The threat of ISIL in Saudi Arabia

On Thursday, 15 people were killed in one of the worst attacks against Saudi Arabia’s security forces, at a mosque in the southwestern town of Abha, close to the border with Yemen.

And this is not the first time ISIL has targeted Saudi Arabia.

The armed group detonated a car bomb in the capital Riyadh last month, near the country’s maximum security prison, injuring two security guards.

ISIL also claimed responsibility for two separate suicide attacks on Shia mosques in Qatif province at the end of May, where 25 people were killed.

Countries near Saudi Arabia have also been targeted in similar attacks.

On June 26, ISIL bombed a Shia mosque in Kuwait, killing 27 people.

ISIL also attacked a Tunisian hotel that same day – killing 38 people, mostly British tourists.

As ISIL sharpens its strategy and steps up its attacks in the region, what is the armed group trying to achieve? And can it be stopped?

Presenter: Sami Zeidan


Ahmed Alibrahim – Specialist on Saudi Arabia and a Political & Security Analyst.

Mouin Rabbani – Contributing Editor of the Middle East Report

Hardin Lang – Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress

Source: Al Jazeera

Saudi Arabia Goes to War

February 29, 2016

Saudi Arabia’s recent actions have caused a great deal of anxiety within its region. On February 4, a military spokesman suggested that Saudi Arabia was ready to send troops ground troops to fight ISIS in Syria. A week later Saudi Arabia announced that it will send combat aircraft and soldiers to Turkey to participate in the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.

Three days later the Saudis launched “Northern Thunder,” described as the “largest military exercise in the history of the Middle East.” Participants from 20 countries sent troops to the maneuvers run over three weeks in Hafar al Batin in northern Saudi Arabia, not far from the Iraqi and Kuwaiti border. According to a Saudi media outlet, some 350,000 troops were expected to participate in the maneuvers.

It is clear that Saudi Arabia was sending a strong message that it is willing to fight back. The message was aimed not at ISIS, but at Iran and its allies: Syria’s Bashar Assad, Hezbollah and above all, Russia.

Some conspiracy theorists even raised the speculation that “Northern Thunder” is nothing but cover for a land invasion into Syria via Iraq or Jordan.

Saudi Arabia has been very anxious about Iran’s strengthening position in the Middle East. The sanctions under which it has been operating have been lifted. Russia entered the war in Syria, supporting Assad and Iran. And on its southern border, Saudi Arabia is stuck in a year-long attempt to push back the forces of Ansar Allah—the Houthis—and restore the government of the deposed Prime Minister Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in Yemen.

Thus, there are many reasons for Saudi Arabia to try to change the situation in Syria. But can Syria do this?


The Military Hardware

Saudi Arabia has been investing enormous sums of money into modernizing its military. Its 75,000 strong land forces are equipped with U.S.-supplied M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks and M2 Bradley armored fighting vehicles. Its air force has F-15S Strike Eagles, Eurofighter Typhoons and some older Tornados. Its air defense forces are equipped with Patriot SAMs, and they also have a ballistic missile unit operating the Chinese made DF-21.

Besides the regular army there is the Saudi Arabia National Guard, a separate force under its own minister. It’s as large as the regular army and probably better trained. Although it is almost entirely composed of mechanized infantry (the force does not have main battle tanks), it also has its own artillery and is now in the process of acquiring its own air arm, equipped with AH-64D Apache attack helicopters.

On the face of it, Saudi Arabia is a formidable military force indeed, and the prospects of such a force entering a war in Syria will chill some spines in Damascus, Moscow and Tehran. But will it?

Tanks, combat aircraft and missiles are only as powerful as the people operating, maintaining and supporting them. And in this domain, Saudi Arabia has a very long way to go.

Not much is known about the proficiency of Saudi Arabia’s military as a fighting force. The only real war the Saudis have taken part in was Operation Desert Storm in 1991; and most of the fighting there was done by the US. More recently Saudi Arabia has been fighting in Yemen, but unsuccessfully so far. Foreign advisers speak about the difficulties in bringing Saudi Arabian soldiers to the desired combat readiness and proficiency.

What is well documented is the Saudi military’s level of dependence on foreign aid. Almost all the maintenance and logistic support for Saudi arms is done by foreign contractors. On top of that, there are hundreds of advisers, instructors and trainers constantly on the job.

Saudi Arabia’s economy is highly dependent on foreign labor (roughly a third of the population). The armed forces are no exception. That’s fine, as long as the military goes out of its barracks for exercises only. But a war is something else, and on the battlefield it is difficult to rely on foreign contractors to remain with units. Some sources even maintain that a large part of the fighting in Yemen is done by mercenaries (Saudi Arabia’s ally—the UAE—is recruiting soldiers as far away as Latin America).

The threat of a land invasion into Syria is not over. Recent wars in the region have revived the age-old rivalry between Sunni and Shia Islam. Saudi Arabia—and the Gulf states—have been frustrated with the situation in the region. But Turkey is even more so, and Ankara’s military is of a different caliber. Saudi Arabia is strong enough to give some token help to any move by Turkey, but won’t be able to pull much weight by its own means.

Let me finish with a comment on “Northern Thunder.” Exercises as large as “Northern Thunder” take a very long time to plan and coordinate, and it also takes many months to gather the units together in one place. Yet, “Northern Thunder” appeared in the media out of nowhere (and nothing is known about it since it was announced). Where do you hide 350,000 troops? Are they really there?

Yiftah Shapir is the head of the INSS Middle East Military Balance project. For more than 10 years he was co-editor of the annual volume Middle East Military Balance, where he was responsible for the quantitative section of the publication. Currently he is in charge of the quantitative military balance section on the INSS website. Shapir also follows issues of modern military technology, including ballistic missiles, space technology and Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) in the Middle East. This article first appeared in the Interpreter.

Target-rich environment

2015 - 1 (2)2015 - 1IMG_20150701_003153


Who exactly is it who doesn’t have anything to lose? Even if the Gulf States have far more and far better planes and even far better pilots, one single hit by an European bomber or missile can do a lot of damage. Also, starving the West of oil could mean a rise of the BRICS-countries, from the frying pan into the fire. Note that bombing raids in retaliation against European cities would mainly hurt Muslim immigrants and their liberal elite protectors, that is, the much-hated doctrine of collateral damage.

Cf. catapults during the siege of Ta’if.


The targets intended by the catapults were clearly not civilians, women, or children, though there was a remote possibility under those circumstances that some civilians could have been injured unintentionally. This, however, is quite different than intentionally attacking civilian targets, women, and children. Any direct attack against such people is categorically unlawful and had been expressly prohibited by the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Many internet tough guys call for the nuking of Mekka, while ignoring lesser targets like Tetouan, El Hoceima, and Smir, overlooking that conventional weapons are useful enough, and don’t leave radiation damage and such. They lose all sense of proportionality, while the wimpy maggots freak out at a simple knife and couldn’t even get a handgun if their eternal salvation depended upon it. The internet tough guys are more likely to be nuked, or struck by drone-launched missiles themselves.

That said, I don’t believe in a bilateral Clash of Civilizations. The next conflict will be multipolar.

Iranian And Hezbollah Threats To Saudi Arabia: Past Precedents

on May 21, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Life In Riyadh

Given Tehran and Hezbollah’s long history of targeting Saudi interests, their recent implicit threats to the kingdom should be taken seriously.

On April 27, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, lashed out at Saudi Arabia and its recent military intervention in Yemen, accusing the “treacherous Saudis” of “following in Israel’s footsteps” by “shamelessly and disgracefully bombing and mass killing” the Yemeni people. The increased Saudi aggression in the region, he contended, demands a tougher response from Tehran. Similarly, Hezbollah deputy secretary-general Naim Qassem warned in an April 13 interview with the Associated Press that the kingdom will “incur very serious losses” and “pay a heavy price” as a result of its Yemen campaign. Given historical precedent — not to mention numerous other angry statements from Tehran of late (see PolicyWatch 2423, “Yemen’s War Heats Up Iran’s Anti-Saudi Rhetoric”) — Riyadh should take such threats at face value.


Iran has a long history of plotting attacks against its Saudi rivals in response to transgressions real and perceived. These plots, carried out by Iranian agents and Hezbollah proxies, have targeted Saudi interests in the Middle East and elsewhere. One of the most recent — traced back to IRGC Qods Force commander Qasem Soleimani and other senior Iranian decisionmakers — was the failed October 2011 plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington by bombing a restaurant he frequented. Yet Tehran’s earliest anti-Saudi schemes stretch back nearly to the regime’s founding.

Just three months after its creation in May 1987, the Saudi branch of Hezbollah (a.k.a. Hezbollah al-Hejaz) carried out its first attack inside the kingdom. Previously, a confrontation between Shiite pilgrims and Saudi security forces at the July 1987 Hajj turned violent, escalating into a stampede that killed more than 400 people. Among the dead were a number of Saudi policemen and Iranian pilgrims, and rumors spread that some of those killed were tied to Saudi Shiite political and militant organizations. Seeking retaliation, Iran began courting radical Shiites in the kingdom’s Eastern Province to carry out attacks. A week after the tragedy, Saudi Hezbollah issued its first official statement, vowing to challenge the ruling family. The following month, it claimed responsibility for an attack against a petroleum facility in Ras al-Juaymah. In communiques issued in Beirut and Tehran, the group threatened to carry out additional revenge attacks targeting Saudi officials. And a month later, it threatened attacks against U.S. and Saudi interests abroad.

According to CIA reporting at the time, Iran had already “smuggled explosives into Saudi Arabia” at the time “and conducted terrorist operations against Kuwaiti targets.” Pointing to the 1983-1984 Beirut bombings, the agency assessed that “many Iranian leaders use this precedent as proof that terrorism can break U.S. resolve” and view “sabotage and terrorism as an important option in [their] confrontation with the United States in the Persian Gulf.”

Within a year, Saudi Hezbollah made good on its threat by attacking the Saudi petrochemical industry, which then as now employed many Americans. In March 1988, it claimed responsibility for an explosion at the Sadaf petrochemical plant in Jubail. Additional bombs struck the Ras Tanura refinery, while another apparently failed to detonate in Ras al-Juaymah.

Saudi authorities responded forcefully, arresting a number of suspected Shiite militants. They captured three Saudi Hezbollah members after a deadly standoff in which several policemen were killed and injured. The three men and another cell member were publicly executed in September 1988.

To avenge the executed operatives, Saudi Hezbollah declared war on anyone employed by “the House of Saud” and embarked on an assassination campaign abroad, attacking Saudi officials in Turkey, Pakistan, and Thailand. Commenting on one of these plots, a CIA analysis issued in December 1988 noted, “Riyadh is concerned that the assassination of a Saudi diplomat in Ankara on 25 October may be the opening round in a Shi’a terrorist campaign targeting Saudi officials and facilities.”

The Ankara shooting in question took the life of Abdulgani Bedawi, the second secretary at the Saudi embassy in Turkey. Another assassination attempt came two months later, when Ahmed al-Amri, the second secretary at the Saudi mission in Karachi, Pakistan, was seriously wounded by a gunshot in late December. Then, on January 4, 1989, Saleh Abdullah al-Maliki, the third secretary at the Saudi embassy in Bangkok, was shot and killed outside his home. Two factions of Saudi Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the latter operation in statements released under the names “Soldiers of Justice” and “Holy War Organization in the Hejaz,” both of which tied the murder to Riyadh’s September 1988 executions. In February 1990, four more Saudi diplomats were murdered in Thailand in a case ultimately tied to Saudi Hezbollah.

Meanwhile, a group of Kuwaiti and Saudi Shiites affiliated with Hezbollah al-Kuwait were caught smuggling explosives into the kingdom in July 1989 and placing them in the vicinity of Mecca’s Grand Mosque. That September, sixteen Kuwaitis and four Saudis were beheaded for their roles in the plot, prompting Saudi and Kuwaiti Hezbollah to call for vengeance at a press conference in Beirut, where they could speak freely under the protection of their mentor, Lebanese Hezbollah. Several of the executed Kuwaitis were of Iranian origin; officials in Tehran called them “martyrs” and declared that their deaths should be avenged with attacks on Saudi, Kuwaiti, and U.S. interests. A CIA analysis published in August 1990 assessed that “these statements may have encouraged radical Shia elements to carry out a series of attacks against Saudi facilities and personnel.” The agency also assessed that Iranian-linked terrorist attacks carried out over the previous year “were probably approved in advance” by the president and other senior leaders.

The most well-known Hezbollah attack on Saudi interests was the June 1996 Khobar Towers bombing, which killed 19 U.S. servicemen and an unspecified number of Saudi civilians in a nearby park and wounded another 372 Americans. Although responsibility for the attack was unclear at first, the FBI ultimately concluded that the bombing was planned, organized, and sponsored by Iran and executed by Saudi Hezbollah operatives, prompting U.S. federal indictments against thirteen members of Saudi Hezbollah and an unidentified Lebanese Hezbollah operative.


While Hezbollah remains an active agent in Iran’s shadow war with the West, the regime’s most recent plots targeting Saudi interests have been planned and executed by the Qods Force. Like the Hezbollah assassination campaign in the late 1980s, recent plots have included the targeting of officials abroad.

In May 2011, Iranian agents shot and killed another Saudi diplomat in Karachi, foreshadowing the Washington restaurant plot that was already being planned at the time. In June 2012, Kenyan authorities arrested two Iranian nationals — purportedly Qods Force operatives — believed to be plotting attacks on Israeli, U.S., British, or Saudi targets in Kenya or elsewhere in Africa. Indeed, the Qods Force reportedly established a dedicated “Special External Operations” entity known as “Unit 400″ to carry out just these types of attacks, primarily targeting diplomats from countries that were actively trying to undermine Tehran’s nuclear program. Cyberwarfare seemingly entered the rivalry at this point as well — in August 2012, the state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco was hit by a cyberattack that U.S. intelligence attributed to Iran, with then-defense secretary Leon Panetta describing it as “a significant escalation of the cyber threat.”

The regime seemed to put this shadow war on hold while the multilateral nuclear negotiations unfolded, but current sectarian tensions in the region may have rekindled Tehran and Hezbollah’s interest in targeting their Saudi adversaries with asymmetric and reasonably deniable attacks. Regional tensions were already high over Riyadh and Tehran’s support for competing actors in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. But Riyadh’s leadership of a military coalition targeting Yemen’s Houthi rebels — who practice Zaidi Islam, a branch of Shiism — came as an unwelcome surprise to Iran (for more on Tehran’s links to the Houthis,see PolicyWatch 2364, “Yemen’s Zaidis: A Window for Iranian Influence”).

Understood against the background of numerous past Iranian and Hezbollah attacks on Saudi interests, the latest warnings constitute much more than just isolated semantic barbs in the war of words between Riyadh and Tehran. Given this history and the very real Sunni-Shiite tensions engulfing the region, Naim Qassem’s April 13 pledge — that Hezbollah “cannot be silent” about the Saudi “genocide in Yemen” — may lead to more than just angry statements.

Matthew Levitt is the Fromer-Wexler Fellow and director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at The Washington Institute, and author of Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Party of God (2013). 

Originally Posted on May 19, 2015

©2015 The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Reprinted with permission.

Nukes won’t save you….

Saudi Arabia vs. Iran

It’s a well-known fact that the Middle East matters are a delicate thing. And when the United States can’t fully control the situation in the region, it is especially serious.

The long-standing US’ dream to become the sole owner of the rich in oil Middle East seemed like an achievable thing. Until recently. After resolving matters in Iraq and Libya, Washington thought it was about to have all the oil in its pocket. The only thing they had to do is tame Syria and build a pipeline from Qatar to Europe.

Saudi Arabia vs Iran

But that’s where the annoying Russia came and started bringing one headache after another. The Kremlin made the world talk about Iran, which is hated by the neighboring Sunni countries.

It seemed like the agreement with Iran was reached, but here came the Russians with their S-300 air-defense missile system. And all the US efforts to calm the region went down the drain.

This time, the Arabian states that have always been loyal to Washington are up in arms. As many as four Arabian leaders refused to meet with the US President Barack Obama, which makes it a unique situation in terms of tensions in the region.

As it was reported by Saudi Press, the king of Saudi Arabia Salman cancelled his meeting with Obama in Washington at the end of last week. The king decided to send the Saudi minister of home affairs Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as well as the minister of defense Mohammed bin Salman, instead.

Along with the king of Saudi Arabia, the leaders of the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain cancelled their trips to Washington. Only the leaders of Qatar and Kuwait were personally present at the meeting, while other leaders sent their representatives.

The Middle East is not eager to trust the US anymore

And it is a true fact that the Saudi Arabian leader’s refusal to personally meet with the US President knows no precedent in our history. It can be explained by the fact that the Saudis lost their hope in trying to disrupt the nuclear deal with Iran, which is the key geopolitical enemy to Riyadh.

The White House administration said that the US planned to give the Persian Gulf partners an opportunity to explain themselves at the meeting. However, the UAE ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba said that Riyadh as well as their closest allies didn’t want to just explain themselves. They sought documented guarantees that the US is prepared to defend them in case Iran decides to attack them.

It all bears evidences of Washington drastically losing its reputation and influence over Arabian sheikhs. And it’s not just about dealing with Iran.

The Sunni monarchs are trying to get the US to pay for all the geopolitical matters. The experts believe that one of the conditions of the bargaining would be the oil prices, which Riyadh keeps low in order to enable Washington pressure Moscow

The US is playing a strategic game in the Middle East, the goal of which is to trick Iran and make it comply with some of the US policy’s demands. Washington is trying to make Tehran end its support of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria and its cooperation with Russia

US trying to split the Russia – Iran – China triangle

The Americans are thus trying to split the Russia – Iran – Chinatriangle, which unites the key countries of the non-Western world. The triangle is now united against the US without forming an official alliance. The US, in turn, is trying to split it to deal with each ‘member’ individually.

Saudi Arabia is the only sponsor of the anti-Assad efforts in Syria. However, the monarchs have sensed that the US can let them down any moment.

It becomes obvious that the Arab coalition, which is headed by Saudi Arabia and wages a war in Yemen, will not get a direct military support from the US. That means the events will develop according to a scenario of a hybrid war of small intensity, which might spread to the Saudi territory. By yielding to the US’ decision to attack Yemen, the Saudis found themselves in difficult circumstances.

And what is the way out? To seek support from Russia? But why would Russia damage its relations with Iran? To save the Saudi monarchy?

The experts on the Middle East affairs believe that the Americans don’t realize that if Saudi Arabia agrees to Washington’s policy regarding Tehran, it risks losing its influence in the Arabian world. And that is completely unacceptable for the Saudis. This is the exact reason why Saudi Arabia, Bahrein and UAE have such a strict stance.

Saudi Arabia buys a nuclear bomb from Pakistan

Meanwhile, it was reported by The Sunday Times that Saudi Arabia decided to buy a nuclear bomb from Pakistan amid concerns over the nuclear deal with Iran. The report was later dismissed by Saudi Arabia.

For 30 years, Saudi Arabia financially supported the nuclear program in Pakistan. The source of news claims that the decision has been made amid the Saudis’ concerns over the dangers of Iran. The authorities believe that by reaching the framework deal with Iran, Obama accelerated nuclear developments of Tehran.

If Saudi Arabia joins the ‘nuclear club’, Turkey and Egypt might follow suit, according to the source.

Most of the experts believe that the deal itself is unfavorable for Russia, and that Moscow would like to keep Iran under sanctions. Undoubtedly, Russia is interested in keeping the current status quo for as long as it’s possible, which had a lot of limitations imposed on Iran and Moscow was the only partner for Tehran.

However, it must be pointed out that such status quo was extremely volatile and the situation could spiral to either a direct war between the US and Iran or a war in Syria. And no matter how the war would have ended, it would destabilize the Middle East and the global economy as a whole. That’s why the framework deal is the least evil of all for Russia.

Comment: The suffering of the damned is the happiness of the elect. Both Heaven and Hell are eternal…

The Dark Future of Israel

The thing is though, WR, that 70 % of Israel is now non-white.

And even among Ashkenazi, most of the newborn are of extremist ultra-orthodox Jews.

Secular Ashekanzi Jews, the backbone of the intellectual stream within World Jewry, are disappearing with stunning speed in Israel both due to lower birth rates as well as to intermarriage which is now at 40 % or so between secular Ashkenazi and secular Mizrahi.

So if Jews immigrate to the Western world, they will be far more foreign due to the fact that Israel already today, at least among it’s young, is far more Arab than European.

This will also make it harder for Ashkenazi American Jewry to support it, especially as Israel continues on it’s religious right-wing turn and while the secular left, which is the dominant theme in American Jewry, is now completely obsolete inside Israel.

Only 25 % in Israel identify with the left according to a recent Haaretz article. And among youths, it’s even lower. That is pretty extraordinary, since young people tend to be more left. Imagine how this generation of Israeli Jews will be when they’re 50? If they even get to that.

The biggest threat to Israel isn’t the Occupation(although it’s a major problem) nor external enemies. It’s the changing demographics, and the lowering of intellectual achievement and cultural closeness with the diaspora.

White intermarriage in the States is 9 %. And that includes intermarriage with white Jews, Asians etc.
Dysgenic intermarriage is probably around 5 % give or take a percentage point.

Now imagine if we had a 45-50 % intermarriage rate with blacks. Not blacks with us, butwe with them. (Of course, we’d have to massively import wives and husbands from Africa in the tens of millions, but this is for a thought experiment only).

This is the equivalent of what the Ashkenazi are doing in Israel. Sure, Mizrahi have higher IQs(around 94 or so), but they’re still very poor in intellectual achievement.

Comment: This will prove troublesome to Saudi-Arabia, as Israel is its main ally. How are darker people treated in Saudi-Arabia, like Ethiopians and Sudanese? Hell is eternal, Hell is eternal, Hell is eternal…

Hezbollah is trying to turn Israel’s entire northern border into a single battlefront

Less than 48 hours after the Israeli army reportedly attacked targets in Syria on Friday-Saturday, a Syrian cell on Sunday tried to mount a terror attack against targets inside Israeli territory.

Israel fired on the cell, which was composed of Druze gunmen, scoring a direct hit as its members attempted to plant a large explosive device intended for future use against Israeli army troops or civilians moving near the border.

Contrary to initial reports, the cell was not part of Hezbollah, which has not been operating in this fashion recently. Except for a rocket attack on the Givati troops in late January, Hezbollah has been trying to avoid leaving fingerprints that would draw an Israeli response.

The fact is, however, that most of the Druze on the Syrian Golan Heights remain loyal to the regime of Bashar Assad and to the Hezbollah troops who fight for him. No distinction can be made any longer between the Syrian and Lebanese fronts, or between the Syrian army and the Druze on the one hand and Hezbollah on the other.

Hezbollah has been using Druze, Palestinians and, of course, Assad’s own troops to strike at Israeli targets. For more than a year, this has been one front where Hezbollah has been trying to take advantage of the power vacuum in the Syrian area in order to create a deterrent balance against Israel.

Even after the reported Israeli weekend attack on targets in the Qalamun Mountains, it seemed that Hezbollah would try to mount a limited response, not one that might lead to a large-scale, violent confrontation. Hezbollah has no interest in a conflict of that kind, but it wants to make it clear to Israel that there is a price to pay for what it views as crossing red lines.

Media outlets identified with Hezbollah, such as Al Mayadeen, claimed there was a further Israeli attack on Sunday night. But it seems that the source of those explosions in the hot Qalamun sector was the intensifying battles between Hezbollah and the Syrian army against Islamic State and Al-Nusra Front.

Nazrallah HezbollahSharif Karim/REUTERSLebanon’s Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah makes a rare public appearance as he addresses his supporters during a rally to mark “Quds (Jerusalem) Day” in Beirut’s southern suburbs July 25, 2014

While Hezbollah and the Syrian army had succeeded in cleansing the mountain strip of the radical Sunni troops in the past, Islamic State forces has managed to retake various territories in the area.

The latest reports in Lebanon say that Hezbollah is planning another “large-scale attack” in the Qalamun region — an area which, for Hassan Nasrallah’s people, is the doorway to Lebanon. It is the strip of territory through which arms are smuggled to Hezbollah, and is also a problematic route used by Sunni terrorists who wish to act against Hezbollah in Lebanon. This is why the mountain ridge is so important to Hezbollah, and the reason Hezbollah has decided to rid it of Islamic State’s presence.

Another result of the new order in the Middle East is that Lebanon, as a state, no longer exists. While it is true that the situation there is nothing like as anarchic and bloody as the situation in Syria or in Iraq, that is mainly because of Hezbollah’s troops. The place is Hezbollahland.

For months, Lebanon’s most powerful elements there have failed to appoint a new president, because of the harsh dispute between the camps. They cannot even agree on the next chief of staff of the Lebanese army.

Not that it makes any difference. Hezbollah will keep on controlling Lebanon — with or without a president.

Read more:

افغانستان کبی سنتی بیر اولکه ده، بیرینچی مرته بیر افغان قیز رپ قوشیقی اجرا ایتگن.
سوسن فیروز بیرینچی قوشیقی نی ثبت قیلگن و افغانستان پاپ موسیقه سی نینگ یولدوزی صفتیده تانیلیشینی امید قیله دی.
افغانستان ده عیال قوشیقچی لر گه قرشی لیک کوپ لیکن سونگی نیچه ییل جریانیده، بیر قنچه افغان قیزلری موسیقه صنعتی ده حرکت قیلیش گه قادر بولگن لر.
رپ موسیقه سی افغانستان ده اونچه لیک هم طرف داری یوق لیگی ایتیلسه ده بیراق، سوسن فیروز تازه لیککه بو یولده قدم قویگن.
“بو قوشیق نینگ بیرینچی مرته استادیم یاردمی بیلن اوقیگنده، انچه یخشی احساس تاپدیم. اوزیم بیلن اویله شدیم که اوشه بغریم گه احساس قیله یاتگن تاش نینگ اگر بیر مرته بولگنده هم اوزاق گه تشله سم مینگه یخشی احساس تاپیله دی دیب ایتدیم. مینی باله لیک دوریم انچه یورتداش لریم دیک یمان وضعیت بیلن کیچگن.”
سوسن شونگه قوشیمچه قیلیب، آواز خوانلیکگه دوام بیرییشی اوستیده تاکید قیله دی. او، موسیقه آرقه لی اوز احساسی نینگ رپ قوشیق لری قالبیده بیان ایتیشگه قادر ایکنلیگی نی بیلدیره دی.
بیرینچی رپ قوشیقیده، ایران ده مهاجر بولیب حیات کیچیره یاتگن وضعیتی نی انه بونده ی تصویر قیلگن.
“نانوایلیککه کیتسه ایدیک بیزگه آخرگی صف گه کیت افغان کثافت دیب ایتریدیلر، بیزنینگ جایی میز نانوایلیک نی آخرگی صفی ایدی، حتی قولاغی میزنی کشه للب صف نینگ آخری گه ایلتریدیلر، هیچ نرسه ایته آلمیدیک، اگر ایتسه ی ایدیک، مورچه دیک بیز نینگ ینچه ریدیلر، مین او زمان کیچیک باله ایدیم، و بو ایش لر مینینگ روانیمگه یمان تاثیر قیلگن ایدی، اونوته آلمه یمن.”

Hell is eternal, hell is eternal, hell is eternal…

Saudi Oil Kingdom Resisting Renewables

On Dec. 7, 2008, 60 Minutesran a documentary showing on-the-scene interviews between Lesley Stahl of CBS News and several oil executives in Saudi Arabia, as well as some of their very impressive new oil production infrastructure.

( Videos embedded below)

In watching this excellent documentary, it struck me the extent to which oil has a vested interest in perpetuating their dominance, and that they would likely have no compunction to take any measure to prevent serious alternatives that would make them obsolete.

Part I includes footage showing Saudi efforts to find new oil. Up until now in their history, they’ve extracted 260 billion barrels. After stating that, the executive confidently asserts that there is “potential to add another 200 billion [barrels] — are there to be found.” The documentary takes a look at two new major facilities and the high-tech (and more expensive) methods being deployed to extract it.

At the Sheva facility, they had to move mountains of sand in order to get at the bedrock to plant their new facility, roads, and airport. They had to install a 400-mile pipeline, and they are drilling guided holes underground horizontally as far as 5 miles to get to the oil under the sand. The facility will increase the country’s production capacity from 10 to 12 million barrels per day; and will begin producing in the beginning of 2009.

Lesley Stahl also traveled to the Kareas (sp?) facility, which is “the biggest oil project in history.” It will take more than 50 years to deplete the oil there. But because the oil is low pressure, in order to extract it, the Saudis will pump sea water into the ground at a rate of 50 million barrels a day, through a pipeline from 150 miles away. The project employs 22,000 workers laying thousands of miles of pipeline, will cost 50 billion dollars over a 5 year period — paid in cash.

I should mention that this information affirms indirectly the “peak oil” premise that oil production on the planet has surpassed the half-way point, and that everything from here on will be increasingly more expensive and difficult to access. Given the abiotic oil data that shows a continual replenishment of some oil fields from deep within the earth, the “Peak Oil” dogma should not necessarily be taken at face value. However, the rate of new oil generation in these cases is not enough to keep up with current world demand.

The documentary talks about Saudi Aramco, the largest oil company in the world, which began as a US company in the 1930s, but then was bought out by Saudi interests and nationalized. It’s headquarters are huge — a city within a city. The cultural ramifications are quite stark. Outside that enclave exists conservative Muslim culture and dress, but those same standards are not adhered to within the enclave, where women can drive, work along side men, and they don’t have to wear the full-body cover that’s required outside the enclave.

CBS was let into the nerve center complex that controls all facilities, every valve, every pipeline — all of this from one humongous room. I couldn’t help but think that they must be glad they don’t have terrorists targeting them because that sure would seem like a point of devastating vulnerability.

The documentary addresses recent oil price fluctuations and the instability it creates for the Saudi government. It costs them only $2/barrel to produce their crude oil. The rest is used to run their country. They need at least $55/barrel to do that, so when oil drops below that point, they get nervous.

In discussing a recent oil summit, and pressure that was being brought to bear from Venezuela and Iran to push oil prices as high as possible, I found the Saudi Oil Minister, Al-Naimi’s response humorous: “No one jams anything down our throat.” He defended the Saudi support of the recent cut in oil production to curtail the recent drop in prices, explaining that if the price goes too low, then ability to tap additional reserves will be compromised, and future prices will skyrocket.

The documentary also mentions some of the extracurricular uses of the oil profits such as funding militias including Hamas. It didn’t go so far as to mention the funding of terrorism or of hit men and tactics to keep alternatives from reaching the market. But it did come close.

Lesley pushes two of the Saudi oil executives about the “addiction to oil” that the West is trying to get out from under. “Is it Aramco’s hope to prevent a switch away from oil? Someone said, ‘The country IS the oil business. You absolutely need to do this for your own survival.’ ”

The executive responded, “What’s wrong with that?” [1]

One thing the Saudi industry is doing to prevent a move away from oil toward electric cars is to assuage our concerns about the environment. They showed CBS their new $4 million dollar project with an experimental combustion engine that burns fuel more efficiently and produce less emissions. “Green oil,” is the image they are trying to put forth with this token effort.

Pushing him even more about their vested interest in preventing the emergence of clean alternatives, he responded “We have to be realistic. We don’t have the alternatives today.” [2]Oil Minister, Al-Naimi, who was the first CEO of Aramco, says that he doesn’t think that our high demand for oil is going to go away even 30 years from now.

Meanwhile, the Saudis are pursuing solar energy, sitting globally where some of the best solar input can be found. “Where else does the sun shine brighter?” They envision themselves exporting gigawatts of electricity. “Long after the world no longer needs oil, we’ll still be in the energy business.”

# # #

Documentary Videos

The entire program is found on the CBS website. The below YouTube embeds are by CBS News and show the entire segment. The following CBS News links are for reference.

Comment: The solution is not research into alternative energy, the solution is constantly reminding people of eternal damnation. Hell is eternal, hell is eternal, hell is eternal…

Yemen crisis talks to be held in Doha, says UN

UN-brokered talks aimed at resolving the escalating political crisis in Yemen will be held in Doha, the UN envoy to Yemen has said, after the internationally recognised Yemeni government appealed to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for military assistance.

A day after warning the UN Security Council that Yemen was on the brink of civil war, Jamal Benomar announced on Monday that talks between the Yemeni parties would take place in the Qatari capital, and that any agreement reached would be signed in Riyadh.

Earlier in the day, Prince Saud Al Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, said that his country would “take necessary measures if needed” to protect Yemen’s sovereignty after the country’s government, holed up in the southern port city of Aden, appealed to the GCC members for help.

Iran has been repeatedly accused of supporting the Houthis, the armed group that controls the country’s north, including the capital Sanaa, an allegation both Iran and the Yemeni group deny.

“We are against Iran’s intervention in Yemen … it is actually an act of aggression,” Faisal said.

“We are keen on protecting Yemen’s sovereignty, the legitimacy of Yemen represented by President Hadi.

“We hope that the crisis can be resolved peacefully and we are ready to respond to any demand that the president requests, whatever it is to support him,” he said.

Riyadh Yaseen, Yemen’s newly appointed foreign minister, has asked for military intervention from the GCC and the imposition of a no-fly zone by the UN.

The GCC is an alliance of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE and Oman; and its Peninsula Shield Force boasts about 40,000 troops and has a permanent base in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province.

“We’ve had enough, we can’t watch them occupying airports and cities, destroying Yemen’s infrastructure, and we sit there and watch”, Yaseen told Al Jazeera on Monday. “We can’t allow Iran to take over our country.”

The request came a day after Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef, the Saudi interior minister, said the GCC was ready to take “all efforts” to defend the country’s security”.

Houthis took over the democratically elected government headed by Hadi in February and appointed Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a cousin of the group’s leader, as the new president.

The GCC countries have since lined up to support Hadi and have moved their embassies to Aden to back Hadi against the group.

Hadi, who is also backed by Western states, has been struggling to reassert his authority since escaping house arrest and fleeing to Aden last month.

The Houthis have continued to seize more parts of the country and on Saturday took control of parts of the strategic city of Taiz, as they pushed further south towards Aden.

The group, which hails from the northern region of Saada, insists its territorial advance is an outgrowth of its growing popular support.

But the Houthis have continued a violent crackdown on opposition protests in the country.

In the latest incident, at least six people were killed after Houthis fired bullets and tear gas to disperse thousands of demonstrators demanding their withdrawal from the southern Yemen, a medical official reported.

Scores of other protesters were also reportedly wounded in the massive demonstrations in the country’s third largest city of Taiz, which the Houthis seized over the weekend.

Source: Al Jazeera

Comment: As I said three years ago, Sunnis and Shias would be now destroying each other. Hell is eternal, hell is eternal, hell is eternal…

Yemen Houthi rebels advance despite Saudi-led air strikes

(Reuters) – Yemen’s Houthi rebels made broad gains in the country’s south and east on Friday despite a second day of Saudi-led air strikes meant to check the Iranian-backed militia’s efforts to overthrow President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Shi’ite Muslim Houthi fighters and allied army units gained their first foothold on Yemen’s Arabian Sea coast by seizing the port of Shaqra 100km (60 miles) east of Aden, residents told Reuters.

Explosions and crackles of small gunfire rang out across Aden late on Friday as Houthis made a push on the southern port city’s airport, a witness said.

The spokesman for the Saudi-led operation, Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri, told a press conference in Riyadh that defending the Aden government was the campaign’s “main objective”.

“The operation will continue as long as there is a need for it to continue,” Asseri said.

Warplanes targeted Houthi forces controlling Yemen’s capital Sanaa and their northern heartland on Friday. Asseri said that planes from the United Arab Emirates had carried out their first strikes in the past 24 hours.

In a boost for Saudi Arabia, Morocco said it would join the rapidly assembled Sunni Muslim coalition against the Houthis. Pakistan, named by Saudi Arabia as a partner, said it had made no decision on whether to contribute.