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An overview of competing ideologies in the Arab world

Here’s a list of the most important political ideologies which have been prominent in the Arab world in the 20th and 21st centuries.

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The crises in the Arab world are as much about competing political ideologies as they are about resources, territorial ambition, tribalism and religion. Many in the west claim to speak against various Arab ideologies without actually knowing what they are speaking against. It is important not to deprive Arabs of their voice in the wider battle of ideologies that many other peoples have dealt with throughout history.

Here is a list of important political ideologies in the Arab world.

Ba’athism:

Ba’athism is an intellectual and political movement founded by the Damascene scholar Michel Aflaq. Ba’athism essentially posits the view that socialism is the best method by which the Arab world can liberate itself in the post-colonial world. However, Ba’athists reject both Marxism-Leninism and the social democratic model of Europe.

Ba’athists apply socialist principles to the unique historical, cultural, economic and geopolitical conditions of the Arab world. Whilst secular in nature, Ba’athism is not atheistic and incorporates various teachings of Islam into its ideology. Ba’athism however does not see itself as an exclusively Islamic movement as indeed many Christians have been party members. Aflaq himself was a Christian.

Ba’athism first came to the fore of political power in 1963 during Iraq’s Ramadan Revolution and Syria’s 8th of March Revolution. However, internal Ba’athist fighting plagued the movement. One of the biggest issues was the question of Pan-Arabism versus a ‘socialism in one state’ model.

The Ba’athist government of Iraq was overthrown in November of 1963 to be replaced by forces sympathetic to Nasserism. The Ba’ath party however would re-claim power during the 17 July Revolution of 1968 under the leadership of Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr.

In Syria things were if anything, more chaotic. Inter-party civil war caused a split in the global Ba’athist movement in 1966. Older Ba’athists who had favoured pan-Aarabism were violently ousted in favour of the leadership of hardliner Salah Jadid. Jadid increased the militancy of the movement and fully abandoned notions of Nassersim.

When Jidid attempted to militarily engage Jordan over the Hashemite Kingdom’s expulsion of Palestinians, another inter-Ba’athist struggle emerged. The more conservative Hafez al-Assad proved to be victorious and led a so-called ‘Corrective movement’ against Jidid’s supporters. Syria’s current Ba’athist President is Hafez’s son, Bashar al-Assad.

Since Saddam Hussein’s fall from power in Iraq where he took over from al-Bakar in 1979, Syria remains the only Arab nation with a Ba’athist government.

Nasserism:

Named for Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, Nasserism strives first and foremost for pan-Arabism/Arab unity. Nasserism encourages a mixed economy of state-ownership of major industry and a regulated agricultural sector with local free enterprise. Nasser’s Egypt was secular and oversaw the arrest of Islamists including those in the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the world’s first Islamist parties.

Nasserism’s zenith was in the late 1950s. After nationalising the Suez Canal in 1956, Britain, France and Israel jointly invaded Egypt. Nasser’s skillful wooing of both Soviet and American diplomats led the two-superpowers to force the invading countries to call off the war. Nasser can in many ways lay claim to striking what would be the decisive blow against British Imperial power.

The following year came another victory when Syria and Egypt became a single state called The United Arab Republic. After Iraq overthrew its Hashemite monarchy in the 14 July Revolution of 1958, there were hopes that Iraq too would join the United Arab Republic. This, however, was not to be. The republican Iraqi leader Abd al-Karim Qasim opposed such a union. Qasim was himself later overthrow by Ba’athists in 1963.

Nasser had a final minor victory when his republican forces toppled the Saudi, Jordanian and western back Yemeni royalists in the North Yemen Civil War which began in 1962. However by 1967, Nasser’s fortunes faded. Egyptian/join-Arab defeat in the 1967 Six Days War led Israel to occupy the Sinai Peninsula. That same year after continual harassment from British irregulars, Egypt withdrew from The Yemen Arab Republic.

Nasser’s legacy remains powerful. For many Arabs, he represented the first and last best hope of a secular, modern, mixed economic Arab nationalist. Few figures as powerful as Nasser have emerged in the decades subsequent to his early death in 1970.

Communism:

Communism in the context of the Arab world is unique insofar as it has been a deeply influential movement but has only ever properly held power in one state, The People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen, aka South Yemen. One could also say that Algeria’s socialist FLN owed must to Marxist-Leninist ideology.

Communist parties were once deeply influential forces in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. Howeverб as Ba’athist and Nasserist forces consolidated, they viewed the Communist Party as a threat and at times it was severely supressed.

Interestingly, the Soviet Union, whilst sympathetic to Arab communist parties, refrained from fomenting leftist revolutions in the Arab world and instead was generally happy dealing with Nasserist and Ba’athist rulers. The communist Palestinian People’s Party ought to be a stronger force than it is, but by joining the corrupt PLO in 1987, progress has been greatly retarded.

Greenism/Third International Theory:

Muammar Gaddafi was the most potent and original intellectual force in Arab politics since the death of Nasser. His Green Book outlined how repressed peoples could liberate themselves from colonialism and build a society that rejected the dogmas of both capitalism and communism.

The Green book is deeply communitarian in its values and economic organisation. Whilst deeply original, parts of Gaddafi’s economic model were inspired by  Tito’s ‘third way’ socialism in Yugoslavia.

Initially, Gaddafi sought to unite the Arab world under the Third International Theory, but when Arabs of all political backgrounds proved to be increasingly intransigent, he focused on promulgating his theories in Africa where many post-colonel and under-developed countries were often receptive. Nelson Mandela was a staunch admirer of Gaddafi throughout his life.

Third International Theory is part revolutionary, part socialist, part secular and part spiritual. It is a hybrid ideology that is unique to history.

Royalism:

The Arab world has its fair shares of monarchies/royal states including Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the UAE. Whilst royalism generally only becomes ideological when it is forced to complete against another ideology, one can attempt to look for exceptions in the Arab world.

Some monarchs like the Hashemites are seen as a stabilising force because of their blood-relation to the Prophet Muhammad. Yet this wasn’t enough to save King Faisal of Iraq who was violently overthrown in 1958. Other monarchies like Saudi Arabia are so deeply immoderate that they cannot be called anything but a force for evil. The House of Saud’s sponsorship of terrorism throughout the Arab world is a great stain on the world.

Islamism:

Islamic politics in the Middle East have become more prominent in the latter half of the 20th century and into the 21st century. Many see Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979 as inspiring forms of Islamism in the Arab world. The oldest such organisation is the Muslim Brotherhood which was founded in Egypt in 1928.

Islamism in general, rejects many aspects of the modern world and is violently hostile to secularism. Nasserist and Ba’athist regimes have frequently suppressed Islamism in its many guises.

Recently, the extremist Gulf States of Saudi Arabia and Qatar have funded Islamist groups including and especially terrorist groups in otherwise secular Arab states. The current war in Syria is best described as Ba’athist war against Islamism as represented by ISIS and al-Qaeda.

The Arab world’s disunity is partly due to disagreements over a suitable ideology or group of competing ideologies around which Arab political regimes and movements can be structured.

Europe generally has conservative, liberal and socialist parties. America has the Republicans and Democrats. The Arabs have their versions of ideologies which suit them, but internal squabbling has made progress difficult. If Islam fills this gap, the Arab world may not recover for generations.

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Tape recorded evidence of Clinton-Ukraine meddling in US election surfaces (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a look at new evidence to surface from Ukraine that exposes a plot by the US Embassy in Kiev and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) to leak Paul Manafort’s corrupt dealings in the country, all for the benefit of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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Via Zerohedge


Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has launched an investigation into the head of the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau for allegedly attempting to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump during the 2016 US election by releasing damaging information about a “black ledger” of illegal business dealings by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The Hill’s John Solomon, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko

“Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information,” Lutsenko said last week, according to The Hill

Lutsenko is probing a claim from a member of the Ukrainian parliament that the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Artem Sytnyk, attempted to the benefit of the 2016 U.S. presidential election on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

A State Department spokesman told Hill.TV that officials aware of news reports regarding Sytnyk. –The Hill

“According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” said Lutsenko, speaking with The Hill’s John Solomon about the anti-corruption bureau chief, Artem Sytnyk.

“It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton,” Lutsenko continued.

Solomon asked Lutsenko about reports that a member of Ukraine’s parliament obtained a tape of the current head of the NABU saying that he was attempting to help Clinton win the 2016 presidential election, as well as connections that helped release the black-ledger files that exposed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort‘s wrongdoing in Ukraine.

“This member of parliament even attached the audio tape where several men, one of which had a voice similar to the voice of Mr. Sytnyk, discussed the matter.” –The Hill

What The Hill doesn’t mention is that Sytnyk released Manafort’s Black Book with Ukrainian lawmaker Serhiy Leshchenko – discussed in great length by former Breitbart investigator Lee Stranahan, who has been closely monitoring this case.

Serhiy Leshchenko

T]he main spokesman for these accusations was Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian politician and journalist who works closely with both top Hillary Clinton donors George Soros and Victor Pinchuk, as well as to the US Embassy in Kyiv.

James Comey should be asked about this source that Leshchenko would not identify. Was the source someone connected to US government, either the State Department or the Department of Justice?

The New York Times should also explain why they didn’t mention that Leshchenko had direct connections to two of Hillary Clinton biggest financial backers. Victor Pinchuk, the largest donor to the Clinton Foundation at a staggering $8.6 million also happened to have paid for Leshchenko’s expenses to go to international conferences. George Soros, whose also founded the International Renaissance Foundationthat worked closely with Hillary Clinton’s State Department in Ukraine, also contributed at least $8 million to Hillary affiliated super PACs in the 2016 campaign cycle. –Lee Stranahan via Medium

Meanwhile, according to former Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr, Leshchenko was a source for opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.

Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS, testified on Oct. 19 that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist turned Ukrainian lawmaker, was a source for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign.

“I recall … they were mentioning someone named Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian,” Ohr said when asked who Fusion GPS’s sources were, according to portions of Ohr’s testimony confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. –Daily Caller

Also absent from The Hill report is the fact that Leshchenko was convicted in December by a Kiev court of interfering in the 2016 US election.

A Kyiv court said that a Ukrainian lawmaker and a top anticorruption official’s decision in 2016 to publish documents linked to President Donald Trump’s then-campaign chairman amounted to interference in the U.S. presidential election.

The December 11 finding came in response to a complaint filed by another Ukrainian lawmaker, who alleged that Serhiy Leshchenko and Artem Sytnyk illegally released the documents in August 2016, showing payments by a Ukrainian political party to Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

The documents, excerpts from a secret ledger of payments by the Party of Regions, led to Manafort being fired by Trump’s election campaign.

The Kyiv court said that the documents published by Leshchenko and Sytnyk were part of an ongoing pretrial investigation in Ukraine into the operations of the pro-Russian Party of Regions. The party’s head had been President Viktor Yanukovych until he fled the country amid mass protests two years earlier.

-RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty (funded by the US govt.).

So while Lutsenko – Solomon’s guest and Ukrainian Prosecutor is currently going after Artem Sytnyk, it should be noted that Leshchenko was already found to have meddled in the 2016 US election.

Watch:

Meanwhile, you can also check out Stranahan’s take on Leshchenko being left out of the loop.

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‘I will take over as Brexit Party leader’: Nigel Farage back on the frontline

Nigel Farage says that if the UK takes part in European elections, he will lead his new Brexit Party.

RT

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Via RT


Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has announced that he will lead his new Brexit Party into the European elections if UK MPs decide to delay Brexit beyond May 22.

Farage, who has ostensibly appointed himself leader, told various media, including the BBC and Sky News on Friday morning: “I will take over as leader of the Brexit Party and lead it into the European Elections.”

It comes after the Brexit Party’s leader, Catherine Blaiklock, quit over a series of alleged Islamophobic statements and retweets of far-right figures on social media.

It is not yet thought that Farage has officially been elected as leader, as the party does not, as yet, have a formal infrastructure to conduct such a vote.

The right-wing MEP vowed to put out a whole host of Brexit Party candidates if the UK participates in the upcoming EU elections in May, adding: “If we fight those elections, we will fight them on trust.”

On Thursday night, the EU agreed to PM May’s request for a delaying to Brexit beyond the March 29 deadline. Brussels announced two new exit dates depending on what happens next week in the UK parliament.

The UK will have to leave the bloc on April 12 unless British MPs agree to May’s Brexit deal. If the withdrawal agreement is passed by next week, EU leaders have agreed to grant an extension until May 22.

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Baltics cannot rely on Germany any more

The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it is supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership blunders.

The Duran

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Submitted by Adomas Abromaitis…

On March 29 Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will celebrate 15 years of becoming NATO member states. The way to the alliance membership was not simple for newly born independent countries. They have reached great success in fulfilling many of NATO demands: they have considerably increased their defence expenditures, renewed armaments and increased the number of military personnel.

In turn, they get used to rely on more powerful member states, their advice, help and even decision making. All these 15 years they felt more or less safe because of proclaimed European NATO allies’ capabilities.

Unfortunately, now it is high time to doubt. The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership’s blunders. Every member state does a bit. As for the Baltic states, they are particularly vulnerable, because they fully depend on other NATO member states in their defence. Thus, Germany, Canada and Britain are leading nations of the NATO battle group stationed in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia respectively.

But the state of national armed forces in Germany, for example, raises doubts and makes it impossible not only defend the Baltics against Russia, but Germany itself.

It turned out, that Germany itself remains dissatisfied with its combat readiness and minister of defence’s ability to perform her duties. Things are so bad, that the military’s annual readiness report would be kept classified for the first time for “security reasons.”

“Apparently the readiness of the Bundeswehr is so bad that the public should not be allowed to know about it,” said Tobias Lindner, a Greens member who serves on the budget and defense committees.

Inspector General Eberhard Zorn said (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-arms/germany-not-satisfied-with-readiness-of-submarines-some-aircraft-idUSKBN1QS1G7) the average readiness of the country’s nearly 10,000 weapons systems stood at about 70 percent in 2018, which meant Germany was able to fulfill its military obligations despite increasing responsibilities.

No overall comparison figure was available for 2017, but last year’s report revealed readiness rates of under 50 percent for specific weapons such as the aging CH-53 heavy-lift helicopters and the Tornado fighter jets.

Zorn said this year’s report was more comprehensive and included details on five main weapons systems used by the cyber command, and eight arms critical for NATO’s high readiness task force, which Germany heads this year.

“The overall view allows such concrete conclusions about the current readiness of the Bundeswehr that knowledge by unauthorized individuals would harm the security interests of the Federal Republic of Germany,” he wrote.

Critics are sure of incompetence of the Federal Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen. Though she has occupied the upper echelons of German politics for 14 years now — and shows no sign of success. This mother of seven, gynecologist by profession, by some miracle for a long time has been remaining in power, though has no trust even among German military elites. Despite numerous scandals she tries to manage the Armed Forces as a housewife does and, of course, the results are devastating for German military capabilities. The same statement could be easily apply for the Baltic States, which highly dependent on Germany in military sphere.

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