外交官的國際新聞導覽及中東中亞的歷史故事 Diplomat's daily news review and history research on Middle East and Central Asia
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2021 年 10 月 14 日 22:03
美國在193個成員國大會的無記名投票中獲得168票，無人反對。它於 1 月 1 日開始為期三年的任期，使華盛頓與今年開始理事會任期的北京和莫斯科展開競爭。美國總統喬拜登於 1 月上任，承諾人權將成為其外交政策的中心，他的政府並沒有迴避在香港、新疆和台灣問題上批評中國，同時也呼籲俄羅斯。
“美國不應該將其合法性借給一個包括中國、委內瑞拉和古巴等侵犯人權者的機構，”參議院外交關係委員會高級成員、參議員吉姆·裡施 (R-Idaho) 說。“此外，安理會繼續不成比例地花費大部分時間和注意力來迫害我們的盟友以色列。拜登政府會為重新加入這個有缺陷的身體而拍拍自己的背。然而，它將在沒有確保任何必要改革的情況下這樣做，同時也未能支持世界各地的人權。”
美國駐聯合國大使琳達·托馬斯-格林菲爾德 (Linda Thomas-Greenfield) 表示，華盛頓最初將專注於“我們在阿富汗、緬甸、中國、埃塞俄比亞、敘利亞和也門等迫切需要的情況下能夠完成的工作。我們的目標很明確：與人權捍衛者站在一起，反對侵犯和踐踏人權的行為。”
以色列將在 1 月份失去三個主要支持者——奧地利、捷克共和國和丹麥——但它獲得了立陶宛和美國。
2021 年 9 月 2 日在瑞士日內瓦拍攝的聯合國歐洲總部。（圖片來源：REUTERS/DENIS BALIBOUSE）
聯合國觀察主任希勒爾諾伊爾表示，在周四的選舉之後，只有 31.9% 的聯合國人權委員會成員是自由民主國家。
大會還選舉了哈薩克斯坦、岡比亞、貝寧、卡塔爾、阿拉伯聯合酋長國、馬來西亞、巴拉圭、洪都拉斯、盧森堡、芬蘭、黑山和立陶宛，同時在周四再次選舉了喀麥隆、厄立特里亞、索馬里、印度和阿根廷。美國獲得第二低的票數，僅擊敗獲得 144 票的厄立特里亞。
US back at Human Rights Council after Trump era
Top Republican on Senate Foreign Relations Committee pans ‘lending legitimacy’ to body that ‘persecutes’ Israel
By REUTERS, LAHAV HARKOV
OCTOBER 14, 2021 22:03
(photo credit: Reuters)
The UN General Assembly elected the United States to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Thursday, more than three years after the Trump administration quit the 47-member body over its chronic bias against Israel and a lack of reform.
The US, which was unopposed, received 168 votes in the secret ballot of the 193-member General Assembly. It begins a three-year term on January 1, pitting Washington against Beijing and Moscow, which began council terms this year. US President Joe Biden took office in January, pledging that human rights would be the center of his foreign policy, and his administration has not shied away from criticizing China over Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Taiwan, while also calling out Russia.
“The United States should not be lending its legitimacy to a body that includes perpetrators of human rights abuses like China, Venezuela and Cuba,” said Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Additionally, the council continues to disproportionately spend the majority of its time and attention persecuting our ally Israel. The Biden administration will pat itself on the back for rejoining this flawed body. However, it will have done so without securing any necessary reforms, while failing to support human rights around the world.”
US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Washington would initially focus on “what we can accomplish in situations of dire need, such as in Afghanistan, Burma, China, Ethiopia, Syria and Yemen. Our goals are clear: stand with human rights defenders and speak out against violations and abuses of human rights.”
Israel is set to lose three major supporters in January – Austria, the Czech Republic and Denmark – but it gains Lithuania and the US.
The European headquarters of the United Nations is pictured in Geneva, Switzerland, September 2, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/DENIS BALIBOUSE)
Israel is the only country that is a permanent item on the UNHRC’s agenda, and the only country to be targeted with a permanent commission of inquiry into alleged war crimes, established earlier this year.
Hillel Neuer, director of UN Watch, said that following Thursday’s election, only 31.9% of the UNHRC’s members are free democracies.
“Elections were designed to weed out the world’s worst rights abusers,” Neuer said. “But oppressive regimes like China, Cuba, Libya, Russia and Eritrea routinely win elections, and the stamp of international legitimacy.”
Human Rights Council candidates are elected in geographical groups to ensure even representation. There were no competitive races on Thursday to elect 13 new members and reelect five members. Members cannot serve more than two consecutive terms.
The General Assembly also elected Kazakhstan, Gambia, Benin, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Paraguay, Honduras, Luxembourg, Finland, Montenegro and Lithuania, while reelecting Cameroon, Eritrea, Somalia, India and Argentina on Thursday. The United States received the second-lowest number of votes, beating only Eritrea, which received 144 votes.
2021 年 10 月 14 日 19:20
Chrisman 還曾在軍隊情報部門任職，目前擔任 Foundation for the Future 的聯合創始人，這是一個科學教育和公共工程宣傳基金會，致力於創建在太空生活和工作的基礎設施。
在 7 月的一次簡報和美國 4 月的年度國家情報評估報告中，美國高級國家安全官員表示，中國正在對旨在干擾或摧毀衛星的武器進行大規模的長期投資，以尋求迅速縮小美國在這方面的領先優勢。太空技術。
作為回應，他說：“總的來說，來自太空部隊（成立於 2019 年 12 月）和政府其他部門的少數派以外的感覺是，美國在太空領域始終處於主導地位，所以很明顯我們仍然[主導] ，因此對中國或俄羅斯關於新能力的任何宣布都會有這種奇怪的平衡反應，”他說。
“太空部隊的創建是一個很好的工具，它為單個實體提供了開始正面解決這個問題的動力和影響力，但顯然 [仍然] 似乎對太空中的任何事情都缺乏緊迫感，”克里斯曼說。
克里斯曼指出，中央情報局對太空的承諾非常小，一般而言，五角大樓、太空部隊和其他軍事部門可能有超過 5,000 名人員在處理這個問題——當然，除了美國宇航局的文職特遣隊。
Ex-CIA officer: US could fall behind China in space satellite wars
According to the report and the briefings, Beijing wants to develop anti-satellite weapons with capabilities from dazzling to jamming, to kinetic kill-from-the-ground as well as from space.
OCTOBER 14, 2021 19:20
A computer-generated redition of the nano-satellites in orbit
(photo credit: Courtesy)
If the US is not careful, China will overtake it in the race for dominating space-related issues, with a range of consequences for any future conflicts, former CIA space analyst Tim Chrisman said on Thursday.
Though Chrisman’s focus is the US-China race, if Beijing overtook Washington, this could also have serious negative implications for American allies like Israel, who benefit from satellite intelligence, and lead to new providing of intelligence to Chinese allies, like Iran.
Chrisman, also served in army intelligence and is currently serving as co-founder of Foundation for the Future, a scientific education and public works advocacy foundation, dedicated to creating an infrastructure to live and work in space.
In a July briefing and in the US’s annual National Intelligence Assessment report in April, top American national security officials said that China was making sizable, long-term investments in weapons designed to jam or destroy satellites as it seeks to rapidly narrow the US’s lead in space technology.
According to the report and the briefings, Beijing wants to develop anti-satellite weapons with capabilities from dazzling to jamming, to kinetic kill-from-the-ground as well as from space.
A satellite (credit: INGIMAGE)
If the US lost its space satellite advantage, this could impact everything from closing off major advantages in American intelligence collection to impairing global wireless networking capabilities of US military air, land, and sea-based units.
Referring to the impending potential space satellite wars issue, Chrisman said, “it’s definitely been the concern, very similar to how China is treating the South China Sea or Russia has used Kaliningrad to create these products of area denial. Either of these countries can use these asymmetric weapons to, if not destroy, then sideline the US capabilities,” in space.
“In space, in the eventuality of conflict, some of these – whether cyber or laser – may not be directly attributable because of lacking sensors or otherwise lacking the ability to know where it came from.
That then adds a layer of complexity and tension in case of conflict,” said the former CIA analyst.
He was questioned about whether he believed the US intelligence community was committed to taking the threat seriously or whether its commitment was more limited to occasional declarations to the US Congress.
Responding, he said: “In general, the sense from outside the Space Force [established in December 2019] and a handful of pockets elsewhere in the government, is that the US is always dominant in space, so clearly we still do [dominate], and so there is this kind of odd balanced response to any announcement by China or Russia about new capabilities,” he said.
On one hand, officials convey they are “overly worried this will damage everything about the US’s ability to fight,” but on the other hand there is a “lack of a long-term focus on how to counter that and stay ahead.”
“The creation of the Space Force is a great tool, giving a single entity the motivation and clout to start tackling this head-on, but there definitely [still] seems to be a lack of urgency about anything in space,” said Chrisman.
Asked if the culture of the security establishment to emphasize near-term threats over long-term impacted how much attention the issue received, he said, “in general, we were listened to,” but that, “I think you were exactly right with the time frame. The second we say something outside a six month to a one-year window,” they lost higher ranking officials’ interest and the issue was relegated to distant future meetings.
In terms of how he crossed into following space issues for the CIA, Chrisman said that he first published a book about the future of humanity in space.
This facilitated him moving from a focus on Afghanistan with much of the rest of the agency to space issues in general and especially the race with China for dominance.
Chrisman noted that the CIA commitment to space is extremely small and that in general the Pentagon, the Space Force, and other military services likely have more than 5,000 personnel working on the issue – besides of course the civilian NASA contingent.
2021 年 10 月 13 日 13:16
2019 年 2 月在北京舉行的中美貿易談判開幕會議前，中國工作人員正在調整美國和中國國旗。
鑑於阿聯酋即將向阿聯酋出售先進的 F-35 戰鬥機，美國一直擔心阿聯酋在其通信系統中使用中國華為技術，但在談到中國時，它只關注對以色列的擔憂。
拜登政府官員本月早些時候在華盛頓與國家安全顧問埃亞爾·胡拉塔 (Eyal Hulata) 談過中國。
在伊朗方面，美國國務院一位高級官員表示，華盛頓此時的主要目標是恢復 2015 年的聯合綜合行動計劃，即以色列歷來反對的伊朗協議。
US to warn Israel: China ties are a joint national security risk
Remaining consistent with the administration's message, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will warn of China's investments in Israel.
OCTOBER 13, 2021 13:16
Chinese staffers adjust US and Chinese flags before the opening session of Sino-US trade negotiations in Beijing in February 2019.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MARK SCHIEFELBEIN/POOL)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken plans to warn Israel against continued Chinese investments in the country's infrastructure and hi-tech industry when he meets with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid in Washington on Wednesday.
"We will be candid with our Israeli friends over risks to our shared national security interests that come with close cooperation with China," a senior State Department official told reporters during a briefing ahead of the meeting.
Blinken is also expected to meet with Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Wednesday.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid meeting with Emirati counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (credit: SHLOMI AMSALEM/GPO)
The US has been concerned about the UAE's use of Chinese Huawei Technologies in its communication system in light of its pending sale of advanced F-35 fighter jets to the Emirates, but when speaking of China it focused only on its concern with Israel.
The highlight of the day is expected to be a trilateral meeting Blinken will host with the two foreign ministers that is designed to highlight the success of the Abraham Accords, brokered by the former administration.
The accords allowed for Israel to normalize ties with the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan last year, of which ties with the Emirates are the most advanced.
At the trilateral, Israel and the UAE are expected to announce two new working groups, one on religious coexistence and another that would focus on water and energy.
But the range of the topics that will be brought up in all meetings are fairly wide and include China, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Gaza and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Lapid, in his public comments in Washington on Tuesday, will focus on the strong US-Israel bilateral ties and the special relationship Israel has with America and the Biden administration.
Though US officials echoed those same sentiments at the briefing, they also discussed topics of discord in the relationship.
Biden administration officials had spoken about China with National Security Advisor Eyal Hulata when he was in Washington earlier this month.
But State Department senior officials remained vague on Tuesday with respect to their specific concerns on China.
"The US views China as a competitor that challenges the existing international rules-based order; our relationship with China will be competitive when it should be," the official stated.
ON IRAN, a senior State Department official said that Washington's main objective at this time is the revival of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the Iran deal, which Israel has traditionally opposed.
Both the US and Israel are joined in their opposition to a nuclear Iran but have differed about how best to achieve that objective.
Lapid said on Tuesday that Iran was one of the major focal points of his Washington trip.
On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the senior State Department officials said that at Wednesday's meetings, Blinken will "reaffirm our belief" in the benefits of a two-state solution. He will also express his appreciation for "Minister Lapid's recent, strong statement condemning settler violence in the West Bank."
The Israeli government is split on how best to approach the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett opposing a two-state resolution to the conflict while Lapid has supported it.
But Lapid's visions of the borders of those two states differ from those envisioned by the Biden administration, which has not advanced a peace process. The senior State Department officials did not mention any movement on that front, except for stating that "we seek to advance it when we can, as best as we can."
An official said that the accords are not a substitute for the two-state solutions and suggested that they could be used to push for progress toward a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"We hope that normalization can be leveraged to advance progress on the Israeli-Palestinian track," the official said.
An official also spoke of the Biden administration's commitment to maintaining Israel's qualitative edge and its support for supplemental funding for the defensive Iron Dome system it provides Israel to protect Israeli citizens against Hamas rockets.
The officials repeated their opposition to Israeli settlement activity and the Palestinian Authority's monthly stipends to terrorists and their families.
Separately, during Lapid's trip, Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz will meet with Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
2021 年 10 月 14 日 21:04
2021 年 10 月 14 日，黎巴嫩貝魯特發生槍聲後，軍隊士兵被部署。
週四，貝魯特至少有 6 人死亡，32 人受傷，因為真主黨支持者在抗議貝魯特港爆炸事件的法官塔雷克·比塔爾（Tarek Bitar）的抗議活動中開槍，因為圍繞此案的緊張局勢繼續升級。
據報導，槍擊事件始於 Tayouneh 地區，在那裡與 Ain El Remmaneh 和 Chiyah 相遇，該地區以 1975 年黎巴嫩內戰期間的教派衝突而聞名，因為它標誌著貝魯特東西部之間的邊界。
週四晚上，目擊者告訴 MTV 黎巴嫩新聞，一些年輕人通過一條小街來到 Ain El Remmaneh，並開始高呼什葉派口號。然後，他們開始與該地區的年輕人交談，並爆發了一場鬥毆，導致該地區的一名年輕人帶著卡拉什尼科夫步槍向什葉派男子開槍，後者急忙從他們的車裡拿出武器。衝突擴大到整個社區，導致持續數小時的激烈衝突。
目擊者質疑，如果抗議是和平的，為什麼抗議者手頭有數百件武器，包括火箭彈。目擊者還稱，真主黨支持者故意進入艾因雷馬內地區進行挑釁，將這一事件與 2008 年差點引發內戰的 5 月 7 日暴力事件相提並論。
真主黨及其盟友阿邁勒運動指責由真主黨的強烈反對者薩米爾·蓋吉亞 (Samir Gaegea) 領導的黎巴嫩基督教力量運動週四從屋頂狙擊抗議者，意圖殺人，稱襲擊者打算將黎巴嫩拖入“煽動。”
2021 年 10 月 14 日，黎巴嫩貝魯特，軍隊士兵在槍聲爆發後巡邏。（圖片來源：REUTERS/MOHAMED AZAKIR）
2021 年 10 月 14 日，黎巴嫩貝魯特發生槍聲後，軍隊士兵被部署。（圖片來源：AZIZ TAHER/REUTERS）
已辭職的基督教議員、被暗殺的黎巴嫩總統勒內·莫阿瓦德的兒子米歇爾·莫阿瓦德週四下午告訴 MTV 黎巴嫩真主黨的行為“極其無禮和挑釁”，並警告該運動“甚至不敢認為它可以用它來嚇唬我們”。步槍和RPG。”
根據真主黨附屬的 Al-Manar 新聞，原定於上午舉行的抗議活動旨在“拒絕將貝魯特港爆炸罪調查政治化，並譴責 Tarek Bitar 法官和美國干預。”
部長理事會原定於週三舉行會議，以討論真主黨要求將 Bitar 從港口爆炸調查中移除的要求，但會議被無限期推遲，據報導是由於無法就如何處理該事件達成協議。法官。
事件發生之際，由於真主黨及其盟友阻撓 Bitar 的調查，聲稱法官有偏見並為政治目的而工作，因此對宗派暴力的擔憂加劇。
哈利勒週二告訴 Al-Mayadeen TV，Bitar 的調查“是非法的，並且超出了許多必須遵守的協議。” 國會議員還聲稱，法官在向哈利勒發出逮捕令後幾分鐘會見了一個外國代表團——暗示受到外國勢力的影響。
國會議員警告說，將會有“政治升級，也許 [an escalation] 另一種類型”，並補充說，“所有可能性都是開放的”，包括走上街頭。
哈利勒聲稱調查可能是試圖“改變平衡”的區域和內部計劃的一部分，並且他掌握的信息表明，調查的目標是“應外部各方的要求”針對某個政治團體。週三，真主黨附屬議員哈桑·法德拉拉 (Hassan Fadlallah) 直截了當地指責美國干涉調查。
來自真主黨和馬拉達運動的消息人士告訴黎巴嫩 Al-Jadeed 電視新聞，比塔爾準備直接指責真主黨對爆炸負責。消息人士補充說，如果不移除 Bitar，他們將離開政府。
爆炸受害者的家屬警告說，“無論威脅程度有多高”，都不要更換或恐嚇 Bitar，並告訴官員“不要讓 [他們的] 干預司法部門”。
Six killed, 32 injured in firefight in the heart of Beirut
Hezbollah protests investigation into Beirut Port explosion, leading to violence.
By TZVI JOFFRE
OCTOBER 14, 2021 21:04
Army soldiers are deployed after gunfire erupted in Beirut, Lebanon October 14, 2021.
(photo credit: AZIZ TAHER/REUTERS)
At least six people were killed and 32 wounded in Beirut on Thursday as shots were fired during a protest by Hezbollah supporters against Tarek Bitar, the judge investigating the Beirut Port blast, as tensions surrounding the case continue to rise.
As of Thursday evening, the Lebanese Army had succeeded in returning calm to the streets and the security situation had improved.
The shooting reportedly began in the Tayouneh area where it meets Ain El Remmaneh and Chiyah, a site famous for sectarian clashes during the 1975 civil war in Lebanon, as it marked the border between east and west Beirut.
Hezbollah and the Lebanese Army reported on Thursday that the shooting targeted the protesters. However, shortly after the shooting began, Hezbollah and Amal supporters could be seen firing toward buildings in the areas with automatic weapons and RPGs, raising questions whether the supporters who had claimed to be peaceful had come to the protest armed.
Eyewitnesses told MTV Lebanon news on Thursday evening that a number of young men came to Ain El Remmaneh through a small side street and began chanting Shi’ite slogans. They then started speaking with young men from the area and a fistfight broke out, leading up to one of the young men from the area bringing a Kalashnikov rifle and shooting toward the Shi’ite men, who rushed to bring weapons from their vehicles. The clash expanded throughout the neighborhood leading to the intensive clashes that lasted hours.
The eyewitnesses questioned why, if the protest was meant to be peaceful, the protesters had hundreds of weapons on hand, including RPGs. The eyewitnesses also claimed that the Hezbollah supporters deliberately entered the Ain El Remmaneh area to cause a provocation, comparing the incident to the May 7 violence that nearly sparked a civil war in 2008.
The Lebanese Army announced on Thursday evening that a firefight broke out in the area as protesters headed to the Palais de Justice, leading to casualties. The army immediately reinforced its deployment in the area and conducted searches for the shooters, arresting nine people from both sides, including one Syrian citizen. Investigations have begun with the detainees supervised by the judiciary.
“The army command made contacts with the concerned parties on both sides to contain the situation and prevent a slide toward sedition, and the command reiterated its zero tolerance with any armed forces, while army units continue to deploy in the area to prevent renewed clashes,” the Lebanese Army announced.
Video from the clashes showed gunmen hiding behind cars and garbage cans while firing at buildings and unseen targets. Unarmed civilians could be seen in the area of the clashes.
Many residents who live in the area where the clashes broke out fled due to concerns of escalating tensions and damage. Much material damage was caused in the fighting on Thursday.
Prime Minister Najib Mikati has called for calm and urged the Lebanese people not to be drawn into sedition.
Lebanese Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi stressed that the fact that people were shot in the head by snipers is inadmissible, adding that all government agencies are doing their part to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice. Mawlawi stated as well that the organizers of the protest had confirmed to the ministry that it would be peaceful and called the shooting a “crime.”
Hezbollah and its ally, the Amal movement, accused the Christian Lebanese Forces movement, headed by Samir Gaegea, a strong opponent of Hezbollah, of sniping protesters from the rooftops on Thursday, with the intent to kill, saying the attackers intended to drag Lebanon into “sedition.”
The two Shi’ite movements called on their supporters for calm and on the army and security forces to restore the peace. Hezbollah and Amal called for the arrest and punishment of the perpetrators and those who instigated the violence, adding that their names are already known.
Army soldiers patrol after gunfire erupted, in Beirut, Lebanon October 14, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/MOHAMED AZAKIR)
The two Shi’ite movements called on their supporters for calm, and on the army and security forces to restore the peace. Hezbollah and Amal called for the arrest and punishment of the perpetrators and those who instigated the violence, adding that their names are already known.
The Lebanese Forces denied the claims by Hezbollah, saying the shooting was because of incitement caused by Hezbollah’s leaders against Bitar, and that the claims were an attempt to divert attention from Hezbollah’s invasion into the area.
The movement pointed out that Hezbollah operatives were clearly seen in many videos entering safe neighborhoods with automatic weapons, and stated that the shooting was an attempt to use violence and intimidation to overthrow the investigation into the port explosion.
Despite the calls by Hezbollah for calm, video shared on social media showed multiple convoys of Hezbollah operatives reportedly heading to Beirut with heavy weapons, raising concerns that the violence could escalate.
Later on Thursday afternoon, Gaegea condemned the shooting, saying: “The main reason for these events is the uncontrolled and widespread weapons that threaten citizens at all times and places.”
The Lebanese Forces leader called on the Lebanese government to conduct a “full and thorough investigations” to determine who was responsible for the shooting. “Civil peace is the only wealth left for us in Lebanon… but this requires all of us to cooperate to reach it,” said Gaegea.
Army soldiers are deployed after gunfire erupted in Beirut, Lebanon October 14, 2021. (credit: AZIZ TAHER/REUTERS)
Christian officials made multiple statements on Thursday stressing that the “free people of Lebanon” would not allow Hezbollah to force Bitar out of his position, although many of the officials have clarified that they would not use violence to do so.
Michel Moawad, a resigned Christian MP and son of assassinated Lebanese president René Moawad, told MTV Lebanon on Thursday afternoon that Hezbollah’s behavior was “extremely impudent and provocative” and warned the movement not to “even dare to think that it can frighten us with its rifles and RPGs.”
“We want to continue the battle in the street to confront those who want to destroy Lebanon’s sovereignty and entity, and destroy the judiciary, its independence and civil peace,” Moawad added.
According to the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar news, the protest that had been planned for the morning was meant to “reject the politicization of the investigations into the crime of the Beirut Port explosion, and to denounce the decisions of Judge Tarek Bitar and the American intervention.”
President Michel Aoun stressed that the shooting was “a painful and unacceptable scene, regardless of the reasons and causes.” Aoun expressed his condolences to the families of the victims.
“It is not acceptable for the weapon to return as a language of communication between the Lebanese parties, because we all agreed to turn this dark page of our history,” said Aoun, stressing that the state must be the only valid authority dealing with problems and disputes.
The president stressed that the Council of Ministers must convene quickly in order to find a solution. Aoun added: “Contacts were made with the concerned parties to address what happened, and most importantly to prevent it from happening again, knowing that we will not allow it to happen under any circumstances.”
The Council of Ministers had been set to meet on Wednesday in order to discuss the demands by Hezbollah to remove Bitar from the port blast investigation, but the meeting was postponed indefinitely, reportedly due to an inability to reach an agreement about what to do with the judge.
Aoun confirmed that security forces will protect security, stability and civil peace and warned that the government would “not allow anyone to take the country hostage to their own interests or accounts.”
The president said security forces and the judicial system would follow up on the clashes and that he would ensure the investigation reaches the truth of what happened.
“I assure the Lebanese that the clock will not turn back,” said Aoun. “We are going toward a solution, not toward a crisis. I, in cooperation with the prime minister and the speaker of parliament, will not tolerate and will not surrender to any fait accompli whose goal could be sedition, which all Lebanese reject.”
The incident comes amid heightened concerns of sectarian violence as Hezbollah and its allies obstruct Bitar’s investigation, alleging that the judge is biased and working for political purposes.
Lebanese newspapers on Thursday morning largely featured headlines warning of the collapse of the government and violence in the streets.
Supporters of Lebanese Shi'ite groups Hezbollah and Amal and the Christian Marada movement take part in a protest against Tarek Bitar, the lead judge of the port blast investigation, near the Justice Palace in Beirut (credit: MOHAMED AZAKIR/REUTERS)
A Lebanese court on Thursday dismissed the latest legal complaint brought against the lead investigator of the Beirut Port blast probe, allowing him to resume work, a judicial source and court documents showed.
Lebanese MP Ali Hassan Khalil, an ally of Hezbollah, had filed the complaint after Bitar issued an arrest warrant against him in order to question him regarding the blast.
Khalil told Al-Mayadeen TV on Tuesday that Bitar’s investigation “is unlawful and surpasses many of the protocols that must be followed.” The MP additionally claimed that the judge had met with a foreign delegation minutes after issuing the arrest warrant for Khalil – implying influence by foreign powers.
Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah attacked Bitar on Monday, saying the judge is using the case for political goals and that he does not want to reach the truth about the explosion. Nasrallah also questioned why Bitar questioned only certain ministers and not others.
The MP warned there would be a “political escalation, and perhaps [an escalation] of another kind,” adding, “all possibilities are open,” including taking to the streets.
Khalil claimed the investigation may be part of a regional and internal plan to try to “change balances,” and that he had information indicating the investigation has a goal for a certain political group “at the behest of external parties.” On Wednesday, Hassan Fadlallah, a Hezbollah-affiliated MP, outright accused the US of interfering in the investigation.
Sources from Hezbollah and the Marada Movement told the Lebanese Al-Jadeed TV news that Bitar was preparing to accuse Hezbollah directly of responsibility for the explosion. The sources added that if Bitar is not removed, they will leave the government.
Gaegea called on the “free people of Lebanon” to prepare for a peaceful general strike if Bitar’s opponents attempt to impose their will by force. While Gaegea stressed his statement was not a threat, he added he would never accept a “certain reality” being imposed by force.
The families of the blast victims have warned against replacing or intimidating Bitar, “no matter how high the threat level,” telling officials to “keep [their] hands off the judiciary.”
Former MP Mustapha Allouch warned on Wednesday, in an interview with Voice of Lebanon, that an international investigation is needed, and that the current situation is repeating that of the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri, as Hezbollah feels the threads of the investigation pointing at it.
Reuters contributed to this report.
2021 年 10 月 14 日 18:13
科威特 VS 日本
道德 科威特 Al-Qabas， 10 月 7 日
有關 The Media Line 的更多故事，請訪問themedialine.org
，黎巴嫩安納哈爾， 10 月 8 日
這一任命引起了很多關注。突尼斯的大多數政治力量都對這一任命表示歡迎，包括賽義德的政治對手。根據一項民意調查，不少於 67% 的突尼斯受訪者表示他們對布登的任命感到“滿意”。
Bouden 的任命是對突尼斯男女權利平等傳統的確認。它與該國第一任總統哈比卜·布爾吉巴 (Habib Bourguiba) 建立的改革主義遺產和進步傳統保持一致。
– 奧薩馬·拉馬達尼 (Osama Ramadani)
埃及，Al-Watan， 10 月 8 日
在阿爾及利亞拒絕接收法國試圖驅逐的 8,000 名阿爾及利亞公民之後，兩國之間爆發了另一場危機。阿爾及利亞駐巴黎領事館拒絕向這些男人和女人簽發旅行證件，直到對每個請求進行單獨審查。法國政府的回應是減少分配給阿爾及利亞人的簽證配額，特別是與政府有聯繫的人。
不禁看到，阿爾及利亞和法國之間發生的事情，與阿爾及利亞與鄰國摩洛哥斷交是分不開的，摩洛哥擁抱以色列，背棄巴勒斯坦問題。這在阿爾及利亞參謀長賽義德·成裡哈 (Saïd Chengriha) 的一份聲明中表現得很明顯，他指責摩洛哥和以色列都支持阿爾及利亞的分離主義運動。
阿爾及利亞人民將他們與法國殖民主義的歷史視為爭取自由和獨立的合法民族鬥爭，在這場鬥爭中，由於法國的掠奪、酷刑和監禁政策，他們付出了近 600 萬人死亡和大規模集體痛苦的沉重代價。越來越多的人要求法國明確承認這一歷史和人道主義責任。
Voices from the Arab press: Kuwaiti vs Japanese morals
A weekly selection of opinions and analyses from the Arab media around the world.
By THE MEDIA LINE
OCTOBER 14, 2021 18:13
TUNISIA’S PRESIDENT Kais Saied meets with newly appointed Prime Minister Najla Bouden Romdhane, in Tunis, last month.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
KUWAITI VS JAPANESE MORALS
Al-Qabas, Kuwait, October 7
For more stories from The Media Line go to themedialine.org
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is racing against time in an effort to vigorously modify and update its school curricula, ensuring that they are fit for our day and time. All of this is part of the kingdom’s effort to modernize society and turn it into a leading Western country.
Meanwhile, here in Kuwait, things aren’t moving quite as fast. Our authorities refuse to understand that most problems in society stem from poor education. Education affects everything we do and how we view, and act, in the world.
For example, the filth we see around us on the streets, in the workplace, and even in some homes is caused by improper education. Petty thefts and sabotage of state property are caused by improper education. Irresponsible and reckless driving is caused by improper education.
Why is it that our students aren’t educated about these issues? Why are our youth not taught to respect other people – pedestrians, bike riders, and drivers – on the road? I studied for 16 years, worked, and bought a car, and no one ever told me how to behave on the road, other than teaching me how to drive and the meaning of some traffic signs.
In Japanese schools, how to use public and private transportation is part of students’ core curriculum. Children, even after they grow up, are asked to clean their schools, with the participation of their teachers.
The idea of participating in cleaning, of course, is not limited to teaching students how to do it but is, rather, about creating awareness of the importance of cleanliness and respecting custodians, garbage collectors and home cleaners. It’s about spreading the spirit of humility and shared humanity.
When I was in Japan I saw workers sweeping the gardens of the Emperor’s Palace. It turned out that they were all retired citizens who volunteered for public service instead of sitting at home in front of the television screens. The concept of public service accompanies Japanese children as they grow older, even at their latest stages of life.
I sat on a Tokyo train in a reserved spot, turning on my phone after putting on the earbuds. The inspector came up to me and politely asked me to move to another cart, and excused me from the heavy fine, all because I was in a place where the use of a mobile phone was prohibited, even if the device is on silent mode.
Showing up to a meeting late is considered one of the strongest offenses. Meetings start on time, trains leave on time, and people are expected to be respectful of each other.
Perhaps there is a thing or two we can learn from Japanese culture and apply it to our own society.
– Ahmad Al-Sarraf
A WOMAN LEADING TUNISIA’S GOVERNMENT
An-Nahar, Lebanon, October 8
Finally, after a long wait, Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed appointed a prime minister: Najla Bouden Romdhane, the country’s first female prime minister.
The appointment drew a lot of attention. Most political forces in Tunisia welcomed the appointment, including Saïed’s political opponents. According to one poll, no less than 67% of Tunisian respondents indicated that they were “satisfied” with the appointment of Bouden.
The historical symbolism of the appointment is, in some ways, stronger than its practical impact on life in Tunisia. Even though the markets responded positively to the appointment, Bouden is far from the person who will be able to solve her country’s current financial crisis.
Bouden’s appointment is a confirmation of the tradition of equal rights between men and women in Tunisia. It keeps up with the reformist legacy and progressive traditions established by Habib Bourguiba, the country’s first president.
The appointment stirred up the popular imagination, as some compared Najla Bouden to Angela Merkel, the outgoing German chancellor. Despite the fact that the two have nothing to do with each other, the comparison reflected hope for better days for Tunisia.
Positive attitudes toward the appointment were not surprising. There has always been an initial willingness among the majority of Tunisians to accept the ascension of a woman to the presidency of the republic or the head of the government.
However, the positions expressed by Tunisians were not without some reservations, especially among those active on social media platforms, which showed a misplaced interest in Bouden’s external appearance, an interest that is rarely shown when it comes to male politicians. Still, there were more serious reservations, including the criticism expressed by some female political figures around the fact that Bouden’s role was given limited power compared to the power held by previous prime ministers – implying that she wouldn’t, ultimately, be sharing power with Saïed.
Therefore, the challenge at hand will be far from simple for the new Tunisian government. Bouden will become Tunisia’s 10th prime minister in a period of 10 years. She will need to introduce more stability into the political system. It will likely be difficult for the new prime minister to find time to devise and implement far-reaching reforms. Bouden will have little to no time to learn the ropes of her new job. She’ll have to deal with urgent economic issues and achieve the necessary understandings with the most prominent social party, the Labor Union, and with the most important donors abroad, including the International Monetary Fund.
The road ahead will not be strewn with roses, but the obstacles that Bouden will encounter in carrying out her duties may also be factors that work to her advantage. While some see that the lack of previous ministerial or political responsibilities may constitute an obstacle to the effectiveness of Bouden’s work, others believe that this will make her much more popular and accepted by all political forces, regardless of affiliation. Today, her record is still a blank page on which she will draw whatever promises and statements she wants, even if logic calls her not to make promises that exceed her ability to implement.
The final judgment will be based on the results that Bouden will achieve in terms of confronting the crises that she inherited from her predecessors, especially the economic and social crisis that previous governments failed to alleviate.
– Osama Ramadani
AN ONGOING CRISIS BETWEEN ALGERIA AND FRANCE
Al-Watan, Egypt, October 8
DURING BETTER times, Then-French president Nicolas Sarkozy (left) and Algeria’s then-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika wave as they walk in the old city of Constantine on the last day of Sarkozy’s three-day official visit in Algeria, in 2007. (credit: PHILIPPE WOJAZER/REUTERS)
There are many words that can be used to describe Algerian-French relations, but perhaps the ones most applicable today are “tension” and “crisis.”
The manifestations of this crisis are abundant. They include statements by President Emmanuel Macron about the fact that an Algerian nation didn’t exist before French colonialism, and the Algerian response to recall its ambassador from Paris and ban all French military flights in Algerian airspace. In a meeting with a group of Algerian expats residing in France, the descendants of the “Harkis” who cooperated with the French occupation, Macron remarked that the “building of Algeria as a nation is a phenomenon worth studying” and then proceeded to rhetorically ask: “Was there an Algerian nation before French colonization? That is the question.”
Another crisis between the two countries erupted following Algeria’s refusal to receive 8,000 Algerian citizens whom France sought to deport. The Algerian Consulate in Paris refused to issue travel documents to these men and women until each request was examined on an individual basis. The French government responded by reducing the visa quota allocated to Algerians, especially those linked to the government.
In this context, there is a major state of anger that appears in the Algerian media, in the official statements of Algerian institutions, and in the tweets of ordinary Algerian citizens.
One can’t help but see that what is happening between Algeria and France is inseparable from the severing of relations between Algeria and neighboring Morocco, which embraced its ties with Israel and turned its back to the Palestinian issue. This was explicitly evident in a statement made by Algerian Chief of Staff Saïd Chengriha, who accused both Morocco and Israel of backing separatist movements in Algeria.
The Algerian people view their history with French colonialism as a legitimate national struggle for freedom and independence, in which they paid a heavy price of nearly six million deaths and massive collective suffering as a result of the French policies of looting, torture and imprisonment. There is a growing demand for explicit French recognition of this historical and humanitarian responsibility.
However, France, as expressed by Macron, aspires to close this thorny file through some symbolic moves and to rewrite history in a way that limits France’s historical responsibility for the massive injustices that Algerians have been subjected to over the years. But history should be written by professional and fair historians of facts, not by partisan politicians who may be ravaged by whims and their personal interests.
– Hassan Abu Talib
聯合國周三的一份報告稱，9 月和 10 月，南馬里布有 9 名平民被殺。
2021 年 10 月 14 日 16:20
2018 年 6 月 6 日，在空襲摧毀也門薩那的一座建築物後的一天，人們走過它。
居民和一名當地官員說，數百名也門人被困在馬里布省北部政府和胡塞武裝之間的激烈戰鬥中，上個月爭奪天然氣豐富地區的控制權導致約 10,000 人流離失所。
聯合國周三的一份報告援引未經證實的初步信息稱，上個月有 6 名平民在擁有油田和也門唯一液化天然氣終端的沙布瓦遇害。它說九月和十月在南馬里布有九名平民被殺。
馬里卜是 2014 年底被胡塞武裝趕出首都薩那的最後一個北部政府據點，促使聯盟在幾個月後進行干預，結果卻陷入多年的軍事僵局。
聯合國表示，僅上個月就有近 10,000 人在馬里布省流離失所，超過 4,200 人逃離南部的哈里卜、朱巴和拉哈巴地區。
聯合國人道主義事務協調辦公室 (OCHA) 表示，第四個地區 al-Abdiyah 自 9 月 23 日以來一直處於圍困之中，阻礙了平民的流動並阻礙了包括醫療用品在內的人道主義援助流動。
胡塞武裝已在馬里布以西 18 公里（10 英里）處佔據陣地，並正試圖向其他地方推進以包圍該市，該市收容了數十萬國內流離失所者。
這場在中東被視為沙特阿拉伯和伊朗之間的代理人戰爭的衝突已造成數万人死亡，也門 80% 的人口需要人道主義援助。
Yemenis trapped, displaced by fierce fighting in Marib region
A UN report on Wednesdays said nine civilians had been killed in south Marib over September and October.
OCTOBER 14, 2021 16:20
People walk past a building one day after air strikes destroyed it in Sanaa, Yemen June 6, 2018.
(photo credit: KHALED ABDULLAH/ REUTERS)
Hundreds of Yemenis are trapped by fierce fighting between government and Houthi forces in the northern Marib governorate, residents and a local official said, after battles for control of the gas-rich region displaced some 10,000 people last month.
The internationally recognized government backed by a Saudi-led coalition declared southern Marib a military zone on Tuesday after gains there by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement, which has also advanced on the Shabwa region in south Yemen.
A UN report on Wednesday cited unconfirmed initial information that six civilians were killed last month in Shabwa, which has oil fields and Yemen's sole liquefied natural gas terminal. It said nine civilians had been killed in south Marib over September and October.
Marib is the last northern stronghold of the government that was ousted by the Houthis from the capital Sanaa in late 2014, prompting the coalition to intervene months later, only to be mired in years of military stalemate.
UN-led efforts to engineer a nationwide ceasefire have stalled as Saudi Arabia and the Houthis both resist compromise to end more than six years of a war that has caused what the United Nations calls the world's largest humanitarian crisis.
Armed Houthi followers participate in a funeral of Houthi fighters killed in fighting against government forces in Yemen's Marib, in Sanaa (credit: REUTERS/KHALED ABDULLAH)
The United Nations said nearly 10,000 people were displaced in Marib governorate last month alone, with over 4,200 fleeing the southern districts of Harib, al-Jubah and Rahabah.
A fourth district, al-Abdiyah, has been under siege since Sept. 23, hindering movement of civilians and impeding humanitarian aid flows, including medical supplies, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Houthi forces have held positions 18 km (10 miles) west of Marib and are trying to advance elsewhere to encircle the city, which hosts hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people.
The conflict, seen in the Middle East as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, has killed tens of thousands of people and left 80% of Yemen's population needing humanitarian aid.
2021 年 10 月 14 日 11:00
敘利亞國家通訊社 SANA 報導說，以色列的一次空襲目標是一座通訊塔和附近的一些地點，造成一名敘利亞士兵死亡，另外三人受傷。一名敘利亞軍方消息人士告訴 SANA，這次襲擊是從約旦和伊拉克與敘利亞接壤的邊界附近的 al-Tanf 地區方向進行的。
據真主黨附屬媒體報導，週四上午，伊斯蘭革命衛隊、真主黨和阿薩德政權下屬的一個聯合作戰室警告說，在一些特工在空襲中喪生和受傷後，它已決定對空襲作出嚴厲回應。 . 目前尚不清楚該聲明是否指的是除 SANA 報告之外的人員傷亡。
哈馬斯發言人哈茲姆·卡西姆 (Hazem Qassem) 也在周四上午譴責了所謂的以色列空襲，稱其為“公然的侵略和無恥的暴行”。
據 SANA 稱，此次空襲是在以色列對同樣位於巴爾米拉附近的 T-4 機場發動空襲，造成 6 名敘利亞士兵受傷一周後發生的。
Iran threatens 'harsh response' after alleged Israeli airstrike in Syria
One Syrian soldier was killed and three were wounded in the second alleged Israeli airstrike in a week.
By TZVI JOFFRE
OCTOBER 14, 2021 11:00
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Iranian militias warned of a "harsh response" after a number of Syrian and Iranian-backed forces were killed and wounded in an alleged Israeli airstrike near Palmyra in central Syria on Wednesday night, the second such airstrike in the past week.
The Syrian state news agency SANA reported that an Israeli airstrike targeted a communications tower and a number of nearby sites, killing one Syrian soldier and wounding three others. The strike was carried out from the direction of the al-Tanf area near the Jordanian and Iraqi borders with Syria, a Syrian military source told SANA.
Around the time of the airstrike, the airspace above the Golan Heights was closed to flights until Friday at 12:15 a.m.
On Thursday morning, a joint operations room affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Hezbollah and the Assad regime warned that it has decided to respond harshly to the airstrikes after a number of operatives were killed and wounded in them, according to Hezbollah-affiliated media. It is unclear if the statement was referring to casualties other than those reported by SANA.
The joint operations room stressed that its mission in Syria is only to help the Syrian state to confront "terrorists" and ISIS.
"For years, we have been subjected to attacks from the Israeli and American enemy in an attempt to drag us into side battles that were not a priority for our presence in Syria, and the Zionists’ excuse was that they were targeting accurate weapons and sensitive equipment that posed a threat to their usurping entity," added the joint statement.
Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem condemned the alleged Israeli airstrikes on Thursday morning as well, calling them a "blatant aggression and outrageous thuggery."
Qassem stressed that Israel could only be deterred by confronting it, responding to its attacks, making it "pay the price" for its actions and not allowing it to impose the rules of engagement.
The airstrike comes just a week after an alleged Israeli airstrike on the T-4 airport, also near Palmyra, wounded six Syrian soldiers, according to SANA.
德黑蘭認為華盛頓試圖影響伊拉克選舉，讓人想起俄羅斯在 2016 年干預美國選舉的說法。
2021 年 10 月 14 日 13:06
2021 年 10 月 10 日，伊拉克巴格達議會選舉期間，一名官員在投票站工作
簡而言之，伊朗正在採取行動“停止偷竊”。就像在 2020 年大選之後的美國，當時有人爭辯說投票機收到了選票“傾銷”或其他陰謀被揭穿，伊朗擔心伊拉克發生了一些事情，導致其青睞的候選人表現不如預期。
2021 年 10 月 10 日，在巴格達薩德爾市，伊拉克選舉官員的手指打開了啟動伊拉克立法選舉的裝置。（來源：REUTERS/WISSAM AL-OKAILI）
伊拉克有一個新的生物識別選舉系統，旨在減少腐敗。但親伊朗的法塔赫聯盟的表現不如上次選舉。該聯盟由親伊朗的民兵組成，其中許多人參與了 2019 年的鎮壓抗議活動。
“一位知情人士稱，在高級選舉委員會重新計票後，法塔赫聯盟的席位已達到 21 個……而法治聯盟的席位已達到 40 個，”該報告在塔斯尼姆說。 . 事實上，伊朗似乎已經向伊拉克派遣了一些伊斯蘭革命衛隊的重磅成員，以確保重新計票最終達到他們應有的水平——就像伊朗版的坦慕尼大廳一樣。
事實證明，馬利基的“強人”品質只是伊朗的替身，他疏遠了半個國家，將許多人推向了聚集在 ISIS 周圍的遜尼派極端分子手中。他還疏遠了庫爾德人，庫爾德人的自治區隨後尋求進行獨立公投。在基爾庫克可以看到馬利基宗派主義的長長的觸角，在那里安全部隊在選舉後騷擾庫爾德人。
Iran pushes ‘stop the steal’ conspiracy over Iraq election - analysis
Tehran thinks that Washington has sought to influence the Iraqi elections, reminiscent of claims that Russia meddled in US elections in 2016.
OCTOBER 14, 2021 13:06
An official works at a polling station during the parliamentary election, in Baghdad, Iraq, October 10, 2021
(photo credit: REUTERS/THAIER AL-SUDANI)
Iran has taken a page from the playbook of post-election chaos in the US last year. Its Tasnim media group has said that Iraq’s recent elections have been manipulated and that the results of the elections should be called into question. An analyst has argued that “cyber” may have been used to “control” the process electronically.
In short, Iran is moving to “stop the steal.” Much like in the US after the election in 2020 when some argued that voting machines had received ballot “dumps” or other conspiracies were trotted out, Iran is concerned that something happened in Iraq that led to its favored candidates not performing as well as expected.
"There is evidence of a change in the statistics announced by the Iraq Elections Commission, and among them there are those who seek to change the political pole of Iraq in their favor with the agreement of Washington to change the outcome of the election,” Iranian media reported.
The conspiracy is clear, or so Iran thinks. Washington has sought to influence the elections. This is reminiscent of claims that Russia meddled in US elections in 2016. Iran has learned, it seems from the West, that the best way to undermine elections or the aftermath of them is to spread various rumors and stories.
"These parties want to establish a government that looks after the United States in Iraq, and the evidence shows that the election results are controlled by the United States and its allies via satellite – and the voting results after reaching the satellite and resubmitting it,” Iranian media said.
Manual recounts are now under way in Iraq. Five provinces have been affected. Tasnim News says that there was “manipulation of the UAE in the Iraqi election voting servers in favor of a particular current.” In this secondary conspiracy it is not just the hands of Washington stuffing electronic ballots, but the Gulf is also involved.
The finger of an Iraqi election official opens a device to start the legislative elections in Iraq, in Sadr City, Baghdad, October 10, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/WISSAM AL-OKAILI)
IRAQ HAS a new biometric election system that is designed to cut down on corruption. But the pro-Iranian Fatah Alliance did not perform as well as it did in the last elections. The alliance is made up of pro-Iran militias, many of whom were involved in suppressing protests in 2019.
“An informed source said that after the recount of votes by the High Electoral Commission, the seats of the Al-Fatah coalition have reached 21… and the seats of the State of Law coalition have reached 40,” the report says in Tasnim. Indeed, it seems Iran has sent some of its IRGC heavies to Iraq to make sure the recounts end up as they should – like Iran’s version of Tammany Hall.
"The solution to the crisis of the election results is for the votes to be counted manually in the presence of representatives of political groups, as the UAE has manipulated the servers of the voting machines to change the results in favor of political groups that are projecting to dissolve the popular uprising," a tweet by one commentator said. “Undoubtedly, any group that opposes the manual counting of votes is complicit in the election fraud.”
This means that the method of Iran and its operatives appears to be to undermine the election results through a sort of “stop the steal” campaign in the media. Iran and its allies in Iraq then demand manual counts and claim those who don’t accept them are involved in fraud. Then, miraculously, the recounts will find more votes for Iran’s allies.
In the aftermath of the US election in 2020, major social media outlets attempted to reduce the conspiracies about election fraud that were running rampant. It is unclear whether social media will similarly clamp down on Iran’s attempt to muddy the waters in Iraq. What is clear is that Iran seems to be preparing a full court press to alter the election results in Baghdad, or at least tweak them a bit to get the results it wants.
It is believed that the IRGC Quds Force has sent a delegation to Baghdad which will work to form the next Iraqi government by bringing together the pro-Iranian groups like Fatah Alliance and Nouri al-Malaki’s State of Law Party. Maliki was viewed as a sectarian thug when he ran Iraq prior to the war on ISIS. Oddly, his thuggish behavior at the time was encouraged partly by Washington which, under the former Obama administration, believed Iraq needed a strong man.
It turned out Maliki’s “strong man” qualities were merely a stand-in for Iran and he alienated half the country, driving many into the hands of the Sunni extremists who gathered around ISIS. He also alienated Kurds, whose autonomous region then sought an independence referendum. The long tentacles of Maliki’s sectarianism can be seen in Kirkuk where security forces harassed Kurds after the election.