zaterdag 27 december 2014

Saudi Terror

“The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer has helped me immensely with great information and perspective.”

Bob Bradley, former US and Egyptian national coach

"James Dorsey’s The Turbulent World of Middle Eastern Soccer (has) become a reference point for those seeking the latest information as well as looking at the broader picture."
Alon Raab in The International Journal of the History of Sport

“Dorsey’s blog is a goldmine of information.”
Play the Game

"Your expertise is clearly superior when it comes to Middle Eastern soccer."
Andrew Das, The New York Times soccer blog Goal

"Dorsey statement (on Egypt) proved prophetic."
David Zirin, Sports Illustrated

"Essential Reading"
Change FIFA

"A fantastic new blog'
Richard Whitall of A More Splendid Life

"James combines his intimate knowledge of the region with a great passion for soccer"
Christopher Ahl, Play the Game

"An excellent Middle East Football blog"
James Corbett, Inside World Football

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Gulf-Iranian proxy war spills onto the soccer pitch


By James M. Dorsey

A Saudi-led proxy war against Iran playing out in Syria and Iraq has expanded onto the soccer pitch with a last minute decision by the Palestinian national team to cancel a friendly against Iran. The cancellation officially on technical grounds came barely two weeks before Iran meets two of its Gulf nemeses, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, in politically loaded matches during the Asian Cup in Australia. It also highlights internal divisions among the Palestinians as Hamas, the Islamist group in control of Gaza, seeks to patch up its differences with Iran.

Iranian suspicion that the Palestinian cancellation four days before the friendly was scheduled to take place is rooted in close ties between the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank headed by President Mahmoud Abbas and conservative Gulf states as well as Mr. Abbas’s deteriorating relations with Hamas. Iranian officials and soccer analysts doubt the cancellation had anything to do with soccer.

The officials and analysts noted that the Palestinian squad had recently trained and played matches in the UAE and Saudi Arabia whose relations with Iran have long been strained. The two Gulf states alongside Bahrain believe that Iran has sought to fuel discontent in their countries and is responsible for the popular uprising in Bahrain that was brutally suppressed in 2011 as well as unrest in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich, predominantly Shiite Muslim Eastern Province. 

Saudi Arabia whose puritan Wahhabi interpretation of Islam is inherently anti-Shiite has poured billions of dollars into becoming a dominant force in Muslim communities across the globe since the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran. Saudi responses to the popular revolts that have swept the Arab world in recent years and sparked a brutal civil war in Syria as well as to the crisis in Iraq and the rise of jihadist groups like the Islamic State, which controls a swath of Iraq and Syria, have been characterized by their anti-Shiite, anti-Iranian overtones. To be sure, the Islamic State is no less sectarian with its murderous campaigns against Shiites and other religious minorities.

The Saudi responses reflect the fact that the kingdom’s ruling family cloaks itself in the mantle of Islam to justify its absolute power that is becoming increasingly harsh in its crackdown on domestic sent. A Saudi court in recent days referred to a court that deals with terrorism cases two women arrested a month ago for violating a ban on women driving. Saudi rulers see any alternative form of Islamic government, particularly ones that involve popular legitimization through elections like Iran or the rise in Egypt of the Muslim Brotherhood with the election in 2012 of Mohammed Morsi, as a direct threat. Mr. Morsi was toppled a year later in a Saudi and UAE-backed military coup.

In a letter to his Iranian counterpart, Palestine Football Association (PFA) secretary general Abd Al-Majid Hujjah said his squad had just returned from a visit to China and was preparing for next month’s Asian Cup in Australia and therefore was unable to travel to Iran. Mr. Hujjah stressed Palestine’s brotherly relations with Iran and expressed hope that the countries’ teams would have a future opportunity to meet.

The PFA, locked into a campaign to get Israel suspended by world soccer body FIFA for alleged obstruction of the development of Palestinian football that is part of a broader effort to squeeze Israel within international organizations, needs Gulf support. Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat was quoted by Israeli media as saying that the United Nations Security Council could vote within days on a resolution that would call on Israel to withdraw from occupied Palestinian territory by 2017. After years of failed mediation efforts, FIFA this month warned that Israel could be sanctioned if it failed to ensure the free movement of Palestinian players.

The Palestinian cancellation of the Iranian match came not only at a sensitive moment in Palestinian diplomacy but also at a time that efforts to bridge the divide between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are faltering further. Hamas charged that the authority’s security forces had this week arrested 14 of its operatives on the West Bank. 

Squeezed by pressure from both Israel and Egypt in the wake of this summer’s destructive war with Israel, Hamas sent a delegation to Tehran earlier this month to repair relations ruptured by the Sunni Muslim Islamist militia’s refusal to back the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. A renewal of ties would not only complicate Hamas’ relations with the authority but would also serve Iran’s argument that it is the Gulf states rather than the Islamic Republic that is fuelling sectarianism in the Middle East.

PFA President Jibril Rajoub, who a year ago became the first representative of Mr. Abbas to visit Tehran in years, has urged Hamas to break its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood – a demand that is in line with Saudi Arabia and the UAE who have outlawed the group as a terrorist organization. Mr. Rajoub’s visit focused on efforts to lift a Syrian siege of the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus and win Iranian support for Mr. Abbas’ UN efforts.

A deputy secretary of the central committee of Mr. Abbas’ Al Fatah movement and former head of Palestinian security, Mr. Rajoub needs to reassure Gulf states who worry about the fact that he has close personal ties to Hamas leaders should he want to succeed Mr. Abbas as head of the Palestinian Authority. Mr. Abbas has suggested on a number of occasions that he wishes to retire.

The Authority and Mr. Rajoub are walking a tightrope. Cancellation of the match against Iran will earn them brownie points in the Gulf but not contribute to relations with Iran, which has suggested that it would abide by any decision the Palestinians take with regard to Israel. 

“The match against Palestine was agreed upon on October 3. The Palestinians had 80 days but said they were not coming just four days before the match. This is neither legal nor professional… In the worst of cases, this constitutes regional collusion with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia,” charged Mehdi Rostampour, a well-known Iranian soccer analyst, in a posting on his Facebook page.

James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, co-director of the University of Wuerzburg’s Institute for Fan Culture, a syndicated columnist, and the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog and a forthcoming book with the same title.

U.S. Torture 33

If Hope Remains Dormant, Freedom Remains Elusive 

By ashiftinconsciousness

December 26, 2014 "
ICH" - "ashiftinconsciousness" - Look at the things we teach our children: that it’s OK to do horrible things – just don’t get caught. 
Imagine someone was caught teaching their children it’s acceptable to torture, but not acceptable to talk about it because people would then hate you. That person’s children would be taken away.
However, when the CIA tortures people for nothing more than the suspicion that they MIGHT have done something wrong (according to the “moral” code of the dominant war-machine culture) and corporate media complains about the people bringing up the issue instead of complaining about the torture itself, something is seriously wrong. We’re obviously being conditioned to accept violent, aberrant behavior and to exist in an amoral society.
Is American exceptionalism merely American expressionism? Or American Impressionism? Corporate Media paint pictures of the U.S. that no one else sees. (Of course, you’ll always have your mentally ill dystopian fantasy freaks like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh who see ludicrous images that seem as if they’ve come out of dysfunctional comic books written for violently narcissistic adolescent boys who get off on hurting girls and animals – and basically anyone or anything they don’t understand). 
Corporate tools like these obedient clowns of pompous ignorance have caused a desertification of culture in our society that should terrify everyone – yet they’ve become wealthy through the mass distribution of their bile sermons of irrational banter and bizarre rants.
Perhaps American Reactionism would be a better description. The talking  mouths of the U.S. Fear Industry love to react animatedly to ANYTHING that supports compassion, tolerance and inclusion, then to use fear and hate speech to induce violent reactions in the masses. The better to keep people misdirected through fighting and struggling so as not to see the structures of society collapsing all around us. Even as they walk their pathetic walk of the living dead, people don’t notice their own footprints in the dust after the collapse. 
Imagine a society in which more money is spent on incarcerating people than educating people. Or imagine a nation spending more of its resources on a military than on housing, food, education, energy, the environment, science, transportation and basic community services combined.
Oh wait, we don’t have to imagine that. We DO that here in the good ‘ol U S of A (according to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget). 
No wonder we’ve become a nation of sterile, soulless automatons who’ll trample women and children to death for the latest new toy, but won’t take the time to exercise our constitutionally protected right to have a voice in OUR government. 
Stimulating conversation has degenerated into a mindless ritual of swapping cliches. Creativity has been contaminated by the mediocrity of an obedience-obsessed desire to appeal to the largest number of people from something natural and vibrant into something barren, impotent and comfortable (making it easier to sell violence and dysfunction packaged as music, art and storytelling). 
If a society loses the right to be honest, it loses the ability to distinguish truth from myth. And, it loses something vital to being human. The ability to express one’s own ideas is one of the basic necessities of civilization. Without it, we are caged animals who don’t have the sense to see our self-enforced limitations or the courage to attempt to free ourselves from certain slavery.
Censorship of any kind is a definite sign of the degradation and eventual collapse of a society. That includes the disingenuous practice of sellouts in the media being paid to “express” what appears to be dissident opinion but only goes far enough to get people to scratch the surface of their discontent. If it rings true in your caged mind but doesn’t ring true in your heart, then something is missing. 
(The Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth…) 
The educational system of a civilized nation would stimulate (not simulate) creative thought. It would encourage diversity instead of throwing everything into the vaunted melting pot to come up with a homogenized brew of bland sleeptalking baby food designed to instill obedience and complacency into our children.
It would tailor education to address the specific needs of all of our children instead of relying on standardized tests that are inherently biased against non-white students. Instead of fortifying the school to prison pipeline with class warfare, racist legislation, building more jails and hiring more prison guards; we could invest in quality education by using creative teaching techniques which have been shown to spark the imagination of a child. This would allow a child to enjoy learning and arouse a healthy sense of curiosity.
We need to take a close look at the drab insipidness of our current educational system and instill a vibrancy that will generate a higher level of thought worthy of a civilization. Truth can be buried by the tedium of vapidity and bland, lifeless discourse. This causes a putrifaction of the human race which inevitably leads to a lower level of consciousness. We all need to be inspired to achieve our potential.
Inspiration can come from many sources, but not from selling our minds to the highest bidder as if we’re nothing more than objects at a twisted auction of humanity. To ignore this truth and acquiesce to a barren state of stagnancy is brutally criminal for the manipulative slaveholders and suicidal for the masses who welcome it.
If truth is obscured, life loses meaning. And if hope remains dormant, freedom remains elusive. And, after all, what is life really?

MH 17 Mystery 34

Lavrov: International MH17 Crash Investigation ViolatesICAO Rules

© Sputnik/ Masha Ross
(updated 12:50 25.12.2014) 
MH17 Crash Investigation (48)
Russian Foreign Minister claims that an international investigation into the crash of a Malaysian passenger plane in eastern Ukraine is riddled with numerous violations of the norms established by ICAO.
MOSCOW, December 25 (Sputnik) — An international investigation into the crash of a Malaysian passenger plane in eastern Ukraine is riddled with numerous violations of the norms established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
"All ICAO norms are being violated as the Ukrainian security services are directly involved in the ongoing investigation," Lavrov said in an interview with Russia's Kommersant newspaper published on Thursday.
"The country where the tragedy took place could be involved [in the probe], but it cannot run the show as it happens now," the minister said, adding that it was dishonest to use a tragedy to achieve one's geopolitical goals.
The investigation into the July 17 crash of Malaysia Airline's Flight MH17in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region is led by the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) as roughly two-thirds of 298 people killed on board the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur were Dutch.
Ukraine's Security Service said last week that the probe would continue throughout next year since it was "complicated and time-consuming". The Security Service also said that Dutch investigators were to release a progress reportby the end of 2014.
The DSB's preliminary report published in September claimed that the Malaysian airliner was penetrated by "a large number of high-energy objects" causing it to break up in mid-air.
Ukrainian officials and the Pentagon were quick to blame militias in the country's Donetsk region for the plane's alleged downing, a claim denied by Donetsk independence supporters who said they lacked firepower to strike down a high-flying jet.
Russia has earlier voiced dissatisfaction with the manner in which the DSB probe was conducted, claiming the team of Dutch experts working on the scene had refused to investigate some of the wreckage, including fragments that allegedly bore signs of shrapnel.
Russia's Human Rights Ombudsman Konstantin Dolgov lashed out at the Netherlands in early December, saying its investigation into the plane crash ran counter to the United Nations' July resolution, adopted in the wake of the crash. The document called for a full, thorough and independent international investigation into the incident, but, according to Dolgov, the Dutch had deliberately slowed it down.
Trucks Carrying MH17 Wreckage Cross German Border, En Route to Netherlands
MH17 Crash Investigation (48)
Dutch Safety Board Reviews Data From All Sources on MH17 Crash: Official
Dutch Broadcaster Claims to Have Proof Showing Real Reasons of MH17 Crash
Metal Objects in MH17 Crash Victims Bodies Can Be Missile Fragments: Kiev
MH17 Crash Investigation
MH17Dutch Safety BoardSergei LavrovUkraine

MH 17 Mystery 33

Who shot down MH17 in Ukraine?

A poker game may have begun over the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 17 over eastern Ukraine in July. The incident was a turning point in Russia’s relations with Europe. The US brilliantly succeeded in whipping up anti-Russian sentiments in Europe and hustle a reluctant European Union into imposing sanctions against Moscow.
It was a brilliant piece of coercive diplomacy insofar as Moscow had to defend against an avalanche of unsubstantiated accusations. However, any longtime observer would have felt that Washington and Moscow probably knew more than they divulged.
Indeed, last week, just when it seemed that the international investigation being spearheaded by the Dutch (a  NATO country and close Cold-War ally of the US) is probably ending in a cover-up, Moscow has sprung a surprise by bringing up startling evidence that implicates the Ukrainian intelligence.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has plainly questioned the integrity of the Dutch-led investigation, alleging that it violated the norms set by the International Civil Aviation Organization, and “it was dishonest to use a tragedy to achieve one’s geopolitical goals.”
Russia is turning the heat on, bent on frustrating a Dutch-American cover-up. It will be sweet revenge if only the European opinion realizes that Washington manipulated them. The EU sanctions will end in July — unless renewed further — and there is demand already by France, Italy, Greece, etc. that a renewal is inconceivable.
Now, what if there is evidence in Russian hands implicating the Americans? The point is, Ukrainian intelligence is run by the CIA as if its branch office in Kiev. So, ultimately, what if the July incident turns out to be a CIA operation to discredit Russia?
Interestingly, President Barack Obama’s own remarks in July and August were full of contrived indignation and theatrics, but he didn’t allege Russia’s involvement as such. He spoke like a trained lawyer, which of course he is.
Posted in Uncategorized.

Anti Rusland Hetze

Beste Stan,

Een berichtje over een debat van de Max van der Stoel Stichting en de Stichting Ukraine
Today dat ik zojuist op mijn facebook-pagina postte:

Vorige maand organiseerde de Max van der Stoel Stichting in samenwerking met de
Stichting Ukraine Today een debat in de Nassaukerk (staatsliedenbuurt, 27 nov. Amsterdam)
onder de titel 'Wat is ons antwoord aan Poetin.' Van Stirum TV plaatste onlangs een verslag
van dit debat op youtube. Daar ben ik ze heel dankbaar voor, omdat het heel treffend
weergeeft hoe onze elite denkt over Rusland. Als Domela Nieuwenhuis nog kon spreken (de
reportage begint een blik op zijn standbeeld), had hij flink de kachel aangemaakt met de
sprekers van deze bijeenkomst. Deelnemers aan het debat zijn Roel van Duijn, voormalig
provo, politicus en zelfbenoemd Ruslanddeskundige; Michiel Servaes,
buitenlandwoordvoerder van de PvdA-fractie in de Tweede Kamer; Raymond van den
Boogaard, voormalig correspondent in Rusland voor NRC-Handelsblad; en Sofia Kornjenko,
een Russische journaliste van de Westerse propagandazender Radio Free Europe (nog een
relict uit de Koude Oorlog) De Stichting Ukraine Today bedrijft propaganda voor de
Oekraïense regering. Ze geven Poetin de schuld van de ramp met de MH17 en de oorlog in
het oosten van de Oekraïne. De enige die af en toe een kritisch nootje kraakt is Raymond.
Maar over het geheel genomen getuigt het debat van een grenzeloze infantiliteit. Wat Roel
betreft moet de Oekraïne onmiddellijk lid worden van de NAVO. Hij is overtuigd van een
Russische invasie in het Oosten van de Oekraïne, maar daarvan is nochtans geen enkel
bewijs. Geen kritisch woord over de rol van de NAVO, de VS en de EU. De beweging tegen
Poetin lijkt wel een antagonist te zijn van de beweging rond Wilders: lekker samen zijn tegen
de vijand, gepersonificeerd door Poetin. En 'wij,' het Westen, zijn de brengers van
beschaving en houden de morele waarden hoog. Ach, wat zijn we toch goed.

Cold War Revisited

U.S. War Against Russia Is Now Against Hungary TooBy Eric Zuesse

December 26, 2014 "ICH" - Hungary has decided to align itself with Russia against the United States.

The Western Alliance is starting to fray, over the insistence by Barack Obama and the U.S. Congressto go to war against Russia.
This is called a ‘new cold war,’ but it’s actually already a hot war within Ukraine, immediately next door to Russia.
America’s plan to locate nuclear missiles there aimed against Russia has made stunning progress this year. The formerly neutral nation of Ukraine has now become officially anti-Russian. Because of theObama coup, Ukraine is suffering a civil war between the Ukrainian regime that Obama’s CIA and mercenaries installed in Kiev on 22 February 2014, versus the people in Ukraine’s far eastern districts, where the Ukrainian President whom Obama was overthrowing had received around 90% of all the votes that had been cast there, and so the newly installed Obama regime in Kiev in the westwas overwhelmingly rejected by them — hence, Ukraine’s civil war is raging there now, with Obama’s Kiev regime trying to eliminate the residents there.
But, within the European Union, and especially among its former member-states of the Soviet Union, this is, as of yet, still only a cold war, which is in the process of heating up toward perhaps the super-hot temperature of a nuclear conflict between Russia and NATO (the latter organization consisting of the United States and its vassal nations against Russia). And America is already investing heavily in it.
According to German Economic News (GEN), on December 25th, “Hungary Will Not Take Part in the Cold War Against Russia.” They report that, “Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban takes his distance from the EU, and accuses the US government of trying to instigate a new Cold War against Russia. Hungary will not participate.” GEN also links to an earlier, October 19th, GEN article, which had reported that, “After Russia, Hungary is now apparently also being targeted by Americans: the United States is hitting senior Hungarian government officials and businessmen with entry bans. The Americans throw corruption-charges against the Hungarians.”
Actually, the United States Government is also very corrupt, and uses corruption-charges against other nations’ officials in order to provide a pretext to force them to buckle to America’s aristocracy — to become vassal nations. Will the U.S. Government now place entry-bans against high U.S. officials, also, such as against Joe Biden even now, and perhaps including against Barack Obamaafter his Presidency ends and he starts taking favors that are widely expected for him, on and from Wall Street (such as did his friend Timothy Geithner)? (And this was already after the cascade of corruption during George W. Bush’s Presidency — none of which Obama allowed to be investigated and prosecuted.)
In 2013, a Gallup poll asked Americans, “Is corruption widespread throughout the government in the United States?” and 73% said “Yes.” But the corrupt Obama Administration pretends to be in the position of international arbiter against corruption in other corrupt nations. Whom is he fooling? (Perhaps people who don’t read this news-site, for example?)
On Tuesday, December 23rd, Reuters headlined, “Hungary PM Orban: U.S. uses corruption charges to gain influence,” and reported that, “The United States is using corruption allegations against some Hungarian public officials as a ‘cover story’ to boost its influence in central Europe amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Tuesday. Orban’s comments come amid a wider souring of relations between Hungary, a NATO ally, and the United States over what America perceives as Orban’s increasingly authoritarian rule and Budapest’s warm relations with Russia.”
America’s pervasive NSA snooping, militarizing of local police-forces, and invasions of Iraq, Syria, Libya, and other countries that never threatened the United States, are not considered (by the British Reuters) ‘authoritarian,’ but somehow Hungary now is ‘authoritarian.’ Suddenly (though the U.S. didn’t say this when Hungary was trying to meet the demands of the American aristocracy), Hungary is ‘authoritarian,’ and is ‘too’ corrupt to do business with.
When more than two-thirds of the United States public are against the U.S. Government’s selling arms to the Ukrainian Government, but 98% of the U.S. House of Representatives wants not only to sell them to Ukraine but to donate them to Ukraine, with U.S. taxpayers paying the tab for this largesse, and when 100% of the U.S. Senate then goes along with that, and the U.S. President signs it into law, how fake is American ‘democracy’?
Even on such a vital war-and-peace issue as nuclear war, America’s aristocracy, which overwhelmingly finances all ‘elections’ to national office, is controlling the U.S. Government, no matter what the U.S. public want.
Obama hasn’t succeeded in fooling the American public into invading Russia, as George W. Bush succeeded in fooling the American public into invading Iraq, but now he won’t even need to.
All of this trouble is being done in order to surround Russia with our nuclear missiles. It’s not resulting from too much democracy; it’s resulting from fake ‘democracy.’
So: now we know that it’s fake.
It’s fake: that’s the reality. Once this reality is understood, everything else can begin to make sense. Getting rid of the illusion from the lies from the many liars is the prerequisite to understanding. Before that, is only myths. They’re getting more dangerous day-by-day. Nuclear war is deadly serious.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Yeats: The Wheel

The Wheel THROUGH winter-time we call on spring, And through the spring on summer call, And when abounding hedges ring Declare that winter&#...