Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘economic sanctions

Is the Muslim World ripe of any kinds of popular vote? (Dec. 30, 2005)

Posted on September 30, 2008 and written in Dec. 30, 2005

Mind you that this article was written in 2005, way before most of Bush Jr. troops withdrew from Iraq, before the “Arab Spring” upheavals, before ISIS (Daesh) was created, before the global war on Syria…Before mass transfer of mercenaries to Syria, Libya, Azerbaijan, Somalia, Yemen…

Under the threatening banner of fighting terrorism in the Greater Middle East (GME) region and installing “democracy and freedom of speech” instead of extremist Islamic salafist religious’ dogmas the USA and its allies are encouraging civil wars among the people and splintering the region into smaller and smaller self governing state-nations.

Every killing civilian attempts, perpetrated every where in the World, are labeled a terrorist act and the perpetrators heaped on the Al Qaeda group which was supposed to have been wiped out in Afghanistan or in most instances blamed on other Islamic extremist offshoots.

Meanwhile, the Western Nations are enacting laws restricting freedom of speech in Media and publications, extracting war executive orders to detaining of suspects without due legal recourse, spying on their own citizens and listening on communication calls against the rules of law in the name of fighting terrorists’ plans and their organizational and financial resources and capabilities. 

The political atmosphere in the USA and many European countries is heading toward applying Martial Laws and these restrictive and restraining climates against Liberty and Freedom could be viewed as training sessions for the coming open war.

What is this GME policy? 

The USA was feeling comfortable after World War II as to its global strategic military superiority and its naval and land military bases throughout the five oceans. and continents 

The absolute monarchies, oligarchic and dictatorial regimes in the “Arab World” were facilitating the USA policy of dominion, and Israel was its local heavy stick whenever any regime ventured to resist it by simply recovering lands captured by Israel or to exhibit independent tendencies with the support of the Soviet Union.

The advent of Worldwide organized “terrorist attacks” and the inability to contain that movement with classical military interventions, mainly after the failure of the USA to maintain peace and stability in Iraq, led to a smoke screen change in the tactical approach for preserving hegemony in the Arabic Islamic World.

The code name is to divert the attention of the Islamic masses by offering minimal political representations within the oligarchic regimes which might satisfy the disposition of the people to a first step democratic level of governance and more leeway for freedom of speech and publication.

It is interesting to study the small changes that the USA means to bring to the region through the electoral systems in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. At this pace these two countries might require a century before any meaningful democracy is established: For starter the female gender has still to be permitted to drive officially in Saudi Arabia. 

It is also interesting to hear the howl of despair coming from the US administration every time the extremist Muslim political organizations are about to win any election.

For example, Hamas in Palestine is to be forbidden to participate in the Parliamentary election if any election is to take place, and the Muslim Brotherhoods in Egypt are detained and fraudulent election admitted as legitimate.

The election results in Iraq need more than 3 weeks to be officially declared while the wide sweeping victory of the Islamists in Algeria was militarily canceled and savagely contained a decade ago.

Not that the people in this region care to have Islamic salafist doctrinal political systems installed, but a reaction to the complete failure of the US and colonial powers to regard the people but merely modern slaves in an area flush in oil. 

For more than 80 years, the people in every Arabic country have been trying to experiment with democratic systems and these attempts have been aborted by the tacit support of the US to monarchic, oligarchic and one party regime.

The war strategy is not concerned with the governments, already subjugated and controlled for decades, but targeting the Muslim people in Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Bahrain and the Arab Emirates. 

The Muslim countries that are Not socially or culturally closely related to Arabic or Persian influence or having large Muslim minorities will be drastically contained through strict financial and economic constraints such as Pakistan, India, Indonesia and Malaysia in Asia, and Nigeria and the Northern non Arabic African people in Chad, Niger, Mali, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Guinea.

What is being offered is basically a psychological “feeling good” attitude toward the prospect of fair representation without any substantial variations in the system of governance that suit grandly the interests of the US/colonial powers imperialists.

The policy of the GME striving for mega Media propaganda of “feeling good” attitude of forthwith democratic change is a sick chimerical gamble hoping that the average masses will be tamed into moderation or the regimes would have an opportunity to win a majority that would permit them to repress the extremist elements.

The Arabic people and Muslims in general have digested the smoke screen tactics of the US and Western World and their god fatherly dialogues that make their blood curl, and they cannot be fooled for long.

In the meanwhile, precious time is burned away mindlessly with no serious alternatives to genuine solutions.

So far, Iran has grasped the extent of that visible danger and has been feverishly acquiring military deterrence power, economic self sufficiency and utilizing the mass Medias to enlighten the Muslim World to the coming calamities. 

The Iranian regime is diffusing the message of unity and integrity among the Muslim masses and projecting the image of confident defiance: it is steadfast on its Uranium enrichment program on its proper soil for nuclear deterrence, saving its oil production, negotiating with Russia, China and India for economic cooperation and openly casting Israel as a spearhead colony of the US in the region

Iran is not about to relinquish its influence in Iraq or in Lebanon, through the powerful political party of Hezbollah or in Western Afghanistan where its Foreign minister is currently spending a few days there to keep strong links with its citizens. 

Iran is heading to become the catalyst of the next world calamity with the tacit economic and military support of China and Russia.

The alternative to prevent this dangerous trend and revert to a rational and peaceful coexistence is a secular, democratic and national Arabic force to take control of its destiny.

Unfortunately, what is required is inexistent, not even in its embryo, because of the perennial foolish US policy in this region of squashing the spirit of secular and democratic nationalism for short term benefits.

The US cannot win the looming war in the long term in the Greater Middle East, unless the purpose is indeed to set this region ablaze and its populations impotent for centuries to come, because the masses consider the US policies as the master evil in the world in planning and execution.

The reaction of the Muslims, in face of the sustained heavy handed and total disrespect of the US policies to support our claims for human rights and fair representations, and abusing the United Nations to squeeze our survival capabilities through economic and financial embargoes and sanctions, is toward fundamentalism.

This process is typified by the successes of Hamas in Palestine and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in the Parliamentary and municipality elections and the strong inroads of the Islamic Jihad political parties in Algeria, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Sudan in the societies’ fabrics.

It seems that the Muslims are reverting to staunch dogmatic principles reminiscent of a coming war with the infidel Crusaders and with valid rhetorical and logical reasoning.

There are a few baffling signs that this GME policy might not survive or a more viable alternative supercede the current policy of alienating the Arabs and Moslems.

For example the pressures on the Bush Jr. administration to rescind the restraining laws on private freedom and telephone and internet communication and acknowledging the flimsy basis for conquering Iraq and a popular waves of demonstrations against the all encompassing powers that the administration has snatched from Congress and concentrated in the executive branch under the prerogatives of war on terrorism.

I am leaning toward the option that by coining the term “terrorists” to connote Islamists and acknowledging that terrorism is stronger and far reaching than contemplated that the momentum for carrying the GME policy is becoming a bipartisan policy throughout the USA and the Western World.

The quagmires that the international forces are experiencing in Iraq are driving them out. Though it appears a tactical maneuver to regroup and figure out a strategy to crank the vise on the GME people and let them succumb under a wretched life of lack of freedom, democracy and poor economic and social development.

The European Union is about to give up on the application of human rights in the GME and is ready to adopt shortcuts to our difficulties and may temporary let us die slowly and vanish in the night.

Let us not fool ourselves.

Every time discrimination on the basis of religion or color or gender or nationality or custom is condoned inside or outside the boundaries of a nation, whenever human rights are baffled, people detained on flimsy charges and without due normal legal recourse, prisoners tortured to extract confessions and killed in their detention centers… then the spirit of extremism has indeed taken roots and the dictatorship system is deeply entrenched regardless of how developed a nation is or how loud they claim to have democracy and the rule of law and order among its citizens.

If we had to rely solely on the United Nations to temper the drive of the most powerful Nations, nations that have the tendency of bypassing genuine diplomatic procedures into direct military interventions toward the weaker nations, then we should be pessimistic about the coming war. 

There are a few realities that might prevent outright declaration of war by the Western World to the Islamic Arabic and Persian World:

First, the European Union is a complex assembly of Nations that could not be easily ruled solely by France, Germany and Britain in matters of participating in wars with multiple interactions with other bordering Nations;

Second, the Latin American countries are leaning toward socialism and are verbally antagonistic to USA imperialism;

Thirdly, the Far East with a heavy concentration of Muslims is not about to endanger its economic cooperation by internal political struggles that do not enhance their survival as a viable economic and financial block; and

Fourthly, Russia is too aware of the importance of the stability of its former Islamic Nations bordering Iran, Turkey and Pakistan to gamble on a fruitless policy of discrimination against the Muslim people. (The decision of Russia of intervening strongly in Syria changed the done, Not only in Syria but also in Russia strategy in the entire region)

However, if war is declared and any powerful nation sides with the Islamic masses and support it militarily, then we might witness the prophetic vision of George Orwell for future social and political organizations based on Communist blueprints as he described in his book entitled “1984”.

An era of constant low level wars among three super blocks of nations.

One other thing, if another world war is declared against the “Muslims” our puppet regimes would collapse and, win or lose, Israel will cease to exist before an armistice is reached.

If the attack on the Twin Towers occurred during the invasion of Iraq, then the US would have declared war plainly and simply and the Muslim and Arabic people would have not vacillated for so long and remained manipulated, extorted and abused by the reactionary Arabic regimes holding on for dear life.

That would be far better than this tactics of low-level wars, targeted assassinations of key resistance leaders, massive economic and financial sanctions… that are reducing the people to a chaotic views of the long-term objectives of the colonial powers and a rapid descent to Underdeveloped States, totally reliant of colonial powers rescue missions.

War hardware: Timeline of insane mass destruction

Note: Re-edit of “Time line of war hardware inventions and applications October 8, 2010″

Dynamite (1867);

Explosion motor engine (1870);

iron battleship (1880);

machine gun (1884); (I think the French had the deadly machine guns in its war with Germany in 1869, but they were Not widely distributed in the army or ready to be used  in this war.)

wireless transmission (1905);

grenade and vehicle land mines (1914);

fighter airplane and fire launchers (1915);

tanks (1916);

bombers (1917);

drone (1930);

radar (1935);

anti-personal mines (1939);

missile (1942);

atomic bomb (1943);

reactor planes (1944);

bomb A (1945);

supersonic jets (1950);

helicopter (1950);

H-bomb (1952);

nuclear reactor submarines (1954);

laser (1958);

satellite ((1959);

nuclear aircraft carrier (1964);

Strategic Defense Initiative (1983);

precision guided missile (1990);

stealth bomber (2000);

robot killer (2005).

You realize that sophisticated war hardware invention accelerated its pace during WWI.

Your worries heighten when you discover that after WWII, the timeline from invention to application shortened drastically.

It is as if powerful States are very anxious to show off the potentials of mass destruction by creating arm conflicts for effective testing of the new arsenals.  

Actually, we witnessed 115 armed conflicts after 1945, twice the total number of conflicts in 150 years.

The US, France, England, and Russia annihilated entire islands and destroyed the ecosystem of vast lands just for testing H-bombs.

The effects of underground atomic testings are surfacing now with increased volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tidal waves. (And the weakening of earth magnetic field)

After testing on live hapless developing nations, the barons of military industries and Defense Department start exporting arms to so-called “friendly States”.  Most of these  “friendly States” produce oil and don’t know how to use what they purchased.

The military budgets of many States lack allocation to maintaining the sophisticated machines of death. Thus, the need to pay for “military experts” of the superpower State to keep the hardware combat ready.

The US government exports 50% of the total war hardware sold around the world.

Ten other States export the remaining 50%.

The US military budget is higher than the military budgets of all the UN recognized States.  Mind you that a single B2 bomber cost the military budget of 120 States; and what this bomber is used for?  Mainly if an armed conflict starts with China!

The UN banned the usage of many arms of mass destruction and especially chemical weapons that Germany started in 1916, Japan used in China in 1943, then US used in China in 1950,  in Vietnam for many years (orange gas), and also in Iraq in 2003.

Israel is still using all the banned arms on the Palestinians and the Lebanese such as cluster bombs, phosphorous bombs, Dense Inert Metal Explosive munitions

Tony Blair of England should be facing international court for crimes against humanity but he was recompensed with a peaceful resolution of Palestinian Israeli conflicts:  He delivered the cluster bombs to Israel in the 2006 war (33 days) against Lebanon, one day before the cease fire!   

Lebanon barely cleaned up half the clustered bomb in 5 years and more casualties are witnessed every week:  In Lebanon, hundred have died and thousand permanently injured.

This century witnessed 140 armed conflicts totaling more than 150 millions in direct casualties.

Three times that number suffered permanent disabilities and handicaps physically, mentally, or both.

Thus, one billion of mankind were wasted just in wars.

More than 20 conflicts produced over one million killed.

WWI generated about 9 million killed and WWII more than 60 millions.

Two dozen conflicts are still on going for decades and the toll is accumulating.

Mind that in every decade, one billion die of famine and curable diseases.

The UN estimated that currently there is one billion earning less than a dollar per day and have no shelters:  Which means, all the most downtrodden of the billion of mankind will invariably die within the decade of famine and curable diseases.

Note 1: Since 2010, we started the star wars where nations are testing the destruction of satellites in space and with accurate successes.

Note 2: Not a single conflict has been put to rest. All the hapless countries are still suffering the recurring pre-emptive wars, civil wars, and acute famine and economic sanctions.

Is there such a thing as an “Average War”?

The law of average is confusing, and basically the mean of a distribution has no concrete meaning to explain. Unlike the median which represents the cut-off point between the 50% lowest and 50% highest points in any data.

Actually, the Mean is basically used as a mean for further mathematical transformations of other statistical information such as standard deviations and other values.

Nassim Taleb warns: “Don’t cross a river if it is on average 4 feet deep. The river might transform into a raging torrent a few feet away from the middle…”

For example, receiving an average ultra violet rays one day may not be harmful. Getting this average doze several days per week and you have got a problem.

This article wants to focus on  whether any one can dare put forth what can be considered an average war.

Consider all the wars waged during the last 3 centuries, as cannon improved in mass killing and greater distance.

Mind you that a war is a series of field military battles, siege of cities and economic sanctions and blockades.

War can be a civil war, a colonial expansion adventure or between contiguous countries or alliance of nations, genocides, displacement of people, massive refugees exodus

Mind you also that sieges and economic blockades harvest more casualties than field battles: Due to famine, malnutrition, dissemination of diseases, lack of medicine, high infantile mortality, polluted and infected water supply… and the casualties are essentially non-combatant people.

For example, think of the blockade against Iraq for an entire decade (1993-2003) and the million of kids who died from lack of milk and basic medicines.

Think of the blockade of Iran since 1983.

Think of the blockade and sanctions against the Syrian people since 2011.

Think of the recent blockade of the Western African countries suffering from the Ebola epidemic: No border crossing, no meaningful trades with these poor countries…

Think of the siege of Homs, Aleppo, the Yarmouk Palestinian camp near Damascus, and the latest of Kobani (Ain Arab city)

Think of the conditions and the 3 consecutive preemptive wars on Gaza, this enclave constituting a big concentration camp

Now plot in a timeline fashion all the kinds of casualties (killed, injured, handicapped…) for each field battle, siege and blockade of entire region during the war until a treaty of stopping military confrontation takes hold.

How would you analyze the distribution graphs of all these wars, and how would you categorize the seriousness and level of danger of each war?

Frankly, the average of any distribution where any one of the tails over-dominate the set of data is practically worthless.

For example, studying the distribution of wealth when billionaires are included in the set.

Or studying the average population size in cities when we include cities like Tokyo (35 million) the 11 cities with size between 20 and 30 million, the 15 cities with size over 10 million and the 48 cities between 5 and 10 million….

There is no average wars simply because the distribution of wars follow the power law: How can we study a distribution of casualties when we add the WWI ad WWII wars or the genocides committed during Stalin, Cambodia, Rwanda., and the enduring civil wars in the Congo for the last 3 decades and yet not terminated, the situation in Sudan, Yemen, Afghanistan..?

Why should the common people be targeted to suffer from economic sanctions?

All politically motivated economic and financial sanctions on weaker States, labelled  “rogue States” by the western powers for political reasons, ended up subjecting the common people to hell of miseries, famine, health degradation, high infantile mortality, reduction of the number of educated people, minors integrated to the workforce...and decades of pains and suffering trying to get out of an infernal situation that never reaches any adequate resolution…

Think of Iraq after 1992 as Saddam Hussein circles were supposed to suffer from economic embargoes, and the Iraqis experiencing two million deaths, mostly among babies for lack of milk and essential medical medicine and equipment…

Saddam and his retinue kept purchasing BMW, building humongous palaces, and never lacking any item of luxury, and maintaining a huge army and security forces…

Think of North Korea where millions are dying of famine and the dictator and his oligarchy importing every luxury items from China and Germany…

Think of Iran, with inflation reaching 50% on foodstuff, and revenue dwindling, and social services curtailed…so that Israel and Saudi Arabia be satisfied that “economic pressures” are making a dent on the program of peaceful atomic energy self-sufficiency…

Think of Venezuela and Cuba…

Think of the Syrians at the receiving end from both the regime and the western financial and economic sanctions…

No, these sanctions are not meant for degrading a political regime, but strategically to weaken the potential capability of an entire nation that is trying to regain economic self-sufficiency and be totally at the beck and commands of the superpowers…

On March 02, 2012, Djilali Belaid and Talal El-Atrache published their opinion on “Ordinary Syrians hit by sanctions-fueled price hikes

Agence France Presse
People walk through Hamidiya popular market in Damascus, Syria, on Tuesday Feb. 28, 2012. (AP/Bassem Tellawi)
People walk through Hamidiya popular market in Damascus, Syria, on Tuesday Feb. 28, 2012. (AP/Bassem Tellawi)

DAMASCUS: In Medhat Pasha souq, a bustling market in central Damascus, Fahed is deeply troubled by the “disastrous” price hikes and collapse of the local currency that are choking ordinary Syrians.

Western and Arab countries, outraged by the deadly government crackdown on an 11-month uprising, have imposed economic sanctions on the regime of President Bashar Assad, but the heaviest toll is on the Syrian people.

A 32-year-old clothes vendor said: “Since the start of the crisis, there has been a huge rise in prices. This is a disaster that touches everyone all over the country. The poor are getting hit, and even the rich are facing difficulties.

It is really unbelievable. The price of one kilo of locally manufactured cotton has gone from 400 to 550 Syrian pounds ($5.70 to $7.80), a kilo of sugar, which was worth 50 pounds (70 cents), today sells for nearly 73 pounds ($1), and vegetable oil has gone up 50%.

“We are spared nothing. The price of a gas cylinder has jumped by 60 percent. The poor really cannot cope…”

Syria’s banking system and oil exports have been hit by rounds of sanctions, dealing a heavy blow to foreign exchange earnings and stoking inflation.

And later on Friday, EU leaders are expected to tighten the noose on Assad’s regime with fresh sanctions.

Nidal, a 29-year-old taxi driver, waits patiently in a long queue at a petrol station in Damascus’s Tahrir Square. He says: “Twenty litres of petrol today costs 1,000 pounds ($14.30), compared with 800 pounds ($11.40) before the crisis.”

The slide in the value of the pound has crippled purchasing power. The dollar, which traded at 46.50 pounds a year ago, today buying 74 pounds, representing a fall of 62 percent for the pound.

Jihad Yazigi, editor-in-chief of The Syria Report, said: “Inflation has shot up. The official rate rose from 5% in November to 11 percent in December. It is partly the result of the strong dollar, but also of supply problems, because many products come from the flash point regions of Homs and Hama,”

To prevent the pound from plunging still further, the government has raised customs duties on several consumer goods, risking a further inflationary shock.

Under a decree issued last month, import tax rose from 40 to 80%, the government daily Tishrin said on Wednesday. This applies to 39 food items, as well as electrical appliances, beauty and hygiene products, kitchen utensils, water tanks and paint.

The daily Tishrin warned, citing economists, that the measure would “encourage the smuggling of goods from neighboring countries, causing losses for the state and a rise in prices on the Syrian market.”

The government is also pursuing other options to overcome the barrage of sanctions, including barter agreements with “friendly” countries such as Russia, China and Venezuela.

Syria could exchange its crude oil for sugar, a key commodity in the local market, other agricultural products and manufactured goods, which usually require hard currency.

“But the countries with which such trade is possible are limited, as they have to accept this type of exchange and have something to sell that Syria needs.  There is no doubt that the sanctions imposed on Syria touch the population first of all. Are they having an impact on the regime? It’s an open question,” Yazigi notes.

“The Syrian people are suffering a political crisis, a very difficult security situation, and economic conditions which were already deteriorating before sanctions struck. But today those sanctions are lumbering them with an additional burden.”

Funny that the worst rogue States such as Saudi Arabia and Israel that have been financing, supplying, and training al Qaeda and Islamic fundamentalists have never been sanctioned…

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Mar-02/165309-ordinary-syrians-hit-by-sanctions-fuelled-price-hikes.ashx#ixzz1nyVowTKS
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)


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