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Sun Jan 3, 2016, 07:37 PM

 

All for the sake of winning an argument over religion.

Saudi Arabia executed a Shiite cleric for calling on the kingdom to allow his sect freedom to worship. Violent Iranian radicals tried to burn down the Saudi embassy in retaliation. The Saudis, in turn, have broken off diplomatic relations with Iran and expelled her diplomats from the kingdom. Now the Saudi foreign minister has announced his country will go to the United Nations Security Council to call for punishment of the Iranian government. Unless these heightened sectarian tensions are somehow defused (and quickly) there is a good chance we may see a full-blown religious war spread across the entire Middle East.



Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir (AFP)


Saudi-Iranian Conflict Threatens to Explode Into Region-Wide Sectarian War


The conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia over Riyadh's execution of a prominent Shia cleric is escalating, threatening to turn the region's ongoing conflicts into wars of religion, warns Russian Middle East expert Vladimir Ahmedov.

On Sunday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that "divine vengeance will befall Saudi politicians" for "the unjustly spilled blood" of prominent Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr, executed by the Saudis on Saturday. Considered a terrorist by Saudi authorities for his criticism of the government, calls for free elections and demands that authorities respect Saudi Shias' rights, al-Nimr's execution sparked outrage and an escalation of diplomatic tensions across the Middle East, but only a cautious criticism from Riyadh's allies in Washington and Brussels.

The cleric was killed along with 46 others in the country's largest mass execution in decades, sparking anger and violent protests in Shia areas of Saudi Arabia, as well as Bahrain, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Pakistan, and Iran, where protesters stormed the Saudi Embassy in the Iranian capital and attempted to set the building on fire.

(snip)

In Syria, Iran has offered the secular government of Bashar al-Assad, embattled by over five years of war, political, economic and military assistance against a coalition of Saudi, Turkish and Qatari-funded jihadist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, the al-Nusra Front and Daesh (ISIL/ISIS). Furthermore, in Yemen, Saudi Arabia has formed a military coalition to try to crush the Shia tribesmen known as the Houthis, who overthrew the government of Saudi-backed president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi last year. Accusing the coreligionists of being a proxy for Iran (claims which both the Houthis and Tehran have denied), Riyadh launched a military campaign, including a naval blockade, prompting criticism that the intervention has caused a 'humanitarian catastrophe'.

(snip)



Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160103/1032641113/saudi-execution-nimr-iran.html



Update:

http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160104/1032646885/iran-saudi-arabia-ties-execution.html


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Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply All for the sake of winning an argument over religion. (Original post)
another_liberal Jan 2016 OP
EdwardBernays Jan 2016 #1
another_liberal Jan 2016 #3
EdwardBernays Jan 2016 #5
Lizzie Poppet Jan 2016 #2
another_liberal Jan 2016 #6
kwassa Jan 2016 #4
another_liberal Jan 2016 #7
kwassa Jan 2016 #8
another_liberal Jan 2016 #13
kwassa Jan 2016 #14
another_liberal Jan 2016 #16
kwassa Jan 2016 #20
another_liberal Jan 2016 #21
Gman Jan 2016 #9
another_liberal Jan 2016 #12
ProfessorGAC Jan 2016 #17
another_liberal Jan 2016 #18
Bucky Jan 2016 #22
another_liberal Jan 2016 #24
ProfessorGAC Jan 2016 #23
another_liberal Jan 2016 #25
ProfessorGAC Jan 2016 #26
Warren DeMontague Jan 2016 #10
another_liberal Jan 2016 #11
Skittles Jan 2016 #15
hatrack Jan 2016 #19
Skittles Jan 2016 #27

Response to another_liberal (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 07:39 PM

1. The sooner

The west ditches SA the better.

Of course the US is not ditching them. They're helping them commit war crimes and selling them billions of dollars of weapons a year.

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Response to EdwardBernays (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 07:46 PM

3. Yes . . .

 

The Saudi monarchy provides tens of billions of dollars in profits for our MIC.

No wonder our government had nothing officially to say about the kingdom's Islamic State style mass execution of religious dissidents and critics.

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 07:50 PM

5. And they haven't for years.

While at the same time our MIC and corporations repeatedly invaded Iran, etc etc.

Most Americans don't even know the US military is involved the collective punishment of Yemen right now. To help SA out.

Criminals. Meh. Can't expect much better I guess.

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Response to another_liberal (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 07:42 PM

2. Dark Ages bullshit that threatens us all.

 

If they kept the bloodshed over superstitious nonsense to themselves, I'd not be nearly as concerned. But they don't...

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Response to Lizzie Poppet (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 07:50 PM

6. Theirs is a benightedly Medieval social and political system . . .

 

And we sell them as many jet fighters and Abrams tanks as they want. It is simply profit-driven madness on our part.

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Response to another_liberal (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 07:47 PM

4. It is really an argument over power and influence, not religion.

Who will dominate the Middle east, Saudi Arabia or Iran?

religion is a means rather than an end.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 07:53 PM

7. Saudi Arabia in its current form would have disappeared long ago . . .

 

If not for the U. S. military and political power that is propping them up.

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 07:56 PM

8. No. Anybody that sits on that much oil would be powerful.

If it wasn't the US, it would be Britain, Germany, France, Japan, China .....

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Response to kwassa (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 09:11 PM

13. I am not cynical enough about the human race to believe that . . .

 

Not all world powers have foreign policies as dominated by the desires of multinational energy companies as is ours.

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 09:29 PM

14. Read more world history.

This isn't cynicism, this is realism. The desire for power and self-advancement is universal.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partitioning_of_the_Ottoman_Empire

Read the history of European powers in the Middle East after the Ottoman empire dies in World War I.
The League of Nations granted French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon and British Mandate for Mesopotamia (later Iraq) and British Mandate for Palestine, later divided into Mandatory Palestine and Emirate of Transjordan (1921-1946). The Ottoman Empire's possessions in the Arabian Peninsula became the Kingdom of Hejaz, which was annexed by the Sultanate of Nejd (today Saudi Arabia), and the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen. The Empire's possessions on the western shores of the Persian Gulf were variously annexed by Saudi Arabia (Alahsa and Qatif), or remained British protectorates (Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar) and became the Arab States of the Persian Gulf.




In other words, Britain and France turned much of the region into colonies, and into separate countries where they had not existed before. Iraq was one such invention.

Here is the history of the discovering oil in Saudi Arabia. See how many world powers are involved;
In 1922 King Abdulaziz met a New Zealand mining engineer named Major Frank Holmes. During World War I, Holmes had been to Gallipoli and then Ethiopia, where he first heard rumours of the oil seeps of the Persian Gulf region.[1] He was convinced that much oil would be found throughout the region. After the war, Holmes helped to set up Eastern and General Syndicate Ltd in order, among other things, to seek oil concessions in the region.

In 1923, the king signed a concession with Holmes allowing him to search for oil in eastern Saudi Arabia. Eastern and General Syndicate brought in a Swiss geologist to evaluate the land but he claimed that searching for oil in Arabia would be “a pure gamble”.[1] This discouraged the major banks and oil companies from investing in Arabian oil ventures.

In 1925, Holmes signed a concession with the sheikh of Bahrain, allowing him to search for oil there. He then proceeded to the United States to find an oil company that might be interested in taking on the concession. He found help from Gulf Oil. In 1927, Gulf Oil took control of the concessions that Holmes made years ago. But Gulf Oil was a partner in the Iraq Petroleum Company, which was jointly owned by Royal Dutch/Shell, Anglo-Persian, the Compagnie Française des Pétroles, and "the Near East Development Company, representing the interests of the American companies.[3] The partners had signed up to the “Red Line Agreement” which meant that Gulf Oil was precluded from taking up the Bahrain concession without the consent of the other partners; and they declined.[1] Despite a promising survey in Bahrain, Gulf Oil was forced to transfer its interest to another company, Standard Oil of California(SOCAL), which was not a bound by the Red Line Agreement.[4]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_oil_industry_in_Saudi_Arabia

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Response to kwassa (Reply #14)

Mon Jan 4, 2016, 08:23 AM

16. I have taught World History . . .

 

And despite a few cherry-picked examples from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, what others have done to help the Saudi Royals is next to nothing when compared to how we have transformed them into a regional power through arms sales, diplomatic assistance and outright political subservience. Don't forget that the Bush family was so thoroughly in thrall to the House of Saud that George H. W. Bush lent them a sizable portion of our active military to defend the kingdom's northern border. Our troops remained there for over a decade after the first Gulf War. George W. Bush even allowed Saudi royal family members living in the United to leave unquestioned by authorities after the Twin Towers attacks, and that was despite some very good evidence several of those individuals had given financial assistance to the (mostly Saudi) terrorists who high-jacked those airliners.

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 4, 2016, 10:45 AM

20. well, I don't think you are correct ...

The examples are not cherry-picked, they are the actual history of the region, and are mid-twentieth century and later, which indicates to me that you didn't read what I wrote. Also, that you don't know the history of the region, as well.

The Saudis would be a power at any time, simply because of the oil. It is that simple. If it wasn't the US, it would be someone else in our role as their friend. Power is power, and where there is a vacuum, others rush in. If it had 60 years earlier, when colonialism was more in fashion, we would have simply marched in and taken the place as our colony. That is no longer viable, of course.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #20)

Mon Jan 4, 2016, 10:52 AM

21. That is your opinion . . .

 

I am afraid we will simply have to disagree on some of these points.

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Response to another_liberal (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 08:27 PM

9. In any potential war, always ask who stands to profit

And who's economic interests are at stake.

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Response to Gman (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 09:00 PM

12. The Trojan war was not, I'm certain, really about taking back "Menelaus's Helen" . . .

 

Last edited Mon Jan 4, 2016, 02:52 PM - Edit history (1)

And I doubt if any war since has been started over grand ideals, even if they were often used as excuses.

It has been a long time since I last read Homer's Iliad: Helen was Queen of Laconia, a province within Homeric Greece, and the wife of King Menelaus, Agamemnon's nephew.

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 4, 2016, 08:41 AM

17. Back In Undergrad. . .

. . .i had a econ and a history professor both say that the value is creating international trade is that nobody goes to war with someone with whom they're making money. Then, in the history class, he went through a list of wars over the course of a thousand years, and sure enough, he was right. Not one of them occurred between trading partners, even in medieval times. Of course, a lot of them were about land and wealth, but none of them were about sharing the wealth. Where different kingdoms or nations had active trade and wealth sharing, no wars.

He didn't go back as far as the Trojan war, but i'm quite sure you're correct about that.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 4, 2016, 10:30 AM

18. The Trojan war is deeply shrouded in the mists of the distant past . . .

 

However, most experts on the period believe the Mycenaean Greeks were, like their classical era descendants, reliant on grain imports from the fertile lands of what is today southern Ukraine. Those shipments had to pass through the Dardanelles, which was controlled by the city state of Troy. Hence, the likely reason for the outbreak of hostilities was Greek reluctance to continue paying the Trojans tribute for their grain's safe passage.

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 4, 2016, 11:20 AM

22. I'm pretty sure the war against Ilium predated Greek colonization of the Black Sea

The historical Ilium (which legendary Troy was based on) was destroyed around 1200-1100 years before the Current Era. Greek colonization of the Black Sea didn't begin for several centuries after that, 8th Century bce at the earliest.

I agree with your point in principle. There was a lot going on in that besides some runaway hottie, though (Julia Roberts as Helen?). The growing Achaean tribes along the western Anatolian coast (not Greece proper as we think of it today) would have gone to war against the Ilians because they were making treaties with the Hittites Empire of central Anatolia. Troy's location looks worth fighting over today for geopolitical reasons, but it wasn't quite so vital to the earliest Greek tribes 3200 years ago. There may have been some trade going thru the Dardenalles Strait then, but it probably wasn't horses--the Achaeans didn't have cavalry fighting ability yet--and it certainly wouldn't have been grains.

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Response to Bucky (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 4, 2016, 03:04 PM

24. There were no Mycenaean Greek colonies on the Black Sea coast, you are correct.

 

Both land and sea archaeological finds have begun to suggest a far more wide-spread Minoan trade web than had previously been believed possible. If I remember correctly, the Mycenaean Greeks were competitors with, and (possibly) conquerors of, the Minoans in the period just prior to the Trojan war. There may not have been Greek colonies on the Black Sea coast until centuries later but there was almost certainly trade between Mycenaean Greece and that area.

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 4, 2016, 11:55 AM

23. Yeah, That Makes Sense

So he could have used it as an example, but didn't go back past the early 2nd millenia.

Seems pretty consistent over time, doesn't it?

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #23)

Mon Jan 4, 2016, 03:16 PM

25. Yes, I think your professor was sharing an important insight . . .

 

Something like: "Don't be fooled by those who try to sell you a war for their own profit."

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #25)

Mon Jan 4, 2016, 03:18 PM

26. I Agree

Of course this was just after Vietnam had ended. (I started college in September '73) So, there was probably a lot of MIC sentiment going around college campuses.

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Response to another_liberal (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 08:36 PM

10. Invisible, omnipotent, immortal, and EXTREMELY SENSITIVE TO ANY PERSONAL INSULTS

...odd.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #10)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 08:53 PM

11. Apt warning . . .

 

Apt warning, indeed.

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Response to another_liberal (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 10:37 PM

15. religious nuttery

it's everywhere

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Response to Skittles (Reply #15)

Mon Jan 4, 2016, 10:32 AM

19. Two blind roommates trying to have a fight with broken bottles . . .

. . . thanks to an argument about which shade of pink to paint the bathroom.

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Response to hatrack (Reply #19)

Mon Jan 4, 2016, 07:41 PM

27. it is all so fucking ridiculous

they make life SUCK for people who live in the real world

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