Saddam's Death, 116 (april 2018)
attempt to destroy political holism in the middle east

See also: Page 115: march 2018 and Page 117: april 2018, part 2
Israel & The Temple Revolution & Unesco & the Temple

Regime Change in Iraq - Overview 2002/2003
Trump & the Pisces Messiah - Kennedy Speech 1961 - Eisenhower's Social Gospel
"I Have, I Rule and I will Destroy" - Iran & the dialogue of civilizations
Netanyahu & Infantilization of Israel
Jesus & Pophet Muhammed: "Be a stranger in the world" - Ideological Warfare Center
Jewish fundamentalism in the State of Palestine - Palestinian Martyrs and Jewish Heroes
The Balfour Declaration - Trump's move on Jerusalem (2017)
Abbas & Trump's "slap of the century"
John Bolton, prominent war hawk, National Security Adviser to President Trump
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was born April 28, 1937 and died December 30, 2006. He was the fifth President of Iraq, holding that position from July 16, 1979 until 9 April 2003. He was one of the leading members of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, and afterward, the Baghdad-based Ba’ath Party and its regional organization Ba’ath Party, Iraq Region, which advocated ba’athism, an ideological marriage of Arab nationalism with Arab socialism. (Patricia Ramos, july 2013)

"The national security of America and the security of the world could be attained if the American leaders [..] become rational, if America disengages itself from its evil alliance with Zionism, which has been scheming to exploit the world and plunge it in blood and darkness, by using America and some Western countries.
What the American peoples need mostly is someone who tells them the truth, courageously and honestly as it is.
They don’t need fanfares and cheerleaders, if they want to take a lesson from the (sept. 11) event so as to reach a real awakening, in spite of the enormity of the event that hit America.
But the world, including the rulers of America, should say all this to the American peoples, so as to have the courage to tell the truth and act according to what is right and not what to is wrong and unjust, to undertake their responsibilities in fairness and justice, and by recourse to reason..."

Saddam Hussein, INA 15-9-2002

"The despot thinks he is just as God... What a nadir and mean fate!
The despot, as represented in this age, in our day, imagines he can enslave the people..
But they were born free. They were freed by God’s will through prophets and messengers, to be slaves only to Him and not to anyone of the people." Saddam Hussein, Iraq Daily 4-3-2003

A person with a God Complex may refuse to admit the possibility of their error or failure, even in the face of irrefutable evidence, intractable problems or difficult or impossible tasks.
The person is also highly dogmatic in their views, meaning the person speaks of their personal opinions as though they are unquestionably correct.
Someone with a god complex may exhibit no regard for the conventions and demands of society, and may request special consideration or privileges.

"...To be a human being among human beings, and remain one forever, no matter what misfortunes befall, not to become depressed, and not to falter - this is what life is, herein lies its task." Fyodor Dostoevsky (to his brother Mikhail, Dec. 22, 1849)

All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.
Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly.
“Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone." Prophet Muhammad, Last Sermon


“Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you can not retain.”

Saadi Shirazi
(Persian poet & humanist, born in Shiraz, Iran, c. 1210)


Jews must ditch Zionism, now
Middle East Robert Cohen, Mondoweis, April 8, 2018

Israel needs to stop being an ideology and start being a nation. A nation of all of its citizens, all with equal national, civil and religious rights.
After 70 years, only partial justice and restoration is possible for the Palestinian people. Whatever constitutional arrangements are arrived at, equality should be the guiding principle at work.
As for Zionism let’s ditch it and move on. 'It’s time to place it in a glass cabinet and put it in a museum in a room marked:
‘Dead Ends & False Messiahs’.










2018




"Holism is the most fundamental discovery of 20th century science. It is a discovery of every science from astrophysics to quantum physics to environmental science to psychology to anthropology.
It is the discovery that the entire universe is an integral whole, and that the basic organizational principle of the universe is the field principle: the universe consists of fields within fields, levels of wholeness and integration that mirror in fundamental ways, and integrate with, the ultimate, cosmic whole...."
"For many thinkers and religious teachers throughout this history, holism was the dominant thought, and the harmony that it implies has most often been understood to encompass cosmic, civilizational, and personal dimensions. Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Lord Krishna, Lao Tzu, and Confucius all give us visions of transformative harmony, a transformative harmony that derives from a deep relation to the holism of the cosmos."

About political holism

Political holism is based on the recognition that "we" are all members of a single whole. There's no "they," even though "we" are not all alike. Because "we" are all part of the whole, and therefore interdependent, we benefit from cooperating with each other. Political holism is a way of thinking about human cultures and nations as interdependent.
Political holists search for solutions other than war to settle international disagreements. Their model of the world is one in which cooperation and negotiation, even with the enemy, even with the weak, promotes political stability more than warfare.
In an overpopulated world with planet-wide environmental problems, the development of weapons of mass destruction has rendered war obsolete as an effective means to resolve disputes.

Political dualists consider political holists unpatriotic for questioning the necessity to defeat "them." In times of impending war, political dualists tend to measure patriotism by the intensity of one's hostility to the country's immediate enemy.
Naturally, they would view as disloyalty any suggestion that the enemy is not evil, any call for cooperation with the enemy, any criticism of one's own country.
To political dualists, cooperation with the enemy means capitulation, relinquishment of the nation's position of dominance.
At its extreme, political dualism is essentially tribalism. (Betty Craige, 16-8-1997)


Desmond Tutu & Ubuntu

"A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."
"We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World.
When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity." (Ubuntu info)

Smearing Jeremy Corbyn
by Kenneth Surin, 30-3-2018

The artist, Kalen Ockerman, known as Mear One, is still selling versions of the mural on his website. Ockerman, who is based in Los Angeles, admitted he had “depicted the elite banking cartel known as the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Morgans, the ruling elite few playing a game of Monopoly on the backs of the working people... Mear One denied that the mural was racist; he was quoted in the British newspaper The Independent as saying that the mural was about "class and privilege", and pointed out that the figures depicted included both "Jewish and white Anglos".

Jeremy Corbyn has for decades been a resolute opponent of the Zionist project in Palestine-Israel, and a steadfast supporter of the rights of the Palestinian people. There are many in the Labour party who support Corbyn in this view.
Corbyn’s Labour has a clear lead in the opinion polls, and the arrival of a Corbyn-led Labour government after the next election would probably herald a sea-change in the UK’s relationship with Palestine-Israel.
This prospect has sent a shiver or two down the spines of Israel’s Zionist supporters in the UK.
The most recent controversy with regard to this issue stems from Corbyn’s opposition, via a Facebook post, to the removal in 2012 of an anti-money-power mural (showing the Rothschilds, Rockefellers and Morgans) in the East End of London, on the grounds that this was censorship of an artist.
The UK Board of Jewish Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council organized a protest against antisemitism in Labour outside parliament last week, and claimed Corbyn “personifies” the “problems and dangers” of “left-wing antisemitism”.

The Zionist strategy here has been evident for a long time: when dealing with anti-Zionists such as Corbyn, do everything to blur the line between anti-Zionism (which has become increasingly acceptable in the mainstream as a result of Zionist Israel’s systematically brutal treatment of the Palestinians), and antisemitism (which, given what Jews have had to suffer in their long history, is categorically unacceptable).
The rote and reflex conflation of anti-Zionism with antisemitism will probably make it harder for actual antisemitism to be responded to with the seriousness it always merits.

Many are maligned routinely as antisemites because they oppose Israel’s repellent treatment of the Palestinians – if time after time, principled pro-Palestinians such as Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, let alone Corbyn, are deemed antisemitic by virtue of their insistence on Palestinian legal rights vis-à-vis Israel, then there will be more than a few, some of whom may in truth alas be antisemites, who will be inclined to laugh-off this imputation of antisemitism.
The thirst of the Zionists, and their convenient abettors in Blairite Labour and the latter’s supporters in the UK media, in wanting Corbyn’s “apologies” in order to undermine him and his allies, is unslakable.
For Zionists and their allies, the pro-Palestinian Corbyn and his supporters will always be irremediable “antisemites”. Zionists allow us no alternative to this travesty.

Kenneth Surin teaches at Duke University, North Carolina. He lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Corporatism: When the State Merges with Corporations
Posted on June 16, 2016 by Steven Neill

“There are two things that are important in politics.
The first is money and I can’t remember what the second one is.”
Mark Hanna, William McKinley’s presidential campaign manager, 1895

The US has been slowly moving into corporatism for decades.
The pace accelerated rapidly with the advent of Johnson’s War on Poverty and the Vietnam War and is now at the point where there is open collusion between government and big business in every area of our life.
From banking, food production, media outlets and transportation industries, the revolving door between business and government is undeniable and yet only whispered about in the main stream media.

Land Day March in Gaza
Middle East Eye, 3-3-2018

Tens of thousands of protesters were demonstrating across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel on Friday on "Land Day", notably marking the beginning of the "Great March of Return" in Gaza.
The Gaza Ministry of Health confirmed at least 16 Palestinian demonstrators had been killed by Israeli forces on the border with Israel... The Ministry also stated that more than 1,000 demonstrators had been wounded as of late afternoon, although a spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent Society told MEE they estimated that some 800 protesters in Gaza had been injured by live fire.
The Israeli army announced in a statement that it had declared the border area of the Gaza Strip a closed military zone - meaning all Palestinians getting close to the border fence could risk getting shot.
Held annually, Land Day marks the killing by Israeli troops of six Palestinian citizens of Israel on 30 March 1976 during a protest against land confiscations.

In the Gaza Strip, where 1.3 million of the small territory’s two million inhabitants are refugees, protest organisers have called for six weeks of demonstrations called the "Great March of Return" along the border of the besieged Palestinian enclave and Israel, starting on Friday and culminating on 15 May for Nakba Day.
While Gaza organisers have insisted that the demonstrations will be peaceful, several incidents of Gazans being detained after entering Israel in recent days have seen Israeli forces keen to prove their control of the situation.
The Israeli army confirmed in a statement that it was using "riot dispersal means" - a term typically used to refer to tear gas and sound bombs - as well as firing at "main instigators" of the protest.
Israel's military chief said on Wednesday that more than 100 snipers had been deployed on the Gaza border ahead of the planned mass demonstration near the frontier. Heavy earth-moving vehicles have built up dirt mounds on the Israeli side of the border and barbed wire has been placed as an additional obstacle against any mass attempt to breach the border into Israeli territory.

Meanwhile, Palestinians demonstrated in Israel and the West Bank on Friday to commemorate Land Day. In the Palestinian-majority town of Arraba in the Galilee region of northern Israel, thousands, including Palestinian MPs from the Israeli Knesset, heads of municipalities, and religious figures, took to the streets.

Liberman: "There will not be any international inquiry"
We will "act with a far stronger hand"
The Times of Israel, 1-4-2018

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman warned Sunday that Israel would act with a far stronger hand if Palestinians in the Gaza Strip resumed Friday’s violent protests on the border with Israel, during which 16 Palestinians were killed.
He claimed that of some 40,000 Palestinian protesters, 90 percent were officials and activists paid by the Hamas terror group, which rules the enclave, together with their families.
Liberman also pledged that there would be no international inquiry into the clashes, despite demands to that effect by parts of the international community. And he lashed out at the new head of the left-wing Meretz Party for joining calls for a probe, charging that her party represented Palestinian, rather than Israeli, interests.
On Saturday, Meretz party leader Tamar Zandberg called on Israeli authorities to open an investigation into the violence, indicating she thought the Israeli military appeared to have been too “trigger happy.”
On Saturday, the United States blocked a draft UN Security Council statement calling for an investigation of the incidents, according to diplomats. Representing Arab countries on the council, Kuwait had called for an “independent and transparent investigation” of the violence.

The defense minister, who heads the hawkish Yisrael Beytenu party, praised the army for having “carried out its work in the best possible way.”
Threatening that the army “can respond much more harshly next time” and that it would not “hesitate to use everything we have,” he also expressed doubt that the Palestinians would seek to replicate Friday’s events, “in light of the results.”
He claimed that those that did come were armed and disguised as non-violent protesters.
What is the attempt to break through the fence? It’s to harm our sovereignty,” he said.
“Any state whose borders people tried to crash would act in an even more severe way than we did, and therefore the procession of hypocrites calling for a committee of inquiry must understand that there will be no such thing. There will not be any international inquiry. We will not cooperate with any inquiry of this kind.”


Gilad Erdan: Reconciliation with ‘anti-Semite’ Erdogan
may have been a mistake
By Times Of Israel staff, 2-4-2018

Israel’s 2016 reconciliation agreement with Turkey may have been a mistake, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Monday, as a war of words between the nation’s leaders over the Gaza Strip became increasingly vitriolic.
“Looking back, maybe the accord should not have been approved,” Erdan told Army Radio, calling Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “an anti-Semite who continues to support Hamas.”
He said Israel must stand up “to the hostility and anti-Semitism of Erdogan. It’s odd for a country such as Turkey, that is massacring the Kurds and occupying northern Cyprus, to be accepted as a legitimate nation by the West.”
In January this year, Turkey launched an air and ground offensive in the enclave of Afrin in Syria to root out the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey brands a terrorist group...

Erdan’s comments echoed those of Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, who in December called the accord a “diplomatic mistake” that had “failed.”
At the time Erdogan called Israel a “terrorist state” that “kills children” after US President Donald Trump’s recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Benjamin Netanyahu stepped up a war of words with Erdogan Sunday, telling him that he had better get used to an Israeli response to his rhetoric and that Israel was not prepared to accept criticism from the Turkish strongman.
“Erdogan is not used to being answered back to,” Netanyahu tweeted. “He should get used to it. ”
Netanyahu’s comments came after earlier in the day Erdogan had branded him a “terrorist.”
Hey Netanyahu! You are an occupier. And it is as an occupier that you are on those lands. At the same time, you are a terrorist,” Erdogan said in a televised speech in Adana, southern Turkey.
What you do to the oppressed Palestinians will be part of history and we will never forget it,” he said, adding: “The Israeli people are uncomfortable with what you’re doing. We are not guilty of any act of occupation.”
On Saturday, Erdogan said during a speech in Istanbul, “I strongly condemn the Israeli government over its inhumane attack.”

Namık Kemal, the Enlightenment and the future of the Muslim world
İbrahim Kalın, Daily Sabah (Turkey), March 30, 2018

The debate over the Enlightenment continues to hover over current discussions of Islam, modernity and tradition. The claim that Muslim scholars and intellectuals of the 19th century did not know or understand the new pathos of Western modernity is false. They knew well what they were faced with and developed critical attitudes and engaged the Enlightenment in ways that are still important today.
Like many of his contemporaries, prominent Ottoman intellectual and writer Namık Kemal (1840 to 1888) had a critical and selective approach to the new spirit of modern European civilizations.
He was a loyalist of the Ottoman empire and his call for reforming the existing political and economic system was designed to save, not destroy it. He considered it possible to reconcile the ideas of reason, rationality, individual freedom, social contract, separation of powers and rule of law with traditional Islamic doctrines.

Kemal saw freedom as an innate quality of all human beings, without which one cannot claim to have even religion. He grounded freedom in divine creation when he said that "man is born with freedom and destined to use this divine gift."
Freedom as the protection of the individual against the aggression of others, including society and the state, also ensures social harmony. No society can establish peace and justice without freedom. But freedom as a divine gift does not alienate people from God, but rather brings them closer to the creator. Kemal was aware of the huge political changes in Europe and thus called for a reworking of French constitutionalism for the Ottoman Empire: "The instrument that will ensure our political rights and save the state from collapsing is a constitutional order based on the example of the governance of the French."
Kemal denied the claim that religion is an obstacle to civilization and progress. To the contrary, Islam produced one of the greatest and most enduring civilizations in history and there is nothing in Islam to suggest that Muslims cannot make advances in science, technology, economy, education, urban development or other areas.
He attacked anti-Islamic European thinkers for spreading false ideas about Islam and said: "When the Spanish took Granada, they threw people into fire to force them to change their religion. When we took Istanbul, we granted each religious community the right to perform their religion.



adnan al-aour, saudi-based salafist, spiritual fsa leader during the 2011 islamist uprising


Flashback 2012: The Shariah Was Made For Man,
and not man for the shariah
By Mustafa Akyol, Huffington Post, 18-2-2012

As Islamist parties emerge victorious from Arab ballots, some are having second thoughts about the Arab Spring.
The widespread concern is that Middle Eastern states will turn into illiberal democracies rather than liberal ones.
And while the threat of illiberal democracy is valid for any late-democratizing country the Middle East bears an additional and unique risk: Islamic law, or the shariah, which might imply corporal punishments for criminals, degradation of women, and persecution of perceived impiety, blasphemy or apostasy.
In the face of this risk, a remedy is often hoped in the power of pragmatism. Besides pragmatism, however, there is another source that the more progressive Islamists seem willing to utilize for modernizing their future vision: simply a non-literalist approach to the sharia, which will focus on its “intents” rather than the medieval means that were used to serve those intents.

The basis for this non-literal approach goes back to Imam Shatibi, a scholar from the 14th century Muslim Spain.
In his magnum opus, Higher Objectives and Intents of Islamic Law, Shatibi studied the whole shariah carefully, and concluded that all its decrees could be rendered to the protection of five fundamental values: Life, religion, property, progeny and reason.
Islamic history presents examples showing how this non-literalist understanding of the sharia allowed imported adaptations. One exemplary period is the late Ottoman Empire, the very seat of the last Islamic caliphate, that rendered most corporal punishments in shariah obsolete, replacing them with fines and prison terms.
In the 19th century, Ottoman Islamic scholars explicitly acknowledged “laws should change as times change.” They blessed important liberal reforms... In the works of Islamic liberals such as Namik Kemal (1840 -1888), whose ideas led the ground for the Ottoman Constitution of 1876, the shariah had turned into a doctrine of God-given “inalienable rights of men” — a basis for liberty, not a threat to it.

However, the post-Ottoman Middle East was drawn into a political and cultural crisis, and Islamist movements emerged with a reactionary zeal.
Ultra-literalist Salafis grew into a potent force, and instead of reforming the medieval sharia to adapt to the modern world, they forced the modern world to adapt to the medieval shariah.
These fundamentalists did not realize that their blind literalism could lead them to follow the letter of the law, but betray its intents.
The Western civilization is familiar with a version of this problem from its own canon: The frequent criticism that Jesus brings in the New Testament to the Pharisees, a conservative and literalist Jewish sect of that time, is very relevant.
The Pharisees, Jesus noted, were obsessing about the minute details of religious law but leaving undone “the weightier matters of law” such as “justice, and mercy, and faith.”
“The Sabbath was made for man,” Jesus also proclaimed, turning the Pharisee mindset upside down, “and not man for the Sabbath.”
The future of freedom in the Islamic civilization partly lies in a similar insight — that the shariah was made for man, and not man for the shariah.


President Erdoğan visited troops at the Syrian border
Ahval News, 2-4-2018


Ibrahim Tatlises - Anam
Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited the Turkish troops deployed at the Syrian border in the souther Anatolian city Hatay on Sunday, accompanied by the chief of staff Hulusi Akar, as well as ministers, sports players, journalists, celebrity singers and television and movie stars.
Wearing a camouflage uniform and surrounded by his guests, Erdoğan talked to the soldiers at the Oğulpınar outpost on the Syrian border. He praised the unity and the solidarity of the Turkish society, told that Turkish soldiers made history in Afrin, and thanked the celebrities participating the event for standing behind Turkish soldiers.
“You, who are here to raise the spirits of our soldiers and support them, are the true artists and the athletes of this country. Nowhere around this world, you can see artists or athletes who are alien to their own countries and nations, who are hostile to their values and successes. There were ones like that in old times, but thank god, their numbers are decreasing,” said Erdoğan.
Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar also made a speech and noted that Turkey's Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, northwestern Syria was carried out in line with international law and the principles of fighting terrorism.
Only terrorists and their shelters, positions, arms, vehicles and materials are being targeted,” said Hulusi Akar during his speech.

In a video, İbrahim Tatlıses, famous Turkish fantasy music singer, is sitting between president Erdoğan and chief of staff Akar and sings an old song “Yaylalar” which is a national anthem in Turkey for all those doing their military service.

Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi wins second 4-year term as Egypt's president
Ahram Online, 2-4-2018

Egypt's National Elections Authority (NEA) has declared Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi the winner of the nation's 2018 presidential elections, securing a second four-year term after winning 21,835,378 votes or 97.08 percent of valid votes.
At a press conference in Cairo on Monday, the NEA said that 24,254,152 citizens voted in the elections at home and abroad, out of near 59 million eligible voters, representing a turnout of 41.5 percent.

In his first speech after winning a second term as Egypt's president on Monday, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi vowed to work for all Egyptians without any discrimination.
"I promise to work for all Egyptians without discrimination. Those who renewed their confidence in me [with their votes] are not different from those who did otherwise. Egypt includes all, as long as a difference in opinion doesn't spoil a nation's cause," President El-Sisi stated in the televised speech after winning a sweeping 97% of the votes.
He added that "common grounds were greater and more welcoming than fixed ideologies or narrow interests."
El-Sisi hinted that working on more collaborative grounds would be a priority in his upcoming term.
"My confidence in the intelligence of the Egyptian nation was without doubt," he said...


Muhammad Bin Salman & The Triangle of Evil
Saudi Gazette, 3-4-2018

Los Angeles — Saudi Arabia is pushing back on Iranian moves to spread extremist ideology, Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, said in a wide-ranging interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic.
"We’ve done this in Africa, Asia, in Malaysia, in Sudan, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon. We don’t know if the regime will collapse or not—it’s not the target, but if it collapses, great, it’s their problem," the Crown Prince said in the interview published on Monday.
"Iran is trying to build an empire based on evil ideology, which is contrary to the UN principles," he said, describing Iran as the main part of a triangle to spread evil ideology.
Explaining the triangle of evil, Crown Prince Muhammad said that the first angle of this triangle is the Iranian regime that wants to spread their extremist ideology, their extremist Shiite ideology. The second part of the triangle is the Muslim Brotherhood, which is another extremist organization. They want to use the democratic system to rule countries and build shadow caliphates everywhere. Then they would transform into a real Muslim empire.
And the other part is the terrorists — al-Qaeda, Daesh -- that want to do everything with force.

This triangle is promoting an idea that God and Islam are not asking us to promote. Their idea is totally against the principles of the United Nations, and the idea of different nations having laws that represent their needs.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Yemen—all of these countries are defending the idea that independent nations should focus on their own interests, in building good relations on the foundation of UN principles.
The evil triangle doesn’t want to do that.
The Crown Prince said, "Islam is a religion of peace. This is the translation of Islam. God, in Islam, gives us two responsibilities: The first is to believe, to do good things, and not bad things. If we do bad things, God will judge us on Judgment Day.
"Our second duty as Muslims is to spread the word of God. Islam, in this context, was not about conquering, it was about peacefully spreading the word."

Building good relations on the foundation of UN principles?


1. Turki al-Faisal & MKO regime change group - 2. Fabius frustrated as efforts fail to topple Assad
3. Saudi cleric Oraifi: "I see them as dead bodies" - 4,5,6. Saudi backed terror group Jaish al-Islam


More than 40,000 persons return homes in towns of eastern Ghouta
Syrian Arab News Agency, 3-4-2018

Damascus, SANA- Thousands of civilians returned homes in the villages and towns of eastern Ghouta in Damascus countryside after the Syrian Arab Army restored security and stability to them and eradicated the Takfiri terrorist organizations from them.
A military source said Tuesday that the number of those who returned homes in eastern Ghouta reached more than 40,000 persons so far. The return of the locals to all villages and towns which were liberated by the army from terrorism continues, the source added.
Meanwhile, SANA’s reporters said that the engineering units continue to comb the villages and towns of eastern Ghouta for dismantling the mines and explosives which were planted by terrorists in the houses, streets and main squares.
The army units, in cooperation with the police units, are working on providing all facilitations and aid needed for the return of the locals to their homes.
Damascus Countryside Police Command reactivated the work of the police units in Jisrin, Erbin and Harasta in eastern Ghouta and deployed regular patrols to enhance security and safety and to protect the popular and private properties in them.
The reporters said that the workshops continue removing the debris, opening the streets and rehabilitating the health and services centers and the schools to receive students.
On Monday, Damascus Countryside Education Directorate announced the return of more than 12,000 students to their schools in eastern Ghouta and the makeshift centers.


Syrian Government Trying to Capture
Another Rebel-held Area After Eastern Ghouta
Nisan Ahmado, Voice of America (Extremism Watch), April 03, 2018

The Syrian government launched several airstrikes Sunday on the rebel-held eastern Qalamoun area, northeast of Damascus, according to local activists. The airstrikes came as negotiations are underway between local councils of the main towns in eastern Qalamoun, and representatives from the Syrian government and the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria.
“The rebels and local councils are trying to spare the populated towns from a fate similar to the one of eastern Ghouta, they seek to let people stay in their homes and avoid large-scale destruction of the area,” Abdullah Abdul Karim, a journalist based in Syria told VOA.
During the meeting, the Russian and Syrian government delegations called on the rebels to hand over their weapons to the Syrian government, settlement for the fighters, or the withdrawal from the region, or face war.
About 350 thousand civilians live in the area, including many displaced from Homs by fighting between the Syrian governments and ISIS. Others are refugees who recently left eastern Ghouta.
Eastern Qalamoun has been under rebel control since 2013. A number of rebel factions are present in the area, including the Syrian Liberation Front and Ahrar al-Sham.
Eastern Qalamoun is the last stronghold for the Faylaq Al Rahman and Jaish Al Islam rebel groups, after their evacuation from eastern Ghouta.
The forces of Martyr Ahmed Al Abdo rebel group are also based in Qalamoun, al-Tanf area. That is close to the Jordanian border and a U.S. military base.

As of 2017, the Martyr Ahmed Al Abdo rebel group claimed to have 2,000 fighters, including 500 defected soldiers and 30 officers from the Syrian Armed Forces. The head of the group is the "joint command council", led by Captain Ahmed Tamer.
Fighters in the group typically operate in groups of 10. Its main equipment are Toyota Land Cruiser and Toyota Hilux gun trucks mounted with various weaponry including autocannons, heavy machine guns, recoilless rifles, and multiple rocket launchers. It also operate at least 1 T-62 and 2 T-55s.[7]
The group received BGM-71 TOW missiles as one of the first rebel groups to do so in May 2014 and is also in possession of Chinese HJ-8 and Russian 9M133 Kornet anti-tank missiles paid by Qatar and supplied from Sudan.

TOWs are guided missiles that are capable of thoroughly damaging or destroying tanks, armored carriers, and other vehicles that the Assad regime might send into the field. And, unlike other projectiles used against armored targets, such as RPGs, TOW missiles can be used from a considerable distance.
These weapons have helped decimate Syrian armor... For instance, on October 8, 2015, a Syrian armored offensive suffered massive casualties as, rebels armed "with US-made TOW missiles … [and] other guided rockets ... caused the destruction … of over 15 armored cars, vehicles, and tanks," according to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights.


Jeremy Bender, Business Insider, 2015:
The groups that the CIA currently (20-10-2015) allows munitions to be shared with are:

13th Division (Forqat 13), 101st Division Infantry (Forqat 101 Masha'a), Knights of Justice Brigade (Liwa' Fursan al-Haqq), Falcons of the Mountain Brigade (Liwa' Suqour al-Jabal), Grouping of the Falcons of Al-Ghab (Tajamuu Suqour al-Ghab), 1st Coastal Division (Forqat Awwal al-Sahli), Gathering of Dignity (Tajammu al-Izza'), Central Division (Al-Forqat al-Wasti), 46th Division (Forqat 46), Sultan Murad Brigade (Liwa' Sultan Murad), Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement, (Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki), Mujahideen Army/Army of Holy Warriors (Jaish al-Mujahideen), Revolutionaries of al-Sham Brigades (Kata'eb Thuwar al-Sham), 1st Regiment (Al-Fauj al-Awwal), Ahmed al-Abdo Martyrs' Force (Quwwat al-Shaheed Ahmad al-Abdo), Al-Rahman Legion (Faylaq al-Rahman), Martyrs of Islam Brigade (Liwa' Shuhadah al-Islam), Yarmouk Army (Jaish al-Yarmouk), Lions of Sunnah Division (Forqat Usood al-Sunnah), the 18th March Division (Forqat 18 Adhar), Southern Tawhid Brigade (Liwa' Tawhid al-Junoub), Hamza Division (Forqat al-Hamza), 1 st Artillery Regiment (Al-Fauj al-Awwal Madfa'a), Syria Revolutionaries Front - Southern Sector (Jabhat Thuwar Souriya), The First Corps (Faylaq al-Awwal), The Dawn of Unity Division (Forqat Fajr al-Tawhid), Salah al-Din Division (Forqat Salah al-Din), Omari Brigades (Tajammu Alwiyat al-Omari), Unity Battalions of Horan Brigade (Liwa' Tawhid Kata'eb Horan), Youth of Sunnah Brigade (Liwa' Shabbab al-Sunnah), Moataz Billah Brigade (Liwa' Moataz Billah), Sword of al-Sham Brigades (Alwiyat Saif al-Sham), Dawn of Islam Division (Forqat Fajr al-Islam), Supporters of Sunnah Brigade (Liwa' Ansar al-Sunnah), Horan Column Division (Forqat Amoud Horan), Emigrants and Supporters Brigade (Liwa' Muhajireen wal Ansar), Military Council in Quneitra and the Golan, United Sham Front (Jabhat al-Sham Muwahidda), 69 th Special Forces Division (Forqat 69 Quwwat al-Khassa), 11 th Special Forces Division (Forqat 11 Quwwat al-Khassa), Partisans of Islam Front (Jabhat Ansar al-Islam), Al-Furqan Brigades (Alwiyat al-Furqan)

Jaish Al Islam and the Syrian government agreed on a settlement

The last rebel-held pocket in eastern Ghouta is poised to surrender after Jaish Al Islam, the largest rebel group controlling the pocket of Douma, reached an agreement with the Russian-backed Syrian regime.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based Syrian war monitor, said that Jaish Al Islam and the Syrian government agreed on a settlement to secure those who wish to stay in Douma, allow the evacuation of those who want to leave, surrender heavy artillery to the Syrian regime and allow police to be deployed in the city.
The Observatory said some 1,300 civilians and fighters are expected to leave the besieged pocket and that the first group has already left the city and will be heading to northern Syria.


Turkey, Russia, Iran pledge to speed up efforts to ensure calm in Syria
Daily Sabah (Turkey), 4-4-2018

Turkey, Iran, Russia said they are determined to "speed up their efforts to ensure calm on the ground" in Syria and protect civilians in "de-escalation zones," a joint statement posted after the trilateral meeting said Wednesday.
In the joint news conference after the meeting, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Turkey is aware of its responsibilities in Syria and fulfills them with utmost care.
"Turkey secured and cleared of terrorists a 4,000-square meter area in Syria during operations Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch," he said.
The president noted that adopting an equal distance from all terrorist groups is crucial for maintaining Syria's territorial integrity, adding:
"It is very important to exclude all terror groups threatening not only Syria, but all surrounding countries, primarily Turkey, and the region as a whole," while he highlighted that it is crucial for all actors to acknowledge that Daesh and PKK-linked People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorists serve the same purpose and cannot contribute to lasting peace in the wartorn country.
Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that his country believes the Syrian crisis has no military solution, adding that safeguarding the independence of Syria is a priority for Tehran.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the other hand, said that it is crucial to avoid politicizing the humanitarian aid issue in Syria.

Towards a Post-War in the Greater Middle East
Thierry Meyssan | Voltaire Network | Damascus (Syria) | 4 April 2018

All wars end with winners and losers. The seventeen years we have just lived through in the "Greater Middle East" is no exception. Yet, while Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi have been eliminated and Syria is winning, the only real losers are the Arab people.
The 130 states and international organizations that participated in the "Friends of Syria" meetings will never admit failure, they will continue to perpetrate their abuses in other theaters of operation. In other words: their war will soon be over in this region, but it will resume elsewhere.


sirte (libya) - homs (syria) - mosul (iraq)

Under President Trump’s leadership, the US Armed Forces have gradually ceased to support the jihadists and have begun to withdraw from the battlefield. This does not mean they have become philanthropic overnight, but simply realistic...
In the spirit of the 1941 Atlantic Charter in which London and Washington agreed to jointly control the oceans and world trade, the United States is now preparing to sabotage the trade of its Chinese rival...
Now that Beijing has decided to move its goods through Turkey instead of Syria and through Belarus instead of Ukraine, we should expect "disorders" to erupt in these two countries.

Thousands of Syrian and Iraqi Christians have lost their homes, but not their faith, due to conflicts in the Middle East. Death threats for practicing their faith have caused many to flee. Today, those Christians who stay in the area where the early disciples built the first church, need to know they are not alone... (cradleofchristianity.org)

For its part, the United Kingdom has not renounced its plan to instigate a new "Arab revolt", a scheme which in 1915 served to bring the Wahhabis to power, from Libya to Saudi Arabia. However, the so-called "Arab Spring" of 2011, which this time was meant to install the Muslim Brotherhood in power, was snuffed out by the Syrian-Lebanese resistance.
London intends to exploit the US "pivot to Asia" strategy to recover the influence it wielded during its former empire. The UK is poised to leave the European Union and has directed its armed forces against Russia.

Russia is the only great power to have emerged victorious from the Middle East conflict, thereby achieving the goal set by Catherine the Great to gain access to the Mediterranean and save the cradle of Christianity, the bedrock of Russian culture.
Moscow is now expected to enlarge the Eurasian Economic Union, to which Syria applied to join in 2015. At that time, its membership had been suspended at the request of Armenia, reluctant to introduce a state at war into the common economic space, but now the order of things has changed.
It is very likely that the world will be divided in two, not by an iron curtain, but by the will of the Western powers, who are already in the process of separating the banking systems and will soon try to do the same with the Internet. On the one side, it should be based on NATO and, on the other, no longer on the Warsaw Pact but on the Collective Security Treaty Organization.
In a pendulum movement, the West - the former "free world" – has morphed into a set of coercive and falsely consensual societies. The European Union is endowed with a bigger and more oppressive bureaucracy than that of the Soviet Union.
And Russia becomes once again the champion of International Law.

Catherine the Great (Reigned: 1762-1796)
Born: Stettin, Pomerania, 21 April (2 May) 1729
Died: St. Petersburg, 6 (17) November 1796

At the time of Catherine's accession, Russia was still regarded as a distant provincial wilderness by many Europeans.
Catherine, who understood the power of image and symbol, sought to change this negative view by creating a powerful, modern, wealthy country...
She therefore purposefully became a patron of literature, science, the arts, and education - not only because she believed these fields to be important in and of themselves, but because she understood that success here would contribute to Russia's reputation as a center of civilization.
She founded elementary schools, academies, libraries and other institutions of learning across the empire. Russian scholars and artists were sent abroad to learn from Western examples, and foreign scientists, architects, and artists were attracted to Petersburg in order to enrich the city's appearance and cultural life.
When she officially became part of the Orthodox Church, on June 28, 1744, she was renamed Catherine Alexeyvna. Catherine the Great believed that people should be able to choose they're own religion... (saint-petersburg.com)

China strikes back at U.S. unilateralism with equal tariff plan
Xinhua | 2018-04-04 | Editor: Lu Hui

BEIJING, April 4 (Xinhua) -- China on Wednesday unveiled a list of products worth 50 billion U.S. dollars imported from the United States that will be subject to higher tariffs, including soybeans, automobiles, aircraft and chemical products.
The decision was made by the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council, involving a possible additional tariff of 25 percent on 106 items of products under 14 categories, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said on its website.
The move was taken after the U.S. administration announced a proposed list of products subject to additional tariffs, which covers Chinese exports worth 50 billion dollars with a suggested tariff rate of 25 percent.
"The date of implementation will depend on when the U.S. government imposes the tariffs on Chinese products," the MOF said.

"Disregarding serious representations by China, the United States announced tariff proposals that are completely unfounded, a typical unilateralist and protectionist practice that China strongly condemns and firmly opposes," the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on its website.
The U.S. move was "an evident violation of rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO)," the MOC said. Its measures "severely infringed on the legitimate rights and interests that China enjoys in accordance with the WTO rules, and threatened China's economic interests and security," the MOC said....


UN chief: Protectionism is not answer to today's problems
Xinhua| 2018-04-06 | Editor: Yamei

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said here on Thursday that "the answer to today's problems is not protectionism, is not isolationism."
"I am a strong believer in multilateralism to address global problems. There is no way global problems can be addressed on a country by country basis.
Global problems need to have global answers and global answers can only be implemented through multilateral frameworks." the UN chief made the remarks when he was asked to comment on the trade conflict between China and the United States.
In an interviews with Chinese reporters before his trip to China for the annual Boao Forum, Guterres said "the international framework that governs global trade is of extreme important with the World Trade Organization at its center." "I am a true believer in free trade," he said, adding that free trade is a very important contributor to global prosperity.

Globalization has brought enormous benefits. For example, economic growth and trade have been increased, poverty has been reduced, life expectancy of people has been increased and there are much broader middle-class families.
However, there are also losers in globalisation. Inequalities have increased, and many people are left behind. So we need to make efforts to improve things, not to reject globalization but to improve it, the UN chief said.
Improve things, not to reject globalization is the objective of Agenda 2030, and the objective of the WTO, Guterres said.
"I am very happy that China has been totally committed to the Agenda 2030, not only at the Chinese level but also in cooperation with other countries, especially the developing world," Guterres said.

UN Agenda 2030: Declaration

-- 1. We, the Heads of State and Government and High Representatives, meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 25-27 September 2015 as the Organization celebrates its seventieth anniversary, have decided today on new global Sustainable Development Goals.
-- 2. On behalf of the peoples we serve, we have adopted a historic decision on a comprehensive, far-reaching and people-centred set of universal and transformative Goals and targets.
We commit ourselves to working tirelessly for the full implementation of this Agenda by 2030. We recognize that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.
We are committed to achieving sustainable development in its three dimensions – economic, social and environmental – in a balanced and integrated manner.
-- 3. We resolve, between now and 2030, to end poverty and hunger everywhere; to combat inequalities within and among countries; to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies; to protect human rights and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; and to ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources.
We resolve also to create conditions for sustainable, inclusive and sustained economic growth, shared prosperity and decent work for all, taking into account different levels of national development and capacities.
-- 4. As we embark on this great collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind. Recognizing that the dignity of the human person is fundamental, we wish to see the Goals and targets met for all nations and peoples and for all segments of society. And we will endeavour to reach the furthest behind first.
-- 5. This is an Agenda of unprecedented scope and significance. It is accepted by all countries and is applicable to all, taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities.
These are universal goals and targets which involve the entire world, developed and developing countries alike....


Democracy being degraded as US seeks global hegemony by any means
RT Russia, 6-4-2018

US democracy is being degraded as Washington is using all means to maintain its global hegemony, even those measures that harm the American people, Moscow has said, reacting to the new round of anti-Russian sanctions.
The American democracy is clearly being degraded. [Its only] desire is to ensure by all means that US global hegemony remains, including pressuring countries that conduct an independent line and speak [with] their own voice, unlike Washington’s NATO allies,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Moscow said the new US restrictions will be faced with “a firm response,” urging Washington to “swiftly give up on the illusion that one can communicate with [Russia] using the language of sanctions.”
“Politicians in Washington have reached such a level of absurdity that they are trying to target our companies that have long maintained business ties with the US and have thousands of jobs depending on them. In other words, they strike ordinary Americans, their own voters, and destroy economic cooperation in a self-defeating manner,” the statement reads.
The Foreign Ministry pointed out that US authorities were rapidly “renouncing what they themselves used to hail as fundamental ‘American values.’”

<
America's Mission - A City upon a Hill


Earlier on Friday, the US Treasury announced more anti-Russian sanctions, with 24 high-profile businessmen and politicians, as well as 14 companies being added to the existing blacklist.
According to Washington, Moscow is to be punished for “a range of malign activity around the globe,” including its reunification with Crimea, involvement in the Ukrainian conflict, support of President Bashar Assad in Syria, as well as “attempting to subvert Western democracies, and malicious cyber activities.”

The Syria summit in Ankara
İbrahim Kalın, Daily Saba (Turkey), 7-4-2018

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hosted the trilateral leaders' summit in Ankara on April 4 to find a lasting solution to the seven-year Syrian war.
Attended by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the summit held promise but also put forth the challenges to end the Syrian war.
It is no secret that the Syrian war has become a stage for global power games in the Middle East. With United States, France, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Russia, the main stakeholders have different views and priorities on how to end the war.
There are two eventual goals shared by all – eliminating Daesh and maintaining Syria's territorial integrity. But these two goals also lend themselves to different interpretations and, at times, serve different purposes.
The U.S. administration says destroying Daesh is the main goal of its mission in Syria, but it has taken on different meanings over time. The evolution is from fighting Daesh to countering Iran and Russia in Syria...

Turki Al-Faisal (Saudi Arabia): "Fighting ISIS is fighting Assad" (16-3-2015)

That is why U.S. officials make conflicting statements about the current state of the fight against Daesh. Some say the fight is over and Daesh is eliminated while others say the threat is still there and the U.S. military presence is needed for the long term.
This is also the justification for the U.S. to work with the PKK's Syrian affiliate Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its People's Protection Units (YPG) forces, which Ankara considers to be terrorist organizations.

It is becoming increasingly clear in recent months that the U.S. wants to stay in eastern Syria as a counter force to Iran – a policy supported by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
U.S. President Donald Trump said it when he mentioned that if the Gulf countries want the U.S. to stay in Syria, they must pay for it. Clearly, the issue is not about Daesh anymore, but about creating a new power balance in Syria and beyond.
The fight against Daesh is a secondary goal now, and the U.S. military has a problem finding justification to stay in Syria within U.S. law, which allows the military to operate in foreign lands only to fight against terrorism.

The joint statement by the leaders of Turkey, Iran and Russia on April 4 mentioned the need to end the fight in Syria and referred to the Astana talks "as the only effective international initiative that had helped reduce violence across Syria."
It stressed the importance of working under U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254 and the peace talks in Geneva. It emphasized the three countries' commitment to the "sovereignty, independence, unity, territorial integrity and non-sectarian character of Syria."
This is a reference to the structure of a future Syrian government as non-sectarian, non-fractional, inclusive, democratic and pluralistic.
The statement also has a reference to the PYD and YPG without mentioning their names. The countries "rejected all attempts to create new realities on the ground on the pretext of combating terrorism and expressed their determination to stand against separatist agendas."
This is an important outcome and confirms that Tehran and Moscow share Ankara's concerns over the PYD and YPG in Syria...
Ankara's firm position is right because it separates a terrorist network that seeks to create de facto conditions on the ground to carve out a separatist statelate in Syria from Kurds and other members of Syrian society.

Flashback: Saudi Prince Al-Faisal:
“Officials of the Iranian regime should be presented
to the International Criminal Court.”
Al Arabiya, Saturday, 1 July 2017

Prince Turki al-Faisal, chairman of the King Faisal Center for Islamic Studies, said in his speech Saturday at the Iranian opposition conference in Paris that “the Iranian government is the greatest sponsor of terrorism” in the world.
Al-Faisal stressed that the Iranian elections are undemocratic and illegitimate, because Khamenei appoints the candidates, saying, “the behavior of the Iranian regime does not qualify it to be a democratic system.”
Prince Al-Faisal said, “Officials of the Iranian regime should be presented to the International Criminal Court.”

Several figures who participated in the Iranian opposition conference in Paris called for supporting the struggle of the Iranian people calling for change by overthrowing Tehran’s regime.
Among the attendees of the conference were parliamentary delegations from Britain, Italy, Albania, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Tunisia and Algeria – as well as various other European countries.


Flashback: Saudi Writer Zuhair Kutbi: "Most Saudi intellectuals are cowards"
Horace Jeffery Hodges, 15-7-2015

Iran: Saudi crown prince illiterate of history, geography
Mehrnews English, Tehran, Sat 7 April 2018

“The claims of Saudi crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman show the fact that he had studied neither history nor geography,” said Bahram Ghasemi, the Spokesman of Iranian Foreign Ministry on Friday.
An Islamic country with pompous claims had degraded itself to the level of Zionist occupiers,” said Bahram Ghasemi, the Spokesman of Iranian Foreign Ministry.
Ghasemi made the remarks on Friday in response to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman's allegations in an interview with the London-based Times paper.
The ambition of the Saudi Crown Prince has no limitation and is turning out to be a chronic disease,” the spokesman added.
“Due to the war inside the House of Saud, he is making any ridiculous and shameful remarks to gain the support of the US and the Zionist regime of Israel and is paying billions of dollar from people’s properties,” Ghasemi said.
“The neophyte prince has closed his eyes on the historic realities and the crimes of the Zionist regime for seven decades", he said
“His claims indicate the fact that he had studied neither history nor geography and does not know even the aspiration of Saudi people and freedom seekers in the world,” he said.
“Saudi Prince,” Ghasemi added, “does not understand the oppression against Palestinians and does not differentiate friend and enemy.”
All recent conspiracies in the Islamic countries, creating and nurturing terrorist and extremist groups like ISIL have been designed and implemented to drive wedge in the Islamic World and to undermine Palestinians’ aspirations and to safeguard the usurper and fabricated regime of Israel,” he reiterated.
“This will be recorded as a great disgrace for Saudi Arabia in the course of developments in the Islamic world,” he said.


Russian MoD Denies Reports of Chemical Weapons' Use
Sputnik News, 8-4-2018

The Syrian government has denied allegations of having used chemical weapons in the city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta, saying it doesn't need such measures to stop the terrorists.
The Russian Defense Ministry has also denied reports of an alleged chemical bomb being dropped on Douma, suggesting that a number of Western states as well as NGOs like the White Helmets have turned to such claims in order to undermine the evacuation of Jaish al-Islam terrorists from the area.
"We strongly deny these claims and announce our readiness to send Russian experts in radiation, chemical and biological defense to Douma after its liberation from terrorists to gather evidence, which would prove that the allegations on the chemical weapons use were staged," said Maj. Gen. Yuri Yevtushenko, commander of the Russian Center for Syria reconciliation.
According to the statement, issued by the Syrian authorities on the state-run SANA news agency, such claims have been made by terrorists and are aimed at hindering Syrian forces, which have made “a swift and determined advance” and do not need such measures to deter the terrorists.
"The chemical fabrications, which did not serve the terrorists and their sponsors in Aleppo and Eastern Ghouta, will not serve them today either, as the Syrian state is determined to end terrorism in every square inch of Syrian territory," read the statement...
Last month, Damascus reported that several foreign experts were working on staging a chemical attack, which would be carried out with the help of the infamous White Helmets and would be covered by mainstream media. The same warning was issued by the Russian Center for Syria reconciliation in January.
The Syrian government has consistently denied all claims of chemical weapons use, arguing that the country’s stockpiles had been destroyed, which has been confirmed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Israeli officials: "The world must do everything to stop the Assad regime"
By Stuart Winer and Agencies Today, 8-4-2018

Israeli officials on Sunday called on the international community to intervene in Syria, where rebel forces said the regime killed dozens in an alleged chemical attack in Douma and a series of airstrikes over the weekend.
Speaking to Army Radio, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, a member of the security cabinet and the ruling Likud party, urged US and international military action.
Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid on Sunday condemned the attack: "The world cannot stand by while the Assad regime and its allies carry out these brutal attacks. Words aren’t enough, the international community must take action,” he wrote on Twitter.
Leader of Israel’s opposition Zionist Union party Avi Gabbay also urged the international community to act against Syria, singling out Russia for backing the regime and berating the US for remaining “silent.”
“The international community cannot turn a blind eye to the horrific use of chemical weapons on civilians in Syria. These atrocities should be stopped!” tweeted Zionist Union MK Tzipi Livni.
“What can be said?” Yehudah Glick, of the ruling Likud party, tweeted. “The world must do everything to stop the Assad regime. The man has no limits.”

Syrian Government forces resumed their offensive on Jaish-al-Islam-held Douma on Friday afternoon after a 10-day truce collapsed over disagreement regarding evacuation of opposition fighters.
The violence resumed days after hundreds of opposition fighters and their relatives left Douma toward rebel-held areas in northern Syria.

“Jaish al-Islam” terrorists use civilians in Douma as human shields
Syrian Arab News Agency, 7 April 2018

Damascus countryside, SANA - “Jaish al-Islam” terrorists are repeating the crimes committed by Jabhat al-Nusra and Failaq al-Rahman terrorist organizations by using the locals in Douma as human shields, in order to stop the advance of the Syrian Arab Army units towards the terrorists’ hideouts inside Douma city, a similar scenario to what had happened in the towns and villages of Eastern Ghouta.
A military source said in statement to SANA that Jaish al-Islam terrorists are preventing civilians from leaving Douma city as they opened fire on the demonstrators who took to the streets to demand the terrorists to leave the city and release the abductees.
The source said that 33,345 persons exited Douma since March 5th, as the army units secured the evacuation of the thousands of civilians via al-Wafideen Camp safe corridor and transported them to temporary housing centers.
2,963 terrorists from Jaish al-Islam and their families exited the city over the past week, according to the “Douma agreement” before the terrorists obstructed it due to internal differences among them.
Jaish al-Islam terrorists are also attempting to exploit the thousands of abductees held in the terrorists’ prisons for years in Douma city, with the aim of using them as a trump card in order to escape retribution.

Two days ago the Russian military command said that it detected
'rebel' preparations for new false flag gas attacks.
Moon of Alabama, 8-4-2018

Over the last months the Syrian army secured 90% of 'rebel' enclave in east-Ghouta right next to the Syrian capital Damascus. Only the town of Douma, held by the Saudi financed Salafist Takfiris of Jaish al-Isalm, was left in enemy hands.
Negotiations about an evacuation of the terrorist were ongoing. At one point last week the hard core leaders of Jaish al-Islam pulled their negotiators back from the talks...
Jaish al-Islam wanted to essentially stay in place and keep all its weapons. The Russian negotiators did not agree with this. On Friday the negotiations failed.
Barrages of missiles and grenades from Douma hit Damascus. The 'rebel' supporting Syrian Observatory reported of several killed in Damascus and dozens of wounded. The Syrian army hit back with intensive air strikes and artillery fire on Douma.

Two years ago Jaish al-Islam admitted that it used chemical weapons against a Kurdish suburb of Aleppo. Just two days ago the Russian military command said that it detected 'rebel' preparations for new false flag gas attacks.
Now the terrorists and their supporters claim that a new "chemical weapon attack" happened and blame the Syrian government. A video of the alleged gas attack aftermath shows a basement with some 30 dead children between two and 10 years old. They seem to have suffocated, probably from carbon monoxyd. Astonishingly there are no dead women or men - only children under 10.
Russia, which has observers on the ground, rejects any claims of Syrian government involvement in the incident.
The Russian Foreign Ministry denounced the latest reports about a chemical attack that allegedly affected dozens of civilians in the militant-controlled town of Douma. It said the reports were another example of a “continuous series of fake news about the use of chlorine and other chemical agents by the government forces.”

Flashback - RT, 7 april 2016: The Jaysh al-Islam militant group fighting government forces in Syria has admitted to using “forbidden” weapons against Kurdish militia in Aleppo.
The group’s statement comes after reports of chemical gas being used in shelling Aleppo’s Sheikh Maqsood district. The hardline Islamist group did not not specify what substances were used, but claimed that it will punish those responsible.
The group’s statement reads: “During the clashes one of the Jaysh al-Islam brigade leaders used [weapons] forbidden in this kind of confrontations.”
The group claims that the brigade commander in question was summoned to a military court, where it was decided he is to be held accountable...

Syrian Army, rebels declare ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta
Al-Masdar News, 8-4-2018

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (2:00 P.M.) – The Syrian government approved a request made by the last rebel faction in East Ghouta pocket for a ceasefire and resumption of talks, a Syrian official source said.
The call made by Jaysh al-Islam comes after a whole-night offensive launched by the Syrian Army against the militants’ positions whereby the government troops managed to fully liberate al-Riyhan town to the east, along with other territories to the west and southern outskirts of the rebel-held city.
Having lost its most fortified defense lines in less than 24 hours of battles, Jaysh al-Islam; the largest insurgent group in the whole East Ghouta enclave, does realize that their chances to withstand the Army’s assault equal zero.
According to an official reports, the rebel faction will most likely accept the terms of agreement as stipulated by the Syrian government i.e. evacuation to the country’s north, handing over heavy weapons and release of detainees.
The latest military onslaught was primarily launched – according to Syrian officials – with the objective to secure the prisoners detained by Jaysh al-Islam for years.
The Syrian State’s approval to negotiate is based on ending the bloodshed of civilians in Douma, liberating all abductees and evacuating “Jaish al-Islam” terrorists to Jarablus.



damascus - aleppo - lattakia
Christian denominations in Syria, who follow Julain calendar, on Sunday celebrated Easter, the resurrection of Jesus the Christ.
Prayers and masses were performed at churches in celebration of Easter. The Easter sermons emphasized the meaning of Easter in terms of peace and love and called for backing the Syrian Arab army in its fight against terrorism until final victory. (SANA, 8-4-2018)

The Three Faces of the Donald
by Justin Raimondo, antiwar.com, April 09, 2018

A child could see through the fake “chemical attack” supposedly launched by Bashar al-Assad just as his troops defeated the jihadists and Trump said he wanted out of Syria.
But our President can’t, which raises the question: is he as stupid or stupider than George W. Bush? Or is he crazy? The bad news is: possibly both. And no, there is no good news.
It was 6 in the morning this Sunday when Donald Trumpsent out this tweet:
“Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price…”

We are expected to believe that the Assad regime committed a horrific atrocity against mostly women and children at the very moment when Syrian forces have decisively defeated the Islamist rebels and Trump declared he wanted US troops out of Syria.
Days before this fake attack, the Russian Defense Ministry warned that a false flag provocation was in the making.
“Big price,” eh? The person paying that price is going to be Trump himself – his presidency is doomed...
The foreign policy he seemed to be promising, summed up in the slogan “America First,” was and is the right path for this country – but life is not about policies divorced from individuals...
He isn’t living up to his campaign promises... The “deplorables” are in open rebellion against this new turn..
He’s a coward. He refuses to confront the War Party head on, despite his campaign trail rhetoric...

So here’s the question: is he stupid, like George W. Bush, or is he crazy in the tradition of, say, Richard M. Nixon?
-- The case for stupidity is fairly strong: after all, where’s the evidence that Assad launched a chemical attack? Like the series of fake “attacks” touted by the jihadist rebels over the years, this one lacks verification – but that doesn’t bother the War Party. Since when do they need evidence...?
-- The case for craziness – a real mental affliction – is even stronger, in my opinion. When President Obama was confronted with the same phony “attacks,” as reported by jihadist “activists” and “medics,” Trump urged him to stay out of it.
Yet now that’s he’s in the Oval Office, he’s doing what he urged Obama not to do. This is the classic behavior pattern of a schizoid nutjob with multiple personalities..
It’s “The Three Faces of the Donald,” and the big question is which one will emerge today?


First batch of abductees held by “Jaish al-Islam” in Douma liberate
Syrian Arab News Agency, 9-4-2018

Damascus Countryside, SANA- The process of freeing the abductees and evacuating “ Jaish al-Islam” terrorists from Douma is continued in the implementation of the agreement that was reached on Sunday.
The agreement stipulates for liberating all the abductees in Douma and evacuating all the terrorists and their families to Jarablos. The first batch of the abductees held by “Jaish al-Islam” terrorists in Douma was liberated on Sunday evening.

Militants leave Douma via East Ghouta humanitarian corridor
Al-Masdar News, 9-4-2018

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:20 P.M.) – Militants and their families boarded a bus that left the Syrian city of Douma, on Monday, to be evacuated via the Muhayam al-Wafedin checkpoint.
Following talks between the Russian Reconciliation Centre and leaders of the militant group Jaysh al-Islam, military actions have been frozen in Douma and the al-Wafedin checkpoint has been reopened to enable the withdrawal of evacuees from the city.
According to the Russian Ministry of Defence, 100 buses have arrived to evacuate militants and their family members from Douma.
The evacuation came a day after the Syrian government and Jaysh al-Islam reportedly reached a new agreement on the ceasefire, the disarmament of the group and the resumption of the operation to withdraw militants from Douma.


Residents of Damascus breathe great sigh of relief
after Douma evacuation, SANA, 9 April 2018

Damascus, SANA – Residents of Damascus city are finally breathing a sigh of relief after years of pain, suffering and the loss of loved ones due to the mortar and rocket shells fired by terrorist groups located in the Eastern Ghouta targeting innocent civilians and neighborhoods in the capital.
No more casualties, fears or tears as the Syrian Arab army continues to establish control over areas held by armed terrorist groups in the Eastern Ghouta, following the agreement reached yesterday which provided for releasing abductees in Douma in exchange for the exit of terrorists of the so-called Jaish al-Islam to Jarablos.
“We have been waiting for this moment so long...,” said one of the citizens, expressing hope that Syria would finally triumph over terrorism.


Russian military finds no trace of
chemical weapons usage in Syria’s Douma city
Al-Masdar News, 9 april 2018

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:45 P.M.) – The Russian military has found no evidence that chemical weapons were used by any party in the east Damascus district city of Douma according the Russian Ministry of Defence.
A statement by the Russian MoD claims that the reported site of the alleged chemical attack in Douma was assessed by military specialists and that no trace of any chemical weapons usage was found.
The specialists inspected the location where the purported attack took place. However, no evidence has been found to prove such claim. They also inspected Douma's hospital and found no patients with chemical poisoning symptoms.
The Russian military denounced the White Helmets, opposition-linked first responders who reported the attack and the death toll. It called them "shameless rebel accomplices," saying they made false allegations to derail a local truce.
Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, confirmed that no proof has been yet found to condemn the Syrian government of a chemical attack in the rebel bastion.
On Saturday afternoon, Islamist rebels in Douma accused Syrian government forces of attacking the city’s residents with chemical weapons; the claim has since gained traction in the Western world with the US and French heads of state now threatening a possible counter-strike in response to the supposed attack.


US brings chaos to the world & has no real friends
Your so-called friends are just those who can’t say NO to you.
RT Russia, 9 April 2018

Russia has warned the US and its allies against “fishing in murky waters” of the Middle East, causing further chaos there. The US shouldn’t assume it has friends, only countries unable to disagree, Russia UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia said.
The US and its allies have failed to understand the warning of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s words at the 2015 UN General Assembly, ambassador Nebenzia told the Security Council on Monday.
Do you now understand what you have done?” Nebenzia repeated Putin’s question about the West’s reckless geopolitical games in the Middle East. “No, you do not.”
“Everywhere you go, everything you touch, you leave behind only chaos. You try to fish in those murky waters, but the only thing you catch is mutants,” Nebenzia went on to say.
After challenging the narrative of a chemical attack in the suburban Damascus city of Douma as “fake news” – as no evidence was found of the alleged attack or the victims, after Syrian and Russian troops inspected the area liberated from Army of Islam militants – Nebenzia turned to the remarks made earlier by his US counterpart, Nikki Haley, who said that US and Russia “will never be friends.”
“We’re not particularly keen to be friends with you,” the Russian envoy replied. “We’re not begging you for friendship. We want normal, civilized relations – which you arrogantly refuse, disregarding basic courtesy.”
“You are misguided to think you have friends,” Nebenzia cautioned. “Your so-called friends are just those who can’t say no to you. This is your only criteria for friendship.”

What did we accomplish? "Everything we touch turns to lead. "
by Justin Raimondo, antiwar.com, 1-2-2012

When we invaded and occupied Iraq, we didn’t just militarily defeat Iraq’s armed forces – we dismantled their army, and their police force, along with all the other institutions that held the country together. The educational system was destroyed, and not reconstituted. The infrastructure was pulverized, and never restored. Even the physical hallmarks of a civilized society – roads, bridges, electrical plants, water facilities, museums, schools – were bombed out of existence or else left to fall into disrepair.
Along with that, the spiritual and psychological infrastructure that enables a society to function – the bonds of trust, allegiance, and custom – was dissolved, leaving Iraqis to fend for themselves in a war of all against all.
We can say, with confidence: We came, we saw, we atomized.
And we are repeating the pattern elsewhere in the region: in Libya, for example, the result is very similar to what we witness in Iraq.. In Syria, we are supporting rebels who are conducting a terrorist campaign against the regime, and the future of the country is looking very … Iraqi.
In short, the effects of US actions in the region amount to a reverse Midas touch: everything we touch turns to lead.


Lavrov: Russia ready to provide security guarantees to OPCW experts
TASS Russian News Agency, April 10, 2018

Russia is prepared to provide security guarantees to OPCW experts to investigate the alleged chemical weapons incident in Syria’s Douma, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.
"Any references to security concerns [for OPCW experts] are unlikely to be serious. Douma has been completely freed from militants and is controlled by government troops. The Russian military police has been deployed to the area," Lavrov said. "If security guarantees for OPCW inspectors are required, such guarantees will be provided."
According to him, Moscow invited OPCW experts to make a visit to Douma in order to figure out what had happened there. "We have not received a response yet," Lavrov said.
"We have heard statements from The Hague that they have launched an investigation into the Douma incident," the Russian top diplomat said.
"However, the use of chemical weapons has not been confirmed yet. Members of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and Russian representatives to the relevant agencies visited the site of the alleged attack in Douma but did not find any traces of chemical weapons," he added.
"We cannot take the results of remote investigations for granted anymore," Lavrov went on to say. "This is what happened in Khan Shaykhun, when a remote investigation resulted in a flimsy report containing expressions such as ‘highly possible’ and ‘highly likely’," he noted.
"We know the true price of such expressions and will never again take them for granted," the Russian foreign minister concluded.


Donald Trump: "Get ready Russia for Nice American Missiles"
Sputnik News, 11-4-2018

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman has retaliated to the US President's latest tweets, claiming relations with Moscow were worse than during the Cold War, and threatening a direct strike on Assad forces following an alleged chemical attack in Douma.
"Smart missiles must strike terrorists, not the legitimate government that has been fighting international terrorism on its territory for several years," said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova when she took to Facebook to respond to Donald Trump's latest tweets on a possible military strike on Syria.

The harsh remarks from Moscow follow the US president's tweets calling for Russia to "get ready" for "nice and new and smart" American missiles in Syria.
The threatening tweet was followed by another publication, with Trump urging Russia to end what he called an "arms race":

"Our relationship with Russia is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War. There is no reason for this. Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do, and we need all nations to work together. Stop the arms race?" Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 11 april 2018
Earlier in the day, Yevgeny Serebrennikov, first deputy chairman of the Russian upper house's Defense Committee, had warned that Russia will respond immediately if its servicemen in Syria get hit by potential US strikes.

Russia-Drafted Resolution Rejected
UN Security Council Rejects Proposal for Investigation Into Syria Chemical Allegations
Jason Ditz, anhtiwar.com, April 10, 2018

The United Nations Security Council has voted against Russia’s draft resolution favoring a fact-finding mission by the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in Syria; while Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Bolivia and Ethiopia supported the draft, the US, France, the UK and Poland voted against. Other members of the UNSC abstained from voting.

The US had offered the first resolution, which aimed to blame Syria for the incident, but this was vetoed by Russia.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley said the resolution blaming Syria was the “least” the UN could do. There is as yet no public proof the attack even happened.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is already conducting their own inquiry into the incident. The US and its allies are expected to take any military actions against Syria before the OPCW can finish their inquiry.

Flashback 2002: Rumsfeld's Crazy Foreign Policy Team

To understand American policy, it is worth probing the character of the policy makers who design Rumsfeld's foreign policy. The three architects of American foreign policy are Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle.
They will go down in Palestinian history as the true 'axis of evil'. Wolfowitz and Perle are card carrying individuals with a resume that entitles them to the highest ranks of the fanatical expansionist wing of the Likud party.
Their current strategy is to divert attention from the Palestinian struggle for freedom by beating the war drums for an assault against Iraq.
Their real agenda is to allow Sharon more time to 'win' against Palestinian resistance to Israeli repression. Like Sharon, they believe that there is a level of repression that can be continually and permanently inflicted on the Palestinian people to force them to capitulate to every Likudnik real estate fantasy. (By Ahmed Amr for Palestine Chronicle, 17-8-2002)

George Galloway: "Trump is a man child"
RT Russia, 11 Apr, 2018

Former MP George Galloway has called on the US cabinet to impeach Donald Trump, labeling him a “man child” and questioning the American president’s sanity after he promised to launch “smart” missiles at Syria.
Trump took to his Twitter account to warn Russia to “get ready” as missiles “will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’” at its ally, Syria. Trump’s comments come following a pledge made by Moscow's envoy to Lebanon, Alexander Zasypkin, who said that the Russian military reserves the right to shoot down missiles and destroy launch sites in the event of US aggression against Syrian leader Bashar Assad.
Galloway spoke to RT exclusively about the latest threats from Trump:
“First of all the tweet from President Trump is undoubtedly the most disturbing statement ever made by any US president and calls into question the very sanity of the person issued it,” Galloway said. [...] “Of course it is a provocation but it couldn't be more deadly in its potentialities. It is certainly causing widespread terror in international public opinion.”
Galloway went on to urge Washington officials to take matters into their own hands and impeach the out-of-control president.


Syrian military takes full control over Eastern Ghouta
TASS Russian News Agency, Damascus, April 12, 2018

The Syrian government army has taken full control over the city of Douma that was held by the Jaysh al-Islam group and now all of Eastern Ghouta is under the control of the government forces, chief of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing parties in Syria Major-General Yuri Yevtushenko said on Thursday.
"Today marked a landmark event in Syria’s history. The state flag was hoisted on the Douma building which signaled [Damascus’] control over this settlement and, hence, over all of Eastern Ghouta," he said.
According to Yevtushenko, Russian military police units will be deployed in Douma following its liberation from the terrorists to maintain law and order during its transitional period to come under control of Syria’s legitimate government.
The Russian reconciliation center said earlier that it was wrapping up the evacuation of militants and their families from Douma. Yevtushenko said on Wednesday about 4,000 militants and their family members had left the city during the past day, surrendering more than 400 pieces of weaponry, including large-caliber machine-guns, grenade launchers, sniper and assault rifles.
Since late February, more than 41,000 people have left Douma, and more than 165,000 have fled from Eastern Ghouta. As many as 250 hostages held by militants have been released.

Thousands of human rights violations
carried out by Libyan militias: UN report
By Sami Zaptia, Libya Herald, 10 April 2018:

A UN report published today states that thousands of incidents of human rights violations are carried out by state-affiliated militias in Libya. The report details the scale and horror of unlawful detention and human rights violations.
It states that armed groups in Libya, including those affiliated with the State, hold thousands of people in prolonged arbitrary and unlawful detention, and submit them to torture and other human rights violations and abuses. It says that arbitrary detention will also be detrimental to any Libyan stabilization, peacebuilding and reconciliation efforts.
The report says that the endemic human rights abuses in custody in Libya require urgent action by the Libyan authorities, with support from the international community.
The report said that “Men, women and children across Libya are arbitrarily detained or unlawfully deprived of their liberty based on their tribal or family links and perceived political affiliations,” the report by the UN Human Rights Office says. “Victims have little or no recourse to judicial remedy or reparations, while members of armed groups enjoy total impunity.”
It continued that it ‘‘lays bare not only the appalling abuses and violations experienced by Libyans deprived of their liberty, but the sheer horror and arbitrariness of such detentions, both for the victims and their families,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.
Since renewed hostilities broke out in 2014, armed groups on all sides have rounded up suspected opponents, critics, activists, medical professionals, journalists and politicians, the report says. Hostage-taking for prisoner exchanges or ransom is also common.
Those detained arbitrarily or unlawfully also include people held in relation to the 2011 armed conflict – many without charge, trial or sentence for over six years.

“Rather than reining in armed groups and integrating their members under State command and control structures, successive Libyan governments have increasingly relied on them for law enforcement, including arrests and detention; paid them salaries; and provided them with equipment and uniforms,” the report says. As a result, their power has grown unchecked and they have remained free of effective government oversight.

Armed groups routinely deny people any contact with the outside world when they are first detained. “Distraught families search for their detained family members, travel to known detention facilities, plead for the help of acquaintances with connections to armed groups, security or intelligence bodies, and exchange information with other families of detainees or missing persons,” the report highlights.
“The widespread prolonged arbitrary and unlawful detention and endemic human rights abuses in custody in Libya require urgent action by the Libyan authorities, with support from the international community,” the report says.


OPCW team arrives in Syria
RT Russia, 12 Apr, 2018

The first four chemical weapons experts from the OPCW have arrived in Syria on a fact-finding mission (FFM) into the April 7 Douma incident, while Western leaders continue to blame the government for the alleged attack.
"We will facilitate the arrival of the team to anywhere they want, in Douma, to check whether or not there was use of chemical substances," said Bashar Jaafari, Syria’s envoy to the UN in New York, adding that a second team is due to arrive on Friday.
The Damascus suburb of Douma was recaptured by the government this week, so experts from the UN-backed Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are expected to have easier access than on previous occasions when the alleged attacks happened in areas of ongoing fighting or those controlled by radical Islamists.
Syria and Russia both requested an FFM team to be dispatched after opposition groups claimed that the Syrian army executed a chemical weapons attack there, alleging there were scores of deaths and hundreds of casualties.
Both countries have claimed that the incident was “staged” with the purpose of galvanizing Western rebel backers after the US earlier announced that it was planning to pull out of Syria, and they say that there may not have been any chemical use at all.
In a television interview on Thursday,French President Emmanuel Macron said, “that chemical weapons were used [in Douma] at least with chlorine, and that they were used by the regime of Bashar al-Assad,” but he did not disclose the nature of the evidence.
A day earlier, the US said that it was “still assessing intelligence” and that it was “confident” that Damascus was involved.


Syrian War Report: Russia Starts Exercises Off Syrian Coast
South Front, 12-4-2018

“In my opinion, it’s time to eliminate Assad.” After cutting off what he described as “the snake’s tail,” then “we’ll be able to get to its head, which sits in Tehran.” Yoav Gallant, 16-5-2017

The Russian Navy has launched live-fire exercises off the Syrian coast as the US is still preparing for a possible military action against the country’s government.
The Russian exercises will be held from April 11 to April 26, the period when, according to some experts, the US strike will be most likely if the administration of US President Donald Trump decides to attack Syria.
On April 10, Russia’s envoy to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin once again confirming that Russian forces are ready to shoot down missiles and target the launchers in case of an escalation in the war-torn country.
Ali Akbar Velayati, the top adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, vowed to support the Damascus government against any attack of the US and its allies.

On the other hand, Israel, which is alongside with Saudi Arabia, the main Iranian competitor in the region openly supports a US military action against Syria.
Israeli Housing Minister Yoav Galant, a former commander of the Israeli Defense Forces Southern Command, publicly vowed to assassinate the Syrian president arguing that “Assad is the angel of death, and the world would be better without him...”
The UK and France are following the course of the US administration.


We Don’t Need and Cannot Afford a War in Syria
Rep. John J. Duncan, antiwar.com, April 12, 2018

President Ronald Reagan once said we should never go to war unless there were no other reasonable alternatives and then only as a very last resort.
We have had too many leaders who never went to war themselves, such as the new National Security Advisor, John Bolton, who seem far too eager for others to go to war so these chicken-hawks can feel more important or think of themselves as modern day Winston Churchills.

Now we seem to be rushing into another war in Syria. I am thankful that conservatives like Tucker Carlson and Pat Buchanan are questioning this new rush to war.
As Pat Buchanan wrote, President Trump is being "goaded into war," and that Congress should "debate our objectives in this new war and how many new casualties and years will be required to defeat the coalition of Syria, Russia, Hezbollah, Iran, and the allied Shiite militias from the Near East."
Tucker Carlson said we need to ask some skeptical questions now at least in part because Secretary Mattis said in February that we have absolutely no proof that Assad used the chemical weapons he was accused of using last year.
He added there is no real proof Assad did the chemical attacks this time because such an attack would really help only the rebels fighting Assad, and they also have chemical weapons, rebels who have been described as Islamic terrorists but who we are supporting.
Mr. Carlson pointed out that Assad had no reason or incentive to use chemical weapons in a civil war his government had basically already won.

President Trump was elected in large part because he promised to get us out of these unnecessary wars in the Middle East.
At some point, with a $21 trillion national debt, we have to realize there are limits to American power. We do not need nor can we afford to get into another trillion dollar war in the Middle East without first making sure it is absolutely in America’s interest to do so and that it will not make the Middle East even more messed up and chaotic than it already is.


Egypt's interior minister warns of plot to 'defame Egypt'
by Muslim Brotherhood fugitives in Qatar, Turkey
Ahram Online, Friday 23 Mar 2018

Egyptian Interior Minister Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar said on Thursday that Egypt has discovered “a hostile plot” that aims to defame the image of the country, and is being conducted by Muslim Brotherhood fugitives in Qatar and Turkey.
The minister made the reports public in a wide-ranging interview wtih Al-Ahram magazine, published on Thursday, where he also spoke about securing the upcoming presidential elections, terrorism, human rights, and illegal migration.
Abdel-Ghaffar said that information had revealed that a plan aimed at “fomenting a state of anger among citizens,” as well as broadcasting false news and creating crises via the media, and included a number of TV channels and websites, which are affiliated with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhod group.
The leadership of the Brotherhood media committee for the plan is present in Qatar and Turkey, the minister said, and these leaders are fugitives. The government has arrested those elements inside Egypt who are implementing the plans of fugitive Brotherhood leaders and has taken legal procedures against them , he said.
The Muslim Brotherhood group was designated a terrorist entity by Egypt in 2013.

Abdel-Ghaffar also referred to the escalation by some international organisations that claim to have reports on human rights conditions in Egypt [..] and what he described as their link to the terrorist Brotherhood group, which aims at obstructing the success of Egypt internally and internationally.
The minister said that a number of procedures had been taken to improve the human rights system in the ministry, including establishing a human rights department, raising awareness among the ministry's employees, and intensifying surveillance on police stations and other places where detainees were held.
Abdel-Ghafar also stressed that the ministry has not taken any exceptional procedures during the fight against terrorism.

How the Syrian American Medical Society Is Selling
Regime Change and Driving U.S. to War
Max Blumenthal, Gray Zone, 12 april 2018

Reports on unproven allegations of a chemical attack in Douma, the Syria city formerly occupied by the Army of Islam insurgent group, invariably rely on a key source: The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS).
Together with the White Helmets, SAMS has been cited by the Washington Post, New York Times, CNN and virtually every Western media organization reporting on the incident. In Douma, SAMS staff have claimed that they treated more than 500 people for symptoms “indicative of exposure to a chemical agent.”
The group also played a central role in shaping the narrative of a sarin attack in Al Qaeda-controlled Khan Sheikhoun in April, 2017, providing biomedical samples to the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which violated its stated protocol by accepting evidence without a verifiable chain of custody.
That incident prompted the launching of 57 cruise missiles at a Syrian air base by the American military. Almost exactly a year later, a strikingly similar event is said to have tripped the “red line” again, and is likely to trigger a more robust assault by the US and its allies.

SAMS claims to be a “non-political, non-profit medical organization”, but scant published material is available on the organization’s origins as an exile arm of the Islamist-oriented Syrian opposition, its involvement in sophisticated influence operations from the Turkish-Syrian border, or its close relationship to neoconservative elements in Washington and Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria
SAMS is not merely a group of Syrian doctors tending to the wounded in war torn areas, nor can it be considered an objective source on chemical attacks and other atrocities.
The organization is a USAID-funded lobbying powerhouse that functions with a single-minded determination to stimulate a US-led war of regime change that will place [anti-Iranian] Islamists in power in Damascus.

SAMS was founded in 1998 by members of the Syrian American exile community, which is concentrated in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. Prior to the 2011 armed rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad, the group led several medical delegations to Syria, presumably cooperating with the government to gain access.
A former member of SAMS approached me to complain that the armed revolt prompted a takeover of the organization’s board of directors by sympathizers of the Muslim Brotherhood. She said she and other secular and Christian members resigned from the group as it transformed into what she described as “Al Qaeda’s MASH unit.”

Throughout much of the Syrian conflict, SAMS operations have been overseen by Zaher Sahloul, an ardently anti-Iran operative dedicated to drumming up a war of regime change against the Syrian government.
Sahloul was a participant in a September 20, 2016 rally in New York dedicated to ramping up conflict with Iran, as well. The rally was organized by the exiled Iranian People’s MEK, a shadowy international organization dedicated to regime change in Iran that has been described as a “terrorist cult.” Neoconservative former Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a recipient of MEK payments, was among the speakers.
Days later, the neoconservative columnist Eli Lake hailed Sahloul and his colleagues as “Syrian-Americans Who Stood Up to Iran.”

Max Blumental: “What certain groups — which are very partisan right-wing groups affiliated with the Republican Party in the US and the Conservative Party here — decided to do is to declare me an anti-Semite, that I actually hate Jews...”
“However I decide to observe Judaism is irrelevant, because in their view, you can disagree all you want with Moses, but you can’t disagree with King Bibi.”
Avi Benlolo, president and CEO of Canada’s Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies: “Max Blumenthal represents the radical left’s extremist belief that Israel is the embodiment of all evil and has no right to exist...” (Times of Israel Info)

Imperialist war is powered by lies
Andre Damon, Socialist Website, 13 April 2018

The United States, Britain and France are in the final stages of preparing a new bloodbath in the Middle East.
A US naval strike force, headed by aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, is steaming toward the Persian Gulf, bombs are being loaded onto aircraft, and troops are on the move, as the imperialist powers prepare to launch a military aggression against Syria...
But imperialist war is propelled by more than soldiers and missiles: it is powered by lies.
For the past month, all the major US, British and French news outlets have been working overtime to peddle a series of lies, one after the other, to sell the public a re-hash of the “weapons of mass destruction” narrative used to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The democratic conception of the free press centers around it being a so-called “fourth estate,” independent from and skeptical toward the claims of the political establishment. But in the frenzied war fever, the distinction between journalism and state propaganda has been obliterated.
While journalism seeks to question and probe; propaganda seeks to sensationalize, simplify and incite. Journalism sees all claims as suspect; propaganda treats the statements of the government as sacrosanct, and everything else as lies.

Last month, the press howled with indignation at what they called an attempt by Russia to poison former double agent Sergei Skripal on British soil.
When UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson declared that the Porton Down chemical weapons laboratory in Britain was “absolutely categorical” that Russia was behind the poisoning, the US media cheered his proclamation and the subsequent expulsion of Russian diplomats from the US and other countries. When the Skripals inconveniently recovered from one of the world’s most lethal poisons, the press simply buried the story and went on to the next lie....
Just two days after Porton Down exploded the Skripal narrative by publicly contradicting Johnson, the CIA-backed propaganda outfit known as the White Helmets released images of children lying motionless, crying, and being doused with water to substantiate claims by US-backed militia that the Syrian government had killed dozens of people in a chemical weapons attack...
News broadcasts all proclaimed their absolute certainty that the Assad government had carried out a chemical weapons attack.

The aim of the media war-mongers is to ensure maximum carnage.
On Wednesday, New York Times columnist Bret Stephens called for a “decapitation strike” to murder Syrian President Assad, declaring, “If we are serious about restoring an international norm against the use of chemical weapons, then the penalty for violating the norm must be severe.”
If Stephens had his way, Assad’s scalp would be nailed to the mantle of the White House next to that of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi.


Situation calming down in Russia-US conflict over Syria, Erdoğan says
Daily Sabah (Turkey), 13-4-2018

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Friday that he discussed steps to take for the establishment of peace in Syria during talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump, adding that the situation is "calming down."
"Our dialogue continues, and will continue in the future," Erdoğan said, hinting at Turkey's role as a mediator in the process.
Speaking to journalists after attending the Friday prayers in Istanbul, Erdoğan also underlined that Turkey's ongoing Operation Olive Branch was only targeting terrorists in the region, saying that western countries need to stop considering it as an occupation attempt.
The president said that Turkish and Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces would continue clearing the area in northwestern Syria's Afrin region, just like in Turkey's previously conducted Operation Euphrates Shield.
Touching upon the issue of chemical weapons, Erdoğan said that such weapons are based on different international laws, adding that their use should be examined.
Erdoğan said that both chemical and conventional weapons lead to major disasters and destruction, calling for coalition forces, especially Russia and the U.S., to be sensitive about this issue.


Russian Defense Ministry: "A planned provocation was carried out
in Douma, with the aim of misleading the world community.
Sputnik News, 13-4-2018

An apparent false flag chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7 has served as a pretext for the United States to threaten the Middle Eastern country with a missile strike.
The Russian Defense Ministry held a press briefing on what the Western narrative describes as an alleged chemical attack in Syria's Eastern Ghouta.
Speaking at the briefing, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that the ministry has enough evidence that the planned provocation with the use of chemical weapons was carried out in Syria's Douma on April 7.
He added that the United States and Western countries continue their "indiscriminate and unfounded accusations" against the legitimate Syrian government over the alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians in Eastern Ghouta.

"On April 7, a planned provocation was carried out in Douma with the aim of misleading the world community. The provocation's real purpose today is clear to everyone — to prod the United States to launch missile strikes against Syria," Konashenkov stressed.
According to him, the Russian Defense Ministry found those who took part in filming the mock-up chemical weapons attack in Douma. Those participants briefed the ministry on details of filming the clip.
Konashenkov said that direct participants of the process to film a video clip about the "consequences of a chemical attack" in Syria's Duma said the video was staged.
"We managed to find direct participants in the shooting of this video and interview them. Today we are presenting a live interview of these people.


unknown people ran into the hospital

Duma residents in detail told us how the filming was conducted, in what episodes they took part themselves and what they did," Konashenkov said. The Russian military could see that these were the very people from the video.
According to Konashenkov, these were two medics working in a local hospital in the emergency department. They said that people in the hospital had no signs of poisoning with toxic agents.
"During the provision of first aid, unknown people ran into the hospital, some of them with video cameras, who started screaming, panicking and pouring everyone with water from hoses, shouting that everyone was poisoned with toxic agents. Patients… and their relatives in panic began to pour water on each other," the ministry spokesman said.

"The Russian Defense Ministry has other evidence indicating Britain's direct participation in organizing this provocation in Eastern Ghouta," Konashenkov noted. He added that between April 3 and April 6, London put pressure on representatives of the so-called White Helmets group in order to facilitate the implementation of the provocation.

Sarah Sanders: "Our intelligence tells us otherwise"
Daily Sabah (Turkey), 13-4-2018

The United States has proof at "a very high level of confidence" that the Assad regime carried out a chemical weapons attack in Syrian town of Douma but is still working to identify the mix of chemicals used, the State Department said Friday.
"We can say that the Syrian government was behind the attack," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said at a briefing. Asked if the U.S. had proof of that, she said, "Yes."
The White House said it was very confident that the Assad regime was behind the attack in Douma, adding that U.S. intelligence shows Russia's claim that the attack was faked was false.
"Our intelligence tells us otherwise. I can't go beyond that," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters, when asked about Russia's claim.

Google Search
Zoek onderwerpen, thema's, woorden en begrippen op mijn webpagina's


WWW wimduzijn.nl