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.”
(Persian poet & humanist, born in Shiraz, Iran, c. 1210)
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’.
There is no “Judaeo-Christian heritage.”
"The practices under which Jesus was raised in Galilee were anathema to Judaic orthodoxy. One might discern the seedbed of Christianity and the teachings of Jesus within “Galilee of the Gentiles” and why his teachings were regarded with outrage by the Pharisaic priesthood. One can also discern why there has been such a hatred of Christianity and Jesus in the rabbinical teachings of the Talmud and elsewhere.
The phenomenon of such an oddity as “Christian Zionism” is for Zionists and the Orthodox rabbinate (which should not be confounded with Reform Judaism) nothing more than the equivalent of a “shabbez goy,” a Gentile hired by Orthodox Jews to undertake menial tasks on the Sabbath. “Judaeo-Christianity” only exists in the minds of craven Gentiles who embrace delusional creeds, or who wish to further their careers by making the correct noises to the right people.
(Kerry R Bolton, Foreign Policy Journal, May 29, 2018)
Choseness is what binds Zionists together.
To be chosen is to see oneself as an exceptional creation. It entails blindness to otherness. It is a form of impunity. To be chosen often involves a near or total lack of empathy. Such lack is often defined in terms of acute narcissism and psychopathy....
I know well that Zionism was born to emancipate Diaspora Jews from their exceptionalist cultural traits and to make them ‘people like all other people.’
Like an early Zionist, I would have liked to see Jews liberate themselves from the choseness prison, but I accept that such a shift can not occur in the form of a collective or political movement. The escape from choseness to the ordinary must be an individual struggle, a surrender to self-contempt that eventually matures into a genuine search for peace and harmony with the universe, with the soil and with one’s neighbours. (Gilad Atzmon, 24-6-2019)
"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)
As we approach the Democratic primary season and the 2020 election, President Trump and the GOP seem intent on politicizing support for Israel and using it as a wedge to pull voters away from the Democratic party.
The conventional wisdom behind these attacks — the notion that criticism of Israeli policy is a political liability or that voters oppose a more balanced approach to disputes between Israel and the Palestinians — is badly out of touch with the actual views of the Democratic electorate.
J Street’s new polling demonstrates that Democratic voters have nuanced views on these issues and are comfortable with candidates who support Israel but express disagreements with many of the policies pursued by the Netanyahu government.
Who we are: We advocate for policies that advance shared US and Israeli interests as well as Jewish and democratic values, leading to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
J Street is a radical organization that misleadingly labels itself as “pro-Israel” and “pro-peace” while promoting policies and falsehoods that endanger Israel’s existence, damage American support for the Jewish state, and poison young vulnerable minds against their Jewish brethren.
Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz summed it up best when he stated: “J Street is one of the most virulent anti-Israel organizations in the history of Zionism and Judaism.”
Flashback: Zionist Organization of America gives
John Bolton ‘Defender of Israel’ award (Times of Israel, 6-11-2018)
US National Security Adviser John Bolton was presented with the Defender of Israel Award at the Zionist Organization of America’s annual Brandeis Award dinner, held Sunday night in New York.
Of course, we know that the primary obstacle to enduring peace and stability in the Middle East is none other than the murderous Iranian dictatorship in Tehran.
The ayatollahs steal from their people to fund their worldwide campaign of chaos, destruction, and bloodshed. The regime has long been the world’s central banker for terrorism, and it remains the leading state sponsor of terror to this day. Over the decades, Iran has kidnapped, tortured, and murdered American and Israeli citizens. It has attacked our embassies, and targeted our service members.
The mullahs proudly chant “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.” At least we are in good company....
Under this administration, we will make certain Iran understands the consequences of targeting American and Israeli citizens. As I said at the United Nations in September, if the Iranian regime continues to lie, cheat, and deceive; if it threatens the United States and our allies; if it harms our citizens, there will indeed be HELL to PAY.
In case there is any doubt, I meant what I said.
For this reason, earlier this year President Trump withdrew the United States from the disastrous Iran Nuclear Deal. This deal was by far the worst diplomatic fiasco in American history...
The 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal failed to permanently block all paths to an Iranian nuclear bomb. Further, its negotiators failed to secure any restrictions on Iran’s other destabilizing activities, including the regime’s ballistic missile development and proliferation...
Unsurprisingly, since this horrible deal was reached, the Iranian regime’s aggression has only increased... As the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, Iran also remains the primary patron of numerous terrorist proxies and militias, including Hezbollah and Hamas.
President Trump defended his decision to not strike Iran, calling himself a man with common sense, in a media availability Saturday morning. Trump called Iranians "high quality people" and he is not interested in killing any "unless it's absolutely necessary."
The president touted crippling sanctions on the country and said he hopes to make Iran a wealthy nation [..] if they give up their nuclear weapons program.
"Is a possible strike off the table?" a reporter asked.
"Well, we'll see what is it with Iran," Trump answered. "Everybody was saying I'm a warmonger and now they say I am a dove... I think I'm neither if you want to know the truth.
I'm a man with common sense and what we need in this country is common sense.
I didn't like the idea of them knowingly shooting down an unmanned drone then we kill 150 people. I didn't like that."
"If the leadership of Iran behaves badly then it's going to be a very, very bad day for them but hopefully they're smart..." Trump added.
"I know a lot about nuclear. And let me just tell you, they're not going to have a nuclear weapon... They're not going to have a nuclear weapon and when they agree to that they are going to have a wealthy country. They are going to be so happy. And I am going to be their best friend..."
Trump was also asked about Tucker Carlson's criticism of John Bolton and other advisors around the president who are hawkish.
"Your National Security Advisor came under some harsh criticism by Tucker Carlson and others for pushing too hard on Iran. You said you're not a warmonger, but do you have confidence in the judgment of your National Security Advisor John Bolton?" a reporter asked.
"Yes, I do because I have John Bolton who I would definitely say is a hawk," Trump responded. "And I have other people that are on the other side of the equation. Ultimately I make the decisions so it doesn't matter."
"I disagreed very much with John Bolton, his attitude on the Middle East and going into Iraq," he said. "I think that was a big mistake, I think I have been proven right, but I have been against that war forever.
John Bolton is doing a very good job. But he takes it generally a tough posture. But I have other people who don't take that posture."
"The only one that matters is me because I will listen to everybody and I want people on both sides," the president said. "Having people on both sides to me is very important."
Read also: "Dear Trump: Iran doesn’t Have
a Military Nuclear Program and Gave up Bomb-Making Potential Juan Cole, 23-6-2019
The argument warmongers made for breaching the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) was that it did not address a range of Iranian behavior beyond nuclear matters, such as its military intervention in Syria or (they allege) Yemen, or its ongoing work on ballistic missiles, or its support for Hizbullah in Lebanon.
Few argued that the JCPOA was useless in deterring Iran from making a nuclear weapon. Some worried about a 15 year sunset provision to the deal, but it was envisioned the UN inspections would continue. Trump is now citing Iran’s non-existent bomb-making as the reason for his breach of the treaty and not mentioning any of the things the hawks mind...
In his latest provocative election campaign spot, Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman has taken another swipe at Prime Minister Netanyahu and the haredi political parties by again promising to exclude them from the next government.
At the same time, Liberman also promised to exclude Meretz, Labor, the Arab parties, and the far right parties if enough people vote for Yisrael Beytenu.
A Yisrael Beytenu video posted to Twitter shows a picture of Netanyahu and declares “Voting for him? You’ll get them,” bringing up pictures of the leaders of the haredi and hardline national-religious parties.
Equally, the video warns against voting for Blue and White and its party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, warning that a vote for them means a vote for the left-wing and Arab parties, and the haredi parties into the bargain.
Liberman has warned on several occasions that Blue and White would, like a government led by the right-wing, also capitulate to haredi demands on matters of religious life...
“Vote for him [Liberman] and you’ll get a national, liberal government without the haredim,” promises Yisrael Beyetnu’s video at its conclusion, concluding with Liberman’s new mantra of “Yes to a Jewish state, no to a halachic state.”
Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemned the Saudi authorities for seeking the death penalty against a reformist religious thinker and critic on charges that bear “no resemblance to recognized crimes”. Hassan Farhan al-Maliki was arrested in September 2017 and has been held in detention since then. The Saudi authorities finally brought charges against him in October 2018.
“Mohammad bin Salman has consistently pledged to support a more ‘moderate’ version of Islam while his country maintains a prosecution service that seeks the death penalty against religious reformers for expressing their peaceful ideas,” Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at HRW, said.
“Saudi Arabia’s real road to reform lies in allowing religious thinkers like al-Maliki to express themselves without fear of arrest and possible execution,” Page added.
According to the US-based rights group, al-Maliki is currently on trial over 14 charges...
HRW, which reviewed al-Maliki’s charge sheet, announced the first two charges relate to his peaceful expression of his religious opinions about the veracity of certain sayings of the Prophet (PBUH) and his criticism of several seventh century Islamic figures.
Maliki was also charged with “insulting the country’s rulers and the Supreme Council of Religious Scholars, and describing them as extremist”, and accusing Arab countries of the Persian Gulf of supporting the Daesh terrorist group.
The Other charges included praising Seyed Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement, and “having sympathy” for the Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement.
In televised interviews, debates and messages in social networks, Maliki has repeatedly said that Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement, is the hero of the Arab world.
He is also facing charges for voicing his religious views in television interviews, attending discussion groups in the kingdom, writing books and studies and publishing them abroad.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order that would impose fresh sanctions on Iran. The sanctions follow Iran's downing of a U.S. surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz.
"These measures represent a strong and proportionate response to Iran's increasingly provocative actions," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.
"We will continue to increase pressure on Tehran until the regime abandons its dangerous activities and its aspirations, including the pursuit of nuclear weapons, increased enrichment of uranium, development of ballistic missiles, engagement and support for terrorism, fueling of foreign conflicts and belligerent acts directed against the United States and its allies."
The latest round of sanctions denies Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and senior military figures access to financial resources and blocks their access to any financial assets they have under U.S. jurisdiction.
"The supreme leader of Iran is the one who is ultimately responsible for the hostile conduct of the regime," Trump said.
"He is respected within his country. He also oversees the regime's most brutal instrument: the Islamic Revolutionary Guard."
The Constitution of Islamic Republic of Iran
Chapter X - Foreign Policy
Article 152: The foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is based upon the rejection of all forms of domination, both the exertion of it and submission to it, the preservation of the independence of the country in all respects and its territorial integrity, the defence of the rights of all Muslims, non-alignment with respect to the hegemonic superpowers, and the maintenance of mutually peaceful relations with all non-belligerent States.
Article 153: Any form of agreement resulting in foreign control over the natural resources, economy, army, or culture of the country, as well as other aspects of the national life, is forbidden.
Article 154: The Islamic Republic of Iran has as its ideal human felicity throughout human society, and considers the attainment of independence, freedom, and rule of justice and truth to be the right of all people of the world. Accordingly, while scrupulously refraining from all forms of interference in the internal affairs of other nations, it supports the just struggles of the mustad'afun [oppressed, desinherited] against the mustakbirun [tyrants, mighty] in every corner of the globe.
"What is a toy’s greatest fear? That a newer toy may become the object of a child’s affection, thus condemning the one-time favorite to a lonely shelf or a darkened closet." (Toy Story Review)
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is sounding more like a Toy Story character every day: Pull a string, hear one of seven prerecorded phrases.
But what's coming out of his mouth is far more dangerous... Pompeo's phrasebook may be limited, but it's potent; he's got a prefab set of arguments designed to undermine any country he, National Security Advisor John Bolton and US President Donald Trump have decided they don't like.
And when they're not collectively scheming to usurp the governments of Venezuela, Iran or the Democratic People's Republic of Korea — busy work for any imperialist — their baleful eye turns to China.
"We've watched them engage in a significant arms buildup, not only in the quantity of arms, but in their lethality, their capability and capacity," Pompeo said about the People's Liberation Army in an interview with FOX Business last month.
The intent of such a statement is clear: Scaremonger about China as a means of shoring up domestic support and xenophobia, while also trying to convince the rest of the world China is a country to be feared rather than a good-faith partner...
Unfortunately for him, this analysis doesn't pass a basic smell test.... A careful weighing of the facts can only lead to one conclusion: If there's one global actor worth distrusting, it's the United States... US officials seem to think they operate in a vacuum, where the actions of their government have no real impact on the rest of the world.
They have never considered, it would appear, that military advancements and buildups happen as a direct response to their own infinitely expanding armed forces. The US spends more on its military than the next seven countries combined, and adds billions more to those already massive appropriations every year. It uses that military power to exert its will on countries with no hope of defending themselves, and we need only look at history to see example after example. Ask an Iraqi, Libyan or Cuban how well the US "security umbrella" has treated them.
Yet when countries who have the resources to avoid this fate modernize and improve their military readiness they are deemed "aggressors"... Perhaps most egregious is the oft-repeated notion these perceived enemy countries aren't responsible for their own innovations, and have only gotten as far as they have by stealing. The notion a country could not happen upon a technological advancement without any help from a "superior" one is a racist, paternalistic shibboleth that remains, perplexingly, unquestioned by the mainstream press.
Israel's U.N. ambassador on Monday urged Palestinians to surrender their struggle for a homeland in exchange for economic benefits as the United States prepared to roll out part of a peace plan promising billions of dollars.
Palestinian leaders have said the U.S. plan will be tantamount to surrender and declared President Donald Trump's initiative as dead on arrival. "I ask: What's wrong with Palestinian surrender?" wrote Ambassador Danny Danon in a New York Times op-ed. "Surrender is the recognition that in a contest, staying the course will prove costlier than submission."
Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to open the conference in Bahrain later Monday to unveil plans for raising $50 billion in investment for the Palestinians and their Arab neighbors.
"The Palestinians have little to lose and everything to gain by putting down the sword and accepting the olive branch," wrote Danon.
Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat "misleadingly suggests that a 'surrender' will lead to an end of the Palestinian people," he added.
"But nothing could be farther from the truth. Instead, surrendering will create the opportunity to transform Palestinian society, thereby leading to his people's liberation."
The U.S. ruling authorities are baffled and wondering why none of the measures they adopt against Iran bears fruit, President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday...
The fact is that after each such U.S. move, the Iranian nation becomes livelier, stronger, and gains further morale to push on in various arenas...
Rouhani said the recent sanctions originate from the U.S. administration’s “confusion”, adding, “They have become mentally impotent. The White House has become mentally crippled and does not know what to do.”
As regards the restrictions that the U.S. administration has announced against [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei], the president said imposing sanctions against the highest-ranking political, religious, social and spiritual official of Iran reveals that the American government “lacks any wisdom”.
Unlike the other world leaders who possess billions of dollars in foreign bank accounts, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution [Ali Khamenei] has no assets that could be subject to sanctions, Rouhani added.
Rouhani said Khamenei's only assets are a “simple house” and a Hussainiya, a religious congregation hall.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday slammed the "ignorant and insulting" response from Iran to his offer of talks, extended as the United States slapped new sanctions on the country's already crippled economy.
"Iran's very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality," he tweeted.
Trump warned Iran on Tuesday that an attack on U.S. interests would trigger an "overwhelming" response and could bring "obliteration."
"Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration," he said. Iran's leaders only understand "Strength and Power, and the USA is by far the most powerful Military Force in the world," Trump said in the tweet.
"No more John Kerry & Obama!" he added, referring to former U.S. president Barack Obama and his secretary of state.
Pure Muhammadan Islam and American Islam are a clear and unambiguous classification, which manifests in the political thought of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on Farvardin II, 1367 [March 22, 1981].
He states [..] that throughout the history of Islam, the amalgamation of the two views that are distinct from each other can be differentiated.
The first view emanates from the text of revelation while the second view stems from the interests of the oppressors, the arrogant and the tyrants.
The first one has been at the service of the downtrodden, the faithful and the mystics while the second has been at the service of the affluent, the wealth-accumulators and the swindlers.
The first is the same authentic Islam that originates from the revelation and virtues. The second is a concocted Islam and the Islam of vices, which led to the oppression of the people of the world.
These two views have been always in conflict with each other, which has continued up to the present....
In contrast to the pure Muhammadan Islam, he describes the American Islam in this manner: “American Islam is the Islam of the arrogant and the indolent wealthy, the Islam of the hypocrites, and the Islam of the luxury-mongers and opportunists.”
Several thousand Palestinians took to the streets of Nablus on Tuesday to protest the US-led economic workshop in Bahrain...
The protesters gathered in the center of the West Bank city, where they listened to Palestinian officials deliver speeches criticizing the conference.
Some 60 kilometers south of Nablus, a small group of approximately 30 Palestinians, most of whom belong to Palestinian political factions, marched on the outskirts of Ramallah in al-Bireh to protest the summit. “The Palestinian people will not be sold,” the protesters yelled out, as dozens of journalists observed them.
Chronic human rights violator Saudi Arabia is using American-made weapons against civilians in the fifth-poorest nation in the world, Yemen.
And make no mistake: U.S. defense contractors and their lobbyists and supporters in government are getting rich in the process.
“Our role is not to make policy, our role is to comply with it,” John Harris, CEO of defense contractor Raytheon International, said to CNBC in February..
Since 2015, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have waged war against Yemen, killing and injuring thousands of Yemeni civilians. An estimated 90,000 people have been killed, according to one international tracker.
By December 2017, the number of cholera cases in Yemen had surged past one million, the largest such outbreak in modern history. An estimated 113,000 children have died since April 2018 from war-related starvation and disease. The United Nations calls the situation in Yemen the largest humanitarian crisis on earth, as over 14 million face starvation.
From 2014 to 2018, the United States supplied 68 percent of Saudi Arabia’s arms imports, 64 percent of the UAE’s imports, and 65 percent of Qatar’s imports. Some of this weaponry was subsequently stolen or sold to al-Qaeda linked groups in the Arabian Peninsula, where they could be used against the U.S. military, according to reports...
In addition to the overt influence exercised by lobbyists for the defense industry, many former arms industry executives are embedded in influential posts throughout the Trump administration...
When the Arab Spring came to Yemen in 2011, the Saudis saw a way to finally get rid of their old nemesis Ali Abdullah Saleh.
After a prolonged mediation, Saleh stepped down and his Vice President Mansur Hadi succeeded him. Hadi, from southern Yemen, who had trained in Moscow, was the only candidate in an election in 2012.
Saleh then conspired with the Houthis, a northern militia group that had fought against Saleh in the early 2000s. Together, Saleh and the Houthis ousted Hadi from Sanaa in 2015. (Later, the Houthis and Saleh split and Saleh was killed.) The Saudis intervened in March 2015 to support Hadi. The main driver behind the intervention was Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) who promised a short, decisive war.
Instead it became a stalemate with catastrophic consequences for the Yemeni people. The Saudis blockaded the country, denying food and medicine to most of the population.
President Barack Obama backed the Saudi war. The United States supported the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2216, which sanctions the Houthis and Saleh, endorses Hadi’s government, and calls for the rebels to disarm.
President Donald Trump doubled down on Obama’s support for MBS’s war. The administration has focused on Iran’s support for the Houthis and ignored egregious Saudi bombings of schools and hospitals. The Saudis’ war is very expensive for the kingdom, disastrously devastating for Yemen and a strategic plus for Iran.
2. Wikipedia Info
A transitional government, brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council, established in November 2011, was split equally between Saleh's General People's Congress Party [Arab Nationalist Party] and the conservative [Muslim Brotherhood dominated] Sunni Al-Islah Party, Yemen's main Islamist party that was a key presence in the regime that protesters tried to overthrow in 2011 [the year of the 'Arab Spring'] . The new government left out the Houthis.
Instead of reshaping the political order to bring in new political voices, address corruption, and introduce responsive and accountable governance, partisan interests largely paralyzed the transitional government led by Mohammed Basindawa, perpetuating the elite dominated politics of Sana'a and its tribal allies. The decision to lift fuel subsidies gave the Houthi movement, with its own axe to grind, the populist issue they needed to enter Sana'a and seize power.
They managed to capitalize on palpable frustration among diverse segments of the population and fears of an al-Islah dominated government.
Al-Islah is more of a loose coalition of tribal and religious elements than a political party. The party combines tribal influences along with those of the Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood and more radical Wahhabi groups. Its origins are in the Islamic Front, a Muslim Brotherhood affiliated militia funded by Saudi Arabia to combat the Marxist National Democratic Front.
Saudi Arabia financed the so-called "scientific institutes", Wahhabi Madrasas that were informally controlled by Islah. Militant Islam arose in Yemen as a result of substantial Saudi funding.
The party was blacklisted by Saudi Arabia in March 2014 due to its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Since the death of former King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia has repaired relations with Al-Islah, due to their role in fighting the Houthis during the Yemeni Civil War. (Wikipedia)
In 2018 US ambassador to Yemen, Matthew Toler, praised the role of Al-Islah, the Muslim Brotherhood of Yemen, in pushing forward the political process in Yemen.
This came during the US ambassador’s meeting with leaders of the Yemeni Al-Islah party, in the Saudi capital headed by Chairman of the Supreme Yemeni Congregation for Reform, Mohammed Abdullah Al-Yadumi. (Middle East Monitor, 11-7-2018)
2014: Fall of Sana'a, Houthis take the capital.
On 18 September, Houthi rebels clashed with Al-Islah militiamen in Sana'a, and by 21 September, they advanced deep into the city, capturing the government headquarters.
On 21 September, as the Houthis took control of Sana'a, the Yemeni Army did not formally intervene...
The troops that did fight the Houthis in an unsuccessful attempt to stop their advance were affiliated with General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar and the conservative Sunni Al-Islah Party.
After gaining control over key government buildings in Sana'a, the Houthis and government signed a UN-brokered deal on 21 September to form a "unity government". The new government called for by the Peace and Partnership Agreement was sworn in on 9 November. However, the Houthis and the General People's Congress refused to participate in the new government.
The cabinet, formed on Friday and welcomed by Washington, "is in violation of the peace agreement ... and a clear obstruction to the political process in favour of private and narrow interests", the rebels said in a statement.
In 2015, after about a week of negotiations between the Houthis and other Yemeni political factions, a Houthi representative announced on television that as of 6 February, the group was taking control of the country.
Defence Minister Mahmoud al-Subaihi was placed in charge of a Supreme Security Committee, while Mohammed Ali al-Houthi became acting president as the head of the Revolutionary Committee. Gulf Arab states accused Iran of backing the Houthis financially and militarily, though Iran has denied this.
The Houthis played an integral role in the protests that led to the removal of Saleh from power, and by all accounts were a significant power in the country when Hadi was sworn in as president.
However, they were sidelined from the GCC-led political process that brought Hadi to power.
Their continued marginalization from the transitional government and its seeming refusal to recognize the Houthi movement as a legitimate player soon led to protests, which eventually morphed into renewed military conflict.
The Houthis have been able to make impressive advances because they reflect in large part the genuine grievances of many Yemenis, regardless of sect.
They have also proven themselves to be shrewd pragmatists and have made the most out of an alliance of convenience with former President Saleh. Hence, it is not only an exaggeration to attribute Houthi gains to supposed Iranian support, but it would also be disingenuous given the reality of the conflict inside Yemen. This is first and foremost a Yemeni civil war, in which Saudi Arabia and other states have unwisely chosen to dramatically intervene.
Furthermore, alleged direct Iranian intervention in Yemen not only contradicts Iran’s intrinsically defensive posture in the region — which many US policymakers and institutions have acknowledged — but also greatly overstates Iran’s capability to influence events in Yemen in such a decisive way.
By attacking the Houthis, Saudi Arabia is further contributing to the destabilization of its southern neighbor and border, and weakening one of the only groups in Yemen that has successfully been fighting al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
To end hostilities and stabilize Yemen, the six world powers, Iran and Saudi Arabia should have an immediate meeting to discuss an inclusive peace plan...
Iran has, in fact, made strides in this direction. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif emphasized the need for an inclusive dialogue between all respective parties and the “establishment of an inclusive national unity government.” Saudi Arabia’s regional strategy however is bent on using Iran as a scapegoat to justify its own aggressive policies.
These policies appear geared at maintaining and expanding uncompromising Saudi hegemony across the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East.
Leader of Yemen’s Ansarullah movement lashed out at traitorous Arabs over Bahrain summit.
“Subordination of some Arab regimes to US and the Zionist entity reached a stage where they offered the nation’s holy sites as gifts,” Sayyed Abdul Malik Badreddin Al-Houthi said on Thursday night.
However, neither US, nor the Zionist entity appreciate those gifts by the Arab regimes, he said, adding: “Even Trump himself calls Saudi Arabia a milk cow.”
Meanwhile, Sayyed Houthi slammed some Arab media for tarnishing the image of the Palestinian resistance and Hezbollah, stressing that Ansarullah is not embarrassed over the relation with Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon whom he called them “are firm on their stance towards Palestine.” He hailed Hezbollah by saying that the Lebanese resistance movement “is a source of pride for our nation.”
Sayyed Houthi in this context, called for exerting efforts in a bid to counter all schemes aimed at dissolution of the Palestinian cause.
“For too long our leaders have failed us, taking us into one regime change war after the next, leading us into a new Cold War and arms race, costing us trillions of our hard-earned tax payer dollars and countless lives. This insanity must end.”
Donald Trump, circa 2016?
Nope. That denunciation of John Bolton interventionism came from Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii during Wednesday night’s Democratic debate. At 38, she was the youngest candidate on stage.
Gabbard proceeded to rip both the “president and his chickenhawk cabinet (who) have led us to the brink of war with Iran.”
By debate’s end, Gabbard was the runaway winner in both the Drudge Report and Washington Examiner polls...
If she makes it into the second round, Gabbard could become the catalyst for the kind of globalist vs. nationalist debate that broke out between Trump and Bush Republicans in 2016, a debate that contributed to Trump’s victory at the Cleveland convention and in November.
Donald Trump pledged that Washington would seek "common ground, not hostility” and “partnership, not conflict." (Sputnik News, 9-11-2016)
Given more airtime, she will present problems for the GOP as well. For the foreign policy Tulsi Gabbard is calling for is not far off from the foreign policy Donald Trump promised in 2016 but has since failed to deliver.
We still have 2,000 troops in Syria, 5,000 in Iraq, 14,000 in Afghanistan. We just moved an aircraft carrier task force, B-52s and 1,000 troops to the Persian Gulf to confront Iran. We are about to impose sanctions on the Iranian foreign minister with whom we would need to negotiate to avoid a war.
Jared Kushner is talking up a U.S.-led consortium to raise $50 billion for the Palestinians in return for their forfeiture of sovereignty and an end to their dream of a nation-state on the West Bank and Gaza with Jerusalem as its capital.
John Bolton is talking of regime change in Caracas and confronting the “troika of tyranny” in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Rather than engaging Russia as Trump promised, we have been sanctioning Russia, arming Ukraine, sending warships into the Black Sea, beefing up NATO in the Baltic and trashing arms control treaties Ronald Reagan and other presidents negotiated in the Cold War...
Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a high-profile Bernie Sanders supporter during the Democratic primaries, is “under serious consideration” for various Cabinet positions in President-elect Donald Trump's administration, according to a senior official on the transition team.
According to the official, the 35-year-old Hawaii congresswoman is being looked as a candidate for secretary of state, secretary of defense or United Nations ambassador. If selected, Gabbard will be the first woman as well as the youngest pick for Trump's Cabinet.
She met with him this morning in his New York City offices at Trump Tower. The Trump transition source said that their sit-down was a “terrific meeting” and that the Trump team sees her as very impressive.
This afternoon she released a long statement on her meeting with Trump, saying he asked to meet with her about "our current policies regarding Syria, our fight against terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS, as well as other foreign policy challenges we face.”
She said they had a “frank and positive conversation in which we discussed a variety of foreign policy issues in depth."
"I felt it important to take the opportunity to meet with the president-elect now before the drumbeats of war that neocons have been beating drag us into an escalation of the war to overthrow the Syrian government — a war which has already cost hundreds of thousands of lives and forced millions of refugees to flee their homes in search of safety for themselves and their families," she said in the statement, adding that she would not let politics get in the way of meeting with the president-elect.
"I never have and never will play politics with American and Syrian lives."
Having spent weeks hyping up the idea of a threat posed by Iran against the world, US special envoy Brian Hook is now shifting his talking points to threatening those nations directly.
Hook warned the European Union in particular against its attempt to establish a clearing house to allow trade with Iran, saying that the entire continent of Europe has to make a choice: do business with the United States, or do business with Iran.
Since the US reneged on the deal, they’ve not only refused to trade with Iran, but are trying to prevent the rest of the world from doing so as well....
Even though in practice it is none of America’s business, Hook said the US intends to sanction any country caught buying oil from Iran in any way....
The US threats are largely empty. China has continued to buy oil from Iran despite US warnings, and the US clearly can’t do anything about it.
The EU has a similarly large economy and should be able to also call the administration’s bluff, but so far, banks haven’t shown any faith in the EU backing up their promises to protect their companies.
VIENNA (Reuters) - China’s envoy to talks aimed at saving the Iran nuclear deal on Friday was guarded when asked if his country was willing to defy U.S. sanctions and buy Iranian oil but said his country rejects those sanctions.
“We reject the unilateral imposition of sanctions and for us energy security is important,” Fu Cong, director general of the Department of Arms Control of the Chinese Foreign Ministry told reporters after the talks. “We do not accept this zero policy of the United States,” he said when asked if China would buy Iranian oil.
US envoy Jason Greenblatt slammed the PA for accusing the US of supporting the “Judaization” of Jerusalem, calling the claim “ludicrous.”
The PA claim was connected to expected US participation in an inaugural ceremony for the “Pilgrim's Road” at the City of David excavation site near the Old City of Jerusalem.
Archaeologists say the ancient path was the one used by pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem to bring sacrifices to [the temple] during Jewish festivals.
“PA claims our attendance at this historic event supports ‘Judaization’ of Jerusalem/is an act of hostility vs. Palestinians. Ludicrous,” Greenblatt tweeted.
“We can’t ‘Judaize’ what history/archeology show. We can acknowledge it & you can stop pretending it isn’t true! Peace can only be built on truth.”
The City of David
zion: "ploughed as a field"
On that day [the ninth of Av], devoted to punishment, the wicked Turnus Rufus [Quintus Tineius Rufus, Roman governor posted in Judea during first half of the second century C.E] ploughed up the sanctuary and the parts about, to fulfil that which was said, Zion shall be ploughed as a field.'" (Mich. iii. 12.) (Jad Ilachasakah. Hilchoth Taanith., c. 5.)
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and White House Mideast peace envoy Jason Greenblatt, at an inaugural ceremony on Sunday, hammered through the final wall standing in front of an archaeological tourist site that was dug under Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem.
“Whether there was ever any doubt about the wisdom of [US] President [Donald] Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, I certainly think this lays all doubts to rest,” said Friedman before joining other Israeli and American bigwigs in symbolically breaking down the wall, which led to the “Pilgrimage Road,” a now-subterranean stairway that was said to have served as a main artery to the Temple Mount [Roman Fort Antonia] thousands of years ago.
The ceremonial event angered the Palestinian Authority, as well as several left-wing Israeli NGOs...
The Palestinian Authority’s chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, tweeted that Friedman, who before becoming the ambassador was a contributor to settlement causes, was himself “an extremist Israeli settler.” David Friedman explained that his decision to attend the excavation event as a US ambassador stemmed from the deep significance Israel’s capital had vis-a-vis American history: “This place is as much a heritage of the US as it is a heritage of Israel.”
The Pilgrimage Road dates to no earlier than 30-31 CE, during the time of the Roman governor Pontius Pilate. That was the period when Jesus was sentenced to death, City of David archaeologist Nahshon Szanton said in a 2017 video tour of the site.
However, Emek Shaveh, a left-wing organization, disagreed with the City of David findings, saying that although the street is presented as part of the pilgrimage route, “the horizontal excavation method, and the paucity of scientific publication, do not allow us to know for sure when the street was built and how it was integrated into the urban layout of Jerusalem.”
While it has not been widely published, it assuredly has been known for more than 40 years that the 45-acre, well-fortified place that has been mistakenly called the "Temple Mount" was really the Roman fortress —the Antonia—that Herod built.
The Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque are contained within these walls. The area is called the Haram Al-Sharif in Arabic. The Jewish temple was stationed 600 feet farther south and 200 feet lower in altitude, on Mount Ophel...
After two violent wars with Rome, the City of David was so completely destroyed that it could not be recognized as a city. The Roman emperor Hadrian decreed that it would be used as an area where the Upper City could dump trash and garbage. It continued in that condition for hundreds of years. Tourists are still mistakenly told that the Haram is the Temple Mount and that Mount Zion and the place where the Last Supper was held are all in the Upper City.
Israel's antiquities authority has been digging a tunnel from under homes in the Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan to the Western Wall Plaza.
According to a recent "60 Minutes" interview, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat wants to create King's Garden, a Bible-themed tourist park "adjacent to the City of David," which requires demolishing 22 Arab homes in Silwan. The purpose of archeology is to provide archeological insights, of course, but excavations between the City of David and the old Roman fortress (the Haram) also have an anti-Arab political agenda. Evangelical Christians in America, under the guidance of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and John Hagee, have not been informed of these facts...
Egypt's Al-Azhar condemned on Monday the Israeli government's inauguration of a religious path under Palestinian houses in East Jerusalem on Sunday.
"Al-Azhar strongly condemns the Zionist attempts to change the identity of the city of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa mosque as well as its adjacent areas," said the Sunni Islamic institution.
"The latest of these attempts was the inauguration of what the Zionist entity called the 'Pilgrimage Path', and Al-Azhar rejects those outrageous violations of international laws and treaties" read the statement. Israeli authorities refer to the area that encompasses Al-Aqsa Mosque as the Temple Mount, and say it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples during the ancient period.
The Palestinian authority and Jordan both condemned the event. The Palestinian authority called it another attempt to falsify history and an attempt to change the identity of Jerusalem.
Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress is claiming that the Democratic Party is a “godless” organization that promotes policies that are “completely antithetical to the Christian faith.”
Jeffress, a longtime supporter of President Donald Trump, warned evangelicals at a conference in Washington, D.C., this weekend not to be “fooled” when Democratic 2020 presidential candidates talk about their faith.
“When they talk about God, they are not talking about the real God — the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God who revealed Himself in the Bible,” Jeffress said Saturday, according to The Christian Post.
“These liberal Democrats are talking about an imaginary God they have created in their own minds: a god who loves abortion and hates Israel.”
Jeffress was delivering a speech on the final day of the Faith & Freedom Coalition policy conference, an event that highlights evangelical voters’ top issues.
During his speech, Jeffress offered an analysis of Democrats’ attempts to reach faith-based voters. Democrats have realized that they have a “God problem,” Jeffress said, and are trying to solve it by talking more openly about God and their personal faith...
The pastor claimed that Democrats’ God talk ultimately falls flat because of the party’s commitment to ensuring women have access to safe and legal abortions. “The true God of the Bible, the real God, is a God who hates abortion and loves Israel,” he said at the conference.
Pastor Robert Jeffress, standing to the left of President Donald Trump, leads Trump's evangelical advisors in prayer in the Oval Office in September 2017
People often ask me, “Pastor, why do Christians care so much about Israel?” What is it about this tiny Middle Eastern country about the size of New Jersey that makes it so significant to our Christian faith?
There are three primary reasons that Christians care about Israel.
- First, there are spiritual reasons that we support Israel. The land of Israel is the birthplace of our Christian faith. It is the place where we believe Jesus, the Messiah, will one day return and establish His future earthly kingdom.
- Second, there are historical reasons that Christians support Israel. God promised Abraham that He would give to him and his descendants the land that currently makes up modern-day Israel (Genesis 15:18–21).
This clear promise from God is the reason that Christian Americans of both political parties supported President Harry S. Truman in 1948 when he officially recognized the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jews.
- Third, there are geopolitical reasons that Christians care about Israel. Since 1948, the nation of Israel has been America’s staunchest ally in the Middle East...
At this crucial time in world history, I strongly believe it is imperative that America remains on the right side of history and the right side of God... by continuing our support of Israel.
Addressing the annual policy conference of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya on July 2, former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, chair of Yisrael Beitenu, launched a harsh broadside at religious radicalization and the religious military preparatory academies headed by rabbis who also serve as their educators and ideologues.
Such strident criticism against Israel’s religious Zionism and its military academies appears unprecedented in Israeli history.
“I want to say some harsh things about this subject: the religious pre-military preparatory programs in the past trained a long line of good and brave fighters, and I hope they will continue to function.
But what’s happening today with them is becoming the cultivation of private religious militias, of Falange”, Liberman argued.
[The Falange is a fascist organization, founded in 1933, that became the only official political party of Spain under Franco.]
Horrified reactions followed. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted, “Anyone who attacks Israel’s heroes just to pick up a few more votes should be ashamed.”
Head of New Right Party Naftali Bennett, whose purview as Israel’s former minister of education included the military preparatory academies, called Liberman’s comments “complete nonsense.”
Bennett’s successor at the helm of HaBayit HaYehudi and one of the founders of the Atzmona military preparatory academy in the West Bank, Rabbi Rafi Peretz, wrote to Liberman, “Free us from your presence. Your time has passed..."
Liberman, who is branding himself ahead of the Sept. 17 elections as a fighter against religious coercion and the ultra-Orthodox parties, has now expanded his target list to include religious Zionism.
In harsh, abrasive and outrageous language, he highlighted the process of religious radicalization and its growing impact on the lives of non-religious Israelis as exerted by extreme right-wing parties.
These parties — HaBayit HaYehudi, National Unity and Israel Power — united ahead of the April elections and have had a tangible impact on Israel’s security policy by deepening the settlement enterprise and demanding the annexation of Palestinian land...
Some rabbis of the religious right, such as Haim Druckman, head of the Or Etzion Yeshiva, and Zalman Baruch Melamed, head of the Beit El Yesihva and co-founder of the Bnei David military preparatory academy, influence not only the general ideological lines of political representatives but also the religious colleges.
Israelis heard the radical religious messages drummed into the students at the Eli academy via a series of secret recordings and videos aired on Channel 13 in April.
In the recordings, the rabbis are heard making outrageously racist comments that betray the depth of the radicalization of the religious Zionist stream. Though this stream of Israeli Judaism was once considered moderate and dignified, it is now radically religious.
In his Herzliya speech, Liberman exaggerated in saying that the academies were turning out "phalanges," but correctly identified the radicalization that religious Zionism is undergoing...
Prominent hardline national-religious leader Rabbi Shlomo Aviner said on Thursday that women should not be involved in politics and that Ayelet Shaked should not head the Union of Right Wing Parties.
Aviner’s comments come following a letter he signed together with fellow hardline leaders Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu and Rabbi David Hai Hacohen, and another 40 rabbis from the sector, stating that the head of any right wing party or list should be a “God fearing person.”
This letter was seen as an attempt by the rabbis to stop any possibility that Shaked is brought into the Union of Right Wing Parties as its head, as has been speculated in recent weeks as a way of boosting the party’s electoral chances.
Speaking on Kan Radio on Thursday morning, Aviner said initially that because Shaked is secular she should not head a religious party. Asked however if a religious woman could head a religious party’s electoral list Aviner said “It’s not ok, the complicated whirlwind of politics is not the arena for the female role.”
The letter signed by Aviner, Eliyahu and Hacohen stated somewhat more obliquely that they were backing Bayit Yehudi leader Rabbi Rafi Peretz’s assertion that the person to head the list of right wing parties must be a “God fearing and Torah observant” individual.
“This is not a personal issue but an issue of public values and of putting the issue of the Judaism of the State of Israel as a central issue of the national religious party,” the rabbis said.
“Without ruling out any other candidate, God forbid, we see great importance in putting someone who flies the banner of Torah at the top of the list.”
Rabbi Shlomo Chaim Hacohen Aviner is an Israeli Orthodox rabbi, born as Claude Langenauer in France. He is the rosh yeshiva of the Ateret Yerushalayim yeshiva in Jerusalem, and the rabbi of Bet El. He is considered one of the spiritual leaders of the Religious Zionist movement.
1.Bet El is the largest Jewish town living on the front lines of Ramallah (1300 families!).
2.The Israel Defense Forces Preparatory Academy in Bet El is comprised of Sephardic, Yemenite and Ethiopian students...
The IDF Academy in Bet El is a life-changing experience for these youth, deepening their ties with their Jewish roots... The IDF Academy is a project of Bet El Institutions.
3.IsraelNationalNews.com - Arutz Sheva, Israel's third largest English online news site, is owned and operated by Bet El Institutions. They are the pioneers of fighting Israel's battle in the media.
4.Yeshiva.org.il, the Bet El Yeshiva's Torah MegaSite serves as the primary site for religious-Zionist Torah study.
5.Besheva Newspaper is owned and operated by Bet El Institutions.
In a meeting with Orthodox Jews Thursday, Donald Trump named his two advisors on Israel - and the names bespeak good news for nationalists who believe in Israel's right to the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria.
The two are Trump's chief lawyer, Jason D. Greenblatt, a real estate attorney from Teaneck, New Jersey, and another real estate lawyer, bankruptcy expert David M. Friedman of the Kasowitz law firm. “I don’t think I can find better,” Trump said. Greenblatt is very supportive of the Judea and Samaria settlement enterprise, and Friedman is a leading commentator on Arutz Sheva and serves as the President of American Friends of Bet El Institutions.
The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed Monday that Iran has exceeded 300 grams of Low Enriched Uranium.
The 300-gram limit was part of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the Iran nuclear deal, negotiated between Tehran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany. The 2015 deal was an exchange. The UN Security Council would drop international sanctions on Iran, the US would drop its unilateral sanctions on Iran, and in return Iran would limit its Low Enriched Uranium stockpile...
Some headlines in the US and Europe are saying “Iran breaches nuclear accord.” But it was Trump who breached the nuclear accord.
He not only reimposed severe sanctions but went further, going around the world threatening other countries, like an organized crime mob boss, that they had a nice little country there and it would be too bad if something happened to it because they bought Iranian petroleum...
Moreover, Trump blockaded Iran despite Iran’s adherence to the JCPOA. That is, Iran lived up to its part of the bargain faithfully, and was so certified, repeatedly by the UN IAEA. And all the other signatories to the agreement were happy with Iran’s adherence to it.
Now, two years after Trump’s breach and the imposition of the most severe sanctions in modern history, Iran is acting out.
"You", Tehran is saying to the world, "did not honor your agreement. Why should we honor ours?"
"it was Trump who breached the nuclear accord."
Europe, Russia and China had wanted to try to keep Iran in the agreement, but they could not protect Iranian trade from US Treasury Department sanctions... They are helpless to resist the vast economic and political might of Washington D.C.
If Iran is going to be economically strangled whether it observes the JCPOA or not, why should it observe the treaty? The big danger here is that the US and European publics don’t understand the difference between a civilian program to produce low enriched uranium and a military program to produce 95% enriched uranium.
But the more Iran tests the boundaries of the JCPOA, the more ammunition it gives Israel’s prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his massive propaganda machine, and the more ammunition it gives warmongers like John Bolton...
Both Trump’s warmongers and Iran’s hard liners are playing an increasingly dangerous game.
Europe cannot use the so-called snapback mechanism stipulated in the 2015 nuclear deal to renew United Nations sanctions against Iran. An international lawyer, Reza Nasri, gives fives reasons why.
The snap back mechanism is a tool that allows the old United Nations sanctions to be reimposed on Iran without a vote on the Council, in the case of Tehran being found to be in serious violation of the terms of the nuclear agreement... The other side wants to make it look as if the recent measures by Iran in reducing the level of its commitments to the JCPOA – which are in accordance with Article 26 and 36 of JCPOA – are a violation of the agreement in order to use the snap back mechanism against Iran.
But there are five reasons as to why the snap back mechanism cannot be used against Iran in this case.
-One: The snap back mechanism has beenhas been set up in the case of Iran being the first party to withdraw from the nuclear deal. Of course, the first side to have left the agreement was the United States...
-Two: According to the text of the JCPOA, the other side can use the snap back mechanism only when it “believes” that Iran’s performance is an instance of a major lack of compliance...
-Three: Europe’s resorting to the snap back mechanism would be in fact a mockery of the international law... It would be the first time in history when the Security Council would be used to punish a country that only intends to use its legal tools to force others to implement a Security Council resolution (2231), and an agreement endorsed by the body.
-Four: In order to accuse Iran of a violation, European powers first need to prove Iran’s ill intentions. Iran’s only motivation and intention to reduce commitments is a way to actually revive the nuclear agreement.
-Five: Article 3 of Appendix 2 of JCPOA clearly tasks Europe with removing the “impacts” of economic and financial sanctions. This means that the European sides are clearly in violation of their commitments.
Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a message vowed that Iran will be committed to the nuclear deal.
"Iran is committed to the full implementation of the #JCPOA: as long as E3/EU implement THEIR economic commitments," Zarif wrote in his Twitter account on Tuesday.
#"So moving forward, Iran will comply with its commitments under the JCPOA in exactly the same manner as the EU/E3 have—and will—comply with theirs.
Fair enough?," he added.
Earlier, Zarif acknowledged that based on the timetable Iran reduced commitment to the JCPOA to reciprocate the US breach and re-imposing sanctions lifted by the UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi has issued a decree that further integrates the Popular Mobilization Forces, which have proven a decisive force in Baghdad’s counter-terrorism operations, into the country's armed forces: "All Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) are to operate as an indivisible part of the armed forces and be subject to the same regulations..."
The fighters, also known as Hashd al-Sha’abi, joined forces with the military in 2014 after the Takfiri terror group of Daesh [Islamic State] launched a campaign of bloodshed and destruction against the nation. They effectively contributed to the country’s anti-terror struggle...
However, the United States has systematically found fault with the PMU’s involvement in Iraq’s defensive affairs. In May, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had told Iraqi leaders during a surprise visit to Baghdad that if they failed to exercise more control on the fighters, Washington would respond with force.
Influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sar celebrated Abdul Mahdi’s decision and urged the fighters under his support to integrate more closely into the military.
"What came from the prime minister on the PMU is an important thing and a correct first step towards building a strong state," Sadr said in a statement.
UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee voted on Friday to list the sprawling Mesopotamian metropolis of Babylon as a World Heritage Site after three decades of lobbying efforts by Iraq.
Iraq had been trying since 1983 to have the site — a massive 10-square-kilometer complex of which just 18 percent has been excavated thus far — recognized by UNESCO.
Straddling Iraq’s Euphrates River about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of Baghdad, the city was the center of the ancient Babylonian empire more than 4,000 years ago.
“What is the world heritage list without Babylon? How to tell the history of humanity without the earliest of old chapters, Babylon?” said Iraq’s representative to UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee ahead of the vote.
“Babylon was the largest populated city in ancient history,” said Qahtan Al-Abeed, who heads the Basra Antiquities Department and led efforts to get the site listed. Putting Babylon on the World Heritage List “will encourage research and development of the site,” and would “be free publicity for tourists,” he added excitedly. Babylon occupies a special place in religion, appearing in the Bible, Hebrew scripture, and even mythical prophecies.
Bringing order out of chaos
In ancient Babylon, Marduk was honored as king of the gods and quite specifically associated with the planet Jupiter.
In Greece, Zeus was chief of the Olympians, with dominion over the planet Jupiter. In that sense he was the counterpart of Marduk. By contrast, the Egyptians portrayed Jupiter - and Mars and Saturn as well - with the falcon head of the skygod Horus.
The role of Jupiter-Marduk was preeminent in Babylon, for he was credited with the world's creation, bringing order out of chaos.
Texts of the Babylonian creation myth are preserved on cuneiform tablets, some from the library of Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria in the seventh century BC, but the tale itself is much older, apparently deriving from the Old Babylonian empire, about 1800 BC.
In the myth, Marduk establishes order by killing Tiamat, the dragon of primordial chaos. From the monster's body he fashions the sky and the sea. Then he prepares to take advantage of his victory. His price for his service is the right to fashion an ordered cosmos. (Astronomy of Babylon)
Silwan (Lower City) in 1920: empty, and 2019: "they pay millons of dollars.."
Never in their wildest dreams did the Arab residents of Silwan imagine that US President Donald Trump would send his Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman, the US ambassador, to their neighborhood.
THE “TUNNEL” inaugurated on Sunday is actually an ancient 2,000-year-old road discovered about 10 years ago and now known as the “Pilgrimage Road".
Silwan residents are convinced that what is happening in their neighborhood is part of a scheme to “Judaize” east Jerusalem. “They want Silwan,” said Nariman Ruweidi, a housewife and mother of six children. “They say it’s the City of David. This is their goal.”
Ruweidi says her home is already “surrounded by Israeli settlers.” Earlier this year, Jewish families moved into apartments on the second floor of the building where she lives. The apartments, she says, were sold to a Jewish company by a local resident. Earlier, Jewish families moved into another apartment next to her home. “Jews pay millions of dollars for the homes,” she said. “They want our house. My husband, who works as a driver for the Egged bus company, is being pressured to sell our house to Jews.”
Over the past two decades, several Silwan families have tried to prevent Jewish families from moving into homes purchased from local residents, who have been denounced by Palestinians as “traitors.” In most cases, the courts ruled that the real estate transactions were legal, paving the road for the establishment of what Palestinians call a “Jewish settlement” in the heart of Silwan.
Some 80 per cent of Palestinians believe that Arab states have abandoned them and the Palestinian cause, a new poll conducted in the wake of last week’s “Peace to Prosperity” conference has revealed.
The poll – conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research based in the West Bank city of Ramallah – found that 80 per cent of respondents supported the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s call for boycotting the “Peace to Prosperity” conference, which took place in Bahraini capital Manama last week to unveil the economic aspects of the long-awaited “deal of the century”.
The poll showed that the same percentage viewed Arab states’ participation in the conference as abandonment of the Palestinians and their cause.
Despite the PA’s calls to boycott, representatives from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Jordan and Egypt all attended the summit. Only Lebanon and Kuwait heeded the call to boycott.
In addition, 90 per cent of those surveyed said they do not trust the administration of US President Donald Trump, which has spearheaded the “deal of the century”. Some 75 per cent of Palestinians want the PA to reject the deal, the Jerusalem Post reported.
A key feature of the plan has been to provide economic incentives for the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) and neighbouring countries who host millions of Palestinian refugees. The plan includes a $50 billion pay package, in what critics have interpreted as an attempt to trade economic prosperity for meaningful political progress.
However, when asked to choose between economic prosperity and an independent Palestinian state, 83 per cent opted for independence while only 15 per cent chose economic prosperity.
In a rare show of unity, all Palestinian factions stood together to oppose the US peace plan, labelling it stillborn and refusing to accept its terms.
Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American Founding Father who was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.
The impounding off the coast of Gibraltar of a supertanker suspected of smuggling two million barrels of Iranian oil is adding to spiraling tensions between Washington and Tehran.
Iranian officials say the seizure this week by British royal Marines, of a ship that appeared to be heading for Syria, was at the behest of the U.S. The impounding of the supertanker was quickly welcomed by White House national security adviser John Bolton.
UK has detained the supertanker Grace I laden with Iranian oil bound for Syria in violation of EU sanctions. America & our allies will continue to prevent regimes in Tehran & Damascus from profiting off this illicit trade.
John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) July 4, 2019
A detachment of 30 British Royal Marines working with Gibraltar's police intercepted Grace 1 overnight Wednesday as it headed east off the British peninsula. Some marines landed on the deck by dropping from ropes suspended below a hovering Wildcat helicopter. Others boarded from speedboats, pulled up alongside.
Britain's Ministry of Defense released black-and-white thermal images of the helicopter over the ship's bow, saying the operation was carried out at the request of Gibraltar authorities.
But Spain's foreign minister, Josep Borrell, said he believed the dramatic maneuver had been conducted at the request of the U.S.
Spain has criticized the impounding, claiming the vessel was technically in Spanish waters. British officials say they had a legal duty to seize the vessel... They say they were enforcing European Union sanctions against the Syrian government of Bashir al-Assad.
As the frontlines in Syria largely fall silent and the Syrian government works on reasserting its control across the country, a new war is in the making: that of the West on the Syrian economy.
Over the last few months several new punitive measures have been inflicted on the Syrian state. In November the US Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control issued a new advisory threatening sanctions on ships transporting oil and gas to Syrian ports.
And this month the European Union issued new sanctions against several Syrian businessmen and companies operating inside the country. In the United States an expansive bill is awaiting Senate approval, one which would see crushing sanctions not just against Syrian government entities and affiliates, but also third parties and states that take part in reconstruction.
These are on top of the numerous sanctions imposed over the last eight years...
After eight years of conflict it is clear that sanctions have made absolutely no impact on shifting government positions.
Meanwhile, sanctioned figures remain the dominant business actors in Syria today and, where it closes off opportunities for some, other government-affiliated figures quickly rise up in their place. Some actors are now profiting as a direct result of the sanctions-based economy, while average Syrians are forced to find alternative – and increasingly expensive – ways to bring in basic materials in order to survive.
The perspective from Damascus is that the Syrian state, and the population living under its control, will weather the sanctions storm. Not because people necessarily support the government, but because there is no alternative – both the state and the population know this.
Sanctions are not ‘smart’. They create and empower oligarchs who, when targeted by sanctions, double down, become more powerful, and multiply in number. Sanctions also force the worst impulses of economic interaction across the entire market and destroy legitimate businesses while strengthening illegitimate ones.
And many small- and medium-sized enterprise owners in Damascus are today suffering because of the rise of war profiteers, who have been enabled by the sanctions...
In recognition of the dilemma of how to deal with Syria’s post-conflict phase with the Assad government still in place, the West needs to be far more honest about the counter-productiveness of a tool, and particularly sectoral sanctions, which will produce little in its stated intentions and instead have a detrimental impact on the wider population.
Tens of thousands of people from all walks of life visited the gravesite (Ohel) of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, zt”l, at the Old Montefiore Cemetery in Queens, commemorating his 25nd yahrtzeit (anniversary of death) on Shabbat (Sabbath).
Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein was the guest speaker... He told about his surreal feeling when he was invited to the White House...
Rabbi Goldstein said he used the private meeting with the president to press forth three points:
That the president has a purpose to fulfill in protecting the Jews and the need for a “moment of silence” in American public schools to reflect each morning on G-d and morality.
His third request was the most unique one. “I took out a photo of the Rebbe and told the president, ‘This is my inspiration. This is the one who sent me to Poway and sent thousands of emissaries around the world,” he said.
Rabbi Goldstein then continued, “Mr. President, I need one favor from you: Can you please call President Putin from Russia and ask him to release the Schneerson Library (Jewish books and manuscripts that were collected by Chabad Rebbes and held in the Russian State Library after World War II)?.
President Trump listened to his request and responded: “Rabbi, give me the information and I’ll do what I can do.”
Jared Kushner: Chabad-disciple & 'moral compass'
Rabbi Goldstein said that at the White House encounter he was also able to speak with Ivanka Trump, the President’s daughter and senior adviser.
“I shared with her my feeling of how she is there for her purpose to keep the president’s compass in line,” he said.
"Why is the Rebbe given a pass for his warmongering in support of the oppression of Palestine -- surely the ugliest blot on Jewish tradition in modern times?
The question cannot be shirked. The Rebbe didn’t just tolerate Israeli oppression. He encouraged it.
In Eyes Upon the Land, a book explicitly “based on the public statements and writings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe,” the reader is told that “every inch of territory in Israel,” including “the lands taken in the Six-Day War,” must be held by the use of Jewish military force, regardless of international law or the consequences for the non-Jewish population..."
Trump’s Economic War on Iran:
88% reduction in Oil Exports, 6% Shrinkage of Economy Juan Cole 07/08/2019
The United States is already at war with Iran, squeezing its economy down to nothingness.
If another country tried to do this to the US just on a whim and with no UN or international-law basis, the US would certainly launch a war over it.
Iran’s choices are much more limited because it is a small, weak, Third World country, with not so much as a proper air force. But countries without conventional military capabilities that are squeezed like this by an enemy reply with unconventional tactics. Trump did this to Iran despite Iran’s adherence to the 2015 nuclear deal or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as certified quarterly by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency.
Iran oil exports before Trump Breach of Treaty and Severe Sanctions of 2017: 2.5 million barrels per day (# 6 exporter in world after Canada)
Iran oil exports in June 2019: 300,000 barrels a day (# 27 in world, after Equatorial Guinea and Australia)
Iran’s economy grew an incredible 12.9% in 2016 after the UN Security Council signed the nuclear deal with Tehran and lifted sanctions. In 2019, Iran’s economy under US sanctions will shrink an incredible 6%
Aljazeera English reports that “the rial, plummet[ed] by about 60% over the past year. Inflation is up to 37% and the cost of food and medicine has soared by 40% to 60%, according to EU figures.” Note that Trump’s sanctions are unilateral. They haven’t even been approved by Congress, and are actively rejected by the United Nations Security Council.
They are a form of financial blockade. Physical blockades of this sort are considered legitimate causes for war in international law.
Veteran Israeli journalist Gideon Levy has claimed that if Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn were elected as British prime minister, major changes would happen for Palestine.
Addressing a packed auditorium at London’s Olympia exhibition centre this weekend, Levy claimed he is “one of those who believe that if the miracle happens and Corbyn is elected in this country [the UK], this can bring about a major change”.
“I know that Corbyn can present a new language and new discourse,” Levy explained, “and I know he can make a change”.
Levy also addressed the ongoing campaign against Corbyn, who has been accused of failing to tackle anti-Semitism within the Labour party and criticised for his support of the Palestinian cause.
“Corbyn is a victim of a systematic campaign,” said Levy. “He is portrayed in Israel as [former Nazi party leader Adolph] Hitler’s deputy, not much less than this, as an anti-Semite, you name it.”
The Haaretz columnist – who regularly comes under fire within Israel for his outspoken views – stressed that such smear campaigns and the weaponisation of anti-Semitism must be criticised and fought against:
“We should not surrender to those labels and those accusations, because they are there in order to blackmail, in order to fight anyone who dares to criticise Israel”.
The event was organised by British NGO Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA).
Long decades of arbitrary Israeli policies have inflicted enormous economic costs on the Palestinian people.
Since the first moments of the occupation, Israel (the occupying power) has imposed its hegemony on all sectors of the Palestinian economy and practiced daily measures to deprive the Palestinian people of their land, water and natural resources and destroy their homes and properties.
The economic damage caused by the occupation has become a daily ritual that the Palestinian people have to live with.
At the same time, Israel is relentlessly expanding its internationally illegal settlements on Palestinian land, and the enormous cost of occupation for the Palestinian people accumulates over time.
However, to this moment, all these historical and emerging costs have not been estimated or documented in a systematic and comprehensive reference. Therefore, there is no urge that may compel Israel to assume its responsibility, as the occupying power, under international law.
On the contrary, Israel intensifies its arbitrary measures to increase the economic cost of occupation for the Palestinian people and deals with the whole issue with indifference....
In the last four decades the share of agriculture and industry in GDP declined by more than half, from 37 percent to 16 percent, while their contribution to employment dropped from 47 percent to 20 percent. The occupation authorities do not allow Palestinian producers to access Palestinian territories in Area C, which represents more than 60 percent of the West Bank.
According to the World Bank, the occupation of Area C costs the Palestinian economy 35 percent of its annual GDP ($5 Billion in 2017).
The West Bank lost at least 10 percent of its most fertile land to the construction of the 712-kilometre Israeli barrier which lies either on, or to the East of, the June 1967 borders. In January 2015 alone, 5,600 productive fruit trees were uprooted or vandalised, this in addition to uprooting more than 2.5 million productive trees (including 800,000 olive trees) since 1967.
Palestinians are prohibited from maintaining or drilling groundwater wells, while Israel extracts more than what is stipulated by the 1993 Oslo Accords and confiscates 82 percent of Palestinian groundwater, forcing Palestinians to buy their own water from Israel to cover 50 percent of their consumption.
Israel also does not allow Palestinians to utilise the natural gas fields off the coast of Gaza and denies them the right to explore oil and gas in both Gaza and the West Bank.
In Gaza, Palestinians are denied access to half of the arable area and 85 percent of their fishery resources. According to UNCTAD reports, the direct damage of the three Israeli military operations on Gaza between 2008-2014 is no less than the value of what was produced by the Gaza Strip in three years.
It is estimated that the wars of 2008 and 2009 destroyed more than 60 percent of Gaza’s productive base, while the 2014 military strikes destroyed 85 percent of what was left. But the total cost of destruction is much higher if the indirect costs of loss of human capital and future revenues from the destructed productive base are considered.
Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, spoke at the Christians United for Israel's (CUFI) annual summit in Washington, DC.
In his remarks, Danon spoke about the threat of Iran and its increase in uranium enrichment.
"A few hours ago, the IAEA announced that Iran in fact had increased its enrichment levels, violating the nuclear agreement, and proving once and for all that it intends to develop a nuclear weapon," he stated.
Danon continued, "I call on the European leaders to wake up before it is too late and to stop the terrorist regime....
They must join President Trump in applying sanctions. I call on the United Nations Security Council to convene and reapply the sanctions regime. We must never allow the Iranian regime to terrorize the world ever again! Never again!"
Iran Nuclear Deal: 2013-2015
On May 8, 2018, the United States withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
In a joint statement responding to the U.S. withdrawal, the leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom stated that United Nations Security Council resolution endorsing the nuclear deal remained the "binding international legal framework for the resolution of the dispute". (Wikipedia)
About the Arab Summit (in Mecca on May 30-June 1)...., we have a duty to praise the position expressed by the President of the Republic of Iraq.
It’s a remarkable position, courageous and excellent. What a shame that the rest of the Arab Presidents, Kings and Emirs did not talk the same way!
And the Iraqi delegation has not said that they wanted to wage war against Saudi Arabia, the UAE, or anyone, nothing like it! They spoke in a balanced manner (without taking sides with Iran nor Saudi Arabia).
You could do the same thing (and display a conciliatory neutrality). What prevented you from doing so, O Arabs?
What a pity that (the participants of this) Summit, in spite of the failure, powerlessness and confusion (of Saudi Arabia), and the economic exploitation of the situation by the United States, have not talked in conciliatory terms about Iran, when Iran itself, a few days ago, said via its delegates that they were ready to talk with the Gulf states, and conclude pacts of non-aggression with them!
Why did they not adopt the same open and conciliatory diplomatic language? If they had done so, their money, their safety, their security, their interests and even their dignity would not be violated by Trump morning and evening.
On the Arab Summit, I have one more thing to say: as a Lebanese party who participate in the government of Lebanon, we (Hezbollah) consider that the position of the official Lebanese delegation to the Arab Summit contradicts the Ministerial Declaration (of the Hariri government)... Where is the promised neutrality, O official Lebanese delegation to the holy city of Mecca? It was not even required that you take a position similar to that of Iraq. You could simply have said that the Lebanese government was committed to neutrality (in regional conflicts) and that such a stance was required in the national interest of Lebanon, which had to remain neutral, as it had done in previous Summits.
That is why we reject this position (expressed by the Lebanese delegation), which we consider unacceptable and condemn because it does not represent Lebanon.
It is impossible that this be the official position of Lebanon, a position which publishes a Statement with 10 paragraphs condemning Iran and only dedicates a line and a half to Palestine, the whole Statement expressing support for an Axis (US-Saudi-Israeli) against another, the Axis of Resistance...