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The Middle East...where Are Events Taking Us?


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Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Yesterday Iran accused Israel of waging a campaign of terror against it. The only apt comment that crosses my mind at the moment is that the expression that contains, pot, kettle and black is now completely redundant.

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    There is no other description for what is happening other than war crime and genocide.   Israel is technically the occupying force on Gaza and as such is duty bound to protect civilians.   Complet

    The scenes in Gaza look like the aftermath of a nuclear bomb, utter devastation. The Israelis telling people to go back to their homes in northern Gaza as its "safe", what are they supposed to go back

    Reported on the BBC too... An air strike on an army camp has killed three soldiers, the Syrian government says, blaming the US-led coalition for the attack. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-

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    Posted
  • Location: 4 miles north of Durham City
  • Location: 4 miles north of Durham City

    Yet another top Iranian nuclear scientist assassinated:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk...e-east-16519304

    So who is behind this string of assassinations? The obvious conclusion that everyone jumps to is either the US or Israel (or both) but I have to say I'm not so sure. These attacks seem to have been carried out with relative ease. The targets were carefully selected and the attackers seem to have evaded caputure (getting away on a motorcycle this time). This suggests that at the very least, if an outside power is involved they are using local proxies who blend in (Mujahideen Khalq or some such organisation). The Iranian authorities automatically point the finger at the US/Israel because thats who they'd like it to be but two other possibilities suggest themselves to me. One is that these killings are being orchestrated from within Iran itself by powerful people who are opposed to Ahmedinejad and his benefactors in the Islamic elite. One wonders if the trail could eventually lead to Rafsanjanis door? We may never know. Even if the Iranians had a suspicion of this kind they would never admit it as it would display how divided the Iranian hierarchy is, much more preferable to blame the usual bogeymen, the US and/or Israel.

    The other possibility is that there are other states, particularly ones in the region, who have much to fear and much to lose from a nuclear armed Iran. Most notable among these is Saudi Arabia. What do we know about the Saudi attitude to Iran having nuclear weapons? We know for an absolute fact that the Saudis fear this as much as Israel does. Just after the Islamic Revolution, we now know that due to the fear that Iran was trying to acquire nuclear capability, Saudi Arabia sought and was in the process of receiving an "off-the-shelf" nuclear capability from China, via intermediaries in Pakistan (indeed they had already started to take delivery of the delivery system - Chinese built missiles when the US found out and put the kybosh on the whole thing fearing it could be used against Israel). We also know, from information released by Wikileaks, that Saudi Arabia was actively encouraging both the US and Israel to attack Irans nuclear sites. Finally what we in the West don't fully realise is the degree of distrust and indeed hatred felt toward Iran by Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region, why? One word - religion. Iran predominantly follows Shia Islam. Saudi Arabia and much of the rest of the surrounding countries follow the Sunni tradition. You cannot underestimate the strength of feeling between the two sides of this divide. The Sunnis regard Shia Islam as a herasy, not to put too fine a point on it Sunni and Shia hate eachother. It is comparable to the hatred that existed between Protestant and Catholic during the Reformation era. Saudi Arabia regards itself as having the pre-eminent position in the Islamic religion, being home to the two Holy Shrines and the most conservative form of Sunni Islam, Wahabbism. They perceive Iran, especially a nuclear armed Iran, to be a direct threat to that position and will do anything to prevent Iran and the Shia faith getting the upper hand.

    It would be very easy then to point the finger at the usual suspects but I'm not convinced, I suspect a bit of false-flagging going on here, the US and Israel being conveniently blamed to cover the real perpetrators. My suspicion is this may be the work of the Saudis. These attacks are well planned and executed suggesting "on the ground" or perhaps even inside intel. But they are low tech (this latest attack was apparrently carried out by two blokes on a motorbike who attached some sort of magnetic bomb to the car and then took off). Yes the Israelis and the US don't want Iran getting their hands on nuclear weapons, but neither do certain others whose motives may be driven not by cynical politics, but by religious zeal.

    Very good analysis there.

    The Saudi's are useful idiots when it comes to enforcing US-European interests.

    Edited by PersianPaladin
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    Posted
  • Location: Ponteland
  • Location: Ponteland

    Yesterday Iran accused Israel of waging a campaign of terror against it. The only apt comment that crosses my mind at the moment is that the expression that contains, pot, kettle and black is now completely redundant.

    . I would agree with the "pot,kettle and black " comment 100%.
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    Now the Iranians are blaming the Brits and the Yanks for the assassination of this last nuclear scientist - now I can understand the CIA and Mossad, especially Mossad, because they have previous using nicked or fake British passports toboot, for doing 'wet' jobs but not MI6 - it simply ain't cricket - more likely to be one of their dissaffected homegrown.

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    An extract from the Economist.

    .

    A new round of sanctions may be having an effect even before they come into force. On December 31St Barack Obama signed into law measures passed with large majorities in Congress that included barring foreign firms dealing with the Central

    Bank of Iran, the agency for half the country's oil-related transactions, from access to America's financial system. The value

    of the Iranian rial against the dollar promptly fell by 12%, though it has since recovered after the heavy intervention of Iran's central bank.

    The intended effect of this new sanction, which allows the president some discretion over its implementation, is to force countries such as Japan and China that are big purchasers of Iranian oil to choose between continuing to buy it and keeping access

    to the American market for their exports. In practice, Mr Obama is likely to allow big trading partners at least a temporary

    waiver to give them and the world oil market time to adjust. But Iran, which gets 80% of its revenues from oil exports, will be hard hit. If the European Union goes ahead with its own sanctions against Iranian

    oil exports, which is likely, the sense of being under siege will grow.

    Now the EU has. So what will the Iranian response be? Closing the straights seems self defeating. Brinkmanship is a dodgy buiseness.

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    Posted
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
  • Weather Preferences: Any Extreme
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield

    Looks like Egypt will be going towards a more extreme Islamic state judging by the elections and today's news article. Not good and bad news for Israel as well.

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    Posted
  • Location: 4 miles north of Durham City
  • Location: 4 miles north of Durham City

    INEGMA Special Report No. 4

    Iranian Mining of the Strait of Hormuz –

    Plausibility and Key Considerations

    Sabahat Khan

    Analyst

    Institute of Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA)

    http://www.inegma.com/reports/special%20report%204/Iranian%20Mining%20of%20the%20Strait%20of%20Hormuz.pdf

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    Posted
  • Location: Louth, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Misty Autumn days and foggy nights
  • Location: Louth, Lincolnshire

    INEGMA Special Report No. 4

    Iranian Mining of the Strait of Hormuz –

    Plausibility and Key Considerations

    Sabahat Khan

    Analyst

    Institute of Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA)

    http://www.inegma.co...of%20Hormuz.pdf

    Thanks for this PP, a very interesting read. Iran used similar, if not identical tactics during the tanker wars in the 1980's using Silkworm missiles rather than mines. The problem with mines, as the article suggests, is that they don't respect flags and once you've laid them, it's difficult to un-lay them.

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    Posted
  • Location: Clayton-Le-Woods, Chorley 59m asl.
  • Weather Preferences: very cold frosty days, blizzards, very hot weather, floods, storms
  • Location: Clayton-Le-Woods, Chorley 59m asl.

    Syrian troops attacking Homs with heavy shelling and mortar alot of people killed. What will Russia and China do? NOTHING!!

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Romford Essex.
  • Location: Near Romford Essex.

    Syrian troops attacking Homs with heavy shelling and mortar alot of people killed. What will Russia and China do? NOTHING!!

    And what will the western powers do?

    As you say Nothing.

    No oil, dont wish to left trouser leg off Russia or China. lol sod the revolution then.

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Syrian troops attacking Homs with heavy shelling and mortar alot of people killed. What will Russia and China do? NOTHING!!

    Not really a surprise. The Soviet Union and then Russia have been an allie of Syria for 60 years. They supplied most of the weapons to Syria in the 1968 war against Israel in an attempt to iradicate the latter and Syria is still their 'in' to the Middle East until such a time it suits them to beat a strategic withdrawal.

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    And what will the western powers do?

    As you say Nothing.

    And your suggestion would be what? If they intervene it's wrong also if they don't. Talk about a devil and a hard place. It never ceases to amaze me the number of 'experts' on here on the subject of the Middle East.

    Edited by weather ship
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    Posted
  • Location: Whitkirk, Leeds 86m asl
  • Weather Preferences: Anything but mild south-westeries in winter
  • Location: Whitkirk, Leeds 86m asl

    Well, it's nice to see someone elses flag being burned

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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    What an embarasment for the UNSC, once again they are being shown to be limp as they have been all along in the Arab Spring (other than Libya).

    It is the responsibility of the UN to maintain peace, it is the responsibility of the UNSC to enforce such peace and provide security for the people of this world.

    What we have seen is that certain members who should be ashamed are willing to allow genocide for the sake of a few trade deals with a relatively unimportant country.

    The quicker we get a resolution passed enforcing military action in Yemen and Syria the better.

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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    And your suggestion would be what? If they intervene it's wrong also if they don't. Talk about a devil and a hard place. It never ceases to amaze me the number of 'experts' on here on the subject of the Middle East.

    How on earth is it wrong?

    The UK is part of a security council containing just 8 member states, these states have the responsibility to enforce peace.

    Syria is committing genocide of it's own people and the SC watches and does nothing.

    If you think it is wrong then you must think that the UK should not be a member of the SC, should not have the 4th highest military budget in the world.

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    Posted
  • Location: Whitkirk, Leeds 86m asl
  • Weather Preferences: Anything but mild south-westeries in winter
  • Location: Whitkirk, Leeds 86m asl

    Actually the security council only has 5 members

    I think the point WS was making is if we do not intervene we are bad, and if we do, we are still bad. It's like we cannot win no matter what we do because we're going to p ss someone off.

    Edited by Aaron
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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Actually the security council only has 5 members

    I think the point WS was making is if we do not intervene we are bad, and if we do, we are still bad. It's like we cannot win no matter what we do because we're going to p ss someone off.

    That is exactly the point I'm making. Plus I'd be interested to know how we would enforce peace without escalating the tragic situation. Whilst on the subject of genocide people don't seem that concerned that an estimated 2-4 million have died in the Congo.

    EDIT.

    I'm afraid in many ways the UN is like a toothless tiger probably best summed up by Peter Brookes.

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    Edited by weather ship
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    Posted
  • Location: 4 miles north of Durham City
  • Location: 4 miles north of Durham City

    What an embarasment for the UNSC, once again they are being shown to be limp as they have been all along in the Arab Spring (other than Libya).

    It is the responsibility of the UN to maintain peace, it is the responsibility of the UNSC to enforce such peace and provide security for the people of this world.

    What we have seen is that certain members who should be ashamed are willing to allow genocide for the sake of a few trade deals with a relatively unimportant country.

    The quicker we get a resolution passed enforcing military action in Yemen and Syria the better.

    The Chinese and Russians vetoed it, and they will vetoe other resolutions. If you think NATO has a right to force this through, then you also support war-mongering.

    If they cared about human-lives, they'd have intervened all over the world. But Syria is in the middle-east, directly nextdoor to Iran - so it has that strategic position.

    Edited by PersianPaladin
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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    Actually the security council only has 5 members

    I think the point WS was making is if we do not intervene we are bad, and if we do, we are still bad. It's like we cannot win no matter what we do because we're going to p ss someone off.

    Yes, i was thinking of the G8 for some reason.

    The question is just how cosy are Russia and China. It is one thing to say they support Syria on paper but quite another to risk an engagement with NATO.

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  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    That is exactly the point I'm making. Plus I'd be interested to know how we would enforce peace without escalating the tragic situation. Whilst on the subject of genocide people don't seem that concerned that an estimated 2-4 million have died in the Congo.

    EDIT.

    I'm afraid in many ways the UN is like a toothless tiger probably best summed up by Peter Brookes.

    To be honest i agree that situation would escalate however the alternative is to watch as many people die while the SC sits around arguing.

    I may be somewhat of a Libertarian on such issues and so biased however democracy is a human right and one which the SC should seek to enforce.

    We should certainly take more of an interest in the Congo, it has the potential to be one of the wealthiest nations in the world.

    The Chinese and Russians vetoed it, and they will vetoe other resolutions. If you think NATO has a right to force this through, then you also support war-mongering.

    If they cared about human-lives, they'd have intervened all over the world. But Syria is in the middle-east, directly nextdoor to Iran - so it has that strategic position.

    While i do support military intervention i believe in democracy and as such respect the veto used even if i think they should be ashamed thus NATO can not go alone.

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Romford Essex.
  • Location: Near Romford Essex.

    And your suggestion would be what? If they intervene it's wrong also if they don't. Talk about a devil and a hard place. It never ceases to amaze me the number of 'experts' on here on the subject of the Middle East.

    My suggestion would be that you cant pick and choose which dictator you want removed, or which revolution you choose to support.

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    My suggestion would be that you cant pick and choose which dictator you want removed, or which revolution you choose to support.

    Maybe not but the people of that country can but unfortunately they may pay a high price. And Syria has history, After Husni Za'im was overthrown and executed another sixteen regimes arose and fell in Syria in almost as many years. Okay, the context is slightly different now but it's still up to the people.

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    While i do support military intervention i believe in democracy and as such respect the veto used even if i think they should be ashamed thus NATO can not go alone.

    Are the two compatable?

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