Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category

Hva penger ikke kan kjøpe

In Middle East on 30. November 2018 at 15:44

ABU RASASA KALLER de ham, kulens far, fordi han angivelig sendte en kule i konvolutt til en kritiker – mujaddid – reformatoren, av statsfinansierte imamer fra talerstolen til de hellige moskeene og reformprinsen av sjarmerte journalister, politikere og grundere i USA.


Kronprins Mohammad Bin Salman med akronymet MBS har mange navn, og alle på sitt vis bekrefter den autoritære og kontrære maktperson han er. Det er en sammenheng mellom drapet på aktivisten og journalisten Jamal Khashoggi og den nå tre år lange krigen i Jemen som Saudi Arabia og Emiratene på brutalt vis har engasjert seg i.

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Helter eller skurker

In Middle East on 24. October 2018 at 14:19

DET ER EN form for forsiktighet fra våre statsledere, nesten en flauhet, å i det hele tatt kunne si at en støtter en liberal verdensorden, dyrket frem av de rettigheter moderne demokratier gir.


Det er mange forklaringer – men det som er sikkert er at hybride form for demokratiske bevegelser har vokst frem – disse spiser rettsstaten, frihetene og rettighetene innenfra.

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Hverken hauk eller due

In Middle East on 23. April 2018 at 15:05

Teksten er også publisert hos Dagsavisen.

DET FINNES ET alternativ mellom det å være for bombing av et brutalt regime og det å stå på sidelinjen og ønske gode tanker til sivile. Flere forslag har vært foreslått siden Syria-protestene først kom opp i 2011 med all den utvikling som siden har utspilt seg.


Debatten i forkant og etterkant av siste runde med kjemiske angrep og tilhørende svar fra USA, Frankrike og Storbritannia vitner imidlertid om noe helt annet. Det eksisterer hverken noen konkrete grep for å få en slutt på konflikten, og heller ingen vilje utenom å repetere at diplomati og FN-sporet må respekteres.

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On the missing custodian and a courted court jester

In Middle East on 29. November 2017 at 20:52

AN ILLUTION CAN deceive masses, what are journalists to think they can escape its spell? Except they should – and would have, had they been true to their credentials. What Thomas L. Friedman wrote in The New York Times a week ago regarding his high hopes of a Saudi reform not only promotes propaganda, but also justifies authoritarianism in its fight against liberty.


This pattern covers many a layers of developments in Middle East. Each time people demand rights, representation and progress, the authoritarians strike back – and each time, there tends to be willing ears in countries with the said rights and representation.

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A Royal Arab spring

In Middle East on 8. June 2017 at 21:26

THERE USED TO be a common border between Qatar and Emirates, but that would not have helped as latter is aligned with Riyadh when it comes to recent showdown. Current crisis has Qatar cut-off by land, air and sea by the band of three: Saudi Arabia, UAE and the client state Bahrain.

This is what the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has come to be – a forced alliance with center of gravity in the hands of Mohammad ibn Salman (deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia), and his likeminded friend Mohammad ibn Zayed of UAE/Abu Dhabi.

There are several theories of recent thaw between this alliance within an alliance, against a peninsula-country based on the Arab peninsula – but what is this indicating? What kind of threat is Saudi-led GCC trying to prevent when Riyadh’s prime aim is Tehran? Why did such a daring stunt even unfold, and who is lurking to gain from this once the dust is settled?

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Of fate and the Arab soul

In Middle East on 31. March 2017 at 22:25

LAST TIME AN Arab leader was the head of an Arab empire was a time when we had yet to discover the delights of the enlightenment or the colours of the renaissance. Fatimid Empire, based in Cairo, was dominant in much of Arab peninsula, Levant and entire northern Africa. Its satellites, proxies and sympathisers were in Palermo, in and around Caliphs heartlands in Bagdad and among certain individuals of thinkers and philosophers who marked the Arab golden age.


Cairo of then and Cairo of today is nowhere near comparable. Neither its leadership, nor its populace – neither its economic reach, nor its political might. Looking abroad, there are petty Arab states that compete to be the sole representative of this people, but no one manages to be inclusive, popular or a source of stability for the entire segment.

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Game of numbers

In Middle East on 31. December 2016 at 16:18

WITH THE END of this year the amount of refugees throughout the world are at an alarming level – precisely 65,3 million according to UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Refugees have become a major tool in the hands of countries and leaders with their own ambitions and goals. People who flee their homes are indirectly becoming a cause to win elections in our western European democracies, they are being used as bargaining chips by Ankara in its dealings with Europe, and they are a huge breeding group for war by proxy for regional rivals in Middle East the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran.


Here is the focus in this piece regarding refugees. There is a game of numbers for different actors and how they use official propaganda in order to paint themselves as the guardians of civilians. How come it is easier for certain major actors to do little in order to safeguard refugees, and at the same time increase number of refugees in other areas, as long as they have financial means to both fight wars and to pay for refugee camps?

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A song of Law and decree

In Middle East on 26. July 2016 at 23:17

The struggle for strategic deterrence President Erdogan tried to create during his latest stint – before the attempted coup – failed miserably. The whole façade ended up in confirming his shortsightedness, one that will cost a nation of 75 million people the stability and development it need.

The powerful man at center of this theatre has his wishes at currently at odds with that of the Republic – more explicitly the Law is not in harmony with Presidents decrees – this song between law and decree is yet not on its last line, attempted unsaddling was merely the beginning of a new verse.

Uten navn

What brought the Cumhurbaskani (President) to his position today, how did the attempted coup happen with its following failure and what are the prospects for this nation that is important for the stability for the entire region?

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Syrias veikart for fred

In Middle East on 29. November 2015 at 21:51

Tragisk nok er konflikter som Syria relevante når enkeltindividers skjebner blir bekjentgjort, eller når vi møter dets ettervirkning på vår egen halvdel. For og imot intervensjon debatten i Europa har vart like lenge som Syria har vært i full borgerkrig, men krisen er ikke mer prekær fordi flyktninger banker på våre dører, eller fordi terroren rammer våre byer, den var kritisk allerede da militærstyrker ble brukt mot et ubevæpnet folk.

syria roadmap

For en konflikt som har mange parter, flere eksterne involverte og har flere konsekvenser er det kontraproduktivt med bombetokter alene, det er nødvendig å kombinere det spekteret av virkemidler som på kort og langsikt gir en varig fred og stabilitet.

En aktiv deltagelse i Syria er viktig, både diplomatisk, og militært. I det følgende vil det fokuseres på hvorfor det er viktig å fokusere på det nødvendige arbeidet før og etter en fremforhandlet løsning. Er ikke dette området adressert risikerer vi å se en konflikt som kan vare i flere titalls år – Syria kan faktisk bli verre.

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Call the bluff

In Middle East on 30. September 2015 at 14:56

It’s easy to look for a chessboard when Mideast becomes the topic, it tells a lot about how few powerful determine what is to happen to the many powerless. The Saudi death-apologist Mufti may be right on this part when it comes to destiny, although this specific destiny is not determined by the Almighty, rather by these chess and card-players that point score and flex muscles.

Be it regional aspiring powers, or global political rivalry – when giants fight, the ants get mashed. And thus, when rivalry is at play in Syria, the masses must accept their fate. Because why should they be in possession of this power, what good do the masses know?


What is interesting to note is the recent (but not so recent at all) influx of Moscow’s dominance in determine an outcome of Syrian mess, the sudden revival of Assad as the only visible option left to protect, and the lack of political wit to solve this sea of blood by the populist anti-immigrant right and anti-imperialist left. Read the rest of this entry »