Friday, September 28

Is the Arab Spring moving into winter?

So many changes have occurred in the Middle East. In the beginning of the various uprisings, many of us were filled with hope of a new order - a sort of wind of change that would bring the Middle East towards democracy. It was a dream. Despite much populist rhetoric about democracy it is doubtful if that will ever be achieved.

Now nearly two years later - not only is there no democracy, those wonderful, educated young people who were at the forefront of the various uprisings, have disappeared. They were the hope of many of us as the despotic Middle East regimes started crumbling. The despotic regimes have been replaced by Islamist regimes that wish to install Sharia law. It could happen in Syria with great cost to human freedom and democracy which never existed under the brutal Bashar al Assad regime. The rebels there are also slaughtering innocent people no less than the soldiers of Assad. The future in Syria can be described as very bleak.

If we look at Egypt, we see that there was a semblance of democracy when the people voted for the Muslim Brotherhood. The new Egyptian President, Mohammed Morsi, seemed promising despite his support from the Muslim Brotherhood. However, when one Islamist party (in Egypt - the Muslim Brotherhood) shows signs of pragmatism towards the Western nations such as the US, other splinter extremist Islamist terror groups such as the Salafis exploit the economic misery of the people and create a form of anarchy against the elected leader. Morsi is trying to be pragmatic. He needs foreign investment which includes aid. Egypt today, torn by turmoil, has to rebuild its economy and tourist trade.

What is happening in Egypt today is a big disappointment and this is reflected in the other Arab countries where, tyrants fell and are still falling.

Morsi cannot afford to antagonize Israel. Both Israel and Egypt have a common enemy - Bedouin Islamist terror groups as well as El Qaeda which seek to attack Israelis and even the Egyptian Security Forces. They have their own agenda – conversion to Islam by force and the destruction of the “infidel” who are non-Moslems by their definition.

Security is in the common interest of both Israel and Egypt as both have suffered from Islamist terror group infiltration. The peace treaty between Egypt and Israel
will hold. Morsi is in no position to change the conditions of the treaty even though he has indicated his desire of doing this. The Palestinian refugee problem is always a convenient bandwagon on which to climb as well as the Israeli Occupation. It is doubtful if Egypt cares about Palestinian welfare. Ahmedinajad of Iran and Assad of Syria are not interested in Palestinian suffering at all. They use this issue to bash Israel as a digression from their own brutal treatment of their people. Even President Morsi has used the Palestinian issue to gain points in his speech at the UN General Assembly.

While the Israeli Occupation is a very complex problem, it is also an obstacle for an independent Palestinian state because the illegal settlements create a situation that makes the two-state solution impossible to achieve. Despite this, nothing in Palestine can be compared to the slaughter going on in Syria and the massive refugee problem that this has created. Massive infringements of human rights in Iran and Syria have not been given much expression in the UN General Assembly speeches of world leaders.

The direction that Egypt is moving remains unclear and the economic problems that need to be solved are immense because of the intense poverty and neglect under the tyrannical rule of Mubarak.

All the Arab countries that have changed their leadership during the Arab Spring are moving towards more fundamentalist Islamist rule with the strengthening of Islamist extremist groups.

The release of an anti-Islam film in the US resulted in a wave of Islamist terror in the Middle East. The US ambassador in Libya was murdered in Benghazi as a frenzied mob of Islamist extremists went on the rampage killing innocent people. This sweep of violent demonstrations against Israel and the US reached epidemic proportions. While the film was disgusting and hateful towards Islam and protest against its release was justified. Indiscriminate killing of people because of violent protest was tragic and must be condemned. It is the duty of Muslim spiritual leaders not only to condemn this shocking film but also to condemn the killing of innocent people. This just did not occur. Islamist extremism and hate goes on the rampage when there is an affront real or imaginary with devastating fatal results.

Why are the West not adopting a more even handed policy towards Islamist terror groups? They make impotent clucking noises condemning this terror and a few days later everything is forgotten until the next brutal Islamist terror act.

Syria is in the throes of a bloody revolution. Innocent people are being slaughtered not only by the evil Assad regime but also by an opposition of militants that are on the rampage. In this sweeping wave of slaughter by both Assad and the various militias which are not united are the Syrian people caught in the cross-fire. There is not much medical aid to speak of and those who are lucky to escape the killing fields of Syria find themselves in squalid refugee camps in Turkey and Jordan

The hope of change in Syria from the cruelty of Assad and his brutal forces to a democratic alternative is dim. The rebel forces are disunited and are composed of cruel militias committing the same crimes as the shaky Assad regime. It is a field day for Islamist terror groups to pick up the pieces. This is fertile ground for El Qaeda and its various militias.

Why is the UN indifferent to the slaughter in Syria? There seems to be so much Israel bashing in that forum and allowing the evil Ahmadinajad of Iran to be given a well publicized platform to sprout his desire to destroy Israel on his visit to the UN General Assembly Convention. This evil tyrant should be ignored. He is not worthy of the attention that is being showered on him.

Ahmidinajad is a Nazi and the butcher of Iran. He wants to wipe Israel off the face of the earth and he is helping Bashar el Assad to murder his own Syrian people. He should not have been allowed to address the UN General Assembly. Why did so few delegates walk out when he spoke?

The strange paradox in these cruel scenarios is the attitudes of the ruling ANC in South Africa. The ANC which is arrogant and corrupt - certainly very different from the great liberation movement it once was under the evil apartheid regime of South Africa. The ANC shows total ignorance of the dynamics in the Middle East. This could be due to ignorance, naivety or a mixture of both. They have become allies of Iran, Assad's Syria, Hezbollah, and even Hamas. They support the darkest anti-democratic forces in the Middle East. They see them as the liberators of the Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. They lose no opportunity to condemn Israel as being an occupier and an exploiter of the Palestinians. There is deathly silence from Archbishop Desmond Tutu and many other left-wing human rights activists on the killing fields in Syria, Iran and even in Gaza where Hamas oppresses the Palestinians more than Israel ever did. The ANC is very selective in what it sees as human cruelties. After all they shot innocent miners in cold blood because they had a strike in Marikana. Perhaps they learn these cruel tactics from their despotic allies in the Middle East as well as the old white apartheid government. The ANC is no paragon of virtue if we examine their record of conduct in ruling South Africa.

It looks as if the Arab Spring on which many of us had pinned such high hopes is turning into an Arab Winter where the new regimes are becoming more anti-democratic and Sharia Law will be playing an important part in policy making in the future.

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Tuesday, September 18

The Hypocrisy of ANC-ruled South Africa towards Israel

Nelson Mandela
Cover of Nelson Mandela
Boycott Israel-poster
Boycott Israel-poster (Photo credit: Creap)
English: Malema
English: Malema (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Lonmin Mine disaster that has caused the loss of many lives last month must be viewed as a danger call in South Africa. There are various trade union groups independent of the COSATU (Congress of South African Trade Unions) which is affiliated to the African National Congress. The dissatisfaction is only rising to the surface now and it will only get worse. The strikers were gunned down in a brutal fashion by the ANC-controlled police.

The annoying thing about all this including the tragic loss of life is the hypocrisy of the ANC Government. An issue that concerns many of us is the cruel tactics used to quell protest. The ANC is not the ANC of Nelson Mandela and wonderful people of the calibre of Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki and Duma Nokwe as well as a host of other wonderful people who had sacrificed so much in order to achieve the demise of the evil apartheid regime. They had suffered torture in white South African ruled prisons and their determination to achieve justice for their people was unwavering. I am sure that that the deceased ANC fighters for freedom are turning in their graves today if they knew what a disappointment the ANC is today. The ANC MPs have become rich, arrogant, self-righteous and corrupt on the backs of the South African taxpayer. The massacre of strikers of the Lonmin Platinum Mines of Marikana will cause a crack in the ANC power base which is being exploited by the ex-leader of the African National Congress Youth League, Julius Malema – an arrogant, wealthy, charismatic rabble-rouser, who is taking advantage of a tragic situation to score points. He has his own agenda and that is to grab power and to be a threat to the ANC. Both Malema and the ANC have similar allies ranging from the tyrants Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Bashar el Assad of Syria and Mahmoud Ahmadinajad of Iran not to mention Hezbollah of Sheik Nasrallah and Hamas of Haled Mashal - "great benefactors of human rights issues".

Where are the human rights groups of South Africa? Those who remain silent on the refugee crises in Darfur, the xenophobia of those who attack refugees from Zimbabwe, the brutal slaughter of innocent men, women and children in Syria.

These same hypocritical left wing human rights groups of South Africa are the first to jump the anti-Israel bandwagon, shooting their mouths over Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. There is a lot of room for criticism on the occupation of Israel in the West Bank. I have made this clear in all my posts on this blog and I have not changed my attitude on that issue. South Africa’s policy of hostility towards Israel's treatment of the Palestinians and support of BDS (boycott,divestment and sanctions) is hollow; reeking of ignorance of the issues involved which are very complex. What the ANC is doing to its own people is far worse. The combating of crime is poor and South Africa has the highest crime rate in the world. Poverty, housing shortages, the collapse of the education system are a failure of the ANC to deliver the goods to its people. Surely South Africans must reach the right conclusions as to the performance of the ANC.

The added problem of Julius Malema with his competing agenda will only exacerbate the situation. We must remember that Malema is homespun from the ANC. He shares the same love of wealth and corruption as the ANC. The ANC by their impotency on vital issues because of severe corruption in their ranks is paving the way for future Malemas whose hero worship of despots of Mugabi’s ilk could be the death knell of democracy in South Africa and and the beginning of black apartheid with disastrous consequences.

The double standard ANC is condemning Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians which is out of all proportion when compared to the way it treats the poor and the mineworkers of South Africa. 

 South Africa is sliding down the abyss of disaster and the ANC is becoming South Africa’s tragedy and another chapter in its bloody history. South Africans of all colours, creeds and religions must heed the wake up call and vote against the ANC at the ballot box before it is too late.

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