US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

Muftah


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23.01.2017

"Coup, Illustrated - Iran, Oil, and the CIA Overthrow of 1953"

http://muftah.org/1953-iran-cia-coup-operation-ajax/#.WIhwmPmqkQu

Nima Shirazi stellt den Comic-Roman "Operation Ajax: The Story of the CIA Coup That Remade the Middle East" von Mike De Seve und Daniel Burwen vor, die die Geschichte des von der CIA unterstützen Militärputsches gegen den iranischen Premierminister Mohammad Mossadegh im Jahr 1953 nacherzählt haben. "Though colorfully drawn, the story is fairly black and white. It is a veritable hagiography for Mossadegh, who is presented as a nearly superhuman anti-imperial hero. His habit of holding court in pajamas, along with his infamous fits and faints, add flavor to his character. But the graphic novel never depicts Mossadegh as anything but noble and righteous. His opponents, on the other hand, are painted as invariably vainglorious and villainous, and perhaps rightly so. The dichotomy is stark. It’s clear whose side the authors are on. This isn’t necessarily a drawback, however, as it is indeed refreshing and rare to see American and British statesmen and spies so harshly rendered. Despite this admirable effort to fill gaps in the historical record and illuminate the truth, throughout the book, there is a frustrating crisis of credibility and, perhaps even authority, due to a number of seemingly small, but intellectually egregious, errors."

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20.07.2016

"Special Collection: War & the Media in Yemen"

http://muftah.org/war-media-yemen-part-1/#.V5XEkPnishQ

Muftah hat in dieser Aufarbeitung eines Workshops der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung untersucht, wie der Krieg der von Saudi-Arabien angeführten Koalition in Jemen von Medien in der Region begleitet wird. "This war is being fought not only on the battlefield, but also through the media. News outlets have played a decisive and, often times, destructive role in the conflict, becoming weapons in the struggle for political power. After the Houthis seized power in Sanaa, they took control over state media, using it to strengthen and legitimize their position. Temporarily based in Riyadh, the exiled Yemeni government, under President Abd Rabbo Mansur Hadi, created parallel state media outlets, with the help of Saudi Arabia, to delegitimize the Houthis, as well as (re)strengthen its position in the conflict. With few independent media organizations in the country, local Yemeni journalists have aligned themselves with one of these two narrative discourses. Most regional and international journalists have also followed either the Houthi or Hadi government line on the conflict."

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02.05.2016

"When Is Anti-Zionism Anti-Semitism?"

http://muftah.org/when-is-anti-zionism-anti-semitism/#.VyhkdfnpUQt

Der aktuelle Skandal um vermeintlich antisemitische Äußerungen britischer Labour-Abgeordneter habe erneut die Frage aufgeworfen, wann eine antizionistische bzw. antiisraelische Haltung zu einer antisemitischen wird, schreibt Heather Hartlaub. "The difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism is the difference between opposing Israel and discriminating against the Jewish people. While anti-Zionism opposes Israel’s exclusively 'Jewish' nature, it does so because of its racial and ethnic supremacy. Anti-Zionists refuse to accept a political system that gives greater rights to one class of citizens, Jews, and lesser rights to other citizens, non-Jews; they reject a system of government where one group oppresses, occupies, and colonizes another. (...) While it is not anti-Semitic to disagree with Israel’s policies or reject Jewish supremacy, sometimes these feelings sit uncomfortably close to racism and bigotry."

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26.04.2016

"Instability in the Middle East Is Fueling an Illicit Antiquities Trade"

http://muftah.org/instability-in-the-middle-east-is-fueling-an-illicit-antiquities-trade/#.VyXMNvnpUQv

Ruslan Trad hat sich mit Samuel Hardy über den illegalen Handel mit Antiquitäten aus Krisengebieten im Nahen Osten unterhalten. "Dr. Hardy, who is an adjunct faculty member at the American University of Rome, is a specialist in the trade of illicit antiquities and the destruction of community and cultural property, with experience in archaeological, historical, and ethnographic research. Last year, he published an open-source analysis of looting-to-order and theft-to-order of cultural property around the world. Dr. Hardy recently conducted a research study on illicit trafficking for UNESCO. Muftah sat down with Dr. Hardy to ask him a few questions about the illicit trade of antiquities from Syria, across the Middle East, and beyond."

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25.01.2016

"Female Drone Operators Are Not a Feminist Victory"

http://muftah.org/female-drone-operators-are-not-a-feminist-victory/

Sarah Rahimi kritisiert einen auf der Website The Daily Beast veröffentlichten Artikel, in dem eine US-Drohnenpilotin als feministisches Vorbild präsentiert wird. Organisationen wie The Feminist Majority hätten sich früh für den amerikanischen Krieg in Afghanistan ausgesprochen. Feministische Rhetorik werde bis heute genutzt, um den globalen Krieg gegen den Terror der US-Regierung zu rechtfertigen. "In the United States, women have the power to inflict the kind of pain and suffering that has typically been reserved for men. Female drone operators, female prison guards in Abu Ghraib, and female officials at the highest ranks of the kill chain play a key role in American efforts to target perceived enemies. In short, American women can perpetuate political and military violence just as easily as their male counterparts can and do. With women assuming these deadly roles, another unsettling shift must be acknowledged, namely that men, so often the makers and leaders of war, can themselves be the victims of violence. (...) While [a female drone operator nicknamed Sparkle’s] bedazzled headset and the opening up of combat roles to female soldiers may be celebrated as feminist victories, there is no empowerment or cause for celebration in perpetuating a culture of impunity."

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30.09.2015

"Eastern Europe, Victimhood, and the Refugee Crisis"

http://muftah.org/eastern-europe-victimhood-the-refugee-crisis/

Die Ablehnung von Flüchtlingsquoten durch zentral- und osteuropäische EU-Mitgliedstaaten müsse vor dem Hintergrund der historischen Erfahrung und der aktuellen wirtschaftlichen Situation in diesen Ländern beurteilt werden, schreibt Evelyn Crunden. Einige Länder hätten vor nicht allzu langer Zeit eigene blutige Konflikte durchlebt, ein beträchtlicher Teil der Bevölkerung in der Region lebe immer noch in relativer Armut. "Throughout Eastern Europe, where poverty is rampant and quality of life relatively low, refugees are not necessarily pitied. (...) That Eastern Europeans are more accustomed to seeking asylum than offering it speaks a great deal to current tensions. Confronted with the effects of far away wars, Europe’s eastern nations are seeing their own difficulties overshadowed. (...) Csaba Szaló, a professor in Brno, Czech Republic, underscored the role of regional victimhood in an article in The New York Times. 'There is a long history of victimization in our region,' Szaló said. 'We are the ones who have always been victims of injustice, the ones who have suffered. And now there is somebody trying to grab that status. People find it very difficult to accept that somebody might suffer more than us.'"

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27.07.2015

"Israel’s Existence Depends on the Ecological Exploitation of Palestine"

http://muftah.org/israels-existence-depends-on-the-ecological-destruction-of-palestine/

Ein unter dem Pseudonym "D.A." schreibender Rechtsexperte und Aktivist meint, dass die "ökologische Ausbeutung" der palästinensischen Gebiete ein zentraler Teil der israelischen Besatzungspolitik sei. Dazu gehöre die fast vollständige Kontrolle der palästinensischen Wasserversorgung. "Currently, Israel extracts 89% of the water from the Mountain Aquifer in the West Bank, the region’s largest water resource, leaving a meager 11% to the indigenous Palestinian population and depriving them of the right to develop and manage their own water resources. (...) B’tselem, an Israeli human rights NGO, has reported that Israel’s management of water supplies is a form of discrimination against the Palestinians. The organization has reported that the average water consumption in the West Bank for domestic, urban, and industrial purposes ranges between thirty-eight and seventy-three liters per person/per day, whereas in Israel the average consumption is 183 liters per person/per day. Amira Hass, a prominent journalist for Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, has gone as far as to describe Israel’s water distribution policies as 'torture for the Palestinians.'"

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10.07.2015

"Is Egypt’s New Anti-Terrorism Law Taking a Cue from the US?"

http://muftah.org/is-egypts-new-anti-terrorism-law-taking-a-cue-from-the-us/

Sarah Moawad weist auf Parallelen zwischen den neuen Antiterrorgesetzen des ägyptischen Regimes und dem nach 9/11 verabschiedeten Patriot Act der USA hin. "Perhaps the draft law’s greatest danger is its vagueness and use of generic terminology, creating broad, blanket prohibitions that target terrorists and non-violent dissenters alike. This is also a feature of U.S. surveillance legislation, which has expanded to include spying on ordinary law-abiding citizens, as well as the PATRIOT Act’s material support provisions, which are capable of such broad interpretation they can be used to punish academic scholars and human rights practitioners for merely sharing their expertise."

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08.06.2015

"The Minsk Protocols Are the Best Chance for Peace in Ukraine"

http://muftah.org/the-minsk-protocols-are-the-best-chance-for-peace-in-ukraine/

Peter J. Marzalik analysiert die aktuelle Situation im Osten der Ukraine und schreibt, dass viele Experten die Fortsetzung des "totalen Krieges" im Juli oder August erwarten. Die Umsetzung der beiden in Minsk beschlossenen Protokolle über einen Waffenstillstand sei trotz der zahlreichen Verstöße immer noch der beste Weg, um diese gefährliche Eskalation zu verhindern. "It is true that the Minsk Protocols have been too slow in bringing peace to eastern Ukraine. Serious problems remain both in the formulation and implementation of these agreements, as well as in the willingness of all stakeholders to fully adhere to their stipulations. But, the latest escalation of violence and repeated calls for the United States to arm Ukraine threaten to catapult the United States and Russia into an interstate proxy struggle. Without leveraging the Minsk Protocol’s gains and adopting innovative new policy frameworks, that maximize comprehensive diplomatic engagement aimed at truly addressing stakeholder interests, the final push for peace in Ukraine may ultimately descend into a regional war."

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21.04.2015

"The Russian World Revisited"

http://muftah.org/the-russian-world-revisited/#.VTYR5Hs3m8g

Der griechisch-polnische Historiker Miltiades Varvounis antwortet in diesem Beitrag auf die Kritik seines österreichischen Kollegen Johannes Preiser-Kappeller, der das Russland-Bild von Varvounis als "Orientalismus" abgelehnt hatte. "My historical analysis provides information in a simple way for the reader to better understand the harsh reality of the Russian world – for we have a Russia problem, not a Putin problem. Preiser-Kappeller did not choose to focus on Russian messianic ideology, chauvinism, militarism, authoritarianism, and imperial mentality; instead, he chose a lame, politically correct way to attack my analysis, which was doomed to failure."

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14.04.2015

"Why the 'Othering' of Russia Is Neither Historical Analysis Nor Helpful"

http://muftah.org/why-the-othering-of-russia-is-neither-historical-analysis-nor-helpful/#.VS4rEXs3m8h

Der österreichische Historiker Johannes Preiser-Kapeller hält nicht viel davon, Russland als "semi-asiatische", "barbarische" und "ewige Bedrohung" Europas zu charakterisieren. Der hier zum Ausdruck kommende überholte "Orientalismus" sei für die Analyse der aktuellen Konflikte kaum geeignet. "(...) these traditions of 'othering' came and come in handy to ground current conflicts in supposedly eternal, essential differences between the opponents in order to 'explain' why they have to hate us (and we them). As categories of historical 'analysis,' they are not only useless but dangerous."

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27.01.2015

"Is Wahhabism Really Islam’s Greatest Threat?"

http://muftah.org/wahhabism-really-islams-greatest-threat/#.VMeGYntlo80

Douglas Garrison schreibt, dass der saudi-arabische Wahhabismus zu Unrecht für die Entstehung des sunnitischen Radikalismus verantwortlich gemacht werde. In vielen aktuellen Beiträgen werde zum einen der falsche Eindruck vermittelt, dass es sich beim Wahhabismus um die Ideologie einer Minderheit handele, die mit dem "wahren" Islam nur wenig zu tun habe. Zum andern werde ignoriert, dass der Radikalismus in den arabischen Ländern vor allem eine Folge der dort herrschenden "Tyrannei" sei. "In the Arab-Muslim world, such tyranny takes many forms: the political tyranny of the Egyptian police state, the military tyranny of Bashar al-Assad’s war against the Syrian people, and the economic tyranny inflicted by the Gulf monarchies on their imported labor force. (...) Without avenues for social and political expression, opportunities for protest turn toward the religious. This is when, I would argue, salafi ideas are more apt to take root. What better society to emulate than that of the Prophet and his just successors? Who better to have as an ally in the struggle for that just society than God? Until these multiple states of tyranny give way to sociopolitical liberty and pluralism, there is little hope for substantive change in the Middle East and North Africa’s religious landscape."

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08.12.2014

"Illegal Military Occupation in North Africa: Human Rights & Conflict Irresolution in the Western Sahara"

http://muftah.org/illegal-military-occupation-north-africa-human-rights-western-sahara/#.VIat3Xtlq9N

Erica Vásquez mit einem Bericht über die Hintergründe des Konflikts in der West-Sahara, der in der Weltöffentlichkeit nur selten Beachtung finde. "Unlike the Israel-Palestine conflict, which has historically garnered more international attention than any other contemporary dispute in the Middle East and North Africa, the Western Sahara conflict has persisted relatively unnoticed in international media outlets and academic scholarship. Yet, like Israel-Palestine, the Western Sahara is essentially a dispute related to military occupation and political disenfranchisement. (...) The relative obscurity of the Western Sahara conflict cannot simply be attributed to a lack of armed conflict between warring parties. Even in times of relative peace, Israel-Palestine still receives significant international attention. It seems, where the Western Sahara is concerned, the outsized influence of one party (Morocco) and the economic interests of the international community trump human rights and self-determination."

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11.11.2014

"Could Things in Egypt Get Much Worse?"

http://muftah.org/things-egypt-get-much-worse/#.VGN47MlATGo

Über ein Jahr nach dem Sturz des gewählten Präsidenten Mohamed Morsi zieht das Online-Magazin Muftah ein ernüchterndes Fazit der Entwicklung in Ägypten. "The period kicked off with the largest state-sanctioned massacre of civilians ever seen in the country’s modern history. As Human Rights Watch has documented, Egyptian security services killed at least 1,000 people during the August 2013 assault on Muslim Brotherhood protesters camped out at Rabaa al Adeweya Square in Cairo. Fast forward over a year later and approximately 40,000 civilians have been arrested and detained on dubious, politically-motivated charges. Over 100 children have been imprisoned on political grounds, as well. (...) In its latest assault against civil society, the Egyptian state ordered all NGOs to comply with an Mubarak-era law requiring them to officially register with the state. Under this legislation, the state has authority to prohibit Egyptian NGOs from affiliating with international organizations, as well as to shut down these organizations, freeze their assets, confiscate their property, and block their funding."

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01.09.2014

"The Irony of Saudi Arabia’s Latest UN Contribution"

http://muftah.org/irony-saudi-arabias-latest-un-contribution/#.VAbAd6Na_tF

Saudi-Arabien hat am 13. August zugesagt, das 2011 gegründete United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) mit 100 Millionen US-Dollar zu fördern. Für Anna Newby eine "ironische" Spende, da Geldströme aus Saudi-Arabien zu den wichtigsten Finanzquellen des internationalen Terrorismus zählten. "The UNCCT and its efforts are no doubt laudable, but some perspective is also necessary. The United States alone spends over $16 billion annually on counterterrorism efforts. Despite the Saudis’ generous donation last week, the UNCCT remains a relatively small player and is unlikely to be a game-changer in the international fight against terrorism. The irony in all of this, of course, lies in Saudi Arabia’s far larger monetary contribution — which has a far more substantial impact — to a host of organizations and policies that actually exacerbate terrorism around the world. Through direct support of terrorist groups, a combination of practices that tacitly enable terrorist activities, and a wealth of far-reaching policies that breed terrorism domestically and internationally, Saudi Arabia is more to blame for contemporary terror threats than many other states."

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22.04.2014

"The Unspoken Truth: Life After the Iraq War"

http://muftah.org/unspoken-truth-life-iraq-war/#.U2X8zKJ9kt0

Das Leben der irakischen Zivilbevölkerung habe sich in den Jahren seit der Invasion der USA auch abseits der offenen Gewalt sehr viel stärker verschlechtert, als in vielen Berichten aus dem Land wiedergegeben werde, schreibt Roqayah Chamseddine. Er verweist auf die große Zahl von irakischen Flüchtlingen und auf die gesundheitlichen Folgen des jahrelangen Einsatzes von Uranmunition durch US-Truppen. "Shamam Murad, a 19-year-old Iraqi International Relations student currently residing in the UK, explains how Iraq’s uprooted refugees continue to be tormented by the experience of being ripped from their home while also dealing with the aftermath of occupation: 'The occupation ruined Iraq, it was far worse than what the Mongols had done during the siege of Baghdad. Just as the Mongols had destroyed everything Iraq had preserved and everything it stood for, so did the occupation. When our museums were destroyed and allowed to be looted during the occupation, our history was eradicated and so was our identity. The people are now stuck in a loophole of death and devastation, all created in the name of profit and privatization. People are no longer living in Iraq, they are simply surviving. They are doing whatever they can to ensure they stay alive.'"

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