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10. Juni 2014, 23.46 Uhr:

'U ar Dick Assad'

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Eine klare Botschaft von Right Said Fred:

10. Juni 2014, 23.08 Uhr:

Don't trust Obama

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Warum auch in Zukunft niemand mehr den USA im Nahen Osten trauen wird und der Flurschaden, den Obama angerichtet hat, noch über Jahrzehnte nachwirken wird, das erklärt Hussain Abdul-Hussain. Zu oft schon haben die Amerikaner Alliierte fallen gelassen, wenn es ihnen gerade in den politischen Kram passte, so nachhaltig allerdings, wie unter Obama hat keine bisherige Administration dies getan - nur um voller Elan seine erklärten Feinde zu umarmen, in diesem Falle den Iran.

Derweil zelebriert ISIS die Einnahme der zweitgrößten irakischen Stadt Mosul, während sich das Weiße Haus besorgt über das Ereignis äußert und einen “holistic approach” anmahnt, ganz so, als habe Guido Westerwelle denen die Presseerklärung geschrieben. (Erinnert sich noch wer, by the way, noch an Obamas vollmunige Erklärungen, er habe Al Qaida besiegt?)

In the Middle East, Washington is not known for standing firmly behind its allies. Even Israel, America’s presumed client state, understood long ago that US foreign policy swings on a pendulum between contradictory positions and that the Jewish state should never put all its eggs in the American basket. Remember that it was the French who gave Israel its nukes, and now it is China that is undermining the Western divest-from-Israel campaign that has repeatedly served as the American lever for Israeli concessions on certain issues. (…)

Dictators like Bashar al-Assad know that America’s foreign policy, especially under Obama, is fickle. Assad was careful to test the waters with his usage of chemical weapons by using small doses at first before going full scale, and the American response was telling. Because Assad knows that the White House is capricious, and that it often gives up on its allies quickly to court its enemies (apparently now including the Taliban), no matter how bloody his campaign against his people becomes, America will come around, if not with this election, then the one after, or even the one after that.

Just as Assad knows that the US will eventually side with him if he prevails militarily, his opponents know that they cannot count on the White House. And as long as the FSA is uncertain of Washington’s next moves, it will never openly defy powerful local groups like Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS.

America is looking for partners in Syria and beyond. But the lesson the Middle East has learned about America’s short attention span does not bode well.

Next spring, Obama will probably give another foreign policy speech. Who knows which direction the wind will be blowing then. Maybe he will reason that talking to Assad to reach a political solution, like the present talks with Iran, is the best course of action. As long as America’s foreign policy remains tentative, allies and their victories will be as well.

10. Juni 2014, 19.14 Uhr:

Stupid Shit

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Es kam mit Ansage, der Sturm von ISIS auf die zweitgrößte Stadt im Irak, Mosul, die heute morgen mehr oder weniger in die Händer der Jihadisten gefallen ist. Hunderdtausende fliehen in die kurdischen Gebiete, werden sich in Lager drängeln, die jetzt schon hoffnungslos überfüllt sind, die irakische Armee, unter Premier Maliki eher in eine schiitisch dominierte Miliz verwandelt, erweist sich als unfähig zum Kämpfen, ISIS kontrolliert jetzt ein Gebiet, das von den Vororten Bagdads bis zu den Vororten Aleppos reicht.

Dies kommentiert und analysiert Aboud Dandachi auf seinem Blog treffend:

Let’s be clear about the nature of ISIS and the scope of their ambitions. This is an organization dedicated to the establishment of a strict Islamist state wherever God created land on this planet, and by whatever means possible. It is a group whose Iraqi dominated leadership has managed to attract multitudes of foreign born Jihad-wannabes from all over the world. (…)

Under Obama’s watch, ISIS has grown from a group hiding in caves to one that controls major cities and large swathes of territory. Not quite sure how much more stupid “doing” could have been compared to “not doing stupid shit”.

So assuming that one accepts that ISIS is a global problem, and not one that can be contained but needs to be tackled, what should the Obama administration be doing in light of the fall of Iraq’s second largest city to the group, and the threat it continues to pose in Syria and the world at large? (…)

ISIS and its excesses legitimizes Assad among his core supporters. Heck, even I almost fell for it, and you can be sure Assad will milk ISIS for everything they are worth. Syria has proven to be the perfect environment for the group’s resurgence, which looks well-nigh unstoppable.

Actually, it isn’t. If you want a job done right, get people with a proven track record to do it. Since the beginning of 2014, ISIS’ aggressions have served to galvanize Syrian rebel groups against it.

In the space of a few months, ISIS was expelled from Aleppo city and much of the city’s countryside, as well as from Idlib province. ISIS has lost every border crossing it had in the north. (….)

When you have deadly bacteria, you do not hope and pray that it stays within its petri dish. You flood the dish with antibiotics, and the sooner the better. Bacteria is not killed by making eloquent speeches and having Michelle Obama pose in mournful twitter hashtag pics.

The moderate Syrian rebels are the antibiotics to the disease that is ISIS, Hizbollah, Iranian influence and above all else the Assad regime. which would be happy to have the chaos it created exported to the rest of the world. The world is well within its rights to take whatever measures it deems necessary to tackle Assad’s efforts to spread his particular brand of mayhem. (…)

It seems that Iraq has little prospect of taking back Mosul short of a full scale intervention by the USA, something America has neither the military resources or level of commitment within its military that such an intervention requires. If ISIS is allowed to remain in Mosul as it has remained in Raqqa, it does not bode well for the future.

Chaos cannot be contained, oceans and distances no longer afford the protection they once did. Al-Qaeda and ISIS’ resurgence in the world is Obama’s legacy, a legacy he appears to have every intention of shoving off to his successor to deal with.

Obama is a man incapable of taking hard decisions, decisions that may not have perfect outcomes. Almost nothing in politics has a perfect outcome, and the politician who waits for the perfect set of circumstances will be perpetually paralyzed into inaction. “Dont do stupid shit” sure, but better to do shit that’s half stupid than to do nothing and have to clean up a whole lot of shit in Mosul.

10. Juni 2014, 12.52 Uhr:

Den iranischen Antisemitismus ernst nehmen

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Gastbeitrag von Stephan Grigat


Der US-amerikanische Historiker Jeffrey Herf, Autor von Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World und Koautor von Iran im Weltsystem. Bündnisse des Regimes und Perspektiven der Freiheitsbewegung, hat einen wichtiges Essay zum Antisemitismus des iranischen Regimes und der verfehlten Iran-Politik des Westens geschrieben. Das Bündnis STOP THE BOMB hat eine deutsche Übersetzung angefertigt: „Die Entscheidungsträger sind unwillig, radikalen Judenhass aufrichtig und offen zu erörtern, sofern er sich aus islamistischen Quellen speist… Die Islamische Republik Iran ist nach Hitlerdeutschland das erste Regime, für das der Antisemitismus das zentrale Element seiner Identität bildet.“

6. Juni 2014, 22.52 Uhr:

Sieger in Teheran

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Teheran hat mal wieder eine Wahl gewonnen:

With Syrian President Bashar al-Assad winning a third term in office in an election denounced as a sham by the West, his chief ally, Iran, is trumpeting his victory as its own. Top Iranian officials have been celebrating not only the affirmation of Assad’s continued hold on power, but also the defeat it appears to signal for three years of U.S. policy in Syria, which has as its stated goal Assad’s fall.

Iran vowed early in the conflict that it would not permit Assad to fall, and it has so far delivered on its word, pumping billions of dollars into the Syrian economy and providing weapons and training to loyalist forces. Shiite militias from Iraq, funded and trained by Iran, have provided much-needed manpower, as has the Iran-backed Lebanese Shiite Hizbullah movement, which played a crucial role in turning back Syrian rebel advances over the past year.

6. Juni 2014, 13.05 Uhr:

Deutliche Botschaft aus Kafranbel

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

6. Juni 2014, 00.43 Uhr:

Neues Gesetz gegen 'Sexual Harassment' in Ägypten

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Man soll sie erwähnen, die kleinen Fortschritte, die keineswegs kleine sind, so etwa dieses neue Gesetz in Ägypten:

A new anti-sexual harassment law was also passed as an amendment to the Egyptian penal code, presidential spokesman Ihab Badawi said on Thursday.

Mansour applied the amendment after it was approved by the cabinet a month ago and legally reviewed by the State Council.

The law imposes jail terms of no less than six months and/or fines of LE3,000 to LE5,000 ($419 to 700) on those who are found guilty of sexual harassment in public or private areas, with harassment defined as gestures or words or any modern means of communication, or any other action that carries sexual or pornographic hints.

If the harasser continues the action, essentially stalking the woman before being caught, he will be punished with no less than one year in jail and a fine from LE5,000 to LE10,000.

In case the offense is repeated over time, the maximum penalties of imprisonment and fines are doubled.

Another amendment of the law states a punishment of one year in jail and a fine of LE10,000 to LE20,000 for soliciting sexual conduct. (…)

Reacting to Mansour’s amendments on Thursday, Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW) described the decision as “an honour” for Egyptian woman and an important step towards eliminate this shameful phenomenon.

“(The decision) reflects the keenness of the state and the interest in the protection of women and preservation of their rights,” the NCW statement said.

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