Scratch My Back and I’ll Deny It?

There was a lot going on on 26th August in the White House.

Whitewash spokeswoman Jen Psaki spoke on a number of topics. A consumate blogger on wordpress wrote a clever post about her drivel two days layer in relation to the Ukraine see here

But another ‘story’ caught my eye in relation to Washington’s drivel, on that day. The ‘story’ is one that, amongst the rest of the war manoeuvrings around the globe is probably not as high on people’s ‘need to know’ meter as it’s being treated as a ‘been there done that’ military situation. The situation is one where outside interference in the affairs of a state has ‘sort of’ occurred in the midst of ‘a popular uprising against a dictator’. The outside interference again had been just ‘for humanitarian reasons’ and the public now generally believe the country can get on with it themselves –

That story is about recently reported ‘airstrikes’ in the capital of Libya, Tripoli.

 Top Guns tear-up Top End Aug 24, 2014 7:54AM PICTURES: Eagles. Hawks. Vipers. Mirages. All have been stirring up the Hornet’s nest over Darwin. Here’s a look at the month-long combat exercise that pushes pilots from around the world to the limit. The breathtaking and ear-shattering game of darts above the Northern Territory ended Friday after three weeks of intensive action. Combined operations ... Air to Air formation with a JAS-39D Gripen from the Royal Thai Air Force, Mirage 2000-9 from the United Arab Emirates Air Force, FA-18F Super Hornet and an F/A-18A Hornet from the Royal Australian Air Force. Source: Defence Combined operations … Air to Air formation with a JAS-39D Gripen from the Royal Thai Air Force, Mirage 2000-9 from the United Arab Emirates Air Force, FA-18F Super Hornet and an F/A-18A Hornet from the Royal Australian Air Force. Source: Defence Source: Supplied Today, they’re taking off for home. Up to 110 aircraft from New Zealand, United States, Singapore, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and New Caledonia participated in the swirling battle simulations in Australia’s northern skies with Australia’s RAAF. Dark skies ... Republic of Singapore Air Force Pilot boards his F-16 while ground maintenance members prepare the aircraft for the mission ahead. Source: Defence Dark skies … Republic of Singapore Air Force Pilot boards his F-16 while ground maintenance members prepare the aircraft for the mission ahead. Source: Defence Source: Supplied Practice missions varied from small one-versus-one dogfights through to full-scale invasions where each and every one of the 110 participating warplanes took part. It’s the RAAF’s largest and most complicated combat exercise. It takes place every two years. Yellow alert ... Republic of Singapore Air Force personnel work on RAAF Base Darwin's flight line during Exercise Pitch Black 2014. Source: Defence Yellow alert … Republic of Singapore Air Force personnel work on RAAF Base Darwin’s flight line during Exercise Pitch Black 2014. Source: Defence Source: Supplied “Pitch Black missions are as realistic as we can make them, so we have enemy air forces getting airborne out of Tindal (RAAF Base in Katherine), we have systems that simulate surface-to-air missiles that are trying to shoot our aircraft down,” Group Captain Rob Chipman, commander of Pitch Black, said earlier this month. Blue Force approach ... Pilots from participating nations watch the days mission replayed on the big screen during briefing at Exercise Pitch Black 14. Source: Defence Blue Force approach … Pilots from participating nations watch the days mission replayed on the big screen during briefing at Exercise Pitch Black 14. Source: Defence Source: Supplied Each day dozens of aircraft would take to the skies day and night. But it’s not been all blue skies. There have been some Pitch Black moods, too. Mostly because of the noise. Viper attack ... Republic of Singapore Air Force F-16s return to RAAF Base Darwin during Exercise Pitch Black 14. Source: Defence Viper attack … Republic of Singapore Air Force F-16s return to RAAF Base Darwin during Exercise Pitch Black 14. Source: Defence Source: Supplied “Fighter aircraft by their nature are noisy and there’s no easy way around that,” Group Captain Chipman said. It’s made worse by the sense of urgency conveyed by simulated combat: There’s little restraint. Combat conditions ... A United Arab Emirates Mirage 2000-9 lands at RAAF Base Darwin after a sortie during Exercise Pitch Black 14. Source: Defence Combat conditions … A United Arab Emirates Mirage 2000-9 lands at RAAF Base Darwin after a sortie during Exercise Pitch Black 14. Source: Defence Source: Supplied http://news.optuszoo.com.au/2014/08/24/top-guns-tear-up-top-end/

… A United Arab Emirates Mirage 2000-9 lands at RAAF Base Darwin after a sortie during Exercise Pitch Black 14. Source: Defence Source: Supplied http://news.optuszoo.com.au/2014/08/24/top-guns-tear-up-top-end/

For those who, like me have not been carefully watching this unfold or looking for news updates, here’s some very recent background and lead up over the past two weeks.

On 18th August reports of “unidentified war planes” over Tripoli were received from Libya. see lybyanewstoday
then, Libyan forces claimed responsibility in Press TV report on same day see here
these points were made;

  • Militias battling with rivals from Zintan for control of Tripoli, particularly the international airport, since July 13
    August 14,
  • Libya’s new parliament asked UN for a military intervention to protect civilians
  • Thousands of Libyans in nationwide demonstrations dissatisfied with the govt. plea for foreign military intervention
  • UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) statement on August 17 states it “deeply regrets that there was no response to the repeated international appeals and its own efforts for an immediate ceasefire.
  • Tripoli residents report jets flying over the city followed by explosions in early hours August 18. ‘Authorities’ claim at least six people killed.
  • Forces loyal to retired Libyan General Khalifa Haftar claim responsibility for airstrikes in Tripoli

A Reuters report in EWN, again on the same day carries similar information to the Press TV report-

  •  residents of Tripoli hearing “jets flying over the city after midnight followed by explosions”
  • Libyan forces confirm they have been responsible with Saqer al-Jouroushi Haftar’s air defence commander saying, ‘We… officially confirm to have conducted air strikes on some militias’ locations belonging to Misrata militias,” referring to Haftar’s campaign against Islamists.’
  • “Fighting between brigades……..has raged through Tripoli for more than a month, forcing the UN, Western and Arab countries to evacuate embassies and citizens.

But adding….

  • An Egyptian security source said air traffic between the two countries had been interrupted for six hours and that Libyan air controllers had cited security reasons.
  • Some Tripoli residents…..hope that NATO would intervene in Libya as it did in 2011 when the alliance sent jets to bomb Gaddafi forces in support of the uprising..
  • Libyan news channels speculated that the country’s neighbours might be behind the action
  • A US official and an Egyptian security source, ……. said their countries had not been involved. A NATO official said: “There are no fighter jets under NATO command involved in operations over Libya.”
  • The new UN special envoy, Bernardino Leon….starts his job on 1 September. (REMEMBER THIS)

Then on 23rd August -A second airstrike is reported

“Libyan Militia Accuses Egypt, UAE of Airstrikes” CAIRO — Aug 23, 2014, 3:50 PM ET MARIAM RIZK Associated Press
“Two unidentified airstrikes targeting Islamist militia positions in Libya’s capital killed 15 fighters and wounded 30 on Saturday. A senior militia leader accused Egypt and the United Arab Emirates of being behind the attacks on their posts.”

Rizk’s article provides the following;

  • second ‘mysterious’ airstrike on 23rd to target Islamist militia posts in Tripoli
  • speculation foreign powers are covertly intervening (as Libya’s air force does not possess the guided ordinance apparently used in the strikes).
  • militia leader says warplanes targeted Interior Ministry and militia positions, over 30 fighters wounded but militia remained and other fighters were joining the Misrata forces.
  • Similar airstrikes on 18th August ‘targeted camps and areas occupied by Islamists.’
  • A senior militia leader, Ahmed Hadiya, speaking for ‘an umbrella group of Islamist militias called Dawn of Libya’ accused Egypt and the United Arab Emirates of involvement in the attacks.and added ‘the groups reserve the right to retaliate’.
  • Egypt’s Foreign Ministry spokesman dismissed the accusations. “We don’t pay attention to such talk. Our position is clear — we are with the Libyan people and not with this side or that,” he said by telephone. “We don’t interfere in the internal affairs” of neighbors”. Egypt had previously denied military involvement in Libya.
  • There was no immediate comment from the Emirates.
  • Algeria, Italy and other countries have also denied involvement. Libya’s government has called on the military to investigate.
    ….”This is the worst bout of violence Libya has witnessed since 2011. A battle for control of Tripoli’s international airport and surrounding areas has been raging for weeks,……..

The article provides two important causes of the violence-
1. It is “rooted in militia empowerment after successive transitional governments since 2011 ouster of Gadhafi depended on militia in the absence of a strong police force or unified military”.
2. “Islamist faction backlash after power losses in June elections and a campaign by a renegade military general against extremist Islamic militias in Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city.

This all sounds so familiar……

Then on 26 August…”Washington Knew!”
see full article
“WASHINGTON — Washington knew Egypt and the United Arab Emirates were planning to secretly carry out air strikes against Islamist militias inside Libya, a U.S. official said Tuesday. A New York Times report said U.S. diplomats were “fuming” because the United States was not given prior notification of the attacks.”

Saudi’s have been involved with Egypt and UAE…………..
….”The official, however, said the U.S. warned Egypt and the U.A.E. against going through with plans for a possible operation. Another official said the two countries and Saudi Arabia have been supporting a renegade general’s effort for months against Libyan militant groups, but that the Saudis don’t appear to have played a role in recent strikes………………………….

…………...In a joint statement, the United States joined with Britain, France, Germany and Italy in expressing its concerns, saying “”outside interference in Libya exacerbates current divisions and undermines Libya’s democratic transition.”.………….

A U.S. official said the intervention wasn’t done with authorization from Libya’s government….……

….the newly appointed U.N. envoy to Libya said he doesn’t believe foreign intervention is helpful. The diplomat, Bernardino Leon, (Remember him? Not due to take up his position until Sept. 1) said only an inclusive political process with all Libyans represented in parliament, government and other state institutions will end the instability gripping the country………………………….“Any kind of intervention or foreign intervention won’t help Libya get out of chaos,” Leon said.

……..”American officials confirmed that the United Arab Emirates’ jets launched two attacks in seven days on the Islamists in Tripoli using bases in Egypt.”………

“American officials have not attributed the strikes to any country publicly.”……..

Egypt has repeatedly denied involvement. Emirati officials have not commented.”………

“Islamist militias in Libya have made similar allegations against Egypt and the U.A.E.”……..

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri on Tuesday said reports of an Egyptian role in the airstrikes were “unsubstantiated rumors.” Shukri said his country respects Libya’s popular will and elected parliament, and wanted to help train its armed forces. “But we have no direct connection to any of the military operations on the ground in Libya,” Shukri said…..

The article informs about the Emirates and Qatari ‘interest’ in providing  military assistance outside their States.
prominent Arab roles in the military intervention that helped lead to Gaddafi’s ouster, with both sending warplanes to assist the NATO-led effort. They also provided humanitarian aid, and Qatar in particular played a major role as a supplier of weapons to rebel groups.” It adds….. “But the two countries – both important U.S. allies – today find themselves in opposing camps jostling for influence in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings.”

The ‘opposing camps’ relate to the level of accommodation provided to the Moslem Brotherhood ‘and its allies.’
…………..The Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi – ……………are staunchly opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood, which they see as a threat to their ruling systems. ………..Qatar is far more accommodating to the Brotherhood and its allies, including Islamist factions fighting for power in Libya. It was a major backer of Morsi’s government and is home to the leader of Hamas, an Islamist group that Israel and the West consider to be a terrorist organization……………..

On 26th August
Jan Psaki had her regular daily US Department of State press briefing. Following lengthy discussions about Gaza and US Syrian airstrikes she was asked this question alongside one asking what difference there was between the UAE striking targets in Libya, and the United States striking targets in Iraq.

Jen Psaki Official State Department Photo http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/209549.htm

Jen Psaki Official State Department Photo http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/209549.htm

QUESTION: ………………..What is the U.S. view of the reports that the UAE has carried out airstrikes in Libya?

MS. PSAKI: Well, we understand that there were airstrikes undertaken in recent days by the UAE and Egypt. As the joint statement I’m sure you saw yesterday with the United States, Germany, Italy, France, and the UK stated, we believe outside interference in Libya exacerbates current divisions and undermines Libya’s democratic transition. Obviously, that’s part of our concern here, given the fact that Libya is in a very fragile place.

QUESTION: So why – how is that different from the United States undertaking airstrikes in Iraq?
MS. PSAKI: Well, again –

QUESTION: Why is it okay for you to do that?

MS. PSAKI: — I think on the specifics beyond what I stated, I’d certainly refer you to the UAE and Egypt, but Iraq has invited the United States in to help address the threat from ISIL. We have undertaken a range of strikes, as you know, and we have a broad, comprehensive strategy. But I would say that is one significant difference.

QUESTION: But at the – I get that. But to go to Brad’s question, if you assert that the United States will act anywhere it deems there to be – or to go to Syria in particular, you said we’re not going to be stopped by the Syrian Government if we think that there is a threat emanating from there against the United States. If the UAE thinks there is a threat emanating against itself from Libya, why can it not, under the same justification, bomb Libya?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think, one, we haven’t decided to take action, so I’m not going to entertain a hypothetical on that front. In terms of the justification for the UAE, our concern here is about the fragile state of Libya’s political process. We believe there isn’t a military solution. The political process is what the focus needs to be on, and hence the concern that we have.

QUESTION: And what –

QUESTION: Are we on Syria or are we talking about –

MS. PSAKI: Well, we kind of went back and forth to both.

In May 2014 during a press conference, Psaki criticized the phenomenon of “carousel voting” (voting numerous times at different venues) at a separatist referendum in eastern Ukraine, before admitting that she didn’t know what the term meant. http://www.buzzfeed.com/maxseddon/russian-state-media-is-suddenly-really-really-obsessed-with#2zqycd3

In May 2014 during a press conference, Psaki criticized the phenomenon of “carousel voting” (voting numerous times at different venues) at a separatist referendum in eastern Ukraine, before admitting that she didn’t know what the term meant.
http://www.buzzfeed.com/maxseddon/russian-state-media-is-suddenly-really-really-obsessed-with#2zqycd3

………………………………………….further discussion on Syria………then Kurdish oil………..

QUESTION: Can we go to Libya? Arshad opened it —

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: — but then we went away from it.

MS. PSAKI: Sure.

QUESTION: Can you just elaborate on why you are so opposed to the UAE/Egyptian intervention?

MS. PSAKI: Well, there was a lengthy statement that I’m sure you probably saw that addressed this that we put out with France, Germany, Italy, and the UK. And it strongly condemned the escalation of fighting and violence in and around Tripoli, Benghazi, and across Libya, especially against residential areas, public facilities, and critical infrastructure by both land attacks and airstrikes. We believe that this outside interference exacerbates current divisions and that, given the fragility of the political process there and the importance of that moving forward, that is the root of our concern here.

QUESTION: Given that it’s been three years now since the Qadhafi regime fell – or almost three years – has the U.S. lost some of its authority with its allies? Because your stabilization efforts have really done very little to stabilize Libya, right?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think, as – there’s a situation on the ground in Libya where there are different militia groups. It’s a very complicated political situation. We did not expect, despite what happened a couple of years ago, that this would be overnight. Democracy, these processes of reform take some time. We remain committed to that process, we remain committed with our international partners. Ambassador Satterfield has been playing an outside role in this, and obviously, that will continue.

QUESTION: And then just —

QUESTION: But things have gone so bad there, though, that you don’t even have an embassy there anymore, right? I mean, the security situation is so bad that despite your commitment to the country, you don’t even have an embassy on the ground there. So why should people – let me just ask it very simply. I mean, do you think you could have or should have done things differently in Libya so that you wouldn’t have ended up in this situation with no political consensus, marauding rival militias, and such a bad security situation that you don’t even – you can’t even maintain an embassy there? Was there nothing you could have done to bring greater stability to this country after intervening with UN Security Council sanction to oust the dictator there?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I’m not going to do analysis on the past three years from the podium, which I’m sure doesn’t surprise you. Clearly, this is an issue that the United States, that the United Kingdom, that a range of countries have been working on and committed to. Obviously, there are steps that need to be taken within Libya as well, Arshad, to move the political process forward. When we’ve been frustrated about the pace of that or the process, we’ve expressed that as well.
I would also note that our Embassy – the relocation of our staff is temporary. We want to – our staff to return. Ambassador Jones remains the Ambassador to Libya. We continue to work with a range of officials on the ground. Yes, obviously, being in country provides a different opportunity to do that, but we remain engaged even though our officials are not in country.

QUESTION: Here’s my question: Where do you get the conviction that you know what the right path is given that basically everything the United States has done over the last three years has been wrong in Libya?

MS. PSAKI: Well —

QUESTION: Nothing has gone to plan, nothing’s stabilized, nothing’s better. It’s only gotten worse.

MS. PSAKI: Well, just like anywhere in the world, Brad, the United States alone cannot determine the path or the future of any country. And I think what we’re pointing out here is that a military solution, that outside intervention, that continued violence is not the solution. Obviously, the political process and how that’s resolved and who will lead Libya moving forward is not for the United States to decide, and certainly, we wouldn’t determine that.

QUESTION: Can I just – and just on the details of the – I mean, did you have any prior discussions with the UAE or Egypt, either (1) where they were informing you they were going to do this, or (2) you telling them not to do this, whether it was still in a planning phase? Just fill us in.

MS. PSAKI: Well, I can’t say too much, but what I can convey is that we’ve expressed – and certainly did here – to countries in the region our view that outside interference would not help the situation on the ground, and that it would rather undermine Libya’s transition. So that’s something that is consistent with our view, but we certainly expressed here.

QUESTION: Let me put it more bluntly: Did either Egypt or the UAE confirm to the U.S. Government that they have been involved in these airstrikes?

MS. PSAKI: Roz, I’m just not going to get into greater detail. I think I spoke to what our concerns are. I spoke to where the sources are. I’m not going to confirm it further.

QUESTION: Is there a reason why the statement did not specifically name either the UAE or Egypt for the actions which pretty much is common knowledge at this point inside the country?

MS. PSAKI: The joint statement —

QUESTION: Yes.

MS. PSAKI: — put out yesterday?

QUESTION: Right.

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have any analysis on that for you.

QUESTION: Jen, I have a quick question for you.

MS. PSAKI: Okay.

QUESTION: Are you able to sort out all the different groups? I mean, for instance, the group that was allegedly bombed is called Libya’s Dawn. There is also the tribal Islamic groups and so on. How do you sort out and you know who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? Which side do you want to be on? How do you decide that?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think, Said, I don’t know that I’m going to go into that analysis with you here today. Obviously, we have a team, including led by Ambassador Jones, but certainly our team here who works with a range of officials in Libya and looks closely at affiliations and takes all the appropriate steps necessary.

QUESTION: Okay. But you know what’s going on. I mean, you know on the ground all these different groups, and in the event that you need to intervene, so to sort of stop the deterioration, you know who to intervene on whose side, right?

MS. PSAKI: I’m just not going to break it down further.
I can only do a couple more here, so why don’t we go to Scott and then Ali. Go ahead, Scott.

QUESTION: Sudan………………………………………

Read full transcript

On 27th The Washington Post wrote
…”the situation in Libya in the past few weeks has dissolved into the worst chaos since the 2011 war that ousted Moammar Gaddafi. With reports that Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are now getting involved, the conflict has turned into something of a proxy war for the Middle East’s big powers.
Put simply, the crisis could be framed as a contest between Islamist and Arab nationalists — a familiar trope throughout the Arab world. But there are other factors at play, including regional rivalries, rump parliaments and outside agendas that don’t always align neatly. “………….

The W. Post gives details about the players (see link to original article below) and of particular note are-
Gen. Khalifa Haftar and the “Libyan National Army”
……….emerged as the most high profile individual fighting Libya’s Islamist militias. A former general during the Gaddafi-era who fell out with the dictator, he is also a U.S. citizen who lived under shadowy circumstances as an exiled opposition leader in Virginia for years. Haftar returned to Libya during the civil war in 2011 and became a prominent figure. In May, he and his self-declared Libyan National Army began an assault against Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia. Haftar declared the offensive “Operation Dignity.”……….
Additionally the W. Post states about Haftar that there are suspicions about his political ambitions and unconfirmed links to the CIA, as well as his aggressive stance against even moderate Islamist groups. His relationship to the government in Tobruk is ambiguous”...

….and on the bombs used in the airraid….”a militia commander told The Washington Post that whoever launched the airstrikes had used munitions manufactured by the United States. “The bombs were American-made, and as far as our information goes regarding that ammunition, it is only used by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Israel in the Middle East,” Abubaker al-Huta.…….” See full report here

Then a report from 28 August from Rori Donaghy, Middle East Eye (Reprinted Global Research, August 30, 2014 largely quoting an Asrar Arabiya report)
“United Arab Emirates (UAE) Bombed Libya Hoping to go Under the US Radar”
Abu Dhabi is in a “state of confusion” after American officials accused them of carrying out air strikes in Libya, according to an online report. The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan has not yet decided how to respond to revelations in the New York Times that the UAE’s air force bombed Tripoli on 17 and 23 August, reported Asrar Arabiya, an online site that purports to reveal “Arab secrets”.
While not the country’s president, many view Sheikh Mohammed as being the UAE’s de facto leader. President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan has reportedly been unwell for some time and rarely makes public appearances.Emirati diplomatic sources told Asrar Arabiya that Abu Dhabi had expected “the bombardment would pass without American and Western radars detecting it” and were now concerned the incident could negatively impact on UAE-US relations.
The diplomatic sources revealed that six French-made Mirage 2000 warplanes were used in the bombing attacks, which killed at least 18 Libyan militiamen battling for control of the capital’s airport. The sources said the raids were launched from a military base near Siwa, a desert oasis close to the Egyptian border with Libya…………………..
Emirati officials have declined to respond publicly to the allegations, instead saying they have “no reaction”. The “confusion” in Abu Dhabi has “prevented the issuance of any denial or confirmation”, according to the Asrar Arabiya report.
Libya’s former parliament, the General National Congress (GNC), said on Tuesday they intend to take the issue to the International Criminal Court for investigation. ……………Reports that the UAE attacked Libya have been described as a watershed moment by analysts, who said it is the first the Emiratis have directly attacked another country in its short history…. “This is incredibly significant, as it is the first hard evidence of the UAE shifting from proxy to engaging in a hot conflict for the first time in its history,” Christopher Davidson, reader in Middle East politics at Durham University and author of After the Sheikhs: the Coming Collapse of the Gulf Monarchies, told MEE earlier this week.
The UN Security Council on Wednesday pledged to fight instability in Libya “by all means” necessary. A strongly worded resolution vowed to use targeted sanctions against people “who threaten stability” and head off a descent into all out civil war.

and reported on 29th August See here full article
……..The US State Department has backtracked on earlier claims that Egypt and the UAE carried out air raids on militia-allied Islamist targets in conflict-hit Libya. Two days ago, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Washignton was aware of “air strikes undertaken in recent days by the UAE and Egypt” in Libya. But on Thursday ( 28) she told a regular press briefing that such information was imprecise.
“I had inaccurate information just two days ago, I believe, when I spoke to this,” she told reporters in Washington. “My comments were intended to refer to countries that have been reportedly involved and not to speak to whether they were involved or their kind of involvement,” Psaki added, without giving details. “So I would point you to any of the countries that have been reportedly involved and speak to them about what they’d like to say.”
The Pentagon also said the two Mideast countries were believed to be responsible for the recent series of bombing raids in Libya’s capital, Tripoli, but had no recent comments on the matter.
Egypt has repeatedly denied it had a hand in the raids, and the UAE remained largely silent, giving no direct comments on the allegations………………..

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It would seem that it depends very much on the time of day and the US/Iraeli leverage on each of these states Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Qatar as to where they stand on Islamist groups. Not so different to the US of course in terms of support for ‘contra’ militia. The slipped in descriptor ‘threat to their ruling systems’ in relation to the Muslim Brotherhood is extremely interesting. Are we really talking here of the western vision of ‘democracy’ that has been so ignorantly and violently attempted to be foisted on countries in the Middle East? The levels of difference in the adherence to and Islamist position as we are now clearly starting to learn by default, are as varied as the levels of ‘democracy’ we witness around the globe.

Egypt’s long standing support for Palestine has been a thorn in the side for Israel since its own inception as a state in the Middle East. The relationship between the countries has been a relationship between the people of Palestine and Egypt. The current dictatorship of al Sisi is really a case of ‘our man in Cairo’ for the US and Israel. Hamas had garnered various allegiences to enable its survival and Egypt under Morsi but also before him has been both a staunch and a quiet ally through the various political persuasions in power.
Egypt and the UAE may have been named for airstrikes against so-called Islamist targets in Libya, but what of the Saudis role? Billions of aid dollars to the Sisi government Egypt and almost unbridled assistance to Islamist organisations such as the Al Nusra Front in Syria to progress agendas via a Sunni militancy and Salafist agenda while militarily assisting to crush Bahrains ‘spring’ uprising. Saudi Arabia is a long term ‘buddy’ of the US under both Bush’s and Obama to a much lesser degree.

An article that looks at the Israeli -Egyptian-Saudi alliance says it “can ensure that all members survive the Obama era. And if lasts into the next administration, it will place all of its members on more secure footing with the US, whether or not a new administration decides to rebuild the US alliance structure in the Middle East.” Read more:

And then there’s UAE’s NATO interest

The Emirates as of August 15th 2014 http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/natosource/special-summit-series-the-united-arab-emirates-and-nato ……...

“The United Arab Emirates has said and done all the right things to prove that it wants a stronger partnership with NATO. In addition to appointing an ambassador to NATO, the UAE has also supported prominent NATO missions, for example, by contributing airpower to Operation Unified Protector, which defended civilians during the 2011 Libyan civil war, and by participating in the International Security Assistance Force, a program that trains Afghan security forces.
In turn, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has on several occasions expressed his desire to strengthen ties with the UAE and other states in the Gulf Cooperation Council. It is clear what NATO wants from the UAE: help combating terrorism, funding military operations, and protecting regional sea-lanes, energy supply routes, and cybernetworks. It might be less clear, however, what the UAE wants from NATO.”……

……..The UAE’s interest in the alliance stems from its pragmatic approach to national security and defense. ………..after the first Gulf War, Abu Dhabi looked to Washington to balance against Iran. On July 25, 1994, the two signed a defense agreement, the terms of which remain classified, and today, the United States considers the UAE to be one of its most reliable partners in the Middle East………..

The strength of that relationship notwithstanding, the small but oil-rich Gulf state still wants other security partners to insulate itself from regional volatility. Abu Dhabi prefers not to rely on Washington exclusively, especially since it has had serious qualms about U.S. Middle East policy since President Barack Obama assumed office in 2009. The Gulf Cooperation Council, a political and economic union of Arab states in the Gulf, cannot meet the UAE’s security needs, at least for now, because it is plagued by political rivalry and mistrust, and its military capabilities, though significant on paper, are largely unintegrated. China and Russia would be poor partners as well: the former is too insular and the latter is too hard to trust…..

Enter NATO.

UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow, April 14, 2013 (photo: UAE)

UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow, April 14, 2013 (photo: UAE)

…………….Recently, the UAE has even been able to participate in NATO air defense exercises in Turkey, cooperate with the Turkish navy on maritime security, and teach its cadets military studies at the NATO Defense College in Italy.
………………………. for Abu Dhabi, the real prize is not NATO and its bureaucracy but Washington, London, and Paris, the alliance’s three most influential powers. Given the UAE’s strong and historical preference for bilateral security arrangements, it makes sense that it is establishing a stronger partnership with NATO mainly to further develop ties to the three countries that affect its security the most. After all, the UAE spends most of its defense budget on weapons from — and has its largest defense partnerships with — the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. By further institutionalizing its relationship with NATO, the UAE hopes to cement the perception among American, British, and French officials that it alone in the region can be counted on…………….. greater access to decision-making in Washington, London, and Paris — and then, perhaps, a real seat at the NATO table.

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IT LOOKS LIKE:

  • AL SISI IS WORTH HIS WEIGHT TO ALL HIS POWERFUL NEIGHBOURS INCLUDING ISRAEL, SAUDI ARABIA AND THE PRINCES OF THE UAE. EGYPTIAN PEOPLE HAVE NOT DECIDED THIS.
  • LIBYA WILL CONTINUE TO BE A SOURCE OF INTEREST IN THE REGION FOR ISLAMIST GROUPS AND THEIR FINANCIAL AND MILITARY SUPPORTERS IN THE SAME WAY IRAQ HAS BECOME. LIBYAN PEOPLE HAVE NOT ASKED FOR THIS.
  • THE UN WILL SANCTION WHO? SAUDI, QATAR…….THE .U.S?
  • THE US IS OVEREXTENDED MILITARILY AND NEEDS TO DELEGATE MORE! THE “SORRY WE REALLY DIDN’T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS” LINE DOES NOT WORK GLOBALLY
  • UAE (THE SHEIK IS {near} DEAD LONG LIVE THE SHEIK) HAS DONE ITS JOB FOR NATO AND THE US. (TRAINED IN DARWIN, DON’T TELL ME THE U.S DID NOT KNOW)
  •  THE ONLY ONES BENEFITING ARE THE MILITARY SUPPLY BUSINESS INTERESTS.
  • SIGNS ARE HOMEGROWN ISSUES ARE GETTING MORE SAY IN THE US
  • VOLATILITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST HAS BROUGHT STRANGE ALLEGIANCES (OR HAVE STRANGE ALLEGIANCES BROUGHT VOLATILITY?)
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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Darwin hosts war games with Turkish airforce | asidewrite

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