Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

I wrote an article here a while ago about ‘The End of International Law‘: and how international law was being openly flouted on a casual basis by various parties, essentially rendering international law meaningless.

I wasn’t really talking about Israel much in that piece; but I should’ve been.

While long-term Zionist colonisation and (illegal) settlement-building in occupied territory has been going on for a long time, there was always a strong international consensus that those activities were illegal. Essentially, there still is: as evidenced by various UN Resolutions supported by various governments.

But it doesn’t seem to matter.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that, if he wins this Israeli election, he will extend Israeli sovereignty to the West Bank settlements. It isn’t really even a ‘bold’ statement anymore: but rather the boast of someone who knows he’s got his back covered by powerful allies. There’s little question that Netanyahu – and the Zionist hardliners in Israel – were massively emboldened by the arrival of the Trump/Kushner administration into office. (more…)

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I published a couple of pieces here last year, talking about how worrying and dangerous it was that the language – and indeed the policies – surrounding nuclear weapons appeared to be changing: and how this had ominous implications.

Why that subject particularly came into focus was because of the revised ‘US Nuclear Posture Review‘, which laid out a significant shift in both tone and policy (and which one observer had described as ‘the world’s most dangerous document’).

This seems to have been a very, very serious document with big implications – but it also appeared to have been broadly ignored by the media: despite concerns that the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) may have essentially been clearing the way for future nuclear-weapons-based mass murder on a par with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (more…)

In June 2014, a group of armed militants and extremists made their dramatic journey across the Syrian border into Iraq, quickly capturing Mosul and Baiji and almost reaching the capital Baghdad.

The group possessed convoys of identical Toyota trucks and the kind of arsenal some countries in the region would be envious of. The media was flooded with footage of drive-by shootings, large-scale death marches, mass executions and mass graves. Any Iraqi soldier captured was executed.

That incursion of the Islamic State (IS) brigades into Iraq was part of a planned military-intelligence operation supported covertly by various states.

The jihadists at some point appropriated entire truckloads of American humvees; they acquired helicopters, tanks, and artillery. They photographed and filmed themselves, openly broadcasting what they were doing all over social media. In spite of this, no attempt was made by the US or anyone else to stop them – not until after the group had already taken over entire cities or towns and begun its bloody crusade. (more…)

100 years ago, the First World War was a devastating conflict in which many millions of people lost their lives and in which the political, social and even geographical state of the world was changed forever.
But, far from being the “war to end all wars”, the consequences of World War I are very much still relevant, still being felt today, particularly in regard to the Middle East.

The First World War was, after all, thought of as “the war to end all wars”, but within less than a generation of that apocalyptic conflict came the Second World War, the causes of which were directly traceable to World War I and specifically the terms of the Treaty of Versailles and the treatment of Germany.

World War II then was arguably just a continuation of World War I. And the Cold War that followed World War II was arguably still a result of World War I and the Russian Revolution: in theory, the Cold War continued until the end of the 1980s.

But it’s fascinating to note how much of today’s conflict is rooted also in the events of the First World War.

For example, the situation currently occurring in the Middle East is directly traceable to the events of World War I, albeit via a much longer period of time; the Balfour Declaration, the creation of the modern State of Israel in Palestine, the Sykes-Picot agreement, the creation of the Saudi Kingdom and its continuing influence on the region and on international politics, the Colonial carving up of Iraq, Syria and the Middle East – these, among other things, are all traced back to the events of World War I or its immediate aftermath.

Strictly speaking, of course, the war did end in 1918. But, if you factor in conflicts or scenarios originating in that war and still going on now, then you could argue that the war certainly wasn’t wrapped up with a tidy little bow in 1918.

The argument that World War I never really ended (or, at least, that we’re still living in its enormous shadow) was reinforced by, of all things, the advent of the so-called Islamic State group and the bloody chaos that ripped apart the heart of the Middle East in recent years – with ‘ISIS’ having literally talked about “the end of Sykes-Picot” as part of its ill-conceived ‘manifesto’. (more…)

The murder of former Yemen president Ali Abdullah Saleh by Houthi rebels will simply guarantee continued and intensified attacks by the Saudi-led coalition that has been bombing Yemen since March 2015.

By Sunday, Houthi fighters had taken control of most of the capital, Sanaa, with intense battles going on in the city.

Saudi airstrikes didn’t prvent the Houthi fighters from reaching former President Saleh’s own home on Monday. Shortly after this, the reports began to circulate that he had been murdered, with some versions of the story claiming he had been taken out of the vehicle he had attempted to flee in and summarily executed by Houthi fighers acting no better than Al-Qaeda fighters or jihadists. (more…)

Official British events to mark the centennary of the Balfour Declaration could be seen as questionable, to say the least.

Theresa May’s commitment to the commemorations were promised to Benjamin Netanyahu some time ago – regardless of the fact that the it will leave a bitter taste in the mouths of many or that we’re talking about one of the most divisive documents in modern history.

Both the critics and supporters of Israel are guilty of propagating historical illiteracy about the origins and meaning of Zionism.

Some anti-Israel activists see Zionism in super-simplistic terms as a source of all evil or as a Nazi-style ideaology, while its defenders demonise or shut down anyone – Jewish or non-Jewish – who raises any questions.

The reality and the real history isn’t anything like as simple as either of those positions – real history never is. (more…)

I’ve been pondering this for some time; and have tried to somewhat lay out the subject as best as I can here in this article.

This is something of a thought-experiment; trying to track the various strands of consequences from a single event, but moreover, trying to understand why that event has everything to do with where we are now – and on multiple levels – in this first decade-and-a-half of the twenty-first century.

With all the bad things and negative situations going on in the world today, why have things come to this? How could most of this stuff – in the Middle East, in Europe, even in the US – have been avoided?

Could it have been avoided? (more…)

As expected and predicted, the danger of further conflict in both Iraq and the Middle East has become apparent again – this time centering on the issue of the Kurdish situation in Iraq.

In effect, it looks like the seeds for the next problem were already bearing fruit behind the surface of the ‘ISIS’ conflict.

Before the dust has even settled from the ongoing conflict with the so-called ‘Islamic State’, more conflict is already being generated. It’s like an endless conflict that keeps mutating and re-arranging itself so that it can continue in some new form or another: as if the ‘conflict’ itself is a living entity that keeps regenerating in some new configuration so that it always lives on. (more…)

Tense, divisive or controversial ‘referendums’ seem to be the in-thing right now.
Presently, a lot of coverage has been given to two independence referendums in different parts of the globe: one in Spain and one in Iraq.

Both referendums also have things in common.

Regarding the Catalonian independence referendum in Spain, I have no personal views on whether Catalonian independence is a good idea or not.

However, the apparent extent of the Spannish government’s attemps to derail, discourage or vilify the vote has reinforced my original suspicions some weeks ago that the apparent Barcelona terrorist attack (vehicle attack) wasn’t what it appeared to be – and may in fact have been a Deep State or Gladio style operation to intimidate Catalonians ahead of the vote and also to provide a pretext for sending armed military or police into the region ahead of the impending vote. (more…)