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West Asia News and Discussions

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Malayappan
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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Malayappan » 12 Nov 2017 12:19

If The Saudi Arabia Situation Doesn't Worry You, You're Not Paying Attention
The first part of the article contains stuff that has been covered here earlier, worth skimming but some interesting observations later on - especially on China.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby UlanBatori » 12 Nov 2017 18:24

This answers my earlier question: what has become of Prince Bandar(how do u pronounce that?) bin Sultan.
(Who the heck was "Sultan"? Is/was his published name even real, or was he just known outside as "son of a king" (SoK)? )
Anyway, he must be pretty old by now, with a lifetime of jet-setting at the very top of international politics. I think he was the polished face of KSA since the 1970s. Pretty sad if he is arrested and tossed in a saudi dungeon at this age after a life spent in 'service' to the mob.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby SSridhar » 12 Nov 2017 18:50

MBS is intent on wiping out any challenge. The only challenge, from within royalty, can come from princes such as Bandar ibn Sultan whose father Sultan was one of the Sudairi Seven. Bandar may be old but still powerful & very influential especially in the US. The other two challengers Nayef & Miteb have also been suitably handled. Palace coups have to be brutal.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Prem » 13 Nov 2017 03:39

https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-new ... aking_news
Who Wants a War in the Middle East? Seven Key Players and Their Interests

Iran – For the last six-and-a-half years, the Islamic revolutionary leadership in Tehran has invested heavily in propping up the Assad regime in Syria. This support has taken a variety of forms – “military advisers” from Iran’s Quds Force, the deployment of thousands of Hezbollah fighters, frequent airlifts of weapons landing in Damascus airport, the recruitment of tens of thousands of citizens (mainly Afghan refugees) to fight in Shi’ite militias, and at least a billion dollars of credit to allow Assad to remain solvent. None of this was enough to enable the Syrian president’s eventual victory, but it kept him just about afloat until the Russians arrived in September 2015. Now that Assad’s survival has been ensured, Iran is intent on reaping its reward in the shape of mining concessions for valuable minerals, and the rights to build an airbase on Syrian territory and a military port on its Mediterranean coast.Israel is both exerting diplomatic pressure and threatening to use military power to prevent Iran from establishing a permanent stronghold in Syria. (This pressure is playing into a power struggle back in Tehran, where rival factions are arguing whether the additional billions that will be needed for building these bases should not go instead to strengthening Iran’s economy at home). Tehran has no interest right now in a war between its proxies and Israel in Syria and Lebanon that would endanger the gains in which it has invested so much. Instead, it would prefer seeing Israel distracted elsewhere and the most convenient place for that to happen would be along Israel’s southern border with the Gaza Strip.
Gaza – Iran’s entreaties notwithstanding, Gaza has its own troubles and while Hamas is happy to reestablish ties with Tehran, the movement’s interests currently lie in Cairo, where its reconciliation agreement with Fatah was signed last month. Egypt wants Hamas to keep the peace in Gaza and to make sure the Strip doesn’t serve the ISIS fighters in Sinai as a logistical hub.
Hamas – The ruling movement in the Strip hasn’t converted to Zionism but the continued closure of Gaza and its worsening economic situation – intensified by the sanctions put in place during the last few months by the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority, have led Hamas’ new “prime minister” in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, to the unavoidable conclusion that he must find a way for now of cooperating both with neighboring Egypt and the PA. It was either that or lose any capability of maintaining control in the Strip. Sinwar is a hardliner who sat for many years in Israeli prisons, but he is Gaza-born and understands local politics. Saleh al-Arouri, deputy chief of Hamas’ political bureau, Sinwar’s rival and the leader of the delegations to Tehran, does not have any responsibility for Gaza.
Egypt – Not too long ago, Egypt would have been counted as the major Arab element in the regional anti-Iran coalition. But its ongoing political and economic weakness has forced it to curb its wider designs and focus mainly on skirmishing with ISIS in Sinai, where a few hundred of the militant organization's fighters are still tying up a large part of Egypt's huge and well-equipped army. Egypt is probably the only nation that is about to lose out due to the elimination of the ISIS strongholds in Iraq and Syria. The remnants of ISIS are now relocating to neighboring Libya and the organization may focus more of its remaining resources on Sinai. It would have been happy to see others carrying on the wars further afield, while focusing on affairs closer to home. Like Gaza, for example.
Saudi Arabia – The last few days’ events in Riyadh have astonished veteran watchers of the House of Saud. Multiple arrests over allegations of corruption of once-senior officials, including a number of royal princes; appointments to key positions of men close to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (aka MBS); a mysterious helicopter crash; and the summoning of Saudi clients such as Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who chose on Saturday to announce his resignation from Riyadh, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas – all this has pundits trying to work out a common motive, aside from just another move by MBS to consolidate his grip over the kingdom.One popular theory regarding Hariri’s resignation is that he fled to Riyadh, or was ordered there, so he would not be implicated in an impending military attack by Israel on Lebanon, with Saudi backing, or an attack on Iran’s main proxy in Beirut, Hezbollah. The fact that Hezbollah has been accused of an assassination attempt on Hariri strengthened this theory. The Saudis would certainly love to have their Iranian rivals punished at this point, in some way or another, and Hezbollah would be a good target. The regime in Riyadh is in no position to launch a war itself against Iran. For the last two-and-a-half years, the Saudis have been engaging in a war against the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, which has been so unsuccessful that on Friday night, the Houthis were capable of taunting the Saudis by firing a ballistic missile at Riyadh airport. The Saudis are unlikely to risk a cross-Gulf offensive with the much more powerful Iranians. Especially when MBS is so busy with internal politics. But will Hezbollah respond in any way to the accusations?

Hezbollah – After fighting for over six years in Syria as Iran’s vanguard, Hezbollah can credit itself with some impressive victories and has accumulated major experience – both in the use of advanced weaponry, and in the command and control of military formations as large as brigade-size units. But they have lost at least 800 men in the fighting and thousands more have been wounded – totalling about one-quarter of Hezbollah’s original force at the start of the war. Thousands of new conscripts have been trained and sent to Syria but while this has widened the ranks, it has also fed resentment back home in Lebanon where many, including some within the Shi’a community, feel that Hezbollah has long ago ceased to serve as a Lebanese “resistance” force and is now holding the country hostage, in the service of Iran.Militarily, Hezbollah is in no condition to launch an attack on Israel. It is still fighting in a number of locations in Syria and has to rebuild its units before embarking on a new war. Eighteen months after the death of its military commander, Mustafa Badreddine – almost certainly an assassination carried out by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, at Iran’s urging – a replacement has yet to be announced. Nasrallah has lost the standing he enjoyed in the Arab world following the Second Lebanon War in 2006. He’s no longer seen as the plucky resistance fighter, but rather as the murderer of Syrian resistance fighters. Another war with Israel, with the prospect of rehabilitating his image, may seem tempting, but Nasrallah is aware that his men are not ready and that a devastating response by Israel, targeting Lebanese civilian infrastructure, may actually yield the opposite result, with him being blamed by the Lebanese for yet more suffering. But if Hezbollah is in such a vulnerable position, could Israel be tempted to take advantage of it?
Israel – One thing is almost certain: Even if Hariri and the Saudis thought that an Israeli attack on Lebanon is imminent, it won’t be happening in the next couple of weeks. Israel is currently hosting the largest international military exercise ever to take place in the country, with seven foreign air forces from three continents participating. This is a show of military diplomacy that has been over a year in the planning and the Israel Air Force has little time right now for anything else. War won’t start at least until the end of the month and by then tensions may have died down elsewhere.For now, however, Israel is interested in keeping the calm around Gaza: Its new underground defense system against Hamas and PIJ attack tunnels is still being deployed and won’t be fully operational for another 12 months. Besides, Israel doesn’t want to interfere with Egypt’s attempts to try and pacify the Strip. The situation with Hezbollah along Israel's northern border is more complex. Israel has been regularly attacking Syrian targets, usually Hezbollah convoys trying to smuggle advanced weapons back to Lebanon, or military research facilities. Syria has tried a number of times recently to fire rather ineffective missiles at Israeli planes, but beyond that there has been no response from the Assad regime or from Hezbollah. There are some voices in the Israeli security establishment that are in favor of a preemptive strike against Hezbollah’s rocket positions in Lebanon at the present time, but they are in a minority.
Benjamin Netanyahu, for all his anti-Iranian rhetoric, is loath to expand hostilities with Iran’s main proxy, beyond surgical pinpoint attacks. The lessons of 2006 are still fresh in the minds of Israeli military planners, and anyway Netanyahu is much more risk-averse than his belligerent image and has never been a fan of wide-scale operations that necessitate mobilizing the entire army. He would of course be more than happy to see someone else take Iran head-on – like the Americans, for example – but while there has been no lack of anti-Iran rhetoric from the Trump administration either, there doesn’t seem to be an appetite for going beyond a war of words in Washington.Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said at Chatham House in London Monday that the leaders of Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt had all urged President Barack Obama to bomb Iran early on in his term. But none of them tried to do it themselves. That still seems to be the situation.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Shanmukh » 14 Nov 2017 00:25

@JEM,
Thanks for your answer. With all this turmoil in Saudi & all the rest, with Qatar outraged, can Iran pursue a Shia spring in Bahrain? How feasible is it?

On a side note, JEM, you may well be right. A Lebanese Christian colleague's famly has come here on `vacation' (in the middle of winter, to this frozen place!). Of course, I may be reading too much & the vacation may have been planned, but sitll the timing looks a bit odd to me.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 14 Nov 2017 02:21


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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 14 Nov 2017 02:45

What above map is a mind-map of the issues between Iran and KSA and how they could play out.
The hatched region is already under Shia control.

This is not the old Fatimid Caliphate.
Iran now is going for the jugular of modern Sunni power that is KSA.

(In Mil Forum I stated a thread to understand Operational Art. Look at this events from that angle.)

As you can see the jaws of the nut cracker are Syria and Yemen is the anvil. The fulcrum is Iraq.

KSA financed and supported the Saddam's Iraq and after he 'defeated' Iran in the Iran-Iraq War, helped defang and ultimately destroy Saddam. What that did is remove the Arab buffer to KSA with Shia takeover of Iraq.

At same time in Syria the KSA created ISSI to dethrone Assad and that outfit was so repugnant that it has been defeated. Now Syria will be firmly in the grip of the Shias.

Down south, KSA started a disastrous war with the Yemeni Houthis who have been victorious so far.
Houthis are Shias.

Yes there are shades of Shias (Fivers(Houthis) vs. Twelvers (Iranis)) but all that is moot, as we see the end game of the fall of Shah of Iran in the late 1979. Exactly 40 years later we are seeing the repercussions.
I also would take you about ten years earlier to 1967 with defeat of Nasserite Egypt that ended Arab secular nationalism and out the Middle East in hands of Islamist fundamentalists.
So 1969 to 1979 marks the end of secular Middle East and beginning of Islamist fundamentalism.

So fifty years cycle.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 14 Nov 2017 02:46

SS, Did Bandar bin Sultan ever pose a challenge to succession?
I think not.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Prem » 14 Nov 2017 02:49

ramana wrote:SS, Did Bandar bin Sultan ever pose a challenge to succession?
I think not.


This Bandar BC used the word mosquito for Desis wondering why Paki so afraid of Indians.

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Re: Saudi Royal Succession

Postby SSridhar » 14 Nov 2017 13:53

ramana wrote:SS, Did Bandar bin Sultan ever pose a challenge to succession?
I think not.

No, I did not mean it that way. All I implied was that Bandar was powerful by virtue of the potent positions he had held and his extensive contacts all over the world, and thus could pose a challenge to MBS because of that; not that he would directly stake his claim. Ultimately, direct challengers to MBS do need support from other elements of the royalty.

All said and done, there is a lot of consensus involved in king making within the Saudi royalty, true to tribal bedouin customs, and Bandar would have no backing at all. Of course, he must be aware of his own limitations as well.

Almost the whole royalty is given to all sorts of vices and even for them some Princes are 'unfit' to become King and thus eliminated from the race because of their excessive indulgence or their lineage or a lack of consensus etc.

The succession rigmarole in the Kingdom has never been smooth even when apparently a Crown Prince had been already anointed.

* This is a long post *

There is a close parallel in the Saudi royal family to the same confusion with which Prophet Mohammed left behind the Caliphate, without a clear principle regarding succession. Apparently, this is also not recent and has existed from the days of Mohammed bin Saud, the first ruler who entered into the agreement with Muhammad bin Abd-al Wahhab and laid the foundation for the Al-Saud line of rulers. A point to note here is that the Al Saud family has always employed marriage as a tool to calm ruffled feathers among bedouin tribes and to expand the Kingdom. Mohammed bin Saud, the first ruler, thus married the sister of Abd-al Wahhab and their lineage is known as 'Al-Sheikh'. Today, it is members of this lineage that are spread throughout the ulema and even other branches of governance. That is how a tight bonding has always existed between the royalty and the wahhabi clergy. Ultimately, the new King cannot assume his power unless a fatwa is issued to that effect by the ulema of the Supreme Religious Council that he is now an imam-ul-momineen (leader of Muslims). Of course, the 'Al-Sheikh' lineage is excluded from staking claim to Kingship. Such branches of the royalty are known as 'cadet branches' and there are quite a few naturally because of the intermarriages. Some of these are Al Kabir branch, Bani Jiluwi branch, Al Turki branch & Thunayyan branch.

Between the time of the first ruler Mohammed bin Saud and the founder of modern Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz al Saud (usually referred to as Ibn Saud), succession was not well defined at all because of wars with Egyptians and the Ottoman resulting in capture, executions, fleeing et al. During this time, the Saudi state has been dismantled twice; what Ibn Saud established which we see now, is the Third Saudi State.

When Abdul Aziz died, his eldest son, Saud assumed power as already announced by Abdul Aziz himself. Of course, this did not go uncontested even in Ibn Saud's time itself, by his own brothers who felt Saud was useless. Saud's first full-brother, Faisal became the Crown Prince. Saud was profligate and soon a tussle developed between the King and the Crown Prince and ultimately Faisal replaced Saud as the King. Both Saud & Faisal were not members of the Sudairi clan. However, Faisal was assassinated by a member of the royalty for introducing television in the Kingdom. Faisal had already identified Khalid as the First Crown Prince and Fahd as the Second Crown Prince (the first of the seven Sudairi brothers from the favourite wife of Ibn Saud). It was thus Khalid assumed the King's role after Faisal. It was during King Khalid's reign that Makkah was seized by Saudi fanatics. Fahd became the First crown Prince now and his half brother, Abdullah (not a Sudairi Seven), the Second Crown Prince. There was tussle between Prince Sultan (just younger to Fahd and a Sudairi full brother to Fahd) and Abdullah was made the head of National Guard while Sultan was Defence Minister. When Fahd became the King after Khalid's death, Sultan became the Second Crown Prince. Prince Sultan was the Mr. ten Percent of KSA.

In 1992, King Fahd, decided to give people more representation, even if only cosmetic, to soften the rising tide of anger after the Gulf War. Osama bin Laden fell out with the King over the presence of 'infidel' troops in the Holy Land. He had to be ultimately expelled in 1991 and his citizenship was taken away. However, he had a significant following within the Kingdom. King Fahd sensed the dangers and decided to broaden governance structure. It was in this context he also issued a decree about succession within the royalty. He specifically opened up the line of succession to Ibn Saud's grandsons as well.

Now, let's come to Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz who was a long time Saudi Ambassador to Washington. The one King that the rest of the bickering royalty had respect for was King Faisal whom Ibn Saud had personally chosen as the Second Crown Prince. As there were doubts about the ability of the First crown Prince, Saud bin Abdul Aziz, Ibn Saud was forced to acknowledge that Faisal would share the responsibilities equally and ensure successful governance. The Faisal lineage is intellectually the strongest among all the mediocre and even poor-witted descendants of Ibn Saud. Unfortunately, Faisal had himself chosen the eldest (surviving) member of the Sudairi Seven, Fahd, as the Second Crown Prince and eventually this clan became very powerful. Among the members of the royal court, bureaucracy and the masses, King Faisal enjoys a huge respect even today. His son, Saud-al-Faisal was the Foreign Minister under King Fahd for a long time and enjoyed a big reputation. Saud-al-Faisal's brother Prince Turki-al-Faisal was similarly intelligence (Mukhabarat) chief for a very long time. It was Turki who handled the jihad in Afghanistan and later OBL and Al Qaeda. However, King Fahd relied more on Prince Bandar bin Sultan and sidelined Saud al Faisal in many foreign policy decisions, most certainly in dealing with the US. The fact that Turki al-Faisal, succeeded Prince Bandar shows the importance of the US-Saudi relationship which Bandar handled for decades single handedly. As Prince Bandar bin Sultan is born to a Sudanese servant of Prince Sultan, he is ineligible for staking his claim. He owes his rise and position solely to King Fahd, not even his own father Prince Sultan. After Fahd's death, even King Abdullah entrusted him with very important assignments especially as the National Security Advisor until King Salman abolished it as soon as he became the regent. Even when Prince Bandar seemed to have undergone treatment for serious ailment during which time he was absent for a few years, King Abdullah did not ask him to step down. This shows some bad blood between the Salman branch and Prince Bandar. No wonder Bandar is in a gilded dungeon now and possibly for the rest of his life.

Largely based on a report by Simon Henderson, "After King Fahd".

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 15 Nov 2017 03:25

Thank you SSridhar. There is a reason why I ask single line questions! It is to bring out the knowledge and expertise from people like you and Rajaram who is mostly silent now.

You have summarized almost a 600 page book that I saw last Saturday in Oakland California. I almost bought the book but for two reasons: it was printed in 1970 and is a paperback of the 1960 book So it thought it had mostly historical information prior to the oil price rise of house of Saud. The second is SHQ insists I need to donate book to buy a new one!!!

Your post should be referred time and again as it puts lie to the myth that only Sudairis can succeed the throne.

One line of dissent I see is the degree of Islamization that the King adheres to.
Its like the opponents need to be more Islamist than the ruler to oppose him.

So MBS move for moderate Islam how does that work in KSA where the milieu is hardcore Islamist?
Wont it unleash they type of forces that Gorbachev unleashed in FSU with perestroika that led to the coup?

Islam like Communism is cult and deviation from the normative principles leads to resistance.
And coups if resisted will collapse the cult.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby SSridhar » 15 Nov 2017 07:13

ramana wrote: . . . it puts lie to the myth that only Sudairis can succeed the throne. . .


Even Ibn Saud {King Abdul Aziz} did not decree like that possibly because of the age of the eldest son of that Sudairi wife. It was King Khalid who made Fahd a Crown Prince and there was no looking back after that. They became powerful everywhere, amassed wealth and consolidated their position. Even then, a non-Sudairi Abdullah commanded respect and could become a King.

So MBS move for moderate Islam how does that work in KSA where the milieu is hardcore Islamist?
Wont it unleash they type of forces that Gorbachev unleashed in FSU with perestroika that led to the coup?

Islam like Communism is cult and deviation from the normative principles leads to resistance.
And coups if resisted will collapse the cult.

The Al-Sheikh branch of the Al-Saud lineage, which has the Abd-al Wahhab blood, largely constitutes the ulema and associated muttawwa (religious police). Ultimately, these people have to issue the fatwa declaring that the King is eligible to be the ruler of the Muslims. That is a trump card they have and they have used it before. King Salman's days are numbered. MBS can sideline his cousins and uncles and incarcerate them, but with the wholesale changes he wants to wreak on the Kingdom, can he take the clergy with him, especially after restricting now the unbridled power that the muttawwa enjoyed until recently? He even punished members of this group for overstepping in their duties. These are unheard of changes in KSA. The Saudi society is still tribal & clannish and it cannot take such phenomenal changes all in one go. There will be a backlash, IMO.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby UlanBatori » 15 Nov 2017 08:25

So MBS move for moderate Islam how does that work in KSA where the milieu is hardcore Islamist?
Wont it unleash they type of forces that Gorbachev unleashed in FSU with perestroika that led to the coup?


The impression conveyed by the western media is that the Modern Saudi Youth are chafing because of the rigors of the Ummah. But will Modern Saudi Youth take up ATGMs and put on soosai vests to enforce their pov? I think they will be off on the first planes to Bilayat if the fur begins to fly.

But is Salman stupid enough to not know that? Who is his power base among the Moderates? A professional military? After the defeats in Yemen I don't see that happening. So why is Salman pulling this stunt?

IOW, why doesn't he emulate Zia ul Haq or Mush, who claimed to have discovered Religion in order to consolidate the power of the Paki Elite to Protect and Defend their whisky-swilling, dog-rearing mansion lifestyle?

If one thinks about it - all KSA regimes till now have managed the Mush style: extreme religious fervour on the outside, but utter Sodom-Gomorrah fun lifestyle within the palace walls, and utter lavish spending when the Nobility visit other countries.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Karthik S » 15 Nov 2017 09:00

UlanBatori wrote:
So MBS move for moderate Islam how does that work in KSA where the milieu is hardcore Islamist?
Wont it unleash they type of forces that Gorbachev unleashed in FSU with perestroika that led to the coup?


The impression conveyed by the western media is that the Modern Saudi Youth are chafing because of the rigors of the Ummah. But will Modern Saudi Youth take up ATGMs and put on soosai vests to enforce their pov? I think they will be off on the first planes to Bilayat if the fur begins to fly.

But is Salman stupid enough to not know that? Who is his power base among the Moderates? A professional military? After the defeats in Yemen I don't see that happening. So why is Salman pulling this stunt?

IOW, why doesn't he emulate Zia ul Haq or Mush, who claimed to have discovered Religion in order to consolidate the power of the Paki Elite to Protect and Defend their whisky-swilling, dog-rearing mansion lifestyle?

If one thinks about it - all KSA regimes till now have managed the Mush style: extreme religious fervour on the outside, but utter Sodom-Gomorrah fun lifestyle within the palace walls, and utter lavish spending when the Nobility visit other countries.


Because may be he realized that petro dollars won't last long. He is just 32, he'll rule for next 5 decades or so. Trying to diversify like Dubai. He may have thought oil won't be there to support his throne for those 5 decades. That's the reason probably why he is talking about that $500B mega city etc. He can't have a "male only" mega city, he has to loosen up on the gender laws. But can the people and mullahs understand this is another question.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby UlanBatori » 15 Nov 2017 09:10

Dubai is now owned by the Sultan of Abu Dhabi, hain? (after 2008 econ crisis). Maybe KSA thinks it can bring its regime in line with Gelf Emirates rather then the other way round?

Thing is, somewhere in the Deep State or the Mahdis' tribes, someone is salivating at the prospect of grabbing the oil and gold of KSA. Any "loosening" by someone as uptight as KSA, is a sure sign of weakness for the predators, as Gorbachev found out.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 15 Nov 2017 09:55

There are 3 eras of KSA rulers.The first who remember how they obtained a kingdom, courtesy the white man,with their style and traditions firmly drawn from their desert roots; the second -their descendants mostly western educated , Sandhurst trained,who became their chief ministers, diplomats, placed in the most powerful positions who also enjoyed the fleshpots of the west but maintained conservatism at home and the third; the so- called Millennia men.These are the " young turks" like MBS, who have enjoyed from birth extreme wealth and power and now want to run the show discarding the old guard and their ancient style of patronage and governance.One can expect at some opportune time a revolt against MBS.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby SSridhar » 15 Nov 2017 10:00

Philip, that is an accurate characterization.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Karthik S » 15 Nov 2017 16:09



Good explanation of middle east situation.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 15 Nov 2017 16:28

The major problem with MBS at the helm of affairs with all his blood brothers locked up is that he has no wise old men apart from the doddering king to advise him.The Chinese have a great saying, " hasten cautiously" worthy of emulation. Like an unleashed dog he will now try and take on the Shiite Persians- has already started the nect war by forcing Hariri to resign and create havoc in Lebanon, Syria's key neighbour.This he hopes will give him an opening in the Levant and reduce pressure in the Yemen.

In any Arab-Persian Sunni-Shiite spat
I would unhesitatingly place my money on the Shiites.The last Sunni strongman the Saudis asininely helped depose was Saddam Hussein! How they must be regretting that decision now.They were fooled lock,stock and barrel by the white men with forked tongues.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Karthik S » 15 Nov 2017 17:12



Strategy gurus, what is being said about characteristic mistakes that Arabs commit during war, is it accurate?

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby periaswamy » 15 Nov 2017 21:04

UAE wants to be in the business of certifying mullahs for Germany

the choothspah of these arab despot nations when it comes to "advising" countries on how to deal with salafi islam is quite something. Not like the mullahs from these arab countries are any less rabid than the wahabbi ones. "No european countrey has ever accepted the offer"...yeah, a real mystery that is.

He added that the problem existed in Germany, France and the United Kingdom, arguing that Muslims were becoming radicalized in mosques where the authorities were not exerting strong enough control.

“We have always offered our help, we have always said we would train people,” said al Nahjan, adding that no European country had ever accepted the offer.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Baikul » 15 Nov 2017 23:35

SSridhar wrote:Philip, that is an accurate characterization.


Sridhar ji, It may be accurate, but I'm not sure how it is anything else than a simple restatement of facts that anyone who studies the region for a day or two (or less actually) would easily know. I mean look at what's been stated.

There are 3 eras of KSA rulers. Well duh, TE Lawrence, after that some kings, and after that some dudes who are maybe rebelling.

This is what happened, in detail. I'm not sure what's the fresh insight, precisely

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby periaswamy » 15 Nov 2017 23:56

Yemen President in Riyadh

Hadi is a Saudi-controlled drone who is supporting Saudi brutality against his own countrymen. The Saudi blockade on Yemen is being done with the cooperation of the Yemeni president.

Hadi calls houthis as Iran's puppets

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 15 Nov 2017 23:58

Baikul, Periodicity is an important insight into studying history.

Karthik S, A request please give a two -three line summary of videos as its not easy to watch them.

After the first 100 years of Islam, Arabs were on the retreat and it was the Persio-Arabs of Abbasid dynasty and then the Seljuk and Ottoman Turks who carried the green flag.
This revival of Ibn-Saud is a British project as a consequence of Wilfrid Scawen Blunt project to make Islam subservient to British Empire.

Wilfrid Blunt I his book "Future of Islam" proposed that the British prop up a large group of Muslims to overthrow the Ottoman Turks who were in decline and this Muslim group would be loyal supporters of British Empire.
His favorite was Punjabi Muslims.

I think the British created two groups beholden to British Empire and its successors: Saudi Arabs (First Foundation) and Pakistani Muslims (Second Foundation).
The oil crisis, and the Pak quest for nukes brought the two together.

Now both are in decay.....

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby periaswamy » 16 Nov 2017 01:05

Ramana: Wilfrid Blunt I his book "Future of Islam" proposed that the British prop up a large group of Muslims to overthrow the Ottoman Turks who were in decline and this Muslim group would be loyal supporters of British Empire.


Britain may become pretty dependent on the ME markets if EU markets become less accessible or out of bounds after Brexit -- that will also imply that Wilfred Blunt's plan to have the Islamic countries as being subservient to the "British Empire" has gone sideways 180 degrees, and it is the British that will end up being subservient to the islamic sheikdoms as consumers/market for british goods.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 16 Nov 2017 01:45

Correct. Most of the reasons that GB went into WWII have recoiled on it.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby rsingh » 16 Nov 2017 20:17

periaswamy wrote:
Ramana: Wilfrid Blunt I his book "Future of Islam" proposed that the British prop up a large group of Muslims to overthrow the Ottoman Turks who were in decline and this Muslim group would be loyal supporters of British Empire.


Britain may become pretty dependent on the ME markets if EU markets become less accessible or out of bounds after Brexit -- that will also imply that Wilfred Blunt's plan to have the Islamic countries as being subservient to the "British Empire" has gone sideways 180 degrees, and it is the British that will end up being subservient to the islamic sheikdoms as consumers/market for british goods.


They were lobbying for Turks to be in EU.Move was killed by French.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby periaswamy » 16 Nov 2017 20:50

rsingh: They were lobbying for Turks to be in EU.Move was killed by French.


They weren't the only ones -- seems to me that Erdogan managed to shoot himself in the groin yet again by trying to blackmail Germany and the EU and acting too-clever-by-half.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby manju » 17 Nov 2017 00:06

Karthik S wrote:Image

Apparently the top right guy is cleansing and arresting everyone else in the pic.


LoL look what they are wearing.. khaaki shots.. cheddi walas :rotfl:

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby UlanBatori » 17 Nov 2017 02:16

These guys would never make it in the Pakistan Army. Look at any foto of PA Staff and u'll c y. Only 3 have their hands positioned even CLOSE to the correct PA position.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Prem » 20 Nov 2017 04:54

http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/19/middleeas ... index.html
Arab League states condemn Hezbollah as 'terrorist organization'

Saudi Arabia ramped up its campaign against Iran's growing influence in the Arab World Sunday by persuading most of the 22 member states of the Arab League to condemn Iran's Lebanese ally, Hezbollah, as a "terrorist organization."
Arab foreign ministers gathered at the League's headquarters in Cairo Sunday for an emergency meeting called by Saudi Arabia. Lebanon's foreign minister, Gibran Bassil, did not attend, and the Lebanese representative at the meeting expressed reservations over the final communique.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari also did not attend the meeting. Iran, along with the US-led international coalition, has been a major supporter of Baghdad in its war against ISIS."We want to hold everyone responsible," Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa said during the deliberations. "We want to hold countries where Hezbollah is a partner in government responsible, specifically Lebanon." Al-Khalifa claimed that Lebanon "is subject to full control by this terrorist group."The cabinet, led by outgoing Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri, includes several ministers affiliated with Hezbollah.Commenting on the Bahraini foreign minister's statement, American University of Beirut professor Rami Khouri told CNN that "Hezbollah is certainly the single most powerful political group in Lebanon, where governance requires complex consensus building in which Hezbollah is clearly preeminent. But it is not in total control."This latest flare up between Saudi Arabia and Iran was sparked by a November 4 incident in which Iranian-supported Houthi rebels in Yemen fired a ballistic missile at Riyadh's international airport. Saudi Arabia subsequently accused Hezbollah and Iran as being behind the attack. Both have denied any involvement in the incident. Relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran have been rocky since the 1979 Iranian revolution.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby SSridhar » 20 Nov 2017 07:55

Prem wrote:http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/19/middleeast/saudi-arabia-iran-arab-league/index.html
Arab League states condemn Hezbollah as 'terrorist organization'

Saudi Arabia ramped up its campaign against Iran's growing influence in the Arab World Sunday by persuading most of the 22 member states of the Arab League to condemn Iran's Lebanese ally, Hezbollah, as a "terrorist organization."
Arab foreign ministers gathered at the League's headquarters in Cairo Sunday for an emergency meeting called by Saudi Arabia. Lebanon's foreign minister, Gibran Bassil, did not attend, and the Lebanese representative at the meeting expressed reservations over the final communique.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari also did not attend the meeting.

Isn't that what the arch enemy Israel has also been saying for decades?

Iraq & Lebanon do not associate with this. The Arab League is a toothless organization.

Will KSA now convene another toothless group, the OIC, and take this further forward? It would be interesting to see the position taken by several Islamic countries then.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 20 Nov 2017 23:22

Its Sunni Arab League.

All that Saddam Hussein warned against before being hanged is coming true.
He said " Beware of the Persians!"

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ashish raval » 21 Nov 2017 06:28

ramana wrote:Its Sunni Arab League.

All that Saddam Hussein warned against before being hanged is coming true.
He said " Beware of the Persians!"

He said this because once a Shia Muslim enters battlefield he either dies or kills. There is no going back empty handed. This is not true for Sunnis - read Arab who flees at the hint of defeat..in this way I found Shias more brave than Sunnis both in India and out of India..my Iranian friends are miles ahead in modernity than Arabs who have very conservative mentality. Pretty solid in Physics, electronics and chemical engineering. Have hardly found and Arab from barbaria of their calibre. Some Egyptians are good in education.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby deejay » 21 Nov 2017 12:01

ashish raval wrote:
ramana wrote:Its Sunni Arab League.

All that Saddam Hussein warned against before being hanged is coming true.
He said " Beware of the Persians!"

He said this because once a Shia Muslim enters battlefield he either dies or kills. There is no going back empty handed. This is not true for Sunnis - read Arab who flees at the hint of defeat..in this way I found Shias more brave than Sunnis both in India and out of India..my Iranian friends are miles ahead in modernity than Arabs who have very conservative mentality. Pretty solid in Physics, electronics and chemical engineering. Have hardly found and Arab from barbaria of their calibre. Some Egyptians are good in education.


Ashish ji, such statements are incorrect. Contrary to what is being built up by the Shia world of today, such statements are not true for any group, sect or nationality. The Shias are as adept at running away as the Sunnis or anyone else.

However, there comes a time when a group/ sect/ tribe / state, gets cornered and fights back. Like we saw in Syria. A point to note is that even today the Syrian army is Sunni heavy and it is not about Shia staying and fighting but the Sunni running away.

If anything, I've heard the same said about Hezbollah when compared with other Shia groups and Al Qaeda (Al Nusra/HTS) when compared with ISIS (and this was from the Syrian Army).

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 21 Nov 2017 14:53

A great moment for the Persians,Syrians and Russians,as hopefully this declaration (Putin was more circumspect,saying that there was a lot more work to do) will not end up like Dubya Bush's famous last words,"Mission accomplished!" Great military genius also displayed by Iran's most famous Gen.QS,a veritable latter-day Rommel and "Orenz" rolled into one.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 66551.html
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has declared the end of Isis in an address broadcast live on state TV.
A senior commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Major General Qassem Soleimani, also declared the end of the jihadist group operating in Syria and Iraq in a message published on Tuesday on Sepah News, the Guards' news site.
The Revolutionary Guards' statement also thanked its ally, Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, for its "decisive" role in the fight.


Saudi Arabia has 'declared war' on Lebanon and detained Lebanese PM, says Hezbollah leader
Iranian militias have helped shore up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's rule since 2014 against both moderate opposition and extremists. At least 1,000 Iranian fighters, some of them Afghan refugee recruits, are thought to have died in the fighting.

Across the border in Iraq, Iranian-funded Shia militias form part of the US-backed Iraqi coalition which drove Isis out of its de facto Iraqi capital of Mosul in June and has almost succeeded in eliminating Isis as a land-holding force in the country.

In a televised speech from Beirut on Monday night, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said that the group was ready to withdraw its troops from Iraq once the central government declares a decisive victory.

The situation in Yemen

Both Rouhani and Nasrallah's comments come in the wake of an Arab League meeting in Cairo on Sunday in which Saudi Arabia called on the region to unite against Iran, its regional rival, over its role in the Middle East's many conflicts.

Tensions between Riyadh and Tehran are running high following a 4 November Houthi rebel ballistic missile fired from Yemen towards Saudi Arabia and the shock resignation of Lebanon's Sunni Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a move widely believed to have been orchestrated by the Saudi authorities.

More follows…


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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby nam » 21 Nov 2017 16:13

So the Pakis are going to do the fighting in the up coming war with Hizbelloh?

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby SBajwa » 22 Nov 2017 00:13

definitely Pakis fighting Hezbollah is where all this is leading too., Rawheel sharief will lead the coalition.
Get the popcorn ready.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Malayappan » 23 Nov 2017 12:20

'American mercenaries are torturing' Saudi elite rounded up by new crown prince - and billionaire Prince Alwaleed was hung upside down 'just to send a message'
The source said that Salman, often referred to by his initials MBS, is conducting some of the interrogations himself.
'When it's something big he asks them questions,' the source said.
'He speaks to them very nicely in the interrogation, and then he leaves the room, and the mercenaries go in. The prisoners are slapped, insulted, hung up, tortured.'

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 23 Nov 2017 13:18

Hariri has both escaped to France using his 3rd passport + macron support (he has lebanese and saudi also) and now taken back his resignation.


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