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Kürzliche Beiträge
17. Juni 2014, 15.50 Uhr:

Das Ende der palästinensischen Einheitsregierung?

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Die Entführung dreier israelischer Jugendlicher in der Westbank sei, meint Avi Issacharof, der Anfang vom Ende der palästinensischen Einheitsregierung zwischen Fatah und Hamas:

Over the preceding 48 hours, it seems, something has shifted in the upper echelons of the PA and Abbas’s Fatah party. Essentially, PA President Mahmoud Abbas has come to realize that the recently inked unity pact with Hamas ended at the moment of the abduction of the three Israeli youths.

Confidants of Abbas say that Hamas will pay a steep price for the kidnapping. From the moment the unity agreement was finalized, some two weeks before the kidnapping on Thursday, Abbas’ security forces realized that Hamas was trying to undermine the relative peace in the West Bank and foment unrest against both Israel and the PA.

History has shown that the immediate aftermath of such actions sees a surge in support for Hamas. Yet, Hamas leaders are painfully aware that, whatever befalls the three Israeli youths, they could eventually pay for it with their own lives.

So far, there’s nothing to indicate that the kidnappers are seeking to trade the teens for Palestinian prisoners.

17. Juni 2014, 11.46 Uhr:

Warnung aus Israel

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Israel warnt die USA vor einer Kooperation mit dem Iran, mit völlig einleuchtenden und überzeugenden Argumenten. Leider wird man in Washington diese Warnung wohl nicht nur überhören, sondern sich nun umso verbissener auf das Mullahregime kaprizieren. Die idiotische Logik, dass, wenn mit den einen Terrorunterstützern, also Saudi Arabien, Qatar, der Türkei und den Golfstaaten der “War on Terror” nicht funktioniert, man sich dann eben den anderen, also dem Iran und Syrien zuwendet, wird auch in deutschen Medien als enorm kluger Schachzug gefeiert, ja so heißt es etwa in der SZ, “sollte Obama die Irak-Krise nutzen können, um ein dauerhaftes Bündnis mit Iran zuschmieden, wäre das ein veritables diplomatisches Meisterstück“.

Wenn deutsche Medien Obamas kluge Außenpolitik loben und die Israelis warnen, spätestens dann dürfte klar sein, was in den nächsten Monaten zu erwarten sein wird. Dass übrigens alle sich schon jetzt einig sind, es sei der Iran, dem man bei einer solchen Kooperation entgegen kommen müsse, vor allem in der Nuklearfrage, und nicht etwa umgekehrt, spricht Bände.

Israel expressed its concerned about the possibility of U.S. cooperation with Iran to find a solution to the Iraqi crisis, affecting the negotiations on Tehran’s nuclear program.

The Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs , Yuval Steinitz told “Reuters", in news seen by “Shafaq News", that “ Iran should not be helped to expand its influence in Iraq”.

He added that it would give Tehran a range of control extends through Syrian territory where the Iranians supported the Syrian regime, and to Lebanon, where they have representatives of their allies in the Lebanese Hezbollah.

Die Hizbollah derweil erklärt ihre Bereitschaft, auch Milizen in den Irak zu entsenden:

“We are ready to sacrifice martyrs in Iraq five times more than what we sacrificed in Syria, in order to protect shrines, because they are much more important than [the holy sites in Syria],” Nasrallah said.

16. Juni 2014, 16.02 Uhr:

Central Position

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Wenn ein ehemaliger Berater des Pentagon, der unter George W. Bush Dienst im Irak tat, nun Obama die Schuld für das Desaster dieser Tage zuschiebt, klingt das nach billigem Trick. Aber was Mario Loyola da schreibt, ist schwer von der Hand zu weisen:

By the time he got to the White House in early 2009, Obama should have realized that the war in Iraq was already over, and that we had won. Exactly two years earlier, the Iraqi security forces were reaching critical mass, simultaneous with the start of America’s own surge, and the Sunni tribes of Anbar province were all coming over to the U.S. side. By the summer of 2007, when I was embedded in Iraq, U.S. and Iraqi forces had utterly defeated al-Qaeda’s Iraqi offshoot, ISIS, in a series of massive joint operations. The following year, the Shiite prime minister Nouri al-Maliki personally orchestrated the offensive that crushed the Iranian-backed militias collected in and around Basra in southern Iraq.
U.S. casualties in Iraq were close to levels commensurate with peacetime training activities back home, and a tenuous but real peace reigned over the whole country. Obama inherited from the Bush administration the framework agreement for a long-term alliance with Iraq, as well as a status-of-forces agreement that set December 2011 as a tentative withdrawal date for all U.S. forces. Iraqi politics were dominated by a Shiite-led coalition that overtly favored an ongoing alliance with the United States. In the press, Shiite militias accused each other of being under Iranian control.

At that point, the U.S. was exerting an enormously beneficial and calming influence on Iraqi politics. Sunnis who felt abused by the majority Shiite government could appeal to the Americans for help, while Shiites could remonstrate to the Americans about Sunni intransigence. Both could get results — peacefully — through America’s good offices. In a country where no faction trusted any of the others, all factions could trust the Americans to be impartial, for the simple reason that we were impartial. More important, to invoke the title of Bing West’s great book, we were the strongest tribe.

This central position allowed the various factions of Iraqi politics to embrace an alliance with the United States, instead of being forced to seek the protection of coreligionists in Saudi Arabia or Iran whose real agenda was the continuation of a Wahhabi-Iranian proxy war inside Iraq. This is something that Iraqis constantly commented on in their own press, but which Americans by and large never understood: In toppling the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, the U.S. had opened the door to a proxy war between the Wahhabi extremists of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other Arab states and the Shiite extremists of Khomeini’s revolution in Iran. That war proved far bloodier than America’s counterinsurgency campaign. In fact, the purpose of the counterinsurgency campaign in Iraq was to defeat both sides in the proxy war, so that our newfound allies in the government of Iraq could cement their power and forge a lasting government.

Hence, America’s continuing military presence allowed U.S. military officers and diplomats to exert enormous influence both within Iraq and in the broader Middle East. It allowed us to keep the peace among Iraqi factions while simultaneously diminishing Iranian and Wahhabi Arab influence. We had gained, at a frightful cost in lives and treasure, a priceless strategic asset, namely the possibility of Iraq as a strong military ally, hosting U.S. forces as long as we needed to keep them there, engaged against the extremists in Syria and Iran, as well as al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and their sympathizers among the Arab states. And the prospect of a successful democracy (however rudimentary and corrupt) functioning at the heart of the Middle East gave enormous hope to the pro-democracy movements of the region. In order to consolidate those gains it was absolutely vital for the U.S. to make a long-term commitment and back it up with a long-term military presence.

16. Juni 2014, 13.53 Uhr:

Wie ISIS sich so finanziert

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Irakischen Sicherheitskräften fielen Dokumente und Speichermedien in die Hände, die so einiges über die Finanzquellen und Organisationsformen von ISIS aussagen. Ein must read:

“By the end of the week, we soon realised that we had to do some accounting for them,” said the official flippantly. “Before Mosul, their total cash and assets were $875m [£515m]. Afterwards, with the money they robbed from banks and the value of the military supplies they looted, they could add another $1.5bn to that.”

Laid bare were a series of staggering numbers that would be the pride of any major enterprise, let alone an organisation that was a startup three years ago.

The group’s leaders had been meticulously chosen. Many of those who reported to the top tier – all battle-hardened veterans of the insurgency against US forces nearly a decade ago – did not know the names of their colleagues. The strategic acumen of Isis was impressive – so too its attention to detail. “They had itemised everything,” the source said. “Down to the smallest detail.”

Over the past year, foreign intelligence officials had learned that Isis secured massive cashflows from the oilfields of eastern Syria, which it had commandeered in late 2012, and some of which it had sold back to the Syrian regime. It was also known to have reaped windfalls from smuggling all manner of raw materials pillaged from the crumbling state, as well as priceless antiquities from archaeological digs.

But here before them in extraordinary detail were accounts that would have breezed past forensic accountants, giving a full reckoning of a war effort. It soon became clear that in less than three years, Isis had grown from a ragtag band of extremists to perhaps the most cash-rich and capable terror group in the world.

“They had taken $36m from al-Nabuk alone [an area in the Qalamoun mountains west of Damascus]. The antiquities there are up to 8,000 years old,” the intelligence official said. “Before this, the western officials had been asking us where they had gotten some of their money from, $50,000 here, or $20,000 there. It was peanuts. Now they know and we know. They had done this all themselves. There was no state actor at all behind them, which we had long known. They don’t need one.”

16. Juni 2014, 00.13 Uhr:

Vom Wählen

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Ein sinnloses Unterfangen sei es gewesen, in irgenwelchen Ländern zu intervenieren, statt dort möglichst starke Männer zu stützen, denn die Menschen, die dort lebten wollten ja überhaupt keine Demokratie, schon gar nicht nach westlichem Vorbild. Wie oft hat man das gelesen? Ob von rechts, links aus der Mitte?

Geschichten, wie die von der heutigen Wahl in Afghanistan, sprechen eine ganz andere Sprache und ganz naiv möchte man die Frage stellen: Wäre unter solchen Umständen wer hierzulande wählen gegangen?:

Mit Kugeln, Raketen, Sprengstoff und Messern versuchten die Taliban, die Afghanen an der Wahl zu hindern. Doch die Bürger haben sich nicht einschüchtern lassen: Die Wahlbeteiligung lag bei rund 52 Prozent.

Elf mit Tinte markierte Finger haben die Extremisten abgeschnitten, das Symbol der Wahlbeteiligung: Sie hatten älteren Männern aufgelauert, die im Westen der Provinz Herat aus ihrem Wahlbüro nach Hause zurückkehrten. Aber solche Gewaltexzesse schreckten viele Afghanen nicht ab. “Selbst wenn sie meine ganze Hand abhacken", sagte ein Wähler in Dschalalabad im Osten des Landes dem “Wall Street Journal” vor der Abstimmung, “ich werde trotzdem wählen gehen.”

Die Menschen in Afghanistan versprechen sich viel von ihrem neuen Präsidenten, und sie sind voller Hoffnung. “Wir sind hierhergekommen, um einen neuen Anführer zu wählen, und ich bin optimistisch, was die Zukunft Afghanistans angeht", sagte eine 19-jährige Wählerin. “Der neue Präsident sollte dem Land Frieden bringen, Jobs für junge Menschen schaffen und das Sicherheitsabkommen mit den USA unterzeichnen.” Und ein 22-Jähriger erklärte: “Die Menschen haben genug vom Krieg. Wir wollen, dass unser Land einmal so wird wie europäische Länder.”


15. Juni 2014, 15.56 Uhr:

Syrische Luftwaffe bombardiert ISIS

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Eine neue Entwicklung, bislang gab es keinerlei Angriffe auf Raqqa, nun finden sie als Propagandashow statt, damit sich Assad und Teheran als die großen Kämpfer gegen den Terror inszenieren können. In Washington und Berlin wird man erleichtert aufatmen, applaudieren, über “strategische Kooperation” und “gemeinsame Gegner” sprechen … am Ende Assad an der Macht und den Iran die Bombe bauen lassen:

Syria’s army has been pounding for 24 hours major bases of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham in coordination with the Baghdad government, a monitor said Sunday.

The strikes against ISIS – which has spearheaded a week-long jihadist offensive in Iraq – have been more intense than ever, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“The regime air force has been pounding ISIS’s bases, including those in the northern province of Raqa and Hasakeh in the northeast,” which borders Iraq, said the Britain-based group. (…)

Once welcomed in Syria by rebels seeking Assad’s overthrow, the well-armed and well-organised ISIS soon gained the Syrian opposition’s wrath because of its quest for hegemony and systematic abuses.

In 2013, it took part in operations against government forces. But in recent months, it has exclusively fought against the Syrian rebels, who accuse the group of serving the interests of Assad’s regime.

A war pitting Syrian rebels against ISIS has killed more than 6,000 people, mostly fighters, since it broke out in January.

15. Juni 2014, 13.47 Uhr:

Nie ... nie ... wieder

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Eine “Duty to protect” habe man in Konflikten, erklärte Obama im Jahre 2011 und schuf das “Atrocities Prevention Board” in den USA, das vor einem Monat noch stolz erklärte:

In order to make the U.S. Government more effective at preventing and responding to mass atrocities, the military has developed new doctrine, multiple agencies have made new training commitments, the U.S. Agency for International Development has launched a new “Tech Challenge,” and the intelligence community is working on a new National Intelligence Estimate.

Und ebenfalls vor wenigen Monaten gedachte man in Europa dem Völkermord in Ruanda und bekundete lautsstark, so etwas dürfe nie wieder geschehen.

Erinnert sich noch wer?

Heute stellt Isis diese Bilder ins Netz und dokumentiert stolz, wie ihre Gotteskrieger 1 700 irakische Soldaten, die meisten Mitglieder einer Offiziersschule, die sie in Mosul gefangen genommen haben, exekutieren (Und das ist nur eine der Monstrositäten, die sie gerade begehen):

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