Kürzliche Beiträge
31. Oktober 2011, 13.12 Uhr:

Military Inc.

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Robert Springborg in einem Intervie mit Al Masry al-Youm über die Rolle des ägyptischen Militärs als de facto Regierung und zugleich dominierende Wirtschaftsmacht:

The business interests of the military are hugely important to their decision-making, and the leadership of “military incorporated,” which is same as the leadership of the military itself, is now running the country.A key problem is that the military economy lacks transparency. It is opaque, so we don’t know its exact size or components. (…)

he military economy includes the numerous factories and production facilities that fall under the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Military Production. These also include companies affiliated with the Arab Organization for Industrialization and National Services Production Organization. In theory, these are state-owned entities but their accounts are not subject to financial oversight by the Central Auditing Organization.

What it wants is a weak parliament and a presidency that will not challenge its authority. As it now looks the parliament will be weak because it will be divided among various political forces and because it will not be based on any definitive constitutional authority. So it will not be strong enough to oversee the military, such as by examining its finances. So, any civilian control of the military by default will fall to the president.

That is why the apparent thinking now of the military is for the president to be someone from the military. The delay of the presidential election is due in part probably to the attempt to prepare the ground for a candidate either from the military or absolutely subordinate to it. In the meantime the military will look to expand its role in the economy, either through acquiring more companies or by assisting officer-owned companies gain more business.

30. October 2011, 11.07 Uhr:

Deutsche Nahostpolitik - Rückblick auf eine erfolgreiche Woche

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Weil die israelische Regierung im Stadteil Gilo in Ostjerusalem ein paar Wohnungen baut, überlegt Kanzlerin Merkel den Stop der U-Boot Lieferungen an Israel:

Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel (CDU) erwägt, die Lieferung von U-Booten an Israel einzustellen. Die Zeitung “Jediot Ahronot” berichtete unter Berufung auf “hohe” israelische Regierungskreise, dies sei eine Reaktion auf die israelische Siedlungspolitik im Ostteil Jerusalems.

Derweil gilt Saudi-Arabien als enger Alliierter, wichtig für die Stabilität der Region, weshalb man Panzer im Wert von Milliarden liefern will. Ein hohes Regierungsmitglied des Landes hat gerade ein Kopfgeld auf Soldaten eines anderen souveränen Landes ausgesetzt:

Saudi Prince Khaled bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud declared Saturday he would give $900,000 to whoever abducts an Israeli soldier in order to be exchanged for Palestinian prisoners.

Wird dafür auch nur ein Wort der Kritik fallen? Natürlich nicht. Das könnte die Saudis ja verärgern und der brühmte Dialog ist ja schließlich, wie auch im Falle des Iran, immer wesentlich erfolgversprechender, als die Konfrontation mit islamistischen Regimes zu suchen. Das finden auch die iranischen Staatsmedien, die entsprechend über den Besuch ihres Vizewirtschaftsministers in Deutschland berichten:

Visiting Iran’s Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance Mohammad Reza Farzin and Ruprecht Polenz, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of German Parliament on Wednesday called for expansion of bilateral economic cooperation. (…) He criticized EU’s double standard and discriminatory policies as well as its restrictions imposed on Iranian and German merchants. He also condemned violation of human rights by the West as a tool to exert pressure on independent states. The German official, for his part called for development of economic relations between Tehran and Berlin. Polenz expressed hope that international community would reach a better understanding of the Islamic Republic through talks with Tehran.

29. October 2011, 15.08 Uhr:

Deutsches Erbe in libyscher Wüste

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Die Daily Mail meldet:

A secret cache of Colonel Gaddafi’s chemical weapons has been found in Libya, the country’s new rulers announced yesterday.

The deadly arsenal proves the tyrant had refused to give up his weapons of mass destruction – despite promising Tony Blair he would relinquish them in the infamous ‘Deal in the Desert’.

Erinnert sich noch wer, dass deutsche Firmen damals maßgeblich am Bau der Chemiewaffenfabrik in Rabta beteiligt waren? Wie sie auch Saddams Produktion von Giftgas erst ermöglichten?

29. October 2011, 13.25 Uhr:

Changing the Guards in Saudi Arabien

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Weitgehend unbemerkt findet in Saudi Arabien gerade ein Machtwechsel an der Spitze statt. Nach dem Ableben von Kronprinz Sultan wird jetzt Naif die Regierungsgeschäfte in die Hand nehmen. Was das für Saudi Arabien bedeuten könnte, analysiert Ali Alyami für das Hudson New York Institut:

What is being myopically and dangerously overlooked, not because of ignorance but because of this disconcerting necessity, is that Naif’s ascendance to the throne could potentially spawn and expedite that which some Saudi royals and the international community are hoping to avoid – instability in Saudi Arabia. Prince Naif will be presiding over a fast-changing, more restless society that is less fearful of authority. The majority of the Saudi people, like the rest of the Arabs and others, is yearning for a better alternative to their oppressive regime and its outmoded, unresponsive, and dysfunctional institutions. It is estimated that between 60-70% of the Saudi population are under 30 years of age and that 43.2% for men and women in the 20-24 age category are unemployed. This is a “ticking bomb” that will explode unless long-term, well-paying jobs are created and made available to them; government handouts will not silence them for long.

Further, the Saudi people have more access to each other and to more domestic, regional, and global information than at any time in their history. They are among the most frequent users of the unstoppable social media that they make the most of to vent, pass time, and to discuss social, gender, political, and religious issues that were taboo before the arrival of modern technology. Unless tangible social, political, economic, and religious reforms are implemented, the people will use social media to organize an uprising against the system that is holding them back, despite Western experts’ unfounded doubts.

Women of all ages make up some of the most active groups in Saudi Arabia. Many demonstrate in front of Prince Naif’s Ministry of Interior on a daily basis to demand the release of their loved ones incarcerated without charges or trials by Naif’s police. Some are demanding equal access to education and job opportunities. Some are demanding the removal of the male guardian system and others are demanding the removal of the business manager system (Saudi businesswomen are forced to hire a male to manage their businesses for them.) The most vocal and fearless among Saudi women are those who demand the right to drive. A number of them have gone behind the wheel and have been imprisoned and interrogated, but continue their demands undeterred. Naif does not think much of women. He believes that they should stay home, producing and grooming generations of “good men.” He sees women as the property of men, stating, “Any man who accepts his wife or daughter to work as secretaries for other men has lost his manhood.”

Even though Naif may be the ruthless prince who can guarantee his family’s safety, keep its unruly members in line and maintain the temporary stability of the country through sheer force, he might be the least suitable man to rule Saudi Arabia, especially at this time of restlessness and escalating demands for change. These demands come from a generation of men and women who are disconnected from the world into which Naif and his aging brothers were born, grew up and still live. He will strengthen the religious establishment to intimidate the populace to keep them in check as he has done all his life. A more theocratic and dangerous Saudi Arabia is inevitable under Naif. Ironically, it is the West’s need for Saudi money and Saudi oil might people Prince Naif to the Saudi throne.

29. October 2011, 00.13 Uhr:

Free Syrian Army in der Türkei

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Die New York Times berichtet, dass die Türkei nun die “Free Syrian Army” von ihrem Territorium aus operieren lässt:

Once one of Syria’s closest allies, Turkey is hosting an armed opposition group waging an insurgency against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, providing shelter to the commander and dozens of members of the group, the Free Syrian Army, and allowing them to orchestrate attacks across the border from inside a camp guarded by the Turkish military.

The support for the insurgents comes amid a broader Turkish campaign to undermine Mr. Assad’s government. Turkey is expected to impose sanctions soon on Syria, and it has deepened its support for an umbrella political opposition group known as the Syrian National Council, which announced its formation in Istanbul. But its harboring of leaders in the Free Syrian Army, a militia composed of defectors from the Syrian armed forces, may be its most striking challenge so far to Damascus.

27. October 2011, 16.14 Uhr:

Politische Manöver

von Bernd Beier

Heute morgen in einem Café im Zentrum von Tunis. „Es ist gut, dass Ennahda die Wahlen gewonnen hat“, sagt ein Mittdreißiger, der soeben noch mit einer etwa ebenso alten Frau ohne Kopftuch zwei Tisch weiter saß und sich nun mit mir unterhält. „Tunesien ist ein religiöses Land.“ Aber seine Schwester habe säkular gewählt, wegen der Frauenrechte. Er selbst habe eine Ausbildung im Informatikbereich, aber es sei schwer, Arbeit zu bekommen.

Das offizielle Endergebnis der Wahl von Sonntag lässt weiter auf sich warten, die politischen Manöver der Parteien richten sich entsprechend nach den der vorläufigen Ergebnissen.

Die islamistische Ennahda fordert mittlerweile die Führung der künftigen Übergangsregierung und hat seine Nummer Zwei, den Generalsekretär Hamadi Jebali, für den Posten des Premierministers einer künftigen Regierung präsentiert. Es sei „natürlich“, dass die stärkste Partei die Führung der Regierung übernehme.


27. October 2011, 00.30 Uhr:

Der Ayatollah spricht

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Ein unbedingt lesenswerter Brief von Ayatollah Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi, der im Iran im Gefängnis einsitzt, weil er unter anderem für die strikte Trennuing für Religion und Politik (wie übrigens sehr viele andere Kleriker im Iran auch) eintritt:

Honorable UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, respected and esteemed representatives of the countries around the world, ladies and gentlemen of the free world,

The abominable oppression and subjugation of the people of Iran by the Revolutionary Guards, under the ruling dictatorship is so egregious, and their apparatus for its cover-up so systematic that the world at large never learns of the actual horror stories and the crimes committed by the Islamic regime against the humanity of the people of Iran.


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