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18. Mai 2015, 16.21 Uhr:


von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Auch das war nur eine Frage der Zeit. Mehr nicht:

Saudi Arabia has taken the “strategic decision” to acquire “off-the-shelf” atomic weapons from Pakistan, risking a new arms race in the Middle East, according to senior American officials.

The move by the Gulf kingdom, which has financed much of Islamabad’s nuclear programme over the past three decades, comes amid growing anger among Sunni Arab states over a deal backed by President Barack Obama, which they fear could allow their arch foe, Shi’ite Iran, to develop a nuclear bomb.

The agreement, which is due to be finalised by the end of next month and involves the permanent members of the UN security council and Germany, is designed to roll back part of Tehran’s nuclear programme in return for an easing of UN sanctions.

18. Mai 2015, 14.26 Uhr:

Mideast Neusprech - Wenn Terroristen Terroristen zu Terroristen erklären

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

In Beirut feiert Ali Akbar Velayati einen Sieg der “Achse des Widerstandes” in den Qalamoun Bergen, wo in den vergangenen Wochen Truppen der Hizbollah und der syrischen Armee mit iranischer Unterstützung gegen die vom syrischen Al Qaida Ableger al Nusra angeführte “Army of Conquest” gekämpft haben. De facto kämpte der islamische Staat auch mit und zwar ebenfalls gegen die Nusra Front.

“We feel very proud as we have been watching in the last few days the new victories that the Lebanese resistance and Syrian army are achieving in Qalamoun,” Ali Akbar Velayati said after meeting with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri at his Beirut residence.

“This contributes to strengthening the axis of resistance not only in Lebanon and Syria, but in the whole region and worldwide.”

Die “Axis of Resistance", das sind jene vom Iran angeführten Kräfte, die die Verbreitung der islamischen Revolution vorantreiben, Israel vernichten wollen und darauf hinarbeiten, dass, wie sie selbst erklären, eines Tages auch auf dem Dach des Weißen Hauses die grüne Fahne des Islam wehen soll.

Ausgrechnet Velatayi nun ruft  “regional countries supporting extremist groups in Syria” auf “to end their assistance.” Gemeint sind Saudi Arabien, Qatar, die Türkei und andere Staaten, die die Army of Conquest so, bzw. weniger unterstützen, als der Iran die Hizbollah.

Extremisten nämlich sind Jihadisten, die zwar auch Israel vernichten wollen und sich freuen täten, wehte auf dem Weißen Haus die Fahne des Islam wehte, die aber blöderweise zugleich gegen den Iran und seine Verbündeten kämpfen, weil die eben der aus ihrer Sicht falschen, nämlich  schiitischen Glaubensrichtung angehören.

Das macht sie zu Extremisten und Terroristen aus iranischer Sicht. So einfach ist das mit dem nahöstlichen Neusprech, der im Westen nur allzu gerne für bare Münze genommen wird, denn im Kampf gegen den IS, da ist der Iran ja irgendwie Verbündeter …. eben gegen den Extremismus. Womit man ganz die iranische Propaganda unterstützt, denn neuerdings gefällt Teheran sich ja in der Rolle des Vorkämpfers gegen den Terrorismus.

18. Mai 2015, 00.56 Uhr:

Das nächste Disaster

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Ramadi, die Hauptstadt der westirakischen Anbar Provinz, des so genannten sunnitischen Dreiecks, ist in die Hände des Islamischen Staates gefallen, acht Monate nachdem eine Koalition auch sechzig (!) Staaten unter Führung der USA dem IS den Krieg erklärt hat.

Dafür hat der IS jetzt wieder US-Waffennachschub, die irakische Armee ist einmal mehr geschlagen und schiitische Milizen, die de facto dem Iran unterstelllt sind, dürfen ganz offiziell das Vakuum füllen. Kurzum: Das Disaster könnte größer nicht sein.

(Und, wie üblich in solchen Fällen, sind weitere zehntausende von Menschen auf der Flucht, füllen die eh schon völlig überfüllten Lagern.)

“Ramadi has fallen to Daash,” one officer said. “There were many suicide bombers and many soldiers and officers are dead.”

Ramadi Mayor Dalaf al Kubaisi confirmed the collapse of the city’s defenses in a statement in which he said at least 90 percent of the city was in the hands of the Islamic State. He said the small portions still in government control were likely to fall quickly unless help arrived in the form of government ground forces and U.S. air strikes.

One police officer confirmed that at least 30 U.S. supplied armored Humvees, which had been sent as reinforcements on Saturday, had been abandoned in the neighborhood of Malaab alone. Those vehicles were part of three regiments of Iraqi soldiers sent to the city on Saturday to confront the surprise offensive on one of the last government held population centers in Anbar, Iraq’s largest province.

The officer said that at least 500 soldiers and police were fleeing from that area, mostly on foot, with the main highway linking Ramadi to the capital of Baghdad, about 60 miles away, completely controlled by the Islamic State.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi, responding to the unfolding crisis, went on state television Sunday evening to announce that he’d authorized the deployment of Iranian-backed Shiite militias to the area, though it remained unclear if any part of Ramadi will remain under government control by the time those troops can be deployed.

State television said that Anbar’s government council had voted Sunday to ask for the deployment, a move both the local Sunni tribes and the central government had resisted because of sectarian tensions between the mostly Shiite central government and the predominately Sunni residents of the area.

The Iraqi federal police claimed it would quickly mount a new operation. In a statement, Brig. Gen. Raid Shakir Joudat said he would head to Ramadi “commanding a huge force . . . to cleanse Anbar province from terrorist gangs.”

But with government forces in a full rout, that pledge seemed likely to prove empty, and all sides appeared to agree that the deployment of the militias was a necessary last resort. “We no longer have a choice,” said one civilian fleeing Ramadi.

How effective Shiite militiamen deployed far from their home areas in an overtly hostile environment would be remained an open question. The militia played the leading role in the government’s effort to recapture Tikrit two months ago. But the militias took heavy casualties in the predominantly Sunni area and were unable to take the city despite overwhelming numbers. Tikrit fell only after the militias withdrew, and the United States launched air strikes against the Islamic State positions to back regular Iraqi army ground forces.

Those forces, however, were the very ones that fled Ramadi on Sunday.

The capture of Ramadi, a city whose population is given as between 500,000 and 900,000, is by far the largest Islamic State victory since the militants’ June 10 capture of Mosul, which with 2 million people is Iraq’s second biggest city. It comes after nine months of U.S. bombing in Iraq and offers a counter to American military officials’ arguments as recently as last week that those strikes have put the militants on the defensive.

18. Mai 2015, 00.22 Uhr:

Eine gescheiterte nicht-religiöse Revolution

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Die ägyptische Revolution sei, wie der ganze arabische Frühling, gescheitert, meint Hani Shukrallah in Al Ahram. Sie sei eine grundlegend säkulare Angelegenheit gewesen, die sich gegen den Dualismus Staat/ Islam gerichtet habe, der die Region in einer eisernen Klammer halte und eines Tages beendet werde:

The Egyptian Revolution was profoundly secular, if not secularist. After more than nearly four decades of the inexorable rise of Islamism came a popular revolution of millions that conspicuously made a point of putting religion (with all its uncomfortable impedimenta) on the backburner. Similarly to all the Arab Spring uprisings, Egyptians in motion spoke not of Sharia, rule by what God ordained or the restoration of the Caliphate. As the whole world came to know, the banner of Tahrir was freedom, democracy and social justice. They did not speak of an Islamic nation, but rather reclaimed the flag, redefining Egyptian nationhood as one arising from the fundamental human dignity of its citizens.

It went even further. As if picking up from where the previous popular revolution in their history (the revolution of 1919) had left off, the young men and women of Tahrir and elsewhere around the country took the hitherto stunted notions of citizenship and equality to new and unprecedented heights. Women, veiled or unveiled, were now fully equal to men — their bodies, which for decades had been put at the very heart of the symbolic battle over the nation’s identity, its political, social and cultural makeup, its present and future, were rendered a non-issue. The Egyptian Revolution did not debate the hijab; it ignored it — and in doing so dismantled its very basis, symbolically and practically.

Similarly, Coptic/Muslim Brotherhood was an overriding theme of the Egyptian Revolution. Previously inconceivable images of demonstrators holding aloft the Quran and the Cross, Coptic human shields around Muslims performing their prayers, seemed to roll back, within weeks, decades of effective disenfranchisement of Egypt’s Christian minority, holding Copts hostage to the Islamist/police state contestation, with each side taking a swipe at what had become the country’s preferred whipping boy.

And herein lay a fundamental feature of the Egyptian Revolution (indeed, the whole Arab Spring), which many commentators have failed to grasp. And this is that in neither targeting nor deploying religion, it sidelined it, pushed it out of the political realm, and rendered it politically, ideologically and culturally neutral. It was not anti-Islamic or pro-Islamic; it simply was non-Islamic. Not anti-religious but non-religious.

This is the very definition of secular.

Certainly, the Egyptian Revolution has failed, and so did the whole domino of Arab Spring uprisings. In their failure to follow through they had the paradoxical effect of reinvigorating the forces they had set out to dismantle. Yet, the police state/Islamic state duality that had held the region in its iron grip for close on four decades has been shaken to its very foundations. The whole theoretical edifice of Arab/Muslim “exceptionalism”, said to be inherent to their intrinsic, immutable and unchanging “Islamic identity,” lies in the rubble of revolution and counterrevolution, having been made nonsense.

12. Mai 2015, 15.53 Uhr:

Gegen Homophobie im Libanon

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Anlässlich des kommenden Internationalen Tages gegen Homophobie hat die Organisation Proud Lebanon folgendes Video veröffentlicht, in dem die Abschaffung von § 534 des libanesischen Strafrechtes gefordert wird, der Homosexualität unter Strafe stellt:

Hier eine Übersetzung:

Do you know that the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights?

Do you know that in the 21st century, there are still people being beaten, stigmatized, arrested and in some cases killed…Just because they are LGBT?

Being different is not shameful. What is shameful is fighting against diversity.

It could be your brother, neighbor, or your coworker. It could be your sister, your girlfriend or even your manager. If you refuse to recognize them, it doesn’t mean they do not exist.

Protesting this injustice is not enough, we should also work together to change these unjust laws and replace them with laws that protect all citizens, because laws are made to protect, and not to abuse.

We are all born free and equal. I know that it’s difficult to face society, but laws should be at least just. Democracy is not only about the majority and minority; it is about providing security and protection to all citizens.

You do not have to be poor to defend the rights of the poor. You do not have to be a woman to defend women’s rights. You do not have to be a refugee to defend the rights of refugees. You do not have to be gay to defend the rights of the LGBT. Being human is enough.

Even if we are different, we shouldn’t be fighting.

Join us on May 17, at Monroe Hotel to participate at IDAHOT from 11:00am – 6:00 pm.

11. Mai 2015, 18.11 Uhr:

Proteste in Iranisch-Kurdistan breiten sich aus

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Die Proteste in Iranisch-Kurdistan gehen weiter und breiten sich aus:

Unrest has mounted in Kurdish-populated areas of Iran, with an opposition party threatening armed action and security forces deploying heavily as protests have spread from Mahabad.

Deadly demonstrations continued Monday in the northwestern city of Mahabad, where anger boiled over Thursday after a local woman jumped to her death from a hotel window, reportedly to avoid rape by an Iranian security officer.

ARA News, a Syrian outlet close to the country’s Kurds, reported that at least six people have been killed in the ongoing demonstrations, while hundreds of others have been detained.

The protests quickly spread outside of Mahabad, with demonstrations erupting in the Kurdish-populated town of Sardasht some 70 kilometers to the southwest.

Iraqi Kurdish Rudaw News reported Sunday that police in Sardasht “attacked hundreds of protesters gathering to pledge support for fellow Kurds rallying against alleged injustice in Mahabad.”

“Eyewitnesses said that when security forces tried to [disperse] the protest, violence broke out between police and protesters,” the agency said, adding that at least 30 people had been arrested.

Meanwhile, the vice president of the Iranian opposition Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK) Hussein Yazdanpana told Asharq Alawsat that demonstrations had also been held in the nearby towns of Bukan, Shina, Marivan and Sanandaj.

11. Mai 2015, 16.19 Uhr:

Camp David ohne Könige

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Es sollte ein großes Camp David Ereignis werden, die Einladung des amerikanischen Präsidenten an die diversen Potentaten der Golfstaaten, um sie von den Vorzügen eines Nukleardeals mit dem Iran zu überzeugen. Nun erklären diese aber, wenige Tage vor dem Ereignis, gar nicht kommen zu wollen:

It is not just the Saudi king who will be skipping the Camp David summit of U.S. and allied Arab leaders. Most Gulf heads of state won’t be there.

The absences will put a damper on talks that are designed to reassure key Arab allies, and almost certainly reflect dissatisfaction among leaders of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council with Washington’s handling of Iran and what they expect to get out of the meeting. (…)

Abdulkhaleq Abdullah, a professor of political science at Emirates University, said Gulf leaders were staying away from the Camp David gathering to signal their displeasure over the nuclear talks.

“I don’t think they have a deep respect, a deep trust for Obama and his promises. There is a fundamental difference between his vision of post-nuclear-deal Iran and their vision,” he said. “They think Iran is a destabilizing force and will remain so, probably even more, if the sanctions are lifted. … They’re just not seeing things eye to eye.”

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