The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

In same edition, Qatar-owned Quds Arabi softens Nusra front image and says Christians and Shiites in Damascus are looting Sunni cellphones

When the Qatari owned Al-Quds al-Arabi engages in a full-scale effort to sweeten the image of Al-Qaeda’s Nusrah Front in syria, and then highlights in the same issue the alleged sectarian-anti-sunni actions of some Shiites and Christians in Damascus… well it is a hint of where things are going, bolstered by the rhetoric of Nusrah’s commander the other evening on Qatar’s Al-Jazeera.

Written by nickbiddlenoe

May 28, 2015 at 5:21 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Echoing Nasrallah, Akhbar’s Ibrahim al-Amine talks in climactic language of the next stage of battle… end of tolerence

Years ago many of us thought that a “final,” “climactic” battle with Israel would wreck enormous change in the region, including spawning groups and movements like ISIS et al and immense destruction.

That war may yet come, but it will be an addition now to the sectarian war which has now grown dominant and uncontainable (it seems) as a result of the obtuse militerazation of the Syria conflict very early on in the uprising (of course some argue it was not militeraized enough – a reckless “fantasy” – but the main (though not exclusive) problem was militerazation of Syria at all.

Ibrahim sounding the “final” alarm (translated today by our

“…Anyone who believes in the existence of a third option, let them go there and show us if it works.
“In the era of determination, things will be crystal clear. Many of the traditional tolerance meanings will be lost…

“…We will not proceed with the game of silence in the name of national responsibility, coexistence, and nostalgia to the old times. We will be firmer in dealing with them in the ways that suit them as filthy agents to be rejected by the hot winds towards their dark fate….”

Written by nickbiddlenoe

May 27, 2015 at 3:24 am

Posted in Uncategorized

As expected, Saudi author writes in monarchy media that Iran – NOT ISIS – was behind recent terrorist bombing

[To clarify… I only posted the reference here to the earlier Dalwa shooting…. but all these acts and the latest one are subscribed to Iranian intel]

Translated today by our

“…And when the Dalwa crime was perpetrated and claimed the lives of innocent Shi’is, I was absolutely certain that Iran was standing behind this act, even if it was carried out by purely Sunni hands. Iran is very patient when it comes to such terrorist practices, knowing that it is through them that it was able to control Iraq. Indeed, it would detonate Shi’i shrines and cause the Shi’is to accuse the Sunnis, then destroy Sunni villages and cause the Sunnis to accuse the Shi’is. And with their cunningness, the Iranian intelligence bodies were able to use these practices to convince the world that what was happening in Iraq was a sectarian war….”

Written by nickbiddlenoe

May 27, 2015 at 3:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Hezbollah MP says Arsal is an “occuped” town

From tonight’s Daily Briefing via

Hussein Hajj Hassan interviewed:

“…Even when soldiers and Lebanese army officers were martyred by the terrorist gangs in Ersal, some people still supported them. When I say Ersal, I don’t mean its people but rather the individuals who are occupying it. Ersal is an occupied town…

“Today, there’s a serious threat in the Ersal barren areas. This is a threat against Lebanon, the adjacent villages and the people of Ersal and a threat to the Lebanese fabric and all the Lebanese. We have seen how they killed people from Ersal and how they beheaded them and stole their money and property on a quasi-daily basis in addition to the killings and kidnappings taking place in other nearby villages for no reason…

Written by nickbiddlenoe

May 23, 2015 at 3:10 am

Posted in Uncategorized

My talk at UNAM in mexico City on Thursday morning – Hizbullah, Lebanon and speculating about what might happen if Assad falls

I should stress that this will NOT be a talk about the possibility of Assad falling, or an assertion that he even will fall (a very debatable proposition of course)…. but rather speculation about what happens for Lebanon’s Hizbullah if Assad’s regime collapses. This Thursday morning early in Mexico City at UNAM.


Written by nickbiddlenoe

May 18, 2015 at 12:02 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Algeria issues list of 21 militants training in Libya to attack neighbours

The security authorities in Algeria and the Sahel states have published a list of 21 would-be suicide bombers from a militant group training in Libya to carry out attacks in Algeria and Tunisia, Algerian El-Khabar newspaper reported on 13 May. The group was composed mostly of Malians, as well as four Mauritanians, three Algerians, two Tunisians, one Egyptian and one Nigerian, the report said. The would-be attackers comprised a group called Kawkebet El Chouhada (Kawkabat al-Shuhada, in English: Constellation of Martyrs), the report said.

Written by nickbiddlenoe

May 15, 2015 at 8:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Al-Hurra website interview with Saudi tweeter, Mujtahid

Translated in tonight’s Daily Briefing from our (for a trial email

On May 13, the Al-Hurra website carried the following interview with Saudi tweeter, Mujtahid: “…Q. Some link your name to the head of the Islamic Movement for Reform, Dr. Sa’d al-Fakih while others believe that you are close to the ruling family in light of the kind of information that you are leaking. Who is Mujtahid?

“A. There are many theories with respect to Mujtahid’s identity but any question in this regard cannot be answered.

“Q. When will Mujtahid turn from a mere Twitter account into a real person for the Saudi people?

“A. If a real movement was to be launched and if I see an interest into modifying the role then yes, the role will be modified.

“Q…How do you perceive the changes that were started by late King Abdullah and continued by present King Salman Ben Abdul Aziz?

“A. What reforms are you talking about?

“Q. For instance, the Kingdom is following the politics of involving youth in the governmental institutions and bodies. The Crown prince and his deputy are from the youths. Is this not part of the reforms that you are calling for?

“A. Are these reforms in the political sense? There has been no change to the fact that the Saud family have full control over power and an absolute immunity against accountability. There has been no change in expanding transparency, the independence of the judiciary, the freedom of speech, and the freedom to form groups. On the contrary, these things are now worse… Imagine that there is no decent water network in the major cities. People stand in long lines in Jeddah in order to obtain water transferred to them through tankers. So what kind of reform are you talking about? There are no services, no army, no universities, no political participation, no accountability, no transparency and no freedom. So where’s the reform!!

“Q. Do you believe that reform should happen with or without the ruling family? In other words, should there be a reform of the ruling family or a reform of the country?

“A. The problem with the ruling family is that it can’t be reformed. Any real reform in terms of political participation, accountability, transparency and the independence of the judiciary will lead to a revolution by the people against this family and to calls for trials of the prominent princes. Because they know that, they are refusing to launch the first step, which consists of releasing the political prisoners… How could the Saud family allow the freedom and expression and of forming groups when they know that Mohammad Ben Nayef and Mohammad Ben Salman will be the first parties to be attacked under these freedoms?

“…Q. How do you assess the experience of the Arab spring some four years after its launching and how can the Saudi people benefit from it?

“A. The Arab spring represents a march in one direction even if it has stumbled. The counter-revolutions that are now taking place is a natural and expected thing. But all these counter-revolutions will fail and the Arab spring will come back stronger, and firmer in order to eliminate the corrupt past. The sad part is the extent of our country’s financial and religious participation in these counter-revolutions and the extent of these counter-powers dependence on the Saudi and Gulf support. I believe that as the power of Al-Saud subsides, this will give a strong push to the strong return of the Arab spring…

“Q. But the Kingdom supported the spring in Syria?

“A. Where is the proof? Do you have a documented proof or are these mere claims that you’re making? The Saudi government only supported its agents, Salim Idriss, Jamal Maarouf, and Zahran Alloush. The main mission of these was to fight the Jihadist movements before fighting the regime…

“Q. The Al-Hazm storm created a dynamic on the Arab level all the way to forming a joint Arab force. What do you think about that?

“A. Al-Hazm storm revealed the external, intelligence, and foreign politics failure of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia had natural allies in Yemen such as Islamists and Sunni tribes. The Saudi government boycotted these allies and allies itself with Ali Abdullah Saleh… The air raids failed to achieve a thing. The Houthis kept expanding and controlling the cities and the rest of the army forces. They also managed to bombard areas within Saudi Arabia…

“Q. How do you view the future of the Saudi people?

“A. The ruling family is going through its last phase. I don’t know if it’s going to last more than two years after Mohammad Ben Salman. The family dispute and the regional challenges constitute two threats that could bring the family to an end. The people will suffer and will go through a phase of chaos but they will succeed in fixing things.

“Q. Do you believe that the American-Iranian rapprochement serves the interests of the Gulf in general and Saudi Arabia in specific or is it the contrary?

“A. There is no such thing as the Iranian-American rapprochement. There’s an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program with an Iranian subjection that Saudi Arabia served to achieve by increasing the oil production and reducing the prices thus forcing Iran to accept the American conditions…

“Q. Are you optimistic regarding the future of Saudi Arabia in light of all the changes seen at the level of the ruling family?

“A. It’s neither optimism nor pessimism. These are predictions based on the reality of the situation. The Saud family does not have the ability to persist in light of the present ruling mechanism.””

Written by nickbiddlenoe

May 15, 2015 at 7:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


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