Former Qatari PM: Most of ISIL Fighters Are Saudi

June 8, 2019

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The former Qatari prime minister Hamad bin Jasem denied all the Saudi accusations about his country’s involvement in supporting terror, stressing that most of ISIL fighters are from Saudi Arabia.

In an interview with the British newspaper, The Telegraph, bin Jasem said that all the Saudi allegations are unproven, adding that neither the United States nor the European countries have supported them.

Bin Jasem also said that Saudi supports the terrorist groups for its own interests, reminding that 15 out of the 19 terrorists who carried out the September 11 attacks are Saudi.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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Saudi Crackdown: Three Prominent Scholars to Be Executed after Ramadan

By Staff, Agencies

In the course of the ruthless Saudi crackdown led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman against Muslim preachers and intellectuals, the kingdom’s officials are reportedly set to sentence three imprisoned dissident scholars to death and execute them shortly after the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

The London-based Middle East Eye news website, citing two unnamed Saudi government sources, reported on Tuesday that the three men are Sheikh Salman al-Ouda, Sheikh Awad al-Qarni and Ali al-Omari.

Ouda is the assistant secretary-general of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, listed by the Riyadh regime as a ‘terrorist’ organization.

Saudi authorities detained the prominent cleric on September 7, 2017, and have held him in solitary confinement without charge or trial ever since. The officials have imposed travel bans on members of his family as well.

A family member told Human Rights Watch that the distinguished cleric was being held over his refusal to comply with an order by Saudi authorities to tweet a specific text to support the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar.

Ouda, instead, posted a tweet, saying, “May God harmonize between their hearts for the good of their people,” – an apparent call for reconciliation between the Gulf littoral states.

Awda has been prevented from communicating with the outside world since October last year.

The trio is currently awaiting trial at the Special Criminal Court in the capital Riyadh. A hearing was set for May 1, but was postponed without setting a further date.

“They will not wait to execute these men once the death sentence has been passed,” a source said on condition of anonymity.

A second source, requesting not to be named, said the beheading of 37 Saudi nationals in a single day on April 23 was used as a trial balloon to see how strong the international condemnation was.

“When they found out there was very little international reaction, particularly at the level of governments and heads of state, they decided to proceed with their plan to execute figures who were prominent,” the source said.

Saudi Arabia has stepped up politically-motivated arrests, prosecution and conviction of peaceful dissident writers and human rights campaigners.

Saudi officials have also intensified crackdown in the country’s Shia-populated Eastern Province.

The province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-rich region.

They, however, have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime, with regime forces increasing security measures across the province.

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War on Qatif: Demolishing Al-Thawra Neighborhood, The Cradle of Peaceful Protests…

By Latifa al-Husseini

The Saudi authorities are escalating their arbitrary measures against the people of al-Qatif eastern province and its towns. Random detentions, executions and raids in the eastern province contradict all humanitarian, ethical, rights and internationally-recognized legal standards.

The Saudi security apparatuses are implementing the royal orders they are receiving, imposing the rulings militarily and violently against safe civilians at their homes, those civilians who don’t enjoy the freedom of objecting to those tyrannical rulings.

The regime’s scheme goes beyond oppressing the opposition members or those trying to voice objection to the Al Saud’s family. The issue is way more dangerous as the information obtained from inside Saudi Arabia suggest a sectarian proposal the Saudi regime tends to apply in al-Qatif against its people’s will.

An insider source told al-Ahed News that the “security sources are on the brink of razing hundreds of houses inside Qatif, namely those located in al-Thawra Street to displace thousands of residents like the issue of razing the al-Mosawara neighborhood back in 2017.”

Apparently, the Saudi authorities claim implementing a developmental plan that includes charitable projects, in an attempt to gain some popular support, but what is hidden is worse. The source stresses to al-Ahed that in this context, “the Saudi regime seeks to change the Shia demographic formation in the region to weaken the biggest portion of the people; the original landowners, by nationalizing foreigners and intruders.”

The source further links the anticipated plan with the popular movement of 2012. What is meant here is to eliminate the symbolism it used to represent, especially that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman seeks to muzzle people and silence any voice of opposition by detaining or killing them afar from the judicial system.”

“The goal behind destroying houses and displacing their people is way beyond the Saudi media claims of chasing terrorist groups, according to them. The issue, as simple as it is, is that the Saudi regime is waging a sectarian war under the strategy of dominating people by dividing them, in which it is distracting the people with “reformative” religious instructions, although it is manipulating the governance as well as the people’s resources and wealth,” the source tells al-Ahed.

According to the source, the direct responsible for the scheme of razing the houses is the King and his heir. “The scheme is managed, under their order, by their affiliated spies and tradesmen in al-Qatif. They want to harm all walks of the people living inside those houses, including the youths who long for obtaining the simplest aspects of a dignified life Al Saud has stolen from them by force someday; the families of the activists who took to the al-Thawra street in 2011.”

While people were informed about the scheme, the source explains that “there were reports on those malicious intents, but the people refused to leave their houses for many reasons, including that the compensations supposed to be paid for them are not convenient with the inflation as well as hiking house prices. Hence, the family that leaves its home cannot buy another one with the amount of money it will receive in exchange of the razing; they can only rent a house.”

The source affirms that the “Saudi regime doesn’t care for those issues, it only continue its oppression by destroying and razing houses against their owners’ wills.”

The provided information signal a scheme similar to previous ones in other neighborhoods and streets. The historic al-Mosawara neighborhood is a good evidence to remember.

 

To read the Arabic version click here

The Chilling Message of the Saudi Executions: Colorado Writer

Saudi flag

Terence Ward

May 9, 2019

Terence Ward is a Colorado-born writer, documentarist, and cross-cultural consultant. He grew up in Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt, and received his BA in political science at the University of California at Berkeley. For 10 years, he advised clients across the Gulf — Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia conducting management consulting projects and seminars. Ward is also the author of the books “Searching for Hassan” and “The Wahhabi Code: How the Saudis Spread Extremism Globally.”

A couple of weeks have passed since the dramatic beheadings of 37 Saudi citizens that shocked the world. According to Human Rights Watch, at least 33 of those who were executed were from the minority Shia community — which has suffered a long history of persecution in Saudi Arabia.

With the Kingdom facing mounting criticism over bombing deaths and starvation in the Yemen war, imprisoned and reportedly tortured women activists, and the grisly murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, many wonder why Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud offered critics another human rights issue? But these executions served a clear purpose to strike fear in the Saudi Shia population while rallying the royal family’s ultra-conservative Wahhabi – the official creed of the Kingdom fundamentalist base. In the end, to be Shia in Saudi Arabia has always been a complicated affair.

Few Americans know that Wahhabism, a branch of Sunni Islam, looks down on Shia Muslims as apostates. Violence against Shia communities is deeply rooted in the Saudi Kingdom’s DNA. Like African Americans in the Deep South, the Shia have suffered discrimination and suspicion from the Wahhabi ruling elite since the founding of the country in 1932.

Those who were executed in April included protestors who were arrested and convicted of terror-related crimes during the Arab Spring demonstrations in 2011 and 2012. However, the human rights group Amnesty International said the legal proceedings “violated international fair trial standards which relied on confessions extracted through torture.”

According to trial documents obtained by CNN, some of the men repeatedly told the court that their confessions were false and obtained through torture.

When Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman rose to power in 2017, there was some hope that the Salman dynasty would usher in reforms. However, anti-Shia rhetoric persisted. For example, the hardline cleric Saleh al-Fawzan, a member of the state-sponsored Council of Senior Scholars, claimed in 2017, that the Shia are infidels and that anyone who disagrees is also an infidel.

And al-Fawzan has also said that political dissidents who disagree with the Kingdom rulers should be put to death.

The disappearance and murder of Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, fell in line with the intentions of al-Fawzan’s rhetoric.

The CIA later concluded that King Salman’s son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered his killing.

The Saudi government has repeatedly denied the allegations, although the US Senate voted to condemn the young prince for Khashoggi’s grisly fate.

While Khashoggi’s death sparked international outrage, the Trump administration steered clear of assigning blame, and many businesses have quietly continued their plans for expansion there.

Amid inflammatory rhetoric against Iran a country dominated by Shia — coming from the White House, King Salman seemed encouraged to send a clear message of terror to his restive Shia citizens.

In doing so, the Saudi government seems to be ignoring the increased pressures it has recently faced on numerous fronts. Congress defied President Donald Trump in voting to suspend military aid for the kingdom’s war in Yemen. The state-owned oil company Aramco’s called off its initial public offering, while investors have reportedly pulled funding for MBS’ ambitious economic plan called Vision 2030.

To counter these setbacks, King Salman has drawn inspiration from the earliest days of the Saud dynasty to secure his most loyal followers the archconservative Wahhabi faithful. Historical persecution of the Shias has been the life-blood of the Wahhabi sect that was borne in central Arabia more than 250 years ago. For centuries, the Shia who lived along the Persian Gulf suffered violence from Wahhabi believers, who labeled them infidels.

During my childhood in Dhahran, when my father worked at Saudi Aramco from 1952-1960, I witnessed persecution of Shia who call the oil-rich eastern province, known as Al-Ahsa, their home. Our friends lived in oasis towns where Shia communities have dwelled for centuries. The sad fact is that the staggering oil wealth that poured into Riyadh was siphoned away from the Eastern Province.

Little was spent in the Shia communities, yet they have represented the majority of Saudi manpower in Aramco — now likely the world’s most profitable company.

Instead of benefiting from the profits of vast oil fields that lay under historically Shia lands, they have been treated as second-class citizens since Ibn Saud, who would eventually go on to found Saudi Arabia, and his family conquered their homeland in 1913. Even today, some Shia friends of mine call it “religious apartheid.”

When I returned as a management consultant to Saudi Arabia in the 1980’s, clerics had condemned mixing between Sunnis and Shia as well as intermarriage.

In numerous religious rulings, the late grand mufti, Abdulaziz Bin Baz, condemned the Shia community. Bin Baz’s religious rulings are still available in the kingdom’s official database and are often cited in Saudi court rulings, which are based on Islamic law.

More recently, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars said that Shia Muslims were “not our brothers … rather they are the brothers of Satan…”, according to Human Rights Watch.

Because of the historic conflict with the Shia community, the execution orders handed down by Saudi magistrates in April were expected.

But larger questions remain. Will MBS truly bring change and a more moderate Islam? Or do these April beheadings signal continued anti-Shia sentiment?

Is the Crown Prince trying to spark a conflict with Iran mother country of the Shia? And will this plunge America and the region into yet another unconstitutional war? Given the Saudi history of aiding and abetting extremists while claiming to be their enemy, should America be wary of being lured into another conflict? We should be very wary.

Recently, US National Security Adviser John Bolton announced that an aircraft carrier strike group with a bomber task force had been deployed to the Persian Gulf to deter Iran.

The royal Saud family may be gambling that America will come to its rescue and plunge the US into, yet again, another war, in what would be another trillion-dollar debacle. The truth is that America is extremely efficient at starting wars but dramatically incompetent at ending them.

Any aggression against Iran risks rupturing ties with Europe and in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, while provoking conflict with both Russia and China. If shooting erupts, the narrow Strait of Hormuz — the gateway in and out of the Persian Gulf — will surely be closed to oil tankers until the guns are silent. Lights of the industrial world will dim. It will be a time for lighting candles, unless cooler heads prevail. Perhaps this is a moment to stand up to the Saudi royals, (after the unpleasant experiences with al-Qaeda and ISIS — both Wahhabi inspired) and not be lured in yet again to another conflagration without end.

 

Source: CNN

Saudi scholar’s arrest in Sri Lanka sparks concerns of Wahhabi influence

Press TV

Sun May 12, 2019 10:39AM [Updated: Sun May 12, 2019 10:53AM ]
A Sri Lankan police officer stands guard at the St Lucia's Cathedral during a holly mass held to bless the victims of Easter Sunday attacks in Colombo on May 11, 2019. (Photo by AFP)A Sri Lankan police officer stands guard at the St Lucia’s Cathedral during a holly mass held to bless the victims of Easter Sunday attacks in Colombo on May 11, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Authorities in Sri Lanka have arrested a Saudi-educated preacher over links with the suspected mastermind of bombings last month, throwing a spotlight on the role of Salafi-Wahhabi terrorism in South Asia. 

Several bomb attacks hit churches and luxury hotels in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo and two other cities on April 21, killing at least 253 people.

Sri Lankan police found the Nations Thawahid Jaman (NTJ) of having plotted the terrorist act and the group’s founder, Zahran Hashim, of having masterminded the blasts. Hashim blew himself up at a hotel in Colombo on the day of the carnage.

On Saturday, police announced the apprehension of Mohamed Aliyar, who is the 60-year-old founder of a religious center in Zahran’s hometown of Kattankudy on Sri Lanka’s eastern shores.

“Information has been revealed that the suspect arrested had a close relationship with … Zahran and had been operating financial transactions,” the statement said.

Police said Aliyar was “involved” with training in the southern town of Hambantota for the group of bombers who attacked hotels and churches on Easter.

Reports said Aliyar founded the center in Kattankudy in 1990, a year after he graduated from the Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh.

The education reportedly marked a key moment in the spread of Salafi and Wahhabi doctrine in Kattankudy and the center was partly funded by Saudi and Kuwaiti donors, according to a plaque outside.

Residents also said Hashim frequented the center and was a troublemaker, who they had warned authorities about his extremist views.

Reuters cited two Muslim community sources in Kattankudy as saying that Hashim’s hardline views were partly shaped by ultra-conservative Salafi-Wahhabi texts that he picked up at the center’s library around 2 or 3 years ago.

“I used to always run into him at the center, reading Saudi journals and literature,” said one of the sources.

During that time, Hashim would rebuke the practice of asking God for help, for instance, claiming that such pleas were an affront to pure Islam.

“That kind of teaching was not in Sri Lanka in 2016, unless you read it in Salafi literature,” the source added, requesting anonymity to avoid repercussions in Kattankudy.

Salafism is closely linked to Wahhabism which has its roots in Saudi Arabia and is backed by its rulers. The radical ideology has been subject to harsh criticism.

Ethnic divide deepens in Sri Lanka

In the aftermath of the deadly blasts in Sri Lanka, Muslim groups say they have received dozens of complaints from across the island country about people from the community being harassed at workplaces, including government offices, hospitals and in public transport.

Muslim community leaders say they had repeatedly warned the authorities about Zahran for years.

“The government knew about the bombings and yet they didn’t take any action. But once it happened, they are targeting us innocent people. This is not fair,” said Milhan, a resident in the northwestern town of Puttalam.

Additionally, a ban on facial veils and house-to-house searches by security forces in Muslim-majority neighborhoods across the country have added to the distrust.

Many Pakistani refugees said they fled the city of Negombo after threats of revenge from locals.

“The suspicion towards them (Muslims) can grow and there can be localized attacks,” said Jehan Perera of non-partisan advocacy group, the National Peace Council. “That would be the danger.”

The Sri Lankan government said it was closely monitoring the situation to curb radicalization but conceded that communal tensions were a big concern.

Muslims make up nearly 10 percent of Sri Lanka’s population of 22 million, which is predominantly Buddhist.

Hassan Nasrallah: Daesh is Still a US-Israeli Asset, Threatens Central Asia

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on May 2, 2019, on the occasion of the commemoration of the martyrdom of Commander Mostapha Badreddine, known as ‘Zulfiqar’, who was killed in Syria in May 2016.

 

 

Transcript:
[…] The other subject (I want to talk about), my second point, is very important: it is the battlefield where the Sayyed (descendant of the Prophet) Zulfiqar, God have mercy on him, was operating, where he spent the last years of his life, and from where he returned as a victorious martyr, namely Syria. We’ll talk a little about it.

Day after day, the validity of our decision and choice to go to Syria is confirmed more and more clearly. (I mention it) because today, we speak of a martyred leader who was killed in this battle. And we are constantly 
asked for accountability for all the blood (of our fighters we shed for Syria). Every time our friends or enemies write something (about the Syrian war), they ask us about this blood, about our martyrs, a large number of martyrs, a whole constellation of (Hezbollah members) who fought in Syria and got killed or wounded. They ask: who answers for this blood (who bears responsibility for it and justifies it)? We answer for this blood. We answer for these wounds (of war).

Moreover, as the days passed, more and more masks have fallen, more and more hideous faces (of conspirators) were brought to light, and more and more documents and evidence (of a foreign plot) as well as confessions and press conferences have multiplied: confessions from former Presidents, Kings, former Prime Ministers, Heads of governments and Foreign Ministers, or former Chiefs of Staff… Day after day, our confidence and certainty is reinforced: what we did was 100% just and absolutely right, and we went to the right place at the right time. 
Every day, it becomes clearer that what happened in Syria was very different from what happened in the rest of the Arab world (during the Arab Spring). In Syria, there was a US-Israeli-Saudi plot for which some countries from the Gulf and the region were used (Emirates, Qatar, Turkey…). The Syrian issue had nothing to do with – we have said so repeatedly, but it must be recalled today as we commemorate this martyr. It had nothing to do with elections, democracy, reforms, change, or with any of this nonsense we have heard since 2011. And the proof is that the United States, Saudi Arabia and those countries (who participated in the plot), who did they come up with and push forward for this supposed “humanitarian democratic change” in Syria? This formula should be put in inverted commas, highlighted with two red lines, and, as the Syrians say, followed up with one thousand question marks and a million exclamation marks… Who did they come up with (in this alleged purpose)? Democratic forces? Forces from the popular will? Forces whose culture and ideology tends to shape a (better) future? Where have you seen any such thing? 
In order not to talk in theoretical and blurry terms and invoke merely documents or (theoretical) evidence, let us talk about an obvious, visible and undeniable reality, namely Daesh (ISIS). Let us consider the example of Daesh. Today we’ll talk a bit about Daesh.

Daesh… How were they able to capture nearly 40% of the territory of Syria? 40 or 45% of Syria, as far as I can remember. That is to say, most of the East of the Euphrates, which is 25% (of Syria) if we add Manbij and (neighboring) regions. Most of the East of the Euphrates, Deir Ezzor, Abu Kamal, Mayadeen, all the Syrian desert, which is 5 times the size of Lebanon, up to Palmyra, the outskirts of Homs, the Yarmouk camp, part of the province of Suweida, East of Homs, East of Hama, East and North of Aleppo… We talk about 40 to 45% of Syria! And at the same time, Daesh controlled half or more than half of Iraq, a whole number of Iraqi provinces: Anbar, Mosul, Salahuddin, etc. They arrived at the gates of Karbala and the gates of Baghdad.Where did they come from? Who brought them here? Who armed them? Who eased up things for them and gave them all the opportunities? Who gave them money? Who opened all the borders for them? Who covered them favorably in the media? All the Arab satellite channels constantly repeated (with praise) “the Islamic State”! Who (did all that)? We must never forget! Neither the Lebanese who have pushed back Daesh in the Jurd of Ersal and in the Bekaa have the right to forget, nor the Syrian people, nor the Iraqi people, nor all the peoples of the region must ever forget (all the atrocities) perpetrated by Daesh, (the Western and regional countries & media that supported them), and everything that Daesh will continue to do, as I’ll mention later. 

And what is Daesh? What is its ideology? It is the Wahhabi ideology that is shaped in Saudi Arabia, in the Saudi Universities, in the Saudi religious schools, in Saudi mosques, and that was propagated around the world with Saudi money (originally to thwart Khomeini’s revolutionary Islam), by decision and at the request of the United States, as recognized by both the Americans and the Saudis. Before the confession of Mohammad Bin Salman about this fact, there was a video recording of Hillary Clinton where she acknowledged this, namely that it is the US who asked Saudi Arabia to support, propagate and disseminate the Wahhabi ideology worldwide. Where does the ISIS ideology come from? Saudi Arabia! At the request of whom? The United States! Who facilitated this? The Americans and their allies! Who funded it? Saudi Arabia! And the ISIS fighters, where did they come from? (They were brought) from all around the world! O my brothers and sisters, most of the suicide bombers in Syria and Iraq were Saudi nationals! And there were other nationalities as well. And they were brought to these cities (of Syria and Iraq).The (US and Saudi Arabia) are the ones who supported them, armed them, financed them, have opened all the borders for them and have staked so much on them. Daesh was (initially) required only against Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. And later, against Iran and against whoever was to be submitted, hit and destroyed.

What is the Daesh project? To establish a State in which there will be elections? A democratic State? A State in which the people can express (freely) his will? A State whose inhabitants will elect their MPs, their leaders and rulers? Never! For Daesh, according to the ideology of Daesh, elections are an act of disbelief (deserving of death)! Anyone who participates in elections is a disbeliever (in their eyes)! Whoever stands near a ballot box, his blood shall be shed, he is to be killed! Is it not what Al Qaeda and the Taliban did in Afghanistan? Is it not what happened in Iraq during all the elections that were held? Is Daesh able to shape a (better) future? And by whom were (these monsters) created? By the United States!

In the past, an individual named… Anyone can find (this video) over the Internet. I speak of General Wesley Clark – and it was on CNN, my brother, I don’t quote a TV channel of our friends or allies –, who was the Supreme Commander of NATO forces. (Wesley Clark) said on CNN that the Islamic State – they do not speak of Daesh (derogatory term), they keep saying ‘the Islamic State’ (to smear Islam) – : “ISIS got started through funding from our friends and allies to fight to the death against Hezbollah.” He said: “To do this, you don’t put out a recruiting poster and say ‘Let’s go fight Hezbollah’. That is why we and our friends have created ISIS.” 
(Daesh was meant to fight) all that (Resistance) Axis, all these forces facing the US and the Israeli project. Syria rejected surrender and submission (to the US, and that’s why it had to be destroyed). There are people who have never done anything against Israel, but who spend their time denigrating Syria, saying that for decades, there has been no resistance in the Golan. It is enough for (the honor of) Syria, and its current and former leaders, to never have surrendered, to have remained steadfast (against Israel), to have held on and protected the (Lebanese and Palestinian) Resistance, not to have submitted to US dictates when the whole world was subject to them, with the exception of Iran and some popular forces (including Hezbollah). What was required was to break up Syria in the interest of the United States and Israel.As for Iraq, it expelled US forces from its territory by popular Resistance, armed Resistance, political Resistance and  the intransigence of its position (against US occupation). But the US wanted to resettle there. And about this point, I want to warn my Iraqi brothers. See what Trump is doing: it is clear that he wants to keep all his electoral promises. You may say that… Characterize him as you want: stupid, crazy, arrogant, whatever you like. But you know that my habit is to recognize the facts, even if they somewhat shed a positive light on our enemy. (In his foreign policy), Trump did everything he announced during the election campaign. He retreated from the Iranian nuclear deal, from such and such agreements and treaties – there must no longer remain a single international agreement to which the US is still committed to. He moved the US embassy to Al-Quds (Jerusalem). He acknowledged… The question of the ‘Deal of the Century’ (supposed to liquidate the Palestinian cause) is still ongoing. I do not know if he had spoken of the Syrian Golan (during his election campaign), so I will not include it in the list of broken promises. Everything he announced, he is doing it.

And among the things that Trump declared (back then), is that the US should take the Iraqi oil. The United States must seize it, that’s what he said. Of course, he also promised during his election campaign that Saudi Arabia is a milking cow that he’ll milk to the last drop (before getting rid of it). He has indeed milked it, and every day, he milks it even more! Isn’t it true?
So he said, among other things, that Iraqi oil is the rightful property of the United States: “We went into Iraq, we sent 150,000 soldiers, we made sacrifices, we paid a high price…” He often reminds the $ 7 trillion dollars spent, claiming (that because of that, this oil is rightfully theirs). He was asked how he would go about it. This happened during the election campaign, on television. I’m not inventing lies against this dude. He said they were to seize the oil fields area, stationing their forces there and isolating it (from the rest of Iraq). From there, they would take Iraqi oil and sell it until they have recovered their money. This is one of the electoral promises of Trump to which our Iraqi brothers should give their full attention. This idea has not left the mind of Mr. Trump. And when our Iraqi brothers follow every situation, every detail, every minor or major thing, they have to be very vigilant on this afterthought of Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump believes that Iraqi oil is rightfully his, and he must keep that promise. Daesh was the means that would allow the US to return to Iraq. And Daesh remains the pretext of maintaining US troops in Iraq.

And all the Daeshites who were East of the Euphrates, where have they gone, O my brothers? Where? Some went to Iraq, some were sent inside Syria, and another part has been transferred to Afghanistan. O my brother, who transferred them to Afghanistan? Who? We can understand the situation ourselves. Who transferred them to Afghanistan? (The US!) I’ll come back to it in a moment. Therefore, Daesh still has a role to play (at the service of the United States).Anyway, Daesh’s goal is to destroy (Arab and Muslim) armies, societies and peoples. Therefore if someone asks me whether Daesh was defeated, I will answer yes, but they did achieve great successes. It’s unfortunate to say but Daesh has done great things for the United States, for Israel and for all the enemies of the (Islamic) Community. Daesh destroyed armies, peoples and entire societies. Daesh poured torrents of blood among the peoples and inhabitants of our region. Daesh erected very high walls of hatred and rancor that will not disappear before decades or centuries. These are achievements that serve the interests of Israel and the United States. We must recognize it. We must recognize this reality in order to remedy it. We mustn’t merely recognize it and do nothing about it, it must be remedied.

What I want to say before concluding this point is that Daesh, my brothers and sisters, and I address all the peoples of the region, Daesh is still a danger. Let no one consider that Daesh is over. Yes, the Daesh caliphate, this false caliphate is no more. Their pseudo-State is no more. The Daesh army who controlled much of the area of ​​Iraq and Syria no longer exists. But Daesh as an ideology, Daesh as the leadership they showed us on TV two days ago (al-Baghdadi)… How (are they still a threat)?… Daesh as lone wolves, Daesh as terrorists and suicide bombers (sleeping) cells, this Daesh still exists, and will be activated and instrumentalized in Syria. It’s not idle talk, but I speak on the basis of data and information. What remains of Daesh will be activated and instrumentalized in Iraq. This is why the current cooperation between Iraq and Syria on their shared border is a duty and a necessity of the utmost importance. For Daesh is a threat for the two peoples, the two armies and the two States.

Daesh today has a role to play in Afghanistan, killing the Afghan people, and spreading more death and chaos in Afghanistan. Afghanistan has become a base for spreading Daesh in Central Asia. And this is what the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense Minister denounced yesterday and today. So who transferred Daesh to Afghanistan? (The United States !)
 

***

And up to Sri Lanka. After the horrific massacre in Sri Lanka, many countries of the world expressed their condemnation: the European Union has condemned it, as did European negotiators, the UN, the US, etc. But has someone asked about the ideology that perpetrated the suicide operations and (atrocious) massacres in Sri Lanka against (innocent) men, women and children in churches and hotels? Where does it come from? Who stands behind this ideology? Who supports it, finances it, revives it, defends it? Is it not the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? Why do you condemn (only) the instruments, and say nothing about the true and essential reason (of this terrorism, namely Wahhabism)?Daesh is still a security risk, and we must all behave as facing a (permanent) threat. We must face it politically, culturally, in the media, militarily, in terms of security, and on every field. Furthermore, this threat will never be far from Lebanon. It is true that the army and the Resistance, embraced by the people and through a national consensus, liberated our land (Jurd Ersal) from Daesh and its ilk, but this danger is not far from us and is not finished. It is true that we have achieved great victories on all fronts in the fight against Daesh and its ilk, and against the whole (US-Israeli-Saudi) project in the region, but we must consider that the danger persists and act accordingly to remedy it.

And on this issue, we must not forget the identity of those responsible, because it is one of the challenges today: the main culprits are the US and Saudi Arabia. What Daesh perpetrated against the peoples of our region, against Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon, what it still perpetrates in Yemen, in Nigeria, what it has perpetrated in Sri Lanka, all these horrible crimes, this massive destruction, those billions of dollars in economic losses, hundreds of thousands of martyrs and wounded, dishonor (inflicted on women raped and subjected to slavery), the (Christian and Muslim) holy places desecrated and destroyed… All these losses, shall we forget them? Everything is fine? May God forgive past mistakes? How could this be so?

And the United States and some Gulf countries have the impudence to organize conferences against impunity, wanting to prevent that so and so who committed such a thing would escape punishment for his actions (in general African leaders). But as for the invasion of peoples, destruction of whole countries, killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent people… It is not such a big deal. This issue is forgotten with a simple hug. Why? Because those who do this are the United States and Saudi Arabia: this bloody alliance currently at work, frankly, must be fought and condemned, (as) their insistence to continue the war against Yemen.

Yesterday, the United Nations said that the number of deaths in Yemen is probably 250,000 martyrs killed (by the bombing) or victims (of disease, famine…). 250,000 !!! But that is a (minor) information that appears briefly at the bottom of TV screens, and no more. There is nothing at all (neither outrage nor denunciation…). Did we see a movement in the Arab world? In the Muslim world? O my brother, is there any reaction at all in the whole world? It is the UN that gives this number, not the (Yemeni) TV channel Al-Masira, not AnsarAllah, not Sayed Abd-al-Malik (al-Houthi). The UN declares: ‘O people, a massacre unfolds before your eyes, 250,000 Yemenis have been killed so far !!!’ It is the UN that says that! Did a single hair of beard, mustache or head shudder (when people heard this information)? No way. Why? For the butcher is Saudi-American. It is forbidden to condemn them. It is impossible to say anything (against them).

Up to these (37) executions of young people in Saudi Arabia. One of them is a noble scholar. There were ordinary citizens, young men and women, some personalities. Some were under 15 when they were arrested. What is their sin? What is their crime? Having participated in a protest, a sit-in, posting something on a blog or social network… They are executed. Without trial. Their secret trials without appeal (are a travesty of justice). Is it not (an abominable crime)? But we talk about it no more. For an hour or two, some countries have condemned this act, and then, nobody talks about it anymore. And the relations (of all countries with Saudi Arabia) are completely normal because there is (lots of) money involved.

Today, my brothers and sisters, we live in a world… We must realize and understand that it is in such a world we live in. There are neither international law, nor international organizations, nor countries with principles or pride, nor values, ​​nor morality, nor laws. There is none of that. Only power and money (matter). The powerful are respected. The wealthy can do anything they want. They can seize a journalist like Khashoggi in a Consulate, and subject him to what has never been done in History. But nobody has the right to open his mouth because it is Saudi Arabia. The US perpetrates massacres every day, but no one has the right to open his mouth, because it is the United States. And if we dare say something, we will find ourselves condemned. Tomorrow, voices will rise in Lebanon saying that the Sayyed (Nasrallah) wants to create problems for our country, as if we did not have enough problems. Even if that were true, where is our humanity? Where are our moral values? Where are our human emotions (compassion, outrage…)? This situation asks us to stop (and take a stance).And after that, and worse than that, everything that happens in our region is at the service of Israel, its influence and hegemony, in order to complete the ‘Deal of the Century’ (liquidating the Palestinian cause), and at the service of the United States, politically and financially. Who can say otherwise? Someone dare tell us otherwise, and defend Saudi Arabia, claiming that it acts in the interests of the Arab community! This insistence on waging wars and financing of wars, (in whose interest is it)?

Today, there is an ongoing war in Libya. May God preserve us from (chaos) in Sudan. May God preserve us from (chaos) in Algeria. If the peoples of Sudan and Algeria do not behave with awareness and national responsibility, God knows what will happen to those countries. God knows where Libya is heading. God knows in what other countries (the Saudis and US) will interfere (to foment chaos). This insistence to display hostility against Iran, plot against Iran and besiege Iran, up to the announcement of Saudi Arabia and the Emirates that they’ll compensate for the absence of Iranian oil on international markets, where will this lead?“(In the long run) evil in the extreme will be the End of those who do evil.” (Quran, 30, 10). Just see the end (promised by God to evil people). And it is only their fate in this world (their punishment in the hereafter will be much worse).And (despite all that), Mr. Trump mocks (the Saudis) and constantly humiliates them. One would expect him to respect his friends, thank them, express his gratitude, invoke God’s blessings upon them, compliment them, and so on and so forth… But every day, he denigrates them. Every day, he humiliates them. We all saw Trump’s last speech (in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on April 27). He laughed a lot, as well as his audience, (boasting about the ease with which he extorted money from Saudi Arabia). Yesterday, in a meeting with some (Hezbollah) brothers, I told them… I’ll tell you frankly. I do not like King Salman, I hate his guts. I hate him from the bottom of my heart. But listening to the way Trump talked about him, I felt sorry for him. I felt sorry for him. See how Trump insults them, humiliates them, crushes them, degrades them… Where is the Arab pride? Where is Islam? Where are the two holy places (Mecca and Medina)? Where are the clans? Where are the tribes? Where are the… I do not know what to call them… these swords with which they dance? Where is their honor? Not a single word! Not a single word!

Some people in Lebanon, whenever I or some of my brothers speak and say bad things about Saudi Arabia, they meet us on the spot (to defend the Saudis). Show us your courage, O heroes, O proud, dignified and noble knights of Arabism! Go answer him! The Trump insulted your (beloved) King! He insulted your (beloved) King! Where are you? Nobody dares to even breathe (in front of Trump)! Are they (real) men?! No way! They did not open their mouth! Even the inhabitants of the tombs speak more than (the Lebanon’s March 14 coalition, pro-Saud and pro-US)! At least, when we enter a cemetery, there is an inscription on the tombstones. But (as for our Lebanese opponents), their faces are blackened, and there is nothing written on them! Please do not resent me for these colloquial words (spoken in Lebanese dialect). That’s how we speak in our villages.

Trump said (to King Salman), “Oh King! I like you !” Of course he likes him! “You have lots of money! And we spend a lot of money to defend you! So you have to pay!” And he made all kinds of (derogatory and explicit) signs. All his gestures and words were nothing but mockery and humiliation! Mockery and humiliation (from the beginning to end)! And after that, what did Trump say? “They want us to abandon Saudi Arabia? I do not want to lose Saudi Arabia! We have squeezed 450 billion dollars from Saudi Arabia, in arms sales and more!” I have a question: 450 billion dollars from Saudi Arabia? Because I speak only of Saudi Arabia. We have not mentioned (the sums squeezed from) the rest of the Gulf countries. All this money, is it Saud’s money, their personal funds?

First, there is no Saudi Arabia and no Saudi people, it is only the Hijaz, and the people of the Arabian Peninsula (usurped by the Saud family, with the help of Britain, who gave it their own name). This money is the property of the people of this (Islamic) Community. According to Islamic law and jurisprudence, all Muslim scholars will tell you that this money belongs to the public treasury, and is the property of all Muslims. What right do you have to take ownership of 450 billion dollars of Muslims’ money to give to Trump? On what (legal or moral) basis? While there are Muslims starving from Somalia to Indonesia? They are starving! There are famines, earthquakes, poverty, misery, diseases, illiteracy (that this money should relieve)… How to describe this situation?

Let me conclude this point with Pompeo. I’m done talking about the situation in the region, just two more words (before I speak about Lebanon internal politics). Pompeo… Two or three days ago, my (Hezbollah) brothers (who follow the Western media) sent me the speech of Pompeo on a CD in English, informing me of what he said. I asked them to make sure of it, so that the excerpts I’ll read in my speech be strictly accurate. This Pompeo, who is Secretary of State of the United States (equivalent to Minister of Foreign Affairs), is a diplomat who must inspire confidence, political trust, diplomatic trust, because he has to manage global affairs, to ensure peace in the world, give their rights to people, etc. [Laughs] The frankness he has shown is very positive and appreciable (for us).

He talks about his role in the CIA. This comment was also broadcast on US channels. The US Secretary of State acknowledged practicing lies, deception and theft. He confessed to lies, deceit and plunder! All this while he was director of the main US intelligence agency (CIA). He said: “I was the Director of the CIA. We lied, cheated and stole.” He is therefore a liar, a traitor and a thief, a robber. An international brigand, an international raider. Imam Khomeini, God have mercy on him, called them the “plunderers”. In addition to the “tyrants”, the “arrogant,” he called them “Plunderers of the world (resources) and of the peoples.” “We stole”, said Pompeo.

He was asked about the slogan of the military school where he studied (West Point). He was asked the question, or maybe he asked the question to himself, and he replied: “Our slogan was ‘Do not lie, do not cheat, do not steal, nor tolerate those who do.’ But when I was the Director of the CIA, we lied, cheated and stole. We had entire training courses.” When asked about his position with regard to Saudi Arabia, he says it’s different.

Imagine, then, that the leading US diplomat –we do not speak of the CIA or the US military, he is the Foreign Minister of the United States– confesses to be a liar, a cheater and a thief. It’s not me who described him! He described himself in these words! This man who was in Lebanon just a few days ago! And who came to tour the world, Europe, etc.

By mentioning all this, I want to come to this conclusion: whoever trusts and pins his hopes in the United States to settle our problems and concerns for us, and help our causes… May God help us if they were to be the intermediary to solve the problem of our land and maritime borders (with occupied Palestine)! They want to impose their terms, they want to impose themselves in Lebanon (in the interests of Israel). The United States does not negotiate, they just impose their conditions and give ultimatums! Such are Trump and Pompeo! Liars, cheaters, thieves. They support and favour Israel at the expense of the whole world! Not only at the expense of Arabs, Muslims and Christians of the region, but at the expense of the whole world!Regarding the bloody and monstrous  Saudi-American alliance, we must be clear and firm. And regarding Daesh, no one should act as if this danger was over: this danger still threatens us, and has new roles in the region. We must always and constantly be ready to face this danger, and not be neglectful in this regard. […] 

See also: Hassan Nasrallah: Israel is Unable to Launch a New War, Beware of the Media

“Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…” Hassan Nasrallah 

Saudi Arabia’s Sudden Interest in Sudan Is Not about Friendship. It Is About Fear

By Nesrine Malik – The Guardian

In the days following the ‘Yom Kippur’ war, after the Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat, agreed to a ceasefire and subsequent peace treaty with ‘Israel,’ he faced questions at home about his climb-down. When confronted on his capitulation, he is reported to have said that he was prepared for battle with ‘Israel’ but not with America. On the third day of the war, President Nixon had authorized Operation Nickel Grass, an airlift from the United States with the purpose of replenishing ‘Israel’s’ military losses up to that point. In November of 1973, the New York Times reported that “Western ambassadors in Cairo confirm Egyptian accusations that American Galaxies were landing war equipment in the Sinai.”

There was something of Sadat’s realpolitik in the realization over the past few weeks that Saudi Arabia has no intention of letting Sudan’s revolution achieve its objective of removing the military once and for all and installing a civilian government. In the period preceding the revolution, Saudi Arabia had grown relatively lethargic and jaded about Sudan, a country it saw as good only for providing bodies as battle fodder for its war in Yemen. When Sudan’s then president, Omar al-Bashir, fearful of his demise, took his begging bowl to his allies in the region, Saudi Arabia demurred. But this lack of interest evaporated the moment it became clear that there was real power in Sudan’s streets, and Bashir was deposed.

Long gone are the days when the US was the chief meddler in the region. Saudi Arabia has taken its place as a powerful force for the status quo. Gone also are the days when Saudi Arabia’s idea of extending its sphere of influence was to sloppily funnel funds to religious schools and groups across the Arab world and south Asia. The country has now taken on a more deliberate role: to stymie political change wherever possible.

Within days of the removal of Bashir, Saudi’s purse strings loosened. Along with the UAE, it pledged a $3bn aid package to prop up Sudan’s economy and thus the transitional military government. This shot in the arm has been accompanied by an alarming and unprecedented phenomenon, a propaganda campaign launched in Saudi-owned or Saudi-sympathetic media.

Gulf News ran a profile of the current head of the transitional military council saying that “during the war in southern Sudan and the Darfur region, he served on [sic] important positions, largely due to his civic manners and professional demeanor”. “Civic” and “professionally run” are not words many would use to describe the wars in Darfur and the south of the country.

The editorial started with a panicked homage to Sudan as “one of Africa’s and the Arab world’s most strategic countries”, as if the Saudis had just caught on to the fact that Sudan was not the sleepy, pliant, begging backwater they hoped it was. A senior United Arab Emirates minister last week tried to frame the sudden interest and largesse towards Sudan as a wise precaution after the tumult of the Arab spring. “We have experienced all-out chaos in the region and, sensibly, don’t need more of it,” he lectured. But this newfound affection for oh so strategic Sudan and its civic-mannered military leaders has more to do with the Saudi royal family’s heightened insecurity about its own fate than it does with maintaining stability. The danger of a Sudanese revolution is in its optics, in the sense of possibility that it suggests. If Saudi used to care about extending its soft power across the world in order to call on alliances against regional enemies such as Iran or Qatar, today’s aggressive Saudi foreign policy adventurism can be seen in the light of its one overarching fear: regime change.

Despite its economic troubles at home, the Saudi government still sees its sovereign wealth as a massive war chest to be leveraged to the end of its own survival. Even though the Saudi royal family seems to have a total monopoly on power, executing dissenters on a whim on national or foreign soil, Sudan has demonstrated that regime change is rarely about the technicalities. It is never about the firepower that an opposition can wield against an incumbent: it is about popular will. You can’t execute everyone.

The many failures of the Arab spring have been a boon for establishment regimes across the Middle East. No good will come of change, was the conventional regional wisdom for too long. Sudan is messing with that narrative. The army and the royal family are the only two institutions that can be allowed to rule, the logic goes: when civilians enter the fray they bring with them security lapses, terrorism and incompetence. But civilian governments also threaten other nuisances: real democracy, accountability and free expression. Saudi Arabia must prevent this, under the pretense of seeking stability, with the US absent but tacitly endorsing.

And so the Sudanese protesters, still firm in their standoff with the transitional government as they demand civilian rule, can wage war against Bashir and the remnants of his regime that are still in power. But how can they take on Saudi Arabia and its powerful allies in the region, who airlift support to the government? The burden on the Sudanese revolution is now even heavier – but the reward, if it succeeds, is to shake the thrones of all despots across the Middle East.

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