Friday 14th of June 2024

the value of sharing .....

the value of sharing .....

In what world do these people live?  

True, there'll be no public executions outside Buckingham Palace when His Royal Highness rides in stately formation down The Mall. We gave up capital punishment about half a century ago. There won't even be a backhander – or will there? – which is the Saudi way of doing business.  

But for King Abdullah to tell the world, as he did in a BBC interview yesterday, that Britain is not doing enough to counter "terrorism", and that most countries are not taking it as seriously as his country is, is really pushing it. Weren't most of the 11 September 2001 hijackers from – er – Saudi Arabia?  

Is this the land that is really going to teach us lessons? 

The sheer implausibility of the claim that Saudi intelligence could have prevented the London bombings if only the British Government had taken it seriously, seems to have passed the Saudi monarch by. "We have sent information to Great Britain before the terrorist attacks in Britain but unfortunately no action was taken. And it may have been able to maybe avert the tragedy," he told the BBC. This claim is frankly incredible. 

The sad, awful truth is that we fete these people, we fawn on them, we supply them with fighter jets, whisky and whores. No, of course, there will be no visas for this reporter because Saudi Arabia is no democracy. Yet how many times have we been encouraged to think otherwise about a state that will not even allow its women to drive?  

Kim Howells, the Foreign Office minister, was telling us again yesterday that we should work more closely with the Saudis, because we "share values" with them.  

And what values precisely would they be, I might ask? 

King Abdullah Flies In To Lecture Us On Terrorism 

Gus: Hey Mr Fisk... the first value we share with King Abdullah is the cost of petrol...He sells, we buy at whatever price he sells...The rest of our common values sit on the cushions of his palace and the chairs of our lounge rooms...

Mind you, at the rate we erode our freedoms, we might soon be on par...

brainwashing Ritabdullah...

Wahhabism: A deadly scripture

from the Independent

King Abdullah's Saudi regime spends billions of pounds each year promoting Wahhabism, one of fundamentalist Islam's most extreme movements. Much of it funds children's education in British faith schools and mosques. Should we be worried? Paul Vallely investigates


Published: 01 November 2007


King Abdullah will go home to Saudi Arabia today with the charges of human rights protestors ringing irritatingly in his ears. But his controversial visit may well have left an unpleasant legacy for the people of the country which has feted him with full state honours.

There was a hint of it in a report written this week by Dr Denis MacEoin, an Islamic studies expert at Newcastle who previously taught at the University of Fez. Leading a team of researchers over a two-year project, he uncovered a hoard of malignant literature inside as many as a quarter of Britain's mosques. All of it had been published and distributed by agencies linked to the government of King Abdullah.

Among the more choice recommendations in leaflets, DVDs and journals were statements that homosexuals should be burnt, stoned or thrown from mountains or tall buildings (and then stoned where they fell just to be on the safe side). Those who changed their religion or committed adultery should experience a similar fate.


Gus: here goes the neighbourhood...

pure petrol and blood stains

Jihad and the Saudi petrodollar
BBC Middle East analyst Roger Hardy has spent the last two months investigating Wahhabism, Saudi Arabia's austere brand of Islam.

In the first of a two-part series, to be broadcast on the BBC World Service, he looks at the fierce debate over whether Wahhabism and Saudi petrodollars have fomented extremism.

The Saudi ambassador in Washington, Adel Jubeir, assured me a series of steps had been taken to reform the country's educational system to instil values of tolerance.

Saudi educationalist Hassan al-Maliki remains to be convinced.

"They are teaching the students," he told me, "that whoever disagrees with Wahhabism is either an infidel or a deviant - and should repent or be killed."

Don't be a victim (and a woman) in the land of petrol and lashes

Rape victim's harsh sentence shocks Saudis

Rasheed Abou-Alsamh in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
November 17, 2007

A SAUDI court has more than doubled the number of lashes that a female rape victim was sentenced to last year after her lawyer appealed against the original sentence. The decision, which many lawyers found shocking even by Saudi standards of justice, has provoked a rare public debate about the treatment of women.

The victim's lawyer, Abdul Rahman al-Lahem, a human rights activist, drew the court's ire because of his strong public criticism of the handling of the case. He has called his client's conviction unjust and said the sentences of the seven men who raped her were too lenient.

He is also known for his past defence of critics of the monarchy.

The victim, who was 19 at the time and whose name has not been released, was raped about 18 months ago in Qatif, a city in the Eastern Province.

Bushit loves saudis

Clinton lashes White House over Saudi rape

WASHINGTON: Hillary Clinton has condemned the sentencing of a Saudi rape victim to 200 lashes and six months in jail as an outrage and rebuked the White House for its response.

The Democratic frontrunner decried the Bush Administration's refusal to condemn the sentence on the grounds that it was an internal Saudi decision.

"I urge President Bush to call on King Abdullah to cancel the ruling and drop all charges against this woman," Senator Clinton said.

"As president I will once again make human rights an American priority around the world."

A generous male...

Saudi King Pardons Rape Victim

Published: December 17, 2007

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) -- Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has pardoned a female rape victim who had been sentenced to 200 lashes for being alone with a man at the time of the attack who was not related to her, a Saudi newspaper reported Monday.

The case had sparked international outcry. In a rare criticism of its Mideast ally, the White House had expressed its ''astonishment'' over the woman's sentence. Canada called it barbaric.

Saudi Justice Minister Abdullah bin Muhammed al-Sheik told al-Jazirah newspaper that the pardon does not mean the king doubted the country's judges, but instead acted in the ''interests of the people.''

''The king always looks into alleviating the suffering of the citizens when he becomes sure that these verdicts will leave psychological effects on the convicted people, though he is convinced and sure that the verdicts were fair,'' al-Jazirah quoted al-Sheik as saying.

Discrimination in the oil-king kingdom

Saudi woman strip-searched over Starbucks meeting: report

A businesswoman was detained and strip-searched by Saudi Arabia's religious police for sitting in a Starbucks coffee shop with an unrelated man, a newspaper has reported.

The incident came just days after a UN report criticised the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom for widespread discrimination against women, and as a UN expert on women's rights began a visit to the country.

It also came as a Saudi princess announced a scholarship to promote women in journalism, saying "women journalists are best placed to promote cultural communication between men and women in Saudi society."

The English-language Arab News quoted a 40-year-old financial consultant, named only as Yara, as saying she was arrested on Monday by members of the powerful Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

She said she was holding a business meeting with the man in a branch of Starbucks in Riyadh, in a section reserved for families.

Saudi law requires that unrelated men and women be segregated in public.


Gus: in the land of sands and oil ruled by the friends of the Bushits, one should expect a bit more respect for women... Equal rights should do... but then, the men would have to flog themselves, would they?... The dark ages were more enlightened.

More religious crap in the kingdom of saud

Pleas for condemned Saudi 'witch'
By Heba Saleh
BBC News

Many Saudi executions are beheadings by the sword in public places

Human Rights Watch has appealed to Saudi Arabia to halt the execution of a woman convicted of witchcraft.

In a letter to King Abdullah, the rights group described the trial and conviction of Fawza Falih as a miscarriage of justice.

The illiterate woman was detained by religious police in 2005 and allegedly beaten and forced to fingerprint a confession that she could not read.

Among her accusers was a man who alleged she made him impotent.

Human Rights Watch said that Ms Falih had exhausted all her chances of appealing against her death sentence and she could only now be saved if King Abdullah intervened.

'Undefined' crime

The US-based group is asking the Saudi ruler to void Ms Falih's conviction and to bring charges against the religious police who detained her and are alleged to have mistreated her.

Its letter to King Abdullah says the woman was tried for the undefined crime of witchcraft and that her conviction was on the basis of the written statements of witnesses who said that she had bewitched them.

faithful hate in private

Saudi-Backed Hate Propaganda, Exposed

Why have many Muslims in the UK resisted full integration into British society?

The British government has been trying to address this issue for the last decade, mostly by using the discourse of "multiculturalism." According to that line of thinking, solutions to alienation among Muslims include community outreach and empowerment programs, funding for youth groups and social networking sites, and large inter-faith conferences.

British Muslim leaders have largely supported these initiatives and helped generate the impression, at least in government circles, that everyone is working together to separate rogue extremists from the religious establishment. But Monday night, the Dispatches documentary series revealed a very different picture of what goes on in some of the UK's flagship Muslim institutions.

The filmmakers went undercover at the London Central Mosque in Regent's Park, one of the most prestigious in the country, to show the discord between what imams preached outwardly to the public and what they preached to their faithful in private. Many exalted interfaith dialogue to the government and mainstream media, but turned to teaching radical and isolationist doctrines once behind closed doors.

According to the documentary, they teach the faithful that God orders them to kill homosexuals and apostates; that they should curtail the freedom of women; and that they should view non-Muslims in a derogatory manner and limit contact with them. Many of these leaders are trained in Saudi Arabian Wahhabi philosophy, and use Saudi-approved textbooks and pedagogical materials to teach young students.

When the first installment of the series ran in January 2007 (Monday[1/09/08]'s program was an update), it generated a Rev. Jeremiah Wright-style controversy. Liberals were shocked; right-wingers were fearful of the continuing influx of Muslim immigrants. The government redoubled its efforts at community outreach.

read more at The Washington Post. See toon at top...

blind cleric

Saudi cleric favours one-eye veil

A Muslim cleric in Saudi Arabia has called on women to wear a full veil, or niqab, that reveals only one eye.

Sheikh Muhammad al-Habadan said showing both eyes encouraged women to use eye make-up to look seductive.

The question of how much of her face a woman should cover is a controversial topic in many Muslim societies.

The niqab is more common in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, but women in much of the Muslim Middle East wear a headscarf which covers only their hair.

Sheikh Habadan, an ultra-conservative cleric who is said to have wide influence among religious Saudis, was answering questions on the Muslim satellite channel al-Majd.


Gus: this fellow is talibanic... Do we fight him, tolerate him or accept him for imprisoning women some more in the Saudi Kingdom (where the oil comes from)? A cleric? Sure — a blind one... A human? No...

See toon at top.

the wrong piper

The Griffith fiasco

In 2007 it was revealed that the Saudis were planning a $2.7 billion scholarship fund for Australian universities, designed to facilitate the entry of Saudi students into Australia to undertake tertiary education in the face of restrictions on their entry into the US and UK in the post-9/11 security environment.

It later emerged in
The Australian that Griffith University "practically begged the Saudi Arabian embassy to bankroll its Islamic campus for $1.3 million", assuring the Saudis that arrangements could be kept secret if required. The vice-chancellor promoted Griffith as the "university of choice" for Saudis and "offered the embassy an opportunity to reshape the Griffith Islamic Research Unit (GIRU) during its campaign to get 'extra noughts' added to the Saudi cheques".

The issue ignited fears that the university would allow itself to become a centre for the promulgation of Wahhabism, the sectarian form of Islam that is both the Saudi state religion, and a chief theological component of Islamism, the totalitarian ideology guiding global jihadism and terrorism

How to be a useful idiot: Saudi funding in Australia

 see toon at top...

saudi tolerance of non-freedom...

The outgoing US president was unapologetic about the controversial wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many in the Islamic world see the United States as the aggressor in both places, but Bush said that his country was "protecting" Muslims.

"Through the generations, our nation has helped defend the religious liberty of others -- from liberating the concentration camps of Europe, to protecting Muslims in places like Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq," Bush said.

The two-day UN meeting, billed as a dialogue, has highlighted differences between the Muslim world and Western countries over how to interpret tolerance and freedom.

European speakers have stressed the supremacy of individual human rights in speeches that amounted to veiled criticism of Muslim governments.

Meanwhile, representatives of Islamic states repeatedly stressed what they described as Western intolerance of Islam.

Pakistani President Asif Zardari took up the theme today, saying that "imaginary fear of Islam has been rising."


Sometimes, Bushit-the-kid amazes me... Some people have told me he'll never see why he's so unpopular and why his name in the last election was not mentioned as a reference by the candidate of his own party. As far as he's concerned, well-informed sources tell me, Bushit is 100 per cent right in his own mind. No doubt. no waiver. No questions. 

he waddles through mud as if it was pure gold. In his mind it's pure gold... And then, in his last throw of the presidential dice, he argues the meaning of life with the Saudi King with whom he's been buddy for yonks — for the god of oil, I guess. We won't argue with his presidential freedom of religion for all, even if it means for "all" to believe either in Father Xmas or the Tooth-Fairie... Hopefully we don't HAVE TO believe in anything, except perhaps the small size and the preciousness of our little planet.

May Planet Earth be with you... my son.

see toon at top and others such as this one about flat earth theorists being right.

sharia stupid shambolic laws

An eight-year old Saudi Arabian girl who was married off by her father to a 58-year-old man has been told she cannot divorce her husband until she reaches puberty.

Lawyer Abdu Jtili said the divorce petition was filed by the unnamed girl's divorced mother in August after the marriage contract was signed by her father and the groom. "The judge has dismissed the plea because she [the mother] does not have the right to file, and ordered that the plea should be filed by the girl herself when she reaches puberty," lawyer Abdullah Jtili told the AFP news agency.

The case was handled by a court in Qasim province, north of the Saudi capital Riyadh. The girl does not know she is married, said Jtili, adding that he will appeal.

In many child marriages, girls are given away to older men in return for dowries or following the custom by which a father promises his daughters and sons to marriage while still children. But the issue is complicated by different interpretations of sharia law and a lack of legal certainty.

"There is confusion in Saudi Arabia over the fundamental question of what constitutes adulthood," said Clarisa Bencomo of Human Rights Watch. "There is also vast judicial discretion." The case appears to fit a pattern of divorced fathers using their children to take revenge against their ex-wives. Mothers usually only have custody while the children are young.

see toon at top...

muslim monster

A Muslim cleric in Australia who said men have a right to force their wives to have sex has been told to apologise by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

The cleric, Samir Abu Hamza reportedly questioned how rape can exist within marriage, and encouraged "light beating" of disobedient women.

"I would call upon this Islamic cleric to publicly apologise and repudiate his remarks," Mr Rudd said.

He told reporters that such views have no place in Australia.

"Under no circumstances is sexual violence permissible or acceptable in Australia," he said.

"Nor are they acceptable in my view to mainstream Muslim teachings," he said of the views apparently supporting violent treatment of women.



See toon at top... and others around this site about Muslim extremist views, even in "moderate ways" appearance. As many women would say in this country, "we have not fought for equal rights [as it should be] for nothing and no religious entity should be allowed to take this away, in any shape or form.... And there is still some way to go, anyway..."

Not only the cleric should be condemned but he should be exposed by women as a "male chauvinist dog" until he recant and apologises. And Sharia law — devised by men to stifle women — should be forbidden...

Same goes for the Catholics dogma and others...


Saudi Arabia has banned vehicle number plates which are seen as "offensive" in English when Arabic letters are given in the Latin alphabet, reports say.

Saudi newspaper al-Watan said the banned words included "sex" and "ass", but the list was topped by "USA".

Al-Watan said 90,000 existing plates were to be replaced.

Personalised plates are popular with wealthy young Saudis. One plate recently sold at auction for 6m riyals ($1.2m), the newspaper reported.

Newer Saudi plates include three Arabic letters that are also shown in the Latin alphabet.

The growing fashion is for car owners to buy personalised "vanity" plates that deliberately read "nut", "but", "bad", or "bar" in English.

The latter presumably has been deemed offensive as it relates to alcohol, which is banned in the Islamic kingdom, the AFP news agency reports.

The first on the list, for unexplained reasons, is the combination "USA".


see toon at top...

repressive values...

Saudis clamp down on women's gyms

Many women-only sports clubs and gyms in Saudi Arabia face closure under a government clampdown on unlicensed premises, Saudi media have reported.

Women's gyms have become popular in the ultra-conservative Muslim country where the sexes are heavily segregated.

But only clubs linked to medical groups can get licenses and others will be closed, the Arab News newspaper said.

Saudi women were reported to have launched on online campaign in protest called Let Her Get Fat.

Government departments are not allowed to issue licenses for commercial gyms and sports clubs for women, unlike facilities for men, the newspaper reported.

Beauty salons

It quoted club manager Bader al-Shibani, who tried to open a women's sports club along with the one he runs for men in Jeddah.

"I ran into a stone wall at every turn. Every department I visited denied that they had the authority to give permission to establish a women's club," he said.

Many clubs are registered as beauty salons, and offer fitness facilities and even exercise classes in addition, the newspaper said.


values of one of the most repressive government in the world ... see toon at top.

not only in saudiland....

DUBAI: A British woman convicted of indecency for kissing a friend in a Dubai restaurant has told her lawyer to abandon her appeal so she can serve her month-long prison sentence and ''get on with'' her life.

Charlotte Adams, 26, a real estate agent from north London, lost an appeal against her conviction, together with a fellow Briton, Ayman Najafi, 24. The pair claimed they had merely kissed each other on the cheek as a greeting on November 27 but a local woman said they were embracing passionately.

A judge at Dubai's Criminal Court dismissed the appeal and ordered that Najafi, a management consultant from north London who has lived in Dubai for 18 months, be deported afterwards along with Adams, who was on holiday.

They have 30 days to decide whether they want to appeal to Dubai's highest legal authority. But in chaotic scenes outside the hearing, a tearful Adams said she wanted to serve her sentence and leave Dubai ''as soon as possible''.

''I want to go to jail so I can get on with my life,'' she said. ''I'm stuck in this country. I can't work, I don't have any money. If I appeal and it's turned down, I'm going to be in exactly the same position as I am now and I will still have to serve a sentence. I just want to serve the 30 days and go.''


next on the list of sharia no-nos, farting silently in public. see toon at top...

miss piggy "is a communist"?...

The TV series Friends undermined family values; Sesame Street taught ethnic minorities about civil disobedience; Happy Days had a subtle anti-Vietnam subtext; and the 1980s cop show MacGyver tried to persuade pistol-packing Americans that guns are bad. That, at least, is the considered opinion of Ben Shapiro, an investigative author and right-wing columnist who will publish a detailed exposé tomorrow telling how Hollywood producers, writers and actors have been secretly using TV to promote what he calls a "radical" left-leaning political agenda.

Shapiro's book, Primetime Propaganda runs to 416 pages and revolves around comments by 70-odd industry heavyweights who he approached for interviews. The book promises to "profile the biggest names in showbusiness over the past 50 years" and includes a series of "gotcha" moments, in which the architects of the best-watched TV shows of modern times tell how they tried to use the medium of broadcasting to, as Shapiro puts it, "shape America in their own leftist image".


Gus: please remember that Hollywood is mosty run by Jewish interests with right-wing views... All the puppets and shows were actually instilling a fair go and greater understanding of differences... This of course is contrary to the right-wing viewpoint. Most conservative right wing is focused on bulldozing the weak into slavery, roll the old into retirement villages and push thinkers into the gutter for submission.

see toon at top...

despot visits the poms...

The King of Bahrain was welcomed by David Cameron on the steps of Downing Street yesterday at the start of an unofficial visit that was hushed up until the last minute to avoid protests dogging the controversial talks.

The visit is the first time King Hamad al-Khalifa has travelled to Britain since a string of deadly clashes broke out between his security forces and predominantly Shia protesters demanding democratic reform and better representation in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

The King, dressed in a gold-embroidered tunic, posed with Mr Cameron for photographs outside No 10 before heading inside for talks on what officials insisted was his country's commitment to reform.

As the two leaders sat down, reports emerged from opposition and human rights groups in Bahrain that a six-day-old girl had died after inhaling tear gas. According to Al Wefaq National Islamic Society, the Bahrain Freedom Movement and the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, Sajida al-Ghurafi turned blue after tear-gas was fired in the suburb of Bilad al-Qadim over the weekend. She later died. The Ministry of Health said the girl died from bacterial meningitis and that her death preceded skirmishes in Bilad al-Qadim.

when the iron glove fits...


Saudi Arabia has vowed to use an "iron fist" to halt attacks against security forces in the country's east.

The Sunni Muslim kingdom has accused an unnamed foreign power, widely understood to mean Shiite Iran, of backing attacks on its forces in the Eastern Province.

Shiite activists have accused the kingdom's own security force of using violence against protesters.

Clashes first began at the height of the Arab uprisings last year and were provoked by the detention without charge of political campaigners

"It is the state's right to confront those that confront it first... and the Saudi Arabian security forces will confront such situations... with determination and force and with an iron first," the interior ministry said in a statement.

"Some of those few (who attacked security forces) are manipulated by foreign hands because of the kingdom's honourable foreign policy positions towards Arab and Islamic countries."


None of this acceptance by the west in regard to Syria... In fact, Saudi Arabia has a far more repressive religious regime than Syria. Syria is basically a secular regime that external forces are trying to turn into a religious regime and we...


helping the dictators...


The Swedish Defence Research Agency (known by its Swedish acronym FOI) has co-operated with Saudi Arabia since 2005, though construction on "Project Simoom" has yet to begin, Swedish Radio reported on Tuesday, citing hundreds of classified documents and interviews with key players.

Denying the existence of the project, Jan-Olof Lind, the FOI director general, told the radio station: "We do not have a project agreement with that country."

While Sweden has sold weapons to Saudi Arabia in the past, classified government documents show that the current project "pushes the boundaries of what is possible for a Swedish authority", the radio reported.

"The fact that an authority such as FOI is involved in the planning of a weapons factory for a government in a dictatorship such as Saudi Arabia is quite unique," the radio said.


verses of spring...



DOHA: A Qatari poet has been sentenced to life in prison for an Arab Spring-inspired verse that officials claim insulted Qatar's emir and encouraged the overthrow of the country's ruling system, his defence lawyer said.
It was the latest blow from a widening clampdown on perceived dissent across the Persian Gulf Arab states.
The verdict in a state security court is certain to bring a fresh outpouring of denunciations by rights groups, that have repeatedly called for the release of poet, Muhammad ibn al-Dheeb al-Ajami.
It is also another example of tough measures by judicial and security officials in The Gulf states against possible challenges to their rule following the start of the Arab Spring revolts last year.

The poet's lawyer, Najib al-Nuaimi, said he planned to appeal. ''This judge made the whole trial secret,'' Mr Nuaimi said. ''Muhammad was not allowed to defend himself and I was not allowed to plead or defend in court. I told the judge that I need to defend my client in front of an open court, and he stopped me.''
Mr Ajami was jailed in November last year, months after an internet video was posted of him reciting Tunisian Jasmine, a poem lauding that country's popular uprising, which touched off the Arab Spring rebellions across the Middle East.
In the poem, he said: ''We are all Tunisia in the face of repressive'' authorities and criticised Arab governments that restrict freedoms. Qatari officials charged Mr Ajami with ''insulting'' Qatar's ruler and ''inciting to overthrow the ruling system''. The latter charge could have brought a death sentence.

Read more:

What is our "national" airline doing in bed with the "national" airline of a repressive country that can't even accept a few lines of poetry?... Are we nuts?
No... It's that Joyce little guy....

EVERY time you read or hear about Qantas the news is bad. Routes are cut, engineers are sacked, jobs are sent overseas, new aircraft buys are postponed, profits slump, the share price collapses. The plump cashews you used to get with your drink have been replaced by little green and gritty Japanese thingies.
Through it all dances the leprechaun figure of Alan Joyce, serenely proclaiming that everything is actually hunky-dory at the national flag carrier. He has an effortless command of the banalities of corporate speak. The challenges and opportunities are being met going forward, blah blah. That's not a sheet of flame coming from the port outer engine, customers, just a routine maintenance requirement.
Joyce's latest disaster, announced with much fanfare, is the decision to junk Qantas's old and trusty partnership with British Airways and to hook up with Emirates, the global giant based in Dubai and funded by the bottomless pockets of a Persian Gulf oil sheikh. I do not pretend to understand the aviation industry, but I cannot for the life of me see why this is a good idea, and nothing Joyce has said has convinced me otherwise. It is the mouse having sex with the elephant and hoping not to get crushed.

Read more:



desperadoes of Wahabism...

So at year’s end, friendly, cuddly Mohamed Morsi was playing Mubarak and hoovering up any old dictatorial powers available to him while a very dodgy constitution was  ram-rodded on to the secular population of the land, whose Muslim and Christian people Morsi had all along promised to serve. In Libya, of course, the US turned out to have more enemies than it thought; the ambassador was murdered by – and the jury must remain out on this despite the obfuscations of Clinton – an al-Qa’ida-type militia.

Indeed, al-Qa’ida itself – politically bankrupt by the time of Osama bin Laden’s murder  by a US military assassination squad in 2011 – was virtually written off by the White House in advance of the Obama re-election. But the ghostly desperadoes of Wahabism acquired that habit so beloved of movie monsters; they began to recreate themselves in different form in different lands. Mali replaced Afghanistan, just as Libya replaced Yemen and just as Syria replaced Iraq.

A word of advice, therefore, for Middle East potentates, dictators, Western poseurs, television presenters and journos. Do not use the following words or expressions in 2013: moderate, democracy, step down, step aside, tipping point, falling into the wrong hands, closing in, spilling over, options on the table or – terror, terror, terror, terror. Too much to hope for? You bet. We’ll even get another load of cliches from the goodness factory to replace those that have already served their purpose.

contradictions and funding terror......

From Noam Chomsky


The New York Times describes the "defining policy quandary of the Arab spring as how to square contradictory US impulses, including support for democratic change, a desire for stability, and wariness of Islamists who have become a potent political force". The Times identifies three US goals. What do you make of them?

Two of them are accurate. The United States is in favour of stability. But you have to remember what stability means. Stability means conformity to US orders. So, for example, one of the charges against Iran, the big foreign policy threat, is that it is destabilising Iraq and Afghanistan. How? By trying to expand its influence into neighbouring countries. On the other hand, we "stabilise" countries when we invade them and destroy them.

I've occasionally quoted one of my favourite illustrations of this, which is from a well-known, very good liberal foreign policy analyst, James Chace, a former editor of Foreign Affairs. Writing about the overthrow of the Salvador Allende regime and the imposition of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in 1973, he said that we had to "destabilise" Chile in the interests of "stability". That's not perceived to be a contradiction – and it isn't. We had to destroy the parliamentary system in order to gain stability, meaning that they do what we say. So yes, we are in favour of stability in this technical sense.

Concern about political Islam is just like concern about any independent development. Anything that's independent you have to have concern about, because it may undermine you. In fact, it's a little paradoxical, because traditionally the United States and Britain have by and large strongly supported radical Islamic fundamentalism, not political Islam, as a force to block secular nationalism, the real concern. So, for example, Saudi Arabia is the most extreme fundamentalist state in the world, a radical Islamic state. It has missionary zeal, is spreading radical Islam to Pakistan and funding terror. But it's the bastion of US and British policy. They've consistently supported it against the threat of secular nationalism from Gamal Abdel Nasser's Egypt and Abd al-Karim Qasim's Iraq, among many others. But they don't like political Islam because it may become independent.

terrorism real culprits are hiding behind opulent cash...

Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki has told the BBC that Saudi Arabia has "clearly interfered" in Syria and in Iraqi internal affairs.

He said he believed Saudi Arabia was facilitating the entry of foreign "mercenaries" into Iraq, worsening the sectarian violence.

Mr Maliki said the violence in Syria was causing "security problems" in Iraq's Anbar province.

He also denied that Iraq was part of an Iranian-led Shia "axis" in the region.

"Anyone who classes Iraq as a Shia state or system is wrong," Mr Maliki told BBC Arabic.

'Fight al-Qaeda'

Iraq has been going through a period of renewed violence in recent months, driven principally by widespread discontent among the country's Sunni minority and by the civil war in neighbouring Syria.

Mr Maliki, who belongs to the Shia majority, has been accused of marginalising the Sunni minority, which has led to violence in Sunni-majority Anbar.

He has previously said claims of marginalisation come from sectarian groups with links to Saudi Arabia and Qatar and told the BBC that "terrorists" were "flooding into Iraq from Syria".

He went on to say it was Iraq's "national, human duty" to "fight al-Qaeda in Syria" and rejected the idea that there was popular opposition to President Bashar al-Assad.

"The alternative to the regime in Syria is... terrorism and slaughter," he said.

Mr Maliki has previously accused Saudi Arabia of supporting global "terrorism".