Senin, 21 April 2014

KERAJAAN ARAB SAUDI .... APA BENAR KRISIS DAN .... SEDANG KEHILANGAN TEMAN2 BANGSA ARAB... KARENA TERKESAN SERAKAH DAN HAUS DARAH.... ??? DI-MANA2 MENEBAR PEPERANGAN LOKAL DAN REGIONAL... DENGAN CARA BERSEKUTU DENGAN BARAT DAN ISRAEL.... ??? ..... BISA DILIHAT... BAGAIMANA.... BERKHIANAT KEPADA SADAM HUSEIN... DAN MERUNTUHKAN... IRAQ-..... DAN JUGA APA YANG TERJADI ...DI AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN-MESIR-LYBIA-MAROKO- BAHRAIN DAN QATAR... PADAHAL KEDUA SEKUTU TERAKHIR ITU ..SANGAT LOYAL... NAMUN KINI GONCANG JUGA....??? YANG PALING PARAH SAUDI ARABIA INI MENYERANG SURIAH DAN LEBANON... DAN MERUNTUHKAN IKHWANUL MUSLIMIN DI MESIR YANG DULUNYA ADALAH SEKUTUNYA..YANG SERING MEMBELA SAUDI.. ARABIA...?? KINI ..... DI KOYAK DAN DI PALU GODAM BERHADAPAN DENGAN REZIM MILITER... YANG DIDUKUNG MENTAH2... UNTUK MERUNTUHKAN IKHWANUL MUSLIMIN.... ????>> ADA APA SAUDIA INI... KOK TERKESAN MENGADU DOMBA UMMAT ISLAM... DAN MENG OBOK2 NEGARA2 ISLAM DI TIMUR TENGAH.... DAN ASIA BARAT SEPERTI BANGLADESH-PAKISTAN-AFGHANISTAN ....??? KONON ..... MALAHAN DENGAN ... BERBAGAI AKSI TERSELUBUNG... DAN TERKESAN... SELUMPUTAN.... SEDANG SANGAT DEKAT DENGAN AS DAN ISRAEL... YANG KONON.... TENGAH MELAKUKAN RANCANGAN PERDAMIAN DENGAN PALESTINA.. DAN FAKTANYA.... ISRAEL + AS ITU... BUKAN DAMAI.. TETAPI... MENJARAH-DAN MENINDAS... PALESTINA... DAN MENYERANG NEGARA2 MUSLIM DISEKITAR NYA... ??? APAKAH MEMANG SEJAK DAHULU SECARA TERSELUBUNG ADALAH KAKI TANGAN ISRAEL... DAN BARU.... KINI MULAI TERKUAK KEDOKNYA...???>> MENGAPA DULU SAUDIA NAMPAKNYA... SEAKAN GAMANG .... MEMBELA PALESTINA.. DENGAN TERKESAN SETENGAH HATI.. DAN MEMBIARKAN ARAFAT.. DIUMPANKAN... DAN DIPERMAINKAN.... HINGGA BER LARUT2... DAN MEMBUAT PALESTINA SEMAKIN TERPOJOK... ??>>..... SAYANG KEJAHATAN .. ADALAH TETAP SAJA... KEJAHATAN.. WALAUPUN MENGGUNAKAN DALIL2 DAN AYAT2... FURQON... OLEH PARA MUFTI2 ARAB SAUDI... DALAM MEMBELA TINDAKAN... RAJA2 DAN POLITIK MBALELO... DAN PAT GULIPATNYA... MEROBEK DAN MENUSUK KAWAN SEIRING.. DALAM BARISAN UMMAT ISLAM... DI TIMUR TENGAH... KHUSUSNYA... DAN UMMAT ISLAM DUNIA PADA UMUMNYA.... ATAU MEMANG INI PERAN YANG DIMAINKANNYA.. SESUAI DENGAN AGENDA DAN SKENARIO YANG DIRANCANG OLEH... AS-NATO-ISRAEL.... YANG INGIN MEMUSNAHKAN UMMAT ISLAM DISELURUH KAWASAN TIMUR TENGAH.. DAN DUNIA LAINNYA SEPERTI DIKAWASAN AFRIKA... UTARA DAN TENGAH DAN JUGA DI INDONESIA..... ??? SUNGGUH SANGAT ANEH DAN MENJADI TANDA TANYA BESAR... DENGAN APA YANG TERJADI DAN SEPAK TERJANGNYA.. PARA RAJA2 DAN PANGERAN2.. SAUDIA ITU.... SERTA WARNA .... DARI.... FATWA2 PARA MUFTI2 DAN SYEIKH... DALAM MEMBELA KEBIJAKAN KERAJAAN SAUDIA... ITU... ??? DAN KONON MENGGUNAKAN DALIH SEBAGAI... PENJAGA DUA KOTA SUCI...UMMAT ISLAM.. MAKKAH DAN MADINAH... ?? BENARKAH MEREKA MELAKUKANNYA UNTUK UMMAT ISLAM.. ATAU HANYA MEMPERMAINKAN AYAT2...SUCI.. DAN JUGA BERPOLITIK DUA MUKA... ???>>>....... ADA YANG MEMBINGUNGKAN DAN TERBACA DENGAN SANGAT ANEH DAN SEPERTI MENDUSTAI... UMMAT....??? >> ...... LALU.... SEBENARNYA SIAPAKAH RAJA2 DI ARAB SAUDI ITU...???>> .... UMMAT ISLAM HARUS WASPADA DAN ELING...... ??? JAGA AKAL SEHAT... DAN GUNAKAN KEWARASAN.. SERTA SELIDIKI... ADA APA... DAN SIAPA2 MEREKA.... ITU....??? ....... kerajaan tersebut juga terus berurusan dengan Iran sebagai "ancaman eksistensial". "Di latar belakang, ancaman Israel tidak akan pernah dapat diabaikan (kendati terdapat bukti nyata di sana-sini bahwa penguasa diktator kerajaan haus darah ini belakangan makin intensif menjalin hubungan dengan rezim zionis itu),"...>>> ...Secara regional, lanjut Nasser, nasib kerajaan itu tidak jauh lebih baik. Front regional "moderat" anti-Iran yang dipromosikan AS dan dianjurkan Arab Saudi, dengan "Israel" sebagai mitra yang menyamar, tampaknya sekarang menjadi usaha yang mulai redup. "Seruan Saudi untuk mengubah \'dewan\' GCC menjadi \'serikat\' GCC kini telah mati," imbuhnya....>>> Ancaman publik Oman untuk menarik diri dari GCC, ujar Nasser, semestinya mengubahnya menjadi serikat dan keretakan Saudi dengan Qatar saat ini mengancam keberadaan GCC itu sendiri. "Undangan Saudi pada Yordania dan Maroko untuk bergabung dalam GCC pun tidak diinginkan anggota GCC lainnya dan [ditolak] Maroko," katanya...>> Di Bahrain, kerajaan Wahhabi itu telah melakukan intervensi militer untuk melumat pemberontakan demokratis berusia tiga tahun yang masih berlangsung [sampai sekarang]. "Pertemuan puncak negara-negara Arab terbaru di Kuwait juga tidak menghasilkan kesepakatan dengan Arab Saudi perihal Suriah," papar Nasser. Upaya membentuk pemerintahan Lebanon tanpa Hizbullah dan koalisi pro-Suriah gagal total. "Seruan Mesir untuk \'solusi politik\' di Suriah dan penolakannya untuk memberikan kursi Suriah di Liga Arab pada pihak oposisi tidak dapat diartikan sebagai posisi yang ramah dari negara yang dibantu Arab Saudi, sebagai imbalan atas transisinya yang menjauh dari IM," tutur Nasser. Turki menentang kemitraan Mesir-Saudi yang baru dibentuk. "[Sementara] Irak menuduh kerajaan itu mengobarkan \'perang\' terhadapnya, di mana sekarang Saudi menjadi satu-satunya negara yang tidak memiliki duta permanen untuk Irak," tegas Nasser...>>> .."Bertahan hidup" menjadi kata kunci untuk memahami kebijakan eksternal dan internal terbaru dinasti Saudi. Semula dirancang untuk mencegah perubahan, semua itu justru secara paradoks menciptakan lebih banyak musuh di tengah dunia yang berubah, yang ditandai gejolak geopolitik regional dan berkembangnya tuntutan internal bagi perubahan...>> ...Namun, jurnalis veteran Karen Elliot House, telah menyajikan gambar sebenarnya yang menarik, "Enam puluh persen warga Saudi berusia 20 tahun atau lebih muda, yang sebagian besarnya tidak memiliki harapan untuk bekerja," tulis House dalam bukunya padayang terbit pada 2012. "Tujuh puluh persen warga Saudi tidak mampu membeli rumah. Empat puluh persen hidup di bawah garis kemiskinan. Para bangsawan yang terdiri dari 25 ribu pangeran dan putri, menguasai sebagian besar tanah yang berharga dan mendapat manfaat dari sistem yang memberikan masing-masingnya uang saku dan sejumah keberuntungan. Pekerja asing membuat kerajaan itu bekerja; 19 juta warga Saudi berbagi kerajaan dengan 8,5 juta pekerja asing." Menurut House, perbedaan regional merupakan "fakta kehidupan sehari-hari Arab Saudi". Warga Hijazi di Barat dan Syiah di Timur membenci gaya hidup Wahhabi yang kaku. Diskriminasi gender menjadi masalah yang terus berkembang. Enam puluh persen lulusan perguruan tinggi Saudi adalah perempuan, tetapi jatah mereka hanya 12 persen dari angkatan kerja...>>> pADAHAL...??? kONON..."Badan Keuangan Arab Saudi (SAMA), bank sentral Kerajaan," lanjutnya, "merupaan pemegang aktiva bersih luar negeri bersih terbesar ketiga di dunia... Terakhir, Saudi Aramco, perusahaan minyak nasional milik kerajaan, menjadi produsen dan eksportir minyak bumi terbesar di dunia serta sejauh ini memiliki infrastruktur kapasitas produksi berkelanjutan terbesar di dunia."...>>> ...Berbicara di College of William and Mary di Williamsburg, Virginia, pada 11 Maret 2014, Pangeran Turki al-Faisal, kepala Pusat Penelitian & Studi Islam Raja Faisal di Riyadh dan mantan Duta Besar Saudi untuk AS, mengatakan, "Arab Saudi mewakili lebih dari 20 persen PDB gabungan wilayah Timur Tengah dan Afrika Utara (MENA) (dan lebih dari seperempat PDB Dunia Arab) yang membuatnya... sebagai mitra yang efektif dan anggota G20... Pasar saham Saudi mewakili lebih dari 50 persen dari kapitalisasi pasar saham seluruh kawasan MENA."...>>> "Pihak kerajaan telah menghambur-hamburkan miliar demi miliar petrodolar dalam pertempuran yang gagal untuk membiayai kontra-revolusi di kawasan," kata Nasser. Sekitar 20 miliar dolar, lanjutnya, dijanjikan akan dikucurkan pada Bahrain dan Kesultanan Oman untuk mengelak dari Musim Semi Arab. "Arab Saudi juga merogoh koceknya sebesar tiga miliar dolar lebih baru-baru ini untuk membeli senjata Perancis guna menyokong tentara Lebanon untuk melawan koalisi pro-Suriah pimpinan Hizbullah," terang Nasser. Beberapa miliar telah dijanjikan kepada Mesir untuk memperkuat penerus mantan presiden terguling Mohamed Morsi. "Tambahan lagi, menurut laporan, miliaran dolar juga telah digelontorkan Arab Saudi untuk membiayai 'perubahan rezim' di Suriah," ujar Nasser. Kabarnya, Obama mencoba meyakinkan Raja Abdullah selama kunjungan terakhirnya untuk menyelamatkan transisi di Ukraina...>>> ..While ESCWA's report has certain imperfections, and not ones that Israel would desperately like others to believe, it presents a golden opportunity for politicians, intellectuals, civilians, and the rest to rekindle their imagination of a unified region. Ultimately, if integration does happen it would be a force to be reckoned with in the international arena, challenging and restructuring the status quo that has been dominating the region for decades and benefiting the interests of a few. It is a pathway that Zionists and others are surely dreading, especially when they are faced with an unified front committed to the interests of those who matter most in the region – the people – and not the many foreign interests and local elites. ..>>> ...This is not only Aoun’s last chance, it is the Taif Agreement’s last chance. Nothing suggests that anyone else has Aoun’s political experience or popular political representation. Aoun has an amazing network of relationships and the trust of his allies and party members. A US diplomat was not joking when he told a Lebanese friend a few days ago: “We are facing a clear equation, either Michel Aoun or chaos.”..>>>

ESCWA’s proposal for Arab integration undermined by Israel 

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/escwa%E2%80%99s-proposal-arab-integration-undermined-israel

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (L), Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah (C) and Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi (R) attend the 25th Arab League summit at Bayan palace in Kuwait City on March 25, 2014. (Photo: AFP-Yasser al-Zayyat)
Published Saturday, April 19, 2014
 
Over the course of the week, the UN's Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia's (ESCWA) report, titled “Arab Integration: A 21st Century Imperative,” has been overshadowed in the media by Israeli complaints regarding the report’s brief mentions to its occupation and discriminatory policies towards Palestinians. The report has more ambitious aims beyond highlighting Israeli crimes. It calls for Arab unity along political, economic, and cultural lines, as a means for the region to overcome the numerous challenges it is facing internally and externally.


ESCWA's report has been years in the making and was inspired by the uprisings that have swept across the West Asian and North African region at the end of 2010. 
It involved members of ESCWA coordinating with an array of Arab intellectuals from different schools of thought and backgrounds, unified by a common belief that integration between Arab countries is imperative to tackling the vast tapestry of turmoil afflicting the region.
As noted in foreword of the 32-page Executive Summary:
This group believes that a history of fragmentation, actively encouraged by outside forces, combined with some flawed policy choices by Arab countries, have left the region vulnerable to oppression, foreign intervention and stifled development. A disruptive legacy that has affected every Arab country’s prospects will not be overcome through further discord. Rather, it requires a consolidated response from all: nothing less than the comprehensive integration and renewal of the region in all dimensions of its political, economic, cultural and educational life.
From the lack of scientific innovation to economic and political marginalization of Arab citizens, the report provides an analysis that take incorporates historical and contemporary forces at work – whether local or foreign. It is one of the first reports by a United Nations body about the Arab region that was written in Arabic, by Arabs, and translated into other languages. Despite all of these points and the potentially important ramifications, much of the coverage of the report has been consumed by Israel and its supporters, attacking the report with claims that it is discriminatory and anti-Semitic. 

Israeli lies
On Monday, April 14, the Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to suspend Under-Sectary General and ESCWA's Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf, who oversaw the report. The diplomat took offence to Khalaf's mention of “Israel's adamant position that it is a Jewish state, which violates the rights of both the Muslim and Christian indigenous populations and revives the concept of state ethnic and religious purity, which caused egregious human suffering during the 20th century."


“The authors of the report claim that the damage caused by Israeli policies is not limited to occupation activities, but they believe that aggressive Israeli policies, including its support for discord aimed at establishing Arab sectarian mini-states and its nuclear program that is not subject to international monitoring, pose a continuous threat to the security of Arab citizens in the region as a whole," she added. 
Prior to his latest outburst, Prosor had sent two letters to Ki-moon in regards to Khalaf, on March 5 and April 7, demanding her resignation.In his second letter, he wrote:
“Ms. Khalaf may have a PhD in Systems Science, but she deserves a PhD in science fiction for her for her 200-page report filled with conspiracy theories. Ms. Khalaf also preposterously claims that Hitler, who was responsible for the murder of six million Jews, sought to create a safe haven for the Jewish people in the Middle East.”
Prosor's latter point is a complete fabrication – there is no evidence of Khalaf saying this – while the former is a common, tedious, and crude rebuttal unleashed by Israeli politicians at individuals they seek to discredit, capped by charging their critics with “anti-semitism.” There is enough documentation, by Israel's opponents and even by their allies, that highlight the limitless level of violations of charters, resolutions, treaties, and basic human rights conventions by Israel since the Zionist forces ethnically cleansed the indigenous Palestinian population in 1947-48. 

Furthermore, the question of recognizing Israel as a “Jewish state” has emerged in recent years, presented by Israeli's ultra right-wing government in an effort to stall negotiations as much as they can, and ensure that the inalienable right of return of Palestinian refugees would never occur. Ironically, even the Israelis themselves are unsure of what the structures, frameworks, and norms of a “Jewish state” would be, as Vijay Prashad, an academic, noted in an article for Electronic Intifada on April 16 in regards to the topic.

Nevertheless, in his recent demand for Khalaf's suspension Prosor said, "It is unacceptable that inflammatory anti-Israel messages continue to be produced under the banner of the United Nations and using U.N. resources. By demonizing Israel, Ms. Khalaf is advancing a personal agenda rather than furthering the cause of peace or advancing regional Arab development. Senior U.N. officials should lead by example and demonstrate tolerance rather than prejudice." 

While Khalaf herself is a highly respected professional within ESCWA and the UN organization, and has had a long history working on development projects in the region, the report was composed by a number of intellectuals, backed by an entire institution, and was written within the framework of the UN Charter. In fact, as reported by the Arab media, Khalaf had sent in her resignation to the UN secretary-general because she was not ready to retract any part of the report. Her resignation was immediately rejected and a UN spokesperson said on April 16 that the UN had “full confidence in her and her ability to do her work.” 

Despite the fact that Khalaf was merely recounting what the authors of the report had written, sharing a sentiment that is viewed by the public-at-large in the region and elsewhere, Israel's attempt to center in on her personally is likely aimed to distract from what the report was really about. It begs the question: Were the Israelis simply uncomfortable by a poignant critique of its discriminatory policies as an ethno-national colonial enterprise or was it driven by larger concerns in regards to a report that sought to encourage pan-Arab cooperation, which inherently would be a great threat to Zionist aspirations and dominance? 

Integration: A threat to the status quo
 
It is quite clear that Prosor has not read the report, since Israel is mentioned in less than ten out of the 328 pages. The bulk of the report is directed with a critical eye towards Arab society, seeking to challenge certain taboos and generate discussion within the Arab public sphere.

The report is driven by three pillars. First, political cooperation for good democratic governance in order to create a vital bloc that could actively and effectively protect Arab rights and interests domestically or in terms of occupations. Second, the deepening of economic integration to further development. And third, the unleashing of international Arab potential by reforming education and culture throughout the region.
All three pillars are aimed to ensure that the Arab region can tackle the current crisis it is facing. It is a region which has been stagnating economically in comparison to others. It is struck with strife and growing fragmentation that has ensured that refugees from Arab countries amount to nearly 53 percent of the total global refugee population, and is tightly controlled by repressive, totalitarian monarchies and regimes that have allowed external forces to determine the fates of over 350 million people. The ambitious aim of the report, and the general arguments it took, have drawn conflicting criticisms from different quarters within the Arab sphere. The report has either been charged for being too Islamic due to the reliance on terminologies such as “Arab-Islamic civilization” or for being too secularized in its call on a particular type of governance. 

Yet the criticisms, as valid as they are, signify that the key aim of the report has been reached: to generate thought and discussion on what Arab integration is, what it could look like, and how can it be implemented. 

As Khalaf noted in her introduction of the report:
These are the messages of the report, which makes no claim to be perfect or infallible. Its main objective is to start a frank dialogue among Arabs on the status quo, the best strategy for moving beyond it and how comprehensive Arab integration could fulfill the aspirations of the peoples.
Tunisia was symbolically and aptly chosen as the place to launch the report due to it being the first country in which the Arab uprisings sprung forth, and where the most change is occurring. According to officials in ESCWA, promotion of the report through discussions and events will occur in Lebanon, Jordan, and perhaps Egypt and elsewhere.
The report is an important milestone, occurring at an interesting era in which the larger public is more adamant about having a voice about the course of their destiny. 

While ESCWA's report has certain imperfections, and not ones that Israel would desperately like others to believe, it presents a golden opportunity for politicians, intellectuals, civilians, and the rest to rekindle their imagination of a unified region. 

Ultimately, if integration does happen it would be a force to be reckoned with in the international arena, challenging and restructuring the status quo that has been dominating the region for decades and benefiting the interests of a few. It is a pathway that Zionists and others are surely dreading, especially when they are faced with an unified front committed to the interests of those who matter most in the region – the people – and not the many foreign interests and local elites. 

The authors of the report seemed to be well aware of this. In the final paragraph of the executive summary they wrote:
“Arab integration, as set out in this report, would mean the progressive and voluntary unification of the people in the region into an independent entity capable of achieving human development and competing effectively with other regional groups. The road to that destination would be marked out by successive forms of regional integration, which would pave the way. It would undoubtedly be built on the ruins of the current path, which has left the Arab people disillusioned, alienated and angry. Completing that historic shift will enable Arabs to say, with assurance and pride, that they have regained their rightful place in the world, and know how to hold it; that no task of development is too great for a community of empowered regional citizens; and that future generations will be all the stronger for inheriting Arab unity.”

Michel Aoun: The last strong presidential candidate

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/michel-aoun-last-strong-presidential-candidate

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman (L) attends the 25th Arab League summit at Bayan palace in Kuwait City on March 25, 2014. His term expires at the end of May, with Michel Aoun looking to succeed him. (Photo: AFP-Yasser al-Zayyat)
Published Saturday, April 19, 2014
We will not have another presidential election like this one. Since 1990, people have hoped that a strong president would return to the Baabda presidential palace to create a balance between Christian, Sunni, and Shia influence in the government.

A strong president does not mean someone with a track record of crimes or someone who has mastered the art of sectarian incitement, or someone who oversaw official institutions being stripped of all their credentials during their six-year term. Rather, a strong president is someone who has a political career established in the army leadership before it became what it is today.
 Someone who won the support of 70 percent of the Christian population, who has a 27-member parliamentary bloc, who had 10 ministers in a previous cabinet and who participates in leading his political alliance instead of being led. I am talking here about Michel Aoun specifically. Aoun’s candidacy was not likely in previous elections but rarely has a presidential election come by without people thinking of a time when a president would occupy that post instead of merely being assigned to Baabda.
  Some candidates are wealthy, others are intellectuals, and others are cartoonish, traditional, or power hungry. But they are all average. Dozens like them will come and go without anyone noticing. For the first time however, and most probably the last, Aoun will be a presidential candidate. Some might ask why would we bet on Aoun to build the republic when he failed at building a small political party. And how will he be trusted with the system of consensual democracy in the country when he does not believe in democracy in his political household. Dozens of questions can be asked, but more important than all these questions is that this is the last time that Christians will have a strong candidate for president.

Aoun does not derive his strength from his past only, but from his ability to restore balance to the government in the future. All the rumors about Aoun reassuring Hezbollah in order to proceed with a serious dialogue about the defense strategy are nothing but details. And so are the rumors about Aoun’s guarantees to US oil corporations. The most important item on Aoun’s presidential agenda is restoring balance in the government. 

A source close to Aoun explains that the regional balance today prevents the Sunni sect from retaining a bigger and more important role in the government than the Shia role. The regional balance itself makes it impossible to convene a new Taif Agreement that would divide the government in a clear way between Sunnis and Shias. Herein lies the importance of Aoun’s role. He is able to ask the Future Movement to give back to the Christian community what was originally theirs. What the Future Movement gives up will not be interpreted as a defeat for the Sunni community and a victory for the Shia. That is how the regional balance would translate domestically without anyone feeling as though they won or lost, and Lebanon’s fragile stability would be maintained as the international community hopes.

This is not only Aoun’s last chance, it is the Taif Agreement’s last chance. Nothing suggests that anyone else has Aoun’s political experience or popular political representation. Aoun has an amazing network of relationships and the trust of his allies and party members. A US diplomat was not joking when he told a Lebanese friend a few days ago: “We are facing a clear equation, either Michel Aoun or chaos.”

Aoun does not want car convoys and rallies chanting his name. He does not want radio ads or a lobby that puts his friends’ capabilities at the service of his presidential campaign. He is adamant that his front-line would consist of him only. Behind Aoun comes Foreign Affairs Minister Gebran Bassil and there is nobody behind them. The others will lose if Aoun loses but without having the honor of fighting. Friends can talk positively about him, the media can do what its deems fit and his supporters can pray and light candles for him. He will not ask for any of that. He could care less about making appearances or exaggerating his chances. He adheres, this time more than anytime before, to the idea that he is a one-man machine.
 According to his visitors, Aoun always deals with the presidential elections with a lucid mind, distinguishing between reality and dreams. If a guest asks him about an article or a piece of news or a new candidate, Aoun urges him not to be distracted by these games. A few months ago, he decided not to waste time in small battles and absurd enmities that distract him and hinder his progress. For example, why would he antagonize the president? He knows now that the president is not made in Lebanon and it is not a personal decision taken by Hariri or the Future Movement. It is the result of a US-Iranian understanding or a clash preceded by US-Saudi-Iranian-Syrian consultations. 

He has no illusions that Hariri - irrespective of their personal relationship - will fight his presidential battle for him. His personal overtures to Hariri were meant to guarantee that Hariri would welcome Aoun’s election if an international agreement is reached around him instead of being resentful and mobilizing his relations to undermine his chances. His relationship with Hariri’s advisor, former MP Ghattas Khoury, has become very strong and he speaks with admiration of Nader Hariri. He was happy that Hariri and Interior Minister Nouhad al-Machnouk invited themselves to visit Bassil. They asked: “When do we have dinner at your place?” The relationship between them is getting stronger but Aoun will not be Hariri’s candidate. The Saudi embassy has not asked for an appointment to hand Aoun an invitation from the Saudi king to visit the kingdom.

Aoun is walking a tightrope between the US and Iran, one wrong step and he will fall. He knows that appearing like the candidate who can restore balance to the government is one of his strongest traits but it is also his weakness in the eyes of those who believe that restoring balance means confiscating some of their gains.

What has been reported about conversations with Aoun indicates that one reason he insists on fighting his battle alone is that he knows that he will not get a conclusive answer from the US now or in the future. Getting carried away in exaggerating America’s positive attitude and making it seem like a final endorsement will prompt the US embassy in Beirut to issue a statement denying such claims and to move in the opposite direction. He does not meet the US Ambassador David Hill as much as the media claims, although Hill has a good relationship with Bassil. The text messages between them are reminiscent of the text messages between former US Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman and March 14 figures.

Aoun knows that the civilized nature of US interests drives them to make rational, instead of emotional decisions, which makes his job easier. The priority of domestic stability for them prompted the formation of the new government, even if it meant Hezbollah’s participation. Their priority of fighting terrorism drove them to fight alongside Hezbollah. How would they feel then If Aoun’s election guarantees these two priorities and more?
 Aoun is worried that constant gossip and MP rivalries might adversely affect his relationship with Speaker of the House Nabih Berri. This time, he will not be satisfied with counting on Hezbollah’s pressure on Berri as he did in the past and will reach out to him personally.

As for Walid Jumblatt, Aoun asks, what would reassure him that his election would not interfere with his leadership or undermine his role as the deciding factor in Lebanese politics. Away from the rumors circulating, Aoun is trying make a deal with Jumblatt that would give the Interior Ministry to him or possibly to his son.

Anyone who knows Aoun well knows that contrary to appearances, he does not like to appease anyone. But he has to do all this and more. He entered Lebanese history when he rejected the US-Syrian production of the Lebanese president calling on the Lebanese people to have their say. Here he is today admitting that the Lebanese are not capable of producing a president, as he waits for the US approval of his election.

He is far from being a consensus figure but he refuses to talk about what would follow May 24 and acts as though his political future is subject to the approval of regional power players. But if he is elected, his loss in terms of being forced to join the game that he tried so hard to destroy is incomparable to the loss of all those who banded together to destroy him. And here they are, recognizing his popular and political legitimacy and declaring him president.

The presidency in the scope of the Iranian-Saudi understanding


Aoun is not the only one counting on an Iranian-Saudi rapprochement that would allow him to win the presidency. Both General Jean Kahwaji, commander of the armed forces, and MP Jean Obeid are also counting on an Iranian-Saudi understanding. Insiders say that their probability of being elected is tied to the nature and size of this rapprochement.

If Iran and Saudi Arabia reach an agreement that is comprehensive and their goal is restoring balance to the Lebanese government based on a new version of the no winners and no losers formula, and allowing for a state of stability that would allow the Lebanese to begin extracting their oil, then Aoun would be the primary candidate.

If the understanding is limited to certain issues, such as the war on terrorism, then Kahwaji would be the candidate. Aoun’s veto against Kahwaji still stands but it is not clear if it will affect Hezbollah’s position. Keep in mind that Hezbollah placated Kahwaji at Aoun’s expense at prior important junctures, not the other way around.

If the Saudi-Iranian agreement ends in a negative understanding that tries to cool down the dispute without solving it given Iran’s clear superiority, in the hope that the balance of power would tip a little bit in the future, Obeid would be the first candidate. Perhaps former Interior Minister Ziad Baroud would be Obeid’s only competitor at this point relying on the support of the Maronite Patriarchate domestically and the influence of French diplomacy with the Saudis. If they settle on Obeid, no Lebanese party would win over another. If they go with Baroud then it would be a kind of renewal of Michel Suleiman’s term.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

Hezbollah military investigation reveals who killed Al-Manar TV crew

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/hezbollah-military-investigation-reveals-who-killed-al-manar-tv-crew

A satellite photo shows a slain Syrian soldier (L), the late Mohammed Muntish in his car (C), and a Syrian army vehicle (R). (Photo: Al-Akhbar)
Published Friday, April 18, 2014
Less than 24 hours after three Al-Manar reporters were gunned down in the Syrian town of Maaloula, March 14 and the Syrian opposition set out to deny that armed Syrian opposition groups were responsible for the crime. Instead they pointed their fingers at the Syrian army, accusing them of being behind their murder.

March 14 and the Syrian opposition’s propaganda machine went even further by concocting the scenario that there were clashes between the Syrian army and Hezbollah. The Resistance struck back by revealing the investigation of what happened, which is usually saved for its own internal reports.

Hezbollah’s leadership investigates everything done by its fighters and has a detailed report on every mission it has carried out. When incidents happen that lead to casualties, investigations are expanded in order to provide comprehensive details to the families of the martyrs when they ask about what happened.

After journalists Hamza al-Hajj Hassan, Mohammed Muntish, and Halim Alou were killed, Hezbollah began its investigations. Al-Akhbar found out that all the details of Hezbollah’s investigation confirm the responsibility of the armed Syrian opposition for the crime and for the death of four Syrian army soldiers.

Information from the investigation reveals the following story that we present with some modification.

After taking control of the town of al-Sarkha, military units advanced towards the town of Maaloula from two directions. First they advanced from the north, taking control of the surrounding hills, the Safir Hotel, and the western part of the town. Then they advanced east, liberating the rest of Maaloula. Homes were raided and some weapons that the gunmen had left behind were found. After all the town’s buildings were searched, Maaloula was declared liberated.


Once Hezbollah and the Syrian army declared that the town was under their control, a Syrian TV crew along with Al-Manar TV reporter Jaafar Mhanna arrived. At 2:10 pm they began broadcasting live in front of the Safir Hotel. In the meantime, Al-Manar’s team arrived with a number of people at around 3:10 pm. Muntish, a military journalist who knew all the details of the area, led them. Al-Manar coordinated with Muntish to begin live broadcasting from the square close to St. Takla monastery.
 Al-Manar’s TV crew was riding in a convoy of three cars. The first car was being driven by Muntish, the second car carried the equipment for live broadcasting, and the third car belonged to reporter Hamza al-Hajj Hassan. When the convoy arrived at the square near the monastery, the atmosphere appeared normal, with Syrian soldiers patrolling the area. When they turned left towards the monastery at 3:30 pm, their convoy came under heavy fire from three gunmen that were seen stationed at the Safir Hotel overlooking the square.

Due to the heavy shooting, everyone inside their cars was injured and Muntish and Alou were killed on the spot. Hamza attempted to drive away but was hit by a bullet and killed. The shooting also led to the deaths of four Syrian soldiers who were in the area. Afterwards, the situation on the ground was assessed and the place of the gunmen was determined. Hezbollah fighters repelled their attack, and sent a military vehicle to transfer those killed and injured out of the area. Calm returned after about an hour.

It was discovered later on that the three gunmen were hiding in the caves adjacent St. Takla monastery. The investigators believe that it would be difficult to pursue the rest of the fighters who fled the town. When Hezbollah fighters and the Syrian army arrived to the same hill that lies right above the monastery, the three gunmen sensed danger and headed down to the nearby houses where they began shooting at Al-Manar’s convoy. No one knew that Al-Manar’s television crew was coming from Beirut since broadcasting from Maaloula had been a last minute decision. 

(Al-Akhbar)
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.


Krisis Kerajaan Wahabi
Nicola Nasser: Bertahan Hidup, Pilihan Terakhir Arab Saudi (I)
Islam Times- http://www.islamtimes.org/vdchxknxi23nq-d.yrt2.html
Kampanye demokrasi Mantan Presiden AS George W. Bush, yang ditentang Saudi, katanya, memperingatkan penguasa untuk waspada. "Protes rakyat Arab sejak 2011 mendorong mereka untuk memimpin kontrarevolusi defensif regional dan sejak itu, kesenjangan dalam hubungan bilateral makn melebar," terang Nasser.
Abdullah bin Abdulaziz el-Saud
Abdullah bin Abdulaziz el-Saud

"Bertahan hidup" menjadi kata kunci untuk memahami kebijakan eksternal dan internal terbaru dinasti Saudi. Semula dirancang untuk mencegah perubahan, semua itu justru secara paradoks menciptakan lebih banyak musuh di tengah dunia yang berubah, yang ditandai gejolak geopolitik regional dan berkembangnya tuntutan internal bagi perubahan.

Demikian ungkap jurnalis veteran Arab, Nicola Nasser. "Minyak strategis berusia 70 yang mengamankan aliansi AS-Saudi sepertinya akan retak pada ulang tahunnya yang ke-69, menjelang pertemuan puncak Presiden AS Barak Obama dan Raja Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz pada bulan Maret lalu," imbuhnya.

"Dengan AS yang kini berkomitmen untuk membangun poros timur dan kemungkinan berada di jalur menjadi eksportir minyak pada 2017," lanjut Nasser, "kebijakan Amerika dan Arab Saudi tidak lagi identik."

Kampanye demokrasi Mantan Presiden AS George W. Bush, yang ditentang Saudi, katanya, memperingatkan penguasa untuk waspada. "Protes rakyat Arab sejak 2011 mendorong mereka untuk memimpin kontrarevolusi defensif regional dan sejak itu, kesenjangan dalam hubungan bilateral makn melebar," terang Nasser.

Penguasa Saudi tidak dapat mempercayai strategi "perubahan rezim" AS di wilayah tersebut, yang tergantung pada Ikhwanul Muslimin (IM) sebagai instrumen perubahan, yang disponsori saingan regionalnya, seperti Turki dan sesama anggota Dewan Kerjasama Teluk (GCC), seperti Qatar, yang sejak lama berusaha menyaingi kepemimpinan Saudi di GCC, peran utama Arab Saudi dalam politik Arab, dan representasi politik Saudi atas Muslim Sunni.

"Aliansi segitiga Qatar, Turki, dan IM ini akan berkembang menjadi ancaman nyata bagi kelangsungan hidup Arab Saudi jika diizinkan untuk menciptakan perubahan di Suriah, Irak, Mesir, Yaman, Lebanon, Tunisia, Libya, dan tempat lain di wilayah ini," papar Nasser. Semua itu akan segera menjadikan Arab Saudi sebagai target "perubahan" berikutnya.

AS sebagai pilar keamanan Saudi, ujarnya, kini tampaknya mulai diragukan mengingat Amerika Serikat tidak mampu memenuhi harapan Saudi dalam nyaris semua masalah paling penting di Timur Tengah, mulai dari konflik Arab-"Israel" hingga konflik Arab-Iran serta konflik berkelanjutan yang berdarah-darah di Suriah, apalagi konflik dengan IM, terutama di Mesir.

"Dalam konteks ini, menggunakan IM sebagai instrumen \'perubahan rezim\' di kawasan itu telah menciptakan fobia Saudi terhadap IM," kata Nasser. Perubahan berjalan lambat di kerajaan itu, namun, setelah beberapa dekade pendidikan Islam yang intensif, perubahan hanya dapat terjadi dalam bentuk Islam yang disamarkan.

"Mungkin tampak ironis bagi teokrasi Wahhabi untuk menentang sangat keras pihak yang memadukan agama dengan politik. Tapi, itu justru dikarenakan monarki (diktator) tersebut mendasarkan legitimasinya pada Islam (versi brutal dan dangkal ala Wahhabisme) yang takut disaingi IM," tulis wartawan Roula Khalaf di Financial Times pada bulan Maret lalu.

Obama, kata Nasser, tampaknya tidak mampu memperbaiki pagar bilateral. Penolakannya untuk terlibat dalam perang-perang regional Saudi mengingatkan mereka bahwa ia adalah orang yang sama, yang saat menjadi senator pada 2002 menyatakan, "Mari kita berjuang untuk memastikan apa yang disebut dengan sekutu kita di Timur Tengah--Arab Saudi dan Mesir. Berhenti menindas rakyat mereka sendiri, dan menekan perbedaan pendapat, dan menoleransi korupsi serta ketidakadilan, dan salah-kelola ekonomi mereka."

Namun, kata Nasser, seperti yang diperlihatkan kunjungan Obama ke kerajaan itu pada 28 Maret, perbedaan bilateral akan tetap bersifat taktis, sementara aliansi strategis akan terus terjalin hingga kerajaan absolut itu menemukan pengganti yang kredibel bagi penjamin keamanan Amerikanya, meskipun itu tampaknya merupakan perkembangan tidak realistis di masa depan yang diramalkan.

Secara regional, lanjut Nasser, nasib kerajaan itu tidak jauh lebih baik. Front regional "moderat" anti-Iran yang dipromosikan AS dan dianjurkan Arab Saudi, dengan "Israel" sebagai mitra yang menyamar, tampaknya sekarang menjadi usaha yang mulai redup. "Seruan Saudi untuk mengubah \'dewan\' GCC menjadi \'serikat\' GCC kini telah mati," imbuhnya.

Ancaman publik Oman untuk menarik diri dari GCC, ujar Nasser, semestinya mengubahnya menjadi serikat dan keretakan Saudi dengan Qatar saat ini mengancam keberadaan GCC itu sendiri. "Undangan Saudi pada Yordania dan Maroko untuk bergabung dalam GCC pun tidak diinginkan anggota GCC lainnya dan [ditolak] Maroko," katanya.

Di Bahrain, kerajaan Wahhabi itu telah melakukan intervensi militer untuk melumat pemberontakan demokratis berusia tiga tahun yang masih berlangsung [sampai sekarang]. "Pertemuan puncak negara-negara Arab terbaru di Kuwait juga tidak menghasilkan kesepakatan dengan Arab Saudi perihal Suriah," papar Nasser.

Upaya membentuk pemerintahan Lebanon tanpa Hizbullah dan koalisi pro-Suriah gagal total. "Seruan Mesir untuk \'solusi politik\' di Suriah dan penolakannya untuk memberikan kursi Suriah di Liga Arab pada pihak oposisi tidak dapat diartikan sebagai posisi yang ramah dari negara yang dibantu Arab Saudi, sebagai imbalan atas transisinya yang menjauh dari IM," tutur Nasser.


Turki menentang kemitraan Mesir-Saudi yang baru dibentuk. "[Sementara] Irak menuduh kerajaan itu mengobarkan \'perang\' terhadapnya, di mana sekarang Saudi menjadi satu-satunya negara yang tidak memiliki duta permanen untuk Irak," tegas Nasser.

Seraya itu, kerajaan tersebut juga terus berurusan dengan Iran sebagai "ancaman eksistensial". "Di latar belakang, ancaman Israel tidak akan pernah dapat diabaikan (kendati terdapat bukti nyata di sana-sini bahwa penguasa diktator kerajaan haus darah ini belakangan makin intensif menjalin hubungan dengan rezim zionis itu)," ujarnya.
(IT/GR/rj)
Krisis Kerajaan Wahabi
Nicola Nasser: Bertahan Hidup, Pilihan Terakhir Arab Saudi (II)
Islam Times- http://www.islamtimes.org/vdceee8xvjh8fpi.rabj.html
"Pihak kerajaan telah menghambur-hamburkan miliar demi miliar petrodolar dalam pertempuran yang gagal untuk membiayai kontra-revolusi di kawasan," kata Nasser. Sekitar 20 miliar dolar, lanjutnya, dijanjikan akan dikucurkan pada Bahrain dan Kesultanan Oman untuk mengelak dari Musim Semi Arab.
Raja Abdullah bin Abdulaziz el-Saud
Raja Abdullah bin Abdulaziz el-Saud

Penggunaan petrodolar sebagai soft-power untuk mendapatkan pengaruh di luar negeri dan mengamankan kesetiaan internal, membuat penguasa kerajaan Arab Saudi punya rasa percaya diri yang cukup, atau malah terlalu percaya diri, merasa aman sendiri.

Berbicara di College of William and Mary di Williamsburg, Virginia, pada 11 Maret 2014, Pangeran Turki al-Faisal, kepala Pusat Penelitian & Studi Islam Raja Faisal di Riyadh dan mantan Duta Besar Saudi untuk AS, mengatakan, "Arab Saudi mewakili lebih dari 20 persen PDB gabungan wilayah Timur Tengah dan Afrika Utara (MENA) (dan lebih dari seperempat PDB Dunia Arab) yang membuatnya... sebagai mitra yang efektif dan anggota G20... Pasar saham Saudi mewakili lebih dari 50 persen dari kapitalisasi pasar saham seluruh kawasan MENA."

"Badan Keuangan Arab Saudi (SAMA), bank sentral Kerajaan," lanjutnya, "merupaan pemegang aktiva bersih luar negeri bersih terbesar ketiga di dunia... Terakhir, Saudi Aramco, perusahaan minyak nasional milik kerajaan, menjadi produsen dan eksportir minyak bumi terbesar di dunia serta sejauh ini memiliki infrastruktur kapasitas produksi berkelanjutan terbesar di dunia."


Namun, jurnalis veteran Karen Elliot House, telah menyajikan gambar sebenarnya yang menarik, "Enam puluh persen warga Saudi berusia 20 tahun atau lebih muda, yang sebagian besarnya tidak memiliki harapan untuk bekerja," tulis House dalam bukunya padayang terbit pada 2012. "Tujuh puluh persen warga Saudi tidak mampu membeli rumah. Empat puluh persen hidup di bawah garis kemiskinan. Para bangsawan yang terdiri dari 25 ribu pangeran dan putri, menguasai sebagian besar tanah yang berharga dan mendapat manfaat dari sistem yang memberikan masing-masingnya uang saku dan sejumah keberuntungan. Pekerja asing membuat kerajaan itu bekerja; 19 juta warga Saudi berbagi kerajaan dengan 8,5 juta pekerja asing."

Menurut House, perbedaan regional merupakan "fakta kehidupan sehari-hari Arab Saudi". Warga Hijazi di Barat dan Syiah di Timur membenci gaya hidup Wahhabi yang kaku. Diskriminasi gender menjadi masalah yang terus berkembang. Enam puluh persen lulusan perguruan tinggi Saudi adalah perempuan, tetapi jatah mereka hanya 12 persen dari angkatan kerja.


Selain itu, menurut Anthony H. Cordesman dalam artikelnya yang diterbitkan Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) pada 21 April 2011, "Terdapat kesenjangan serius antara 'kaya' dan 'miskin', perbedaan regional dalam hal kemakmuran dan keistimewaan, serta ketegangan Arab Syiah dan Arab Sunni (baca: Wahhabi)."

"Pihak kerajaan telah menghambur-hamburkan miliar demi miliar petrodolar dalam pertempuran yang gagal untuk membiayai kontra-revolusi di kawasan," kata Nasser. Sekitar 20 miliar dolar, lanjutnya, dijanjikan akan dikucurkan pada Bahrain dan Kesultanan Oman untuk mengelak dari Musim Semi Arab.

"Arab Saudi juga merogoh koceknya sebesar tiga miliar dolar lebih baru-baru ini untuk membeli senjata Perancis guna menyokong tentara Lebanon untuk melawan koalisi pro-Suriah pimpinan Hizbullah," terang Nasser. Beberapa miliar telah dijanjikan kepada Mesir untuk memperkuat penerus mantan presiden terguling Mohamed Morsi.

"Tambahan lagi, menurut laporan, miliaran dolar juga telah digelontorkan Arab Saudi untuk membiayai 'perubahan rezim' di Suriah," ujar Nasser. Kabarnya, Obama mencoba meyakinkan Raja Abdullah selama kunjungan terakhirnya untuk menyelamatkan transisi di Ukraina.

Untuk menghilangkan pengaruh dari pemberontakan internal, lanjut Nasser, para penguasa kerajaan itu telah menghabiskan dana lebih besar untuk membeli kesetiaan rakyatnya sendiri; untuk tujuan yang sama, 20 Aturan Kerajaan, yang didominasi ekonomi, diterbitkan pada bulan Maret 2011.

Pada bulan Februari 2011, lanjutnya, Raja Abdullah menjanjikan lebih dari 35 miliar dolar AS untuk perumahan, kenaikan gaji pegawai negeri, belajar di luar negeri, dan keamanan sosial. "Bulan berikutnya, raja mengumumkan paket keuangan lain bernilai lebih dari 70 miliar dolar AS untuk [membangun] unit perumahan lain, kemapanan agama, dan kenaikan gaji bagi pasukan militer dan keamanan," papar Nasser.

Menjauhkan warga dari protes ekonomi tampaknya tidak cukup untuk mengamankan stabilitas internal karena pihak kerajaan, bukannya menenangkan situasi internal, malah baru-baru ini memperketat tekanannya dengan memberlakukan UU Pidana bagi Kejahatan Terorisme dan Pendanaannya pada 31 Januari lalu, serta Dekrit Kerajaan No. 44 , yang mengkriminalisasi "[siapapun yang] berpartisipasi dalam permusuhan di luar kerajaan", tiga hari kemudian. "Pada 7 Maret, Kementerian Dalam Negeri mengeluarkan daftar 'awal' kelompok yang dianggap penguasa sebagai organisasi teroris, baik di dalam dan di sekitar negeri, serta baik Sunni maupun Syiah," ujar Nasser.

"Hukum dan regulasi yang baru diberlakukan itu mengubah hampir setiap ekspresi kritis atau asosiasi independen menjadi kejahatan terorisme," kata Joe Stork, wakil direktur Human Rights Watch untuk wilayah Timur Tengah dan Afrika Utara. Peraturan ini, lanjutnya, memupus harapan bahwa Raja Abdullah bermaksud membuka ruang bagi perbedaan pendapat secara damai atau kelompok-kelompok independen.

Secara Internal dan eksternal, lanjut Nasser, kerajaan yang terlalu percaya diri itu tampaknya berniat menciptakan lebih banyak musuh, tanpa menetralisasi satupun, mengasingkan dunia dan kekuatan regional [seperti] kekuatan arus utama Sunni, Syiah , liberal, pan-Arab, dan kiri, mengandaskan bencana regional; [pokoknya] semua dalam apa yang tampak sebagai reaksi tidak seimbang terhadap ancaman yang nyata dan dirasakan, bagi kelangsungan hidup dinasti yang berkuasa.
(IT/GR/rj)

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