differences or misgivings.

    On a personal level I like McVeigh and I imagine that most people would like him. He was easily the most outgoing of all the inmates on our range of cells and had excellent social skills. He was considerate of others and knew how to deal with people effectively. He communicated somehow even with the inmates on the range of cells above ours, and, because he talked with more people, he always knew more about what was going on than anyone else on our range.

    Another reason why he knew more about what was going on was that he was very observant. Up to a point, I can identify with this trait of McVeigh’s. When you’ve lived in the woods for a while you get so that your senses are far more alert than those of a city person; you will hardly miss a footprint, or even a fragment of one, and the slightest sound, if it deviates from the pattern of sounds that you’re expecting to hear at a given time and place, will catch your attention. But when I was away from the woods, or even when I was in my cabin or absorbed in some task, my senses tended to turn inward, so to speak, and the observant alertness was shut off. Here at the ADX, my senses and my mind are turned inward most of the time, so it struck me as remarkable that even in prison McVeigh remained alert and consistently took an interest in his surroundings.

    It is my impression that McVeigh is very intelligent. He thinks seriously about the problems of our society, especially as they relate to the issue of individual freedom, and to the extent that he expressed his ideas to me they seemed rational and sensible. However, he discussed these matters with me only to a limited extent and I have no way of being sure that he does not have other ideas that he did not express to me and that I would not consider rational or sensible. I know almost nothing about McVeigh’s opinions concerning the U.S. government or the events at Waco and Ruby Ridge. Someone sent me a transcript of his interview with 60 Minutes, but I haven’t read it yet. Consequently, I have no way of knowing whether I would consider his opinion on these subjects to be rational or sensible.

    McVeigh is considered to belong to the far right, and for that reason some people apparently assume that he has racist tendencies. But I saw no indication of this. On the contrary, he was on very friendly terms with the African-American inmates here and I never heard him make any remark that could have been considered even remotely racist. I do recall his mentioning that prior to the Gulf War, he and other soldiers were subjected to propaganda designed to make them hate the people they were going to fight, but when he arrived in the Persian Gulf area he discovered that the “enemies” he was supposed to kill were human beings just like himself, and he learned to respect their culture.

    McVeigh told me of his idea (which I think may have significant merit) that certain rebellious elements on the American right and left respectively had more in common with one another than is commonly realized, and that the two groups ought to join forces. This led us to discuss, though only briefly, the question of what constitutes the “right.” I pointed out that the word “right,” in the political sense, was originally associated with authoritarianism, and I raised the question of why certain radically anti-authoritarian groups (such as the Montana Freemen) were lumped together with authoritarian factions as the “right.” McVeigh explained that the American far right could be roughly divided into two branches, the fascist/racist branch, and the individualistic or freedom-loving branch which generally was not racist. He did not know why these two branches were lumped together as the “right,” but he did suggest a criterion that could be used to distinguish left from right: the left (in America today) generally dislikes firearms, while the right tends to be attracted to firearms.

    By this criterion McVeigh himself would have to be assigned to the right. He once asked me what kind of rifle I’d used for hunting in Montana, and I said I’d had a .22 and a .30-06. On a later occasion McVeigh mentioned that one of the advantages of a .30-06 was that one could get armor-piercing ammunition for it. I said, “So what would I need armor-piercing ammunition for?” In reply, McVeigh indicated that I might some day want to shoot at a tank. I didn’t bother to argue with him, but if I’d considered it worth the trouble I could have given the obvious answer: that the chances that I would ever have occasion to shoot at a tank were very remote. I think McVeigh knew well that there was little likelihood that I would ever need to shoot at a tank---or that he would either, unless he rejoined the Army. My speculative interpretation is that McVeigh resembles many people on the right who are attracted to powerful weapons for their own sake and independently of any likelihood that they will ever have a practical use for them. Such people tend to invent excuses, often far-fetched ones, for acquiring weapons for which they have no real need.

    But McVeigh did not fit the stereotype of the extreme right-wingers. I’ve already indicated that he spoke of respect for other people’s cultures, and in doing so he sounded like a liberal. He certainly was not a mean or hostile person, and I wasn’t aware of any indication that he was super patriotic. I suspect that he is an adventurer by nature, and America since the closing of the frontier has had little room for adventurers.

    McVeigh never discussed the Oklahoma City bombing with me, nor did he ever make any admissions in my hearing. I know nothing about that case except what the media have said, so I’m not going to offer any opinion about whether McVeigh did what they say he did. However, assuming that the Oklahoma City bombing was intended as a protest against the U.S. government in general and against the government’s actions at Waco in particular, I will say that I think the bombing was a bad action because it was unnecessarily inhumane.

    A more effective protest could have been made with far less harm to innocent people. Most of the people who died at Oklahoma City were, I imagine, lower-level government employees---office help and the like---who were not even remotely responsible for objectionable government policies or for the events at Waco. If violence were to be used to express protest, it could have been used far more humanely, and at the same time more effectively, by being directed at the relatively small number of people who were personally responsible for the policies or actions to which the protesters objected. Such protest would have attracted just as much national attention as the Oklahoma City bombing and would have involved relatively little risk to innocent people. Moreover, the protest would have earned far more sympathy than the Oklahoma City bombing did, because it is safe to assume that many anti-government people who might have accepted violence that was more limited and carefully directed were repelled by the large loss of innocent life at Oklahoma City.

    The media teach us to be horrified at the Oklahoma City bombing, but I won’t have time to be horrified at it as long as there are greater horrors in the world that make it seem insignificant by comparison. Moreover, our politicians and our military kill people in far larger numbers than was done at Oklahoma City, and they do so for motives that are far more cold blooded and calculating. On orders from the president, a general will kill some thousands of people (usually including many civilians regardless of efforts to avoid such losses) without bothering to ask himself whether the killing is justified. He has to follow orders because his only other alternative would be to resign his commission, and naturally he would rather kill a few thousand people than spoil his career. The politicians and the media justify these actions with propaganda about “defending freedom.” However, even if America were a free society (which it is not), most U.S. military action during at least the last couple of decades has not been necessary for the survival of American society but has been designed to protect relatively narrow economic or political interests or to boost the president’s approval rating in the public-opinion polls.

    The media portray the killing at Oklahoma City as a ghastly atrocity, but I remember how they cheered the U.S. action in the Gulf War just as they might have cheered for their favorite football team. The whole thing was treated as if it were a big game. I didn’t see any sob stories about the death agonies of Iraqi soldiers or about their grieving families. It’s easy to see the reason for the difference: America’s little wars are designed to promote the interests of “the system,” but violence at home is dangerous to the system, so the system’s propaganda has to teach us the correspondingly correct attitudes toward such events. Yet I am much less repelled by powerless dissidents who kill a couple hundred because they think they have no other way to effectively state their protest, than I am by politicians and generals---people in positions of great power---who kill hundreds or thousands for the sake of cold calculated political and economic advantages.

    You asked for my thoughts on the behavior of federal law enforcement officers. My personal experience suggests that federal law enforcement officers are neither honest nor competent, and that they often disobey their own rules.

    I’ve found by experience that any communication with journalists is risky for one in my position. I’m taking the risk in this case mainly because I think that McVeigh would want me to help you in the way that I have. As I indicated near the beginning of this letter, when you’re locked up with other people you develop a sense of solidarity with them in spite of any differences.

    Sincerely yours, Ted Kaczynski.

    #USA #terrorisme #psychologie


  • Three Years Into the #Yemen War, a Collective of Women Street Artists Cope With the Destruction

    SUBAY’S PIECES RANGE widely, addressing the gruesome effects of shelling and landmines but also paying tribute to the less tangible tragedies of war. Apart from the thousands of civilian lives lost — rough estimates suggest numbers between 5,000 and 11,000 civilians have been killed directly by military strikes, while around twice as many have been injured — the war between rebels and a Saudi Arabian-led coalition of Persian Gulf states has wrought havoc on virtually every aspect of Yemeni life. Over 1 million Yemenis have been afflicted by diseases such as cholera and diptheria, a crisis compounded by the collapse of more than half the country’s healthcare system. Inflation, blockades, and rampant unemployment have reduced the Yemeni economy by nearly half, while imports of crucial food and fuel supplies remain at a near-standstill, contributing to widespread shortages. An estimated 8.4 million Yemenis hover on the brink of famine. All told, the U.N. estimates that 22 million of the country’s 25 million citizens are in need of humanitarian aid.

    “There is no normal life for anyone,” said Subay, “people live in fear and hopelessness.”

    Even so, Subay’s work has offered her a sense of self-assertion and pride, however slight, and has inspired other women to join her in the campaign. Today, one of Subay’s most loyal teammates is 27-year-old Sabreen Al Mahjali. Al Mahjali accompanied Subay for her first mural — not as a painter, but as a guardian. “I was worried for her,” Al Mahjali recalled over video chat. “I thought maybe men would give her trouble for being on the street. And some men did bother us, but it wasn’t too much.” Watching Subay work, Al Mahjali was captivated: “I’m not a painter or an artist, but I wanted to take part in this message. I am a Yemeni and a woman, and I wanted to leave my mark.” Al Mahjali’s latest piece depicts a clenched fist inside the universal symbol for “woman.”

    https://theintercept.com/2018/03/26/yemen-war-three-year-anniversary-haifa-subay-street-art


  • En Arabie saoudite, la lutte contre la corruption tout ça... Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Identified as Buyer of Record-Breaking da Vinci
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/saudi-arabias-crown-prince-identified-as-buyer-of-record-breaking-da-vinci-1512

    Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is the buyer of a painting by Leonardo da Vinci that sold for a record $450.3 million last month, according to U.S. government intelligence and a Saudi art-world figure familiar with the purchase, a disclosure that offers a rare glimpse inside a rivalry between two Persian Gulf nations to scoop up some of the world’s masterpieces.

    Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed, a lesser-known figure and a distant relative of the crown prince, was the nominal winner of the auction, held at Christie’s in November, the Saudi art-world figure said, “but he is a proxy for MBS.”

    “It is a fact that this deal was done via a proxy,” the person said.

    The revelation that the crown prince is the purchaser of the sought-after portrait of Jesus Christ —the most expensive painting ever sold at auction—settles one of the biggest mysteries in the art world. And it comes at a fraught political moment for the 32-year-old Saudi leader, who is trying to portray himself as a reformer determined to root out corruption in the oil-rich kingdom.


  • The Chennai Six - Justice for Crew of M/V Seaman Guard Ohio – gCaptain
    http://gcaptain.com/chennai-six-justice-crew-mv-seaman-guard-ohio

    Some stories are worth telling over, this is one.  Perhaps the reader will recall a rather spectacular international story from 2013 regarding an anti-piracy ship called the ‘Seaman Guard Ohio’.  It was a floating armory ship owned by an American company named AdvanFort.  The ship contracted and supplied mobile ‘anti-piracy’ personnel to merchant vessels transiting the dangerous waters of the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf.  In-between assignments the guards would stand by on the ship for ready deployment.
    […]
    After many delays involving nearly another year of time, on January 11, 2016, the ship’s entire complement was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison. Lawyers for the crew members and guards appealed the decision in late 2016, and to date are still awaiting an answer from the Indian courts. As of this writing, the men have served over two years of their five-year sentence. There have been multiple discussions between both governments regarding the case, so far to no avail. There is currently an effort underway to submit a petition to the Chief Justice of the Indian Supreme Court, likely the last chance the men have to overturn the decision.

    #sombre_histoire


  • Two months into Saudi-led boycott, tiny #Qatar goes on the offensive - The Washington Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/two-months-into-saudi-led-boycott-tiny-qatar-goes-on-the-offensive/2017/08/08/de7ea3e0-7880-11e7-8c17-533c52b2f014_story.html

    Two months into the isolation campaign, the energy-rich Persian Gulf nation has used its billions to strengthen its economy and security. It has announced reforms and bolstered ties with Turkey and Iran that could potentially reshape the region and its alliances for years.

    Efforts by the United States to mediate between its close allies have not succeeded. Instead, the crisis is acrimoniously playing out in diplomatic and legal venues.

    “It’s now personal, which in some ways makes it more difficult to find a way for both sides to step down,” said Perry Cammack, a Middle East analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “This is likely to fester for some time.”


  • Saudi Aramco Awards First Major Contract for $5 Billion Maritime Yard in Gulf – gCaptain
    http://gcaptain.com/saudi-aramco-awards-first-major-contract-for-persian-gulfs-5-billion-marit

    Saudi Aramco has signed the first major contract for Saudi Arabia’s $5.2 billion maritime and shipbuilding complex planned for the Persian Gulf.

    The contract was awarded to a consortium of Saudi Archirodon Company Ltd and Huta Hegerfeld AG Saudia Company for dredging, reclamation and marine structures for the King Salman International Complex for Maritime Industries and Services in #Ras_Al-Khair, located just north of Jubail on Saudi Arabia’s east cost.

    The scope of the contract includes dredging and reclamation of approximately 37 million cubic meters of fill, in addition to 7.4 million square meters ground improvement. The contract will also provide for constructing 4,500 linear meters of concrete quay walls and wharves, in addition to 12,000 linear meters of rock retaining walls and breakwaters to protect the integrity of the complex, Saudi Aramco said in a press release. Execution of the initial phase of the contract is expected to be completed by 2020.


  • Farsnews
    http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960418000768

    A leading Egyptian newspaper released a number of documents proving that Saudi Arabia’s new Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his counterpart in Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan have long been supporting the ISIL and al-Qaeda terrorist groups’ global operations.

    “A leaked document in Qatar’s embassy and a letter to Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani on October 26, 2016, show Mohammed bin Salman and Mohammed bin Zayed’s support for certain key al-Qaeda members in the Arabian Peninsula,” Arabic language al-Badil newspaper wrote.

    (...) The Henry Jackson Society — a right-wing think tank — said that overseas funding primarily from the governments and private charities of Persian Gulf countries has a “clear and growing link” to the onslaught of violence the UK and other western states.

    The group estimated that the Saudi government and charities spent an estimated $4 billion exporting Saudi Arabia’s strict interpretation of Islam, known as Wahhabism (also practiced by ISIL and other terrorist groups), worldwide in 2015, up from $2 billion in 2007. In 2015, there were 110 mosques in the UK practicing Salafism and Wahhabism compared to 68 in 2007. The money is primarily funneled through mosques and Islamic schools in Britain, according to the report.


  • How Iran Recruited Afghan Refugees to Fight Assad’s War

    BAMIAN, Afghanistan — War and poverty have scattered Afghans across the globe like pieces of shrapnel. Millions of Afghans came of age in refugee camps in Pakistan and Iran or as workers in the Persian Gulf nations. The migration continues. The past few years have added a new lethal geography to the Afghan diaspora: the battlefields of President Bashar al-Assad’s Syria.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/30/opinion/sunday/iran-afghanistan-refugees-assad-syria.html?smid=tw-share
    #iran #guerre #syrie #conflit #réfugiés #réfugiés_afghans #Afghanistan


  • US signs deal to supply F-15 jets to Qatar after Trump terror claims | World news | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/15/us-signs-deal-to-supply-f-15-jets-to-qatar-after-trump-terror-claims

    The US and Qatar have signed a $12bn deal to supply dozens of F-15 jets to the tiny gas-rich Gulf emirate, despite recent high-profile claims by President Donald Trump alleging Qatar’s “high-level funding” of terrorism.

    The signing of the deal on Wednesday is the latest twist in the highly contradictory US diplomacy over the crisis around Qatar – now in its second week – with the emirate targeted by a Saudi-led embargo.

    Hailed by Qatar, the deal underlines the reigning confusion inside the Trump administration as it handles one of its first big foreign policy crises, which was in large part triggered by Trump.

    • La demande avait été acceptée dans son principe en novembre 2016 (sous BHO donc) pour un montant de 21,1 $Mds

      Government of Qatar – F-15QA Aircraft with Weapons and Related Support | The Official Home of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency
      http://www.dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/government-qatar-f-15qa-aircraft-weapons-and-related-support

      The Government of Qatar requested to purchase seventy-two (72) F-15QA multi-role fighter aircraft and associated weapons package; the provision for continental United States based Lead-in-Fighter-Training for the F-15QA; associated ground support; training materials; mission critical resources and maintenance support equipment; the procurement for various weapon support and test equipment spares; technical publications; personnel training; simulators and other training equipment; U.S. Government and contractor engineering; technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated total program value is $21.1 billion.

      This proposed sale enhances the foreign policy and national security of the United State by helping to improve the security of a friendly country and strengthening our strategically important relationship. Qatar is an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Persian Gulf region. Our mutual defense interests anchor our relationship and the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) plays a predominant role in Qatar’s defense.

      Ça fait drôle de relire la motivation aujourd’hui…


  • OPEC’s LNG Giant Keeps Exporting Gas and Oil as Saudis Cut Ties - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-05/saudi-led-isolation-of-lng-giant-doesn-t-stop-gas-or-oil-exports

    Qatar, the world’s biggest seller of liquefied natural gas, can still access shipping routes to deliver oil and gas to buyers after Saudi Arabia and other neighboring states barred the emirate from exporting through their territorial waters.

    State producer Qatargas told Japan’s Jera Co. that it would keep supplying LNG as normal in spite of the Saudi-led severing of diplomatic ties with Qatar, Jera spokesman Atsuo Sawaki said by phone. Jera is Japan’s biggest buyer of Qatari LNG under long-term contracts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

    The escalation of tensions in the energy-rich Persian Gulf probably won’t disrupt LNG supplies to Qatar’s main customers in Asia, according to Robin Mills, head of Dubai-based consultant Qamar Energy. “In principle Qatar should still be able to export via its own waters, Iran and Oman,” Mills said.
    […]
    Aside from sending LNG and oil by ship, Qatar exports natural gas through a pipeline operated by Dolphin Energy, which is owned by Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Co., Total SA and Occidental Petroleum Corp. The link supplies gas to the U.A.E. and Oman and can send 3.2 billion cubic feet per day, though it only uses about two-thirds of that capacity.

    Gas continues to flow normally through the Dolphin pipeline to the U.A.E. and Oman, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. There is no sign that supplies will be cut, they said, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

    A potential shutdown of the pipeline would cause a “severe problem” in the U.A.E. as demand for electricity peaks in the summer, Mills said. But he played down the likelihood that either country would halt supplies due to the hardship this would cause the U.A.E. and the damage it would inflict on Qatar’s reputation as a reliable energy provider.

    #nuit_torride


  • Aleppo After the Fall - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/24/magazine/aleppo-after-the-fall.html

    One tragedy of Aleppo is that this rift between rich and poor was slowly mending in the years just before the 2011 uprisings. An economic renaissance was underway, fueled by thousands of small factories on the city’s outskirts. The workers were mostly from eastern Aleppo, and the owners from the west. A trade deal with Turkey, whose border is just 30 miles to the north, brought new business and tourists and optimism. I remember sitting at cafe table with two Turkish traders just outside the citadel in late 2009. Tourists thronged all around us, and the two men talked excitedly about how new joint ventures were melting the animosity between their country and Syria. “Erdogan and Assad, they are like real friends,” one of them said, referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.

    This kind of optimism was one reason the revolution took so long to reach Aleppo. All through 2011, as the rest of Syria erupted in protest, its largest city was quiet. But by 2012, in the villages just beyond the city’s edges, weaponry was flowing in from across the Turkish border and battalions were being formed. “The countryside was boiling,” I was told by Adnan Hadad, an opposition activist who was there at the time and belonged to the Revolutionary Military Council in Aleppo, a group led by Syrian military officers who defected. The council was eager for more European and American recognition and sensitive to Western calls for the preservation of most of Syria’s state institutions. But local rural people tended to side with a more Islamist and less patient group called Liwa al-Tawheed. Tawheed’s members “considered themselves more authentic” and had begun getting their own funding from Persian Gulf donors, Hadad told me. In the spring of 2012, Tawheed’s members began pushing for a military takeover of Aleppo, accusing the council of excessive caution and even secret deals with the regime. The council resisted, saying they should move only when it was clear that the city’s people wanted them to. In July, Tawheed took matters into its own hands. Armed insurgents flooded eastern and southwestern parts of the city, taking over civilian houses as well as police stations in the name of the revolution. Hadad considered the move a “fatal mistake,” he told me, and resigned from the military council.

    By then, eastern Aleppo had become a rebel stronghold. In early 2013, elections for provincial councils took place, giving the rebels a civilian veneer. But the councils, initially funded by the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, were soon under pressure from the Nusra Front, the Syrian Qaeda affiliate, and other hard-line groups. Later, ISIS forces captured parts of the city and forced residents to live by their rigid code. In theory, Aleppo was an embattled showplace for the Syrian revolution’s aspirations. In fact, most civilians were dependent on a patchwork of armed rebel factions for food and protection. The constant pressure of war left almost no room for a real economy, and many of the city’s factories had been repurposed by the rebels as military bases.


  • America’s Misadventures in the Middle East - Chas Freeman
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/americas-misadventures-in-the-middle-east

    The United States is a secular democracy. It has no intrinsic interest in which theology rules hearts or dominates territory in the Middle East. It is not itself now dependent on energy imports from the Persian Gulf or the Maghreb. For most of the two-and-a-half centuries since their country was born, Americans kept a healthy distance from the region and were unharmed by events there. They extended their protection to specific nations in the Middle East as part of a global struggle against Soviet communism that is long past. What happens in the region no longer determines the global balance of power.

    U.S. wars in the Middle East are—without exception—wars of choice. These wars have proven ruinously expensive and injurious to the civil liberties of Americans. They have poisoned American political culture with various manifestations of xenophobia. Islamophobia has transitioned naturally to anti-Semitism and other forms of racism and bigotry. In the region itself, American military interventions have produced more anarchy than order, more terror than tranquility, more oppression than democratization, and more blowback than pacification.

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