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Vorgestern, 12.47 Uhr:

Des Despoten Talent

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Nicht nur Bashar al-Assad versteht sich meisterlich darin, die Jihadisten, die er angenblich bekämpft, vorher entsprechend zu stärken, um sich dann als Retter des Landes zu verkaufen. Auch sein inzwischen dem Amt enthobener jemenitischer Amtskollege, der nun Verbündeter jener Houthis ist, gegen die eine von Saudi Arabien angeführte Allianz Luftangriffe fliegt, kannte die Regeln dieses Spiel, das offenbar, so durchsichtig es auch immer sein mag, noch immer funktioniert.

For years, the Americans saw President Ali Abdullah Saleh as a key ally in the fight against al-Qaeda. He allowed his air bases to be used by US drones to strike at the movement’s operatives, and gladly received Western aid in development cash and arms supplies.

Yet according to claims in a United Nations report last month, one of the first things Mr Saleh did when his three-decade rule was threatened by the 2011 Arab Spring was strike a secret deal to give an entire southern province to al-Qaeda. The more he could portray Yemen as falling into militant hands, he calculated, the more the West want to keep him in office at all costs.

27. März 2015, 10.46 Uhr:

Isis im Irak - Isis in Syrien

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Eine Analyse vom Mustafa Fahs, was Isis im Irak von Isis in Syrien unterscheidet, warum im Irak Isis de facto eine Fortführung der Baathpartei ist und unmöglich mit schiitischen Milizionären an vorderster Front besiegt werden kann:

In Iraq, 80% of ISIS members are Iraqis; they are the ones who give the orders, and they live in their own home environment. Most of them are former Baathists who lost their privileges after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime and the dissolution of the Iraqi Army. Armed extremist groups were exactly what they needed, so they allied with them and took advantage of their resources, using them as a tool to launch attacks against local authorities and the central government in Baghdad. For their part, Iraq’s local authorities failed to convince Baghdad to change the way it was treating the inhabitants of areas under their jurisdiction. This helped draw attention away from the conduct of the former Baathists; it made them more acceptable, and justified relying on them to confront the oppression and intentional negligence of the former government (especially Baghdad’s refusal to include the inhabitants of certain areas in political decision making.) Consequently, the Baathists were able to work their way into oppressed areas and succeeded in making residents of these places acclimate to their presence. Eventually, they finished their preparations and moved under the cover of ISIS to form the “caliphate state.” In various Iraqi areas and cities inhabitants were then forced to submit to the group. Now, they are caught between two fires: on one side they face ISIS and the aspirations of its Baathist contingent; on the other they face Baghdad and the goals of Tehran’s supporters.

The battle for Tikrit has led to a reversal of expectations. It has also drawn attention to the fact that the battle for Mosul will not be easy. That battle will have a high material, human and moral price. Underestimating it will cost Iraq its unity. The dilemma now lies in the difficulty of separating the residents of Sunni cities from the Baathists of the former regime. Separating these cities from ISIS will also be nearly impossible as their residents fear they will suffer what other cities have suffered at the hands of Shiite militias, and the central authorities are not providing any means of guaranteeing their safety. They feel that they are the victims of a process of systematic demolition led by Tehran. The goal, it seems to them, is to subdue Iraq once and for all and tear it away from its Arab surroundings.

ISIS has managed to succeed in Iraq because, for the most part, the situation there is a product of local reactions to oppression and the revenge-taking of Iraqi Baathists who either committed atrocities under Saddam or reject Shiite domination of Iraqi decision making. So, it could be said that in its current form a large section of the Islamic State’s Iraqi wing is an offshoot of the Baath Party.

26. März 2015, 11.46 Uhr:

Erste LGBT-Demo in Tunesien

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Aus Tunis:

First demonstration in Tunisia yesterday,hopefully the beginning of a sexual revolution,so brave

25. März 2015, 16.05 Uhr:

Interimsregierung vor dem Aus

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Soviel zur Unterstützung der ‘moderaten Opposition’ in Syrien:

Die von der Nationalen Koalition der syrischen Oppositionskräfte getragene Interimsregierung steht vor dem finanziellen Kollaps. Die 2013 von Katar bereitgestellten Mittel von 50 Millionen US-Dollar sind aufgebraucht. Schon seit Jahresbeginn kann die Regierung ihre Angestellten im türkischen Exil sowie in den von den sogenannten moderaten Rebellen kontrollierten Gebieten Syriens nur noch unregelmäßig bezahlen. Damit droht der Zusammenbruch einer Struktur, die mit internationaler Unterstützung staatliche Dienstleistungen im Bereich der Gesundheitsversorgung, Nahrungsmittelsicherheit und Bildung bereitstellen sollte. So wollten die syrische Opposition und ihre internationalen Unterstützer den Syrerinnen und Syrern eine glaubwürdige und konkrete Alternative zum Assad-Regime und zu militanten Islamisten bieten.

Die Nusra Front zumindest freut’s :

The Nusra Front, Syria’s al-Qaida affiliate, is consolidating power in territory stretching from the Turkish border to central and southern Syria, crushing moderate opponents and forcibly converting minorities using tactics akin to its ultraconservative rival, the Islamic State group.

But while the Islamic State group gets most of the attention largely because its penchant for gruesome propaganda, the Nusra Front quietly has become one of the key players in the four-year civil war, compromising other rebel groups the West may try to work with while increasingly enforcing its own brutal version of Islamic law.

Its scope of influence now abuts the Golan Heights bordering Israel, and its membership largely composed of Syrian nationals refuse any negotiations with the government of embattled President Bashar Assad, further complicating the brutal conflict.

24. März 2015, 22.51 Uhr:

US-Airforce des Iran

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Nun ist es ganz sozusagen offiziell. Die US-Airforce als iranische Luftwaffe:

The United States is taking part in joint military operations with Iran, admitting it is providing aerial surveillance over the current battle for Tikrit. (…) The United States is also said to be awaiting an imminent formal request for the coalition to join in military operations directly from the air, which it would be likely to grant.

This is the most significant example of direct collaboration between US forces and the militias, with their Iranian advisers.

The sight of American jets effectively acting as an air force for Iranian regional interests will further alarm critics at home and in the Arab Sunni world already looking nervously at a possible rapprochement between the two old foes after a possible deal on Tehran’s nuclear programme.

Über diese Kooperation und ihre Folgen schreibt Hanin Ghadder:

Last week, the pan-Arab newspaper Alhayat quoted a political source at the IAEA saying that Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif stated during the negotiations that Hezbollah and Hamas now work within “the American framework” and for the same goal: combatting terrorism in Syria and Iraq. The reality on the ground proves this statement is accurate. The U.S. intelligence community has now removed Iran and Hezbollah from its list of states and organizations that support terrorism. Last year, Iran and Hezbollah were at the top of that list. Is the definition of “terrorism” really that flexible?

The Obama Administration is turning a blind eye to the people’s suffering in my country for the sake of a “deal” with the mullahs of Tehran. The result is that liberal middle-class people here must now rely on the patronage of the Gulf countries, with which they do not share any liberal or democratic values, while the rural working classes are more likely to join Islamist groups such as ISIS and Al-Nusra in order to protect their families and communities. (…)

Reality now tells us that today’s America does not care about our aspirations for freedom, for democracy, and for citizenship. The reality today says one thing: Take things into your own hands because no one will help you. The gap left by the United States will be filled with extremists who despise liberal ideas, freedom of speech, and democracy. Whatever is left of our civil society will eventually lose legitimacy, because its ideals and goals will be considered too liberal and Westernized for communities radicalized by sectarian tension. The people who will emerge from the societies that are formed along this sectarian model will not be good citizens of open societies. They will be locked in cages of hatred and fear. We know from experience how that story turns out.

I am frightened by what the future holds for the people of my country and my region. You should be, too.

24. März 2015, 09.31 Uhr:

Sargträgerinnen

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Aus Afghanistan:

Yesterday, a courageous band of about 30 Afghan women, many of them clad in black scarves and some in black outfits, did something remarkable: they literally shouldered the young woman beaten and burned to death by a mob in Kabul, carrying upon their shoulders her heavy wooden coffin, draped with an ornate green cloth, decorated with verses from the Quran. Bouquets of flowers, still in their clear plastic, lay upon the covering.

Last Thursday afternoon, scores of clean-shaven men, wearing neat pants and shirts for a visit to the Shah-Do Shamshira mosque, or the “The King of Two Swords,” in downtown Kabul, Afghanistan, turned into a violent mob,  shouting “Allahu Akbar” and beating and stomping a student of Islam, Farkhunda, 28, on the false rumor she had burnt a Quran. After pummeling her, the men ran over her with a Toyota hatchback, dumping her body on the banks of the Kabul River and lighting her on fire. Photos and videos of the murderous rampage shocked the world, just hours later, when they posted on Facebook and social media.

26 men have been arrested in connection to the homicide.

Three days later, more than 1,000 gathered for her funeral in the Afghan capital.

“Maa hama Farkhunda yem,” the women chanted at her gravesite. “We are all Farkhunda.”

22. März 2015, 12.01 Uhr:

Betriebsgeheimnis ausgeplaudert

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Laut UN-Sicherheitsrat hat der Iran “to suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and threatened sanctions, invoking Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter to make that demand legally binding on Iran.”

Inzwischen geht es in den Verhandlungen längst um etwas anderes, nämlich ein fait accompli irgendwie als Erfolg zu verkaufen.

Die deutsche Bundeskanzelerin hat es laut Spiegel etwas unglücklich ausgedrückt, und damit wohl auf den Punkt gebracht:

Angela Merkel hatte bereits am Freitag als Ziel formuliert: “Es geht darum, dass die nukleare Bewaffnung des Iran eingedämmt wird, und das muss sich im Verhandlungsergebnis natürlich glaubwürdig widerspiegeln.”

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