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9. Januar 2014, 01.13 Uhr:

Wie denken Tunesier über den "Arabischen Frühling"?

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Verschieden US-Universäten haben in Zusammenarbeit mit der Universität von  im Mai und Juni 2013 eine Befragung von Tunesiern durcheführt, um mehr über die öffentliche Meinung und Einstellung herauszufinden und diese dann mit Ergebnissen aus Ägypten, dem Irak, der Türkei und anderen Ländern verglichen. Hier einige Auszüge aus der 134-Seitigen Publikation:

Though they are disillusioned by the  current political leaders and believe that the difference between the rich and poor expanded since the overthrow of the authoritarian ruler, Zein al-A bedin Ben Ali, in early 2011, Tunisians consider themselves to be more empowered and freer than they were before the revolution. They support secular politics, and less than 20% favor a n Islamic government. For them, secular parties have grown a bit more popular, while the ap peal of religious-oriented parties, including an-Nahda, has waned considerable. (…)

Attacks on the US:

More than 90% of Tunisians disapproved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy and the American School in Tunis in September, 2012.

Low popularity of the rulers : The current ruling politicians are not popular am ong the respondents, as more than 60% expressed that these politicians make them upset, angry, or feel contempt toward them.

Perception of Corruption: Fully 86% of respondents believed that corruption i n government is common, and only 28% said that curren t government officials care about what 5 people think and just 29% believe that government p olicies serve the interests of the Tunisian people.

Positive changes :

A majority of respondents believe that life in T unisia is better now than before the revolution: specifically, that unlawful arrest and corruption are less common, and freedom to join organizations is more common.

Auffällig ist auch, dass inzwischen die Merheit der  Befragten in allen Ländern Demokratie für die beste aller Regierungsformen hält und, vor die Wahl gestellt, sich für von Menschen gemachte Gesetze und damit gegen Gottesgesetze, also Shariarecht, aussprechen:

8. Januar 2014, 10.51 Uhr:

Al Qaida Hauptquartier eingenommen

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Die Kämpfe zwischen dem Al Qaida Ableger ISIL (Islamischer Staat in Syrien und der Levante) und anderen Rebellengruppen, die vergangenen Freitag ausgebrochen sind, gehen unvermindert weiter. Nun wurde die Einnahme des Haupquartiers von Al Qaida in Alepp0 gemeldet:

Islamist rebels have captured the headquarters of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was not clear what had happened to the jihadists who had been at the hospital in the Qadi Askar district.

Inside, the rebels found dozens of prisoners and the bodies of several men who appeared to have been executed.

Recent days have seen fierce fighting between ISIS and other rebel groups.

More than 270 people, including 46 civilians, have been killed in the worst rebel-on-rebel violence since the uprising in Syria began in March 2011, according to the Syrian Observatory, a UK-based activist group. (…)

The latest clashes erupted on Friday when rebels led by the Islamic Front, a relatively new coalition of Islamist groups, launched what appeared to a series of co-ordinated strikes against ISIS in northern and eastern Syria. The offensive was backed by the National Coalition.

Und vermutlich ist diese Offensive gegen Al Qaida ausgelöst worden, als Milizen von ISIL Kafranbel stürmten:

“The reason Kafranbel became important is because it’s been persistently and consistently supporting the revolution in all of its aspects — whether it’s the non-violent revolution, or the armed revolution or the humanitarian and civil society work,” Fares told me. He absolutely sees the assault on the village and its symbolic importance for the opposition as stirring anti-ISIS sentiment. And, in a sense, going after ISIS is just like going after Assad. “The regime, when we would say something in opposition to them, they’d shell us. ISIS, when we made a drawing against them — the first in June of this year — they wanted to attack us so they came and raided the media center. At the end of the day, they’re both the same.  They’re both tyrants.”

6. Januar 2014, 00.47 Uhr:

Boykott palästinensischer Firmen?

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Was das BDS Movement wohl dazu zu sagen hat? Wenn noch nicht mal die Palästinenser, sobald es darauf ankommt, die ganze Boykottgeschichte ernst nehmen?

The partners in Israel’s Leviathan natural gas field said on Sunday they signed a 20-year deal to sell $1.2 billion worth of gas to the Palestine Power Generation Company (PPGC). (…)

Leviathan has estimated reserves of 537 bcm and is the largest offshore gas discovery of the past decade.

“Economic cooperation such as the agreement signed today will lead to prosperity and growth and will contribute to the fostering of mutual respect and trust between Israelis and Palestinians and lay the foundations for peace,” said Yitzhak Tshuva, controlling shareholder of the Delek Group.

Oder wird BDS jetzt auch zum Boykott der PPGC aufrufen, einer Firma  deren erklärter purpose ist, zu “developing a power plant to generate electricity for the Northern West Bank to satisfy the electricity needs of Palestinians by providing electricity through a competitive and reliable source".

(Hat Tip)

4. Januar 2014, 01.15 Uhr:

Für eine "No-Fly-Zone" in und über Syrien

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Kellie Foot erklärt auf Left Food Forward, warum eine No-Fly-Zone in Syrien (auch zwei Jahre zu spät) eingerichtet gehört, um Tausenden von Syrern das Leben zu retten:

Syria has been an unwanted experiment in non-intervention, and the results are clear. Comparing events in Libya and Syria, there is objective evidence that while enforcing a No-Fly Zone early in the conflict might have led to civilian casualties numbering over a hundred, it would likely have prevented several thousands of killings by aircraft, and would have restricted the ability of Assad’s forces to kill on the ground. (…)

Enforcing a No-Fly Zone is not an easy option. It needs money, advanced technology, expertise, and bravery on the part of many of the volunteer combatants who have to see it through. Only a few nations have the resources needed to succeed.

Enforcing a No-Fly Zone is not politically easy. In the case of Syria, it requires willingness to defy Russian President Putin’s policy of obstruction in the UN Security Council. It requires making the case that defence of collective security requires and justifies this military action even in the absence of a Security Council resolution.

There is more than one way to impose a No-Fly Zone, from the regular air patrols seen in the 1990s over Iraq, to bombing air bases in response to attacks by Assad aircraft. A discussion in May at the US Institute for Peace explored some of the options and constraints.

The war is far from over. Assad’s air force may yet kill several thousands more, possibly tens of thousands more.

Syria still needs a No-Fly Zone

3. Januar 2014, 20.10 Uhr:

Demonstrationen und Proteste gegen Al Qaida

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Während sich in der irakischen Anbar Provinz die Lage verschlechtert und Al Qaida Kämpfer bislang die Oberhand gegen die irakische Armee haben, fanden heute überall in Nordsyrien Proteste gegen den islamischen Staat in Syrien und der Levante (ISIS) statt.

There were anti-ISIS demonstrations throughout Syria on Friday, with anger over detentions and abuses carried out by the group. The day was named “Friday of the Martyr Abu Rayyan”, the pseudonym of Dr Hussein al-Suleiman, who was tortured and killed by ISIS last month.

Außerdem kam es zu heftigen Gefechten zwischen Rebellen der FSA und der Islamic Front auf der einen und Al Qaida auf der anderen Seite:

Opposition fighters also seized most of the ISIL bases in the town of Ma’arat al Numan, in Idlib province, activists said.

Activist Nazeer al-Khatib, based in Aleppo, reported fighting between opposition groups and ISIL in several neighbourhoods of the city, including Sukkari, Ansari, Bustan al-Qasr and Salaheddin.


Hier Bilder von einem Protest in Aleppo:

3. Januar 2014, 18.19 Uhr:

Keine Strategie, kein Geld

von Jörn Schulz

“In many ways, there was already a widespread perception that this administration was giving up on promoting democracy in the Middle East, and major cuts to democracy funding will further confirm those fears”, sagt Cole Bockenfeld vom Project on Middle East Democracy. Für “foreign assistance” (Militär- und Entwicklungshilfe, günstige Kredite etc,) im Nahen und Mittleren Osten sowie Nordafrika gibt die US-Regierung im Fiskaljahr 2014 etwa 7,36 Milliarden Dollar aus, neun Prozent weniger als 2013. “Of that, $298.3 million has been requested to support democracy and governance programming across the region, a cut of $160.9 million from FY 2013.” Eine Kürzung also um rund ein Drittel, und sie könnte sogar noch radikaler ausfallen, denn “it may be masked when the administration goes through with plans to re-categorize so-called D&G (democracy and governance) funding by combining it with development programs. That will make it difficult to follow what actually has been spent on democracy promotion.”

“It is notable the administration has never developed a democracy strategy for the Middle East”, kommentiert Thomas Carothers vom Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “The challenge the administration has not solved is how to become a credible pro-democracy actor in the region.”

3. Januar 2014, 01.10 Uhr:

Der zweite Tag des Jahres

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Wie das Jahr 2014 sich im Nahen Osten entwickeln wird?

Nun, heute gab es einen Vorgeschmack.  Im sunnitischen Dreieck im Irak ist Al Qaida, vor allem gestärkt durch den Bürgerkrieg in Syrien, so auf dem Vormasrch, dass die irakische Regierung nun eine Offensive begonnen hat:

Iraqi forces backed by tribesmen battled jihadists on Thursday after they seized parts of two Sunni-majority cities following days of violence triggered by the demolition of a year-old protest camp.

Militants from the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) seized half of the city of Fallujah, outside Baghdad, and parts of Anbar provincial capital Ramadi farther west.

Die Offensive ist auch eine hauptsächlich schiitischer Truppen in einem sunnitischen Gebiet und sie richtet sich nicht nur gegen die Terroristen, sondern ist Teil einer Strategie der Maliki Regierung, unliebsame sunnitische Opposition kalt zu stellen:

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki just turned a military tragedy, which rallied much of the country behind the government, into a campaign against the Anbar protest movement. In the middle of December 2013 Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) set up an elaborate trap, which resulted in the death of much of the leadership of the Army’s 7th Division. Baghdad then launched a massive military campaign in Anbar that almost all parties and much of the public supported. In the midst of this offensive however, the prime minister decided to go after the Anbar demonstrators by claiming that they were behind the terrorists, and then ordered the detention of Parliamentarian Ahmed Alwani of the Iraqi Islamic Party who was one of their leaders.

Inzwischen befindet sich die Anbar Provinz in offenem Aufruhr:

Maliki could not have picked a worse time to come down on the protesters, and now he is suffering the consequences. Major cities in Anbar are in open rebellion. This will provide a great recruiting tool for the insurgency and Al Qaeda. At the same time, any hope the premier might have had of cutting a deal to end the remaining protests in Fallujah, Diyala, Kirkuk, Ninewa, and Salahaddin are now out the window. Within Anbar the local council, which just took power in 2013 will find themselves running an ungovernable province, and more divisions will likely emerge over how to deal with Baghdad. The tribes too will face increasing dissent as well, and the clerical establishment, which was another important ally of the demonstrators may find their influence slipping away if more and more young men turn to the gun rather than protesting. Overall, the prime minister has made a mess of things, and helped the vary militants he was trying to defeat.

Im Irak und Syrien erstarkt täglich Al Qaida und verfolgt ihr erklärtes Ziel, nämlich in Teilen beider Länder ein islamisches Kalifat unter ihrer Führung errichten zu wollen.

Und in Beirut ist heute in einem, von der Hizbollah kontrollierten Stadtviertel, erneut eine Bombe  explodiert. Der syrische Bürgerkrieg, der längst ein Stellvertreterkrieg zwischen dem Iran und Saudi-Arabien und leider auch ein Konfessionskrieg zwischen Sunniten und Schiiten geworden ist, hat auf die Nachbarländer übergegriffen, so scheint es nur eine Frage der Zeit zu sein, wann im Libanon und dem Irak ebenfalls ein offener Bürgerkrieg ausbricht.

Und in Syrien? Fielen laut SyrianObservatory for Human Rights alleine im vergangenen Jahr 73000 MenschenKampfhandlungen zumn Opfer. Heute waren es dagegen 122.

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