Jump to content
Cold?
Local
Radar
Snow?

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


Recommended Posts

Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    I find it difficult to believe this.

    What a surprise!

    United Nations observers have suspended their mission to Syria following an escalation in violence which their chief put down to a “lack of willingness†to seek peace.

    As Syrian security forces and rebels moved to advance their military positions, innocent civilians were dying, said Major General Robert Mood.

    His unarmed military monitors would cease their patrols until further notice, he announced today as heavy shelling and at least 31 deaths were reported around the country.

    “There has been an intensification of armed violence across Syria over the past 10 days,†said General Mood. “This escalation is limiting our ability to observe, verify, report as well as assist in local dialogue and stability projects - basically impeding our ability to carry out our mandate.

    Edited by Weather Ship
    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Spotted a post you think may be an issue? Please help the team by reporting it.
    • Replies 4.4k
    • Created
    • Last Reply

    Top Posters In This Topic

    Top Posters In This Topic

    Popular Posts

    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-

    Posted Images

    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Iraq claims to have reservesof 143 billion barrels of oil, the third largest in the world. In April Iraq esported just over 2.5m barrels a day, more than at any time since the 1980s, earning it's treasury almost $9 billion. Total production is now just under 3m barrels a day according to OPEC. More loading buoys are in the works and, as oil firms invest billions of dollars in Iraq, the industry is booming.

    The key question to my mind is, how much will internecine strife restrict the huge potential of the country?

    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Iraq claims to have reservesof 143 billion barrels of oil, the third largest in the world. In April Iraq esported just over 2.5m barrels a day, more than at any time since the 1980s, earning it's treasury almost $9 billion. Total production is now just under 3m barrels a day according to OPEC. More loading buoys are in the works and, as oil firms invest billions of dollars in Iraq, the industry is booming.

    The key question to my mind is, how much will internecine strife restrict the huge potential of the country?

    Alas, until we can reach a day whereby people are educated to be able to see the wide picture and work for the benefit of the whole instead of concentrating on their own backyard, not only internecine strife but regional and national differences, will continue.

    This not only applies to the middle east but to the European Union as well.

    What we really need is the situation where people generally are able to accept and respect differences which exist between us all whilst having at the same time the ability to put them aside for benefit of the greater good.

    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
  • Weather Preferences: Any Extreme
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield

    The key question to my mind is, how much will internecine strife restrict the huge potential of the country?

    This will probably boil down to how much benefit it brings to the poor people in Iraq or whether it just flows to few rich in the country.

    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Watch this space

    West on alert to safeguard Syria’s chemical weapons

    Western powers, including Britain, are drawing up contingency plans to secure Syria’s chemical weapons sites by military means if necessary, The Times has learnt.

    Britain, the US, France, Jordan, Turkey and Israel, are co-operating on the issue. Israeli and British sources confirmed the deep concern about the potential for Syria’s Government to lose control of its stocks of chemical weapons — the largest in the Middle East. Syria is not signed up to the Chemical Weapons Convention and Western powers believe that it retains significant stocks of mustard gas and nerve agents.

    Brigadier General Michael Herzog, a Jerusalem-based fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said there was “discussion ongoing†between governments over military planning.

    British sources said that the UK was involved in talks with the US on the chemical weapons issue but that there were no plans for British troops to participate in military operations. A more likely scenario would be that Jordanian special forces would operate with Western military support. One British source said that chemical sites were being kept under “close observation†by teams from a number of countries. To date, the Syrian Government had been “protecting them responsiblyâ€.

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/middleeast/article3448327.ece

    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Another false dawn? It would appear Egypt's democratic proccess has been put on hold as Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood claimed victory in the country’s first free presidential election this morning, hours after the ruling military council granted itself sweeping powers to enact laws and write the new constitution. But..................

    The announcement was over-shadowed by the decree from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces which set the scene for major power clash between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military council that has run the country since President Mubarak fell last year. It was seen by critics as an attempt by the junta, headed by the defence minister of the Mubarak regime, to cling to power and stop the Brotherhood taking over the most populous Arab country.

    The junta, which is widely believed to back Mr Shafiq, Mubarak’s last prime minister, issued a last-minute declaration after the Islamists claimed that they were pulling ahead in initial exit polls.

    Oh what a tangled web we weave.................................

    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    After the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, was deposed by the revolution in 1979, a chain of horrific massacres followed for some years that many have foregotten. One is reminded of these horrific events as survivors come to London to testify at an International tribunal.

    Survivors recall horror of ‘Iran’s Srebrenica’

    Some of them still hobble, others twitch and stutter. Almost a quarter of a century after a massacre described as “Iran’s Srebrenicaâ€, scores of survivors, physically and psychologically damaged by the torture they endured, came to London to testify at an international tribunal yesterday.

    It aims to record the horrors of the 1988 killings; the climax of a decade of bloody purges set in train by Islamist zealots who believed that they had been given a free hand by Ayatollah Khomeini to jail and kill anyone critical of the regime. Some 5,000 people, including women and children, were loaded on to forklift trucks and hanged from cranes. At least 20,000 were executed in jails across Iran in the 1980s. The crimes have never been investigated.

    “My so-called trial lasted less than five minutes,†Salah Bakhtiyar said yesterday. “The judge asked me how many I have killed. I replied: ‘I haven’t harmed an ant’.â€

    Mr Bakhtiyar, who supported a Kurdish workers’ group, told how, even as he pleaded for mercy, the judge bounced his four-year-old son on his lap. “Apparently this boy had been to many such sessions, because he would interrupt his father and say ‘Dear Dad, execute him too’.â€

    Mr Bakhtiyar’s death sentence was commuted to ten years’ jail. On one feast day in jail he was allowed meat. “The guard who served up the food told us that the meat belonged to the flesh of our friends who were executed in Tabriz.â€

    Others described how they were strung up and then had their feet pummelled with electric cables. “After 10 to 15 blows from the cable cold water was thrown on the feet so that they would not go numb,†said one former prisoner.

    As victim after victim took the stand — housed in the London premises of Amnesty International — tension crackled in the room. One bearded witness let out a high-pitched wail as he listened to Zahra Tasorian, from Arak, describe how her husband had hugged a 14-year-old boy at the moment of execution.

    “The boy had called for his mother,†said Ms Tasorian, speaking from behind a screen. Even 24 years after the killings, the survivors, coming from as far afield as Scandinavia and Canada to give testimony, still fear that the regime could seek revenge.

    The organisers of the tribunal — among them John Cooper, QC, the civil rights barrister, and Payam Akhavan, the former UN war crimes prosecutor — hope that the evidence gathered in five days of hearings will form the backbone of a trial for crimes against humanity. Some of those accused of the killings have gone on to become ministers in Iran or senior figures in the judiciary.

    “This will be a cathartic experience for the relatives of the victims who are still haunted by the most violent phase in the modern history of Iran,†said Mr Cooper.

    http://www.thetimes....icle3449520.ece

    Edited by knocker
    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    The Arab spring

    Egypt in peril

    Beneath the chaos lies a complex power struggle between generals and Islamists. The West should back the latter

    A YEAR and a half after the optimism of the Arab spring, the Middle East is in frightening turmoil. Syria is close to sliding into a full-scale civil war whose outcome is unknowable, though its bloodstained president, Bashar Assad, looks likely sooner or later to fall. Libya, mercifully shorn of its crazy tyrant, is being periodically rocked by the still-untamed militias that ousted him; its general election, scheduled for this month, has been pushed back until next. Yemen, having shed its ruling bully of 33 years, has become al-Qaeda’s favourite haunt. Tunisia, which had been gliding most smoothly from despotism to democracy, has seen riots by religious extremists (see article). Sudan’s vile government and Oman’s more amiable one have also both been rattled by protests. And in Saudi Arabia a long-lingering succession crisis is back starkly in the spotlight with the death of its crown prince (see article).

    However, the most troubling developments are in Egypt (see article), the Arab world’s most populous country. After 18 months of messy progress towards democracy, the army seems determined to reverse the march to freedom, or at least to put a heavy brake on it. If Egypt goes wrong, then democracy’s progress elsewhere in the Arab world will be far slower.

    http://www.economist.com/node/21557339

    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    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

    Step 1) Turkey spends several months increasingly militarising its border with Syria.

    Step 2) Syria shoots down a Turkish jet over water

    Step 3) Are we really to believe that Turkey will not bomb Syria back into the 1900's??

    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
  • Weather Preferences: Any Extreme
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield

    Step 4) Turkey admit the plane was off course and want to play down the incident.

    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    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 a possible period of conflict coming up in Egypt as both sides claim victory. A extremist islamic on one side and the prime minister on the other. Hoping the extremist won't win. If he doesn't will he take defeat.

    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted
  • Location: Devizes Wiltshire
  • Location: Devizes Wiltshire

    ANKARA, June 24 (Reuters) - Turkey said on Sunday Syria had shot down its military aircraft in international waters on Friday without warning and declared it would formally consult with NATO allies on a reaction.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, speaking some 48 hours after the plane was shot down near the sea borders of both countries, told state broadcaster TRT the plane had been clearly marked as Turkish and dismissed Syria's earlier statement it had not known the plane belonged to Turkey

    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
  • Weather Preferences: Any Extreme
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield

    The Arab autumn gathers pace as Egypt vote in an extremist. Rather amusing hearing this women asking about womens rights on TV. You won't have any love get used to it.

    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    What has happened to all of Iran’s oil?

    There is currently huge uncertainty over the current and future impact of sanctions on Iran’s oil production.

    Minister Qasemi denied that the embargo was having any impact, asserting that ‘our exports remain as before’. This raises a question that it is currently impossible to answer.

    Reported imports of Iranian oil by its major customers have fallen by around 1 mbpd since the beginning of the year, but what has happened to this oil?

    http://www.cges.co.uk/resources/articles/2012/06/21/what-has-happened-to-all-of-iran%E2%80%99s-oil

    As Iran Talks Falter, Fears of Military Action Increase

    The near failure of talks in Moscow and the pending imposition of a full oil embargo by the European Union have deepened the dispute between Iran and the international community, and increased concerns about military action.

    Two days of grueling talks did not narrow the gaps between the West and Iran. The negotiators could only agree to hold lower level talks in the coming weeks..

    Mark Fitzpatrick at London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies calls the Moscow meetings “a disappointment,†and has little hope for the follow-on talks.

    “It’s, of course, possible that technical talks could narrow differences. But what is really called for is a political decision,†he said.

    http://www.cges.co.uk/media/articles/2012/06/22/as-iran-talks-falter-fears-of-military-action-increase

    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl
  • Location: Near Lauder, SE Scotland, 175 m asl

    What has happened to all of Iran’s oil?

    There is currently huge uncertainty over the current and future impact of sanctions on Iran’s oil production.

    Minister Qasemi denied that the embargo was having any impact, asserting that ‘our exports remain as before’. This raises a question that it is currently impossible to answer.

    Reported imports of Iranian oil by its major customers have fallen by around 1 mbpd since the beginning of the year, but what has happened to this oil?

    http://www.cges.co.u...of-iran’s-oil

    Production is way down. EOR stopped etc on older fields that need it to be cost effective.

    Insider information, i.e. my Iranian colleagues who have friends working for NIOC. Posted Image

    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Production is way down. EOR stopped etc on older fields that need it to be cost effective.

    Insider information, i.e. my Iranian colleagues who have friends working for NIOC. Posted Image

    Thanks SS, that answers that question.

    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    • 4 weeks later...
    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Russian influence in the Middle East should not be underestimated.

    A global struggle finds its battlefield in Syria

    There are echoes of the Spanish Civil War as authoritarians confront the forces of freedom

    It first it was another anti-despot revolt blossoming in the Arab Spring. Soon it became a diplomatic imbroglio involving Arab states, Western powers and the triumvirate of Russia, Iran and China. Last week, Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian despot, labelled it “real warâ€. Two days later, the Red Cross offered a new label: civil war.

    The Syrian uprising that began 16 months ago has been all of those things. But it is also becoming something bigger. It is turning into the battlefield for a mini world war the outcome of which could affect global politics. The battle in Syria is now akin to the Spanish Civil War, in which not only did two opposing forces, armed and supported by foreign powers, clash, but two rival sets of ideas struggled for dominance.

    The Arabs who are watching the Syrian drama with a mixture of hope and fear know that they are witnessing a clash of two visions. One vision is that of authoritarian regimes keeping their peoples well in line with a mixture of brutality and bribery in the name of nationalism. The other vision is that of open societies. The defeat of the uprising in Syria could translate into a blow to that vision of freely elected democratic government.

    The anti-Assad forces enjoy foreign support from Turkey, most Arab states, some members of the EU and the US. Because of tribal, ethnic and religious ties that cut across borders, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon are increasingly sucked into the Syrian crisis on the side of the rebels.

    The forces of authoritarianism in Syria, however, have received much more tangible support. The pro-despot front consists of Russia, China and Iran with the Lebanese Government, held to ransom by Hezbollah, in a supporting role. The front also enjoys support from part of the Iraqi Government, while Venezuela helps with oil deliveries and cash.

    Moscow has just dispatched a war flotilla to Tartus, the Syrian port where the Russian navy has had a base for decades. The arrival of 3,000 Russian troops will raise the number of Russian military personnel to about 15,000. China has joined Russia in preventing the UN from imposing meaningful sanctions against President Assad.

    For its part, Iran has some 1,500 military “technicians†from the Qods (Jerusalem) Corps stationed in Syria. According to General Qassem Suleimani, its commander, Tehran cannot allow Mr Assad to fall. “We are at a decisive moment in exporting revolution to every corner of the world,†he said yesterday. “This is no time for a retreat.†By dominating Syria, Iran hopes to consolidate its influence in Iraq and Lebanon and secure a Mediterranean presence for the first time since the 7th century.

    Geopolitical interests are not the only reasons why Russia, China and Iran are trying to maintain Mr Assad in power: all three countries have compelling domestic reasons to supporting the dictator in Damascus.

    For Vladimir Putin, Syria should be treated like the Chechen uprising that was crushed by brute force. The Russian President is concerned that the demise of President Assad could boost the “regime change†doctrine developed under George W. Bush. That, in turn, could make Russia a target for regime change through popular uprising backed by the West.

    To China, Syria is like Tibet or Xinjiang, where rebellious populations are kept quiet by force. On top of that, a rejuvenated Left hopes to puncture the “democratic illusions†of the reformist wing at the Communist Party’s crucial autumn congress.

    And Iran sees regime change in Syria as part of a “Tennessee turkey shoot†in which in a file of flying birds the laggards are shot first until the leader is left alone. “Syria and Lebanon are our advance posts,†says General Hassan Firuzabadi, Chief of Staff of Iran’s armed forces. “If we don’t fight there we would have to fight here.â€

    The Russian-Chinese-Iranian triumvirate’s recipe for Syria is simple: control through massacre. As opportunist powers, the three will back Mr Assad as long as he seems to have a chance of hanging on. That could mean a long civil war. However, if Western powers and regional allies show greater resolve in support of the uprising, the opportunist powers would not fight for Mr Assad until the bitter end.

    By asking to prolong Kofi Annan’s mission for a further three months and reducing it to a mire of futile talks, Moscow hopes to prevent Western powers from tightening the screws on Mr Assad. The timespan envisaged by Moscow leads to the US presidential election when Washington is expected to be paralysed until 2013.

    Moscow is trying to reduce the West’s choice in Syria to two options: full-scale invasion, such as Iraq in 2003, or diplomatic gesticulations, such as the Kofi Annan mission. Western democracies should not fall into that trap. The debate is not about the right but the duty to intervene. Not to intervene would mean repeating the mistakes that caused the death of millions in Rwanda, the Congo and former Yugoslavia.

    Turkish and Arab leaders tell me that they would be ready to set up safe havens and humanitarian corridors, provided the US stops fooling around with “leading from behind†and takes the lead to set up at least one no-fly zone with help from a coalition of the willing.

    The uprising has demonstrated its resolve by taking the battle to the heart of Damascus. But despotism is making a last stand in Syria. It can and must be defeated there too, as it was in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen.

    Amir Taheri is the author of The Persian Night: Iran under the Khomeinist Revolution

    http://www.thetimes....icle3478764.ece

    Edited by knocker
    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted
  • Location: Bramley, Hampshire, 70m asl
  • Location: Bramley, Hampshire, 70m asl

    Thanks Knocker, very interesting perspective that......and worryingly the potential is there for the authoritarian v open society struggle to not only intensify but also to spread beyond Syria.

    The Syrians are variously blaming the US, Israel and Turkey for today's Damascus bomb.

    Meanwhile Netanyahu is already blaming the bombing of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria on Iran and promising a forceful response. The close alliance with Iran probably also puts Syria in the cross-hairs. And, to top it all off, all of this happens on the very day that the Israeli military command is meeting to discuss "Syrian contingencies".

    Events seem to be moving extremely fast, and with a multitude of disparate factions/countries involved I'm concerned that any action (or even inaction) could result in serious unintended consequences..

    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Thanks Knocker, very interesting perspective that......and worryingly the potential is there for the authoritarian v open society struggle to not only intensify but also to spread beyond Syria.

    The Syrians are variously blaming the US, Israel and Turkey for today's Damascus bomb.

    Meanwhile Netanyahu is already blaming the bombing of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria on Iran and promising a forceful response. The close alliance with Iran probably also puts Syria in the cross-hairs. And, to top it all off, all of this happens on the very day that the Israeli military command is meeting to discuss "Syrian contingencies".

    Events seem to be moving extremely fast, and with a multitude of disparate factions/countries involved I'm concerned that any action (or even inaction) could result in serious unintended consequences..

    Looks like tit for tat to me, and it can only escalate as the tats go for bigger tits, if you pardon the expression, but there is a serious side to this and the keyword to describe this is 'intolerance' and so long as the different factions continue to educate their children in the narrow confines of their beliefs, it is a situation which will continue and worsen in my view.

    Some years ago I heard of an Israeli conductor who formed an orchestra consisting of Jewish and Moslem young people - what a great idea that was - we need many more things like this to break down the distinctions between different communities which lead to suspicion, bigotry and antagonism.

    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Some years ago I heard of an Israeli conductor who formed an orchestra consisting of Jewish and Moslem young people - what a great idea that was - we need many more things like this to break down the distinctions between different communities which lead to suspicion, bigotry and antagonism.

    I'm not sure I would class him as Israeli but are you thinking of Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan youth orchestra?

    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    I'm not sure I would class him as Israeli but are you thinking of Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan youth orchestra?

    I do believe you are right - just wilkipediaed it - see the Israelis objected to him playing Wagner - can't really understand that - often our enemies or potential enemies have great music - that should not preclude us to enjoying it - I remember seeing the Red Army Ensemble at the Albert Hall in 1964 - I thought they were great, so did the rest of the audience - I also like the Horst Wessel song but it does not mean I am a Nazi - just like the music for its own sake. It was made to cross borders and as such it should break down barriers - rather like the two versions of Lilly Marlene during WWII. :)

    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    • 2 weeks later...
    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Some of these Republicans frighten the hell out of me. I think they should be in white jackets. What exactly is a "moral imperitive". I'm pretty convinced Israel could do without this type of rhetoric.

    US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said his country has a "moral imperative" to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

    Mr Romney, speaking during a visit to Jerusalem, said Iran was the most destabilising country in the world.

    Mr Romney also referred to Jerusalem as Israel's "capital" - senior Palestinian officials said this was "unacceptable".

    In his speech in front of Jerusalem's Old City, Mr Romney said Iran's leading ayatollahs were "testing our moral defences".

    "They want to know who will object and who will look the other way. We will not look away nor will our country ever look away from our passion and commitment to Israel."

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-19035134

    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Some of these Republicans frighten the hell out of me. I think they should be in white jackets. What exactly is a "moral imperitive". I'm pretty convinced Israel could do without this type of rhetoric.

    US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said his country has a "moral imperative" to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

    Mr Romney, speaking during a visit to Jerusalem, said Iran was the most destabilising country in the world.

    Mr Romney also referred to Jerusalem as Israel's "capital" - senior Palestinian officials said this was "unacceptable".

    In his speech in front of Jerusalem's Old City, Mr Romney said Iran's leading ayatollahs were "testing our moral defences".

    "They want to know who will object and who will look the other way. We will not look away nor will our country ever look away from our passion and commitment to Israel."

    http://www.bbc.co.uk...canada-19035134

    I think if we take his first name then add the last letter of his surname to make a new surname, then give him the first name of 'Walter' I think it would be a pretty fair description of this man.

    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
  • Weather Preferences: Any Extreme
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield

    Ahh the moral crusade. Some on here will welcome it others won't. What Romney really means is that will interfere if it suits the US which is normal policy.

    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now
    ×
    ×
    • Create New...