| Senior Islamic scholar Qaradawi resigns from Al-Azhar!

Senior Islamic scholar Qaradawi resigns from Al-Azhar ~ World Bulletin / News Desk.

Yusuf Al-Qaradawi has been an outspoken critic of Morsi’s ouster and repeatedly chastised Egypt’s new military-backed rulers. 

Prominent Egyptian-born Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi has resigned from Al-Azhar’s Senior Scholars Council, the prestigious Cairo-based religious institution’s most authoritative body.

In a Monday statement, al-Qaradawi said his resignation aimed to “register the position taken by free scholars.”

“I’m tendering my resignation… to the great Egyptian people, not to the Grand Imam who owns the Azhar,” said al-Qaradawi, who also serves as president of the International Union for Muslim Scholars.

The prominent scholar went on to assert that the post of Al-Azhar Grand Imam – like the presidency – “has been usurped by the military coup.”

Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed Tayeb openly supported the Egyptian military‘s July 3 ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi following mass protests against the latter’s administration.

In the months since, al-Qaradawi has been an outspoken critic of Morsi’s ouster and repeatedly chastised Egypt’s new military-backed rulers.

The Qatar-based scholar also blasted al-Tayeb’s failure to invite members of the Senior Scholars Council to meet “in light of the recent massacres and grave incidents that have terrorized the Egyptian people, particularly the dispersal of the Rabaa and Nahda sit-ins.”

On August 14, hundreds of pro-Morsi demonstrators were killed when security forces violently cleared two sit-ins in Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya and Nahda squares.

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| Greedy France wrecks P5+1 Deal for Arab money!

Finian Cunningham: France Wrecks P5+1 Deal for Arab Money ~  .


The French deal-breaking intervention at the P5+1 negotiation with Iran may have been motivated by France wanting to ingratiate itself with the Persian Gulf monarchies for strategic economic reasons.

Negotiations to resolve the nuclear deadlock and lift economic sanctions on Iran appeared to be near a breakthrough agreement after three days of talks in the Swiss capital, Geneva, over the weekend.

The hasty arrival of US Secretary of State John Kerry as well as the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany raised expectations that a potential deal was in the offing. But it was the French diplomat, Laurent Fabius, who threw a spanner in the works at the last-minute.

Fabius invoked “security concerns of Israel” and announced that his country was not going to sign a draft agreement. The French intervention appeared to catch participants by surprise.

An unnamed Western diplomat told Reuters, “The Americans, the EU and the Iranians have been working intensively for months on this proposal and this is nothing more than an attempt by Fabius to insert himself into relevance late in the negotiations.”

However, contrary to Fabius’ words and speculation by some analysts, the French motive seem less about appeasing Israel and France’s formidable Jewish lobby, and more to do with pandering to the Persian Gulf Arab monarchies of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Israeli opposition to any deal with Iran over the 10-year nuclear dispute is, of course, obvious. On the eve of the latest talks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was almost apoplectic in urging Western states to reject “a deal of the century for Iran.”

Equally as disconcerted about a possible accord were the Wahhabi monarchies led by Saudi Arabia, which view Shia Iran as an archenemy for influence in the Middle East. Only days before the latest round of P5+1 talks in Geneva, former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al Faisal told the Washington Post in an interview that his country was opposed to lifting sanctions on Iran.

One of the most striking political developments in recent months is the alignment of Israel with the House of Saud and the other Persian Gulf Arab regimes in terms of foreign policy objectives and adversity towards Iran.

Another salient development has been the strategic economic cooperation between France and the Persian Gulf oil kingdoms. Major sectors of interest include energy, water and electrical infrastructure, construction and weapons sales.

The French government has been embarking on an aggressive bilateral investment drive with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE.

In April this year, Paris hosted a Saudi-French Business Opportunities Forum attended by 500 businessmen from both countries.

French ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Bertrand Besancenot, said, “Saudi Arabia is a strategic partner of France in the region and the bilateral relationship is of paramount importance in the economic field,” pointing out that bilateral trade has doubled over the last five years.

In July, French company Veolia won a $500 million contract to build and operate water desalination plants in Saudi Arabia. That contract is reckoned to be the biggest of its kind in the Middle East, and from the French point of view, it is a model for the future, given that water and electricity infrastructure right across the Persian Gulf oil kingdoms is a vital development need for decades to come.

France is also courting capital investment and commerce from Qatar and the UAE. At stake is the purchase of French Rafale fighter jets worth billions of dollars underlined by the fact that France is in sharp competition with arms exporters from the US, Britain and Germany.

Another lucrative sector that the French are eyeing in the Persian Gulf Arab countries is nuclear energy. French nuclear company Areva is vying with Western competitors to build and operate nuclear energy plants in the UAE, which is something of an irony given France’s apparent objections to Iranian plans for the same technology.

“France calls for increased investment from Qatar,” read a headline in the Financial Times on 24 June.

The report said, “French President François Hollande used a weekend visit to Qatar to call for more investment from the gas-rich Gulf state to boost job creation in France.”

The FT added, “Mr Hollande told business leaders he hoped more Qatari money could be lured into France’s services and industrial sectors, with a reciprocal rise in French companies implementing the grand development ambitions of this fast-growing Gulf state.”

And the Qataris have obliged Hollande’s plea for funds. The two countries have set up a joint investment vehicle worth some $400 million to direct Qatari petrodollars towards French businesses. So far, Qatar’s total investment in France has reached an estimated $15 billion, with shares in flagship French companies, such as energy giant Total, construction firm Vinci, media business Legardere, water and electricity supplier Veolia, and even football team Paris Saint Germain.

Qatar’s ruling Al Thani dynasty has also been buying up luxury Paris real estates.

When France’s Hollande visited Qatar in June, he brazenly pitched his country as an alternative foreign investment destination to Britain and Germany.

France’s deteriorating economic situation and Hollande’s slump in the polls – he is the most unpopular French leader ever – can only but intensify the French dependence on Persian Gulf Arab money. This week, the international credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s downgraded France for the second time on the back of ballooning national debt, trade deficit and unemployment.

In this context it becomes clear why France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius acted to scupper the P5+1 talks this weekend in Geneva. By wrecking a potential deal with Iran, Fabius was no doubt bidding to please Saudi Arabia and the other Persian Gulf Arab regimes with a view to securing billions-of-dollars-worth of urgently needed capital.

Mouthing disingenuous concerns, Fabius vandalized with a spanner in one hand and a begging bowl surreptitiously in the other.

File photo showing closed-door talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council on November 9.

File photo showing closed-door talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council on November 9.

Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent.

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| Wall Street journalists stick to story about Prince Bandar “swipe” at Qatar!

Wall Street journalists stick to story about Prince Bandar “swipe” at Qatar ~ MEMO.

An article published in the Wall Street journal last week continues to reverberate in the Gulf States. In its 25 August edition Journalists Adam Entous, Nour Malas and Margaret Coker revealed that Prince Bandar had taken “a swipe” at Qatar when he said that the country was “nothing but 300 people … and a TV channel,” reportedly also saying “that doesn’t make a country.”

Soon after the quote by Prince Bandar was reported, Qatar’s foreign minister, Khalid Al Atiyah, responded via twitter saying that, “one Qatari citizen is worth an entire people and the Qatari people are equal to an entire nation.” He added, “This is what we teach our children, with all due respect to the others.”

Apart from reports of unease among Saudi officials, the prince’s remarks had also provoked outrage and acute embarrassment on a public level. Many Saudis viewed it as highly insulting. Social media activists took to cyberspace to offer apologies for what they perceived as a condescending remark toward a ‘brotherly state’.

Two days after the publication of the Wall Street Journal article, unnamed Saudi officials, in an attempt to diffuse tensions, denied the remarks attributed to the prince.

In the event, MEMO contacted the Wall Street Journal journalists behind the story. They confirmed that although Prince Bandar was himself was unavailable for a comment, their sources were credible and extremely knowledgeable. As such, they maintained that that they were sticking by their story.

MEMO’S analysts believe that in light of this reaffirmation by the Wall Street Journal, it would be difficult to refute the offending remark.

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| Leaked Documents show rebels behind chemical attack as US frames Syria!

| Leaked Documents show rebels behind chemical attack as US frames Syria! 

Leaked Documents – US Framed Syria in Chemical Weapons Attack!

On August 21st, 2013 chemical weapons were used the Syrian conflict yet again. Western powers, the U.S. and France in particular enthusiastically didn’t hesitate for even a moment to take advantage of the tragedy, decrying it as a crime against humanity and using it as a springboard to announce their preparations for military strikes against the Syrian government. 

Make no mistake this was a crime against humanity… but the gas was NOT used by the Syrian government, it was used by the NATO backed rebels. In this video we’re going to show you definitive evidence to support this claim and we’re going to explain the U.S. and NATO’s motive for committing such an atrocity. The leaked documents that we are going to be presenting are available for you to download yourself. You’ll find a in a link in the description to that download and you’ll also find links to the mainstream articles we used in our research.


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Leaked Britam Defence Syrian documents for download:http://stormcloudsgathering.com/leake

Chemical weapons confirmed in Syrian conflict:http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/20

U.S. helped Saddam as he was using chemical weapons on Iran:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles

CIA and Mossad both say the Iran hasn’t even made the decision to seek a nuclear weapon: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy

Iran and Syria confront US with defense pact:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2005

Iran already sending troops to Syria: http://rt.com/news/iran-troop-deploym

The proxy war in Syria: http://www.globalresearch.ca/americas

The U.S. funneling weapons to rebels through Qatar:http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/world

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012

Russia opposes arming militants in Syria:
http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/05

Russia warns Syria/Iran Crisis may go nuclear:http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/0

UK Quatar plot to frame Syria for Chemical weapons:
http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/01

The March 19th, 2013 Sarin Attack:
Israel and the U.S. blame Assad:
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines

Obama’s red line: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/world

U.N. launches their own probe:http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/0

According to the U.N. investigation the March 19th chemical weapons attack turned out to be committed by the rebels:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middl

Russia agrees: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/0

The August 21st, 2013 Chemical Attack:
Syrian soldiers enter rebel tunnels, find chemical agents
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/0

Video from attack apparently shows the rockets were small and primitive:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/0

Iran says they have proof rebels used chemical weapons:
http://news.yahoo.com/iran-says-proof

Turkey finds sarin gas in homes of suspected Syrian Islamists
http://rt.com/news/sarin-gas-turkey-a

FSA says they are going to use chemical weapons from now on:http://www.israelnationalnews.com/New

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To Youtube copyright reviewers:
Audio and animations were created by StormCloudsGathering using Reason 7, Adobe Premiere, Photoshop and Adobe After Effects. Files available for proof on request.

Courtesy: http://stormcloudsgathering.com/leake…

| Afghan attack kills 4 US soldiers hours after news of talks!

Afghan attack kills US soldiers hours after news of talks ~ BBC.

Four US soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan, hours after the US announced direct talks with the Taliban.

The soldiers were killed by “indirect fire” from insurgents at Bagram air base, US officials said.

Bagram, near the Afghan capital Kabul, is the largest military base for US troops in Afghanistan.

A condition for the talks, due to take place in the coming days in Qatar, was for the Taliban to renounce violence.

In comments made before the news of the attack emerged, US President Barack Obama said the announcement of talks was an “important first step toward reconciliation”.

The first meeting is due to take place in the coming days in Doha, Qatar, where the Taliban have just opened their first official overseas office.

US officials said prisoner exchanges would be one topic for discussion with the Taliban, but the first weeks would mainly be used to explore each other’s agendas.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said his government was also sending delegates to Qatar to talk to the Taliban.

Also on Tuesday, Nato handed over responsibility for security for the whole of the country to Afghan security forces.

International troops are to remain in Afghanistan until the end of 2014, providing military back-up when needed.

Trust ‘low’As well as renouncing violence, other conditions of the talks are that the Taliban break ties with al-Qaeda and respect the Afghan constitution – including the rights of women and minorities.

US officials told reporters the first formal meeting between US and Taliban representatives was expected to take place in Doha next week, with talks between President Karzai’s High Peace Council and the Taliban due a few days after that.

The level of trust between the Afghan government and the Taliban is described as “low”.

In the past, the Taliban have always refused to meet President Karzai or his government, dismissing them as puppets of Washington.

Masoom Stanekzai, secretary of the High Peace Council, would not give a specific date for their talks but said they would take place “within days”.

US officials stressed that this was the first step on a very long road, adding that there was no guarantee of success.

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| International parties have hidden agenda to destroy Syria – Hamas leader!

International parties have hidden agenda to destroy Syria – Hamas leader ~ Alex Thomson’s View, Channel 4 News.

First came confirmation that the interview was on. We flew to the Qatari city of Doha. And waited…And waited…
Then we were given a day, then two hours notice – a location.

That is an area of the city and a time. No address – just initial directions to the general area.

We proceeded junction to junction; roundabout to roundabout, stopping to receive new directions at each way point.
A Mossad injection 15 years ago very nearly killed the man we were going to see. Three years ago another top Hamas official was assassinated in a Dubai hotel room by a group of Mossad agents dressed up as tennis-playing tourists on faked passports – including British ones.

So the Palestinian group Hamas, do not take chances. Elected to power in Gaza over, yet deemed “a terrorist organisation” by the US and the EU, Hamas remains committed to denying Israel’s right to exist and resisting Israel by force of arms.

30 syria2 w copy1 International parties have hidden agenda to destroy Syria   Hamas leader

We arrived at a villa after several calls for the next stage of directions. “So who owns this place then?”

“It is owned by a man,” came the reply from the genial man in charge of welcoming us to this safe house.

Several times the producer would ask the question, several times, exactly the same smiling reply. We hand in our mobile phones. We walk through an airport-style scanner. The film equipment is carefully, intimately, searched. Then tea, cakes, sweets and we wait.

Finally, the courtyard doors open again and Khaled Meshaal emerges from a 4×4 with guards. The boss of Hamas is with us.

Neatly trimmed beard, soft-spoken with a ready smile, careful to greet all our team and both cameramen with handshakes. Scrupulous not to neglect or ignore anybody in the room. The guards take up postions by the door and outside. Open- necked shirt, neat, dark jacket: the technocrat, fixer, pragmatist, very much intended look.

I start with Syria.

Hamas left Damascus in January last year, for Doha. Goodbye to his longtime friend and ally President Bashar al-Assad:

“The military approach is wrong. It makes the crisis worse. It doesn’t solve anything,” he explains, “it only makes it more complicated. What we are witnessing today proves our advice was right.”

So advice to Assad to seek a political solution when it looked feasible. And now Hamas denies the accusations that it is supporting rebel Syrian groups like the Free Syrian Army:

“We do not interfere in Syrian internal affairs nor do we interfere in the Syrian Crisis and this is our policy towards the Arab Spring and all other Arab and non-Arab countries in the World.”

“So when the British government wants to arm Syrian rebels they’re making a mistake?” I ask.

“Hamas policy is against any foreign intervention in our countries.This is our general principle. But at the same time we support the rights of people to freedom, democracy and reform and we are against the use of force and violence, massacres, and military options against them. We support people to win their rights, but we are against foreign intervention.

The international community has been talking about this for months and I think there is a kind of deception going on, and that there is a hidden agenda from many international parties to prolong the Syrian crisis and destroy Syria. These parties do not want to see recovery for Syria…they use positive slogans but in reality their attitude identifies with the Israeli agenda of destroying Syria, more death, and prolonging the Syrian crisis.”

“In moving to Doha you are sending a clear message to Assad that he should go?”

“No no, this is not what we meant. We, as the leadership of Hamas, had to leave Damascus the moment we felt that our efforts to convince the Syrian leadership to choose a solution other than the military one failed. On the other hand, the Syrian leadership was not happy with Hamas’ political stance and also, I felt they wanted to put pressure or demand on us to stand by the official Syrian position and support the leadership in their military solution to the Syrian issue … this is why we did not feel then I could stay, so we left – circumstances forced itself on us, but if Assad goes or stays, that’s up to the Syrian people not to us.”

“But you moved to Qatar,” I say, “which more than any other supports the rebels in Syria. You’ve betrayed a great friend in bashar al-Assad and betrayed Iran.”

“I explained to you why we left and this not a betrayal of any one We did not mean to anger any party by our political position, we just stuck to our principles.”

But it’s clear the move has been difficult. Relations with Syria are strained to put it mildly. Qatar has long been the key sponsor of the uprising in Syria. The Emir recently visited Gaza, and as we speak Qatari money is rebuilding the ruins of Israeli bombing back in Gaza.

And then Israel itself.

Bizarrely Hamas and Israel may even find themselves close to being on the same side over Syria. Israel bombs, Hamas leaves Damascus and seeks refuge in the coutry supporting the rebels. How deep is the rift with Assad? If profound, then on the basis that my enemy’s enemy is my friend Hamas could be uncomfortably close to The Zionist Entity as they would have it:

“If you use this kind of description,” says Mr Meshal, “how can you explain the Israeli assault against us in Gaza months ago?

The aggression that killed our great leader Ahmad Al-Jaabary after we left Syria. Israel looks after its own interest and has its own policy of assault no matter which country it’s assaulting, if it’s Lebanon or Syria or any other country in the World. Israel is our enemy.”

So does Hamas continue with its position of stating that Israel clearly exists de facto but has no legitimacy to exist in law?

“I am surprised that the world keeps concentrating on the recognition of Israel and its right to exist, while it is an existing state on the ground, occupying the land and expelling its people while practising all manner of killings, aggression and terror. In all civil and religious laws in the world, there is no legitimacy to any one who establishes themselves by means of violation and the seizure of land and the rights of others. Does the international community accept this equation?”

“So yes or no? Does Israel have the right to exist Mr Meshal?”

“You ask your question your way, so let me answer you in my way. I’m telling you, we are the real owners of the land. We have the right to live freely without occupation, settlements, aggression, prisons and Jewishisation of the land.The law I believe in and I think it’s the same for every human being in the world, not only the Arabs and all Muslims is that there is no legitimacy or future for occupation or aggression.”

I wondered if there were any circumstances in which he could conceive of shaking hands with the Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu?

“Although the question is legitimate, how can I have peace with a killer like Netanyahu. Think logically. I am the Palestinian victim, my land is occupied, and my people are displaced. Netanyahu is waging war against my own people, and denies my rights, so why would the world expect me to shake his hand in the future? There was a historical handshake between Rabin and Arafat, God bless his soul, in the White House Garden when they signed Camp David Agreement, but what was the result? This hand, Arafat’s, the hand that shook Rabin’s hand was poisoned and killed by Rabin’s followers after that.”

He accuses Israel of somehow relishing concessions from Arabs in the Middle East for their own sake and here the historical self-image of Hamas is tellingly revealed:

“It’s a kind of sadism because it enjoys and relishes the Arab concessions. This is why the only answer to this situation is to take a rigid stance.

You are in Britain and you are a respectable TV station. Why are the British proud of Churchill when he was dealing with Nazism when they occupied France and bombed Britain? Why did De Gaulle call for resistance to the German occupation of France from London? Why did he become a hero instead being criticised because of his lack of flexibility?”

With that, he takes his leave in a leisurely fashion. There are more talks with others in side the house before the guard shepherd him into the 4×4 and he leaves the house “owned by a man” and we can now retrieve our mobile phones and, after a suitable time has elapsed, leave the villa as well.

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| Doha Protocol for Syria: Geopolitical smash and grab including piped water to Israel!

Road Map Drawn Up by Syrian Traitors to Serve Imperialists, Gulf Monarchies ~ Noureddine MerdaciTruthout.

The following is a translation of an article originally published in The Sham Times

It will perhaps take months, if not years, before we will be able to reconstruct the process by which Syria found itself trapped in this civil war. Obviously, Damascus had not measured the danger, not only for the regime in power, but even for Syria itself, now in danger of disappearing as a nation-state. However, the veil begins to lift on the circumstances of the “conclave” held in Doha in early November, which saw a heterogeneous “opposition” – divided, without a program and without perspective – provide itself with a leader, Moez Ahmed al-Khatib, and a “coalition.”

But to achieve this, according to sources familiar with the matter, the Syrian “opponents” were ordered by Qatar to “find” an agreement, sine qua non, before leaving the room they were provided. This means that the “Syrian opposition” had a gun to its head, forcing it to reach this minimum agreement. Qatari Prime Minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, took a personal interest in the proceedings. In reality, the “revolt” in Syria, totally managed by foreign countries and their intelligence services, was a proxy war against the Syrian national state, a war which needed “Syrians at their service” only to serve as “local color.”

In Syria, it is fighters coming from many Arab countries, elements of al-Qaeda, jihadists from Afghanistan, Somalia and Pakistan – well-armed – who kill Syrian civilians and fight against the Syrian army alongside a handful of deserters. So, in Doha, it was necessary to “unify” the opposition, whose credibility was placed in question, even by one of its main sponsors, the United States, which has applied its full weight to restore a semblance of consistency and visibility to an opposition created completely by France, Qatar, and the United States in particular, and supported by Turkey, which “persuaded” NATO to install “Patriot” missiles on its territory – more precisely on the borders with Syria. Doha has been a refocusing of a rebellion that had not been able to achieve the goals ordered by its sponsors.

In fact, we can better understand the situation when we know the terms of the “Doha Protocol,” a document we have been able to consult, which contains the following 13 points:

1. Syria should reduce the number of soldiers of the Syrian army to 50,000;

 

2. Syria will assert its right to sovereignty over the Golan only by political means. Both parties will sign peace agreements under the auspices of the United States and Qatar;

 

3. Syria must get rid of, under the supervision of the United States, all its chemical and biological weapons and all of its missiles. This operation must be carried out on the land of Jordan;

 

4. To cancel any claim of sovereignty over Liwa Iskenderun (Alexandretta) and to withdraw in favor of Turkey from some border villages inhabited by Turkmens in “muhafazahs” in Aleppo and Idlib;

 

5. To expel all members of the Workers Party of Kurdistan, and to hand over those wanted by Turkey. This party should be added to the list of terrorist organizations;

 

6. To cancel all agreements and contracts signed with Russia and China in the fields of subsurface drilling and armaments;

 

7. To allow Qatari gas pipeline passage through the Syrian territory toward Turkey and then on to Europe;

 

8. To allow water pipes to pass through the Syrian territory from the Atatürk Dam to Israel;

 

9. Qatar and United Arab Emirates pledge to rebuild what has been destroyed by the war in Syria on the condition that their companies have the exclusive access to contracts for reconstruction and for exploitation of Syrian oil and gas;

 

10.To terminate relations with Iran, Russia and China;

 

11.To break off relations with Hezbollah and with Palestinian resistance movements;

 

12. The Syrian regime should be Islamic and not Salafi;

 

13. This agreement will come into effect as soon as power is taken ((Algerian) Editor’s note: by the “Opposition”).

This is the price of foreign pressures and of resignation and treachery on the part of Arab states. A high price, an exorbitant price for Syria that persons calling themselves “Syrian” have endorsed. Indeed, this agreement, or rather “Protocol,” is thus the price that the Syrian opposition will have to pay once installed in power in Damascus, as stated in Article 13 of the “Doha Agreement.”

In this way, each of the sponsors of the “revolt of the Syrian people” has helped himself according to his own interests and appetite. The United States, by disarming Syria and distancing the nation from its friends; Turkey, by retrieving Syrian villages and modifying the common borders according to its interests; Qatar, by being granted contracts for the “reconstruction” of the country; and Saudi Arabia, by the establishment of an Islamic regime of its devotion.

This is a virtual castration of Syria, to be stripped of its sovereignty just as Egypt was by the Camp David Agreements in 1979. Actually, it is as if the “opposition” – supported at arm’s length by Qatar – were to demand the immediate recognition of Israel, with, however, as in Article 2 of the Doha protocol, a negotiated settlement.

This is a sharing of Syrian hoard! Nowhere is there any question of democracy, freedom, human rights, building a new Syria in which the Syrians, whatever their ethnicity, religion and belief, enjoy the same rights. Instead, each of the “sponsors” served himself first, taking whatever he wanted.

For those who know the turbulent history of the Ottoman Middle East, everything is explained, and Doha was the point of no return for a Syrian opposition that no longer had a voice. It was only to justify the “syrianity” of the events. This was clearly seen in Cairo when the new “boss” of the “coalition,” Moez Ahmed al-Khatib, arrived in the baggage of Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani for the Arab League meeting that took place in the mid-November.

In Syria, the scenario acted out for Libya is surpassed, and there is now danger of a general destabilization of the world, even that fragmentation for which American civilian “experts” and military have been working without interruption. We should consider this situation seriously!

Translated by Chrysanthie Therapontos, edited by Henry Crapo, translators for Humanité in English.

 

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Syrian families displaced by fighting set up to sleep outside an abandoned school in Idlib Province, Syria, September 22, 2012. (Photo: Bryan Denton / The New York Times)

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| Beware Fortune’s Fool: Qatar – Rich and Dangerous!

Qatar – Rich and DangerousFelix ImontiOilPrice.

The first concern of the Emir of Qatar is the prosperity and security of the tiny kingdom.  To achieve that, he knows no limits.

Stuck between Iran and Saudi Arabia is Qatar with the third largest natural gas deposit in the world.  The gas gives the nearly quarter of a million Qatari citizens the highest per capita income on the planet and provides 70 percent of government revenue. 

How does an extremely wealthy midget with two potentially dangerous neighbors keep them from making an unwelcomed visit?  Naturally, you have someone bigger and tougher to protect you. 

Of course, nothing is free.  The price has been to allow the United States to have two military bases in a strategic location.  According to Wikileak diplomatic cables, the Qataris are even paying sixty percent of the costs.

Having tanks and bunker busting bombs nearby will discourage military aggression, but it does nothing to curb the social tumult that has been bubbling for decades in the Middle Eastern societies.  Eighty-four years ago, the Moslem Brotherhood arose in Egypt because of the presence of foreign domination by Great Britain and the discontent of millions of the teaming masses yearning to be free.  Eighty-four years later, the teaming masses are still yearning. 

Sixty-five percent of the people in the Middle East are under twenty-nine years of age.  It is this desperate angry group that presents a danger that armies cannot stop.  The cry for their dignity, “I am a man,” is the sound that sends terror through governments.  It is this overwhelming force that the Emir of Qatar has been able to deflect.

A year after he deposed his father in 1995, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani established the Al-Jazeera television satellite news network.  He invited some of the radical Salafi preachers that had been given sanctuary in Qatar to address the one and a half billion Moslems around the world.  They had their electronic soapbox and the card to an ATM, but there was a price.

The price was silence.  They could speak to the world and arouse the fury in Egypt or Libya, but they would have to leave their revolution outside of Qatar or the microphone would be switched off and the ATM would stop dispensing the good life.

The Moslem Brotherhood, that is a major force across the region, dissolved itself in Qatar in 1999.  Jasim Sultan, a member of the former organization, explained that the kingdom was in compliance with Islamic law.  He heads the state funded Awaken Project that publishes moderate political and philosophical literature.

How Qatar has benefited from networking with the Salafis is illustrated by the connections with Tunisia where Qatar is making a large investment in telecommunications.  Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafiq Abdulsalaam was head of the Research and Studies Division in the Al Jazeera Centre in Doha.  His father-in-law Al Ghanouchi is the head of the Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood party.

Over much of the time since he seized power, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani has followed the policy of personal networking, being proactive in business and neutral on the international stage.  The Emir is generous with the grateful, the Qatar Sovereign Wealth Fund bargains hard in the board room and the kingdom makes available Qatar’s Good Offices to resolve disputes. 

Qatar’s foreign policy made an abrupt shift when the kingdom entered the war against Qaddafi.  The kingdom sent aircraft to join NATO forces.  On the ground, Qatari special forces armed, trained, and led Libyans against Qaddafi’s troops. 

The head of the National Transition Council Mustafa Abdul Jalil attributed much of the success of the revolution to the efforts of Qatar that he said had spent two billion dollars.  He commented, “Nobody traveled to Qatar without being given a sum of money by the government.”

Qatar had ten billion dollars in investments in Libya to protect.  The Barwa Real Estate Company alone had two billion committed to the construction of a beach resort near Tripoli. 

While the bullets were still flying, Qatar signed eight billion dollars in agreements with the NTC.  Just in case things with the NTC didn’t work out, they financed rivals Abdel Hakim Belhaj, leader of the February 17 Martyr’s Brigade, and Sheik Ali Salabi, a radical cleric who had been exiled in Doha. 

If Qatar’s investments of ten billion dollars seem substantial, the future has far more to offer.  Reconstruction costs are estimated at seven hundred billion dollars.  The Chinese and Russians had left behind between them thirty billion in incomplete contracts and investments and all of it is there for the taking for those who aided the revolution.

No sooner had Qaddafi been caught and shot, Qatar approached Bashar Al-Assad to establish a transitional government with the Moslem Brotherhood.  As you would expect, relinquishing power to the Brotherhood was an offer that he could refuse.  It didn’t take long before he heard his sentence pronounced in January 2012 on the CBS television program, 60 Minutes by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

The Emir declared that foreign troops should be sent into Syria.  At the Friends of Syria conference in February, Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani said, “We should do whatever necessary to help [the Syrian opposition], including giving them weapons to defend themselves.” 

Why would Qatar want to become involved in Syria where they have little invested?  A map reveals that the kingdom is a geographic prisoner in a small enclave on the Persian Gulf coast.

It relies upon the export of LNG, because it is restricted by Saudi Arabia from building pipelines to distant markets.  In 2009, the proposal of a pipeline to Europe through Saudi Arabia and Turkey to the Nabucco pipeline was considered, but Saudi Arabia that is angered by its smaller and much louder brother has blocked any overland expansion.

Already the largest LNG producer, Qatar will not increase the production of LNG.  The market is becoming glutted with eight new facilities in Australia coming online between 2014 and 2020.

A saturated North American gas market and a far more competitive Asian market leaves only Europe.  The discovery in 2009 of a new gas field near Israel, Lebanon, Cyprus, and Syria opened new possibilities to bypass the Saudi Barrier and to secure a new source of income.  Pipelines are in place already in Turkey to receive the gas.  Only Al-Assad is in the way.

Qatar along with the Turks would like to remove Al-Assad and install the Syrian chapter of the Moslem Brotherhood.  It is the best organized political movement in the chaotic society and can block Saudi Arabia’s efforts to install a more fanatical Wahhabi based regime.  Once the Brotherhood is in power, the Emir’s broad connections with Brotherhood groups throughout the region should make it easy for him to find a friendly ear and an open hand in Damascus.

A control centre has been established in the Turkish city of Adana near the Syrian border to direct the rebels against Al-Assad.  Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah al-Saud asked to have the Turks establish a joint Turkish, Saudi, Qatari operations center.  “The Turks liked the idea of having the base in Adana so that they could supervise its operations” a source in the Gulf told Reuters.

The fighting is likely to continue for many more months, but Qatar is in for the long term.  At the end, there will be contracts for the massive reconstruction and there will be the development of the gas fields.  In any case, Al-Assad must go.  There is nothing personal; it is strictly business to preserve the future tranquility and well-being of Qatar.

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