Saudi and Iran: how our two countries could make peace and bring stability to the Middle East : The Conversation


Relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran have rarely been worse, regarding the attacks on the oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman – for which both sides blame each other. Nevertheless, in the history of relations between the two countries, there have been regular shifts between tension and rapprochement – and things can change for the better once again.

As an Iranian and a Saudi, working as research fellows for peace studies, we believe it is time that our two countries seek to manage the conflict, improve their dialogue and begin the peace building process. And we are hopeful that this could happen.

But how? Peace cannot be achieved overnight; it requires a range of factors to strengthen diplomatic ties and decrease the level of enmity between the two states. First, we suggest both states’ politicians soften the language in their speeches, altering the hostile rhetoric to a more moderate one. This would open new paths towards a direct and constructive dialogue, reducing the tensions that are affecting the two countries, the region and, potentially, the world.

Sabre-rattling

Direct dialogue between the two regional actors could launch negotiations that may lead to more stability in the region. The existing regional turmoil has had a detrimental impact on relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran over Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain and Yemen. The [Yemen war], which has caused a [dramatic humanitarian crisis], remains one of the main areas of conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, but it also offers ground for talks between the two states.

 

Source: Saudi and Iran: how our two countries could make peace and bring stability to the Middle East : The Conversation

From Spain to Iraq, states have to see that suppressing secession won’t work | Simon Jenkins | Opinion | The Guardian


Madrid’s heavy-handed approach to Catalonian independence is a mistake. It’s better to compromise and allow a degree of ‘autonomy-lite’, writes Guardian columnist Simon Jenkins

Source: From Spain to Iraq, states have to see that suppressing secession won’t work | Simon Jenkins | Opinion | The Guardian

Women and Children in Yemeni Village Recall Horror of Trump’s ‘Highly Successful’ SEAL Raid


If this was a success, according to Trump, what would a failure be like. Trump believes what his Ego tells him, where he is everyone should beware.

Stop Making Sense

Iona Craig reports for The Intercept:

Map-04-07-1488835482[…] The Intercept’s reporting from al Ghayil in the aftermath of the raid and the eyewitness accounts provided by residents, as well as information from current and former military officials, challenge many of the Trump administration’s key claims about the “highly successful” operation, from the description of an assault on a fortified compound — there are no compounds or walled-off houses in the village — to the “large amounts of vital intelligence” the president said were collected.

According to a current U.S. special operations adviser and a former senior special operations officer, it was not intelligence the Pentagon was after but a key member of al Qaeda. The raid was launched in an effort to capture or kill Qassim al Rimi, the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, according to the special operations adviser, who asked to remain anonymous because details behind the raid are classified.

Villagers…

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Questioning the “Success” of Trump Raid That Killed 24 Civilians in Yemen


If it was a success, a success for who.

Stop Making Sense

Amy Goodman speaks to Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of The Intercept, Pardiss Kebriaei, staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Baraa Shiban, the Yemen project coordinator and caseworker with Reprieve, about the questions surrounding the first covert counter-terrorism operation approved by President Donald Trump. (Democracy Now!)

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Sir Mo Farah tells family ‘Daddy might not be able to come home’ after Trump travel ban


Sir Mo Farah, the British Olympic hero, has attacked Donald Trump and said he fears he may now be separated from his family because of the American president’s immigration crackdown.

The four-times Olympic gold medal winner said the Queen had made him a knight, but Mr Trump had apparently now made him an “alien“.

Yemen: Saudi-Led Funeral Attack Apparent War Crime | Human Rights Watch


A Saudi Arabia-led coalition airstrike on a crowded funeral ceremony in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, on October 8, 2016, is an apparent war crime. The attack killed at least 100 people and wounded more than 500, including children. While military personnel and civilian officials involved in the war effort were attending the ceremony, the clear presence of several hundred civilians strongly suggests that the attack was unlawfully disproportionate.

Source: Yemen: Saudi-Led Funeral Attack Apparent War Crime | Human Rights Watch

Norman Finkelstein on the Coming Break-Up of American Zionism: Part 2


Beastrabban\'s Weblog

What changed Jewish attitudes to Israel was the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. The Americans saw Israel very much as a kind of outpost of American interests in the Middle East, and identified its people with great American heroes like Davey Crockett, and the struggle of the Texans for independence from Mexico. There was an equivalence between Israel’s soldiers and the heroes of the Alamo. The Israelis were invested with all the heroic values Americans believed characterised themselves, and from it being unpatriotic to support the Israelis, it became the reverse. It was super-patriotic to support them.

Crucial to this was the Israeli claim to have practised ‘purity of arms’. Unlike Vietnam, where the Americans were losing and committing terrible atrocities, the Israelis were winning without committing massacres and other breaches of human rights. This record has gradually darkened as the wars between Israel and its Arab neighbours continued. The classic case…

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Vox Political Against Islamophobia and the ISIS Terror Attacks You Don’t Hear About


Beastrabban\'s Weblog

Daesh’s Muslim Victims

Mike over at Vox Political has put up a couple of posts keeping the Brussels attacks in perspective. The attacks, as well as those in Paris, were a horrible atrocity committed by fanatics with no conscience or respect for the lives of innocents. But Mike also reminds us that there have also been Muslim victims of Daesh’s terror campaign, that have not received anywhere near the same amount of coverage and outrage. These people too deserve our sympathy, and we should also be outraged and disgusted at their suffering.

Mike has put up a list showing the numbers of people killed by ISIS’ thugs and butchers, not just in Brussels, Paris and San Diego, but also in Yemen, Tunisia, Ankara in Turkey, Afghanistan, Beirut, Libya and Baghdad. The atrocities committed in these places have also killed tens and hundreds of people. And Mike’s article reminds us that…

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