Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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This year’s Christmas sermon was originally going to be like last year’s and focus on an element of the Nativity tradition; instead, given current events and the popular reaction to them, I decided to go with a different subject – specifically, Islam and Christianity.

There is now, perhaps inevitably, a growing trend in some sections of Western commentary to see things in terms of a Muslim/Christian divide; or the idea, more specifically, that Islam is a threat or enemy towards Christianity. To some extent, there is a sub-sect within Islam – a radical, extremist ideology – that probably could be described as a threat to Christian interests or ‘Christian values’; but that same sub-sect is also the same threat to mainstream Muslim communities and ‘values’ too – probably more so, in fact. (more…)

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It is difficult to look at the situation in Aleppo and not see it in a broader context. Not only of Syria, but of Libya, the past several years, and of the entire region. And of international affairs in general.

We probably shouldn’t; we should probably view different situations entirely in their own light. But I can’t help but look at Aleppo – both the fall of Aleppo to rebel militias and foreign-backed mercenaries and now the liberation or reclamation of Aleppo by Syrian government forces – and see it as a point on a timeline that goes all the way back to Benghazi, Tripoli, Sirte and elsewhere. (more…)

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You may have seen the reports circulating concerning the beheading of a child in Syria. (more…)

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‘False narratives and blatant lies continue to be put forth by the corporate media and lying “Human Rights” groups with ties to the CIA, US State Department and/or colour-revolution schemer George Soros…’ explains independent journalist Eva Bartlett. (more…)