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Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Democracy in Flames


 As the Middle East violence continues, we move on to Bahrain for a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Saudi forces are battling Shiite protesters in the streets. Naturally the media is misreporting this as government atrocities against democracy protesters. When actually it's another Sunni-Shiite civil war in another Sunni country with a Shiite majority.

If this reminds you of Iraq, you're pretty close. Except that Bahrain is more like Dubai with its own royal family, a business culture built on its proximity to Iran, and much of the country is actually foreign workers brought in by oil revenues. Talk of a democracy movement is senseless, when most of the work in Bahrain is actually done by foreign workers with few legal rights. And no one is talking about giving them voting rights. The royal family has tried to buy peace, and it has worked for the most part, until Iran and Soros came calling.

Bahrain has been dealing with Shiite problems for a long time. That made it ripe for a takeover bid. It also meant that Bahrain couldn't exactly function as a democracy. But in human rights, Bahrain isn't the worst offender in the region by far. But then neither were Tunisia or Egypt. The countries being successfully overthrown are not the worst of the worst. And that's the farce of it all.


This isn't about democracy. It's the old Sunni-Shiite war, with Saudi Arabia and Iran facing off in the middle of Bahrain. Saudi Arabia has put serious forces on the ground, tanks and troops, American equipment. If Israel were doing something like this, there would be UN resolutions flying faster than bullets. But Saudi Arabia gets a pass on running a massacre of Muslim protesters. If the State Department has had anything to say about what the Saudis are doing, I haven't heard it.

But then the US gave Kuwait a blank check to massacre and ethnically cleanse their own Palestinian Arabs after the Gulf War.

Back to Bahrain, the situation won't match up to Egypt or Tunisia, because the royal family doesn't rely on natives to serve as the police/army. Shiite protesters are taking on Bahrain's Pakistani forces and Saudi tanks. The Pakistani imports don't like the natives very much. And unlike Egypt, they're not quite the same religion either. Which means they have a lot less problems shooting at them.

Without a common language or a common religion, and no personal stake in the politics, just getting paid-- they're not going to back down. Egypt and Tunisia have served as a lesson for what happens when governments don't go all the way. And even if the Pakistan mercs back down, the Saudis aren't likely to. The Saudi royal family has been badly panicked by the Iran backed assault on Sunni governments. They intend to make their stand in Bahrain.

Bahrain has one more thing going for it. It's an oil producer. Its oil is running down, but its ruling family knows that it is much less likely to be subject to sanctions no matter what it does. Especially with Saudi Arabia in its corner. When the violence dies down, it can blame the 'foreigners' for doing the killing.

The possibility that Bahrain will fall can't be entirely ruled out. The behind the scenes work on these protests has been carefully orchestrated by Soros affiliated elements within the US government, and international branches of the Soros organization, and it's locally backed by Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. Bahrain is a test of wills between them and the Saudi royal family. Like a snake fighting a giant rat, it will be interesting to see who emerges on top.

As a preview, from Front Page Magazine, Nichole Hungerford shows us what we can look forward to from "democracy" in Bahrain

Pressure for governmental reform in Bahrain had been mounting since the 1990s. After succeeding his father in 1999, King Hamad instituted a number of democratic reforms, including restoring the parliament which had been disbanded for 27 years. He released Shiite political prisoners, and instituted constitutional reforms. The result? A powerful Islamist Shia party, al-Wefaq, became the single largest political party in Bahrain; many of its leaders were released from prison or brought back from exile from Hamad’s reforms. By 2006, the Islamists had secured nearly half (18) of the 40 seats in the Bahraini parliament.

Since coming to power, al-Wefaq has called for racial segregation of South Asian residents of Bahrain, who were being harassed by Bahraini nationals. This was viewed as the best way to “deal with” the racial tension between the two ethnic groups. Steven Cook, a fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, has called the group’s position on women “outrageous.” “In fact,” he continued, “one of the leaders of Al Wefaq wanted to pass a law such that windows in Bahraini apartment buildings— [so] you could not see out” (emphasis added).

Outrageous is putting it kindly. Al Wefaq believes that all legal changes regarding the role of women and the family should be made by clerics, because they are religious matters. It has organized large campaigns against secular women’s rights movements. As recently as 2009, the party rejected a law that would set the minimum age of marriage for women at 15, claiming that it was “against the principles of Islam.” The outrages go on and on.

Back in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is predictably on the way up. Qaradawi gave his big speech to 200,000 in Tahrir Square. Naturally the call was to dismantle the security services and open up the border with Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas controlled Gaza. Like Khomeini before him, Qaradawi made a point of cloaking the whole thing in democratic language. The "revolution must continue" message however means, exactly what it meant the USSR and France, that the revolution will become a purification process of which only the most extreme will survive.

Qaradawi's condemnation of "hypocrites" echoes Khomeini's inveighing against the hypocrites who are Muslims but do not want an Islamic state. Qaradawi is not being specific yet, but he doesn't need to be. As the chaos continues and the infighting among his liberal allies covers them all in mud, the Muslim Brotherhood will look like the incorruptible solution.

I have seen reassurances that the Muslim Brotherhood can only take 20 percent. But 20 percent against a landscape of divided parties would still put the MB in the driver's seat. The Egyptian Twitterati are already scrambling for power and fighting among themselves. Wael Ghonim has already gone from martyr to accused hypocrite. And so one by one, the Egyptian left will break down, and the Brotherhood will inherit what remains in a temporary coalition.

The Muslim Brotherhood is united while its rivals are divided. And that is why unless the military intervenes, it will win.

In Tunisia, "democracy" has meant violent attacks on Jews and Christians.

TUNIS (Reuters) - A Polish priest was murdered in the Tunisian capital Friday, state media cited the Interior Ministry as saying, the latest sign of rising religious tension since last month's revolution.

Mark Marios Rebaski was found dead at the School of Our Lady in Manouba where he worked, Tunisia Africa Press reported. His throat had been cut.

"The Ministry of the Interior condemns this act and regrets the death. Based on results of the preliminary investigation, including the method of assassination, it believes a group of terrorist fascists with extremist tendencies was behind this crime," it said.

Of course he won't be the last. Once "democracy" really takes off.

Then there's this "Never Again" scene in front of a Tunisian synagogue.



So much for Never Again. In the Muslim world, "Never Again" read as, "Try Harder Next Time". The same liberal media which makes a fetish of Holocaust commemorations (so long as they're being used to teach us all universal tolerance) has nothing to say about. And what is there to say.

This is Muslim democracy. Get used to it. That's the message for the Jews and Christians of the Middle East, any female Western reporters who broadcast without heavy security and really the rest of the world.

Back to Barack Hussein Obama-- reports say that the more reasonable tone on Egypt was due to Hillary, and that Barry Hussein wanted an immediate endorsement of the Leftist-Islamist assault on Mubarak. Which shouldn't surprise anyone.

The paper reported that Obama was "seething" over State Department officials's statement suggesting that the administration did not want a quick transition of power in Egypt, with President Hosni Mubarak stepping down from his office immediately.

Obama felt that the State Department "made it look as if the administration were protecting a dictator and ignoring the pleas of the youths of Cairo."
Oddly though the Twelfth Imam did not seem anywhere as forceful when it came to Iran. Now Obama released a statement condemning violence against protesters. See if you can spot which country he left out.

"I am deeply concerned by reports of violence in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen," Obama said in the statement.

Iran goes unmentioned despite the clashes there. And that's not a coincidence.

Obama jumped on Mubarak, but gave Ahmadinejad a free pass. And he's kept on doing it over and over again. Because the overthrow of a pro-American government serves his purposes. The overthrow of an anti-American regime does not.

Richard Perle wonders why Obama isn't backing Iran's democracy movement. Because it actually is a Democracy movement. Obama is not a fan of Democracy, he is a fan of Islam and enthusiastic about anyone who hates America.

Spain and the UK are protesting the detention of a Spanish diplomat in Iran. Obama has again made no mention of it. He did make the following hypocritical statement

"My hope and expectation is that we're going to continue to see the people of Iran have the courage to be able to express their yearning for greater freedoms and a more representative government, understanding that America cannot ultimately dictate what happens inside of Iran any more than it could inside of Egypt."

Except of course Obama did his best to dictate what happens inside of Egypt. He's made no such attempt in Iran.

And in final bit of good news still, Iranian warships will be headed through the Suez Canal. Thank you neo-conservatives, you have truly made the Middle East freer and more stable than ever.

Back in America, unions are trying to turn Wisconsin into Egypt. The obvious difference between the union riots of the past and the present, is that we are not dealing with working class laborers, but public sector union parasites who in many cases don't even work for a living. Union officials threaten legislators and then whine about union-bashing. But what really terrifies them is the prospect of losing their power and their privileges.

These are not protests to protect the rights of working people, but to continue exploiting them and taxing them. The rich aren't losing their homes because of high property taxes fueled by public sector union freeloading. The poor and the middle class are. The rich can afford to pay or to move. The middle class and the poor can't. And they're the ones being driven out of their homes by public sector unions, forced to cut back on what their families eat and whether they can afford to buy a second pair of shoes for their children.

These are the people whose blood is being sucked dry by the union bosses. And if there's a revolution here, it was a revolution by Wisconsin voters against their union overlords.

The media is of course lying about this like mad. (But there are a few decent pieces out there. e.g. Charles Lane's Tyranny in Wisconsin at the Washington Post). First it was claimed that Governor Walker was going to take away pensions from cops and firefighters. Then when that was proven false, they attacked him for not taking away pensions from cops and firefighters.

At the Post, Harold Meyerson drags out the race card.

Moreover, the big public sector unions, particularly the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) not only turn out their own members come election day. In tandem with the AFL-CIO, they also, and always, wage the biggest and most successful get-out-the-vote campaigns in minority communities -- communities that tend to vote heavily Democratic. Thus the political consequences of shrinking those unions, as Walker would do, or getting rid of them altogether, which Lane supports, go well beyond issues of budgets. They effect the racial and class composition of the electorate in ways that Lane -- who insists in his post that he is committed to progressive values -- presumably would not be crazy about. Diminishing those unions would yield a whiter, richer electorate.

But unless Governor Walker is deporting union members, the electorate stays the same. No unions members are being barred from voting in elections. What they're not being allowed to do is bleed the state dry.

Meyerson is still acting as if this were a battle between factory owners and striking workers, when it's actually a battle between voters and public employees. Public employees live off the public. When the public's resources shrink, who is supposed to bear the burden of growing demands by the public sector unions.

How many black families have lost their homes because of property tax hikes to pay for the union's demands? And what did that do to the "class composition of the electorate"?

Walker and Christie and many others are asking a very basic question. Should public sector unions be able to wield such power over the system that employs them. Most liberals support unions having a great deal of power over employers, but this isn't a factory or an office, it's the state itself. When unions can grab money for themselves, they're doing it at the expense of the public. Directly at their expense.

A situation where state governments have to decide between vital services and union kickbacks is a situation that should not be allowed to exist.

But the winner for worst media propaganda of the week goes to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Annysa Johnson for the following

Religious leaders offer churches, homes as sanctuary for Democratic senators

Religious leaders in Illinois and Wisconsin are offering their congregations and homes as sanctuary for Democratic lawmakers who walked out of the Legislature over Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to roll back collective bargaining rights for public employees, according to the advocacy group Faith in Public Life.

You would think that the Democratic senators were refugees in WW2, instead of derelict legislators trying to block the will of the people.

Faith in Public Life is a "deeply religious organization" which serves as another front group for that deeply religious man, George Soros. Soros would know something about "sanctuary" from his work for the Nazis during WW2.

By no particular coincidence, the deserting Senators are set to meet in Chicago. Frankly if this kind of tactic is going to become routine, legislators who pull gambits like this should be stripped off their seats with replacements appointed by the governor.

In the roundup, Boker tov Boulder has some of the numbers on the public's appetite for real budget cuts

Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs celebrates as Campbell's soup sales dipped almost 10 percent. With Campbell's collaboration with the Muslim Brotherhood to open up a Hallal soup market and in tough economic times when soup sales should be going up, Campbell's instead suffered a drastic decline. And the damage that its brand took from associating with an Islamist group is likely a contributing factor.

Lemon Lime Moon suggests the media's world is cracking

Finally the apex of insanity in the UK via Cold Fury

A spate of thefts in several towns and villages in Kent and Surrey over the past few months led to many householders taking action to protect their property.

Some have been warned by police that using wire mesh to reinforce shed windows was “dangerous” and could lead to criminals claiming compensation if they “hurt themselves”.

I said, apex of insanity, but Bodine v. Enterprise High School took place in the US.

A final personal note, Facebook has disabled my account, so anyone trying to find me there, won't be able to.

18 comments:

lgstarr said...

This reminds me of when Paypal shut down Pamela Geller's account...did Facebook provide a reason that they shut down your account?

RonL said...

On what grounds was your facebook page disabled?

Geoffrey Britain said...

Bahrain is a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia but the Sunni-Shia split has relatively little to do with the precipitate cause of this proxy war.

True, Saudi Arabia and Iran are natural competitors for leadership in the Muslim world but the current animus between them has far more to do with Iran's radicalism and its frustration with the Saudi's support for the status quo. Iran is impatient with the Saudi's long term, stealth jihad because time isn't a luxury that they can afford.

Bahrain's importance to the Saudi's has far more to do with its geographical location and its use as the primary US naval base in the area.

US support is incredibly important to the continuance of the Saudi monarchy. And the last thing the Saudi's want is a Shia led Bahrain right off the coast of Saudi Arabia.

On another note; Re: "As recently as 2009, the party rejected a law that would set the minimum age of marriage for women at 15, claiming that it was “against the principles of Islam.”"

They weren't being facetious, it is against the 'principles' of Islam.

They are, in fact that f**ked up.

Consider that when Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini came to power in 1979, one of his first legal reforms was to reduce the marriageable age of girls to nine years old, exactly in line with the example of the Prophet, announcing: "It is a blessing for a family to have a daughter out of the house before her first blood.” [emphasis mine]

Finally, the Muslim Brotherhood's Qaradawi returning and being escorted by the military, to 'preach' in Cairo's main square, seals Egypt's fate, Which, while never really in doubt, ups the transition to Islamic rule in Egypt considerably. I give it less than a year.

Richard Ruggiero said...

I'm outraged! Why did facebook disable your account?

Willie said...

FB disabled your acct, eh? You must be doing SOMETHING right!

mindRider said...

Is there anything we, your readers, can do to get you back on Facebook? Your sharp but in now way abusive or violence inciting language is absolutely no reason for censorship!

Charmaine said...

What was Facebook's reasoning for denying your right to free speech?

HermitLion said...

Facebook has disabled your account?! I've heard there's rampant censorship going there, but have they no shame?

I strongly advocate an Israeli action against those Iranian warships - an 'unfortunate accident' that causes critical damage, at least. A show of force must be met in kind.
Of course, nothing will be done, but I'd like the protocol to show I said this.

What do you think, Sultan? Is it worth the trouble, or should we instead bravely pack our bags, and flee... maybe to Mars?

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

thanks for the concern everyone, so far no word from Facebook on why. I will be contacting them again to try and get an answer.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Mars is a little out of our range now, so not much left to do but stand and fight.

HermitLion said...

It just seems to me, that to be able to fight the enemy, first we have to dismantle the Israeli government, which takes no real action on any of the pressing issues.

It's Hanukkah all over again!

Or maybe I'm insane, and actually the muslims just want to sit together and play Scrabble? The Arabic version must be quite difficult

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

it does require a dramatic change, and the odds of the political leadership doing it on their own are small

systems generally tend to keep on going on their present course absent a revolutionary leader

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

I think they play scrabble with human heads

HermitLion said...

That sort of scrabble must require a large board... and how can you tell apart the vowels from the consonants? Are women's heads allowed, or does using them make you an apostate? How many extra points is a Jewish head in a row worth? Argh, so confusing...

Indeed, systems become entrenched in their ways of doing things, which at least make them predictable, and the Israeli governing system (which originated from socialism) can only be reformed forcefully, by an outsider.

The ruling factions are not interested in changing anything from within - too much pork, no values, broken education, and a mob style of dealing with dissidents.
The people suffer from a cultural history of giving in to oppression. They may try to cheat the system, or become a part of it, but you don't see anything organized. The subconscious belief is that resistance is futile. There is no "we, the people" in Israel, only "think small, and don't stand out".

Even if we had a spare century, I doubt you'd see a revolution, but it seems like the birth of a new Caliphate is about to happen a lot sooner than even I feared.

Keli Ata said...

Did Facebook notify you that they were disabling your account, or did you discover it yourself?


I wonder if Facebook has some sort of political control software that scans for certain word combinations that appear threatening, or if the gov't has such software in use on Facebook.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

they're other directed, which is a major cause of jewish self-hatred and of israeli defeatism. and the israeli leadership has become rather middle-eastern, an oligarchy of powerful sons and daughters and shady businessmen

k.a. they just disabled it, it's certainly possibly

HermitLion said...

There's been some talk about Facebook, Apple and Google CEOs meeting privately with Obama just several days ago.

Since hearing about that, I've noticed more and more people complaining about closed accounts.

I know about one person who already started a Facebook alternative for conservatives, called Freedomtorch.com (hope that doesn't make my comment count as spam).

These people may believe that they own the web. I'd like to think we can take it back.

WomanHonorThyself said...

God bless you mightily .

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