Wednesday, September 17, 2014

 The Guardian
Qatar-Gulf deal forces expulsion of Muslim Brotherhood leaders
Move comes under heavy pressure from Saudi Arabia, UAE and other neighbours, with threat posed by Isis used as lever....

Turkish media reported that the country's president, Recep Tayep Erdoğan, had extended a welcome to the exiled leaders.
Netanyahu: Sunni Arab states "understand that Israel is not their enemy but their ally."
Netanyahu: Don't strengthen Iran to weaken Islamic State
The logical strategy would be to use the divide between Turkey and the Gulf states by offering qualified support to the Brothers, then to pressure Erdogan to staunch the flow of fighters going to Syria. But instead of siding with Sunni and Shiite conservatives -the MB, Turkey, Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, all of whom have some relation to democratic politics- against sectarian extremists, we're backing extremists, and monarchists, against their own and hoping our allies are as serious as we are. And of course they're not. People I follow on twitter are banging their heads against the nearest wall, in awe without shock. US policy is nothing if not predictable.

For a long time, Western and Arab states supported the Free Syrian Army not only with training but also with weapons and other materiel. The Islamic State commander, Abu Yusaf, added that members of the Free Syrian Army who had received training — from the United States, Turkey and Arab military officers at an American base in Southern Turkey — have now joined the Islamic State. “Now many of the FSA people who the West has trained are actually joining us,” he said, smiling.
...The prosecution is asking that al-Nimr be executed and crucified. In Saudi Arabia, most death sentences are carried out by beheading. Crucifixion in this context would mean that the body and head would then be put on display.

Such a punishment is rare in the kingdom and reserved for only the most serious crimes. It is meant as a warning to others.

The 54-year-old cleric is a longtime critic of Saudi Arabia's treatment of its Shiite minority and is revered among many young Shiites. He led Shiite protests in 2011 in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province and openly criticized the Sunni government of Bahrain's handling of Shiite protests there.
The Saudis have executed 19 people since August 4th, at least 34 this year and at least 78 last year.

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