Posts Tagged ‘Kurds’

Saudi Arabia gets away with it again — but why?

October 21, 2015

That Saudi Arabia uses barbaric, medieval methods within Saudi Arabia is almost a cliche. But why they command an almost fawning behaviour by other countries can only be partly explained by the power of their money. Values, it seems, are subverted by Saudi oil money.

Without financing from parties in Saudi Arabia, ISIS could not sustain itself. The madrassas and mosques where feeble-minded, muslim kids are radicalised in Europe and in Asia, are financed to a large extent from Saudi Arabia. The 9/11 terrorists were mainly Saudis. Bin Laden was Saudi.

Dissolute and decadent Saudi and Gulf tourists run riot in Europe, driving recklessly, drinking heavily, cooking, littering and smoking shisha in public parks. All with an impunity as if they had a de facto diplomatic immunity – which of course they seem to have. Even the Saudi King and an entourage of 1,000 were allowed to take over a whole beach in France in spite of local protests. The French acquiesced to the King’s demand that female police officers be removed.

Saudi Arabia would collapse without its expat workers and foreign labour. Their medieval treatment of foreigners is a scandal but is tolerated because they pay well. How on earth did Saudi Arabia get elected as the Chair of UN Human Rights Council Panel?

In the last few weeks the arrogant and decadent behaviour of the Saudis at home and abroad has been on show.

  1. The incompetence of the Saudi authorities led to the death of at least 2177 people at the Hajj stampede, not the 769 that Saudi Arabia admits to (as if that was not bad enough).
  2. Two Nepali women working as maids for a Saudi diplomat were were held captive by his family and used for “entertainment” for their Saudi friends. They were starved and sexually abused by them and other Saudi guests. When the girls were eventually released and the diplomat charged, he just claimed immunity and was whisked back to Saudi Arabia.
  3. The US authorities allowed a Saudi prince to flee rape charges even though he had no immunity. Majed Abdulaziz Al-Saud was arrested but fled while on bail. “Arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment, sexual assault and battery, a Saudi prince has also recently been accused of attacking at least three women and holding them captive for several days. Immediately upon posting bail, the prince reportedly emptied his $37 million mansion and fled the country on a private jet to avoid civil litigation and criminal charges. …. Although the prince is a royal member of the House of Saud, the U.S. State Department eventually confirmed that Al-Saud does not have any diplomatic immunity”.

Is it just oil money that leads the US and European governments to put up with the atrocious behaviour that would lead to calls for regime change in other countries? Of course the US sees Saudi as a balance for Iran in the region. But if the US is serious about its so-called war on terror, the sources of most of the financing of islamic terror organisations lie in Saudi Arabia. King Salman is showing signs of dementia and the country is actually being run by his son – but not very competently. Mohammed bin Salman is just 29 and has never had experience of being anything more than an aide. The incompetence on show has led to one of the grandsons of the founder of Saudi Arabia making public his concerns about the way the country is being run.

A senior Saudi prince has launched an unprecedented call for change in the country’s leadership, as it faces its biggest challenge in years in the form of war, plummeting oil prices and criticism of its management of Mecca, scene of last week’s hajj tragedy. 

The prince, one of the grandsons of the state’s founder, Abdulaziz Ibn Saud,  ……. (but) who is not named for security reasons, wrote two letters earlier this month calling for the king to be removed.

And all of Europe and the US continue to indulge them. Low oil prices for the next decade will – perhaps – reduce some of the Saudi excesses, but there is something more than just oil money at play.

I suspect it is the delusion in US and Europe that they can manage the inevitable restructuring of nations in the Middle East that must come. At some time Iraq has to split three-ways between Sunni, Shia and Kurd. And now it looks inevitable that Syria must also split in some similar manner, with a Sunni part of Syria perhaps merged with a Sunni part of Iraq.

Ralph Peters’ scenario for the Middle East


Turkey is “against” Kurdish separatism much more than it is “against” ISIS

October 14, 2014

I remain of the opinion that Turkish government policy is dominated by being against any Kurdish unity or separatism even if it means that their actions may assist ISIS. A Greater Kurdistan with access to oil wealth is a much greater fear than any new Caliphate. Two reports today only serve to strengthen my perception of Turkey walking the tightrope between NATO membership and an application to join the EU on the one hand, and their reluctance to intervene against ISIS if it helps the Kurds to consolidate their territory and attacks on PKK on Turkish territory on the other.

BBC: Turkish jets bomb Kurdish PKK rebels near Iraq

Turkish F-16 and F-4 warplanes have bombed Kurdish PKK rebel targets near the Iraqi border, as their ceasefire comes under increasing strain. The air strikes on Daglica were in response to PKK shelling of a military outpost, the armed forces said.

Both sides have been observing a truce and it is the first major air raid on the PKK since March 2013.

Kurds are furious at Turkey’s inaction as Islamic State (IS) militants attack the Syrian border town of Kobane. Fighters from the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) have been aiding Kurdish YPG militia in Kobane and Turkey has refused to help supply its long-standing enemy with weapons or allow Kurdish fighters to enter Syria.

NYT: Turkey Denies Reports of Deal for Use of Its Bases in Fight Against Islamic State

A day after American officials said Turkey had agreed to allow its air bases to be used for operations against the Islamic State, which they described as a deal that represented a breakthrough in tense negotiations, Turkish officials said on Monday that there was no deal yet, and that talks were still underway.

US, UK and Turkey give up on Kobani

October 9, 2014

Neither the US or the UK see Kobani or its Kurds as having strategic importance. The US admits that air strikes alone cannot save Kobani. Turkey sees greater strategic value in not supporting the Kurds than in confronting ISIS.

As I thought, Turkey sees ISIS and their vision of a Caliphate as being a lesser evil than any future Kurdistan. Their reluctance to assist with ground troops to confront ISIS in Kobani has probably helped the US to stay out as well. John Kerry has confirmed what I suspected that helping the Kurds in Kobani is not a strategic objective (though one does wonder whether Obama and Kerry have any strategic objectives at all beyond public relations) for the US. The UK is content to follow where the US leads (or stays still).

ISIS must be quite encouraged by the US / UK idea of “a buffer zone for the influx of refugees crossing the border from Syria”. It suggests that the US and the UK have already given up on Kobani. They will effectively write off Kobani and put all the refugees into a miserable limbo. But it will help their ally Turkey from being invaded by more Kurds and in general a weakening Kurdish position. But they have no intention of protecting any such “buffer zone” from a rampaging ISIS. It will be nothing but a refugee camp with no exits.

Meanwhile the US-led air attacks against ISIS is giving Assad more room to attack his other opponents in Syria.

Deutsche Welle:

At a press conference on Wednesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry indicated that saving the besieged Syrian town of Kobani from the terror of the “Islamic State” (IS) was not a strategic military objective for the United States.

Joined by British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond to address the press, Kerry also said the idea of a buffer zone proposed by Turkey should be thoroughly studied.

“As horrific as it is to watch in real time what is happening in Kobani … you have to step back and understand the strategic objective,” Kerry said.

“Notwithstanding the crisis in Kobani, the original targets of our efforts have been the command and control centers, the infrastructure,” he said. “We are trying to deprive the (Islamic State) of the overall ability to wage this, not just in Kobani but throughout Syria and into Iraq.”

He said the US and the UK were considering a buffer zone for the influx of refugees crossing the border from Syria – an issue Turkey should not have to deal with alone.

The advance of IS into the Kurdish town of Kobani, which can be seen from the Turkish border, has prompted 180,000 residents to flee to Turkey.

Turkey continues to watch.


Turkey’s foreign minister says it cannot be expected to lead a ground operation against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria on its own.

Mevlut Cavusoglu also called for the creation of a no-fly zone over its border with Syria after talks in Ankara with new Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg. …… Activists say IS now controls about a third of Kobane after fierce fighting. Monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, quoting “reliable sources”, said IS was advancing towards the centre of the town from eastern districts. Earlier, a Kurdish leader in Kobane said IS had entered two more districts overnight, bringing in heavy weapons.

Mr Cavusoglu was holding talks with Mr Stoltenberg and US envoys on possible Turkish action against IS. “It is not realistic to expect Turkey to conduct a ground operation on its own,” he told a news conference. “We are holding talks. Once there is a common decision, Turkey will not hold back from playing its part.”

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