Showing posts from May, 2017


THE US-SAUDI PLOT FOR IRAN THAT SPELLS TROUBLE FOR CHINA’S NEW SILK ROAD Riyadh may already have the building blocks for a proxy war in Balochistan, a key part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative BY  JAMES M. DORSEY 27 MAY 2017 SHARE Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn Share on Google Plus Share on Sina 12 Comments An attack on a convoy carrying the Pakistani senate’s deputy chairman in Balochistan left 25 dead and 35 others injured. Photo: Xinhua MORE ON THIS STORY BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE Can China’s grand plan to revive the ‘Silk Road spirit’ succeed? U S-backed Saudi  plans to destabilise Iran threaten to substantially worsen security in the already troubled Pakistani province of Balochistan, a key maritime and land node in China’s  Belt and Road Initiative . Saudi Arabia, emboldened by US President  Donald Trump ’s visit to the kingdom this month and his embrace of it

Policy differences emerge among Gulf states days after wooing President Trump

By James M. Dorsey Cracks have appeared in a Saudi-led, US-backed anti-terrorist political and military alliance days after US President Donald J. Trump ended a historic visit to Saudi Arabia. The cracks stem from Qatar’s long-standing fundamental policy differences with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates about Iran and the role of political Islam. The cracks emerged as the result of an anti-Qatar media and cyber campaign involving a spate of anti-Qatar articles in US and Gulf media; the blocking of Qatar-backed media websites and broadcasts in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt; statements by prominent former US government officials ; and a recent seminar by the Washington-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies that has long asserted that Qatar supports militant groups. Seemingly emboldened by Mr. Trump’s blanket endorsement of Saudi Arabia’s proxy war against Iran and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed visceral opposition to politi

Two conferences spotlight Muslim world’s struggle to counter militancy

NU Conference in Jombang By James M. Dorsey Two conferences this week spotlight the Muslim world’s struggle to come to grips with extremism and militancy. The conferences, the Arab-Islamic-American summit in Riyadh and a gathering in East Java of youth leaders of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the world’s largest Muslim movement, laid bare the difficulty of reforming cultures in the battle against extremism, called into question the commitment of Muslim states to combat radicalism and political violence, and put on display US President Donald J. Trump’s prioritization of commerce at the expense of principle. Saudi Arabia used US President Donald J. Trump’s visit to the kingdom to drive its anti-Shia and anti-Iran agenda. Mr. Trump and Muslim leaders turned a blind eye to Saudi Arabia’s role barely two weeks before Mr. Trump’s arrival in blocking his administration’s proposal to impose United Nations sanctions on the Saudi branch of the Islamic State (IS) . A majority of w

One Belt, One Road: A plan for Chinese dominance and authoritarianism

By James M. Dorsey A leaked long-term plan for China’s massive $56 billion investment in Pakistan projects the goals of the Beijing’s One Belt, One Road initiative as a ploy for economic domination, the creation of surveillance states, and allowing China to shape media landscapes. It also suggests that China’s concept of economic-win-win diplomacy amounts to what one China analyst described as a “China wins twice strategy” that potentially raises the spectre of popular opposition to the scheme. China has already encountered popular resistance and setbacks in various Asian countries, including Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and the Pakistani province of Balochistan, a crown jewel of One Belt, One Road. Many countries eager to attract Chinese investment, often at whatever cost, praised One Belt, One Road at this week’s summit in Beijing attended by 28 heads of state. Nonetheless, critics are questioning China’s motives. "China needs to nurture better understanding of

Palestinians lament FIFA's delayed decision on settlement teams (JMD quoted in Al-Monitor)

Palestinians lament FIFA's delayed decision on settlement teams When Jibril Rajoub, the head of the Palestinian Football Association, took the stand May 11 at the 67th Congress of the international soccer governing body FIFA, leaders were embarrassed. FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s body language spoke volumes. “This is the fifth time that I  address this Congress , and you are saying it is premature to take a decision,” Rajoub said in response to FIFA's  postponing a decision  on Palestinian demands that six Israeli settlement clubs stop playing in the occupied West Bank. The five-hour general assembly meeting of the soccer federation was broadcast live and has been archived on  YouTube . SUMMARY ⎙  PRINT FIFA’s failure to make a decision about its own members' not honoring its statutes reflects the tremendous political pressure that is constantly exerted by Israel on various world bodies. AUTHOR Daoud Kuttab POSTED May 14, 2017 Rajoub continued his onslaug