That Didn’t Take Long

U.S. troops have been out of Iraq for what, less than a day now?

Iraq issues arrest warrant for vice president Hashemi

Iraq has issued an arrest warrant for Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, a senior security official said on Monday, after the government obtained confessions linking him to what the official described as terrorist activities.

Interior Ministry spokesman, Major General Adel Daham, told a news conference that confessions by suspects identified as Hashemi’s bodyguards linked the vice president to suspected killings and attacks.

See also:
Iraq issues arrest warrant for Tareq al-Hashemi
Iraq issues arrest warrant for Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi
Iraq in political turmoil hours after last US troops depart
Iraq: left to the wolves
Arrest warrant for Vice President Hashemi sparks political turmoil in Iraq
VP arrest warrant plunges Iraq into crisis
Iraq faces political crisis as the arrest warrant to Sunni VP al-Hashemi
Sunni, Shi’ite conflict grows in Iraq
Iraq Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi denies charge
Evading arrest, Iraqi VP denies hit squad claim
Iraq Vice-President denies he ran hit squad
Iraq’s Sunni vice President Tareq al-Hashemi warns sectarian divisions reopened
Iraq vice-president declares unity efforts ‘gone’
Iraq slaps travel ban on Sunni vice-president
Iraqi Sunni leaders denounce PM Maliki
U.S. “obviously concerned” about Iraqi Hashemi probe
Fugitive Iraq Sunni V.P. Tariq al-Hashimi Criticizes U.S.

It’s painfully clear what’s going on here. With the U.S. military now out of the way, the Shia led Iraqi government, backed by Iran, is wasting no time flexing its muscle and settling old scores against the Iraqi Sunni minority. Can you say looming civil war?

/and now we’ve pretty much given up our ability to effectively intervene militarily in Iraq, leaving Iran as the only regional military power capable of “riding to the rescue” of the Iraqi government, who just happen to be Iranian puppets anyway

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The Dominoes Strike Back

It’s Sunni versus Shia as Bahrain’s Suuni rulers have had just about enough of their Shia population’s ongoing uprising and have called on their fellow Sunnis, the Saudis, to help put down the Shia revolt.

Saudi Arabian troops enter Bahrain as regime asks for help to quell uprising

Saudi Arabian troops have crossed into Bahrain after the tiny Gulf kingdom’s ruling family asked for help from neighbouring Sunni Arab states to quell a two-month uprising which threatens their 200-year-old dynasty.

The Saudi capital, Riyadh, said that it had responded to a “security threat” by deploying its troops on the streets of its neighbour. They are to protect strategic sites such as bridges and government buildings. Bahrain’s rulers said the Saudi forces crossed the 16-mile causeway from Saudi Arabia to the island, together a contingent of troops from the Gulf Co-operation Council. Saudi authorities did not give details of the force; some reports estimate it to be 1,000.

Bahrain’s Shia majority has laid siege to the centre of the capital, Manama, since mid-February and has, in recent days, marched on government buildings and palaces.

See also:
GCC Troops Arrive in Bahrain
Saudis send troops into Bahrain to quell protests
Kingdom takes lead to help Bahrain
Thousands of Saudi troops cross into Bahrain after weekend of violence
Foreign troops enter Bahrain as protests continue
Gulf troops enter Bahrain as protests escalate
Saudi Arabia sends troops to troubled Bahrain
Saudi soldiers sent into Bahrain
Saudi troops enter Bahrain
Gulf military force enters Bahrain to help deal with unrest
Gulf security forces enter Bahrain, protests escalate
Next Mideast Flashpoint: Saudis Enter Bahrain
US says told, not consulted, on Saudi Bahrain force
Clinton Expresses ‘Deep Concern’ About Bahrain – US Official
U.S., U.N. urge restraint as forces enter Bahrain to control protests
Iran urges Bahrain to prevent “foreign interference”
‘Saudi intervention is a declaration of war’

Make no mistake about it, the Shia uprising in Bahrain and all the Shia unrest throughout the region is being directly instigated by Iran and her agents.

/if this turmoil somehow escalates into a direct confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia, hopefully the Obama/Hillary foreign policy clown posse can keep track of which side the United States’ bread is buttered on

The Dominoes Stop Here

The Saudi “Day of Rage” came up way short on the raging. At least for now, it doesn’t look like the Oil Ticks are in any danger of being overthrown or the West’s primary oil apple cart is in any danger of being upset.

Saudi Arabia ‘day of rage’ protest fizzles

A call for protests in Saudi Arabia that had been talked about for weeks drew only a small number of people Friday, allowing the kingdom to keep at bay the waves of political unrest that have battered the Arab world.

The “day of rage” fizzled in all but restive Eastern province, where the country’s minority Shiite Muslims have been holding demonstrations for weeks. Several hundred protesters turned out in the cities of Hofuf, Awwamiya and Qatif to demand the release of political prisoners, according to news service reports.

But no protests occurred in other major Saudi cities, said Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Turki. “You’ve seen the response of the Saudi people,” Turki said. “This is their response to the call for protest.”

See also:
‘Day of Rage’ a damp squib
Saudi Protests Draw Hundreds
Saudi Capital Calm On Day Protests Called
Saudi Arabia calm on planned ‘Day of Rage’
Saudi Arabia ‘Day of Rage’ begins quietly, markets watch protests closely
‘Day of Rage’ muted in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Police Presence Dampens ‘Day of Rage’
Saudi Arabia show of force stifles ‘day of rage’ protests
Saudi Arabian security forces quell ‘day of rage’ protests
Police presence damps Saudi ‘day of rage’
Strong police presence deters rallies in Saudi capital
Police flood Saudi capital
Saudi police block reform protests
Saudi Activists Fail to Gather Amid Heavy Police Presence
Saudi Arabia quashes planned pro-democracy protests
No threat seen to stability of Kingdom
Why Saudi Arabia is stable amid the Mideast unrest
Foreign Policy: Revolutions Won’t Hit Saudi Arabia

With the Saudis effectively keeping a lid on any protests and Gaddafi now routing and stomping the guts out of the “rebels” in Libya, while the West dithers, it seems as though the current wave of political unrest that has been sweeping the region for the last month or so has just about run it’s course for now. Realistically, there’s almost no more virgin territory left for the “days of rage” movement to keep spreading into.

/now it’s just a matter of watching where all the dust that’s already been kicked up finally settles

Bahrain Circling The Drain

So far, we’ve had anti-government unrest in Pakistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Algeria. Add Bahrain to the ever growing list.

Protesters take over square in U.S. ally Bahrain

Thousands of demonstrators poured into the symbolic center of this key U.S. ally late Tuesday in a raucous rally that again demonstrated the power of popular movements that are transforming the political landscape of the Middle East.

. . .

In Bahrain, the small but strategically important monarchy experienced the now familiar sequence of events that has rocked the Arab world. What started as an online call for a “Day of Rage” progressed within 24 hours to an exuberant group of demonstrators waving flags, setting up tents and taking over a square in the heart of the capital city.

Tuesday began in sorrow and violence, when mourners who gathered to bury a young man, killed the night before by police, clashed again with the security forces. In Tuesday’s melee, a second young man was killed by police.

But as momentum built up behind the protests Tuesday, 18 members of parliament from the opposition Islamic National Accord Association announced they were suspending participation in the parliament.

See also:
Thousands of protesters march to Bahrain capital
In Bahrain, protesters bridge Sunni-Shiite divide to challenge monarchy
Bahrain’s Shiite Protesters Gather as Unrest Spreads
Bahrain Protests Update [VIDEOS]
Bahrain Demonstrators Gather Despite Crackdown
Antigovernment Protesters Seize Main Square In Bahrain
Protesters take control of main square in Bahrain
Pearl Roundabout, Bahrain
Angry protest follows second death in Bahrain
Another killed in Bahrain as funeral for fallen protester devolves into clashes
Bahrain mourner killed in funeral march clash
Bahrain Protests Swell With Second Death, Tear Gas at Funeral
Bahrain protest deaths point to excessive force
Bahrain protests: King announces probe into two deaths
US expresses concern over Bahrain unrest
UPDATE 2-US concerned by violence in Bahrain protests
US ‘very concerned’ by violence in Bahrain protests

Country to country it spreads, where it will stop, all the regional despots dread. The fact that Bahrain’s now in play is somewhat unnerving for at least two reasons. First, the U.S. Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain. The Fifth Fleet strategically controls the entire region and somehow having the command displaced from Bahrain would be a humiliating military disaster. Also, the unrest is now sweeping into countries that border Saudi Arabia. If Saudi Arabia were to descend into political chaos, Western oil supplies would be threatened and oil prices would skyrocket.

/although, I must admit, after all their years of financing worldwide terrorism, I wouldn’t shed many tears if the Saudi royal oil ticks were being dragged through the streets of Riyadh

Hezbollah Takes Lebanon

As previously foreshadowed, another domino falls from the West into the lap of the Islamic Caliphate.

Hezbollah moves to pick Lebanon’s leader

The Shiite armed movement Hezbollah cobbled together enough support Monday to appoint Lebanon’s next prime minister, effectively ending nearly six years of rule by Western-backed leaders and prompting the United States to warn it could cut off aid to this key Arab nation.

The apparent strength of Hezbollah marked an important political achievement for the group. It also signaled what appeared to be a significant shift for the country, away from alliances with the United States and Saudi Arabia, and toward Iran and Syria, which support Hezbollah.

In Washington, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the United States “would have great concerns about a government within which Hezbollah plays a leading role.”

See also:
Anger In Lebanon As Hezbollah Backs Sunni PM
‘Day of rage’ as Mikati set to win PM post
A victory for Hizbollah
A Day of Rage in Lebanon
Hariri and Mikati: Two personal histories collide
Najib Mikati, Lebanon’s new PM
Nasrallah calls on his rivals to give Mikati a chance
Lebanon: Security forces arrest top Hariri aides
Riots in Lebanon as Hezbollah secures leadership
Another Middle East debacle: Lebanon on the brink
Hezbollah’s Relentless Ascent To Power : A View From Jerusalem
Hezbollah-dominated Lebanon would affect U.S. ties
Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon will hit ties: Clinton
Clinton Wary of Hezbollah-Controlled Lebanon
Clinton warns Hezbollah-backed government may alter U.S. ties with Lebanon

So, um, is this going to be allowed to stand? I mean, one of the world’s most notorious and well armed terrorist organizations just took over an entire country that sits on Israel’s border. This is kind of a big deal in Realpolitik, don’t you think? It’s all well and good that Hillary is “concerned” about these rather ominous Middle East developments, but is the United States going to actually do anything about it?

/and not a peep out of Obama so far, an event of this magnitude, so completely adverse to our stated national interests, should at least warrant some kind of a public condemnation, no?

Lebanon Circling The Drain

About to be blamed by a U.N.-backed tribunal for the 2005 assasination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Hezbollah makes its move.

Lebanon Govt Collapses As 11 Ministers Quit

Lebanon’s Government has collapsed after Hezbollah ministers and their allies resigned from the Coalition.

Adnan Sayyed Hussein’s departure followed the resignation of 10 other ministers, a move which has effectively ended the government’s power-sharing agreement.

Without a stable government in place, fears are growing that the country could fall into a prolonged political crisis and could heighten sectarian tension in the region.

Dominc Waghorn, Sky News Middle East Correspondent, said the dispute was “complicated”, but stemmed from the killing of the country’s former Prime Minister in a car bomb explosion in 2005

See also:
Lebanon government fails as Hezbollah allies quit
Hezbollah exit from Lebanon government carefully planned
U.S. Ally Faces Fight in Lebanon
Eleventh minister resigns, toppling Lebanon government
Arab League ‘disturbed’ by Lebanon govt collapse
Israel Warns Hezbollah Against Any Spillover of Violence from Lebanese Crisis
US Government “closely monitoring” situation in Lebanon
Collapse of Lebanese Government Creates Worries of Deepening Crisis
Israeli troops go on alert amid Lebanon’s political turmoil
Israel troops on alert after Lebanon govt falls
Political crisis shakes Lebanon
Talks on new govt in Lebanon to start Monday

So, what will happen next, will Lebanon descend into sectarian violence or civil war? Hezbollah obviously planned this, no doubt with the blessing of or at the urging of Iran and Syria, what’s their endgame, I mean besides wiping Israel off the map?

/whatever happens, chances are that the outcome won’t be particularly pleasant

Red On Red

It couldn’t happen to nicer people. Instead of killing Jews, their stated goal in life, they killed each other. Well played!

‘Personal dispute’ erupts into deadly battle

A SENIOR member of the radical Shiite movement Hezbollah has died in a street battle involving machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades in Beirut.

The clash, lasting around four hours, was the worst outbreak of violence in the Lebanese capital since May 2008, when about 100 people were killed in a power struggle between Hezbollah and the ruling Sunni coalition.

Three people were killed and several were wounded in the latest fighting which took place in a quiet neighbourhood a few blocks from the city centre.

Soldiers cordoned off the area during the worst of the fighting, but witnesses said sniper fire and blasts from the rocket-propelled grenades were audible until well after 11pm on Tuesday.

Gunmen stood on corners peering down alleys while families ran for cover during lulls in the fighting.

Ambulances rushed to the scene; an elderly man, clutching his neck, was placed on a stretcher, while another man was covered in blood and not moving.

The shootout erupted between the Shiite Hezbollah and the Sunni al-Ahbash group following a fight outside a mosque in the mixed residential area of Bourj Abu Haidar, Lebanese officials said.

A joint statement issued later by the two groups said the incident resulted from a ”personal dispute and has no political or sectarian background”.

It said the two sides agreed to put an end to their differences and end all armed presence on the street.

The government said Mohammed Fawaz, a Hezbollah official from the area, and his aide, Munzer Hadi, were killed along with Fawaz Omeirat of al-Ahbash.

See also:
LEBANON: Deadly clashes erupt in Beirut, rattling the night with gunfire [Updated]
Sectarian fight had roots in dispute over parking
Two die in Beirut clashes sparked by ‘personal dispute’
4 wounded in Beirut sectarian militia battle
3 killed in clashes between Hizbullah, Ahbash elements
One Lebanese killed, two wounded in clashes in Beirut
Fighting breaks out in Lebanon between Sunnis and Hizbullah
Cabinet calls for calm debate after street violence
Calm Returns to Beirut following Hizbullah-Ahbash Street Battles
Burj Abi Haidar residents clear up after deadly clashes
Was Burj Abi Haidar a battle by proxy?

Oh sure, even here in the United States, an altercation over parking might occasionally spark gunplay every now and then. However, I can’t recall any American traffic tussle ever escalating to battling it out with RPGs.

/anyway, I wouldn’t mind if a few more of these Beirut “parking disputes” flared up, red on red fratricide is always welcomed by the blue team