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Middle East

Saudi elephants

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Saudi duplicity is backfiring royally. The architect of Abdullah’s worst foreign policies Tuwaijri is gone, but does Abdullah’s successor Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud have the guts to face Saudi Arabia’s many nightmares?

The death of King Abdullah in January 2015 confirmed the contradictions at work in Saudi politics. The architect of Abdullah's destructive policies, President of the Royal Court Khalid al-Tuwaijri, was immediately dismissed, replace by Prince Muqrin. Tuwaijri was the key player in foreign intrigues—to subvert the Egyptian revolution, to send in the troops to crush the uprising in Bahrain, to finance ISIL in Syria in the early stages of the civil war along his previous ‘ally’ Prince Bandar bin Sultan.

As Abdullah lay dying, the Zaidi Shia Houthis in Yemen were occupying the presidential palace in Sana, a plan plotted by former Yemeni dictator Saleh and the United Arab Emirates (Saudi allies), keen to undermine the democratic transformation of Yemen that Islah, the Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood, was trying to effect.

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Interview on Radio Islam: Al Jazeera trials in Egypt

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Interview on Radio Islam: Al Jazeera trials in Egypt

https://soundcloud.com/radioislam1450/sun-jan-10-2015-imprisoned-in-egypt-on-islamic-knowledge-youth-sh-saad-tasleem

Hebdo vs Al Jazeera: A tale of two journalisms

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Press freedom has been under attack with the deaths in Paris of nine Charlie Hebdo employees, including editor Stephane Charbonnier, and the continued incarceration in Cairo of three Al Jazeera journalists. The circumstances of the victimization of the journalists are starkly different.

Charlie Hebdo has made defamation of the Prophet Muhammad its calling card in recent years. The magazine was unsuccessfully sued in 2006 by Islamic organizations for publishing the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons. The cover of a 2011 issue, dubbed “Charia Hebdo” (a pun on Sharia law), depicted a cartoon of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The newspaper’s office was fire-bombed and its website hacked. Editor Charbonnier stated at the time, “We have to carry on until Islam has been rendered as banal as Catholicism.” In 2012, the newspaper published a series of satirical cartoons of Muhammad, including nude caricatures.

The journalists probably were just hoping to create another sensation, ‘go viral’, and boost sales. Anything goes in the ‘free press’ of the West, so no fears about prosecution.

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Interview on No Lies Radio: IS and the Pope

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The Pope's call for negotiations with IS recognizes the bankruptcy of US policy.

http://noliesradio.org/archives/92284
password: beheadings

Coming to terms with IS’s ‘new world order’

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Summary: Just as communism arose out of the contradictions of imperialism a century ago, Islamic revolution is the inevitable result of today’s version of imperialism. IS may be harsh and uncompromising, but it should be treated with respect, not vilified. The caliphate project, implementing sharia, the determination to overthrow the Saudi monarchy, the rejection of fiat money--these are legitimate goals and deserve serious analysis. 

IS continues to confound. Not only negatively for its restrictions on women and its grim revolutionary justice, but because on many fronts, it is spot on.

*It has put the caliphate project back on track after almost a century of Muslim humiliation

*It has made sharia (at least its version) the basis of its social order

*It has (correctly) targeted Saudi Arabia as the font of corruption and decadence, the Muslim world’s ‘enemy at home’

*It is set to become the only ‘state’ to back its currency with gold coinage. ISIS says the new currency will take the group out of “the oppressors’ money system”, and return control over the money supply from bankers to the state.

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Canadian Eric Walberg is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. A graduate of University of Toronto and Cambridge in economics, he has been writing on East-West relations since the 1980s.

He has lived in both the Soviet Union and Russia, and then Uzbekistan, as a UN adviser, writer, translator and lecturer. Presently a writer for the foremost Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram, he is also a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Al-Jazeerah and Turkish Weekly, and is a commentator on Voice of the Cape radio.

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