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Middle East: Discussion

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Middle East: Discussion
[quote name='shamu' date='22 August 2011 - 12:43 PM' timestamp='1313996704' post='112552']

Next regime in line is Assad of Syria.

[/quote]

Syria is a special case.Lidership is composed by alawi and christians.But majority of population are sunni muslims.
  Reply
How it's all related to the "war on terror". For some reason, the US - with its war on "terror" - keeps giving power to jihadist everywhere while toppling dictatorship. Everything going according to plan of course: islam is christowest's Best Friend. It's a bromance.





1. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/wor...6129019587

Quote:Documents reveal Western spy agencies' ties to Libyan regime of Muammar Gaddafi

From: AP

September 04, 2011 7:49AM



[color="#0000FF"]THE CIA and other Western intelligence agencies worked closely with the ousted regime of Muammar Gaddafi, sharing tips and cooperating in handing over terror suspects for interrogation to a regime known to use torture, according to a trove of security documents discovered after the fall of Tripoli.

The revelations provide new details on the West's efforts to turn Libya's mercurial leader from foe to ally and provide an embarrassing example of the US administration's collaboration with authoritarian regimes in the war on terror.
[/color]



The documents, among tens of thousands found in an External Security building in Tripoli, show an increasingly warm relationship, with CIA agents proposing to set up a permanent Tripoli office, addressing their Libyan counterparts by their first names and giving them advice. In one memo, a British agent even sends Christmas greetings.



The agencies were known to cooperate as the longtime Libyan ruler worked to overcome his pariah status by stopping his quest for weapons of mass destruction and renouncing support for terrorism. But the new details show a more extensive relationship than was previously known, with Western agencies offering lists of questions for specific detainees and apparently the text for a Gaddafi speech.



They also offer a glimpse into the inner workings of the now-defunct CIA program of extraordinary rendition, through which terror suspects were secretly detained, sent to third countries and sometimes underwent the so-called enhanced interrogation tactics like waterboarding.



The documents mention a half dozen names of people targeted for rendition, including Tripoli's new rebel military commander, Abdel-Hakim Belhaj.



Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch, which helped find the documents, called the ties between Washington and Gaddafi's regime “A very dark chapter in American intelligence history.”



“It remains a stain on the record of the American intelligence services that they cooperated with these very abusive intelligence services,” he said.

[color="#800080"](Oh puh-leese. They're only sorry they got caught at it.

With the rest of the world laughing - as ever - at US claims to being a great humane country.)[/color]



[color="#0000FF"]The findings could cloud relations between the West and Libya's new leaders, although Belhaj said he holds no grudge. NATO airstrikes have helped the rebels advance throughout the six-month civil war and continue to target regime forces as rebels hunt for Gaddafi.



Belhaj is the former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a now-dissolved militant organisation that sought to assassinate Gaddafi.



Belhaj says CIA agents tortured him in a secret prison in Thailand before he was returned to Libya and locked in the notorious Abu Salim prison. He insists he was never a terrorist and believes his arrest was in reaction to what he called the “tragic events of 9/11.”



Two documents from March 2004 show American and Libyan officials arranging Belhaj's rendition.[/color]



Referring to him by his nom de guerre, Abdullah al-Sadiq, the documents said he and his pregnant wife were due to travel to Thailand, where they would be detained.



“We are planning to arrange to take control of the pair in Bangkok and place them on our aircraft for a flight to your country,” they tell the Libyans. The memo also requested that Libya, a country known for decades for torture and ill-treatment of prisoners: “Please be advised that we must be assured that al-Sadiq will be treated humanely and that his human rights will be respected.”



The documents coincide with efforts by the Gaddafi regime over the last decade to emerge from international isolation, even agreeing to pay compensation to relatives of each of the 270 victims of the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jumbo jet over Lockerbie, Scotland.



The documents show the CIA and MI6 advising the regime on how to work to rescind its designation as a state sponsor of terror - a move the Bush administration made in 2006. Both agencies received intelligence benefits in return.



The validity of the documents, not written on official letterhead, could not be independently verified, but their content seems consistent with what has been previously reported about intelligence activities during the period.



Later correspondence deals with technical visits to Libya to track the regime's progress in dismantling its weapons programs.



In one undated memo, the CIA proposes establishing a permanent presence in Libya.



“I propose that our services take an additional step in cooperation with the establishment of a permanent CIA presence in Libya,” it says. It is signed by hand “Steve.”



Another memo is a follow-up query to an apparent Libyan warning of terror plots against American interests abroad.



One document is a draft statement for Gaddafi about his country's decision to give up weapons of mass destruction.



“Our belief is that an arms race does not serve the security of Libya or the security of the region and contradicts Libya's great keenness for world peace and security,” it suggests as wording.



But much of the correspondence deals with arrangements to render terror suspects to Libya from South Africa, Hong Kong and elsewhere. One CIA memo from April 2004 tells Libyan authorities that the agency can deliver a suspect known as “Shaykh Musa.”



“We respectfully request an expression of interest from your service regarding taking custody of Musa,” the memo says.



CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood declined to comment on specific allegations related to the documents.



“It can't come as a surprise that the Central Intelligence Agency works with foreign governments to help protect our country from terrorism and other deadly threats,” Youngblood said. “That is exactly what we are expected to do.”

[color="#800080"](Yes, like it's the CIA's business to set up jihadi outposts everywhere. Yugoslavia, Kashmir, all of the ME now... Where tyrannical secular - a.o.t. shariah - govts keep getting replaced by jihadi ones and the jihadi war-cry has gone up: to retake the islamic world ruled by seculars for allah. Praise US.

See #2 below.)[/color]



British Foreign Secretary William Hague also declined to comment on intelligence matters.



In Tripoli, Anes Sherif, an aide to Belhaj, said the documents provided little new information: “We have known for a long time that (the British and U.S. governments) had very close relations with Gaddafi's regime.”



Amid the shared intelligence and names of terror suspects are traces of personal relationships.



In one letter from December 24, 2003, a British official thanks Gadhafi's spy chief Moussa Koussa - who later became foreign minister and defected early in the uprising - for a “very large quantity of dates and oranges” and encourages him to continue with reforms.



“Your achievement realizing the Leader's initiative has been enormous and of huge importance,” the British official says. “At this time sacred to peace, I offer you my admiration and every congratulation.



AP

Of course, like "Saadaam" (Saddam), Gaddafi didn't last long in US good books. They were never all that close - in public anyway. It may have had its moments, but it seems to have been an on-off relationship.





2. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/fea...6044640098

Quote:Libya ripe for jihad's rallying cries Sally Neighbour

From: The Australian

April 26, 2011 12:00AM



AS the military and humanitarian quagmire in Libya deepens, a clarion call has gone out to followers of the global jihadist movement in the West.

"Who wants to join the mujahidin? The gates of jihad are open in Libya!" declares a message posted on a pro al-Qa'ida internet forum monitored by Western analysts.




[color="#0000FF"]The message - and countless others like it - has set off alarms in counter-terrorism circles in the West, as al-Qa'ida and its allies move to exploit the foment in the Arab world, seizing on the conflict in Libya as a new cause celebre for Islamic militants. And as yesterday's WikiLeaks release shows, al-Qa'ida suspects freed from Guantanamo Bay are at work in Libya.

[color="#800080"](Guessing that the particular wikileak being referred to is 2011 Sep 2 news: Media organisations condemn WikiLeaks' disclosure?)[/color]



A report from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation says internet jihadists are portraying Libya as the newest front in the global jihad against the West, in a policy dictated by al-Qa'ida's top leaders.



"Senior leadership figures, including Ayman al-Zawahiri, have given a number of sermons concentrating almost solely on Libya and portraying it as the most fertile ground for their global movement," says the report's author, Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens, a research fellow at ICSR. He says Zawahiri's call has been echoed on English-language jihadist forums.



"The Western Salafi-jihadi movement is attempting to take ownership of the rebellion on behalf of the global jihad, and is portraying anti-Gaddafi forces as mujahidin, while also encouraging Western Muslims to do all they can to reach the country and take part in a supposed jihad."[/color]

[color="#800080"](Sounds a bit like the history of islam, nah?)[/color]



The ICSR has monitored a stream of communications on al-Qa'ida run and backed websites and forums since the Arab spring began. A typical post says: "My brothers and sisters, we are facing a global change, Alhamdulillah [praise God]! We will see this uprising continuing in all Muslim countries and soon we will see the banner of Allah everywhere!"



The forums are full of news of the exploits of jihadist fighters who have joined "Islamic battalions" in Libya under names such as the Thunderbolt Battalion and the Islamic Army of Benghazi, and so-called exclusive pictures of fighters purporting to be mujahidin on the front lines, accompanied by messages urging new recruits to join them. They provide directions on how best to travel to Libya, along with this incentive: "The market of paradise has opened and the hoor al ayn [virgins promised to martyrs] are waiting."



The forums are used to disseminate stories such as one that recounted how a band of mujahidin overran a Libyan army base in al-Bayda in the northeast of the country.



Western analysts believe the claims are exaggerated and some are simply echoes of Gaddafi regime propaganda aimed at discrediting the rebellion by portraying it as an Islamist uprising.

[color="#800080"](No. It's indeed being reported that Gaddafi has now resorted to joining forces with islamists - because the US initially went for "secular" muslims. Or so the story's told.

But the rebels fighting Gaddafi's regime are fully supported by - I mean, have the full sympathy of - the christowest (note the media, oohing and aahing all over the 'poor' islamaniac rebels putting up a 'brave' jihadi 'fight' against Gaddafi - himself not a posterboy either.

And it's the rebels that are largely driven by islam, rather just maintaining the totalitarian status quo. And it's the global ummah that sees the deposing of Gaddafi as a signal to get ready to fill the long-sought vacuum. Praise US/NATO whatever. Islamic peace be upon them. Etc.)[/color]



However, among al-Qa'ida's online followers it seems they are having the desired effect. Another post says: "The only thing we can do at this moment is pray for the brothers and await the official declaration of an Islamic emirate in Libya."



The ICSR's assessment is that it is essentially a propaganda push by al-Qa'ida and its allies to promote Libya as a "new Afghanistan", that is a new rallying point to revitalise their movement.



Al-Qa'ida has been cultivating its contacts in Libya for decades. Its key ally there is the old Libyan Islamic Fighting Group which was formed in 1995 to overthrow President Muammar Gaddafi and contribute to the international jihadist campaign. Despite Gaddafi's long-term support for international terrorism, he is regarded by Islamic militants as an apostate ruler who has betrayed his promise to make Libya an Islamic republic.



US terrorism analyst Bill Roggio from the Long War Journal says north and eastern Africa have proven fertile ground for al-Qa'ida with their restive Muslim populations, oppressive governments and lawless regions that make ideal sites for terrorist training camps.

[color="#800080"](Well, it was the US that was arming the islamics of Yugoslavia... NATO was half-hearted on that one, swinging from one side to the next: half their interests were in not letting islamania get an opening into Europe, the other half was to snub Yugoslavia. Russia/orthodox East were the only ones to draw a hard-line against islamics in Yugoslavia.)[/color]



The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group was set up by Libyans who had fought against the Soviet army in Afghanistan in the 1980s, several of whom went on to take up key positions in the al-Qa'ida command structure. Many of the group's founding members trained in al-Qa'ida camps in Afghanistan, according to a report by the US Council on Foreign Relations.

[color="#800080"](See, erstwhile friends of the US/west.)[/color]



Al-Qa'ida's leader in Afghanistan until his death in 2008, Abu Laith al-Libi, was a Libyan, as is the senior field commander regarded by some US intelligence analysts as Osama bin Laden's heir apparent, Abu Yahya al-Libi.



Yesterday' s WikiLeaks documents show that at least one former detainee who was set free, Abu Sufian Ibrahim Ahmed Hamuda bin Qumu, is training with rebel forces in Libya and has close ties to al-Qa'ida.



In 2006 the LIFG merged with militant groups from neighbouring Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco to form a new al-Qa'ida franchise, which called itself al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Mahgreb.



The merger was heralded by Abu Laith al-Libi, who said: "We announce we are joining al-Qa'ida's loyal soldiers. The tyrant of Libya is pushing the country into a new quagmire. He suddenly discovered that America, the guardian of the cross, is not an enemy."

[color="#800080"](See, despite the west pretending - a few paras above - that Gaddafi has something to do with this latest islamist surge, the islamists most definitely want Gaddafi "tyrant of Libya" out of the way.)[/color]



The merger and AQIM's vow to topple Gaddafi were apparently prompted by the dictator's rapprochement with the US in 2003, when Gaddafi announced that Libya would end its biological, chemical and nuclear weapons program, which had long been used to support international terrorism, and the US dropped sanctions and restored diplomatic relations in return.



The Libyans were officially welcomed into the fold by al-Qa'ida deputy head Zawahiri, who condemned Gaddafi for surrendering his "weapons and equipment to Crusader masters", and called for the overthrow of the governments of Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.



AQIM's leader Abdelmalek Droukdal told The New York Times in a 2008 interview: "Our general goals are the same goals of al-Qa'ida the mother."



AQIM has been most active in Algeria where its forerunner, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, led a bloody insurrection that began in 1992 after the military regime cancelled parliamentary elections when it seemed a coalition of Islamic parties was on the verge of winning.


[color="#800080"](Even muslims are afraid of islamic rule. In contrast, only the christowest seems to welcome islamic rule in ME. And promote it regularly. As they do in India also: the imposed christorule in India - same as the christoBrits before - is after all beneficial to islam and denudes the heathen natives from resilience to the christoislamic infestation.)[/color]



Since the name change, AQIM has carried out guerilla-style ambushes against military personnel and truck bombs against government targets, kidnapped tourists for ransom, bombed buses and embraced suicide attacks.



Experts believe these actions suggest widening ambitions within the group's leadership, which is now pursuing a more global, sophisticated and better-financed direction, says a recent report by the US Council on Foreign Relations. It notes that AQIM used the Iraq War and other unpopular Western policies to recruit new members.



A worldwide caution issued by the US State Department in January says AQIM has declared its intention to attack Western targets and has claimed responsibility for the kidnappings and murder of several Westerners.



Among the posts detected recently on the jihadist forums is one from a regular participant who claims to have contacts with al-Qa'ida, asserting that AQIM is "preparing to begin operations in Libya".



The commentator claims that between 4000 and 7000 Islamic militants have assembled in the city of Benghazi.



"The Salafi brothers in Benghazi have declared the Islamic emirate of Libya. The brothers have captured military tanks, Hummers, heavy-medium-light machine guns," the commentator reports.




[color="#0000FF"]Jihadist ideologues whose posts have been monitored praise the purity of the uprising in Libya compared with other manifestations of the Arab spring, such as in Egypt, which they deride for being secular and pro-democracy.



One post notes "the great thing about this revolution is that the people are only raising the banner of truth and shouting takbeer



[God is great], and nobody shouts the name of a secular-democratic party".[/color]



There is intense debate on the forums over the provision of Western military assistance to the Libyan rebel movement, which has prompted consternation about an alliance with the so-called enemies of Islam.



A participant on one forum commented: "I really need some clarification on the current situation in Libya. We see images from kufr [non-Muslim] news sources that the Libyans are requesting help from the kufr against Gaddafi. Could someone please confirm that the mujahidin in Libya are on the straight path."



Forum leaders have reassured participants on this score, essentially arguing the end - achieving an Islamic state - will justify the means. They liken the situation in Libya to that in Afghanistan in the 1990s, when a range of alliances was forged between rival factions in order to oust the Soviet army, before the Taliban eventually took power. "[In Afghanistan] we had Sunnis, nationalists, Ikhwanis [Muslim Brotherhood], Sufi, Shi'ites and other groups fighting shoulder to shoulder against the Russians.



"What happened after the war? We witnessed a civil war between the groups. The Taliban succeeded in taking 90 per cent of Afghanistan. They declared the Islamic emirate and implemented the Sharia. I think that the same thing will happen in Libya."



The mainstream Libyan rebel movement has been eager to distance itself from the Islamists who are trying to muscle in on their rebellion. On March 30, the Libyan Interim Transitional National Council issued a statement intended to allay Western fears about an Islamist takeover, stressing its "commitment to the implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions on counter-terrorism [and] sanctions concerning al-Qa'ida and the Taliban".



[color="#0000FF"]The ICSR believes the jihadists' propaganda is more wishful thinking than reality. "Their claims are unconvincing and there are notable discrepancies between their interpretation of events and the facts on the ground," Meleagrou-Hitchens reports.



He says despite the rallying cries, there is little concrete evidence of a strong al-Qa'ida presence or serious Islamist activity among the rebels, and their Transitional National Council is "clearly not an al-Qa'ida aligned movement".



However, Western analysts are keeping a close eye on the evolution of the Libyan rebellion, noting that senior online militants are urging a cautious, patient, long-term approach rather than a quick revolution.



The conventional wisdom on the Islamist forums, according to ICSR, is that "there is enough of a Salafi-jihadi presence to ensure that once Gaddafi is overthrown, Libya will begin to move toward transforming into an Islamic state governed by Sharia".



One forum leader warns that declaring an Islamic emirate in Libya would prompt a Western invasion, and stresses instead that they should build up their military forces, "educate the people" on the need for an Islamic state, "and then declare the emirate, with weapons, economy and a people ready to fight for Allah."[/color]

Praise the US. Their "war on terrorism" was a great ruse I mean success.

Jeebusjehovallah works in "mysterious" (transparent) ways.
  Reply
[url="http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/11/12/176668.html"]Syria calls Arab League decision to suspend its membership ‘violation of charter’[/url]
Quote:Syria’s representative to the Arab League said Saturday’s decision to suspend Damascus violated the organization’s charter and showed it was “serving a Western and American agenda.”



Youssef Ahmed told Syrian state television that the move to suspend Syria, which was opposed by two delegates at the Arab League ministerial meeting in Cairo, could only be taken by consensus at a summit meeting of Arab leaders.



The Arab League voted to suspend Syria’s membership at its meeting on Saturday and said it would impose economic and political sanctions against the regime of Bashar al-Assad as well as call for the withdrawal of Arab ambassadors from Damascus.



Arab leaders are dead scared. Iraq war really did wonder in Arab world.
  Reply
4 Star US General Talks The Truth About Middle East Conflicts -- original plan for 7 countries in 5 years -- on Fora TV:

The vid has some problem with playing in the initial segment. If so, try forwarding the progress indicator.



[media][url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TY2DKzastu8"]http://www.youtube.c...h?v=TY2DKzastu8[/url][/media]



If the above works, fine, otherwise a (similar but smaller) interview of the General in "Democracy Now":

[media][url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4S31ipXl5IQ"]http://www.youtube.c...h?v=4S31ipXl5IQ[/url][/media]
  Reply
For Wesley, follow money. This guy is very anti India and pro Paki.
  Reply
I think perhaps 1 and/or 2 may have been posted by IF members before. Maybe not 3 or 4 (next post)?



1. http://rajeev2004.blogspot.com links to:

www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/the-dark-side-of-dubai-1664368.html

Quote:The dark side of Dubai

Dubai was meant to be a Middle-Eastern Shangri-La, a glittering monument to Arab enterprise and western capitalism. But as hard times arrive in the city state that rose from the desert sands, an uglier story is emerging.

Johann Hari reports

Tuesday 07 April 2009
(Apparently the journalist is not terribly popular anymore - not that that's my problem.)



2. Related:

www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-a-morally-bankrupt-dictatorship-built-by-slave-labour-1828754.html

Quote:Johann Hari: A morally bankrupt dictatorship built by slave labour

Friday 27 November 2009



Dubai is finally financially bankrupt – but it has been morally bankrupt all along. The idea that Dubai is an oasis of freedom on the Arabian peninsular is one of the great lies of our time.



Yes, it has Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts and the Gucci styles, but beneath these accoutrements, there is a dictatorship built by slaves.



If you go there with your eyes open – as I did earlier this year – the truth is hidden in plain view. The tour books and the bragging Emiratis will tell you the city was built by Sheikh Mohammed, the country's hereditary ruler.



It is untrue. The people who really built the city can be seen in long chain-gangs by the side of the road, or toiling all day at the top of the tallest buildings in the world, in heat that Westerners are told not to stay in for more than 10 minutes. They were conned into coming, and trapped into staying.



In their home country – Bangladesh or the Philippines or India – these workers are told they can earn a fortune in Dubai if they pay a large upfront fee. When they arrive, their passports are taken from them, and they are told their wages are a tenth of the rate they were promised.



They end up working in extremely dangerous conditions for years, just to pay back their initial debt. They are ringed-off in filthy tent-cities outside Dubai, where they sleep in weeping heat, next to open sewage. They have no way to go home. And if they try to strike for better conditions, they are beaten by the police.



I met so many men in this position I stopped counting, just as the embassies were told to stop counting how many workers die in these conditions every year after they figured it topped more than 1,000 among the Indians alone.



Human Rights Watch calls this system "slavery." Yet the Westerners who have flocked to Dubai brag that they "love" the city, because they don't have to pay any taxes, and they have domestic slaves to do all the hard work. They train themselves not to see the pain.

(Note that the rigid Islamic casta system is moreover a *racial* hierarchy: Arabs at the top, then "westerners", then every other population arranged hue-wise.)



But Dubai's bankruptcy does not end there: it is ecologically bust. This is a city built in the burning desert, where everything shrivels up and blows away if it is not kept artificially cold all the time. That's why it has the highest per capita carbon emissions on earth – some 250 percent higher even than America's. The city has to ship in desalinated water – which is more costly than oil. When it runs out of cash, it will run out of water.



Today Dubai will be bailed out by the United Arab Emirates, the oil-rich country of which it is only one state. But the oil will not last forever. More importantly, there is no Bank of Morality that could provide a bailout for this sinister mirage in the desert.

Reminiscent of Saudi Arabia and its imported "maid servants" - who are brutally abused in a myriad of ways during decades of enforced slavery - who all form part of the islamic casta system's "untermenschen": heathen Indians from Bharatam and SL, muslims from Indonesia, etc. Even Pukestanis realise they hate Dubai - nothing like sending a Paki over to an Arabian hell-hole or even fool's paradise to make them realise their place in the pyramid. It doesn't take very long for even "the Pure" to find out they're also somewhere near the bottom of the islamic food chain. Arabians don't think they're pure anything. (Remember the Paki who flicked the bird over in Dubai and first got jail time and then got deported for it, despite appealing to his brothers in islam?)
  Reply
Speaking of the ethnically-Indian faithful, the next shows how some Indian of islamic parentage - albeit with western wife and Fullbright scholarship (not an unfamiliar combination, but usually points to something else if the "native" entity in the couple had had heathen ancestry) - gets treated in the 'modern' islamic pardees:





3. articles.latimes.com/2010/may/10/world/la-fg-dubai-surveillance-20100510

And page 2 at articles.latimes.com/2010/may/10/world/la-fg-dubai-surveillance-20100510/2



Quote:A hard edge to Dubai's glittering allure

For all its image as a carefree paradise, the emirate's constant surveillance is a reminder of the limited safeguards on privacy and political freedom. One researcher found out the hard way.

May 10, 2010 | Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times



Reporting from Beirut — He was patting his two little children dry after an outing at the pool when the five men and a woman came to the door. They said they had a court order to search his apartment.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FOR THE RECORD:

Dubai surveillance: An article in Monday's Section A about Dubai's security apparatus said that scholar Syed Ali was with his two children when he was detained by authorities. He has two children now but had only one at the time of the encounter. —

(That's right. Catch them on a technicality - obviously it was used to heighten the gullible readership's emotional response - but the facts become apparent from the entire article. All the more damning since no "For the record" distractions can be offered on any of *those* points. But see below.)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



They already seemed to know a lot about Syed Ali, a U.S. citizen of Indian descent. That his wife and kids had just arrived from New York. That he was a researcher chatting with expatriate workers in the Persian Gulf state, asking them a lot of questions.



They grabbed his computer, his files, even his iPod. And they told him to put on his shoes. He was to come with them.

The scholar was stunned. During his few months in Dubai, he had grown fond of the glittery city-state, with its seemingly carefree spirit, high-end hotels and market economy.

"My initial feeling about Dubai was that here you have a place that's an autocracy by definition, but it's socially wide open," he said. "I bought into the hype of Dubai, that you have economic and social freedoms that no one will impinge upon. The reality is if you don't do anything to offend anyone, you'll never know the reality."



Ubiquitous surveillance

Dubai's security officials recently wowed the world by producing carefully assembled security video apparently showing the team behind the Jan. 19 assassination of Hamas commander Mahmoud Mabhouh in his hotel room.

As much of the world learned in the aftermath of the killing, Dubai has cameras everywhere, watching every move of every person getting off the planes at Dubai International Airport and making their way to their hotels, homes and offices.

A Lebanese military commander who was recently granted access to the vast auditorium that serves as a command and control center for Dubai police said he was under the impression that they have installed cameras inside the rooms too.

"But if they say this publicly," he said, "no one will go to Dubai."

Security insiders contend there is a dark side to such surveillance tools in a place like Dubai, a monarchy with weak legal safeguards protecting people's privacy and political liberty.

Dubai police chief Dahi Khalfan Tamim insists that people's privacy is being protected.

"Breach of privacy in Dubai is forbidden by the law," he told the daily newspaper Asharq al-Awsat in March. "We do not have anything that could be called a violation to the right of privacy, and these cameras and surveillance tools are only used in extreme cases."

But human rights activists and labor advocates say that is patently untrue. Although security is the No. 1 concern in Dubai, one of the seven states of the United Arab Emirates, the government has used the same tools to squash dissent or hide abuses of the hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who help keep the $230-billion economy running.

In 2007, authorities sentenced prominent Emirati human rights lawyer Mohammad Abdulla Roken to prison on charges of adultery after claiming they found him in his hotel room alone with a German woman, a case condemned by human rights groups as an attempt to silence voices of dissent.



One time, an American television news crew arrived in Dubai to do a report about migrant workers at a camp notorious for exploiting them, said a Dubai-based security analyst. Authorities stepped into action even before the team arrived at the facility. "All of a sudden the camp had running water and was cleaned up," said the analyst, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Another security analyst, Theodore Karasik, of the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Affairs, once got the OK to visit the ports for a report on nuclear weapons smuggling.

When he got to the facility, they sat him down and played a movie. He was the star. They had followed him and his group on closed circuit television from the time they left the airport.

Karasik was spooked. But in retrospect, he understands. Despite an estimated eight attempts by Al Qaeda to launch attacks here, Dubai has remained unscathed, described by its boosters as a fast-paced and luxurious Las Vegas with glass-and-steel high-rise towers, huge aquariums full of sharks and mammoth shopping malls (one of them featuring an indoor ski slope.)

"Violence and the willingness of some to commit violence demands greater surveillance," he said. "Outsiders will come here and see a police state. But you need this kind of surveillance to protect the citizens at large."



Interrogation

The security officers ordered Ali to put his head down as they entered what appeared to be a side gate at the massive compound housing Dubai's police headquarters.

"It was way deep inside the police station," Ali said. "We ended up in a secluded spot with lovely plants."

It was obvious to Ali by then that he wasn't in the hands of ordinary cops.

Then the questioning began. Why are you here? Who do you know? He explained that he was [color="#0000FF"]a Fulbright scholar, on a grant by the very U.S. government[/color] that was the United Arab Emirates' main strategic partner.

Ali, now 41, was in Dubai researching about second-generation expatriates from South Asia for an academic paper about how professional Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis living in the Persian Gulf were adjusting to life and work far from home, in a place where they could live in for decades but could never gain permanent residency. He was shocked that his line of inquiry would set off alarm bells.



"It ended up I was interviewing people who were quite well off," he said. "That's why I was so really stunned. I never had any sense that there was anything objectionable about what I was doing. No one had any serious complaints about being there."

He had just finished his research and was about to leave for a vacation in India with his family. The interrogators knew all that, too. They had certainly been tracking his movements, since he had moved to the borrowed apartment only two days earlier. Perhaps they were listening to his phone calls.

Yet despite the reams of information they had on him, "there was a lack of basic information that they didn't get or have or really understand," said Ali, who wrote about his experiences in Dubai for Britain's Guardian newspaper.

They didn't seem to get what a Fulbright was. "'We think you're working for the 'Jewish,' " one interrogator accused Ali, who is a secular Muslim. "'Maybe also the CIA.'"

They provided no evidence.

(Not that I care about Syed Ali and his Fulbright scholarship. The title is (in)famous throughout the world for meddling adversely in other nations' affairs under the guise of 'scholarship'. But as this is an intra-islam issue - if not at worst an intra-christoislamism issue - don't care if they beat each other up over it.)



Ordeal ends

About 13 hours after he was arrested and held incommunicado, Ali was allowed to go free. Calls by his wife, Eli Pollard, to the U.S. Consulate had apparently spurred officials into action.

Before he left police custody, Ali said the authorities told him he was barred from ever entering Dubai again. Soon after, they returned his computer and gave him a new iPod. Later he found out that the computer's hard drive had been removed.

The general outlines of Ali's experience were confirmed by a U.S. official.

After he got back home, Ali wrote a lengthy e-mail to the Dubai police chief, Tamim, detailing his last few hours in Dubai. To Ali's surprise, the police chief wrote back.

"All of the procedures … were in accordance with the UAE established law, including your detention, which was carried out under the eyes of the country's judicial authorities," he said in Arabic-language letter, a copy of which Ali shared with The Times. "I would like to assure you that you were not deported from the country. You are welcome to come back at any time as a visitor, but not as someone who is doing security or authority-sponsored research."

Ali hasn't been back. From New York he began doing more research, interviewing more people and coming to believe that the real key to Dubai's stability may not be oil wealth or a free market but fear.

"I had to go back and think about what is the basis of how this place operates," he said. "It made me realize that not everything is on the surface. Anything that seems remotely political or offensive, people avoid doing. You don't get into conflicts with Emiratis. You don't say anything political. Every expat who is there on these short-term visas, whether they think about it or not, they're living very contingent lives."

Now an assistant professor of sociology at Long Island University in Brooklyn, his obscure thesis on expatriate workers eventually became "Dubai: Gilded Cage, a highly critical book about the emirate released by Yale University Press last month.

Los Angeles social scientist Mike Davis sums up the book as "a comprehensive expose of the economic and sexual exploitation that erected this utopia of greed."

Ali can't help but note the irony. Had Dubai authorities left him alone, they would have gotten off far more easily.

"They turned a harmless little monograph that would hardly make a ripple into a much more noticeable work," he said. "If their intent was to make it go away, that was a bad move."




4. The Guardian article referred to above:

www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2007/nov/12/familyandrelationships.firstperson

Quote:'You must come with us'

Syed Ali was in Dubai interviewing expatriate workers for a book. The day before he was due to leave, six strangers arrived at his flat and took him to the police compound. A 13-hour interrogation lay ahead ...

Syed Ali The Guardian, Monday 12 November 2007
Rest at link.
  Reply
Managed to forget the very item I wanted to post - not that anyone with a TV would have managed to miss this on the news.

Bombings in Syria on Friday (23 Dec). Killed some 44 people.

Apparently, there's lots of finger-pointing and counter finger-pointing (including allegations of a frame-up) on Who Did It.



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16327483

Quote:24 December 2011 Last updated at 17:17 GMT

Syria bombs: Mourners pledge support for Assad



Thousands of people have attended the funerals of the 44 victims of Friday's twin bomb attacks in Syria's capital, Damascus, amid a strong show of support for President Bashar al-Assad.



[...]

'Popular revolution'

Syrian television carried live pictures of the victims' coffins, six marked "unknown", as they were lined up inside the Umayyad Mosque, one of Islam's holiest sites.



[color="#0000FF"]Mourners chanted "Death to America" and "We sacrifice our souls and blood for you, Bashar" during the funeral processions.[/color]



The attacks targeted two security buildings in Damascus Cleric Said al-Bouti said he hoped the attacks would lift "the veils on the eyes of the Arab League... so that they see who is the murderer and who is the victim".



Religious Affairs Minister Abdel Sattar al-Sayyed read a statement he said was from Christian and Muslim leaders: "We call upon the Syrian people to be aware that Syria is being targeted, and affirm that we stand with them in the face of this plot. We reject any sort of extremism."



No-one has said they carried out the suicide attacks, which targeted two security service bases in the Kafr Sousa area of Damascus. A total of 166 people were injured.



But opposition groups accused the government of orchestrating them.



[color="#0000FF"]The Syrian National Council said "the Syrian regime, alone, bears all the direct responsibility for the two terrorist explosions" as it wanted to give the impression "it faces danger from abroad and not a popular revolution".



The Muslim Brotherhood, part of the council, said the government had set up a fake website purporting to represent the Brotherhood and claiming responsibility for the bombings.[/color]



Senior Brotherhood figure Muhammad Riyad al-Shaqfah said: "They created a website which they called the MB website and posted a false statement. The website is false, and so is the statement."



[...]



[color="#0000FF"]More than 5,000 people have been killed and thousands more detained since anti-government protests erupted in March, the UN says.[/color]

The claims have not been independently verified, as most foreign media are banned from reporting in Syria.

Quote:Syria deaths
  • More than 5,000 civilians have been killed

  • UN denied access to Syria

  • Information gathered from NGOs, sources in Syria and Syrian nationals who have fled

  • The death toll is compiled as a list of names which the UN cross-references

  • Vast majority of casualties were unarmed, but the figure may include armed defectors

  • Tally does not include serving members of the security forces


All these "democratic" 'revolutions' that are staged left, right and centre sure are deadly. Must be another case of AmeriKKKa's kiss of death.
  Reply
Both news items are very much related.



1. sbs.com.au/news/article/1681130/UK-gives-millions-in-aid-to-Syria-rebels



Quote:UK gives millions in aid to Syria rebels

11 Aug 2012, 9:55 am - Source: PA



Britain will give 5-million-pounds ($AU7.8million) worth of equipment to Syrian rebels trying to topple President Bashar Al-Assad, the Foreign Office (FCO) said today.





The aid will include radios and medical supplies but not weapons. Foreign Secretary William Hague is expected to reveal more details later.



An FCO spokesman said: "As the Foreign Secretary says, we need to work with the Syrian opposition to ensure they prepare for the inevitable day of Assad's fall, including representatives of the Free Syria Army.



"We are therefore meeting political elements of the Free Syria Army. "This is not taking sides in a civil war.



The spokesman added: "The risk of total disorder and a power vacuum in Syria is so great that we must build relationships now with those who may govern Syria in the future.



"If we do not work with those Syrians who want to see a democratic and open Syria, we leave a void to be exploited by al Qaeda and others with extremist agendas who wish to hijack the conflict."
Uh, wait, Al Qaeda? Now didn't *AmriKKKa* sponsor the taliban just yesterday, I mean in the 80s?

The west were propagandising for them even in movies until a recent decade. E.g. remember the Dalton Bond, with the British Paki playing the Friendly Afghan Taliban leader who together with his band of helpful mujahideens* side with MI6 to bring down the evil Russian/World communism's "Spiert Spionem" plot.

[* As they were admittedly called even in the film, though it didn't have a negative connotation then, of course. But portrayed as revolutionary "native" Afghan heroes. As was typical of that time period in western history.]



Of course, today, AmeriKKKa and its sycophant western govts pretend that the Taliban/Al Qaeda were Public Enemy #1 since Day #1. (When these only became public enemy when they became AmriKKKa's enemy: which was I think when the Taliban blew up a couple of buildings in the US or something - I can't remember, it all happened so long ago, like when I was quite young.)





Anyway, the comments to the above article: Unlike AmriKKKa, apparenly the rest of the world *isn't* (nearly) filled with a population of self-delusionals -

Quote:The UK isn't supplying weapons?



Mona - from Australia, 14 days ago



Then who is? No prizes for guessing America and it's CIA. The UK is definitely taking sides in this civil war. The British Foreign Office quite rightly knows that when the trillion dollar self righteous USA military machine is operative, even covertly, it is formidable and best to be on side. It does perversely mean creating the revolution against the Syrian government. It only costs a mere 5 million quid. Ah America, you're doing it again. Don't you remember Vietnam?



Agree 4 Disagree 0 Mr





Ian - from Noosa, 15 days ago



As ex English I am ashamed at UK taking sides in a civil war and helping the rebel cause.



Agree 4 Disagree 1




Well, to answer the first comment's question:

Methinks *AmeriKKKa* would be supplying the weapons (as it usually does), while the Brits - as seen above - are providing the dough, and the French are providing Syrian rebels with - umm - "non-lethal" but yet "military" aid:



2. dailytelegraph.com.au/news/breaking-news/france-gives-syria-non-lethal-military-aid/story-e6freuz9-1226456089489

Quote:France gives Syria non-lethal military aid

From: AAP August 22, 2012 8:22PM



FRANCE is providing the Syrian opposition with "non-lethal" military aid, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Wednesday.



Speaking on BFMTV-RMC radio, Ayrault said France had responded positively to a request for help from the rebels seeking to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.



"On the military level, what we have done is we have responded to a request by the Syrian National Council and the Syrian resistance to provide a certain number of non-lethal elements... means of communication and protection," Ayrault said.



The premier reiterated that there was no question of France becoming directly involved in military action in Syria without UN backing, citing the example of former US president George W. Bush's 2003 Iraq invasion.



"We have the example of Iraq where George Bush alone decided to go to war," Ayrault said. "We were opposed and we were proved right. It ended in chaos."



Ayrault also reiterated France's position that Assad must step down, a day after Syria's deputy prime minister indicated that the regime was open to discussing the leader's departure.





The west - in particular the US (but not just the US) - has been manipulating the current events in Syria since inception. Even to the extent of American (ethnically non-Syrian) *male* army/intelligence personnel stationed in the US and Scotland posing as lesbians on their famous blogs set up for this purpose. One of them posed as a Syrian female *lesbian* who supposedly *was* in Syria, and who then pretended to be "disappeared" by the "Syrian govt" all in order to stoke revolution among a worried Syrian populace duped into believing her (played by a him).

Not to mention that at least the poser playing the Syrian was revealed to be nothing less than a Mennonite christian: a famous missionary organisation specifically working for the US govt, often seen converting South Americans to north American christian cults in order to make them more pliable for the US purpose interests. Relevant news items on those little stunts were posted already in this thread, post 299.





But far more interesting than the (let's face it, predictable) news above is what *part* of the global geography is reporting these PA/AAP bulletins: while I originally found one in an Indian online ragazine and another in a "global empire" warning source - and except for Australian papers - only islamic (and hence Indian papers) are visibly carrying these two news items.



I just checked again: can't find the 2nd news item on even the UK Telegraph. Only its Australian branch hosts the article.



Meanwhile obscure sources like FoxYemen, AlArabiya, as well as Iranian, TSP and Bangladeshi news papers are all carrying the above news reports, encouraging as it would be for islamics to read it.



Also Lankan news (including esp. Tamil). Also anti-Empire online sources who are hosting copies, of course.



*Plus* naturally TimesOfIndia and other Indian christomedia specifically targetted (by the Puppeteers) at reassuring the massive numbers of islamics of India too that the "west is looking out for the interests of the islamic brotherhood". I.e. that the west is supporting *islamic* rule in the ME.



I'm trying to think if any other conclusions can even be drawn from the matter. (Or maybe I'm mistaken and there are some news agencies in *major* western nations that are carrying the above after all?)





Speaking of Targeted and Selective reporting:



- international news covering TSP's taking action against its christian downs-syndrome girl who is to have burnt Koranic verses, as well as reporting on how Amnesty has already officially jumped in to support her individual case by lecturing TSP, and how christians in the affected part of TSP are already fleeing in fear (from their islamic brothers in monotheism, apparently they don't get along when there are no Hindus on the scene to terrorise),

- silence (else misrepresentation) on Assam in international news. Sends the message that the subcontinent's muslims can get away with not only infiltration but also ethnic cleansing on a grand scale thanks to a most cooperative silence. (Or even inversion of the true state of things: like the British-made Slumdog movie turned islamaniacs into the unprovoked victims, and Hindus into a rabid army going on blind rampages of hate. The film was specifically created by its publicly-christist British director to reinforce the stereotype of "evil Hindoos, poor islamaniac victims" that's being generated in the international mind, and despite it being a lame movie, it was awarded with its oscar by the specifically in order to make sure it would get wide international viewership, to propagate its obvious propaganda.)





3. Hmm, was Morocco already on the list of discontented ME nations? I forget. But if not, perhaps it should be added now:

The west appears to have managed to stage another revolution in Morocco. I mean, a revolution appears to be spontaneously brewing in Morocco too, with hundreds already starting to boo and hiss at the govt there, it seems, just as equivalent pawns had done the same in other parts of the islamic ME before.



And when Morocco boils over like Syria, Egypt etc have done, will Turkey be next? Or is Turkey happily exempted from the treatment because of its EU connections? I mean, I doubt France or even the UK let alone the rest of the EU would want to be supporting islamic Turkish islamic rebels if it was Turkey that was on fire in place of Syria...
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