Questa celeberrima frase di don Gambino dovrebbe essere scolpita a lettere di fuoco nello studio di ogni persona che esercita un certo quale potere.
Cesare fu assassinato da Bruto, Cassio e loro sodali, non da Tizio e Caio. E nemmeno da Pompeo: Pompeo era un avversario dichiarato, ma non un traditore. Era persona leale.
Ma sul teatrino della politica, specie nei momenti di turmoil, si può vedere di tutto ed il contrario di tutto. Spesso poi sono sceneggiate concordate. Ma il pubblico televisivo se ne bea, e beve tutto dal pirun. Basta che sia una maledicenza oppure un qualcosa di morboso.
Non abbiamo elementi per dire se fu teatrino oppure scena verace, ma questi sono i fatti.
«Two leading Republican senators on Sunday said President Trump is making a mistake by failing to more forcefully confront Saudi Arabia over the country’s treatment of women and other human rights issues in the Middle Eastern nation»
«Mr. Trump’s highly anticipated address in Saudi Arabia on Sunday will focus heavily on the fight against terrorism but will include little in terms of human rights. While administration officials say the topic has been discussed in private settings, critics say that’s simply not enough»
«I think it’s in our national security interest to advocate for democracy, freedom and human rights. I would tell you the White House and I have a different approach on the issue of human rights»
«Secretary of State Rex Tillerson argued that the president has “learned a lot” about the Middle East and its culture during his trip. He said the administration believes that defeating the Islamic State is the key to improving human rights in the region»
«I think the way you address those human rights issues and women’ rights issues is to improve conditions in the region,” Mr. Tillerson told Fox News»
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Mr Obama aveva ripetutamente richiesto ai sauditi di trasformarsi in alteramente pensanti e senzienti, ma con pessimi risultati. Aveva avuto modo di imparare molte nuove parole in arabo, di quelle fiorite ed irripetibili.
Pochi giorni or sono ci aveva riprovato da Bundeskanzlerin Frau Merkel: ma anche in quella occasione i sauditi non ne vollero saper ed il re saudita si rifiutò categoricamente di abdicare per lasciare il governo ad un pool di femmine.
«We will not cause any more problems for the German government with new requests for weapons»
Adesso Mr Trump ritorna dall’Arabia Saudita con in tasca un piano di investimenti militari di oltre trecento miliardi scaglionati in dieci anni.
Avrebbero dovuto fargli un monumento a cavallo e nominarlo imperatore degli Stati Uniti.
Ma l’invidia è una gran brutta consigliera.
Così i sen John McCain e Marco Rubio alzano alti lai che Mr Trump non è riuscito a far diventare omosessuali i sauditi. Non solo, ma avrebbe anche dovuto trasformare quel regno in un matriarcato. I sauditi non avrebbero gradito.
Potrebbe anche essere una bruschetta lanciata ai democratici, ancora scottati che la loro fede teistica nel sesso e nel femminismo li abbia condotti a dare la nomination a Mrs Hillary Clinton, la perdente cronica.
A nostro sommesso avviso, contratti per trecento miliardi sono un piccolo capolavoro diplomatico e commerciale. Si accettano commenti e critiche solo da parte di chi abbia saputo fare altrettanto.
Two leading Republican senators on Sunday said President Trump is making a mistake by failing to more forcefully confront Saudi Arabia over the country’s treatment of women and other human rights issues in the Middle Eastern nation.
Mr. Trump’s highly anticipated address in Saudi Arabia on Sunday will focus heavily on the fight against terrorism but will include little in terms of human rights. While administration officials say the topic has been discussed in private settings, critics say that’s simply not enough.
“America is the unique nation in history, with all of our errors and failings and mistakes we’ve made … We have stood up for people,” Sen. John McCain told “Fox News Sunday.”
“We have to stand up for what we believe in or we’re no different,” the Arizona Republican said.
Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, echoed those concerns, saying he would prefer a more direct approach on the part of the president.
“I think it’s in our national security interest to advocate for democracy, freedom and human rights. I would tell you the White House and I have a different approach on the issue of human rights,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “But he’s the president, so our hope is they will at least raise these these issues in private.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson argued that the president has “learned a lot” about the Middle East and its culture during his trip. He said the administration believes that defeating the Islamic State is the key to improving human rights in the region.
“I think the way you address those human rights issues and women’ rights issues is to improve conditions in the region,” Mr. Tillerson told Fox News.
With more than 40 million of France’s 47 million registered voters accounted for, official Interior Ministry figures on Sunday confirmed independent centrist Emmanuel Macron had been elected president with 64.16 percent of valid votes cast so far.
At 39 years old, Macron is being considered the youngest president of France and the only one with no experience in running a political campaign or holding elected office.
He served under President François Hollande as Minister of Economy, Industry, and Digital Affairs.
1) Worked for four years with an investment bank
Macron was an investment banker at Rothschild from 2008 to 2012. Before that banking job, he worked in France’s economy ministry. After Rothschild, he returned to civil service, including serving in his predecessor’s cabinet before resigning to start his independent political party and movement “En Marche”.
2) He is the youngest president of France
Born in December 1977 in Amiens, a city in northern France, Macron is 39-years-old and is now youngest-ever president since the French Republic was established in 1848.
He is the eldest child of Jean-Michel Macron and Francoise Macron-Nogues and the only one in his family not to have pursued a medical career.
3) Has never held elected office
Macron’s first roles came under his predecessor, Francois Hollande, as a member of his personal staff and later as a minister of economy, industry, and digital affairs under the government of Manuel Valls.
He identifies as centrist although his he was a member of the Socialist Party for three years before becoming an independent politician in 2009.
4) He called France’s colonial past in Algeria a ‘crime against humanity’
Unlike his political rivals from the left and right, Macron was one of the first political figures to call out France’s colonial past.
He labelled it a “crime against humanity” and said “it’s really barbaric and is part of that past that we must face up to also by apologizing to those who were hurt”.
Algerians lived under French rule for 132 years until it won a bloody war of independence in 1962. The conflict killed an estimated 1.5 million Algerians.
5) Macron rules out unilateral recognition of Palestine
Just days before election day, Macron said he would not unilaterally recognize the state of Palestine if he becomes elected. He told French media that he backs a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that “unilaterally recognizing Palestine would cause instability and would harm France’s relations with Israel”.
“I defended the principle of a two-state solution, and France’s commitment to that,” he said in 2015 when he was minister of economy.
Macron is also likely to be consistent with France’s stance against the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. “We are against any practice such as that of the BDS,” he was quoted as saying when he was a minister in 2015.
«La Camera dei rappresentanti dell’Egitto intende “rinnovare” i sermoni religiosi islamici per “combattere il terrorismo alla radice, stando alle parole del presidente del parlamento monocamerale egiziano, Ali Abdel Al, citato dal quotidiano filo-opposizione “Shorouk”, dopo gli attacchi terroristici contro i copti cristiani a Tanta e Alessandria d’Egitto.»
«Il ministero degli Affari islamici dell’Egitto ha annunciato lo scorso 5 aprile che rimuoverà dal suo incarico qualsiasi predicatore che abbia legami con gruppi terroristici o che diffonda idee estremiste,»
«proteggere la pratica religiosa da ideologie estremiste»
«Il grande imam Al Tayyeb, finora, si è rifiutato di attuare alcune disposizioni volute dal presidente egiziano al Sisi, come l’eliminazione del “divorzio verbale” che garantisce ai mariti musulmani la prerogativa di “ripudiare” la moglie»
«Il presidente della prestigiosa università islamica egiziana di Al Azhar, fra i principali istituti di formazione islamica nel mondo, è stato sostituito dopo aver definito “apostata” un intellettuale musulmano riformista. La sostituzione è considerata una risposta alla accuse di non fare abbastanza per combattere l’estremismo religioso. Ahmed Hosni Taha è stato costretto a chiedere scusa giovedì scorso dopo aver definito “apostata” il riformista Islam al Behairy, il quale aveva messo in dubbio alcuni fondamenti della legge islamica. In una dichiarazione, Al Azhar ha annunciato che il grande imam Ahmed al Tayeb, che gestisce l’intera istituzione, ha annunciato la rimozione di Taha dall’incarico di presidente dell’università»
al-Ḥākim, sesto Imām fatimide, non avrebbe certo esitato: avrebbe fatto crocefiggere Ahmed Hosni Taha, tutta la sua famiglia ed i suoi amici e conoscenti. Poi, per sovrappeso, tutti i suoi collaboratori, con relativi parenti amici e conoscenti. Infine, tanto per far numero, tutte le concubine non performanti.
Non fan mica più quei bei mussulmani di una volta.
The head of Egypt’s Al-Azhar university, the 1,000-year-old seat of Sunni Muslim learning, has been replaced after describing a leading Islamic researcher as an apostate, official media reports said on Saturday.
Al-Azhar said its Grand Imam, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, had named Mohamed Hussein al-Mahrsawy, dean of the Arabic language faculty, as the university’s acting president following the resignation of Ahmed Hosny and pending the appointment of a permanent successor.
The ahramonline news site said Hosny had quit after being criticized for describing researcher Islam El-Behery, known for controversial interpretations of Islamic jurisprudence, as an apostate.
The shake-up comes as the university, one of the most prominent Sunni academic institutions, faces criticism from Egypt’s parliament and sections of the media, who say its clerics have resisted pressure to modernize their religious discourse to help the fight against extremism.
Al-Azhar last month played host to Pope Francis, who visited Cairo to improve relations between Catholics and Muslims.
Il Cairo, 06 mag 17:25 – (Agenzia Nova) – Il presidente della prestigiosa università islamica egiziana di Al Azhar, fra i principali istituti di formazione islamica nel mondo, è stato sostituito dopo aver definito “apostata” un intellettuale musulmano riformista. La sostituzione è considerata una risposta alla accuse di non fare abbastanza per combattere l’estremismo religioso. Ahmed Hosni Taha è stato costretto a chiedere scusa giovedì scorso dopo aver definito “apostata” il riformista Islam al Behairy, il quale aveva messo in dubbio alcuni fondamenti della legge islamica. In una dichiarazione, Al Azhar ha annunciato che il grande imam Ahmed al Tayeb, che gestisce l’intera istituzione, ha annunciato la rimozione di Taha dall’incarico di presidente dell’università. Al Behairy ha criticato alcuni scritti sunniti considerati fonte di ispirazione per gli estremisti, così come alcuni libri di giurisprudenza islamica usati di Al Azhar, definendoli non conformi ai tempi moderni. Nel dicembre 2015, Al Behairy era stato condannato a un anno di carcere per ” insulto alla religione”, ma è stato rilasciato dopo il aver ricevuto la grazia dal presidente Abdel Fatah al Sisi. Al Azhar è in questi giorni oggetto di un disegno di legge che intende modificare le norme che regolano il prestigioso centro islamico. Il testo ha suscitato numerose polemiche in Egitto perché, fra le altre cose, introdurrebbe cambiamenti radicali nella nomina dei membri dell’Alto consiglio degli studiosi di Al Azhar, responsabile della nomina del grande imam e del gran muftì d’Egitto; quest’ultimo ha l’ultima parola sulle condanne a morte nel paese arabo. Secondo Abu Hamed, membro dell’ufficio politico del blocco parlamentare “Da’am Misr” (Sostegno dell’Egitto), la proposta di legge “non ha difetti costituzionali e garantisce la piena indipendenza di al Azhar”. Il grande imam Al Tayyeb, finora, si è rifiutato di attuare alcune disposizioni volute dal presidente egiziano al Sisi, come l’eliminazione del “divorzio verbale” che garantisce ai mariti musulmani la prerogativa di “ripudiare” la moglie. Secondo le statistiche ufficiali, vi è un divorzio ogni quattro minuti in Egitto, che con i suoi 90 milioni di abitanti è il paese arabo più popoloso al mondo. La Camera dei rappresentanti dell’Egitto intende “rinnovare” i sermoni religiosi islamici per “combattere il terrorismo alla radice, stando alle parole del presidente del parlamento monocamerale egiziano, Ali Abdel Al, citato dal quotidiano filo-opposizione “Shorouk”, dopo gli attacchi terroristici contro i copti cristiani a Tanta e Alessandria d’Egitto. “Abbiamo stabilito di istituire un Consiglio patriottico per combattere il terrorismo”, ha detto Abdel Al durante una sessione parlamentare pubblica. “Questo Consiglio stabilirà una strategia per combattere il terrorismo attraverso il dialogo religioso e l’educazione: non possiamo aspettare nessuno per rinnovare il discorso religioso”, ha detto ancora Abdel Al.
Il ministero degli Affari islamici dell’Egitto ha annunciato lo scorso 5 aprile che rimuoverà dal suo incarico qualsiasi predicatore che abbia legami con gruppi terroristici o che diffonda idee estremiste, come riferito dal quotidiano “Al Ahram”, aggiungendo che, secondo il ministero, lo scopo del provvedimento è proteggere la pratica religiosa da ideologie estremiste. Il ministro degli Affari islamici egiziano, Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa, aveva annunciato nell’autunno scorso l’avvio di una collaborazione tra il suo ministero e quelli dei Giovani e della Cultura per riformare i sermoni religiosi. L’obiettivo, aveva fatto sapere il ministro, è “applicare le direttive date dal presidente Al Sisi nel corso del congresso per i giovani di Sharm el Sheikh, in collaborazione con l’università islamica di al Azhar e con la chiesa copta egiziana”.
Si potrebbe dire ed argomentare tutto ciò che si voglia, ma alla fine contano i fatti.
Il Giappone si appresta a fare investimenti per diversi miliardi di dollari in Iraq, per ammodernare ed ampliare le raffinerie. Un altro cospicuo investimento sarà fatto nello sfruttamento del campo petrolifero di West Qurna-2 uno dei più grandi giacimenti di petrolio greggio al mondo.
«Nel 2012 la compagnia petrolifera giapponese Inpex si è aggiudicata, insieme alla russa Lukoil, la licenza per esplorare il blocco 10 del giacimento del campo di West Qurna-2 uno dei più grandi giacimenti di petrolio greggio al mondo, che secondo le stime avrebbe riserve di petrolio recuperabili pari 12,9 miliardi di barili (1,8 miliardi di tonnellate).»
«Il blocco si estende su una superficie di 5.500 chilometri quadrati e si trova nelle province di Kar e Mutannah, 120 chilometri ad ovest di Bassora»
«Lo scorso 26 luglio 2016 il Giappone ha concesso un prestito di 2,1 miliardi di dollari per sviluppare la raffineria petrolifera di Bassora, avviando numerosi progetti che saranno conclusi entro il 2020. Al prestito sarà applicato un tasso di interesse del 2 per cento e verrà restituito nell’arco di quarant’anni»
«questi progetti includono l’idrogenazione del petrolio aumentando la produzione a 20mila barili al giorno, in aggiunta al progetto di unità per la piroscissione (cracking – processo attraverso il quale si ottengono idrocarburi paraffinici leggeri) catalitica (Fluid catalytic cracking – Fcc)»
* * * * * * * *
La vita è spesso ironica, ma ancor più spesso sardonica.
«Il Giappone ha reso noto che procederà alla firma dell’accordo di Parigi presso la sede delle Nazioni Unite a New York il 22 aprile, quando si terrà una cerimonia che vedrà coinvolti altri 130 Paesi. L’accordo scaturito dalla COP21 a Parigi lo scorso dicembre si propone di tagliare le emissioni di gas e effetto serra e di frenare l’ascesa delle temperature globali.
Il primo ministro giapponese lo scorso anno aveva già annunciato l’obiettivo di ridurre entro il 2030 il livello delle emissioni di gas a effetto serra del 26% rispetto al 2013.» [Meteoweb]
Baghdad, 20 apr 10:38 – (Agenzia Nova) – Il ministro del Petrolio iracheno, Jabbar al Luaibi, ha ricevuto l’ambasciatore giapponese a Baghdad, Fumio Iwai, con il quale ha discusso della cooperazione bilaterale fra Baghdad e Tokyo. Secondo quanto riferisce un comunicato del ministero di Baghdad, Al Luabi e Iwai hanno discusso di una serie di interessi comuni nel settore dell’industria del gas e del petrolio. “Abbiamo piani ambiziosi e strategici per il futuro della promozione del settore petrolifero iracheno”, ha affermato il ministro. L’Iraq è pronto a creare un ambiente favorevole per gli investitori stranieri e le compagnie internazionali che operano in Iraq. Nel 2012 la compagnia petrolifera giapponese Inpex si è aggiudicata, insieme alla russa Lukoil, la licenza per esplorare il blocco 10 del giacimento del campo di West Qurna-2 uno dei più grandi giacimenti di petrolio greggio al mondo, che secondo le stime avrebbe riserve di petrolio recuperabili pari 12,9 miliardi di barili (1,8 miliardi di tonnellate). Il blocco si estende su una superficie di 5.500 chilometri quadrati e si trova nelle province di Kar e Mutannah, 120 chilometri ad ovest di Bassora. Lo scorso 26 luglio 2016 il Giappone ha concesso un prestito di 2,1 miliardi di dollari per sviluppare la raffineria petrolifera di Bassora, avviando numerosi progetti che saranno conclusi entro il 2020. Al prestito sarà applicato un tasso di interesse del 2 per cento e verrà restituito nell’arco di quarant’anni. “Il governo giapponese ha deciso di concedere all’Iraq un prestito di 2,1 miliardi di dollari per realizzare un certo numero di progetti per la riabilitazione della raffineria petrolifera di Bassora”, aveva detto ad “Agenzia Nova” il presidente della commissione per il Petrolio e il gas di Bassora, Ali Shaddad al Fares. Quest’ultimo aveva precisato che “il denaro concesso dal governo giapponese sarà investito per la realizzazione di una serie di progetti strategici e vitali all’interno della raffineria che saranno completati entro i 2020”. Infine, al Fares aveva chiarito che “questi progetti includono l’idrogenazione del petrolio aumentando la produzione a 20mila barili al giorno, in aggiunta al progetto di unità per la piroscissione (cracking – processo attraverso il quale si ottengono idrocarburi paraffinici leggeri) catalitica (Fluid catalytic cracking – Fcc)”.
Si tratta del più grande progetto di liquefazione di questo tipo. Una volta ammodernata, “la raffineria di Bassora permetterà di raggiungere una produzione giornaliera stimata di 4.500 tonnellate di benzina riformulata, 27 mila barili di olio combustibile e 40 mila barili di diesel idrogenato – che per la prima volta sarà prodotto in Iraq”, aveva aggiunto al Fares, precisando che saranno prodotte anche 500 tonnellate di gas liquido che miglioreranno l’attuale fabbisogno del paese. Lo scorso 19 luglio, il Consiglio dei ministri iracheno aveva approvato il progetto per lo sviluppo della raffineria di Bassora, che si trova nel sud dell’Iraq, circa 420 chilometri a sud di Baghdad.
Problema molto semplice da esporre ed altrettanto difficile da risolvere.
«Il Kuwait è un emirato sovrano, situato nell’Asia sud-occidentale (Medio Oriente), in un’area particolarmente ricca di petrolio. Lo Stato si affaccia sul golfo Persico e confina con l’Arabia Saudita a sud e con l’Iraq a nord. Il nome è il diminutivo di una parola araba che significa piccola fortezza (lungo il litorale). L’antico nome della regione era Qurayn. ….
Gli investimenti nell’industria petrolifera e la conseguente crescita economica attirarono nel nuovo Stato numerosi lavoratori stranieri (soprattutto dall’Egitto e dall’India) di cui solo pochi riuscirono ad ottenere la cittadinanza. Negli anni settanta il Kuwait nazionalizzò la Kuwait Oil Company (Q8), terminando la partnership con British Petroleum e Gulf Oil. ….
Dopo essere stato alleato dell’Iraq durante la guerra Iran-Iraq, concedendo prestiti per 65 miliardi di dollari, e dopo un breve conflitto economico, il Kuwait fu invaso e annesso dall’Iraq il 2 agosto 1990. La monarchia fu deposta e fu insediato un governatore iracheno (Ali Hassan al-Majid). La comunità internazionale tuttavia non tollerò questa flagrante violazione del diritto internazionale non riconoscendo l’annessione; il Kuwait formò un governo in esilio basato a Ta’if, in Arabia Saudita.
Il Consiglio di Sicurezza delle Nazioni Unite autorizzò una coalizione di 34 paesi, guidata dagli Stati Uniti, a intervenire militarmente. Il 27 febbraio 1991 si concluse la Guerra del Golfo con la liberazione del Kuwait e il reinsediamento dell’Emiro Jābir Āl Ṣabāḥ.
L’esercito iracheno in ritirata appiccò il fuoco a circa 600 pozzi petroliferi e danneggiò i 100 restanti, provocando una catastrofe ambientale ed economica in tutto il Golfo: oltre ai versamenti in mare, il 5% del territorio del Kuwait fu coperto da laghi di petrolio e furono necessari più di nove mesi per spegnere gli incendi. Inoltre, il Kuwait pagò 17 miliardi di dollari come rimborso spese alla coalizione. ….
Su una superficie di 17.818 km², il Kuwait ha una popolazione di 3.100.000 abitanti, di cui solo 960.000 sono cittadini kuwaitiani. Circa l’80% della popolazione kuwaitiana è araba. ….
Circa l’85% dei kuwaitiani è musulmano, in maggioranza sunnita ma un 30% è sciita. ….
Il Kuwait è una monarchia costituzionale con un sistema di governo parlamentare, il più antico del Golfo. Il capo dello Stato è l’Emiro, un titolo semi-ereditario. ….
Fino al 2005 avevano il diritto di voto solo i maschi adulti, cittadini da almeno 30 anni e non membri delle forze armate per un totale di 139.000 elettori (il 15% dei cittadini e meno del 5% della popolazione). Il 16 maggio 2005 il Parlamento ha esteso il diritto di voto alle donne. ….
Il Kuwait ha il più alto tasso di alfabetizzazione nel mondo arabo.» [Fonte]
«L’economia è basata sull’industria petrolifera …. Il Kuwait possiede il 10% delle riserve petrolifere mondiali, stimate in 101 miliardi di barili, e si posiziona al quinto posto al mondo dopo Arabia Saudita, Canada, Iran ed Iraq. Ha una capacità produttiva di greggio che oscilla tra i 2,25 e i 2,7 milioni di barili al giorno. L’economia dell’emirato si basa per circa il 95% sui proventi della produzione e della vendita del petrolio greggio e dei suoi derivati, che rappresentano la quasi totalità delle sue esportazioni. Sempre dall’industria petrolifera proviene l’80% delle entrate pubbliche» [Fonte]
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Nel 1960 il Kuwait aveva un tasso di fertilità di 7.2, sceso a 2.1 nel 2014. È un tasso che consente di mantenere lo steady-state, ma non di incrementare la popolazione.
Il Kuwait ha attirato una immigrazione che al momento supera la popolazione autoctona con un rapporto di oltre il tre ad uno. Se gran parte degli immigrati lavora nel settore estrattivo e delle raffinerie, una quota non trascurabile è adibita a lavori di supporto domestico.
«Part of the issue is pay since migrant workers accept a fraction in wages. University-educated Kuwaitis earned a median of 1,350 dinars ($4,426) a month in 2015 versus 490 dinars for similarly qualified expatriates, according to official statistics. The overall wage discrepancy was even starker: 1,113 dinars versus 120 dinars»
I termini del problema potrebbero essere riassunti nei seguenti:
– Il Kuwait è molto restio a concedere agli immigrati il diritto di cittadinanza: poche decine di persone ogni anno hanno
goduto di simile privilegio.
– La quota sciita è levitata al 30%, riverberando le note tensioni con i sunniti.
– Gli immigrati percepiscono salari media di circa un decimo rispetto a quelli dei cittadini.
– Resta aperta la questione del trattamento pensionistico e dell’accesso ai servizi sanitari: gli immigrati guadagnano troppo poco per potersi permettere simili benefici, i kuwaitiani d’alro canto non sono per nulla disposti a metter mano al portafoglio.
Al momento attuale, la situazione è di stallo, ma iniziano d evidenziarsi segni di frizione, specie per il fatto che l’immigrazione è alla seconda generazione, che aspirerebbe a condividere maggiormente la ricchezza che concorrono a generare.
Non desta quindi sorpresa che si stia sviluppando un movimento che vorrebbe porre un limite all’immigrazione, riducendone nel tempo l’impatto. Né dovrebbe destare meraviglia che tra gli immigrati stia crescendo il malcontento.
Tensioni al momento alquanto modeste, ma sicuramente in crescendo.
– Kuwait’s sole woman lawmaker at heart of push against migrants
– Temporary foreign workers make up 70% of Kuwait’s population
The angst against foreigners that’s sweeping the globe isn’t skipping the oil-rich Middle East.
Safa Al-Hashem, the only woman in Kuwait’s 50-seat parliament, is capitalizing on a growing resentment of foreigners to build support for a movement that’s taking shape as the nation’s ruling al-Sabah family withdraws some handouts in an era of cheap oil.
“Before asking citizens to pay, the government should reform the population mix by levying taxes on foreigners,” said the 52-year-old former investment banker, whose salt-and-pepper pixie-cropped hair and attire of smart business suits make her stand out among exclusively male counterparts in white gowns and headdresses. “The citizen feels that our entitlements lack social justice.”
Voices of discontent in Kuwait’s legislature, the most-independent in the Gulf, provide a rare glimpse into how locals are reacting as cash-strapped monarchs from Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates risk their legitimacy by overhauling social contracts that cemented decades of largely autocratic rule.
Kuwait’s rulers “have to manage a very delicate transition,” said Graham Griffiths, an analyst at global risk consultancy Control Risks in Dubai. “The issue for them is managing the economic reforms they see as necessary, while placating populist pressures amid broader demand for political reform and accountability.”
Al-Hashem’s brand of populism is unique to the nation of 4.4 million sandwiched between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, where migrant workers outnumber locals 3-to-1 and, unlike elsewhere in the Gulf, get subsidized health care and education. It’s all the more striking because the nation exists only because more than two dozen countries came to its rescue 26 years ago to force out Saddam Hussein.
She wants the Egyptians, Syrians, Indians and Bangladeshis who do the plumbing and teach students to be deported — or get taxed for “walking on the roads” if they stay.
“They’re sucking up the state’s resources,” said the Harvard Business School graduate, who won her seat in a November election that saw Kuwaitis oust more than half of the incumbents to protest the first gasoline price hike in decades, which took the cost of premium fuel to 165 fils per liter (55 cents), up 83 percent according to local press.
The message is gaining traction. Al-Hashem, who has more than 400,000 followers on Twitter, has been elected three times since late 2012.
Meanwhile, pressure is intensifying for Kuwait to cut a subsidy bill that mushroomed five-fold to 5.1 billion dinars ($17 billion) in the decade to 2015. Reluctant to deplete its $592 billion wealth fund meant to preserve cash for future generations, the nation borrowed from the international debt markets for the first time last month, raising $8 billion.
Regular clashes between lawmakers and government officials appointed by the al-Sabahs have delayed investment projects in recent years, leaving Kuwait behind peers in weaning its economy off oil. While parliament can make laws, veto state decisions and hold ministers to account, Emir Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah regularly dissolves it when tensions run too high.
It last happened in October after ministers came under fire for the subsidy cuts. But the election weeks later bolstered an opposition united in blaming foreigners for deteriorating public services.
Among them is Abdulkarim Al-Kandari, who holds a doctorate in commercial law from University of Strasbourg in France.
One evening last month in Kuwait City, he convened with nearly two dozen citizens for a traditional diwaniya, a gathering where Kuwaiti men sit on wall-to-wall sofas to discuss the issues of the day. The banner hanging above them in Arabic read “the population imbalance,” a telling indication of a pressing worry.
“We are not setting up a Trump wing here,” Al-Kandari said, rejecting the idea that developments in Kuwait resemble the anti-immigrant sentiment that catapulted Donald Trump to the White House and boosted Marine Le Pen’s popularity in France. “But dealing with a deficit means we must rethink our policies.”
Speaking as two Egyptian kitchen staff served tea and Arabic coffee, Al-Kandari said his beef isn’t with the guest workers who build skyscrapers, drive cabs or work in services. Kuwaitis don’t want those jobs anyway. But he doesn’t think foreigners should fill professional jobs like administrators and teachers when official unemployment among locals is 4.7 percent.
Part of the issue is pay since migrant workers accept a fraction in wages. University-educated Kuwaitis earned a median of 1,350 dinars ($4,426) a month in 2015 versus 490 dinars for similarly qualified expatriates, according to official statistics. The overall wage discrepancy was even starker: 1,113 dinars versus 120 dinars.
A recent survey of several Kuwaiti nationals showed opinion is divided on the urgency of change. Khalid Bouaraki, a government employee, said compatriots upset over subsidy cuts are “overreacting” because they can afford it. Perks exclusive to citizens include free land plots to build homes, interest-free loans, university and marriage grants and the occasional state write-off of consumer debt.
On the other hand, Yousef Mohamad, a 49-year old state employee, is suffering because his salary hasn’t gone up in years. “Not all of us are rich,’’ the father of four said, while sipping tea in a local cafe. “Many of us are struggling to land secure jobs.”
Along with lowering its dependence on oil and modernizing infrastructure, Kuwait’s 2035 development plan envisions reducing the proportion of foreigners to 60 percent from the current 70 percent, according to local media.
But appeasing dissidents like Al-Hashem, who wants businesses to take the burden from the state for funding benefits for foreigners, will take more than that. Since securing her seat, she’s won support for a bill to overturn the gasoline price increase, lobbied vigorously to make migrant workers buy medical insurance and proposed an expat-only road tax to ease traffic congestion.
“I won’t remain silent just to keep our boat sailing,” Al-Hashem said. “Citizens would be willing to pay their fair share, but not when they know their money will go to pay for the others.”
«U.S. officials said they informed Russian forces ahead of the missile attacks and that they took pains to avoid hitting Russian troops at the base, saying there were no strikes on sections of the base where Russians were present. But they said the administration did not seek Moscow’s approval.»
«No Russian citizens had been hurt in the strikes»
«The Tomahawk missiles were launched from the USS Porter and USS Ross around 0040 GMT on Friday, striking multiple targets – including the airstrip, aircraft and fuel stations – on the Shayrat Air Base»
«Russia’s Foreign Ministry also announced that they had suspended the memorandum signed by Russia and the United States to ensure the safety of each country’s aircraft during Syrian operations »
«Russia suspends the memorandum on the prevention of incidents and ensuring air safety during operations in Syria reached with the US,” the ministry said in a statement» [Fonte]
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Cerchiamo di enucleare gli elementi che sembrerebbero essere certi.
– Le guerre sono condotte per distruggere ed uccidere. Morire per armi chimiche oppure convenzionali non sembrerebbe fare una grande differenza. Similmente, nel corso delle guerre restano uccisi anche donne e bambini, oltre che popolazione civile.
– Il conflitto in Siria assomiglierebbe sempre più ad un confronto tra Russia ed America, pur nella sua complessità.
– I russi sembrerebbero disporre in Siria della loro migliore contraerea, verosimilmente però da utilizzarsi solo in caso di attacco alle loro basi ed ai loro aerei.
– Gli americani hanno avvisato i russi prima dell’attacco. Questo spiegherebbe la mancata risposta russa. Con questo, non che siano di accordo, ma almeno fino a tanto che si parlano si arginano le possibilità di svolte rigide.
– L’attacco americano ha colpito selettivamente obiettivi siriani, evitando con cura di colpire quelli russi, pur presenti nella base. È anche un messaggio di quanto possano essere precisi i missili cruise americani.
– Nessun “cittadino” russo è rimasto ucciso o ferito.
– La Russia ha ufficialmente sospeso le misure di prevenzione in Siria. In altri termini, sembrerebbe non essere disposta a sopportare ulteriori attacchi americani.
– L’Unione Europea sembrerebbe non essere stata minimamente contattata, al contrario del Regno Unito.
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Circa le altre notizie, sarebbe preferibile essere ancora prudenti e non riportare informazioni incontrollate. Ce ne sono in giro financo troppe.
The Kremlin has condemned a U.S. missile strike on a government-held airbase in Syria as a “violation of international law.”
Presidential Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov slammed the attack as an “act of aggression against a sovereign nation,” designed to draw public attention away from civilian deaths in Iraq.
“Washington’s move substantially damages Russian-U.S. relations, which are already in a deplorable state,” Peskov told reporters on Friday.
“Most importantly, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin believes that this step does not bring us closer to the ultimate goal in the fight against international terrorism. On the contrary, it creates serious obstacles to efforts to forge an international coalition to fight against it and effectively counter this global evil,” Peskov said.
U.S. warships launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syria’s Al Shayrat airbase on Thursday night.
President Donald Trump ordered the strike after a chemical weapons attack killed more than 70 civilians in the Syrian province of Idlib on Wednesday.
The United States, Britain and the EU have all blamed the attack on Syrian government forces, led by President Bashar Assad and backed by the Kremlin.
Moscow has denied that the chemical was dropped from Syrian or Russian planes, instead claiming that a Syrian airstrike had hit a “terrorist warehouse” containing an arsenal of “toxic substances.”
U.S. President Donald Trump described the attack as an “affront to humanity,” and that it had “changed his mind” regarding Syrian President Assad.
Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, was even more scathing, accusing Russia of covering for Assad’s use of chemical weapons.
“Time and time again, Russia uses the same false narrative to deflect attention from their allies in Damascus,” Haley said. “Time and time again, without any factual basis, Russia attempts to place blame on others.”
The United States on Friday fired dozens of cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase from which it said a deadly chemical weapons attack was launched this week, an escalation of the U.S. military role in Syria that immediately raised tension with Russia.
Just hours after U.S. President Donald Trump announced he had ordered the attack, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said the strike had seriously damaged ties between Washington and Moscow.
Two U.S. warships fired 59 cruise missiles from the eastern Mediterranean Sea at the Syrian airbase controlled by the forces of President Bashar al-Assad in response to a poison gas attack in a rebel-held area on Tuesday, U.S. officials said.
Putin, a staunch ally of Assad, regarded the U.S. action as “aggression against a sovereign nation” on a “made-up pretext” and a cynical attempt to distract the world from civilian deaths in Iraq, his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, was cited as saying by agencies.
It was the toughest direct U.S. action yet in Syria’s six-year-old civil war and leaves Trump facing his biggest foreign policy crisis since his Jan. 20 inauguration, raising the risk of confrontation with Russia and Iran, Assad’s two main military backers.
U.S. officials said they informed Russian forces ahead of the missile attacks and that they took pains to avoid hitting Russian troops at the base, saying there were no strikes on sections of the base where Russians were present. But they said the administration did not seek Moscow’s approval.
“Years of previous attempts at changing Assad’s behavior have all failed and failed very dramatically,” Trump said as he announced the attack from his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, where he was meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Trump ordered the strikes a day after he blamed Assad for this week’s chemical attack, which killed at least 70 people, many of them children, in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun. The Syrian government has denied it was behind the attack.
The Tomahawk missiles were launched from the USS Porter and USS Ross around 0040 GMT on Friday, striking multiple targets – including the airstrip, aircraft and fuel stations – on the Shayrat Air Base, which the Pentagon says was used to store chemical weapons.
The attack was a “one-off,” a U.S. defense official told Reuters, meaning it was expected to be a single strike with no current plans for escalation.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the strike did not mean the wider U.S. policy on Syria had changed.
“This clearly indicates the president is willing to take decisive action when called for,” he told reporters. “I would not in any way attempt to extrapolate that to a change in our policy or our posture relative to our military activities in Syria today. There has been no change in that status.”
The attacks spurred a flight to safety in global financial markets, sending yields on safe-haven U.S. Treasury securities to their lowest since November. Stocks weakened in Asia and U.S. equity index futures slid, indicating Wall Street would open lower on Friday. Prices for oil and gold both rose, and the dollar slipped against the Japanese yen.
ARMY SAYS SIX KILLED
The Syrian army said six people were killed in the attack which led to big material losses. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least four Syrian soldiers, including a senior officer, were killed in the strikes, which almost completely destroyed the base.
“Initial indications are that this strike has severely damaged or destroyed Syrian aircraft and support infrastructure and equipment at Shayrat Airfield, reducing the Syrian government’s ability to deliver chemical weapons,” said Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis.
Syrian state TV said that “American aggression” had targeted the base with “a number of missiles” and cited a Syrian military source as saying the strike had “led to losses”.
Trump sought to cast the attack, which took place as he and Xi were wrapping up a dinner of Dover sole and dry-aged New York strip steak, as an effort to deter Syria from using chemical weapons in the future.
“Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians,” he said later. “Tonight I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched.
“It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons,” Trump added.
Iran, which also backs Assad, denounced the attack.
“Iran … condemns use of chemical weapons … but at the same time believes it is dangerous, destructive and violation of international laws to use it as an excuse to take unilateral actions,” Students News Agency ISNA quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying.
Israel welcomed the move.
“In both word and action, President Trump sent a strong and clear message today that the use and spread of chemical weapons will not be tolerated,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.
U.S. lawmakers had a mixed reaction, with some criticizing Trump’s decision to use force without getting their approval.
“Congress will work with the president, but his failure to seek congressional approval is unlawful,” said Senator Tim Kaine, the 2016 Democratic vice presidential candidate.
The U.N. Security Council was expected to hold closed-door consultations on Friday about the U.S. strike on Syria following a request by Bolivia, an elected member of the council, a senior Security Council diplomat said.
The attack, at 04:40 Syrian time (01:40 GMT), comes just days after dozens of civilians, including many children, died in the suspected nerve gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province.
Speaking from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Mr Trump branded Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a “dictator” who had “launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians”.
Mr Trump said he had acted in America’s “vital national security interest” to prevent the use of chemical weapons.
“Tonight I call on all civilised nations to join us in seeking to end this slaughter and bloodshed in Syria and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types,” he said.
The UK government called the US strike “an appropriate response to the barbaric chemical weapons attack”.
The Pentagon said the Russian military, which supports Syrian government forces, had been informed ahead of the US action.
In a statement it said missiles fired from Navy destroyers USS Porter and USS Ross had targeted aircraft, aircraft shelters, storage areas, ammunition supply bunkers, air defence systems, and radars at Shayrat airfield in western Homs province.
The Pentagon added that the strike was intended “to deter the regime from using chemical weapons again”.
It did not give details of damage or casualties but the governor of Homs province said there had been deaths and parts of the base were on fire.
“It will take some time to determine the extent of the damage,” Talal Barazi told AFP news agency.
However, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, said at least four Syrian soldiers had been killed.
A White House spokesman said the site targeted by the cruise missiles “was directly linked to the horrific chemical weapons attack”.
“We assess with a high degree of confidence that the chemical weapons attack earlier this week was launched from this site by air assets under the command of the Assad regime,” the official said.
“We also assess, with a similar degree of confidence, that the Assad regime used a chemical nerve agent consistent with Sarin in these attacks.”
A statement on Syrian state TV said “American aggression” had targeted a Syrian military base with “a number of missiles” but gave no further details.
«Russian warplanes are taking part in air strikes against insurgents to help repel a major attack on Syrian government-held areas near the city of Hama»
«Rebel groups spearheaded by extremist insurgents launched the attack on Tuesday and have captured at least 11 villages and towns»
«Rebel groups were focusing their attack on Friday on the village of Qomhana, some 8 km (5 miles), north of Hama city, Observatory Director Rami Abdulrahman said»
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Come si vede nell’allegata cartina, la città di Hama è giusto sulla strada che congiunge Damasco con Aleppo, unica direttrice nord-sud della Siria. È evidente la sua importanza strategica: da una parte per tenere aperta la via di comunicazione, dall’altra per tagliarla.
Una sola ed unica considerazione.
Tutti affermano a gran voce come siano ferventi sostenitori di una pace lunga, giusta e duratura.
Poi, nei fatti, tutti si danno un gran da fare a continuare ad armare le fazioni in contesa, cercando di far durare più a lungo possibile questo massacro.
Sicuramente questo conflitto presenta molti problemi militari, ma nulla sarà fatto di concreto senza un accordo politico.
Il problema dei profughi, tra l’altro, non potrà mai essere risolto senza prima aver portato la pace in Medio Oriente.
Russian warplanes are taking part in air strikes against insurgents to help repel a major attack on Syrian government-held areas near the city of Hama, a Syrian military source said on Friday.
Rebel groups spearheaded by extremist insurgents launched the attack on Tuesday and have captured at least 11 villages and towns, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based organization that reports on the war.
It marks the biggest attack by rebels in months. While President Bashar al-Assad still holds the military upper hand in the war, the rebel gains have shown the challenge facing the Syrian army and allied militia as they fight on numerous fronts. “Air strikes have now started, and there is concentrated artillery firing against the armed groups and the headquarters of their leaders and supply lines, paving the way for the counter-attack,” the military source told Reuters. “The Russians are, of course, participating in these raids.”
Rebel groups were focusing their attack on Friday on the village of Qomhana, some 8 km (5 miles), north of Hama city, Observatory Director Rami Abdulrahman said.
An account on the instant-message service Telegram that is affiliated with the extremist alliance spearheading the assault, Tahrir al-Sham, said a suicide attack had been carried out there. The military source said the army had destroyed two car bombs that insurgents had tried to drive towards their positions in Qomhaha, and the attack was thwarted. The fighting has underscored the bleak prospects for a new round of UN-led peace talks that are underway in Geneva.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed David Friedman as the U.S. ambassador to Israel in a Tweet, Thursday. Senators voted 52-46 and approved the first of President Donald Trump’s pick for ambassadors. Netanyahu said that Friedman would be warmly welcomed by Israel.
Israeli envoy to the U.S. Ron Dermer also posted on Twitter congratulating Friedman.
Friedman previously served as Trump’s bankruptcy lawyer. He has been criticized for his earlier comments on the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Being an Orthodox Jew, he accused the State Department of anti-Semitism and compared the Left-wing Jewish activists to “Kapos.” He had also accused former president Barack Obama of being “anti-Semitic” — a term referred to the Jews, who were appointed by Nazis to keep a check on prisoners at concentration camps. Friedman later apologized for his past comments during his confirmation hearing and also promised to uphold the U.S. policy under the Trump administration, according to NBC News.
Friedman needed a simple majority for the confirmation of his nomination. Although several Democrats opposed it, Republicans showed support. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Bob Melendez (D-N.J.) among the Republicans, voted for Friedman during the senate hearing. They also supported him during a procedural vote that took place earlier Thursday.
Friedman’s nomination has been through a lot of controversies. Democrats voiced their concerns about Friedman’s comments earlier opposing a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Friedman also advocated for Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Ben Cardin (D-Md.) did not support the nomination.
“Taken together, Mr. Friedman’s statements and affiliations make it clear that he does not believe the two-state solution is necessary for a just and lasting peace,” Cardin said.
Cardin added that he believes Friedman’s past opinions would affect “his ability to represent the United States as a credible facilitator of the peace process,” the Hill reported.
Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., also expressed his concern over the nomination and said Friedman’s “past conduct demonstrates that he lacks the tools one needs to be a good diplomat,” according to NBC News.
«Russia appears to have deployed special forces to an airbase in western Egypt near the border with Libya in recent days»
«The U.S. and diplomatic officials said any such Russian deployment might be part of a bid to support Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar»
«the United States has observed what appeared to be Russian special operations forces and drones at Sidi Barrani, about 60 miles (100 km) from the Egypt-Libya border»
«Russia also used another Egyptian base farther east in Marsa Matrouh in early February»
«Russian military aircraft flew about six military units to Marsa Matrouh before the aircraft continued to Libya about 10 days later»
«Several Western countries, including the U.S., have sent special operations forces and military advisors into Libya over the past two years»
«Questions about Russia’s role in north Africa coincide with growing concerns in Washington about Moscow’s intentions in oil-rich Libya, which has become a patchwork of rival fiefdoms in the aftermath of a 2011 NATO-backed uprising against the late leader Muammar Gaddafi, who was a client of the former Soviet Union»
«A force of several dozen armed private security contractors from Russia operated until February in a part of Libya that is under Haftar’s control»
«It is pretty clear the Egyptians are facilitating Russian engagement in Libya by allowing them to use these bases»
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A quanto sembrerebbe, i russi avrebbero dislocati in Egitto solo un modestissimo numero di militari e, sempre apparentemente, senza particolari armamenti.
Di certo, lo hanno fatto con il consenso, o forse anche su richiesta, dell’Egitto. Secondo Izvestia i russi starebbero allestendo una base aerea.
La Libia è tuttora un teatro turbolento ed instabile. Sembrerebbe quasi che lo sport in gran voga nei paesi occidentali sia quello di fomentare torbidi e guerre civili in quella povera nazione.
I russi sono già impegnati in Siria ed hanno stretto rapporti privilegiati con l’Iran.
Questa mossa potrebbe anche essere l’inizio di un loro impegno non solo nel Medio Oriente, ma anche in Africa del Nord.
Russia appears to have deployed special forces to an airbase in western Egypt near the border with Libya in recent days, U.S., Egyptian and diplomatic sources say, a move that would add to U.S. concerns about Moscow’s deepening role in Libya.
The U.S. and diplomatic officials said any such Russian deployment might be part of a bid to support Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar, who suffered a setback with an attack on March 3 by the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) on oil ports controlled by his forces.
The U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the United States has observed what appeared to be Russian special operations forces and drones at Sidi Barrani, about 60 miles (100 km) from the Egypt-Libya border.
Egyptian security sources offered more detail, describing a 22-member Russian special forces unit, but declined to discuss its mission. They added that Russia also used another Egyptian base farther east in Marsa Matrouh in early February.
The apparent Russian deployments have not been previously reported.
The Russian defense ministry did not immediately provide comment on Monday and Egypt denied the presence of any Russian contingent on its soil.
“There is no foreign soldier from any foreign country on Egyptian soil. This is a matter of sovereignty,” Egyptian army spokesman Tamer al-Rifai said.
The U.S. military declined comment. U.S. intelligence on Russian military activities is often complicated by its use of contractors or forces without uniforms, officials say.
Russian military aircraft flew about six military units to Marsa Matrouh before the aircraft continued to Libya about 10 days later, the Egyptian sources said.
Reuters could not independently verify any presence of Russian special forces and drones or military aircraft in Egypt.
Mohamed Manfour, commander of Benina air base near Benghazi, denied that Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) had received military assistance from the Russian state or from Russian military contractors, and said there were no Russian forces or bases in eastern Libya.
Several Western countries, including the U.S., have sent special operations forces and military advisors into Libya over the past two years. The U.S. military also carried out air strikes to support a successful Libyan campaign last year to oust Islamic State from its stronghold in the city of Sirte.
Questions about Russia’s role in north Africa coincide with growing concerns in Washington about Moscow’s intentions in oil-rich Libya, which has become a patchwork of rival fiefdoms in the aftermath of a 2011 NATO-backed uprising against the late leader Muammar Gaddafi, who was a client of the former Soviet Union.
The U.N.-backed government in Tripoli is in a deadlock with Haftar, and Russian officials have met with both sides in recent months. Moscow appears prepared to back up its public diplomatic support for Haftar even though Western governments were already irked at Russia’s intervention in Syria to prop up President Bashar al-Assad.
A force of several dozen armed private security contractors from Russia operated until February in a part of Libya that is under Haftar’s control, the head of the firm that hired the contractors told Reuters.
The top U.S. military commander overseeing troops in Africa, Marine General Thomas Waldhauser, told the U.S. Senate last week that Russia was trying to exert influence in Libya to strengthen its leverage over whoever ultimately holds power.
“They’re working to influence that,” Waldhauser told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.
Asked whether it was in the U.S. interest to let that happen, Waldhauser said: “It is not.”
One U.S. intelligence official said Russia’s aim in Libya appeared to be an effort to “regain a toe-hold where the Soviet Union once had an ally in Gaddafi.”
“At the same time, as in Syria, they appear to be trying to limit their military involvement and apply enough to force some resolution but not enough to leave them owning the problem,” the official added, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Russia’s courting of Haftar, who tends to brand his armed rivals as Islamist extremists and who some Libyans see as the strongman their country needs after years of instability, has prompted others to draw parallels with Syria, another longtime Soviet client.
Asked by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham whether Russia was trying to do in Libya what it did in Syria, Waldhauser said: “Yes, that’s a good way to characterize it.”
A Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Russia was looking to back Haftar, although its initial focus would likely be on Libya’s “oil crescent.”
“It is pretty clear the Egyptians are facilitating Russian engagement in Libya by allowing them to use these bases. There are supposedly training exercises taking place there at present,” the diplomat said.
Egypt has been trying to persuade the Russians to resume flights to Egypt, which have been suspended since a Russian plane carrying 224 people from the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh to St Petersburg was brought down by a bomb in October 2015. The attack was claimed by an Islamic State branch that operates out of northern Sinai.
Russia says that its primary objective in the Middle East is to contain the spread of violent Islamist groups.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pledged this month to help unify Libya and foster dialogue when he met the leader of the U.N.-backed government, Fayez Seraj.
Russia, meanwhile, is also deepening its relations with Egypt, which had ties to the Soviet Union from 1956 to 1972.
The two countries held joint military exercises – something the U.S. and Egypt did regularly until 2011 – for the first time in October.
Russia’s Izvestia newspaper said in October that Moscow was in talks to open or lease an airbase in Egypt. Egypt’s state-owned Al Ahram newspaper, however, quoted the presidential spokesman as saying Egypt would not allow foreign bases.
The Egyptian sources said there was no official agreement on the Russian use of Egyptian bases. There were, however, intensive consultations over the situation in Libya.
Egypt is worried about chaos spreading from its western neighbor and it has hosted a flurry of diplomatic meetings between leaders of the east and west in recent months.
Qualcuno ha suggerito di trasformare i marines in un corpo interamente femminile. Poi non si venga a dire che Mr Putin non stia sovvertendo le forze armate americane. È lì che si sta fregando le mani e saltellando di gioia.
L’idea di base è semplice.
Le forze armate americane devono adeguarsi alle esigenze della loro componente femminile, mica contrastare le azioni di quelli screanzati maschilisti che potrebbero diventare i potenziali avversari, se non anche nemici sul campo. Insomma, che i nemici si adeguino: mettano le tendine alle finestre delle caserme e vasi di fiori sulle corazze dei blindati.
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Gli americani possono avere tutte le tecnologie di questo mondo che poi, alla fine, se sono degeneri, si comportano da tali: non fanno più paura a nessuno. Nessuno ha paura dei debosciati.
Sembrerebbe che l’unica preoccupazione degli americani sia il sesso. Purché degenere, ovviamente.
Così, dopo aver perso il controllo del Mare Cinese del Sud, ove la Cina si è costruita un bel numero di isole artificiali, dopo aver preso pesci in faccia dalla Korea del Nord che si è sviluppata l’arma atomica e prosegue nella costituzione di un congruo numero di vettori, ecco arrivare le news dallo Stretto di Ormuz.
– Due siluranti iraniane hanno fato invertire la rotta di una squadra navale americana. Si dirà per amor di pace, ma fatto sta che se ne sono andati con la coda tra le gambe.
– Dopo aver installato i sistemi anti-missile russi S-300, adesso gli iraniani hanno testato un loro missile anti-nave.
Si dirà: è un missilotto da 300 km di raggio di azione. È rudimentale, ha un’elettronica scadente, non ha una guida satellitare, non consente i video-games. Tutto vero, verissimo.
Ma è altrettanto vero che prima non c’era.
Ed ora, che li americani lo spieghino ai loro alleati in Medio Oriente.
* * * * * * *
Zero Hedge, una testata molto vicina ai servizi segreti russi, pubblica un titolo che è tutto un programma:
«As tensions between the U.S. and Iran continue to mount, the semi-official news agency Tasnim is reporting that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has successfully conducted yet another ballistic missile test, this time from a navy vessel. Called the Hormuz 2, these latest missiles are designed to destroy moving targets at sea at ranges up to 300 km (180 miles).
Reports on the latest test quotes Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Force, who confirmed that “the naval ballistic missile called Hormuz 2 successfully destroyed a target which was 250 km away.”
The missile test is the latest event in a long-running rivalry between Iran and the United States in and around the Strait of Hormuz, which guards the entrance to the Gulf. About 20% of the world’s oil passes through the waterway, which is less than 40 km wide at its narrowest point.
Of course, this latest provocation follows additional tests conducted earlier this week in which Iran test-fired a pair of ballistic missiles into the Gulf of Oman and subsequently proceeded to provoke a U.S. Navy ship in the area. For those who missed it, here is what we wrote earlier this week:
Trump’s geopolitical headaches continue to mount.
One day after North Korea launched 4 ballistic missiles, 3 of which fell into the East Sea inside Japan’s economic exclusion zone, and which have painted a spotlight on how Trump will react to this latest provocation, Fox reports that Iran also test-fired a pair of ballistic missiles this weekend into the Gulf of Oman, with one missile destroying a floating barge approximately 155 miles away.
The launches of the Fateh-110 short-range ballistic missiles were the first tests of the missile in two years, one official said. It was not immediately clear if this was the first successful test at sea — raising concerns for the U.S. Navy, which operates warships in the area.
According to one quoted official, Iran launched the two short-range ballistic missiles from Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps bases in Bandar-e-Jask, in southeastern Iran. The first missile was fired on Saturday, but missed its target, though it landed “in the vicinity,” one official said. A day later, Iran made another attempt and was successful. The Iranian Fateh-110 Mod 3 has a new “active seeker,” helping the missile locate ships at sea, according to one official.
“It’s a concern based on the range and that one of the missiles worked,” said one official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose the launch. Two years ago, Iranian cruise missiles destroyed a large barge designed to look like an American aircraft carrier. Iranian state-television broadcast the images publicly at the time.
The new Iranian short-range ballistic missile launches come a week after Iran successfully test-fired Russian surface-to-air missiles, part of the S-300 air defense system Russia sent to Iran recently.
According to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Iran has conducted as many as 14 ballistic missile launches since the landmark nuclear agreement in July 2015. A senior U.S. military official told Fox News that Iran had made great advances in its ballistic missile program over the past decade.
Late last month, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford said Iran’s behavior had not changed since the White House put the Islamic Republic “on notice” following Iran’s successful intermediate-range ballistic missile test-launch in late January.
This launch appears to be in addition to what we reported on Saturday, in which Iran successfully test-fired a sophisticated, Russian-supplied S-300 air defense system, according to the official IRNA news agency reported on Saturday. The drill took place during a recent military exercise named Damvand, and was attended by senior military commanders and officials according to Tasnim.
In a separate report, Reuters notes that Iranian vessels came within 600 yards of U.S. Navy ship in Strait of Hormuz, forced it to change direction, Reuters says in tweet, citing unidentified official.»
Il veleno è sempre nella coda.
«The Iranian Fateh-110 Mod 3 has a new “active seeker,” helping the missile locate ships at sea»
«The new Iranian short-range ballistic missile launches come a week after Iran successfully test-fired Russian surface-to-air missiles, part of the S-300 air defense system Russia sent to Iran recently»
«This launch appears to be in addition to what we reported on Saturday, in which Iran successfully test-fired a sophisticated, Russian-supplied S-300 air defense system»
«Reuters notes that Iranian vessels came within 600 yards of U.S. Navy ship in Strait of Hormuz, forced it to change direction»
Iran has successfully test-fired a naval missile which hit its target 250 kilometers away, local news agencies reported Thursday.
“We have this week tested the Hormuz-2 missile,” the Fars and Tasnim agencies quoted the commander of the air wing of the elite Revolutionary Guards, General Amir-Ali Hadjizadeh, as saying.
“The missile succeeded in destroying its target 250 kilometers (155 miles) away,” in the Gulf of Oman, Hadjizadeh added. According to the local news agencies the new Hormuz-2 missile has a maximum range of 300 kilometers.
The missile test was carried out at a time of heightened tension between Iran and the United States. On Wednesday a senior Revolutionary Guards official accused the United States of provoking tensions after two separate incidents in the Gulf last week.
“A US Navy ship crossing the Strait of Hormuz changed its international route and approached to within 550 metres of Revolutionary Guards’ boats in an unprofessional way,” Mehdi Hashemi told the Guard’s website Sepahnews.
He said actions by the United States and the United Kingdom in recent days showed they have “harmful, illegitimate and provocative objectives”. The Pentagon on Monday blasted the “unprofessional” behavior of the Iranian navy.
The spike in tensions follows the inauguration of Donald Trump as US president. Washington imposed fresh sanctions on Iran following a missile test in late January.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps has successfully test-fired a naval missile, the semi-official news agency Tasnim said on Thursday, a move likely to heighten concern in Washington, whose warship operate in the waters near Iran.
Tasnim said the missile, called the Hormuz 2, could destroy moving targets at sea at ranges up to 300 km (180 miles). The missile was built in Iran, Tasnim said.
“The naval ballistic missile called Hormuz 2 this week has successfully destroyed a target which was 250 km away,” said Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Force, according to Tasnim.
The missile test is the latest event in a long-running rivalry between Iran and the United States in and around the Strait of Hormuz, which guards the entrance to the Gulf. About 20 percent of the world’s oil passes through the waterway, which is less than 40 km wide at its narrowest point.
Most recently, several Iranian fast-attack boats came within 600 yards (550 meters) of the USNS Invincible, a tracking ship, forcing it to change direction.
A Revolutionary Guards commander told Iranian state media on Wednesday that it was the fault of the U.S. ship, warning the United States of the “irreversible consequences of such unprofessional actions”.
In January, a U.S. destroyer fired three warning shots at four Iranian fast-attack boats near the Strait after they closed in at high speed and disregarded repeated requests to slow down.