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Saudi Arabia

Syria needs solidarity not Western intervention!

Statement by the Socialist Alliance (Australia)

February 9, 2012 -- Socialist Alliance supports, and expresses its full solidarity with, the Syrian people’s democratic uprising against the tyrant Bashar al-Assad.

We also condemn the interference by Western imperialist powers and the threats of military intervention. Further, we call on the Australian government to extract itself from the US alliance and its involvement in aggressive multinational military operations.

The death toll in Syria is now more than 6000. We condemn the Syrian government’s military repression of protests and Assad’s refusal to yield to the wishes of the Syrian people to step down. We also condemn the four decades of repressive rule by Assad and his father Hefaz al-Assad.

Western policy in the resource-rich and strategically important Middle East remains devoted to maintaining Western global dominance. The West’s very selective opposition to tyranny in the Middle East — opposing some, while propping up the most tyrannical regimes in region — is transparently motivated by how compliant a tyranny is to imperialism’s interests.

Adam Hanieh: 'The Arab revolutions are not over'

Adam Hanieh addresses a meeting in London.

Adam Hanieh interviewed by Farooq Sulehria

February 3, 2012 -- Viewpoint -- Saudi Arabia, along with other Gulf states, have been key protagonists in the counter-revolutionary wave unleashed against the Arab uprisings. Indeed, 2011 has clearly demonstrated that imperialism in the region is articulated with – and largely works through – the Gulf Arab states. "Overall, it is important for the left to support the ongoing struggles in the revolutions as the contradictions of the new regimes continue to sharpen", says Adam Hanieh.

Adam Hanieh is a lecturer in development studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He is author of Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States (Palgrave-Macmillan 2011) and a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Historical Materialism.

Farooq Sulehria: The outcome of elections in Tunisia and Egypt went in favour of Islamist parties, even though the revolutions in these countries had a secular character. Islamists are also an integral part, if not the dominant force, in the revolutions in Syria, Libya, Yemen and Bahrain. Is the Arab Spring in fact a victory for the Islamist movements?

Interview with Adam Hanieh: Class and capitalism in the Gulf

December 5, 2011 -- New Left Project's Ed Lewis interviewed Adam Hanieh about the international political economy of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Hanieh is a lecturer in development studies at SOAS, and is an editorial board member of Historical Materialism. He is the author, most recently, of Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission.

* * *

Ed Lewis: You see the six states of the Gulf Cooperation Council – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman – as being at the centre of the Middle East economically and politically, but not simply because of their vast reserves of oil. What, then, is your account of how the Gulf states have come to be in this position of centrality?

New book: Adam Hanieh's 'Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States'; Modern slaves in the GCC

Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States
By Adam Hanieh
New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

Long-time friend of Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, Adam Hanieh, has just released a book that is essential reading for all those following developments in the Middle East. With Hanieh's permission, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal publishes an interview with the author, conducted by Jadaliyya, and a short excerpt from the book.

* * *

What made you write this book?

The US-Saudi counter-revolution against the 'Arab spring'

Saudi Arabian troops enter Bahrain to crush the democratic uprising.

By

August 23, 2011 -- RightWeb -- At the end of February 2011, it looked as though the old order was crumbling across the Arab world. Inspired by the self-immolation of a Tunisian street vendor, massive popular demonstrations ousted Tunisia's president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt's president Hosni Mubarak was not long to follow. Similar uprisings began to swell in Algeria, Jordan, Bahrain and Yemen, and the anciens regimes appeared helpless against the rising tide of popular anger and nonviolent resistance.

Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, actively worked to encourage the forces of counter-revolution throughout the region. From Morocco to Bahrain, Saudi finance, support and intelligence has sought to prevent political turmoil, reinforce existing dynasties and crush nascent democratic movements before they could reach critical mass. This reactionary tide has been supported by some ideologues in Washington, which worries that Arab democratisation would be detrimental to US policy objectives.

Review: 'From Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and its Legacy'

By Rupen Savoulian

July 8, 2011 -- Antipodean Athiest, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- In the lead-up to the March 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the pop group the Dixie Chicks played a concert at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire theatre in London. One of the group’s members, Natalie Maines, a native of Texas, made a critical comment about a fellow Texan, George W. Bush who was then president of the United States. She said that “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas.” A seemingly innocuous comment, you would think?

Review: `The Muslim revolt: A journey through political Islam'

By Rupen Savoulian

June 25, 2011 -- http://rupensavoulian.wordpress.com, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Since the September 11, 2001, twin tower attacks, there has been renewed interest in the questions of Islam, political Islamism and jihadism. Books have been published by the truckload, seminars bringing together various political scientists and experts have been held, reams of paper analysing the origins and trajectory of political Islam have been published, and the airwaves resonate with talkback from pundits about the impact of Islam and Islamism in the world. How can one make sense of all this? Where does one begin?

Egypt's 'orderly transition'? International aid and the rush to structural adjustment

[Source Unknown]

By Adam Hanieh

May 29, 2011 -- Jadaliyya, posted at Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- Although press coverage of events in Egypt may have dropped off the front pages, discussion of the post-Mubarak period continues to dominate the financial news. Over the past few weeks, the economic direction of the interim Egyptian government has been the object of intense debate in the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). US President Obama’s 19 May speech on the Middle East and North Africa devoted much space to the question of Egypt’s economic future – indeed, the sole concrete policy advanced in his talk concerned US economic relationships with Egypt.

Bahrain: Adam Hanieh on the US, the Gulf states and Libya


More at The Real News

Immanuel Wallerstein: The great Libyan distraction

By Immanuel Wallerstein

April 1, 2011 -- ZSpace -- The entire Libyan conflict of the last month -- the civil war in Libya, the US-led military action against Gaddafi -- is neither about humanitarian intervention nor about the immediate supply of world oil. It is in fact one big distraction -- a deliberate distraction -- from the principal political struggle in the Arab world. There is one thing on which Gaddafi and Western leaders of all political views are in total accord. They all want to slow down, channel, co-opt, limit the second Arab revolt and prevent it from changing the basic political realities of the Arab world and its role in the geopolitics of the world-system.

To appreciate this, one has to follow what has been happening in chronological sequence. Although political rumblings in the various Arab states and the attempts by various outside forces to support one or another element within various states have been a constant for a long time, the suicide of Mohamed Bouazizi on December 17, 2010 launched a very different process.

Tariq Ali on Libya: Another case of selective vigilantism by the West

By Tariq Ali

March 29, 2011 -- Guardian.co.uk Comment is Free -- The US-NATO intervention in Libya, with United Nations Security Council cover, is part of an orchestrated response to show support for the movement against one dictator in particular and by so doing to bring the Arab rebellions to an end by asserting Western control, confiscating their impetus and spontaneity and trying to restore the status quo ante.

Bahrain: When petro-dictators unite

Saudi troops invade Bahrain.

By Khuloud and Ziad Abu-Rish

March 19, 2011 -- Jadaliyya -- For at least several decades, geopolitical, economic, territorial and ideological considerations have led to serious tensions, if not outright feuds, between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states. In recent weeks, however, the regimes of GCC states have shown their citizens that when their authoritarian rule is at stake, they will put aside their differences and put up a united front.

Jadaliyya: Solidarity and intervention in Libya

By Aslı Ü. Bâli and Ziad Abu-Rish

[Note: This article was published before the UN Security Council voted for military action against Libya.]

March 16, 2011 -- Jadaliyya -- The Libyan uprising is entering its fourth week. The courage and persistence of the Libyan people’s efforts to overthrow al-Qaddafi [Gaddafi] have been met with ongoing regime brutality ranging from shoot-to-kill policies to the indiscriminate use of artillery against unarmed civilians. When we last wrote on this subject, we already recognised that the situation in Libya was dire. Since that time the violence of the regime’s unhinged bid to subdue the armed insurgency has only escalated.

Philippines socialists: `No to imperialist intervention in the Libya! Saudi, UAE troops out of Bahrain!'

Support Middle Eastern democracy struggles! End imperialist wars in Iraq, Afghanistan!

Statement by the Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses), Philippines

March 19, 2011 -- On March 17, 2011, the UN Security Council passed a resolution authorising military intervention by the Western imperialist powers or their puppets in Libya. The justification for this is to prevent further loss of life in fighting between forces remaining loyal Muammar Gaddafi and forces supporting the uprising that began on February 15 against his 42-year-old rule, and to support the pro-democracy forces.

However, the imperialists’ claims to be in support of democracy, and concerned about loss of life, are contradicted by events in Bahrain, a key Western ally where the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet is based. Here the US response to brutal attacks by the monarchist government against unarmed, non-violent pro-democracy protesters has been to call for restraint — by both sides.

Bahrain: Protesters condemn Saudi invasion to crush protests, accuse US of complicity

[This is a public letter, addressed to US President Barack Obama by protesters in Bahrain, under the name of the Movement of 14 February. The letter was circulated on March 15, 2011. The text first appeared at the Jadaliyya website.]

Mr President,

You certainly know about the Saudi and other gulf troops arriving to Bahrain to aid the government in clamping down the peaceful protesters. If you can find any legal, logical or ethical justification for this intervention, can you find any justification as well to them forming thugs attacking peaceful Bahrainis in their own homes and villages, killing them with live rounds, intimidating women and children in these areas, and boasting themselves with a "claimed" American green light!!

Bahrain and the Anglo-American oil frontier

US President George W. Bush greets vice-admiral Kevin Cosgriff, commander of US Naval Forces Central Command and the US 5th Fleet, at Naval Support Activity Bahrain in 2008. If the Bahrain monarchy falls, the country may cease to host the US Navy.

By Richard Seymour

February 19, 2011 -- Lenin's Tomb -- When, in 1968, the British government announced that Britain's formal protectorate in the Gulf would end in 1971, US planners were anxious and distraught. After Suez, the US had taken the lead in defending Anglo-American interests in the Middle East, but the structure of power in the "east of Suez" was still conserved by the old colonial power. The Persian Gulf states at that time supplied 30% of total oil resources. The reconstruction of Europe, and especially Japan, after WWII was driven by Gulf oil. And the US had no alternative structure of security elaborated for when Britain let go.

Palestine in the Middle East: Opposing neoliberalism and US power

By Adam Hanieh

July 15, 2008 -- Over the last six months, the Palestinian economy has been radically transformed under a new plan drawn up by the Palestinian Authority (PA) called the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan (PRDP). Developed in close collaboration with institutions such as the World Bank and the British Department for International Development (DFID), the PRDP is currently being implemented in the West Bank where the Abu Mazen-led PA has effective control. It embraces the fundamental precepts of neoliberalism: a private sector-driven economic strategy in which the aim is to attract foreign investment and reduce public spending to a minimum.

Taliban: Made by the USA

By Norm Dixon

10 October 2001 -- Since the appalling acts of mass murder in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001, US President George Bush has at times sounded like a fire-and-brimstone preacher.

With home-spun, Bible-inspired homilies, Bush has warned that the “evil-doers” — Osama bin Laden and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan that shelters him — will pay for their sins. However, Bush has avoided the most pertinent and illuminating Biblical phrase to explain those terrible events: “You reap what you sow”.

The seeds of what became the Taliban were sown by Washington itself in the rugged mountains and deep valleys of Afghanistan and the badlands of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region.

In 1978, the left-wing, secular Peoples Democratic Party (PDPA) took power in Afghanistan. Fearing the radical reforms being implemented there would inspire similar demands from the peoples of the region, Washington immediately moved to arm and train counter-revolutionaries — the mujaheddin — organised by Afghanistan's wealthy landlords and its Muslim religious establishment.

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