Friday, September 12, 2014

Oppression obsession...

A messy Mesopotamian mosaic; the image left is as good a guide as any to the current 'who's friendly with who' status in the western cradle of civilization. The Economist also has a handy map although probably already out of date: "America is gathering allies for a long campaign against extremists in Iraq and Syria" (note 'long'). Yesterday Saudi Arabia hosted US representatives along with those of Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates [BBC] Turkey was there too but didn't sign the communique to 'provide military support and humanitarian aid, and to halt the flow of funds and foreign fighters to IS' (who now have between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters across Iraq and Syria! [RTE]). Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia are beefing up security along their border with Syria and Iraq respectively. The latter is taking it seriously with the construction of a 900 km 'high-security five-layered fence on the border with Iraq to protect the country from “infiltrators and smugglers”'.

And for the sudden upsurge in traffic from KSA to Owsblog I will remind you that KSA has other worries too having issued instructions to close down its embassy in Sanaa, Yemen and evacuate diplomats and Saudi citizens due to Islamic civil war (Houthi rebellion) there.

Seems Islam is a bit of a recurring problem folks: but perhaps the point is getting across to some: "The only way to fight al Qaeda and Islamic State is by being transparent and open about it. We have a problem: some of our teachings promote militancy and we don't need those teachings any more"...and a damn sight more besides you don't need.  [but not all, Reuters: 'Saudi Arabia's clerics condemn IS but preach intolerance']. Well worth a read:
"Saudi authorities point to the influence of the radical wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in developing modern jihadi thinking, but play down Riyadh's decades of support for Islamists around the world as a counterweight to anti-royal leftist ideology."
Is the Kingdom 'committed to tackling radicalism's roots, or only its symptoms.': "while Saudi Arabia's official Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam attacks Islamists as heretical and "deviant", many of its most senior and popular clergy preach a doctrine that encourages intolerance against the very groups targeted by IS in Iraq...   "It's their definition of extremism we may not agree with."

Physicians thy-selves.

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