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Tag Archives: Middle East

Donald Trump’s speech to the Muslim world was filled with hypocrisy and condescension

So after inventing “fake news”, America’s crazed President on Sunday gave the world’s Muslims a fake speech. Donald Trump said he was not in Saudi Arabia to “lecture” – but then told the world’s Islamic preachers what to say, condemned “Islamist terrorism” as if violence was a solely Muslim phenomenon and then announced like an Old Testament prophet that he was in “a battle between good and evil”. There were no words of compassion, none of mercy, absolutely not a word of apology for his racist, anti-Muslim speeches of last year.

Even more incredibly, he blamed Iran – rather than Isis – for “fuelling sectarian violence”, pitied the Iranian people for their “despair” a day after they had freely elected a liberal reformer as their president, and demanded the further isolation of the largest Shiite country in the Middle East. The regime responsible for “so much instability” is Iran. The Shiite Hezbollah were condemned. So were the Shiite Yemenis. Trump’s Sunni Saudi hosts glowed with warmth at such wisdom.

Source: Donald Trump’s speech to the Muslim world was filled with hypocrisy and condescension | The Independent

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Middle East, North America

 

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Donald Trump puts US on Sunni Muslim side of bitter sectarian war with Shias

It was crude stuff. President Trump called on 55 Muslim leaders assembled in Riyadh to drive out terrorism from their countries. He identified Iran as a despotic state and came near to calling for regime change, though Iran held a presidential election generally regarded as fair only two days previously.

He denounced Hezbollah and lined up the US squarely on the side of the Sunni against the Shia in the sectarian proxy war that is tearing apart the Middle East.

The impact of US presidential visits and speeches abroad are generally over-rated and turn out to have far less influence than was claimed at the time.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/donald-trump-saudi-arabia-trip-sunni-shia-sectarian-war-iran-a7748386.html

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Middle East, North America

 

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This is the aim of Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia – and it isn’t good for shia communities

Donald Trump sets off on Friday to create the fantasy of an Arab Nato. There will be dictators aplenty to greet him in Riyadh, corrupt autocrats and thugs and torturers and head choppers. There will be at least one zombie president – the comatose, undead Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria who neither speaks nor, apparently, hears any more – and, of course, one totally insane president, Donald Trump. The aim, however, is simple: to prepare the Sunni Muslims of the Middle East for war against the Shia Muslims. With help from Israel, of course.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/donald-trump-saudi-arabia-iran-iraq-kurdish-population-shia-muslims-a7742276.html

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Middle East, North America

 

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Donald Trump hasn’t quite thought through his first foreign trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican

Not since Ibn Batuta, travelled the Middle East in the 14th century has anyone set out with higher ambitions that Donald Trump. Batuta, a Moroccan Muslim traveller and scholar, had a few things in common with Trump. He reached what is now Saudi Arabia. He went to Jerusalem. He even had a keen eye for nubile ladies – there were a few wives, not to mention a Greek slave girl to be groped. But there the parallels end. For Ibn Batuta was sane.

Yet now we know that Trump thinks he’s touching the three monotheistic religions because he’s going to Riyadh, Jerusalem and then the Vatican (not quite in the Middle East but what’s a hundred miles for a guy like Trump). A few problems, of course. He can’t go to Holy Mecca because Christians are banned and the old king of Saudi Arabia represents a head-chopping Wahabi autocracy some of whose citizens have paid for – and fought alongside – the dreaded Isis which Trump thinks he is fighting.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/trump-middle-east-visit-may-suadi-arabia-israel-vatican-no-luck-a7720391.html

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2017 in Middle East, North America

 

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After his first 100 days in office, we should fear Trump more than ever

Politicians and establishment media have greeted what they see as President Trump’s return to the norms of American foreign policy. They welcome the actual or threatened use of military force in Syria, Afghanistan and North Korea, and praise his appointment of a bevvy of generals to senior security posts. A striking feature of Trump’s first 100 days was the way in which the campaign to demonise him and his entourage as creatures of the Kremlin was suddenly switched off like a light as soon as he retreated from his earlier radicalism.

In reality, the Trump administration should be more feared as a danger to world peace at the end of his first 100 days in office than it was at the beginning. This is because Trump in the White House empowers many of those who, so far from being “a safe pair of hands”, have led the US into a series of disastrous wars in the Middle East in the post 9/11 era. There is no reason to think that they have changed their ways or learned from past mistakes.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/donald-trump-100-days-in-office-foreign-policy-war-air-strikes-syria-afghanistan-north-korea-a7707946.html?amp

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2017 in Middle East, North America

 

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Christians are under attack in the Middle East – and not even a visit from the Pope can convince them to stay

Almost exactly a quarter of a century ago, I wrote a story for the front page of what was then The Independent’s Weekend Review. It was headlined: “Exodus: a story of Christians”. It told the tragedy of those people of the faith who were fleeing the lands of the forefathers.

I interviewed the only hermit left in Lebanon, in a cave in the north of the country, and he said to me: “I am the only hermit left in all the Middle East.” His eyes creased in happiness when I acknowledged his unique theological condition. “I will never leave Lebanon,” he said. “No Christian should leave the Holy Land. Those who have left will come back.”

He exuded faith: childlike, passionate, precise, untrammelled by contradiction or facts. And he was wrong.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/pope-visits-egypt-cairo-christians-under-attack-in-the-middle-east-can-they-stay-robert-fisk-a7705351.html

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2017 in Middle East

 

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Trump’s dangerous delusions about Islam

In the aftermath of the attacks of 11 September 2001, amid the grief and rage that followed the toppling of the World Trade Center, President George W Bush did not declare war on Islam. “These acts of violence against innocents,” he told Americans in the week after 3,000 people were killed by Muslim terrorists, “violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith.” The war that Bush went on to declare soon thereafter was not against a religion, but against “terror” – and within that baggy term, he focused on al-Qaida, “a fringe movement”, in Bush’s words, “that perverts the peaceful teaching of Islam”.Sign up to the long read emailRead moreBush’s tact may have been caused by a short-term desire to rein in attacks on American Muslims (and others mistaken for them, such as Sikhs) in the wake of 9/11. But it also served the longer view of the president and his advisers, who believed that the Muslim world, much like everywhere else, was capable of being improved by exposure to democracy, free market capitalism and individual freedoms. In this regard, Bush’s views were in line with the then-influential “end of history” thesis proposed by the American political scientist Francis Fukuyama in 1989. With the end of the cold war, Fukuyama argued, it was only a matter of time before western liberal democracy was recognised everywhere as the best form of government. By the turn of the century, the belief that we were witnessing “the total exhaustion of viable systematic alternatives to western liberalism” was never more widely shared, and it lay behind one of Bush’s professed goals in invading Afghanistan and Iraq: to shepherd the Muslim world towards the universal ideology of liberalism.

Source: Trump’s dangerous delusions about Islam | Christopher de Bellaigue | News | The Guardian

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2017 in Middle East, North America

 

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It’s time America explored how to end the multiple wars it has helped cause since 2001, rather than dropping more bombs

War-whoops and loud applause from foreign policy establishments and their media supporters have greeted President Trump’s missile strike in Syria, the dropping of the world’s largest non-nuclear bomb on Afghanistan and the dispatch of a naval task force in the direction of North Korea.

This spurt in belligerence over the last week has as much to do with domestic American politics as any fundamental new development in the rest of the world. Trump needed to defuse the accusation that he was too close to President Putin and too tolerant of a Russian ally like Bashar al-Assad. The resort to military action was largely in keeping with the old Pentagon saying that “defence policy ends at the water’s edge”, meaning that it is politics inside, not outside the US, which is the real decision-maker.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/donald-trump-moab-bomb-syria-afghanistan-libya-wars-caused-middle-east-a7684181.html

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2017 in Middle East, North America

 

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Letter from Tehran: Trump ‘the bazaari’

The art of the deal, when practiced for 2500 years, does lead to the palace of wisdom. I had hardly set foot in Tehran when a diplomat broke the news: “Trump? We’re not worried. He’s a bazaari”. It’s a Persian language term meaning he is from the merchants class or, more literally, a worker from the bazaar and its use implies that a political accommodation will eventually be reached.The Iranian government’s response to the Trump administration boils down to a Sun Tzu variant; silence, especially after the Fall of Flynn, who had “put Iran on notice” after it carried out a ballistic missile test, and had pushed the idea of an anti-Iran military alliance comprising Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Jordan. Tehran says the missile test did not infringe the provisions of the Iran nuclear deal and that naval drills from the Strait of Hormuz to the Indian Ocean, which began on Sunday, had been planned well in advance.

Source: Letter from Tehran: Trump ‘the bazaari’ | Asia Times

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2017 in Middle East

 

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Trump’s Valentine: From the White House to IS, with love

George W Bush set the bar high for the accolade of worst US president in history.

Before 9/11, he ignored warnings of an impending attack, failed to respond to Hurricane Katrina, withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol lowering greenhouse gas emissions, set the US on a collision course with Russia by tearing up the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and invalidated the Geneva Convention protocols against torture. His invasion of Iraq, based on false intelligence, lit a regional fire that burns to this day.

Source: Trump’s Valentine: From the White House to IS, with love

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2017 in Middle East, North America

 

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