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Tunisian Revolution and the Middle East


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http://twitter.com/iyad_elbaghdadi

So far #Yemen diplomats in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Algeria, Syria, and Russia, have joined the revolution. 28 minutes ago via web
#Yemen diplomat in Qatar also joined the revolution. 26 minutes ago via web
#Yemen diplomats in China & Indonesia join the revolution. 23 minutes ago via web
Diplomats in Germany in Tunisia have also joined the revolution. #Yemen 4 minutes ago via web

Supposedly Yemen's foreign minister is in Saudi Arabia, and the defense minister is supposed to be speaking soon.

Al Jazeera English is covering the Yemen situation a lot today.

Maybe more than Libya.

---------- Post added March-21st-2011 at 11:05 AM ----------

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/03/201132112130110767.html

Syria deploys troops after protests

Forces gather at entrances to the southern city of Daraa, a day after a protester was killed during a demonstration.

Syrian troops have been deployed in the southern city of Daraa a day after an anti-government protester was killed when forces reportedly fired on a demonstration.

News agencies, citing residents, said that thousands of Syrians marched on Monday in the town following the funeral of Raed Akrad, the killed protester.

A resident told the AFP news agency that "mass of demonstrators started to march from the cemetery towards al-Omari mosque after the burial".

"Just God, Syria and Freedom," and "Revolution, revolution" demonstrators chanted, the resident said.

Another witness said security forces had been deployed to block protests, but people had gathered regardless.

However Rula Amin, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Daraa, said the situation on Monday was "very tense but it is quiet".

"There are a lot of security, the army as well as police, there are a lot of checkpoints. But we didn't see any protests, people told us there was a funeral this morning but it ended with no clashes," she said.

---------- Post added March-21st-2011 at 11:25 AM ----------

The defense minister just made some kind of "no surrender" speech.

It seemed like he was warning of a massive crackdown to come.

No idea who would be doing it though.

Edited by visionary
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http://twitter.com/iyad_elbaghdadi

#Yemen diplomats in Belgium, Pakistan, and Iraq join the revolution. 1 minute ago via web
#Yemen diplomats in India, Czech republic, and Spain join the revolution. 24 minutes ago via web
#Yemen diplomat in USA declares he is with the revolution, live on Aljazeera. 20 minutes ago via web

The French Foreign Minister also called on president Saleh to resign.

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Latest from Yemen:

http://blogs.aljazeera.net/live/middle-east/yemen-live-blog-march-21

8:41pm An update of the rapidly growing list of defections and resignations in Yemen:

Army Officers:

Brigadier Ali Mohsen Saleh, head of the North Western Military Zone

Brigadier Hameed Al koshebi, head of brigade 310 in Omran area

Brigadier Mohammed Ali Mohsen, head of the Eastern Division

Brigadier Nasser Eljahori, head of brigade 121

General Ali Abdullaha Aliewa, adviser of the Yemeni supreme leader of the army

General Faisal Rajab, based in the southern province of Lahij

“Dozens of officers of various ranks” – AFP

Diplomats:

Abdel-Wahhab Tawaf, Ambassador to Syria

Mohammed Ali al-Ahwal, Ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Ambassador to Jordan

Ambassador to Egypt

Ambassador to Kuwait

Ambassador to China

Ambassador to Algeria

Ambassador to Indonesia

Ambassador to Iraq

Ambassador to Qatar

Ambassador to Belgium

Ambassador to Pakistan

Ambassador to Czech Republic

Ambassador to Spain

Ambassador to Germany

Ambassador to Oman

Ambassador to the UN

Charge d’affairs to Tunisia

Representative to the Arab League

All embassy staff in Washington except the ambassador

Local Officials:

Ahmed Qaatabi, Governor of Yemen's southern province of Aden

Himyar al-Ahmar, Deputy Speaker of Parliament

Mayor of Aden

3 MPs

Advisor of Yemen’s premiership

Tribal Leaders:

Sheikh Sadeq bin Abdullah Bin Hussein Alahmar, the leader of Hashed tribal federation

The As-Saadi tribe

http://blogs.aljazeera.net/live/middle-east/yemen-live-blog-march-22

12:50am Our correspondent John Terrett, reporting from Washington, said Al Jazeera has learned in the last few hours that four out of six diplomats at the Yemen embassy in DC have "sided with the people":

I want to make this clear: I spoke to the political officer at the embassy this morning - Khaled Al Kathiri - and he said that what he and his four colleagues are doing is: they are not resigning their jobs, they are not joining the opposition, but they are siding with the Yemeni people in their call for Saleh to stand aside and for the reforms to be allowed to go ahead."

Edited by visionary
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http://www.cnbc.com/id/42188249

Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa said a foreign plot against his kingdom had been foiled and thanked troops brought in from neighbouring countries to help end increasing unrest after weeks of protests.

"An external plot has been fomented for 20 to 30 years until the ground was ripe for subversive designs ...I here announce the failure of the fomented plot," the state news agency BNA quoted him overnight as telling troops.

King Hamad told the forces that such if such a plot succeeded in one Gulf Arab country, it could spill into neighbouring states, BNA said.

...

In a sign of rising tensions between the countries, Bahrain expelled Iran's charge d'affaires on Sunday, accusing him of contacts with some opposition groups, a diplomatic source said.

He left shortly after the Iranian ambassador, asked to leave last week. Iran expelled a Bahraini diplomat in response.

Bahrain has also said previously that it arrested opposition leaders for dealing with foreign countries.

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http://www.cnbc.com/id/42188249

Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa said a foreign plot against his kingdom had been foiled and thanked troops brought in from neighbouring countries to help end increasing unrest after weeks of protests.

"An external plot has been fomented for 20 to 30 years until the ground was ripe for subversive designs ...I here announce the failure of the fomented plot," the state news agency BNA quoted him overnight as telling troops.

King Hamad told the forces that such if such a plot succeeded in one Gulf Arab country, it could spill into neighbouring states, BNA said.

...

In a sign of rising tensions between the countries, Bahrain expelled Iran's charge d'affaires on Sunday, accusing him of contacts with some opposition groups, a diplomatic source said.

He left shortly after the Iranian ambassador, asked to leave last week. Iran expelled a Bahraini diplomat in response.

Bahrain has also said previously that it arrested opposition leaders for dealing with foreign countries.

It's a shame whats happening in Bahrain and the American governments lack of a response to Saudi and GCC troops attacking peaceful protesters. Unfortunately it looks like the Bahrain government might get away with simply claiming it was all Iranian based since looking at the actual facts would bring up some difficult questions for the west and the United States.

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Hillary has called out Iran interference twice in one week...

conspiracy?...or do they know more than they are telling?

Iran is interfering or trying to, but mostly just verbally.

From everything I've seen and read, the people protesting don't want any part of Iran or a theocracy.

They certainly don't want foreign troops to come and help oppress them either though.

The more Saudi Arabia and others take actions like they have in Bahrain, the better Iran will start to look to some of these people.

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:ols:

Oh yeah, Iran is a great model for freedom

I don't think anyone thinks that.

The young people of Bahrain seem to be very similar to the young protesters of Iran.

But if Iran is verbally sticking up for you and your own government and their allies are killing you, not allowing you to be treated in hospitals, and making sure you don't get to practice free speech or have equal rights....

Eventually you might start thinking maybe Iran isn't all that bad.

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Eventually you might start thinking maybe Iran isn't all that bad.

Ignorance is bliss...or a fool born every minute?

Is Bahrain hanging and raping theirs yet?....A veritable Heaven on earth

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Ignorance is bliss...or a fool born every minute?

Is Bahrain hanging and raping theirs yet?....A veritable Heaven on earth

I don't think most would want any help from Iran let alone be like them, but the less critical thinkers, more emotional ones might start changing their opinions.

By the way, CNN just reported that a US official says that the Yemen president may step down soon and discussions of a transition of power are under way.

Interesting times we are living in.

In other news from Yemen:

http://twitter.com/acarvin

AJE: Gunmen have stormed the offices of Al Jazeera in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, seizing broadcasting equipment. More information soon. 4 minutes ago via TweetDeck
Edited by visionary
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Hillary has called out Iran interference twice in one week...

conspiracy?...or do they know more than they are telling?

Well its a hell of a lot easier to ignore protesters that are against your interests if you paint them as foreign. Iran may be trying to play a role but the protesters are not pro-Iranian, although they certainly may turn that way when the Saudi's and the royal family mow them down and attack doctors and hospitals. However I can see how it would be easier for you to just claim it is Iran causing problems instead of looking at the ****ty stuff a lot of our allies are doing.

Edited by jpyaks3
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Well its a hell of a lot easier to ignore protesters that are against your interests if you paint them as foreign. Iran may be trying to play a role but the protesters are not pro-Iranian, although they certainly may turn that way when the Saudi's and the royal family mow them down and attack doctors and hospitals. However I can see how it would be easier for you to just claim it is Iran causing problems instead of looking at the ****ty stuff a lot of our allies are doing.

Iran Orders Attacks on Saudi Interests Worldwide

Several grand ayatollahs in Iran have issued a fatwa for Muslims to come to the aid of their Shiite brothers in Bahrain, who they claim are suffering horrific crimes from their government in collaboration with the Saudi armed forces. They further emphasized that the people of Bahrain have every right to demand freedom and their fair share from the state.

Shia-News, a site associated with Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi (a hard-line Shiite Twelver and an influential figure in the suppression of Iranians during their uprising to protest the fraudulent presidential election of 2009), is registering volunteers to participate in suicide bombings against Saudi interests around the world. Hundreds have already registered. Reports from inside Iran indicate that an alert has gone out to the Revolutionary Guards Quds forces throughout the world to prepare for attacks on Saudi establishments.

....

The ayatollahs who cry foul over the Saudi action in Bahrain have not spoken one word against their own Islamic regime, which is guilty of the rape, torture, and the murder of thousands of Iranian boys and girls for their uprising and demand for freedom and democracy. Human rights groups have reported that Iran, in just one month, executed more than one hundred people. The slaughter continues on a daily basis: the Iranian Supreme Court recently stepped up the executions by “expediting” death sentences.

The proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia is just beginning — expect to see many more such conflicts in the Middle East which will expand onto the world stage.

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/pjm-exclusive-iran-orders-attacks-on-saudi-interests-worldwide/2/

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twa, do you have any more links on that issue with the Saudis/Iran

not sure what you want...they are already fighting a proxy war in Yemen and Lebanon

on Bahrain

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-proxy-war-in-bahrain-saudi-arabia-vs-iran-2011-3

http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/20110314-iran-saudis-countermove-bahrain?elq=2d3f991b439f49249dc8379cd82052cd

Iran claiming Bahrain as it's territory

http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/html/iran_e005.htm

http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=116542

Sunni-Shiite fight threatens widespread impact

Russia, Iran linked on one side, U.S. ally Saudi Arabia on other

Read more: Sunni-Shiite fight threatens widespread impact http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=116542#ixzz1HINOhrW4

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Iran Orders Attacks on Saudi Interests Worldwide

Several grand ayatollahs in Iran have issued a fatwa for Muslims to come to the aid of their Shiite brothers in Bahrain, who they claim are suffering horrific crimes from their government in collaboration with the Saudi armed forces. They further emphasized that the people of Bahrain have every right to demand freedom and their fair share from the state.

Shia-News, a site associated with Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi (a hard-line Shiite Twelver and an influential figure in the suppression of Iranians during their uprising to protest the fraudulent presidential election of 2009), is registering volunteers to participate in suicide bombings against Saudi interests around the world. Hundreds have already registered. Reports from inside Iran indicate that an alert has gone out to the Revolutionary Guards Quds forces throughout the world to prepare for attacks on Saudi establishments.

....

The ayatollahs who cry foul over the Saudi action in Bahrain have not spoken one word against their own Islamic regime, which is guilty of the rape, torture, and the murder of thousands of Iranian boys and girls for their uprising and demand for freedom and democracy. Human rights groups have reported that Iran, in just one month, executed more than one hundred people. The slaughter continues on a daily basis: the Iranian Supreme Court recently stepped up the executions by “expediting” death sentences.

The proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia is just beginning — expect to see many more such conflicts in the Middle East which will expand onto the world stage.

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/pjm-exclusive-iran-orders-attacks-on-saudi-interests-worldwide/2/

Iran is certainly positioning themselves to influence the region same as any major player in any region, however, there is absolutely nothing about the Bahrain protests that suggest that Iran had anything to do with them. Bahrain's royal family and Saudi Arabia are just using that as an excuse to violently put down a peaceful protest that stems from an underprivileged and marginalized part of Bahrain's population. There is certainly a struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia over some parts however, if you believe that the Bahrain protests were anything other than homegrown and the Bahrain and Saudi families aren't just trying to justify their brutal treatment of the protesters who were peacefully protesting you really don't understand the underlying issues. This is like claiming that the Egyptian protests were simply driven by the Muslim Brotherhood, its an easy out for the regimes because they know a certain segment of the west will jump on that and accept it as fact because they don't understand or want to understand what is actually happening. No one has any proof that the protests are anything other then home grown and its pretty apparent that Iran is agitating but that doesn't mean they have any control whatsoever over whats going on. Thats like saying since the Muslim Brotherhood came out in favor of the Egyptian protests that they were the ones who were behind and controlling everything, it sounds great to people that want an easy answer but its not the truth.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/spy-talk/2010/07/reza_kahlili_self-proclaimed_ex-cia_spy_makes_new_iran_claims.html

Also Reza Kahlili (the author of the article) is kind of a nutjob and has been pretty spectacularly wrong about a lot things, including claiming that Iran "was planning nuclear suicide bombings with “a thousand suitcase bombs spread around Europe and the U.S.”

“This is a messianic regime. There should be no doubt they’re going to commit the most horrendous suicide bombing in human history,” Kahlili said. “They will attack Israel, European capitals and the Persian Gulf region at the same time, then they will hide in a bunker [until a religious prophecy is fulfilled]… and kill the rest of the nonbelievers.”

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not sure what you want...they are already fighting a proxy war in Yemen and Lebanon

on Bahrain

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-proxy-war-in-bahrain-saudi-arabia-vs-iran-2011-3

http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/20110314-iran-saudis-countermove-bahrain?elq=2d3f991b439f49249dc8379cd82052cd

Iran claiming Bahrain as it's territory

http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/html/iran_e005.htm

http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=116542

Sunni-Shiite fight threatens widespread impact

Russia, Iran linked on one side, U.S. ally Saudi Arabia on other

Read more: Sunni-Shiite fight threatens widespread impact http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=116542#ixzz1HINOhrW4

See there is the problem, what you quoted all originate from Friedman and his Neo-Con ilk, the Neo-Conservative movement has already shown that they don't have a good grasp on what makes the region tick. They have a very simplified Iran vs. Saudi Arabia view and it simply discounts the real reasons behind these protests.

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jpyaks...is the story correct or not?

Hillary claims Iran is interfering in Bahrain

http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=210564

The US secretary of state told the Senate Appropriations Committee that Tehran is using Hezbollah to communicate with Palestinians, who in turn communicate with counterparts in Egypt. She also explained that Iran is reaching out to opposition movements in Bahrain and are "very much involved" with the opposition in Yemen.

"So either directly or through proxies, they are constantly trying to influence events. They have a very active diplomatic foreign policy outreach," she said.

http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=210392

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Tuesday that Iran was aggressively trying to take advantage of the domestic upheavals across the Arab world, and warned that the United States needed to maintain robust aid and involvement in the region to keep Tehran from succeeding.

Clinton described Iran as working “every single day with as many assets as they can muster, trying to take hold of this legitimate movement for democracy,” in testimony before the US House Foreign Affairs Committee.

or if you don't trust JP

http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=301010

Edited by twa
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jpyaks...is the story correct or not?

Hillary claims Iran is interfering in Bahrain

http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=210564

The US secretary of state told the Senate Appropriations Committee that Tehran is using Hezbollah to communicate with Palestinians, who in turn communicate with counterparts in Egypt. She also explained that Iran is reaching out to opposition movements in Bahrain and are "very much involved" with the opposition in Yemen.

"So either directly or through proxies, they are constantly trying to influence events. They have a very active diplomatic foreign policy outreach," she said.

Which story? I don't think anyone can argue that Iran isn't trying to influence the region, just like Egypt was and will again, just like Israel is, and Syria, and Lebanon, and Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, What I can say is that what is happening in Bahrain is not an Iranian effort to take over, that is simply an easy excuse that allows the Saudi's and Bahrain royal family to kill protesters and still allows the United States an out of sorts. Painting it as Iran vs. Saudi Arabia is a good way to avoid the real conflict, the conflict is the Bahrainian people (specifically the disaffected Shiite population) vs. the royal family. Saudi intervention sets a very dangerous precedent and is morally reprehensible. I think the people like Friedman who paint the region in realist terms and Iran vs. Saudi Arabia miss what is actually going on, this isn't an external movement in Bahrain or Libya or Lebanon, or Syria, or Tunisia or any of these countries instead it is a popular revolt against the autocratic and repressive regimes in the region. This breaks a lot of the realist worldview and its one of the reasons that people have been really slow and confused in response to these protests especially in America, because it fundamentally alters the world view of the people who have been making policy for the last decade or so.

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I personally think its pretty apparent that the lens through which our policy makers and pundits have been looking at the Middle East has been horribly broken for the past decade or so. Our responses to revolutions and the quick and easy jump to realist thought patterns are just further evidence of this in my mind. Realism is dying and this may be its last stand.

Edited by jpyaks3
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