Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Obama & US Marginalized & Irrelevant In The Middle East ??? Yemen Forces Fire On Peaceful Protesters & Egyptians Back in Tahrir Square Demanding Reforms

Song of the day :
To Obama and America : "You're so vain you probably think these protests are about you -don't you???" new chorus for Carley Simon song
Listening to Obama's 45-minute speech this month – the "kick off' to four whole days of weasel words and puffery by the man who tried to reach out to the Muslim world in Cairo two years ago, and then did nothing – one might have thought that the American President had initiated the Arab revolts, rather than sat on the sidelines in fear.

"Who Cares in the Middle East What Obama Says?" by Robert Fisk The independent via Common Dreams.org, May 30, 2011

In Egypt even though Hilary Clinton & the Obama administration's friend Hosni Mubarak has been ousted the citizens are protesting the military's actions and lack of substantive reforms since the Supreme Council of Armed Forces took over the role of government .

The Obama administration didn't respond to the protests for reform in Egypt til the issues was all but settled which is somewhat ironic since it was in Cairo that two years agon Obama made his big speech about America's support for reform in the Middle East. Meanwhile as mentioned below by Robert Fisk the Obama administration has been less than supportive of reform movements in Yemen, Bahrian, Saudi Arabia , Morocco, Iraq etc.

One gets the impression that the Obama administration was at a loss for how to repond to these pro-reform uprisings of the so called "Arab Spring".
Egypt has now opened it's borders to Gaza which has upset the Israelis and the Americans so Egypt is no longer the lap dog of Israel or America.
Once again it appears that Obama believed that once he made his historic speech in Cairo that was the end of the issue. Obama is all for reform in Iran which is still demonized by Obama but is not interested in substantive reforms in other Arab or Muslim countries especially those with close ties to the USA or to Israel.

Protesters Pack Tahrir to Push Military Council on Unfulfilled Revolutionary Demands Produced by Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar Egypt reports via CommonDreams.org, May 30, 2011
Tens of thousands of protesters rallied in Tahrir Square on Friday for what was billed as the “Second Day of Rage.” Demonstrators called on the Supreme Council of Armed Forces to fulfill a number of revolutionary demands, including an end to military trials of civilians, an increased minimum wage, a free media and the public prosecution of former regime officials.

The turnout was impressive despite a boycott by the Muslim Brotherhood, which released a statement in support of the Supreme Council and called on people not to attend the demonstration. It marked the first time the Brotherhood did not support a major protest since January 28th. The boycott was coupled with widespread rumors of potential thuggery and violence at the protest.

Nevertheless, Tahrir Square was packed on May 27th. We spoke with some of the protesters about their demands.

2nd Day of Rage from Nicole Salazar on Vimeo.

Anyway per usual after Obama made his speech about supporting a two state solution in Palestine he backtracked and once again came out in favor of the Israeli notion that it will not retreat as it were to the pre 1967 borders. Netanyahu once again talks about "facts on the ground" and demographic changes within these borders. The Israeli government has been supporting the Settlers Movement for decades in order to create these so called "facts on the ground" ie the settlements. But Netanyahu and President Obama ignore that these areas are being occupied illegaly since 1967.

As Robert Fisk points out if these Israeli sttlements are to be accepted by the Palestinians as being legal then this will not leave Palestine a continuous integral border but rather the acceptance of these bantustans .

President Obama is even trying to pressure the Palestinians from going to the UN to have the UN recognize the Palestinian state because it would upset the Israelis and would possibly be detrimental to America's interests in the region.

President Obama has lost what credibility he had in the Middle East not just because of his pro-Israeli policies but also because Obama was too slow on responding to the "Arab Spring" . He should have been supporting and encouraging the peoples of the various countries who were finally standing up to their autoctatic, despotic tyrants instead he has floundered about and in some cases supported or at least kept silent about governments cracking down on pro-reform movements and uprisings as in his silence and lack of any action about Bahrain and Saudi Arabia or Yemen etc.

Who Cares in the Middle East What Obama Says? by Robert Fisk The independent via Common Dreams.org, May 30, 2011
This month, in the Middle East, has seen the unmaking of the President of the United States. More than that, it has witnessed the lowest prestige of America in the region since Roosevelt met King Abdul Aziz on the USS Quincy in the Great Bitter Lake in 1945.

While Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu played out their farce in Washington – Obama grovelling as usual – the Arabs got on with the serious business of changing their world, demonstrating and fighting and dying for freedoms they have never possessed. Obama waffled on about change in the Middle East – and about America's new role in the region. It was pathetic. "What is this 'role' thing?" an Egyptian friend asked me at the weekend. "Do they still believe we care about what they think?"

And it is true. Obama's failure to support the Arab revolutions until they were all but over lost the US most of its surviving credit in the region. Obama was silent on the overthrow of Ben Ali, only joined in the chorus of contempt for Mubarak two days before his flight, condemned the Syrian regime – which has killed more of its people than any other dynasty in this Arab "spring", save for the frightful Gaddafi – but makes it clear that he would be happy to see Assad survive, waves his puny fist at puny Bahrain's cruelty and remains absolutely, stunningly silent over Saudi Arabia. And he goes on his knees before Israel. Is it any wonder, then, that Arabs are turning their backs on America, not out of fury or anger, nor with threats or violence, but with contempt? It is the Arabs and their fellow Muslims of the Middle East who are themselves now making the decisions

...Amid all these vast and epic events – Yemen itself may yet prove to be the biggest bloodbath of all, while the number of Syria's "martyrs" have now exceeded the victims of Mubarak's death squads five months ago – is it any surprise that the frolics of Messrs Netanyahu and Obama appear so irrelevant? Indeed, Obama's policy towards the Middle East – whatever it is – sometimes appears so muddled that it is scarcely worthy of study. He supports, of course, democracy – then admits that this may conflict with America's interests. In that wonderful democracy called Saudi Arabia, the US is now pushing ahead with a £40 billion arms deal and helping the Saudis to develop a new "elite" force to protect the kingdom's oil and future nuclear sites...

Of course, the Israelis would far prefer the "stability" of the Syrian dictatorship to continue; better the dark caliphate you know than the hateful Islamists who might emerge from the ruins. But is this argument really good enough for Obama to support when the people of Syria are dying in the streets for the kind of democracy that the US president says he wants to see in the region?

One of the vainest elements of American foreign policy towards the Middle East is the foundational idea that the Arabs are somehow more stupid than the rest of us, certainly than the Israelis, more out of touch with reality than the West, that they don't understand their own history. Thus they have to be preached at, lectured, and cajoled by La Clinton and her ilk – much as their dictators did and do, father figures guiding their children through life. But Arabs are far more literate than they were a generation ago; millions speak perfect English and can understand all too well the political weakness and irrelevance in the president's words. Listening to Obama's 45-minute speech this month – the "kick off' to four whole days of weasel words and puffery by the man who tried to reach out to the Muslim world in Cairo two years ago, and then did nothing – one might have thought that the American President had initiated the Arab revolts, rather than sat on the sidelines in fear.

And in Yemen security forces and their civilian thugs are still beating, tear gassing , shooting, torturing and killing protesters.
Would Obama give the protesters in Yemen or elsewhere more support if they were better armed as they are in Libya???
Not really since Yemen is a staunch ally of the USA as it claims that the protesters are influenced by evil foreign agents ie Iran , Al Qaeda , Muslim Brotherhoodand so on which is similar to the accusations by the Syrian, Saudi and Bahrain's governments as it were.

All they have to do is to wave the bloody shirt of Al Qaeda or other terrorists groups and the USA will give these governments the "Green Light" to do as they please to kill and torture as many civilians as they wish.

Yemeni Forces Kill 20 Protesters as Sit-in Smashed from Agence France presse, via Alternet.org, May 31, 2011

SANAA (AFP) – Forces loyal to the embattled Yemeni president killed 20 protesters as they dispersed a sit-in in Taez, an organiser said on Monday, as suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen killed six soldiers in the south.

Security service agents backed by army and Republican Guard troops stormed the protest against President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Freedom Square in the centre of Yemen's second-largest city during the night, shooting at the demonstrators and setting fire to their tents, protesters said.

"At least 20 protesters have been killed," one of the protest organisers said.

Troops backed by tanks stormed a field hospital and detained 37 of the wounded receiving treatment there, among hundreds of people rounded up as security forces pursued the protesters into nearby streets, medics and organisers said.

"This was a massacre. The situation is miserable. They have dragged the wounded off to detention centres from the streets," activist Bushra al-Maqtari told AFP.

and so it goes,

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