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Category Archives: Middle East

Chi vuole scatenare una guerra nello stretto di Hormuz

Come fareste se voleste scatenare una guerra in una regione che vive di petrolio e gas e attraverso la quale passa buona parte dell’approvvigionamento di idrocarburi del mondo? Semplice, attacchereste le petroliere.

È esattamente quello che è accaduto il 13 giugno nel mare di Oman, nei pressi dello stretto di Hormuz attraverso il quale transitano ogni anno circa 2.400 petroliere. Due navi cisterna cariche sono state attaccate e sono stati pubblicati video che le mostrano in fiamme. Gli equipaggi sono stati messi in salvo.

https://www.internazionale.it/opinione/pierre-haski/2019/06/14/petroliere-stretto-hormuz

 

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Posted by on June 14, 2019 in Middle East, Uncategorized

 

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Bloated bodies in the Nile show Sudan protesters were right to fear the arrival of Saudi and UAE money

The Sudanese democracy demonstrators were the first to protest at Saudi Arabia’s interference in their revolution. We all knew that the Saudis and the Emiratis had been funnelling millions of dollars into the regime of Omar al-Bashir, wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court and now chucked out of power by a Sisi-like military cabal. But it was the sit-in protesters who first thought up the slogan: “We do not want Saudi aid even if we have to eat beans and falafel!”

It was shouted, of course, along with the more familiar chants of ‘revolution of the people”.

Few noticed this little development – save, to give it credit, The Washington Post – but the dozens of waterlogged bodies being dragged from the Nile should focus our attention on the support which the Emiratis and especially the Saudis are now lavishing upon the pseudo-transitional military government in Sudan.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/sudan-saudi-arabia-egypt-abdul-fattah-al-burhan-hemeti-dagolo-nile-a8952321.html

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2019 in Middle East

 

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While the world watches Donald Trump, it’s missing what’s really going on with US foreign policy

Our leaders know how to bang the war drums and, by and large, we go along with them. The US threatens Iran with war – so will Iran close the Strait of Hormuz and attack American warships in the Gulf? Israel strikes Iranian targets in Syria after rockets fall on Golan – so does an Arab-Israeli conflict loom closer than at any time since the 1973 conflict? Jared Kushner plans to reveal Trump’s “deal of the century” for peace in the Middle East – but is it dead in the water?

Meanwhile the real stories get pushed down the page – or “to the back of the book”, as we journalists used to say.

Take Donald Trump’s desire to furnish Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with billions of dollars of extra weapons so that they can increase the ferocity of their war in Yemen against the Houthis – whose support from Iran, such as it is, prompts much of the international abuse against the Islamic Republic. French intelligence officers in Washington have apparently discovered that this is no routine request from Riyadh but a desperate appeal to Washington, because so promiscuous has been the Saudis’ use of US munitions against Houthi rebels (and civilians, hospitals, aid centres, schools and wedding parties) that they are running out of bombs, guided and unguided missiles, drone parts and other “precision” arms to be used on one of the poorest countries in the world.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/trump-saudi-arabia-us-air-strikes-jordan-yemen-afghanistan-bolton-a8946726.html

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2019 in Middle East, North America, Asia

 

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Our sentimental commemorations have conveniently ignored our reliance on the Middle East

Roosevelt, Churchill and the representatives of Russia and China signed the United Nations Declaration on New Year’s Day 1942, two and a half years before D-Day. After that, those words “United Nations” became the formal name under which the allies were fighting Nazi Germany, fascist Italy and Japan.

The declaration, which would cover the aims of the 6 June 1944 landings, declared that victory was “essential to defend life, liberty, independence and religious freedom, and to preserve human rights and justice”. It also supposedly – and very significantly – upheld the Wilsonian “principles of self-determination”.

I’m old enough to have met the soldiers of the First World War – at Ypres in the late Fifties with my 1918 veteran dad, when the men of Passchendaele returned to their former battlefields on holiday. And later I met, on my own Normandy holidays, the men of D-Day.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/d-day-normandy-landing-churchill-roosevelt-middle-east-oil-algeria-a8945471.html

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2019 in Middle East

 

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America’s persecution of Julian Assange has everything to do with Yemen

I was in Kabul a decade ago when WikiLeaks released a massive tranche of US government documents about the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen. On the day of the release, I was arranging by phone to meet an American official for an unattributable briefing. I told him in the course of our conversation what I had just learned from the news wires.

He was intensely interested and asked me what was known about the degree of classification of the files. When I told him, he said in a relieved tone: “No real secrets, then.”

When we met later in my hotel I asked him why he was so dismissive of the revelations that were causing such uproar in the world.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/julian-assange-us-authorities-wikileaks-secrets-yemen-iran-saudi-arabia-a8938786.html

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2019 in Middle East

 

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Yemen’s woes

The withdrawal of Houthi rebels from three of Yemen’s ports as part of the December 2018 ceasefire agreement should have been the basis for further talks to expand the truce to other parts of the country. But while the withdrawal was under way last week, Houthis, who are reportedly getting support from Iran, carried out a drone attack on a Saudi pipeline, and in retaliation Riyadh launched airstrikes on Sanaa, the capital city controlled by the rebels, killing at least six civilians, including children. Yemen now risks falling back to the pre-ceasefire days of conflict with fighting having broken out in parts of the government-controlled south. What makes the resumption of hostilities more dangerous is the regional angle. Tensions are on the rise in West Asia over the U.S.-Iran standoff. The U.S. had earlier warned against possible attacks by either Iran or Iran-backed militias against American interests or its allies in the region, and has deployed an aircraft carrier and a bomber squad to the Gulf. Immediately after the pipeline was attacked, the Saudis blamed Iran for ordering it, an allegation which both Tehran and the Houthis have refuted. Whether Iran was actually behind the attack or not, the incident and the subsequent Saudi airstrikes show how the Yemeni conflict is entangled with the regional rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/yemens-woes/article27189531.ece

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2019 in Middle East, Uncategorized

 

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The evidence we were never meant to see about the Douma ‘gas’ attack

We like to take the Big Boys on trust. No longer do we believe in our meretricious little leaders with their easy lies and twitters: the Trumps and Mays and now all the nationalists of Europe. We certainly don’t put any credit in Arab dictators.

But when, despite all its bureaucracy and corruption, the UN tells us that the world faces climate change, we largely believe what it says. If the International Red Cross warns us of a humanitarian catastrophe in Africa, we tend to take their word for it. And when the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) – which represents 193 member states throughout the world – reports on chlorine attacks in Syria, we assume we are hearing the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Until now. For in the last few days, there has emerged disturbing evidence that in its final report on the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime in the city of Douma last year, the OPCW deliberately concealed from both the public and the press the existence of a dissenting 15-page assessment of two cylinders which had supposedly contained molecular chlorine – perhaps the most damning evidence against the Assad regime in the entire report.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/douma-syria-opcw-chemical-weapons-chlorine-gas-video-conspiracy-theory-russia-a8927116.html

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2019 in Middle East, Uncategorized

 

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Arrogance, fanaticism and the prospect of a US-Iranian war

Tensions between the United States and Iran have flared up since the Trump administration withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran last year and began ratcheting up sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Earlier this month, tensions turned into threats, as Washington refused to extend sanctions waivers for buyers of Iranian oil, designated Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) a terrorist organisation, and began military preparations to deter Iran.

These measures are pushing the Iranian economy to the brink. Oil exports, which have already dwindled from 2.5 million to less than 1.3 million barrels a day since last year, could drop even further, crippling the state budget. Ordinary Iranians, who are already suffering from the raging inflation (currently at 40 percent) and skyrocketing prices of goods, will likely bear the brunt of Washington’s push to bring Iranian oil exports to zero. And this is only the beginning.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/arrogance-fanaticism-prospect-iranian-war-190430085736682.html

 

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The mysterious ‘sabotage’ of Saudi oil tankers is a dangerous moment in Trump’s pumped up feud with Iran

Saudi Arabia’s claim that two of its oil tankers have been sabotaged off the coast of the UAE is vague in detail – but could create a crisis that spins out of control and into military action.

Any attack on shipping in or close to the Strait of Hormuz, the 30-mile wide channel at the entrance to the Gulf, is always serious because it is the most important choke point for the international oil trade.

A significant armed action by the US or its allies against Iran would likely provoke Iranian retaliation in the Gulf and elsewhere in the region. Although the US is militarily superior to Iran by a wide margin, the Iranians as a last resort could fire rockets or otherwise attack Saudi and UAE oil facilities. Such apocalyptic events are unlikely – but powerful figures in Washington, such as the national security adviser John Bolton and secretary of state Mike Pompeo, appear prepared to take the risk of a war breaking out.

 

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2019 in Middle East, Uncategorized

 

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The Gaza Ghetto uprising

The cruelty and temerity of the people in Gaza once more reached new heights Saturday: dozens of rockets on Israel before the week of its Independence Day, just after its Holocaust Remembrance Day, and worst of all, two weeks before its Eurovision. How dare you Gaza, how dare you. Israel still hasn’t recovered from the Holocaust, is preening itself for its Independence Day, the musicians are starting to arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport, and you’re firing Qassam rockets. How will we be able to celebrate? News reports give the impression that Israel is under siege; Gaza is threatening to destroy it. Twitter has already suggested “Eva’s Story on the Gaza Border” – a play on the social media campaign about the Holocaust. Pundits explain that it’s all because of Hamas’ greed. Ramadan is beginning and “they’re under crazy pressure for cash.” Or, “It’s all because of the weak security policy that has gotten the terror groups used to Israel; we only strike buildings.” And so they shoot, those villains. Hamas wants money, Israel’s too soft on them, they are terror, we are peace; they were born to kill. On Friday the army killed four protesters by the Gaza border fence, but who’s counting. In Israel a teenage boy tripped while running for a shelter. “When a lack of policy and continuity yields to blackmail,” a voice of wisdom mumbled, and nobody could figure out what he was proposing. Benny Gantz, the alternative. This is what we have an opposition for.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51558.htm

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2019 in Middle East

 

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