Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

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…)

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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…)

It was difficult to work out exactly what is behind the ‘Qatar Diplomatic Crisis’ that seemed to suddenly emerge early in June.

The Qatar diplomatic crisis apparently began on 5th June when several countries – principally Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE – abruptly cut off diplomatic relations. This included trade and travel bans.

Subsequent to this, the Saudi-led group of governments has issued an ultimatum to Qatar in the form of a list of demands that the Gulf State will have to meet.

Why? On the surface of it, Saudi Arabia and the other countries have criticised Qatar for funding terrorist organisations. There has also been criticism of Qatar’s relations with Iran and criticism too of the Al-Jazeera broadcaster that is based in Qatar.

Donald Trump joined in, endorsing the isolation of Qatar and accusing it of being a state sponsor of terrorism. (more…)

I came across this old footage of Syria’s First Lady, Asma al-Assad, and found the content of her talk here striking: and also somewhat poignant, given when it was made and what has happened since.

Given the current situation and escalating tensions, I thought this was well worth sharing. In this talk, from way back in 2008, London-born Asma al-Assad (or ‘Emma’ from Acton) is addressing an international charity and talking about Syria in particular and the Middle East in general and her experiences.

In doing so, she touches on the popular international misconceptions about the region, as well as refugees, and the right of the Syrian people to live in peace and with dignity. (more…)

Aaaaaannd… here we are again.
Hope you enjoyed the brief break from the Neo-Con/regime-change program: but we’re back to the regularly scheduled program. Chemical attack in Syria against civilians. Assad must go. A line has been crossed. Let loose the dogs of war. Etc. 

Suddenly, after all the false hopes of a changing foreign policy that would accompany the Trump administration’s arrival, President Trump himself now says he has changed his mind (literally) about Bashar Assad.

I’m not particularly surprised by all of this sleight-of-hand and I always have the view that pre-existing, longstanding foreign policy agendas are designed not to be undermined by incoming officials or pesky changes in administration. (more…)

standoff in syria

I was asked by Dr Leon Tressell to re-post this very lengthy article he recently published at SouthFront. In it, he provides a very thorough analysis of the situation now in Syria; and of the actions and motivations of the various players and power-blocs involved in the conflict and how the situation in Syria is likely to play out.

‘Do any these power blocs, that have carved out spheres of influence in northern Syria, offer a solution to the Syrian people’s desperate desire for peace and the reconstruction of their country?’ he asks. 

Below is the full article, reproduced here with his permission, including the original images and maps.  (more…)

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Opponents of US-led foreign interventions and wars may find themselves disappointed by the foreign policy paths the Trump-led White House ends up taking.

It hasn’t taken very long at all for the ill omens to appear. For all the talk of a new, inward-looking protectionism and a backing away from Neo-Con activity in the Middle East, suspicions build that the new administration may be all set to continue the Neo-Con agenda and soon commence hostile activity against Iran.

The accusations being leveled at Iran by President Trump and his Islamophobic National Security Adviser Michael Flynn (the “Islam is a cancer” guy) concerning alleged Iranian violations of the nuclear treaty are likely manufactured to try to mislead the American public into accepting military action against Iran. (more…)